Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume6.5 Me and the Seaside and the Festival Uproar Second Half
Me and the Seaside and the Festival Uproar (Second Half)
“Arre…? This, where is this…?”
I seem to see a very pretty flower field there…but it’s covered with fog, so I can’t really tell.
“That’s weird…I remember I was playing at the beach, right…?”
What I see in front of me is a wide river. That’s definitely not the sea.
Butterflies are fluttering amidst the blooming flowers. I can vaguely smell sweet flowers and fruit. It’s like I’m in an imagination.
“It’s so pretty it looks otherworldly…”
I can’t help but mutter to myself.
Yeah. If I have to say it, this place looks like it links to that world or something—
“Wait, not good! Will I really die if I don’t go back!?”
Isn’t this the real Sanzu river in the first place!? Am I dying!?
“Over here! Hurry over here!”
“It’s nothing scary! This is a good place!”
“There’re all sorts of nice things to eat. All sorts of entertainment everywhere!”
Hiii! They’re calling me! Those unfamiliar people on the other side are waving at me and calling me to go over! Speaking of which, isn’t the one on the right most side my dead grandfather!? Not good! It’ll be bad if I listen to them!
I look closely, and see my great-grandmother and my relatives who died in a traffic accident. It’s a gathering of the dead people I’m familiar with! I have to hurry up and say goodbye to this place—
“Don’t be scared, Akihisa. This side is a nice place.”
'“NOT THERE, YUUJI! WHY ARE YOU WAVING AT ME!? CAN’T YOU JUST MIX AROUND WITH THE PEOPLE OVER THERE! YOU’LL REALLY BE UNABLE TO COME BACK!”'
“Hahaha, don’t be scared, Akihisa. Can’t you see that I’m very healthy here? There’s no need to worry about coming here, right…”
“WAKE UP, YUUJI! FASTER! YOU’RE BECOMING AN EVIL SPIRIT! HALF OF YOUR BODY HAS BECOME A SPIRIT!”
“Ah really, I’m sorry here. But that’s not the case, Akihisa. It’s really good here. I’m happy here everyday—”
“Is, is that so? Is it really alright? You aren’t lying, are you, Yuuji?”
“Yeah, of course it’s fine. It’s really fun, very fun, fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun—!!”
“FAREWELL, YUUJI! I WON’T FORGET YOU!”
I turn around and dash away from the riverbank with all my strength. So that guy’s a lose cause…! Farewell, my bad friend. I’ll continue living for your sake at least…!
“I can’t accept that you’re the only one being saved…”
The curse rained on my back feels abnormally real and scary.
“We’re actually still alive…”
“Ahh…I can’t really remember, but I think we really went to hell once…”
“To be honest, I’d thought that you guys lost it when you were sleeptalking…”
The four of us are in the pension living room, sitting on the sofa, glad that everything is over. It’s really a wonderful thing to still be alive. Looks like we didn’t have any amnesia; we definitely must thank God for giving us a strong body.
“But this is really unexpected.”
“Hm? What is it?”
“See, didn’t we do something really bad, Yuuji?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“…And you went off to hook up other girls even though you’re with girls. It’s very rude.”
Muttsurini tells us off. Yes, we’re reflecting on it…
“But don’t you find that the punishment is a little too light?”
“Yeah. It’s really soft of them to let go of us like that.”
“I’d feel that it can’t be considered light of you to be punished till a near-death experience…”
Unfortunately, the people around us seem to be different from the world, so I guess we shouldn't be bothered about it.
“Yeah. There’s still that move later.”
As expected…how depressing…
“What should we do? Shall we run?”
“No, we can’t run until we understand their intentions. If they forgive us, we’ll end up angering them even more.”
“In other words, we’ll end up alerting them?”
Yuuji’s right here. It’s a happy trip, so maybe everyone’s in a good mood and forgave us. If we think of it this way, it’ll be really stupid of us since we’re going to be pursued again if we run.
“And aren’t we going to a festival in a town nearby? They can’t possibly do anything outrageous even if they want to—I, believe…”
“Well, so we’ll be holding food for them or treating them to something…”
“…Isn’t that just like normal?”
Well, that sounds like it.
“Yeah. We’ll die if we run anyway. We’ll just lose out if we’re concerned here.”
This is the trick of not feeling pressurized in life.
“But they sure are slow. How long does it take to change anyway?”
Yuuji looks at his watch. It’s been past 30 minutes since the girls said they’re going to change. Even if it’s not like they’re going to beat us guys for changing in 5 minutes, they really spent quite some time changing. Is it really troublesome to change out of their swimsuits?
“““Kept you waiting!”””
The sweet voices ring, and the bedroom door’s opened at the same time.
“You people really spent some time—ohh!”
“Oh, amazing. So you’re preparing for such things.”
“…It’s understandable why you spent time.”
“I see. Yukatas. Everyone’s really suited for it.”
The girls (except Hideyoshi) walk out from the other side of the door, wearing yukatas of all sorts of colors. There’s blue, purple, pink and white. No, not just the colors, even the patterns are different. There’re Morning Glories, Peonies, even grapes. It’s just feels like we’re at a model exhibition of new yukatas as we see the line of people there. Of course, one of the reasons is that they’re all pretty and have nice figures.
“Heh~ pretty~ you girls look rather attractive after changing hairstyles.”
“Is, is that so?”
Himeji-san raises her sleeves and spin around a few times. Yes yes. That’s cute.
“I didn’t expect myself to wear these too.”
My sister is looking at her own yukata in a rather lost manner beside Himeji-san. Speaking of which, I don’t think I see a yukata in nee-san’s luggage…
“We secretly measured the sizes for everyone before this. Akira-san’s yukata was prepared by Shouko-chan.”
Kirishima-san and nee-san are around the same height, so I guess the height should be perfect.
“This is the first time I’m wearing a yukata.”
“Ah, that’s right. You came back from overseas, Minami.”
“It’s a little hard to walk in. It feels weird.”
Minami uses her hand to move the obi and skirt to try and make herself comfortable. And then, she reaches her hand in to loosen the back collar. The white slender neck that was covered in sunblock before enters my eyes.
Wha, what should I say…
“? Wha, what is it, Aki?”
“Ah, ahh, no! it’s nothing!”
I frantically look away from Minami’s neck.
Why…? Why is it that I find Minami’s especially attractive even though it suits everyone…?
(Yoshii-kun. Did your heart just flutter when you looked at Shimada-san?)
Kudou-san quietly moves towards me and whispers.
(Wha, what are you saying, Kudou-san! I’m not—)
(Fufufu. Shimada-san looks really cute in that yukata, right? You see, a yukata doesn’t need to worn by people with large breasts just to look good, right? In that case, Shimada-san looks really cute when she has outstanding aspects everywhere else. Yukatas are saving graces for Shimada-san and me since we have smaller breasts.)
