Chapter 2 — Coming of age, a ceremony needed for emancipation. Part 12
“…Yeah, that might be true. But it’s also quite sad if you were to think about it like that.”
I didn’t say anything else, took out a 1,000 Yen note from my wallet and placed it on the counter.
He shook his head and pushed it back.
“I told you that it was my treat. Rather than this, I’d be glad to see you again—I really welcome pretty girls. Especially ones with bad attitudes.”
It appeared that he had a rather wicked taste in women.
I shut my eyes and spoke as I pulled my hair back at the same time.
“This comes on my way home, so I’ll pass by every day. Only passing by though, nothing more.”
“That’s fine by me. Oh right, almost forgot about this one last thing.”
He turned his eyes towards Shiro who was sitting on the ground.
“Wolf-kun, don’tcha wanna try some tea? It’s really tasty.”
He glanced at the cup that he had readied for Shiro earlier.
It had already gone cold, but Shiro didn’t seem to mind it at all as he hopped back onto the seat and poured the contents of the entire cup into his mouth, gulping down all of it at once.
“It’s tasty, right?”
Shiro remained silent, mirrored by myself and even the the bandana guy too.
And just like that, we parted ways.
As we were making our way back home, Shiro suddenly came to a halt and looked up at the sky.
“…Thinking about those children…” he murmured, as though he was giving a monologue. I waited for him to continue.
“I hope they can live well.”
“They’ll be fine.”
“They will be.”
I truly hoped for their wellbeing.
“Yes, let’s hope for the best,” he muttered, in a seemingly prayer-like manner. Then he let out a sigh, and turned to look forward again.
“But still, you know.”
“That person with the weird clothing… I wonder who he really is.”
“He’s a weirdo,” I sighed as I pulled my hair back. “I feel like I keep running into weird people today.”
“The stars are probably just aligned strangely at the moment.”
“That might be it.”
The weather is cold today, the same as before.
The wind that blew from time to time was strong and dry. I held my wildly fluttering hair down and looked up at the sky.
The sun was about to set, and the sky was bathed in a crimson red.
Nothing else appeared there, and it seemed like I could peek into the end of the beautiful sky with no obstructions in my way.
And thus, yet another day passed.
Just like usual, I was committing my time to school. Even though I saw no sense in doing it.
It could be said that it was the only human habit I had. And my time there was just dull.
Budworm was once again glaring at me intently with her right eye, just like yesterday.
Ever since Mouse was gone, her behaviour was increasingly becoming more and more wild.
Her previously well-kept hair was now unkempt, the bandage covering her left eye had been carelessly tied with both ends dangling about, and her uniform had been worn out of shape too, covered all over in wrinkles.
She looked ready to murder anyone who dared to even speak to her.
I greeted her by bowing and smiling, but she looked away in discomfort.
There was violent enmity infused even in that simple act. It was an enmity made in order to conceal her true emotions.
It took me a while to notice that the model student was sitting beside her as his presence had become really dull lately. His fairly well-shaped face was weighted down with a grim expression, and his arm was strapped and covered in a plaster cast.
It broke, or perhap someone had broken it—it seemed to me that it was probably the latter.
Once again, I ended up overhearing Budworm’s actual name, and then homeroom commenced.
Before the teacher entered the classroom, he left a girl outside.
“Err, let me introduce a transfer student to all of you.”
After his expected line, the rest that followed was like a scripted act. The door opened, and the girl wearing a tawny blazer as well as a moss green necktie and skirt passed through it with an amiable smile.
The teacher wrote her name on the blackboard, and she read it out loud.
“I’m Shiina Tsukasa, it’s nice to meet you all.”
Following her generic greeting, out of all things that she could have done, she chose to look at me and wave.
“How are you, Sacchan? Haven’t seen you since yesterday.”
I didn’t reply, and looked away outside the window instead, into the scenery.
The dry wind was raising clouds of dust from the playing field, staining the sky.
It looked like today was going to be rather windy day.