Aren’t You Too Sweet Salt-God Sato-San? - V2 Chapter 3
Chapter 3 : If you’re next to me
“Hey Ren, why don’t we go for a swim until everyone arrives?”
I said to Ren after I finished setting up the sheet on the beach crowded with tourists ready for swimming.
Ren, who was sprawled on the sheet under parasol raise a dubious voice, saying [ah?].
Both Ren and I wore surf shorts, the so-called “sea pants,” and we were both ready to swim, but ……. it seems that Ren was not keen on the idea.
“Annoying, if you want to swim then you can go alone”
Ren replied bluntly and once again sprawled on the sheet.
…….what the h**l is that? Even though he was in an appearance that looked like he would begin to surf at any time, with a necklace on his neck and misanga(friendship band) on foot, but the reply he gave was dry.
“We’re finally on the beach, let’s swim”
“I don’t want to”
“Do something about that”
“What’s that, you are too persistent. If you are that much embarrassed to go swimming alone then why don’t you just wait for the girls?”
I stammer. Just that, I just can’t do that.
The reason I’m so eager to swim, it’s true purpose is,
“Because you know, Sato-San is coming in a swimsuit from now on, right? If I don’t distract myself with other things, I will……!”
I spoke honestly and with determination, but what came back was ignorance. I would have felt a bit of relief if what came after it was his usual “virgin.”
……..However, there was one thing that stuck with me about his overly dry response.
I crouched down next to Ren and ask him,
“Aren’t you in a bad mood today, Ren?”
“…….just your imagination”
Ren turned over as if to escape from my gaze.
Ren has a bad mouthed personality, not a person that can be praised but although imperfect, he is my best friend.
By no means our friendship is short. And now, my best friend is sprawled under a parasol, clearly different from usual.
What’s wrong? I was just about to ask him that.
Suddenly, I was hit with a powerful spray of water on my face.
It was so sudden that I couldn’t understand what was happening, and I had to stare blankly.
“Geho geho…… Salty….sea water..”
“Ahahaha, it hit”
As I was writhing in agony from the Salty bitter taste that assailed my mouth , a familiar and lively laugh reached my ears.
When I look at it一一it was just as I thought, there was Shizuku-san and Mayo-san holding a water gun.
“W-what are you doing out of blue, Shizuku-san! It even entered my nose!”
“Fu-fu, it’s not the time to care about minor details, Sota-kun. Look at us–“
I turn to look at Shizuku-san while enduring the tears that’s swelling up due to the pungent feeling inside my nose.
In front of my eyes is of course, Shizuku-san and Mayo-san in swimsuits standing there.
As characteristic of Shizuku-san, she is wearing a sporty denim high neck bikini. Her body is well toned, and her smile is like a sunflower, giving her a very lively impression.
Mayo-san, on the other hand, went in a different direction, wearing a halter-neck bikini and a flowery pareo.
Her skin looked translucent and delicate under the shining sun, and her feminine bulge, hidden by the pareo swaying in the sea breeze, It’s a very adult atmosphere.
——-I would like to explain that both Mayo-san and Shizuku-san are quite beautiful by general standards. Moreover they have figures that can even outshine models. At the very least, they would clearly stand out at a beach in the countryside.
Shizuku-san and Mayo-san walked up to here and bent forward as if they had arranged it beforehand, attracting the gaze of men on the way.
And with an upturned eye and provocative way, they asked me,
“What do you think about our swimsuits?”
“I think both of you look good on them”
I thought I had given my honest and straightforward opinion.
However, just as I replied that, both Shizuku-san and Mayo-san blatantly turned sullen, and Shizuku-san even quickly held up the water gun she had hidden behind her back.
And once again, I was splashed in the face with seawater.
N-nose!? Straight in, nose……!
“Sota-kun! It’s not the reaction I was expecting!”
“Wonderful! I was pretty confident, but I think I lost my confidence a little.”
“It would be boring if you don’t hurry up!”
“You are too unreasonable…..”
Maiden’s heart is too profound………..
While I was deeply impressed, someone suddenly tapped on my shoulder from behind.
What’s this time……..?
I turned around slowly, pinching the base of my nose.
Here upon was the Rinka-chan who was fidgeting restlessly.
——–She was black off-shoulder bikini.
Rinka-chan’s pretty shoulders are boldly exposed, and frill rippen around her modest chest that was modest compared to Shizuku-san or Mayo-san.
The mature black bikini contrasted with her snow-white skin, that……how should I say this but the swimsuit she was wearing was a quiet over reaching for a junior highschool student.
“Umm…………this is the swimsuit picked up by Mayo-san, Oshio-kun……”
Rinka-chan glanced at me, embarrassed, and squeezed out the next words.
“……….How is it?”
Rinka-chan looked at me with upturned eyes, but not as provocatively as Shizuku-san or Mayo-san, more like an anxious gaze.
After a while of silence, I smiled and answered.
“一一一it looks really good on you”
After saying that, I remembered that Shizuku-san and Mayo-san got mad at me for it earlier…….
Hearing this, Rinka-chan froze up in befuddlement though after a while she returned to her mind,
“……..I-I see……thank you very much…..”
I don’t know what she was thanking me for, but whatever it was, she said it and ran off quickly, hiding behind Mayo-san.
“Yo–shi, Yo—shi, you did well Rinka-chan. It suits you”
Rinka-chan is patted on the head by Mayo for some kind of great effort.
When I had a question mark floating inside my head at the sequence of events, Shizuku-san said with an astonished voice tinged with admiration,
“Sota-kun is really invincible against anyone except Koharu-chan, right?”
“……..I don’t really understand what you are trying to say”
“Humph, you seem composed right now but I wonder if you can preserve your same composure as usual in front of Sato-San wearing swimsuit”
I ended up shouting loudly when I heard the word Sato-San and swimsuit.
Shizuku-san laughed mischievously, pleased with the expected expression.
“Oops—, Sota-kun seems like your expectations have already been raised. For your information, Koharu-chan swimsuit has been selected by Mayo”
“I have chosen it”, said Mayo-san.
she said, her smile suggesting that she was quite confident.
“I’ll show you as you wish, Fake-handsome! Let’s show you Sato-San! In her swimsuit!
As if she were the host of a show, Shizuku-san announced in a high-pitched voice.
I turned back to the direction Shizuku-san was pointing, almost as if I’d been bumped off.
Just for once, I want to make an excuse here, I’m not motivated by simple ulterior motives.
I’m motivated “by a complicated” ulterior motive.
I used to “dream” about Sato-san in her casual clothes, but I’ve never seen her in a swimsuit, not even in my dreams, and I can’t imagine my favorite person in a swimsuit. It’s too unknown to me. So now I don’t even know what I’m thinking anymore.
My head is filled with various emotion such as anticipation or shame, on the contrary I feel like I’m falling into panic.
However, there is one thing I know for sure.
——–I want to see! Sato-San in her swimsuit!
With that one thought in mind, I opened my eyes to burn the image of Sato-san in her swimsuit, but…..
“Sato-San…..where is she?”
Shizuku-san looks back while letting out a stupid voice.
In the direction she was watching was only the wide sandy beach. Neither Sato-San nor her shadow can be was anywhere to be seen.
“Huh? Koharu-chan disappeared!”
“Huh-what? Didn’t we come together just a while ago……?”
“You’re kidding, right? You couldn’t have gotten separated in such a short time?”
Continuing from Shizuku-san, Rinka-chan and Mayo-san began to look around restlessly.
What? No way, Sato-san is really lost!!
I turned around and paled.
——–I think I’ve mentioned before that Midorikawa is a famous swimming spot that attracts tourists from outside the prefecture.
Of course, most of them are families, couples, or groups of students who genuinely enjoy swimming, but not everyone is like that.
