The next day, on the second day of Tsunuma Highschool’s culture festival, Nishino attends as usual.
As for his face, it was also the same as usual. After a good night’s sleep, his mind had recovered. When he was feeling down he was as sad as he wanted to be, but after doing what he needed, he once again faces forward. That is his secret to success. And it’s how he lived until this day.
A morning greeting. In an unusual display he calls out to his classmates.
However, even if he continued repeating himself, he’d never received a reply. It seems that the class’s treatment towards him had been agreed upon by the class last night. After confirming it with his morning greeting, as planned, he comes to a decision.
Thus, it’s impossible to become a riajuu within the school.
「Class rep, what should I do today?」
「…… Do whatever you want?」
「Okay. Thank you」
A one sided sentiment that came to nothing. Nishino who was forcing this wasn’t foolish. Thus, he affirmed the decision he made before. There was no hope within the school. And he decides to move onto the next plan.
Reorganizing his feelings, he takes the first step forward.
Nishino leaves the classroom, and in the same way as yesterday, he equips the 2-D code, and hands out the electronic flyers. He decides to walk through the corridors and through the grounds. His gait is no different than usual. But, from the gazes he received, it felt like there was something different in them from yesterday as the took glances at him.
「Please, thank you very much」
He distributes the flyers in the corridors.
His aim, girls with different uniforms.
For he who gave up on getting a girlfriend from his school, he changed his target to the other schools. It was as if a business that couldn’t work out within its country, so it moved outside the country. Half of the japanese are women, so the futsumen continues his useless endeavor.
With one night’s sleep, the virgins mood had completely recovered.
Just as he wanted, there was an abundance of girls that wore different uniforms.
「If you’d like, here」
He gets right to it and calls out to a passing girl who was from a neighboring school.
It was a highschool girl that bothered to wear her uniform and go to a different school culture festival. From her uniform she was from a neighboring private school. From the way she looks she was also Nishino’s type. A girl with a tidy feeling and a somewhat plane look. However, even if she wasn’t from his school, there were still troubles.
As he was waiting for a reply, it wasn’t long before an audacious voice intruded.
「Oi, what’re you doing calling out to someone’s girlfriend?」
It was a student wearing the Tsunuma Highschool uniform. From the indoor shoes he wore he was a year above. And from how he looked, he’s the sporty type of ikemen. A lively kid with skin burnt by the sun. The baseball clubs ace, his darkened skin was the result of sacrificing his summer vacation in order to practice.
「Ehh? Could it be, I, was getting hit on?」
That was correct.
It became a very awkward situation for Nishino.
「Really, be more careful? There are a lot of weird people」
「Jeez! If you’re saying that then make sure to protect me」
「I know I know. Come on, let’s go」
She grips her heroic boyfriends hand with her own.
She was delighted when it was gripped in return.
「Also, that second year over there! Yeah you!」
「Just because it’s the culture festival doesn’t mean you can act out of line. You understand?」
The dark skinned ikemen barked in a low tone.
After scolding his junior, and asserting his manliness, and with a short but powerful line, he showed his strong manly appeal. It was something that matched the position of the sporty ikemen.
Nishino had no words to reply to this.
With their arms entangled, the futsumen sees them leave while they act continue flirting. In that state, he kept watching until they turned the corner and disappeared. Within the school, Nishino is powerless.
It was then that he heard a different voice.
「You, what’re you doing?」
He turns around and it was Rose that appeared.
With her arms folded she looks at Nishino with amazement.
Enough to make her tilt her head.
「…… It’s you」
「It isn’t a bad idea, aiming for the people from other schools after giving up on your own」
It looks like she saw all of his unsightly actions.
「However, what happened just now was pitiable」
「I heard that victory and defeat is decided on numbers for this」
Not even a hint of shyness was in his words.
It was the result of what he searched on the net this morning before coming to school. No matter how clumsy, if you try enough then you’ll definitely get a girlfriend. Now then, if you go out into the town, challenge yourself, challenge yourself, and a wonderful encounter will fall into your hands. But please head onto the site below to know what you shouldn’t do. Something like that.
In contrast, Rose tells the futsumen with overflowing hope the truth.
「What you’re doing right now is aiming for a headshot 300 feet away using a glock? 」
「…… Is it that wrong?」
Kind feedback is given to the ametaure smooth talker. This was something out of the virgin guy’s expectations. Before he knew it, he asked a question with a serious face. It was the advice of the woman reigning at the top of the school caste after all. There was no way he’d waste this.
「You should’ve noticed by the time you saw the uniform. Those types are with their friends, or they might even be with their boyfriends. And if they’re by themselves, the chance of the latter should be higher shouldn’t it?」
「To begin with, girls who come to another school’s culture festival alone, they can only be a landmine」
「Is that so?」
「You should be able to tell from you first challenge」
「…… I didn’t even notice」
「You lost the battle before you started」
「…… I didn’t even notice」
Having gained new knowledge, he nods with a serious expression.
