Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume12 The Twelfth Question
The Twelfth Question
Please fill in the appropriate word in the following blank:
"Dust piling up like ( )
Himeji Mizuki's Answer:
Dust piling up like (a hill)
Tsuchiya Kouta's Answer:
Dust piling up like 'garbage'.
Yoshii Akihisa's Answer:
Dust piling up like 'large garbage'.
So we can treat it as normal garbage if we divide it up?
The instant we saw the curtain being flipped, we quickly retreated from the middle of the battlefield to the sides.
After that, several large blades of wind flew in from behind, where we once were.
"You alright, Akihisa?"
"Yeah. It's the second time already, so we're kinda ready for it."
Since we knew the meaning behind the curtains, we more or less managed to predict it, so it is more or less easy for us this time.
"It looks like the other guys are alright."
"Seems that way."
There have been attacks using the power of the bracelets coming from behind; this is the second time I saw it, and the third for the rest. Of course, there are few losses, both for us...and the enemy.
"It looks like the enemy has understood our intents."
"Those observant ones probably picked it up, huh?"
Our allies, except for those on the frontlines, understood the secret regarding the curtain, but the enemy's not stupid. They may be shocked for the first time, realize it the second time, and believe it will happen at the third time. There might be someone amongst them reading our intentions.
"I'll be worried if they didn't. This is what we're aiming at."
"Hm, Yuuji, you're here."
While we're talking, Yuuji, in charge of leading the operation this time, walks to us. Goodness, this guy's strategy is endangering us again.
"Ya, Yuuji, you just bluffed me again."
"Oh Akihisa, you just got bluffed by me again."
Yuuji doesn't look apologetic at all.
Speaking of which, he did say something, 'just go while thinking that you're being bluffed' during a previous summoning war. We really got bluffed as a result back then.
"Don't you feel guilty bluffing me over and over again?"
"Haven't you gained any learning ability after being bluffed over and over again?"
Ugh...! This bastard's answers are always like that!
"Yuuji, you should be careful of what you say now. It's not wrong to say that your fate is in my hands."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, well, that. If I say that your relationship with Kirishima-san has evolved...well?"
If everyone in F class is to know about this, Yuuji's destiny will definitely come to an end.
In response to my words,
Yuuji merely scoffs it off leisurely.
"Where's that confidence coming from...?"
"No matter whether you say it or not, those girls won't just keep quiet about it, right?"
I was completely speechless.
"Th-That...doesn't that mean that my plan to reveal everything after my execution is useless...?"
"It's going to be an execution either way."
"I'm not shocked about it since I more or less expected it."
Guess I have no choice now. I'll just enjoy myself by being executed alongside everyone else. Hopefully, this will be a happy execution to celebrate our victory.
"Instead of that, we need to plan ahead. Akihisa, Hideyoshi, return your summoned beasts and come here."
If we're returning our summoned beasts now, it means we're going to move somewhere. If it's a battle to decide victory, that means we're going to where Takashiro-sempai is, right?
"Got it. Will be there soon."
After checking the enemies and allies on the frontlines, Hideyoshi and I exit the field, removing our summoned beasts in the process, and return to where Yuuji is.
"We're back, Yuuji."
"How about explaining the strategy?"
"Ah, wait a moment. They're coming soon--oh, here they are."
I look over to where Yuuji's looking at, and see Himeji-san, Minami, Muttsurini and Kudou-san coming out from the school.
"Sorry to keep you waiting."
"Why does it feel like I've been waiting for orders the entire day?"
"...Ready to go."
"Since Muttsurini-kun and I are being called out now, it means that health education is going to be involved, right?"
Kudou-san's with us along with the usual F class members. Maybe this means that it's not a defensive battle to buy time this time.
"Yuuji, have you thought of a plan to win this?"
Having thought of the same thing as me, Hideyoshi asks.
In response to that however, Yuuji simply answers,
"Nope, not at all."
We answer immediately without thinking. He can't think of a plan...?
"Then why did you summon us here?"
"Do we have to strengthen our defenses?"
"But I heard that this is a plan to end the summoning war?"
In response to our doubts, Yuuji gestures for us to quiet down, and answers nonchalantly,
"It's not important for us to win this summoning war. You know what this means?"
"No, not at all."
"That was a quick answer."
"Can't you use your head a little...?"
Then I'll think about it a little.
What's important to us for this summoning war...? The aim of the summoning war is to get the other class' facilities, and it's important for us to get A class' facilities. That's why we've been declaring war over and over again.
But this summoning war is different. The third years started it, hoping to get 'the facilities of classes A to C', and we just so happened to be against it.
In other words--
"We never wanted this summoning war in the first place."
"That's right. We never wanted to beat the 3rd years at all."
"Yeah. In other words, a draw's basically a win for us."
While it may be nice to get 3-A's room, it is the same for them if they can get 2-A's facilities. Looking at this disadvantageous situation, it'll be great if we can get a draw out of this.
"If that's the case, Yuuji, since it's not a plan to beat Takashiro-sempai, it's a plan to get a draw, right?"
"That's how it is."
Yuuji nods confidently. Couldn't he just say it right from the beginning? Why explain things in a roundabout way?
"But Yuuji, how're you going to force a draw?"
Hideyoshi asks about the most important thing, the battle itself, and Yuuji answers the question unabashedly,
"We're going to destroy the machine managing the test summon beast system and end the war."
"Well...this feels like a strategy only Sakamoto will come up with..."
Minami's right. Such an unscrupulous plan is something only Yuuji can think of.
"But Sakamoto-kun, if we're to simply end the summoning war, won't it be started again once it's repaired?"
Kudou-san, who's been listening to this obediently, raises her hand to ask.
"No, there's only a small chance of that."
"? Why's that."
"Our opponents are the 3rd years, and there's a foreign person observing everything here."
Then, what's that about?
While I'm shaking my head in confusion, Kudou-san, standing beside me, claps her hands.
"Ah, I see. This is a serious situation for both parties. They can't back out now."
"That's how it is, Kudou. The foreign sponsors sent someone to investigate because they want to know the results sooner. The 3rd years have their exams, and if the system is repaired even a month later, they won't have the time to start another war again."
I see. Even if the war somehow starts again, there should be some people being too busy. No doubt it's going to be beneficial to us.
"Also, there's not much merit for them to get the facilities a month later."
It seems Minami has more or less understood the situation as she starts to nod away.
How many people can actually get serious about this when the self-attendance period is just around the corner? The answer is really simple.
"Because of those reasons, we may be able to end this if we delay this summoning war. That's why we have to do something about that test summoning system."
"Oh, so there's this way of looking at things too?"
Yuuji has a flexible mindset capable to thinking beyond winning and losing, and this certainly is like his usual self--no, proof that his thinking has evolved beyond that. That lost mindset he had the previous day will never have thought about it.
