Chapter 28: Discussion.

“The 4th activity of the Excursion Club is about to begin,” the boss began.

“I don’t remember us being like that.”

“I thought it would add to the atmosphere, is all.”

“On the contrary, I feel even somewhat relaxed.”

As we decided on the day of the BBQ, the club gathered on a Wednesday in the clubroom, and for some reason, the activities started with a bit of a formal tone.

“Erm, what were we going to do?” I asked.

“Prepare for camping,” the boss answered.

Come to think of it, she’s right.
I was just listening to their conversations while grilling meat, so it didn’t even click.

“Okay, so you mean making plans, getting camping gear, etcetera?”

“That’s right.
First, we need to get camping equipment.
Does anyone here have anything that could be of use?”

“Don’t have it,” “Nope,” “Nada.”

“I don’t have one either,” she herself said.

So no one has it.
The future looks uncertain.

“What do you think we need?”

I guess she hasn’t researched the details beforehand.
I know that the boss is a very systematic person, so she probably wanted to have our input and not cut corners.

“As long as we have tents and food, I think we can make it through the summer.”


“Should we all sleep in a tent together or something?”

“Why should I sleep in a tent with you?”

She scared the ever-living life out of me.
I mean, I was about to tease her, but I still didn’t expect her to come swinging.
I guess she hates the thought of sharing a “room” with me that much.

All of you are girls, save for me.”

“What the? Are you treating me as a girl too, Takasaki?”

“Nah, it’s a figure of speech.
A girl at your age, um…”


Suddenly I felt the air turn sharp as a knife, and I could feel it tickling my throat.
For a woman of her age, this kind of talk must’ve been quite sensitive.
To add insult to injury, I had a wry smile on my face.

I’ll just take this lesson to heart: whenever a girl asks you something like this, answer YES.

“That’s not what I meant.
I think you’re still quite young, but you’re less a girl and more of a woman.
Y’know, like a proper lady.”

“You really only run your mouth on times like these.
I barely see you even part your lips in class or when you’re alone with Yuki.”

I somehow managed to come up with an excuse, but her response still stung.
She still hadn’t digested my quick thinking.

“As for the latter,” I continued.
“It’s Yuki’s fault.”

“You’re on a roll lately, aren’t you?”

Objectively speaking, it seems like I’ve been the storm in this bottle.
Could it be that I’m the cancer here? In that case, I should take responsibility and reset the situation.

“Look, the boss is troubled,” I noted.


Hey, don’t say sorry to her while looking at me. That’s no way to apologize.

“No problem,” the boss still answered so.

“So, what are we going to do? If the boys and girls split up, are the girls sharing one tent?” I said without interrupting the boss.
If I did, the beast who’s glaring at me might start a rampage.

“The same as Takasaki,” the teacher answered.

“Huh? Are we both sharing a tent?”

“What are you on about? I just mean I’ll have my own tent, like you.
Or what? You wanna sleep with me?”

“Nope, I’m fine.
That means it’s up to the boss and Yuki.”

“I can share,” the boss proposed.

“Um, well… I’ll have my own as well…”

You’ve got a bee in your bonnet because you keep staring at people.
Normally, I would’ve insisted on being alone at the first sign of trouble.
Look, the boss is looking directly at you.
Can you really refuse those eyes?

“I mean, a two-person tent will be fine,” Yuki gave up.

I’ve always wondered if she’s a little weak when it comes to the boss.
I mean, she always snaps as easily as any twig when she’s near me.
Oh well, I’m sorry boss, but there may come times when I need you to be my scapegoat in the future.

“I guess the tent thing is settled then.
But even then, we need to minimize each of our luggage as much as possible, not just financially.
We’ll probably have to take a train or bus to get to the campground.”

“What, you guys forgot about me? I can give you a ride,” the teacher chimed in.

“Really? You’re pretty caring, teach.”

Glad to hear it.”

It would be rude to say I didn’t expect her to offer anything, but I really didn’t think she’d offer us her car.
Actually, I wasn’t expecting her to have a driver’s license in the first place.

Then, considering I’ll just have to carry my stuff to school, I should have no problem getting the amount I can have on my body.
This way, we’ll be able to list the things that come to mind and choose without reserve.

“I have a cooler box at home, and I’ve set aside what I think someone can prepare, but what else is there? Anything on the internet?”

“No, I think just looking for correct answers from the start takes the fun out of it.
Let’s think and prepare for ourselves this time.”

As expected of the boss, she prioritizes thinking for oneself.
Well, the club has just started, so failing is par for the course.
It won’t be the end of the world.

Understanding the way she thinks, I felt almost ashamed of searching up how to light a fire on the barbecue.

“What do you guys want to do when camping? I’d like to build a fire and do some outdoor cooking,” I started.

“I’d like to chop some firewood and cook.
I’d also love some relaxing time and reading,” the boss answered.

“Anything as long as I can eat,” Yuki followed suit.

“As for me, I’m up for anything so long as I can sip a nice cold one while savoring nature,” the teacher also answered.

Everyone revealed their desires one way or another.
That alone gave me a glimpse into who they were and what they wanted.

“Well, if we’ll chop firewood to make a fire, we can’t just bring a stove to cook on it.
I’ll bring a lighter as insurance.
In any case, it might be fun to start a fire on our own.”

“I know it well,” I said so, but it’s all second-hand knowledge.
Well, as long as it’s in my head, I should be able to use it.
“Though I’ve only seen the video in passing.”

“I also wanna enjoy building a fire, so it’s a must for me.
The rest we’ll need are just a desk, chair, dishes, cooking utensils, a small handaxe, something to lay out the tent, and… a light source.
Is that all?”

“I’ve heard some campgrounds don’t allow open flames, so depending on where we go, we’ll need to make a fire pit.”

“Okay, I’ll look into it.
What else do you guys have?”

“Nothing,” “Me neither,” “If there’s something that wasn’t mentioned, I’ll tell you directly later.”

“Then it’s settled.
Oh, is everyone okay with money?”

Is it going to be fine? I mean, we three, high schoolers, and even the teacher will have to pay more than we did for the barbecue.
I thought such, but they all gave their okay’s.

From the boss’ house, I could infer her family has more money than the average family, but are Yuki and the teacher also in similar situations?

“I don’t think there are any camping supply stores around here.”

“There’s one in the town next to ours.
How about we go there after school tomorrow?”

“Ah, I’ll be at the Newspaper Club tomorrow,” the teacher said.
“Well, you won’t need me, so just report back to me later on what you bought.”

Oh yeah, she’s also an advisor.
The Excursion Club is only active occasionally, but the Newspaper one seems to publish the school’s newspaper every month, so their club activities are quite frequent.

“What about you two, Takasaki and Yuki?”

“I’m fine with it,” we both answered.

“Then it’s settled.
Tomorrow after class we’ll meet at the gate.
Let’s go straight to the store from there.
I’ll put together a list of the things we discussed today on a piece of paper.”

Once the shopping is done, all we’ll have to do is go camping.
I was excited about the camping trip we’d do, which was just around the corner.

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