It’s been two months since the Lustful Snake returned to his home country. Yacca finally regained its stability and peace returned to Hana-Hana. Thanks to the hard work of the prost*tutes who have recovered, the number of customers is returning. The store was as bright and lively as before, and the laughter of prost*tutes, customers, and clerks resounded.
Yaquel worked hard on odd jobs during the day and literally did his best1 to serve Guinn, Sajis, and Eunick at night.
That day, Yaquel went to the market to buy something.
The market is located about 1 km along the road after passing through Piyakka, but recently there has been a slight change in the familiar road.
And that is, along the way, he would hear the voices of the clerks from other shops cleaning in front of their establishments, as well as from the prost*tutes and male prost*tutes that he recently got acquainted with calling out, “How do you do?” “Have you been well?”.
In the past, just because he was an employee of Hana-Hana, he was ridiculed and ignored, but rumors spread that Hana-Hana’s employee drove the Lustful Snake out of Pyacca, and since then, the residents of Pyacca have thanked him. He was being treated like a hero.
Of course, that’s not the only reason. Hana-Hana, which until a few months ago had a gloomy and somewhat resigned atmosphere, has become lively, and Yaquel himself may have changed.
Ever since Yaquel, who was taciturn and shy, decided to make Hana-Hana the number 1 brothel in Pyacca, he greeted others albeit awkwardly and cleaned the streets, working hard behind the scenes to do something useful not only for Hana-Hana but also for Pyacca. And the changes in consciousness and actions were gradually accepted by the people of the city in proportion to Hana-Hana’s growth.
Now, no one makes fun of Hana-Hana andYaquel, as well as the other employees in Pyacca.
After finishing his shopping, Yaquel exchanged information with the employees of other shopss, received a lot of meat and fruits at the market, and returned home to Hana-Hana in a happy mood.
When Yaquel arrived at the kitchen, he noticed something different than usual. Normally, there would be a chef or someone in the kitchen at this time preparing dinner, but today there was no one in sight and no sound. Yaquel unloaded the ingredients on the rack and looked for the head chef. He searches not only the kitchen but also the inside of the store, but strangely, he can’t see the other employees, let alone the head chef.
The clerk who would be preparing to open the shop, the maid who would be cleaning the room, and the prost*tutes who would be getting dressed were nowhere to be seen. He couldn’t feel nor hear a single soul, as if they suddenly disappeared from the shop.
Yaquel tilts his head as he looks all over the places that he can think of. As he was opening the doors of each room to check, he heard a large clattering sound from the courtyard. Yaquel went, hm? Heading towards the courtyard while finding it strange. Then when he slowly opened the back door leading to the courtyard…
“””Yaquel, happy birthday!!”””
As soon as his vision opened up, Yaquel was startled by the sound of the crowd’s cheers and applause.
Voices from all around him are greeting him “Happy birthday” Yaquel, happy birthday!”, and he finally realizes that today is his birthday.
Colorful decorations hung from tree branch to tree branch, lots of delicacies lined up on top of a huge table and a large amount of pyankies were piled up on a big plate. The people who work together like family welcomed Yaquel with a radiant smile on their faces.
When Aria pulled his hand and led him to the center, everyone’s applause grew even louder.
“Yaquel, happy birthday.”
“Retana-san… this is?”
Retana came to his side and smiled gently.
“Aria and Nila planned it. Since it is you, you probably forgot your own birthday so they told us to prepare in secret to celebrate it.”
“Aria-san and Nila-san did…”
“I also helped out!”
The clerk promoted himself but he was exposed by being told “you only kept on eating snacks secretly”, so he hurriedly covered Aira’s mouth saying, shh! Aria pulled the clerk’s hand away, took a step forward and spread her arms open.
“Nila and I planned it but everyone prepared this together. Right?”
Yaquel looked around him, making sure to commit to his memory every single face who were nodding in confirmation.
“Thank you very much. I, didn’t think… that I’d receive something like this…”
The inner corners of his eyes become hot, and his nose starts tingling.
“We’re the ones who should thank you.”
“She’s right, Yaquel.”
Retana and Nila exchanged looks with soft expressions.
“Yaquel, don’t be surprised when you hear this. The final calculation of Hana-Hana’s balance sheet for the first half of the year is, unbelievably, the highest profit in all of Pyacca.”
Yaquel reacted to Retana’s news again with another “What…”.
“Does that mean…”
“Number 1 in Pyacca…?”
“That’s correct, Yaquel.”
Retana’s voice is trembling. Then Retana took a step closer and hugged Yaquel.
“Hana-Hana became Pyacca’s number 1.”
She said in a hoarse voice.
“I’m so glad, I’m so glad!!”
Yaquel was overwhelmed with emotion and unintentionally picked up Retana. Yaquel didn’t show much emotion on his face, but this time he expressed his joy with his whole body. Tears that he didn’t notice flowed down and fell to the ground. His awkwardly crumpled expression that looked difficult to distinguish between happiness and anger brought tears to the eyes of those who are familiar with Yaquel, “Yaquel, what with your ugly expression?” But it also invited laughter.
Yaquel carefully puts Retana down and grabs her hand.
Retana grabbed back his hand strongly with the meaning of congratulating him on his birthday as well as achieving their goal of becoming number 1 together.
“Ever since you talked about your dream of making Hana-Hana the most popular shop in Pyacca, we all had one goal, and we’ve all worked hard to achieve it. Without you, Hana-Hana’s growth was impossible. It’s pathetic, I won’t be able to get here by myself.”
“Thank you for being born.”
Yaquel’s tear glands loosened again at Retana’s words, and this time, his tears flowed down while sobbing wuu, wuu.
There was a time when his parents told him, we shouldn’t have given birth to you. No one has acknowledged his existence before he came to Hana-Hana.
So all the more, Retana’s words resounded in his heart.
“Whether laughing or crying, you sure suck at it.”
The clerk’s words that teased Yaquel never contained any sarcasm, and Yaquel clumsily cried again at his soft, enveloping voice.