New Petshop of Horrors

Chapter 2 / Double-booking

Akino Matsuri

Translation by

Sign- Caged Things Shop

Is this really a petshop...?

Recently there have been rumors about it on an internet message board.

It's said to be in a corner of the just completed Neo Chinatown.

It sounds as fishy as can be.

In other words, on the outside, it has cages displayed with animals in them, but that's not
what draws the customer's eye?

It's kind of hard to go in.

*wanders back and forth*


D- Thank you very much.

Man- Th... thanks.

D- Well then, please cherish... I mean,
please enjoy a beautiful summer's dream.

D- Oh.

D- May I help you?

Woman- Eh!? Yes, well...

D- Please come in.

Woman- Y, yes.

Wow, just as I expected from Kabukicho.
Even the owner is suspicious.

But this shop seems legitimate.

*woof woof*

D- Welcome to Count D's Petshop.
We have everything from pet dogs currently in fashion
to animals just shy of the Washington Treaty for the enthusiast.

Reiko- I... I see.

Reiko- But you have to coerce a dog's affection and the familiarity is stifling,
and people have to keep an eye on self willed cats,
and hamsters are common.
I want something regular people don't keep as pets.

D- ... Oh.

Reiko- Yeah, for instance, a reptile or amphibian.
I want something good and grotesque. Something no one else would give a second look.

Reiko- I want something injured, or too old, or that won't sell.

Reiko- I want a special animal like that.

D- I understand. Well then, come this way please.

Reiko- ... Huh?

A door inside.

Is this the rumored...!?

The petshop in Neo Chinatown has a special inner room and just a few customers the owner favors
are allowed to buy rare species he doesn't show in the outer shop.

I'm a chosen customer.


D- Well, how about this pet?

Reiko- Huh?

Reiko- It's dark and I can't see it well.

D- Please step closer.

Reiko- Eek!!

Reiko- What is this!

D- It looks uncommonly ugly just as you desired, isn't it?

D- But this little one is still in its juvenile form.
When it grows it will become an ideal partner that will bring happiness to your life.

Reiko- Juvenile form?
Does that mean it gets bigger than this?

Though I'm sure no one would keep such a creepy thing as a pet.

No one would... accept... it.

Reiko- ... Alright.
I'd like this one.

D- Thank you.
Then, please,

D- Have a beautiful summer night's dream.


*water running*

Answering machine- You have one message.


Mom- Reiko? This is your mother. How are you!?

*glug glug glug*

Mom- Please call me every once in a while. Are you coming home for the Lantern Festival

(tr. note- A festival from August 13-15, also called O-bon, at the end of which people float
lanterns on rivers or ponds.)

Mom- Hey, this time Mrs. Ibaraki said she wants to introduce you to a man who is from the
branch office of the Farmer's Co-op.
It's about time for you... *beep*

Button- Stop

Reiko- Hehe, anyway I'll soon be a "loser".

Though stupid housewives are annoying,
Those minor celebrity women on TV calling themselves "losers" are disgusting.



Reiko- Oh, that's right.

Reiko- Let's see, how do I feed it?
*A handwritten instruction manual.*

D- In the day, please place him in a dark quiet place where the light won't hit him.
Just mist it every once in a while so that the soil doesn't dry out and sprinkle some water,
he doesn't need food.
And, I'll give you a bonus stick of incense as a present.

Reiko- Hmm, you really don't take a lot of work.
But looking at you in a bright place, you're even more creepy.

Reiko- ... Just kidding, it's ok.
I won't abandon you.

Just... me.


Reiko- ... Hm?

Boy- Good morning.

Reiko- Keh.

Boy- Keh?

Reiko- Kyaaaa!

Reiko- P, pervert! Th, thief!

*wham, whack*

Boy- W, wait. Calm down, master.

Reiko- Muh!?

Reiko- Master!?

Boy- Did you forget!?

Boy- This evening you bought me.

Reiko- Huh?

