The school was noisier than usual, but since there were a lot of relatively serious students, the commotion calmed down after school. However, this morning’s incident was firmly etched in the minds of the students. At the very least, the student who will be returning to school will always be looked at with prejudice.

(Or use it as an advantage……no, indeed not.)

I try to read deeper into it to see if he’s planning something more from it, but I quickly dismiss the possibility. I’m sure he’s going to try to pull me out of the limelight by messing with me in a variety of ways. I’m sure the last target is….

(Shinkai Sakura.)

Shinya doesn’t know that Shinkai and I have been out of touch since then. He’s the one who made it happen, and although he may be partly aware of the situation between me and Shinkai, I’m sure he’ll eventually get his hands on her. But unlike the past, she has become stronger both physically and mentally. What will happen when two such people collide? I can’t predict that end point either.


I looked right next to me and saw that Yukihna had finished packing her bags and was just about to leave. I don’t know what’s going on in her mind, but she might be aware that her fiancé has done something.

(Are the two parties involved making contact in the first place?)

I never heard of Yukihana and Shinya seeing each other, including the day I broke into that mansion. It’s possible that they do not even know each other’s faces. At the very least, this guy’s father did not think well of Shinya, and it’s now possible that she has refused to have contact with him.

That’s why I had to think about the ties that each of them had and act accordingly.


But……such details are no longer relevant.

The next step is to use a forceful method that takes no account of such personal feelings. If done poorly, it’s a gamble of some sort that may break Yukihana’s heart. It’s a rough treatment because I cannot leave Shinya alone any longer.

In order to bring this situation to an end, Yukihana must create an opportunity for me.

(It’s just like that time all over again.)

I think back to the time when Kisaragi and Yukihana were having a hard time when I had just started my second year. What I’m trying to do is almost like a reenactment of that time. Well, I don’t intend to involve Kisaragi this time.

“Anyway, I shall prepare.”

So I waited until after school, when no one was around, and began the necessary preparations.

After the preparations were finished, I went home. Anyway, I had done all I could do over the past few days. If Yukihana was still not willing to move or was just a weak person who kept to herself, I would have no choice but to give up on everything.

“And if that happened, none of my goals would come true.”

When I decided to go to high school, I had set several objectives. And this time, I thought that one of them….. or even two of them would come true, but all of them would be lost depending on Yukihana’s actions. I’m not sure how I managed to make a plan like this that relies on others.

“If it had been the past me, I would have completed the project on my own in the first place.”

The reason why I decided to involve Yukihana is partly because she’s the person involved in this whole debacle, but at the same time, something inside her was pulling my back.

“…..I’m going back too,……no, am I moving on?”

I had decided that I wasn’t going to be like I used to be, but I began to notice that my character is slowly softening. At least, sneaking into other people’s homes and relying on a  junior were options that didn’t float my boat before. There’s a big difference between taking advantage of others and relying on them.

“The trigger was, well, my sister.”

Since she resigned from the student council, she has been doing minimal housework and studying in the living room until late. It seemed that she had begun to study in earnest for the entrance examinations. I glanced at her study marks and saw that……she was just barely able to reach a top private university. At least for now.

“People grow.”

I was shown an example of this by a family member close to me. Maybe that’s why it touched my heartstrings and gave me new options and perspectives. Or perhaps, ironically, it brought me back to my old self, just a little bit.

“Now, I need to call that guy again before my sister starts cooking dinner.”

I don’t know how many times I’ve made contact with him in the past few days, but this will probably be the last time. At least, that’s what I’m trying to find out today. I really want to know what I need to know as a final push to get Yukihana moves.

And after a few rings, the person answers the phone.

“Are you free?”

[If you’re going to ask me something like that, don’t call me every time.]

Hisui, a junior who is as bossy as ever, barks at the phone grumpily. Before I get down to business, I think it’s best if I ask him about this morning.

“I heard you had a rough morning earlier, did you get things under control?”

[Aah? Did Natsu say something?]

“No, nothing since her cryptic message this morning. But I know there was a problem in your class. The answer is obvious, considering what your homeroom teacher said to you this morning.]

By the way, I lied when I said I had not been in touch with Nanase. I sent her a chat on my way home and got the details of what happened. She then informed me that her class was currently in rough shape with suspensions and gave me some tips on how to fix the situation in a way that would cause as little trouble as possible.

