Absolute Duo:Volume 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 2 『I am interested in you』
In the northern part of Tokyo bay, there exists a reclaimed land that can only be accessed through a hanging monorail.
There are giant walls surrounding it with only one gate matching that size and a giant clock tower which could be seen soaring high to the sky from outside in the center of the vicinity.
The school building and the school dormitory inside was structured into an unfamiliar western style, and it felt a little strange to call it a school. Naturally, the interior design was similar; Me and Tora were heading towards the classroom through the western corridor together and------
I leaked a small groan from the creak of my body; Tora did not let that get past him and looked towards me in doubt.
“I forced myself a little just now.”
The cause was the skill I used on Imari.
That was originally a skill that used muscles, but the reckless use of it with my middle-build body places quite a burden on my body even though it was just one shot. This skill was a double edged sword; on the one hand it holds absolute destructive power, but on the other hand I wouldn't be able to move normally if I used it twice. When I explained this to him...
“I see. So that means you're a novice huh?”
“Don’t you have a kinder way to say it…………”
It was an immediate reply.
“Fuun. There is one question I want to ask regarding that technique; why didn’t you ever use that when you were training with me? …………Haa! Don’t tell me you were holding back when I was the opponent!?”
Tora pressed me with questions and I swung my head in panic.
“Don’t just scold me from your misunderstanding. That was something I learned just recently--------which means, it is something I acquired after I couldn’t meet Tora anymore.”
“………I see. It’s true you are not a stingy fool. …………Although you are an idiot.”
Tora made a smile but, that last part was none of his business.
(Well, I’ll just agree for the time being………….)
“Forget about that, it’s been a long time, Tora. I didn’t think I would meet you in a place like this.”
“Fuun, that’s my line.”
The nature regarding <<Lucifer>>----the chance of being an <<Adapt>> was one in over a thousand people, I heard that during the inspection before enrolling to the school.
That is why, I didn’t think I would meet him in hereKouryou Academy.
However just like I thought in the auditorium, it was somewhat reassuring to know there was someone I knew here.
“Tooru. Just now during the entrance examination---------”
“Oh, it looks like that’s the classroom.”
We finished walking through the long corridor, and reached the first year’s classroom.
“Oh, sorry. What were you trying to tell----”
“You over there?”
Someone interrupted when I asked what Tora said.
When I looked over, there was a beautiful long haired girl staring straight at me.
(This girl………where have I--------)
In addition to her beautiful and yet cute face, she has an excellent style and felt like an adult although she was the same age as me. However, the characteristic part of her, was her atmosphere. Her figure was surrounded by a dignified air, and it emphasized her own existence.
“------------Uh! If I’m correct, you were sitting behind us during the entrance ceremony……………”
Yes, the girl that was talking to me right now was the girl that warned us to keep quiet in the middle of the entrance ceremony.
“Is there anything?”
When I asked her, the girl made a slightly complicated expression.
“………………No one would have thought there was such a traditional ceremony here. That’s why you should not feel down, and have the intention to head straight forward in this academy. I think that is the only way to look straight at her when the time comes.”
“Well then, I will excuse myself.”
Even though I haven’t understood the meaning of those words yet, she turned back and entered the classroom.
“What was that about…………….?”
“…………Tooru. Your examination opponent-------- if I am correct, she was called Imari. She was saying, if you regret defeating her then work hard for her sake.”
“I see, so that’s what she meant……………….”
Maybe because she was sitting behind us, she probably looked at me and Imari talking together in a friendly manner.
That’s why, she probably took consideration in me, wondering if I was depressed.
“It’s okay, it’s because I already promised Imari. Thanks for the consideration, Tora.”
“Why are you telling me that for? Tell that to that girl.”
“That’s true. ----------By the way Tora, what was it that you wanted to tell me just now?”
“………………I don’t know. Anyways let’s go in. ……………..almost everything I wanted to say has already been said, how can I say that now, you idiot?”
I followed after Tora who suddenly turned moody for some reason, and entered the classroom.
When I entered, the desks lined up in the room were not those personal use tables used in elementary and middle school tables, but instead they were ones with a wide width and were meant for 2 people to use.
We picked random empty seats nearby the entrance----------I thought sitting at the side was strange so, I decided to just sit at the back and wait for the homeroomHR to start.
All the new students had not assembled in the room yet----------it seemed a portion of the students were injured physically during the entrance exam and were in the middle of medical treatment------so, there was still time before things started.
The others did the same thing as us and sat somewhere random, there were some girls talking with others sitting nearby or guys who were sleeping already, everyone was doing everything as they pleased and were waiting for the HR to start.
But, because of a certain person showing up in the classroom, a commotion occurred and------
Next, everyone lost their words.
“What is it?”
Towards the same situation similar to the one during just before the entrance ceremony starting, we looked towards the person standing at the entrance------
We immediately understood.
