(Title – 温泉療法 – Onsenryōhō – Onsen Therapy)
Usagi notes: This part of the story is 100% fictional. Haven’t been to an onsen in the Wakayama Prefecture before. I’ll just follow the traditional set-up in onsens. (´・ω・`)
The celestial night sky was embellished with multitudes of glittering stars. The silver moon’s glow brought light to this mundane world as it shone on the serene blue sea. Five teenagers leisurely walked toward the onsen, nearest to their hotel.
“Waaah~ Sakaguchi-kun, you should have chosen to make reservations in the onsen resort itself. It’s too much hassle to move from one resort to another,” Aiko complained.
“I’m sorry Maki-san. I didn’t expect that we’ll be going to an onsen. This is actually not included in our itinerary,” Naoki explained.
Hearing this, Ken immediately came to the rescue. “Hey, Maki, don’t blame my wife. He’s just the planner. Kichi, why do you want to go to an onsen? You can find this almost anywhere. Maybe we can consider going to one some other time,” Ken defended his ‘wife.’
Ryu furrowed his brows when he heard this. “We’re already on the way, do you still want to go back?”
“Uh~ he he, no, of course not. I’ll listen to the boss,” Ken helplessly replied.
Kichiro looked at everyone. Feeling that he was the one at fault, he suddenly apologized to Ken: “I’m sorry, Senpai. I just want to try it here. I actually like going to onsens. It’s so relaxing.” He bowed down his head after saying this.
Ken felt like he stepped on a poor, helpless rabbit. Instead of disdain, he felt shame in his heart, as if his heart was pinched: “Ha ha, it’s okay Kichi. I feel like soaking in warm water anyway. No need to worry. Oh, and you can just call me Ken. We’re friends anyway.” He awkwardly smiled at Kichiro and began to rub the other boy’s back.
Ryu’s eyes flashed a cold ray upon seeing this intimacy between the two. He immediately moved in between them: “No touching,” he indifferently said.
“Sorry boss. I’m just fooling around,” Ken chuckled.
“Ryu, it’s fine. Don’t mind it. Hey Ki-kun, are we allowed to wear swimwear in this onsen we’re going to?” Kichiro intentionally changed the topic.
“Uh, Aniki, I don’t think so. I’m not so sure. Let’s just check once we’re already there.”
After a few minutes of walking the group finally arrived in the neighboring resort. They were met with a grand entrance, seemingly inviting the customers.
Aiko’s eyes glimmered upon seeing this. “Wow, I changed my mind. Looks like this is going to be fun!”
The group entered the onsen. They were welcomed by attendants wearing yukatas. “Welcome dear guests. Thank you for choosing our resort. Please be mindful of the rules and regulations. No swimwear when going to the pool, no cameras, and no tattoos. Please read our guidelines. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.”
A thought suddenly flashed in Ken’s mind. In his train of thought, he imagined Naoki not wearing any clothes. “This is what I’ve been waiting for, he he,” he muttered to himself, just like a perverted old man.
Naoki caught sight of the stupid look on the other boy’s face. He suddenly felt a chill run up his back toward his scalp. “Senpai, don’t you dare think of anything shameless. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”
“Huh? I was just… elated. That’s it. This is a happy time for everyone. Is it wrong to be happy?” Ken explained.
Naoki narrowed his eyes, then said: “Just because I agreed to go out with you earlier, that doesn’t mean you’re free to do anything as you please.”
“I will be the most patient husband,” Ken smiled.
After that, the group finally decided to enter the onsen. Kichiro was walking behind Naoki and Ryu was the last to enter. Kichiro has not yet taken half a step when Ryu grabbed him by his wrist. Kichiro looked back as the others continued moving forward. “What’s wrong?”
“Are you sure about this?” Ryu was hesitant as he asked.
“About going inside… About getting naked in front of other people.” Ryu looked at Kichiro with puppy eyes.
“Ha ha! Are you shy about getting naked?”
“Baka, I don’t care about myself. I have something I can boast about. I just don’t want others to see you naked.”
“Wow! You’re so full of yourself. I know that… uh, you have something big down there. Regarding getting naked, I’m used to it. Just like what I said earlier, I love going to onsens,” Kichiro justified.
“Okay. You can go inside but only on one condition.”
Kichiro did not respond yet. He touched his chin as he pondered over it. “Okay, what’s the condition?”
