Osananajimi ga Zettai ni Makenai Love Comedy - Epilogue
ED: Pascal’s Wager
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The third day of the shooting trip was another fine day.
Today’s plan was just to shoot a PV, clean up the stage, and go home. At noon, we would leave Okinawa by plane.
After breakfast, we had a final rehearsal, including testing of the equipment, and were satisfied with the results.
Right now, we were waiting for the three girls to change into their costumes for the show.
The first one to come out was Kuroha.
“Hey, Haru, you know─”
“You know, this outfit─”
When Kuroha said that much, Shirokusa appeared in the corner of my eyes.
“Ah, excuse me, Kuro.”
“Eh, wait, what, Haru…? Eh?”
I put the video camera to the side of the stage and turned away.
I felt Kuroha making some kind of noise behind me, but I ran up to her without looking back.
“How’s your leg, Shiro?”
“Eh!? Yeah, it’s fine, though?”
“Are you sure? Let me see.”
Shirokusa wriggled her body.
I crouched down on my knees, placed Shirokusa’s injured right leg on my upraised knee, and lifted the skirt of her pure white dress slightly, touching her ankle and calf.
“Does it hurt here? Or maybe here?”
“Su-Sue-chan, don’t do anything naughty in front of everyone…”
“Hmm? What is it?”
When I looked up, Shirokusa, whose cheeks were blushing slightly, blinked her eyes.
“Ah… no, it’s nothing…It’s okay…It doesn’t hurt there…”
“So around here?”
“…Yeah, I guess. I think it hurts around there. It hurts more on the outside.”
“Eri-san came back earlier and brought me the icing spray I asked for. I think this will help with the pain a little, so is it okay if I use it…?”
Kuroha reacted a little strangely to our exchange.
“This is…weird…Hmm, wait, a minute…hmm…?”
A little further away, Tetsuhiko and Reina were mumbling to each other.
“What’s this all about, Tetsu-senpai?”
“No, I don’t know either…”
“There’s something about the way they get along, but it’s so natural…”
The two of them were interrupted by Maria.
“─Wait a minute, I might have underestimated you a little too much.”
“I’m sorry, I misspoke. I’m going to head to the stage.”
I noticed that Maria was about to go on stage, so I quickly took care of Shirokusa.
“You okay now, Shiro?”
“Yeah, I’ll do my best.”
And so the three girls of the Ultramarine Alliance took the stage.
All three girls were dressed in the same clothes they had worn when they arrived here.
There was no sense of unity. They were all different.
But when three girls got together, it was normal for their clothes to be different. That’s why it was so refreshing to see the individual personalities of each of the girls, giving them that “life-size, normal girl” feel.
Shirokusa was wearing a pure white one-piece dress. It’s a classic summer outfit for a beautiful, pure girl, and it looks criminally good with her long, straight black hair.
Maria is wearing a marine outfit. She was dressed in a sailor-like outfit with white top and dark blue pants underneath. She looks more energetic than usual, and I liked the freshness of her look.
Kuroha’s loose-fitting T-shirt and flared skirt gave a more casual impression rather than emphasizing cuteness. In a way, it fits the theme of this event best.
The music started to play, and as Akane had made some changes to it, it had become even more lively.
With the video camera in hand, I filmed the three of them from various angles.
The strong sunlight was burning their skin.
It must have been hard for the three of them on stage. They sang and danced. Sweat was pouring out of them from their intense movements.
Shirokusa was the most nervous. Her headset mic was shaking as proof.
But she had a nice smile on her face. Knowing how bad she was in the beginning, I was surprised to see how much she’s grown.
Maria was as good as I expected. She was a cut above the rest. She had a rich expressive power, and she could move freely. Whenever I was idle, I couldn’t help but take notice of Maria, which showed her high level of skill.
Kuroha was also to the point. However, what caught my attention about Kuroha was not her movements but her voice. It came naturally to the ear and left a lasting impression. It wasn’t that she was particularly good, rather it was simply that her voice was attractive.
