Hint: To Play after pausing the player, use this button

The 2nd destination pointed out to me for today was 12. The northeastern end of the uninhabited island.

Since I was somehow able to prevent a penalty, for now it was relievingly a place I could head towards.

Although fundamentally we were to walk back to the starting area after the test ended at 3pm, depending on the situation it seemed that there were plans to have the boats go around the island and retrieve the students as necessary.

Nearby, it seemed that a boat would come to J6 by 5pm.

“So since it’s the final stage, a designated area appeared in an outrageous place...”

On the southern side of the island the test-taking environment of focusing on the tasks didn’t change. Despite that, to think a designated area would be at the northeast end.

Obviously I wanted to lament that the table made a mistake, but it can’t be helped.

It would be relieving to be satisfied with that, but since I had arrived I started to feel something disturbing.

Today, since morning I hadn’t passed by any other students nor had I seen any. The island may be large, but fundamentally, moving around gives many opportunities to hear or see someone.

Of course, I wasn’t able to arrive at my final area yesterday. So it’s not like I don’t understand not bumping into students with the same table as me, but...

I understand that at this point, many students are already descending to the southern side of the island where the tasks are gathered.

Since I had set foot on 12, maybe I could have ignored the final designated area and aimed for the tasks.

H3 is divided into parts by a small river.

Because that river can’t be crossed as a shortcut, no matter what you are forced to take a detour. It’s a troublesome place.

The good thing is that it was okay to just walk on the side of the river so you wouldn’t have to worry about getting lost. Unhurriedly descending through the southwest on the riverside, and arriving at the point past the river at the northeast. It’s fine to keep walking by the river until you hit a mountain. Now I was doing that on the opposite side of the river, carrying my feet to the center of H3.

“Ayanokouj i-kun-! ”

As I was devoting my ears to the sound of the flowing river, I heard a voice calling my name from afar. I was circumventing the river since a while ago and had come to the northern side.

There the mud-caked Ichinose was breathlessly staring at me.

“Ichinose... you came as far as H3?”

If I remember correctly, according to what Sakayanagi said Ichinose should have been at E3.

Right now it was past 10am. If the sun started rising at 5:30, that means that Ichinose had been continuously walking for 4 and a half hours to come here.

And at a considerably fast pace.

“I... I came here to meet you, Ayanokouji-kun!”

Though out of breath and exhausted, Ichinose yelled from across the river.

“I’m coming over there right now!”

Saying that, even while staggering from side to side Ichinose ran at the side of the river.

Maybe because her heavy backpack was a burden, she threw it away in that place.

Her way of walking was terribly dangerous. If Ichinose who seemed to be approaching her body’s limit came here despite that, it would be bone-breakingly hard. I pulled back to where I came from to reach her quickly.

We both dashed along the riverside for 5 minutes and arrived at a point where we could meet.

Because I couldn't allow Ichinose to overexert herself, I went north across the river before her.

“I, I fi, I finally reached you... wait, I’m coming.”

After having chased me this far then calling out to me, she was probably feeling the consequences.

Fervently forcing herself to stand with all her power, she approached me one step at a time.


Ichinose was about to collapse so I caught her with my arms.

“I, I’m so sorry! H, huh? Why? My feet... I can’t feel them...”

She hurriedly tried to stand up, but her knees were trembling and it seemed that she wouldn’t be able to stand up normally.

“What in the world has gotten into you, Ichinose?”

Ichinose looked up at me and opened her mouth while desperately trying to fix the situation.

“I, I have something I need to tell you no matter what, Ayanokouji-kun...!”

“Something you need to tell me?”

“I worried and worried and always worried... I had to protect my friends and classmates...”

What the heck is she talking about? I don't know what it is but it’s definitely something she’s taking great pains to tell me at least.

“But, despite that I was worried for Ayanokouji-kun, so... no matter what...”

Within this special exam, there was no contact or anything between Ichinose and I in particular.

It means something unexpected happened.

To tell me that, for over 4 hours she desperately kept walking all the way here.

“M, My... wristwatch was destroyed, so, I thought to go back to the starting area to have it exchanged... at that time, I saw acting director Tsukishiro and Shiba-sensei...!”

While her breathing hadn’t even calmed down yet, Ichinose spoke with great difficulty.

