OreShura: Volume 1 Chapter 2
#2: Confession from a Classmate ends in Mayhem
During the same time while Chiwa sank before she even sailed, there had been another person who continued to score high on the records.
She was Natsukawa Masuzu.
Entering June, the number of people confessing to her was still endless. Rumors went that the number of times she had been confessed to had surpassed 50. According to them, the litigant expressed 'she has no intention to be with anyone'. Despite so, the confessing people continued to flock to her.
From the above situation, it was almost certain that Natsukawa had become a famous person in school, but in reality she was almost always alone. In class or during recess, she'd always be in her seat reading. She went home immediately after school. In the beginning, some boys in the class occasionally tried to hit on her, but a de facto treaty was soon made: 'Single-sided attacks on Natsukawa are banned from the classroom'. Soon it became a steady state of watch but don't touch. As for the girls, they tried to distance themselves from her. Girls popular with boys stated that 'we commoners dare not be together with ojou-sama!' (Translation: We are not as cute as you!) and rejected her. As for the common looks female company, they announced that 'Natsukawa and we are in two completely different worlds' (Translation: Extravagant people should go play with extravagant people) and discriminated against her. This was the perfect proof of how being over-popular was not a good thing, I should've really lectured Chiwa on this.
On the first day of June, I had been given a seat next to Natsukawa. For me, I was completely uninterested in that matter, but was very pleased to be placed in the second column from the windows, last row in class. It was a very comfortable place where I could lie down and rest, but it seemed that my thoughts did not reach the rest of my class. That is as much as I understood from all the jealous glares I got. Being rejected once but not giving up, Yamamoto, a member of the soccer club even came to me for a handshake, saying: 'I believe you are a true gentleman!' Since it would also be quite troublesome being trusted like this, I temporarily refused his handshake request. Next day, class rumors started to spread that 'Natsukawa is also Kidou's target' and whatnot. Sensing danger, I hurriedly went for the handshake.
I should clarify here, I wan't scared or so. Because this is very important, I want to repeat this again: I was definitely not scared. I was only displaying the spirit of peaceful coexistence, the so-called 'Love & Peace'. Oh, forget love, it's 'Peace & Peace'.
...Though, let's say just now I was like a excited little grade-schooler in front of a camera, let's just leave it here for now. In conclusion, all I wanted was to cut waves like butter, aiming for the university place and recommendation. Naturally, love lay in the 'wave' category, much less Natsukawa, this kind of celebrity? Don't joke with me. That's why I tell you, Yamamoto and the other males, you were all worrying for nothing!
"Is that so, then that really sounds bad", hearing my situation out, my classmate Asoi Kaoru slowly nodded his head.
It was currently lunch hour, Kaoru and I joined our desks together and began eating lunch.
I was having a homemade bento. With less appetite, Kaoru's lunch only consisted of a crab bread and a juice box.
"From the point of view of these kids, being able to sit next to Natsukawa-san is really something to be envious about."
Kaoru always used 'these kids', 'them' and similar pronouns to call classmates. It didn't sound irritating either. I guess it was due to his good conduct and his neutral looks and solid attitude to address things. Whether it was between boys or girls, Kaoru was pretty popular.
"If Eita's seat was put up for an auction, I believe you should be able to get a good amount of money."
"When the auction comes, remember to call me. I'll get rid of it at the first bid."
Ah~ it is so hard to be at peace of mind these days. This kind of normal conversations are always the best.
As a conversation partner, Kaoru couldn't be any better.
Our friendship started in Grade 9. From our daily conversations, he roughly understood the situation of my family and Chiwa but he never did unnecessary research, the perfect balance between friendship and privacy. He totally deserved the title of being the 'Relationship Master'.
"Compared to this, I'm more worried about Chiwawa-chan."
"What about Chiwa?"
"Once Chiwawa-chan has decided on something, she keeps pushing towards it. I'm afraid she won't give up until she becomes super popular."
"But these things can't really be achieved through plain effort. It's not Kendo", I said while munching on the potato and meat from yesterday's leftover.
Mmm, after one night the flavor is perfect. It would have been great if I made Chiwa a bento as well.
