After an uneventful night, we had left the love hotel and started sightseeing in Osaka. We are now in the downtown area in Naniwa Ward. There is an observation tower and a shopping district, so it is very lively.
“After all, Osaka is all about kushikatsu, isn’t it?”
“The sauce is so delicious that even though I know it’s forbidden to eat kushikatsu, I always feel like dipping it twice.”
Alice and I wandered around the shopping arcade eating our kushikatsu. The narrow aisles of the street were once known as Gunkan Yokocho, but this is what makes it so lively.
“I like this retro atmosphere, it makes me feel nostalgic,”
“It seems strange that those of us born in the 21st century should feel nostalgic, though.”
When you think about it, it’s strange to feel nostalgic about this shopping district, which has an atmosphere reminiscent of the 20th century, the era before we were born.
“Oh, look, look, Takuma, there’s an archery range.”
“Really, it seems to be popular since there are quite a few people here.”
The place seemed to be crowded with foreign tourists, families, couples, and many others. A sign near the entrance said that visitors could try their hand at Kyudo for 1,000 yen.
“Since we’re here, why don’t we try it too?”
“I guess so. We don’t get to try Kyudo often, so let’s try it.”
Alice and I paid the money, waited our turn, and started to watch the people shooting the arrows. Only a few people were able to hit the target well, and they seemed to be having a hard time.
“It looks pretty difficult, can you hit the target ……?”
“I don’t think it’s possible for amateurs like us to hit the target.
While we were having such a conversation, it was our turn. After learning how to draw the bow from the staff, we shot an arrow to try it out.
“As expected, it was very difficult.”
“The arrow didn’t fly at all like I thought it would.
After that, through trial and error, we continued to shoot arrows, and we were able to hit the target, albeit slightly. When I hit the target, it was very exhilarating.
“If I hit the target with the next and last arrow I shoot, will you do me a favor?”
“If you hit the target.”
“Okay, I’ll make sure I hit the target. Don’t forget you say that.”
I answered lightly, thinking it would be impossible, but what if she really hit it? I’m sure that Alice will say something crazy.
I was watching with a nervous heart, but to my surprise, Alice’s arrow hit the target perfectly in the middle of the target.
“Yay, I hit it”
“I’ve always been good at the real thing, haven’t I?”
Alice is smiling as she says this, but I think she’s too good for the real thing. I think she has been cutting corners on purpose up until now.
After leaving the dojo, the two of us continued to go around the shopping district, and after a while, we took a break and went into a cafe with a retro atmosphere.
“Well, I guess I’ll ask you to do me a favor as you promised.”
“All right, a man’s got to speak his mind. So what do you want me to do?”
“Well, take this for now, open it up and look inside.”
When Alice finished saying this, she pulled out a small square case from her bag and held it out to me. I had a bad feeling about this, but I took it as I was told and opened the case.
Inside the case were two rings of the same design and different colors. If I looked closely, I could even see the words “Takuma & Alice” engraved on the inside of the rings.
“Takuma will wear this pair of rings from now on for the rest of his life,”
“You want me to wear it every day from now on?”
“Yes, you can’t take it off without my permission.”
It seems like Alice wants me to wear pairings all the time. At my high school, students are allowed to dye their hair and wear accessories as long as they wear a uniform.
So I don’t have to worry about that at all, but it would definitely stand out if I wore a pair of rings at school.
“…… will you at least allow me not to wear a pair of rings at school?”
“Eh, I don’t want to.”
“Well, you can do something …… about that.”
“I thought you said a man never said two words?”
I couldn’t say anything to Alice as she said that with an evil smile on her face. Since I once promised to listen to Alice’s request, it goes against my beliefs to revoke on it.
“…really, okay I understand”
“Then, since you’re here, I’ll put it on for you.”
Alice gently grabbed my left hand and put a silver ring on my ring finger. Alice then placed the golden ring that remained in the case on her left ring finger in the same way.
“No, no, no, a ring on the ring finger of the left hand would be mistaken for a wedding ring, no matter what you think.”
“Since we are going to be husband and wife, I think it’s normal to put a ring on the ring finger of the left hand, right?”
I had no choice but to give up on Alice, who was always spouting off her usual ton of demo theories. There is no point in resisting anyway.
It’s not much of a problem now that it’s summer vacation, but once school starts, I’m sure I’ll be exposed to curious looks from my classmates. When I think about the future, I can’t help but feel depressed.
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