Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path
April 2, 2018, Monday. 8:00AM JST.
For once, my morning eyes opened up in a very unusual sight. I have once again slept on the floor, the rays of the sun are on my face and the morning scent is very different from the one that I’m used to.
Now, it all comes down to my mind at once. It was not a dream, nor was it an April Fools prank.
I have finally become a small speck in the land mass of Japan, more specifically, in Kyoto.
At first, I thought I was in a different country when we landed here. Silly me, I am literally in a different country. It is not even marginally similar to Orio in terms of appearance.
And right now, by some circumstances of insanity, I get to live in a somewhat traditional Japanese house.
I am well satisfied with the room being used. Sliding doors, tatami floors and strangely…
It’s as if the futons moved on their own…
Oh, yeah. Everything finally sunk in to me. And how come Rin’s futon which was roughly a meter or two away from me is now distanced without even a single millimeter of space?
Truly, the circumstances of insanity.
And it does seem that Rin is sleep talking. She is probably having the dream of her life.
Wait… did she just say “-kun?”
“What? Finally awake?”
“Gin-kun…!” she called as she reaches her hand everywhere like she is looking for something.
“Probably her phone.”
“Ain’t gonna lure me in with that –kun, okay?”
She continues to move her arm until she got a feel of something. And that something is my right arm pinned on the futon that is keeping my upper body lifted.
“Found you… Gin-kun…!”
“Wha-? Oi, Rin?!”
She strongly gripped and pulled my wrist which made me fall on my back.
“Ehehe…” as though she was looking at me with her eyes still closed, she smiled sweetly.
Oi, she actually looks so happy about this situation. What the heck.
With that, I have completely ascertained that she is having a dream, sleep talking, and drooling on her face and pillow, all at the same time.
“Ahh… Gin-kun we’re in Japan… why don’t we go on a date together some time…? You know…? We both like… each other… so there’s no problem with th… that, right…?”
“This one’s sure a talkative sleep-talker, ain’t she?!”
Screw it. Set aside what I said earlier. She sounds drunk even though there’s no way that’s going to happen.
“Ahh, geez… I know you’re half-asleep but…
I’ll be sure to make way for us to go out at some point in our stay here.”
She’s been quiet for a bit and her happy expression seems to have died down and at last, she finally woke up.
“Ah… Good morning…”
“What’s the time, Gin…?”
“Hmm… It’s around 8 now if it’s based on the time here. It’d be 7 at home.”
“Were you awake for long?”
“Ah, I just wake up a couple of minutes. I was about to get up but I went back.
Well, I hope you’re aware that you’re currently clinging on my arm.”
It took her a bit of time to realize but she immediately released my arm after that. Though, I’m surprised that she’s not that bothered by it and got to stay composed.
Way to go, girlfriend.
“W-Was I having a dream earlier…?”
“Yeah, you sure are having a great dream. You were even talking about stuff. If you ever want to know what things you said earlier, I’ll have to save that up later because there’s a possibility that you might spit on my face while brushing your teeth or choke while we eat our breakfast.”
“Ahh… I did something stupid, didn’t I?
Anyways, sorry for moving my futon. I was a bit uneasy and I’m not really used to sleeping in an unelevated bed.”
“Nah, it’s okay. Besides, we were just surprised last night when we got home.
We should get up and go to work, Rin-chan.”
~ ~ ~
“Ahh… That was a nice morning bath… I feel so lighter…”
“You’re also done, Gin?”
“Thank goodness they have toothbrush here.”
“To think that we even argued if we should bring ours or not. We’re seriously pathetic.”
“Hahahaha… You know that applies to you as well right?”
“Ahahaha… You’re definitely right.”
We have pretty much prepared for the day and there is really nothing much to do aside from eating breakfast.
But what we are slightly bothered is that this is not my house and I don’t know what to expect once we go to the main room.
Thankfully, our worries were a lot shallower than we expected.
“You’re finally up, Sakato-san and Akanami-san.”
What landed in our sight is the caretaker of the house, Kamichi Yuzuri-san, setting up the table. She eventually noticed us and gave a somewhat motherly smile to us.
Although I’m quite certain that she’s just in her 20’s.