But… Shirokusa was no slouch either.
It’s difficult to say which part. But when I looked at her as a whole…yes, she’s not to be beaten in terms of “charm”.
Maybe I’m favoring Shirokusa.
I couldn’t evaluate them on the basis of good dancing, facial expressions, or singing. I could only say “charm” very vaguely.
But…it couldn’t be helped, okay?
I’d seen that bloody effort. I knew that each of those turns, each of those smiles when I looked back at them, she suffered for because she couldn’t do it right, but she worked hard and gradually got better at it. That’s why Shirokusa looked the brightest to me.
“What should I do? This is where summer love is decided! S-O-S! Paradise SOS!”
Keep it up…yes, turn there…nice! She nailed it…!
The results of proper practice were showing. I’m sure she was in pain, but she was not showing it on her face. It was a great example of professionalism…!
I put a lot of force into my hand holding the video camera.
All right, we’re almost there…Hang in there…The song is over…Gather around………………..Okay! Well done for holding on! Way to go! Shiro, you really did your best!
“Tetsuhiko, this is perfect!”
I called out to him when the song was completely over.
Tetsuhiko looked down at his watch and thought about it.
“…We still have a bit of time left. It depends on the condition of Kachi’s legs, but if she’s okay, we can take one more shot.”
“No, no more, she can’t do it any more than that! It turned out good. Isn’t it okay already?”
When I pressed him, Tetsuhiko wrinkled his brow.
“Calm down, Sueharu, you’re losing your cool.”
“What do you mean? This is the result of my calm judgment.”
“Hey, Reina. Sprinkle some sea water on him, will you?”
“Eh…? No…that’s a little…I have a camera, too…”
“No, no, no. Get the camera.
“Why would she do that to me!?”
“Hey, wait, what’s going on? Why are Haru and Tetsuhiko-kun fighting with each other?”
“What do you mean…?”
“Eh, Sue-chan…? What’s wrong? Is it no good…?”
Perhaps sensing that something was wrong, the three stage performers approached us.
But on their way─
I think her legs had reached their limit.
Perhaps the fatigue had overwhelmed her all at once, or perhaps she was disoriented and obviously unresponsive. And moreover, the place the collapse occurred was at the edge of the stage… If she went on like this, she would hit a corner, and because of the step, she would not be able to catch herself.
I threw away the video camera and jumped to my feet.
I slid my dominant arm into the space between Shirokusa and the stage in the nick of time.
I was able to catch Shirokusa just in time.
Shirokusa’s weight is resting heavily on my right arm. What’s more, underneath my arm is just a bare corner of a metal pipe with a board on top of it. There’s no way my arm can stay safe when it’s caught in something like that.
I felt a strange sensation.
The pain was so intense that it made me stiff.
Kuroha and Maria came running up to me, their faces turning pale.
Tetsuhiko was the first to calmly grasp the situation and move.
“Reina, find a hospital nearby! Eri-san, please get the car ready! Midori-chan, can you do first aid?”
I could hear Tetsuhiko’s voice, but the pain was too great for me to hear what he was saying.
I was sweating profusely. I gritted my teeth, but the pain was getting worse and worse.
“Sue-chan…it’s my fault…”
But─Shirokusa’s grief-stricken expression was more painful than the pain I felt in my arm.
“Shiro…you’re still a crybaby, huh…”
In my dim consciousness, the image of Shiro crying overlapped with Shirokusa.
“Don’t worry about it…This is nothing to worry about…”
I scooped the tears from Shirokusa’s cheeks. I didn’t want to see any more tears on her face.
Shirokusa wrapped both of her hands around my left hand and rubbed it on her cheek lovingly.
I smiled as much as I could and stroked Shirokusa’s cheek.
The next day─ Tuesday, October 10th, after the three consecutive holidays.
In the club room of the Ultramarine Alliance, also the entertainment club, Tetsuhiko was using his laptop to check the video for the music video they shot yesterday.
A knock sounded on the door.
I said, “Come in,” and a handsome man with a smile came in.
