Translation of Chapter 2 of Kokoro Connect Volume 5.
Any feedback is welcome.
Translation – defan752
Month: 0 – Date: X – Sunny
The Sports Festival makes me a bit depressed, because I know that I will only become everyone else’s burden.
We discussed the Sports Festival today in class.
I don’t know if I had good or bad luck, but the class hardly had any motivation at all.
I’m relieved, and my chest stabs in pain.
I hate, from the bottom of my heart, that I’m relieved. This won’t do at all.
In the listless, indifferent discussion, when they had to choose the person who would take up the troublesome job of being the Cheering Competition representative, although it wasn’t conspicuous, everyone was clearly out of ideas; it was painful to watch…
I wanted to raise my hand and volunteer, but in that kind of atmosphere, there was no way I’d have to courage to do that.
It’s so hard to raise your hand in that kind of atmosphere… I think my situation couldn’t be helped.
So, I waited for someone else to volunteer. I looked around in anticipation, waiting for someone other than myself to raise her hand, but, no one did.
However, the seniors on our team apparently were different from us and were full of energy and motivation. It’s as if I’m holding everyone back, and I’m really sorry, but there’s no way I can drive the entire class.
If it’s possible… but I can’t do it, will the end result be the same?
… I’ll wait until next time.
Next time… when it’s possible to do that.
Today, Yaegashi Taichi decided to come with everyone else to the noisy club, where everyone was doing their own things.
“Okay, then let’s call it a day!” said the club president, Nagase Iori, in a bright voice.
Today Inaba Himeko had other plans, so the remaining six members met in the club office and held a small meeting about the <Cultural Research News>. When the meeting was over, everyone started the journey home.
On the way, each said their farewells to others who had to take different paths home, and when the group reached the station near home, it was only Taichi left.
Taichi walked out of the ticket stile and put his pass into his bag. The wind blew a comfortable breeze, and Taichi stretched slightly. There was a slightly sweet fragrance in the air that seemed to be coming from the bakery in front of the station. He was slightly hungry, but Taichi decided to resist that temptation today. After all, the month had just begun, and spending carelessly was strictly prohibited.
Taichi walked towards the parking lot.
The weather was beginning to get hot and muggy. In about a month it would be summer.
A high school couple walked in his direction, their fingers intertwined and bodies pressed romantically against each other. Taichi couldn’t help but notice them, as his head conjured an image of him and Inaba. Ever since he got a girlfriend, his view of couples on the street had changed, as he would compare them to his own situation, using them as a reference for his own relationship.
This time it was the girl’s turn to hold tightly onto the boy’s arm.
Inaba really wanted to cling more tightly onto him, so would it be right to relax a little bit and take no notice of others looking? No, that would be too embarassing, and wouldn’t that upset some people? It was the same in the club room, especially with Nagase around, because there was a complicated situation with Nagase before, and it was quite difficult to ignore her gaze.
It was as if, from far away, beyond the boundaries of the world, even beyond the boundaries of consciousness, there came an extremely slight sound that floated into his head.
It seemed like an elusive, trivial feeling; when he tried to grasp it, the sound disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Inexplicably, Taichi turned around in a hunch and looked behind him.
Nagase was standing there.
“Eh? Why are you here, Nagase?” Taichi said stupidly. Nagase lived in a different town and had said goodbye to him quite a while ago, and there was also no mention of Nagase coming here with anything to say.
But it was clear as day: Nagase stood there right now.
“I have… something to tell you… can you talk right now?” asked the girl, beautiful as a natural antique, looking up at Taichi.
“Uh… but… can’t we talk tomorrow?”
— Did I just reject her?
Taichi had no idea why he declined. Although he didn’t know, but he had spoken without thinking. He had a very bad feeling about all of this, and his instinct shouted at him to get away from here.
“Do you have something to do?”
“Ah, no… I’m not busy or anything… then, let’s talk now.”
What kind of stupid things was he saying? Nagase clearly wanted to talk about something, but he had declined her before without reason. It was really strange.
Taichi changed his train of thought.
She must have something to discuss that couldn’t be conveyed over the phone or via text message.
“…Then let’s find a family restaurant to sit down and talk.”
“No, there’s no need, let’s talk right here.”
“Oh… it’s like this.”
Nagase’s long hair blew in the cold breeze that smelled of early summer. As if it were a curtain the color of night, her hair exuded an aura that suited her depressed expression that was enough to be frightening.
