Then, after the three of them ate the rest of the curry, she is informed about the upcoming shopping.
「I'm going to buy some books, DVDs and some things to wear, do you want to come with us?」
「Books and clothes? Sure, if that's what you're shopping for」
Riko agreed to Maria's invitation, and the three of them went shopping together. Well, Maria obviously planned to deceive her, but Chihiro didn't interrupt her because it would complicate the conversation.
「Oh, Izumi-kun, do you want to use this if you're worried about being seen?」
「Date glasses? Why this?」
「I thought it might be a good idea」
The glasses given to Chihiro is ladies' ones, but the design and size make Chihiro feel comfortable to use it. Moreover, since even a single pair of glasses can change the impression of a person, he is grateful to use it in case he met his classmates on the road.
Well, Chihiro is not the type of person who goes out on holidays, so there are probably few people who can recognize him in his casual clothes.
「So, where are we going?」
He asked Maria as they walked toward the station. Maria thought for a moment and then answered.
「Well. It would be too hard to go too far, so let's go to Tachikawa」
「Oh. Well, that's a safe choice」
Riko nodded in agreement. She's probably the pickiest about what's fashionable and what not, so it's good that she agrees.
Maria also mentioned the name of the station, which is rather prosperous in the area. It is about 30 or 40 minutes away from here by train. If it takes another 30 minutes or so, it is possible to get to Shinjuku, but considering the distance, it would have been better to depart a little earlier.
And since there would be less risk of being spotted by Shibahou's students if they took the train, there would be no need to overdo it.
「Izumi-kun, do you have enough money?」
「Yes. Thanks to Maria, I haven't touched my living expenses, so I can afford it」
The area around the station closest to Shibahou Academy is still very quiet, though it's becoming more prosperous due to the school's influence. After a few moments, a train came into the station, and it's rather empty, so the three of them could sit side by side.
...When they got on the train, the end of the seat is vacant, and they are wondering where to sit. In the end, Riko took a seat at the end of the train, and Maria hurried Chihiro to sit between them.
（What kind of king am I?）
Anyway, Maria and Riko didn't seem to mind.
Riko is playing with her phone, and Maria is refraining from extreme behavior, so she didn't attract attention.
When they arrived at the destination station and stepped out onto the platform, Riko moved to an unobstructed position and stretched.
「So, where should we start? The station building? Department store? Or somewhere cheap?」
「Well. I've already got a place in mind, so let's start there」
Chihiro had a bad feeling at this point.
Anyway, after leaving the ticket gates and the station building itself, and withdrawing some money on the way, they walked down a deserted street and ended up at...
「...Hey, didn't you say it was a clothing store?」
「I only said I was buying things to wear」
It's an adult store, a store that sold obscene things.
「Oh, you're scared?」
Riko almost turned around, but Maria's words made her stop in her tracks.
But she is still unconvinced and started to protest to Chihiro and the others.
「I mean, this isn't a place for students, is it?」
「They won't check your age if you're not too uptight. I mean, isn't it insane to shout in front of a store?」
「Sorry, give it up」
With the shortest exchange possible, Riko can be convinced and they enter the store.
It's small. Although the store itself is of a reasonable size, it felt cramped because of the miscellaneous goods it handles. The air inside is a bit dusty, but not particularly smelly.
The shelves and racks are filled with a variety of colors. Obscenely shaped devices, ornaments made of leather and metal fittings, and strangely flashy outfits. The fact that the shopkeeper sitting in the back of the room does not say "Welcome" also gives off a scent of the underground.
「Wow, we're definitely out of place」
Chihiro replied quietly to Riko's murmur.
This is not a place that Maria and Riko would come to lightly, let alone Chihiro. Even if they are just there, it would make other customers and shopkeepers wonder what they came to buy and how they would use what they bought.
But now that he's in there, he's prepared.
As Maria said, the store won't blame them if they behave themselves. But if something happens, Chihiro will have to protect Maria and the others.