The person that got the class's attention was that silver girl.
“Do you know her?”
“No, it’s not like we know each other but……….”
Now that I think about it, Tora was sleeping when the girl showed herself in the auditorium.
“I saw her movements during the entrance exam, the way she carried her body and her swordsmanship was quite something I think.”
“Hou………. That’s one interesting girl.”
He made a fearless smile and looked like he was going to challenge her to match.
(This guy is still the same hot-blooded fellow………….)
After thinking that, I once again set my eyes back on the silver girl.
Same like what she did at the auditorium, she did not care about the onlookers from her surroundings and was slowly looking around the classroom before--------those ruby eyes stopped at a certain spot.
Our eyes met.
(It’s just a coincidence right………..?)
And, the moment I thought that, the silver girl slightly moved her eyebrows-----
………No, she said it. That was my name. There was no mistake that is my name.
(Why does she know my name………….?)
That was the first question floating in my mind.
Naturally, I had no memories of knowing any foreigners.
(…………Wait a sec? I think she was looking at us in the middle of the entrance exam…………)
It’s not like I talked to her before, so I completely had no idea why she knew my name.
The silver girl was staring at me and started walking right when I had many question marks popping in my head.
- Chirint* together with the sound of the bells, her silver hair was swaying near her hips while being expressionless.
It was the exact reappearance of the auditorium------The only difference was the last part.
The silver girl got right besides me and stared at me for a while before--------making a nod with her head and sat on the chair.
On the chair beside me.
Even though there were many empty seats, she purposely chose the one beside me.
She was looking at me with side peeks for some reason. She probably planned to secretly look at me but, it was completely obvious.
“………………Hey, do you know her?”
“That is my line!!”
“Sorry, this situation was confusing…………..”
One day, a foreigner I have never met or seen before (and naturally even her name is unknown to me) suddenly starts calling my name, sits on the seat beside me, and in addition she is conscious of me by looking at me with side peeks----------I suddenly fell into such a situation and if there is someone that wouldn't get confused of this situation then I want someone to tell me about that person.
Nonetheless, it feels uncomfortable being peeked at like that while unable to comprehend the situation.
“………He,hey, can I have a moment?”
*Chirin*. The moment I made up my mind and talked to her, the silver girl turned away in tremendous speed.
It turned to silence just like that. It seems she is planning to pretend she didn’t hear my call.
(There is no choice. I’ll just find a good timing to talk to her later………)
I made a small sigh, and amused myself talking with Tora about some boring stuffs.
Most of the commotion in the classroom also returned back to normal when they saw us------
After a while, she was looking at me again.
(Seriously what is going on…………..)
While I was getting uncomfortable because of that, the students that had their wounds treated were entering the class one after another.
Soon, after almost all the new students had assembled------
“Hello Hello♪ Good work on the examination--☆ and congratulations on your enrollment to this school--!”
Suddenly, the sound of loud *Kara**Kara laughter appeared and a girl came into the classroom from the opened window.
The room suddenly went silent and the girl stood at the teacher's platform before striking a pose.
“Nice to meet you, I am Tsukimi Rito----♥ I am everyone’s homeroom teacher, so please treat me well for one year--! Cutting the formalities, just call me Usa-sensei okay--☆”
Everyone in the class had no response. Rather, I should say we had no idea how to respond.
“…….Aryaryan, what’s wrong?”
The self-proclaimed homeroom teacher looked around the classroom with a puzzled expression.
She drew a different kind of attention compared to the silver girl and she was too young to think that she was a teacher-------yes, most of us would agree if we were told that she was from our age generation and we would believe her to be our classmate if she wore the school uniform.
Most importantly, her outfit was the most unbelievable part after calling herself a teacher. No matter how I looked at it, she was wearing a maid uniform and with the addition of a rabbit ear hair band.
“Ha!? Are you all maybe fascinated by my cuteness? Iyaaa----, I thought I got used to these things quite well but, if all the new students are affected by it then I would be happy, awkward, and embarrassed as expected♪”
The self-proclaimed homeroom teacher placed her hands on her cheeks and was swinging her head in embarrassment but---------
“No, we were just taken aback…………”
“Oh I see, you all were just taken aback--------Wait, eeeeeehhhh!! You all weren’t fascinated!?”
She heard my mutter and raised a shocked voice.
“No matter how and where you see it, I don’t think you will be that conveniently received though…………”
“It’s because everyone was staring at me quietly♪”
(Is it really okay for this person to be our homeroom teacher……)
There was no mistake, everyone in the class was thinking that at this moment.
“Tsukimi-sensei, please don’t make the new students uneasy.”
The one who spoke out our feelings was a male in his mid-twenties who walked into the classroom normally from the door-----it was a male named Mikuni, who played the role of the facilitator during the entrance ceremony. Looking at his tall height and well-ordered facial features, [Hou………] there were sighs leaking out (luckily the males aren't like that) from left and right.
