“No. Don’t. I won’t accept this. I definitely—won’t accept this! No way will I allow this pervert. Never! Ever! Besides, he’s not human to begin with! He’s a demon transformed by the darkness! We’re being eyed upon! Ahh, it’s so terrifying!”
It’s Monday, during the second week, and we’re in the clubroom.
Since I’ve allowed my little sister to remain here, I naturally wanted to join too.
And because of that, Karin has so vehemently protested against it, so forcefully that her glossy black hair was about to stand up.
“I-It’s not Minato! It’s Shinryū no Miya!”
“Minato doesn’t sound cool at all! I don’t like it! Please take note of the mood, Shimizu!”
It didn’t matter whether it’s Minato or Shinryū no Miya, but it certainly is awkward playing such a childish game with her.
“P-Please don’t call me by that name! I’ll be stained by you!”
“S-Stained by me!? But Chris and Hijiri have allowed me to join the club, you know?”
“You seemed very polite to Chris yesterday. Is it really alright to behave the opposite way now?”
Karin then looked behind me and stared at Chris.
After her eyes met Chris, Karin’s words sounded forced for some reason.
“No problems! My power is second only to the Lord’s! In other words, if the Lord strays from the path, it’ll be my job to correct Her!”
“…what do I do now, Chris?”
“Oh my, how dare you call President by Her name! That’s a disrespect to Her!”
“Yeah…there are already so few people in this club. It isn’t good to have someone object now, am I wrong?”
“That’s right, President. Let’s hurry up and chase this guy out. Let’s throw him out through the window and send him back to Hell.”
Karin waved her arms as she said such terrifying words.
“Hey, we’re on the third floor. I’ll be thrown straight to hell.”
“Hoho, aren’t you from there anyway? If not, let me beat you to a pulp using my favorite ‘Shubalz Javelin’!”
Karin showed an evil grin.
“…What’s that ‘Shubalz Javelin’?”
“It’s my enhanced weapon. After equipping it, my speed will increase by about five times, and my attack, defense, hitpoints and other parameters will increase as well. In my previous life, I’ve ridden an ancient dragon, and it has remained loyal to me, transformed itself, then followed me to this current life so that nobody other than me can ride it!”
Heh. Karin puffed her flat chest.
This girl is a freakin’ idiot. I’ll just pretend that I didn’t hear that and just ask the club president, Chris.
“Chris, what should I do now?”
Chris appeared to be troubled at first, and then, she grinned as if she just thought of something.
“Alright then. How about we have a club entrance test?”
“…A club entrance test?”
“Yes, that’s correct. The condition is to make Karin allow you to join the club. That’s all.”
“…So Karin just needs to say to me something like ‘Please join the club’, right?”
“Or she can say ‘I’ll let you join’. You can bait her into saying it, but no violence allowed.”
Kukuku. This cackle echoed through the clubroom.
“There’s no way I can possibly submit to such a man. Continue to struggle. Come, and I’ll force you to give up! Let me teach you the taste of despair!”
Baban! Karin then spreaded her arms wide and threw a threatening glance at me.
But curiously, or rather, expectantly, I was not scared at all.
As I continued to stare at her in surprise, Karin curled her lips happily.
“Hoho! So you’re scared and unable to say anything now, are you? Is that so? Right, that’s how it is. I’m the reincarnation of an archmage, and you’re just a monster that came out from hell.”
“No, no. You’re kidding. All these settings are impossible.”
“How foolish you are, denying things you don’t understand. How stupid, vulgar, nonsensical. Then, take this! My super move—Super Movie King Cannon!”
What’s with that mysterious word…how am I supposed to react?
The self-proclaimed Archmage Karin placed her arms in a wrapping motion, as if she was holding a sphere, and was saying things like ‘Nununu’, ‘Ku, my power, don’t go crazy now’.
For some reason, I, as an onlooker, felt very awkward.
“Hi-Hijiri, what in the world is this…?”
I asked Hijiri, who was reading a book with an emotionless doll-like expression.
Her pretty, petite face turned towards me, as she said:
“…She has always been like this.”
“Sh-she’s been doing such embarrassing things all this time!? This girl!?”
She nodded and shook her little chin slightly.
Karin, however, proceeded to ignore our conversation as she continued with her strange pose.
……Such a terrifying person.
Karin pushed her hands forward, and looked as if something was flying from her palms.
I could only stand around blankly, not knowing what to do, but Karin too remained as silent as I am.
“P-Please say something, Shimizu.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I hope you can understand without me telling you.”
“Ahh…I hope you’ll stop playing such games that hurt me when I look at it. You’re already a High School student.”
“No! That’s not it!”
“Your parents will be sad, right? Do you dare show this in front of them?”
“That’s more wrong now!? Haaah! Haa! That’s it!”
“What’s that exactly!?”
“Seriously, why is your understanding that bad!!”
“How can I make a proper response to that?”
“Ughh! That’s why, I say, it’s your turn now!!”
“It’s your turn now! I just fired a Super Movie King Cannon at you. How’re you going to respond to that?”
“I’ll think that person is an idiot.”
“That’s—not—it—! I mean you should be preparing to defend this attack and defeat me! If you can beat me, I’ll let you join the club.”
“You have the right to use a defensive skill to defend against my attack, or respond with an attack.”
“Eh, ehh…that means I can only call out a skill with a name like that and beat you…? What kind of battle is that? Isn’t that too silly? Right, Hijiri?”
I asked Hijiri but the latter seems to be telling me, just give up, as she closes her eyes.
“Then make your move, Shimizu.”
“Eh—…then, I’ll dodge.”
“The Super Movie King Cannon can track an enemy down. This move from me, Archmage Karin, can destroy a country in one hit!”
“Why does it even need a tracking function!? It’s a weapon of mass destruction!!”
“In the past, I was in a tough battle against a demon tribe that used its country as a hostage. But afterwards, I finally managed to develop the Super Movie King Cannon. It’s 1.5 times stronger than the previous Movie King Cannon, and has a tracking function added.”
“I DON’T NEED SUCH INFORMATION! I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT SERIOUSLY! I DON’T WANT TO REMEMBER IT!”
“And it can also distinguish between ally and enemy and only hurt the latter. It’s a map destruction weapon that’s very useful, like the Cyflash or the Psycho Blaster.”
“…Wh-What’s that Cyflash, Psycho Blaster or whatever?”
“It’s fine if you don’t know. Anyway, Shimizu’s evade failed. Ahh, this Shimizu demon died. Yay, it’s over, I win.”
“…There’s no way I’d accept this outcome. That skill of yours is way too broken. If someone who can use that appears in a game, it’d be really boring. Any attack on the enemy would be a one-hit kill.”
“A game is different from reality. And will the corpse please stop talking? Oh, sorry, I meant the pile of ash.”
“OK, I’ll welcome any sort of challenge from you, but only once a day.”
“It doesn’t fit reality very well for a loser to challenge me many times, right?”
“REALITY AGAIN!? GO LOOK UP THE MEANING OF THAT WORD IN THE DICTIONARY!”
“Anyway, this is a game I play with my friend every day. Don’t think about beating me so easily.”
What’s with this nonsensical battle…!? Is her friend that much of a headache inducement too!?
Or maybe she had no choice but to join in as well. If it were the latter, that’d be truly pitiful.
