Chapter 2 – Sense of Incongruity
Ryou who ran for a while, stopped at a suitable place and breathed a sigh of relief that he was somehow able to part ways with her. There was a highly unexpected incident today, but he was able to successfully make those involved in a state of being hushed. Ryou praised himself while thinking that he dealt with it very skillfully. He may have been a bit late, but he was able to help the girl and she also wasn’t injured. Though his cellphone number was asked for, he successfully avoided giving it. As the reward it was decided that a promise would be kept. Ryou was relieved that he won’t be talked about as part of a rumor tomorrow. It is regrettable to lose the chance to become on good terms with such a beautiful girl, but from the start, Ryou was indifferent towards the like of her inside school. He doesn’t know what kind of rumor he would become the target of. That being the case, though the school’s top idol could be an on the mark strike in terms of his taste, girls of the same school were considered outside his range of affections. Therefore up to now he didn’t even know the name of the school’s top idol and erased it from his memory even if he heard it.
“However, that girl, I feel like I’ve seen her somewhere……”
Ryou said to himself while looking puzzled.
Immediately he slaps his hand with a pop and realized the answer.
“It’s normal to feel like I’ve seen her, since we’re from the same school”
It was a foolish thought, ending with a safe answer. Feeling clear-headed, he started returning home again.
However, Ryou would later greatly regret not changing the contents of the promise. In order for Ryou to maintain his present position, the promise of ‘not telling anybody what he did to those guys’ was necessary but it was not, ‘Erika must not talk to Ryou anymore’ which is certainly important. It was a large miscalculation of Ryou not to take into account that Erika would show interest towards him.
Erika was perplexed on her way back to the station. Up to now, there were many men who approached her, but for her invitations, there wasn’t a memory of anyone who ran away from her (to say invite didn’t mean to court). He, Ryou, gave off a scary feeling, a strange fear was felt, but Erika thinks it to be just one side of him. He himself said that he was slow to come help, even so, in the end he reliably helped her. When the situation became dangerous, he averted attention towards himself, and help was given. Additionally, the men were gathered, and Ryou gave them instructions such as not to approach her again. The various actions before that seemed to be separated from common sense, but in the end it was all for Erika’s sake (except for taking the money).
She was surprised when the glasses were taken off and his face was seen. It was difficult to see with the glasses on, but then the feelings inside the eyes were transmitted that his heart was very warm and gave off a calming feeling. Therefore, when he became angry and a cold wave gushed out from him, feeling it didn’t suit him, she unintentionally grabbed his arm to stop him.
He is a mysterious person, or perhaps a strange person, or rather a scary person, Erika doesn’t know. Without hesitation she felt that she didn’t want to lose connection with him and thought to consult someone. Thinking about calling someone, her hand reaches for her cellphone, when the promise to him is suddenly recalled, her hand stopped.
‘Do you promise not to tell anybody what I did to those guys?’
His real intentions why he made such a promise wasn’t known, thinking it was for some dirty reasons, no that’s not possible, however in that case, to who, in what manner, while also keeping the promise with him. When thinking of who to consult, her close friend who is most suited comes to mind. She decided her mind would be more at ease after returning home and consulting over a phone call. While humming a song, she returned in high spirits.
The evening of that day, the time is passed 8 ‘o clock. Erika’s first close friend she made after entering high school, Suzuki Azusa was called.
After calling several times, Azusa picked up.
“Yes, is it fine now?”
“It’s fine, is something up?”
“Yes, I have something to consult about with you……”
“Heh? On the phone, that’s rare”
“Is that so?”
“It is rare, aren’t you the type to normally meet and talk when there’s a consultation……, is it urgent?”
“No, it’s not that like I’m in a hurry……”
“Hmm? Then what happened? Did you finally find a man you like??
Azusa while grinning says so to Erika. What popped instantly into Erika’s head, was the face of the man who helped her today, but she quickly denied that thought. Put simply, he didn’t come to mind because of a reaction towards the phrase ‘man you like’, but because he is the target of the consultation.
Within Azusa’s expression, a sound of admiration was mixed in
“Hey, it’s true”
“Yes yes, so, what kind of person is he?”
and Azusa answered like she didn’t believe her at all.
