About the Reckless Girl Who Kept Challenging a Reborn Man Like Me - Volume 1 Chapter 1: A reckless and promising girl, more difficult than any test
- About the Reckless Girl Who Kept Challenging a Reborn Man Like Me
- Volume 1 Chapter 1: A reckless and promising girl, more difficult than any test
It was a cold winter day when I had met Anya, the girl who challenged me.
I met her in a warm building on a dim, sunless day with thick clouds in the sky right outside the window.
It was the first winter I’d experienced after I entered primary school. I kept getting perfect scores for the exams in school, so my parents enrolled me in the most difficult cram school in the neighborhood. It was about three stops away if you go via train. It was a long route for a normal child to go through, but for me, who had spent an hour every day to go to college in a previous life, it was just a short commute.
The school was located in a beautiful building in a new environment. Nervous about the brand new environment, I stepped into the school as if I were seeking warmth from the cold winter weather. Before the class began, the teacher introduced me to everyone, and I was bombarded with questions from many children. Such as – “Where do you live, what is your favorite subject, do you play any sports?” “Yes, yes, yes, yes,” the children kept raising their hands, and the questions never stopped, making it impossible to actually start the class.
…children. Though I’m the same age as them.
I don’t know how to handle a situation like this very well. The teacher standing on the stage admonished the children with a troubled smile, though I must have had the same look on my face as the teacher currently.
I sat down at the empty seat that the teacher had instructed me to go to and took out my textbooks.
─ Next to me, there was a girl with pale blue hair sitting in her seat.
I got a bit of an odd impression from the girl.
Everyone’s eyes were still on me, the children were smiling and watching my every move with great interest. They glanced at me, the foreign object of this cram school, as if they were expecting a pigeon to suddenly fly out of my mouth.
But the blue-haired girl sitting next to me didn’t look at me at all, she was just looking at the study material in front of her. She didn’t pay any attention to me at all, it was as if I was just a pebble on the side of the road.
Thinking back at it, she was the only one who didn’t ask me any question in the storm of questions. I was asked by the other children.
I don’t remember making eye contact with her even once. I’m sure that while I was standing on the stage and introducing myself, she was looking down towards her textbook, just as she was now.
She didn’t seem interested in me at all when I had just entered the school.
I thought that this girl was a little weird.
The class started without having any conversation with the girl.
Unfortunately for my parents, there was nothing for me to actually learn from joining the most difficult cram school. Of course there’d be nothing for me to learn about… It would be a problem if a former 28-year-old had to learn anything from elementary school classes. It may sound arrogant of me to think about such a cocky thing, but I hoped that the life experience of a former 28-year-old would forgive me for that. Over the past few years, I’ve gotten very good at pretending that I’m hardworking in class.
The first hour of class was over and everyone started asking me questions again. I answered all of the questions with a troubled smile, but the blue-haired girl next to me never asked me a single question.
I had conversed with many people on this day alone, but not once did I converse with the blue haired girl sitting next to me.
After all the classes for the day at the cram school were over, she began getting ready to leave without saying a word to anyone. Just out of curiosity, I tried to talk to her once.
“…you’re not talking to anyone at all, are you in a bad mood today?”
“My name’s Zeke. What’s yours?”
“…I don’t care.”
She responded coldly with an monotonevoice. She was like a girl on thin ice. But I’m also an adult. I can’t afford to get angry over something like this. Let’s make a joke out of it.
“Are you okay, Ms. I don’t care?”
“…Are you stupid or something?”
She looked at me coldly. Looks like my joke didn’t work. I was taken seriously instead. The child’s eyes showed that she was looking down on me.
“Are you leaving already?”
“Don’t you ever hang out with your friends?”
She didn’t speak, instead she quickly got ready to leave. She carried a practical bag with a few ornaments on it, looking down at me with her eyes which were big for her small body.
“I don’t care.”
She left the classroom quickly with a cold voice, as if she really didn’t care about her friends.
I was a little dumbfounded.
“Yo Zeke! It’s useless talking to her. She’s a very cold person!”
A boy named Paris came up to me. We had just become friends in between the classes.
“Is that so?”
“Oh yeah, no matter who talks to her, she doesn’t talk back at all! The teacher was worried about her and tried to talk to her, but she just kept quiet the entire time! She’s the smartest kid in the school and a real pain in the ass, you know!”
