TL Note: The Chapter name directly translates to headgear -kaburimono- I think it refers to the part of animal ears in this chap?
It was a strange feeling.
I hadn’t thought that field trips could be so much fun.
I didn’t care about the eyes around me. Just having someone next to me made such a difference.
–No, this was good because it was Shinozuka-san.
After leaving Tackey, Shinozuka and I walked slowly through the park.
Before we came on the field trip, we spent a lot of time at my grandfather’s house thinking about where we would go together.
We talked about how we would get around the park.
–When we arrived at ……, it was our usual pace.
The atmosphere was relaxed and easy-going.
We spent our time in a natural way, without tension or too uptight.
Of course, Shinozuka-san was very excited. I was also more excited than ever.
I’m really enjoying the unusual feeling.
I didn’t know that amusement parks could be such a fun place.
I rode the rides that were available, but I rather enjoyed the atmosphere of the park. On our way to the horror house, which was our next stop, we stopped at a character store.
“–Shinjo! Look, they have Tacky’s ears! Shinjo, they look great on you!”
“Wait, I can’t be the only one to wear ears, can I?”
“Hmm, let’s just try it out!”
Shinotsuka put a pair of Tacky ears from the store on my head.
…… I never thought I’d wear animal ears in my life.
I’m too embarrassed to look in the mirror.
“You would still look good.. …… So which ear do you like, Shinjo?
“Me? I’m a little picky about my ears. I’m not writing a novel about another world. …… Are these cat ears? …… Are these fox ears? …… Mmm, what’s this?”
“Oh, bunny ears!. A handsome bunny boy chases after Prim, who has wandered into Wonderland. Let’s try something, shall we?”
It’s a surprisingly normal setting.
As she said this, Shinozuka put on her ears.
“…… How do you like it? Do I look good?”
Aren’t those ears foul? All I can say is that it looks good on you. . I was too embarrassed to look at her. I felt like I was going to explode with cuteness.
I turn my head to the side and reply.
“Oh, yeah, it looks good on you. You look like a bunny. ……”I turn my head to the side and reply.
“Hey, don’t look at me, Shinjo! Oh, you’re embarrassed! Well, he is “My name is Usagi, descendant of the noble Vorpal Bunny, I will defend this place with my life for the sake of my beloved Prim.” It’s a great scene that will make you cry, Usagi fighting alone against an army of 10,000!”
I couldn’t help but be blown away by the embarrassment.
The setting is still wrong, right? What’s with the extreme fantasy setting?
I’m going to have to watch it when my …… field trip is over. I’m curious.
Shinozuka flicked her rabbit ears with her hand.
–That’s a foul thing to say as a beast lover.
Shinozuka, satisfied with my attitude, put down her ears and pulled my sleeve.
“Let’s go to the horror house! After that, we’ll have dinner at the Destiny Diner!”
“Oh, yeah, okay.”
I was surprised when she suddenly pulled my sleeve and my heart jumped up in my chest.
I looked at the back of Shinozuka’s head and saw that her beautiful neck was slightly red.
–I guess the embarrassment is the same ……. It’s a good thing, then.
Shinozuka’s walking in front of me, grabbed my sleeve all the way to the horror house.
Suddenly, Shinozuka turned around.
“Well, I don’t want Shinjo to get lost. …… Haa, I’ll be lonely if I’m alone.”
“…… It’s okay. I’m not going anywhere. If you …… leave, I’ll keep looking for you everywhere.”
“Uh, umm, thanks, ……!
I felt her grip on my sleeve tighten just a little.
The horror house was quite busy.
It was a weekday, and the line was about 50 minutes long.
I couldn’t decide whether it was long or short.
“Is that so? You can write a whole story in that time.”
“That’s right. It’s even more crowded on weekends! It won’t be long before we’re talking on …….”
“I see. Then shall I ask Shinozuka to tell me the story of this horror house?”
“Yes, I’ll do it!”
We started to line up at the end of the line.
There were a lot of people in line, but we were moving forward sensibly.
