Volume 1 Chapter 4 Atori Ako, Meeting the Ideal Prince at the Café
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
”Sigh… I messed up again today.”
My name is Atori Ako (あとりあこ). I’m just an ordinary second-year office worker who will turn 24 this year. Despite working hard to secure a position in a big company, I’ve once again made a blunder at work. If this continues, it won’t be long before I lose my job…
Misfortune seems to follow me wherever I go. When I tried to grab lunch at a nearby restaurant, I had the misfortune of finding every place packed today.
”There aren’t many shops around here since it’s a residential area…”
Though there were some hearty meal options available, I’m not in the mood for that today. Moreover, what I really want right now is to have something sweet and soothe myself. So, the truth is, I’d prefer to go to a place that offers desserts and has a lighter atmosphere.
”Come to think of it, I remember there being a café a little further from here.”
I visited it back when I was a college student. It was a cozy little place run by a grandma on her own. While the café near the train station was always bustling, this one was slightly off the main street, so it might not be as crowded. Putting my last hope in it, I rely on my memory to search for the café I once went to.
”Oh, there it is! There it is!”
The shop seems to be open from what I can see, and there’s no one waiting outside. I thought my luck might be turning around a bit. With my stomach growling, I open the door to the café in a hurry.
I begin to wonder if I might have entered the wrong shop, so I step outside again to confirm the name of the café.
No mistake about it. This is the café I used to visit when I was in college.
”Excuse me. Are you perhaps a regular customer? We’re operating until April. Please come inside if you’d like.”
Saying that, a boy who looks like a high school student smiles at me. DK (Danshi Kousei), a high school boy… Huh? Why is he here? Where is the grandma?
And this high school boy isn’t just an ordinary boy.
He has a slender build, tall and not at all lanky, with a faint hint of muscle definition upon closer inspection.
But what’s most striking is his face—so devastatingly handsome that it’s as if I’m about to attain enlightenment just by gazing at it. Undoubtedly, he is more attractive than any boy I’ve ever seen in my life.
Well, to be fair, I’ve only seen less than a hundred men in total…
This handsome boy is smiling warmly at someone as plain and dirty-looking as me.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a man’s smile in my 24 years of existence.
And those smiles were never directed at women like me but rather glimpsed during conversations between men.
From the outside, I would marvel at them, thinking how fortunate I was to witness such a rare and miraculous sight.
”Um… how much do I have to pay you?”
Before I even realize it, I’ve taken out my wallet from my bag and offered up all the money I had inside.
Ah, seriously, me… What an idiot! Of all days, why do I have so little cash on hand!
Thinking it wouldn’t be enough, I also handed over the credit card, bank passbook, and seal that I had with me.
The high school boy shakes his hands left and right with a troubled expression. Huh… Wh-what a cute gesture.
”Um… well, dear customer, you don’t have to pay that much. Our coffee starts from 450 yen per cup.”
Being able to gaze at this smile for just 450 yen, to legally inhale the same air and share the same space while enjoying the aroma—it must be some kind of mistake, right?
Confused, I stumble unsteadily.
”Are you alright?”
The boy gently supports my wobbling body. No, he offered me support.
Perhaps he lifted his bangs slightly with wax to keep them out of his face while working.
As a result, his face, which had become more fierce, approaches me.
Unable to bear the breath that’s so close, I silently scream in my mind that this is practically a kiss.
A situation I’ve only seen in erotic novels and adult books.
My body naturally heats up at the realization that I’m experiencing it firsthand.
But that dream-like moment didn’t last long.
”Ah, excuse me. I apologize, dear customer.”
The boy slowly moves away from my body.
What should I do…? I pressed my breasts against him when he supported me.
He probably didn’t like that, right? I mean, my breasts are big and must have felt uncomfortable.
I’ve heard that boys don’t really like overly large breasts.
I sneak a glance at the boy’s face, trying to gauge his reaction.
Then, he slightly averts his gaze, seeming a little embarrassed.
Huh? What kind of reaction is that? It’s so cute, it makes my untouched girlhood flutter.
Does this mean it’s okay to take him to a hotel and push him down? Is this finally my chance to lose my virginity? Wait, wait, wait. Is this place really that kind of establishment?
”You don’t look well. Are you okay? I’ll go ask the owner for permission. If you’d like, please take a rest for a while.”
See, the boy is also mentioning taking a break. It’s that kind of place, isn’t it!
I’ve never been to such a place, and in reality, there’s no such thing as male-oriented services. I’ve never seen one operating in real life… And even if there is, it’s just women dressing up as men, right?
Uttering incoherent words, I sit down as prompted by the boy. There, behind the counter, stands the familiar grandma.
”Oh, dear, you came here a few years ago, didn’t you? You’ve gotten a job. Congratulations.”
”Y-yes, thank you.”
Encountering the familiar grandma, my previously muddled brain gradually starts functioning normally.
