Shinozuka-san stood in front of the girl who was about to cry.
The girl noticed us. When she saw us, she was upset and glared at us.
The voice she uttered was nasal.
“…… What? You guys are …… sloppy.”
Shinozuka-san spoke to her in a gentler tone than usual.
“Etto..ne you are lost I guess? I wonder if I could help you with something?”
(TL Note: I kept it in japanese somehow coz..it sounded cuter)
The girl’s gaze went beyond Shinozuka to look at a boy and a girl about the same age in the distance.
The boys and girls began to walk …… laughing and turning their backs.
I don’t really like the atmosphere.
The girl let out a voice.
The look of resignation on her face became even stronger.
The girl drops the bag she was carrying to the floor with a plop.
“…… What the hell is wrong with you people? I’m not… I’m not… I’m not alone! Don’t mind me! Don’t feel sorry for me, ……, …….”
Shinozuka-san replied without changing her expression.
“Well, I’m Anri Shinozuka and this guy here is Shinjo Makoto. We’re here in Destiny today for a high school field trip. –What’s your name?”
“…… Hizaki.. Hizaki Chisa. I’m in the third year of junior high school. That’s enough, right? Just leave me alone and go make out somewhere else.”
Shinozuka-san bends over her waist. She brings her gaze to the same level as the girl.
“Uhm, did you get left behind? Or are you meeting up with a friend? Will you be going around with someone? Are you going to …… go around by yourself?”
“Oh, it’s none of your business, sister! I don’t care about you! I don’t care about those people! …… They’re just jealous of me, that’s all……. I’m so annoyed that these lowlifes are my classmates. ……, yes, …… I’m so annoyed… …,hic*,……”
Shinozuka-san was certainly acting differently than usual.
We’re terribly afraid to get involved with other people.
And yet, Shinozuka didn’t stop.
Shinozuka put on the Usapin’s ears – the ones she had purchased at the store earlier – and put them on the girl.
“Hahaha, I knew it! You look good, Hizaki-san! You’re so cute…don’t you think so, Shinjo?”
“It’s not as good as Shinozuka’s, but it looks good.”
The girl’s face, which had been on the verge of tears, turned bright red and now glared at me.
“Oh, shut up! You’re wear these ears! Are you f*****g kidding me? What the hell are you doing? Hic*……”
The girl was trying her best to hold back her crying voice.
However, tears were rolling down her cheeks.
Shinozuka and I just stood by the girl. There was nothing we could say. I don’t feel sorry for her.
Because she’s different with us, right?
If you can still cry, you’re still okay.
–It’s not too late.
When you lose your emotions, when there’s no tears. You don’t feel anything in your heart.
Then this girl is still …….
Shinozuka and I stayed with the girl until she stopped crying.
When the girl stopped crying, Shinozuka took her hand.
The girl was confused, but Shinozuka didn’t care and walked on. Inevitably, I walked next to her, holding her hand.
We went to a restaurant in front of the witch’s castle.
The girl said, “Oh, wait, I’m so embarrassed. ……”, but her words had no power.
The girl sat down at the restaurant and was fiddling with her phone, looking somewhat uncomfortable.
She said, “I knew it. ……, I’m blocked. ……. I don’t care …… anyway. I mean, why am I even here?”
The girl is touching the ears on her head without minding them.
Do you like it? Speaking of which, that thing on the girl’s bag–
“Hizaki-san, is that right? The stuffed animal attached to the bag could that be–“
Hizaki’s body shuddered. It seems to have touched a sensitive part of her.
She glared at me with aggressive eyes.
“Ugh, yuck! This is my …… precious errand boy! Don’t make fun of bloody brave Tetsuro’s pet puggy, it’s a friend of ……’s,……. This couple is …….”
The words become weak. I’m sure she thinks she’s being denied something she cares about.
But we have to deny we made a mistake.
Shinozuka and I said at the same time.
“We’re not a couple. I’m just a shady guy.”
“No, you’re not! I’m just a yankee!
Hizaki was also small for a junior high school student, but had a cute, doggie-like appearance.
I’m sure she just doesn’t know how to get along with her classmates. …… I can’t tell her that. I don’t even want to say it.
We all know how bad people can be. We know unreasonableness. We know how scary emotions can be. We know the loneliness of being alone. ……
Shinozuka slowly opened her mouth. Our seats were the only ones where time seemed to have stopped.
