Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Part 2 – First Time Grape Cake
Chapter 5 – To Akebi (Part 2)
“You guys, pft… You’re the best. Hee, I laughed so hard.”
Wiping the tears from his eyes, Kasa shouted – “Ah! I haven’t introduced myself yet!”
“It’s Kasa-san, right?”
“Oi oi, Red, don’t just introduce me by yourself! You’re stealing my show?”
“Well, me too. Don’t I know the boy’s name as well?”
Sui was puzzled. Did Red tell him over the phone?
“You just thought that I heard it from Red, didn’t you?”
Sui whipped his head towards Red, but he just shook his head lightly.
“I did hear about you a number of times, but Red’s stingy about weird things. Well, watch this.”
When Kasa curled his finger and drew an arc, small, sparkling lights started dancing in the air. After that, he curled his hand and opened it.
“Your name is,” he muttered, “Sui-kun.”
“I’m right, right?”
“Were you surprised?”
Rather than surprised, Sui was dumbfounded. He had no idea what just happened.
“It’s this guy’s magic.” Red explained.
Kasa smirked. “That’s right! I guess you can call it Knowledge Magic. With just a flick of a finger, I can search for things I want to know and the results appear directly in my head. Kind of like a walking dictionary!”
“Like hell you can find someone’s name in a dictionary.”
Kasa didn’t seem to mind Red narrowing his eyes at him as his face suddenly got close to Sui’s.
“By the way, Sui-kun, you’re a regular human, aren’t you!”
“Eh, ah, yes.”
“What is the regular human’s world like? We’re not allowed to go there, so I’m super curious.”
“Is that so?”
“Yup, yup. Well, a small portion of super excellent, high-ranking magicians are allowed to go, but it’s impossible for someone of my class. That’s why meeting someone like you is such a precious opportunity! It’s really rare for regular humans to come here! There’s only been one in over twenty years.”
“That would be me.” (Red)
“Ahhh, that’s right, this thing here.” Kasa said in an extremely monotone voice, pointing at Red.
“I live in an extremely rural town.” (Sui)
“Oh, really? Ah, then, what kind of impression does a normal human like you have of magicians?” Kasa spoke in a cheerful way, but Sui felt that there was some deeper meaning behind his words.
“What kind of impression you ask… it’s hard to say.”
“I like stories, so I thought it would be wonderful if such a mysterious being existed. But, truthfully, coming to this town it’s kind of… normal? I can’t really explain it, but I just felt like it was a part of life. There are some people that hold strange powers, but… there are people who are incredibly fast at running or good at singing, no? People who got that good, not only because of their effort, but because they had been born under a special star. It’s the same as that. A regular human, no different from the rest of us, that a god gave a special power to at birth…”
After saying that much, Sui abruptly stopped. He didn’t know the reason behind Kasa’s smile and saw Red looking dumbfounded.
Did I say something bad?
“I’m sorry. I said something rude.” Sui lowered his head in a fluster. Once again he had let his mouth run off without thinking.
“No, it’s really ok.” Kasa spoke in a much softer tone than before, and Sui lifted his head a little.
“Rather, I think it’s great. Red thinks so too, right?”
The shaking Red gave a small nod.
“It’s as Sui-kun said. Me and you, we’re both human,” he said, while patting Sui’s shoulder.
“Hey there, lift your head~” he prompted cheerfully. “You really are funny. Fufu, you’ve found a rather interesting child… ne, Red, if it’s this kid then maybe-”
“Kasa.” A sharp voice struck through the air. It was Red. Even though it was Red, Sui was surprised because he had never heard him sound like that.
“Tea. Refill.” Red pointed at the teacup with his eyes.
Kasa blinked, as if shocked, and then gave a somehow sad smile. But, in the blink of an eye, it morphed into his usual bright smile.
“Yes, yes. Coming right up.” Kasa went to take the teapot from the kitchen.
“Sui-kun, would you also like some more?”
The tea that was being poured into the cup wavered and shook.
Kasa was trying to say something. What is going on through Red’s mind?
As questions swirled around Sui’s head, Kasa called out to him.
“Ne, Sui-kun.” Kasa put the pot down and smiled after he had finished pouring the tea. “I think the two of us will become great friends. At least I’d like us to. That’s why, once again, please take care of me.”
Sui looked alternately between Kasa and the hand he held out.
Become great friends.
For some reason his throat tingled and his chest grew warm.
Kasa didn’t mention Sui’s indifference. Sui didn’t know if he cared about him or not, but Kasa was a slightly high-strung, but kind person, who spoke to him cheerfully and laughed with him.
Me too. I want to be friends. Thinking that, Sui shook the proffered hand.
After that, the tea-time continued as they chatted.
“Ah, there’s something I forgot. Let me see today’s delivery slip.” Kasa said once the teapot had been completely emptied.
“I’ve been telling you I’m here to deliver the goods since we arrived.” Red took out four sheets of folded paper from his pocket and handed them over to Kasa.
Kasa stared at them, deep in thought.
“There’ll be more next week.”
Kasa, who had been told that by Red, propped a finger on his chin and gave a small nod.
“I see, I see. Understood~ Well then, what about the paintings?”
Am I finally going to see Red’s paintings?
Sui looked at the corner of the room, where Red had placed the large board he had been carrying, with sparkling eyes.
“Don’t look.” Red pulled on Sui’s sleeve, as if he was sulking.
“Didn’t you say you would show them to me?”
“I said you’d be able to see them, not that I’d show them to you.”
“Oh my, could it be that Sui-kun hasn’t seen Red’s paintings? Fufu, it’s out of character but are you embarrassed?”
Red hit Kasa, who was smirking unabashedly, on the head.
“Jeez, I already told you I’m against violence. Anyway, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, so why don’t you show it to him without making such a fuss about it?”
