Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 6
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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
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
"Well, you've succeeded brilliantly," Yuriko held up her glass in
"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
Midori's face was dark with anger as the blonde finished her tale. "My
goodness, that...that...woman!" she said, words failing her once
"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
"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
"Of course," Mariko said graciously. "Okay, so after Budokan, then
"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.