"We understand our objective now."
"Now's the issue of executing it."
"Yeah, I'm about to explain that now."
Yuuji pulls out a loosely drawn map from his pocket.
"This is a map of the ground floor of the new school building. Since everyone's been there so many times, we all know where the principal's office is, right?"
"Actually, Yoshii-kun, I don't think any normal person will be called to the principal's office so many times."
The principal's office is located on the ground floor of the new school building, facing the field. This should be basic knowledge.
"The enemy general has made his base at the 4th level of the new school building, and the enemy has set defenses around it accordingly. In other words--"
"We'll blow the principal's office along with the entire new school building."
"Yoshii-kun? What're you saying!?"
"--And if we're lucky, we'll get many of the 3rd years caught in the explosion instead of just one."
"You too, Muttsurini-kun?"
"I want to do it too if that's possible, but that's impossible now."
Too bad huh? If only we had the fireworks from the school festival.
"Aiko, you'll get tired playing along with Aki and Sakamoto's jokes. Better to just let it fall on deaf ears."
"I-Is that so..."
"Anyway, Sakamoto-kun, what are the details exactly?"
It seems Minami and Himeji-san are both used to our words. I really hope they don't misunderstand though; if it's possible to carry it out, we'll really consider and look into it.
"Since everyone's focus is on the 4th level, there's no security at the ground floor surrounding the principal's office, so we can enter there using the back door.
We already experienced personally how heavy the security is around the 4th level, but the principal office on the ground floor should be okay.
"All that's left is to start a large performance there--"
"And we'll destroy any area that may contain the system."
“That's how it is. If we can get inside the principal office and start a battle, we just need to wreck the old hag's computer.”
Now that I think about it, the principal does use the computer in her room to control the system. Even if the host computer is located somewhere else, it takes time to restore the system, and it's going to be troublesome.
“Erm...won't you be lashed out harshly if you do that, Akihisa-kun?”
“The only way to prevent that from happening is that Akihisa has to make it look like an accident.”
“You guys are already used to doing this, huh?”
“Well of course. That's what we always do.”
“Though this really isn't something to be proud of.”
“What? Don't worry about it too much. Our wish to beat A class has gone down the drain. This is just a little payback.”
Leaving aside the motives behind our grudge, we at least understand what we're aiming at. Now we just have to split the tasks.
“Of course, Akihisa will be the culprit.”
“You're making it sound so dangerous by calling him the culprit...”
I agree with those words.
“Himeji will work together with Akihisa as escort. If the only enemies inside are from A class, you're the only one who can fight them.”
“I'll work along with you too. If the teachers aren't around, I have to open a field.”
With no enemies or teachers around, Yuuji will have to create a field using his bracelet. This really is much easier for me.
“What about us, Sakamoto?”
“Please be our guards until we reach our destination.”
“It's comforting knowing that I'm going to be with Muttsurini-kun♪.”
Her jaw might drop if she sees any of his scores other than Health Education, but I think we'll just ignore that for now.
“The others will create a commotion as our cover. Since we're going to use a lot of fighting strength, they will have to respond in kind.”
We can say that we'll be in a pinch if this fails—but well, isn't that the basis of strategy?
“Ah, one more thing, Akihisa.”
“Hm? What is it, Yuuji?”
“I got something to say to you.”
Yuuji waves at me, and I lean my head towards him, doing as what he told me; he then proceeded to brief me on several possibilities that might happen once we reach our destination.
“Hm...I see. That's what you were planning?”
“That's what I observed regarding the enemy's strength as a neutral. I'll leave it to you.”
After those words were said, the strategy briefing ended.
Yuuji clapped his hands, and then said to everyone.
“Alright. Let's begin this plan. Once we see the hint, everyone's to run straight ahead.”
“What's the hint, Yuuji?”
“The hint's that hint. You've seen it a few times, right?”
Yuuji looks over at the old school campus. Ah, so that's how it is?
“That's not just something meant to wear out the enemy effectively, huh?”
“You really are good in this aspect, Yuuji.”
“...To be expected of you.”
So that's why we took quite the terrible punishment just now, huh? If us at the frontlines are to act without knowing anything, the opponent will probably fall for it. So this is what it means to fool oneself before fooling the enemy, I guess.
“Well...I guess it's about time.”
We remain where we are, awaiting the hint.
And so, after waiting for a while, the white curtain from the window on the 4th level appeared.
”It's Kubo! Kubo's here!”
”That thing from before is coming again!!”
Warnings could be heard from the 2nd years—and the 3rd years too. I guess this is what Yuuji's aiming for.
“Let's go, you guys! Let's charge right through!”
On Yuujis command, we run for the open path right in front of us. Having witnessed the attacks of the gold bracelets beforehand, the 3rd years dodged aside, forming a path. At this instance, it is possible to break through the sturdy defenses in front of the new school building.
Suddenly, I notice Kirishima-san standing at the window of the old school building.
She's looking at us, moving her lips, seemingly saying something.
“Do” “Your” “Best”
“What's with you, Akihisa? You're glaring at me like there's a family feud between us.”
I just so happened to see her cheering him on. Any ordinary person's vision is typically unable to see those lip movements, but she still wanted to chase after Yuuji and cheer him on silently. As I think about how Kirishima-san's warm and gentle feelings were resting upon Yuuji, I just can't help but feel jealous of him.
“Well, it doesn't matter. Someone has to die anyway.”
“Aki, what kind of inauspicious thing are you saying? We'll definitely win if everyone works hard!”
“That's right, Akihisa-kun! We're going to end this battle in the best way possible!”
Minami and Himeji-san are looking at me adamantly. This really isn't what I'm talking about...but since they say so, I'll forget about my execution of Yuuji if we're going to settle this in the best way possible.
”Hey, they're not attacking!
”Those guys...! It's a bluff!”
We can hear such words as we run by the 3rd years; it seems they have understood our intentions. There's still some distance to the new school building, and it'll be all over if we're stopped here instead.
“We'll leave this to you guys!”
Yuuji shouted, and our 2nd year allies begin battle to support us. I guess Yuuji did brief them on what to do beforehand; they build walls around our path to allow us through, and our F class members, after seeing this, quickly got to action. Surely they must have sensed that this is the decisive moment.
But even so, the path is slowly getting blocked.
Upon hearing their names being called up, both of them shouted the keyword.
Health Education, 2-A, Kudou Aiko, 498 points.
Health Education, 2-F, Tsuchiya Kouta, 671 points.
It seems Yuuji has already expected this to happen as he assigned the Health Education teacher here. The subject field we enter just so happens to be the Health Education Kudou-san and Muttsurini are best at.
Kudou-san's summoned beast charges its axe with electricity before barging in, while Muttsurini's summoned beast accelerates itself before anyone can even blink, slashing down one enemy summoned beast after another.