And well, she really has a housewife vibe with the yukata and homely feel. Although I believe I won't see this a lot.
And allow me to break the fourth wall for a sec, it took the author years to realize that the naming order he was using when we're in Japan is reversed.
“Good morning, Kamichi-san. Did you prepare breakfast for us?”
“Yes, Sakato-san. You are both going to work early, right? The two of you should fill your stomach before heading out.”
We both thought that it was somehow unfair, considering that we just crashed into this place. We’re guests and all, but we can’t just do anything around here. But we are grateful for this.
“Thank you very much. We sincerely appreciate it,” we both lowered our head naturally.
“It’s nothing really. Please have your seats.”
It may be very unusual for us to do this because of culture differences but their hospitality is very heartwarming.
“Kamichi-san. If you haven’t eaten yet, do you want to have breakfast with us? It is kind of lonely if it is just Gin and I. We would also love to hear things in this country if it is not a bother to you.”
It seems that Kamichi-san was delighted with Rin’s proposal based on her brightened expression.
“It won’t be a bother at all, Akanami-san.”
~ ~ ~
“Ara~ You two are quite good in using chopsticks.”
“Oh, you noticed? We have been studying the culture of this country for quite a while now with our friends back in the South. We got a bit hooked on it so we somehow learned to at least do basic things.”
“I was actually surprised to discover that a lot of people here are knowledgeable with our native language and made use of it just like you, Kamichi-san.”
“About that, Ringo-san… The people around here in Kyoto seem to be interested with the South’s language and some studied them.”
“Oh, that makes a lot of sense.
To tell the truth, we came sort of prepared and studied a few on our own. We are at least capable of communicating, but we did not have the time to learn writing. I was actually challenged to be able to understand the note you left last night. Thankfully, I managed to read it.”
“Ohh… I guess it’s the same for us since I have no ability to write on your language. Thankfully, I can do some English.”
“Ahahaha… If only our bilingual system started from Nihongo as our second language…”
“But Gin, does this mean we are somehow multilingual?”
“Ohhh~ I guess you’re right.”
If I will learn how to write it, then that makes it English, and our mother tongue.
~ ~ ~
With everything in our place done, we are now about to leave for work at the restaurant.
“Thank you very much for the food, Kamichi-san. It was really delightful to be able to eat dishes here.
We’ll be off now.”
“Please take care, you two. I will prepare bento for you two next time.”
"Okā-san…" our thoughts connected.
This time once again, we were fetched by Driver-san to the restaurant. This will be the last time he will be driving for us since he has his own duties at work. But while we’re on the way, he showed us the possible way of commuting and the train station which is actually quite near to our place.
It is another day of work once again.
▪ ▪ ▪
“Before we start the meeting, I’d like to point out something that we forgot something yesterday due to the fact that we went straight to work. It was our bad to not introduce our team from the South,” Sean led the assembly.
“My name is Gin Sakato and it might be surprising but I am currently the sous chef of Giotto’s main branch at my age. Let’s all work together for a great start.”
“I am Jean Ando. I’m here in Japan for my apprenticeship which was suggested by Gin who trained me in my start of culinary path. I will do my best to keep up with all of you and not be a hindrance.”
“My name is Ringo Akanami. I’m currently undergoing training as part of my culinary course and I want to make my experiences broader. I will be in your care starting today.”
And so, the others from our crew introduced themselves to the current employees of the North’s branch.
“Now that it’s all done, Sean will now tell us the agenda for today.”
“Alright. First of all, the application and interviews will be later at 10. It will be held at the office and the interviewers and observers will be me together with the head chef and sous chef of the main branch; and the head chef of this branch.
If anyone has an objection, we can have it discussed right now.”
“If there are no objections, let us move on.
There are still small things that we still need to take care of. If you’re available at the times when the applicants arrive, please guide them to the office.
We will also have to organize the ingredients and supplies that are going to be here later. That should be prioritized since it will be the whole supply for the soft opening.
Lastly, we will all have a meeting later to fill out the menu we currently have. All of your suggestions will be much appreciated.
With that being said, let’s all have a productive day!”
~ ~ ~
Almost an hour passed and it is seen that people are coming to the front of the building. By the looks of it, there are adults and probably those at teenage years. That is to be expected now that it was said that this branch is accepting full timers and part timers.
