That boyish charm... √(‘∀` √)
More Kanbaru and Arararararagi, continuing where we left off from the second part of Nadeko Snake here.
Exercise in limited localization. ┐( ￣ー￣)┌
I ended up doing a bit more than I expected. Oh well.
I would pay good money to have Kamiya and Sawashiro say some of these lines.
I would pay good money to have Kamiya and Sawashiro say some of these lines.
I could've sworn I told her to wear long sleeves and pants because of the snakes and bugs in the mountains... but with tears in her jeans and her midriff exposed like that, it's no use...
"No matter. Wherever you go, Araragi-senpai, I will follow. Even if you tell me not to. Through fire, through water, through wood or metal or earth, it makes no difference to me."
"Though, I suppose it wouldn't be so bad to be going through precious metals..." 1)
It seemed she was enjoying the situation.
But anyway, this was something I'd thought when calling her yesterday, as she replied absentmindedly (telling me, "I don't even need to know where we're going. Wherever you go, that's the needle of my compass." and such) and didn't seem to be listening to a word I said... The bias she has is, in a way, almost moving. Something different from Hanekawa. You might say that she has tunnel vision, or maybe she just has an extremely straightforward way of looking at things.
"Anyway, it's not a date, so..."
"So that's it. It wasn't a date... even though I thought it was, and gathered my resolve before coming."
"Yes. Since, after all, it is my first ever date with a member of the opposite sex."
"I see, so it was your first date."
I ignored the qualifier member of the opposite sex.
It's not like I could really ask her about it.
"As for just how much resolve I'd gathered, just for today, I bought a cell phone, the one thing that I'd pledged never to get. That pledge stood for seventeen years, but I broke it."
...The pressure is overwhelming!
"After all, it would be disastrous if I got separated from you and had no way to contact you, Araragi-senpai. It's hard to find public phones these days, so you could say that a cell phone is absolutely essential for going on a date."
"Well... well... I guess you're right. Hah. Hahah. Though we're in the country, so there're still plenty of public phones around..."
"And also, I woke up at four in the morning to make lunches for us. One for me, and one for you, Araragi-senpai. You told me we were meeting at eleven, so I thought that I would be able to have lunch with you."
So said, Kanbaru hefted the thing she held in her bandaged left hand, wrapped in cloth.
...Right, I'd suspected it, but those rectangular long shapes were no doubt lunchboxes...
The pressure built up even more...
The lunchboxes doubled the weight on my shoulders...! 2)
I knew that we'd be meeting at about lunchtime, too, but I'd figured that I'd be a gracious upperclassman and buy her a meal at a fast food place. It seems that my underclassman works on a grander scale.
So she came with homemade lunches, huh...
An unexpected attack.
"I couldn't sleep well because of the excitement at the thought of going on a date with Araragi-senpai, the one I respect so much, and even after I feel asleep I woke up early, so it served to keep me occupied well enough."
"Aaah... Occupied, I see. But is that all food? It looks like a lot... I'm telling you right now, I can't eat that much."
"It's supposed to be divided evenly between us, but, well, I can finish off whatever you can't eat. I don't like wasting food, after all, so I made lunch with that in mind."
I looked at Kanbaru's bared midriff.
I'd bet that maybe 10% of her body weight was fat, and that was a generous estimate.
A curvy girl. 3)
It has a nice ring to it, like a rhyme...
Even though it isn't.
"Kanbaru, are you by chance the type who doesn't gain weight no matter how much you eat?"
"Yes... well, it might be better said that I'm the type who loses more and more weight unless I eat all I can."
"There's a type like that?!"
The type that many girls would kill to be... no, even as a guy, I'm jealous!
"How does your body work like that?"
"It's simple. First, I run ten kilometers, twice, every morning."
"Right. That's enough."
The amount of exercise this girl does isn't even remotely comparable to normal.
it seems that Kanbaru Suruga diligently kept exercising even after retiring from the basketball club. Commendable. Well, considering that her left arm wasn't exactly wounded per se, I guess that's only to be expected.
Kanbaru let out an exaggerated sigh.
"But, I see now, it was all for nothing... Stupid me, it wasn't a date. And I was looking forward to it so much, too. I was so excited, and now I just feel like a fool. Now I know what it means when they say 'I wish I could disappear'. What an impudent presumption I made. If I'd just thought over it a little, I'd have known that of course the noble Araragi-senpai would never go out on a date with a stupid girl like me... I'm so sorry that I inconvenienced you with my confusion. I guess that this cell phone and these boxed lunches are absolutely useless now, so I'll just throw them away somewhere. Wait just a moment, Araragi-senpai, and I'll go back home and change clothes to sweatpants and a sweater."
