Episode 53: Yuri Law
“Too bad Saki and Rantan couldn’t come with us—”
“Saki and Ranko already had plans for their day off apparently. We can all go shopping together tomorrow instead.”
“Uhehehe. Only couples are supposed to meet up on Saturdays and Sundays.”
“Carnage soon to come……”
“No way—! Us three!? We could make it work!”
Honoka looked between me and Yuzuriha as she said that. She had forced her way in between us, grabbed our hands, and swung them back and forth as we walked. At least she’s having fun.
It is currently Saturday, just before noon. It was my first opportunity to have fun with everyone, but sadly only Yuzuriha and Honoka could make it today. Although we do have more specific plans set for tomorrow……
Still, I really wanted all five of us to be able to come out today. Since Saki and Ranko couldn’t however, I decided to just have fun with the three of us instead.
“I never expected us to see each other hot off the heels of yesterday….. Well let’s get started…….was there someplace you wanted to go Yuzu?”
I was trying to plan out our schedule for today in my head. I looked over Honoka’s head and asked Yuzuriha about it, and she gave a quick and quiet nod.
“I was surprised Yuzurin was the first person to say she wanted to go somewhere—”
“Well, we all have times like that.”
A couple days ago, the three of us were talking with each other when Yuzuriha suddenly piped up, “I have something I want to buy……” Honestly, I was surprised too. But, there’s still a lot about Yuzurin we don’t know about. I should be careful not to make any assumptions.
“So where should we head for now?”
“Then……um, to Main Street……”
Looking up the name of the store on her phone, Yuzuriha led us on a thirty minute walk while following her map app. We chose to walk because instinctively, we knew riding the bus would just get us more confused. None of us are used to public transportation like that. Yes, I know it’s not what you would expect from a commoner like me, but……look, I just like saving money okay? I’m not stingy, I just think walking is a good form of exercise!
“Riding the bus is hard though don’t you think—? Because if you don’t have enough change, you will need to break down a bill which means you’ll have to break down those bills, and then break down those bills again to have your fare. That’s a lot of trouble if the bus driver is busy—”
“Isn’t that a little too much breaking down?”
It’s like we’re paying in pennies in Honoka’s mind. I know it depends on the place, but at worst you should only need some single bills or maybe quarters.
But, I don’t like the bus because I’m not very good at it either. No, not like Honoka. I have a pass with money loaded on it. But whenever you use a card like that, don’t you get scared and wonder if there’s enough money for the fare? I’m good at math, but I can’t guarantee that I haven’t made a mistake over how much money I’ve already used.
While desperately trying to remember what money I had on my e-card at this very moment for some pointless reason, Yuzuriha came to a stop.
The shop we stopped at had plenty of people coming and going. Colorful posters hanging in the windows made it stand out compared to the other stores in the street.
It was the kind of place that warranted a confirmation. Beautiful girls here, beautiful girls there, beautiful girls everywhere! It was a shop for otaku filled with pictures of colorful and beautiful 2-dimensional girls that feel like they were made just for me.
I’m an otaku who watches a lot of anime, but I’ve only heard rumors of stores such as these…….well, otaku culture can be overwhelming. Moreover, isn’t it geared more for men? That’s the kind of thinking only those too afraid to dip anything more than their toes in the pool carry. This is my first time seeing such beautiful girl products other than in the windows of large bookstores.
With my mind racing, I absentmindedly made my way over to the beautiful girl signboard that was welcoming all the incoming customers at the entrance.
“Hoh— So Yuzurin is into this kind of thing—”
“Yes….. But, don’t be so quick……to call me an ordinary otaku.”
Yuzuriha struck a mysterious pose while hiding one of her eyes. A chuuni Yuzurin is also cute. Side note, nobody’s called you an ‘ordinary otaku’ yet?
There was a wall of pink flesh inside the building with a weirdly serious air hanging over the other customers’ heads. Yuzuriha nimbly slid through the colorful space while Honoka and I did our best to not accidentally ram into somebody else.
The three of us lined up together in a narrow hallway in front of where Yuzuriha came to a stop. The plate on top of the shelf read……
“Sweet Maiden’s Flower Garden……Y-Yuri corner?”
“Hoh! The kind with only girls—!?”
The bill placed on top of the bookshelf had a colorful illustration of two girls hugging each other close and staring into each other’s eyes……No, obviously I like yuri? But I get all my stuff through mail order and e-books, so I’ve never visited a store like this……this arrangement, is this what art is?
“So Yuzu likes yuri then.”