Our table is finally ready for interviewing.
(Note: The ** symbol tells that the characters are speaking in Japanese.)
Since Hiro and Sean came unprepared, they planned to either let the heads of the North branch do the interviewing or have their words be translated.
Little do they know that I crammed every single thing I can about North’s language in that one week.
“**First applicant, you may enter the room now.”
“Huh?! Gin?! You… You can…?!”
“I at least learned how to speak, but I can’t write kanji. It’s still way too complicated for my brain to handle.”
“I’m astonished… but let’s focus with the applicants first.”
As I am still inexperienced, I felt that it is just right for me not to talk too much. I may be a sous chef, but I have the least experience in how adults handle this kind of things.
“**Your name is Shimizu Akihiro-san… 24…
**Shimizu-san, when did you graduate from your culinary course?” Japan branch head chef went and asked.
“**I graduated from college at 22.”
“**Based on your resume, you had your first work experience in another restaurant as a waiter but you resigned after nine months…”
“**Yes. I took on that job to support my living expenses. I resigned due to the reason that I have finally stabilized so I took a break for a few months.
**Afterwards, I started looking for jobs again and found out of this restaurant. I was told that Giotto’s originated from the South. I figured that this will be a great opportunity to improve my abilities and learn as I work.”
“Hiro, look at this. He may have once worked as a waiter but he emphasized his expertise at Japanese cuisine.”
“Oh, yeah. Now that you point that out, he has an outstanding assessment in this particular assignment.”
“Gin, have a quick read in the printout.”
“I see… We can have specific divisions for the original menu and the new menu for this branch. What do you think, you guys?”
“Hmm… That does sound like a good idea,” nodded Hiro.
“Divisions, you say… but it surely will still be a team effort once we get down to business, right?”
“What a broad idea…”
“Gin, do you have anything to ask him?”
“Hmm… You say that, Sean but… Ah, I have one.”
**Shimizu-san, in your history in your first work experience, were there situations where you’re needed in the kitchen?”
“**There are several times that it happened. I was a reserve or substitute cook whenever the kitchen was in need of assistance.”
“**Why is a kid an interviewer, I wonder…” Shimizu asked himself.
“That’s all I have to ask.”
“**Okay… It was a tradition in the main branch to be evaluated with a trial, but we can’t do that yet since we are short in time.
**I assume you have heard that tomorrow will be the start of the one-week soft opening of this restaurant. It’s just been decided by Katsuto-san and Hickory-san to have you as cook to be evaluated for the week, and we will decide if you will be accepted. Please do not worry about this decision for the reason that this will all be applied to the other applicants.
**Shimizu Akihiro-san, is it possible for you to start work tomorrow at the opening?”
“**Yes, I definitely can,” he answered with a smile on his face.
“**We hope to be working with you from tomorrow onwards.”
“**Next applicant, please.”
Or should I say, “applicants.” Two women entered the office. At an initial observation, it seems that one is a college student and the other one is probably at my age… No, Rin's age. They seem to have resemblance in their facial structure which got me to assume that they are siblings.
“**My name is Hikari Haru and this is my younger sister, Hikari Ai.”
“**So, Hikari-san… I mean, Haru-san is a college student at the age of 19, and Ai-san is 15. Is Ai-san a first year in high school?” I asked first to continually do my observation.
“**Technically, she is. But due to some circumstances, we are not attending school right now.
**We are only working part-time here and we had our parent’s consent here for my sister.”
“**Hmm… I guess it’s alright since a written consent is presented. This means that we are in agreement of the implications and our terms. May we know the reason for you to be applying?”
“**My older sister just stated that we are not attending school this spring. She is applying for this work because of the expenses for her college once we start school. She is also acting as my guardian.
**My reason on the other hand is that we are moving out next month and to at least help my family financially in our current situation.”
“My… People around that age have started to think like that, huh.”
The interview did not take long and the siblings were accepted without problems.
“**I hope the duration of your stay will be meaningful to you. We ask you to return here at around 2pm for the meeting.”
“**We will be there. Thank you very much,” they bowed in gratitude and left.
