The Little Witch’s Sure-fire Techniques Vol01 Ch01:
The announcement of Senya Kaoru’s latest album, ‘Night-Time Walkers’!
The light blue balloon and the beautiful butterflies gave a dreamy effect.
Distant eyes, stiff lips, high nose…he made people want to shriek “Ahh…”
Everyone knew him. He was the famous singer——Senya Kaoru.
The room was packed full of reporters. They held on to their ‘essential items’ (video camera, camera, pens etc.), while they stared at Senya Kaoru. They were afraid to miss his words, his expressions, if they ever did lose concentration. News and photos of Senya Kaoru were like money trees and decided whether companies would flourish. Every TV station, newspaper company and magazine would send the best reporter to complete this ‘following’ task!!
It was called ‘following’ because Senya Kaoru had never co-operated with reporters before. To make him say something was the ultimate goal for the reporters.
Even now, the singer of ‘Night-Time Walkers’ refused to introduce his album. His fans were all very excited as they danced with happiness. He just sat there, cold as ice, his eyes hidden under his dark blue glasses. The reporters had nothing to comment on.
Koizumi looked at Takahashi smugly, who was standing beside her.
Takahashi raised an eyebrow and swivelled his camera at her. “You must be psychic, since he’s wearing sunglasses…”
“Hey!” Takahashi looked back at the stage, “Questioning time has begun, so be careful.”
Why the hell did Boss want this stupid yellow-haired brat to come?! No, that was wrong. She was more like a stupid ‘red-haired’ brat. Her red hair hurt his eyes and she attracted way too much attention. No wonder everyone called her ‘Fire Witch’.
Koizumi fumed. He didn’t believe her, the talented reporter of Tangerine Weekly?! It seemed that she’d have to prove herself before they could work together. Fine, Fire Witch takes action, she thought.
“Now we shall begin the interview. First we have——”
Kamiki stood up, eyed his audience. All of them had their hands raised, eager to be chosen. Choosing the first interviewer was very important. It was important to choose someone reputable, someone from a company with high standards, for example East Phoenix Station, whose questions were usually legal and did not usually cause any trouble. It was important not to let Tangerine Weekly or Burst Weekly get a chance to ask questions. They had always been reckless, sarcastic and dull. If they ever decided to get angry, they always caused a huge uproar; an ugly scene.
Kamiki looked for the East Phoenix Station logo, but it was not an easy job as there were too many people.
In the midst of his searching——his eyes were suddenly attracted to flaming red hair!
All he saw was fiery, eye-catching bright-red hair, as radiant as a burning fire! He had seen a lot of dyed hair before, in all sorts of awkward colours, but this was the first time he had ever seen such bright and beautiful red.
Kamiki could not help but hesitate and look down at its owner——He saw a pretty face with a pair of beady black eyes, sparkling with intelligence.
Electricity, light, fire and stone seemed to charge at him!
Those eyes were fluttering! They were as beautiful as a butterfly, as elegant as a dragonfly tapping the water’s surface, fluttering at the rate of twenty times per second! The smile on her face was as high as the summer sun at noon!
Kamiki was lost in his thoughts as he stared at the girl, mumbling, “You…”
The red-haired girl immediately took advantage of his dazed state by declaring, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask a question! I am Koizumi from Tangerine Weekly!”
Koizumi from Tangerine Weekly?!
Shouts of protest arose from the crowd of reporters.
Numerous looks of jealousy, envy and suspicion swivelled towards the red-haired girl, who lifted her head proudly. Was she the girl who had jumped through the ranks of her company in a month by uncovering the truth of thirty-eight popular rumours, twenty-six secret stories, as well as successfully interviewed nineteen celebrities, that Koizumi from Tangerine Weekly?!
At that moment, the spotlight seemed to shine on Koizumi.
Koizumi, with her head held high, proudly accepted all of her ‘worship’.
There was always a price to pay for success! Ever since her debut as a rookie reporter, she had worked hard to collect information from whomever or whatever she could find and had put a lot of effort into studying various techniques. Now, she could proudly walk among the rest of the world and easily to get what she wanted.