The people on the street walking towards the station ticket office occasionally turned to look in her direction, probably because of Nagase’s beauty.
Nagase captured Taichi in her intense gaze, which disturbed Taichi greatly.
She opened her mouth:
“If I said — I still can’t forget about that, what will you do?”
The surroundings were suddenly enveloped in silence. In this silent, isolated space, there was the illusion that Taichi and Nagase were alone, but that illusion slowly dissipated and the world returned to normal.
“What, what do you mean… ‘can’t forget’? You can’t forget about what?”
Taichi’s voice was trembling. It clearly didn’t need to tremble, as there was nothing to make it tremble.
“It’s that Nagase Iori still can’t forget about Yaegashi Taichi.”
Why? Even today, you still….
Nagase revealed a provocative and lonely smile that looked like it was about to melt.
That dealt a decisive blow. This was too sudden, way too sudden… no, but it wasn’t? Taichi already understood the meaning in her voice, but did not want to admit it. Did not want to admit it? Why? That was because–
This was unbelievable.
“What… on earth… do you mean?” Taichi squeezed out, holding tightly to his last sliver of hope.
“Ah… as expected, I still like Taichi.”
Reality is cruel.
Although the situation that 「if it had ended there, there would be an ending」had happened, this story will continue.
As though the seemingly artificial moment of happiness crumbled in an instant, this ruthless reality will continue.
Suppressing your love never ends well.
The next day, Taichi came to school strangely nervous.
In the classroom, he was going to see Nagase, who had confessed her love to him yesterday.
Ever since Nagase had told him that she 「still can’t forget about Yaegashi Taichi」, she had left without letting him say anything else, as if it was a declaration of war.
“Can’t forget”, liking Taichi — Did Nagase mean that her relationship with Taichi was originally meant to heal without impediment, but in reality hadn’t healed at all?
The sudden “declaration of war” only bewildered Taichi. There were numerous points of confusion; Taichi was at a loss for what to do. The most confusing part was what to do with Nagase and Inaba.
Nagase Iori and Inaba Himeko.
Both had said that they liked him, and he had liked them back. These two shared a strong bond that no one could interfere with, not even Taichi himself.
Drawing from what had happened before, Taichi should tell Inaba first – about how Nagase still thought about him and the “declaration of war”. But…
Taichi looked towards Nagase’s seat, but she wasn’t here yet.
“Good morning～ Taichi!”
Nagase had suddenly come up from behind.
“What wrong, Taichi? You just made a pretty strange sound.”
“Nothing… Um… ‘M-morning.”
“Good morning. Why are you so fidgety?”
“That… that’s because…”
That’s because you said those things — Taichi couldn’t say this, and wanted to avoid mentioning it right now.
“Say, it’s really hot today. I’ve already switched to the summer uniform, but it’s pretty tempting to switch to something even cooler!”
Nagase wore a short-sleeved top and undershirt; “Should I take it off, or shouldn’t I? Ah, what to do!” she sang while fanning herself as she pulled her shirt.
Nagase Iori was normal, completely like her usually outgoing and bright self.
It was as if she had forgotten what had happened yesterday.
But Taichi knew that Nagase couldn’t have forgotten. If Nagase wanted to do it, she would act according to her own will. Taichi knew well that Nagase could do this.
“Hey, Iori! It’s really hot today, good morning! Good morning to you too, Yaegashi-kun!”
Nakayama Mariko entered the scene, her twintails swinging.
“Hey, Nakayama-chan! It is pretty hot today, I can’t stand it! Good morning!” Nagase replied happily to Nakayama.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Yaegashi-kun? Did you not see me?”
“Ah, it’s nothing, good morning, Nakayama.”
“Huh? You’re not looking too good today, Yaegashi-kun. If Yaegashi-kun’s down, I’ll also be down… But that’s going too far! Ah, Yui-chan, Good morning!”
“Ah, Yui’s here, about yesterday~”
Nagase and Nakayama left Taichi, chattering.
Left alone, Taichi realized that his back was drenched in cold sweat.
As if Nagase had passed him a baton, Watase Shingo walked towards Taichi.
“Yo, Yaegashi. Hey, I thought about it, girls naturally congregate near you, right? In that case, if I were to cling to you, then the girls… then there would be a greater chance of getting closer to Fujishima. Although I would have to greet the other girls, it’s would be pretty easy for me, but Fujishima really has me beat… Say, why so serious? If you keep that long face, then there won’t be any opportunities like those.”
