thout contacting hers.
For Hirai swiftly withdrew her hand.

Huh? WhileiI was in a daze, she giggled at me.


Atithat moment, I was like, “Ah”.
Oh… she was teasing me huh.

“Hirai, isn’t that awful?”

Even so, she was playing her act wonderfully.
I almost bought the whole act.

“I mean, you’re being all curious, Hakamada.”

But that was no excuse to set me up! From which part to whichipart was a joke? Even though Hirai didn’t reveal it to me, I concluded that it had likely been a joke from the very beginning.

“It’s fine.
In time, you will be able to see it as much as you want to, Hakamada.”

To myifrustration, Hirai didn’t elaborate but instead threw another ominous joke my way.

“Again with that.”

“Whether you believe me orinot depends on you, Hakamada.
Well, late at night, either you have time or suddenly an unexpected thing occurs, if you pace yourself, you can usually carry on.”

Ultimately, thoseiwere the words that wrapped it up for me.
She was an elusive character…

“On Thursday, you’ll finallyimeet the ‘Guardian God of Nikoniko Mart’ and say hello to him for me.”

The “Guardian God” wasiapparently Takenaka.
Foriwhateverireason, heiwasigiven such a nickname, but Hirai was right: Thursday was the first day I would meet Takenaka.

Takenaka, thatirumored person.
Despite all theistories I haveiheardiaboutiTakenaka, I felt that he was the shadiest of all the night shift workers.

Now, I wonderediwhat would happen frominow on…

No, if I found iticomplicated, I would just ignore it, and I have always avoided those who have talked to me with a boastful air.
Well, whatever will come, willicome.

After doing myibusinessiin the store’s restroom, washing my hands lightly and my face along with it, I stared into the slightly foggy mirror of the washbasin.


Theisecond I looked up, I was so astonished that my mouth fell open on its own.

Itiwas around 4 o’clock in the morning.
The first time I noticed it was when I glanced at the mirror in the store’s restroom.

“What the hell is this?” I don’t upload to who doesn’t credit author’s name properly

From my neck to my collarbone area, reddish-purple colored claw-like marks, which were even worse than wheal on skin, surfaced.

Although I hadn’t felt anything until now, it looked painful to me.
Why did this happen? A clue… It wasn’t that I was clueless about it but… No, no… but.
That sort of thing was just not normal.

The claw marks wereiin theisameiposition that Hirai said they were.
Apparently, she wasn’t kidding when she said that.
But from where and to what extent was she telling the truth…

Initheicorneriof myimind, theifeelingiof strangenessiwasigraduallyishiftingitoidread, andiIifinishedimyisixth day’sipart-timeijob.

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