Towa san and I take the bus and then the train to the station nearest my house.
I often use a supermarket near this station because I can take the bus from here to the ground where my youth baseball team practices.

As we were heading to the store, we saw a sign.

[Aoko Marketplace.]

Well, it’s a little expensive, but they sell good fresh food.

Once inside the store, I headed for the service counter.

“Huh….. the snacks section or the beverage section?”

Towa san asks me with a quizzical look on her face.
I take out my wallet and show her the reservation form from inside.

“I buy a lot of things every time. I learned that it is rude to go out of the blue and buy a lot. I heard that they order based on their daily sales forecast.”
“I see. I thought they would be happy if they sold a lot.”

Yeah yeah. Towa shook her head.

“Hahaha. That’s right. Some time ago, they said, ‘We’d appreciate it if you’d make a reservation for the next time. We can give you a cold one right away, so I think it would be easier for you.’”

I said and showed the reservation form to the woman at the service counter.

“This is ‘Sakurai’ who had a reservation at 14:00. Please.”
“Certainly. Please wait a moment.”

The woman said so and was saying something over the intercom.
I think it was because of my visit to the store.

A little later, a clerk came in with three plastic bags.
Two of them contained a total of twenty pouch sports drinks, ten each.
The other bag contained twenty chocolate bars.

They are kept in a big refrigerator, so they are both nicely chilled.
It’s cold enough for me, but the kids practicing will love it.

“Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your continued support. We have some dry ice in there, so it will be fine for a little while.”
“Thank you very much. I appreciate it.”

I said so and paid the bill at the counter.

It was quite a lot of money, but my hobby is online games and I don’t charge much. I get a decent allowance, but I don’t spend most of it, so I have some money saved up.
Besides, I’m planning to get a part-time job, so I think this kind of spending is acceptable.

“Thank you very much.”

“Towa san, if you don’t mind, can I have the one with the chocolate in it?”
“Fufufu. Kirito-kun is very kind.”

I chuckled as I lifted up the plastic container with the sports drink in it.

“…… Ah, I guess you know what I mean?”
“Fufufu. I understand. Because you’re talking about me not letting you have anything because I’d feel awkward, right?”

Towa san laughs, lifting the bag containing the chocolate bar.

“But thank you. Now I won’t have to feel awkward either.”
“Haha. I’m feeling a little awkward now that you’ve read my mind.”

And with that exchange, Towa san and I took the bus to the field.

[Sakitama Municipal Baseball Stadium.]

After getting off the bus and walking for a while
I saw a sign that read that
It is a solid stadium where games can be played.

“I see you practice in a pretty solid place.”
“Well, yes. The team was reasonably strong, and the coach is a young man in his forties, but he played baseball through college and almost went pro.”

When I say this, Towa san looks surprised.

“Isn’t it great to be on the verge of becoming a pro!?”
“Yes, it’s amazing to be on the verge of becoming a pro! His position was catcher, but he hurt his knee playing close play. That’s why he had to retire from the front line.”

If not for that, I believe he would have become one of Japan’s leading players.

“I see. …… After all, sports are always fraught with injuries, aren’t they?”
“That’s right. That’s why I quit baseball in the fifth year of my life, and I’m an amateur …….”



Towa san gives me a light slap on the cheek with the hand that is not holding the plastic. Not a slap, but just a light touch.
Then, Towa-san looks me in the eye and says, as if she is a little angry.

“This is a bad thing for you, Kirito-kun. Please don’t underestimate the ‘mental injury’ you have suffered. Besides, I can respect your attitude of devoting yourself to your juniors in this way. I won’t allow you to make such a disrespectful comment about yourself.”
“Yes. I am sorry, Towa san. I am glad you say so, thank you.”

Really, she’s such a sweet person.
I think this is the kind of place I really like.

Then we enter the ballpark and reach the edge of the field.

A lot of elementary school kids are practicing hard in front of me.
Right now they’re being separated into positions and taking knocks.

The players inside haven’t noticed me yet.
Yeah. That’s a good sign that they’re concentrating on practice.

“Towa san. I’m going to speak a little louder, so don’t be too startled, okay?”
“Ah, …… yes, I understand!”

I’ll tell her that and give her a heads up beforehand.

Okay, let’s do this!

I bow to the ground and go in.


“Good day——-!!!!!!”

I let out a firm voice from the bottom of my stomach.
My voice echoes from corner to corner of the ground.
I could see that Towa san behind me was quite surprised.

Hahaha……It’s a volume of voice that’s unimaginable from me normally.
But this much is ‘normal’.

The players, noticing my voice, turn around and straighten their posture.

And then

The captain of the team takes the lead in the sound.

“To Sakurai Senpai!!!! bow !!!”

A total of nineteen people speak in unison.

“Good day——-!!!!!!”

They replied.

“That’s amazing! Are those elementary school kids!?!”
“Haha. First of all, before baseball, they beat us into the greetings and civility part, you know. This level is normal.”

I said this with a laugh to Towa san, who was surprised by my unruffled posture and voice.

“All together!!!”

When the boy who was playing the knocker called the assembly, the players came rushing toward us.
Not a single one of them was walking at a snail’s pace.
They are always on the run.

“Hello. It’s been a while, Sudo-san.”

I walk up to a well-built man in a uniform and call out to him.

“Hey, Sakurai. You’ve grown up again!”

A youth baseball coach. Sudo Daichi-san, shook my hand with a laugh.

“Last time I checked, I was over 180, though I’m still not as tall as coach Sudo, who is over 190.”

I gather my belongings in one hand and shake Sudo-san’s hand.
Gussied up hands. His grip is quite strong.
He has a solid physique, not at all middle-aged and overweight.

His son is actually a high school senior who graduated last year, and when he was a member of the baseball team, he was the manager and catcher, and went to the Koshien National Championship.
He was a professional baseball player, but he seems to have gone on to college.
He is now a regular catcher even though he is a freshman.

“You’re only a freshman in high school. You have three more years to grow!”

After Sudo-san laughed at that, he shifted his gaze behind me.

“So who’s that beautiful girl behind you? She’s not the twin-tailed girl who used to come along by accident, is she?”

I say to Sudo-san, who has a quizzical look on his face.

“Today. I came here to introduce my girlfriend to Sudo-san.”

I straighten my posture, look Sudo-san in the eye, and say.

“Her name is Kitajima Towa san. She is the woman I want to marry.”

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