AINORI #289
This is a loose translation, just to give you an idea of what is going on. Sometimes it’s difficult to translate Japanese into proper English, due to obvious cultural and linguistic differences. I’ve tried to stay as close as possible to the original text. Feel free to contact me if you notice any typos, or weird sentences. Enjoy!

ウクライナThe great country of Ukraine, which is known in Western Europe for its European style towns coexisting with the beautiful nature. On that day, the Love bus was going into a deep forest.

Then...

TK「Hey, there's like a tribal-looking guy (over there)」

Right in front of them there was a high enclosure, and a big man wearing unusual clothes. The group got off the Love Bus and went to the man.

Man「Where are you guys from?」
Hide「Japan」
Man「Japoni?」
Suuzan「Japoni」
Man「Ooooh!」
Suuzan「Ha, ha, ha, ha」
Arashi「What a nice reaction」
Man「I'm Alek. I'm a Cossack
Suuzan「Cooool!」
Alek「Some Japanese are here! Waaaa!」
TK「He's so excited!」

コザック The seven had come to a village inhabited by 『Cossacks』, people that have been living in Ukraine since long ago.
The villagers warmly welcome those rare visitors from Japan!
Then...
Group「Oh!Oh?Oh?」
「Oooh, how about that!」
「So quick!」

Actually, 『Cossack dancing』 is part of the Cossacks' roots.
They start dancing when they are drunk at the banquets' seats, and what a start!

Hide「Cooool!It's so cool, seriously!」

Next, Alek showed them one of the Cossacks' secret rituals. Suddenly, he started swinging around a whip-like rope!
In front of him was Suuzan, holding some blades of grass in his hand...

Suuzan「It's really scary!」
Suuzan「Aaaah!」
Group「Ha, ha, ha, ha」

Actually, during the Russian Empire, 「The Cossacks」 with their strong bodies and their superior horse riding skills were a warrior tribe supporting the heart of the military power.

They have inherited the sophisticated skills from that time and still practice them.

午後 That afternoon, the group, who had changed into Cossack clothes, were about to be treated to lunch with traditional food.

Mie「Wow!Great!」
TK「Wow!It looks delicious!」

What they were getting was 『Ukrainian spareribs』, i.e. stir-fried pork, onions, carrots, mixed with cooked rice "a la Cossack" with pork meat prepared slowly and carefully until it's soaked with 10 different spices.

That dish is the source of the Cossacks' power.

Group「Let's eat!」
TK「The meat is great!」
Mie「Aah, delicious」
Suuzan「That's the best (food) I had in my life」

ダンス Then, after the meal, the group was invited to dance with the villagers.The one who got Aya as a partner was Hide

Aya「It's embarrassing」
Hide「it's some sort of a folk dance」
Aya「Yeah, ha, ha, ha」 

Holding Aya 's hand, Hide had a relaxed face.
From Hide 's diary: “When you're in love, you can only see that person. Love is strange”

But at that time, Hide still had no idea that Aya 's heart had started to beat for Arashi.

公園 The next day, the seven had come to a park. Then, the casual Arashi invited Aya for a chat.

Arashi「It's your second country already. How is your state of mind?」
Aya「Like, in the first country it was more like I had to get used to the trip」
Arashi「Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're right. It was hard for me to in my first country. So many things happening...」
Aya「Where was it again? Was it Egypt?」
Arashi「Yeah, Egypt. In Egypt flies were terrible, like, you'd have to go like this...」
Aya「Not cool!」
Arashi「Yeah, they're after you more than after shit」
Aya「More than after shit?」
Arashi「Like, flies would come after you even if there'd be shit right there」
Aya「Ha, ha, ha」

Meanwhile, Hide was with Umechan.
Hide「What time were we supposed to get back together again?」
Umechan 「At 20 minutes past the hour」
Hide「Until 20... What time is it now?」
Umechan 「It's 10 past」
Hide「10 past」

Thinking about Aya , Hide couldn't settle down.
AyaArashi , do you like yourself ?」
Arashi「I like my self more than I used to」
Aya「Really?You didn't like yourself before?」
Arashi「Yeah, I used to fail at everything, like a lot」
Aya「You, fail?」
Arashi「Really, really, really. I was excluded as a regular in my high school club activity, and I got so confused I retired. Then, I failed the entrance exam to the university I wanted to go to. Well, I didn't think I was that good at baseball, and I'm not the intellectual type either, so I usually compensate by doing more. Like I stretched it, only for that you know. But even so, I didn't get the results I expected」
Aya「Yeah」

Aya (was thinking)“I really thought he was the clever type, but that's not it. Lately it became clear that he's rather clumsy, like, I kinda think it's cute”

休憩時間 Mean while...

Hide「How many minutes have past?」
Umechan 「It's 13 minutes past. Only 3 minutes have gone by. Ha, ha, ha」
Hide「I'll go see where Aya is at」
Umechan 「Ok」

Even if there were only little time till the end of the break,Hide decided to go find Aya. When they got there...

