Episode 12 – Her Root



As soon as Yosho said that, Reona stood up with a clattering sound.

I reflexively grabbed her hand as she was about to run out, and with a face like she was about to cry, she shouted to me

“Let go of me!”
“Reona, calm down. Just because they know where you go to school doesn’t mean they know where you live.”

With that, I patted Reona’s back to calm her down, but she just shook her head and said nothing.
In response to this, She asked her a worried question, “Ree, what’s wrong?” She just shook her head and didn’t say anything.

“……………I’ll call my mother, too, just in case. And Shiori san.”

After pulling my phone out of my pocket, I opened my contacts and looked for the name.
She first contacted “Amou Kasumi,” which was the first name that came up in aieo order, then scrolled down the screen to ” Amou Yuto,” followed by “Ibuko Yosho,” and then found “Kisaragi Shiori”.

I put strength into my trembling hands while telling Reona to calm down, and called Reona’s mother.
Since my mother is unusually quick to reply to messages (especially those related to Reona), I soon get a read and a funny stamp that says ‘Roger’ back.
In the meantime, the phone rings, but after a dozen or so calls, I hear an announcement that the caller is not available

I clicked my tongue at it and hung up, and Yohsho and Honjo tapped Reona on the shoulder with an anxious, worried, impatient look on their faces.

“Ree, what’s wrong! Does it hurt somewhere!”
“J-just like Nagi said, I don’t think they’ll find out our address, Kisaragi-san!”

While waddling and moving their hands restlessly, the two encouraged Reona.
I saw Reona shaking her head at even them, and I approached her.

“Hey, Nagi. I’m going.”
“Let go of me.”

I grabbed Reona’s arm as she stubbornly tried to get out, and she waved her arm to shake it off.
But even though I knew that she, a woman, was no match for me, Reona didn’t stop defying me.

“Let go of me! Let go of me!”
“Hey, Reona! I said calm down!”
“I’m the one telling you to let me go!”

After saying that, Reona must have looked up and stared at me.
I saw a single tear on her beautiful white cheek, and I gasped.

“—– if you don’t, you might harm not only me but also the people I’m close to!!!”

The moment she said that, I realized.

She was after all, an——- idol at heart that I couldn’t stop


Ten minutes later, we ran through the so called “hidden passage”.
It was our teacher who gave us the key to the back gate of the school, which nobody knew.

“What’s this …………?”
“Ah, it’s called a hidden passage. It’s very convenient, isn’t it?”
“I’ve never heard of hidden passageways.”
“Well, it’s something that only those in the know know about. If you use it, you can get to the back gate without anyone knowing.”
“Thank you very much. I can honestly say that for the first time, I felt like you were my teacher.”
“Me, too.”
“Me too.”
“Me too.”
“………… Hey, I’ve been your homeroom teacher for three years, right?”

As she winked dexterously at us, we ran, breathing hard, remembering the look on her face.

“Hey, Nagi! How many more meters is this?”
“Probably about a kilometer already!”
“I’m already at my limit! I’m going to throw up!”
“Don’t throw up! I mean, why does Reona seem so unconcerned about it?”
“Well, an idol’s physical strength is fundamental.”

We continue to run a self-marathon as we watch Reona running with a cool face.
After running for perhaps one and a half kilometers, I finally saw a light in front of me.
Staring at the light, I call out to my childhood friend next to me.

“Reona. What are you going to do now?”
“For now, I’m going to be honest about everything that’s happened so far. I’m going to tell everything I’ve been doing honestly, and if I get any criticism, I’m going to face it.”
“……I see. Good luck.”

After I replied that to Reona, I continued to move my feet toward the light.

Then, I gathered strength in my already exhausted legs and took a giant step forward.
At that moment, my vision, which had been dim all along, instantly brightened.

I looked at the view in front of me, thinking, ………… maybe I owe that homeroom teacher.
Around me, over hundreds of media were waiting and waiting for the national idol to come out.

“I’m sure they’re right about Kisaragi Reona showing up here,” I hear here and there as I try to catch my ragged breath.
(…………… but it’s still not enough)

While listening to a few voices saying, “There’s no doubt about the information that Kisaragi Reona will appear here,” I adjusted my rough breathing.

I frowned, as I recalled the press who probably didn’t believe the information and would be waiting for us at such place —-

I saw Yosho and Honjo, who probably thought the same thing, dragging Reona once more into the hidden passage to hide her.

With them beside me as I explained the situation to Reona, I ran across the mass media and through the public road.

The distance from here to the school is 500 meters in the normal course.
In other words, I was made to run three times the distance, I thought, and at the same time, I felt that thanks to that, I was able to avoid being found.

As I ran past my homeroom teacher, thinking that I was not going to be able to get my head around for a while, Yosho and Honjo caught up with me from the side.
I glance back in surprise at their smirking faces and see Reona entering the hidden passageway with her hood up.

“I told Kisaragi-san not to come out until we came back.” While appreciating Yosho’s words, I bowed my head and kept running.
All I do today is run, I blurted out, explaining the plan to the two of them when the school came into view.

When the explanation was over, Yohsho gave a thumbs up, Honjo made a circle with her finger, and each walked to their respective school gates.
…………… There are a total of three school gates at Sakurano High School.
The main gate, the south gate, and the east gate.
The only one that has a staff entrance is probably crowded with students who can’t get home now.

I can see my classmates, who spotted us from above as we were deliberately walking towards the media, still shouting something worried about us not leaving.

(Truly, we are blessed with people.)

As I take another step forward with this thought in my mind, the media swarms me at once, probably noticing that I’m wearing the same uniform as Reona.

Then I take a small breath and make a face.

“—– Speaking of which, I saw Kisaragi-san leaving the classroom just now.”

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