TGS – Vol 2 Chapter 4 Part 2 – Date 1

After spending about 30 minutes at the station where they had arranged to meet, they were able to calm down.

They began to move according to their plan and headed to a PC specialty shop located in a large shopping center about a 15-minute walk from the main attraction, the aquarium.

Though this shop might not be considered a suitable date spot, it was different for Haruto and Aya because they worked in a job that involved streaming.

They can look out for new products that they can incorporate into their work setup. There were even products made in collaboration with other streamers which they can discuss.

This got them even more excited than when they were at the station.

“Aah, Haruto-san, look, look! It’s a gaming PC made in collaboration with Rina-san!” (Aya)

“O-Oh…!! This is the first time I’ve seen the actual thing!” (Haruto)

Aya approached it first, and Haruto quickly followed, rushing to see the product.

The product was displayed in the most prominent spot in the store.

Moreover, there was a black and white poster of Rina in the corner, with her striking a cool pose as the main figure. There was clearly a lot of effort put into the marketing.

“This design is really intricate and looks so cool. It’s got great reviews too, just as expected from Rina-san.” (Haruto)

“I heard that among all the collaboration products, this is one of the best ones.” (Aya)

“Wow…” (Haruto)

Seeing it displayed like this made Haruto realize just how influential Rina was. Thinking back to when she had come to his house and shared a meal with him made his hands tremble.

“It’s amazing… really.” (Haruto)

In this industry, there’s always someone better. It’s a highly competitive field, with the amount of success clearly shown in the numbers.

Haruto, lost in various thoughts, was intently looking at the product when Aya whispered in his ear, careful not to let anyone else hear.

“Hey, Haruto-san, don’t you have any plans for product collaborations?” (Aya)

“Nah, there’s no way (they’d approach me). Honestly, I don’t think it’ll ever happen in my lifetime.” (Haruto)

“You’re putting yourself quite low!?” (Aya)

“Haha, well, yeah.” (Haruto)

Being active in this industry, Haruto admired collaboration products and had a hope that one day it might come true, though, in reality, he had already given up on it.

Collaboration products are born from mutual popularity which tends to generate high demand.

Even though Haruto had a large channel with 200,000 subscribers, those numbers were gathered through controversial methods.

He was said to have the most haters among ABEX streamers, and considering the risk of scandals, the chances of a company choosing him were practically nonexistent.

“I’m just happy that Shirayuki-san is surprised.” (Haruto)

“Hehe, I’m different from others because I know so many wonderful things about you, Haruto-san. You even protected me once, remember?” (Aya)

“Th-That, I don’t really remember.” (Haruto)

“You’re lying again.” (Aya)

Aya looked up at him with a softened expression, making it difficult for Haruto to meet her gaze. Feeling embarrassed and unable to look her in the eyes, he quickly changed the subject to something less vulnerable.

“Anyway… if I were to ever get involved in this kind of project, wouldn’t a poster like this probably get torn up?” (Haruto)

“In that case, I’d secretly fix it with tape, so don’t worry.” (Aya)

“Haha, well, if that time ever comes, please do.” (Haruto)

Haruto could only hope he would never face such a situation if a collaboration product ever came out.

And on the topic of collaboration products, the most likely candidate was standing right beside him. Mimicking the way she had whispered to him earlier, Haruto leaned closer to Aya’s ear.

“Actually, Shirayuki-san, have you got any collaborations lined up?” (Haruto)

The moment he whispered this into her ear…

“Eek!!” (Aya)

Aya covered her ears with both hands, her eyes widening in surprise as she tilted her head back.

Seeing her reaction, Haruto quickly realized he had caused a misunderstanding.

“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do something weird!” (Haruto)

“It’s okay… I know you didn’t… but… if it’s Haruto-san… I don’t mind…” (Aya)

“…” (Haruto)

“It’s just that… my ears are really sensitive…” (Aya)

Feeling like she had made an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Aya withdrew her hands to reveal her ears, now bright red as if to prove her weakness.

“S-So, no more of that… okay?” (Aya)

“Got it…” (Haruto)

As Haruto responded to Aya, who looked down shyly, her words “If it’s Haruto-san… I don’t mind…” kept echoing in his mind. 

The more he thought about it, the louder his heartbeat became, and he shook his head from side to side to clear these distracting thoughts.

“Um, well… about what you asked earlier, whether I’ve been approached for a collaboration… I think it might depend on how hard I work from now on?” (Aya)

“Really?!” (Haruto)

“Hehe… That’s all I can say for now!” (Aya)

Without directly saying that she hasn’t been approached, Aya’s evasive answer hinted at something more.

“Then, if the product happens to be a PC, I might just get one depending on the timing.” (Haruto)

“Eh, Haruto-san, you’d buy it?!” (Aya)

“It’s not set in stone yet, but I’m thinking about giving my imouto a PC as a gift when she graduates from high school. Even if she ends up living alone, we could still play games together if she has a PC.” (Haruto)

“Ohhhh~ You’re planning to buy a more expensive one, right? In that case, I’ll pray that if I end up participating in the collaboration, the product will be to your liking.” (Aya)

“Haha, yup, my goal is to buy a high-spec PC, so I’ll work hard to make sure I can afford it.” (Haruto)

Even if Yuno, a PC beginner, might find a high-spec PC more than she needs, Haruto still wanted to give her the best possible gift. It might seem like a waste to some, but the desire to give the best present is a sentiment everyone can understand.