Tip: Fire Witch’s Sure-fire Technique——Bright red hair! Must not be dark red or burgundy, must be astonishingly red, red and eye-catching. That way, during conferences, she would be noticed, for her height and appearance always disappeared into the crowd.
Fire Witch’s Sure-fire Technique——Flutter your eyelashes! Never underestimate this trick. While everyone can blink, it is very difficult to flutter them elegantly and quickly. This can make the target momentarily lose focus. Koizumi had spent a whole week practising in front of the mirror, before using on such an idiot. Haha, ten seconds of hypnosis was all she needed to grab that opportunity!
Kamiki clenched his teeth, bitterly!
Despite his careful considerations, how did a reporter from Tangerine Weekly ended up being chosen?! This was bad, as that group was a bunch of troublemakers. The Senya Kaoru scandal? Senya Kaoru’s love affair? Had Senya Kaoru had plastic surgery before? …God, the thought of Senya Kaoru’s icy eyes sent a chill up Kamiki’s spine.
Koizumi managed a friendly smile, the Tangerine Weekly logo sparkling on her chest.
Everyone held their breath.
Kamiki broke into a cold sweat.
Senya Kaoru had the faintest trace of a mocking smile on his lips. Bring it on, it beckoned, there’s nothing I’ll reveal.
“I’d like to ask——” Koizumi’s white teeth flashed into a smile, amiable and cute.
The crowd took a deep breath.
Koizumi smiled again, “——did you just fall asleep?”
Most of the reporters were shocked!
Takahashi was so dumbfounded that he didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh; his camera almost fell out of his hands.
That was——Tangerine Weekly’s Koizumi, at the universe’s most unsocial celebrity Senya Kaoru’s press conference’s first question. It was a real ‘bomb’ of a question!
Tangerine Company office building.
Modern and stylish, the warm orange building was compelling. The world’s hottest, spiciest news continuously poured out from this building. Tangerine Company’s media industry had three main publications— Tangerine Weekly, Daily Tangerine and Freshest Tangerine News.
The Tangerine building was always sunny and it was the media company with the best views. A red haired girl lazily leaned against the small but expensive leather couch. Her smile was smug as she received the praise of the people around her.
Koizumi lifted her left hand——and the newcomer of the publishing department, Misa, respectively handed her a copy of that week’s latest edition of the Tangerine Weekly magazine. A huge picture of Senya Kaoru had been printed on the cover, together with the catchy headline, ‘Unique Prince Whose Dreams are Tender!’
Misa excitedly shook Koizumi’s hand. “Front page news! Koizumi’s report has been dominating the front page for three weeks already!”
Koizumi lifted her right hand——and the newcomer of the investigation department, Ishii, hurriedly handed her a copy of the circulation statistics. She explained, passionately, “As of today, at ten thirty, today’s Tangerine Daily newspaper with Koizumi’s article as front page news has now sold over five hundred thousand copies. That’s a sixty-one percent increase compared to last week’s explosion!”
All of the newcomers of each department, beside the red haired girl, started to cheer and jump!
Koizumi was their idol.
All of the girls there had entered the Tangerine Company at about the same time, but because they were too new, they were often made to serve tea or water, clean, perform simple printing jobs and do easy errands. Only Koizumi in the entertainment news department had quickly risen like a star and had created an opening for the other newcomers. Due to her excellent performance at work, she was given triple salary and had soon become the focus of attention. The others weren’t bullied into doing odd jobs as often with her around.
Koizumi straightened up, smiled warmly, “Please excuse me.”
The cheering of the crowd instantly came to an end and they froze, waiting for her to continue.
Koizumi reluctantly sighed, “It’s so hot. I’ve been running all day and my lips are cracking.
Would you girls mind moving a bit, so I can get a cup of water?”
Boom!——The crowd dispersed.
Boom!——The crowd reassembled.
“Koizumi, mineral water!”
“Koizumi, green tea!”
….They were amazing, for one of them actually had a cold cup of red bean ice!
