AINORI #297
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!

ルーマニア The country in which the seven of them are traveling is Romania, beautiful girls's heaven of Western Europe. On that day, they had come to Braşov. That town, which was built by immigrants coming from Germany in the 13th century, is a tourist spot popular with foreigners. At once, the seven went to a restaurant for lunch. Here, it is said that there are sweets very popular with female Romanian office workers. They are called 『Papanas』, and originated in Braşov. They're donuts heartily filled with cheese, topped with refreshing sour cream and thick cherry jam. They say that those highly compatible toppings are now fascinating women all over Europe.

Mie「What? You ate it already?」
Suuzan「It's great!What's on it is really delicious」
Mie「Really?」
Hide「Awesome!」
Suuzan「Awesome, isn't it?」
Aya「Ah, it's good」
Mie「It's good!」
Hide「The one who invented this is a genius!」

午後 That afternoon, Aya, the shy 25 year old, was seen thinking by herself at the hotel・・・

During that trip, Aya had been attracted to Arashi, the clumsy but serious one.

On the other hand, there was Hide, who had gone to great lengths to help her grow. She had realized that thanks to Hide, she had changed in a positive manner.

Aya was now torn between these two men.

真剣 Then, Aya decided to call out one of the men. The one she had called was・・・

Aya「Do you mind if we talk seriously?」
Arashi「You wanna talk seriously?」
Aya「Yeah, I wanna talk seriously」
Arashi「A serious talk」

It was Arashi

Arashi「Ok・・・ What do you think about long distance relationships?」
Aya「Long distance relationships?」
Arashi「Yeah」
Aya「Long distance relationships...」
Arashi「Would you feel like keeping one going?」
Aya「Yeah. Keep・・・going・・・ I guess I would」
Arashi「Me too, I guess distance doesn't really matter」
Aya「Yeah, it depends on that person, you know」
Arashi「Yeah」
Aya「Yeah」
Arashi「How long would you see each other? usually」
Aya「What?」
Arashi「I mean・・・ Like with the guys you were with」

At that moment, Aya started talking about a bitter memory she had kept inside her until that moment.

Aya「There was this guy I was with when I was twenty・・・ a little past twenty years old」
Arashi「Aaah, one year・・・」
Aya「Yeah, about a year and a half」

Aya had this ex-boyfriend with whom she had gone out for a year and a half, even thinking about marriage. However, a circumstantial gap in values had grown larger, and Aya decided to break up. However・・・

Aya“Although he trusted me, he started to, like, dislike and avoid people”

Her ex-boyfriend hadn't taken the separation very well. He who had lost her, couldn't continue working. And his life got rough, as he had even lost the spirit to live. Finally, he became like another person. Before that, Aya had only talked about him to the staff.

Aya“Yeah, I really blamed myself for that, you know・・・”

Aya「It's not his weakness, but I had seen his strenght before, like, really... That time was really hard. Really」
Arashi「Right, right」
Aya「Yeah, like since then when I wanna go steady with someone, before I start going steady with someone, you know, I think about the time we'll break up. About the time we'll break up」
Aya「Even in the middle of a relationship there are times when I really・・・ really wonder whether that guy has such a weakness」
Arashi「Yeah, yeah」
Aya「Like, really・・・yeah, I don't wanna have another experience like that」
Arashi「Yeah」
Aya「Yeah」

Then...

Arashi「It would sound strange if I'd tell you you should enjoy yourself instead but...」
Aya「Yeah」
Arashi「Absolutely・・・yeah. If you look at it that way I'm sure you can feel happy everyday」
Aya「Yeah」
Arashi「Yeah」
Aya「You're right」
Arashi「Yeah」
Aya「Ha, ha, ha, ha, yeah」
Arashi「Yeah, like, it's a shame that I can't say it cleverly, but」
Aya「Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha」
Aya「It's difficult, you know, words」
Arashi「Yeah, it's difficult」
Aya「Yeah」
Arashi「Yeah」

From Aya's diary:“I kept some things to my self, but I think I was able to get the message through”

On that day, Aya told Arashi for the first time about the secret she had locked in her heart.

ラブワゴン The Love Bus was driving around Braşov. In the bus, Suuzan and Umechan, who'd never had a boyfriend in her 21 years, were sitting next to each other・・・ She had drawn an arrow going from her to Suuzan in her 「Ume Forecast Diagram」. What the two of them had in common was of course, food.

