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Translations: Gintama 683 by kewl0210 , One Piece 904 by cnet128

Sakuranbo Syndrome - Cupid no Itazura II Volume 5


At long last, the 5th volume of Sakuranbo Syndrome is out at GWR.
Check it out!!
The arrows that Cupid, of Roman legend fame would shoot around at a whim had an uncanny power that let him have men and women's hearts at his beck and call. Any human being whose heart he pierced with a golden arrow would awaken to love, and there was no passion that wouldn't be squelched after a shot from his arrows of lead. Nowadays, should Cupid ever get in a mischievous mood..............

Agawa Munenori comes out and tells his girlfriend Asou Sayako about Amami Rena, the girl he must kiss lest she regress in age. Asou refuses to acknowledge this situation, and once Rena and her are done attacking one another's motivations, she agrees to let them kiss, on the condition that it must happen "at her place". But almost immediately thereafter, Rena's younger sister drops by for an impromptu visit. As Agawa and Asou do their absolute best to keep her in the dark, Rena's sister, ignorant though she is of her older sibling's condition, still manages to get her out of hiding. Unable to bear this situation any longer, Rena starts unveiling her own past firsthand...

Sakuranbo SYNDROME [Cupid's Prank II] {5}.

Chapter 39 - That's how it's always been!! .......5
Chapter 40 - Tall girls are the shit. ......25 Chapter 41 - It actually worked! .......45
Chapter 42 - I should've told him......65 Chapter 43 - It isn't fair!! ......85
Chapter 44 - Now that's just pathetic. .......107 Chapter 45 - That was directed at you. .......127
Chapter 46 - I could take you with me .......147 Chapter 47 - I'll do it! .......167
Chapter 48 - Let us shake hands! .......187

Narrator: Putting on a mask to conceal your true self from others/that's something adults do.//Just like we did, Asou-san and I...
Chapter 39 - That's how it's always been!!
Narrator: Was Rena wearing yet another mask herself.......?
Rena: There are plenty of things I haven't told you...//But... considering how good you've been to me ......I think it's wrong not to be up front.......
Asou&Mune: ......
Narrator: Of course, in Rena's case//the exterior is that of a child, but she's a grown-up inside.
Rena: .......
Narrator: So it's not all that surprising, but still.......
Rena: The story begins before the illness that made me small as I am now......

Rena: Well... | even earlier than that./This is about the true me.
Chapter 39 - It's always been that way!!

Gal: Mire!//Amami Rena, you rock!!/You ranked among the 300 best nationwide at the mock exam?!//Even heard some teachers' talk about recommending you for Hojo University in Tokyo./Way to throw away your chance, Mire!//You're really not going?/No Tokyo!
Rena: Who cares about Tokyo?![tn: Mire is a nickname for Amami Rena. In Japan, university entrance is decided by a national exam, plus any entrance exam your university of choice might have.]
Shelves: 918 Japanese Literature, Complete Works./913~917 Japanese Essays.

Rena: There are good universities here too, aren't there?/And public, too.
Rena: (Uh-oh......//I zapped someone again.......)

Narrator: My stare looks so evil even my friends are put off when they catch sight of it, to this day.
Rena: ......./First, my parents would never allow me to live on my own.
Gal: Aaaah. I see./So meddlesome. It's their daughter's life, not theirs./Your father, especially!//The bell./Let's go! Takemoto's next!!
Narrator: I had always been so small, but by the time I hit high school, I started getting taller... By early summer in my senior year I was over 170cm.[tn: About 6' 8". In Japan, that's kinda average... for a man! Also, Japanese guys tend to like their chicks tiny, so the tall ones actually have something to complex about.]

Gal: Mire...//Did you get even taller?
Rena: Uh?
Gal: Your skirt looks like its gotten too short for you again.
Rena: !//Th-this is last year's summer uniform. | I So I thought I'd get away with not buying a new one. Oops.
Gal: As long as the waist size stays the same./It's you guys who're shrinking./Still, here's hoping Katou-sensei doesn't ask too many questions.

Gal: I wish I had your thin legs, Rena./You could do some television, with those./Yeah, sure...//But there aren't many big--breasted models out there. | I'm wondering why.//I agree you'd be real successful with boys if you tried to be more fashionable.
Rena: I-I don't know about that.......//Being fashionable is more trouble than it's worth... | And it's totally not my thing. | At least that's the impression I get from my sister.
Gal: Your kid sister is really cute, Mire./Speaking of which the boys do have pictures of her. Stolen shots, I hear.
Narrator: But......*whisper*

Narrator: I knew I looked good from behind... And I was confident about it... If only a little......
Rena: .....
Boys: *Glance*
Rena: ........*glare*
Boy: .......
Rena: .........
Boy: The hell, man? That was creepy.
Narrator: My eyes, though

Narrator: They were large and double-lidded, but also very slanted......./Plus the white covered nearly all the available surface, which means my pupils proper were comparatively small. Much like the eyes of a cat in a brightly lit area.//To top it all off, I'd grown sky high in no time, and I was sort of missing my old field of vision/and I ended up developing a stooping habit.//Whenever I looked up from that position, the angle would give my eyes a sharp, evil look, Sanpaku style.[tn: Look up "Sanpaku eyes" on Wiki.]
Gal: Hey
Narrator: A phenomenon further amplified by my glasses, making an already unpleasant situation about as bad as it could possibly be.
Gal: Speak of the Devil......//Your sister.

Narrator: My sister had drooping eyes/with bigger blacks than whites and always watery, like those of a small puppy.
Gal: She's got them friends by the truckload wherever she goes./So cute. | The boys even trade stolen pictures of her, don'tcha know.//...I'm wondering what they use them for...?
Girls: !!
Gal: What do you mean, what?! >Aaaah<*Kyahaha*
Gal: Gross.*Ahaha*
Gal: ............

Rena: I'm home.
Aya: Welcome back./Rena.
Boy: Hiya./Just dropping by for a minute.

Boy: That your big sister, Ayana?
Aya: Yep.
Boy: No way! Seriously?/You don't look anything alike.
Aya: Especially in the brains department.♥
Boy: Which one is better? Well, I guess that's obvious.*Gyahaha*
Aya: She was classed among the top 300 nationwide at her exam.
Rena: ........
Boy: No kidding? She's a genius.
Aya: Tell me about it./But she can't be all that happy, seeing as she never managed to get herself a boyfriend even once.
Boy: No boyfriend? For real?
Aya: For real, Shouji-kun. Care to apply for the position?
Rena: (Wai.../Wha-what the. Who asked them to...)
Boy: Uuuuh. No, not for me. Forget about it!*Hahaha/Hyahaha*
Boy: Hey, why is she keeping her black hair so long? Do girls still do that?/Maybe it's meant for a curse or something?*cackle cackle*
Boy: Yeah, that's got to be it.
Rena: .......

Rena: Ayana.
Aya: Mh?
Rena: Be grateful. | I could have told dad on you during dinner, but I kept quiet.
Aya: ........ | What are you talking about?
Rena: You had your boyfriend with you in your room today./If you don't want to be found out, you'd better wash his glass and put it back on the rack before mom returns.
Aya: That was just a friend.
Rena: Yeah, right.

Rena: The one with the brown dye-job, right? Sitting near the edge of your bed. | He does seem to be the kind of guy you'd fall for.//You heard mom. East High is full of delinquents, so be careful......
Aya: PFAH//Woooooow.//It took you only one second to figure out so much./I never stood a chance.*giggle*
Aya: So typical of you, dear sister.♥/Aren't you a frustrated one?*snicker*

Aya: Aaaaaaaah!!*whack*
Aya: Rena just hit me for no reasooooon.
Mom: What? You're a grown up, act like it!!
Aya: I didn't do anything to her.
Rena: Whaaaat
Mom: Your sister wouldn't be angry if you hadn't done anything.
Aya: Not fair.
Mom: Don't be silly!
Aya: Hey, what's for dessert?
Mom: Didn't you tell me to avoid preparing sweets not so long ago? Something about you being on diet......
Aya: Ah, that. It's over, now.>Eehee<
Rena: ........//(She was supposed to pay for humiliating me....../and that's all she gets?)
Narrator: My sister's always been like that!!/Adept at currying favors... and cunning like a fox!!

