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56. Recuperation Time ☆↑↑
Cup Noodles. A lifesaver for those who couldn’t cook, plus it could be kept for a very long time. In short, an excellent instant food. Whenever you couldn’t be bothered to step outside, you would be screaming ‘Oh right, I have ‘that’!’, in relief.
What a groundbreaking product this is……. I couldn’t help but compliment you. If not for you, I’d be eating some corned beef or some SPAM which is been so overpriced these days. I mean, it’s delicious either way, but…
“…This is the best.”
Cheese seafood….. Do you plan on killing me on top of my cold? The inside of my mouth feels so spicy. Does this actually help against my cold? At this rate, I can’t head to school again… Ah, my nose is running. Where’s my tissue…
It was a weekday’s noon ───my running nose and cough still hadn’t been under control, thus with ‘cold’ as justification I got a day off school. My head didn’t hurt anymore. I did still have a faint fever, but at least my body didn’t feel as sluggish anymore.
A gentle mechanical sound came from the new gaming console I booted up. Looking at the sight on the home screen, a feeling of euphoria swelled within my body, and once again my body warmed up.
Ahh, a lifestyle that’s good for my body…
I forgot my feeling of guilt, just letting my body drown in laziness, when my phone vibrated. Looking over, I had gotten a new message.
Who’s bothering me right now?
【Sajo-chi, you alive~?】
Ah, sorry about that, Ashida.
It’s already lunch break over there, right? She probably must be considerate of me, contacting me even during this time. But wait, should I even respond to that? She might think badly of me if I said I was slurping up cup ramen and playing video games. I guess, I should show that I’m still so sick as a thanks, and call it a day.
【It’s wonderful to be alive】
I feel like I just made a mistake.
No response. Just more and more ‘Read’ numbers to my reply───eh, wait a minute? Oh my, I accidentally sent that in the group chat! And now everyone can read it…
【Definitely not sleeping】
【Must be having fun】
Oi, Iwata, Iihoshi-san, Yamazaki.
Don’t remind me about math, my headache is gonna come back to haunt me.
No, it’s fine… you don’t need a good memory for math, even those who suck at that can get high grades. That’s how much of a miraculous subject it is. Much easier to study than reading through walls of text.
It hurts! Just thinking about that is giving me a headache again! Right, now is time to play a mindless game, while looking at the booty of the character! Oi kiddo! Great ass you got there!
Ah, gotta drink my medicine…
I woke up to an odd sound. The TV screen in front of me said ‘GAME OVER’.
Eh, what? This is an RPG…… Wah, it’s the pattern where the conversation rushed on ahead, I was forced into a battle, and got one-shot, huh? Crap, I totally fell asleep… Even while sitting like a monk and fell. Ah, I was drooling even.
Looking at the time, it was getting close to evening.
Once noon passed, I drank my medicine then some juice, and made it to the fourth city in the game, so…. I think around four hours? Thanks to that, I’m feeling much better.
“Al, right…… Hm?”
When I stood up, feeling the sweat on my butt, the doorbell rang. After that, I didn’t hear any more sounds outside my room.
Mom must be out or something… Alright, guess I’ll have to answer.
When I looked at the screen of the door intercom, I saw two girls.
Definitely not Sis. She wouldn’t even ring the doorbell. So that means….. eh? Am I still dreaming? There’s a girl looking exactly like my ideal type, I mean, my Goddess, standing in front of the door… Why? What is this?
It was horrible timing. Right as the two wanted to walk away, I accidentally spoke up. They must have heard my voice, as they approached the camera with their faces.
───Waaaaahhhh! So close! But damn, what is this?! Can I just kiss the screen!? Will that transfer the bacteria!?
…..time to put on a mask.
“So you came.”
“So you came? Don’t give me that!”
What greeted me first after opening the door was a smartphone shoved into my face. Looking at it, I could see the history of messages in the group chat
──Eh? What? What’s the problem here? Why are you look so serious…
“What do you mean ‘It’s wonderful to be alive’, huh!? If you wanted to joke around, then joke around, and end it as a joke!”
“Listen, we were slightly terrified, you know. Leaving just that, how thoughtful you are, Sajou-chi. Your cold started with a faint, how did you think everyone would think?”
I went to get my smartphone, looking at the messages I got. There were countless panicked messages, and several missed calls. It went from ‘That was just a joke, right?’ to ‘Don’t tell me… You’re kidding, right?’ up to ‘This is pretty bad, isn’t it?’.
Bad? Well, it’s bad. What is bad? I was just playing a game, that’s what’s bad…
“Alright, let me just respond….“
【Sorry, fell asleep】
【I’ll kill you】
【Don’t wake up again】
【Your math, is RIP for real】
“You deserved that!”
