Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai: Volume 3 A Visit to Kashiwazaki's Abode
A Visit to Kashiwazaki's Abode
One early Saturday afternoon.
I was reading a book in my room, when all of a sudden I got a call from Sena.
I've sent quite a few mails with everyone about tiny stuff, but now that I think about it this is the first time I've ever actually talked on my cell phone ever since we exchanged addresses that day.
That one time with Yozora doesn't count since it was absolutely pointless, which would make this the first time I've ever had a normal conversation on a cell phone unless I'm forgetting something.
I was feeling a little nervous, but I managed to hit the talk button.
A loud voice rang through my ears.
"Not helwo! Hello, this is Sena Kashiwazaki!"
"Calm down Sena. Your name shows up when you call, I know it's you."
"Eh? Oh, i-it does? That makes sense..."
Sena said in a voice showing how little she knew about phones.
"Why are you so nervous anyway?"
"S-shut up. I can't help it, I'm not used to this."
She said, pouting.
"Well whatever... so, what do you need?"
"Ah, are you free today? Kobato-chan too."
"Yeah... I don't have any plans. I doubt Kobato does either."
"Then come to my place."
Sena's nonchalant way of asking me that left me stunned.
"I told you before didn't I? That Papa wants to meet you."
She's right, we did talk about that back before summer break started.
Sena's father, the chairman of St. Chronica Academy, is an old friend of my father's, and I guess he did a lot to make it easy on Kobato and I when we came here.
"So, can you come?"
"Yeah, but... this is pretty sudden."
"I think so too, but Papa said he really wanted to meet you as soon as possible."
"Who knows? Anyway you're coming, right?"
I gave my okay to go despite feeling a little uneasy about it.
We worked out at what time and how we'd get there, and ended our phone call.
And that's how Kobato and I wound up agreeing to go to the Kashiwazaki estate tonight.
We got on the bus we usually use to go to school on, and went past St. Chronica getting off at the 5th stop instead.
By the way, I was wearing the St. Chronica uniform, and Kobato was in hers as well; though she hadn't worn a it single time ever since we got here due to the fact that it's not required.
Sena said we'd recognize the road to her house "as soon as you get off the bus," and she wasn't kidding.
Right in front of the bus stop there was a road, at the end of which was a small hill filled with flowers, and on top of the hill rested a large western mansion.
A stone paved road extended from us all the way to the house.
There was a kind of ugly looking sign near the start of it that said "Private Property Ahead".
There were hardly any other houses around, and pretty much all you could see was a rural landscape.
This town isn't exactly a big city, but even so it was so different that it'd make you think you weren't even in the same town anymore, or that you'd gone back in time or something.
In any case, it was fairly obvious that was Sena's house.
Kobato and I walked along the road that no car could possibly drive on, and made our way up the hill.
After about 10 minutes of walking, we reached the top of the hill.
The stone pavement went all the way to the entrance of the house.
The main gate was so huge it felt overpowering.
...Where's the doorbell on this thing anyway?"
I suddenly felt nervous again as I looked around for the doorbell, but I didn't see anything that looked like one.
As I did, the door creaked open with a heavy sound.
Kobato must've been scared, because she hid behind my back.
On the other side of the door was a casually dressed man whose appearance didn't fit the western style mansion at all, and a woman wearing a butler uniform.
It was the woman in the butler uniform who opened the door for us.
She was slender, a bit short, had blonde hair, and looked to be fairly young. In her late twenties at the oldest.
Her eyes were the same transparent blue as Sena's.
Her doll-like expressionless face was a little scary.
The man in casual clothes was probably in his early 30's or so.
He had long black hair which was all knotted up in the back.
He was a pretty handsome guy, but had a stern look to his face.
I guess I'd say that when you combine his clothes with his hairstyle, he was a man with the aura of a grumpy old artist.
Having these two appear in front of me all of a sudden, I couldn't help but be nervous.
The woman wearing the butler uniform invited us in while holding the door open.
She closed the door when we entered the mansion.
It looked like an olden style from the outside, but the inside was a bit different and even had an air conditioner running keeping it nice and cool.
There were a good number of doors and corridors that were connected to the main hall we were in, and there were a big pair of stairs in front of us that led to the second floor.
