A few days have passed since I saved Kaede.
I led her to the Second Flower Arrangement club.
All the members were gathered in the clubroom.
“Welcome back, Shimizu.”
Chris stood up and walked to us with an elegant posture.
“So you’ve finally decided to join us, Kaede. I’m glad.”
She showed us an innocent, noble smile as she reached her hand at Kaede.
But Kaede slapped the hand aside.
“Humph, I did say I want to join the club, but I never said I wanted to get in good terms with you guys.”
Her slightly raised eyes were widened. That’s a feisty expression.
Upon seeing this, Karin raised her hands and exclaimed,
“Kaede! What do you think you’re doing to our Lord, Prez—”
Chris, however, stopped Karin from moving forward.
“…Kaede? Have I done anything to you? Why do you hate me this much?
“No reason at all. My instincts are telling me that I can’t let my guard down around you.”
“…Doesn’t it seem somewhat illogical from you?”
“I don’t feel good after seeing you. Is there any other reason needed?”
“What exactly do you not like about me?”
“Your pretentious face annoys me, that arrogant voice of yours annoys me, your aloof thoughts annoy me, and most importantly, it seems you’re the only one hiding something. This is the only thing I’m really angry about.”
I looked on at these two, who definitely have a tense relationship going on, to a point where I could picture sparks flying in the atmosphere of the clubroom.
Even Hijiri was staring at them. She probably sensed how bad it was, I guess.
I too held my breath, waiting for Chris’ reply. The latter smiled at Kaede.
“It seems you have a huge misunderstanding of me.”
“I’m not hiding anything at all. After we get together for a little while, I suppose you’ll understand. Let’s do our best together in the future, shall we?”
“Tch. Your attitude’s annoying too.”
Chris ignored Kaede’s criticism as she said,
“We’re all troubled by a certain thing.”
“Because of that, we’re in the Second Flower Arrangement club.”
“Hold on a moment, won’t it be a little better to avoid saying that the Flower Arrangement club members are all like that?”
“Why? It’s already common knowledge that the Flower Arrangement Club promotes the virtue of picking flowers.”
“WHAT KIND OF COMMON LOGIC IS THAT!? APOLOGIZE TO ALL THE FLOWER ARRANGEMENT CLUBS IN THE COUNTRY!”
“…Shou, you can’t deny the reason for the club’s existence.”
“WHY’RE YOU SAYING SUCH THINGS TOO, HIJIRI!?”
“…The Flower Arrangement Club does such things.”
“……Is that so. If you say so, Hijiri, I guess that’s the case.”
“And so, to deal with our secret condition, I propose to hold a special training this weekend.”
“Huh? Any idea coming from Chris is not a good thing!”
“Anyway, it’ll be this Saturday. We’ll gather at the family restaurant near the train station.”
A special training in a family restaurant four days later…?
…I’m getting a bad feeling about this. But it might just be me……right?
The following day’s Wednesday, after school. It was the day clubs do not have any activity.
“Yo, Shimizu. Since there’s no club activity today, go home with me!”
BAM! Kaede slammed the classroom door hard as she said this.
All the stares in the classroom were gathered upon me.
“W-wait, isn’t that Kaede Kaijyou?”
“Why’s she with that Shimizu…”
There were annoyed stares coming at me along with those voices, and I hurried over to Kaede.
“Why’re you looking for me?”
The moment I asked this, Kaede blushed, and she turned her head aside, saying,
“I-It doesn’t really matter! Anyway, it’s not good to think too much of the little things!”
…As expected, I have no idea at all why this girl just called me out.
Is it because we’re in the same club now? Well, fine then.
“I get it. Let’s go.”
I said this, and pressed Kaede to go first. We walked side by side along the corridor.
“Hey. Y-Y-You’re too close! M-Move away from me a little…”
Her face was red, and she was waving her arms frantically.
“I see…is this far good enough?”
“T-This isn’t going home together anymore! A, A little closer…”
I obeyed to Kaede’s troublesome demands, and asked her something I was very curious about.
“Speaking of which, did you not say that you’ll go out with anyone who beats you in a match?”
Poof! Kaede’s face immediately turned red, and it was even spreading to her neck.
“W-What..what’s with this? You want to go out with me, Shimizu? But we never made such promise before. We didn’t, b-but, it doesn’t mean I’m not unwilling. B-But, ahh…”
Poof! Steam was rising from her head, and she then stopped.
“Erm, hello. Kaijyou?”
She continued to remain like that, and said with a very soft voice.
“Ka, ka, ka.”
“…That’s a weird laugh.”
“Ka-ede…is okay…I guess…?”
What’s going on now? Why is she saying her own name now?
Was she hoping for me to call her by her first name? I considered that thought, and opened my mouth,
BAMF! I have been pushed hard, that my body shook.
“D-Don’t call me by my name so suddenly!”
“Didn’t you let me call you by this name, Kaede!?”
The moment I called her by her name, Kaede jumped in shock.
“Ku, uu. It’s too much…! Calling me by my name so many times…”
“I have no idea what you’re saying now!”
“Y-You have to bear responsibility for calling me by my name, you know?”
“WHAT KIND OF RESPONSIBILITY IS THERE FOR DOING SUCH A THING!?”
“W-Wait a moment…”
Kaede pressed her hand on her chest, and inhaled deeply.
“Sorry. I’ve calmed down now. T-Th-Then, y-yo-yo-you want to, go out with me, right, Shimizu?”
“No, not at all.”
“Eh? No-not…at all?”
“I’m telling you that’s not the case.”
“Ah, ah, uh…? I’m okay, right? I-If you wish to though…”
“Don’t force yourself, Kaede.”
“It’s embarrassing…calling me, Kaede.”
“I know you’re honest.”
“H-Hm? What do you mean?”
“You’re serious about fulfilling that promise, right? As long as you’ve made a promise, you’ll obey it no matter what it is, and never go back on your word, right?”
“Ahh! Of course!”
“But there’s no such thing about us dating because of losing against someone. The most important factor is what your heart thinks.”
“N-No, that’s not it. I’m saying, well, my heart…”
“D-Don’t force yourself, Kaede!”
“I-I’m not forcing myself. I do have feelings for you, Shimizu…!”
“It’s really not good to force yourself to be determined like this, Kaede.”
“No, I said it already.”
“And it’s like how you push me aside when I try to approach you, right? You hate me, don’t you?”
“No, w-well…! It-it’s because it’s awkward, you know?”
“Don’t force yourself, Kaede! I have no intention of going out with you. Just relax.”
“Shimizu, you! Just listen to me!”
Kaede’s shouts echoed as we walked back home. She was really someone who likes to trouble the people around us.
On the next day, Thursday, we were in the clubroom.
Hijiri will be coming a little later because of class duty, and Chris hasn’t arrived either. In other words, Karin and I are the only two around.
Speaking of which, I never actually apologized properly.
I did apologize for what happened the first time we met, but for some reason, I made Karin angrier.
I think it’s better to apologize properly. Definitely.
Meanwhile, Karin swayed her glowing black hair as she hurriedly looked away,
“I-I’m not looking at you at all!”
“No, it’s weird for you to be like that. Why must you deliberately say it out?”
