After school that day.
I was studying with Tennoji-san at a café adjacent to the cafeteria.
“The exam is just around the corner, isn’t it?”
“…… I guess so.”
Since there is no one around, I talk to Tennoji-san in a plain tone of voice.
It was close to exams, but there were not many students to be seen at the academy after school. The students at the academy are probably at home where they can concentrate on their studies. There was no need for them to stay at the academy.
“In the meantime, you have been listening to me, and I will explain the situation to you.”
Putting down the mechanical pencil in her hand, Tennoji-san said.
“I have been allowed to stay in the school until the next test. So, as planned, I will definitely beat Konohana Hinako in this exam. And I will …… eliminate the reason for me to stay at this academy.”
My eyes widened when I heard those words.
“……Well, that’s how it is.”
When the marriage proposal was approved, it was confirmed that Tennoji-san would leave the academy.
Even so, Tennoji-san doesn’t say anything.
This person is different from …… Hinako. Tennoji-san has a strong heart and is able to restrain herself, so she can’t ask for “help” to my face.
“Don’t look so worried.”
Suddenly, Tennoji-san looked at me and said.
“Contributing to the Tennoji family is what makes me happy. Therefore, I…”
“…Really, do you really think so?”
I said, looking straight at Tennoji-san.
Then Tennoji-san fell silent.
“…… Tennoji-san. Can you make time for one more day tomorrow?”
Tennoji-san’s eyes widen, and I continue.
“You said before that you were interested in the lives of the common people, right?”
“Yes. Certainly, I said something like that.”
Tennoji-san is adopted, but since she was raised in the Tennoji family for as long as she can remember, she doesn’t seem to know the lives of the common people. So she seemed to be interested in the lives of ordinary people like us.
“Why don’t we take a little break before the exam? I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to introduce you to some common people’s ways of relaxing.”
It may have been a sudden suggestion.
But Tennoji-san, after showing a serious demeanor, said.
“Oh, yes. It’s a good opportunity for me to join you.”
Tennoji-san said this with a smile on her face.
Since it’s a special occasion……, she talks as if she’s making a memory of the time she was a student of this academy.
If Tennoji-san is so determined, I’ll do my best to avoid that as much as possible.
The next day.
I convinced Hinako and Shizune to let me go out, and I was waiting for Tennoji-san in front of the station.
“I … haven’t had a day off in a while……”
The time was mid-afternoon. It was probably the first time since the day I became a caretaker that I went out for purely fun, unrelated to work. Since becoming a caretaker, I’ve spent most of my days off studying, so today I feel like I have a little too much time on my hands and I don’t feel comfortable.
And if you go …… and think about it, today is like a date.
I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never been on a date before.
After all this time, I’m starting to get a little nervous.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
A voice called out to me from the side.
When I turned around, I saw Tennoji-san there.
“Tennoji-san, what is that appearance ……?”
“It’s a disguise. I’m sure you’re taking me to a place that people like me rarely visit today, right? It’s a way to avoid attracting attention.”
Tennoji-san’s blond hair, which is always curled vertically, was straight and she was wearing a light blue beret. She was dressed in a white blouse and blue skirt, which gave her a slightly more subdued and innocent image compared to the often prominent Tennoji-san at the academy.
It is an outfit that blends in with the city. It can be said that the disguise is a brilliant success.
However, Tennoji-san’s original appearance was superior. The usual Tennoji-san is beautiful, but today’s Tennoji-san gives me a different kind of charm. In any case, she was attracting a lot of attention from passersby because of her good looks. Tennoji-san is always an eye-catcher, no matter how she dresses.
“Is it …… strange?”
Tennoji-san asked with a blush on her cheeks.
Oops. I stared at her too long.
“No, it’s not strange, but …… I thought it was unusual …… to see you with your hair down.”
“If you had seen me with my hair down, you would have seen it at my house.”
“It’s not just the hair, but the whole atmosphere is different from usual…….”
I was embarrassed to honestly say “fresh and cute”, so I mumbled a few words.
Then, Tennoji-san, perhaps sensing my sentiment, gave me a smile showing a sense of comfort.
“Which do you prefer, me now or the usual me?”
It was a very difficult question.
After much deliberation, I answered.
“… I think I prefer the usual Tennoji-san.”
“I see. So this one was not to Itsuki-san’s liking?”
“I don’t mean that, it’s just that the usual style is more like Tennoji-san’s …… natural style.”
When I told her, scratching my cheek, Tennoji-san looked pleased.
“Yes, you are right. I’m not sure how I feel about this outfit, to be honest. If it were me, I’d dress a little more …… delicately!”
Tennoji-san puts a hand on her chest and tells me in an imposing manner.
“Is it okay if I show you around at my leisure today? I don’t want to go anywhere dangerous, but we’re going somewhere not befitting the daughter of the Tennoji family, you know.”
“No problem. The disguise is for that reason. Even if I am seen, I can protect the Tennoji family’s reputation if my true identity is not revealed, I’m going to enjoy myself to the fullest today.”
Tennoji-san looks very proud of herself, implying that her disguise is perfect.
“After all this time, I’m surprised your family allowed you to do this. No escort, right?”
“Yes. Both father and mother are very tolerant.”
Tennoji-san said somewhat proudly.
“On the contrary, did Itsuki-san get permission without any problems?”
“Well……, it would be a lie to say that everything was …… uneventful.”
Shizune-san was quick to agree, as she has recently stopped restricting my behavior so much.
The problem was Hinako. When I told her that I wanted to go out with Tennoji-san alone, she became surprisingly upset. When I explained that I wanted to thank Tennoji-san for all the things she had taught me, she somehow agreed, but then she grumpily reminded me to “make up for it” to her.