Boy- Here, your glasses.


Boy- You picked me at the petshop in Kabukicho.



The inner pets rumored on the message board
are gigolos that come to your home!?

Do I look like such a sexually frustrated woman!?

My underwear is on properly.

Boy- Hey, master, what do you do?

Boy- You have a lot of books.
Have you read all of these?

Reiko- When did he?

Boy- This... you wrote it yourself?

Boy- I get it! Master is a writer.

Reiko- Hey! Don't touch that.

Reiko- Actually, I do have the title of "writer".
But a contribution of mine was published just in one magazine 13 years ago.

When I was little I dreamed of becoming a writer.
When I was a freshman in high school, rookie of the year award and there was a fuss that I was
the youngest debut and a female high school student writer.

But while the editor at the publishing company checked this and that on my second and third
works, I became unable to write the way I wanted.

Since then 13 years have already dragged by.

Reiko- Well, that doesn't matter.
You! Please go home right now!
If you don't I'm seriously calling the police.

Boy- You may say that, but you bought me. I have nowhere to go back to.

Reiko- What are you saying? There's that shop in Kabukicho.
...... Wait. You're still a middle school student, aren't you...?

Won't I be the one arrested on suspicion of indecency with a minor!?

Reiko- D, don't have a part time job like this. Please go home, your parents must be worried.

Boy- I don't have parents. I was raised in that shop.

Reiko- Uh...

I won't be tricked by such a cliche (lie).

Reiko- A, anyway, please leave right now.

Boy- Then I'm returned goods.

Reiko- ......

Boy- Well, I'll take this case back too.


That caterpillar was a dummy!?
It was the price for a gigolo for the night.

Reiko- W, wait a minute.

At least put on some clothes.

Boy- Oh, since it's within the cooling off period, you can get all of your down payment back.
Let's go to the shop together?

Reiko- I don't need the money.

But I'll give that owner (Chinese man) a piece of my mind.

Man- Welcome.

Reiko- ... Huh!? Where's the man... from yesterday?

Man- Count D is having some business negotiations about an important pet in America.

Reiko- America!?

Man- He should be back in the country after a week.

Reiko- A week!?

Reiko- A, anyway, it seems there was a mistake yesterday. Please tell him I definitely want to
return this boy.

Man- Ah... be that as it may, I'm just house-sitting, I don't know the particulars.
I'm sorry, but could you please come back in a week?

Man- It won't be too late after using him for a week, will it?


Reiko- Huh!? Wait, hey...

Reiko- What did you tell me to do!!
What did you mean "use".

*door shutting*

*stomach rumbling*

*stomach grumbling*

Boy- ......

Reiko- ......

Reiko- It can't be helped.
Do you want to go eat something?

Boy- Yes, master.

Reiko- Stop calling me that. My name is Reiko.
Call me "Reiko-san" or "sis"!

Boy- R, right!

Reiko- Well? What's your name?

Boy- I was just born so you can decide, mas... Reiko-san.

Ah-hah, so that's the rule (plot).
It's an agreement to be master and pet for the time of the contract.

Reiko- Let's see......

Everyone is looking
At this boy.

I wonder how we look from the other side?
Like a couple (lovers)!?
No way.

However you look at it, as siblings, or as relatives, aunt and nephew.

Reiko- Actually, we're just a loser and a gigolo.

Oh well.

For just one week I'll be his master... no, sister.

Reiko- Ok! Your name is Natsuki.
Natsuki, written as hope of summer.

Natsuki- Natsu... ki.
Thank you! Reiko-san, I'll treasure my name.

Reiko- Alright? When you want to go to bed, use that sofa.
If you step a foot up to this loft, even if it's midnight, I'll kick you out.

Natsuki- Right!

Even though he's a child, I have to be careful.

Reiko- I'm keeping my bankbook next to me.

Natsuki- Huh? Reiko-san, you're going out?