(Eve, even if you say so, I don’t understand what you’re saying at all.)
(Hmm…? Is that so? If you don’t understand, I’ll teach you. Watch this, okay?)
Kudou-san says as she puts her hand on the collar and turns to Muttsurini.
Muttsurini’s face release fresh red flowers as he sees the skin revealed from the opened yukata. At that moment, my bad friend suddenly collapses to the brink of death.
“Mu, Muttsurini-kun!? What happened to you!?”
“…What, exactly, did I do to you…?”
I see Muttsurini saying this begrudgingly from far away as he collapses.
“See? Muttsurini-kun’s more excited than usual, right? It’s because I’m wearing a yukata even though I have small breasts, so I look more attractive.”
“Hm…about this, I don’t really understand how it’s any different from usual, and I don’t have a feeling…”
Is it psychology at work? I think I’m seeing Muttsurini spurting more nosebleed than usual.
“Are you still alive, Muttsurini!? Who did such a cruel thing to you!?”
“……I, probably won’t be able to make it…”
“Pull yourself through, Muttsurini! You can’t die yet!”
“……But, this might…be a good way to die…”
“…Well, I’d say that I’m a fool for worrying for you…”
Speaking of which, I think Muttsurini brought enough blood bags to last till tomorrow.
Anyway, I hand over the blood bags Muttsurini kept chilled to Hideyoshi. Behind me, Kirishima-san is saying something to Yuuji.
“…Yuuji, how’s my yukata?”
I can’t tell from her expression, but Kirishima-san seems to be moving towards Yuuji and showing off how she looks in the yukata. The black long hair and the bright purple yukata do match each other.
“Hm? Ahh, yeah~…it suits you, doesn’t it?”
Yuuji may be guilty over trying to talk up other girls as he praises Kirishima-san. What a dishonest guy. He deserves a thousand deaths.
“…Then, do you want to want to get married with me?”
“Not at all.”
“…Then, do you want to get married with me?”
“Chances of it are as big as a speck of dust.”
“Not even a speck.”
“—Do you want to live…?”
“Ohh! You’re really so cute, Shouko! I’ve changed my impression of you!”
“…You’re really dishonest, Yuuji.”
“You…that was a ‘threat’ when I said it before you continued…”
“…Mother-in-law taught me that methods of earning love are unscrupulous.”
Kirishima-san’s really not giving off.
“Let’s go to the festival then. We might not be able to catch up if we often do such things?”
My sister claps her hands to prompt everyone. Is it this time already to say that we might not be able to make it? The sun just set; I think it’s still too early to close shops.
“That’s right, Akira-san. It’ll be bad if we can’t make it.”
“Let’s hurry. This is the second time I’m at a Japanese festival. I’m really looking forward to it~”
“…It’ll be bad if we’re late.”
“I’m really looking forward to it. let’s hurry off.”
“Let’s hurry”. The girls continue to repeat. Well, I just feel a little weird here.
“Yuuji, why are they so urgent?”
“Who knows? Maybe the food’s better than the sightseeing? I’m hungry too. It’s not like I don’t understand how they feel.”
“…Takoyaki, yakisoba, Sukiyaki.”
Now that they say that, I’m hungry too. I can think of the burnt chili sauce for some reason.
“Aki-kun, you all should get ready.”
“Yes—eh? Nee-san, we’re going there by car?”
My sister’s holding onto the car keys. I thought we’ll be walking there…
“Yes. It takes a longer distance to reach that place than the seaside, and it’ll be more convenient for us to have a change of clothes if we want to carry them.”
It’s not easy to walk in yukatas? I think it’s more restraining to have a spare set of clothing just in case. It’s true that we have to be concerned since Minami’s not used to wearing yukatas.
“Then, after the seaside, let’s enjoy the festive spirit summer provides.”
“…We might get some good shots.”
“Sure feels like summer.”
We’re already elated just by imagining the festive songs we will hear.
We use the nearby school field as a carpark, and after a 5 minute walk, and see that the park where the summer festival is held is packed full of people.
“Eh…? That’s rare. It’s a doner kebab.”
Nee-san muses as she sees the nameplate of the stall.
“It’s rare? Not really. You never saw it before, didn’t you?”
“It’s been 5 years since I last saw it. this kind of thing can only be seen at stalls, right?”
“I don’t really know about that, but it’s common. It tastes good after all.”
“Really? I’ll try it then.”
Ah, not good. I might have said something I shouldn’t have said.
Nee-san’s chatting to me normally, but I don’t feel that what Yuuji and I did at the seaside has been forgiven. If nee-san says to me ‘Aki-kun, buy one for me’, I’ll have to shed tears and exchange the secret stash of money I worked so hard to save for this Doner kebab. How stupid I am, I said so much nonsense—
“Do you want to have some, Aki-kun? I’ll buy some for you.”
“Alright, I’ll go buy it…eh, ehhhhh!?”
“? What is it?”
“Ah, no, it’s nothing…”
How is it possible! It’s beyond what I expected! My sister didn’t ask me to buy, but is treating me here! There’s definitely something fishy about it!
“Then I’ll share it with you , nee-san. I want to try other things too.”
Nee-san holds onto the purse full of money with one hand as she joins the queue. I don’t know if it’s because there weren’t a lot of people or not, but she quickly arrives back with the Doner kebab.
“This looks delicious. Do you want to try it, Aki-kun?”
“No, I’ll go last. You can have it first, nee-san.”
“Really? I’ll treat myself then—ah.”
Nee-san bites on the kebab that’s sizzling hot. My stomach starts to growl as I see nee-san enjoy the food.
“Here, have some too, Aki-kun.”
I take the kebab nee-san hands over and takes a bite just like her.
The meat sauce and spices that came oozing out of the kebab mixes with the zesty chili sauce, and the combination stimulates my appetite. The taste of beef spreads in my mouth, filling my empty stomach.
“Un, it’s nice.”
The light and refreshing flavors of the bun, lettuce and onions match perfectly well with the oily and greasy taste. The combination of meat, vegetables, bun and the spicy flavor of the chili sauce is the strongest combination. It seems that all the strength I used to spend the hot day rises up in me. It really matches the mood of this festival. It’s really delicious.
“Ara ara, Aki-kun. Your mouth is that wide open…so you really want to eat it.”
Nee-san says this, and I find myself unable to wake up from the ecstasy. Ah… I ate more than half of it.
“Sorry nee-san. I accidentally ate too much. I’ll go buy another one.”
“No need. You can have it if you want, Aki-kun?”
My sister snickers as she says this. She’s really enjoying this.
“I won’t hold back then.”
“Here. Please do.”
I then finish off the rest. Ahh, it’s really delicious…
“Turn over here, Aki-kun.”
“Hm? What is it?”