「So, what do you want to buy?」
Chihiro ask, following Maria as she walks slowly through the store.
「Well, a collar」
「For me and Nishizaki-san, of course. I wouldn't ask you to wear it」
Riko's eyes widen as she follows behind and a look in her eyes says, "Am I going to wear it too?"
And Maria stops, smiles, and puts her lips close to her ear.
「It's the sign of a slave. It makes you feel different when you wear it, doesn't it?」
After a few moments, they reached a rack of collars. The collars are basically wrapped rather than exposed, but the design and shape of the collar can be seen through the pictures or the wrapping.
A sign of slavery... a collar.
Imagining Maria and Riko wearing them naked, Chihiro gulped.
Riko immediately looked up and muttered with a frown.
「Nishizaki-san, if you have a preference, tell us as soon as possible or we'll have to let Master decide」
Maria pointed out, and Riko changed her expression and started to look at the items.
Looking at the two girls with serious eyes, Chihiro let out a light breath.
Apparently, Chihiro had the final say. Thankfully, he had to keep his eyes on the goods.
Looking at the collars, there are many different types.
First, colors. Most of them are black, white and pink. Black gives a sense of dignity, while white is more compatible with the skin of girls and gives a more innocent impression. Pink gives a very cute impression.
Material and shape. The shape is basically similar to a belt, and the material is leather. However, some belts have fur around the neck, or come with manacles. The thickness of the belt part also varies.
Then there is the hardware. Some have padlocks to prevent the belt from being unlocked, some have fittings to connect the lead, some have rivets, and some have strange spikes on the outside.
「...There are quite a few kinds, aren't there?」
「Yes. Different hobbies demand different designs. People who are particular about their designs sometimes order custom-made ones」
「I guess it's the same as clothes... though I don't want to put it together」
Chihiro can't help but understand Riko's feeling.
However, he seems to think that it is possible to think of it like clothes.
A collar is, after all, an accessory, even if its use is limited. As long as it decorates the body, why not choose one that suits the person who wears it?
So, for example, what would suit Maria?
Chihiro picked up the collar he saw.
The color is black. It's about as wide as a man's belt, and has a simple appearance with no studs. The surface is shiny and the inside looked smooth. The belt is not fastened, but a thick metal fitting is put through the hole and a lock is fitted. There is also a metal fitting on the other side of the belt, behind the neck.
Maria turned and narrowed her eyes at the item in Chihiro's hand.
「What do you think?」
「I think it's good. If you like it, that's all that matters」
She smiled and took the collar, patting it. The collar is wrapped in a plastic bag, so the texture of the leather can't be seen, but the loving gesture seems to convey her feelings.
When Riko saw this, she tilted her head.
「Are you going to choose it? Without trying it on...?」
「Yes. I guess it's not very common. But, it's designed to be somewhat adjustable」
That's it for Maria. For reference, the price is in the five digits.
「Oh, it's quite expensive」
「There are cheap ones, but the good ones are expensive. If you're looking for something decent, this is probably the lowest price range」
It's made of leather and metal, and it's not mass-produced. If it comes to think about it, it is natural that the price is quite high.
Fortunately, it's affordable, so there is no problem.
「Then, I'll take this one」
「You're going to buy it?」
「Yes. It's not cools to make Maria buy it. ...What about you, Riko?」
Chihiro looked back at the blonde girl and she shook her head, her eyes downcast.
「I can't choose」
「You mean you'll leave it to Master?」
「No. I want something more normal, like a choker. Isn't it okay to be selfish about that?」
Strong-willed eyes stared at Chihiro and Maria.
Chihiro, who understands that it's an insistence, doesn't feel so much pressure, but instead blinks his eyes from another emotion.
「...No, I just thought it was great that you chose a design that can be worn outside」
Chihiro wondered if Riko was thinking of wearing a slave collar out and about. Of course, there is no way this girl is the only one.
Riko muttered, swallowing the breath she was about to shout at him.
Behind her, Maria nodded to Chihiro.
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