“Sh-Shut up! I’m not talking to you right now, Shimizu.”
She turned her face aside.
“Uhm, Karin, about that.”
She turned her head some more,
“About what happened at that time…”
She turned her head further.
“…Forget about it.”
“Eh? What now? You’re too much! Why aren’t you saying anything more!”
“You’re really troublesome. Can I just ignore you?”
“I-Ignoring someone else is not something a human should do!”
“But you just did so, right?”
“I-I’m fine here! I’m an Archmage!”
“By your logic, am I not some beast in the darkness or something?”
“A demon! A devil!”
“Okay, okay, that counts, alright?”
“You’re the worst! Shimizu! You’re an idiot!”
Guuh! Karin was glaring at me, and there seemed to be tears in her eyes.
“What do you mean by that? Please talk with me seriously!”
“Ah, I’m doing that now. I’m being serious.”
“Aren’t you just answering me without thinking!? That’s so casual.”
“Didn’t you not want to talk with me at first?”
“That, isn’t, because I didn’t…uu…! A-Anyway, what did you want to say anyway?”
“Ahh…well, there’s something I can’t really talk about, but I have to.”
I’m wondering about how I can go about doing this, and paused slightly.
“What’s it that you struggle so hard to talk about…i-is it a confession or something…?”
“Are you overwhelmed by my extraordinary cuteness…? Hoo, ohoho, eheh, hehehe.”
“I’m saying…when we first met—”
“Are you saying that you fell for me at first sight? Is that it…? I-I see, oho, ohohoho.”
“No, I think I did something really bad back then. You’re really angry about it back then, and I did apologize late, but ended up enraging you further…”
“Ahh! Speaking of which, I think I heard something rude being said about me!”
Karin placed her hands in front of her and clasped them together.
“Eh, have you, by any chance, forgotten?”
“I-I-I-I still remember it…I guess?”
Karin turned her eyes aside and argued back.
“Hm, either way, I’m really sorry about that.”
“I won’t forgive you! You want to pass it off after saying such harsh words?”
“But didn’t you forget it all already?”
“I still remember! I do! I remember—it—very—clearly—!”
“Ah, well, I guessed as much.”
“A-An-Anyway, you must pay for this, Shimizu! Your sinful life needs to be purged! You need to repay this with equal value.
Well, well, Karin however folded her arms as she muttered, pondering.
“…Well, as long as it’s not beyond common sense.”
At this moment, her face suddenly turned red, and she placed her hands on her cheeks.
…What’s she doing now? Her body’s twitching away.
“Ahh. Th-the-there’s still this, but it’s really filthy…no…! Th-this isn’t right! It’s not like that! Victory determines justice. I’m justice. There’s no way there can be anything wrong with whatever an Archmage does! Okay!”
“…Have you thought of what you want to say now, Karin?”
“We-we-well! Shimizu…do you have a girlfriend?”
Or rather, I never had one ever since birth, but I decide to specially emphasize on the ‘currently’.
Why did I say it in that way? But well, it’s not a lie anyway.
No wait, a confession now? No, don’t be mistaken here. There’s a chance I’ll be mistaken, or rather, isn’t it embarrassing for me to be so sensitive about this and associate it with love?
I have to listen to what she says fully first.
“A-Ah, what do you mean here?”
“P-Pl-Please be my underling!”
…What in the world did this person just say?
But as expected, it’s not a confession. So that’s how it is.
“Pl-Ple-Please be a-an existence that always wa-watches over me…!”
Is she feeling unwell? Even her neck’s all red as she declares this.
“Sorry, but I don’t think I’m able to do this.”
I don’t know what sort of requests I’ll need to fulfill if I became her underling.
“Ugh, i-is that so…”
Karin’s shoulders slumped weakly.
“But, I’m not going to give up! No matter what Icicle Edge pierces through my chest…! Just wait and see!”
She exclaimed while putting a hand on her waist and pointing a finger with the other.
The next day is Friday, and on that day.
“Yo, I’m here to play, Shimizu!”
“Ugh. What’re you doing here, Kaede!?”
Karin stood in front of Kaede, blocking her way.
“For what? I did join this club though?”
“Suddenly joining a club? That’s very suspicious! Don’t you really hate Prez? You should be a phantom club member!”
I casted aside their words away from my mind, and start to think about Hijiri’s issues.
What exactly can I do to raise the affection levels…?
“I still hate Chris now, but, th-the-there’s someone, el-else I want to see. That’s why I joined…”
I’m a little concerned about Kaede glancing at me, but right now, the important thing is Hijiri.
“K-Kaede, don’t tell me, Shimizu, too!?”
“Huh? What do you mean by ‘too’? ‘Too’. Karin, don’t tell me you too…”
“So what? What’s your previous life as, Kaede? I was an Archmage!”
“I’m me in my previous life! And my future life is me!”
“I can’t communicate with you at all, Kaede!”
“What right do you have to say anything about me!”
…Why’s it so noisy here? Well, never mind.
“Anyway, I-I’ll take Shimizu then…”
“D-Don’t kid around! Shimizu’s my contracted monster familiar, you know!? I can’t hand him over to you so easily!”
“Contracted monster!? What are you saying! How about you be a little less conceited, Karin!? You’re neither busty nor tall anyway!”
“Wh-What does this have anything to do with breasts!? Don’t get cocky because they shake about!”
“Ho ho. So you’re envious of them.”
“Not at all. Pero pero pero! My existence alone is of utmost importance to this world! I’ll use my magic to protect this world in all sorts of ways!”
“Huhu, such a delightful head you have.”
“Oh oh. So you know, you finally know! This is as delightful as a New Year, Christmas and birthday celebration! This is how my head is! Oh ho ho!”
“Ugh…! Damn! I don’t know what’s going on at all, but it sounds really amazing…!”
“You’re now trembling in fear, aren’t you! Ahaha!”
“Let’s settle this then! Come on!”
“I-It’s alright? Let’s ask Shimizu who he likes then!”
“Oh ho? Just ask who he likes? You don’t seem confident here, Karin.”
“Of course! Of course I do! Let’s ask this irreversible question then! I-I don’t care if you regret it then! Shimizu, Shimizu!”
Hijiri, Hijiri, Hijiri, just when I was thinking about her, someone suddenly shook my body.
Once our eyes met, Karin’s face immediately reddened.
“E-Erm, S-Shimizu…p-pl-please, k-ki-kis.”
“…Er, what? What’re you saying? I can’t hear you at all, Karin. You just bit your own tongue, didn’t you?”
Kaede, who was beside her, then charged over to me, seemingly ready to push Karin aside.
I couldn’t see her expression as her head’s lowered slightly, but it seems her neck has turned red too.
“S-Shimizu. P-ple-please go-go out with me instead of Karin. I-I won’t make you regret this, got it?”
“Ah! Please don’t get in the way, Kaede! You’re sneaky!”
“You’re annoying! Can’t you just watch quietly?”
…What’s with this situation? I had not managed to hear them clearly, so I didn’t know what they meant. How should I interpret the term ‘going out’?
I started to draw conclusions in my head.
