beyondthesea25

Hatsukoi no Sekai

Chapter 32

Kaoru Komatsu has just celebrated her 40th birthday. It really hits her hard, thinking "half of her life has already gone". Working as a coffee shop manager in Tokyo, the café chains gained relatively good reputation. Suddenly, she has to transfer to its branch in Kadoshima, a rural area, to boost the sales in her hometown. Her 40th year life has just started.

Language: English

Summary

Page 1/30

Kaoru realised it's better to keep a distance from Takanashi, that part-time employee ... Now, she has just started to pursue her own way, though .... !?

[Chapter 22] The sweets, bread, and my expectation ...

Page 2/30

"Morino Café, Main Store in Tokyo."

Komatsu-san (Kanoru) is running our branch shop in Kadoshima ...

Umm .... After all, just as I thought ...

But, they are serving lunch as well, apparently .... ?

Oh, dear ...

Hashizume-kun (this lady employee's family name) ... it means you tricked me into telling the truth, then ... ?

Sir ... That's beside the point ... Why are you letting them do it ? For, it is against our company policy, isn't it ... ?

[Company President] Oh, ... you got it, too ... ?

Well ...

Page 3/30

[Company President] Komatsu-kun (Kaoru) is not of social dexterity ... And, she isn't very good at trusting people, either ... But, if by any chance this man and she work well together ... ?

[Lady employee, Hashizume] Then, why doesn't she change the name of the Kadoshima Branch Shop ?

Well, well ... Things would be getting exciting, I reckon ...

In this branch shop, there is a man who is cooking lunch ...

Tthat shop shouldn't be called "Morino Café" anymore .... For, they're serving lunch, aren't they ... ?

Actually, I'm interested in him ...

[Company President] Oh ... !

[Lady employee, Hashizume] What is it, sir ... ?

Well, when I had a business meeting the other day ...

I became acquainted with one lovely guy ...

And ... ?

I'd say ... He looks exactly the same as that popular actor ... whose name is Kaname or something ? Well, I'm happy to introduce you to him, though ... ?

Please don't change the subject, sir ...

Page 4/30

[Lady employee, Hashizume] Please tell me ... how old is this guy who looks exactly the same as that popular actor, Kaname ... ?

"Morino Café, Kadoshima Branch Shop."

[Company President] Oh, that guy ... ? He is 28.

Morning, everyone --- !

I'm off now ...

( Tram is running. )

( Tram is running. )

( Tram is running. )

You have a lovely day --- !

Page 5/30

Shiyaku-sho Dōri (Lit., City Hall Street).

[Announcement] Shiyaku-sho Dōri (Lit., City Hall Street) --- !

Well ... Definitely, ...

... I have to get this street, though ...

.... What is the name of this shop ... ?

Ummm ... "Something's or someone's shop" ... ? "Something" "Someone" ... Oh, that's right ... !

It's called "Gonzō's shop" ... !

..... Oh ... ! Here it is !

Page 6/30

( Moody, sulky, severe-looking. )

"Gonzō's shop."

Oh, great .. I got some bread here today ...

.... He is ...

.... Gonzō-san (his first name), perhaps .... ?

He is a bit scary ... ?

.... Oh, I see ....

( Placed. )

Then, may I have these, please .... ?

Thank you very much, ma'am ...

Excuse me ...

Well ... I'm running this shop alone ...

Do you have any sandwiches here .... ?

So, I haven't gotten around to it ...

Page 7/30

Hope see you soon ... !

Oh ... Sure ...

He gave a friendly greeting like a Sushi Restaurant chef ....

Good morning ...

[Kaoru] .... Suzuki-kun ...

At night (after work).

... (You're here) as well ... ?

( .... Munch, Munch. )

.... Ummmm ....

( Munch. Munch. )

"Morino Café."

( Munch. )

Page 8/30

Gosh ... I cannot stop eating, I'm afraid ---- !

( Munch. Munch. )

[Kaoru] It gets along well with coffee we serve here, too ....

I'm with you ... The taste of wheat is amazingly standing out ... !

[Suzuki] Indeed ... It's perfectly alright with coffee with acidity and bitterness ...

[Kaoru] By How about you, Suzuki-kun ... ? Where did you get some information about that bakery ... ? I heard that shop was just opened last week, though ....

[Suzuki] Oh, I heard it from Kawamoto-san, one of our regular customers ....

He is Kawamoto-san, a landscape-gardener.

Apparently, Kawamoto-san's family enjoys bread for breakfast ...

The other day, I just happened to p@ss by ....

And, few days ago, he told me, "Listen. A new bakery has been just opened in my neighbourhood. There, we can get super-scrumptious bread, all right."

