Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
The park’s haunted house was the ride-on type. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long to get in, seeing it was relatively empty. While we were there, Reika and Eri were sitting on each of my sides.
Reika clutched my arm tighter as if she was afraid of the dark. “I–I’ve never been to a haunted house before… B–But it’s not that scary.”
“This one’s designed for children, don’t worry.”
“I–I said it wasn’t scary!”
Since she was clearly scared, I patted her head to give her some comfort, to which she muttered a small “Ah…”
Looks like her shaking has stopped a little, that’s good.
“Hey hey, Reika-chan, look over there! That’s a zombie! Haha, I can see a dark silhouette too!”
“H–Huh? W–W–Where?! I don’t see any zombies!”
“Oh, look, there’s a red stain on the walls!”
Eri’s apparently great with haunted houses. Come to think of it, she once cleared a hardcore haunted house by herself. The guy she was dating at the time dropped out in the middle, leaving her to complete it by herself though…
My mind went back to her past boyfriends. I used to be unable to control the jealousy inside me, but now that I know a bit more about her, I think I should’ve been more helpful to her situation.
For her, and only her, having a boyfriend meant something else. She was starved for affection due to her abusive upbringing, so a boyfriend was necessary to stabilize her spirit.
“W–W–Wait, that’s super scary!! T–Toshiki, I’ll punch that thing!”
“No, Reika! It’s dangerous if you get up!”
“Hahaha! Look, it’s Sadako over there!”
I held Reika’s desperate attempts to get up… We usually spar together and our bodies frequently touch each other, but today I feel kinda embarrassed to do so. My heart couldn’t stop racing as I put my hands around her waist, pulling her into a hug and comforting her.
“Ehehe, I’ll cheer Reika too!”
Eri, with plenty to spare, hugged Reika along with me.
“WOOOOOOOOOOOOO—! I’M FAAAAAAAALLING—!”
“REIKA, IF YOU MOVE IT’S DANGEROUS!!! YOUR DAD’S SCARIER, RIGHT? STOP IT THEN!”
Yup, this rollercoaster ride was also a first for Reika. Since she was a kid, she’s been traveling overseas constantly to help her father with work. She hardly ever played games children her age did.
When she went to the movies with me for the first time, too, she was visibly nervous and quite excited… I recall her being so cute like that.
Though today, right after we left the ride, she slumped on the bench. Eri sat beside her, blowing some wind to calm her down.
“Phew… Amusement parks are very intense, even though I of all people should be used to the G-force.”
“Reika, you okay? Should we go on a less extreme ride next?”
“Yeah, I’d like to go on that one,” she pointed to a merry-go-round. Yeah, that one ain’t intense.
“Well, let’s go there then.”
“Toshi, let’s take a quick break before we go. I’m a bit tired too.”
“Got it,” I answer Eri. “I’ll go get something to drink,” I said, heading to a nearby concession stand. The two of them waved me off as they huddled together, as close friends would.
“Hmm, the stand is right… there, according to the map.”
It was a surprisingly long distance from that bench to the store. I had the map decorated in my head, which was a basic requirement for my own life. As I walked away, I casually check my phone to see a message from Nakajima.
She was asking about when and where should we all meet for lunch, and told me how they were all having a blast over there. I’m glad, and I honestly think she and Hayakawa are a perfect match… Though, isn’t he being a bit dense?
That guy didn’t change one bit, even after gaining more popularity. Whenever he was approached by a random girl on the street, no matter how much she complimented him and how direct she was about it, he never took it, telling me how he wouldn’t misunderstand it no matter what.
According to him, there was no way in hell he’d be popular.
That’s even though he’s become a very cool guy from my own point of view. Well, there’s also the fact he’s hanging around Hirano and Hiratsuka, two great-looking dudes.
After thinking for a few moments, I replied to Nakajima and hurried to the kiosk. The small store had lemonade, which Reika liked, and Coke, which Eri liked. I’ll just have tea.
“Excuse me, may I get…”
“Yes, welcome to the store! What can I get— W–Wait, you’re Sawada, aren’t you?!”
For some reason, the clerk at that kiosk was Lee… I don’t know why he was there, but it was very awkward between us. I punched him in the guy and knocked him out. Moreover, I provoked him on that day.
He donned a tank-top and an apron, his face as awkward as mine. Hmm? Aren’t his cheeks slightly red?