First, I’ll have to exclude the possibility of a boy-girl relationship. Thinking about it randomly, it’s totally unrealistic for these two to confess to me at the same time. Both of them are already tragic people, beyond pity, but at least they’re absolute beauties. That’s impossible for someone like me.
In that case, I should think of it as them wanting me to accompany them to buy something. If it’s at that level at least, I guess it’s nothing much.
While I was thinking at the moment, their arguments were becoming incessant.
“So what about you, Kaede…! You have that incontinence issues!”
“Wha-What’re you saying!? That’s yourself, right!?”
“Shut up! Hah!”
Karin wanted to grab Kaede, but failed as her head got clamped in return.
Her arms were flailing away, but she couldn’t reach the latter.
“Your lips below are already dripping wet, Kaede!”
“What’re you saying, Karin! You! Do you know what this means!”
“I don’t really understand well, but I saw it on the internet before! I-It probably refers to those who can’t control their bladders, right!?”
“Then aren’t your lips below soaking wet!?”
Hey…what’re you two arguing about?
And speaking of which, these two really don’t get along at all.
“Wait. Both of you two. Calm down. What. Ah, it’s that, right?”
“Who do you choose, Shimizu?” “Which side?”
“I’ll go out with both of you, so stop arguing already.”
“You two may be thinking about this for my sake, but I’m fine going out with the two of you.”
“You’ve become so shameless now, Shimizu!?”
“Ku…why’re you saying such shameless words…!?”
…? They’re talking about shopping, right? Why are they so shaken up?
“Besides, it’s not good for a girl to say something like the lips below. Not good at all.”
“Eh, Shimizu? You don’t, like that after all…? Wanting to go to the toilet suddenly…?”
…Going to the toilet suddenly? Holding it in? Outdoor play?
“I think it’s really bad for a girl to be like that.”
Lewd girls are bad after all.
“I-I’ll get this nature of mine treated! … So that I won’t have incontinence issues anymore.”
So Karin was such a lewd girl?
“I-I’ll get it treated too! Definitely! … My incontinence issues”
Even Kaede too!?
“Ah, yeah…it’s better to get that treated.”
But well, upon thinking about how some pretty girls are so lewd, I think something just rose in my heart.
“So you’ll go out with whoever gets their condition treated. Is that okay…?”
Karin asked as she showed a weird expression.
“Ah, it’s fine.”
“That’s absolute!” “Absolutely!”
Both of them looked really amped up for this.
…Looks like there’s a need to treat not only their incontinence issues, but also their lewdness. These two are really troublesome.
“…If there’s a need to go shopping, I can go out with you.”
And then, on Saturday, we, the second flowering club, have gathered at a family restaurant.
“Today, we have gathered here…”
Chris folds her arms and rests them on the table.
Her blond hair was like a blooming flower, swaying away, ostensibly showing the difference from a peasant. The impression she gave was that of a highly refined princess, and her one-piece skirt seemed to enforce this.
“…in order to hold a welcome party for Kaede and Shimizu.”
“I-Is that so?”
Unlike me, who was feeling a little happy, Kaede showed an unhappy look.
“…I don’t feel happy at being welcomed by you. I do feel a chill however.”
“Ah, you’re not happy at all, Kaede? That’s a pity though. Shimizu, you do feel a little happy, right?”
Chris leaned her body over to me. Ah, man, I can almost see the breasts and all. They were obviously bigger than my sister’s. Of course, Hijiri’s are stylish too.
“Hey, Shimizu, where are you looking at? Aren’t you quite the pervert?”
Chris covered her chest with her hand as she said that.
And before I could deny it, Karin, who was beside me, slams the table.
“Shimizu! Th-That sort of l-lewd thing sh-shouldn’t be done! I-If you have time to think about it, why don’t you practice one of your magic first?”
“No! Why must I do such a painful thing!?”
Uu. Karin folded her legs unhappily, and her red checkered miniskirt swayed. She had a similar red tie, a black jacket, a cross pendant, a skull necklace, a dragon-shaped bracelet. She still looked the same with all the painful-looking ornaments on her.
“Where’re you looking! Are you looking at my ample breasts after seeing Prez’s?”
“THAT’S BLASPHEMY! AND THEY’RE NOT AMPLE!”
“You’re lying as naturally as you breathe!”
“DON’T RANDOMLY ADD A LIAR NATURE TO ME NOW, WILL YOU?”
“…I hope you’ll say something more romantic.”
“Why are you looking for romance in a family restaurant? It feels like everything I can say will just fade away.”
She then paused at this point, before continuing with a serious look.
“‘I see that your eyes are dazzling like the stars. Even if millions of enemies attack, I’ll protect you, for I’m your Knight’. Something like that—”
“Woah…that’s a terrible feeling on your side. What’s with that?”
“It’s not terrible at all! You’ll feel your chest tighten! Tighten! I’ll explain it to you then, you idiot Shimizu! It’s—”
Karin started gesticulating, intending to explain herself, but I stopped her with my hand.
“…Really! It’s because it’s you, Shimizu, that.”
I suddenly turned to the front, and found Hijiri staring at me.
Chris said this, seemingly intending to stoke the flames.
“But it’s because Karin allowed it that Shimizu can join the club.”
“…Chris? You don’t seem to be happy about this?”
“How can that be? Since Karin has agreed to it, is there a reason why I have to be unhappy about it?”
Karin stood up, ostensibly jumping.
“No I didn’t, but I thought…since he looks so pitiful…that I might as well let him join. Right, and I still owe him one. I’m not someone who doesn’t know graciousness, so at least I thought of putting him at the lowest level, as my underling. Shimizu’s so useless, so I’ll take care of him as my butler for the rest of his life.”
“Ah, erm, that’s a little…”
Karin whispered as she tugged at the bottom of my T-shirt, her eyes glancing up at me.
Ah, this girl certainly is cute. My heart started to race.
A sensation of pain then struck my foot.
I looked below the table to see my foot being stepped on. It was Hijiri.
“Shou, you’re being fascinated.”
Hijiri and Karin started to squabble, and suddenly, a chill struck me.
I looked around, and see Chris glaring at me with an unhappy look.
“…You’re starting to get cocky, cheating away my cute club members…”
“C-Chris, what did you just say?”
But Chris suddenly reverted back to her princess-like smile. Was it my imagination that she was glaring at me?
“In that case, how about we give Shimizu a nickname?”
“What? You’re doing that now?”
“Because it’s easy to confuse between the two Shimizus.”
“It’s alright, isn’t it? Everyone just calls Hijiri by her name—”
Chris then raised a finger and said,
“Shishi. How about that?”
“No way!? Why do I feel malice in that!?”
“Eh? Why? You don’t like it? I can’t understand at all.”
“Because this means—!”
No, wait. Hold on, let me look around. Right now, I might say that we’re being watched by the people in the family restaurant.
At this table, everyone seated at this table other than me are wonderful beauties. I nearly forgot because they’re pitiful girls with incontinence issues, but they’re pretty enough that even idols would feel inferior to.
What’ll happen if I suddenly start explaining what Shi Shi is? There’ll be uncomforting stares on me while we’re here.
“Alright, it’s decided then. No problems, I suppose?”
