I’m a high school boy and a bestselling light novel author, strangled by my classmate who is my underclassman and a voice actress.
This is my current predicament.
I was wondering.
Maybe I should let go.
I felt I shouldn’t have Nitadori–
Continue to choke me.
I felt that I was forcing her.
No, in fact, I was forcing her.
It’s not good to do this.
I shouldn’t have my hand on a girl’s, having her continue to choke me.
June 12th, Thursday.
On this day, the After Record of the eleventh episode was about to begin–
But I didn’t board the Limited Express.
No, to be precise, I couldn’t take the Limited Express.
While the train departed from the station, I was lying on my bed, sleeping at home.
I did not oversleep my nap time, and did not skip the After Record because I hated the work, and it’s definitely not that I didn’t want to go to Tokyo because I wanted to avoid Nitadori.
So what’s the reason?
I had a fever.
“I feel that my head’s shaking. Is it an earthquake?”
On that day, I started to wonder.
I woke up at the same time as per usual, saw that mom, who was on night duty throughout this week, had returned home to sleep, and ate breakfast.
School’s pretty near to my house.
Starting this week, I did not hurry into school at the last moment because of Miss Satake. Until Wednesday, I was able to arrive at school earlier, and spend the time lazing in the classroom, reading.
But on my way to school, there was an earthquake.
Probably a two or three in magnitude, I guess? I found myself swaying about even though I was walking.
That was an omen–
All I did was to stop in my tracks, and check my smartphone for any earthquake occurrence.
Back then, I should have thought of entering the infirmary rather than the classroom.
Once class started, I started to feel the earth shake from time to time. As I could not use the smartphone in class (while some would secretly have a peek), whenever it shook, all I felt was,
“”Why hasn’t anyone sensed this earthquake? Doesn’t anyone care?”
Soon after, I actually ended up thinking,
“Does this mean I’m the only one able to sense an earthquake a day early? Am I able to detect continuous earthquakes before they happen? Do I have precognition? Will I predict a massive accident in the near future, and be wondering how to inform everyone? So I end up preventing the incident, become a hero, prevent more incidents and accidents, received a large sum of money from the country, and live a leisurely life.
On a certain day three years later, I was targeted by a foreign spy hoping to capitalize on this ability for military purposes. Nevertheless, I managed to avoid all forms of crisis through my precognition, and fell in love with the heroine who happened. While I sensed a perfectly wonderful ending was about to come, I foresaw that I would die the next day, and went pale as a result. Having predicted everything to 100% accuracy, would I be able to avoid this looming fate–
Thinking back about it, it was a grave mistake, that my delusions were out of control.
And I did not realize that I was burning up.
After the third period ended.
(I guess) the matter about Miss Satake was resolved, and I didn’t need to run to the toilet.
During recess, I sat on the chair. For some reason, I did not want to stroll about.
The boy seated before me shoved his textbooks into the drawer, and was intending to head out to the back door, only to stop at the last moment.
I looked up, and met him in the eyes.
Somehow, I could still remember the name of the person seated before me. This boy of average size and neat brown hair was called ‘Aizawa’.
It’s a rare family name, and there’s the word ‘Ai’ for ‘love’, which seemed cool to me (though I didn’t know what he thought of the name.
During classes, I would be seated between Aizawa and Nitadori, two people with very interesting names.
When the semester started, there was a girl with a common family name over there, but before i knew it, she changed her seat.
The reason why that girl ended up sitting at the front side was because ‘she could not see the blackboard clearly due to short-sightedness’, or something like that.
“That seat is filled with an evil presence. I can’t take it.”
Well, leaving that aside, I just had a curious thought. What does Aizawa want with me?
Of course, I never had a proper chat with him.
During the two months and so on, all Aizawa did was to hand me the worksheets from the front, and say,
Seeing how he was speaking in formal language, I could guess he was trying to talk to me. Is there seriously something though?
If he’s going to talk about my delusional brain, well, I get him, and I get that it probably won’t get cured, so I wanted to say it’s fine, that I’ll continue living on with this brain of mine.
“Your face is really red.”
What? Does Aizawa think I’m the type to blush upon seeing a man? If you say that, the illustrator of ‘Vice Versa’ will be very happy, so no! That was what I immediately thought.
“…Yeah, and you’re shaking.”
Following that, a familiar voice came from behind. It’s Nitadori’s.
Aizawa agreed with Nitadori. She got up, went to his side, and looked at my face.
And then, she said to me,
“Erm…are you having a fever?”
For the first time in my life, I heard Nitadori speak to me in class.
This would be something worth commemorating, but it’s not the time to think about it.
My face’s red, and my head’s shaking. I might have a fever.
While I wouldn’t say I distrust Aizawa, but since Nitadori said so, that might be the case. The frequent earthquakes might be due to myself. Mystery solved!
So I thought.
“Ah, yes, I guess…I’ll head to the infirmary.”