Reiko- Yes. Despite appearances, during the day I work as a secretary at a regular company.

Reiko- Writing stories that aren't published in books doesn't earn my bread.

Natsuki- Then take me to the company with you.

Reiko- Don't say silly things.
Get something at the convenience store for lunch. And don't answer the phone if it rings, I
have an answering machine.

Natsuki- ... Right.


I'm not really working at this place (company) because I want to.
Work is monotonous.

*copy machine noise*

Idiot coworkers who have nothing in their heads but fashion and men (boyfriends)
and middle aged bosses who feel like they're living in a rut.

*phone rings*

Woman- Yes, this is Jounan East Asia Industries.
Huh? Uh, um, (sic.) just moment p, please.

*copy machine noise*

Woman- Chief, please take the phone.

Man- Huh!? That's a foreigner, isn't it!?


Man- Excuse me, Hayasaka-san.

Reiko- Huh?

Coworkers- *phew*

Reiko- (tr. note- in English, sic.) Hello. This office is Company of Jonan Toh Kog.

Phone- (tr. note- in English, sic.) Oh. Excuse me. This office is...

Why do I have to work with such incompetent colleagues.


Reiko- Chief, I scheduled a meeting with Starte Corporation tomorrow afternoon.

Man-  So, so that's it!

Man- Ah, by the way, will you sit in and act as translator tomorrow?

Reiko- Sure, I don't mind, but.

Man- If you do, tomorrow, come with an outfit that's a little bit better. At least wear
lipstick. And please put on a diplomatic smile.

Girl- *giggle*

Reiko- ... Right.


Reiko- Thanks to that I've ended up working unnecessary overtime.

Natsuki- Reiko-san.

Reiko- Natsuki!?
What are you doing here?

Natsuki- I'm waiting for you, Reiko-san. You were late so I was worried.

Natsuki- Come on.


... Foolish.
This isn't the usual way of gigolos.

Natsuki- During the day I read your novels.

Reiko- Huh?

Natsuki- They're really interesting. The last one made me cry a little.

Reiko- Hm, hmmm.


Natsuki- Why won't publishers buy such great stories?


Reiko- Th, that's what I'd like know.

Reiko- The stories that become bestsellers are each and every one unoriginal.
They just have cheap content that panders to general public.

My stories are much better.

Natsuki- I'm sure it's the readers who don't have taste.

*pang of pain*

Reiko- ... Don't be a smart mouth. You're not a writer.


Reiko- Yes, this is Hayasaka.

Phone- Sorry to call so late. I'm Tahara from Dandan Corporation. You're Hayasaka Urara-sensei,
aren't you?

(tr. note- a pen-name, Urara is another reading for the "rei" in "Reiko".)

Reiko- Huh? Yeah.

Phone- Congratulations!! Your work was chosen as the first prize winner in the fantasy category
this year.

Reiko- Wha?

Reiko- Wait... um, but I haven't applied for your contest in years.

Phone- Yes, that's true.

Phone- I dug up several of your works in the previous editor's desk before and when I read
them, well, they were all wonderful! I was impressed!!

Phone- So I secretly circulated them in this year's selection. So your work won the first prize

Phone- Well, it's the previous editor's fault that such a masterpiece has been in mothballs
until now, in other words. It was almost a great loss to the Japanese literary world.

Phone- This is sudden, but there's a press conference tomorrow and an awards ceremony, so I'd
like you to please come to our company.

Reiko- ... Eh?

But I have a business meeting tomorrow...

Uh-uh! This is farewell to that company.

Reiko- Y, yes, I accept. I'd be happy to?

Phone- Well then, I'll see you tomorrow.



Natsuki- Alright!!
After all, if a perceptive person reads it, they understand.

Natsuki- Your ability!!

Reiko- This is kind of like a... dream.

Natsuki- It's not a dream!

Natsuki- From now on, your real life starts.

My... real life...?

