Chapter 9:

Episode 9- Okinawa Part 1

My Friend is a Harem Protagonist [Short]

June 22nd, Perfect Weather for a Flight.

I had not been on a plane before. The take off caught me off guard, the feeling of my ears popping caught me by surprise. The sudden shift to going straight up was like a roller coaster. I held the two armrests that I claimed as the middle seat as if to snap them off. Once the plane had hit its altitude it was smooth sailing.

We were told we could get up and move, so several students took the opportunity. The flight was only short of two hours so I just relaxed. However, the person in the aisle seat did not want to.

“Riku, that was awesome!” Ren yelled out. “I have never flown before, but the way it went straight up was amazing!”

I sighed. Daichi laughed to my left.

While picking groups Daichi and I were left as the last two males in the class without a third, so we were offered one from class F, Ren was the natural choice. Well I say that, Ren refused any other group because he did the math and figured he could end up with us if he waited long enough.

“Wow I can't even see the ground below the clouds.” Daichi said, looking out at the sky below. “Riku before we land you should swap with me, you said you wanted to take pictures right?”

“I would appreciate that Daichi.” I said. I wanted a picture of the island from above for Kioko.

“Want a cracker?” Aoi said from behind. Her hand appeared between Daichi and I.

“Aoi you shouldnt shove that in their face like that.” Saki said from right behind me.

“Huh? Why not?” Aoi asked, her hand still between us. I considered biting it for fun.

“Cause it's rude.” Saki said shyly.

“It isn't very lady-like.” Maeko said from behind Ren.

Yes, they were a group of three. Maeko was the odd woman out in our class, which worked since Aoi and Saki were needing a third.

Toshi’s face appeared from in front of Ren. “Isnt this exciting! I can't wait to go to the beach!” Toshi said, her eyes sparkling somehow.

“The beach of course!” Ren yelled out. “I hear the sea is like a sapphire here, we have to swim in it!”

“Can you please calm down?” A voice said from in front of me. I caught sight of Himiko Hara looking at Toshi. “No need to act so worked up, we won't even be able to go to the beach today.”

“Oh you're no fun Hara-san.” Toshi said, deflating on the back of her seat.

I thought the energy was gone, until she stood up.

“Riku Sawai! It seems fate has- Ow!” Came a voice as it slammed into the overhead compartment. The girl in question was Izumi Arai. She wore a pixie cut and bandages wrapped around all her arms. Her wardrobe was all black, leather pants, chains and the sort. Of course she couldn't wear the chains on the plane so she had them stuffed in her suitcase.

You could call Izumi a Chunibiyo. She suffered from the rare eight grader syndrome, and had carried it with her throughout all of high school so far. For those not in the know, a Chunibiyo was someone who has views that they have some sort of hidden special powers and act like an action anime protagonist. They have grandiose views of themselves and it can be kind of cringey from the third person perspective.

Izumi held her head, holding back tears as she raised herself once again. She struck a pose, tilting her head to avoid the luggage compartment, then continued her rant.

“Riku Sawai! It seems fate has brought us together once again! This is fortune news! Now our grand battle may continue in earnest in these vast skies!” Izumi said dramatically.

“Izumi, please sit down.” Himiko said, a sound of defeat in her voice.

Toshi, Himiko, and Izumi were all put together in class F, apparently Himiko had been helping with Izumi for a while now and they were friends.

“Not before we complete our war!” Izumi said.

“I give up.” I responded. “You win, ugh I fought so hard but you brought me low with your mighty power.”

“How dare you belittle our battle Riku!” Izumi said, pointing at me. Her neck had to be hurting at this point. “We have fought this battle for centuries, you cannot just concede defeat that easily!”

I had made a mistake during my freshman year. I had played along with Izumi’s delusions. Now she was convinced I was some sort of ancient king of darkness that she was to fight for all eternity. It sounded cool but was kind of not the most fun when everyone is around.

“It seems we will have many opportunities for battle, so I shall allow you to concede this fight.” Izumi declared.

“Thank you for the gracious offer of great Night Queen of Eternal Sorrow.” I announced her fake name with as much drama as I could.

Izumi looked proud as she stood with her head at a ninety degree angle. She returned to her seat, happy as can be. Yeah we made an agreement where our three groups would explore Okinawa together. I had to take an opportunity so I leaned forward and whispered into Izumi’s ear. “You sure you want to go swimming with us? It's supposed to be hot out, and black leather is like a sauna I hear.”

