Chapter 21: Center of the World (8)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
The camera operator Nishikido helped Ushio put Kei into the taxi and even helped carry him up to his room at the inn.
“How is he?”
“Hmm… I think there’s a little swelling.”
Kei had fallen and hit the back of his head hard on an exposed tree root, and Ushio could feel a large, unnatural bump there. Kei grimaced at the touch—which likely meant he wasn’t unconscious too deeply. Ushio wrung out a hand towel that he had soaked in ice water and held it against the area for him.
“But I can’t believe he fell and passed out. He can be a bit of an idiot, huh?”
“Oh… Yes, I guess so.” Ushio mostly saw Kei’s ridiculous side, completely unfiltered, and it was hard for him to comment. He looked down at Kei from the side of the bed and whispered softly, “…He probably relaxed his guard once the live coverage was over. It didn’t help that he’s been pretty tense lately.”
“He’s still so young, but pretty damn stubborn, huh? He makes everything look perfect to everyone around him, but when I look at him, I think he’s just one of those guys who can’t admit to being less than perfect.”
Ushio agreed with him 100 percent. He took a liking to this tough veteran cameraman, his shoulders hardened with muscle from decades of heavy physical labor.
“Looks like the fire’s gone down a lot. We got there just in time to capture the hottest shots, huh? Oh yeah, I heard you took the video inserts tonight? Lemme see them.”
“Sure. They’re right here.” Ushio handed over Kei’s cell phone that he still had with him.
Nishikido watched the clips with a focused intensity. “Not bad. I think this clip would feel better if it was a single second shorter. A bit of a tilt-shift would be nice too.”
“Yeah, I can see that.”
It was incredibly valuable to find someone who could express what they liked based on their sense of intuition instead of rationalizing everything with logic.
“How’d you like getting pulled to help on a live news shoot? Crazy, huh? There are idiots who get so overwhelmed that they spew nonsense, but you did pretty well.”
“I was super nervous. I even yelled out loud without thinking…”
He had to relay information back and forth with a person who he couldn’t see, while transmitting everything in real-time. It was like walking on a tightrope. Ushio felt like he understood a little better just how much pressure Kei was under when he did his job.
“By the way, do you think the mics picked up my voice?”
“It should be fine.”
“Oh, I’m thinking of replacing my tripod with a new one. Do you have any recommendations?”
“Depends if you want something light or something sturdy. I like Libec better than Vinten—”
Just as they were about to get deep into equipment discussions, Kei groaned softly and blinked his eyes.
“Hey, you awake? Kunieda, you recognize me?”
“That’s right. How’s your head? You feel like throwing up?”
“No, I’m all right.”
His gaze looked a little unfocused, but his voice was clear and controlled.
“Okay then, I think I’ll get going. Make sure you see a doctor to get everything checked out. You never know what problems can crop up. Rest up and take it easy for now.”
Ushio went downstairs to see Nishikido off in a taxi. When he returned to Kei’s room, Kei was sitting up in bed, still looking dazed.
“Want something to drink?” Ushio asked as he leaned over in front of Kei, and Kei just stared up at him silently.
Ushio thought that maybe Kei hadn’t fully woken up yet, but his eyes appeared completely clear. Ushio’s intuition told him that something was strange. Kei was staring straight at him without looking away. Kei would always get too embarrassed to continue looking, but right now his gaze was so direct that it made Ushio uncomfortable.
“Excuse me,” Kei ventured, “but may I ask for your name?”
Kei would never make a joke like this, but Ushio’s brain was refusing to accept the reality of those words, and he careened into a standstill.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Kei (?) said hurriedly. “My mind’s a little lost right now, and I’m having a slight lapse in memory. But you do appear to be familiar. From pure conjecture, I can tell that you are someone whom I know, but my head is a little hazy.”
Somehow he managed to answer in a calm voice.
“Tsuzuki… san…” Kei rolled the sound inside his mouth, like he was seeing how it tasted, but there was a part of his expression that remained clouded over.
“Does it ring a bell?”
“Do you know why you’re here?”
“I wanted to go somewhere during my summer vacation. A junior colleague of mine recommended this place. …When it became dark, I saw a fire in the mountains and I hurried over to help with some live reporting. Coincidentally, the camera operator was someone who I had worked with before—he rushed over and was a tremendous help.”
