Why Does Nobody Find Us Attractive?
A scorching summer day had hit, and Juzo, Nikko, and Reina found themselves at a shrine. Reina's head was being messed with from the heat, and she had no idea what they were doing.
"Why are we at a shrine?"
Juzo lifted up his shirt to wipe the sweat off his forehead.
"To try and cool down."
Reina rubbed her temple, trying to get her brain to function properly.
"Shouldn't we go into a building with A/C?"
Juzo gave her a confused glare.
"We literally have spent the last half hour trying to find a place with A/C, but they were all full. Are you alright?"
Reina shook her head.
The group sat down under the covered section of the shrine, the shade giving them a lifeline. But the hot air still beat down on them, and the unrelenting sweating continued. Both Nikko and Juzo had stripped off their shirts, and Reina was barely conscious. Nikko couldn't stand the heat any longer.
"Juzo, I'm dying. I can't… it's too hot."
"I know. There has to be somewhere with cool air, but where?"
Reina mumbled something.
An idea popped into Juzo's head.
"That's it, Reina! The ocean breeze might cool us down, and I know a good place to go. It's a fishing spot that I've been to with my family, it's pretty good."
Nikko was delighted with the idea.
"Yes… anywhere but here."
Juzo got up and put his shirt back on.
"Come on, the bus ride will be a bit. Let's not waste too much time."
The two slowly crawled up and trudged after Juzo. A short walk to the bus stop seemed to last hours, as every heavy breath was a struggle. The bus ride was no better: twenty minutes in what felt like an oven. The bus driver did have an air conditioner, but it was so small and weak that it barely helped keep the driver cool. But the conclusion of the torturous ride was salvation: the ocean. The bus brought them to Ku Island, where Juzo was leading the group to a fishing pier on the bay. On the way to the pier, the group stopped at a nearby fishing shop to rent out some equipment. Walking through the doors, the trio were met with paradise: an air conditioned building. The three took a moment to bask in the cool air. Nikko stood in the middle of the store with his arms spread wide open.
"Ahh, finally. My will to live has been restored."
The shop owner standing behind the counter was confused by their bizarre behavior.
"Are you guys here for a reason?"
Juzo snapped out of his daze.
"Oh, yeah, sorry. Can we rent out three rods and get some lures?"
"Alright, let me go get the stuff."
The shopkeeper walked into the back room for a couple minutes, emerging back with three fishing rods. After handing them to Juzo, the shopkeeper led him to the fishing lure section. Juzo picked out a few lures and went back to the counter to pay.
"Hey dumbasses, come pay for your stuff."
Both Nikko and Reina stared blankly at Juzo.
Juzo glared at them.
"What, you thought that I would pay for you? I'm not your dad."
Nikko and Reina trudged up to the counter and hesitantly pulled out their money and paid for the equipment. With everything ready, they made their way to the pier. It wasn't too busy, as about a half dozen other people were fishing. The trio set themselves up at an open spot near one of the corners. Juzo and Nikko didn't waste any time to start throwing out their lines, but Reina's attention was elsewhere.
"Hey, I'm going to look around the area for a bit."
Juzo waved her away.
"Whatever, just don't distract me."
"Okay, I'll be back in a few minutes."
As Reina walked away, Juzo leaned over to Nikko.
"She already paid for all the equipment, why is she leaving?"
"Dunno. Maybe she's seasick."
"You idiot. Seasickness happens when you're on a boat, near the sea."
"Well, I've never been on a boat, so how would I know?"
"Just shut up. Your stupidity will scare the fish away."
The two continued their fishing peacefully, but Reina was on a mission. While walking off the pier to a nearby convenience store, she scoped out the other fishermen. Most were older men, but one was a boy around her age sitting on the opposite corner to Nikko and Juzo. He had a kind-looking face and was in decent shape, and that caught Reina’s attention. To avoid suspicions, Reina continued to the convenience store and picked up some drinks. On the way back, she decided to take her shot.
The boy turned around and seemed happy that she was talking to him.
"Oh, hi. Do you need something?"
Reina held out a drink to him.
"Well, it's a hot day today. I wanted to make sure you stay hydrated."
The boy was taken aback.
"You mean that's for me?"
Reina nodded. The boy gladly accepted the drink.
"Thank you so much! You're a very nice person. Are you here fishing too?"
Reina tried to make a cute face and act vulnerable.
"Actually, it's my first time trying to fish, so I don't really know what to do. Do you think you can help teach me?"
"Yeah, of course! Just bring your stuff over here and… oh my god!"
