Saturday, March 5, 2022

Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café V6 (7 of 7)


Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro


In the evening, the number of Indecents gradually increased. They were regulars who visited when this shop operated late night hours. Nortri came with her mother, and Granny Bonnie was seated in a chair before I realized it.

By the time that person came, the sun had completely set.


I went up to him immediately, and pulled him behind the counter.

【Hmm, yes?】

Falluba-san bent his huge body and looked at me.

【Why are you so late?】

【Sorry. I heard it’s tradition to bring a gift, so I went to the mountains to hunt. It was tough.】

I wondered if I should ask him what he had hunted. If even Falluba-san felt it was tough, then it would be impossible for me.

【… I will ask you later. Instead of that, Falluba-san, you gave me your blessing, right?】

After hearing what Levi-san said, I had been thinking. I could stay in this world because I had the blessing of the dragon.

【You said during the wedding ceremony, right? You will bless everyone present, and that includes me, right?】

I looked right at him, and Falluba-san grinned.

【Yes, you are right.】

【So you knew back then that I won’t have to go back?】

【No, that’s wrong.】 He shook his head. 【I just gave words of blessings to you. That isn’t enough to connect to the world.】

【But, I’m still here.】

【That is a choice you made. I will respect your decision to stay or go, and give you my blessing. Dragons can’t decide the future of humans. Dragons can just give humans a push on the back.】

【So, it’s a strong emotions, huh?】

【It’s a string that won’t be broken even when the world shakes. Your thoughts towards another, a vow to never forget, and the feelings to wish happiness on another even when they have gone far away— That’s what you call love, right?】

I suddenly remembered Granny Bonnie’s profile. That night, with Phyllis-san by her side, she talked about that important person who had vanished. That should be a person who came from my world.

Yes, I still remember. Be it Granny Bonnie, or Phyllis-san, they didn’t forget about that person who vanished.

I looked back at Falluba-san with a smile. I felt something well up from my chest.

【That might be true.】

【It’s great that Yuu can stay in this world. I can drink Coffee again.】

【That’s what you’re more concerned about, right?】

【… Cough cough.】

He fudged it over with a cough. 【But you really stayed. You exchanged ribbons with that female and become mates huh.】

【Calling us mates is a little… Well, you aren’t wrong…】

【This calls for a celebration. You are truly a man after marriage.】

Well, I was just going with the flow, but I did propose to Linaria, and she accepted it. So we are a married couple now.

【Amazing. It doesn’t feel real at all.】

【It’s like that in the beginning, but you will understand it with time.】

Falluba-san was really afraid of his wife, I could understand without asking him.

【There’s something bothering me. Is the exchange of ribbons mandatory?】

【Yes. It means giving your string of fate to the other party. By exchanging them, you are tied together. By accumulating such experiences repeatedly, people are connected to the world.】

【Hah… I see.】

Linaria took off the black ribbon from the snowman, then handed it to me. That was the crucial moment. I never thought that would be proof of me receiving Linaria’s reply.

I suddenly realized something. It was common sense what gifting a black ribbon meant. Linaria definitely knew about it. In that case, back then…?

At this moment, the door chimed. I cranked my neck and looked from the counter, and saw it was Aluff-san and Sophia-san. They entered the shop, and were surprised by how crowded it was.

【Oh, Falluba-san, they are here.】

【Is that so? Go greet them then.】

As I was standing up, Gramps Goru’s loud voice rang out.

【What, isn’t that a white ribbon? Congratulations on your marriage!】

Cheers, whistles and words of blessing rang out. I couldn’t tell what was being said, but the couple smiled brightly.

【What’s that.】

I asked quietly, and Aina replied.

【A newly wed lady will tie her hair up with a white ribbon for a month. It serves as proof of her first step onto a new stage of life, and everyone will congratulate her, it’s…】

Before she could finish, she looked somewhere with her mouth agape.

I was wondering what it was, and understood when I followed her gaze.

We weren’t the only ones who noticed. The sounds of congratulations quieted down, and people looked over one by one.

The one who came out of the corridor leading inside was Linaria. She probably just woke up from her nap, and she was still wearing her usual uniform.

【L-Linaria, san… T-That’s…】

Aina pointed at Linaria with her trembling finger. Something was tied on Linaria’s hair. It was a familiar looking white ribbon.

