In this turn of Aoba winning the survey, I’m going to try to make her more Aoba-ish. (Weird Japanese).
Taiyou and Aoba stood on the edge of the pier, as the two stood shoulder to shoulder gazing at the ocean.
As their gaze followed the blue horizon faded into the distance, they also saw Leticia’s cruiser ship. On the deck of the boat, the owner of it was probably standing and watching them, but she was so small there was no way to confirm it with their eyes.
「I wonder if she’s going to be okay…」
Aoba whispered as she squinted at the far away Leticia.
Taiyou said this clearly, with a nod that seemed to confirm something.
「She’s a strong girl. She even seems a lot stronger than me in a way. Anything they do or that happens to them, they’ll be able to make it through, no matter what.」
「Yeah…I guess you’re right…」
「What is it…has something got you worried?」
「Yes, Leticia-san…I’m worried that sometime in the middle of things her batteries will run out again.」
Even at this distance, whether or not Leticia’s batteries ran out could be checked at any time by his image correction, however, though he could check didn’t been that there was a way he could help her.
He continued in order to quell the fears Aoba had for her, which were the same as his.
「Even with all that, she’ll be fine. She even said there are other ways to cure her of it if necessary.」
「She…maybe…she’s in an environment where no they can help her, even if she doesn’t want it.」
「Hm? Yeah, I guess you’re right.」
Aoba gave a response that seemed strange in the light of what had happened already.
Taiyou tilted his head and nodded a bit.
Filly Kingdom. Having many millions of citizens, it was a proper kingdom with many alliances.
Leticia was the third future queen of that kingdom. As Aoba had said, it wasn’t hard to imagine they could find a man “to cure” Leticia, even if she didn’t want him to.
Taiyou’s tilted head was because of what Aoba had said about Leticia.
「I guess she’s not used to making requests.」
「Yeah, not at all. She’s only used to making commands.」
Aoba turned and looked straight at Taiyou.
She didn’t try to look cute as she looked up at him, but simply gazed at his eyes.
It was such a strong gaze, Taiyou almost took a step back.
「What is it?」
Aoba turned her head.
「We still have a ways to go, it’ll be fine.」
「What? What are you saying?」
「Nothing, let’s go Natsuno-kun.」
She cleared her mind, turned, and began walking.
Taiyou stumbled to follow her, and now walking beside, asked what he was thinking about.
「Hey, Aoba. Are you really happy, that you came along?」
「But, what happened was really dangerous, right? At the least, I was responsible for all this fighting. After getting here it was just me going crazy…I mean, figuratively.」
He remembered Youran and Leticia, and their huge roles in it all, but now they were all physically safe.
He wondered what would have happened if Aoba had stayed behind.
「It’s fine. Because I hadn’t seen you do anything cool until we got here.」
「Yeah, I guess you’re right.」
Taiyou stayed silent, but it was just as she had said, and he was about to sigh at all the lame things he had done before they got here.
「So, you want to see me do something cool?」
He felt sorry for what had happened, but Aoba didn’t seemed bothered by it all, rather, the opposite.
She seemed to plead with him through her upturned eyes.
She turned her neck a bit, and her ponytail shook from left to right.
(So cute it’s breaking the rules.)
He had to hear whatever she was pleading with such an overwhelmingly cute look like that.
However, she wouldn’t leave him alone with just that.
「Well, I wanted to be with you, Natsuno-kun. Just, alone, we two together.」
She said this with a blush and turned-away eyes.
「Are…you being honest?」
He answered with a crack in his voice.
A second attack, no, rather she was kicking him when he was down with that cuteness.
After he asked her, she amped up the cuteness to the maximum.
Taiyou was getting really turned on.
Aoba lifted her face to him, and now started acting foolishly.
「When I thought that, I heard God tell me ‘Now you’ve got to sweep Leticia out of the picture!’」
「What does that mean, ‘God told you’?」
Taiyou smiled with a grimace.
「I don’t know…he wanted more violence?」
「What the hell does that mean?!」
They both left the pier to go into the city.
Maybe because it was summer vacation, the streets were filled with people.
