A Simple Survey:Volume1 File10

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File 10: Destiny Takes the Form of an Arrow[edit]

Due to some aliens arriving from some other galaxy using a method of “moving while travelling back in time” that we earthlings could not even comprehend, the existence of destiny was proven. It had naturally been turned into various types of products and you could find the numbers of destiny lined up in a corner of news sites alongside the weather forecast.

Thanks to this, my unrequited love had fallen to pieces.

The main source of all this was the implants we had bought that used all this information to create arrows on the road in various colors.

Pink meant love comedy, black meant horror, red meant action, and blue meant suspense. Every time you approached an intersection, these arrows would appear. When you chose one, your life would naturally branch into a story of that genre. This was one benefit of destiny being proven.

Seems convenient, doesn’t it?

But it wasn’t.

For example, the upperclassman with a nice body that I had a thing for stood just a bit away from me.

“Hey, Kudou-kun. Sorry, but could you help me carry this? If you do, I’ll treat you to something at a café after school.”

“I can’t, senpai! The arrow pointing that way is a deep, deep black!! It’s the black shine of extreme horror!!”

My upperclassman tilted her head in confusion and squeezed what she was carrying so as to squish the two large things behind it.

“…How odd. My arrow headed to you is the fluorescent pink of a love comedy.”

“That means something awaits that only benefits you! Nooo!!”

“But, Kudou-kun, the school is that way. Either way, you have to come toward me.”

“Is there something at school!?”

Yes.

When there was a specific place you wanted to go or a person you wanted to meet, these arrows could be dangerous. They did not only tell you good things. They were especially good at telling you about unavoidable tragedies!

On that note…

“Senpai, why are all the paths leading to you covered in pitch black lines? And not just today. It’s always like that.”

“My paths to you are mostly love comedy pink.”

“It turns other colors?”

“One day it was an embarrassingly strong love romance color…but for some reason, you ran away as quickly as you could yelling something about bizarre horror that day. I have never managed to arrive at the actual story.”

“…Are you talking about the day we happened to run into each other in the school infirmary?”

“Yes, the time when the health teacher was gone for some reason and all the beds were open. Also, my health had deteriorated after getting a cramp in my leg while swimming, so I was wearing my school swimsuit.”

“Nnnnnnn!!”

“Wait, Kudou-kun!! If you suddenly start slamming your head against that guardrail, this really will turn into horror!!”

I truly wanted to curse destiny. Does that mean I would have been able to do you-know-what with one of the most beautiful girls on the planet, but I ran away at full speed of my own volition!?

“But you know, Kudou-kun.”

“What, senpai?”

“I honestly think we would be better off without this ability the aliens gave us. Do you think so, too?”

I nodded vigorously.

After all, I wanted to do you-know-what! I didn’t want any horror, though!!

“…So I was thinking about testing something out.”

“What’s that?”

“Resisting the arrows of destiny,” said my upperclassman with a grin.

It was an attractive idea. And so it was the topic of a good bit of earth’s modern fiction.

But…

“That idea is attractive enough to have landed a solid place in the entertainment world, but that is because of how unreasonably difficult it is, senpai. Humans enjoy stories that let them do vicariously what they cannot do themselves.”

“In my opinion, you are already under the arrows’ control when you are convinced of that.” My upperclassman lightly waved her index finger with what she was carrying still in her arms. “Of course, destiny itself does not have a will that wishes to control us. It is just a phenomenon. When we head down the path of horror, we switch our minds over to a mindset of facing horror. Take watching a movie for example. If you go into the movie convinced that it will be terrible and so you decide ahead of time to search out all of the faults in the movie, you cannot even begin to watch the movie properly, right? It’s the same as that. There could very well be love comedy situations down the path of a black arrow. However, our own minds refuse to pick up on it. That is why we end up thinking only horror can be found down the path of a black arrow. What do you think?”

“Now that you mention it…”

Whether the arrow indicated horror, love comedy, action, or suspense, surely the person seeing what lay down that path could interpret it how they pleased.

Like finding a small harmonious and heartwarming scene in a horror movie.

Like finding a short but memorable action scene in a suspense movie.

When I thought about it, what was with the pink and black arrows anyway? On whose basis was the distinction between genres drawn?

Normally, happening across the upperclassman I had a thing for on the way to school and getting to walk with her to school would be more than enough to count as a love comedy for me. No, I could not even talk about it in that kind of framework. When I was with that upperclassman, something that did not fit into any genre appeared within my heart. It was my own personal color. A single color that no word could adequately express was most definitely there.

And yet…

Why did I have to call it pitch black horror?

What reason did I have to judge that this would be a terrible day?

“Are you prepared to overcome this?” asked my upperclassman.

She put her bag down on the ground and slowly reached her supple arm out towards me.

“I want to jump beyond these arrows and walk my own path. What about you?”

“…”

No words were needed.

I simply nodded, took my upperclassman’s hand, and started along that deep black arrow.

A smile appeared on my upperclassman’s face of a type I had never before seen there.

Our path was set.

We would now overcome destiny.


And just as the pitch black arrow predicted, a horribly bizarre type of horror that reeked of rusted iron began.

But it was fun.

When I was with that upperclassman, I felt like I would never die, no matter what happened!!