"Personally, I think that Chiwawa-chan only needs to act like a normal girl, she should become very popular that way."
"That's right. If she doesn't talk or move, maybe boys will start going for her."
"A, just like a Komainu from a Shrine...?"
Well, her looks aren't so bad, so maybe it's exactly as we say.
"But Chiwawa-chan was confessed to during middle school."
"The captain of the male kendo club. It was pretty big news back then, didn't you know?"
First time I've ever heard of it.
In middle school both the male and female kendo clubs were very strong. Especially the captain of the male kendo club, who was excelled in both sports and studies. I heard he later went to the best private high school in this province. He shouldn't look too bad, I guess.
Hmm? So Chiwa also has a past like this.
"But, I never heard about her dating anyone."
"Of course you didn't. She rejected him."
"Why would she give up such a great chance?"
"...Fuuu", Kaori made a deep sigh.
"Oh, nothing. I just thought that these are your honest thoughts from the bottom of your heart."
"Of course. I don't joke around."
"I know. That's because Eita is a very serious person."
What... Are you trying to say something else?
"If Chiwawa-chan really turns super popular, I'm afraid she'll have other problems by then."
"What problems? Is she going to reject other people again? That's not possible. It's different from last time."
She's only doing this because she wants a boyfriend, no...
...Wait. Is it really like that?
She did say that she wanted romance like a shoujo manga, but I don't think she ever said anything about a boyfriend...
"I really have no idea what's going on inside Chiwa's head."
"...Yareyare...", Kaoru shrugged.
The five minutes preparation bell which signaled the end of lunchtime rang.
That day, after school.
"Kidou-kun, how would you like to go home with me today?", Natsukawa suddenly asked me this. The whole classroom fell into shock.
But no one could be more shocked than me.
What does this mean?
Why me? This is too sudden, isn't it?
Slightly flustered, I unconsciously took my books that were already in my bag out again. I must have heard it wrong? Yes, these words must have come from the guy sitting behind me. That's right, that must be it.
But when I turned around, there was nobody.
...Well of course, this is the last row after all.
"So? Shall we go home?", Natsukawa stared down at me.
...Dammit. I'm not so easily tricked.
Natsukawa certainly is a beauty. Just those blue eyes and silver hair are enough to attract everyone's attention. Since her looks are very proper as well, not only does she look very adorable when she smiles, it also gives an easy-to-approach and gentle feel. Even a finely handcrafted doll can hardly keep up with her. The amount of detail the maker gave her himself is fabulous. If she were to dress up in a skirt, even if she claimed herself to be a princess from a foreign country, I'm sure plenty of people would believe her.
But so what? Back in my mother's days, she was also called the beauty of the town. Beautiful women cannot be trusted.
I should just give a cool response, rejecting her categorically!
Glaring at Natsukawa, I told her directly:
"That... that... that actually, say... I... today, I have something to do!"
'Something to do' was the ultimate excuse.
"...Is that so? That's a shame."
Natsukawa replied politely, then left with a 'I'll be going first'.
Phew, that sure was tense.
I wonder what's with this sudden invitation?
Although we do exchange a few words because of how we're neighbors in class, that much isn't enough to go home together.
Probably a beauty's sudden urge. By tomorrow she'll definitely forget all about me.
Life just has to prove me wrong.
The second day, then the third day, Natsukawa continued to invite me to walk her home.
"What are your intentions?", I couldn't help but ask Natsukawa with a small voice, just so I wouldn't catch the attention of the entire class.
Natsukawa tilted her head in a cute way and repeated: 'Intentions?'
"Is this some kind of punishment game? Or perhaps I'm on candid camera with your friends hiding in some corner? I'm not so easily tricked!"
Natsukawa smiled. One deadly smile it was indeed.
"I— can I say it?"
Don't fall for it! Keep calm...
"The reason why I want to go home with you, it's okay even if I say it right here?"
"That's what I was talking about all along."
"That is... be—"
Natsukawa suddenly stopped. Her eyes shifted as if hesitating, then she looked at me with teary eyes:
"Becau—, I like you!"
The air in the classroom froze.
My mind was blank. Difficultly, I uttered one word:
"I'm head over heels in love with you!"
