[Third person PoV]
“Sorry, is Yukito Kokonoe this class?”
Lunch break. A sudden visitor appears.
“The student council president and …… vice-president?”
The two students were Mutsuki Kedou and Yumi Mikumo. As Student Council President, Kedou has many opportunities to address the entire school. Even from the first year, they were familiar faces.
What did such a president want with the first-year students? Surely, the president is not the kind of person who would show his face in a first-year class without a reason. The first person to respond to this question was Sakurai, who was the subject of many suspicious glances.
“Kokonoe-kun is absent today, did you have some business with him?”
“If it’s Kokonoe-chan, he’s skipping school!”
Mineta, however, was the one who yelled. Kedou’s expression turned severe.
“What? He didn’t come? No, that’s strange. He was supposed to be on his way to school this morning.”
“M-Mutsuki, this is not good. This is–“
“Come to think of it, Fujishiro Sensei said she hasn’t heard anything from him.”
” What should we do, maybe he just went home like that ……”
“Senpai, what’s going on?”
“I want to know too. I tried to contact him, but he never replied.”
The bustle and noise filled with mystery spread out.
“I’m sorry. I can’t talk about it too casually. Yumi, let’s go to the staff room.”
“Yes, we have to hurry!”
The class was quiet as the two Senpai students rushed out in a hurry with impatient expressions on their faces.
The air was filled with a sense that something must have happened.
“I’ll go with you.”
Mihou runs out into the hallway.
Some of the students ran after him, following the back of the Senpai students.
“Fujishiro Sensei! Sorry for interrupting. Do you know anything about Kokonoe?”
The door to the staff room was opened with a bang. Fujishiro, who had been sitting down to eat a piece of bread, choked as her name was suddenly called out.
“—Gohogoho. W-What’s the matter, Kedou? How unusual. What about Kokonoe?”
“It’s our fault!”
“W-Wait a minute. Stop strangling me! Calm down. What’s going on?”
“Have you heard anything from Kokonoe? I heard he’s absent today.”
“Aah, he’s a real pain in the a*s, that guy. He was absent without notice.”
“You got it wrong. In the morning, he was—-!”
“Anyway, speak in chronological order! Stop hanging on me. You’re going to rip my neck out! What happened?”
They told Fujishiro about the details of this morning’s events. Fujishiro’s expression became more and more grim.
The other teachers were listening to the unusual situation, but by that time, Mihou and the others had arrived. Not noticing the situation, Kedou continued,
“So that’s why he didn’t show up today? But still, you’re lucky it ended in an attempt. If it had turned into a major incident, we would have had to get rid of someone.”
“I’m responsible for everything. He did nothing wrong!”
“If it had gone as it was, Kokonoe would have been innocent. If it had been left as it was, Kokonoe would have been in trouble, and if he was innocent, you guys would have been in trouble, on the contrary. Totally troublesome ……”
“What should we do, Sensei? Do you know where he is?”
“In that circumstance, I would think twice about an unexcused absence, but I haven’t heard from him either. Perhaps Yuuri would be able to do something–“
“Kokonoe–I see, Yuuri Kokonoe is his older sister!”
“Mutsuki, let’s go!”
“W-wait. Don’t be quick. I’ll call her on the broadcast
The situation became more and more chaotic.
This is not good, this is not good—!
When was the last time I had felt such a sense of urgency?
No, perhaps for the first time in my life. A vague sense of anxiety swirled in my chest.
During lunchtime, I headed to his class to make a formal apology. I checked his face in my memory against the student roster and immediately recognized his class. His name was Yukito Kokonoe.
His last line of dialogue stuck in my ears. My chest tightens as I wonder what I have done that cannot be undone. I have distorted and twisted his justice. I violently trampled and mistreated what he cherished.
I should never have harmed a student without protecting him, even though I am the president of the student council. I have always placed a high value on justice. I have tried to be fair and just.
People have gathered around me, and they have come to appreciate me.
And now I am in the position of student council president.
However, this is only the result of my actions. I have only followed the way of life and justice that I believe in. As a result, I am standing here now.
My beliefs were shaken. I am amazed at how fragile and weak my standpoint is.
Fear that my justice may have destroyed someone else’s justice.
He did nothing wrong. His actions are justice itself. I don’t think I acted wrongly either, and if the same thing were to happen to someone else, I would move without hesitation.
