The Girls Who Traumatized Me Volume 2 Chapter 4

Chapter Four: “The Loser of Malice

“That student and that class again…”
The weekly Monday morning faculty meeting was stormy. The principal muttered bitterly in dismay.
“This is an unprecedented situation!
It’s a disgrace to the school to take on such a terrible student.”
Several teachers who didn’t think much of his existence agreed.
“Have you noticed anything suspicious, Fujishiro-sensei?”
“Not at all,”
Fujishiro Sayuri said firmly. For Fujishiro, the previous test results were a source of pride, nothing to be ashamed of. But there were also colleagues who were petty jealous of the fact that young Fujishiro’s class had the highest scores.
“What about the other teachers who proctored the exam?”
“I don’t think there were any suspicious students when I monitored them.”
“If it was really on such a large scale, I’d think it would be hard to overlook.”
Prompted by the principal, they answered one by one, remembering the test.
The answers were unanimously nothing out of the ordinary.
Incredible. Of course, there was no surprise. For if it were true, it would mean that all the examiners had proved themselves incompetent.
The trigger was a certain anonymous letter that was leaked after the week off.
Extensive systematic cheating during a Class B exam.
Given Class B’s outstanding average score, it was a matter that couldn’t be ignored.
However, there was no evidence. Each of the teachers who had supervised the exam testified that they had seen no such behavior. In that case, it could be dismissed as just malicious gossip trying to smear someone’s name out of jealousy. But the alleged ringleader was the problem.
Kokonoe Yukito. A troubled student whose name came up frequently in faculty meetings, the prejudice that he might be cheating clouded their vision.
“Why not call him in and have him do the problems under close supervision? Let’s expose him.”
“It’s so gray it’s almost black.”
“There’s also the slander incident. Principal, shouldn’t we consider disciplinary action?”
Even though they thought it was groundless, few came to his defense. Most teachers averted their gaze, and only Fujishiro and Sanjoji Reika fought determinedly on their own.
“As I said, all the teachers testified that they had noticed nothing suspicious. I cannot understand why this should happen!”
“Even though he seems suspicious, I’m against punishment without evidence. What do we adults think when we let our emotions cloud our judgment?”
The headmaster gently calms Sanjoji, as if admonishing her harsh words.
“But the fact that he’s getting these anonymous letters means there’s a problem. His reputation in society remains that of an undesirable character.”
“”Oh, dear. We don’t want to cause any more trouble for the school.”
“What is it, Sanjoji-sensei? How unlike you. I thought you were the one who should give him proper guidance…”
Everyone expressed their confusion. The teacher named Ryoka Sanjoji was very competent and fair. Those around her well understood that she was not one to tolerate dishonesty.
“Where is the fairness?”
“Please calm down, Miss Sanjoji. Let’s do this. For the next test, we will conduct a thorough inspection of personal belongings and assign two test supervisors. Is that okay, Ms. Fujishiro?”
“It’s fine.”
She bit her lip in frustration. For Fujishiro, this decision was nothing but humiliation.
“And as for this matter, it cannot be brought to the teacher’s attention. As an alumnus, you have a strong sense of school spirit. We can’t allow that. The inspection will be handled by the class A teacher.”
“Wait! That’s…”
“Ms. Fujishiro, there are also many excellent students in Class B. We’re concerned about the effect on them as well. We can’t just leave the bad apple alone.”
She glared at the principal as if it was only natural.
“Are you serious?”
“To prevent the school’s reputation from being further tarnished, we earnestly request that Ms. Fujishiro also pay strict attention.”
With a look of disbelief, she abruptly cut off the conversation, feeling annoyed and harassed.
As if there had been no previous conflict, they moved on to the next agenda, leaving only a significant seed of discord behind.

“Kokonoe, sorry about Reika. Let’s play shogi again sometime.”
“Aren’t you at the Go Club?”
Aihara-senpai smiles wryly as he walks away. He’s a serious, good guy who comes all the way to the first year classrooms just to apologize. Aihara-senpai is the president of the go club, but he is also super strong at shogi – he totally destroyed me. I won’t forget my resentment at being pushed into a corner with only my [King] left.
“Hey, isn’t your face too wide (so popular with everyone)?”
“Where do you see that? I am completely ordinary, don’t I?
Thanks to our passionate senior’s introduction, I had been accompanying Aihara-senpai and his crush, Suou-senpai, on their romantic consultations for a while. However, the charming handsome guy was saying something unexpected.
“Look, to measure an amorphous object, first divide it into triangles, then add up the areas calculated with Heron’s formula.”
“We’re not talking about face area! Seriously, what part of you is a loner? The real loners should be getting angry soon.”
Don’t get it. Just don’t get it, refreshing pretty boy.
I’ll show you reality. Surprised at the extent of my loner status?
In the morning I go to school with Yuuri-san. At noon I either worship the goddess senpai or get caught by Hinagi or Shiori in the classroom. A visit from the student council president is also a possibility that can’t be ruled out. After school is club, and even when I’m not, I tend to get involved with someone. When I get home, mom and nee san, who are dedicated to eroding my private space, mentally attack me. If I carelessly try to go out, Himiyama-san will see me.
“What part of me is a loner?”
“That’s my line!”
While we’re having this pointless argument, Masamichi, who was getting ready to leave, calls out.
“Yukito-kun, would you like to have dinner together sometime? Mom and Dad said they want you to come too.”
“Huh, your mom too?”
“Yeah… we’re still a family after all.”
“Sure, invite me on a convenient day.”
“Got it! Thank you. See you then!”
Masamichi is in the going home club, but that can’t be helped. Things seem to have settled down for him, even if precariously. It might be a good idea to invite him to the basketball club.
“Mikuriya has cheered up quite a bit.
“At one point, I was wondering what would happen, but… anyway, let’s go to the club.”