Taichi hadn’t the energy to reply.
What on earth was Nagase thinking about?
What on earth did Nagase want him to do?
What was he supposed to do about that unended love?
After school, the Cheering Competition representatives from each grade have scheduled a meeting together to practice. During lunch break, Taichi, representing Class 2-B by himself, was directed to attend the discussion meeting beforehand (as a result of losing again at Jankenpon).
Taichi finished lunch early and began walking towards the meeting point.
He thought he heard a silent noise.
“Did you think about it, what I said yesterday? The thing about me liking Taichi.”
So sudden again.
Taichi was caught by Nagase in a hallway in the North Building. Goosebumps rose all over his body.
This building was full of special classrooms; although it was lunch break, there was not a soul in sight.
Normally, Nagase would be at lunch right now, so there’s no way she would be here by accident. Nagase was following Taichi and had chosen a place with nobody in sight to talk to him.
Nagase Iori wore a short-sleeved top with an undershirt, a gleaming face, a proud figure and a perfect smile… smile? In this situation, at the time, wearing a smile was kind of wrong, wasn’t it?
“What do you mean, did I think about it… what am I supposed to say…”
Nagase’s expression suddenly became solemn, which captured Taichi’s heart. Taichi was unable to escape, but did not believe that he could in the slightest.
The charm exuded by her flawless beauty was like coercion.
“I say, Nagase, what’s up with you all of a sudden? This is just too sudden, I just don’t know what’s happening right now…”
“Taichi, what do you think?”
What do I think?
Taichi had once misunderstood the whole of Nagase Iori, so he had decided to pay extremely close attention to her from then on. But, did he just think he could?
It was the first half of June: the weather was supposed to be hot, especially since today was very muggy. It was supposed to be hot, but it was extremely cold.
“I want to become more stubborn.”
Nagase said with a light smile.
Inaba’s face suddenly surfaced in Taichi’s mind. He had forgotten when, but Inaba had once said, because Nagase had wanted her to become more stubborn, only then could Inaba change herself.
Why has everything come to this? Hadn’t this triangle , which had gone through everything to calm down, already crossed the danger and stabilized? Was it going to waver again? Or had it not stopped wavering at all?
Was it going to waver until it shattered this time?
“Hey, hey, Nagase, how did you tell Inaba about this…”
“I haven’t told anything to Inaban, because there’s no need for that.”
There no need for that, this was between the parties concerned — if you look at it that way, there was nothing wrong with it, but weren’t Nagase and Inaba an exception?
It was as though the scary Nagase had returned… no, was it that, “that” Nagase was always in the normal Nagase’s heart, but it was only a matter of whether she chose to show it or not?
“There no problem, if Taichi and I keep quiet about it, no one will notice. So, think about it, let’s start over together, and not just as plain friends.”
Not just as plain friends, that meant….
“…Did something happen?”
“No, it’s just that… I can’t resist. I want to boldly chase my desires.”
Resist? Were he and Inaba always forcing Nagase to resist?
“Uh, but this… this is impossible, isn’t it?”
The love between Nagase and him had once ended.
Yes, and both of them were supposed to completely accept that.
Besides, the friendship between Nagase and Inaba existed despite Taichi and Inaba. So—
“There’s nothing that’s impossible or can’t happen in this world, you know?” muttered Nagase, as her lips gave off a bright red, seductive lustre, as if she was tempting Taichi.
After school, the Nagase that attended the Cheering Competition practice was the universally friendly, innocent and naive Nagase Iori.
“Nagase, let’s sit down and properly talk this out.”
The next day, before school, Taichi ran into Nagase.
Taichi felt shocked at first, but immediately gathered himself together and took the initiative by talking to Nagase. Recently when they were alone, Nagase gave him a bizarre impression.
“Hmm? Do you have something to tell me?” said Nagase with a genial, completely unsuspecting smile.
Is this her real self? Or is it a mask?
Extreme suspicions filled his mind.
“It’s about something Nagase said to me.”
Taichi believed that he couldn’t run away now. Even if a troublesome situation awaited him, he must face it head on and display his sincerity. And also, if Nagase had become like that, it’s very likely because of some turning point; something distressing like what had happened before could happen again.
“Something I said to you? Uh… what did I say?”
“Um, it was the thing yesterday, and the day before yesterday that you ran up and told me. It was… that thing.”
“Something important that I told Taichi recently? Hmm…”
Nagase wrinkled her brow, thinking hard: it looked like she genuinely had no idea.
