I really think you should read my summary with the scans for this manga because the characters are so expressive that you can’t grasp it fully without seeing it yourself. It’s especially true for Sohta and even more so for Saeko. She’s a really complex character, as much as I dislike her, and you need to see it more than you need to read it to get it.
And now, in celebration of volume 9 AKA the final volume coming out today…
PS: I didn’t proofread this at all… It’s so long and I’m too lazy OTL
“Because I haven’t seen her in so long my heart is starting to fog. I’m trying to recall her face, but did she really have that face? I’m loosing trust in myself and my memories. Maybe I was never actually in love with her… My brain was just deranged by this strange feeling coming deep inside me.”
Sohta and Olivier are having a bro moment. Sohta says Olivier is a Prince and he’s so thankful that he’s working here despite the small pay. Olivier answers that you can find money everywhere but Sohta’s shop is unique in the world, it is more valuable than material things and wealth. Sohta thinks that what Olivier is saying is great but the reason he can say it is because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Elena comes into the shop. She’s going to Hawaii for a photoshoot and came to by chocolate for the editor who likes them. They’re acting very couple-like and Kaoruko says it’s impossible that they didn’t do anything, they slept together didn’t they? Olivier says he doesn’t know anything.
Before she leaves Elena asks for a hug like one he would give to his girlfriend and he complies. At this Kaoruko repeats “They’re sleeping together right? And it’s been going on for a while!!” Olivier: “Hum… I don’t know anything…”
Saeko enters the shop while Sohta and Elena are still embracing and Sohta is of course shocked and his heart is beating like crazy. Elena clocks in his reaction and asks Sohta if that girl the one and if she did something wrong. Sohta grabs Elena and says “no” and thinks on the contrary, it’s an opportunity he didn’t even hope would come. He has to become a “bad boy”, it’s now or never!! He tells Elena they’ll talk about it when she comes back. She gets a glint her eyes that she understands and leaves saying saying she’ll text him as soon as she’s she’s back (all this with lots of ♥). She glances to Saeko and giggles this is Saeko’s reaction.. [I just love Elena! And I live for when we see Saeko like that.]
Saeko stammers a little while Sohta is acting cool “Good morning Saeko. It’s been a while. Are you well?”. In fact Sohta is going crazy but he thinks she must not find out at all cost. He apologizes for not answering her texts.
Saeko asks about Elena and Sahto thinks he can’t deny too much because that’d be putting himself down, how would a proper bad boy answer… He thinks of the way stars often answer “She’s just a very good friend. ♥” with the face that says “Obviously I’m doing her! Moron!”. Saeko doesn’t believe him, they looked too close to be just friends. Sohta says Elena has Portuguese origins so she’s more tactile than a basic Japanese woman, she did the same with Rikudo. Sohta praises himself in his head “I dodged that one beautifully. I played it well didn’t I?! I’m super calm, right?!”
Saeko is shocked to hear Rikudo’s name. Sohta hangs out with celebrities… But well that’s to be expected, they’re in the same world, it’s great, Sohta is moving up really fast… She looks troubled(? who ever knows with her) and Sohta notices as well. He thinks he is the one leading. They talk about the mint truffles.
Saeko makes this, idk sweet? Seducing?, face (which puzzles Sohta) and says she wanted to come to the shop earlier but… And Sohta interrupts her to apologize about the last time, he says he’s not angry at all. He’s really proud of himself it’s pretty sad. “I’m so on top of this!! I’m in control of the situation!! I’m not like I used to be! Yes… For sure, I came out a better man from this break!!”
Saeko’s expression changes, which Sohta notices, she’s beck in charge! She says not to worry, actually she’s happy he refused. Since it’s her friend who asked she felt she couldn’t refuse… But actually she didn’t want to mention it to him. “After all, it’s a bit awkward… To introduce my ex to a friend…”
Sohta is shocked speechless “Huh? HUH? “Her ex”? Me? Her ex? She’s talking about me right?? I’m her ex???? Huh? Huh? What’s with this sudden promotion???????????? She decided that during those two months she was two-timing we were “dating”???? Huh??????? When did I rise through the rank??” Of course his calm and cool demeanor is completely gone and as he steps away to take a phone call he’s all exited and full of hearts telling Saeko to wait for him to be done.