"It was a date!"
I admitted defeat.
"Today was the day I was going out with you! Kanbaru! I just remembered! Aah, that's right, I was looking forward to it so much, too! All right! A date with the girl I like so much, Kanbaru-san! See! Look! Don't throw away that phone and those lunches! You don't have to change, either!"
Kanbaru's expression changed in an instant, like lightning.
This is bad. She's too cute.
"I'm so glad. You're so kind, Araragi-senpai."
"Yeah... though I figure this kindness will end up being my doom someday..."
Somehow, I ended up going out with my underclassman Kanbaru before I even had a date with my actual girlfriend Senjougahara... Even that tsundere was strangely weak to Kanbaru, so she probably wouldn't take this as me cheating on her, but I'll probably hear some choice remarks on my lack of willpower...
As an aside, even as all of this was going on, our hands were still clasped, our fingers still intertwined. I tried to casually pull away, but she was stuck to me as though we were in a rugby scrum, and didn't give an inch. It was almost like I was caught in a Chinese finger trap, or maybe in a submission hold.
Almost like I was being constricted by a snake.
"But Kanbaru. At least do those buttons up. Leaving your belly button bare in the mountains is a bit dangerous, isn't it. As for those torn jeans... well, I guess it'll be fine as long as you're careful."
"Right. As you say."
Kanbaru did up the buttons on her jacket. Her curvy midriff was hidden from sight. I can't say I didn't regret it at a tiny bit, but such impure thoughts had no business being in my mind, especially regarding the underclassman of my girlfriend.
"Let's go, then."
"Araragi-senpai, are we walking today?"
"Yeah. We're going up a mountain, so we there's no way of knowing whether there'll be a parking lot. It wouldn't do to have my only bike stolen."
Since, after all, my mountain bike had been completely trashed... thanks to somebody's left arm. Though I didn't say it aloud, to save her the mental stress.
"And it's not even that far anyway. Look, Kanbaru, you can see it from here. It's that mountain..."
But even as I said it, a thought flashed into my head. Last month, when I'd first met Kanbaru, she'd refused to even ride on the back seat of my bike, saying that she preferred not to touch the boyfriend of the girl she admired, Senjougahara, and instead she'd chosen to run beside my bike, a truly surprising choice. But that very girl was now holding my hand, snaking her fingers through mine, and pressing her breasts against me...
Kanbaru blushed and smiled innocently, skipping forward.
"Araragi-senpai, Araragi-senpai, Araragi-senpai, Araragi-senpai, Araragi-senpai~"
She's geniunely enjoying this!
She's even humming!
"But, you know... Kanbaru. This is something that's bothered me since before, but can you stop calling me Araragi-senpai?"
Kanbaru expressed surprise, as though I'd said something completely unexpected.
"Why? You're Araragi-senpai, Araragi-senpai. I can't even think of calling you any other way than Araragi-senpai, Araragi-senpai."
"No, well, aren't there a lot of other ways?"
"Don't change my name!"
Not that part.
And who the hell is Kessennuma, anyway.
"What I mean is the 'senpai' honorific. It seems like you're putting me on a pedestal or something."
"Don't say it like that that. I am putting you on a pedestal."
"Mmm... Well, yeah, I am your upperclassman. But that sounds a bit too serious. Araragi-senpai ends up being even longer than my full name."
My name is Araragi Koyomi.
A-ra-ra-gi-se-n-pa-i is eight.
"Hmm, then, how about Araragi-san?"
"That's it? But I'm only one year older than you. I don't want you being so formal with me. Isn't it a bit too stiff? And putting a 'san' on my name is a little unsettling. There's a grade schooler who calls me that and she talks way too politely."
Though her personality's the worst.
Ah, come to think of it, I haven't seen Hachikuji in a while.
I felt slightly bitter.
"I don't know about our relationships with Senjougahara, but I'd like it if you and I stood on more even ground."
"I see. That's good to hear."
"Though I guess there's no way someone like me would actually be equal with the school's most famous star."
"How foolish of you. There's no way that could be. I wouldn't trade the happiness I feel right now by being with you for anything, Araragi-senpai. Almost as much as making up with Senjougahara-senpai, I feel blessed to have gotten to know you. The only thing I dislike about you at all is that I couldn't meet you sooner."
She really doesn't think much of herself.
Though considering what happened last month, it's not like I can't understand her feelings.
