Chapter 25: Cunning choice

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Translator: Soafp

 After finishing dinner, Sachi and I did nothing in particular, just letting time flow by.

I opened a piece of paper which Miyajima had given me from out of my pocket.

 On it was a phone number and a note that said, “I’m sorry for being so rude.”

From the way the message was written, I thought that she probably wanted to apologize to me.

 But what I was curious about was why at this timing.

It is almost certain that Itakura is involved, and if anything, she could have ambushed me at the place where I was called out.

 Would it be twisted? No, I have experience with it, so I can’t help it.

 ”… What’s wrong, Onii-chan?”

 ”….Ah, it’s nothing.”

 Sachi looked at me as if she could see it on my face.

 ”—-I won’t pry, but don’t push yourself too hard, okay?

“…..I know.”

It was obvious that it was not nothing.
But Sachi was very considerate of the distance between us.
That thoughtfulness warmed my heart a little.

 ”—-But in case”

 I found myself talking to Sachi.

“What would Sachi do if I got fed up with everything, threw it all away, dumped it all, and disappeared somewhere?”

 After I said it, I regretted it intensely.
At the same time, I was filled with embarrassment.

 What the hell am I asking my sister?

 It’s not fair to ask such a question.
It’s half-assed.

 Sachi supports me.
It’s a tragedy of self-indulgence born of such blind faith.

 I just want her to push me to take a step forward.

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 I was disgusted with myself for not being able to honestly rely on her.

 I hid my face in my hands.

 I was afraid to look at Sachi’s face.

“—-I won’t do anything”

 That was the answer I got from Sachi.

One could even say that it was an ideal answer.

“There is nothing to be done about it.
I have no right to do anything about it, and I have no right to blame you.”

 She continued, adding, “Not to me, now.”

“I know that if I force Onii-chan to make a choice and you still don’t accept it, there’s nothing I can do about it.
I accept that as punishment.”

In other words, she’s accepting my choice.

In other words, I wanted people to accept me for who I am.

 Whatever the conclusion, whatever the answer.

“—-That’s Onii-chan’s choice”

“—-My choice.”

 ”Yeah.
If it’s a decision that Onii-chan thought about and came to a satisfying conclusion, then I can accept it.”

 But, she continued.

“If it was a desperate measure that you came up with because someone was pressuring you, I wouldn’t accept it.
I don’t want to accept it.”

“….Sachi.”

 ”That’s what I meant when I said it was unfair.
The most important thing to remember is that you should never be afraid to ask for help from someone who is not your friend.
Right?”

 ”…Centainly, that’s not fair.”

 Sachi and I looked at each other and laughed.

Since when did the space between us become so cozy?

“Well, despite what you say, I probably wouldn’t give up on Onii-chan.
If Onii-chan doesn’t give me the answer I want, maybe I’ll object?” 

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“That would be unfair.”

 ”That’s exactly what I’m saying.
I’m a cunning girl.”

 ”What are you talking about…..Fufufu”

 I can’t let her say this much and not take a step forward.

 I’ve got a reason.
No, I’ve been given a reason.

 For my own sake, I was a little short on courage to face up to who I am.

So, I’ll be cunning too.
Let’s make up a reason.

For Sachi’s sake.

 That’s good enough as a reason.
I’ll do my best to give Sachi the answer she wants.

 I’ll do what I want to do for Sachi.

What I’m saying is a complete mess.
But I’m the only one who needs to know that.

All the excuses, all the ways of escape, all the pathetic weapons are out of my arsenal.

“Thank you.”

I said one sentence to Sachi.

 Sachi didn’t say anything, but just smiled back at me.

 The next morning, I arrived at school and was immediately confronted with a troublesome situation.

“Oi, what the hell are you doing?”

 It was Shirakawa.
I want you to stop bothering me so early in the morning.

 The students in the classroom also drew attention to us.
That’s right, they’re wondering what’s going on.

“What are talking about?”

 ”Ha!? Don’t play dumb with me!”

 You’re making too much noise.
I’m not playing dumb.

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“You didn’t apologize to them!”

“Ah come to think of it…”

Yesterday, when they didn’t get involved, I thought it was all a big misunderstanding.

 ”I’m embarrassed because of you! What are you gonna do about it?!”

 ”…..Embarrassed? Seriously, what are you talking about?”

 Why are you humiliated because of me?

“Shut up! You…”

 Shirakawa came at me, swearing.

 He was terrifying me, but I wasn’t afraid of him at all.

 The first time I met him, the manager was much scarier.
Now he’s like that (mainly because of Sakakibara).

“You want to hit me?”

“Wha?!” 

This guy is mistaken.
I’ve been ignoring them for a long time.

“As long as I have proof, I’m not going to cry myself to sleep.
—-Everyone here is watching?”

“…You chicken sh*t.”

 Shirakawa spit it out and took a step back with an expression of some embarrassment on his face.

I’d like to ask Shirakawa to go away, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case.

 ”Why didn’t you apologize to them?”

 Is that what you’re still hung up on?

 ”Didn’t I tell you before? What are am I apologizing for? What proof do you have that I did anything wrong in the first place?”

 ”HA!? Of course Sonoda said that!”

 I see, she said that to said him.
That is why you said you have proof.

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He is lying

 ”You’re lying.
You asked Itakura, didn’t you?”

“…And what about it? The crime you committed won’t disappear.”

 Oh, you easily admit it.
Do you think that’s not so important?

 ”Maybe she doesn’t want that kind of apology?”

“There’s no way! Don’t talk big for a perpetrator!”

 You talk too much.
What kind of education is he getting?

 Stop trying to be so loud every time.
It hurts my ears.

“Then, ask her.
Does she really need it? Can you ask her? It can be done via Itakura.”

 ”…Damn.
You really should remember this.”

 You can’t ask, after all.
Because this is something you guys are doing on your own, right?

 Otherwise, there’s no way that such a misunderstanding would have occurred.

 Shirakawa left swearing.

 (What the heck, it was easy.)

 If I had been strong-minded, it would have been a piece of cake.
I might have been too frightened until now.

 No, in fact, I had been frightened.
After all, I was on the verge of being alone.

 Now, I can throw it all away.
I can give up everything.

 There is a way out.

 It was all thanks to Sachi, now—

I decided to change for Sachi.

 So, I step out.

 I read through the messages on my phone.

[I’ll be waiting for you at the station after school today.]

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