Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e - novelonlinefull.com
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After homeroom ended, Kushida got up from her seat and walked over to Sakura, who was quietly preparing to go back home. Kushida seemed strangely nervous.
Ike, Yamauchi, and Sudou noticed and looked towards Kushida.
The girl with the gla.s.ses and the hunched back looked up listlessly.
It looked like she didn't expect someone to call out to her, since she was panicking.
"Do you have time, Sakursan? I want to ask you something about Sudou-kun's case…"
"S-Sorry, I… have plans, so…"
She averted her eyes; it was obvious that she was feeling uncomfortable. Talking to other people does not seem to be her strong point. Or rather, it felt like she didn't like talking to other people.
"Can you make some time? I really want to talk because this is important. During Sudou-kun's incident, were you nearby by any chance…"
"I-I don't know. I already said this to Horikitsan, but I don't know anything…"
Her words were frail, but she denied it strongly.
Kushida, also seeing how unwilling she was, probably didn't want to push it too far.
Although she looked confused at first, she immediately went back to smiling.
But even then, she wasn't willing to withdraw so easily.
After all, this person will greatly affect Sudou's case.
"Is… it fine if I go back now…"
But something feels strange. She's not simply bad at talking to people, but rather, it looks like she's trying to hide something. That much is obvious from the way she's acting.
She was hiding her dominant hand and wasn't making eye contact with her. Even if she may be uncomfortable with looking at her eyes, Sakura refused to look at Kushida's face.
If it was either me or Ike talking to her instead of Kushida, it would make more sense. After all, Kushida was able to get her to exchange contact addresses. Interacting with Kushida is a completely different experience. I don't think Horikita was wrong in sensing that something was off. I also felt the same way.
"Can't you just give me a few minutes?"
"W-Why? I don't know anything…"
If Kushida failed here, their conversation would amount to nothing.
The awkward conversation naturally gathered more attention as it dragged on and on.
But this situation seems like a complete miscalculation from Kushida. Since they were acquaintances that had exchanged contact addresses, she expected this conversation to go much smoother.
If she wasn't expecting to be rejected, then this situation would make sense.
My neighbor looked over the situation attentively, then looked at me with a slightly smug expression.
It seemed like she was saying, "I know that your powers of perception are exceptional"…
"…I'm bad at talking to people… sorry."
She was speaking in a strained voice, trying to keep Kushida away from her.
When we were talking about Sakura earlier, Kushida said that she was an ordinary girl, despite being shy.
Looking at her current behavior, she's clearly not normal. Kushida probably thought the same thing, because she looked completely confused. Even though she's good at getting people to open up, she couldn't do it this time.
Horikita, also watching the situation, came to a conclusion.
"Too bad. Looks like she couldn't persuade her."
It was as Horikita said. If Kushida wasn't able to do it, I don't think anyone in the cla.s.s would be able to start and maintain a conversation with Sakura.
Kushida is good at creating an atmosphere where unsocial people can easily socialize.
However, everyone has a "personal s.p.a.ce".
The anthropologist and cultural researcher Edward Hall further categorized this idea of "personal s.p.a.ce" into four parts. One such part is the idea of an "intimate zone". The "close phase" is about hugging distance—if an outsider tries to enter this area, they will be strongly rejected. However, if it was a significant other or a close friend, the person wouldn't feel uncomfortable. If an acquaintance entered Kushida's "close phase", she normally wouldn't mind it. That is to say, she doesn't use this idea of "personal s.p.a.ce".
However, Sakura clearly rejected her.
No… rather, it looked like she was running away.
The first time around, she said that she "had plans", but she didn't say it the second time. If she really had somewhere to go to, she would've said it again.
Sakura stood up and took a few steps away from Kushida.
Seeing that she couldn't end the conversation, Sakura decided to run away.
She grasped the digital camera that was on her desk and walked away.
However, she b.u.mped shoulders with Hondou, who wasn't paying attention to his surroundings as he texted his friend on his phone.
The digital camera fell out of her grip and clanged onto the floor. Still focused on his phone, Hondou waved it off, saying "My bad, my bad", and walked out of the cla.s.sroom.
Sakura picked up her camera in a panic.
"No… it won't turn on…"
Sakura put her hand over her mouth in shock. Somehow, it looks like the camera broke from the impact. She kept pressing the power b.u.t.ton and tried taking out the batteries and putting them back in, but it didn't turn on.
