-It was like a distant memory from long ago, but an unmistakable dream.

A park at dusk, tinted in red colors.

I, Sagami Asahi, an elementary school student, was standing facing a little girl no older than 10 years old who was crying bitterly while sitting on a swing.

Suddenly, the timid and withdrawn girl wiped her tears with her sleeve and sobbed.

“Akkun, that’s enough, let’s go home…….”

“……It’s not good at all.”

“I’ve already said that’s enough. I don’t want that doll anymore.”

“Of course you do.”

“How do you know that, Akkun?”

“Because you’re crying.”

I knew it was a dream.

The reason is that I can’t even remember what the girl in front of me looked like or what her name was.

The only thing I know now is that she was crying because a bully took her precious doll.

I approached the girl sitting on the swing and patted her on the head.

“Don’t cry anymore, I’ll go get it back for you.”


“Yes, it’s your precious doll, isn’t it?”

The girl nodded her head with tears in her eyes as she smiled gently at me.

I then headed to the bully to get her doll back.

When I arrived at a nearby riverbed, I found several boys and girls playing, led by a boy about one size larger than me.

I see one of the girls holding a doll that looks familiar to me.

I approached the girl and called out to her.

“Hey, that doll belongs to XXX, can you give it back to me?”

“Huh? This doll is mine. Taka kun gave it to me.”

“But it originally belonged to XXX. So give it back.”

“No, no ! Hey, Taka kun, he’s bullying me !”

The girl holding the doll said in a whiny voice, and a large boy called “Taka kun” approached her as if he was trying to squeeze her.

A sudden push on my shoulder made me step on the ground.

“Hey, don’t bully Hana chan !”

“……That doll is ○○, so please give it back.”

“Huh? I don’t know any dolls like that.”

“Don’t lie to me, you took the doll from XXX, didn’t you?”

When I questioned him, Taka sighed without showing any remorse.

“I told that little girl to give it to me because Hana chan wanted it, and she gave it to me.”

“She was crying, give it back.”

“I don’t give a damn about that, you persistent little bastard !”

Then, Taka, having lost his patience, raises his arm and punches me in the face.

The taste of blood spread to my mouth as I was punched in the face.

Even so, I glared at my opponent.

“Apologize to XXX…..”

“Shut up !”

From there, the fight escalated into a fistfight.

A fistfight between kids.

The guys who were playing around were looking at me with worried faces, but as soon as they recognized that I was Taka’s enemy, the kids’ abusive language and violence poured down on me.

But I didn’t take a step back and stood alone against them.

“Apologize to XXX……!”

And the next thing I knew, I was lying on my back on the riverbed.

I can hardly remember what happened, but I felt a tingling pain all over my body.

Then, suddenly, a girl’s face peeked at me from directly above.

It was the girl who had been crying in the park earlier.

I managed to raise my bruised body and held out the doll I had retrieved from the others.

“……I got this back.”

The girl’s face was a mess of tears as she began to cry.

“Why…..? Why do you always help me, Akkun?”

“There is no reason why I should help you.”

“I don’t understand ! You have to get so many injuries to help someone like me……”

“Don’t say that…… I did it because I wanted to help you. The reason why I helped you is because you’re XXX…..and that’s enough.”

When I smiled at her, she wiped away her tears and nodded her head.

Then, as if determined, she opened her mouth.

“I’m not going to cry anymore. I want to help Akkun too…….”

Although the end of her words were laced with anxiety, a certain determination could be sensed in them.

“That’s why, Akkun…..I want to be strong so that I can protect you, too……”.

“Yeah, I’m sure you can do it.”

The girl smiled smugly and held out her hand to me as I nodded.

I grabbed her hand and smiled back.

–After all, this was like a memory from somewhere long ago, and it was an unmistakable dream.

 ◆ ◆ ◆

–Time goes back a little.

“What’s wrong, Asahi san?”

After playing all day at Tropical Waterland, on the way from the poolside to the changing room.

Noticing Asahi suddenly stopping and staring at the pool, Nagisa stopped.

“Over there, is someone drowning….?”

When she looked toward the pool, she saw a child who had lost his float and was drowning.

“O-oh no, we have to call the staff quickly……!”

Nagisa, who is not a good swimmer, would not be able to save the drowning child.

The moment she thought that she should call the staff member who is watching the poolside immediately—

Suddenly, Asahi, who was standing next to her, suddenly ran and jumped into the pool.

While the people around him were dismayed, only one person….Asahi, ran out without any hesitation.

At times like this, there are people who move their bodies instantly and people who don’t.

Most people are probably the latter, and there are probably only a handful of people who can move on the spur of the moment for someone else.

Nagisa thought that was special.

He is a special person. It’s not a new thing.

For a long time, he has always been a hero who saves someone–

Asahi dives into the pool and swims toward the drowning child.

But before Asahi can reach the child, a man who happens to be around the child pulls the drowning child by the hand and pulls him to the side of the pool.

Nagisa was relieved to see that the child was safe and sound.

It was a few seconds later that she noticed something unusual.

There was no sign of Asahi, who should have been swimming toward the child a moment ago.

Juri, who was standing next to her, looked at her suspiciously.

“Ah, why hasn’t Asahi come up to the surface?”


It was when she turned her gaze to the center of the pool following Juri’s line of sight.

Suddenly, splashes of water rise.

Asahi’s expression was clearly different.

“P-perhaps it was Asahi kun…..!?”

Nagisa was not the only one who sensed something was wrong. Futaba, nearby, covered her mouth with both hands and her face turned pale.

Asahi moves his hands as he struggles desperately.

The moment Nagisa’s brain recognized that he was drowning –she had to help him immediately and ran toward the pool, but she felt her body was heavy as if it had turned into lead.

She wanted to help him, but she was frustrated that she couldn’t move her body well.

In the midst of all this, the one that started moving faster than anyone else was Hanabi.

Just like Asahi earlier, Hanabi jumped into the pool as quickly as she could and swam toward Asahi.

She then pulled Asahi up to the poolside, cooperating with those around her who had started moving a step later.

“A-Asahi san……!”

Nagisa rushed toward Asahi, biting her own pitifulness.

He looked unconscious and limp.

The moment she saw him like that, a chill went down her spine and cold sweat ran down her cheeks.

Her heart was aching because it had been beating so loudly earlier.

“Asahi, hang in there…..!”

Juri and Futaba also looked into Asahi’s face with concern.

“Both of you move away a little.”

Suddenly, Hanabi motions for them to move away.

Then, gently touching Asahi’s face to secure her airway and make him open his mouth……Hanabi brushes her wet hair over her ears and without hesitation brings her lips close to Asahi’s.

She places her own mouth over Asahi’s and slowly breathes into him.

This is what is called CPR. Although she understood that this was a medical procedure, the moment Nagisa saw the scene, she felt her heart tighten.


Suddenly, Asahi came up for air and coughed.

It seemed that Asahi regained consciousness.

At that moment, Nagisa felt so relieved that all the strength in her body was gone, Nagisa was disgusted from the bottom of her heart that she had a doubt even though it was a serious situation.

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