TL: sleepy Pop
“What?! You’ve already done it three times?! But you’re only working as a part-timer! How come I’ve never heard of this!?” (Yukiya)
“Well…you haven’t asked me anything about it up till now. Plus, this isn’t something I would usually go around saying to people, no?”(Ryoma)
“Oh, you’re right about that.”(Yukiya)
Three weeks have passed since Yukiya had introduced me to that part-time job.
Once a week, on a Sunday, Ryoma will receive an appointment request. The very first person that requested Ryoma to act as a lover was Himeno Kashiwagi.
So far, I have only been called upon once, yet the company has praised me for doing it countless times as a rookie.
“I mean, you’ve already done it three times, which means you’ve already dated three people, right? You’re quite a popular guy, I’m impressed.”(Yukiya)
“Well… it’s actually one person. Thankfully, she nominated me to act as her lover for the day.”(Ryoma)
“No, no, no, that’s also a great thing, you know. It’s already incredible that someone appointed you from the very beginning. And how old is this client? I’m pretty sure she’s older than you, Ryoma.”(Yukiya)
“I think she was younger than me, if I’m not wrong. Since she also said that she was a freshman in college.”(Ryoma)
“FRESHMAN!? If she’s in her first year of college…that means that she’s the same age as my girlfriend. She must be pretty smart to start making requests at that age…”(Yukiya)
“That’s what I thought at first, too, but it seems like she’s never been on a date before when I met her.”(Ryoma)
“Wow, this is the first time my predictions were so far off…then is it wrong for me to say that the girl who requested for you looked cute, if not adorable?”(Yukiya)
“Uh-huh. She’s confessed to me more times than I can count on two hands.”(Ryoma)
“Oh, come on, that’s a lie. You must have been misreading the atmosphere.”(Yukiya)
“Well, it’s only natural for you to think that way since it’s only coming out of my mouth, but I believe it’s probably true. If she were next to me, everyone I walk past would probably stare at me with intense jealousy.”(Ryoma)
“Are you serious?”(Yukiya)
“Yeah. The clothes she wore were cute, too. I think it’s called gothic lolita fashion.”(Ryoma)
The person who designed Himeno’s dress paid great attention to detail. I wonder if it’s custom made? I still can’t get that sight out of my head.
“That’s some special outfit that she’s wearing. Aren’t you supposed to be a huge loli if you want to dress like that in general?”(Yukiya)
“To be honest…yeah. She had a face like a baby and was no more than fifty centimetres tall.”(Ryoma)
“Aren’t you a lucky one? Hee…I’m starting to get jealous…I want to go on a date with a cute girl and get paid handsomely for it as well! “(Yukiya)
“Careful there, Yukiya, you wouldn’t want your girlfriend to hear this too, right?”(Ryoma)
“Well, I’m kidding, right? I’m Just kidding! …… Haha, seriously though, keep it a secret.”(Yukiya)
Yukiya proceeded to slap Ryoma on the shoulder as he smiles blankly with his mouth hanging agape. All of a sudden, Yukiya’s demeanour changed. The air around him felt serious as he spoke to Ryoma with a straight face.
“So..Ryoma, how was her personality? And who is this loli client you spoke about?”(Yukiya)
It was an apparent shift of subject, but it wouldn’t help if I brought Yukiya’s girlfriend into the conversation. I guess I’ll just go with the flow for now.
“She’s a little quiet, but she’s easy to talk to. Whenever she asks me a question, she would look me in the eye. If we didn’t have this relationship, I would like to have been friends with her.”(Ryoma)
“Wow…I’m impressed. It’s not often you come across a freshman in college who can afford to pay for a substitute.”(Yukiya)
Even if you work on behalf of a client for three hours, they will still have to pay the company’s brokerage free. Not only that, all the expenses incurred during the date will be directed towards the client. Depending on the location or time of day, the total fee may well exceed 30,000 yen a day.
