Asagiri drove off in the rain.
I could not move from that spot for a while.

I was in a hurry that Asagiri’s brother might attack Kurase, but that was not the only reason.
After all, I might have been comparing her with myself.
I think cheap sympathy is what I did not want most.

“Let’s go back..”

I decided to go back the way I came. Asagiri is of course a concern, but when lives are at stake, Kurase has to be prioritized.

It was almost time to leave for school. Kurase should still be at school at this time.
I headed to the school, looking around to see if I could find anyone who looked like Kurase.
My headache was still ringing like an alarm bell.

“Huht? Ito-kun?”
“Oh, oh. Kurase. I was just looking for you.”

There was no such thing. Despite my worries, I was able to meet up with Kurase without any trouble.

She was frozen when she saw me coming back from the shoe box with a loafer in my hand.

“Is everything all right?”
“Aah, yeah. I’m cured.”

That’s a lie. I decided not to tell her the truth because I didn’t want her to worry about me here.

“S-so why were you looking for me?”
“I thought we could go home together.”
“Eeh!? That’s why you came all the way back?!”

I thought if I came back with you, we could deal with whatever happened. That way, even if that future comes, we can avoid it.

“No, nothing’s wrong. Let’s go home.”

I walked out of the school gate alongside Kurase.
The rain was still gently falling.

Kurase is walking silently with a cute polka-dot umbrella in one hand.
For some reason, I feel that an awkward space has been created.

I wonder if I should have told her about Asagiri.
I feel like mentioning that she was in such a state would have caused her to worry even more.

But still, there was no sign of Asagiri’s brother.
Maybe it was not today? When I think of that, I feel all at once nervous …… not good, not good. What are you going to do if you let your guard down like that and something happens?

“Um, Ito-kun.”
“…… hmm?”

I was thinking aboutit, when Kurase called out to me, and I was late in reacting.

“Why did you bother to come back today and even invite me?”
“Ah, well, you know, ……. Actually, I met Asagiri earlier.”
“Eh!? With Yuri chan!?”

After all, I decided to speak without deception. I was not sure if there was anyone else who could help the unstable Asagiri now but Kurase.

I told Kurase what had happened between me and Asagiri.
Of course, I kept it quiet about his brother attacking Kurase.

“So that’s what happened. …… I knew her parents were …….”

Kurase is visibly depressed. Kurase is a kind person. She must be feeling sorry that she could not do anything to help her in such a time of need.

“Well, if you see her again, please say something to her. I don’t think you need me to tell you that.”
“…… yeah………… Fufu.”

Kurase gave a small nod. Then, after a short pause, she laughed.

“Ito-kun, you are very kind, aren’t you?”
“I’m kind?”
“Yes. Because you went out of your way to come back to tell me even though you have a headache worrying about Yuri-chan, right?”
“No, no, I simply couldn’t let something bothering me go.”

There is no lie there. It was as if I was looking at myself and it was frustrating.
I could have dismissed it as a hassle, but then I would have regretted it in the end. It is precisely because I know what I will be like in the future.

“You’re still very kind.”

Kurase laughed once again. I was not quite sure what to think, but I decided to go along with the story as I saw fit.

I noticed that the rain had stopped. However, the sky was still cloudy. I didn’t know when it would start raining again.

“Let’s go home early before it starts raining again.”


The sky is dim and it looks like it could start pouring at any moment.

Somewhere, music is playing to announce five o’clock.

There is Asagiri’s brother, wearing a raincoat. He is looking down at the ground with cold eyes.
Nearby, someone is lying on the ground.

……Who is it? Unlike the last time I saw her, she is not wearing a uniform. Her face is as blurry as ever.

“It’s onee chan’s fault, okay?”

There, Asagiri was lying there, covered in blood.



That one word brought me back to myself.

“I was wrong…”

I thought it was Kurase. I thought Kurase would be attacked by Asagiri’s brother.
But in the future I just saw, it was definitely Asagiri.

Why? Why Asagiri? Did the future change? No, was it always Asagiri to begin with?

I don’t know, and it’s useless to think about it.
Now I have to head to the place right away.

…… No, where? Where should I go in the first place?
It is surrounded by similar houses and rice fields, and I cannot locate it.

“What’s wrong?”

…… No, wait. It’s the music that signals five o’clock. Where was that playing from?


She screamed in surprise at my sudden grab on her shoulder, but I didn’t care and continued.

“The music that announced five o’clock. Do you know where that music is coming from?”
“What? Music? I’m pretty sure it’s coming from …… park.”
“Where’s the park?”
“Uh, ……, the one with the pink statue slide.”
“…………, the park with the covered benches?”
“Ah, yeah. I think so.”

That was the park I was talking to Asagiri about earlier. Certainly, there was a pink statue slide there as Kurase had said.
The moment I realized that, I ran out of the place as fast as I could.

“Oh, Ito-kun!?”

I heard Kurase’s voice from behind me, but I didn’t care about that now.

There are still fifteen minutes to go. I looked at the time on my phone and sped up.


There I saw a future again.

Leaving the cafe and bar Casablanca, I looked around for my brother again. My head has cooled down a bit, but in the end I don’t know where he is.

Where would Yuto go?
Maybe he just went home to pick up something he left behind.
No, that’s not likely. Grandma said no one came to the house, and it’s possible that the two of them were …… mistaken, or that grandma didn’t notice.

I had no ………… choice.
With trembling hands, I picked up my smartphone.
On the screen, I see the word “mother” in the contact list.

I can’t stop shaking just looking at it.
But this is the best way to check if Yuto is home.

I’m scared…… But …….

The past of that guy that the manager told me about. Compared to that, it’s nothing.

