Exams are over. yuNS’ holiday has begun, and so has Yunyun’s it seems.
Edit: Forgot illustration. Brain on holiday too.
Explosions Volume 1 – Special Short Story:
From the Toranoana First-Print Edition
Short Story: How to Spend a Lonely Holiday
“Oh if it isn’t Megumin? What are you up to with your stalking? Are you really that bothered by Yunyun?”
Having suddenly been called out to from behind, I jumped in surprise and turned around.
“…Oh it’s just you Arue, don’t surprise me like that? Also, I’m not stalking her, I’m just observing my self-proclaimed rival.”
Standing behind me there was my eye-patch wearing classmate, Arue.
—Today was a school holiday.
I had went for a walk outside since I had free time to spare and found Yunyun, who seemed to also have too much free time, wandering aimlessly, so I decided to follow her.
“I’m pretty sure that’s what you call stalking. Well, I have some time to kill, so would you mind if I joined you?”
And that’s how Arue and I began to observe the holiday of our friendless classmate.
—A lady waved towards Yunyun, who had seated herself on a roadside bench to take a break from walking, with a smile.
In response, Yunyun, after a moment of surprise, showed a stiff smile and raised a hand to wave back…
“I’m so sorry, did I keep you waiting?”
“Not really, I just got here.”
A nearby man waved back towards the lady.
Seeing that, Yunyun hurriedly turned her flushed face away.
The lady was not meeting up with Yunyun, but rather the man behind her.
As the two sat down beside Yunyun and began to converse amongst themselves, Yunyun murmured “What’s taking them so long… Should I go to them instead…?” and other similar phrases to herself, then promptly left the area.
“…Megumin, would you mind explaining what she was saying to herself?”
“She wanted to get away after the lady came, but she also wanted to avoid running the mood between the two. It’s probably just a small act she did out of consideration.”
“Ah, what is this stinging sensation in my chest?”
—In the afternoon.
I thought Yunyun had gone to the village’s diner to get lunch, but at the moment, she was pacing back and forth in front of the diner’s entrance instead on entering.
“What’s she doing? Megumin, would you mind explaining?”
“She probably wants to enter, but it looks like there are a lot of customers right now and the diner is fairly busy, so she’s being considerate and waiting outside. Once the customers start to leave and the employees are free, I’m sure she’ll… Ah, hey she went in!”
Yunyun finally entered the diner after seeing a group of customers leave.
“Rather than go through the trouble of waiting outside, she should’ve just gone somewhere else.”
“It’s probably because she’s eating alone that she wants to go somewhere crowded, but on the other hand she’s too much of a considerate coward to enter when the place is fully packed, so she held off until now.”
From afar, I saw Yunyun seat herself at the corner-seat of the diner and silently eat her food.
As the regulars and owner laughed loudly over idle talk, Yunyun forced a smile to avoid disrupting the mood.
“…I can’t look at this any longer, it hurts.”
“There has to be more to her misfortune than this. If this is already enough to make you say that, are you sure you’ll be able to handle what’s coming next?”
—After finishing her meal, Yunyun returned to her pastime of aimlessly waking around the village.
“Hm? Isn’t that our classmate?”
“Oh, you’re right, it’s Nerimaki. Seems like she’s in the middle of practicing some poses.”
Nerimaki zealously practiced her signature poses in the middle of the village’s open area.
She shortly noticed Yunyun’s presence and talking about something with her.
“…It looks like she wants Yunyun to help her practice.”
Receiving some sort of instruction from Nerimaki, Yunyun then struck a pose.
After a brief moment of consideration, Nerimaki gave a few more instructions.
It seems like she was in the middle of developing a new signature pose.
Finally deciding on an agreeable pose, she then began to practice the same pose herself.
“So she won’t reject a request even if she dislikes it hm?”
“She seems like the type that’ll be easily used by ill-intentioned men. I’m sure that as long as someone prostrates themselves and begs her, she would even go on a date with some suspicious old man… Oh, it looks like she’s leaving now.”
Yunyun, whose face was still red in embarrassment, said her goodbyes and went elsewhere.
—Then, she, who had been walking leisurely and defenselessly all this time, suddenly became wary of her surroundings.
For a moment, I thought we had been busted, but it seems like it wasn’t the case.
After confirming that there was no one around, she squatted down towards a bush.
Then, she spread what appeared to be leftovers of her lunch – bits of fried fish – across the floor.
At the same time, the bush shook and out came a cat.
“…Is she feeding it? That’s nice of her.”
“No wait. Look, she’s saying something to it.”
Hiding in a nearby bush, we quieted down and listened intently to what Yunyun was saying.
“…She just said ‘can we be friends?’ to that cat. Megumin, I can’t bear to just stand by and watch any longer. Can’t we just jump out right now and go play with her?”
“W-, Wait! If we show up now, then she’ll realize that we heard everything she said just now! Once she does, I’m pretty sure she won’t hesitate to commit suicide out of shame. Let’s pretend we didn’t see anything and leave for a… Ah!”
The cat Yunyun was talking to quickly gobbled down the fish and returned to the bush where it came from.
In all honesty, just seeing her back gave me the urge to mourn.
“I got it, I got it already! Stop shaking my shoulders. Let’s get out of here for now and turn around and come back! Then we can pretend we bumped into her and play for a bit okay…’
Just as I was about to say ‘let’s go’—
“Oh? Hey, it’s Yunyun.”
“It really is. What are you doing here?”
“Ah-, Funifura-san, Dodonko-san, g-, good afternoon! There’s a cat in the bush over there you see… That aside, what are you two doing here?”
Having had the question turned on them, the two exchanged glances for a brief moment.
“Well, as you can see, Dodonko and I were thinking about playing some badminton.
“Mhm that’s right. Ah, if you’re free Yunyun, why don’t you join us?”
Yunyun’s face seemed to glow with happiness at this invitation, but then she turned her eyes down towards the two’s rackets…
“I-, I’m sorry, I have something to do…”
Saying that, she walked away with dispirited steps, her head facing the ground..
“Hey, explain what Yunyun just did!”
“She’s super happy to be invited to play, but then realized that there won’t be enough rackets if she were to join in. Despite the amount of free time she actually has, she decided to be considerate, and so….”
Before I could finish my explanation, Arue jumped out of the bush we were hiding in.
Of course, I followed after her.
“Hey you three! Would you like to play a five-person game with us!?”
 Diner tables in Japan are often elongated ‘bar-style’ tables, and food handed over from behind the bar.