I saw more and more people who looked like students.
I don’t recognize most of the students’ faces, but it’s probably our school.
After going around EXDES, we returned to the central square where we started.
The teacher was instructing the students in plain clothes to go to the assembly point.
Shinozuka-san tugged on my sleeve.
“Hey, hey, hey, let’s go to the meeting place soon. I can feel some eyes on me. ……”
It’s true that I’ve felt eyes on me since a while ago. It wasn’t a very unpleasant look, so I didn’t mind it. I’m sure it was just our plain clothes that were unusual.”
“Yeah, we should wait over there. …… Oh, I forgot to update today.
The latest story is ready, but I forgot to update it.
“Oh, I knew it! Well, why don’t you update it at the waiting area?”
We headed for the parking lot on the ground.
There were already many students gathered in the parking lot.
It reminded me of the unpleasant atmosphere of a field trip.
When I looked at Shinozuka-san next to me, her face was still blue.
“…… I don’t like this …… kind of atmosphere. Everyone’s so excited, and they’re all in a good mood, and …… they’re all stuck in a group.
“I don’t like it either. But–“
I show her the picture I just took on my phone.
There we were, all smiles.
“Now it’s just the two of us. …… No problem, right?”
“…… Yeah, yeah, let’s not worry about it! …… I wish we had gone when there were no other students around.”
“It’s a field trip. ……”
We headed to our class meeting place as we talked.
It’s a casual conversation, but it’s true. If there are no students,……, that means it’s not a …… field trip, it’s just me and Shinozuka coming to Destiny Land.
I’ll …… keep that in mind.
When we arrived at the class place, we were still in the same classroom as usual.
Me and Shinozuka-san were next to each other. I finish my update and check the other author’s update until Shinotsuka-san finishes reading.
…… This author called “Pugko” is getting into the groove. I’ve seen his name around for a long time. …… Okay, I’ll take the liberty of recognizing you as a rival.
Pomeko and Pugeko ……, is it a fad?
As I was thinking about such trivial things, I received a message.
“This is Pomeko! Ehehe, what the heck, the descriptions of the characters’ emotions are getting more and more careful. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and then I got a message. I hope you have some fictional material for your …… field trip!”
I looked at Shinozuka-san.
She has a grin on her face.
“Pomeko, what’s with the smirk on your face?”
“Oh, shut up! It was fun, okay?”
“Oh, thank you.
Just then, the teacher showed up at the class meeting place.
From there, she took a roll call and began to explain the precautions and instructions.
The field trip was a school event, so we had until 16:00. Once back at the assembly point, the rest of the day was free to disperse. We were told that we could re-enter or leave as we pleased.
I was carefully warned not to play any tricks.
Looking at my classmates, I could see that they were all filled with anticipation.
Even so, there were a lot of stares at me and Shinozuka-san.
Shinozuka-san hid in my shadow, perhaps a little disgusted.
“Is that Shinozuka? Seriously, …….”
“There was an angel. ……
“Who’s the one who started the rumor? …… You must be jealous.”
“Wow, Shinjo-kun, you look like a model.”
“More like a prince? You look amazing in your casual clothes.”
“I don’t know what it is, but just leave him alone.”
“Yeah, yeah, don’t waste your time talking to him, okay?
What is it? The big boy and the small boy were controlling the students who were trying to talk to us. I don’t know, but it helps.
I wondered, but bowed my head to them.
“Oh, Shinjo-kun, they’re moving! Come on, we’re going in!”
I turned my attention back to Shinozuka-san.
Shinozuka couldn’t wait to get started.
“Don’t run, okay? You cpuld trip if you’re not careful.
“I’m not going to trip! –I’m not going to trip!
I quickly supported Shinotsuka’s body as she stumbled over a step.
I support myself with my right arm. A soft smell tickles my nose.
“Hey, are you okay? Be careful.”
I wanted to say something gentler, but I couldn’t think of anything at the moment.
“Oh, thank you…Mmm, I’m all right–“
Then I realized that I was holding Shinozuka-san in my arms.
We slowly returned to our original position.
The warm weight disappeared from my right hand.
Feeling a little embarrassed, I look around.
For some reason, the girls were looking away from me.
“Whoa! Shinjo, look, it’s Destiny Land! It’s the Destiny Land we’ve been waiting for!”