“Sorry to bother you.”
“Glad that you’re aware, at the very least. So please leave, you’re in my way.”
Tetsuhiko immediately told him, and the older man, who had a great reputation among girls for having a good personality and being rich and handsome, smiled.
“I’ve been looking forward to seeing your reaction lately. I’m glad to see it’s just as I expected.”
“What, are you an M?”
“Please, let me deny that. It’s just that I’ve never seen anyone else react the way you do. It’s just very refreshing.”
Tetsuhiko let out a deep sigh.
“You’re an examinee, aren’t you? Do you really have time for this… Abe-senpai?”
Abe entered the room with a smile on his face and closed the door.
Damn, he’s totally going to stay.
“Yeah, that’s right. I guess I’ve been bored lately.”
And then I realized.
“Ah, I see, a recommendation…!”
“Good answer. Thankfully, I passed the AO entrance exam at Keio University.”
“Oh, I’m not going to congratulate you because you’re annoying, okay?”
“Well, how about I send you some sweets to celebrate my success?”
“Don’t you know that people don’t like it when you force your happiness on them?”
“I know you hate me, so I thought I’d see what happens when you hate me more.”
“You seem to have a very bad personality.”
“People say I’m a nice guy, though. But it’s easier for me to be called a bad person than a good one, so I’m rather happy.”
Tetsuhiko put his middle finger between his eyebrows and suppressed the rise in his blood pressure.
“…So, what do you want today?”
“I heard you were supposed to pick up some video editing software from Shirokusa-chan at school today.”
“Yeah… Oh, Kakachi was absent, so my guess is that senpai brought it?”
“Good answer. This software is ours to begin with. My father bought it on the spur of the moment, and there was an unused copy. Well, Shirokusa was going to be the middle-man, so it wouldn’t be a problem to give it to her directly, would it?”
“I think it’s a problem, but I’ll take it anyway.”
Tetsuhiko was about to accept the video editing software that was offered to him when he was about to grab it, but suddenly it turned back. Mainly because Abe had pulled his hand back just in time.
“…What are you doing? Are you a kid in elementary school?”
“No, I wanted to ask you about your shooting trip. So if I give it to you right now, I’m sure you won’t talk about it.”
“I won’t tell you anyway, it’s too much trouble.”
“Actually, after coming back from the trip, Shirokusa-chan was very depressed…”
“Hey, were you listening to me?”
Why did you start talking right after I told you not to? You don’t understand Japanese, do you?
“I’m listening, but I want to talk to you, so I ignored you.”
“I’m really annoyed by your convincing behavior.”
“Yeah? I’m having fun, though.”
I thought about punching him, but even that seemed like an invitation, so I decided not to.
“Haa~…. So that’s why Kachi took the day off today.”
“Are you surprised?”
“No, she had been crying for a while after Sueharu was injured, and on the way home she had been accompanying Sueharu in a very reluctant manner, so I had expected that. But─”
“Hmm…? But… what?”
“…Well, this trip was more of a wait-and-see thing for me…I won just by being able to shoot a PV with the female members, so I didn’t make any changes to the relationship between the four of them…”
“Fumu.” [TLN: Similar to yes, I suppose.]
Abe carefully pulled out a chair and sat down so as not to make any noise.
“There are no clear criteria for victory, and in that sense, no one has won or lost… But, if I had to pick one winner from this trip, it would definitely be Kachi.”
If you skip the intermediate steps and just look at the end result, it would seem that way.
This is because the atmosphere that flows between Sueharu and Shirokusa, the way they treat each other, the way they look at each other, everything was different from before they went.
And─ there is evidence to support this.
“On the last day of the shooting, Sueharu, Reina, and I rolled the camera… This is Sueharu’s shot.”
Tetsuhiko played the video on his laptop.
“Hee~…It’s mostly Shirokusa-chan.”
“Isn’t that easy to understand?””
I can see that he’s completely devoted to her. I’m sure that Sueharu’s heart was moving in this way.