Koizumi enjoyed her drink by talking a huge gulp, feeling its coldness slide down her throat. So comfortable, so yummy…Rie, the one who had given her the drink, was also in the entertainment news department. She smiled sweetly at Koizumi, who was gobbling down the drink, and carefully asked, “Hey Koizumi, may I ask you a question?”
Koizumi swallowed a mouthful of drink and replied, “Sure.”
“I don’t understand, why did you ask Senya Kaoru whether he had fallen asleep or not? Why didn’t you ask something more interesting?”
Koizumi puffed out her cheeks and grinned, “Oh. If you were the one doing it, what would you ask?”
Rie thought for a moment, “A normal question of course, probably about his latest album, ‘Night-Time Walkers’. But——” she clutched her hands at her chest, “I’d first ask whether he’d dated Tsuka Sakura and Shimizu Hishi before!”
Misa lovingly stroked the Senya Kaoru on the cover, “I’d like to know whether he was born beautiful or not!”
Ishii added, “Maybe he’s gay?”
“What type of flowers does he like?”
“What’s his ideal image of a woman?”
“Does he really have a secret crush on the Korean celebrity, Geum Hui-hui?”
…Ok! Red bean ice eliminated!
Koizumi put down the empty cups and sighed contentedly. She shook her head to the six curious pairs of eyes. “Wrong!”
“…?” Everyone’s mouth dropped open.
Koizumi closed her eyes and smiled leisurely, “Firstly, his views and evaluation of his new album were printed on the record company’s promotional materials, which are pretty easy to get. Therefore, there’s not much value in that question.”
Yeah! Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Secondly, things like scandals, secret crushes, sexual orientation and criteria of choosing friends…are all excellent questions. But——” Koizumi looked at them and laughed, “would he answer me?”
Everyone exchanged looks.
Koizumi shook her head, “Senya Kaoru is pretty famous for resisting media reportage, so naturally he’d just ignore me. If I asked such things, I’d be asking for trouble. He’d send me back if I embarrassed him too much too!”
“Instead, I asked him an unexpected question and as he couldn’t figure out my intention, he slowly fell into the trap I had set…”
Koizumi smirked, “Yep, a trap! Sleeping during an opening press conference can lead to all sorts of stories. For example, he doesn’t respect reporters; no one is up to his standards and is arrogant. You could also say that he’s often exhausted, has mental deficiency and maybe it was because he’d spent the night before at Tsuka Sakura’s house etc. Another example was because he thought that his new album wasn’t good enough to be released yet and angrily protested by sleeping through the conference…”
The crowd were dazed; their hearts chilled. It had turned out that just ‘sleeping’ could mean so many ‘horrific’ things.
Rie raised her hand shyly, “Then…why didn’t you write that?”
Koizumi raised an eyebrow and stared at her, “Stupid, did you think I, Koizumi, would just go for any flimsy story without proof? After setting the bait, the only way to get more news out of Senya Kaoru is by improving our relationship! That’s why I let him go this time and asked for an analysis from psychologists and astrologists about people who fall asleep in public. This includes their personality traits, ideal type of woman, career development trend….I also got them to analyse Senya Kaoru’s previous incidents, experiences and gossip. After comprehensive reasoning, such headline was born, attracting countless eyeballs!”
“Wow!” The crowd exclaimed, “You analysed this much?”
Koizumi chuckled breezily, “With a bit of money, a whole book could have been born.”
The orange sun shone through the floor, through the windows in the ceiling.
The Koizumi on the leather couch, in the eyes of the newcomers, suddenly got even bigger, more powerful.
She was like a shining sun, emitting a magnificent glow.
“Koizumi, Boss is looking for you!”
Someone shouted from the door.
Koizumi smiled while standing up, leaving the dazed crowd behind. She felt a little dishonest for forgetting to tell them that the only reason why she had asked Senya Kaoru that question was to prove one thing——that Fire Witch’s intuition was never wrong!
A luxurious office.
The priceless antiques and paintings in Tangerine Company’s building were all one of a kind. The orange-coloured table had been personally carved by several famous Italian carpenters. The light from the window fell on the young woman seated at the table. She was wearing a black qipao.
