I woke up that day to my alarm. Recently, Kohaku-chan has been getting up early to make breakfast, but occasionally, I feel like I should make it too. So, I set my alarm a bit earlier than usual, but Kohaku-chan was already gone from the bed. Not only her but also Karen-chan was missing.
While Kohaku-chan not being there is one thing, it’s unimaginable for Karen-chan, who’s known for oversleeping, to not be snuggled up in her futon. Feeling a sense of unease due to the unusual situation, I sat up. Kohaku-chan and Karen-chan were nowhere to be seen, but Aoi-chan was sleeping soundly.
No matter where I look, she has a lovely sleeping face. I wanted to tease her a bit, but since I was concerned about the two missing girls, I decided to leave the room. They weren’t in the living room, and their shoes were still inside, so they hadn’t left the house… Could it be?
Following my intuition, I headed upstairs. Then, I stopped in front of a certain room. I usually avoided entering this room… I gently opened the door and peeked inside.
My eyes landed on his bed. He was sandwiched between two beautiful women. His sleeping posture clearly indicated that he couldn’t escape from being locked in by both of them. However, I couldn’t care less about that. What was more important was the aftermath? Did everything finish already? All three of them? No way! It’s unbelievable, right? It must be something else…
Three of them… Are we talking about a threes0me? Those two would never allow such a thing. They probably argued over him or cuddled with him while sleeping, something like that, I guess. Once I felt that way, my heart felt lighter, so I went downstairs to start preparing breakfast.
I made breakfast, but no one had woken up yet. Kohaku-chan usually wakes up around this time, even if she doesn’t do housework in the morning… Is she tired? Did they stay up late? When I think about that, my imagination takes a weird turn, so I continue preparing breakfast efficiently. Then, the door to their room finally opened.
“Good morning.” (Aoi)
“Good morning!” (Moegi)
“Where are the three of them?”
She seemed a bit sleepy, and her words came out a bit lazy as she looked around the room and noticed that no one was there. Mel-chan usually has an irregular lifestyle, so it’s normal for her to wake up around noon. But the three of them had school today, and they weren’t awake yet. Furthermore, they weren’t in their futons, and they weren’t in the room. That must be bothering her a lot.
“Ugh, they’re all sleeping together…”
“Hmm… Well, I don’t really care….”
“I don’t care…”
“Exactly. But they should wake up soon; otherwise, they won’t have time to eat breakfast properly. I’ll go wake them up.”
“Ah, I see. Please do.”
She walked away briskly. It’s still strange how I can understand what she’s thinking even though she maintains an expressionless face. That’s what makes her cute, and it’s one of the reasons why she’s easy to be friends with. There are other reasons why it’s easy to get along with her too. One of those reasons is that Aoi-chan shares some similarities with Fuyumi-chan. There’s a slight touch of “gal” vibe, so to speak. Both Aoi-chan and Fuyumi-chan occasionally use rough language, but they still have a strong sense of self and integrity.
With Aoi-chan’s presence, school became even more enjoyable. I looked forward to the upcoming school trip and other events while my heart danced with excitement.
The three of them came downstairs with awkward expressions. It’s also uncomfortable for me to be shown such looks.
“Oh, thank you for the breakfast.”
“I-It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”
“Oh, it looks delicious, as expected from Moegi”
Both of them seemed to express that they had done something. Even if I tell them not to worry about it, it might come off with some weird implication. Saying things like, “It’s not what you think,” or “I know it’s not afterwards,” might sound strange.
Aoi-chan didn’t react much and took her seat. Following her lead, everyone sat down for breakfast. In the midst of our awkwardness, she raised a question.
“Why are you both acting so nervous?”
“Eh, no, It’s not like that at all!”
Amazing, what courage she has to straightforwardly ask that question, purely out of curiosity. Both girls seem uncomfortable and not sure how to handle the situation. Aoi-chan didn’t need an explanation, but it seemed like they gave one to her. And then, both Kohaku-chan and Karen-chan were fidgeting. That’s when he suddenly stood up!
“We were just sleeping together, nothing weird happened! Let’s just continue as usual! It was a wholesome night, nothing happened! Let’s just ask each other for jam or soy sauce like always!”
You’re quite something for saying that. It’s like ranking first in the “Most Awkward Things for a teenage boy to say” list. Uttering such a statement like it’s a casual thing, you’ve gone past “impressive” and come back around to “impressive” again.
“Y-Yeah, you’re right! Nothing happened! Nothing happened at all! Moegi, pass me the soy sauce!”
“Moegi-senpai, this tamagoyaki is delicious! It feels like a return to the basics of cooking!”
Karen-chan was meticulously asserting that nothing happened, while Kohaku-chan tasted the tamagoyaki in one bite. It seemed like he had taken control of the situation.
As we continued eating, I realized I forgot to prepare drinks. I got up and opened the fridge… and there was a single bottle of water inside. Is this… water? There was no other option, so I divided it equally among the five of us.
“Thank you, Moegi-senpai.”
In that order, Kohaku-chan, Karen-chan, Aoi-chan, and Izayoi all thanked me. After distributing the water, we returned to our meal. He was the first to take a sip from the water. And then… he collapsed.
