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In the middle of the night, I received a phone call.

“It's very unusual for you to call me, Sakayanagi.”

On the other end of the line, Sakayanagi let out a little chuckle.

“Indeed you may be right. May I have a few minutes of your time now?”

“I wouldn't be answering if it wasn't convenient.”

“I see. Then let me cut right to the chase. Ayanokōji-kun, you will attend the cultural festival as a matter of course, won't you? My father seems to be concerned that there may be people from the outside who will come to bring you back.”

“The chairman of the board called me a little while ago. He told me that I should consider taking this time off from the main event again, but I politely declined.”

I probably would have attended the last sports festival, though, if not for the fact that I had to give Sakayanagi a break.

“Aren't you afraid? No, that's a foolish question, I'll change the question a bit. Are you perhaps assuming that the people involved will not move to recapture you?”

Otherwise, Sakayanagi said, she doesn't see the point of me purposefully putting myself in harm's way. 

“It's simply a question between actual harm and potential harm. There’s other opportunities coming up, such as the school trip. If the harm would go away after these two festivals, I would act differently. However, there’s no guarantee that there won’t be spectators at next year's festival too. It’s easy to stay in your shell, but the opportunities I will lose by doing so are far more troublesome.”

“So you want to experience your remaining school life and what is normal for a student as much as possible.” She replied in agreement with my way of thinking. 

“Besides, I have other objectives. I don't want to waste them.”

“If that's the case, I have nothing further to say; I think it's best that Ayanokōji-kun does what he wants.”

I was curious about the festival, but I knew it was not polite to ask about it. Was she simply trying to win that showcase, or was she trying to crush the competition? Or does she have some other goal in mind? If I asked her, she might answer, but that would lead to a different story. 

It was up to Class A to make whatever choice they make, and no third party had the right to decide what was right or wrong.

“But unforeseen circumstances are things that can happen at any time. Even if the festival is safe, you never know what may happen next. If you have any trouble, please feel free to contact me anytime.”

“That's very kind of you.”

“We can't have Ayanokōji-kun disappear before we have a rematch.”

“I'll take care of myself.” 

“I'll see you soon then. Good night.”

Avoiding any idle chatter, Sakayanagi ended the call with a mutter.


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