Who is the lucky guy?

In the evening, the summer festival started and Houki also helped her aunt by selling charms and divination for the people who came to this festival. She sat on the Shamusho, the shrine's administrative office, helping her aunt to help the people who wanted to buy charms or did divination on the shrine.

Houki might not be good at communicating with people, but it might be because she had helped the shrine during her childhood that she did a good job on her job.

However, this time, it was different since Houki had been in a daze, thinking whether Haru really had come back. She was quite frustrated when she thought that guy didn't even contact her or come to meet her. It made her sulk and wonder whether her position in his heart was really that smile.


Houki held her head while shaking it furiously, but then she heard his aunt's voice.

"Houki-chan! Houki-chan!"

"Ah, yes!"

Houki was startled and turned around but showed a confused expression when she saw her aunt smiling.

"Ichika is here! Look!" Houki's aunt thought that Houki had been in a daze because of Ichika so she pointed her finger in Ichika's direction.

Houki was startled and turned around before becoming dumbfounded since she didn't expect that Ichika would be right in front of her. "I - Ichika?"

"Houki." Ichika smiled gently and asked, "Did I bother you? You were in a daze when I called you before. What's wrong?"

"No - Nothing." Houki shook her head and felt a bit guilty for some reason.

"Is that so?" Ichika didn't overthink then observed Houki, who was wearing a "Miko" (shrine maiden), and he couldn't look away for a moment. "You look great in that."

"Tha - Thank you..." Houki murmured while lowering her head. Unexpectedly, she wasn't as happy as she had imagined, which made her quite frustrated. 'I should like Ichika, right?' She subconsciously held the ribbon that was bought by Haru for her birthday. It had the same design that was bought by Ichika, so Ichika didn't notice it and thought that it was something that he bought for her.

"Houki-chan. Houki-chan."

"Ah, yes?" Houki was startled again and looked at her aunt, who gave her a knowing smile.

"How about you take a break first? I'll find you a yukata," Houki's aunt said with a smile.

"Ah, no, it's alright..." Houki wanted to refuse, but Houki's aunt was persistent and told her to wear a yukata so she could go out with Ichika.

"It's alright. It's alright."

Houki somehow could only bitterly smile.

Still, Ichika smiled when he thought that he could go out with Houki.

After Houki changed into a yukata, she walked out from the Shamusho, but she didn't expect to see Ichikat talking with another girl.

"Ah, Houki!" Ichika waved his hand gently at Houki.

Houki nodded timidly as she grasped the lower part of her yukata, feeling frustrated. She didn't feel frustrated because she saw Ichika together with another girl instead she was frustrated because she didn't feel anything when she saw Ichika with another girl.

Ichika didn't think there was anything wrong with Houki and introduced the girl beside him.

"Hello, I'm Gotanda Ran!" Rin smiled and said, "I have always heard so much about you from Ichika-san, Shinonono-san."

"I - I have heard about you, too." Houki smiled embarrassedly and said, "You're Ichika's friend's little sister, right?"

"Yes!" Ran smiled. "My stupid brother always has troubled Ichika-san."

"It's my first time seeing you in a yukata, Ran." Ichika smiled and praised, "You look good in that."

"Thank you." Ran smiled sweetly, but then she asked, "Oh, right, I have heard that Kasugano-san is also a student at Infinite Stratos Academy is that true?"

Houki frowned when she heard Ran's question, but Ichika smiled gently and said, "Yes, he's my friend."

"Really?" Ran seemed excited when she heard Ichika's answer.

"Yes, I'm glad that he's also there since I won't be the only male in that school," Ichika said with relief since he felt that he would be troubled if he was the only male in the Infinite Stratos Academy.

Houki looked weirdly at Ichika, but she didn't say anything since she also wasn't sure what to say in this situation, but she wondered how the hell Haru could know Ran and she also wondered whether Ichika didn't feel curious at how Ran knew Haru?

However, it wasn't Houki's place to ask this and she also felt annoyed toward that bastard, so she only sullenly, standing there, while looking at the stalls and crowds at the festival.

"Well, what shall we eat first? I'm quite hungry," Ichika said since he thought that Houki was hungry or something.

The three of them walked together, played together, and enjoyed the festival together.

Still, Houki felt something was missing somehow which made her uncomfortable all the time. "Sorry Ichika, I need to go back since it is almost time for Kagura dance."

"I see." Ichika nodded and said with a smile, "Do your best. I'll be watching you."

"Yes." Houki smiled and somehow when she saw Ichika's smile, she felt relief and decided to do her best during her performance on Kagura dance.


When it was time for the Kagura dance, a number of people started to gather on the Kagura-den.

Kagura-den is the building within a Shinto shrine where sacred dance (kagura) and music are offered to "Kami" (deities) during ceremonies. It has the shape of an open stage with Shinto shrine influence over the design.

Ichika also stood there, waiting for the Kagura dance to start and after a while, the music started and Houki slowly appeared on the stage as she danced gracefully.

When Houki danced, everyone couldn't look away and it was as if magic had been cast over them.


"Wow... is there such a beautiful girl in this neighborhood?"

Some people couldn't help but murmur when they saw Houki's figure dancing on the stage.

It was also at this moment, Ichika realized that his childhood friend had grown up and she wasn't that tomboy girl who often fought together on the dojo. His eyes couldn't look away since he realized how beautiful his childhood friend was.

Houki didn't know what Ichika was thinking. Her mind was empty as she performed the Kagura dance, and as she focussed, she felt that the world felt slow and her perception of the world had become sharper. She could see Ichika, who was gawking at her and couldn't look away, which made her smile, but she still felt empty.

Houki kept dancing with an empty mind until she suddenly noticed a familiar figure, who was leaning on the wall, watching her performance silently, which made her eyes wide open.

Houki noticed that familiar figure smiled which made her curl her lips and snort, but then a small curve appeared on her mouth.

With that smile, everyone felt that their mind had exploded and they felt a goddess had descended upon the mortal world.

While Ichika stood there and felt his heartbeat stop for a moment since, at this moment, the beautiful girl on the stage was the only thing inside his mind.

As the music continued, Houki's figure kept dancing, giving her an image of a beautiful flower that had blossomed in the spring.

Some people smiled and could tell that this girl was in love and this dance was meant for the person she loved. Still, they wondered who this lucky guy was?

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