“My students are bad apples? Don’t mess around with me! shitty old geezers!”
“Ms. Fujishiro, please try to drink less. It’ll affect you tomorrow.”
Ryoka Sanjoji gently rubs Fujishiro’s back, who can’t contain her anger. After the staff meeting, Sanjoji invites Fujishiro to dinner.
Fujishiro quickly drinks a glass of shochu highball and bows his head.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for involving Mr. Sanjoji.
“It’s okay. I feel the same way.”
It was the first time the two of them had eaten together. As a still new teacher, Sanjoji was an unreachable being high above the clouds for Fujishiro, someone she hadn’t been able to approach until now.
“I also put you in a bad position.”
She shrinks back in fear. There’s a big gap in their careers. The naive Fujishiro can’t help but project her ideals onto Sanjoji, who kindly treats her as an equal.
“It’s nothing like that. Don’t worry about it. They’ll understand in time. And then it will be too late. Fools through and through.”
Fujishiro inadvertently swallows his breath at Sanjoji’s extraordinary manner.
“Sanjoji-sensei, you are…”
“It’s embarrassing, but I used to be one of those people. I lacked insight into others. If I had stayed that way, I surely would have joined the condemnation…”
Fujishiro didn’t have the courage to talk about what happened in the past. It certainly wasn’t the kind of talk for such a drinking party.
“Please tell me about it sometime.”
“Yes. Come to think of it, when I went to the New Year’s service, I drew a fortune that said a turning point would visit my life. I was doubtful, but today I realized – this is that time.”
“Sounds like a story about love fortunes. But I’m completely dry in that department.”
“Maybe. I found the person I was waiting for in the place where I fled. That must be fate. I never thought it would happen. I’m thankful to be given another chance. He’s probably… Ms. Fujishiro, you don’t have to worry about anything. Just keep believing in your students no matter what. That’s enough.”
“…I may have misunderstood Ms. Sanjoji.”
She keeps to herself that she used to think of her as a stubborn and inflexible person.
“Haha. Is that so? I’m just a lonely woman who comes home to be comforted by my pet dog, even at this age.”
“The men of the world are crazy to leave such a good woman alone.”
“Come on, Mrs. Fujishiro, cheer up. But yes, perhaps the fateful meeting has already taken place?”
“What do you mean…?”
Ryoka Sanjoji’s prophetic words were etched in Fujishiro’s mind.