“I didn’t talk to anyone on the bus. I was always alone and lonely. ……” -Shinozuka
“I apologized over and over again, but they pretended it never happened. Before I knew it, the whole school hated me.” -Shinjo
“No one would talk to me because the most outspoken girls hated me.” -Shinozuka
“I was involved in a false accusation of molestation. They called me a criminal. I was just protecting her.” -Shinjo
“I was told I stole a boy I didn’t like.” -Shinozuka
“I went to the meeting place and the delinquents were waiting for me.” -Shinjo
Hizaki was puzzled by our situation.
“Wha-what, do you mean ……? What are you talking about? I don’t understand what you’re talking about. ……”
“My friends found out my secret and made me the laughing stock of the class.” -Shinozuka
“I was the bane of the family.” -Shinjo
“I thought I’d never have friends again. I thought I’d never want friends again. …… No more tears.” -Shinozuka
“I thought I couldn’t trust anyone. I lost all my feelings. It was too late for those guys to apologize now.” -Shinjo
Shinozuka’s expression was flat.
I also felt calm.
I look at the hand that was connected to Shinozuka.
This is because – we – became friends.
Just the thought of that makes me feel a little queasy.
This girl doesn’t need our sympathy.
There’s only so much we can do to help.
That’s why I told Hizaki-san.
“…… Tetsuro, you like it, right? It’s a great story. It’s a great story about an oppressed man named Tetsuro who goes on an adventurous journey with a messenger and grows up. …… Do you have any other works you like?”
Hizaki opened her mouth with a pout.
“Yeah, uh, yeah ……, you don’t make fun of Tetsuro? You know, ……, do you also like ‘Death Game kara Hajimari Isekai Seikatsu’ these days?”
“Aaah! That’s really interesting! I see that Hizaki-san is watching it too. Hey, hey, which character do you like?”
“Wait, wait, if I talk about it like that, I’ll be called a …… creep…”
“You don’t have any classmates here, do you? There are only high school and junior high school students who like stories. Pomeko, talk to her all you want.”
“Oh, I’m on it! Nyanta, please order accordingly!”
At first Hizaki-san was confused, but gradually she started talking about her favorite manga, anime and novels.
Once she started talking, she couldn’t stop. Even when the meal arrived, she continued to talk while eating.
I think she was letting out everything that she had been storing up.
I don’t know her situation.
but there’s no way I’d leave her alone with a face like that.
Hizaki-san, who had been talking, suddenly stopped.
“Oh, ……, wow, I …… talk so fast it’s gross, right? Oh, haha, why not? Why doesn’t it work? My dream has come true. …… Why am I getting jealous? Did I get carried away? …… Hmm, hmm, those guys ……, I was looking forward to …… today. ……”
Shinozuka looked at me.
I just nodded.
“Hey, Hizaki-san. Why don’t you come around with us today? You’ve come all this way to visit Destiny, and You’ll be lonely if you’re all alone.”
Hizaki gave a small shake of her head.
“But it would interfere with your sister and brother’s date, wouldn’t it? I’m sorry. …… Or rather, if you write in the cafe, it won’t be long until the time passes.
I let out a sigh.
Indeed, this place is like a dreamland. It’s an encounter that can’t be expressed in numbers, or ……, well, that’s what it was like with Shinozuka, but …….
“I’m not sure if Puggy told your classmates about the book ……. And then they became jealous of you. …… You’re a tsundere, so when you came back strong, they ostracized you. It’s really hard to be a tsundere in real life.”
“What the hell? How did you know about the book? Who’s the pug kid? Could it be your classmate’s brother? I knew it! you’re making fun of me, aren’t you?”
“Hizaki-san ……, Shinjo would never do such a thing. mmm~!”
“Hie!? B-but ……”
“Oh, yeah, I’m just guessing. Does it really matter? Okay, now that we’re all full, let’s go find Mookie, shall we?”
“Uuu~u~tsu, paggy told me to……’
Hizaki hid behind Shinozuka like a doggie.
Her face is a little red.
“Oh, Shinjo-kun, don’t forget to watch the parade! Then we’ll watch the parade while looking for Mookie! Here, Hizaki-san.”
“Oh ……, yeah, thanks sis–“
Hizaki fearfully grabbed the hand that Shinozuka held out.
It didn’t feel so bad.
Let’s just forget about the scars.
As I was thinking about this, Hizaki-san turned around and looked at me.
She lowered her head and whispered.
“………… Oh, you too ……Uhm..thank you.”
I couldn’t help but smile back.
It’s okay, it’s not a fake smile.
Hizaki-san hurriedly turned her head forward and walked away, grasping Shinozuka’s hand tightly.