With this chapter, I've finished translating Volume 10! I apologize for a short delay in the scanlation of Volumes 9 and 10; Japanzai has been waiting for me to scan HQ RAWs and I was waiting for the volumes I ordered to come in the mail. I got an email a few days ago informing me that the package for some reason had been returned to sender, and at that point it was too late for me to have them re-send it because by the time it would get here, I'd already be in Japan. So, I'm going to have to wait until I arrive in Japan next week and pick up the volumes then. Thank you to everyone for your understanding, and please don't blame the editing team, this one is my fault. But, once I get them the RAWs, I suspect the editing team will crank out these 12 chapters at an impressive rate! Please look foward to it.
In the meantime, let's get to the summary! This chapter was rather anti-climactic and full of cute fluff that didn't contribute much to the overall storyline. Continuing from the last chapter in which Rio invited Shiharu to go "Autumn Leaf Viewing," the two of them, accompanied by Takeru-kun, Mana-chan, Akane-chan and Aoi-kun go to the park for nature-themed recreation. While Shiharu, Akane and Aoi are waiting for the other to arrive, Akane finds a pinecone and tells Shiharu that it's an itty-bitty tree that fell out of the sky and Shiharu admits it does look like a tree but explains it's a pinecone. Then Rio, Takeru-kun and Mana-chan arrive. They greet eachother, remark over how long it's been, and Rio mentions how nice the weather is. Shiharu explains in her thoughts that in the last chapter Rio invited her to go on this outing because she was worried about her. Takeru-kun is really cheerful that it's November and things are going well for him (I assume he means he doesn't have a lot of homework and other stuff to deal with). Shiharu questions him about the huge amount of luggage he is carrying and Takeru admits that he was bullied into it by Mana. How cute! A leaf falls onto Akane-chan's face and she recognizes it as a Ginkgo tree's leaf thanks to what Shiharu taught them on their previous trip to the park with their grandparents. Rio's really impressed by this. Aoi tells Mana that there are both girl and boy Ginkgo trees, and Mana is also seriously impressed and comes out with "For real?!" which is a phrase mostly used by "valley-girl" types. When Shiharu hears it, she's amused because it reminds her of how Takeru-kun talks. Takeru admits that he has been scolded by his mom lately for being a bad influence on Mana's speech. He tries vainly to correct her when she calls him "Takeru" and get her to call him "Onii-chan" properly, but she doesn't seem to be having it. Aoi excitedly brandishes a fallen tree branch that he found and Shiharu admonishes him for waving it around in such a crowded place. Rio then suggests they move to somewhere more spacious. They play for a while collecting acorns, until Shiharu notices a man painting a landscape and remembers that she brought an drawing kit with her, and suggests that they all draw fall scenes together. Takeru-kun is gung-ho about it but Rio totally panics and insists she's really bad at drawing. Shiharu insists and assures her that it doesn't need to be a professional-quality drawing. Shiharu finishes her picture first and introduces it to the group: she drew the ginkgo trees. Akane introduces her picture next: she drew a ball and a jumprope. Mana drew a dog. Takeru-kun laughs at the two little girls because the subjects they drew had nothing to do with fall. Aoi introduces his drawing next: he drew himself and Shiharu, holding hands. Shiharu thanks him and Rio remarks that since he drew only Shiharu and himself even though all 6 of them came there together, it must mean he really loves Shiharu. Aoi-kun replies "Yeah. Because Ao-kun is going to marry Shiharu-tan." SO CUTE!!!! Shiharu is quite shocked of course, but when Aoi-kun asks her insistently "Right? Let's get married!" she melts and has no choice but to agree. This might really be the cutest scene in the entire manga so far! Undeterred by this incident, Takeru-kun insists on seeing Rio's drawing. She looks at her drawing in dismay and announces that she absolutely can't let anyone see it, and that she's going to throw it away. Takeru-kun stops her and keeps cajoling her, trying to get her to show it to him and she denies him over and over again. At one point Takeru-kun ends up trying to reach around Rio to grab the drawing out of her