Chapter 38: Ramune Cigarettes


“Want some?”

Saying so, Kashiwagi-san offered me a stick of Ramune Cigarettes.

By the way, there is no other option for me now but to eat.

She shoved it in my mouth before I could answer.

I was on the roof of the hospital today looking up at the night sky with Kashiwagi-san after completing all my training for the past three months.

All that was left was to take the dehydration drug, let it pass overnight, and the process would be complete.

With her beautiful hair and white coat fluttering in the night breeze, Kashiwagi-san speaks out while blowing on the Ramune Cigarette.

“Still,it is very similar to Tohsaka.
I can’t believe he paid such a hefty amount of money for your hospitalization and training to get you treated.
Even though it is a clinical trial, the only thing you are exempted from is the cost of medicine.”

“Haha, that’s because I refused.
I will pay for this because it’s me being treated.”

“Really? That’s a nice, but eye-popping amount of money, huh? If you work to pay it back, how long will it take?”

“Ugh… I’ll have to think about how I’m going to repay it when I get back to Japan… Maybe I should have taken advantage of Renji-san’s kindness… but, as you would expect…”

I pondered over the amount of bills that would be coming my way.

At the very least, I want to let Saika lead the life she wants without worrying about money.

Remembering Renji-san, I suddenly wondered about Kashiwagi-san.

“By the way, Kashiwagi-san, how did you become a drug developer and a doctor? And why did you skip a grade and go to the trouble of developing a new drug for hypertrophy, which is a rare case of the disease… given you’re the same as me, right?”

“I don’t have to make up for it now with you.
Unfortunately, I am not a great doctor like Tohsaka.
My desire to help many suffering patients is just a pretense, and I’m really just trying to fulfill my own desire.”

“Kashiwagi-san’s desire… for approval of new drugs in Japan, right?”

She looked up at the night sky and sucked on a Ramune Cigarette.

“It’s going to be a little long, but mind hearing me out?”

“By all means, please!”

“What, it’s a silly story.
Just relax and listen.”

She said.

Kashiwagi-san’s life story up to now…

“My family still follows old-fashioned customs.
In any case, they favor the boys.
I Was the third and youngest, but only my two older brothers received any attention.”

“My father is a doctor and my mother is a nurse, and both of them wanted their sons to be doctors too.
You see, the thought that I was a woman, that all I had to do was grow up and marry somewhere so that I wouldn’t cause any problems, was transparent.”

“They say that the opposite of love is indifference.
I experienced it firsthand.
Father and mother both treat me with a pretended smile.
They’re selfish.
Each time, as if to say, ‘So don’t make me do it again.’”

“But as it turned out, I was the first one to become a good doctor, I beat out my brothers, and now I’m a more famous doctor than my own parents and a drug developer in the U.S.
How’s that for a rousing success story?”

Kashiwagi-san smiled, kuku, and took out another Ramune Cigarette.

Continue to hold it up to the night sky.

I continued to listen in silence.

“… The reason I became like this was because of a chance that completely changed my life.
I met my destiny.”

“I was on a family vacation that day at a certain mountain river.
There was no way my parents would go out with us, even if I had asked them to.
It was a reward for my two brothers getting good grades on a test, even though I always got a perfect score.”

“It was no different there.
Both my father and mother smiled as they watched my brothers play together, while I was treated like I didn’t belong there.”

“I thought of a way to get my parents’ attention.
I was a kid, so my thinking was simple, and I thought I should do something to annoy them.
Maybe the young delinquents are the ones in this kind of situation.”

“I stole a cigarette and lighter from my parents’ jacket, which they had taken off.
Then I secretly hid myself in the bushes nearby.
I figured that soon my parents would notice I was gone, come looking for me, and scold me for smoking.
Because then I would finally feel some love.”

“I was able to get away with it until I hid myself away.
But I was so stupid I couldn’t figure out how to light it, and I was trying so hard to light it without even putting a cigarette in my mouth.”

“I was not hiding that far away, though in five minutes I heard my parents calling my name.
Already I found myself struggling with an unlit cigarette for half an hour.”

“I went to check on my parents, where I found them happily talking about their future as doctors, watching my brothers playing as usual.
They didn’t even notice I wasn’t there.”

“My fears were confirmed at that moment.
I was sure that my parents didn’t want me.
So I decided to disappear.
We were just at a mountain river, and I thought I would throw myself into the river and die.”

“My only regret was that I could not light my cigarette.
I was standing by a fast-flowing river, holding the cigarette in my hand again and trying desperately to light it, hoping to lose that regret.
I was going to smoke as hard as I could, because I didn’t have to take care of myself anymore.”

“That’s when it happened.
A boy spotted me and called out, Don’t smoke that stuff.”

