Saturday, November 20, 2021

Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café V4 (3 of 6)


Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro

When Granny Bonnie’s lesson entered the second stage, the door chimed. In came Celine-san.

"What’s wrong, you look troubled."

Granny Bonnie said. It was true, Celine-san looked gloomy. She looked at the three of us, then stood and said stiffly:

"I… I made a forgery."

I didn’t understand right away, but unlike Tize and me, Granny Bonnie understood. She snorted, then walked to the counter and drank the rest of her Coffee.

"I was wondering what this is about, so you are just getting started. Isn’t forgery the work of ghost writers? That means you are a proper ghostwriter now."

Oh, I remember now. Celine-san once said that someone asked her to make a forgery, and she turned them down.

"Ughhh, there’s a saying that a ghostwriter is truly a part of the industry when they could make a flawless forgery…!"

So there was actually a profession with such an evaluation standard, how strange. This might be a different culture, but I grew up in a society with a strong view on abiding by the law, so it was hard for me to understand. However, Celine-san looked pained when she said that, so personal values differed from person to person.

Celine-san held her head and squatted on the floor.

"Ahh… It would be better if I didn’t do it… I should be satisfied with just ghostwriting love letters…"

"That’s fine, right? You will get used to it with time. And you can earn more money."

Granny Bonnie shared her unfiltered thoughts.

But that was a good thing. She was straightforth, and I felt she was probably right.

Celine-san looked up with her chin on her hand.

"I think you’re right……"

However, she shook her head hard the next moment, which messed up her hair.

"No, no can do! This is against the law! What will I do if I get caught… I don’t want to go to the pastiche…"

"You are exaggerating too much. If all ghostwriters are caught because of forgery, the pastiche will be overflowing with them."

"What’s a pastiche?"

I didn’t want to butt in, but that unfamiliar term bothered me. Granny Bonnie glanced at me with one raised brow. This seemed to be common knowledge, and Granny Bonnie was thinking I was strange. But she didn’t press the issue and answered.

"A pastiche is a prison to hold suspects. People who are officially convicted are confined there, and are normally dirty stone rooms. A bunch of convicts are gathered in the same place, so no one wants to go there."

"Oh, I see."

So something like a detention centre, huh. And from what I heard, the environment wasn’t that great.

Celine-san was probably reminded of that, and she held her head again with a moan. Tize sat before her and patted Celine-san.

"Ughh, thank you Tize. Big sister won’t forget you even if I go to the pastiche…"

"You’re exaggerating too much. No one would mind just one forged document. The officials know that, and they are grateful that you took care of the bothersome paperwork for them."

Granny Bonnie took out a smoking pipe, then remembered that Tize and Celine-san were present. She looked troubledly at the pipe, then spun it in her hands.

"Besides, you are not the type to add a Pen Mark into your forged documents, right?"

"Pen Mark……?"

This time, it was Tize who looked at Granny Bonnie puzzledly. But Celine-san spoke first, so Tize turned to her.

"All ghostwriters have unique stamps, called Pen Marks. It’s used to differentiate who wrote the document, but some used it on forged documents too."

"They use their own stamps on a forgery?"

What if they got found out?

"Hmmp, those people think of themselves as artists, and want to flaunt their masterpiece and advertise themselves. If they caught the eye of an official, they might get hired as a clerk working exclusively for big shots."

"All ghostwriters strive to be like that…"

Celine-san said emphatically.

"Since you are diving into the forgery work, why not add in your Pen Mark?"

"N-No way! That’s too scary!"

She hugged her shoulders and said while trembling.

"I want to be a bureaucratic clerk, but I can’t do it when I think about the pastiche! I will keep shivering, unable to write!"

Granny Bonnie cast a sideway glance at Celine-san, then said with an exasperated sigh.

"Really now, why did you take the forgery job with your dead serious personality?"

"Ughh, I can’t help it either……"

Celine-san’s shoulders drooped, and Tize kept patting her head as if she was soothing a large dog.

"My father got hurt in an accident, and needs some time to recuperate."

"How did——"

Granny Bonnie said immediately, but——

"My father is a guarantor for a friend, and that friend went missing, so the loan sharks came after us for the money."

She thought about what to say, and then slowly spoke:

"It’s troubling if things turned out that way…"

She then started nursing her temples.

It was a common story, but when you actually face a subject of such a troublesome story, it was hard to find the words to console them.

"A client from the merchant guild approached me several times in the past, and he offered a good price, so I…"

Ughh. My head hurts too. I couldn’t blame Celine-san, and it was hard to encourage her and tell her not to worry. She took on the job to protect her family, and if she got caught, she couldn’t pay back the loan. If it was me, I would be scared too.

"You worked hard, big sister."

Tize gently patted Celine-san’s head. Celine-san looked up with tears welling in her eyes, and hugged Tize tightly.

"Tize is a really good kid…"

"T-That is really tight…"

"Hah, she fits right in my arms, how comfortable, how healing…"


"Your wings are so soft too… Uwah…"

"It’s itchy……"

"What are you doing?"

