It was a Sunday with clear skies in the middle of October.
It was the day of the most excitement for every year.
The athletic festival. Oriyakata Academy split people from the high school level into red and white teams, having them compete in a variety of events, gathering points from each, and then ending with the overall results. This was a traditional competition that existed in most schools.
「Next up is the three-legged race. Competitors, please assemble before the stage. I repeat. Next up is the three-legged race. Competitors, please assemble before the――」
With the announcement from the member of the broadcasting committee, who already was debuting as a voice actor while in high school, the students all came to gather in the specified location. There they received the explanation from the management member while taking ribbons to tie their feet together.
Taiyou and Kohaku were standing there.
Taiyou was wearing your average half-sleeved long pants gym uniform, while Kohaku was wearing the rouge symbol for the red team on her bloomers.
Though her body type didn’t have much in terms of curvature, it was exhibiting a criminal scent from it.
「Here’s the ribbon. Tie your feet together」
Realizing that the glasses-wearing management member was staring at them, Taiyou tilted his head and questioned her.
「Is everything alright？」
「I’m the one who wants to ask that」
Taiyou smiled wryly, answering.
He wasn’t stupid. He knew exactly what the girl was asking.
The cause was right next to him.
「Come on, Danna-sama. The ribbon」
Taiyou was 175cm, whereas Kohaku was 130cm.
Their heights having a difference of 40cm, it showed clearly with the length of their feet, and in Taiyou’s case it reached almost all the way up to Kohaku’s shoulders.
This really didn’t seem like it would work for the three-legged race.
But Taiyou wasn’t the one who had desired to compete.
When they had the selection, Kohaku went ahead of him and asked for them to be a pair.
「Umm, Kohaku-san? You sure we can do this？」
「It’s fine, don’t worry」
「No, there are quite a few issues. And that one’s old」
「Kukuku, with this I can be close to Danna-sama in broad daylight」
「……Well, I figured it was something like that. That’s the only reason, so you didn’t have to say that. I know」
「Hm？ Ye say something just now, Danna-sama?」
「I know you heard that！」
Taiyou quipped loudly.
In a sense, that might have been even worse than directly responding to him.
「Alright, then let’s at least go slowly. Also, when counting, it’ll be one for the inside and two for the outside. Sound good?」
「Aye, no problem」
「Lord help me over the fence……」
He was so anxious that his quip turned into a Kansai dialect expression.
And just like that, they tied their feet together, got together with the other contestants, and moved to the start line.
「「「Good luck, Taiyou-san！」」」
They went past the three sisters, who yelled encouragement.
They were at the forefront of the masses, so the three of them spoke at once like usual.
Youran was also there to the side.
The mismtached triplets, and the attractive twintailed girl.
Just like Kohaku, they were also in bloomer gym outfits.
This time, Aoba called out.
She was also wearing a track suit, but with short pants and white kneesocks below.
She was the only one in a different class than Taiyou and the others, in the white team, so she wore that uniform.
Her trademark ponytail swaying, she crept closer to Taiyou and whispered in his ears.
Since she was on the opposite team, she couldn’t just yell out her support.
（You didn’t have to do that）
In a sense, she was the most normal amongst all the brides, so she was serious about it.
Taiyou liked that part of her.
As he was contemplating on sneaking into her room tonight…
「Danna-sama, ye’d best focus right now」
「Leave Aoba for later. Right now, I be the apple of ye eyes, lad」
Right in front of him――their promise.
Taiyou nodded, gripping Kohaku’s shoulders and firmly bringing her closer to him.
His promise with them, that he would love the one right in front of him just for that moment.
Taiyou would always do his best to keep that.
Reaching the start line, they began one after the other.
Until it was time for Taiyou’s team to go.
Taiyou and Kohaku went along with the other participants, standing at the goal line.
「Take your places, annnd start!」
Bang! Rang the starting pistol.
Taiyou called out to her and tried to step forward, but Kohaku did not budge.
As everyone around them dashed off with good timing, Kohaku showed no sign of moving. The Taiyou-Kohaku pair could not start.
Their circumference grew noisy, and the broadcasting committee grew excited as if this were the cause.
「Kohaku-san? What’s the matter?」
「We came this far, so now we’d best aim for victory, aye?」
「That’s fine, but it’ll be impossible at this rate. See? Look how far ahead they are」
「It be fine. All we need do is this」
Kohaku said, half-flipping her body around Taiyou’s waist.
Her inner foot still connected, she hung onto Taiyou like a child.
And she left the free foot floating in the air.
As if hopping on one foot.
「Now, run, matey」
Pestered by Kohaku, Taiyou ran.
He ran even with one foot tied.
Since Kohaku was essentially on one foot, he half-dragged her as he ran practically like normal.
Of course, this made him fast.
Their pair rushed ahead of the others, making the goal.
It went without saying that the management committee branded this is a violation of the rules, giving them last place.
Although he had sunk down from the three-legged race due to Kohaku’s poor (but apparently fulfilled) plan, Taiyou did excellent in everything else.
In the pole pulldown, he continued to support the pole while protecting it from the attacks of the other classes.
In tug-of-war he positioned himself at the rear, not allowing the rope to be pulled even one millimeter all the way to victory.
And then at the greatest climax of the morning with the star event, the cavalry battle, he was supposed to be the horse, and yet he just rushed in on his own and stole victory by making everyone fall off their horses, even though all he had to do was take their headbands.
Taiyou made a marvelous show. He stacked up points not just for the red team he was with, but for himself as well.
The dark clouds did not converge upon him until lunch break.
It was when he was sitting on the blue sheet with Aoba and the other brides in a corner of the area, opening the bento.
「Seems like you’re doing pretty well, stupid son」
Three women had arrived.
Atsuko in denim pants, Nazuna in her one-piece outfit and garden hat, and then the ever-restless maid Mio.
Aoba’s three mothers had showed up in front of Taiyou.