She's gone through a lot.
"Then, Araragi-senpai. In other words, what you're saying is that it's okay for me to refer to you by a closer form of address?"
"Yeah. Anything's fine."
Only my parents call me that...!
"You can call me Suruga, Koyomi."
"Why're you saying that as though we're going out?! Why am I having such an important event with my girlfriend's underclassman?! Even Senjougahara still calls me Araragi-kun! What kind of leapfrogging is this?!"
"Koyomi, your complaints are all trivial. It's obvious I'm joking, isn't it, Koyomi."
"But you're still calling me that, Suruga!"
"The charging knight of roaring thunder Koyomi."
"Don't put decorative adjectives on the name my grandfather gave me! I don't charge, I'm not thunder and I'm not even a knight! And that's more than twice as long as my actual name, anyway! Don't forget the reason I asked you to change it!"
"The last hero of this century Koyomi."
"The last of this century? It's too early to decide that!"
"Well, even then, I don't have any intention to call my elder upperclassman so casually. So Koyomi is out. And so is Araragi," Kanbaru said.
"So in that case, how about a nickname, instead of a title?"
"A nickname, huh..."
Kanbaru's sense is a bit twisted.
Maybe twisted isn't the best word for it. Maybe completely breaking away from the norm.
I don't imagine that she'll think up a proper nickname for me, but, I guess there's nothing to be lost from trying it out. I told Kanbaru, "Then try and think something up."
Kanbaru closed her eyes briefly, and looked to be deep in thought. Several seconds later, she raised her head and said, "I've thought of one."
"Oh, that was fast. Let's hear it."
"That's unexpectedly cool! Uselessly cool, even!"
It's so impressive that it's almost like I'm being teased... I guess it's too noticeable. It's not the kind of nickname that a Japanese high school senior should have...
"It's Ragi for the latter part of 'Araragi'."
"I can surmise that much, but... Shouldn't a nickname be a bit more charming?"
"You have a point. In that case, taking the center of 'Araragi Koyomi', how about..."
"That's just making fun of me!"
"That's hardly proper for you to say, Ragiko-chan."'
"Go home! I don't want to have anything to do with you!"
"Ragiko-chan is abusing me... heheheh, though I don't really mind being abused."
"Ack! Verbal abuse is no use against a masochist! Are you invincible?!"
It was an enjoyable conversation.
Maybe a bit too enjoyable.
I almost forgot what I was here to do.
"This might be a bit thoughtless of me to say, but... Kanbaru. Not to copy what you said earlier, but if I had met you before I started going out with Senjougahara, I think I might have ended up going out with you..."
"Right. To tell you the truth, I was thinking the same thing. If I had met you before I fell for Senjougahara-senpai. It's incredibly rare for me to think such a thing about a member of the opposite sex."
Well, if not for Senjougahara I wouldn't have met Kanbaru, and the same went vice versa for Kanbaru, so it was probably a baseless hypothesis.
"How about it, Araragi-senpai. Now that we've expressed our feelings, why don't we murder the girl who's getting in our way and bury her somewhere."
"Don't say things like that!"
Even though I've talked so much with you I still don't get what makes you tick! I can't even begin to imagine it! How deep are your depths, Kanbaru Suruga?!
"Isn't Senjougahara the girl you admire? I didn't expect your heart to be so black."
"Don't compliment me too much, now. You're embarrassing me."
"It wasn't a compliment."
"You make me happy no matter what you say to me, Araragi-senpai."
"Masochist. Good. Tell me more."
I'd been a bit worried as to how this girl, who'd admired Senjougahara since middle school, would fare upon learning about Senjougahara's true self, but thanks to this unique state of mind, it seems that my worries were in vain.
But regardless, Kanbaru Suruga.
She's actually a lesbian.
As one might be able to tell, she not only admires Senjougahara as an upperclassman, but she's actually, truly, in love with her. In other words, she's my rival in love... But then, seeing as how she's holding hands with me right now, I'm not sure. I'd guess that she feels indebted to me, or grateful to me, due to the events of last month, but...
It's not so bad to have an underclassman following you, but if that can become grounds for a misunderstanding, that's a different matter.
To borrow an expression of Oshino's... Just like Senjougahara, Kanbaru, too, was saved on a whim...
Well, still, I guess that's it.
Whether it's gratitude or just a misunderstanding, it might be a good idea to tarnish the overly reverent image of me that Kanbaru's holding inside herself. In other words, slander myself... If she thinks too much of me, I might end up disappointing her more than necessary when it really counts.
