Shimotsuki-san Is in Love With the Mob - Chapter 4 – Part 4
The story was accelerating.
From this point on, things would be moving at a dizzying pace, at a speed that even a mob character like I can’t keep up with.
No, it has already started moving.
“…Come to think of it.”
After shaking hands with Ryuuzaki in the empty classroom.
With a weight off his shoulders after this seemingly one-sided conversation, Ryuuzaki made his way towards the door without saying anything, but he stopped in his tracks as if recalling something.
“Next week we’ll have study accommodations.”
At Yukinoshira, the school where we go to, first-year students are scheduled to have overnight study accommodations.
First ten days of June. It was an annual event. A reward for students who have completed their mid-term examinations two months after entering the school.
“Nakayama, let’s be in the same group. Of course, Shiho will be together with us.”
……I see so that’s how it’s going to be.
“Which one of us is going to be chosen by Shiho? Let’s dye the night black and white.”
“In short, you’re planning on confessing to Shimotsuki-san?’
Ryuuzaki nodded his head, his face brimming with confidence.
(I don’t care what the other person I’m confessing to thinks.)
If it is a fair and honest confession, Shimotsuki-san will accept it, that’s the impression he was under.
“No girl won’t be happy being confessed to by me.”
For Ryuuzaki to say such a thing, it scares me somewhat.
If Ryuuzaki were to confess to Shimotsuki-san──supposing that was the distant future, sure enough, it makes my body shudder.
To begin with, the basic premise was that Shimotsuki-san was bad at dealing with Ryuuzaki.
For that reason, she won’t accept Ryuuzaki’s feelings.
So when he confesses his feelings to her, she will decline and that will be the end of it.
However, there is a big problem.
That was, Shimotsuki-san being extremely shy.
(Can she properly put her feelings into words?)
Most likely, Ryuuzaki would ask for the reason he got rejected. He’s not the kind of guy who would give up easily.
After all, he was born to be the world’s protagonist.
There’s no guarantee he would give up.
Especially when he may think something like “The only reason I got rejected is that Shiho doesn’t know me well enough yet!” Which may make him approach her even more.
I’ve been playing the scared dog until now because I was afraid of that happening.
(Damn it…I was careless.)
I was recognized.
The opponent has recognized me as an enemy.
The sense of impending crisis made Ryuuzaki grow as the main character.
(I have to do something.)
I was happy she became friends with a plain man like me, who had nothing.
I was grateful. Indebted. I wanted to give something back in exchange, but I had nothing, so, at most, I didn’t want to cause trouble for Shimotsuki-san.
(If only I had been more vigilant…and enforced the rule of not talking in the classroom…!)
No, it’s too late to regret.
At any rate, now I must stop Ryuuzaki’s story.
“…Hey, what’s the matter? You suddenly blanked out.”
Ryuuzaki was bewildered when he saw me suddenly brooding. Probably because this was something that didn’t suit my character.
“N-No, I was just surprised. When you said that you’ll confess so suddenly.”
Although I was faking it, I was still thinking.
But, there was something like I fog in my head, and I couldn’t organize my thoughts well.
Was it because of that?
Now, I was acting stranger more than usual.
“Confess…no, no, it’s still too early. I mean, it doesn’t make sense right now unless we take some more ……time and get to know each other properly.”
If I was calm, I could’ve done it even better.
“Forgive me~. There’s no chance of winning if Ryuuzaki makes a serious effort! Please, go easy on me! Please, in some way!”
If I had the appearance of someone miserable and said that while kneeling on the ground, Ryuuzaki would’ve underestimated me a bit longer. However, because a little bit of my true opinion was mixed in with that statement, conversely, that became the main factor of why he was so cautious of me.
“Too early? Getting to know each other properly? Ahaha, that’s right…If I spend a little more time getting to know one another, my advantage will weaken. For this reason, it has to be now.”
Contrastive to my slow thoughts, Ryuuzaki’s was clear.
He poked me where it hurts.
The reason behind his words was logical, there was no way I could refute it.
(──No way to refute? No, wait! If I don’t go against him now, won’t it be too late!? Give up…why was I consenting myself to it?)
My own monologue must’ve convinced me too much.
Well, somehow I had a feeling that everything was being moved to be convenient for Ryuuzaki.
Or rather, in the first place…because I was cowardly and cautious to the point of being servile, I lost focus and let my guard down.
The mistakes uncharacteristic of Nakayama Koutarou and the occurrence of opportunisms pushed the back of the main character, Ryoma Ryuuzaki──it was so unnatural that this was the only satisfying way to explain it.
At the same time, while thinking about it, I felt a kind of compulsion that can’t be put into words.
(Something like stopping him──can I even do it?)
