[Bokushinu V2] CUT 5 – Today We Watched the Fireworks, and She Pretended That Nothing Happened

“Let’s unravel the secrets of Sakamoto’! Now, starting from this week, Hikari here will uncover Sakamoto’s secrets step-by-step! Now then, our first question is, ‘Why doesn’t Sakamoto cut his hair!?’ The truth is, he really takes note of his fierce appearance. That’s why——”

——Slam

“Again…?”

I turned off that effective alarm and sat up. Dammit, no matter how many times I change the alarm, Hikari Yumesaki would always change it back to this one. Why does she insist on being so infuriating? But I’ll ignore this for now, since something else caught my attention.

“What’s this?”

I had climbed out of my bed, and was opening the curtains when I noticed it.

“A teru teru bozu?”

I stared at the teru teru bozu with the ferocious-looking eyes hanging from the curtain. That hair, and those eyes. No, no, no, the hair is way too long. Besides, there was no need to make that teru teru bozu look so frightening.

“It hasn’t rained much lately. The raining season is also over.”

From a closer look, I realized that there was also a long slip of paper hanging from the hem of the doll. It looks like she was doing another one of those stunts I don’t understand.

I gave the teru teru bozu a flick to the head, drew the curtains open, and as the sunlight came in, I opened up the journal only to see the usual lively words written in it, which was enough for me to feel Hikari Yumesaki’s cheerfulness.

“Yahoo! I went out and played with Misaki-chan again today! She’s still super cute! If I weren’t using your body, Sakamoto, I would’ve already kissed her by now!”

“It looks like she’s having fun.”

Hikari Yumesaki had her time shortened by five minutes. But looking at her like she is now, it seems as if that huge tantrum had never occurred. The journal only had things about Misaki written in it.

Misaki Yutera, an underclassman a year younger than me, and a part-time waitress at the Café Moonleaf.

Her appearance looks pure and sweet, but she’s actually a demoness on the inside. Because of a certain event, our relationship should have deteriorated somewhat…

“Sakamoto, Misaki-chan said that she only had to work the morning shift tomorrow! I’ve already promised her that we would go out and eat lunch together!”

But as you can see, instead of deteriorating, our relationship has improved to the point where going out together has become a matter of fact. Hikari Yumesaki is probably much happier now to be on such good terms with her favorite underclassman. Her mood has improved greatly lately, her journal entries are always about Misaki, who hasn’t been pulling as many pranks as before.

The thing is, Misaki was a little bit different from before.

“Remember to treat her! Misaki-chan is a good girl, and she’s been real nice lately. You should let her experience your gentlemanly side!”

“Real nice huh.”

It’s almost as if the demoness had disappeared, ever since that day, Misaki had dropped her mask of purity and became more courteous whenever I’m treating her. In the past, she would always be quick to ask me to pamper her, but now she never presses me to spend money on her.

“Senpai, I said that it’s okay. You don’t have to always pay for me…”

“No, no, it’s fine. I have to in a moment like this…”

Just like that, time flew by, and it was the afternoon. We were at a restaurant waiting for our check.

Misaki and I were nudging each other aside in front of the cash register, fighting over the bill. I could even hear the cashier say under her smile, “You two should hurry up.” How embarrassing, you should just let it go. Hikari Yumesaki seems to think that I did a lot of unnecessary things, and Misaki’s attitude changed, becoming so polite.

“I will interrogate Misaki-chan thoroughly afterwards! If you don’t treat her well, then I’ll pluck out a thousand strands of your hair!”

She even wrote this ruthless line in the notebook yesterday. A thousand is just way too much. Misaki, please, just listen to me.

“Alright, allow me to pay, please.”

I forced the bill into the cashier’s hands, settling the check. Misaki then scowled with a displeased look. I can’t help it either.

The atmosphere became a little bit awkward, and as I turned my back on the unhappy princess, leaving the restaurant,

“…Hmph, how kind of you. Are you perhaps expecting something? Do you want me to be more flirty with you?”

“I’ve already said that’s not it, really.”

“Then that means you don’t think of me that way? How rude.”

And with those words Misaki turned her head to the side with a pout. This girl is so troublesome.

The pure, sweet maiden from before disappeared completely. Right now, walking beside me with an unhappy face was a cold-hearted underclassman, and her cold eyes matched her current demeanor.

I will probably never see the angelic smile from that day again, and I would be lying if I said I had no lingering thoughts about it, but––

“Huh?”

For some unknown reason, she suddenly grabbed ahold of my right hand, and the two of us began walking next to each other while holding hands. What’s going on?

“This is just a sign of gratitude, gratitude. I’m letting my poor unpopular Senpai experience the joy of holding a girl’s hand. So how does it feel? Is your heart pounding?”

As she said that, she even let out a “Hmph” with a cheeky smile.

Dammit. I knew that I would get laughed at, but my face still became hot. Sigh, looks like the demoness is still alive and well. Although, I could always restrain that evil side of hers.

“…Ah.”

I went back at her by clasping the small hand firmly, even entwining our fingers together. We were holding hands like a couple. See, how’s that?

“Y-You, I give you an inch and you take a mile… Really now, even though you’re so unpopular…”

She was fuming, but the blushing maiden still didn’t remove her hand. I could even faintly feel her palm sweating. Huh, she’s a tsundere after all.

