Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
My motivation regarding the sports festival was extremely low.
Arisu-chan was excluded from all events and she didn’t seem to have any intention to do anything this time. It was unreasonable for me to feel motivated in such a situation.
I didn’t mind ranking last in all activities. I didn’t mind paying private points and I didn’t even feel bothered losing 10 points in the written exam. All I needed to do was make sure my exam was above a failing grade after all.
I intended to just let things flow, but I was curious about what the other classes were doing.
So I decided to go see how Class C, who was also part of the white group, was doing.
Arisu-chan and I sat on the bench near the athletic ground.
“Haruto, you’ve come.”
Kiyotaka immediately spotted us and called out to us.
As far as I can see, he seemed to be practicing a relay race.
There was a man who wiped his sweat and repeated dashes. It was Sudou Ken.
He was fast. If he could run that fast with that muscle, he was invincible.
Anyway, he stood out. As I thought, he was among the best in the school in terms of physical ability.
“Come to think of it, what happened to Horikita?”
Many students were practicing, but Horikita wasn’t among them.
“She’s quite dissatisfied with the current state of Class C. It seems she feels unconvinced that Kei will become the leader of the class. She said she’ll do as she likes and go somewhere.”
Kiyotaka explained that in an emotionless voice.
…As expected, she still hadn’t given up yet. She still didn’t recognize Kei-chan as the leader and tried to act on her own. She seemed to have no intention of blending into the group. Seeing how much she resisted made it feel refreshing instead. In a sense, she was someone with no hidden side.
“Even though the class finally came together, she’s still doing something selfish.”
Sudou finished his practice and came over to us. He had a bitter expression as if he swallowed a bug.
It seemed something happened between him and Horikita.
“Sudou-kun, do you have a disagreement with Horikita-san?”
Arisu-chan asked while peering at him.
“Aah, if anything, it feels like she’s one-sidedly looking at me as an enemy.”
Judging by the way he spoke, it was probably Horikita who said something that angered Sudou.
…Also, all the other students seemed to side with Sudou.
Perhaps she couldn’t endure the atmosphere where everyone blamed her and went elsewhere?
The sports festival was definitely where Sudou could play an active part. He was surely an indispensable existence that would contribute to victory.
From the perspective of Class C students, having him lose motivation was something they wanted to avoid.
On the other hand, there was little benefit in respecting Horikita. Although she could contribute ability-wise, Horikita’s current self didn’t have a shred of teamwork and would disturb the harmony of the class.
Rather than killing the motivation of Sudou, the strongest fighting force, having Horikita leave was a preferable option. It might be ruthless, but it was an unavoidable choice if they sought victory.
And the man who was most likely in control of all that… Ayanokouji Kiyotaka had no hesitation in making such a decision.
Kiyotaka chose Kei-chan. Perhaps it was inevitable that Horikita, who wasn’t chosen, would end up forced into an unfortunate position. She might be a little pitiful, but there was no turning back.
Above all, this was also the result of Horikita’s own actions. It might be cold, but she had to be responsible for her own actions.
“Ah, Sudou, you’re here.”
After chatting for a while, Kei-chan came looking for Sudou.
“As I said earlier, I was thinking of having Sudou participate in all competitions. It might be tough for you, but I think that’s the best way for us to win.”
“Of course, I don’t mind. Even if you didn’t ask, I intended to do so to begin with.”
“Thanks. Seriously, I’m glad Sudou is in our class.”
“Oi, don’t say such an embarrassing thing!”
Having his worth affirmed, Sudou didn’t seem to hate it.
Listening to the conversation just now, my evaluation of Kei-chan changed greatly.
I never thought she was doing this well… she grew into a good leader before I knew it. If it was her current self, her classmates would follow her lead.
“Some people are still saying selfish things, but I’ll try to persuade them.”
“…Sorry to make you do such things.”
“No, it’s totally fine. I think that’s my role after all.”
The way she smiled as she said that was very attractive. Sudou became a little reserved and shy.
Perhaps she became able to be considerate because she openly had a boyfriend?
…I recalled that Kei-chan was very active during the assault incident at the end of June.
According to Honami-san, Kei-chan seemed to have a hard time interviewing all the class members.
Perhaps that experience served Kei-chan well. That event created an image of her working hard for her class and quashed her previous self-inflicted quarrel.
It might be natural she ended up getting along well with Sudou, but she also gained a great weapon known as “trust” back then.
And the one who was amazing above all was Kiyotaka. To think he managed to make her grow so much in such a short time…
Kei-chan might be still naïve and not perfect. Her basic academic and athletic ability wasn’t that high, and it was true that she was a person who could easily get carried away.
However, all of that wasn’t that important. She gradually gained what was needed the most… the ability to lead the group.
The current Horikita couldn’t do this sort of thing.
Until she realized that, taking over leadership would stay a dream within a dream.
“Kiyotaka, you’re really an amazing man after all.”
“Thank you. However, I just feel like I’m finally standing at the starting line now.”
I also began to look forward to seeing how much Kei-chan could grow. If she could eventually become someone who could compete with Honami-san or Ryuuen, it would be very interesting.
Kiyotaka always makes me excited like this. I was really glad I befriended him.
“…Fufu, I see. So that’s what Kiyotaka-kun is aiming for, isn’t it?”
Suddenly, Arisu-chan said something profound.