She looked uncomfortable with all the gazes in the shop focusing on her. She looked in a random direction with her cheeks blushed.

There was an explosion the next moment.

There were the cheers of girls, wails of the boys, voices of congratulations and questions about her partner. And then, Aina tugged on my collar.

【Hey, wait.】

Aina glared at me with tears in her eyes. I knew what she wanted to say, but I didn’t listen. I was surrounded by men, and couldn’t breath.

【You finally did it, Shopkeeper!】【You dare lay your hands on our Linaria!?】【Damn it, congrats!】【It’s a cause of celebration, but that’s so blissful that I want to beat him up!】

Everyone was smacking my back. Were they congratulating me or venting their frustration? Probably the latter.

【That hurts that hurts! It hurts!】

【Huh, what are you saying, you blessed dude!】

Someone was tapping my shoulder.

I moved the hands shielding my head away, and looked up timidly.

The familiar faces were all smiling at me. Aina was biting a handkerchief. Nortri was groaning in her mother’s arms, and the annoying Gramps Goru was being restrained by Ms Secretary.

I looked at everyone. This place where everyone had gathered, was the bond I received in this world.

And there was a girl who was watching me with eyes more gentle than anyone. She was smiling wryly at the awkward position I was in. She probably knew what I was going to say, and mouthed out the word 【dummy.】 So I showed a cocky face to the boys around me:

【Aren’t you envious?】

After a short pause, the howls and wails of the boys rang out, and I accepted their blessings in a panic.

This was a wonderful night.


It was completely dark when I left the shop. However, there were still sounds of people making merry everywhere.

It was really hot inside the shop, so the winter air outside felt comfortable.

I took out the paper in my pocket. It was really crumpled. I opened it along the folded edges, and found it filled with the signatures of my regulars. There weren't much blank spaces on the paper. It had reverted back to normal. I carefully folded the paper and put it back in my pocket.

Laughter was echoing inside the shop. I looked up at the sky with my back towards it. The full moon was high above, with countless stars spread out around it.

Would there be a day when I regret my choice?

Would I regret not returning to my family in my old world?

I didn’t know. But it would be great if I could inform them that I was fine here. I opened a shop in a new place, with many patrons, and met the person I loved. I decided to make this place my home. If I told them that, would they give me their blessing?

The door behind me opened. The noise became louder for an instant, before quieting down. Linaria then came to my side.

【Thinking about something?】

【Yes, I want to introduce Linaria to my family.】

【… It will be fine. I think they will lash out at me, saying how I managed to con Yuu away.】

【Don’t worry, my mother will dote on Linaria. She probably will say that she wanted a daughter or something.】

The winter night sky was very beautiful. The air I breathe out turned into white mist, then faded away.

【Do you feel lonely?】

Linaria looked at me.

【Yes. But I have you with me, Linaria.】

Laughter erupted from the shop again, followed by the sound of something falling. What were they doing?

【… We have cheerful patrons here too, so it will be fine.】

【Is that so.】

Linaria nodded, and the moonlight reflected off her glimmering white ribbon.

【You put it on.】

She touched her ribbon as if to hide it, then brushed her hair to hide her embarrassment.

【Well, things already turned out this way.】

【I thought you didn’t like it, and was really troubled.】

【I can’t put it on so casually.】

I gifted Linaria this white ribbon, when I first celebrated her birthday.

【You gave it to me without knowing the meaning back then anyway.】

【What will you do if I told you I did it knowing what it meant?】


Linaria’s face turned red immediately and she opened her eyes wide. Realizing she was being teased, she turned and glared at me.

【You are really…】

She then grabbed my right hand and turned back.

【Enough, let’s go back.】

I still remember what Gramps Goru said that day.

The place you belonged wasn’t just your home.

I wanted to make this shop a place that anyone could come home to.

This was a different world. It had magic, Labyrinth, beastman and other humans. I had decided to live here. But this shop wasn’t the place I belonged to. A sense of belonging didn’t have a tangible form, it was an immovable pillar in our heart.

I might feel nostalgic about my old world one day. There might be a day when my homesickness crushed my heart, and when I questioned myself why I was still here.

But it would be fine. I could live on fine in this world.

