Chapter 38:

Rawr-Rawr Amusement Park

Confession Games

Both Kirisaki and I were surprised to meet each other on this train, but unlike her who exclaimed in pure joy, I internally lamented.

'Looks like my alone time has been cut short.'

Even so, I made sure to wipe any reluctance from my face and acted the same as usual.

"Wow, I can't believe we took the same train. What a coincidence!" said Kirisaki.

Considering that we were going to the same place at the same time, it wasn't that strange for us to be on the same train, but I didn't want to be that guy.

'And by that logic, I wonder if Zakushi is here too.'

I replied, "Yeah, I didn't think I would see you before I reached Kimisato Town."

"I know right!"

I was fine with talking to Kirisaki, but I couldn't help noticing the sharp gaze her friend was giving me. It was different from the envy or killing intent that I was unfortunately accustomed to. It felt like she was my mother-in-law evaluating her son-in-law. As I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable under her gaze, I pushed myself to ask Kirisaki about her.

"Um, Kirisaki, would you mind introducing us?" I asked.

Once I brought it to her attention, Kirisaki opened her eyes wide in surprise and embarrassment as she turned to her friend.

She said, "Oh! I'm so sorry, silly me. Tohka, this is my friend and a member of the Life Assist Club,"

"Haruto Akishiro, nice to meet you." I added.

"Mhmm, and Akishiro, this is my best friend and roommate,"

Her best friend continued, "Tohka Hitsuji, same."

I might have been wrong but when Kirisaki called Hitsuji her best friend, she seemed to nod with a smug look on her face. Not that it would be strange if she did.

Hitsuji wasn't a breath-taking beauty like Kirisaki or Aris-, ehem, but she could still turn heads. Her hair was short with a small butterfly accessory on the right of her head, but besides that she seemed to care little about fashion. Unlike Kirisaki who wore a fluffy skirt and a colourful jacket that brought out her innocent appeal, Hitsuji only wore a t-shirt and jeans. Among the girls at school she would likely be above-average in appearance, but I had a feeling that she would rank higher in terms of charisma.

As I naturally found myself examining her, she eventually gave me a cold stare that sent a chill down my spine and made me desist. She didn't seem to like me very much, but neither of us wanted to make trouble in front of Kirisaki so we were polite to each other whenever she tried to get us to talk. This made for a rather awkward time until we arrived at our destination.

As I was closer to the exit, I left the train first and waited for them before all three of us went to the north entrance of the train station where we met Arisugawa and Amakawa.

The two of them dressed similar to Tohka, choosing practicality over beauty. However, I found myself frozen the moment I spotted Arisugawa in casual clothes. 

'So beautiful...'

And then a second later, my chest tightened before I diverted my gaze. I couldn't remember the number of times I imagined what she would look like in casual wear, but when the chance finally came, it was ironic that I couldn't simply enjoy it.

I kept a sigh locked inside as we approached and waved at each other. I wondered if this was where you would normally say those legendary lines, but I knew I wasn't up to the task. Instead, Kirisaki took that role.

"Hey, Hina, Amakawa. Did you wait long?" Kirisaki asked.

"No, we got dropped off not too long ago."

Although Arisugawa said this, the can in Amakawa's hand and the similar can that was in a nearby garbage bin suggested a different story.

'Ah, the classic 'this is definitely a date' lines. To think I would witness it like this.'

I might not have been the one to say it, but I did feel like I could cross it off my bucket list now.

Kirisaki went on to introduce Tohka and the girls started talking while I, as the only guy, could only stay on the side-lines. And the fact that I was being stared at with envy here as well wasn't helping. However, there were times when they brought up topics that I could provide input on.

"By the way, where's Zakushi?" Kirisaki asked.

Arisugawa responded, "I'm not sure. I suppose I'll give him a call."

Though he wasn't too considered about punctuality, I knew that Zakushi hated wasting time so I expected him to be here by now since there was only a minute left until the time we were supposed to meet up. The rest of the club members thought the same so we waited in suspense as Arisugawa got on her phone. 