“By the way, Itsuki-san…”
Tennoji-san asked in a quiet voice.
“Can I interpret this as, well, a date ……?”
I was at a loss for a response.
I had been trying not to be aware of it, but I had no idea that Tennoji-san would ask me about it.
“Well, well, I suppose you could say that …….”
Tennoji-san’s cheeks blushed slightly as I affirmed.
“…… This is the first time I’ve been on a date.”
Saying this, Tennoji-san looked at me with an upward glance.
“So,…… I’m looking forward to it, aren’t you?”
With a somewhat nasty smile, but with expectation in her eyes, Tennoji-san said.
Such an attitude of Tennoji-san reminds me of the tough lessons I have been learning.
If I think about it calmly, I have always spent time alone with this person.
There is no need to be overly conscious of it now.
“Ah. Today, I’m going to teach you how to have fun in the common people’s way.”
I’m going to enjoy myself to the fullest today.
I went out on the town with Tennoji-san.
“What is this!? What is this!? What is thissssss!?”
Tennoji-san was confused as she spun the steering wheel in circles.
I watched her with a sideways glance as I slowly turned the steering wheel to the right.
It had been a while since I visited the arcade, but the atmosphere was exactly the same as before. Miscellaneous sounds reached my ears, and people of all ages, from children to adults, were playing.
We were now playing a popular racing game. Tennoji-san’s car, which was being shown in the corner of the screen, veers off the course and crashes into a guardrail.
Tennoji-san screamed, but I continued to lead the race.
“Okay! First place!”
After reaching the finish line, I took my hand off the steering wheel and looked at Tennoji-san, who was sitting next to me.
“…… In last place.”
I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at Tennoji-san’s obvious disappointment.
“Don’t laugh at me! I was desperate, okay!?”
“Wow, bad. But it’s a game, and it was funny to see you react to a thrown banana and yell, ‘That’s bad manners!'”
“So please don’t laugh at me!”
That wasn’t just me, the people around us were laughing too.
Tennoji-san regained her composure and looked around at the other games. She still looked frustrated, as if her earlier defeat was still lingering in her memory, but she was still observing the other games with great interest.
It was a good decision to invite Tennoji-san to the arcade. Like Hinako, Tennoji-san was apparently unfamiliar with this type of entertainment.
Today would be a good day to let Tennoji-san experience the unknown.
“What is this Japanese drum over here, Itsuki-san?”
“Taiko no Tetsujin, or one of those sound games. Let’s try this one too….”
Taiko no Tetsujin? I put in a 100 yen coin in front of Tennoji-san, who tilted her head.
I told Tennoji-san how to play the game and immediately chose a song.
As soon as the game started, Tennoji-san was confused.
“This is not a performance!”
Where did her usual confident behavior go? Tennoji-san was moving the stick in both hands in a bewildered manner.
Finally, the score between Tennoji-san and me was displayed.
“Okay, I win this one, too.”
“Kuuuh ……! If it were a real drum, I would definitely be better than you!”
It was a unique cry of a loser.
Tennoji-san started looking for the next game.
“Itsuki-san, this is…!?”
“Oh, hockey. That brings back memories.”
“Is that a …… small flying disc you have here? Can I just throw this?”
“Wait, wait, wait! I’ll explain it to you right now!”
I stop Tennoji-san, who was about to throw the puck, and explain the rules to her.
I’m not sure if she is unfamiliar with common sense or knowledgeable. …… But this imbalance of knowledge is very much like an upper class lady. Hinako is similar.
Tennoji-san and I play hockey together.
As a matter of course, I won.
“Next! Let’s go!”
Tennoji-san was looking for another game.
“Is that …… horse racing?”
“Horse racing game, huh? You want to give it a try?”
“We can’t! You must be 20 years old to buy a horse race ticket!”
“It’s a game too, so it’s all right.”
I say to Tennoji-san, who is in a panic, with a smile on my face.
The user registration was a bit of a hassle, but we were able to join the game right away.
“Ku …! I lost again …!”
“Well, this is a game of luck…….”
It seems that Tennoji-san is not so lucky today.
Tennoji tried to find another game, ……, but before that, we decided to take a quick break.
After purchasing drinks for both of us from the vending machine, we sat down on a bench by the stairs.
“Itsuki-san, did you used to hang out here a lot before?”
“I wasn’t playing, I was working part-time. On the rare occasion when someone I knew came in, I’d play a little with the manager’s permission.”
So, I will not lose to Tennoji-san, who is a complete beginner.
“Game Center ……? This is a very exciting place, isn’t it? I have never visited a place with such an atmosphere before.”
Of course, I thought to myself.
It is not a safe place to visit. Tennoji-san’s parents are apparently tolerant, but in Kagen-san’s case, he would never allow Hinako to go to a place like this.
However, there are experiences that can only be gained here.
Tennoji-san was safely charmed by the excitement and was happy and sad like an innocent child during the games.
“Then next time, let’s go bowling. No. Is …… karaoke more common?”
For me, the current caretaker of Hinako, today’s expenses were a minor.
Next time, it could be bowling or karaoke. Anyway, I would like to provide Tennoji-san with an unusual experience. I thought to myself.
“I’ll go to all …….”
Tennoji-san said in a voice that sounded as if it had been squeezed out of her.
“I’ll go to all of them! I won’t let you go until I win!”
I may have stimulated Tennoji-san’s fighting spirit a little too much.
But that request seemed to me to be a good one, so I nodded my head and said, “Yeah.”
1 thought on “Takane no Hana Volume 2 Chapter 31”
Thank you so much for this chapter! My most favorite light novel right now! I always look forward to it!