The two of them have come one step closer, so to speak. This is a phenomenon that has not happened with Kuroha and Maria. Tetsuhiko felt that if he had to pick a winner, it would have to be Shirokusa.
“That’s strange. From what I’ve heard from Shirokusa-chan, she always failed.”
“That’s the thing, it’s not clear. From my point of view, there’s no doubt that Kachi was always making mistakes. The only thing he succeeded in doing was to push his travel plans ahead of time and outsmart Shida-chan. In fact, after we went to Okinawa, I got the impression that she made mistakes and was thwarted at every turn, and that not a single part of the trip went as planned.”
“That’s right. I’ve heard that when she was trying to win the heart of Maru-kun using his favorite karaage which she cooked, Momosaka-san suddenly brought out some sweets at the airport and took the win. In addition to that, I heard that she tried to show off her swimsuit, but was interrupted by Momosaka-san, and when she tried to show off her dance, she was the worst at it. So I thought, ‘Well, I can’t really blame Shirokusa-chan for feeling down.'”
“She’s probably better at long-term planning. It’s like she can’t improvise. She’s good at strategy but not good at tactics. He’s good at strategy, but not good at tactics. She’s a good strategist, but not a good frontline commander.”
“Ah, yes. That’s the way it is.”
“That’s probably why Maria-chan let her guard down.”
Abe blinked, perhaps because of the unexpected words.
“What do you mean?”
“If you were in Maria-chan’s position, what kind of situation would you prefer?”
“…Is that based on the premise of ‘I’m aware that I’m not Maru-kun’s love interest’?”
Abe crossed his arms and looked around the small club room for no reason.
“I’d like to buy some time. I don’t want Maru-kun to get attached to someone else before he turns to me. If I’m in Momosaka-san’s position, the more time that passes, the more it will work in my favor, including the aspect of being a fellow celebrity.”
“Now, with that in mind, who do you fear more, Shida-chan or Kachi?”
“…Ah, I see. I finally understand. If I had to choose who scares me more, it would be Shida-san by far. I was also horrified when I heard that she pretended to have amnesia and tried to make it all go away. The idea itself was ridiculous, but I was shocked by her “prowess” in actually accomplishing it to a certain extent.”
Of course, “prowess” didn’t mean physical strength, but it was just a way of describing the power of action and the ability to accomplish things that were impossible by any stretch of the imagination.
Tetsuhiko himself thought it was impossible to pretend to have amnesia. Even so, she had read Sueharu’s personality and had come close to succeeding to some extent. That was scary.
“It’s so cute when you compare it to her. It’s hard to make a plan that doesn’t work. If that’s the case, then there’s no need for her to argue about whether Sueharu likes Shida-chan or Kachi more now…After all, Maria-chan is more afraid of Shida-chan. Because even if I could somehow get him to turn to me, I think Shida-chan might turn him over with her prowess.”
“So is that why she let her guard down?”
“I think Maria-chan was too afraid of Shida-chan to seriously interfere with Kachi. In order to suppress Shida-chan’s onslaught, she probably thought it would be more convenient for her if Kachi got closer and was a little more competitive. But─ that would be the mistake.”
“I didn’t see it happen, so I don’t know the details. All I can tell you is─”
Tetsuhiko shrugged his shoulders.
“What I can tell you is that just because the plan failed, it doesn’t mean that the romance failed.”
“…Does that mean that Shirokusa-chan’s failure tickled his desire to protect her or something?”
“To put it bluntly. The reason why Kachi’s plan failed is because of her clumsiness. But clumsiness may be a weakness, but from a man’s point of view, it can also be attractive, can’t it?”
Abebe nodded, “I see what you mean.”
“I think that’s also true when women look at men.”
“Well, I guess so. So, Kachi made a lot of mistakes. Therefore, if you look at whether the plan went well or not, Kachi might be the only loser. Well, the original goal was too high to begin with. But that failure may be the reason why she was the only winner this time. That’s my impression.”
Abebe murmured and put his hand on his chin.
