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At last, mid-summer...! Isn't it...! At the moment it's ninety degrees in our house... yes! It's hot! With the window wide open, the electric fan running, somehow or other, we will handle it.
Even as it is, just facing my computer, my T-shirt is completely soaked with sweat. When I was younger, the sweat streaming from my skin was different in quality, somehow it was strangely thick and dense. Drip... drip... From my face, red chili sauce. From the middle of my back, lard. But now, in my thirties, it's become more runny. Every pore on my body opening fully, secreting oil like crazy, Mom? "Why does it suddenly feel like my mother's here?", I thought and looking behind me, from my discarded, sweat-soaked clothing, an overwhelming aura of grown woman, nearly to the point of standing up on it's own, swaying ominously... What should I do already? By the time this summer ends, there probably won't be anything left of me after I've dried out.
Every year walking outside, the air conditioning in the stores and vehicles was always on too strong, making it a necessity to put something on even on hot days. But this year, they're in power-saving mode all over, cutting back on that kind of air conditioning. Since then, what is this, taking a walk under the blazing sun, staggering, arriving after a struggle at the goal, the book store, and even entering, whaa...! With that 'whaa!', I can't even breathe, standing there stiff.
Beginning to faint, in a corner of my fading awareness, I thought, "Kappa really like to eat cucumber." It's so hot... A plate... it's evaporating... Fresh cucumber, cooled by river water, I really want to eat some... Soaked in miso sauce, it could even replenish my salt content... Having no connection with this whatsoever, that I was even thinking about the favorite dish of a strangely fishy amphibian (what?) seemed amazing to me at the time. All of you, please be careful. If you see Kappa, you're already in danger. Heatstroke is dangerous. Don't make eye contact with any passing amphibians!
Well then, with this and that, even "Golden Time", if you've noticed, has made it up to three volumes. All of you that have taken them in hand, we truly thank you! Have you been having fun and enjoying it? Once more, our college students haven't been studying... "Is that all right with you!?", I was writing steadily while wanting to slap them silly. If I were to look back at myself, I have a feeling they could have been a little more diligent. I mean, then I was about 10 kilos lighter, even dripping sweat. Not even a mosquito's bitten me. Nothing at all lately. The bugs don't come and visit. Why might that be? Have I become too ripe? This body...
I am thinking we will deliver the next volume around the start of the new year. By all means, please stick with us. To master Komatsu Eeji, and the guidance of Yuasa-sama, I am indebted to their staying with me.
And finally, to everybody who suffered from the Sendai Earthquake, we send our heartfelt condolences.
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