Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume7.5 Me and Doubt and a Man's Pride

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Me and Doubt and a Man's Pride[edit]

Me and Doubt and a Man's Pride

“Akihisa-kun, if I win the next round, can you please put on this girl's outfit?”

“Ahaha, you really like to joke around, Himeji-san.”

“Akihisa-kun, if I win the next round, can you please put on this girl's outfit?”

“Ahaha, your joke's quite good, Himeji-san.”

“Akihisa-kun, if I win the next round, can you please put on this girl's outfit?”

“Aha...ha, really, Himeji-san, you really like to joke around. Is that it? That should be a joke, right?”

“Akihisa-kun, if I win the next round, can you please put on this girl's outfit?”

“HIMEJI-SAN! I BEG OF YOU, HURRY UP AND TELL ME THAT WAS A JOKE!”

“...Yuuji, I'll make you take off your pants when you lose next time.”

“Shouko! Don't think you can beat me every time...you're the one stripping next!”

As we hold our cards in one hand, the atmosphere around us felt abnormally tense.

“Oi, Yuuji...how did it end up like this?”

“How would I know...”

Right now, Yuuji and I could only look up and sigh.



--Everything started from something trivial.

“Everyone, since we're free, want to play doubt?”

As the teachers had to organize a staff meeting, lessons ended earlier today, so I took out my poker cards and asked Yuuji, Hideyoshi and Muttsurini.

“Doubt? Are you talking about poker?”

“Yeah.”

I nodded at Yuuji. It's not as well-known as old maid or sevens, but 'doubt' can be said to be a rather well-known poker card game, so quite a few people should know it.

“What's the matter, Akihisa? Did you have a lot of money recently?”

“Sort of. There hadn't been any new games released that I had to buy recently.”

The reason why Yuuji asked me whether I was well-off was simple, and to be honest, this wasn't something worth showing off, but we do bet when we play poker games. A loser who lost once had to treat everyone juice, 3 times would be Gyudon, and a hamburger set after 5 losses. The level of treat would continue to increase with the number of games. I was thoroughly beaten the last time, so I had to treat them hamburger sets. This time, I have to win.

“...I don't mind.”

“The drama club had no practice today. I can play with you guys.”

“Count me in too. How can I let you go off with free money without squeezing you dry?”

Seems like they never thought that they would lose anyway as they accepted my proposal without thinking. They must be waiting to see me lose terribly like the last time right? Damn it, I'll make your smiles become crying faces of despair!

“Then it's decided. Rules are as per normal, right?”

After everyone nodded their heads in agreement, I started to shuffle and distribute the cards.

Now, let me explain the rules of doubt first.

1.When the first person (to us, the one who got Ace of spades) shout 'A', he has to put the card face down (it doesn't matter whether it's Ace or not).

2.Then, we continue to call '2', '3', '4' to 'Jack' Queen' 'King' as we throw out cards (for example, if the order is me→Yuuji→Muttsurnini→Hideyoshi, I'll call 'Ace', Yuuji will call '2', Muttsurini will call '3', and Hideyoshi will be '4'. Everyone will throw the number of the card they have, and after 'King' is called, we'll start from 'Ace' again).

3.The number that was called need not be the same as the card that was thrown to the center, but if someone called 'doubt' and the card did not match the number, the one doubting had to keep all the cards back.

4.On the other hand, if someone called doubt and the card was the same as the number given, the one who called 'doubt' would have to take back all the cards.

5.Amongst the participants, if one player has only 2 cards left, the game would be over. At this point, everyone would see how many cards the remaining players have to decide the loser.

That's basically the gist of it.

Normally, the rules of doubt state that we have to play until someone doesn’t have any cards left, but we’ll end up playing on non-stop, so we came up with special rules. Once someone has 3 cards left, the person will win if one of the remaining cards is one that he needs to call. Even if he lies, he’s the winner of this game of doubt if he’s not caught.

“Oh, I’ll start first then, ‘Ace’!”

Yuuji threw a card face down at the middle. That must be the Ace of spades, right?

“I’ll throw ‘2’ then.”

Then, Hideyoshi threw his card out. There are only 4 cards with the same number. If I have four ‘2’s in my hand, I can tell that Hideyoshi’s lying…but my hand has a ‘2’, so it’s not enough proof to call doubt.

“…‘3’.”

Muttsurini threw his card down, and it’s finally my turn. I need to call ‘4’, uu…too bad I don’t have a ‘4’ in my hand. Oh well, I guess it should be alright. They can’t possibly call doubt on me so early now, so I just need to slip a card through. Since I have three ‘10’s in my hand, I’ll just use one.

“‘4’.”

“““DOUBT!!!”””

I took back the 4 cards immediately.

“Uu…humph! That’s part of the plan, no problems at all.”

“Really, your expression can’t fool anyone.”

“Yeah, Akihisa’s ‘it’s okay to bluff since it’s just the beginning’ attitude was really obvious.”

“…You’re really not suited to playing poker.”

Damn it, you guys just had to say it.

It’s alright though. The game’s just beginning, and I only took 4 cards. There’s still time for a turnaround.

“No problems. I’m different from you guys. I won’t show my cards foolishly like that right at the beginning. You’ll suffer in the end anyway.”

