“Oh, Yukito. Don’t steal my card!” (Kouki)
“I don’t have it.” (Yuki)
“You’re too good at stirring things up! Get away from me!” (Kouki)
“Don’t rub it in my face! Gyaaaaa, I’m turning into a king!” (Yuki)
“Baka baka!” (Kouki)
“I want you to stop selling the property.” (Yuki)
“I’m leaving while I still can. See you.” (Kouki)
“You’re a bad guy with a fresh faceeeeeeee~” (Yuki)
“This is the end of the bad guys.” (Kouki)
“Don’t kill me without permission.” (Yuki)
Our friendship was torn to shreds, but the game was heated. Perhaps it was a plus that it was a four-player game with a CPU instead of a two-player game. After the party game, I played a fighting game against a hellishly handsome guy to decide who would win, but he kept getting up and attacking me at the edge of the screen and I lost.
Could it be that he doesn’t like me? I can’t help but feel that he’s trying to kill Yukito Kokonoe with the accuracy of his ascending dragon commands. The hellishly handsome guy was rather nasty in the game. I’m going to make a mental note of it.
“Speaking of which, what are you going to do about the tournament, Yukito?” (Kouki)
“What do you mean?” (Yuki)
“It means exactly what I said……” (Kouki)
Hell, I’m thinking about how I’m going to get revenge on the refreshingly handsome guy, and the topic changed.
“Kouki, what is our purpose?” (Yuki)
“Like winning the district tournament?” (Kouki)
“I don’t think we set any goals like that.” (Yuki)
“What is it then?” (Kouki)
It’s just plain stupid. It’s like anything else, if you don’t do it with purpose, it won’t be effective.
“Our goal is to help the hot-blooded senior confess his feelings. Only in basketball though.” (Yuki)
“You’re mixing public and private too much! And you’re not even good at it.” (Kouki)
“That’s how I got into the club in the first place.” (Yuki)
“That’s true, but……” (Kouki)
“I mean, that advisor is so unmotivated.” (Yuki)
Among the many athletic clubs in Shoyo High School, the basketball team led by the hot-blooded senior had the lowest expectations. It was the weakest of the four heavenly kings. At best, it could be described as a group of casuals, but when I entered the club, I was surprised to find that it was a very weak athletic club.
That’s why when I told my advisor, Ando-sensei, that I wanted to play basketball, he said, “Oh, I see. I’m busy, so you can do whatever you want. I’ll leave it to you.” He rarely showed up. I couldn’t feel a shred of motivation. Before that, he looked a little uncomfortable when the number of members suddenly increased. I wonder if he was forced to be the advisor. There was a glimpse of the darkness of working people.
A fresh and handsome guy from the athletic club joined the club, and the weak basketball club had a good number of new members in the first year, probably because of Shiori, the manager. However, we kept our original intention. Our goal is to assist the hot-blooded senior to confess his love to Ryone Takamiya, and basketball is just a means to that end.
“I don’t think there’s a basketball team in the whole country that has that goal.” (Kouki)
“If you want to be serious, you should go to a stronger club. Why did you even come to Shoyo?” (Yuki)
“…… I’ve had enough of basketball in junior high school, so I thought I’m done with it.” (Kouki)
“You’re just like me. I don’t know why I didn’t join the homecoming club. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.” (Yuki)
“And now we’re on the same basketball team, so I guess it’s fate.” (Kouki)
“Stop the sudden flashes of freshness!” (Yuki)
After 3 p.m., while we were taking a break and talking, a knock came from the door and the mother of the fresh-looking guy came in with snacks and drinks.
“Have a snack. Fufu~. Have a good time.” (Mother)
“Thank you very much.” (Yuki)
“Thank you, Mother.” (Kouki)
The refreshingly handsome mother left with a soft smile on her face.
“Warabi mochi is old-fashioned.”1(Yuki)
“Mom loves Japanese sweets. I often buy them for her.”(Kouki)
“Yes, it’s delicious, but I’m glad you’re taking such good care of her.”(Yuki)
“I didn’t expect you to care about that.”(Kouki)
“I’m a small guy who’s good at looking out for other people’s best interests.” (Yuki)
“Don’t lie to me like that.” (Kouki)
As I ate Warabi mochi1 with a fresh looking guy, I suddenly had an idea. I, Yukito Kokonoe, am the one who returns the favor.