“I sincerely apologize! It’s my fault that I couldn’t protect you.”
That morning, Teacher Sayuri bowed her head so deeply that her forehead almost touched the podium as she apologized.
I couldn’t blame Sayuri-sensei. If anything, Sayuri-sensei who could bow her head directly to the students like that was an adult. A wonderful teacher, right?
“Sensei, we didn’t cheat!”
“After trying so hard, this is too much…”
“Whenever something happens, there are ‘circumstances’, huh…”
“Why does Yukki always the only one who gets blamed for this?”
The blame was directed at Sayuri sensei, but she shares the same helpless feeling.
“I know that. It came up at the faculty meeting, but no one took it seriously. So I didn’t want to mention it to you all…but…”
Sayuri-sensei told us the circumstances. The origin was simple.
There was a suspicion of cheating during the previous exam, so it became an issue at the faculty meeting. However, due to the lack of evidence and the highly doubtful credibility of the information, we weren’t informed.
On the other hand, in order to avoid a scandal, the school decided to change the test supervisor to teacher from class A under the pretext of “various circumstances.
This was the sequence of events, but here an irregular situation occurred. The same information suddenly spread on social networking sites. This is how we became aware of it, but it seemed that there was a large scale organized cheating going on, with me, Kokonoe Yukito, as usual as the ringleader.
Due to the My self-made and self-inflicted controversies that had caused quite a stir, the flames were far from completely extinguished. In the midst of this, the situation escalated further. Another page added to the Kokonoe Yukito villain legend.
But the fact that a well-meaning third party would cooperate with my shut-in loser plan showed that the world wasn’t hopeless yet. Keep it up, strangers I don’t know!
“So as not to damage the school’s reputation…”
“Yes. It pisses me off. Why do you have to be talked about so badly? If you don’t doubt us, then there’s no need to do anything, right?”
Sayuri-sensei’s expression seemed very sad as she spat venom. What the teacher said made sense. By changing the supervising teacher, the school was implicitly admitting that it suspected the students. The ‘various circumstances’ could easily be connected.
“Looks like the teachers are panicking now that it’s out in the open. Hmph, serves them right. Calling us rotten apples. I absolutely won’t forgive anyone who ridicules my students, absolutely!”
It’s obvious that I’m the school’s automatic reputation lowering machine, but this couldn’t be overlooked.
“Because I make trouble for everyone…”
“That’s wrong. You haven’t done anything.”
I wanted to live quietly, so why did it come to this?
But the decision had to be made.
“I sincerely apologize!”
I prostrated myself. I’ve ruined everyone’s hard-earned test results. My personal apology wasn’t enough. I was determined to commit seppuku.
“That’s it! Maybe I should quit school!”
To think I’ve forgotten something so simple, I’m also losing my edge. If I quit school, I won’t tarnish its reputation any more, and Sayuri-sensei won’t have to hear spiteful words. My classmates would also be judged properly. I’m already nothing but the biggest stain on this school, so it’s a win-win proposal that would make everyone happy.
I might annoy Mom, but I could appease her by prostrating myself and licking her feet. She’s been weirdly nice lately.
Wait, I just thought of something even better! While I’m at it, I’ll leave home. I don’t need pocket money. It’ll work out somehow. Mom will be happy. I’ll live on a remote island and grow citrus fruits or something.
When I share this perfect plan, with nothing but advantages, everyone gathers around.
“Then I’ll quit school too.”
“Huh? What do you mean? No way Akane san would allow that.”
“I’ll quit too! Let’s grow citrus fruits together, Yukki!”
“What are you saying?”
“Have you forgotten? I only came to this school to chase after Yukito. So if Yukito isn’t here, there’s no point in me being here.”
Smiling calmly, Hinagi spun out the words. But there wasn’t a single lie in it. Reluctantly, I looked to the side. Shiori had the same expression.
“It’s unfair…I know that. I know that saying it like that will upset Yuki.”
“I’ll say it countless times. I like you. I want to be with you because I like you.”
Hinagi says it clearly and without hesitation. Everyone around us swallows and doesn’t interfere. I knew it was checkmate. An irreversible state of the board. But something didn’t sit right. Ugly, unsightly. It felt like there was some truth hidden there that I didn’t want to acknowledge.
“Think properly about your future. If you do this, your future will be…”
“And what about Yukito’s future? Where does your happiness lie?”
I’m at a loss because of the questions I’ve never thought about. Future. Did I even have such a thing?
I never imagined the future. Desperate to live only in the present, I didn’t think about what might come after. Notions of where happiness lay were nothing but a pipe dream to me. If it existed for me, the future I could imagine was–
“Withering away and aimlessly hanging around?”
“I won’t let that happen. I absolutely won’t allow that kind of future.”
“It’s your loss, lover boy. Then I’ll quit school too. It’s all your fault anyway. Growing citrus sounds more interesting than anything I could do, and if it’s you, it’d probably make a big splash and become a new breed.”
For some reason, the refreshing pretty boy joins in. Does everyone dislike school so much?
“If four people quit at once, it’ll be hard for Sayuri-sensei.”
“Don’t worry, Kokonoe Yukito. If you quit, I’ll quit as well.”
These people are strange! I look for agreement among my classmates, but find no allies.
“It’ll be fine, Sensei. That won’t happen. Besides, Yukito will solve it soon. Because that’s the Kokonoe Yukito I like…”
Just like the refreshing pretty boy said. Absolute defeat. The only one who didn’t realize it was me. Hinagi and Shiori as well. Even though they had such gloomy faces when we reunited, I don’t feel a trace of gloom now. If this is growth, then I’m the only one who hasn’t grown. I sink into a chair in resignation. I take a deep breath and let it out.
I made Sayuri-sensei bow to the class and denied them their hard work – punishable by death. So there’s only one thing to do in this situation.
“Let’s remind those annoying people that Sayuri sensei’s bowed head is not cheap.”