Karouko looks at Saeko who is smiling and blushing [here it’s best you look at the scans to see the subtilty].
Saeko is leaving and Sohta’s thought bubbles read “Her ex”. Sohta tells Saeko that he’s open to suggestions for new products and she proposes pains au chocolat. Sohta says although he knows how to make bread, it’s not his specialty and although Olivier is a Treluyer he never learned either. Saeko apologizes for proposing something impossible but Sohta says it’s nothing, it’s his job to answer to the clients’ needs and Saeko is special. He thinks “Damn it I was too open!!! Aah, but I can’t take it anymore.”
Saeko says she’s happy she came, she’s happy she got to see him and talk to him. She leaves and Sohta is beside himself. He says he’s fine with dying right now, actually, he’d better die right now. He’s at the top of his happiness, after that the only thing left is to tumble back down.
When asked what got him this happy he answers that it’s because she called him “her ex”: “She called me “her ex”!! “Her ex”, do you get it!! That’s great, isn’t it?!” After all until now he was just a friend among many others, but she just added him to the list of her exes (he joins the most good looking guys of each promos!). Olivier and Kaoruko don’t get it. Sohta says they suck and repeats “Saeko became “my ex”! Mine!! I’m allowed to call her “my ex”!!” and in the background it says “Amaziiiing! I’m so greaaaaat!” Kaoruko still doesn’t get it and Olivier is busy thinking about tonight’s anime. Sohta is really beside himself. He keeps repeating in his mind “From now on, Saeko is my ex… My ex!” and according to him his brain is bathing in a heavenly light. He says that to make him dream like that is one of Saeko’s charm and Kaoruko corrects him that shouldn’t it be one of her hazards? Sohta is too into his own world to pay her any attention and continues with his ridiculous smile still on his face he says that “the liitle fairy” asked him for a favor and it was cute. When Kaoruko hears what it was (chocolate that never disappears) she takes one of the tools and asks if she can kill her (meanwhile Olivier is still thinking of anime). Sohta repeats that it was cute. Then he says that she wanted to taste a pain au chocolat. Kaoruko says she can do it herself but Sohta answers “Buuuut! She wanted a pain au chocolat made by me! Oh la la!!” Karouko tells him the various reasons why they can’t do that and he dejectedly tells that he knows and that’s why he told her it’s impossible. But he doesn’t like it, to end with a “sorry it’s not possible”.
Sohta and Elena are eating dinner at a restaurant and Elena tells him Saeko his cute and it’s cool that she’s married, she’s envious, before realizing that it’s not really tactful to tell him that. Sohta says it’s fine because actually he realized that her being married excites him, although if she wasn’t he’d like it as well of course. Elena says it’s nice that they can see each other like they used to. Sohta asks her if there’s been any progress on her side. The day before she looked at “Kurashina-san”‘s blog, or more accurately at his band’s blog as all the members take turns to write. Some write more often than others and he doesn’t do it often. At first she didn’t want to look at this sort of things because it’s for the fans and she’s not one, she doesn’t want to put herself in the same group as them. She feels weird finding out about him in that context so until now she really didn’t want to look at their blog. But yesterday she looked to make things clear, what if she’s not actually in love with him but just a groupie like the others? In the end she liked finding out the way he wrote but she felt more like the distance between them was growing, as if he’s someone else. (Sohta holds her hand on the table) The one she fell in love is the Kurashina she had in front of her, the man and not the artist. It’s weid isn’t it? How could she love someone with whom she only exchanged a few words a year ago? She wonders if she’s not crazy. Sohta tells her that he’s also often told that he’s crazy.