I gathered the 4 cards and added them to my hand.

The cards I got were,

‘6’, ‘9’, ‘Jack’.

“…You guys…none of you…! Nobody was honest at all!”

At least there was no need to bluff for the first ‘Ace’.

“Stop yapping, Akihisa. Hurry up and put your card down.”

“Humph, I know that without you telling me, liar Yuuji.”

As I interrupted the game when I called ‘4’, I have to start now. In this situation, the person starting the game can call whatever number he likes. If that’s the case…since I have two ‘5’s, let’s start from 5 then.

“My turn, ‘5’.”

“‘6’.”

“‘7’ then.”

“…‘8’.”

The game continued smoothly. Nobody called doubt on me when I called ‘9’ and threw ‘Jack’.

As the game progressed, the cards started to accumulate, and the pressure that came was even greater.

Also, as of now,


‘’’Me: 13 cards, Yuuji: 9 cards, Hideyoshi: 9 cards, Muttsurini: 10 cards, center: 11 cards.’’’


At this point, if someone’s lie was seen through, he has to take 11 cards, and if someone failed in calling doubt, he will take 11 cards too. This made us unable to take action simply.

“…‘3’.”

After I called ‘King’, Yuuji called ‘Ace’, Hideyoshi called ‘2’, and Muttsurini silently threw ‘3’. Now, it’s my turn to call ‘4’…this is bad. I didn’t expect this round to last this long. Now I have to call ‘4’ when I don’t even have one—nn?

“? What’s wrong, Akihisa?”

“No, it’s nothing.”

Looking closely at my hands, I do have a ‘4’ after all. Maybe it’s because I didn’t see it since there were too many cards stuck between. How lucky.

“Here, ‘4’.”

“…Muu…”

Hideyoshi flinched, and the mouth that was slightly opened shut itself again. It seems that he didn’t intend on calling doubt. Even though he may be thinking that I was lying, my movements weren’t unnatural at all, so he wouldn’t dare to take action so quickly. Hideyoshi can really observe the changes in other people’s expressions.

“Akihisa, doubt.”

At this moment, Yuuji, who was beside me, called doubt. Under different situations, this guy’s relies more on logic than instincts. Maybe he felt that I didn’t have a ‘4’ in my hand because I was caught just now. Fufu, you big idiot!

“PRESENT FOR YOU!”

“WA! NO WAY!”

Yuuji reached out and opened the top most card that was face down. There’s nothing to say, that was a real ‘4’ of diamonds. Now Yuuji has to take more than 10 cards now.

“Damn it, this guy’s an idiot and yet he could still come up with tricks like that. Looks like you were setting bait at the first round, right?”

Yuuji murmured and kept the cards in the center.

Now, the number of cards in our hands changed.


‘’’Me: 12 cards, Yuuji: 22 cards, Hideyoshi: 9 cards, Muttsurini, 9 cards. Center: none.’’’


Right now, the situation is like this.

Let’s talk about something rather useless. After the game ended, Yuuji told me that he already had three ‘4’s in his hand, so once I bluffed in the beginning, he deduced that I didn’t have any ‘4’ in my hand. As for the others, even if they had a ‘4’ in their hands, he couldn’t take too much risk, so he would call doubt when I threw the card.

“Nice going, Akihisa. You nearly fooled me too.”

“…You’ve grown.”

Right now, how can I say that I didn’t notice the ‘4’ in my hand in the first place.

“Either way, I don’t want to be the loser. I’m broke this month. ‘10’!”

“I’m on a tight budget too. I definitely can’t lose to you guys. ‘Jack’.”

“…‘Queen’.”

Muttsurini stealthily threw his card out.

“Muttsurini, doubt.”

“…Damn it.”

On hearing Yuuji call doubt, Muttsurini could only keep the cards in the center back into his hand. Yuuji had so many cards, so he should have 4 ‘Queens’, right? I have to take note of that.”

After that, the game started as Muttsurini called ‘Ace’.


The game then continued.


Hideyoshi’s cards started to reduce one by one, and now, he had only 4 cards left. I’m next with 6 cards, and Yuuji and Muttsurini have so many cards that they didn’t look like there’s any difference.

“I call ‘3’.”

As Hideyoshi threw this card, there are 9 cards in the center. If these cards end up with Hideyoshi, I’ll definitely be the winner, but if I’m not careful, these cards may end up in my hand, and I’ll have to fight for last place with Yuuji and Muttsurini. In that case, Hideyoshi will have only 3 cards in his hand, and he would definitely consider hard before throwing the next card. Thus, now’s the time to decide the winner. What do I do now?

““…””

Yuuji and Muttsurini were hesitating if they should be calling doubt. If they let Hideyoshi go now, they’ll definitely lose, but once they fail, they’ll be in last place.

“Muttsurini, it’s your turn to call ‘4’.”

“…‘4’.”

As Hideyoshi prompted him, Muttsurini, who was still hesitation, hurriedly threw his card. Uu, that move was too strong! Anyone would throw the card out when they’re prompted at this moment.

“…Muu!”

Beside me, Yuuji gave a ‘we’ve been had’ look. In such a situation, the winner would be decided.

“I’m ‘5’ then.”

I threw a ‘5’ of hearts. Even if Hideyoshi wins this round, I’ll take second place, and at least I don’t have to treat them.

