It was embarrassing that I cried loudly today unbefitting of my own age. The fact that I would cry so loudly like a kid was…
We gathered at lunchtime, and they couldn’t associate with me anymore. When I was told that I had to cancel our outing, I was filled with emotions I couldn’t contain and cried. How long had it been since I cried loudly like a child?
It made me fully realise how important, how essential and how much of a moral support everyone and my outing with everyone was.
What would a good adult think about playtime between children, especially young ones? But to me, that connection with everyone, that promise, was more important than anything. That was carved into my soul. And it was all too late.
By the time you realised, the important things vanished. That was a common cliche. I had heard many similar, though not exactly the same, lines.
You might think “What is this pointless quote?”. Even I thought that… but… When I was finally in that position, I finally understood the meaning and depth of that phrase. You only realised what was important when you lost it. To me, my friendship, connection, and outing with everyone… were more important than anything.
My field of view was getting blurry again. I tried to bear it and fell onto my bed.
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Gqvla vbyv, ol olal vyjld yoyu cu vbl kdpvawnvsap kd vbl dyxl sq rasvlnvksd yde olal yzz pldv bsxl yv dssd. Mblu olal rascyczu vbkdjkdt vbyv ol nswzed’v nyzx esod qasx vbyv pkvwyvksd, ps vblu nyzzle lynb sq swa qyxkzklp, vblu rknjle wp wr, yde ol oldv swa plryayvl oyup.
Rv zssjle zkjl lhlausdl qasx ekqqlaldv qyxkzklp bye clld vsze dsv vs yppsnkyvl okvb xl. Gde kd vseyu’p qwpp, vbl vlynblap bye nsdvynvle vbl rlsrzl obs bye nsxl vs rknj wp wr, vlzzkdt vblx vbyv R oyp vblal.
R’e rascyczu… cl tlvvkdt qyavbla yde qyavbla qasx lhlausdl. Rv oyp wdxkpvyjyczl vbyv vblu’e pyu psxlvbkdt yqvla ol tsv bsxl vseyu.
…nsxl vs vbkdj sq kv, vblu xldvksdle Fyvwaeyu’p ryaldvp’ yppsnkyvksd xllvkdt. Jwv xu ryaldvp byed’v tsdl swv sd Fyvwaeyu yv yzz. Ebyv kq… xu ryaldvp olald’v nyzzle? Yyucl nsxxwdknyvksd bye pvsrrle psxloblal sa vblu olald’v nyzzle sd rwarspl. Gdubso, kv zssjle zkjl xu ryaldvp byed’v tsdl vs vbyv.
Rd vbl qkapv rzynl, xu ryaldvp oswzed’v cl vbkp dsdnbyzydv kq vblu yvvldele vbl ryaldvp’ yppsnkyvksd. R eked’v jdso obyv vblu olal vyzjkdt ycswv yv vbl ryaldvp’ yppsnkyvksd, cwv kq xu xsx blyae ydu olkae awxswap obld pbl yvvldele, pbl’e kxxlekyvlzu xshl psxlbso. Pke vbl qynv vbyv pbl eked’v es vbyv xlyd xu ryaldvp eked’v nyal?
Fbswze R alrsav kv qsa dso…? R oyp pnyale ycswv bso xu ryaldvp oswze alynv, cwv… kv’e cl osapl kq R eked’v pyu yduvbkdt.
Nlv’p cakdt vbkp wr okvb xu ryaldvp ewakdt ekddla. Mbkdjkdt vbyv, R vbld nszzlnvle xu vbswtbvp sd bso R’e cakdt kv wr.
At dinner, I started telling mom and dad about the parents’ association meeting.
“Father, mother… it seems that there was a parents’ association meeting last Saturday. There…”
“You do not need to say anymore.”
I looked at mom, who cut off my sentence… and jumped.
“I already know that there was much foolish behaviour… at the parents’ association meeting that our own family was not invited to. You do not need to worry, Sakuya.”
