「So who was it that caused the captain to go through all of that?」
「All of them, almost all of them」
At the dinner table.
Shima-senpai frowned with a turkey leg in her hand.
Shima-senpai and Takasago-senpai did not return from the menagerie even at lunchtime. They seemed to have spent a lot of time interrogating the pigs.
「The only one who didn't join the beating was Shiratori」
It seemed very surprising to me.
I wonder if this is some kind of her trick.
「Konparu always hated Hatsu-chan, so I thought this girl must be doing it. And when I interrogated her, I just focused on her toes, and she easily vomited the truth within five strikes. She said it wasn't just her」
「But why is everyone...... doing that~?」
At Yui-chan's question, Shima-senpai held up two fingers.
「There are two reasons. The first one is because Hatsu-chan defended Amemiya yesterday and everyone was penalized」
I think I can understand that.
After all, if I'm the one who's going to get whipped, and I'm in a state of exhaustion, and then I have to take that whipping again, I'm going to be angry.......
「The other thing is...... Hatsu-chan's fall」
「They're all broken. In just a few days, they'll be like cattle. Shameless, vulgar pigs. And all they can think about is how to get out of trouble. It would be annoying if there was only one person who hadn't fallen to the same level as them......」
「Because of that!?」
Looking again at the track and field club, it is hard to say that we all got along well. It's obvious if I look at the relationship between Yui-chan and Amemiya-senpai.
But I couldn't imagine that everyone beating up on one person. In addition, the one who was beaten up was Captain Tashiro, who was respected by everyone.
Yui-chan narrowed her eyes at Shima-senpai as she blew on her gratin.
「But isn't there a problem with you, too? Shima-senpai~」
「What do you mean! I'd like to say that...... but I think you're right. From their perspective, we're favoring Hatsu-chan. That's how it is」
Shima-senpai then threw the turkey leg bone on the plate and grabbed the roast beef.
「It's hard to treat, but for now, I and Takasago have thoroughly beaten up anyone who messed with Hatsu-chan, so I think she'll be fine......」
Is that really the case?
I have a bad feeling about this.
It's true that today, the captain threw herself down to protect Saito-san from me. Probably they'll be penalized again tonight.
Glancing at my downcast face, Yui-chan cowered her shoulders.
「In the end, no one bothered to find out who the four people were~......」
「Don't talk about this as if it were someone else's problem. You didn't even try to find them in the first place......」
「I think it's okay to stay like this for a while longer~」
The atmosphere from then on was somehow heavy. In spite of the luxuriousness of the meal, the conversation did not lively.
The four of us..... but I’m not sure about Takasago-senpai and Yui-chan. At least for Shima-senpai and I feel that our minds have been worn out a lot.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Well then...... Lili, I'm counting on you」
「I got it, Devi. Freesia is also standing by」
After a long night, I was getting ready to go to school.
I took out a new uniform from the dressing room, and for the time being, I used Kyoko to make up for lost time.
It was just like yesterday. I considered skipping a day of school, but I didn't want to raise suspicions.
However, the situation was too unclear.
I'm sure that Rin Fukuda is involved in some way, but I can't imagine why she would want to attack me if she were missing.
There's just something about her that makes her think I'm the culprit. And I can't just leave it at that.
The first step is to identify the attacker and find out who's behind it.
「Oh, yes, Fumi Fumi, keep your schedule open tonight」
「The track & field club is progressing faster than I expected, Devi. Maybe Fumi Fumi will bring one of them tonight, Devi」
「Heh...... that sounds exciting」
As I couldn't bear to worry my mother, I summoned the door on my way to school and bandaged my head with Masaki-chan's help.
While I'm in class, Lili and Freesia are supposed to disappear to find the attacker and clean up the background.
It's hard to believe that they would attack me so early in the morning, but I headed to school with a certain amount of caution.
When I arrived at the classroom, I was puzzled by the slightly different atmosphere from usual.
Everyone was glancing at me, perhaps wondering about my bandage. I felt like I was attracting attention. I felt that way. But I couldn't help but think that it was just a problem with the bandage. I could hear a number of whispered voices.
（What's going on......?）
Once I got to my seat, I looked around.
Fujiwara-san hadn't come to school yet. I noticed a few people quickly turning away as soon as their eyes met mine. I knew I was being watched.
While I was bracing myself with a strange sense of tension, I saw a big man walking towards me alone.
「......Kijima, I have a question for you」
It was Hiratsuka-kun, who spoke to me in a low voice while looking down at me.
He was a big man, over 180cm tall, and a member of the judo club.
I hadn't really talked to him before, but that was simply because I hadn't had any contact with him. He's a quiet guy and I'm a shy guy, so there's no way we could have had any contact.