It was like Ushio was a keyword that was completely missing from Kei’s memory. No, this person was more like “Kunieda-san” than Kei. If that were true, then what happened to the unfiltered Kei? Was he hiding from Ushio because he didn’t remember him?
Ushio tried to see if he could draw him out. “Where’re your glasses and facemask today?”
“Um…?” Kunieda-san blinked in confusion. “I don’t wear glasses because my eyesight is fine, and I only wear a facemask when I’m worried about the air being too dry.”
It didn’t seem like he was acting. So this would mean that Kei and Ushio were completely deleted from Kunieda-san, leaving just this half of him? And right now, this half was subconsciously reconciling Kei’s absence by filling in the holes of his memory with anything that would allow his version of reality to make sense.
…Maybe I should hit him again. Right in the same spot.
Yeah, it was a horrible idea that crossed his mind, but it wasn’t like he could ever do it. Ushio mustered all of his strength to keep the tone of his voice light, to hide all signs of how rattled he actually was. “Well, you’ll eventually remember, I’m sure,” he said, patting Kunieda-san on the shoulder. “You’re probably exhausted. You should get some sleep.”
“I will, thank you very much. Good night.”
Kunieda-san gave him a smile that Ushio had only seen on TV since they first started dating. Ushio left the guestroom and stood in front of the door wondering what he should do.
Well, I can’t really do anything. I’m not a doctor. Maybe he’ll be back to normal tomorrow morning. Not maybe, but please, let him be back to normal tomorrow.
Ushio walked away from Kei’s room as he prayed inside his heart.
“Oh, good morning.”
When Ushio went over to the room the next morning, it was Kunieda-san who greeted him at the door. Ushio forced himself to smile in order to hide his disappointment.
“Did you remember anything?”
“No, not particularly… Oh, there is something I wanted to say.”
“What is it?”
“I heard that the people who were saved from the fire last night only had light burns. I’m glad that it wasn’t anything life-threatening. Apparently they were a group who liked exploring ruins. They broke into the back gate to explore the site and had the misfortune to be there when the explosion happened.”
Ushio had braced himself for what Kei was about to say, but his utter disappointment at what he had heard was written all over his face.
“…I’m sorry. That didn’t have anything to do with my memory.”
However, seeing how pained Kunieda-san looked, Ushio didn’t have the heart to tell him to try to remember things as soon as possible.
“No, there’s no need to rush. I’ll be staying another night. What about you, Kunieda-san?”
“I’m checking out today.”
“I see.” Ushio wrote his cell phone number, email address, and home address on a memo pad that was in the room. He was sure that Kei didn’t have any of his information stored on his work cell phone. “This is my contact information. You can ask me anything you need.”
“Thank you very much. Oh, you live very close to my apartment.”
“Yeah, because it’s so close, you would come over to my house. We met there in the first place because you came over to film a special segment for the news.”
“Is that so…?”
It didn’t seem like it triggered anything for him. Ushio suppressed a sigh back down his chest and simply said to Kunieda-san, “Be careful going home.”
Ushio spaced out for the rest of the trip until the group disbanded at Tokyo Station on Sunday evening, and he felt really bad about it. As everyone dispersed, he headed to his next destination for plans he had made.
“What? He’s become the completely clean Kunieda-san now? Seriously? That’s hilarious!”
It wasn’t that he needed Tatsuki to treat the situation with kid gloves, but Ushio was stunned at how easily Tatsuki could crack jokes about this. If this was the clean Kunieda-san, then what was the other one? But then again, Kei had called himself a big mess that other time.
“Mannn, when you said you had something important to talk about, I thought that something catastrophic had happened! Oh, excuse me! Can I get another beer? Oh, and an order of grilled mochi with cheese!”
“Aren’t you worried at all?”
“But he remembers all the basic things about his life, right?”
“Yeah, he seems to remember everything he’s done for work. But just in case his memory happens to come back during a broadcast, can you help cover for him? He’ll probably be too shaken to smooth things over, and there isn’t anyone else I can ask to help.”
“I’m on the job,” Tatsuki said, giving a thumbs up. “I’ll be ready to cut in with a ‘Let’s go to commercial’ any time!”
“Um, won’t that get you fired?”
“Anyway, Tsuzuki-san, shouldn’t you keep hammering at his memories to try to bring it back? He doesn’t even know what he’s forgotten.”