Narrator: Maybe it was because I looked so stern, I wouldn't know/but for some reason I was never allowed to behave like a child, or so I felt.//In order to match the appearances I would do my best efforts, and as a result/I would have the congratulations of my parents, among others.
Aya: I got/Fiftyyyyyy.
Rena: (50/does she have a brain?!)[tn: Japanese grades go from 1 to 100.]
Dad: How can you laugh so casually!
Mom: Your sister's never brought home that kind of score.
Aya: Awesome. My sister's a genius.
Mom: That girl is such a handful...... Phew.
Dad: Oh, well. Try harder next time.
Aya: Yup.♥
Rena: (That's it?/A little laugh, and it's all over.......?)
Narrator: As far as I can remember/that's how it's always been!!

Rena: (Who does she think she is, the idiot!! | Who does she think she is?!!)
Aya: Giggle.../Uuuuh. Yes, it's true./Yeah. | Right, but you see.*crunchcrunch*
Rena: (She's spending forever on the phone again!!/She knows mom will be furious by the end of the month, does she not?)*cackle*
Rena: ............
Aya: Yes, Shouji-kun. I love you too./Yes I do.../...Uh-huh/Uh-huh.*whispers*
Rena: (Whatever the boys do with my sister's pictures in this situation, I wanna hear it from them!!)//...........//(The heck... | Th-at's what they do, then. All of them...?/I knew a thing or two about it from the manga I've read, but still...)/............./.........*todom todom*

Teacher: Next. | Vertical jump time for you too, girls.//Amami!
Rena: Ye-Yes.

Boys: ..../.....*silence*
Gals: What're you looking at?/Perverts.
Lids: You got better things to do than ogling.*whack*
Lids: Ignore the girls and keep going./Next up, a boy!//Shoe!
Rena: (Shoe-kun...)

Boy: Pft!
Gal: Check it out.*chuckle*
Rena: ........
*giggle giggle*
Rena&Shoe: .............

Chapter 40 - Tall women are cool.

Class: The tallest girl in our grade./And the shortest guy.......
*giggle* *Quite an interesting pair, they make.*//Don't let her beat you.
Rena: .......*Ahaha*
Rena: (This....)/......./(It's embarrassing......)*giggle*
Dude: Just jump and be done with it, you two.

Board: 82 cm.*Oooooooh*[tn: That's roughly 3-4 inches short of 3 feet.]
Rena: .......
Class: Wooow./Awesome./You're the man, pal.
Rena: (Terrific...//He shut everyone up just with his skill, keeping his cool all the way........)
*todom todom*
Gal: You know, you can use the other one...
Rena: Uh, sure!

Board: 32 cm!![tn: Roughly a foot.]*Pft...* *chuckle* *dejected...*
Rena: (Oh God the shame...)
Class: Can't judge a book by its cover.*giggle/giggle*
Rena: (Being taller is no guarantee that you'll develop greater physical capability.../You're the funny ones for jumping to conclusions based on looks alone.)
Dude: No need to tidy up. The next class will be using the material as well.

Rena: (Uh?//I can't put it on./But I barely bought those shoes.)//Ah.//Sh-Shoe-kun...!//Uh-hum.../Well...
Shoe: ...Uh?
Rena: Those shoes you're wearing...

Rena: I think... | there's a good chance... | that they're actually mine.......
Shoe: Uuuuh-huuuh.
Sneaker: Amami.
Shoe: Sorry 'bout that. Mine are brand new too, so I mistook 'em.//Small wonder they felt so damn loose.
Dude: Pppft!
Dude: She's got some big-ass feet on her, she does./Um well no. I mean, uh...

Rena: Same here./I've been wondering why my shoes had been replaced with baby-sized ones!
Sign: Library.
Rena: Aaaaaaaaargh!!//(Baby-sized!/Baby sized!!!//Of all the unpleasant things I could have said, I had to chose the one most likely to hurt him...!!/Clearly he didn't mean to rub me the wrong way! | He's not that kind of guy at all!!)

Rena: (One little jab at my low self-esteem and I went all sarcastic on him!!/I can be so inconsiderate!! | So tall yet so small-minded!! | You really can't judge a book by its cover!!)[tn: The expression used in Japanese literally means "I have a small heart". To which Rena adds: "Inversely proportional to my height."]//......../(That said, it's kinda lame to use my physical height as a measure of my spiritual worth...//Uh.//Shoe-kun in the library. It's not often.../Studying, maybe?//Guess I should apologize for earlier./I wish I could./But I'm afraid he won't want to forgive me...//In the same position, Ayana would probably make him smile with those trademark puppy eyes of hers/and she'd be forgiven just like that... Yeah, I bet.)

Shoe: Amami.../...san.
Rena: Ye-Yes?!
Shoe: Sorry.../can you help me out with this?
Rena: Uh?/Duh?/(Studies...?)//A... Alright.
Shoe: Thanks.
Rena: The angle here becomes the same.../See the equation here.../Remember Newton's third law?

Rena: (Th-This is the first time/I ever get to face a boy up close like this.)//Di... Did you get it?*griiiin*

Shoe: You sure didn't steal your rank in the national top 300!/You make a great teacher.
Rena: G... Good.[tn: This is partly obscured, but still legible.]
Shoe: Lemme give you a tip, though.......//You're probably trying to be considerate about my little height problem./But you don't have to bend forward to talk to me.
Rena: Uh?
Shoe: I know I ain't no giant, but I can't do nothing about it. So the more fuss people make of it, trying to be considerate and all/The more it actually hurts. Surprisingly, eh.

Rena: (I... I was just trying to convey my satisfaction at his progress.../He... mistook it fo solicitude...)/Solicitude... But I didn't mean to...//If... If I'm always bent over/it's... just/a bad habit... of mine... | that's it...//(Now I've got tears welling up in my eyes!/Come on, I never look quite as terrible as when I'm crying!)/........./(Things couldn't get any worse!)
Shoe: Ah.../Uuuuuh......

Shoe: My bad! | I didn't know about it, and just pulled the consideration thing out of my ass./Excuse me!!//........//Nah! Can't have that sort of thing!/This is the sort of mistake I shouldn't be making!//It just reeks of that inferiority complex I got about my height./And I can't have that!

Shoe: I really apologize for this!/Please forgive me!!
Rena: (Just as I thought....... He's amazing.//Acknowledging his own complex so openly in front of someone.//Shoe-kun/is so cool.......)//Sa-Same here./A-apologies!!
Shoe: Huh?
Rena: F-for earlier./During the sports evaluation...

Rena: See, I'm too tall and I hate that about myself.../So I thought you were making fun of me because of my big shoes.//Actually, I could tell you didn't mean it that way/but it struck the "height complex" chord in me, and I just lost it. It was irrational.
Shoe: I-I'm awfully, terribly sorry about that one.
Rena: Th-think nothing of it. I should be the one making excuses.
Shoe: Gotta say, though. I don't get it.
Rena: Uh?
Shoe: Being tall ain't something you should be complexing about, Amami.
Rena: Eh?/(Hey, what happened to honorifics?)[tn: "Yobisute" (呼び捨て), or "dropping the honorifics" isn't done lightly in Japan. It's usually a sign of close friendship, and may come off as unspeakably rude if done arbitrarily.]

Shoe: I like tall./Tall girls are the shit.
Rena: (He thinks.../tall women are cool.......?!)

Rena: (.......Now I'm feeling all fuzzy inside!!)/Ayanaaaaaa.//Momma said to sort out your recyclables.
Aya: Yes. Uh-huh.♥/Wuuuuuuuuut? Aaah, I seeeeee.*wriggle wriggle*
Rena: ...........
Aya: Here. Put these away.
Rena: What's the point of all that coquettish wriggling for someone who can't see any of it....?*Heave-ho*
Aya: No waaaaaay.
Rena: Aw maaan! How many times do I have to tell her to tie these things up properly...

Shoe: (Tall girls are the shit.)
Magazine, from right to left: PROTIPS!!/Brand New {Whatever}/Its colorful design will suit your face like a second skin!! ¥39.000./This beautiful bag will go with anything. ¥48.900./The symbol designed in the middle{whatever}.[tn: Roughly 370 USD and 464 USD respectively. Ouch!]*todom todom*
Rena: (If I ever get to look like a supermodel.../Surely Shoe-kun will...)*todom*

Rena: (Ever since I was a kid, reading has been my only source of entertainment./My favorite playgrounds were the library and the bookshop.//As a result, my pocket money and whatever cash I received as a gift every New Year/has remained there, thoroughly untouched.)//It... It's got to be the first time/Haa/Haa/I ever buy this much on my own......./(Shoe-kun.//If I can manage to look attractive)/........../Maybe Shoe-kun will fall in love with me?![/end

Chapter 41 - It actually worked!

Rena: Uh.
Narrator: I've been running into Shoe-kun a lot these days, whenever I went to the library.
Shoe: Here./Care to lend a hand? 'Preciate it...