“Eeh!? Are you okay!?”
Everyone asked in worry. A few seconds later, he started rebooting like a machine. We all felt relieved that he seemed fine, but we couldn’t ignore the unsettling look in his eyes. His gaze seemed to suggest that he was seeing a different world.
Then, he suddenly grabbed his right hand, which was trembling, as if containing an immense and ominous legendary power. He pressed his right hand to his right eye as if to suppress it, and he muttered.
“Calm down, my Evil Grasp Demon Hand and God’s Magic Eye, Ultimate Force… It’s not working… the seal…”
“Are you okay!? Izayoi-kun!?”
The group of us second-year students looked at him with cold eyes, but Kohaku-chan seemed genuinely concerned and patted his back. Why was she activating her natural innocence here? And he changed after drinking the water… Could this be my fault…?
“Aah, I can’t believe it. The Thundering Deity of the Roaring Lightning set up an automatic future attack on me, a mental attack from the future… It seems my act of betrayal has been exposed. I used my maximum defense on instinct, but damn it, did the seal loosen as a result…”
“Eeh?! What’s happening here? Are you okay?”
It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. It’s painful just to watch. I may not have chuunibyou, but this is definitely hard to witness. To think that the aftermath would affect us…
“Izayoi… are you okay? This is… really something, isn’t it?”
“This water… maybe Mel did something? That’s the only possibility. I’ll go wake her up and ask.”
This is… a serious situation. We can’t just leave it alone.
“Izayoi-kun, are you alright!? We need to go to the hospital!”
“Pfft, that won’t change anything… I need a branch from the Sacred Tree sent by the Divine Mother Goddess…”
“Where can you get that?”
“It’s in a place close to a dimension that stretches into the cosmos…”
“Where is it!?”
Karen-chan is clutching her chest. Ah, she’s also a victim…
“It’s somehow hurting here…”
“I brought her.”
Aoi-chan brought Mel-chan along. Mel seems to be in her morning state with messy hair. Mel-chan seemed to understand the situation quite well, as she gazed at the water on the dining table and began to explain.
“This is because of that. It happened because he drank the water from my research.”
“Why did you have that in the fridge? Thanks to that, Izayoi got sent to some weird time and space!”
“I was using it for research in the academic world. I was planning to store it in the fridge to keep it cold when I found a suitable container, so that’s why I put it there.”
“It’s not just ‘that’s why,’ is it? How can we fix this? Explain quickly!”
Karen–chan and Aoi-chan press Mel for answers. She explains, sweating.
“It’s like two sides of the same coin. It’s just that one side got overly emphasized, and it made him really stupid. It’ll be back to normal in about a day.”
“What?! He’s going to rampage like this for a whole day… After Izayoi is back to normal, he’s definitely going to die in agony!”
“…We’ll have to support him together.”
Is this his other side, like a manifestation of his chuunibyou? Well, not exactly his other side, because it occasionally shows up on the surface too. But it’s still painful to watch. Even now, he calls Karen-chan by her first name, and she’s clinging to him.
“I’m sorry, Kohaku.”
“No, it’s fine… Did everyone hear that just now? Izayoi called me by my first name!”
“Kohaku, how long are you going to act like a fool? Come over here, and let’s make a plan to heal with adhesive bandages and ointments!”
“Is that jealousy?”
The two of them awkwardly exchange words, and Izayoi steps in between them.
“Kohaku, Karen, please calm down. I’ll be fine.”
“That’s not going to help! We need to be considerate… Did Izayoi just call me by my first name?! Moegi, Aoi, did you hear that!”
Kohaku-chan… Even Karen-chan… They’re both blushing, and Karen-chan has a bright smile on her face as she looks at me. Both Aoi-chan and I sigh. But this is partly my fault…
“Sorry… for making you drink that weird stuff.”
“Don’t worry, Moegi. This won’t kill me. If I were going to die from something like this, I would have died a long time ago in the Dragless Kingdom.”
“Which kingdom is that? But thanks… Eh, you are also calling me by my first name?”
My face instantly heats up. Getting this close all of a sudden is cheating… I feel a bit flustered. Aoi-chan seems to be pouting.
“What’s that? Why are you suddenly doing something like that? I don’t understand, it’s not making sense, but it’s more like a forest… Uh, well, whatever.”
She mumbles in a low voice, perhaps unconsciously, and then approaches him.
“What’s wrong?” (Izayoi)
“Want to play a quiz?” (Aoi)
“Hoh, a quiz with me? Well, sure.”
“So, do you know what the opposite of Ioa is?”
“…Is it Aoi?”
“…Correct… So, that’s it…”
She stays near him, and her footsteps seem a bit lighter, unconsciously or not.
“Hey, isn’t it about time for school?”
In a hurry, we all get ready and head to school.
My name is Noguchi Natsuko, just an ordinary high school girl. Well, recently, the battle of love has been heating up and it’s been so much fun, but… something seems strange with Kuroda-kun. He’s sitting at his desk, his arms crossed, his head resting on them, and he’s been silent for a while. And there’s Gindou-san, watching him with a worried look.
