OreShura: Volume 4 Chapter 13

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#13: Heading to a New World Mayhem[edit]

Oreshura v04 229.jpg

After numerous other incidents at the 'OreDere Beauty Pageant', a 10-year-old fourth-grader had won the contest.

Her speech on how she had been very thankful that her father took her to the beach even though he was busy with work, apparently had been a great show of her 'dere appeal'. Even though she expressed it very clumsily, the sincere effort received very favorable reviews. I never expected there to be any competitors like her, but she was definitely the cutest, and she captured the hearts of everyone the best. Apparently, this was the age where 'girls' surpassed 'women'. I guess we can say that the so-called girly power had became more widespread than female power.

As for the members of our 'Jien-Otsu', only Chiwa had barely managed to be mentioned honorably. Anyways, the prize was 'a year's worth of gal-games and otome-games' in software, and Chiwa didn't even have a game console.

As for Masuzu and my own performance, neither of us had got a pick.

While the audience had been very excited, the judges commented in a tsukkomi fashion, 'erm, this guy was just confessed to by contestant number two (laughs)'. With that, the approving cheers I had gotten from the audience immediately turned to disgust in a second, so it ended up with not being helpful to the contest. Whatever! After all, I guess I was too popular! I should have just disappeared!

After the contest, no one had been able utter a word.

For dinner I had made potato stew but everyone gloomily stayed in their own rooms. I put their dinners in front of their doors, to see if they were willing to eat at one point. Even though this was the last night of camp, this made me feel rather lonely.

Well, I guess it had been just my fault.

I guess Chiwa, Hime, and Fuyuumi didn't want to see my face.

But, why had even Masuzu been gloomily hiding herself in her room? It would have been okay if she were full of rage or hate, but it was frightening that she isn't responding.

I had resolved to ready myself for the utmost consequences after she came out of her room, but that little that had built up turned out to be an 'one-man show'...



The following morning.

When I woke up, Masuzu's beautiful face was in front of my eyes.

"[...] ...?!"

She was straddling my stomach and gazing down at me in light blue pajamas. Her hanging silver hair brushed across her cheeks.

"W-What are you doing? Masuzu-san?"

"I was looking at the sleeping face of the man who deceived me."

"O-Oh."

"I was going to kill you, heh."

"[...]"

Even though she was saying something really frightening, Masuzu's face was calm.

It was a complete change from her crestfallen expression yesterday, where it seemed like she was possessed by some evil.

"You should have slept a little longer. I was going to return you the favor from your sneak attack last night."

"Sneak attack?"

Aah, she must mean the kiss on stage.

"But, in the first place, you were the one who told me to kiss you."

"I didn't tell you to do it in front of so many people. We didn't even discuss or rehearse it."

"I didn't have a choice, right?! There was no time for that!"

Besides, even if we had discussed it, there was no way it would have turned out that way. It would have probably become some anxious, stammering and stumbling unnatural confession.

It was better to get a kiss done without any rehearsal, leaving it to the flow of things.

"Just to make sure, I want to verify something."

While still riding on me, Masuzu's face closed in.

"Your confession was a total act, right? You didn't really fall for me, right?"

"…That's obvious, isn't it?"

Her face peered into me just inches away and I averted my gaze.

"I really hate you. Once you return my notebook, I'll break up with you. Regardless of how beautiful your face may be."

"———I see."

Masuzu's eyes narrowed and her face came even closer.

"You're acknowledging that I have a beautiful face?"

Her sweet breath fell onto my nose. I felt faint.

"Hey, am I really that beautiful?"

"…D-Don't say something a person with a lovestruck mind would say."

Masuzu giggled.

"Say, if Harusaki-san's beauty points amount to 1, how much would mine amount to? Hey, hey."

"A-Are you really asking that!? You really have an extraordinarily bad personality!"

Upon saying that, Masuzu acknowledged that by puffing out her chest in an unapologetic way.

"Didn't you say it last night as well? My personality is the most horrid. That I am ill-natured, shameless, insolent, impudent, brazen, vulgar, always humiliating, scorning, mocking, speaking ill of others, demeaning others, and..."

