I, a Lonely Otaku Was Surrounded by Some of the Most Beautiful Girls on Campus and Was Called Riajuu Before I Knew It - Episode 44
- I, a Lonely Otaku Was Surrounded by Some of the Most Beautiful Girls on Campus and Was Called Riajuu Before I Knew It
- Episode 44 - "The Shrinking Distance"
“Look, we’re already near the store, let’s get some rest there.”
I called out to Momoi, who was holding the sleeve of my outfit with tears in her eyes and wouldn’t let go.
Momoi has been like this ever since the roller coaster ride.
…No, it’s a little bit different.
About thirty minutes after the roller coaster ride, Momoi was unable to regain her footing.
She sat down on the bench with tears in her eyes and didn’t move at all.
Good grief… If you don’t like roller coasters at all, then why don’t you just say so…
Well, I guess it was my fault that I got a little carried away and chose the roller coaster that is said to be the scariest in Japan…
And to be honest, I had noticed that Momoi’s face was getting tighter and teary-eyed every time as we got closer to our turn to ride the roller coaster.
However, I was a little bothered by Momoi and thought, “Oh well,” and pretended not to notice.
…By the way, I didn’t tell Momoi that the roller coaster was the scariest one.
….Because, I thought she would just run away.
It’s just― What am I doing on Momoi’s birthday…?
I’m supposed to entertain her, but what’s the point if I gave her trauma…
Well, let’s just hope she’s fine by the time we arrive at the shop soon.
Right now, we were heading to a store called “Cafe Sakura” in Kisaragi-sensei’s town.
We were going there to see the night view when it was dark, but apparently this store was recommended by Karen.
Apparently, one of her friends works there part-time, and she had recently started going there, and the cakes are really good.
Since Karen-san was the one who recommended it to me, I decided to kill time there until dark.
However, it was almost evening thanks to the waiting lines for the rides, so there was no need to kill that much time.
All that was left was for Momoi to recover.
Well, even if we hadn’t originally planned to go to the coffee shop, it would have been impossible for Momoi to continue playing at the amusement park if she was in this condition…
And also, you can’t stay at a coffee shop for too long.
The city where Karen-san and Kisaragi-sensei live is in Tokyo.
So it takes some time to get there from where we live.
However, even though we were across the border of the prefecture, it’s not as far as I imagined since our cities are on the edge of the capital and the prefecture.
Even so, I’m planning to go home early, since I’m sure Sakura-chan will worry about us if we stay out late at night.
“Ah, we’re here.”
I called out to Momoi.
“I need to rest quickly…”
I gave Momoi a wry smile, as she was really fuming.
No one would imagine that the most popular girl in school would look like this…
When we entered the store, we were greeted by a cute waitress with brown hair and short twin tails.
“Are there two of you?”
“Yes. Ah, also, I’ve been told to inform the store that my name is Kanzaki.”
“Ah, so you’re the one that Karen-chan mentioned! Yeah, I’ll show you around then!”
The waitress said this with a smile and took me to a seat in the back of the store.
She called her “Karen-chan,” which meant that this person was probably a friend of hers.
However, as soon as the waitress found out that I knew Karen-san, she became frank, but was that okay with the waitress?
Well, I guess I shouldn’t worry about it.
Maybe she is just a good communicator.
She has a friendly smile and can close the distance between people with ease.
We’ve only been talking for a little while, but this kind of person is very good at getting a sense of distance from others.
They know exactly where they don’t want the other person to step into.
Well, there are some people who don’t mind stepping into other people’s territory.
For example, the clumsy teacher…
Also, she doesn’t stare at us or look at us like the others, which felt a bit unusual to me.
That alone left me a good impression of her.
“Wait! Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch! What’s wrong with you?”
I’m not sure why, but Momoi suddenly pinched the back of my hand.
“You were staring at the waitress…”
When I glared at Momoi, she puffed up her cheeks and sulked.
It’s true that I was looking at her because I was thinking about that waitress, but why are you angry…?
Is that the guy who says that men who scowl at girls are the worst?”
The girl who just worked at the store is looking at us with a wry smile on her face…
For now, we’d better get to our seats as quickly as possible.
As I thought about it, I took Momoi with me to our seats.
“I’ll be ready in a moment, so please wait.”
After saying that, the waitress went to the kitchen.
“You look like you’re getting along very well with her…”
After saying that, Momoi looked at me with eyes that had lost their light.
Why is she looking at me like this…?
Or rather, where the heck did that cute girl go who was so scared of the roller coaster that she had tears in her eyes just a few minutes ago…?
I decided to clear up Momoi’s misunderstanding, even though I was baffled by her current state.
