Game Market 1983 - Chapter 48
“Yes? What is it?”
“That’s… Mmm, I heard this from my friend, but do you have to take your shoes off when you board the plane?”
… Wow… I couldn’t believe this comedy existed in this period too… I bursted out in laughter after seeing Yuki’s completely serious expression. In response, Yuki mumbled with a bright red face.
“It… It’s a joke~!! Of course you’d have to wear shoes on the plane!!”
At that instant, I immediately stopped laughing and opened my mouth with a serious expression.
“What are you saying, Miss Yuki… Of course you should board a plane without shoes.”
“Ah..!! Right? I, I actually knew that~ Hnngh!!”
Yuki swiftly turned her head and walked away in a brisk manner.
Ah, she’s cute. She’s twenty this year. Considering my real age, the heavens would punish me if… Anyways, she feels like my niece rather than a girlfriend.
Urgh, Yuki is not wrong to call me a grandpa now that I think about it.
Yuki, who was quite a distance away, turned her head and shouted.
“What are you doing, hurry up~!!”
“Haha, I’m going.”
A lone bamboo pathway. And a beautiful girl… Every aspect of this situation were tugging at my heartstrings.
After Yuki and I left the Chikurin forest and were feeling quite hungry, we were heading to a restaurant on my car. There were barely any cars on the road in the 80s in Japan, so I was able to drive anywhere without traffic.
I cut through the winter chill with my vehicle as I stepped into the pedal and spurred the engine on.
“Turn left after 300 meters. Please stick to the leftmost lane.”
If this was 30 years in the future, these directions would be coming from a navigation system. But today, it was coming out of Yuki’s mouth to guide me to a tasty restaurant in Kyoto.
“Why were you laughing to yourself from a while ago? Tell me, so I can laugh with you~ Please?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
“Hrrmph, You’re being selfish by not telling me…”
How would I explain to you that what you were doing now would be done by a navigation device 30 years from now? I couldn’t help but laugh after looking at Yuki’s exasperated face.
It may look like she’s annoyed right now, but this was not Yuki’s nature. If I stay silent for a while, then…
“But isn’t hearing my directions convenient? It’s easy to understand, right?”
Because she was coming in like this… there wasn’t a moment of boredom for me. Before navigation systems existed, a person holding a map would often give directions to the driver like this.
‘This is fun in its own right.’
Eventually, we arrived at our designated restaurant per Yuki’s guidance. Honestly speaking, even though the restaurant was highly rated, there was no way I would drive from Kyoto to Gobei if I was alone.
Gobei, situated past Osaka, was famous for its Japanese beef; it’s reputation was similar to the natural beef region in Korea.
“Wow~ This restaurant is huge!”
Yuki was like an excited kid let loose in an amusement park as she stood in front of the giant cow painting in front of the restaurant. She took out her camera that she brought and started taking pictures.
Snapping pictures of restaurants and stores were commonplace in the 21st century, but the people inside the restaurant were looking at Yuki with an inquisitive eye.
“Excuse me… but what are you doing?”
The store manager finally came out of the restaurant and asked Yuki; she turned bright red and started explaining.
“I’m a writer working at a broadcasting station, and I’m in the process of drafting a program script for Japan’s best restaurants.”
“Oho… Best restaurants?”
“Yes. I’ve heard that this restaurant serves the best beef in the Gubei district from my investigations, so I’m taking pictures of the exterior. Sorry for not speaking with you about this.”
In response, the manager tilted his sideways for a moment before suddenly widening his eyes like an enlightened buddhist monk and shouted.
“If it’s like that, you should’ve told me earlier!!”
And he dashed into the restaurant and immediately came back with a chef.
“Now~ You can take a picture.”
“I wanted to capture a more natural scene…”
“You should still take a picture as a commemoration. If your program goes live, I’ll ask you to take care of us. So Gubei’s premium Wagyu beef should be synonymous with our restaurant~!!”
“Yes, thank you.”
After Yuki finished taking the picture, the manager extended his hands towards Yuki and spoke.
“You two are dating, correct? Give me the camera. I’ll take a nice picture for you guys. Afterall, I majored in film.”
D, dating? As I desperately waved my hands in denial from the back, Yuki quickly handed the camera over to the manager and clamored.
“Yes~!! Thank you~!!”
Yuki locked her arms with me and spoke.
“Smile~ Mr. Junhyuk.”
“Ah… Yes, haha….”
We filled our stomachs to the brim with bonus dishes from the manager and wanted to walk for a while before riding the car again. Luckily, there was a walking trail right next to the restaurant so Yuki and I started walking the forest path together.
“Ah, I’m too full.”
“Yep, we overate…”
“But the food was amazing.”
“Don’t you think I ate too much expensive dishes from you?”
I was thankful enough that she came all the way to Kyoto to buy a meal for free with her prize money, but to think she’d buy me premium beef… But Yuki shook her head and replied.