Narrator: The two of us have been spending increasingly more time chatting together.
Shoe: Ah, okay./Now I see. Makes sense./Thanx.
Rena: Shoe-kun, you've been doing a lot of studying, lately.
Shoe: Yeah?//Well, I've been spending the last three years doing only the stuff I fancied. Athletics, y'know./I ain't gonna get no University recommendation like you, girl. So I'm not exactly spoiled for choice.
Rena: Do you know.../where you'll go to college?

Rena: I'm leaving for Tokyo./I want to attend college there.//I wish to undertake a literary course/And I mean real studies!

Mom: B-but when your teacher suggested you go to Tokyo last year/you said a local university would do just as well......
Rena: I-I said that because I was afraid of living on my own, and all/And I didn't think things over too much beyond this......//......//I've read that book by Professor Amamoto, from the Hojo University: "The Young Girl's Adventure and the Boy's Journey". | A comparison between English and Japanese children's literature, based on Alice in Wonderland and Night on the Galactic Railroad...[tn: Night on the Galactic Railroad, translated from the Japanese 銀河鉄道の夜 (Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru) is a fairy tale authored by poet Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933), and considered as his greatest work. It's about a boy called Giovanni who travels the Milky way with his friend Campanella.]
Narrator: I tried my absolute best to convey my intent to study in Tokyo. I didn't expect my idiot of a sister to understand anything I said of course, but my parents were equally drowned under the barrage of cryptic explanations.
Rena: ......
Dad: Getting in the way of your studies would have never occurred to me, you know.//Ayana would be another story, but you are serious enough for me to allow you to live on your own... right?
Aya: * pout * /What's that s'posed to mean?
Rena: ......
Dad: Gotta say, though. Seeing someone like you who never voices her own opinion asserting herself so fiercely?/That was like... | a slap in the face. I mean that in a good way, mind you.......

Rena: (Mom. Dad.)/.../(I'm sorry.//But)
Shoe: I wanna get into a university in Southeast Tokyo.//Have you seen the Izu relay race this year?/I mean man, that was awesome. | At the eighth section, there was that freshman called Murai, and he got like 10 people eating his frickin' dust one by one...//Say I spend the next few years training under coach Hamada and making progress. | By the time I can participate Murai-san will still be in third year, so I'll get to run with him.//If I could actually manage that timing and be a runner in that university for a whole four years | that'd be like, awesome alright.
Narrator: I was sitting there, staring in awe at an unusually talkative Shoe-kun's profile./My mind racing with a million of unspeakable thoughts.

Rena: (I'll get to live in Tokyo, along with him./Albeit in a different university.//I'll have become a whole lot prettier then than I am right now.//And when I am)//..........//Aaaaaaaaaaah!//I'm a sick girl.../A total pervert......)

Rena: (Studying has always been my forte./My method when learning something from scratch is always the same.//Applied to fashion/that means comparing and studying several fashion magazines in order to figure out and classify what's "trendy", so to speak.//From there/make a clearheaded assessmentof my strengths and weaknesses//to sort out which is which./My big breasts should definitely not be a disadvantage.)[tn: Where did a Japanese girl find all that ass?]

Rena: (Nijihara Yumi is over 170cm tall/So that shouldn't be a weakness either.//The problem lies with those stern-looking eyes of mine.../God can be so unfair.//My headstrong, mean little sister was born with puppy eyes/which means everyone is fond of her no matter what outrageous nonsense she spouts. (Which didn't help with her selfishness at all if you ask me.)//Reverse thinking time.//The only issue is that my intimidating stare | is at at odds with my unassertive personality.)//So/fine-tuning my demeanor in accordance with my look should take care of the problem.

(As for my makeup and clothing style/I won't settle down for "cute", I'm gunning for "drop dead gorgeous".//I'll pick a free day/somewhere far away from home. Walk about town for a bit.//Change clothes, put on some makeup./And run an experiment, someplace where people don't know me.//My height is nothing to be ashamed of!/Straighten up my back! | Look straight ahead!//Be confident/and walk around like the knockout I am.)
Dude: Whoa!

Dudes: She's tall alright. Some long legs she's got on her! She must be some kind of top-model?/A model around here?/With silky black hair like that she'd be at home in a shampoo commercial.♥ | And check out the shit she's wearing. None of it looks cheap!//But gals who are confident about their hair and whatnot ain't exactly hard to find./*HAHAHAHA*/We've been fooled like that a truckload of times already......//but...//it don't matter if it's a trap. We've got to check it out!/Right on!

Dudes: Ah.../Whoa.../(She's like-like flawless?!)//E-excuse me miss, but would you happen to be a model... | or some such thing...?!/(Hey, why'd I need to be so formal?)
Rena: Heh...
Dudes: Did she just scoff at me?/*Aaaugh*

Rena: D'AAAAAAAH!/Good Lord, what stress!//Hey.../I did it....../Haha...//It actually worked!/I did it!!

Narrator: However//At home and at school alike, I kept the results of my efforts entirely to myself. *keeps it simple*
Narrator: For had anyone so much as suspected my immoral plan | it would have put my chances to live alone in Tokyo in jeopardy.
*but has taken to stand up straight*
Gals: Hey, your sister's gotten a tad prettier of late, hasn't she?/Yeah. I've noticed that too.
Aya: Ya think?/Don't see much of a change besides that, though. Still no boyfriend in sight.//.......

Boys: Go!/Go for it!
Book: History of Japan.
Boys: Go!/Go!*Yeah yeah*
Boy: Woohooo!*splat*
Shoe: Ghaaa.
Gals: Aren't you guys a bit old to act so immature?/I mean, bringing beetles to the classroom? Really?

Boys: Shaddap./That curved horn thing right here is a symbol of manhood! | You chicks wouldn't understand!!
Gals: What a disgusting thing to say!/You pervert!!
Boys: Mh? Us? Disgusting? Never!
Shoe: Next time I'll get my revenge.
Rena: ......


Boy: Yaaay! I win!!
Shoe: Uh?/Agh!
Boy: Pass the ¥300!![tn: Roughly 3.74 USD]
Boys: What'chu looking at?/300 bucks.
Shoe: N-nah, nothing...//.........*todom todom todom*
Aya: .........[/end

Dude: Hey, miss! You, with the dark hair. A moment of your time.//What school are you from?/You're not from any college in the vicinity, are you?
Chapter 42 - I should've told him
Rena: Like you've memorized the faces of every college students in the vicinity, eh?
Dude: Ahaha. Okay, I can go hide myself.//What with you looking good with that Merhes bag despite your young age/The local girls can't hope to touch that anytime soon...[tn: A bag Hermes, I presume.]//Ah. perhaps you work for TV, or some magazine?/Is that it?//See, I'm in the business myself.
Rena: Romeo Productions?
Dude: Yes. We're based in Tokyo. I take care of Ibuki Miki and Zacky, among others......

Rena: Sorry sir/but I'm not interested.
Chapter 42 - I should've told him.

Rena: Ow!!//Oowwww.//(Gotta get used to putting on those lenses ASAP...//I'm gonna do something about my hair, too./Not now, it'd be a dead giveaway. It'll wait till I live on my own.//To think I grew that jet black hair out of admiration for a girl in a novel I loved/It's a bit of a pity/but I'll be going for the same fashionable look as Niji-chan.//Everyone | everyone/will be commenting on how pretty I am.)......

Aya: Rena?
Rena: Uh | Yes?
Aya: What are you grinning into that mirror for exactly? | Thought you had an exam to prepare.
Rena: I-I got recommended for that exam. I'll be fine...
Aya: Have you been somewhere today?
Rena: Ye-yeah. Went in town to buy some books......
Aya: That bag/it's a Merhes......
Rena: Y-yes. I bought it with my savings.
Aya: You're interested in luxury brands and the like, now? What's the deal?//Cau-cause let's be honest/that sort of thing doesn't suit you at all, if you ask me.[tn: I'm not asking! BITCH!! :stfu:]

Dude: What with you looking good with that Merhes bag despite your young age
Rena: You're probably right./But cute as you are, I'm sure anything would suit YOU.
Aya: You've been acting strange lately, haven't you?
Rena: Really?
Aya: You betcha!//Got yourself a fling or what?
Rena: Do-don't be silly.../I mean, "got myself a fling"? How vulgar can you get?!!
Aya: Don't get so worked up./Silly girl.
Rena: My sister

Rena: (She's always been cheerful and carefree, as one might expect from a family's youngest child./Coupled with her endearing features, it meant that she was always surrounded with admirers.//I was good at studying/which was my one and only means of garnering recognition.//So despite my dismissing of her as a fool/in truth, I was jealous of her. I can see that now.//The way I'd tilt my head down and look up, conjuring that horrifically bad stare in the process//was no doubt my way of unconsciously emulating my sister's "Cuteness Beam".//Now that I can muster some measure of kind feelings towards her/I can admit it.)

