Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
It’s the middle part of Honami’s story.
After we left our room, we first visited Honami-san’s room.
However, there was nobody there, as we expected. She didn’t return to her own room and went elsewhere.
I pushed the elevator button.
The movement of the elevator felt extremely long, but I suppressed my anxiety and waited.
We arrived at the first floor. Perhaps because I was in a hurry, even waiting for the elevator doors to open seemed to be a waste of time.
“Huh? What happened to the two of you?”
When the elevator doors opened, we just happened to run into Kikyou-chan.
It was around the time she visited our room. Just as I was thinking about what to do, I looked next to me.
“…Kikyou-san, let’s go to our room with me for now.”
Without getting off the elevator, Arisu-chan let go of my hand.
It seemed she had no intention of coming with me. She might have some thoughts, though…
“Arisu-chan, you won’t be coming with me?”
“Yes. I’ll leave the matter regarding Honami-san to Haruto-kun. I’m sure that will yield better results. I will wait in the room with Kikyou-san, so could you contact me once you’re done?”
That felt like a pretty cold response. But since Arisu-chan said that, then it should be the best course of action.
However, I have no time to think about it slowly. I nodded deeply and showed my affirmation.
…If I was alone, I could run around, so it might cost me a shorter time to resolve the matter in hindsight. It was possible that Arisu-chan made such a suggestion out of consideration of how panicked I looked. That was why it couldn’t be said that she was completely cold. There was no doubt she held little interest in that matter, but she still respected my intention.
“Okay, thank you. Do you have any idea where she might go?”
“To be honest, I have no idea. But judging by her expression, the possibility of her going to a commercial facility is low.”
The moment the conversation ended, I ran.
I decided to head toward the school in hopes that there would be someone who saw her.
I thought while running. It was about the poor compatibility between Arisu-chan and Honami-san.
Arisu-chan tried to make it look good, but maybe it was actually pretty bad. Rather, that was more convincing. Honami-san, who acted extremely altruistically and went too far in how she behaved to be liked by everyone, would certainly hold a very different value to Arisu-chan, who sought only the happiness of the people in her inner circle.
The reason these two could get along so well was because Arisu-chan agreed with Honami-san’s way of thinking on the surface and never criticized her at all. To put it in another way, that gentle Arisu-chan suddenly revealed “her true self,” so the shock that Honami-san suffered was even bigger.
“Haruto, so you’re here.”
A voice called my name as I passed. I was surprised by the sudden turn of events and turned around, and it turned out to be Kiyotaka.
What was he doing at this hour? I didn’t think he would be practicing for the sports festival…
“I’m in a bit of a hurry. Have you seen Honami-san?”
“…Come to think of it, I saw her enter the school building earlier.”
“Oh, that’s the information I wanted the most right now. By the way, what are you doing here, Kiyotaka?”
“I was talking with Student Council President Horikita about various things. If you’re looking for Ichinose, should I help you?”
I didn’t expect Kiyotaka to mention the student council president’s name at this moment.
A big question arose, but now was not the time to think about that.
“It’s an offer I can’t be even more grateful for. If Kiyotaka doesn’t mind, I want you to help me.”
“Of course, we’re friends after all… not to say it is the payment for that, but I also have something I’d like to ask Haruto. Would you listen to it around lunchtime tomorrow?”
“Aah, just ask anything.”
Two people could cover a greater area than a person. Moreover, the search range was huge, covering the entire school building. Just as I was worried if I could find her at all, a reliable helper joined me.
…I really got a good friend. If he had something I could help with, I would like to cooperate with him.
When we arrived at the entrance of the school building, she was no longer there.
I regained my spirit and ran up the stairs.
I had no idea where she was, but we decided to split up and search for her.
It had been a long time since I had done any strenuous exercise, so I was starting to lose my stamina.
I never thought I would end up practicing for the sports festival in this way.
…Since I could still think of that kind of joke, it meant I was still alright. I took a deep breath and started running again.
It felt quite eerie inside the dimly lit school building.
I looked through each classroom, special classroom, student council room…
“How’s your side?”
“No, I can’t find her. I can’t even sense her presence.”
