I had a terrifying experience during lunch break, but after that, everything was fine. Since then, Alice has been acting as usual, so much so that I began to wonder if it had all been a dream or an illusion.
“……Yes, of course it’s crazy to think that my life is in danger. I’ve had a lot going on lately, and I’ve been really tired, so maybe that’s why.”
I must have been so tired all at once that my brain must have triggered a bug or something. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow are the long-awaited weekends, so I’ll take it easy and rest.
Thinking of this, I start to put away my textbooks and notebooks in my backpack. I don’t need my textbooks and notebooks anymore, because after homeroom, I will be able to go home after school.
“”Hey, do you guys want to go out for karaoke after school today?
“Great, I’m in.”
“Eh, I don’t know”
Tomorrow is a holiday, so the tension among my classmates was obviously higher than yesterday and the day before, and I could hear them talking about their after-school plans.
I am a loner, so I usually have no plans to go anywhere with anyone after school on Fridays, but today I was asked by Alice to go shopping with her, so my schedule was unusually full. A little later, Narukami-sensei came into the classroom.
“Everyone take your seats, I’m going to hand out the test report cards now.”
The classroom, which had been quiet since the beginning of homeroom, began to buzz once again as the results of the regular test held at the beginning of Golden Week were finally being returned.
The answer sheets have already been returned for all subjects, but the rankings are only written on the report cards that will be handed out from now on, so everyone except Alice, who is a transfer student and has not taken the test, must be very excited.
“Yay, my ranking is higher than before.”
“Uwa, it’s much worse than I expected. ……”
The classmates’ reactions were varied, some were happy, some were depressed, and some were unresponsive.
“This time I came in fourth, which isn’t bad since I made it into the top ten, which was my goal.”
I was relatively satisfied with my ranking, which was in the single digits on this test as it had been last time. It is no exaggeration to say that my self-proclaimed status as a high-spec individual has been secured.
After the test report cards were handed out to everyone, homeroom ended with a message from Narukami-sensei. After school, I felt a little better, but then a big problem suddenly arose.
“Hey, Alice, do you want to go to karaoke with us?”
“I’m so glad you invited me, but I’m going shopping with Takuma after school today, so I think I’ll pass.”
To my surprise, Alice started getting invitations to go to karaoke with the members of the cheer group in the class. Naturally, Alice had refused on the grounds that she had plans to go shopping with me, but they seemed to have no intention of giving up on her and continued to invite her.
“Eeeh, since we’re at it, why don’t you come with us? It’ll be fun for sure.”
“Yeah yeah, go shopping with Kurotsuki some other time.”
They approach with the enthusiasm and energy typical of positive girls, and they often invite Alice to join their group. So this time too, I’m sure they are inviting her to hang out as part of that.
“I’m sorry, but this time I have a shopping appointment first, so you’ll have to wait until another time to invite Alice to join.”
“Sorry everyone, that’s why.”
When I noticed that Alice was not enthusiastic about it at all, I sent out a rescue boat. At that point, the cheerfull characters finally gave up on inviting her out, but some of the members glared at me.
The reason for this is because I interfered with Alice’s invitation, I got a lot of hate, but it didn’t hurt or itch, so there was no problem.
“Takuma, thank you for helping me out earlier.”
After leaving the classroom, Alice and I started walking toward the shoe rack while having such a conversation. We still had our arms crossed, but perhaps because our senses had numbed over the past few days, we were less embarrassed.
“I’ll thank you for your help later, so please look forward to it.”
“I’ll be looking forward to it.”
I didn’t help Alice because I wanted something in return, but I’m willing to take whatever I can get.
“By the way, what are you planning to buy today?”
“Well, I just moved into a new place, so I don’t have any furniture or appliances in my room yet, so I’m planning to buy some stuff around there.”
“I see, you said you only have the bare necessities to live on for now.”
Then I bet there must be a lot of things she wants to buy for her new life. That means I’ve been called in as a baggage handler.
“I’m going to look around a lot, so it’s going to take me quite a while.”
“Yeah, I’ll stay with you until you’re satisfied.”
I was tired, but I still had enough energy to do some normal shopping. I had no idea at this time that Alice’s actions would cause so many happenings in the shopping mall we were about to visit.
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