UmechanSuuzan , Arashi , let's race to the top」

Thanks to Umechan , Hide and Aya found themselves alone.

写真 Hide「How about talking for a couple of minutes?」
Aya「For a couple of minutes?Ok」

However...

Aya「Wow!Arashi got to the top. I wanna take a picture. That foolishness」
Hide「Did you take it?」
Aya「Yeah. It's good. (To Arashi) Watch out! You could kill yourself!」
Hide「・・・・・・」

Hide was thinking:“I think I'm not seen as the object of her love. Aaaah, it's not working. I mean, whatever people think, whatever people do, when it's you're turn to fall in love, you start thinking. Like, what are people thinking about? What does Aya think about the others? Like, love is so complicated, seriously”

翌日 The next day, in the hotel lobby...

Mie「Hey?What about Suuzan?」

Then...

Suuzan「Here I am!」
Mie「What? His voice is different! His voice is different!What?Is that him?」
Umechan 「Who...?」
Mie「Wait, ha, ha, ha, ha, waaahaha!」
Suuzan「What!?」
Mie「Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!」
Suuzan「What the hell are you laughing at?」

Actually, Suuzan had ask Hide to make him look "in". The 『New Suuzan』 was born again!

Suuzan「Hey, shut up!」
Girls「Aaa, ha, ha, ha, ha」
Suuzan「渡んぞ~!」

The new Suuzan was really catching on.

坊主 However, the next day, Suuzan had shaven his head.

Aya「Something happened?」
Suuzan「Yeah, this is more natural」
Mie「Well, it suits you」

A stylish Suuzan proved to be impossible.

午後 That afternoon...

TK「Wow, we're crossing a huge bridge again」
Mie「Ooooh!」
TK「It looks like the TV program [The world from a window train] here」

On that day, the Love Bus had reached the Dnieper River. It is 2,200 kms long!The bank is like an infinite beach.

水着 Then, something came to the group's attention...

TK「Wow, great!Wonderful scenery!」

On Ukrainian beaches, topless bathing suits are really popular. Young girls, former beauties, even older men taking kids to the beach wear sexy bathing suits.

Moreover...

Mie「What!?What!?You change on the beach!」

In this open-minded country that is Ukraine, the locker room is not much!At once, under the watchful eye of the boys, the girls changed right there.

Boys「Good, good, oh!」(Applause)
Mie「Wait, this, what?Isn't my bottom off? Like, Aya , I can see yours」
AyaUmechan 「Aha, ha, ha, ha」
Mie「You can see through that」
Aya「Really!?」
Mie「It's kinda sexy, it's wiggling」
Aya「Hyaaa!!」
Umechan 「Ah, ha, ha」
Mie「Aaaa♥」

ビーチ  They finally were able to change without any problems!Then the seven were off to the beach...

Arashi「I wanna bury someone」
TK「Yeah, let's bury someone」
ArashiSuuzan 's color looks best for that」

Ten minutes later, Suuzan only had his head buried.
「Aaaah!Aaaah!Aaaah!」
Mie「Funny!Funny!Funny!Funny!」
Arashi「Here, one, two, three!」

Suuzan being made fun of so much made Mie laugh real hard.

That day, in Mie 's diary:“When our eyes meet my heart pounds. I feel so happy we can travel together”

午後 That afternoon...

Suuzan「What?that guy, he...」

They had come across a contortionist !

Group「Waaaaa!」
Mie「Unbelievable!」
Arashi「Ooooh, wow!」
Group「Aaaaaa!」
Arashi「That's gotta hurt!」
Mie「It's weird!Weird!」
Hide「Waaaaa, what's he doing?!」
Arashi「Oooooh」
Mie「What?No!?」
Hide「Bravo!」

Plus, he got his whole body through an iron triangle.

Suuzan「Waaaa! Like, that's gotta hurt」
Arashi「Yeah, plenty. Looks painful...」
Suuzan「Ouch, ouch」

Then...

Mie「I wanna try that」

Mie, the Kansai girl, had decided to take a shot at it.

「Looks good! Looks good!」
「You can do it! It looks like she can do it」

She made it easily!But...

Mie「What!?What am I supposed to do?I can't take it off!」
Group「Ha, ha, ha, ha」
Mie「I can't take it off!Ouuuuuch!Ouuuuch!」

Mie made the group laugh real hard with her enthusiasm!

ラブワゴン The next day, in the Love bus, the Yankee-flavored TK and Mie were sitting next to each other. However...

Mie「・・・・・」

TK was worried about Mie , who was not as cheerful as usual.
TK「Don't you feel down today?」

Mie「What?Me?」
TK「What's going on?Or is it just like that today?」
Mie「Maybe I just don't feel that good」
TK「Aa, really?Physically?Mentally?」
Mie「Physically... Physically, too...」
TK「Isn't there something you can point out directly? Like, 『Ah, that's why!』 or is it something you don't wanna talk about?」

Then...

