Chapter 7 – Emergency family meeting once again
Editors: Momielxai & Puissansa
Miroku’s first modeling job was a good experience for him.
Despite running into his former co-workers, Yoichi stood up for him and he also got thanked by Fumi, although it did make him feel greatly embarrassed.
As for Yoichi’s words [Our agency’s model], he explained it as [even though it was just a part time job, it still counts as working for our agency, right?]. He smiled while saying that, looking like a charming middle-aged ikemen that females would not have been able to resist.
As with most other days, Miroku was sweating it out in the sports gym today.
He splits his week into days for muscle training and days for dancing. But in reality, he only exercises for an hour. As he lacked stamina, an hour of anaerobic exercise was his limit.
He consulted a male instructor as he considered building up his stamina.
「As expected, it was better to have started this when young huh…」
It’s considerably hard to rejuvenate muscles that have weakened from age, yet he continued to immerse himself in muscle training as though he had returned to his own depressing youth.
The gym’s front desk became noisy and loud footstep sounds could be heard. An odd pair had appeared, the taller man being Yoichi and the shorter girl being Fumi.
「Miroku-kun! I’m so sorry! I didn’t check it properly!」
Yoichi and Fumi went into dogeza position in front of Miroku who was sweating from his weight training and apologized to him.
When Miroku saw the magazine they brought over, he froze.
On the cover was a Miroku with a sweet and gentle smile. He almost could not recognise himself. Just who was he looking at in the distance and what was on his mind at that moment? The thought brought him excessive shame and turned his face bright red.
「This magazine changes its cover picture every time, with models as the focus. However, the model this time didn’t like cameraman’s work and rejected the pictures ….because of that…」
When Yoichi was checking the pictures, he was told [This time we would like to use your model as the cover], thinking it was a joke, he replied [that would be an honour for us]. He did not think that his agency had anyone capable of appearing on the cover page.
「This is already on sale, isn’t it?」
Yoichi wordlessly nodded.
When Miroku saw Fumi quivering with tears, he got the urge to tease her. Unintentionally, he stroked her head, making her blush while moaning 「Au-au」.
「Well, there probably won’t be anyone who will recognise me. It’s fine」
It wasn’t fine.
At the cafe he frequented, the other regulars came up to him to say 「Oh, I saw this month’s Men’s Nanna, that was a good photo!」
While searching for manga at the bookstore, the store assistant said 「A-ano, do your best!」 and asked for his autograph.
When he passed by the neighbourhood police box, he was told 「Oh, if anything happens, just let us know! There might be some trouble after appearing on a magazine after all!」, which made him feel worried.
「…….I’m somehow getting known as a model now」
Miroku spoke while trembling. His family who were gathered stared at him in puzzlement.
「Did you dislike it?」
Miroku shook his head at his father’s words. He had fun. Everyone there was kind to him. However, he did not realise that he, himself, was the one who created that atmosphere.
「Then isn’t it fine? It’s not like you stole someone else’s job. You were chosen because you worked hard, right?」
「That’s right. You helped otou-san with his work and also looked out for us. This makes me happy as your okaa-san.」
「In the first place, you do muscle training, dance training and voice training daily, what’s wrong with adding modelling in as well?」
「Onii-chan was always kind. You are just a little slimmer now, but onii-chan is still onii-chan. Even when you are cooped up at home, or right now as you tell us that you enjoyed working as a model, you’re still the same onii-chan as always.」
Miroku was bewildered by what he was told. He did not have the intention to work hard, all he did was to live each day having as much fun as he could. But, it seems that his family interpreted it differently.
His father made use of this opportunity to convey his thoughts to Miroku.
「Miroku, what’s wrong with living as you please? For me, my family’s happiness is my happiness. Back then, when you were depressed, it was heart-breaking for me so I did my best to help you. We’re a family after all.」
「As a mother, it was painful for me to see my son down-hearted when he was working. Although I was surprised when you refused to step out of your room, I felt relieved as well, because you had a relieved face. Right now, you seem much more at ease, which makes me really happy.」
「You are always willing to help me out with my cosmetics experiment, and when we were kids, you were always helping me out when I was bullied. And while you don’t seem to have realised it, you have always been an ikemen. Please be more self-aware. At the very least, you shouldn’t be so self-deprecating in front of us. It’s rude to us who recognise your good points after all.」
「I like the way you looked on the magazine. Of course it was cool, but at the same time, I could also feel your gentleness from the photo. That’s the reason why people in the neighbourhood always try to talk to you.」
Miroku wordlessly accepted the words of his family, and before he realised it, tears were already streaming down his cheeks.
While he was fat, he was not ugly. He lost weight by leading a healthy lifestyle, by having fun dancing and doing muscle training. He finally noticed the fruits of his labour with the modelling job this time.
What kind of face did he make earlier when the people in the neighbourhood were calling out to him?
Thinking back, Miroku felt regretful.
His family, who were watching over him, exchanged glances of [It’s probably fine now] and felt relieved.
Miroku was enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a book at the cafe, when several girls approached him.
「Ano, sorry if I’m wrong, but are you the model on this month’s Nanna’s cover?」
「Yes, that’s right. But, please be quiet in the cafe.」
Miroku replied with a smile as the girls who were going to shriek suppressed it by covering their mouths. Seeing this, his smile widened. He’s glad that they were obedient kids. The girls who saw his expression blushed deeply, and squeezed the next sentence out.
「Ano, can I have a handshake?」
「Sure, that’s fine.」
The girls who took turns to shake his hand looked really happy. This is a scene of an ossan shaking the hands of young girls. Even if he might seem young, his mind was already that of an ossan, so this gave him a strange feeling.
「Thank you very much! I’m rooting for you!」
Miroku watched as the considerate girls quietly took their seats a distance away. He then lifted up his cup of coffee, feeling warm and comfortable inside.