Yuzuriha raised her hand at my words and clapped her feet together as if she were performing an oath.
“Yes…….! I…..am……an otaku! And I……especially love watching two girls flirt with each other…….! *Huff*. I am……a yuri otaku!”
“I am also……writing my own yuri novel!”
“All thanks to the Yuriha……Saki……and Ranko……delusions I have!”
Revelations are getting shot out one after another. Those last two……wow…… I’m having trouble reacting, and it has killed my vocabulary.
“You’re writing a novel.”
“Mm……I thought I might get caught eventually……so I wanted to say it myself……”
“Heh—! That’s amazing—!”
“A-And I’m a part of your yuri delusions.”
“Mm. You are well-suited………”
Why are you acting so proud of that? Not that I mind though.
“A real and delusional Yuri were surprisingly close to us—”
“I never thought I would be the subject of someone’s delusions either……. Not that I mind it.”
“Don’t worry. The Yuriha in my mind…….doesn’t go through an extremely terrible time.”
“I wasn’t worried until now!?”
An unexpected ambush. No, if I was somehow able to help this child, shouldn’t I be happy?
“Hey hey Yuzurin. It’s okay if it isn’t finished yet; I want to read your novel—. And see the var-i-ous sides of Yuu—”
“There is…..nothing dubious in it.”
“Don’t sound so disappointed……”
Hold on. What were you expecting? And why do you look so dissatisfied?
Yuzuriha continued on.
“I’m still a beginner and not very good…….”
“……is that so?”
Out of everything else here, I think that is the last thing I would have been embarrassed about.
First and foremost, I need to be open with her hobby. I have to be willing to accept her creations.
“Well, if that’s how you feel. They say writing skills grow quicker if you get other people’s opinions, but I won’t insist if you don’t want to.”
“Seriously!? Then I’ll write down my delusions too!”
“I’m scared to imagine what you would imagine, so I’ll pass.”
Honoka gave me a vexed growl. But as you can imagine, I had to turn her down for all kinds of reasons……
“Someday though? Show us what you’ve written when you feel more confident about it.”
“Yep yep yep— I’m really looking forward to it~”
“Thank you…….I will do my best”
Yuzuriha’s motivation kicked up a couple levels with our encouragement. A clumsy, nerdy, innocent girl. Someone like that worked up the courage to tell us her dream. I’m sure she is still a long ways off from finishing her novel, but I am looking forward to it.
“Although, was it okay for you to confess something that serious this easily? If it is supposed to be a secret, aren’t you worried about it getting leaked out?”
It’s good not to have any secrets between friends, but…… Just to be sure, I wanted to double check what was going through her mind before moving forward.
“If it’s you two…..I think it will be okay…..”
So we’re a higher priority than Ranko and Saki? From a certain point of view, it could be a sign that my yuri harem building is going even better than I thought. I wonder what that difference means though.
“Since Honoka is my roommate……I need to tell her eventually……”
“Right—. You can’t hide your yuri novel writing hobby~, and I could tell everyone when I found out—!”
Neither of these girls seem like they would be good at keeping secrets, so I can already imagine how that would have turned out.
Yuzurin hesitated to say more. Oh? Perhaps it really is because she likes me most of all?
“Yuriha…….likes yuri anime too…….”
“H-How do you know?”
Did I screw up over the last couple of days and let my yuri leak? If I did, then other people might already know too…….this could mean trouble.
“I saw your notebook before…..you had doodles of different characters inside.”
“Huh? Aah, back then……”
I suppose there were a couple sketches of characters there too when everyone was looking at my cat doodles……I figured nobody would recognize them and just assume they were pictures of jellyfish or something. It’s my own fault I got caught.
Anyway, we share hobbies, so this means we can get even closer with each other now right? So my blunder is actually a good thing? Everything is coming up Yuriha.
While I was busy talking to myself, it looks like the talk over Yuzuriha’s personal yuri came to an end…..with that being said, we’re still surrounded by yuri manga. With all this yuri manga around us, it’s only natural Yuzuriha would want to take a peak……and Honoka was right there at her side, reading along with her.
“Woah—! There are so~ many pretty girls”
Honoka was getting excited. However, that did raise one question with me.
“On that note, are you okay with otakus Honoka? Most people would be a bit more put off about it.”
“Huh? It’s moe right? I watch anime too sometimes, and it’s cool as long as the girls are cute.”
