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Chapter 160 – The Past and the Present’s Struggle for the Future: First Half

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2996 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1328 words
Editor(s): Fire

Editor’s Note: This chapter is in Kaori’s point of view.

My daily training routine. I always run on sunny days, but on rainy days, it depends on my mood. It’s cold out today, but since there isn’t any rain, I run as usual. Even though we both run in the morning, I don’t really bump into Kotone that much. It’s because she generally runs randomly without a fixed course.

“Hey, isn’t that Isami?”

My course is always the same. I always have a water break by the park that’s at my halfway point. And at that park, I see Kotone’s acquaintance, Isami, seemingly waiting for someone.

“It’s unusual meeting you at a place like this. Are you waiting for someone?”
“Good morning.”

She’s the vocalist of my favourite band. I was so nervous when I first met her that I couldn’t speak properly. My impression of Isami has changed ever since we met. In private, she is, to put it simply, a needlessly energetic and cheerful lady.

“I was waiting for you, Kaori.”
“Me? I’m surprised you knew I was going to come here.”

She looks cold, but it doesn’t look like she’s been here for a long time. Standing outside on a winter morning is sure to make you shiver and turn your lips pale. I don’t see any signs from Isami. Instead, her cheeks are actually flushed.

“Fufufu, we have talented personnel who will give out information for a price.”
“Ah, Ruru, is it?”

It’s a person Kotone occasionally complains about. I’ve met her before, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anyone who looks as young as her. Moreover, she seems to always pop out of nowhere, which surprises me every time. She seems to enjoy my reactions, too.

“It’s a busy time for her right now, so it was pretty hard to persuade Nako, but I somehow managed to borrow her.”
“It’s like she’s some useful tool.”

Rather than being talented specialists, I heard from Kotone that they’re a gathering of practically non-human people. She has previously warned me that I should be really careful if I had to deal with them. Being one of those people, I wonder what Isami wants with me.

“So, what is your business with me?”
“There’s something about Koto-chan I wanted to consult you with.”

I had a feeling this was the case. Kotone is the only thing Isami and I have in common, after all. While I do see Isami at the cafe, I haven’t really talked to her that much. Actually, whenever she’s conversing with Kotone, there isn’t any space for me to join. They just get along that well.

“Could you give me Koto-chan?”
“She’s not my property.”

I had a blank face upon hearing her words. I can’t really retort like Kotone does, so I can only rely on the obvious. Kotone would have probably rebuffed her immediately. As expected, I can’t really do the same with someone I’m not that close with.

“I cut it a bit too short. What I wanted to ask was, could you yield Koto-chan’s future to me?”
“Excuse me? Besides, shouldn’t Kotone decide her future for herself?”
“Hmm, I was thinking that I should start being proactive about this since Koto-chan now has the choice of being a singer in the future, you see.”
“She said she doesn’t want to be a singer.”

But even though Kotone says so, it seems to me that she’s willing to compromise on that. She did complain about how she couldn’t escape from Sherry, though. Still, Isami doesn’t seem to want that compromise. I’m sure that she seriously wants Kotone to join their band.

“That’s why I intend to win her over with some heavy lifting. With Koto-chan’s personality, once she makes a choice, she won’t run away from it.”

By heavy lifting, what does she intend to do? Still, Kotone’s future, huh. I would honestly welcome any future that Kotone chooses. Until Isami told me that she wants Kotone, that is. I don’t think it’s because I don’t want her taken from me, though.

“Kaori, you want Koto-chan too, don’t you?”
“Want is such a strong word, but I would like to keep working with her at our cafe.”

At the cafe run by my family, Kotone has cemented her position as an employee and has become irreplaceable to us. Customers like her, and famous and important people have come to our cafe for Kotone. There’s no better beckoning cat than her.

“It still hasn’t been a whole year since I met Kotone, but it never gets boring to be with her, and she’s honestly reliable for most things. If it’s with her, I feel like I can protect my precious place.”
“I knew it; you really are my number one rival. My judgement wasn’t wrong.”

No, it’s probably Kotone’s family that’s your number one rival. Isn’t she most likely to be the next head of her family? The fact that she didn’t think of that first makes it hard to read what she’s thinking. Is she just ignoring it to hype things up?

“Since she’s part of the twelve families, she might have issues finding employment, though.”
“They’re well-known, after all. Most businesses would probably have no idea how to deal with her. The normal ones, that is.”

Wasn’t there something weird with the way she worded it? What does she mean by businesses that aren’t normal? I really hope she doesn’t mean it in the suspicious kind of business. The fact that I don’t know Isami’s connections is scaring me.

“Even Koto-chan has this misunderstanding, but there are many places where she can find work. Mainly through our channels.”
“As a singer?”
“Not that. Our old classmates who are part of the rogue’s den are scattered in various types of professions. There are even some that run companies or have a sole proprietorship. For those people, Koto-chan is someone to be sought after.”

Seriously, what is this rogue’s den thing?

“Kaori, you know it, don’t you? That Koto-chan has a previous life as a different person.”
“I’ve heard about that wild delusion before. Do you believe in it, Isami?”
“Of course I do; it’s the truth. We have shared memories, after all. And most of all, she acts exactly like Sou. She also revealed it herself, so there’s no evidence against it.”

She really is crazy. I honestly can’t believe that inside Kotone is a different person. I knew that Kotone had a different personality before I met her. But still, I can’t just believe this kind of absurd nonsense.

“I know that it’s hard to believe. Everyone in the rogue’s den would unanimously accept it, though.”

Again, what do you mean by rogue’s den?

“Those who know about Koto-chan in her past life, which is Sou in this case, will likely have no issues with hiring her. Sou is a jack-of-all-trades type, so he’ll be useful anywhere.”
“You seem to have a lot of trust in her.”
“Sou is among the top rank in terms of battle scores, after all.”

What were you people even fighting against? It’s definitely not about some game. Kotone having a thousand-yard stare every once in a while might be because she’s recalling these so-called battles. Please stop talking about all these interesting things; it’s going to derail the conversation.

“So because of that, there’s an ongoing struggle with many involved for Koto-chan’s future.”
“Some troublesome battle is going on without her knowledge, huh.”

They’re basically having a headhunting contest amongst themselves. I don’t understand why I’m included in this, though. I don’t know this Souji person. The one I want to work with is only Kotone.

“It’s really cold! I should get something hot to drink. What would you like, Kaori?”

The conversation has been completely derailed. Having a conversation with this person is so difficult!


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