Afternoon, rain starts to fall like a bucket upside down, with precipitation exceeding 30 mm.
Somehow I did not go home, and instead stayed alone in Keyaki Mall. The place in the school yard is really practical, there is almost no difficulty for me to return home because of the sudden rain.
That's because students who don't bring anything can borrow a temporary umbrella. As long as returning it within the time limit that has been set, then it's free, because it's not a few users who use it. Some students who come out to play in the morning do not bring an umbrella to reduce luggage from the start.
Yes ... Even though I say so, today there are a few exceptions.
With the rain pouring down like this, even with an umbrella it would still be wet.
"Today ... It doesn't seem like it will stop." According to estimates, the rain will continue from noon until tomorrow morning.
Every now and then, every time my phone rings, the Ayanokouji group continues to discuss everything from rain to other conversations. And now it seems like they're talking about the rain that just happened.
"What to do, huh..."
I don't want to participate in the group chat now, anyway, just leave it alone so that it won't show the read.
I saw the conversation in the group while continuing to stare at my cell phone screen.
And when I was thinking about something, I kept repeating seeing the rain outside the window. Wasting time without doing anything.
Sometimes maybe it's okay if there is a time like this.
Instead of returning to the cafe, I sat quietly on a bench to pass the time. But yeah ... I don't mean to repeat for hours. I decided to go home about 20 or 30 minutes after listening to the sound of rain.
I used my student card on the machine to rent an umbrella. The lower body, especially from the knees down, will definitely be wet, but this is better than nothing.
After I decided to go outside and intend to go to the hostel, near the exit I saw a familiar student ... I found Ichinose. In the midst of this torrential rain ..., she did not hold an umbrella in her hand.
So she was still at the Keyaki Mall huh ...
There was no sign of her playing with her friends. She is alone. She probably thought of many things after parting with us.
She must be making some adjustments in her mind. However, judging by her condition she has not been able to adjust it well. If she returned to the dorm without an umbrella, surely she would definitely get soaked.
I thought she was waiting for her friend who had an umbrella, but it didn't seem so. It might be best to leave her alone, but this time I was a little worried about her after the full defeat that occurred in Class B. I hurried back to rent another umbrella.
I was a little late, when I came back Ichinose is ready to walk while getting wet.
She did not lead to the dormitory. Ichinose walked towards the school in the opposite direction. Also ... She still doesn't have an umbrella and keeps walking in the rain.
I could have let it go, but ... I chased after Ichinose with an umbrella in my hand.
Because the rain was very heavy, she could not hear the sound of my footsteps. Even if I called out to her, She couldn't hear ... Finally, Ichinose arrived at the school path, where the school building could be seen. In the pouring rain like this, of course ..., there was no sign of anyone around. After that, she began to look towards the sky.
Instead of hating because it was rained on, it felt like she really wanted to get wet because it was rained on.
What are you feeling And what are you thinking about? It's not hard to guess that.
It's not bad to keep it in the rain until she really understands all that, but she will catch a cold.
For now, Ichinose ... Feels more or less terrible.
"If you remain standing in such a place, you will catch a cold ..."
Raising my voice volume slightly, I called out to Ichinose while approaching her.
She might not think that there was someone here, She was a little surprised, When Ichinose looked at me.
However, she only replied lightly not intending to move away. Without fear of getting rained on, she once again looked at the sky.
"Go back first, I do feel like I want a little rain." When I approach the distance where I can hear her voice, Ichinose tells me like that.
"Oh, I see..."
Even though she said it was a little ..., but this was very heavy rain.
If you leave it like this, Ichinose will be exposed to rain for an hour or two.
It seems like this is not the right situation and listen to persuasion from someone. So to end it requires a little force.
For Ichinose there is a way of handling, That works for Ichinose only.
I lowered the umbrella I was holding, then folded it. In an instant, the rain began to seep from my hair to my feet.
"A ... Ayanokouji-kun ...?"
"I guess I'll accompany you ..." With my actions like that, of course Ichinose can't ignore it.
"There are times when I want to be exposed to rain without any meaning."
