Volume 8 Chapter 9 Shirogane Aqua, Encounters a Corrupt Real Estate Compan
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
If you have worked for a black company before or are currently working for one, you may find this painful, so please skip reading the Ten Company Commandments. If you can laugh it off, feel free to read on.
The day after appearing on a popular TV show at the 9 p.m. slot, I skipped school to go somewhere with Kanon.
”Well…according to the map app, it should be around here.”
”Fuji Real Estate Development… Ah, there it is!”
I parked my bike near the company, our destination for today, and closed the map app. Fuji Real Estate Development is part of the Fuji Group, and it was recommended to me by Shitori-onee-chan when I consulted her about houses. I’ve also done some work for Fuji Department Store, another branch of the Fuji Group, so I’ve been well taken care of by them. Therefore, after discussing it with Kanon, we decided to seek assistance from Fuji Real Estate Development.
”Hmm… Doesn’t this place look a bit run-down for something under the Fuji name?”
Kanon tilted her head skeptically at the appearance of the store. She’s got a point; it does seem a bit shabby.
”Really? Maybe it’s an older branch? Let’s just go inside for now.”
Well, I guess it doesn’t matter too much. I entered the store with Kanon.
As soon as the automatic door opened, we were greeted with an energetic voice. Wait, this is a real estate company, right? Did I mistakenly enter a grocery store or a fish market?
”Hi there, so what brings you here today… huh?”
Rubbing her hands like Kannekichi?, a familiar young lady appeared in a rush.
It was Yukishiro Emily-san, a regular customer from when I worked part-time at the café. I remember her being a college student. Why is she at a real estate company? I glanced at Kanon, and she, too, seemed stunned by Emily-san’s presence.
”Wha…I mean, why are you here, Emily-senpai?”
”No, well… Kanon-san, what brings you here?”
Huh? Does Kanon know Emily-san too? When I turned my gaze to her, Kanon explained with a displeased expression.
”She’s Mary’s senior.”
”Oh, I see. Come to think of it, you’re right.”
That’s right, both of them attended the joint music concert, so if they go to the same school, it’s possible they’d know each other.
”Actually, I just started my part-time job here earlier. Everyone is out right now, so I’m the only one here. Please feel free to relax.”
Huh!? Is it really okay to leave a new part-timer all alone in the office? In a proper company, that wouldn’t be considered. When I looked behind, there was a whiteboard with the following words written on it.
**Ten Company Commandments**
1. Strive for quota achievement every second!!
2. Labor without overtime is worthless!!
3. Let’s endure a week of all-nighters for everyone’s sake!!
4. Consider sleep deprivation an honor!!
5. No need for paid leave; it makes the body sluggish!!
6. Late by one minute? Pay a 10,000 yen fine!!
7. Superiors are gods, their words are revelations from heaven!!
8. The only words you’re allowed to speak are “Yes” and “Of course”!!
9. Throw away your heart; having one will only break it!!
10. Don’t use hot water! Anyone who does will pay a 1,000 yen fee per use!!
Wow, this is totally a black company! But then again… this is part of the Fuji Group. I’ve met the gentle and kind Ranko president, so it’s hard to believe that she’s running such a black company. Well, maybe the Company Commandments on that whiteboard behind are just a joke or something.
”Uh, I actually came here looking for real estate, but it seems like I might have entered the wrong shop…”
”Oh, you customers are so lucky!! Right now, we have some great properties available due to a special campaign. I am so happy to be able to support Kanon-san, who is also a cute junior, in her new beginnings.”
”Wa-wait a minute…!”
Emily-san pushed Kanon, who was about to leave, back into her seat. Seeing this, I couldn’t help but smile. It seems like they have quite a close relationship, more than just a senior and junior. As evidence, Kanon doesn’t seem to put on any facade in front of Emily-san, and her expression is the same as the one she shows to Morikawa-san or Kirika-san.
Emily-san, on the other hand, seems more down-to-earth today, perhaps because she’s with her acquaintance Kanon. It’s a side of her that’s different from her usual polite demeanor, and I find it cute.
”My recommended property is this one!”
Emily-san opened a nearby file and handed us a paper with information about the recommended property.
