[Insert text: In both flowers and in this man, there lies a special "power"... / All to be used for the sake of those whom he must protect.]
[Side text: Once again, a familiar face appears at the shop. Bringing not oden, but an item filled with consideration for his father.]
FoxKid: Excuse me!
Watanuki: Welcome to the shop.
FoxKid: Ah... / Um, take a look at this! // I had a go at some more baking...
Watanuki: Bell-shaped Castella cakes...
FoxKid: I tried to make them just like you taught me...
Watanuki: Can I try one?
[SFX: quiver quiver]
FoxKid: Y - You mean it? // I wonder if Dad will let me sell them at our store...!
Watanuki: Oh, yes. / I'm sure he won't mind selling these.
FoxKid: All right~!
Watanuki: You really are quite something. / Making cakes yourself, and selling them to save up for a present for your father's birthday.
FoxKid: Eh? / I - It's not like that! // Usually I go out and pick flowers for him and things like that... / But this year there was something I wanted to get for him, so...
Watanuki: What would that be, then?
FoxKid: An apron. / The one he's got is kind of falling apart, so I wanted to get him a new one. // O... / Oh, but...! / You mustn't tell him about this, okay?! // I've told him I just want to earn the money for myself...
Watanuki: Don't worry. / I won't tell anyone. // The other day, he brought the whole cart round here to sell me some oden, but I didn't say a word.
Watanuki: I'm sure your father will love the present.
Watanuki: Actually... // I should be getting something ready, too.
Doumeki: Sorry I'm late.
Watanuki: Did you stop by your place?
Watanuki: I can't believe you weren't even planning to go home today until I mentioned it.
Doumeki: It's not like they mind.
Watanuki: I bet the dinner they made tonight was full of things that you like, though, wasn't it?
Watanuki: Well, it is... / ...your birthday, after all. // Still, I don't think I've ever heard of a less appropriate birthday. / You, on the third of March?
Watanuki: [aside]the Hina-freaking-matsuri![/aside]
Doumeki: Hinamatsuri is one of the five seasonal festivals, you know. / It was originally the Day of the Snake, in the first third of the third month, but was later fixed to the third day of the month for convenience. // Since time immemorial, seasonal transitions have been seen as especially vulnerable to the intrusion of malicious forces... / ...so the original purpose of the festival is warding off evil.
Doumeki: And it's also known as the Peach Festival.
Watanuki: Because it takes place in peach season?
Doumeki: That's not the only reason. // The third day of the third month in the old calendar did indeed fall in the peach season...
Doumeki: ...but peaches have long been thought to have the ability to dispel malicious forces, / and as a result, they were often used for religious purposes. // That's why the Snake festival, whose purpose is dispelling malicious forces, came to be known as the Peach Festival. // Incidentally, those "malicious forces" can also be personified as "oni". / So peaches have the ability to drive away oni. // That's the basis of the legend of Momotarou, the peach boy famous for fighting against oni. // So I think you'll find it's not just a festival for girls.
[SFX: pour pour]
Watanuki: I guess you aren't a university student for nothing, huh.
Watanuki: Peaches dispelling evil... / ...huh...
Watanuki: I see. / I suppose if you look at it that way, it is a fairly appropriate birthday for you.
[SFX: slip // reach]
[Side text: What meaning lies behind the ring that Watanuki presents to Doumeki, whose abilities reflect those of the peach?! Is the time of the choice drawing steadily nearer?!]
[Bottom text: To be continued next issue - see you in Young Magazine Issue 16, on sale Saturday 20th March!]
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