Ch 13 Five-fold version and fortune game
We finally arrived at the main shrine and walked up to the front where there was a place to make a monetary donation.
It’s hard to decide how much to put in at times like this, but I guess we should use five-yen coins here.
I wondered what she was doing, so I looked next to her and saw that she had taken out five 50-yen coins.
“What does that mean?”
“Hmm? It’s a five-fold version of “May you have a five-fold blessing～”
“A fivefold version?”
I couldn’t help but ruminate on these words, which I had never heard before in my life.
Then, she laughed a little shyly.
“I have to do this much to make Haru-kun fall in love with me.”
“I’m not going to fall in love with…”
I knew from her attitude since Christmas Day, but it seems that she has not given up yet.
I let out a sigh and took out three 50-yen coins from my wallet as well.
… I really wanted to put in five coins, but there were only three.
There were people lined up behind me, so I quietly tossed in some coins with Ageha.
After confirming that the coins were properly inserted, I gave two rounds of applause and then meditated.
Originally, this prayer was not to wish for personal desires, but a ritualistic one.
It is said that gratitude and reflection are expressed in this prayer, but in modern times, the meaning of this prayer has been diluted and it has become an event to ask the gods for what we want to achieve in the coming year.
I, too, have decided to throw myself into the current.
What I want to make come true this year…
Last year, I wished that I could be the kind of person that Karen would like.
That wish didn’t seem to come true, though.
I glanced at the thinning eyes and looked at Ageha, who was praying next to me.
–I prayed for her to pass the entrance exam. I also wished for her to find a nice person in high school.
I open my eyes and bow slowly.
I see that Ageha is still in the middle of praying, so I step aside and wait for her to come to me.
A little later, Ageha appears in a huff, weaving her way through the crowd.
“I’m sorry, Haru-kun. I made you wait.”
“I don’t mind, but if you wish too much, God might get mad at you for being greedy.”
“It’s okay! I only prayed for one thing this time.”
“Why did it take so long?”
For someone who only made one wish, it seemed to take too long.
When I asked her in a voice laced with doubt, she sounded somewhat proud.
“I put my heart and soul into it. –I hope that this year, Haru-kun will be interested in me.”
“… I see.”
This is probably the kind of unawareness she shows from time to time rather than an appeal from usual Ageha.
In other words, I am the only one who is embarrassed at this moment.
But that is limited to that moment.
If I were given enough time to objectively recognize my statement, the situation would change.
“… Oh, no, I mean…”
As expected, she turns red in the face and begins to fidget.
It was extremely awkward.
In order to diffuse the atmosphere, I decided to jokingly call out to her.
“But it’s unusual that that’s all you asked God for, isn’t it? Students usually ask God to help them get into high school, don’t they? Are you, by any chance, quite confident?”
When I told her, she just mumbled one word and froze, her face pale.
Maybe she had just forgotten about it.
Eh, no way. Because the examiners are…
“I’m going to go ask for a wish now!”
“Wait, Ageha, calm down!”
I turn around briskly and hurriedly grab the arm of Ageha, who is about to charge into the crowd.
“I prayed for your success! It’s going to be okay!”
When I said this, she stood there looking puzzled.
However, her expression gradually brightened and she leaned forward with a twinkle in her eyes.
“What is it, Haru-kun? Did you ask for a wish about me?”
“No way. You prayed for my success, didn’t you? Other than that! What else did you ask for!”
I shouldn’t have said that…
I moved on to the Omikuji corner, dodging the excitedly entangling Ageha.
“Haru-kun, you are too stubborn.”
Next to me, I could see that Ageha’s lips were pouting, as if she was not happy that I had not said anything.
Pretending not to notice, I suggested, “Come on, let’s make a fortune.”
Reluctantly, I handed the money to the miko and received the fortune-tube.
I paid the money with her.
“Haru-kun, go ahead and do it.”
“Pfft, if Haru-kun gets a bad one, the odds of me getting a good one go down, right?”
“What if I get good luck?”
Ageha stiffens on the spot, saying that the thought had never occurred to her.
I wonder if it’s okay, this examinee.
In the end, Ageha was the first to pull out.
“Come on, great luck!” After carefully jangling the omikuji tube while muttering, Ageha seemed to finally make up her mind and pointed it upside down.
She takes a stick in her hand and then hands it to me.
Not being a student taking the exam this year, I moved the omikuji tube two or three times before taking out the stick.
I handed it to the priestess, who brought me each omikuji from a wooden box behind her.
As I was about to take it and look at it, Ageha said, “Wait a minute!” She stopped me.
“I’ll open the door for you. Let’s see who has better luck!”
“I don’t know if that’s what a fortune is.”
Oh well. I brought the omikuji in a position where we could see each other.
With the word “Se-no” from a rather happy-looking Ageha, the omikuji was opened with a bang.
“Yay, great luck!”
“I’m… the bad one.”
Contrary to the happy-looking Ageha, my fortune has the word “bad luck” engraved on it.
I don’t really care about the result of the fortune at all.
There are stories that a bad omikuji is rare, and that it will bring good luck, while there are stories that a bad omikuji is never lower than a bad omikuji, and that it will bring good luck for the whole year.
So I don’t mind at all.
…I really don’t care, but I’ll put this omikuji away for later.
“I beat you, Haru-kun!” I quickly look over the omikuji, trying not to be seen by the excited Ageha.
… Be careful with women’s problems, huh?
I don’t believe in fortune-telling, but I still think it’s better to keep this fortune.
After reading the omikuji and buying good luck charms for my family and myself, we decided to eat zenzai (sweetened red bean soup) sold in the shrine.
In this cold weather, people seemed to have the same idea of warming up with zenzai, and there were quite a lot of people waiting in line.
“I’ll get two, and you can wait for me somewhere warm.”
“I’m sorry. Besides, it’s warmer this way, right?”
Saying this, and looking a little embarrassed, Ageha took off her gloves and held my hand.
It was cold, but the warmth of her body heat coming from deep inside me was warm.
I was a little afraid that I was getting used to holding hands with her like this, but I didn’t feel like I could escape it now.
I squeezed her hand back and she looked up at me with a wobbly smile.
Her face is hot.
…I guess I wasn’t used to it after all.
Just when we were hoping that our turn would come soon, a voice called out to us from behind.
When I turned around, there was Karen, dressed in a familiar kimono, and next to her was a young man with brown hair.
You can get Advance Chapter – Patreon