He is a futsumen who couldn’t get enough of learning.
「By the way, there’s something I’d like to ask after listening to your lecture」
「…… What is it?」
「You, have you really only been here for a few months?」
「The subtleties between men and women cross international border」
「Is that how it is?」
「That’s how it is」
He couldn’t help but make a guu sound.
The current NIshino was no match for Rose. No match at all.
「By the way, what is it that is hanging on your body?」
Their attention is brought to the A4 paper attached to Nishino’s front and back. On the surface a large 2d-code was printed on. Just today he had already managed to get dozens of scans as a result of his hard work. And the counter on site keeps going up.
「The promotion site for my class’s cafe」
「I’ve heard something terrible happened, but you’re still going at it?」
「That’s that, this is this」
Nishino shows his pointless toughness. After being shown this, even Rose hesitated to say anymore. Pity came to her before her jokes and she couldn’t find what to say.
「Is, is that so……」
「Aah, that’s right」
Conversely, the one who spoke was in no state of worry.
He’s going to do his best to get the girls from other schools.
「Well, i, in that case, I wouldn’t mind helping you」
「Not even a hint of consideration. Really, what a twisted personality」
「I simply don’t want anything to do with you」
「…… it’s still, no good」
「What was that?」
「No, just talking to myself. Don’t mind it」
「Still, your advice helped. For now, I’ll give my thanks」
「Why it was my pleasure」
After getting what he could, Nishino turns away from Rose.
However, he stops just before then.
The cause was the large flow of people in front of him. In the direction that the futsumen was walking, there was a great tremor, and a large amount of students were moving. With their loud footsteps, they pass close to where the two stood.
「Really!? He really came!?」「Like I said, hurry! He’s by the teachers entrance right now!」「Seriously!? I’m like, a super fan!」「Actually, why is it the teachers entrance!」「Really why!?」「Isn’t it a fake?」
About 10 students dashed through the hallway.
Nishino and Rose step back to make way. Without noticing them, the group continues moving towards the entrance. They soon turned the corner, and disappeared from sight. The noisy footsteps gradually moved further away.
「…… What was that?」
The two incline their heads at the scene of the excited students.
It was then that Nishino’s phone suddenly shook.
He immediately reached for the phone in his pocket.
It seems he still hasn’t given up on the beautiful italian girl. Having already given up on the school, he pins his hopes on the yet seen mail friend he has. He was a very narrow-minded futsumen. And with his reputation falling even lower every day, he could only grasp at straws.
However, the messag he recieved, was from an unexpected party.
From, Tarousuke. I came to return the mask I borrowed. Come get me.
「From your beloved girlfriend?」
He muttered in a bored manner.
「The flyer guy, he came to return the borrowed mask」
「Aah, that’s what you mean」
Rose understood with that.
◇ ◆ ◇
After being contacted, Nishino moves to the teachers entrance.
As he was moving, by chance he finds Tarousuke coming out of the principal’s office. He had just opened the door, the surrounding students make room as the door opens towards them, and a head pokes out.
The gender ratio of the students is 1 to 9, with the girls being the majority.
Even thought he was being surrounded by students, he responded in an experienced way. He must’ve gotten used to this as he looks out in the crowd. But as expected, with this amount of students, he couldn’t find Nishino.
The one he’s searching for isn’t a futsumen for nothing. It was like looking for a tree in a forest.
The group of people was several meters long. Of course, it was even noisier. For the futsmen, calling out would be hard. Furthermore, even if he was heard, it’d just become something troublesome. As a result, through his hypothesis of the future, Nishino takes the best route to avoid that development.
It’s impossible, he soon concludes.
He takes out his phone and sends a message.
Come to the cafe by yourself.
The futsumen presses the send button and looks at Tarousuke. A phone is taken out of Tarousuke’s pocket, and after confirming that, Nishino departs from the lively location.
◇ ◆ ◇
The same day, 10:30am.
It was the second day of the culture festival. If it was the same as always, then it would’ve ended on the weekend, but because it passed over into a holiday, there was a good amount of people visiting. If the student council checked, then they would find out that they already had the record for the most visitors in their history.
Not to say anything of the students, but local from all over were also here.
It was inside of that school.
The class representative of class 2-A, Shimizu Chikako, was feeling a never before felt tension.
Her attention was directed towards the locker in the hall in front of the class. Her whole body stiffened as she looked to the one she was assigned to. An envelope was gripped in her hand. Inside were several thousand yen bills and many coins.
Until now, she had a triumphant face while talking to Takeuchi-kun, however, her mood took a sudden turn and her face became a shade of blue. It was as if she couldn’t believe the truth. Her current state was like a fish out of water gasping for air.