Still, it was my fault and my sin that I was not thoughtful enough, that I did not listen, that I fell into narrow-mindedness, and that I hurt the other person unilaterally. I must atone for that.
Otherwise, I will never be able to act according to my own justice again.
My justice must not be a distortion of someone else’s justice.
I don’t know why I can’t stop the turmoil in my heart. This is the second time I have felt this way.
Why do I remember it now? Is it because I saw the look in his eyes as he was leaving?
He didn’t come to school. Of course it was my fault. It’s because I hurt him. What is he doing now? Is he grieving? Is he in despair? Does he hate me as a person?
I am afraid. I am afraid to see him. And yet, I still want to say to him…
“What have you done to him!”
“Yuuri, calm down! Can’t you get in touch with Yukito?”
“Why didn’t you tell me this earlier!”
“Weren’t you two going to school together?”
“He went alone today! Aah, mou!”
I was so furious that everyone around me was horrified, but that wasn’t the point.
What a stupid senpai. The student body president. I can’t believe that such a person is the student body president! Again. Someone has hurt him again. Just like me. Just like they did to the boy. I hurry to make a phone call. He’ll answer if it’s from me.
After a few calls, the connection is easily connected to the mesh, regardless of my concern.
“Yukito! Where are you?”
[At the ocean?]
The people around me start to get confused. Of course they would. It’s not the kind of place you would skip school to go to. The fact that the situation is so complicated stirs up unpleasant imaginings.
“You’re not thinking of throwing yourself into the sea, right?!”
Impatience rushed to my mouth. Tension clearly ran through the staff room. It was not only Fujishiro, the homeroom teacher.
The other teachers were watching with bated breath.
[Ahahaha. That’s really funny!]
“It’s not a laughing matter!]
[I can’t find what I have lost, so I’m about to leave. Ah, I have some souvenirs for you.]
“What souvenirs?! where are you going?”
[I’m a problem child, so it doesn’t matter]
“—- ‘problem child’? ……I never thought my words would affect him ……”
Fujishiro was mumbling something, but I couldn’t care less at the moment.
“After all, the International Exhibition Hall is only open during the Obon and New Year’s holidays.”
“What are you talking about? Anyway, I heard what’s going on. You’re okay, aren’t you ……? You’re really coming back, right ……?”
[Just wait for while you’re at the high school. I won’t bother you anymore.]
“…… high school? Wait. What do you mean? Could it be that you–?”
[I’ll be going soon. It’s too early to leave.]
“—!? Stop it, Yukito! That’s not what I—-“
[I will be going home]
The call disconnects. I was in a state of shock. I didn’t think that even now…
“O-oi Yuuri. You seem distraught, are you okay?”
“He’s going home for now.”
“So he is going home now. I think he will come to school normally tomorrow. Why don’t we talk to him tomorrow? There is nothing more we can do today.”
“Yuuri, I’m really sorry!”
“I’m very sorry!”
“I will never forgive you.”
I left the staff room without a single glance. I saw the faces of Yukito’s classmates.
I could no longer hear what they had to say. I couldn’t get the last words of my brother out of my mind. I knew it was true. I had a feeling that one day, if I had seen the way he was behaving, that such a day would come.
I still remember what he said to me. The feeling that lingers in my hand. The tired, exhausted look on his face. The little bit of Yukito’s true feelings that leaked out during the conversation. It is extremely rare for him to reveal even the slightest of his true feelings. That’s how much he may have been thinking about today’s incident.
He had asked me to wait for him during my high school years. If that is the case, the time limit is now only three years until graduation. After that, it would be too late.
Suzurikawa that was a childhood friend of his. My brother was getting better by being in touch with her. I was relieved. I knew I could trust her. Before I knew it, however, things had returned to normal. No, it had gotten worse. And his childhood friend, who should have always been next to him, was gone.
As he threw himself into basketball to forget her, this time a woman named Shioro Kamishiro was snuggled up to my younger brother. He was slowly getting to know her. I hoped that maybe it was her, but she was also gone after hurting my brother as much as she hurt him.
I didn’t think that even the student body president would enter my brother’s trauma race, but why do all these women, including me, gather around my brother?
What my brother needs is not someone to hurt. I don’t trust anyone anymore. There is no one to trust anymore. It has to be me. This time, I will never betray him—.
