Chapter 8:


Extracurriculars 怪獣教師

I've made it very clear thus far that I do not care about others. If they aren't bothering me, I have no reason to. Why complicate my own life with others, and complicate their lives with me, when we'd be just fine without each other?Bookmark here

I don't think other people are bad, not at all. There are definitely people who most would label "bad", but what "bad" really means is subjective. If other people call someone bad, I don't see them that way until I am personally wronged by them. Even if they are "bad". Even if they've wronged many others. I won't think they're bad until they do bad things to me. I don't care about others, so it matters not to me what someone has done to other people. If we're cool, we're cool.Bookmark here

But that's a "horrible" way of thinking. You could ask "If someone started killing the random people around you, would you really not be angry or afraid? Would you really not think they're a bad person?"Bookmark here

I really wouldn't. I don't know those other people, nor do I care about them. I don't know the circumstances that may or may not have led to the incident. If I'm all good, then what happens to the other random people doesn't matter. I guess "sociopathically apathetic" is a decent way to put it. I'm just selfish.Bookmark here

I'm well aware that my favorability has just dropped. Anyone who thinks like me is most likely an awful person themselves. I'm not denying how twisted my beliefs are, not one bit. Any rational person would have disdain for someone who thinks like that.Bookmark here

But before you decide you hate me, and that's that, let me remind you that most of my actions thus far haven't reflected my beliefs. They've demonstrated the opposite, and I, frankly, have no clue as to why. It's probably for the better that things were this way, but I wasn't practicing what I preach. Here I was, saying "I don't care about other people, they could die and I wouldn't bat an eyelid" and all that, but then I went and advocated for all the other students and the suffering that the Devil's Staircase brought them.Bookmark here

It went further back than that. Even the situation with Zen End was clearly an act of standing up for a random dude who I didn't know or care about. I thought I was grounded in my ideals, but it turns out they were clashing with my actions the whole time, and I didn't even realize until I started ranting to Nishioka about the staircase. And she called me out on my blatant hypocrisy, not because she felt compelled to help me recognize my faults and change for the better, but because she knew it would stagger me. That's exactly the kind of person she seemed like at first. The type of person who would intentionally construct an unreasonably long and steep staircase to inconvenience people.Bookmark here

Nishioka called me out to aggravate me and nothing more, and she was quite devilish in doing so because she knew that I wouldn't be able to just brush it off. I, who thought I was firm in my beliefs, couldn't be informed about my own hypocrisy without considering it. I lived a life of apathy, but my actions had been anything but apathetic. I couldn't ignore the logic. I had to process it. But I couldn't do that either. I had short-circuited. It was quite an awkward situation, and Nishioka had the displeasure of being there for it. But maybe seeing me enter a slight crisis was actually a pleasure for her.Bookmark here

"You say you don't care about others, but you stood up for that boy, did you not? And were you not just complaining about how others are affected by the Devil's Staircase? You think one way and act another. I didn't need to say anything though. I'm just repeating what you've already realized on your own." Nishioka said, talking down to me, as she stood in front of me and took another bite from her apple.Bookmark here

She pointed out the blatant inconsistency so quickly that I couldn't come up with a retort in time to maintain the conversation's tempo. I stood in silence for a second or three, until I said "I went after Zen End because they were being violent. I sensed they were a threat to me, so I took action. If they were allowed to continue, they might have attacked me. I simply eliminated the threat."Bookmark here

"Pfft," Nishioka chided, once again holding back laughter. "If that really was your reasoning, then you wouldn't have swung first. You see it like this: there's no issue until you're harmed. The Zen End could have been as violent as they wanted towards that boy, but as long as they didn't come after you, there was no issue. Am I wrong? But you didn't wait for them to attack you. You don't attack unless you're attacked first, but between just you and the Zen End, you started it. I suppose I should check my calendar because I wasn't aware it was opposite day."Bookmark here

It was, in fact, not opposite day. I was just acting contrary to my ideals. Opposite day wasn't until several months from then.Bookmark here

Nishioka helped open my eyes. I realized what I had done, as well as the tenets it entailed- tenets completely different than mine. I accepted that I did it, because it was too late to take it back. I can't unprotect that guy. I can't unbeat the Zen End. What's done was done, but why?Bookmark here

Like many other things I was still oblivious to, I hadn't yet realized I was no longer the Inotani Takuya I thought I was. I was stubborn and reluctant as all hell about this change, but I just have to accept it. I still had a while to go until I finally could.Bookmark here

"So what? What if I acted out once? What if I made an exception?" I asked, frazzled.Bookmark here

"Is that what you think this is? An exception? I bet you think this is just a one in a million screw up and the chances of it happening again are slim to none. But this isn't a coincidence, no. It's the beginning of a new era where you, he-who-keeps-to-himself, take up the mantle of he-who-meddles-in-other-people's-business, and I, she-who-laughs-at-the-suffering, continues to do just that. I'm not saying you should try and be a hero. That's idiotic. Not everyone needs a hero to rescue them, and not everybody wants one. That kid might have appreciated that you stood up for him, but others might not. Make sure you know when to mind your own business."Bookmark here

"That entire statement contradicts itself," I said bluntly. "If you think I'm going to start meddling in other people's affairs, which brings me agony, and brings you joy, why are you advising me not to?"Bookmark here

"If you're asking me why I'm giving you a warning,"Bookmark here

That's exactly what I was asking her. It was so obvious. I don't know how she could be unsure about what I was asking. Perhaps she's more of a moron than she looks, or I'm the moron for getting annoyed over everything she says and does blatantly to just provoke me.Bookmark here

"I'm warning you because there's no point in warning you. You're still going to get involved with other people anyway. There's no way around it, I'm afraid."Bookmark here

Oh well, when she says it like that, it sounds much more believable.Bookmark here

Wait, no! It's still not okay! In fact, I need the believability meter on that scenario to be as low as possible. I don't think there's much I can do to fix this. I will admit that there wouldn't be much of a story if I could fix it, though.Bookmark here

"Whatever."Bookmark here

"Your short response and red face mean you must've really blown a fuse. Sorry, I didn't mean to troll you so badly."Bookmark here

Is that all this meant to you? Some educator you are. Actually, in her defense, I've never seen her educate once. And it's been some time since this incident.Bookmark here

"Anyway, I've actually got some business to discuss with you. It's also perfect that you're feeling like lending others a helping hand all of a sudden."Bookmark here

"Shut it."Bookmark here

"Ahem. How does overthrowing the government sound?"Bookmark here

-End cour 1-Bookmark here

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