OreShura: Volume 3 Chapter 9
#9: The Remembered Promise is Mayhem
August 1st, Sunday.
Fuyuumi arranged for us to meet at the Hane High athletic grounds.
I checked my watch and the time was 6:30 P.M.. Because daylight hours were longer in the summer, the sky was still bright. Club activities had ended long ago, so the athletic fields were empty.
—Why would that Fuyuumi want for us to meet at a time like this?
After that incident, Fuyuumi never told me where we are going. She merely just pointed out a place for us to meet up at. What is she after? Anyway, is it okay to wear casual clothes? If we are going to enter the school building, it would have been better to wear the uniform.
When I was thinking about this, someone called out to me from behind.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, Kidou-kun."
"Aah, I didn’t wait very—?"
My mouth wide open, I couldn't help but staring at Fuyuumi.
Because she was wearing a yukata.
Fuyuumi Ai was wearing a colorful, bright yukata, with her hair done differently she furthermore gave off that 'not the usual Fuyuumi Ai' feeling. She seemed to be a little embarrassed as she stood there.
Even though the casual clothes she wore a few days ago had been very cute.
This yukata was simply something that belongs to an entirely different world.
'Burning the image in my eyes', or something, I wonder if that is what people say to something like this...
"W-Why are you wearing a yukata...?"
"What do you mean? This is pretty normal, right? Because we’re going to the fireworks festival."
I could not help but exclaim, 'Huh?'.
"We’re going to the fireworks festival?"
Fuyuumi was the same with her usual expression that seemed to ask, 'What? You didn’t know?'.
"But, you didn't said so in the first place. And if we are going to the fireworks festival, shouldn’t we have just met at the Hane River Bridge, or the municipal park?"
It was quite a considerable distance to go from the school to the location of the fireworks festival. It would've been relatively closer if we had left directly from my house.
Fuyuumi nodded lonely, and said, 'Yeah', when she heard me.
"So, you even forgot about this stuff."
What's that supposed to mean?
I was at a loss when Fuyuumi smiled and said:
"Come on. Let’s go."
When Fuyuumi made her first step the Geta clattered with a very lovely sound, and I followed behind her without understanding anything.
"Hey, you’re going the wrong way, right? This isn’t the way to the riverbank. We’re heading towards the mountains."
"Enough already! Just don’t make a fuss and follow me."
Even though she still spoke with her usual annoyed tone, the atmosphere was completely different.
Because Fuyuumi was smiling.
Even though I spent the entire summer with her at cram school, I almost never saw her smile. But today she was smiling all over the place.
It was unimaginable to think that the girl who had yelled and chased after me not too long ago, the girl who cried and sobbed in the park, was the same girl as the one in front of me now.
I had learned it yet again.
Girls just were mysterious living beings.
We walked in the residential area for about ten minutes, then we arrived at a quiet rural road between rice fields. I remembered that I once came to this neighborhood to catch fireflies with Chiwa’s family, but that had been something way back in elementary school.
"Ah, this neighborhood doesn't have fireflies anymore."
"There’s less and less rice paddies here too. If you look at the foothills over there, there weren’t any houses there ten years ago."
I looked at the place where Fuyuumi’s fingers pointed and nodded, and there definitely weren’t houses back then—
"What is it?"
Fuyuumi stared at me blankly, as I had stopped in my tracks.
I looked around and said:
"Could it be that this road is a shortcut which leads to Ipponsugi Hill?"
Yes. It certainly was.
This place was very familiar. When I had been in kindergarten, I used to play in this neighborhood a lot. Even though it had changed a lot, I think I could somehow remember seeing the shape of those hills from here.
"—————You finally remembered it?"
It was a very warm smile, but why was it that it somehow seemed as if she was about to cry?
"Come on, the first fireworks will go off soon. We should hurry."
Fuyuumi’s wooden sandals clattered yet again as she walked off.
I followed the sound of her sandals— But I didn’t need her to lead the way anymore. I knew the road. After we passed the ditch, we would turn right and walk on the rural path. After the abandoned bus station, a little further up, there were stone steps that led up to the hill. I still remembered when were we in Class Star in kindergarten. Hadn't we come here to play several times?
Here was the entrance of the shortcut to Ipponsugi Hill.
And that was a place few people knew about, and a great place to enjoy fireworks——
"How could I have forgotten?"
