TL: New survey: link
It’s been almost a week since he took a break. Even with the weekend in between, he hasn’t come to school. I wonder what could be the matter…
The person who approached me now is a girl from the same class whom I get along quite well with. Tokugawa Fuyumi-chan. She has green hair, golden eyes, and a cute face. She’s one of my beloved people.
“You know, my dad gave me a bunch of discount tickets for a delicious ramen shop. But I’ve been eating there too much and I’m starting to get tired of it. So, if you want, why don’t you take them? It’s a really good place, and it’s worth going.”
“Is that okay? If I can have it, I might as well take them.”
“The owner of the shop is a determined woman. She’s put a lot of effort into the soup and noodles.”
“Heh, it sounds delicious. And it’s even better that it’s a woman owner!”
“I have three discount tickets. Here you go.”
She hands me three discount tickets. They expire in a week…
“I guarantee the taste.”
Three tickets… someone… Ah! Since I have the opportunity, I should take two people with me. Those two occasionally seem a bit distant, but they seem close at times, and it’s heartwarming to see them like that. Alright, after school, three girls going out for ramen!
Maybe our friendship will deepen with an opportunity like this.
However, at that time, I didn’t know. That the ramen soup would be as thin as water, almost tasteless…
“After school, as homeroom ended and she was getting ready to leave, I immediately asked her out.”
“Hey, Karen-chan. Want to go to a delicious ramen shop?”
“A ramen shop? Hmm, I’m not sure.”
“It’s supposed to be really tasty. The online reviews are good too.”
“Oh, if you say so, I guess I can go.”
“In that case, let’s invite Kohaku-chan too.”
“You’re inviting her? If that’s the case, I won’t go…”
“Let’s go. Come on, let’s go!”
“Hey, don’t pull my arm like that.”
Phew, I managed to invite her forcefully. Fufufu, my mental fortitude is growing stronger… Not as strong as his though…
Next, I invite Kohaku-chan. Karen-chan pouts a bit. When I go to the classroom to pick her up, she comes out just as I arrive.
“Moegi-senpai… and the bothersome pest.”
“Is your brain okay if you can’t even remember my name?”
Karen-chan playfully taps her head as if provoking her. Both of them start getting angry, and the atmosphere becomes tense.
Oh no, I have to stop this…
“Kohaku-chan, let’s go to the ramen shop!”
I stand between them, becoming a wall of sorts. But even so, Kohaku-chan leans slightly out from behind me and points at Karen-chan.
“You’re going with that flat-chested girl, right?”
“What!? Do you want to get punched!?”
Not only did she touch upon Karen-chan’s taboo, but she also escalated the provocation even further…
Karen-chan’s voice turns deep and doesn’t sound like that of a girl.
“I’m not going! I don’t want to eat with a b*tch like her.”
“Who are you calling a b*tch!? I’m a maiden!!”
“I didn’t say anything about you, but it seems like you’re taking it personally.”
“Grr!! You insolent…”
Something can be seen on the backs of the two of them. Kohaku-chan has a white tiger, and Karen-chan has a phoenix. The image is like their guardian spirits colliding…
I have to stop this…
“Both of you, calm down… Let’s get along, okay?”
Why is it that they only get along in situations like this? They both turn away from each other. The sense of discord is intense.
“I-I happen to have three discount coupons for the ramen shop. It would be a waste not to go!”
“If that pig is going, I’ll pass.”
“I-I’ll go if that exhibitionist girl doesn’t.”
“T-That’s…such a waste…”
What should I do? If things continue like this, they’ll remain at odds… It’s lonely to eat ramen alone… But I also have the tickets…
In that case…
“Waaaah, you two are fighting! Eeehhehhhh!”
The secret technique: “Fake crying.” I squat down on the spot, covering my eyes with my hands, pretending to cry. I’ve never done it before, but it feels like it’s working.
“D-Don’t cry, Moegi!”
“T-That’s right. What we’re doing is, um, teasing each other. Right?”
“T-That’s right, just harmless teasing. So, please don’t cry?”
They both show concern, and Karen-chan pats my head as if comforting a child… Fufufu, happiness… No, that’s not what I’m thinking. I unexpectedly have acting talent!!?? Crap, I’m getting sidetracked again!
“Higuu, I-I mean you two don’t get along…”
“Look, we get along just fine!”
“That’s right. Look, look!”
They link arms. Their upper bodies seem to get along very well. However, their lower bodies, especially their feet, are stepping on each other.
“Your feet don’t get along…”
Then, they stop stepping on each other and manage to put on a smile despite their irritation.
“See, this time …… we get along.”
“Gugu, yeah, we’re good friends.”
“Look, we get along.”
“Alright, let’s go to the ramen shop then!”
I stand up decisively, pointing my finger towards the ramen shop and start walking in that direction.
