OreShura: Volume 6.5 Chapter 5
#5: Childhood Friend’s Worry
That was something that happened at the end of May.
I—Harusaki Chiwa, have something I have to ask my childhood friend, Ei-kun, no matter what.
Ei-kun’s classmate who returned to Japan from overseas. With blue eyes and silver hair, like a beautiful woman from another world.
At first, I didn’t think much about her except for “whew—what a beautiful person—” or something along those lines; but I grew worried when I heard the words of my friend.
“If such a beautiful girl confesses to them, boys will definitely fall instantly.”
“If you fall for the same person as her, it’s going to be too hectic.”
…...Ei-kun should be fine, right?
He’s not someone who gets attracted based on looks alone, and he is deliberately contradictory; he might just say he’s “uninterested” just because others are saying she is beautiful. There’s no problem, Ei-kun will not fall for Natsukawa-san.
Even though I understand that, I can’t stop myself from worrying once I realized it.
During dinner, I hardened my resolution and asked him.
“Ei-kun, there’s someone called Natsukawa Masuzu in your class, right?”
Ei-kun sipped on his miso soup while nodding and answered “yes”.
That’s great to hear. I just realized my voice was slightly trembling.
“Isn’t she awesome! It’s just like she’s a princess. The guys in my class were all riled up about her, so I went and took a look, was I surprised!”
That was a lie. Actually, I was aware of her long before this, and she piqued my interest.
“Isn’t she really popular? in the two months since she joined our school, the confessions she has gotten are already in the two digits. I thought those were just fake rumors before I saw her in person, but now I think it’s true. Two digits.”
Ei-kun replied indifferently. He was busy chewing his handmade pickled cucumbers. This batch seemed to have come out well, he nodded repeatedly while chewing on them.
“What, Ei-kun, are you not interested? Are you giving up because she’s out of your league?”
“Not really. I just don’t like her that much.”
So that’s how it is.
As expected, Ei-kun doesn’t like Natsukawa-san.
“Ehehe~♪today’s rice is really delicious.”
“Not really, it’s the same rice as usual.”
Staring at my grinning face, Ei-kun made a weird face.
Why is he so blunt.
Well, I’m the one to blame, since I’m not telling him straight up.
However, I’m already releasing my love love beam; to not realize it at all, he’s amazing. In a sense.
—but, this might just be the best.
Because I’m happy enough for now.
I’m afraid it’ll turn sour if I take a step forward.
So, for now, in these three years of high school, it would be great to maintain the status quo with Ei-kun.
A few days after that.
Natsukawa Masuzu confessed to Eita, and completely pulverized my “naivety” into powder.
If i took out my courage slightly earlier and confessed before her, would the results have change?
Would the “Society for Bringing out your Maiden Self not exist then?
Although my time alone with Ei-kun decreased, I found a whole new aim.
It’s to achieve love, a happy dream that doesn’t lose to kendo.
Then, is this fine?
Did Natsukawa Masuzu help me?
I don’t know.
I can’t answer that.
Even so, no matter what, somehow, I’m together with Ei-kun today too.
However, the fact that he’s going out with Natsukawa did not change.
—how long will this go on for all of us?
Behind the school building after school.
The day is almost over. It’s about time to leave school. The basketball club that was dribbling beside the gym also looked like they were ready to go home; a voice saying “an evaluation of today’s activities...” can be heard through the wall.
Saying “Drenched girls are popular!” and pouring water on ourselves, it looks like our activity today, which doesn’t feel serious at all, has come to an end, but—
“Miharin”, Misora Miharu, who calls herself Ei-kun’s “younger sister”, stared at Natsukawa and shouted.
Natsukawa’s mouth slightly opened when she heard that; she stayed dumbfounded.
Well, if I were to say—to be honest, I don’t really understand what happened myself.
Although I can’t let my guard down against Miharin who appeared out of nowhere and continuously attacked Ei-kun, Natsukawa is the biggest enemy; the fact that she is my rival did not change. After all, she’s the “girlfriend”. Additionally, her venomous tongue, arrogance, and her attitude of not treating people as people. She always goes against other people. Ahh I really hate her!
