Chapter 24:

Getting Into The Game

Unconsciously Interested


“Yuyo, do you hate me that much you could go days without speaking to me?” Kyashii dejectedly asked just before I could react to her last question.

“That’s a question I should ask you as well. It was you who stopped talking to me after that incident.” I replied in hushed tones.

“Your expression suggests I shouldn’t speak to you.”

“My what??”

“Every time I look at you, your eyes tell me to back off,” Kyashii said with a sigh.

“Huh?! ...Wait, what do you mean by that?”

“When you came back from your lunch that day, I intended to talk to you, but your expression was almost one of hostility like I had done something even worse. I think the way you looked at me while you were also with Ezaki-san and that underclassman says a lot. Just looking at your eyes leaves me uncertain whether to approach you or not.” Kyashii’s voice quavered as she lowered her eyes to the ground.

“I think the way I look at you has always been that way, even before that incident.”

Was I really looking at Kyashii like that? There’s no doubt I have glanced at her more often than usual these past few days, but I don’t understand what she means. As far as my eyes are concerned, they’ll always look like that.

“No! Of course not! Yuyo, I’ve never seen you gaze at me with those empty eyes before. It frayed my nerves since I knew you were upset with me!”

Empty eyes? Ah-re?! That’s why she hasn’t approached me since then?

Wait... Is that to say I am primarily responsible for the fact we haven’t talked for so long?! But... How can it be my fault? Do I have to blame it on my eyes?!

“Y-You mean that every time I looked at you, you were more concerned with how my eyes looked rather than trying to explain things?!” How logical is this? Seriously?

“Well, yes, so what? Your eyes always seem different when I look at you, and I get terrified. And wait… Explain what again?”

“What do you mean what? In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m referring to the incident with that guy.”

“Is there anything to be said about that incident? I know it’s wrong and that it upset you. But it doesn’t seem necessary for me to say anything else about it.” Kyashii is staring at me in confusion.

“Haah?! Do you mean to imply something?” And why does she look as if she has no idea what she’s done?

“There is no implied meaning here, Yuyo.” Kyashii didn’t even bat an eyelid.

Jeez! This girl is a pain. Her lack of understanding of what happened in that situation is astounding.

“Well, seeing you with that guy on the school grounds was a surprise to me! You didn’t tell me about him at all... This is what I’m trying to say.”

“I don’t remember you asking, though,” she asserted brusquely. 

Urgh! Yeah, of course, she’s right on that.

“But you promised to tell me about that person one day! Don’t you think you should at least let me know after making that promise? After all, I’m your best friend.”

Kyashii’s lips tightened into a thin smirk.


“Heeh~… What’s this, Yuyo? Are you interested in love now?”

“Hey… That’s beside the point.”

“Then what is?” Her smirk widened.

This love topic is just a ruse to bait me, isn’t it? “I’m only interested in that because it has to do with you. Isn’t that something I’ve told you before? When you get right down to it, I’m interested in any matter related to you, whether it’s love or something else.”

“Ahh… Umm… Y-Yeah. Of course.” Kyashii’s smirk swiftly morphed into an uneasy smile.

“That’s why, as your best friend to whom you’ve made a promise, don’t you think you owe me at least an explanation for why you didn’t tell me you were dating someone?” I squinted my eyes at her.

“Huh?! Dating?! What are—”

“Guys! We’re back!” Kyashii was abruptly interrupted when Minori showed up with the other girls.

Uff! Minori, you’ve returned at the worst possible time.


Oh well… It looks like we’ll have to put off this conversation for now.

“Welcome back, Minori.” Kyashii smiled awkwardly at Minori, who was looking back and forth between Kyashii and me with amused eyes.

“So, you two—”

“Yes.” I interrupted Minori. In the end, I decided that I would continue our conversation with Kyashii at a later time. Besides, we must get back to the hostel before our teachers scold us. “All right, let’s head back. It’s starting to get dark.”

“Yuyo...” Kyashii called out to me.


“We’ll get into that ‘explanation’ tomorrow.” A wry smile twisted her lips.

Is that smile telling me something?

“Hmm… Yeah… We most certainly should.”


As we settled in for the first night of this school trip, I set up my futon in the farthest corner of the room, close to the terrace door. I whirled around as someone silently unfolded her futon beside me.

“So, why are you putting your futon next to me again?” I twitched my cheeks.

“Why not? Don’t we seem to be getting along well by now?” Kyashii sarcastically smiled at me, but her eyes seemed to warn me it was unwise of me to complain.

“. . . .”

Having her sleep next to me is something I didn’t expect. I had planned to sleep next to Minori, but that idea went down the drain as she positioned her futon next to Kyashii instead.


My eyes went to Nazumi-san, wondering how she was doing with Tomoka as her companion since we got back.


Well, she seems fine, I guess.

“All right, ladies... The night has only just begun. Are you up for a game?” Tomoka broke the silence in our room.

“You sound like an adult out for a night on the town,” I remarked. “Furthermore, it’s already 9:00 p.m.; better go to sleep since we have an early start tomorrow.”