And just like Murasaki-san said, it’s not impossible for bad people to aim at this place with bad intentions.
The more I thought about Sato-San being entangled among such fellows, the more frustrated I felt as if the bottom of my head was burning.
In such a situation, the smartphone I had clasped tightly on my hand vibrated.
“Who’s at this time…..”
Unable to hide my frustration, I looked at the notification screen on my phone……..and saw a message that read, “You have received a new sticker from Sato Koharu.
“What? Did you find Koharu-chan?”
Just as I said her name while holding the smartphone, the three girls came rushing in.
N-No, I just received a sticker from Sato-San”
“…. sticker?” Said Mayo-san, tilting her head.
“A-anyway please open the chatroom, Oshio-san!”
Rinka-chan urge me to check.
With my trembling hand, I clicked on the notification screen, switching to the chatroom of Sato-San…..
What appeared in the chat room was the nostalgic Pomeranian sticker hiding it’s face with it’s small paw, embarrassed.
…………what does it mean?
I’m sure the three of them, huddled together and looking at my little phone, felt the same way. They all freeze up, looking at the screen.
In the midst of such a strange moment, I spotted something in the corner of my eye.
Behind the mossy rock a little separated from the place we are in, beyond my line of sight was a creature that can’t be described by anything but mysterious.
If I have to say in bold terms, giant barnacle……..?
Of course it’s not a barnacle. If I look closely, I can see that it was a woman crouched down on the spot, her whole body wrapped in a towel.
Perhaps, it’s Sato-San? I try to send a short message online to Sato-San.
Immediately after that, it showed a read mark and soon it was replied with a sticker.
…….it was a sticker of Pomeranian nodding.
My sigh overlapped with the sigh of Shizuku-san and Mayo-san.
“It’s impossible, please stop, please stop pulling me”
In the beach of Midorikawa, Sato-San’s awfully cold voice reverberates.
Until now, my attention that has been drawn to Mayo-san and Shizuku-san, changed into a curiosity one.
If I were in their shoes, I would have seen this scene.
The sight of an unidentified creature wrapped completely in a towel, its entire body below the forehead, about to be ripped off its towel shell and desperately resisting, is…….
“*Gasp*……haaa….stop it already! Where is Koharu-chan getting that much power!”
After a few minutes of fighting with the barnacles, Shizuku-san finally gave up and sprawled on the beach on her back in 大 shape.
Sato-San was still covered as a barnacle. As expected, Mayo was troubled by this.
“…….. Koharu-chan, you will not be able to play in the sea at this rate”
“Don’t worry about me. Please by all means, have great time in swimming”
A muffled voice came from under the towel. Seeing her strange way of speaking and her reaction, Mayo-san apparently changed her way of approach. She crouched down beside Sato-San and said in a very gentle voice.
“Are you sure you don’t want Sota to see you in your swimsuit? Even when I went to the trouble of picking it out for you.”
At this point, Sato-san’s shoulders twitched
Regrettably, I couldn’t see what kind of expression Sato-San is making under the towel since she’s in the barnacle shape but anyway, she paused for a while as if in thought and then said —-
“I’m really sorry for causing trouble to Mayo-san but it’s impossible, I will die of embarrassment.”
“I guess it’s not good”
As expected, Mayo-san seemed to be out of it and shrugged her shoulders in annoyance. I didn’t expect the salty Sato-san to reappear in a place like this……
“Yeah, though she has try her swimsuit at my store”
“……. that’s probably because it wasn’t seen by anyone else other than Mayo-san”
I was too preoccupied with the fact that Sato-San was wearing a bathing suit, but if I think about it calmly, yes.
It’s too high a hurdle for Sato-San to expose her skin in public, who is extremely shy. Most likely am not, she must have gathered a lot of courage to show the swimsuit to Mayo-san. I wonder what Sato-San did in her pool class.
I glanced at Sato-san while thinking about something unimportant.
She was still shaking slightly in a barnacle state.
“I don’t want to expose my dirty skin to the public. Please don’t worry about me. I will look after our slight belongings here….”
It wasn’t her Salty mode anymore, she was completely in subservient mode.
Anyway, the situation doesn’t seem very good.
Mayo-san and Shizuku-san hold their heads in hands wondering what they should do while Rinka-chan takes a heavy sigh in amazement. As for Ren, he disappeared without anyone knowing when. That guy is behaving strangely today.
Although not much, the atmosphere doesn’t look like where you can just say “let’s play with everyone in the sea from here!”
Of course, Sato-San herself has perceived the unpleasant atmosphere flowing, and the self-loathing made her dive even deeper into the shell of her towel.
Amidst the vicious cycle of what should we do,
“……..I’m really sorry”
Sato-San abruptly spilled out her words that were awfully frail and filled with anxiety.
It was as if we had completely reverted back to the time we first encountered each other……
“We have finally come to enjoy the beach, so there’s no need to push yourself”
Before I could even think about it, I was snuggling up to her. Thereupon her shoulders trembled at once but she still continues her barnacle state as before.
“I’m sorry Oshio-san, even though you took trouble to invite me and yet I……”
Her voice quivered as she spoke. It’s Sato-San we are talking about. It must have taken a lot of courage for her to come to such a crowded beach in a swimsuit, even through a towel. I’m sure she must be unbearably embarrassed.
But that’s why I’m happy.
“It’s not about me. I invited Sato-san because I wanted to go to the beach with you”
Of course, I also wanted to go to the beach and play with my friends Ren, Rinka-chan, Shizuku-san and Mayo-san.
But after all, it was Sato-san, not anyone else, that I wanted to invite.
“That’s why, If Sato-San doesn’t want to play in the sea, I will stay with you here.”
“——-N-No, you can’t do that”
With a *Plop* sound, Sato-San sticks out her head from the shell of a towel.
I don’t know why but I suddenly feel like I am seeing Sato-San face after a long time.
While I was thinking that, she looks at me,
And for some reason, her cheeks flushed away and she averted her eyes.
I tilt my head at the reaction that was different from what I had expected……..and immediately realised the true meaning of it.
When I think about how she was conscious of her swimsuit, I realised I was still in my sea surf pants and on top of that, I had only put on a thin undershirt.
In short, it was a swimsuit.
And when I got that kind of reaction, I started to feel embarrassed and just as I averted my face without thinking,…..
My side face was splashed with water. I’m sure it must be Shizuku-san again.
“Hey, both of you guys! It’s not time to get embarrassed! Else the discussion will not advance!”
It’s just as she said.
I shook my head, scattering the water droplets just like a dog and once again turned to look at Sato-San’s face from front.
Thanks to Shizuku-san, I was able to calm down luckily and once again repeat that line.
“I will stay here”
“T-that’s not good……. Oshio-kun has come to your long awaited beach, if you don’t play around that’s…….”
“Just being like this is enough for me to enjoy it.”
“…….you don’t need to mind me…”
And Sato-san once again sank her face in her shell of tower till her nose.
……… Sato-san this time is much more stubborn.
It can’t be helped, although I don’t want to say this but I will have to use my back hand.
I took a deep breath and begin to speak,
“Sato-San, the truth is just until a while ago, I couldn’t swim”
Sato-san seemed to be taken aback by my sudden confession.
She turned to look at my face from the side with her eyes open wide in surprise.
As soon as I said so, I felt a rush of embarrassment and regret that I shouldn’t have said anything, so I laughed to cover it up.
“To be accurate, I couldn’t swim in the sea though”
I was at a loss for words here and I feel like my face is about to burst into flames with shame.
However I confirmed my intention and spun next words,
“……. isn’t it s-scary? The sea I mean”
After saying it quickly, I turn to look at Sato-San fearfully.
She was looking towards with her mouth open agape.
