|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2435 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1077 words|
Leaving the expansive bath, I dried my hair and was about to get dressed when I made a sudden realization. The jersey I’d brought with me had vanished. Memories of past bullying flitted through my mind, but I knew the culprit was someone in this room.
“Ohoho, Kotochan? Is something the matter?”
“The culprit’s been found. It’s you, isn’t it?”
Ayaka, the first to address me, immediately becomes my prime suspect, although she denies it. Of all the people here, Ayaka is the most likely to pull something like this. What’s more, the clothes she’s holding confirm my suspicions.
“I can get angry now, right?”
At this point, my stress has been accumulating. I managed to let off some steam during the tag-chase game, but Ayaka’s been messing with me since the beginning of this field trip. Coupled with the stress of revisiting painful memories, I’m nearing my breaking point. Isami is conspicuously distancing herself from me.
“Oh, what’s this? You don’t have a change of clothes. How about you try on these that I—”
“Enough of this nonsense.”
People often say that I go quiet when I’m angry. As a result, they might converse with me, unaware of my irritation— a convenience that suits me well. After all, it means my target will approach me without caution.
“Where are my clothes?”
“Um, I had one of your schoolmates take them to your room…”
“You’re going to take responsibility for this. Now hand that over.”
I’ll decide how you’ll atone for this. Ayaka hesitantly hands me a pure white dress. It’s a garment that would suit someone with a gentle disposition— decidedly not me. It’s odd to admit it, but I’m more of the athletic type.
“I’m going to wear this, but Ayaka, you’re going out in that bath towel.”
“You’ve been playing tricks, so it’s only natural that you face some consequences.”
I don’t actually plan to make her do it. A public appearance in just a bath towel would be a media sensation for an actress like her. She’d probably be branded as a pervert. Nevertheless, I’m free to make my point. Ayaka looks at me with tearful eyes, but I’m not ready to forgive her just yet.
“She’s just normally mad, so she’ll forgive you after some time.”
According to Isami, there are two ways I get angry. What she calls ‘normal mad’ occurs when I get angry about everyday stuff and can’t hold back anymore. ‘Serious mad’ is when I’m angry about family-related stuff, and no one should come near me in that state. My classmates have experienced both, but it seems like they’re really afraid of the latter.
“And Kotochan, lighten up please.”
“You know exactly what I hate, don’t you?”
“We’ve been together for a long time, after all. Ayaka was definitely in the wrong this time.”
Even I have things I don’t like. This situation is a good example. There are times when I give up and just accept it, but what happened today was all for Ayaka’s amusement; she’s the only one enjoying this. The others might react to me wearing this, but hiding my clothes is crossing the line.
“What did I do wrong?”
“First, you hid her clothes. Second, you blatantly prepared different clothes. And Kotochan doesn’t like those clothes. Don’t you remember how she suddenly got mad when we made her cross-dress?”
“The same as that time, huh.”
I really held myself back that time. In the end, I felt better after being compensated, but this time there’s no benefit for me at all. There’s a limit to how much I can bear people toying with me. Everyone has their limits, and I’m no exception.
“Kotochan, that punishment will really affect Ayaka’s reputation, so can I ask for a penalty reduction?”
“Well, you have helped me a ton. I’ll allow it.”
“Ran, thank you~”
“Ayaka, settle down already. Your highs and lows are too extreme; you’re exhausting me.”
“I’ll restrain myself. But I don’t regret it!”
“Reflect on it, you idiot!”
I reflexively whipped her with my soaked towel. A dry towel wouldn’t do much damage, but what happens when you’re slapped with a towel heavy from water absorption? The result: Ayaka’s scream reverberated in the dressing room.
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“You deserved that, you idiot.”
“Kotochan’s pretty merciless today.”
How long do you plan on keeping your distance from me? You’re one of my targets too, Isami. The only two people who directly bothered me on this field trip are Ayaka and Isami. I’m aware my field trip experience hasn’t been like a normal high schooler’s.
“Tch, I guess you really won’t be that easy.”
“I’m not going to jump into a trap I know would hurt, like some child, you know.”
No, you’re acting exactly like a child. I have no memory of you ever acting adult. I always get dragged into trouble, but naturally, there are times when I act to get revenge. Isami knows my limits, so she knows the perfect timing to escape.
“Stop groaning and change already, idiot.”
“K-Kotochan, so harsh.”
I’m in a bad mood, after all. Still, the fact that nobody is helping Ayaka when I’m doing this much really exemplifies our relationship. The only reason Ran helped her was because it would affect their work otherwise. The place where the towel hit her is all red; is that okay?
“That much will heal in time. A little pain should teach her a lesson.”
“True. Okay, let’s go now. The boys are probably already drinking.”
This is based on personal experience. My classmates don’t know how to wait. It’s not everyone, but 80% of them move to the beat of their own drum. It’s exactly why many of them have the potential to go big. I can’t deny that they can excel.
“Kotone’s gone crazy!?”
I vigorously opened the door to the room prepared for us, and this was the first thing out of my mouth, so I can’t blame Shinpachi for his reaction. Incidentally, we have a room for ourselves thanks to Datte’s thoughtfulness. It’s also a safety measure since we’d definitely cause trouble in a public space.
“Be thankful that I led the cheer to start this program.”
“Who was it, who cornered Kotone to this point?”