The two women passed in front of Sanshirō. The younger one, who'd been smelling the white flower, dropped it in front of him as she went by. He gazed after them as they moved away. The nurse walked ahead, with the younger one following behind. Among the bright hues, there were blades of susuki grass outlined on her sash in the base white color of the underlying fabric. She wore a single rose of pure white in her hair. In the shade under the oak branches, it shone prominently among her dark locks.
Sanshirō became listless. Finally, he murmured the word, "contradictory." He may have been thinking of the atmosphere of the university and the young woman. Or of the colors in the young woman's dress and the black of her pupils. Or of the way the young woman triggered thoughts in his head of the woman on the train. Or of the divergent paths before him, one of which would define his future. Or of how the things that delighted him also made him anxious. -- To this young man fresh from the country, nothing seemed rational. The world was tainted with inconsistencies.
Sanshirō picked up the fallen flower. He smelled it, but there was no particular scent. He tossed it into the pond, and it floated there. Suddenly, he heard his name called from the opposite shore. He shifted his gaze from the flower, and he saw Nonomiya's tall figure on the other side of the stone bridge.
"You're still here?"
Without answering, Sanshirō rose and ambled slowly. When he reached the stone bridge, he answered, "Yes." He felt somehow awkward and detached.
Nonomiya seemed not to notice. "Nice and cool here, isn't it?"
Sanshirō answered again with, "Yes."