I stare at her eyes that seem to be sucking me in, making me more and more unable to control myself and without waiting for Sato-San’s reaction, I continue to speak.
“Because! I am scared! I couldn’t see anything inside the sea! I don’t know what’s in there”
At the very least, I hope she can interject between…..
For a short while, I continued to stare at Sato-San’s squirrel like big eyes without saying anything…..and finally gave up.
“I, apparently…….I used to come to Midorikawa together with my father when my mother was alive and well. Anyway, my memories are still vague because I was too young but there’s one incident that I remember vividly…..”
Yes, that was an incident. Just recalling that sent the shiver down my spine.
It was impossible to forget, it was at the end of summer…..
“Do you know Sato-San…….that you must not go to the sea after the obon festival?”
“Y-yes…..I have heard about it. T-that you will be taken along by a dead person…….. huh? d-don’t tell me that…..”
Sato-San’s face turned pale in the blink of an eye.
I can’t pinpoint what but I guess she’s having a terrible misunderstanding here.
“Well, there’s that theory but there’s a more proper basis behind it. During obon festival, the rip current……..the tidal current changes, making it easier to reach offshore and water temperature also drop later,…..and then j-jellyfish appears”
Even though a lot of time has passed since then, trauma is still trauma. I was slightly reluctant to even mention it.
Seeing my reaction, Sato-San seems like she have guessed where this story is going,
“Perhaps, you were stinged? By jellyfish…..”
“……It was my father”
I shuddered as I said this.
There’s no way I can forget this ever. The sight of my father suddenly screaming wildly was akin to a roar and stumbling around on the beach.
Fortunately, the jellyfish was not very toxic and left no scars other than a few wormy sores, but my dad was such a pain with that look.
“………Try to imagine, that muscle daruma was rolling on the ground while screaming loudly as if it was the end of the world. In addition, my mother and grandmother Kanami poured vinegar all over him…….At that time, I really thought my father was dead.”
Seems like she honestly tried to imagine it.
Sato-San, whose expressions were downcast until now, could not help but spurt out.
“S-sorry, Oshio-kun. Even though your father was in a lot of trouble….I…..”
“No, it was really awful, after that my father comes to hate sea and even I stayed away from sea for a while because of the trauma it had inflicted on me, though I’m not that much traumatized unlike before”
Sato-San unnaturally averted her eyes to the other side and her shoulders were quivering bit by bit. I can see that she is trying to hold back her laughter.
And when I turned around unintentionally, the three girls who had been listening in on the conversation were all shaking their shoulders and holding in their laughter.
Ahh, so embarrassing! That’s why I didn’t want to say that!
I felt my face heat up from embarrassment so I coughed to cover it up…..
“But I don’t dislike looking at the ocean from a distance like this.”
When I said this, Sato-San stopped laughing and turned around to look at me.
I smiled back at her and said, “Look at that,” pointing to the ocean.
She turned to look at sea just as I said一一
And raised her voice in admiration at the scene unfolding in front of her eyes.
The crystal clear emerald green sea returned the midsummer sunshine, and the clear blue sky blended with the green of the sea beyond the horizon.
Just listening to the distant cries of seagulls and the gentle murmur of the waves makes me forget the passage of time.
I was really happy from hearing the word that spill’s out from her.
The scenery that cleanses your heart just by looking at it…… that’s my unreplaceable treasure and the treasure that I wanted to show to Sato-San and not others.
“Grandma Kanami often used to take me for a stroll. She would always take me along the same route, all the way around the coast, and at the end she would buy me a soft-serve ice cream at the roadside station there….. Scenery that was always near me. I just loved it so much, that’s why…..”
Saying that much, I smiled at Sato-San.
“一that’s why I’m having more than enough fun just by looking at scenery I love so much together with Sato-San”
In the beginning, there was a little bit of silence.
She looked straight at me in silence, her wide-eyed, black eyes gleaming like a jewel, returning the sparkle of the ocean.
Once again, it was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but be fascinated by her.
After we both stared at each other like that for a while,
Just as I was wondering at the meaningless words spun by Sato-San as her mouth opened and closed repeatedly like goldfish, her well ordered face was dyed in deep blush to the tip of her eyes.
And then, with a plop.
The head that had been sticking out of the shell retracted vigorously, and Sato-san transformed into a Towel barnaclisation again.
It’s strange, the situation has gone backwards.
No, on the contrary, I feel like she has gone even deeper than before.
When I turned around to look at the three girls behind me……
For some reason all three of them were blushing together and none of them tried to look toward me.
“What is it Shizuku-san?”
“Did Sota-kun always say stuff like this to Koharu-chan?”
“What do you mean by stuff like this….?”
The one who said in a hopeless manner was Mayo-san. As usual, she was still smiling, giving a maturish vibe but even so, she wasn’t looking at me and Rinka was stubbornly keeping her face down.
“Airhead Sota 100%”
These were the words of Shizuku-san. I didn’t get the meaning but I’m sure it must be some kind of abuse….
Anyway, Being like this is definitely not good!
I once again called out for her who is still confiding herself in a towel shell. Hearing that, Sato-San slowly took her head out of towel shell to look at the situation
The tone of voice is a little strange but I will ignore that for now!
I stood up abruptly and reached out my hand to her.
“There are lots of ways to enjoy, even if you don’t go to sea or wear swimsuit”
In beginning she was still in half-doubt half-suspicious but eventually, she accepted my hand timidly and stood up,
“If you says so……..Oshio-kun”
[ [ [ Ohh ] ] ]
At this, even other three girls raised their voice
As expected she was still in her towel form and this time she looked just like a paper doll(Teri Teri bozu) but compared to her barnacle state, it was a significant improvement.
I felt deeply moved for some reason but I put off my sentiments for now and began to count the number of people.
“I, Sato-San, Mayo-san, Shizuku-san, Rinka-chan and since Ren isn’t here, then we are exactly five people huh……..ok, it’s all right.”
“Sota-kun, what are you planning to do?”
The first one to speak was Mayo-san. Honestly, this person is really good in her judgement.
“I’m sorry, can everyone follow me here, there’s something I want to try. Sato-San, let’s go.”
Saying that, I rushed off towards the sea while pulling Sato-San hold.
“What what? Are you going to do something interesting?”
“Oshio-san! Please say something before you start running!”
Despite saying this and that, the other three followed after us without asking why.
However, as soon as we got closer to the sea, even Sato-san started to panic.
“O-Oshio-kun, my towel got wet!”
I cut off her anxious words midway and led her to the edge of the waves.
After a few splashes, I stopped in the shallows where the waves were just reaching my ankles.
I wonder if she was thinking I will drag her into the ocean by force? Sato-San’s whole body was stiffened until now but her face soon turned to one of bliss feeling the warmth of the waves slipping through the crevice of her beach sandals.
Sato-San looked down at her feet and murmured.
Just by looking at her childlike innocence side profile, I feel satisfaction but……
“You aren’t going to say that this is the end, right? Sota-kun”
But it seems like Shizuku-san doesn’t share the same thought and charging her water gun grandiosely, she laughed mischievously.
…….. isn’t she just finding an excuse to shoot at me? While thinking about that, I turned to everyone and said,
“Then everyone, form a circle and make a peace sign. Sato-san too”
“Peace sign? L-like this?”
Tilting her small neck, Sato-san held the towel with one hand and brought her other hand close to her face to make a “peace sign.”
I was almost fainted by the overly cute gesture that was unleashed without any prior warning, wrong, that’s not the point. No, of course I have burned this into my retina but that’s not it.
“Y-yes……then point that piece sign downward”
“Ohoho!~ I see!”
Shizuku-san, who was standing next to Sato-san, perhaps realised what I’m trying to do and pointed her peace sign downward.
