TN : Another Aika Natsukawa POV
I’ll post daily again soon, (and this will continue for a while)
74. The Goddess Discovers
Not long after ‘that night’, I felt this sense of discomfort in my chest.
Then, Wataru started talking with a cute brown-haired girl. Her name was Aizawa-san, and Kei was on rather difficult terms with her. Seeing the three of them, it felt like they left me behind and went on ahead. However, shortly after, Kei and Aizawa-san suddenly got along. I felt like there was something happened between them, but at that time, clearly, I was out of the loop.
Those days felt like something was lacking.
Then, our seats changed, with Wataru and Kei sitting further away from me, and the two started talking so friendly. And, something bad grew inside of me at an ‘accelerated’ speed.
───’I also want to be there’.
I thought of getting up and talking to them, but my legs wouldn’t move.
In what way did I even call out to them before? Unable to find the correct way to approach them, I just watched their backs from afar.
Then, some classmates visited my home. Looking at everybody treating Airi very kindly made me happy, but the fact that Wataru suddenly acted strange, and didn’t join in coming to my home had me feel conflicted again. ‘Even though he was always so clingy before’──these irrational feelings built up inside of me.
During the visit, my classmate Sasaki-kun took Airi up in his arms. Airi seemed to be having fun, and yet it felt like something was out of place as I watched them, without thinking much I broke between them.
An odd emotion filled me, something I couldn’t accept…… I immediately understood what that was, but that confused me even more, as I was lost on why I would hold such an emotion. ‘Why? How come?’… A contradiction was born inside of me, along with another frustration.
I just didn’t want Sasaki-kun to be the first person (boy) Airi got along with.
I tried to hide this emotion at all cost, but Kei got angry at me. She knew what I truly felt, and she exposed it to Wataru. Embarrassed, unable to stay there, I just ran away.
With the ridiculous excuse of wanting to overwrite ‘Sasaki-kun’ in Airi’s head, I dragged Wataru to my place. Thinking about it rationally, what I did was pretty ridiculous. Despite me being desperate about not wanting him to meet Airi, I was having weird expectations from him, not that I knew the reasons myself. But, if I didn’t do that, this gloomy and uncertain feeling inside of me wouldn’t go away.
Wataru was really bad at picking up Airi. So I told him the right way to carry her. Airi must have enjoyed that, as she used up way more energy than before, asking Wataru to play with her. Wataru accepting her in that way, and reaching the same line of sight of her, was too funny, I couldn’t hold back my laugh. I did feel a bit guilty towards him, but I was really happy that he played with Airi until she was fully exhausted.
On this day, I felt this sense of discomfort in my chest vanished entirely.
Then, Wataru collapsed. My head turned blank, I couldn’t think about anything. I found myself wishing really hard that nothing serious happened to him. Hearing from the school nurse Shindou-sensei that it was a simple cold, I was relieved. Looking at the energetic Kei grew pale after seeing him break down like that, I grew gloomy. That just showed how much of an important existence Wataru became for ‘us’, and only then did I realize.
For the first time since I became a high school student, summer holidays allowed me to spend more time with my family.
Since I was only working as a culture festival execution committee member two times a week, I enjoyed most of my time with Airi. On my smartphone, on the messaging app, the conversations in our group chats kept going on until late. Wataru would join in here and there, and seeing him retorting on the other boys’ stupid exclamations had me snicker, it was so funny. When I showed it to Airi, she tilted her head in confusion, which had me laugh even more, it was so funny.
Ten days or so passed like that. The group messages started to calm down, and those in the group basically just told each other what they did over the course of the day. Seeing some people saying they had gone to karaoke or bowling, or to this and that store, had me feel jealous.
Kei was busy with her club. I did check the group chat on a daily basis, but Wataru suddenly didn’t say anything. At the same time, I filled the picture of my days playing with Airi if I didn’t have to go to school to do my committee works. However, neither Kei nor Wataru were in the picture… and it made me feel something the middle school me would have never felt.
Somewhere inside of me, I had already known… With someone energetic like Kei not around to brighten up the mood, made me remember the saying ‘a lion at home, a mouse outside’, but in my case, even the lion had shrunk to the size of a mouse. At the same time, despite being so against the persistent annoying irritating him, I felt an emotion different from hate towards Wataru.
‘How selfish, how childish’… At the same time as I was falling into such self-hate, as the older sister, I felt shocked that I was bored with just having Airi around me.
A guilty feeling toward Airi. An inferiority feeling towards Kei, because I couldn’t be as cheerful and engaging as she. An inconsistent feeling towards Wataru. My heart which should have been filled with warmness, suddenly felt so dried up, thirsty asking for more again──
So dry, to the point no tears to shed.