“Bye then.” Chris smiled as she waved at me slightly.
Anyway, it looks like I have to win this battle if I want to be in the same club as Hijiri.
For some reason, my heart felt heavy.
I was on my way to school the next day, and because Hijiri ran off first, I had to go alone.
If possible, I really hope we can go together every day, but this is too much to expect.
“Yo, Shimizu. What’s wrong today? What’s with the frown? What happened?”
My friend Katou has appeared beside me out of nowhere, and called out to me.
“No, it’s nothing much, actually.”
“Really? Ah, it’s about women, right? You’re despairing over your grim future with them, right? I know, I know. I too tried going around confessing to others when the new semester started, but it’s not working.”
I know, I know. Katou said this as he revealed his shameful acts, but this wasn’t something I could empathize with.
“Whatever, Katou, your method definitely won’t work…”
“If you spray an area with a machine gun, you’ll hit something, right?”
“You definitely won’t be able to hit if you fire without even aiming.”
“You must know this though, Shimizu. Listen to me; I used to think this way, so I did it.”
“I stood in front of the school gate and shouted ‘I love you! Anyone will do. To everyone here, anyone, would you please go out with me!””
“You’re an idiot, Katou. And your stupidity is reaching new heights.”
“Who’s an idiot? It’s true that I may not be able to hit if I aim at one bird, but if I aim at a flock of birds, I may be able to hit one, right? See, I’m a genius. Definitely.”
“I’m pretty sure only a desperate pervert would do that.”
“In that case, I’m going to confess today too. Confess, confess, confess…OK, I made up my mind. I’ll confess to the next girl I see.”
“Ahh, is that so? Do your best then.”
“…That’s so cold of you. I said I’m going to confess to the next girl I meet.”
“Yes, yes, do you best then. Speaking of which, I want to ask you something.”
“Hm, what do you want to ask from me?”
“That first-year student you told me about recently, Karin Minato. Do you know what kind of person she is?”
“Hm, Minato. Karin Minato? Her face is considered top-class in our high school, but of course, Chris Ryusenji looks better.”
“Is that so. Karin deserves her place up there. Though of course, that is if Hijiri isn’t included on that list.”
“…So you’re calling her by her first name when she’s not around? How pitiful you are. Since you’re like that, I’ll tell you this.”
Katou clears his throat, and says,
“Well, it seems she gets angry a little too easily.”
“…I don’t think it’s just a little.”
“Seems she has no friend.”
“Ahh, I can understand.”
“Hm, perhaps she’s so cute that the people around her don’t find her approachable.”
“I’d like to cross off that possibility.”
“But it seems she has one very close friend.”
It’s true that there’s a person who has been playing that weird game with Karin.
This person must be that ‘important friend’ Karin talked about yesterday.
“They’ve been friends for a long time. It seems they’re always together.”
As we walk on, talking about Karin, I suddenly noticed familiar black hair. This person with the smooth, long hair is riding a bicycle to school; it’s that Karin we’re talking about.
“Ho-How can that be…”
Beside me, Katou suddenly let out a cry of pity.
“…What is it, Katou.”
“I’ve already decided on confessing to the next girl I meet. I’ve already decided…”
“Ahh, I can understand why you’re so distraught. Such a pretty girl…well, appearance-wise only.”
“No. That’s your secret crush right? There’s no way I can betray you.”
Katou said that in sorrow. There were all sorts of misunderstandings flying around, but I still feel my chest heat up.
“Damn…looks like I can only give up now…but still, I feel that if I don’t do something I’ve decided now, I won’t be able to do it in the future. But…no, I can’t keep my mind out of this. Sorry, Shimizu, don’t look at me.”
“No, it’s fine…don’t mind. You should go ahead.”
Katou looked at me with teary eyes.
“Is it really alright…? You, then…”
“Ah, it’s fine…in all sorts of ways.”
“Thank you, Shimizu! I’m so moved!”
Katou charged forward and screamed,
“Minato! Karin Minato!”
Karin’s bicycle then screeched before halting.
She turned to face us, her black hair fluttering.
“I like you~! Please go out with me!”
“Fuck off. Please disappear. From here as well as from every parallel world and every time axe.”
“W-Why! Do you hate me!? Even though we haven’t even talked to each other before!?”
Katou passed meaninglessly to the offensive.
But by that logic of his, what’s to think of confessing to someone one has never talked to before?
“We never talked to each other before, but I despise you.”
Karin mercilessly slashed Katou with a single line, and the latter freezed there like a statue.
She then seemed to have noticed me, stepped on the pedals, and cycled towards me.
“…Shimizu, that was your idea just now, wasn’t it? You can’t beat me, so you actually sent this assassin to launch a psychological attack on me. You’re more despicable than I thought. I expected nothing less from a demon.”
“No, that’s not it. You’re wrong…”
“Then you want a showdown here? Super Movie—”
“W-wait, wait a sec!”
“Humph, so you want to run away?”
“Who’d like to do such a thing in the middle of a large street like this one!?”
“It’s true that it’s dangerous to involve the people around us. I’ll wait for you after school then.”
Karin then turned away and rode off to school.
Katou, half-resuscitated now, looked shaky as he moved towards me.
“Oh? Are you mimicking a zombie now, Katou? That’s quite a performance you’re pulling here.”
“W-What now, Katou? Your voice sounds way too menacing.”
“Why were you t-t-talking to Karin Minato so intimately!? Damn you! I’ve always treated you as a friend! So you two have been dating!?”
“N-No, we just happened to know each other.”
“I didn’t hear quite clearly, but I heard enough parts from that! At least, it’s a conversation, right?”
And then, Katou started mimicking the voices. He sounded disgusting as he tried to imitate Karin’s voice.
“ ‘Shimizu! Are we going to do it here? A passionate kiss?’ ‘Ohoho, not now, only on this large street’ ‘Okay then. I’ll wait for you after school! Please suck my lips as much as you want’….It was something like that, right!?”
“Beside that being plainly wrong, you even added a load of bullshit…”
“Damn it!! I don’t know any Shimizu now! I don’t know that guy! Wahhh!!!”
Katou exclaimed as he ran to school.
“…What the heck is this?”
I stood alone under the morning sun, muttering.
On the same day, during class.
While I was taking notes as the teacher was writing on the board…
Tak, tak, tak…I felt something really uncomfortable on the back of my head and my neck.
Ah, seriously, it’s annoying…
While the teacher’s still writing on the board, I looked behind.
Katou was a tad slower than I was as he averted his eyes, but there were rubber scraps all over his desk.
I again turn to the front. Tak tak tak.
It’s really annoying me. Really, this bastard.
My legs start to tremble as I get more furious.
It was Hijiri’s voice, and this time, there was definitely no doubt it was hers. I glanced aside, and found my little sister looking at me.
She was saying something to me with her hand covering her mouth.
“(Brother, are you alright?)”
Actually, I didn’t manage to hear it, but I can guess approximately what it was about from the movement of her mouth.
This was something that came with the bond between siblings, telepathy.
“(I see that your legs are trembling a lot).”
“(Actually, I can’t stand this anymore. I’m almost at my limit.)”
“(Leave it to me)”
Hijiri nodded confidently, and then stood up and raised her hand.