“I see, that’s what you want to do”
“…….you have unexpectedly thought of such childish thing, Oshio-kun”
Subsequently Mayo-san and then Rinka-chan while saying things that pricks my heart walked up to our side and points down the peace sign.
“Yes, Sato-San too”
Finally Sato-San also made a peace sign downward nervously and with this we made a circle of five people lined together.
Just as I was about to give Sato-san the phone, someone else interjected,
“This is so annoying! Yes, say cheese!”
Before I knew it, Shizuku-san, who was holding the phone high above her head with her other hand, said in a high-pitched voice.
“Ah, wait a minute, sa……..!”
I tried to stop her but to no avail and next moment, a *click* sound rang from Shizuku-san’s smartphone.
I said in displeasure,
“I was going to let Sato-san take the picture, but ……”
“It doesn’t matter who takes it~~~”
You aren’t being mature at all. Shizuku-san San laughed mischievously, holding the smartphone in her hand.
On the other hand, a question mark sign float on top of Sato-san’s head who still didn’t know what had happened.
To Sato-San, Shizuku-san held out her smartphone and said,
“See, this is what Sota-kun wanted to show Koharu-chan!”
“The thing he wanted to show me….?”
All five of us in the circle, including Sato-san, looked into the display of the phone.
There was a “star” floating in the background with the glitter of the waves.
Sato-san muttered as she looked into the phone and then fell silent.
—–More precisely, five people attaching peace signs and forming a shadow of a star is a pretty old technique. It’s not that unusual nowadays.
But still, Sato-san was staring at the image like a child who has been given a toy for the first time.
As I looked at her serious face, I felt a creep and laughed and said, trying to cover up my feelings.
“S-Sea is a pretty good photo spot. If it’s only about taking photos, you can do so even without a swimsuit, and I also know how to take them, so if Sato-san is interested…..”
My heart skipped a beat when she called out my name in a clear voice. When u looked at her, she was smiling.
Amidst the dazzling light connected to the horizon, a smile was blooming in Sato-san’s face like a sunflower.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her anymore, just because she was smiling at me.
My heart’s began to ring loudly as my head is dyed white by the midsummer sun.
Her tips of hair flutter in the sea breeze, her eyes so fascinating that can suck you in and then, her lips slowly open. Her every move flowed in slow motion,
“Thank you Oshio-kun. I’m really glad that I came with you to sea……ahh!”
In an instant.
In a world where everything moves in slow motion, Sato-san’s body lurched backwards.
In the middle of dancing waves that were shining glimmeringly, everyone’s dumbfounded voice overlapped with each other.
No one was expecting such a turn of events.
No one could have predicted that Sato-san would be scooped up by the incoming waves—–
The accident was so unexpected that my thoughts froze for a moment, but I jumped out of the water almost as if I was being bounced.
And I was somehow able to catch Sato-San who was still falling behind.
…….Speaking of which, something like that has happened before.
In the slow-moving time, I vaguely thought of such a thing, but in the next moment, it all disappeared from my mind.
And the reason of that was,
Slowly, the towel that wrapped around Sato-San loosen, like the petals of a flower opening.
Although this time only lasted for a few seconds, for me, these few seconds felt like an eternity.
Because, Sato-san in my arms was wearing a swimsuit.
A simple white frilly swimsuit—-it’s not particularly any new design.
But the only thing I was sure of was that there was probably no other swimsuit in the world that would look better on Sato-San than this one.
After that conviction, an overwhelming amount of information came flooding in.
Sato-San’s white, thin arms, her slim and elegant shoulder, her swollen chest, her beautiful abdomen, her soft thighs……… As everything jumped into my vision at once, my mind burst out at the large amount of information, causing me to stop completely thinking.
Huh, speaking of which, I’m currently holding her without a towel, then that soft thing is…..
I heard a sound like a thin intake of breath coming from Sato-san’s mouth.
When I looked down at her, I saw that her face was bright red to an unbelievable point, her eyes were rolling around in circles and her body was as stiff as if I’m holding an iron, “hyu-hyu-hyu….” And she was leaking breath out of her mouth like an Steam engine.
Inside of my blank head, “ahh, what an hopeless guy”, another me with an unexpectedly clam voice muttered out a sigh filled with resignation.
“…… Sato-san, ehm”
I slowly opened my mouth, slowly sweating and chose my words carefully and delicately as if I was dealing with a bomb.
“S-swimsuit looks good on you…….”
———It was shortly after that that Sato-san’s scream roared on the beach in Midorikawa.
For a few minutes, cold water continued to pour on my round back. Seems like Shizuku-san has come to like water guns.
I let out a deep….deep sigh while burying my face into my popped up knees.
Even though it’s widespread in the whole world, I’m sure I’m the only one who curls up like a shellfish under such a sunny day while releasing a negative aura that doesn’t allow anyone to come near me.
“How long are you going to drag this out, you sham-handsome man”
Perhaps finally being grown tired of my act, Shizuku-san called out to me.
Before replying, I want to say only one thing, which is that I don’t even deserve the title of “Sham-handsome man.” I slowly turned around, thinking that I was a sham, just a sham guy.
There I see Shizuku-san and Mayo-san sprawled on the sheet under the parasol and in their hand was a bottle of foreign beer with a stylishly sliced lime in the mouth of the bottle.
“……..are you drinking?”
“Of course we are~ thanks to certain someone who has been moaning around”
The red-faced Shizuku-san said in a somewhat slurred tone, pushed the lime with her fingers and dropped it into the bottle.
“Just cut it out. You can’t be happy if you curl up like that.”
“Even if you told me that……..”
I continued, feeling like I was going to cry at any moment…..
“while on the one hand I said that she doesn’t need to force herself to be in swimsuit, on the other hand, my words hadn’t finished before I ended up seeing her bare body, disregarding Sato-san’s hateful feeling towards it.”
“You are just exaggerating thingsss~~!”
It’s not a laughable matter at all. I think Sato-san hates me this time around.
But Shizuku-san stares at the beer bottle as if he doesn’t care about our feelings, and then suddenly, as if suddenly realizing something, she shouted, “Ah!”.
“Mayo! Look look look! Look at this! If you take a picture of this bottle with the ocean in the background……it will look great!”
“Yes-yes, then I will take it. Don’t move your hand”
*Pikon*, and then a sounds come from Mayo-san’s smartphone.
When I looked carefully, I realised that empty beer bottles were rolling beside the girls who were in high spirits.
…….. Apparently, I have been depressed for a very long time.
“……where is Sato-san?”
“She still hasn’t come yet after running out before…….ah, wait a minute, it’s out of focus”
“I am focusing”
“Really? Well whatever, it doesn’t matter as I will put a filter on it. Ah, let’s take a selfie together mayo, selfie. I will send it to suiken guys to brag.” (T/N : suiken, not sure what it is. Didn’t find a direct translation. I will update it again after searching around)
“I will go look for…….”
“What? You shouldn’t do that! You’re really spoiling her! She’s not a child anymore, Koharu!”
Shizuku-san said in her slurred tone while posing in front of smartphone.
However I couldn’t refute their words as the rambling of am drunk.
“You know Sota-kun, when you were dating Koharu-chan, you persuaded her overprotective father, didn’t you? But in the end, it doesn’t mean anything if Sota-kun himself is too overprotective of her. Only the guardian have changed”
“Dependence is addictive”
Mayo-san took over Shizuku-san’s words while posing.
When I heard the word “dependence,” I was startled at my own negligence.
And as if she has seen through my feelings, Mayo-san chuckled.
“You don’t have to worry. She has her smartphone with her, she will return back once she calms down. First of all, what are you going to do, Sota-kun? Koharu-chan, if she sees Sota-kun’s face, I’m sure she’ll run away again.”
