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Vol 10 Idle talk 1
[11-0] Third offline camp, the appointed day part 1
TL I made a mistake on the name of Clothes group member A. I “translated” it as Endou Fumio, but I think Endou Fumiya makes more sense.
“Good. …I was surprisingly able to sleep”
April 12th, 7:00 am.
Stopping the alarm resounding in the room, one man woke up.
“Aah, so it’s finally today… Haha, what are you so nervous about, me”
The man muttered to himself with a loud voice immediately after waking up.
But he could not help it.
He withdrew himself from society after leaving high school, and then reached a point where he took the chance to go out and started working part-time.
He had no such memories of him seeing a woman one-on-one before he shut himself in.
No, well, he seems to have met her mom face to face though.
He prepared his outfit and changed his clothes.
The full set he had purchased in the first offline camp two years ago.
He selected, no, had someone select safe clothes that didn’t follow any trends and due to that, he would not look strange even after two years. Though it was somewhat battered after long use.
He carried a rucksack.
He put on a three year old off-brand sneakers.
Unfortunately, only his bag and shoes instantly gave an unrefined impression.
However, that too is until today.
Yes, it was expected to be until today.
Endou Fumiya, age 25.
A man who, inspired by the first offline camp, evolved from a NEET to a freeter.
User name, Clothes group member A.
It was the day of the first date of his life as far as his memories served.
It was twenty minutes from the man’s house to the nearest station by bike. And it was a little less than an hour from the nearest station to JR Utsunomiya station.
The man had already arrived in JR Utsunomiya station and was standing in front of the mysterious statue of Venus wrapped in gyoza wrap.
The appointment is 10 am.
Currently it is 9:12 am. He was early.
In the first place, 7 am was too early for him wake up. He seems to be restless and was unable to control his behavior.
“As I expected, I’m so early. Haha, am I an elementary student on the day of excursion or something? Yeah, not good, I’m getting nervous…”
Perhaps unable to calm down, the man’s body gradually shook.
Yes. One could clearly see that he was nervous.
Even for the people sitting on the benches of the pedestrian deck, looking like they were casually waiting for someone.
□ □ ■ ■ □ ■ ■ □ □
“This is MEAT. I have identified our target, over”
“This is Charlie. Roger. Echo and ETNE are standing by in the car. MEAT, continue maintaining visual distance, over.
“This is MEAT, roger. Our target is apparently in a nervous state, over”
“Sa- say, why this way of speaking? Not to mention we’re using voice call with earphones and not radio communication, you know?”
“Echo, this is the cliche when speaking of tracking someone! And besides, the rules on using radio communication is annoying”
“Re- really… Then, why are we using the C from Cool-san and E from Emi as codenames despite keeping ETNE and MEAT as is?”
“Just because. We don’t really have a reason for that”
“Re- really… Cool-san, wait, Charlie-san, so you got that much into the mood, huh. Leaving that aside, he really did come early like everyone said. Too early!”
“Don’t underestimate us, Echo! We clearly can quite clearly understand the state of mind of a former NEET facing his first date in his life!”
“ETNE-san… Wait, that’s not something to be proud about, don’t you think…”
“This is MEAT! The woman is approaching the target! I repeat, the woman is approaching the target!”
□ □ ■ ■ □ ■ ■ □ □
The man took out his smartphone and looked at it many times over.
What time is it now? Did my mail not reach her? Shall I open the bulletin board? Did time always pass this slow?
He was in a restless and unsettled state.
But even so, time passed.
Time only stops during 18+ games and AV.
A woman approached the man.
A black and white border patterned long sleeves. A grey down vest. A beige skirt and black stockings.
A warm-like garments for spring, but it got colder today.
One could say she was a stylish woman.
In northern Kanto that is.
“Long time no see! I thought I arrived here early, but… could it be that I’ve made you wait?”
“N- no, I just got here…”
“Oh okay, then I’m glad! Aah, you’re wearing the clothes from that time for me, aren’t you?”
“Ye-yes, I really don’t know clothes well, so…”
“Yup, but your hair is kept pretty, so I don’t think it’s strange, you know?”
“Thank you very much. My hair is… the nearby beauty parlor is good, so I made sure to go there once every two weeks…”
“Ah, could it be the one Emi mentioned? Uh-huh, that’s a good thing. You were brought to the beauty parlor after you bought clothes at my store two years ago right? I’ve seen you frequently in front of the store”
“Eh, ah, did you really?”
“Yup. I was surprised when you changed clothes, but I was very surprised at that time. I thought you became refreshing”
“Haha, thank you very much. Even though that was two years ago… ”
“It was impressive after all. You were, and the other one too. And another one bought a lot of children’s clothes…”
“Please forget that one”
“Eh, ah, okay. … Now, today it’s going to be bags and shoes in addition to clothes isn’t it? Will you be alright with the time?”
“Ah, yes, that’s right. Yes, I’m camping during the night at a place called Utsunomiya forest park, but I’m planning on joining them in the evening…”
“That’s plenty of time! Okay then, this young lady’s getting pumped up~”
I was able to talk more naturally than I thought.
It was a surprise even for the man.
Even if he stuttered from nervousness, even in a small voice, even if he unintentionally got excited because of the loli bastard, the woman continued to talk to him with a smile.
Gradually, the man relaxed his tension.
Which was not surprising.
The woman worked in the clothing business world for more than ten years. Her communicative ability is high.
Incidentally, the woman was 32 years old. She was a self-proclaimed young lady. She was not an old lady. Inside her that is.