After the shocking classroom meeting, I casually unfold a newspaper.
One of the benefits of the newspaper that’s spreading through society is that while you only get information you’re interested in on the Internet, newspapers let you see information you’re not interested in, prevent biased information, and so on.
Nonsense. It’s nothing more than the pathetic cry of a dying medium.
First of all, what’s the basis for assuming that people read all parts of a newspaper equally? Surely there are people who only look at the TV listings, or who only care about stock prices. Surely there are people who only read the articles on the third page. And let’s not forget that newspapers themselves have biases. In the end, all media have pros and cons, so arguments like this don’t prove the superiority of newspapers at all – that’s the point.
But I don’t really care, because the classroom was, as expected, in chaos.
“Cheating! Even though we didn’t do anything like that!”
“Uwaa, there’s a bunch of terrible stuff written here. Kokonoe-chan, better not look.”
“I feel bad for Fujishiro-sensei…”
“I never thought that getting good grades would become a problem. What are you going to do, Yukito?”
What’s this, the goddess of justice got her victory again? Oh, so there are goddesses in the judicial world too, huh? It’s not just this school. Come to think of it, there’s probably goddesses everywhere.
For some reason, Hinagi and Shiori are clinging to both of my arms. What’s wrong with you two?
They stare at me with anxious yet determined looks.
“Alone is no good. Let’s think this through together. We won’t let only Yukito be sacrificed.”
“That’s right. It’s not only Yuki’s problem. We’re here too.”
“You again… Seriously, stop it already.”
They snatch my newspaper away and scold me unreasonably.
“But still…”
My eyes happen to catch the local news section of the paper.
“Hehe…even though Mama praised me…so sad…”
The spotted gecko consoles the dejected Shakado. –!? Oh, it’s a Gacha figure. Surprised me. Gachas really do have everything these days, huh? Pikon!
“I got it!”
“As eccentric as ever.”
I hesitate to express my idea. It’s always easy when it’s just me. Regardless of the outcome, I alone can bear the responsibility, and there’s no conflict. But if—
“I like you. That’s why it hurts and I can’t just let Yukito be sacrificed. Everyone probably feels the same, right? We help because we care, we cooperate because we’re friends. It’s as simple as that. What Yukito always did for others. Always giving his all for someone, always doing his best. So don’t overthink it. You’re not alone.”
I look around. Even though I wanted to be a solitary shut-in, I was moving in the opposite direction.
Somehow my surroundings are always overflowing with people. I let out a sigh.
“I can’t do this with my power alone. I need everyone’s cooperation.”
I let go of the two clinging to my arms and start to explain what I was thinking, and gradually, the sinister smiles start to appear on my classmates’ faces.
“Think about what would bother the school the most right now, and the answer comes naturally. It’s simple and direct.”
“Making our teacher do that crap. Yukito, let’s make them regret it!”
“Hahahaha! Kokonoe-chan, you’re awesome! Let’s do it, let’s do it!”
“My mother would say yes right away. She was planning to join anyway.”
“Is dad okay too, Yuki?”
“Actually, the school might prefer a dad.”
“Oh well. Maybe I’ll ask.”
“It’s been a while since we went to Kaz’s place. It’s embarrassing, but I guess I can’t help it.”
Takahashi and Akanuma firmly shake hands. In fact, these two have been close friends since middle school. Everyone is already starting to make arrangements and contact their families.
“But telling everyone but me would be irresponsible. It can’t be helped.”
You can’t have your cake and eat it too. It’s not right to ask everyone to cooperate and then not do anything myself. I have to beg her with souvenirs.
“Rest in peace, Sayuri-sensei. Should I be the one to settle your grudge?”
“Just so you knowt, but sensei is still alive, you know?”
He doesn’t forget to provide a retort. The charming handsome guy is quite dutiful, huh?

It was so sad. Painful and agonizing. Why had I forgotten?
I vaguely remembered that this churning emotion was grief.
When I was rejected, when I couldn’t play in games, I didn’t feel sad. There was only resignation, acceptance that this was the way it was, and that’s it.
That was probably because the day I took Sekka-san’s hand, I used up a lifetime’s worth of sorrow. The pain of saying goodbye to love. So sorrowful, sorrowful, sorrowful that it finally dried up.
The sorrow of that day covered everything, and I lost the ability to cry.
“Why can Big sister do such selfish things?”
“Sekka, please! I don’t have time anymore!”
Just like that day when Mommy and Sekka-san fought over me.
I was full of regret. My useless self was despicable.
I’m wrapped in deep sorrow. If I hadn’t existed, if I hadn’t been born, they would never have quarreled. My existence has caused discord between them.
An abnormal being in this world, bringing misfortune despite being blessed. That is me, Kokonoe Yukito.
It is unbearable to be here without shame.
Mommy is very pretty and beautiful. A kind, doting mother to brag about.
But when I look closely, I think she looks a little old. Of course, given her age – she’s still very young. Still, I realize that the burden and stress I impose on her is taking its toll. Not just money. I’m taking up Mom’s time and even her youth. An absolute hindrance.
“I will change. Become a mother the children can be proud of with their heads held high!”
“Why didn’t you realize this sooner, for Yuki-chan…”
That wasn’t my intention. Flimsy excuses wouldn’t do.
To think that their fight had only started an hour ago.

“It’s nothing special, but…”
“Geez! Yuki-chan, I always tell you not to worry.”
I try to give her the high-end chocolates I bought, but Sekka-san scolds me.
Sekka-san’s pet rabbit, Friedrich II, jumps onto my lap and starts munching on the food munch munch. Plop Oh, he pooped. Why II you ask? Because he’s the second generation.
“Yuki-chan was always popular with the animals, huh.”
“No way…right? M-maybe? Sort of?”
I lose my confidence halfway. Now that I think about it, I tend to get approached by pigeons in parks and such, asking for food. Even though I rarely have any.
“You must have been an animal tamer in a previous life. Do you like rabbits, Yuki-chan?”
“Rabbits? They’re cute. My name has [rabbit] character in it too, so I feel a certain affinity.”
“I see, good. I’ll order a reverse bunny girl then!”
Sekka-san seems convinced as she fiddles with her PC. Reverse bunny? What’s that? I look behind Frederick II. Plop Oh, he pooped again.
Doesn’t seem to be related to Frederick II, so I look it up on my smartphone.
“Wait, let’s talk this through calmly!”
“Yuki-chan, look at international politics. Talking doesn’t solve anything.”
“I see.”
The ruthless strike of the online shopping button echoed Kokonoe Yukito’s death throes.