I wolf down the last bite and swallow it, and hear nee-san calling me. What is it?
“You’re eating it too quickly. See? The sauce’s on your face.”
Nee-san says this and takes out the handkerchief from her pocket, and then reaches her hand to my face.
“Why are you rushing? There’s no one fighting against you for it.”
Nee-san uses the handkerchief to wipe the part covered in sauce. I can taste a sweet orange smell from the hankerchief.
“Tha, thanks, nee-san.”
“Don’t worry, it’s just a small thing.”
My sister smiles as she keeps the handkerchief. For some reason, it feels different from the usual atmosphere…did something happen…
I tilt my head in a puzzled manner as I crush the bag after eating. I then hear another voice from beside me.
“Akihisa-kun, I bought takoyaki here. Do you want to have some?”
Himeji-san shows a cute smile as she hands over a box of takoyaki with one hand. This looks good too.
“Thank you. Can I have one?”
It doesn’t look like Himeji-san made it anyway, so I’ll gladly accept it. It’s really happiness for me to gain lots of nutrients today.
Himeji-san uses the toothpick to pick up a piece of takoyaki.
I can’t help but let out a startled voice due to this unexpected action.
“? What is it, Akihisa-kun? You’re not eating it?”
“Eh, well. I am, but…”
Himeji-san smiles as she brings the takoyaki near my mouth. It’s a little embarrassing to play this ‘aahh…’ game here.
“Yes, here you go.”
I open my mouth, and Himeji-san’s hand brings the takoyaki to my mouth. The soft skin and the chewy octopus mix really well with the spiciness of the sauce. This thick fragrance is really irresistible.
“Un. It’s good, it’s good.”
“Really? That’s great.”
Himeji-san then uses the same toothpick to pick up another takoyaki and puts it in her mouth. Why do I feel that this act looks like what couples do—well, not good!
“So, sorry, nee-san! This isn’t an illicit relationship!”
I cover my head to defend. I nearly got careless because of the sudden kindness! So I can’t escape from this fatal crisis after all!?
As I’m having wild thoughts.
“? Why are you covering your head out of a sudden, Aki-kun?”
The expected vengeance from my sister didn’t come.
“Eh? Arre? What’s going on?”
“You’re really a weird kid, Aki-kun. See, you’ll block other people’s way by squatting at this place.”
“Akihisa-kun, you didn’t make your sister angry, so you can relax.”
Both of them chuckle as they look at me.
What’s going on? Is this the magic of summer? Is this what they mean about how summer vacation will make people mature?
“Aki, why are you squatting here? You have a headache?”
A teasing voice comes from right above my head.
I stand up to look and see Minami wearing a mask, holding a yoyo and a bag on her right hand and cotton candy on her left.
“No, it’s nothing. Don’t mind.”
It’s not that there’s a commotion caused by me squatting here, but I still stand up immediately. The stares of the people around me are really making me embarrassed.
“Did you get dizzy because of excitement? You’re really a kid, Aki.”
“No no. What about you, Minami? Aren’t you enjoying yourself too?”
“Eh? Re, really? I don’t really think so.”
“You’re holding so many things in your hands. Who’ll believe you when you say that you aren’t enjoying yourself.”
“Thi, this is, you see…the big brother at the stall chose them for me, so I accidentally…”
Looking at her getup that looks like it can fit into a picture, I think she’s full of options, ready to try goldfish scooping and apple candy.
“You spent quite a long time living in Germany after all, Minami-san. It can’t be helped.”
“I’m happy that you’re happy too, Minami-chan.”
Nee-san and Himeji-san are giving happy looks to Minami.
“Aki, do you want some cotton candy? You can try some.”
“Cotton candy~? It’s been a while since I last ate it. I’ll try a little then.”
“Un. Okay, here you go.”
Like Himeji-san just now, Minami brings the cotton candy to my mouth. Wha, what’s this? Why’s everyone doing this to me? They’re rather kind here…?
“? You’re not eating?”
“Ah, I’ll have some then.”
I take a bite off the bamboo stick, and the sweetness of the candy that’s just like cotton as its name implies spreads in my mouth and melts. This taste is really memorable. I think I haven’t eaten it since primary school, have I not?
“There’s a shooting stall there. How do you play that?”
“Ahh, shooting. You shoot the prizes lined over there with a toy gun, and if you hit them, they belong to you. It’s that kind of game.”
“Heh~ looks interesting! I’ll have a look at it!”
“Wa, wait a second, Minami! Your yukata will go out of shape if you run off like that!”
“It’s fine! I’m already used to it!”
Minami seems to be in a good mood. Maybe this is the power of the festival at work.
“…Yuuji, do you want yakisoba?”
“Oh, ohh, I do.”
“…I even bought sukiyaki.”
“That, that’s really kind of you.”
“For some reason, it feels chilly to have such gentleness here..”
“…It’s nothing. This is very normal.”
This heavenly like time lasts for half an hour or so.
“Hm? There seems to be some even here.”
Yuuji sees a sign near the open-air stage of the park. Let’s see, what’s this…?
“‘Summer Night, Miss yukata contest! Let’s find the first summer beauty in town!’. Is this the grand event of the day?”
“A beauty pageant. Looks interesting.”
I often hear about it, but this is one of the shows I don’t get to see. I’m really lucky.
“This festival also bears the responsibility of developing the town, so it looks like they spent quite some effort on it.”
“Amazing. It looks like they rented out yukatas too.”
“…A chance for photos.”
“Heh~ I didn’t know there’s something like a pageant here~”
Everyone gathers as they surround Yuuji and me, looking at the panel. Does everyone have interest as well?
Kirishima-san says as she grabs Yuuji by the sleeve. This is unexpected. However, I can’t really tell that Kirishima-san looks interested in any sense.
“Then, how about you sign up for it? I think everyone can definitely do well in it.”
There’re beauties around us, and they’re very suited for yukatas. Maybe they can win. No, they’ll definitely win if they appear.
First, the problem is whether everyone will appear.
I can only give a wry smile at my own thought.
“Ahh, it feels good too. How about everyone try this? We’ll definitely have wonderful memories of it.”
Himeji-san’s reply is really unexpected. She’s joining—this pageant?
“Ehhhh!? Are you serious, Himeji-san!? You don’t hate it!?”
“Yes. I’m a little embarrassed, but I can ignore that!”
Really, what exactly happened here…this reply is too unexpected…
“Really really? You’re okay with it? You have to go onto the stage, you know?”
I ask again. Maybe Himeji-san is talking about something else.
“Yes, it’s fine. I’ll work hard with everyone to make wonderful memories.”
Himeji-san is still smiling. Is that so? Making wonderful memories…it’s true that there won’t be a second year summer. It’s rare for everyone to be together like this. it’ll be interesting if we can increase the number of memories we make.