Owing to Shimotsuki-san, the negative thoughts that had disappeared, showed up once more.
(There’s nothing I can do, a mob character like me.)
No matter what I say or how I act, there was nothing I could change now.
After all, things were moving in way to be convenient for Ryuuzaki.
Because of this thought…suddenly, the will to resist disappeared.
“U-Uhh, but, however…”
I couldn’t search for my next words, nothing came to mind.
My head was filled with fog, by now, it was just pure white.
“…No longer will I be tricked by you. Nakayama, I told you I recognised you, right? Something like going easy on you, I won’t do it. I’m going to face Shiho seriously, So you too, let’s fight fair and square, no more unmanly cheating.”
Ryuuzaki dismissed my excuse with a slap.
Judging that any further conversation was unnecessary, this time, he made his way out of the empty classroom.
This was the second time I’d seen him leave without saying a word.
And now, his back was bigger and further away from the first time I saw it.
“I couldn’t do anything…”
I felt like I was reminded of my position.
After all, I was still a mob character.
A slave to the story, moving around where it will only be convenient for the main character──.
I was too ashamed to meet Shimotsuki-san.
Regarding Ryuuzaki, I didn’t know what to say.
At most, I’m sure there was an even better option, and yet, I chose the good for nothing one.
I was disappointed. More than anyone else…I was fed up with myself.
“I wonder if Onii-chan might not be the ideal Onii-chan after all. The real Onii-chan that Azusa might be looking for, would be…Ryoma Onii-chan.”
“Ryu-kun might be my destined person. Ryu-kun makes my heart beat faster than when I was with Kou-kun.”
“I’m not necessary for Koutarou-san anymore. But, Ryoma-san…will surely need someone like me.”
High school entrance ceremony. After meeting Ryuuzaki Ryoma, Azusa, Kirari and Yuzaki came to me and told me this.
Moreover, it was on the same day. I could still remember it very vividly, recalling every word they said.
(Like that time…I wonder if I’ll be estranged again.)
Your my precious friend.
I was afraid that Shimotsukisa-san will be disappointed towards the miserable me.
It must be because I thought about such dark things.
That I completely forgot what I had to do after school.
“──Hey, Nakayama-kun! You’ve finally come back.”
When I got off ths bus and came home, I saw Shimotsuki-san standing in front of my doorway. She turned to face me, waving her hand in the air.
(That’s right…come to think of it, today was supposed to be a party. I have to quickly switch.)
It’s no good for me to make a gloomy face when I want to show appreciation for Shimotsuki-san studying so hard.
Thinking so, I immediately produced a smiling face.
“I’m sorry, I was a little late for a number of reasons.”
“Seriously Nakayama-kun…what happened to holding an amazing party for Shiho who scored a 72 in maths? I can’t permit this tardiness. As punishment, let me stroke your face until you blush──Hmm?”
Shimotsuki-san was in a good mood, her voice lively.
However, in the middle of it, she tilted her head while pouting her lips.
“What? Somehow, there’s this strange sound…it’s such a sad sound that it suddenly makes me want to cry.”
Then she leaned closer to me, her little ears twitching.
We didn’t touch, but the distance between us only amounted to a few centimeters.
“Are you depressed again when I’m not around?”
Shimotsuki-san was frolicking around, in such a happy mood, and yet, when she approached me, she got a grasp of my state of mind.
“Good grief, this child is no good.”
Quietly, as if to say it can’t be helped, she shrugged her shoulders.
“Crouch down will you?”
“Never mind that, just crouch down.”
“Y-Yes. I understand.”
I did as she said maturely, without consent or refusual. After that, Shimotsuki-san slapped my head.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt. But I felt like the impact itself produced an awfully loud sound.
“Dummy. Being so brash as to keep secrets from me…you should be sorry. Also, don’t worry okay? I don’t know what happened, but I’m on your side.”
──I still haven’t said anything and yet.
Shimotsuki-san has already said the words I wanted to hear the most.
I was overcome with surprise.
At the same time, I suddenly had trouble breathing, because I felt like crying.
How could this girl understand my lack of words and still be there for me?
Her kindness soothed my servile heart.
“We’ll have to party again later…for now, why don’t we head inside? Tell me what happened. I’ll carry half of Nakayama-kun’s pain.”
And then, she smiled gently and said
“We’re friends, so you don’t have to hold back, okay?”
As if trying to persuade me.
Otherwise, it would be similar to scolding.
Unintentionally, my face slackened.
Just as I thought, I really am indebted to Shimotsuki-san.
Always, all the time…whenever I’m in pain, she would reach her hand out to me──
I entered the house and sat on the living room Sofa.