“I’m ‘6’.’

Yuuji called his own number and threw the card in his hand. Looking at things now, Muttsurini, who was in last place, didn’t move at all. Maybe he’s wondering whether Hideyoshi had a ‘7’ in his hand. Hideyoshi wouldn’t act rashly, and would likely choose to maintain the current ranking.

However, just when Hideyoshi was about to threw the final card,

“Eh? Akihisa-kun and everyone’s still in class?”

Himeji-san suddenly walked into the classroom, and she seemed to be holding something. I don’t know what she just went to do.

“Himeji-san, you didn’t go back with Minami?”

“No. Sensei asked me to help, so I was delayed till so late.”

Himeji-san smiled as she explained. It’s troublesome to help a teacher, but she didn’t look troubled at all. Himeji-san’s really a kind and understanding girl.

“And sensei even gave me chocolates as reward. Everyone, want some?”

Himeji-san opened the box in front of us. Since she most likely agreed to help, sensei was so nice to her. When Yuuji and I (were forced to) help, we never got any reward.

“Thanks. Then please wait until we play this game, okay?”

“Okay…oh yeah, what are you playing?”

“Ahh, we’re playing doubt, with bets on,”

Before we could even finish, I sense some movements on the corridor. This humid, humid and pressuring feeling…is that Ironman?

The other 3 who noticed the enemy’s presence also gave me a warning look. It’ll be bad if Ironman knew that we were playing poker cards, and that’s what they’re telling me with their eyes.

“A betting…game? What did you bet on?”

“Of, of course it’s not about money. Eh, it’s more about a penalty game, and that’s…”

For a moment, I couldn’t find any good excuse at all as I stuttered while I spoke.

Let me think…no betting, entertaining, and a penalty game that can be controlled until it’s not that cruel…

“We’re playing a penalty game where ‘the loser takes off two pieces of clothing, and the second-last will take off one’.”

“SOMEONE CALL THE AMBULANCE! MUTTSURINI’S DROWNING IN A POOL OF BLOOD!!”

Hideyoshi’s dangerous words immediately caused Muttsurini to fall to the edge of death.

“Take, taking off clothes…that won’t do! This penalty game’s too unhealthy!”

Though there’s no betting of money, taking off clothes didn’t seem right too. Ironman didn’t seem like he intended to enter the classroom, but this penalty game’s not too good. Did Hideyoshi misjudge?

“Why are you panicking, Himeji? Even if this penalty method isn’t worth praising, this little penalty isn’t worth being mindful about, right? Either way, I’m a real man after all “““DOUBT, HIDEYOSHI!!!!””” WAIT A MINUTE! WHY ARE YOU DUMPING ALL YOUR CARDS TO ME!?”

Now, Hideyoshi has 15 cards, and the winner can’t be decided now.

“An, anyway, we’re not betting money, and it’s not some unhealthy penalty. It’s just a simple poker card game. There shouldn’t be any problems, right?”

“Bu, but…”

Himeji-san still didn’t seem to agree.

It couldn’t be helped that she would feel this way. Even if everyone here is recorded to be a male, but Himeji-san, who treats everything seriously, obviously can’t possibly accept that we’re playing strip poker.

“But, Akihisa-kun’s interested in nude male bodies…”

“DOUBT!! HIMEJI-SAN, DOUBT!! OI, HIDEYOSHI! WHY ARE YOU THROWING THE CARDS HERE!? WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME CALLING DOUBT!?”

“Give it up, HIdeyoshi. These cards belonged to you once you were called doubt. When Akihisa threw his card, there wasn’t any new cards out at the center, so it’s pointless to call doubt now.”

“WAIT A MINUTE, YUUJI! DID YOU JUST AGREE WITH WHAT HIMEJI-SAN SAID IN A ROUNDABOUT MANNER!?”

These baseless and negative rumors spread out like this. Really, why do they think that I’m interested in guys?

“But, but, I still think that this penalty game’s bad…”

“No, no, no, things aren’t as bad as what you think.”

“That’s right. This level of penalty is rather common to us guys.”

“Everyone’s all guys. It’s alright if we’re not completely naked.”

“EHH!? WHEN DID EVERYONE COME BACK TO CLASS!?”

On hearing that someone was going to strip, unknowingly, everyone from F class gathered inside the classroom silently. Even the firemen who were specially trained would definitely be amazed by our unique gathering ability.


“YOSHII! I’LL LOOK DOWN ON YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IF YOU DARE TO LOSE!”

“SAKAMOTO, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WIN THIS EASILY, RIGHT!?”

“MUTTSURINI, IT’S JUST A FEW DROPS OF NOSEBLEED, DON’T LOSE! YOUR ABILITY SHOULDN’T BE JUST LIKE THIS, RIGHT!?”


Everyone was hoping for Hideyoshi to lose. To prevent the game from ending because of an accident, some students even formed a life-saving team and transfused blood into Muttsurini. How trained are they?

“NO NO! I SAID NO, NO MEANS NO! AKIHISA-KUN, STOP PLAYING AND HAVE SOME CHOCOLATE!”

To prevent our card game from continuing, Himeji-san deliberately changed the topic, opened the chocolate, and popped a piece into her mouth.