I don’t know when this happened, but it’s plausible that she had probably been worrying for several days.

“I-If Ayanokouji-kun were safe until the last day then, call him to 12 and make him disappear-”

The words ||I 2|| and ||Make disappear|| . Indeed if someone only heard that, they would appropriately think of those as dangerous words. The reason Tsukishiro and the others carelessly let Ichinose hear their conversation was because her wristwatch was destroyed, disabling her GPS tracking, huh.

“Protect your classmates... you mean Tsukishiro threatened them?”

Though surprised for an instant that I guessed it right, Ichinose nodded again.

“If I told Ayanokouji-kun about this... then they would expel my classmates... but, but no matter what, I couldn’t leave Ayanokouji-kun alone...!”

“You should have stopped thinking about it and abandoned me. I’m your enemy after all.”

If it went well the student known as Ayanokouji could be expelled. It would have been better for her to think of it like that.

Upon hearing such words, Ichinose strongly violently shook her head to say no.

“I can’t! Ayanokouji-kun is, Ayanokouji-kun is... not my enemy!”

Ichinose gripped my shin near my chest.

“I think we’re enemies, though.”

“After all... after all, Ayanokouji-kun to me is-”

The hand that had been strongly gripping my shirt once again squeezed tightly.

“I, I love you, Ayanokouji-kun...!”

Ichinose herself likely didn’t plan to say those words.

After those words came out, she shut her mouth and averted her eyes.

“N-No! Just now, eh, why did I, eh, ehh?!”

As if the person herself didn’t realize what she was saying, she panicked and repeatedly shook her head from side to side.

“Just now, what, did I say I wonder?!”

Just like her recollection of what she had just said flew away, she couldn’t understand it and panicked.

“Can I tell you? Whatever it was that you said to me.”

“Y, yeah... Ah, no, don’t! O-On second thought I remember so don’t say it!”

“-Thank you Ichinose.”

“Eh, eh, ehh?!”

Once again I gave thanks to Ichinose.

More than her classmates and more than the groups she put together to win in this special exam, she prioritized me.

I won’t take those feelings with any disrespect.

“If Ichinose hadn’t given a warning, I don’t know what would have become of me.”

This was probably a big crossroad for me.

If I hadn’t met Ichinose here, I wouldn’t have gone to 12 assuming that Tsukishiro was involved. And Tsukishiro indeed threatened Ichinose to silence her. But Ichinose is before my eyes right now.

And without looking back on the risk, she told me everything.

“Is what you said just now true?”

“Th-That, I mean, um, that’s not it. That, thing right?”

“If it’s not true then take it back now. I'll misunderstand.”

“...Um... Misunderstand... It’s not like a misunderstanding...”

Ichinose was trying to deny it, but she realized that she could no longer talk her way out of it and resigned herself.

“...I... love you...”

With a voice small enough to disappear after grazing me, she admitted it.

“Also, I probably noticed that I felt this way for some time now... s, sorry.”

It’s nothing to apologize for.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect that Ichinose was thinking of me that way.

I’m a little surprised.”

“I, I’m sorry... you don’t like it, don’t you?”

“Nothing like that. It’s just that right now I can’t answer your feelings.

“U...un, I wouldn’t, be suited for Ayanokouji-kun after all...”

“That’s not true. There are several things I must settle first. In this state I don’t think I can answer yes or no.”

Besides, I can’t tell her about Kei here.

Even if she conies to know after this and resents me, right now we are in the middle of the uninhabited island test.

Seeing that there is still time left, I shouldn’t take away her will to fight.

“I don’t know if this will sit well with you, but that’s the best answer I can give right now.”

“Un... I understand.”

Without seeming hateful or even dissatisfied, Ichinose nods and answers.

“I intend to go to 12 from here. There’s something I need to do there.”

“Th, That’s no good! It’s dangerous!”

“If I don’t then I won’t be able to protect you or even your precious classmates won’t I?”

She should understand precisely because she was so worried herself.

It’s not hard to imagine that Tsukishiro would learn that she directly contacted and spoke to me.

But it seems that there’s a need to teach Tsukishiro that this isn’t a predicament, but a comeback.

“Take your time to rest and aim to meet with your group. Okay?”

I stroked the obedient Ichinose’s head once and decided to head towards 12.


No Comments Yet

Post a new comment

Register or Login