This did not look like acting, but this was Nagase Iori, and it likely wasn’t impossible for her.
“Sorry, I really don’t know. Have I told you something strange recently?” Nagase said, smiling.
With an smile like an idol.
That smile was really too perfect; it was impossible to see her inner self.
The only option is to look for the answer without any hints; was she testing him?
In that case, then he’ll take the initiative.
“It’s about… you liking me.”
Nagase, who was walking besides Taichi, stopped in her tracks.
She froze on the spot, but immediately melted.
“— Who are you talking about?”
Her voice was so cold it pierced into him; Taichi couldn’t help but feel frightened.
“…I’m talking about Nagase.”
“Liking me… liking Yaegashi Taichi.”
“Judging by this context, this “liking”, isn’t as in friends “liking” each other, is it?”
In the moment that Taichi confirmed this, Nagase’s smile froze. She was smiling, but not smiling. She was smiling, but without any feeling.
Taichi had never seen such a torturous smile.
“Ah, I usually don’t mind, you know. No matter if I’m talking with Taichi, or if Taichi’s getting it on with Inaba, it’s always the same.”
Her voice was lively but monotonous; some people would likely mistake it for a synthestized robotic voice.
Nagase took a step towards Taichi.
“Because that episode had already ended.”
Nagase took another step closer.
“But, since you brought up those old things…”
Nagase tilted her body forward, enough so that Taichi could feel her breathing onto him, and brought her face even closer.
She was close enough for Taichi to count every one of her eyelashes—
“If you’re not crazy then have some restraint!” she shouted at Taichi, her voice full of rage.
Then, Nagase left the motionless Taichi, and walked away quickly.
Nagase was seemingly angered by the morning exchange, because for a greater part of the day, she ignored Taichi.
It was clearly Nagase who had first opened her mouth and told Taichi that she liked him; this made Taichi extremely puzzled. This is really unfair, he thought.
During lunch break, while Taichi was in a first floor corridor, he was again cornered by Nagase, alone. She wasn’t roused or hesitant; she talked with Taichi normally.
He couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
Taichi had no idea what Nagase was thinking.
“Wait, Nagase, don’t you think your attitude in the morning and the one right now are way too different? You acted completely unaware, and ignored me, and now you’re back to normal… what on earth is going on?”
Taichi couldn’t figure it out. Nagase was often temperamental like this and said whatever she wanted to say. Taichi didn’t know what to believe, or what the truth was.
“Um… that, that was….”
Nagase became flustered.
“How I told you about it… was probably too crazy, sorry about that. But, the one who first talked to me about this, was clearly Nagase, wasn’t it?”
“At the time… I was afraid that others would hear…” Nagase mumbled meekly, which took Taichi completely by surprise. He sank into an illusion: it was as though he was the one berating an unfortunate beautiful girl. He didn’t know what to do.
“You’re right, there were others going to school as well…”
Nagase suddenly regained her energy and seemed delighted. Her feelings really fluctuated wildly.
“Right, that’s why! When someone is beside me… you can pretend that I’m 『acting』 . When I’m alone with Taichi… when I say 『this is real』, that’s the real me. Remember that secret code.” Nagase prattled on. Taichi was unable to respond immediately.
Nagase was supposed to despite others suspecting her of 『acting』 , and had always been annoyed over this. It was hard to believe that she would use that term so hastily.
But, Nagase had said it.
“…Why would you say that? It shouldn’t matter what was going on around us, you would show your true self in front of me regardless–”
“Because I find, when Taichi’s here, my world is complete.”
Nagase revealed a flirtatious smile, as though she had said “I just told you a very important secret”.
Taichi was baffled. It felt like she was speaking the truth; Nagase had the power to charm people.
The unnerving beautiful girl brought her face close and put her lips close to Taichi’s ear, giving off the smell of a woman. Taichi froze on the spot.
“–It doesn’t matter if you don’t break up with Inaba, so be my girlfriend.”
Nagase’s lips moved seductively like sweet, innocent flowers.
“–It doesn’t even matter if I’m not the only one.”
Taichi immediately backed away from Nagase.
“Nagase, it’s wrong to say that–”
Nagase pushed her hand onto Taichi’s lips, covering his mouth.
Two students who appeared to be first years walked past, their eyes curious.
When they were out of sight, Nagase took out a notebook and pen, quickly wrote something down, and handed the paper to Taichi.