“If you’re home at this time of night, does that mean your mother is a housewife?” (Yuki)
“Yes, she is. What does it matter?” (Kouki)
“I’m having some bad ideas again.……” (Kouki)
“Good things come in haste. Kouki, we’re going to your mother!”
“Wait! What are you going to do to my mother!?” (Kouki)
“Is this what you want?” (Chisa)
“Yes. I’m sorry. I need your cooperation.” (Yuki)
We were in the living room.
I asked Chisa-san, the fresh and handsome mother, to sit on a chair.
“First, let’s clean it with a steaming towel. Oh, don’t worry about the towel, it’s brand new and just opened the seal.” (Yuki)
“I don’t usually do this sort of thing because I have to do laundry, wash dishes, and other water work.” (Chisa)
“Oh, really? If that’s the case, let’s keep it simple and not too flashy.” (Yuki)
It’s easy to prepare a steaming towel. All you have to do is wet the towel with water and microwave it. I borrowed her microwave oven and waited for about 30 seconds. Let the hot towel cool down a bit, and then carefully wipe it down to the tips of the fingers and between the fingers. After wiping, apply a thin layer of hand cream.
“Your hands are very beautiful.” (Yuki)
“Oh, really? It’s kind of embarrassing to be called that by a friend of Kou-chan.” (Chisa)
Chisa smiled embarrassingly like a little girl.
“Why are you hitting on my mother” (Kouki)
A fresh, handsome guy next to me with a dumbfounded look on his face gave me a tsukkomi2. The refreshingly handsome guy doesn’t understand anything.
“Listen, Kouki. It’s not enough to just do this kind of thing. You have to make the other person feel good and clean, otherwise it’s meaningless, right?” (Yuki)
“Oh, my God……. Why are you only right when it comes to this?” (Kouki)
“Kuku. Ko-chan will soon understand it.” (Chisa)
“Mother, don’t let him fool you! What’s wrong with you, Yukito? You’re the one who’s always causing trouble and disturbances in the school life, and you’re the one who’s always making crazy comments! Why are you suddenly acting like a real person!” (Kouki)
Yeah. Isn’t that a terrible assessment of me?
“What is it?” (Kouki)
“Yukito Kokonoe version β.” (Yuki)
“Good, you’re the usual Yukito.” (Kouki)
The fresh, handsome man who is convinced. Is that good enough for you?
“Yukito, do you want to be a manicurist?” (Kouki)
“No, I do not” (Yuki)
“Before you came here, you surprised me by going into the cosmetics department.” (Kouki)
“I thought I’d buy some colors that would suit my mother.” (Yuki)
I bought about six new colors.
As I laid them out, I asked Chisa.
“Excuse me. This is all I have on hand at the moment, do you have a color you like?” (Yuki)
“Well, I guess…… it would be this one.” (Chisa)
The one that Chisa chose without hesitation was a light pink one. This color will certainly not stand out that much.
“I’ll start by sharpening the nails a bit.” (Yuki)
“Yes. I’ll leave it to you.” (Chisa)
Shape the nail with a file and wipe off with a wet tissue. When finished filing, apply a pace coat and wait for it to dry.
“Wow. You’re good at this. So, Yukito. Why did you suddenly start doing nails?” (Kouki)
“It all started on a hot day” (Yuki)
“Yeah, what’s with the acting? Flashback?” (Kouki)
“I’m done studying. I should learn something else.” (Yuki)
I throw my textbook on the desk. Once I’ve done all the prep work, there’s nothing left to do. I’ve finished the entire scope of the textbook. Summer vacation. I have a lot of time to waste, so I devote myself to studying, but I’m bored with the same old thing no matter what.
“Are you going somewhere?” (Yuri)
As I walked out of my room to go to the library, my sister, who was relaxing in the living room, stopped me.
“I thought I’d go to the library and explore a new door.” (Yuki)
“Hmm. I think I’ll go with you.” (Yuri)
My sister is thoughtful, but I caught her nails on the couch.
“Ouch……. I’ve already broken a nail.” (Yuri)
“Are you okay?” (Yuki)
“It’s just a little chip. Yes, you. Why don’t you learn how to do your nails in your spare time?” (Yuri)
“Just kidding. I just thought it would come in handy. Well, be careful out there. I’m going to trim my nails.” (Yuri)
My sister walked back to her room.