Rena: (If you ask me, the ability to love others/and be loved in return/feels much better than whatever praise/being a good student can get you.//Being in love with Shoe-kun. How I'd like that.../I'm changing!!//Once I get in Tokyo, where nobody knows the old "me"/I can start everything anew.

Shoe: Amami!/Never knew you were so hot!!
Rena: (I can start a new life/along with Shoe-kun.)

Rena: .........
Mune: Ah... Okay......//......

Mune: So that air of experienced seductress you had started with your debut in college, then. | Right?/..............//.......Qui/Quite the hard worker, you make.
Asou: Still, there's that small angsty girl vibe going on, honestly.//Just joking./Oh, well. Everyone goes through the same thing at this point of their lives.
Mune: You too, Asou-san?
Asou: Who knows?/...Well//Stack up a new facade of maturity at every juncture of your life, until actual maturity kicks in.
Rena: ......
Asou: That's how it gets done, doesn't it?

Mune: ......//And what happened to that Shoe-kun boy... since your arrival in Tokyo?
Rena: Eh./Uh.//Ah, yes. Good question./Ahaha.//Well, no matter how drastic my transformation on the outside/who I was deep down wasn't going to change overnight...//I've been down his apartment so many times. But
Rena: !

Shoe: ........//...

Mune: Must have been some massive change... for him not to recognize you./Why didn't you talk to him?
Rena: ........
Asou: .......
Mune: ......?
Rena: We.../Well... Because shortly after that/I found myself in the state you see me now.

Rena: If things were bound to turn out this way | then as yo said, Agawa-san/I should have picked myself up and talked to him.//I should/I should've told him.
Asou: She's still hiding something from us.
Mune: Yeah?
Asou: I have a feeling there's something about that boyfriend of hers she doesn't want to talk about.
Mune: I-if you say so...//...

Mune: Poor Rena./She's got to kiss me despite already having someone else in her heart.
Asou: What if the same disease turned YOU into a child?
Mune: Uh?
Asou: I bet you'd be happy to have some gorgeous lady to kiss at your leisure.
Mune: Yeah. That makes perfect sense...
Asou: But if you do turn into a child and I'm dating you, would I get arrested for deviancy?
Mune: I could turn into whatever, that surely wouldn't stop you.
Asou: If I ever became a child/I still wouldn't object to doing the deed.//It'd be bound to hurt, though, so be gentle, okay?
Mune: .............. ............

Mune: But as far as Rena is concerned, it's not just a joke....../......That's kinda awful, don't you think?
Asou: Yes. It's awful.//Rena's predicament is a cruel one indeed. | I'm glad we've been spared the same fate....... Thank God.//Considering the fact that I've been able to notice my feelings for you | before I experienced the same fate as Rena/the fact that I've been able to confess my love//and that you reciprocated it/I do consider myself fortunate.
Mune: Asou... -san

Asou: If I ever were to turn into a child right now/I wouldn't want to kiss anyone else but you./I'd shrink and I'd die, sure. But I'd do so in your arms.[tn: Aaaaaaawww.]
Mune: ........
Asou: When that happens/I want you to hold me tight, just like this.

Asou: When that happens | I want you to cover me/in your tobacco-smelling kisses.

Rena: ........//Oh./Beetles.//......//Mhph.../Mhph......//Awesome!/I actually caught a couple!//(I'll give them to Shoe-kun tomorrow.♥)//I'm wondering if I still have that cage in my closet.)

Rena: (Uh...//Wh.../What the...?//Ayana.../and Shoe-kun? How come?![/end

Chapter 43 - It isn't fair!!

Rena: Ayana... and Shoe-kun?!//Huh?/Ho-how's that possible?!
Aya&Shoe: ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rena: Th-they can't be... | dating, can they?/Uh?/No way.
Aya: ~~~
Shoe: .........

Aya&Shoe: !!
Shoe: .........!!//A....../Ama......

Rena: Uh.../Ah......

Rena: .........//(I had no idea.../that Shoe-kun and Ayana were dating...//Hey, the heck do you think you're doing?!/I'm being depressed right here, show some decency!!)

Rena: (This is silly.../What would I look like if I handed him those beetles, now? | I should have gotten rid of them.//Turns out/Shoe-kun was just as interested in kissing as the next guy.//For whatever reason... I'd pictured him as some kind of noble soul/far above that sort of considerations........//So I endeavored to make a somewhat more suitable person of myself/so that he might look my way/Refinement, elegance... I worked very hard to get all those things I lacked...//All of this......)

Rena: (for him to be content with a girl like Ayana, who just happens to have good looks.../He was just like any other guy.......//When he kisses....../this is what Shoe-kun looks like...//Must have been the first time/I ever saw him look so surprised.......)

(What do you know......)/....../(He's just like me...//A lecher/nothing more/than an unremarkable, boring high school kid.)/Haha...//Shoe-kun...//Why not me?/Why weren't I good enough for you...?

Aya: What are you doing
Aya: here in this dark little corner.......?//Aaaaah. Beetles in the middle of having sex.
Rena: ........

Rena: .......
Aya: ........//Did you see us?/I had no idea you were watching./Came as quite the surprise.
Rena: .........//When did you......./did you... start to date Shoe-kun?
Aya: Uuuuuuh?//How did it happen again?/Ah. Yeah.//First started talked to him today, during noon break. | I invited him to a family restaurant, and then we talked for a bit/It was getting dark so I asked if he could walk me home, so he kinda tagged along.

Aya: And then//Well, just look at the beetles.//Anything will do, as far as he's concerned.//And here you are, going all the way to Tokyo just to pursue him./Not so sure it's worth it.

Rena: I... I don't care......//A guy like that ...can just go to Hell.......//I'm getting out of this hole.../to live alone in Tokyo...!//I'm gonna live someplace/where I need not suffer your presence!!

Rena: (From that point on, I wouldn't speak to Shoe-kun while at school.)
Shoe: Ah...
Rena: We graduated and went to Tokyo/without ever exchanging a single word......
Aya: Thank you so much for your help.
Mune: Sure. Take care of yourself.
Asou: Should you come to live with your sister next year, feel free to drop by.

Aya: Ultimately, my sister didn't show herself at all. | Pretty much dumped me there for you to take care of, she did.
Mune: Haha/She must have been busy.
Rena: ........
Aya: I take it she's still angry at me/but serious as she is, I bet she's still around here somewhere, observing me.
Rena: (Of course I'm angry at you./Stupid.)/........//The first thing I did upon arriving in Tokyo//was to get myself a Nijibara hairdo/and attend my University debut, just as intended./(Shoe-kun can just go yo Hell.)

Rena: But...//that version of me/was a lie.//In truth/the real me

Rena: !

Rena: The real me/wanted only one thing, and that was to be with Shoe-kun.

Mune: Ah. It's about time. You better step in.
Aya: Okay.♥
Asou: Where's your luggage?
Aya: I'd piled up way too much stuff, so I had it all sent home. Express delivery.
Aya: Send Rena my regards.//See, she's such a straight-laced person/she'll get the wrong idea if a guy so much as looks at her sideways.//She's pretty much clueless when it comes to men/so I'm worried about someone getting the better of her.

Mune: You sure care about your sister, don't you?
Asou: ........
Aya: You'll take good care of her, I'm su...
Mune: (Re.../Rena?!)
Aya: ..........?/Aren't you that girl from yesterday?

Rena: Still acting like you're the single best thing since sliced bread.../You haven't changed at all. Not. One. Bit...
Aya: Uh?
Rena: Look how much I have changed/while you still remain the same./It isn't fair!![/end

Rena: ........
Aya: Huh?//A... and you are?
Chapter 44 - Now that's just pathetic.
Mune: (Wh-what d'you think you're doing | Rena?!
Aya: .......//I... Impossible.../What the?/...But/Whaaat?!

Aya: Y... you can't.../p-possibly be.../Rena?!
Chapter 44 - That's pathetic alright.

Rena: That's right./I'm your older sister. Amami Rena.
Mune: A-Ayana-chan, it's all a bit complicated.//The-the train seems to be kinda late, so I sugest talking this over...
Aya: ......../Ahah...//Ahah/Ahahahahahah!/Now THAT was/reaaaaally funny.

