Chapter 12 – Preparation and malaise (8)
Translator – Vodka
I stood still in solitude, waiting for my group members. However, even after Shizuku’s departure, there were no signs of them turning up.
The cut-off time was nigh, and my mind was almost at my limit. Then, my smartphone started vibrating.
Oh my, how curious. Its time for the call to come in.
An unknown number was being displayed on my phone screen.
Looking at the timing of the call, I guessed it was probably one of the group members who were calling to inform me that they were running late.
……I haven’t given them my phone number, though?
Holding on to my doubt, I answered the call.
From the other end, I could hear the voice of an unexpected person. It was a voice I had gotten recently gotten used to hearing.
“Oh, is this Shinra? I am the teacher-in-charge, Watanabe.”
“Good morning……why do you have my phone number?”
Usually, it was a bit nerve-racking to receive a call from the person-in-charge, right?
Even though I was on phone, I straightened my back a little.
It was one thing if it was the home landline number, but he even knew my cellphone number. Where was the privacy?
Like stating an obvious fact, Watanabe-sensei answered my question.
“I found your number from the student roster. More importantly, regarding today’s event……”
He sounded somewhat hesitant, but I felt like I somehow knew where this was going.
I could more or less pull off a conjecture since no one other than me had arrived yet, even though the time for assembly had passed.
“Regarding today’s event……Nomura and Noda will be absent because they have been taken ill.”
“Which one is Noda and which one is Nomura……?”
Why did they have the ‘No’ part common in their surnames?
It was because of this resemblance that I couldn’t discern which one was which.
According to the teacher-in-charge, the female student was Nomura, whereas the male student was Noda.
They had called early in the morning and intimated the teacher that they were fine until yesterday, but they had woken up feverish today.
It was a transparent lie, but upon acknowledgement of the intimation, the teacher had contacted the workplace a short while ago.
What a perfect illustration of last-minute cancellation.
This was undoubtedly going to worsen the impression that the people working at the hotel had of students.
However, looking at this from my perspective, the situation had taken a turn for the better. It was convenient for me since I didn’t need to act in a group any longer.
After the call with the teacher-in-charge disconnected, I started for the hotel.
The top of the hotel building could be seen from the station.
It shouldn’t be my imagination that my footsteps felt somewhat lighter.
I feel sorry for the hotel, but please proceed to provide the school with your constructive criticism later.
Let me fast forward a little, let’s say about three hours.
I didn’t omit it because I was too lazy to explain the process up to now.
It was just that, after my call with the teacher-in-charge, I arrived at the hotel, partook in the greetings, and then began my day as a hotelman. As simple as that.
I cleaned rooms and participated in some tasks at the front desk, and those too were done in silence, since it held, not a shard of appeal in my eyes.
If I were to talk about the element of surprise, I guess it would be that, in addition to the kind of work that I had expected to do, I had to man a store.
I couldn’t comprehend how manning the store was any different from doing a part-time job, but I decided to consider this an experience.
I did my work as I was told, in silence. I indifferently took notes. I worked with the only goal of procuring a passing grade.
Neither was I going to receive any remuneration for my services, nor did I have the passion for this kind of work.
It was because there was a corresponding return for the work done that jobs and part-time jobs were worth doing.
That was why there were no problems with my not having any special feelings towards this job.
After the hour-long recess was over, I was walking down the corridor to ask for my next assignment. Suddenly, a man called out to me from behind.
“Excuse me, do you have a minute?”
“Yes?……What is it?”
When I turned around, I found a man standing at a bit of a distance.
Clad in a becoming suit, he had an air of austerity about him.
“I haven’t seen you around……are you a trainee?”
“……No, I am here for the one-day work experience.”
He was probably in his early forties.
He came off as overly serious. At a glance, he seemed like a stern man.
He sounded like he frequented the hotel. I issued a reply in the manner I was directed to, during the morning assembly.
By saying it like this, it was possible to evade most problems.
“Is that so? In that case, you are the student from Sakuranogaoka school I have heard of?”
“……That’s so. Who might you be?”
No, this is different……
This man wasn’t a regular customer.
He was undoubtedly someone related to this hotel.
However, I would have noticed a man this conspicuous during the introductions, if he were there. There was no way I would overlook someone so solemn-looking.
So, naturally, I asked him about his identity.
Work experience or training or whatever, now that I was in the workplace uniform, and not the school uniform, I would have to handle this situation accordingly.
I tried my best to not come off as a crude fellow.
“According to what I hear, you’re the only one here today. So, are you Minato-kun?”
Without answering my question, the man said so.
I noticed that I had unconsciously put on a frown.
There was also the matter about not answering my question, but he even knew my name. My guard went up.
I was asking myself if the answer to my question wasn’t already in the short conversation between us.
“I want to talk for a little while. Can I receive a bit of your time?”
“I do not mind but……is it fine if I first let the hotel know?”
“Well, you do not need to worry about that. I will inform them myself. So, I would like for you to come over.”
I felt like I got a glimpse of the hierarchical structure of this hotel. Like chasing after the back of the man walking in front of me, I proceeded through the corridor.
His back, gait, and this certain air he had about him resembled someone.
However, I just couldn’t figure out who it was that he bore the resemblance to. While maintaining a certain distance, I followed after him.