Zettai ni Derete wa Ikenai Tsundere chapter 5

Even If It Wasn’t Forgiven

“…Alright, let’s leave it at that for today.”

The sky was slowly changing from deep red to dark blue, with stars gradually appearing in the sky.

“…You sure have gotten good at acting, Aotsuki-san. You really sucked in the beginning.”

“You didn’t need to add that last part!”

Together with Sakana, our practice for the stage play ended, and although I was teasing Aotsuki-san a bit, I genuinely admire her efforts. She said that she was working on herself with some vocal training, but I can see the results now. With these thoughts in mind, I felt the urge to drink something, and took a sip from my water bottle.

“Hey hey, there’s something I wanna ask~”

“What is it, Sakana-kun. A question regarding your role?” Aotsuki-san also had a water bottle in hand, putting her hair behind her ear.

“Did you two decide to date?”

Hearing this question unrelated to the stage play, I felt the urge to spit out my water, only barely able to keep it under control.

“Cough, cough!”

…However, Aotsuki-san didn’t succeed in that like I did.

“W-Where did that come from! Sakana-kun, could you not blurt out nonsense like that?!”

“I mean, I feel like you two changed? So smooth…and lively?”

“…Did we?”

If so, then maybe Gami and the other classmates might have realized it by now. Crap, I was hoping we’d be hiding it naturally, but maybe not.

“I doubt the others caught on, but I spend a lot of time with you two with the practice. Not to mention that I’m pretty sensitive to that. I guess I can see how other people’s feelings change?” He showed a shit-eating grin, but I haven’t forgotten how you made fun of a guy who likes manga, okay.

I’m the type who can keep grudges for a long time.

“C-Can you not make up random nonsense? Yafune-kun and I aren’t like that.”

“Why do you say that? You don’t need to hide it, just be happy~” Sakana gave us a round of applause.

It even made me feel like thanking Sakana for that, so that I won’t be found out. I can’t make him my enemy, but I also don’t want to believe him either. However…just because he’s got some bad parts to him doesn’t mean he’s an awful person. He does help me as well in a lot of cases, just like right now. At the same time, even if he can be a good guy, he’s just as rotten. There’s just no clear line between evil antagonist and benevolent savior.

“Once Yafune’s busy with Aotsuki-san, all the other girls who got the hots for him right now will jump towards me instead! Harem time!”

Yeah, maybe he really is just a shitty bastard.

“U-Um, we really aren’t like that, but…Could you maybe…keep this a secret?”

“Hmmm? I don’t think there’s anything worth hiding here, but…Sure, leave it to me! I’m the type who can keep his mouth shut after all!”

What the hell are you talking about? I’m even more worried now, you know?

“Well, whatever! Ah, crap, I got plans with the girls from the wind instrument club to meet up, so I gotta take my leave here! You two enjoy your time~” Sakana left the classroom, leaving me and Aotsuki-san alone.

“…Hey, Yafune-kun.” With an oddly sweet voice, in the midst of this rosy atmosphere, Aotsuki-san blushed ever so slightly and glanced at me. “Is it…fine for us to be in that kind of relationship…?”

I confessed, and Aotsuki-san revealed her past. However, because of the curse on her, she still cannot voice her positive affection. But, if we really decided to publicly date, then I’d have to think about my position in class, and how to deal with the aftermath of that decision…Well, there’s no way I could let go of Aotsuki-san this late into the game though.

“I’d be happy…really. But, I think we should fully focus on the curse first.”

“R-Right, that makes sense.”

“……”

“……”

What resulted from this conversation was an odd level of distance that wasn’t quite like lovers. It left me restless, and impatient on top of being happy. Unable to live with this silence, I broke it apart.

“T-That reminds me, I do understand what went down in your past. But, what are you planning on doing after you find the owner of that diary?”

“Mm…It’s honestly like my last hope, and I just have to believe that something will happen. In the notes, it said that Shell hated that person, but…she regrets not being able to convey her feelings. That’s why, if we manage to clear up this regret…then she might grant my wish of having the curse dispelled…” Aotsuki-san let out a faint breath, and showed a reminiscent expression. “I learned first hand that you can’t have a wish granted for nothing.”

She wouldn’t just emotionlessly use magic for her convenience. Instead, she would grant Shell’s wish first—that is her rough plan of action in order to have the curse dispelled.