“…Teacher. May I request something?”
Wait, she’s not going to report Katou to the teacher, right? There was no need to go to that far…but that was for my sake.
Well, I guess it can’t be helped. Sorry Katou, but you’ll have to become a sacrifice for the sake of love.
The teacher, in his forties, who was writing on the blackboard with chalk, turned around.
“What is it, Hijiri Shimizu?”
The stares in the classroom gather upon Hijiri.
She immediately blushed as she fidgeted her legs. Her hands are placed on the desk, “Erm” and her hips sway back and forth.
But why’s she being so fidgety…?
No way, is she nervous? Is she going to urinate at this moment now?
The teacher must be thinking of this too as he asks Hijiri,
“Do you need to go to the toilet?”
The teacher agreed without hesitation. Well, obviously.
Hijiri, just leave me alone for now. Handle your own business first. Hurry on now.
Since there’s telepathy between us, she’s probably able to understand what my feelings are.
However, Hijiri taps her toes at the floor and says softly,
“It’s not me, my brother needs to go.”
“Me!? Has my feelings not gotten through at all!?”
“…Br-Brother, you don’t have…to…hold it in. Hu-Hurry up, and go…ah…”
Hijiri’s voice became demure, probably feeling tense from everyone’s stare being fixated on her.
“Y-You’re forcing yourself too, aren’t you, Hijiri?”
Maybe her misunderstanding was that I wanted to go to the toilet? Rather than being annoyed by Katou?
She was doing this for my sake even though she might end up going to the toilet as well?
Hijiri’s kindness caused me to nearly black out.
“Then, Shou Shimizu, hurry up and go then.” The teacher says in a flabbergasted tone.
It’s probably hard to say “I want to go to the toilet too” with such an atmosphere going on.
No, looking at her hip movement, Hijiri probably can’t move from where she is.
I can’t let her continue to be the focus of attention.
She’s trying so hard for me. I wipe the tear welling in my eyes.
Then, I definitely can’t allow Hijiri’s panties to be soaked.
I stand up and raise my hand.
“Teacher, I want to go to the toilet too!”
The teacher’s obviously slightly taken aback by my sudden declaration, “O-Okay…” and answers.
“Can I bring Hijiri along as well?”
“What do you mean now? Are you unable to go to the toilet yourself?”
Why is this guy asking this now? WHY IS HE ASKING THIS!? Argh!
But well, this is a question to be expected.
Hijiri’s in a more precarious situation than me. I have to bring her away from here no matter what.
What do I have to do? Well, that’s obvious.
I opened my mouth.
“Right! I can’t go to the toilet alone!”
“J-Jesus Christ…” “The Shimizus have an issue. And quite a big one.” “…Hm, of course.”
There’s muttering throughout the classroom. What do you mean ‘of course’!?
No, now’s not the time to worry about that!
“Let’s go then!”
I approached Hijiri and went to pull her with my hand, but her feet didn’t move.
Hijiri’s knees were trembling. It seems she’s unable to walk now.
I bent down, slipped an arm under her knees, and another to support her back.
Carrying her like one would carry his bride, rryinged her like one wouledd carry his bride, I lifted her up, and started running.
“Hurry! We can still make it! Argh! The nearest toilet is under repair!?”
What do I do now!? Do I go to a toilet in the other campus!? Or upstairs!?
If I run off to another campus building, will Hijiri be able to hold it in during that time…!? I guess not.
“Can I go upstairs while carrying someone…? No, I got no choice!”
“I’m, fine, ngh…that’s why, ah…S-Shou, don’t force yourself movedtake the first step to the second level.
I moved my leg with much difficady, and nearly miss the step.
dBut even so, I had to keep climbing. I cont wasinued to climakingp like this.
Dwouldn’t this time, I was cautiously making sure that we wouldn’t sway up and down.
“Ah, I, can’t hold, it in. Shou…”
“It’s alright, Hijiri. Just hang in a little longer. Just a little longer. Hang in there.”
“Nn, ah, uu…”
“Wh-What is it now, Hijiri?”
“A-A little came out…”
“Sorry…but it’s still alright. It’s not that devastating.”
But at this point, it’s obvious that I can’t delay this any further.
I won’t care about the burden on my legs now. Let’s charge upstairs!
I charged up the stairs with such momentum, and arrived in front of the toilet.
“Okay, here’s the flowering garden now…! Go on, Hijiri…!”
I gently put Hijiri down, but her knees fell on the floor, weakly.
She placed her hand on the wall, and tried to stand up like a newly-born ell. She was basically Clar walkately fell down…no good? She can’t walk such a short distance?
“What is it, Hijiri?”
“Sorry…for embarrassing you…just now. But…may I…make a selfish request…?”
“No problems. Just say it, Hijiri.”
“S-Shou, hauu… I can’t walk…support me…”
My little sister’s face turned redder, and tears could be seen in her eyes.
“B-But for me to go to the women’s washroom…”
“No need for that. I can use…the mens’ too…please…”
Hijiri’s breathing was becoming erratic.
“No…I can’t let you enter the men’s, Hijiri.”
Again, I carried Hijiri up, and reached for the women’s washroom door.
An irritating feeling pricked painfully at my heart. This is a place I wouldn’td even during cleaning time, but I had no choice choice now.
The door opened.
The inside wasn’t too different from the men’s washroom, but the tiles in the men’s were blue, while the ones here were pink.
And there was no urinal here. ThinInstead, tgere was a rowto be expected. Instead, tgere was a row of cubicles, and in a certain sense, it was a majestic sight. I carried Hijiri all the way to the nearest flowering garden.
“It’s fine now. I’ll wait for you outside.”
I turn my back on Hijiri and raise a hand to wave.
“Nn…thank, you, brother…”
At this moment, moment, there’s someone in front of the toilet, and the opening of the door looks like it’s in slow-mo.
My heart was about to explode. It’s over, it’s over, it’s over. It’s all over if they see me!
I hurriedly snuck into the second closest cubicle.
Someone walked in. Since there’s no shriek, it would seem she hasn’t found me out.
Looks like I’m safe.
Hijiri’s bewitching voice then came from the next cubicle.
“Nn, ha…ah, haa…”
That was Hijiri heaving a sigh of relief.
…Either way, that was a close call.
If there was a single misstep, Hijiri’s social position in school would be doomed. If her reputation as a girl with incontinence issues became known throughout…
I suddenly recalled an incident from the past.
And before I realized it, I was already clenching my fists tightly.
—At that time, I couldn’t save my childhood friend. I don’t want to go through such an experience for a second time—
I definitely mustn’t let Hijiri suffer..
For her sake, I have to hurry and join the Second Flower Arrangement Club. The club president, Chris, must have all sorts of information concerning Hijiri. I need to get her to share them and think of a counterplan.
The best scenario would be to approach her directly, but she was a popular girl surrounded by many.
It seemed very difficult forcle to approach her, so I must join the club and talk to her directly.
Because of this, I have to make Karin submit to me no matter what…
Upon hearing someone walk out of the washroom, I opened the cubicle door with a reinvigorated determination.
And at that moment, I found a girl in front of me. Our eyes met.
Looks like there were two of them who entered the toilet at the same time.
“I-I DIDN’T MEAN IT!”
I left these words and covered my face with both hands as I ran out of the women’s washroom.
