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T-T-The Tashinami chapters are coming. Honest!
An obi is the belt sash on traditional Japanese clothing.
Bringing your lover along to view the sakura, huh?
Tch, what an eyesore.
To begin with, they remembered to hold this happy flower viewing event, but not the Festival of Appeasing the Flowers?
From ancient times, the end of March, when the sakura bloomed, necessitated a purification ritual to appease the evil gods of pestilence.
This was spring. A most terrifying season, when the gods of pestilence most exercised their power.
Making out? Flirting with your lover at a time like this…?
Those louts were just asking for divine retribution! Kiii!
Out of sight of the two, my cowardice had transformed into hatred.
What the hell was that attitude?
Acting as though I was some kind of third wheel…!
As if that wasn’t enough, my anger had now made me hungry.
You think I would let the tightness of my obi stop me!?
I grabbed some food and sat myself down in the closest chair.
As I sat there, people came to chat with me from time to time.
Some of them were my parents’ acquaintances.
Others, I knew because of the circles I moved in as a Pivoine.
More importantly, for some reason they really believed in the rumour that I was a fathercon, and made comments to that effect.
Sometimes older men even asked me for help, like,
“My teenage daughter is really cold to me these days. What should I do…?”
In the end I just gave them some vague advice.
Don’t make lame dad jokes.
Pay attention to your appearance.
Don’t go on and on about stories from when you were young, especially if you’re lecturing them.
Don’t leer at young women.
Praise her, but don’t try to flatter her too much.
Basically stuff like that, and all of it with Kaburagi’s stylish gentleman of a dad in mind.
Any girl would be proud to have a dad like that…
You need to accept reality! The tubby tanuki over there is your father!
After facing reality, I went back to eating when two beautiful women came my way.
“Reika-chan, it’s been a while!”
It really had been a while.
Although we still messaged each other on occasion, Aira-sama had gotten even busier since her 3rd year in university started.
But wow, the two of them were as gorgeous as ever.
I was really happy to see them!
“Have the two of you been well? You must be positively swamped.”
“Yeah. You really need to commit to a path when you’re our age, so everyone has their own stuff to do,” said Aira-sama.
“Have you two already decided on what you want to do in the future?”
The two of them shared a glance and broke into hopeless smiles.
“I mean, I’ve got something that I want to do, you know? But my parents are adamant about me joining the family company, or the company of one of their good friends,” said Aira-sama.
“My parents don’t agree with what I want, so I’m having a lot of trouble as well,” said Yurie-sama.
They let out a huge sigh.
Finding a job was hard stuff, wasn’t it.
And when it came to the parents of rich women, they probably didn’t think of this as much more than decoration for one’s marriage profile.
Of the girls from Zui’ran that actually joined the workforce, most just landed a job through connections, and plenty just treated it as something to do until they could get married.
That made Aira-sama and Yurie-sama all the more admirable for trying to strike it out on their own.
I didn’t want to join my family’s company either.
I’d just be nothing more than the chairman’s daughter.
I’d be given a wonderful position, but they’d tread on eggshells around me, and I’d basically be isolated.
And the political marriage that lay at the end of that road?
I didn’t want my family to crumble, but I wasn’t fond of that option either.
I was going to marry for love!
“Yurie, if it comes down to it, wanna run off overseas with me?” asked Aira-sama.
“What the heck are you saying?” Yurie-sama laughed.
The two of them really had it rough.
“Hey, hey, more importantly. Reika-chan, I hear that something interesting’s been going on with Masaya.”
The two of them sat down on either side of me and leaned in, eyes gleaming for gossip.
They seemed to be enjoying this quite a bit.
“Interesting, you say?” I asked.
“He’s found a girl that he likes,” said Aira-chan.
“Do you know who it is, Reika-san?” Yurie-sama followed up.
How did they know!?
Did Kaburagi tell them!?
“Going by your expression, it seems that you do, huh?”
“Did you hear this from Kaburagi-sama?” I asked.
“Tell her, Yurie.”
“He was all nervous at Christmas, so I suspected. I asked him, ‘Have you found a girl you like?’ and he actually said ‘I did…’! Geez, when he came to my house he even suddenly started looking through my women’s fashion magazines, and around Valentine’s he got all down. Such an open book~”
The two of them guffawed together.
“I mean, when he gave up on Yurie I’d already suspected it was because he’d found someone else.”
“It was pretty suspicious, come to think of it,” mused Yurie-sama.
“Do you know who it is?” I asked.
“An External girl, right? Do you know what kind of girl she is, Reika-chan?” asked Aira-sama.
“Well, yes…” I said evasively.
Since I didn’t know what Wakaba-chan wanted, it wouldn’t do to say anything careless.