“Both the owner of those notes and me met Shell up on that hill. I think that she’s living up there. That’s why, if we could bring the owner there…”

“…But, the owner of the notes came to meet Shell even after, right? So what if she doesn’t show up even after you bring that person there?”

Thinking about the owner of the notes, Shell decided to break apart their relationship. Even if she were to regret it, I doubt she can just nullify her determination.

“…Right. If I was in Shell’s position, I would think that I didn’t have the right to meet that person.” An anxious expression filled Aotsuki-san’s face.

But…there’s one part that had me curious about that diary. Before they split up for good, Shell said that she was ‘scared of testing it’.

“…So, Aotsuki-san, I have an idea of my own…”

I decided to tell Aotsuki-san my idea on how to solve this problem—

 

 

On the first day of the culture festival, the fall sky was clear, as were my feelings. Since the gym hall was full with some karaoke contest or music show, we had to use the classroom as our stage. So, we split up the classroom between stage and audience seats, and instead of the curtain, we used normal window curtains, hung up on the ceiling. Even so, today’s classroom was our stage.

Aotsuki-san went to the small changing room to put on her little mermaid costume. I had no need to do that, and already finished in my own costume, doing the last check. Sakana of course was talking with some random girls, but he at least seems to have his lines down, and is wearing his costume, so I won’t be complaining.

“Yafune, a moment.”

“…Hm? What’s up, Gami.”

Gami stood outside the classroom, beckoning me over…I got a really bad feeling from this. I can’t allow the atmosphere now to be ruined. Any trouble could be the end of the play. That’s why I forced up a fake smile as always. It’s fine, I’ve gotten good at adjusting Gami’s mood after all.

Even before, when we went to the karaoke before, I stayed with her really late so that her anger towards Aotsuki-san wouldn’t escalate. Though she was angry at me for being late in general. Either way, I followed Gami, and reached the large space next to the stairs that lead up to the rooftop.

“Why are you taking me over here? I got the stage play in a bit……Wah!?”

Gami pulled on my ear, approached it with her lips, and whispered sweet poison into them.

“Hey, just quit everything.”

“…Huh?”

Ahh, this is bad. The sky was so clear before, and yet it feels like a storm is brewing up.

“What are you talking about? I don’t get you at all, Gami~”

“I’m telling you to quit the play.”

“Nah come on, I can’t do that~”

“You can’t? Why? You won’t listen to what I say?”

“That’s not it, okay. Also, where did that even come from.”

“I’m saying that you should trouble that girl.” Gami’s eyes were sharp, and her voice exceptionally cold.

She clearly wasn’t joking around.

“Come on, that’s asking for too much~ I’m the culture festival hero. What should I tell Senpai after doing such a thing…”

So that the atmosphere didn’t grow more tense, I tried to keep up a smile and talked in a nonchalant tone.

“What. You her ally now or something?”

“No, that’s not what this is, but…”

“I mean, she has a pretty handsome face. Some mongrel like you would surely chase after her with your tail wagging. But.”

“……”

Gami wrapped her arms around my neck.

“I’m definitely more beautiful than her, right.” She pressed her own chest on mine. “I guess that a dog needs both training and rewards, huh.”

Her body felt soft, and her sharp whisper hitting my ears made my back tingle. It was a dangerous unbalance.

“If you listen to my order right now, I’ll do whatever you want me to.”

That makes sense, a lot of guys would be drooling with the thought of doing what they wanted with her body. How many guys did she win over with just her body alone?

“Honestly speaking, I always hated the idea of you giving her attention. But, I don’t mind forgiving you if you come back to me right now.”

Forgive? For what? Why would I need to beg for your forgiveness? Who are you to me anyway?

“If you don’t choose me here and now, I won’t ever forgive you.”

Although my feelings were in disarray because of this sudden situation, a part of me had kept it’s rational thinking. What would happen if I disobeyed the queen now? By using the title of the culture festival hero, and constantly tending to her mood during recess and after school, I somehow made it this far, but if I got her engry for good, then things won’t stay the same for sure.

My position in class would drop, and I’d lose my place that I belong to. Just thinking about that made my body freeze up, and my legs shake. If I listen to Gami now, I should still be able to make it. I should be able to keep this position I worked so hard for, the peace I always desired, and the daily life irreplaceable to me. And yet—

“…I don’t need your forgiveness.” I grabbed Gami’s shoulders, and pushed her away. “Even if you don’t forgive me, I won’t quit the play.”