I walked into his shop just before closing ... Unfortunately, there was no bread left on the shelves ...

Ummm .... I wish if we could start serving some dishes with this bread ... For instance, how about sandwiches ....... ?

Page 9/30

I think .... there are some customers ... who just want to have coffee and one sandwich for lunch ....

Another sandwich ...

I want to make ... ♬

Yeah ... Some people must feel like that, I bet ....

Oh ... Please make another one for me, too .... ?

Oh ... You mean ... you compete with Takanashi-san's lunch ..... ?

Listen, you shouldn't take things too easy .... If we were unable to beat him, ... this shop would be p@ssed into his hands ... !

.... Is there any chance that you could win .... ?

That guy clearly declared war against me ....

[Kaoru] Say ... By this time next year, this shop would be still called "Morino Café," or not ... ? Who knows ... !?

Excuse me ... !?

[Suzuki] Gosh ... !

Seriously ... ?

Oh, NO ...

[ NOTE ] "Shōgi," also known as Japanese chess or the Game of Generals, is a two-player strategy board game in the same family as chess, chaturanga, makruk, shatranj, janggi and xiangqi, and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. "Shōgi" means general's ("shō") board game ("gi"). The earliest predecessor of the game, chaturanga, originated in India in the 6th century. "Shōgi" in its present form was played as early as the 16th century in Japan [Wikipedia].

Oh, by the way ... Mr. Manager ...

[Takanashi] Yes, sir ... ?

Page 10/30

I'm talking about your yummy lunch ... I wonder if we could get an extra-large portion ..... ?

Hey, guys ... His shop is not a local diner (which mainly serves set menus) ... but a "Café," you know ----.

Oh, I know that ... But, "only a bit more," I mean ....

Oh, I'm with you ... Only sometimes, I also feel like ... I want to eat a bit more ...

"Ōzono Real Estate."

Of course, ... here, my want is not so much as ... "Oh, I can eat one pancake dish, too," though ....

Ōzono-san .... You must be on a diet, I recall .....

[Takanashi] Right ... checkmate !

Takanashi placed the piece.

Well, I'd better go back to work ...

... Oops ?

"Ōzono Real Estate."

[Ōzono] No ! Wait ... ! I was still thinking ... Yes, I was in the middle of thinking what to do ... !

Page 11/30

"What's your name ... ?" [ Translator's NOTE: "What's your name ?" ] It is said by a woman in a kind manner. Presumably, Takanashi is recalling something here.

"Morino Café."

"Here .... You eat this, all right ... ?"

"Come on, you should eat more ... !"

.... Ohhhh, my, my ......

"Nakamatsu."

Page 12/30

Wow ~~~ ! Great success .... !

Ahhh ... I may be a genius ~~~ ! Gosh, this is irresistible ~~~. Actually, I do want eat it all by myself ~~~~ !

---- Right ...

Now then ...

"Sake" Brewing, "Rakugoku."

( Opening the sliding door. )

Page 13/30

I've just returned ....

Why don't you get drunk ? Then, you are in seventh heaven ... Oh, it's a wonderful life ...

Gosh, Jusaburō (his first name) ---- !

I'm sorry ... The traffic ... was heavy ..... (That's a lie. Actually, he has been sleeping in a car. )

Humph ! I don't care about that sort of thing anymore ... Go back to work, will you ... !

Oh, here you are, Shimozono-kun ... I want you to do this task ... This is an urgent matter .... !

What have you been doing ... ? It's already 15:00 !!

Certainly, sir ...

Excuse me, Chief ... What should I do about this .... ?

Oh ...

She has been working here for many years.

Oh, thank you very much, Chief ... I will ask her now .... Excuse me, Kawaji-san ... What should I do about this ... ?

Certainly ..... You can rely on me ...

Page 14/30

You've got a phone call.

.... Oh, h*llo ...

.... Yes. I can talk now .....

Ahhhh ... Irresistible ....

( Driving. )

Page 15/30

Hey ... It's your turn ... Give me a word starting with "ni" .... [ Translator's NOTE ] Presumably. they're playing a Japanese word game, "Shiri-tori." [ NOTE ] "Shiri-tori" is a Japanese word game in which the players are required to say a word which begins with the final "kana" of the previous word. "Shiri-tori" literally means "taking the end" or "taking the rear." Example: sakura (cherry blossoms) → rajio (radio) → o-nigiri (rice balls) → risu (squirrel) → sumou (Sumo) → udon (Udon noodles). The player who used the word "Udon" lost this game as no Japanese word begins with that character [Wikipedia].

Hi, ya, everyone ---- ! (She is waving her hand to a driver behind her Mum's car.)

