Yuuto was looking at Pretty boy as he styled his hair in the mirror and was wearing some plain clothes. He had told him yesterday that today was the 4 bros’ day off today.
“Why are you doing up your hair? You're just going to be hanging out with the other two bros and me. We don't care if your hair looks good.” said Yuuto from his bed.
“Ha, you think I would stay cooped up here in this place on my first day off.” scoffed Pretty boy.
“What? Where could you go when we're all stuck in here.”
“You forget I'm a regular host now, I can go outside on my days off.”
“I didn't know that. Then what are you going to do?”
“I didn't know either until I was told yesterday. As for what I am doing, I have a date with someone.”
Yuuto stood up, walked over to him, took some styling gel and squeezed a liberal amount onto his hands and then said to Pretty boy. “Here let me help you.”
Yuuto started to mess up Pretty boy’s hair that was almost set the way he had wanted it and quickly turned it into a mohawk crudely shaped in the form of a bird with wings spread out.
“Would you stop messing around with my hair.” said Pretty boy as he slapped away Yuuto's hands.
“Well I think I made a new piece of art. It was hard and the material wasn't that good. But I persevered.” Yuuto said matter of factly.
“I'm so sorry that my hair isn't good enough for you, oh great artist.” said Pretty boy as he destroyed the masterpiece of a century and put his hair back to the way he wanted it.
“It's okay, I wasn't expecting much.” said Yuuto.
“Well I'm off to my date. Try not to die from boredom while I'm on gone.” with a last look in the mirror, Pretty boy walked out the room.
Yuuto spent the rest of the morning with Motoki and Rinji. They decided to play some card games. While playing cards, the three of them had different playing styles. Yuuto would go all out. Motoki was always trying make the other two think if he was was bluffing or not. Rinji was the type of card player that thought for 5 minutes before deciding and then changing his mind again. When they got bored of the card games, they started watching anime and reading manga while discussing their experiences on being a probationary host for the rest of the day.
Over the next two weeks, Yuuto was getting better at talking to customers and inviting them to club Winter Night. He was able to earn 100,000 yen towards his debt. He was now sitting in the pre-work meeting listening to the old man talk.
“Yuuto you will be promoted to a regular host today if you can pass the live test tonight. You will be co-hosting with #7, Zenko. Meet with him after the meeting is over. After tonight's shift is finished, you will come to my office along with Zenko and he will report to me on how it went. I will decide what to do after.”
The meeting continued for five more minutes and then they were dismissed.
Yuuto walked over to Zenko and greeted him, “Hello, I am Yuuto. I will be in your care tonight.”
“Can you tell me your work name?” asked Zenko.
“Good, that's a decent and easy name for the customers who may become your clients to remember. I have permission to skip cleaning duty tonight along with you to do some mock training before the doors open tonight. Let's go to a table and get started with explaining everything in more detail.”
They walked to the club room where a table was quickly set up with glasses and a glass bottle of water and a few different plates of appetizers. Yuuto and Zenko both sat down at the table.
“Okay I will walk you through what you will need to know to get through tonight as a host. We will start from the beginning.” said Zenko.
Yuuto listened intently to the explanations on how to be a proper host. He spent the rest of the time practicing and kept getting scolded for messing up.
“That's enough for now. We need to go get changed, the clubs going to open soon.” said Zenko.
After getting dressed, he met back up with Zenko, and was handed a flip phone and a stack of business cards. Upon further inspection, Yuuto could see the cards had the Winter Night logo, along with his host name and what he guessed was his new cellphone number.
“You need these now that you are a host. I will act as the secondary host. I will only be helping fix any mistakes you make. The clients I normally host will be taken care of by you tonight. Now get ready, it looks like the first clients and customers are here.” said Zenko.
Yuuto stood with his back straight next to the table that was picked by Zenko. He watched as the room filled up and started to get louder and more lively. He noticed one of the customers staring over in this direction. She was medium height with shoulder length brown hair wearing a tight black and white striped dress. Yuuto watched as she walked up to them.
“Zenko, who is this with you?” she asked.
“Good evening madam. He is my kohai, Yasuo. He will be hosting you tonight and I will be helping him.” replied Zenko.
“Oh two for the price of one! It must be my lucky night.” she laughed.
Yuuto's hands were sweating slightly but he quickly wiped them on his suit causing Zenko to glare at him. Yuuto started to go through what he was supposed to do in his head.
“Hello madam, may I help you sit down?” Yuuto asked her.
“Yes, please do.”
She held out her small hand for him to take. Yuuto took it and brought her to left side of the U shaped booth and held it until she had sat down. 'Next step,' thought Yuuto.
He took a lap napkin from a pile and place it over her legs. He then offered her a steamed towel taken from a container holding multiple towels so she could wash her hands.
After finishing with the preparations Yuuto asked her, “May I join you?”.
Yuuto walked to the right side of the booth and entered sitting down next to her. He then slightly bowed to her and held out his business card with both hands.
“My name is Yasuo. It is a pleasure to meet you.” Yuuto said while still bowing until she took the business card.
“Thank you. It's nice to meet you Yasuo.”
“May I join you Madam?” asked Zenko.
“Yes you may Zenko. You know how much I like your company.” she said smiling.
“If it pleases you, may I know your name?” asked Yuuto.
Yuuto guessed since she knew Zenko’s name and was on good terms with him, that she wasn't a first time customer. So he grabbed a menu and asked while offering the menu to her, “May I offer you something to drink or eat madam Katsuko?”
“Let me see” she replied while lightly taking the menu from his hands.