The two of us walked silently under the glaring sun.

At the same time, I was thinking of something else in my mind.

A strange note that I didn’t understand was written at the end of today’s entry.

“If it’s Sakamoto, then it should be fine. Right, I’ll leave it at that.”

No, this message was not as much meant for me, as it is for Hikari Yumesaki herself.

Sigh, just what is she planning to do this time?

 

“…There’s more of them.”

Among all of the various developments, summer vacation had ended, and it was a certain morning, after the school opening ceremony.

The number of teru teru bozu hanging from the curtains had increased, and while looking at them, I couldn’t help but raise some doubts in my mind. What’s she trying to do?

Whatever, I’ll just look at today’s entry for now.

“Pop Quiz, Start!”

“A quiz?”

“Let’s find out how diligent Sakamoto was during his summer vacation!”

“What?”

“I’ve left some questions on the next page, and now you have to answer them! You only have ten minutes!”

“Another one of her weird games huh.”

I turned to the next page. Yep, there really are some questions. However,

“Subject: Hikari-chan”

“What’s with this Hikari-chan?”

The concerning questions were below:

 

“Question 1: What is Hikari-chan’s favorite food? Method of answering=put the respective item on the desk.

Question 2: What is Hikari-chan’s cute point?

Question 3: Please choose from the following list what Hikari-chan’s cup size is: ‘D, E, F, G, H’

Question 4: Hikari-chan is a very cute girl.

Question 5: Beside Hikari-chan, what is the name of another girl that Sakamoto likes?”

 

What kind of questions are these?

Question 1 is just that you want to eat candy. Question 4 isn’t even a question. I won’t even comment on Question 3.

Anyway, I placed the adult BL books that were hidden under the bed on the desk.

2. “Lack of restraint”

3. “D, E, F, G, H A”

4. “A cute girl would never use the word ‘virgin.’”

I wrote, only to stop at question 5.

“A girl I like…”

I thought of her reason for asking this kind of roundabout question. Usually, anyone asked by a girl who they like would feel excited. Like, “Oh, so she likes me? Heheheh…” that. But I’m pretty sure that Hikari Yumesaki doesn’t mean it that way. Right?

“Whatever.”

I’ll just quickly write down an answer and leave the rest for tomorrow’s me. After that, another day came.

“AAahh! I was wrong! I’m sorry!”

I tore off all of the photos of Kinoshita that were stuck to the table, and then opened the journal.

“Lack of restraint? Are you praising me?”

“It’s not an A! Don’t try to make a fool out of me!”

“Oh, so you don’t believe that Hikari-chan is cute. Why don’t you go ask Kazeshiro?”

What greeted my eyes were Hikari Yumesaki’s red corrections (?) on my answers. Kazeshiro huh. If I were to ask him, he would definitely give me a serious response, so I’ll leave him alone.

There’s one last problem, the one last reply I was most concerned about was––

“I don’t want to know what type you like, I want a name! There’s probably millions of cheerful, optimistic girls!” 

So she wrote.

“Not that I would think so.”

It seems that I won’t be able to convey my feelings to her this way. Even if I do, it’s troubling. However, that wasn’t the real problem here.

Why does she want to know who I like right now?

“What now?”

 

“How troublesome.”

The number of teru teru bozu hanging from the curtain rod increased further with each passing day, and there was so many that I couldn’t open the curtains anymore.

At first, I would take them off since they were a bother, but Hikari Yumesaki threw a tantrum and said, “Don’t take down the teru teru Sakamotos!” I was left with no choice, and had to leave them hanging.

I bitterly complained, opened up the journal, and saw the first line written in large letters,

“Stupid Sakamoto! Pervert! If you keep on staring at Misaki’s thighs, she’s going to get mad!”

“Ugh…”

What an unexpected telling off. Now that I think about it, Hikari Yumesaki has been criticizing me a lot lately,

“As a punishment, I deleted your entire secret folder of foot-fetish anime! I want you to reflect on what you’ve done!”

“WWHHAAATT!? What have you done?”

I hurriedly turned on my computer with desperation, and opened up the folder––

“…Dammit.”

At the top of the folder was a text document, and after seeing the title, I apprehensively bit my lip.

“Just kidding☆ Were you worried? Were you worried? Giggle.”

Grrr….

In fact, the document read,

“Since you’re hopeless, Hikari-chan here will tell you the secret to looking at thighs without being caught! When you stare at her, pretend to mess with your bangs and you won’t be so easily discovered!”

“…Heh, who would ever do that? How dirty.”

I mean seriously, she’s always writing something so dumbfounding and meddling in other people’s business.

 

On that day, after school,

“Senpai?”

“What——!?”

“You’ve been fiddling with your hair for a while now, is something wrong?”

Huh, what? Have I been caught? No, I’m still safe, right?

“I-It’s nothing.”

“Hmm. I see.”

Misaki had a sad look in her eyes on me, but she didn’t push the matter further. Looks like I’m safe.

Hikari Yumesaki wrote in the journal, “I made another date with Misaki~!” and so I once again went to Café Moonleaf after school today, waited for Misaki’s shift to end, and went out on a date with her. It was just that the location of our date was quite unexpected.

“Still though, I never thought that you would like coming to the arcade.”

“Hehe, constantly wearing a professional smile at work does build up a lot of stress.”