I could hear her words refrain in my head.
“Nails…… nails…… convenient……” (Yuki)
Powa powa powa.
“So that’s how it started.” (Yuki)
“Eh, That’s it?” (Kouki)
“I was bored. That’s good enough for me.” (Yuki)
“What was that whole thing about recalling things in a thought-provoking way….?” (Kouki)
“If my mom and sister think it’s worth it, then it’s worth it.” (Yuki)
“You are……” (Chisa)
Somehow, Chisa’s voice darkened a little.
If it makes them happy, so be it. In fact, I’ve caused more trouble and worry than I can ever repay. It is my policy not to go against my mother’s or sister’s words.
“Well, I guess it’s dry now. Let’s start painting.” (Yuki)
[Miho family POV]
“Thank you so much for today. I didn’t expect to have a friend of Kou-chan do this for me.” (Chisa)
“Don’t worry about it, it’s just a thank you. I’m going home. See you later, Kouki.” (Yuki)
“Oh. Take care of yourself. Let’s go for a swim next time.” (Kouki)
“Swim……nightpool……Ugh, I don’t know anything!” (Yuki)
“What’s wrong with Yukito?” (Kouki)
“Just remember my black history. And sure enough, social media was on fire.” (Yuki)
“I may or may not want to ask what happened to you…….” (Kouki)
“I’m leaving.” (Yuki)
Chisa calls out to her son, who is watching his best friend’s back as he walks away from the doorway.
“It’s a strange child who can’t be left alone.” (Chisa)
“That’s what everyone says.” (Kouki)
“You seemed to be enjoying yourself, Kou-chan. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you like that before.” (Chisa)
“Is that so?” (Kouki)
“You’ve never brought many friends, have you?” (Chisa)
“Well, he’s kind of…… a jerk. I can’t leave him alone.” (Kouki)
“Kuku. You can’t, right?” (Chisa)
Kouki felt a little embarrassed at being seen through and turned his head away, but Chisa watched him smiling. She knew that their relationship was good, but she wondered when was the last time she had been able to talk to her adolescent son so freely. Normally, she tends to be reserved because of his difficult age, but the current atmosphere is very comfortable. She was more than grateful that he had left her with such a pleasant atmosphere.
Chisa held up her hand, squinting in the glare of the setting sun.
“Is that something that makes you happy?” (Kouki)
“Yes. I think every woman is happy about that.” (Chisa)
“I think I understand why Yukito says he has bad luck with women.” (Kouki)
“Is that so?” (Chisa)
“It’s his own fault.” (Kouki)
With a wry smile, Kouki and Chisa went back inside the house.
It was time for dinner. The rest of the family would be returning soon.
She wonder if her husband will notice. Thinking about this, Chisa went to the kitchen, feeling a little bouncy.
“Hey, what’s that, Mom?” (Mitsuri)
“What is it, Mitsuri-chan?” (Chisa)
The family’s eldest daughter, Mitsuri, who was unusually home for dinner, reacted quickly.
“It’s unusual for you to wear nail polish. What’s wrong with you? Are you having an “affair?”” (Mitsuri)
Kouki didn’t miss the moment when her father’s normally calm and collected movements stopped.
“I wonder. Right, Kou-chan?” (Chisa)
“Why are you dodging this……?” (Father)
“Kou, what do you know about it?” (Mitsuri)
While Kouki was being cornered by Mitsuri, my mother was being cornered by my father on the other side.
“I’m sad you didn’t notice.” (Chisa)
“I’ve noticed……. So what’s going on, all of a sudden?” (Father)
“I’m sorry. I know I’ve been a little neglectful of you lately.” (Father)
“Kuku. What’s wrong, dear? Are you that upset?” (Chisa)
“No, it’s…….” (Father)
The usually quiet table of the Miho family has somehow turned into a lively shouting match.
(He’s going to cause a ruckus whether he’s here or not……)
He threw his resentment at his best friend, who was not present, but Kouki, perhaps intrigued, continued to pursue him.