"Did I go to that extent!? Wasn't I much more lenient than that?!"

She could actually speak that badly of herself. Well done.

"...Stuck up, arrogant, willful, absurd, full of nonsense, unreasonable, pathetic, tragic, wretched——— and also a girl who loves you very much."

"[...]"

"Remember this well, Eita. Your 'girlfriend' is 'that' kind of a woman."

…Now, the last part was fake, right?

Masuzu?

"By the way, the last thing about 'loves you very much' is the most tragic part."

"Why?! Why is loving me tragic?!"

"That's obvious, right? To follow you to the place of mayhem between 2 x childhood friends + ex-girlfriend, there's nothing more tragic than that."

"Guh."

I can't argue with that!

Following that, in a covering fashion, she collapsed onto me. In between the cotton blanket, she pressed against me and consequently, I came to know her exact body shape.

"E~ita ♪"

"...?!"

This woman, just where did that voice come from?

Did I hear it wrong? It was like this voice of a really lovely girl...?

"Uwufufu. Eita. E~i~i~t~a~a. Such a wonderful person is my boyfriend. Fufufu."

"...Ma—"

Masuzu's broken! She's finally broken!

No, wait—

"T-This is also an act, right? You're faking it, right?"

Masuzu then looked up.

"That's obvious, right? Did you think that I'll seriously do such a loathsome 'flirtatious lovey-dovey' act? Please don't insult me."

"Y-Yeah, so true. Aah, I was surprised."

"Jeez. Eita gets so easily deceived."

"Hahaha, I got fooled."

"I also love this about Eita."

"...?!"

While lying on me and hugging me, Masuzu started rubbing her cheeks against my chest.

As if she was rubbing a scent onto my body, she kept rubbing. Consequently, the bed creaked.

Just like that time on the bus.

The only thing different from then was that her body was glued to mine and my entire body was shaking left, right, up, and down. What's this? Geez. Jeez! Aah— things are becoming really strange!

"M-Masuzu-san? What are you doing?"

"A trick."

"Am I still in elementary school!"

"Breathing with gills."

"Why a fish?! I'm asking you what's all the cheek rubbing for!"

"Aah, this? This is———— 'monyo-monyo'."

My head went blank.

"[...] ...M-Mo-nyo?"

"Yeah, mo-nyo-mo-nyo. It's very good for the health."

Masuzu's eyes were sparkling'

"I've always had a frail body up until elementary school. Even for school lunches I was the last to finish. For track sprints, I was also the last. I always got gloomy when the annual autumn sports meet came, and as the day drew near, I would hang the Teru Teru Bozu[1] upside down. At that time, I chanced upon the 'mo-nyo-mo-nyo'. Just by doing five minutes of this exercise in the morning after waking up and before sleeping every day, day after day, my stamina gradually increased, my appetite came, my waist became narrower, and even my luck with money got better. I was so much healthier than before. Even now, my friends and relatives have recommended continuing with it."

"…It's impossible to improve your luck with money…"

"Just my humble opinion."

"Aah, then say that at the beginning!"

"By the way, frankly, a person who experiences mo-nyo-mo-nyo has an eighty-seven percent chance of getting pregnant afterwards."

"That's a lie, that's just not possible!"

"Just my humble opinion."

"THAT'S NOT AN OPINION, IT'S CLEARLY YOUR IMAGINATIOOOOOOON!"

The comeback line was so intense that my throat went hoarse.

As I was gasping for breath, Masuzu snuggled up to me.

"Hey, Eita."

"…What?"

"Coming to the beach and staying overnight with a boyfriend, mucking and flirting around in the morning on the bed, all that makes me feel as if my body is rotting from the core."

"Yeah, totally."

While listening to the sound of waves, we exchanged such idle talk that can be said to be downright completely useless.

There was nothing to be gained, nothing of value to obtain from speaking or listening to it.

However, as to whether I disliked that or not—

Masuzu hit both my cheeks with her hands:

"Rotting and returning to the earth with you, may not sound like a bad idea."

"[...]"

What does she mean by that?

Does she mean she is going to give up on being anti-romance?

At that moment.


"Eita, are you awake?"


After a knock on the door, I could hear Saeko-san's voice call out to me.