Granny Bonnie asked in surprise.

"Hah! I’m sorry, Tize! I wasn’t paying attention and……"

And she started hugging Tize and fluffing her wings, huh. I looked at Celine-san with dubious eyes, but Tize just shook her head and said she was fine. She still retained the trust I had lost in humanity. Suddenly, Tize looked so dazzling.

"Boy, why are you covering your eyes?"

"She’s too dazzling, and I couldn’t look at her directly."

"…… I don’t get you."

"It’s nothing, I was just pretending to be retarded."

I went back to the counter after sorting my thoughts.

"Celine-san, rushing won’t help at times like this, so calm down and have some Coffee."

"Oh, that’s a good idea. Just thinking about those things all day will just tire your mind. Compared to things that might actually happen, thinking about that will harm your health more."

Granny Bonnie’s words were deep, and she was right. Worrying over things would damage the psyche of people a lot. In contrast, those worries rarely turn true. Instead of worrying about something, we were exhausting our mental strength over our fears. At times like this, we needed to change our mood.

"You can’t change what you already did, but you can change your mood."

"Ugh. Shopkeep, you’re younger than me, but you can say logical things sometimes. But if the officials really come…"

"Deal with it when the time comes."

I said with a clear voice. I did so boldly because Granny Bonnie made it clear that the chance of that was very low. Most bureaucrats seemed to have implicitly acknowledged forgeries. And they wouldn’t search through the mob of ghostwriters for Celine-san just for that one document. The return wouldn’t match the effort they put forth.

"And you didn’t add in your Pen Mark, right? So you won’t get exposed."

"Boy, now you are thinking like an Indecent."

Granny Bonnie smiled. I knew she was complimenting me, but should I be happy about this? I felt complicated. However, Celine-san just covered her mouth with her hands and giggled. So I should treat this as a good thing.

"The shopkeep has joined the ranks of indecent too."

Celine-san stood up, and walked to the counter while holding Tize’s hand.

"But I’m not happy about it…"

"Is that so? But being an Indecent is interesting though."

"I’m feeling more complicated by your refreshing smile."

"I have already gotten over it! That’s right, I’m an Indecent! So what if I forged a document or two!?"

"You are just giving up…"

But Celine-san didn’t seem to hear me.

Tize’s head kept turning with rhythm. She looked at the two of us, then tugged at Celine-san’s sleeve.

"I want, to join."

"You want to join the Indecents?"

Tize nodded and flapped her wings.

Granny Bonnie grinned nefariously.

"You’re amazing, becoming an Indecent at your age. Even I was docile and demure at your age."

"Docile and demure? Are you talking about your clothes?"

"Boy, let’s take this outside."

Was the person saying this a demure girl in the past? I don’t buy it.

I was breaking out in cold sweat, but Tize and Celine-san weren’t fazed, and they looked at each other and said:

"Tize, you really want to join us!? Join the Indecents!?"

"Yes, I want to join."

"Ehhh, oh——!"


The sight of them raising their fists made them look like close sisters, and brought a smile to my face. Although the contents of their conversation was a bit of a problem education-wise.

"Is this really fine……"

"Both of them have dead serious personalities, so letting them go loose will be just right."

Granny Bonnie said as she shook her hands at me. Now that she said that, I started to believe. After all, they looked like they were having fun, and Celine-san didn’t look gloomy anymore, and Tize’s wings were energetic—— I realized that Tize’s face didn’t change much, but her wings expressed her emotions clearly. I could tell how happy she was from her wings right now.

So this should be fine. I think.

Tize suddenly turned and looked up at me. She tilted her head slightly, and her white hair swayed with her motion.

"Big brother, are you an indecent person too?"

My mind went blank. I couldn’t take a step nor move a finger, my brain was short circuited too.

After a brief silence, laughter erupted in the shop. Granny Bonnie was holding her sides, while Celine-san covered her mouth with her hand, her shoulders trembling.

It was fine for you to have fun, but I hope you could understand the shock I felt.

A young girl was looking up at me and asking if I was indecent, you know? She was cocking her head and staring at me with those innocent eyes! Asking if I was indecent!

I shook my head, but my movements were stiff, as if rust had set in.

"No…… I’m probably…… not."

"You are not, indecent?"

Tize’s shoulders and brows drooped. Her expression didn’t change much, so it was rare seeing her obvious disappointment. Even the wings on her back had lost their vitality. Her face was delicate, so the sight of her encompassed with loneliness seemed so ethereal. My chest tightened at the thought that my words caused her to make that face.

What should I do? I could understand logically, but I couldn’t do it. The reason being my small silver of pride. Even if I made the girl before me show that sad face, I still couldn’t call myself indecent.

Tize poked her fingers together before her stomach as she added softly.

"It would be great if I could be the same as big brother…"

"I’m actually an indecent person. I just forgot just now."

I cast aside my pride. I just need to throw it into the bin during non-burnable trash collection day.

The shop was filled with the laughter of Granny Bonnie and Celine-san. Celine-san didn’t bother to cover her mouth this time. Yeah, laugh all you want! Say whatever you want!

