The next day, I go to school as usual with a nonchalant look on my face. There was a student suspension yesterday, and it seems that the rumors are still being whispered around the school so that the teachers can’t hear them.

From what I’ve overheard, it seems that the rumors are beginning to spread in all sorts of false tails. In a short while, the positions of victim and perpetrator may switch.

(If I want to settle things, before that…)

In other words, it’s a short-term battle. However, it will not be possible to drag down the father-son duo, chairman and Shinya, by a straightforward attack. On the contrary, there’s a high risk of a painful counterattack. In other words, a different approach is needed.

(In a situation like this, I should start by breaking down those around me……)

This is also something my father once told me. He said that no matter how difficult a situation becomes, there are always ways to break out of it if you look around you. I don’t want to say that a pinch can be an opportunity, but I thought I should use those words as a basis for my own actions.


As I walked down the hallway, I just thought about it. The people involved with that father and son. Those who had a hand in creating the tragedy. And those who could gain useful information from it.

(Maybe I should try to forget about middle school for once.)

I know the old Shinya, so I can’t help but think about unnecessary things. Shinya’s thoughts, mutterings, and words at that time. Every single one of them becomes noise, and they are choking him to the point where his current behavior is unpredictable. I myself would need to update my brain about my perception of him.

With this in mind, I enter the classroom and take my seat. Yukihana had already arrived at school in the seat next to me, and was looking at the screen of her phone with her earphones plugged in. In a good way, maybe things are back to normal.


“……Good morning.”


Did I misheard it? I feel as if an unsuitable word was spat out from Yukihana’s mouth. No, the words themselves are not mistaken, but the combination of the words and the person who said them do not mesh. I mean, this was the first time this guy had ever greeted me, so I couldn’t help but open my eyes.

When was the last time I forgot my poker face and made such a crazy sound like this?

“……Stop being so polite.”


I wanted to tell her not to be so polite, but I held back those words because saying so would cause all kinds of problems. I wondered if something had changed in Yukihana since the phone call yesterday. At the very least, something that could change her behavior.

“Is it going to snow today?”

“…….Do you want your limbs torn off?”

“Can you do it?”

“There are plenty of ways.”

We’ve been making jokes since this morning. It seems that we both don’t want to be seen talking too much, so the volume of our voices is much lower. So far, no one seems to be paying attention to us.

“So, to continue our conversation from yesterday…..”

“Now wait a minute. I definitely don’t want to talk about it here.”


Yukihana brought up yesterday’s story, but when I told her to stop now, she unexpectedly withdrew. She’s not as tsundere as she used to be, and I feel like her attitude is a little softer.

“…..Speaking of which, what did you ask Hisui?

“Well. If you’re curious, ask him.”

“I heard. And on top of that, I’m questioning you.”

It seems that Hisui told Yukihana the whole story. Well, even though it was something I had assumed, I was puzzled by the fact that it came out sooner than I thought. Perhaps he reported the phone call to his sister immediately after that.

“……And also, I didn’t forgive you for the room thing.”

“You mean the nerd room?”

“Don’t say it, you idiot !”

Yukihana clenched her teeth and whispered. It seems that I can take a mount for a while if I refer to the otaku room for some reason. It seems that someday there will be a painful retaliation, but let’s think about it at that time.

(No, wait. Come to think of it……)

Looking back at yesterday’s story about Hisui, I remembered something. Come to think of it, this guy’s mother is currently in a hospital along with the chairman.

I’m on the back foot anyway, so if we’re going to counter from here, we might as well check that out. I’m also curious to know what kind of person her mother is and how she feels about Shinya.

(At any rate, I’ll just have to wait until after school.)

I then take out my textbooks from my bag and organize what I’m going to use today. Yukihana looked at me with a wrinkle between her eyebrows, as if she was dissatisfied with my usual behavior. I guess it’s not my imagination that she seems to be showing more emotion than usual.

Then, perhaps feeling numb, Yukihana spoke to me again in a whisper.

“I need some time after school.”

“Can’t it be lunchtime?”

“I have something to do during lunch.”

Yukihana called the number I gave her. In other words, she would be meeting with that person for lunch. I’ll nail it down, I guess.

“I agreed to the after-school thing. But I have a favor to ask of you soon.”


“Don’t mention my existence at all in this school. No mention of my name, no pretense of a third party’s presence.”

“……Got it.”

At least I got my message across. Should I just wait until after school? There seems to be nothing more I can do, so I’m in a situation where I’m waiting for Yukihana again. It can’t be helped if I’m nervous, so I’ll be ready to deal with whatever happens. Of course, be more nervous than usual.

And this morning, there was no further conversation between me and Yukihana, and we went about our daily routine as usual. The excitement of the suspensions gradually faded away as it was the next day, and we gradually switched to other topics of conversation. It’s a characteristic of modern people that they are easily heated and cooled off.

Then, at lunchtime, Yukihana left for somewhere without eating lunch, just as she had told me she would. I thought of following her to find out what kind of secret meeting was going on, but I decided to leave it alone. But there was something I could do now.

(Well, I’d better go have a look.)

I quietly get up from my seat and begin to walk naturally down the hallway. As I did so, I naturally crossed in front of the next class. But in an instant, many eyes were on me in the class, and I quickly found the person I was looking for.


Where did the remnants of the past go, and I saw Shinya as if he was a different person. I glanced at him, but he appeared to be happily eating bread from a convenience store, having struck up a rapport with the men and women in his class. Apparently, he had succeeded in breaking the ice with his classmates.


So I turned around at the appropriate point and went back to my class. By the time I got back, Yukihana had returned and was eating her lunch by herself. Not long ago, Kisaragi forced her to eat lunch together, but lately, it seems like she’s been eating alone as usual.

(I’ll eat too.)

I sit down next to Yukihana and silently start eating the bread I bought this morning from the convenience store. Of course, there is no conversation between Yukihana and me. Even though we are sitting next to each other, we are not eating together nor are we good friends. This is probably a good distance for us.

(Well, how shall I convince Yukihana after school?)

While eating yakisoba bread, I was planning what to do after school today. I knew that just telling Yukihana that I was going to the hospital would make her very uncomfortable. I would have to get Hisui and the others involved to deal with the situation.

So we finished lunch without talking at all and went to after school as usual.

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