Chapter 9:

Who is Haruto Akishiro?

Confession Games


The game that Naoya recommended me, was a typical RPG but with fresh gameplay mechanics and an exciting storyline. Before I knew it, my eyes were locked onto the television screen and nothing could tear my gaze away.Bookmark here

Eventually, I reached a good stopping point and reached for my phone to see the time.Bookmark here

3:00 amBookmark here

'...Well, this isn't good.'Bookmark here

On one hand, I felt much better after gaming, but on the other hand I certainly wouldn't be waking up refreshed.Bookmark here

'I'm sorry about this future me.'Bookmark here

Now that it was this late, or early, I turned off my game and went to bed. I had no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't get a perfect sleep, but I had to take what I could get.Bookmark here

*Ring! Ring!* Bookmark here

Awoken by the alarm in the form of an anisong I liked, I sat up in a groggy state as expected. Thankfully, my awareness was strong so I didn't just tap snooze and go back to sleep.  Bookmark here

With my body weighed down by my lack of sleep, I quickly got ready to leave the apartment. Once I was ready, or at least woozy enough to think I was ready, I entered Ms. Aria's apartment and headed for her bedroom.Bookmark here

I knocked the door twice and then said, "It's time to get up, I'll be making breakfast."Bookmark here

A couple seconds later, she sluggishly replied, "Mmm, a few more minutes..."Bookmark here

"I'm going back to the kitchen. If you don't get up soon the food will get cold."Bookmark here

There was nothing wrong with sleeping in on a Sunday, but as a teacher there was still some work she needed to take care of, so I couldn't let her indulge in dreamland for too long. Bookmark here

On my first Sunday working for her, I made the mistake of entering her room to wake her up. Although I always warned her about how defenceless she was, the moment she put me in a headlock my consciousness quickly faded into a soft heaven. She apologized afterwards, but I secretly noted never to force her out of the bed again.Bookmark here

A few minutes after I started making breakfast, I heard her leave her bedroom and then enter the bathroom. By the time I finished breakfast, she came out dressed in a light blue tank-top and white shorts, with a towel around her neck. Despite it being not much different from her usual attire, it was always much harder to look at her when she was fresh out of the shower so I kept my eyes on the plates.Bookmark here

On Sundays, after breakfast I would study and do my homework here and ask her for help if I had any troubles. Since she was an excellent teacher of English, Classical Literature and History, my scores in those subjects had greatly improved, which I considered an extra perk of working for her. Bookmark here

Around lunch was when I would make a grocery list after checking what was in the fridge and for any upcoming sales. There was no set day for grocery shopping, but I normally did it on Monday because I liked to stay at home on Sundays. Bookmark here

"Oh, Haruto." Bookmark here

While I double-checked the grocery list, Ms. Aria called me so I looked over to see her with a couple paper bills.Bookmark here

"Here's your pay and money for groceries."Bookmark here

"Okay, thank you."Bookmark here

I took the money and skimmed through the bills but then I noticed that it was a little more than usual. Bookmark here

"There's an extra 1000 yen here," I pointed out.Bookmark here

"I know. I told you I would pay you for keeping the club going, didn't I?"Bookmark here

"Yeah, but this is..."
Bookmark here

I was being paid 8,000 yen a week to be her helper, and even that felt like too much since we ate meals together. So despite how much joy I felt, I was also hesitant about accepting this much money. Bookmark here

"Trust me, it might seem like too much now. But you'll eventually see how much you need it."Bookmark here

"I don't like the sound of that, but I guess I'll accept it then. Still, are you sure this won't be a burden to you?"Bookmark here

I didn't know how much the teachers got paid, but I didn't think it was enough for them to throw around money. Bookmark here

"Don't worry besides, I'm sure that one day you'll..."Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

Without finishing her line, Ms. Aria smirked and walked away, leaving me wondering what she was about to say.Bookmark here

After lunch, I went back to my apartment and started up that game from last night. While I was gaming, a message came in from Arisugawa in the group chat, that said that the website was finished, and it came along with a link so that we could look at it before it went live.Bookmark here

I was no expert, but as a denizen of the internet I thought that the cool colours and small flower petals at the borders gave it that simple yet appealing feel. Bookmark here

'These must be Kirisaki's idea.'Bookmark here

Our school crest, which was just a heart with the name of our school written in kanji at the centre, was also at the top of the homepage. A little more testing and I found the website to be easy to use, therefore I had no problems with it.Bookmark here

Me - {Looks great. I like it.}Bookmark here

{Me too!! It's so pretty!!!} - KirisakiBookmark here

{Seems fine.} - ZakushiBookmark here

{👍} - AmakawaBookmark here

No one had a problem with the website so we were just a few steps away from officially starting our club activities. I knew that things would get busy so I was troubled by conflicting emotions. Bookmark here

