Chapter 34: The Reason for Fuzzy Feeling

A while after going to the movies, the summer vacation plans that I made with—Kazemiya were being digested smoothly along with the remaining days of the summer vacation.
In between those days (I’m not sure if that’s the right word), I’d been working part-time at White & Silver, a cafe where I worked part-time.

Take this beef sandwich to the customer.”


I was never a spendthrift by nature, and I had been working part-time, so I wasn’t in financial trouble, but still, it was a valuable source of free money for a student.
Besides, I had a lot of plans to do during this summer vacation.
I knew that my savings would be dwindling, so I had to work hard to earn money.

Just as I was returning to the counter, the doorbell rang to let us know that someone had entered the cafe.


The words got stuck in between, probably because I saw someone walk into the store.

“…It’s Kazemiya.”

Is there a seat available?”

“As you can see.
Is the usual place okay?”


I guided Kazemiya to a seat that had become a fixed position for her.
Since the cafe was not always full, the probability of this seat being available when Kazemiya arrived was quite high.

“Oh, welcome, Kazemiya-san.
Are you here to study again today?”

I’m sorry, Master, for disturbing you so often.”

It’s okay, it’s okay, don’t worry about it.
I used to study at a cafe when I was a student, and I started this because I wanted to have a store like that someday.
I would be happy if you use this as a study place.”

As always, the master had a big heart and open-mindedness.

“What’s your order?”

“Iced tea.”


I couldn’t tell how many times we repeated this exchange during this summer vacation.

On the days when I had a part-time job, Kazemiya always showed up at the cafe and studied for a good amount of time, and on the days when Asaka-san and Yonaka-san showed up, she studied hard until the time I finished my part-time job.

“Master, one iced tea.”

…She’s really great, isn’t she, Kazemiya-san that is.
She’s studying even though it’s summer vacation.”

“As someone who should be preparing for the entrance examination next year, that hurts my ears.”

I’m sure Kouta is working hard these days, too.
……But it’s tough being a student these days, huh?”

“What do you mean?”

“Isn’t Kazemiya-san here to study, right? It’s not like she has any plans after this.”

“Yes, that’s right.
She may do a little shopping on her way home, but she basically goes straight home.
But what does that matter?”

“Even if she just goes out to study, she has to put so much effort into her clothes and makeup, and get extremely dressed up.”

Not everyone is like that, I think.”

It was indeed true.
Every time Kazemiya came to this cafe to study, she was so dressed up that I wanted to ask her if she was going on a date with someone.

“It’s not easy for women to get dressed.
Besides, the way men look at their appearance is more severe…”

“You seem to have a lot of feeling about this.”

It’s something that my dear wife has told me.”

“I’m glad to hear that you and your wife are getting along well.”

Not so much.”

I wonder why Kazemiya was so dazzling even though she only came here to study.
I was in the middle of a part-time job, but I almost fell in love with her because she was so beautiful every day.
…Moreover, it seemed that the number of customers had been increasing little by little in recent days.
Mainly male customers.

“Here you go.
Here is your iced tea.”

As I carried the iced tea, Kazemiya, who was running a sharp pencil through her notebook, looked up.


“It’s my job.”

“You’re right…ah right, what were you talking about with the master? I felt like I heard my name.”

“About Kazemiya who looks beautiful today.”

“…should I say thanks?”

“I’ll leave that to you to decide.”

The male customers in the store were glancing at Kazemiya.
I guess they didn’t intend it to be blatant, but it was so obvious from the side.
……And for some reason, I dislike it.
My heart was a little fuzzy.

What’s wrong?”

I wonder if she was unaware of it.
No, I expected she did.
She always stood out and was probably accustomed to people’s gaze.

“…Are you not able to concentrate on studying at home?”

“No, not really.
…Am I a nuisance to study here?”

“You aren’t.
The master says so too.
It’s just that it’s hot outside…isn’t it hard to go to this cafe to study?”

“Are you worried about me?”

“Speaking of worrying…I do worried about you.”

That was the word that fit.
But I felt that wasn’t the essence of it.

“You’re overreacting.
I’m not walking in the dark at night.”

Kazemiya came to this store during the daytime, not walking in the dark at night as she said.
And yet, I was worried about her.
I wonder why.
Why I was so worried about Kazemiya?

“…You know, there’s heat stroke and all that.”

“That’s true, but I make sure I’m hydrated before I leave the house.
I mean, Narumi’s mom and Kotomi-chan are very thorough in that regard.”

If anything, I also got told that before I went to my part-time job.

“What’s wrong, Narumi? You’re acting weird.”

I was definitely weird.
I think so myself.

Talking is fine but do it in moderation, okay.”

Just as I was twisting my head inwardly thinking about it, came master’s voice.

“Kazemiya-san is here to study, so don’t interrupt her too much.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine.
Originally, I asked Narumi what he was talking about with the master.
I thought I heard my name.”