Izumi simply chuckled in her seat. “You fool.” She said, turning her head dramatically towards me. “I have already made preparations! You see, Priestess Himiko of the Falling River helped me procure adequate armor for this venture!”

I turned to Himiko, who looked super embarrassed.

“I took her to get a swimsuit.” Himiko translated.

“Yes!” Izumi said quickly. All the other girls were chatting with Daichi behind me. “It took a long time, but finally we found the perfect one that provided the buffs I need to deal the most damage to you, my greatest enemy!”

“She means she found one that would make her figure look the best for you.” Himiko said sharply.

“H-Himiko!” Izumi said, breaking character. “That is not what I meant!”

“I don't know, kinda sounded like it to me too.” I said.

Izumi turned to me, face bright red. “N-No, Never could I make a pact with such a terrible demon such as you Dark King of Lies!”

“Wasn't I Demon King of Shadow Flames?” I asked.

“I was mistaken in your identity, you fooled me well.” Izumi said, realizing her mistake. “But I shall not let you do it once again! Just you wait, once I remove my seals we shall see how well you handle me!”

“Aren't your ‘sealing chains’ below us in your suitcase?” I questioned.

“Those are just their physical forms!” Izumi said, trying to cover her plot holes. “Their spiritual links can never be shattered by any but the one who sealed them, me!”

I laughed, I did enjoy talking to Izumi when the opportunity came up. “Okay fine fine. Though good luck dealing me lethal damage with your new armor.”

“I feel you shall be quite shocked.” Izumi said proudly.

“Yeah she actually looks really good when you remove the leather.” Himiko interjected. “I think you will enjoy it, Sawai.”

“I do not wear it for Riku!” Izumi said quickly.

“Of course I apologize, Arai.” Himiko laughed. It was weird when the hard as stone student president laughed.

“Call me Izumi.” Izumi said, embarrassed. She liked being called by her first name. She liked the connection to the god Izanami, saying she is bound till her god Izanagi comes to free her. Though that story changed by season, the plot holes were thick with her.

As the plane readied to land Daichi and I swapped seats so I could get a picture of the view. The islands surrounded by the beautiful water were amazing. I asked Toshi to take a picture of all of us before the plane began descent. She agreed as long as I sent it to her. Another photo for Daichi’s photo book.

Off the plane and a short bus ride to our hotel. It was a large traditional Japanese hotel. The kind with sliding doors. Daichi, Ren, and I all got a room together and began to unpack. The sun was beginning to set so we couldn't do that much, but we were given dinner. Now we just hung out in the room playing cards.

“Full house!” Ren yelled out.

“We're playing bullshit.” I said.

“I still got a full house!” Ren said proudly.

“Well, you gotta put down a three.” Daichi said.

Ren tensed up. We both eyed him, waiting. He picked a random card from his hand and began to put it face down on the pile of other cards. As soon as the card was placed and he began to back away we both slammed our hand down on the card, yelling ‘Bullshit!’ loudly.

Ren picked up the stack of cards, tears in his eyes. “Neither of you put the card that you said you put!”

“Ah the power of bullshit.” I said leaning back.

The sliding door to our room opened, revealing the girls. Saki looked embarrassed, but Toshi was trying to encourage her. Maeko and Aoi looked as if nothing was wrong. Himiko and Izumi just looked awkward.

“I told you we can't just barge in here!” Himiko exclaimed.

“Oh it's fine it's just us right?” Aoi said to us.

“I dont care.” Ren and I said together. Daichi just looked dumbfounded.

“See! Its all fine, now lets go hit up the bath!” Aoi said aloud.

“Yeah, they said there was an open air bath!” Maeko said, excited.

Red Flag! Alert Alert! Danger Danger!

“Sure sounds fine.” Ren and Daichi said in unison.

This was risky. Everyone knew about the threat that open baths offered. But wait, Himiko was here and she was responsible. She would have looked at the time charts to see what times the baths were for so we didn't end up in a situation where the guys go into the women's bath. I would double check it just in case of course.

“Come Demon King!” Izumi declared, getting over her embarrassment. “I shall cleanse you in the holy waters of this island!” Her face was bright red, nope not over the embarrassment.

“Its not a mixed bath.” HImiko sighed.

Izumi froze like a statue. “Oh.” the only words she could utter. “I see.”

“If you want to cleanse me Ill let you.” I joked.

