Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 4-3: Dangerous Reindeer
“How cruel… Why…would someone do this…?”
Uta approached and picked up a broken piece of stone; his hand was trembling.
White dust fell from his hand. Someone must have used heavy machinery to turn the shrine into this state.
“This isn’t the work of a human.”
Sukunabikona stated in a composed voice.
“Last night, I was with Ookuninushi on the grounds. No one suspicious entered.”
Uta still held the small stone in his hand as he turned to face Sukunabikona.
“I don’t know. But, I believe that Housou-no-kami broke this himself. I felt his presence here last night.”
“But… Why did he feel it necessary to do this?”
“Isn’t this his way of announcing that he will never return?”
Sukunabikona said as he also picked up a stone.
“This piqued my interest when I saw it this morning, so I went looking for Housou-no-kami.”
So that was why the god was on top of the building.
“But, I couldn’t find him. He constantly felt ashamed to be here. So, maybe, he finally got fed up and decided to leave.”
“That can’t be…”
Uta couldn’t believe he would suddenly do that. He didn’t want to believe that their farewell would be this sad.
“What should I do? Is there anything I can do?”
“You want to meet him, mister?”
Sukunabikona threw the stone in his hand up in the air.
His eyes while glaring at it were cold.
“Of course, I want to meet him. It doesn’t feel right to end things like this. I want to meet and talk with him.”
He snatched the falling rock from the side and threw it to the ground next.
“I got it. I won’t search for him again, but if I do find him, I’ll let you know. But, sorry if I easily crush him by accident. It’ll be better to lessen my rivals.”
He gave a small shrug and headed to the inner sanctuary.
He had said he would lessen his rivals as a joke, but his true intentions were there. He was angry that Housou-no-kami had left on his own accord.
In a sense, Uta assumed that they must have had some kind of camaraderie.
Uta called out to the god from behind.
“I’m sure he’ll come back…!”
Sukunabikona turned around halfway from his destination and gave a conflicted laugh.
“Even if that guy does come back, it won’t be a happy ending. My relationship with him was never amicable.”
A little while later, as Sukunabikona had expected, Housou-no-kami was nowhere to be seen. Neither in the city nor in Uta’s dreams…
“Come to think of it, Housou-san hasn’t come by recently.”
On this relaxed afternoon, Sungmin, who was wiping the counter, said what just popped in his head.
“Yeah… He was neither at the station square nor the park. Where on earth could he have gone…?”
Uta checked the non-alcoholic beer left in the back of the store’s fridge.
There was still time before the best before date…
“It really feels lonely when a regular customer doesn’t come…”
“Even if you call him a regular, he doesn’t pay. We’ll be in trouble if he skips out on paying.”
Sungmin was fixated on the bill.
“That’s fine for now…”
“Fine?! Manager! Please don’t forget that we have to collect his credit too!”
“That’s true. Okay…”
Uta thought that Sungmin was strong-willed for demanding money from the gods.
At that moment, the doorbell rang and Haraedo casually entered the store.
“Uta~ The usual.”
“A Blue Mountain coffee for 750 yen, right?”
Before Uta could say anything, Sungmin responded.
“…Huh? Oh, it’s Minsuke?”
“You’ll be paying off your bill.”
He dramatically opened his notepad.
“Wait, wait! Didn’t I work it off on Halloween?”
“Halloween was over half a month ago. Since then, you’ve come to the store five times a week for two weeks.”
Haraedo was at a loss for words and looked at Uta.
“Min-kun, it’s fine.”
Uta gently stopped him.
“But, mana~ger, we’re in the red as usual.”
“Why do you know that?”
He shouldn’t have shown the ledger to him.
“I’ve been your part-timer for a year, so I know from seeing the influx of customers.”
“As expected of Min-kun. You’re clever.”
“So, let’s use what we can.”
Sungmin surveyed the inside of the store.
His eyes landed on the Christmas decorations Uta had just set up in the store this morning.
“What? Do you intend to have me be Santa?”
“That sounds good. But, since Santa is the star, the manager will be him. Haraedo-san, you’ll be the reindeer by his side.”
“Hey, do I look like some transport livestock to you?!”
Even though he was fine with being Santa, he appeared to dislike being a reindeer…
Sungmin took the Blue Mountain container and cup, and grinned.
“You’re the type to use your body to make money, right? Well, that’s perfect, don’t you agree?”
“Such horrible treatment…”
Haraedo was sullen as he propped his elbow on the counter.
(But, I do want to see a red-nosed Haraedo…)
As Uta made the galette dough, he began to imagine…
“Hey, Uta, what were you thinking of just now?”
“Do you want to ride me?”
It appeared that Haraedo had seen through Uta’s mind.
So, Uta would be Santa.
“Even though I thought that between the two of us, I would be the one on top of you.”
“No, don’t worry about it.”
Haraedo was upset before, but now he was smiling.
“Ah! That reindeer is planning something! Mana~ger, even when it’s Christmas, you can’t ride such a dangerous reindeer! I’ll bring you to a nice place for our Christmas date.”
“Who’s a dangerous reindeer?!”
(More importantly, I have to knead the galette dough…)
Uta decided to ignore the conversation between the two that was happening on the other side of the counter.
At the brink of disaster—
“I’m going to eradicate Housou-no-kami!”
Sukunabikona showed up at the store and shouted.
Want more chapters of Coffee Galette? It’s been added to the list of projects you can get early access to on WWSD’s Patreon. Go check it out and support the translator!