I listened to Shinozuka, occasionally asking for annotations, giving my opinion, and almost forgot about the line and time.
Suddenly, I felt a gaze from the other side of the rope that was holding the line.
My eyes met those of a schoolgirl whose face I didn’t even know and my …… stepsister.
A subtle sense of distance. It was as if they were observing us right now.
“Blah, blah, blah, blah! Uuuu, I said something like that, but I’ve been seen by you again! Ha, Haruka’s so embarrassed! Aww, Haruka is just an ornament …… ornament ……”
My stepsister turned away from me and froze.
It was certainly …… totally like my stepsister to meet me so soon after that serious line.
The girl next to Haruka also turned her head away from me.
Are you from the same class as Haruka?
“Ha, Haruka! Wait, why is Shinjo-kun here?……, ugh, ……, let’s run away. It’s too bright for a shady person. ……, Haruka, you’re moving forward. Oh, God.”
“Don’t feel anything, idiot! We’re just an ornament!”
“We’re ornaments. …… Oh, ornaments. ……, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm… …”
Okay, I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that too.
Fortunately, there is a distance, and the girls are likely to enter the building in the next turn.
…… And the person next to my stepsister is a student I’ve never seen before. It doesn’t seem to matter to me.
“Nnn..Shinjo, what’s wrong?”
“No, I felt your eyes on me and I thought it was someone I knew, but it wasn’t.”
“…… Don’t stare at it too closely……. Yeah, and …… Shinjo-kun is also very popular, so there might be a lot of girls who want to be …… friends with him… …”
“Don’t worry. I’m just a shady guy. And I can’t imagine talking to anyone but Shinozuka. It’s impossible. I can’t believe it.
“Umm..eh..y-yeah, I still can’t believe it either, except for Shinjo, I guess. …… Ehehe.”
That’s right. We fundamentally can’t trust anyone yet.
For example, even if I feel nostalgia for your stepsister, even if I remember the conversation in the library with Saito-san, even if I remember the memory of my childhood friend — I still can’t believe it.
–I still can’t believe it right now.
Shinozuka and I are connected by something invisible. It could be a novel. It could be our situation. Maybe it’s the word “friend”. It could be a smile.
But there is one thing that I can say for sure.
–I believe in Shinozuka with all my heart.
“I’m sure we’ll be friends for a long time, just …… friends.”
“I’m sure we’ll be friends for a long time. I’ve only known you for a little while, but …… I think so too. Hey, Shinjo, let’s go to many places in the future!”
“Yeah, you should come with me to the publishing company …… for a while. I don’t feel safe going alone.”
I’ve got to go to a meeting once, and I’ve got to say hello to the editor-in-chief.
“Of course! I wanted to visit different publishers! I’d like to go to a pancake shop or a picnic and maybe karaoke? I’ve never been to ……. ……”
Yes, we still have time.
But still, our time as students is finite. —-I see. I’ll cherish the moment.
I’m sure that in the future, I’ll have many more memories of going out with Shinozuka, writing, trying to make a book…
I’m sure we’ll have a lot of memories together.
I don’t know how long it will last, but I have a feeling that it will last forever.
Suddenly, I remembered my stepsister words of congratulation.
I imagined a future where Shinozuka and I walk together.
In my imagination, Shinozuka was wearing a wedding dress.
The feeling I felt deep in my chest made me feel very embarrassed.
“Huh? Shinjo, your face is red. Do you have a fever?”
Shinozuka tried to put her hand on my forehead.
For some reason, I felt so embarrassed that I ran away.
“I’m all right. –Well, we should keep up the good work.”
“Yes? Of course! Let’s have lots of fun! And I’m not gonna lose!”
“That’s what I want. I’ll play in the romance genre too.”
The two of us continued talking, and we were soon inside the building.
The waiting time didn’t matter to us.
I could feel Shinozuka’s hand on my sleeve.
–It’s okay, we’ll be able to be together.
With that thought in mind, I stepped into the strangely intimidating horror house.