Koizumi gazed at the sitting woman adoringly. She was her boss——the founder of Tangerine Weekly, Shinyo Kane!
Shinyo Kane was a legend.
She was born into a poor family and it was said that she hadn’t even been able to graduate from primary school. Her parents died when she was nine, leaving her to live on the streets and make a living from picking up cigarette cases. Ten years ago, Shinyo Kane decided to enter the media industry. She founded Tangerine Weekly and adopted a ‘paparazzi’ system. Topics ranged from entertainment news to political scandals to uncovering history. It had quickly attracted worldwide attention and Tangerine Weekly was an instant success.
Today, Tangerine Company had firmly secured first place in the gossip and media industry and had become the archenemy of other big media companies.
Shinyo Kane looked up. There was a faint scar on her pretty face. It looked like a wound from a knife, but it was too faint to tell properly. She looked at Koizumi and dismissively said, “Sit.”
Koizumi sat down, her fascinated eyes studying her knife wound. It really was a mysterious and beautiful scar. There was probably some thrilling story behind it too. Eh? No, she remembered seeing similar wounds somewhere else. Who, who was it? She tugged at her hair and thought hard.
Shinyo Kane put down her pen and leaned against her rosewood chair. “You’re very suited to being an entertainment reporter.”
Koizumi’s eyes lit up, “Thank you Boss for the compliment!”
“You’ve been staring at the scar on my face for a while, probably wanting to know about my past. You were born as a curious person who wants to get to the bottom of every secret and you feel happier each time a layer is uncovered.”
“Oh, my curiosity is only slightly stronger than others. But, I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing,” Koizumi drily laughed back.
Shinyo Kane smiled, “It’s not bad at all.”
Koizumi relaxed at this.
Shinyo Kane leaned forward and stared into her eyes. “You should——be——meaner, more heartless, more outrageous and more distant.”
Koizumi coughed, choked.
“It is absolutely forbidden to be soft-hearted!” Shinyo Kane tossed over the latest edition with Senya Kaoru on the covers. “The tone in this article is too nice, not stimulating at all. You obviously have several options to thrill your readers and start an unstoppable wave of popularity but, you just lightly skirted over all that.”
“I…” What the hell, then why was it front page news?
“It was the main article not because it was good, but because there was nothing better.” Shinyo Kane sneered, “The only reason why this week it was still popular was because the other publishers are stupid, too stupid to think of the endless possibilities.”
Koizumi poked out her tongue. Wow Boss, she was pretty clever to realise that.
Shinyo Kane continued to sneer, “Only by being merciless can a reporter succeed. You’re clever and you have the talent. I have high expectations of you and I will give you more opportunities in the future, so don’t let me down on this.”
“Yes,” Koizumi bowed.
“From today on, you’ll be in charge of covering Senya Kaoru. In one month, I expect to see results and have Fire Witch as a figurehead of Tangerine Weekly.”
“Yes!” Koizumi waved her fists in determination.
Shinyo Kane went back to work and sunlight flooded in from the window behind her, temporarily blinding Koizumi. She continued to wait for a few moments, but then realised that Shinyo Kane was buried in her files and seemed to have forgotten her existence. She gently stood up, “Boss, if there’s nothing else, I’ll take my leave.”
Shinyo Kane annotated something on the document in front of her, but didn’t look up. “I’ve informed the finance department to give you a ten percent raise.”
“Thank you boss!” Koizumi grinned, happier than ever. Rising wages meant that her exceptional ability had been recognised once again.
“You’re still studying at Kouyu College aren’t you? There’s still about a month until the end of the summer holidays and if you want, you can continue working part-time after school.” Shinyo Kane closed her file and laughed.
Koizumi was speechless. Gosh, to get a chance to work temporarily at Tangerine Weekly, she had filled her head with all sorts of rubbish and now…Koizumi quietly closed the company president’s door behind her.
Finally——she clutched to her chest and heaved a huuuuuge sigh of relief.