“Speaking of which, those sure are monstrous numbers of points there.”
“I don't think even the teachers are a match for those two.”
Kudou-san continues to swing the electricity-charged axe, and Muttsurini's moving around, leaving afterimages in his wake. The weak enemies are dealt with easily, while the stronger ones are staggered by Muttsurini's blinding speed before being finished off by Kudou-san's follow-up. Both their summoned beasts definitely look like lightning there.
Thanks to those two, the path in front of us is opened up.
“Though I really want to leave everything to Kudou and Muttsurini—”
“It doesn't look like the enemy's going to be that naive.”
“This is just like the prediction.”
A certain person stands in front of those two with unmatched power.
She isn't dressed in anything dazzling, but even in uniform, there was something alluring coming from her.
One would be mesmerized simply by the charming presence surrounding her; Kogure-sempai has appeared.
“I guess I've got no choice then. Aiko and I will take her on.”
“Nope. I want him—Tsuchiya-kun to be my opponent.”
Kogure-sempai puts a finger on her chin and glances flirtatiously at Muttsurini. What could be seen from under the short skirt is causing our hearts to flutter.
“We can't really accept that, Kogure-sempai. Muttsurini's compatibility with you is really bad.”
“Oh dear, I suppose that is supposed to be for him to decide, no?”
Kogure-sempai folded her arms in front of her chest, “...I accept this challenge.” Those large breasts are riding on her arms. Man...! That's despicable...!
Upon seeing this, Hideyoshi reaches his hand out to stop Muttsurini.
“That's enough, Muttsurini. You can't beat that upperclassman.”
But Muttsurini takes a step forward, seemingly wanting to shake Hideyoshi off.
“...This isn't a case of...winning or losing...!”
What's that idiot thinking? Everyone's thinking this now.
“Muttsurini, Kudou, we'll leave this to you.”
But Yuuji doesn't seem to mind as he said this.
“Eh? But Muttsurini.”
“We don't have time, and this subject field is Health Education. Muttsurini won't be able to contribute if he comes out from here.”
That's true now that he says so; leaving aside Kudou-san, Muttsurini can't fight in any subject other than Health Education. He also has to handle the other 3rd years chasing after us, and it isn't going to be wise asking him to retreat from here.
“Muttsurini! Stop staring at that upperclassman's body and focus on her summoned beast!”
“Aiko! Watch over Tsuchiya!”
Since we have no other choice, we can only make these last requests before leaving. Muttsurini gives us a thumbs up with his back facing us. That probably would have looked reliable if there wasn't a pool of nosebleed at his feet.
“Thank you very much, Tsuchiya-kun. I knew you would certainly not ignore me.”
”You can't do that, Muttsurini-kun. Focus on her summoned beast instead of her. I can show you as much leg as you want later.”
”You do not have to worry too much. Please continue to look at my legs if they fit your tastes.”
“You mustn't listen to her, Muttsurini-kun! Once everything is over, I'll dress up in a swimsuit for you to see.”
“...I have no interest in any of you...!”
“So you guys are next, sempais?”
“You actually came here, Yoshii, Sakamoto...!”
“I'm going to pay you back for everything up till now...!”
After getting past Kogure-sempai, the Toko-Natsu pair, whom we have quite the history with, stands in our way. We can't just leave these two to Kudou-san and Muttsurini, but we don't have time to waste...!
“Aki, leave these two to Kinoshita and me. You guys hurry on. You okay with this, Kinoshita?”
“Well, we don't have another choice.”
Like Kudou-san and Muttsurini before this, Minami and Hideyoshi step forward.
“Huh? What are you saying? We have a debt to settle with Yoshii and Sakamoto.”
“Na-Natsukawa, I'll be happy with Kinoshita as my opponent too.”
Tsunemura-sempai's words caused Hideyoshi's shoulders to shudder. Is it really alright to leave things to them?
“We don't have time. Let's leave it to those two and hurry on.”
Yuuji prompts us as he rushes forward. I have all kinds of worries here, but I don't have any choice in this situation.
“We'll leave it to you, Minami, Hideyoshi. Aim for their eyes if anything happens.”
“Right, got it!”
“That's not something we should be agreeing too, isn't it!?”
“You may pound my flesh and bones into bits, Kinoshita, but this isn't going to stop my love for you!”
“Ki-Kinoshita...I think I should go on with Aki..?”
“Shimada, I'll hate you for eternity if you leave me behind here.”
We continue on while leaving Minami and Hideyoshi behind. Though the staircase and main entrance of the new school building is tightly defended, it doesn't seem to be the case anywhere else.
“Well then, let's warm up a little before chasing after Yoshii and the rest, Tsunemura.”
“Well, that's true. It's better to settle any personal issues after the summoning war is over.”
“What're you saying now? We're the ones who want to quickly beat you and hurry to Aki and the rest.”
“Right, that's the spirit, Shimada. We must beat them and send them to the detention room as soon as possible.”
“Ah...you guys seem to be mistaken about something.”
“Mistaken? About what?”
“Well, you might have underestimated us because Tsunemura and I have been careless against Yoshii and Sakamoto.”
Mathematics, Natsukawa Shunpei, 3-A, 733 points
Mathematics, Tsunemura Yuusaku, 3-A, 751 points.
“—This can't be considered a battle with you guys as our opponents”
“Listen up, Akihisa, even if the enemy's defenses are weak, it doesn't mean that we have time. Once we reach there, we need to hurry up with our objective as soon as possible.”
“Himeji, you'll be our guard. You'll be in the same field as us, but you'll be handling the enemies coming from the corridor. Please hold on until Akihisa completes his objective.”
“They're coming! It's those second years!”
“There're 3 of them! Take them out!”
The 3rd years start to gather to prevent us from heading to the 4th level.
We pretend to run to the staircase, before changing directions suddenly towards our real objective, the principal's office.
“I'll call out my summoned beast here!”
Himeji-san stopped at the corridor in front of the principal's office, facing the stairs.
“I'll leave it to you, Himeji-san!”
“Akihisa-kun, please do your best!”
We left Himeji-san behind and continued forward, quickly heading to the room with the principal's office signboard to complete our objective.
“Right, let's begin!”
“OK, let's go.”
Yuuji gets ready to begin the summon the moment I open the door, getting ready to enter. Eh? What do we do if it won't open? If that ends up happening, the lock might be destroyed due to some unfortunate accident. It's good that the door is unlocked, for everyone's sake.
I heard Yuuji say this keyword the instant I entered the room. This is the power of the platinum bracelet we got during the school festival, and because of this, ability, we can summon monsters even without any teacher around.
Once the bracelet's activated, Yuuji hurries into the principal's office. Alright.