I held the warmth in my hand.

Linaria turned back and smiled at me.

If I had this warmth, I could overcome any obstacles. The warmth I was feeling in my hand was where I belonged.

Linaria opened the door. An astounding cheer rang out in the shop.


In all guide books about writing novels, there is one thing that will always be included. Please decide on the ending before you begin. It’s the same logic as setting off being impossible without a destination.

But it’s different for a web novel.

You can write as you wish, and read however you like, which is the good point of web novels. Writing an ending is optional. A novel you enjoy might just disappear one day too.

The status 【Update never】 is called axed (エタる - etaru), which sounded like eternal.

【Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café】, started out as a web novel. I started ten years ago, and went on hiatus a few times. Getting to revive it and publishing it as a book was like a miracle to me.

After stopping the web serialization, I restarted a few years later, and received such a comment.

【You came back because real life was hard, right?】

I shook my head when I read that.

The problem with Japanese language education can be seen here. Like, please write down how the writer feels based on these passages. Because of that, we have people with keen insight. You are right. The readers are sharp.

There are occasional painful remarks at times, but when I feel down, I feel encouraged by this story and the comments of the readers. So I thought about not ending it. When the progress reaches a comfortable pace, there will be a reluctance to end it and keep going. This story has become something akin to a home in my heart.

When I received a special prize in a competition held by Kadokawa, this story was revived in the form of a book. The other prize winners also published successfully, but my work was the slowest one. As for the reason, it’s because I haven’t found the way to end this story, or the resolve to conclude it.

Even so, I still wrote it one volume after the next, and here we are. Yuu’s story has finally concluded.

For me, I wanted to continue with this comfortable status quo, but then, Yuu’s days without an answer would continue too. He started on this endless journey on the whim of the author, so I have the obligation to guide him to the ending.

I decided on an ending when I finished the first volume. I didn’t know how many volumes I would write, but I felt that the last scene should end in a particular way. By the time I finished up volume 6, my plan had already changed.

Many changes happened when I reached this moment. And the new conclusion arose because of Yuu’s choice. Thanks to the patrons who accompany me from the web novels days and the first volume.

My memory isn’t good, so even last night’s dinner is a blur to me (It’s probably mashed radish chicken stew), but there are things I still remember clearly for some reason. Ten years ago, when I was reading a web novel, I thought about writing one myself. It happened when I was washing my hair in the showers.

The protagonist is wiping glasses at a bar counter. There’s a strange regular, and they engaged in idle chatter. The regular is a weirdo who has a hard time fitting into normal society, but the protagonist didn’t mind at all. The reason is, he is from a different world, and doesn't know the common sense of this world.

The story started from there.

Ten years after the story started from a stroke of inspiration, it’s published now and reaches the hands of everyone, which is an incredible feeling.

I want to thank everyone who read and commented in a corner of the internet, and enjoyed this world together with me. And the people in Kadokawa who helped me.

My editor who had been taking care of me after the publishing of this series, Arima-san.

The illustrator who gave form to this wonderful world, U-suke-san.

Tsutaya Sora-san, who visualized this world with the novelty of manga.

I have also been in the care of everyone from the editorial, design, and publishing department. I will use this chance to give my heartfelt thanks.

Most importantly, I want to thank the many readers who enjoyed and supported this story. Without everyone, I wouldn’t have reached this point.

And finally, the manga version of 【Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café】 will be on sale by autumn of this year. There will be special extra content included in the four chapters published in Comp Ace(コンプエース). Please look forward to it!

Alright, operating hours is almost over. I will feel lonely, but I hope we can meet somewhere again. When that time comes, feel free to say hello to me.

I’m really grateful that you can accompany me to the end. Please walk this way to go back. Do watch your footing.

2019 May, Kazamidori

Translator Afterword:

Apologies that the last part is a little short, please think of this as me taking a break after finishing this project. After doing the military/tragedy project Alderamin, I really enjoy this slow paced slice of life story. This is the most average MC in the stories I have translated, with his special powers being Coffee making and playing Chess, which made me realize how OP most MCs are. And instead of being combative assholes, you can actually just talk to other people like a normal person to solve problems. Guess I’m getting old. Many thanks to people who are still reading this blog, the next project will be about muskets. Stay tuned!

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