CHAPTER 4: PART 2
Let’s talk a little about the first semester and the day of the closing ceremony, just before the test on the desert island. I was over the moon, digesting the idea that I was going to fully enjoy my summer vacation for the first time in my life. However, as if to take away this pleasure from me, a god of death with his sickle appeared in front of me without a sign.
“Ayanokouji, before you leave I have to talk to you a little. Please come to the Instructor’s room”
This is what Miss Chabashira said just before our homeroom class ended and left the classroom.
“What is this? Did something happen?”
Sudou, who was getting ready to leave, asked while putting his bag on his shoulder.
“That’s right. You are neither good nor bad, you are living a meaningful life, steady and quiet.”
“What is that sarcastic tone in your voice?”
“Sarcasm? That wasn’t my intention. Did it feel that way?
What a horrible guy…. My wounded heart wept in sorrow.
In comparison, Sudou was a good guy. Now that I think about it, he got worried about me and that is why he said this…
“Hey Horikita! Erm… Since it’s summer vacation… Are you free? Maybe we can hang out a little.”
Sudou sat on my desk as he went crazy over Horikita who was next to me…He wasn’t worried at all about my situation, after all.
“Well, because it’s summer vacation, it will be a loss if you don’t enjoy it. We can watch movies, go shopping.”
“Ridiculous. Summer vacation means nothing to me. Why are you inviting me in the first place?”
“W-why? Why are you so blunt?” Sudou scratched his head as Horikita didn’t understand his feelings, but then he turned the switch.
“Because this is how it goes. Look, ok? A guy invites a girl to go out when it’s a holiday…”
Although I felt like I wanted to see Sudou’s efforts, I was called by Miss Chabashira earlier. I feel better when I finish unpleasant things quickly.
“Hey! Where are you going?”
Why is Sudou calling me, again?
“Where do you think I’m going? I was called by our teacher, so it can’t be helped.”
“Just wait a little? Can’t you be by my side?”
That expression made me feel extremely uneasy. His thick hand grabbed my arm, holding my wrist.
“Please watch over my fight. And respond well.”
“Don’t speak nonsense!… Bye.”
While doing these worthless exchanges Horikita finished getting ready, leaving the classroom without hesitation. Sudou ended up watching in utter amazement.
“…Damn. Useless… Should I go to the club activities, instead?”
As soon as Horikita left, I was not needed anymore so I was free to go. As I was arriving in the Instructor’s room, I saw Miss Chabashira waiting in front of it holding the door half-open.
“I don’t understand the reason I was called, at all.”
“Let’s talk inside.”
My depression degree meter rose steadily as she repeatedly returned my words with short answers. I wished this to end like those tricks at parties that end up being some funny joke.
“Do you think there is a bad reputation around you if you are asked to come into the Instructor’s room? This is not a bad place contrary to your expectations. There are a lot of things that must be discussed away from all the monitoring eyes.”
I couldn’t see the surveillance camera which was supposed to be in a room like this.
“So, what are we going to talk about? I am busy planning my summer vacation.”
“That’s a funny story. I believe you have no friends?”
“That’s an exaggeration. I have some.”
Although I could count everyone using the fingers of both of my hands, the number of people wasn’t important. Or at least that’s what they said. Wouldn’t it be just fine if I set up a summer vacation program alone to begin with?
“Today I’ve called you to hear my personal story.”
Miss Chabashira’s personal story? This was again a development that escalated in a completely different direction. I didn’t understand the reasons behind her calling and telling me this story. Nor did I have any interest.
“It’s something I haven’t told anyone after becoming a homeroom teacher until now. It’s silly but listen.”
“Should I make a tea before that? You must be thirsty.”
I stood up from a pipe chair and opened the door of the kitchenette. Nobody was inside… I wondered.
“Don’t tell this to other people. If you understand, return to your seat.”
Like that, I closed the door of the kitchenette and turned to Miss Chabashira.
“As a homeroom teacher, how do I look to you, D class?
“Another abstract question. Is it okay if I say you look like a beautiful woman?”
The teacher didn’t move an eyebrow at this joke, but I felt waves of menace on my skin.