"…… Really? Are you really an indecent person?"

Tize looked up at me, and I nodded firmly.

"That’s right, I’m an indecent person!"

"Just like me?"

"Yes, just like you."

She squinted and smiled happily.

"—— That’s great!"

I looked at her smiling so close to me and made up my mind. Yes, I will become an indecent person. For the sake of Tize’s smile, that was just trivial matters.

And thus, we founded an Indecent Alliance here.

Chapter 5: Lies and Hare and Humming

Some people say that a small lie wasn’t really a lie, just a slight mistake. It wasn’t meant to harm others, but to make others think you’re alright, and not to make others worry. Lies told with such reasons were just a little misleading.

But a small lie would grow by themselves. To hide this small lie, you had to layer in more small lies. In the end, this small lie would keep growing, and couldn’t be concealed without telling a big lie. And so, a slight mistake became a big issue.

Lies were such unfathomable things. Once you started, you couldn’t stop until it was too late.

"That’s why I’m having such a big headache right now."

Pleek-san said with his head in his arms. His voice was sharp and hoarse, as if he was squeezing it out of his throat.

"You have to come clean and apologize."

After saying that, Pleek-san looked up.

"I know, I know. That’s the best way to settle things. But do you think I can say that?"

He asked me with his eyes wide open. I thought about it, could I say it if I was in his shoes?

"……No, I can’t do it."


"But you still have to say it?"

"…… Right."

Holding his head again, Pleek-san sighed deeply.

"By the way, why did you lie in the first place?”

"Because," Pleek-san said as he scratched his head. "I left my village after boasting that I will become a chef, but I’m just a janitor in a theatre. It’s too embarrassing for me to say."

"Even so, you have boasted too much."

"…… It’s just letters though, so I never thought I would get found out."

Gwahaha, Pleek-san laughed exaggeratedly, then slouched his shoulders.

"I never thought my mother would come to this far flung place."

"Isn’t it good that you can see her again?"

"Yes, I’m glad that we can meet… Ahhh! I shouldn’t have written that I’m the head chef in my own shop!"

He smacked the counter.

"What else? You have a beautiful wife and cute daughter. And the dignitaries in the city often visit and know your name, right?"

Pleek-san stopped moving.

"…… I really got carried away."

"Any other lies?"

He looked up at me and then averted his gaze.

"I said my shop is full every day, it’s very busy and I'm a very successful chef."

He came to the city to pursue his dreams, but things didn’t go well. Even so, he wanted to tell his family back home that he was fine, and I got it. I might write the same thing if I was in his shoes.

"So, your mother wants to try the dishes in your shop?"

I asked, and Pleek-san laid on the counter.

"Yes. She wants to stay at my place, and watch the Songstress’ performance."

"…… Stay at your place and watch the performance?"

I had a bad premonition. Pleek-san trembled without lifting his head.

"I also wrote that I’m living in a luxurious house like a noble. And because one of my guest is a noble, I got my hands on tickets to the Songstress’ performance. She said she wanted to see too."

I massaged my temples. He was going too far there.

"Find some reason to stop her."

"…… My mother isn’t young anymore. This will probably be the only time she come here from the far flung boondocks. She had always been farming in that village without traveling out, so she is looking forward to this trip."

I couldn’t say anything more. Telling a mother like that to not come, huh. That was impossible. He could only hold his head in despair.

I didn’t say anything, and the shop turned silent. The Elf big sister at the table was flipping through a thick book, and there was another customer at the other end of the counter.

Pleek-san got up slowly and stroked his messy beard with his right hand.

"I’m over thirty and still a theatre janitor, and no one is thankful for my work. I came here despite the objections of my family, what am I doing?"

"You want to be a chef, right?"

Pleek-san smiled at that question. Like a grade schooler after school was out.

"Being a chef is cool, right? They can combine any ingredients together, adding seasonings decisively to make delicious food. That’s like magic."

He then leaned forward and looked at me.

"To me, you are a magician too. You can cook up dishes I have never had before, and own your own shop. You’re shining too bright for me to look at." Pleek-san then covered his eyes with one hand and muttered: “How bright.”

I laughed at his joke.

"Pleek-san, you are a magician too, since you worked as a chef before."

"No, I can’t do it. I don’t have the determination. I worked as an assistant in a good restaurant, but quit soon after that. I haven’t held a kitchen knife much since then." He said in self mockery. “This is a problem. What should I do?"

Pleek-san stood up and left his money on the counter.

"Never mind, I’m heading back for today. Sorry shopkeep for boring you with my rant."

I shook my head.

"Farewell, I will be back."

Pleek-san left the shop with that, leaving an empty glass and the money for his drink. I cleared them away, and heard a voice from the other end of the counter.

"Lies are really hard to deal with."

A small figure said with a deep voice that could vibrate the hanging lights.

"A white lie to avoid hurting others may blow up one day, hurting both you and the other party. Even if you know that, there would be times when you had no choice but to lie."