“Akihisa-kun, this chocolate’s really nice. You should try some…he….”

At this moment, Himeji-san suddenly went silent. What’s wrong? Was that box of chocolate bad?


“““CONTINUE! CONTINUE! CONTINUE”””


Everyone shouted out in unison, requesting for the game to continue.

Perhaps affected by this presence, Hideyoshi called “ha, ‘8’.” And threw the card out. Hideyoshi was used to lots of pressure on the performing stage, so for him to be this panicky, anyone can tell that the boys of F class are so perverted and horrifying.

“…‘9’.”

“I’m ‘10’ then.”

“’Jack’.”

“Then, I’m ‘Queen’.”

“Hideyoshi, doubt.”

At this moment, Yuuji caught Hideyoshi cheating. Right now, Yuuji had four ‘Queen’s in his hands, and it’s Yuuji’s hands, and it’s extremely important to be careful now. Unexpectedly though, Hideyoshi started from ‘8’. It seemed that this tremendous pressure rattled him.

Right now, the number of cards we have is as followed: me, 4 cards, Yuuji, 14 cards, Hideyoshi, 18 cards, and Muttsurini, 16 cards. I have the least cards, and Hideyoshi’s in last.

“KINOSHITA’S LAST! IS HE GOING TO TAKE OFF TWO CLOTHINGS!? HE’S GOING TO GO HALF-NAKED!?”

“DON’T LOSE, YOSHII! CHARGE TO THE FINISH LINE!”

“GO YOSHII! GO YOSHII!”


Once I throw in two more cards, I’ll definitely win this game, and Hideyoshi will end up having to take off two pieces of clothing. It’s to be expected that the atmosphere was this intense.”

“Mu, mu…”

Hideyoshi couldn’t help but moan. Looking at things now, he will lose, and because he knew that, he gave such a painful look.

“Can’t be helped then…since we’re all guys, even if you want me to take off two pieces of clothing…”

Hideyoshi murmured as he prepared his cards. At this moment—


“…(Thud).”


Hideyoshi collapsed onto the floor lifelessly. What happened?

“Ara ara, Kinoshita-san must be tired now.”

Himeji-san stood at where Hideyoshi was standing, holding a small handkerchief.

BTS vol 07.5 038.jpg

‘Tired’? She basically knocked Hideyoshi unconscious in a very suspicious manner…

“Really, since Kinoshita-san fell asleep, I’ll play the remaining game.”

Himeji-san gently picked up the unconscious Hideyoshi and even took a seat for him to lie down. That action’s really gentle…

“Oi, oi, Himeji, did your handkerchief have some drug on it?”

“No, Kinoshita-san was too tired.”

“Bu, but Hideyoshi was okay just now.”

“No, Kinoshita-san was too tired.”

As Himeji-san answered us just now, I seem to see a dead sea in her eyes.

Yuuji and I felt some uncomfortable sweat on our backs. Muttsurini twitched his nose and muttered,

“This sweet smell…trichloro—”


Swoosh—DONK.


“Ara ara, Tsuchiya-kun must be tired now.”

““MUTTSURINI!!!””

As she spoke halfway, Himeji-san’s handkerchief fluttered in mid-air, and that short moment destroyed Muttsurini’s consciousness. That handkerchief’s really dangerous!

“Really, let alone Tsuchiya-kun, Kinoshita-kun’s definitely tired. Wanting to strip in front of Akihisa-kun? That’s not something a normal person would do.”

“No…I think Himeji-san now is even weirder.”

If it were the normal Himeji-san, she’ll definitely not do that, right? I can’t tell what happened that caused her to do suchy a thing.

Suddenly, I glanced at the packaging of the chocolate box. The box had the large words ‘Bonn Whiskey’.

Oh, Bonn Whiskey…I seem to have heard of that before—wait, Bonn Whiskey!? Isn’t that something that has whiskey inside, right? That means Himeji-san’s drunk, right?”

“Akihisa-kun, what’s wrong?”

As she asked, Himeji-san grabbed another whiskey chocolate and put it into her mouth. Her face was completely red. I’m definitely right. The reason why Himeji-san couldn’t control herself must be because of that box of chocolate (with whiskey inside).

Since things ended up like this, it’ll be really bad on many different levels if the game continued. Should I ask that we end this game now?

“Eh, nothing. Speaking of which, since Muttsurini’s asleep now, there’s only 3 people left. This game can’t continue, so I think we might as well end this game—”

“End? Akihisa-kun, what are you saying? Aren’t there 4 people?”

“Eh?”

“…I’ll do my best.”

“Shouko! When did you…”

Muttsurini’s seat was taken by Kirishima-san out of a sudden. What’s going on!?

“…It’s a wife’s duty to forcefully strip a husband off his clothes.”

“Ahh damn it! I don’t know how to even comment about that.”

The participants changed, and unknowingly, this game of doubt ended up with me, Yuuji, Himeji-san and Kirishima-san as the participants.

Glancing at each other because of their sudden appearance, Yuuji and I looked mystified, and Himeji-san and Kirishima-san just sat on their seats and started talking.

“Ah, Shouko-chan, do you want some chocolate?”

“…Thank you.”

““ARRGGHHHH!!””