“There’s a problem here! Spare me already!”
“I don’t understand here. Is there anything wrong with that? Do you mind explaining?”
She whispered as her lips curl into a smile.
Ahh. This girl’s definitely an actor. She definitely knew. There’s no way she didn’t notice.
“I don’t know either! But I don’t like it, okay?”
Chris asked me while tilting her head. It’s cute, to be honest, it’s really cute, but if I admit defeat here, I’ll end up being called Shi Shi.
“Ah, ahh…well…it can’t…”
Not good! I’ll end up surrendering if this keeps up!
Hijiri, Hijiri. Lend this helpless me your strength…!
Once Hijiri’s eyes met mine, she tapped her fingers on the table twice, anxious.
Alright! Recharge complete!
“How can I accept this!? No way!”
“Tch, Shii then.”
To be honest, I do have issues with this one, but it’s much better than Shishi.
And so, I became Shii.
“Now that that’s settled, let’s get to the main point! Everyone, finish this up!”
Chris’ finger is pointing at a golden liquid.
This is something fresh prepared by Karin and Hijiri on her instruction.
“A-Are you serious, Chris…? It’s dangerous to drink that.”
“It’s because it’s dangerous that we have to drink it.”
“Wait…how does your screwed-up logic work?”
Chris waved her hair back and declared,
“Today’s training is a contest of endurance! Everyone is to drink this herb tea!”
“A-A contest of endurance?”
“Right. Everyone, bring your face closer…actually, this is to hold it in once you’re at your limit. Once that happens, your limit may improve. This is the club activity of the Second Flower Arrangement club.”
“Oh, I see. That’s a really wonderful idea, as expected of Our Lord!”
“…Prez, I have a question.”
“What is it, Hijiri?”
“Why do it at a place with so many people? Can’t we do it at your residence or some other member’s house?”
“It’s for your sake, Hijiri. Your weakness is that you’ll feel nervous from getting stares, right? You have to overcome this.”
“…But it’ll be disadvantageous to me.”
“You’re right, but because of this, you can show Shii your cool side. The more likely you’re going to lose, the more you’ll be able to show that coolness.”
Hijiri widened her eyes, and nodded her head firmly.
“Wait, being cool and holding it in has—”
“I’ll do my best.”
It was useless for me to dissuade Hijiri as she agreed to this proposal.
“Ah, and also, it’ll be a little boring if nothing happens to the loser. How about this: the loser has to pay for what everyone ordered. Let’s begin then.”
Upon hearing this, Karin, who had been quiet up till this point, got suddenly pumped up.
“That’s a wonderful idea! The perfect idea!”
“Eh, Karin. That’s a lot of money you have to pay if you lose, you know…?”
“Haha, you’re a fool, Shii.”
I feel like I’ve been called in some weird way.
“The winner has it all free. It’s fine as long as you don’t lose! Nothing will happen as long as you don’t let it out! Will this Archmage Karin lose? No! That’s impossible!”
Karin clenches her fist as she stands up.
Is it impossible to avoid this competition now?
I turned to Kaede, who had been quiet till now, and said,
“Erm, Kaede, it’s better not to do this. There’s definitely no good outcome from this.”
At this point, I noticed,
Kaede’s eyes seemed to be on fire.
“…What? Did you say something, Shimizu? How laughable, these people actually dare to challenge me. Alright, so be it. I’m really looking forward to it now.”
Not good. It’s not working on her at all.
I’m the only one objecting to this. Considering at the mood here, I might end up being dragged along.
Chris completely ignored me as she said,
“It seems everyone has agreed. The procedure is simple. First, we’ll drink 5 glasses of dandelion tea. After that, we’ll add on to the drinks based on the situation. The first one to the garden loses. Dandelion tea is a herb tea famous for allowing easy excretion, extremely potent in this regards.”
And thus began the prelude to war.
No no no.
Hold on a moment. This development is sketchy no matter how I think about it.
Hijiri, Chris, Karin and Kaede finished up glass after glass of herb tea in front of me.
I didn’t have a choice as I brought the herb tea to my lips, wondering,
Hijiri will undoubtedly suffer if this contest continues, and if she fails, it’ll be an absolute tragedy.
“What is it, brother?”
“Are you forcing yourself here?”
I was preparing to continue my attempt to convince her, but she showed a lonely expression.
“…I see.…You don’t have faith in me, Shou.”
“N-No, it’s not like that.”
“It’s fine…I’ve been avoiding you, Shou. It can’t be helped that you don’t trust me.”
“Wait, I don’t mean that. I just don’t hope that you fail in front of the public like that. Ahh, fine. I just need to go to the toilet.”
That’s how it is. Why didn’t I notice this immediately? I’m really an idiot.
“Sorry. It’s a little dangerous for me. I have to go to the toilet. Consider this my loss—”
Just when I’m about to continue, Hijiri grabbed my arm.
“…Shou, this won’t do.”
“…I hope you’ll have more faith in me.”
I’m being watched by Hijiri’s slightly raised eyes, and my heart suddenly tightened.
How cute—! Her eyebrows are really long and—!
“Of course! How can I not possibly trust you, Hijiri?”
“Then, I’ll hope you’ll show that faith in this contest of endurance. I won’t allow you to admit your loss because of me.”
I still tried to insist, but Hijiri responded with an emotionless expression as she showed her patented gloom.
“…As expected, Shou…about me…”
“Ahaha! The Shimizu little sister has a tofu personality after all! I don’t have a chance of winning here, huh?”
Anyone other than Hijiri can admit defeat. Once there’s someone willing to admit defeat, the contest will be over.
The sound of a cup being put down can be heard. Karin has just finished her last glass of herb tea.
“Kaede! There’s a rare chance I’ll see you rolling on the floor foolishly, right?”
“EH? Karin, what do you mean!?”
Kaede too has 5 empty glasses in front of her.
“I’ll definitely win this contest!! Oh ho ho! My stomach’s definitely going to be fine, for I am protected by an Ancient dragon! And if I beat Kaede, it’ll be like me being treated first! In other words, Shii’s life is mine!”
“Hold on! Why’s my life being used as a stake!?”
“Huh! Let’s get this contest started!”
“Ehhh? Even Kaede agreed to this!?”
But these two completely ignored my protests as they glared at each other.
“You dare to defy the Great Karin? How foolish you are! Absolutely foolish! I’ll rip your insides out, crush them, connect your insides with this world and send you to your doom, Kaede!”
End of the world, attaching the insides together?
“Wait, Karin, you can’t take back what you just spat out, you know?”
Kaede looked like she got hit somewhere as she glared back at Karin, apparently wanting to overpower the latter.
“How can I possibly do that? Don’t you know what it means? Are you an idiot? Idiot idiot, idiot!”
I thought she was just saying that to rile up the opponent, but there was still something I’m a little curious about.
“E-Erm, Karin? Do you even know what that means?”
“Not sure, but please don’t interrupt, Shii.”
“Right! She just tried to pick a fight with me. That’s enough reason!”
“Or rather, what I spat out, I’ll make Kaede swallow it!”
“Eh, bring it on!”
“I’ll burn you good! Like a well-done steak!”