After thinking about it for a while, I could only find one answer:
Because I had met Chiwa.
March before the start of elementary school, I had moved next door to Chiwa’s house. Since then, Chiwa’s parents had driven us to the fireworks festival.
So I had completely forgotten about the little-known place to watch the fireworks from.
The dark air sounded like someone hit a taiko.
Fuyuumi and I looked at each other simultaneously and shouted:
Already in a rush, I ran up the stairs.
I grabbed Fuyuumi’s hand, and recklessly swung my other hand.
We kicked up weeds and stones, and covered in sweat and grass stains we went to that Ipponsugi place——
In front of us a huge firework burst into light.
The fireworks seemed to cover up the summer night sky, as they went up one after another. Accompanied by our pleased amazement, they bloomed like beautiful flowers.
There wasn’t anything that blocked the field of vision here, and as far as one’s eyes could see, the sky was filled with fireworks.
On this hill, one could have all the scenery to oneself.
"This place is great..."
I muttered, enchanted by the fireworks.
Fuyuumi chuckled as she heard me and said:
"Actually, you were the one who showed this place to me, Ta-kun."
This was the name that Fuyuumi had written in her notebook.
At the time I didn’t know who that was, but with the memories in these hills, my thoughts flashed—
"...Ah, so it's about me?"
Fuyuumi had an expression that seemed to be both, crying and smiling.
"That had been your nickname in Star Class, but the only one who called you that was me."
Fuyuumi approached me and nestled up against my chest.
I could clearly feel her soft yukata and smell the scent of her fragrance.
"You’re really too forgetful, Ta-kun. Can you really be number one in our grade like this?"
"Even though you are now 'Ei-kun', or 'Eita-kun', or even 'Eita', long before that, it was simply 'Ta-kun'."
I looked at Fuyuumi’s face who leaned against my chest, and my memories came flushing.
"Star class... Ta-kun..."
That's why. Who is that girl who's with me here right now?
This was the 'glorious past' that my girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, and childhood friend have been mercilessly laughing about.
She was the lovely and gentle girl that I liked in kindergarten.
"...So you are... A-chan..."
Fuyuumi, no, 'A-chan' looked up from my chest and said:
"Right. I even told Kaoru to call me like that, but you didn't remember anything at all."
"He knows everything?"
"Yes. Even though I told him recently, it seemed like he wanted to stay close to Harusaki Chiwa friendship-wise, so it was kind of unfair to ask him for help he didn't want to give."
"So it was like that..."
The mystery of Kaoru’s suspicious behavior at cram school was finally solved.
"Kaoru must have been put in a difficult position."
"It's fine. After all, I’m also making graces by keeping his secret as well."
Even though I was a little curious, I didn’t push it further.
"I remember A-chan moved away around that summer, right? When we dug potatoes in fall and boiled taro in winter, you weren’t there."
"Yeah. After I watched fireworks here with Ta-kun, I moved away shortly after. Because it was rather sudden, we didn’t let you know until after I moved."
"When did you realize that it was me?"
"I recognized you right away, during the opening ceremony of Hane High. But it looked like Ta-kun was flirting with Harusaki Chiwa while I was completely ignored."
"N-No. It was because your hairstyle was different from when you were in Star Class."
"It’s rare for girls to keep their hairstyles from kindergarten, isn't that obvious?"
So true. Since she said that, I had nothing else to add.
"The first person to meet you had always been me. However, Harusaki Chiwa is the 'childhood friend', while I am the 'demon disciplinary committee member'. Do you understand how difficult this has been for me?"
I finally understood the words she shouted at the cinema.
A girl who couldn’t become a childhood friend no matter how much she tried— So that was what she had meant.
"As a bonus, you even became Natsukawa Masuzu’s boyfriend, and even Akishino-san also seems to like you. How popular do you need to get before you’re satisfied?! Really!"
I really wanted to say that she was mistaken, but I couldn’t.
Even now, my memory was still quite hazy. This was something from ten years ago, so it was understandable that I couldn’t remember anything, but A-chan seemed to remember everything so clearly.
A-chan pouted unhappily and said:
"Even though I confessed to you, you completely forgot."
"Sorry, honestly I don’t remember things from that time very well."
"Your 'no good' habits haven’t changed at all! If you acted a little more like Ta-kun, I would feel so much more reassured!"
So I had such a trashy reputation.
