I had two main objectives this time.
Finish the troublesome project of the school’s public morals promotion movement.
To crush Shinkai Sakura’s resolve and confidence.
The first thing that came to my mind was how to finish the project. It would be torture for me to do a useless work that may or may not yield any result. I hate trouble, but I like to be efficient when I can.
(In that case, the cancer should be removed.)
This project was set up because of a disturbance in public morals, especially among the first-year students. So on my first day of activity, I decided to make it a priority to go around the floor of the freshmen who were the cause of this problem. And as luck would have it, I succeeded in witnessing the scene.
(Were those two the cause of the disturbance?)
I thought so, but quickly dismissed the idea. There must be other students like them. And how can I suppress them?
(I could make an example out of them)
By punishing them to the level of expulsion, I can keep the first-year students in check. This will reduce the number of people who act foolishly. And depending on their subsequent actions, the project could be finished early.
And I decided to involve two people in this plan.
One is, of course, Shinkai Sakura. She’s the victim this time. I decided to simultaneously proceed with a plan to break his resolution by having those two attack me.
Another person involved in this plan is Shichinomiya sensei.
Takahashi sensei, who had become the advisor to the Public Morals Committee, told me that Shichinomiya sensei was, in a manner of speaking, acting as an assistant to the Public Morals Committee. And because she’s the homeroom teacher, I had her phone number. With her own throwaway personality, she was the perfect person to get involved in this plan.
The goal of this plan was to call Shichinomiya sensei.
If the two had actually assaulted Shinkai, it would have been a crime and would have been reported to the police without question. However, if it was an attempt, it could be handled as a school issue.
The private Ichinomiya middle school I attended and the private Ichinomiya high school I currently attend are run by the same board of directors. They are all about keeping the school’s brand power intact, and at the same time, they are extremely averse to trouble. So I was confident that once I made it a school issue, it would not become a police matter. In fact, such an incident actually happened in middle school.
The current incident was also judged to be a dispute between students, and the police would not intervene. It’s a joke of a management team, but ironically, they are saved by it this time.
The rest was supposed to be a secret phone call to Shichinomiya sensei. ……calculating backwards from the combat situation the timing when those two would put down Shinkai and try to assault her as it was (a timing that could be just barely attempted).
(I never thought I’d come out of my shell here.)
So I changed my plan slightly and decided to leave right then and there. After all, it was part of the plan that I had to leave in person. So the timing and situation changed only slightly. And at about the same time, I calledShichinomiya sensei with the sensitivity of the microphone set to max. There would surely be a commotion in the staff room, especially among the teachers still remaining there.
However, it would not go unnoticed if she, as an ordinary teacher, spoke up to the board members or the principal. If she’s not careful, the incident itself will be covered up and she will be transferred or dismissed. This is why the teachers cannot speak out strongly. That is the reality of this school.
Now, the rest is up to me.
“Thank you, Shiina kun. Thanks to you, I was saved.”
Shinkai, who had regained her composure after Riku and Kai had fled, said to me. As expected, it seems that I still haven’t been able to overlap the traces of my past. Well, I used to not do such a roundabout way.
“Are you all right?”
“Yes, thanks to you.”
In a manner of speaking, I used honorifics and expressed my concern for Shinkai’s health. This way, she would put down her guard. In the meantime, I cut off the call connected to Shichinomiya sensei. I don’t want the teachers to hear what I’m about to say.
As if the tension had eased, Shinkai stared at my left hand.
“Even so, I’m surprised you have an analog voice recorder.”
“I heard that the security situation is not so good these days.”
I always keep this voice recorder in my breast pocket and turn it on outside of class time. This idea was born out of a desire to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.
Because that time, if only I had proof, I could have cornered that person and refuted….
“Thanks for saving my life. Thank you.”
“No, don’t mind it.”
Although it was a social greeting, the words were full of gratitude. I guess she must have decided that I was someone she could trust. I knew this girl was not good at this kind of thing. As soon as she decides that I’m on her side, she becomes lenient.
(Okay, it’s time to get this out of the way.)
“Let’s make the most of this voice recorder.”
“By the way, Shinkai san, I have a question.”
“Were you bullied, Shinkai san?
