60. The Secret of Strength
Starting tomorrow, summer holidays~♪ From here on out, play to my heart’s content, no need to study each and every day♪ Ocean, festivals, fireworks, I can even go on a trip! Oh my, what I should do first~♪♪♪
“───And so, what is this place?”
“This is my home?”
“Home… you mean, residence? No, it’s a home… I guess?”
If I was asked to give an example as to how this home looked, it was like Isono-san’s place. Of course, everyone knew which one right? Despite it being fairly modern, fit to the beginning of a new era, it still had this old-school look of Showa era to it. In short, Heisei jump. [TN: Isono, a character in the series Sazae-san. Also, Showa->Heisei->Reiwa, so, it can be said, this series takes place after Heisei ended.]
…More importantly though, despite me visiting a girl’s house like this, my heart isn’t racing at all. If anything, it’s the opposite compared to when I went to Natsukawa’s place. I wonder why but I feel kind of exhausted and dejected? That aside, I do feel quite the passion from a certain direction.
“It is a normal house, but I understand that the plot is quite different. See, there’s a dojo over there.”
“Isn’t that a dojo over there?”
“Didn’t I just say that?”
Don’t just assume that I can accept this fact just by hearing it once. I’ve to repeat it myself to get that. Ohh? I hear a lot of very deep voices coming from that building? What a large family you have, Senpai.
“Hold on a second, why do I have to visit a dojo right before summer holidays.”
“Don’t worry, it’s not as tough as you might expect. You probably thinking about some kind of martial arts, but it’s not. That’s why I wanted to give you a feeling for it. Just think this as an experience.”
If it’s just that, then──Wait, did you really think I would fall for that!? Not doing any martial arts at a dojo is just even more fishy! Also, what kind of feeling are we talking about? Eh, wait, don’t just suddenly open the doo───
“Eh, e-excuse…Wait, eehh!?”
I really wished she would have warned me and told me how to do the proper greeting before swinging open that door like that. What more shocking was, instead of opening her part of the sliding door, she instead pulled mine open, so only I could be seen. But, did she really have to be so loud? Anyway, as a result of that, some scary-looking old man, probably the master, and other strong-looking men were all staring at me.
“HAHAHA, Sajou. Hahaha”
“Senpai, this is probably the first time, I ever wanted to raise my hand against a girl.”
“Sorry about that. This is just a small joke for the people who come to visit. Both Yuyu and Ayano had some funny reactions. Especially Yuyu, let me tell you.”
Who the hell is Ayano…? Ah, that Mita-senpai who’s always with you?
Really, what is this person doing? Look, that person, who seems like the master, is looking here in annoyance, you know?
W-why are you glaring at me? Like, whyー? Okay, Sajou’s going home.
Please, let me go home.
“Umm, Senpai? Things are different from what I imagined. Look, those karate or judo practitioners are touching, hugging each other very boldly!”
“That is quite the suggestive way of phrasing things. It’s true that we have a martial arts master here, but the others are people who came to train. And only those who wish to train themselves more, will receive a special training like them.”
“I-I can’t believe it…!”
Choosing this path because they wanted to…!? There are those who chose this without being forced by their parents when they were still young…!?
What’s so good about this, that they choose to walk on the path of torturing themselves? Or is it just like that one Olympics athlete said, once you’ve crossed the line, might as well aim for the top!?
“We don’t teach martial arts here, but spiritual arts.”
“It’s kind of related to martial arts, but depending on the situation, people’s performances change. For example, that they’re stronger or weaker during the real deal of something.”
“Yeah, I know about that.”
“Spiritual arts aims to control this performance, and squeeze out the best possible talent in the situation desired. Rather than teaching sports, we’re like a classroom.”
“So, this is like studying? No thanks.”
“I heard from Kaede, you know? You only play games at home. You won’t become stronger just by staring at your screen.”
“No, that’s not───Hey, don’t grab me like that! Shinomiya-senpai? What are you planning on doing with me!!?”
“You’ll also get better at games!”
“You just came up with that, right!?”
Rather than trying to run away, I just wanted to go home. However, that disciplinary committee president grabbed my sleeve, not allowing me to.
Why are you giving me this challenger smile? This is spiritual arts, right?
In the first place, I didn’t see you showing the training result in front of Inatomi-senpai either!
“Please, just let go of meeeee!?”
I suddenly heard the loud impact of a wooden kendo sword, to which both Senpai and I froze up in shock. Certainly, I might have been able to escape at that time, but because of the surprise, my body wouldn’t move as I wanted it to. When I turned around, I saw that old man instructor-looking guy who had slammed his wooden sword on the ground, glaring at me.
