Chapter 35 [Gratitude]
TL : Cnine
ED/PF : akshaythedon
Though they had arrived in front of the Maebashi station, since it was still too early for lunch, all of them headed toward the movie theater.
「Please look at anyone that you like.」
As he had promised to treat them to a movie too, Souji took out his purse that was filled with ten thousand bills.
Though their salary as the ACE troops hasn’t been paid yet, his new year’s gift money and the pocket money that he got from helping in the field of his home was still left untouched, he still had some leeway with his purse.
Even if Hinata was slightly apologetic about that, she looked up at the poster and acted spoilt according to his good will.
「That is so, I love action movies but…」
Even after looking around, she hadn’t found anything interesting.
All of them were made 2-3 years ago, moreover, all of them were low-budget films.
But, since this is the rural area in Gunma, there might be no such interesting ones.
To put it simply, most countries haven’t produced a new movie.
It was deemed unscrupulous from a monetary point of view and in public opinion; it was because people’s minds had no leeway for them.
Due to the attacks by the mysterious enemy called CE, maybe the reality had started to become more movie-like in their minds.
「Shall we rather see the revival screening~？」
Kokoa pointed at the big poster of the movie that was made before the invasion of CE.
「This, they’ve aired it in TV」
「I have seen it via video streaming with my father」
「CHE~, Another one the~n~ 」
Moreover, even when the CE attacked, they continued to telecast it non-stop, so it was always: Should I watch the movie of the fighting girl or the bike rider that telecasts on Sunday mornings? [TL*: I’ve no idea what kind of movie is this]
When all of them were worrying along those lines, Kanna suddenly raised her voice,「S-Should we go with this……！ 」
The one she pointed with an excited expression painted on her face was a poster with blood-red letters on a pitch black background. It was definitely frightening at glance.
「Does Kanna love to watch horror movies？」
「N-No, it is just that this movie is starring Aikawa-kun, a really good looking idol……」
「What, you still have some interest in a REAL male…」
Hinata was feeling rather relieved about her friend as she was unexpectedly a fangirl.
But, the one called “fujoshi*” is not such a simple creature. [TL* : fujoshi = rotten girl/girl who love BL]
「A-Aikawa-kun, is on good terms with Inou-kun of the same group, even during live, t-their shoulders entangle together, e-even k-k-kissing, kuhehehe………..！」
「For you to even go as far as the REAL one, Kanna-chan is already at the stage of a chronic patient ri~ght~」
It was already too late since she was already beyond rotten―― and so everyone, except Souji, had drawn away from her inside their hearts.
The only one whose life wasn’t tainted by the internet due to having lived his life in the rural area, only the spear user, who had no knowledge about BL, was listening attentively to the aspiration of the fujoshi.
「I see, well then, let’s watch this one」
「Wha-Are you really going to see this!?」
Hinata was trying to call and stop Kanna and Souji who were already on the way to buy the ticket.
But, the goth loli tactician went close to her ears and whispering something.
「If it’s a horror movie, you can embrace the person next to you while being frightened ri~ght～？」
「How about the rest of you？」
「N-No, No problem, we should look over Kanna！」
Hinata nodded her head with a flushed expression to Souji who turned to ask them.
「I see, are you fine with this too, Eisuke, Itsuki？」
「It’s my wish！」
「I’m bad with horror but, if everyone is watching it……」
When Eisuke nodded his head with a lewd expression on his face imagining that he’ll embrace a woman, Itsuki also nodded along while he was paying attention to everyone.
Just like that, all of them then went to buy the ticket for the horror movie.
In the hall that was basically empty, the screening starting while being reserved. And then――
A blood stained vengeful ghost suddenly jumped before their eyes. In the theater with a big 3D screen, there was someone who raised a scream while clinging to Souji’s right arm.
「I’ve enough of this, please stop this already……」
The one who was clinging to his right arm while screaming with a cute voice was naturally Hinata―― Nope, it was Itsuki.
