Chapter 11 – Proposals and compromises (5)
Translator – Vodka
Whew, the longest chapter of this novel to date. Took some time.
With the dry smile he always wore when he was feeling sorry, Yuuto said this.
“This is Minato we’re talking about. You must have been thinking about how to make it easier for us. However, I want to give an answer to everyone who gives me a letter……because I believe that’s the minimum courtesy that I should have.”
“Courtesy is it?…… Even if it’s a complete stranger?”
If it was courtesy to give everyone an answer, then, couldn’t it be said that the very act of giving a person you were a stranger to, a letter asking them for their presence for a session of confession, was lacking in courtesy?
It was just that a simple refusal was not possible for him. He was afraid of refusing.
For Yuuto, who was loved by people, he had no immunity to the hypothetical situation of being disliked.
If he did end up in that kind of a situation, he wouldn’t know what to do.
That was why he wanted to nip it at the bud. He wanted to do away with anything that could give rise to that situation or worsen people’s impression of him. Wasn’t that what he was thinking?
I wouldn’t say that was bad.
It could even be said that, as a human being, his actions were correct.
People of our generation moved in herds.
On the contrary, students who didn’t associate with others, put plainly, those who remained by themselves, were looked down upon as loners without friends. They became targets of sneers of the people around them.
If you looked at it in general, I belonged to the sect of loners.
For the most part, I was spending my days alone, and I didn’t feel like moving in herds like them either.
Consequently, I didn’t understand the concept of wanting to prioritize others’ feelings over yours.
I didn’t waver from my decision. It was still better to do it my way.
However, this was Yuuto we were talking about……even so, he would meticulously choose his words so as not to hurt the other party.
However, if he did that, even if the other party was rejected once, wouldn’t they keep approaching him over and over again?
Kindness was not necessarily a virtue.
If he chose his words so as not to hurt the other party, they could think that there was some hope left, and then, he wouldn’t be able to refuse them if they wanted to stay near him.
Doing things Yuuto’s way shouldn’t bring forth a desirable outcome for himself either, because if Shizuku too followed his way of dealing with her admirers, she would be faced with a barrage of confessions. You wouldn’t want other people gathering in droves to confess to the person you liked, now would you?
“At the very least, that’s how I think.”
Yuuto smiled and got up from his seat, as if indicative of the end of this conversation. The usual refreshing smile had returned to his face.
I couldn’t think of any words that could stop him, as I simply stared at him as he prepared to leave.
At that time, Kirasaka’s voice rang out.
“Courtesy, you said? Quite the manner of speaking there.”
Kirasaka, who was showing no interest in the ongoing conversation until a moment ago, closed her book and quietly shifted her attention to Yuuto.
She had merely voiced her opinion, but today as well, she sounded cold.
Her clear voice embodied no feelings.
“As per your words, I am a person who doesn’t know courtesy.”
“Kirasaka-san……that was not my intention.”
“I don’t understand your words.”
Yuuto mustn’t have had meant it like that.
His ‘courtesy’ was to spend his days without changing anything by keeping things as they were.
However, he might have said something that Kirasaka couldn’t acquiesce.
“Neither an acquaintance, nor have we talked much, yet they end up liking me just because of my appearance and ask me for my time without any regard for my wishes……that’s so selfish.”
This might have been the first time that Kirasaka had let out her true feelings. It seemed to represent how she……no, how the girls felt about those situations.
[TN – if you are confused here, then the author is, I believe, trying to say that Shizuku was showing her approval some way or the other to Kirasaka’s words, not that he writes about that here.]
For the ordinary me, it was an agony that I couldn’t comprehend.
It would seem that there were considerable parts of what Kirasaka had said, that the other two could sympathize with.
They hung their heads in silence.
“……I felt like I was told by those selfish people that I lacked courtesy.”
“I didn’t mean it like that. I am sorry if you took offence at my words.”
Yuuto turned towards Kirasaka and lightly bowed his head.
That seemed to have further fanned the flames, as she continued.
“I don’t like your ‘I am always correct.’ behaviour……I don’t like that attitude of yours as though you are the centre of the earth.”
“Oi, Kirasaka……I think that’s enough.”
She got up from her seat, stood in front of Yuuto with folded arms, and glared at him.
An ordinary person would have tried to make some sort of a comeback, but Yuuto had wordlessly listened to her criticisms.
This wasn’t supposed to be an exchange of contradicting opinions.
I came here to discuss if there was any way we could make their lives even a little bit easier.
That was why, I put myself between the two of them, and tried to change the direction of the conversation.
“We are not having that conversation now……Kirasaka too, calm down a little.”
Despite having put myself between them, her sharp glare seemed to pierce right through me as her line of sight didn’t change direction.