It seemed like today, she was in awake-mode.

"Stay quiet", I told Masuzu with my eyes and then replied:

"I-I'm awake. What's up?"

"I came to see you before going back to the office. There's something I need to talk to you about, can you come down for a while?"

"All right. I'll be right there."

After waiting for a while for Saeko-san's presence to disappear completely.

"Masuzu, go back to your own room."

"I wonder what does your aunt want to talk about?"

"Who knows...?"

I was quite sure it was about the contest yesterday, though.

Masuzu's shoulders drooped.

"I didn't manage to win the contest after all. Perhaps, she really has no intention of accepting me as your girlfriend."

Quite frankly, even as her family, I didn't know either.

I wonder how Saeko-san took what had happened yesterday.

"Well, at any rate, I'll be going."

"Will it be okay? Shall I come along?"

I said to Masuzu who was looking at me anxiously:

"Trust your 'boyfriend', would you?"

"—Hm, got it."

'Be careful', Masuzu whispered into my ear and kissed me lightly on the cheek.

...Ermmmm.

Somehow, somehow...

Even I no longer knew whether this was a fake or not...



When I walked into the living room, I smelled the aroma of coffee.

"Eita, do you want some?"

Even though I wanted to hurry to the point of the conversation, I nodded anyway. Saeko-san brewed pretty good coffee.

The fresh light of the sunrise filled the room, and the living room echoed with my and Saeko-san's voices as we sipped coffee. The radio was quietly announcing the weather, and today it seemed like the entire country was cloudless and sunny.

When I remembered that we were supposed to leave Funase today, I felt a little reluctant...

I couldn't help but thinking it would be nice if we could play just a little bit more. After we went back, I'd again be going to cram school every day.

"That was quite the feat, yesterday."

"Ah-- Uh--- Yeah."

Because she mentioned it so suddenly, my response was really stupid.

"I never expected Eita to do such a bold thing. The stage almost collapsed. From the perspective of the event, such a steamy atmosphere is worth celebrating for——— But my own feelings are rather complex. I'm very worried about you, Eita."

"...I'm sorry."

"You're in a really dangerous place. I'd say the more serious you take things, the more serious the mistakes will be once things stray out of course..."

Saeko-san fiddled with her hair and scratched her head.

Then, she exposed a wry smile.

"But, there's another route. If you want to go out with her no matter what, then as your family member; I will warmly protect you both."

"Thank you."

I thanked her from the bottom of my heart.

"But Eita, you're now set for the 'shuraba'mayhem route. Are you prepared for it?"

"A-Ah..."

Mayhem.

I could only expect my ideal peaceful high school life to drift away... Farther and farther away.

But even assuming that Masuzu and I broke up, I didn't expect things to become peaceful either. It wouldn't be me and Chiwa like in middle school. With Masuzu, with my girlfriend, I had to endure so to create a balance between my childhood friend, ex-girlfriend, and fiancée, or else it'd crumble right away. I have no clue on how to do this. Anyways, I was stuck in a dead end.

"Another even. There's still another possibility."

Saeko-san said as if she could see through my thoughts.

"A point where you can avoid the 'shuraba'mayhem and the harem-route, this is the 'third route'."

"T-That would be dreamlike route! If there's this kind of alternative, please tell me!"

My eyes suddenly turned bright. As expected of Saeko-san! She was really reliable!

"But it'll be very difficult. Are you aware that this will be a road lined with thorns?"

"I'll do it! As long as I can avoid the 'shuraba'mayhem, I'll do anything!"

Saeko-san put her thumbs up as she head my response and then flipped her wrist upside down.

"Reverse-capture."

"...Huh? Re-tense?"

"Reverse, it's '逆', making a girl fall for you would be 'capture'. So if you flip that around, then you should fine. In other words…"

Saeko-san grabbed both of my shoulders and then shouted with an energetic expression:


"Make all of the girls except your girlfriend hate you!"



After I watched Saeko-san get back in the car to drive off to work, the time was eight o'clock.

The sun was already high in the sky, but no one had gotten up yet. I guess everyone really had been affected by what happened yesterday.