『Meet me at the fountain in the park at 17:00.』
Today Chihiro and Enjouji’s class appeared to have some kind of activity, so the two didn’t attend the club meeting. The ones who were in the Cultural Research Club room were five second years, the founding members.
Nagase looked as though nothing had happened and lively talked and laughed with everyone, but she seemed to be intentionally avoiding Taichi.
Taichi watched the other four from the side and couldn’t help but sigh. He turned his eyes towards his workbook.
He really wasn’t in the mood to solve equations, so he doodled meaninglessly with his mechanical pencil, then erased it.
“Hey, Inaban, just do it like this~”
“Wah, idiot! Stop that! I’m saying… Puu, guhahahah!”
Nagase looked completely innocent, playing with Inaba.
Nagase’s normal look contrarily made her seem strange.
Was this attitude telling Taichi, “That’s between us two”?
Taichi had seen a variety of Nagase’s expressions today.
Because there were too many differences, Taichi even suspected that there was an imposter in their midst. But, as a matter of fact, every Nagase could be an imposter, so he has never been able to see through Nagase Iori.
Nagase told Taichi: “I can’t forget you, and I like Taichi.”
Taichi was unable to understand this sentiment or to grasp Nagase’s true thoughts.
Taichi had once felt that way towards Nagase, and if the time was right then, the two of them should be together; the two of them were once so compatible; their hearts once were tightly connected.
But under the hands of fate, their love ended without an ending.
Both of them had confirmed this.
That love was quite shocking. Although they was not mature, it was true love. Because of that, the two of them never restarted that feeling, and decided to start on a clean slate.
But, was Nagase ready to start again?
Had something happened that had shaken her heart so violently?
If that was the case, then what was he supposed to think?
Was he willing to start again?
After a confession, the other party accepted, but the relationship didn’t develop further; after another confession, the other party rejected, and when the two had finally understood each other’s feelings, the result of the discussion was to reset everything; and then time went on… and now, she confessed that she still liked him.
Yaegashi Taichi, who liked and envied Nagase from the very beginning, will–
“What’s wrong, Taichi?”
Inaba looked worriedly at Taichi.
After Inaba stopped being overly stubborn and cynical, she easily revealed her feelings. Looking at Inaba’s complicated expression that was sketched out by her natural beauty, Taichi felt that no scenery of nature could calm him more than that.
His cold heart slowly regained its warmth.
“No, it’s nothing.”
His girlfriend was Inaba Himeko.
The most important person to him right now was Inaba Himeko.
“Really? When we were talking on the phone last night, you sounded preoccupied.”
Inaba’s bright eyes shone through Taichi.
“It wasn’t like that…” replied Taichi, who didn’t want his thoughts sleuthed out by Inaba, and averted his eyes. It was like he was betraying Inaba; this tightened Taichi’s chest.
Seeing this, Nagase began to tease Inaba: “Ooh, wahh~ Inaban’s fretting for Taichi again~ it’s so warm and bright~ where’re my sunglasses?”
“It’s, it’s okay, w-we’re a couple, after all… and you’ve been teasing me all day, what about Taichi!”
Taichi’s heart was disturbed my Nagase, and had even made his girlfriend worry about him.
How pitifully weak and ugly.
To solve this chaotic situation, he had to do as Nagase said and meet her in the park.
Taichi thought this. Before the club meeting ended, he said “I have things to do”, and prepared to leave. Because the paper said 17:00, if he left after the meeting ended, he would be too late.
Even as Taichi stood up to leave, Nagase showed no reaction at all. Was she planning to leave later as to not arouse any suspicion?
“Where are you going? I’m coming with you.”
Inaba said this, but Taichi firmly declined. Seeing Inaba’s hurt expression, Taichi’s heart stabbed with pain.
The park that Nagase meant was near the school, but was in the opposite direction of Taichi’s path to school. Although the park was strangely large, Nagase had pointed out『at the fountain』, so it should be easy to meet there.
Taichi looked aside at the practicing Sports Club, left the field, and headed towards the park.
What was Nagase thinking right now? What did she want to do?
Taichi couldn’t determine Nagase’s true thoughts, or what Nagase was going to do, so he couldn’t take any countermeasures.
Taichi hated his helplessness, but by himself, he couldn’t tell what was normal; if someone could provide him with an objective analysis, that would be another matter. Yes, if only he could find someone to discuss this with. If he sweated over this by himself, he would run into dead ends; if only he could see this from someone else’s perspective, sometimes the problem would be easily solved.