Without saying anything, Yuuto too was, standing stock still, his eyes cast downwards a little.
When I turned to Shizuku to alleviate the tension in the air a little——
“I too……might understand Kirasaka-san’s feelings.”
Muttered Shizuku. The last few words were spoken so softly, that they seemed like they would disappear.
To her words which were different from what I was expecting, the air in the room froze.
“I don’t know what to do if someone I’ve never talked to, suddenly tells me that they like me……”
Kirasaka’s glare further intensified, while Yuuto grimaced even more.
However, the words that followed changed the situation.
“But I understand Ogiwara-kun’s feelings too. I too feel like I want to, at least, be able to give them a proper reply.”
The conversation that seemed to have steered a turn, returned to its original course.
Shizuku too, like Yuuto, had the history of treating everyone earnestly. In order to come off as the perfect female student, she had stifled her feelings to death.
Having experienced both kinds of feelings, she could understand the opinions of both Kirasaka and Yuuto.
That was the answer she came up with, after thinking about this matter in her way.
Besides, this had to do with their ways of thinking. It couldn’t be helped that they had different thought-processes.
Even if we were to continue with this conversation, we couldn’t arrive at a unanimous answer.
It is probably best to call it quits now.
“Let’s call it a day here……Kirasaka and Shizuku, Yuuto too, please give it a day of thought.”
“……My answer probably wouldn’t change, but I will give it a thought at home. Well then, I will take my leave here.”
Yuuto was the first one to leave the classroom.
Next was Kirasaka. She departed from the classroom without saying anything.
I could easily imagine her sullen expression from tomorrow morning.
Only Shizuku, who was standing beside me, didn’t leave the classroom. She was looking at me.
She was the only person who had assumed the position of neutrality among the three. She too might have been perplexed, as to how she should react.
“I am sorry to have suddenly brought up this topic.”
As expected, the student council shouldn’t have gotten involved in this.
This unnecessary meddling could end up destroying the relationship between the three.
“No, it’s true that I too was worried about this.”
At her words, I felt like the burden on my shoulders had become a little lighter.
No, I was the one at fault here. The way I conducted this meeting was wrong.
There must have been a way to carefully steer the discussion towards the goal, without any problems.
“……The president might still be in the student council room, so, I will take a look there.”
“I will be waiting here. Please take your time.”
I was going to say that it was fine for her to leave without me, but when I looked at her eyes, I swallowed those words.
She is going to remain here, no matter what I said, huh.
From my long years of experience, it was something I could understand, even if it not put into words.
I exited the classroom. While walking down the corridor, I recalled today’s conversation.
Their expressions, words, movements.
I grasped their respective thoughts.
Based on that, after I reported the result to the president, we could proceed to look for the best solution.
There were a few options I already had in my mind, but now, I had to wash my hands of a few.
While having these thoughts, unnoticed, I had reached my destination. When I came to, I found myself standing in front of the student council room.
I knocked on the oppressive door, turned the doorknob and entered the room.
“Shinra, is it? What happened?”
Only the president remained in the student council room. She was going through a document.
I couldn’t confirm the type of document from my position.
Towards her question, I issued an even fainter voicer than usual as I communicated the result to her.
“No, well……it’s that. It didn’t work out.”
“Fufu……no, sorry. I just had a feeling that would happen.”
[Translator’s feelings – I had always been intrigued by the ‘fufu’ sound. I tried doing it, I felt like murdering myself.]
Contrary to my expectations, the president smiled happily. With her hand, she urged me to assume the seat next to her.
In compliance with that, I sat beside her.
I am sorry for being such a useless officer.
Deep down, I was scared at the fact that it had played out exactly as the president had predicted it would. The president put away the document in her hand and turned her body towards me.
[TN – someone please tell me what does やられた感in内心してやられた感を感じているとmean?]
“Well then, tell me, what’s the result?”
I understood my limits.
I would only do what I could. That was the creed I had lived by, until now.
I wouldn’t force myself to do what I couldn’t.
After all, no matter how hard you tried, even if you did more than what was necessary, if it was something you couldn’t do alone, then it just couldn’t be so done.
It is at times like those you rely on others. You rely on your family.
It wasn’t something to be embarrassed about.
However, there was a prerequisite. It was limited to only when you thought that you couldn’t solve it by yourself.
This time, somewhere in my heart, I had thought that I could solve the issue by myself.
I was probably the one who understood the three of them the most in the school. So, I thought I could pull it off.
I had intended to come up with the best move. I thought that I had thought it through and that my idea was the best solution.
The result was that it wasn’t.
When I thought about how my conceit had forestalled the solution of the issue, I couldn’t help but delve in self-hatred.