Those are words you definitely shouldn’t throw at a sick person.
This is getting scary, excuse me, but can I maybe take off two more weeks from school…..? Can’t we get to the summer holiday already…
“For crying out loud… I’m glad Ai-chi knew where you live. Also, why do you even know?”
“T-There’s no special reason for it…! I just asked Yamazaki-kun before!”
“Eh!? You looked it up yourself!? Why!?”
“I had some minor business to take care of here!”
Ah, is she talking about the time she came here before? I’m surprised she asked that despite being aware of the weird rumors that could sprout from it. Also, the guy ‘staying late because of club activity’ was Yamazaki after all?
“Wellー, I must have worried you… Not to mention that you might catch my cold.”
“Humph, I’ll just have you take care of me if that time comes.”
“Yeah, leave it to me. I’ll do whatever you want.”
That’s right, whatever you want… wiping off your sweat, cleaning your body… Mufufufufu──ugh
COUGH!! COUGH!! COUGH!!
Uhh…My throat is still close to dying it seems…! Silence, all you damn germs! And, cease my blood cells! Get away from my lower body!
Before I realized it, Natsukawa and Ashida were both covering their bodies while looking at me.
Umm, maybe my coughing was too gross, even despite me wearing a mask? Ah, is it my face? My face must be gross, right? Come on, I’m the same as always.
“───Y-You’ll do whatever I want…?”
Eh? Natsukawa? What kind of question is that? I mean, what are you allowing me to do? No matter what you wish of me, I’ll do anything it takes. If you want, I don’t mind paying you either.
“S-Sajo-chi, are you still feeling off?”
“No, not as mu—Ah!? W-Well…I’m still a bit under the weather~”
“You seem to be doing just fine. But Sajo-chi, saying things like ‘I’ll do whatever you want’ may give her a heart attack, so stop it.”
I thought that I might get some special service if I said I was still sick, but Ashida was pointing a knife at me with her cold words.
Don’t suddenly act all cold like that… What’s this feeling of distance. Was me offering to nurse you back to health that gross of an idea? What? Are you that proud of how deadly level of gross I am? Because I’m not. Listen, I can even make a porridge if you want? No no, there’s no other intention. Come, dancing rice!
“For crying out loud, don’t say misleading stuff like that!”
Mis—‘Misleading’? What did she get the wrong idea about? Did I make it sound that way…? I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this careful around me.
“W-Well, I figured that we should check at least to make sure… So we came to visit, and maybe peel some apples for you.”
“I don’t need apples, just Haägen-dazs.”
“A sick person shouldn’t be eating ice cream.”
“I-I’ll…just play with Airi instead of you…”
Leaving aside Ashida, I felt like Natsukawa’s attitude had gotten a lot more soft compared to the last time she came here. Well, probably the same case for everybody around her, not just me. She was slowly changing into a popular girl, so much that it started to get tough talking to her at school. I could feel we were slowly living on a different side of the world…
“Oh by the way, the one who said wanting to visit you was Ai-chi~”
I felt something pull on my heart strings.
Somebody travel back in time and push down the me from ten seconds ago, please! I hate myself for doubting Natsukawa even for a second. I’ve always known that Natsukawa was as kind as nobody else.
“What are you talking about… Sheesh!”
“Oh? Oh? You’re still head over heels for Natsukawa huh, Sajo-chi.”
“……? Of course?”
Something’s off. Why would Ashida of all people bring that up now? Well, most people know how I feel about her. Can’t deny that it might have become a running joke for them though.
“Wha… W-What are you talking about!?”
“L-Like I said……”
“Isn’t it a bit too late for that? You’re as cute as always, Natsukawa.”
If there was some grace I was granted despite being rejected over and over, then it was my right to proudly call Natsukawa ‘cute’ as openly as I wanted.
Well, it’s not like it’s hurting anybody to remind her of that. Natsukawa’s cute at any given moment, no doubt, for real.
“Ahh, this might be my fault, my bad. Well, now that we found out you’re still alive, I guess we should leave it at that. Here, some yogurt.”
“Ah, thanks…Wait, you’re leaving already?”
“What, you don’t want us to?”
“I mean, I don’t wanna infect you, so I don’t mind, but……”
As I was left bewildered, Ashida grabbed Natsukawa’s shoulder, giving me an old man’s ‘Hah〜 No fun〜’, and left.
Huh? What’s that about? You taking Natsukawa-san home? I won’t allow that as her father!
Eh? Really? Eh, wait… Ah, they totally are going home…..
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.