It is said that even if the warrior can’t afford to buy the meal, he will proudly flaunt a toothpick, I am not a samurai, I am a high school student, not even in the Edo period. Nevertheless, I would like to live in such a noble way. Even I, whose life is closed off from the rest of the world, have that kind of yearning. I’m going to banish the Bantenren
Be that as it may, it is now lunchtime. I am standing in the hallway in front of my classroom.
In front of me, the student body president and vice president are on their knees. What is this situation?
“I’m really sorry, Yukito Kokonoe! Please forgive me.”
“I’m sorry, Kokonoe-kun!”
Needless to say, the classroom was abuzz. The students who were walking in the corridor also stopped and looked at the situation from a distance. Pictures were being taken with their cell phones. For now, I’m going to make a W-piece. We stand out. It stands out as a ruinous and bitter chachiya. No, it’s crazy, isn’t it! Are they warriors? When did I become a feudal lord? It’s time to go to work.
“Hold your heads up. No, I’m just kidding. Please stand up, you’re standing out.”
“I want to sincerely apologize for hurting you.”
“Uhm….Thank you for trying to help me!”
“Didn’t I say that I had it enough?”
Finally, the student body president and vice president looked up and stood up. In the meantime, the gathering continued to grow, but the two were either oblivious to their surroundings or not paying any attention to them.
Objectively speaking, there is no way that a third-year student walking up to a first-year student’s classroom and getting down on their knees to apologize would not attract attention. The student body president was on the other end of the line. The student body president was on the verge of becoming a star. I would love to be sidetracked. My road to being a loser had a red light on it.
And if she’s going to apologize, shouldn’t she at least bring one of those golden buns with the koban on them? No doubt, Echigoya must be furious.
” I cannot have it that way. This is important to me too!”
“You know, I need to do something for you.”
“Please leave me alone.”
I tell them as coldly as possible, because the more I get involved, the more it will be unilaterally my loss.
“Yukito Kokonoe —- Hold me!”
“I was wondering if you’d let me buy you a drink or something— Mutsuki-chan?!”
Senpai has a very clear and smooth voice. She is indeed the president of the student council. This school is in good hands. Yeah, yeah. I’m glad the vice president is sane. I know, I know! I’m just trying to escape reality, damn it! For now, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. I’m the main character, so I can use this kind of technique.
“Eh, what is this?”
“I’m new to this too, Yukito. If possible, I want you to use this.”
My technique was a failure due to lack of skill. I will be diligent. Struggling, Senpai handed something to me. The box was marked 0.01 mm. I don’t know …… don’t know……. It looks too familiar. There was also one at Sekka’s house. It was placed in an exquisite position in the field of view, as if it was very appealing.
And, isn’t it kind of thin? The development of technology is amazing!
“But if you don’t want to wear it, I will accept it.”
“Mutsuki-chan! Hey, this is strange, what’s going on?!”
Gakugaku, the vice president, Mikumo-senpai, is shaking the president, but Kedou-senpai is not making the slightest move. Her back is straight and straight, and I can see that her core is well-trained. How wonderful.
“As long as you want to, I’m fine without it!”
“You’re out of control! Please, come to your senses!”
“Yuumi, I’m sane.”
“You’re not sane at all?!”
Come to think of it, it was almost time for exams. I’m confident in my academic abilities, so tests are nothing to be dreaded. It was a bonus time to be happy that school was over early. My thoughts were drifting off to somewhere else, because my mind was going crazy when I heard it. Because listening to them makes me crazy.
“But as far as I’ve been able to find out, the one thing that boys love to receive is a form of—–“
“That’s what the magazine said. If I had made a mistake, I might have ended Kokonoe’s life due to my shallow thinking. Then it would be unfair if I didn’t bet my life on it, too. Kokonoe, it’s an apology. Please accept it!”
This is the thing. The chairman is the same kind as Sekka-san. A predator of the same class as the ravenous birds of prey. Maybe I’m just a herbivore to be hunted. I will live a quiet life.
“Senpai, even if you are embraced with such a feeling of redemption and guilt, I will not be happy”
“W-What ……But you may indeed have a point.”
“T-That’s right, Mutsuki. Let’s cool down a bit and reconsider, shall we?”
“No but Kokonoe. The feeling of redemption is there, of course. And yet, that’s not all!””