Before we could even stop them, Himeji-san passed the chocolate to Kirishima-san.

“…It’s nice.”

“It’s great that you like it. Please have as much as you want.”

“…Un.”

The first chocolate disappeared into Kirishima-san’s mouth. As expected of a girl, she didn’t resist the sweets at all. It’s not a bad thing to like sweets, but…

“Eh, Kirishima, are you alright?”

I timidly asked.

The problem’s with the alcohol in the chocolate. Though the chocolate doesn’t have too much alcohol, eating lots of it will increase the drunk feeling. Besides, the whiskey that in the chocolate is a powerful alcohol. Don’t tell me Kirishima-san’s drunk…

“…Alright? What do you mean?”

“No, well, that chocolate, it should have some alcohol inside it, right?”

On hearing my words, Kirishima-san nodded her head slightly and said,

“…It’s alright. The alcohol content of whiskey is only 40%. If this chocolate has 40% alcohol, it will only fill up 0.07% of my blood, so there won’t be any problems.”

“Is, is that so? That’s good.”

As expected of the valedictorian, she really counted it too quickly. She’s definitely not drunk,

“…This isn’t like the smart Yoshii I know, not being able to calculate such an easy thing.”

““SHE’S A LOST CAUSE!!!””

SHE’S DRUNK! KIRISHIMA-SAN’S DRUNK!

(What do we do now, Yuuji? The situation now looks really dangerous!)

(Even if you ask me, I…)

I kept my voice down and whispered to Yuuji.

The rules of this game had now become such that the loser has to strip. Never mind that this was a proposal Hideyoshi just mentioned, for some reason, Himeji-san and Kirishima-san were sitting at the table. This penalty’s really intimidating, and besides, we’re being watched by those guys from F class.

(Can’t be helped. Let’s hurry up and make them lose this game and end it before they strip.)

(Yeah. It’s better to win this and end this.)

When they need to face the (stripping) penalty, they will regain their senses because of shame. Once they regain their senses, it won’t be too difficult to ask them to stop.

Okay. Since it’s decided, let’s go!

“Himeji-san, doubt!”

“Too bad, Akihisa-kun.”

“Shouko, doubt.”

“…Wrong.”

“Himeji-san, you’re definitely lying!”

“I didn’t lie.”

“This must be a doubt, Shouko!”

“…I’m always honest.”


NOT OVER YET!!


“Akihisa-kun, doubt.”

“Uuu….”

“…Yuuji, doubt.”

“HOW DID YOU KNOW!”


““…”” Psst, our clothing were taken off one by one.”


“Akihisa-kun, those are socks. You’re too sneaky.”

“…Yuuji, using a tie to sneak by, are you a man?”

We’re only left with our T-shirts, pants and boxers, and now, we’re finally backed into a corner.


“Yoshii and Sakamoto alone can’t beat Kirishima and Himeji…”

“it’ll just be a waste of time to continue watching this game…”

“How about we head to the playground on our way there?”


Our classmates from F class, who were looking forward to seeing Kirishima-san and Himeji-san strip, muttered and left once they saw their overwhelming abilities. That’s true, even if they stay, they’ll just see Yuuji and me being completely embarrassed. No maniac would be so interested in seeing such a thing.

That’s right! Even if we strip, there’s no benefit at all! It’s better to end this game now!

“Himeji-san, well…shouldn’t we end now?”

“What are you saying, Akihisa-kun? Now’s the main course.”

“Shouko, that’s enough, isn’t it?”

“…I want more.”

No way! They have no intention of stopping at all!

“But Akihisa-kun, it’s alright if you don’t want to strip, you know?”

“Eh?”

“If you really don’t want to strip—”

“I DIDN’T SEE IT! I DIDN’T SEE HIMEJI-SAN TAKE OUT THAT GIRL’S UNIFORM FROM THE BAG! HOW CAN THAT HARDWORKING AND DILIGENT HIMEJI-SAN ASK ME TO DO SUCH A THING! THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!”

The situation gradually got out of hand. If I knew this was going to happen, I might as well let Ironman find out that we were betting money with cards and let him tell us off.

“Fufu, this is all your fault, Akihisa-kun. You wouldn’t stop no matter how many times I told you to stop.”

Himeji-san said this as she shuffled the cards.

“Okay, and now, it’s time to continue to the next game.”

Am I thinking too much? For some reason, I find that Himeji-san’s actions are much more alert than usual when she’s drunk.

Himeji-san continued to deal the cards, and the curtains of this poker card game ‘strip doubt’ started again.

Right now, I have only a pair of boxers, pants, and T-shirt on. Let alone shoes, I already got my 2 socks removed. It’s now dangerous mode.

(Akihisa, now that it ended up like this, we have to do whatever it takes.)

Yuuji, who’s stripped as badly as I am, whispered to me. He glanced at my bag.

(Are we going to do it?)

(No other way.)

Yuuji’s right. We have far few clothing now, and the situation’s getting out of hand. Can’t be helped. If it were an ordinary bet, we wouldn’t stoop so low, but now’s not an ordinary bet! We have to do this to protect ourselves even if we don’t want to. Okay, let’s begin!

(Akihisa, let’s begin.)

(Okay Yuuji.)

To match the movements, both of us glanced at each other…now!