Ushio still had Kei’s personal cell phone. It was loaded with their conversations—crude insults and profanity on full display—and it made him hesitate to give it back. Conversely, the work cell phone didn’t have a single trace of Kei on it.
“It might send him into a bigger panic if I casually reveal to him, ‘Oh, this your real nature.’ He’s probably feeling uneasy enough as he is, knowing that there’s something inside him that’s not quite right.”
“Oh, I guess that’s true, he might want to die if he heard the truth. Or he might not believe you and sue you for defamation.”
“I know— Hey, that was a little uncalled for.”
It was better than brooding by himself and getting depressed, but if Ushio let himself get caught in Tatsuki’s pace, they were going to veer off the subject.
“Hmm, how about you casually bring up a special place that was memorable? Or something that’s special for the two of you?”
“I guess there are a few things.”
“Or anything memorably kinky?”
Tatsuki’s name and face was known to the public, and yet he could say something so brazen in the middle of a busy izakaya. Ushio thought that Kei’s guarded wariness was overboard, but was it really okay for Tatsuki to be this open?
“His body could very well remember everything, you know.”
“Don’t be ridiculous…”
“Huh? Why not? Just hit the sheets and see what happens.” It was said with an utter disregard to the circumstances.
“And I’ll be trash if he doesn’t remember.”
“I don’t know~ Kunieda-san is still the same Kunieda-san, so I think he’ll fall back in love with you. Why don’t you just date him? And if he remembers eventually, it’ll be even better. You can start over from the beginning.”
“Then what about the part that’s not Kunieda-san? What about him?”
Tatsuki’s cavalier attitude made Ushio angry, but Tatsuki didn’t even flinch.
“Of course, I’d like it if he came back. He’s more interesting that way. But it’s not like we can do anything about his head, you know? …What do you think about all of this, Tsuzuki-san?”
“Do you see Kunieda-san as a completely different person if he doesn’t have his memory? Do you not love him anymore if he’s only half of him?”
“Can’t say.” Ushio dropped a 10,000 yen1 bill on the table and got up.
“That’s too much.”
“Consider it your service fee for calling you out so suddenly. I hope you can cover for him like we talked about.”
As Ushio stepped outside, it was like the sweltering summer heat had collected into the asphalt and made nearly impossible to breathe. The sun had already set, but the temperature didn’t go down with it. It made him remember the night two days ago. Up until that point, Kei had existed. If only he had warned him to watch his step, if only he had grabbed his arm to steady him when he started to slip, he would still be here like Ushio had come to expect.
Kei had agonized for so long and had finally found his answer. But now what was to come of it?
God, you’re so stupid.
—But I have to do my job anyway. Because we wouldn’t be us if I didn’t do this.
Did he have a premonition that this would happen? It was so unlike him to make such an honest and heart-felt confession. For it to be his last conversation with “Kei,” it was too much for Ushio to ever wish for. And he had ended it with a I’ll see you later, not even allowing Ushio to reciprocate.
The crowds in Tokyo were a challenge to navigate. Ushio was grateful to have something he could focus his energy on in order to push his way past the throngs of people. If there was no foot traffic around for him to flow with or to fight against, he would probably be standing stock still, unable to move an inch.
It was Monday night when Kunieda-san came over to his house.
“I’m sorry for coming over without giving you a call beforehand.”
“It’s fine, come on in.”
Ushio wasn’t sure what was the best thing to do, but he showed him up to the second floor. Maybe it might help him remember if he saw the place where he had spent so much time. Kei sat on a stool and looked around the room like he had never seen anything like it.
“So you are a filmmaker,” he said. “I spent yesterday and today looking through my apartment and found my recordings of last year’s evening news. I realized that they contained the special segments that you had mentioned.”
It was the speech of someone who had learned about his past, not of someone who had remembered it.
Ushio didn’t need Tatsuki to tell him that he should try everything in his power to stimulate his sleeping brain—he could bring up conversations they had or things that had happened when they filmed together. But telling someone about their own memories was mentally straining. It was equally straining to keep quiet about it. Ushio felt a smidgen of respect for Kei at how he could constantly keep up his act for other people.
“Did you eat yet? If you don’t mind something simple, I was about to make dinner. We could eat together.”
“Would it really be all right?”
Kunieda-san’s face brightened instantly. He must have felt lonely these past few days. He didn’t know how close he actually was to Ushio, and he seemed to be relieved when Ushio look the lead. Seeing that smile made Ushio unconditionally happy.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“It’s okay, you can just sit.”