「Why is this, in my locker……」
Suddenly a ruckus came from the hall.
Several voice came into range.
In an instant, she stuffs the envelope deep into her locker. Behind her back, the students peaceful pass by. Her whole body was stiff, hurry and go, hurry, please. She repeats it in her heart. And she sees desperately watches as they leave.
As for the envelope, the class rep remembers it.
It was the money from the cosplay cafe that went missing the previous day.
「Why. And, half of it is gone……」
If she doesn’t remember it, then there’s no doubt that someone put it there.
However, the locker was locked with a padlock. It’d be difficult for a third party to break into her belongings. The key was managed on the strap of her phone, stealing this was also impossible. Yesterday she had this with her at all times while walking around.
Could it be, I forgot something. Even though I knew it was bad, it’s true that I drank some alchol but, but, I didn’t do that, I shouldn’t have done it, and so on. She reflects on the past and can’t help but feel an overwhelming tension.
「Why did this…….」
She could cry at any moment.
And then, as if to launch another attack on her, she once again heard a noise.
It was much louder than the first wave that passed.
She turns her head a bit, and what was there was a large amount of students that filled the hall, it was like a wave that was aiming for her. The rows of students extended to more than 10, even if it was the middle of the culture festival, this is too many.
But if it was the usual class rep, then she wouldn’t be feeling any panic.
However, as she was right now she couldn’t understand what was happening.
Her thoughts began racing. If I put it in the locker, then maybe they won’t notice the part thats missing. But won’t the first thing they do be confirming that. In that small amount of time her thoughts headed towards a bad direction.
「Wh, what’s with that…….」
And then she noticed.
The one in the middle of the group was none other than a celebrity who appears on tv.
Just the other day, he performed on a late night music program. Shimizu watched this together with her little sister. It is the guitarist of the famous band group. She also remembers buying a track or two. I’ve finally gone mad, she began doubting her eyes.
But even then, no matter how much she stared, the scene she saw did not change. It’s probably because she’s in such a terrible state that Shimizu didn’t notice the one approaching her. It was at a distance where their hand can reach out and touch, and a voice came from behind her.
「…… Class rep」
「It’s about the thing that I borrowed yesterday……」
Her shoulders shake in an exaggerated manner, and she turns back.
Before she knew it, Nishino stood there.
With the meeting place with Tarousuke being his own class’s cafe, he thought of telling her beforehand. He was about to enter the class, but luckily he saw her in the hall, and if he had the time he’d explain to her about yesterday.
「What’s wrong? You look quite surprised」
The unchanging sour face of the futsumen.
With this in front of her eyes, Shimizu suddenly thought of something.
「It can’t be, w, was it you!?」
「…… What are you saying?」
「You, tr, tried to set me up!」
It seems that she decided that the culprit who put it in her locker was the man who stood in front of her. With her wide open eyes, she glares at him as if he is the enemy of her parents.
「What’re you saying? I don’t get it at all」
「Hey, come over here!!」
She takes Nishino’s arm, and quickly walks away.
On the other hand, several meters away, Taorusuke spotted this. The person who called him over was taken before his eyes. Furthermore, it’s the girl he exchanged words with in the cafe yesterday.
A small smile rose on his face.
「That Nihsino, it looks like he can do it」
It seems like he greatly misunderstood something.
◇ ◆ ◇
Where Nishino was taken is the cosplay room that was next to his class. It usually goes by the name education preparation room. The plate on the entrance also says so. It’s a small room about half of the size of the regular rooms.
There were no other people in the room. Shimizu confirms this, and in her flustered state she closes the door and locks it from the inside. With this a key is needed to enter, otherwise it’s impossible.
With cosplay all around them, Shimizu leads Nishino to deepest part.
She then removes her arm and drives him into a corner. With an imposing stance she cuts of his path of retreat. Even now her face looked like it would cry, like she wanted to shout, like she wanted to attack, such complex emotions came one after the other.
「You’re, you’re the one who did it right!?」
While bow legged, she perks up her shoulders and vigorously shouts.
That behavior was more burly than womanly.
「Sorry but I have no idea what you’re talking about」
Her following words came out hysterically.
It was something that surpassed country, words, and race, something familiar to Nishino, it was a woman’s lament.
Because of that he was able to reply with some composure.
「Explain the circumstances. If you don’t then I won’t be able to answer」
「Haa!? What are you saying! It was you wasn’t it!? You weren’t just satisfied with stealing our earnings, but you even went out of your way to put it in my locker! People who’d do such cowardly things, there’s no one else but you!」
「…… I see」
「You also took half of the money!」
With anger, Shimizu explain the situation in a way convenient to her.
What a convenient woman, that is what Nishino honestly though on the inside.
