Chapter 16:

Eyes on Target

Last Wish

“Quit spacing out and move your hands, Hoshino.” a shriek practically knocked the ghost out of me.

“Ah, yes,” I panicked and started moving the whisk rashly inside the bowl, launching the batter everywhere around me.

“Slow down,” the head chef almost crushed my shoulders with his large hands as he grabbed me. “You clearly are not in your right mind. You are useless right now, Get out and clear your head.”

He shouted at me but I like to think that it was his own unique way of telling me to take a break. As per his instructions I got out to take a break. I went to the break room for us servants. There were a few people there but they didn’t pay much attention to me as I occupied a seat in the corner.

“(What are you doing? I thought your brain could multitask.)” Dee voiced his disappointment in my airheaded behavior.

“(But when I need to think about something, I need my full concentration. Especially if it is something this important,)” I took out the flyer with all of the new cakes on them. It was a printout of the ad displayed on TV yesterday and it was still being displayed on TV and the internet as well. We tried to figure out the hidden message in the ad to see if there was any.

The flyer showed six different limited edition cakes. The three word messages written were supposed to be examples.

‘Make a wish’ , ‘Happy and well’ , ‘Wel come home’ , ‘Get well soon’ , ‘Wish me luck’

In all five of them, even if they went off grammar, they got exactly three words. But for some reason the last one, the ominous ginger frosting cake had only one word written in golden frosting: ‘~Sood’

The tilde looked like a mistake at first but it was clear that it represented a sender's signature on his message. The messages had been written in different color schemes of frostings but for some reason, the last and the first cake were written in the same color and one color only. The golden frosting. Which threw my attention to all the other cakes. All of them had at least one word in gold. And once we threw them all together.

“Make a wish and come get me. ~Sood “ I voiced the message.

“(And Sood is the Tenth Jinn, the contractor. I am sure because no other Jinn, much less a human would have such a weird name.)” said the Jinn named ‘Dee’ himself.

“(But what we need to figure out is why is he making his move now and in such blatantly obvious manner. Where is this confidence coming from?)”

“(Does he know about us?)”

“(No, if he did, he wouldn’t choose such a roundabout method to lure us out. We are right under his nose, he could just dispose of us. I bet all he knows is that there is a wisher in Tokyo. With all the weird incidents happening, anyone would think so.)”

“(Then why is he putting himself in the open?)”

“(Either he thinks that anyone can guess that he is a wisher with one look at his history or anyone with a brain would not think that the wisher is the owner just from an ad. There is a whole department for advertisement, it could be anyone of them.)”

“(But we already know that he is the wisher.)”

“(Yes, that’s why we don’t need to provoke him or anything. We can just keep doing what we have been and he won’t know what hit him.)”

This is what I had decided last night. But there was this weird bad feeling disturbing me, causing me to lose focus.

“Hey Hoshino, how long will you be on break? You are needed in the kitchen,” all of a sudden I heard a voice. It was one of the chefs.

“I guess my break is over,” I stood up and headed for the kitchen. I put my phone on silent, and tried to regain focus by not thinking about my phone or the ad in it.

“Hoshino, how long are you going to slack off?” the head chef’s voice hit me with my first step in the kitchen, “It’s almost time for lunch. Get the dessert ready.”

And I could not take the second step. Yesterday I did not have to prepare anything besides tea, so I survived. But now it was finally time for the real deal. I had no confidence at all.

But I couldn’t just run away now, could I. The only way was to stall for as long as I could as I thought of a better way out. I prepared all the ingredients and then did the preparations first like I used to at the café. But beyond that was unknown territory for me. I was sure I was going to mess up.

And then, “Yo Hoshino,” I heard a familiar voice. I looked behind to find the familiar rowdy face and bleached hair. A delinquent in a chef’s attire.

“Mr.Fuji,” if I was Myra, I would have definitely been in tears by now..

“Good you have everything prepared too. And here I thought we were going to be late,” he said smiling as he took the materials I had prepared and started turning them into sweets.

I remember Mr.Tsumihara saying that he would send the chefs here for sometime but after all that happened, I had no faith in his words. But I couldn’t be more relieved that he sent Mr.Fuji.