Karin raised her arms as she shouted, but she just looked like a pitiful child no matter what.
At this moment, she suddenly stopped her cries.
“Speaking of which, I’m hungry. Sorry, I’ll have some steak, well done.”
“You’re right. There’s still some time till our showdown. I’ll eat something too.”
“…I want some pancakes.”
Hijiri said after she let out a little rumble.
Afterwards, Karin, Hijiri and Kaede ordered some obviously abnormal items.
Chris was the only one looking bored, pouting as she was combing her blond hair.
“Aren’t you eating anything, Chris?”
I try to talk to her, only to get a cold response.
“I’m not hungry.”
Hijiri, Karin and Kaede are indulging themselves.
Chris and I didn’t order anything, and we look really bored.
But there’s nothing else we can really talk about. Our eyes met again, and Chris turned her stare away impatiently.
During this boring time, the price recorded on the receipt continued to increase.
The total is 21600 Yen.
The details are as follows—
-Me—280 Yen (Drinks)
-Chris—280 Yen (Drinks)
-Hijiri—5150 Yen (Drinks and lots of sweets)
-Kaede—6280 (Drinks and lots of food)
-Karin—9610 Yen (Drinks and lots of food)
“Wait, how much have you eaten exactly!? Karin especially!! You’re able to eat almost 10,000 Yen worth of food in a family restaurant!? Is your stomach a black hole!?”
“Iven dab dood, See?”
She continued to chew and guzzle down the food.
“What’s so bad about it, Shii…? You know, I normally don’t eat outside…”
“Eh? Are you really short of money…?”
“But, well, that expensive looking bicycle…”
“! You’re talking about Schwarz Javelin!? Oh ho! So you can tell it’s a high class item, right!? Actually, I spent 150,000 Yen on it, and another 200,000 on modifications.”
“So expensive! The price’s amazing, in a completely different way from those television shopping stuff!”
“I spent all the money I earned from new year funds, pocket money and part-time work!”
“…Here’s an idiot. We have an idiot who doesn’t plan here .”
“Planning? That’s something ordinary people would do, Shii.”
“You sound as if you’re not!”
“If I have a superpower that can override everything, I’ll have a way even if I don’t have it!”
“How can there be such a thing!?”
“I say, part-time…? Karin, you can do part-time work…?”
“Of course! How rude!”
“Then, what kind of work are you doing?”
“Oh ho. What do you think it is? Guess.”
“I know. Rubbing your dad’s back?”
“…Shou, I think it’s plucking the white hairs from her father’s head. 10 Yen per strand, or something like that.”
“How rude!? At least break away from the father part, please!”
“Then, do you massage your mom’s shoulders?”
“And please break away from the massage part! Someone please help me! Is everyone an enemy here?”
“Wait, that’s not right. How can Karin possibly do such a thing?”
“Ka-Kaede’s right! You’re a good person after all, aren’t you…?”
“Don’t cry now. You must have gathered a bunch of kids and cheated them of their money by declaring yourself to be an Archmage, right?”
“That’s not considered part-time work! Isn’t it! P-Prez~”
Karin started to let out a quick flow of tears as she turned to Chris.
“…Yes, Karin. I think it’s better to do that in front of adults.”
“Yes. Those that find you pitiful might give you money.”
“U-Uwaahh! You’re too much! You’re really too much!”
Karin tapped at the table a few times, and puffed her cheeks and said,
“It’s just an ordinary part-time job! At an ice cream shop!”
We all exchanged looks.
“Y-you mean, working normally…?”
“Don’t get cocky there…”
“…I can believe Karin there.”
Only Chris changed her own opinion.
“Uu. Prez, I was doing it seriously. I was really happy at the ice cream shop.”
“Eh, that’s right. I know that you’re a capable girl, Karin.”
“Right, right, as expected of you, Prez. More interestingly, when talking about a double ice cream, I feel like I’ve become an alchemist.”
Chris then asked with some trepidation,
“…What does that mean, Karin?”
“ ‘Oh ho ho. Chocolate and strawberry ice cream…you mix them together, forming a new chimera, a creature born out of darkness! Show yourself immediately! Strawberry chocolate ice cream!’ Something like that.”
“…A-Anything goes as long as you want, right? As long as you don’t say it—”
“Sometimes, I’ll say it out, but nobody said anything, so it seems it’s okay.”
If I think about it, it’s really an annoying ice cream shop to go to.
Chris, who just asked her, immediately looked aside and changed the topic.
“Hm, alright then, but the price difference is too unfair.”
It’s a very weak attempt at changing the topic.
But upon hearing this, Karin let out a whimper.
“H-How can that be! Now’s not the time for such words! Prez…!”
Chris showed Karin a gentle smile.
“It’s fine. It won’t be disadvantageous to you.”
“And so, I propose a team battle.”
“A team battle…you say?”
“Right, a team battle. A team battle of 2 vs 3. Which side goes to the toilet first loses, and the losing team pays the tab.”
As I pondered, Chris stared at me intently with those blue eyes of hers.
“Shii, don’t you want to protect Hijiri?”
“The Shimizu siblings can be on the same team. If you win, you’ll protect your important little sister, right?”
“I see…alright then. In this case, I’ll accept this.”
I probably won’t end up urinating. At least, there’s still some space until the time I need to go to the toilet.
The chances of Hijiri losing will be reduced, and even if we end up losing, she’ll have less to pay for. In that case, there’s no reason for me to refuse.
My eyes met Hijiri’s, and my little sister continued to maintain her lifeless doll-like expression as she nodded hard.
“…Shou, let’s do our best.”
At this moment, Kaede raises her disapproval.
“Hey, wait. I never agreed to this, right?”
“…You don’t want to take part in this contest?”
“That’s not it. I just don’t want to be on the same team as you, Chris. Same goes for you too, Karin. You’re my rival vying for the same thing.”
Once she finished this line, Kaede glanced at me for some reason.
“I alone is enough.”
“But Kaede, if you lose, that’ll be quite the price you have to pay, you know?”
“You still don’t understand, Chris. For contests, the more dangerous it is, the more my fighting spirit can be riled up! Winning’s all about ones and zeroes, no other outcomes.”
Kaede chuckled as she bared her fangs.
And seemingly in response, Karin let out an evil cackle.
“So I’m with Prez? It’s impossible to lose now. This is the combination of the Lord and the Archmage. How can small fries like Shii, Hijiri and Kaede be our opponents?”
“Then let’s change our seats then. Karin, come to my side.”
“Got it, Prez!”
“Come to me then, Hijiri.”
“Got it, Shou.”
Hijiri arrived at Karin’s seat, and for some reason, Karin was requested to sit at where Chris just sat.
Kaede remained at the original birthday seat.
So in the end, it became something like this.
Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall
Me Hijiri Wall
Kaede Table Table Table Table Table Wall
Chris Karin Wall
Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall
Once the teams have been sorted, Chris stood up.
“Since the game’s still in a stalemate, I’ll go get another glass.”
“I don’t need it though?”
“You’re the only one not drinking? I won’t allow it.”
“No. Nobody knows whether you tamper the stuff you bring later on. I’ll get mine myself.”
