I Became Friends with the Second Cutest Girl in My Class - Chapter 171
Chapter 171 – 0.01
After a satisfying break and a firm scolding from Sora-san, we departed from the service area.
As originally planned, Riku-san took the wheel for the second half of the drive.
He said that it had been a while since he last drove a car, but his body seemed to remember how to handle the wheel since he used to drive every day back when he was still working.
That meant we would be safe for the rest of our journey… No, I wasn’t implying that I was scared of Sora-san’s rough driving, not at all.
“Thank you, Riku. I still can’t believe that you volunteered to come along, though.”
“Well, it’s been a while since I went to grandma’s house. After we moved to our current house, I’ve only gone back a couple of times, I just thought it would be nice to visit her once in a while. Besides, there’s no way I would let you go alone, Mom. Right, Umi?”
“What? Why are you dragging me into this?”
“Hmm~ What do you mean by that, Riku? Umi, what is he talking about, I wonder?”
Putting aside Sora-san’s scary glare, there was something that caught my attention in their conversation.
“Um, Riku-san, you said you ‘moved to your current house’, were you living at Mizore-san’s house before this by any chance?”
“Hm? Yeah. Our parents got married when they were young and naturally they had troubles financially. That’s why our family lived in grandma’s place for a while. We started living in our current house around the time when Umi was born.”
As far as I knew, Daichi-san and Sora-san got married when the latter was pregnant, that meant Riku-san lived there until he was around ten years old.
If that was the case, the house should be filled with childhood memories, so it wasn’t strange for him to tag along.
But, for some reason, he looked less enthusiastic than usual.
“We’re going to leave the highway soon. You two in the back, do you have something you want to buy? There’s no convenience store near grandma’s house, so if you need anything, we could stop by first.”
“Ah, then, can we do that? When I look at Maki’s luggage, it seems like he forgot to bring his comb.”
“I took a look at your luggage before we left the service area. You didn’t bring it, did you?”
“Um… Yeah, it seems so…”
Now that I thought about it, I didn’t remember putting it in. The inn we were going to stay at should have one, but there was a chance that they didn’t have it and even if they did, there was a chance that the thing would be uncomfortable to use, so I might as well buy a new one.
“Got it, we’ll stop at the next store we find. I wanna buy something too.”
“Drink in moderation, okay?”
“I know. I won’t buy anything stronger than 9%.”
“I’m talking about the quantity.”
And so we decided to go shopping together. After getting off the highway, we parked our car in a nearby parking lot and went to a convenience store.
Our destination was a little further ahead, but this place already had more trees than the city we lived in.
Beyond the convenience store building was a huge mountain surrounded by thick trees, an amazing view for sightseeing, but not really a convenient place for me to live in because I was too accustomed to modern life.
“Well, if Riku’s going to buy some, I might as well do the same.”
“You warned me not to do it and yet you’re doing the same thing, mom?”
“My? Are you volunteering to stay in your grandma’s place in my stead? I won’t buy any if you do.”
“…Do whatever you like.”
I guessed it from the time I heard them talking on the phone, but it seemed like Sora-san didn’t get along well with her mother-in-law.
Pretending to not see Sora-san shoving a considerable amount of 9% bottles into the basket, I went to Umi’s side to shop together with her. This counted as an extra expense, but I got enough money from mom, so it should be fine.
“What should we buy, Maki? The inn should sell everything that we need, but I doubt that they would be cheap.”
“Let’s buy juice and some other things like snacks. Even if we can’t finish all of them during the trip, we can finish it when we get back.”
So we picked up some cola and snacks that caught our eyes. I had just eaten a huge soft serve not too long ago, but I was hungry again already. I was a gluttonous guy, yes, I know.
“I wonder if this’ll last for three days? Also the comb…”
With a full basket, I went to the cosmetic section.
As I was browsing the display shelves for toothbrush sets and other items, a certain box caught my eye.
That number was displayed on the package in large letters.
I knew that they sold this in convenience stores, but this was the first time that I had seen and picked it up. I was never interested in it before, but the box looked surprisingly vibrant.
They distributed some in class before and I brought them with me for this trip.
The possibility of us being able to do it was low since Riku-san would be with us, but it wasn’t completely zero.
“Wait, what the hell am I thinking? Am I really thinking of going to someone’s home and doing it there?”
Before evil thoughts started to occupy my mind, I put the box back. But because I was panicking, it fell on the floor.
“What’s wrong, Maki?”
Of course Umi noticed the thing on the floor.
She glanced at my face before turning her gaze toward the box I dropped.
“Um, Umi-san… T-This is…”
Umi, with a hint of blush on her cheeks, turned her face away from me.
I could say that I just picked it up by accident, but then again, it wasn’t a lie that I harbored those kinds of thoughts, so trying to make excuses for myself would be lame.
After returning the box to its original place and placing the comb I was looking for into the basket, I went to Umi’s side.
“Jeez, seriously, you can’t hold it in, huh, Maki?”
“My bad… I can’t help it, okay?”
“You don’t need to apologize, I’m not angry or anything, but… You won’t buy it?”
As we stood together on the line, Umi whispered that to me.
Her face got redder by the second as her grip on my hand got tighter.
…Great minds think alike, huh?
“C-C’mon, w-we don’t really need it, but y-you know? J-Just in case… P-Prepare an umbrella before the rain thing, y-you know?”
“Ah, r-right… J-Just in case, right? M-Mhm. E-Even if we can’t do it on this trip, we might get the chance later, r-right?”
“Y-Yeah, r-right. A-Anyway, I’ll hold the basket for you, so, go!”
“M-Mhm… I-I’ll get to it…”
I quickly went back to grab a pack before slipping it among the pile of snacks in the basket.
There were a few in my wallet, but having more wouldn’t hurt, right?