“I agree. My client told me that she was working while attending college. But, I didn’t ask her what kind of work she was doing. I was pretty curious, but she gave off a vibe that made me hesitant to ask her about her job.”(Ryoma)
“Well, if you’re having that much fun, then I think its’s time for me to introduce you to my girlfriend.”(Yukiya)
“Thanks for that thought, Yukiya. But I’m too tired at the moment from acting. If I show her my true colours, she may not like me.”(Ryoma)
“But…it’s you, isn’t it? I don’t find anything wrong with that. Why don’t you just tell that to the client next time? That you’d like to show your true colours.”(Yukiya)
“I…I don’t have that kind of courage!”(Ryoma)
“What are you so worried about, Ryoma? You’re not a bad person, so I don’t think she will hate you.”(Yukiya)
Just as the conversation between them grew more lively, Yukiya raised his eyebrows, and a light bulb appeared over his head.
“You know, after hearing what you just said, I’ve been thinking…”(Yukiya)
The client you mentioned earlier has similar characteristics to Lori-Lynn. She’s in her first year of college. She’s cute, quiet, and usually wears gothic lolita fashion.”(Yukiya)
“Oh, so that’s what Loli-Lynn looks like? Well, I can imagine what she looks like just from hearing her nickname.”(Ryoma)
“Let’s go check her out next time. If you get to know her, maybe you both can get along since the both of you are quite similar after all.”(Yukiya)
“You’re right, but I won’t. I don’t have the confidence to have a conversation with that person when I go see her, no less when she’s a stranger.”(Ryoma)
“Seems like your getting cold feet. It wouldn’t be surprising for me if you dashed straight to a girl just because you heard that she was cute.”(Yukiya)
“Objectively speaking, it’s the crazy ones who dash straight for a girl.”(Ryoma)
“If you’re a man and you want to do the right thing, you have to dash straight.”(Yukiya)
“…… Well, well…”(Ryoma)
We get excited whenever we see a pretty girl or a beautiful girl. In middle school and high school, when puberty was in full swing, a high percentage of boys were probably like that. What Yukiya is saying is not entirely wrong.
“But I can’t stop sweating when I imagine if this Loli-Lynn were my client. I wouldn’t know how to treat her, and I can’t let the other college students know that I’m working here.”(Ryoma)
“What are you talking about, Ryoma? There’s no way in hell that the client you were dating is in the same college as you. I mean, what are the odds?” (Yukiya)
“Yeah, I know.”(Ryoma)
I haven’t even told my sister, Kaya, that I’m working part-time as a lover’s agent. If it’s someone like Yukiya, who was introduced to this part-time job as well, that could be fine…but if the current students at this university find out about it, there’s a chance that strange rumours will start. And, of course, affect Himeno, the client.
“Also, if the client and the agent attended the same university, there would surely be trouble. Once, I was seen on a date with Himeno by her friends, which misled them to think we were dating.”(Ryoma)
“Well, don’t worry, Ryoma. There’s no way Lori-Lynn would use such a service.”(Yukiya)
“What do you mean by that?”(Ryoma)
“It means that Loli-Lynn has made it known that she’s not interested in a boyfriend.”(Yukiya)
“What’s with that punchline? You should have said that earlier!”(Ryoma)
As Ryoma was relieving his anxiety, he loosened his tense shoulders and let out a sigh of relief. But there was one thing that he forgot.
When Ryoma was out on a date with Himeno, he spoke to Ami and Fuko.
Ami said she didn’t need a boyfriend because she had one already, right? I’ve heard her say something along those lines.
It was a few hours after Ryoma and Yukiya had talked. Now, it was lunch break at the Middle Eastern National University.
“Hmm….that Himeno! She never discloses any information about her boyfriend. It’s been three weeks since I last saw her on a date!”(Ami)
“It’s as if her secret is here to stay. Ami, if we work together, I think we can break through Himeno-chan’s stubbornness!”(Fuko)
Ami, who is in the economics department, and Fuko, who is in the distribution department, were happily enjoying their lunch together on the university terrace.
Himeno, the central figure in the conversation, ran away as soon as lunch break started to avoid being pursued by the two.
