Chapter 3: Part 2
Two hours passed before I woke up.
I saw Orito and the others silently doing their work and wanted to get back into it as quickly as possible too. I saw Nene-san sitting on her chair drinking coffee, so I asked her.
“Nene-san, where’s the next part of the manuscript?”
“That’s the last of it.”
Ohh! Everyone’s eyes widened. We were done. We made it.
An indescribable feeling of accomplishment filled the room.
“It’s all because everyone helped. Thanks.”
Nene-san gave us all a gentle smile.
Yeah, if everyone hadn’t pitched in, I would’ve never been able to finish all this work by myself.
“When we’re in trouble, we have to help each other, after all.”
Mihara winked. She was kinda cute right now.
Nene-san seemed to be done with her part as well. She lounged back in her chair and crossed her legs while giving the manuscript a final check through.
I saw her face stiffen a bit.
“Is something… the matter?”
Hiramatsu seemed worried.
I took a glance at the manuscript Nene-san was holding… and I immediately could spot some things that seemed out of place.
The female protagonist was holding a cat. It was a super serious scene too, but for some reason she was suddenly holding a cat. Was this… Saras’s doing? She had wanted to draw something like this, after all.
There were also points where the castle in the background suddenly became a huge humanoid fighting robot.
… That was Haruna, wasn’t it? She probably got bored of just drawing castles.
There was also a peaceful scene where the main character was eating dinner in her room… and Steven Seagal was also there brandishing a pistol. This must’ve been Yuu. She probably saw Haruna’s drawing and decided to have a bit of fun with the art herself by drawing in her beloved Seagal.
And then… there was also a horrifying monster gracing some of the pages.
I mean, I had no idea where the face of this monster began and where it ended..it was seriously eerie to look at. It took less than a second for me to realize that Sera had drawn this.
It was a monster that looked like it could’ve come straight from the Cthulhu Mythos, and there was a speech bubble above its head which said “I-It’s not like I’m doing this for you, okay?!”
“Those girls… Nene-san, I’m sorry! I’ll go start fixing all this right away-”
Nene-san’s shoulders began to shake, unable to keep herself calm anymore.
“Ahahahaha!It’s fine, it’s fine. Let’s just leave it like this. This is just way too surreal.”
“But it makes zero sense.”
“It’s a doujinshi after all, so having a bit of fun with it is par for the course.”
Was she saying that for real, or was she just trying to be considerate?
“Hm. I do believe this is a wonderful piece of work.”
Saras spoke proudly with her arms crossed. Well, I was glad she was satisfied with this. After all, she had been able to do something she wanted to do.
“Yes, it’s fine, it’s fine.” Nene-san tried to quell my anger.
“So, I really want to compensate everyone for their efforts…”
“Eh? It’s fine… we don’t need that…”
Hiramatsu waved her hand back and forth.
“Hmmm… okay, I’ll just buy a Christmas present for everyone then.”
“I-It’s really fine… you don’t have to…”
Hiramatsu’s hand-waving became all the more vigorous.
“Yeah, she’s right. We really didn’t help that much.”
Mihara mixed in a yawn as she said that, massaging her tired hand.
“I think Aikawa should get one though!”
Tomonori pointed at me. I mean, getting a bit of help with beating Chris was ample compensation. I didn’t need a Christmas present.
But there was one of us who had no shame.
“What about me?” The spiky-haired guy in the group stuck out his tongue teasingly.
“You only came today, didn’t you…”
Mihara smacked Orito on the back with all her might.
But, to be honest, Orito being here had really helped us lighten the workload by a lot.
“Do you have anything you want?”
Nene-san gave a stretch. Her explosively large boobs waved from side to side. I heard Orito gulp and push his glasses up his nose.
“… Okay, well, maybe if I could grope Nene-san’s huge explosive boobs just once… guhehehe.”
“Hmm, what should I do… well, maybe if just for a bit…”
Nene-san teasingly crossed her arms, her huge breasts resting on top of them.
“Eh? Huh? You’re okay with that idea? I can do it? Really?”
“Nah, that was a joke. Ahahaha! You sure looked cute right then.”
Nene-san burst out laughing, while the corner of Mihara’s mouth twitched in irritation.
“C-Cute? … This woman is seriously strange in the head.”
“…… Y-Yeah… maybe… a bit…”
Hiramatsu and Mihara looked at each other and nodded.
“Well, anyway… I do want to thank you all though.”
Nene-san crossed her legs atop her chair and looked at us for help.
“Well, okay. I’ll take the pay then,and I can use that to buy a Christmas present for Haruna and Sera and the others, since they all worked so hard. Also, we can all go out for sushi.”
This way, Nene-san wouldn’t lose any face either.
“Sushi?” Nene-san’s eyes widened, puzzled by my words.
“Ah, so you remembered.” Mihara mumbled that, almost acting as if she had forgotten herself.
“Yeah.Mihara told me I had to treat her to sushi.”
“I see. Okay, sure. Go and eat your fill.”
Nene-san took out her bulging wallet as she spoke. She began to count out ten-thousand-yen bills.
“So… is something like this enough?”
Twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, a hundred… two hundred thousand yen. Even if you weren’t a student, that was a huge amount of money.
“Wow! Hey, let’s go to Harajuku (1) with this! There’s a sushi place there I’ve always wanted to try.”
Mihara’s eyes sparkled. Harajuku, huh… I could probably pick up the Christmas presents over there too.
“Honestly, for all of your help, that’s the least I could do. Go ahead and go shopping.”
Still smiling, Nene-san fell asleep.
Now that I think about it, she’s been awake for a while now, hasn’t she?
Thanks for your hard work today, Nene-san.
(1) A fairly stylish district of Tokyo for the younger crowd, and also fairly expensive.