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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/1177354054897376933/episodes/1177354054897440533

As I was changing my shoes at the shoe box, I was approached by a voice.

“Senpai. You look so irritated today.”

“You’re so annoying.”

This girl is Akamura Riko, a junior. First year student, one year younger than me. The same class as Hikari.

She often makes fun of me even though she is a junior.

Before, she said [Senpai, you’re really gloomy.], I was really hurt and she must’ve seen the look on my face.

“I said too much…..sorry. I didn’t mean it seriously.”

She apologized.

She can see the line that should not be crossed, and when she crosses it, she can reflect on it and apologize for it.

So I don’t think I need to ignore Riko at all costs. She’s a bit of a sadist though.

“By the way, is it true that senpai has broken up with Maki senpai?”

“Yeah, it’s true.”

“Then you’re totally free right now !?”

“Well, I guess so.”

“Poor thing.”

“Shut up, I have Hikari to take care of.”

“………”

“What’s up?”

“Hm? Nothing.”

“Then good.”

“Senpai ! We met here for the hundredth year ! Let’s go home together !”

“Recently, I often go home with you.”

“Senpai, you don’t have anyone to go home with, so I’m forced to go home with you, you know?”

“Well, I broke up with Maki, and Hikari’s on the track team, so you’re not wrong.”

“Then let’s get going !”

“You’re as energetic as ever.”

“It’s because I’m with Senpai, you know?”

“….!”

She usually says this kind of thing.

“What? Did you get a thrill, Senpai?”

“…No, I’m not.”

“You’re a liar !”

“Shut up.”

It was fun going home with this guy.

==================================

The next day.

School ended without incident, and I went home with Riko again today.

“I’m home.”

Hikari is at club activities, so no one is home.

“…Welcome home.”

Yet there she is.

“I thought you had club activities today? That’s what it said on the calendar.”

Hikari is the type to stick her schedule on the fridge so I can easily check it too.

“It wasn’t there originally, but the advisor made a mistake and put it there.”

“I see.”

“Yeah……….”

“What’s going on?”

“……Why?”

“Because you look upset.”

It’s like yesterday all over again. Except me and Hikari have switched places.

“……It’s nothing.”

“No, there’s clearly something.”

“……I said it’s nothing !”

Apparently, this was something she didn’t want me to poke.

“I’m sorry.”

“…..I’m sorry too.”

After saying that, Hikari went back to her room.

What happened? This didn’t happen in the morning.

Did something happen at school?

I know it’s uncivil for a brother to get involved in his sister’s affairs, but if something happened, I want to help.

I should ask Riko, who is in the same class with her, via a messaging app.

“Riko, can I ask you something?”

The message is immediately read and a reply comes back.

“Yes ! Please feel free to ask me anything about three sizes !”

“I didn’t ask about three sizes.”

“Senpai, you don’t have to hold back, okay?”

“I’m not.”

“You’re stubborn.”

“What is it you want to ask me?”

“Oh, it’s about Hikari.”

────────────

────────

────

Hm?

Ignored?

Just as I was thinking.

“What’s wrong with her?”

“Did something happen to her at class today?”

“Nothing happened.”

“Well, she seemed kind of down at home. It’s fine if there’s nothing wrong. Thanks.”

“No. You’re welcome.”

What? She used honorifics all of a sudden.

……Well, anyway, no luck.

Well, it could be that my fears are unfounded.

Either way, I’d better keep a close eye on Hikari’s condition.

A week has passed since then. Hikari gradually became gloomier.

==================================

It’s still strange. She seems to be trying to act cheerful in front of me, but I can’t help but feel a sense of discomfort.

I suspect that something happened at school, although there is a possibility of trouble on SNS.

I tried to ask her about it, but she was adamant that it was nothing.

“…..I’m off.”

There was no sign of the cheerful greetings I received before.

“Ah, good luck with your morning practice.”

Saying that, I sent Hikari off.

After that, I went back to the living room and found a pink lunch box.

“……I should deliver it to her at lunch time.”

==================================

“As I recall, Hikari was in 1-A.”

I went down to the second floor from the third floor, where the second grade classrooms were, and arrived in front of the 1-A classroom.

I looked to see if Hikari was inside.

In the worst case scenario, Hikari might have gone to my classroom to pick up her lunch, and we might have switched places.

There she is.

……Hmm? Isn’t something strange going on?

I could only see the backs of the girls around Hikari’s seat, but five of them were surrounding her.

That’s when I started to feel something strange.

From what I could see, the atmosphere was far from that of a group of friends.

A bad premonition flickered in my brain.

I listen to the girls’ conversation.

There were many students eating lunch in the classroom, but Hikari’s seat was close to the door, so I managed to hear their conversation.

“Hikari chan, you don’t have a lunch box〜?”

“Are your family poor?”

“It can’t be helped〜 I’ll give you one of my wieners, okay?”

“……”

“You should at least be grateful.”

“T…thank you.”

“Okay ! Then I’ll give it to you〜…..ah ! Sorry, I dropped it. But you’ll eat the wiener I gave you, right?”

“……Yeah.”

“Then, will you close your mouth? You can’t chew on it yet.”

Hikari did as she was told, her eyes tearing up, and she closed her mouth.

The girl who seems to be the main culprit is inserting the wiener in and out of Hikari’s mouth.

As if to make fun of a certain act between a man and a woman.

Damn !

I should have checked on her if this is what happened !

Bang ! The door opens with a loud bang.

Then I knocked off the girl’s chopsticks from behind, who didn’t seem to have noticed.

The girl finally turns around.

Her cronies, following her, also looked back.

Then, our eyes met.

Why? Why is Riko……among the cronies?

Why? Why?

……….

Of course. It’s obvious, isn’t it?

That’s what it’s all about.

“What are you doing !”

The main culprit is chirping, but I ignore her and open my mouth.

“Riko, I thought you were the kind of person who wouldn’t engage in bullying. I thought you were someone who knew how to draw that line.”

“No, it’s not true, it’s.”

She turns pale and panics.

“I thought you were a good junior, but I never thought I would be betrayed in this way. Don’t ever get involved with Hikari again.”

Leaving a stunned Riko behind, I spoke softly to Hikari.

“Hikari……it was hard for you,……I’m sorry I couldn’t come to you sooner,…….”

“……Ugh…ugh………”

She groaned and started to cry.

I silently lent my chest. There was silence in the classroom.

It seemed I had attracted a lot of attention.

I took Hikari and quickly left the classroom.

After that, I went to the nurse’s office, explained the situation, and she was allowed to leave early. Especially me, too.

I heard that the school nurse would report this matter to the teachers.

What was Hikari’s class teacher doing? I was even angry, but that was okay for now.

I held Hikari’s hand and headed home.

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A bag of marbles and larvae
A bag of marbles and larvae
8 months ago

I swear if this guy goes back to any of these heartless imbecilic harpies I’ll be upset.