“Himeno won’t escape our interrogation. The only way to victory is to keep pushing.”(Ami)
“Even my boyfriend won’t be able to handle this interrogation.”(Fuko)
“I don’t think the man-loving Fuko is in any position to talk about interrogating your boyfriend.”(Ami)
“I like men, but not as much as my love for my boyfriend. I have no intention of two-timing him.”(Fuko)
“Still, I feel sorry for your boyfriend. Why don’t you learn a lesson or two from Himeno? Himeno is the type of girl who doesn’t need to be friends with other guys as long as she has one boyfriend. I’m sure your boyfriend will feel more comfortable if that were the case.”(Ami)
Ami is crunching away on the lunch box her mother made for her, and the conversation continues to grow. The conversation never stops, as they both like to talk.
“What are you talking about, like one boyfriend is not enough? One boyfriend is enough for me too! But it’s better to know a certain number of guys so you can make your boyfriend jealous, right? Plus, his jealous face looks so cute.”(Fuko)
“Here it comes, the narrative. If you don’t change the subject soon, I’m going to put my hands on your neck.”(Ami)
“Okay, I’m changing the subject! I wonder what university Ryoma-san goes to?”(Fuko)
Fuko breaks out in a cold sweat and abruptly changes the subject, although this is something she is genuinely concerned about.
“At least he’s not in this university, right? If he were, there would be rumours about him being as cool as your boyfriend, Fuko.”(Ami)
“It’s not a matter of if or not. Regardless of anything, Ryoma is ‘cool’ nonetheless. In the first place, just being Himeno-chi’s boyfriend is a big deal. There isn’t a student in this school who hasn’t heard of Lori-Lynn.”(Fuko)
“Ryoma-san is undoubtedly popular at another university, as is Himeno-chan, and the two of them secretly dating would be unethical.”(Fuko)
“Himeno must be pleased that Ryoma cares about her so much.”(Ami)
“Himeno-chan’s expressionless face is still the same, though, isn’t it?”(Fuko)
“Oh, that’s not the case. Since we’re not in the same department, I have no clue how Himeno should look right now, so I wouldn’t know anything.”(Ami)
“But…I do know one thing. Before class began, I took a peek at Himennochi. Guess what? She was smiling as she was looking at her cell phone!”(Ami)
“Oh. Well, well, well. So, what was Himeno looking at?”(Fuko)
The corners of Ami’s mouth raise to form a villainous grin as Fuko followed suit. Both of them could sense that something interesting was about to happen.
“BA-BAM! A picture of Himennochi and Ryoma-san. Plus, they were holding hands together in the photo.”(Ami)
“Whoa! They look so cute together!”(Fuko)
Love stories are fun. Especially when your best friend is involved, it’s normal to get excited.
“When I saw that photo, I became jealous of the both of you. You guys get to enjoy the rear event that is coming up with your boyfriends, while I have to go alone. Hmph!”(Ami)
“Aah! What the hell is going on?! Am I the only one who dislikes Christmas? When was the last time you were the only one out of us in the group who was looking forward to Christmas?”(Fuko)
“That stunt won’t work on me. There’s still a month left, so there’s hope! So don’t worry about it. But lately, I’ve been so frustrated that I haven’t had time to think about it.”(Ami)
After making a fist, Ami threw it at the table on the terrace to express her feelings. This is commonly known as a “table pan”.
“Isn’t it true that the entire city was vividly flooded by lights just a few days ago? Well, that’s because it’s Christmas. That’s what caused this.”(Ami)
“Huh….? Aren’t the Christmas lights supposed to be beautiful? Why are you so frustrated by them?”(Fuko)
“I’m not talking about that! I’m talking about the fact that I started seeing all these lovey-dovey couples during Christmas flirting! Why must they show off and make people like me feel bad due to my inability of getting a boyfriend? Why can’t you people just take Himeno’s example and flirt in private?”(Ami)
“You’re too jealous…….”(Fuko)
“I can understand if they’re holding hands, but why are their shoulders linked as they walk? It’s hard to walk, isn’t it!!”(Ami)
“It makes me feel warm and happy.”(Fuko)
“Why are you putting your hands in one glove! You’re using it incorrectly!”(Ami)
“It makes me feel warm and happy.”(Fuko)
“Why are you sharing your mufflers? You’re going to get pulled around!”(Ami)
“It makes me feel warm and happy.”(Fuko)
Fuko, the realist, answered all the questions immediately.