「There’s no need to be that scared since this is just an artificial being right」
「A scary thing is still scary you know……！」
Souji gently patted on the quivering Itsuki’s head as if pacifying a child.
Seeing that, Hinata who sat on his left was――
「Next one, I will definitely succeed in the next one, do your best, me……！」
Was predicting the right time to embrace him since she was failing altogether due to her body freezing due to embarrassment.
「Uwa~, a real life good-for-nothing~. The previous one is even head-butt along with handshake and yet, what a degeneration ha~」
「A-Aikawa-kun is okay too, but the one here is, fufufuf………！」
Kokoa was astounded by her pitiful bosom friend while popping the popcorn into her mouth with a carefree attitude, and Kanna, who was looking at Souji and Itsuki and the screen, hurriedly wiped away her nosebleed.
And then, Eisuke who sat on Itsuki side was――
「It’s hopeless, I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE！ Please take my hand too, brother！」
Without even have any room for embracing Itsuki as he himself is truly scared by the movie, so he was asking for assistance from Souji.
Thus, the two-hour-long movie ended, and all of them left the hall.
「I was so scared, *hiccup*…」
「It’s no good, I won’t be able to go to the toilet alone anymore…」
The pair of Eisuke and Itsuki was truly scared by the horror movie.
「It was my first time coming to the movie theater but, it’s really impressive」
「You should stop from using your thrusting technique to the 3D ghost you kno~w～」[TL :Okay, now you might have guessed it, THE BOYS, ALL OF THEM ARE SCARED]
「T-The frightened face of A-Aikawa-kun was too MOE…」
The trio of Souji, Kokoa, and Kanna had enjoyed the movie in their own way.
「I’ve had enough already, I’m a good-for-nothing loser after all……..」
Hinata was the only one who was stricken in defeat and carried a heavy shadow on her shoulders.
「We should go for lunch now」
Souji changed the topic without knowing how to communicate with the in-slump-Hinata.
「In that case, I, I have a cafe that I want to go but, is it really okay with you？」
「Yeah, I’ve said it before right」
With an expression of recalling his words, Souji nodded to Itsuki when he asked with a timid voice.
He had certainly said such things during their first combat.
「Come to think of it, what happened to the matter of yakiniku？」
「I won’t forget about it, you know～」
「K-Kyoko-sensei seemed to want to forget about it, but…」
They’re walking to the cafe in front of the station which is their goal while talking about such thing. But―― 「Eh, is it closed？」
Despite still being noon, the entrance of the store was shut tight with the shutter.
There was a piece of paper on the shutter, and it was written as if it was not permanent.
『Notice of Closure』.
Two days ago, it was suddenly decided to close the shop, and it also contained apology and thanks for the support provided up to then.
「Why so suddenly……」
While saying so, not just Itsuki, everyone had already guessed the reason.
Due to the emergence of the pillar and the assault of CE, the people were evacuated to avoid a crisis of life.
When you looked closely, you could see that several other stores have also closed their shutters.
「I see, after all, it’s normal for them to run away…」
They had appeared only from Karuizawa until now and were kept under control by ACE troops and SDF, but now, even a safe place such as Maebashi city had already turned into a danger zone as they had no idea when the city would be engulfed in the flames of battle again.
Because of problems of money and work the people that were left possessed, they could not abandon and leave this place.
If there was something that everyone wanted to do, it was to escape to a place far away from the pillar.
「We’re in the middle of war, right…」
Though they did not forget that fact, but faced with the reality of the war which was insufficiently recognized, everyone couldn’t help but shut their mouth with dark faces.
The one who dispelled away such a heavy and dark atmosphere was the natural airhead except-in-the-midst-of-battle spear user.
「That ramen restaurant look delicious」
When they discovered a store which didn’t close its shutter, they headed toward it.
「Since I’ll treat you to the cafe another time, is it okay with this store for the time being？」
「Eh, Uhn, I’m okay but」
「Bringing girls to enter a ramen restaurant, Souji-chan is truly thickheaded ri~ght~」
Kokoa followed him from behind even while grumbling about it to the bewildered Hinata outside.