「Certainly, judging from class rep’s point of view and the incident from yesterday, it’s very easy to simply settle with me being the culprit. It’s not like I can’t understand your complaints. However, I didn’t do it. Questioning me would be a waste of time」
「Why are you acting like it isn’t you! Who else can it be if it isn’t you!」
「It’s because someone did it, that the decreased bulk of money was put in class rep’s locker. If it isn’t class rep’s misunderstanding, then that means there is someone that did it. But once the money starts moving, it’ll become noisy.」
「I’ll hit you!」
Hit, I’ll hit you.
As soon as the H in hit came out of Shimizu’s mouth, her first had already reached Nishino’s cheek. Not thinking he’d be punched by a classmate, on top of that a female classmate, he received the fist without preparing himself.
It was a nice punch with her back put into it.
Gashan, he hits the leg of a nearby desk, this causes him to lose control of his weight and tumble on the floor. The fist hit a rather good place and a moan leaks out of the futsmen’s mouth. The bean sprout guy’s body is light.
「I’ll ask once more」
Shimizu asks a question while glaring at Nishino who was below her.
「The one who put the earnings in my locker, it was you, wasn’t it?」
Her eyes were dyed in anger.
For the one who was asked, he felt more surprise instead of pain.
「Well this is, a woman with a strong core」
「Haa? Why are you trying to act cool?」
Nishino desperately bears the pain in his head, and he slowly stands up. He felt a foreign object in his mouth. Not knowing what it was, he moves his tongue, it was a tooth that fell out. In fact, it was the first premolar tooth on his upper jaw that fell out.
Pe, He spits it out. The expelled tooth makes dry sound as it rolls on the ground. It reached up to the class rep’s feet. It was a Pe done while putting on airs of coolness. It was like the scene of a fight that’d happen in a movie.
However, because the other side was a female classmate, it wasn’t nearly as cool.
Furthermore, the tooth that came out was a baby tooth.
Even then he puts on a cynical pretense.
「…… Honestly, I don’t dislike it」
If his opponent was a male student, then it may have made a picture perfect moment. However, because it was a girl from the same year, it only emphasized his feebleness. The one who hit, huh, am I actually strong in fights? She misunderstood.
「Don’t say those sickinening things, won’t you confess already?」
「No matter how many times you ask the answer won’t change」
Without changing his attitude the fustumen uninterestedly mutters. The cheek that became hot was actually feeling a regular amount of pain. But he endured this, and instead acted like it was nothing. Enduring due to pride is his signature move. A futsumen with an incredibly high fortitude.
「Y, youu……the money, return it!」
Shimzu once again raises her arm.
Surprisingly she had a rather violent disposition.
「You better stop. The same attack won’t work on me」
「Haa!? What cool things are you saying! Don’t joke with me!」
The fist was swung down.
It was a direct hit on Nishino’s cheek, Karon, his tooth once again flies out.
This time it was the first premolar on his lower jaw.
This too was a baby tooth.
All of the futsumen’s baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth.
Receiving the hit, Nishino once again fell to the floor.
He used it before to help Tarousuke, and to help Rose, it was some sort of invisible barrier. In truth, using the same method he should easily be able to protect himself from a fist. But on the other hand, the fist that was thrown would easily break.
However, there is no way he’d rely on that in a quarrel with a classmate.
As a result he turned into this unshapely sight.
「To fall when hit by a woman, you really are the worst. You bean sprout!」
「You too, to make me fall on my knees. Be proud 」
「What was that? You’re seriously annoying me」
Shimizu places her foot on the face of Nihsino who was lying on the ground.
Currently, the cheek that was hit is being stepped on from the top.
Thanks to that he had a perfect view of her panties.
A pitiful voice escapes the crushed mouth.
The meat of his cheek is squished.
It’s not as if Nishino had a body that surpassed the normal. If it was a competition of physical abilities, he’d in fact fall behind even those of the opposite sex. Furthermore, he’s been the ace of the going-home club since school started, therefore, his stamina and endurance is at the lowest stratum of the school.
He was no comparison for Shimizu who was in a sports club and trained every day.
「Come on, how about saying something?」
「Hyan hohi ha he hohohoho, hoha hi hoho oda」
「I can’t understand what you’re saying!」
Soon after, the pressure on Nishino’s cheek disappears.
As if to think that’s right, she kicks his head with her own foot.
The tip of her indoor shoes hit his brow.
It made a good sound, and the futsumen’s body made a somersault.
「Don’t mess with me! As if someone like Nishino can go against me!?」
She yells as she looks down on her classmate that was laying face down on the floor.
With arms crossed, she exuded self-important.
However, there was something Nishino believed in. A fashion he wouldn’t give up, a style or something like that. As if he’d nod his head. He clearly understood, if he nodded here, then it wouldn’t be for his own sake, and neither would it be for her sake.
That’s why instead, he thought.
If it wasn’t me or her who did it, then who did it.
