I Quit the Going-Home Club for a Girl with a Venomous Tongue - Chapter 91
Chapter 91 – Unseen Conflict
It wasn’t such an arduous process and I managed to do it. I melted a chocolate bar that I bought and shaped it to my liking, following the tutorials that were available on the internet. It was a good learning experience for me since I’ve never really made sweets.
This would be given to him.
It was my first attempt, so I was a bit nervous, but they said that boys had soft spots for homemades, so I should be alright. That boy was special, so I should go this far at least.
I didn’t remember doing this for anyone else.
During my third year of middle school, I’ve never made nor given someone anything during Valentine’s Day. I had no memory of anything before that time but, since the other me was kind, it was possible that I gave chocolates to a person or two. The notes didn’t say anything though.
Last year, I didn’t give it to anyone either. I wasn’t close enough to anyone after all. I knew the names of my classmates, but that was the extent of my personal relationship. In other words, this would be the first time in my life that I would give someone chocolates for Valentine’s.
Honestly, I was quite nervous.
When I arrived at the classroom and was sorting through my belongings, I heard the girls’ whispers.
‘So, who will you give it to?’
‘I did it!’
And so on.
Everyone was prepared for today, it seemed.
My standing in class was that I was very popular. No, I wasn’t being narcissistic or anything, it was simply the truth.
This was the reason why last year exhausted me so. The boys were approaching me, trying desperately to get my attention. It probably would happen again this year, just the thought of it made me feel depressed.
The best way to hand the chocolate to him would be casually giving it to him. After all, if I were to say something unnecessary, I might be so embarrassed and would accidentally kill him.
That part was all good, but the problem was the timing.
If I were to hand him casually without looking at the surroundings, the other boys would try to harm him. It might be hypocritical coming from me, the person who would stab him at a moment’s notice, but I really didn’t want any harm to come to him.
I went to the toilet while racking my brain to see Sui staring at a poster in the hallway. It was a horrifying poster, reminding me of the famous U.S. Army recruitment notice. There was the face of the president of the journalism club posing with a chocolate in his hand, with a big English sentence that meant ‘I’ll give my chocolates to you.’
And Sui was staring at it with an intense gaze. Was this what they called ‘bee-el’? I hope not.
I quietly approached him and stood next to him.
‘My, it’s actually a poster for member recruitments?’
There was a note written on the bottom right of the poster.
“Is this guy gay?”
I couldn’t find a way to start a conversation, so I just blurted that out without thinking. Maybe I could try to find a way to divert the topic to chocolate from here?
“He’s just trying to recruit new members, don’t think about it too much!”
I wasn’t blind, why was he stating the obvious? Where was his usual weird response?
I took a look at his face. His complexion looked normal.
I had to find a way to start talking about chocolate.
But, how? How should I divert the conversation to chocolate without sounding unnatural? Should I just give it to him right here? No, the other boys would see— Yeah, they were already locking onto us. Why couldn’t they just die?!
Ugh, this wasn’t a good time. They would surround him if I were to give it to him now. Seriously, it was just chocolate, you guys! If you wanted it so badly just buy them or who knows, lick some granite or something!
“Is that so?”
Ahh… I couldn’t say anything else…
In the end, I ran to the classroom.
When I sat down on my seat, a boy that reeked of perfume came out of nowhere and approached me.
“Arina-san, you aren’t going to give anything to him?”
He tried to act like a gentleman but he looked pathetic instead. A mere empty lump of meat with little life experience couldn’t compare to a real thing.
I wasn’t so generous to pay any attention to him, so I ignored him. Most boys would give up if I ignored them.
And he was no different, he immediately moved away from me. Seriously, why were the boys reeking of perfume?! They should jump into the sewer or something, that would fit them more.
Anyway, I still had to think of a way to give this thing to Sui. I went through the trouble to make it, I didn’t want to make it a waste.
I deceived him by saying this was the wish of my other self, after all. I had to give it to him properly, or else the sacrifice of my other self would be in vain.
If my other self were to come out and talk to him, he would definitely try to thank her. She didn’t know anything about this and she would definitely be confused. If that were to happen, that would be the end of me.
I should write everything on my note.
Time passed and recess came.
I wandered down the hallway, looking for an opportunity to hand it over to him. A group of noisy beggars begged me for chocolates, so I gave them my middle finger before continuing to look for Sui. Sadly, I couldn’t find him and went back to the classroom. If I were to stay in the hallway a few minutes longer, I would be surrounded by the boys again.
The next recess came and I wandered around again. He didn’t appear again, so I decided to peek into his classroom.
There he was, sitting at his desk.
His posture was strange. He straightened his back while staring absent-mindedly at the blackboard. It was actually an exemplary way to sit, but he was unmoving, like a sheep being eyed by a group of wolves.
On the next recess, I checked on him again, only to find out that he was still doing the same thing. Had he been doing that all this time? What was he doing?
Lunchbreak came. I ate together with Shirona and the others. While we were eating, the smell of perfume became stronger. It seemed like flies started to come from other classes too.
“You’re amazing, Arina-san…”
“It’s worse than last year… I’m sorry…”
“It’s okay. Everyone wants to receive chocolates from you, huh? But you don’t want to give them any, right?”
They should read the room and stay away when I am eating. Seriously, I was this close to rip their guts open.
“Did you give any to Sui, Arinan?”
Asked Yuri suddenly. That surprised me. I dropped the rice that I was holding with my chopsticks back into the box.
“I won’t give anything to anyone.”
“Oh, you dropped your rice.”