Right after I finished my words, I was slapped across the face. Since she thought of me as a dog, she probably expected me to turn over with a bit of threatening. And to be fair, the me from a while ago probably would have succumbed. What surprised me the most however is that Queen Gami broke out in tears, seemingly frustrated at being rejected like that.

 

 

—No, that’s not it.

“…Why is nobody listening to me? Why won’t anybody look at me!”

She’s not some queen, she’s suffering in her own way. I’m sure that she has circumstances and sad past events that she suffered through, of which I have no way of knowing. But even so, making other people suffer as a way to cope with that…is wrong.

“I’ll definitely get in your way. You’ll regret going against me!”

I watched Gami run down the stairs, and stood still for a moment. However, this wasn’t the time to be spacing out, the stage play is happening soon. On my way back to the classroom, I took a quick detour to the toilet to check, but there were no traces left of the slap I ate. I was relieved, and sighed.

“Yafune-kun, where were you?”

Upon returning to the classroom, Aotsuki-san was already waiting for me. If I told her about Gami, she’d probably only be worried.

“That costume is so cute. Looks great on you.”

“D-Don’t change the topic.”

“…I do really feel that way, okay?”

We did practice before while wearing these costumes, so it’s not my first time seeing it. That being said, the fact that it looks good on her doesn’t change. Her camisole really looked like a mermaid’s, and adding the mermaid-lined skirt with the pearls on it, the circlet on her head, she looked like a princess. Not to mention that Aotsuki-san herself doesn’t lose against that beauty. If anything, she stands out even more thanks to the clothes emphasizing her beauty. If I didn’t know any better, then I might just think she’s an actual mermaid.

“E-Enough about that!” Aotsuki-san shook her head, as if to blow away her embarrassment, and stared directly at me. “Hey, something happened, right? You’re acting weird.”

“…Um.”

I’m happy that she’s worried about me, but this close to the performance, I really don’t want to worry her. After a bit of hesitating, I opened my mouth.

“Listen, this is our culture festival here at this school, so there might be some trouble happening mid-way, you know.”

Not to mention that I don’t want her to perform badly during the play. More than any of that though…

“Even if some trouble happens, don’t panic…and let’s have fun. Finding the owner of the diary is important, but we worked this hard to prepare everything.”

I’m not trying to cover up anything, as this is how I truly feel. I put up the best smile I could, and faced Aotsuki-san.

“I’ll try my best. Acting as best as I can. On stage, I’m Shell, and you are the Little Mermaid…the owner of that diary.”

Hearing my words, Aotsuki-san let out a gentle breath.

“…Sheesh, it feels like you got ahead of me.” A strong light resided in her eyes, reflecting determination. “But, I was the one who said we’d do it. So, I’m definitely much more motivated than you are!”

“Then I’ll work twice as hard as you.”

“Huh? Why are you fighting against me now?”

“I mean, I want to show off how cool I am?”

“Huh!?” She showed a baffled expression, blushing furiously. “A-Are you stupid?”

“Ahaha, sure am. Anyway, let’s do this.”

“Of course!”

Aotsuki-san pushed her fist towards me. I responded, and did the same.

“Let’s do this until the bitter end.”

“Yep, let’s have fun.”

And then, we bumped our fists together.

*

“Impossible…”

Mikagami Masuzu was alone in the girls’ toilet, her body shaking. Replaying inside of her head was the day of the entrance ceremony, a day that had long passed.

Ever since my parents got divorced, I was always fighting with Papa…Even the day before the entrance ceremony, we fought, and I told him ‘I hate you! Don’t come to the ceremony tomorrow!’, and he really didn’t come. In the end, I was all alone. The sky was annoyingly clear and blue despite that, and the cherry blossom petals were dancing in the sky. Seeing all the families and friends of the new students taking pictures in front of the ‘Entrance ceremony’ sign, my anger was only fuelled even further.

“…Getting so excited for an entrance ceremony, how stupid.”

Like that, I had my head hanging low, beneath the dancing flower petals. Only then did a small package appear in front of me. On the package, it said ‘Royal strawberry chocolate milk lemon tea’.

“…What?” I raised my head, only to see a random boy standing in front of me.

“When I came here to last year’s culture festival, I saw them selling this at a vending machine, and tried it out on a whim. It’s got a really weird name, huh? But, it’s actually not half bad.”

“…Why?”