“I just need to call out the summoned beast and wreck the principal's office...”
“Well, the problem is that it's not going to be that easy.”
“Oh? That certainly is an unexpected reaction. I thought you would be a little more surprised.”
Takashiro-sempai appears in front of us, looking rather relaxed as he smiles.
“If you don't mind, can you please tell me how did you find me here? Even though I had to reveal my location, you probably would not be able to track me if you aren't at the headquarters.”
Takashiro-sempai asked Yuuji, looking rather interested. Yuuji merely snorted however, don't ask such a stupid question, seemingly saying this as he answered.
“I didn't have any proof about that. It's just a guess.”
“A guess, huh?”
“Yeah. I do know that you're a smart guy. I also know how naive my strategy is.”
Looking at what he did up till now, we can guess that Takashiro-sempai has managed to predict all the situations till now. Naturally, neither Yuuji nor Kirishima-san may be able to predict such situations, let alone me, but Takashiro-sempai was certainly able to do so.
“Therefore, if this is really the case, I just made my guess according to those facts. I don't know what your assumptions are, but I can be certain that my strategy was seen through.”
One can say that was definitely Yuuji's way of assuming that our strategy was seen through right from the beginning. Because of that, the plan Yuuji thought of was simple.
“Oh great...after all that planning, you still left everything to me. That's certainly a lazy strategy.”
“Shut up. This is a battle with a girl on the line, right? You better do this properly.”
If Takashiro-sempai wasn't here, I'll be the one destroying the target (computer). This little ploy doesn't exist now.
“Since you thought of everything till you, you never assumed that I would gather lots of fighting strength, did you?”
“Not at all. There's not much space to allocate so many people, and it'll be difficult not to attract attention if you move so many people to such a seemingly meaningless place.”
“And more importantly, you have a score to settle with Akihisa over Himeji. Isn't it right that as a man, you want a head-on duel?”
Once Yuuji said this, Takashiro-sempai looked really delighted as he answered.
“That certainly is the case. You really know a man's romance, Sakamoto-kun.”
Yuuji looks rather depressed, probably because he was teased by everyone for being romantic to Kirishima-san just now.
“Now then, I can't waste that much time along with you guys. I'll leave it to you, Akihisa.”
“I certainly will not do anything classless.”
As Takashiro-sempai had said, it certainly will be hard to imagine him calling for reinforcements after this conversation, though it's not a bad thing to be careful now.
I stare at Takashiro-sempai, getting ready in front of the principal's desk, and call out my summoned beast.
The summoned beast I'm very familiar with appears from the patterned array, and there's practically no difference from the first time it was summoned other than the clothing material. The weapon I've been using all this time has been the wooden sword, to a point where I find it weird to use anything else.
“Then, I too will sum—”
I let my summoned beast run towards the principal's desk while Takashiro-sempai's about to call out his summoned beast. My aim isn't to beat this guy, so I have no reason to wait for him to call out his summoned beast. I'll destroy the desk along with the computer using this strength several times that of a human's, and if there's nothing, I'll just destroy the entire room!
Using the forward momentum, my summoned beast swings the wooden sword down—and at that moment.
“It's not always an advantage to be able to touch physical objects.”
My summoned beast was knocked into the bookshelf on the desk.
I couldn't believe my eyes. Thi-This upperclassman, did he...
“Did you just throw the summoned beast aside?”
“No no no. Only Nishimura-sensei is able to do such a thing. I merely added a little force and changed its direction.”
Takashiro-sempai answered as he eased himself from a stance.
That movement just now was—
“Tch. You have fighting experience huh...looks like you're more than what your appearance seems.”
“I didn't know why so many people hated me back then, and in middle school, I occasionally attended a dojo.”
Takashiro-sempai merely answered Yuuji's words with a smile.
“...But it's merely to an amateurish level. I probably would not be able to pull this off if Yoshii Akihisa-kun had not been careless.”
And then, he continued on, smiling at me this time.
I'll definitely be lying if I said that I was wary of him, but it's really unexpected to see him actually fight a summoned beast with his physical body...!
“But even so, after saying such words, you never waited for me to call out my summoned beast in the slightest...you really will do anything to win, though I had more or less expected it.”
He actually could counter this action, and it's really too much that he was able to read out actions like this. Guess I got no choice but to fight him head on!
“You understand, Akihisa?”
In response to Yuuji's voice, I nod silently.
Humanities, 3-A, Takashiro Masaharu, 375 points (Geography)
Humanities, 2-F, Yoshii Akihisa, 302 points (Japanese History)
I see that the indicated subject beside the score is humanities. To be honest, I'm really grateful for this.
“I heard that though you are of F class, your scores are beyond that level. Besides your best subjects, your scores are typically around 150 or so, right?”
“I can't consider myself a man if I let myself rot further after the insults you made.”
I really have lots of issues against this upperclassman. It started when he interfered by giving advice during our battle against C class, and then he shamed my friend, interrupted our battle against A class, and most importantly—he tried to reach for Himeji-san. With so many reasons now, I have lots of motivation to fight him...and this time, I have Yuuji helping me.
“This really is bad, is it not? This is the one case I really wanted to avoid, seeing you get such a high score through your own ability, Yoshii-kun.”
What he said wasn't unreasonable. This battle is advantageous for us in that we can win in 2 ways—either to destroy the computer, our main aim, or to beat this upperclassman in front of us.
“In this situation, I might be able to beat you and win this summoning war for the 2nd years, Takashiro-sempai.”
If it were any other subject, I could only aim to destroy the target, make use of the good position to drag it into the attack, and destroy it. I now have another way to attack however, and looking at the current situation, I made the best possible move.
“I see. Deary me, I really am in a pinch.”
“I'll make that relaxed look on your face disappear.”
Takashiro-sempai's summoned beast is now facing off against mine.
I thought his summoned beast would be something like a knight from a story, but it unexpectedly turns out to be a samurai.
“This is going to be...a proper battle!”
“Though you did launch a surprise attack just now...”
I first let the summoned beast charge towards Takashiro-sempai's summoned beast, and not the desk to observe the situation. I pretend to swing the wooden sword down, but I'm really aiming at giving a sweeping kick. I'll see how he handles this attack, and then I'll see how good he is!
“Hm, that level of control is as the rumors say. The motions are really fluid.”
He parried my wooden sword with his own sword, and lifted his leg slightly to dodge my sweeping kick. If that wasn't enough, he tried to aim for my leg that had missed its attack.
I tried to balance myself after missing my footing, and focused on trying to regain my balance. I guess I'm lucky that he didn't try to attack me, whether it was because he was relaxed, or because he was testing me.
“Wait...hold on a moment...that level of control is the same as Akihisa...!?”
Yuuji could only exclaim in shock upon seeing this battle.
