Chapter 30:

Kuro Explodes?

Pandora's Box

I cleared my throat and looked out to all my fellow students that had gathered. I smiled as I began to speak.

"Afternoon everyone. It truly is an honor to have been elected Shikaku High School's student council president. I want to start by thanking everyone who voted for me. This couldn't have been done without any of you. I'd also like to thank my vice president, Ota Ryo and my campaign manager, Tachi Akari. Ryo's been my biggest supporter from the beginning and is one of the best friends I could ever ask for. I know if anything were to happen to me, the school would be in good hands if he had to take over..."

I had to make sure I threw that last part in. It was likely that as soon as I finished this speech, Ryo would actually be the one taking over as president. I felt a little bad about that burden unexpectedly being thrust on him, but if anyone could rise to the occasion, it would be him.

I continued,

"Akari doesn't go to this school, but I owe a lot to her. If it wasn't for her I probably would have given up. She really helped turn this campaign around. I don't think I'll ever be able to repay her for all she’s done, but I'm eternally grateful."

That last part I sort of meant literally. When I turn into a pile of ash in a few minutes, I won't get a chance to ever repay Akari for all her help.

There was some applause from the crowd that lasted for a few moments. I waited for it to settle down before I continued.

"I know not everyone voted for me, but I think it's important we all come together now that this election is over and work to make this school even better... Once again thank you all from the bottom of my heart."

I teared up a little as I ended my speech. This was it, any second now it was going to be over for me. I had to admit, I was a tad bit curious as to what kind of explosion this was going to be. Would it be a violent and fiery eruption like a bomb or would it be more of a subtle "poof", where I just kind of turn to dust? I guess I was about to find out.

Red was standing nearby me with a proportionally sized broom and dustpan in his hands.

"Well it was a good ride, Kuro. I'll make sure to include a dedication page in my manga to memorialize you." He said.

I just nodded, bracing myself for the explosion. Any second now it was going to happen... Yep, definitely any second... Just a few more... I'm sure I'm almost there... Nothing?

I looked towards Red who shrugged, seeming confused as to why I'm not exploding.

As the gym began to clear out, I used the opportunity to sneak behind the bleachers to speak with Red.

"Why didn't I explode?" I asked.

"Hmm. This is strange. You should have definitely spontaneously combusted as you were giving that speech and yet nothing happened."

"Maybe our contract got voided somehow."

Red shook his head.

"No, that's impossible. Deals made with devils are absolute. Once you enter into one, you're locked in. The weirdest part about the whole thing is that you can still see me. If our contract was completed, I would have disappeared."

"What does this all mean then?"

"Give me a minute to think. Something isn't adding up here."

He looked up as he pondered for a few moments.

"I think I get it now... Somehow there's some sort of circumstance that's temporarily preventing our contract from being completed one way or the other. The question is what though?..." He said.

"Could it be something to do with someone else who was involved with the election?"


Red suddenly snapped his fingers.

"I think I figured it out. I believe it has to do with that fake relationship you entered into with the redheaded girl. This is just a shot in the dark, but what if... she actually has feelings for you! Which would mean the reason you haven't exploded yet is because you're in a sort of romance purgatory."

My cheeks got a bit red.

"Do you really think so?... I mean I do really think Akari is attractive and a really good friend and stuff, but she said herself that she wasn't interested in having a boyfriend."

Red slapped his forehead.

"How much more dense can you be? She obviously has something for you. You watch anime, you should know that the fake dating trope always ends in a real relationship. You better go find her because if she suddenly changes her mind you're done for."

I had to figure out where Akari was. If she really did have feelings for me, now was my chance to confess.

N.J. Ecalus
Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64