“I mean, judging from your nameplate, we’re in the same class right? So, let’s get along~ or something like that?” The boy just smiled, and walked away.

I held the paper package in my hand, just spacing out. What? Was he hitting on me? Well, I am good-looking. I’m used to being called out to by boys.

“…………Sweet.”

Compared to the weird name it had, the drink I received was actually very sweet. I only learned of that boy’s name later: Yafune Shibuki-kun. After spending some time with him in class, he turned out to be very considerate, always paying attention to the people around him. I soon realized that he gave me that drink not because he was trying to hit on me, but only because I looked gloomy.

However, that’s all there is. He’s simply a dog I took a liking to. There’s definitely nothing more than that! And yet, no matter how much I let the people agree with me, and listen to me, everything I want eventually slips from my hand. This is weird. Not fair. Why do I only suffer? That’s right, he’s just some dog, a cheeky dog. I’ll teach him what happens if he makes me angry!

“I’ll make you regret this…so you better be prepared.”

I took out my phone, and texted a dog even better than that guy.

*

Because of that exchange with Gami, I was really worried, but I guess that was needless worrying.

“Ahh, I want to meet that mermaid again. Why did I go and say such a thing…”

The play was in its final stage. It was the scene where the Little Mermaid and the magician—Aotsuki-san and I are to confess our feelings. We made it through everything without any misses so far, so we were doing just fine. The audience’s reaction isn’t half bad either, so at this rate—

“What a boring play.”

There, a cold voice reached my ears. Just that comment alone made it feel like the temperature in the room dropped drastically.

“I can’t watch this, it’s so cringe, lol.”

“Right, right. Just do something interesting!”

Some of the boys in the audience continue to throw in harsh comments…I know them. They’re Gami’s underlings in some other class. I bet she must have told them something. Ordering them that they should ruin our stage play. Probably promised them some reward or whatever.

Their laughter wouldn’t stop. And yet, Aotsuki-san tried to continue…

“…Shell…Just where are you…”

“You’re still not done? Enough already~!”

“Give me my money back! Oh wait, I didn’t even pay for such crap, lol.”

They continued even further, when even insults came flying our way. The other people present started to grow restless as well.

“…!” I formed a fist, and put strength into it.

Is it really that fun ruining other people’s enjoyment? Are you satisfied with this? Insulting us, making yourselves feel like you’re above us. Can you only find validation in your worthless lives by looking down on others? How can you laugh like that, not embarrassed at all. Don’t you dare laugh about people who are trying their hardest!

“—Shut the fuck up!!”

With a loud roar, everybody’s eyes opened, and silence returned. Of course, this voice didn’t come from any of the guys obstructing the play—It came from none other than myself.

“Ahh, these demons out there are loud as shit! I think they’re trying to get in my way, but I won’t let that happen! Yeah, that’s right…”

The audience seemed shocked at my reaction, but I just kept going as if everything I said had been in the script from the very beginning, acting like this was a scripted part. Of course, it’s completely ad-lib, and I deep down I’m actually terrified, but…

“—What’s wrong with openly saying what I like!?

I just screamed even more. The other guys stayed silent. They must be confused because I was usually keeping up a calm facade with a cheerful character. Me screaming like that probably was too much of a surprise. Serves you right, bastards.

“I won’t lose. I’ve decided to not lie to my feelings again!” I raised my voice even more, to the point it was about to break apart, and continued my ad-lib.

“That’s right! Like I would lose either!” Aotsuki-san screamed.

 

 

How about that, you bastards? You must hate to see people be this passionate, after laughing about their hard work before. In reality, they all grew pale. I bet they were just waiting for us to break down. You thought we were gonna cry? What a shame, I’m not breaking down this easily. No matter who hates me, as long as the girl next to me fully understands me. The rest doesn’t matter.

“Hey! We’ve received reports of people obstructing the play!”

There, the door opened, and the head of student guidance counselling stormed in. Standing behind him was a girl from our class. She’s the girl that accidentally splattered water on Aotsuki-san before. It seems like she snuck out of the classroom to report to the teacher. Guess we’re lucky that he was nearby.

“Obstructing a class’ program is against the rules. Come with me.”

Following that, the guys previously causing a ruckus were pulled out of the classroom. I sighed in relief, added a bit of ad-lib, and returned to the original script.

“Little Mermaid, there is something that I could never tell you, but now is the time for me to reveal everything.”