"...You're Hayato's children, huh?"
The man said in a majestic sounding deep voice.
By the way, Hayato (Hayato Hasegawa), is our father's name.
"I am Sena's father. I currently serve as the chairman for St. Chronica Academy."
According to Sena, her looks came from her mother, and I have to agree. She doesn't look much like her dad.
If he's the same age as my dad he'd have to be at least 40, but he looks way younger.
"N-nice to meet you, Mr. Chairman. I'm Kodaka Hasegawa. This is my little sister, Kobato."
I nervously greeted him, still shocked he came down to open the door in person.
"Hrm... You have an impudent face just like your father's."
The chairman said while staring at my face so hard it was like he was glaring.
Kobato was shrinking up behind me even more and more now that he was staring at us.
"...You're young, but I can see traces of Airi in you."
Airi, the name of our now deceased mother. It looks like I was right about him being old friends with our parents.
"Come with me. Dinner will be ready shortly."
"Please wait a moment, sir."
The butler woman stopped the chairman, who had begun to walk further in.
"What is it?"
The chairman turned around, and the woman coolly said,
"You still have not finished your self-introduction. I believe it is not very polite to have only Mr. Kodaka and Ms. Kobato name themselves."
"Ghh..." For some reason, the chairman let out a groan.
"I am Sena's father, the chairman, and... My name was written on the school's information pamphlet, wasn't it?"
"Eh... Sorry, I didn't really read it over..."
I said, which caused him to throw an intense glare my way.
The chairman then looked away from me, and in a tiny voice said,
"Tenma... Kashiwazaki... it's written with the "ten" from heaven and the "ma" from horse."
"...So, Tenma Kashiwazaki then?"
It was a little unusual, but I didn't think it was that weird of a name.
"It's written Tenma and read Pegasus."
The one who quickly added that comment was none other than the butler woman.
"Pegasus?" I asked, and then,
"Do not call me by that name!!"
He yelled so loud I thought my eardrums might burst.
...After that, he made a face that said "Oh crap" and tried to brush it off by clearing his throat... Umm, so it's Chairman Pegasus Kashiwazaki.
Then, while still flustered, continued on saying,
"Ah, well, umm... it's, you know. That name doesn't have much authority to it... so, um, it's like, as chairman here I try to avoid having people call me that..."
"O-okay, I understand."
While still feeling shocked from how different he acted than I thought he would, I can understand how he'd feel so I just nodded my head in agreement.
Pegasus... While it wouldn't be bad as a kid, I'm sure it's not a name many adults would be thrilled with.
"Umm, by the way, are you Sen-... are you Mrs. Kashiwazaki?"
I was 90% sure that she was way too young to be Sena's mom, but I asked anyway to change the topic, and the answer I got regarding the butler woman was,
"No, my wife is currently overseas," said the chairman.
The butler woman made a slight, but elegant bow and said,
"I am Stella, the steward of this house."
I asked, to which the woman named Stella coolly replied,
"'Steward'. To put it simply, I work as a butler. My family has been in service of the Kashiwazaki household for generations."
"Oh... a butler..."
I somehow found myself staring at Stella.
I knew Sena was from a rich family, but this made me realize just how true that was.
"Please do not stare at me so much, Mr. Kodaka. You'll get me pregnant."
I, as well as the chairman, both spit a little in surprise.
What a person. To think she can say a line like that without batting an eyelash...
"You are always so... Anyway let's go."
The chairman made an irritated face as he began walking further into the house.
Sena's old man and Stella the steward, huh?
I can totally feel a "Weirdo Aura" coming from them. Now I know where Sena gets it from...
As I thought that,
"Ah, Kodaka, Kobato-chan!"
A voice rang out, and Sena came down the stairs.
She was in normal clothes, but was wearing more modest stuff than the times I've been out with her.
"Yo." I gave her a casual greeting.
"You done saying hi to Papa? Actually, it's pretty rare for you to come down and greet people at the front entrance, Papa."
"...I just happened to be here."
The chairman said with a sullen look on his face.
I'm not really sure what he'd be doing at the front door, but whatever.