"Wait, I'm not sure I understand you..."
"I'm thinking of erotic things with you!"
"That's even harder to understand!"
"I am thinking of erotic things about you!"
"Yes, I get it, but you are only making the situation worse than it already is!"
Cries spread throughout the classroom. There were 'Ahhh—' screaming girls, there were frantic murmurs between some, there were also a few with nothing but disbelief on their faces. The Yamamoto I mentioned before crumbled to a kneel on the ground like a pitcher having thrown a decisive home runner — except that this guy was from the soccer club.
"Seems like we have caused a great disturbance."
Natsukawa smiled shyly.
Suddenly placed under this situation, I had no idea what to do.
"I think we shouldn't stay here for long, or rumors will start spreading."
If you are worrying about that, then it's already too late!
"Please, wherever you want is fine, just take me with you~", she seemingly recited a line from some romance TV drama.
Even though this line couldn't be more unreal, when it came from her, it sounded as if she meant it. Maybe it was because of her looks after all?
—What's wrong with you beauties, you disgust me!
"However, despise all, I still followed her words, tehe~"
"Now's not the time to sing 'tehe~'!"
"What's wrong?" Natsukawa, who was walking beside me asked. "Compared to voicing the tsukkomi of your inner thoughts, it would be better not to speak at all~ otherwise you will look very suspicious~. You should be more considerate of me who's walking next to you right now~"
"Then don't stick next to me, hurry and go home by yourself...!"
Since both Natsukawa and I went to school by foot, the two of us were walking in the opposite direction to where the station is. This was the best case out of this worse case, I guess. If we had to take the train home, I would have broken out in cold sweat from the glares of eavesdropping classmates in the same carriage.
After walking into some less populated roads of one of the residential areas and confirming there's no one around, I urged:
"Isn't it about time you tell me everything?"
"Tell you about what?"
"Why did you lie like that?"
"What lie did I tell?"
"The confession. Especially the part where you said you 'like' me. That was all a lie, right?"
Hearing so, Natsukawa widened her eyes.
"How rude... After I've gathered so much courage as to confess, you start thinking it's a lie?"
"You think I actually despise you?"
"Merely seeing your face is unpleasant. Even breathing the same air as you is hateful. Having to sit next to you in class, frankly I can't possibly stand it. Yay, yay, idiot, idiot, you virgin bastard; stop acting like you're so high and mighty when you're just some miserable little chicken —like that?"
"I haven't actually thought that it was like that..."
What's with this woman? She's like an entirely different person from the quiet and behaving Natsukawa in class.
"—Since you have already seen through everything, I suppose that it can't be helped."
I didn't expect Natsukawa to give up so easily.
"Like you said, that confession was in fact a lie. As expected of Kidou-kun, looks like I was right, you are a little different from the other boys."
This sort of praise certainly made me somewhat grumpy, it gave out an unpleasant feeling.
"Well, where should I start first—"
Staring at the clear and fresh nightfall, Natsukawa gave a big yawn.
I watched her beautiful hair wave behind her back, waiting for her to continue.
Right at this moment.
A rather strong breeze blew past us, lightly lifting up her skirt.
Originally, I expected to only be able to see her thighs, but this wind surprisingly revealed everything under the skirt in broad daylight.
In other words—
"...Not ...Not wearing...?!"
What should be there, wasn't.
At where thighs end, you should be able to see them, but there was nothing there.
...Sigh, there's no need to be secretive using synonyms.
Underwear. Shorts. Panties. Undies.
Though a variety of names, no such cloth existed under her skirt. None.
Nononono, waitwaitwaitwait, calm down, calm down. It's still too careless to jump to conclusions right now. Maybe it's just out of sight.
Just the right degree of wind such that I am not able to see at this angle —maybe just that. Although her skirt is already at its highest position possible, this does not necessarily imply 'can't see something like that there'. This explanation certainly sounds much more reasonable.
But what if she really didn't wear any?
That would be bad.
Knowing such an important secret, how should I keep it?
...No, I should think outside the box, I should use a doctor's psychological perspective to determine which case it actually belongs to. How would I expect Natsukawa Masuzu to be? Wear underpants? What kind of underpants would she wear then?
