Pre-Chapter Notes: The kanji is basically the same as the last chapter for the title, except swapping out “man” with “woman”. Today we also get to meet a character who even though they’ve never met, I will ship her and Ren until the end of time.
A girl’s appearance is valuable, throwing it away recklessly isn’t a good thing.
There is never a time you can let go of it, you must religiously hold onto it.
These words that I am thankful for aren’t from a famous celebrity—it isn’t someone like that, they the words of my mother, Kitou Kiyomi. [T/N Note: I’m fairly certain this is just an alternative reading of her last name, it’s there in the furigana (helping kanji), but the kanji is the same as ‘Sato’.]
By the way, I once unconsciously blurted out 「Hey, mom, you’re a vain person, aren’t you?」, and was strongly slapped in the face.
Rather than because it hurt, I was almost crying because I was surprised that my head made a surprisingly good sound.
I dislike violence.
Well, I shouldered my teary eyes, and moreover my mother was in a bad mood, but it was still a good word.
A girl’s appearance is valuable, there isn’t any kind of time you can let go of it.
—If that’s the case, this is the time, after all.
I made a rare phone call that night.
Out of all my rare relationships, only one is close to my age, my cousin Sudou Rinka.
「Ah, hello hello? How are you, Koharu…」
I yelled faster than the girl on the other side of the phone.
「—I want to shopping with you for clothes you wear on a date!」
Rinka-chan’s voice could be heard from a distance.
Apparently, I had put my smartphone away. [T/N: Slightly confusing, but probably is just a joke that you could hear her even without the phone.]
Sudou Rinka was the daughter of my mother’s younger sister—in short, she’s my cousin.
Her bangs were cut evenly over the eyebrows and her hair was tied up neatly in a ponytail, almost like a doll.
Her features were very young and really had the feeling of 「middle school student」, however this girl had a strong-willed gaze and a calmness for her age, and I think to myself 「She’s more mature than me, isn’t she?」, in a moment of delusion.
By the way, this year she’s a 15 year old third year junior high school student, that is, two years younger than me.
「Is Koharu’s boyfriend a hot guy?」
After school, Rinka-chan, who is walking next to me, suddenly asks something like that, so I…
I didn’t raise my voice in a manner unbecoming of a high school girl.
After a delay, the word 「boyfriend」 reentered my ears and my face became red. [T/N: Sato actually says “the two characters of boyfriend”, referencing how boyfriend is written with two kanji characters. However, saying that above translation is clunky.]
「B-boyfriend…… Oshio-kun and I aren’t like that yet…..!」
「Heeeh, so he’s called Oshio?」
「Also, ‘not like that yet’, what’s with that? If you’re a high school student and say things like that, someone will easily take him, Koharu, because of a misunderstanding.」
I bite my lip and glare at her.
But Rinka-chan smugly pretended not to notice.
Unlike me, Rinka-chan is easy-going, says everything on her mind, and is imposing.
However, my hesitant feeling might possibly be tiresome to her.
Even if I’m two years older, it’s always unkind.
……And I’m supposed to be two years older!
「So? In the end, is he a hot guy? How is he?」
I strongly keep my mouth shut and don’t respond.
It was a pitiful story, because I was confident that if I had a verbal match with Rinka-chan, I would lose 100 times.
It absolutely doesn’t mean 「I can’t say such an embarrassing thing」, it absolutely……
「If you don’t have self-confidence in your answer, inside it means you don’t think he’s cool, you know.」
「——Oshio-kun is good looking, you got it!?」
I responded to the provocation so fast it surprised even myself.
Then, Rinka-chan, who was frowning, immediately extended her hand this way.
「……Eh? What’s with your hand?」
「Photo, you have one, don’t you? Show me.」
Again, a strange sound left me.
I’m a high school girl, I’m a high school girl…
「Th, the fact is that’s a little embarrassing, however—」
From the thin crack in my small mouth, mumbling came out.
A photo of Oshio-kun…… I have it, and yet I only have one.
However, this attitude from me, while also not having a photo of just him, was pretentious, or so I thought. [T/N: I added “of just him” for clarity as the raw text makes it sound like Sato doesn’t have a picture at all, though she has the picture with the two of them.]
Rinka-chan let out a 「Ha~~~~……」
「……Koharu, are you really a high school girl? Show me that much, at least.」
「A, after all, that photograph, Oshio-kun is really handsome but I’m also in the photo……? It’s not much, so I…… can’t give it to you……?」
My smartphone was quickly taken from my eyesight into the palm of her hand.
I reflexively tried to take my smartphone back, but with the nimble movements of someone who was active in the basketball club, she dodged, and I, having slow reflexes, fell forward.
Then while I was narrowly missing falling onto my face and calming the loud beating of my heart, Rinka-chan, with experienced hands, used my smartphone and opened the aforementioned picture.
That night, in front of “cafe tutuji”, where Oshio-kun and I took a photo, of a boy and girl being alone. [T/N: In the raw, Sato uses the term “tsuushotto”, or “two shot”, which is a photo of two people with the implication it’s a guy and girl alone, and tried to incorporate this into the translation.]
「Oh? This is the photo, isn’t it…… haha, Koharu, what kind of face is this, gihihi.」
「You’re noisy…… heeeeh, I see, this kind of guy, huh? Certainly Koharu likes him, I don’t like gentle-looking guys, but—」
Rinka-chan returns my smartphone.
I’m embarrassed to the point of death, although I accept it and try to hide my immediately reddened face with it.
「Uu……I wish you would disappear……」
「You were exaggerating, he’s a normal good looking guy, what do you need to hide?」
In addition to teasing to this extent, how happy I am on the inside to hear he’s called handsome.
