The Approximation of the Distance of Two: Chapter 1: The Reception for Joining Clubs is Over Here; Present: 4.1km point; remaining 15.9km10 min read
3. Present: 4.1km point; remaining 15.9km
In the end, on that day, the intention I had come up with was only somewhat the case. I had said that they shouldn’t settle with edible wild plants, but what Chitanda had thought was also partially correct.
The Cooking Club had made a mistake with the preparations of the edible wild plants. They had planned on making pork miso soup made from bracken, but during lunch, somebody said that the member who had sampled the food complained of a stomach ache.
“If that’s the case, since they are trying to cover up the food poisoning outbreak, then the probability of them not going to the infirmary is high.” If I told her that, Chitanda would want to rush off immediately. If the cause of the food poisoning was the edible wild plants, then it wouldn’t be treated lightly.
“There are probably a few aides already there,” is what she said, but their Shinkan Festival table may already have been emptied. As she hesitated, Oohinata said, “Ah, then, I’ll go help out for you.” When she returned, she told us the details.
“Chitanda-senpai, I went to the Cooking Club without any hesitation. The members were trying to act all innocent at first, but a sempai there seemed to have assumed what had happened. The people with upset stomachs were all singled out. An acquaintance of yours was already there at the Cooking Club, so the conversation went unexpectedly quick.”
“That’s because Chitanda has acquaintances everywhere. So, how were they?”
“Not good. They wanted to go home and rest but I think that until things settle down, they can’t even do that. After briefly checking on their condition, the senpai went out again. She brought back a doctor that looked egg-shaped. I guess her family runs a hospital. Senpai seemed like a cool person, but somehow, she seemed kinda annoyed.”
Must have been Irisu-sempai. You said that she seemed annoyed, but most likely, she was just being her usual self.
“After making them purge the inside of their stomachs using brine, she said, “See how it is for a bit. If it seems bad, we’ll take you along.” If they go to the hospital, it gives them a way out of trouble, right?”
“Because when food poisoning occurs, the doctor reports it to a health care center.”
“Since it’s their responsibility, huh. Is it because they have to keep patient confidentiality?
“I don’t know.”
“But thankfully, they’ll get better if they throw up.”
The Cooking Club managed to cover up their mistake. From what Oohinata said, in exchange for Chitanda not being able to go deal with them herself, Oohinata gave the Cooking Club a stern scolding about the improper handling of edible wild plants. While all this was going on, since no one was coming up to the Classics Club’s table, I read the rest of the short stories.
As I finished the book, Oohinata showed us the same grin and said, laughing toothily,
“I’ll join this club. So, what did you say that this club does again?”
Chitanda asked, just as expected, “Are you sure? Even though we still haven’t explained it to you?”
Chitanda and I turned to look at each other as she laughed again.
“Somehow, I can feel a good aura. Looking at the relationships of good people makes me happiest.”
I don’t remember what it was that I said to that.
As the hill’s incline increased, the classmate overtaking me joined me in panting heavily. I hadn’t planned on doing it, but before I realized, I had already started walking. I seem to indulge myself in things that make me think.
My former male classmates from first-year ran by along my side. By now I’ve surely entered 2-C’s group. Class C are catching up. Because she might have also noticed it by now, from long ago, she might possibly have caught up already.
Ibara, looking over my shoulder, is mixed up with the Kamiyama High students running along the endless extending hill-road like diligent ants. I may wind up dying by the roadside like a grasshopper from walking too much. As I turned my head back to look up ahead, the top of the hill was a short distance away. Eventually, it seemed that I had nearly completely walked the ascending slope of this hill. Well, I’m not sure I have anything to say about this, but not being able to gauge my distance from Ibara was a problem.
With the intention of making up the distance to the top of the slight slope, I ran normally. The view revealed itself, and it might have been my imagination, but the refreshing wind blew right through me. During the climb up, I had imagined the down-slope, but I felt there was a difference between that one and the one in reality. It was about 100 meters but it followed a flat road. On the roadside lay a small shrine. I don’t know what’s enshrined there, but for the time being, I said a prayer in my mind. The lengthy concerns from earlier are many. Somehow, I just have to deal with all of those troubling moments.
Both sides of the road are cut open. Judging from the color of the walls, the few houses standing side-by-side are old private houses. The placement of a brand-new vending machine, looking alone, small and quiet, feels strange.
