Chapter 40:

Rawr-Rawr Amusement Park (3)

Confession Games


It was unfortunate that I lost, but I had no problem going with Zakushi so it wasn't all bad. Bookmark here

Since our table was near the edge of the food court, there was a bit of a walk before we reached the drink bar/drink dispenser. I thought we would move at a fast pace to get this over with since Zakushi wasn't the idle or talkative type, but to my surprise he started a conversation.Bookmark here

"Akishiro, do you remember when you told Hiroki about how you would only date a girl who you liked?" he asked.Bookmark here

It was in no way a topic I expected, but I was indebted to him so I had no reservations with talking about that embarrassing day.Bookmark here

"Yeah."Bookmark here

"Do you have someone like that? Someone you like and want to date."Bookmark here

Zakushi's question was more personal than I thought it would be so I was curious about why he wanted to know this stuff, but to him I had no lies to tell.Bookmark here

"I do."Bookmark here

It would be different if I had to say a name, but a simple affirmation was no problem. Bookmark here

"Did you confess to her?" he asked.Bookmark here

It wasn't hard to predict that he would ask this, but I still struggled before I could give an answer.Bookmark here

"No..."Bookmark here

"Then why do you have that heartbroken aura around you?"Bookmark here

I flinched once I realised that he had seen through me and then shook my head in defeat.Bookmark here

"I didn't think it was so obvious."Bookmark here

"On an average scale it wasn't, but once you get accustomed to our school it's not that hard to guess these things."Bookmark here

"Makes sense."Bookmark here

Considering what our school was like, I would probably also gain this ability since I saw people get rejected on a near daily basis.Bookmark here

"I won't force you but, do you want to talk about it?" he asked in a tone no different from usual.Bookmark here

This was something that I would find hard to bring up to even Naoya, but as I took a look at my senior's face, I decided to loosen the seal on my mouth.Bookmark here

"It's complicated. She, already has someone else."Bookmark here

"And you don't want to fight for her?"Bookmark here

"That's-! I, I do but... I don't want to be selfish and cause her trouble."Bookmark here

"Heh, is that your real excuse?"Bookmark here

"Huh?"Bookmark here

I felt a little upset because it sounded like he was trying to provoke me, but that changed as he continued.Bookmark here

"Listen closely, my junior. In my opinion, the very act of confessing is selfish. After all, aren't you just exposing your love in return for theirs? Even if they do accept your feelings, can you truly say you confessed for their sake? Wouldn't you confess because you want satisfy your own feeling of longing?"
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"..."Bookmark here

It was quite the cynical take, but I had no argument. I always thought of a confession as a sacred act, but after coming to this school that divine image had been tainted. Some treated it as a joke, some thought nothing of it, some disdained it, what I thought of as a symbol of pure love was but a fantasy.Bookmark here

Even so, I couldn't stomp on my image of a confession. In my heart, it was still the most ideal starting point of a relationship. The zenith of expressions of affection. The act of confessing may be selfish, but that greed must be pure. The desire to have them all for yourself and protect them, if that was the source of one's selfishness, then that may be the closest thing in this world to my ideal confession.Bookmark here

We continued the rest of the journey to the drink bar without a word. I had memorised the recipe for the drink that Kirisaki wanted, while Zakushi had done the same thing for Amakawa. Kirisaki wanted a mixture of grape, pineapple and melon sodas, which I couldn't imagine the taste of, but it didn't seem out of character for her. I was curious about what Amakawa wanted, but this didn't feel like the atmosphere to ask that.Bookmark here

Once we were finished mixing the drinks and were heading back to our table with a cup in each hand, I restarted the conversation with Zakushi.Bookmark here

"Zakushi, how selfish would it be for someone to confess without expecting a positive response?"Bookmark here

He replied, "Hmph, that's nothing strange. It would be arrogant to think that you can see through someone's heart. Rather than raising your hopes and then getting disappointed, it would be better to never have hopes in the first place. However, it's not easy to confess with that kind of mindset."Bookmark here

I had to agree. An unconfessed love was like a box of possibilities that could bring both hope and despair, no one in their right mind would remove all of the hope and still move forward with their confession.Bookmark here