”Let’s see… An apartment in the Totsuka-ku for 21,000 yen… Hey, isn’t this Emily-senpai’s place!?”
”That’s right, this is the cheapest in terms of rent! Plus, since I live in the adjacent room, it’s safe in terms of security! I’ll protect Aqua-sama 24/7 without any additional charge!! But… that’s not the only reason I highly recommend it.”
With her elbows on the desk, hands clasped together, and her face partially hidden, Emily-san stared at us with a serious expression. Kanon and I, too, held our breaths in response to Emily-san’s atmosphere.
”The real reason I want to recommend this property is because the walls of the rooms are thin, and the toilets are shared. Moreover, right now, this 24,000 yen apartment, which was originally unpopular, is available for just 21,000 yen with a discount of 3,000 yen! You’re so lucky, customers!! If it were me, I’d decide on it immediately!”
Ah… Kanon rejected it immediately. But seriously, are thin walls and shared toilets supposed to be selling points? Hmm, maybe I just don’t understand these things because I’m not familiar with them.
”Well, then, how about this property?”
Next, Emily-san proposed a regular apartment. In the property description, it said there was an amazing view, a viewpoint for a fantastic scenery.
”Wow, it has a great view, right? Maybe we can see Mount Fuji?”
”Oh, that could be nice. Emily-san, what kind of view does this property have?”
For some reason, when Emily-san clasped her hands together and smiled like a saint, both Kanon and I held our breaths in response.
”You can see a cemetery. The guardian spirits of our ancestors, who laid the foundation of this country, will watch over both of you.”
If Kanon hadn’t interjected, I would have definitely done it. But seeing that pure and sincere smile, I couldn’t tell if Emily-san was joking or being serious.
Emily-san gave Kanon a helpless look and then handed us another sheet of paper with information about the property.
”Well, how about this one?”
”What is this? Does it have a roommate? Wait, wha-wha-wha-wha-what!”
Kanon dropped the sheet of paper she was holding.
”No, no, no, no! Absolutely not! Absolutely!”
I picked up the paper that Kanon had casually dropped and read the contents. What… an invisible roommate? Not lonely even if you live alone? Hey! This is clearly a haunted property!! And wait, now that I look closer, there are bullet holes in the walls. What in the world happened in this room…
”Oh? Are you concerned about those holes in the walls? If that’s the case, don’t worry! According to the map, there’s a construction company’s office in the building right in front of us, so they’re nearby and if you decide to lease it, we’ll arrange for renovations right away!”
Ah… Emily-san probably has a pure heart, so she doesn’t understand. I want to tell her that those bullet holes in the walls are probably the fault of the office of that scary XX gang. I definitely can’t let Kanon live in such a dangerous place.
”No, that won’t work.”
I immediately rejected it because I had a bad feeling about it. Seriously, this is definitely some kind of shady place run by a dangerous group like that… I can’t let Kanon live in such a perilous place.
”Wait, give it to me.”
Kanon picked up the file from Emily-san and started flipping through it.
”Aqua, what about this one?”
”Hmm, let me see.”
Looking at the contents, it seemed like a relatively new property with good security. Yeah, this one might be good.
”Oh, this is…”
”What’s wrong? You’re not going to say this place is haunted too, are you?”
Emily-san briefly glanced in my direction, her cheeks turning slightly pink.
”Well, there are no ghosts here, but at night, it becomes a spot where women in their twenties walk around in their nightwear, you see.”
”Yes, rejected, next.”
Kanon immediately rejected it. Personally, I was quite intrigued by the idea of women in their twenties walking around in their nightwear at night, but of course, I couldn’t say that. I mean, I have Kanon, so it’s not like I’m interested in such things, but as a man… yeah.
”How about this one? It’s in a safe neighborhood, and the transportation seems convenient.”
Yeah, what was written seemed fine, but the last cautionary note bothered me. Kanon and I exchanged glances and turned our attention to Emily-san.
”Oh, there! Do you remember the incident from around summer? The 26-year-old manager of the apartment, along with three residents, aged 24, 22, and 19, conspired to confine a 16-year-old boy who lived in that room at the time and committed acts of s*xual assault. It happened right there.”
”Yeah, that’s an immediate no.”