But that Natsukawa didn’t say anything in return.
How unlike her.
Wouldn’t the usual Natsukawa Masuzu retort “demon” with “demon king”?
“......I’m leaving for today.”
Miharin turned her face and walked away. Just when Natsukawa looked like she was about to say something—
Ei-kun cut between both of them loudly.
He walked to the surprised Miharin, and placed the towel in his hand on her head.
“If you go back this soaked, you’ll catch a cold, you know?”
This. This smile. Ah come on, why is he showing some child other than me this face! And he always looks like he isn’t interested in love. Idiot.
Miharin’s eyes widened as she stared at Ei-kun. She looked like she didn’t know how to react. Mm, this reaction is quite surprising. I thought she would say “Thanks! I love onii-chan!” and embrace him.
Miharin hid her face behind the bath towel and ran off.
“Did I do something wrong?”
I tilted my head too. I thought she wasn’t someone who would be embarrassed at such a thing after she did all that.
Natsukawa didn’t utter a single word while she stared at Miharin. As the wind blew across the field, her silver hair fluttered in the wind, her blue eyes reflecting the colours of the setting Sun. Looking at her like this, she’s really beautiful. I feel bitter.
“......demon huh, it’s been a long time since someone called me that.”
Although she said it in a low voice, I heard everything clearly.
Ei-kun looked as if he didn’t hear anything—
“What’s wrong, Masuzu?”
“Nothing? Nothing at all.”
Natsukawa shook her head and smiled. However, for some reason, she looked lacking in energy.
Looks like Masuzu was once called a “demon”.
Well, with her personality, it’s not surprising that she has a lot of enemies, but it shouldn’t be as bad as being called a “demon”. As long as she lives normally, it’s not something you would say often.
The question is, who said that to her?
Dinner for today is salted and grilled horse mackerel, cold tofu, okra and broad bean in black vinegar, and also clam miso soup.
Looking at the dishes laid out on the table, I stood up.
“......hey, where’s the meat?”
“There’s none for today.”
“Ei-kun you demonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!”
I want to correct what I said in the evening.
Even if you live normally, it can still be said easily.
“Why? Why is there no meat? We’ll get summer heat, you know? There won’t be enough vitamin power, you know?”
“Endure it with the grilled mackerel power.”
“That’s impossible! That’s a fish!”
“Don’t look down on those who breath through gills.”
I unwillingly dragged myself to the table, and handed Ei-kun my plate.
“Chiwa has hated fish ever since a long time ago huh.”
“It only applies to grilled fish, you know? I like sashimi and sushi after all.”
“It’s because of that right, you think picking out the bones are a pain.”
As expected of my childhood friend, right on the mark.
“Because I can’t pick them out well. If there are some small bones left, they’ll prick at the inside of my mouth and get stuck in my throat.”
“That’s because you’re eating too fast. Starting from the tail, you pull out the bones in the body like this. Look.”
Ei-kun picked out the bones from the mackerel splendidly.
“But Ei-kun disliked eating fish before as well, right?”
“Because I cook a lot, I got used to it.”
“Here, it’s done,” said Ei-kun as he returned my plate to me.
I took the plate from him and instantly stuffed the mackerel into my mouth after saying “let’s eat.”. The moderately salty taste and fish fat gently spread through my mouth.
“How’s it? Is it good?”
“I told you right? To not eat it just because there are bones is a waste.”
Ei-kun smiled, looking satisfied, sipping on the clam miso soup.
That’s wrong, Ei-kun.
The reason this fish tastes good is because Ei-kun grilled it, and Ei-kun picked the bones out for me.
“? Did you say anything, Chiwa?”
“Mm? No—thing at all.”
I smiled and brushed aside the question, sipping on the miso soup.
At that moment, the phone in my skirt pocket rang. My mail tone.
“It’s fine, read it.”
After apologizing, I took out my phone. It’s from an unfamiliar email address.
As I was wondering if it was spam, I saw the subject “This is Miharu♥”
Miharu, as in Misora Miharu?
“Hey Ei-kun, did you give Miharin my email address?”