“Shell…Even if you were to hate me, I’ve always…”

The play proceeded. The two who had always missed each other with their feelings finally learned the truth, and did not lose hope until the very end. Finally…

“I will definitely…definitely find you again…” Aotsuki-san muttered the final line.

Sakana turned off the lights in the room, and played romantic music on his smartphone. That was the signal for the curtains to drop. Right after—a roar of cheers and applause followed.

“That was great!”

“I almost cried!”

“Marvelous!”

There, I let out a faint sigh. My heart was racing, my body hot, and this feeling of ‘We did it’ filled my entire existence, paired with plain exhaustion. At first, I only helped out for Aotsuki-san’s sake, but…Now, I’m just genuinely enjoying it. To the point where I was tearing up from hearing all these cheers.

“This is based on a true story—Even now, the magician Shell is searching for the person they love.”

And, this is after the play, where Aotsuki-san directly speaks to the audience, like a prayer.

“So, please, if you are amongst us, present in the audience, then please come find us…”

 

 

The first show ended, and the audience had left the classroom. Sakana was off flirting with some girls as always, so it was only me and Aotsuki-san in the part of the classroom that was hidden by the curtain.

“Y-Yafune-kun, Yafune-kun…!”

Sadly, the owner of the diary did not appear, but Aotsuki-san seemed excited nonetheless, as she screamed out my name with a strong sparkle in her eyes.

“Haha, calm down, Aotsuki-sa……Huh?” I realized that my own legs were shaking violently.

It’s not that I’m feeling sick, or that I’m particularly exhausted…It’s just.

“…Huh, so now I’m shaking. How lame.”

Mid-play, I somehow managed to play along with ad-lib, but…I was terrified. Being showered with insults and ridicule, as well as saying that kind of stuff in front of so many people.

“>That’s right, you really are lame<.” Right after Aotsuki-san said those words, she covered her mouth. “No, that just now was…!”

“Yeah, don’t worry. I get it.”

That’s not true, you were really cool—is probably what she wanted to say there. If I didn’t know any better, it’d probably be a knife stab right into the heart, but hearing about her circumstances, I can honestly be happy.

“I was terrified, but…I’m glad I got to say what I wanted. I feel refreshed, and…free, to be honest. I’ve always wanted to say what I truly felt.” I looked at my own quivering palm, and was surprised to find myself not regretting anything.

I was always conscious of what people around me thought, terrified of losing my position, like I was drowning in the masses around me. Just by having Aotsuki-san in front of me, an existence that lets me be who I am, I can breathe this freely.

“Thank you, Aotsuki-san.”

“…Why are you the one saying that. That’s my phrase…Well, not like I could say it though.”

“It’s fine. Just the fact that you wanted to say it means the world to me.”

“…Sheesh! Once I become able to say it, you better be ready!” Despite sounding angry, her cheeks were flushed, and she showed me a blooming smile.

I was still shaking. But, I didn’t care. I knew that she wouldn’t ridicule me for that, and it was reassuring to know.

“…But, we can’t relax just yet. We have the next performance still. Though, I doubt Gami will get in our way again.”

“…So those guys were sent by Mikagami-san?”

“I think so. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to worry right in front of the play, but I kind of had a quarrel with Gami.”

“So that’s what happened…”

“Well, we made it through the end. Let’s succeed with the rest of our performances as well, so maybe you could just ignore that?”

“Is it…really okay to ignore that?”

“Eh?”

Aotsuki-san showed a complicated expression.

“Of course, it annoys me that she just obstructed our play, but…I was the selfish one for wanting to do this in the first place. I guess that she must have felt annoyed that I basically stole you from her by you helping me. Not to mention…”

“…Not to mention?”

“…Shizuku-san said it herself. Because of her family’s circumstances, she became unable to trust anybody, so she’s not really evil at the root of it all. That’s why…” Aotsuki-san spoke, almost as if she saw herself in Gami. “…This is just my imagination, but…right now, Mikagami-san must be all alone right now…”

—I remembered Gami’s teary-eyed face when she slapped me. Yeah, I doubt she can just go have fun with her friends after doing this kind of thing to us. Gami is the boss of the class, and treats me like a dog, but she’d still be sad if someone stole her possession, and she never went this far before. This definitely is the first time she’s been openly harassing people like that.

If what Shizuku-san said is true, and that Gami isn’t necessarily a bad person at all, then I might regret what I did.