I thought over the reverse-capture plan in the living room and already had my resolution. I'd start the operation at nine o'clock.

I went up the stairs and first knocked on Hime's door.

"Hime, it's me. Can I come in?"

No response.

Once again I knocked on the door:

"It seems like I've fully recovered my memories from my past life. Right now, I want to talk to the 'Holy Dragon Princess of Dawn'. Please open up."

At this moment, it sounded like she had held her breath on the other side of the door.

Tap, tap, tap, tap. Cute-sounding footsteps drew close and then the door was opened.

"Eita, is that true?"

Hime had blushed and was wearing thrilly pajamas that seemed like a ceremonial robe as she came to greet me.

"Can I come in, Hime?"

"Affirmative! Come in! Come in!"

Hime happily grasping my hand made me ache with a sense that I was about to commit some kind of sin. Uuuuhh, Hime had been getting really cute these days.

Hime sat on the bed, and in order to face her properly, I sat cross-legged on the ground.

Hime stared intently at me with large eyes:

"During last night's kiss, I was shocked."

"...Ah."

So it was that.

"I knew that President and Eita were lovers in this time line, and I knew that I was only a lover from a past life, therefore less than second in this world. But, it was very difficult to watch such a kiss right in front of me. Even though I said I was okay being second, I guess I'm being unreasonable. But, after taking that hit, there's nothing to do about it... But, but…"

Hime wiped the tears rising to her eyes, smiled, and said:

"If Eita has recovered his memories from his past life, then can I… hope?"

"That's..."

I'm really sorry, Hime.

I must destroy this newborn hope.

"Hey, Eita. What kind of memories did you get back? Are they memories that have to do with me? Or are they memories related to 'The Seven Kings of the Dragon Star'?"

"Aahh, well…"

I endured the weight on my conscience, and began to speak against my values.

"In truth… I'm actually not the 'Holy Dragon Knight of Dawn'."

"Huh?"

"In my past life, I was only an ordinary peasant. I was 'Villager A' with neither any dragonic powers nor aura. It seems like in order to deceive the Wyverns, the Holy Dragon Race installed fake memories in me, so I only thought I was the 'Holy Dragon Knight of Dawn'."

Hime leaned forward:

"How? How did you find out about this kind of thing?"

"I heard the voice of God last night just when I was removing the edges of the potato, in order to keep the potatoes from become mashed up!"

Masuzu once said during club activities, 'when describing life, one should emphasize the authentic everyday things'. I tried to follow that advice.

"God said the 'Holy Dragon Knight of Dawn' was reincarnated somewhere else on this planet, so my mission was over. He said I didn't have anything to do with this war anymore, so I could go live my life in freedom."

"…Surprising…"

Hime's eyes were opened wide as I spoke to her.

"God asked me to convey a message to the princess: 'Your real lover was reincarnated somewhere else on this planet. Find him, renew your bonds, and after stir-frying the entire thing soft using a low flame, you'll be ready to have a showdown with the Wyverns!'"

Hime maintained her stiff, surprised expression.

For Hime who believed I was 'her lover from a past life', this fact must have been a huge shock. The reason why Hime liked me, after all, was because we shared the same 'past life delusions'. If I defeated this point, then Hime would lose her reason to like me.

When I realized Hime might actually go look for the non-existent 'Holy Dragon Knight of Dawn', my bad conscience suddenly worked up——— But after I thought about it, it should be fine after all, because everyone wakes up from their delusions someday.

"I really am sorry for making you think I was your 'past lover'. Even though I am merely a villager, but from now on you can go look for your true destined one!"

Hime's shoulders were trembling slightly:

"…Er…Ful…"

"Eh? What do you mean, Hime?"


"——I think this setting is just wonderful!"


…Huh?

"Wait, did you just say this was a setting?"

"This sad and beautiful legend, it's really amazing..."

"Don't casually change the subject—!"

Hime came off the bed and held my hand.

"Eita, that's amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Villager A is amazing!"

"Huh? …Huh? What? What? But I'm a villager? A regular person?"

Hime excitedly shook her head and said:

"This is actually better. I've also always thought the prince was just a clown, so this is really cool!"

"I-In what way?"