Taichi knew this, but who would he talk to?
The air suddenly trembled.
As if it had descended from the sky, a loud, majestic sound made Taichi turn his head around.
Glasses flashing with the fire of hope, a girl with her forehead exposed and hair pulled back, wearing a trim uniform, with a look that looked as though it could be published on a tour brochure. This girl that exuded style – was Fujishima Maiko.
Fujishima’s straight posture conjured images of the age when she represented the strongest class president.
Her appearance was just too convenient; Taichi let out a stupefied noise.
“You have something to discuss with me, right?”
This is just too convenient, to think that there would be something like this. He was just half joking about how “if it were that person, I would definitely learn something”, and found that she was standing right in front of him. Also, it was the Fujishima before she became weak, the Fujishima that everyone wished would come back. This was like a dream.
Taichi did not suspect for a moment that, in this situation, telling her everything would do no harm. If he didn’t say it now, then when would he?
“Can you promise me to keep everything a secret?”
“Don’t underestimate me, okay?”
Ah, this is the right thing to do.
This was the Fujishima back then, the class president more reliable than anyone.
“Fujishima should know the gist of it, so I’ll cut out the details. It’s just that recently… Nagase said to me, “I can’t forget you, and I also like you”… don’t tell anyone!”
“Just go for it.” Fujishima replied immediately.
There was not a sliver of hesitation, not even to give Taichi time to think.
“I’m saying, just go for it.”
“When you say ‘go for it’… what do you mean?”
He was hoping for Fujishima to answer like this.
“I’m telling you to go with both girls.”
But, this wasn’t what Taichi wanted; in fact, it was the last thing he wanted to hear.
“Um, but… in a sense, that answer was very Fujishima-like.”
If it was Fujishima, who advocated free love, she would likely say that. But even if it was Fujishima, wasn’t this too strange? If it’s forward of a suggestion, even if it’s Fujishima, she would suggest some other solution.
But, as if Fujishima had read Taichi’s hesitant thoughts, she asserted firmly:
“That is the so-called happiness, that is the right path, because that way, everyone will be happy.” said Fujishima with a kindly smile, as though she was a goddess.
The gear that was not supposed to move let out a deafening noise and began to rotate.
Was this path the one the right one to take?
Taichi arrived at the fountain Nagase had mentioned.
There were seniors walking their dogs and primary school students on their bicycles racing all over the place. At night the park was peaceful, but Taichi’s heart was unable to be the same, as a storm raged inside his body.
On the way to the fountain, Taichi kept thinking about what Fujishima had told him.
What “The Expert of Love”, “The Missionary of Love”, “The Goddess of Love” — Fujishima, who held these joking titles, had told Taichi.
He didn’t even need to think about it, but going with both girls is definitely wrong.
It’s clearly wrong, but hearing Fujishima say it so definitely… no, this is still wrong.
Taichi cleared his mind of these silly thoughts.
Nagase should be arriving soon; he prepared himself and waited.
During the lunch break today when he was alone with Nagase, her look, so flirtatious it was frightening, surfaced again in Taichi’s mind.
“–It doesn’t matter if you don’t break up with Inaba, so be my girlfriend.”
“–It doesn’t even matter if I’m not the only one.”
What had been said with a warm breath, burrowed itself into Taichi’s ear and lingered. The sweet fragrance threw Taichi’s mind into disarray.
But, it can’t be, that’s impossible.
Even if Fujishima had given him a hard push, that was impossible.
Even if Taichi thought that Fujishima was a very serious and reliable person, there’s something off about that declaration…
Yes, there’s been something off all along. He didn’t know when it began, but there has always been something wrong. But in his life, there shouldn’t be anything wrong–
“Huh? What are you doing, Taichi?”
Taichi trembled slightly and looked for the voice’s owner.
Who was it? It wasn’t Nagase.
Kiriyama Yui stood a slight distance from Taichi.
Why would Kiriyama be here? Taichi was thinking this as he looked to the side to see Uwa Chihiro.
“I’m going to the dojo today, so I decided to go home early, and saw Chihiro-kun running towards here. I thought Chihiro-kun had forgotten to come to the dojo, so I followed him… then because Chihiro-kun wanted to run away, I chased him here.”
Kiriyama shrugged and looked at Chihiro, who had a very awkward expression.
“So, what’s Taichi’s doing? Waiting for someone?”
“…Y-yeah, you could say that.”
In the end, no matter how late Taichi waited there, Nagase did not show up at the agreed location.