“Aaree--? Mikuni-sensei, why are you here?”
“I am the supervisor for the new students' teacher. If you are going to play a fool then I’ll have you take another side.”
“It's okaaay. I plan to ride on a boat so leave it to me♪”
“Well then, let’s reform ourselves and head to self-introduction shall we--☆”
Tsukimi-sensei completely ignored Mikuni-sensei’s come-back, and started talking.
“With that said, hello hello I am Tsukimi Rito-chan. I am a young lady that has just graduated from this Kouryou academy this spring; I think I am very inexperienced but, I plan to do my very best so nice to meet you all♪”
(18 years old huh. No wonder she looks young-------wait, how about her teacher qualifications……………..)
I thought that but, asking for common sense in a school devoid from common sense itself was useless.
"Tsukimi-sensei has excellent grades amongst last year's graduates so she has been specially selected to be a teacher this year. Leaving that character aside, there are no shortcomings in her abilities and skills so rest assured."
We heard the following from Mikuni-sensei, and there were sighs of relief leaking out from everywhere.
“So“Somehow there was some very hurtful things in there but, everyone don’t mind that and lets progress efficiently okay----…………..Although I said that since today is still the first day, it will be just a quick explanation of this year’s schedule and the self-introduction☆”
“Before that, first off a warning regarding the 《Blaze》.”
“Ah, oh yeah oh yeah♪ Errrr you all must not manifest your 《Blaze》 without permission from the academy okay? I’ll be very angry if you bring it out as you like. That’s all--☆ Well then, let’s begin the self-introductory---♪”
Thanks to Mikuni-sensei, we were safely advancing inside the first day of HR-------
Although there was another problem.
Rather than calling it a problem, I should be calling it curiosity.
That is the--------silver girl.
The girl sitting beside was sending her mysterious gaze to me as usual and this turned into a problem for me.
If looks could kill people then I would have been easily killed about 100 times by now.
The students around me were in the middle of concentrating on the teacher's platform while she was the only one looking at me. She was staring quietly at me. Continuously looking.
She most likely thought she has not been noticed yet but, a gaze was something that could be found out by the latter beyond the thoughts of the user.
At any rate, I have no idea why she was this conscious of me.
(Has she mistaken me with someone else……….?)
(But how about the name? Why does she know my name?)
(I don’t get it!)
“You, the one dreaming on the third row from the front! Hey you, from behind the midget boy!”
“Who’s the midget!!”
Thanks to Tora’s shout, I noticed myself being called.
When I looked over at the teacher's platform, Tsukimi-sensei bulged her cheeks and looked at me.
“HnMou----, you finally noticed? It’s your turn.”
I could hear giggles coming from here and there in the classroom.
I felt my cheeks getting hotter when I heard that before standing up.
“Kokonoe Tooru, nice to meet you.”
“…………….Kokonoe? Aah, you are that rumored boy!”
“There is a rumor in the staffroom. That there is an <<Irregular>> this year in the first year☆”
<<Irregular>>--------even though it was an unknown word to me, I could at least understand that it was something special.
The class started having a commotion, and I became the center of attention again.
Inside the unsettled commotion, it was now the turn of another person for attention this time.
“Well then, next. The silver hair-chan besides you stands out a lot.”
The silver girl nodded and started her self-introduction.
“Julie=Sigtuna. Everyone, nice to meet you.”
Once again, the classroom was wrapped in commotion. ………However, the implication was different from mine.
Naturally, my treatment was close to a rare animal. As for the silver girl-----------in Julie’s case, unlike her foreigner girl appearance, the fluent Japanese coming from her mouth was shocking.
However, Julie as usual didn’t care about the response from her surroundings and sat down.
And once again she side peeked and was looking over here---------
Our eyes met----------and the moment I thought that, she looked away.
But after some time passed, she started peeking at me using side-wise glances again………….
Soon the student handbook, student cards and dormitory guidebooks were distributed when the self-introductions ended.
“Is it all distributed to the students huh huh? Each individual please read through the school and dorm regulations when you have time later and, if you don’t then I’ll scold you okay♪ Also, the student card is used as a credit card so please be careful not to lose it—"
“Hee, so that’s how you buy stuff…………”
It would seem this was the living expenses.
The credit limit for each month was 10000 yen, and a number of people got excited after hearing that.
“Okay, okay. I understand your feelings but keep quiet---. For the last part, I will explain about the special system of this school and the dormitory room separation before I end today's talk, if you all want to make noise, do it then. First off, I want to talk about the special system though, it’s very important so listen to it properly---♪”
*Pan**Pan* Tsukimi-sensei clapped her hands together, and started talking about the so called special system.
“Our school exists a partner system called <<Duo>>. You all should understand from the word partner though, two people will form one group and receive lessons.”
