Chapter 12 – Shiju, who quit working as a host
The room was so littered with empty cans and convenience store bento boxes that there was no space for one to stand in.
For the past one month after he quit his job, he did not have the energy to do anything and lived an idle life, surfing the internet and watching television shows. Well, his former “job” was actually just a night entertainment job – a 「Host」.
He stepped out to the verandah of his apartment to smoke. Though he could have just smoked in his room, it was a habit, it seems.
「Hey! You’ll make my laundry stink!」
The neighbour who lived one floor above him got angry at him. Oh yeah, it’s noon now, huh?
He idly wondered. He had only been smoking here late at night or at dawn, so he had never noticed it before.
Onobara Shiju, 40 years of age. He worked as a host up till this year.
He had not been a host who aimed to become the most popular, but had joined as a helper, and entertained overly enthusiastic customers. He then remained working as a host ever since, out of habit.
His black hair was carelessly pushed back and his sloppy unshaven beard caused the owner of the club to scold him 「Get your shit together!」. Knowing that the store was experiencing financial difficulties, and that he himself was already 40, he quit his job.
「I should at least get rid of the trash, shouldn’t I?」
While he was gathering the trash in a garbage bag, he suddenly noticed his stomach hindering him.
「I guess it’s normal to get an ossan’s tummy from doing nothing but eating and sleeping the past month, huh?」
He thought of going to the sports gym since he was unemployed and had free time.
Although he was a dispirited host, he commuted to the gym regularly, for there were people he got along well with, and he had fun with them.
「It’s been a long time since I went, huh? Will that ossan be there?」
Leaving his unshaven beard untouched and merely sweeping his long curly fringe back, he changed into a jersey and headed towards the sports gym near his apartment.
「Long time no see. It’s kind of unusual to see you here at this time.」
「Yoichi the ossan*, been a while~ You still have the same useless muscles, huh?」
(TL note: Shiju calls him “Yoichi no ossan”)
It was currently 4 in the afternoon, the time when Shiju would usually be heading off for work.
Yoichi seemed to find his fringe a bother, so he had combed it up and tied a towel around his head.
「We’re the same age, right? ….or rather, I should say – don’t ask pointless things.」
The 2 have known each other for more than 3 years. It all started with Yoichi calling out to Shiju who danced beautifully in the dance curriculum. Back then, Yoichi was reducing his body weight of 120kg and was in the period of strenuous exercise to achieve that.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Yoichi only achieved his current best macho form with the help of Shiju, who was good at motivating others.
「It’s useless. Bulk up any further and it will make your dancing bad.」
「That’d be a bother. This time’s jazz dance’s tempo is fast, you know?」
「Really? I wanted to try it.」
「You can probably do it after seeing it once. There’s still two more rounds, so you can come join us.」
「Well, alright. I’m free anyway.」
With the vibe Shiju was giving off and considering the time at which Shiju came here, Yoichi could guess what happened to him. He avoided the topic and said what Shiju wanted to hear – let’s dance together.
「Ah, oh yeah, my small agency has a new model now. He’s a cool guy called Miroku.」
「Heeh- I pity him.」
While teasing Yoichi, Shiju headed towards the studio and saw an eye-catching youth.
The youth seems slightly taller than him, had fair skin and his slightly long hair was neatly styled all the way to the tips. When he saw Yoichi, the light pink lips on his well-featured face formed a smile like that of flowers blooming.
「Yoichi-sa….director, the photo shoot has ended so I came to join in.」
「You can call me Yoichi in private, but don’t call me that while on the job. I’m glad to hear that work is progressing smoothly. The agency is really grateful to you, you know?」
「I’m happy to hear that….etto- this is?」
Since a pair of earnest black eyes were directly staring at him, Shiju returned to his senses. He was surprised by the youth’s biseinen* appearance, although he had a feeling that he had seen the youth before.
(TL note: handsome young man.)
「….Onobara Shiju. I often meet Yoichi the ossan here.」
「Is that so? I’m Osaki Miroku. A member of Yoichi-san’s agency.」
「What’s wrong, Shiju? Were you charmed-」
「That’s not it – shh -」
Ignoring his fuzzy memories, where he could not recall where he had seen Miroku before, he began doing his stretches to prepare for the jazz dance.
Since the popular video was removed from the official website, he confirmed it by using the pirated version on another website.
It was just a suspicion – 「Could it be?」- during the jazz dance today, but now that he checked the video, he became sure of it.
「That Miroku fellow is the 『White Prince of Song and Dance』, huh…. But, he has no stamina…」
He had to take a break after 20 minutes of dancing, making him even weaker than Shiju, who had a flabby stomach.
「He wasn’t arrogant despite being young too….if I meet him again, I should go talk to him.」
Some day in the future, Shiju was shocked when he heard of Miroku’s real age but at the same time remarked 「You are already charming, cool and muscular, so you should build up your stamina too!」
Therefore, he began teaching Miroku how to build up his stamina, and also guided him on dancing, becoming a demon instructor (unemployed).
(Author’s note: Thank you very much for reading. Also, please take care of the new character.)