On that day, in the clubroom after school.
“Hohoho. So you come again without learning your lesson! As expected of a demon from Hell. Even after being burned to ashes, your regenerative abilities are really impressive.”
She’s saying such painful words with even though she has such a cute face. If she’s a person in some fantasy world, she mig-t be rather popular, since she’s a loli-Archma non-fafortunately, we live in reality, a non-fantasical world, a world without superpowers battles.
This is reality—ordinary as it is.
“Thison the offensivem is my territory. Since you’re on the offensive, you can attack first, Shimizu.”
She’s telling me to attack first, but what do I do? I should be some demonic monster from Hell, right?
Appearing in my mind is a large gorilla with long horns on the head and wings on the back.
“I’ll spit a fire blast and attack you with sharp claws!”
“My turn to attack then. Fha, hahahaha! Do you think yourpreadedish attack can work on med? Haa!!”
Karided hder arms wide and wasached forward. She posed looking like she was going to push something down.
“Dragon Fang Defense Array!”
Karin looks rather pleased.
“What sort of effect does it have?”
“Please understand from its name that it negates attacks, Shimizu. This is a defensive skill that uses the attack called Dragon Fang, and casts a defensive wall made of dragon fans around the user. It can even defend against the strongest fire-based magic in this world.”
”Which world are you talking about now…?”
But I have to find a way to beat her.
“I’ll negate my sharp claw attacks, fire another fire blast to hold you off, and fly into the sky!”
“Okay. I’ll tell you something a little useful, Shimizu. The important thing is the attack name. Use an impressive sounding name to scare the opponent player and then force him to submit through relevant logic. That’s how the game goes, so at least put some effort in naming your skills, okay?”
“I know it! That’s the game called A Stupid Game, right? I know that!”
“Eh, you’re so noisy. Basically, you’re not allowed to deny what the opponent has come up with, so try coming up with something that sounds really amazing and best me. But I guess you can’t possibly do that.”
In other words, I’ll have to come with some embarrassing Eighth-Grader Syndrome logic, and force the opponent to think ‘I can’t beat that’. What in the world is that? If I can’t poke holes in the opponent’s setup, I can think of whatever I want to come up with? Wouldn’t that mean this person with Adolescent Delusions is a tough customer to deal with?
In that case, I can only fight back using m. That was how IleeltWeekly Young Boys Manga. That was how I felt.
“My turn now. Lightning God Ray G thetling!”
“Three light bullets break the demon Syourizu’s at supersonic speed, and another hits your head. Checkmate!”
“Not yet. It’s just a decoy. After being beaten, my true strength will be awakened. I’ve only used 5% of my true power up till now.”
“It’s fine to consider revival as one turn, right? Then, my turn. Again, Lightning God Ray Gatling! And before this, this is a one shot even on a Demon Lord, a mere demon can’t handle this. Don’t underestimate the Archmage Karin! Mu, Muhahahahaa!”
“Then, there’s a Great Demon Lord more amazing than a Demon Lord, right, Archmage Karin? It lends me strength to beat you, and I get a super power up. Also, if I roar, a hundred…no, thousands of my allies will rush over. Now I should me more powerful than you, Archmage!”
“Actually, I’ve been fighting using only 1% of my strength. Super Movie King Cannon, fire! Phoosh, there goes the reinforcements! Done!”
“That’s cheating! You came up with that setting later!”
“I thought of that right in the beginning. Beroberobaa!! You’re finished! Then, tell me what’s the proof that I came up with an excuse! Besides, how can the strongest Archmage in the world lose?”
“Ahahaha. Whining like a loser dog after being unable to beat me? You’ll show how pathetic you are the more you whine. Ahahah!”
“Damn it! That’s all for today! I’ll be back!”
“Right, see you tomorrow…but it’s Wednesday tomorrow, so there’s a break from club activities. I’ll wait for you two daythen.”
Our Seiryu is allowedu Academy mandates that no club activity is allowon that dayn Wednesday, so all clubs have to take a break on that day.
Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait till Thursday for my rematch, I guess…?
After that defeat, was slightly by Katou, and we chatted for thenuite hile.
I was sencountertly late as I returned home, and then wasst happened to encounter Karin.
This petite black-haired girl was wandering around alone.
Maybe I can spy on her and find a way to beat her.
And just like that, I remained like this and observed her from slightly fad out.
Two High School girls walked towards Karin.
One of them had heavy makeup, and the other looked very haughty, her arms folded.
“…So she has such friends huh? What kind of friendship do they have?”
But it seemed a little weird. The girl with thick makeup grabbed Karin by the arm, only for the latter to shake her off.
I’m a little curious as to whaughtyhey’re hook, and moved over a little closer.
Suddenly, the haughty girl shook her sho isders and started laughing.
“Ahahahaha. How funny, this girl here is still doing it.”
“…Hah, what’s so funny about it? Such an uncouth person.”
“Buhighrschoolustudentll playing that childish gy does it matter to school student.”
“So what about that? Why does it matter to you?”
“Eh. I’m a little concerned. We uhaughtyhis before, but that Don’t bother me if there’s nothingl mocked Karin.
“Don’t bother me if there’s nothing. You’re in the way.”
“Don’t say that. We’re still friends, right? Come on, say something. Some of those embarrassdng lines.”
Karin narrowed her large eyes and glared at the girls.
“Didn’t I let you say something, you fool? You don’t have any friends and boyfriend, right?”
“Of course I do! Someone important…”
The girl with thick makeup grhook the silver cross dangling on her ched shook it hard.
“Can you still make friends wearing such an embarrassing necklace? That’s amazing.”
Ah…seriously now. This girl really hated them, I guess.
“Hey, that’s enhaughtyalready.”
Upon seeing me approach, the haughty girl clicked her tongue.
“Who are you?”
I glared at the two girls and saihighLsoking at y downtownu’re from the high school near down out aht?”
“Guh…!” The two girls let out a groaowerednd didn’t say anything as they lowered their heads.
“If you dogetwlosto reporhaughttool, st.”
The haughtt gi again,l clicked her togue again, said “let’s go” and left.
I glanced at Karin, who was coughing non-stop.
“…Are you alright?”
“Th-Thank you very much…you managed to chase those two immediately…”
There’s some life regained in Karin’s expression as she looked at me.
“It’s really amazing.”
“…I-It’s nothing. This really isn’t anything big.”
Then, I asked Karin a question I’m more concerned about.
“A-Anyway, who are they?”
“They used to be my e werends, but that was when we wOh righten.”
“I see. Oh right, I think they just mentioned it.”dI never thought we’d meet here. They’re the ones who taught me about anime and mangas a long time ago.”
Oh? Isn’t our relationship a lot better than before?
Very good. If there’s such a development, there’s no problem for me to enter the club.
“Then Karin, about joining the club.”
Upon hearing me say this, shn expression ofe immk gave an expression of shock, and then glared at me angrily.
“I-I won’t soften my stance just because of this. I definitely won’t allow you to join the club!”
Karin called out and escaped into a convenience shop nearby.
…Tch. Looks like I can only beat this Karin head on.
And so, two days later, on Thursday, I suddenly realized something.
If I think about it seriously, how can I possibly win if I don’t really understand the rules?
And so, Iwasealized that the best way was to ask somebody very familiar with the rules.