“It’s not like I’m embarrassed or making a fuss. It’s just… they’re not something I’d go out of my way to show people.”
“That’s you getting embarrassed and making a fuss. Ne, ne, Sui-kun, this guy’s paintings are quite amazing. His handicraft skills suck but his drawings…”
Kasa was struck once again.
“Anti-violence!” Kasa complained with teary eyes, pressing on his smarting forehead.
“Don’t say unnecessary things.”
“It’s the truth though.”
When Kasa mentioned handicrafts, Sui remembered the beautiful gem accessories lined up in the store on the first floor.
“Um, the accessories on the first floor?”
“Yeah. Red makes the stones and I design and make the accessories. Stylish, right?”
“They’re awfully nice.” When Sui honestly expressed his thoughts, Red abruptly turned the other way.
“Red really has no sense when it comes to accessories. You’re going to put that and that together!? And then this guy puts them together. When he stuffs the gems in like that, he makes stuff with zero appeal. But he’s really good at making stones, so I commission them from him and then I make and sell the accessories.”
The stones that Red made and the accessories that Kasa designed were both beautiful in their own right, but when combined, the brilliance of the product grew. They were a perfect match.
Are they able to create such things because they mutually understand each other’s personalities? Though Red has a somewhat unsociable attitude, the two have great compatibility. They trust each other and are good friends.
How envious, Sui thought.
I wonder if it’s because of the existence of a friend or because it is Kasa?
Sui only knew that his chest area was getting warm and tingling in a slightly painful way.
“…on the other hand, you suck at drawing, so how come you can make stuff like that?” (Red)
“Someone who makes stylish products is popular.”
“I don’t need something like that, so I’ll have to refuse.”
“Well, yeah? That’s how it is.” Kasa turned to Sui with sparkling eyes for some reason and got hit by Red.
They’ve been doing that since earlier. It’s probably how they communicate. Probably.
Sighing, Red stood up and brought over the large board.
“It’s really not that impressive.” Prefacing it with that, he took the painting out from between the boards.
Both Sui and Kasa peered at the topmost one.
A monochrome world spread across the drawing paper. A deer and a fawn were sleeping, cuddled, in the night-time forest. A quiet, gentle, soft and peaceful painting, like a one-scene fairytale.
Next to Sui who was captivated by it, Kasa stared at the painting, assessing it.
“You said it’s not that impressive but it’ll sell for a good price.” He then touched his chin, deep in thought. “Hmm… which frame to put it in…”
“The gold one from last time.”
“That won’t work. You really have no matching skills.”
Red’s face stiffened at Kasa’s ridicule.
“Would it be better to make something new? But if I do, I’ll have to go buy the materials…”
“Eh? Kasa-san, you can make it?”
“I can~ I make most of the frames for Red’s pieces that are sold here. It’s not that hard and it’s fun to do. If you’d like, we can make them together next time, Sui-kun.”
Sui and Kasa also admired the other two paintings under the first one. The whole time they did that, Red stared out the window.
“Ahhh, I really want to make a new one, bu~t… Ah!” With a sudden loud voice, Kasa turned to Sui.
“Ne, Sui-kun. You said you like stories, didn’t you?” He asked out of nowhere and Sui nodded his head timidly.
“Then do you like books?”
“I do, like them.”
Kasa took Sui’s hand. “Ne, why don’t you come work in my store?”
The one who replied to Kasa’s sudden proposal was Red. “Wait a minute, this guy works for me.”
“What are you hiring him for? No, it can’t be. Something unseemly?”
“I’m going to hit you.”
“Come on, it’s a joke. Anyway you’ve been severely beating me since earlier… Well, it’s probably something like cleaning the house. But don’t you think working in my store would be more useful? I mean, there’s something Sui-kun has to do, isn’t there?” Kasa smiled suspiciously.
When Kasa said that there was something he needed to do, his grandmother’s pendant came to mind.
But how did Kasa know about that? Did he learn about it earlier when he cast his magic?
“…that’s different from what you promised.” Red knit his eyebrows.
“That’s not true. I made that suggestion thinking of you?”
“Um, am I really able to?” Sui asked, raising his right hand slightly. “You don’t handle books in the first place, right? I don’t understand what my love of books has to do with it.”
Kasa burst out laughing again at the insignificant point Sui had made.
“Pft… that’s what you ask with this timing? It’s great.”
Clearing his throat to readjust himself, Kasa pointed behind him with his thumb.
“You see, I have quite a large building behind me, right? The half that you guys entered from is an accessory shop. And the other half, at the back, has become a book storage. It’s made out of stuff I inherited and the books I collected as a hobby. It’s kind of like a mini-library.”
It was like that? Then maybe the reason that Kasa went inside when they arrived was to turn the sign over like Red did in the front.
“It’s a library, so loaning books and copying materials are allowed, so there’s a reception desk and other formalities. Other than that, there’s also a lot that needs doing, like organizing, fixing, and cleaning. But, for something like making a frame, I have to work in the front side, so going to the back is really annoying.”
“If annoying is all it is then, do it yourself.”
Though Red said that, he was the one who had entrusted the housework to Sui, saying that cleaning and doing laundry were annoying.
“Which is why if the book-loving Sui-kun looked after the store for me, it would be a huge help.”
With a snap of his finger a small sheet of paper materialized. Taking a pen out of his pocket, Kasa scribbled some stuff on it.
“Your guardian’s kind of annoying but if you’re interested, you can read out my name from this piece of paper and you’ll be able to call me. In secret from that guy, ok? So think about coming to work for me.” Kasa winked then pointed at his white eyepatch, laughing mischievously. “If you do it now, I’ll tell you the secret behind my right eye as an added bonus.”