TN : This ch, to be honest, it’s written in a mix of 3rd POV and 1st POV of Aika by the Author. But since 3rd POV seems to fit more. so yeah.
54. The Goddess’ Eyes Opened Wide
Inside the classroom, a girl called Aika couldn’t focus on classes. That was all because she felt some uneasiness deep inside her chest.
She didn’t even need to think about what the reason for this was. After all, this had continued ever since the male student she was familiar with suddenly collapsed to the ground. When he fell over, the loud sound that followed caught her by surprise. Since he let out a stupid voice like always, she thought that he would get up soon after, but he was weird even after that. At about the same time as the panicked teacher, she ran over to him.
”Sajo-chi…!? Hey, Sajo-chi!?”
Her friend Ashida Kei and some other boys from the class called out to him. By the time she made it there, the boys were already supporting his limb body, so she couldn’t see much other than the fact that his head was down, let alone his expression.
Only then after calling out to Sensei did she get to look at his face. His face which usually looked so cheerful, was beet red, looking like he was in pain, and devoid of any energy.
Watching him like that, she felt her chest tightening up, her heart pumping aggressively. And with each beat, her chest felt like it was inflating, to the point she was having a hard time breathing. When she noticed, it was after he was carried off, she had probably stared at him in disbelief. And only after her classmates called out to her, that she realized she had been standing there in a daze.
Will he be okay……
Yearning for some peace of mind, she involuntarily looked over at her close friend. Perhaps, because she was expecting to get the usual ‘It’ll all be fine’ eye contact.
However, even her close friend was only staring at the empty seat in front of her, growing pale.
After the class ended, Aika immediately headed over to the infirmary. Of course, together with her close friend, Kei.
They knocked on the door and entered, to which the nurse Shindou-sensei greeted them. When they talked about the boy who was recently brought over to the infirmary, she must have figured out what their intent was, and explained that he had a simple cold.
Hearing about this, Aika subconsciously let out a relieved sigh.
“ーOh my, that is some great acting.”
When they explained what happened when he collapsed, Shindou-sensei gave an indifferent impression.
Perhaps Aika was the only one who made a big deal out of it after all. Either way, they learned that he wasn’t suffering from some dangerous sickness, which left her relieved again. However, he still suffered from a high fever.
Cleaning her hands with disinfectant and putting on a mask, Aika pushed aside the curtains hiding his bed, and entered through them. She knew very well how expressive his face was every day, but seeing his sleeping face like that was new for her. And seeing him clearly in agony, she realized that he wasn’t feeling well at all.
“Time to go back, classes about to start, right?”
Reminded by Shindou-sensei, they were both pushed onto the hallway again.
Looking at her close friend’s considerate expression, for some reason, she found it to be kind of similar to what she was feeling.
Clearly, he was a fellow classmate. So, would it be rude for her to feel worried in a similar way she had to her little sister? In any case, every time she remembered his condition now, her little sister Airi’s midnight bawling popped up in her head.
He was in the infirmary, with the nurse right next to him. Just by knowing that, Aika felt relieved. She didn’t know why, but it seemed like he was trying to deal with all of his sadness and pain, all on his own. So, knowing that a nurse was watching over him was relieving after all.
Thank god… ───Wait, why am I so worried about him!
It felt like someone from her own family ended up bedridden. The second she realized that, she was wondering for a second if she was seeing him as a member of the opposite sex, which had her face grow hot.
In order to deceive her feelings, Aika called out to her close friend, and thanks to her, she managed to cool down to some degree by the time they got back to the classroom.
They got back right before the beginning of the fourth period. The reason they politely left the infirmary was that there was a danger that they would make too much fuss and wake him up. Besides, of course, being scolded by Shindou-sensei didn’t sound very exciting. Not to mention that Aika was worried that Airi might catch it too if she happened to catch his cold.
With the sense of impatience plaguing and robbing Aika of any ability to focus, the fourth period ended. Although it might seem like the same usual everyday life that she should be used to, she couldn’t help but be conscious of that one empty seat in the corner of the room.
Before she realized it, the chime signaling the end of the class rang.
Being there or not, he always possessed a great presence, for better or worse, so not having him around felt odd. Seeing something missing around the lovable close friend of hers, also felt odd. Really, what were they to Aika?
……W-Wait a second. Leaving aside Kei, why am I even thinking about him───!
Calming down, she realized. Normally, ‘he’ shouldn’t be that important of an existence. Although he had always been around her for quite a time, it was almost constantly a one-sided bother. Even now, she should’ve still been annoyed by this. Yet, he was now occupying most of her thought.
“Waahhh…! So cool……”
Together with a girl’s mutter, the classroom suddenly turned noisy.
With curiosity, Aika raised her head, and noticed someone famous standing at the door to the classroom.
“Hey, umm….. Ashida-san, was it?”
“Y-Yesh…..I-It’s been a while!”
The famous person was Rin Shinomiya-senpai, the current acting president of the disciplinary committee. Standing straight in front of her was Aika’s close friend who was a big fan of hers. Her long high ponytail gently swayed left and right. Seeing her dignified attitude, Aika could somehow understand where the admiration people had, came from.