Misaki replied as she held the joysticks of a fighting game. How frightening. S-She doesn’t mean me does she…?

“Senpai, are you feeling stressed?”

“Huh!?”

S-Stressed?

“If you are——then why don’t you play a round with Misaki as your opponent?”

She said as she pointed towards the console across from her. Oh, so she meant that. That scared me for a moment.

…Dammit, what’s with that mischievous look of accomplishment on your face? Was it on purpose?

“It’s really stressful. If I act a little kinder, those customers act like they’re my boyfriend. Although thanks to this, I managed to receive a lot of gifts from them.”

“O-Oh…”

I used to also buy her stuff haphazardly, so I didn’t know how to respond to her. Misaki must’ve realized it from the expression on my face because she quietly let out a gasp, and continued talking timidly,

“I-I’ve already stopped doing that though. I was just a little bit carried away, and I won’t do those things ever again…”

“I-It’s okay. No worries, you have your own circumstances too.”

She seemed to have plenty of her own troubles. Although I can’t say that I’ll forgive her because of this,  I didn’t have to be too harsh on her

“…Senpai, you aren’t mad about this now?”

“Huh? Oh. I’m not mad at all.”

“…T-That’s good.”

At that moment, Misaki had on a timid look, but she quickly refocused her attention onto the console screen. What was that about? I put that thought aside for now, and looked around the arcade parlor, while secretly snickering to myself.

Misaki soon became engrossed in her game, and I stood behind her, heheh. What a lovely sight. Even though Misaki’s personality was a bit like “that” , she was still a nice and adorable underclassman, and bringing in a cute underclassman into a place full of guys is such an enjoyable experience! Ahahaha, even when I close my eyes, I can still feel all of the jealous looks surrounding me. In reality, there wasn’t even a relationship between Misaki and me, and I couldn’t even be called her purse, but no one else knew this private information. Ahahaha, feels great,

“Ah, hmm…”

As I was releasing all of the unwanted virgin power (?) that I had accumulated throughout my life, Misaki let out a tempting sound that made me return my attention towards her.

“Hmm… Ah…”

I looked at the console screen, and saw that she was currently struggling in her battle.

Woah, although I don’t know who her opponent is, those tactics are unruly. Using counter-throws and such demonic combos, that play style is almost foul play. Who’s the idiot fighting a girl so seriously?

Displeased, I silently craned my head to see who was sitting at the console across. It’s probably some unpopular guy who has a nasty-looking face——

“Huh——————!?”

My back froze. Impossible, I was struck by a spell of dizziness once I saw who it was.

“K-Kasumi…”

Why is she here…?

“……..And here I thought that Sakamoto was troubled with something….Who knew that he was just enjoying himself….”

She quietly mumbled something to herself, and that look terrified me from the bottom of my heart. Why is she looking at me like that? Her eyes look as if she discovered something that had destroyed her family, like her husband’s mistress…

As I was thinking that, we made eye contact with each other, and I couldn’t help but quickly look away. Crap, did she sit at the console facing us because she found Misaki and me… This is really bad…

“Ah…”

At that moment, Misaki was struck by Kasumi’s demonic techniques, and lost.

“Tsk… What the…”

Seeing the unyielding look on Misaki’s face, I suddenly felt a sense of apprehension. L-Let’s go for now. You must feel hungry, so let’s find a nice place and eat some sweets——

“Senpai! Help Misaki take down that opponent!”

The premonition came true——!!

Wait, wait! Crap, the surrounding looks were stabbing into me. The current atmosphere felt like, “In a situation like this, the boyfriend should coolly take down the opponent. He was proudly showing off just moments ago, so he can’t run away now…”

But I have to run away shamefully from this fight. If I took on this challenge, then the situation would get incredibly worse…

“Senpai~”

As I was planning my retreat.

“If you beat him, then Misaki will let you enjoy all you want today❤”

Misaki let out her prettiest professional smile, and hugged me from behind——Ah, it hurts! Stop it! Why are you using your fingernails to pinch me——It hurts so much! Are you seriously this stubborn!? I get it! I’ll do it!

I completely lost to Misaki’s brutality, taking her chair… Huh? My phone is vibrating. An email? At this timie——

Bzzz!

“If you lose to me, then you’ll have to do ①,②, and ③. Kasumi.” (T/N: I’ll be nice and help you guys remember. ① = a kiss, ② = a French kiss, and ③ = Eh? Down there!?)

 

IMG_0018

“…………………………………………………………….”

Cold sweat trickled, and the match started——Ah! Kasumi is blatantly taking it easy on me! It’s so obvious that even Misaki could tell, watching from behind! What do I do!? Do I win or do I lose!?

“Senpai, if you lose…then you know what will happen right?”

“Uh, you see…but…”

“Senpai.”

Misaki said as she pointed her index finger out, and stroked it down my cheek. Ahhhhh…… However, I could hear lots of tongue clicking from the other side.

I tragically faced this dilemma, and my willpower slowly depleted like my HP bar. After much trouble, my choice was——

 

“……I won…….”

Holding ice cream in my hand, I was sitting dejectedly in the lounge room at the arcade. Ahhh, my cellphone has been vibrating for quite some time now, with emails coming one after another, but I didn’t have the courage to read any them. This is bad… It’s too dangerous… When I was leaving I could faintly hear Kasumi saying, “Starting tomorrow, no matter what I have to use…”

“Giggle, thank you very much. Ahh~ I feel so happy right now.”