Kanon returned the documents to Emily-san with a smile. Ah, now that you mention it, there was such an incident. By the way, from what I saw in the news, they were all big-breasted and beautiful women. I still can’t believe that such beautiful women would be involved in such an incident.
”Isn’t there a decent property here at all?”
I nodded in agreement with Kanon’s statement. I felt sorry for Emily-san, but there were just too many problematic properties. In fact, there were only problematic properties.
”By the way, is this really a Fuji Group-affiliated real estate agency? Fuji doesn’t seem like it would deal with this kind of thing.”
”Well, Fuji Real Estate Development is properly… oh!”
When I looked closely at the poster in the back, the last characters were not “発” (hatsu) but “拓” (taku). So, Fuji Real Estate Development had turned into Extended Fuji Real Estate Development. Huh? Are we sure we didn’t get the map wrong?
”I see, I get it now.”
Emily-san peeked into the map app on my phone.
”If it’s Fuji Real Estate Development, it’s on the street right behind this one.”
Well, that’s just too confusing. Indeed, when I zoomed in on the map and looked closely, the marker was pointing to the building right next to us.
”See, I thought something was off. Emily-senpai, rather than this sketchy place, shouldn’t you choose a more decent place, even if it’s for part-time work?”
”Well, but they pay daily here, and the salary is good…”
I listened to Kanon and Emily-san’s conversation. I had suspected this since the time she came to our café, but it seems Emily-san is a struggling student. Hmm, I wish I could do something to help… Ah, that’s it!
”Emily-san, you’re looking for work, right?”
”In that case, I have a job to recommend…”
”I’d gladly accept.”
Emily-san responds to my words with a somewhat quick response.
”Emily-san, at least check the details of the job.”
”Listen to Aqua. Are you okay with getting another lecture from Nee-s—Kirika-san?”
It seems Emily-san knows Kirika-san too. Well, if Kanon and Kirika-san are close, and Kanon and Emily-san are also close, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were connected. Wait a minute, Emily-san looks like someone I’ve seen recently… Hmm, I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is it just my imagination?
”Emily-san, would you be interested in appearing in my next music video?”
Emily-san and even Kanon had half-open mouths, giving me a dumbfounded look.
It’s like Morikawa-san when she’s in a daze. Oh… speaking of which, I wonder if Morikawa-san was able to return safely? Kanon and Kirika-san assured me that it was okay, but I wonder if that’s really the case. I’m worried about Emily-san too, but that’s a different kind of concern.
”Yeah, I think Emily-san would be a perfect fit for the image. I’ll confirm with Hongou-san, Ako-san, Moja-san, and Nobu-san first, but I think it should be fine.”
To make sure it’s not already decided by someone else, I immediately contacted them to confirm. I also asked if she could receive the appearance fee on the same day, and that was okay too.
”It’s all good. So, would you be able to come to the studio with me soon? We can start shooting right away if that works for you.”
”Yes, thank you!”
Phew, that’s a relief… Wait, something important feels like it’s slipping my mind…
”Wait, I almost forgot… house!”
”Oh, right. We came here to look for a house.”
Looking at the time, we realized that we had gone past the scheduled time we were supposed to arrive. Kanon and I hastily got up from our seats.
”Sorry, Emily-san, but we have plans over there, so we should get going.”
”Don’t worry about it. Thank you both.”
We bid farewell to Emily-san and pushed our bikes toward the building in the rear.
”Next time, it seems like Fuji Real Estate Development for sure.”
”That’s true… the storefront is different.”
Once again, we parked our bikes in the parking lot and finally entered Fuji Real Estate Development.
When we entered the building, for some reason, all the employees welcomed us. Why? I was bewildered, but the woman in the center gave a warm smile. Wait, isn’t she…?
”Aqua-san, and Your Highness… I mean, Kanon-san, long time no see.”
”Sachiko-san, it’s been a while.”
Akiyama Sachiko-san. She’s a student who attends mother’s classes and one of Kanon’s friends. After all that happened, I heard that her marriage with that guy Ken was called off. Why is she here of all places?
”I’m working here with the introduction of my grandmother. Ah, please come this way. I’ll show you to your seats.”
