23. To the fountain park
After two nights, finally the weekend came. It was the morning of the day when I would go to the fountain park.
To meet Makoto, Rie, and Yuuko.
In the last year of middle school, I was spending my school life while being protected by them.
In preparation for today, I checked various memories of that time.
And I noticed, that they put me before their own.
On top of that, they were being careful, gentle, and somewhat hesitant here and there, so as not to burden me.
“Why “you” didn’t notice it?”
It seemed that the real “Taketo Souya” was even denser than me.
There’s no sign of him noticing their consideration.
At best, he just thought, “Somehow, my life has become easier.”. Really, what a bad fella.
Well, it seems he used my body to become a mountain climber, but it’s no surprise that an insensitive man like him stayed that way for the rest of his life.
“Also… in 1st and 2nd middle school, “you” were sold by the group leader, right?… Why couldn’t “you” notice it too?”
Based on the memory, through the group leader, I was unnaturally introduced to other girls.
Perhaps, she exchanged the boys between groups, or she received money and goods? In any case, the encounter was too unnatural.
“There’s no way you’ll accidentally meet a girl from another school on your way home from school…”
On the day the group leader said she would send me home, the chances of meeting someone she knew from another school on the street should be almost non-existent. Yet, why did it keep happening? So, blatantly unnatural.
There was a memory of being surrounded by many girls and receiving self-introductions one after another.
As expected, from the middle of the year, “Taketo Souya” seemed to go home alone all the time, but in the last two years, he had accumulated distrust in women.
And, in such situation, Makoto, Rie, and Yuuko ended up in the same group as him and didn’t give up to bring him out from the darkness. As if they were angels who came to give salvation.
The three patiently eased him and quietly watched over him.
The ice in his heart, which had been a mass of distrust, melted, and “Taketo Souya” managed to enjoy his last year of middle school, albeit for a short time.
… perhaps, having decided to be enrolled in a co-ed high school, he remembered the nightmare of the next year or two? And that drove him insane?
Well, I can understand him wanting to escape to another world…… I guess?
A feeble mind could be somewhat improved by training the body, but even without excessive training, the society here would in the end do something to the boys in this world.
Because of the safety net for men, no man was willing to work hard and push themselves to the limit.
If an escape route was always prepared, humans would be swept away by the easier route.
…When I was in middle school, I used to have a piece of paper with the word “guts” written on it, everywhere in my room, so that I could see it no matter where I looked. If I felt like I was going to die, I would recite the song “F○ght!” by Miyuki Naka○○ma, grit my teeth, and proceed forwards step by step. [TN: Fight by Miyuki Nakajima, you can search online to listen]
In this world, men don’t have that kind of hunger and thirst, and women will always tolerate them.
If I’m not careful, I might end up being swept away to the easy route before I know it.
Yeah… I really need to be careful.
I walked slowly to the fountain park, as I still have time before the meeting.
It was my first experience spending a holiday with a woman. I was quite nervous, but when I thought that the other person must be the same, I felt somewhat relieved.
To tell the truth, I tried not to contact the three of them very much until today.
Whether they were hesitant or busy, they didn’t ask me frequently either.
Yesterday, while I was shopping for sports jerseys, I bought a few pieces of my style of clothes.
I simply didn’t like the clothes that “Taketo Souya” had.
Or rather, the inside of the closet was terrible.
All was a plaid shirt in different colors. Really, no fashion sense. It made me wonder what did he care about in life.
However, I liked wearing round-necked T-shirts, so perhaps about fashion sense, we might be the same.
Anyway, today, I was wearing a plain T-shirt, a spring jacket, and faded jeans.
This is my favorite style, but strangely, why do I feel like it’s particularly bad with this body…
Yeah, I really want more muscle…
As I got nearby, I saw three women standing at the entrance of the fountain park. They looked the same as what I saw in the memory.
The shortest girl noticed me and started running to me while waving her hand.
She was Rie Etou. An athletic girl who had won a big swimming competition.
The other two… Makoto and Yuuko also noticed me and yelled at Rie to come back.
For the time being, I headed toward them.
“Good morning. Did I keep you waiting?”
“No, no. We chose to come early ourselves.”
It was Makoto who gave a smart answer.
“Yup. It wasn’t arranged or anything, but it seems everyone was so looking forward for today.”
“But Yuu, you were the first to come.”
“I-I… listen, I’m far from home, so just in case if something happened on the way… ah, besides, I like to come early…”
Yuuko was glaring at Rie while making excuses in haste.
“It looks like I’ve kept you waiting, so let’s go inside now.”
“Yes… Ah, Taketo-kun, this is the ticket for later.”
The fountain park was free, but only the botanical garden greenhouse and event venue were charged.
And in this world, when men and women went out somewhere together, it was common for women to pay.
Perhaps, it would be easier to think the common sense here as the gender-reversed of the original world.
As for this case, it was probably a custom, also because the women want to go out with men.
Well, if men didn’t want to go, they could refuse.
Receiving it, I said thank you and they smiled happily.
“Then, let’s go.”
Thinking that many would be jealous of me having three beauties on the side, I was filled with a sense of superiority and looked around.
Many women nearby were looking at Makoto, Rie, and Yuuko with great envy.
Ah, come to think of it, this is such a world.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.