"…… Your words are sophisticated today too, Corleone-san"

A fluffy hare was sitting over there. Adorned in a high class suit with golden threads, he was the Mafia Boss who controlled the supply of top quality ingredients.

"I would always hear something interesting whenever I visited your shop. This is something I have come to enjoy."

Corleone-san chuckled.

"It’s rude to laugh at the troubles of other people."

"You’re right. However, I could see the shadow of my past self overlapped with that young man, and felt the nostalgia of an old man."

I couldn’t tell he was old at all, what was Corleone-san’s age again? He might get angry if I asked.

"Corleone-san, did you have similar troubles?"

"Only the most blissful person can live without telling a lie. He either has no worries, or is incompetent and incapable of thought. You have lied before, right? Told a big lie."

He cast his gaze over, and I shirked my shoulders.

"I did."

"It’s fine if it’s a simple lie you can forget, but a big lie will haunt you forever. It would grow heavier with time, until it becomes impossible to bear. When that time comes, you need to come clean. It’s the same for everybody."

"What happens after you come clean?"

Corleone-san touched the brim of his hat.

"Basically, all lies will get exposed. Not many people are capable of maintaining a facade. That’s why there are con artists and politicians. No one knows where their lies will lead them, but you will feel more relaxed when the lies you are bearing disappear. You can then take a step forward."

"So, in conclusion, instead of the result of the lie, pulling yourself together to get over a lie is more important, right?"

"You are getting better at summarizing things."

"Corleone-san’s words are still too deep for me."

"I intentionally made it difficult, so the people will feel more into it."

He said jokingly. It was true, that manner of speech sounded really cool. I needed to learn that too. As the Café master of a late night Café, that profound atmosphere was a must.

I was about to practice Corleone-san’s manner of speech when the door chimed. That white figure was Tize. After I welcomed her in, Tize bowed and her small wings flapped.

"…… Your shop is really interesting."

Corleone-san said with a sigh>

"What do you mean?"

"It’s nothing. You’ll understand when the time comes."


Corleone-san shook his head and looked at the glass in his hand. He ended the conversation, so I looked towards Tize.

Tize sat in her usual seat out of habit. People were interesting creatures, deciding on their own seats out of habit. Tize was just like a regular now, her initial unease was gone.

"Good Evening. The usual?"


Tize nodded.

"Speaking of which, have you lied before, Tize."

I set up the Coffee maker and asked as if I just remembered. Tize looked over, lowered her head, then said softly:

"…… I have."

"Sorry, it must be a painful lie."

Tize showed a serious face that made me regret asking her.

Tize shook her head, then looked up at me.

"What should I do when I tell a lie?"

"Another difficult question."

If it was the usual me, I would be troubled about how to answer. But luckily, I already noted down the model answer in my mental notebook.

"Your lie will be exposed one day, right? We won’t know where our lie will lead us, but we will have to face them. So we have to resolve ourselves and take a step forward."

I could hear stifled laughter from the other end of the counter. I was borrowing the words of a certain hare, but I still made Tize nod in agreement.

"Big brother, have you lied before?"

"Of course, plenty of times."

"Because you are indecent?"

Tize said with her innocent eyes. Another stifled snicker came, and I glanced at the source.

"……Corleone-san, I can hear you laughing."

"Oh, my apologies."

He apologized, but his shoulders were still quaking.

"You are laughing too much."

"I haven’t felt so happy in a long while. Indecent, huh, that isn’t bad."

I didn’t understand what pleased him so much. Corleone-san just nodded profusely.

Tize looked at Corleone-san with troubled eyes, then looked up at me. Her natural attitude was gone, and she seemed smaller and uneasy.

"Tize, this is Corleone-san. He is a bad guy, but not a bad guy."

"…… Is he a bad guy or not?"

"Which is to say, he is an incredible Indecent."

Tize seemed to understand after hearing that. She looked at Corleone-san with a tense face, then bowed.

"Erm…… I’m Tize, and I just joined the indecents. Pleased, to meet you."

"Thank you for your kind greeting. I’m Corleone. You are…… indecent?"

Tize nodded seriously.

"Yes, I’m indecent"

"I don’t think that’s something you can say with a straight face."

Corleone-san looked at me with a wry smile.

"Is this a recent fad?"

"Some people thought that people visiting this shop at this hour are all indecent."

"I see, that isn’t wrong."

"Can you tell me what you mean by that?"

I approached with a smiling face, but Corleone-san ignored me with a casual attitude, then turned to Tize:

"You are an Indecent at such a young age, you have a bright future ahead."

"Yes…… People often tell me that."

Was that a good thing? I couldn’t really tell. Tize’s wing flapped happily. Since Tize wasn’t against it, I felt it should be alright.

"Tize, this person is actually the boss of the Indecents."


"The hell are you saying?"

Corleone-san said exasperatedly. But Tize turned wide eyed, and looked between Corleone-san and me. Her wings moved erratically, and she seemed very shaken.

"I’m not wrong, right?"