Quite the scary woman…
Clear blue skies and the sunny atmosphere made people want to scream in delight. There was a light breeze too, that felt cheery towards everyone’s good mood.
Ginza shopping centre.
A shaggy dog chased its master while girls not far from him laughed. Their voices were cute and tinkling like a bell. Behind them, there were huge eye-catching, colourful advertisements pasted on the wall. A few pink balloons escaped from the hands of children for the sky, while the drinks in the vending machine glittered in the sun.
It was cold outdoors.
A teenage boy in a white shirt and blue jeans quietly sat under the shade of striped blue and white umbrella. Beside him on a wooden table, was a half-finished cup of orange juice. The teenager had a handsome face and his hair was soft and slightly curled. His eyes had a faraway expression, revealing a childish tint to them.
The orange juice had long been forgotten.
No one knew what the teenager was thinking as he wasn’t smiling and he looked somewhat sad.
He held up the glass of juice and looked through it.
But, someone wanted to destroy it!
A well-dressed, haughty looking man of about thirty sat down on the wooden chair beside the teenager. The man studied him, then in a low, fawning voice he said, “Hello——”
The teenager frowned. Flies shouldn’t be flying around here.
“May I ask for your name?”
“From the first moment I saw you,” the man desperately wanted to hold the other boy’s hand, “I was attracted to you…”
The teenager lifted the glass.
Splash! Orange juice spilled down the man’s face.
He’d seen lots of idiots before, but shameless ones were rare.
The man paled, for he had been in and out of love in the last twenty years. His appearance and family background were both top class so this was a first for him. It was obvious that this beautiful boy was a nasty brat, who liked pretending to be cool. But, he really was beautiful enough to make one drool. He seemed to have forgotten to introduce himself first, so it was no wonder that the teenager had dismissed him without a second thought.
The man tried to remain composed. He took out a handkerchief and wiped his face, coughing loudly. “Well, I’d like to introduce myself. I am the Ishizuka family’s eight generation successor…”
Bang! The glass came down heavily on Ishizuka’s forehead and blood flowed out!
The teenager rubbed his fingers against a paper towel, as if the glass had dirtied his hand.
“You bastard!” Ishizuka angrily shouted, his bloodied forehead making his face look exceptionally grim. “You hit me! Come with me to the station, I plan to report you for harming me with intention!”
He grabbed the teenager’s arms, his blood staining the clean white shirt.
“Let go!” The teenager tried to throw him off, but it didn’t work. He thought that the man’s blood was dirty, so he was resisting very hesitantly as his face turned a shade of angry crimson.
By now, a lot of passersby had surrounded them curiously watching, pointing. They didn’t know what had happened between them.
Ishizuka loudly accused the teenager with a pointed finger, “You damn gay. I told you, I’m not interested in you, so you should let me go! Did you think using violence would make me interested in you? Unless you’re punished by the law, I doubt you’d ever be polite in public!”
Uwah! A gay!
The people in the crowd all raised an eyebrow. No wonder the boy was so handsome.
The teenager finally exploded in anger, “You’re the one who’s gay!”
Ishizuka sneered, “If you’re brave enough to be one, then you should be brave enough to say so!”
The teenager was about to explode!
Suddenly, someone in the crowd yelled, “Who’s the one bullying my boyfriend?!”
The crowd parted aside with a brushing sound, to reveal a red-haired girl with furious eyes, stomping forward and jerking Ishizuka away from the teenager.
Ishizuka screamed in pain and when he looked down, he realised the girl’s fingernails had created five bloody marks on his hand!
“You——” He pointed at the red-haired girl.
The red-haired girl pushed away his hand and angrily asked, “Did you say that my boyfriend was gay?”
“If he was gay, then what am I?” The girl pointed at his nose and scolded, “We’re here on a date. All I did was go to the bathroom and he instantly became gay! You damn old man, it’s obviously you who wanted to seduce my boyfriend and as you didn’t succeed, you put all the blame on him. Some dog you are!”
The crowd erupted in laughter.
