Read at Watashi wa SUgoi Desu!
Chapter 1-11: The One in the Household Shrine
“What are you saying, mana~ger!?”
“Uta, you know there’s a limit to how generous you can be.”
Sungmin and Haraedo pressed Uta, but Uta gently stopped them with his hand.
“We have no right to say what is correct. Even I’m not a champion of justice; I’m just an entrepreneur who hopes for a thriving business…”
Uta returned to the inner side of the counter and began to pour coffee in the hand drip container.
“Our coffee is not especially delicious. If anything, it’s normal. But, our stock is full of beans I’ve checked with my own eyes, and I make sure to properly maintain all our equipment. I also work hard at cleaning. We’re not a store you go to on special occasions. I intended for this to be a place you can visit regularly and relax.”
Haraedo, Sungmin, and even the man said nothing as they all stared at Uta.
Uta placed the steaming cup in front of the man.
“All done. It’s a Chofu blend. Please add milk and sugar according to your preferences.”
The man looked between the cup and Uta.
“I don’t believe I can decide on how many stars you put on your review, but I hope that you write your actual impression after drinking that.”
The man buckled under Uta’s gaze. He cooled down the coffee and diluted its bitterness with milk and then resolutely chugged it.
Then, it was Uta’s turn to stare at him in astonishment.
After the man splendidly drained the cup, he wiped his mouth with his sleeve.
“I got it. I just need to erase my previous review, right?”
The man took his smartphone out from his back pocket and showed Uta proof that he erased the review.
“Thank you very much.”
Uta was relieved from the bottom of his heart.
“So, do I need to go to the police now? Just don’t send me to the realm of the dead…”
The man averted his gaze, and Haraedo seemed troubled as he looked at Uta.
“Not the police, but to the bar on this street, right?”
Haraedo answered in place of Uta.
“Yes. You forgot to pay your bill there before.”
“… Aah. I did forget.”
As the man said that with a strained laugh, he staggered out of the store.
The tense mood of the space relaxed.
Sungmin said with a disheartened voice and embraced Uta.
Uta returned the hug and patted him on the back.
Haraedo looked at Uta from the other side. His face had a relaxed smile on it.
“It wasn’t me. It was all your work, Uta.”
“But you had been looking for that man since then, right?”
This seemed to be the reason why he hadn’t shown up these past few days.
Haraedo shrugged his shoulders.
“Heaven’s vengeance is slow but sure, right?”
“But did that man really go to the bar to pay his bill?”
Sungmin voiced this doubt.
Even though he looked outside the store window, he couldn’t see that man’s back anymore.
Uta smiled and leaned against the counter.
“I do not know the future, but I think that man must have learned his lesson. He looked like he didn’t want to go back to the realm of the dead.”
Then, Uta looked at Haraedo.
“Though, I have my doubts about using ‘I’ll send you to the realm of the dead’ as a threat.”
“Normally, that would be dangerous. If he were human, he would be charged with the crime of intimidation.”
“But… thank you very much for protecting the store from that harsh review. I know that you’re not a plague god and that you’ll work for your coffee bill.”
“Oh? Have you also become more willing to give me coffee?”
Haraedo returned a triumphant look.
Sungmin didn’t answer his question directly but threw it to Uta.
“Manager, isn’t it fine? Why don’t you offer a cup of coffee to the household shrine like he wants?”
“I also thought about that, but…”
Uta scratched the tip of his nose.
“I think I won’t put coffee on the household shrine.”
Haraedo raised his voice.
“I mean, if I did, you wouldn’t come to the store anymore, right? If possible, I want to see your face, Haraedo.”
Their gazes locked, Haraedo flapped his mouth open and close.
“Uta, you… Why are you tempting a god?!”
“Ah, no, there was no deep meaning there…”
“What the hell?! It was done unconsciously?!”
Haraedo messily ruffled the puzzled Uta’s hair.
“Hold it! Can you two please not enjoy yourselves like you’re in your own world?!”
Sungmin made a sour face.
“In the first place, what’s with your hand?! Can you please not touch my manager that casually? This man is the store’s mascot and everyone’s idol. And above all, he’s mine.”
“Uta’s mine. He diligently provides for me.”
By saying “provides,” he was probably referring to Uta taking care of the household shrine.
Uta smiled wryly as he intervened between the two.
“Yes, yes. No fighting, you two. It’s almost time for those heading home from work to come by.”
The people flowing out from the nearby office buildings past 6 PM caused the store to become a bit livelier.
As Uta saw the streetlights turn on from the corner of his eye, he began to polish the white cups.
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