「Well, manager, I’ll be heading off first.」
It was currently 9 a.m.
I finished the night shift and stretched a little.
My name is Izumi Nobusada, and I’m a humble assistant manager at this convenience store.
Even if I say I’m an assistant manager, it wasn’t really different from part-time work.
I got more overtime than I used to, and my holiday work increased as well.
…I was kind of sad about it.
It wasn’t fun to talk about, but I did manage to book three consecutive days off.
「A long holiday…I wonder what I should do?」
I wondered what to do and came up with a lot of ideas, but I couldn’t make a decision with my current lack of sleep.
Yeah, curse my inherited trait of indecisiveness.
Eventually, I decided to mull it over while finishing the errands I had been ignoring.
Putting away the laundry, airing out the futon, working on the pickles I made, there was a lot to do.
For a single, 35 year old man, I thought my cooking and housework skills were on par with a housewife.
However, that wasn’t really something to brag about.
It was said that men who were good at housework couldn’t get married.
In my case, I lost my relatives in an earthquake three years ago. I had been on my own since then.
Even if things got desperate, I would manage.
Well, I had to buy some ingredients on my way home.
I was a little low on funds, so I hoped I could get a good bargain.
I decided to think about what I’ll do tomorrow as the evening progressed.
There was a chain of pharmacies that I bought my food from.
The countryside was still being rebuilt and there wasn’t a supermarket yet.
I used to get my meals from the convenience store, but after a while my wallet and body started to rebel.
I think I was indirectly coerced into making my own meals…
I stuffed the ingredients into my bag and packed them into my car.
(T/N: “my bag” is referring to the ‘My bag’ movement. You shop with a bag you bring yourself, and don’t pick up extra plastic bags from the supermarket when you buy things.)
There was a bargain sale, so I picked up a lot more than I was expecting. I was saved!
Money had been tight recently due to my friend’s wedding earlier this month.
There was a marble in the passenger seat I didn’t recall seeing before.
I wonder where it came from? When I reached out with my hand to pick it up, the marble suddenly changed colors. It seemed that its color differed depending on how the light hit it.
It was kind of neat, but I decided to just pocket it for now.
If I put it on display at home, it would definitely be soothing for a greedy old man like me.
I revved the engine while thinking about where to put it.
I returned to my empty home.
Even though I knew nobody would be here to greet me, I still had the habit of saying it.
「Tofu burgers are easy to make whenever you want, and the ingredients keep well. I’ll boil some ramen for tonight.」
I´m a fan of real meat, but my body liked to remind me that I was 35 now.
I substituted it with mixed tofu and bean curds, making a tofu hamburger.
I got a lot more out of it for less.
I finished making my ramen and proceeded with my daily stirring of the salted rice bran.
The house and the rice bran were passed down to me by my grandmother and parents.
It was too big for a bachelor like me, and honestly, the maintenance costs were quite high.
Still, I had no intentions of parting with it.
Even with the expenses, I could still save some money on the side, and I was able to live comfortably enough. It wasn’t a problem.
I slurped my ramen while checking out a novel site on my phone.
「Oh, it’s good. It’s a little pricier than instant noodles, but I’ve gotten as good as one of those ramen shops.」
Once, I had been really absorbed in cooking and ended up making a bargain ramen with crushed pork bone, among other things. It was pretty good, even though it took a lot of effort.
You didn’t need to be a chef to make good food, eh?
Takatan♪ Tanta♪ Takatan♪
BGM from my smartphone’s game started playing. Hm. This means…
「How did you fail this time, junior?」
「That’s the first thing out of your mouth!? You’re really cruel to such a cute junior.」
The joke was properly responded to. Nice.
I might be alone now, but I had a lot of friends back in high school. This was one of the younger ones.
「So? It’s rare for you to message me this late. What’s the matter?」
「I was going to return that DVD of yours that I borrowed a long time ago, but I heard from the shop manager that you took a long weekend off.」
「Haha, is that it? Well, I’ll be at home tonight, so stop by if you can.」
「I understand. Then, later!!」
Yeah, he was as busy as ever.
I couldn’t even get close to that kind of hustle.
Though, I was fine with being slothful.
As I slurped my ramen, I considered cleaning my room a little bit before my guest arrived.
Was there someone outside? Almost everyone was asleep right now, and since this was a really quiet area, even the slightest noise were transmitted very well.
There wasn’t anyone here that I could see.
Okay, I’m really not a fan of horror.
「……Aren’t I…just hearing things?」
Cold sweat started flowing.
At that moment.
Light overflowed from the hardwood floor.
There was a geometric pattern in there as well.
「What the hellーーーーーーーーー!」
My consciousness instantly faded to white.