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Summer Camp’s finally here.
I cut down on my luggage quite a bit, but my suitcase was still ready to burst. It’s weird to be asking this myself, but what on earth did I bring.
When we arrived at the health resort, it turned out to be on the level of a hotel. Even our rooms were just suites. Rather than a camp, isn’t this basically just going on a vacation?
The girl assigned to my room was Nonose Maho-chan from another class. We’ve basically never spoken, but I wonder if we’ll get along. She seems kinda nervous though.
After resting in our room for a while, we had a barbecue in the hotel garden. All of the ingredients were prepared in advance, so all we had to do was roast them and eat.
Since I’m still technically the leader of the girls, I went with Class Rep to check if everyone had cutlery and a drink. But well, there were full-time staff there, so it was just for show.
Still, this is my first time eating barbecue in this life. It’s a lot more extravagant than I remember it being though.
Ooh! They have roast corn!
What a shame.
Since it’s a Suiran-style barbecue, it feels more like a refined lunch than what I had in mind, but this kind of thing is fun too.
I decided to try casually sitting next to Nonose-san. None of my group came, so today has been a total away game for me.
I’ll act low key and mix in with them.
“I never thought that you of all people would be coming, Reika-sama.”
“I was surprised too, Reika-sama.”
“Truly? But I have always wanted to try it at least once.”
“You didn’t last year, right?”
Because last year I was stuck in remedial hell.
“Did all of you participate last year as well?”
“This year is my first time.”
“This is my second.”
Over half of the girls here turned out to be first timers. Thank goodness.
“By the way, tomorrow is going to be hiking. Are you going to be all right, Reika-sama?
Uu-, that’s what I’m most worried about. According to the itinerary it’s only going to be a two-hour walk, but I wonder if I’ll really be able to follow.
“I shall do my best,”
I declared with clenched fists.
After the barbecue was a short ceramics course. I used the manual potters wheel, but mine turned out a little warped. I’m just really no good with my hands, am I. Well, whatever.
Once night fell, after dinner was the fireworks event I’d been waiting for!
Perhaps because watching fireworks isn’t something that upper class think is suitable, I’ve never had a chance all this time.
But just the smell of fireworks really brings summer to mind, doesn’t it. Today we only had handheld fireworks, so there was nothing like a rocket firework or one of those dragon things though. When I was a kid, those mouse fireworks really scared me because you could never tell which way they would fly.
Speaking of which, what on earth do people find fun about those snake fireworks. All they do is grow.
I never understood it back then, and I still don’t understand it now. The fact that they’re still selling them means that people are buying them, right? Hmmm.
Anyway, since Class Rep was playing with hanging sparkler fireworks a little further away, I decided to come closer.
“So you chose hanging sparklers? You would not prefer something flashier?”
“I really like these ones.”
Hmm~ As expected of Class Rep, the maiden.
“It seems that Honda-san has not come,”
I whispered, just loudly enough for him to hear.
In shock, the ember of the sparkler dropped to the ground.
“She even came last year, so why…”
“I see. You did not end up in her class either, this year. Have things progressed since last time?”
He shook his head.
“What should I do, Kisshouin-san?”
“What, you ask? Could you not simply confess?”
“That’s impossible. If I got rejected, my whole school life would be over.”
“It might go well though.”
“But Honda-san’s type is Enjou-kun.”
Class Rep began sulking.
“Given that she was class representative with him last year, perhaps she may have changed her mind after all the hardships she surely faced.”
“…Kisshouin-san, could you go ask her for me?”
“We are in different classes, so that may prove to be difficult.”
At any rate, everyone finished playing with fireworks while the two of us spoke, and began to tidy up.
After the firework event ended, I returned to my room and then took turns in the bath with Nonose-san.
To tell you the truth, I actually got a light perm as per Okaasama’s instructions. I really wonder just how fixated she is on this stuff, but well, can’t be helped.
Anyway, as long as I followed the existing bends, it was possible to fashion some decent curls.
Although, I didn’t really want people to know about the perm, so I made sure to dry my hair properly.
“Reika-sama. I find it hard to sleep with the lights on, so would it be possible to turn them off?”
“Certainly. Well then, let us turn off the lights.”
I brought some playing cards too, but it looks like there was no time to play them. I wonder if I’ll get to tomorrow.
