“Okay…. You can sleep here.”
After signing the contract, Sae told Mayu to take Jurina to where she can sleep. Since it was already late to discuss about Jurina’s heartbreak story, Sae could tell her customer was already tired by countlessly yawning now. So, the heartsmith felt that it was better to save it for tomorrow. But there was something bothering the customer’s mind.
“Strange… I thought this floor only has that workshop room.” Jurina eyes wandered inside the big room.
“Because it’s a hidden room? Our father created this room using optical illusion.” Mayu answered.
“Yeah, didn’t you past by a spacious area before reaching Sae’s workshop?”
“Uh-huh.” a firm nod came as confirmation, as her eyes weren’t leaving Mayu’s, expecting the further explanation.
“Did you realize that the space is no longer there when we came out from the workshop?” Mayu continued talking.
“AH!” Jurina clapped her hands once, as her recollection of sudden change in the shape of 2nd floor.
After leaving the workshop, she did felt something different with the 2nd floor as if something was missing but couldn’t pinpoint the problem. Now that Mayu has spilled the beans, she could connect the dots. The spacious area was gone, that’s why this mysterious room appeared.
“Now, you get it?”
Another nod came from the customer, this time a furious one since her mouth was still wide-open; amazed by the surprise information. It didn’t surprise Mayu at all, since she was the ex-victim of this puzzle by Sae. The heartsmith really laughed hard when Mayu fell for this cheap trick, Sae even teased her for whole week.
“Okay then...” Mayu was ready to leave Jurina alone, when the customer’s voice halted her.
“Where are you going?”
“To sleep?” Mayu rolled her eyes.
“You’re not going to sleep here with me?” Jurina noticed there was one big bed in the middle of this room. Clearly, this room is too big for her.
“Why should I? I have my own on the first floor.”
“I see… What about Sae?”
“Hmmm….it’s hard to explain. Maa, you will know soon. Good night.” Mayu closed the door, leaving Jurina dumbfounded.
After the assistant left, Jurina took this chance to see her room for the time being. Well, it’s rather well-decorated, same like the workshop before. Did Sae decorate all of the room in this shop? Then she shifted her view to the cupboard, curious to know what’s inside it. Cautiously, She turned her view to left and right before opening the pandora’s cupboard. Much to her surprise, there were a lot of girly clothes; starting from one piece-dress, long and short skirts, shirts, t-shirts, dolls, accessories and what caught Jurina’s eyes the most was one white long sleeves shirt at the most right. It’s just a plain shirt yet it lured her to take closer look. Her hands were just merely an inch away from coming into contact with it when a cough from door prevented her from doing so.
“I didn’t remember letting someone peek over my stuffs?”
!” A short scream came out as a result, as her hands abruptly closed the cupboard behind her. Her eyes met the vision of the heartsmith who was standing at the entrance of the room. “I-I’m sorry, I-I didn’t mean to.” Jurina stuttered, feeling guilty.
“Hahaha it’s okay, why so serious?” Heartsmith smiled due to this scene, and closed the door behind her.
“Wait, did you just say these are your stuffs? Is this your room
??” Jurina stressed on the last word, her tone raised a bit.
“Yes...? Didn’t Mayu say anything?” Sae walked toward the bed, then find herself sitting on the edge of it.“Hmmm….it’s hard to explain. Maa, you will know soon.”
“Ah.. so this is what she was talking about.” One mysterious line from Mayu came as an answer to this puzzle.
“Damn...Mayu…” Sae hit her own forehead, “So… I bet she didn’t tell you that you are going to sleep with me?”
“W-What??? S-Sleep with you??” Jurina’s eyes grew bigger than ever.
“Oh great. She called herself my assistant?” Sae massaged her temple, because it was supposed to be Mayu’s job to explain the contract. “Okay….I am gonna explain it briefly.” Sae took a deep breath before continuing, “Basically, you need to sleep with me as long as you stay here.”
“Yes way, Miss” Sae chuckled, “We’re bounded by the contract, remember? Oh please rest assure, this is for treatment purposes only.” Sae reassured the customer, since she noticed how freaked out Jurina was.
“Is there anything else I need to know about the contract?” Jurina questioned the heartsmith.
“For now, let’s sleep.” Sae patted on the bed, inviting the customer to join her.
Jurina who saw the right side already taken by the owner of the shop, made her way to the untaken side. Then she saw Sae already spreaded her left hand out onto the customer’s territory.
“You aren’t going to do anything funny to me, right?” The customer was squinting her eyes suspiciously.
“Depend on your perspective.” Sae shrugged her shoulder, not giving a clear answer. “Oh please, change your clothes to something comfortable. Well you can wear anything inside that cupboard.”