“Let me see…If you don’t mind being compared to other teachers, I’d say you’re a cold teacher that has no interest for students and feels indifferent about D class’s future.”
She’s neither as friendly as B class’s teacher Hoshinomiya nor she’s helping students as C class’s teacher Sakagami.
“Am I wrong?”
“No, you’re right. I have nothing to deny. But that’s different from the truth.”
Miss Chabashira made a pause there, having looked at the ceiling as if she remembered something.
“I’ve been a student in this school before. In the same class as you – D class.”
“That’s rather surprising. I thought you are more capable than that, Miss Chabashira.”
“Sigh… In our time there wasn’t an extreme difference as it is now. You could say it wasn’t a three-cornered, but rather a four-cornered battle. Until the time we were approaching the graduation in the third semester of our third year, the difference between A and D class was not even 100 points. It was a close combat where one trivial mistake could break balance.”
There wasn’t a feeling of bragging in her speech, but rather one of a regretful past.
“So, that trivial mistake happened, didn’t it?”
“Indeed. It came unexpectedly. Because of my error, D class was knocked down to hell. In the end, my goals and dreams of becoming A class collapsed.”
I thought that was unfortunate, but suddenly talking about such a past troubled me. It was a rather unpleasant feeling.
“I don’t get it. What do I have to do with this personal story?”
“I feel your existence is essential to move up to A class.”
“What should I say? It’s a joke, right?”
Words couldn’t come out as I was happy about being flattered and praised unexpectedly.
“Few days ago a man contacted our school requesting to expel Kiyotaka Ayanokouji from school.”
Miss Chabashira suddenly changed her presence as if the real issue was about to get revealed.
“That’s quite ambiguous. I don’t know who it was, but you ignored his will without expelling me, right.”
“Of course. You can’t expel someone regardless what a third party is saying. As long as you are a student of this school, you are protected by the rules. However… If you cause problems it’s a different story. Smoking, stealing, cheating. If you repeat any scandal, expulsion can’t be avoided.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to do anything.”
“It has nothing to do with your intentions. If I perceive it as a scandal, the expulsion becomes a reality.”
“Are you threatening me?”
I thought her wording was fishy, and I was right.
“Here’s the deal, Ayanokouji. You’re going to aim for A class for me. And I will extensively follow you in order to protect you. Don’t you think that’s a nice trade?”
I thought she changed a lot from the time I first met her, but never would I have thought she’d cooperate with a student. I couldn’t close my mouth and laughed.
“Can I return? I have no intentions of listening to this anymore.”
“That’s too bad, Ayanokouji. You’re gonna be expelled and D class will once again not reach A class.”
Her speech and behavior weren’t a stunt. She was seriously intending to cut me out. She was trying to use me for dreams she couldn’t achieve.
“Let me ask you one more time. Will you aim for A class or be expelled from school? Choose what you like.”
I set my left hand on a long table and bent myself, pulling up Miss Chabashira’s collar.
“I’ve remembered the time Horikita expressed discomfort for you. Was it a similar feeling? As if you’re entering a person’s house with shoes on.”
Miss Chabashira who was until now completely self-assured laughed in self-mockery.
“I surprised myself. I hadn’t noticed I haven’t given up on A class yet.”
I felt her eyes got teary slightly. I couldn’t feel the usual coldness. While I was grasping my arm holding her collar, Miss Chabashira regained determination back in her eyes.
“I thought you would voluntarily lead D class, but I cannot afford to give any more time. Decide now! Would you lend me your hand or not?”
Star Wars’ protagonist Luke chose to return to his uncle’s farmhouse, turning down the temptation of adventure. However, he was eventually dragged into the vortex of war. That was destiny. You might say I should have taken this woman’s past story with a grain of salt. We don’t know to what extent lies the truth.
“You might regret trying to use me”
“Calm down. My life is already full of regrets”
This was a troublesome event that happened right before summer vacation. Something I don’t even want to think about. Nonetheless, I cannot lose my school life now. Throwing away your freedom in order to protect it – what a preposterous thing.
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