Ryouko’s punishment was suspension. Suspension of indeterminant length, they said. Quite heavy, if I do say so myself. I guess Dorisen determined that was better than pushing the matter and making it worse. I felt the same.
“Do your best to fulfill your duty.”
With gauze near her mouth (I had it too), Ryouko accepted her suspension like it was nothing. Before she entered that period, we went to return toe dragons’ nails to Kume-san. At any rate, multiple nails had become a dead stock in her clutches. With some apologies, I brought her with me.
“Is that girl your girlfriend? That’s amazing! You did it! Good work!”
Kume-san offered us a warm reception. Completely unfazed by Ryouko’s outfit, Kume-san was definitely a bigshot. Granted, he did pull back a bit at her suspicious behavior involving glaring at his accessories from ten centimeters away.
When I explained the situation, “So that’s what happened. It’s fine, perfectly fine. I feel honored, even,” He quite easily forgave us. And from here on was the surprise.
“Honored? Whatever for?”
“I mean, I’m the one who made these charms to begin with.”
My eyes became dots.
“I mean… didn’t you say you just happened to stumble by them on the net?”
“Sorry. Told a lie. I, see, I’ve always been thinking. Why didn’t youkai, demons, that sort of thing exist? I couldn’t accept it. In that case, why not give it a go and make one myself? The idea struck me when I was looking at the red sumo guy on the Sagawa Express delivery truck. I had this secret notebook I’d been drawing in since I was a kid, see.”
“D-don’t tell me, that note is…?”
“Yeah. In the used bookstore… that one.”
“Uwah, so you’re the one who drew that?”
“What can I say? The curses that came to mind, the demon tribe that once inhabited the earth, the vegetation that was effected by mana. I was good at art. I’d been drawing at least ten years by then. I know I’m not the right man to say it, but I think my last volume was finally looking kinda legit.”
“Uwaaaaah,” so they all did something like that.
“I used some sites limited to this town, made up some adequate legend, and prepared a gimmick. And what do you know?”
“It went and established itself?”
“That it did. It was a real joy to see.”
“You sure invested a lot into what wouldn’t make you a single yen.”
“I know, right? But I did have a profit. I created mystery in the world with my own hands. Though it’s limited to this town. This charm is my work. It’s like a local landmark.”
“You’re a charm crafter?”
“Oh, that’s nice. I’ll be taking it. Oh, snap, I can’t put it on my business card. Satou-kun, with such a wonderful girlfriend with you, do you agree? It’s fine for there to be some mystery in the world.”
“I get it.”
As two men, we exchanged a passionate gaze.
“It would never have hit me before, but I get it now. I mean, I’m a swordsman.”
“Hahaah, a swordsman, eh. And your girlfriend’s a magician… that staff’s quite a tasteful piece… what should I go with?”
“… I wouldn’t want them picking up on my marketing factor.”
After a short laugh, Kume-san held his hand out to me.
“I kinda like you. How about we go see some ruins or a large factory next time. We can form a party.”
Looks like I really am someone with an affinity for drawing weirdos.