“───You two, are close.”
Surely, this must have been the world’s best response ever.
The step I took forward in order to escape from Shinomiya-senpai’s grasp was about as loud as the wooden sword being slammed on the ground.
“I won’t ever approach her anymore!”
Oi, why are you acting all high and mighty now, Shinomiya-senpai. If you don’t bow down to him, you’ll get slaughtered. Look at that presence of his, I’m on the level of a sparrow here, he could slaughter me easily, no doubt.
Eh, I’m not dead…? Or, am I already dead…? (※Still alive)
“Rin, who is that brat?”
“He’s my junior, Sajou. I want him to join the disciplinary committee.”
Bastard, so you really were aiming for that, huh!? Then again, the second you dragged me here, I knew that something was off! Why would I need to train my mind and spirit anyway! Also, isn’t that pretty fast!? There’s still a few more months! No?
“Hoo…? I was wondering who my granddaughter would bring here, but it’s a junior. Huh.”
“Wait, don’t just get the wrong idea! I only took him here in order to train his mental strength!”
Eh!? What was that!? She actually sounded like a normal high school girl there for a second! Shinomiya-senpai can talk like that!? Keep it up! You got my full support, Senpai! In front of your gramps, you suddenly become a normal girl… good! Keep that going even from now on───
I’m a sparrow! And right in front of me is a scary grandpa! Him glaring at me with his sharp gaze is terrifying! I feel like a salaryman in the middle of the week! Society is a demon lord’s castle after all!
“Brat…your name was Sajou, right.”
“No, it’s Yamaza───”
Damn, I misspoke. My life almost flies there. Really, this is bad…
The old man closely inspected me, and changed his gaze like he was looking at an insect. But when I thought about the reason why he could make such a gaze on our first meeting, I realized that he was a martial artist, someone who was on a different side of the world. And I involuntarily thought he was someone who had accomplished a great feat, perhaps a champion holder in the past. After all, the only part that looked old was only above his neck. As for the body muscle, I was clearly older (weak) than him.
“What a weakling.”
“That’s why I want to train him.”
“Do you think he can get stronger?”
“That’s why I’m trying to go home right now.”
A constant back and forth without an end in sight.
If possible, I want this old man to just hate me, and forcefully kick me out. Though, I feel like that will only end painfully for me. That aside, what’s this old man staring at for a while now───Senpai’s hand grabbing onto my arm?
H-Hm… hey, Senpai, just relax a bit, you’re going to break my arm at this rate. Can’t you see the glint in his eyes? Feels like his eyes may shoot a laser beam at any moment, you know. Let’s stop with the skinship, for now. I mean, is this what you should be doing as the disciplinary committee president? This is an illicit relationship.
“Brat, what is your relationship with Rin?”
“My elder sister is a gyaru friend of hers.”
“That’s not it!”
…..Eh, I’m wrong?
When I told him, ‘Senpai’s good friend is my Sis…──’, and that I was that person’s younger brother (Skipping the long talk), the old man said ‘The relative of one of my granddaughter’s few friends is always welcome’, and softened his attitude. ‘Someone who has an elder sister is the type to get spanked on the butt after all, if it’s such a weak person, I can relax.’, he even added some weird logic, and I already felt like my heart, which was full of scars, was being trained with the training program called ‘Extreme Stoic’.
Anyway, now that the introduction was done, time for the main topic.
“Being able to use spiritual arts in the modern age has a lot of benefits. Standing in front of other people, participating in a discussion, giving a presentation, dealing with an unreasonable, annoying superior, all these situations can lead your head to end up blank, but a trained person can keep their calm mind.”
This grandpa… feels like he was a shut-in at some point? What happened when he was younger? He’s definitely a late-bloomer.
But, from what I heard, this doesn’t sound too bad. Losing the bad temperament, no longer easily nervous or upset, ain’t that pretty good? Now that I think about it, isn’t this pretty useful when playing those low-quality shitty online games? Well, you got my attention now.
“How much have you trained yourself, Shinomiya-senpai?”
“Ever since I was a child, so I don’t even remember.”
“Yet, when you’re with Inatomi-senpai, you become wild───”
“Sajou, this and that are different. You can freely love whatever you want. Watching small birds or flowers with a deadpan expression would be pretty boring, right?”
Small birds, flowers, and Inatomi-senpai. I feel like I might just be able to write a poem about this…
When I envisioned Inatomi-senpai reading the poem, slowly the tone and way of speaking changed, and finally I could see her having a lisp.
Weird? Her appearance didn’t change or anything, and yet, her childish voice is just like a real child. I wonder why…
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.