I couldn’t refute this.
I could easily imagine Sato-san’s face turning red again and running away as soon as she saw me.
“For the time being, how about we leave her alone?”
“……yes… that’s right”
I’m ashamed to say but the woman’s heart is too difficult for me to understand.
That’s why, I’m sure if Mayo-san has said so, then it’s correct. Yes, it should be correct. I repeat it in mind as if to persuade myself.
……..beside, that’s also the fact that I find it hard to meet Sato-san right now.
The appearance of Sato-san in her swimsuit earlier has been etched into my mind. The feel of touching her skin directly without the towel still remains in my mind.
I feel like it would be too insincere for me to meet her once again when I’m in such a state, so I hesitated.
After a while of agonizing like this, I realized that I was unconsciously staring at the palm of my right hand.
I was astonished at my own shallowness, and was immediately struck with tremendous self-loathing.
Ulterior motives……..I wonder if I only have ulterior motives.
Even when I’m pretending to be so remorseful, saying that, I was still trying to remember the feeling that remains in my right hand.
I was wondering maybe my feelings to meet Sato-san right now was nothing except my ulterior motives? A lump of ulterior motives, ulterior motives human…….
Oh, I should just stick my right hand in the sand and forcibly overwrite it…….
…..as I was thinking about that, I abruptly clenched my right hand.
Without any warning, a thin, white arm stretched out from out of sight. The small, delicate fingers that look like they could break at any moment are gripping my right hand tightly.
“…….it’s waste of time to be cowering in such a place when you have come to sea, Oshio-san”
As I looked up slowly. There is Rinka-chan looking at me as each strand of her hair shines in the brilliant sunlight.
Mayo-san, who had been watching from afar, let out an “oh….” voice.
Before I could complete my words, Rinka-chan suddenly drags me forcefully with her thin, slender arm. It was really a wonder where this power comes from.
And then she began to run as it is while showing me a mischievous look.
“Hey, wa-wait a minute, Rinka-chan!!”
Even when I tried to control her, she rushed forward without heeding any of my words. She just continues to run straight toward the horizon, while splitting up the shining sand grain or the sea’s splashes in mid way.
And just as she went deep enough to the point water was reaching her waist, she abruptly stopped.
I thought she would continue to drag me in…….
“W-what are you doing suddenly, Rinka-chan……”
I called out for her while putting my breath in order.
However, she continues to keep her back to me, without answering.
For a while, the only sound was the crashing of the waves.
In the midst of that, Rinka-chan scooped up the sea’s water in her palm as I was wondering what she’s thinking…..
She turned around and splashed it on my face.
When I was flustered by the suddenness of the event, Rinka-chan looked at me while giggling mischievously.
“Please teach me how to have fun in sea too”
To Rinka-chan who said that as her hair glittering with splashes of water, I—-
“…What are you doing”
I was huddled in a shady spot a little ways from the beach, hiding behind a towel, when a voice suddenly called out to me.
My shoulder bounced due to startle and slowly turned around in the direction of voice.
There, with a soft-serve ice cream in her hand was Madoka-chan looking down at me with a somewhat dumbfounded look in her eyes. There’s also her white cat, Leo beside her feet.
“……… Madoka-chan, what about part time….?”
That’s all she said and crouched down next to me.
……..I wonder why, but I couldn’t make eye contact with her.
Perhaps knowing this, Madoka-chan began to talk while looking at the ocean in the distance.
“I can see the ocean from where I work part-time, you know?”
“…… perhaps, you saw?”
“I watched it clearly, how Koharu ran away…”
I really couldn’t face her genuinely.
I fell into self-loathing once again and was about to bury my face in the shell of a towel when…
Madoka-chan abruptly extended her hand holding the soft serve ice cream toward me.
While I was in confusion, Madoka-chan half forced that to me.
I was really happy about her concern for me but I don’t feel like eating anything right now….
I looked at the ice cream she pushed to me while thinking that and my eyes turned wide in surprise.
“……blue ice cream?”
Yes, the soft serve ice cream Madoka-chan offered to me was blue.
Just looking at it made my heart flutter, like shaved ice with blue Hawaii. I couldn’t help but accept it.
“It’s called Midorikawa soft…the naming is dumb but it’s speciality of our cafe”
I put my face close to it as if I were being sucked in and licked off a bite of the cream.
一一一it’s taste was strange.
Completely different from the soft serve Ice cream I have eaten until now. If I had to guess, I’d say it was,
“Salty and sweet…..”
No, sour and sweet?
But it wasn’t an unpleasant taste pricking the tongue but a soft salty taste that melts on the tongue. A sweet milky taste was also blended with it, it was wonderfully delicious.
“There’s salt in it, from the sea in Midorikawa…..”
So that’s why it’s called Midorikawa Soft? I thought, strangely impressed.
Then does this blue color depict the Midorikawa sea? Although the actual color of the sea is more greenish….
……. Speaking of which, Oshio-kun earlier said that Kanami-san often bought him soft serve ice cream at the roadside station there, perhaps this is the one……
“You were thinking about Sota just now, weren’t you?”
As I was immersed in my thoughts, she abruptly cut between my thinking and the familiar strange sound once again coming out from my mouth.
“H-how did you know? Are you an E-esper?”
“It was so obvious that I didn’t need to think about it.”
Madoka-chan brushed off my stupid question easily.
I plop down my head which was flushing red from the embarrassment of my thoughts being easily read.
Looking at me in such a situation, Madoka-chan took a deep breath.
“I don’t know if someone has said something to you but you are thinking too hard, Koharu. It is natural to want to see the same things, eat the same things, do the same things as the guy you like – to want to share something.”
“But I….ran away…..”
I began to narrate the whole incident that had just taken place, pressing my chest that was swelling with even more in self loathing.
I had to run away, pathetically.
Even though I had bought this swimsuit to show to Oshio-kun, in the end, I ran away when he saw it.
Despite me having a chance when Oshio-kun invited me to the sea, I kicked it away myself.
“…I’m really a hopeless person”
At the end of the story, I spilled it out weekly.
Madoka-chan listened to my confession without saying a word until the end and then said,
“———–yes, seriously a good for nothing, the worst, unbelievable, you should be ashamed of yourself”
I couldn’t help but shout and look at the face of Madoka-chan.
“Huh? What, do you think I would comfort you?”
“Ah, sorry! Frankly from the flow, I had a slight expectation for it but….I never thought you would inflict injury on an already wounded enemy!”
“Sigh…so presumptuous, my bad but I’m not that kind of girl to lick the wounds of a girl. I will say it again many many times, hopeless….Koharu is really good for nothing. This time, it’s 100% your fault koharu., There’s no room for sympathy.”
I was aware of it but still, hearing it from another person really hurts…..!
The series of attacks knocks me down.
At that time, Madoka-chan looked straight into my eyes and said,
“You know, although I said that it was natural to share things with the person you like just earlier, that story isn’t limited to Koharu only….”
“——-If Koharu thinks so, then Sota thinks so too. That’s how it is in mutual love, right?”
I was at a loss for words from the unexpected remarks that came out of Madoka-chan.
If I think about it, then Oshio-kun also…….the words echoed over and over in my head.
As I was impressed by her words, Madoka-chan suddenly leaned forward, grabbed me through towel around my chest and continues,
“——-That’s why don’t run away!”
Her face was unusually serious.
“It’s all right even if you cover yourself with a towel if you are embarrassed in a swimsuit! It’s all right even if you avert your gaze without looking at his face, it’s all right even if you keep silent if you can’t speak! but—-“
And those words pierced me straight to the heart.
“…….at the very least stop it, stop running from the situation. As long as you are beside him, it will convey someday!”
It might be my imagination, but I don’t know.