"He's been pacing in circles because of how excited he was to finally meet Mr. Kodaka and Ms. Kobato."
Stella quietly said.
"I-it's not like that at all."
The chairman must've heard since he replied in a flustered voice, followed by an "Anyway we're going." as he began quickly walking away.
He guided us to the dining room, and we all took our seats.
The table was fairly small compared to the size of the room, but it does probably make it easier to talk this way.
By the way, Stella was on standby at the big door that we came through to get here.
As soon as we got into our seats, our food was immediately brought over.
The ones who brought it were Stella along with two other girls in aprons (not the maid uniform kind, normal aprons).
"Huh, so they're not in maid uniforms..."
"What, so you really do like maid uniforms?"
Sena gave me a sharp look. Guess she caught that.
"N-no! I just figured there'd be maids too since you've got a butler..."
I quickly tried to spit out an excuse, which Sena seemed to half-accept as she said,
"The only ones who officially work in our house are Stella and Hikawa. The rest are all just part-time helpers."
So that's how it is.
Kobato, who was sitting next to me, licked her lips after seeing all the food they brought in front of us.
It wasn't western food, but sashimi, tempura, and other Japanese food which was kind of surprising, but that didn't change the fact that it looked incredibly good.
"Well then, let's enjoy our meal."
The chairman held a cross in his right hand, gave a quiet "Amen." and grabbed his chopsticks.
Sena only gave a normal "Thanks for the food~"
Kobato and I also gave a normal "Thanks for the food." and began eating.
It was pretty obvious from how it looked, but it was incredibly delicious.
However, despite it being good, I didn't have much of an appetite.
The main reason was probably the fact that the chairman was sitting across from me with a stern look on his face.
It felt like he'd get mad if you made the slightest noise.
Kobato looked like she was still nervous too, and was slowly eating her food making as little noise as possible.
I gathered up my courage and started talking to the chairman.
The chairman put his chopsticks down and said, "What is it?"
"Umm... well, thanks for all you did when we transferred in. I bet my father asked you to do a bunch of stuff..."
"You got that right."
"Just as the enrollment season was over and I was finally able to take a break he comes in and says, 'Hey take care of my son and daughter at that school of yours, kay?' which had me so pissed I wanted to tell him to go screw himself. 716 days without so much as a phone call or a letter, and he thinks he can just...!"
I felt just as flustered as the chairman who had veins showing on his forehead.
Dad always told me that he was his best friend for a long time, but could it be that they aren't really that good of friends after all...!?
"S-Sorry about him..."
"Hmph... You don't need to apologize. However, you're pretty polite considering how your father acts, aren't you? It was quite considerate of you to come out to visit."
"I think it's precisely because I'm his son that I strive to make sure I don't act the way he does."
"Hmph, I see."
The chairman let out a little laugh.
Is it just my imagination or did the atmosphere lighten up in here?
"Ah, that's right, this isn't much, but..."
I handed over the little souvenir I'd been holding onto but never had a good chance to give him.
"...You really are so polite I can't believe you're Hayato's son."
"No, it's nothing much."
Right after I finished talking to Sena this afternoon, I looked up "house visiting manners" on the internet, and found out that it's best to bring a gift so I quickly ran out to the store to buy one, but I'll keep that part to myself.
"What'd you bring?" asked Sena.
"It's a 'Salty and Spicy but Somehow Resembling a Profound Life Red Chili Oil' sampler pack."
Sena gave me a look that screamed 'what a weirdo'.
"Hey don't knock it until you've tried it. It's red chili, but it goes good on rice, pasta, fried stuff, and just about anything. Heck, even Kobato likes it and she hates spicy stuff."
"...Do you mind if I open it now?"
The chairman asked.
He carefully opened the package, and took out one of the bottles from within.
Stella took the rest.
The chairman opened the bottle and scooped some of the "Salty and Spicy but Somehow Resembling a Profound Life Red Chili Oil" onto his rice and then ate it.
We all watched as he did, feeling oddly nervous.
The chairman quietly said with a face that didn't look like he actually liked it in the least.
Sena took the bottle from the chairman and put some on her tempura.
"Wow, it really is good."
"I'm glad you like it."
"...An-chan, I want some too."
