“This is the house, Senpai.”

We arrived at our destination, Hashimoto’s house. Her house is a two-story house, and the rooms on the second floor are occupied by curtains, so we cannot peek inside.

“As I see…..there’s no sign of people.”

“Yes. Her parents are probably at work.”

But we don’t know when they will be back. I need to get to her as soon as possible. I’m going to try to go in front of her using a straightforward approach.

“Nanase, can I ask you to push the intercom?”

“Yes, sure.”

I said so, and Nanase immediately pressed the intercom button with her index finger. After the bell rang inside the house twice, no answer came back from inside the silent house.

“Hmm, there was no answer from inside. Is she asleep?”

“Give it one more try, and if she doesn’t answer, we’ll come up with another plan.”

“Yes, sir.”

Then Nanase pressed the intercom again. But, just like before, I can’t hear a voice from the intercom.

Nanase sighs and turns her gaze towards me.

“I knew we’d have to come back another day…..”

I stopped Nanase with my hand, who was in a mood to give up. Without looking at Nanase, I focused on the intercom camera and the red lamp that was lit on the lower right.

(The intercom is still connected.)

Normally, the light goes out when a certain amount of time has elapsed or when the end-of-call button is pressed from inside the house. However, the red light was still on even after a certain amount of time had passed.

This means that someone is listening to us through the monitor without disconnecting the call. If they hang up, they will not be able to hear our conversation.

“You don’t have to speak, I just need you to listen.”

I began to speak one-sidedly and simply, talking into the camera and microphone on the intercom.

“This guy beside me and I are not your enemies.”

I emphasize that there is no danger. If she is on the verge of distrusting people, she wouldn’t listen to us properly in the first place. It remains to be seen how much effect being with Nanase will have, but it will be important to make her presence known.

“The student council president was worried about you.”


“I’m not ready for this, but this guy beside me looked seriously worried.”

I’m good at mixing lies and truths, but this time I choose my words as much as possible to talk to her.

And then I imagine. What are the words she wants to hear right now? If she is really trapped, what words should I say to her?

(……It’s just like someone else.)

Friends who were supposed to be friendly with you, but before you know it, they are staring at you as if they were looking at garbage. The pain of those stares, the uncomfortable feeling, is something I can’t forget even if I tried.

And then, with a little tightness in my heart, I squeezed out the words……

“If you want to run away, I don’t mind.”

I said this, remembering the consequences I had once reached when I was cornered.

“It’s a beautiful word, running away. If you’re lucky, you can cut off your past and start a new life at the place you run away from. If you choose that path, no one has the right to stop you.”

But then I continued my words.

“If you choose that path, you must be prepared to say goodbye to your past. At the very least, you can’t go back to your old life. To put it simply, you have to completely cut yourself off from the people who you have unfavorable memories of.”

My old self chose that path. I really wanted to put my trust in someone, but there was no one to whom I could put my trust, and everything became unimportant, and I had to spend my days in a state of total apathy, thinking only of the bare minimum.

But as a result, there was a gaping hole in my heart.

Now she and I are almost mirror images of each other. And if she chooses to run away, she will end up walking the same path as I did then.

In other words, a nihilistic epilogue of destruction.

“But I assure you, that path will surely lead to ruin. Because….humans cannot live alone.”

The only reason I wasn’t ruined was that I still had someone who cared enough to talk to me. Without that, I might have been a real cripple.

But what about her?

“So let me ask you, is there not a single person who cares about you?'”


“Besides your family, do you really think there isn’t? I’m telling you, no ‘I can’t rely on someone else’.”


I heard the faint sound of a small intake of breath. I’m sure she had something on her mind when she heard my words. And Nanase, who sensed that I was by no means speaking into the void, turned her head toward the camera with a serious expression on her face from a moment ago.

(The reason why she doesn’t meet with her friends and doesn’t read their messages.)

After thinking about it, I could only come up with two reasons.

Either she feels she doesn’t deserve to be relied upon, or she is afraid to involve her friends. And from what I’ve heard about her character, she probably falls into both categories.

“If you’re afraid to involve your friends, why don’t you give me, who’s not even your friend, some information? I’ll take my chances that you, who I’ve never actually spoken to, are someone who you can rely on.”

Then comes silence again. But this time it didn’t take more than a few seconds for the sound to come out of the speakers.

[……Who are you?]

A feeble voice came over the speakers. I turn to Nanase to make sure she is not reacting excessively. If she changed her expression, she might lose interest in talking at once.

But luckily Nanase was reading the atmosphere, or whether she was entrusting everything to me, she kept her serious expression without changing her expression.


What should I call myself? I’m not an ally of justice, nor do I know her at all. It was possible that the whole thing would end depending on my response.

I would have to tell her my safe identity and get by with a lie.


A senior at school? A friend of Sakura’s? Someone Nanase is relying on?

It floats in and out, and the last thing that remains is……

“I’m……a former ally of justice.”

I called myself that, turned my head toward the camera and waited for her answer.

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