“Ami, I’m rooting for you. I hope you get a boyfriend soon. Don’t give up.”(Fuko)
Usually, Fuko’s response would be met with, “Don’t you try to stir things up! Stop saying all these sweet words when you don’t mean it! However, all the flirting couples must have damaged Ami’s heart to the point that she had no choice but to ask Fuko for advice similar to a beggar.
“Fuko…teach me how to make a boyfriend. If you don’t, I may have no choice but to use that ‘boyfriend rental service.’ “(Ami)
“Isn’t that fine as well? Maybe someone like Ryoma-san will arrive. You should do it!”(Fuko)
“I’m not comfortable with that! Even when I think about it calmly, I become afraid! I’m literally meeting someone for the first time, and it’s a stranger!”(Ami)
“Sounds like the people who use that service are pretty ballsy if you ask me.”(Fuko)
Ami and Fuko would have never guessed that this brave soul was their best friend, Himeno.
And so, the two of them enjoyed their long conversation together talking about life and Himeno. There were less than five minutes until the end of the lunch break at the university.
After finishing lunch, the two of them walked through the corridors of the university, enjoying the afterglow of their love story.
“Haha, now my desire to own a boyfriend has grown even more after that conversation. Say, if you have any male friends, would you mind introducing me to them? Oh! I’m sure Hime would help me out with this since she probably has a lot of ‘male friends’. “(Ami)
“I’m sure Himeno wouldn’t like the idea of bothering her boyfriend just for your sake, but let’s say if Ryoma introduces you to his friends…the chances of you landing someone equal to Ryoma wouldn’t be so far off, right?”(Fuko)
“That’s fine as well!”(Ami)
“That sounds far too luxurious.”(Fuko)
Fuko proceeded to slap Ami on the shoulder as Ami laughs out loud, “I guess that’s true!”
The atmosphere between them seemed to get more vibrant as they made their way towards the classroom. It was then, Fuko suddenly opened her eyes as she looked at the front.
This encounter was purely coincidental and out of the blue.
“Ah! If it isn’t Ryoma-san!”(Fuko)
“Eh….? NO WAY!!! Ryoma-san, it’s been a while since we’ve last seen you!”(Ami)
Upon hearing Fuko’s words, Ami looked at the person in front of her, blinking twice. When she fully comprehended the situation, Ami opened her eyes and greeted Ryoma, who has his bangs down while wearing glasses. To Ami, the ‘Ryoma’ in front of her had gotten a complete makeover.
“Hey! Long time no see, both of you.”(Ryoma)
“By the way, Ryoma-san, you’re not wearing wax today, are you? And you’re wearing glasses! Your character is so different from the one I met at IYON!”(Fuko)
“You look like a different person…….”(Ami)
“Haha, it’s a pain in the ass to do this every day……. When I was in college, I tend to blend in like this.”(Ryoma)
“Blend in like this….Isn’t that a waste? It’s much better if you do it as you did when you were dating Himeno-chan! Hey, Ami!”(Fuko)
“Yeah. You look so much better that way! Or maybe you should cut your bangs!”(Ami)
“I don’t feel the same as you, though…Thanks for the advice…Sorry, I have a lecture to attend, so I have to go.”(Ryoma)
As a student of this university, I’m always hard-pressed for time. It’s a pity, but I have to end this conversation here since I cannot afford to be late for my lectures.
“I’ll see you later. Good luck with your lectures.”(Ryoma)
“I’ll do my best!”(Ami)
The conversation ended naturally as both parties proceeded to head for their respective lectures.
Within a few steps down the corridor, they noticed something was off, even at this relatively short distance.
From left to right, Ryoma, Ami, and Fuko
Three different voices were uttered at the same time, and I stopped walking. I slowly turn around as if I had wandered into an unreal world. Then, our gazes intertwine in a one-to-two way.
“……”(Ryoma, Ami, Fuko)
With frantic expressions on their faces, they all sealed their lips. Three to four seconds had passed when they realized what was going on in their heads.
“Hey, hey, hey.!!!!”
“OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG. !!!!”
“Why, why, why, why, why, !!!!”
The three of them pointed at each other at the same time as if they had a meeting.
“Why are you here?!”
Without any warning, they found out about each other’s university. It was here that Ryoma and Himeno had the worst encounter that would cause trouble for both of them.