Chapter 25 – In a Coffee Shop together with the Mystery Gentleman.
And so, Naoya was taken by (temporary) Shirogane’s father into a coffee shop right in front of the station.
The shop seemed to be one that is privately managed, with only a few customers around enjoying their own mornings with a meal or by reading a newspaper, all while listening to the soothing classical music flowing in the background.
Despite the fact that today appeared to be an extremely relaxing morning, the passage of time seemed to move even more slowly here.
“Heeh, this shop is pretty nice.”
“Right? It’s my favorite go-to place.”
As both of them entered the box seats, Naoya’s surveying gaze darted around the whole shop.
Thereupon, the gentleman’s smile deepened even more. He’s been in a good mood ever since Naoya rescued him from those girls, and the laugh lines at the corner of his eyes are unlikely to disappear.
For now, Naoya has yet to confirm that this gentleman… is indeed the father of the Shirogane sisters.
With that in mind, Naoya decided to inwardly call him ‘Gentleman’.
After all, If I didn’t think that way, my stomach would definitely burst…
What could possibly lead this into a worst case scenario of having a one-on-one tea talk with the father of the girl I like?
Definitely, it’s the freakin’ curse of twisted fate at work here.
“Saaa, they make the finest cakes here, so you can go ahead and order anything you want.”
“T-thank you very much, but.. uhm.. Fath—Oji-san..”
“Mhm? What is it?”
“I’m glad you brought me here, but are your plans after this going to be alright?”
“Oh… I’ve no plans for the day, so it’s fine..”
The gentleman then made a sour face for the first time.
After ordering a cake set for two, he crossed his fingers on top of the table, then opened his mouth with a serious look.
“Actually, my daughter’s boyfriend is coming over to visit our house today.”
“I thought that I’d like to see what kind of man he is, so I went to the station ahead of time, doing some recon to find him… I don’t know what he looks like, but.. I heard that he is the same age as my daughter, so he’s probably a boy your age.. And so, here I am…”
“I-it must’ve been t-tough then…”
“Not at all. A little trouble like this can’t possibly bother me if it’s for the sake of my cute daughter!” The gentleman spoke enthusiastically before taking a sip from the coffee that had been brought in.
There’s no doubt about it, this gentleman is definitely Koyuki’s father.
The (temporary) mark I’d just placed on him has been blown away in an instant.
No, but.. If he really is Shirogane-san’s father, then this encounter is extremely bad…
Naoya has a general understanding about what kind of thoughts any person has.
This means, of course, that Naoya could read a person’s level of favorability towards him.
Let’s say that Koyuki—A girl who immediately turns red and would shout something in a stutter that could neither be denied nor affirmed—who’s deeply in love with Naoya has, for argument’s sake, a favorability level of 100.
This means that close friends like Yui and Tatsumi are around 70.
If a person’s not interested in Naoya, then they’ll get as close to 0 as possible.
And, the favorability level the gentleman in front of him has—.
As Naoya intently stared at the gentleman’s face, the latter stared back, looking puzzled.
“Hm? Is there something on my face?”
“Ah, no… I just thought that foreigners like Oji-san really are cool..”
“Haha! what a nice thing to say towards a middle-aged man like me.”
The gentleman’s smile even deepened, then he looked straight into Naoya’s eyes.
“Who I really think is cool are those people who can recognize when others are in trouble and would not hesitate to reach their hands out and help them. And you, my guy, are the very definition of cool.”
The gentleman said smilingly, his favorability towards Naoya clearly showing.
If we put it in numbers—approximately around 75.
I’d say it’s just so-so…no, I take it back. It’s freakingly high for a first meeting..
Isn’t this very bad, then!? It’s as if I’m trying to get along with Koyuki’s father while also concealing the fact that I’m her ‘boyfriend’!
Although I’m very glad that he’s taken a liking to me… It feels like the way I’m doing it isn’t quite fair..
Yoshi.. let’s be honest.. Let’s tell him that I’m on good terms with his daughter…
Naoya was firmly determined, however he became uneasy, so he asked one question.
“J-just a little curious, but.. what would you do once you’ve met your daughter’s ‘boyfriend’?”
“Pfft… Of course, it’s already set in stone.”
The gentleman nodded confidently—but then, with a big sigh, he covered his face with his hand and drooped down his head.
“…I’d probably… flee with all my might…”
“You’ll flee!? But, why!?”
“I can’t help it, you know!? After all, I don’t know how I should face my daughter’s boyfriend!”
When he saw the gentleman in front of him on the verge of crying, Naoya could only shrink back.
He made it look like he was going to go on the offensive, but then chickened out at the last minute—it is just as they say; Like father, like daughter.