—This sure is challenging.
As an ojou-sama returning to her home country, what kind of underwear would they wear?
Those which even no-underpants specialists would feel 'looks very high-class! ' kind of underpants? Can't imagine how. Those which makes people think 'as expected of a returnee', 'that's so international' kind of underwear? Hard to imagine either. Speaking of which, underpants are exotic to begin with.
Or is it an unconventional Japanese style?
What would a Japanese style underpants look like...? Diapers? Cloth? No, this doesn't seem realistic either. This way, my image of this mysterious beauty Natsukawa Masuzu will come crashing down?
—Then, we have little choice but to make this conclusion:
Is that so bad?
There are no more competitions between the cotton faction nor the silk faction, nor are there any conflicts between patterned faction and single-colored faction. Even the decision to wear underwear or not when dressed in yukatas wouldn't be enough to be to cause an argument —Isn't this exactly the 'Peace & Peace' I hoped for?! The world is very peaceful these days.
Come, let us chant together once more!
"I'm wearing them."
A small smile from Natsukawa debunked by theory.
She repeated with a doubt-unsparing tone.
"Mmm, then that would be very troublesome."
"The Earth will be destroyed because of the third world war."
"I-If it will, then so be it."
Natsukawa replied casually.
"Any world where it's acceptable to suspect your classmate of not wearing them, deserves to be destroyed."
"The world gets destroyed because of me...?!"
Becoming the world's largest sinner, I don't think I'm up for it.
"Sorry. I was thinking too much."
"Very well. I like honest people."
Natsukawa smiled. I feel as if being toyed around in her hands.
"...Speaking of which, what were we originally talking about?"
"We were at why I needed to make a fake confession to you."
"It's a long story—" With this opening, Natsukawa dived directly into the subject, "There are always males after my hand, I'm sure Kidou-kun knows about it, right?"
"If it's rumors about the number of times you have been confessed to have reached two digit numbers, then yes."
"For your information, I have been confessed a total of 58 times in two months."
"That's almost once a day."
That was just like the scenario of a manga.
"It may sound like a luxurious problem, but I am annoyed to my limit. Every single day boys from other classes and seniors will surround and watch me, just like observing a koala. There are even foolish gambles on who will win my heart. There's always some groundless rumor about me, not a single good thing comes from this."
"You don't have friends? Mates from middle school?"
"Nope. Since the age of seven I have been living overseas. Returning home only happened recently in March."
Is that so? That sure is a difficult situation to be in.
"Why don't you just give the OK to somebody?"
"And who would this 'somebody' be?"
"Just pick one from those confessing to you. As soon as you become boyfriend and girlfriend, the other people will automatically back off, won't they?"
Natsukawa winced her eyes, literally sparkling.
"Boyfriend and girlfriend?"
As if spitting alien objects that accidentally entered her mouth, Natsukawa said:
"Why do I have to be on the same level as this trash? Treating love as the most valuable thing to worship, paying tribute every Christmas or Valentines' day, giggling 'hohohohahaha' like idiots. I see no reason, which leaves me no choice. Love is an amazing thing? Why the hell do people kill because of emotional disputes then? Why are there so many husbands and wives getting a divorce as soon as they marry? Why are there always children abandoned by parents?"
A dim flame burned within the crystal clear eyes of Natsukawa.
"You should understand, Kidou-kun. Love is not such a perfect thing to have —at least not everyone can unconditionally praise. If you want to be in love, by all means. No thanks here. 'Finding the feeling of a heart jumping'? 'Love more deeply'? 'Going for the girl of my dreams this summer'? Waste of time. To me, this is no different from the persuasions of a religious cult. Except that this religion is called 'Love' —it's the worst religion on Earth!"
Natsukawa's spiteful tongue, I've had heard that before, but this one seemed to be different in nature. This speech was full of genuine hatred towards romance.
"Oh, I get it."
Wiping off the sweat on my palm to my trousers, I nodded and concluded.
"For that reason you 'confessed' to me, right?"
Natsukawa's expressions seemed to calm down.
"As expected of the top student of our grade, learning so quickly saving both of us time."