Perhaps we have searched for her for about 15 minutes?
I couldn’t find Honami-san anywhere. My fatigue was nearing its peak.
“Seriously, where did she go…?”
I even searched the rooms and toilets that weren’t usually used, but she wasn’t there.
Since we looked so much and still couldn’t find her, it was possible we were searching in the wrong place to begin with.
“Should we look elsewhere?”
“I think we better do so. I can’t deny the possibility that she might have already left the school building.”
“Okay. I’ll look over the special building.”
“Thank you, I owe you a favor.”
We went out the front door again and decided to look around the schoolyard.
But for some reason… I think she wasn’t outside the school building.
After that, no matter how much we searched, we couldn’t find her.
The surroundings were already pitch black, and there were no students other than us.
Once I contacted Kiyotaka, we met in front of the school building again.
“Sorry, Haruto. I couldn’t find Ichinose anywhere.”
“Aah, this is troublesome.”
I messaged Kikyou-chan and confirmed that Honami-san hadn’t returned to her room. Because of that, it was certain that she was still outside. Perhaps Honami-san already recovered before we knew it and visited Keyaki Mall or something like that… but Honami-san wasn’t that kind of person.
…I was completely stuck. We looked everywhere she might possibly be, so there was nothing else I could do.
I was nearing the limit of my stamina, and it started to get tough mentally as well.
At that moment, Kiyotaka suddenly had an expression as if he realized something.
“There’s just one more place we haven’t been looking at yet.”
“…Let’s go there. Where is it?”
Considering his tone, he seemed quite certain.
But where the hell was this place we hadn’t looked yet…?
“It’s the rooftop of this school building. To be honest, on the way back here… I saw something moving up there. I think it’s worth looking for.”
“But why is she on the rooftop…ah.”
The worst-case scenario came to mind. This could be really bad.
Kiyotaka also sensed my anxiety and started running.
I exerted my stamina and came to the front of the stairs leading to the rooftop.
After wiping my dripping sweat, I exchanged glances with Kiyotaka.
“As I thought, there is the presence of a person beyond here. I think she’s definitely there.”
“Thank you, as expected of Kiyotaka.”
“I’ll stop here. Things might get complicated if a person who isn’t deeply involved came in.”
Kiyotaka didn’t even run out of breath. That was some amazing stamina he got there.
“…But really, it seems there are times when your opinion and Arisu’s actually don’t match.”
He said so with an impressed attitude. My opinion didn’t match with Arisu-chan’s.
Now that he mentioned it, it was exactly the case. Our opinion indeed clashed this time.
“Arisu-chan doesn’t seem to like Honami-san that much.”
“I have been feeling that for a long time. She seemed to approve of Ichinose’s ability, at least…”
In addition to their compatibility, I felt that Arisu-chan had different intentions.
Perhaps she actually didn’t want me to go after Honami-san.
Well, it should be fine. If I apologize later, I should be forgiven.
Arisu-chan and I had a relationship that transcended conflict of opinion and interest.
It wasn’t a relationship that would waver just because of a difference of opinion. That was why she still sent me off even if she was dissatisfied about it, and more than anything, Arisu-chan wasn’t all alone. Our other family members… Kikyou-chan was by her side. Since we really got helped by her presence recently, I think I have to do something to thank her.
On the other hand, Honami-san was alone. She had no one to help her and was stuck. What was she thinking being all alone on the rooftop? Was she despaired over this school and herself?
…I have no time. In order to avoid unforeseen circumstances, I would end it here.
“Even so, I have to help Honami-san. She is my friend after all.”
“…I see. If you go, I’m sure she will be ‘saved’. Personally, it’ll make it easier to commit my move if Ichinose becomes your pawn. Arisu might have a complicated feeling over that, but I think that’s not a bad decision.”
Kiyotaka nodded while remaining expressionless as usual.
Although it didn’t show on his face, I think he was a little excited?
“Okay, I’m going. Thanks for today. I’m really glad you are my friend.”
After saying my gratitude at the end, I ran up the stairs.
Hold on, I’m coming to help you now.
Arisu-chan was sulking. Kiyotaka was excited.
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