□ □ ■ ■ □ ■ ■ □ □
“This is MEAT, the target made contact with the woman. They appear to be having a friendly pleasant talk, over”
“This is Charlie, roger. Maintain a distance where they won’t suspect you and find out their place of destination, over”
“See, there’s no reason to be worried about after all, is there? That girl’s a good girl after all”
“Echo, don’t attach “girl” on a thirty year ol… no, never mind, I’m sorry”
“Calm down ETNE, Echo”
“Ouch… But still, she didn’t bring her child with her, I guess. What do you think, Emi-sa-, Echo?”
“Isn’t that obvious? Today’s a weekday you know? Normally, nine year olds go to elementary school”
“Eh, wait, what are you being silent for? None of you had any problems with elementary schools at least right? Hey, are you listening?”
“MEAT, this is Charlie. How is it? Did you know their place of destination? Over”
“This is MEAT. I wasn’t able to catch it accurately. I heard the word Premium and Out… something”
“!! That girl, she’s serious isn’t she! Not good, MEAT, come back to the car!”
“Do you know what that is, Echo?”
“Yes, I’m sure of it! It’s a little less than an hour from here by car. Their destination is… Sano Premium Outlet!”
□ □ ■ ■ □ ■ ■ □ □
“This is… an outlet?”
“Yes it is. They sell goods that are slightly dirty or frayed and clothes that has fallen out of season relatively cheaply. Well, these days there are brands that have dedicated cheap lines though…”
“Is that, is that so… it somehow seems like the hurdle’s high…”
“It’s fine, you know, because I’m guiding you. Fumiya-kun, how much is your budget?”
“Thank you very much, Kanako-san. Eh, aah, I have some money I can use after doing my part-time work, so I have a decent amount”
“Decent” was the man’s smoke and mirrors.
We don’t know what will happen, so have some money on hand. It’ll be alright, we know her background through Sakura’s friend-san, so at least there’s no badger game.
By such advice from the bulletin board, where you don’t know whether they wanted to give him a peace of mind or make him anxious, the man had a hundred fifty thousand yen (=1370,46 dollars as of 29 dec 2019) in cash in his bag. Too much.
It seems that the part-time warrior who is living in his parent’s home had saved a decent amount of money.
The man who once again finished his introduction headed to the outlet mall by car, driven by the woman.
Incidentally, the woman’s car was a trendy kei car.
She had not placed white fluffy fur on the seat.
The man felt relief, seeing no stickers of female singers or male performer groups.
The name of the japanese music artist involved in BGMs was by no means ironic towards the man. (TL Not 100% sure what this was about)
The man was a freeter, but he was no sleazebag. Of course, the woman was not a young lady either.
“Oh, so you’ve started a part-time job, Fumiya-kun! That’s amazing, isn’t it!”
The woman showed a friendly smile while driving.
Just before he was brought to the clothing shop in the first offline camp, she had heard the circumstances from Emi.
She understood the circumstances of the twenty five year old man and was happy for him to have started a part-time job. She was a woman of balanced character.
“No, I’m just working part-time at a relative’s convenience store, you know”
“No, but still, you see. I think it’s amazing. I mean, getting back to your feet means you’ve got courage”
“Kanako-san… But, you’re stylish, a good person and, uhm, pre- pretty, so, err, a failure like-”
“Fumiya-kun. You know, I’m a divorcee. A single mother of a nine year old, you know”
“Ah, let’s see. Well, we’re shopping today, so how about we take our time talking the next time! But let me hear more about you then, Fumiya-kun”
While such conversation was exchanged, the car advanced.
The man in question did not realize it, but they arrived at the outlet mall without him checking the time even once.
Not to mention the woman casually hinting at a next time.
This woman had fearsome communication ability.
□ □ ■ ■ □ ■ ■ □ □
“Echo, now that we’ve come to Sano, how about having lunch at the recommended ramen restaurant?”
“I guess it comes to that. You see ETNE? The Utsunomiya gyoza store is recommended by the locals. No wait, it may be because they are locals though. You see, I don’t know any recommended Sano ramen stores”
“Eh? Echo, so what do you mean by that in other words?”
“MEAT, what is that tone for? Just guess it for a bit. Well, I’m sure it’s just me who doesn’t know”
“So, would a meal inside the mall be better, Echo?”
“I guess. The parking lot is spacious unlike in front of Utsunomiya station, so let’s leave the car there. They have stores where you can eat, but also a food court and a coffeehouse, so we alternate in lookout and meal. How about you all buy some clothes while you’re at it? There’s plenty of shops for men’s wear, you know?”
“Eh, hey. What are you being silent for. You can at least choose your own clothes can’t you? Lo- look, they sell bags and shoes too, and there’s even cheap designer brand stores, you know?”
“Echo, let the two out before we enter the parking lot. We may lose sight of them while we’re parking the car”
“Eh, Cool-san? Aah, Charlie, aren’t you dodging the question with all you have? No, well, it’s fine though…”
□ □ ■ ■ □ ■ ■ □ □
April 12th, day of the offline camp.
From morning to noon, five groups began to move.
The first group was the sightseeing group that was going around the gyoza and the self-proclaimed ‘Akiba of northern Kanto’, led by Infra worker.
The second group was the clothes group that was heading to the store where Emi’s friend was waiting.
The third group was the shopping group that was heading to the extra-large DIY store.
The fourth group was today’s main group. The camping group that was moving towards preparation of the forest park campsite.
And the final fifth group.
It was the Snake group consisting of Sakura’s friend Emi, Cool NEET, Anonymous ETNE and Anonymous MEAT.
The Snake group tracked Clothes group member A, who went off on his own.
It was not out of curiosity.
It was not a peep show either.
They were only anxious.
They were only supporting Clothes group member A.
It was a group for following up on him if something were to happen.
Otherwise, Cool NEET, who was supposed to be the busiest in this offline camp, would have no reason to be here.
This was their cheering of sorts.
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