I expected the glare from Himiko, the student council president had to uphold students acting like students of the school. What I didn't expect was the glare from Maeko, Saki, Toshi, Or Aoi.

“I'll just drown instead, sounds like a safer experience.” I said.

We got our stuff together and made our ways for the baths. There was someone to watch to make sure nothing shady went down, like people sneaking into the wrong side of the bath. Daichi, Ren, and I undressed to just towels and entered the warm waters of the outdoor bath.

“This is great.” Daichi said, melting into the water.

“I could get used to this.” Ren said, letting his body float in the water.

“Do I have to drown?” I asked.

“Please don't, would ruin this amazing water.” Daichi said, his face the only thing visible above the water.

Ren was already swimming back and forth. I just sat with my back to a stone, arms spread over the edge of the bath. The night sky above was so nice, so many stars could be seen. Vega, Deneb, Altair, the summer triangle, they were so bright.

“Maeko you're stacked!” Came Toshi’s voice.

Shit! Abort Abort!

“We can hear you!” I yelled out. Better to stop it now before they say too much.

“Is that you Riku Sawai!” Izumi yelled out.

“Izumi hush.” Himiko said.

I looked at the bamboo wall that served as a partition for the two open baths. Just a thin wall apart. Most men would get excited about this prospect, try to climb the walls, but I was not one of those. Apparently neither were Ren and Daichi. Makes sense, Ren only has eyes for Toshi and wouldn't disrespect her like that. Daichi probably just didn't think about it.

“Riku Sawai!” I heard Izumi yell from next to the bamboo wall. “I should come face you! Be glad this barricade blocks my magic from striking you down!”

I looked at the wall. “Doesn't look too hard to climb, you want to strike me down, you should come over and do it.”

There was a pause.

“You going to do it Arai?” Toshi prodded.

“N-NO should I, he would strike me as I reached the peak! He is devious this one!” Izumi declared.

“I wouldn't, I swear on all the evil deities I apparently worship.” I said.

Another pause. I feel like I could hear the naked Izumi’s frustration as she tried to piece together a rebuke to get out of the mess she put herself in.

“Very well!” Izumi yelled, and the wall began to move as if weight was suddenly placed on it.

“Izumi get down from there!” Himiko yelled out. “That is not proper behavior of a student! Riku stop instigating her!”

“But its so much fun.” I called back to Himiko.

“You think I will not!” Izumi yelled out from higher up on the wall. She was near the top so I covered my junk with a wooden bucket for water. I offered one to Daichi and Ren who took it willingly. “Release me Maiden Himiko! I shall show this devil the might of my godly powers!”

I heard Himiko lose her grip on Izumi, she must have been slippery since she was naked. Suddenly Izumi’s head popped up over the top of the wall, and it laughed at me. “See this! I have no fear of anything Dark King!”

I just stared at her, almost bored. It was me being dramatic, figured it would satisfy her if I looked un threatened. I gotta say I was impressed she had the balls to do it.

Izumi’s face suddenly began to shake as she stared down at me. Let me reiterate that my junk was covered. You ever seen a fully ripe tomato? Ya that was Izumi’s face, only shaking in distress. The head returned where it came from and climbed down the wall. Seems her senses returned a bit to late.

“Wo! You go girl I wanna see to!” Toshi said, the wall being climbed again. Ren stood up proudly, letting the bucket fall free.

“Toshi stop!” Aoi and Himiko said, pulling her down.

“Sorry about that Daichi, Riku.” Saki said from the other side of the wall.

“Izumi are you okay?” Maeko asked. “Her eyes are spinning in her head.”

“Just put her in the water and she will be fine.” Aoi said.

Daichi and Ren got uncomfortably close to me. They both looked on the verge of laughing. I had to agree, it was good fun to hear the hijinks.

“Wow, I didn't expect Izumi to look so good without all those layers of clothes!” Toshi said, followed by the sound of something being dunked in the water.

“Please stop talking about that, it's a little uncomfortable since the guys are over there.” Maeko said.

“Would it make you feel better if I started talking about them?” I yelled out, Daichi and Ren tensing.

A pause. Too long of a pause. Fine then.

“Damn Daichi, how do you hide that thing?” I called out, facing towards the wall for maximum volume. “And Ren you could grind cheese on those abs!” That last part was not untrue, maybe I would try it while he slept.

“Riku!” Daichi yelled out.

“You can, I have tried!” Ren rebuked.

“For real!” I said, my night plans dashed by confirmation.