So a clown? Okay, Well, clown works just fine.

Hime raised her nose.

"Because this way, I can hug you!"

"Able to hug? It shouldn't be like that, right?"

"In the past, I've only been able to be held. Because the 'Holy Dragon Knight of Dawn' is rather strong, I've only been protected. But if you're Villager A, then I'll be able to protect you, and I'll be the one to hug you, Eita!"

So rather than being an existence to be protected, she's changed into an existence that could protect others.

Instead of being in the position to receive love, she's changed to a position to give love.

I see now———— This story's pretty good— It's kingly—

"Wait, gimme a second! Don't you like the 'Holy Dragon Knight of Dawn'? He's your boyfriend from your past life, right?!"

"It's true, but my heart is rather hesitant right now. Should I stick to the bonds from my past life, or should I make new bonds in this time? Aaah..."

Hime faced the sky as she spoke with a very happy expression.

She was intoxicated.

She was fully reveling in her delusions.

…It couldn't be that the hit she suffered from that kiss yesterday had completely disappeared?

"How did it come to this?"

As I heard Hime's overjoyed cheers, I weakly collapsed flat to the ground.


The first girl, epic fail.



I watched as Hime walked out the door to look for the 'Holy Dragon Knight of Dawn', and then tried to revive my spirit.

The next one was the 'fiancée', Fuyuumi Ai.

"Fuyuumi, it's me. Open up."

After a short period of time:

"...I don't want to see you!"

She whispered quietly through the door in response to me.

"Yeah, but I want to see you."

"[...]"

"Open the door, A-chan, please."

I heard a sigh from inside the room.

The doorknob slowly turned. Though the little crack that was open, I could see a glimpse of Fuyuumi's face. Her pink gown-like pajamas suited her very well.

"What? Don't just randomly use people's nicknames."

"I'm sorry."

Fuyuumi's face was depressed and almost unrecognizable, completely unlike her typically energetic self. Her eyelids were swollen… had she been crying?

I mustered my nearly discouraged willpower.

"Can I come in?"

"[...] [...] ...Not really."

I figured she meant 'yes', so I entered her room. With the curtains drawn entirely shut, the room appeared rather dark. The air conditioning was also very strong, so I felt a bit chilled.

"A-chan, can you take out the marriage registration form?"

"Huh? Why this all of a sudden…?"

"I want to see it, please."

A-chan stood there for a while, but in the end she slowly started moving. She took the pouch that was one the table.

"What do you want this for?"

Ai-chan pulled out the folded 'marriage registration form' and tilted her head, puzzled.

I silently took it, and immediately opened up the piece of paper which was covered in wrinkles. On it, A-chan's name and my own name written in hiragana, closely arranged together.

Right now, I'll rip this piece of paper.

If I do that, A-chan will despise me from the bottom of her heart. If a long-cherished and preserved object, brimming with memories, was to be treated like this, even a century of love will be disillusioned.

…A century of love.

In A-chan's case, it's a decade, right?

These ten years, she has remembered her promise with me. She's preserved this piece of paper this entire time.

I had utterly forgotten it, but A-chan continued to miss me in her heart.

—And today, I will end these ten years of love.

I used both of my hands to pinch the sides of the paper, and I raised it to eye level.

Come on, tear it.

Tear it. Now!

Use these fingers, and simply mercilessly tear it in half!

"[...] [...] ...!"

I-I can't do it!

I can't muster any strength.

Why? Do it now, Kidou Eita! Do you want to turn club activities into mayhem? Like this, all of the club members will become miserable. I might even get stabbed. If I can make her hate me right now, then I can prevent that kind of future!

"…D-Damn…!"

I clenched the sheet of paper and fell to my knees.

I can't do it. It's really impossible...

Rather suddenly, the teddy bear on the bed caught my eyes. Was this something that belonged to the hotel? If that was the case, it was rather weird. It was frayed everywhere, and its coat looked rather dirty.

"That's Murata."

Ai-chan muttered with her head lowered as she sat on the bed.

"Bear Murata was the stuffed animal I always held onto in Star Class in Kindergarten. Because I don't sleep well anywhere that's not home, I brought him."

