Book two: Chapter four, 2016, beach party

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Midsummer's eve,2040, potatoes first


Ryu woke first. The sound of the kids turning up the music drove him from a drunken sleep to awareness in the evening cool. Half past nine and the sun had yet to set.

Amazing place. Would have visited Sweden long ago if I only knew about the summer light. He stretched and woke his sister. "Sis, seems dinner's over."

She protested, but in the end she only wrapped her blanket tighter around herself and joined him in search for the others.

Down the slope, on the eastern side of the islet the kids, ranging from thirteen to over twenty had set up both music and link to Japan. Ryu idly wondered what friends they had there awake at this time in the morning, but maybe those linked just hadn't gone to sleep yet.

He saw how quite a few local youth had joined the event. For them it was probably just another opportunity for a party.

"Noriko, I doubt we're joining the link-up. If I recall Kuri said something about a barbecue on the backside." He looked at his sister watching how another triplet of locals joined the dancing. "Let's see if we can find them."

It only took them a couple of minutes. They climbed a few wooden stairs and ended up on a terrace where Urufu poured tin foil wrapped somethings onto a grill.

"What's burning?" Ryu joked.

Urufu turned and laughed. "Making baked potatoes. Potatoes first. The meat comes later."

Noriko burst out laughing as well. "Potatoes. That's how you viewed them, isn't it?"

Urufu stopped laughing and looked serious for a moment. "I'm not that arrogant any longer." He smirked. "But I guess I was. Yeah, back then the meat came later."



Chapter four,2016, beach party


With him at the helm yesterday's afternoon workshops went off without a hitch. Sure, some of the attendants showed some initial disdain at his apparent age, but Ulf quickly put them out of any misconceptions.

Most of them were the same kind of over-aged middle management he remembered holding back much needed corporate change during his first life, but if you hit them hard enough over their heads with working solutions you peeled off the covers they hid behind.

In at least one sense Ulf preferred Japanese upper management to their Swedish counterpart he was used to. When they decide to go for broke they were absolutely ruthless with their workforce, especially with their middle management.

He used that advantage just as ruthlessly and forced the entire assembly to climb the murderous uphill hiking path to the camping he made certain hadn't been disassembled and brought down to the hotel.

Up there he worked them to their bones, and when he finally allowed them to rest most were so tired they just crawled into their tents and fell asleep.

To their horror he had them carry all equipment down the same path earlier this morning, and it was a dishevelled bunch that took a well-deserved bath in the hot springs.

Ulf left them there after he received a long email from Christina, had two bento boxes made for them each and sauntered down to the beach. Work was what he needed, and Christina. And she had written that he was needed down there.

He made it just in time to meet her on the walkway separating beach from road when she was ready for lunch, and learned that Principal Nakagawa apparently had promised her something. They sat down with their legs dangling and arms hanging through the railings. Ulf had the pleasure of watching Christina light up with a grateful smile when he brought out their lunch.

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