Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
It was finally the day before the sports festival, but I didn’t feel motivated at all.
In the end, it seemed the participation list couldn’t be finalized, so only the recommended participation events were filled in by Katsuragi’s faction students while the rest of the entries were left blank. This meant the order of the participants would be completely random.
Since everything ended up depending on luck, nobody could complain. It might be weird to say this, but this felt like the best strategy that Katsuragi had taken so far.
Three students of Class D were expelled, while Morofuji Rika had been suspended for a month. According to what I heard from Kiyotaka, Kei-chan would be receiving 500,000 private points as compensation. It would be taken from the expelled people while the rest would be paid by Morofuji.
In addition to the class points penalty for expulsion, this caused an overwhelming disadvantage for Class D at the sports festival. In addition, Morofuji would be considered absent from class without permission during her suspension period, which would cost the class quite an amount of points. Depending on the result of the sports festival, the points that Class D had during November would be quite slim.
During the lunch break, we visited Class A’s classroom.
“Is Honami there?”
“S-since when did you become close enough to call her directly without honorifics… wait a minute.”
I called out to Shiranami, who was standing near the door, and asked her to look for Honami.
…There she was. She was talking with the other students near the podium. It seemed the topic was related to the sports festival, so I wondered if I would have to wait until she was done… just as I thought of that—
“You actually came. Thank you!”
Honami cut off the conversation halfway through and came over.
“Ou, I don’t have a particular business, so you can go ahead and prioritize that.”
“No, mas… Haruto-kun and Arisu-chan are here, so I can’t keep you two waiting.”
She almost slipped right then and there. If she actually said it here, it wouldn’t end with just me being beaten down from all directions.
“By the way, have you heard about Class D?”
“…It’s about the expelled students, right? They were bullying others, so it couldn’t be helped to end up like that.”
It seemed 3 students getting expelled was shocking news to the other classes as well. I could hear such topics being talked about everywhere. In a sense, it was talked about more than the upcoming sports festival.
Since they were from Ryuuen’s class, people just thought he resorted to something dirty again… which made me pity him for a bit. I doubt he would be crushed with just that, though.
This incident was due to the selfish actions of the Manabe group and they merely reaped what they sowed. Naturally, Ryuuen didn’t do anything. The dirty image that arose from his usual behavior went ahead and made him falsely accused.
…I was also someone who made use of that image of his back in the deserted island exam, so I guess I couldn’t say much in that regard.
In contrast to Ryuuen, the reputation of Kei-chan as the victim was skyrocketing. She became a leader who stood up to being bullied, and her class began to form strong ties with her at its center.
If this was also what Kiyotaka intended, this went beyond killing two birds with one stone. He utilized the Manabe group’s violence and got the maximum benefit out of it. How dreadful.
“The sports festival is tomorrow, please take care of me!”
Honami held out her hand as she said that.
I took her hand… but I still didn’t feel motivated.
Arisu-chan looked at my behavior and made an apologetic expression.
Before we slept, we were just lying down on the bed and having a conversation.
Since it was the eve of the sports festival, there were no visitors such as Kikyou-chan today. It seemed everyone was recovering their energy and preparing for tomorrow.
“Is something wrong?”
Arisu-chan tilted her head, perhaps she was curious why I was staring at her.
“No, I just think that Arisu-chan is cute.”
“Thank you very much.”
Her gentle smile made me feel at ease just by looking at it. I want to see this face forever.
…The event that Arisu-chan couldn’t do anything in should just disappear.
“Ah~ seriously, I’m really annoyed with the sports festival. Should I just be absent tomorrow?”
I should just make a random excuse like I had to accompany Arisu-chan because her heart condition was worrying.
I hated the sports festival so much to the extent I was half-seriously considering using such a method.
“…I see that you hate it.”
“Sorry. It just… feels boring.”
I leaked out my true thoughts. It was boring, everything boiled down to that.
There was nothing I could do about this. There was the matter of Arisu-chan’s physical state as well, so I never had expectations about the sports festival to begin with. I wasn’t a child who would continue to whine just because things didn’t work out my way, but when I thought it would be a day where exhaustion would be enforced in addition to how boring it was, I couldn’t help but feel melancholic about it.
“Haruto-kun is not at fault at all. Everything is my fault since I ended up making you feel bored. I’m terribly sorry. Please don’t hate me because of this…”
Arisu-chan’s expression turned cloudy and her eyes moistened. It seemed she didn’t get my point.
Thinking it shouldn’t continue, I hurriedly spun my words.
