ODL – Chapter 102 – The Beginning of the Festival


After splitting from Hiyorin, who was heading to the live venue in Makuhari1, we got off at the nearest station to the university. As I walked along the long road by the university with Mafuyu-chan, the topic of our conversation was Hiyorin.

“Hiyori-san was kind of cool earlier.” (Mafuyu)

“I know right? It reminded me once again that she was a popular voice actress.” (Souma)

Even though we usually live together, it’s easy to forget that Hiyorin isn’t a person someone can just casually talk to. Well, even now, I still have difficulties talking to her because I’m still nervous.

“Today’s live concert is at the Makuhari Messe, right? That’s amazing…  Compared to her, I’m nervous for just a beauty pageant.” (Mafuyu)

“No no, I think you’re amazing too, Mafuyu-chan. Performing in front of a large audience, I couldn’t possibly do that.” (Souma)

There is indeed a significant difference in the number of viewers between Hiyorin’s live concert and Mafuyu-chan’s beauty pageant. But even the beauty contest venue can accommodate a thousand people. Just the thought of a thousand pairs of eyes focusing on me… I felt like I might lose it a little.

Noticing my unease, Mafuyu-chan subtly smirked.

…Did I say something strange?

“Hehe… Souma-kun, make sure to come and watch the beauty pageant, okay?” (Mafuyu)

In response to Mafuyu-chan’s repeated reminder, I naturally replied, “Of course,” for the umpteenth time. Every time I do, she narrows her eyes with joy. It warms my heart as if she’s relying on me.

Above our heads, the trees planted around the university campus sway and rustle in the wind. Amidst that, voices can be heard from the surroundings.

“Hey, wait… is that real?” (Student)

“Whoa, seriously? She’s participating in the beauty pageant?” (Student)

“Wow… Mafuyu-chan is seriously cute… that face is just unfair.” (Student)

“The beauty pageant outfit is a maid costume, right? I can’t wait to see it.” (Student)

“Better go early to snag some good seats, right? I want to take some photos.” (Student)

“Yeah, good idea. Actually, there’s a guy in the same seminar as us who has a camera, so I’ll hit him up.” (Student)

The conversation between a group of guys can be heard.

───Conversations like these have really increased lately. Without a doubt, it’s because of the beauty pageant. At first, I was conscious of it, but lately, I’ve been trying not to pay too much attention to it since it’s everywhere. Mafuyu-chan seems completely used to it, maintaining her usual calm demeanor.

As the guys moved closer, perhaps to secure seats for the beauty pageant, they subtly glanced at Mafuyu-chan before picking up the pace. Two neatly arranged brown heads swayed gently, like sea anemones. Then, from a bit farther away, I could faintly hear their conversation again.

“No, seriously… why is she dating him and not me?” (Student)

“I heard they’ve known each other for a while. Apparently, Mafuyu-chan confessed first.” (Student)

“Well, I don’t know anything about her boyfriend, but with so many choices, why go for someone like him?” (Student)

“Hey, cut it out. They can hear you, you know. ………… But yeah, I think the same.” (Student)

“Right? Seriously, it’s one of the seven wonders of our university. Well, I bet it won’t last once the beauty pageant is over.” (Student)

“Oh, yeah, definitely. The winner of last year’s beauty pageant… Mari-san, was it? I forgot her name, but as soon as she won, she changed boyfriend.” (Student)

“Yeah, that was brutal. Changing so blatantly like that? I couldn’t believe it. I heard she got confessed to by like thirty guys.” (Student)

“Wow. Well, most of the winners in our beauty pageants end up becoming news presenter. If you can date a future news presenter, I guess it’s worth it.” (Student)

That’s all I could hear. Although I can see them continuing to talk excitedly in the distance, the content of their conversation doesn’t reach my ears.

“………… Seven wonders.” (Souma)

Was it really so strange that Mafuyu-chan and I were dating? Well, I guess I would be shocked too if we were actually dating.

“………… Annoying.” (Mafuyu)

“Eh?” (Souma)

With a deep, resolute voice, I looked to my side—Mafuyu-chan was glaring at the backs of the duo from earlier with eyes as cold as a killer’s.

“Hey, Mafuyu-chan?” (Souma)

“………… Let’s go.” (Mafuyu)

She firmly grabbed my hand, forcibly intertwining our fingers. I was pulled forward by Mafuyu-chan. She briskly increased her pace, and the backs of the duo approached rapidly.

“Mafuyu-chan!? Hey! Stop!” (Souma)

Ignoring my protest, Mafuyu-chan didn’t slow down at all. The backs of the duo were right in front of us—then, we passed them.