Diseases come in through the mouth, but disasters come out of it.
After chatting for a while longer, the two of them left after some other senpai from the Pivoine went calling for them.
Since that was the case, I decided to move a little to help with the digestion.
I wandered the area for a while when I happened to make eye contact with Kaburagi, who was surrounded by girls.
He immediately excused himself and headed my way.
“Gokigen’yoh, Kaburagi-sama. Thank you very much for extending your invitation to me this evening.”
“Yeah, thanks for coming.”
Kaburagi led me near the wall, where even the sakura couldn’t be seen anymore.
Nobody was nearby here, so the chances of being overheard were slim.
As expected of the host’s son. He knew the location quite well.
“Well, sit down.”
“Then excuse me… Well then, what did you want to discuss?”
“Well that was blunt. Basically… I want to talk about her.”
What else, right?
“Starting at the beginning, the two of us were involved in a little accident during the summer.”
Kaburagi began telling me about how the two of them became closer, and that sometimes he went to her house to buy cakes.
Mhm. I knew it all, already.
“But things haven’t progressed since then.”
“What do you think I should do?”
Eh!? That’s where he was going to start!?
“Why not just confess?” I suggested.
“Wha-, you-!” he spluttered.
You were about to call me an idiot, weren’t you?
“Not yet! That’s still way off!”
Kaburagi was so flustered that his eyes were swimming.
Wow, as a man, this guy was even more useless than I thought.
“Well then how about inviting her to a date to deepen your bonds?”
“I thought about that too. But I just can’t find the right timing to. She’s pretty busy in her own right. And besides, I have a lot of things on my schedule too. Like just the other day I’d finally found some time, but she already had a friend over so I couldn’t invite her out.”
Ah, that was me…
“Why did you not contact her beforehand?”
“Uh, I wanted to surprise her…”
You’re bothering people by doing that!
People like me! I was so surprised that my stomach hurt, okay!
“I think that showing up unannounced and uninvited can only cause trouble for the other party.”
“Most certainly! From now on, please do not forget to schedule an appointment with her first!”
Mn. Because if I bumped into you while I was at Wakaba-chan’s, it would really cause me problems.
Actually I would prefer that he never came at all, but that was just me being selfish.
If I had to compromise though, then I wanted some forewarning at least.
“But I haven’t actually been coming there to meet her. I’ve been going there to buy cakes,” he said.
“As an excuse to meet her.”
“Well… yeah,” he admitted.
“In that case, why not tell her that you were planning to come down someday to buy some cakes again, and casually ask her when she might be there?”
“Got it. I’ll take measures,” he nodded obediently.
What is that even supposed to mean…?
“Anyway, going back to that friend who was over when I came…”
My heart stopped.
Don’t tell me he noticed!?
“Apparently their name is Coro-chan.”
What do you mean ‘What’s Coro-chan’?
“Coroyama? Coroda…? Coroko, Coromi, Coroe… None of them sound like real names. What’s ‘Coro-chan’ supposed to be?”
The correct answer is ‘cornet’.
“Then, I realised it. I had actually just misheard… the boy’s name ‘Gorou’!”
To think that he concluded that it was actually ‘Gorou-chan’…
I was suddenly exhausted.
“So what do you think of my theory?”
“Come on, give me a proper answer, Advisor.”
Apparently I had become his advisor.
“If you are truly bothered about it, then why not just ask her? ‘So who was your friend Gorou-chan from last time?’ If she corrects you and tells you it’s ‘Coro-chan’ then it might be a girl, and if she does not, then it means that they are a boy.”
“Hmmmm…” he hummed indecisively.
I’m a girl!
“Well then, shall we discuss inviting her to a date first?”
“Right! Where would be good?”
His expression had turned bright.
“Hmmm, a place that would constitute a casual invitation… Ah, I know. How about inviting her to study at the library together?”
“Library!? How the hell is that a date!?”
Don’t look down on my fantasy library date, damnit!
I began explaining to him that because we were all 3rd year students it was low risk with a high chance of success.
I honestly thought it was the best place for him to start.
Fellow Stalking Horse has already cleared the library date event, you know!
Anyway, as the son of the host he couldn’t be hiding in a corner forever, so right after that Kaburagi had to head back.
Oniisama would be taking me back, so we went and had one final look at the sakura together.
Chatting with sensuous beauties in front of the sakura was Imari-sama.
Since he hadn’t seemed to notice us, we headed around to avoid disturbing him when we suddenly heard him passionately quote the Kokinshuu anthology.
“A mountain cherry. Through the drifting mists, faintly seen thus there is a lady I long for all the more…”
In the face of the natural talent displayed by the Casanova Village Chief, Oniisama simply clicked his tongue, while I could not help but prostrate myself in awe.