Misaki let out a cheerful smile as she sat next to me, eating the soft serve ice cream that I bought for her. She had completely put aside her elegant demeanor, and was dangling her feet back and forth. That’s way too lax of her.

“But it’s been a long time since I’ve last came to the arcade with someone. Giggles, two is definitely more fun than one!”

“Did you used to come with a friend?”

“Not really a friend. I would occasionally come here with a very dear person.”

——!

Hearing this unexpected answer, I couldn’t help but gulp.

“Someone… dear to you?”

“Yeah, I think I told you about this yesterday too.”

I didn’t hear about it. Hikari Yumesaki, you should be writing these things down, seriously.

“A very nice person. Although to say love…would be an exaggeration, but for me, that person’s irreplaceable. I can still remember when that person used to comb my hair for me.”

O-Oh… comb your hair huh…

“We often took photos together, sticking our faces next to each other… Heheh, it was quite embarrassing.”

“………Tsk.”

…However, even though her personality was a little off, she’s still cute anyway. It looks like even she has her complicated past.

I didn’t know why but, I felt sad knowing of Misaki’s past with another guy. No, there wasn’t anything more to that. It was just that I’m a bit depressed…

It’ll probably be awkward if I remained silent.

“Senpai, are you taking it personally?”

“Huh?”

I turned my head, only to see Misaki looking at me with a cheeky smile on her face.

“I see, so that’s how Senpai sees Misaki… Giggle.”

“N-No, that’s not it! Definitely not like that——!”

“So that’s why you come by to the shop everyday.”

“Uh………”

T-That’s because Hikari Yumesaki’s made promises selfishly…

“In fact, yesterday, you complained to the manager, ‘You should have the waitresses’ skirts be shorter!’, senpai. That’s probably the reason too.”

That idiot!

“Also, you’ve said  ‘Misaki, you should come over to my place next time.’ I mean really, if I were to go to your house, just what would you do to me?”

“Uh…”

You’re doing this on purpose now, aren’t you…

“Anyway, I do owe you gratitude, senpai, so just work hard ok?”

Misaki smiled in a provocative way. Feeling displeased, I put on a rigid face——

“Hmph, I would never do such hart work.”

Ah, I bit my tongue! Crap! That’s right, laugh at me!

“Giggle, how hilarious. Oh that’s right, Senpai. Wanna take some commemorative photos together?”

“To commemorate what…”

Although I said that, I reluctantly agreed with a disgruntled look. I’m so soft.

At that moment, a sweet apple scent suddenly came from behind and drew near my ear.

“Ah, and also.”

“Huh?”

“You don’t have to pretend fiddling your hair, senpai. If you want to take a look, then you’re free to do so at anytime.”

“………!”

“Let’s go, Senpai❤”

The demoness’ whispers made my face sizzle.

Dammit, I’ve been found out!

 

On another day.

“I got to do my own research!”

It was the second semester, and due to slacking off, my summer homework was still not finished (it was mostly Hikari Yumesaki’s fault). I was told off by my teacher two days ago, I directed my anger towards Hikari Yumesaki, ordering her to, “Hurry up and do the homework!” And her response was the above. It seems that she has her own research to do. The thing is.

“Her research probably has nothing to do with the homework.”

Then just what is she doing? I really don’t understand her.

There was even another notebook on the desk, and written on the front cover was:

“Conquest”

Some kind of strange work again? What are you trying to conquer?

I opened the notebook——

“Akitsuki Sakamoto: the heroine.”

“Heroine!?”

Why are you writing this kind of things!? I’m the heroine!?

Next to the illustration of a character resembling me were large letters,

“Looks like a delinquent, but he’s actually just a timid uke-type and likes guys.”

(T/N: Most of you are probably familiar with yaoi/BL (Boy’s Love). Two common terms used in the genre are “uke” and “seme.” The uke is “passive” (on the bottom) while the seme is “aggressive/dominant” (on the top). Highly recommend that more research NOT be conducted.)

“Just what is she doing this time…”

“Route Difficulty: E, harsh-looking on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside, so he’s quite easy to conquer. His whole body gives off the innocence of a virgin. Always careless. All the gamers calls him ‘Bakatsuki’.”

Bakatsuki… (T/N: The pun was originally a portmanteau with an insult (Baka means idiot) followed by “月” (tsuki), which is the last character in his first name. Credit goes to Ping for this great choice of reference.)

“However, he’s actually really kind, and if you were to tidy up his appearance he would look quite cool. Since he has such a cute personality and yet a cold glare, he has an unshakeable popularity in the gaming room. Rating: ★★★★★”

“………”

Whatever, reading it just confuses me. So, she thinks I’m a five-star huh.

Just as my mood improved, I turned to the next page.

“Yukiko: the little-sister character. Route Difficulty: A. A junior high girl who is slowly learning the joys of being a woman. Although her route difficulty is high, her tsundere-level is unparalleled. Rating: ★★★★★★★★”

“Kasumi-chan: the large-breasts character. Route Difficulty: C. A bit quiet and yet perverted maiden. Has a lot of ecchi CG scenes. Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★”

What followed were an 8-star and a 10-star rating. Doesn’t that mean that my five-star rating is the lowest!?

