The Beautifully Blooming Smile
(Thank you to Scarlett for the commission!)
As I walked back to my own room after finishing training like usual, Yuzuki’s figure entered my eyes.
Yuzuki was in the corner of the garden, quietly working while humming.
[NOBUHARU]: “You look like you’re enjoying yourself quite a bit. What are you doing?”
For an instant she showed surprise when I softly called out to her from behind but, upon seeing me, she showed a gentle smile.
[YUZUKI]: “Nobuharu-san, look.”
Saying that, Yuzuki pointed to a flower with a large bulb.
[YUZUKI]: “I think it’ll flower after a few more days.”
[NOBUHARU]: “Oh? You grew it?”
Yuzuki nodded happily while looking at all the colorful flowers.
[YUZUKI]: “I’ve raised them well up to this point, but I can’t drop my guard yet.”
[NOBUHARU]: “… What do you mean by that?”
[YUZUKI]: “Flowers are very sensitive and if you don’t remove weeds or pull out withered flowers then they won’t be able to reach nutrients.”
[YUZUKI]: “… It takes time and effort but because of that you get attached.”
[YUZUKI]: “If you raise them carefully then beautiful flowers will bloom.”
[NOBUHARU]: “… You love flowers, don’t you.”
Yuzuki nodded and showed a smile that was as bright as the sun.
[NOBUHARU]: “Don’t over do it and take breaks too.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, but before that I need to water the flowers.”
I watched affectionately as Yuzuki took care of the flowers again and quietly left the place so as not to disturb her work.
[NOBUHARU]: “Flowers, huh…”
[NOBUHARU]: “Hrm, what do I do…”
I was at a loss as to whether I should hand over a certain thing I bought from a peddler in town.
[NOBUHARU]: (I’ve come all the way to the front of her room. I guess I should just hand it over…)
At that moment, the screen slid open all of a sudden.
[YUZUKI]: “Nobuharu-san…!? What’s the matter?”
[NOBUHARU]: “The same goes for you. You’re leaving your room at this time…”
[YUZUKI]: “The moon tonight is beautiful so I thought I’d look at it once more before sleeping.”
[YUZUKI]: “Nobuharu-san, why are you here…?”
[NOBUHARU]: “Erm, you see…”
I showed Yuzuki what I held in my hand.
[YUZUKI]: “Is it possibly flower seeds?”
[NOBUHARU]: “Yeah… I thought I’d gift you flowers today and went to town to buy them.”
[NOBUHARU]: “Then, um… a peddler had a very cute and unusually-shaped flower, so they suggested I try gifting that.”
[NOBUHARU]: “So, I wanted to buy that flower however what was handed over wasn’t the flower but flower seeds… That’s how it went.”
Yuzuki stayed quiet and watched me as I smiled wryly.
[NOBUHARU]: “Sorry, it became an unromantic present.”
[YUZUKI]: “… Nobuharu-san.”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m happy…”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes! Really happy!”
Yuzuki took one of the seeds from my hand and showed a broad smile.
[YUZUKI]: “It’s this late but, if you don’t mind, why don’t we plant them together?”
[YUZUKI]: “I can’t wait to see what kind of flower blooms in the future.”
[NOBUHARU]: “Yeah, you’re right.”
Digging up the dirt, we quietly planted the seeds.
[YUZUKI]: “This will be alright.”
The seeds were gently covered with dirt and then, at the end, given some light water.
[YUZUKI]: “Ah… your hands are dirtied.”
Yuzuki wetted a hand towel in the bucket of water and tenderly wiped my hands, dirtied with dirt.
[NOBUHARU]: “Hey, your towel is going to get dirty.”
[YUZUKI]: “I don’t mind. You gave me such lovely flower seeds, so let me do this much.”
Yuzuki continued to carefully wipe my hands.
[YUZUKI]: “Nobuharu-san, your hands are really large, huh.”
[NOBUHARU]: “… Are they?”
[YUZUKI]: “Look, there’s this much difference.”
Yuzuki matched her own palm to mine and grinned.
[YUZUKI]: “Would you raise these flowers together with me?”
[NOBUHARU]: “Of course.”
[YUZUKI]: “… Thank you.”
Yuzuki gave a soft smile.
In her large eyes the moonlight was faintly reflected and it glimmered a pale white.
[NOBUHARU]: “… Flowers are beautiful, but your smile is much more beautiful.”
Yuzuki’s cheeks turned a slight red and she looked down as if in embarrassment.
[NOBUHARU]: “I’m praising you as beautiful, so please don’t look down.”
[YUZUKI]: “… Okay.”
I held Yuzuki’s hand, entwining our fingers, and she too held my hand back in the same way.
I brought myself closer to her face, as if being sucked into those shining eyes.
[NOBUHARU]: (The two of us will be sure to see this flower bloom beautifully.)
Quietly our lips separated and I tenderly pulled Yuzuki, whose eyelashes were lowered shyly, into me—