“You can dip in the water only if there’s few people and stay away from Ken and Naoki.”
“I don’t see the point.”
Ryu hesitated to explain but he had no other choice: “I’ll get jealous.”
The corners of Kichiro’s mouth curled up to a smile, then he chuckled: “Ha ha! You already have me. You can rest assured that nobody can snatch me from you.”
“That’s not the point. I just… I just feel awkward.”
“Nah, you’re just thinking too much. Let’s just get inside and have some fun. Don’t think too much.”
In the end, Kichiro was able to convince Ryu. They followed after the others to go take a shower first before dipping in the pool. After they finished taking a shower they left the changing room and met the others.
“Sugoi! Ai-chan, that yukata looks good on you!” Kichiro complimented Aiko.
“Don’t drool on me, okay. Ueno-senpai might get jealous, ha ha.”
Kichiro then realized what he had said. He looked back to see how Ryu reacted who turned out to be looking calm and seeming not to care. He then heaved a sigh of relief.
“Ooh! Kichi, sit with me. I want to tell you how our date was,” Ken suddenly approached Kichiro.
The other boy did not respond immediately. He was about to look back for the second time when Ryu was already standing behind him: “Ano…”
“You can tell your story, but I’ll sit in between,” Ryu indifferently said.
Kichiro frowned because of this. “Give me some space, will you?” he then walked out after saying this.
“OMG! Man, you made your wife mad. Go coax him,” Ken urged.
“Shut up, I know what I’m doing,” Ryu also walked out.
Ken, who was left alone in the reception area, was dumbfounded. “What did I do?” he muttered to himself.
It was already 11 in the evening. The steam from the warm water made the atmosphere a little hazy, but this did not prevent the onlooker from enjoying the stunning view of Wakanoura Bay. Since it was late at night and it was not the peak season, the people in the pool could only be counted with one hand. This made the place quite peaceful and more relaxing.
“I hate it! I’m all alone here and you’re all over there on the other side!” Aiko yelled. She was the only person in the section for the girls.
“Ha ha! We can’t let you come in here! At least we can still talk. Thanks for helping me earlier, by the way,” Ken chuckled.
“You’re welcome, but that doesn’t help me. Hello! I’m alone here. A poor damsel, left alone in this lonely place,” Aiko continued sulking as she splashed the water around her in dismay.
“It’s all right, Ai-chan. Stay close to the wall and I will stay there on the other side,” Kichiro calmly said, in an attempt to make the girl calm down. “By the way, what’s Ken talking about? I mean, he said you helped him.”
“Ooh~ let me tell you what happened. This is what I was going to tell you earlier, Kichi,” Ken excitedly said as he tried to move toward where Kichiro was. He suddenly remembered that Ryu was nearby so he just decided to sit beside Ryu. “He he, I’ll sit here beside the boss.”
“Wait, before you say anything, where is Ki-kun?” Kichiro wondered.
“Ano, where is my wife?!?” Ken exclaimed.
“Who’re you calling your wife?” Naoki finally arrived. He was covering his lower-body part with the small towel that he was holding, as he slowly descended into the pool.
“Baby, I was talking about you of course. Now come and sit beside daddy while I give you a back rub,” he shamelessly urged Naoki. He noticed that Naoki was covering his “precious part,” he then followed: “Hey, no fair! Why are you covering that!”
Naoki sat beside, saying “Do I really need to explain that? I don’t want to be molested by you, of course. You always act like a perverted old man. I thought you were the famous University Casanova? How come you’re acting like this?” Naoki’s sharp tongue pierced right through Ken’s heart.
“Ouch! You’re so harsh to me. I thought we’re already dating. You agreed.”
“But that doesn’t mean that you have to act this way. Ano~ Aniki, I’ll go back to our hotel. I feel a bit sleepy.” Without further ado, Naoki left them.
“Ki-kun, wait, I feel a bit dizzy. Let me go back with you,” Kichiro followed after him.
Ryu was shocked that Kichiro did not even bat an eye on him. He knew very well that the other boy was still sulking about what happened earlier. Because of this, he immediately rose up from where he was seated then ran after the other boy.
“Hey, don’t leave me here!” Ken, who was left alone again, had no other option but to run after them.
All of a sudden, the once bustling pool became desolate with its deafening silence. All that could be heard was the sound of the waves, crashing on the shore.
“Uh, guys?!? Are you still there?” Aiko was the only one left.