Reiko- ... That's right, he said there's a party (awards ceremony).
What will I do? What will I wear? My hair is a mess and I don't have any good makeup.

Natsuki- Leave it to me.

Natsuki- Reiko-san, the base (material) isn't bad. I'll manage something.
I'm sure you'll be beautiful.

Man- Hayasaka-sensei!

Woman- Congratulations,

Man- Well, you're as lovely as your pen name.

Reiko- My, don't joke.

Reiko- Actually, I'm the most surprised.

Man- By the way, the first prize winning work every year is made into a TV drama.

Man2- I'm from Kanto TV, pleased to meet you.

Reiko- H, huh?

Man- And there are plans to turn the remaining stock so far into a continuing series of

Reiko- Wow.

Let's hold an autograph signing right away.

Reiko- Right.

In one month of sales you've achieved a million sales!

Reiko- Wha?

Hayasaka Urara's newest work is being made into an anime!!

Reiko- Oh my.

Like a comet, it's the advent of a new queen of the literary world of Japanese fantasy.

Fans- Hayasaka-sensei.

Fans- Urara-sensei.


Natsuki- Wow!!
I can have this room all to myself?

Reiko- You can buy whatever furniture and clothes and stuff you like with this card.

Wow, this is the rumored black card.

Natsuki- Thank you! From now on I want to stay with you, Reiko-san.

Reiko- ... I guess so.

That trial period (week) turned into over three months before I knew it.

I can't really take him back now.

More importantly, I can't do without him anymore.

You're my lucky boy.

Reiko- Mmm.

Natsuki- What's with you? Did you drink too much?

You're a prince of happiness.

Natsuki- That's right, there's a party tomorrow to commemorate becoming an anime. Aren't you
going too?

Reiko- ... Uh, should I? But I haven't ever...

Natsuki- It'll be fine. I'll be your escort.

Man- Hayasaka-sensei. You brought along a dashing knight this evening.
This is perfect. I'd like to introduce you to Bishamon Kenji-san who is in charge of the theme
song for this anime movie.


Ah, he's the artist (songwriter) who's caused a fuss recently.

Reiko- Pleased to meet you. I'm Hayasaka.

Even though he's over thirty, his late bloomer hits are gaining passionate support across

Bishamon- Pleased to meet you.


Man- Uh, excuse me,
You two...?

Reiko&Bishamon- *gasp*

R&B- Ex... excuse me.

Bishamon- If you'd like we can go other there and talk a bit.

Reiko- I, I'd love to.

Bishamon- Since I started a band when I was in school, I spent 17 years at the bottom of the
The situation now honestly bewilders me.

Reiko- I, I know how you feel.

Bishamon- Music and literature are different genres but from now on, let's try our best

Reiko- Yes.

Bishamon- Um... by the way, the boy with you....

Reiko- Huh? Ah, he's my n, nephew.

Bishamon- *phew* I, I see.

Reiko- What about that pretty girl with you?

Bishamon- Miu is m, my niece.

Bishamon- It looks like those two young people are hitting it off.

Reiko- Yes, they make a nice couple.

Just like a real prince and princess.

Bishamon- Actually, I planned to have Miu sing this song.
I thought a woman suited the image of your work better than a man.

Bishamon- Hey, Miu.
Let's borrow this place to debut just the melody.

Crowd- *oooh*

*playing piano*

Miu- (singing) Ahhh

Natsuki- (singing) Ahhh

Reiko- Natsuki!?

Bishamon- Both of you, continue.

This should be the first time he's sung this song.
But he's in perfect harmony.

*playing piano*



Crowd- Wonderful! Bravo!

Bishamon- He's incredible.
I'm going to make this song a duet with the two of them.

Crowd- Even more than his singing voice, their appearance together is right on.
They're just like a fairy princess and prince.

Crowd- I look forward to seeing this movie.
There's no doubt the song will be a big hit too.

R&B- ......

Bishamon- We just met, so you might not believe me even if I say this, but
I felt it was fate when we first met.