For some reason I feel like these words aren’t directed only to me,
“Haha, I said something that was out of my character. Since I have already done it, let’s do that too”
Then she handed me something in an unnatural and blunt manner.
It was a hard, cold, small piece of metal that I took in my other hand.
“It’s a padlock, the kind they sell in our store, you see it over there?”
Madoka-chan said, pointing to a place.
When I follow the trails, it points to a bridge that stretches from the station to the opposite side of the road, and at the end of the bridge, there is a kind of observatory surrounded by a fence on three sides.
“You should have been able to see the fence there, right? Write the names of two people on a padlock and hang it there. If you do that, you can get married……well, it’s a commonplace story. But Koharu must have like this kind of fairytale, don’t you?”
“Huh? I don’t know why. It’s just a common tourist spell.”
“I’m not talking about that!”
I clutched the cold padlock tightly and looked into Madoka-chan’s eyes.
“Why, why are you going so far?”
I was genuinely curious.
Madoka-chan and I are complete strangers who have met each other just today.
However, she came to comfort me. Although the person herself is denying it, no matter how thick headed I’m, even I can understand that.
Madoka-chan saw me running away from Oshio-kun while she was in the middle of part time and came all the way here to comfort me with these things.
Why is she going so far?
As I waited for an answer, Madoka-chan turned away from me, stroked Leo’s back as he lay on the ground, and said.
“…….not really, It’s just I hate irresolute people like Koahru or something…..”
The voice of the always serious Madoka-chan unusually became feeble. But the words were definitely audible.
“…….if we are talking about love stories, aren’t we already friends?”
Instantly. Before I could even think about it, I hugged Madoka-chan.
By the way, this is a catch but Madoka-chan’s body was very comfortable to hug.
“Wait, hey! What are you doing suddenly…… it’s sticking! Koharu! It’s hitting me, ice cream!”
“Thank you really very much Madoka-chan”
Is Madoka-chan embarrassed? As she snatched the ice cream from me and forcefully pulled herself from my hug.
If it was me from before, I’m sure I would have flinched and cower from her glare.
But I couldn’t see anything other than her being embarrassed and unconsciously, my cheeks slacken from satisfaction.
Although she separates herself in the end in a bad mood, I’m sure this is just another way of hiding embarrassment.
“Thank you so much, Madoka-chan! I feel like I can do my best now!”
“That’s good to know…..”
“I’m going back to Oshio-kun place! Thank you so much! I will thank you again later!”
I stood up with renewed determination, bowed to Madoka-chan for the last time, and ran off, my towel fluttering in the wind, unable to stand still.
In my hand, of course, I was holding the padlock that Madoka-chan had given me.
There was no hesitation anymore.
The burning embarrassment and self-loathing that had been weighing me down just a few minutes ago were now completely gone.
How could I have forgotten such a simple thing until Madoka-chan took the trouble to teach me?
If I was embarrassed, then Oshio-kun must have been embarrassed too, and if I was looking forward to it, then Oshio-kun must have been looking forward to the sea as well.
That’s why, there’s only one thought in my heart right now.
I want to meet Oshio-kun.
I want to gaze at the emerald sea together with Oshio-kun, next to him.
I want to be next to him, eating the blue soft serve ice cream together.
I want to be next to him and……and flirt with him! And said it proudly to him! That even I can make a wonderful friend! Just thinking about what I’m going to do when I meet Oshio-kun makes my heart throb and naturally, I start to walk even faster.
I ran along the beach, stomping on the sand, and headed for where everyone was.
Surrounding people were looking at me strangely but it doesn’t matter to me now!
Now, I just want to get to Oshio-kun as soon as possib—–
…….. although I may have said that multiple times, but I, Sato Koharu, is the kind of person who seriously becomes sloppy at such times and so…….
I tripped, got my feet caught in the sand, and let out a stupid “buh!” I let out a stupid cry and ended up slipping on the sand like a tuna being caught.
Even the towel that was coiling around me loosen up at this timing due to fall.
And soon my face got hot rapidly.
Just a while ago I said that surrounding people’s gazes doesn’t matter to me anymore but this is just too embarrassing!
I felt like fire was gonna sprout out of my face and hurriedly tried to get up from the spot then…… someone grasped my arm suddenly.
I didn’t immediately understand what had happened to me.
The hand extending from behind is grasping the area around the upper arm.
The arm was obviously that of a man. But it wasn’t my father’s, and of course it wasn’t Oshio-kun’s… My thoughts were interrupted when I thought this far.
The rough fingers digging in my upper arm were squeezed with painful force, pulling my body back at once.
It was done so violently that a pain around my shoulder and my face contorted in pain.
I couldn’t catch up with what’s happening. What the h**l……..
“Are you all right, Miss?”
And just as expected, it was an unfamiliar voice that called out to me.
As soon as I understood that, I felt a chilling sensation in my spine, my body immediately tensed up and my heart began to ache up.
Fearfully, I turned behind to look. The direction of voice. Surprisingly close to me, I saw the face of a man with dyed light brown hair.
I almost screamed, but bit my lower lip to hold it back. When he saw me, he said in a somewhat stubborn tone.
“Hey Miss, you were falling down in front of me, I was worried so I called to you, what? Are you in a hurry?”
As he spoke, a peculiar smell hit my nose. It was the smell of alcohol. He was still smiling and grabbing my arm with painful force.
As I got a better grasp of the situation, the fear in me began to swell rapidly. My blood started to boil, my heart started to palpitate, and my throat started to thirst.
——–Please let go of me.
I reflexively tried to say this, but almost stopped myself.
“…..T-Thank you very much….I’m sorry, I have to go…”
I squeezed the words out of my tight throat and gave a slight bow with my stiff neck.
That was the best I could muster up. And so I tried to get away from the spot as if I wanted to run but…..
He put more pressure on my arms and looked down at my face, while I was frightened by pain and fear.
Then as if he recall something, he shouted,
“Ah, aren’t you Pancake Miss! Long time no see!” (T/N : referring to starting of v1c1 event”
Pancake Miss? Long time no see?
I didn’t know what he meant by that, so I looked over at him again and….
However my scream this time was because I realised it wasn’t my first time meeting him.
But what arose in my heart was not relief that the person in front of me was a familiar face at all.
Rather it was the opposite which made me even more fearful.
Because the man holding my arm now was one of the scary college guys who had approached me when I was eating pancakes alone at “cafe tutuji”.
And probably because of my reaction, his conviction turned into belief and he tried to close the distance even more.
“What-what? Isn’t it a coincidence, meeting at a place like that, you come here to swimbor once again for pancakes? Perhaps are you waiting for someone to pick you up? There are a lot of people like that around here you know, so are you free? You are free right?”
My throat tightened and I could not speak any more.
Even when I tried to back off to run away, I couldn’t move away as he was clutching tightly my arms.
The fear in my heart was growing so fast that I was about to burst.
“Hey! Take chan! Toshi chan! Come here for a moment! What a coincidence! An acquaintance! I met an acquaintance!”
As he raised his voice, the other two college students in swimsuits, who were fiddling with their smartphone on the nearby seat got up sluggishly to what was going on!
One had blond hair dyed unpleasantly, and the other had a rugged necklace around his neck.
I also remembered them. They were the two from that time.
“What is it? Acquaintance? Hmm, ah aren’t you that high School girl from that time! Alone?”
When the brown haired guy said so, the other two got excited.
——Wrong. I haven’t said anything.
I tried to deny that but couldn’t say anything.
——-My Friends are waiting for me. Please let go of me.
It would have been enough to say that, but I couldn’t even say it out loud.
As soon as I notice their gazes that seem to be licking me, my throat becomes even tighter.
“Seriously? Isn’t it perfect?”
