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9kinds

Chapter 5 - 共食い Dog-Eat-Dog


The next chapter starts with the beginning of December and while Kouta has gotten used to working as a host, the pay is much lower than he expected. He’s making ¥8,000 in a day, or about ¥120,000 a month, just the base pay he’s gets from working at the club. He thinks, at this rate he'll never be able to make enough to pay for Meme's cram school fees. He has had the painful realization of this reality and also of his lack of skill as he's only been helping others rather than having been requested by a client of his own.

But then the next month he’s asked for by a client for the first time. He expects the client to be someone he helped Shizuku with previously, but instead it’s Misaki, the woman that had waited for him outside of the batting center.

When he sits down he asks her if it’s really OK that she meet with him rather than Shizuku. She tells him that she can see him anytime so it’s fine and Kouta gathers that their relationship must be personal rather than that of client and host. Shizuku tries to pretend that he doesn’t care but can’t help glancing in her direction every now and then.

She tells him that she’s heard a lot about him and how Shizuku talks about how he’s interesting and shows promise. Kouta protests saying that this is the first time he’s been asked for by a client, and Misaki acts surprised saying that she thought that Shizuku said he had. Kouta starts to say that she must be thinking of Amu, can’t bring himself to say the name.

When she says that anyone would have been fine, Kouta becomes disappointed but once she orders champagne he becomes excited again at the fact that this his first sale and in his excitement he misses what Misaki says and has ask her to repeat herself. She tells him that she has a favor to ask.

She asks him to track Shizuku’s every move and to tell her about the ranking in the club. Kouta asks her what he’ll get out of this deal and she tells him that she will make him the 2nd ranked host in the club. However Kouta has so little confidence in his ability that he believes it to be a bluff. Since the night at the batting center he and Shizuku have barely talked. He’s busy with clients and with helping other new people so he hasn’t invited Kouta anywhere, but he has invited Amu out which only contributes to his feeling that he’s not cut out for being a host.

When he hesitates she tells him that within three months she’ll make him within the top five. There currently are 40 hosts employed at Tuberose and Kouta is at the bottom of the pack. Even Amu who is able to quickly drum up shit sales, is only in 12th place. The people in the top five doesn’t change much and being able to enter into that ranking within three months is unthinkable, but he recognizes that if things continue on as they are now nothing will change so he tells her that if she's not successful he won't listen to her request.

Misaki gives him her card and tells him to call her once he’s finished for the night and if Shizuku asks what they talked about to tell him that she just came to check out the shop and that they didn’t talk about anything important.

After closing Shizuku does ask and Kouta follows Misaki's instructions. He asks Shizuku what he’s doing after and he tells him that he’s hanging out with Amu and asked him if he would like to join but Kouta declined saying he has errands at home.

Shizuku is annoyed and tells him that if he doesn’t keep up he’ll be weeded out, he doesn’t have much time. After three months the lowest performing hosts, those who don’t drum up any sales are fired. From Shizukis annoyed appearance Kouta guesses that Shizuku is desperate about something.

When Kouta heads back to the staff room to get ready to leave he passes by Amu who looks like he just threw up and he tells Kouta that it's the third time that day. He ask him if he’ll be ok to still go out after and Amu just replies that he has to go. One of the biggest strengths for a host is the ability to be able to go back and drink more after having thrown up. Ami is fairly small and unable to recover quickly after throwing up from alcohol.

Kouta offers him a drink to help prevent a hangover and Amu asks him to hang out the next day since the club will be closed for cleaning. Kouta hesitates because he hasn’t been able to see Megumi while he’s working but if he's to make good on his promise to Misaki he needs to get in Amu's good graces so he agrees.

After leaving the club and before calling Misaki he calls Megumi and tells her that he wanted to meet tomorrow but somethings come up and he can’t. Megumi tells him not to worry because she also has plans and they agree to meet up sometime next week or the week after. As he’s talking on the phone a rat is runs out around by his feet on the street.

Next he calls Misaki who tells him the name of the bar of where they should meet after he hangs up and while he is looking up the bar he sees that the rat has returned with another rat slightly smaller than itself in it’s mouth. Seeing the rat eat the innards of the other so enthusiastically makes him feel nauseous and he throws up on the wall of Inarikio Shrine.

Tags: waiting at tuberose, チュベローズで待ってる
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