I said to Corleone-san. He was still a Mafia boss. I didn’t know what the Mafia of this world does, but they should be involved in some shady business too.

"…… Indeed, my business isn’t really decent."

Corleone-san said, and Tize straightened her back.


"Y-You don’t have to push yourself to call me that."

"Tize, Corleone-san is a friendly and approachable boss."

"Friendly Boss-san."

"That’s not what I mean."

Corleone-san corrected her seriously, but Tize still cocked her head in puzzlement.

"Friendly…… Boss-san of the Indecents?"

"I’m not trying to correct the way you address me in that direction. Just address me casually."

"…… Mr Rabbit."

I burst out laughing. I tried to control myself, but couldn’t help laughing. I just couldn’t. Because a little girl was calling Corleone-san, Mr Rabbit!

"…… You have been getting more audacious."

Corleone-san said dumbfoundedly. He wasn’t mad, which showed how magnanimous Corleone-san was. But it would be rude to keep laughing, and I finally kept it under control.

"No no, I’m sorry. This is too unexpected. Fufu."

"You’re still laughing."

I pressed against my cheeks with both hands. Calm down, me.

"Erm, sorry."

Tize observed our interactions and said in a quiet voice.

"You don’t have to apologize, that way of address isn’t wrong. But it will make me glad if you can address me as Corleone."

"Yes, Corleone, san."

"Mr Rabbit sounds cuter."

"I’m glad that you’re enjoying this."

He said with a sigh. I rarely had the chance to tease Corleone-san. If not for Tize’s innocence, I wouldn’t dare to do that.

Mr Rabbit…… I couldn’t say it. Only Tize could do that.

I felt the urge to laugh when I thought back on it. If I didn’t bite my cheek hard, I would start laughing again. I continued brewing Coffee for Tize.

Corleone-san left after some idle chatter with Tize. He would visit after I started late night operations, but he wouldn’t stay long. He was busy, and had lots of things to do in the morning. With that in mind, those who could frequent this place without worrying about work the next day, all didn’t work in the morning. So it wasn’t wrong to call them indecent.

Only the Elf big sister and Tize were in the shop. It was way past midnight, in the wee hours of the morning. The Elf big sister was dozing off while holding her thick book.

"Tize, aren’t you sleepy?"

Tize shook her head at my question.

"It’s fine. I will sleep properly during the day……"

"Me too."

"We are the same."

Tize clenched her small fists.

"Yes, we are the same."

We laughed together at that.

The number of customers visiting the late night Café was more unpredictable than the day. There were even days when no one came, which made me wonder if everyone in this city had disappeared.

If a customer came in and saw my face, they would find me in a daze. As if I finally confirmed that I wasn’t the only living person in the world.

Those who sleep in the day and wander in the night must feel loneliness inside. All unnecessary things disappear in the night, leaving you with a sense of solitude. When you couldn’t bear this solitude, you would wander in the streets. Occasionally, you would run into others who felt the same solitude, laughed together about how tough life was, then returned to your daily lives.

The customers visiting late at night were all people who couldn’t let go of their solitude. They had gotten used to walking alone, but would still feel lonely.

Adults could indulge in alcohol, but those who didn’t drink would have a problem. At times like this, the Café would be a good place to go. That was what I thought.

Tize was here tonight, but I wouldn’t turn her down with the reason that it was still too early for her. After all, this Café didn’t serve alcohol or had an age restriction.

Tize held the cup with both hands as if she was enjoying the warmth of the Coffee. Her eyes staring at the liquid was blank, but there was a faint smile on her lips. There wasn’t any tension at all, and the atmosphere was calming.

I didn’t want to say anything either, and tidied the glasses in the cabinet.

Loneliness wasn’t something that could be soothed with just words. Just by staying in the same place and sharing the same feelings, it was fine even without any conversations.

Oh, it would be even better if there was calming music. The night was a little too quiet. Sometimes, the silence was a little frustrating.

When I started arranging the glasses on the second rack of the shelf, I heard a small voice from behind. I stopped my outstretched hand and just stopped there.

What was that music? I listened carefully. That was a soft tune I would definitely had missed during the bustling of daytime. It sounded a little sad, but also a bit warm.

The clear voice penetrated my ears and reached straight into my heart. There weren't any lyrics, but my emotions still started to sway.

Why was my heart fluttering?

Why did I feel bitter?

My throat throbbed, as if something was about to overflow. My eyes were burning and I closed them. My mind and heart were filled by that music. It then flowed through my heart and spread to my entire body through my blood. I couldn’t move, the music was so soothing that I couldn’t move. If I keep immersing myself in this music, I would probably cry.

"What is that song?"

I said as if I was chewing on every word. That dream-like music suddenly stopped. Just like the daydream during a short nap, everything was suddenly gone. The strong emotions I felt were still lingering somewhere.

"Ah…… I’m sorry, was I too noisy?"

Tize said. That’s when I realized that it was Tize humming. I took a deep breath to recover my body’s senses. I then smiled. It’s fine, it’s the same as usual.

I turned back and looked at Tize. She made herself small and looked at me tensely.