"So your fictional boyfriend's name was derived from your stuffed animal's name."

Murata Michel Daigoro. I never thought this would be a mixture of her father's and a stuffed animal's names.

"Why don't you remember?"

"Eh?"

A-chan's eyes were reddening.

"I introduced him to you when we were in Star Class, right? I said he was my best friend. Didn't I introduce him already? I said I wanted to take care of him well. Why? Why don't you remember... Ta-kun, you idiot... ggg..."

That sniffling sounded like a crying child.

"I'm sorry. I'm really sorry, A-chan."

I bit the thumb of my right hand in order to hold back my irritability. Though, one bite or two weren't enough. Until A-chan stopped crying, I couldn't forgive myself.

After about five minutes, she finally stopped crying.

I used a handkerchief to wipe A-chan's face and then returned the 'marriage registration book' to her.

A-chan sniffled as she said:

"Is that all?"

"Yeah, thank you, A-chan."

No, I can't tear this sheet of paper. I better think of some other way to make A-chan hate me.

"Then, I'll be on my way."

"[...]"

"I'll go make breakfast. You can come eat later."

I stood up and was just about to walk out the door.

A-chan suddenly gave a great cry: 'Aaahh?'

"Sta…"

"Sta?"

"THE STAMP!"

She spread out the paper and showed it to me.

Right below where the name, 'Kidou Eita', was written with earthworm-like handwriting, there was a clear red thumb print.

"What's this? When I looked earlier, it wasn't there."

I suddenly thought of something and looked at my own hands.

From the place I had just bitten my thumb, there is a thin trail of oozing blood.

Red blood.

Red blood that stained my fingers.

My fingers stained with red blood had touched the paper.

When it touched the paper, it stained it.

Not possible, impossible.

Impossible, impossible, impossible, impossible, IMPOSSIBLE!


"Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy! This is—— TOO - AWESOME ♪ Ai-chan EPIC WIN—————♪"


With her gloomy expression from earlier entirely swept away, A-chan held up her fist and shouted for victory.

"Haan♪ Han, han, han ♪ I-I-I got p-proposed at the sea! Ai-chan was proposed by Ta-kun♪"

I held onto A-chan's feet, who was elastically jumping for joy everywhere.

"Wait a minute! That's wrong! It's not a thumb print! It's just blood! It's my blood!"

"Hey! It's a blood stamp!"

"Are you a Yakuza?!"

My retort flew in and right out of her ears, and A-chan hugged the 'marriage registration book' to her chest, her entire body seemed to float.

"Thank you, Ta-kun! Really, really, thank you so much! So it's me after all...♪"

"That's not— That's not— A-chan…"

"I really was stupid to worry about Natsukawa Masuzu! A mere kiss, now that I think of it, that isn't legally binding! A marriage registration form is the strongest♪"

Even though she said this with a subtle and slightly stupid smile, it sparked an even higher level of terror.

"Come on———— A-chan— Listen to me—"

"Hey, Ta-kun. After we graduate from high school, let's go to the city hall, okay? Let's rent an apartment together and go to college, and then we can work together as milk deliverymen, participate in the same circles, cook together, and share the same… bed… Kya— Kyaaa—♪"

This isn't good.

In many senses, this is definitely not good.

Nobody can stop this Fuyumi Ai!

"Well, Ai-chan is going to go out for a run♪"

I watched my fiancée's figure as she wheeled her arms and charged outside, completely in a daze.

Yan enough♪ The second girl was also an epic failure!



Chiwa was the last one left.

The time I gave CPR to Masuzu at swimming class, Chiwa was very upset, so I figured she would be quite angry about this.

'Put a copy of Shounen Jump under your shirt...'

Saeko-san's advice flashed through my mind, but I shook my head to let the anxiety dissolve.

Chiwa treated me like a little brother, it made me rather upset that she considered me to be someone younger than her. Though, I had never doubted Chiwa's affection for me before.

For that reason, it wasn't possible to use the 'reverse-capture'. I had to use a real attack as my method.

I had to tell Chiwa what she actually meant to me.

Even if I happened to have a 'girlfriend', she would never stop being my childhood friend.