After that, I started talking about the incident that happened a short while ago.
“To tell you the truth Shimotsuki-san, after you want back home, Ryuuzaki and I had a talk. And you see…there was that study accommodation at the beginning of next week, at that time…well.”
Ryuuzaki’s going to try and confess to you.
I was still hesitant on whether or not I should really tell her. As far as I was concerned, she may have a hard time dealing with Ryuuzaki’s confession. So it would be no surprise if she became distraught.
That’s what I thought, but…
“Hmm, perhaps…is Ryuuzaki-kun going to confess to me?”
To my surprise, Shimotsuki-san had predicted my words
“W-Why do you think so?”
“Because Nakayama-kun seems very reluctant to say it, and the only thing that Ryuuzaki-kun is trying to do to me is to confess to me. Nakayama-kun, you’re too easily surprised, aren’t you?”
And what came back was a more indifferent response than I had imagined.
“Ah, don’t tell me you thought I was going to cry? Dummy, I’m not such a sensitive girl. If anything…I’m more used to such things than you think, Nakayama-kun.”
“Because.” She pinched her ears slightly.
“I have good ears, so I can somehow hear when the boys in my class like me. Of course, I’m also aware of Ryuuzaki’s feelings…but I don’t think I’m as insensitive as he is.”
That line didn’t feel any warmer than usual.
The words, pregnant with feelings of resignation, exhaustion, and yet disgust, seemed out of character for Shimotsuki-san.
“It’s always been that way since the start. You may think he’s just being slightly impertinent, however…it’s nothing but ulterior motives towards me. Ryuuzaki exhibited the most stubborn nature. That’s why, I always was prepared for him to confess to me someday.”
“That’s, I see…”
I might have underestimated her a little.
Such a thing, I felt ashamed of myself.
“S-Sorry, I thought Shimotsuki-san would be unhappy if she had something to do with Ryuuzaki…so, I tried to protect you, but I was so depressed that I couldn’t even do just that.”
When I told Shimotsuki-san my honest thoughts, she smiled happily this time.
“Is that so? To think that you’d become so depressed thinking about me…Nakayama-kun really does seem to care about me a lot, doesn’t he? That makes me very happy.”
Sure enough, Shimotsuki-san can understand me without me having to say a word.
“Thanks for worrying about me. But, it’s okay…I knew I had to face it sooner or later. Rather, there’s a limit to how long you can get away.”
After that, Shimotsuki-san cheered herself up by grasping her fist tightly.
“I’m going to do my best to say what I want to say, even if he confesses. Otherwise, I’ll always worry Nakayama-kun no matter how long it takes.”
“Is there anything I can do to help? I want to properly do whatever I can to help.”
As a friend. As a benefactor. Whatever I could do, I wanted to do.
“Then…stay close to me.”
But what Shimotsuki-san was asking for was something that was only natural to me.
“Is such a thing okay?”
“I told you already, it’s okay because it’s that kind of thing. I feel very safe when Nakayama-kun is next to me……so that much is plenty.”
──The only person in the world who would say something so happy to me is this girl.
Thinking about it suddenly, my chest began to warm up.
To see firsthand Ryuuzaki’s true nature as the main protagonist, I forced myself to become servile, but thanks to Shimotsuki-san, in some way or another, I was able to gain back a better self.
My thoughts were also much clearer now than before.
“Study accommodation, me and Ryuuzaki together in a group…I think Shimotsuki-san will also be invited, but is that okay?”
“Is that so? Then, it can’t be helped…but I still might not be enthusiastic about it. I usually take time off for these events, you know?”
“…Then surely it’ll be safer to take a day off.”
“But if I do that, I won’t get to have wonderful memories with Nakayama-kun.”
“Yes…I’m also happy to be together with Shimotsuki-san.”
Finally, we could have a conversation like usual.
I was worried about the study accommodation, but if I keep running away because I’m afraid of it, then nothing will be resolved.
It’s true that I’m a mob character, and what I can do is limited.
But, for someone like me, even I can be there for Shimotsuki-san.
I’ll accomplish it properly.
“I’m a little anxious about Ryuuzaki, but more than that, I’m looking forward on going to the study accommodation with Nakayama-kun.”
And then, this time, she squeezed my hand tightly.
The temperature in my heart rised, and I suddenly felt nervous.
This feeling. It was a different feeling from the one I used to have with Azusa and my friends.
Perhaps, Shimotsuki-san might be that special person──
Thus, the story took a turn.
From here on out, the story will quickly progress to reach it’s climax.
Maybe, I as a mob, will no longer have a role. I may become nothing more than a simple bystander, but that’s okay.
This was that kind of story.
A romantic comedy about Ryuuzaki, narrated by the mob.