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Chapter 85
Kanji

謎の雪

Information
Relationship milestones Youko and Urabe share a bath at a public bathhouse, and bare both their bodies and their souls to one another.
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MYSTERIOUS BATH

CHAPTER 85 OF THE MANGA

Summary

After the daily drool routine, Urabe finds herself downtown at the shopping district during a heavy snow. There, quite by coincidence, she sees Youko Tsubaki with a strange man. The two part, and Youko, per chance, runs into Urabe. Youko leads Urabe, crying all the time, to a downtown public bathhouse and spa. She wants the two of them to take a bath together. This they do. In addition to baring their bodies to one another, they bare their own souls, too, telling each one secrets never before reveled. Youko finds out that Urabe is a virgin, just like her brother ! After parting company, Youko comes upon her younger brother, Akira, going to meet her with an umbrella. They walk together towards home. Soon, they pass by an empty lot, now covered with virgin snow. This brings to mind an incident to Youko, when long ago she jumped into the new fallen snow in this very lot, just to make a first impression in the snow. So, in a cryptic and unknown to him manner, Youko pushes Akira down into the virgin snow. He is greatly puzzled. However, Youko tells herself that this unique incident is a sign and portent of the fact that when Akira has sex with Urabe for the first time, he will be 'making an imprint in virgin snow' !

Plot

One winter's day, Urabe and Tsubaki are doing their daily drool routine. However, for some strange reason, or maybe pure coincidence, at the very moment that Tsubaki tastes Urabe's drool, it starts snowing, hard ! The snow starts coming down in big flakes. Tsubaki remarks that tomorrow they may be doing their drool routine in quite a bit of snow. The two go their separate ways, with Urabe ending up downtown at the shopping district, and Tsubaki apparently going home. The snow continues to come down heavily. Urabe pops open an unbrella, and falls in behind a couple sharing their umbrella. But wait ? The couple walking a ways in front of her is Youko Tsubaki and a handsome man that she has never seen before. The man is professional looking in a business suit with tie, whereas Youko is wearing a jacket, a sexy denim mini-skirt, black tights, and knee-high black boots. Urabe continues to follow them for some distance. After a while, Youko separates from the man, bows deeply as a goodby gesture, and then turns around and walks in Urabe's direction.

As she goes by, Youko is surprised to see Urabe. Youko has such a surprised look on her face ! It has been a while after all ! However, Youko is acting very unpredictable, as she grabs Urabe's wrist, and with a look of determination on her face, begins to drag Urabe along with her. Without saying a word, Urabe follows Youko's lead. Finally, Youko lets go of Urabe, and turning to face Urabe, shows that she has been silently crying for most of the time that they have been walking together. Youko then crotches down towards the sidewalk, and with her hands covering her face, continues to mournfully cry. Urabe bends down to ask her if anything is wrong ? A very embarrassed Youko sobs that she can't go home now, not crying like this ! Turning her tear-stained face away from her hands now, a still very unpredictable Youko asks Urabe a very unpredictable question---Would you please take a bath with me ? Right now ?

Youko has actually lead Urabe to right in front of a downtown public bathhouse. Urabe did not know that this town even had such a bathhouse downtown. A much grieving Youko pulls Urabe inside. Youko pays for two, sequestered in a private room and bath, at the counter. Both go to their private room, and begin to undress. Urabe thinks to herself that this has turned into such a weird experience. And the weirdness continues when Urabe removes the shirt part of her sailor fuku (sailor suit school uniform), and Youko garbs it and smells it deeply !?! She says that it smells 'like my high school days' ! Urabe is nonplussed, but remains silent. In a while, both are undressed, with only a towel wrapped around themselves.

They walk together to the hot tub, and discarding the towels, ease into the hot water. Now sitting and relaxing in their private hot tub spa, Urabe asks Youko if she has calmed down ? Youko says that she feels better now. Urabe begins a tentative conversation, asking who the guy was that Youko was with earlier ? Youko answers that she went out with him in high school. The one mentioned some time ago ? He was the one that went to college at Kansai. Youko says that he graduated college and is now living in Kansai, but was here visiting family. And when we were talking together, for that brief time, many mixed memories began to assault my mind, welling up in emotions long forgotten, and that is why I began crying.

Youko continues by confessing that he was the first boy that she had ever dated. The first person that you date is always special in your mind. Youko surmises that Urabe has someone that she likes, too. She tells Urabe that one should always treasure those feelings ! Urabe ponders in her mind what to say next, then decides then and there to reveal her deep secret.

" The person I'm going out with, and have been dating for quite some time now, is Akira Tsubaki ! "

" WHAT ??? You're going out with and dating Akira ?", exclaims Youko, boldly standing upright and with water dripping off of her trim, glistening body !

" .......yes, I'm dating your younger brother ...... " , Urabe sheepishly admits.

" No, wait a minute ...... "

" What ? "

" What, what ? "

" Really ? Is that really true ? "

" It's true ! "

" Have you and Akira kissed already ? "

" No, not yet ! We haven't ...... and ........ like the man you were with today, Akira is the first person that I have ever dated ! "

A very surprised and mortified Youko now sits back down into the water, then kneels down in the water with only her face showing. She seems to have an exasperated and upset look on her face. Then she bows her face downward, but still above the water, and places her hands in a prayerful position. She beseeches Urabe---

" Urabe-san, please be good to my brother ! "

Now it is Urabe's turn to practically jump out of the water. Standing tall and erect, with water dripping off her sparkling, adult-like body and 'baring everything', she implores---

" I should ask the same ........ PLEASE BE GOOD TO ME !!! "

Finished with the bath, clothed, and walking out onto the sidewalk---

" WOW! It really snowed a lot while we were in the bath ! ", exclaims Youko.

" There's a lot on the ground ", counters Urabe.

Youko makes sure that Urabe is okay and can make it back to her apartment. She can. They then part company. Youko is walking towards her home, when she comes upon Akira, her brother. Akira was bringing her an umbrella, since the snow is coming down ever harder and harder. As the two siblings continue to walk home, they both pass an empty lot, now covered with several inches of snow. This triggers a memory in Akira. He tells his sister that when the two of them were children, she woke him up one snowy day and brought the two of them to this very lot to play in the snow. Then you, Youko, jumped up and landed face down with your face and body flat in the snow. All you said was---

" I'm first ! "

Youko remarks that she remembers her motivation, that she, as she ran to jump, was the first one to leave footprints in the virgin snow ! When she got up and went and looked at the footprint, for some reason, that made her very happy ! And for some unexplained reason, right now the recent memory of a dripping wet, naked Urabe in the hot tub telling Youko to be kind to her, Urabe, this memory brilliantly comes to mind. Youko ponders a metaphor, that of, if Akira will be the first one to 'leave a footprint in the snow' on a virgin Urabe (see the premonition in City of Dreams, Urabe's Premonition { UD 1 }) ? This profound mental picture in Youko's mind causes her to now do something outrageous. She pushes her brother down into the virgin snow !!! Akira falls face first into the cold, wet snow. Eventually, he raises his face, and shouts---

" What ....... WHAT WAS THAT FOR ??? "

Youko cryptically but matter-of-factly says, " You are (or will be) the first boy to 'leave a footprint', so you had better 'straighten up and fly right' !

Akira gets up on his knees, and kneeling in the snow, exasperatedly asks, " What are you talking about ??? "

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