“Oh yeah, here hand me that bar of soap I will show you.” Ren said, drying his hand with a towel.

I cannot even begin to explain the scene I witnessed. Tiny flakes of soap vanished into the water.

“Okay.” I said calmly. “I.” I was at a loss for words.

“Are you guys okay?” Aoi asked.

“Have you ever seen something so amazing you have no words?” Daichi announced, just as amazed as me. “This was it.”

“Now I gotta see!” Toshi announced climbing again.

“I shall gladly show you Toshi!” Ren announced.

“Sit down, six pack!” I yelled out, pushing Ren into the water.

“Izumi, are you okay now?” Saki asked.

“It was glorious.” Izumi said, sounding stunned and in a haze. “Like the gates of Valhalla.”

“No way I wanna see heaven!” Toshi yelled out from higher on the wall.

Toshi was pulled down hard, the sound of her hitting the ground made all of us cringe. Antics calmed and I moved to excuse myself.

“Want us to get out too?” Daichi asked.

“Nah, enjoy yourself.” I said, breaking free. “I gotta make a phone call.”

“See ya in the room buddy.” Ren said happily, he faced the bamboo wall and waved his manhood proudly.

I put my clean underwear on and wore a white robe the hotel provided as I left. I walked for a bit before finding a quite space to make the call. I sent a text to Kioko and received a video call in response. I answered.

“Hey Riku!” Kioko said. She was in her room, in her pajamas. They were blue with polka dots. I only saw her upper body so I was unsure of her pants but her top looked cute.

“Hey Kioko.” I said with a smile. “We survived.

“I noticed.” Kioko responded. “You haven't sent any pictures.”

“Sorry about that.” I said. “I got only a few good ones, but i'll send them soon. Didn't want to spam you throughout the day.”

“Not a problem if you did.” Kioko said. She was sitting on her bed, was she laying down just a moment ago? Her hair did look a little messy, but also liked she tried to fix it. “How has it been going?”

“Well Toshi tried to climb into the bath with us.” I laughed.

Kioko looked distressed. “That is bold!”

“Yeah, but the others helped keep her in line. Not much to report from the plane ride though.”

“Are you having fun?” Kioko asked.

“Yeah I would say so.” I laughed. “Tomorrow we are planning what we are doing. The girls want to do the beach for sure but I'm thinking we can do some more as well.”

“Let me know, and if you need any advice for moves feel free to ask.” Kioko said.

“Will do.” I said. “How was your day?”

“Eh, pretty dull.” Kioko said. “Just waiting for something. Did a lot of drawing and studying.”

“What were you waiting for?” I asked.

“Something important, but I got it so its all good.” Kioko said.

“Riku!” Aoi yelled out from around the corner. She came rushing to my side. “Oh sorry, are you on the phone?” She was in a similar robe to mine.

“Yeah with Kioko, want to say hi?” I asked, tilting the phone in Aoi’s direction.

Aoi looked embarrassed. “Oh uh yeah sorry Kioko.” She said apologetically.

“No need to apologize.” Kioko laughed. “Riku was just telling me about what's been going on.”

“It's so much fun!” Aoi said happily. “I'll take lots of pictures for you!”

“Thanks, Riku is sending me some too.” Kioko said. I couldn't see her face since it was facing towards Aoi.

“Oh really?” Aoi eyed me. “Then you better take lots of good pictures Riku! Also we're all starting to get out so you should head to your room soon.”

“Will do, thanks Aoi.” I turned the phone back to me as Aoi left. “I should be going, talk to you tomorrow okay?”

“Yeah. See you tomorrow. Goodnight RIku.” Kioko said with a cute smile.

“Goodnight Kioko.” I said.

“Oh hey Himiko.” Aoi yelled out from around the corner. I noticed Kioko’s eyes widened as I hit the end call button. “Come get a drink with me!” Aoi was pushing Himiko away from me, was Himiko coming to talk to me?

I sent the photos from today to Kioko. I also explained who the three were that she wouldn't recognize. With that I walked back to my room and laid on the futon between Daichi and Ren. It seemed they were getting along, that is nice. Tomorrow was a new day, would something happen to shake up the status quo for this Rom Com?

I guess I get to do the next episode preview? I am Himiko Hara, President of the student council. Next time we explore Okinawa and check out its legendary beaches. Was that enough Riku? What do you mean I didn't add enough personality? No, I will not wear a dog costume! Next time, Okinawa Part 2.