Scary… extra scary… she’d completely snapped… my dad was eating in a cold sweat as if believing that he should’ve just let sleeping dogs lie.
It looked like they knew about the parents’ association meeting from some source. I still didn’t know what had happened at the meeting, but maybe my parents had received information about that. What had happened must have been quite irritating to our family.
When did my mom come to know of that, and what would she do from now on? I didn’t know that. But… if my mom had snapped already, she wouldn’t have finished this peacefully anymore. What would happen from now on… How was the Kujou family, with all of its initial plans failed, going to react…?
As expected, this wouldn’t become an all-out war, but… it’d be great if this didn’t put up any destruction flags for the Kujou family, but…
On Tuesday morning, I didn’t have the same easy life as being ignored whenever I was trying to greet someone. People either ran away from me at full speed or looked at me like I was a criminal.
It was pointless… I had already become the bad guy. I too was shown the edited video that was played, and that editing was perfect. You’d definitely react like that just from seeing this video.
In the academy, it was clear that I resented the righteous Kuwahara Katsura, who put up a wall newspaper to show the full truth. I then pushed him out of the academy and used violence against him on the day before he left the school.
Some people must’ve been there when I was attacked, but almost no one had seen the bit when I was going to get hit. If they only saw me exchanging attacks with him, making him fall over, and subduing him, they’d definitely think that the full story must’ve been something along those lines.
I was on a bed of thorns, but I still headed to the classroom. The usual people—my classmates who came early—were there. But those classmates all ignored me.
My classmates must’ve known that the wall newspaper article, or at least the part about Nishigori Yanagi, was a lie. Even so, they still ignored me. The fact that I drove Kuwahara Katsura to expulsion and used violence against him wouldn’t go away.
It also hurt that even the influential families blew things out of proportion at the parents’ association meeting. If the parents ordered their children to be cautious of something, the children would probably avoid it. This was a school for well-mannered children, after all. There would be a lot of kids who’d follow their parents’ orders.
“Satsuki-chan, greeti-… oh…”
Suddenly… like usual… I greeted Satsuki-chan as I walked in front of her seat. But Satsuki-chan awkwardly averted her gaze and didn’t respond to me.
I wasn’t going to blame Satsuki-chan. It must’ve been painful for her to be stuck between her wants and her family’s wants. I knew that Satsuki-chan didn’t want to ignore me.
Rather, the fact that I called out to her made Satsuki-chan feel quite a bit of pain. I didn’t want to do that, but… my actions only gave Satsuki-chan pain.
I apologised quietly to Satsuki-chan and headed to my own seat. I was really careless… I just made Satsuki-chan suffer for nothing. If I wasn’t careful from now on… I was alone. I was alone. It was fine. I was alone in the beginning, so… it was nothing.
But as I stayed there staring into space without doing anything, the students coming into school increased. There weren’t many people who greeted me in the first place, but… it seemed that no one was greeting me anyway. And I could hear them saying all kinds of things.
I had an argument to counter each and every one of them. But my opponents wouldn’t listen to those arguments. But it wasn’t like I didn’t understand my opponent’s arguments.
From my point of view, I pinned down Kuwahara Katsura because he attacked me. I could argue that I was using legitimate self-defence against someone who attacked me. But whether that was true or not wasn’t related to the other arguments.
Everyone wasn’t just saying that I knocked and pinned down Kuwahara Katsura. A first-grade young lady beat up a fifth-grade boy. From that, people were saying that I was a violent girl or a delinquent.
Wasn’t it okay to knock over an opponent in self-defence? The problem was that I fought with an older boy as a young lady and easily won against him.
If I suffered any wounds from getting hit, I might’ve been made out to be a tragic heroine. But since I instead knocked down, pinned down, and hoisted up a guy who attacked me, I was labelled as a savage woman. That judgement wasn’t related to whether it was legitimate self-defence or whether he attacked me.
“Azami-sama, good morning.”
And then… Azami-chan arrived at school. She went in front of me as usual… then didn’t make eye contact with me and walked right past me.
