NEET Receives A Dating Sim System - LightNovelsOnl.com
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"My apologies, I was a little too excited." The orange-haired woman realized her actions were slightly inappropriate, so she set the notebook down and stood up in a formal manner.
"h.e.l.lo and nice to meet you. My name is Saki Yos.h.i.+zawa, editor for Thunderbolt Literature."
She fished out a business card from her pocket when she finished and presented it to Seiji with both her hands while lowering her head respectfully.
"h.e.l.lo, nice to meet you too…" Seiji took the business card and glanced at it before putting it away.
"Yos.h.i.+zawsan, no need to be so stiff and formal—he's just a high school student." Rika Amami, who was observing them from the side, smiled wryly. "You can just relax and have a normal conversation with him. Acting formal will only make the atmosphere tenser."
'How right you are, Store Manager!' Seiji heartily agreed with her.
"Really?" Saki Yos.h.i.+zawa tilted her head. "But regardless of whether or not he's a high school student, work is work—one should treat it seriously."
"I didn't say you shouldn't treat work seriously. It's just… you're not at your editing department, nor is it work hours currently. He's my employee, and you're my cousin's close friend; there's no need to treat this like a formal interview." Rika shrugged. "You can have a serious conversation without being so formal—that's all I meant."
"Oh…" Saki blinked and seemed to realize Rika's intentions. "Harano-san, would you prefer to relax a little?"
"Indeed. By the way, you don't need to add -san to my name; just call me Harano." Seiji smiled politely.
Saki Yos.h.i.+zawa squinted slightly upon seeing his smile.
"Okay then, Harano, just call me Yos.h.i.+zawa as well," she said rather directly.
Seiji's expression distorted slightly.
Normally speaking, as his elder, shouldn't she refuse and use the more familiar "Harano-kun" instead? It seemed a little awkward to go straight to using no honorifics on the first meeting and even asking him to do the same with her? This…
Seiji didn't even know what to think anymore.
Rika Amami was clutching her forehead wordlessly.
Saki seemed oblivious to the subtle air in the atmosphere as she picked up the notebook again and flipped through it.
"I just skimmed through your story, Harano. Apart from the fact that the story's a bit cliché and the characters are still not fleshed out enough, this short story… is quite complete. Amami-san especially praised your depictions to me, and I also have to admit that your writing is… perfect! That was just my impression from skimming through, which means that my review of it is…"
An indescribable light sparkled in Saki's eyes as she looked directly at Seiji.
"It's a considerably interesting story that's definitely at the level our publisher is willing to accept!"
Seiji smiled in response to the high praise he received.
This was the review of an actual editor at a publisher, after all!
Unlike his subjective personal opinion and Rika's opinion as a casual reader of light novels, she was an expert on the subject matter.
"Thank you. I'm delighted to be able to obtain Yos.h.i.+zawa… Editor Yos.h.i.+zawa's recognition. It feels like a load's been taken off my shoulders..." He awkwardly scratched his face.
This was still his first time writing his own story, so he had been quite nervous.
"We'll be more than happy to accept and publish your short story, but typically we only accept electronic doc.u.ments, so you're going to need to type it again on a computer." Saki continued. "Also, even though your short story can already reach a high level without editing, I still think it has places where it can be improved… If you would like, I can look it over again in more detail, then give you my suggestions for where I believe you can improve."
"Please do so for my sake!" Seiji agreed decisively.
Although the system had bestowed a wonderful writing ability upon him, Seiji was fully aware of his own limitations. He was still inexperienced in many aspects, so he had no doubt that the advice of an experienced editor would be necessary for his growth.
Saki Yos.h.i.+zawa blinked in surprise upon seeing how quickly Seiji made his decision. She smiled for the first time.
Rather than saying that her smile was like that of thawing ice, it was more like a flower in a thorn bush displaying unexpected gentleness and beauty.
'This is probably her true self concealed beneath that cold businesswoman outer sh.e.l.l of hers,' Seiji thought to himself. 'An editor who's tough on the outside and soft on the inside…'
"Alright, since you agree, please send an electronic copy to my email after you finish typing it up on a computer. I'll give you my comments after reading it so that you can complete your final edition. My email address is on my business card." Saki handed the notebook back to Seiji after she finished speaking.
"Okay, thank you." Seiji took his notebook back.
'Well, that probably finishes our discussion.'
The details regarding the publication of his novel, what steps were still necessary, and his next course of action after publication could be discussed after finis.h.i.+ng the final draft of his story.
Just as Seiji was about to take his leave, Saki Yos.h.i.+zawa faked a coughing fit.
"So that's it about the story… Harano, I have something else I'd like to discuss with you."
The female editor's gaze turned even sharper than earlier!
Seiji suddenly felt as if he was facing off against a female cougar.
"I heard that you're going to have a date with Peach… with Mayuzumi at the school festival!"
As he expected—it was about this topic!
Seiji's face stiffened slightly as he glanced towards the store owner.
Young man, take care of it by yourself… Rika Amami responded with a glance; its meaning was evident as she idly stood by, enjoying the spectacle.
'Hey hey! Miss, you were the cause of all this!! Why are you tossing this hot potato to me!?' Seiji inwardly cursed her.
He really wanted to betray his boss right now, but considering his salary…
"Yeah, it's… true. I have an agreement like that with Peach-sensei." Seiji tugged on his mouth as he spoke.
"Mayuzumi has strong androphobia," Saki stated in a low and heavy tone as she aggressively moved one step closer to Seiji.
"I know… But this is intended to help her cure her phobia… Although I'm uncertain how effective it will be." Seiji retreated one step in response.
"Can you promise that you'll be able to protect Mayuzumi? No, before that, as a man, can you promise that you yourself won't harm Mayuzumi!?" Saki approached one step closer again.
"I… I'll do my best to not scare Sensei and protect her… I promise!" Seiji retreated once more.
"What will you use to back up your promise!?"
Saki shortened the distance between her and Seiji to the point where her face was almost touching Seiji's. Her gaze seemed as sharp as twin daggers while her manner was akin to a cougar that was on the verge of pouncing on its prey.
'Miss, what am I supposed to promise with!?' Seiji could only smile wryly inside his heart.
He somehow managed to glance at his boss out of the corner of his eye and discovered that Rika Amami was covering her mouth with her hand while her shoulders were trembling violently…
Was she laughing? She was definitely laughing!
'What the h.e.l.l! If you have the spare time to laugh at my situation, help me relieve this editor's anxiety!!'
Seiji suddenly lost control of himself and blurted something out without thinking.
"I… I promise on my life! If any harm comes to Sensei, I'll take responsibility for the rest of my life!!"
Saki Yos.h.i.+zawa and Rika Amami both froze solid.
Seiji only realized the consequences of his words after he finished shouting.
Uh-oh, he said something that could easily be misconstrued!
He just wanted to express that he'd get it done properly no matter what, but due to his impulsiveness, his sentence just earlier evidently wasn't the right one.
"Take… take responsibility for the rest of your life?" Saki muttered to herself as her face reddened.
Just earlier she seemed almost as vicious as a female cougar, but now the cold and steely editor suddenly turned shy and bashful!?
This contrast was just too much… Seiji was left stupefied.
Eh, it felt like he had witnessed such a scene just last week?
"Oh… like that… that seems okay, then." Saki glanced at his face and nodded repeatedly while blus.h.i.+ng heavily. "You've even prepared yourself resolutely to marry Mayuzumi. That really surprised me… But, it's pretty good."
'Oh no, this misunderstanding has gotten out of control!' Seiji shouted in his mind.
Just how did it become like this!?