Source

https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16817330649941556887/episodes/16817330651576930646

Saturday night

“…..Eiji?”

“Hey, what’s going on? You look terrible.”

When I opened the door, Eiji was there.

Eiji looked quite surprised to see me.

Oh, I see. I went to bed right after I got home, so my clothes and hair were a mess.

“……A lot has happened. I want you to leave me alone for a while.”

“Like I let you. You’re the person who should not be left alone the most right now.:

Eiji grabbed me by the shoulders as he said that.

“Let me hear what you have to say. Tell me everything, everything from beginning to the end. I will definitely help you.”

He looked me straight in the eye. He said that.

“……Just come in for now.”

I couldn’t just turn him away like this. I let Eiji into the room.

“I bought……some drinks, tea and coffee. Which do you prefer?”

“Black coffee?”

“Yes. I only have black coffee”

“……,I’ll have tea then.”

“Okay.”

I poured the tea into the cup and gave it to Eiji. I also filled my own cup with coffee. I sat down.

“Then what happened?”

“……A lot of things.”

“I’m not leaving until you tell me.”

I had never seen Eiji so forceful before. Even though I was taken aback. I drank my coffee and took a deep breath.

“[I won’t be able to see you after today]…Nagi told me so.”

At my words. Eiji’s expression turned grim.

“Tell me more.”

I was hesitant but decided to tell him. 

But where should I start? …..No, it’s Eiji. I’m sure he really wants to hear all about it.

……Sorry, Nagi.

I spoke while apologizing in my heart.

Everything Nagi told me.

“Nagi is going to accept a marriage proposal tomorrow.”

There was someone who fell in love with Nagi at first sight at the performance. The other person was the son of the president of Nagi’s father’s rival company.

In exchange for the offer of a marriage proposal, he offered Nagi’s father an unbelievable condition. ….She accepted the offer.

She told me that she wasn’t forced, and that Nagi had said she would accept it.

When I was talking about it,……I just remembered the look on Nagi’s face at that time. The warmth of her hand.

The feel of tears running down my fingers.

Sobs escaped. But I had to tell him. I kept talking.

Eiji was listening to me intently. His expression was more serious than ever.

In the end, it must have taken nearly 30 minutes. When I somehow finished telling him. Eiji let out a long breath.

“…….Honestly. The shock Souta received is immeasurable to me. To the extent that I can’t even sympathize badly.”

Slowly, I nodded to Eiji’s words.

It’s not like I want sympathy.

But. Eiji looked at me with a strong gaze. 

“But. Let me tell you. I’m not satisfied until I say this.”

Eiji stared at me.

“Don’t give me that crap.”

That’s what he said. His voice was dark and cold.

“Being determined isn’t something you decide to make yourself unhappy. It’s about protecting someone else. If you want to protect someone else’s happiness, it’s a different story. You can never use your whole life to make someone else happy. I don’t call that determination. Self-sacrifice is bullshit. And for that reason, she even caused trouble for Souta.”

Eiji clenched his fists in frustration.

“It would be better if you crushed that determination.”

“…There’s no way I can do that.”

I replied.

 

“Ignoring someone else’s determination……Moreover, Nagi won’t back down.”

“Then you think this is good enough?”

At Eiji’s words. I closed my mouth.

“Cry or make someone else cry. Manipulating someone Is such a shitty way to end things, right?”

“…Well, it’s not. But…”

“Then ! You have one thing to do !”

Eiji approached me. He slapped me on the cheek with both hands.

“Are you sure? [Ice Princess] –Shinonome Nagi can’t be happy with someone other than you. Even if her fiancée is a good looking man with a sharp mind, it’s impossible. Do you understand?”

Eiji’s eyes stared at me. 

“Because it’s not you”

Straight ahead. He looked at my heart.

“Who melted the ice of the Ice Princess?”

That words. Strong, gentle words.

“Who is the only one the Ice Princess cares about?”

Little by little.

“Who is the man that the Ice Princess truly loves?”

They flowed in.

“Minori Souta. It’s you. It’s all you. You’re the only man she’s loved in her fifteen or sixteen years of life. It was only you.”

My heart thumps.

“……Only me.”

“Yeah, it’s you. She has met hundreds of thousands of people in elementary, middle and high school. You were the only one there.”

Don’t think about it. It’s supposed to be that way.

“How many such people do you think will appear in front of [Ice Princess] in the future? On the contrary, only one. What are the chances that the person who is trying to make a marriage proposal to you is someone like that?”

“H-however. I’m sure he’s not a bad guy.”

“If he’s not a bad guy, there are plenty of guys out there if she looks for them. And vice versa.”

“……Nagi is not afraid of men anymore.

“So what? It’s possible that without you, she’ll return to [Ice Princess]. Did [Ice Princess] seem to get along with anyone before you?”

Every word was denied. …..I shook my head slowly.

“You’re the only one. Hey, Souta.”

He smiled.

“Make up your mind. Be prepared to make yourself and the person you fall in love with happy. You love her, don’t you? Don’t break down in a place like this.”

I looked at Eiji. The question spilled out of my mouth.

“Why? Why are you telling me something….like this, Eiji?”

After hearing those words, Eiji was taken aback. smile.

“Of course. It’s because I’m your best friend. I won’t say sweet things because you’re my best friend. I’m not going to comfort you. It’s my job to give you a pat on the back so that you can have the future you want.”

At those words, I smiled, too. 

“It’s just like Eiji.”

And then I called out Eiji’s name.

“Hey, Eiji.”

“What is it?”