She took her time looking through the menu which had appetizers for 5,000 yen. The main money maker for the club was the drinks. There were multiple tiers of drinks the cost for each costing more than the last. There was the 10,000 price for a bottle of shochu or sake. Shochu was normally a drink mixed with tea, milk tea, orange juice, or any other juice the club may have. For sake, ice was added to the glass so that it would take longer to drink the bottle. The next tier was the 200,000 yen for a custom shaped and painted figurine decanter of brandy. The host will get up and sing any song for his client and maybe he might even take off his shirt. The most expensive thing on the menu was for the 1 million yen hermetically sealed double heart shaped club specially produced FuwaFuwa DokiDoki champagne. If a client ordered this, every host would surround them and sing the club special drinking song. When a client buys either the brandy or the champagne, it would not be consumed in one night. A small portion would be poured each night they came. After the purchase, a tag would be put on the bottle with their name. Every time they came, the bottle was to be placed on the table so they could show it off as a trophy while at the club.
“Today, I will have a bottle of sake for now.”
Yuuto waved over a waiter and gave him the order. A minute later, a sake bottle that was sitting in a bucket of ice was delivered to the table along with a ice container that had the large ice cubes used for drinking.
“May I prepare the drinks?” asked Yuuto.
“Please do.” Katsuko replied.
He was still nervous enough that he had a hard time picking up the ice cubes and putting them into the three glasses, one for each of them. He then opened the sake bottle and held it so the label was shown to her as he went to pour. His hands were shaking so bad that the bottle hit the glass and nearly knocked it over, but Zenko saved the day and only a small drop escaped dripping onto the table cloth. Yuuto revived a sharp kick from him.
“Look at the poor little rabbit he's so nervous.” said Katsuko.
“My apologies madam it is his first night, can you forgive us?” asked Zenko while picking up her hand and kissing it.
“Oh all right. If it's you asking how can I refuse.”
Yuuto finished successfully pouring the other two glasses, and place the half empty bottle back into the ice bucket.
He looked at Zenko and raised the glass closest to him.“A toast to the beautiful madam Katsuko.”
“Well said,” cheered Zenko as all three of their glasses clinked.
“Zenko, I do believe he may have some talent after all,” laughed Katsuko after finishing taking a drink.
“Of course, we don't let just anyone become a host.”
Yuuto continued to entertain Katsuko along with the help of Zenko the rest of the night, drinking and listening to her problems and commenting every so often. After the two hours she paid for were up, she declined to extend her time and both Yuuto and Zenko escorted her all the way out side bowing and wishing her well.
He made less and less mistakes as the night wore on. Meeting the many different clients of Zenko.
After the the last person left the club room when it was closing time, Yuuto and Zenko went to the meeting room. During the meeting they were both asked to stay after it was done. Yuuto quietly fidgeted while waiting, wondering if he had done something wrong. Ten minutes later, only Yuuto, the old man and Zenko were left in the room.
“Yuuto wait outside while I talk to Zenko” commanded the old man.
“Yes sir.” replied Yuuto.
He exited the room and closed the door. He could hear a low mummer as Zenko started to talk to the old man. He started to worry that he wouldn't be able to continue as a host. Five minutes later, the door opened and Zenko left the room.
“Come inside Yuuto.”
Yuuto entered the room and saw the old man was sitting in the chair at the end of one of the tables.
“This meeting is about whether you have what it takes to be a host. Zenko told me that you had made many mistakes tonight.”
“He also said that you got better as the night went on. Seeing as that is the case, I will give you some leeway and have you co-host with others for the next week. If you improve then you will be a permanent host in the club as long as you don't do something that would warrant me firing you.”
“Thank you sir, I will not disappoint you.”
“You may leave now.”
Yuuto exited the meeting room and gave a sigh as he walked to the changing room. Thinking to himself, 'The first hurdle has been jumped. Now I just have to keep getting better. And become a top ranked host!'
On Yuuto's next day off, he had finished eating lunch and decided to do his laundry which had started to grow into a small mountain on his side of the room. He reached the laundry room and started placing the clothes into one of the two washing machines. He heard the door open and someone else walked into the room. Taking a quick glance around he was able to see who it was.
“What a coincidence meeting you here Niko. Must be fate.” said Yuuto.
“Not really. I just wanted to make the best use of my time today and do the laundry for my siblings and myself.” replied Niko haughtily.
She began putting clothes that were clearly too small to be hers into the washing machine next to him. 'So she was telling the truth last night,' Yuuto thought to himself.
“So how are your siblings doing living here with you? Must be tough with your schedule.”
“They're fine, better than if we were on our own being hounded by creditors. What’s with you being so interested in my family?”
“Just wanted to know more about you. Seeing as we will be dating soon.” said Yuuto with a smile.
“Wha... what are you talking about! We don't even know each other that well. How can you say something so embarrassing.” Niko said as she kicked his shin and started fidgeting with the clothes in her hands. Her face turning a light pink from blushing.
Yuuto laughed while rubbing his sore shin, “Don't worry, I was just kidding. It's good that you and your siblings are doing well.”
“Oh... yeah, well it's not an ideal situation for us but we can get through it.”
Yuuto finished putting in his coins and the detergent into the washer machine. Before he left the laundry room carrying the empty clothes basket, he turned around and asked, “What do you say we let past bygones be bygones and have those events wiped clean so that we can start off again as friends?”
Niko stopped loading loading clothes into the washer machine and looked at Yuuto.
“That's fine, I don't really have a problem with it as long as we're just friends.”