45. Hinna Hinna
“You will have free time for the 3 hours. Once that time passes, you are to assemble here at the East gate parking lot.”
The bus carrying us all reaches the Asahiyama zoo’s East gate parking lot. Our zoo trip then begins with some words from our supervisor, Ootani-sensei.
“There’s a restaurant at the entrance. Let’s eat right away, eat!”
“What are you saying!? Before anything else, the animals!”
“Of- of course!”
Takigawa submits to the pressure from the class representative’s passion.
“First of all, in order to avoid the congestion, after seeing the owl house, how does taking the route through the Hokkaido deer forest and the wolves’ forest sound?”
With the class representative having displayed her spirit just now, no one is able to voice any disagreement.
“The class representative really does love animals.”
“She used to say the animals being displayed at zoos and pet shops were pitiable and that she didn’t going to them like. But after realizing she couldn’t win against herself, she seems to have become able to enjoy herself in her own way.”
“I- I see.”
When I asked Uruna-chan, she readily responded with a deep history. She loves animals so much, she came into conflict with herself?
“Uwa— Hokkaido deer—!”
Yep, let’s just let the class representative do whatever she likes at the zoo.
While warmly watching over the class representative who is showing a side of herself different from what she normally displays, I see more animals in the park. Then, I look back at the teams coming along behind us. There are multiple groups back there.
“Yuuki-san, for a while now, the people in the other groups have been sticking to us. Would you happen to know why?”
“Their eyes are a bit scary, desu.”
“Ah, you don’t have to worry about them. They aren’t dangerous.”
Those teams sticking close to us probably consist of members from the dark organization, Mizukami-san’s fan club. They are always glaring at others back at school.
Although, there are some unfamiliar faces mixed in too. Judging from their lines of sight, maybe they’re fans of Uruna-chan and Owl-chan? Every now and then, their gazes fill with blood lust.
I’ll just ignore them.
“Uruka~, let’s takes a break soon~.”
After passing through the south side of the zoo, Aihara-san speaks on our behalf and voices our unspoken desires.
“Sorry about that, everyone. The rest area is close to here, shall we eat lunch there?”
“As expected of Uruka! In that case, let’s have lunch—!”
A—s expected of Aihara-san! She must have been waiting for the class representative’s desire to see animals to settled down in order to call out to her. What great timing. Something only possible by her close friend.
“It’s the rest area! Hokkaido venison minced cutlet, Hokkaido venison sausages, and venison burgers ple—as!”
We reach the rest area and Takigawa takes no time in making a strange order. I was thinking of trying one of those but going all out is amazing. The girls are drawing back some.
“What should I get? A Hokkaido venison mince and curry please.”
“In that case, I’ll have a soy sauce ramen and fried mochi please.”
Following Takigawa, I also make an order. Ishida makes his after me. The girls make their orders in turn after us.
That’s when, from a corner of the dinning rest area, a voice calls out.
I look towards the voice and discover Souji, Shizuka-san, Akari-san, and their group. Apparently, they are at this rest area too.
“Yuuki-kun, yahho—! Everyone should come join us too, this way.”
“There are some empty seats right here. Let’s eat together!”
As Akira-san and Souji-san invited us, I head to those seats with everyone in my group.
“We get to eat with the Mizukami-san sisters, Aihara-san, and Owl-chan along with Akira-san and Shizuka-san, the Tsukino sisters… this is so lucky, it’s terrifying. But I’m happy!”
Takigawa is emotionally unstable, but let’s not pay him any mind. For now, I sit down in the empty seat next to Shizuka-san.
“So Shizuka-san got the Hokkaido venison burger?”
“Yeah, and Yuuki-kun, got the Hokkaido minced katsu. Is it good?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Hinna hinna.1”
“Fufuu, the Hokkaido venison burger is also amazing. Hinna hinna.”
Oh! I figured if it were Shizuka-san, she would get the reference. Otaku comrades are wonderful.
“Hina? What are you talking about? The deer?