"It’s not noisy at all. I was mesmerized."

"No way." Tize shook her head "My singing isn’t much."

"I’m the one who gets to judge if it is good. And I think it sounded really beautiful."


Tize made her body smaller by resting her head on the counter. The small hair whorl on top of her head was right before me.

"It was a sad tune. I couldn’t describe it clearly though."

"…… Yes." Tize nodded. "It’s a song about homesickness. In the past, before the language was unified, and the world was filled with strife… There were many who drifted away from their homes and couldn’t go back, but had to live on. This is the music made by those people."

So that was why it felt so heart wrenching.

I couldn’t help smiling. Maybe I was the only one in this world who could completely empathize with that song.


Silence hung over them again, and Tize looked at me curiously.

"My hometown had a similar song, I just thought the tune was very similar."

I tried to fudge things over, but contrary to my expectations, Tize got excited with sparkling eyes.

"What kind of song is it?"

"Even if you ask me..."

"Then, please sing a little. I want to hear it."

I was at a loss for words.

"No… That’s..."

Tize’s face suddenly darkened, and her shoulders slumped.

"I-I’m sorry."

Did a human who could bear letting Tize make such a face exist in this world? My chest hurts. I was hesitant. But I made up my mind. Well, it was just singing.

"It’s fine, I will sing for you. But, you should know, Tize."


"I’m tone deaf."

I emphasized that point.

"Specifically, I can’t control my pitch properly. Everyone will smile at me after my song. I don’t hate singing, but I’m not good at it.”

I explained desperately, and Tize looked at me with a serious face. She then narrowed her eyes nostalgically.

"I was the same in the past. I couldn’t sing well. My mother told me when I was troubled over it, that it’s fine even if I can’t sing well, just sing for someone. If you can convey your feelings to someone, then that song will be more beautiful than a song that is sung normally."

"…… You have a good mother."

"That’s right."

Tize replied with a smile.

"But that sounds more difficult than singing nicely."

"Well… That is…"

Tize lowered her head, but raised it again.

"Erm, I will listen properly, so it’s fine. Please sing for me and convey your feelings to me."

I couldn’t help smiling at her serious expression.

"W-Why are you smiling?"

"Sorry, this is the first time someone said that to me."

Listen properly, huh. That sounded great.

"Thanks to you, I’m not too bothered about my singing anymore. It’s fine even if my singing isn’t good, huh."

I always thought that I shouldn’t sing before others if I couldn’t sing well. I thought it was meaningless if it wasn’t well received. However, if someone was willing to listen, and I wanted to sing for her, then singing poorly was meaningful too.

"Alright then, since you are willing to listen to my song."


I cleared my throat, and Tize smiled.

My first note was off tune. The pitch was definitely wrong, but I didn’t care. There was a girl before me listening carefully, and my cheeks burned as I sang under such circumstances.

I sang til the end, then breathed out deeply. My heart was still thumping. I felt a strange sense of accomplishment.

Tize opened her eyes, then looked up at me and clapped.

"This is embarrassing."

"I can feel it properly. Although you are… a little off tune."

She said jokingly, and I raised my hands in surrender. I didn’t feel any annoyance, all thanks to Tize’s warm gaze on me. And I felt happy that I could share my song with others.

Tize flapped her wings and said:

"…… That song, I have heard it before."

"—— Ehh?"

The song I sang was a tune that was always played in the evenings in my hometown. All grade schoolers learned the song and lyrics. I never thought that Tize actually knew.

"Why do you know that? That’s…"

A song from my world.

"My grandmother sang it for me. It was a long time ago, and just once."

"Did your grandmother come from a galaxy far far away?"

I couldn’t help leaning forth.

"No, my grandmother just knows a lot of songs in this world."

Tize backed away and answered a little baffledly.

"…… I see."

I moved back. If she knew that song, I thought she might have teleported into this world like I did. I never considered the possibility of the same song and lyrics being created independently over here too.

Maybe someone teleported here in the past. They came here, realized they couldn’t go back, and lived on here. They then passed down the songs from their hometown. Just what did that person feel back then, and who did they sing that song too?

"Erm, big brother?"

Tize looked up at me worriedly, after I suddenly turned silent.

"Sorry, it’s fine. I’m just a little bothered."

I hurriedly said with a smile. There was no way to confirm if my suspicion was correct. I had already gotten used to it, and hid my emotions deep in my heart. I opened that big door in the corner of my heart, stuffed all my emotions in, then locked it with a key. And now, I am the same as always.

Tize was still looking at me with worry, but I had already let it go.

At this moment, the door chimed. Tize and I both looked over, and saw a cylindrical figure standing there. After that figure stepped in, I realized it was Celine-san covered by a full body coat.

Celine-san looked scared. The coat hiding her body and the hood worn low made it clear she was hiding, and she peeked outside from the door gap.

She carefully surveyed the shop, then rushed to the counter.

"Shopkeep, I-I’m being stalked...!"

Chapter 6: The Forgery Family Plan

"First, calm down."