hands and inadvertently ends up holding her in his arms. Shiharu blushes and tells the children to go play "over there" where they won't witness the "adult" scene unfolding between Takeru and Rio. Both deny it vigorously and apologize. Finally Rio agrees that she'll show her picture if Takeru-kun shows his first. He does and it's absolutely incredible. Shiharu and Rio are both blown away. Rio asks him how he managed to create such depth using only crayons and he says that he used his fingers to blend them, which Rio declares is cheating. Then Takeru-kun insists Rio uphold her end of the bargain, and so she finally, reluctantly shows her picture. Both Shiharu and Takeru are flabbergasted and make guesses as to what it might be a drawing of. Takeru guesses a bristle-brush or a beard, and Shiharu guesses a bagworm (a caterpillar-like bug that builds a cocoon that looks like a pine cone to hibernate in during the winter) but in fact Rio says she was trying to draw fallen leaves. Takeru-kun has a hearty laugh at her expense and Rio pouts at him, not seeming to actually be upset. After laughing for a while, Takeru-kun announces that he's thirsty and that he's going to get something to drink. While he's gone, Rio and Shiharu start having a "girls' talk" about Shiharu's situation with Matsunaga-san. Shiharu initially thanks Rio for arranging this event for her sake, and tells her she's having a lot of fun. That reminds Rio about what Shiharu said in the previous chapter about being "sufficiently happy just being able to be at Matsunaga-san's side" and asks her if she's really okay with it. Rio explains that being together, in and of itself, will lead to "desire." An alarmed-looking Shiharu asks her what she means, and Rio elaborates "The desire to know the other person, and to be understood by them." Since she previously had exactly those kind of thoughts in a previous chapter, Shiharu guilty admits that it's certainly possible. Then Rio tells Shiharu that she also doesn't have a lot of experience in love and therefore is probably not qualified to give advice, but that Shiharu should feel free to come to her about anything, even so. She tells Shiharu that she wants to be her strength. Shiharu is really moved and looks like she's about to cry and Rio panics a bit. As the group goes their separate ways, Shiharu thinks to herself that she's been so pessimistic lately that she almost completely forgot that she has such kind people all around her, and that even when the twins leave and she has to leave the orphanage, it's not as if everything in her world is going to end. The scene changes to Matsunaga-san's house later that night, where Shiharu has just put the twins to bed when Matsunaga-san arrives home from work. They greet eachother, and he asks her how the park was. Shiharu reports that the twins seemed to have fun running around and making drawings, and then remembers the acorns they collected and brought home to share with him. Shiharu cheerfully presents Matsunaga-san with a handful of acorns, calling them his "portion of autumn." Matsunaga-san seems really amused by this enthusiastic and childish gesture and Shiharu gets a bit self-conscious because of his reaction and says that he probably doesn't have any need for such a thing after all. But Matsunaga-san petulantly insists that he wants his "portion of autumn." When he reaches out to take the acorns from her, something seems to pass between them and Shiharu gets flustered by their proximity and eye-contact, and the acorns suddenly begin to roll out of her hands and drop all over the floor. She apologizes vehemently as they both try to pick up the acorns, and Matsunaga-san tells her it's not her fault that the acorns rolled out of her hands by themselves. Even as she tries to pick them all up, the acorns keep rolling out of her hands. In the end, they finally manage to collect all of the acorns in a glass jar. Shiharu tells Matsunaga-san that she'll be going for the day, and goes to collect her bag, but she's flustered and turns too quickly and falls flat on her face! Matsunaga-san is really worried and asks her if she's okay. She says she is and while calling out an extremely polite farewell to him, she rushes out the door, completely embarrassed. On the street outside Matsuanga-san's house, Shiharu looks at her now-empty hands, and, recalling Rio asking her earlier if she'd really be okay (with only being able to be near Matsunaga-san) Shiharu thinks to herself "I'll be okay...right?"