(…………<<Duo>>? Just recently, I think I heard the same word from somewhere…………)
And in the middle of tracing back my memories, a question [Why is that?] came out from another student, and my train of thoughts stopped when Tsukimi-sensei started answering.
“When you graduate from here, you all know about the talk that you will be attached to the Dawnorganization’s peace preservation team right. You all will execute the missions normally in two man cells2 in one group or maybe in a team with more numbers than that.”
“……………Even though it will probably be impossible if we are told to be active in a team immediately after graduation, so 'get used to it in our school', is that what you are implying?”
“That is exactly right. You sure get it Tachibana-san♪”
That girl that talked to me right before I entered the class replied Tsukimi-sensei with a dignified voice.
“Now then now then, it’s regarding about the <<Duo>> but, just like I said just now, both of you will be doing a lot of different types of lessons. So, regarding about that relation, I am sorry about the hurry but you will choose your official partner by the end of this weekend, so from tomorrow onwards good luck finding your partner to attend the classes. Fiiiiiight----☆………..ah, by any chance if you can’t decide then we will pick one for you so it’s okay to rest assured okay---♪”
(Partner system------<<Duo>> huh………. I’ll just team up with Tora.)
“…………So, the real part starts here---. Actually, after the <<Duo>> is teamed up in this school, there is a rule where they will have to know each other deeply and pass time together as much as possible to strengthen their bonds together. Well----what I want to say is…………you will be made to share rooms in the dorm♪”
It’s true, that trust will probably be deepened if they are together for a long time.
Even though there is enough chance personality disagreements will appear, for this school that is devoid of common sense this still made sense.
(Hn, wait a sec………….?)
I had a question floating out towards that explanation.
“Err, I have a question.”
“Yes yes, the <<Irregular>> Kokonoe-kun, what is it?”
……………I wished you would stop calling me that way.
“You said the <<Duo>> will be decided by this weekend but-”
“Fufu, nice question. Sensei is happy you noticed that~♥ Should I give you a nice pat in the head?”
“Puu~ that’s regretful. ……………..well then well then, pulling myself together and including the answer for Kokonoe-kun’s question, I will start talking about the room separation for the dormitory~♪”
*Chills*. The instant Tsukimi-sensei showed a smiling face, a chill ran up my spine.
It’s a premonition of something getting problematic.
Is that premonition by any chance-------true?
Tsukimi-sensei pointed her fingers to us, and put something worthless in her mouth.
“Until the weekend, we will have you all live with the current person sitting next to you--♪”
“Which means, together with the temporary <<Duo>>. This is the school rule, so denial is useless, and no no's are not permitted okay☆ Neee, Mikuni-sensei♪”
Mikuni-sensei silently nodded and made a sigh to Tsukimi-sensei who was making an “x-sign” with her fingers in front of her chest.
“Good for you, Kokonoe-kun♪”
Tsukimi-sensei made a good job sign to me.
At first I didn’t understand her words but, I also guessed it by that one sentence.
Until this weekend, living together with the classmate sitting beside you would mean--------
“Yes♪ Your roommate is that silver haired beauty Julie-chan. Male 37, female 15, that is about the number of new students but, you are the only one living together with another girl. Kyaaa--- Lucky♥ ……………ah, yeah yeah. You will be kicked out of school if you have an illicit sexual relationship so be careful. Putting it in easier words, if you do something that is hesitated to say in the hereclassroom, and a 3rd roommate is made--------”
“Like hell I’ll do thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!”
Forgetting my respect to my superior, I shouted and stood up-----
Immediately right after, the classmates made an uproar after they got hold of themselves from my shout.
[Are you serious!?] [With that girl huh, that’s nice…………..] [Kyaa---, its living together, living together.]
“Wa,wait a second! No matter if it is the school rule, thinking in common sense isn’t this bad in a lot of ways!”
Inside the uproar filled with words they want to say as they like, I panicked and protested but---------
“…………………..do you think a school having an entrance exam during the school enrollment ceremony, and what’s more conducted a real fight is normal?”
The reply that came back, made my view in front dizzy.
I placed both my hands on the table, and looked over to my roommate until the weekend------and my eyes met with her ruby eyes again.
But this time she didn’t avert her eyes away----------
She looked towards me and lowered her head a little.
“Nice to meet you.”
“Ni,nice to meet you…………”
This was, the start of the cohabitation with me and the Juliesilver girl.
(Someone save me…………………)
The reason why I wished that was simple and clear, it’s because this was a complicated and yet inescapable problem.
Few hours passed from the uproar in the classroom.
After we were told about the dorm rules (Curfew and time for eating), we moved to the dormitory in the area and, was led straight to the cafeteria to quickly finish our dinner; right after that------
Inside the room assigned, I was------standing there and staring with the silver girl, Julie.
(Please. Someone save me…………….)