This is different from Ichinose, which means being exposed to heavy rain. Two people were soaked despite having two umbrellas in their hands. I had a strange experience like that.
"You'll catch a cold ..."
"You too, Ichinose ..."
"I'm fine. On the contrary, I think it's okay if I catch a little cold."
So it was. It may be the most appropriate way to be so drenched by the cold rain for such a long time.
"Yes ... Then I'll do it too ..." Of course, Ichinose will be confused if someone answers that way. 'Then let's catch a cold together' they definitely won't reply like that either ...
"You can't ... Because you have an umbrella... It's okay for you to go home, Ayanokouji-kun."
"There's almost no point in using an umbrella right now ..."
The underwear must have been soaking wet, and the rain penetrated into the body.
"Th ... That's evil..."
If Ichinose doesn't go home, then I won't go home either. I succumbed to Ichinose with such threats.
"...... I understand. Then let's go home"
"Well then ..." I stopped to pass a umbrella.
"Since it's wet ... Let's go home."
"Haha ... yeah" It takes less than a few minutes for us to return to the dormitory. There is no big difference either.
Two people walking together ... While in the rain. I thought it wasn't bad to return quietly, but Ichinose immediately sighed.
"I always show my bad side to Ayanokouji-kun ..., really not cool huh ..."
"A bad side ... Yes ... That might have a point."
Lately she was played by Sakayanagi and had temporarily lost her true identity.
"Even though in front of others I can be more resilient ... Why is that...?"
"Well ... I think ... Only the trustworthy person can see someone's bad side."
You won't show weakness, at least ... Not in front of people you hate. Even if you lied about your determination, but you still revealed your weakness when alone.
"It's a little narcissistic to say that. Forget what I said just now."
"No ... I guess you are right. Ayanokouji-kun is a person who can be trusted .., that's why I show my weaknesses like this. But ... When I'm weak, I feel Ayanokouji-kun is always beside me."
"It was just a coincidence ..."
"I am really, really sorry."
"There's no need to apologize. I don't think that's a bad thing. If other students know they must be mad at me."
Even in the same school year Ichinose was a very popular girl. If boys hear it, they might be very jealous.
"If it's okay, you can say your complaints."
Ichinose, looking confused, shook her head left and right.
"I can't ... It's not good to show my weakness like this, I'm really pathetic right." Even though it's getting warmer, the temperature is still low.
Finally, under this heavy rain ..., we arrived in front of the dormitory. Even though it was only a little longer, we arrived at the dormitory lobby ..., but Ichinose stopped once again.
"What will you do ... Ichinose?"
"Right now ... I don't want to go back to my room for a while." Saying that, She refused to go back home.
It was a rejection with a stronger will than before.
"Even so we have to go back first."
It's true, if it gets rained a little on his mind. But that does not lead to a fundamental solution.
I cannot agree with Ichinose's resistance.
"Even so, I really don't want to go back home ... Right now..."
"Is that so ... I will stay here then." Because I showed a tough attitude, making Ichinose surprised and confused.
"If you are alone in the room, then you will remember a lot of things and will feel pressured again ... Because of that you don't want to go back right?"
Even though I kept getting rained on like this, Ichinose still didn't move forward. If that's the case, there's no choice but to move forward in another way.
"Then, want to come to my room?"
Responding to an unexpected question from me, Ichinose looked into my eyes.
"If there is someone to talk to, I don't think you will be depressed anymore."
"But ... I'm wet ..."
"Besides, I'm also wet, it doesn't make any difference. If Ichinose says she won't come over, then I'll stay here with you."
"It is unexpected ... if Ayanokouji-kun is a coercive huh ..."
After that we both went to the dormitory with wet bodies. Incidentally, at this time there was no one in the lobby. After that we both entered the elevator and went to my room on the 4th floor.
"Is that really all right?"
"... I'm sorry, thank you"
I put Ichinose in the room and first told her to sit down. A cold floor might make it even colder. With her clothes wet ... I can't say it's a good thing, but at least not to make it colder ... I turned off the air conditioner. After that I took a towel and gave it to Ichinose.