Seeing how panicked Celine-san was and what she said, I poured a glass of water for her. Celine-san downed it in one go.

"Phew…… It would be better if it was chilled…"

"You are plenty calm already."

Her nervousness just now was like a lie. Celine-san made a serious face and started speaking with her hands on the counter.

"No, I can’t relax at all! It is getting scary… Oh, Good Evening, Tize-chan."

"G-Good Evening."

"Celine-san, it’s not really urgent, right?"

"No, it’s really pressing."

Celine-san looked very serious when she said that, and judging by her coat that hid her entire body, she wasn’t joking. But this was probably Celine-san’s unique way of being anxious.

I got my act together and faced Celine-san again.

"So, what happened?"

Celine-san put her hand on her chest and took a few deep breaths, then pulled out a chair and sat down. I felt like retorting her unique pace of doing things, but held myself back.

"Actually, I think I’m being stalked."

"What’s going on here?"

Celine-san kept waving her hands as if she was searching through a pile of words and composing them.

"Well, remember that day when I talked about forgery?"

"I do."

Tize nodded gently.

"And yesterday, the people at the top started probing about who forged a certain document. And t-that person, was me."

At that, Celine-san laid on the counter with her head in her arms.

"W-What should I do? I might get imprisoned."

She wailed, and her voice was slurred. Tize patted Celine-san’s head to console her.

It would be good if I could say something useful, but I couldn’t say anything. If what Celine-san said was true, then the people up top were tracking Celine-san.

"But, isn’t forgery an implicitly accepted culture? Isn’t it strange for them to search for you then?"

Celine-san looked up when she heard that.

"That might be so… Maybe they just want to confirm something after they uncovered a new ghostwriter doing forgery…"

"Hah, they are investigating so thoroughly just for one forgery?"

Celine-san averted her gaze without a word. Cold sweat appeared on her brows, and she started whistling badly.


"What’s going on, I don’t get it at all."

She adjusted her glasses to block my field of vision. She was acting really suspiciously like a bad actor.

"What else did you do?"

"Well… They made an additional job offer… With good money, and I accidentally… But! I only did three!"

I shook my head silently.

It would be natural for the people up top to notice the existence of a ghost writer dabbing in forgery. They would naturally search for an unknown ghost writer that just started forgery. That was understandable.

"Why don’t you give yourself up?"

"…… What if they imprison me?"

Celine-san started trembling like a frog in front of a snake.

This wasn’t a problem that could be brushed aside easily. We didn’t know the intent of the people chasing her. There was a possibility that she might get imprisoned.

"But you can’t keep running away."

"That’s true, but..."

From how Celine-san looked, she didn’t look like she could endure a life on the run. She would crumple mentally first.

"Celine-san, why don’t you give yourself up at the station? You’ll feel better if you confess everything. Your parents back home are crying, you know?"

"You are talking like an interrogator! I didn’t do anything wrong?"

"What about the forgery?"

"…… It was me."

Celine-san confessed with her shoulders slumped.

"They will be lenient if you apologize honestly. The sentence for your first offence will be lighter."

"Ughh…… Shopkeep, will you come see me if I get locked into the pastiche?"

"Pastiche is like a detention centre, right? It sounds scary, so I’ll pass."

"How mean."

Celine-san laid onto the counter again, and faked her tears. No, you weren’t pressured at all.

I looked at her with icy eyes, but Tize was the culmination of everything pure and lacked any suspicion.

"I will visit you."

She patted Celine-san’s shoulder firmly, with fire of determination in her eyes. Celine-san looked up without any signs of tears, and her eyes sparkling.

"Tize-chan is a really good kid."


She hugged Tize tightly and grinded her cheeks. She looked more hyped than usual, so maybe she was a little anxious. Although her nervousness wasn’t conveyed to others at all.

"Celine-san, that’s enough."

Tize whose head was moving with the grind started to look dizzy, so I spoke up. Celine-san released Tize as if it was a pity.

"So, what are you planning to do?"

I asked that again, and Celine-san finally showed a serious face.

"…… What should I do? It’s better for me to take the initiative, huh."

"Well, that will leave a better impression on the other party."

I had seen something similar in a crime drama before.

"If I’m locked up, then the treatment fee, living expenses and my father’s debt will…"

Facing such troubles, I crossed my arms in deep thought. It was true that the situation would become terrible if Celine-san stopped working right now. But if she kept running, she wouldn’t be able to work properly.

"What to do." I said.

"What to do." Celine-san said.

"I-It will be fine." Tize said.

Celine-san and I looked towards Tize. Tize, who was the focus of our attention, turned red. She glanced at the counter and said:

"Erm, I don’t get the complicated stuff… But big sister is a gentle and good person… So it will be fine."

Celine-san didn’t say anything. Neither did I. Both of us stared at Tize in silence.

Tize slowly looked up and looked at Celine-san and me. After meeting our gaze, she closed her eyes immediately.

Celine-san slowly turned to me, and I turned to her too. Celine-san was expressionless.

"What should I do, shopkeep? This child is too cute."

"I agree."