~ ~ ~
All of the interviews have concluded and we continued to do our work before the clock points at 2:00. All in all, six people were hired—four people aiming to work for full time, and the other two working for part-time.
Sadly, four applications were declined.
“Hey~ everyone, I have sushi here!” someone from the Japan team invited.
“Rin~! We have a break now.”
“Just a sec.”
“Oh, wow… This is some great sushi…”
“Did you put wasabi on yours, Gin?”
“I think it will taste great, either way…
Rin, what’s the date again?”
“Ahh, yes, yes… It was already on my mind this morning but I got a bit absorbed at work.”
“Too bad, I can’t visit my grandfather today. This is actually the day he passed away, and it has been eight years, since then.”
“Your grandfather…? Oh, I think I saw a picture of you with him. You weren’t even smiling in the picture.”
“That’s because I was seven that time. You know, I’ve already been jammed in the head at that time.”
“That makes sense.”
How I wish I could spend more time with Grandpa Kinrou if he was still alive right now.”
“You really love your grandfather, huh?”
“Yeah, it’s also thanks to him that I am who I am right now.”
“You’re being emotional again, Gin,” she said while leaning her head on my shoulder.
“Oi, we’re at work. No workplace romance allowed."
People then came near the window of the restaurant but I immediately noticed who they were
"Ah, Jean. Let them in. They will be attending the meeting. Alright, guys! Break’s over. Meeting will start soon.”
~ ~ ~
The meeting started and all of the introductions were given to each other. Now that the whole team of the South branch is complete with our exclusion, the first official meeting for Giotto’s Japanese branch started.
“Now I realized how hard this would be because of language barrier…” Sean mumbled while scratching his head in front of everyone.
Thankfully, the head chef stood to assist in discussing things.
“**First, we will take suggestions as to how we will regulate our menu. We still have some slots to fill so raise your hand if you have one.”
The head chef is definitely doing a challenging job of interpreting what he said to ease up the flow of communication. I can understand them both, anyways.
“**Since this is an Italian-Japanese-Orion restaurant, should we add a type of pizza?” an employee raised his hand and suggested.
“We’ve been wondering about that even before coming here…
Ito-san (head chef), can you ask them if pizza is popular in the demographic here?”
“**Katsuto-san is asking if…”
“**It is observable that it is quite popular specifically in our vicinity.”
“**I once had work where we conducted a survey nearby. It was a few years ago, but people here like a Japanese pizzeria around here.”
“Hmm… It’s good that we have data…
Any words, Gin?”
**Uhm… do you have any suggestion as to what type of pizza we should serve?”
“**I was thinking of a variant of plain and simple mozzarella pizza and one with literally a topping of cheese only.
**For some reason, those plain dishes are a hit.”
“**Thank you for that suggestion. We will take note of it.”
“**Then I will go next.”
“Oh, you also have a suggestion, Gin? Let us hear.”
“I didn’t expect that… But Gin, don’t you think Vicol Express is a dish for a fair quantity?”
“**Oh, it’s my bad for not explaining. Vicol Express is a kind of dish that is a regular dish in the hotter regions of Orio. It is well known for how spicy it is because of how you can use different kinds of hot peppers as its ingredient along with pork and the main ingredient which is the coconut milk.
**Even though it is a spicy dish, it is most commonly served in province with volcanic formation. We may have differences in culture and taste, but I hope that this dish works well with the summer heat.
As for the serving in fair quantities, I came prepared, Hiro.”
“Hahaha… As expected from you.”
“I have worked around a restaurant style of making it. It’s honestly better to be demonstrated but we can’t right now.”
“If I may add, I’ve been present in all of his testing and I somehow managed to learn the recipe of it by watching,” Rin briefly added.
“Is that so… we have a witness, so it’s noted.”
With a few more suggestions, we have gotten everyone’s opinions and there is only one more slot to be filled in the menu out of the five we needed.
“**For the last place of the menu, please raise your hands if you agree in adding ramen.” Ito-san translated Hiro's suggestion.
Surprisingly, they all raised their hands. Aside from the discussion of how it will be implemented, the menu is finally completed.
“**Let’s see... We are very much lacking in spicy dishes, and for this last one, we want to stay true to what we are lacking.”