Aya: Good job finding that girl. She's like the spitting image of a younger Rena./Ahahaha.//A prank from Rena, I take it?/She must be hiding somewhere around here, watching.
Asou: .......
Mune: Come on over here.
Aya: I... I'll be on my way/Thank you for everything.

Mune: What was that about?! | The whole operation had been running so smoothly/all for nothing!!//Now you've got no choice but to tell your parents...//...... | Well... but/this sounds like about as good an opportunity as you'll ever get, I'd say......//But still, what were the last couple of days all about, huh?

Asou: In truth, the only reason you hadn't told your family so far/is that you didn't want your sister to find out about your condition, am I right?
Rena: She's always been ashamed of her failure of an older sister/and she never missed a chance to make fun of me.//That look on her face.../have you seen it? | She didn't have the slightest idea of what was going on.......

Rena: Haha/Serves you right...
Aya: ......Rena | Is that really you?
Rena: !/Wh...What the...
Aya: Yo... your eyes are so much like hers.../I-I thought it just couldn't be true | but/But...

Aya: Sister... is that really you?

Aya: I... Incredible./Such a disease can't exist...//So she quickly turns back into a child/and that's supposed to end up how, exactly?
Asou: We've found a means of interrupting the process so at least, she'll be fine for now.
Aya: A method? Like what?
Rena: Don't feel obligated to appear as if you were concerned.
Aya: ........//Why,/do you still resent me about what happened with Shoe-kun?//He doesn’t interest me in the least. | I did what I did, but believe me or not I had your best interests at heart.......

Aya: You'd pretty much put him on some kind of pedestal, loosing your sense of self in the process. I just had to snap you out of it...
Rena: Learn to keep your big fat mouth shut!//You could never stop yourself from doing something in the past, provided it upset me!
Aya: ...........
Rena: Come on, laugh at me. I know you want to.//You've always been looking down on me./How's it feel to be able to do so literally?//Unless, maybe having a sister like me's gonna make it that much harder to get the guys?/Ahahaha.
Aya: ..........

Stomach: Gurgle./Grooowwwlll.
Aya: ?
Rena: .........
Stomach: Gweee/Gurrrgllll
Asou: She didn't take her enzyme last night. That would explain it......
Mune: Are you okay?
Rena: ...I-I'll be fine. We have more pressing matters at hand right now...
Rena: .........
Mune: Asou-san...

Mune: If you'll excuse us...//Thank goodness, the toilets seem clean enough.//There isn't much room here, so easy, m'kay?
Rena: .........

Rena: ...........

Rena: I'm sorry./Sorry for dragging you into this mess while you should be at your office, working.
Mune: Don't mind......//Still, you're not quite your usual self today.
Rena: This facet of me you've seen so far has always been a lie.
Mune: (Rena's been wearing several facades, too. Layer upon layer of them.)
Rena: Disenchanted yet?

Mune: Well, I wouldn't say that.//See/all the facets of you I've seen so far.......//I don't consider them to be lies./I just can't picture it.//I think I......//Nah......

Mune: (As superficial as the feeling is, I wanted to say it: "I think I'm starting to fall for you."/But I stopped myself.)[tn: This is getting complicated.]

Aya: Ah.../ahem...//What did Agawa-san and Rena go away for?
Asou: .......//Tell me....../you took the boy Rena loved away from her, didn't you?
Aya: Uh?//Th-that's how she put it, but/honestly, I was worried about her.//She was like, going all the way to Tokyo, to live on her own. All just so she could run after a guy./My sister's so serious, so introverted a person. When I heard her talking like that...... | I wanted to check out this guy, see if he was honest and all. So I just, kinda invited him. Nothing serious.

Aya: Whuuu?//Don't tell me you've never kissed a girl, Shoe-kun. | Being so cool, and all.
Shoe: ........
Aya: You and Rena still aren't there yet?
Shoe: Wh-why ya bringing Amami into this?/Wh-who cares about her?
Aya: What's the hold up, then?//Come on, I won't tell her a thing.//I want my kiss, Shoe-kun./Gimme./In the end...... | he was the shallow kind of guy ready to kiss at the drop of a hat.[tn: BEEYAAAAATCH!!]
Asou: .......

Asou: A... shallow guy, eh?/So you exposed him as such to your sister, then?
Aya: Not quite. Turns out she'd been peeking at us the whole time......//Honestly.../I wanted... to call her back...
Asou: Now that's just pathetic......//So it's not like Rena having feelings for Shoe-kun | was something you had trouble coping with or whatever.//Rena's love......

Asou: killed in its cradle by her own sister.//.........//The poor thing.
Aya: .........[/end

Asou: .........
Aya: ......../"Poor thing", eh...
Chapter 45 - That was directed at you.

Aya: There you have it...//Everyone always sticks up for her...//What with her always being the one who was "good for something"./As far as I recall, the grown ups always saw her as the trustworthy one, and just couldn't stop swooning over her.
Asou: Funny.

Asou: You've both been harboring a nasty inferiority complex towards one another, I see. | Some sisters, you make...//But from where I'm standing/Rena's not quite as brilliant and successful as you make her out to be.//Maybe you and I/aren't looking at the same person?
Aya: .......
Asou: .......//Did you think that bringing Shoe-kun down would let you get the best of her?
Aya: !!

Asou: What was it like to be able to hurt your sister so?/You must have been happy.//When I talked about "pathetic" earlier./That was directed at you.//Over a matter so trivial, you were ready to lock lips with a guy you for whom you didn't feel anything./How I pity you.

Aya: .........//.........[tn: Is Asou Sayako gonna have to CHOKE A BITCH?!!]
Asou: .........
Aya: ....... | Wha... what's taking them so long...?/It's been like forever...
Asou: ......//How about I show you?//I assume it'd be for the best/if you saw for yourself what truly became of your sister.

Aya: .......
*clang* *BAOM*
Aya: .........
Rena: Haaah/Haaah.
Aya: Wha... what the?
Asou: I'll say, it's taking a bit too long.*knock knock*
*clank* *creaaaak*

Aya: R... Rena?/Wh... What are you doing...?

Rena: ........
Asou: In order to put a stop the her disease's progression/she must imperatively rely on a special enzyme that happens to be in his saliva.//Agawa-kun is not even her lover, yet she's doomed to kiss him forever/at least as long as she intends to stay alive.
Rena: ......../That was cruel......

Rena: Why did you have to show her this if all things?!!/That was low!/Low, you hear me!!//Get out of my face!!//She's the last person...... the very last one...//I wanted to see me!!/Who told you to show heeer?!!

Aya: Rena.../You......//You who've always been looking down upon me, from high above./You......//the Rena who's always had mom and dad singing your praises...
Rena: ...
Aya: You.../who were always good at anything you tried.......//Heh...//There was/just about nothing that you couldn't do.......

Aya: Whatever happened....../that turned you into this tiny little thing...?!!

Rena: Ayanaaaaaa!*Baaaaaaaaaaaaw*
Aya: Renaaaaaaa!!
*booooh-hooo* *booooh* *baaaaaw*
Mune: .........

Mune: (Once you learn about Rena's illness, it's easy to feel bad for her./It happened for Ruu-kun/and for me.......//And odds are, Asou-san feels the same./I guess... most anyone would feel some measure of sympathy.//But aside from her own family/Probably no one was going to shed actual tears for her......)
Dude: Um......

Aya: Rena | you'll be okay, you're sure?
Rena: Yup. See, I've got a specialized medic on my case.
Aya: What about mom and dad......?
Rena: Well | They'd better hear it all from me./I believe come springtime, I'll be able to talk to them.
Mune: (......Springtime?)
Rena: I'll be okay.♥//Agawa-san and Asou-san are there, too. They'll have my back.
Aya: .......//Please take good care of her.

Mune: Sure. You can count on us.
Rena: You've become quite proficient with etiquette, I see.
Aya: I'm not such a child, you know.

Mune: Nothing replaces family, eh./You've been able to reconcile in the end. I call that a good thing.
Rena: ........./Family's family ....... | And because of that, I there's no such thing as completely breaking away...... bummer.
Mune: Thanks to which I've been able to peek a glance at your true face. The one you kept hidden./Nothing to sneeze at, that was.

Rena: We-well/once you've spent long enough time being a woman, you always end up with a facet here and there that you'd rather not show anyone!
Mune: ("Once you've been a woman long enough", eh......)*Pft*
Mune: (Naaaah. Be very rude to start laughing, right now.//She may look like a 10 year old, but she's still 19 inside./She's an adult woman who's known love. Whose heart has raced in the throes of passion, and who's been hurt because of it.)