“No, it’s hinna, not hina. If I’m not mistaken, it is a term from the Ainu language that represents gratitude. I don’t know why they are saying it now though.”
Takigawa and Ishida tilt their heads.
Fuu, this meaning is lost to non-otaku.
“You’re Uruka-chan’s imouto? You’re incre—dibly cute! The girl next to you is super cute, too! Are you a half?”
“A pleasure to meet you, I am Mizukami Uruna. I will be in your care.”
“A pleasure to meet you, I am Owl, desu. Etto, I am half Japanese and English, desu.”
“Fuguu, you 2 are way too cute!”
“Calm down, Akari. This person is Tsukino Akira. Treat her well. As for me, I’m Kasai Souji, Yuuki-san’s sworn-younger brother.”
“I am Tsukino Shizuka. Nice to meet you.”
Sometime after we start eating, the two groups of Souji, Akari-san, and Shizuka-san along with Uruna-chan and Owl-chan deepen their friendship.
Going with that flow, we also exchange greetings with the 2 delinquents and 2 middle school girls who are members of Souji’s group. One of the delinquents is the shaved head delinquent-kun who always came to call me to the back of the school. The other delinquent is someone I saw behind the gymnasium. Since he’s always around Souji, he’s probably one of his followers.
The 2 middle school girls look like gals. Judging from the longing stares they are giving Souji, they might be interested in him. Then, upon hearing him claim he’s my sworn-younger brother, they also direct their passionate gazes at me.
“Ah, Souji was joking around just now. Don’t pay it any mind.”
I have no recollection of ever taking on Souji as a sworn younger brother. As such, I firmly deny it.
“By the way, where has Yuuki-san’s group been to?” (Souji)
“The south side. We’ll be going to the north side after this.” (Yuuki)
“Then, that’s the same as us! Let’s go together!” (Souji)
“Why are you lying with a straight face? We just finished seeing the north side. Sorry, Yuuki-kun, since we’ll be heading to the south side, we’ll see you all again later!” (Akari)
Akari-san and her team finish eating and leave the rest area with her dragging Souji away. We wave goodbye to them and also set off to resume our zoo trip.
That reminds me, Kuro said that Shizuka-san, Akari-san, and Souji are ability holders. Since Souji knows the truth about me, if the opportunity arises, I’ll try asking him to show me his [special ability].
“Well then, let’s go see the polar bears next!”
With the class representative brimming with excitement at the lead, we head for the polar bear corne… Hm?
[Master, did something happen?]
[No, it’s nothing. I must have imagined it.]
Nia is worried, and I tell Nia there’s no need for concern.
For a moment, it really was for a moment, but I felt a bloodlust different from everyday life. I can’t be sure since the members of the class representative’s fan club are sending bloodlust at us from behind, but this felt like those times I fought against those onmyou users and special ability holders.
While I am thinking that, we reach the polar bear building without my knowing it.
“It’s the polar bears—!”
When I look at the class representative’s cry, I notice a polar bear glaring at me with open hostility.
—Diamond do not look like words—
The black swords that were transformed from black crows wings and sent flying are knocked down by black swords sent flying by Kuro.
“How are you using the same ability as myself-samaaaaaaaaaaa!”
Even the wings necessary for flight sent flying by the black crow drop onto the forest floor.
“Impossible, impossible, impossible! I can’t deal with this!”
The girl manipulating the deceased crows confronts the myriad of clay puppets raised by Kuro with the corpses of foxes and bears. However, she is crushed by the violence of numbers. In the end, she is captured without struggle.
“…Fumu, I give up. There is nothing left we can do.”
The one-eyed giant fought bravely despite being blown away countless times by Kuro’s waves of spiritual power, but after seeing with a side glance that his comrade has abruptly given up, he realizes victory is impossible and quietly declares his surrender.
Rin’s eye’s glitter at Kuro’s majestic figure. Shiro himself feels his body tense at overwhelming power that was displayed before his eyes.
T/N: If you are curious about where that girl came from, she was only hinted at before. This is our first time seeing her.