There was no substitute for 'family', so this was something I should tell her.

"Chiwa, it's me."

I tried knocking on the door, but there was no response.

"Chiwa? Are you still asleep?"

I knocked on the door again and called, but this time a sound came from the living room on the first floor.

"I'm here, Ei-kun."

"What? You're downstairs already?"

I shouted as I went downstairs to the kitchen. Great, it seemed like her voice was still quite cheerful. Maybe she wasn't that depressed.

As I entered the living room, I found Chiwa casually dressed and standing by the window, watching the sea.

The white curtains and brand-name ribbons swayed together with the wind.

Her large, round eyes looked a little moist while they overlooked the sea. From the side, she looked more mature than usual.

What is it?

How should I put it? Today she was very… um...

...Cute.

"H-Hey, Chiwa. About last night."

"Mh."

"Masuzu and I, um… That's our relationship."

"I know."

Chiwa continued to watch the sea.

"After all, you're boyfriend and girlfriend. A kiss is normal."

"But in front of so many people, maybe it went a little bit too far?"

"Well, it was a performance to demonstrate love. Shouldn't it be expected?"

That sounded quite reasonable.

It was like she was already saying everything I intended to say.

"Chiwa, you're not angry?"

"Why would I be angry?"

Chiwa looked at my face for the first time this day.

She then exposed a weaker smile than usual:

"Even if I'm angry at Ei-kun, there's nothing I can do about it."

"That's true."

"Eita's been working so hard and desperately studied to make his dream of becoming a doctor come true. Compared to you, I haven't done anything. I don't have any right to be angry."

I didn't know how to response.

You need a right to be angry? That's not very Chiwa like.

"But last night I cried a little bit."

"[...]"

"I felt like Eita went to a place very far away, so I felt really sad. I felt like you were going with your girlfriend to a place where I couldn't follow. It scared me."

"…That won't happen…"

That's not possible, Chiwa.

Before I cure your body, I won't be going anywhere.

"You see, I'm pretty short, right? I'm actually really worried about this. I often wonder, will I ever grow up to be as tall as Natsukawa? Will my boobs and butt ever change considerably? When I take baths, I always think about this. Please grow. Grow. Grow. Grow big enough so that Ei-kun will look at me. Please… grow… okay…?"

Chiwa's voice became hoarse due to her tears.

"Enough, Chiwa."

I approached Chiwa, and intended to hug her shoulders.

But then.

Chiwa suddenly went tiptoe and leaned towards my face.

She went a little further than I thought she would on her toes, so, so then—


—It touched.


Chiwa's kiss was entirely different from Masuzu's.

Her little lips almost seemed like they'd be sucked into my mouth.

The 'nnn, nnn' subtle sounds of her breathing.

Because she was precariously standing on the tips of her toes, her breath was making these kinds of sounds.

"[...] [...] [...]"

After her lips parted, I couldn't say a word.

My shoulders undulated up and down as I panted, and I could only stare at Chiwa.

"You thought I couldn't reach, right?"

A reservoir of teardrops emerged at Chiwa's eyes as she smiled and said:

"Recently, I've grown taller. Didn't you notice?"

Tears were slowly starting to drip.

"—Because I've always been next to you, you didn't notice it, right?"

Now, the tears were really pouring down her face.

"You didn't notice, right? I even said it so many times. Hey, this time, will you listen carefully?"

Chiwa did not wipe away the tears on her cheeks and instead continued:


—Ei-kun, I love you.


At the same time, the sound of the door opening seemed to overlap.


"If 'I love you' could solve everything, there wouldn't be a need for the police, right?"


The speaker of these cold words had silver hair which fluttered in the wind.

Natsukawa Masuzu smiled.


"This seems like quite a happy moment. Miss Childhood Friend, may I join in?"


Chiwa wiped away her tears and smiled slightly.


"Can't you read the atmosphere? Girlfriend, why don't you come back in nine years?"


As I stood between these two, at that moment, I realized the 'third route' was already cut off.

What was bound to come, already did.


————I was stuck in the mayhem between my girlfriend and childhood friend.


Translator notes and references[edit]

  1. Teru Teru Bozu: See here.
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