And without further ado, the Araragi Koyomi Image Tarnishing Project.
The man who's sloppy with money.
"Kanbaru, I forgot my wallet at home. I'll make it up to you, so can you lend me some money?"
"Of course. Is thirty thousand yen enough?"
She was rich!
Mmm... the man who's always late... wouldn't work, since I got here first today.
The Araragi Koyomi Image Tarnishing Project, second phase.
The ridiculously perverted man.
"Kanbaru, right now, I'm interested in girls underwear."
"Oh ho. What a coincidence, so am I. I think of girls underwear as a work of art. I see we share a common interest, Araragi-senpai."
We share a common interest!
That's right, there's no way I could beat Kanbaru in terms of perversity... No, wait! I might not stand a chance in normal perversity, but if I change the battlefield to a more specialized type of lechery, I might be able to win...!
"And I'm particularly interested in the underwear of grade schoolers!"
"Better and better! I expected no less from you, Araragi-senpai! What an admirable way of life, living without regard for the disdain of your peers!"
"Your opinion of me got better?!"
Well, uhh, I guess it's time for the Araragi Koyomi Image Tarnishing Project, phase 3 (actually I started to enjoy this so much that I lost sight of my original objective).
The man with unrealistic dreams.
"Kanbaru, I'll have you know I'm a man who'll make it big later in life!"
"You don't have to tell me; I already know. Actually, you're already plenty big, Araragi-senpai. Any bigger, and it'll be hard for your followers to worship you properly."
This, too, was unexpected!
Let's go for more!
"I'm going to be a musician!"
"I see. Then I'll become your instrument!"
"I don't know what that means, but it's somehow impressive!"
My opinion of Kanbaru rose by a few notches.
"Araragi-senpai, what are you talking about, anyway? You don't have to tell me to admire you. I already admire you with all my heart and soul."
"Aah, it seems that nothing I say will have any effect on you..."
Just like she's happy no matter what I say to her, it looked like she was determined to admire me no matter what sort of person I was.
"But why do you overestimate my worth so much, anyway?"
"So that's what you wanted to know," Kanbaru said, laughing.
"Up until now I'd thought that the term no-brainer meant someone without a head, but now I see that it's meant to refer to questions like this." 5)
For just a moment I thought that was a pretty impressive expression, but thinking it over I realized she was just stupid.
"I pledged that I would devote my life to you, Araragi-senpai. It's not because you reforged the bond between Senjougahara-senpai and I. I thought that you were a person worthy of that, and so I made that pledge."
"Right. At first I thought I would pledge to the sun, which always shines on people and leads them, but it just so happened that it was night when I came up with the idea, so I pledged to a nearby streetlight."
"That's too much of a compromise!"
"A streetlight shines on people too, and leads them, doesn't it. With no streetlights, we'd surely be in deep trouble."
"That's true, but..."
You could have at least pledged to the moon.
Maybe it was cloudy?
"Well, even though I said I would devote my life to you, it might be a bit laborous for me."
"I'm a little embarrassed to have to point out that kind of error, but it's pretty rare for someone to pick the wrong synonym to use in a sentence like that..." 6)
Araragi Koyomi Image Tarnishing Project failed!
That seems like as good a place to stop as any. Anyway, despite my best efforts I had to leave no less than six notes, so here they are:
1): Kanbaru says that she would follow Araragi through fire, water, metal, earth and wood: the five Chinese elements. The kanji for metal is 金, which is the same as the kanji for gold, which is what Araragi is referencing when he says it wouldn't be so bad.
2): Kanbaru prepared lunch in compartmentalized lunchboxes called juubako (重箱). The first kanji, juu, can mean stack (重ねる) and also heaviness (重). Araragi is making a pun by saying that the kanji 重 in juubako "stacks" the weight of his guilt and makes it even "heavier."
3): What Araragi thinks here is actually sugaruotome (蜾蠃乙女) which is an old term for a curvy and attractive girl. The pun he makes afterward is in reference to the similarity between sugaru and Suruga.
4): Ragiko is written as ラギ子. When added in names, the ko kanji is often used for girls' names (Ryouko, Kyouko, Aiko, etc).
5): Kanbaru's actual comment is that she always thought gumon (愚問), which means "foolish question," stood for "Good Morning." A bit of a stretch in the localization, but eh.
6): Kanbaru says that she might not have what it takes (yakubusoku; 役不足) but erroneously replaces yaku (役) with yaku (約). Araragi points out that she used the wrong kanji. How he knows this is anyone's guess.