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.
If you take a train and ride it one hour from central Tokyo, you’ll find Summer Salt Island. It’s an extremely popular theme park with a rather convenient location. The park is based on the motif of some foreign hero, if I recall correctly.
A statue of him stood gallantly in the middle of the park, though it wasn’t as popular as Mookie from Destinyland, the largest theme park in the world. Regardless of the competition, it was crowded on weekends and holidays alike.
“Wow—! I’ve never been to an amusement park before! Toshiki, let’s take a picture, c’mon!”
“Haha, Reika, don’t start running like that! It’s dangerous!”
The long-awaited weekend had finally arrived after this eventful week, to put it simply… What happened between me and Eri, as well as the whole confrontation with that p*do.
Mr. Tachibana was terribly strong, though a bit weaker than my grandfather. I’d say he was a master at what he did, boasting a military fighting technique made for close-quarter combat. He was relentless in his aim to hit one of my vital points and was clearly out to kill me.
Good thing I had that ballpoint pen on me. I originally planned on using it on Yamada, but life has its own plans I guess. Anything can be a weapon if you use it right. With one, I can even stand toe-to-toe with my barehanded grandpa.
After our fight, while I was “correcting” Yamada’s bad character, Mr. Tachibana regained his consciousness and said, “I have to go to class… Sawada, let’s talk as we walk,” as he walked down the hallway, blood dripping as he went. I left Yamada alone and went with him.
That’s when I heard about Eri’s position with him. It seems even he doesn’t have a grasp on a lot of things, but I got an approximate idea from the intel I got.
She was disowned, and had no place to go back… And yet she still had a leisurely lunch with us. Back then I asked her about her situation, and she answered.
“Hmm? Toshi, you’re worried about me? Ehehe, thank you! But don’t worry about me. I just found a new apartment, so I’ll be living there from today on.”
“Eh? Oh, how did you get the money?”
“Well, I got a lot saved up since I was paid for my work as an executive at Underground Fighting, and a crypto coin I bought when I was a kid blew up. Also, since my old nanny did nothing for me, I know how to do housework, so everything’s fine!”
I’m glad she seems okay, at least for the time being. Still, I could see some shadows in her eyes… Her own father abandoned her after all.
To be honest, that lunch break ended with us just checking her general situation and some inner workings of the underground fighting organization. Eri was eager to talk to everyone as if she couldn’t hold the newborn emotions that sprouted inside of her, things we as “normal” people take for granted.
However, there was no telling what she’d do if left alone, so Reika suggested we take her to Summer Sault Island along with us for the weekend.
I couldn’t help but wonder if playing in this sort of situation was fine, but we’re just normal students after all. I wanted to have lots of fun with my friends, study, and just sail along peacefully.
By the way, after that lunch break, as soon as I stepped inside my classroom, I could see my classmates sitting upright as if scared. After that whole situation, I wasn’t bullied anymore.
So, after everything was said and done, Reika, Eri, Hayakawa, Nakajima, and I went to the theme park.
“It’s been a while since I played with you and Toshiki, Nakajima! We used to go out together a lot, didn’t we? Haha, you used to be so sticky with Toshiki, didn’t you?”
“Oi, don’t touch my head, Hayakawa-senpai! And I wasn’t sticky with him!”
As soon as we stepped in, Hayakawa and Nakajima started flirting. Her cheeks were flushed and she had this sickeningly sweet smile on her face.
That’s because recently Hikari Kawano made a number of advances toward Hayakawa, which is dense as a rock, not noticing any of it. Those advances made Nakajima impatient and anxious about what could happen, so she was more aggressive than ever before.
Even now she clutched onto Hayakawa’s clothes, not letting go for a second.
“Hey, you’re making it hard to walk!”
“Doesn’t matter! You’re always hugging Hirano-kun!”
“That was sparring, you dummy!”
“Hmph, w–well you’ll just have to be grateful for me bothering you today! —Hey, look! It’s the mascot Capybara-san!”
“What’s up with it? It’s super ugly…” The two walked off without even paying attention to us.
I’ve been feeling a presence since a while ago. Actually, there was a mess inside the underground fight organization, and Hirano’s match with Hayakawa was postponed for a week. That’s why I invited both today, but Hirano said he had other things to do so we should just enjoy ourselves today.
But despite all that, I saw someone hiding in the shadow of a gorilla cardboard cutout. Reika and I pretended not to notice it, but we knew it was Hirano and Hiratsuka wearing the most obvious disguises known to man.
“Oi, Hayakawa! Let’s have lunch together! Until then, you two have fun!”
I waved Hayakawa off, and Nakajima nodded with a bright red face. Though I still knew he wasn’t getting any of her signals, it ultimately didn’t matter since they had a nice thing going on.
Either way, let’s enjoy the theme park!
With that in mind, I turned to Eri and Reika.
“Eri-chan, where would you like to start the tour from?” Reika started.
“Well, I wanna see the hippos, though I’d be fine starting from where you want to, Reika-chan,” Eri answered.
“Well, let’s let Toshiki decide!”
“Great idea! Where do you wanna go, Toshi?”
I was actually a bit moved by it. Eri was interacting with someone normally, which made me feel like she really lost her toxicity. I heard her cuteness still bewitches the boys, but she’s been constantly turning them down. That’s tremendous progress in my book!
But my eyes were drawn to Reika. She was extremely cute today, wearing the clothes we bought on a previous date. I knew she was looking forward to today’s trip since she read the guide until it got creased.
Ultimately, I decided to start with where Reika wanted to go. “Let’s go to the amusement park zone and go to the haunted house first.”
As I said that, Reika casually clutched my arm, causing my heart to beat faster than a drummer in hyperdrive.
“C–Could we act like when we were k–kids? I–I’ll grab you so I don’t get lost…”
“A–Ah, yeah, no problem.”
And then we started heading for the amusement park zone. While we did, Eri looked at us and tilted her head side-to-side. She held her hand forward for a second, then stopped.
“Ehehe, I’m so grateful to you for inviting me out today, even though I’m a nuisance to you, Toshi. I’ll pay you back someday.”
With that said, she walked beside us with her hands behind her back, and Reika gave her a warm look.
“I’ve been Toshiki’s friend for fifteen years, but for ten of those, we only saw each other once a year… You’ve been his friend for a decade, right? Then—”
Reika let go of my arm, grabbed Eri, and made her link her arm with mine.
“—Let’s have tons of fun together today!” She said while going back to my other arm.
Reika seemed to be enjoying it, humming to herself. Meanwhile, Eri quivered a bit as she grabbed my arm. It looked like she had been urged to do something she shouldn’t and didn’t know what to do.
After biting her lip a bit, she nodded slightly. “Um… Reika-chan… Thanks…”
I could tell she was holding something in while desperately trying to hide it, but decided not to pry further.
Thus, we headed for the haunted house.
TL: Reika is super-confident in Toshiki’s relationship with her to allow Eri to be that close, huh? I like it.
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