They were considerate and thoughtful words that he would never hear coming out of Kei’s mouth. Kei was originally the base, so did that mean that he was actually thinking something insulting right now? If it wasn’t the case, then did it mean that right now, this gentle, prince-like Kunieda-san wasn’t a mask, but he actually existed? Like a doll that was given life? Wouldn’t that mean he was fundamentally different from the person who had put on an act on a daily basis? Why was this so complicated?
Ushio chopped up some onions, green peppers, and ham; stir-fried them together with a pot of drained, boiled pasta; and added a whole tomato with some ketchup for extra flavor. Kei would always eat everything with chopsticks at his house, but this time Ushio pulled out a set of forks for them.
“This looks delicious.”
“I just threw what I had together.”
Kunieda-san smiled broadly, looking happy as Ushio went to the refrigerator to pull out a jar. When he saw the jar, he tilted his head slightly and asked, “Do you eat pickled scallions with your pasta?”
“Huh? Oh… Not really…”
Kunieda-san saw that Ushio was a little flustered and seemed to take pity on him. “Everyone has a few surprising quirks. And pickled scallions are quite delicious.”
“Yeah, they are…”
Ushio gave a friendly laugh as he thought to himself, They’re your quirks! It didn’t matter what sauce the pasta was in, Kei would always want to add a few pickled scallions to his plate, and over time, somehow Ushio was brainwashed to think that pickled scallions went with pasta, that pickled vegetables in soy sauce went with curry, and now he automatically brought them out together.
“Anyway, let’s eat.”
“Yes, thank you very much for the food.”
Kunieda-san pressed his hands together and lowered his head in thanks, and the gesture made him look like a polite and well-bred, handsome young man. This person would never say anything like wanting his last meal in this lifetime to be Kentucky Fried Chicken skins over rice. He also wouldn’t say that he’d eat half of it and then turn the remaining half into an ochazuke by pouring tea over it. If Ushio remembered correctly, his second choice was leftover egg wash from sukiyaki poured over rice. Oh, this wasn’t good, now that Kei wasn’t here, Ushio realized all over again just how weird he was.
“Oh, they go together quite well. It tastes quite light and refreshing.”
Ushio couldn’t tell if he was just being polite, but Kunieda-san appeared to enjoy the crunchiness of the pickled scallion in between bites of pasta.
“I see, I’m glad. Did you go to the hospital?”
“Oh, yes, I did. It was what I was planning to tell you. I spent half a day undergoing a thorough examination.”
“What did the doctor say?”
Kunieda-san wrinkled his brow like he was at a loss for the explanation. “He said there were no problems that he could find. I had an MRI done, and they didn’t see any blood clots or anything… I told him that I was missing a part of my memory, but he told me to wait and see how things go because my head could still be experiencing the shock from the impact and it didn’t appear to be affecting my daily life.”
“I see, I’m glad there wasn’t any hemorrhaging in your brain.”
It would be a lie to say that Ushio didn’t feel any disappointment, but if he showed it at all, it would probably make Kunieda-san feel bad.
“Want something to drink?” Ushio asked as he stood up and turned his back to him. “How about wine?”
“Oh, whatever you have is fine.”
Ushio chose a white wine, hoping that he might remember the time when they had dinner with Shitara together. That night for some reason, Kei had quickly emptied his glass and turned a bright red. It was really cute. Ushio had been misled at the time, but in comparing them now, somehow he couldn’t find the similarities, even though the Kunieda-san in front of him now should be the same mode as before.
Oh, crap, I spaced out a little.
“Sorry, it’s nothing.”
“Um…” Kunieda-san hesitated as he swirled the wine in his glass.
“When I returned to my apartment after the trip… I remember the place, and it felt like my apartment, but there were a number of items that didn’t look familiar to me.”
“A pair of glasses with non-prescription lenses.”
“You probably use it as a disguise. You just forgot to bring it with you on the trip.”
“I have bookshelves full of manga.”
“Oh… Maybe they’re all reference materials you needed for work. You had to read a shoujo manga for an interview that you did recently.”
“Hmm, I wonder about that. I also found some random, worn-out sweatshirts and sweatpants.”
“You probably wear them to take out the trash.”
“Oh, I see now. There is also a key I don’t recognize attached along with my apartment key. Do you have any idea what it could be?”