“…You actually don’t believe me? How mortifying. I feel like crying.”
Chris said with a slightly anguished expression.
And then, she headed off to get four glasses of herb tea.
Moments later, Kaede grabbed her own glass of tea.
“Here, Karin, Hijiri, and Shii.”
Chris deliberately placed out the glasses in front of each of us by herself, probably for our sake. I’m a little surprised that she can be so considerate of others.
“Drink up then.”
Everyone started to drink his or her herb tea upon Chris’ command.
As Chris watched me gulp down the tea, I felt like her the corners of her eyes have contracted to form a grin.
Her expression didn’t feel right. Hm, it seems the herb tea is a little different from before. Did she add something else? This princess really loves to play such pranks.
After a while.
It’s a bit simplified to say that, but in fact, nothing really happened.
On the table surface, everyone was pretending to look calm.
But it was actually different.
It has been one and a half hours since the 6th glass was gulped down.
Kaede switched her legs, folded it and said,
“I-It’s sure is easy, isn’t it? You’re almost about to give up now, right?”
Her voice was trembling a little.
Her legs are trembling as she switched them.
Karin answered with a pale expression.
“I-It’s easy, right? A lot easier than hunting dra-dragons.”
“Haha. What a coincidence. I’m still able to go on.”
But I could obviously feel their legs trembling under the table.
There was sweat appearing on their foreheads too.
“Nn, ugh—! I-It’s true! I can still hang on.”
As Kaede was showing an expression of suffering, Chris said to her,
“Then, Kaede. If you find it easy, you should be able to drink some more tea, right?”
“Haa, ugh, what a stupid question. Speaking of which, nn, what about you?”
“I’m still fine here.”
“I-In that case…how about another, two glasses?”
“…If you’re fine with that, I might consider.”
“Th-Then! I-I’ll get them!”
Kaede immediately leaped up, ran to the counter, and got another 4 glasses of herb tea.
The moment she sat down, she put the glasses to her lips, and gulped them down.
“…You see? I’m done here! Come on…i-it’s your turn, Chris.”
“I think I’ll pass.”
“What did you say!?”
“I only said ‘I’ll consider’, didn’t I?”
“Ugh! You…! How despicable!”
Kaede stared at Chris with a murderous intent, ostensibly wanting to kill her.
Chris then said happily,
“Kaede? Isn’t it your fault for not confirming it first? Or did you think it’s a despicable person like me is at fault for saying something you misunderstood?”
“Ugh, uuu…! Ahh!”
Kaede gritted her teeth as she nodded away.
“For-Forget about it…ngh, ugh.”
But Chris continued to hound on her.
“But Kaede, it’s rare of you to get some herb tea. Isn’t it a pity not to drink? Come on, there’s still another 2 glasses.”
“Really? Did I say I want you to help me get them? Are you going to leave behind what you took? Kaede?”
“…I…I’ll drink it! It’s, fine, right? I’ll drink it!”
Kaede put the glass to her lips, poured the tea into her mouth, and wiped it.
“But I never said that I’ll have you drink it. What I mean is that I can help you drink it if you can’t. How unfortunate, oh ho ho.”
“You…ngh…ahh! Wooahh, ahhh, abaaaaa! Grrr!”
Kaede’s expression contorted because of her dissatisfaction, let out a weird sound, and sprawled herself on the floor.
“Ka-Kaede…? What’s going on, suddenly…? I-I see…! The trigger, right? Chris is really a scary person…!”
I turned to Chris in shock, and then turned back to Kaede again.
Kaede was pressing on her abdomen, her forehead slamming onto the table.
“Hey, Kaede? You alright…!?”
“…I-I’m, alright!? Nghh! B-But, p-please, not now…pl-pl-pl-please don’t, ta-talk to me, ngh, for now..”
“Oh ho. One down.”
“Chris, why do such a cruel thing…?”
“This is special training, you know? It can’t be helped that she became like this.”
The Second Flower Arrangement Club president has turned into a hunter, putting her hand on her cheek, and smiling at Hijiri and me.
“And well, we’ve been watched by the people around us since just now—it really is ‘nerve wrecking’, isn’t it?”
She said this to Hijiri.
The latter’s body jerked, and she looked around.
“…They’re, really watching us.”
“Have they realized that you want to go to the toilet?”
Hijiri’s face reddened like a ripe tomato. I think that’s a little overboard, right?
Hijiri has the nature of being incontinent when nervous.
“Chris, if you dare do anything to my little sister—”
“But Shii, this is for Hijiri’s sake, you know? This is something I have to do for her future.”
Chris showed a smile with her beautifully shaped lips.
“You’re feeling embarrassed now, aren’t you, Hijiri? Everyone’s watching you now, you see?”
“Uu. It’s very troubling.”
Hijiri, seated beside me, had her legs folded differently this time.
“I-It’s fine, Hijiri. That’s not the case. We’re all being watched, not just you.”
“Y-You think we’re being watched too, brother? I-It’s certain after all then.”
Not good. If this keeps up, she won’t be able to hold it in.
This Chris is really an evil woman. She still can attack her opponent, huh?
If this keeps up, Hijiri will be embarrassed, and she’ll also lose the contest! She might be over her limit now.
“You don’t want to be watched either, right Chris?”
“Yeah, but so what?”
Chris remains as composed as ever. I tried using other forms of attacks, but I couldn’t see her being rattled at all.
And during that time, she continued to attack Hijiri.
“Ugh, damn…what can I do now?”
I have to protect Hijiri.
I looked over at the black-haired girl sitting opposite me.
Sorry, Karin, but your trigger should be anger, right…?
N-No…this can’t do!
Even if it’s for Hijiri’s sake, I can’t bring myself to harm the innocent Karin.
If she gets incontinent under such a situation, Karin…!
But if this keeps up, Hijiri…!
I gritted my teeth hard in the face of such helplessness, and I find myself having difficulty in breathing.
“Ugh…what do I do, what can I do…!”
As I clutch my head, Karin said to me with a rather weird voice.
“Shii…I understand you, your pain. I can feel it…”
“Karin…can you understand my troubles now? What exactly can I do now?”
“You have to keep living on with your troubles, ponder seriously, and think of what exactly should you do in the future.”
“But I don’t have much time left…”
“Those with power have troubles, and their decisions may decide the future of humanity. This definitely is painful, isn’t it?”
Karin said while showing an anguished expression. Erm…huh?
“Wait, Karin…? What do you think I’m frustrated about?”
“In other words, that’s the trouble, Shii, a demon reincarnated has. You’re troubled by how different your thoughts are from your human self in reality. You won’t admit you’re a human. ‘I can destroy everything if I get serious, but is that really good’. Is it that kind of trouble?”
“!? Aren’t you being too rude here!? I’m not going to have such thoughts that’ll harm others!”
“H-Harm…? Are you saying that I harm others!?”
“Ah, no, that’s not it…”
“Oh ho. When things don’t go your way, you’ll be able to calm down by thinking about this. ‘These foolish people, don’t get cocky. Once this Archmage gets serious, you all will be turned to ash immediately’. Once you think of it this way, you find them pitiful, and your rage will subside…”
“…Karin. How pitiful you are. My tears are flowing…”
“Wh-Wh-Who’re you calling pitiful!? You’re too much, Shii! Be careful that I’ll use my magic to wipe you out!”