“…Seriously?” (Duo)

I felt like I heard those words coming from behind.

…In the end, Mafuyu-chan didn’t let go of my hand until we passed through the gate of the university.

Fu~un, that felt good.” (Mafuyu)

Beside me, Mafuyu-chan said that with a serious expression, while I knelt down, resting my hands on my knees, trying to catch my breath.

“That was surprising… Wh-what was that all about, Mafuyu-chan?” (Souma)

My mind still hadn’t caught up with the sudden turn of events. For now, I understood that Mafuyu-chan’s jogging routine was definitely paying off.

After catching my breath and straightening up, Mafuyu-chan placed her hands on her hips, looking somewhat dissatisfied. Her slender eyebrows were slightly raised.

“………… It annoyed me. They were talking bad about Souma-kun.” (Mafuyu)

“Hmm… Ah, so you got angry for my sake?” (Souma)

“No, for my own sake. Anyone would feel upset if their boyfriend was talked about like that.” (Mafuyu)

………… But we’re not an actual couple?

“Well… I can’t say I completely disagree with what they were saying. It’s not like I think I’m handsome or anything. If someone asked if I matched with the incredibly cute Mafuyu-chan in terms of looks, I’d probably say…” (Souma)

Absolutely not. Of course, looks aren’t everything, but…

……? 

Since there was no response, I looked at Mafuyu-chan suspiciously. She had her mouth slightly open and seemed frozen. There was a faint hint of embarrassment on her face, resembling the expression of a certain famous RPG slime.

“Mafuyu-chan?” (Souma)

“………… Hah, I was just getting happily swallowed up by thoughts of being with you… Anyway, Souma-kun, you don’t need to worry about such things. Just be confident as my boyfriend. I want you to watch the beauty pageant from the front row.” (Mafuyu)

“…Okay, I’ll do that then.” (Souma)

I naturally said so.

If I’m acting all weak, it’ll just cause trouble for Mafuyu-chan. It’s likely to get worse after the beauty pageant. Those guys who were holding back because she has a boyfriend might start getting closer to Mafuyu-chan after the beauty pageant. The only one who can protect her from that is me, her boyfriend.

“Sometimes I need to show some boyfriend-like qualities too. Since there’s no particular event I want to attend, I’ll go and quickly secure my seat.” (Souma)

“…this feels like a dream.” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan mumbled something softly. However, amidst the festival’s unique hustle and bustle, I couldn’t make out what she said. Although the opening ceremony was still some time away, the campus was already buzzing with excitement. There were people dressed in superhero costumes and others inexplicably walking around shirtless. The festive atmosphere had everyone in high spirits.

“What’s your schedule like, Mafuyu-chan?” (Souma)

“I’ve been invited to Arisa’s dancing event2 in the morning, and in the afternoon, it’s probably the beauty pageant. I think the participants are supposed to gather around noon.” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan said while checking her smartphone.

“………… I really wanted to enjoy the festival with you.” (Mafuyu)

“Yeah. Well, there’s always next year.” (Souma)

This time next year… I wonder if I’ll be in the midst of job hunting. Probably busy with my graduation thesis too.

“Just next year isn’t enough… Even though I finally got to see onii-chan again.” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan looked down. In the midst of this lively and enjoyable atmosphere, her gloomy aura stood out.

……

I firmly held onto Mafuyu-chan’s hand.

“Onii-chan…?” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan looked up with a surprised expression.

“We still have time until the opening ceremony, right? Let’s hang out until then. I’m sure there’s plenty to enjoy at this time.” (Souma)

As we walked through the lively atmosphere, it naturally became fun — as evidence of that, she’s already smiling.


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Finally, all caught up! The author seems to update this randomly, so yeh it’s gonna be a bit inconsistent. I’m not gonna TL the LN of this since it’s gonna mostly be the same. I am thinking about picking up an LN to translate but idk about that. I’ll finish up MPFM first before deciding on what to do next.


Footnote:

  1. Makuhari is a district in Chiba, Japan. It is also home to Makuhari Messe, one of Japan’s largest convention centers. It hosts a variety of events, including trade shows, concerts, and business conferences
  2. Raw says something about circle performance, and it seems to be common in Japanese festivals… I think? I didn’t really know so I just put dancing event. And yeh anyone still remember Arisa from all the way back when Mafuyu was first introduced?
| ToC |
Character List (might contain spoilers)
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AzukaD

Thanks for the chapter!

Nooo now cliffhangers will shows up more 😦

Chaosrune

Thanks for the chapter!