Any idea? It’s the key to this house, of course.
“Maybe you rented a storage unit? Or maybe it’s for something at your work? You’ll probably remember when you go back.”
Ushio was terrible at lying and making things up on the spot, and it made him sweat bullets.
Why am I desperately trying to cover for you for things about your own self? I’m gonna get you for this when you’re back to normal.
You’ll remember, won’t you? You have to remember.
When the wine glass was half empty, Kunieda-san started to nod off.
“I’m very sorry— I should get going…”
“No, it’s okay. You can stay and rest here. Why don’t you lie down and take a nap? I think you’ll feel more refreshed afterwards.”
“Oh, I really couldn’t…”
“It’s really fine.”
Ushio was about to show Kunieda-san to the bed, but he grabbed his hand with their usual level of intimacy without thinking. Ushio could immediately see how shocked Kunieda-san was at the gesture, and he released the hand by almost flinging it away. The air was filled with a heavy silence between them.
“Sorry, that was rude of me.”
“No, please, I’m embarrassed at my overreaction. I’m very sorry.”
“I’m heading downstairs to finish up some work. Feel free to nap, watch TV, or whatever you like.”
Ushio felt as if he had run away— No, he ran away, plain and simple. Away from the air between them as they searched each other out with secrets hidden behind their backs. Away from Kunieda-san’s warmth, a little drunk and slightly warmer than usual.
Ushio knew that he couldn’t get any work done like this, but he turned on his computer anyway and decided to clean up his folders—something he could do at any time (but didn’t because it could be done at any time). Just as he started to sort through the files, he heard the TV playing from the second floor. He suppressed a laugh as he thought, So pure and honest.
After about 30 minutes, Ushio went back upstairs to check on Kunieda-san and found him on the bed asleep with the TV still playing. Ushio was just glad that he was able to relax here. He cleaned and washed the dishes, trying to make as little noise as possible, then headed back to the bed to take a look at his face. He looked exactly like Kei when he was sleeping— But then again, that shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
Ushio reached his hand out, wanting to stroke his head, but he hesitated and retracted it back without touching him. He might frighten him again and wake him. I want to touch you, Ushio thought. Whether Ushio held him playfully like a dog, ruffling up his hair, or gingerly like a peach, easily bruised if he wasn’t careful—any way he held him, in the end, Kei surrendered himself wholly to Ushio with his full trust and acceptance. That was the Kei who he wanted to touch. Together they had explored every nook and cranny of each other’s bodies, making love gently or ravenously until they had collapsed in exhaustion—and Ushio wanted him terribly right now.
Kei, where are you?
At that question, Kunieda-san wrinkled up his nose as if something was tickling the end of it. Sometimes Kei would make the same exact expression in the middle of the night. Ushio had wondered if Kei was having a nightmare—Kei would always reach an arm out, trying to find Ushio to latch himself on to, and when Ushio wrapped his arms around him, the tension left his body as if he was finally safe. But Kunieda-san made none such movement and only slowly opened his eyes.
“Sorry, did I wake you? You can keep sleeping.”
Ushio thought that Kunieda-san might feel uncomfortable if he knew that Ushio was watching him sleep, and so he tried to make his voice sound like he had just happened to be in the area to check on something.
Kunieda-san smiled faintly and replied, “It’s all right.”
It was a face that Kei normally never showed, and it flustered Ushio a little, making him feel slightly guilty afterwards.
—Do you not love him anymore if he’s only half of him?
Ushio had evaded Tatsuki’s question at the time, but he truly didn’t know how to answer it.
Ushio loved all of Kei, including the side of him that behaved crudely—it was each of these halves that came together to make the Kei whom he loved and knew, and he couldn’t imagine Kei missing either half of him. But with Kunieda-san acting so defenseless in front of him, Ushio was only a man, and he couldn’t help but feel something for him.
“How long… was I asleep?”
“It hasn’t even been an hour.”
“Oh, is that so? I thought I had slept much longer.” Kunieda-san sat up a little shyly, self-conscious about his hair, and then suddenly his gaze shifted somewhere far away, seemingly lost. “For some reason, I can’t seem to relax at home, and I haven’t been sleeping very well…”
But then he immediately followed up and said, “Perhaps it’s because I have so much free time on vacation.”
His aversion to expressing his fear and anxiety seemed to be the same as Kei’s.
