Today I was assigned to assist the tea ceremony club.
Why did I, a tomato juice believer, visit a tea ceremony club that believes in a drink that looks like an alien's bodily fluids? The project to rehabilitate Alina has just started, and I believe that the recent incident at the art club was a great success. I hope so. My side was lacerated by Alina's attack with a mechanical pencil, but it is a small sacrifice. I can still fight.
Let's turn back the clock a little.
During recess, a slit-eyed Gento comes into the classroom and joins me.
I'm sorry to interrupt, but are you free after school?
'I'm a member of the homecoming club.'
''So you're free?
'You idiot. We're on a mission to save the planet. There's no way I'm free.
''Rumor has it that Hiba and Comet are helping the club on a whim, is that true?''
The purpose is not to help, but to rehabilitate Alina. His expression is not wrong, but we cannot reveal the purpose. Everyone would laugh if they knew that he spends his after-school hours working on Alina to improve his tongue and attitude. The comrades of the world would be disappointed to know that a homecoming club member, who values immediacy, is being held up after school. I hope she gets well as soon as possible.
That's pretty much it.
''Then why don't you come to the tea ceremony club today?''
'Sure, but we'll help you within our skill set. I don't know anything about tea ceremony.
'Don't worry. I'll just ask you to drink it and tell me what you think.
'Yes. That's all.
You want me to drink that alien's bodily fluids?
So there we are, in front of the tea ceremony club room, with a still grumpy Alina.
To tell the truth, I was tired from the event of kidnapping Tsuru and taking him to meet Alina a few minutes before, but I had to take responsibility for what I was asked to do. To be honest, if I had Gento's contact information, I would have texted him to say 'Sorry, I can't go because I heard that Mars is in trouble. d*mn, you're a lucky guy, Gento.
What are you doing?
'They're having tea. I don't know the details.
'Huh? That's it? Then you don't need us.
No, no, no, think about it. Maybe they want us to drink tea because none of the members of the tea ceremony club can drink tea due to allergies or something?
'You're the dumbest person I've seen in recent years. That's amazing. I've never seen such an idiot. You're too stupid.
'Beethoven continued to make music even though he was deaf. That's what I'm talking about.
'What are you dressed up for? You're disgusting. That fire extinguisher there is much better looking than you.
'Aren't you being too harsh? You'll cry, won't you?
What was that shyness you showed earlier in your exchange with Niwatatsuru?
And it seems I've been defeated by an inorganic object. As of this hour, the fire extinguisher has become an enemy of the homecoming club members. I request its immediate removal.
Talking in front of the club room for a long time would not start anything, so I knocked on the door in a small way, thinking that they would respect the quietness of the room.
I entered the room and saw the tatami mats. I could not understand what they were doing, but they were sitting on the floor doing something.
Gento asked me to come in.
'Oh, Gento is ________!
One female member of the club looked at Alina and was startled. Well, that's what happens. I've gotten used to that reaction recently. I glanced at Alina, who already had a wrinkle between her eyebrows. You know, you need to work on your facial expressions. Go to the convenience store and buy a 'smiley' and a 'happy'. They cost about 600 yen. Cheap, right?
Seeing Arina Nippa with her bratty attitude, I decided to smile so that the atmosphere in the tea ceremony club would not get worse. That would help. Like a bad cop, good cop. I'm your comfort.
Your smile is unnatural.
When Gento appeared, he made a truly inhumane statement. I would like to know for whom and for which organization he decided to smile.
I'm sorry. I'll go to the convenience store and buy a smiley face.
'What are you talking about? Well, can I ask you to drink it right away?''
Good. Oh, and for you, Alina, Tabasco, not matcha.
'You'll break every bone in your body.
And so the matcha trial drinking began.
I thought it was something you could drink instantly, but apparently they make it from scratch. I had no idea how to make it, so I just observed the movements of the members of the tea ceremony club.
Then the tea was ready. Before drinking the matcha, I asked a question that had been bothering me.
Why are we drinking it?
I want to hear what people who don't know matcha at all think about it. It's not fresh to hear from someone who understands it. And they start to share their knowledge and other useless things. That's why I want direct feedback.
Maybe I'm asking the wrong person.
First of all, I've been a tomato juice addict since before the earth was born, and I don't need to be asked what I think of other beverages. Alina, with all her potential, might give you a great opinion.
Well, then Alina should drink it first. We can take that as a model answer. I have no more of the 'freshness' that Gento demands, but I have a special sense of taste, so please forgive me this time.
'Alina. Drink first. I'm afraid to drink it for the first time.'
'I don't mind. I'll drink it then.
With that, she sat up straight and tipped her bowl of tea to her mouth.
That's it? What are you, a toddler just learning to speak?
Now it's my turn. I took a sip of the slightly foamy matcha in my hand.
What I'm about to tell you is what I saw the moment I took it.
It was light.
Thousands of thin, stretched lights running through the moon-shrouded night. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. The lights, soaked with hatred, ran across the sky and fell to the horizon with a high-pitched sound like a woman's scream. We had the same skin color and spoke the same language, but we kept squeezing the trigger. To someone we didn't know.
Tired of collecting dog tags for my friends, I decided to go home. For my country, I said at first, but I didn't have any noble intentions. Because it was a "normal" thing to do. So now that I am living a peaceful life drinking green tea, I have a thought.
It is very bitter.
I said yes. I honestly don't think I'll ever drink it again.
Wasn't it bitter? This is a particularly bitter matcha, and it's hard to enhance the flavor, but I'm glad you liked it.
Gento-kun, I'm not kidding, it's super bitter. It's too hard for us beginners.
Alina, next to me, is also astonished and looks a little unhappy. She was probably as surprised as I was at the bitterness of the tea, and she said that she didn't want to hurt the members of the tea ceremony club. Me too.
Is there a sweet one?
It's not as sweet as sugar, though. It's more mellow, but you'll know what I mean.
I see. I'll try it sometime.
'I'll make it, do you want some?'
No, I'll drink it someday.
Yes, I will drink it in my next life.
Alina shakes her head and refuses to drink, so I decide to leave the group. She seems to have been traumatized.
As we left the tea ceremony club and walked down the corridor, Alina whispered to me.
I hate you for making me drink first.
I'm sorry. I didn't think it would be that bitter. I heard it was special.
'I want some cocoa. I want it so bad.'
'Well. I hope it falls from the sky.
'I'd love to drink it.'
She stopped in front of a vending machine and said so.
'I want a drink.
I wanted to tell him to hold out for tap water, but Comet Sakakiki, a homebody with a generous heart, unwillingly bought him a drink. He threw the cold cocoa to Alina in a light arc. She caught it with a startled 'wow' at the suddenness.
It really fell from the sky.
'May this investment save the world.
'What's that? You make it sound like I'm the bad guy. You're losing money to a fire extinguisher. It's pathetic.
What kind of situation is it to be defeated by a fire extinguisher? I really wish she would relearn Japanese. Oh dear, I have no idea. I hope she will soon become an exemplary person like me.
Her rehabilitation will take a long time.