Kobato murmured, prompting Sena to hand over the bottle to her.
Kobato dumped the red chili oil all over her tempura, rice, and iced tofu.
I took the bottle after her, and put a spoonful on my rice.
"Hmph... I forgot, but Hayato was rather good at finding these kinds of weird foods wasn't he..."
The chairman said in a nostalgic sounding voice.
After that, I told the chairman about the 10 years we spent after leaving this town and going around all of Japan in detail.
It seems that after up and moving all of a sudden 10 years ago, our dad barely contacted the chairman at all.
He only called once every few months or even years when he just happened to remember him, and there were a few times where the chairman thought of calling him, but by the time he did we had already moved again.
I guess the number of times we moved was more than the chairman was expecting, since after I told him he said,
"That man never changes... It must be hard for you two as well. That damn piece of shit even got his kids wrapped up in his obsession with excavating ancient ruins."
"He is not a piece of-!"
I got up out of my seat and yelled reflexively.
When I noticed that Kobato and Sena were staring at me with a startled look on their faces, I realized how embarrassing what I just did was.
However, I have to say at least this much.
"...Our father might be an idiot, but... he is not a piece of shit."
I quietly sat down on my chair again.
"...Hmph... I know that much."
The chairman said in an upset voice, with the ends of his mouth raised ever so slightly into a grin.
"Stay here for the night."
It didn't go perfectly, but thanks to the "Salty and Spicy but Somehow Resembling a Profound Life Red Chili Oil" we managed to end dinner peacefully, and as we were about to leave the chairman told us the above.
"No, we couldn't possibly impose on you anymore than we already have..."
"There's no need to act so polite about it."
...No, I'm not being polite, I just really don't want to have to spend the night at someone else's house.
It took a lot out of me to work up the courage just to come and have dinner. Having me stay over on top of that is just way more than I can handle.
"By the way, there are no buses that come out here after 8 on Saturdays."
Stella said in her typical calm voice after walking out from behind the chairman without making any noise whatsoever.
I checked the time on the cell phone, only to see that it was just past eight o'clock.
It's true that there probably aren't many buses that come out this far into the residential district, but still... Damn... I should've figured this out ahead of time...!
"If you insist on returning home then I will prepare the car, but honestly speaking it would be quite a pain in the ass."
"A pain in the ass..."
Ms. Butler, you're way too blunt.
"What's the big deal, just stay here tonight Kodaka," Sena casually said.
"No, but, I don't even have my pajamas or anything..."
"You can use my night robe. That's what Hayato always did when he stayed over," the chairman added.
"But what about Kobato's..."
"I still have mine, the ones I used to wear when I was a kid she can use."
"Oh, but what about our rooms?"
"No problem. We have rooms for guests."
I took a quick look at Kobato standing next to me.
I dunno if she got tired after eating all that food, but she was rocking back and forth like a little boat out at sea.
"See, look. Kobato-chan can barely keep her eyes open."
Sena happily said.
"Oh yeah, she stayed up pretty late last night..."
...I gave in to their demands and let out a sigh.
I carried Kobato on my back as Sena guided us up to the guest rooms.
It was like a hotel room, with a table, full closet, and even a TV.
The bed wasn't pulled back yet, so I put Kobato down on the sofa.
"You know, Papa really seems to like you," Sena said.
"I haven't seen him that happy in a long time."
"...That was him being happy?"
"Super happy. Usually he never says a word unless he has to, especially at dinner."
"Of course, he was really only talking to you though..."
Sena pursed her lips looking a little upset, and as she did,
"Nnn... An-chan where are we...?"
Kobato opened her eyes and got up.
Sena made a huge grin.
"Sleepy Kobato-chan is so C~U~T~E~♥"
She slowly walked over to Kobato and said,
"Hey hey, Kobato-chan, let's take a bath together before bed."
"Nn... Okay... I will..."
She looked pretty tired still, and didn't reject Sena like she usually does.
"Good, then let's get to the bath."
Sena took Kobato's hand and left the room. I was worried, but it's true that she needs to take a bath so I let her go with a "Don't go too crazy, okay?"
After Sena and Kobato left I didn't have much to do, so I plopped myself down on the sofa when I heard a knock at the door.