I boldly tap that phone number.
I hear an electronic sound in my ears. I feel thirsty, probably due to nervousness. A few calls later, I hear a clatter and the sound of a phone being picked up.

My throat rumbled.

“….. Yes. Who is it?”
“Yu, is Yuto back?”
“…… Oh, you. You haven’t found him yet? I guess I can’t expect much from you after all.”

What came back were harsh words. I don’t want to hear those words.

“…… haa. You’re really useless. Listen? I’m just now…”

I couldn’t stand it any longer and hung up the phone.
I did it. I did it. I still can’t stop shaking.

“Haa…… haa…… haa…… haa…… haa……”

I was breathing hard, and I couldn’t stop my motive. I even started to cry.
But now I felt strong that I had done it.

And I could hear what I wanted to hear. Yuto was still here.

“Ah, here ……”

I noticed that the rain had stopped. And I was near the park where I had argued with him.

“Onee chan!”

And there, he called out to me from behind.


When I turned around, there was Yuto wearing a raincoat. The rain had stopped, but Yuto was wearing a hood.
I was a little disbelieving at the unfamiliar sight of him.

“Where have you been?”
“Um, nee chan’s school.”
“……What were you doing there?”
“Oh, well, a lot of things. I was wondering what kind of school it was. If it’s a good school, I might take the entrance exam this year.”
“So that’s what you were doing …….”

Everything was an act of an idea. I could say that this is typical of Yuto, but I still felt strange.

I remember what he told me.

——-He might harm Kurase.

“I wanted to ask Yuto something.”
“…… hmm what?”
“On the day you went home first from Nagahama during Golden Week, where were you and what were you doing?”
“……, what does that have to do with nee chan?”

Normally, I would have replied, “Yes, it does”. I had never felt any discomfort about it.

“Just tell me.”
“…… haa. It’s annoying.”

Yuto let out a big sigh. And then I heard words I’ve never heard before from Yuto’s mouth. He seemed to have mumbled them quietly, but my ears heard them clearly.

“What would satisfy you if I answered you? I took a random stroll and left. Is that okay?”
“….. Are you sure about that?”
“What do you mean?”

Yuto said annoyed.
No, it’s not. It’s obviously a different look.

“My friend said she saw Yuto following her footsteps. She said you were…… following Nanami’s footsteps.”
“………… hmmm. Is Nanami that Nanami san? It comes up in nee cgab’s stories. I’ve never met her in the first place, but why? Do you think I would do such a thing?”

That’s right. Yuto has never met Nanami in the first place.
The only contact that exists is that it came up in a conversation I had with him.

There is no reason for Yuto to put Nanami on the …… list.

“T-That’s …… right,…….”

If you say so, I also had no way to answer.
After all, Yuto is not doing that ……?

“…… Fufu. Hahahahaha.”

Yuto slowly started to laugh.

“nee chan, come on. Isn’t that too choro?” (I think it’s Choroin = an easy to win heroine)
“It’s so easy for you to believe me when I say I don’t. It’s beyond funny. It’s beyond funny, it’s irritating.”

Yuto’s face, which had been smiling, changed to a cold expression. My mind could not catch up with that too abrupt change.

Oh, calm down. I have to listen to him carefully.

“…… Then, are you sure?”
“Ah yeah. That’s right.”

The first time, Yuto affirmed it.
The things he was saying were true.

“W-Why? Why did you do that?”
“……Why? I’m not sure why. I was going to do her up.”

My head is in turmoil. why, why, why?
The reason is that there should be no connection between Nanami and Yuto.

“You look like you don’t understand. Of course. It’s nee chan’s fault.”
“That’s right. I’m suffering like this, but you’re the only one who doesn’t know about it. You’re just trying to forget about the past, like you don’t know anything about it.”
“What are you talking about? What do you mean, suffering? Could it be those people? Did they say something to you?”
“……Haaa, really pissing me off. That’s all because you’re a failure, isn’t it?”

I was speechless, that’s exactly what happened. My brain couldn’t keep up with Yuto’s sudden change.

“Why are you saying that ……?”

The voice I finally managed to squeeze out was trembling.

I was shocked to hear Yuto say the words my parents said to me. It was as if I had my parents in front of me.

“Why, it’s only natural. I don’t know if you know that I’m taking advantage of you, but you’re really stupid. You don’t even know that I’m taking advantage of you, …… you really look like an idiot. It was a masterpiece.”
“Please, stop it!”

The vision is distorted. I don’t want to listen. I cover my ears and bend down in place.
My chest hurts. My heart feels like it’s going to burst.

Is that Yuto really in my head? Was the Yuto I’ve seen up until now just a temporary first? I don’t know anything anymore.

“Do you understand? I’m so angry that nee chan is having such a good time while I’m going through such a hard time. I was so angry. It’s unforgivable. ……”

Saying this, Yuto took out a survival knife.

“I’m so pissed off, I was going to break something important to nee chan,……, but well, at this point, I don’t care if it’s nee chan anymore.”
“No, no,…… don’t do it,…… Yuto,……”

I was too shocked and scared to move from the spot.

Yuto laughed at me and nipped at me with a knife.

“See you later, Nee chan”

There was a flurry of fresh blood.


Silence falls over me as I close my eyes.
But strangely, there is no pain.

………… really doesn’t hurt?

I slowly open my eyes.

“So close…….”
“W-Why ……?”

I couldn’t believe that he was right in front of me, and those words spilled out of my mouth on their own.

“W-Who the hell are you! Get off me!”

Yuto raised his voice at the sudden presence.

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1 year ago

Finally someone got stabbed, it feels like this process has taken forever.