On Sunday, the Natsuno household was gathered in full force in the parking lot of the condominium. Taiyou, as well as his five brides, were all in plain clothes, staring at the vehicle that had been brought to the spot. It was about as big as a minivan, but oddly streamlined to the point where it felt like it came from the near future.
“And what’s this?”
“You call this a bicycle?”
Taiyou replied to Youran, eyes wide open. Sure, the vehicle in front of them was uniquely made and didn’t seem like a normal one, but there was still a frame, and even the space inside of the airtight vehicle was reminiscent of a regular one. It still didn’t look like a bicycle, but upon further examination of the driver’s seat…
“…Look, there are pedals.”
“Yeah, the driver handles that.”
“All by themselves?”
“Yeah. It’s a trial product I had made for you.”
“…et tu, Brute?”
“Ah no, it’s nothing.”
Taiyou shook his head as he made a wry smile. From the side, Kohaku then joined the conversation.
“That be a velomobile if I ever saw one.”
“Yeah, it is.”
“To sum it up, it be a bicycle with a roof attached.”
“Natsuno-kun, they mean this.”
Aoba showed Taiyou the screen of her phone, which displayed a large amount of images of search results. Amongst them, bicycles in a capsule shape were pretty much all you could see.
“Oh, I’ve seen these before. Okay, so this is one of those velomobiles.”
“Yep. With gas prices rising and more and more people clamoring about being eco-friendly, these have come into fashion as of late. There have even been electrically assisted ones selling quite recently.”
“Not so eco-friendly anymore, eh?”
“Well yeah, can’t argue with that.”
Youran lightly shrugged her shoulders, continuing.
“Anyhow, I had one of those order-made for you. If everyone squeezes in a bit we should all be able to fit.”
“Okay…Incidentally, you didn’t have anything strange put into it, right?”
Youran stared in puzzlement. Her face showed that she really didn’t understand what he meant.
“Oh, it’s nothing. More importantly…”
Regaining his composure, he looked at the vehicle. The streamlined frame moved just by him touching it a little bit. It seemed to be quite light.
“How do they even make this thing?”
“They’re using the same technology that was used for human-powered aircraft…But who cares about something like that?”
“Who cares, eh…”
“Take a look.”
Youran jerked her chin, and Taiyou followed the direction. The brides had become excited to the point where they opened the door, hopping inside. Although it did seem a bit cramped with six people inside, their boisterous noises made even that aspect seem fun. It was true that Taiyou was fine with anything as long as they were having fun.
“Still, why suddenly make something like this?”
“Don’t you remember how I rode in your trailer several times?”
“True, you did.”
“And from what Aoba says, you even pulled a human-powered car, right?”
“That I did.”
He remembered the time when he had gone to Juuni Island.
“And so when I heard that, I just thought that rather than having it run on gasoline or electricity, it might be more fun to have it run with your power.”
“I see. So that’s why it’s a bike.”
Taiyou was satisfied with her explanation, since he pretty much understood what she was saying. Even in his case, it was fun to go around everywhere pulling the trailer as the wives rode on it. He had even thought of borrowing a three-wheeler and going on a trip somewhere with everyone riding in the luggage carrier. Youran had already made something with those functions.
“Thanks for that.”
“It’s not like that. I just wanted to go for a ride.”
“Yeah? Then let’s go somewhere right now.”
“Ohhh, sorry, I’ll pass on that. There’s something I had to do today.”
“Yeah, gonna go to Juuni Island for a bit. Don’t worry about saving food for me, as I’ll be back late.”
“I also have some minor business, so I cannot go, ja.”
“You too, Kohaku-san?”
“Aye. I shall go to a memorial service for a classmate of mine. Oh, and I don’t mean based on me appearance, but me actual age.”
Kohaku said as she chuckled.
“The lad was a skirt-chaser back in the day, so me and the other scalawags will be going together to chastise him.”
“Yeah, for some reason, old folks tend to have a better time at funerals when it involves all of them.”
Taiyou wryly smiled. Being a minor, he wasn’t even near that point in his life.
“Aoba and I will be somewhere too, actually.”
“You guys too?”
“Yep! Gotta go on a little date with Aoba.”
Akiha said with a beaming face.
“Make sure you return her, kay?”
“For sure, for sure. I’m already yours, so whatever is mine is also yours.”
“Uhh yeah, I do like how you phrased that, but I’m still not giving you Aoba.”
Taiyou said, lastly looking at the sister trio. He thought they might be busy as well, but…
“This might be the first time that we’ve gotten to be alone with Taiyou-san.”
“Hey, let’s take turns in the passenger seat.”
“…Then, let’s head off, I guess.”
The mismatched triplets suddenly burst into excitement. Seeing them like that, Taiyou found himself happy as well. As the other busy brides saw them off, Taiyou’s group got into the car. The door closed and foot on the pedal, the car lightly glided off.
“Wow. Lighter than I thought.”
“Is it really?”
Kotone inquired, being the first to sit in the passenger seat.
“Yeah, I thought it would be a bit heavier, but it was way lighter than expected.”
“Isn’t that just because you’re strong, Taiyou-san?”
“Nah, it isn’t much different from pedalling a regular bicycle.”
As they said that, they came out onto the open road from the parking lot.
“But I guess we still have to stick to the streets.”
“Yes. It’s a bicycle, but it definitely can’t go on the sidewalk.”
“From the outside it looks just like a car.”
“Hey, everyone’s looking over here!”
Kazane said. Pedestrians from all around were looking their way. It was after all a car frame with a strange, streamlined design; kind of hard not to look.
“Now then, where to go…”
“How about straight?”
“Yes, straight. Just keep going straight and only turn when you have to. Something along those lines.”
“So just go on an unplanned route? Okay, I can roll with that. Sounds interesting.”
Nodding, he looked at Suzune and Kotone and sought their approval.
Of course there was no way that the psychologically-connected sisters would have any objections.
Their aimless trip had begun—Shortly afterward, a patrolman had stopped them for questioning with an extremely complicated expression on his face.
“Excuse me sir do you know how fast you were-?!?”
“Sorry officer, I don’t have a speedometer. Was I peddling too fast?”
Thank u always for ur great work…
Thx FOr CHapTEr!!
Thanks for the chapter.
“And from what Aoba says, you even pulled a human-powered car, right?” <- while "human-powered car" is indeed the literal translation, in english they are called "rickshaw" (funny enough, from a bastardization of the japanese pronunciation).