Incidentally, the first fall of winter struck my head.
“**A Mala Ramen!” I unconsciously shouted as I excitingly stood up from my seat.
“**Ah! You mean that Mala, Sakato-san?” a worker brightened up.
“**Yes, indeed. It was still fresh in my memory since that was my first meal in the first winter in Orio. It is not really that complicated to make aside from the application of spices is a bit of a challenge.
**But it was spicy enough to make my lips swell literally. I should probably tone down my recipe.”
Almost all of them broke out of laughter after hearing my shallow story but they agreed to have that as part of the menu.
“**Umm… If I may add, is it possible if we make some of our dishes to be a ‘special of the day’ dish? If we do this, there is a possibility to use our inventory more wisely and we might attract different customers in those days where we do that.”
That is absolutely a great idea, Haru-san!” just like what I just did, Sean sprung up.
“Umm… Sean. You do realize that she can’t understand you with that, right?”
“Can you please not be a killjoy, Gin? She probably understood it with how I delivered the message.”
At least, she comprehended that her idea made Sean excited.
~ ~ ~
“**And with that, the meeting is over!”
We finished the meeting earlier than we expected due to how it went so well.
“All of us chefs will be in the kitchen so we can have the menu evaluated for the opening tomorrow.
The minors, including the part-timers will be dismissed for today. You should all take a rest to be ready for tomorrow. Also, we can’t have our sous chef be sluggish in the first day.”
“Ahahaha… You got it, Hiro. We’ll be off.
**Alright, then. Ai-san, Haru-san… Boss dismissed us early so we can all go now.
Yo, Jean. Are you good to leave now?”
“Yeah, yeah. Let’s go.”
“**Sakato-san, are you also going to the station?”
“**Yes, Ai-san. If we are all going to the same direction, we can accompany both of you.”
“**Then we will also keep you company. Thank you very much.”
~ ~ ~
It is just about to be 5 in the afternoon and it’s still quite bright. While we are all making our way to the station, we used the opportunity to have a chat.
“**Sakato-san, may I ask what is your age?” the elder Hikari asked somewhat suspiciously.
“**Ahahahaha… I guess Haru-san definitely got curious when she saw an interviewer like me.
**I’m actually just turning 19 this year. Which means I am younger, Haru-san.”
“**Oh? That’s quite surprising!”
“**Well, I’m currently the sous chef of the main branch ever since September last year.
**Jean here is actually my trainee and I used this opportunity to let him have his apprenticeship in a different environment. And then Rin already had an experience in cooking for a while and she wants to polish it up more.
**It’s quite the situation to be in, knowing that we are all classmates.”
The statement was caught vaguely.
“**If I compare it to your school system, we are about to become second year in high school in June. But in reality, we are soon to be first years in senior high school. I guess our age is around 16.”
“**Ah-?! So… so Sakato-san… you are a se…
**We’ll be in your care from now own, Sakato-senpai…!” Ai lowered her head.
It was not a statement of embarrassment, but more on confusion. I was way more surprised than I should have when everything that Ai-san said sucked right in my sense of hearing.
“**Uhh… Wha- Ehh… Umm… Me…?
“**Yes. It also applies to Akanami-senpai and…
“Ugh…! Why not me?!”
“That’s probably because you don’t look like a senpai at all, Jean.”
“Like you can talk, Gin!”
“**Well, never mind him. It was really an unusual time for you to be moving out from here. What made your family move, Haru-san? That is, if I am not prying.”
“**It is for the reason that we really need a change of environment. It was difficult to find a specific place these times, but we made the decision as a family and came to what we think is the best choice we have.
**Even though we are not starting school around this time, it won’t really be bothersome since we have our next academic year to be sorted out later in the line.”
“**It seems that your family prepared for it, huh. That is nice.”
“Gin, it seems we’re here at the station.”
“Oh, we sure are.
**Well then, Haru-san, Ai-san. See you two tomorrow at work.”
“**The same goes for the three of you.”
“**Have a good rest,” the sisters replied as they bowed their heads to us.
The three of us took our trains and while we are inside, I finally had the chance to ask about what I have noticed for a bit of time now.