“That idiot is really full of herself.”

I continued to noisily flip through the notebook. There was some extensive data written on all of my classmates, and then——

“Misaki-chan: the female underclassman character. Route Difficulty: AAA. An incredibly popular and beautiful maiden. Her alluring way of saying ‘Senpai’ has conquered the souls of countless men. Occasionally she shows her sadistic side, yet she still captures one’s heart. Has a pair of thighs that can get Sakamoto addicted to foot femdom anime. Godly! Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★.”

“What a high recommendation.”

Twenty-stars huh.

What’s she doing. I remembered something from the past, probably something like this had happened before Kasumi-chan’s confession. That idiot purposely try to push me and Kasumi-chan together. But what happened in the end….

“………”

Hikari Yumesaki should have reflected about that, and she knows that I have a crush. Even so, she is still doing it again right now. Does she think that I have a crush on Misaki?

“What’s going on?”

 

On that day, after school.

Hikari Yumesaki always sends Misaki a message saying, “I’ll come see you tomorrow too!”, and so, I came to Café Moonleaf. There’s quite a lot of people here too.

“He’s here again, that loitering bastard.”

“At least I’m an actual customer.”

I answered the depressing greetings with a sigh. However, isn’t this basically how we always greet each other?

“…Huh?”

Just as I was about to open the menu, I noticed that she had focused her attention on my hand.

“A ring huh, you don’t see that quite often.”

“Huh? Oh, this?”

I stared blankly at her for a few seconds before I could respond back. She was talking about the ring that I was wearing on my right middle finger. (T/N: No, I don’t know why it’s his middle finger and not the ring finger. Maybe mistranslation from JP to CN.) (E/N: Original had it as middle finger. Yeah, I gave up on erasing the translation notes myself…)

It was the weird ring that Hikari Yumesaki bought online. It’s really embarrassing to wear such a weird thing, so I had specifically written a rule to only wear it at home. However I had forgotten to take it off before I stepped outside.

“A friend gave this to me. It was a bit expensive.”

“A friend?”

Yeah, a friend.

“…….” “……”

Huh?

“……Hmph.”

Hey, w-what’s wrong…? Why did you chortle?

Under the strange atmosphere surrounding us, I nonchalantly wasted time. Once it reached nightfall.

As I was escorting her and her pouting face home.

“Do you have anyone you like, senpai?”

“Wah?”

This question was way too sudden, and I couldn’t help but let out a weird sound.

“You have someone you like, right? What do you wish to do with that person?”

She concluded before I could answer, and even added another question. What are you doing?

“About that…”

Looking at this atmosphere, it appeared I couldn’t run away.What would I want to do…

“……pet her head?”

“Pet her head? That’s it?”

Yeah, to pet the head of the girl that I like. Isn’t that enough?

“Besides that, what else is there?”

“Errm…besides that…hugging her tightly from behind?”

“……”

Hey, what is it? Why aren’t you saying anything?

“Hmph.”

She chortled again, dammit.

I couldn’t help but scrunch my face, but Misaki, who was standing in front of me and playing with her hair, didn’t seem to care about my reaction. Her sweet, charming scent and her long eyelashes deeply captivated me.

“Hm~mph. I can understand your feelings, senpai. There was a time, when I too wanted to do those things with the person I like. It was a childish thought though.”

“Childish…”

“But Senpai, it’s better not to have this kind of fantasy. Because once that dream breaks apart, the aftermath really hurts…”

Saying that, she quietly looked down with a forlorn look.

This kind of atmosphere is really surprising. Has a girl this cute actually been dumped before? She’s probably talking about the same guy from before, the one she took photo with at the arcade. Just how up there are his standards?

“Hey, Senpai.”

“Yeah?”

“There’s going to be a fireworks show this Sunday. Do you want to make one last memory of this summer with me?”

Sunday, today’s Monday. Let me think…that day will be me.

“No problem, but why?”

“Giggle, questioning a girl’s invitation won’t help you lose your virginity you know.”

Ok then……

“Oh well, I’m looking forward to it.”

As she said that, she turned her back towards the sunset, while letting out a small impish grin.

This expression seemed a bit forlorn, but that must just be my imagination.

 

“Survey time!”

“Haa.”

It was a different other day. This is what the journal read today:

“It’s been five months since we’ve begun switching personalities. And so right here we’ll conduct a satisfaction survey for the guest.”

“Satisfaction?”

“Please answer the following questions:

① It is fun to be with Hikari-chan.

② Hikari-chan is very cute.

③ Meeting Hikari-chan is a great thing.

④ Hikari-chan is actually my long-lost older sister! (What!?)

⑤ I really want to see Misaki-chan.

…Please answer all of the questions.”

“Another of those things I don’t understand.”

She had prepared “Completely agree/Agree/Somewhat/Disagree/Completely disagree” as answers for all of the questions, The first thing that came to my mind was: is there a rule that I need to be an idiot when answering the fourth question?

However, the problem was——

“Is she trying to pull another fast one?”

Clearly, question five was the real question that she wanted to ask. She was probably trying to sneakily probe in, but her method was way too sloppy.

And so, I answered “Somewhat” for all of the questions. Two days later,

“What do you mean ‘Somewhat’ for everything!? Is exchanging diaries with cute Hikari-chan that boring!? Hikari Yumesaki seems pretty angry. It looks like my definition of cute and that idiot’s definition are worlds apart, which only makes it more annoying.