“Then again, you know. In the beginning, I thought Marumaru-kun preferred the likes of Shirokusa-chan rather than Shida-san.”
“I thought so too from the beginning. Because he fell in love with Kachi first, not Shida-chan.”
“Oh, I see. That’s right. In that case, this is going to be rough…”
Abe smiled happily.
“─It’s because Maru-kun and Shirokusa-chan will live in the same house.”
“─Eh!? What do you mean!?”
When I came out of the school gate, I found Souichiro-san waiting for me. He said he would give me a ride home since I was probably injured.
Kuroha was standing beside me to support me, but he asked her if she wanted to join us, so we both got into the black car.
Shirokusa, who was supposed to be resting today, was in the back seat. There was also a strange maid sitting in the passenger seat.
As soon as Soichirou-san started the car, he began to speak.
“Maru-chan, I’m sure you’re going to have a hard time in your daily life with your arms, so can you please let Shiro take care of you so that I can stay here?”
This chain connected to my line in the beginning.
Souichiro-san said cheerfully.
“In fact, I’ve already contacted Maru-chan’s father and obtained his approval. You have a cracked bone in your right arm, and it’ll take ten days to heal. You won’t even be able to eat without support, right?”
My right arm is currently in a cast.
At first I thought I could handle it on my own, but the truth is, it’s pretty tough.
Because I couldn’t use my dominant arm, I couldn’t hold a pen or chopsticks. Even going to the bathroom was a challenge. I couldn’t even put on my clothes without help.
Shirokusa heard Kuroha come forward and opened her mouth.
“I’m the one who injured Sue-chan, Shida-san. Let me take the responsibility.”
“Well, that may be so, but─”
The reason Kuroha’s rebuttal was so weak was probably because of Souichiro-san, Shirokusa’s father.
That Souichiro-san said in a calm, gentlemanly voice.
“As a parent, I want you to let Shiro take responsibility. She has been feeling responsible for him since yesterday, and this morning she even broke out in a fever. I also thought it would be better to let her stay in the house.”
“B-But! Isn’t it insane to let a girl of her age stay with a boy from her class?”
“That’s why I’m going to let her stay with them. That way nothing bad will happen. Of course, Maru-chan’s father has agreed to this as well.”
The girl in the passenger seat in a maid’s uniform bowed her head in silence.
“What about Haru!? What does Haru think!?
I was suddenly asked, and I answered in a fluster.
“No, I’m surprised, but honestly, I’m grateful, I think…? I’ve had a very hard day today. You know, I couldn’t wear my uniform this morning, so I had to have Kuro come over on short notice”.
“Then am I not enough for that!?”
“It’s not like that, you know. It’s bad enough that I have to bother you all the time…”
“So Kachi-san’s fine with you!?”
“I don’t mind, but if Shiro wants to take responsibility, then I want to let her do what she wants. Souichiro-san and Shiro already said it’s okay with them, so I’m grateful for that. Maid-san would also even give her support, right? It won’t be much of a burden on Shiro that way, so I think it’s fine…”
Kuroha fell silent.
“Souichiro-san, when do you plan to start?”
“I’m thinking of staying here if that’s okay. I’ve already got a change of clothes and stuff in the car. Do you have a room available?
“Yes, I have a guest room. If it’s too small for the two of them, I’ll sleep in the living room and one of them can even use my room…”
While we were talking like this, Kuroha remained silent.
Even though I occasionally looked at her, she kept her face down and mumbled something in an inaudible voice.
“Don’t think you’ve won this one, Kachi-san─”
I listened to the lines leaking out of Kuroha’s mouth, but I couldn’t hear them.
Hi everyone, this marks the completion of volume 3. AJ will be dropping this series and Koujin will be picking it up. The tentative plan is to keep this series posted on Neosekai. Thanks for reading and see you in volume 4. Contact me at ぱすかるの賭け#1717 (Google translate Pascal’s Wager from English to Japanese if you don’t know how to type that), on the Neosekai Discord, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback and encouragement is valuable and keeps us motivated to work.