Chapter 47:

Fight for the Memoirs

Couple That Can't Touch

The festival didn't have the best ending. Still, we supported Hisaki until he left for the hospital. Somehow, we managed to still have a little bit of fun after that, but we couldn't get it out of our heads.

The next morning arrived. Hisaki was almost late to class. He simply sat down and stayed silent, not showing his typical smirk. Who could blame him? Even Hisa, Rem, and I shared the preoccupation.

It was time for the final, first-term, exams. We had prepared ever since the mid-term exams. Especially me, who had fallen down a lot of places—which I couldn't afford because I needed to secure a scholarship for university.

Final, first-term, exams were harder than mid-term exams. They included more subjects, too. But I was confident. I went through the entire morning feeling positive that I was doing great. I didn't doubt many of my answers and completed the exams quickly, giving me extra time to study more for the next ones.

The hours flew by and the break began. As we had planned, we all headed to the library to study together. Hisaki, even though he didn't look his best, didn't hesitate to go with us.

Unluckily, we hadn't anticipated how crowded the library was going to be, only logical in the middle of exams. Studying in the gardens or the cafeteria was going to be uncomfortable, so we decided to go to the laboratory.

One by one, we headed there. I was the second one after Kawahara. I slowly walked inside, just to see Kawahara standing at the front of the room.


Only then did I notice Natsuhiko-sensei sitting at the front desk.

"Hello, Suzuka-san," she smiled.

"Natsuhiko-sensei! I-I'm sorry, we didn't want to—"

"It's okay. Enko-san already explained the situation to me."

I sighed in relief. "So, it's okay if we stay here?"

She nodded. "As long as I'm here to supervise, there won't be any problems."

"Thank you!" I grinned.

The rest of us soon appeared and we began to study non-stop. We even forgot to eat until Natsuhiko-sensei reminded us to.

Hisaki seemed out of it most of the time. He would stare down at his book without reading anything and he wouldn't pay attention when someone explained something. We didn't want to bother him.

Classes resumed in the blink of an eye and exams continued. Again, I felt that I nailed all the questions, as I had for all the exams last year.

Before I realized it, I was done with the last exam of the day. Since there was nothing else to do for a while, the teacher asked me to step outside of the classroom. Slowly, more people finished the last exam. Unsurprisingly, Kawahara came out not long after. Then, on the other side of the stairs, Koji walked out.

Since we weren't allowed to make noise near the classrooms, we headed to the garden. There were only two other people aside from us. We sat on a bench—with Kawahara in the middle—and sent a message in the chat group to let everyone know where we were.

"We haven't progressed a lot with the swapping," Koji said.

"I know," I replied. "What else can we do, Kawahara?"

"I'm not sure. There aren't many things I can try without equipment. And, after discovering that the cooldown increases with every swap, it's better to avoid it."

"What if we found more people that can swap bodies?" Koji asked.

"That would be ideal. But it won't be easy to find them. Judging by the lack of news about something like this, you are the only humans that can do it. Perhaps they are hiding like us."

We sat in silence, dissatisfied with the answers.

"Maybe we have no other choice but to look for professional help," I said.

"That's always an option," Kawahara replied. "It's your choice, I won't stop you. To be honest, I have thought of asking my mother for help. Multiple times."

"And why didn't you do it?"

"Because I want to prove to her that I'm just as good as her. And because I don't know what she will do if I tell her."

"If you think it's the best course of action, then you have our permission to tell her," Koji said.

I nodded in agreement. "Still, the summer break is almost here. Let's not rush the decision and think about it."

"Understood," Kawahara said.

Out of nowhere, my stomach growled like a demonic dog. I giggled out of embarrassment.

"Why don't we eat?" Koji suggested.

"I want to wait for everyone else," I replied.

Then Hisaki arrived and stood in front of us.

"Hisaki! How did you do on the exams?" I wondered.

"Can I talk to you alone?" he suddenly asked. "You too, Koji."

Koji and I glanced at each other, confused. Without hesitation, we stood up and followed Hisaki close to the railing, only a few steps away from where we were in the same garden.

The three of us stood still. He stared at us.

"Is everything okay?" I asked.

Suddenly, he bowed in front of us.

"I'm extremely sorry for everything I did to you," he apologized. "I spied on you and tried to sabotage your relationship many times because of my selfishness. I finally realized that I only wanted to be with Suzuka because I was looking for someone to comfort me without obligation. She's beautiful and the best of the grade, so I looked to her for that without a doubt. I'm really sorry."

Koji and I looked at each other again, surprised. I didn't expect something like that. Especially the beautiful part.

Hisaki stood straight. "Koji, I will admit defeat. I judged you by the rumors. Even though you still are a lucky bastard, you are better than you appear."

I don't know if he's complimenting him or insulting him.

"Thanks," Koji replied. They smirked at each other.

I guess they understand.

"I didn't expect you to apologize," Koji continued. "It seems that I also underestimated you."

I smirked. "Thanks for apologizing. Remember that you can count on any of us if you need anything. Even if you only want to let some frustration out."

He scratched the back of his head. "In that case… I wanted to complain about how expensive funerals are. I didn't know."

I didn't expect a subject like that…

"My aunt and uncle are going to pay for it, but they are going to need a loan. They aren't in the best position to get one, so I want to help them. I'll find a part-time job and leave their house as soon as possible. I don't want to be a hindrance to them anymore."

"That sounds hard," I said.

Koji replied, "I can give you—"

"No, thanks," Hisaki interrupted. "I know it would be nothing for you, but I don't want to be pitied. I will work hard for it."

"I was going to say that I can give you a loan."

Hisaki seemed confused. "Why?"

"So that you can stop being a hindrance faster. Your aunt and uncle won't struggle and you'll have more time to find a job."

"And what would the terms be?"

"Five percent interest. If you take more than one year to pay, the interest will increase one percent every month."

Hisaki chuckled. "It's not a bad offer. Deal."

He stretched his hand and Koji shook it.

Is this what bromance looks like?

"We should go back, we left Kawahara alone," I said.

When we returned to the bench, almost everyone had arrived—except for Hisa and Tarō. They took quite a while to finish their exams and only they looked worried about their grades.

Without wasting any more time, I begged to go to the cafeteria; I was starving. There, we chatted more about the exams and Hisaki opened up about his job hunting. Narumi was also more talkative than usual, especially towards Hisaki.

After eating, we had the option to either go home or stay at the school to study more. I didn't plan to stay, but Hisa wanted to study, so Rem and I accompanied her. Kawahara also stayed to help Tarō. Hisaki went home because he was struggling to focus anyway. Koji and Narumi also went home. Koji was extraordinarily eager to try a game that had just come out.

The next two days were also packed with exams. They were all hard, but I retained my confidence through all of them. Though I couldn't say the same about Hisa and Tarō, who looked like they were about to die.

Two weeks passed without much happening and the last Friday of the first term arrived. The results of the exams were posted right at the entrance of the buildings. A crowd had already gathered in the morning, making it impossible to see them. Luckily, we had Koji and Hisaki, who could see over everyone else.

I got first place in our grade. It didn't surprise me, but it gave me a huge relief. What did surprise me was that Narumi had finished second over Kawahara; Koji went from thirty-fourth all the way up to twentieth; and Rem had gained a few places.

Sadly, not everyone was able to improve. Hisa and Tarō lost a lot of places. And I couldn't believe Hisaki had lost that many places, from thirteenth to the last twenty. It meant that the three of them were required to go to summer school. They were quite heartbroken about it.

But, before summer vacation began, there was one important event left; Hanabi, the fireworks festival.

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