「Well then, I suppose we should look for another shop then」
「E~h, I want to eat buckwheat noodles~」
「T-That’s the same thing as ramen……」
The others were also trying to act as cheerful as they can when they passed under the noren* of the ramen shop. [TL* : sign curtain hung at the shop entrance]
The inside of the shop was empty and there were only two customers, but the stubborn-looking shop owner didn’t seem to care about it and greeted them with a cheerful voice.
「Welcome, please take your favourite seat」
Responding to that invitation, Souji sat on the table seat and made an order without even opening the menu.
「One curry rice」
「WHAT THE HELL！ 」
The backhand chop tsukkomi of Eisuke called―― ‘you should order ramen’, was stopped with ease as usual.
Even the stubborn-looking shop owner unintentionally let out a smile to their manzai*. [TL : Two person comedy act]
「My bad lad, I don’t make curry rice you know」
「Is that so」
「Of course he is, I mean we came to ramen sh――」 [TL : the strange fact is that I can order curry rice in a ramen shop in my country]
「If it’s okay with you, how about kare soba？」
「WHAT THE HELL！」
Ignoring the tsukkomi called――”So you just took out the rice”, the shop owner started to cook.
「What’s with this shop, is it really alright？」
「The flavor is guaranteed for sure」
Even if doubting was an impolite action, an oneesan, who looked like a college student and seemingly the daughter of the shop owner, came and gave them piping hot wet towels.
To that matured smile, Eisuke’s face changed to a serious one immediately.
「Oneesan, please become my mail friend with a premise of marriage with me」
「Sorry, I don’t have a cellphone」
Being refused with such a blatant lie, Eisuke collapsed while spewing blood from the mouth.
Leaving that idiot alone, everyone started to order their food.
「One shio* ramen for me」 [TL* : salt]
「Miso one in half-chan* set, and then a gyoza too~」 [TL* : This is ramen set, salad and such]
「S-Shouyu*……」 [TL* : Soy sauce]
「Then, Shouyu ramen for me too please」
The quickly revived Eisuke also ordered a fried rice in tonkotsu* ramen, they waited for their ordered dishes to be completed. [TL* : pork stock ramen]
During that time, the oneesan from before came to deliver a glass of oolong tea to everyone.
「Here you go, this is on the shop」
「Is it okay？」
Water aside, oloong tea was priced as 300 yen per glass in the menu.
The oneesan let out a sexy smile to the dubious Souji.
「Are you a student of the special force？」
「You realized it？」
「Uhn, your expression is different. Moreover, normal high school students won’t come out for outing at this kind of time you know」
The small pillars had been destroyed, though there was no imminent danger, there was still no idea about when the CE’s next attack would happen.
This meant that the ones who went out in this kind of situation and entered the ramen shop nonchalantly would only be the ACE troops of the special forces.
「Thank you for always protecting our live, this is just a meager gratitude」
Having said that, she courteously placed the cup in front of everyone.
Souji drank his oolong tea while slowly enjoying the taste as he saw her back.
「……Is there something」
「Eh, Souji-kun likes older woman!?」
「Even if it’s your maiden’s instinct, you should choose the time and place, Hinata-cha~n~」
The nice atmosphere was spoiled that even Kokoa rebutted her panicking best friend, she looked as if she was slightly enjoying it.
「There’s also someone who properly telling their gratitude right」
Itsuki and Kanna were nodding with a delighted expression.
「Nevertheles, why am I so unpopula~~~~~~~r―――！
The matter of grieving Eisuke’s thrown to the edge of everyone field of view.
「Hey, here is the kare soba you’re waiting for！」
To the bowl presented by the shop owner, Souji took the chopsticks while showing his gratitude.
The soba, which possessed strong consistency, matched very well with the mild-flavored curry.
It was the most delicious one he had tasted in his life, there wouldn’t be any other reason for the taste rather than due to the skill of the shop owner.