Humph Takashiro-sempai chuckled as he scratched his head, saying,
“You really do not know anything, huh?”
“Wh-What do you mean?”
“Do I have to tell you how many menial tasks I was bluffed into doing before the 'Punishment Inspector' was introduced?”
No, erm...we're in the middle of an important battle here. If you're trying to act cool...
“Akihisa...there's no one else more suited to be your opponent.”
“Stop it! Don't put me on the same level as him!”
“Hm...I suppose I was insulted in some way there.”
I do have mixed feelings having such an opponent getting everything before I did.
“It looks like there are quite some misunderstandings between us. How about we talk a little to understand each other better?”
“Too bad, we don't have the time—!”
“Haha, you certainly look busy there.”
I don't know what he's aiming at delaying things like this, but there's no benefit for me. I won't gain anything from chit-chatting with him, and it's most important to decide this battle on the summoned beasts.
I continue to launch one attack after another, using the power from my high score and all the moves I practiced. However, Takashiro-sempai was always able to dodge using tiny movements and parry my attacks through attacks of similar power.
“You're rather good to be able to match Akihisa when he has those points. You're not normal after all.”
“It is a pleasure to be praised by you, Sakamoto Yuuji-kun.”
My battle with Takashiro-sempai continued while they're talking. It looks like he's only focused on defending, and isn't doing anything to attack.
“What are you waiting for, Takashiro-sempai?”
We don't have much time in the first place, since the other 3rd years will know that we're here. Himeji-san can't possibly hold them off for too long.
But it'll be foolish if I too mess up here. Takashiro-sempai may be aiming for this, and I have to be careful no matter what; I have to attack actively using my advantage.
“Since you're going to focus on defending, I'm going to do something else”
I do have a time limit, but there are two ways to win. If I beat Takashiro-sempai, let's change to Plan B!
First, I aim at Takashiro-sempai's summoned beast like before, and swing my wooden sword down. Once I find that he's preparing to dodge, I'll let my summoned beast jump behind a certain desk. If he decides to defend against me, he won't be able to stop me.
I'll jump onto the computer on the desk Right after I thought of this.
I felt my arm being grabbed weakly. Ah...this is bad—!
My summoned beast got thrown out again, and Takashiro-sempai was standing leisurely by the side again. Ugh...! I forgot about that...!
“Leaving aside the fact that it is a battle between summoned beasts, I do not think it is despicable for me to personally interfere when you are trying to destroy property, no?”
As he said, it isn't despicable since I did attempt to do what he said. Also, there's no rule in the summoning war saying that 'humans can't do anything to summoned beasts personally'.
“This really is getting a little tough...”
Takashiro-sempai's summoned beast is strong, and he can personally block me from destroying the computer. It's also against the rules for me to attack Takashiro-sempai directly, so that of course is a no-go.
The controller itself is experienced in combat, and Takashiro-sempai's summoned beast is so strong. He must be really used to handling one on one battles.
In that case, the best option for me to take in this situation—
“Yoshii Akihisa-kun, how about we have a wager?'
“—Eh? A wager?”
This upperclassman just said something strange in this situation while I'm disadvantaged. How am I supposed to be free enough to bet on something in this battle?
“Yes, a bet. Let us have a woman on the line in this battle, without anyone else interfering. Do you not feel, after making it all the way here, that it is noble to fight over her?”
Takashiro-sempai never specifically mention who she is, but it's definitely Himeji-san. He intends to use her as part of our bet.
“...I don't want to bet on this while ignoring her wishes.”
Even if I do agree to this, it's meaningless if Himeji-san herself does not. Doesn't Takashiro-sempai understand this at all?
After hearing my solemn reply, Takashiro-sempai merely shook his head and answered,
“No no, the winner will not necessarily win her; this is not the basis of this bet. That is something she would have to agree with in the first place.”
“Then, what's the bet?”
“Between you and me, Yoshii Akihisa-kun, the loser will be unable to approach her. This is all.”
I see. It's true that her opinion doesn't matter here. Takashiro-sempai and I are the only ones who need to accept this.
“It is against my principles to use one's affections for another as a bet...but this is for the sake of Miss Himeji Mizuki's future. It will be really great if you can accept it.”
For Himeji-san's 'future' this sounds really annoying to me, and I can't help but emphasize my tone.
“...What are you trying to say?”
If it's that me being near Himeji-san will bring her unhappiness, if that's what he's saying, I can't pretend to ignore it.
“Akihisa, don't listen to any taunts the enemy makes.”
Yuuji advised me, probably worried that Takashiro-sempai might have some intentions. He's simply worrying too much though. This upperclassman is the reason for Himeji-san's unhappiness.
“It's fine Yuuji. Let him say whatever he wants. He needs to know what reality is.”
And also, maybe I might be able to understand what Himeji-san has been troubled about recently.
Upon hearing me say this, “Thank goodness”, Takashiro-sempai nodded in satisfaction. His reactions really annoy me.
“Well then, since it will be crude to simply talk about this nicely, I shall get straight to the point.”
Ahemhe coughed pretentiously, and continued,
"Yoshii Akihisa-kun, your existence and future will hinder the future potentials Miss Himeji Mizuki might possess.”
My value of worth was completely ignored by him, and I become more forceful in my tone,
“...What do you mean by that?”
“Do you understand Miss Himeji Mizuki's personality?”
“I guess. A little better than you, that is, sempai.”
I smile leisurely, filled with hostility within.
“Then, do you know of her going overseas in an exchange program with our sister school?”
For an instant, I could not understand what Takashiro-sempai meant when he said that, and I accidentally blurted out.
It seems Takashiro-sempai wants me to hear this again as he repeated his words another time.
“I am asking if you heard that Miss Himeji Mizuki is going overseas for an exchange program with another school?”
I couldn't hide my shock at these words.
But after hearing them, I started to think about lots of things.
Himeji-san has been looking weird whenever she was called to the principal's office.
Linne-kun isn't just some 'foreign student', but a 'foreign exchange student'.
Himeji-san and Takashiro-sempai did have some deep talk between them.
He started to explain everything.
“The treatment over there is just like A class, and living overseas is also an important experience as part of one's growth. You do think that this is also a good thing for her, no?”
I can't deny that at all. I don't know what Himeji-san herself thinks, but normally, she'll get a better studying environment if she goes overseas.
Because of this, I can understand what Takashiro-sempai meant when he talks about 'Himeji-san's potentials'.
“Why're you saying that I'm stopping Himeji-san?”
I don't know what he meant when he said my existence will only hinder her. I don't understand this at all. It's true that I'll be sad if Himeji-san leaves, but I won't stop her. I didn't know about this at all, and even if I want to stop her, I can't.
While I'm feeling skeptical, my opponent lets out a sigh.
“I do not wish to mention this to you, but it will be great if you can understand...”