Jusaburō-kun ... Really, you're a lucky one .... !

The roll cake, which I made this time, ... is definitely the masterpiece ... !!

Amazingly, this guy has already accepted such a special arrangement with her home-made cake.

Or, I want to know the rest of what would happen in that story, too ---. I recall Mr. Racoon was captured by Mr. Octopus, wasn't he .... ?

Listen ... All the fruit pieces taste sour‐sweet. And, the sponge cake was so fluffy and light ... Because I will let it rest overnight, ... there is a moist feeling tomorrow, surely .... You certainly cannot miss this great cake ---- !

She said this to him over the phone yesterday (Page 14).

Anyway, you don't have any plans for this weekend, do you ... ? Imagine ... You could relax on the beach with such a lovely cake .... ? Oh, that's fantastic .... !

[Jusaburō] .... I've told you ...

Kaori-nēchan .... [ Translator's NOTE ] Her name is NAKAMATSU Kaori - one of Kaoru's high school friends. Here, Jusaburō calls her "Kaori-nēchan (Lit., Big Sister, Kaori)." But, they are not siblings. They've known each other for a long time according to this chapter's storyline.

Yes ... ?

Page 16/30

[Jusaburō] .... I don't particularly want such an arrangement ....

Oh ... Then, you won't have my cake, though .... ?

[Jusaburō] ... Ōura-sensei ... Such an arrangement could be bothersome for her, surely .... [ Translator's NOTE ] Here, "Ōura-sensei" is ŌURA Shūko, another high school friend for Kaoru and Kaori. ŌURA Shūko is a school teacher. So that, he calls her, Ōura "sensei (Lit., teacher)."

She doesn't want to be with a guy like me, surely ....

... I mean ...

Oh, don't say such a thing ...

Jusaburō-kun ... Yes, you may not stand out in a crowd, however, .... you're a good boy ... !

I've known you since we were little .... I'm happy to give my stamp of approval ... !

Yay ---- !

Hey ... How about the story .... Mr. Octopus is ---- ....

.... Is that supposed to be a compliment ..... ?

( Sound of the waves. )

Page 17/30

Ōura-sensei, look .... I can see a glove here ----.

Oh, I see a gum-boot, too ---.

Indeed ---.

Who owned that one, I wonder ....

..... And ... THIS is ....

[Two kids] NO ----- !!!

Well ... It's the lower half of THIS shark's body ---.

It's not unusual for you .... ?

No ... I've seen such a thing some times ....

[ŌURA Shūko] Right ... Let's hope there was no serious connection between the owner of this gum-boot and .... the lower half of THIS shark's body .....

An act of praying to Shinto and Buddhist deities.

( zzzz .... )

... I'm sorry ...

Page 18/30

... for making you involve in my personal matter .....

[ŌURA Shūko] Yo-ssan (Kaori) ....

... wants to pull my boyfriend and me apart ....

[Jusaburō] .... It seems so ....

Gosh ... Stop that ... !

By the way, Jusaburō-san .... What do you do for living .... ?

THIS might be still alive, you know .... !

...... Pardon ?

Yes, I'm working ... But, anyone can do it ...

... even though I'm a chief of my section ....

.... Ahh ... How should I say ..... ?

Probably because ... I'm a family member of the founder ....

Page 19/30

Well ...

I have two Big Brothers ... They will run the company in future ... That's for sure ...

I hold this position in the office, however, ... I need to take no responsibility ... I am not expected to do well by anybody, either ......

So, people may say that I am lucky enough to lead an easy life ....

.... I used to live in Tokyo ...

... some time ago ....

[ŌURA Shūko] Right ....

What were you doing there .... ?

[Jusaburō] .... Well, I aimed to be a musician .....

[Jusaburō] But, just before I would become 30 years old, ... I was told by my father, "Forget your dream or whatever ... And, you come back home (from Tokyo to Kadoshima)" ....

Page 20/30

Yes. I returned to this town as I was told ....

But, that doesn't mean ... I did because I was particularly wanted or needed by someone ....

I was unable to fulfil my dream in Tokyo ....

... I am never popular with the ladies ....

In other words, It makes no difference to anyone whether I'm here in this world or not .....

..... That's not true ....

[ŌURA Shūko] See ... ? Who would tell you to be back here from Tokyo .... if you are not needed and wanted by them .... ?

Every one of us has one's own meaning - why he/she was born to this world ... and one's role - what he/she should do in life ...

In other words, ... certainly, you are a person whom your family needs .... And, you're loved and cared by them ....

You're alive in this world now ... Simply, it means you have worth as a human being ....

Page 21/30

[ŌURA Shūko] Sure ... Right now, you may not running your life as you expected ....