Right behind Reina, things began to become hectic. Nikko had finally gotten a bite, but whatever was on his line was causing a lot of trouble. Nikko had gotten to his feet to fight back against the fish, but nearly lost his footing. Juzo caught him and helped hold him down as Nikko desperately tried to reel the fish in, but still the fish refused to give in. Juzo came up with a plan.
"Hold the bastard steady!"
Suddenly, Juzo dove into the water. Both Reina and the boy ran over to see where Juzo jumped. When they peered over, they were met with a scene of Juzo trying to wrestle a large fish in the water. After some struggling, Juzo had wrapped himself around the fish, preventing it from swimming away. Seeing that Juzo had a hold of the fish, Reina reported to Nikko.
"He's got the fish! Reel it in, Nikko!"
Bracing himself, Nikko began reeling in his line, using every ounce of strength just to keep a stable posture. He was struggling, and Reina noticed that Juzo was still wrapped around the fish.
"Juzo! Let go!"
Juzo complied, and let go. The moment he did, the fish tried to dart off, but a mighty pull from Nikko ripped it back. Nikko hastily tried to reel it in, and soon the fish broke out from the water. Nikko hauled his prize onto the pier to inspect the challenger who fought so ferociously. The fish was a sea bass that was about a meter in length. Nikko marveled at the specimen.
"Wow, you're one strong son of a bitch."
As Nikko admired his fish, Reina checked on Juzo, who had swum towards the ledge of the pier. The pier was over nearly two meters above the water level, so Juzo couldn't get back up.
"Can someone help me?"
"You're too far. I'll look for something to pull you up with."
Reina quickly looked around, but didn't see anything that could be used. She decided to ask the boy for help, who was inspecting Nikko's fish.
"Do you have anything we can pull Juzo back onto the pier with?"
"Something thing to pull someone up with? Oh, I have a rope in my bag, I'll go get it!"
The boy quickly ran over to his bag and pulled out a rope. He tied one end to a post and threw the other end over the ledge. Juzo climbed the rope back onto the pier, and was met with an ecstatic Nikko.
"Juzo, get over here! Look at this guy!"
Juzo scrambled to his feet and checked out the fish.
"Huh, it's impressive that this guy was kicking your ass."
Nikko lightly punched Juzo.
"Yeah, whatever. Thanks for helping. Hey, Reina, can you get a picture of us and the fish?"
Reina took out her phone while the boys posed with their bass. Reina gave them a thumbs up after the picture was taken, and Juzo took a moment to talk to the fish, placing his hand on its flopping body.
"You were a worthy opponent, my friend. May you live a long, healthy life."
Nikko helped Juzo pick it up, muttering a final message as well.
The two threw the fish over the ledge back into the water, much to Reina's surprise.
"Hey, what are you doing!?"
Nikko looked perplexingly at her.
"What are you talking about? We're not planning on eating any of our catches, so we release them. What did you think we were gonna do with the fish?"
"I don't know."
Their conversation was interrupted by the boy standing nearby.
"Holy crap, that was so cool! Diving into the water and wrestling the fish, that was badass! And I've rarely seen anyone wrangle in a fish of that size here! Who are you guys?"
Juzo stuck his hand out first, to which the boy elatedly shook.
"I'm Juzo Kawahara."
Nikko followed his lead.
"And I'm Nikko Murano. You can call me the Fish God, if you want."
The boy was overjoyed to meet them.
"My name is Toshiharu Ichioka. Can you guys teach me your skills?"
Nikko slapped Toshiharu's shoulder.
"Of course! I'll teach you everything I know!"
"Thank you so much!"
Nikko sat down with Toshiharu at the ledge and began trying to explain his nonexistent advice to his new student.
However, Reina wasn't pleased with Toshiharu's sudden obsession with Nikko and Juzo.
"Hey, wait a minute. I thought you were going to teach me…"
Toshiharu didn't hear anything she said, as he was too absorbed listening to Nikko's nonsensical rambling.
"Dammit! Why can't I catch a break?"
Juzo noticed that Reina was upset, so he went to check on her.
"Did Nikko steal your crush?"
"I guess he is more interested in fishing than girls."
"Maybe if you were cuter he'd pay more attention to you."
Reina slugged Juzo hard in the ribs.
"Don't talk to me like that. But maybe you're right…"
Juzo realized that his joke was ill-timed.
"Hey, talking like that won't accomplish anything. I was just making a joke, I'm sorry if I hit a nerve. But you gotta keep your head up if you wanna find what you're looking for."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Thanks for the pep talk, coach. Next time, try and keep the insults out of it."
"No, I don't think I will. Not my style. Anyways, if you want, I'll teach you fishing. We still have some time left."
"Yeah, I'd like that."