Leaving the city behind and going into the countryside felt as if they were time traveling and switching to a more primitive era.
There weren't any flashy billboards or exotic people around, just normal towns and normal people as far as the eye can see.
It was a quite refreshing sight for someone who had lived in the city the majority of his life.
A fun fact, Takei Tanaka was originally born in the countryside and then later moved to the city with his family at the age of eight.
He didn't have too many strong memories of the place, but it was still a dear place to him.
"It looks just the same..."
As he got out of the taxi, Takei surveyed the surroundings and noticed something oddly peculiar.
All of the buildings, shops, and houses looked exactly as he remembered, even though he hadn't been back to this place in several years.
The reason why he hadn't revisited this place in so long was due to being busy with school along with external factors that made it hard for him to travel this long distance.
As for why he could go right now, there were no conflicting events planned during his spring break and Akari wanted to go, so he had to do his best to make time for this trip.
Once again confirming his surroundings, Takei was surprised to see the place looked just like how he left it.
A wave of nostalgia crept over him as Takei finally realized that he had made it home.
Seeing the melancholic yet nostalgic expression on Takei's face made Akari want to spoil him rotten.
However, Akari was interrupted before she could do anything.
"Are you... Takei Tanaka?"
A rough voice asked if the person in question was Takei Tanaka or not.
"Yes... and who are you?"
Turning around, Takei saw a kid who was similar in age to him with an irritated expression on his face.
The kid had fiery red hair, a stocky build, and a small scar on the left side of his cheek.
For some reason, he was glaring at Takei with intense hatred in his eyes.
"You don't remember... who I am?!"
With a voice that was increasingly getting louder, the boy's face was getting redder and redder from anger.
Sensing something amiss, Takei moved Akari behind him and got into a defensive position.
"I'm sorry I don't remember you, but can you please calm down? You're being unreasonable right now."
As much as Takei racked his mind, there was no name coming to mind when he thought of this angry red-haired kid in front of him.
Even if Takei did know this person, there was no excuse for his aggressive behavior that was scaring Akari.
Hearing Takei calling him unreasonable ended up being the final straw which led to a ballistic look in the boy's eyes.
The boy gripped his hands as if looking for a fight, but then unclenched them and looked away.
"I'll see you soon. You'll surely remember me then."
With some parting words, the red-haired boy left the area without a single glance back at them.
Takei waited a few seconds to ensure that the boy was out of sight, and turned around to make sure that Akari was fine.
"Are you okay?"
"Mm, he was a bit scary..."
"I'm sorry, I have no idea who that person was."
Deciding that it was a waste of time to try and remember that person at the current moment, Takei prioritized Akari's well-being first and pushed the thought of that kid out of his mind.
"Alright, let's go meet the grandparents."
After that minor setback, Takei and Akari finally made it to his grandparents' house.
He cautiously walked up to the door and pressed the doorbell.
Some sounds of feet shuffling could be heard behind the door, which Takei assumed to be his grandparents checking out who rang their doorbell at this time of day.
After they had presumably checked the identification of the people waiting outside, the door was unlocked and a relatively youthful couple stood there in the door frame with a welcoming expression on their faces.
"You two must be tired, please come in and relax yourselves," the cheery woman implored.
Once everyone was situated on the couch, the older women placed down a tray for snacks and drinks.
Since Takei hadn't seen his grandparents in so long, he was having trouble with deciding on how to interact with them.
As a result, his demeanor was a bit too stiff and stern for the two grandparents to handle.
"Oh, Takei... Dear, you don't have to be so stiff with us. We're your grandparents after all."
Ayame Tanaka was quite distressed to see her lovely grandchild act so distant.
For a grandma, her grandchild was one of the most precious things in this world, so it was a reasonable expression.
"I agree, I mean I spent a couple years changing your dirty diapers, you know?"
Adding on to Ayame's response to Takei's behavior, Akihiko Tanaka also felt the same due to him being Takei's grandfather.
Although both of them were well into their fifties, neither of them looked like it.
If one had to guess, they physically looked no more than 30-years-old.
Perhaps it's that powerful blood running in the Tanaka bloodline that makes everyone close to an immortal...
Laughing to himself at how odd his family was, Takei relaxed a little when he saw how welcoming and caring his grandparents were.
They reminded him of the past when the two would always take care of him with a smile on their faces.
As a result of the familiar scene in front of him, Takei corrected his posture to a more casual and relaxed form.
On the other hand, Akari was still sitting straight as a rod.
She really wanted to be accepted into the family by his grandparents, so she was stuck on goddess mode full-time.
Seeing how serious she looked brought a gentle smile to Takei's face.
What a hard-working girlfriend.
Turning back to his grandparents, he saw them happily smile at the girl who would eventually become his wife.
Ah, they really like her already and she hasn't said a word yet. They're just like how I remembered. Kind. Caring. Compassionate. These really are my grandparents.
With a relaxed expression on his face, Takei finally truly reunited with two people he hadn't seen in a long time.
"Hey, Grandma. Hey, Grandpa. I'm home."
New Idiot Couple Meter: 25 -> 28%
Takei's a real stud for being her knight in shining armor. What a guy!
Sugar-chan: Um... Are you okay?