Even though I wished once more, a hero who will break this situation wouldn’t appear.
Would Tora who was assigned to the room next door, unexpectedly come here to play I wonder.
……………however even when I made such a light hope, it dispersed after hearing the slight shouting coming from the other side of the thick wall.
(Looks like he is not getting along with his roommate)
However right now, I have a problematic situation I raised myself instead of the room next door.
(This is a problem………………..)
No progress will be made if I kept silent even though I was thinking what to do, I then made a sigh and looked at Julie.
(Now that I take a good look at her, she does look like a bisque doll.)
Having a delicate body structure, well-featured face, transparent Snow Whitesnow colored skin, ruby eyes, and the most characteristic part I have to say about her was her Silver blondesilver hair………….
All of it was harmonized together, and it was suitable to be called beautiful.
The word beautiful girl is probably meant to be used for this.
But, that was not all.
A black wing angel--------
Judging by the way how she uses those two small swords and how she magnificently she carries her body, she was not a normal girl.
(Where did she get such a skill----------wait, now is not the time to think about that)
First off I have to do something about this silence but………..
If I were to make a self-analysis, I think my communication skills are quite okay thanks to living in a house with a large number of people coming and going. I had quite some male friends in my elementary and middle school time.
But expected to the girl I just met today.......what’s more a foreigner, adding on I will be sleeping in the same room (important) together with her under the same roof until the weekend (currently Monday), on top of me being unable to read her thoughts (this is more important) because she was expressionless, I was in front of someone who one-sidedly knows about me, and I have no idea what I should be talking with her.
(Otoha was the only one I have a talking experience with a girl my age………………….)
………….I feel that a sister won’t be a reference in the first place.
(Let’s play it safe.........)
“Err, hey………..we are going to be living in the same room until the weekend so, why don’t we sit down for now?”
After she nodded to my proposal, the silver girl interpose the low table and made a proper seiza.[1b 1]
(Ooh, she is well mannered…………however, I think I heard foreigners are bad with seizas but, is that not the case?)
Julie tilted her small head because I was standing up thinking even though I was the one who said to sit down.
I apologized and hurried to sit down straight on the other side of the table.
“This is quite a nice room.”
The room dormitory was unexpectedly wide, and beautiful. There was a carpet on the center of the floor; it was equipped with a television and kitchen, and maybe because it was meant for 2 people since there was two same types of clothing cases, and a two stories bed was installed.
“Errr………..lets introduce ourselves again.”
“Well then, starting from me who proposed this. I am------”
Before I could name myself, my name was said before me.
I was a little curious about why the accent was a little different but, since she is a foreigner so that can’t be helped.
“Rather than Kokonoe or Tooru, just call me in any way easy for you.”[1b 2]
“I understand. Then I will call you Tooru.”
“You are Julie, is that okay?”
“Ja---.Julie=Sigtuna. Please call me Julie.”
“I, I understand………..”
Same like in the classroom, I was bewildered when she replied back in fluent Japanese.
(It’s better than unable to communicate……….)
“Please take care of me until the weekend, Julie.”
Self-introduction time over.
And once again silence arrived.
(Uh wait, isn’t it bad to end it here!)
“Le,lets talk about each other more okay?”
“Errr, I am born from Kanagawa prefecture in Fujisawa city. …………wait, do you know where is Fujisawa?”
“Nai, and I don’t know about Kanagawa………….”
Julie swings her head a little troubled.
Because she was able to talk in fluent Japanese, I thought she might be brought up in Japan but, the probability of it being wrong is high since she doesn’t know where Kanagawa is.
“Err, Fujisawa is a city in the southeast coastland from here………….that’s too vague huh. Where is Julie from?”
“It’s a country called Gimle in the northern Europe.”
“An overseas student like I guessed……. But even so, your Japanese is good.”
“Thank you very much. I was properly taught by mama.”
“From your mother………?”
Was she working in a Japanese company or something?
……………..she might unexpectedly be a Japan lover--------of things like ninja or anime--------there is that possibility.
In a more unexpected case, she might be a half.
She doesn’t look like she has Orient blood mixed but, actually could her name Julie written in kanji be Julie or Julie or Julie or Julie[1b 3]--------
“Mama interpreted it from her job.”
It was a normal answer…………….
“And in the school at that side, there was Japanese in the selection of subjects.”
“Hee, then you have been deciding to study abroad in Japan since middle school?”
“Ja--.I found out about this academy, and decided it.”
Why would you come to this Battle training school-----------was what I wanted to ask but, I might be stepping too far in at the beginning so I restrained myself.
“I see. For an instant, I thought you would be a half.”
“Since Japanese people also have the name Julie, I thought that might be the case.”
“I see. But speaking of names, the name Tooru is also in Gimle.”
“Is that so?”
“Ja---. It is a name named after the strongest thunder god that appears inside the legends told in Northern Europe.”