“…We’ve been skillfully manipulated”
“That was an impressive performance…”
I feel like I hear something from behind, but it must be my imagination, right?
“Is this the place?”
“Fmm, it looks like a fairly new shop.”
You can tell just by the exterior that it’s recently opened. Inside, there are counter seats and table seats. There are a few empty seats available.
“Welcome. How many people?”
“Would you prefer counter seats or table seats?”
“Table seats, please.”
Fufufu. It’s because I can see the cute faces of the two of them better this way! At the table seats, I sit facing the two of them. They sit side by side, but there’s something odd about it…
“Now, let’s place our orders!! It’s not good to give off such a tense atmosphere, other customers might get bothered!”
“That’s true… Let’s order for now. Here you go, Moegi.”
Karen-chan hands me the menu, and she takes her own portion to look at. This shop has two menus, but only Karen-chan’s side has the menu and condiments, so Kohaku-chan can’t do anything. Karen-chan looks at the menu alone and doesn’t show it to Kohaku-chan.
“Let me see it.”
“Oh, this looks delicious too.”
“Don’t ignore me!!”
“Just show it to me already!!”
“Dooon’t want tooo”
They end up wrestling with each other…
“Hey, Kohaku-chan, I’ll show you mine, okay?”
“As expected of Moegi Senpai! Not only your chest but also your heart is big! Unlike this person who is small in every way.”
“Stop, stop. We’re being watched!!”
Saying it in a loud voice, they calm down for a moment. And somehow, they manage to successfully place their orders. There were various moments like that…
[I’ll have the Tonkotsu Ramen.]
[This person will have the Kids’ Ramen, right? See, your physique and behavior are so childlike, aren’t they?]
The waiter seemed really troubled… Until the ramen arrives, what should we talk about? They’re not saying anything, and if I don’t keep the conversation going…
“Karen-chan, do you have any recommended light novels lately?”
“Hmm, ‘The Failure at the Magic Academy’ is always a recommendation… But recently, there’s ‘The Invincible Heroic Tale of the Weakest Sage’ or something like that?”
“There’s such a thing… Being the weakest yet invincible? It feels a bit contradictory, doesn’t it?”
“Weakest equals strongest, so there’s no problem with it.”
“Heh. It has such a hidden meaning… Um, Kohaku-chan, is there something you’ve been into lately?”
“Cooking, I guess? I’ve been getting interested in French cuisine.”
“Heh, French cuisine… That’s amazing.”
In Karen-chan’s case, it’s a genre that hasn’t been touched upon before, so I can’t really keep up with it. As for Kohaku-chan, her interest is taken to an extreme, so it’s difficult to match it well. Both of them have strong personalities, and that’s what I like about them.
“Here are your orders: Tonkotsu Ramen, Kimchi Ramen, and Miso Ramen.”
The waiter brings us the ramen. It smells delicious. It’s a bit early for dinner, but it shouldn’t be a problem, right?
We all take a sip of the soup. It’s delicious. Both of them have satisfied expressions, and their chopsticks move rapidly. Everyone becomes happy when eating something delicious. I really like this atmosphere.
As we’re engrossed in eating, there’s a live broadcast program on the TV in the restaurant, so I unintentionally shift my gaze towards it.
[Now, we’re here at Unabara Cho Town’s festival.]
“What kind of town is Unabara Cho?”
“It’s a place known for its abundant nature, especially the beautiful sea. The festival there seems to be held based on local traditions, so the timing doesn’t matter much.”
“How do you know about that?”
“I did some research on various places across the country for a while.”
“T-that’s amazing… I didn’t know you had that kind of time…”
The three of us watch TV, share our impressions, and engage in conversation. Since both of them and I have finished our ramen, our attention turns to the TV.
[There are so many couples. Let’s interview one. Excuse me.]
The TV host approaches a couple… No way…
Awa, awawawawawawawa. H-He’s there… Moreover, sitting next to him is a girl who fits my taste!
T-The two of them… Tentatively, I look at them, and…
They fall silent! Eeeeeeeeehhhh!!!?? Is this how it turns out here!? We went to a ramen shop, had a fun conversation with the three of us, and everything was going well, but now, now it’s come to this!?
Wait, skipping school to go to a festival with a girl… Is that delinquent behavior!? Is he a delinquent!?
The TV host asks the unfamiliar girl…
[How long have the two of you been together?]
[We just met a week ago…]
Eehhhh!? In other words, he skipped school for a week to hit on girls!? Is he an idiot!? What am I going to do with this atmosphere!?
“Ah, uhm, there’s someone who looks just like him. Hahaha.”
I’m making such a painful excuse. They’re not saying anything either. My stomach is starting to hurt.
After that, we dispersed without much conversation. I also panicked and forgot to use the discount coupon, so I ended up stopping by the pharmacy on the way back. I firmly pledged in my heart that I would later claim compensation from him for the damages.