“Are you listening? It’s not about love, but because I don’t know what kind of person he is, I merely wanted to consult!”
“……ye-ah, she’s denying it, I need affirmation, the words weren’t understood……”
“Enough! Are you going to hear the story!? Or aren’t you!?”
The light laughter of Azusa could be heard
“I’ll hear you out, so calm down”
Erika cooled down a little and talked about what happened on the way back home today, his
‘Do you promise not to tell anybody what I did to those guys?’
promise within its scope wasn’t broken. That is to say, she only spoke about how she was saved from three men.
Azusa who heard it asked a question.
“How did he save you?”
“Sorry, I can’t say”
“Can’t say? Why’s that?”
“I promised not to tell”
“You can’t say, is that so……, a promise not to say……”
With her words, Azusa’s emotions seemed to diminish. It was a habit of hers when she was drifting in the sea of her thoughts.
“He said it would be fine not to tell anyone what happened a reward”
“And yet, you consulted with me? Isn’t that breaking the promise?”
Azusa questioned in surprise, because as far as she knew, Erika wasn’t someone who would break a promise immediately after making them.
“It……isn’t……, after all my promise to him was about what he did to those three men, nothing about me……”
There was some hesitation in Erika’s words, Azusa was taken aback for a moment.
Azusa didn’t understand the true intention behind his promise, but she felt that he desired for what happened today not to be talked about by anyone.
It can’t be that Erika didn’t notice, that she was hesitant in her answer. But even so she did use a hole in the promise that was made with him to consult, it was surprising.
And what else was surprising, is that Erika goes so far as to consult with her, it was something Azusa she was questioning greatly in her mind.
Realizing to that far, Azusa laughed in such a way that a ‘kukukuku’ sound escaped her throat.
“……Azusa, that’s a little bit eerie”
“No, sorry. Up to now Erika, this is the first time you worry about someone like this, moreover it’s a man”
“Hey, stop with this weirdness”
“I understand, I understand. Fufu”
Erika involuntarily, haa, sighed.
“And so, after you received help, I guess you returned home together while talking?”
“That is, um……”
Again, a hesitant answer, oh, what is it this time? She was puzzled.
“He ran away”
Azusa didn’t understand the meaning of her best friend’s words, it was unusual for her and a hysteric voice was let out.
Towards that reaction of Azusa, maybe a little bit annoyed or embarrassed, Erika slightly raised her voice.
“So, he ran away! I asked to return together, but there seemed to be business at school, and he ran away!”
“Erika requested to return together, and he ran away?”
“……, wasn’t there really business at school?”
Azusa said so in a highly doubtful voice.
“The way it was, I didn’t see at all. When I said we can go to the school together, he quickly refused and ran…………”
Probably because she was recalling that time, Erika seemed to be in shock and her words steadily sounded softer.
However, Azusa imagines a man running away from Erika, and bursts out laughing.
Hearing that voice, Erika’s raised her voice as one would expect.
“Hey, what are you laughing at!”
“No, sorrysorry……, that Erika, that school idol finally invites a man, but he refuses and runs away……ahahaha!”
Erika’s face became bright red with embarrassment.
“Enough already, I’m ending it! See you!”
“Wait, wait, I apologize……, ahahahaha”
Out of breath, Erika’s close friend apologizes while still laughing. Thinking about hanging up at once, Erika noticed that she hasn’t consulted yet and only spoke about what happened today. At a loss with what to do about the laughter, she restrained her feelings of anger which were welling up.
Azusa’s laughter is certainly still being let out, she thought.
“Have you settled down?”
Erika’s low voice was heard, for this she must be considerably angry. Azusa who was thinking so suppressed her laughter, and answers in a calm voice.
“Ah, I’m settled. …, so then, what’s his name?”
“Finally, we can get down to business”
Erika says it in a way that the cynicism can be heard.
“So, you’re angry. I understand, do you want to hear the information from my database?”
“Yes, the name is Sakuragi Ryou”
“Sakuragi Ryou…………? Sakuragi Ryou……, ah, that guy”
Erika was surprised, she didn’t think Azusa had made mental notes on him.