However, this situation was something that I had caused myself. No one else had forced it onto me.
"That year Ta-kun proudly said, 'This great person before you knows a good place to watch the fireworks!', so I asked you, 'Show me please!'. Then you said, 'If you confess to my great self, I’ll show you!'.
Such unimaginable scum.
Using the fireworks as bait, I had forced a kindergarten girl to 'confess'.
"Anyway, as long as you remember, that’s fine."
A-chan took out a wrinkled piece of paper from her pocket.
It seemed to be very old, and it was discolored everywhere.
When she opened it, I could see the clumsy text written with pencil.
★ Marriage Registration Form ★
Husband: Kidou Eita (Ta-kun). Stamp here:
Wife: Fuyuumi Ai (A-chan). Do the same here:
In a daze I spoke:
"What is this piece of paper?"
"As you can see, this is a marriage registration form."
This was just too unexpected!
"It's not 'Haa'. Didn’t we agree to stamp it ten years later, so today?"
"Isn't that a lie?!"
It was a lie. I definitely wouldn’t have agreed to this. Impossible!
If I had been scumbag to this level, I definitely couldn’t be saved! I should have just gone and killed myself!
"Come on, let’s stamp it. Our fingerprints should be good enough♪."
A-chan smiled sweetly and pushed the paper against my chest.
"How can you stamp this kind of thing?!"
"Why are you so reluctant all of a sudden?"
"B-B-But you have a boyfriend, right? What about Michel, Daigoro?"
A-chan tilted her head slight and simply said:
"About that, that is of course nothing but a lie."
"B-But didn’t you talk about him so enthusiastically?! So that was all a delusion?!"
"Fufu! I'm not trying to brag, but among all my abilities delusions are my specialty!"
But that really can't be called braggiiiiiiiiiing!
"Then you should have picked up a cooler sounding name from the start! What is Daigoro?! What era is that from?"
"Don’t say bad things about my dad’s name."
Then, her father’s name was…
"T-Then I guess there is no other way, we should just explain it to Masuzu and the rest clearly next time—"
"That I refuse!"
A-chan resolutely shook her head.
"Why?! There’s no reason to lie anymore."
"But it would be too embarrassing to just say, 'In reality, I don’t have a boyfriend'. Furthermore, being heralded as the Love Master feels quite good."
"WAAAH, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS WOMAN——————?!"
"True, if Ta-kun is willing to marry me, then I’ll break up with Michel."
"Hey, but isn't Michel your fictional, delusional boyfriend?"
When A-chan heard this, she 'hmph'd' right away, and gave that old smile.
"Remember this clearly, Ta-kun. In this world there is no woman who isn't a liar!"
"Even if you make it sound that cool, I won't let this go!"
Plus, she actually said the same thing as Masuzu!
"Ah— Enough! I've had enough! You’re not the A-chan that I remember! You’ve changed! Your brain has been poisoned by lovestruck-ness!"
"But aren't you just the same! Your girlfriend sits on top of you! Where did the unpopular but so confident Ta-kun go?!"
Saliva flew out my mouth as I retorted:
"How would I know?! How would I know?! I’ll just call you Fuyuumi! I definitely won't call you A-chan anymore!"
A-chan, no, Fuyuumi’s saliva also flew as she argued:
"If that’s the case, then I’ll just call you Kidou-kun! I don’t get it, I treat you so gently, but you just get carried away!"
"When were you gentle?!"
"I was gentle the entire time!"
"Oh, enough, I don’t even want to stay here anymore! I’m going back to study! I'll get engaged to my reference books!"
"Wait, are you trying to run now?! Wait there, you idiot!"
I ran full throttle down the hill, and Fuyuumi caught up to me waving her paper.
"Idiot! You Idiot! I really like you! Stamp the paper!"
"NEVER! I aaaaaabsolutely won’t ever stamp it!"
Incidentally, the fireworks festival continued, and the night sky blooming with huge flowers was very beautiful.
Ah, even though I didn’t have the time to watch!
Translator notes and references
- Geta: Wooden foot wear.
- Literally, a cedar tree.
- Fireworks sound effect.
- Taiko: A drum used on festivals.
- Tamaya: "Tamaya" and "Kagiya" are phrases specifically said to celebrate watching fireworks. Those two phrases are actually the name of old fireworks makers that helped to make fireworks popular in Japan.
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