Of course, even if I told Karin ‘Please tewon’te how to beat you’, she won’t possibly teach me that.
And so, I decided to ask Karin’s friend.
According to the information I got fros Sayama Kyouko, ansairhead. She has becauseort hair, and because she often narros her eyes, she looks very tired.
I arrived at the same place Katou told me about, and called for Sayama Kyouko.
And then, a sleepy-looking girl appeared in front of me.
“Sorry for calling you out. There’s something I want to ask you.”
“Well, that’s fine though. May I know who you are?”
“I’m Shimizu, a Second Year.”
“So it’s Shimizu. Are you the older brother of Karin’s upperclassman?”
“Yes, that’s right. Well, you’re Minato Karin’s friend, right?”
The moment I asked this, Sayama showed a slightly gloomy look.
But she immediately changed to a gentle smiling face.
“Yes…at least I adnk.”
These words had such a thatmI wasing behind them that I was momentarily at a loss of words.
“I-Is that so? There’s something I want to ask you.”
“Something you want to ask me?”
“Yes. Are you the one who plays that weird game with Karin?”
“Uu!” Sayama let out a groan, said “Yes” and smiled weakly.
From this reaction, it seems she too knows how strange that game is.
“Actually, I have to use that to beat her.”
“Eh? You plouldn’that too…? I honestly couldn’t tell…”
No! Please don’t look at me with that kind of expression.
“…Then, how do you normally play? Do you know a way to beat her?”
“Sorry. I do play this with Karin, but most of the tiI junotatch her play and do nothing. If she wins lots of times, s.”he’ll feel a lot happier.”
“…To think that you can even play such a game with her, Sayama.”
“Because I lik wasto see Karin smile.”
She was such a magnanimous girl.
“I see. So you don’t know how to win either.”
“Sorry. Ah, Shimizu, I want to ask you something.”
“What activities does that club do?”
“Karin said something like ‘What’s flower arrangement? Is it a shortened form of…I can’t say?’…but if it’s flower arrangement, isn’t it weird not to let others know?”
“Ah…Ah well, I don’t really undersouldn’d either.”
Nts goal wasrally, I couldn’t say that its goal was to treat incontinence issues.
“I see. Karin wouldn’t tell me this either. It seems she’s been hiding something from me for a long time…”
Ahaha. Sayama started to laugh in a lonely manner.
“Did something happen?”
“No, it’s just that I wonder if I’m really Karin’s friend.”
“Because there’s something she’s hiding from you?”
“Yes. Karin looks a lot happier with the people in the Second Flower Arrangement Club than when she’s with me. It makes me a little jealous. It’s really unsightly, isn’t it?
Sayama looked a little hesitant, and said,
“Erm, I do apologize for saying such things the first time we meet…but if you know something, I’ll be really grateful if you tell me what it is…I think I can accept whatever truth it is.”
“Whatever truth it is?”
“Yes.” Sayama shows me a serious look.
“I see…okay then.”
“I’ll try and talk things through with Karin next time. I really have to talk with her.”
Once this conversation ended, I left the first years’ corridor. I intended to ask a question, only to be requested with something. I guess I better tell Hijiri something without affecting her reputation negatively.
And so, on that day, I ended up losing to that person with Adolescent Delusions, Karin again. What can I do now…?
On the day I lost to Karin for the third time, I sathere wase park’s swing, thinking alone.
There was a group of elementary kids making a ruckus at the climbing frames and the slide.
had ysedhy can’t I beat her at all…!”
She had used all sorts of ridiculous logic cringey attacking me with schemso cringey that I never thought of before.
And I can only use the knowledge of things I’ve seen before. Kariheas her own knowledge and also the Eighth-Grader power that continushoud to churn oshould within hewitnessedWhat shoud I do…what should I do…?
I witnessed a scene near me, and widened my eyes.
This is it…there’s no other way.
On the following day, during Friday’s club time, I arrived at the clubroom early, aditing for Karin.
I drank the red tea Chris had prepared for me, and enjoyed this peaceful atmosphere.
Hijiri had already arrived, reading a book as she was enjaiding the elegant afternoon tea time.
I then said to Hijiri with a very gentle voice,
“Hijiri, your brother here will definitely win this for you.”
Hijiri raised her face, paused for a little while, and said,
“…Yes, Shou…I’ll cheer for you—”
Before Hijiri could finish her sentence however…
Karin walks in.
Tch! She actually interrupted Hijiri’s encouragement to me—
“Hm, you’re here again, Shimizu—no, you’re here to admit defeat again, aren’t you? Have you gotten addicted to losing? Ohoho.”
“So confident, aren’t you? Useless self-conceitedness will only lead to your destruction.”
“Oh ho, self-conceitedness? Who do you think you’re telling this to? I’m a gaming professional, a representative of Japan after all. Who do you think you’re talkiNow is your last chance to act as if you are strongtory belongs to me. Now is your last chance to act as if you are strong.”
“Oh? So a mere Shimizu is being so cocky now. Do you think you can beat me here?”
I started to say, isn’t that your previous incarnation? When did you change your profile again. But even so, I didn’t say that—but rather,
“But aren’t you quite amazing, Karin?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re able to come up with so many profiles. Of course, that’s what you think of right at the beginning, right?”
“Hahahaha, so you finally understand? Not bad. That’s impressive of you, heheh.”
“Since you’re able to come up with such cool profiles, you’ve come up with some lousy ones, right?”
“Lousy skills? Haha, how can there be such a thing? I only have super moves.”
“My profile is based on your own…it’s fine if I use that, right?”
“Sure. As long as the name and profiles are such that the effects are clear.”
“Got then. Then, since you’re attacking this room today, you can attack first.”
“Oho, how I misjudged you here, Shimizu. Since I’ve had a misunderstanding of you up till now, I’ll upgrade you from abomination to flea then.”
“That’s quite an upgrade there. But I’m still a demon, right?”
“A fly-type demon.”
“I think I got an impressive one here. Is that it? That’s quite an upgrade.”
“Are you talking about Beelzebub? Don’t get cocky. You’re just a henchman fly under him.”
“Then let’s begin! Lightning God! Divine Fusion Wave!”
For some reason, this person’s skills here don’t resemble that of an archmage at all. Well, it feels more like a bruiser’s skill, or is that just me?
“That sounds really strong.”
“Hahaha! Isn’t it? Isn’t it? Basically, this skill is a fusion of God’s and demon’s incompatible powers, and added with a dragon—and my lightning element—”
Karin continued what seemed to be a long explanation. This and that.
But…is it really alright if I do this? I started to ask myself.
I can definitely win against Karin, but this is a skill that comes with a large risk.
To be exact, it’s a skill that’ll cause others to lower their opinion of me, thinking that my mind is weird.
“Hey! Are you listening, Shimizu? I’ll show you a super cool technique!”
“Ahh, I’m listening.”
“Really? Eh, nevermind. How do you intend to dodge this super move, Shimizu?”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
I recalled the time I should have ended, the past I loathed.
If I want to fight against her, I have no choice but to do this…!
“Wh-what is that?”
“How can anything like that work…?”
“You can’t nitpick at the opponent’s profile, right? So what’s wrong with that? That’s what I decided on.”
But that’s not enough. There’s still something more embarrassing.