“Well, Karin…there’s no miracle or magic in this world, you know?”
I intended to educate Karin and convince her, but her body started to shudder.
“There is! There! Is!”
“There’s no record of any fantasy world in this world, you know? No magic, no demons, even dragons don’t exist!”
“There used to be! The annual records of the Lost Era! Magic’s currently being used secretly by the government! It’s kept confidential from ordinary people! Why don’t you understand!”
Karin was panting hard, and the surrounding stares gathered upon us in a terrifying manner.
She then started to repeat her motion of standing up and sitting down.
“W-Wait, sorry, Karin. I have no intention of angering you.”
“You are denying this after all the nonsense you said!? You devil!”
While we were engaging in this, Chris continued to attack Hijiri.
“Oh my, there’re so many stares on us now. Are you embarrassed now, Hijiri?”
“Uu, ahh, I’m not. Mm…not tense at all. It’s fine. Ahh…”
Woah! Hijiri’s in trouble! Got to help her! But what do I do…!?
I couldn’t find an answer.
I definitely mustn’t make Hijiri lose control of her bladder.
If I admit defeat now, Hijiri has to pay.
I can’t let Karin, Kaede or Chris lose control either.
It’s best for the opponents to go to the toilet themselves.
“And so, yes…uu…they exist. You idiot, Shii!”
It’ll be very dangerous to keep making Karin angry. She seems to be over the limit now.
…Alright then, I’ll try calming her down a little.
“Ah yeah, okay. I understand. It exists. Right.”
“Ahh—! You’re just putting it off! Ngh…are you treating me as a fool now!? Ngh…!”
“No no, I really understand now, okay? It really exists. Yeah. It really does. There is magic. There is magic.”
I start talking like the Chinese in the mangas or some other things, but for some reason, Karin got angrier.
“Ugh…miracles and magic do exist! Nn…I can’t use it now, uu…but because I’m the reincarnation of an Archmage, I have very good, nn, talent! Definitely, soon after, haa, I’ll be able to use it! Ah. Shii, you…”
Seriously, why’re you so angry now?
Either way, Karin’s at her limit too.
No, wait…! Something’s wrong now…?
My lower abdomen starts to hurt. Am I, at my limit too…?
“Wooahh!? Wh-What’s with this…!?”
I have the urge to urinate, and this urge strikes my head at a supersonic rate.
I can feel pain. What’s this? I can’t understand at all. Impossible.
T-This is the first time! I think I caught something.
Ah! Speaking of which, Chris deliberately placed the drinks in front of everyone just now.
And the smell was a little weird too. Don’t tell me, she added something inside…?
“Ch-ris, did, you, add something, to the, tea…?”
“Why would I do that? Are you being senile now?”
Oh ho ho. Chris says as her lips curled fiendishly.
“I don’t know what despicable are you talking about however? Speaking of which, Shii, you seem to be in pain. Did you drink something strange? Aha.”
I started to break out cold sweat, and three out of five seated at the table are shaking their thighs in a terrifying manner.
Kaede remained still like a corpse. This place seems to have an abnormal feel, I guess.
If there’s such a table, I don’t want to get near there.
I wonder, trying to distract myself, but it’s not working at all.
It hurts, it’s dangerous, I’m about to pee. But I can’t. If I go to the toilet, Hijiri will lose.
It’s tough, but even so, I have to hold on. Hijiri’s face appears in my mind.
Your brother here will work hard for you!
It’s alright. The protagonist of a shonen manga will show his strength for those important to him, for friendship.
Once that happens, he definitely won’t fail.
Love an friendship. These are keys that reverses a situation.
Hold it in. Hold it all in. Lend me your strength, Hijiri.
I glanced aside at Hijiri, and her face wascontorted in pain.
“Un, I can’t, take it anymore, brother.”
“Are you, alright, Hijiri…? Karin, will definitely, have to, go to the, toilet…”
“Huh. You’re, an idiot. Humph, this great Karin, will never, haa, ever, haa, admit defeat, ngh, in such a place. Ngaah.”
Amongst us, Chris is the only one smiling.
She even takes out her cellphone and start taking pictures.
“Ah, I’ll take this for research and record the facial reactions for comparisons to the usual. There’s no weird intention here.”
No, I’ll leave Chris’ matter aside first. I have to end the contest first—
“Karin, you can’t, reveal…your ugly state, at such a place, here…hurry, up and go…”
“Yo-You’re annoying. I-I’m fine…! You Second-Grader!”
Karin’s the first one to reach her limit.
“I-I can’t hold it in anymore! Ahh, unn…I, I want to pee now! I want to pee now!”
She wants to stand up and leave her seat, but Chris intercepts her.
No way. Did you set Karin at this place, surrounded by the wall, for this purpose…?
Chris, what did you do here…!?
If she does this in front of the public, Karin…!
But as my stomach’s aching too much, I can’t voice myself very well.
“Please, Prez! Let me through! Please let me through!”
“Oh ho. That won’t do. We’ll lose if you go now, Karin, won’t we?”
“Please forgive me…please forgive me! I can’t, take it anymore! I want to go! I’m sorry, it’s my fault. Please forgive me!”
Chris raised a leg to impede Karin.
The latter bends her body, and climbs up Chris’ thigh, ostensibly crossing an obstacle.
“Un, ugh, once I surpass the Lord, I’ll reach the ideal land in front…! I shall, surpass the Lord! I shall surpass the Lord! Surpass the Lord! Babel! Lend me strength!”
Karin called out the name of the tower destroyed by God, in an attempt to surpass Him, and continued to trudge forward little by little.
At this moment, I feel something soft on my knees.
“Shou…I can’t, take it, anymore.”
Hijiri, on my side, wants to pass by me from above.
And it feels as if Hijiri’s sitting directly on my thigh.
It’s a small space, so she can’t really pass by me easily. Hijiri, stuck between the table and my legs, ‘uu’, let out such an alluring sound.
On a side note, Hijiri’s soft butt is agitated a certain part of my body.
Not the waist, but the lower abdomen. Something slightly below the belly.
I use my hand to hold it down, and the urge to pee quickly rises to a higher place.
I exclaim. There were wails of Hell from all over our table.
Chris, the only one remaining calm, sighed and said,
“I guess it can’t be helped. It’s a draw this time.”
Before she even finishes, Kaede jumped up.
“A-A draw!? Guess there’s no helping it now! Ahhh!”
Kaede, who had been remaining as still as a corpse, rushed to the toilet with a terrifying moment.
There’s a was a women’s cabin, a shared cabin, and a men’s one.
In other words, they can only use two toilets. One of them will be unable to make it.
Kaede’s using one now, so there’s only one left!
Hijiri’s the next one to charge out.
“Sorry Shou, I’m going.”
“Pl-Please wait! I want to go first!”
Because of Chris’ interference, Karin charged out a little later.
Both of them sprint to the toilet.
“Don’t get in my way! Hijiri, please, move, aside!”
Karin grabbed Hijiri by the shoulder and overtook her.