“Come to think of it, if imouto-san goes to university and ends up living alone like me, Haruto-san, you’ll feel lonely, won’t you?” (Aya)

“N-No…? I mean… she would be at an age where she can stand on her own, so I’m actually happy about it, you know…?” (Haruto)

“Hehe… Haruto-san, you can’t hide your feelings.” (Aya)

“…Honestly, it’s just something I have to put up with eventually.” (Haruto)

They’re used to living together, just the two of them.

The idea that this routine might change someday is something he can’t help but feel lonely about.

“The best thing would be to ask imouto-san directly about her plans and how she feels about it. If she’s planning to live alone, it’ll help you prepare mentally beforehand.” (Aya)

“Yeah, you’re right. It’s scary to ask for the answer… but I’ll make sure to ask her soon.” (Haruto)

“That’s good! But… if imouto-san does end up living alone, I would be worried.” (Aya)

“Thank you for caring so much about my imouto. But I’ll occasionally drop her a message to check up on her while making sure to not be too pushy, so I think it’ll be okay.” (Haruto)

Feeling grateful for someone who cares about his important family, Haruto naturally smiled, unaware of the unexpected reaction he would receive.

Aya, with a serious expression, nudged Haruto’s arm.

“—Huh? Is it me you’re worried about?” (Haruto)

Indeed, it seemed to say, “Yes, it’s you.”

“That’s right. Because even though imouto-san is still in high school, she’s capable enough to handle household chores, right? She probably has better life skills than other students her age, so she’ll be fine.” (Aya)

There’s no need for him to worry, or rather, that’s what Aya believed. It was also the opinion of someone who was living independently and admirably. From Haruto’s perspective, it felt convincing.

“But Haruto-san, you’re different, aren’t you? If you start living alone, your eating habits might become unbalanced… You might forget to run the washing machine or forget to hang up clothes to dry… Oh, and I’m worried you might oversleep too.” (Aya)

“I-I’m not that bad! Really!” (Haruto)

At first, Haruto thought she was teasing him, but when he saw her expression, with her hands clasped and eyebrows furrowed, he realized she was genuinely concerned.

“Well then… if you do start living alone, would it be okay for me to come to check if you’re managing properly…?” (Aya)

“As long as Shirayuki-san is okay with it. If that happens, I’ll show off how perfectly I’m handling things.” (Haruto)

“That would be nice, wouldn’t it…? Well then, if you do end up living alone, remember your words, okay?” (Aya)

“Of course. I’ll be ready.” (Haruto)

“Hehe, yay!” (Aya)

Upon hearing this response, Aya’s face lit up with a big smile, showing how much her worries had eased. And for Haruto, it was also a reminder that he needed to show a bit more reliability as an older person.

“Well, changing the subject… Haruto-san, is there anything you want to see in this store? Since we’re here, if there’s something you’re curious about, let’s go take a look.” (Aya)

“In that case, I’d like to check out some headphones. I’ve been interested in wireless ones, but I’ve never used them before, so I’ve been wanting to try them out if I had the chance.” (Haruto)

“By the way, I’m fairly knowledgeable about headphones, so feel free to ask me anything.” (Aya)

“Really!? That would be really helpful.” (Haruto)

“Alright, let’s go then!” (Aya)

Haruto nodded at her words and began to move.

Spotting a sign that read “Audio Equipment”, they entered the aisle, where they quickly found the desired product.

“Oh! Here it is… Wait, Shirayuki-san, look at this. It’s 40,000 yen…” (Haruto)

“As expected, that’s quite something.” (Aya)

“I’m not buying it! There’s no way I can afford that!” (Haruto)

His budget for headphones this time was 10,000 yen. The price stated was four times that amount, almost equivalent to a month’s worth of food expenses.

It wasn’t even worth considering purchasing it.

“By the way, are you getting new headphones because your current ones broke?” (Aya)

“Nah, I’m thinking of using them for different purposes—like having a main and a backup pair. I also want to try out wireless ones. Normally, I’d wait until mine broke before buying new ones, but this time, it’s partly to motivate myself to work harder and also as a good luck charm.” (Haruto)

“…A good luck charm?” (Aya)

“My current goal… is to get closer to the numbers the person next to me is hitting. If you help me choose, I’ll feel like I’m getting some extra power.” (Haruto)

“Ah, I see. Hehe, but it won’t be that easy, you know? Well, I’m planning to work even harder from now on too.” (Aya)

“Haha, looks like I have a long way to go.” (Haruto)

Seeing her proud and happy profile, Haruto returned the expression with a smile.

At this point, Aya’s channel had twice the number of subscribers, at 400,000. That distant goal was what Haruto was aiming for.