“K, Urk,! I-I’m attacking now. Barrier destroying array! Add on! Lightning God Ray Gatling! The demon Shimizu’s barrier is now destroyed, and the next attack will go for him.”
“Ah, I’m no longer the demon Shimizu.”
“I’m the super strongest man now.”
“What’s that!? Such an embarrassing name. So ridiculous.”
“Shut up, that’s something I decided!”
“But isn’t your profile setting too random!?”
Right, it’s a super random setting. If I think normally, I won’t be able to beat an Eighth Grader, but they all have a weakness. They—care too much about whether it sounds cool or not.
Then, I can only cast aside whether it’s cool or not, and seek only for pure power.
The only thing that can beat an Eighth-Grader Syndrome, is a Second-Grader Syndrome…!
“Haha, no matter how strong you are, it’s impossible for you to dodge this homing attack that can take down even a Demon Lord. Your barrier is shattered. You want to use another barrier? I’ll break it again.”
How naïve… how naïve she is.
“Super duper barrier that can negate an attack that breaks the barrier!”
“What!? Then, I’ll summon a dark matter attack that can destroy everything in this world. Calling in Dark Matter!”
“It’s a super invincible mode that negates any attack!”
“Uu, uuu! What’s that, what’s that…!”
Karin stomped on the floor unhappily.
“Also, double speed, supersonic mode begin!”
“Th-then, the Dragon Fang Defense Array meant to counter attacks.”
“I’ll use the death-death ray that’ll kill any enemy once I use it!”
“It’s useless! It’s a sure-kill attack on the enemy. You lose!”
“It counts even without hitting?”
Karin exclaimed with a shocked expression.
“That’s how it’s set up. You can understand from the skill name, right?”
“Uu, uuu. That’s too much. You’re so shameless, Shimizu, you’re too much.”
Karin’s face is blushed red, and her legs started twitching.
“No, no. Unforgivable. Idiot. How shameless.”
Her slender waist continued to rock back and forth, and she continues to raise and drop one drop.
Is she that unhappy?
“Don’t, seriously, I can’t hold it. No. No more!”
Karin cried out as she prepared to turn and leave the classroom, but I grabbed that small shoulder of hers.
“Wait! I just won, right? You’ll let me join the club now, right?”
“Leave that alone. Let me go! Please let me go!”
Karin continued to stomp as she hollered.
“Are you thinking of running away like that?”
“Have you had enough? Please let go of me!”
Pak. I got kicked in the shin. During this time, Karin ran off while maintaining a weird posture of clutching at her thigh.
I see…! This girl’s trigger is anger. So her incontinence was triggered by my Second Grader Attack?
But Karin stopped at a corner not too far from the clubroom.
“Karin! I caught up to you…!”
But someone’s right in front of Karin.
It’s Sayama Kyouko, and her thin thread-like eyes were staring at Karin.
“I have something important to say to you today, Karin.”
“Wh-what is it!? Please wait for a while, Kyouko! I have something urgent to do now!”
Sayama then grabbed Karin by the wrist.
“Nope. I won’t let go unless you have a proper talk with me, Karin.”
“Le-Let go of me. Now’s not the time for that!”
Karin said hurriedly.
“I want to talk with you seriously. You always throw a tantrum and run away, but I hope that you can listen to me today.”
“I, said already, please let go of me! Now’s not the time for that! I have an emergency!”
Sayama then said with a slow yet serious voice,
“I’m sorry, but I just hope you can talk with me, just for today. If you find me annoying, I won’t bother you again. So just for today.”
“Ah, ah, no no. I’m really, not joking here. Please let me go. I beg of you, Kyouko.”
Karin’s hand is being held, but her feet are still moving.
“No. Do you treat me as a friend, Karin?”
“That’s what I think! That’s what I think! So,”
“I really like you, Karin. I view you as a very, very important friend to me.”
“Yes! Yes yes yes! I know that, I know that! Let go of me!”
“So to be honest, I feel very lonely because you’re hiding something from me. Of course, I won’t say something stupid like friends shouldn’t keep secrets from each other, but you’re bothered about that, right? I want to help you out in some way. So, so, I hope you can tell me.”
“I-I can’t say it.”
…It’s true she really can’t talk about her incontinence issues.
“Then, I’ll tell you a secret of mine. Actually, when I eat a cup of ice cream, I like to lick of the ice on the other side. Eh, ehehehe…”
Sayama certainly looked embarrassed when she said it, but obviously, this was not on the same level as that of incontinence issues.
“That’s enough already! Really, really now!”
“Now, tell me your secret too, Karin!”
The atmosphere is tense, but I can’t do anything other than watch.
Karin’s fidgeting got more intense.
But Sayama did not mind at all, and even got agitated as well.
“Now then, Karin, please tell me!”
“I definitely can’t say it! I can’t say it! Anyway, please let go of me!”
“I won’t let go!”
“Please let go!”
Karin’s face showed a look of despair, and her face is no longer red, but rather, closer to blue.
“Ahh, I can’t take it anymore. No more. Ahh, uu. Nn, nah…ahh…”
Sayama let out a troubled voice.
Karin then closed her eyes.
“…Everything about Sayama…”
She’s ostensibly out of breath, and after letting out this teeny-weeny voice, she hollered with a voice completely different from before,
“I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU, KYOUKO!! NN…I HATE YOU! GE-GET AWAY FROM ME! SCRAM! I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU!”
“I TOLD YOU TO HURRY UP AND DISAPPEAR! YOU’RE ANNOYING! HAVEN’T YOU REALIZED THAT!?”
Sayama’s face contorts, and it seems she’s about to break into tears immediately.
“U, uu!” She runs off while sobbing.
As she turns around, I seem to see some transparent drops. Those must have been tears.
Karin didn’t give chase as she merely stood around.
Sayama run off for a while, and then turned back to look again.
She probably hoped Karin will chase after her, but Karin’s not moving a single inch. She’s unable to.
And so, Sayama stared at Karin in a lonely manner, before running off.
Karin’s anguished groans echoed in the empty corridor.
“U, ugh…uu, hic…”
“What in the world, Karin? You’re already crying in sadness now. Why did you say such harsh words?”
“B-Be-Because I can’t hold it in anymore. I don’t want Kyouko to know…I don’t want to be hated by her…”
“Then you have to chase after her and apologize. Hurry up and handle your problem in the toilet.”
“I-I can’t move….”
Karin said while letting out tears.
“…Seriously. Guess I’ve no choice then.”
And so, I can only move Karin all the way to the flowering garden.
I continued to wait in front of the garden, but Karin just wouldn’t come out.
Is she alright…? Just when I’m starting to get a little worried, she finally walks out from there.
Her shoulders were slumped weakly, and her legs swayed feebly. There’s no life on her face at all.
“Uu…what did I just say to Kyouko…?”
Guh—Karin nearly collapsed on the floor.
I hurriedly carried Karin up.
Karin started to stutter,
“I did such a thing to Kyouko…even though she…made her way…here…intending…to…talk to…me…I…I…”
Karin really doesn’t like me carrying her, but she’s not complaining as she continued to mumble.
“What…should I do…?”
My uniform’s drenched by her tears.
“Why, do I, have no friends, anymore…I-I’ve been, working hard…”
“…What do you mean?”
