After dinner, I let out a small sigh in my room.
After that, I dropped Ayana off near her house.
Originally, I had gone to the bustling city for an after-school date with Ayana. However, the day ended on a somewhat sour note after witnessing those two.
Well, by the time we said our goodbyes, Ayana had already returned to her usual self, so I was relieved. But it was still the first time I had seen her like that.
“… What was that all about?”
I was certainly concerned about Ayana, but what bothered me even more was the strange phenomenon that occurred when I saw Kotone and Hatsune-san.
It felt like I was isolated from the world, and I saw a woman wearing a black hood. When I turned around, my thought process was interrupted because Ayana called me, but I definitely saw the same figure that was present when those two fell.
“Write down everything that’s bothering you. There might be a hint.”
I organized the information about this world, the protagonist, Shu, and the heroine, Ayana, in a notebook that I took out from the desk drawer.
I documented everything that happened after school, as well as events at school. As I looked at the pages, they seemed like strange messages, and I chuckled.
“What was that phrase… I wonder what it meant?”
I recalled the phrase that was etched into my memory and repeated it:
“Corner them… Corner them… Make them suffer… Make them suffer…”
To corner them and make them suffer – these words had nothing but negative connotations. I whispered these words to myself repeatedly, and something strange happened.
As if the sentence continued, my hand holding the pen moved on its own.
Corner them… Corner them…
Make them suffer… make them suffer…
And then, take away the most important thing… and they’ll have nothing but despair. Right?
My hand unconsciously composed these words. I didn’t understand the meaning behind these words or how they appeared on paper. However, there was something about these words that felt familiar.
I sat in the chair for a while, staring at the words I had written, but I couldn’t recall anything beyond a faint sense of familiarity.
It’s frustrating, way too frustrating.
Still, I remained motionless as I tried to trace my memory, trying to remember something, but after more than ten minutes, I had reached the limit of my patience.
“I can’t take it anymore!”
I can not continue! I can’t remember anything. Aaaghh!
I half-threw my notebook, closed it, and headed to the living room to drink something cold to cool my head.
“Ara, what’s the matter?”
I initially assumed that my mother had already gone to her room, but she was leisurely watching TV. She looked surprised when I suddenly appeared, but then clapped her hands and went to the refrigerator, pouring barley tea into a glass and handing it to me.
“Here you go. You wanted this, didn’t you?”
“Yeah… How did you know?”
“Well, you’re my son. It is only natural.”
Is it only natural…?
Well, I got it because she offered, so I thanked her and then quickly drank it all.
“You’re a good drinker.”
“I guess so…”
“Let me have it.”
“It’s fine. It’s just a cup, and I can do it myself.”
I didn’t want to trouble her that much, so I took the initiative and started washing the cup.
During that time, my mother just smiled at me the whole time. It was a bit unnerving and made me pause.
“Fufu, I’m sorry. I just can’t help but think my son is handsome no matter when I look at him.”
That’s… well, since I’m Towa now, I’m bound to be handsome. It’s not like I can help it.
Even though it had been several days since I became Towa, every time I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t help but think I was quite the good-looking guy.
Nevertheless, being told I was handsome still made me feel good.
“Well, I’m your son, so it’s only natural, right? I’ve inherited the beauty of my beautiful mother.”
She pounced on me in an instant.
I tried to endure the shock that surged through my entire body and was relieved that the cup in my hand didn’t fall.
“You’re just too good-looking, even your personality! Always saying things that make me happy!”
“Hey, a little personal space here! And don’t kiss me!”
“What’s wrong with it?”
Not good at all! I lightly chopped her on the head to push her away.
She seemed quite dissatisfied as her cheeks puffed up. I almost wanted to say, “Think about your age,” but I refrained, as they say it’s a taboo topic when it comes to women’s ages.
“Well, I’m heading back.”
Right before I left the living room, my mother called me to a halt.
“If you ever need anything, just rely on me, okay? You can tell me anything you can’t tell Ayana-chan, and I’ll be here to help with anything you need.”
I guess she noticed when I was lost in thought during dinner. My mother truly loved me and cared for me. She was always ready to support and help me with anything.
I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the people in my life. Towa, you probably felt the same way, didn’t you?
“Oh? It feels like something good happened to Towa-kun.”
While lying on the bed, I──Ayana Otonashi murmured.
I’m not pretending to be a psychic, but I have a strange sense that allows me to understand Towa-kun’s feelings somehow.
There might not be anything going on, but the intuition I’ve developed over the years has caught Towa-kun’s sense of happiness.
“…I must admit, this feels a bit creepy.”
Even though I love him, I realized this was a bit creepy, so I reflected on it.
In my hands, I held a single photograph – a picture of Towa-kun and me, both smiling.
I kissed the Towa-kun in the photo.
As always, it’s the same. Just thinking about him makes my heart leap with joy, and I feel so happy. That’s why, even a hint of malice toward him, and my head boils over with anger.