I slowly got to my feet. It seemed I was fine walking.
“Yeah, I should be able to go alone. Thanks, you two.”
Saying that, I left the two worried ones behind in the classroom.
For my first trip to the infirmary in this school, I had my temperature taken. If the thermometer was not faulty in any way, I had a fever of almost thirty nine degrees Celsius.
I nearly broke the mark there. I was ordered to rest on the bed.
I could not remember how many years had it been since I rested on the bed. I did not remember such an experience.
Good thing I had a strong body, and never had a major illness or injury as a result.
Looking at the unfamiliar ceiling was an interesting experience, but before I knew it, I fell asleep.
I was woken up by the bell at the end of the fourth period, and the nurse saw that my fever had yet to subside completely, saying,
“I will notify your homeroom teacher. Head home for now.”
Upon inquiring my home address, the nurse learned that I lived nearby, and heaved a sigh of relief.
I continued to walk down the ‘tremoring’ corridor, and returned to the classroom during noon break.
Nitadori and Aizawa were at their seats, having their lunches. I, who preferred to eat at the cafeteria, saw how the class was like during noon break for the first time.
While tidying my bag, I said,
“I really have a fever. Going back first. Thanks guys.”
I wasn’t intending to direct this to any one of them, but to both of them instead.
“Ah, it’s fine. Please take care.”
Aizawa said. Now I know he’s a nice guy.
“Understood. I shall inform the teacher.”
Nitadori in turn spoke in an official manner.
So I got the rare experience to ‘talk with Nitadori in the classroom’, only to return home eight minutes later.
It was around 1pm.
Mom, ready to go to work, measured my body temperature for a second time. It was over thirty eight degrees celsius, so she had me take some medication, followed by isotonic drinks. As to be expected of mom, straight to the point.
I changed into pajamas, and laid on the bed.
I wondered how I got a fever, but in fact, I already realized.
On the previous night, right after a long bath–
With wet hair, and dressed in boxers, I was seated at the living room just a curtain beyond the balcony, tapping at the keyboard as I wanted to record an idea I had in the changing room.
While the night wind felt comfy, it’s not good for the body after all.
Even with the slight fever, I was able to think properly.
So I thought, until that moment came,
While lying on the bed, I saw the calendar, on the wall, and noticed something. I took my smartphone out to check.
I realized it was Thursday. I had to head to Tokyo that evening.
Before then, I had been wondering if it was Wednesday. I even told myself, completely relaxed, that I had to be recovered by the following evening. It’s all the fever’s fault.
I hurriedly got up from bed, and told mom, who was at the corridor, ready to go to work–
But naturally, she ordered me to take a rest.
I returned to my room, and made a call to the editor-in-charge.
I reported the current situation to him, and asked him what I should do.
I wanted to watch the After Records, even if I had to force myself out of bed–
So the editor-in-charge told me that the body’s most important, that I should rest.
But I would not budge.
“While I do understand how you feel…that you may think you are fine, but as an author, you cannot be spreading germs at the After Record.”
I gave up upon hearing those words.
I could not cause trouble for any of the voice actors, who earned their keeps through their voices.
The Limited Express ticket was bought at the station that day, so I could leave it for the time being (once I transfer the receipt to the editor, I could claim the money); I just needed to cancel the hotel reservation.
While ASCII Media Works had booked the room for me, I was wondering how the expenses would be after cancellation.
After that, I chatted with the editor regarding several things.
I received the script the previous week, and had done the checks as an author. There was no part to be changed.
And as for the meeting regarding the 11th volume that was to be released in September, it was done during the previous After Record. Thank goodness.
In other words, I had no issues, except for missing out the goal of ‘attending all the recording sessions for a first animated adaptation’.
“Please rest well and get well. It’s an old adage, but taking care of your body is part of work.”
I quietly sighed, hung up, and spaced out.
In fact, since March, it was the first time I did not spend a Thursday night in Tokyo, which I had done so over the past ten weeks.
“I’m never typing at the computer right after a shower, and in my boxers.”
So I quietly made this decision in my heart. As the medication was making me drowsy, I decided to sleep, and fidgeted about as I laid down.
I closed my eyes.
After five seconds, I opened my eyes again.
I opened them really hard. There was someone I had to contact.
I had her number and mail address. It’s lesson time, and I should send by mail.
Thus far, Nitadori and I had only exchanged one message. All I did was to reply to hers, not much content either.
Also, I angered her as I declared ‘she’s my girlfriend’ the previous week. While I could not apologize to her in the recording studio or classroom, but I had no guts to settle this through mail.
I thought it would be a perfect opportunity on the train, but my body was not in a good condition.
The medication was really taking effect.
I hardly took medication, so once I did, the effects would be immediate, and I would feel like sleeping.
My mind was having difficulty in thinking. If I did not know what to write.
The more I angsted, the more difficulty I had in writing, and the drowsier I got.
So I simply sent her a formal-looking message before sleeping.