“Then, let’s go register. Since everyone’s cute, you’ll definitely win.”
On hearing that, Himeji-san’s giving me a smile—a radiant smile that’s making my spine chilly for some reason, and tell us clearly.
“Yes, let’s all join in!...... Everyone here.”
“Aki, where’re you running to?”
“…Yuuji everyone here has to attend the pageant.”
In an instant, Yuuji and I tried to escape, but Minami and Kirishima-san were standing beside us, and caught us. Their smiling faces aren’t changing, and the alarm within my body is ringing loudly.
“Wha, what are you saying…? I don’t understand at all…”
“Tha, that’s right. I don’t know the reason why we’re in an armlock at all.”
It’s summer, and my body is trembling for some reason. Even if it’s evening, it’s a little chilly for this season. Haha, haa…
“Akihisa-kun, Sakamoto-kun. Did you actually think—”
“…That your accosting in the day—”
“Can be forgiven just like that?”
Absolutely chilly voices and smiles.
At this moment, I finally realized.
Why we’re still alive and standing even after doing that.
Why they’re miraculously so gentle to us.
That’s right. Everything was—
“Everything was a trap for this…!”
“““A sin has to be repaid by punishment. Losers dogs have to be trained by whips”””
Not good. Himeji-san and the rest are gradually infected by the atmosphere in F class. Kirishima-san’s in A class, and the representative…
“But, but even so, it’s impossible to have us in female costumes, right?”
“Ye, yeah. We’re guys after all, you know?”
I was forced to wear a girl’s outfit during the school festival, but it was prepared beforehand. We can’t possible join the pageant in this getup anyway—
As I’m thinking about this, the girls fold their arms while looking like they’re laughing at Yuuji and me.
“Even your observation skills aren’t acute enough, Sakamoto-kun.”
“…Yuuji, you have to use your head.”
“Yeah. Leaving aside Aki, haven’t you noticed it, Sakamoto? When we’re on the car”
When we’re on the car…? What’s going on?
“Aki-kun, nee-san said before, didn’t I? ‘We’re driving over to prepare a change of clothes’.”
We didn’t expect that! So the change of clothes isn’t made for Minami, but for us!?
“Wa, wait a sec! it’s fine for the skinny Akihisa, but my size doesn’t fit a female outfit! Just let Akihisa wear it alone no matter what!”
Yuuji puts his hands together and lowers his head to beg. Damn it…!
“Yuuji, you bastard! You’re only thinking of getting yourself saved, you traitor!?”
“Let go of me, Akihisa! I’m not like you! I’ve no interest in crossdressing at all ACK!”
“I don’t have a crossdressing fetish either!”
Such an uncouth man! You should be ashamed of yourself for only caring about yourself to run away!
“Putting me in this contest is going to drive people away here! I look like a guy no matter what.”
“…Yuuji and Yoshii, you don’t know how to give up.”
“Really, you should be mentally prepared like a man, Tsuchiya.”
“No you can’t, Tsuchiya-kun. How can you abandon your friends and run away? Right?”
“…It has…nothing to…do with me! (struggles)”
“I know about it, Muttsurini-kun. I know you took photos of us in swimsuits and got hooked up with those big sisters at the seaside, everything.”
“……!!! (Shakes head violently)”
“You don’t have to be ashamed of it or anything. you’re cute in the girl outfit just now. You’ll definitely do well♪”
“……!!......I’m, just a victim…!”
Muttsurini continues to resist as Kudou-san grabs him. It can’t be helped. It’s basically impossible for us to take part in a pageant in the first place.
“And even if you want us to take part, it’s impossible for them to accept it in the first place!”
“Tha, that’s right! It’s just like what Akihisa said!”
Even if we want to take part, we won’t be able to pass through the registration phase. This isn’t even a crossdressing contest. This is a contest for girls.
“AH, then, let’s do this.”
I don’t know if Yuuji and my prayer requests were heard. Himeji-san claps her hands as she raises an earnest idea.
“Go prepare first. If you can’t pass the registration, we’ll just have to give up. But if you’re accepted, you boys will have to enter obediently, Akihisa-kun. How about it?”
I think quickly.
Using my common sense, we’re guys even if we crossdress. It’s impossible for those at the registration corner to not realize it. I have confidence in my own manliness, and there’s Yuuji around. No matter how much he’s dressed up, Yuuji’s a guy. If they realize that he’s crossdressing, they’ll start to suspect me. In that case, I’ll get what I want, and they’ll stop Yuuji, Muttsurini and me from appearing.
“Hm, is that…so?”
“It can’t be helped…since they say so, I’ll endure this shame for now…”
“……I’m an innocent bystander involved in this…”
As long as we endure this registration time and wait for the girls’ anger to subside, this would be a good strategy. I’ll endure it for now.
“Great. Then, let’s begin preparations. I’ll leave it to you, Kinoshita-kun.”
The one being the make-up artist is my friend, Kinoshita Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi will definitely understand our feelings and hold back. That’s great.
“I’ll leave it to you then, Hideyoshi.”
I’m surrounded in this atmosphere as I show a look to Hideyoshi.
“Un, leave it to me. I’d definitely let you appear in the pageant.”
Why such an answer? I’m screaming with my eyes here. Eh…? For some reason, it feels weird…? Hideyoshi will do up a disguise for us that’ll expose us, right?
“We, well, Hideyoshi…?”
“Sorry everyone. Makeup’s an important part of acting too.”
Hideyoshi says as he gives an angelic smile.
“—Sorry, but I’d won’t be able to hold back.”
“That’s too much…you’re really too much…why must you put in so much effort for this…”
“…What’s with “Tsuchiya Koumi”…”
“You’re still okay, Muttsurini…I’m called ‘Hong Shiew Li’ here…I have to crossdress AND dress up as a Chinese…”
“It’s true that you have the physique of a Chinese volleyballer, Yuuji…”
The three of us hug our knees together as we kneel. On a side note, I’m using the name “Yoshii Akiko” to register. Most likely, we’ll lose something precious or so.
“The three of you look rather suitable in yukatas♪”
“It’s true…hehe. Very, cute…”
“…Though Yuuji’s a little too short.”
“Aki-kun. Nee-san’s happy that you’re so pretty.”
“Let’s all have a photo together later, everyone.”
In contrast, the girls surrounding us are really happy.
And also, one of them would be grabbing our hands to prevent us from running away. Leaving aside Minami and Kirishima-san, why is Himeji-san able to use a grip strong enough to crush an apple here?
“The preliminaries will now begin! To all participants, please gather at the special stage!”
We hear the call from the person in charge from the side of the path. This is basically a death sentence.
“Looks like it’s starting. Let’s go, everyone.”
“Akihisa-kun, Sakamoto-kun. You shouldn’t be thinking of running away at this point, alright?”