“What do you mean by getting along, it’s the first time we met you know?”
I’m sure I told Momoi the truth, but she looked at me suspiciously.
If you paid attention to the conversation between me and the waitress earlier, you would know that this was our first meeting okay…?
However, no matter what I say to Momoi now, it will be meaningless.
Because, Momoi, with these eyes, is insane. ……
“Why didn’t that waitress take our order?”
After a little while, Momoi asked me like that.
She seemed to have come to her senses.
“I’ve already ordered.”
Momoi tilted her head at my words.
But I don’t think I need to bother explaining.
That wouldn’t be a surprise, and the waitress from earlier was in my line of vision.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting~!”
With that, the waitress placed a birthday cake in front of Momoi.
The cake was very elaborate, a heart-shaped whole cake with the words “Happy Birthday” written on it, as well as strawberries and fruit beautifully arranged.
In addition, there were animals such as cats drawn on the plate with chocolate cream.
As expected of a restaurant recommended by Karen-san.
Momoi was glued to the cake.
Surprising, isn’t it?
It wouldn’t be surprising if the current Momoi liked cakes.
“To tell you the truth, it’s not actually on the menu at the store, but it’s special because it was requested by Karen. Well, actually, the person that Karen-chan asked to make it for her was busy these days, so the manager made it for her.”
The waitress smiled at me as she told me that.
“I’m sorry about that.”
I said so, and lowered my head to the waitress.
I didn’t think they had gone to the trouble of making something they didn’t have in the store.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. A friend of my friend is also my friend after all.”
With that, the waitress waved her hand and left the table.
I thanked the waitress and Karen-san, and then looked at Momoi.
Momoi’s eyes were sparkling and she looked like she couldn’t wait.
As for me, I have coffee and pancakes in front of me.
It’s not that I can’t eat sweets, but I’m not very fond of them.
That’s why I decided to have pancakes, which were not too sweet and would help my stomach a little.
After all, I missed out on lunch today…
“Happy birthday, Momoi. Let’s eat then.”
When I wished Momoi a happy birthday, she smiled happily and began to carefully eat the cake.
When I saw Momoi eating the cake with happiness, I felt happy too.
However, this was not the end of the surprise.
Of course, I haven’t told Momoi about my plans for the rest of the day.
That’s why we’re only celebrating her birthday here, and not giving her any presents.
However, Momoi probably thinks that today is the end of the day, given the time and the fact that she celebrated her birthday here.
I hope she’ll be happier at the end…
With that in mind, I started eating the pancakes in front of me―.
“Let’s go then.”
A little while after Momoi finished eating, I called out to her when I saw that it was getting dark outside.
“Yeah, let’s go home!”
Momoi nodded with a smile at my words.
She nodded with a smile at my words, and I could see from her expression that she was satisfied.
After checking Momoi’s expression, I went to pay the bill.
“Ah, I’ll pay for it too, okay?”
Momoi said and tried to take out her wallet.
“No, it’s okay, I’ll pay.”
I stopped Momoi.
It’s Momoi’s birthday today, and I’ve taken the liberty of adding this place to my plans.
I can’t make Momoi pay for it.
“Yes, yes, in this kind of situation, the boyfriend should pay.”
The waitress, who is a friend of Karen-san, overheard our conversation and said so with a smile.
I was grateful that she agreed with me, but I didn’t want her to misunderstand me.
“No, we’re not dating, okay?”
“Eh, really!? But―”
The waitress was surprised to hear my words and turned her gaze towards Momoi.
I looked at Momoi’s face, and she turned her head away from me and looked back.
For some reason, she had her hands on her cheeks.
I’m not sure why Momoi turned her face away from me, and I tilted my head.
“Ahaha… this must be difficult for the girl…”
When I was tilting my head at Momoi, the waitress muttered something like that.
“What do you mean?”
I didn’t understand a word she said, so I asked her.
“No, it’s nothing. Anyway, the cab is waiting for you two, so just pay the bill.”
At the waitress’s words, I looked outside the store and saw that a cab had indeed arrived.
This was the taxi that Momoi had called for earlier after she finished eating.
We needed a cab because we didn’t have bicycles to get where we wanted to go.
Although from what I heard, we still have to walk up from the middle of the road…
That’s what the waitress said and waved at us as I paid the bill and was leaving the restaurant.
Momoi and I bowed to her and walked out.
As we got into the cab, I told him our destination.
Momoi looked surprised when she realized that we weren’t going to the station, but she didn’t say anything.
On the contrary, I felt like she was smiling at me.