“Thunder god Thor………”
The reason why the accent was different was because; she confused mine with the name of that god.
(Strong, huh…………..it would be nice if that is the case though………)
Hearing that keyword I remembered that word, and unintentionally clenched my fist.
“Ah………! Errr no, it’s great Julie can speak Japanese. Since I can only speak in Japanese.”
“Did you not learn foreign languages in junior high schoolJapan’s middle school?”
“Uh………….! Eng-English was required though……….”
There are many people that can’t have a conversation even if they were taught.
And I am in one of those large majorities.
She guessed it and apologized, somehow I feel a little miserable……….
“N-no, but I am seriously thankful that my words can get through. If Julie couldn’t speak Japanese then, we’ll be having trouble trying to understand each other by now, I seriously think it’s great.”
“Ja--. You’re welcome.”
(Any other topics……….wait, oh yeah!)
“By the way, I saw Julie’s fight during the entrance examination but, the way you bring your body and sword handling is amazing. Did you attend a dojo in Gimle?”
“…………………Nai. That is my own style.”
“Self-taught and that movement………….. That’s amazing…….”
The moment I felt surprise about the hidden sword talent inside her small body-------
I want to have a match with her sooner or later, that’s what I thought.
“Ah, Tooru. I want to change the topic but-------”
“Is it okay if I take a shower first?”
“Eh? A,aah. I don’t mind.”
“Thank you very much. I still want to talk but, I feel really sleepy from just now because of the time difference………..I am sorry but, after I wash my sweat off it’s about time I am going to rest for today.”
“Time difference looks tough. And what’s more there was that That kind of thing《Qualification Ceremony》 today. Just take a nice rest after you freshen up.”
And even when I said that, Julie was wobbling her head left and right.
“Nai. It’s not because of the entrance examination, it’s just hot.”
“Eh? Its true today was warm but, it isn’t that hot……….”
The season just recently turned to spring, and it was still cold now that it turned to night time.
Even though the dormitory was warm thanks to the heat equipment, it was still far away to be called hot.
“This heat is the same as summer in my country.”
“I-is that so……. Then, should I leave the air-conditioner off?”
“That will be helpful.”
(If she says the season right now is hot, then what will happen if it turns mid-summer…..?)
Staring at her small back while she was preparing her clothes, that question popped up in me.
“Ah, oh yeah. To avoid a strange trouble, can you do your changing in the dressing room?”
Due to us living together with the opposite sex, I made a plan to block the first point that is most likely to be the first problem.
“Ja--. I understand. Then I’ll be using the shower first.”
Julie took a bow after agreeing to my plan, and entered the dressing room.
The remaining me, was remembering the conversation we had just now that was bothering me.
It was thinking about her in the classroom--------no, since that time I saw Julie in the entrance ceremony.
(She doesn’t smile………)
There was not a lot of it but, she has shown other expressions other than that.
Thanks to that, it was hard to read her emotions and I could not cancel the image of Julie being an exquisite doll.
In reality I knew that was not true judging by her initiative to start a conversation stead of just replying to my questions.
That is why, I thought of it.
That, she will look cuter if she smiles.
“Well then…………I’ll just sort out my luggage I guess.”
Muttering to myself, I decided to start sorting out my luggage that was sent to the dormitory beforehand.
(This luggage would have been sent back if I failed in the entrance exam)
“------Entrance exam, huh…………”
I remembered the girl I defeated and muttered.
(If I meet her someday, then I’ll have to protect my promise……………….)
When I was remembering the things in the entrance exam, I remembered something now of all times.
(Snap. If I brought up the entrance examination talk, I could have asked her why she was staring at me. And things like, how does she knows my name or, the things I was bothered about in the classroom…………..)
I was probably that nervous to forget all that, and didn’t realize it.
(I’ll ask Julie after she finishes her shower.)
From that word, I imagined.
…………The scene Julie cleaning herself in the shower.
Even when I delete my imagination in a hurry, I start to feel conscious about the fact I was living together with a girl after so late.
And what’s more unluckily, the sound of the shower was slightly echoing through the wall and I imagined again whether I liked it or not--------
I quickly took the television remote with my hand.
Even though it is until the weekend, in a way I once again became self-aware about the start of troubling days………..
When I was sorting out my luggage while turning on the television 20 minutes after that, Julie’s yawn could be heard from behind. Just like what came out from her mouth, she was sleepy because of the time-lag.
“Julie. I have a question but-------Bufuu!?”
But, when I wanted to clear up the question before sleeping--------I turned around and Julie’s sleepy eyes were there.
However that was not the reason why I spurt out.
Long and slender white legs, thighs, calf consequently entered my view.
Her thin pajamas was sticking to her skin after a bath and in just one glance I could see her delicate body line and chest bulge (it was quite moderate), on top of that, maybe because she was sleepy because the buttons that were messed up made a gap and thanks to that I don’t know where I should place my eyes.
