A few days had passed since the first semester remedial classes ended, and the day finally arrived to go to Universe Land in Osaka for two days and one night of fun.

After waking up to the sound of the alarm, we each got out of bed and did our morning routines, such as getting ready to go out and setting our hair, and then left the house with the luggage we had packed last night.

We got on the train at the nearest station and after a short ride, we arrived at Tokyo Station.

“Tokyo Station is as crowded as ever,”

“It’s the middle of the summer vacation. There are people like us who are going somewhere for fun, and people who came to Tokyo for fun.”

We avoided the Obon season because we knew it would be very crowded, but even so, the station was quite densely populated.

“If it’s like this, the free seats on the Shinkansen are probably pretty crowded, too.”

“Yeah, so it was a good thing we bought our reserved seats in advance.”

Yes, we had bought reserved seat tickets for the Shinkansen in anticipation of this. So we didn’t have to worry about not being able to sit in a seat and having to stand for nearly two hours and 30 minutes on the train to Shin-Osaka station. We walked through the ticket gate and headed for the Shinkansen platform.

“We haven’t had breakfast yet, let’s get something at that store over there.”

“Well, let’s eat on the Shinkansen.”

“What should we get?”

We went to the concession stand on the shinkansen platform and bought onigiri, sandwiches, and drinks. Then we sat on a bench on the platform and waited until the bullet train arrived. As expected, there were many people on the Shinkansen platform.

“It’s been quite a while since I took the Shinkansen, since the last time I took it was on a school excursion to Kyoto in the third year of junior high school.”

“I’ve lived abroad for so long that I’ve hardly ridden the Shinkansen to begin with.”

“I see, it’s true that there are no bullet trains in other countries.”

I have heard that there are countries that have high-speed railroads similar to the Shinkansen, but they are slightly different from those in Japan.

“Today is the second time in my life that I will be riding the train, so I’m counting on you, Takuma.”

“I don’t think you need to worry about it, though, because it’s not that different from a normal train.”

While we were having this conversation, the Shinkansen arrived at the platform and we boarded the Shinkansen. We spent the rest of the day chatting and playing games until we arrived at Shin-Osaka station.

◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇

“I knew it. All the people around speak in Kansai dialect.”

“It’s true, the moment we got off the Shinkansen, the language changed.”

We arrived at Shin-Osaka station and were walking to the platform where we were to change trains, but the intonation of the language we heard was completely different from Tokyo. Perhaps the people around us were all locals.

“How many more times do we have to change trains?”

“We get off at Osaka Station and change to a train going toward Universe City Station, so we have one more stop.”

Incidentally, Universe City Station is connected to Universal Land, so once you exit the station, your destination is just around the corner.

“Hee, there are a lot of trains here.”

“Osaka is a big city, and there are a lot of trains compared to other cities in the country.”

I answered that to Alice who was looking at the timetable on her smartphone. I lived in a rural area due to my father’s transfer, but it was normal for there to be only one train every 30 minutes. So Osaka is fast enough, with trains coming every few minutes.

“I see, Takuma lived in Takamatsu before he moved to Tokyo. That’s why he knows about the countryside.”

“Hey, how did Alice know I lived in Takamatsu ……?”

If I remember correctly, we never talked. Alice looked indescribable for a moment, fell silent, and then immediately began to speak.

“….. I heard from mother-in-law that you used to move around a lot because of father-in-law’s job transfers.”

“I see, so that’s how you knew.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if my mother, who had become good friends with Alice, talked about all sorts of things.

“Ah, that’s right. I also heard from mother-in-law that you had trouble making friends because you were transferred often.”

“Oh, come on, did your mother talk about such unnecessary things?”

The reason why I am now a loner is because my father, who works at a bank, was transferred from one place to another.

Even though I wasn’t very good at making friends, I had to change schools frequently and reset my relationships over and over again, so it’s not hard to see why I would have a hard time building relationships.

“Well, but I made sure to tell mother-in-law that she doesn’t have to worry about anything now that Takuma has me,”

“……I rather think she’s worried about a lot of things because of Alice’s presence, though, right?”

“Oh, that’s terrible. Takuma is going to say such things to me.”

When Alice heard my words, her cheeks puffed up and she protested. Honestly, it’s not scary at all, in fact, it’s really cute.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please forgive me. It’s just the way it is.

“Can’t help it, it’s just this one time.”

A little while later, we arrived at the platform where we were to change trains and boarded a train that had just stopped.

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