But, ... you only could wish ... rather than yesterday, today would be better .... and, rather than today, tomorrow should be .... and so forth, ...

... definitely, one day, the day would come to you .... "Ahhh, ... Thank goodness. I'm alive ..."

.... Well, it's just fine-sounding talk ....

Pardon ... ?

I'm just a failure ... who hasn't, doesn't and probably won't achieve anything ....

That's not true ...

Page 22/30

--- Well, that's what I'm supposed to say as a school teacher, my occupation ....

.... Pardon .... ?

Indeed ... Life is as if we are in a mire .....

You know that, don't you .... ?

Page 23/30

Life is simply filled with mud ... We are to suffer from the pain, bitterness, hardship and so forth ....

Say ... That is a truth ....

Sure ... You gave up your dream and returned to this town ... Because, you also realised that music was not so important to you, didn't you .... ?

Here, ultimately, ... both your age and your family members .... had nothing to do with this matter ....

But ...

... And, so what ... ?

.... I said "just fine-sounding talk" .... That is a truth, too ....

It tells me that you're not enjoying your life at the moment ... Then, what is the happy life that you are really wishing for .... ? You're be almost 40 years old, aren't you .... ?

... Sensei ...

That's really deep ....

Even though we are struggling in the dark, and unstable environment, .... we may be able to see a ray of hope ...

Surely ... You've already known I'm such a person, haven't you ... ?

.... if we really want to see it, though ...

Page 25/30

--- No, I can't ...

"Gonzō's shop."

To be honest, I have my hands full with baking bread for my shop ....

If you could just please ...

Page 26/30

( Cleaning. )

Sir ... You have already won the great popularity even though you just opened this bakery ....

---- I won't hire anybody ...

Well, please allow me to give my opinion .... Why don't you hire at least one person ... who can stand behind the counter ...... ?

Because, I want to do everything myself ....

[Suzuki] ... Just as we thought ... He is rather stubborn ...

[Kaoru] Perhaps, the artisan att1tude .... ?

Rather than making profit, ... he may want to pursue his own life path ...... ?

"Gonzō's shop."

Page 27/30

Nevertheless, ... his bread ....

... I really want it .....

So do I ...

Ahhh ----.

Imagine ... We could have lunch ... our coffee and sandwich made of his bread .... !

If I were a female office worker who is working nearby our café, .... I certainly would like to pop into our shop every day, all right ~~~. ♡

Yes ... If it actually happens, ... I certainly want to have this lunch admiring these ladies ~~~.

Oh ... THAT sounds very particular, doesn't it ... ?

.... Ummm ... This idea must be the one we could beat Takanashi-kun ~~~ !

... Oh, that's too bad ....

Yes ...

That's too bad ...

Page 28/30

But, today ... we've just had our first negotiation about it ...

I see ... You never give it up ....

... But, the point is ... the more you would visit him, the more grumpier he might become ... ?

If I keep on trying, ... he might say YES one day, perhaps .... ?

If you don't try, you would never know what you get ...

Anyway, for the time being, I will keep on persuading him ....

By the way, I gave him a little present - our shop's lovely coffee beans, too ... !

I shall do my best ....

Following day.

At night (after work).

"Morino Café."

Page 29/30

Excuse me, Takanashi-kun ...

Could you hang a "CLOSED" sign on the front door, please .... ?

[Kaoru] ... Oh, that's right ...

This evening, he left here 30 minutes earlier, didn't he ...... ?

[Suzuki] Indeed ... He didn't have lunch break this afternoon .....

I bet ... he goes on a date with someone happily ....

Or, he intends to cook something yummy at his or her place .... ?

Humph ! He's really living the life .... I hope such a happy person like him ... out there explode .... !

Oh, dear ... You'd better feel happy for his happiness ...

Seriously, his bread ... Even though he puts a little bit more on the current price in his bakery, ... he certainly could make a profit ...

... But, ....

... for some reason, ... he is not doing bread-making for the sake of money ....

"Gonzō's shop."

Page 30/30

Kaoru is hoping to use Gonzō's bread to serve sandwiches at her Café. But, she's just found Takanashi is working there .... !?

... Wait a minute ... ?

He is with someone else .... ?

[Kaoru is thinking.] Oh, here he is ...

( Appeared. )

Right ... Let's go ... !

The match, Kaoru vs. Takanashi, .... would be messed up .... !!?

... Oh ... my ... gosh .... !?

What ---- !?

... Why on earth ... is he here ..... !?

To be continued. Next chapter (Chapter 33) appears at "FLOWER" Magazine, March Issue, which is out in Japan on Saturday, January 27.

Story layout