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Kanzaki Ryūji's Monologue

A SMART PERSON stays away from danger. I've spent my childhood keeping my distance from people. Why did I make that choice? Because it was easier for me to do so and, more importantly, because it kept me out of trouble. I didn't make any close friends, and I didn't make any enemies. This made it easy for me to remain neutral.

One day, however, I was involved in a fight between a group of children, simply because I was nearby. Three of the four kids, excluding myself, were relentlessly accusing the fourth. The three of them acted arrogantly all throughout the incident, but not without reason: a single lie is the cause of their behavior.

The child being denounced, who was visibly upset, had told lies to the other three. It really should have been something trivial. It was regarding whether or not he had gotten an autograph from a celebrity. The three of them wanted him to admit that he had lied and apologize to everyone. On the other hand, the liar insisted that he had not lied and refused to apologize.

I, who happened to be there, objectively analyzed the situation and urged the kid who told the lie to admit it, but the kid refused to relent until the end. A flimsy lie. Meaningless stubbornness. I thought the matter might escalate to the point of harm, but even so, I did nothing. The boy was wrong for telling such a useless lie.

I didn't know if it was to show off or what, but it was really stupid.

I didn’t need to help. It was none of my business.

I truly felt that way.

No, I even thought that he should be beaten at least once to learn from it But… In the end, the kid who told that lie got away with it.

An accomplice of the lying boy suddenly appeared and saved the child. He protected him without questioning him, simply because he was his friend.

I didn't agree. That was not justice.

The right thing to do would have been to support the three children who hadn't lied.

I fell into a state of uncertainty.

Who was right?

Was it the three who told the truth but exhibited arrogance, or the one who had lied through his teeth?

Was it the third person who knew it was a lie and helped his friend?

There was one adult who watched the entire scene unfold.

He placed his hand on my head and said, “If you don't have the power to help, you can run away or ignore it. But if you have the power and don't use it, you are a fool.”

I couldn’t understand it at the time. I wondered whether he meant that I should have helped the liar after all. But as I grew into an adult, I understood. Helping does not necessarily imply helping only the child who told a lie. If I had the power to control the situation, I could have brought the situation to a close no matter what perspective I held…

It was at that moment that something within me came to life, something I thought I didn't possess.

I still remember the words of that person I met.

When I entered Advanced Nurturing High School, I chose to socialize with others, even though I wasn't good at it. I learned to help others who were in need, if only a little. I hoped to be there for Ichinose, who was recognized as the class leader, and support her.

However, in the end, I was not able to do so, and my heart was broken.

Ayanokōji Kiyotaka's words rescued me from such a situation.

Ayanokōji... Truly, fate is a mysterious thing.


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