“Sorry, I’m just not in the mood right now…”
“Sorry. I’m thinking about the ripple phenomenon in parallel worlds right now. Can we talk later?”
Wait, what happened!? He’s acting like a loner. He usually interacts with everyone just fine.
There’s a commotion around us. Then, the transfer student and his love rival, Maguro-kun, stands in front of Kuroda-kun and talks to him.
“Hey, let’s have a contest.”
“I’m different from yesterday. I won’t treat her as a mere commodity like I do. I want to prove that I’m cooler than you and more worthy of her. Understand?”
His straightforward declaration causes the girls around to start squealing with excitement and the boys to start booing.
“Hey, you jerk.”
“Calm down, you know it’s pointless to say anything.”
As the surrounding crowd gets noisy, Kuroda-kun remains silent. Maguro-kun, impatient, speaks loudly to him again.
“Oi, are you listening!?”
“…Oh, sorry. Were you talking about black holes and supernova explosions?”
“It’s completely different! What were you listening to, you!”
No, what’s happening!? He’s acting like a high school sophomore with delusions of grandeur! Moreover, a whole year of practicing swordplay in the morning, that’s ridiculous! People around him started discussing whether he’s having a recurrence of Chuunibyou.
“Umm, Izayoi-kun, because of that water…”
I heard unsettling words, but then the two guys resumed their conversation.
“Anyway, let’s have a contest!”
“It’s pointless. This is how people have fought for ages… You…”
With a piercing glare, he directed his words towards him.
“You’re the one who should!”
Maguro-kun’s retort was sharp. Then he returned to his seat, well, right behind Kuroda-kun…
From here, their impromptu contest began. It happened during math class.
“Well, does anyone understand this problem?”
Most boys remained silent, but most girls, including me, Kimchika-kun, and Gindou-san, raised our hands. While everyone else stayed quiet, Maguro-kun loudly volunteered himself to solve the problem.
“Well then, Kuromaguro-kun, give it a try.”
He stood up. As he passed by Kuroda-kun’s desk, he smirked provocatively. However, Kuroda-kun responded with a smirk that seemed to say, “I already know your answer. And it’s wrong.”
Maguro-kun wrote down the solution to the problem on the board and the teacher marked it as correct.
Praised by the girls in front of the board, and even Ginodo-san applauded. Though she glanced occasionally at Kuroda-kun…
Maguro-kun wasn’t pleased by that, so he returned to his seat with a bitter expression and provoked Kuroda-kun.
“This makes me the winner.”
Seems like he’s declaring victory on his own terms. And he’s probably calculating that this way, Kuroda-kun will eventually step into the arena. Clever, but don’t forget…
Kuroda-kun laughed at his victory declaration. He laughed at him, at the world.
“Truly a frog in a well, unaware of the heavens, just like the saying goes.”
“What did you say!? Are you saying my answer is wrong!?”
“Not that. It means our perspectives in this class are different. This class is full of traps.”
Math teacher noticed Maguro-kun’s voice.
“It’s nothing major, but he’s saying incomprehensible things like this class is full of traps…”
“Kuroda-kun, do you have any complaints?”
When the teacher asked, Kuroda-kun laughed again.
“No complaints. I was just wondering how long you’re going to continue this melodrama.”
“Want to go to the nurse’s office?”
“I see through it, you know. Your true identity.”
“It seems like he’s quite enthusiastic. How about you address the problem?”
Taunting the teacher, Kuroda-kun stood up and approached the front. And he said just one thing.
“Excuse me for intruding from outside the FF.”
“What are you talking about? Who are you?”
“What, don’t mind me.”
“I see, then can you solve this problem?”
“Before that, shall I address your true identity?”
“Can you please address the problem?”
Facing the teacher, he made big claims. And he began marking a certain number on the board with a circle. Amid various numbers on the board, he circled the number 6.
“The number 6, it appears three times on the board. In other words, 666. This suggests that your true identity is a world-spanning secret society.”
“I see. So, have you solved this problem?”
“a = √3”
“Do you usually answer correctly?”
The teacher finally took on the role of the straight man. Or rather, Kuroda-kun solved it. He seems to have been genuinely participating in the class after all…
“However, there’s also a possibility that this problem is constructed in an entirely different language. In that case, I might need to retract my previous answer. Math-sensei, may I summon Laplace’s Demon to verify the solution?”
“My name is Mitsui. And if you are going to summon, you’ll have to summon your parents as well.”
“Well then, let’s flip a card face-down and end our turn.”
“You must have a fever.”
Crap, Kuroda-kun, you are absolutely hilarious. Gindou-san was looking at him with concern, but then she seemed to lose her temper and raised her hand.
“Sensei, it seems that Kuroda-kun is running a pretty high fever. Can I take him to the nurse’s office?”
“That’s a good idea. You should go. Kuroda-kun.”
She took his hand and left the classroom. What was that all about? It was… so unlike Kuroda-kun’s usual behavior.
“That was quite unusual.”
“He might have a fever.”
“Probably a pretty high one…”
On that day, Kuroda-kun and Gindou-san left early.