That’s why, when I thought about what happened after school, I couldn’t help but click my tongue.
My date with Towa-kun was a sweet time, a moment filled with love, like a return to the time we spent during lunch.
It was fun, endearing, and blissful… In our world, filled with such emotions between Towa-kun and me, those people stepped into it with their muddy boots.
“I won’t forgive them… I won’t forgive them, won’t forgive them, won’t forgive them, won’t forgive them, won’t forgive them, won’t forgive them!”
Those people didn’t notice… Towa-kun.
Still, when I saw the distorted look on Towa’s face when I saw those people, I thought to myself: After all, those people have to be cleaned up.
“You’re late? Were you playing with Shu-kun?”
My mother called out when I returned, but I couldn’t stand her connecting everything to Shu-kun.
While my mother has never directly spoken harsh words to Towa-kun from the past to the present, when she conveyed unkind words to me about Towa-kun, she was guilty by association.
“…Shall I go outside for some fresh air?”
I got up from the bed and went out to the balcony.
Despite the turmoil in my heart, when I raised my head, the beautiful starry sky was gazing down at me.
I’m sure that what I’m about to do… No, what I’ve already started is by no means a beautiful thing. My heart is tainted in stark contrast to this beautiful starry sky.
“Towa-kun… I’m your…”
Is it appropriate…?
Thinking that, I suddenly snapped back to my senses, realizing I can’t stop my actions any longer. I lightly slapped my cheeks.
“It’s okay. I can do it … Definitely.”
I will bring despair to those who tormented Towa-kun, in a cruel way. I’ve thought this before, but Towa-kun is so kind that I can never tell him. That’s why I want those people to fade away without him realizing.
Only they will change… I won’t change at all.
I will always be by Towa-kun’s side… I can be by his side.
“It’s strange, isn’t it? Why does everything seem to go so well?”
Now is the time to sow the seeds, and it will be a little while before the seeds of despair will sprout.
“Most people would never think about it, but I’m convinced that this is the ultimate way to achieve the worst possible result, and strangely, it always seems to work, even when success is uncertain.
“Corner them… make them suffer…”
I’ll corner them. I’ll make them suffer… and then I’ll hit them with unbearable despair.
After thinking like this for a while, I received a message from my beloved.
I wondered where the Ayana Otonashi from just a moment ago had disappeared to; my thought process had completely shifted.
“What is it~? What can I do for you? Ufufu~♪”
Slightly… Just slightly, I also have something I think about, and that something is related to Towa-kun. It’s not too disturbing when others are around or when someone is nearby. But when I’m alone like this, I have the confidence that I can get as disturbing as I want.
[The futon flew away.]
I was surprised when I received a message from Towa-kun.
“The futon… flew away?”
I vocalized my thoughts to understand the meaning.
It’s one of those old, worn-out puns, and I thought about whether there was a hidden meaning because Towa-kun had sent it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with an answer.
“No, I can’t! If I can’t grasp this intention, I’ll be disqualified as a woman for Towa-kun!”
But… but, but, but, but, I have no idea at all! Towa-kun sent this message suddenly, and I don’t understand the meaning at all!
“Ah, uhm… an orange on top of an aluminum can…”
No, I definitely don’t need to reply with such a lame pun. Huh?
Could it be that there’s an intention behind this, aimed at getting me to say it?
Mumumu… as I was struggling to respond, I received another message from Towa-kun.
[Sorry. Sorry for sending such a weird message out of the blue.]
“Ah, don’t apologize! You don’t need to!”
Even though Towa-kun wasn’t here, I was shaking my head vigorously.
[Sorry about the sudden weird message. I was thinking about going to sleep, and then I thought, ‘Hmm, Ayana might be feeling down.’ So, I sent that awful pun. I’m sorry; my sense of humor is a total disaster.]
Knowing the reason for why he sent such a message, I once again felt my heart race for Towa.
Certainly, it was a bit of an unusual pun to send on the spot. However, I was happy because he had thought of me and sent that pun. We are truly connected, and I believe that from the bottom of my heart.
“Perhaps I made Towa-kun worry about the situation as well.”
Today, I clearly told Towa-kun that I disliked Shu’s family, for the first time. Since Towa-kun is kind, he probably thought he would worry if he knew that I, a close family member, felt such aversion. Well, he could probably have guessed it considering everything that’s happened so far, but I didn’t actively tell him. However, today, I felt it was fine.
In the end, the conversation ended there, and Towa-kun probably won’t ask further. So, the only thing left is for me to act and eliminate those people and turn them into bitter memories.
“Towa-kun, it’s almost over… just a little more.”
No one will be there to torment you anymore.
Once achieved, the world that Towa-kun and I want will be there…Aaa ♪ With that, the days of being able to flirt with Towa-kun will begin.
Anywhere, anytime… Mufufu♪!