Jurina felt dizzy, it was too late to regret about the contract. Now she understood why Mayu whispered something like that. She didn’t had any idea to what she will go through. Jurina opened the cupboard once again, as expected the white shirt drew her eyes again. She shook her head to clear her mind, and grabbed some comfortable clothes; a t-shirt and shorts.
She felt her back burned due to Sae’s eyes unmoving from staring at her. “Are you going to watch me change or what?”
Sae just smiled, didn’t bother to answer the customer’s question. “Hey Jurina, don’t you think the white-shirt is easier?”
“Uh huh. Just wear that every night.”
“Care to tell me why?”
“Because you were staring at it, weren’t you? I bet it will look good on you.” Sae smiled.
Jurina shifted her eyes towards the mysterious cupboard once again, indeed that white shirt is so captivating. The young girl didn’t even understand yet her hands were already touching the fabric. Merely by a little contact made the customer feel funny at the tip of her hands.; Warmth. For some reason she wasn’t even reluctant again to put it on as per the heartsmith’s wish. Jurina’s trance broke when she couldn’t help but feel someone was staring at her now.
“Okay, I will wear it, but can you look the other way? I want to change now.”
“Ah! I’m sorry, it’s just habit.” Sae scratched her cheeks, embarrassed. She just flipped her body to face the other wall. “By the way Jurina. the process starts now.” Sae announced firmly.
Sound of pile of clothes dropping when Sae finished her line was soon followed by the owner’s giggle, filling the room.
“Can you stop raising your voice?”
if you stop giving me a heart attack each time you open your mouth.” Jurina rolled her eyes, not even bothering to hide her displease.
After finished changing, she casually laid on the empty spaces. It made the bed bounce a bit, so Sae knew Jurina already completely changed. She turned her body to face the customer, which made the latter breathless due to the sudden intimacy.
“W-What now?” Jurina flustered.
“Use my arm as pillow, I need to hold you for the night.”
Sae was already pulling Jurina into her arm, as her hands adjusted her body into a comfortable position. The customer tried to open her mouth, but was abruptly cut by Sae.
“Enough for tonight, good night Jurina.” the heartsmith tightened her arms, making Jurina closer and making sure she can’t move.
The customer was really speechless, yet Sae was right. Even though there’s so many questions inside Jurina’s head, it was already near dawn; and both of them needed sleep. This is the first time she slept with someone else in a long time, somehow Jurina missed the warmth of a specific person as her memories brought her back.
“Good night…... Sae.” Slowly closing her eyes, she decided to call it a day.
Jurina was in deep sleep, when the sound of violin slowly made her body stir as her eyes progressively opened. It took her seconds to gather up her soul as her eyes were wandering around the room. Much to her surprise, her companion from last night was nowhere to be found. A big yawn escaped from her, it has been a while since she had a good rest. Perhaps she was just damn tired, or because Sae hugged her? Whatever it is, she felt refreshed as she got up, making her way downstairs, doing some stretching along the way.
Before she completely reached the lower floor, a delicious smell went straight into her nose. With cautious steps, she followed the smell. She was about to reach the destination when she felt a sudden tap on her shoulder.
“Where have you been, sleepyhead?”
Jurina took a step back, then realized it was just the little sister of the heartsmith. “Mou….It’s just you, Mayu.” as she put her hand on chest, relieved.
“Don’t give me that look! You promised that you’ll be our cook for the time being.” Mayu’s displease clearly shown on her face.
Jurina’s eyes widened, remembering the contract she signed last night.
“Oh! I’m sorry!” Jurina joined her palm together, “Who is the one cooking right now?” she glanced towards the kitchen.
Mayu let out a deep sigh before answering “Sae, who else?” she left the customer puzzled to the kitchen. “There is no way she is going to let me cook for the rest of my life.”
The customer suddenly felt a knot inside her tummy, remembering the talk from last night.
“Are you that…..ummmm, bad?” Jurina said the last word carefully, as her feet followed Mayu’s lead.
“Oh come on! The last time was just purely a mistake. I admit that Sae is better cook than me, but I’m not that bad!” Mayu stomped her feet, even Jurina who couldn’t see her face somehow could imagine what it looked like.
“Well… I could teach you if you like.” Jurina made an offer to the assistant, she felt guilty because she missed her first time to cook.
Mayu stopped abruptly which made Jurina bumped into her back, before she could say anything, the assistant’s bright face welcomed the young customer.
“Un, I think it’ll be easier if we could cook together.”
“You better not take that back, Jurina.” Mayu raised her pinky finger.
“I promise.” Jurina raised her finger to meet the assistant’s.