Maybe, she has a business with Wataru……?
Thinking about the reason why she came to this class, the face of the guy who was currently out cold in the infirmary came into Aika’s mind.
How did she, the president of the disciplinary committee, even get to know him? What business would someone as popular as her have him?
“I’ve something to talk about with Sajou….. But, it seems like he’s not here right now.”
“W-Well, the thing is───”
Within barely ten seconds, she was surrounded by girls. She was treated like a male idol of sorts. Even Aika’s close friend, Kei, was among them… though speaking of hairstyle, Kei was more male-idol-like.
Aika shook her head to rid herself of that wild fantasy. And convinced herself it would never happen.
Kei did possess the male haircut fitting for that, but dressing up as a boy? She was too cute for that. A cute reliable close friend. At the very least, that was what Aika herself felt. The second she went around calling Aika, ‘Ai-chi’, that very idea was doomed to fail. She possessed the gestures and personality of a girl. Not to mention that she showed the face of a ‘woman’ toward Rin Shinomiya-senpai.
While being nervous, it seemed like Kei explained the situation regarding him, who should be sleeping in the infirmary. Shinomiya-Senpai’s expression grew more stern.
Aika who was looking at them, started to feel anxious. But, since it involved him, she thought she shouldn’t just stay still, so she approached the girls.
“── So, Sajou collapsed?”
“And…. this probably hasn’t reached Kaede’s ears either.”
‘Kaede’. Upon hearing that familiar name, Aika started to dwell on it a bit, and remembered. Kaede Sajou. This was the name of his older sister. It seemed that Shinomiya-senpai messaged her before coming here, and she replied like usual. That must have been the reason Shinomiya-senpai judged that Kaede wasn’t informed of her younger brother’s condition yet.
“Hmm…… I’d love to identify that truck, but… we can’t bother with that right now. We’ve just reached lunch break, so── Wait, you both, perhaps…..?”
“Ah, yes… we were about to visit him.”
“We will join you later. You both can go ahead.”
Shinomiya-senpai turned around, and calmly walked away. Every single step she took looked like the walking posture of a dignified martial artist. She must be strong, otherwise, she probably wouldn’t be able to show such a confident aura. She truly looked so cool, and Aika found herself understanding why her friend Kei became a fan of hers. Even the thought of what kind of scenery such a confident person was seeing, came to Aika’s mind for a moment.
“Kei, let’s go.”
Aika pulled on the cheek of her close friend.
After grabbing the boy’s student bag, the two headed over to the infirmary.
“What do you think’s in there?”
Asked Kei with a grin. But as she really planned to look inside, Aika took it from her.
Holding it up, it felt awfully light. It was apparent that he left his textbooks at school. When she shook it lightly, they heard a clanking sound, which probably belonged to his wallet, or a coin bag filled with small change in there.
Just as his phone charger was about to fall out from a small opening, Aika realized how high up she was holding the bag. Her close friend next to her asked with a teasing ‘You gonna open it? Let’s open it~’, to which Aika’s sense of justice kicked in, and she fiercely declined. No matter how frivolous he might be, he still has a right for privacy. And, if there happened to be a ‘questionable book’ in there, she wouldn’t even know what face to make when they next met.
But, he’s a guy, so……No no no! What am I even thinking!
She told herself to calm down over and over. There was no way he would bring something like that to school—or so she wanted to believe. More than that, this wasn’t the time to worry about such a trivial thing either. This part of her was really like ‘the fly in the ointment’. Really, where did the girl go that scolded her many times? She didn’t know.
“──Excuse us…… Hmm?”
When they walked inside the infirmary, the scent of medicine tickled their noses. The school nurse Shindou-sensei was currently absent, and only the water tank with the goldfish inside gave off a faint sound.
Looking through the windows without the curtains closed, the sounds of the rain started to lessen. There were even rain puddles building on the sports grounds outside, and you couldn’t even safely walk on it for now. Aika wondered to herself how the PE class would end up the next day.
Three beds were located in the back of the infirmary. One of these seemed to be inhabited, as the curtains were pulled close. Of course, it was plain obvious who was sleeping there right now.
“Sajo-chi~? You awake〜? …Yeah right, he’s probably still sleeping.”
“Yeah… that must be.”
Even when they called out through the closed curtains, there was no response. Which made sense, of course, silence pervaded the room after all. However, they still did it, probably, because both hoped that he was back to health.
He was breathing roughly. Only about an hour had passed since he passed out….. so he might not have even woken up in-between. He definitely wasn’t back to health for sure.
“We brought your bag for you~ ……Wah.”
“Wah…… ── Eh?”
As Kei called out with a soft voice, she slowly pulled the curtains aside, only to let out a flustered voice while taking a step back. Aika accepted her like that and turned her gaze to the bed visible through the gaps, opening her eyes wide.
It was a white bed like one would see in a hospital. Personally, she didn’t particularly like this. But regardless, she could see he rolled himself up in the blanket.
All while faintly observing the small raindrops running down the window and what lay beyond.
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