It even became something troublesome as it developed to the point of violence. In order to settle this problem, he had to find the culprit, and their confessin was indispensable. Today’s matter had also made the fine play by Takeuchi-kun yesterday turn into nothing.
That’s why with all his might, the futsumen thinks in a futsumen way.
But the situation won’t wait for him.
He has to hurry.
「Don’t stay quiet! Say something ! Oi!」
Shimizu lost her usual girly way of speaking.
In the same class as Nishino and being the number one masochist in the school year, Kosuke Jukumoto said. It’s because women are like this that they’re cute. When women kick you like that, or even step on your face, or stomach, or even a boy’s important place, that’s the best feeling.
The fustumen wasn’t of the same sentiment.
That’s why, he had to think of a solution as fast as possible.
「Oii! Did you hear me!?」
「There something, I want to ask」
While tottering on his feet, he opens his mouth.
He was covered in wounds.
「Was the lock locked?」
When asked, Shimizu’s face distorts.
「Of, of course I didn’t forget to lock it!」
「I see. Then you locked it」
Her face went red from the shame and anger, it was a person who was easy to understand. If she’s hit where it hurts, then she immediately loses her composure. In response she raises her fist, but it stops as Nishino glares.
「The lock, it, it’s not like……」
A more gili rash manner of speaking returned to Shimizu.
Attacking while the enemy is unguarded, that was likely the intention of those words.
「In other words, the person opened the lock, put the money in the locker, and locked it up again」
「Haa!? Are you trying to make fun of me!?」
「No. It’s because I believe in class rep, that in order to carry this out this topic has to be brought up. There nothing other than that. If you feel that I’m mocking you, it’s only because class rep feels responsible」
「However, in that case we won’t be able to catch the culprit」
「Wh, wh, what do you think you’re saying!」
Shimizu’s fist once again hits Nishino’s face.
It was a direct punch at his face.
Having just managed to stand, he was back on the floor.
「I’m, not, joking with you, you’ll send me to the hospital……」
Shimizu was swallowed by rage.
It was terrifyingly powerful.
She was in a state were she was considering whether to take more than 2 teeth from her classmates. In her mind, the futsumen below her should be obeying her. After hitting, and hitting, and hitting that bean sprout guy, his will should already be one of complete obedience.
At this point it’s irrelevant if Nishino is the one who stole the money or not.
If all the crimes are blamed on this bean sprout guy then everything will be fine.
However, Shimizu is in an armed struggle. She is the type of woman to speak with her fist before her words. And in her head she already made her decision. The current her is the type of user that if in a game in an arcade, there was a CPU she just couldn’t beat, then she’d continually press the same punch button.
「Well, calm down. It’s not like I’m trying to joke around」
But even then, Nishino who responded to her kept calm.
However, his body is covered in blood. And his nose continues trickling bleeding.
It seems he’s approaching his limits.
「Do you want to be hit that much? Are you a masochist?」
「If I had to chose then it’d be sadist」
Being suddenly asked that, Nishino reflexively answers.
「If you were hit by a woman from behind, you’d probably be squealing」
It’s not like the normal Nishino is a sadist or a masochist, his mouth just answered with what it wanted. Since he’s always cracking jokes at Marquis and Francisca, it became a conditioned reflex that only lets out worthless words.
Thanks to that Shimizu once again raises her fist to the air.
「You, it’s about time you die!」
At this moment Nishino, awakened.
He been hit so much, that he finally became able to see his opponents fist. He catches the fist that was aimed at his nose in his sight. In a fraction of a second as it was about to hit his skin, however, he judged that it was within his ability to deal with.
Just before it hit, the futsumen dodged.
He only tilted his head a bit.
The fist grazed his cheek as it passed by the side of his head. The wind by his ears was blown away, it displayed just how much force was on the fist. Why was that so, it was because the class rep was in the swimming club. Everyday for a few hours she forges her arms while paddling through the water, and the strength was not like a womens.
「Don’t dodge it!」
Naturally, it was the furious Shimizu.
It was then that Nishino declared with a self-satisfied look.
「Didn’t I say it? The same attack won’t work on me」
「It already worked a number of time!」
A fist is immediately put in his stomach, and Nishino once again became depressed.
With both hands on his stomach, he drops to his knee.
「Ku, something of this degree」
He appeared to barely be holding his ground.
But this time he doesn’t fall over.
He managed while feeling a bit nauseous.
At the same time, with both hands he grabs her hand. With his left and right hand on both wrists of his opponent, he seals her movement. In this case, the next logical action would be a kick to the crotch. Having predicted this before hand, he guards his penis by pigeon toeing.
As he expected, it wasn’t long before Shimizu’s kick came. Her foot stopped at his knees, it didn’t hit a vital spot, and he didn’t fall on the floor. As he didn’t have much meat, the kick hit his bone, and it was the class rep who had a pained expression.