 

 

In the end, after all the performances, the owner of the diary still didn’t show up. Well, I knew it wouldn’t be this easy. Though, we still have tomorrow, so it’s too early to give up hope.

“That was better than I thought~”

“Was fun!”

“Maybe I should have participated as well. Is there anything I can help out with now?”

Even our classmates, who came to watch the play, were giving positive feedback. Judging from that, nobody knows that I had a falling-out with Gami.

“Good work~! That was more fun than I expected~!” Sakana returned from the group of girls surrounding him, slapping me on the back.

I was a bit worried that he’d just skip the performance entirely, but he seems to be the confident type, which is why everything worked out just fine.

“Your ad-lib when those guys interfered was crazy good as well. Like I was watching a drama~”

“…Not really, it’s just…” Sakana was grinning, but I still wasn’t really over it just yet. “Making fun of something people worked really hard for…is just stupid, I thought.”

It might be a bit too late for me to say that—but it’s now or never. The things I couldn’t say back then, I’ll properly throw them at him.

“…B-Before, you saw that guy from the manga research club, and called him…gross, and all that. But…” I tried to sound serious, but I couldn’t stop myself from stuttering.

Maybe because some time has passed since, or because it’s Sakana of all people, I can’t just keep the same momentum that I had on stage. I couldn’t help but hesitate, until I realized that Aotsuki-san appeared behind Sakana. It felt like she was pushing my back. And, it gave me courage.

“I actually…like manga, and all that stuff. And, I can’t just…laugh at people as they try their hardest to work for something. I mean, I myself am not the same as you all, I’m just trying hard to fit in.”

Be it love, or their passion for something, other people have no right to tell you what to like and what not to like.

“I am thankful that you’re helping with the play and all, but I was honestly pissed at your attitude from back then.”

Revealing my true self is still scary. I was expecting a reaction like ‘What are you getting all serious for, lol’ in the end. But, that’s fine. Even if I deserve that, I wanted to at least once be honest to my own feelings. Being able to say it all until the very end is better than not doing anything, so that alone is a step forward—

“Ohh, so you finally decided to be honest! Congrats!” Sakana clapped his hands together.

“…What?”

“I’ve always known that you were just putting up an act, Yafune~ I can just tell, you feel me? So, is this your high school debut? You’re actually a pretty plain but diligent type, right?”

“You…knew? And you still became friends with me?”

“As long as you’re fun to have around now, who cares about your past? To each their own, aye? Ah, I bet I sounded really cool just now!”

Seeing him act like he always would, I could feel the tension vanish from inside of me.

“Don’t just go bragging about yourself mid-sentence. If you really felt that way, then why’d you badmouth that otaku before.”

“That was in order to make you feel angry.”

“Huuuuh?”

“I mean, it felt like you were really forcing yourself. But, since you’re the guy with low self-esteem, you can’t really voice your opinion, aye? So, I wanted to create a trigger where you’d lash out on me and showed your true feelings, but you actually held back. You’re a solid mask maker, huh.” Seeing Sakan laugh loudly made me only more furious.

“…I get your intention, but let me punch you at least once.”

“Don’t be like that~ Also, don’t you think I have plenty of a right to be angry as well? I really thought we were friends, but you just played along while keeping your emotional distance from me, right? Isn’t that pretty rude?”

“Ugh…You’re not wrong, but…”

“Not to mention, I’m kind of your cupid, right? The reason you and Aotsuki-san started to get along like that is ‘cause of me, isn’t it. I’m like the friend character who helps the protagonist and the heroine get closer!”

“You know about that character trope?!”

“I like manga and anime quite a bit, you know? Though, I definitely prefer 3D girls~” There, some girls a bit further away called out to him with a ‘Sakana-kuuun~’, to which he waved his hand at them. “Well, I did feel bad about that before! I don’t actually feel that way…Not to mention that guy didn’t even hear me, which is why I purposefully did it…so forgive me~?”

“You’re trying to make up excuses after confessing!?”

“Ahahaha! Anyway, the play was fun as hell, so let’s give it our best tomorrow as well~!” He waved his hand at us, and joined the ring of girls.

…Ahh, I’m tired. Let me just head to the toilet, and freshen up…

 

 

“…Hm?”

