ODL – Chapter  53 – A Duo Drenched in Rain

For the next twenty minutes which felt like an eternity, we rode the train in silence. We got off at the nearest station to our apartment, passed through the ticket gate, and as we looked up at the sky, the rain continued to pour heavily.

When I opened the umbrella, there was just enough space for Shizuka to squeeze in. It was cramped under the umbrella as usual, and once again, I silently let my shoulder get wet.

“Hey, can we stop by the supermarket?” (Souma)

Even though our relationship isn’t particularly strained, I found myself oddly nervous at the ongoing silence so I finally spoke to Shizuka with a hint of tension in my voice.

“Supermarket!? Uh, yeah, sure, that’s fine!” (Shizuka)

Shizuka, perhaps not expecting to be spoken to, nodded frantically while looking flustered.

“Well, I need to buy ingredients for dinner.” (Souma)

“Ahh, that’s right. I’m sorry for always leaving the shopping to you.” (Shizuka)

“It’s okay. It’s actually easier when I do the shopping myself.” (Souma)

We decided to take a quick detour to the supermarket. Shizuka didn’t seem to have the same tense atmosphere as a moment ago and appeared to have returned to her usual self. Well, it could also just be my imagination that she seemed a bit different from usual.

“Souma-kun, what’s for dinner tonight?” (Shizuka)

“Today, pork was on sale, so I’ll probably just make a simple stir-fry with meat and vegetables. I don’t have much time to cook considering the time.” (Souma)

“Oh, that sounds great! I love meat!” (Shizuka)

“Uh… I see.” (Souma)

Meat, huh? She really loves meat. Got it.

“…? Souma-kun, is your shoulder wet? I just noticed the umbrella is shifted more towards my side.” (Shizuka)

“Oh, yeah, you’re right. I must have gotten wet without realizing it.” (Souma)

She noticed, huh… I had hoped to make it home without her noticing.

“Come on, move the umbrella a bit more towards your side. I’m wearing a hoodie that can’t be seen through even if it gets wet, so it’s okay.” (Shizuka)

Shizuka forcefully pushed my hand, which was holding the umbrella, closer to her. Thanks to that, I stopped getting wet, but in exchange, Shizuka’s shoulder was now exposed to the rain.

“…No, it’s fine. What if you catch a cold?” (Souma)

I readjusted the umbrella to Shizuka’s side. My shoulder was already quite wet, so it didn’t really matter if I got wet now.

“What will you do if you catch a cold, Souma-kun? I’m the picture of health, so it’s okay!” (Shizuka)

“Don’t say nonsensical things. I have a strong immune system, so I’ll be fine.” (Souma)

“I have a strong body too, you know!  Are you strong enough to leave in my messy apartment!?” (Shizuka)

“Well… that’s… not relevant right now.” (Souma)

Shizuka grabbed my hand with both of hers and forcefully pushed the umbrella towards me. I pushed it back, causing the umbrella to wobble and lose its proper position entirely. Even the parts that were dry before were gradually getting wet.

“Sh-Shizuka, calm down! At this rate, both of us will get wet!” (Souma)

“…You’re right.” (Shizuka)

Shizuka probably noticed this after I mentioned it as she obediently stopped being too forceful.

“…But you really need to stop doing this. I’d feel terrible if Souma-kun caught a cold because of me.” (Shizuka)

“Well, to be fair, it’s because you only brought one umbrella… No, wait, it’s my fault for not bringing one in the first place.” (Souma)

If it weren’t for Shizuka, I would have still been cooped up in the [Virtual Real] office or maybe even decided to make a run for it. It was completely unreasonable for me to blame Shizuka who came all the way to help me.

“Please try to understand my feelings too. If you catch a cold because of me, I’ll feel bad.” (Souma)

“Ugh…” (Shizuka)

Shizuka’s voice implies that she still didn’t sound convinced. Meanwhile, her shoulder continued to get wet from the rain. Come on, just come inside the umbrella already!

“…I get it. As long as both of us don’t get wet…” (Shizuka)

Shizuka muttered with a disgruntled expression.

“No… that’s impossible. There is no way both of us can fully fit inside this small umbrella.” (Souma)

Both Shizuka and I might be on the slimmer side, but there was only enough space for about 1.8 people at most. To keep both of us dry, we’d have to be practically pressed up against each other… Wait a minute.

“Th-this way… we both won’t get wet, right?” (Shizuka)

“…?!” (Souma)

Shizuka clung to my upper arm tightly and pressed her body against mine. My body completely stiffened in response to this sudden development, and all my attention was focused on the area where we were in contact.

“…D-don’t you dare look at me…! …It’s just because there’s no other way!” (Shizuka)

“Y-yeah…! Right, there’s no other choice if we want to stay dry! Alright, let’s hurry to the supermarket!” (Souma)

We hurried to the supermarket, but due to us being tightly pressed together, we moved more like a pair in a three-legged race, which limited our walking speed. I walked down the sidewalk with a mixed mental state – part of me wanted to get away from Shizuka as soon as possible, while another part didn’t want to be apart from her at all. I couldn’t help but wonder what other people thought of us as they passed by. Did we look like something other than a couple? I felt that if I thought too deeply about it, I might not be able to go back.

While I was being mentally drained, we somehow made it to the vicinity of the supermarket. Suddenly, I felt a sense of relief. It seemed like sharing an umbrella in such close proximity had a much stronger impact on my emotions than simply holding hands. I could finally relax a little. Perhaps Shizuka felt the same way.

…And at that moment.

“Wha!” (Souma)

“Whoa!” (Shizuka)

A large truck sped past us, splashing a wave of water onto our lower bodies, leaving us utterly drenched.

…We were now completely soaked.

“…pfff.” (Souma)

“…hehe…” (Shizuka)

For the first time since we got so close to each other—or perhaps since we started sharing the umbrella—we locked eyes.

Shizuka’s serious expression, staring right at me, slowly began to soften.

TL notes:

Thanks for reading!

Shizuka’s aggression continues. I guess she just got a bit of a wake-up call when she noticed Hiyorin’s feelings towards MC.

Also, I hate those speeding cars in the rain. There were times when I could see them speeding towards me and there is nowhere to hide from it and would end up drenched.


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Thanks for the chapter!

Truck-kun being a wingman for once and not sending people to isekai LOL