Mie「Even in Japan, like, I'm always the one who cheers up everybody, so when I found myself alone, like, I felt so tired so many times. Like, when I joined Ainori, I got the same feeling at first. But I really got so tired, too tired, and I'm wondering, I came to find love, so what am I doing? That was really hard, really」

Since Mie had joined the group in Russia, she had cheered up everybody with her natural brightness.
However, she kept traveling worried about the fact that taking that role (cheering up the others), she couldn't make Suuzan see her as the object of his affection.

Mie「Like, like, Su..., like, I really don't know what to do...」
TKMie, you're a kind and smart girl. Like, you behave like that naturally, you know」
Mie「Sob」
TK「It's all right, it's no good,, really. Keeping everything inside is not the solution, you know」
Mie「Ha, ha, ha, ha. That's true. Certainly! Certainly! Aaaaah, like, I feel better. I'm glad I got that out」
TK「You see!」

From TK 's diary:"I really don't like girls who cry, but honestly, Mie's tears were different ”

その夜 That night...

TK“Right now, to be realistic.. Is it Ok if I tell you what I forsee?Well, Mie 's falling for me, of course!Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! He, he, he, he, he! What am I saying?”

車内 The Love Bus was going to the western part of Ukraine. In the Bus...

TK「(Talking to Aya) You look really bored, like very often」
Aya「Yeah」
Suuzan「Don't you get excited?」
Aya「N.. no, no. But I always feel people are looking at me objectively」
Suuzan「You the kind who worries a lot about being conspicuous, aren't you?」
Aya「Yeah, I think about that」

When in front of many people, Aya gets nervous and can't talk
In her application letter (to Ainori), she wrote: 「I've often been told I was a cold person. I wanna become someone who doesn't care about the people around and be able to talk in a warm manner」

TK「Like, you seem indifferent to many things」
Aya「・・・」
TK「Until now you've been losing a lot because of that, haven't you?In my case, I go for it, if you try the impossible I think you'll get a big reward in return, you know」

Then,Aya was casually approached by Hide .

Hide「Were you crying?」
Aya「No, I wasn't」
Hide「Really?」
Aya「Yeah. Does it look like I was?」

Hide had noticed Aya had been crying on the Bus.

その夜 That night...

Aya「Sorry I kept you waiting」
Hide「Good evening」
Aya「Good evening」
  Hide had called Aya out for a talk.
Hide「How do you feel?」
Aya「How do I feel... yeah」
HideI want you to get some self-confidence」
Aya「Yeah, self-confidence. I want to, but I can't」
Hide「It's not an easy thing to get, but... Suddenly it'll come to you」
Aya「Yeah」
Hide「But to become self-confident, you have to think like 『This is Aya Kobayashi!』, and hit things full frontal. That's what has the most merit」
Aya「Yeah」
Hide「Sometimes I become sadistic with my self, like to be really strict is something really important. I think, I have to do this. If I don't, things that should change won't. I see my self in five years from now, much more charming, becoming someone with an aura coming out of me」

From Aya 's diary "When I talk with Hide, it feels so heavy”

翌日 The next day...

Arashi「Have you gotten used to the trip already?」
Aya「The trip, it's still quite impossible (for me to get used to)」
Arashi「Impossible?」
Aya「Yeah. Usually I don't talk that much, you know, maybe. So, when I feel I should be talking, like, I think, it's morning already」
Arashi「Aaaah, like, you have to do it again?」
Aya「Yeah. I wanna do things my way, you know」
Arashi「Oh, really!?」
Aya「Yeah. Ha, ha, ha, ha. When I wanna do something and I can't I become so tense. There's a part of me that's been living like that for 25 years, so, it's difficult...」
Arashi「Like, in the end, if you're suddenly told you should change it difficult, right?」
Aya「Yeah, that's right. Yeah」
Arashi「Little by little」
Aya「Little by little」
Arashi「If you do so, it'll happen without you noticing」
Aya「Yeah, it'll get better」
Arashi「I think so」
Aya「Yeah」
Aya「Like, say something, if you think you should」
Arashi「I will. Well, say something to me too, you know」
Aya「Yeah, ok」
Arashi「So it's a deal. We watch each other」
Aya「Yeah, it's a deal」
Aya「Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha」
Arashi「He, he, he, he」

Aya was thinking "When I talk with Arashi I feel most natural. I feel really open. Hide always gives me advice, and I'm really glad, but I can't reciprocate. It bugs me, yeah, yeah. It feels like I can't develop any affection”

Aya 's heart was attracted to Arashi. 

Really, will there be a tomorrow for Hide, who's in a serious crisis situation!?

NEXT WEEK ON AINORI

次週予告

"Hey, stylish Suuzan, I'm cutting in "

Then...
"Those two look good together... "

Hide's hanging to the darkness of love

"That feeling is really important " "You're right"

AINORI #288             AINORI #290

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