"S-Sorry. I was being too pushy…"
"No… I was being careless, so it was my fault… goodbye."
Unable to stop the despondent Sakura, Kushida looked frustrated and couldn't do anything but watch her leave.
"Why is a gloomy girl like her the witness? How unlucky. She doesn't even want to help."
Sudou leaned against the chair and crossed his legs as he let out a sigh in resignation.
"I'm sure there's a reason. Also, Sakursan didn't say that she was the witness herself."
"I know. If she was going to say something she would've said it. It's because she's an adult that she stopped herself."
"Sudou-kun, it's actually better that she's the witness."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"She's not going to give testimony as your witness. This case will be treated as your fault. As a result, cla.s.s D won't be able to completely escape the consequences, but we can think of it as fortunate. In an incident like this, it's unlikely that they'll be able to penalize us by 100 or 200 points. We're lucky since we can only lose 87 points. Also, since you said that you were innocent, the school can't ignore it and expel you. We'll be affected more than cla.s.s C, though."
Horikita relentlessly said all that she wanted to say at once.
"Don't joke around. I'm innocent, innocent. The violence was legitimate self-defence."
"Self-defence isn't as helpful as you think it is."
Oops, I accidentally spoke out loud.
When I turned around, acting aloof, Kushida's face was super close. Even when I look at her this closely, she's cute. Rather than feeling uncomfortable about the invasion of my personal s.p.a.ce, I wanted her to come even closer.
"You're Sudou-kun's ally, right?"
"Well… yeah, but why are you asking again?"
"It's looking a bit iffy right now, since everyone's willingness to help Sudou-kun is diminishing."
I looked around the cla.s.sroom.
"Seems like it. They probably think that whatever we do will be useless."
If the key witness Sakura denies it, there won't be any progress made.
"It doesn't seem like a perfect solution will appear. Let's give up, Sudou."
Ike mumbled halfheartedly.
"What's wrong with you guys? Didn't you say that you'd help me?"
Looking for approval, he appealed to the remaining cla.s.smates.
"Even your friends don't want to help you. That's too bad."
The other cla.s.smates didn't say anything to deny what Ike and Horikita were saying.
"Why is no one on my side? Man, all of you are useless b.a.s.t.a.r.ds."
"How interesting, Sudou-kun. Have you noticed that everyone's turning on you?"
"What are you trying to say?"
The cla.s.s becomes tense often, but today was even worse.
Since Sudou was talking to Horikita, it looked like he was trying his hardest to hold back.
However, the blade came from an unexpected direction.
"Don't you think it's better for us that you're expelled? Your existence isn't a beautiful one. Rather, it's quite ugly, Red hair-kun."
The one who spoke was fixing his hair with the hand-mirror he carried around everyday.
It was the particularly conspicuous boy, Koenji Rousuke.
"…What did you say? Try saying that again."
"It's useless to keep saying it. It's nonsense. Since I already know that you're dumb, it doesn't matter if I say it one more time or not, does it?"
Koenji didn't even look at Sudou and replied as if he was performing an a aside
The desk flew into the air and crashed onto the floor. The students still felt hopeful, but the whole room froze. Sudou stood up and walked over to Koenji in silence.
"Alright, stop right there. Calm down, you two."
The only boy to move in this difficult situation was Hirata. My heart pounded.
"Sudou-kun. You're part of the problem, but Koenji-kun, you're also in the wrong."
"Fu. I don't think I've ever been wrong since I was born. You're mistaken."
"Hah, that's just fine. You better kneel down right now or I'll beat you up and smash your face in."
Hirata tried to hold Sudou back by grabbing his arm, but he wasn't showing any signs of stopping.
It seems like his intention is to vent all of his frustration by hitting Koenji.
"Please stop already. I don't want to watch my friends fight each other…"
"It's as Kushidsan says. I don't know about Koenji-kun, but I am your ally, Sudou-kun."
You're too good, Hirata. I think you should change your name to "Hero".
"I'll end this here. Sudou-kun, you should act more like an adult. If you made another big uproar here, the school's impression of you would only turn worse. Right?"
Sudou glared at Koenji and left the room. After the door slammed shut, a loud voice rang out from the hallway.