“What do you think of that? Isn’t my wife such a good girl?” And the other girls giggled at Tomoka’s raillery.

“Why do you refer to her as your wife?” One of the girls in class D asked.

“I just want to. Not to mention Yu-chin doesn’t mind it at all, right, Yu-chin?” Tomoka grinned.

My response was nothing more than a sigh and shrug of the shoulders.

“Ohh~… I was under the impression you liked her.”

“Of course, I like Yu-chin!”

“Eh?!” The girl seemed stunned.

Guhh... She’s doing it again.

“I like a lot of people, and Yu-chin is one of them. And the way things stand now, my wife is there, and Hana-chan here is my new girlfriend. Are you with me, Hana-chan?” Tomoka suddenly wraps her arms around Nazumi-san, who looks flabbergasted by Tomoka’s remark.

A quiet laugh escaped me.

Poor, Nazumi-san. I hope she can hold up with Tomoka’s rascality. 

“Mizuno-san is quite a player, huh?” Kyashii muttered.

“Well… She’s always been like that, Kyashii-chan. She has a way of making people feel comfortable around her.” A faint smile creased Minori’s lips when she fixed her gaze on Tomoka.

In some ways, Minori is right. Getting along with Tomoka is easy since she’s friendly and vibrant. There is hardly ever a moment when you see her in a bad mood. That makes me wonder how someone so cheerful handles life’s ups and downs. Despite her playful nature, I sometimes see something very different in her eyes from what I see in her smiles.

Hmm… Is it simply because she has been dubbed Congeniality-san around campus that she keeps up with that personality? I wonder if Tomoka will stick to that identity until we finish high school. How challenging might it be to act something out?

Being a popular face has its perks and pitfalls as always, huh?

“Anyway, no matter how my wife feels about it, why don’t we play a game?” Tomoka followed through on her earlier suggestion.

“Sure!” Most nodded in agreement, even Kyashii!

Really now?! Are they seriously going to play games at this hour? 

I was about to express my dissent when Minori stood up. “Sure, Mizuno-san, why not? What kind of game are we talking about here?” She chose to give Tomoka a friendly smile.


Is Minori for real?! It seems as if she’s acting out of character since this morning. Or is it because she’s enjoying this school trip so much?

“Hey, Minori... Do you think this is okay? It’s getting late, and we might get caught later.” I cautiously asked.

“Why not, Yuyo? Having the opportunity to spend the night together isn’t something we get to do every day.” Minori’s eyes twinkled when she looked at me.


So, I guess it must be exciting for her to be in the same room with different people, like a sleepover. “Uhh… O-Okay.”

“Would you like to join us, Yu-chin? Even our class rep is cool with it.”

With a sigh of resignation, I simply nodded. Haah… This is bothersome... My futon is calling out to me, but yeah... let’s stick with them for a little bit. It’s not a good idea to sabotage the fun.

As we sat around in a circle, I positioned myself between Kyashii and Minori.

“Hey! I had an idea for a game.” The gyaru came up unexpectedly. “Should we use a spin-a-bottle approach to play truth or dare? It appears to be a cool game I found online.” She enthusiastically said.

My gaze rests stoically on the gyaru. If I’m being candid, this gyaru never struck me as friendly as she does right now. I still get the impression that she is obnoxious and shrill.

“Great! Let’s go with that. But wait, are there any bottles here?” Tomoka asked.

“Yes! I’ve got one right here!” The gyaru tossed an empty bottle on the floor.

Huh?? Where on earth did she get that bottle?! Has she been keeping it for instances like this?

The oddity of it all...

“Alright! It’s time to spin a bottle. Head will do the challenge; tail will give the order. Only one question or dare is allowed, and asking follow-up questions is not permissible.” Explained the gyaru.

Well, this game should be as easy as pie. It’s something I can handle.

“Yoossh! Let’s spin!” Tomoka starts spinning the bottle vigorously.

Those with heads prefer the truth to a dare at the beginning of the game. Well, that's a pretty convenient choice.

I guess no one is brave enough to choose a dare, huh? But there is a good chance the gyaru or Tomoka will likely go that route.

My mind was still mulling over things when the bottle's head pointed directly at me.

Uhh… And so, my time has come…

“Truth is my pick.”

Yep... I won’t take the dare just because I think no one else is brave enough to choose it. That doesn’t mean I’m not brave to take the dare, though; it’s just that I’m too lazy to move from where I’m sitting. Sleepiness is already creeping in.

“As one would expect from my wife! Good luck, Yu-chin!” Tomoka raises both fists in the air. "Give her hell, Akane-san!"

You!... I leveled a glare at Tomoka before focusing on the girl she addressed as Akane-san. When I casually smiled at her, she responded with a somewhat awkward smile.

“Ah... Umm… Are you romantically interested in anyone right now, Shibasaki-san?” Akane-san finally asked the challenge question.

I cracked a smirk as nothing was unusual about it. I knew someone would ask that question at some point. There are no two ways about it. I'd say that premise seems to be a staple of this sort of game.

“Yes, I have a romantic interest in someone.”
Lord Grimm
Kid Komet