The ones waiting on the other side were Stella and the chairman.
Stella had a pair of sheets and a futon in her arms, and the chairman had a wine bottle and two glasses with him.
I glanced over at Stella who quickly got to making the bed, and the chairman sat down on the sofa, putting the glasses down and uncorking the wine bottle.
"Hayato and Airi were both good drinkers. I bet you are too, right?"
"...Yeah, more or less."
Dad made me drink stuff all the time, so I'm aware that I'm pretty good with alcohol.
"I see, then have a seat."
The chairman poured some wine into each glass, and offered me one of them.
I couldn't refuse him so I took the glass and sat down across from him.
"...Is it really okay for a school's chairman to be offering a student alcohol?"
"The one who forced me to take time out of my precious studies and drink when I was still a student was your father."
...I don't know what you want me to do about that.
"Wine is the blood of Christ. There's nothing wrong with having a little."
"...Dad told you that, didn't he?"
He said, and downed his glass of wine in one gulp.
I followed his lead, except slower.
"Ah, this is good."
The chairman said, looking slightly intoxicated.
Huh... is he drunk after only one glass?
The chairman poured himself another glass, and drank half of it in one gulp.
"Back when we were in school your father and I drank like this all the time..."
The chairman said with a distant look to his eyes.
To the chairman this might just be a few hours for him to reminisce about his younger days with his best friend, but as for me, I was having a man to man drink with a guy I just met today, so I just couldn't relax.
...Ah screw it, there's no going back now, I'll just have to rely on the wine!
I finished the rest of my glass in one big gulp.
The chairman said, clearly in a good mood, as he poured me another.
"Drink as much as you like."
He poured more for himself too, and started drinking at a pretty fast pace.
"...Um, are you okay?"
"Huh? Why du yuu ashk?"
...It would seem he is not okay.
After that, the chairman started to tell me an old story about him and my dad, but he was so drunk I could barely understand a word he said.
Although, the fact that he still thinks of my father as his best friend was something I understood from him quite well.
He kept insulting Dad, calling him an idiot or an imbecile or something, but no matter how you look at it you can tell he likes him.
I'm sure that Dad feels the same way.
Even though 10 years had passed he had faith the chairman was still his friend, which is exactly why he felt safe leaving us behind in Japan while he went on his trip.
I wonder if I'll be able to make a friend like that too one day.
A friend who trusts me and whom I trust, no matter how many decades pass...
The events from 10 years ago crossed my mind.
Memories of my friend whom I left behind before being able to tell him anything.
I may have transferred schools a ton of times and met more people that I can even imagine, but to think I can't even remember his name or what he looked like... Maybe we were never really best friends to begin with...
I continued to slowly drink my wine while thinking about all that for about 15 minutes.
The wine bottle was empty and the chairman got so drunk that he was out cold on the table.
"Why would you try to drink so fast when you're bad with alcohol...?"
By the way, I wasn't drunk in the least.
Stella had finished making the bed and left some time ago.
I figured I might as well call her now, so I left the room.
I walked through a long hall full of guest rooms, and entered the main hall.
Then all of a sudden, I heard a door being flung open and heard a familiar scream along with the sound of someone's feet going plip plop getting closer.
"Ufufu, Wait~ Kobato-cha~~n♥ Let's wash our backs now~~♥"
What entered into my eyes was
A giant word that took over my mind.
An incredibly overwhelming Meat.
Leg meat, arm meat, waist meat, neck meat, stomach meat, shoulder meat, cheek meat, thigh meat, hand meat, breasts, shoulder roast, rib roast, beef ribs made from the outer thigh, filet, skirt steak, beef, pork, chicken, sashimi, chicken wings, and breasts.
Blond hair, dripping wet, cheeks slightly red, a faint veil of steam, two gently swaying mounds. A flesh colored piece of meat powerful enough to drive Kodaka Hasegawa was
standing right in front of-
...Woah, my brain short-circuited there.
Maybe I'm a little drunk after all.
To simply explain what just happened, a completely naked Sena chasing a completely naked Kobato just ran up to me.
And all the while her huge boobs were bouncing up and down.
