*** Is anyone in the Logicalism fandom. nah just wondering random question sorry. Putting dates back so hurray for that /o/ ***
Chapter 20: The Baker
August 8th 1890
"Good morning!" Kaito greeted Rin as soon as he heard the sound of her door creaked open upstairs. "Are you hungry?"
"Ah, yeah… a bit." Rin said as soon as she reached Kaito in the living room. She was right to guess that there was no food anywhere in that house, but she's too modest to admit that she's starving."Where are we going?"
"Remember that weird guy in front of our house last night? He runs a bakery not too far from here and we're going to buy some bread and eat them there. I thought it'd be nice to just stay and talk with the guy." Yes, Rin remembered that 'guy'. Since Kaito didn't seem to mind and they were going to get breakfast there, it looked like the man last night was just an innocent bystander. A weird… Innocent bystander... Who stood in the rain and stared at their house. "Let's get going."
"What's the plan today?" Rin asked as she followed Kaito out of the house. It was bright and sunny outside, but there were puddles here and there. After she fell asleep did it rain again? She must had slept soundly to have missed that.
"The plan? After breakfast I guess we'll shop for some clothes? I don't have anything for you to wear, I've mentioned it already." He pointed at Rin's clothes. "You can't wear that forever."
"Are you sure that's alright? I feel like I keep bothering you and it's.."
"You don't need to be all so polite like that, you know? Besides, money's not a problem for me so don't worry about it." The only thing Kaito considered 'good' ever since he started working for Mayu again was money. Lots of money's never bad. Of course what he had to do to get it was a whole other thing. Wow he felt like a monster for even considering that. And of course he couldn't tell Rin he was going to buy her clothes with money he got from murdering people, that'd just ruin the moment.
"I wonder if I should get a job…" Surely she can't stay in Kaito's- their house for three weeks with nothing to do. "Would it be okay if I go look for one today? The sooner I get one, the better."
"If that's what you want. For now let's focus on getting breakfast first." They could already smell the freshly baked bread coming from the bakery; the scent alone was enough to make both of their stomach grumble.
"Hey, Piko!" Kaito opened the door to the bakery; the surprisingly empty bakery. "Wow I thought more people would be here."
"Welcome." Piko greeted them from the kitchen. "I close the bakery on Saturday and Sunday. And sometimes Tuesday and Thursday... And holidays too."
"…Why?" That means the bakery was only opened three days a week. Earlier when they were in front of the bakery there wasn't a sign that said it was closed either, maybe everyone in the neighborhood knew about it already?
"I just don't feel like working all the time." Piko came out from the kitchen with two plates in hand. The smell of bread was replaced with the smell coming from those two plates he had with him. "You said you'd come today so I thought I'd bake a batch or two and I prepared you two some breakfast."
"Uhm… That's great, I guess? I didn't know you'd go through all that trouble. " And then he remembered what he said to him last night.
'I'm going to bring my sister over tomorrow for breakfast, and eat your fresh homemade bread, then.'
"Wait, last night when I said we're going to come over and eat breakfast I didn't mean you have to prepare us anything, we're just going to buy what you have!"
"It's a welcoming party." A table and a chair for two was placed in the middle of the room. The flower on the vase too was a nice touch for the table; it looked like Piko had prepared everything for them. He put Kaito and Rin's breakfast down on the table; a simple breakfast with toast egg and a side of sausage. "And don't take it the wrong way. The breakfast here is free, the bread isn't."
"Wow I finally know what it feels like to have a friendly neighbor." It was good to see nice people out there in the world, Piko was probably just being a good neighbor but when people are too nice there's usually something… behind it. "So anyway, this is my sister Rin. Rin, this is Piko, the creepy guy you saw last night."
"Ah, hello…" Rin bowed a little bit. "Thank you for preparing this welcoming party for us."
"Enjoy your food, I'll go boil some water for tea." He left the main room immediately and back to the kitchen.
"Alright, let's dig in!" Kaito and Rin sat down and enjoyed their food; Rin couldn't remember the last time she ate something so good. Compare to the food she had to eat the past few weeks... No it's better to forget; the wait was definitely worth it. "So, Piko, since your bakery's only opened three days in a week do you have any other job?"
"Then where do you get the money? No offense but I'm surprised you're not bankrupt yet." He wondered what that bakery would look like during business hours. Would it even be full? Wouldn't people rather go to bakeries with a... Normal schedule? Not this 'opens whenever the owner feels like it' bakery.
"I do other things." 'Other things'. Piko didn't really answer his question, his question was, what is those 'other things'. "It's different every week."
"Oh, hey, speaking of jobs. Rin's looking for a job, do you think it's fine if she works for you for the time being? It'll bring you more business and you can even open the bakery during those days."
"I don't mind." Piko returned from the kitchen with a tea set in hand. "And by 'for the time being' you mean…?"
"We're only staying here for three weeks, then we're going to move again. I hope you'll make us a goodbye party too when the time comes."
"Of course." He took it literally again.
"When can I start?" Rin asked eagerly. It was good that she found a job the second she felt like looking for one. "I don't think I know a lot of things about baking…"
"Leave the baking to me, I'll make you run errands I guess. Maybe clean the place." Piko poured tea on both of Kaito and Rin's cups and left the tea set on the table. "If you need anything else just call me."
"Hey, you're not a servant! Just grab another chair and we can… You know, talk. That's what you should do on a welcoming party, right?"
"Alright." He wasn't supposed to be a servant but so far he took all of Kaito's requests seriously. And some weren't even requests, some were just questions! It'd be rude to just straight out and ask him 'why are you weird' or 'why do you keep doing everything I say' so maybe it'd just be better if he stays quiet.
"What do you do for fun around here?" Kaito asked as soon as Piko was seated on the table with them.
