What was Princess Kaguya thinking?
An existence that could never have existed came to another world, crying, laughing, getting angry, at times happy, at times sad, acting as if she had always belonged there. What could have been going through her head?
Knowing she would one day return to the moon, what mentality did she hold as she lived with the old man and woman? The main character of this story is Princess Kaguya.
But I do not hold the means to tell the tale of her summer.
It was a story like a dream.
Not vivid by any means, the dream of a summer’s day, passing by like a heat haze.
Yet—neither was it a nightmare.
Morning, the first day of training camp.
How should I put it, it was summer. A blue ocean and white sand beach expanded before my eyes. The sky was so clear it couldn’t be any clearer, the sunlight pricking into my exposed skin.
If this isn’t summer, I don’t know what is.
“Maan, this year sure is hot.”
“Kagoshima-senpai. Please make that rampart a little thicker.”
My stylish jest was obstructed by serious orders.
For a certain reason, the five members of the ComClub were spending their time on a fully-reserved beach. Kurisu-chan and I were building a sandcastle, and Kurisu-chan seemed to be hooked, as the western-styled fortress nearing its glorious completion was going through the process of excessive detail.
If you’re wondering why we’re doing something like this,
“Alright! That’s match point! Not lookin’ so hot anymore, are ya Orino!”
“Kuu… t-this is where the real battle begins.”
It was because Kikyouin-san and Orino-san had begun a beach volleyball battle. At first, it was four of us (Kagoshima and Kurisu vs Orino and Kikyouin) but ever since Orino accidentally smashed her serve into Kikyouin-san’s head, something went awry.
Of small calibre in the strangest places, Kikyouin-san naturally returned the favor, and childish in the strangest places, Orino-san happily obliged… an endless loop, and in the end, “We’ll settle this one on one!” was the final development.
“… They’re really going at it,” I let out a light sigh.
Turning my back to the two carrying on a high-level match unthinkable for normal high school girls, I returned to constructing the castle.
“Probability of a feint, eighty-seven percent.” “The ball split!?” “There are two… Kikyouin-san’s…” “My god, she’s discovered the golden rectangle…?” “The ball disappeared!?” “Wait, it’s returning like a boomerang…” “Y-you intend to play doubles on your own…” “Kuh. No matter where I hit it, the ball’s drawn to Orino like a magnet…”
I heard some lines that should never make their way out the pages of the Prince of Tennis, but there’s no way they were carrying out such a superhuman battle, right?
Separate from the two hustling under the blazing sun, Kurisu-chan and I piled our sand bit by bit.
“It’s almost complete.”
“Yes… no, please wait. Isn’t it best we secure a space here to deploy anti-flying-dragon barrier sequences… and if we don’t make the magic circulation system more complex and add in some fake-outs, the enemy will see us through…”
Kurisu-chan’s obsession lay in the strangest places.
It felt wrong to get in the way of the girl growing zealous in her sand play as if possessed by something, so I quietly left her be.
Me included, it looks like everyone’s in high spirits.
Well, who could blame them? I mean, today was the first day of training camp. Just imagining the sort of camp life we’d be living raised team morale. Or so it should have, yet—
“Are you alright, Kagurai-senpai?”
A beach parasol erected a short distance from the others. I called out to the girl hugging her knees on the vinyl sheet lain out underneath it.
“… Mn? Y-yeah. I’m fine.”
“If you’re not feeling well, then maybe you should return to the hotel…”
“No. I really am fine. Don’t worry.”
When she said that in a lifeless voice, it only made me all the more worried.
The one who seemed like she’d be the most active in this sort of thing, Kagurai-senpai, had been like this since morning. If you struck up conversation, it was nothing but half-hearted replies, she made a sullen face all the way.
I wonder what happened.
It was only the first day, she should have enough energy to spare.
“I’m just thinking about some things…”
Her heart didn’t seem to be here, as she gazed absentmindedly at the sky.
Somewhere out there, Kikyouin-san’s one hundred and eight times blessed spike pulverized Kurisu-chan’s super high-quality stronghold, yet when such an interesting scene had transpired, there was no change in her expression.
Her profile looked somewhat tired.
Rather than tired… perhaps she looked like she’d had enough.
As if a movie she had already seen was played on repeat again and again.
Such was the face that Kagurai-senpai made.