It didn't take long before she connected, but soon after she ended the call with a mystified frown.

Kirisaki was the first to inquire.

"What did he say?"

"He apologized and said that he would be a little late."

"That Zakushi,"


Kirisaki and I were shocked that our senior would actually apologize. No offense of course, but even though I knew how much of a great guy he was, I couldn't imagine him needing to apologize for anything. This made me especially curious as to what held him back.

While we waited for Zakushi, Tohka suggested that we take refuge from the sun in a cafe where we would have a view of our meeting spot. At first, I was surprised by how quickly she integrated herself into the group despite rarely smiling unless they talking about Kirisaki, but then I hurt myself by comparing my progress to hers.

'It's just because they're all girls. Yeah, I'm going to keep telling myself that.'

As I tried to escape from reality, I bought iced tea and kept a constant watch of our meeting spot until he showed up. He arrived in simple clothes and not much different from usual, so it didn't look like he was fashionably late. After spotting him, we left the cafe and got the entire gang together.

"Hey, Zakushi. What took you so long?" asked Kirisaki.

In response to her, for the perhaps the first time ever, Zakushi looked embarrassed and scratched his head. I listened to the girls guessing all sorts of reasons for why he was late, from breakfast trouble to stopping a kidnapping, but the answer was so much more... ordinary.

"I... forgot to change the time on my alarm and woke up late."


No one said anything after that. We all turned around and silently decided not to comment on his excuse. However after turning around, I was sure everyone except Zakushi had the same thought.

'How unexpectedly cute!'

We weren't even at the amusement park yet but we now had a precious memory saved.

We got to our final destination by bus. Arisugawa offered to get us driven there, but Kirisaki disagreed by saying that she wanted the 'full' experience, whatever that meant. 

"We're here!" Kirisaki exclaimed.

After getting off the bus, I could already hear the joyous noises and see the fun rides awaiting us, so once more I felt excited at the thought of being in there. I looked up at the sign and though I knew it beforehand, I chuckled once I read it.

'Rawr-Rawr Amusement Park, it's a funny name at least.'

The six of us were able to get in for free because of Arisugawa, but after that came our first challenge. At the front of our group was Kirisaki, who was eager to explore the dinosaur-themed wonderland before her. 

"I'm so excited! The Great Crash roller coaster, the Jurassic Maze, the Scaly Wall, oh I can't decide!"

We watched Kirisaki with soft eyes as she seemed to express all of our excitement for us. She would likely pout if I said it, but at times like these I found it hard to believe that we were the same age.

In response to Kirisaki's worry, Arisugawa pulled out a map of the amusement park with a face filled with confidence.

"Don't worry. In order to ensure maximum enjoyment, I've plot the perfect course for us to spend the day."

As she presented the map to us, I had to be amazed by how detailed the schedule she outlined was. However, although she seemed to take the length of the lines into consideration, I could spot a glaring flaw. Before, I would have been troubled about whether I should reveal it or not, but now I could comfortably let someone else would take that role. 

"Wait, you forgot about something important when you made this," said Zakushi.

As usual, Arisugawa grimaced when Zakushi pointed out a flaw in her plan, but she still allowed him to continue.

"Go on."

Zakushi explained, "While this schedule may seem possible, it disregards things like fatigue, preference and unexpected trouble. It's not bad as a guide but if we force ourselves to go along with this schedule it'll be hard to focus on having fun."

Arisugawa slowly nodded in agreement and thought of something else.

"That's true. Still, if we can't visit every attraction, that'll mean we need to choose by preference but..."

There was nothing wrong with the idea of choosing by preference, but it would inevitably result in us splitting up. Considering this was a club trip, I could understand her hesitation, but I still somehow found the courage to speak my mind.

"Isn't it fine? It's not like we're here on a team building exercise, it's just to have fun."

My heart still ached when I looked at her face, but the magic of this amusement park gave me the ability to talk to her. 

However at the same time, I was ashamed of the real reason why I could talk to her.