“In the past, I made friends, through the game. So, I, I kept…”
“I…never had any friends before. But, I managed to make some, through that game. So, I-I’ve been doing it—even now.”
Ah, I see…
She just can’t forget about her kindergarten times.
I guess she made friends through that stupid game, and right now, she’s still clinging onto that illusion. That must be the case; even till this point where she has broken up with her kindergarten friends.
“Ah, because of this reason?”
“Did you think you can make friends through that Eighth-Grader game?”
“I can. I can do it. I already made some…!”
“That’s not right. Well, a normal conversation can gain the same effect, I guess. So, that’s—”
“I’ll feel scared about making friends normally. I feel pain when I show them my weaknesses. It feels like everything will disappear. Ah, but even without conversing normally, even if I don’t show my weaknesses, I don’t have any friends left…haha, ahaha…hiic.”
Large teardrops rolled down from her eyes.
…Jeez, I guess it can’t be help. There’s no other choice after seeing this now.
I don’t want to repeat the mistake I made back then.
“Karin, listen to me.”
“…Eh. So it’s because of that game after all…?”
“Do you think that has anything to do with this?”
“No, isn’t it. There’s nothing between your Eighth-Grader antics and Sayama leaving right? That girl, Sayama, accepted your condition, right? Didn’t she play that weird game with you? Is there a reason to make friends?”
I grabbed Karin by her slender shoulders and said,
“That girl’s not angry because of that, isn’t it? No matter whether you’re normal, have Eighth-Grader Syndrome issues, or just flat out weird, it doesn’t matter to her—definitely.”
“Karin, what…do you wish for?”
I stared at Karin’s eyes earnestly as she wiped the tears off her face with her hand and answers,
“I-I want to make…amends…with Kyouko…”
“Then, do you know what you’ll have to do?”
“……I can’t do anything. I-I’ve been fooling Kyouko all this time…I didn’t trust her, and lied to her again…I’m the worst.”
Karin shook her head from side to side.
“It’s very simple. Just say one line. Say it to Sayama.”
“Is it really fine if I say that?”
“I allow you to.”
“…Ha, haha, when have you become so amazing.”
“I’ve allowed you to do so, so hurry up and do it. I say. How long are you going to keep latching onto me?”
The moment I said this, Karin’s face turned red, instantly.
“Wh-Wha-what about you, Shimizu? How long are you going to keep latching onto me.”
“But I just said that line already. Besides, you’re in good spirits now. Hurry on now.”
“Humph! I don’t need your help here.”
And then, Karin took her cellphone out and dialed Sayama’s number.
“…I’m calling her.”
“It’s better to apologize to her as soon as you can. The longer this drags on, the worse it’ll get. Doubt will cause disbelief in others, and the affection will drop.”
“I know that!”
Karin exclaimed while the phone’s still at her ear.
“What do I do? She’s not picking up…”
“Ah! Hello! Kyouko!? …Eh…uu…she hung up.”
Karin’s cute face contorted in sadness.
“…You want to apologize immediately, right?”
“Yes…I know where her house is, but she may not come out. Kyouko’s stubborn.”
Maybe it’s because of their relationship as friends that she knows something I don’t.
“Then, how about this…let’s see if you can catch up with her.”
“Okay! I’ll go then.”
“Right. We’ll decided our match next time. Go on now.”
But Karin lifted her head up at me, obviously not looking confident at all.
“I’m a little scared of going on. Please, do you mind going with me, Shimizu…?”
“Didn’t you say you hate me? Why’re you asking me for this now?”
“Hijiri doesn’t seem adept at interacting with others, and Prez, she may not have interacted much with normal people. That’s why I want to ask of the most normal person here, you.”
This is Karin’s request.
“So, please help me…”
This girl needs help, and this is a good enough reason for me to nod.
“Alright, leave it to me.”
“Okay! Let’s chase after her then! I want to catch up with her on her way home no matter what!”
Karin and I arrived at the bicycle park.
She pointed at the bicycle with a sharp angular frame.
It has a black frame, and has a unique offense-oriented sharp; it looked rather cool.
“This is my favorite machine, Schwarz Javelin.”
“Ah, the thing you talked about in the clubroom.”
“Sorry, Shimizu, but can you ride it instead?”
“I’m, still a little uneasy about exercising intensely…”
“…You’re ready to cycle that fast?”
“Yes. It’s hard to tell whether we can catch up timewise, and my leg strength alone may not be enough. Please take care of this, Shimizu.”
I answered briefly and leaped on the bicycle. The seat’s a little low, probably to fit Karin, but it’s nothing big.
Karin put her feet on the bar sticking out from the rear wheel, and stood on it.
The long hair swayed past my neck, and I could smell the scent of strawberry.
“Then, please go out through the front gate!”
My legs exerted strength, and I felt that this is the first time that I’ve ridden a bicycle so quickly.
The scenery quickly passed by me, and we quickly exited through the main gate.
“Please turn red at the next traffic light.”
“Oh, we’re here.”
I slowed down slightly, and turned around the corner at a pretty fast speed.
Karin’s petite body embraced me from behind, probably to prevent herself from falling.
“…Shimizu, this is the first time I let someone else handle Schwarz Javelin.”
“Ah, I see. Is there anything wrong with that?”
“This is my very, very important machine. So, so…”
“Please catch up to her……I believe in you.”
“…Hey there. Well, I’ll do my best…! But is it really alright for me to handle such an important bicycle?”
“It’s not a bicycle! It’s Schwarz Javelin!”
“…You really fought seriously against me head on, Shimizu.”
“And you won in such an embarrassing manner, in front of Prez and Hijiri.”
“…I don’t want to remember that already.”
And I’ll say your Eighth-Grader antics are more embarrassing. Right, that’s definitely the case.
“You must have been able to do that because you summoned your courage. You didn’t care about whether it’s cool, how it looks. You just worked hard. So please, show me that courage.”
Karin exerted more strength in her embrace.
What’s with this development? My heart starts to race, and maybe it’s not simply because I’m riding on the bike furiously.
“Shimizu……………….I like you.”
Karin then chuckled, and added with what seems to be a very embarrassed voice,
“As compared to the beginning.”
“…I was wondering if that wasn’t the case.”
I answered while pedaling as fast as I can.
“…But I guess I really do like you somewhat…so please do your best so that I can get back something more important to me, okay?”
“…You’re quite shameless.”
“Yes, you’re right. I’ve decided to throw aside my shame and pride to get back something important.”
Karin sounded rather gentle.
“It must be the same for you, Shimizu. You can do anything for Hijiri.”
“I really like that about you. I too want to be like that. No, I want to become like that. So, please look at me, and cheer for me. Please help me when I seem unable to do it.”
“That’s if I’m helping.”
“Either way, I don’t care about my shame or pride.”
“You never had any anyway. Those Eight-Grader…”
“Maybe that’s how it is.”
“Well, I guess I can. I’ll help you anytime if you really end up in trouble.”
I’ve arrived at a road I’m unfamiliar with, and as I was rushing too fast, my energy’s almost depleted.
“Just a little more to Kyouko’s house.”
Damn. I might not be able to make it.
No—wait, that’s!? There’s a girl dressed in our school’s uniform, walking dejectedly.