Ishizuka’s face was as green as liver but he couldn’t find a suitable retort to fight back. The girl continued to criticise him, “Leave, go to the police station! I want to report you of sexual harassment!”
“You don’t have any evidence!” Ishizuka was a little nervous now, for he had only been trying to intimidate the teenager. He didn’t actually dare to mess around at a police station.
The girl laughed three times than glared at him. “It’s not like I don’t know who you are. You’re Ishizuka Jiro, the eighth generation successor of the Ishizuka Family, who specialises in real estate.”
Ishizuka Jiro gave her a defiant look, “At least you’re well informed.”
The girl snorted through her nose and sneered, “At eleven years old, you were expelled from school for harassing your classmates. At sixteen you were suspended by the court on charges for alleged sexual harassment for two years and at twenty-three years old you seriously beat the crap out of a man, just because you were jealous of him. Earlier this year, in March, the intimate photo of you with another man was all over the covers of the Tangerine Weekly magazine!”
“You——” Ishizuka Jiro trembled.
“What?!” The girl lifted up her chest and laughed, “Why don’t we go to the police station and check then, as I might be wrong?”
The crowd spat at Ishizuka Jiro, who was cowering in cold sweat!
He did have a slightly different sexual orientation, but that had never been used to frame him so shamelessly!
Finally——Ishizuka Jiro slipped away in disgrace, like a rat on the street.
The crowd gradually dispersed.
The teenager was back under his blue and white striped umbrella.
The red-haired girl stretched out a hand towards the teenager. “Hey, I’m Koizumi.”
The teenager thought for a while then asked, puzzled, “Do you know me?” It felt like he’d seen her before, especially her somewhat familiar bright red hair.
Koizumi tilted her head and laughed, “Should I know you?”
Her hand was still held in mid-air.
The teenager stared at her for a long while and slowly raised his hand towards hers. “You can call me——Kaoru.”
Koizumi clenched his hands and gave him a warm, hearty smile. “Nice to meet you Kaoru. Let’s be friends from now on!”
“Friends?” Kaoru repeated with a childish smile, “Just like that?”
Koizumi’s smile was like sunshine. “Yeah, people are all over the world and it’s destiny when people meet each other, so naturally they become friends.”
“What does a friend do?”
“Buy clothes of course!” Koizumi dragged him away.
“Why buy clothes?”
“Stupid,” Koizumi replied while walking. “Your clothes were dirtied by that old pervert, how could you not feel disgusted? Quickly change into something else.”
Koizumi and Kaoru sat on the stone steps of the harbour, each holding a cup of bubble tea. They watched the sun gradually set over the sea.
“Why did you help me?”
“I have a friend who told me that a human should always stop injustice where they can. She leads a very happy life and I thought that maybe I’d be as happy as her if I do the same.”
“You’re an interesting friend.”
“Yeah,” Koizumi swallowed a mouthful of tea. “It’s a real pity that she’s not here. I miss her.”
“I don’t have any friends,” Kaoru drawled. No one ever wanted to be his friend; they always just stared at him in a strange way.
“You said that we were friends and now you take that back!?” Koizumi bit her lip angrily, “Say that again and I’ll ignore you forever!”
“But…such a simple way like that…you can make friends?”
“Friends are not lovers, so it’s not complicated to do at all. It’s not like you have to exchange blood as a ritual or something. There’s no need to be so hung up, right?” Koizumi rolled her eyes, “Oh come on. If you don’t want to be my friend then be honest. It’s not like I’d kill you or anything!”
“That’s fine,” Koizumi smiled, “you see, having me as a friend won’t do you any bad. If anyone bullies you, I can help you fight back and then help you choose clothes.”
Kaoru looked down at the purple shirt he was wearing and remembered how she had bought it. She had directed a simple command to the shop assistant to pick out all of the purple shirts in the shop. Then, she had picked out one and gotten him to change into it. It had taken less than fifteen minutes.
Koizumi touched her chin while studying him. In a satisfied voice she said, “Your eyes are rather purple, so when you wear a purple shirt, your eyes shine like a beautiful gem.”
Kaoru frowned, “Don’t say I’m beautiful.” He hated that word.