It made my heart ache. It didn’t matter what other people said about me. But… Just this… I couldn’t do anything about this pain. I desperately tried stopping my vision from distorting. I wouldn’t cry in a place like this again.
Satsuki-chan, Azami-chan, Akane-chan, Tsubaki-chan, Yuzuriha-chan, Renge-chan, none of them… none of them made eye contact with me. They didn’t exchange a single word with me…
I didn’t care about other people. I could bear it. But… with everyone…
At lunch… I felt so far away walking alone when I usually gathered with everyone and we all headed excitedly to the cafeteria. Nothing… It was nothing to me…
As I was leisurely walking, I sat down in an empty seat. No one was at our usual seats. It looked like no one had come to the cafeteria. When I sat, the people in my surroundings started whispering.
I’d already gotten used to it. If they wanted to say something, they could go ahead and say it. I didn’t care about that.
I just silently brought tasteless objects to my mouth. Even though I didn’t have an appetite, even though I didn’t want to eat, my body moved as usual over and over again. I didn’t know what I was eating. I just continued dispassionately digesting my food.
Oh… if I was a real kid… I’d probably be acting differently. I was half an adult on the inside, so I could put the breaks on whatever I did. I couldn’t wail or scream.
Why…? What did I do wrong…? Why did it end up like this? What did I, Kujou Sakuya, do?
I wanted to scream and cry out. But I couldn’t do that. The only thing I could do was dispassionately move my hands and mouth.
I walked alone in the hallway where the three of us usually walked together. How long had it been since I’d walked alone to the salon?
When I opened the door and greeted everyone, the gazes directed to me were…
Oh, here too…
In the end, it was the same no matter where I went. They hadn’t actually said anything, but I knew it was still the same at the salon. Those gazes communicated that.
It didn’t matter why I pinned down Kuwahara Katsura. Even though he attacked me, a first-grade girl defeated a fifth-grade boy. That truth alone held a lot of weight.
Then, what should I have done? Should I have just stayed silent and let myself get hit? Would they be satisfied if I was the victim?
If you were attacked and just received said attacks, you were a “victim” to be sympathised with, while if you returned said attacks and turned the tables, you were an “attacker” using violence. It didn’t matter what the law or system defined as “legitimate self-defence”.
For a second, I lost to the overwhelming pressure and was thinking about leaving the salon. But… I couldn’t stay quiet and leave now… Don’t think that I’d stay quiet and obediently submit!
I ignored everyone, entered the salon, and sat in my usual seat. No one called to me. Everyone, who was talking so energetically before, now didn’t open their mouths. The salon had fallen silent.
I accidentally made eye contact with Kaya-san. If it was her… where did that naivety come from? What was I hoping for? The other person was a sixth-grade girl. What was I hoping for with that sort of person?
As soon as my and Kaya-san’s eyes met, she turned away and walked out of the salon.
“Aah… fu… aha!”
I wasn’t disappointed at all. I had to hope to be disappointed. That was why I didn’t hope. I didn’t want anything. That way, I wouldn’t fall into despair or hopelessness…
“Fu… fufu, ahahaha!”
Every day, I went to the academy, attended my lessons, then went home. I went to the academy, attended my lessons, then went home. I went to the academy, attended my lessons, then went home! Went, attended, got home! Went, attended, got home!
I heard Momiji’s voice. Was it already morning? How many minutes had I slept?
“Lady Sakuya, were you not able to sleep today again? Perhaps you should not attend the aca…”
“It is not a problem. Not attending school is a sign of slacking off.”
“It is not a problem.”
It had been a week since then, and the academy was starting again on Monday. Many people didn’t want to go to school or work on Monday. Those feelings were just laziness. I went to the academy, attended my lessons, and went back home. That was it. There was nothing else. I didn’t need anything else.
I didn’t need to think about anything. I just had to repeat the same actions, again and again, every single day. Any monkey or incompetent person could do that.
It was just another week at the academy starting today. That was it.