“Sorry, I'm not a smart guy in any way.”
Guess I've got no choice, Takashiro-sempai gave such an expression once he heard my reply, and started talking as if he's lecturing me.
“I heard that you've been fighting summoning wars so that Miss Himeji can get A class treatment.”
I didn't answer.
The opponent continues on selfishly as if his words were confirmed.
“This is a fact even I, as a 3rd year, can find out simply through some investigations. Miss Himeji Mizuki also does know your motives for participating in the summoning wars, right?”
I still didn't answer.
“Then, think about Miss Himeji Mizuki's position given her personality. You should be able to know the answer then, right?”
In terms of ability, she's at class A's level, and while us class F was fighting class A, she got news about going overseas to study—
“Even if there was a superior proposal, how would anyone think if he knows of someone fighting for his sake? As you know, Yoshii Akihisa-kun, Miss Himeji Mizuki is very kind, and certainly she would only have one thought.”
Don't let everything go to waste...there's no doubt Himeji-san will have such thoughts, even if she has to bury her own future.
In other words, my efforts to get class A's facilities for Himeji-san will be—
“That is why she cannot talk about going overseas to study. Your wishes to beat class A is the reason why she would abandon her own future and stay in this school, no? Your efforts and kind intentions were the cause of it.”
I suddenly recalled that when we were fighting against Kirishima-san and class A, Takashiro-sempai asked me something strange.
“Yoshii Akihisa-kun. When a person with ability, but is unfairly treated, tries to get back the position he deserves, will you step in to interfere?”
Now I finally understand the meaning behind that question.
I thought Takashiro-sempai was the one stopping her...but that's wrong. The one stopping her is—!
“It seems you have understood.”
Sempai showed a depressed look, seemingly trying to console me.
I didn't say anything as I continue to listen to him.
“And then, once you know this truth, she will be be troubled all the more and say some kind lies to rationalize your actions? At that moment, I hope that you will make the correct response.”
It seemed he was done with whatever he wanted to say as he continues to look at me without saying anything.
I see. It's because of that reason that he made just a bet...I understand.
Anyway, what I have to do now is—
“...Akihisa, go retreat to Shimada's group for now. We'll get our field into theirs and start an 'interference'.”
Yuuji's voice echoes in the room, probably trying to snap me out of my thoughts.
“Eh, what're you saying, Yuuji? How can we run away without doing anything?”
“Just give up. This upperclassman's a lot more prepared than you imagined. You can't possibly complete the objective in such a situation.”
Prepared? I don't understand what Yuuji's saying here. There aren't any ambush forces here, just a simple battle of points, and we do have a good chance of winning here. No, I would say that there's still a second option, so I have some advantage against this upperclassman in a one-on-one battle.
Takashiro-sempai asks, seemingly expressing my thoughts.
“Oh, Sakamoto Yuuji-kun, I do think it's disadvantageous to retreat in such a situation. Do you really think this is a good option?”
“Yeah, we're retreating. Though you're easy to bluff, it doesn't mean that you're bad at bluffing others, right?”
“...What do you mean by that?”
“Your expression sure changed there. Are you really bothered that we're running away?”
Both of them continued to talk.
“Yes, of course I would. Yoshii Akihisa-kun is strong in battle, and so is Miss Himeji Mizuki. It would be fine if you had understood what I was getting at just now, but I cannot allow you to escape.”
“Ha, such ridiculous words you say. What I think is that you just don't want Himeji and Akihisa to have a chat over this by settling this as quickly as possible.”
Yuuji gave a taunting look.
“I truly believe this is an incorrect decision—but even if I do say so, you would not listen to my words, I suppose.”
Takashiro-sempai said, and sighed.
“Then, I shall add on to the bet.”
He takes out a familiar looking letter from his uniform pocket.
...That's the thing Linne-kun tried to pass to me—
“A few days ago, I received this letter from Mr Linne Klein. I assumed he would write something related to this summoning war, information that was overly unnecessary to you...”
“This summoning war? What do you mean? What happened?”
“There is no need for you to know. I think you should have it though, Yoshii Akihisa-kun.”
His stare at me has some deep meaning behind it. I should have this? What does he mean?
“As it is written here, it is a diary of a certain female, translated into Japanese. It was originally written in a foreign language, and it seemed Mr Linne Klein wanted to hand it to you after he translated it.”
Suddenly, I remembered a foreign notebook I gave to Linne-kun before the start of our summoning war against class A. Was that a diary?
“I do apologize, but I did some form of investigation to check if he had written any unnecessary information. Of course, the truth was that I was being too paranoid.”
Takashiro-sempai calmly said.
He read the diary? Whose? What's written on it? Is it alright if others know about this?
“This diary contains undiluted love expressed to a certain boy, how she liked 'him', and what sort of hero 'he' is to her.”
This was a diary dropped in class F.
A diary belonging to a girl.
Written in a foreign language.
This is written...with a feeling of not wanting others to know about it.
“I do believe the name of the diary's owner is—Miss Shimada Minami.”
At that instant, I heard something snap within me.
“Stop it, Akihisa! That's Takashiro's taunt!”
Yuuji binds me back by locking me in a Nelson's hold, and I try my best to break free from it as I growled at that guy,
“HAND IT OVER TO ME, YOU SCUMBAG!”
“I do find it surprising to be called a scumbag. I did not read it to peek on her feelings.”
“What are you surprised about when you yapped about wanting to use it as a bet!”
“I am doing all of these for Miss Himeji Mizuki's future. I will gladly accept the task even if these acts are seen as twisted and diabolic. This is no different from what you have been doing till now, and you have no right to despise me now, do you?”
“SHUT UP! DON'T SAY SUCH ANNOYING NONSENSE!”
I couldn't move, but my summoned beast could.
I let my summoned beast, which has been on standby till now, attack Takashiro-sempai directly.
“You idiot! That large movement will only get beaten through!”
At the same time Yuuji lashed out, Takashiro-sempai's summoned beast stabs at mine from the side.
“...Tch! Don't—get in my way!”
I block that sword with my wooden sword, and then hit out at the interfering summoned beast.
The enemy dodges the attack by twisting its body slightly, and ducked down to send a sweeping kick to me.
“You're a nuisance!”
I stamp at the incoming sweeping kick to deal with the enemy's attack, and the enemy frantically kneels down to try and dodge my attack.
“You are able to perform like this even in such a situation...you certainly are not an enemy I can let my guard down against, Yoshii Akihisa-kun.”
“Shut up! I'll smash you to bits!”
“Huh, I guess it is to be expected that you are being so angry after all. You know that your efforts to help Miss Himeji Mizuki are only hindering her, and I pointed out the hypocrisy in your actions. You have no way to argue back even after being told off, and your embarrassment over your failure led to your anger.”
“Shut up shut up SHUT UP!”
