|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2434 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1079 words|
Instantly spilling the beans—that’s Isami for you. Seeing how Hajime has his hand over his face, he’s probably grieving the loss of one stopper. In general, Hajime gets the short end of the stick whenever I’m off the leash. Learn from Ran and Nako; they’ve already given up.
“What now, Satoru?”
“That really doesn’t suit you.”
I know. If I put on my social mask, I can behave in a way for the outfit to suit me, but what’s the point in that? I’m already distracting myself by messing around. Who’d adapt to suit an embarrassing outfit like this? I didn’t even want to wear this.
“I feel so exposed; I hate it.”
“I really wanted to see you embarrassed. What a shame.”
“Okay, time to get Ayaka wasted—in more ways than one.”
“It’s your fault for digging yourself a grave. Know when to shut your mouth, even just a bit.”
Agreed. You know full well why I’m angry at you; why are you still taunting me? You’re just adding fuel to the fire. Not knowing when to stop is one of my classmates’ bad habits. Moreover, the one to deescalate the situation is always a caretaker.
“We just started drinking earlier; Datte is going to bring some food here.”
“Damn, my age won’t allow me to drink. I want to drink so bad today.”
“For my mental health. I know you know this, Satoru.”
Being super annoyed, I really want to drink alcohol. Moreover, people are drinking in front of me without any consideration. Having alcohol in my bloodstream would’ve distracted me a bit from reality. But even if I’m given some, I absolutely can’t drink.
“Here, Kotochan. The hors d’oeuvre Datte brought.”
“Thanks for the meal.”
I join my hands and start eating the appetizers Isami just gave me. No one is commenting on how I’m monopolizing the hors d’oeuvre. Normally, this is for multiple people to eat, but this is the usual setup for us.
“Man, seeing Kotochan eat is always so calming.”
“So you think so too, Satoru? We scramble for the food at home, so I don’t really feel the calming factor.”
That place is a battlefield, so it can’t be helped. In the first place, we’ve never held back on each other. If, hypothetically, I don’t eat enough to satiate my hunger, I would have to bow down and beg Teacher for additional food. And the unspoken rule of the Kondou and Okita family is that it’s better to take with all your might than to beg for food.
“Datte, how many servings is that?”
“Probably about four servings? That’s nothing for Kotone.”
“True. Kotone will just casually finish that much.”
Even the two common-sense people, Nako and Datte, have a weird perception of me. But Datte, what’s your basis for saying that? You haven’t been told of my identity yet. Or was there someone who leaked the info? There’s no way he’d easily believe it, though.
“Even I can’t eat more than six servings.”
“Realize that it’s not normal.”
Nako rebuked. Still, was Kotone ever this much of a glutton? I can understand how my existence could’ve affected her appetite, but that shouldn’t affect her body physically. Come to think of it, she was actually chubby at first.
“Why is that similar?”
“Well, about the Kotone before I became Kotone. I was just thinking about how our appetite, or rather the amount of food we eat, is similar.”
Still, she wasn’t overly fat. And I can’t recall the young Kotone being chubby. However, it does look like she started refusing to step on a weighing scale by the time she graduated middle school. That was the second Kotone, though.
“Come to think of it, I haven’t heard anything about the Kotochan before we met you.”
“There’s not even a trace of her old looks left, after all. By the time that we met up.”
Since I move a lot compared to the previous Kotone, I run in the mornings, work part-time, and go grocery shopping. I lived a life completely different from Kotone’s self-indulgent lifestyle. Thanks to that, her body’s all refreshed and has more stamina, all good for me.
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“I wonder what it would be like if Souji and Kotochan met?”
“Nothing special, really. I led her around and she had fun with it. We didn’t do anything too stupid, but I think she enjoyed it plenty.”
I didn’t have much on me, though. The problem back then was how we’d spend the next day. Both me and Kotone had no intention of going home, after all. Which is obvious, because we did run from home. In hindsight, we had a weirdly similar thought process.
“Why are you guys silent all of a sudden?”
While I reminisced about my encounter with Kotone, I noticed that it was suddenly silent. Everyone was just busy talking about past events and the earlier performance until now.
“I never heard about that!”
“Because I didn’t tell you.”
In the first place, Teacher and step-mom gave me a heavy scolding when I got back, and Isami didn’t even dare come close. After that, I was mentally exhausted and went right to sleep. And the next day, Isami forgot to ask about it.
“When was that?”
“High school. Remember, that time when I ran from home?”
“Mrs. Sayoko was scarily mad back then, so it was hard to ask what happened. What age was Kotochan at that time?”
“She was an elementary schooler.”
“This is exactly why I didn’t talk about it!”
I genuinely refuted the boys’ harmonized yell. This is exactly why I didn’t want to tell these guys about my meeting with Kotone. They probably won’t bring it up too much now, but at that time, they’d definitely tease me about it.
“But if I remember right, Souji disappeared after going home from school, right?”
“I went back home to get ready, yeah.”
“In that case, wouldn’t that mean you went out at night?”
“That’d be the case.”
“Shut up! Damn drunkards!”
My appetizer consumption speed has sped up. I’m basically stress eating, after all. Still, this is still mild. They’re only going to get more hyped as the time passes. I want to escape already.