Although, looking at her words above, it seems that she’s really afraid of being alone.

“…Sakamoto, is it really only ‘somewhat?’”

Written in small print in the corner of the journal was this. Sigh, I can’t take it anymore, I’m sorry. It was just a joke, you’re making me blush, just understand where I’m coming from for a bit. So please don’t write these lonely words. However, the most important part was the sentence that came after.

“Misaki-chan is also somewhat?”

“…That idiot, so that’s why.”

 

“Sakamoto, you still haven’t given up on your crush, have you.”

Two days later, on the morning of the day when I had arranged to go to the fireworks show with Misaki. Just as expected.

Before, she would always try to probe in roundabout way, but now she’s finally throwing throwing fastballs.

Two days ago, I left the word “SOMEWHAT!” in big letters in the journal. I even purposely added an exclamation mark in the hope that she would play it off as sarcasm instead of treating it seriously again. However, it looks like she didn’t grasp my hope.

“Misaki-chan is a very good girl. Going out with her will surely bring you happiness.”

Hikari Yumesaki’s handwriting had become incredibly more deliberate and neater than before. Whenever that idiot is writing seriously, her words always become neater. The thing is, I don’t really like this style of writing. That’s because I feel like I can see that idiot letting out a side of her that I usually never see.

“Is your crush so much better that you are willing to give up on Misaki-chan? Even if you may never go out with her, you still won’t give up? Is it someone I know?”

“…Definitely.”

Hikari Yumesaki’s definiely trying to hook me up with Misaki. Even after what happened with Kasumi, even though she knows I won’t give up on the girl that I like, she still doing it again.

Why? Why does she want to hook me up with Misaki so badly?

Hikari Yumesaki’s actions was impossible to understand, and she even left a question at the end.

“Do you really…like that girl that much?”

“…I…”

I couldn’t think of an answer, and I closed the notebook without writing anything.

I’m such a sleazy guy. But I’m not happy about it either.

Even though I don’t know her reasons, Hikari Yumesaki really wants me to go out with Misaki.

This made me feel incomparably reluctant and miserable——

 

That night, it was finally time for the fireworks. Misaki seemed a little elated herself.

She showed up to the meeting place in a yukata, looking much more mature than usual. Her pearly white neck, usually hidden, exposed her charm, and I couldn’t help but blush. She looked at me with an impish grin, and gave me some calm.

After we exchanged some dull greetings, we began to roam through the festival stalls. She talked more than usual when she had some takoyaki. In comparison, I didn’t say anything at all.

As the fireworks burst in the night sky.

“——It was the same last year.”

She suddenly said.

“It was just like this last year too, being here with the person dear to me. Walking around the festival together, eating candied apples together. Standing shoulder to shoulder, watching the fireworks.”

“…Eh. Isn’t that youth?”

I didn’t know if I should talk with her about her old boyfriend, and so I just casually replied. When Misaki heard it, she cheerfully smiled.

“Giggle, you can’t hide your jealousy huh, senpai?”

“Umm….”

Seeing my flustered look, she could not resist letting out an impish giggle, and pulled out from her purse, the same color as her yukata, a small mirror. A large photo sticker was subtly stuck onto the mirror. (T/N: By photo stickers, I mean stickers with actual photos on them (think Oreimo *cringe).) (E/N: Here, have some bleach to drink. And with that, we welcome a new translator.)

“Relax. I wanted to see your reaction, senpai, so I only pretended that I had a guy I liked. I’ll be worried if you keep on taking it the wrong way. Here, look at this.”

“Huh?”

I couldn’t understand the meaning behind her words, but still looked at the mirror in her hands. Just what——

“…What…?”

Eh? This——

“This is the person…you admire…”

Why would she say those kinds of things.

Perhaps I should have thought a bit more on what those words mean.

 

“Yes, she is the person dear to me——Hikari Yumesaki.”

IMG_0019

Misaki softly spoke her name.

I looked over the sticker on the mirror again. There was no doubt, that standing next to Misaki with a perfect smile on her face, was Hikari Yumesaki.

Huh? W-Why? Why is she in Misaki’s photo——

“She’s a pretty strange person. The first time I met her was probably a year ago, when she came to eat at Café Moonleaf. She broke some of the plates, but she also bothered the other guests with her loud noise. My first impression of her wasn’t very nice.”

Misaki softly delivered her sentences, as if she were reciting very delicate memories.

“There was also the time when she was at the register but didn’t have enough money. What do you think she did? She suddenly took a picture of herself and said, ‘Selling a celebrity photo of Hikari-chan’s KISS face for 520 yen! How about it!?’ At that time, I really wondered just how reckless she was.” (T/N: $1 = 100 yen, so 520 yen = $5.20 (€4.56))

……

“Another time, I was harassed by a customer who was hard to deal with. I impatiently tried to refuse the customer, and then he immediately began using foul language… In that moment, Hikari Yumesaki suddenly ordered two slices of cake, saying that she was holding a birthday party for me… Even though it wasn’t my birthday.”

…I think I had a similar experience.