Soon after, they both had their late breakfast. Much to her surprise, Sae’s cooking was indeed delicious. However, somehow she became afraid of the promise that she just made. Well, Mayu said she isn’t that bad, so maybe a little teaching here and there will do. She was lost in deep thought, until the sound of violin once again was heard. This time she couldn’t just brush it off, so her eyes went to Mayu’s, but yet the assistant didn’t pay attention nor is she disturbed by it. It can’t be her imagination right?
“Do you hear something?”
“Huh?” Mayu stopped eating, clearly didn’t get what the customer meant.
“The sound of violin.”
“Aaaah…” The lil sis finally understood, “What kind of melody are you hearing?”
“I don’t know, it sounds like….a sad song? Same like last night.”
A nod came as reply, “You know what, I hear nothing.” Mayu said.
“The heartsmith’s violin playing is only meant to be heard by brokenhearted people. As for me who’s completely healthy at the moment can’t hear anything.”
“So last night...?”
“Yesterday was the full-moon period, it’s basic rule that the heartsmith has to play. Sae serves only one customer in a month” Mayu continued shoving another spoon after finishing her line.
“I see… so that’s why the mist suddenly gone when I just arrived at the front door.”
“You are chosen, Jurina. Since it’s not easy to find this place, big bro’s melody needs to guide you, the heartbroken one.”
The customer still feel lost at the sudden information at once, she needed to digest it slowly. She heard through a rumor about someone who can fix hearts, yet she thought it was just merely an urban legend. Last night, she tried to find the heartsmith’s store for fun. At first, she felt like she has been walking in circles, couldn’t go back nor could she get out from the forest. She was ready to die if a wild animal were to eat her, but that’s when she heard the violin’s sound. Like Mayu said, slowly the melody allured her to come to the source of the sound. She kept walking and walking through the bushes, without realizing she already arrived in front of the shop; the heartsmith’s.
“You finished your meal? Because bro told me to guide you to the workshop.”
“Un, thanks for the food.” Jurina put her spoon down, then she realized there is something she needed to confirm with the assistant, “Wait a sec, why didn’t you tell me I was going to sleep with Sae last night?”
“It’s not my fault, weren’t you the one who said you’re willing to do anything?” Mayu shrugged her shoulder, as her hand took Jurina’s plate, bringing it to the washdisher.
“Being hugged by someone wasn’t part of it obviously! Furthermore, she even hugged me all night long! Talking about sexual harassment now.”
“Pffftttt!” Mayu almost lost her balance, “Sexual harassment? Believe me Jurina, you aren’t her type, not even close.”
? What are you implying? Are you telling me I am not pretty?”
“Wow wow calm down, Miss. I didn’t say that, you DID
.” Mayu pointed her finger towards the customer, as she won this unnecessary argument. “Anyway, we should go to the workshop now, since Big bro isn’t good with waiting you know.”
“Waiting for what?”
“To kill you, of course to fix your heart, dummy!” Mayu can’t help but to smack Jurina’s head.
“Aww… Wait! This time, tell me, what’s going to happen?”
The sudden thought of sleeping together on a stranger’s arm came into her mind. This time, she needs to know what will happen to her, at least she could prepare for the worst.
“Hmmm…. Retrieve your heart, maybe?” Mayu shrugged her shoulder, there was uncertainty in the assistant’s tone.
“Okay, could you tell me how?”
“To be honest, I don’t know. Since when it comes to work, Sae never consult anything to me.”
“Why?” Jurina was a bit startled by this revelation, she was about to dig up a bit more when both of them arrived at the destination.
“Here we are,” Mayu gave a knock on the door once, followed by saying her own name to let the owner know. Permission was granted when a faint answer came from behind the door.
The heartsmith was sitting on her desk with a cup of tea on her right hand. The smell of tea was filling up the room, it’s definitely reduced the tense of tools’ presences on the wall. Jurina never got accustomed to this room, it’s too creepy. Just merely the thought of those tools making contact with her flesh made her cringe.
“Oh Jurina, I’ve been waiting for you. Please come inside.” Sae motioned the customer to sit on the sofa, which the latter complied.
“I’ll take my leave now, well good luck Jurina.” Mayu closed the door, finally leaving the heartsmith and customer alone.
“So….. what now?”
Sae left her seat, still holding the teacup on her hand. You could hear her steps clearly due to the soundless air, walking slowly as Jurina’s eyes carefully watched the heartsmith’s feet. She finally stopped, taking a seat beside Jurina. She had prepared herself for the worst, yet the heartsmith’s next line tore down her conviction.
“Take off your clothes and sit on my lap.”