Volume 9 Chapter 19 Shirogane Aqua, Kohina-senpai, and I
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
While riding our bikes, Ako-san called me, so I picked her up on the way to Kohina-san’s house.
”I see, that’s the situation…”
After hearing the situation from Kohina-senpai, I let out a small breath and took a deep breath. This was to calm my own emotions and my heart that was shaking with more anger than I had expected.
If I could be forgiven, I would want to go beat them up right now, but violence doesn’t solve anything. It wouldn’t mean anything if only I felt better, and it wouldn’t save Kohina-senpai or Ayana. It could even be counterproductive and hurtful.
First, it’s much more important to calm down and think about what I can do for Kohina-senpai and Ayana, how I can support them. Moreover, there’s someone next to me who’s angrier than I am, so I need to be even calmer.
”I understand the general situation.”
Ako-san’s fist trembled with anger. It’s true that when someone who doesn’t usually get angry gets angry, it’s really scary. It’s the first time I’ve seen Ako-san with this expression.
That’s why I have to stay calm. If I got worked up too, Ako-san and I would go after them with nail bats. That’s how angry we all remember.
”The culprit was taken away by a strange group, but did you file a police report?”
”Yeah, the police came right away and we filed a report on the spot, but…”
Kohina-senpai hesitated to say more. Ako-san asked her worriedly.
”It’s just that…the police were a little different from the usual…but their police badges looked real, and their skills were too good. I mean, people couldn’t fake forensic cars and tools, and they had guns…well, anyway, I think it’s okay because we filed a report.”
I think it takes a lot of courage to file a police report. Even after the incident, some people have to be involved with those guys in court or something, and even if a verdict is reached in court, some people are able to sort out their feelings, while others are not.
That’s why a lot of people cry themselves to sleep without filing a report. As for me, I also feel like I want them to file a report and receive retribution, but I feel sorry for the two of them. That’s why I want to respect the decision and determination of the two of them who decided to file a report.
”I understand. Yukari… next time something like this happens, please contact me or Aqua-kun that day without fail. I’m begging you to promise me that. Don’t be alone. It may be hard, but even so, you can’t be alone.”
Ako-san took Kohina-senpai’s hand and hugged her tightly. When I see Ako-san with a face that looks like she’s about to cry, it truly pains me. Kohina-senpai is going through a tough time, but Ako-san is too. That’s why I can’t forgive the person who’s making everyone suffer.
”Sorry, and thank you… I mean, I wasn’t directly affected, so I thought maybe you shouldn’t worry…”
”No need to apologize. I know I’ve been saying some unreasonable things myself. I’m actually happy that you contacted me. But, but, I can’t forgive myself for being so carefree during times like this… I’m the one who should apologize.”
Yesterday, when that incident was happening, I had just finished work and was having ramen with Rin-chan and Emily-san at Takeko-san’s place. Indeed, while those two were going through such an event, thinking about myself casually eating ramen, it fills me with a sense of helplessness.
”Yukari… I’m really glad you’re safe.”
”Thank you, Ako. I’m happy that you’re worried about me.”
I could see a glint in both of their eyes. Perhaps, for now, I should leave them be? I decide that it’s better to leave them alone, so I quietly get up and walk out of the room.
According to Kohina-senpai, the guy who seems to be the leader of the attackers is someone Ayana knew from her child acting days, and he used to harass her whenever he had the chance.
According to the man’s statement, he saw Ayana, who is currently active in a drama series, and thought of sabotaging her. After answering without remorse with such selfish reasons, he demanded to be released quickly, so I thought he was uncontrollable.
But it seems that the police have no intention of releasing him, but there are pleas for his release from some powerful people. Even if it’s said that men are favored in this world, it’s really wrong if such things are allowed.
What should I do? What can I do? Does Ayana have someone, like family, who can be there for her in times like this? It may be none of my business, but I’m worried about Ayana.
If what Kohina-senpai said about Ayana’s condition is true, maybe she hasn’t been able to talk to anyone about it? But even if I go to Ayana, what can I do? Besides, I wondered if it was okay for me to get involved to that extent.
Even if I can’t take responsibility, I can’t just stick my nose into everything. I had just talked a little about it with Kanon.
’Girls aren’t used to being treated kindly by boys, so I think they would be surprised if they were treated kindly by Aqua. So, it’s good to be kind to various people, but make sure you understand that it might make girls develop feelings for you. Also, how you respond to those feelings is important. It’s good to respond to all of them, but if not, think about it properly.’
I hadn’t thought deeply about it, but considering the gender ratio in this world, I thought it might be true. Certainly, there is only one of me, and it’s impossible to respond to all the feelings directed at me. So I have to draw a line somewhere.
Of course, I don’t think Ayana will become like that, but it’s also not good for me to make assumptions like that. When it was Kohina-senpai’s turn, I couldn’t bear it and ran out, but that’s why I was able to calm down.
What should I do? What should I do to solve this? I pondered over it. While thinking about such things, I felt someone’s presence behind me.
”Thank you for coming today. I’m already fine… Ako will be with me for a while.”