“I was very happy. Knowing that there was still a person this nice in the world, I was really happy. Ever since that day, I became much closer to her. When I get off from work, I would occasionally go hang out with her. In that time, I chatted a lot with her, like my parents’ situation, and my younger siblings. No matter how painful the subject was, she would always listen to me thoughtfully. I really was happy. Slowly, I too wanted to become stronger, just like her, no matter how painful things got, to have a smile on my face, I wanted to be like that——”

Misaki stopped talking, let out a sigh, and her body began to shiver. She remained silent, trying to hide her discomfort.

But, I——

“…What happened to her?”

Asked.

Even though I knew the answer.

“…She transferred schools. Some other day, and went far away.”

………

Misaki probably already knew, she can’t not know. Even if she became much stronger, she was the only person left in this cruel world, and she would be crying in some corner I’m unaware of, because of how this story ends. She’s a fragile one.

“…Is that so.”

I see. So that’s how it was.

Everything finally makes sense. I thought it was unusual. Why didn’t I notice?

The reason why Hikari Yumesaki cared so much about Misaki.

The reason why Hikari Yumesaki wanted me to go out with Misaki.

The reason why Hikari Yumesaki was hiding everything.

Hikari Yumesaki and Misaki Koudera’s. Their encounter, relationship, bonds, the truth.

“More importantly, I need to come up with something.”

Some time ago, when Hikari Yumesaki was having outbursts over her time loss of five minutes, she wrote this in the diary. At that time, I didn’t think too much of it, not noticing that it was the biggest hint.

“Moving on, since it’s my hard-earned summer, I can play all I want! Today, I went to one of my favorite places and ate parfait. I haven’t had moonleaf parfait in so long, it’s absolutely the best!”

Before that sentence, she even mentioned this. Visiting Café Moonleaf again. It only takes one guess.

That time, I thought that Hikari Yumesaki was just doing everything she wanted before she died. Finding a cute underclassman, spending money and playing around. I only thought that she had given up on life. But as it turns out, that wasn’t true.

That idiot already knew Misaki. After going to Café Moonleaf again, she saw Misaki. She was probably worried about her underclassman’s wellbeing. Using my body to talk with Misaki would be difficult, so she pretended to have given up on herself, while simultaneously get closer with Misaki. Since she knew about Misaki’s situation, no matter what Misaki asked her to buy, she would always do so with a smile. She even pretended to have just learned of Misaki’s household situation, but even so I was too dense.

She didn’t tell me about her relationship with Misaki probably out of consideration. She rarely ever talks about what happened in her life, probably because she doesn’t want me to think that she has any remorse.

“Senpai, what’s wrong?”

“Ah, it’s nothing. I’m sorry. So it was like that huh, she transferred schools huh.”

“Yeah… Maybe this will sound like an excuse, but I really hope to find someone who will spoil me. When Yumesaki left, well, I felt as if a hole opened up in my heart. My life’s back to how it was before I met her, but every day just felt so dull, nothing exciting… That’s why I played with the boys who approached me by pretending to like them, to indulge them, and let them feel popular. I thought that doing so would let me fill in the emptiness in my heart, even just a little——But, even then, every night I still felt alone…”

“………”

Hikari Yumesaki’s also probably aware of this, that Misaki felt distraught by her death, and that a hole had been left in her heart. Maybe it was when she had finally visited Café Moonleaf after several months, and saw how lonely Misaki was, that she had to try and do something for her.

She couldn’t leave Misaki alone. She wanted Misaki to be happy.

She hoped her beloved underclassman could find happiness, so she went ahead and thought of a plan to make Misaki happy. The final conclusion that she came to was——me.

She believed that I would definitely be able to bring Misaki happiness.

As such, ignoring what happened with Kasumi, she wanted me to hook up with Misaki. She didn’t even care who it was that I liked and pushed me to give up.

Even though the situation has progressed this far, she still wouldn’t tell me the truth… she probably didn’t want me to feel pity for Misaki. Maybe she hoped that I’ll truly like Misaki, and bring her happiness.

That idiot hasn’t give up on life yet. When she found out about the five minutes reduction, she thought her personality might disappear, so she wanted to leave no regrets behind. She planned to use her remaining time on her favorite people, and not for herself. That idiot was kindhearted until the very end.

Thinking more just made me sigh more, so much that my sighs could cover the entire world.

Hikari Yumesaki’s still on this earth. This plan would make more people happy than I thought——while also letting one person feel unhappy. (E/N: Title of this series can be named as ‘Hikari ga Chikyuu ni Itakoro……)

“Giggle, I’m so stupid. I always thought I wasn’t strong. I’ve already forgotten about the moments I had with Yumesaki, and even pretended that those moments don’t exist, but yet I still couldn’t get rid of loneliness in my heart. Honestly, I don’t think that I’ll ever defeat that pain. This loneliness will always be with me. But the thing is, Senpai.”

Suddenly, the whole world fell silent.

Everyone raised their heads to gaze at the night sky.

“Now——I have Senpai with me.”

The booming of the exploding fireworks resounded through my heart.

Blue, green, and red——

The vibrant glimmers added intense, bright colors to the cute pair of eyes staring right at me. The beautiful fireworks unceasingly burst, as if they wanted to melt off her mask.

The smile illuminated under the light appeared unimaginably gentle–

“Senpai.”

She pointed her finger.

It was pointing at a certain festival stall in the corner. There’s a bunch of weird looking accessories at the stall, and right in front of the vendor, looking up at the fireworks, was a prismatic ring.