It feels like we’re being brought away by the police. We can’t seem to run away here.
(Yuuji, Muttsurini, what should we do here…)
I can only exchange looks with them like usual. This skill is really convenient.
(I don’t know either…if we can’t run away, we’ll just have to lose…)
(So this is the only path left…)
(……I am so unwilling here…)
This tragic memory of summer doesn’t seem like it’ll let us grow into adults.
“Mu…? Speaking of which, why must I appear too…?”
Hideyoshi, who's engrossed in the makeup, finally asks the question.
“And now, the new plan this year will finally begin! The first “Summer Miss Yukata Contest” will begin here!”
The excited and near-deafening voice echoes through the arena. It’s located in a very good location, near the clear seaside, and the place, when viewed from the stage, was filled with guests here to bath in the sea.
“This time, the activity is hosted with yukatas sponsored by “Obata’s yukatas’. As the theme implies, we’re looking for the best beauties in yukatas!”
At this point, I can only think that it’s great we’re not having a swimsuit contest.
“The rating system will be by points. The 3 judges will have their own decisions for the preliminaries, and the finals will be judged by the judges and everyone’s voting!”
Right now, it’s dinner time, and there shouldn’t be a lot of people in the preliminaries. If we enter the finals, we’ll attract a lot more attention, and we might end up on the news if we’re not careful. That’s why we have to lose here no matter what, to prevent ourselves from losing more things that are important to us.
“There are 59 participants in the preliminaries, and only 10 amongst them will be able to advance to the finals!”
There are actually 3 guys amongst the 59 people. This Miss(?) Yukata Contest show is in a situation where it should have its name changed, since the audience watching it probably won’t expect this.
“Then, will the first 10 people please come on stage!”
I’m prompted by the personnel, and drag heavy steps to the stage.
Amongst these ten people, there are two people I’m familiar one. One of them is the mysterious Chinese ‘Hong Shiew Li’ Sakamoto Yuuji, and the girl who looks like a silent pervert ‘Tsuchiya Koumi’ or Muttsurini’. Just 3 of us amongst these ten are guys. It’s really scary. If this town wants to carry out a revival, we’ll be the culprits ruining this financial activity. Why is it that we look like corporate spies when we’re just high school students?
“Then, let’s start from entry number 1. Can we have your name, please?”
“Yes. Erm…I’m Higashino Satomi, on a holiday trip from Tokyo.”
“So you’re here on holiday trip from Tokyo. I really envy you there. Then, what’s your specialty?”
“Ah, well, my specialty is—”
The host hands the mic to the first person, and the preliminaries are finally beginning.
Now, we’ll have to take note of the important stuff.
I have to lose in the preliminaries no matter what. Absolutely.
However, there’s another thing that’s as important as this. That’s to hide the fact that I’m crossdressing. I hope to be revealed when registering, but the rules now are different. Everyone’s looking at me on the stage. If the fact that I’m crossdressing here gets revealed, it’ll all be over if anyone related to the school is there. Besides this ridiculous getup in crossdress, I have to take part in the pageant like this. I’ll definitely become a problematic guy who believes that ‘I’ll be prettier than the girls if I crossdress here’. At that time, my social status will become trash.
Our mission is to ‘hide the fact that we’re crossdressing and fall out of the preliminaries splendidly.’
“Thank you. Then. We’ll be presenting entry number 3. Please.”
Not good. The mic’s passed to me when I’m thinking here!
Anyway, I must not talk about something everyone will be interested in! I can’t mention things that are directed at me. Also, I can’t do things that are too cute or too manly. It’ll be perfect if I take note of these! With my manly appearance, I can’t possibly look cute even if I crossdress. It’s definitely easy for me to fail in the preliminaries.
I hold the mic that’s passed to me with both hands, and lower my head while not wanting to show others my face.
“Ye, yes. I, I’m, Yoshii Akiko…(fake voice)”
I try my best to restrain my voice. I’ll show my normal voice if I speak too loudly here.
“What unique traits do you here?”
I’ll just answer honestly here. Besides, I can’t think of a lie out of a sudden.
“The, then, as for specialty, it’ll be cooking…like paella, spaghetti or so.”
Speaking of which, what’s with this humiliation…my face feels like it’s burning…
“Cooking, is it? So you’re amazing in housework~ Then, do you do so in house too?”
In house? Well, I do cook at all. I do all the housework anyway.
“Yes, basically everyday…”
Yeah. I can’t lie here.
“So you do housework everyday! It’s rare to see young girls do so nowadays. Your score will be very high here! Then, I’ll go even further—do you have a boyfriend?”
Won’t it be scary if I do!?
“No, not at all! Not even once…”
I can’t help but raise my voice, and I hurriedly quiet myself down. Phew, that was close. Got to control myself a little here.
“Ohh! This is really a blessing to all men! How about it, our sponsor and judge Obata-san?”
“If you tell this oji-san your phone number, I’ll send you pocket money later.”
“Alright. Even though you’ll likely be dead if you’re not the sponsor, that’s not allowed, so we’ll change the question. Yoshii Akiko-san. What’s the most concerned thing you have regarding this Miss Yukata contest?”
Why, why are there so many questions!?
Anyway, I better say the truth if I don’t want to reveal myself…
“Well…I don’t really have anything that’ll show my bodyline…”
Hideyoshi probably checked on it. I won’t be showing any male bones here.
“Based on what we can see from the blushing face, it seems that Yoshii Akiko-san’s rather shy. Our yukata sponsor Obata-san, do you have any further questions to Yoshii-san?”
“Please tell me if you’re wearing any underwear.”
“Thank you for raising an idiotic question that will excite anyone after one whole round of dily-dalying. I don’t know if it’s my intention, but I can’t stop breaking out cold sweat here.”
Un, underwear!? As in—female underwear!? What sort of joke is that! Even if it’s me, it’s impossible for me to fall to the extent that I’m wearing female underwear! I have to dispel this misunderstanding no matter what!!
At this point, I have to say it loud and clear—
“I, I’m not wearing underwear!”
I only have interests in wearing trunks!
“Yo, Yoshii-san!? It’s fine for you not to answer such degrading questions! To every male guest, please don’t hoot here! This isn’t the kind of place!”
“It’s decided! She can’t enter the finals. It’s a waste of talent for her to show off in front of the fools.”
“You’ve heard wrongly! How can a sponsor call the guests a bunch of idiots!? Anyway, Yoshii Akiko-san, thank you for cooperation. Also, I’m sorry for that…”
A personnel takes away my mic and hands it to someone else.
I don’t understand, but since it’s said that I won’t be able to advance, it looks like my plan succeeded. There’re weird stares looking at me, but it can’t be helped as this is a pageant.
“Excuse us for just now. Then, let’s focus on contestant entry number 4.”