There were the locals, but there were also many foreigners from Western countries with stern faces that were clearly not locals.
「I wonder if this is a tourist spot?」
Looking out onto the hustle and bustle, Taiyou twisted his neck in wonder.
「What is it?」
He followed Aoba’s gaze and saw countless covered rickshaws parked there.
As something that is at many tourist areas, it was vehicle that was pretty much useless except as a fun diversion.
All of these two-person rickshaws were lined up, as couples boarded one by one, with the runner finally spiriting them off on a tour.
「That looks like fun.」
「You want to ride?」
「No, I’m fine.」
Aoba slowly shook her head. However, she did look a little envious at the other couples riding away, so Taiyou definitely wanted to fulfill whatever wish she might have.
He searched for a reason in his mind, and then told her.
「It’s fine, it’s just a ride. We have time to go wherever you want, and…」
She shook her head again, and then once again looked up at him with those eyes.
「I want to ride you, Natsuno-kun.」
She put her hands together in a cute and earnest plea.
She looked so cute, so cute, but, after hearing what she actually asked, Taiyou thought he may have misunderstood her.
「Ride me？ Oh, you mean you want me to push the rickshaw?」
「Yeah! …won’t you?」
「No, I can’t…I mean it’s impossible.」
Use your common sense, is what he wanted to day, but Aoba had already run off to a rickshaw runner, and was now talking with him.
The young runner was first surprised, but because she asked him so fervently, he seemed interested in the proposal and finally nodded.
She walked back in her small, usual gait.
「He said we could borrow it as long as we paid for two to ride.」
「Are you kidding?」
Taiyou grimaced, but then thought it might not be such a bad thing after all.
He calmed a bit, and then told Aoba,
「If you would like…then please ride, my princess.」
If he’s going to do this, he might as well play the part, he thought.
He tried his best to imagine what role a runner might act like, and like a servant lifted her hand and then her into the rickshaw.
Once she was one, he took the place of a runner.
「This thing is heavy!」
「Then show me what a man you are.」
Finally, the real runner shouted 「Do your best!」 at him, and gave him a thumbs up.
He put his hands on the bar of the rickshaw. All of the tourists around him seemed to focus on him.
「Rickshaw Number One, departs!」
At that sign, he began to push the rickshaw along in a run.
He could hear the runner yell, 「Yeah!」at him. He must have thought it impressive for a guy that looked like a high schooler like Taiyou to easily push the rickshaw.
Everyone around him shouted as well. The tourists around him took pictures on their smartphones of him, and some applauded him as well.
Some of the foreigners shouted Bravo! While others whistled at him.
He had become a spectacle, and for some reason, he felt happy about it.
For some reason, he felt he should show off for them too.
The large wheels, and Aoba sitting up high.
He wanted to show this important girl of his to everyone around him.
He ran his rickshaw along the road faster than even the pro rickshaw runners did, as Aoba’s ponytail flapped in the wind.
They watched him as he ran along, while Taiyou pushed the rickshaw quickly with only one finger as a performance for the crowds.
He passed groups of other rickshaws, completing the route in a very short time, and returning to the place he began.
The middle-aged rickshaw runner that had loaned his to him said, 「That was flippin’ fast!」in a surprised voice.
A tourist’s rickshaw. A high schooler that should have been a sightseer was pulling one along, so everyone was focused on him.
As they all gazed upon the rickshaw, Aoba extended a hand to disembark.
She said her thanks as she descended to the street and kissed Taiyou’s cheek.
There was a larger cheer for him than when he had started.
It was a cheer for Taiyou, who had run her around town without shedding even one drop of sweat.
「Was it fun?」
「Yeah! It was bit embarrassing for everyone to look at me, but because you were pulling me, it made me feel quite proud. You really are amazing, Taiyou.」
「I was impressed too. I was thinking「Everyone worship at my cute Aoba!」I guess.」
「What do you mean, worship?!」
「Like, give praise.」
They joked on about it as they left the rickshaw.
Just to digress, someone after attempted to get a rickshaw and drive a girl around just like Taiyou had, but he became so tired at the weight he had to quit halfway through, although Taiyou didn’t know that this had happened.