I see… If Ako-san is by her side, I can feel relieved. I don’t really understand it myself, but I want Kohina-senpai to be the same as always. Otherwise, I feel really uneasy and unsettled. I’m surprised at my own emotions that I didn’t even know about.
”Ayana-chan said she has work today. I told her she should take the day off, but she’s the type to put up a strong front…”
Certainly, no matter what happens, Ayana won’t take a day off from work unless someone stops her. No, even if someone stops her, I think Ayana’s personality would force her to go to work with a smile. That’s why I’m even more worried.
If nothing happens, that’s great, but if she puts work to distract herself from the pain and ends up getting physically or mentally ill, it will be irreversible. No, that would still be better. There’s a possibility that her heart will break from pushing herself too hard and become completely helpless.
”Please. I’m already fine, so go to Ayana-chan.”
Kohina-senpai held both of my hands and looked up at my face. Compared to the usual Kohina-senpai, today’s senpai looks so weak. Seeing Kohina-senpai like that, I couldn’t hold back my overwhelming emotions. I hugged Kohina-senpai tightly.
Kohina-senpai looked surprised but hugged me back. I realized once again how small she is. I had forgotten because of our usual interactions, but I think it must have been really scary for her to be attacked by a man with such a small body.
That’s why I couldn’t forgive the culprit. Are you kidding me? Why do you interfere with Ayana, Kohina-senpai, and other hardworking people? I thought you should do something else instead of doing such things.
”Kohina-senpai, I… I was really worried.”
”Yeah… Thank you.”
Kohina-senpai reached out and patted my head.
It feels embarrassing, like being patted on the head by mom.
D*mn… why am I the one being comforted when I came to comfort.
”But I’m fine. Look, even though my heart is still a little surprised now, thanks to Aqua and Ako, I can calm down properly from the bottom of my heart and even laugh. So… don’t leave Ayana-chan alone. I think she’s crying alone. Ayana-chan’s mom is a manager, so maybe she can’t rely on her properly. Even when I saw her go to work today, I think she probably went on her own.”
Kohina-senpai let go of me and smiled gently.
She spoke in a gentle tone that made me feel relieved, as if a mother was talking to her child.
”Are you worried? As a third party like me, just a classmate and co-star, are you allowed to be by Ayana-chan’s side?”
I nodded. How did Kohina-senpai know what I was thinking?
Kohina-senpai, who had been serious until just now, suddenly slapped my back with a loud clap.
”Got it? Listen carefully!”
Kohina-senpai, with a serious expression, pressed both hands on my cheeks and stared at me with her big eyes.
”Shirogane Aqua is the one who should go there! Since you can’t read the atmosphere anyway, don’t try to read it!! I was glad that you came to me right away. I’m glad I could talk to Ako and I feel like I was saved because of you. So, say what you think. Stick to being Shirogane Aqua!! I guarantee that it will definitely save someone!! But if it still doesn’t work… then I’ll comfort you seriously, so go!! Don’t lie to your heart that wants to go, because Ako and I will take full responsibility, no matter what you do!!”
My heart felt heavy as if hit.
I wonder why. The part that I had been worried about until now cleared up and my mind became clear.
Now, I understand what I can do, what I should do.
That’s right… if it’s meaningless to go, then it’s fine.
If I have to take responsibility for it, then I just have to take responsibility. That’s it.
Yes, remember, me.
My name is Shirogane Aqua.
Don’t hesitate to make girls smile!!
I showed a smile to Kohina-senpai, feeling completely relieved.
”Thank you. Senpai… thanks to you, I’m feeling incredibly motivated.”
”Yeah, you had a much better look than when you were more worried than me earlier. That’s the Aqua of me and Ako.”
Kohina-senpai slowly let go of my cheeks.
Kohina-senpai, who stretched her back and stood on tiptoe, reached out with all her might and roughly patted my head.
I couldn’t help but think that this is what it feels like to be patted on the head by mom.
Even though we’re not that far apart in age, what am I thinking…
But being patted by Kohina-senpai made me very happy. It was a touch that showed she cared about me.
Oh, by the way, she mentioned it before. Even though she said to pat the head, it’s not about pretending with the atmosphere and patting everyone the same way. Think about the person being patted and properly face that person and pat their head…
”Go and come back!”
I picked up my helmet and headed to the bike parking lot.
Ako-san was waiting there.
”Aqua-kun, thank you. Thanks to you, I was able to be by Yukari’s side. So leave it to me here, and go to Tsukimachi-san’s place. Even if something happens, I’ll do my best to protect her.”
Ako-san said that and pointed her thumb towards me.
”I believed in Shirogane Aqua, prove that you’re not a useless boy who can’t even save one girl!”
Haha… what pressure. But that’s why I think it’s good. When I first met her, I thought she was just a kind person, or maybe just an ordinary person, but Ako-san is not like that.
Since she quit her job and started her own office for my sake, I know that she is the best gambler and a passionate person. If Ako-san is going to support me by risking her whole life, then I have no choice but to risk my whole life to prove myself. I should have made up my mind to show the best Shirogane Aqua in the special seat on that day and at that time.
”Thank you, Ako-san. I’m going now!”
”Yeah! Do your best!!”
I rode my bike towards the site where Ayana was working.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.