Chapter 16 – Understanding and love (1)
Translator – Vodka
The date chapter.
I am changing the font of the text. Can’t believe it never occurred to me that I could change the font until today. God, Vodka is going to ruin me one day.
What is a date?
It was an important event for high school boys. One undoubtedly blessed with an eternity of being in the limelight.
Saying it was of prime importance to those who didn’t have a girlfriend wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
The boy would dress fashionably and get all fired up about his hairdo. To satiate his self-satisfaction, he would use his limited reserves as a student to treat the girl and buy presents for her, all to try and show her his cool and dependable self. It was quite the expensive event.
It begged the question of whether it was all about money.
In other words, the answer that my train of thought led me to was that it would be safer, financially and mentally, to stay home and play games or get some reading in instead.
Such were the contents of my grumbling to Kaede in the time immediately preceding the departure.
“Nii-san always says this and that right before departure……it’s important to give up you know?”
“It’s important, but sometimes necessary……”
I, who obstinately clung to the sofa, showing no signs of movement, was forced to stand up by Kaede.
Why I wonder?
I, too, had given up, thinking it was inevitable, and decided to go with the flow. However, now that it was time to set out, my legs became as heavy as lead.
My body seemed to be not on board with the idea.
However, since it was a promise, I would have to go.
It was half past nine on a Saturday.
While tying my shoelaces, I talked about pointless stuff with my sister.
We were supposed to meet up at ten.
Neither too early nor too late, it was the perfect time to rendezvous. However, the spot for the same was a rather strange pick for the occasion.
In stark contrast to the standard meet-up spots for a date, we were to convene at an intersection of the residential area.
Such spots were often used by students when meeting up with friends during their commutes to school.
This intersection was halfway between Kirasaka’s house and mine.
It would have been the best choice for any other occasion, but I couldn’t help but question the propriety of this choice for a date.
It would usually be the guy’s job to take the lead and plan the date, but since the proponent had asked to leave it all to her, I took her up on the offer.
“Well then, do not follow other women if they call out to you. And since you have promised to be back in time for dinner, return before it gets dark……Is that clear?” (Kaede)
“Am I your kid?……”
She cruised through lines an overprotective mother would. Halfway through, I gave up and answered with a nod.
I wasn’t the type to hang out until late at night. She probably knew that the best.
Kaede handed me a small crossbody backpack and saw me off. I gave her a gentle pat on the head and opened the door.
The weather wasn’t exactly clear, but there seemed to be no problems with it either.
“Well then, I am off.”
“Take care Nii-san.”
We were like a newlywed couple where the wife sees her husband off to work.
However, make no mistake. We are siblings.
When I went outside, I was greeted by somewhat chilly winds.
Although it was said that summer was on the horizon, the air temperature hasn’t been on a stable footing.
Once in a while, there would be days like this when the temperature would be suitable.
It was rather chilly to be in only a shirt.
For me who was in the winter over summer, and autumn over spring faction, it couldn’t be more optimal.
To be out on a cool day was consolation in sadness.
After exiting my house, I walked for a few seconds before looking up.
At the receiving end of my gaze was the house of my childhood friend, where the Kanzakis lived.
The window to the second floor where Shizuku resided had its curtains pulled.
Since she would always pull the curtains before leaving the house, she might have gone out already.
According to Yuuto, she was going to tail us. Though, at this point, it qualified as anything but that.
She might be observing me from the shadows at this very moment.
I looked around a few times but didn’t catch sight of any suspicious silhouette.
I didn’t think I will catch sight of one in the first place. I did it just in case.
I would often think if summers in cities were hotter.
If you considered only the ease of living here compared to the cities in summer, it could be said that I have been born in a better place.
However, due to the population being low and there being no major attractions, the number of events held here were the bare minimum.
Only the fireworks display in the summer vacation attracted large crowds.
Advertisements about that event could already be seen to have been posted on the telegraph poles throughout the residential area.
Rather, that was all I could see.
“Fireworks huh……it’s the summer holidays soon after all.”
I muttered while looking at the date and time of the event written in the advertisement.
Although I said ‘soon’, it was still a month away.
However, put the other way, it wasn’t even a month away.
As I walked while reaffirming the passage of more than half a year, I arrived at the intersection where I was meeting up with Kirasaka.
On weekdays, this place would enjoy quite the pedestrian traffic due to the school and office commuters, but today on this holiday, not many figures could be spotted.
It was a rather simple task to spot the conspicuous woman. After all, the people in the vicinity were all looking over at her direction.
I could understand with only a glance.
She alone had a different air about her.
When I closed in on her, she noticed and walked up to me.
“Good morning Minato-kun. It shows a good attitude to show up ahead of time.”
“How long have you been here?……Err, well, good morning.”
Even though it was a simple greeting, I ended up slurring over my words.
I didn’t think it would be this embarrassing to engage in unfamiliar conversation with someone of the opposite sex.
I looked away from her and performed a tactical reset of the mind. I collected myself and, once more, turned to look at her.
She wore jeans and a red sweater of a somewhat darker shade. She might have had noticed my gaze on her since she checked her dress before cocking her head.
“Is there anything strange?”
“No, how should I say this? It’s surprisingly ordinary.”
I, who was clad in jeans and a jacket, had no right to say so, but her apparel today being ordinary for her standards, was my honest impression.
“Since it’s you, it’s pointless to be in flashy wear.”
I am sorry that you have to go out with me.
So, like what? You saying you would have put more thoughts into your clothes if your partner were somebody else?
Even if that were presumed to be the case, it would beg the question of what would be considered dressing nicely for the occasion and what would the effects be if one did not adhere to them.
In the worst-case scenario, the other party might feel offended and turn around to leave.
As if having perceived my thoughts, Kirasaka flashed a smile and proceeded to append further explanation.
“Clothes are merely a decoration. When you are at my level, you don’t need to put in extra effort.”
“How overconfident is this woman?……It doesn’t sound like a line the person who came to my house on a holiday all dressed up would say.”
“That was for fun. Rather than that, shall we get going? Time is limited you know.”
This young lady’s ‘fun’ was a luxurious affair.
I had this insatiable curiosity about the price of the dress, but when I got to know, I got a reality check. The discrepancy between our economic backgrounds was huge.
Kirasaka walked up next to me and linked her arm with mine most naturally. I shook her off with familiar movements.
The effect of having an outstanding sister was that I possessed refined evasive skills that put me in a different league from the real lifers around here.
We were too close, and the weather wasn’t as cool. Above all, the stares hurt.
Shinra Minato wasn’t one who forgave such a thing.
I put some distance between us. Kirasaka gave me a discontented look.
“Well, where are we going first for the date?…..I will have you know beforehand that my purse won’t allow for anything extravagant.”
“What do you think a date is huh?…….Oh well, whatever, today I am going to experience the Shinra Minato course, so relax.”
What course is that?
Didn’t you just rile me up even more now?
While humming to herself, Kirasaka started walking, her steps light and exultation apparent. Her words and actions didn’t bode well with me, and a chill ran down my spine.