But Hisui didn’t know that Nanase and I had had this conversation, and I didn’t need to tell him. As for why I asked, it was to play catch with this guy as much as possible. What I’m about to ask him is such a sensitive matter that I wanted to make it easier for him to talk by exchanging words with him as much as possible.

[In any way, there’s been a commotion since this morning. Did you call me all the way out here to ask me that?]

“Of course not. I just wanted to know what Nanase’s chat meant.”

[Then ask her directly. Don’t get me involved in this.]

Hisui said something like his older sister would say. It seems that it’s about time for the other side to start waiting impatiently for the main topic to be cut out, so it’s about time to cut out the main topic.

“I called you today because I wanted to ask you something else.”

[If that’s the case, you should have said so from the beginning. Don’t ask me unnecessary questions.]

“Don’t say that. I’m going to ask you something that’s very important.

[…….If you’re asking about my sister, you ain’t got nothing to do with it.]

“I’d say that’s not far off the mark, but it’s a little different.”

The reason I’m asking is not about Yukihana Ruri herself. About her family situation. That is…

“I want to ask about your mother.”


Even over the phone, I could tell that Hisui was shocked, as if he did not expect to be asked about his mother. I’m convinced that it was such a sensitive issue after all, and I hear a heavy, menacing voice on the other end of the line.

[Bastard, you’re getting a little too carried away, aren’t you……aah !?]

Hisui on the other end of the phone seemed to be completely pissed off. Well, it’s indeed too inappropriate to suddenly ask him about his mother. After all, his mother is in the hospital, and there’s a high possibility that he’s got something serious to talk about.

“I’ll tell you why now. Yukihana is involved in this.”

[Hey, who told you you could continue talking?]

“Well, I’m going to talk to myself now. And you can decide for yourself what you think of it.”

And so I begin to speak. First of all, I talked about the abnormality of Yukihana Ruri.

“If you think about it, there was a section where she was mentally strong. And with a little trigger, it exploded, and even the person herself could act unexpectedly.”

Yes, that is exactly what happened with Kisaragi. At that time, Yukihana seriously tried to hit Kisaragi. It was too outlandish an action to be considered normal. And even after all is said and done, there are several questionable behaviors, such as not only not reflecting on the behavior, but not even realizing that it was abnormal herself.

“Furthermore, she is abnormally suspicious of other people. There’s not a single person in her class that she trusts, let alone me.”

Because of Kisaragi’s influence, Yukihana has had more than a few opportunities to talk with her classmates, but not one of them is someone she can call a friend, let alone someone she feels comfortable conversing with. I’m an exception, but it is unusual for her to not even be open with her classmates of the same age. There must be some reason why she doesn’t trust other people.

“And that time your father mentioned his wife, your mother. At that moment, Yukihana looked more relieved than I’ve ever seen her before.”

It was a different expression than when she was with Hisui, as if she were a brave child. When Yukihana was asking about her mother at that time, she looked as if the snow in her heart had melted.

I was surprised at the time at the gap between her normal attitude and that of her mother, but it was also strange to see her change her demeanor 180 degrees. In other words, I expected that Yukihana’s mother had a lot to do with that usual attitude of hers. And the reason why Yukihana can’t move forcefully now is probably her mother.

“So I thought I had to get some information about your mother. That’s all.”

After I had told him everything, I waited for Hisui’s response. Whether or not he would comply, and how his next move would turn out, was entirely up to him. His choice would be an important one for me.

And then, after some time has passed……

[I don’t like it. I don’t like the fact that you’re stepping into other people’s family and looking cool about it, but most of all, I don’t like the fact that you know so much about my sister.]

Hisui then speaks to me in the most dusky voice ever. Just as I was considering the possibility of failure, I heard a loud sigh from the phone.

[I’m not going to tell you. But since my sister is not here right now and I want to reminisce about the past, I’ll reminisce a little. You might hear me talking to myself, but don’t listen to me.]

“…..I see.”

Hisui seems to have made his decision. Or maybe he entrusted me with everything. The atmosphere of Hisui on the other end of the phone was the calmest I’ve ever felt, and his voice had a tone appropriate for his age. And so, Hisui tells me about the past on his own.

……..Thank you. I whispered to him in my mind.

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