“Hey, don’t say anything bad about Anya, Paris.”
“I’m sorry! Sensei!”
That girl’s name is Anya? I spent an entire day without knowing her name until now.
“Is she the best student at this cram school?”
“Oh yeah, she always gets the highest score in the tests. It’s really frustrating.”
Paris crossed his arms and made a reluctant face.
“Well, she sure is a weird kid.”
That was the only impression I had of her.
I would have almost no chance to actually get involved with her. That’s what I was thinking at the time.
After that, I spent the rest of the days not talking to the girl Anya.
Everyone was right, she was a very strange girl. She didn’t talk to anyone nor did she play with anyone, she had just kept to herself the entire time. It seemed to be a regular event at the school where the kind teacher would try to talk to her over and over again, only to be met with a curt attitude in response.
She didn’t seem to have any friends at all. Still, she didn’t seem to care about her current situation. It seemed that she liked the way she was and continued to keep herself isolated.
Apparently, she is a genius. It seems that she’s a prodigy that boasts the highest grades in this cram school where all the smart kids gather together. She has also been ranked first in the end-of-semester tests, and has also ranked highly in the national mock examinations.
I’ve heard that many geniuses are strange people, and she must be one of them. She was a pretty girl with a beautiful face and a lovely headband, but I had never seen her expression move even once. She was like a girl frozen in ice.
She had a cold expression on her face the whole time. She just continued to study with a cold face.
She was sitting right next to me, but she and I had spent our days without any sort of communication. I guess that I was like air to her.
She was not interested in anyone.
It was the day the tests were returned from my cram school. The cram school had a big test at the middle and end of the semester. It reminded me a little of the system in middle and high school.
However, it seemed that those who performed well were given sweets. It was a very simple and worldly way to attract students, and it seemed to be very effective towards them. This cram school knew how to treat children well.
The answer sheets were being returned. The teacher standing on the stage calls out your name and then you go to pick up your answer sheet from her.
I called out to Paris as he walked by me, and he smiled bitterly, saying it was okay. Not bad, but not good either. He always seemed to get a high score on his school tests, so he wasn’t happy with his results this time.
The tests at this cram school are very difficult. All of the students here have excellent grades in school, but the questions on the test were so difficult that even those students would have a hard time answering them. The level of the test was a level higher than that of a regular school.
In the meantime, Anya came back to her seat with her answer sheet in hand. I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but I was curious so I went ahead and took a peek at her test score.
Her results were excellent. With scores of 95 and above lined up all in a row. This was an astonishing achievement in a test where the average score was almost 50 points. It seemed that it was true that she was the most talented girl in the school.
Still, she wasn’t pleased or happy. She was already reviewing what she did wrong, accepting this result as a matter of course.
I see, this kid seemed to be a true genius.
My name was called so I left my seat. I walked up to the teacher and took the answer sheet back from her.
“You did amazing Zeke, Sensei is impressed.”
I looked at the test returned to me and breathed a sigh of relief. Getting a good score on a test doesn’t make me feel proud, but it does make me feel as if I’ve been relieved of a lot of pressure. I patted my chest and returned to my seat next to Anya.
…Hmm? I feel like something strange is looking at me.
My eyes met hers.
When I looked to the side, my eyes met Anya’s, her mouth gaping and her eyes rolling. She was staring at me with a sullen look on her face. This was unexpected, since she was always looking at the teaching materials or the blackboard, nothing else.
For the first time in almost a lifetime, I made proper eye contact with her.
“Wh-What is it?”
She had a funny look on her face.
She was always so dignified and never lost her composure, but now her face was covered with surprise. She was stunned, dumbfounded, her mouth agape and her whole body trembling.
Wh-What the hell? What’s wrong with her?
“Hya-Hyakuten?” [TLN: This means a hundred]
She spoke in a trembling voice. I hadn’t heard her voice in a very long time.
I had perfect scores in all the subjects. I had managed to maintain my pride as a former 28-year-old. For the past few days, I had been feeling meaningless pressure within myself, wondering what I would do if I had scored poorly on the test for elementary schoolers.
“Yo-You got a higher score than me?”
Of course. No matter how much of a genius she was, I couldn’t just go and lose to a seven-year-old now.
“A-Ah, no way…”
“No way, No way! It can’t be!”
“Wh-What the hell?”
“No way! It can’t be! What?! You…! You’ve got to be kidding me…!”
