About Reckless Girl Volume 2 Chapter 2 part 7

Flip firmly patted the slumping Rain’s shoulder and pronounced his death sentence. Severely rejected, Rain let out a groan in the ramen shop.

“As for getting used to school…you know, how about something like the number of friends you’ve made? The more friends you have, the more used to school you can say you are, right?”

“What exactly constitutes a friend…? What is the objective benchmark for being able to call someone a friend…?”

“Geez, you’re more of an idiot than I realized! Geniuses and idiots are two sides of the same coin, huh.”

“Ugu…”

Clutching his chest, Rain felt like he was going to cough up blood from the overwhelming shock. Flip shrugged in amazement. In the fragrant ramen shop, the adolescent’s warped values were in turmoil.

“Friends, club activities…I wonder what exactly constitutes ‘proper school life’…”

“I don’t really get your worries, but there are probably quite a lot of guys stuck in that quagmire.”

“Haa…”

Compared to the past it was hundreds or even thousands of times better, but the more Rain thought about what constituted “proper school life,” the more he couldn’t help but heave a big sigh.

With a grin, Flip said,

“Isn’t it that a friend is someone who treats you to pork chops at a ramen place?”

“I know that’s a scammer, at least…”

“Hey…”

As Flip laughed loudly, the server brought their ramen. They slurped it noisily. After, Flip taught Rain a trendy new smartphone game.

On that spring afternoon, the ramen tasted more delicious than usual.

“A genius!”

“Rain is a genius!”

“He easily accomplished a difficult experiment this time too!”

“A genius!”

“A genius!”

“No, no, please…”

After school at the science club, Rain was showered with praise. Through several science club activities, Rain had freely gained a reputation as a genius. The current members were fawning over Rain, the arrival of an unprecedented genius, singing his praises. Abashed, Rain shook his head side to side, trembling. He had no skill at intentionally failing.

“Rain! How about it!? Why not submit a paper to the middle school research paper contest!?”

The science teacher approached Rain eagerly, eyes sparkling. Rain shrank back.

“A re-research paper contest…?”

That’s it! Rain will surely get excellent results…! Oh, the [Research Paper Contest] I mentioned before is different from the [National Science Contest] I talked about earlier. You know how you have summer vacation research projects and stuff? It’s a contest where those kinds of research projects are submitted, and they judge which piece had the best research perspective, or which piece had superior investigation methods.

The [National Science Contest] was an event where many groups gathered in the same venue, and competed by taking written and practical exams there.

On the other hand, the [Research Paper Contest] is an award where they solicit students’ summer research, judge the papers, and rank them.

The [National Science Contest] is like a sports tournament where they compete in the same venue, while the [Research Paper Contest] solicits research paper works like an art prize. The [National Science Contest] is still a ways off. The teacher was urging Rain to participate in the [Research Paper Contest].

“You’ll definitely get a top prize! Please contribute to the Science Club!”

“No, no, no…”

The praise continued endlessly, and Rain’s bewilderment showed no signs of abating.

Rain said he was going to the restroom, and slipped out of the science lab.

“Phew…”

He sighed as he took a sip from the carbonated drink he bought at the vending machine. He decided to take a short break sitting on the stairs. The pressure from the teacher and club members recommending he participate in contests and competitions was starting to get to him a little.

Sitting on the stairs, Rain wondered if this was okay.

“Oh? Rain?”

“Oh, Chief…”

As Rain was resting on the stairs, the middle school Science Club chief Dustin happened to walk by.

“What’s up? Why are you here?”

“Oh, um… I just went to the restroom for a bit.”

“You went to the toilet, and are sitting here like this?”

Dustin laughed amusedly, and Rain’s face reddened a little. He had easily seen through Rain’s excuse for just being out of the lab. Dustin sat down next to Rain.

“It’s pressure, being praised as a genius?”

“…No.”

Dustin spoke gently to Rain, who shook his head slightly.

“Am I…disrupting the atmosphere of the club?”

“Hm?”

“Am I making anyone feel unpleasant?”

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

At that question, Dustin folded his arms and thought for a bit.

“While I can’t deny some jealousy, why do you ask?”

“…………”

Rain couldn’t answer the reason for that question.

Rain recalled his past life. At the research institute his father took him to, there was a kind superior who taught him many things. He would get advice from that person when he was stuck on research or needed direction on his research approach.

However, that person quit the institute. Saying [I can no longer keep up with your research…], he resigned with a pale face. Rain’s ability had driven him into a corner, causing him to lose confidence. Rain deeply regretted that experience. He thought such a thing must not happen in the Science Club.

“…………”

“…………”

Silence suddenly fell upon them. Unable to provide an answer to the Chief’s question, Rain could only respond with silence. He felt guilty that he could only return silence to the Chief waiting for his reply. An excruciating quiet pierced Rain.

Dustin softly exhaled.

“Do you…like science?”

The Chief suddenly posed that question to Rain. The abrupt words made Rain’s eyes widen slightly.

“…Huh?”

Rain didn’t understand the Chief’s intention with that question. The Chief continued.

“Somehow, I get the sense you’re debating whether or not to join the Science Club.”

“…Yes.”

“The advisor and our club members have quite high expectations for you. Most of the members think you’ll join the Science Club, and expect that you might win awards at various competitions, thinking that way. I thought that pressure was weighing on you.”

“…………”

“But that’s not it. Joining a club shouldn’t be like that.”

The Chief looked up a bit, vaguely gazing at the ceiling of the stairs as he continued speaking.

“Clubs are something you join because you like that activity. The science club is for people who like science or are interested in it. Things like whether you have ability or can contribute to the school… those really don’t matter.”

“Is that so…?”

“Yeah. Because clubs aren’t work or anything. There’s no need whatsoever to produce results. Even a small reason like having some interest in science, or having good friends there, that’s fine.”

Rain was perplexed. However, there was no wavering in the Chief’s words.

“You… you don’t seem to be enjoying science very much.”

“…………”

“Even though you don’t seem to like science that much, I’m a little curious about how you’ve acquired such deep knowledge and skills… But if you’re not finding scientific activities enjoyable, you don’t need to force yourself to join the Science Club. The teachers and everyone have expectations for you, but if you don’t want to do it, you don’t need to participate in the research paper contest or the National Science Contest at all.”

“…………”

“What’s more important for you is to develop a love for science.”

Dustin said this, and Rain placed a hand on his chin and looked down slightly.

“…………”

“…………”

“I…”

Rain murmured faintly.

“…Do I like science?”

“….I don’t know that.”

For Rain, science was work. And it was his only place to belong. An inescapable, one-way road. Dustin stood up, slapping his own butt.

“I should get going to the clubroom.”

“Okay…”

“I said a lot but, take it easy, okay? Nice and easy. Honestly, it’s fine to join a club without any reason. ‘Kay?”

“…Thank you very much.”

“See ya.”

Dustin lightly waved his hand and left the area. Silence once again visited the deserted stairs. Gulping down the carbonated drink he had been holding, the refreshingly prickly sensation spread down his throat, but his heart did not feel cheerful.

Rain pondered.

When did it start, that he no longer liked research very much? Science was a means for his work, and he had no place to belong outside of it. So he had no choice but to stay on that path. At some point, he had stopped liking science. When he produced results from research, he was envied, ostracized, got caught up in workplace politics, was burdened with expectations and pressure, and doing research became painful.

…But at the very beginning, he must have genuinely enjoyed it.

Rain looked back. He enjoyed reading science books, was happy to gain new knowledge little by little, and felt science’s depth and intricacy grow each time he learned something new. He had pestered his father for science books because he was interested.

Certainly, in the beginning…





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