“Ah, but you’re really pretty.” Koizumi touched her nose but seeing his unhappy look, she quickly added, “Fine, I won’t say that word again in the future.”
Koizumi studied her hand and continued to drink her bubble tea.
The sun reflected on the sea gradually faded.
The red of the sunset made the two on the harbour dazzle like a painting, from behind.
Kaoru looked at her, “How did you know so much about Ishizuka Jiro?”
Koizumi smiled happily, “He really has bad luck doesn’t he? I’m actually a reporter and I’ve memorised basically everything about celebrities off by heart as part of my job.” To be a successful reporter, lots of effort was required to master the basics. She hadn’t told Kaoru that she also knew that Ishizuka Jiro had several lovers, the location of his villas, the number plates on his new car and which night clubs he liked best.
Kaoru was taken aback, “You’re a reporter?”
“Entertainment.” Koizumi smiled, “Also known as a reporter of gossip.” The worst name though, was the term ‘paparazzi’.
Kaoru eyed her, his violet eyes almost squinting. Oh, no wonder he had thought that she was so familiar, her special red hair…so she was actually…
Koizumi frowned when she noticed, “Do you dislike this career?”
Kaoru was speechless; he gave a pained smile instead.
“Hey, you have a funny expression on your face.” Koizumi lightly pushed him, “Say something!”
Pink clouds in the sea.
“Koizumi, have you seen me before?”
She tugged at her hair and thought for a while, “Am I supposed to know you?”
He gazed at her for a few moments then finally broke into a smile. “Yeah, this is a first meeting and from today on, we’re friends.”
“Yeah! Friends!” Koizumi’s smile was like blossoming flowers in spring.
Koizumi finished her bubble tea and ‘helped’ Kaoru drink some of his.
The time for separation came.
“I should get going.” Koizumi was reluctant to leave. “I still have to interview a very tough character tonight.” It was Senya Kaoru’s concert and she wasn’t about to waste this opportunity.
Kaoru’s expression was strange.
“Why won’t you wish me luck?” Koizumi asked, confused.
Kaoru coughed loudly, “Good luck.”
“Thank you!” Koizumi danced in happiness, “I’ll definitely do well this time! After all, I am Tangerine Weekly’s ace, Fire Witch!”
Later, he’d remember everything as a day by the beach with an energetic girl who loved to drink bubble tea.
On the taxi, Koizumi watched the figure slowly disappear. She looked away. Finally——she could loosen the muscles on her face——and laugh loudly——
The driver’s face turned green, and wondered if sending her to a mental hospital would be appropriate.
Koizumi grinned as she gestured, “Victory!”
Fire Witch’s Sure-fire Technique——Top class acting! Honest and innocent eyes, outspoken personality and a simple expression good enough to win an Oscar. This trick was mainly talent for her, but it could also be learned through hard practice.
A small worry nagged in her heart——Did her lies make her feel bad?
The answer——Probably not as she hadn’t lied. He’d probably just misunderstood her.
She flashed a wicked smile——“As reporters, only by being ruthless can one succeed!”
- Bubble tea: Also known as ‘pearl milk tea’ and it’s a popular drink.
- Kouyu College: There isn’t enough evidence to deduct whether it’s like a ‘uni’ or ‘high school’ though, as ages aren’t known. ‘College’ sometimes refers to a secondary or high school (for example my country, New Zealand) so I chose this word…Anyway, what I mean is the main character is most likely somewhere between 16 and 19. At the most 21.
- Paparazzi: People who take photographs/interview celebrities while they are going about normal life routines – so it’s very much like stalking.
- Qipao: A Chinese cheongsam. A lot of people nowadays simply call it a ‘Chinese traditional dress’.
- Red bean ice: A popular drink.
- Shinyo Kane: I don’t think the characters in her name exist as kanji or no one uses it…
- Tangerine Company’s three main publications: Tangerine Weekly (magazine), Daily Tangerine (newspaper) and Freshest Tangerine News (TV program). This was revealed throughout the novel, but I’ll put it here for now.