“I’m back. Any interesting happenings while I’m gone?”
“Hmm…No. Nothing much. Mutsuki and Kisaragi were looking for you, and Yuubari’s latest experiment almost literally blew up in her face, but that’s it.”
The Commander made a slightly disappointed face, which almost looked like a half-pout as he walked past the secretary desk to his own. Zuikaku noticed he was carrying something that, at a glance, appears to be a magazine.
“Now, now, Commander, a little peace is always good,” she commented, having grown to appreciate that she wouldn’t have to deal with constant trouble, even though at times she thought it made her soft.
“I suppose you are right. Well then, before I resume working, I will busy myself with this magazine Nachi lent me,” the Commander said as he removed his officer cap and placed it near him.
“Lent? Forced on you, you mean.”
“Forced on me, yeah. Well, she insists that I read it. Said there’s something interesting inside. So, let’s see…”
“… That’s a girls’ magazine, isn’t it?”
The Commander flipped the magazine over and looked at the cover.
“Seems so. But why not? Sometimes you got to keep in touch with your feminine side,” He shrugged it off and began leafing through the pages.
Zuikaku sighed fondly before returning to her work. Such magazines were never among her interest, so she decided to leave the Commander to his leisure.
“Oh, I see… that’s interesting, indeed…Hey, Zuikaku, check this out, if you are done with that.”
Zuikaku set her pen down. She was indeed done with that particular document, so she might as well humor the Commander.
“What is it?”
“This quiz. Check it out.”
Zuikaku frowned slightly at the page shown to her, showing a table of several colors in varying shades. ‘Predicting your future through the color you are drawn to,’ the title said.
“I was skeptical about it at first, just like you are now. But then again, my results were pretty accurate. So, I’m curious about what yours will be.”
“…Really? What are your results, then?”
“I’ll tell you if you do it. Just trust your gut and pick the color you are drawn to the most. And no peeking at the results on the next page!”
Zuikaku sighed; the thought to decline did briefly passed her mind, but in the end, she simply decided to pick one quickly and be done with it.
“Alright, I pick this one, then,” she said.
“Red, number two, huh? Okay, let’s see... ‘You’re deeply in love...with loving people. Perhaps this color drew you in because you are craving a certain amount of vitality, or life, that is missing. You’re missing a passion that has maybe faded away. It’s up to you to light the fire again by being the one to express your feelings. This doesn’t even have to be a romantic love, but it’s definitely time to bring another life into yours.’”
“Huh….?” That was all Zuikaku could only say as she struggled to process the entire thing.
Deeply in love…? Missing a passion? What is this absurdity…?
“…Well, that was what it said. Of course, you don’t have to believe it,” the Commander offered, taking pity of the flustered shipgirl. “While I did say my results were accurate, I think they were just coincidence.”
“Um...Well…I guess…so,” Zuikaku responded, still slightly dumbfounded.
Despite trying to convince herself that it was indeed just a coincidence, though, there was a lingering, nagging feeling that the message was right.
“…Um, well, what about yours, then, Commander?” She hastily changed the subject in one last attempt to distract herself.
"I picked pink number one; don’t judge,” the Commander replied. "Here’s what it says: ‘Continue looking for more love. You’re a happy, positive person and grateful for what you have, but you know you want more. You may or may not be looking for romantic love, even just extra attention from strangers or gratitude from coworkers will help satisfy that void. The problem is that you can’t just wait for that affection. Pink is a shade of the audacious and ambitious red! You have to make the first moves.'"
Zuikaku thought she could simply dismiss that; she was wrong. If any, it gave her a strange feeling she couldn’t really put her finger on, on top of her already jumbled train of thought.
The Commander closed the magazine down and set it aside, all while looking so satisfied and utterly oblivious to his secretary’s predicament.
“Well, if you ask me, it’s a bit of good advice, in any case. Make the first moves, I mean. I think I’m going to ask a certain someone to have tea with me sometime.”
“Good luck, Commander,” Zuikaku said, not liking how she ended up sounding as if she didn’t really mean it.
Then again, she wasn’t sure if she really did.