After paying for our meal at the Saizeriya, we came to a game arcade just a short walk away.

“Um, was it fine?”
“Eh, What?”

Kitajima san looks a little apologetic.

“Sakurai kun said he would pay for the fries.”
“Oh, let me do that much. I’m a guy, you know. I’m at an age where I want to look cool.”

I said, smiling jokingly.

Besides, I’m thinking of getting a part-time job, so I don’t have to be so money-saving, do I?

“It’s okay, Kitajima san. When a man buys you a drink, just say ‘thank you’. It’s a woman’s privilege.”

Rinne waved her hands in the air as she said this.
I’ve paid for a lot of Rinne’s share so far, right?

“I’ve never heard Rinne say “thank you” to me.”
“Oh, really? I’m always grateful in my heart.”
“In your heart?!”

We arrived at the arcade with such an exchange.

“Wow, that sounds great.”
“It’s so loud. I never get used to it, no matter how many times I come here.”
“It’s quite bright and beautiful. I imagined it would be gloomy and dreary, like a delinquent’s den, but it’s not like that.”

What a thing to say from the three of them.

No matter how you look at it, they had all the gazes of the bastards in the arcade.

Oh, ……, I’ll have to do my best.

The first time I went to the game center, I saw a lot of people looking at me.

“Hey, hey, you guys are new to arcade games, aren’t you? We’re pretty familiar with it, so let me show you.”
“We’re pretty experienced, so let me show you how to do it. You’ll be safe with us, right?”

The time it takes to get such a pickup. About a minute.

Haa …… my fault.

I glanced at Rinne and she looks really unhappy.
Kitajima-san looks anxious.
Kirisaki-san is …… raising her foot in the air!

She’s going to kick him in the nuts! What?
You know what I mean!? That’s the important part!

“Kirisaki-san stop stop stop! You can’t do that!”

I put my body between the two guys and the three beautiful girls.

“What the hell, man, don’t butt in.”
“We’re talking to them, not you.”

I straighten my back, put my chest out, and speak up firmly to reply to them.

“They are with me, not under your care. If this doesn’t satisfy you, I’ll call the waiter.”

When I said that, they both clicked their tongues and walked out of the arcade.

After checking their backs and making sure they would not get involved again, I turned to the three of them and bowed my head.

“Haa….. my fault for taking my eyes off of you for even a second. Sorry I made you feel bad.”
“I don’t care. It’s not unusual to get tangled up with something like that.”
“Please raise your head, Sakurai kun. I don’t mind.”
“That’s right, Sakurai ass. If you had been a little later, I would have kicked their ass.”

I lifted my head and smiled bitterly.

“Kirisaki-san. For the sake of future reference, ‘violence’ is not allowed.”

I warned her

“What? Why? It’s self-defense.”
“You couldn’t beat a man by force. It is impossible unless you have a great difference in ability. It will only make the opponent angry. Even if you have mastered some kind of self-defense technique, you should only do it when you are in real danger.”

Seeing my serious expression, Kirisaki san asked me a question.

“Then what do I do?”
“Run away screaming.”

I answered immediately.

“A woman’s scream is the most powerful thing in the world. It’s a special move that can defeat all men by itself.”
“I see. It is certainly safer and more secure that way.”

When Kirisaki san said that, he shook his head yes.

Haa, I’m glad she seemed to be convinced.

If Kirisaki-san had kicked him out of the room, the situation would have become even more troublesome.
If it had gone badly, I could have predicted that the bastard would have played the victim.
I was able to prevent such a situation from happening, and I was able to take precautions for the future, so I guess that’s a good enough score.

With that thought in mind, I promised myself that I would never let herout of my sight again.
I promised myself

Then, as we proceeded through the arcade, Kitajima san showed interest in the UFO catcher.

“Oh, this is a stuffed animal of the heroine of a light novel I’m reading!”

I looked at the tip of her finger and saw a cute short cut with blue hair. There was a stuffed toy of an ogre girl.

Ah, that famous one.

“You want it?”

I asked Kitajima san.

“……, can you get it?”

I looked at her surprised face, so I took a quick look at the chassis.

…………Yes. It depends on the strength of the arm, but it’s not impossible to get it off.

“Yeah I think I can do it three times. I can’t take it in one shot, but maybe three. If you want, I can take it for you.”

I suggested, and Kitajima san shook her head with an expectant look on her face.

“Yes. Then I’ll show you something manly.”

I take a 500 yen coin out of my wallet and put it in the cabinet.

One time for 200 yen, three times for 500 yen. That’s how the price is set.

I drop the arm next to the stuffed animal to see how strong the arm is.

