The City of Gero in Gifu Prefecture was famous for its onsens. They rode the bus from Nagoya all the way to the north for two hours until they reach Gero, their destination.
Using the address given by Maruyama who was in charge of the reception, Lei Yin directly took Naoko to their hotel.
This was a medium sized old style hotel, with antique-style design and some old wooden decor on the doorway, showing this hotel was at least decades old.
After walking in, and after negotiating their stay with the hotel servicewoman, she immediately brought them to their booked double room.
Although the Association of Young Writers was willing to pay for the tickets, along with the accommodations, Lei Yin did not want to owe to any of them, so he paid for his and Naoko’s tickets, as well as the hotel room. And because he did not like too much noise, he deliberately booked a relatively quiet room.
“Take a good night’s rest first. I’ll wake you up when we’re going to eat.” After putting the luggage, Lei Yin said to Naoko.
“Where are you going?” Coming to this new environment, Naoko did not want to be separated from Lei Yin even for a minute.
“Fool, I am not going anywhere, just go to sleep.”
“Lei, sleep with me, okay?” She pleaded softly in his arms.
Lei Yin has no other choice but to pick her up to the bed, take off his coat and then lie next to her.
Seeing that he has agreed her request, Naoko very happily clung to her waist.
After he covered the bed sheet over her body, Lei Yin said in her ear: “You, are getting more and more spoiled.”
Naoko stifled a smile as she lay her face on his chest.
After comfortably sleeping for the night, Naoko, her whole person, became radiant and more beautiful and alluring. When she walked to the hotel’s dining area with Lei Yin, all the men stared at her.
“Do you mind if we sit here?” When Lei Yin and Naoko was having their meals, the buxom Akagi Miho and the glasses Murai came over.
“Hello Miss Akagi, Mr. Murai.” Naoko politely greeted them.
“Miss Hase, I am your loyal reader. You’re the best writer that I have ever seen to write essays about women.” Akagi Miho sat next to Naoko, acting as if they were best friends. Seeing her sat down, Murai also took a seat.
“You flatter me, compared to your series of novels, I am simply nothing.” Naoko modestly replied.
At this time, Murai interrupted: “Although I am risking a ridicule from miss Hase, I actually like what you wrote in the women’s column, even though I am a man.”
“You flatter me, Mr. Murai.”
“I wonder if you have any thoughts of writing a novel? Based on your literary talent, it should be popular.” Murai continued to try to flatter her.
“For now, I don’t have any thoughts about that.”
“I know many friends from the publishing world. If you ever wanted to publish a novel, you can always look for me. This is my business card, if you ever need anything, just call me anytime.” Murai handed over a business card.
“Thank you.” Naoko did not know how to deal with his excessive enthusiasm.
“Naoko, your food is getting cold.” Lei Yin placed a piece of food to her bowl. He also used this a pretext to fend off the man who continued to ask questions.
Seeing that the one who interrupted was, justifiably, the boyfriend, although Murai was a bit angry, there was nothing he can do.
“If I may ask, what line of work are you in, Mr. Gennai?” Akagi Miho turned to look at Lei Yin and asked.
Lei Yin casually answered: “Sometimes I play in the stock market, so you can call me a freelancer.”
“It is a rare profession, but it should be a little easier than us writers. For us, we are always being forced to finish the manuscript by a bunch of people who are basically no different than debt collectors. When you don’t have any selling point anymore, not only you don’t have the retirement pension, you also can’t apply for unemployment insurance. We usually stay up late, but not only we don’t have overtime pay, even on holidays, we need to sit inside our workroom, self-abusing ourselves. Moreover, after painstakingly wrote our work, we also have to accept those smug and self-righteous but never publish any work, those people who called themselves critics to point fingers at us.” Akagi Miho was getting more and more excited until finally she simply called the waiter to bring her another glass of red wine.
“Tell me, don’t you think that we writers are miserable?” After a round of complaining, Akagi Miho, while drinking, patted Lei Yin on the shoulder.
Regarding this mature woman, Lei Yin felt a bit funny.
Seeing that Naoko, while looking at Akagi Miho, has a trace of sympathy look, Murai dryly coughed and said to this talkative peer of him, “Miho, you’re drinking too much.”
“Bah, do you think I am like you who can’t handle alcohol? Do you guys know what happens the last time I went drinking with this guy? Two. He just drank two glass of wine and he immediately fell, in the presence of other people, no less. All the people that day saw it. Don’t you guys think that he lost his face there?” Akagi Miho said as she patted the table, laughing.
Seeing that this woman saying an embarrassing thing about him in front of this beautiful girl, Murai can’t help but angry out of shame and immediately went over, wanting to pull her away, “Miho, you’re drunk. I am sorry, my friend is drunk, I need to take her back.”
“Let go of me, I am not drunk. Do you think everyone is so lame like you? Miss Hase, let’s take a dip in the onsen.” With that, she tried to pull Naoko to go with her.
“Miss Akagi, you should take a rest.” Watching her reek-of-alcohol look, quickly urged.
“Don’t worry, I am a good drinker, even better than many men. Let’s go. While we’re there, we can talk about women things.” Akagi continued to pull her.
Naoko had no way to refuse, so he can only say to Lei Yin: “Masashi, I am going to go with miss Akagi, please wait for me in the room, okay?”
Lei Yin nodded his head, “If you need something, call me on the phone.”
“I know.” Naoko walked away with Akagi Miho.