“There are drinks over there, let’s just go.”
Without waiting for my reply, he pulled my arms forcibly.
At this point, I shut my eyes tightly. My mind was on the verge of panic.
Why is this happening to me? What’s going to happen to me?
Amidst the darkness, a mixture of frustration, anxiety, and fear swells to the point of explosion.
I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, help me——-
“——i think it might better to stop it”
In the midst of the darkness, someone interjected, quiet but straightforward, with a definite intention.
The voice was so strong that it cleared away the thick haze that covered my head.
I slowly opened my tightly shut eyes.
Then, under the dazzling sunlight, I looked at his back.
As if to protect me from the three university students who froze in surprise, he intervened, and I saw his back.
——-I’m sorry Rinka-chan but I’m going to go look for Sato-San——-
The words of Oshio-san are still echoing inside my mind.
Neither the approaching sound of sea waves nor the seagulls’ cry, none was able to drown it out.
His words were serious, gentle, and straightforward. I’m sure it was the first time in my life that I had ever heard such honest words.
Well, it was ironic that I had to hear it from the person I had a crush on, of all people though.
“Are you happy?”
As I sat on the beach, looking at the shadow of a small island floating across the sea, Mayo-san called out to me from behind.
Are you…….. happy?
When I thought about how much meaning was put into those words, I felt a little funny.
“When I have been rejected so clearly, it might be better to stop”
When I replied with a hint of self-mockery, Mayo-san just said, “I see,” and sat down next to me.
“Oshio-san is really a terrible person, even though I tried to approach him doing my best but he never once looked at me. He was always looking at Koharu, who wasn’t even there.”
I didn’t expect him to say this, completely ignoring me.
Even though his serious gaze was on me, he wasn’t looking at me.
I wondered how he could look at me so straight in that situation. Shouldn’t he have to waver a bit when approached by a girl?
“Ah———I’m really starting to get angry!”
I reconfirmed my situation and began to feel completely ridiculous.
I have seen a lot of women like me in shoujo manga.
A role model like situation where it doesn’t have any chance to win yet fighting, a stalking horse like character or a lively character.
“I have been to the beach for a while now, so I might as well try some reverse pickup, right?”
As I was about to turn around to look at Mayo-san, laughing like that, suddenly a towel was put on top of my head.
It was the work of Mayo-san.
“You will get sunburnt Rinka-chan, even though you have such beautiful skin….”
………I really am not a match for Mayo-san.
I put a towel over my head and began to talk quietly.
“Do you know this, Mayo-san?”
“——–I, like Oshio-san”
Mayo-san continues to listen, keeping her silence without saying anything.
“I’m sorry, I lied earlier. I still like Oshio-san, even if he doesn’t look back at me at all…… If I could go out with Oshio-san——“
I gripped the hem of the towel lightly.
“Going for a small trip on holiday, shopping together at the shopping mall. When we get tired of that, we go to the cinema and watch a trendy romantic movie that catches our eye, and on the way home, we stop by a café and tell each other what we think.”
“…….. sounds good”
“But I’m sure we’ll be reading more manga together at home. We’ll be huddled together, reading the same manga until nightfall, occasionally exchanging a few words. We’d angry at how the protagonist’s half-hearted attitude was annoying, how the dialogue was a bit rude but how the confession was a bit good. ……
“You aren’t crying, Rinka-chan, do you?”
“Cry? No way”
I looked back at Mayo-san’s face who said something unexpected and instead flashed her a daring smile.
“If I cried, isn’t it the same as giving up?”
That’s right. I haven’t given up at all. On the contrary, I’ve made up my mind.
The reason why I didn’t try to stop Oshio-san from leaving desperately is because I haven’t given up.
It was because I was serious that I gave in this time, that’s all.
“——–I will confess to Oshio-san next time.”
I declared it clearly.
Oshio-kun, who cut in between to protect me and the group of three college students stared at each other.
Obviously, the atmosphere of the place had changed from a while ago.
“Hey, what? Who are you?”
The three college students surrounding Oshio-kun said one to another.
Disgusting stares. They were staring at Oshio with obvious hostility. It was a choking sight to behold.
However Oshio-kun remained stubborn and didn’t buzz even a bit. He stared back at them undauntedly.
The stalemate continued for a while, and then the brown-haired guy who had been holding my arm said, as if he had noticed something.
“Oh, aren’t you the employee from before?”
“What? Ryu-kun, someone you know?”
“Wrong, look clearly, he is that employee from that time who stopped us from talking to the high school girl”
“Ah, yes yes yes. You are right.”
The other two seemed to remember Oshio-kun, and reacted with exaggerated reactions.
As soon as they realized it, their threatening expressions immediately turned into smiles. But of course, it wasn’t a friendly one.
If I have to point it out then the smile was mocking him or despising him.
“What’s wrong, what’s wrong, are you off today, part-timer?”
“It doesn’t matter”
Oshio-kun replied with a matter of fact tone, dispassionately.
However they didn’t flinch even a bit.
“Cool, but isn’t you, part-timer more irrelevant now?”
“That’s right, we are currently talking to that girl”
“There’s not any ban on picking up girls here after all”
“The person herself doesn’t like that”
“Hahaha, no, how could you even say that when the person herself hadn’t said anything, right?”
The brown-haired man peeked at me from behind Oshio-kun’s back.
“Hiii!”, I couldn’t help but scream but as my mouth was shut tightly, no words came out.
“See, the person herself didn’t say anything so I don’t think part timer-kun has any right to stop us, do you?”
I could hear the unpleasant laughter of college students.
All I had to do was to say, “I don’t like it” or “I don’t want it. I should be able to do that, but when I’m in front of them, my whole body tenses up in fear.
Pathetic, how more pathetic can I be?
At this point, I can only tremble in Oshio-kun’s shadow. My eyes started to get hot as I was unable to endure my emotions. Crying isn’t going to solve anything. Even though I know this, I——
“I have the right to do so”
Just when the hot drops were about to spill out of my eyes, I heard the dignified voice of Oshio-san.
Then a thin white finger was placed on my trembling shoulder.
The warmth and gentleness that calms me down is unmistakable.
“As her lover, I have the right”
This was undoubtedly the hand of Oshio-kun.
“That’s why I hope you can stop picking on her”
Oshio-kun hugged my shoulder and said in a strong tone.
As expected, the three college students seemed to be pressured by this but….
“Haha, splendid part timer-kun”
The brown-haired guy laughed at Oshio-kun, and the other two started laughing along with him.
Taking this as a cue, those three shorten the distance between us even more to surround us. Even if we want to, it would be quite hard to run away from being surrounded by three sides.
The people passing by sensed this unpleasant atmosphere and pretended not to see us as they hurried past.
“Do you know that you are annoying?”
The brown-haired man walked right up to Oshio-kun and said however Oshio-kun continued to glare at them while hugging me by the shoulders.
The air was tense to the breaking point and I forgot to even breathe.
Just as it reached the critical point, it happened.
“——-huh? Hey, hey, hey”
Suddenly they heard a man’s low voice that was coming from afar, approaching them closer and closer.
Not only me, but also Oshio-kun and the three college students all turned around to see what was going on and suddenly had an stupid expression as everyone was startled.
Why? Because an “unbelievable hoodlum” was approaching us.
The brown haired man let out a voice that was unthinkable from his previous bravado while Oshio-kun and I were speechless.
That’s how much the awful impact was brought by him who was approaching us.
His Hair was parted in the middle and had ridiculously large pink sunglasses. A row of earrings in his right ear glinted in the sunlight, and a bulky necklace swung around his neck.
And the shirt he has put on his upper bare body had a gaudy flower pattern to an hurtful degree.
No, no, fashion is not the problem. The way he was acting was that of someone you should never get involved with.