“Ah, this person can’t be saved”
I tried to say something like that with a smug look on my face, but I failed. I had no experience either, but this was the only way to get through this. It is a shame for a man not to have a meal, but I am not that hungry. A normal meal is enough to satisfy my hunger.
“Besides, I’m heading to the store today, so if you’ll excuse me!”
The 36th strategy is the best way to escape. I fled the scene. The strategy of defeat is one of the most common strategies used in the Art of War when you are outnumbered. I had lost from the beginning.
My screams reached the end of the corridor.
I had escaped from the pervert’s clutches and fled to the fire escape. This was the place for a serious rest and relaxation. I let out a sigh of exhaustion and sat down. And, for some reason, there was a guest in front of me. It was a familiar figure. She is one of the twelve gods of Olympus.
She ignored me. She seemed to be angry. I was mentally exhausted after being involved with the President, and I didn’t have the energy to deal with her. Everyone has bad mood days. Even my sister has such a day at least once a month. It’s better not to get involved at times like this.
I opened the bag of grape bread and cheese milk bread I had bought. This time it was a perfect match. The combination was a real winner.
“Uhm, why are you ignoring me and starting to eat?”
“It’s a pain in the *ss …… Oh, I mean that in a good way.”
“Didn’t I tell you that saying that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to do it?”
“Even if you say that, it doesn’t matter to me.”
“It does! Don’t you remember what you said to me when we met before?”
“What did I say?”
“You said you would come here once or twice a week! But when I came to check on you, you weren’t here at all.”
Come to think of it, something like that had happened. I had forgotten all about it. The weather was bad, and I remember that I usually ate in the classroom. But I’m not afraid to tell the truth about it, so I’m going to cover it up. I am a man who can read the air without making a corner, and that is me.
“I was going through a lot. I mean, Aphrodite-senpai, did you come here every day?”
“Ugh. Not really? I just come here because sometimes I want to be alone, not because I care about you, okay?”
“What, you’re just a shady loner like me? Hahahahaha.”
“Stop it! Don’t put us together! And what’s wrong with the name?!”
“You see, you are a goddess”
“It’s getting complicated in a roundabout way!”
“But I don’t know my senpai’s name. ……”
“I introduced myself, didn’t I? Right? Y-You’re learning all the wrong things.”
“Why is it that the grapes in grape bread don’t really feel like grapes?”
“Listen to me! You should be interested in me. I’m pretty popular among the second graders.”
“Keh, you think you’re a star, huh?”
“Stop being so harsh! You’re embarrassing me.”
“Well, well, well. –Huh? Why is Suzurikawa here ……?”
As I was taking in Aphrodite-senpai’s self-deprecating boasts, I saw a couple approaching. They looked nervous. They didn’t look like friends.
“What’s going on…..tasteless. They’re coming this way, aren’t they?”
“Why don’t you just be cool about it? We’re not doing anything wrong.”
“It’s awkward! He must be confessing his feelings.”
“Aah, I remember Aphrodite-senpai was also confessed here”
“Fufu. That’s right. I’m very popular!”
“Cheese and milk bread is really interesting because they’re two different kinds of dairy products.”
“You’re really are testing my limits, aren’t you? Ah, come on, hide!”
Senpai quickly pulled me by the hand and took me to the shade of a tree.
“Do you know either of them by any chance?”
“Yes. The girl is a classmate of mine.”
“I’d be so nervous if it were me, but I’m thrilled to be a part of something like this!”
We are just suspicious people who sneak a peek at the situation.
In the meantime, they are exchanging some words with each other. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but my guess is that it’s Suzurikawa who’s been summoned. Come to think of it, she said she had broken up with her senpai. If that is true, it is not surprising that she is embarking on a new love life.
The confession is over, or they are going back to their separate ways.
“Haa ……. I was nervous. She was pretty cute, but what happened?”
“You’re making it sound like you’re prettier than her, Senpai, lunch break is almost over.”
“I really need to settle things with you.”
The chime rings and we split up. Crap. I failed to get her name after all. Who is she? If not Aphrodite, then Athena. If she’s a famous person, I’m sure I won’t miss her. If I encounter an acquaintance whose name I don’t remember or have forgotten, I can say Tanaka, Sato, or Suzuki, and the percentage of correct answers is about 20%. Most of the time, after that, they will tell me their names, so there is no problem. This was another way of getting around.
At that time, I was unaware of it.
The presence of one student who stared darkly at the men and women returning to their classrooms.