“Hello everyone. I’m Imura Midori. I’m here on a trip from Fukuoka.”
Finally, it’s over for me. I’ll just have to watch and wait for entry number 5 Muttsurini and number 7 Yuuji. Those guys are really stupid compared to me when I’m able to adapt on the fly. I’m looking forward—besides being worried—to things a little here.
“Is that so? So you like surfing, Imura-san. The sporty type isn’t bad either, right, Obata-san?”
“I have no interests in surfing.”
“The tan lines match the yukata really well, right, Obata-san?”
“Nope. If we’re talking about yukatas, snowy white skin will be required.”
“Either way, this is the feeling of summer, right? Obata-san?”
“What obvious things are you talking about? Do you think that it’s autumn or winter here?”
“Don’t worry! I may be like this, but I’m a professional host after all! I definitely won’t beat up the sponsor here!”
Is it my imagination? For some reason, it feels like there’s a killing intent surrounding the judging table.
“Thank you, Imura-san. Next will be entry number 5, Tsuchiya-san. Please introduce yourself.”
“……I’m Tsuchiya Koumi.”
Muttsurini hides his face inside his bangs and says his name with a soft hoarse voice. His attitude of trying to sneak past this is clearly reaching me. As expected, he’s thinking of the same thing as me.
“This slightly hoarse voice is really tickling me. You came here to swim with your friends, I suppose?”
“Your yukata’s well worn. Did you put it on yourself?”
“…No, a friend helped me put it on.”
“Is your friend here?”
Muttsurini lets the conversation continue while answering simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’. That kind of attitude definitely won’t raise interest. He’ll definitely be eliminated.
“—Then, what kind of clothing do you like other than yukatas?”
“…Cheongsams and kimono are self-explanatory and also Race Queen and Cheerleader and Cabin Attendant uniform and family restaurant waitress and female officer uniform and leotards and office ladies suits and sailor uniform and miko and maid outfits and tennis skirts and all of these seem rather good, not really?”
I guess that ‘not really’ is just as late as a heart massage on a person that’s cremated.
“This, is really shocking…Tsuchiya-san has a cold attitude and pitiful appearance, but it seems like her interest is in cosplay. It’s a complete buzzkill of moe to a certain group of people!”
“……Please forget about it…! (Shakes head)”
Ahh. He does look a little cute as he lowers his head and shakes it. Just like a little animal.
“…Tr, troubled…! (Flustered)”
The calls for Koumi can be heard from all over the arena, and the anxious Muttsurini’s starts to panic. Well…it’s a pity, but I have to say that it’s decided. I didn’t expect Muttsurini to have the talent of capturing other people’s hearts.
“Such a shocking reassurance! Tsuchiya-san’s advancement into the next room is all but decided! Thank you very much, Tsuchiya-san!”
“…I, I’ll…I’ll really be bothered…!”
Even if he wants to salvage the situation, the mic’s handed to the next person. It’s impossible to prevent Muttsurini from advancing to the next round. Farewell, my bad friend…
“…Why…am I always the one getting hurt…”
From the corner of my eye, I see Muttsurini’s shoulders dropping out of a sudden. It’s divine retribution for him since he often sells photos of others crossdressing. If I have to say it, serves him right.
Then, Muttsurini’s part is over, and last of all, it’s Yuuji…what kind of expression will he show on his turn.
I wonder as I look over at Yuuji, and see that he has a relaxed smile.
(Fufu. You idiots. That amount of manliness isn’t enough!)
We exchange glances to talk like usual. Mu…why is it that his relaxed expression really annoys me?
(You better take this chance to say so, Yuuji. You’ll definitely panic when it’s your turn.)
I answer him with a stare. It’s too naïve to think that he’ll be the only one passing easily! There’ll definitely be some mishaps happening!
(What nonsense are you saying? Look at my physique. I’m tall, and my frame is wide. These are all negatives no matter how you look at things. It’s expected that I’ll drop out in the preliminaries.)
Yuuji puffs his chest in a proud manner. It’s true that for that guy, that physique doesn’t match someone taking part in a pageant. Ku…! Too cheap…! Only one person manages to escape easily…!
“Alright, thank you everyone. Then, it’s now time for contestant entry number 7. This is a contestant from faraway China, Hong-san, please!”
(I’ll show you the manliness I can’t hold back here!)
Yuuji’s eyes are saying as such as he receives the mic. Damn it…! That physique’s too much. That guy should suffer more!
“Hong Shiew Li. Nice to meet everyone.”
Yuuji’s a Chinese now, so he’s deliberately talking in rough Japanese. If there’s a question he doesn’t know how to answer, he’ll just pretend to not understand. That’s a cheap designation he’s using here. How despicable…!
“This one…is a little tall here. How is it, Obata-san.”
It seems that it’s tough for the host to handle Yuuji too, and he’s asking the judge here. In that case, Yuuji’s rating won’t be high no matter what. He seems to understand too as he gives a carefree smile.
At this point, the judge who has the right to determine who goes into the finals announces,
“That’s great. I personally like tall girls most!”
Ohhh! Yuuji looks like he’s really shocked here—!!
“Ohh! She got a high score from the judge! Obata-san, do you have any questions you like to ask Hong-san?”
“How about a honey to Cambodia!?”
“Sorry, I can’t comment on this! I have lots of things to say here but a professional has to endure everything the partner says no matter what!”
The judge’s passion is rising abnormally. He tries his best not to jump on stage as he stares at Yuuji. It seems that the voice that came from the stage, “…Get rid of that judge.” is my imagination.
Yuuji’s silent due to this overwhelming shock, and finally manages to recover and answer.
“It, it can’t work since we’re of different Nationalities.”
“It’s fine, anything can be overcome with love. My honey!”
“There’s no love.”
“I have confidence that I can light the love within you.”
“I hate you.”
“We can start from friends. I’ll treasure you forever.”
“Behave yourself, or I’ll really kill you, uncle.”
“Kill me however you want if it’s you!”
Damn it! Yuuji’s acting disguise is really wearing off here!
“Then, it seems that Obata-san really likes Hong Shiew Li-san. We’ll then continue—”
“Wait, I’m not done yet! Shiew Li! When can I visit your parents!?”
“I didn’t hit anyone! I just saw a mosquito flying by! Then, it’s about time for the next contestant.”
“…It can’t be helped.”
“Everyone, please look over here…it’s the final entry number 8. Let’s invite Watarai-san!”
“Watarai Miki. Please take care of me.”
“Watarai-san’s a local too. Obata-san, do you have any questions as a local?”
“Don’t just say that. Just ask anything, anything like how motivated you were on Hong-san.”
“It can’t be helped…oh yes, number 8-san, please tell me the impression you have on Hong-san.”
“Just go to the backstage and ask Hong-san! Never come back!”