I see, this really is a magical land. Shinotsuka, who had been depressed after almost falling down, immediately got better when she entered the school.
“Oh, yeah, fast pass first?”
“Hmm, well, it’s pretty crowded today, so let’s take our time. Let’s start with ……. Oh! It’s Tacky the raccoon! Wow, it’s a handsome tanuki!”
A stylish tanuki kigurumi was dancing at the fountain near the entrance.
Children were surrounding the tanuki.
“Do you want to take a picture? With that raccoon?”
“It’s not a raccoon! Tacky is a prince who sacrificed himself to protect everyone in the forest from the witch’s curse!”
“Hey, that’s kind of a heavy setup ……. Yoo, what is dreamland ……?”
“Shinjo-kun, let’s go!”
“Wait, you’ll fall again if you run. And with this many people, ……”
I followed Shinozuka’s lead and approached Tacky.
There was a child hugging Tacky …….
“Soft, soft, soft… I love Tacky… That.. Huh? Ma, Ma-kun?
“Ta-nu, ta-nu, ta-nu.”
There was my stepsister, Haruka, hugging Tacky.
Tacky looked a little troubled. I mean, does this guy have speaker?
Haruka-san looked at Shinozuka-san and me, thought about it for a moment, and then left Tacky.
“Whoa! I’m sorry. …… eh, uh, Makoto-kun, hi……. are you okay living alone? My mom is worried about you, but she’s been talking to father on the phone a lot lately, so she’s calm now. I thought it was just an administrative call. see you soon!”
I didn’t know what to say.
My stepsister had been making fun of me. Haruka, who was suddenly trying to close the distance between us.
My sister-in-law who pretends to be an idiot, but is really a cunning little sister.
Shinozuka-san whispered next to me.
“…… Shinjo, shall we go over there?”
“Aww!. I’m fine! I’ll be fine!”
Tackey was patting Haruka’s head as she hurriedly tried to leave the place.
The sight of him reminded me of me and Haruka in the distant past.
Haruka trying to follow me everywhere. Haruka who cried whenever she had a bad day.
I remember when I would pat her on the head and she would immediately stop crying.
…… Haruka thought that if she annoyed me, she would leave me alone.
I’m sure that was the reason.
It really is a trivial reason. But from a trivial thing, a wound can spread far and wide.
I still can’t treat her normally.
When I see my stepsister, it brings back bad memories of the past.
But …… also brings back nostalgic memories. It’s not as bad as it used to be.
The emptiness in my heart was filled with the warmth of Shinozuka-san.
Still, there was no way we could go back to the same relationship now.
“Uh, Tucky.. Haruka is fine, thank you. –Makoto-san, there’s nothing Haruka can do.. It’s too late to make excuses, to heal your wounds, to do anything. I can’t even watch over you. –I’m really sorry. …… I will never appear in front of you again. …… I will only try to make sure that mother and stepfather get along. –I’ll send a congratulatory message to your wedding! I wish you all the best!”
My stepsister bowed to us and walked quickly to the back of the park.
Oh, I mocked. She looked around embarrassed, and started running again.
–Are you hurt? Are you okay?
I’m not saying those things because I want attention..
My stepsister had a serious look on her face. It’s not a short life together that you can forget that.
I see, now that means …… a real farewell.
It’s okay, it doesn’t matter to me.
My heart is still empty.
Is that really the case? Is my heart empty?
The depths of my heart were calmer than before.
Shinozuka was looking at me with concern.
“‘Shinjo, that’s not a fake smile. …… You look like a kind big brother right now, aren’t you?”
I don’t know what kind of face I’m making.
But I was surprised to find myself a little worried about my stepsister who stumbled.
“Well, I don’t know either.”
Shinozuka withdrew her hand from mine.
“Yeah, I can’t say I’m okay, but ……, oh! What did she mean, “wedding”? What’s going on?”
“I’m sure she’s mistaken about something. Oh, that’s it. My stepsister is a natural airhead.”
My stepsister is a natural airhead.
“What is it?”
“Oh! It’s a signal for us to take a picture! Come on, let’s take a picture together!
Shinozuka took me by the hand, and the photo session with Tacky began.
I didn’t feel uncomfortable holding hands with her.
I could only feel Shinozuka’s kindness.