“You know him!?”
“Ah, it took some time to remember……, I see, that guy……”
Hearing Azusa’s response, Erika asked while perplexed.
“What do you mean? Do you know something about him? Are you acquainted?”
“I remember him, if it’s asked I don’t’ know anything and of course we’re not acquaintances. Wait a minute……, I’ll pull out the information now”
When Azusa says so, clattering could be heard from Azusa’s background. Erika understood at once the sound is coming from typing on a keyboard.
“Ah, it was. It’s him after all……”
“Say, what does ‘that’ and ‘after all’ mean? Don’t you know something?”
“No, I don’t know”
“Then, what do you mean?”
“Ah……, people observation is a hobby of mine, so during physical measurements, all records of measurements such as physical fitness were obtained. You know my data comes as a result of my observation right?”
“Eh……, when hearing it again, it’s unthinkable”
Azusa habitually observes people as a hobby. Demonstrating the result of her observation guesses, she uses her household’s abundant assets to get hold of information on the whole school’s pupils into her hands. However, privacy is considered to some extent, when information is gotten, she mainly makes sure not to obtain information about their pasts. Unless by supplement they become a target of her’s.
However, it’s not like the information rises to the surface within school. If someone in school became aware, if rumors started to rise, then her personal connections are used in full, and the information within school, almost all of it is covered up.
Therefore Erika consulted with Azusa about him.
“And? Is there something? About him”
Erika held down her reflexively impatient feelings to listen to Azusa.
“I think it’s a sense of incongruity”
“Sense of incongruity?”
Erika felt as if a question mark floated above her head.
“Yes, a sense of incongruity”
“What kind of?”
“Nn……, when I first saw him at that time for a moment I felt a sense of incongruity to some degree. I wonder what that sense of incongruity was……, didn’t it occur especially when he was walking together with people……, that’s right, I remember. It wasn’t felt so much when he was alone, but when he was walking with his friends, it was felt stronger.
“Um……, in what way?”
Erika’s perplexity grows deeper.
“Yes, at first, I felt a sense of incongruity, but, that’s where my thoughts ended. Because I was interested I recorded it in a document, as a result, when I looked at the physical fitness measurements carefully, there was something strange, U-m, ah, it was this”
The clattering of a keyboard being struck is heard.
“The results of last year’s physical fitness measurements, do you remember it was divided among two days?”
Erika began to recall that it was so, and answered in the affirmative.
“And the results expressed were with nine stages C- to A+?”
“Yeah, my average results this year was A-, didn’t Azusa get an A?”
“Yes, but his average results for the first day of last year was C, and the average for the second day was A, the two days combine for an average of B”
Again, though it was thought to be an extreme result, what it means wasn’t understood.
“That is, when you look at this year’s result, the first days result were A, the second days result were C so the two days average is B”
“By the way the order of the measurement events are the same this year as last year”
“In other words, he on all events, on both the first and second day can get an A?”
“There is that also, I was interested in the results of first day as well as the second day, as without exception there were people in his class with the same results. On the first day last year it was Kouno-kun, who is in my class now”
“Ah, Kouno-kun……, eh!? His and Kouno-kun’s physical fitness measurements were the same!?”
Erika recalls Kouno-kun from the same class and is surprised. Kouno is a very docile person, his reflexes were so bad that everyone knew of it. Thinking of the fight today and that he and Kouno had the same physical strength on that first day’s measurements was very unbelievable.
“Yes, that’s only the first day of last year. Fufu, being surprised at that is pointless. And, his results of last year’s second day were the same as Satou-kun who is now in class 4. The braggy ace of the soccer club, who became a junior representative”
Incidentally, she recalls he has made advances several times. His looks were ordinary, but because he is known as the soccer ace he was always full of himself.
“Ah, that reminds me that he has made advances to Erika several times”
Ahaha, hearing Azusa’s laughter, Erika’s perplexity extends further.
“Something like this……, extremely, isn’t it strange? Getting identical results with those two”
“Isn’t it? To says it’s not strange would be strange”
“Perhaps……, this year also?”