“My, it seems like it doesn’t want to be eaten by me.”
“Who doesn’t want to be eaten by you, Arinan? The boys pretty much want to if you ask them.”
“Yuri, they said that your intestines are long enough to be used as jump ropes. Want to find out?”
I lied, but I didn’t care. It was supposed to be a secret that I would give him chocolates anyway.
After a while, Shirona put down her chopsticks and started to go through her bag. She took out two small paper bags with cute patterns and handed them over to Sui and Takane Makoto, who were at the door.
Should I follow her footsteps and give it to him now?
Such thoughts crossed my mind, but no, it wasn’t the right time. Besides, I just said that I wouldn’t give anything to anyone. I continued my conversation with Yuri and Ran.
Before I knew it, lunch break was over.
I began to feel impatient. At this rate, I wouldn’t be able to give it to him. I really wanted to do it, but I couldn’t escape the other boys’ gazes. Ugh, so annoying!
Should I text him? But if I did it, wouldn’t he blabber to everyone about it? Besides, even if I were to do it, looking for someplace for us to be alone would still be impossible.
Time passed and school was finally over. I had no plan to meet up with him, so he should immediately go back home after this.
Wait, go back home?
‘I should just wait for him at the school gate!’
I didn’t need to give it to him at school! Why was I so caught up in that line of thought? The boys wouldn’t be following me on my way home and they should’ve given up at that point. Perfect.
As soon as I finished cleaning, I packed my stuff and ran out of the school building. He might have already left the school, but waiting wouldn’t hurt. If he didn’t come in an hour, that meant I missed him and I should give up. I decided to wait a bit further away from the school gate.
Ten minutes later.
He came out of the school building.
‘What’s with that face?’
He wore a determined expression as he walked to my direction. It seemed like he was going on a new journey or something.
When he stepped out of the school gate, he stopped and put his hand on his chest. I got second-hand embarrassment from watching him, but if I didn’t call out to him now, I would miss my chance completely. I called out to him.
“My… I’ve been waiting for you.”
* * *
Hiwa Arina was there.
Why was she standing there? An ambush? Did she place a tracking device on me?
“Eh? What are you up to?”
Could it be? No way.
“I’ve been waiting for you. Let’s walk together.”
Right foot out, left foot out. Seventy centimeters forward. Repeat. Repeat. Thud. Thud.
It was the first time in my life that I was having trouble walking. Being born as a biped was tough. I could appreciate the human race more now.
In contrast to my nervousness, Arina took calm strides, her expression was as cold as usual as her beautiful hair swayed through the air. There was a shade of pink on the tip of her nose, it seemed like she had been waiting at that spot for a while.
A strong impact hit me on my right side. My body bent in an unnatural way and for a second, I saw the surface of the Sanzu River. It was the second time that I’ve seen it. My dead pet was waving at me from the other side.
I heard the sound of rustling paper and I took a glance at her outstretched hand. She was holding a red paper bag with an abstract design on it.
“Here. It’s a token of my appreciation.”
She said while looking straight ahead to cover her embarrassment.
I accepted it with gratitude.
“Thank you. Honestly, I didn’t expect that you’d actually give it to me. I’m going to be the messenger of peace as my way of thanking you.”
“Is that so?”
I was so happy. Seriously, I almost got a mental breakdown. I had been waiting for this impatiently since earlier this morning and finally I got what I had been waiting for. I was so happy, I could turn the desert green! Ahh!!
I wanted to scream! Cauliflower! Why cauliflower? I didn’t know! Who gave a sh*t, I just wanted to scream!
“Is this handmade?…”
“Yes… Taste it if you don’t believe me…”
“Ah… Dear heavens…”
Arina-san seemed really cute right now. Even Ugin was pale in comparison.
I couldn’t wait to open it and eat it, but eating it right now would be a disservice to her, so I had to be patient.
Her eyes were fluttering and she kept staring ahead. She seemed expressionless, but the fact that she didn’t notice her scarf was sticking out of her bag suggested that she wasn’t in the right state of mind.
Suddenly, I heard a buzzing sound. I checked my pockets, thinking that my phone was ringing, but apparently, it was Arina’s.
“Arina, your phone, your phone!”
I sounded like a caveman when I called out to her but she seemed to be thinking of something and ignored me.
I grabbed her shoulders and shook her. Her collarbones entered my line of sight. I was a sinful man…
“Help! Sexual harrasser!”
“Arina, your phone, your phone!”
“Arina, your phone, your phone!”
Finally, she picked up her phone.
Apparently, it was from her mother. I decided to think about what to give her for White Day in the meantime.
Should I give her a handmade one too? Or should I just buy an expensive one for her?
I couldn’t decide! I didn’t know enough Chinese characters to decorate a chocolate. Meanwhile, I didn’t know how far I should go to satisfy this prideful girl. I knew that the angelic Arina would be pleased with handmade ones though. In that case, should I prepare two? Wait, did they have the same taste? In the first place, did they share the same soul? Should I ask a philosophy teacher for this?
When I came to, Arina wasn’t by my side. I never knew that she was also a cat-shaped time traveler. (T/N: Doraemon reference.)
I turned around and saw her standing still while holding her phone to her ear. She was still staring ahead, but there was a strange look in her eyes as she stared at mine.
I asked, yet she remained frozen.
“What happened? Are you turning into a statue?”
Arina pulled her phone away from her ear. The display of her phone said ‘connected’.
I pointed it out at her, but she ignored me. When I thought that something really bad had happened, she finally opened her mouth.
“My dad… My dad is dead…”