"True... Zakushi, why aren't you talking me out of this? It could end up ruining the club you know. Didn't you lose on purpose to talk to persuade me?"Bookmark here

"Lose on purpose? Was that how it seemed?"Bookmark here

"No, but it just makes more sense that way."Bookmark here

His questions were definitely not the type suitable for a short talk, so I suspected that he lost at rock paper scissors on purpose to check me out.Bookmark here

"I guess, but you're wrong. Last time I said that I helped you to keep the club together, but this time is different. I just don't want to see my junior lose his way."Bookmark here

Zakushi didn't even need to put any emotion into his voice and yet his statement still shook my heart. Bookmark here

"...Thanks, senior."Bookmark here

"It's okay. But, you should think carefully about whether you want to stay in this school in the future, and make your decision before you enter second year."Bookmark here

It was an ominous warning coming from Zakushi, but before I could ask him about it he sped up to our table.Bookmark here

'What was that about?'Bookmark here

He left me on quite the cliff-hanger, but I had to put off hearing the continuation. As I approached with the drinks, and caught sight of Arisugawa whose thin lips seemed to glimmer in the light, I again confirmed this feeling.Bookmark here

'It's not over yet.'Bookmark here

I had already decided my loss, but now it was time to have her confirm it.Bookmark here

After lunch, our groups joined together and we headed to the special event that Kirisaki and Arisugawa knew about. It was a quiz game open to the public and since the theme was the lore of the amusement park, most of the participants were children, but Kirisaki stood among them not looking too out of place. Even if there was an age limit, I was sure the organizers would find it hard to disturb that angelic smile.Bookmark here

Once sixteen participants were assembled, the game began on a small stage with semi-circular, concentric rows of seats in front of it. The participants were split into four groups and one person would emerge from each group to be in the finals. Kirisaki was in the second group so there was one match before hers.Bookmark here

'I wonder what the questions will be like.'Bookmark here

Even though this was a quiz game, I thought it would be easy since the participants were kids. Therefore I expected questions like 'what is the name of the mascot?', but I quickly realized that they weren't playing around.Bookmark here

"What is the name of the third Queen of the Dactyl Kingdom who invaded the Great Rex Empire?"Bookmark here

'Say what now?'Bookmark here

And even more surprising than the detailed question, were the children who were able to answer it. Before he finished the question, all of the four kids up there pressed the buzzer, but the second boy from the right was the first one.Bookmark here

"Sin Ptero Dactyl," he answered.Bookmark here

"Correct!"Bookmark here

I remained in awe as more complex questions were asked and the children raced to answer them. I knew that there was lore, but listening to them I realised that it wasn't just a little background or origin story, there seemed to be enough plot to make an entire movie series. Bookmark here

'I feel like I should get into this lore to see how interesting it is.'Bookmark here

The first match was a close one, and the one who managed to squeeze out a win with a two-point lead was the sole girl of this group. After seeing this match, I began to feel worried for Kirisaki, but then I remembered how enthusiastic she had been and decided to place my trust in her. I thought this would be another close match, but Kirisaki's true power was something I couldn't fathom.Bookmark here

"Name three kingdoms which fell in the Age of Primal Rock."Bookmark here

"Sauro, Trihorn and the Scaly Kingdom."Bookmark here

"At what age did Dino King Stego-?"Bookmark here

"36."Bookmark here

"Give the main reason behind the Great Rex Empire's loss in-"Bookmark here

"Lack of preventative measures against the Dactyl Kingdom's firearms."Bookmark here

Without exception, Kirisaki pressed the buzzer first for every question and every single answer was correct. At first I was relieved that she could win, but as she continued to dominate the competition to the point where the other kids were on the verge of tears, I couldn't help but think that she was bullying them despite that sweet smile on her face. My fellow clubmates also wore wry smiles, but there was one who continued to cheer loudly.Bookmark here

"Good job! Keep going Kana!" cheered Hitsuji. Bookmark here

Even if the entire world turned against her, I was sure Hitsuji would still be on her side.Bookmark here

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