“Say, Jean. I was wondering why you brought that big of a bag even though we are just in the resto. Don’t tell me you even brought a change of clothes.”
“Well, yeah, I did bring some clothes just in case what I’m wearing right now might get dirty. There’s not a need for that today, though.”
“Nah. I say that’s good timing?”
“Do you really think we waited for you just to go home together? We were originally going to invite you to the place we’re currently staying at to hang out a bit.
I even told Kamichi-san about you coming with us. But I’m sorry, we can’t have you stay the night (for obvious reasons).”
“If you’ve already done that, I can’t decline, Gin. I can probably stay until dinner then I’ll head out. Your place isn’t really far off to our place, right?”
“It probably isn’t that far. If we’re talking about Gin, it will probably take him twenty steps.”
“Huh?” Jean titled his head in confusion.
“Hey, Rin. Was that a joke?”
“Of course not. I’m simply stating the fact.”
“Huuuuh?!” he stepped back.
“Now, Jean. Don’t tell anyone about this, okay? My current fastest time on foot from my house to the school is 14 seconds.
Who knows, I may be faster than that now. It’s been months since then, and it was in the middle of the night so I’m a bit weak at that time?” I whispered lengthily.
“Seriously?! Why is this the first time I'm hearing that?!”
“That’s because no one really saw it. Tenth actually timed me so I still don’t trust the record.”
“Man, you’re insane…
Anyways, why invite me today?”
“You’ll soon know.
It will be the opening tomorrow so we might as well take the time to relax for a bit. Consider this the calm before the storm.”
“I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, Jean.”
“O-Okay…?” he was not used to Rin keeping her in the dark.
~ ~ ~
“Oi, Jean. Where’re you looking at? We’re here.”
“Umm… Tell me you’re joking…?”
“Not today, sir. That face you’re making right now is the same as mine yesterday.”
“Kamichi-san~! We’re back.”
“Welcome home, you two.
Ara~ Is he Jin-san?”
“Uhh… Who’s Jin-san?” I asked.
“Gin, she’s talking about Jean.”
“Ah! Oh, yes. Kamichi-san, this is Jean Ando. A co-worker, a classmate, a friend, and my student.
Shucks, I’ll admit ‘Jin’ actually suits you well, Jean.”
“Huh… W-Wait, are we changing my name now?”
“Well, you’re a guest so please come in. You could just leave your shoes there once you enter.”
Kamichi-san once again prepared dinner for all of us while we are figuring out how to play Japanese chess in the living room.
The place has some similarities with my house back home aside from the style and aesthetics of the entirety of the interior and exterior. The kitchen, dining room and the living room are all concentrated together in one big room giving enough space for us to move freely.
This place is more than enough to immerse yourself and be convinced that you are really in Japan.
“Dinner is ready.”
“Yes. We’re coming, Kamichi-san.”
“Seiza, huh… Tough challenge…”
“We’re all in the same boat, Jean. Rin and I had practiced for a week but our legs either gave in or fell asleep.”
“Ahahaha… you’ll be used to it soon enough.”
~ ~ ~
“Thanks for the food~”
“Wow… That was seriously great. I don’t think I can reproduce something like that with my current skill even if I apply Gin’s lessons…”
“Hahaha… I get what you mean. I’ve been improvising my Japanese cooking up until today. I’d love it if Kamichi-san can teach me a thing or two.”
“Hmm… I guess I can, from time to time.
To tell you a story, I was a chef in a luxury hotel in Tokyo before I became the caretaker of this place.”
“A luxury hotel…? No wonder I can get a taste of some excellent preparation even from a typical Japanese dinner…”
“It was because of a certain chef that inspired me to do this. He had cooking documentaries from way back in time and I would always hear him say: ‘Giving effort even in the simplest things can make the simple be something that can become beautiful.’
Whenever I hear that from when I was a child, it always reminded me of being humble with everything I give to others.”
“'Giving effort even in the simplest things can make the simple be something that can become beautiful.'”
Those words are as if a trance itself that took me back in the void I was once at. I was truly lost in thought and my mind continuously sought for the voices that suddenly revolved in my memories.
“No way… This is the first time I saw you…
Gin, are you crying…?”
