We were on our way to our destination, taking the elevator to the floor we wanted to go to after exchanging some words at the reception desk. I looked around on the way, but there were no staff members who were particularly aware of Yukihana, at least not in any way. After all, it must mean that some more upper management was involved in the blackmail-like matter.

“So, should I wait without going inside?”

“Of course. If you come into the room without permission…..I’ll kill you.”

“I get it.”

We agreed that I would stay in the hallway or go around the hospital to get a feel for the atmosphere. I wanted to talk to Yukihana’s mother for a while, but of course she wouldn’t let me, so I had to compromise and wait outside.

“So what are you going to talk about with your mother?”

“……Why should I tell you about such a thing?”

“No, it’s just out of curiosity, but if there’s any information I can find out, I’d like to know.”

“…I know.”

How much does Yukihana’s mother…..Yukihana Tamaki, know about this series of disturbances?

I don’t know if there is anyone who would discuss the matter of Yukihana being forced into an engagement with a sick person, but if she knows, I wouldn’t be surprised if she is also making some kind of approach to this hospital. The future course of events will depend on how much of a person Yukihana’s mother is.

Ding dong !

Then the elevator stops with an inorganic mechanical sound. It seems to have arrived at the desired floor, and a few moments after Yukihana leaves, I follow her out of the elevator. At the moment, I don’t feel like anyone is watching me.

After walking down the hallway for a while, Yukihana stopped in front of a room. I looked at the nameplate hanging in the room and saw that the only name written there was Yukihana’s mother’s. Perhaps she has been given preferential treatment and a single room in the hospital room. Or did the hospital decide it would be better to isolate her because of her family background?

“Then, I’m going to go see my mother. You can wait here or hang around.”

“I understand. Then I leave that to you.”

“I don’t need to be told.”

At any rate, I now had nothing definite to do. Although I said I would explore the atmosphere in the hospital, so far I have not felt any discomfort.

“Even though I said I was going to accompany Yukihana, I didn’t want to get suspicious.”

The fact that I was waiting in front of the hospital room without entering is also noticeable in some way. According to the floor map, there were vending machines and benches there. I decided to settle down there for the time being.

“There are no…people here.”

Maybe because it was a weekday evening, there was no one in what looked like a rest area. I bought a cup of coffee from the vending machine, sat down on the bench, drank it, and waited for the time to pass.

“Come to think of it, I didn’t have much of a connection with a hospital before.”

I haven’t been sick for as long as I can remember. Partly because I take good care of myself, but also because I have a strong immune system. I don’t get sick from most things.

“Ah, but. Except for my mind.”

Come to think of it, I did once have a physical condition….that made my heart fail. But I’m finally getting back on my feet. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep going and break all the ties.


As I sipped my coffee, I heard someone walking toward me, talking. It would be unnatural to run away or hide here, so I decided to act like a high school student who came to visit.

“Sigh, hospital food is so bland. I want to eat potato chips soon.”

“Do you even know why you’re in the hospital?”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.”

Two male patients sat down on a bench on the opposite side of the room. One of them was probably hospitalized for a lifestyle-related disease, judging from their conversation. The other was walking around with an IV stand, so I couldn’t tell the specific reason for his hospitalization.

“By the way, the nurse told me recently that her salary has been cut drastically.”

“Well, I hear that these days medical workers are working incessantly. I can only say that I feel sorry for them.”

“And she said that working on weekends and holidays has become the norm. The place I’m working now is also black company, but I think hospitals are also bad. I recommended her to change her job.”

And so the men talked about the latest happenings. They talked about the actors in the current drama, the industry, the politicians over there, and other topics ranging from the mundane to the social.

It seemed that these two had developed a close friendship since being admitted to this hospital. I was a little impressed that, unlike at school or at the office, there are also encounters at places like this.

(At any rate, there seems to be little information that could be fruitful.)

The first story about the pay cut is not so unusual in the current situation in Japan. And from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t sound like this hospital is in that much financial trouble. It is too early to say whether the chairman is involved or not, or whether the accountants are involved or not.

(……About time.)

I get up, throw the coffee can I was drinking into the trash, walk past the two male patients, and head back the way I came. I’m sure that the conversation between Yukihana and her mother has been going on for some time now. I walk slowly down the corridor, checking to see if any messages have arrived from Yukihana.

Brrrt !

As I was walking, my phone vibrated, so I turned on the screen and looked down at the phone. Then, sure enough, a message from Yukihana was projected on the screen.

pCome here.]


Perhaps she had finished talking with her mother, but the message was very blunt and simplistic. However, I can guess from the flow of the message that she wants me to join her for the time being. Let’s go back to where I was just now.


Come to think of it, Yukihana had walked quite a distance by the time she got here, and she had used up a lot of energy. It’s still hot right now, and I don’t want her to collapse from heatstroke. I’ll buy her some water from the vending machine, even if it means she owes me a favor. If she doesn’t want it, I’ll just drink it.


After returning to the vending machine to make the purchase, I realized. It’s not my pattern. It’s more like the old me…..

Am I back? No, I changed.

I wonder why. Even though Yukihana isn’t really a friend to begin with.

“…..I’ll be there soon.”

While holding water in one hand, I muttered bluntly like Yukihana.

(……What the hell is this?)

I muttered to myself as I joined Yukihana. I’m neither in the hallway nor outside the hospital, but in a hospital room. And on the bed in the back right corner, there was a woman similar to Yukihana, with her upper body up and looking at me.

(……Don’t say unnecessary things.)

(Yeah, I know.)

Why did I walk into the hospital room? It goes back a few minutes.

When I met up with Yukihana, I gave her a bottle of water that I had bought from a vending machine. Yukihana looked at me quizzically, but then, realizing that she was one step away from dehydration, she accepted the bottle while staring at me.

So, are you leaving already?”

“…..No, I can’t leave yet.”

“Hm? Still have something to do?”

“….Get inside.”


I couldn’t believe my ears. But Yukihana pointed her finger and said to enter the hospital room she had just been in. Even if it was a change of heart, something was obviously wrong.

“….The receptionist tipped off my mother.”


Maybe Yukika’s mother is treated more like a VIP in this hospital than I had imagined. Perhaps the receptionist informed her that we had visitors while we were taking the elevator to this floor. Or perhaps someone close to the Yukihana family had already infiltrated this hospital.

“Couldn’t they have fooled us?”

“…..Mom, she’s happy. She says I have a friend.”

“I see.”

Certainly, I couldn’t fool her even if I wanted to. No, rather, this is where I have to deceive.

On the other hand, even if I accept the visit, if I don’t behave appropriately, I will be made to feel uncomfortable immediately.

In any case, from the outside, Yukihana and I do not look like friends.

“So, what are you going to introduce me as?”

“….I guess, I’ll have to say, a friend?”

Yukihana said this with a disgusted look on her face as she clenched her teeth. At any rate, she seems to understand that it is not a good situation to have a foreigner such as me here. That’s good enough for me.

“I can act perfectly, but you?”

“…I can do it.”

“Don’t worry. You’re always watching anime, aren’t you? All you have to do is become the character that appears in that kind of thing.”

“Who do you call an otaku?”

Then we decided that taking our time would make them suspicious, so we quickly opened the door. The woman who greeted me as I sat on the bed was a skinny woman, but she had an air of strength about her.

She is Yukihana’s mother.

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