These days she’s trying to convince herself that she doesn’t love him. Sohta says he does that too but afterwards it feels even worse. Elena says if that’s the case then she’ll have to remain crazy.
There’s a family eating behind them and Elena says she’s envious. She’d like to become an ordinary mom. Sohta says, by marrying Kurashina, but Elena says she hadn’t thought of that, she doesn’t go that far. She says that’s what Sohta wants, right? Has he imagined himself with Saeko? He makes a face before answering “Hum… Yes…”
At the shop Sohta is still thinking about Saeko’s request. He ends up thinking of making chocolate spread, this way she can put it on her bread. Kaoruko thinks it’s a great idea. Sohta wants to make them in big tubes that look like tubes for paint. The other two love the idea and Sohta explains that he thought that when Saeko will have children it’ll make them happy as well. Olivier & Kaoruko are like O_O “…” There’s a pause and Sohta is frozen. Kaoruko & Olivier point out that they haven’t said anything. Sohta screams asking why he’s imagining such things, it’s because he was too happy about last time so his heart is trying to restore balance, he’s hurting himself! Kaoruko says, so this is where a twisted love like his leads, she’s going to be careful. Olivier says he will too.
Sohta’s thinks that when he can see Saeko his heart recharges and he is flourishing with ideas. “Saeko, even if you don’t do anything for me, your capricious words and your smile are water and light that make flowers bloom inside me.” He ends thinking that Saeko is the one who made him a chocolatier and allows him to continue on this path. He loves her with all his heart.
At night Olivier is watching his anime when Matsuri comes home drunk. She falls down on the couch and says she fought she decided to come home. Olivier hesitantly asks if she fought with her boyfriend. She answers yes and then says she’s fed up and is dumping him. Then she says that everytime she says the same thing, she sucks, she suck more every day that passes. Olivier is getting flustered because Matsuri is sleeping on the couch and her legs are showing. He tries to wake her up and when she doesn’t he puts a cover on her saying that if she stays like this she risks being assaulted. Ans sure enough he reaches out to caress her face, hair and kisses her forehead. She opens her eyes and while she’s still half-asleep he kisses her. That fully wakes her and she calls out his name.
Sohta comes home just as Matsuri is running up the stairs. Olivier is still kneeling by the couch and Sohta wonders if he fought with Matsuri (about tv channels). Olivier says he’s trash. He acted like he was mature saying he was just observing but he couldn’t hold himself back. Sohta is confused. Olivier apologizes to Sohta and says that he touched Matsuri. (I don’t know how to say it right. It sounds wrong in English. Maybe something like “put his hands on her”?) Sohta is still confused. Finally Olivier says he kissed Matsuri. For a moment his desire took over. He apologizes again and repeats that he’s trash. Sohta is still clueless as he says that he understands that because it really isn’t working out with the woman Olivier has an unrequited love for, he is miserable and horny and because Matsuri was there… Olivier screams that’s not it at all. It’s true he’s miserable and horny but that’s not why, Matsuri is the one he loves. This blows Sohta’s mind. He can’t believe it and keeps asking Olivier if he’s lying and saying it’s impossible.
Olivier says he understands, of course Sohta doesn’t like him, a disgusting otaku, wanting his sister. Sohta however says it’s the opposite, he can’t understand why Olivier would want Matsuri and tells him to wake up, he’s a prince! Olivier screams that he’s not a prince and how many times will he have to say it to him and Matsuri? Sohta says Olivier has all it takes to aim higher, like a Hollywood actress. Olivier asks if he’s not allowed to fall in love with the sister of a chocolatier and Sohta answers that’s not it, but what does he like about Matsuri, she’s super banal. Olivier says that’s a stupid question, after all, what does he like about Saeko?
Anyway Olivier says it’s over, he screwed up majorly and Matsuri fled from him super fast. What is he going to do, he can’t stay in this house anymore. Meanwhile Sohta’s face is… Just look at the scans.
