Chapter 12 – Preparation and malaise (9)
Translator – Vodka
The man giving of a gentleman-like aura walked past the front desk and proceeded towards the inner part of the building.
The moment the employees saw him, they straightened their postures and bowed deeply.
As expected, it would seem like this person was associated with the hotel.
That too, someone who held quite the high post.
Nevertheless, I didn’t know his reason for summoning me.
Even if he was, hypothetically speaking, someone from the upper echelons, there was no need for him to bring along an employee he had never seen before, to a deserted section of the hotel.
I myself came to this hotel for the first time today, and I didn’t know my way around.
Before long, we arrived at the innermost part of the building.
We were standing in front of a vending machine that gave off white luminescence.
“Do you want to drink something?”
My mom had told me that I shouldn’t follow strangers or accept sweets or drinks from them.
I had already failed to heed her warnings the moment I decided to follow this man.
So reckless of me……
The man inserted some coins in the vending machine, and even though I had refused, he was buying me my share of drinks as well.
“I am no good with bitter stuff. It will just be café au lait. Are you fine with that?”
“……Thank you very much. I too prefer it sweet.”
He muttered, “Thank god”, without any change in his expression.
Since I had been called out to by him in the corridor, it had taken us a few minutes to reach here.
During that time, we haven’t had any conversation.
Did he decide to talk here from the beginning?
Although, it had only been a short while, and this man over here said that there weren’t going to be any problems, when I thought about if it was really okay to be talking to him like this instead of working as I was supposed to, anxiety started welling up inside me.
When the man saw me catching glimpses of my wristwatch, he immediately issued the following words.
“Do not worry about the time. No one would complain.”
“……You seem pretty well prepared for this, huh.”
It sounded more like, “I wouldn’t let anyone complain”.
It was pointless to try and predict his actions. It was beyond my scope of imagination.
It was to such an extent that I couldn’t help but think that this man belonged to the higher rungs of the social ladder.
“The moment I heard about you, I wanted to inquire about the situation.”
The man sat on the wooden bench next to the vending machine and said so while sipping on his café au lait.
The bench exuded not a hint of refinement. There were no cushions or anything. It only served the basic purpose of letting the user sit on it.
I could feel that the bench had been stacking up years. However, the employees must have been using it habitually, as was evident from how clean it was.
Not a single speck of dirt could be found.
“I don’t think there is anything in particular that’s different about me.”
Nothing has changed.
It was an expression that sounded so very deprived of any charms.
It could be said that I was being self-conscious. It could even be looked in a negative light.
There was nothing more stupid than overestimating your worth.
“I am not saying anything about you being different or special. I just want to know what happened.”
Although I had some thoughts about his faultfinding tone of speaking, I wasn’t angry or anything.
It was as if he was simply stating a fact. His gaze lingered on me in silence.
Was he testing something? Or, was it simple curiosity?
He must have heard about what went on with the group from the school.
My coming here was communicated in advance. The introduction sheet that I had filled up for this event, had also been sent.
He must be an oddball to still want me to speak about it, even though he already knew everything.
This man over here could probably rival the likes of Kirasaka, the president, and Shizuku.
The two other students in my group should have had more charm to them.
“However, it is true that I had some expectations.”
“It would seem like your expectations will not be met, huh.” (MC)
As usual, I had a comeback at ready, so I fired away.
My habit bore its fangs at this time and place.
“That’s fine. Pay it no heed. I too would like to talk to your usual self.”
For the first time, he showed me an expression that embodied an emotion.
The corner of his lips was ever so slightly raised.
I harboured an uneasy feeling towards his expression, and it was hard to discern what he was thinking.
Slight chills were running down my spine, and it was a familiar feeling.
[TN – what are chills running down the spine but with a reduced intensity? I just wrote slight chills, lol]