Mune: (Compared to a guy like me who until recently, had been nursing a heartbreak going back to his teenage days/she's not all that different......
Asou: PFFF... >Hh hh<//Heh heh heh...*giggle giggle* *hic*
Asou: "Been a woman long enough?" I mean, look at you! | ...Sorry...*BWAHA*
Asou: I just...*HEH HEH HEH*
Rena: ..........
Mune: (.........)[/end

Chapter 46 - I could take you with me.

Mune: Pleasure working with you.
Girls: Pleasure working with you.
Narrator: Every businessman at Lèvres is responsible for several stores, on top of which he supervises the Beauty Advisors (BA) teams dispatched there.//I happen to have several such shops under my care, but one of them is of particularly great importance/the one here at the Hokuto Department Store.
Mune: We're now among the top five department stores in town.
Gals: Yaaaaaay.*Aaaah Ahhhh*
Mune: The increase in foundation cream sales particularly stands out.
Gals: Woohoo!

Gals: Just as you'd planned. Eh, chief?/We've been consistently making it to the top 5.
Konno: Everyone of you's been working hard towards our goal. It's all thanks to you guys.
Narrator: Let's face it. I positively love that store.*Yay yay* *teehee*
Narrator: Thanks to their "chief", Konno-san's leadership they work in unison, and produce results well above the company's stated requirements.
Konno: This is our limited edition article for this winter.
Narrator: This store is just great. Nothing short of awesome.//If all the stores under my care were pleasing like that one, I might even have come to enjoy my work/but the nearby Nanbu Department Store puts a damper on that.

Narrator: I'm responsible for this one too.
Mune: Uuuuum./The results of our sales for last month are out.//Among all the department stores in town, this one ranks//32nd!!
Gals: Thank goodness.*Wooh* *Haaah*
Gals: We aren't quite dead last.
Mune: Yeah, well considering the location, and attendance rate and all, these figures make no sense!/You need to put some work into it.//The Hokuto store nearby made it to the top five yet again, by the way.
Kago: Ahem.

Mune: Yes, Kago-san.
Kago: I've been thinking about this for a while//and compared to the other cosmetics floors, Lèvres got the short end of the stick when it comes to placement./We're standing way too far from the entrance, which means we don't see that many people either.//I believe they're discriminating against us Lèvres, here at Nanbu.
Narrator: By the way, Gotou-san, who's in charge of Lèvres here happens to be a Nanbu employee.
Gotou: Well, I have something to say too./The BA staff dispatched here by Lèvres clearly pose greater problems than those at the Hokuto store do.//Not everyone of course, but some clearly do.
Mune: .......
Gal: Ah!!

Gal: A-Agawa-san, you think Hokuto store is better than us, don't you?
Mune: Uh?//Y... you don't under...
Gal: Look at your face/it screams how much better you think Konno-san from Hokuto is!!
Gals: Konno-san looks gorgeous, but that's cause she's good with makeup./Any guy would fall for it!
Mune: And a BA who's good with makeup is bad how, exactly?
Gal: There. He didn't see a thing.
Gotou: Ko... Konno-san is as old as I am, you know?
Mune: A-age has nothing to do with it!/And what do you mean, "you know"?
Gals: Agawa-san! Whose side are you on? Ours, of that of Hokuto?!!
Mune: Whuuu?!//(Wh-whose side I'm on?!)

Mune: (How did I get dragged into this?)
Dude: So. What did you say, then?
Mune: ......Well.//That they were both important partners to me.
Dude: Pfah. Boring.
Mune: What should I have told them, then?
Dude: Well, ya see....../Man, you're getting good results out of Hokuto, if nothing else. I envy you.
Mune: Sigh... Oh, well...

Announcer: Today, we'll be bothering Lèvres' Publicity Department!!/The young popular and charismatic and Office Lady Asou Sayako-san shall answer our questions.♥//Asou-san is the woman behind the famous Lips Sanctuary campaign that drastically increased...
Gal: TV's downstairs filming, right now.
Dude: .......//Started out at the same time, we did. In different departments, sure. But why am I trailing so far behind, eating her dust...?
Mune: ..........

Asou: Welcome home.
Mune: You came back early.
Asou: Yup./Headed home straight after the interview...
Mune: I saw you, back at the company./Not much, but still.
Mune: What is that smell...?

Rena: Welcome back.♥
Mune: Ah... Sure./I'm home./Didn't you say something about being late today?
Rena: I always get invited to eat out by the two of you./Thought today at least I could treat you to homemade cooking.
Mune: Wooow.
Asou: Let's be honest here. You actually meant to cook for your boyfriend, didn't you?

Asou: But he turned you down because he'd already planned to go out for a drink with his clubmates.*teehee*
Rena: .......
Mune: ........//I-I see./Ki-kinda benefits us in the end, eh. | Haha...//You didn't have to be so mean about it./Nothing wrong with eating at home every once in a while.
Asou: Who said anyting about "wrong"?//Thing is/I can't help at all.[tn: Asou's probably inept at cooking, which in Japan is a significant flaw for any woman to have. Hence her reaction.]
Mune: ......../(Sigh.)

Rena: It's okay. | I've seen you at it earlier, and turns out I've been better off on my own.
Asou: Tell you what. Your boyfriend's not out for a drink, he's at a goukon. | That's right. A GOUKON.[tn: A party where the participants belong to several companies/colleges, and gather together for the explicit purpose of finding a date.]
Mune: Asou-san!!
Rena: Hey. I heard that.../Shoe-kun said it was just a drinking party!!
Asou: And you believed him? | He can't exactly speak his mind to some girl in primary school now, can he?//He must be busy with some smoking hot lady as we speak.
Mune: Asou-san?!
Rena: ..........
Mune: C'mon Rena, don't take her seriously, damnit!!

Mune: (Aaaaaah/Now I get to deal with that shit at home too?!!
Asou: You wanted to charm him with meat and potato stew? How old-fashioned of you...♥
Rena: ............
Mune: (Despite all that crap she gives, Asou-san is not above eating everything/even taking seconds to boot........)

Rena: Thank you very much.//See you tomorrow./Be well.
Mune: Sure. Good night to you. Take care.
Asou: ...Yeah./And thanks for the meal.
Narrator: I had that feeling/that the three of us had gotten used to living together without even noticing.

Announcer: Today, we'll be bothering Lèvres' Publicity Department!!/The young popular and charismatic and Office Lady Asou Sayako-san shall answer our questions.♥
Mune: That today's interview?
Asou: Yup. It's been taped.//What do you think?//I wasn't so confident in the TV staff member's makeup skills, so I took care of it myself.
Mune: What do you mean?
Asou: The thing with TV is that once digitalized, it lets you see just how good or bad you've been doing with your makeup.//I believe we need to establish a makeup method geared towards digital broadcasting. | This ought to help generate new demand......

Mune: ........./You can even self-produce...... I'm impressed.//Well, yeah./You look good enough......//But I like it best au naturel./......I'm kinda tired today, though.
Asou: ...I'll do you in your sleep, then.
Mune: You don't mind a dead lay?
Asou: If you think you CAN sleep, be my guest.
Mune: Haha.♥
Both: ......Ha/Ha...//Hah/Hah/Hah

Asou: Haeeh/Hah/Hah//Hah//Hah//Hah/Hah.

Asou: Hey.//Do you hate it in Sales?
Mune: ........./Wh-why do you ask?
Asou: Because...... you've been a lot more rough than usual?//........./I could take you with me. How's Publicity Department sound, Agawa-kun?
Mune: ?![/end

Asou: Would you like to enter the Publicity Department?/Maybe that would appeal more to you?
Chapter 47 - I'll do it!

Asou: You hate Sales... don't you?/I can tell. I did it for a while when I entered the company, for training purposes.//I just can't stand the sight of you with that constant forced smile on your face...
Mune: .......//A... hahaha./Nah, I've got no idea what you're talking about.
Asou: ..../Too bad. And here I thought we'd be able to work together......//........
Mune: ........//(What kind of idiot would fall for such an offer from his girlfriend? Sounds way too good to be true./It's got to be some kind of joke./It's not like Asou-san has that kind of authority.//She can't stand the sight of me with that constant forced smile on my face? ......>Is that so?<)

Mune: (Is it really what it looks like......?/Okay, I'll admit I'm not thrilled about the whole Sales Department deal. | But it's not like I ever told anyone about it.//Publicity.../The King of all divisions. Everyone would kill to get there.......//Launch a successful enough advertisement campaign/and decades later, people will still be talking about it. | Working as a creative sure sounds cool......
Asou: So? Do you feel like it, now?
Mune: !!//We... well/of course not...... | why should I...?