“Oh.” Kunieda-san leaned over with his upper body, trying to look past Ushio at the TV screen.
“Sorry, I’m in the way.”
Ushio turned to see what had caught his interest and saw that it was a commercial playing on the TV.
“I really like this commercial. I saw it yesterday at home and thought it was wonderful. I wanted to see it again, but I wasn’t able to catch it until now.”
It was an advertisement for a summer clearance sale, and in the background was the fireworks animation that Ushio had made, embroidered flowers exploding across the sky. He had forgotten that it started airing last weekend.
“Oh, it’s over already. I would love to see an extended version without all of the overlays.”
He seemed to have forgotten that he had contributed to the making of the commercial. Ushio wanted to tell him that there was one, an extended version. That it was on his computer and he could watch it as many times as he liked. But he wasn’t exactly the person whom Ushio wanted to show the video to— He felt bad for Kunieda-san that he had to think of him this way, but if Ushio were to treat him the same as Kei, it would feel like a betrayal to Kei himself and Ushio couldn’t bear to do it. Anyway, he couldn’t afford to let Kunieda-san detect his uneasiness.
As Kunieda-san was about to leave, Ushio stood at the front door and said, “Come over any time. I don’t have plans to go out this week, and I’m usually home all day working on my projects.”
“But I wouldn’t want to be an imposition…”
Although Kunieda-san was polite and tried to take Ushio’s personal affairs under consideration, he was clearly happy at the invitation.
Ahh, he’s just as easy to read as him. But their vectors are slightly different.
“You wouldn’t be. If you come over, it’ll just be like earlier; doing whatever you feel like here while I do some work… I would also like it if it helped you remember.”
Ushio had tried to keep his tone as light as possible, but Kunieda-san lowered his eyes dejectedly.
“I’m sure it’s not a nice feeling to be forgotten.”
“But it’s not like you can help it. You can’t choose what to remember or what to forget. You’re the one who’s having the toughest time here, Kunieda-san. So don’t be too hard on yourself.”
“Thank you… But I can’t help but feel ashamed about it. How could I have forgotten such a nice and wonderful person such as yourself?”
Ushio tried to wave off the remark with a wry smile, but Kunieda-san pressed on, like Ushio had hit a nerve. “I can assure you that I’m not. You are a wonderful person, Tsuzuki-san.”
“Thank you very much for dinner today. Have a good night.”
“You too, take care.”
“I will. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He looked happy as he used the word tomorrow.
Ushio watched Kunieda-san leave as he turned back numerous times to look back at Ushio. Ushio only closed the door when he couldn’t see his back receding in the distance anymore. He slumped into a squat right where he stood.
What was that? Seriously, what was that!? Jesus, don’t use that face to tell me that I’m wonderful.
Kei would never say those words to him. Ushio wasn’t confident that he hadn’t blushed terribly. This was bad for his poor heart—like how Kunieda-san imprinted himself like a baby chick and stuck himself to Ushio or how he couldn’t help but keep checking back at Ushio when he left to go home.
“Hey, Tsuzuki-san, welcome to the show.”
“We have a slight change in plans for the sports corner today. Did you happen to drop and lose something? Could it be this clean Kunieda-san whom we found bobbing down the river after slipping and falling off the top of a mountain while sumo wrestling some bears? Or could it be this messy Kunieda-san?”
“I think you mashed a couple of different stories in there.”2
“Eh, it’s fine, it’s all good! So which one do you choose?”
“I have to pick both.”
“Sorry, you’re out~! You can’t get too greedy, mister~!”
“What do you mean I’m greedy? He was that way to begin with!”
“Nope, nope! You can’t expect to get everything you want. Looks like you forfeit both~!”
“Oh, they’re giving me the sign to wrap it up! So with that said, after the commercial break, we’ll be bringing you the weather. Will the rainy season be over any time soon?”
Ushio woke up with a start, and once he recognized reality, all energy drained from his body. What a ridiculous dream. What made him angry was when he was told, You can’t expect to get everything you want, and Ushio had agreed with him.
Half of Ushio’s bed was empty. He wondered if Kuneida-san was able to sleep properly by himself.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
- 10,000 yen – Approx. $100 USD.
- The clean and messy Kunieda-san is the Doraemon reference mentioned before in the story. The bobbing down the river is a Momotaro reference. The sumo wrestling bears on top of a mountain is Kintaro reference from Japanese folklore.