From what Akiyama-san told us, it seems she’s the granddaughter of the chairwoman of Fuji. She took a leave of absence from university for a while, likely because she was concerned about the rumors surrounding her canceled marriage. Thanks to her grandmother’s introduction, she’s been working at Fuji Real Estate Development since the summer.
”Sorry about that. I’m just a newbie, and you got stuck with me.”
”No, rather than someone we don’t know, we’d trust you, Sachiko-san.”
”I’m also glad that Akiyama-san is in charge.”
Akiyama-san seemed to have sensed that we were trying to be considerate and smiled apologetically. That’s good. I had heard about the situation from mother, but I was relieved to see Akiyama-san genuinely smiling.
”Well, thank you both. By the way, what kind of property are you looking for? You’d like a place with good security, right?”
”As long as there are no ghosts or perverts, anywhere is fine.”
I nodded in agreement with Kanon’s words.
”Ghosts? Perverts? What are those? Well, never mind. In that case, how about this one?”
Akiyama-san smoothly introduced us to several properties. Yeah, despite the previous weirdness, they all seemed like decent places, so I felt relieved.
”There are so many options; it’s hard to choose. Hmm, they all seem good, but how about this one?”
”Shall we go and take a look then? Visiting the place will give us a better idea of what we need.”
We left the store for now and headed to the property in Akiyama-san’s car. The location was a tower apartment in Hirakawacho, Chiyoda-ku, the heart of Tokyo.
To be honest, I’ve never lived in a tower apartment before. This place is close to Marunouchi, where my company is, and, more importantly, it’s near the Imperial Palace. Thanks to that, there are a lot of police patrols, and the area is relatively quiet and peaceful.
”This is the room.”
Akiyama-san guided us to the penthouse.
It seems like the entire floor is one big room. I thought it might be too spacious, but according to Akiyama-san, considering security, it’s recommended for a man to live here even if he’s married. Well, for me, it doesn’t matter, but when I consider Kanon, who used to be a princess, it might indeed be safer from a security standpoint.
The kitchen floor is impressively spacious. The pantry is large too, and it looks like I can fit various cooking appliances and store things here. Wait, the ceiling here is really high! After checking the kitchen area thoroughly, I walked into the living room and looked up at the ceiling.
Wait a minute, there’s something like a second floor here, or is it just my imagination? Upon closer inspection, there’s a staircase at the edge of the living room. It seems this isn’t my imagination after all. In other words, it’s not just one floor but two combined into one house. Wow, I was left speechless, and Sachiko-san guided me to check out the other rooms. Yeah, how should I put it? Everything here was truly amazing. I wonder how much this costs…
”By the way, this room is owned by Chairman Fuji Ranko, so if Aqua-san likes it, she’s willing to lend it to you for free.”
”No, that would be too much. Please let me pay the proper rent.”
By the way, the rent exceeded 5 million yen. Annually, it’s over 60 million yen… Well, with my current situation, it’s terrifying to think that I can’t even cover the annual contract fee with Morinaga-san. Kanon and I discussed it and decided to move in here.
”But is the room a bit too big?”
”Huh? Considering that someone else might come as your bride, isn’t this size more appropriate?”
Someone else as my bride… What is Kanon talking about?
”I see… I had heard about your amnesia, but it seems we need to have a proper discussion later.”
Kanon muttered something quietly.
”Hey, Aqua, once we move here, should we have a little discussion between the two of us?”
”Hmm? Sure, but what’s up?”
”Just something. I thought if I left Aqua alone like this, more unfortunate girls might end up appearing. So, as your bride, I need to do something about it.”
I’m making girls unfortunate!? What on earth is she talking about? Sometimes, I might do things without realizing it, and it’s hard to notice on my own. Come to think of it, someone said something similar to me before. After returning to the company with Akiyama-san, Kanon’s words continued to bother me.
”Focus… I need to focus.”
Even after returning home, I pondered Kanon’s words, but I couldn’t figure out how I could make girls unfortunate. But I don’t have time to space out like this. Starting tonight, the postponed CreamRAW Cup, or CR Cup for short, scrimmages are resuming, and there’s a tournament this Saturday. I turned on the computer and began preparations for the stream. Kanon’s words still bothered me, but for now, I need to entertain everyone who comes to watch the stream today.
”All right, let’s do this!”
I switched my mindset and opened the streaming software.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.