"What if you talk about it without being rushed?"
"Talk about ...?"
"Everything Ichinose thinks about, worries ... And all that stuff."
"That ... No, I can't..."
Confused, Ichinose refused.
"Lately, I always relied on Ayanokoujikun. More than anyone, you always save me. If I say more than this ... It's really not cool... I can't do it." Ichinose Honami is a weak girl. However, she always has something that make it looks like an amazing leader.
Because it is a skill that is certainly needed as a leader. Something like ... 'With this person, it's okay to follow'. Something she must show as a leader.
"Ayanokouji-kun knows enough about me anyway ..."
"Of course ... I am getting closer to Ichinose ... But it's only limited to a student named Ichinose Honami. I still don't know how much trouble about you being the leader of Class B."
"If you know that ... Then..."
Without wanting to talk about it honestly. Ichinose hid his face with a towel. It's like she refused to let read something from her facial expression.
"Do you not trust me?"
Ichinose responded while still hiding her face.
"If that's the case, it's fine ... You don't need to say it. On the contrary, it's a wrong to tell others."
"No ... That's not it... I might trust Ayanokouji-kun more than anyone ..."
Whether it's a lie or true, this is a trivial matter.
Because whichever it is, I directed Ichinose to say that.
"It is an honor for me, but why do you say it so easily? I might just use Ichinose's honesty ... Like ... Well ... Even though it's only half... You used to tell Sakayanagi about your past right..? "
An event that is still new in her memory. Keep your past a secret when she was in middle school. Although she shoplifted for the sake of her younger sister. But she told Sakayanagi from Class A that was in fact her enemy. Although manipulated, but said something that should not be easily expressed even though it was her closest friend.
She is too far a better person.
"In a situation where you don't know each other's relationship. Normally you don't talk about your secrets just like that."
Of course, if it's a deliberately fabricated story, another story ... But what Ichinose did was meaningless.
No ... Even though she knew she was in trouble, She still did it.
"Therefore ... What will you do if the same situation occurs again?"
"Even I ... It's enough if that happens again." Saying that, She touched the tip of her wet bangs adorably.
"I see ... If that's okay. If you always remember to be careful, then I won't talk about it more deeply."
"Ah, no, that's not it. It's true ... I don't want to experience difficulties the same way. But Ayanokouji-kun is different."
"I'm in a different class. Isn't it no different if I'm Ichinose's enemy?"
"I don't want to say the enemy easily."
"Even if you don't want to say that, that's the truth."
"... But ..."
Unable to accept it, Ichinose reselected her words.
"Not a partner, but someone who can be trusted." By expressing it like that, She hates the word 'enemy'.
Immediately, the water began to boil.
"Coffee, Coffee Milk, hot chocolate also ..."
"Then ... Hot chocolate." Ichinose nodded and smiled a little when She said... I made her a hot chocolate.
Therefore, she can warm her body. Finally the rain subsided a little, and the sunset began to pierce the clouds. Ichinose, who had been watching the scenery outside for a while, smiled a little at me.
After a while, Ichinose began to talk about her feelings little by little.
"When I met my classmates in class B, I felt confident that we could win. It could be said that it was a self-conceit, so I thought ... I was blessed with a very good environment. Even now that feeling hasn't changed. "
Like confirming again ..., Ichinose said that.
"But the only miscalculation is that I am the leader. If I could do it better, I think class B could have more points than it currently has."
"Not really ... I don't doubt that Ichinose is an extraordinary person." Shaking her head left and right, She refused my words.
"Today, I spoke with Horikita-san and I really felt it. She has grown so much over the past year. Even Ryuuen-kun and Sakayanagi-san are like that. The leaders in each class are getting stronger and stronger." Unlike the surrounding environment that shows such enthusiasm. She hasn't seen herself grow in a year.
That's how she lost her confidence. She had the strong impression of being left behind by others, as if it was her own fault.
"I ... Can I win after this ...?"
"Win after this ..."
(Tln: Don't misunderstand, Kiyo just repeats Ichinose's words. He hasn't answered at all.)