It was the notification of the end of the battle.
「Wai!? Wh, what’re you doing」
「…… I told you to wait」
Nishino was putting on airs while talking, but with his appearance it was very pitiful.
Above all the pigeon toeing was unattractive.
It was the ultimate uncoolness.
However, the fustumen that spoke had a very serious expression.
「What class rep is thinking of, I don’t know. But, if you want to know who plotted against you, then for now stay still and listen to me. In that way I’ll be able to understand you, and the person you want」
「Are you still saying that? Maybe I didn’t hit you enough?」
「You don’t want to know the real culprit?」
「…… What’s, with that」
「I asked if you saw the face of the person who stole the earnings, and put it in class rep’s locker. How about it? If class rep wants, I can expose everything that happened here」
「No way, y, you’re not lying are you……」
「I’m not lying」
Nishino says to Shimizu with their noses close enough to touch.
A whisper that didn’t want to speak.
Covered in blood.
Covered in drool.
Covered in mucus.
It was a proposal by the unsightly futsumen after being repeatedly hit.
◇ ◆ ◇
While Nishino was abducted by Shimizu and being beaten up, Tarosuke was killing time in the cafe of class 2-A. As the missing person was carried off before his eyes, he had nothing to do.
「Fuun? Together with Shimizu-san, was it?」
In the two seat table, Rose was facing him.
On top of the table, the recently poured tea had smoke rising. Besides it was a cake as a snack. As Shimizu made it herself, it’s flavor was guaranteed, it was a stock she was proud of.
「By the way, why are you here?」
「He requested it」
「…… Nishino did?」
Tarousuke tilts his head in doubt.
「Eeh, his hands are tied, so he asked me to be your company」
He takes a gulp of the black tea in his cup, and sips without making a sound.
That mannerism could make a lovely picture. It was overwhelmingly ikemen like.
「However, for him to be together with her, it’s out of my expectations」
「What, it’s just his resourcefulness as a man」
「Did he have that sort of resourcefulness, honestly, I can’t see it」
「You, aren’t you the same as Nishino?」
「What of it?」
「It was just something I was curious about」
「…… Is, that so?」
Tarosuke spoke in quite an indifferent attitude.
Hearing this, the awkward smile on Rose cramps up. The finger that carrying the tea cup froze, and a small unpleasant sound comes from the party that was held. Looking closely, it was possible to see cracks.
Without noticing, the ikemen continues his words.
「By the way, did you hear about what’s happening?」
「No, I didn’t hear anything」
「I made a promise with the representative here. To not cause trouble」
He speaks while looking at the surrounding seats.
At this moment, there was no empty seat inside the cosplay cafe, it was a full house. And so, everyone who visited noticed Tarusuke and Rose, and there was an odd atmosphere there. This didn’t apply only to the customers, but also the employees who were going back and forth from the hall.
「Then it’d be best if you leave. How about I look over the item?」
「This is something I browsed from Nishino. It’s only polite to return it to Nishino」
「It’s quite admirable from the one who started a quarrel with the mafia over a bar fight. Or could it be your habit was fixed in the last incident? Your feces and urine scattering while begging for your life, eeh, it was certainly a rare opportunity.」
「A gag order was placed, but in this world, there’s no absolute you know?」
Rose spoke with a great smile.
「Th, that your in the same business, isn’t a lie right?」
Before he realized, Tarousuke began panicking.
It seems he made light of her because of her lovely appearance.
「And I’ll say this now, I’m not as easy as him」
It was one a few days back, that he saw such a smile on a certain unknown latin man. With a knife thrust at his neck, the face he had, was a smile as if something was funny, it was an unfamiliar smile. These past few days, it was now a smile he saw every day in his dreams.
And that very same smile was now on the one at the opposite side of the table.
It was a very young girl with that face plastered on.
Being reminded of the fear, Taroaukse’s shoulders shiver. No matter how many times he tried to forget, he remembered it every time he shut his eyes. Just last night, the event of the day replayed in his dream. When he woke up, it was 3am and he was covered in sweat.
「If you understand, do you want to hand that over? You’re bothering the other visitors」
「…… I, I’ll wait until the black tea cools down」
「I hope it cools down quickly」
From here after, Tarousuke said nothing more.
◇ ◆ ◇
The first thing Nishino does after escaping Shimizu’s power harassment, is head to the lockers near class 2-A. There he’ll confirm the state of the lock she used. The key should be in the student’s possession and they are all different.
Near the locker, the place is overflowing with students’ trying to get a glimpse of Tarousuke. Thanks to this, even if he squatted, the most hated person in the school won’t be noticed by the other students.
「…… How is it?」
Shimizu asks Nishino with an inquisitive expression.
「With just a bit of study, It’d be possible to unlock it with two hair pins」
「You aren’t lying?」
「Then should I open it right now?」
What the pair was looking at was the padlock that was hanging on the locker.