I guess she didn’t expect me to bring the topic back. Shinkai’s face instantly turned pale.
“Oh, I see.”
In order to prevent Shinkai from diverting the conversation, I quickly cut off the current topic. And then I say to her as if to pierce from another direction.
“In that case, let’s talk to my step sister.”
“Eh? W-what are you……”
(……This reaction, as expected.)
Somehow I was convinced that Shinkai is covering up her past of being bullied to the people she socialized with in high school. I don’t know if she’s intentionally hiding it or if she just happens to be unaware of it. Strangely enough, there are very few people at this school who attended the same middle school. If that were the case, I would be able to pretend that my unpleasant past did not exist.
The best way to be elected as a member of the student council is to be nominated by my step sister. At least Shinkai is not the type of person who can make a big appeal in elections. That is probably why she used that system. And in order to be elected as a student council president, her history of being bullied could lead to a negative image, and as a result, it would only be a hindrance.
Not only that, but if word of this fact were to spread, it would create some distance in relationships. At the very least, it’s certain to cause a change in the newly established relationship. Bullying is an act that is getting a lot of attention today. Even though she’s a victim, she feels uneasy that she might be looked at in a different way than before.
Shinkai Sakura is afraid that the relationships around her will change.
“It’s okay, if not my step sister, then someone else.”
“P-please……other than that……”
“I’m afraid that I will not be able to do that. This voice recorder records all the conversations we just had. That’s great, now we have proof that you were bullied.”
Yes, this voice recorder contains the conversation that Shinkai was bullied. And Shinkai has never said anything to deny it.
In other words, I have evidence (audio of the conversation) that Shinkai Sakura was bullied.
“Should I make a big public announcement about it anyway? That way, a lot of people will feel sorry for you ……”
“Please ! Please don’t do that !”
Shinkai was blatantly displeased and desperately tried to persuade me. It’s like a puppy just before it’s thrown away. So, with the purest smile I could muster, I dared to say,
“I see, I’ll stop then.”
“But don’t worry. I’ll save this data for you.”
Yes, this is what I’m aiming for this time. I grasped Shinkai Sakura’s weaknesses as evidence in front of her.
I wonder how I look in Shinkai’s eyes. At the very least, I’m certain that my good image is slowly being destroyed. Well, I don’t want her to have a strange image of me.
“Right, I have a favor to ask of you.”
Shinkai must be thinking. If she doesn’t listen to this favor, she’ll have to hide herself from the world. In that case, she should listen to my request. It’s not too late to make a decision after that……
(I have no intention of forcibly resolving this…)
The reason Shinkai has yet to use force is because I taught her a long time ago not to mess with people who don’t know the difference between right and wrong. That’s why I act as if I’m worried about Shinkai and take away her ability to judge. That is why Shinkai cannot touch me.
The best solution for Shinkai in this situation is to take the voice recorder from me, even if she has to force me to do so. It’s useless because it has already been saved on the Internet, but the fact that she can’t do that shows her naivete. In short, she’s not very thorough.
I once again arranged my words and demanded to Shinkai Sakura.
“Umm, the project is already finished, right? Honestly, I think I’ve already solved it. After all, I just solved the fundamental problem. Let’s stop this project.”
“W-what are you saying…”
“No, it’s a rational decision. I’m sure you’ll be able to get rid of those two, so there’s no point in wasting any more resources on something that’s useless. So, please do me a favor, will you?”
Shinkai Sakura does not answer. But she will start acting soon after this. At least it’s not a request that is harmful to her, and because she became a victim, it’s never impossible. To protect her position as vice student council president, which she has obtained, she may twist her head.
Shinkai Sakura, who’s in front of me, looked puzzled, but seemed to be thinking about her next move. But there was nothing she could do. Because her brain refused to accept the current situation.
(……Finally here we come.)
After a few seconds or so, I heard the sound of many footsteps. The faculty must have finally rushed to the library. I took my eyes off Shinkai and stared at the sunset, which had not yet set.
We might be interviewed from now on, but that is acceptable. It’s more like it’s part of the plan.