In short, this means:
If she manages to make a boyfriend, all the never-ending confessions will finally come to an end. But since Natsukawa doesn't want any love, she sought out a person willing to act as her boyfriend —end of story.
"But, why me?"
"Because you're just like me, right?" Natsukawa poked my chest with her long thin fingers, "I quickly noticed how little interest you show in love too... I could even say hatred. When talking to friends, you quickly change the subject when it's in the red area. Even your responses become vague and hasty. Isn't that so? I haven't sat next to you for such a long period of time for no reason."
"You, you are quite observant."
"In the beginning I just thought you were gay."
I take back my words. Observant my ass.
"Which is why I officially make a request to you, Kidou-kun. Please become my 'boyfriend'."
Hm, at least I understand everything now.
As an anti-romance myself, it couldn't be more suitable to be her boyfriend.
Natsukawa slightly tilted her head.
"It's only boyfriend in name, all you need to do is to escort me home each day. Since we both walk in the same direction, it shouldn't be too much trouble."
"Wrong. The other male students will be jealous of me, the girls will surely gossip. I may even be called out and be beaten up by your fans."
"You really know how to worry. It'll make you bald, you know?"
"Perfect. I've been collecting hair tonic and wig company's messages."
Always thinking of the worst possible case - Kidou's way of doing things.
"—We may be more alike than you think..."
This smile was different from the smiles she'd shown so far, it carried much more meaning to it.
"Y-You're afraid of balding as well?!"
"No, I meant how both of us like to worry. I've also had my worries if this 'boyfriend'Fake request was rejected. These things are hard to say. If rumors were spread around carelessly..."
"Who do you take me for? I'd never do such things."
"Of course I believe in you. Just that as someone who likes to worry, I always hope everything goes according to plan... which is why, Kidou-kun..."
Natsukawa suddenly brought her face close. Her breathing was even closer.
Those two blue eyes looked at me as if they were about to suck a person in, freezing my entire body.
"To become a candidate for 'boyfriend'Fake, other than the factor that they have to be uninterested in romance, there is another important criteria. Do you know what that could be?"
"What is it?"
Her sweet shampoo scent made my nose a little bit itchy.
I was feeling dizzy.
"Kidou-kun, the other criteria is that —he must be someone who will never betray me. There is no one but Kidou-kun who is able to fulfill these requirements; thus, I will not let Kidou-kun escape that easily. Kidou-kun..."
Although quiet as a whisper, her extraordinary face made it very captivating.
Natsukawa took a small step backwards and faced me with her back, then took out a slightly dimmed yellow notebook from her own bag.
"What's in that dirty notebook?"
Natsukawa didn't reply, but opened the notebook and started reading instead.
"April, 21st. Sunday. Sunny. I went to 'Imamura' shop to purchase a pair of fingerless gloves, but was told by a worker with an unbelievable expression they don't have any. The product selection of this shop is so incomplete. Or maybe they're out of stock because it's too popular? I want to buy them as soon as possible, then run as hard as I can on the chilly streets."
What's up with her? Suddenly reading all this stuff.
Fingerless gloves? Those gloves without fabric for the fingers?
Is there anyone who still wants that kind of thing?
"April, 22nd. Monday. Today a sudden downpour came as I was going home. Even though I had my umbrella with me, I still came home all wet. I like rain, it can cleanse all the dirty sins on my body..."
Nonono, a cold is all you'd get. Besides, 'cleanse all the dirty sins on my body' *smile*, who do you think you are?
"April, 23rd. Tuesday. Cloudy. On my way home, Chiwa asked me: 'Why are you carrying firecrackers on your body?' I replied: 'Then how do you plan to respond to those 'out of control terrorists'-attack?' Chiwa was completely refuted by my words. Women are so shallow."
Bwhahahaaaa, dumbass! Rather than worrying about a terrorist attack, why don't you first worry about your brain! Besides, how are firecrackers going to repel terrorists? Can't you see that Chiwa is wordless from your stupidity—
"Hey... ISN'T THAT MY NOTEBOOK—?!"
Natsukawa turned around and smiled.
"Correct. This is Kidou-kun's diary from middle school."
"HOW DID YOU GET YOUR HANDS ON IT—?!"
"Bought it from the old bookstore in front of the station. ¥525 (tax incl.)."