“WHAT’S YOUR ATTITUDE TO THIS SPONSOR HERE!”
“STOP PRETENDING TO BE A NORMAL PERSON HERE! FINE! I’LL QUIT THIS RIDICULOUS HOSTING JOB!!”
“DO, DON’T YOU DARE HIT THE FACE! I HAVE TO SEE SHIEW LI’S PARENTS”
“I’LL JUST HAVE TO BEAT YOU UP UNTIL YOUR SWINE-LIKE FACE MIGHT BECOME NICER!”
“…Yuuji, I definitely won’t allow you.”
In the end, the violence that started from the judges ends up continuing until everyone who’s involved in it were either hospitalized or detained.
I guess this pageant contest will never happen a second time.
“In the end, we’re the only ones shaming ourselves…”
“…My heart’s broken…”
“In all sorts of sense, this will become a summer we’ll never ever forget…”
We left the festival area and returned back to the pension and use the portable stove in the yard to prepare the barbeque as we await dusk.
I can’t get married anymore…
“After I calm down and think about it, we’ll have to go onto the stage later anyway.”
“Tha, that’s right…we’re so mad just now that we didn’t notice, but it was really dangerous now that we think about it…”
“…Good thing we stopped midway through.”
“Me too. I’m not used to this kind of entertainment. We’re saved.”
“I find it really interesting~”
The girls, who’re at the table that’s slightly far away, are preparing the utensils and drinks as they put their hands on their chests in relief. In the end, they were waiting in the rest room after registering…how sneaky…
“But I’m really concerned about the results of the competition. Who’ll win if this kept up?”
Right now, everyone has changed into ordinary clothes, but how they looked in yukatas…were of some standard. It’s not weird if someone amongst them wins.
“Yeah…well, I guess Hideyoshi would be the most appropriate choice, right?”
“Yuuji, do you feel that the term ‘appropriate’ should be used here when I’m a guy?”
“…It’s hard to decide between everyone.”
“Yeah. Everyone’s cute.”
The three guys have their own opinions of the girls’ in yukatas. The girls are right beside us. Isn’t this a little rude?
Thinking about this, I secretly glance aside at the table, and see that they’re having their opinions on the boys too. Well, I guess we’re even here.
“As expected, I think it should be Akihisa-kun. That cute dress-up and that natural airheadedness is really irresistible.”
“Tsuchiya’s cute too, but I’ll still go with Aki~”
“…Yuuji’s obviously lacking…as expected, he’s more suited for manly get up.”
“I’m rather touched by Muttsurini-kun’s crossdressing. I didn’t expect it to fit him well~ what about you, Akira-san?”
“I’m already used to seeing Aki-kun crossdressing…but the other two are a pleasant surprise too.”
“Eh? Used to seeing Akihisa-kun crossdressing, as in—”
“Mother here likes girls especially. With me as the older sister, we often make Aki-kun wear the skirts I used to wear. The original name for him was supposed to be ‘Akina’, but our grandfather said that it’s weird to have this name for a boy, so it became like this—”
I think my shameful past was revealed here!?
“Wa, wait a second! Don’t say it, nee-san! It’s all a mistake here!? Even if I used to be dressed up like that, it’s before I went to kindergarten!”
I hurry to the table and reach my hands out, intending to shut my sister’s mouth.
“Aki-kun. You can’t lie. I gave you a skirt to wear on that night two days ago, remember? When you’re sleeping.”
Nee-san giggles as she avoids my hands and continues. Speaking of which, I think I just heard something more dangerous than a simple revealing of secret here!?
“This is the first time I’m hearing such a thing!? What were you doing when I was sleeping!?”
“Fufu, there’s no need to worry, Aki-kun. Half of it was a lie.”
“HALF!? WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY HALF!? WHAT IN THE WORLD DID YOU DO TO MAKE IT A HALF-LIE!?”
“I just put the skirt onto your knees.”
“THIS IS JUST PUTTING IT ON HALFWAY!?”
“In professional terms, it seems like it’s called ‘half naked’.”
Th, this is bad…I must remember to lock properly in the future…!
“This is really bad, nee-san! I’ll be angry if you enter my room on your own like that!”
“Why are you so angry? I’m troubled here.”
“I’M THE ONE BEING TROUBLED HERE!!”
Did you take a photo of it or something!?
“Alright alright, Aki-kun. I’ll give you a hug to cool you down.”
“GET AWAY FROM ME! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CALM DOWN LIKE THAT…!”
“Aren’t you completely calmed down now?”
“HAH!? NO, THAT’S NOT IT! THAT’S, because I’m always brought up by nee-san like this, it’s not that I’m really calmed down uu…”
“Okay okay, you’re really a good kid, Aki-kun.”
Guuu…! I calmed down without noticing…!
“Oi, it’s about done here.”
Yuuji, who’s watching over the barbeque, calls over here. After a while, the charred smell of the meat juices whiffs over with the wind. There’s also the burnt fragrance of the sauce—is that guy making grilled onigiri and corn? It’s really brilliant. The worms inside my stomach are grumbling.
Speaking of which, we worked hard for an entire day, but we only had fried noodles during noon and the snacks from the stalls at the festival before 6. Leaving aside the girls, it’s impossible for me, a high school boy to be satisfied just like that. Well, I was able to maintain my life by living on much worse food before my life-saving accounts come in.
“It’s time. Okay, it’s very late now, but let’s have dinner.”
I escape from nee-san’s arms as she cuddles me and head to the stove where Yuuji’s preparing the drinks and cups. Even so…why is it that this guy looking so cool with a towel tied on his head and a pair of tongs in his hand? It’s like he’s giving off the ‘seaside feeling of summer’. I’m really envious here.
“Oh, Akihisa. It’s nicely grilled here. You can have as much as you want.”
“Un, thanks. Here’s your drink, Yuuji.”
Yuuji served me a paper plate full of burnt lard, so I respond by giving him a paper cup filed with salad oil.
“Alright you two, you won’t be able to eat if you keep glaring at each other. It’s going to be burnt.”
Hideyoshi and Muttsurini have served the grilled pieces of meat onto the plate. Now’s not the time to fight against this scumbag Yuuji. I have to hurry up and eat!
“I’m tucking in~!”
The wire mesh has meat, onigiri, whelks and King Trumpet Mushrooms. Each one of them looks really nice. It’s really hard for me to choose.
“Heh~ they all look good. You’re rather amazing at this, Sakamoto.”
“…The husband I’m so proud of.”
“Stop spouting nonsense and start eating. The food will be snatched away if you space out like that.”
Yuuji continues to cook, add charcoal, fan and deal with several jobs while not forgetting to put some food into his mouth.
“Thank you for preparing food, Sakamoto-kun. I want to help too, if only Aki-kun didn’t stop me.”