”Here you go.”
The boy pours water into a glass from a nearby pitcher and gently places it in front of me. Wait, oh no, this is bad.
Upon closer inspection, he’s wearing a white shirt with a vest and a slim ribbon tie.
Every aspect that makes up the boy is supernaturally captivating. Especially his wrists revealed by rolled-up sleeves, which stimulate my personal preferences and make me suffer.
No girl can resist him, even without this kind of appearance. Noooo~
As I’m lost in admiration for the boy, the grandma whispers to me in a soft voice.
”Hehe, surprised, aren’t you?”
”Y-yes, I didn’t know such a boy existed in this world…”
Having calmed down a bit, I drink the water he brought me and order an omelette rice lunch from the grandma.
Looking around, it seems I’m the only customer here.
I steal glances at the boy as he goes about his work.
I have to etch this scene into my brain for as long as possible…
I’d love to take a picture and keep it forever, but that would be a breach of etiquette.
I continue observing the boy like that for a while until the pleasant smell of eggs wafts from the kitchen, indicating that the food is ready.
Aqua-kun… even the name is adorable. And it starts with the same syllable as my name, which fuels my marriage delusions. What should I do?
The boy takes the plate from me and skillfully pours the finishing touch of ketchup on top of the omelette rice.
Huh? Isn’t this practically Aqua-kun’s homemade touch…?
With practiced movements, Aqua-kun places the lunch plate in front of me.
”Here you go.”
I look at the presented omelette rice and widen my eyes.
[Thank you for your hard work. Please do your best at work!]
Whoa, whoa, whoaaa! Huh? Huh!? Is this some kind of wedding proposal or something?
I carefully inspect the plate, half expecting an engagement ring to be included. There doesn’t seem to be anything like that… Oh, maybe it’s hidden inside the omelette?
Alright, let’s eat and check inside… But before that, there’s something I need to do.
”Um, can I take a photo… Oh, um, of the omelette?”
”Oh, sure! For Instagram, right? Feel free to take as many photos as you like and promote our café!”
The formal name is Insta Photogram, or simply Insta.
I take out my phone and adjust the settings to the highest image quality.
Meanwhile, the grandma speaks to Aqua-kun.
”Oh, since we have the chance, Aqua-kun, why don’t you hold it with your hand? It might be a bit shaded here, so that might be better.”
The grandma winks at me.
She’s deliberately doing this… this grand, no, this esteemed lady, sees through everything I, a mere novice, am thinking.
Thank you so much! I’ll order the most expensive parfait later as my gratitude, I communicate through my gaze.
”Understood. How about this?”
Aqua-kun holds the lunch plate and smiles at me.
In this moment, this fleeting time, I am not incapable of doing my job to the extent of missing a shutter chance.
I take a snapshot, repeatedly pressing the shutter button as if it were flowing, filling up my phone’s memory.
Darn it, if only I had chosen the one with the highest storage capacity without being stingy, I regret.
”T-thank you very much.”
After expressing my gratitude, I sit at the counter seat with an expression as if I have accomplished everything.
Then, I scoop up the omelette rice in front of me with a spoon and savor it slowly.
With just one bite, a feeling of bliss moistens my mouth.
This may never happen again in my life.
Even if this were a dream, even if I were to die tomorrow, I am happy.
I chew and savor each mouthful of the omelette rice that Aqua-kun diligently drizzled ketchup on.
Though I secretly wish that instead of pouring ketchup on the omelette, I want him to pour his pure white ketchup on the eggs in my girl’s room, but I don’t voice such indecent thoughts, as I don’t want Aqua-kun to dislike me.
After finishing my lunch, I order the most expensive parfait in the café.
However, the happy time didn’t last long.
The office phone rings like a demon, signaling the end of my Cinderella-like time.
”Thank you very much. Please come again.”
For some reason, I murmur my own name in response to the boy’s smile.
”Um… My name is Atori Ako.”
Idiot, what a fool! Suddenly introducing my own name like that, it’s just not right.
I might end up being disliked by Aqua-kun like this.
”Ah, my name is Shirogane Aqua. I’ve been working here for a few days, so if you’d like, please come again.”
Shirogane Ako… It has a nice ring to it. Just hearing that makes me feel like I can work hard for tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or even for several years.
”Yes, I absolutely will come again!”
I respond with a determined and strong voice.
”Yes, then I’ll be waiting. Ako-san, please work hard as well.”
――Ako-san, please work hard as well.
Even after leaving the café, I repeatedly ponder those words within me.
This… This is practically a newlywed situation!
For a while after that, my nighttime activities were quite fruitful. By the way, I printed Aqua-kun’s photos using a large printer and plastered them all over my room. It was a bit embarrassing when it seemed like someone saw them in the bathroom, but the fantasy of being watched while peeing by someone I like was really stimulating. Looking back now, it was a nice play, I must say.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.