“Oh my…”

Yuuji’s cards accidentally dropped onto the table, and Himeji-san and Kirishima-san’s cards landed onto the table as well. Good! They’re distracted!

I quickly reached out for another deck of identical cards from my bag. To make it easy to take action, I hid the other deck in my pocket—


PAK!


“Akihisa-kun, you’re playing dirty.”

“HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!!!“””

Just when I was ready to hide my cards into my pocket, Himeji-san suddenly grabbed my hand even when she wasn’t looking at me. How is that possible! How did this happen!

“You two did mess up, right? It’s understandable if Akihisa-kun dropped the cards, but how can Sakamoto-kun possibly make such a simple mistake of dropping the cards onto the table when the game’s going on?”

“…Too naïve.”

As she said this, Kirishima-san showed something she was holding in her hand to us. That’s…a makeup mirror? Did they see through Yuuji and me attempting to cheat, and used the mirror to watch our actions?

“You two just love to play pranks.”

“…Feisty bad kids.”

On catching Yuuji and me cheating, Himeji-san and Kirishima-san didn’t blame us as they smirked. That’s scary! They’re really scary when they look like this!

“Then, I’ll start. ‘Ace’.”

As if nothing happened, Himeji-san continued the game again. It was just a minor trip-up, so it was alright after a little adjustment.

“…‘2’.”

Kirishima-san said this and threw the ‘2’ that’s face up. I then threw a ‘3’ that’s face down…under such a pressuring atmosphere, this game continued.


“Akihisa-kun, doubt.”

“Yes…”

“…Yuuji, doubt.”

“Why do I feel that we just couldn’t win…”


As the game progressed, we again realized that they’re really smart. After dealing the cards, they seemed to have remembered what cards they had, and when they should throw their cards. Also, they knew who picked up the cards that were thrown, and how many cards there were for which number.


“Shouko, that ‘3’ was a bluff, right?”

“…Un.”


Occasionally, Yuuji and I could have correct calls, like when we have all four cards of the same number in the hand, but that’s what they expected, right? As for why, it’s because when they were called doubt, there wasn’t many cards at the center. They made us call doubt when there wasn’t many causes, and it seemed that they could understand what we were thinking and crushed us easily.


“Then, ‘7’.”

Himeji-san said as she threw the card to the center.

Now she has 5 cards in her hand, and Kirishima-san also has 5 cards in her hand. Yuuji and I have about the same number of cards, and it’s now time to take action. But if we fail to call doubt correctly here, it’ll be a tragedy now. What should we do…

Just when I was hesitating about what to do, a familiar voice rang in my ears.

(She’s lying, Yoshii-kun.)

Does this voice belong to Kubo-san? Did Kubo-san become one of the onlookers here?

(Thank you, Kubo-san! You’re the only one on my side!)

(No, no need to thank me, Yoshii-kun.)

After Kubo-san reminded me, I deliberately covered my mouth to thank Kubo-san without letting the rest now.

Even when those guys from our class murmured and left unhappily, he stayed here to watch the game because he was worried about me. Why is Kubo-san so good to me? Thank you! You’ve given me a chance to revive. I’ll definitely live this life well!

I take a deep breath, and declared loudly as I pointed at the card Himeji-san thrw out,

“THAT ‘7’S A DOUBT!”

“Sorry, this card’s really ‘7’.”

“KUBO-SAANNN!!”

“SORRY, YOSHII-KUN!”

Kubo-san hurriedly ran to the corridor, but still hid behind the door and watched our actions in the classroom, even holding onto a camera. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS KUBO-SAN THINKING!

(Akihisa, you bastard! What in the world did you do!?)

(But, that’s the suggestion the ranked 2 Kubo-san gave me. Wouldn’t anyone normally trust him?)

(DON’T TRUST THAT GUY! THAT GUY’S OUR ENEMY WHEN WE SAID THAT THE BET’S STRIPPING CLOTHES!)

Ku…! Either way, Kubo-san’s from A class, so he would naturally side with Kirishima-san instead of me…

Just when Yuuji and I were whispering to each other, Himeji-san suddenly said carelessly,

“Well, I’m feeling really complicated in this situation…”

And she sounded really bothered.

On hearing what Himeji-san said, I couldn’t help but empathize with what she’s feeling now.

As a member of F class, she would definitely feel conflicted since she often fought alongside us. No, the kind and understanding Himeji-san would never want to play such a cruel penalty game. She just want to play the game, but the game has a penalty behind it. She doesn’t want to lose, but she’s hesitating over whether she should penalize her classmates. She’s bounded in her heart—

“From tomorrow onwards, the Akihisa-kun I’m familiar with will become the internet idol ‘Aki-chan’, and then he’ll be further from me…”

“HOLD IT, HIMEJI-SAN! I NEVER AGREED TO WEARING GIRL’S OUTFIT OR TAKE PHOTOS THAT’S TO BE UPLOADED!!”

WHO! WHO GAVE THOSE DAMNED CHOCOLATES TO HIMEJI-SAN! SHE WOULD SAY SUCH SCARY STUFF WHEN DRUNK! THAT’S RIGHT! SHE’S DRUNK, SO THOSE…THOSE WEREN’T HER TRUE WORDS! I MUST THINK OF IT LIKE THAT!”