At Elena’s place Sohta still can’t accept it and rants to her about it. His brain just can’t accept it, Olivier the prince mopping around after being rejected by Matsuri… And he was imagining some high-class romance! Elena says she’d told him Matsuri would attract guys who are a pain in the ass. At this Sohta gets really mad and exclaims not to call Olivier a pain in the ass! Then Sohta has a revelation, he should get Matsuri to break up with her boyfriend and set her up with Olivier. He doubts that that guy is richer than Olivier (but if he is of course it changes everything). Elena calls him out for it and he says that before anything he’s a business man, he loves money! However he doesn’t feel good giving her his benediction, he doesn’t think she’s good enough for Olivier.
Finally he says he’s done ranting, he said all he had to so now he’s tired. He gets into bed next to Elena and she laughs that it was funny how into it he was. Sohta says other people’s love life is always funny, you can say what you want about it, it’s so tiring to think about our own. He says that sometimes he has ultra optimistic fantasms. For example, Saeko loves him too and she thinks about him every night when she sleeps/has sex with her husband. Elena asks if that’s what he calls optimistic? He’s a masochist. She says it doesn’t cost him anything to fantasize, he can’t go further with it. Sohta doesn’t see how he can do better. Elena does it for him: Saeko thinks about him so much that she refuses her husband’s advances and with every chocolate she puts in her mouth she imagines that she’s making love to him… This gets Sohta really excited and he exclaims that it’s erotic, she’s really erotic! He can’t believe she can come up with such erotic stuff, he’s going to do it like that now! Elena says that it’s a fantasm, he shouldn’t hesitate to make himself happy. Sohta says that he’ll feel guilty to have had such thought. He’s breaking the law on fantasms, he’s scared of being arrested by the fantasms’ police. Elena says no fantasm is forbidden, they’re free to think what they want.
Sohta asks her if she has erotic fantasms as well and she says that in her case it’s more like when she’ll be waiting at a red light she’ll think that she might meet Kurashina and he’ll remember her at first sight. They’ll exchange a few words and go eat at a restaurant just the two of them… And then she’ll go to hotel with him! Sohta exclaims “Already?!” but Elena says that they might never be able to see each other again so she has to seize the opportunity to go as far as possible. She is serious but for him it’s just a one night stand so they separate without her being able to confess. Then she gets pregnant and raises alone the child of the man I love and live happily until she dies, all is well that ends well! (She says all this looking absolutely blissful). Sohta says that it’s just self-sufficiency/containment. Elena cries that she doesn’t see how anything better could happen. She says that she knows it’s ridiculous, it’s just a fantasm, completely unreal. She wishes Sohta good luck and says that compared to her, he has a thousand more chances of it happening for him.
Sohta thinks he’s not sure what Elena says is right. No matter the distance that separates them, a dream is still a dream. It’s him who is in the position of being a mere fan to Saeko. He starts fantasming again: At Choco la Vie on a rainy day, Sohta tells Saeko that she can’t some into his store because the pain au chocolat isn’t ready yet, he can’t bake one that is worthy of her so he won’t be able to see her for a while. Saeko exclaims that it doesn’t matter and lets go of her umbrella to jump into his arms. She cries that actually she cares little about the chocolate, she’s here because she wants to see him. Sohta (the real one) thinks that’s it’s really moving, what a romantic he is. A stupid and onanistic fantasm. He’d die of shame if anyone where to learn about it. But Elena is permitting him so he too will support her, no matter how ridiculous the dream she’s having is.
Next morning he wakes up to find Elena jumping like a bunny while letting out small cries. A friend of hers knows someone… She was going crazy so he didn’t catch everything but she was invited to the after party of Kurashina’s band. Sohta hopes that everything will turn out good for her. Her stupid fantasms now have a chance of becoming true. And his too, despite everything, had a chance of being fulfilled.
End of Chapter 7
Sorry, it’s really too long OTL