scen trasnition


“No good, no good! What are you going to do?”
“Wear it, of course.”
“My intestinal flora seems to be lacking. Well then.”
“Do you think I’ll let you escape?”
The difference in our levels is too great, I can’t escape! Besides, this is the boss room. I, Kokonoe Yukito, can’t stop trembling while Sekka-san is in high spirits. That must be the class difference.
I came to Sekka-san’s apartment today to ask her to come for the school visit, and also to ask about Mom, who’s been acting strangely lately. I won’t mention my always-weird sister, but I’m worried about what might have happened to Mom.
“Yuki-chan, thank you for inviting me. I’ll be sure to dress up nicely!”
“Please restrain yourself. I don’t want you to be any more beautiful than you already ar.”
“Geez! Yuki-chan, you really know how to make a girl happy. Here, here!”
While I writhe in agony, Sekka-san seems elated. That must be the gap in our status. For me, she’s someone I can always rely on and never repay. I’m nothing but grateful.
“But really, a change of heart? What happened all of a sudden to my Big Sister?”
“Maybe she really was a robot.”
“I don’t think that’s what a change of heart means, Yuki-chan.”
Although I have my doubts about the mom-is-a-robot theory, since it’s a situation I can’t ignore, I decided to consult Sekka-san.
At first, I wondered if it had something to do with the illness that made her anxious, but in fact, Mom had become very charming.
“How exactly has she changed, Yuki-chan?”
When asked again, I stumped. There were no clear changes. At most it was mood or atmosphere or distance – vague things like that.
“Umm…kind of erotic I guess.”
Crap! I unintentionally let something unnecessary slip again.
“No, no! Oh, that’s right. She said she wanted to start over as a mom!”
It’s hard to put into words, but something about restarting her training as Mom makes me nervous.
“A do-over as Mom? Can you even do that again?”
“I thought so, but…”
Disturbing. Even Sekka-san doesn’t seem to get it. It’s not like there’s any particular harm in Mom becoming Mommy. I just get nervous and anxious for some reason. Maybe heart failure.
“I should contact big sister too, perfect time to ask.”
Sekka-san video calls mom on her smartphone. I’m wishy-washy about asking Mom directly, but I’m sure Sekka-san can figure out the real meaning.
[Oh, nee san. Yeah, I decided to come to the school since Yuki-chan asked me. –What, You wanna go? You say strange things out of nowhere! And Yuki-chan said you’ve been acting weird lately… Huh? What do you mean, a do-over as mom? After how horrible you were – Forget it, I’m coming over now!]
She hangs up angrily, apparently arguing with Mom about something. I wanted to go home soon anyway, so I go with her.
“Hey Yuki-chan. Did something happen recently?”
Come to think of it, I used to ask Sekka-san about all sorts of things. When I didn’t understand something and was helpless, I always relied on her. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I talk about recent events one after another.
Meeting people I never expected to see again, being confessed to seriously rather than falsely, a stranger’s strangely high affection, my family acting strangely, being falsely accused of harassment, and getting into a bicycle accident – there were countless topics.
Hearing my ramblings, Sekka-san’s eyes widen.
“Yuki-chan, could it be that you…”

Momther and Sekka-san are arguing intensely in front of me. A man-made disaster caused by recklessly relying on Sekka-san. I realize that I’ve always torn them apart.
If it weren’t for me, they could have remained close sisters.
A scene I have seen before. A clash I never wanted to see again. Because of me, because of me, I’m always, always, always the cause.
No matter how much I bow my head and apologize, the fight doesn’t stop, it just gets worse, like pouring oil on fire. All that remained was boundless powerlessness.
“Let’s go. If Yuki-chan stays here, he’ll be broken.”
Just like that day, Sekka-san held out his hand to me. Of course, I try to take it, but I am stopped from behind.
“I won’t give him to you either! I love him! I need this child!”
It was a strange feeling. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen Mom so desperate.
Ruthless, yet sincere, straightforward.
–Needed. Am I really needed by Mom?
“You still don’t understand how much you hurt Yuki-chan?”
“I don’t expect forgiveness. I don’t care if I’m resented for the rest of my life. But to say goodbye without telling, to leave things like that, I can’t stand it anymore. I’m going to teach him. I want him to know. How much I appreciate my child, how much I love Yukito.”
“What’s wrong, Mom? Huh, again?! Your face is coming closer… Mmm… Mmm… Mmm!”
“Wait, wait, nee san! What are you…!”
I struggles and kicks, but it doesn’t help. Slowly, oxygen deprivation sets in.
Panicking, Sekka tries to pull us apart, but I was held tight, unable to move.
“Heavy breathing…”
The second time is much more intense and dense… My headache is blown away by so much shock
“Oh no… My head is spinning. My lungs crave fresh oxygen.”
“Sekka, I’m serious. More than anyone, more than you.”
As if she was declaring war. Sekka, who had been dazed for a while, suddenly snapped out of it.
“You’re brave, even now!… I won’t lose. Not to you, nee san – absolutely not.”
Sekka stands her ground. Her eyes have a strong glow, no less than my mother’s.