Ume: Agawa. Department head wants to see you.
Mune: ?
Kuri: Agawa/I understand you're having trouble dealing with the hostility between the Hokuto and Nanbu Department Stores' BA?
Narrator: Kuriyama Shouhei. Head of the Sales Department.
Mune: Ye...Yes | well.../Nothing worth talking about, rea....../(Damn you, Umedzu... Bastard sold me out, he did......)
Kuri: Well, Hokuto and Nanbu are standing right next to each other, plus both stores are of similar proportions./It is hardly surprising that they might develop a sense of rivalry....../Perhaps having you supervising both sites on your own was too much of a workload.
Mune: Pardon?

Kuri: I'll turn over the Hokuto site to Umedzu.
Mune: Hokuto's got a good placement and satisfactory results/yet they're taking it off my hands?
Ume: You should have an easier time this way./Might be a bit hard to deal with the extra work, but | I don't have a choice, now, do I?
Mune: (Umedzu, you asshole.)

Mune: I'm boned!!
Kuri: It's alright./Agawa, I know you have it in you!!/I can tell!!
Mune: Uh?
Kuri: I went to "Vivian", lately. With Takeda, and everyone.
Mune: Uh?
Ume: Aaaaah/With Narumi-chan, you mean?♥
Kuri: Yep. Chubby, pale Narumi-chan.
Naru: Agawa-kun's not coming today?
Mune: (Chubby?)
Naru: Now that's too bad.♥
Ume: Damn you, man. Stealing Narumi-chan like that.
Mune: Duh/(Yeah, right...)
Ume: Well get you for this. | Damn you.
Kuri: Sure thing.

Kuri: Get those BA chicks to listen to you. Use that pretty boy face of yours to cajole them into it if you must./It's part of your job after all eh, Agawa-chan?
Mune: .........//(So-some thing to say in front of someone whose job involves selling stuff to women...!!/You old-fashioned, sleazy old fart!//Ah.../Shimatani-buchou is about just as old//yet he's so much more stylish you can barely tell they're from the same age group.../Whoa... He's rocking a Patek today.)
Asou: How's Publicity sound...?

Mune: (Get a hold of yourself!!/Now!!//Can't allow my love affair with Asou-san/to overlap with our dealings at work. It's wrong!!//Factor in the superior-subordinate relationship/and you get the perfect recipe for failure!!//What I need to do above all else is work my ass off at the job I do have/and gain recognition that way. That's what adults do.//No... no matter how hard it is.//I'll do it!/I'll have the Nanbu store's sales increase, and I'll do it under my own power!!)

Mune: And that's why I no longer supervise the Hokuto site./I'm counting on your continued cooperation.
Gals: Yeaaah
Mune: Uh?
Kago: That means we've got you all to ourselves now.♥
Mune: Uh... Yeah./(It... it feels kinda nice....... to see them all so happy about it.
Gals: No more comparisons with Hokuto from now on.♥/Yeah, that was a pain in the bum.
Mune: ..........//Wh-What are you talking about?!/We must be ready to catch up to Hokuto, and eventually surpass them.

Gals: Whaaaat? That's like, never going to happen, is it?
Kago: No way.
Gotou: Wai-/We are inferior to Hokuto, is that what you mean?!
Gals: Speaking of which, why did you relinquish leadership of the Hokuto store?/Made some kind of blunder, maybe?//A bunch of BA with no motivation and a less-than-competent business man. You get the picture.
Gotou: Don't go call yourselves unmotivated!
Mune: .......... .........//(Bloody hell.../I'm sure starting to feel unmotivated myself. Seriously!!)
Gotou: .......

Mune: Not at all!!//I am not in the least successful with women!!
Dude: Yeah, yeah. | Sure thing.
Mune: Them young ladies tend to look down on guys like me anyway.
Dude: Sounds good./I wouldn't mind having 'em going down on me either.
Mune: Quit joking!!
Dude: Easy, man. Easy.
Mune: Only... | Only older women, who know the ugly side of life can heal my pain.*Uuugh*
Dude: Yes, my Four-Eyed Prince. Whatever you say.♥[tn: "Megane Ouji", or Four-Eyed Prince is a Shoujo manga (a.k.a cheesy piece of crap) about a bespectacled bishounen and the girl who has a crush on him.]//We're running around in circles here. Where's you home at again?
Mune: Bah hobe?//Nah./I'll be fine. I can go home on my own.

Mune: I'm back.
Rena: .........
Asou: .........
Rena: Tadaaah! 90% success rate!!
Asou: Tha-that was the hardest level on that Kanji test!! | That girl's a freak!!
Rena: Even a small child could write such easy characters.
Asou: I-I can't friggin' write "ground beetle"!!/I can read it okay, but......[tn: We're talking about Kanji, remember?]//For a child, this girl sure knows how to piss me off.
Mune: Haha...//I'll go wash my face.
Rena: ...Smells like alcohol......*sniff...*

Mune: I-I just had a drink with my workmates. These things happen...
Asou: ...Yeah.//I heard about your new responsibility arrangements.//Umedzu-kun came by our department, crowing about it at the top of his lungs......
Mune: .........

Asou: .......
Mune: ........
Asou: Keep working hard, and surely someone will notice./You just go for it.
Mune: (Those words/Asou-san just said)

Mune: (Had they come from one of my superiors at work they'd probably have hit home/making me a happy man......//But coming from my girlfriend/it merely sounds like she's extending her sympathy/which feels terrible.......//I am well aware of/how insignificant I am, but......)

Rena: I've been waiting forever./And you've been drinking alcohol. That's like, terrible, you know?!!
Mune: Can it./I had to socialize. It's a grown-up thing.
Rena: I'm not of age yet! What if I get drunk?!
Mune: You always look drunk when we're done anyway.
Rena: Mmuuuuh......
Mune: So, maybe we should call it quits for today?

Rena: I know I'm being selfish here.../but if you could stay away from alcohol, I'd appreciate it.
Mune: I'll do my best.//You need to grow up quick. Start an idyllic life with Shoe-kun.
Rena: .......... | That was mean.
Asou: Aaaaaaaaah!

Asou: .........What/What is the meaning of this......?
Mune: .........//Well... I never thought Rena would be quite so bad at handling alcohol./Ow!
Rena: I'b hawt./I'b baking here.
Asou: This is creepy no matter how you look at it, so not in my room, please!!

Mune: Now the sales for the day./.........//Sigh.//Sli-slightly better than yesterday, it is./Not by much, but still.
Gals: ........*silence*
Gals: ........
Mune: Pleasure working with you.
Gals: Pleasure working with you.
Gals: Agawa-chan, you seemed so enthusiastic it kinda made us feel like working harder/but you can't expect things to change so suddenly./It just won't happen.
Mune: .........
Gals: And what is that mark at the corner of your eye?/Had a fight with your girlfriend?/Now THAT sounds like bad news.
Mune: Puff...

Gotou: Young girls are so irresponsible. What a bummer.
Mune: Gotou-san.
Gotou: Growing up comes with plenty of responsibilities. It is hard.
Mune: Ye-yes./Sure thing.
Gotou: ......
Mune: ......//Um... Well, it's been a pleasure.
Gotou: Agawa-san.//If you have the time.../I would like to discuss with you about some future prospects.//I happen.../to have the kind of information that could profit you greatly......[/end

Chapter 48 - Let us shake hands!

Mune: (Useful information/for me?!//Gotou Shouko of the Nanbu Department Store/would give ME information?)//You mean... Information from Nanbu......?
Gotou: Of course. Outsiders are still yet to hear about it.//It's involves revising the disposition arrangements on the first floor.......
Mune: !!//......!!/(Most cosmetics sellers are located on the first floor.)

Narrator: They play a significant part in drawing in the female clientele. In addition/most manufacturers want to set up shop in the spots with a decent amount of circulation, in order to increase their sales.
Mune: (If they alter the disposition arrangements, that must mean someone else is moving in. | Or maybe closing up shop?!/In any case, this is our chance to move to a better spot!)
Gotou: Agawa-san...... How about dinner?
Mune: Sure!/Sounds great. Yes, of course!!
Gals: I don't know what they're talking about, but Gotou-san is making her move on Agawa-chan!/She's talking about how much she wants him.♥//What do you think, Kago-chan?/She's gonna lure him away from you.♥
Kago: He's not low enough a guy to fall for a girl like her.[tn: He's not low enough for you either. Hopefully.]

Gotou: I can't wait to see where we're headed.♥
Mune: An awesome restaurant with great food. | I'll gladly stop at any place of your choosing, though.
Narrator: A few days ago//my senpai Umedzu stole the Hokuto leadership from me/along with its top notch sales results.//Leaving me with the Nanbu Department Store, inferior to Hokuto in every way./Hokuto's good results had helped offset Nanbu's underperformance so far......//but now, if I don't get Nanbu's sales to increase/I'll be relegated even further down the totem pole back at the office...