“Ah, speaking of that, she asked me for it before.”
Ei-kun nodded carefreely.
“Why, is it bad that I gave it to her?”
“Mm, it’s not that it’s bad.”
The content was “I have something to tell you after class tomorrow”, with the location and time specified.
“What’s in the email?”
“She’s asking to meet up with me tomorrow, just the two of us.”
Ei-kun didn’t ask anything after saying “eh”.
What does she want to talk about?
I can understand if she called Natsukawa out, but why me?
Is it something like working together to defeat Natsukawa?
If that’s the case, I look forward to it.
The next day, I went to the specified location after school.
It’s a cafe located in a high class residential area near Fafnir Private High School for Girls. It’s a cafe with a classy atmosphere; beautiful teacups and saucers decorate the back of the counter. The customers were mostly rich looking old ladies and salarymen staring at their smartphones; the few students were all wearing a uniform I’ve never seen before. I just stood at the entrance without moving.
“Chiwa-sa—n, over here♪”
Miharin waved at me from her box seat deep inside the café; I felt relieved.
However, I instantly turned nervous again.
“Since Ei-kun trusts her, I trust her too,”—I said that to Natsukawa before.
Doubting her a little should be fine. I don’t know what she is planning after all.
I sat opposite to Miharin, looking displeased. …...what’s this, the sofa is too soft! My butt is sinking into it! Let’s look at the menu. The coffee is expensive! 800 yen!? I can eat a bowl of ramen with this!
Although I was continuously surprised, I didn’t let it show on my face. I can’t let her look down on me here!
“Why did you call me out so suddenly?”
“Ehehe. Actually, I have a secret to tell you.”
Miharin said while grinning.
I looked at her from the corner of my eye.
“Let me say this first, I’m not a simple girl that can be fooled that easily!”
“Ah, today is Miharu’s treat. The cakes here are very delicious♥”
Miharin handed over a menu with photos in it, and I took it from her. Wow♪ there are really a lot of cute cakes! Almond chocolate, strawberry tart, baked cheese cake should be nice too, wow what’s this cherry blossom tart! Cherry blossom? Is there cherry blossom in it? Is that a tart!?
“I’ve decided! A cherry blossom tart please!”
Just as I pointed at the item on the menu, Miharin placed a photo on it.
Ei-kun was in it.
Natsukawa was in it too.
The location looks like an alley. There’s a utility pole and a grey brick wall behind them. Both of them were locked in an embrace, their lips touching.
And Natsukawa’s lips.
Where’s the cherry blossom tart?
Not that, their lips are pressed together, huh? Hold on?
Isn’t this what they call “kissing”?
I picked up the picture. My fingers were trembling. I couldn’t hold it well.
I moved my face closer to the photo, taking another look.
It’s definitely Ei-kun and Natsukawa. There’s no mistaking it.
Why are they kissing?
Somewhere in my heart, a voice that said “isn’t it because they are lovers?” appeared.
However, I don’t accept it.
I can’t accept it.
“Masuzu-san sent me this photo through email yesterday.”
Miharin was right in front of me, but her voice seemed to be coming from far away.
“Although she didn’t write anything, I think she’s trying to say ‘keep your hands away from onii-chan’.”
For Masuzu, this feels a bit too roundabout.
However, I can’t say that she would not do such a thing; it’s a strange line.
“But, doesn’t it seem like onii-chan hates it?”
I only realized that after she said it. Ei-kun’s eyebrows are knitted in a “V” shape. It’s like he’s saying “what’s she doing!”. I can understand that.
“Right? It does feel like Masuzu-san is forcing herself on him.”
Miharin whispered in my ear.
“Can it be that she has some dirt on onii-chan?”
“You’re saying that she’s forcing him to go out with her?”
“Since we’re talking about that Masuzu-san, I don’t think this is entirely impossible. It’s worth confirming.”
This is the devil’s whisper.
“Temptation” —might be more accurate.
Because, it’ll be great if what Miharin said is true,
Ei-kun isn’t really in love with Natsukawa.
He’s only forced to go out with her because she has some dirt on him, but he doesn’t like her.