“Wh-What’s wrong with you!? Calm down Anya!”
“What…? What!? You got a higher score than me, you fool! Idiot! Stupid, Stupid…!”
She suddenly opened her gaping mouth and began to rant and rave like a noisy child.
…No, she is a child, but this is the first time I’ve seen her make a fuss like a child would, and her current appearance was nothing like her usual icy cold demeanor.
I was terribly confused. No, it wasn’t just me. The children and teachers around me were also stunned by Anya’s appearance. That’s right. It was the first time anyone here had actually heard Anya’s loud voice.
“What? Who are you…? Don’t act like you’re so important…!”
“Wa-Wait, don’t pull on my shirt!”
I got tangled up with a seven-year-old girl.
“Stupid, Stupid! Idiot! Blockhead! Your mother’s an idiot!”
She got a bit teary-eyed.
“Wa-Wait, Anya-chan, what’s wrong? You shouldn’t have said that to him.”
“Ah, uh, it’s nothing sensei.”
“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! You got a better score than me! You got a better score than me!”
I can’t get angry over something like this. Rather, my surprise was definitely greater than my anger.
“I HATEEE YOUUUUU—-”
“Ho! See! Anya! Here’s your reward for getting a good score on the test! Eat some sweets and cheer yourself up.”
The teacher took out a box full of sweets and urged Anya to eat them. At this cram school, the better the score on the test, the more luxurious the candy you get.
But honestly, I don’t think that she’d be caught by a piece of candy…
Anya was staring at the sweets with tears in her eyes? The shouting had stopped and her attention had turned to the delicious looking assortment of sweets.
“Wh-What’s this? From a while ago?”
With puffy, teary eyes, her gaze never left the cluster of sweets the teacher was holding. It seemed that her interest was gradually turning towards the sweets rather than the test.
Wh-What the hell? What was that all about?
Everyone was confused. It was the first time anyone had ever seen her like this. Everyone was paying attention to her every move.
She made a small, sultry sound and began to quiet down. The intense anger that she had felt earlier seemed to be slowly subsiding. The teacher and I patted our chests in relief when we saw that Anya had calmed down a bit. The teacher then resumed returning the test.
“Ye-Yes, congratulations to Zeke-kun for placing first in the test… That was very impressive.”
As the first place winner, I was also presented with sweets. My reward was a cake from an expensive confectionery store in my neighborhood. The teacher handed me a small box, and through a crack in the box, I caught a glimpse of the beautifully decorated cake. Children love cakes. Everyone in the class looked at me enviously. I don’t think I was as jealous as everyone else in the class, but even I could see through the gap in the box that the cake looked really delicious. [ED:now im hungry wtf. Delete this later dead san thanks]
I heard a strange, shaky voice. I turned in that direction to see Anya staring at me.
Anya’s face was pale and her body was shaking. When she saw me take the box of cake from the teacher, she looked desperate, as if she had seen the end of the world.
Anya started to say something incomprehensible again.
“I was always first… That cake’s mine.”
Anya placed her hands on her cheeks and made a sobbing sound.
…I see. She has always been the best student in her grade at this school. That is to say, every piece of cake that was the reward for first place was definitely her’s.
But she lost first place this time so the cake was given to me instead.
“My cake is…!”
I’d like to say it’s not yours, but I feel like I’ve just snatched candy from a child, so my inner conscience begins to ache.
But when I saw her, I was confused.
Until now, she was a cold, solitary girl with no interest in anyone. I never saw her smile happily or get angry like a demon. The only interest she held was in her studies.
She was shivering because she couldn’t get a piece of cake. Seeing her be furious just because she lost against me in the test. Just a few moments ago, I couldn’t even imagine seeing her like that.
It was not only me who was confused though. The teacher and all my classmates also rolled their eyes in surprise.
“My cake…! Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
“Ah, Areh? Anya-chan, where are you going? Anya-chaaaaaaaaan!”
The teacher shouted and reached for her hand, but Anya ran out of this classroom crying.
Silence fell around her as she stormed out of the classroom.
No one had ever seen her like that before. Everyone was amazed by her.
After this I would go on to have a long relationship with Anya… She just hated to lose. I’m sure you’re able to understand why.
She was just a girl with a hardcore competitive spirit.
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
It had been about a week since Anya’s cake-runaway incident.