Sleepy music plays lazily.
Even Sekka-san couldn’t solve the [Mom is acting strangely] problem, but it did lead me to a hypothesis. You know how they say that too much stress is bad? That not letting it go can mess up your body and mind.
Maybe maternal instinct has a similar quality?
In other words, Mom’s current derangement is due to an over-accumulation of maternal instinct.
Optimistically, I think she’ll return to normal once it’s all vented out.
I want the mother who has no interest in me back soon.
“What’s wrong? I rarely see you so tired, Yukito.”
“I’m reviewing Goseibai Shikimoku.”
“At first glance, it seems admirably studious, but there’s definitely another meaning.”
In my family, it’s maternal instinct and lust. Even Taira no Yoritomo would smile ironically.
Despite the horrible treatment that has become my daily life, the recent uproar doesn’t fall into that category. I can’t go on like this! I’ll be enslaved by Mom.
So last night, after pulling an all-nighter, I came up with fifty-one household rules.

  • Knock before entering a room
  • Sleep in your own room
  • Bathe alone
  • Don’t leave your clothes lying around
  • Brush your own teeth
  • No excessive touching
  • Snacks up to 300 yen
  • Don’t spend too much

And so on, nothing but extremely reasonable rules, so I confidently proposed them, expecting immediate approval, but they were promptly rejected. Give me back my sleep time!
My sister was the worst. “No walking around in your underwear? Okay, okay, I get it. So totally naked is fine then.” She doesn’t get it at all.
Since there are three family members, majority rule should apply, so two votes in favor should pass a bill, but… Hmm, now that I think about it, there aren’t any allies on my side…?

“By the way… is it okay… for me to be here…?”
While I’m stunned, Shakado peers out from behind me as usual. Her stealth specs is still ludicrously high. Is it necessary to erase your presence?
“You are the key this time. I’m relying on you If there’s a reptile problem.”
“Hehe… leave it to me… But it doesn’t look like I’m going to get a turn…”
I drag the dejected Shakado along with me and take a seat next to the refreshingly handsome boy.
The sky is beautiful, clear and calm. The housewives and the elderly all seem to be having a good time.
This weekend, our unlikely trio of me, the refreshingly pretty boy, and Shakado have entered the neighborhood trivia contest, “Just popping in for a quick win,” that the whole class knows about.
Brace yourself when you hear our team name – [Class 1-B Cheaters].
A perfect name for revenge.
“Unless you’re a quiz king, victory is assured.”

–And we won before I could even finish saying that. We’ll do interviews and everything.
“Well, there’s a reason for this team name. Our class got good grades on the last test, but we were falsely accused of cheating that didn’t happen and treated unfairly. The only teachers who believed in us were our homeroom teacher Fujishiro-sensei and Sanjoji-sensei. But the principal went so far as accusing us personally damage the reputation of the school. We just can’t believe it. Today we are participating in this quiz competition to prove that we didn’t cheat!”
“We are…innocent, but…they doubt us…so sad…”
“Oh, it’s my turn now. Um… Please stop, Principal. We didn’t cheat! Our victory here comes from our own ability.”
Refreshing pretty boy, your acting is terrible. I have discovered an unexpected weakness.
Perhaps finding the atmosphere uncomfortable, the interview is quickly cut short.
In truth, this quiz contest is being broadcast live on a local channel.
In other words, it’s being enthusiastically broadcast on TV right now.
I decided to take advantage of it after I happened to see an invitation to participate in the local news section of the paper. The ratings and distribution are probably low, but that’s not a problem.
Sorry to the tense interviewer, but you can’t hide things these days. We immediately leave the venue and upload the full, unedited interview to a video-sharing site and have our classmates pass it around.
“Can something like this start a flame war? The effect seems weak, but…”
“That’s unnecessary.”
“Isn’t that the point?”
What we’re doing is just laying the groundwork. In fact, it would be better if it didn’t spread far and wide.
“Think about it. Who’s angriest right now? We don’t need to do anything more – let them do the rest. Shakado should understand immediately. Right?”
“Right… Mom was… really angry…”
“I see, so that’s how it is. I’m starting to feel sorry for her…”
“I don’t understand. Isn’t it their own fault? Are your parents coming, handsome?”
“Yeah. Mom was really happy when I talked to her, it was kind of embarrassing.”
When asked by a child going through a difficult age of puberty, a parent must be happy.
“Yosh, Daddy’s doing his best!” And all that – there were obviously households like that.
Family circumstances vary a lot. I heard that some classmates hardly talk to their parents and are estranged from them. If this somehow becomes an opportunity for them t get along, it would be like killing two birds with one stone. Pretty words, but still, nothing beats a good family relationship, right?
But there may be toxic parents who are beyond reason. Parents whose existence is harmful to the child do exist. Even if you can’t definitively say that reconciliation is absolutely right, it’s good to have the ideal.
“Mom was… already planning to come anyway…”
“What about you, Yukito?”
“Ugh…my head…”
The effects of the lack of sleep hit me now. Thinking further is difficult. Good night.

