SS1 – Yukito Choosing a Phone II
The Daitetsu railroad was part of the Crossline project, a massive railroad system that connected the continent—or so was the plan.
There was already a system that connected various parts of the empire, but you could not cross the entire continent yet.
Well, that was little wonder. Since the empire did not own the lands to the north, south, east and west. Those were different countries.
For this project, they would cooperate with other countries to connect the railroads, in order to revitalize trading relations. However, the war that erupted a decade ago had put a halt to that, and nothing had changed since then.
As I waited in front of the Viskinel station, the first pair that arrived was Ms. Iria and Ms. Sherry.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, teacher.”
“No, I haven’t waited at all.”
As it was their day off, they wore casual clothes. Ms. Iria had blue pants and a white blouse. Somehow, the simplicity seemed to enhance her beauty.
As for Ms. Sherry, she wore baggy clothes and a hat. And in contrast to Ms. Iria, she had a long skirt. She looked like someone from an art school.
“Teacher. What do you think?”
Ms. Sherry said as she lifted her skirt a little, causing Ms. Iria to scold her for teasing me.
“Do you always dress the same way, teacher?”
“Well, I don’t wear a uniform to begin with.”
I said. And she pouted with annoyance.
And then I sensed someone approaching.
“Sorry I’m late.”
Shortly after that, Rev arrived, also in casual clothes. Needless to say, I took little interest in his personal style.
“Alright, let’s go eat first!”
“…What about…the smar…physiphone?”
“The contract will take time, you know? I don’t want to do that on an empty stomach.”
That was true. But then we could have just met up after lunch…
Of course, they would not listen to my complaints, and so we headed out to eat something.
Which happened to be a food court.
The sight was so familiar. But at this point, such things didn’t even surprise me anymore.
What did surprise me though, was that for all the similarities, the mall did not even have escalators. Though, they did have elevators.
There was a wide selection of places to buy food at the food court, and so I chose something that resembled ramen.
The name was different, but it looked so similar. Even if the taste ended up being nothing like it. Though, I liked how spicy it was.
And so I sipped the soup, and listened to the conversation of the others at the table.
Their conversations always had a good tempo and moved smoothly. It had the atmosphere of friends who had known each other for a long time.
Ms. Sherry would say something eccentric, Ms. Iria would point it out, and Rev would act exasperated. They were a fun trio to listen to. However, the conversation turned towards me abruptly.
“Do you have a girlfriend, teacher?”
“…Do I look like I do?”
I replied to Ms. Sherry through half closed eyes.
In other words, ‘as if!’
“That’s a surprise. I would have thought you’d be popular.”
“Really? Tell me more.”
“Ah, except for when you act like that!”
What the hell? Damn it.
Was it so fun to tease me like this? Ah, she really was having fun!
“Well, I’m in the middle of training. I don’t really think about that.”
It was the truth. Sure, I noticed if someone was cute or pretty, but I didn’t currently have any desire to do anything about it.
When pointed out, I thought, ‘ah, that would be normal, wouldn’t it?’
Huh? Was I getting old…?
Leaving such private concerns aside, the conversation shifted once again…and after a rather long lunch, we finally made our way to the store for physiphones.
We were greeted by a cheerful saleswoman. It was a small store in the corner of the mall.
“Ah, the new Oreiyu is out! Damn it, how did I miss that.”
Ms. Sherry exclaimed as she noticed one of the devices that were on display. In the meantime, I walked around the store.
Giant letters decorated the walls. ‘Fizzie.’ Oh, so that was how it was written.
Fizzie was the name of the company.
To be precise, it was the name of the central system that the phones used.
“Teacher. Which will you choose?”
“I have no idea.”
I answered honestly, and Ms. Iria admitted, ‘Neither do I…’
Ah, that’s right. She was hopeless with technology.
“Yes, what kind would be best for teacher…”
“Just an ordinary one is fine.”
Ms. Sherry muttered that she thought that was boring. But I could live with boring…
But as usual, my opinion was promptly ignored, and Ms. Sherry amused herself with different ideas for the perfect phone. While Ms. Iria laughed and followed her.
As for Rev, his contribution was, ‘does it even matter?’ Yes, he was not going to join them. I felt the same way.
Ms. Sherry dragged us around for some time, showing us countless devices. But in the end, I ended up getting a basic and popular model, which was not very interesting at all.
Of course, it’s not as if I wanted something interesting.
After that, the matter of the contract went smoothly.
There was nothing too difficult, and I was surprised when it was done.
(This would have been faster if I just came alone…)
The other three still had some shopping to do, and so they disappeared into the crowd. Rev had been forced to go with them, and looked like he was on the verge of tears…
As for me, like a good dad who took his daughter to the mall, I sat on a bench and stared aimlessly into space. And then suddenly, a voice called.
“Ah? If isn’t Yukito.”
A low voice.
I turned my head and saw a giant. A strong, familiar face with scars.
“Mr. Grafios. What a coincidence.”
“Indeed. But you like you’re lost. What happened?”
And so I explained the events of the day to him and he nodded understandingly.
“Liste, Yukito. Girls like to take their time when shopping. If you complain, you die. Those are the rules.”
“…Uh, I’m here to do my own shopping today.”
But I understood what he meant.
It reminded me of my old girlfriend in my past life.
You should never suggest that they should just go shopping alone.
Unless you wanted a straight course to hell.
“Fizzie phone, eh? Know how to use it?”
“Uh, sort of.”
I had managed to figure out the basic functions. I could make a call without any problem.
However, it was so different from the phones in my previous life, that I was struggling with the controls.
And then, Mr. Grafios extended his hand.
“Your contact info. Give it up.”
What are you, a blackmailer?
But since I didn’t even know how to check my number, I handed him the device. And he quickly copied over the number to his own device.
“Hey, I heard that you helped Sylt with a certain job recently. Well, why don’t you help me too?”
“That was just a condition for him helping to train.”
I said as I took the phone back. Mr. Grafios clicked his tongue with annoyance. But, well…
“I may consider it, if it sounds interesting.”
After all, the last job had been very stimulating.
It really was necessary to have a real fight now and then. You could only go so far with hunting monsters in a forest.
“I’ll introduce you to something really tough.”
“That does sound interesting”
Mr. Grafios laughed, and I laughed too.
“Hey, how long are you going to make me wait… Huh?”
A very tall and curvaceous woman was standing behind Mr. Grafios.
She was wearing sunglasses and had the air of a celebrity.
“Just a minute…”
“I’m in a hurry over here. Also, who is this…”
“Ahh! Anyway, contact me later! I’ll let Sylt know. Then we’ll go!”
I watched as Mr. Grafios frantically pulled the woman away.
(Huh. I guess you can’t judge people by appearances.)
Girlfriend? Maybe wife? What if it was just his sister…
Well, he really had been talking from experience then.
I suddenly remember Ms. Sherry’s question.
Would that day come eventually? I wondered as I sat there alone.