I feel like the awkwardness doubled since we overlapped each other… I don’t care that he’s the clerk, I just have to order quickly—
“Hey, Lee-san, what are you doing? Isn’t the customer troubled there? You can’t fight as you did before, y’know? ”
A waitress interrupted our unexpected meeting. She looked like a college student or something. She was pretty and friendly to boot, too.
“I–Isshiki-san, h–he’s just a junior from school who happened to… Cough, cough, Sawada, what would you like to drink? I’ll get you one on the house! C’mon, I’m the council president, I’ll take care of everything!”
“U–Um… Well, a lemonade and—”
He glanced at the waitress with quite a blissful expression on his face. Oh, I can feel it in the air… After a few moments, she finished making the drinks and brought them to me.
“There ya go, junior-kun! How’s Lee doing at school, huh? I’m worried about him since he’s all about kung-fu and doesn’t wanna make friends… Though, he’s a very nice boy, so please be nice to him!”
I’m sorry… I punched him in the gut.
“Yeah, he’s a bit selfish, but he’s a kind senior. Lee-senpai, good luck with your part-time job.”
Lee, in one hell of a good mood, winked at me. “Sawada, my guy, my bro my friend, the one-in punch you delivered was the ideal I strived for… You’ve seen master Bruce Lee’s movies, haven’t you? I met him when I was poor and bullied through a movie, and it left me speechless, so I taught myself to—”
Before his rambling could continue, he was patted on the head by Isshiki.
“Got a long story there, huh. Well, a friend’s waiting for you, right? Hurry up and go, don’t leave ‘em hanging!”
I bowed to her and left the kiosk, then headed to that bench with the drinks on me.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to run into Lee here… I wonder if that was really a part-time job or something else? Well, he’s ranked high as a fighter, so he must not be hurting for money. This is such a far place from school, too…
Yeah, y’know what? I won’t worry about him now.
Underground fighting, me punching Lee, everything else—I’ll just forget it all for today and enjoy this extraordinary time with my precious friends.
The bench soon came into view after walking for a while… Okay, they were both still there sitting quietly. I was worried they might’ve gotten tangled up with some weirdo since they’re both so cute.
Besides, I see a lot of guys trying to pick up girls in this amusement park.
“Oi~ I got you two some drinks! It’s lemonade and a coke… H–Hey, you two…”
As I got closer I noticed they were arguing with each other, almost cutting each other’s throats with knives for words. But why? They were talking as if they were close friends just now!
“That’s why! I’ve known Toshiki longer than you have! He definitely likes these gummy bears better!”
“Haha, Reika-chan, that’s not true! Toshi likes almond chocolate like an adult! Hmm, I bought lots of them as snacks for today!”
Oh, what the hell, it was just a silly argument… I got nervous by thinking Eri might’ve said or done something outrageous.
“Ugh… And, and, Toshiki took baths with me!” Reika rummaged through her brain, letting that out.
“He helped me get dressed!” Eri tried to one-up her.
“He did that to me too!”
I’ll just stop this as soon as possible, if it goes on it might turn into one hell of a mess.
“Yeah, yeah, here’s some juice you two. Calm down, I like both gummy bears and chocolate.”
They both finally noticed I was there and each accepted their drinks.
“Ah, S–Sorry… I just got too into a Toshiki quiz with Eri-chan…”
“Yeah, it was loads of fun! Ehehe, though there was something I don’t quite know… Toshi, do you prefer chests big or small?”
Reika? Why aren’t you stopping her? You’re waiting for an answer, too?! —Both looked at me, eager to know what I thought. Reika had her small and shapely body, while Eri had bombshell proportions…
While I was at a loss for an answer, I heard some noisy footsteps approaching us.
“Yo hello, you two cuties! Hey, leave this beansprout and come play with us!”
A duo of flirts approached us. Okay, I’ll just take this opportunity to bury that ticking time bomb of a question.
Just when I thought about doing that, one of the guys tried to touch Reika, and she gave him an elbow strike to the stomach, throwing him to the ground. The icing on the cake was her merciless kick to his stomach, and she did so as if he was just some random piece of garbage by the sidewalk.
Meanwhile the other tried to go for Eri’s chest, and she answered by sending him flying with aikido-like techniques. She then stomped the man on the ground with the sole of her feet… Are you strong by any chance, Eri?
“So, Toshiki, which is it?”
“Toshi? Answer honestly.”
They both closed in on me, and I felt overwhelming pressure.
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