“U-Umm…… Sakurai kun. Is it okay if it’s not directly above us?”
“Yes, it is. The purpose of this is to see how strong the arm is and to move the stuffed animal to a position where it is easy to pick it up.”

Looking at the stuffed animal that moved sideways with the colon, the arm is not hopelessly strong, and I’ve checked the controls and it doesn’t look like a probability machine.

I guess I’ll just hook it to the tag and take it.

I use the second arm to move the stuffed animal to a position where it’s a little easier to get.
Then, the third time, it’s a toss-up.
I lower the arm so that the tip of the arm sticks into the loop of the tag on the head of the stuffed animal.

And just as I aim, the tag is hooked and the stuffed animal heads for the exit, hanging limply. ……


And it fell down.

“Yoishoo…, I’m glad you got what you wanted. It’s so rare for things to go this well, so you were lucky.”

I take the stuffed animal and hand it to Kitajima-san.

“Waa …… thank you so much! I will treasure it forever!”

She said this and hugged the stuffed animal to her chest as if it was very important to her.

I-I want to be a stuffed animal……

Haaa! no, my instincts were about to overflow.

“I’m happy if you say so. Then it’s time to go inside. If we take your eyes off those two, they’ll get entangled again.”
“Yes, sir!”

And when I proceeded inside, the two were having a basketball shootout.

Kirisaki san is putting up a pretty good fight against Rinne, who was a leading basketball player in middle school.
S-seriously, ……

Rinne is getting pretty serious too. Her eyes are stiff.

And when I looked at the score as time was up, Rinne was winning by three goals.

“Hey, hey Kirisaki san,…… are you experienced?”

Rinne asked, a little out of breath.

“I think I was taught by Shuri san……Fuu, guess I lost,…….”
“The actuality that you can be a lot more than just a little bit of a pain in the ass. You should be proud.”

Rinne asked for a handshake.

“Haha, I won’t lose next time.”

Kirisaki san replied and shook her hand.

“I’d like to move my body, too, if I see you like that.”

I mutter to myself and head to the batting gauge.

The left batting box is …… open, and I can hit at 120 km/h.

“I’d like to see you batting, Sakurai kun?”

Kitajima san called out from behind me.

“That’s right. I feel like moving my body when I see them batting like that.”

I reply, taking off my uniform jacket, removing my tie, and unbuttoning the first button of my shirt.

“Sorry. Kitajima san, can I have you hold this?”
“Yes. With pleasure.”

I hand Kitajima san my uniform and tie and enter the batting gauge.

When I picked up the metal bat, it still felt quite used.
The weight of the bat feels good, and this will keep me from embarrassing myself.

I lightly hold the bat up and take one swing.


I heard a sharp cut in the air. I quit baseball, but I continue to swing.
Habits are hard to break, aren’t they?

I put 200 yen into the machine and play 30 balls.

I hold up my bat and time it with the movement of the metal arm.

Then, I aim at the white ball that is released with a whiz.

I swing the bat not with my arm, but with my hips and lower body.


The sound was clear, and the ball was caught by the center of the bat and hit the board that said “Home Run”.

“All right, let’s get some good sticks”

One home run gets you a good stick.

I bounced all the pitches back and forth without swinging and hit two home runs.

The clerk gave me two goody bars.

“Here you go”

I handed one of them to Kitajima san.

“aren’t you…… too cool?”
“…… eh?”

Kitajima san said, looking me in the eye.

“You were a gentleman at the Saizeriya, you showed smarts when you paid, you talked to the scary guy at the arcade in a firm manner, you talked to Kirisaki san about what to do in the future, you easily took the stuffed animal at the UFO catcher, and to top it off, you went batting! Two home runs!”
“Ahaha…… it’s not such a big deal ……”
“It’s a big deal! I was so surprised!”

Kitajima san then continues with a slightly sullen look on her face.

“Was it always like this with Minamino san?”
“Rinne?…… well yeah. That girl used to get tangled up with pickups too. I know that I have to be firm and confident with guys like that. And also, Rinne said to me, ‘Kirito, I want this one. I want this one, get it.’ As for batting, it was just a coincidence. I kept up with my swinging, so there’s that.”

I said and received a jacket and tie from Kitajima san.

“Well, it’s time to join up with the other side…..”
” Kirito! Come over here. Let’s take a purikura!”
“Let’s take a picture with the four of us!”

Rinne and Kirisaki-san were calling out to us.

“Haahaha. It looks like we’re being called, so let’s go.”
“……Yes! I won’t let Minamino san beat me!”

After saying this, Kitajima san passed me and ran toward the two of us.

I won’t lose. huh?

Just because Rinne dumped me, it would be ‘disloyal’ to fall in love with her right away.

I thought about that as I walked toward the three of them.

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