“I said coldly, ‘It’s none of your business.
Leave me alone,’ The boy crouched down next to me and pulled a piece of candy out of his pocket.”

“It was a ramune candy, shaped like a cigarette.”

“He said, ‘This one tastes better, so have it this way.’ He took the cigarette from me and stuck it in my mouth without permission.”

“As the taste of fresh, sweet ramune spread through my mouth, I burst into tears.
The boy said, ‘Tastes good, doesn’t it? Smoking makes those things taste bad, you know’ he laughed innocently… not even knowing how much I was pining.”(E/N: Pining – suffer a mental and physical decline, especially because of a broken heart.)

“But that was the first time I felt love.
I realized that I don’t have to stick to my parents.
Love can be given to anyone and received from anyone.”

“And the boy said, ‘I have a disease called hypertrophy.
I’m going to gain a lot of weight just by drinking water, and I won’t be able to live for a long time.
Just don’t tell my sister… okay.”

“I couldn’t stop crying, and he continued.
‘That’s why I want you to take good care of yourself… I’m sorry to be selfish, but I beg you to live a long and healthy life for me.’”

“It was enough to dissuade me.”

“Shortly after that, a child was washed in from the upriver.
The little girl was drowning.
Shouting, Rumi, without hesitation jumped in and held her body to save her.”

“I ran ashore in a panic, found a long wooden stick and offered it to the boy.
He had scars all over his body protecting her from the rocks in the river.
It looked like he had cut himself especially deeply on his forehead.”

“The boy grabbed the wooden stick and held her in his arms as he went ashore, but she was unconscious.
The boy was frantically giving her CPR while his head was bleeding.
I am sure he remembered exactly what he had learned in school.
I probably should have called my parents back then, but I had no idea that they would even come if I called them.
I was crying and praying next to him desperately.”

“Then, with a loud cough, the girl began to breathe, spitting out water.
The boy hugged her as she regained consciousness, then shook my hand and thanked me.
We parted without ever hearing his name.”

“That’s when I knew for the first time that I wanted to be something.
Like him, I wanted to be a hero who could save someone’s life.
I had a goal in my life that had nothing to do with my parents.”

“I wanted to help him out of his hypertrophy at all costs.
Even at an early age, I researched hypertrophy and searched for a cure.
When I heard that there was a cure in the U.S., I studied hard and even skipped grades to go to a pharmacy school in the U.S., but the cure was incomplete.
So I redeveloped it and gave it to you.”

“That’s why I’m here now.
It really is the best life I’ve ever had.
If I hadn’t met him, if he hadn’t had given me these Ramune Cigarettes.
I wouldn’t be alive, or I’d still be living a shell of a life still dreaming of being loved by my parents.”

When she finished speaking, Kashiwagi-san laughed and sucked on a Ramune Cigarette.

“So, I’m sorry, but I’m really just taking advantage of you.
I’m doing this because I want to get this new drug approved there in Japan and cure that kind, brave, unnamed boy of his disease.
I don’t care if I can’t see him again, as long as he’s cured somewhere… that’s my desire.
Sorry if I offended you.”


“But your effort really hit me, too.
Haha, I haven’t cried since that day.
You did your best, you made the impossible possible.
For someone like me.”


I was at a loss for words when I heard Kashiwagi-san’s story.

No way… it can’t be…

Kashiwagi-san coughed slightly with a blush on her cheeks.

“And if you’re willing, too… with me after the new drug is approved in Japan.”

“―Um, was that by any chance at the Iwakura river in Miyagi Prefecture? When I was inmy first grade…”

When I interjected, Kashiwagi-san looked at me and widened her eyes.

“… Huh? Buw… how did you know?”

I lifted my bangs a little with my fingers to show the scar on my forehead.

It was a scar from a cut made by a rock when I saved Rumi that time.

“I-it can’t be…”

Shaking slightly, Kashiwagi-san dropped the Ramune Cigarette she was holding in her mouth, her face bright red.


― Later.

Tohsaka family.

“Renji-sama, I have received a letter from Kashiwagi-san.”

“Umm, thank you.
It’s probably a bill anyway.
Could you burn it or throw it away?”

“Please do that with your hands, Renji-sama.”

Renji Tohsaka jokingly opened the letter he received from his housekeeper.

“Although this will be paid by Yamamoto-kun in the future… I want to keep it at least half the price.
Prices in the U.S.
are nothing compared to Japan.”

“I know it’s still a lot of money, but… let’s see how much it is anyway.”

Then he opened the enclosed invoice and,

They both widened their eyes at the content.

[Billing cost $0.00, already paid 10 years ago.]

[ ―With the Ramune Cigarette.]


The last scene is a tribute to a true American story, a glass of milk.

This story is connected to the memories Rumi shared in Chapter 22-23!

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