“Ah. Am I, Jean?” I wiped my eyes with my hands and realized that I was in tears. “C-Can I have a tissue? Man, this is embarrassing for me to be tearing up out of the blue.”
“Gin-san, is something the matter?”
“I didn’t realize that I’m already in tears. Hahaha… I suddenly recalled some things after you said those words, Kamichi-san. They feel so familiar and I am sure I heard that already from someone.
But I do know that the meaning of 'beautiful' was not superficial, but rather deep.
May I ask what could he be doing right now?”
“That… I don’t actually know.
When I wasn’t born yet, he suddenly left the country after an incident that happened around him. That was the last thing the culinary community had heard about him. For some reason, he went missing from the culinary realm.
That is, from what I have heard.”
“Oh… I see. But who knows? He’s probably living somewhere in the world and maybe, he is still cooking.
If his words made me tear up, I bet he’s a very amazing chef.”
Unusually, I am smiling very differently. For some reason, I became full of positivity and my heart filled with joy.
There’s that, but in the midst of the relief I now feel, there is somehow a hint of sadness deep within myself.
~ ~ ~
“Ahhh… This is finally the main event~
Have you gotten enough rest, Jean?”
“What could you be talking about, Gin?”
“This is the main reason why Rin and I invited you today. I told you, we’ll get to relax, right? This is also my first time going in so I’m so excited.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just get to the point. You’re hanging me on the edge.”
Just right after I said “hot spring,” I heard some things that dropped. I turned around and looked at Jean’s…
“Umm… Jean? Your face just fell down… Do you realize that you’re like a character drawn with literally a blank face?”
Anyways, hot spring.
“Ahhhh… It’s just the second day and I’m already plunged in a hot spring… This feels so nice.
I wonder why Gin’s taking too long… Oh, sorry I washed already and jumped in.”
“You’re just as impatient as me,” and I turned around as fast as I can right after closing the door.
“What’s up? You suddenly turned back.”
“Well, of course I’ll have to wash first before going in, right?”
You’re so weird, Gin.”
“Ahh, man… I don’t really want others seeing this since this scar is a bit creepy but, oh well.”
“What do you mean? I’ve already seen that giant scar you had right-
Woah…! My goodness…! That’s some balanced tone! What?! Doing workouts, Gin?!”
“Can’t be helped. I’m no Caped Baldy but I still need to maintain myself physically to adapt to the extreme gravity, so I ended up with this.
I’m pretty satisfied with my shape and I don’t wanna be looking like a ripped guy otherwise, I’ll just look disgusting.”
“Well, you’ll still probably get Gin’s vibe if you try doing stretching in the bath. Doujima Gin, I mean… Lol.”
“This sure is nice… Feels like my bones are rejuvenating.”
“Yo, you sounded just like some old man just now.”
In the middle of our idle chat we were halted by a sound of water coming from somewhere.
“Oh, of course. There are two springs here just like those clichéd stories everywhere.
That’s probably Rin.”
“Hey, hey…! What’s with this?! Aren’t you at least bothered with that?!” Jean tackled and wrapped his arm tightly as he tried to whisper in the lowest of his voice.
“Huuuhhh. What’s your problem and I don’t get what you mean.”
“I’m the one who don’t get you…! Are you not embarrassed or flustered in the least?! What if it’s really Rin and-“
“Oh, I get you now.
Knowing me and my past, do you really think I have the guts to be such a dumb person, Jean?”
“Hey, Rin~! I need your opinion right now.
Do you think I’m a douchebag?” I shouted for it to be heard to the other wall.
“Gin is 100% not a douchebag.
Pfft… What’s even up with your conversation?”
“Nothing really aside from Jean overreacting.
See, it’s Rin on the other side.”
He was left dumbfounded.
Ugghhh. I get it. I get that you’re really not the ‘normal’ I imagined you to be like…”
▪ ▪ ▪
Thus, the day ended without any problems. However, the storm will soon hit the restaurant of Giotto’s on the next day.
Oh, just to add, Jin-san went home at peace.
That concludes 002!
Time will come where I will try to count all of the characters I have introduced. But this is just chapter 2 so who knows how many they will be.
Thanks for reading!
003: Well, what a sudden reunion.
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