SuuzanSpicy cod roe. I wanna put one on rice and eat the whole thing at once」
Umechan「Yeah」
Umechan「The last color of yesterday's sunset looked like spicy cod roe. I can't help it」
SuuzanNattou tastes really good, doesn't it?」
Umechan「It's great! I wonder why it's so good」
Suuzan「Yeah」
Suuzan「When you make it a little salty, you know, you put it on rice and it's really delicious」
Umechan「What do you mean, make it a little salty?」
Suuzan「Like, instead of regular sauce you use a little soy sauce
Umechan「Aaah, I see」
Suuzan「Or, kimchi, pickled plums, spicy cod roe, all those variations mixed together with nattou, I'd like to eat a bite of each」
Suuzanbiting sound
Umechan「Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha」

The one who was listening to their conversation with all her ears was・・・Mie.

From Mie's diary:“I envied their laughing together. Umechan's feelings towards Suuzan are clear. She's my rival, but I don't want either of us to regret anything”

正直 Mie had called Umechan out to talk. Mie wanted to express her feelings honestly.

MieI ,and I think maybe you too, realized what my feelings are. But I also noticed what your feelings are. Like, if you...」
Umechan「Yeah」
Mie「Right. Like, there's me, but if it's like this, I've been thinking for a while that I want you to go for it. I meant to tell you, I meant to tell you, like... For the time being, I want you to give priority to your own feelings more than anything else」
Umechan「Ok」

Then・・・

UmechanSob
Mie「What? Umechan, what's wrong?」
Umechan「No, nothing. Sob, sob

Umechan could only keep crying.

梅予想図 That night, Umechan, was drawing her routinely 「Ume Forecast Diagram」

However・・・

She had erased the arrow going from her to Suuzan.

翌日 On the next day in the Love Bus, Hide was keeping the seat next to Aya persistently.

Hide「How is it to be in charge of the meals?」
Aya「No sweat, it's fun, now. I was just writing about it」
Hide「Ok」
Aya「For example・・・ What can we get for how many thousand lei, or...」
Hide「Ooh, great!Great!」
Aya「I've been writing a lot of things. It's interesting」
Hide「It's interesting, isn't it?」
Aya「Yeah」

ドラキュラ The next day, Mircea, the driver, took the seven of them somewhere.

Mircea「That is the famous vampire Dracula's castle
Hide「That?」
Mie「Dracula's castle?」

As the stage for 『Dracula the Vampire』, 『Bran Castle』 is famous worldwide. In the 15th century, the one who was living in this castle was Count Vlad Ţepeş, also called 『The Impaler』. The count impaled people resisting him, and executed sick and old people by burning them alive. These atrocious acts made him the model for Dracula. In the deep forest around the castle even now there are rumors that the victims' grudge still hangs in the air.

翌日 The next day, the seven of them had decided to hike to a spot around Bran castle where they hoped to see the superb view. At once, they started making bentous. At that moment, Hide, who was feeling great, made a suggestion・・・

Hide「Fried garlic・・・ Like, grilled garlic. Let's make garlic toasts」
Mie「Garlic toasts?」
Hide「You fry it on the range, like just a little, you see?」
Suuzan「Then you put it on bread」
Hide「Awesome!That's awesome!」

At once, Hide, went to get the garlic and came back to the kitchen. Then, Hide's special garlic toasts were ready.

Mie「Yeah, it looks good, it looks good. It's filled with it」
Aya「It looks like French bread」
Umechan「It really looks good!」
Hide「Yeah, Dracula's garlic really came in handy」

What!?Dracula's garlic!?
That's right. What Hide had brought back was the garlic they had received during the trip, the garlic that was supposed to serve as a charm to protect them.

Then, for that punishable act, Dracula's dreadful malediction would fall on Hide

ハイキング Just before leaving for the hike, the animals around were acting unusually! The birds were agitated. Moreover, the horses were restless. In addition・・・ a dog was on Alec's leg.

HideAlec, you loser!」
Alec「Hey, hey, you bastard」
Suuzan「Hey」
Alec「Don't you have any pride, you bastard」

The unusual behavior of that dog was completely inexplicable.
Or did it mean the prelude of a horrible curse!?

出発 The seven of them, taking their bentous, left for the hike.

Aya「It looks pretty hard」
Mie「It is hard」
Arashi「It a good slope, you know」

The observation spot was on top of the mountain. The group went into the deep forest. Then, after climbing for 3 hours.

「Are we there?」

They had arrived at the observation spot, from where they could see the whole town.

Group「Let's eat!」

It was time for them to eat the bentous they had been looking forward to.

Aya「Aaah, the bread is good」
Umechan「It's good」

The group, after they had walked for three hours, were devouring their bentous.

1時間後 However, after an hour had past・・・ The surroundings started getting dark. In a moment, very dark clouds spread out.

Mie「Hey, wait. It's gonna rain for sure」
Arashi「Possibly, possibly」
Mie「Let's hurry」
Arashi「Hurry, hurry」

The seven of them had decided to turn back. However,when they entered the forest visibility got even worse.

