About Reckless Girl Volume 2 Chapter 2 part 5

An hour and a half passed.

“W-W-What… all correct!?”

“Wow!?”

The teacher was shaking as he held Rain’s answer sheet. The Science Club seniors were also observing the new students’ test scenes with great interest, and they buzzed at the teacher’s words. What the teacher had brought was a past exam paper from the National Science Contest’s written test.

The National Science Contest was a nationwide competition in which students from various schools participated in teams representing their clubs and competed in subjects such as science and mathematics. It was a major event where written exams and practical tests were held, and everyone aimed for victory. The written test covered a wide range of fields such as science, physics, and mathematics, and it focused more on problem-solving and thinking ability than knowledge.

“You got a perfect score on the National Science Contest questions!?”

“And you did it in less than half of the two-hour test time!?”

“I-Is he… a genius!?”

“He’s a genius!”

Rain scored a perfect 100 on that test. The people around him were buzzing with excitement, and the corners of Rain’s mouth twitched. He wondered if he should have held back a bit, but he had previously slacked off on tests at his previous school, and it had become known, leading to unflattering comments. Now, with the teacher watching the new students’ test scenes with great interest, it was impossible for Rain to mimic his skillful performance without being noticed.

Amidst his indecision, he had achieved a perfect score.

“He’s a genius!”

“A genius has joined us!”

“It’s not a dream to win the National Science Contest!”

“He’s a genius!”

“He’s a genius!”

“No, no, no…”

Rain was bewildered and embarrassed by the praise from those around him.

“Wow, he’s really a genius…”

“I-It’s amazing…”

Flip and the new students hoping to join the club watched Rain with amazement. It was natural, but they hadn’t even finished the test yet.

“I haven’t answered a single question.”

“This isn’t the kinda stuff normal people can solve, y’know?”

“You guys don’t seem very interested in science, huh?”

Seeing Tiffy face down on the desk looking unmotivated, and Kasumi rolling a pencil around to get answers from fortune telling instead of solving problems, the president gave a wry smile. Rather than not being able to solve the difficult problems, they didn’t seem to have much desire to try solving science or math problems at all. By the way, the problems weren’t multiple choice.

“So frustrating! It’s frustrating! I lost to Rain!”

The one frustrated and stomping the ground was Yuki. Unable to finish the test in time and losing to Rain, checking the scoring now showed he was far from a perfect score.

“No, getting this score without any science club experience is amazing too, Yuki.”

While marking circles on Yuki’s answer sheet, the president raised a surprised voice. However, Yuki himself didn’t seem convinced at all, and everyone else was too distracted by the new star Rain for Yuki’s test results to stand out.

“It’s frustrating! I wanna be called a genius and get fawned over too! I wanna stand out!”

Yuki was frustrated in a weird way.

“A promising prospect!”

“An amazing talent has joined our science club!”

“He’s a genius!”

“A genius!”

“No, no, please…”

The fawned over Rain. He waved his hands and shook his head deferentially, but it held no meaning.

Under the cheerful spring sunshine, the great scientist who had produced outstanding achievements in his past life was now treated as a promising new star.

“Well, getting a perfect score was probably not the best idea.”

On a certain day off, Rain was visiting Zeke’s house.

The aroma of black coffee drifted through the living room as Zeke savored the bitterness and said that to Rain. It was a slightly chilly afternoon.

Rain would sometimes consult Zeke about worries and troubles. Zeke was one of the few people who well understood Rain’s circumstances, an adult fellow reincarnator Rain could rely on. Feeling bad about causing him trouble, Rain had come to consult him about a problem.

“….Was that really so?”

“A kid who can get a perfect score on the National Science Contest exam, there probably aren’t many like that in the whole country, right? It would stand out for sure.”

The consultation was of course about the recent incident at the science club. Rain told Zeke how he had stood out undesirably and attracted attention from those around him, and how very sorry he felt about being praised and singled out there.

For him, flaunting the advantage gained from [reincarnation] felt like [cheating].