Narrator: But the BA there are complete slackers/they make fun of me, and don't care a damn about what I have to say.//I can forget about improving the sales in those conditions.
Kuri: Get those BA chicks to listen to you. Use that pretty boy face of yours to cajole them into it if you must./It's part of your job after all eh, Agawa-chan?
Mune: .......*flick*
Mune: She-She's changed her glasses alright...
Gotou: Agawa-kun.

Gotou: About dinner.../do you intend to treat me to anything besides food?*lick...*
Mune: Uh?
Gotou: Take a right turn here, cabbie!!
Cabbie: Yes ma'am!
Mune: Uh?/Wut?//Wuuuuuuuut?/Wha-what is this place?!/Ah!
Gotou: I've been out of a boyfriend of late, you see./I feel neglected.......♥

Gotou: Agawa-kun/Now you're on the menu.
Mune: ............!!

Cabbie: Hello, sir? We're there.
Mune: Uh?/Ah, right...//Yes... Thank you......
Gotou: This is what I call classy./Do you come here often with your girlfriend?
Mune: (Better let her know I do have a girlfriend. Be awkward if she gets her hopes up.)/Well, yeah./We both work, so we tend to eat out almost all the time...
Gotou: My, that sounds beautiful.

Gotou: When I do talk about eating out, it always involves me and the other girls.
Mune: .........
Mune: Surely a ladies only club would know of some nice places?
Gotou: Girls around that age are more interested in food than fancy places./They like it cheap, tasty and abundant, and available at any time of the day.
Mune: She may be more socially adept than I gave her credit for, bringing up such a sensitive subject as age on her own...... | Now, does that mean I deflected the conversation away from girlfriends and such...?/They make it cheap and tasty around here, so just go ahead. Feel free.
Gotou: Can't do that./In front of a guy? Way too embarrassing.
Mune: (Uh?)*chuckle*
Mune: (She's laughing like a child now......)

Asou: Ahhhh.//Shoe-kun's on another goukon today?//Can't say I mind, though. I'd feel pretty lonely dining on my own.
Rena: It's not a goukon. Just a drink between buddies./No more. No less.

Rena: The other drinking party/was a guys only thing too, he told me.
Asou: You questioned him about it?
Rena: It wasn't questioning./It came up naturally in the flow of conversation.
Asou: So you did have doubts...//Don't start acting like his wife. There's no bigger turn off for a man.
Rena: Why is Agawa-san late today again? Corporate entertainment...? | He must be drinking or something.
Asou: He's at work./A businessman's job is never done.
Rena: He's "busy" with some woman, I bet.♥
Asou: So. What of it?

Rena: No... nothing......*I lose.... It's as clear as daylight, I lose.....
Asou: Turns out he'll indeed be late. | You stay here for the night.
Rena: Oh... Thank you very much......
Asou: ......
Rena: Must suck to sleep alone in that large bed. More room than you know what to do with...

Asou: So why don't you join me there? Keep me company while he's gone. | It'll be our little secret.[tn: Don't fuck with Asou! :hahaha:]
Rena: Whuuuu?!
Asou: I'm joking of course./And don't break the dishes. | They're expensive.
Rena: Haaaaa/Haaaaa/(M... Man, that one was brutal......)
Mune: (It's so late already......)

Gotou: Looks like I'm the only one enjoying herself. Sorry.
Mune: Uh? | No, I'm having a great time too.
Gotou: Today/I just felt like I should comfort you.
Mune: Yes?
Gotou: You were in fairly low spirits for having the Hokuto site taken away from you, right?
Mune: (Ju-just give me that information, then. I don't have all night.)
Gotou: And then~~/Well...//I wanted to thank you.
Mune: Uh?
Gotou: Thank you for picking us at the Nanbu store.

Mune: Um, well.../It's not like I actually made a cho....../(She's been going on and on about how I was in "low spirits".)
Gotou: It may be little more than nonsense... coming from a girl with no boyfriend, and whose job is her only lover....../but knowing...//that you decided to give Nanbu your absolute best shot/makes me glad, Agawa-kun.

Gotou: Kago-chan and the rest of the girls are yet to understand your motivation/Mhh | given their young age this is hardly surprising.//Once you're about my age, work becomes an important part of your life/though the same holds true of men, I believe....../......//Agawa-kun!!
Mune: Ye-yes?!//......?

Gotou: Let us shake hands.
Mune: Come again?
Gotou: Shake hands. As in, a handshake.../Hold out your arm!//I/am your friend!!//together we shall put the other girls back on the right track, and send Nanbu's sales/crashing through the roof!!

Narrator: (Having a job is only natural/when you're part of society/but interpersonal relations are what do make society what it is.//To think I've only been thinking about my own advancement/I should be ashamed......//someone just declared themself my friend/and vowed to struggle alongside me......)
Asou: Keep working hard, and surely someone will notice.
Mune: (Never thought/knowing this would make me so happy.)//Let's give it our best shot, Gotou-san!!
Gotou: And down with Hokuto!!

Gotou: Awwwrite. Next stop: the karaoke. Karaoke it is!!/Let's go, Agawa-chan.
Mune: Alright, alright! I'm coming!!
Gotou: Let's start this with a tune of mine!!
Mune: Okay.
Gotou: This is the bitter song of a girl who's just been dumped!!*Baaaaaw*
Mune: Eeeeeeek
Gotou: I wanna cry to this while singing with all my heart!//...is what I thought it meant. Turns out it was about ## club!!
Mune: Pfahah. I can't take it.
*Let's goooooo/chestnut-pickiiiiing*

*Jumpiiiiiing//hiiiiigh aboooove*
Gotou: .......
Mune: ..........

Glasses: clink/clink
Mune: (Uh......)//..............
Sakuranbo SYNDROME [Cupid's Prank II] {5} - The End[/end

Making of Cupid II
An insider's view of the series' production, delivered by the author. And a bit of a mixed bag.
Please come along.

[The Amami Sister's Hometown] Chapter 39
This picture comes from some town in the Hiroshima prefecture. Movies have made the place pretty famous. The author attended primary school there for several years. He was fond of drawing since childhood, which left him with a bad habit of never leaving home. Unsurprisingly though, living there meant that his house was right next to the sea, so he would go fishing very often as a distraction. By the way, the editor was asked to take a look at the Hiroshima dialect, since he comes from that region. All the author remembers is "what a little boy in primary school would know", which meant it hadn't seen much use.[tn: It doesn't translate well, but the characters do use dialect here and there, if infrequently.]

[Rena's Bank Book] Chapter 40
That book raised an issue about "how improbably large the figures on it were". It's already answered elsewhere, but she's been accumulating whatever pocket money, New Year's gifts from relatives and the like, plus a lifetime gift (donatio inter vivos) from her grandfather, who happens to run a company. Now that sounds strangely realistic...(lol).
The other book in the background contains the money her parents put aside for her to attend college and that she can't touch.

[Asou-san's gloves] Chapter 42
It's getting cold, so Asou-san applies moisturizing cream to her hands and puts on gloves to sleep, in order to keep her finger pretty.

[Jet-Black Hair] Chapter 42
The character Rena loves in Anne of Green Gables is not the main character herself, but her bosom friend Diana.

[I can't friggin' write "ground beetle"!!] Chapter 47
The author himself tends to forget about it as the series goes on, but Rena does have a knack for studying. By the way, he can't even read that word (lol).
Those glasses and mustache Rena is wearing are a toy Asou-san offered her as a prank.

[Rocking a Patek] Chapter 47
Patek Philippe.
A world class brand of luxury watches.
Truth be told, it is way too expensive for young Agawa-kun to afford. Still, how immature of him to judge a superior by the value of his watch (lol).

[Rena's Aprons] Chapter 48
The one in the right panel belongs to Asou-san (and it hasn't seen much use).
It's too large for Rena, so she ties the strap into a knot to shorten it. In the left panel, she's wearing a child's apron Asou-san offered her later. The cat with the nervous grin that illustrates it prompted Rena to suspect that Asou-san might "yet again be making fun of her", but somehow the latter seemed to genuinely think that "it looked pretty"...

[Agawa-kun's Watch 2] Chapter 48
A watch out of Agawa-kun's collection.
Omega Speedmaster Professional.
This is the first watch Agawa-kun ever bought,
as it is a common starting point for a beginner.
This watch will show up again in volume 6

......Making of "Cupid". To be continued.

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