Hyouka:Volume 5 Chapter 4-5
5. Present: 14.6km; 5.4km Remaining
I understood what Chitanda was saying. Certainly enough, had you heard only that, all her story would amount to “Chitanda was worried about Ibara and supported her decision.” The story being strange or not aside, none of it even concerned Ōhinata from the start.
However, I had also heard several other stories as well. I started to understand the true nature of the invisible wall that Ōhinata had holed herself up behind. Knowing this information while listening to Chitanda’s story, I felt like I understood somewhat just what it was that welled up from within Ōhinata.
Ōhinata thought that Chitanda was a terrifying upperclassman. Chitanda thought that she had pushed Ōhinata to the point of quitting. Before today’s Hoshigaya Cup had even started, I had realized something was off.
Satoshi had said it from the very start. He found it surprising that I had been able to recruit a new student into the club. I felt indifferently about the entire thing. It’s not like we really did anything in the club after all. Whether Ōhinata joined or left, none of it mattered to me.
However, I didn’t want there to be any unresolved misunderstandings left behind. If I was the one being misunderstood, I probably wouldn’t have minded, but that wasn’t the case.
“Is there anything else I can do?”
There shouldn’t have been anything else that I absolutely needed to know. There was still something, however, that I had decided I would ask Chitanda before the race had even started.
When I retraced through my memories before arriving at Mizunashi Shrine, I realized that there was one more thing I could only confirm with Chitanda. I thought it would’ve been strange to ask about it when it was brought up initially, but now I understood why.
”There is. I want to ask you one more question.”
“It concerns the day when all of us went to the coffee shop owned by Ōhinata’s relative. Before we left, Ōhinata asked you a single question. It was about whether or not you knew a certain first-year.”
As I expected, Chitanda instantly remembered.
“Yes, it was Agawa-san.”
“Who is she?”
That day, if I remember correctly, Chitanda was instantly able to answer when asked by Ōhinata if she knew her. I naturally assumed that she had some relationship with Chitanda.
“Well… I don’t really know anything about her.”
“All I know is that she’s a first-year in Class A.”
“Even though you don’t know her, you know which class she’s in?”
“Even you should know, Oreki-san.”
Chitanda had an incredible knack for remembering faces and names. After all, last year, she was able to remember my name after simply meeting me once in a music class that we were only briefly in together. That’s why I didn’t find it strange that she might have seen Sachi Agawa’s name somewhere. But I wasn’t capable of doing that myself.
There shouldn’t have been many opportunities for us to learn the name of an underclassman. I looked downwards as I thought.
First-year. Class A. Sachi Agawa.
“Someone I should know… Agawa… Agawa…”
Chitanda suddenly spoke up. She probably didn’t say it like that in order to tease me. At the same time, however, it suddenly dawned on me.
Agawa from Class A.
It was likely that out of all of the girls' seating numbers, she sat at the most obvious one. This was representative of one having the best grades before entering the school.
“Was she the student representative during the entrance ceremony?”
“The number one boy from Class A, Naoya Aikura-san, and the number one girl from the same class, Sachi Agawa-san, were the ones who said the pledge during the ceremony. Of course, I thought the question was abrupt and somewhat strange, but I just assumed she was just trying to test my recollection.”
That wasn’t it. There was no way that was a simple test.
“Do you know anything else about her?”
“She had extremely long hair. Because I could only see her from behind, that was all I knew.”
Ōhinata probably wasn’t aware of this, however.
With that, I had asked everything I had wanted to ask. All that was left was to talk to Ōhinata.
I couldn’t say I wasn’t anxious. It was enough to make me want to follow Ōhinata’s example and try hanging from some doorframe somewhere.
“Okay, that’s plenty. I should be able to take care of the rest, so you should return to the course.”
As I said this, I raised my head.
Chitanda’s eyes lay massive right before mine.
As I recoiled back, she said this to me.
“I’m sorry, Oreki-san. I’ll leave the rest to you. Ōhinata probably won’t listen to anything I have to say anymore. But…
“If Ōhinata-san is truly suffering because of something, won’t you please help her? It there was some sort of unfortunate misunderstanding, won’t you please unravel it? I won’t ask you to bring her back to the Classics Club, but could you do at least this?”
That was my intent. That was my intent from the very start. I nodded that I understood, and Chitanda lowered her head slightly, turning back and dashing to the road once more.
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