“It’s like, Rain seems like…the protagonist of a manga, you know?”

“…Huh?”

Rain’s face stiffened at Zeke’s words.

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“I mean, someone accomplished in their past life reincarnates, displays those skills from a young age, gets called a genius and makes a big fuss – doesn’t it seem like a manga? Maybe you’ll end up saving the world too? How’s that sound?”

“No, no, what are you saying…”

“I think it suits you. Should stand out more and more, get hyped up all around the world. What do you think?”

“That would be awkward.”

“Ha-ha-ha.”

Zeke laughed lightly, and Rain realized he was being teased and made a disgruntled face.

“In other words, what I’m trying to say is, you tend to underestimate yourself too much, Rain. You’d do well with getting praised more, let it go to your head a bit.”

“Is that so…?”

“Lacking self-confidence can be a problem too. It makes you hard to get along with, taken too far it becomes unpleasant. Finding a balance is difficult, but for now you should be more confident.”

“…………”

Rain did feel Zeke’s words rang true for him. In his past life he had tried to suppress himself, and it had come across as disagreeable.

Zeke said,

“When praised, say ‘thank you’. Being too modest is no good. Theory says you should return praise with words of gratitude. It helps to be a little bashful about it, but I suppose that’s asking too much of you, Rain.”

“You’re right, I’ll keep that in mind.”

Rain drooped his shoulders a little.

“Forget about that National Science Contest or whatever. Whether you win or not, it’s no big deal. What matters is if you want to stay in the science club, if you find the activities fun, make good friends. If it gets tough, you can always quit.”

“Is that so?”

“That’s right. No need to overthink it.”

Zeke sipped his black coffee.

“…Rather than that, Zeke-san, didn’t you say earlier that I’m like a protagonist from a manga? But aren’t you a reincarnator as well, Zeke-san?”

“Don’t be stupid. In my past life I was just a salaryman. And now I’m just a civil servant.”

“But weren’t you considered a genius when you were younger? Did you have any luck with romance and such?”

“It’s true that right after entering middle school and high school, I was popular with girls for a bit…”

Zeke frowned and pursed his lips.

“But…once it got around that I was Anya’s guardian, my popularity naturally died down. Like ‘If you go out with him, Anya will tag along too’ and stuff like that.”

“I see…you have it rough…”

Rain bowed his head apologetically.

“Well, there’s nothing I can say about it now.”

He couldn’t say anything more, having married Anya and started a family with her.

“I’m home!”

“Oh, Yuki’s back.”

“That’s the end of the reincarnation talk.”

The front door slammed loudly as Yuki announced her return home at full volume. That brought an end to Rain and Zeke’s private conversation.

“Ah, were you talking with Dad again, Rain?”

“Welcome back, Yuki. Sorry for intruding.”

“Rain, don’t you have any other friends?”

“…”

Yuki mercilessly stabbed at Rain’s heart.

“Yuki, I heard you also went with Rain to observe the science club?”

When Zeke asked that, Yuki’s eyes flew open in surprise. Her eyes took on an aggressive glint and Rain shrank back a little.

“That’s right! Listen to this! That Rain… That Rain! He got a perfect score on the really difficult science test! On a test that hard…! It’s so frustrating! Everyone was praising him as a genius! It’s so frustrating!”

Yuki shouted loudly while Rain broke out in a cold sweat.

“Yuki, are you interested in the science club’s activities too?”

Zeke asked, and Yuki shook her head sideways.

“Not at all. I don’t find it interesting at all to watch chemicals change color.”

“Uh, you should keep that opinion to yourself, okay?”

“Okay~”

Zeke stopped Yuki before she could say anything to turn the science club members against her.

“Then there’s nothing frustrating, is there? It doesn’t matter if you lose at something you’re not interested in, right?”

“That’s not true at all! I want to be praised as a genius too! I want to be fawned over as a genius for something, anything!”

“My daughter seems to be drowning in vanity…”

Zeke could only be amazed at his daughter.





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