If that’s the case, how great would it be.
If their relationship is fake, this time, I will—
“I’ll ask Natsukawa during club activities tomorrow.”
I said while placing the photo in my pocket.
Miharin lowered her head.
“I’m counting on you. The only person who can save onii-chan is the childhood friend, Chiwa-san.”
“Leave it to me!”
I’m starting to burn.
The cherry blossom tart was already thrown out of my thoughts. How should I ask Natsukawa tomorrow? I started simulating possible scenarios in my brain.
This time, I’ll definitely take back Ei-kun with these hands of mine!
I waited for school to end.
I don’t know what will happen to the classes if we start arguing, so I didn’t go over during breaktime.
I instantly ran out of class once the last homeroom ended, and headed to the clubroom. Since Natsukawa always gets there earlier than me, it should be faster to go to the clubroom than go to class 1.
As eexpected, Natsukawa was already at the clubroom, sipping on her tea. Ei-kun was there too, his assignments and notes spread across the table.
“What’s wrong, your face looks scary.”
Looking at me trying to catch my breath, Ei-kun was taken aback.
“I’m going to have a girls’ talk with Masuzu, so Ei-kun, please leave immediately.”
Although I tried to say it like normal, it came out a lot louder than expected.
Natsukawa seemed to have noticed something; she stared at me without saying anything.
“I-I understand. I’ll go home early today.”
Although Ei-kun looked slightly worried, he left after saying “don’t fight, okay—?”.
Only the two of us remained.
I leaned on the window, while Masuzu stood up and faced me, her silver hair fluttering.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
I shoved the photo at Natsukawa’s face.
Natsukawa took the photo, her eyes slowly widening.
“This photo, why?”
“That’s my line! What are you trying to do?”
Natsukawa stared at the photo for a while, keeping her silence.
Finally, she heaved a huge sigh and shrugged her shoulders.
“It’s fine right, it’s just a kiss. Because we are lovers.”
“But this looks like Natsukawa is forcing him to kiss!”
If it was usual, she would retort with a long explanation, but Natsukawa didn’t say anything.
Somewhere in my heart, I was thinking “would Natsukawa do this kind of thing?”, but at this very moment, my doubt was confirmed. She is definitely hiding something.
“I thought about it before, but doesn’t Natsukawa and Ei-kun’s relationship feel strange?”
“Strange, as in?”
“It’s like you’re faking it.”
“......there’s no way...”
“If that’s the case, why do you need to force yourself on him! You’re lovers, right?”
Natsukawa didn’t reply.
In its place was a huge sigh.
“Because, if I don’t do that—”
“What happens if you don’t?”
“Who knows how long that cowardly Eita-kun will take to kiss me.”
“That’s definitely true!”
I can’t help but agree with her. And with strength too.
“Should I say he’s cowardly, or should I say he’s dense…...isn’t Harusaki-san having it hard too?”
I repeatedly slammed the table.
“I’m already releasing my love love beam, but he’s not realizing at all…..wait what are you making me say!?”
Ahh, how dangerous. It almost slipped my mouth!
Natsukawa opened her mouth with a “huh”.
I thought she was finally going to say something, this womannnnnn!
“Who are you calling a thieving cat! You’re wrong! Ei-kun was mine to begin with!”
I shook her shoulders with all my might.
Natsukawa rolled her eyes and pointed behind me.
“Not that, I’m talking about that.”
She pointed at the window.
The school back gate can be slightly seen from here. A girl wearing the Fafnir Private Girls’ Middle School uniform was walking out holding the hand of a male student from our school.
The male student is Ei-kun, who just left the club room. I can tell just by looking at his back.
About the girl, I can’t tell who she is from her back, but if she’s wearing that uniform—
Natsukawa and I yelled at the same moment.
As if she knew we were looking at her, Misora Miharu turned to us and stuck out her tongue and made a “blehh” face.
Erm, this is, this means, that……
Natsukawa sounded as if she was amazed at me, finishing me off.
“You got tricked, Harusaki-san.”
Translator notes and references
- Amanojaku, someone who argues for the sake of arguing.
- This is a very disapproving “mm”.
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