“Oh yes, this year’s first day results were the same as that of the basketball club’s ace Ono-kun from his class, and the second day was the same as Yamashita-kun from his class”
Basketball club’s ace Ono-kun has also made advances, even a confession occurred. It was politely refused. As the ace, Ono having splendid reflexes was well known.
“Yamashita-kun? Who’s that?”
“Ye-s, speaking ill, I don’t really know him. But I can say his reflexes aren’t good”
“He has the same results as that Yamashita-kun? He who was equal to Satou-kun of last year?”
“Yes, isn’t it weird?”
“It’s strange no matter how I think……, don’t the teachers think it to be strange?”
“Even the teachers, if all his records were to be seen alongside him, they’re sure to have felt it to be peculiar because his body’s presence is thin. Who before that would find anything to be strange? I believe there is a reason to think so. I would likely think so if I saw him by chance. Because last year’s separate shining results were combined with the others, the teachers likely didn’t think anything was strange”
It is thought that what Azusa said is reasonable. After all Azusa was the one who actually was the first to feel a little sense of incongruity, while the teacher’s didn’t see or think of the pupil whose presence was thin.
“And, with the comparison with the second year’s results and hearing what Erika said, I somehow understand the sense of incongruity I first felt”
Thinking she can finally hear the observation result of Azusa, Erika reflexively sits up straight.
“Really!? What is it?”
“Now now, it hasn’t left the stage of conjecture”
“That’s fine, teach me”
Erika seems to be impatient as she says so. Azusa calmly says to such an Erika.
“To make it clear, I’ll teach you. But leaving that aside for now, shouldn’t you talk to him if you’re interested? Rather than calling me, it would be good to call him”
Erika, while feeling irritated toward Azusa who stopped informing her, received Azusa’s question and remembered.
“That reminds me, I don’t know his phone number……”
“That’s unusual, didn’t you ask? Ah, now that you mention it he avoided returning together with you and ran away”
“It’s different. At first, when he heard from me, he swept it aside……. However I thought I would be able to ask while on the way back”
“But he ran away……kukukuku”
“Hey! What of it!?”
“In any case, I was avoided!”
“He’s unusual, Sakuragi Ryou”
“You’re interested? In him……? However it certainly feels strange”
“Yeah, it’s very interesting. For there to still be an interesting observation target in the same year……, kukukuku”
Hearing Azusa’s remark which sounded serious to a certain extent, Erika asked in hurry
“H-Hey, what do you mean when you say its interesting!?”
“N? Ah, don’t worry. I’m not interested in him as a man. He is strictly an observation object”
Erika breathed in relief to Azusa’s quick reply.
“I-Is that so?”
“Don’t worry because it’s not in my nature to take away from Erika”
“What do you mean by take away!?”
“The meaning is what it is……, yes yes, it’s nothing”
Azusa who was thinking and ceased talking, wasn’t actually able to measure how much Erika was interested in him, but thought after this it would be good to set Erika as well for observation.
“Enough……, didn’t I say it wasn’t like that!?”
“I see……, then, should we go meet him tomorrow? At school”
Azusa hears Erika speak in a panic.
“Why……, I also want to meet him, and wouldn’t it be good to thank him once again? Don’t you think your reward to be insufficient?”
“I certainly think the reward to be insufficient……, I would only stay silent in the end”
“Therefore, to say thanks once more, wouldn’t it be good? I also want to thank him for helping my close friend……, at that time wouldn’t it be good to take the opportunity to hear his phone number?”
“U……m, then, let’s do so. So can you tell me now?”
To the best friend’s too cute reaction, Azusa naturally began to smile broadly.
“I think it will be alright”
As a matter of fact Azusa didn’t think so at all. She guessed in his case he would dislike it. For her close friend, to make up for embarrassing a her and for her own enjoyment she decided to incite her close friend. But, it’s certainly a fact he helped her close friend from danger, as gratitude, she would take care to look out for his well-being hereafter, Azusa swore in her mind.
Though she hasn’t talked with him yet, from that sense of incongruity and his avoiding of Erika, Azusa arrived at a conjecture of ‘he doesn’t want to stand out’.