Summer Festival 2
After having a flirting break in the dark, I walked around with Hiiragi-chan, aka Red, to look for a quiet place where the fireworks could be seen easily.
“Hmmm, there are couples everywhere.”
“It’s to be expected, everyone’s probably thinking the same thing.”
Yeah, Red chuckled to herself. She was holding a cup of lemon-flavored shaved ice as she brought a spoonful of it to the mask’s mouth, only to have it spill all over it.
“Aauu. I messed up again.”
It seems Red has gotten completely used to the mask and sometimes forgets that it’s there.
As it got closer to the start time for the fireworks, the number of people around rapidly increased. If we were to lose each other, it would probably be a pain to find each other.
Ugeh, Sana!? Wearing yukatas, Sana and Kanata appeared directly in front of us.
Looking at Hiiragi-chan, she once again had the spoon crash into the mask. She once again failed to eat. A-alright… if she stays as Red, then it probably won’t be found out. Panicking, I covered my face with the clown mask that was on top of my head.
“Nii-san still came in the end.”
“No. I’m just a clown.”
“… Nii-san, it’s kind of late for that, you know? ”
“… Seiji-kun, you can’t escape Saa-chan with that level of a disguise.”
I accepted that and returned the mask to the top of my head.
“Rather, Sana, you still ended up coming. Even though you said you weren’t going to come.”
“K-Kana-chan said she wanted to go, so Sana is just accompanying her…”
That’s what she said, but it’s probably the opposite in reality…
“Who’s the woman next to you?”
“Eh? Aaah, this person is… just a lost Red.”
Hiiragi-chan nodded along.
“Lost despite being the leader!?”
“… That’s so sad.”
“A-and so, we were just about to look for the other members. I wonder where they got separated…”
Like a cat that was fully on guard, Kanata continued to stare at Red.
“… I feel like I’ve seen someone with that body before…”
As Kanata tried to come around the side to get a closer look, Hiiragi-chan prevented her by holding her arms up in a guard.
“… As expected of Red… really capable…!”
What are they doing?
“W-we were going to go look for a good place to watch the fireworks right now … Nii-san is probably just going to watch alone, right? I’ll let you join us, though?”
“I’ll have to pass. I more or less have a previous engagement.”
“Eh… W-with who…? It can’t be—with Red!?”
Red fidgeted around with embarrassment.
“Y-you can’t, Nii-san! Red has to w-watch with the other members!”
That was just me trying to find an excuse though, there really aren’t any other members.
“Isn’t it fine? Stop being such a busybody.”
“… Nii-san, stupid!”
“… Saa-chan, it’s okay, it’s okay.”
Kanata patted Sana-chan, who was frowning.
They really are on such good terms with each other.
“As such, I’ll be taking the lost Red to the festival’s office—”
When I turned around, Red wasn’t there anymore.
“H-hmmm? Where’s Red?”
“Ah. You’re right… did she get pulled away by the waves of people…”
“… Red… became lost again…”
I waved my hand at the two of them, and pushed myself into the crowd.
Where did she go? She was probably just dazed off eating shaved ice, and then got lost in the crowd. Even when I tried to call her, she didn’t answer the phone. Since her phone was in her bag, it can’t be helped if she didn’t notice.
Pushing my way through the crowd to search for Red, I arrived at a clearing by the stalls.
That’s a relief, I found her. However, she was involved with 3 men. C-could this be that, the—Onee-chan why don’t you come hang out with us—kind of situation!? I-I have to pull myself together. I’m still an adult. I have to protect Hiiragi-chan.
“Ummm… this is a little troubling…”
“It’s fine, right? It’s just for a little bit!”
This is bad, it’s just like the usual template!
“But, I’m with someone right now…”
Red looked very unhappy. I have to do something…!
“Then, how about until that person comes?”
“That’s right. We have a lot of time right now.”
“Just for a little. Really, just for a little bit.”
In that moment, the three men put on three different kinds of masks.
“““—Please become our Red!!”””
What type of pickup line is that!!
Shakiin, he took a stance by himself.