“I wanted to help too, but I don’t really know outside cooking well…”
My sister and Himeji-san apologize to Yuuji. These two people were the ones who wanted to cook right from the beginning, but I manage to stop them with all I got.
“Ah, it’s fine. Don’t mind, I really like doing this.”
Yuuji can only give a wry smile as he can’t give the real reason. But actually, Yuuji really likes doing such outside stuff, so these may be his true thoughts.
“Really, it’s bothersome that you worry so much, Aki-kun. Do you not trust your sister’s cutting skills?”
“Akira-san, Akihisa-kun wouldn’t let me help cook before. I didn’t get cut by the kitchen knife or anything.”
No. it’s not about whether you’ll be hurt by using the kitchen knife or not. The problem is that you can kill without the kitchen knife, Himeji-san.
“Then, how about all the girls have a cooking duel next time? It’s not good to have the boys do so all the time.”
“Ah, this idea’s good too, right, Minami-chan?”
Without looking, I can tell that the guys are giving the ‘don’t do anything unnecessary looks…’
“Seems interesting. Let me join in if I have time from work.”
“…Count me in.”
“Do I have to join in too~”
The excited girls aren’t realizing the ugly expressions the guys are giving off right now.
“But how do we decide on the winner in this cooking contest? Everyone have their own preferences…”
“Ah, that’s true. How should we decide on the winner?”
Most likely, it’s either a K.O. or a T.K.O.
“I, I say, you guys, how about you eat instead of worrying about such things? It’s almost burnt!”
“Yuuji’s right! See, the corn here is barbecued nicely!”
“…The scallops here are really good too.”
“I’ll go get drinks! Which do you want? Cola? Orange juice or Oolong tea?”
Himeji-san alone is enough to deal critical damage. If we include nee-san, I won’t be able to stand properly just by imagining the consequences. The four of us start our resistance to avoid turning this into reality.
This and that happens for an hour.
“Um. It’s good.”
The food we brought over’s cleared up nicely.
“Hm~…feels like we haven’t had enough yet.”
Yuuji looks reluctantly at the top of the wire mesh. Actually, I too feel that it’s not enough.
“That’s a failure…did we make a mistake in counting the ingredients?”
We did intend to prepare 9 people’s worth of food, but everyone’s appetite is better than we expected. Maybe it’s because we’re eating outside and because of the day activities.
“…We don’t even have rice and vegetables here.”
There’s only juice and ice inside the cooler box. But these things aren’t going to fill our stomachs.
“How about we look around, Akihisa?”
“Heh? Scout around as it?”
“There’s a lot of things here, right? There’s the sea.”
There is, and then…
“Are we going to get ingredients?”
“It’s the seaside. There has to be some clams or something here. We have a fire here, so it’ll be delicious if we can grill them.
Clams? It should be good if we clear the sand and wash it with salt water. But,
“Won’t it be troublesome for us to go collect the ingredients at this time?”
“Well, that should be the case…we’ll decide with a game. The loser will have to do it, how about it?”
“Looks like you guys really love to play games like this.”
“…I love punishment games.”
Hideyoshi and Muttsurini can only grimace at Yuuji’s suggestion. Even so, I don’t think even Yuuji will do so seriously. It should be a joke or something—
At this moment, my body’s trembling so much out of a sudden.
It’s a strong and sharp feeling, like there’s an ice pillar stabbed into my back. It’s different from a killing intent, a pure presence of death that’s simply and purely closing in on us. How, how is it possible…! What’s with this sudden uneasiness in such a peaceful eating place? How can there be…!?
I start to shudder in fear. Why is this happening? I’m rather concerned about Himeji-san’s lips as she talks to Minami from the corner of my eye. What is she saying? Why am I so concerned?
“Speaking of which, I—“
Speaking of which?
“Made some chiffon cakes at home—”
Now I know the answer.
“LET’S GO YUUJI! LET’S GO GET SOME CLAMS AT THE SEASIDE! EVEN IF IT’S A SECOND EARLIER!”
“WELL SAID, AKIHISA! LET’S GO GET LOTS AND LOTS OF CLAMS! WE HAVE TO GET SO MANY THAT WE CAN’T EAT ANYTHING ELSE!”
“THE NIGHT SEA SURE HAS QUITE THE SCENERY, I’D THINK. RIGHT, MUTTSURINI!?”
“…We can definitely find lots of clams in dark areas…!”
We continue to rush to the seas. We relaxed after thinking that there’s nothing else that’s dangerous on the vehicle, but I didn’t think that she prepared some food for the return journey…! It’s really heart-wrenching that on our way back, when everyone’s thoroughly tired, that Himeji-san will work so hard to provide dessert for everyone…!
“? Why are those guys so frantic? What’s going on?”
“Well, never mind…then, how’s the chiffon cakes, Mizuki?”
“Ah, yes. I made chiffon cakes, but I wrapped it up and left it on the table at home.”
“Heh~ that’s really a pity. You worked so hard to make it.”
I thought I heard something behind, but now’s not the time to care about that. Anyway, I just have to collect more clams than the rest. If I collect one less than the others, it’ll mean instant death. This hunt isn’t about eating, but about not eating…!
“““Who’s…willing to die here—!”””
I run and take off my shirt and trousers, wearing only my trunks as I jump into the water. The summer sea feels warm even at night, and that helps me a lot.
“Alright! The first—”
“Don’t you dare, Yuuji!”
“OWAH!? AKIHISA YOU PUNK! IT’S TOO DESPICABLE FOR YOU TO SEND A FLYING KICK HERE!”
“DID YOUR CLAM DROP HERE, YUUJI!?”
“…I’ll take it then…!”
We continue the hunt as we bet on our lives.
We continue to search for clams and get in each other’s way. It’s about midnight the moment we drag our weary bodies back.
The next day, on the ride back.
“Really, these guys are sleeping like kids…”
“Fufufu. Sure looks that way. They look cute even though they’re of our age for some reasons.”
“…Boys will always be kids.”
“Ahaha. They really look like innocent sleeping kids there.”
“They’re tired because they went overboard with their fun. Being happy is more important than anything else here.”
“Yeah. I’m very happy!”
“Fufu. I’m happy to hear you say that too.”
“But everyone really fell asleep so quickly.”
“They were groggy before they got on the car.”
“Yeah. They gobbled up everything during breakfast and fell asleep immediately.”
“That’s true. They even ate up our share too! Really!”
“That’s really a pity, Mizuki-san.”
“Yes. That’s true, Akira-san. Everyone immediately fell asleep—”
““—We didn’t hear them say what they feel about the breakfast we made this morning.””
At this moment, the four of us are reunited at the riverside with flowers blooming…but that’s another matter altogether.
- Butterflies are symbols of death. Umineko anyone?
- Yuuji deliberately speaks in katakana to act like 'he' can only speak in broken Japanese here.