Anyway, time to turn off the lights and go to sleep.
I was woken up early in the morning and after being made to exercise amongst nature, we finally had breakfast. I’m not so good with mornings, so it was pretty tough.
Since we’re hiking today, I made sure to put on sunscreen and a hat.
My rucksack feels so heavy… I’m starting to regret coming here a little.
Before long, the hiking finally began. It was a fairly gentle incline so I thought it would be fine, but it just kept going, and going, and it didn’t take long for my will to break.
And not only that, none of my other soft friends were here. I was now undeniably the last one. The leader of the girls was the last one. Argh, it hurts. I wanna go home.
Nonose-san stuck with me to cheer me on. I’m really being treated like extra baggage now. I wanna cry.
After two hours, I somehow made it to the top. I got to enjoy cold milk and lunch here.
Since I was close to collapse, Nonose-san acted as leader in my place. I really felt bad about it.
On the way back to the hotel, with the heavy rucksack on my back, I thought to myself, I probably won’t be going next year…
Perhaps because of my exertions at lunchtime, at the stargazing event after dinner, the teacher’s explanations felt like a lullaby to me.
Thanks to that, I immediately had a bath when we got back, and slept right afterwards.
And then I woke up in the middle of the night.
I was too tired to really have an appetite. Thanks to that I didn’t eat much at dinner, did I. I might not be able to go back to sleep like this.
But if I remember right, I brought some crunchy ume plums, didn’t I. Maybe I’ll eat those.
Since Nonose-san can’t sleep with the lights on, I put on a white cardigan and brought the pickled ume with me into the hallway.
Before I began eating, I found a dim staircase landing in a corner, and sat there so that I wouldn’t be seen.
They were covered with honey and sweet, which made them easy to eat. Crunch crunch, crunch crunch…
I heard the nearby scream of a girl, and then the sound of somebody running away.
Since I didn’t want anybody to find out that I had snuck out of my room to snack, I rushed back into my room in a panic.
Stripping off the cardigan, I tossed it ume and all into my bag to remove the evidence.
As Nonose-san got up, I was all like ‘Uh, yeah, I just got up as well,‘ so we left our room together to see what was going on.
Oh gosh, my bed hair is terrible. I guess this is because I didn’t dry my hair properly before crashing. I’ll tidy it up with my fingers.
“Whatever is the matter?”
“I don’t know either.”
Only girls stayed on this floor. As everybody left their rooms to see what was happening, one of the girls suddenly screamed,
“Over there on that staircase, there was this ghost and it was gobbling on bloody flesh!”
The moment the other girls heard this, they flew into a huge panic, screaming ghosts and goblins, and in an instant the whole place turned into pandemonium.
Uh, could it be that she was talking about me? It’s true that my hair is a bit of a mess right now, and I was definitely eating red ume plums, but I wasn’t gobbling anything, okay…
Apparently the one who spotted me was Occult-san. Occult-san woke up thirsty so she went to get a drink apparently. And then she apparently met a ghost.
And so she started saying stuff like “I have a sixth sense.“ and “There’s a dark presence on that staircase.” and “Her face was just filled with hatred.” and before I knew it, some other girls started saying “Now that I think about it, I got a bad feeling too.” and “For some reason I haven’t been able to stop shivering for a while now.” and started to agree with her too. What do I do…
After all this time, there’s no way I can tell them that it was me. If I tell them that I snuck out to have a snack, they’re definitely going to think I’m some huge glutton.
I feel really bad about slandering the hotel with ghost rumours, but I care even more about protecting myself, okay~
While I prayed that I wouldn’t be busted, Nonose-san and the others came up to me and said,
“It’s okay, Reika-sama. As long as we’re all together, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“Right. You don’t need to be so frightened.”
and tried to encourage me. Guh-… my chest hurts!
“Thank you, everyone.”
I’m sorry. I won’t come next year, okay…?
And so the whole ghost ruckus continued until the next morning. With the crunchy ume plums hidden deep in my bag, and with my hair curled to perfection, I set out for home.
Hanging sparklers, or senkou hanabi (lit. incense stick fireworks) are a Japanese sparkler firework that’s different to the sparklers we know. Instead of waving them about to have fun, you just hold them and enjoy watching them.