Kobato ran behind my back.
Sena finally realized I was here, and her face turned so red it was like it got set on fire.
"Gyaahhhhh!? W-w-w-w-why are you here Kodaka!? Idiot! Moron! Perv! Idiot! Molester! Poop! Freak! God damn eroge protagonist!"
"The one who should be asking that is without a doubt me."
I turned away from Sena in a hurry.
"Yeah, you might be right! But, ummm, uhh, ummm, auauauauaaaahhhhhhh, you, ummm ummmm ummmmmmm-
Sena fled up the stairs, leaving nothing behind but the sound of her feet and an unintelligible roar of some kind.
I didn't move a muscle until I heard a door close from far away.
I turned around, and saw Stella who apparently showed up at some point.
I was startled, but all Stella did was give me a faint smile and say "Iyan~ Kodaka you naughty boy~" in a monotone voice.
"...No, um, this was all an accident, and..."
"I am aware."
She said, and then handed over the towel she brought with her to Kobato who was still all wet.
"Now then, let us head back to the baths while the young mistress is hiding in her room."
Kobato walked off with Stella while drying herself.
I didn't have anything else to do, so I went back to the room.
The chairman was no longer passed out face flat on the table, but was now passed out face flat on the bed, snoring away.
He must've woken up for a bit after I left and moved over to the bed.
Just when I was wondering what the heck I should do with him, Stella came in.
"This is quite a problem. The master never wakes up until morning no matter how hard you try."
She then continued, giving the following outrageous suggestion:
"Luckily the bed is big, so while it is unfortunate, please sleep here with the master tonight."
Yeah, I mean sure, the bed's a king size big enough for two people, but...
"C-can't I go use a different room?"
"Why not!? I'm pretty sure I saw a ton of other guest rooms..."
"Those are all being used as storage currently."
"Yes. It's because the only ones who've ever stayed over here are essentially just you, Mr. Kodaka, and your father, Mr. Hayato."
She has no expression on her face at all, so I can't tell if she's telling the truth or lying...
"Ah, I-I see, then where's Kobato?"
"Regretfully, she will be sleeping with me in the servant's quarters. There are plenty of beds there and all."
"Then I'll go there too..."
"I do not mind, but the chef here, Hikawa, is a woman. Also I sleep completely naked."
After hearing her say "completely naked" I was reminded of Sena's naked body, and my face went beet red.
I hung my head in disappointment and told her, "...Fine, I'll sleep here."
I took a bath after Kobato was finished, and then went back to the room.
The chairman really was still sound asleep.
I pushed him over to the other side so I'd have space on the bed, and just as Stella said he didn't show even the faintest sign of waking up.
I didn't have anything else to do, so I just flopped on the bed and closed my eyes.
I was staying over at a girl's house... and sleeping with her father.
What the hell is this...?
I didn't think I'd be able to sleep at all given the situation, but the bed was remarkably comfortable, and I quickly fell asleep as well.
The next morning.
While waking up and getting a close-up shot of an old man's face is probably the worst way to wake up imaginable, I did feel really relaxed after sleeping in that bed.
After eating breakfast, Kobato and I were getting ready to leave the Kashiwazaki estate.
"Kodaka... Y-you really don't remember, right?"
Sena came down to the entrance and quietly asked to make sure that I didn't remember, and I played dumb like my life depended on it.
I told her that after drinking with the chairman I got so drunk that I didn't remember a thing about me being out in the halls or anything else.
Sena looked like she still had her doubts, but still told me "I guess that's fine then..." and went along with my story.
I doubt that she really believed me from the bottom of her heart, but I think Sena decided it'd be best to pretend it never happened too.
Sena, Stella, and the chairman saw us off as we left the mansion.
The chairman, who still looked hungover, called out to me.
He gazed at me with a stern look in his eyes, and said,
"...Take good care of Sena for me."
He said it in a voice that was even more serious sounding that his normal one, and lightly bowed his head.
I smiled a bit and told him,
"Of course. Pegasus."
"Wh...! Y-you little..."
Kobato and I ran down the hill, away from the chairman whose face was a deep shade of red.
Back then, I still didn't know the meaning behind those parting words the chairman left with me.
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