“Look at you all worried. You worked with me in the kitchen for a month, have a little more confidence,” he said, patting my back.

“I was not worried at all. But why are you popping up at a random time?”

“Well,” he said scratching his head, “I was supposed to be here early but something came up at the café. I had to go to the factory to get something prepared.”


“An order came in for that weird special edition cake. You know that ginger one. And we had no flavors ready for it. So I asked them to wait till tomorrow.”

His words knocked out the focus my mind had finally gathered. So much that I missed the train to go home with Myra and then not noticing the constant vibrations that m phone made afterwards.


The next day instead of going straight to the mansion, I went to the café first. This meant I would be late for the mansion but I could care less about it. I had more important things to do. Since being appointed to the mansion, I stopped looking at my factory register because I was not going at the moment. But after my conversation with Mr.Fuji I checked it as soon as I got home. And he was right. There was a batch for that ginger flavor. I was just disappointed that I had seen this register so many times yet I forgot that a batch was prepared for it. Means that someone ordered it.

And now there was a chance that another wisher was in town. Of course it could all be a coincidence and someone could’ve ordered that cake out of pure curiosity. But it was not worth the risk when I could just confirm everything myself. Besides, I needed to have a chat with Mr.Tsumihara anyways.

I knocked on the frosted glass door of the manager’s room. And after receiving permission I entered it.

“Hoshino. What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at the mansion?” Mr.Tsumihara said as I took a seat. I did not reply to him, just kept smiling. His expression slowly started to break as sweat started to appear on his forehead. He knew what I was going to talk about. Knowing that was enough and I did not have to voice it.

Instead I wanted to use it as a bargaining chip, “I want a leave.”.

“A leave?” He looked surprised and relieved when I talked about something else.

“Yes. On Saturday, August 7.”

“But you realize that it is this week. And I want you to be permanently available at the mansion for this week, till the 8th,” he was slowly coming back to his stern idiolect.

“Yes and this is what I am saying. I will continue my ‘kitchen duties’ at the mansion without any problem as long as you give me leave on Saturday.” I think my hint was more than enough for him. He had tricked me into being a servant for the mansion. And I was willing to continue that if he would grant me that leave.

He looked a bit troubled but finally answered, “Fine. You get a leave on Saturday.” he did not look happy though.

“Thank you,” and I left his office. Now this is where I would head to the mansion, but I had one more matter to attend to. It was close to noon and the café was thriving with people. I headed into the kitchen.

“Good afternoon,” I said to Mr.Fuji who was alone in the kitchen.

“Oh, Hoshino,” he took one glance at me and then back to the bowl in his hands.

“Ah, let me help,” I said, putting on a spare apron. He passed me a bowl and a whisk and I started whisking the batter.

“You aren’t going to the mansion today?”

“Not yet.”

“I see,” he said in a slow pace, as if he didn’t believe me. “Well, everything will be faster with you helping me so whatever. When you are done mixing it, pour it into these cups I have prepared and put in the oven. And take out the cake that is in the oven. It should be ready in about ten minutes, so you have ten minutes to mix the batter and prepare the cupcakes.”


I sped up my mixing and then carefully poured them into the cups. In just about ten minutes, I was finished. I took them to the oven, put them in and took out the cake that was already inside. Bright golden and steaming.

“Mr.Fuji, is this..”

“Yup, the ginger cake. We still have to do the decorations. Can you handle them?”

“I would be happy to.”

“Haha. I believe you but let’s not get ahead. You still can’t apply the base properly. Let me do that while you prepare the batter for the next order. After that you can take care of the little details.”

“Got it,” I smiled wryly as I headed towards preparing the next order. Before I was even finished, Mr.Fuji had completed covering the cake in cream and started working on something else. I completed my task as fast as I could and headed over to the cake.

I started decorating it with the special ginger whip cream, the smell of which was definitely not appetizing.

“What message should I write on the top?” I asked after completing dressing the cake.

“There should be a slip from the office.”

“From the office?”

“Yeah. Apparently they said that they could write the same letters as were shown in the ad or whatever. They didn’t really care. So, higher ups would provide us with that message instead. Makes sense when you just want to try a weird cake, you don’t really care whatever is written on it.”

“True. (Or if you are a wisher responding to Raj Gupta’s provocation.)

