The inside of the train was bustling.
By the time we left the town, the train thinned out.
Even if us high school kids make a ruckus there isn’t anybody to reproach us.
Kurusu plays a leading role as the 4 guys desperately try to start a conversation.
And then each time Kurusu laughed, they would get a wide smile.
The sky that could be seen through the train window was thick and gloomy.
However, as the space between houses grew, it felt good to see the amount of greenery increasing.
I live in the countryside but we are going even further into the country.
「Okutani-senpai thinks so too?」
The first year, Karata, asks me.
I didn’t hear what he said so I gave a vague reply.
「Look, it’s as I thought! Ebara-senpai is weird」
「Is that so? Sunny-side up eggs should be seasoned, though」
Ebara replies with an exaggerated surprise on his face.
What a pointless conversation.
However, that is not so bad.
With the perfect beauty becoming the center of attention, it is a conversation that will be completely forgotten tomorrow.
Kurusu wasn’t losing her smiling expression and was equally responding to everyone.
She doesn’t seem to be tired. I end up thinking such things.
「First, we should go to the museum but…」
We arrive at Mt. Futagi station. It was 9:30 in the morning.
The museum was 15 minutes away on foot and it opens at 10.
The front of the station was somehow prospering.
There were plenty of people who seemed to be climbing the mountain or camping.
It had pretty much everything including a pharmacy, supermarket, and convenience store.
「Should we buy something?」
Since we still have some extra time, Ebara gave such a proposal.
We have already brought along our allotment of food.
If we only get necessities, then we should only need drinks.
Somehow or another everybody enters the convenience store and bought sweets and drinks.
「This is fun」
「Is that so? Then that’s good」
Kurusu addresses me and I replied.
「I’ve never participated in an event like this before」
「I mean, if I went with one group, another group would want me to go with them」
「You went through some various hardships, huh」
This camp is the first club activity she’s done.
That’s why it’s easy for even Kurusu to participate.
「Are you having fun?」
「It’s still early to ascertain」
Leaving the convenience store, we went towards the museum.
The hilly road to the museum was slightly long.
There was also the mountain ascending up in the air too.
There are plenty of dark green trees on both sides; it’s like we are going to a different world.
The refreshing breeze blows away the damp and humid air.
「The museum just opened up」
Ebara ran ahead and bought enough tickets for everyone.
The cost of the admission ticket came out of the club budget.
The museum was in a small, horribly worn down building.
It detailed the discovery of the Futagi ruins.
There was a drawing of each person’s lifestyle during the Jomon period.
There wasn’t really anything that caught the eye.
Even so everyone more or less quietly looked at the display cases and explanations with zeal.
I was no exception either as I looked around on my own.
I look at Kurusu with a fleeting glance. She was reading something with extreme enthusiasm.
The girl was beautiful in the dim building.
Even though she was in her casual clothing she was perfectly dressed.
Her hanging hair hides her ears and her eyes shone with genuine curiosity.
「You better not steal a march on her…」
I heard a trembling voice behind me.
When I turn my head taken aback, there was the square faced Kawauchi.
「Wh-what is it…you scared me」
「Okutani…don’t steal a march on her」
Saying just that, Kawauchi drew near to Kurusu.
Noticing Kawauchi, Kurusu receives him with a smiling face.
The other members also gather around her.
Looking at such a scene, I started to feel strange.
Kurusu likes me.
Since I heard it from the person herself, there can be no mistaking it.
Even now, as she is talking to everyone, she has me in her field of view.
Certainly, if I were to try to steal a march on her, I’m sure I can do it.
But, that would steal the happiness of each of the Human Culture Research club members.
Understanding that, I couldn’t enter their circle.
The comfort of the Human Culture Research club isn’t bad even for me.
Although they are friends I have no objection with Kawauchi and Ebara.
And Karata and Ooki more or less give me that feeling of being a senpai.
Even though I read during club they don’t get mad and they don’t insist on asking for a reason why I return home early.
It is the perfect distance and the perfect environment.
「Let’s go Okutani」
Ebara’s voice brought me to my senses.
Everyone was already walking towards the exit.
We took less than an hour to go around inside the small building.
We went outside and looked at the sky.
It was raining heavily.
I didn’t realize when I was inside the building but quite a bit of rain was falling down.
The sound of the rain falling was like it was hitting the concrete of a parking garage.
The humidity increased and my skin became unpleasantly sticky.
「For now, let’s go back in」
Everyone nodded to my words. We go back inside.
The museum lobby had effective air conditioning.
We sit on a line of benches in front of the windows.
The mountain weather is fickle.
But, the rain showed no sign of stopping.
Taking out a small towel from her backpack, Kurusu wipes the moisture from her forehead.
「Senpai, this is too much」
Karata stared outside with a sad face.
Kawauchi was looking outside with the same face.
「Even though I bought meat…」
「Even I brought some vegetables too」
「Should we go home?」
The one word from Kawauchi was decisive.
The campground was 30 minutes away on foot.
Even if we could go, the campground was right along the river.
The water had probably risen to dangerous levels because of the rain.
We made a reservation but we still hadn’t paid.
If it’s this rain, then we should be fine even if we cancel.
I acted as the representative and went to the reception desk of the museum to call a taxi.
Since there is six of us, it should be fine with two cars.
We waited an hour while the rain poured down incessantly.
It seems everyone was thinking the same thing.
The two taxis finally arrived.
I rode with the two first years.
The rain had become terrible.
The two first years were silent.
We arrived at the roundabout in front of the station.
Since we split it between the three of us, it didn’t cost that much.
When we got off, the taxi driver told us something.
「It’s better if you leave quickly. If the water rises anymore, the trains will stop」