“So you already realized it. You have great insight as usual… I’ll tell you just in case, I definitely have no intention of hurting Arisu. Even if I have Kei, you are also someone irreplaceable to me.”
“Of course, I understand that. When your final goal is achieved, it just so happens that my theory will be undermined as a result. That’s all there is to it. There’s no goodwill or malice involved there.”
“…As expected of you. The more I talk to Arisu, the more I realize how far the goal is.”
I couldn’t keep up with their conversation.
I moved my gaze and saw Kei-chan happily talking to the Class C students. The only thing I knew was that Kei-chan was the key person for both of them.
Kiyotaka and Arisu-chan. What exactly do the two of them, who were connected in the realm beyond my understanding, seek from Kei-chan? When Kiyotaka’s goal is achieved, could Kei-chan still smile like she did now?
The sun had set and it was getting cooler. It was still hot and humid every day, but from the evening onward, we could feel that autumn was approaching.
Since the number of students who had finished their practice increased, we decided to return to our room.
It seemed Kikyou-chan had an appointment with her friend, so she wouldn’t be coming today.
It had been a while since we took a bath together, and this was quite good.
While slowly soaking in the bathtub, we started talking about what happened earlier.
“Arisu-chan, what do you think about Kiyotaka and Kei-chan’s relationship?”
“…That’s a difficult question. Kei-san sees Kiyotaka-kun as the best boyfriend, while Kiyotaka-kun sees Kei-san as his important possession. At this stage, I can only say that much.”
It might change in the future though, added Arisu-chan.
“Those actions of Kei-chan’s are all according to Kiyotaka’s wishes, aren’t they?”
“You’re right. However, Kiyotaka-kun seems to have overlooked one thing. It is something he missed exactly because he is too competent. It’s something like a blind spot.”
Arisu-chan said something difficult again. Was it possible that Kiyotaka actually missed something?
But since Arisu-chan said so, it must be the case.
…The fact Arisu-chan didn’t tell Kiyotaka despite knowing it was also just like her. It seemed the person who understood Kiyotaka the best wasn’t actually his advisor. It was quite unique, but I think it wasn’t a bad friendship.
“What would happen to Kiyotaka if he doesn’t notice that?”
“It’s quite difficult to express what will happen, but…”
After saying that, Arisu-chan clung to my arm. It was her sign that she was done with the bath.
Oops, it seemed more time had passed than I expected. Long baths were strictly prohibited as they put a strain on the heart.
While supporting her petite body, we left the bathroom together. I wiped her body carefully with a towel while paying attention so she wouldn’t fall.
I just wiped my body appropriately and quickly put on her underwear. During that time, Arisu-chan seemed to be thinking. It seemed she was seriously considering how to answer my question.
The next time she spoke was when I was preparing a drink after the bath.
“Kiyotaka-kun might end up being henpecked by Kei-san. Fufu, I guess it’s something like that?”
Did she mean their positions would be reversed? I had no idea how it could end up like that, but it was pretty interesting.
Arisu-chan put her index finger on her mouth as she smiled. It seemed she wanted to keep this a secret.
Also, that pose is very cute, so stop that. I might faint.
“That sounds interesting. But I guess Kiyotaka wouldn’t want that.”
“I think Kiyotaka-kun would notice it before it happens. However, once he realized that… I wonder what he will do about it. At this point, he still only sees her as a very convenient tool, though.”
While drinking the juice through a straw, Arisu-chan lost herself in thought.
“You mean he might develop a deeper feeling toward Kei-chan?”
“It’s just a slight change, but I feel like something is beginning to sprout inside Kiyotaka-kun. Also, I think it is Haruto-kun who made that happen.”
“Did my actions affect Kiyotaka?”
I was surprised since there was nothing that came to mind.
Seeing me like that, Arisu-chan chuckled.
“As I thought, you are not aware of it. That’s why you can change others without noticing. In a sense, I guess I’m the same as Kiyotaka-kun.”
I remembered the episodes with Kiyotaka from the entrance ceremony to this day.
We became friends through my request. On the deserted island, we thought together about the countermeasure for his father and Chabashira. Then on the ship, we watched the conflict between Kei-chan and Manabe’s group together.
Including other trivial interactions, I was able to build a relatively close relationship in less than half a year.
After escaping from the inorganic space, the man named Ayanokouji Kiyotaka came to this school in a state where his state wasn’t determined yet. Perhaps we, who became his first friends, served as elements that fixed his personality.
In today’s conversation, Kiyotaka described Arisu-chan as an irreplaceable existence. Given that meaning…
“Aah, I think I get it somehow.”
“I’m glad then. It’s quite cute, isn’t it?”
Upon understanding part of his inner self, I felt like I got closer to him.
I had no idea what Kiyotaka’s final goal was… but okay, I have decided. I would get in the way of his father.
It was difficult for an ordinary person like me to defeat him directly, and it was something that Kiyotaka ought to do personally.
So I just thought of a way of harassing his father instead.
…It might not be a big deal, but I came up with something.
Not only does it not cause much trouble to me, but this method would cause a fair amount of damage to his father.
However, it didn’t seem like the opportunity would come anytime soon, so I would just keep it in the corner of my head for the time being.
I would like him to stay in this school until he is satisfied.
I was attracted to Kiyotaka’s charm as a person to the extent that I wanted to help him achieve that.
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