Right after, Rinka-chan suddenly looks this way over her shoulder.
「Just now, I was a little happy he was called handsome.」
「My mouth was breaking out into a grin.」
……I hate Rinka-chan after all!
As Rinka-chan stepped on the grounds of my heart, she let out a 「But」 in an usually serious tone.
「Koharu, your face is uselessly good, so I’m a bit worried.」
「You might be being tricked, or he’s aiming for your body, your status, that sort of thing.」
「O-, Oshio-kun isn’t that kind of person, you know?!」
「You don’t know anything, Koharu, because until now you’ve never known anything about love, especially that kind of handsome guy, they’re more cunning than girls.」 [T/N: Personally I think Ren and Rinka are a match made in heaven, they deserve each other.]
「That’s not true……」
Even if I’m unclear with how I word it, of course I don’t have doubts about Oshio-kun.
This is because she’s poking at my complex of how I’m a second year high school student with no love experience.
I wondered if Rinka-chan also understood, but she only sighed with a 「Haa……」
「Well, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it’s better to be aware of your lack of love experience since you’re currently in an unrequited love and sometimes it’s too late to notice.」
I unconsciously kept my mouth shut.
I was overwhelmed, but furthermore I was very thankful for her words and was impressed.
By some chance, isn’t that it?
That practically speaking, Rinka-chan was more of an adult than me.
「Stop calling me in that unpleasant sounding way, more importantly, look, we’ve arrived at my recommendation.」
Saying that, Rinka-chan came to a stop.
I saw, mixed there with the other houses, a completely conspicuous red painted store.
The signboard read “Europe Used Clothing MOON”.
Europe… Used Clothing……?
At the sound of the name, I shuddered.
「Ri, riri, Rinka-chan? I, um, imagined a store with a lighter feel, but……?!」
For the me who does not fuss regularly about clothes, a used clothes store is a high hurdle for me to jump over.
After all, isn’t it a used clothes store?
With frazzled hair, a rampantly growing mustache, earrings and a necklace and a tattoo on a frightening shop keeper, loudly talking with someone, something like that……!
「Koharu, it’s not that way, one more further down.」
When Rinka-chan told me to look at it, certainly next to the red painted store, there was an overall whitish and beautiful store there.
The storefront had a flowerbed, and at this time of year was in a lovely full bloom, and a signboard reading “hidamari” was written in a nice pop typeface.
Its atmosphere somewhat resembled “cafe tutuji”.
I was deeply relieved.
「“MOON” is fundamentally a men’s store, and since it’s extremely hit or miss, I also don’t go there.」
「Does Rinka-chan always buy such fashionable clothes in a place like this……?」
「I’m a middle school student, you know? If I always buy second-hand clothes, my wallet would be empty, so I usually go to Pannies or H&N, but—」 [T/N: Nice anime-off-brand name.]
Going as far as to say that, Rinka-chan looks me straight in the eye and then says.
「—Koharu, this time, you’re really serious, aren’t you?」
At the strong nod from me, Rinka-chan unintentionally laughed as opened the door of “hidamari”.
The sweet smell of the flower field tickled the tip of my nose, and I exhaled.
Even though it was already evening, the space here was full of a morning feeling.
In the store’s interior was a flowing and calm bossa nova, with plenty of warm indirect lighting.
Antique clocks with a sense of unity, dolls from other countries, and then modest accessories, and so on, somehow made me feel a sense of familiarity.
Mornings held a characteristic of 「the exhilaration of the start of one day」, and it was locked up in a place like this.
Thus, I was captivated by this sight, and then a voice spoke.
If you trace the source of the voice, the direction was deeper inside the store, where in an armchair sitting down and scanning over a magazine was a woman.
She was a very pretty young woman.
She had soft and curly cream-colored hair, and a soft smiling face.
She was wearing a tight white top, light yellow wide pants, with her attire being calming.
「……who is this?」
Rinka-chan, pointed to me who was standing still on the spot, and said.
「That’s my older cousin, Koharu. Mayo-san, quick, I want you to look for Koharu’s best clothes, because this time she has a date she can’t lose.」
「……E, a, yes! That’s right! I’m Sato Koharu!」
I, who was tense and nervous, made an incoherent greeting.
However, “Mayo”, the young woman who had called out before, didn’t seem to mind, clapped her hands and said kindly.
「My, my, that’s very serious, isn’t it—I’m Nezu Mayo from “hidamari”, I’ll do my best and coordinate, so let’s do our best! Yappie!」 [T/N: This is getting out of hand, now there are two of them.]
I didn’t understand the meaning of the word, but for now I’ll pretend it’s the motto of the shopkeeper, and I earnestly and hesitantly responded with a 「Ya, yappie……」
I swear these chapters are getting longer and I am not a fan lmao
Man though, Rinka and Ren should pair up with each other. They really do deserve one another. Not much to say for this chapter, as it was slightly easier than last one.
With the next chapter scheduled to fall the day after Thanksgiving, I’m somewhat unsure of whether or not we’ll have a chapter posted (I do have the next one done, though, as part of my buffer strategy). It is a day after a holiday, so I might be off drinking or hung over instead of putting a chapter up. I’ll try to plan for it, but there is a bit of manual effort involved as whenever a chapter goes up I do have to go in and set all of the links to point to the right location on the site (even if it only takes like 5 minutes lol). If there isn’t a chapter in two weeks, assume the normal schedule is still holding, so the next one will come on the 11th of December, which means amusingly a chapter will supposedly drop on Christmas.
Best case, instead of dropping them on the holidays, I’ll drop them on the Wednesday of that week (in this case, the 25th of November). Anyways, that’s about all for logistics. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys all next time!