“Are you aware that you are saying something quite unreasonable?”

I said. Eiji nodded his head.

“Yeah.”

“Do you think I can do it?”

“I don’t know. It depends on you. But I will cooperate with you.”

I won’t say it’s easy.

…..But that was enough for me.

“I’ll do it.”

Thinking like an idiot. I smile like a fool.

“No more regrets. I won’t make you regret it. –I won’t make you cry. Never.”

And so. …..I decided.

I decided that I wouldn’t let it end like this.

◆◆◆

“Hey there ! I got here as soon as I got called.”

“Hey, you’re here. How’d it go?”

Nishizawa came even though it was nighttime. And the reason was–

“Perfect ! I knew it was a rumor, I recognized it right away, Shinonome chan’s house.”

Yes. Nagi’s house. I know the nearest station to Nagi’s house, but I don’t know the location of the house.

“By the way, the place is here. You should be able to find it if you go there.”

Nishizawa showed me a 3D map on the Internet. The house there was–

“T-the size of the house is extraordinary.”

“It’s just like I’d expect. I was so surprised to see a house with a garden.”

The house was very spacious and very Japanese.

“I heard it was famous over there. I asked Hikarun about it, and she gave me a straight answer.”

“Hikarun? …… Oh, you mean Hayama?”

Hayama, huh. I wonder if she told Hayama about it.

“Ah, that’s right. Hikarun asked me to leave a message.”

“What did she say……?’

“Go give a hard forehead flick to Shinonome chan, and her insensitive father.”

“Moderately violence.”

When we laughed at those words. Nishizawa looked at us and tilted his head.

“By the way. Have you decided what to do specifically?”

“You have a chance of winning. Or rather luck. The only question is how hard Souta can work.”

“… Ah. That’s right.”

Until Nishizawa came, I was talking with Eiji about various things.

What should I do? Luckily, policy was soon established.

“Okay, then after that…”

Eiji looked at me.

“Go to sleep, Souta. You’re going first thing in the morning tomorrow, right?”

He said.

“We’ll stay up until then. It would be a real shame if we oversleep.”

“No, no. But that would be bad.”

I’m really indebted to the two of them, and Nishizawa has just arrived.

I shook my head, but Eiji and the others only laughed.

 

“Oh? You’re underestimating me? I’ve been up all night before in the third grade !”

“Oh ! I’m used to it too !”

Nishizawa said, following Eiji.

“I’m used to it, it’s true. Don’t worry about it. That’s right. When you get home, buy me a pizza or something. This time the four of us…..no, the five of us can eat together.”.

“Oh, great ! Let’s do it !”

The two of them were as excited as usual.

“Okay ! Then I’ll wake you up at 5:30 tomorrow !”

“…Got it.”

Eiji and the others won’t give in even if I say any more. Let’s just accept his offer.

“…Thank you, both of you.”

I don’t usually say this to the two of them, so my voice involuntarily became lower. However, it seems to have reached the two of them just fine.

[ [You’re welcome.] ]

They returned it with a smile.

“Good night then. Both of you……don’t do anything strange.”

“I’m not going to do that, I’m just trying to keep my sense of propriety. …..Have a good night’s sleep.

“Good night !”

“Yeah, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I told them that and headed for the bedroom.

My mind was buzzing with all kinds of things. I couldn’t sleep well, but…..

Somehow, I forced myself to sleep.

◆◆◆

“Hair’s done ! Clothes are fine !”

“Don’t poke in a strange places-“

“……It’s still morning. Lower your volume.”

“Oh, sorry, sorry.”

Eiji and the others did a final check. I saw it myself with a hand mirror.

“……Amazing makeup.”

“Right? Even the dark circles are just a little bit of a tear mark !”

As Nishizawa said, there were dark circles under my eyes. And they were a little red and swollen. Nishizawa did something about it.

“Okay, well, that’s it for us. Or should I go with you?”

‘No, I’m fine. ……I’ll be fine on my own.”

I said to Eiji. I took a deep breath.

“Thanks a lot, really. Let’s have a pizza party when I get home.”

“Yeah ! I’ll be waiting for you !”

“I’ll eat a lot of cheese !”

“Yeah. I’ll call you when it’s over.

Eiji and the others waved their hands in the air.

“See you later.”

“Later. You’ll be all right. You’ll make it.”

“Yeah, yeah ! Be confident, okay? See you later.”

I left them and walked a little.

I saw the place soon.

“…..Amazing. Seeing it in person.”

The house was quite spacious. It was an old-fashioned house, or so I thought.

I couldn’t see the inside of the house because of the fence, but I was sure that it was no ordinary house. 

It would not be surprising if there were several maids…..or housekeepers stationed in the house.

While I was thinking about this, I saw a luxurious wooden gate. 

“I didn’t know houses like this existed nowadays.”

But the security seems to be tight. There are security cameras and so on.

I took two deep breaths and rang the chime.

“Yes, it’s Suzaka, a servant from the Shinonome family. How may I help you? ……Eh?”

Suzaka san answered. Just in time.

She must have noticed me with the camera on. But I had to greet her properly.

“Suzaka san, it’s been a while. It’s me, Minori.”

“Eh? Minori sama……?”

While listening to Suzaka san’s surprised voice.

I clenched my fist once again.

I’ll never let it end like this, Nagi.

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amogustimestwo
amogustimestwo
4 months ago

Wow. what a smart friend. Really tells you what he’s experienced in this world.

mahirukyan
mahirukyan
1 month ago

W Eijiiiiiiiii best man