"I want to hear Ayanokouji-kun's opinion ... Can you answer me honestly?"
"If that's your wish ... Then I can't help but answer it."
Not that my answer is correct. But ... Ichinose wants to know that one answer now. However ... That's not something I can say now. The future is uncertain, and there are still unlimited possibilities. I know very well that Ichinose is not a student who will give up here.
"Soon we will become class 2. In other words the start of the new school year ..."
"During that one year, try to always move forward with your classmates. During the trip, sometimes there are things that make you happy, sad, sometimes you feel like you are completely destroyed. Even so ... Never once thinking of stopping... "
Now ..., what class B leader Ichinose Honami can do is ... Same as before ... She just has to live her life with courage.
There is no way ... Other than trusting her friends... That's the only weapon allowed in Class B.
"So ... That ... One year later... Can I get the answer I want...?" One year later, is something that cannot be seen now. She must have felt an incredible sense of anxiety because of that.
"I'm afraid, myself one year later, the words one year later that Ayanokouji-kun said, I'm afraid ..."
Life in high school, high school that had begun well as a class B. Ichinose with her classmates could pass this one year safely protecting her position.
Surrounded by many friends, and living school life smoothly.
However, if you don't pay attention, you will find that the gap is closing. In front of Ichinose Honami, the word "defeated" appeared.
"I know ... That's not an answer you can accept and understand" Ichinose averted her gaze.
I can't answer the question 'can she win over this'.
No ... It doesn't even need to be answered. Big differences begin to emerge in the power that is currently visible. If evaluating objectively at this time, it is likely that the class will sink to the lower classes next year.
That was Ichinose's inaction. Not because it's cold. But her body trembled slightly with fear.
"What must be done? What must be done ..." Ichinose will certainly never show weaknesses like this to other students.
Especially to classmates.
It's easy for me to give soft words here. It's also easy for me to be gentle and whisper sweet words in Ichinose's open heart. Even now ... I might be able to touch her body under her wet clothes.
As I moved, Ichinose reacted and looked at me. I moved to Ichinose's side, sat together and stared at her gaze that wanted to escape.
"A-Ayanokouji-kun ...?" I touched Ichinose's wet hair with my right hand ... Then lightly touched her cheeks.
A cold sensation, a soft sensation, and also a little ... Warmth flowing down my fingertips. Then ... I moved my thumb and touched Ichinose's lips gently. By doing that, her body's trembling diminished, and her trembling lips finally calmed down.
Usually it is an action that should be refused, and it is not strange to run away immediately because of it. But Ichinose still did not go.
"Inconceivable ... You are such a strange person ... Ayanokouji-kun..."
"I guess so ..." Stopping the conversation ... I just looked at Ichinose. Nothing more, nothing less.
"Well ... Ichinose, just like today, will you meet me again next year?"
"..... What does it mean?" Without releasing my palm, Ichinose's moist eyes caught me and never let go.
"It means it's the same as that ... One more year I want to meet you exactly like now. Me and Ichinose are alone together." In a certain sense ... It might sound like confessing feelings.
But ... It's enough up to here. I let go of my hand gently and kept my distance from Ichinose.
"From now on, don't hesitate and move forward, and meet me next year. Will you promise me?"
"That ..." She hesitated for a moment. "It's possible ... At that time I ... Our class ..."
"It has nothing to do ... I just want to see Ichinose one year later ..." Ichinose closed her eyes and nodded slightly.
"The answer I am trying to convey ... At that time... I promise I will say it ..."
"Yes, thank you ... Ayanokouji-kun." The energy that had been lost in her eyes ... Was confirmed to have begun returning.
"I will also promise. Throughout this year I will fight with all my strength and head to class A." Now in this place ... Ichinose showed her best smile to me. Promise to see each other in the years to come. If we can both survive, then this promise will be fulfilled.
Class B is led by Ichinose Honami. What will they do later?
Many things are still in doubt ..., but the future is not yet determined. However ... If they will fall, I will be the [Misinterpretation] at that time.