As the road flattened out, I slowly transitioned into a walk. Due most likely to the steep incline from earlier, with the exception of myself, a lot of people were only now beginning to walk. After climbing from the bottom of the hill in a seemingly sprightly manner, a large-built boy dashed to the top and stopped, breathing deeply with his hands on his knees. Although he might have decided to only run all-out on this hill, I wondered if he had any energy left in the tank for the rest of the marathon. The course had only just begun.
Even without any evidence whatsoever, I went ahead and assumed Ibara was still somewhere behind. This short even road was a good place for her to catch up to me. Extracting the story from her while going on the downhill slope up ahead could be a bit dangerous. In order to let her catch up to me here, I sluggishly moved my feet.
When Ibara learned of Oohinata joining the club, I wonder what her reaction was like. Satoshi knew about it. In his usual manner of exaggerated speech, he congratulated me for managing to recruit a single person to the club. “No, it’s just that I can’t imagine Houtarou doing something like inviting a person. This guy is indeed a miracle,” or something along those lines. And as for Oohinata, she was asked many questions about others that had transferred and things that had changed about Kaburaya Middle School.
First impressions aren’t all that important to Ibara. Before I knew it, she’d befriended Oohinata. Much like Ibara, Chitanda also quickly became familiar with her. To other people, she has a sharp image, but that may be because she is surprisingly outgoing. It’s strange that although Oohinata is quite tall, when chatting side-by side with Ibara, it’s still clear that Ibara is the senpai.
It was during one of those interactions when Ibara said,
“Hina-chan, your sun-tan makes you look like an athletic kind of person.”
Oohinata looked a little embarrassed.
“The ski-tan did remain but, I consider it more of a mid-tan.”
“Really? You ski? Around here?”
“I do, but for this year I went to Iwate.”
“Not for snowboarding?”
“Just skiing. Do you snowboard, senpai?
“I can’t do either of them.”
I remembered that the conversation wasn’t that silly.
I remember that the two of them often laughed.
As I walked, I often turned to look backwards.
My insight paid off. Halfway through the even road, from the hill, Ibara made her appearance. With her arms firmly tightened, she stared at her feet. The way she was looking down and with her hanging bangs, I couldn’t see her face. Earnestly ascending the steep slope, I could tell that her breathing was labored. Her pace slowed, but as she hit the flat road, she grandly waved her hand. She jogged in a steady rhythm.
I waved my arm in return. Suddenly, she broke into a run.
As Ibara caught up with me and we matched our paces, we ran side-by-side, keeping a person-sized space between us.
I greeted her, though she only glanced at me. And sure enough, Ibara increased her pace without saying a word. Since I was partly sure she’d do it again, and not wanting to be outdone, I snapped at her.
“Just one word. Ibara, just one. That thing about Oohinata.”
Ibara still wouldn’t look at me. However, taking a breath from her mouth, I heard her say the word, “Talk.”
I decided to ask her.
“Yesterday, I nearly ran into Oohinata coming out of the club room. I heard she quit the Classics Club.”
She made a small nod in reply.
“At that time, Oohinata somehow said something about Chitanda. Satoshi heard it. “A Buddhist-like person,” he told me. Were those really the words she said?”
For the first time, Ibara finally faced me. I saw a painful expression cross her face for just a moment, which left me confused.
Her line of sight instantly went back to her feet. I wonder if she was told to adjust her breathing when not on a slope. She was taking deep breaths.
Just when I thought that she was reluctant about the distance between us, Ibara suddenly came closer. Between the few meters of running side-by-side, she replied without letting me interrupt her words.
I slowed down. At that moment, Ibara was still maintaining her pace. Then, as she approached the bottom of the hill, she disappeared.
The words remained in my ear. This is what Ibara said.
“Wrong. Hina-chan said, ‘Chitanda-senpai saw a deity-like thing’” (tl/n: Basically a kami, or god, in Shinto religion. I couldn’t think of anything else.
So! We finally have another subchapter done, and with that, Chapter 1 for Volume 5 is done! And we are left with a cliffhanger about what made Oohinata leave the club and what Chitanda really said.
Feel free to comment below if something doesn’t make sense or you just want to fangirl or ask about the next chapter, although I’m kind of taking a break from translating as of now so I can tell you about the “The Doll That Took A Detour” from Volume 4. I kind of took a peek at the end. Oh, it was fangirling gold. We’ve got two chapters from Volume 4 being currently edited/translated so we’ll try not to overwhelm our only editor lol
There’s two translators now: me and pneudeno (on Tumblr) and only one editor so if you wanna help or if you think you’ve got time, drop me an ask on Tumblr or comment below mentioning you wanna help with editing and we’ll let you in immediately. We’re not picky with those who help but it’d be much appreciated if your English skills are good.