“How did this happen? …… “
The emergency faculty meeting was in an uneasy atmosphere.
The inspection had ended without incident, so I relaxed, but then another issue came up.
The principal stared at the documents in his shaking hands and choked up:
“There’s no way we were wrong…”
For some reason, the video of Kokonoe Yukito’s participation in the quiz competition immediately became controversial for its content, although it was settled with some confusion at the time.
First of all, there was no fact of large-scale cheating. Interviews with teachers who proctored the exam also concluded that there was absolutely no suspicious behavior.
While the doubts themselves are malicious harassment of Class B, as a school we don’t believe we made any misjudgments. There was no culpable negligence.
Not to mention the principal and teachers taking the lead to personally damage the school’s reputation – such a thing is simply impossible no matter how you look at it.
Kokonoe Yukito’s patently absurd claims in video form didn’t get much traction because of its silly content. It’s not even worth responding to. If anything, these actions have seriously damaged the school’s honor and caused an uproar.
In the end, tactics like using SNS to exert pressure, as you might see in dramas or novels, don’t really work well. It’s an immature idea dominated by the adolescent illusion of omnipotence that looks down on adults. Just silly, shallow wisdom – we dismissed it as such. In fact, as expected, it had little real influence.
That changed after Fujishiro’s report after the weekend.
“Fujishiro-sensei, is this… correct…?”
With a cold sweat running down my forehead, I have to reluctantly confirm it while hoping that it’s a lie.
“The rest of the students still don’t know.”
“How could this happen…”
The headmaster mumbles the same words as before. No one else said a word.
Finally he realizes – this was the real target from the beginning. Not the ridiculous, reckless act of the troublesome student. Meticulously calculated and targeted to attack the weakness with hateful precision.
“I also heard that many parents are angry.”
I return Sanjoji’s fleeting wink.
(Did Sanjoji-sensei know this would happen?)
The school visit, which usually only attracts about 20% of the parents, was supposed to be attended by almost all parents this year. Only two names have a non-participation circle. These two parents are still rearranging their work schedules to make it in time.
When I saw the document, my hands shook like the principal’s, drenched in cold sweat.
Normally, this would be welcome news. But at this particular time, it clearly looks like the parents’ open protest against the school.
With so many parents likely to condemn us, we can’t just carry on as usual. These are people of high social standing, and who knows what kind of connections they have.
With no way to pretend it never happened at this late stage, we were cornered on all sides.
(To think that even I would be protected by Kokonoe Yukito…)
I mused self-deprecatingly. If that were possible, there would have been no need for this foolish act. But still, the choice of video as a medium to make unfounded claims must have been to clarify the positions of Fujishiro and Sanjoji.
A kind of alibi work, and if Fujishiro’s and Sanjoji’s names hadn’t been mentioned in that video, Fujishiro would probably be cowering in fear like the principal and others.
(Yeah, I’ll be extra nice next time. But still, even Mikuriya’s parents are involved, huh. That guy really… At this rate, who’s the teacher here…)
Mikuriya Masamichi. Besides Kokonoe Yukito, he was another worrying student in the class.
I had been worried about him for some time. Not that he had any behavioral problems – he was a perfectly normal student. But there was a danger that this would soon change.
Masamichi’s parents had divorced, with custody going to his father. However, this had only recently been decided. Masamichi’s mother was having a five-year affair.
Since her partner was also married, it was a double affair. It came to light after a private investigator hired by the partner’s spouse became suspicious.
A mature affair between adults. But once exposed, they realize it was just an illusion – everyone gets hurt, the price for a little temptation far too high. But instead of ending there, betrayals like infidelity and affairs continue to torment those involved indefinitely.
If the divorce is due to infidelity, the amount of compensation also skyrockets. Not only is compensation demanded from the spouse, but also from the partner’s spouse, who loses everything. For men who earn a lot, this may be manageable, but for a regular mother who is a full-time housewife, there’s no way to pay it back, and she had no choice but to rely on her parents.
The aftermath lasted several months, and the partner’s lover also ended up getting a divorce. But it didn’t end there. Betrayals such as infidelity and adultery continue to haunt the parties involved for a long time.
This is where Masamichi’s tragedy began. For Masamichi’s father, who had no idea that his wife of many years was unfaithful, it was a bolt from the blue, and in his suspicion and jealousy he blurted out the question of whether Masamichi was really his child in front of his wife. Masamichi overheard it by chance and withdrew in shock.
Of course, Masamichi was undoubtedly their child. The 16-year-old Masamichi could choose custody. Fastidious at a difficult age, unable to forgive the affair. Let alone go with the mother, who was saddled with massive debts in “consolation money”. Custody readily went to the father, but with his father doubting that he is really his won son, Masamichi despaired as if he’d lost all allies in the family.
An only child, Masamichi has no brothers or sisters. Although his father realized his mistake, his apology came too late.
Shutting himself away and suffering alone, the days dragged on. By this time, even I could clearly see Masamichi’s poor complexion and emaciation.
When he reached his limit, Kokonoe Yukito reached out to Masamichi.
Kokonoe Yukito often has casual conversations with various classmates. For some reason, he is also consulted on a variety of issues. From not understanding the solution to a problem to removing cicadas stuck to the screen door. Maybe it’s because he think himself at the bottom of the heap that everyone finds it easy to call him. He mumbles, “Why can’t I be a loner shut-in?” but that’s probably impossible as long he’s at this school – or so I think.