The next person went, shakiin, and took his own stance.
“And I’m—a clown!”
Can’t you at least be a color! It seems, she got involved with people that liked special effects. I don’t know about the clown though.
“Umm, Red is with me. Do you need something?”
I broke out in between the men and Hiiragi-chan.
“We just want to act as rangers together.”
“It just so happens that we’re missing a Red.”
The clown nodded along. Then he looked at me closely and raised his voice, “Ooooh…! A comrade.” He grabbed my hand firmly.
Ah. I was mistaken as an friend.
“No, that’s not it. I just happened to buy this one.”
As I tried my best to deny it, someone patted my shoulder.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, there’s no need to be embarrassed.”
What? Is showing tendencies of liking clowns something to be embarrassed about!? Is it treated like some sort of unpopular minor character!?
“A-anyways, we were trying to look for a place to watch fireworks when we got separated.”
“If that’s the case, comrade. Behind the shrine, there’s a narrow path. If you go up that path, you’ll come upon a small observation area. If you go, there probably won’t be anyone there.”
This clown, he ended up being a character that had important information in advancing the story.
“Ah. Thank you.”
“Good luck, young clown.”
“I’m telling you that I’m not a clown!”
I once again thanked the clown, and pulled Hiiragi-chan along as I began walking.
“I was really surprised since you suddenly disappeared.”
“Aaah…I had a lot of incoming messages… Sorry. By the time I noticed, you guys were already gone. ”
Hiiragi-chan once again held on to my hand, and at the same time linked arms with me.
“Thank you for earlier. They probably weren’t bad people but… I was quite troubled so you really saved me.”
“It’s okay. It was good that I helped out before anything weird happened.”
Kara koro, the sound of Hiiragi-chan’s geta could be heard as we moved away from the hustle and bustle of the festival.
The shrine itself was quite deserted since the rituals had ended. It was only a few people going in and out of the office area.
I wonder where the path behind the shrine is?
“Seiji-kun, isn’t this it?”
Where Hiiragi-chan was pointing, there was a narrow staircase that might be able to fit one person passing through. To keep from falling, we held hands as the two of us walked upwards. After a while, just like the clown had told us, there was a small observation platform.
Despite calling it an observation platform, it was really just a small alcove. It was only to the point of having a small roof, wooden table, and maybe a bench for two.
The lights from the stalls could be seen below, and a starlit sky spread out above. The wind blowing in felt comfortable.
Sitting down on the bench, we looked around. It didn’t look like anyone was around.
“This is a great place.”
“Who was that clown anyways…?”
Hiiragi-chan, who took off her mask, remembered what happened earlier and laughed to herself.
“Isn’t he your friend?”
“No, that’s not true.”
Ahahah, Hiiragi-chan raised her voice in happiness. She treating it as someone else’s problem.
While we continued on with such exchanges, the time came for the fireworks to start. Don, the dark night sky was lit up by colorfully blooming flowers.
How long has it been since I’ve seen fireworks? As I was dazed off thinking about that, Hiiragi-chan closed the distance between us until our shoulders were touching. After I faced the palm of my hand upward, she put her hand on top of mine as if she was waiting for it. Between the fireworks, we secretly kissed each other.
“It’s absolute, okay?”
“Eh? What is?”
“The promise to come back next year… It’s absolute, okay…?”
“Yeah. I promise.”
As I hugged Hiiragi-chan, who seemed anxious, she wrapped her arms around my back.
“Seiji-kun, I love you. I really really love you.”
“Will you say it properly?”
She firmly grabbed my cheeks and stopped me from escaping. Her mouth was loosened into a satisfied smile.
No matter how many times I say it, I’ll never get used to it…
“Haruka-san, I love you.”
“Fuguu… T-thank you…”
Hiiragi-chan held her chest down.
“An embarrassed Seiji-kun is so cute that I want to see it, but if this happens, rather than you being embarrassed, I’m the one who ends up like that…”
What’s with this person? She’s so cute.
From start to finish, we were just like this, watching fireworks from the small observation platform where no one came while flirting with each other.