It’s the short hair I saw before. That’s definitely it!
I pedaled with all my strength.
Like me, Karin too has something important, and has said that she can do anything for that something.
She must have felt the same as me.
The Schwarz Javelin raced on with a speed befitting its name.
Karin and I formed a sharp red javelin piercing through the sunset, a flash that will not reflect light, and can absorb some darkness. I guess it’s because of Karin’s influence that I’m having such thoughts.
“Please wait! Kyouko!”
The person in front of us leaped in shock, and turned to look at us.
And then, she run away, looking like she’s scared of something.
But the Schwarz Javelin can’t be dodged. It’s a homing type attack. The homing bicycle charged straight forward and passed Sayama. At this moment, I forcefully turned the handlebars right and braked.
The Schwarz Javelin howled like a beast under the red sunset, and became silently.
Karin then gently jumped off the bicycle, in a light manner as if gravity doesn’t exist.
“Kyouko, I’ve something to tell you.”
Karin said in sing-song.
“Kyouko, please listen to my apology.”
“Kyouko, I hope you understand my secret.”
“What’s going on? Didn’t you say those harsh words, not wanting to see me again?”
Tears welled in Sayama’s eyes.
“I was lying.”
“My heart and secret are so hideous—but, but, but! My feelings for you are true. You however, not me, are the one who can decide if they are true. If you think I’m lying, Kyouko, the important thing in my heart is a lie then. But—but!”
Karin’s stares fixed upon Sayama, and she said,
“But if you say this is true, there’s still a pretty thing in me.”
“What are you saying?”
“I guess it’s weird to apologize in this way when I’ve come to apologize. But, this are the most truthful words I’ve come with. From now on, I’ll tell you the truth. These words I say are true.”
I can’t understand what kind of logic this is, and what’s she saying actually.
But because of this, what she says is true, or at least I believe.
“Kyouko, I’ve hiding something from you…I-I…”
She’s unable to continue further at this point. She can’t say anything.
But she seemed intent on shaking off her hesitation as she shaked her head, and then shouted,
“I HAVE INCONTINENCE ISSUES!”!”
Sayama frowned, and that expression seems to be saying, what does that mean?
“When I get angry, I just feel like peeing. It’s because this is so embarrassing that I never told you of this.”
“How can that be such a stupid thing? Are you making fun of me, Karin? That’s really shameless of you. That has nothing to do with hiding what the club does!”
“You have reasons for not believing me, but that’s true.”
“Then, what do you do in that club, that flower arrangement club?”
Not good! That question…
But Karin didn’t reveal the secret.
“Actually, I can’t say anything about that. It’ll be bad for them. But because they know about my nature, I don’t feel tired when I’m being with them.”
“…Karin, that means you’ve been stressed out by being with me…?”
“Just a little. But, from today onwards, from today onwards, since you know my secret, and if you’re still willing to be my friend! I won’t…Kyouko!”
“Please don’t say anything more now! I’ll just feel hurt hearing them. I too feel anguished now. You actually said such a stupid lie.”
Kyouko gave an exasperated expression as she shook her head.
“Seriously, can I go back now? Is it fine? Thanks for everything up to this point.”
“P-Please wait a moment.”
Karin reached her hand out for Sayama.
But she missed, and didn’t even hit the shoulder.
Let alone her apology, even her Incontinence Issues were doubted.
I do feel a little apologetic, but I still have to speak up..
“Sayama, I’m here to complete what you requested.”
Sayam looked at me weakly.
“Didn’t you ask me to tell you what Karin’s hiding?”
“…Yes, I did…”
“That time, you did say ‘I can accept the truth, no matter what it is’, right? In other words, you intend to believe when I say what Karin’s secret is, right?”
“Then why don’t you believe! She summoned her courage to personally say this to you! If what Karin says is true, can’t you imagine how difficult it’ll be for her to say this?”
If I compared this to my relationship with Hijiri, I’ll definitely never say this. Definitely.
Sayama seemed to be thinking about something as she remained rooted.
“This girl, Karin, may end up hated, despised by you. But after considering all these, she still took the risk to rebuild her relationship with you. This is what she’s thinking.”
“…But, that’s—how can I simply believe it?”
“You’re undoubtedly an important person to Karin, Sayama. If you know this now, I hope you’ll listen to what Karin says…this is what I can say.”
Karin merely stared at Sayama. Her teary eyes were filled with fear, timidity, but she’s not running away.
“…Kyouko. Please believe me. If you don’t, go ask Hijiri or Chris! So, please, please…!”
Sayama took that stare upfront.
Their eyes were fixated upon each other, and they probably communicated something through during this time as Sayama’s eyes widen.
“N-no way. That’s…”
“That’s the truth.”
Sayama then closed her eyes tightly, or I guess she did. Her eyebrows bent into a frown.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Karin! I-I doubted you…even though you summoned your courage to tell me the truth…”
“It’s fine. It really is, Kyouko. Can you accept me, for who I am…?”
It’ll be rude to continue listening to her conversation.
And so, I turned to leave.
Since I’ve arrived at a place slightly far away from home, it’ll definitely take me so time to get back.
People all have weaknesses. Hijiri and Karin’s in particular are different from the norm.
And because of this, it’s hard to say it.
But with this knowledge, they’ll definitely understand each other further, become intimate with each other, and continue to think for each other.
I stared at the auburn sunset, praying that those two can get along well.
On my way back, I could hear a screech approaching me from behind.
I turned to that voice, and saw a beaming Karin in front of me.
What now? There was no need for this question.
Karin rode the bicycle close to me, and leaped onto the floor.
“Ehehehe. You want to know the outcome, right? You wanna? You want to, right?”
“Eh, you don’t mind, Shimizu? Uuu, I came all the way here to tell you.”
“No, I already knew.”
“Oh? You knew?”
“Everything went okay, right?”
“Th-That’s true…how did you know?”
“I can tell from your face.”
“Oh ho, so you know from seeing my face. It means you may actually be….”
Karin grinned happily and put her hands on her cheeks.
“Wait, don’t make a weird misunderstanding here.”
“Fufu, ahahaha. I see. So Shimizu, you have feelings for me…KYAAA!”
“What now. Seriously, you…”
“Ah, don’t! Don’t do it, Shimizu! Ahh!”
“What are you twitching your body for? What do you imagine me doing in your mind!? Is that a new method of torture!?”
“B-But, you’re unexpectedly reliable, and it’s good that you don’t hate me…? Or rather, it’s good to think about this from time to time, to do this from time…”
“Ah seriously! You’re noisy! Shut up!”
“You’re unexpectedly a man of your word, I guess…? But, that’s not bad either, maybe…? I guess.”
“Alright now, let’s go home.”
“…Well, until we’re halfway through.”
And so Karin pointed at the Schwarz Javelin.
“D-Don’t you really dislike letting others use this?”
“…It’s fine if it’s you, right, Shimizu?”
“So riding it a second time is no different from riding it once, I guess.”
“And I think I’ve been shot down.”
“By the bad status called love.”
“…Huh? What did you say?”
“Nothing at all.”
“Let’s go then.”
For some reason, Karin showed what looked like a very blissful smile.
And then, she said something I’ve been hoping to hear for a long time.
“Shimizu, please join the club.”
“Yes! We’ll go to Prez together next week!”