Chapter 14: Just What Kind of Cultural Heritage Are You Trying to Shape?!

Having just entered the sports building, I felt like I was in an ultra-luxurious fitness club.

The sun had almost set and it was close to dinner time so there wasn’t anyone inside.

I had come here to use the bath.

The special bath for my personal use was still in construction (on hold until my parent’s house was done) and, having said that, I had been told that I couldn’t use the same bath as the young ladies. It troubled me.

I wasn’t really thinking of anything despicable, okay?

And so, upon telling Aika that I’d had enough and wanted to refresh myself, she went ‘Filthy! Don’t come near me!’, while being way too honest with me and telling me to come here.

I passed by the restroom that Aika had been eating in. But, I mean, the sports building again? What else to expect?

“Um… is it here?”

Following the guideposts, I arrived in front of the locker room.

Grabbing the door handle, I went inside—

——Wait a sec.

If enter without warning, it’s not impossible that some kinda lucky misfortune might happen, like there actually still being girls inside, changing. Well, I guess it’s rather something bad than lucky.

I carefully tried to sense if anyone was inside, and then I slowly pulled the door.

And inside the locker room—was no one.

Whew.

I took one of the dark brown wisteria baskets that were arranged in a neat line, and carefully placed my stripped clothes inside.

I headed towards the frosted glass door in my birthday suit, and——

*slideopen*

“Ah, Kiryuu. Good work toda—…”

Arisugawa-san was in the bathroom.

“————”

She realized it was me.

Arisugawa-san didn’t seem to be fully aware of what was going on yet and had her mouth slightly open. She had just come out of the bath, so she was of course stark naked.

Her wet skin was sleek, supple, and slightly steaming from the hot water.

Arisugawa-san’s big breasts—that I happened to have squeezed earlier—her slender belly, her thighs—— Water drops ran down on all of her perfect curves, her plump body was superb. Back to her thighs, if I’d have made her wear knee socks, her tightened absolute zone[1] and the out spilling bits would carry a absolutely destructive power that would virtually overwhelm me. I could see just about everything.

It was the first time in my life that I saw this.

“…………”

And looking at me, Arisugawa-san’s gaze went… down.

I was just as naked.

“————~~~~~~~~!”

“U——UWAAAAAAA—?!”

I leaked a scream, snatched the nearby basket, and dashed out.

“S-SORRY—!”

I said through the closed door and ran for the corridor—still stark naked.

 

Reiko… gave in to her knees and sunk down with a thud.

She placed her hands on her chest. Her fingers had gotten numb and couldn’t feel a thing.

Her breathing was out of control too.

What was this? It was surely very startling and embarrassing, but…

But—— it wasn’t unpleasant.

It had been a sensation she hadn’t experienced before. However, she knew the reason.

——Because it had been Kimito-sama.

Because what she had been able to see was… the lovely Kimito-sama.

Remembering it, she went completely red in embarrassment again. Both her hands accompanying her face seemed to burn. But still—— it felt pleasing, somehow.

She had been seen naked.

And she had seen him naked.

Exposing one’s skin to the opposite sex without a reason—it was something a lady must never do.

That’s what the teachers had told her. Only do it for the person your heart’s set on. Only do it for the one whose wife you’ll become.

And her mother and grandmother had said so too.

That’s why, yes… it came down to this…

She could do nothing but become his wife.

Reiko hugged her body tightly. Her ample breasts were crushed by her arms, water drops slipped into her valley.

“I… must do it…”

She had to.

Ah, but it wasn’t like that.

It wasn’t because she had been told to, or because her grandparents had been like that.

She simply understood by instinct – maybe because her whole body felt numb, the burning sensation, or the embarrassing, yet pleasant, feeling that she was experiencing for the first time.

A sweet mist was clouding her mind.

She sneezed.

 

…Arisugawa-san looked kind of strange.

We faced each other across the desk and she was absorbed in something. Her face was slightly blushed, her eyes clouded or intoxicated by something. Did she have a fever?

“Arisugawa-san?”

“Ah—— yes…?”

A bit of a delayed response.

“Please excuse me, I was thinking about something.”

“Are you alright?”

“Yes… thank you for your concern…”

We were in the middle of practicing conversation during English classes.

Seikain put considerable emphasis on foreign languages like English.

As many of the present young ladies would likely be in positions where they’d talk with important people from overseas or their wives; it served as preparation for such.

In the formal, wooden classroom, the ojou-samas, those who had paired with someone else, showered me with somewhat envious looks.

By the way, Aika had paired up with the teacher. It had a ‘…Oh, of course…’ feeling to it.

“Then it’s my turn, right?”

“Yes.”

“…Yu nou[2].”

“Yuinou[3]?!”

Arisugawa-san’s showed a startled reaction. She got restless.

“That can’t be, so soon… Ah, but back in my grandmother’s days marrying and leaving school within a term wasn’t out of question…”

“Ehm, Arisugawa-san?”

“First of all, I should go and greet Kimito-sama’s parents… Ah, I’m getting a bit tensed now…”

“Arisugawa-san?”

“——Yes…?”

“Something wrong?”

“Ah— N-No, it’s nothing! For me of all people to get absorbed in…”

As if to deceive me, she let her eyes wander around restlessly.

“…Can I move on?”

“Yes, please do.”

“——Weiding fo—”

“WEDDING?!”

*RATTLE*—! She stood up.

“NOW?! …Ah, but it’s true, isn’t it?! We should start preparations right away so that we can entertain everyone with a wonderful ceremony, it can never be too early…”

Wai— Why are you starting to fold origami so fidgety for?! And why out of the textbook pages?!

“Please leave it to me. Allow me to have the privilege of devoting my everything to the ceremony preparations. Ah, but I also want to follow Kimito-sama’s wishes. If we don’t be careful, I think I’ll be overcome by the desire to decide just about everything by myself… Aah ♡”

*tear*, *tear*…

“You mustn’t tear the pages, Arisugawa-san! Actually, what’s with this awe-inspiring origami?! Just what kind of cultural heritage are you trying to shape?!

Arisugawa-san was being weird.

“…Turewel… Yes, where might it be nice. Within the country? Abroad…?”

She muttered along as if it wasn’t strange during her own turn.

“It should be someplace warm, after all, shouldn’t it? Or should we rather go north and gaze at the aurora together? I’d like to try going to a hot spring too. But anywhere would be fine… anything would be fine ♡”

She placed her hand at her cheek absentmindedly.

“…Reiko-sama, is something the matter…?”

The surrounding ojou-samas were watching her uneasily.

Really, what was wrong with her?

 

Translator notes and references

[1]Try Google or watch Outbreak Company for an explanation.
[2]Imagine awkward English from here on. Wait, you’re already reading it, never mind.
[3]She means “yuinou (結納)” which means “engagement gift” and sounds like “you know” (kind of).