“Please don’t apologize. Arisu-chan has made sure that I enjoyed my time here all this time. There’s no way I would hate you. I love you… so it’s okay.”
It was Arisu-chan in her weak mode that she would sometimes show. This was cute in its own way, but it was difficult to deal with.
After wiping the tears from the corner of her eyes, I put my lips on hers. This was the quickest way to let her understand how much I liked her.
She put her hands on my face and put her weight on me so we could connect as deeply as possible.
I also accepted it and enjoyed the sensation of her lips and the touch of her body.
When it became difficult to breathe, I opened my eyes and moved my face away.
“Did it make you understand that I love you?”
“Yes… I love you very much.”
Even though her cheeks were wet with tears, I could see her smiling again. Perhaps she was relieved?
After calming down, I decided to think about what to do tomorrow. It would be nice if there was a method to consume stamina as efficiently as possible… but this was quite difficult.
“I don’t mind even if you choose to be absent. I have decided to follow you for the rest of my life.”
“U~hn. That would be the best, but people around me would be noisy if I did…”
I honestly didn’t give a damn about winning or losing, but it would be annoying if my classmates criticized me for choosing to be absent. I made a comparison of the amount of effort used to casually participate in whole class events and the amount of effort to be criticized by the surroundings. It made me think that participating was the better option.
The Katsuragi faction was being pushed so hard that they were getting crazy, and if I acted too conspicuously, I might end up like Kei-chan and receive group violence. I didn’t have physical strength like Kiyotaka, so I couldn’t fight back like him if it happened. Above all, I had a girl next to me that I had to protect.
Even if I could expel other parties by using that, I wanted to avoid fighting groups within the school.
“I understand. I’m terribly sorry for making you put up with it. I shouldn’t have allowed things to not go according to your way… but I was powerless in this regard.”
“Don’t worry about it. I think I’ve been repeating this, but there’s no need for Arisu-chan to apologize.”
Recently, she seemed to have a very low self-esteem. She began to make self-deprecating remarks on a daily basis just like this. She behaved extremely weakly because of the earlier exchange, but even when we were not, she would often say something like “someone like me just…”
…Perhaps she just never said it until now but she actually thought that way inside.
“Say, Arisu-chan. Perhaps when you tried to appear strong ever since you enrolled in this school… you are actually forcing yourself to act that way?”
I suddenly recalled the conversation we had “that day.”
Didn’t I ask Arisu-chan to “behave like you always did” back then?
Her recent attitude… overlapped with the state when she was in that hospital room. I almost forgot about it since I considered that something trivial, but it was possible she considered that request as something important.
“Fufu, so you noticed that. But I guess it can’t be helped.”
As she said that, she sighed resignedly. Unfortunately, it seemed truly to be the case.
I feel really sorry about that. I just thought to relieve the psychological burden of Arisu-chan who kept apologizing back then… but I never thought it ended up becoming a chain that bound her mind. I was ashamed of how shallow I was.
“Sorry, it’s my fault. I thought you could have it easier that way, but it seems to have the opposite effect.”
“…I’m sorry. I have lost my self-confidence. I can’t even live on without you by my side. I am in despair about myself.”
“I understand, so it’s okay now. You don’t have to pretend to be strong anymore. I will love Arisu-chan no matter how you become, and I promise I won’t leave your side. So please… don’t make such a sad face.”
I embraced her body tightly. I reconfirmed once again that she was so weak that she might break if I exerted too much strength, so I treated her preciously.
“Thank you very much. I was always saved by your kindness. Aah, but I want to say one thing. Even if I was a person who ruined my own genius aspect, I have one dream.”
She looked up at me as if she recalled something. Her pained face brightened.
I was sure that was the only hope that emerged from her despair. Helping her grasp that light would be my sincerity toward Arisu-chan who fell in love with an ordinary person like me.
After thinking for a while, Arisu-chan put her mouth to my ear.
Then in a whispering voice, she shyly said,
“…One day, I would like to bear your child.”
I was so shocked that my eyes widened.
But somehow… it felt like all her actions until now made sense.
She was trying to entrust the dream she couldn’t fulfill to the next generation. She chose me as her partner to achieve the goal in her life.
Of course, she knew it wouldn’t be an easy path.
Even so… I want to make it come true.
“Sounds good. I also want to see the future that lies beyond that.”
Right after I muttered that, Arisu-chan made an extremely happy face.
Even though tomorrow was the sports festival, I couldn’t fall asleep easily.
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