On one hand, I was a bit excited for what I would experience along with this group, but on the other hand I felt a heavy responsibility. I lacked the confidence to believe that this club's survival would depend on my abilities, but if I failed then the club would be in danger.Bookmark here

'Guess I can only try my best.'Bookmark here

After we looked over the website, the group returned to a barren wasteland, but for some reason I sensed that an excited atmosphere remained. As if we had all expressed our nervous anticipation without words or emojis.Bookmark here

Tomorrow was a regular school day, but there was one topic that everyone was interested in. It was about a certain site that could be reached from the school's official website.Bookmark here

"Hey, did you see that website?"Bookmark here

"Yeah, it looks nice. But more importantly, did you see the member names?!"Bookmark here

"Of course I did! I didn't know there was a beauty requirement for service clubs?"Bookmark here

Conversations like this were happening all over the school, both in person and through text. All of the students were excited by the reveal of this elite service club for pretty people, but there were a few who only felt worse as the excitement continued.Bookmark here

Yes, I was one of those few.Bookmark here

'Crap! I forgot about the member names!'Bookmark here

As I cradled my head, I soundlessly screamed while freaking out. I already knew that I would be revealed as a member of the High School Life Assistance Club, but my heart was nowhere near prepared for it.Bookmark here

Fortunately, my name wasn't well-known and even the classmates who did know my name didn't believe that I was the same 'Haruto Akishiro' that was listed on the website. Naturally I was gratefully for this fact, but hearing their reasonings was bad for my heart.Bookmark here

"'Haruto Akishiro', could it-, nah. There's no way a boring guy like that could be in this club."Bookmark here

"Could he be...? No, impossible. He's a 5 at best and that's if I'm being generous."Bookmark here

"What if it is him?"Bookmark here

"Ha! Then he must be a superhero with how good he's hiding his true face."Bookmark here

"Guys stop, what if he starts thinking that he has a chance of entering the club?"Bookmark here

"Hahaha!"Bookmark here

None of it was particularly harsh, but it hurt every time they took a single glance at me and then shook their heads. Like, I understood that I didn't look as good as the others but, isn't this too much?!Bookmark here

Additionally, since no one would believe that I was that 'Haruto Akishiro', he became a mysterious hot guy who rarely showed up to school.Bookmark here

By second period, someone had already come up with an entire tear-jerking backstory for him and posted it in an unofficial school forum. The more I saw my name take on an entirely new identity, the more worried I became for the future.Bookmark here

'They won't riot once they find out that it's really me right?'Bookmark here

Part of me wanted to just write them off as jealous, but that part of me certainly didn't come with enough confidence to make me actually think that.Bookmark here

With the commotion being caused by the reveal of the club and my name, I wondered if Naoya would be able to figure out the truth, but I didn't see him. He didn't skip school often so I was a little worried, but also relieved by his absence. I already had enough on my plate.Bookmark here

However, halfway through lunch, I spotted him dragging his feet through the entrance to our classroom.Bookmark here

"Haruto..."Bookmark here

His face was flushed and his uniform was sloppily put on so I was sure that something was wrong with him. I hastily got up and caught him just as he was about to fall.Bookmark here

"Are you okay?" I asked in concern.Bookmark here

"Ha... Ha... Do I look okay?"Bookmark here

"Well, no. What happened?"Bookmark here

"Nothing, I just dropped, asleep on the floor, while I was watching this new series. Woke up with a serious fever, this morning."Bookmark here

...At this moment I honestly felt like dropping him but I desperately fought against that urge.Bookmark here

"Then why did you come to school? I didn't take you as a studious type."Bookmark here

"Hmph, like I would come this, far just for school. Tell me, are you really in a club with Aris-?"Bookmark here

Before his suspicion was heard by the surrounding students, I unhesitatingly covered his mouth and dragged him to an isolated corner of the classroom before I whispered.Bookmark here

"Unless you want me to strip you to your underwear and throw you into the girl's locker room you're gonna shut up and listen to me, got that?"Bookmark here

With wide eyes, he nodded vigorously so I continued.Bookmark here

"I'll explain it to you later. Now get the hell back to your dorm and keep your mouth shut."Bookmark here

When I finally released him, he looked up at me in fear before stumbling away. I knew that I couldn't keep this a secret for much longer, but I had to prevent the worst case scenario.Bookmark here

If Naoya had finished what he was saying and people heard, hopefully they would just continue to deny the possibility. Maybe some would start to believe, which would be pretty scary, but by far I was most afraid of what would happen if they thought I was imitating 'Haruto Akishiro'. It would be easy to clear the misunderstanding, but who knew how much bullying, sneering and malicious glares I would have to endure until then.Bookmark here

Just imagining it gave me chills. Bookmark here

'Damn it, maybe 1000 yen isn't enough for this.'Bookmark here

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