I looked inside the drawer and found the memo sent by the office. ‘Milkie’s building 5th Aug 10pm’ it read.

“(It’s a meet up point, right?)” Dee had the same impression I had.

“(Yup,)” Milkie was a dairy sweets brand. They were a local group but recently grew enough to finally have their proper store. It’s building was still under construction though, making it perfect for a secret meeting. “(Looks like Raj Gupta wants to have a civilized chat before getting all wild and bloody.)”

“(Or it could just be a trap. He would just get armed men to rain bullets on them)”

“(Too bad, as much as I would like these two wishers to take care of each other, I would rather do it myself. Besides, we can’t let Raj Gupta ruin our plan.)”

“(So, we are sabotaging the message, right?)”

“(Yup. The only wisher Shakkar Raj Gupta should be wary of is me.)”

I put that memo in my pocket before writing my own message. ‘Mangetsu Lake September 3 1am.’ Now I had written a message for a meeting one month later and outside the city. This would make it feel more thought out and secretive.

“(Wouldn't meeting so late just make them forget about us and they don’t even show up..)” Dee raised a logical point. Of course this was one aspect I was ignoring intentionally. If they were someone who ordered the cake when ignoring it was clearly the wiser option, maybe they won’t care about a meeting that is after one month either. But this was the best I could come up with and all we could do now was wait.

I put the cake inside the box and wrapped it nicely.

“All done. When is the delivery going to be done?”

“It won’t. They will come pick it up,” Mr.Fuji’s one sentence opened up a new array of possibilities. The whole message on the cake would not even matter if I could just see who ordered the cake. Even if they don’t come to pick it up themselves, they wouldn’t ask some stranger to do it either. But Mr.Fuji’s next words destroyed all these plans, “Alright should we go now.”

“Go? Where?”

“To the mansion of course. Obviously you came here to get my work done faster so I could come with you,” he said grinning. “I mean after the look I saw on your face yesterday when you were in the kitchen alone, I totally understand your actions. And now that I have done my work let’s go.”

“Wait, what about the cake?”

“The waiters will give them when they come. Now let us go,” with that he dragged me out of the shop and towards the mansion.

Now I had to wait to see the wisher I could’ve seen today. I said Raj Gupta should only be worried about me and now fate was telling me that I should worry about only Raj Gupta as well. And hence the day ended normally.

I looked at my phone and found several missed calls from Myra. I had not gone home with her yesterday either. And now I looked like I was avoiding her calls. I was going to see her as I went home today but still I needed to call her back.

But in doing so, I found that aside from missed calls she had sent me a message too.

“Hey, looks like you are quite busy. I just wanted to tell you that I finally went to your café. I knew you were not there but Yua insisted. I have to admit, I have never eaten such delicacies before. If only you were there it would’ve been perfect. Anyway keep working hard. I hope we can go home together today.”

And there was an attached picture of her with Yua at the café. I didn't know they were close. But I was relieved to know that she was not troubled. I would apologize to her today, but this week my full attention would be to Shakkar Raj Gupta. He had planned a meeting with the wisher for 5th August, Thursday. So, I didn’t think he would suspect anything by then. And I should be making my move as well.

And as expected, two days went by and nothing happened.


Raj Gupta Mansion. August 6. 12a.m

“Mr.Raj Gupta, there has been a problem.”


“No one came to the meeting point.”

“You mean they stalled us?”

“I don’t know. There was no one spotted even near the building.”

“(Is it possible that that person was not a wisher?) Are you sure that they intentionally ditched us and not for any other reason?”

“I was positive until I did an investigation to be sure. I asked the chef, Fujita, about the message he wrote. He said that it was written by his assistant, not him, so he had no clue what was written.”

“Assistant. You mean, what was his name, Kuzu- something?”

“No it was not Kuzuhara. It was Hoshino.”

“Negai Hoshino? The one that is working here?”


“And he was at the branch despite knowing that his shift is here. That’s suspicious indeed.”

“Yes, but the real money shot is the Intel that just came.”

“You mean about Weinstein’s death.”

“Yes. Turns out there was only one person on the bridge that night when it collapsed and we just learned the name.”

“Let me guess.”

"“Negai Hoshino.”"