A very Honoka-like answer. More importantly, she doesn’t seem to have any bigotry against homosexuality, and the hurdle towards her immersing herself in yuri culture might be surprisingly small. Although, this girl’s behavior has screamed lesbian since almost the beginning.
“Puhwa~ That was fun—”
“You sound like an old man whose just finished a night of drinking.”
Honoka set down the book she was reading and stretched out her arms. I followed her lead and put down the book I was peeking through as well.
Yuzurin was still trying to decide what she should buy……was the bookshelf always this light on material? She’s already picked out a good amount and still looking for more. We waited for her to finish up, but Honoka quickly became restless and started looking around.
“Oh? There’s another corner in the back”
Just as Honoka was about to run over, whatever trance Yuzuriha was in broke as she grabbed Honoka’s arm.
“Stop……don’t go over there……”
“Aww~ But it’s so colorful—”
I took a look at where she was headed, and…….
All those colors, it looks a lot like skin tones…….?
“Oh, yeah there’s no way.”
When I grabbed Honoka’s arm too, she started looking at us dissatisfied.
“It’s just the section with adults screwing each other right? You don’t need to worry about me so much!”
“Don’t say that out loud”
I hit my hand against my forehead and sighed. Is there nothing that embarrasses this girl? Sometimes I get genuinely worried…..
And I guess that worry showed up in my expression.
“Is my lack of delivery causing a problem? Soz~!”
“Don’t you mean lack of delicacy? What would you be delivering……”
“No thanks, I don’t need that”
“Besides, that’s outside of the yuri section…..”
“Ah, I’ll pass then— I don’t care much for ordinary porn—”
“So that’s where you draw the line……”
It looks like Honoka isn’t interested in any adult content unless it’s yuri, so I can take some sort of relief……should that really be a source of relief for me though……?
So we made our way to the checkout line. But, when all was said and done, I had to question Yuzuriha’s sense of reason.
“Y-Yuzu……are you sure buying this much is……?”
“I haven’t had a chance to buy these until now……and I’ve been waiting for this kind of opportunity….. I wanted all of them……”
Just how many did she buy? After all the time she spent looking around, there had to be almost twenty books in her basket. And a lot of them were omnibuses which only increased the baggage. She had to use both hands to carry her basket across the store, and I thought she was going to fall over when she had to lift it up onto the counter.
I was too shocked to realize I should have probably helped her carry them. Thankfully she was able to somehow manage on her own, but……
It took the clerk a while to scan through each and every single book Yuzuriha had bought, and after paying with a card, Yuzuriha got back several large paper bags filled to the brim with her books. We got halfway to the exit when…….
“Sorry……I forgot to tell you……I wanted help carrying things….”
“Are you okay Yuu? Do you want me to take half?”
“I’m fine with just this much. I can’t have a couple of petit girls carry something this heavy”
“Woah, you go Yuu—”
“Hehehe. Feel free to praise me even more.”
I do my best to force a smile for them. Because honestly, I just might die if I have to carry all these books for the rest of the day.
We moved to the edge of the street in front of the store so as to not get in anyone else’s way. It’s already past noon, but the chill of the April wind is still a little much. If we’re not careful, one of us could end up with a cold. Well, carrying all these books is keeping me warm enough.
“E-books are easy to carry and manage…..but I like taking care of my books and being able to hold them……”
“I know what you mean. That feeling of turning the page is part of the experience, and it has a different sensation to it than reading off a computer screen. Although each person should choose whatever they find easiest to deal with. I personally use both.”
“Mm. I like building a collection……”
But buying this many books at once…… I guess this is what it means to have a collector’s soul. I wouldn’t doubt it if she said she was going to build a library out of yuri manga.
Honoka’s been nodding her head while listening to me and Yuzuriha talk, going Hoo Hoo as if to show she understood exactly what we meant…….she sounds like she’s pretending to be an owl, and it’s kind of cute.
“So that’s why you brought in that humongous bookshelf—? I thought, ‘Man, you could fit over a hundred books on that thing,’ but actually looking at it, would you be able to fit something like five hundred—?”
I looked over, and Yuzuriha gave the both of us a thumbs up while awkwardly laughing to herself. I’m guessing there are going to be other days like today further down the line. She really is trying to build up a library……
“Well if you ever need help like today, feel free to give me a call. So, where are we off to next?”
Yuzuriha grabbed my sleeve and stopped me from walking any further. She then pointed towards a store we were just about to walk past. The word ‘book’ was printed on the signboard in big letters.
“There’s something I’m looking for…….so I thought I would look in this second-hand bookstore……”
Oh god……the muscle pain……!