Yesterday, I returned home late at night and went to sleep immediately because I was quite exhausted. Starting today, I have to go to school.
Finally, I’m just a mob… As a mob, my morning routine consists of waking up at the last minute, having a casual breakfast, and yawning while heading to school.
Ah, it’s peaceful. I feel good. The desire to repay them, the girls, is the most important thing, and I’m happy that I was able to accomplish that.
“Oi, the Hero is here.”
“It’s Hero Izayoi.”
Whispering among themselves, the students of Mina no Iro High School are calling me the “Hero.” Is it because I was absent from school for an entire week…?
By the way, it’s been a while since I went to school. While humming, I walk along the school route, and someone taps my shoulder from behind. When I turn around, it’s Hihara Karen.
Huh? Didn’t she hear me?
“…Good morning, Izayoi!”
Ah, so she just didn’t hear it after all. She returns the greeting with a bright smile, although there was a slight pause.
“Oh, sorry for the late reply. You went out of your way to message me.”
Even though I received a message from her right after I was absent and couldn’t reply, it was my fault, so I need to apologize properly.
“Yeah, yeah! It’s okay! After all, Izayoi seemed to be busy with various things… right?”
“Ah, yes. It’s helpful to hear you say that.”
Huh, there’s something different about her atmosphere… There’s a saying that you should take notice if you haven’t seen someone for three days, but does it apply to girls too? Maybe it’s just my imagination…
“Hey, Izayoi, can you come over here for a moment?”
“Uh, sure. But we have school…”
“It’s fine, isn’t it? After all, you’ve been skipping so much. And it’s just for a little while… it’s okay, right?”
I feel a chill… Is it just my imagination? I follow her, and we end up in a slightly dark place, like a quiet alley with few people. As soon as we enter, she suddenly grabs my collar.
“U-Um, is something wrong?”
“Fufufu, ‘Is something wrong?’ That’s what you’re asking? How funny. Do you still think you haven’t been caught?”
“Izayoi, be honest and tell me what you were doing when you went to the beach. I won’t get mad.”
While saying that, she presses her foot against mine as if to say she might poke a hole in it. What’s going on?
“Uhm, I was sightseeing…”
“Heh, that must have been fun, right? Going sightseeing with a girl and all…”
“H-Hold on, are you misunderstanding something? Also, my foot hurts a little…”
“Ah, sorry. My legs just moved on their own. I can’t stop them.”
“Oh, I see…”
“So, who is that girl?”
“W-Who are you talking about?”
“Do you still think you haven’t been caught? I’ve heard about that blue-haired girl who appeared on TV.”
…TV… TV… Ah!! Is she talking about that interview with the newscaster!?
“That’s not it!! I just happened to meet her and she kindly showed me around as a tour guide. I treated her at the festival as a thank you, that’s all!”
“Liar. They said on TV that you two make a good couple… Who do you think you’re pretending to be tsundere for? Sometimes, I say things from my heart too, but don’t misunderstand me like an idiot. I only did it because Izayoi liked that kind of vibe… But Izayoi… You’re chasing after another girl again… Lately, I’ve been going to the beauty salon, asking about ways to style my hair in twin tails… I’ve been studying cooking too… Mumbling, mumbling…”
Uh-oh. This is a huge text… Her eyes are scary, and her voice is low. Yandere… or maybe not? There are so many misunderstandings, I need to clarify things properly…
“Hihara-senpai!! It’s really a misunderstanding. That blue-haired girl is my friend, not my girlfriend!! I swear to God, it’s true!”
“Do you have any proof?”
“I don’t… but please look into my eyes. Do I look like I’m lying!?”
“…I can’t tell, but…”
“T-Then, you believe me, right!?”
“Actually, I haven’t forgotten about you even for a moment, and I bought you a souvenir!”
“Yes, here it is!”
I present her with the manju I bought as a souvenir. I forgot to reply to her message, but let’s pretend that I never forgot… Well, there’s no other choice…
“Yes, that’s it!”
C-crap. It’s not a particularly great souvenir, and Hihara Karen doesn’t seem to show much of a reaction. Maybe a cute strap would have been better? But I thought it would be something her family can enjoy together…
“I want you to share it with your family.”
“…Well, I guess it’s barely acceptable… Including the normal points…”
“I-Is that so?”
“I believe you. There’s nothing between you and that blue-haired girl.”
“Y-Yes, we’re just friends.”
“Good, then let’s go to school.”
Phew, I’m safe. I’m not sure what’s safe, but if things continue like this, until I encounter Gindou Kohaku … I suddenly felt a stomach ache for the first time in a while.
“I guess I have no choice. I’ll accompany you to school. Be grateful!”
“I guess you’re right. Thank you!”
With a beaming smile on her face, she looked a little embarrassed. It’s been a while since I walked to school with her.
And, she’s still cute, oi.