If not for this guy, Himeji-san will definitely tell me everything.
If not for this guy, Minami's diary won't be seen!
If not for this guy—!
“Do you truly understand? I merely explained all the facts to you. No matter whether I am around, Miss Himeji Mizuki will still be in a dilemma between your actions and going overseas, and Miss Shimada Minami will never be able to hide her secret because you read it, right?”
The enemy didn't attack furiously, instead dodging at me all the time. I really want to make that bastard shut up, but there's still no development in the battle.
“That's enough—I heard enough of those disgusting words.”
But I have an ability that can overcome the current situation.
I call out the keyword.
This keyword allows me to call out another summoned beast.
Another magic array appears beside my feet, and there appears another familiar of mine.
I let the main beast attack the right arm of the enemy, and the sub beast attack the left arm, using the wooden sword to block the sides.
“So now it has arrived, this power that is said to be able to overpower Nishimura-sensei...!”
Takashiro-sempai's expression changed.
The enemy twists its body to dodge the wooden sword attacking the head, and barely managed to dodge the other attack using a sword. He's not used to fighting against many people after all, just as I expected! Him trying to stop me is suicidal!
I let my main summoned beast attack the enemy, and the instant he stops, I'll let the sub beast swing—
At that moment,
My two summoned beast can't move.
“Chance for me, I guess.”
The enemy didn't allow this opportunity to get away as it broke free from the tussle and gets into attack position. Tch...! It's fine! I'm able to take it given my points!
Once I realize that my summoned beast's unable to move for some reason, I try my best to think of how to fight back.
On the other hand, the enemy turns the blade back and attacks the wooden sword from below, attacking the arms of the summoned beast that is unable to move. A reverse blade? Is he going easy on me?
“Are you...making fun of me...!?”
And then, I feel a sharp pain in my left arm. Naturally, I want to use my right hand to hold it.
“It will be the other side this time around.”
I feel an equal amount of pain on the right side this time.
The sharp pain caused my arms to go numb and slump weakly.
“And then, over here.”
I can't resist as I can only watch the enemy send a kick at the abdomen.
An unspeakable amount of pain overcomes my entire body.
My arms are numb, and I can't hold onto my hurting areas, so I ended up kneeling on the floor. It hurts! ...I can't take it...I'm...suffocating...!
“You do not have to worry. It is simply a feedback of the pain, and there will not be any wounds. Even so, I did hit the areas where the pain would focus, so the feedback this time will be 100 times that of the usual.”
I feel a pain stronger than the pain in my arms overcoming my body, rendering me unconscious
I'm rolling on the floor in pain, unable to even kneel.
“..You bastard, you actually did such a despicable thing...!”
“Yoshii Akihisa-kun is an opponent that cannot be dealt with using ordinary methods. Please allow me to capitalize on the weaknesses of the 'Punishment Inspector'.”
I groan. The sharp pain is causing a shock in my heart, and no matter how I try to open my mouth, I can't breath. My numb arms mean that I can't put my hands on my belly to adjust my breathing. It hurts...! It really hurts...! It's unbearable...!
“And now for the final blow.”
“Is there something, Sakamoto Yuuji-kun?”
“...We lose. I surrender. Don't let Akihisa suffer like this.”
“Ah, thank goodness. I do not wish for others to suffer in futility, so—”
“It looks like he still does not wish to give up, but that is all.”
I could control my summoned beast without any issues up till now, and now I cannot give any instructions at all. Damn it..why can't I move...!?
“That truly is an amazing amount of will you have. A hit in the solar plexus would bring about a diabolic amount of pain.”
I still can't breath, and I can't even feel all my pain fully, let alone recover.
In my mind, now devoid of oxygen, the only thing running within is the aim to beat this opponent in front of me.
“But I am not a merciless person, so I shall not cause him further pain in this situation. Besides, Yoshii Akihisa-kun is unable to do anything now.”
“What's going on? Why do you say he can't do anything?”
“Pardon me for not stating things clearly. I do not mean Yoshii Akihisa-kun himself, but that his summoned beasts cannot do anything.”
My summoned beasts can't move no matter how much I try. Why...! Is it because I can't focus in my pain...!?
“The 'Punishment Inspector' is a unique summoned beast, but you often focus on your advantages and underestimate others. It is the same for the platinum bracelets.”
“I heard there is a defect in this bracelet. For example, it will short-circuit when used by those with high scores.”
Takashiro-sempai's words enter my mind in the midst of my pain and agony.
How Yuuji and I got the platinum bracelets. Right, it's because there's a defect in them that the principal gave it to us.
“Yoshii Akihisa-kun's strength is a threat, and even with such a score he had, the flaw in the bracelet could not be activated. I might not be able to win if he uses the two summoned beasts then.”
“So you've been taunting Akihisa before the war even started...! That's just to get him to activate the flaw in the bracelet?”
“That is how it is. Yoshii Akihisa-kun's competitiveness really helped me out here.”
In other words, I've been toyed by him right from the get-go? Is that it...?
“The efforts you put in to win ended up being the cause of your downfall, and your efforts for Miss Himeji Mizuki caused her anguish—I can understand your pain here, Yoshii Akihisa-kun.”
Upon hearing Takashiro-sempai's pity, I end up in a great amount of despair as I kneel on the floor in pain and agony.
It's fine if everything I did till now is futile. It's not something to be happy about, but it's not a rare thing for an idiot like me to work hard and get nothing in the end.
But it's different this time.
My efforts for us ended up causing trouble for my important friend—and the person I like. This isn't a case of futility, but unnecessary efforts.
What did Himeji-san think when she heard me say that 'we're going to beat class A'? Did she find it stupid when there was a better choice for her, or did she feel sad for me?
—No, it'll be great if she really thinks that way. That's some sort of salvation for me.
Himeji-san isn't someone who'll think like that however.
Himeji-san's heart has been aching whenever she looks at me. Because of that, she must have been depressed.
“...Am I...in the way...”
I inadvertently utter these words.
“It is truly a pity, Yoshii Akihisa-kun. There is only one thing you can do, and that is to back out obediently and not say anything ridiculous. This is the best choice both for you and for her.”
As Takashiro-sempai has said, even if I say to Himeji-san that 'I'm beating class A for my own sake', she won't believe it. Instead of being presumptuous in getting class A's facilities, letting her stay in class F without any illness...
Right when I can't tell whether the continuous amount of pain was coming from within me.
The principal's office door opens with a creak.
“Eh...? Takashiro-sempai? Why...?”
A familiar girl appears there.
She probably came to check on us because the summoning system isn't destroyed yet, right? Anyway, she so happened to be here, right at this moment.
“Akihisa-kun, what did you say to Takashiro-sempai...”
It was a voice I could recognize straight away.
