Amane coaxed Kido, and they finally arrived at a tranquil cafe. It was elegant, seemingly directed at an older demographic, and gave a posh vibe.
“…It’s really here?”
“What are you wondering about? It’s quiet. Isn’t it good?”
“Looks good, but isn’t it inappropriate for students to work here?”
“That’s why I’m getting a reliable one like you here. Alright, go greet aunt first.”
Though I don’t really want to go in… so Kido quipped while giving an enthusiastic facade. Amane followed Kido with a wry smile, curious as to what kind of person this aunt was.
He opened the heavy doors, and there was a light doorbell chime, nostalgic even.
Kido led Amane into the cafe, and the interior was no inferior to the exterior, simplistic, elegant, white and ark oak as base colors, the shop thoroughly swept and cleaned, brimming with sophistry.
There was a bookshelf filling an entire wall, crammed full with books.
There were only a few seats on first glance, incomparable to those chain cafes, and it was obvious that it was a cafe manned by a sole proprietor.
This was the one difference from a chain cafe, it was very quiet, and a small space ideal for relaxation.
It so happened that there was no customer, and Amane scanned the shop. Entering from the inside door was a lady of vague age, dressed in a navy blue apron.
She was a calm lady, and appeared to be a dozen years older than him.
She was a long, black haired beauty, who appeared to be suitable for a cafe, or an antiquarian bookshop. She was so serene, it was hard to believe she was Kido’s aunt.
“It has been a while, aunt Fumika.”
Kido bowed politely, and the lady called Fumika gave Kido a serene look, smiling.
“Glad to see you here. You aren’t here whenever Souji-kun is around. I’m a little lonely.”
“Uu, sorry…I’m worried about disturbing you, aunt.”
“What’s there to worry about…I’m happy just to see you two. I’m more motivated to work.”
That’s a problem too, it seemed Kido’s little murmur did not reach the lady’s ears.
Amane watched the duo from behind, and looked confused.
The lady appeared elegant in appearance and gestures, and there was nothing he could infer to suggest that Kido had trouble dealing with her. He could only feel troubled, and it seemed the lady was a normal one, just from observing their conversation.
Truth be told, her eyes were simply emitting familial love towards Kido. He did not understand why Kido said that she could not handle her aunt.
People had aspects they could not deal with, and though there was nothing more to it, the situation left him unable to accept.
The lady suddenly looked towards Amane, while Kido looked a little timid.
Her dark black eyes appeared to be probing something for a single moment, only to become tender.
“So this is the part-timer you’re introducing, Ayaka-san?”
“Ah, yes. He wants to work. Fujimiya-kun, this is the owner of the shop, Fumika Itomaki-san. My paternal aunt.”
“I’m Amane Fujimiya. I’m grateful to have your precious time.”
“Well…it’s fine. It’s something Ayaka-san requested. Her recommendations are great, and I think it should be fine.”
Itomaki showed a tender smile, scanned Amane up and down, and smiled.
“Anyway, what’s your relationship with Ayaka-san?”
“Just classmates, she’s a friend of my lover.”
A strange chill struck Amane for some reason, so he insisted. Itomaki’s smile grew radiant, and the intimidating chill vanished. It seemed this was the correct answer.
“That’s good. Ayaka-san and Souji-kun are always so lovey-dovey. It’ll be troublesome if she has an affair.”
“That’s impossible. I made a promise to spend my eternity with my lover.”
“Wow, that’s amazing…!”
Her dark black eyes immediately sparkled, glowing even. Amane inadvertently retreated, but Itomaki did not mind as she blushed, looking like a maiden in love. Amane then started to understand, little by little, what Kido was bad at dealing with.
“You made up your mind at this age? That’s great. Is this also the reason why you want to work?”
“Erm, well, I want to give her a ring…!”
“Wonderful! Yes, yes, if you’re willing, please work here…!”
“It’s decided!? Well, I already knew that…!”
Amane was stunned to be hired without a proper interview. Kido looked dumbfounded and perturbed, and sighed, while Itomaki grinned away, clearly elated.
“Aunt, please don’t ask too much.”
“Oh my, I won’t ask about anything he won’t talk about. But do you mind telling, how did you two get together…”
“Please hold back a little. Fujimiya-kun will be pitiful if he ends up as part of your hobby an work.”
“I’ll ask for consent. Just a little background, maybe?”
“Hobby and work,,,?”
“Aunt Fumika’s actual job isn’t the cafe. She’s actually an author, and working on a few other stuff, but for some reason, she runs a cafe…”
And amazingly, she’s earning money, Kido muttered. Amane turned towards Itomaki, who was giving a really meaningful smile.
“Of course, I’ll run the cafe properly and ensure that it won’t close. I’ll pay you sufficiently.”
“Aunt, do pay their salaries on time. Don’t give them money straight out of your pockets.”
“You don’t have to worry about that…”
Kido started to lecture the frowning Itomaki. Amane did not know if he could work here, and started to worry.