“Ah, you mean that.
We were talking about how Kazemiya-san comes to the store all dressed up.
It’s not easy being a kid nowadays.
They have to dress up a lot just to go out to study.”

I don’t think that’s the case.”

Kazemiya looked away from the master slightly awkwardly.

“…I just thought, I don’t want to lose.”

““To who?””

“….It’s just my own problem, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

With all that going on, I finished my part-time job and headed home.

I was accompanied by Kazemiya, who was waiting for me to finish my work.

“….I’m sorry.
Am I bothering you after all?”

“That’s not true.
I’m happy to be with Kazemiya even when I’m working.”

“Then why are you making such a difficult face?”


Walking next to her, Kazemiya Kohaku was beautiful and cute today.
No wonder she attracted the attention of all the customers in the cafe.
I knew it was obvious, and it had happened before.
It was the same when we went to see a movie.
So why am I feeling…fuzzy?

“….Does Kazemiya not care?”

“About what?”

“The way the customers look at you.
When people in the cafeteria look at you, it bothers you.
It bothers you, doesn’t it?”

“Ahh, that…no, not at all.
As I said when we saw the movie, I’m used to that kind of thing.”

“That’s true…”

“…did you care about that?”

“…I did.”


“Why is it…I don’t know, that’s why I’m like this.”

I see…I see I see.”

Kazemiya, walking next to me, was somehow very happy.

“Narumi was worried that I was seen by other men.”

“…you seem so happy.”

“Really? I suppose I am.”

Kazemiya stepped forward and passed me walking next to her, then turned around, feeling better as if she was about to start humming a song.

“Then I’ll go to the cafe prettier next time you have a part-time job.”

“….give me a break.”

I’ll definitely be prettier.”

The loosening of Kazemiya’s cheeks did not subside as we walked home.


“What in the world is going on!?”

At an entertainment office, a roar similar to the scream of a woman was heard.
That woman’s name was Kazemiya Sorami—Kazemiya Kohaku and Kazemiya Kuon’s mother.

“Why are you removing me as manager of Kuon!? I am the one who knows her best! I am the one who understands her talents, and I am the one who has helped her to succeed!”

In response to Kazemiya Sorami’s yelling and biting, Kosaka, a woman who served as the president of an entertainment agency, threw down words as if she were fed up.

“I don’t have a choice.
It’s her strong wish.”

“Her own wish…!? That’s a lie! That’s…!”

“It’s true.
If you think I’m lying, why don’t you talk to her?”

“……! If you listen to her every time she asks for something selfish, she’ll only get worse!”

“You see, Kuon has never said anything that could be called selfish.
I’ve never seen an artist in any other company who is so unruly, who never complains, who works quietly, and who has hit after hit.
Do you know? Since she debuted, our company’s profits have been on the rise.
It’s not just because Kuon has been successful.
It’s also the result of the trust and connections she’s built up in the field that has benefited our agency.
…That’s why this is troubling.
If we let you destroy the trust and connections that we have built up…”

“What do you mean!?”

“I heard that you despise……uh……Kuon’s little sister.
And you kicked her out of the house.”

“…..!? No, but that’s…!”

“Facts and truth doesn’t matter to the public.
What matters is how they see them.
Discord with the family is not even a good image, and…the weekly media hyenas are always hungry for stories and will exaggerate it to the hilt.”

“No way…I’m…!”

“No need to make excuses.
The most important thing is that Kuon herself offered up ‘such a possibility’, and that was fatal.”

“That…Kuon is…? Why…?”

Kazemiya Sorami was aghast, but she was of no importance to Kosaka.

What was important to Kosaka was “not to make enemies of Kazemiya Kuon”.
To do so, she must be sure to fulfill her promise.
And she also knew that working as her loyal pawns would lead to enormous profits for this company.

(Never thought I’d actually see the day……)

What went through Kosaka’s mind was when she met Kuon—Kazemiya Kuon.

She said this to Kosaka in front of her while her mother was out of the room.

“I never complain.
I will do any work.
I will not be a troublesome person.
I promise to benefit this company.
…So you only have to do one thing.
When the time comes for me to say something ‘selfish’ one day, please do whatever it takes to make that one thing happen.”

In fact, Kuon became such a hit that it was called a social phenomenon, bringing in huge profits for her company.

She had successfully navigated the industry and made it possible for the company itself to get the work done.

She had been dreading what kind of “selfishness” would come from her—she never thought she would wish to get rid of her mother.

And the reason Kosaka listened to her “selfishness” was not only because she was trying to keep her promise.
It was because she was afraid of making an enemy of the creature called Kazemiya Kuon.

(……I feel like I just made a deal with the devil.)

As she watched Kazemiya Sorami walk away with unsteady steps, Kosaka felt a little sorry for her.
For the poor mother who had made an enemy of a devil beyond human understanding.

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