“Not at all~ I’ve always wanted to come here too. A senior from the station is from Gubei, and she was bragging so much about how delicious the beef from this restaurant was. But I came here safely thanks to you, Mr. Junhyuk. Owning a car is amazing after all~”
It was a bit chilly walking on the winter trail, but the cool air exuded a refreshing feeling.
“Have a safe trip to America.”
“Ah… Thank you.”
“And when you come back… I’d like it if you’d just call me Yuki instead of “Miss Yuki”.”
As I looked at Yuki’s brightly smiling face, I unconsciously nodded my head as I replied.
“Ah, alright. I’ll do that.”
January 7th. Inside the airplane.
After stretching my arms out and yawning in my business class seat, I asked a question to the passing stewardess.
“Excuse me, how much time is remaining until arrival?”
“There’s 30 minutes left, sir. I hope you’ve had a pleasant ride so far.”
“I’ve had a great flight so far. Thank you.”
“You slept really well, were you having a good dream?”
“I don’t quite remember, but I think I did. Excuse me, could I have another glass of water? My throat is dry.”
“Yes, please wait a moment.”
The stewardess answered and lightly bowed her head with a bright smile before walking off to fetch the water.
As I sated my thirst and opened the plane’s window, the runway was already in sight.
A moment later. The plane landed in New York’s JFK airport and woke Mr. Gunpei who’d been sleeping until the landing.
“Mr. Gunpei, we’re here. It’s the airport.”
What do you mean already… We’ve spent almost 20 hours on the plane; if anyone else saw this conversation, they’d think we were taking a bus from Kyoto to Tokyo.
I helped the groggy Mr. Gunpei pick up the bags, and we headed to the departure hall. Of course, there was the immigration interrogatio, but there wasn't any problem as we showed them our Japanese business Visa. We’ve also spent a year in America a while back…
Mr. Gunpei, who had been sleeping for most of the flight and barely touched the airplane food, was fatigued with hunger. After finally leaving the exit terminal and helping pull Mr. Gunpei’s carrier, a familiar voice greeted us.
I turned my head in response to the voice of Elise and saw Mr. Yamashita and Mr. Wilso waiting for us too. My eyes were moistening despite my efforts, as I saw these familiar faces after 3 years.
“Mr. Wilson! Mr. Yamashita!! Elise!!”
Mr. Gunpei who was next to me looked over at them and spoke.
“Kang-kun, you’re also popular in America, haha.”
“Let’s go. Before anything else, you must be hungry so let’s have a meal first.”
“Alright. I’m actually starving.”
“Who told you to sleep the entire flight?”
“Airplane food makes me sick for some reason, you know?”
“Oh how terrible. Let’s go.”
Mr. Gunpei snickered as he followed behind me.
There weren’t any particular problems to fix in the day-to-day operations.
As there were no consoles that came close to the Family’s popularity, the launch of Mintendo’s mobile Gamboy was projected to go without a hitch in America. (An entirely different situation from when we first brought the Family to America)
Compared to three years prior when the public’s reception to video games were mostly negative, the console industry was steadily flourishing now.
“The difference between back then and now is like the heaven and earth…”
Mr. Gunpei must’ve been thinking the same thing as he muttered while smoking a cigarette after his meal.
While we were eating, we grouped into 2 teams to use the one month period effectively. Mr. Yamashita and Mr. Gunpei decided to oversee the launching of the mobile Gamboy in the U.S 3 months later, while Elise and I planned to market the Psychic Battle.
Mr. Wilson was steadily increasing the number of Mintendo’s chain stores while simultaneously suppressing Toyworld in every aspect.
The number of employees under him had increased staggeringly; the owner of a closing-down toy store was managing six stores now.
“Mr. Wilson, you’ve become unrecognizable from a few years back.”
“Everything couldn’t have happened without you, Mr. Kang. I still reminisce upon this memory every now and then: the tense face of the young Korean gentlemen who stepped through the tiny doors of my shop and took out the Family…
“Ah~ you’re embarrassing me.”
“No. After I die, if god asks me what was the best moment of my life, meeting you on that fateful day will be my answer.”
Mr. Wilson smiled at me with a deeply wrinkled pair of eyes. I turned my head to make out the conversation of the two Japanese behind me before speaking to Mr. Wilson.
“You’re expanding the premium stores like I’ve told you to?”
“Of course. Every time I add a store to our growing coterie of shops with the money you’ve wired, we’re increasing our business under both our names. “
“You’re doing great. Please continue with that.”
“But, I have a question. Where is all that money coming from? Even the successful director of Mintendo shouldn’t be able to put their hands on that kind of money…”
“I tend to have a lot of money. Even the HQ doesn’t know this, but I own several factories that produce cartridges, and have also developed software.”
“What did you say!? You’re managing all that by yourself?”
“Actually, my ventures are being managed just like how you’re doing an excellent job growing the business here in America, Mr. Wilson.”
“Ha~ You’re network is incredible for such a young person. Don’t you have any thoughts on starting your own company with that sort of human resources and capital?”
“I’m planning to do just that. But it’s not the right time yet.”