When the cab arrived at our destination, Momoi and I took the stairs and climbed the hill.
I thought that Momoi would scream if we walked so much, but surprisingly she didn’t seem to mind.
Come to think of it, she can also do sports…
Really, just how high her specs are…
Although a little unreasonable, I climbed the hill, matching Momoi’s pace.
“Wait, I’m a bit scared…”
As we climbed higher and higher, the streetlights became fewer and fewer, and Momoi said so with an anxious voice.
“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but don’t go too far.”
I was concerned about Momoi.
Then suddenly― Momoi held my hand.
I thought she would at least grab the sleeve of my clothes, but I didn’t expect this…
Having said that, I didn’t say anything to Momoi since I couldn’t shake her off and this was the third time for today that she had held my hand.
As I did so, Momoi started laughing again and began to play with my hand, holding it in a niggling grip.
I kept my composure on the surface and let Momoi do what she wanted― but of course, I was screaming on the inside.
…―What the heck is up with this Momoi?
She’s just too cute!
At this point, you’d mistake her for someone else!
Or rather, are my hands sweating?!
What should I do, I don’t know anymore!
You wouldn’t like me if I did!?
I was such a mess in my head.
But I couldn’t help it!
Anyone would become like this if they were treated this way by such a cute girl!
As I was making excuses to myself in my head, we arrived at our destination hill.
When Momoi saw the view from the hill, she exclaimed in admiration.
The view from here― it was the light of this city called Shimizu Town.
However, it was just the light from the residential areas and stores.
Normally, these lights are used for daily life, but due to the dense concentration and the fact that we were looking at them from a distance, they seemed to be a form of art.
Perhaps because we were surrounded by complete darkness, the light looked even more beautiful.
“I heard about this… It truly is a nice view.”
After saying that, I stood next to Momoi, who was absorbed in this night view.
“Yeah… it’s so beautiful… It feels like I’m in a fantasy world…”
I couldn’t help but admire the expression on Momoi’s face as she said this.
Her face has gentle eyes, as if looking at something very lovely, and her cheeks are red from excitement.
She looked so sexy.
I was aware that my heart was beating faster as I watched Momoi.
I guess it’s because Momoi is so cute right now.
I’m sure it’s not a romantic feeling.
―It’s not love, I told myself.
I should never have such feelings for Momoi, who adores me as family.
I reminded myself again and took out Momoi’s birthday present from my pocket.
And then, I called out to Momoi.
“Momoi, I want you to look at me for a moment.”
“Hmm? What’s the matter?”
Momoi tilted her head and looked up at me.
“For the second time― Happy birthday, Momoi.”
I said that and gave Momoi a birthday present.
“Wow… I’m so happy… Can I open it?”
I nodded in response to Momoi’s question, and she carefully opened the package.
What came out of it was a pendant with a feather motif.
Not only that, but at the base of the feather was embedded a small ruby, the birthstone for the month of July.
That said, it was only an imitation, made of glass.
I had read on the Internet that a man who was not her boyfriend would be turned off if she gave him an expensive gift, so I chose a less expensive one.
But the feathers themselves were carefully crafted, and I liked what I saw, so I went with this one.
“Can I… have you wear this for me?
Momoi handed me the pendant and then lifted a handful of her own hair.
I’m going to put it on Momoi…?
I thought about it and looked at Momoi, but when I looked into Momoi’s eyes and realized that she wasn’t going to back down, I put my hand around the back of Momoi’s neck and put the pendant on her.
Because of this, Momoi’s face was very close to mine, and it’s almost like I’m hugging her.
“Ehehe~… thank you.”
Momoi said and lifted the pendant with the palm of her hand, looking lovingly at it.
And then, she looked up at me again.
“Sorry… Can I be selfish about one more thing?”
What is it?
“Um… From now on, I want you to call me Sakihime…”
Momoi said this while looking away shyly.
Momoi calls me Umi-kun.
If I were a family member, it would be strange for me to call Momoi by his last name…
“Okay, I understand. I’ll call you Sakihime from now on. Nice to meet you again, Sakihime.”
“Ah―yeah! Nice to meet you too, Umi-kun!”
When I called her Sakihime, she smiled happily.
This person, she’s really innocent…
When I saw the expression on Sakihime’s face, I averted my eyes to the night view from the hill, as if to escape the blur that was spreading inside me―.
Translator’s Comments: And this marks the end of the date. Man, these past 4 chapters were deadly af for the heart. As a Momoi enthusiast, I’m happy with the developments so far. Momoi FTW! (No spoilers in the comments if ever someone would read ahead by the way). One more chapter after this to see what Momoi thought of the date!