“No, Karin, I’ll be first.”
Hijiri tried to outdistance Karin.
But Karin opened her arms wide, blocking any exit.
“Hah! I won’t let you!”
And so, Karin escaped into the toilet. The toilet’s a cubicle, so once inside, it’ll be her win.
Karin seems to have felt that she has won, and heaves a sigh of relief.
But my eyes widen at what happened next.
Hijiri’s hand reaches for Karin, who has gotten into the toilet, and grabs the latter by the shoulder.
“…Victory, is mine.”
“Ah!? Hijiri!? That’s cheating!”
And so, Karin’s pulled out.
The difference in physique decided the difference. Hijiri was not too big, but Karin was shorter than an ordinary person, and doesn’t have much muscle.
The door’s closed, and locked.
Karin slams her hands at the door.
“Open the door! Please open the door! Hijiri! Hijiri! Kaede!”
However, there’s no response from the door.
“Uu, please! Please! Please! I-In that case, how about two people together! It’s settled! No problems! I can stand up, you can sit, Hijiri! So, please!”
I too press my belly as I head into the toilet.
Great. It’s empty here. There’s a urinal and a cubicle, a common public toilet design for men.
Just when I let out a sigh of relief, the door’s opened.
“I-I don’t care now. This works too!”
I turn over to the door, and found Karin coming in.
“Wait, ho-how did you get in!?”
“It’s an emergency!”
There might be someone who had said before that other than sleeping, one is most defenseless when using a toilet. If I remember correctly, it was written that the best place to attack was in the bathroom, and this referred to fighting or assassination.
Right now, I thoroughly sensed the truth in those words.
My body couldn’t move. That thing can’t stop.
Karin ran in…it’s so embarrassing.
It felt as if something that can’t be seen has been seen, but in fact, it was.
“Argh! Don’t look, Karin! You pervert!”
“You’re annoying. I’ve no interest in your abashed look, Shii!”
Karin then grabbed the door handle.
Kak. But there was the merciless sound of something being jammed.
“Kya! It’s locked here too! Uu, uwahh!”
“Argh, guess there’s no choice!”
I released it all out, packed my stuff, and grabbed Karin’s hand.
“Wooah! Wash your hands! Please wash your hands!”
My guess was that since Hijiri and the rest were done with the toilet, it’ll be much better for her to go there rather than wait at the men’s toilet.
And so, I brought the teary Karin into the women’s washroom, and manage to solve everything.
I guess it was because of Karin’s ruckus that the stares in the family restaurant felt more stinging than ever. Hijiri was in a worse state than before, so we decide to head home.
On a side note, the contest just now ended in a draw, and the bill was shared equally amongst the 5 of us.
Karin kept opening and closing her purse, and she lowered her shoulders dejectedly.
“Uu. My purse, my purse. I’m surrounded in agony…”
I sigh weakly. Oh ho, Chris seems to have thought of something, and lets out this laugh.
“You seem rather happy, Chris. Did you have that much fun?”
Upon hearing this question from me, Chris looks down.
“Yeah, I am. This happy…hm, it hurts.”
“H-Hurts? What do you mean?”
“No, I’m really happy. This is the first time I have such a bustling gathering.”
Chris said this with a weak voice in the midst of this damp, nocturnal air.
Hijiri and I headed straight to home immediately, and since I was feeling a little tired, I immediately returned to my room.
“It was really noisy…it’s great that Hijiri looked that happy …”
I lied on the bed in my room, and on my face a smile was naturally formed.
“I’m tired. I’ll take a shower and go to bed early.”
I muttered to myself, got a change of clothes, and headed to the bathroom.
For some reason, the lights inside are switched on.
“I forgot to turn off the lights? Never mind then. The water should be hot now.”
I reach my hand for the door.
“…E-Erm, brother. Wa-Wait…”
There’s a monotonous, yet panicky voice coming from the bathroom.
But it’s already too late, for I have opened the door.
Hijiri’s lying in the bathtub, widening her eyes, a rare sight at that.
Her cheeks then reddened immediately.
H-Her breasts were unexpectedly larger than when she’s wearing clothes—! No!
“…Ah, ahh. Wh-Why, Shou…I don’t you no…how shameless…”
“N-No, it’s not it, Hijiri! It’s not like your brother wanted to see…”
I exclaim, and Hijiri lowered her shoulder dejectedly.
“Y-You don’t have any interest in me…?”
She lost confidence because of me!? Well, I have to praise her!
“No, that’s not it, Hijiri…that, well, your breasts, are nicely shaped, you know…?”
Upon hearing this, Hijiri immediately lowered her body behind the bathtub.
She merely showed her face, her hands, and her small shoulders. Even her shoulders and hands are red.
“Ehh!? What do I say then!?”
“…I-It’s enough. Anyway, pl-pl-please close the door…”
“Just close the door!?”
I close the door before I even finish my words. And then, I put my forehead at the door.
Uu….I did something bad…
Just when I was thinking about it. Bam! An unsteady sound rang.
And then, ‘uwahh…!” I heared this.
There was no response to my call.
I started to feel more anxious. No way. What happened…
“Hello, hello? Hijiri, I’m opening the door now…?”
I opened the door, and find Hijiri collapsed on the tile floor.
I rush into the bathroom without hesitation, and carried Hijiri up.
She probably slipped while intending to exit the bathtub. She might have panicked because of me.
Hijiri had been tense when we were in the family restaurant. Maybe she was tired as a result.
I wrapped Hijiri’s beautiful body with a towel in the entrance to the bathroom.
“…Did you hit anything? An-Anyway, I’ll send you to the room first.”
I lifted Hijiri, and then, she said in a vague tone.
“Brother…I’m sorry for…troubling you.”
“It’s fine, don’t worry about it. And sometimes, I’m happy that you cause some trouble for me.”
Hiiri answered softly.
“Ah, I normally can’t tell what’s going on from your expression no matter what happens. It makes me a little worried.”
“…I see…but Shou. You looked worried and panicky whenever I used to cry, so I chose not to let you find out…”
Hijiri seemed to be saying something behind me, but as it’s too vague, I couldn’t hear clearly.
“Hijiri? What did you just say?”
“…Nothing. Nothing at all.”
“Really? Your expression wouldn’t change, and you’re always alone, so I’m rather worried. But it seems you’ve been a lot happier recently.”
“…Yes. I’m really happy, being with everyone today.”
“I see. It’s good then. Your room’s here.”
As long as Hijiri’s happy, I’m happy.
I gently placed Hijiri on the bed.
At that moment, her face entered my sight, and there’s some warmth to it.
“Eh…? Hijiri, did…you just smile?”
I’m really happy to see that kind of smile.
I really am.
I felt something warm filling my heart, and almost choked on it.
“…No, I’m not smiling.”
Hijiri answered in a stubborn manner, but she was clearly showing a smile on her face.
An expression cuter than anyone else’s.
“…You seem happy though, Shou.”
It’s true that it’s a strange club activity.
Filled with strange members.
It’s better not to join, since it’s so dangerous.
But even so, if Hijiri can show such a smile…
…If Hijiri could feel a little happiness, none of these things matter.
That’s what I personally thought.