The 6th of August arrived. After informing the culture festival execution committee that we wouldn’t be there today, Sasaki-kun and I made our way to the not-so-far meeting room. It was a normal classroom structured solely to organize today’s trial visit. The room was filled with Senpais I have never seen before ── but one thing, in particular, left me baffled.
“This is… pretty amazing.”
As mentioned, this committee gathered only the looks ───basically, to advertise the ‘ideal Kouetsu student’. It was crazy how all of the people here could rival those from the student council.
“Leaving you aside, Sasaki-kun… am I really allowed to be here?”
“Don’t say that. If anything, that should be my line. Leaving aside Natsukawa, why am I even here…”
The atmosphere inside was something, just being inside this room made you want to praise yourself. I felt slightly embarrassed to just sit down on a chair, so when I met eyes with Sasaki-kun, we both showed a flustered smile.
From the back of the meeting room, I could see a bit of an open space to the front left. As if they ignored the outline of the long desk, a few wooden chairs stood there roughly lined up. Right when I was wondering why that was the case, more people entered the room.
“Oh yeah, the disciplinary committee was taking the lead for the trial visit, right. Though the culture festival execution committee was under the lead of the student council.”
“Ah… I see.”
People with formal expressions and atmosphere to them slowly walked towards the roughly lined up chairs, wearing an armband saying ‘Disciplinary’ on one of their arms. Another one, then another one… more and more joined after, filling the room until they even reached to us in the back. With their sheer numbers, I understood just how big of a deal this entire event was.
Looking at the people coming in, this time, I saw a big deal come in. If Kei was here, she would definitely shriek in joy at the appearance of this person───The current disciplinary committee president, Rin Shinomiya. Showing a demeanor that fitted the name ‘Rin’, she took up her position in front of the teachers’ desk with full confidence and dignity. [TN : Rin, “凛”, can mean dignified]
Suddenly, I spotted a familiar boy.
He passed behind President Shinomiya, like a small animal hiding in the shadows. He seemed terrified as he looked around, and reluctantly sat down with the other disciplinary committee members.
For a moment, our eyes met.
The boy… Wataru seemed to have been surprised as well, as he carefully raised his hand while looking at me, only moving his mouth to form the word ‘Sup’. The way he seemed so misplaced here, and his attitude adding to that, I let out a small laugh along with a relieved sigh.
──Wataru is here.
All my clouded thoughts were suddenly cleared up like a bright summer sky. Just thinking that Wataru was participating in this event had my heavy chest feel so light, like a lead stuck in there had suddenly left. But, when my thoughts started to calm down, a doubt popped up in my head.
Why is he with the disciplinary committee…..?
“─── Is everyone here? Then, let’s get this meeting started.”
Wow… So cool.
Just like that, I was entranced by her.
I want to become a woman as dignified as her.
Though not as a big fan of hers as Kei, just hearing her normal voice, which could make girls have their hearts quivering, was enough to even make me flutter. Following that initial statement, Shinomiya-senpai gallantly explained the procedure of the trial visit. However, I was too focused on admiring the person herself. I finally understood what Kei must have felt when she was standing before her.
Showing around the middle school students inside the school was quite the big duty to have. Two first-years students for the students of the same middle school. Moving in a pair, we would explain the various locations found here at this school. We ran our eyes over the documents, and learned about all sorts of things.
“Eh, the multi-purpose auditorium has this kind of equipment…?”
“I had no idea……”
Naturally, the new information about this school got my attention.
Read through this for about 15 minutes, then appeal to the middle school students in our own way. This is probably better than remembering it word-by-word like some script.
While mentally preparing myself, I glanced over at Wataru. After not having seen him for a while, he got himself a bit of a tan, and the color of his hair changed as well. Looking at the slight brown color, it just felt so right. Probably, because I was much more familiar with him having this hair color.
“H-Hey… are you, curious about Sajou?”
I felt like Sasaki-kun was asking me something important, but because all my attention was directed at Wataru, I just answered subconsciously. When I looked over at Sasaki-kun, his mouth was shaped in a single horizontal line, and he had his eyes looking down at the documents.
Not that I can keep this conversation going on, so…
With that in mind, I also looked through the documents.
The meeting briefly ended after that, but as we were responsible for guiding, our group stayed behind in the room, probably to read the documents longer and have a better grasp of the information. The disciplinary committee, including Shinomiya-senpai, left the room, and Wataru, of course, followed after them. Just like how he greeted me just now, I wanted to give him a few words by moving my mouth only, but he never once looked at me.
TN : Personally, the previous ch and half of this ch, feel like the roundabout explanation of Sajou’s dream in ch 52. So many hints leading to it.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.