“What is wrong?”
Despite being flustered I tried talking but, my eyes were attracted to her thighs and pajama’s border for some reason.
“The-there is a question I want to ask………….!”
Towards Julie who was looking at me wondering, I used a little strengthened tone to trick myself-----no, I decided to ask her about the things that were bothering me.
“Julie,--------do you know me? You were facing your sights towards us during the middle of the exam and you said my name when you entered the classroom…………………and you were a little curious after that right?”
Her expression did not change. But the moment I questioned her, I felt the atmosphere slightly changed.
“…………………I heard your name during the examination.”
It means she heard me and Imari’s conversation.
“But, why me…………..?”
A slight silence slipped in and she showed a little confused state before------Julie opened her mouth.
“I am interested in you.”
When I looked at Julie in shock, those ruby eyes looked straight at me.
“Tooru. I am very interested in you.”
Julie put a very devastating sentence in her mouth and slowly came closer.
As for me, I backed away and immediately hit the wall.
And the distance between became so small that if I were to stretch out my hand I can touch-----------no, Julie’s breathe was hitting my chest.
“That is why------please teach me………”
Due to her just coming out from the bath, her snow white skin was weltered with blood.
To that color that feels warm from the blood passing through, it makes me feel she is human instead of a doll----------------and more importantly, it makes me conscious of her as a girl.
Is this perhaps--------
(Is this that love at first sight thing…………!?)
I think that it wasn't a smart thought but, as long as she said she was interested in me and daringly approaching me like this, there is no way I can not understand that meaning.
(Thi,this cute girl, to me!? Is this a dream!? No what is with this nice smell, shower? Uwah, close, her hair is thin, eh-eh-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!? Wha, what should I doooooooooo!?)
The inside of my head was in complete panic. That current me was------
*Zui* Julie closed in to my face.
Her wet oddly seductive silver blondesilver hair, and her captivating tinged red small lips made my heartbeat pound hard--------
When I thought the deep red eyes slightly narrowed, she took a pose as if to pull a bow-----------
She placed the fist she pulled away, close to my stomach.
“Please teach me this.”
“It is the technique Tooru used in the exam. I was really interested in it so, if it is okay with Tooru, could you please teach me a lot regarding it………."
(So that is what she meant!!)
At the same time with me shouting my inner thoughts, I thank myself for not saying any misunderstanding words and taking weird actions before making a relieved sigh.
“Ah…......e,errr…….sorry, I can’t teach you that. That technique’s burden is not normal so if Julie’s small physique performs that, your body will only break. That’s why…………”
“………………That is a disappointment.”
She lowered her eyebrows, and turned disappointed from what I can see, and I felt more sorry.
Julie who muttered that one more time------
She collapsed, and clings onto me.
Even after I hurry and stop her clinging onto me, I was surprised by her slenderness; I felt surprised for the second time finding out it was slender yet soft, and last off I felt surprised for the third time at the nice smell coming from her after her bath.
(Wha-wha-what happened, hugging me, nice smell, from the shock!? Eeeeeeeeeeh!?)
“Ju-Ju-Ju-Julie!? Wai, suddenly, no, this is-------wait, eh…………?”
I noticed her peaceful sleep breathing and regained myself.
It looks like Julie reached her limits and fell asleep.
The reason why she narrowed her eyes was because she simply just wanted to sleep.
Staring at that face, I made a large sigh mixed with tiredness and relief in it.
(I’ll let her sleep on the bed for now…………..)
Since nothing is going to happen as expected and I cannot bring myself to wake her up, I carried Julie and got surprised by how light she was.
It looks like I might break her small delicate body if I hold her tightly.
Silky hair, small lips, and slightly drifting scent------looking at her like this, she only looked like a bisque doll, but the body warmth transmitted to me makes me strongly conscious that she is a human.
And, at that moment.
Julie slightly rolled her held body, and brought her body closer, she grabbed my shirt tightly as if she wanted to be spoiled.
…………..but, that was wrong. It’s not like she wanted to be spoiled.
Together with her soft mumbling, a drop of tears appeared at the edge of her closed eyelids.
Looking at that drop, I noticed my insensitivity after so late.
(As expected she’s lonely…………)
I don’t know what reasons she study abroad for but, there is no way a young girl far from her familiar country, and coming to this far side of the east alone would not feel anxious.
I felt miserable not noticing such an obvious fact, because she was able to speak fluent Japanese and doesn’t show her emotions.
And now that I have found out her true feelings, I could not pretend that I didn’t see that. That’s why I-------I made a vow that I wanted to become Julie’s power to support her before scooping the drop of tear from her eyes.
The sky was spread out.
In that never ending sky, there was the scorching hot sun shining down.
But all of that lost its color and like an old movie, a monochrome was created.