If the fact that I, a member of the public morals committee, have been injured spreads to the faculty, the dismantling of this project will be accelerated. Because of this project, I had to get an injury on my cheek and back. And the fact that I and Shinkai are victims will not be leaked to other students for privacy reasons.
The school, as expected, would not be able to change it for the safety of the students. They will immediately submit an alternative plan, and if there was Shinkai’s proposal there, it will be accepted immediately.
The only thing that will happen is that the student’s patrol will be replaced by teachers and specialized contractors from this school who do not like the hassle.
(Well, what shall I say to Shichinomiya sensei?)
And I simulate the future course of events in my brain. I looked at Shinkai, who’s staring at me with an anxious expression on her face.
She no longer had the confident atmosphere that she had just had.
Same: Dark parking lot near the school gate
Two men were lurking in front of the school’s main gate, where it was already getting dark.
“Hey, aren’t you going to run away !?”
Riku and Kai, who were now in a dangerous position, were not about to run away right away, but were hiding in the parking lot at the front of the school.
“What are we going to do now…?”
“No, there’s still hope.”
“W-what do you mean !?”
Riku asked, puzzled by Kai’s strangely confident appearance. At first glance, their situation seems hopeless. At the very least, if they go to school tomorrow, they will be questioned. And because of what they did, they should not be able to escape expulsion. If they were not careful, it would be a police matter.
But Kai is calm and explains the situation to Riku carefully.
“You know what? The threat to us is that voice recorder. If we take it away, there will be no evidence. Then we’ll threaten him. With this.”
Kai pulled out a shiny silver object from his pocket. Even Riku gasped a little. He had not expected his friend to bring a portable knife to school. Unlike the knuckle brass, he would not get away with it if he was found.
“If you threaten him with a knife, he’ll shake his head. And he will testify that everything that happened today was a lie. This whole thing was a traumatic paranoia caused by Shinkai’s trauma !”
It was a rather crude plan, but Kai still believed he could break through. No, if he don’t believe it, he probably won’t be able to maintain his mental state. He had been in an elite school for a long time, and to drop out within a month would be nothing short of a nightmare.
The life plan he had in mind was already a mess. And all because of those two…..
“Remember…..I screwed up a little this time, but I’ll get out of it anyway now. And we’re going to get revenge on that guy and Shinkai…….”
“So it’s you guys? The one who’s giving me a bad reputation.”
[ […….Eh?] ]
There, someone’s voice echoed through the air. The somewhat neutral voice seeped into the ears of two people who were supposed to be outdoors. Then, someone walked slowly out of the darkness.
“I had a hard time finding out where the rumors were coming from. Since everyone’s so scared of me. But now I’ve found them. Brace yourselves, you shit.”
“W-why are you…..”
“Oh, shit, Kai ! He’s……”
The two men turned their attention to the source of the voice, and when they caught sight of the man, they both shuddered. Of course they were. He was not like a half-bad punk like them, but the real thing.
And this was completely their own fault. So the two of them began desperately to explain themselves.
“M-my bad. We got a little too carried away. So please forgive me, okay?:
“M-me too ! I’m trying to get along with all kinds of people……”
The man silenced the two of them, who were supposed to have ferocious personalities, with a single glare. So much so that an aura of anger exuded from him. Just by being near him, they can’t stop shaking.
“…..It’s okay for me to be hurt. But because of that, my precious family will have bad memories. I have to prevent that from happening. That’s why I’ll give you a break with one shot.”
“Eh, wait, huh?”
“That’s how we yakuza do it.”
And then the man approached. He is overwhelmingly smaller than Kai and the others, but his violence is respected by both of them. Or rather, this man has a strength that Shinkai can’t even compare.
“I beg of you, please ! Forgive me…..”
“I’ve changed my mind. You’re going to pay the price for all the people you’ve hurt !”
In the dark hours of the evening, a dull sound echoed high in the air. No one witnessed the scene, and no one but them knew about the backstory. All that was left at the scene was a brand-new survival knife and a worn-out knuckle brass.
And the next day, they never came to school. But instead, they received two expulsion letters in the mail. The letters were written in rattled handwriting and looked as if they had been scribbled. In addition, the paper was said to be slightly damp.
After that, no one saw these two on the street.
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