Arashi「It's really dark」
Hide「Watch your step」
Umechan「It's scary」
Mie「Hey, wait, hey. That's a cliff, like, I can't see ahead」

At that moment!

「Aaaaaaaaaah!」

Heavy rain started falling as lightning struck!
Not only was visibility bad, but it had become slippery and difficult to walk.

Staff「Stop!」
Arashi「Stop!」
Hide「Stop!」
Arashi「Stop!」

The staff had judged that it was too dangerous to continue, and decided to contact the mountain guides at the foot of the mountain by phone to request assistance. The seven of them had to wait there for the guides to come help them.
 

風邪 Among them, Hide, who wanted to protect Aya from the rain, (took her) under a tree a bit away from the group.

Aya「That's ok, I'm fine」
Hide「No problem」
AyaHide, you'll catch a cold, you know」
Hide「That's ok, no problem, you're the girl, you know!」
Hide「Since I met you in Russia, the trip has become more fun. Like, you made me feel fresh」
Aya「Really?Ha, ha, ha, ha」
Hide「Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha」
Hide「You're not cold?」
Aya「I'm good, ha, ha, ha, ha」
Hide「Why are we talking about this in such a rain...」
AyaHide「Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha」
Aya「Seriously」
Hide「We're talking」
Aya「And the thunder rumbles, too」
Hide「Right」
Aya「Forget about it」
Hide「Forget about it」
Aya「Yeah」
Hide「Yeah」

Hide had started talking about his feelings.

Hide「Like, seriously, you know」
Aya「Yeah」
Hide「I wanted to give you self-confidence since we met in Russia. Well, I don't know whether I was successful or not, but at the end of this trip, maybe I won't be able to see you anymore. Or maybe not. I don't know about that, but the person called Aya will be a part of me until I die. So, if for example you're not close to me (in the future), during the time we'll have spent together in the past I will have been able to contribute to giving you strength for your dreams, you know, if I can help. I think that would be great. Yeah. Was I little too abstract?」
Aya「That's ok」
Hide「Ok?」
Aya「Yeah, I got it」
Hide「You got it?」

Aya“I thought, if I'm with him forever, he'll protect me, no matter what”

ガイド At that moment...

Mie「Are they here?」
Alec「Really?Ah, that's right, they're here, they're here, they're here!」

The mountain guides had finally arrived at the spot. However, nobody noticed the separate place where Hide and Aya were. One by one they got help from the guides, and started going down the mountain.

Staff「Umechan, going down slowly is ok, you know」
Umechan「Yeah」
UmechanArashi!」
Staff「You ok?」
Arashi「We're fine!」

At that moment, Hide, Aya, and one of the staff finally started looking for the guides. However...

Aya「We're not lost, are we?Like, there's nobody, right?It's not around here?」
Hide「Ah, over there?」
Aya「Like, we should hear their voices, right, if this was really the place」
Aya「Here?What?Was it that steep, before?」

2時間Since they had started going down the mountain, two hours had past. The others had somehow arrived at the foot.

Alec「Where's Hide and the others ?」
Arashi「What?They're not back?」
Suuzan「Not yet?」
Mie「What?You're kidding」
Arashi「Not here, not here」
Mie「What, seriously?」
Arashi「Yeah」

The desperate group, who had come down the mountain in the heavy rain, were full of mud from head to toe. They were worried about the safety of Hide and Aya, who were nowhere to be found.

Suuzan「Well, they're with those experts, right?」
Mie「If those guys are with them it's safe」
Suuzan「Yeah」

However, 30 minutes later, the mountain guides who were supposed to meet Hide and the others came down.

Arashi「What?Are the mountain guides with them?」
Staff「But the guys from before just came down」
Arashi「Ok. So they're not here?」
Mie「They're not here, aren't they?」
Suuzan「They're not, they're not」
Arashi「What? Seriously? They didn't come down?」
Umechan「What!?」
Mie「Yeah, that's right」
Arashi「Are they ok?」

The guides had looked around without finding anything, and couldn't join the two of them. This rightly was an emergency!

Mie「Even the guides could get lost here... Can you go look one more time」
Suuzan「Yeah, right!」
Mie「By themselves, aren't they gonna get lost?」
Suuzan「Like, it's dangerous, you know, like, like bears or whatever」
Umechan「I feel like they won't find them, you know」
Arashi「They're lost!」

The two of them had been left in the pitch-black darkness.
What fate was awaiting Hide and Aya!?

NEXT WEEK ON AINORI

次週予告

At last, tomorrow!

The last chapter of Hide's trip !

"I'm ok, I'm ok"

"You're not ok, seriously"

"Yeah"

Arashi will do what!?

"Sigh"

"I'm glad I met you"

AINORI #296             AINORI #298

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