“Well, this is just my opinion, but for someone new to wireless headphones, it’s best to choose ones around 5,000 yen. Some people might not like wireless, and they’re easy to lose because they’re small.” (Aya)

“Yeah, that’s true… It would be bad luck to lose them when they’re supposed to bring me good luck.” (Haruto)

“Exactly! So, it’s best to start with something affordable for a trial run.” (Aya)

“Thanks for the helpful advice. Then this time, I’ll prioritize design over performance.” (Haruto)

Feeling grateful, the two of them then spent a few minutes choosing a product.

“Alright, I’ve made my decision!” (Haruto)

Haruto chose a white wireless headphone priced at 4,200 yen. It was the long-awaited wireless headphone.

“Don’t you want to look around more?” (Aya)

“It’s okay! This ‘α’ logo looks cool too.” (Haruto)

“Your choice seems kind of boyish, doesn’t it?” (Aya)

“W-Well, when you put it that way, it’s a bit embarrassing…” (Haruto)

As he shyly gazed at the wireless headphones he held in his hand, Haruto, who usually didn’t indulge himself, found himself completely absorbed in examining it. 

Naturally, he feels more than satisfied with his purchase and even feels like he could work even harder now.

It was at that moment when he was about to immerse himself in his own world.

“Ah, Haruto-san.” (Aya)

“Hm?” (Haruto)

“Sorry to bring this up now, but would it be okay if I went to the restroom?” (Aya)

“Of course. I’ll browse some headphones over there while you’re gone. I’ll stay in this section, so don’t worry.” (Haruto)

“I’m sorry. I have to look for the restroom first, so it might take me a little while.” (Aya)

“Got it.” (Haruto)

“Okay, I’ll be right back.” (Aya)

“Take care!” (Haruto)

With a polite farewell from Aya, Haruto watches her walk away with steady steps.

“Oh, wow! They’ve released the latest model of these… They look so cool…” (Haruto)

Headphones are useful for listening to enemy footsteps or gunshots.

For Haruto, it’s one of his tools for work, so he quickly switches into concentration mode.

He earnestly looks around, examining each one.

Haruto becomes so immersed in his search that he doesn’t notice.

Right now, the wireless headphones he’s holding are one unit fewer in stock and have sold out.

When Aya returned to the corner where the headphones were displayed and safely reunited with Haruto…

“See! Just as I thought! It looks great on you, Haruto-san.” (Aya)

“Well, I really like it. It’s lightweight and stylish…” (Haruto)

Standing next to Haruto, who was checking himself out in the mirror wearing headphones, Aya grinned happily.

“By the way, how much does this cost?” (Haruto)

“It’s 45,000 yen.” (Aya)

“What?! Hey! Don’t you dare hand over something that expensive! Come on, put it back!!” (Haruto)

“Hehehe, alright.” (Aya)

What she handed him was a pair of headphones.

It was meant to be tested, but after realizing the price, he hurriedly took it off as if he was being pranked.

Just seeing him so flustered made her happy.

Why did she feel like teasing the person she cared about?

Should she continue?

With those thoughts in mind, Aya decided to take the next step to get more attention…

Returning the headphones back to their place, she reached for the next one and…

“Haruto-san, look at me!” (Aya)

“Hm?” (Haruto)

Nyaa~ How’s it?” (Aya)

Putting on the demo cat ear headphones, she clenched her fingers like a cat paw and started impersonating a cat.

…Usually, she wouldn’t do something like this.

It wouldn’t even cross her mind.

But at that moment, she was swept up in the moment.

Having successfully achieved the first goal she had set for their date, she was in high spirits.

It was an action driven by emotions she couldn’t contain…

“…” (Haruto)

“…Hey, w-wait! I-I-If you don’t react, it’s, it’s really embarrassing for me, you know!?” (Aya)

The reaction she got, however, was unexpectedly none. 

As she nervously lightly hit his shoulder and complained, she found herself witnessing an unforeseen response.

“I-I’m sorry… It’s just that it really suited you, Shirayuki-san, so I couldn’t help myself…” (Haruto)

“~~~” (Aya)

He muttered weakly, his face turning even redder as if startled by his own words.

Seeing him so embarrassed made Aya feel even more embarrassed herself.

Her heart raced so intensely that she could almost hear it pounding.

“T-This is… my… impersonation skill…” (Aya)

Not even knowing what she was saying, Aya felt lost.

Unable to look at him or think of anything else to say, Aya slowly removed the cat ear headphones and returned them to their original display.

But one thing was clear—

At that moment, she realized that his embarrassed expression had become her weakness.

TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Wow, progress is definitely being made. Aya just smoothly secured a way to visit MC once he lives alone. Is this one of the goals the author mentioned? Really makes me wonder what other goals she has for the date.

For the first half, I wasn’t sure if they were earphones or headphones. I know Aya mentioned them being small and easy to lose, which makes me think might be earphones, but idk. After Aya came back from the restroom, they were definitely talking about headphones cause of the cat thing.


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Aya so cuteee