"Don't you have a hobby or a place you go to or…?"
"Okay then." Kaito returned to his breakfast. "Alright Rin I've done my part in the conversation, it's your turn to get a word out of Piko now. And by a word, I don't mean that literally."
"Uhm…" Rin tried to think of a question that would get more than a word for a reply. Not literally of course. "Uh… When did you first start baking?"
"When I was small I don't have anything at all; I'm an orphan and I have no siblings so I had to manage living in the streets alone. I don't like begging, it looks like something only the weak and pathetic do so instead I steal to live. Years ago I kept stealing from one particular bakery, I thought I was a skilled one because the baker there would never notice me. One day when I finally got caught by the baker he asked me if I wanted to learn how to bake, he was actually a gentle man and I think he'd noticed my steal before. And that's when I first started to bake."
"Yeah sure when Rin asks the question you give us your life's story." Kaito and Rin stopped munching on their food as they listened to the story.
"It's a lie." He said immediately after the words left Kaito's lips… And Rin was just seconds away from showering him with pity and sympathy. "If I'd told you the real answer it would've been a one word reply."
"I'm not good at starting a conversation with people." Piko shrugged.
"Not to be mean to the person who gave us food and a welcoming party; but no surprise there. You need some practice." Kaito noticed that ever since he met him last night so it really was no mystery. "Oh hey, since you two are going to be co-workers, why don't you two spend a day together?"
"I don't mind, do you?"
"I don't mind at all." Rin smiled, she actually thought it was a good idea.
"Do you two have any idea what you're going to do for the day?" After a while Kaito had finally finished his breakfast. "I don't want to be one of those protective big brothers but I don't want you coming home so late."
"I don't mind taking her around town. We could just talk and get to know each other better. Would that be okay?"
"Yeah, perfect. I think I'll go for a walk too." And by a walk he meant he was going to follow those two in a safe distance. And maybe test how nice Piko is a little bit.
Rin's clothes would have to wait for the time being.
"Just tell me if you feel tired from walking, we can take a rest somewhere then." They literally had only walked for ten minutes. Of course maybe for Piko that felt like a long time because none of them had started a conversation.
"I'm alright, we can stop later for lunch. That's still a few hours from now, so let's just enjoy our walk." Piko was going to be her new boss for the next three weeks so the more things they could talk about, the better. "You know, technically you haven't answered my question earlier in the bakery."
"Oh, that. I started baking when I was working at a mansion in another town. I was a servant there and I had to learn a few things." Judging by how much he acted like a slave, er, servant Rin guessed he had worked there for a long time. Even though his bakery was only open three days a week it was still clean and so organized, his cooking was excellent too. And he probably didn't talk to a lot of people because of his… Status?
"Do you still work there?" In the end it wasn't all that different from what she had to do with Len. It was just that, 'servant' was such a… Sensitive word to use.
"No, the mistress passed away not too long ago."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." At least he wasn't answering her questions with a one word answer anymore. "Before I moved here I used to work… Ah, I mean I'm working as an assistant detective. It's just that, right now I'm… Enjoying my holiday, I guess."
"This town is a weird destination choice for a holiday. We have nothing to see here."
"Ah, well, it's my first choice, Kaito picked it not me." That one was true, at least.
"And it's weird how you're looking for a job while you're currently in a holiday yourself."
"I didn't really ask for this time off, I honestly just want to do something. It's a bit complicated so let's leave it at that." Rin sighed. "Do you know a good place to eat sweets?"
"Do you want one right now?"
"No, it's just a random question., but it'd be nice to eat something sweet later."
"Let's go look for one right now. We can sit down and talk over a piece of cake."
"I just had breakfast so I don't think I want desert at the moment… Let's walk a bit more." They'd been walking for a while but she wasn't paying attention to anything in particular. There were stores lined up both on her right and her left, but none she was interested in looking. "Sweets for lunch sounds nice…"
"You can't have sweets for lunch, they're dessert. You can eat it after lunch but not as lunch." Rin imagined that's something Piko say to her mistress often. Girls love sweet things that's only natural, and to want it all the time's only natural too.
"There's nothing wrong with looking at sweets, right? Let's look for a pastry shop. Do you know any good ones? A favorite, even?"
"It's a bit far from here, but I know a good one. I'm not the biggest fan of sweets but that pastry shop's always so full so I assume it's good."
"It's not like we're going to eat there, looking at the display is enough for me for now. We can go there together another day." Although the truth was she's craving for it. She had no money with her, and to ask Piko for it would just be a rude thing to do, so it was easier to lie about it. "Just lead the way."
Kaito thought he could let go of any doubts he had on Piko if he could let him be alone with Rin. From the safe distance he was in, it was hard to hear what they were talking about; he knew they were at least 'talking'. If Piko tries to do anything to Rin, which he doubts, he could just get rid of him somehow. He really doubts that he would though, since he'd been so nice. The only weird thing about him (beside being overly compliant) was why he was so… Nice. In his memory he didn't remember him being all that… Nice at all. Then again he'd only seen him once before. In prison.
It wasn't just about the job, Rin couldn't spend the three weeks alone, it was a good chance to make some friends. In the meantime he had to figure out what to do with Len… He could go back to that building, but then what would he find? He was sure Mayu'd set a trap for him there so walking in without a plan was just plain suicide.
Kaito pushed the thought aside and reminded himself that there were other things he had to take care off. Like Rin's clothes. No, Len's more important than Rin's clothes, but…. So far he was just clueless. His plan B was to just wait until Mayu makes a move and then he'd counter it somehow. Not the best plan in the world though for the time being, he should just stick with Plan B.
'Now… I said I wanted to test how nice Piko is but so far there's really no opportunity available.' Kaito looked around for inspiration. 'We'll just see how it goes for now.'