I went to the cram school a few more times after that, but I never had a conversation with her. If I tried to talk to her, she would just run away. However she would keep glaring at me. She always gives me a death stare, and whenever I try to talk to her so I could make up with her, she just goes and runs away instead. Just like a wounded wild animal, Anya was trying to threaten me. However, just like a wounded wild animal, she was also very annoying.
Where on earth did the cool girl who always had an icy demeanor disappear to…?
It was one of those days where the weather was a little warm.
As I was leaving the cram school to head home, I spotted Anya hiding behind a tree on the street. I wondered what she was doing, but she seemed to be chasing behind me while also hiding from me.
She was tailing me…
She hid her body behind the trees and buildings and watched me keenly, only keeping her face in sight. And whenever I turn a corner, she runs after me with an impatient trot, trying her best not to lose sight of me. She was as wild and covert as a regular child. And every time I turned a corner, I would always catch a glimpse of her chasing right behind me.
“…What the hell is she trying to do?”
She threw a murderous glare at my back as she sneaked up on me.
I got on the train to go home. I thought that she wouldn’t follow me on the train, but I was wrong. A seven-year-old girl was spreading out a newspaper on the train. She was probably influenced by some novel she read. She was hiding her face and looking right at me.
I was sure that she wouldn’t get off the train and follow me, but my expectations were easily shattered. But if I got off the train at a station other than the one closest to her house, it would be too late for her to go home.
It was just as the sun was about to set.
I had no choice but to turn on my heel as I left the station and approached her at once. She was carrying a large newspaper in her hand, so I couldn’t lose her.
“…What are you doing? Anya?”
When I approached her in a straight line and called out to her, she looked like a pigeon who had been hit by a peashooter.
“Anya, honey, what are you going to do by following me around…?”
“Geez! I’ve been found out!”
…Is she actually stupid?
I couldn’t make the connection between the quiet, tranquil, and silent girl I’ve seen at the cram school and the absurdly crazy girl I’ve been seeing the past few days. I thought she was a cool-headed, intelligent girl, but I feel… as if I’ve been scammed these past few days.
I scratched my head involuntarily.
“Uh… what the hell are you doing? Anya?”
Her voice echoed with a tremendous amount of energy present in her.
“Yes! I’ll never let you beat me again! I’ve always been the best so far…! You’re the reason I missed out on my cake! I’ll never forgive you! Remember that! I’m the one who’s going to beat you!”
Anya put her hands on her hips and pointed at me, as if she was trying to look cool, and started talking like a cartoon antagonist.
“What’s your name?”
“Yes! I’m Anya! Don’t forget it!”
…Which means that my name had never been remembered by her before.
“If I win, that cake will be mine! Until then, save it for yourself…!”
“No, it will perish quickly at this rate… I need to eat it quickly…”
I guess I shouldn’t say that I’ve already eaten it with my family. It would touch her inverted scales and anger her even further. I don’t want to get tangled up with her any more.
“I can’t lose! I don’t want to lose! Never…!”
She was burning brightly. She was burning red hot, the woman who was even ridiculed as the ice woman. Where in the world had the cool and intelligent girl of a few days ago gone?
“…So? What the hell are you doing by following me around? If you want to win against me, you might want to use this time to study instead.”
“No, I was trying to figure out your weakness! Didn’t you realize that? You’re such an idiot!”
I want to throw those words right back at her. There’s no way you can find out a person’s weaknesses in academics just by following them around. Even if you know their weaknesses, what are you going to do about them in your studies…?
“…Okay, you should go home now. Look, if you take your time, the sun will set and it will be dark, okay?”
The red sun is trying to hide behind the buildings, turning the sky a bright red. If the momentary red sky loses its color, the dark night will soon appear. It was not a good idea for a seven-year-old girl to walk outside alone in such a situation. If I had to take the train a few stops from now to get home, there would be little hope of a better future.
We need to get this girl home, not let her do something stupid like being followed.
As I was thinking this, she put her hands on her hips and shouted with her chest out.
What’s okay now?
“Because this is the closest station to my house too! What a coincidence!”
To her surprise, her house and mine seemed to be in the same area. Even the direction from the station to our house was the same. And my house and Anya’s house were closer than I had ever imagined. It was only a ten-minute walk to our houses.
“I’ll have your cake sooner or later!” And with that, she was gone. It’s not actually yours… and I’ve already eaten the cake…
Sighing, I walked alone under the dim sky where the stars were beginning to appear.
