CubexCursedxCurious:Volume17 Interlude D
« -interlude- D: "at predawn"»
Kana and Taizou were spacing out, looking up at the ceiling in the secret room. Checking their cellphones, they saw that it was dawn, but they were not sleepy at all. Because they had taken many naps already by this point.
Just at this time—
"Ahhh, I've had enough!"
Waiting for the commando unit(?) to return like them, the underclassman—Chihaya—roared in agitation while standing up at the same time. Just as Kana was thinking Chihaya could no longer tolerate this kind of situation where they had no choice but to wait—
"...Listen up, you guys, don't mind me at all. And please don't ask any questions. This is really nothing."
The younger student had glared at them viciously while speaking in a hoarse voice...
Then, still dressed in gym clothes, she started to dance.
Slowly, calmly, waving her arms, lifting her legs in gliding motions, she rotated her body.
Judging from those slow and graceful movements, it might be wrong to simply call it a dance.
Indeed—More accurately, this was a Japanese dance.
"Wow~ What is this? Fitness exercise? Oh right, you'll get stiff if you stay in this kind of place without moving your body~"
While the two of them were staring at this scene—
"Please allow me to speak in fear and trepidation. You really don't have to pay attention to this~ It is the curse belonging to us, the kagura bells~"
"So you end up doing the explanation huh... Yeah, whatever. Anyway, that's what's going on, so ignore me."
It was quite a challenge to ignore someone who was dancing right before their eyes.
Kana and Taizou looked at each other.
"A curse huh..."
"Wow. I guess... they do exist..."
Kana thought back again to what their classmate, Un Izoey, had told them.
Ruminating over it in her mind all this time, the information had already been chewed to pieces.
Curses. Cursed tools. Cursed tools that took on human form after receiving an immense amount of curses. How to lift curses. Organizations aiming to destroy cursed tools, organizations wanting to learn various things...
But to Kana and Taizou, few of the details were important.
"Fear-chan... umm, is actually a cursed tool and not human."
The foreign transfer student who showed up one day out of the blue, a cute silver-haired girl. Kana liked her the moment she laid eyes on her. She was also very cute in the way she was ignorant about the ways of the world. Kana had always thought it was due to Fear growing up in foreign lands, but that was actually wrong. In the beginning, Kana had heard that Fear was brought here by Haruaki's father. In actual fact, she was living in Haruaki's home only for the sake of lifting her curse.
"Yeah. The same goes for Konoha-san too."
Taizou spoke while staring into the distance. Naturally, Kana understood what was going through her best friend's mind.
Her, whom he thought he knew. Fear, whom she thought she knew.
Not only that, but they had also found out about the Haruaki, the superintendent and Kirika whom they thought they knew—
In the end...
Things could be summed up as they had been lying all along, Kana thought.
Everyone's personality was different. Perhaps some might react in anger, others in disgust.
However, how should she put it? Oh right.
Because they were definitely not the smart type.
Always doing stupid things together with Fear, Haruaki and the others, they were truly nothing more than very stupid humans.
"Even after hearing that they're not actually human... In the end, all I can think is this: Fear-chan is Fear-chan and Konoha-chan is Konoha-chan~"
"That's right. After mysterious secrets were added, I find them even more attractive instead."
Chihaya continued to dance with a scowl on her face. Narrowing her eyes, Isuzu was watching her with a gaze carrying complicated emotions.
A curse. They must have things tough. It was probably something so terrifying that there was no way for Kana and Taizou to imagine or to understand—something that could not be understood easily.
These girls, acquiring human form after an excess of curses had been piled upon them.
However, it did not feel real at all. After all, she was very stupid.
She had failed completely to notice the terrifying curses they possessed.
However, all she kept recalling were other things unrelated to curses.
At the sports festival, Fear was in tears because she did not know how to dance, yet she still tried her hardest.
At the cultural festival, Fear was dressed as a cute nurse to serve customers. She also helped the swimming club by putting on a school swimsuit, almost illegal in various ways.
On a certain ordinary day, a spider had appeared in the classroom, causing Fear to hug Kana while screaming tearfully.
Of course, there were many other memories. Laughing together. Happy things. Funny things. Incredible things. All very trivial, nothing special, but wonderful nonetheless.
However, what Kana recalled now were her tears.
Surely, that was what they should be thinking about while in this place.
"Right now... We're in big trouble."
"Seems like it. Look, our situation is already like this."
"That said, we can still chat like this... But how should I put it? Fear-chan and the others must be facing even bigger trouble."
"Yeah. From what we heard... That's so true."
"What do you think things are like for her right now?"
"Probably similar to what happened when your group messed up on the cookie cooking practical last year. With tears brimming in her eyes, Fear-chan said 'I screwed up the amounts.' She was so depressed. That was what it was like."
Something like that happened? Kana smiled wryly. Indeed, back then, they had hastily used the remainder of their ingredients to bake a new batch of cookies. Everyone helped together but took care not to interfere too much while they watched Fear working hard, offering advice to her. Hence, she managed to bake very tasty cookies in the end, despite their small number. After that, Fear had smiled very beautifully.
That was Fear: gentle, cute, and with a strong sense of responsibility.
Cursed? Kana could not care less.
Not human? Kana could not care less.
Ultimately, Kana concluded that what they needed to do had not changed.
It was the same as that time.
"Now that something serious has happened, Fear-chan is most likely holding back tears in her eyes right now... So, let's move out, Taizou-san?"
"You're right. Let's move out, Kana-san?"
The two of the smiled at each other.
Although it was unclear what they could do, they decided they must take action. This counted as moving forward.
"Because she's Fear-chan. If she's crying... We must help her."
"Well said. I also have to show Konoha-san my manly side."
Without any actual special significance, but as a kind of ritual, the two of them bumped fists.
After finishing the Japanese dance, Chihaya watched them in head-tilted puzzlement. Deftly and diligently using a handkerchief to wipe sweat off Chihaya's brow, Isuzu suddenly turned her head—With a click, the secret room's wall started to turn.
Everyone tensed for only a moment. After seeing the people appearing at the entrance, they all breathed a sigh of relief.
Showing up at the entrance were three classmates as well as the homeroom teacher who had joined them for some unknown reason. As much as Kana wanted to ask them what was going on, there were more important things to do first.
The dark-skinned classmate was holding a cellphone in her hand.
Showing a contented smile in a rare moment, she said:
"Time to strike back."
"I was waiting for you to say that," Kana answered, smiling as well.
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