Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko's performance at a charity event has reminded her why fame needs must be's simply too much work to maintain for long. She looks forward to a suitable reward for her efforts.

Volume 4, Issue 63

"Bagna Caulda"

"Your call."

"But you're the one who's hungry!"

"I'm also tired and don't feel like making any decisions." She smiled brightly to take the sting out of the words.

"Well then, I guess I'll take care of you - after all, so far, you've been solicitous of my needs."

"I have?"

"Certainly - providing me with the best looking escort at the ball, and getting me such a good seat...I had a terrific view of the stage."

"You know, you haven't said what you thought of my performance - I guess I was awful, huh?"

"Hardly! How awful of me - I assumed that so many other people congratulated you that I'd be redundant. Surely it gets boring always having people tell you how wonderful you are?"

"Not yet!"

"Well, then - you were spectacular, truly wonderful. It's as if you were singing just for me while you were up there..."

"I was."


"Oh, nothing...."

The streets were still crowded. It was Friday night - people were out having fun, despite the cold weather. Yuriko and Midori walked side by side, making their way through the Shinjuku throng.

"Can you eat Italian?"


"Then follow me - I know a great place."


The place was great. Crowded without being packed, as was all too common in this part of town - small and intimate, and very cozy. They were treated like old friends who had returned at last - an Italian stereotype, to be sure, but Yuriko found it charming tonight.

Midori took charge, as she had promised, and ordered wine and food for them both. Yuriko watched the proceedings with pleasure. It wasn't often she was at leisure to sit back and watch someone else do the hard work.

When their appetizers had been cleared from the table, Yuriko poured herself more wine and sat back with a sigh of happiness.

"Perfect. This was a great choice, thank you."

"I'm glad you like it." Midori leaned forward, her eyes glowing. "I hope you like garlic."

"Love it, why?"

Midori shook her head, an enigmatic smile on her lips.

"I know this is the most overused line on the planet, but I feel as if we've met somewhere before."

"Really?" The production assistant wasn't giving anything away. "Maybe we have."

The waiter reappeared, carrying what appeared to be a small cauldron. Midori sat back to give him room to place the pot down on the table. Yuriko could smell the aroma from where she sat - and the pot was still covered. A second waiter placed a loaf of freshly baked bread on the table and they bowed, then left.

Midori gestured to the cauldron. "Bagna Caulda. Either we both have some, or neither of us does. Are you ready to take the plunge?"

Yuriko swallowed hard. The smell was making her drool. "What's *in* there?"

"Garlic and anchovies in oil. It's deadly, but delicious."

Yuriko nodded. "I'm willing to take that chance."

Midori was right - it was delicious. And deadly. As Yuriko soaked the bread in garlic-laden oil, and smeared the roasted garlic over the bread's surface, she knew she'd sweat garlic for three days. But, from the very first taste, she couldn't have cared less.

"Oh my god, this is amazing!" Yuriko moaned for something like the fourth time. Her only concession to her company was refraining from openly snorting as she ate. A quick glance at Midori assured Yuriko that the brunette was holding herself back as well. Yuriko laughed.

"I once read that the way a person eats is indicative of their true personality."

"Oh? And what can you tell about me by watching me eat?"

Yuriko wiped her lips with her napkin and sipped her wine. "That you like a challenge, that you're creative and just a little whimsical."

"Not," Midori laughed, "that I'm a pig?"

"Not in the least - you have a "gusto" for life."

"What a lovely way to put it - very euphemistic. And you," she continued, "love life's pleasures, and are willing to try new things."

"Both completely true." Yuriko admitted. "And I'm a complete hog." They both laughed.


Dinner had been cleared away, Yuriko and Midori sat exhaling garlic fumes and laughing at their excess.

"So, Midori-san, don't tease me anymore - have we actually met before?"

"No, I don't think so. Unless you believe in reincarnation?" Midori poured them both more wine.

"I suppose I do, but I was thinking about this temporal plane. C'mon - have some pity! Everyone seems to be laughing at some joke about you and I seem to be the only one who doesn't know what it is!" Yuriko pouted, but gave in quickly as Midori lifted an eyebrow.

"Maybe you know me better by my married name - Yukano Midori." The brunette said calmly, as she sat back and sipped her wine.

Yuriko's mouth dropped. "*The* Yukano Midori? Prize-winning writer?'re my favorite writer in the world!"

Midori smiled apologetically. "I know."