"Koenji-kun. I'm not going to force you to help, but you were wrong to blame him."
"I'm sorry, but I have never been wrong in my life. Oh, look at the time—it's about time for my date. Please excuse me."
While watching their strange interaction, I realized that there was no cla.s.s unity.
"Sudou-kun isn't mature, I see."
"Couldn't you also have been friendlier, Horikitsan…?"
"I won't have mercy on anyone that doesn't listen. He's done great damage and doesn't have a single advantage."
It's not like you have mercy on people that do listen.
While shrinking back like a sharp knife (gaze) just stabbed me, I made a small reb.u.t.tal.
"There's a saying that 'great talents mature late'. I think Sudou has the possibility of becoming a future NBA player. He might have a chance of making a big contribution to society. The power of youth is infinite."
I used a catchphrase that felt like it came straight out of a commercial.
"I'm not saying that he won't become good in 10 years, but I need the strength to get to cla.s.s A right now. If he doesn't have the talent now, he has no use to me."
"Yeah, that's true…"
Horikita had a consistent opinion, but the rest of the cla.s.smates were wavering.
The situation doesn't look very good.
"You get along with Sudou, right? It seems like you guys eat together often."
"I don't think our relationship is bad. But it feels like a burden. He's the person who skips cla.s.s and fights the most. I have to draw the line there."
I see. It looks like Ike has his own opinions.
"I'll try my best to persuade Sakursan. Afterwards, things will surely take a turn for the better."
"Hmm, I wonder. Under these circ.u.mstances, I don't think that Sakursan's testimony will have a big effect. Also, I think the school will be suspicious that the witness suddenly appeared from cla.s.s D."
"Suspicious… you mean that the school will think that this is a fake witness?"
"Naturally. They'll probably consider the testimony along with the circ.u.mstances. It won't become absolute proof."
"That's… what kind of evidence would be soundproof?"
"If you believe in miracles, the best evidence would be a witness that the schools trusts from a different cla.s.s or a different grade that watched the event from the very beginning. There definitely isn't someone like that though."
Horikita said with confidence. I also thought the same thing.
"Then… no matter how hard we try to prove that Sudou-kun is innocent…"
"However, if the fight happened in a cla.s.sroom, things would be different."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, those cameras record the cla.s.sroom, right? So if anything happened, those recordings would serve as evidence, and crush the lies of those cla.s.s C students in a single blow."
I pointed at the two cameras in the corners of the cla.s.sroom.
The cameras were small and blended into the walls, but it was unmistakable that they were there.
"The school uses those cameras to check if we're whispering or nodding off during cla.s.s. Or else they wouldn't be able to do those monthly cla.s.s a.s.sessments."
"…Seriously? I never knew…!"
Ike looked at the cameras in shock.
"I also just learned of this… that there were cameras in the room."
"It's hard to spot. I also didn't notice until they started talking about the points."
"Well, ordinary people don't really care about where cameras are located. They probably wouldn't know where the cameras are in a convenience store, even if they always visit that store."
If someone did know, it would be someone who was either overly paranoid or felt guilty about something. Or they might've accidentally seen it and noticed.
Alright, shall I head home since we don't have to look for a witness anymore?
Kushida and the others might talk about looking for another witness. It'll be a bother to get involved in that.
"Ayanokouji-kun, want to go home together?"
Hearing Horikita's invitation, I reflexively put my hand on her forehead. Her forehead felt cool, but her skin was still warm and soft.
"…I don't have a cold, you know? I just wanted to ask you about something."
"O-Oh. Well, I guess it's fine."
It was strange for Horikita to invite me. I wonder if it'll rain tomorrow.
"As I thought, haven't you two gotten closer? Yesterday, you looked like you would kill me when I only touched your shoulder…"
Ike looked a bit dissatisfied as he gazed at my hand on her forehead.
Horikita's facial expression didn't particularly change.
"Can you take it off? Your hand."
"Oh, my bad, my bad."
I was relieved that Horikita didn't counterattack, and drew back my hand. I didn't notice at all.
The two of us walked out into the hallway. I think I know the general gist, but I wonder what she wants to talk about.
"Oh, right. I want to go somewhere before we go back; is that fine?"
"Well, as long as it doesn't take too much time."
"Yeah, it'll take about ten minutes."