On the way back to the classroom, I spotted Gami looking outside the hallway window. It’s rare to see the absolute queen that she is all alone like that…Now that I think about it, isn’t this pretty much the same like back on the day of the entrance ceremony? Back then, she seemed oddly lonely, which is why I called out to her. Should I…do the same now?

I hesitated, when Aotsuki-san suddenly appeared from the classroom, and stood next to her…Eh, what? Is she planning on talking with her? I wondered if I should go over there as well, but I instead decided to watch over them from the shadows.

“…During the play, some boys from another class were throwing insults at us. Was that your doing?”

“—What if it was? You gonna complain?” Gami glared at Aotsuki-san.

However, she didn’t back down at all, and just opened her palm in front of Gami.

“You and I…aren’t so different. That’s why I can’t make fun of you. Not to mention that we won’t be getting anywhere at this rate. So, can’t you just accept my hard work, and leave it at that?”

“S-So annoying! Like hell I could just accept this! I want to end my day with a refreshed feeling!”

“Refreshed feeling? What kind of self-important satisfaction is that?”

“Better than being selfish and egoistic.”

“Huh!? Who are you talking about!?”

“Who could I be talking about except the person screaming at me!”

In the end, the both were just screaming at each other instead. I guess they were fighting, but…I wonder, it doesn’t feel turbulent. They are being upfront with each other, saying whatever they want, so maybe that’s why.

“Shut up, shut up, moron!”

“Huuuuh!? The one calling others a moron is the bigger moron!”

Now they sound like grade schoolers…I feel like I can see their tails standing on edge like cats hissing at each other.

“Ahh, this is frustrating! I feel like an idiot!” Gami ruffled her fingers through her beautiful hair, and let out a sigh—only to give Aotsuki-san a low-five. “…I don’t want to exhaust myself even more with this, so I’ll let you off the hook today.”

Huh? The atmosphere suddenly changed? It’s like true friendship had been born after a fierce fist fight next to the river…Well, there was no violence to begin with.

“But, that doesn’t mean I’ve accepted you, okay! Don’t think you’ve won!” Gami turned around as her skirt fluttered, and walked away.

What, you’re suddenly a tsundere? Well, at least everything got resolved without me needing to break between the two.

“…You’re pretty amazing, Aotsuki-san.”

When I called out to her, Aotsuki-san gave me a dubious gaze.

“Ah, were you watching? I don’t think it was anything special though.”

“No, that was hella cool.”

“It really wasn’t. It’s just…seeing you be that honest towards Sakana-kun, it felt like I needed to take a step forward myself. Not to mention…that I understand how complicated family matters can be. I was the same, troubling the people around me because of my own selfish reasons. If I was in her position, and nobody came to help me, I probably would have ended up even worse off a person. The reason I didn’t is…Well, anymore than this, and it’d end up like the opposite of what I meant, so take the hint.”

If nobody was there to save her…So basically, because someone—I was there for her, she ended up like this?

“…I don’t mind if your words end up twisted, I still want to hear it from your own mouth, Aotsuki-san.”

Listening to my words, Aotsuki-san showed an embarrassed reaction, her cheeks slightly reddened, but she continued after a short break.

“…If I was all alone, I definitely wouldn’t have come this far. I wouldn’t have thought of doing a stage play like this. I would have probably been all alone sitting somewhere in the corner of the culture festival, wishing that this festival would just fail…But, because you were with me, next to me, that didn’t happen. That’s why…” Aotsuki-san showed a gentle smile.

It was like the faint and comfortable sunlight shining on a comfortable spring morning.

“<If only I never met you>.”

There’s no way I would have mistaken the true meaning of her words.

“I’m also glad that I got to meet you, Aotsuki-san.”


Zettai ni Derete wa Ikenai Tsundere

Zettai ni Derete wa Ikenai Tsundere

The Tsundere Definitely Can’t Go Dere, 絶対にデレてはいけないツンデレ
Score 9.4
Status: Completed Type: Author: , Artist: , Released: 2021 Native Language: Japanese
“Don’t get the wrong idea, okay. I definitely don’t like people such as you!”This template tsundere phrase marked the beginning of mine and Aotsuki Mifuyuu’s story. Because of her cold and indifferent attitude, she always stands out negatively in class. However one day, we ended up talking more and more with each other, and I started to see the warmth behind her cold words. Why is she so distanced and unaffectionate towards people despite being so kind? That seems to be related to her past that I don’t know about…This is a story about love, telling the coming along of a boy and girl until they finally act affectionate towards each other.

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