It was a regular lock that could be bought at the neighboring hundred yen shop.
「That’s, a, aren’t you actually the culprit……」
「It’s because I can easily do it, that anyone else can also do it. If you want I can even teach class rep right now. If you have an hour then you’d be able to unlock it on your own, how about it? I’d advise you to do it when you have spare time」
「…… Fine. Continue」
They continue in whispered voices in order to avoid letting others hear.
「There really are a lot of people here. Let’s change the location」
「Eeh, I also thought that. If we’re going then let’s hurry」
After confirming what was needed, the two hurry and escape.
And in front of them again was the preparation room, or now known as the cosplay room. They only moved a few meters. Soon after the door was opened, it immediately shut. It’s locked from the inside so that there are no worries of others coming in.
It’s then that he asks Shimizu a question.
「Where is the one who was in charge of the money?」
She became gloomy as she answered along with a bitter face.
It was only natural since their position from yesterday were flipped. The earning that had some money taken was in her locker. If by chance this was exposed, her position within the school would nosedive. Depending on the situation it can even be right next to Nsihino.
It’s because of that, that she is now depending on his words.
「People keep going in and out of the classroom, don’t they? It’d be bad if I carelessly left it and something happened, so I decided to manage it in this room. Since there are almost no people entering into this room compared to the class. And I can also lock it when I want」
「It wasn’t locked when I entered?」
「It’s because of the morning sales that I decided to that. At the time we had to change I unlocked it and told everyone. So, I was the one managing the key. By the way, when the girls are changing I lock it from the inside」
She takes out the key from her skirt’s pocket.
「Isn’t that monitored in the staff room?」
「That’s right. I’m borrowing it for the culture festival」
「Splitting the morning and afternoon earning isn’t a bad idea. As expected of class rep」
「…… Do you want to be hit again?」
The class rep makes a fist and prepares for a war.
Nishino ignores this and indifferently continues.
「In that case, the culprit also managed to unlock and enter here」
「Then, can you open this one with two hairpin?」
「No, it’s impossible with the class doors in this school. At least for an ametaer」
「Wait, what’s with that」
「If it’s a disk cylinder or a pin cylinder with no anti picking installed, then an ametaur wouldn’t have much trouble unlocking it. However, the doors to these rooms are installed with a rotary disk cylinder」
「Haa? What’s that」
「If it’s an old rotary disk cylinder than it’s possible, but from the size of the keyhole, is at least something from 13 years after the heisei era. I’m not an expert, so I don’t know the details, but I heard it’d be difficult even for a pro」
The futsumen felt a bit better as he expelled his knowledge.
A few months ago, he heard from Marquis the story of a pro who went down the path of the key.
「And so, to unlock it you’d need a pick, the appropriate tension, and a special tool」
「You, have you seen any movies or dramas?」
Nishino looked straight at Shimizu and asked.
Speaking of the person himself, he visits the video rental shop once every two or three months and picks out old masterpieces or whatever’s the topic of the conversation.
As for the one that was asked, she had no clue what he was saying.
Shimizu has no choice but to watch the drama’s that are popular. Once a month she confirms the chart of japanese and western films, and she watches all the ones that will likely become a topic.
「…… I do, but what about it?」
「There should be scenes with a thief that’s using something that looks like a dentist probe right? A scene where they stick it in the key hole and move it around」
「Eeh, there are」
「To say it bluntly, pro’s also need that. And they also need time」
「The students should be thankful for this schools high security」
Shimizu patiently listened to Nishino’s explanation.
Hearing things that she didn’t know of, had at least made her somewhat impressed. To her, knowledge is something important and it directly correlates with a person’s value.
「To try to force open the door in such a conspicuous place, during the culture festival, and with their goal being money, even pros would hesitate. If they were caught by a teacher then an explanation would be demanded」
「But, if it’s like that then how…….」
It looked like she truly didn’t know.
「There also isn’t a veranda on this classroom is there? So they can’t enter from the outside」
「It’s possible that after you brought the money here in order to manage it, that someone else came in. Doubting your classmates is difficult, but can you tell me if there’s anyone you think it could be」
「I was the last one to enter」
「…… Is that so?」
「After coming here to manage the money, I left and locked the door, I have no memory of unlocking it after that. And I always had the key with me. That’s why we didn’t change costumes in the afternoon yesterday. Weren’t we maids the whole time? 」
As I though it’s no good without me, those were Shimizu’s true thoughts. Something she couldn’t say in front of her classmates. Class 2-A though they were pumped for the culture festival, but the passion she had for it was several steps higher.
While admiring her earnest stance, Nishino continues.