I nodded firmly. My work every day, the troubles I couldn’t solve, my unease about the future, and my heart grounded by all that had been purified.

"Celine-san is too sly. You said it out first."

"Aren’t you envious?"

Her body finally caught up with her emotions, and the corners of Celine-san’s mouth relaxed. Her eyes and cheeks melted into a smile.

"Thank you, Tize-chan. Big sister will be fine no matter what happens!"


She hugged Tize again and rubbed against her cheeks.

"Tize-chan’s face is so soft."

"Big sister, it’s uncomfortable."

Despite what Tize said, she wasn’t resisting at all. I was regretting a little for being born a man. How envious… No, I should control myself.

I took deep breaths to control my urges, then picked up a rag. At times like this, I should wipe glasses. It wasn’t well known, but the action of wiping glasses had all sorts of benefits. One of them was soothing your emotions. As the stains on the glass disappear, the worries in my heart vanishes away. I was really envious of Celine-san.

"Fu… I’m still too young."

I thought about how immature I was as I stared at the ceilings in the distance, and the door chimed. The calm breeze unique to the night blew in. It was a short haired man in his thirties, Pleek-san.

"Oh, what’s wrong, Pleek-san? Didn’t you just go back?"

"Shopkeep! I thought of a great idea!"

Pleek-san had a smile devoid of all his worries on his face as he leaned on the counter.

Celine-san and Tize maintained their posture of having their cheeks stuck to each other, staring wide eyed at the person who just barged in. Pleek-san looked at them, and said while still smiling: "Woah! Both of you are beauties!" as a greeting. He was about to turn to me, but stopped and slowly turned back to the duo.

"Huh, what." He said, then shook his head. "…… No, they are really beautiful."

"You don’t need to make that sound so deep."

Seeing me smile, Pleek-san scratched his head bashfully.

"Oh, sorry about that. They are just too pretty."

I could understand how he felt. Tize had an atmosphere that felt as clear as the air before dawn. Regardless of age, any man would feel nervous beside her. Celine-san had a gentle air like the setting sun, and you would feel like spilling your heart out to her if you sat beside her.

Pleek-san didn’t face them, choosing to look at me, who was the most normal.

"Leaving the beauties aside, Shopkeep, can you do me a favour?"

"…… I have a bad feeling about this, but I will hear you out."

There was a beautiful lady and pretty young girl before him, but the lecherous Pleek-san didn’t chat them up or introduce himself to them. That was unbelievable. What did he want to say?

Pleek-san placed his palms on the counter and lowered his head.

"Shopkeep, can you lend this shop to me for one night!?"

What did he mean by that? I was a little baffled. But I soon realized what he was scheming. I furrowed my brows and massaged my temple.

"…… You are going to trick your mother by saying it’s your shop?"


He answered firmly, as if to say that he had no other choice.

Pleek-san wrote a lot of things in his letters, and he had no plans to admit his lies. Instead he opted to temporarily make those lies a reality during his mother’s visit. Setting aside the wisdom of that decision for now, was that really possible?

"This will be tough. The place is always filled with nobility customers, and a beautiful wife and cute daughter? First, you don’t have enough people."

"About that, I’m going to ask the guild to gather helpers."

"What are you going to do about the money?"

"Take a loan!"

He raised his head with his hands in the same position, and said decisively. He sounded like a man who made his resolve. Indeed, there were times when a man had to do something, even if he had to take a loan… was that really true?

"I will pay for the venue, so please."

"…… No, it’s better for you to not do that."

He could fudge it through if it was just one night. But the lies would keep piling up, and this wouldn’t solve the problem. After spending lots of money and gathering lots of people to act out a dream-like dinner, could this really conclude with a good ending?

"Please help me with this… If it’s you, Shopkeep, it will definitely work!"

Pleek-san said with conviction and bowed again. He was convinced that this was the only way.

If I turned him down, he would probably ask another shop for the same favour. Pleek-san was pleading desperately, and would probably accept any terms from a loan shark.

"…… I understand, I will lend it to you for just one night."

"Thank you very much, Shopkeep! That’s a big help!"

Pleek-san jumped up and expressed his glee with his entire body. He pulled his chair out and sat down weakly.

"Next would be gathering the people… Actors playing as chefs, waiters and noble customers aren’t too difficult."

"But what about your wife and kid?"

"I need to search… for them…"

At that, Pleek-san slowly turned to the side. Sitting there were Celine-san and Tize who couldn’t keep up with what Pleek-san was saying.

"……Pleek-san, your thinking is clear at a glance."

I sighed. But Pleek-san didn’t seem to hear me.

"Erm, well..."

"Tize is already thirteen, her age doesn’t match up, Pleek-san."

Pleek-san looked at me with a cocky smile.

"I wrote in my letter that I adopted a child.”

Ohh… Then it might be fine…

Pleek-san turned to the two of them with a serious face and proper posture. Celine-san and Tize straightened their backs as if they had taken a bait.

"This is the first time we met, but will you please be my family?"

I massaged the center of my brows.

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