Such a person was approaching us, swaying his shoulders from side to side.
It was such a terrific sight that the swimmers who were sitting nearby began to flee away in haste, even I was on the verge of fainting.
I was much more scared than the college students.
As everyone froze staring at him, he pushed aside the college students and stepped in between them. He pushes his sunglasses up to his forehead and opens his eyes as if to say,
“——-Woah-woah! After all, it’s Sota-kun! Long time no see”
And with an overkill reaction, he links his arms to Oshio-kun’s shoulder.
Oshio-kun is going to be killed, such a thought flashed in my mind but Oshio-kun’s appearance was kinda strange.
He stared back at the sunglasses guy and knitted his brows as if contemplating something,
“……. don’t talk. Just act scared”
The man in sunglasses whispered in our ear at a volume only Oshio-kun and I could hear.
It was only here that I realized the true nature of the strange feeling that Oshio-kun was probably feeling.
I hadn’t realised at all due to his out of norm behavior and gaudy attire but perhaps, Ren-kun………?
At the same time as I realised this, the sunglasses guy or rather Ren-kun put his sunglasses on once again and returned to his hoodlum mode. It was such a quick change that I was surprised to see it.
“What? What are you doing, Sota, taking Koharu to the beach with you?”
Although I know that the guy in front of my eyes is Ren-kun, his tone and his behavior made me shrivel.
“W-well that’s what my intentions are…….”
“Man, isn’t it a coincidence? I’m with a friend right now too! Since we have finally met, Let’s go together! it’s all right, isn’t it? Yes, it’s decided with this—-“
Saying that much, Ren-kun turned around to look at the group of college students abruptly. And then,
“………hahh? What are you starting at”
He said in such a low and clunky voice which made his earlier high spirit a lie.
Even though I knew it was an act and I was just watching from the side, it sent chills down my spine.
It should have been even more chilling for the college students who are facing it.
The brown-haired man backed away slightly, similarly the group of college students also flinched at the a brief comment.
Regardless of the situation, I was really impressed by the Ren-kun acting, but—–
“Haah? Who the h**l are you!”
A little after, college students still hold their ground. Perhaps it’s because he’s outnumbered.
Although stiff but Brown haired man made a smile as if to mock him and look at him in provocation. In the blink of an eye, Ren-kun was surrounded by them.
Ren-kun’s acting was just a bluff, if it really turned into a brawl, there was no way he could win against the three college students.
Oshio-kun called for his name and stepped forward to assist him.
But there was no need for that.
It was because a white lump jumped out suddenly, overtook us, made a squeal and jumped on the brown-haired college student’s head with a tremendous gesture.
“What the h**l
“Yikes!! What the heck…..ouch!”
As expected, he also panicked and managed to shake off the white lump.
It was still light on its feet as it spun around in the air and landed with ease. It then rolled onto its back and squealed, “hiss~”.
It’s Leo, the white cat.
A moment after that, I heard a low, angry yell from far away again.
I turned around to see Madoka-chan, her shoulders hunched in anger as she strode toward here in a straight line.
“What the h**l are you doing with my cat, you b*****d!”
And when Madoka-chan howled like a demon, the college students didn’t hide their fear anymore.
And to top it all off, she was holding an iron pipe in her hands, wondering where she got it from.
Even they seemed to feel their lives were in danger……
“She’s gonna kill us!!!”
Their action gave me déjà vu.
The first to run away was a brown haired man and then the other two ran behind him in panic.
Madoka-chan who rushed forward glared at the back of three college students in the distance and snorted with a “humph”.
“Why did these college students even try to pick up girls when the first thing they do is run away, anyway are you all right, Koharu?”
When she made sure that college students have disappeared from her line of sight, Madoka-chan immediately started to worry about this. But I’m just shaking with tears in my eyes.
“Hey, what Happened? Did you get hurt?”
Wrong. It’s not that.
“Madoka-chan is even more scary than college students…..”
As soon as I said that, she gave a chop in my head, making a sound like hitting an empty box.
“Is that what you are saying to me after helping you….. even though I came to see you, worrying when you run away suddenly!”
It’s the truth……You’re a delinquent after all…… however I kept the comment to myself.
Then she turned to look at Oshio-kun and smiled,
“You’ve got a lot of guts for such a small guy, Sota”
Oshio-kun called the Madoka-chan name and soon after, “sighhhhhhh…….”, He put his hand on his knee and exhaled a deep, deep sigh.
“Thank you really very much, Murasaki-san! I really thought it was over!”
“Hmm? Is that so, though it look to me you have it easy”
“No, of course not…….! I was trying to hold my shaking legs together!”
“What a shameless guy…”
She smiled bitterly when she looked at Oshio-kun in such a state.
……. Oshio-kun was scared after all. But, still then, he did this for my sake…..when I think that, happiness filled inside me.
At that moment, Ren-kun suddenly intervened and squared his shoulders with Oshio-kun with a smile that I had never seen before. It wasn’t an act this time, but Ren-kun himself is really that much happy.
“Woah! What’s the matter, Ren!!”
“——Hahaha, did you see that Sota! Those college students were so scared! Even though they were so full of themselves, so lame! Hahahaha!”
“No, I’m telling you, that scared me too! You’re too good an actor! I thought I was being tangled up with a real person!”
“Idiot! I see more of them every day in my store!”
“Hmm, Ren isn’t in a bad mood anymore?”
“Of course Not! Not after I saw such a laughing scene! Did you see that? Madoka was a complete hoodlum!”
Everyone turned stiff at Ren-kun’s nonchalant remark. Madoka-chan was at a loss for words with her eyes wide open.
That’s also understandable. Because Ren-kun without doubt spoked the name of Madoka-chan just now……
“Ren, are you acquainted with Murasaki-san?”
When Oshio-kun pointed it out, Ren-kun’s laughter stopped after a pause.
Then, he cleared his throat, looking very embarrassed….
“I’m going back first”
He turned around to leave quickly.
And just as he passed from Madoka-chan side, she slowly opened her mouth,
“……….so you hadn’t forget me after all”
Ren-kun just slipped past her without stopping and without turning around,
“……….. there’s no way I could forget”
He said that and disappeared from the scene alone.
Aside from Oshio-kun, who was tilting his head in confusion, I immediately looked for Madoka-chan. Meanwhile Madoka-chan was,
She was covering her mouth with the back of her hand, but I could see that her face was bright red.
Madoka-chan’s face was completely dyed with a mixture of surprise and joy but it was cuter than any expression I’ve ever seen on her face.
“I’m really happy for you, Madoka-chan”
“Shut up you idiot”
She replied in embarrassment and left this place together with Leo.
And so it was just me and Oshio-kun left in that place.
I felt so embarrassed that I couldn’t even look at Oshio-kun’s face properly.
But I still had something I must tell Oshio-kun no matter what, so I called out to him—–!
However our voices calling out to each other overlapped.
We both turned stiff for a while, looking at each other’s faces and then we both burst out in laughter at the same time.
“We should go back to the others.”
Oshio-kun said it while scratching his cheeks in embarrassment.
T/N : Hi there guys, sorry for the delay. Lot of things come up to do and have to edit prev volume as well.
1. I have edited vol 1(more like I have to re-tl most of part. So I think you guys can read it even if you have already read before). There are some part like [ or ” interchange or Sato to Satou (originally there’s o in the raw name), It was too tiresome to update all prev parts so I will fix these two points in final epub.
2. I’m kind of disappointed in v2 ending so I will not keep my pace same. At best it would be around 3-4 parts update per month since I already have purchased V3 raw.
3. Between V2 only had prologue, chapter 1-3, epilogue and side story. That means this vol is mostly done leaving beside epilogue and side story. I will update them later when I have the time to tl it.