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Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 6

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  • atheniag
    [Issues 1-5 are archived on the Yuricon Y!Groups archive: Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon and search Saiyuu no Ryokou ] *** Saiyuu no Ryokou: The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2003
      [Issues 1-5 are archived on the Yuricon Y!Groups archive: Visit
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yuricon and search "Saiyuu no Ryokou"]




      ***




      Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko






      The Story So Far: During some quiet time together, Yuriko has
      revealed to Midori that she is not the only important woman in her
      life. Tonight they face the Inquisition – they're going out to dinner
      with Hachi and Mariko.






      Volume 1, Issue 6




      "Lingua Franca"






      Light piano music played in the background, filling the restaurant
      with song. Conversation hummed, but did not overwhelm. The four were
      seated with a minimum of waiting and they settled into their place
      with pleasure. Three French doors opened onto the street; sounds of a
      warm summer evening made a soft counterpoint to the music.




      Hachi insisted on picking the wine and the three women deferred
      happily to his expertise. He spent a moment in deep thought, then
      placed their order. The wine, when it came, was an exceptional choice.
      Light, fruity, but warm and complex, like the evening light. They all
      congratulated Hachi on his choice and set to with pleasure.




      "How did you become so knowledgeable about wines?" Midori inquired
      politely, as she sipped from her glass.




      "I've been doing a little research," Hachi admitted. "It seemed like
      a," he laughed lightly at his own vanity, "like a gentlemanly thing to
      know."




      "Well, you've succeeded brilliantly," Yuriko held up her glass in
      salute.




      "Don't let him fool you," Mariko said to Midori. "He's been studying
      wines for years - he's even won awards as a wine-taster. He comes from
      a wine-making family."




      "Really?" The writer was impressed. "I've never been able to cultivate
      a palate, myself."




      His cheeks pink, Hachi said, "If you are genuinely interested, I can
      suggest a few labels to start off with."




      "I'd like that." Midori smiled at the young man, whose cheeks flushed
      another shade darker.




      Mariko gazed at Hachi with pleasure, then set her own glass down and
      leaned forward eagerly. "And now, Yuri – I command you to tell me all
      about your upcoming tour. The studio was abuzz with the news today. Is
      it true that you're on a double bill with Nakayama 'I put the bust
      back in bustier' Mayumi?"




      Yuriko choked on her wine. Midori slapped her smartly on the back as
      the blonde gasped for breath, gripping the table with one hand, and
      clutching her chest with the other.




      When she had regained her composure, she wheezed, "Where on earth do
      you get those epithets, Mari?"




      Mariko grinned. "I'll be honest – I stole that one. But seriously, are
      you really going on tour with that woman? Every story I've ever heard
      about her is more horrible than the last."




      Yuriko drank some water, wiped her eyes with a handkerchief and
      nodded. "And they're not even close to the true horribleness that is
      Nakayama Mayumi." With a resigned air, she shared her experiences from
      earlier in the day, not leaving out even their encounter in the
      elevator.




      Midori's face was dark with anger as the blonde finished her tale. "My
      goodness, that...that...woman!" she said, words failing her once
      again.




      "Well," Mariko said hopefully, after a pause, "you won't actually have
      to spend any time with her offstage…"




      Yuriko turned cynical eyes on her friend. "No, except the interminable
      press outings, events, signings, shoots, etcetera…no we'll hardly have
      to see each other." She sighed, then straightened in her chair. "I
      don't care," she announced brightly. "I'm going on an international
      tour and I'm going to have a lot of fun."




      They all drank to that.




      "And I'll be able to hold up my end of the ordering when we visit you
      in Paris," Hachi joked, pouring himself more wine. "You *are* doing a
      show in Paris, right?"




      Yuriko nodded. "That's right – Mariko, you'll have a great reason to
      brush up on your French. Mariko speaks extremely passable French," she
      explained to Midori. "The consequence of several extended years of
      study and some time in the country."




      "That's the way to do it," the writer agreed. "I learned more Russian
      in my time there than I ever did in my years of studying any other
      language in school."




      Mariko looked around the table, "You know, we're a reasonably
      well-rounded group here. Yuri speaks decent English," she smiled
      broadly, " a side effect of having had an American lover…"




      "Thanks for sharing, Mariko." Yuri said tartly.




      Mariko laughed, completely unrepentant. "And I can get by in French,
      Midori-san speaks Russian…"




      "And a very little Italian," Midori added with a grin. "A very, very
      little." She turned to Hachi. "How about you Hachigoro-san? Do you
      speak any other languages?"




      The young man shook his head. "I never really had a head for them. I'm
      barely coherent in Japanese!" he laughed.




      Mariko slapped him lightly on the arm. "Don't listen to him – he's
      just dazzled by our collective beauty and brilliance. Besides, he may
      not speak Upper Mesopotamian, but he knows more about food, art and
      wine than all of us put together." She gave Hachi a look that left no
      doubt in anyone's mind about her true feelings for him.




      Midori turned her head to glance at Yuriko, who smiled in answer to
      the unspoken comment.




      "It's true," Yuriko said to Midori, "he doesn't speak much about
      himself, but Hachigoro there has a degree in Fine Arts, as well as a
      bunch of really nifty kitchen utensils. Get him on the topic of pasta
      and he can be really garrulous."




      The three women smiled as Hachi squirmed in embarrassment at all the
      attention.




      "So," Mariko said shortly. "You were telling us about the tour. Be
      specific – I'm working on my souvenir list."




      Yuri smiled at her friend. "Well, we'll be kicking off with two nights
      here in Tokyo."




      "Where are you playing?"




      "The Budokan." Yuriko did not try to hide the pleasure in her voice.




      "That's terrific!" Mariko said, with real enthusiasm. "That's the
      biggest venue you've ever sung at, isn't it?"




      Yuriko nodded happily. "You'll all be there, or else, too. In fact,
      I'm going to be inviting quite a little crowd – and we're having a
      party afterwards, too, at which you shall all be your charming
      selves."




      "Of course," Mariko said graciously. "Okay, so after Budokan, then
      where?"




      "Next we got to Hong Kong, where I do a smaller show just for my fan
      club." Yuriko gave a short laugh, "Actually, I'll be fan clubbed out
      by the end of the tour. At each show, I'll have two fans attending –
      there's some kind of contest running between the fan club and a bunch
      of radio stations."




      "That sounds like fun," Hachigoro said. "Meeting a new pretty girl in
      every town." He laughed at the looks the three women gave him.




      "'Girl' is the operative word, here. They'll be children, most likely.
      So, we're doing Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila,
      Australia, that area, then moving west from there. I can't remember
      every city, but, hmmm," Yuriko looked upwards as she thought, "Athens,
      Moscow, let's see, Rome, Berlin, London, Paris," she nodded at Mariko,
      " and a bunch more I can't remember. Then we head for America and
      Canada. We've got about half a dozen cities or so there, then we come
      back to end up in Tokyo again."




      "That sounds really exhausting," Mariko said seriously.




      "It's certainly the longest itinerary I've ever had – and the longest
      I've ever been on tour." Yuriko said, looking into her wine glass.
      "But," she smiled, "think of all the great excuses I'm giving my
      friends for vacation! And I do like to travel. And," she smiled a
      little more broadly, "Ren-san has put together a really international
      team for the tour. This really should be great – a lot of fun."




      "With the small exception of your co-star," Midori said cynically.




      "Yes," Yuriko sighed. "With that one small exception."




      To Be Continued






      Saiyuu no Ryokou, all characters and situations copyright 2003, E.
      Friedman
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