There's no need to explain, for the atmosphere surrounding us explained everything clearly.
At the moment Yuuji called out to me, I felt a feedback in my body. My summoned beasts were probably kicked away by Yuuji.
“...Sakamoto Yuuji-kun. This act seems to be against the rules.”
“Sorry, I slipped trying to get close in my panic.”
I look on, and find that the enemy's summoned beast stabbed through where my summoned beast was at. He probably did that to prevent my summoned beast from being attacked, I guess?
“Do you wish for a rematch, Yoshii Akihisa-kun? Since Miss Himeji Mizuki has arrived, I suppose my allies will come soon.”
Takashiro-sempai points at my summoned beast, which is already unable to move.
No, it's the same whether I fight back on now. Right now, I'm...
“Please wait, Takashiro-sempai. I wish to say some things to Akihisa-kun just for a while.”
“Normally, I would listen to your requests no matter what, Miss Himeji Mizuki...but a duel is a duel.”
Unlike before, Takashiro-sempai has become really competitive as he rejected Himeji-san's request.
But to be honest, I'm really grateful that he's showing such an attitude right now. Even if I do talk to Himeji-san, I don't know how to handle what's next.
“I shall formally apologize for my refusal when we are alone together.”
Takashiro-sempai's summoned beast attacks mine.
At this moment, Himeji-san's summoned beast appears and rushes in, looking like it wishes to let my summoned beast escape.
“2-F's Himeji Mizuki proposes a challenge against Takashiro-sempai in place of Yoshii Akihisa-kun.”
Humanities, 3-A, Takashiro Masaharu, 375 points (Geography)
Humanities, 2-F, Himeji Mizuki, 87 points (Japanese History)
Himeji-san's summoned beast readies its weapon, and the score's shown.
“Miss Himeji Mizuki, I do have to praise you for not giving up on your classmates, but you may be overestimating yourself a little too much fighting me with such scores.”
He probably expected that Himeji-san used up quite some points before getting here, as he doesn't look wary at all even after seeing her summoned beast.
“I know that I alone can't beat you, Takashiro-sempai.”
My summoned beast can't move because of the defect in the bracelet, and Himeji-san's summoned beast has used up a lot of points. In contrast, we're facing an enemy with high scores and top-notch skills.
This situation is despairing.
“...Yuuji, if you don't want to give up on this summoning war, cancel this field and run out with Himeji-san.”
I say to Yuuji. He's probably thinking about how to overturn this situation, right?
“...What about you?”
Yuuji asks calmly.
I stare at the summoning field in silence.
Himeji-san's summoned beast has been hacking hard at Takashiro-sempai, but it's only a matter of time before she's beaten.
It's impossible for everyone to escape in this situation, and I can't help out.
“I want to think about some things, in the detention room...”
I'll just stay here and let Yuuji and Himeji-san retreat. According to the rules of the summoning war, if the participant ends the battle on his own will, that person will be disqualified for running away from the enemy in battle. In that case, I should stay here since I can't fight, and let them escape.
Right when I want to say this to Yuuji, Himeji-san says to Yuuji,
“Sakamoto-kun, please bring Akihisa-kun back to Shouko-chan and the rest. You should be able to understand who's more likely to survive, me with the higher scores, or Akihisa-kun.”
Himeji-san stares at Yuuji seriously.
After hearing Himeji-san's words, Yuuji decided.
He grabs me by the chest and forces me to stand up with all his strength when I'm unable to even move, dragging me to the window. Is this guy seriously going to leave Himeji-san behind here...?
“Wait Yuuji, it's meaningless for me to survive now. You better escape with Himeji-san.”
“Shut up, enough with the grumbles.”
Yuuji completely ignores me as he drags me along, planning to escape.
But I just wish to say something.
“But Yuuji...even if we can escape, I can't possibly do my best to survive...”
What'll happen if I continue to work hard? The more I work hard, wouldn't Himeji-san feel more troubled and give up on the better future she has?
Suddenly, I recall two scenes in my mind.
One of it was the scene I saw after school when we were in elementary school.
A girl was writing silently on the blackboard under the glow of the sunset.
The other was during my elementary school days, at a certain hospital.
A girl sobbing as she studied in the quiet ward room.
This girl truly touched me for being so gentle, so hardworking. I definitely have to see that she gets what she deserves.
She's currently growing, trying her best to be recognized, her large winds about to meet the winds. There's nothing I can do now that I know that my actions will hinder her.
“Miss Himeji Mizuki, I do wish that Yoshii Akihisa-kun will stay right now. Please do not make me take you down.”
Himeji-san ignores Takashiro-sempai, who said such things, and she looks to be complaining about something as she looks at me, saying,
“I'm sorry for not saying this to you, Akihisa-kun. I know I shouldn't hide this from you, but I was wondering whether I should tell you this.”
“That is enough, Miss Himeji Mizuki. I hope you understand this is for your own good.”
Takashiro-sempai doesn't weaken his summoned beast's attacks.
Himeji-san continues to deal with the attacks as her points gets depleted as she says to me,
“Because if I told you that, you'll definitely tell me 'you should go', or something like that. I understand you'll say that for my sake, but I don't wish to hear you say anything like a farewell to me, Akihisa-kun.”
While Himeji-san's talking to me, Yuuji lifts me up onto the windowsill.
As she watches me, she says to me, crying yet smiling,
“Because—I like you, Akihisa-kun!”
The moment I heard these words, Yuuji's hands threw me out of the window.
And then, I was practically dragged away by Yuuji.
“Run, Akihisa! Himeji's efforts will be for naught if Takashiro catches up to us.”
For naught, my body naturally moved once I heard those words.
I'm thinking of not troubling Himeji-san again.
While I continue to run, my legs felt like they belong to someone else, and in my groggy mind, I think about what Himeji-san just said.
“Because—I like you, Akihisa-kun!”
Himeji-san said that she likes me, and because of that, she never talked about going overseas.
Her guess was correct. If I know that she's going overseas, where the conditions are better, I'll be hurt, but I'll definitely advise her to go. As for why, it's because it'll be simply stubborn for me to make her stay here.
She likes me, and doesn't want me to say any farewell to her, so she never said so. That's really a reasonable answer.
But Himeji-san said that she really likes me.
In the battle before this, Takashiro-sempai said,
“And then, once you know this truth, she will be be troubled all the more and say some kind lies to rationalize your actions?”
I'm shocked to know that my actions will hinder Himeji-san's future. Maybe she said she liked me to console me and tell me that my actions aren't hindering her.
Himeji-san said that her first love has yet to end, so I know I'm not the one she liked since elementary school...
“...Is it just as Takashiro-sempai said...”
I don't know where I escaped from since I was thinking. I continued to follow Yuuji as he continued to run to escape from the enemies, and recall the first time I met Himeji-san.