"It's true. The diary was inside the 'Illustrated Animals Encyclopedia (special ver.)'-box. The shop keeper was fairly old, I'm afraid he didn't realize of this being placed on the shelves."
—Certainly, I did place my diary in the box of my gift for getting into grade school. But that box should be stored safely inside my cupboard right now...
Wait, is that so?
Maybe I accidentally sold it along with the animal book during the second-hand book sale?
Nonononono, that's impossible. I removed the animal book out of the box back then. But, eh?
"Refusing to embrace reality is a very foolish thing to do, Kidou-kun."
But the diary Natsukawa was waving in front of me was unmistakably mine.
"Quite the child during middle school? It's drastically different from the top student you are now. Or perhaps deep inside you're still the same?"
"Give... Give it back!"
Natsukawa turned around swiftly.
"Hurry and give it back! There's a lot of bad things inside that diary!"
"Rest assured. I have already scanned everything and stored it inside my computer."
"Though, security such as all necessary antivirus and firewalls are installed, there's still a chance it could be accidentally leaked out. The internet world is very scary... I've heard that when uploaded to the internet, something will last there forever."
I knelt down on my knees.
They say your sights turn black when in despair... Looked like it's real.
In front of my eyes it was pitch black.
My life is all over—
"Then, I'd like to hear you answer again."
As the absolute dominator, queen Natsukawa's commanding voice came down from the skies.
"Kidou Eita-kun, will you by my 'boyfriend'?"
"Ah, there seems to be something wrong with my ears. Could this be the premonition of a computer virus attack?"
"Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes! I'll do it! I agree to become Natsukawa-san's 'boyfriend'!"
"Then from now on please call me Masuzu."
Masuzu slyly winked.
She looked so adorable. How enraging.
"Let's go home together again tomorrow. I love you, Eita-kun~"
Back then, when my parent's relationship was still all right and I was still in a common family like everybody else— which means the me before entering high school, had a completely opposite way of seeing things.
Wanted to attract attention.
Wanted to be different from other people.
In general, I liked some minute (I personally think awesomeness) fashion trends, wanted to exhibit 'the me living in an extraordinary life', showing off all sorts of weird postures copied from animes and mangas.
Later on, I heard that this is the so called 'Eighth Grade Syndrome'.
The me different from other people?
An unusual me?
You have no idea how valuable it was to be average.
Being able to eat an average meal, go to school on an average day, accompanied by an average family—
You have no idea.
Back home, the first thing I did was to turn the cupboard inside out.
The illustrated animal encyclopedia I once loved was gone.
All the Indian elephants, the white palmed gibbon, Japanese marmoset, all of them gone.
Which means that woman was telling the truth—
And so began the intriguing 'boyfriend-girlfriend' relationship between Natsukawa Masuzu and me.
Masuzu: "Speaking of which, did you manage to buy those gloves in the end?"
Eita: "...I made my own from work gloves."
Eita: "Then used a red marker and wrote the word 'ANNIHILATE' on the knuckles."
Translator notes and references
- The original uses "riajuu", meaning "people that are well accomplished in their social life".
- Komainu: A lion-like statue that guards the entrance or the inner shrine of many Japanese Shinto shrines. 
- Yareyare: Traditional Japanese sigh, can mean many things, but in this case it's probably a tedious sigh at Eita's denseness.
- This is a fourth wall joke, where Masuzu takes the roll of the narrator and Eita's latter "butting in".
- Tsukkomi: Tsukkomi is a part of "manzai" or stand-up comedy, where one acts the part of the fool (boke) and the tsukkomi corrects him. 
- Called Fundoshi. 
- Sins are called "Ore no Karma" here, probably a pun of "Ore no Cosmos" of Kurumada's work.
- From here on in the series referred to as "Note".
- Calling each other by their first names without honorifics is a symbol of being very close in Japan.
- Eighth-Grade Syndrome: Kids being in a phase where they think to live in a dark world or similar delusions. Often happening around the 8th grade.
- Annihilate: It's a wordplay, he wrote "destroy" (滅) on one hand and "murder" (殺) on the other, but if joined together as 滅殺 they become "annihilate".
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