This is a dream. Right now I am seeing a dream.
I have seen this many times, the damn memory I never want to remember.
(Stop it………….don‘t show me this again……..)
But, even when I wanted it to stop it didn’t.
It was the past, just like how many times that happened; I was walking towards the same dojo.
Mid-way, I stopped my legs.
A stinky smell, a wind that stinks of rusted iron passed by.
Even when I turned to that stink, there was nothing there.
Immediately a chill came, and I started running in the next moment as if I was repelled.
Running towards the dojo while shouting my sisters name---------and then I saw it.
The only color inside this grey world-------red.
Crimson flames were raging and were drowning the dojo I was familiar with.
Towards the sudden unrealistic scenery, I was standing still dumbfounded------
My sister passed by my mind, and the moment I gained back myself, I dashed into the flames.
The inside was something from hell.
Powders of flames were rising and the sound of flames bursting violently hurt my ears.
Thunderous roars sounded, and the burnt down wood blocked the single path.
But even so I headed to the deep, the flames licked my cheeks and the heat burns my lungs.
All 4 sides were dyed in red, and inside the place where it was hard to open my eyes, I called out to Otoha’s name several times-------
Soon I reached it.
In the blazing hell fire, the deepest part of that hell.
Over there----Otoha was there.
Together with that person.
Inside the sea of fire, Otoha was blankly sitting down hard and that person was holding a sword, facing backwards towards me.
The black shadows collapsed in the surroundings--------were once people called my seniors.
The blade drenched by red blood had its color further emphasized by the flames, and inside the nauseating stink of burnt meat and fat, I forgot about the situation and shouted.
“What………..Oi!! What happened!! What on earth is this!!”
And then, that person slowly turned over.
That person’s eye at that time, I will never forget about it.
Deep, quiet, dark-------pure black eyes.
Facing that eye straight towards me, that person came closer to me.
“I am asking what happened!? Answer me!!”
“What…….? Oh let’s see-----”
In response to my question, that person replied.
And that word became my goal.
“They are dead, because they were weak.”
That person slowly raised the tip of the blade towards the heaven--------and the moment that was swung down at me.
The blade path, cut into Otoha.
A splash flew out.
Red, a red splash.
After an instant, I understood that meaning------------
I raised a shout painted with rage, resentment, and despair.
Almost in the same time with me opening my eyes from the shout I made from the ongoing dream-------
When I looked over to the unfamiliar tone calling me, the ruby eyes were staring at me.
“Are you okay, Tooru?”
(……………this is Kouryou’s dormitory………)
And I finally understood where I was.
At the same time, Julie was still staring at me with a perplexed state.
“Sorry to scare you, I was half-asleep. Perhaps I woke you up?”
“Nai. I was already awake so do not mind it…………I was a little surprised that’s all.”
“I see, then that’s good….…no well, actually I saw a dream of me being attacked by zombies. I was then cornered and when I let out a sharp shout then it came out in reality………….haha, it’s a nuisance huh?”
Although I thought I sucked at lying even for me, I kept on talking about stuff that I was never asked of.
But even so-----
(Again that dream…………)
Ever since that day, I have seen that nightmare many times--------but was undoubtedly something that has passed.
From that unforgettable and never must be forgotten memories, my back was wet from sweat.
“……………Tooru, what’s wrong?”
Maybe I was making a stiff expression; Julie was looking at me worried.
“No, nothing. ……………and, its morning already. I’ll take a fast shower so, let’s go eat something after that.”
It was a little too frank but, I turned my face away to trick her and headed towards the dressing room without hearing Julie’s reply.
I started taking a shower, and the flowing hot water washed off the cold sweat.
My body started getting warm and it gave me the actual feelings I am alive.
On that, I was the only one alive.
That day, my companions in the dojo died.
My precious sister, Otoha covered for me and………..
“They are dead, because they were weak”
More than 1 year has passed from then, and I couldn’t understand those words.
That’s why; I continuously seek for <<Power>>.
In order to understand those words.
In Julie’s memories, the part where Tooru was answering regarding the technique was interrupted.
What she remembers was, a feeling of warmth wrapping around her in her half-asleep half-awake state.
With a pleasant feeling like riding on a moving cradle, it was something very nostalgic.
And that nostalgia was the old memories of her father.
It is about the time when she was young, and during the time when Julie stayed up late and ended up sleeping, her father would carry her and bring her to her bed.
(I have shown you something embarrassing……….)
As long as she has no memories of how she entered the bed last night, there was only one thing that comes to mind.
Her cheeks blushed because she was shy, and Julie once again remembered the warmth from last night-------
And so, she felt loneliness.
Translation Notes and References
- Julie calls him in katakana (トール) while his others call him in his kanji form (透流)
- Different forms of Julie's name in Kanji = Starting from the first--百合恵,由利枝,祐理絵,友里江
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