“Really…Himeji, that’s really troubling. Don’t you say, Shouko?”

“…Un. If it makes the other party ashamed, we should think from the other side’s point of view.”

Kirishima-san’s words seemed to take a huge load off Yuuji’s heart. As Kirishima-san’s not drunk, she could still think that way.


“…So Yuuji.”

“What is it, Shouko?”

“…If you’re feeling ashamed when you take the penalty—it’s alright to close your eyes.”

“SHUT UP, YOU IDIOT!!!”

The topic has already changed to our penalty game. I, no, we haven’t admitted defeat yet! If we work hard to win here, they might not want to take off their clothes and will suggest ending this game! We still have hope!”

“Oh yes, Akihisa-kun.”

“Wha, what is it?”

“Even if I have to take off my last piece of clothing, I don’t intend to end this game halfway through~”

SHE’S COMPLETELY MESSED UP!!!

“Shouko, you—”

“…I’m rather confident of the underwear I’m wearing today.”

“Not good…these girls aren’t hesitating over taking off their clothes at all!”

Why are these two manlier than us guys!? Girls would normally not want to let others see their underwear, right!?

“Unbelievable…normally, I wouldn’t feel anything about having to take off my boxers…”

“Un…but we just don’t feel like taking them off when they’re enthusiastically waiting for us to take off our clothes…”

On the other hand, Yuuji and I, the two guys, are feeling completely apprehensive about having to take off our clothes for some reason. That’s really strange. Everything just feels really weird.

“Hurry up. It’s now Akihisa-kun’s turn.”

As Himeji-san prompted me, I could only prepare to throw the card in my hand. Yuuji got four ‘3’s. In other words, once Himeji-san calls ‘3’, I can make her take those cards.

—If possible, it should be alright…!

(Eh, I don’t even have an ‘Ace’…!)

(Damn it, I don’t have a ‘Jack’ here…!)

After we glanced at each other, I found that Yuuji had three ‘Aces’ in his hand, and I had three ‘Jacks’ in my hand. Here we go again…!

To set Himeji-san up, we have to make her call ‘3’ no matter what, but even so, I have to get an ‘Ace’. But I don’t have ‘Ace’ in my hand, so I’ll definitely be called doubt. And then, Himeji-san or Kirishima-san will realize the fact that I was bluffing. So we can’t make Himeji-san call ‘3’ either way. Also, all the cards will end up in my hand.

Other than that, I really want to know what cards Yuuji has…

“Akihisa-kun, how can you continue to look at Sakamoto-kun? That’s not right.”

Himeji-san’s is smiling as she’s exerting pressure on me, causing me to be unable to deliver my message to Yuuji properly. Seems like she has already seen through our tricks.


“The, then, ‘5’…”

In the end, to make Himeji-san call ‘Jack’, which I have three of, I could only choose to throw ‘5’. Damn it, this isn’t good!

“‘6’!”

“I’m ‘7’ then.”

“…‘8’.”

Himeji-san and Kirishima-san didn’t even have many cards in their hands, but for some reason, I feel that the cards they threw were real. Eh? Hold it, why am I thinking this way? Am I losing to them psychologically?

“Then…‘9’!”

To get rid of this bad feeling, I deliberately increased my volume. Yuuji then called ‘10’, and it’s now Himeji-san’s turn to call ‘Jack’.

“I’m ‘Jack’ then.”

Himeji-san threw the card to the center. Now she has the final three cards left. Though I can’t confirm if Himeji-san’s bluffing, but it’ll be over if we don’t settle it here. Can’t be helped. No matter what, I can only console myself that Kirishima-san has the last ‘Jack’ and doubt Himeji-san—

(Wait, Akihisa!)

Just when I was ready to call out, Yuuji stopped me. What’s going on?

(Watch it, Akihisa. Himeji’s just a bait. I think the one they really wanted to protect is Shouko…!)

After Yuuji reminded me, I suddenly realized. Himeji-san doesn’t have many cards left, but Kirishima-san has only 4 cards left. Even if Himeji-san has to keep all the cards in this round, it would only let her have 10 cards in her hand. On the other hand, Yuuji and I will have a complete defeat, and she will be second in this game. To Himeji-san and Kirishima-san, this would be the best outcome. If I call doubt on Himeji-san, Himeji-san will start the next round, and she will definitely start the next round with a number that’s beneficial to Kirishima-san!

(Ah, that was dangerous! Thanks Yuuji.)

(That’s nothing. We’ve been losing, but who can stand having to lose so many consecutive times…!)

It seem that they don’t mind as long as our eyes aren’t indicating anything about the cards. Himeji-san didn’t say much as she just waited silently for me to declare doubt on her.

“Akihisa-kun, Sakamoto-kun, is this really alright?”

“Ahh, it’s alright.”

Ignoring Himeji-san’s reminder, it’s finally Kirishima-san’s turn to call. The reason Himeji-san asked this is most likely Yuuji’s guess wasn’t too far off.

“Oi, Shouko, your turn to call ‘Queen’.”

Yuuji prompted. Most likely, he wanted to call doubt on Kirishima-san when she throws the card out.

“…”

Kirishima-san held onto the card, but didn’t move.