(Come to think of it, Soma has been really cheerful lately, too. And if you say so, there’s also Suo. That guy, what does he do every day…)
Soma Kyoka. A well known 2nd year student, but one who was also disliked by many.
A unreachable flower sounds nice, but that kind of atmosphere and attitude seemed to rub people the wrong way… or so it should have been. Until now.
Recently, however, she’s somehow softened remarkably without any of her former prickliness, which has also greatly changed the way she’s viewed by not only boys, but girls as well.
Moreover, when Suo Reika, who was dejected after being dumped by her boyfriend at another school, fell into self-abandonment, Kokonoe Yukito earnestly encouraged her and played matchmaker between her and the president of the go club, who already liked for Suo. And so on – the relationship chart around Kokonoe Yukito is mysterious and bizarre.
This guy mysteriously attracts people who are the opposite of his own wishes.
I don’t know why Mikuriya Masamichi thought to confide in Kokonoe Yukito.
Maybe it was because Kokonoe Yukito also live in a single parent family, or because he’s always had bad luck, or maybe because he saw what happened to Suzurikawa, Kamishiro and others. In any case, Masamichi needed someone’s help.
After hearing his story, Kokonoe Yukito often visited Masamichi’s home. Afraid to face her child, Masamichi’s mother hid from him. Masamichi’s father, tormented by remorse for having deeply hurt Masamichi, did the same. Kokonoe Yukito acted as a mediator, listening to their feelings and conveying them to Masamichi. And in turn, he listened to Masamichi’s feelings and passed them on to him.
Initially confused by Kokonoe Yukito’s sudden appearance, when Masamichi’s parents learned about his situation at school and how much he was suffering, they broke down in tears. Apologizing and crying in front of Masamichi after hearing from Kokonoe Yukito. And so they patiently continued to build a bridge between them.
As this went on day after day, their relationship gradually improved. Although their divorce remains unchanged.
But Masamichi’s father decided not to demand compensation from his ex-wife directly. Instead, he made her promise to work herself to repay the compensation to the spouse of her affair partner. In reality, Masamichi father was fronting for her to pay back.
And they made a promise to consider rebuilding once all repayments were made.
Masamichi is proof of the Mikuraya couple care for him. They both cherished Masamichi. Even though they were stubborn at first, they decided to come together.
Masamichi’s mother can no longer act like a mother. No matter how much she preaches things like studying hard or obeying the rules, as someone who had an affair, she’ll be rejected out of hand. Her existence as a mother may even be a bad influence.
There’s no neat way to wrap up an affair. Everyone gets hurt, the price for a little temptation is far too high. But this resolution saved Masamichi’s heart.
And as a finale, Masamichi begged his parents to come to the school visit.
His mother, who had been apologizing for hours while crying, saying she had no right to do so, eventually nodded in agreement. His father also promised to attend, all the while crying.
He didn’t forgive his mother. If he had been younger, he might have rejected her altogether. As his maturity grew, there were people who reached out to Masamichi. It was the timing that made this decision possible. No one knows if it’s right or wrong. The results probably won’t be known until much, much later.
Fujishiro sensei would hear these details directly from the Masamichi. It seems that Kokonoe told Masamichi that the teachers are wrried for his situation. Kokonoe is a very perceptive man.
Fujishiro was overwhelmed by her own helplessness. Sure, she had been worried. But it could be said that she didn’t do anything. When it came to outside of school matters, it was impossible for an ordinary teacher to interfere in family matters.
It would be even more so if she considered it just one of her job options. That’s why Fujishiro respects Sanjoji, who shares her ideals, but even Sanjoji couldn’t do anything.
(…Extraordinary. I feel like I have a hole in my stomach. What kind of mentality does it take to do something like that? Does this guy have no fear? He used to say he was afraid of peaches. He’s still a mystery to me.)
At least Fujishiro couldn’t imitate Kokonoe Yukito, who voluntarily entered the maelstrom to improve relations. For the Mikuriya family, Kokonoe Yukito is a benefactor.
The same may be true for the parents of Suzurikawa and Kamishiro.
So if there is someone who harms Kokonoe Yukito, they will never forgive him. Especially Kokonoe Yukito’s mother is said to be devoted to her children.
“Is this okay, Mrs. Fujishiro? Please explain to the parents carefully so that there is no misunderstanding. We have no intention of humiliating our students.”
“I will do my best. But there is a possibility that with my lack of skills, I may not be able to handle it… In that case, Principal, I’ll rely on you.”
The principal shudders. One mistake in handling this could lead to a big problem. They are more trapped than ever. All they can do is pray for a safe passage.
“I understand.”
(Shake and tremble all you want, Baldy!)
She curses inside her heart. They don’t understand what they are up against. From now on, she couldn’t help but feel that a decisive situation might be waiting for her.
From there, the staff meeting became chaotic. They reviewed how the response had gone, organized the key points, and created a set of expected questions and answers.
It was also decided that a proper explanation would be given to the Class B students before the class observation, and just as the meeting was about to end, a call came in for the principal.
“Hello, Mr. Tojo! Is this about the incident the other day? That student is indeed enrolled here. We have had problems with him quite often… Yes. We will take immediate action.”
Beads of sweat formed on his worried face. The headmaster’s gaze occasionally caught Fujishiro.
The tension in the room increased with the headmaster’s urgent demeanor. After ending the conversation, he heaved a sigh and opened his mouth slowly and heavily.
“Ms. Fujishiro, call him in immediately.”
She felt as if she had stepped into a bottomless pit.

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