“Kou, come clean.” (Mitsuri)
“I had a friend over today. He learned how to do nails, so he was just testing it on mom.” (Kouki)
“What’s up with that boy? What, is he a nail specialist or something?” (Mitsuri)
“No, not really, but it’s hard to explain, and it’s not worth explaining…….” (Kouki)
“You’re not making yourself clear.” (Mitsuri)
“Come on, that’s enough. Let’s go back to eating, okay?” (Kouki)
Kouki thought that his sister, who liked interesting things, would definitely like him if she met him. For Kouki, who is often pushed around by his older sister, the hardship is doubled. There was no way she could match him. He started to forcefully break off the conversation.
“I’d like to meet him.” (Mitsuri)
“Okay, that is it for this conversation.” (Kouki)
“Kou, call me when I’m around next time.” (Mitsuri)
“He’s not listening to me. No, he’s not the kind of guy Onee-chan cares about. He’ s a plain, inconspicuous, shady guy. Besides, what was it? The one he used to say. Oh, that’s right. He’s a loner.” (Kouki)
“You’re not friends with him, Kou?” (Mitsuri)
“He is, but…” (Kouki)
“Kou bringing a friend is also rare. In junior high school, there was no such thing at all. He’s good on the outside, but he’s a bit of a jerk.” (Mitsuri)
“He’s a fast-paced guy who doesn’t care about anything.” (Kouki)
“Well, that’s okay. It may seem strange to call him up when I’m the one who wants to see him. Let’s go see him when the time is right.” (Mitsuri)
“Sorry, Yukito. I don’t think I can stop her.” (Kouki)
Feeling the unpleasant sweat running down his back, Kouki decided to take a quick bath and forget about it.
“…… Kuchayu…… puha…… nn…… hamu……an…..” (Mother)
“Uhm, it’s ……” (Yuki)
“What’s wrong?” (Mother)
“You’re reacting exactly like Nee-chan.” (Yuki)
“Like mother and daughter.” (Mother)
“The persuasive power is amazing” (Yuki)
Before bedtime, I was doing my mother’s nails in her room, but to my dismay, she was in her underwear. To be honest, this scene is too much for my eyes. It’s not even a glimpse, and I’ve given up on everything and decided to just look at her openly. She has perfect skin care, so her skin is beautiful!
When I asked her why she was dressed like that, she replied, “It might get my clothes dirty.” It was a perfectly legitimate argument. She sounded very convincing. I thought that she didn’t have to take off her clothes that much, but I couldn’t think of any counterargument to that, so I had to accept it.
“How about this?” (Yuki)
When I finished painting her toes, she took a sigh of satisfaction. I tried a little bit of color gradation, but it seemed to have worked.
“It’s so beautiful……. Thank you.” (Mother)
Her gaze was passionate as she swooned. I wondered if she was pleased. I chose a heavenly color for my mom, who likes blue. The translucent shade suited her well. When she has to work, she can’t wear anything too flamboyant, but she works from home, and her office is about to go on vacation. It wouldn’t be a problem to dress up like this.
“That’s right. You know, I’ve decided on the destination we were going to before.”
“Oh, really?” (Yuki)
By the way, we were talking about going to a hot spring as a family. It’s the first time I’ve ever been on a family vacation, so I’m kind of looking forward to it.
“We’re going to a Japanese inn, and I think I can get the best room.” (Mother)
She showed me a list of accommodations on her phone.
“It’s got a great view and they’re proud of their natural hot springs. I’m looking forward to it.” (Mother)
“How did you get the room?” (Yuki)
“It was originally an inbound inn, but now it’s the time of year. There are no foreigners coming and the rooms are empty all the time.” (Mother)
“I see.” (Yuki)
That may be the case. Once a place is segregated, it is difficult to regain demand. The same is true for department stores, and as Ginza and Akihabara have become tourist destinations for foreigners, the people who used to go there have left. I wonder if this inn is in such a state. It was a beautiful place with a sense of history in its appearance.
The screen of her phone showed “Ryokan Umibara”.
- Warabimochi (蕨餅, warabi-mochi) is a wagashi (Japanese confection) made from warabiko (bracken starch) and covered or dipped in kinako (sweet toasted soybean flour)
- The act of pointing out that something is ridiculous or silly. Usually this is something another person (known as the “boke”) says or does. May involve violence towards the boke, such as hitting them on the head with a fan (esp. in anime) or slapping them on the forehead.