I see. Himeji-san was acting as bait because Kirishima-san didn’t have any ‘Queens’. That was a close shave. We were nearly fooled by them, and nearly lost the game.

In contrast to Yuuji, who saw through their plans and believed in his own victory, Kirishima-san didn’t move at all as she said.

“…Sakamoto Yuuji is.”

“? What are you going to say?”

Is she going to set a trap? Yuuji naturally braced himself.

“…Sakamoto Yuuji likes girls more than guys, and is a healthy young high schooler.”

“Doutt!?”

Yuuji was instantly speechless.

This, this is way too sly! How can Yuuji call ‘doubt’ when she said this? If we’re not careful, it’ll just end up with some weird negative rumor!

If Yuuji can’t say it, I have to say it for him. Even if I doubt that Yuuji’s a healthy young man, it wouldn’t hurt me anyway.

To call doubt on Kirishima-san, I deliberately took a deep breath.

“Okay, it’s Akihisa-kun’s turn to call ‘King’!”

“Eh? Ah, un.”

Himeji-san smiled kindly as she prompted me, and I just answered blankly.

Eh? I can’t answer at this moment! What stupid thing did this idiot here do! Now I have to throw the next card without calling doubt on Kirishima-san!

“Eh, I, I didn’t mean that just now.”

I hurriedly tried to correct the mistake I made a second back.

“Then I’ll say it, when Akihisa-kun throws the next card, I’ll call ‘King’ is doubt.”

Himeji-san said that without holding back. This, this move’s way too powerful! Now I have to put the card now. That sentence alone forced the situation into my hand. Now it’s too late for me to call doubt on Kirishima-san.

“Uu, ‘King’…”

I wanted to cry as I threw the ‘King’ in my hand. After Himeji-san flipped the card open to check the number, she kept the cards wordlessly.

“My turn to start, ‘5’.”

“…‘6’.”

And the most cruel thing was that Kirishima-san got away.

“Shouko, doubt.”

“…Wrong.”

As it was the last card, Yuuji could only call doubt on her, but the card she threw definitely had the number ‘6’ written on it. Now this game is over. Kirishima-san’s first, Himeji-san’s second, I’m third and Yuuji’s last.

“Too bad, Akihisa-kun’s third, so he only needs to take off one piece of clothing.”

“…Yuuji needs to take off two.”

Himeji-san and Kirishima-san looked at Yuuji and me expectantly. This feeling’s way too weird…

“Damn it! We’re guys! We don’t need to feel ashamed!”

“That’s right, Akihisa! It’s just taking off one, two pieces of clothing. Just treat it as if we’re swimming!”

As we said this, we took off our clothes. I became naked on top, and Yuuji’s only left with the boxers.

“Ah, Akihisa-kun and Sakamoto-kun must have trained hard…”

“…How firm.”

Forget about Yuuji, the reason why I give the impression that my body’s rather sturdy is likely because of the lack of nutrition…

Himeji-san seems shocked, but it seems that she’s somewhat awake now. Really…it’s because Himeji-san couldn’t hold her liquor that it ended up like this…

“Yuuji…let’s not play trump with Himeji-san and Kirishima-san…”

“Ahh…I don’t want to suffer this ridiculous humiliation again…”

Yuuji and I sighed hard and regretted our actions. We were really foolish to take these two as our enemies…

But just as I reached my hand out to take the clothes that were taken off and put aside, Himeji-san kept the poker cards on the table and said softly with a slightly flushed look,


“In, in that case, I can finally strip Akihisa-kun fully in the next game.”

“…My heart’s racing.”

““YOU TWO AREN’T STOPPING!!!???””

“RUN, AKIHISA! THEY’LL CATCH US IF THIS KEEPS UP!”

“I GOT IT! DAMN IT! WHY MUST HIMEJI-SAN BE SO FAST IN SUCH A SITUATION!”


“Mu…Yoshii, Sakamoto!? Didn’t I tell you to stop running on the corri—dor…huh?”

“AH! IRONMAN! PLEASE! PLEASE SAVE US!”

“PLEASE! THE REMEDIAL CLASS OR ANYWHERE WILL DO! PLEASE SAVE US!!”

“You two…are not even wearing your uniforms. What’s going on…”

“WE’LL EXPLAIN LATER! HURRY UP AND TAKE US AWAY!”

“THAT’S RIGHT! TAKE US AWAY! EVEN IF WE HAVE TO TAKE REMEDIAL—OWAAAHHHH! THEY’RE HERE!!!”


“Akihisa-kun, please wait! You haven’t put on the girl’s uniform yet!”

“…Yuuji, you haven’t taken off your last piece of clothing.”


““PLEASE SAVE US, NISHIMURA-SENSEI!!””

“Really, you two…what did you do that caused you into such an embarrassing situation?”

‘’’~2-D’s Tamano Miki-san’s eyewitness account~’’’

“Yes, that’s right. After school, I accidentally met an almost completely naked Aki-ch—Yoshii-kun and Sakamoto-kun when I walked on the corridor, begging Nishimura-sensei hungrily…I was really shocked, so I subconsciously took my camera up and shot that image…”


On the school newspaper that was published by the newspaper club, the headlines had a photo of Yuuji and me half-naked. This report created a lot of horrifying rumors in school.


This humiliation…we’ll never forget about it…!