「Are the rumors true?」
「Look around you. Everyone is looking at you, right? It's rumored that you're the one who kidnapped the track & field club」
Immediately, a chill went down my spine.
I felt like I was a spectator, but before I knew it, I was pulled out into the middle of the stage without any preparation.
Hiratsuka-kun must have been dating Tashiro-san from the track and field club. He was one of the victims, albeit indirectly. So when he heard the rumor, he couldn't help himself.
When I looked up at Hiratsuka-kun, he wasn't glaring at me, but he was staring right at me.
I let out a big breath and stared into Hiratsuka-kun's eyes.
「Hiratsuka-kun, can you kidnap all the girls in the track and field club?」
「I don't think so」
「That's what I'm telling you. If you think I can do what Hiratsuka-kun can't, then everyone is out of their minds. No, I think my test scores were higher than Hiratsuka-kun's, but if I can do it based on my test scores, then I probably can」
「I see, that's a boring question」
Hiratsuka-kun gives a small chuckle when he says that and he continues.
「I'm sorry. But you shouldn't talk about it in such a cynical way. Honestly, it doesn't make a good impression」
I almost laughed.
This is the first time I've had a real conversation with him, but I think Hiratsuka-kun might be a pretty nice guy. That's why I feel a little guilty.
「I'll reflect on that. By the way, Hiratsuka-kun, where did you hear that rumor?」
「I heard it on social media from a junior」
「The judo clubs?」
「Yeah, that's right. The guy said he heard it from a guy in the soccer club. He said his soccer teammate was kidnapped and left a note saying you were the culprit......」
「Soccer team manager? Could it be this Fukuda girl?」
I don't know anything about her to be honest, but is she the manager of the soccer team?
「No, I don't even know her name」
At the mention of the soccer club, I reflexively turn my attention to Kasuya-kun. He was looking at me for some reason. I almost made eye contact with him, and I panicked and kept my eyes down.
At that moment, I heard a crazy voice at the entrance of the classroom.
It seems Fujiwara-san has arrived.
Behind her was Kurosawa-san, who must have come to school with Fujiwara-san, covering her mouth with her hand with a startled look on her face.
Hiratsuka-kun chuckled, raised his hand lightly and went back to his seat. Then, Fujiwara-san came running towards me with great speed.
「W-w-w-what's wrong with you? Are you hurt!」
「Oh, no, I just fell down」
「Have you been to the hospital?」
「It's not that bad.......」
「No! I'm afraid it was a head injury! Let's go to the hospital right now! We have our own doctor in Tokyo! It's only a helicopter ride away!」
「Tokyo!? A helicopter!?」
The whole classroom did a double-take. But Fujiwara-san didn't care about that and cried out.
「No, no, no! Fu~min is going to die! Don't leave me here! Please don't turn me into a widow!」
The whispering in the classroom had turned into a murmur, and thanks to Fujiwara-san, the topic of conversation had completely shifted from the kidnapper of the track & field club
「Well, Fujiwara-san, let's look up the meaning of widow in the dictionary first」
When I told her that, she looked confused.
◇ ◇ ◇
While worrying about the fussing Mai, I put my bag on the seat and walked over to Jun-kun.
「Jun-kun, Fumi...... Kimo-jima is injured...」
「It's probably a first-year student at our school. I'm surprised Kimo-jima is coming to school with an injury」
（Why is he coming......?）
Last night, I received a message from a friend in another class saying that Kimo-jima was the culprit.
I've heard about it from Jun-kun, and I've heard a few more things about it. Some of them even said that he was blackmailing Mai.
At any rate, the kidnapping of the track and field club was the biggest concern for the students. That's why rumors circulate so fast.
「Jun-kun, you have to stop the juniors, it's not about Kimo-jima, it's about Mai. It's hard for me to pretend that I don't know something about.......」
When I complained, he shrugged his shoulders and spoke.
「You're so kind, Misuzu. I understand. I'll call my juniors and talk to them at lunchtime」
◇ ◇ ◇
As I stepped into the menagerie for my morning feeding, I heard Shima-senpai mutter something like that. There is no doubt that it will happen.
Because right now, Captain's body was limp, and her skin was pale.
She looked like she was suffocating.
She had clearly been beaten even more severely.
Perhaps her consciousness was clouded, but she only let out a moaning voice, and there was no response when Shima-senpai called out to her.
However, when Shima-senpai tried to rush over to her, a woman stood in front of her.
She pointed a huge machete at Shima-senpai and pointed to a bucket of food.
She seemed to be trying to say, “Now is the time for feeding”.
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