「I see, then that means……」
「After leaving the money, I didn’t come to check it again」
「What time did you confirm it was missing」
「When you were called over the broadcast, so around 4……」
「Is that so……」
「Well, if we don’t hear anything, the situation won’t change will it?」
After beginning the interrogation, it wasn’t long before Nishino hit a wall.
He declared he’d find Shimizu the real culprit, however, in truth he had no idea who it could be. It was with his quick wittedness that was able to calm down his opponents anger, but at this rate he’ll be beat up.
Now then, what to do.
The futsumen though with all his might, after all, he didn’t want to be hit again. Think. He already obtained several hints. A lock that anyone could open, and a lock that not everyone can open. And finally, the room dedicated to the money that can’t be entered.
「…… Hey, do you have any idea?」
「Sorry, I was thinking」
「And? Who’s the culprit? I’m the one that explained it, but I’m starting to feel it’s impossible. And don’t all the things you’ve been saying make you suspicious」
「Is it fine if I check something?」
「It’ll just be a waste of time」
「It’s to investigate something that has to do with this」
「I’ll wait five minutes」
Shimizu says as she looks at the watch on her arm.
With a reluctant nod, Nishino begins his investigation on the cosplay room.
Several student desks are lined up, and on the other end is a larger teacher’s desk. Clothing was spread on top of all of them. There were locked bookshelf with all sorts of documents inside on all sides. Behind the glass, the thick files were lined up.
It’s called the student guidance room, but it’s more like a place to store documents.
Even in normal days Nishino has never seen a student come in or out of this room. It really is just an empty classroom with book shelves and lockers meant to store things. The dust that accumulated on the pile at the corner also signified that people rarely enter.
「I don’t think anything will come even if you investigate」
「Certainly there’s nothing like that here」
「Then how about giving up and confessing」
「Come on, will you do it!」
Shimizu asked while strengthening her tone a bit.
To her, the culprit couldn’t be anyone but Nishino.
It couldn’t be anyone else.
If it’s about stealing the money, then regardless of Nishino, there was a chance the culprit was from someone outside of the school. However, because the envelope only held some of the money and it was in her locker, the possibility of it being someone from the outside was no longer valid.
Furthermore, she was the one that came in contact with the envelope.
Therefore she had to privately deal with this.
In more concrete terms, burdening Nishino with the lost money, and with him stealing it, everyone in class 2-A would be able to share this opinion. If she present this to the school, she’ll be able to survive and remain on the top of the school caste.
To her, whether Nishino did it or not, it no longer mattered.
What’s important is to protect herself.
If she’s at the top of the caste, then she’ll be able to survive her school life.
But her current outlook was bleak.
It isn’t as if she doesn’t feel any pain, but she has to move.
「Explain it properly! Who and how was the money stolen? Heyy!?」
As a result her way of asking also had some desperateness mixed in. But if Nishino spread the truth, that is the future she fears the most. She instinctively takes out her hand. What’s important is to make the futsumen in front of her completely obedient.
However, Nishino’s resolute attitude does not collapse.
「There’s one last thing I want to ask」
「When class rep came to leave the money, was there someone with you? If the room was shut after that, then it’s only that instant that the money could’ve been taken」
「Someone together with me?」
「Aah, were you by yourself at the time? If that’s the case, then the money must’ve been taken before it came into the room. However, if that’s true, then it’ll be even more difficult finding the culprit」
「I, I made sure to check the contents. It was definitely in there!」
「Then, where you with someone else?」
「Umm, at that time, I’m sure I was…..」
Receiving Nishino’s question, Shimizu think’s back on yesterday.
If her memories are right-
「…… together with Rose-chan」
Click, Nishino felt a puzzle piece come into place in his head.
A small smile forms on his mouth.
「B, but, there’s no way she’d steal it right? At that time, the clothes she was wearing was a high class brand, even at school she sometimes has a handkerchief or accessories, those aren’t things you can get by stealing a student’s earnings」
「Was she really wearing such good things……」
「Don’t say those things lightly of other people, can you stop? It’s unpleasant」
「That way of apologizing also isn’t good」
「However, if there’s no one else you think of, then we first have to suspect Rose. Even if the culprit is someone else, we may still be able to get some information. Furthermore, I also can’t help but think she’s suspicious now」
「Hey stop that! This isn’t going anywhere!」
Shimizu didn’t want to get even the neighboring class involved.
If they did that, Shimzu was scared of the chance that they’d retaliate. And the other party is also the school madonna. In order for Shimizu to maintain her rank in the caste, that is an opponent she is no match for. Her opponent was an existence that sat at the top of the pyramid.
She really began panicking now.
A part of her also began to think it was suspicious.
However, Nishino was not going to wait.
「Let’s go confirm it」
He immediately turns around and begins walking.
「Where are you going!? Wait!」
「Don’t worry about that just follow me. If not then I’ll leave you behind」
「T, this guy…..」
Nishino left the room.
With no choice, Shimizu follows after him.