This was where my girlfriend and I began our rotten relationship.
The summer of my 11th year. More than three years had passed since I first met Anya.
I was looking out the window of the cram school at the hot and humid weather with the sun beating down on me. The weather was in stark contrast to the day of the heavy snowfall that had killed me.
I have been reincarnated. I lived 28 years of my life once, died of an illness, and was somehow reincarnated many years later.Then I somehow started my life all over again.
The game between Anya and I continued unabated. Though, she’s the only one who keeps coming at me for a challenge. She has challenged me to all sorts of tests, including Japanese, arithmetic, and magic theory, and I have won every single one of them. It was only natural after all. Elementary school tests are the kind of tests where you can get a score of almost 100 almost every time once you’re an adult. There’s nothing I can do to lose.
However, even though I had longed for such a special existence in my previous life, I still felt guilty that I kept winning games against her, seeing her frustrated look every time I won against her.
“I feel kind of bad, even though I’m supposed to have a special life on my own…”
“What are you whispering to yourself in that little voice of yours, Zeke? Come on, let’s play another game today.”
Oh no, I was going to blurt out something that no one would be able to hear, but then I realized Anya was right beside me. She always comes close to me, so she must have heard me.
“…Did you hear what I had just said?”
“Not at all! Though If you don’t want me to hear it, you better not say it out loud.”
“…You’re absolutely right. Silence is Gold, huh?”
She seemed to love to compete, and she hated to lose even more. She feverishly challenged me to a match, and whenever she lost, she regretfully stepped on the ground. She is a cool and quiet girl most of the time until the game with me begins. She was a solitary girl who rarely talked to people and showed no interest in her friends.
When it comes to playing games with me, she is as hot as fire.
At first, everyone in the school, including myself, was surprised at the gap between her. But after three years, everyone had already gotten used to Anya, and those who had been uncomfortable with her three years ago were now smiling and laughing at her, as if they were watching a small child with pity in their eyes. Even though she had grown up over the past three years, Anya was still treated like a child more often than before… It’s pretty sad…
She was a complicated yet simple girl. She’s usually as cold as ice, but extremely passionate when it comes to winning.
I kept winning these games against Anya.
However, in the end, my achievement was due to the special experience known as “reincarnation” and not due to my own abilities or efforts. Is it natural for me to feel guilty for believing in my own abilities and for defeating her who’s working so hard, or does it mean that I am an ordinary person mentally after all?
“Oh, my God! Damn it! Why is it 100 points again! I can’t win like that! It’s not fair! It’s not fair! Zeke…!”
Anya was crying again.
She is a true genius, and she works very hard, and she is certainly not an ordinary person like me. If things continue as they are, she will graduate from a good upper secondary school, go to a good university, and work for a great company. She has such admirable abilities that we can see that this early in her life.
However, as the saying goes, “a normal person by 20” ,so long as she does not spare any effort in the future.
“…Here, Anya. Here’s today’s candy. Eat it and get yourself in a better mood.”
To comfort her, I give her some sweets that I had bought beforehand to put her in a good mood. And to apologize to her.
“…I feel in the mood for chocolate today”
“Yeah, I’ve got that ready for you too, okay?”
She looked so radiant. This is like a punishment to me for winning, and most of my meager allowance was consumed by this candy I bought for her.
I have to choose sweets that take into account her preferences, seasonal specialties, and other special touches, and I have a very hard time choosing sweets that will comfort the complicated heart of a woman. If I choose the wrong sweets, I’ll spend the rest of the day staring at her pouting face.
She’s usually very cool, but whenever she gets involved with me, she gets very worked up, and when she loses, she always looks disappointed.
Understanding the subtleties of a woman’s mind is more difficult than any test.
TLN: Hey Hey so once again Thanks for reading this. Massive thanks to Spynine01 and Mr propaganda for Proofreading. Were currently looking for Editors so if you’re confident in your english pop in the server and look at #recruitment. People from all levels of experience are welcome to apply, and minor mistakes in your editing are perfectly acceptable. Also if you’re interested in translating a series and would like to join feel free to join the discord as well and ask. Right now Pascal in in debt from buying Saint Cecilia raws which Im also translating so if you would like to support us please donate to either the goal at my Ko-Fi or Pascals Ko-Fi. Anyways Ill be releasing lesser chapters for the next few weeks since my exams are coming up so sorry about that.