Reiko- Me too. I'm thankful for the miracle of meeting you among all the billions of people on

Bishamon- To tell you the truth, the first time we met wasn't at today's party.

Reiko- Huh?

Bishamon- About three months ago, we passed each other at the petshop in Kabukicho.

Reiko- ... Wait, wha!? Then you're guy that time!?

D- This little one will be your partner who will bring you luck.

Then, I half believed, half doubted the owner's (chinese man's) words.
But now I believe him.

Reiko- ... Huh? Did... did it happen to you too?

Bishamon- Yeah, I bought a rare caterpillar.

Reiko- Then Miu-chan was sent by that petshop, that means... she's a prostitute!?

Bishamon- ... Yeah.

Bishamon- Wait! Don't make a mistake, I haven't laid a finger on her.
I only... keep her with me like a little sister.

Reiko- ......

Reiko- I believe you.

Bishamon- Reiko-san!

They've really brought us luck
They're a prince and princess.

Bishamon- Let's write a song.
You write the words,
I'll write the melody,
And they'll sing.

The four of us will always be together.

Is this happiness?

If this is a dream,
If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up.

Old man- Welcome, Count D.

D- It's been a long time, Lord Mushi.

(tr. note- "mushi" means insect, but the characters for this name are "insect" and "long life"
and refer to one's 64th birthday)

Old man- So you didn't forget this year, after all.

D- Yes, it's a ceremony only once every 221 years.
I definitely wanted to be present.

Old man- Then it is truly a shame...

D- ?


D- It... can't be...!!

Old man- Just last year, the humans razed the forest and built a giant supermarket.
The trees were all felled.
The holy ground is covered by asphalt.

What a foolish thing...

*phone rings*

Phone- This is Tahara from Dandan Company.

Reiko- Ah, I'm sorry, I'll do the stuff for next month's issue later...

Phone- Sensei!? Haven't you watched the news!?

Reiko- Huh?

Phone- Bishamon-san was in a car accident...
He died instantly.


Phone- Sensei?

It... can't be...

What... should I do...!?


Reiko- Natsuki!? What should I do?

Reiko- ... Natsu...

Reiko- Natsuki!?

Reiko- Natsuki!!

He's not breathing.

Reiko- Natsuki!?
This can't be...!! Why you too!?

Reiko- What should I do from now on!?

Reiko- Natsuki!

Miu- Urara-sensei?

Reiko- Miu-chan!?

Reiko- What... what should I do?
Natsuki is dead. And my Bishamon-san.
We promised the four of us would always live together.

Miu- It can't be helped.


Miu- Their duty is over.

Reiko- Miu-chan!?

Miu- But sensei, our real work begins now.

and there,
there is new life.

Our duty is to raise the children we will bear.

The summer once every 221 years is over.

Man- Welcome back.

D- ... Thank you very much for taking care of things.

D- Here, a souvenir.

Man- You look like you were on a wild goose chase.

D- ... Yes, North American cicadas are different than Japanese ones which emerge every year.
They have a mutual mass emergence in 17 and 13 year cycles.

Man- 17 and 13... those are both prime numbers.

D- ... Yes, it's a rotation to make the most of leaving offspring.
This year was the year that both species would emerge at the same time.

D- The smallest common multiple of 13 and 17 is every 221 years.
It was a chance for the different species to rendezvous (crossbreed)!
Those yankees (Americans) ruined it!

(tr. note- "yankee" refers to thugs in Japanese)

Tet-chan- You're not very compatible with Americans after all.

D- Of course, most cicadas instinctually find a partner (lover) of the same species, but
rarely a couple of the different species is born.

Man- Oho, then just what year will the second generation born be?

D- That's what I'm interested in.

D- Let's call it a blessing born of sorrow.
It seems the children (cicadas) of this shop managed to rendezvous safely in a foreign country.

13 years, or 17 years,
Or in between, 15 years?

Chapter 2 / End