“Will you buy me…that?”

What does she mean by that.

She’s probably teasing me again. Or maybe she’s blackmailing me. Or maybe——

No one knew the answer. Maybe Hikari Yumesaki knows. But, I couldn’t possibly hear her voice.

That’s why, I——

“Can’t. I didn’t bring enough money.”

I replied in a joking manner, and smiled.

I believed that she couldn’t hear my little voice crack.

I believed that her trembling gasp was a hallucination caused by the sound of the fireworks.

“…I guess not…after all…”

I couldn’t respond, and this was probably the definite answer. Looking as if she was worried about the tormented look on my face, she took a deep a breath, and put on a mischievous look.

“…Giggle, how unfortunate. I had planned on using Senpai’s money to buy my little sister a ring.”

“Sorry about that. You should try asking your manager for a raise.”

I continued smiling, using my frivolous smile to pass by. Misaki turned her back towards me, and asked,

“Senpai, what’s your crush like?”

“Huh?”

“The one that you want to pet her head, to hug her tightly from behind, tell me about her.”

She didn’t turn her head, nor did she open her mouth again.

What is she like, huh…

“She’s a happy-go-lucky idiot.”

I said the first thing that came to my mind.

“She really is such a happy-go-lucky person, always giggling as she pulls stupid pranks. She’s a downright idiot, a moron who never considers anything. Always giving me trouble…always mocking my virginity, even calling me things like ‘Bakatsuki.’”

Misaki didn’t say anything, keeping her back to me.

“But——”

I suddenly dropped my shoulders, and spoke my true thoughts.

“She’s very kind. At first glance, not only does she look like she can trespass into your heart, but also an idiot who would dance with a hula hoop on your desk, yet she really is kind. Kind enough that even when she is stuck in a bad situation herself, she will first consider others. That’s why I, that’s why I——”

The truth is that she’s a crybaby, a kind but fragile girl, a coward who wants to become stronger.

I want to protect her more than anyone else…

“Senpai.”

“Huh?”

Pah

“Ow!”

“I didn’t ask you to tell me this much.”

Misaki softly flicked my forehead, and looked at me face to face, wearing her usual playful smile.

As she giggled, the pure sound of her laugh makes one feel relaxed.

After she finished giggling by herself——

“Senpai, please pretend that nothing happened.”

Using a professional smile, she opened her bright lips and spoke.

“I want Senpai to continue acting as a fool, easy to be tricked by me, and yet a cute and reliable senpai. The Senpai that I usually see. So…just pretend that you never saw the weak side of me today.”

Pretend that nothing happened.

I’ve once heard——once said that phrase before.

This kind of phrase is much too lonesome. But, let’s just go with it.

“Ok. Starting tomorrow, show me some mercy too alright.”

Ok, she softly nodded her head, and continued to wear a pure smile.

“……regret.”

I felt as if that sound came from somewhere under her smile.

“I don’t think that I’ll ever have a day of regret.”

“Huh——?”

She took a step back, turned around, and the fireworks illuminated her face once again.

“Am I the Misaki that you expected today, Senpai?”

“…!”

“Well, let’s just stop here for tonight. Goodbye.”

After saying that, she disappeared into the crowd.

That sight of her petite back, like the fireworks fading in the night sky, gradually disappeared from my sight.

 

“So that’s what happened huh. So Misaki has someone in her class that she likes huh. I wanted her to be your girlfriend you know.”

Two days after the fireworks show, I opened up the notebook, and saw this journal entry.

In the end, I didn’t write about what happened during the fireworks show that day, and lied, “I was talking with Misaki when I heard that she liked someone in her class. I encouraged her and told her to go out with that guy, to earn her own happiness.” I had to in order to pretend that nothing had happened. As such, Hikari Yumesaki won’t have to worry about it anymore.

“She always looked so lonely, but I probably just imagined it. Yeah, it’s good to have someone that you like! I can finally rest easy! Hikari-chan can rest easy!”

“Rest easy, huh.”

Seeing as how Hikari Yumesaki had resolved the conflict in her heart, I could rest easy too.

“There shouldn’t be anymore problems now.”

I said to myself as I closed the notebook. Pah——this sound reminded me of the booming of the fireworks.

A summer night, a fleeting memory, a moment that, like the fireworks, never seemed to have happened.

That glowing time of radiance neither remained in anyone’s memories, nor could it ever remain.

I felt the memento stuck to the corner of the desk, a picture taken with Hikari Yumesaki, stretched a bit and then walked out of my room. There’s no point in being so down all the time. And so, let’s go make breakfast for now.

“It must be fall already.”

A morning chill could already be felt. I muttered softly to myself as I walked to my room.

There were all kinds of events, some that felt too surreal. Well, even then, this was by far the most unforgettable summer break. Yeah, it was pretty fun, and it was all thanks to Hikari Yumesaki.

As I thought that, I walked towards the kitchen.

 

——However.

 

I had forgotten something at that time.

“……Wha……!”

A few days later, Hikari Yumesaki was trying to beat a galgame through the night again, and when I checked the time as I switched over in the early morning, the whole world stood still.

“Four…twenty-nine…”

I had forgotten.

The dread I felt when Hikari Yumesaki had her time reduced.

“How can this be…”

As well as the fact that Hikari Yumesaki lived in a cruel world.

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