The Footsteps of Chaos
Year 2, Vol. 5 Chapter
Summer vacation had just ended, and our second semester began today. In the grand scheme of things, it meant that we were nearing the end of our three years at school. Wearing my tie and slipping my arms through sleeves, I combed my hair as I checked my appearance in the mirror, making sure I was presentable and headed out to the door. Along the way I was joined by Sudo, who was yawning loudly. We exchanged greetings before leaving the dormitory.
"Suzune threatened me that we might have to take a written exam at the beginning of the second semester, so I stayed up all night."
"Were you studying on the last day of vacation too?"
"Luckily, I have a complete curriculum to follow. I'm hoping to score high enough to get my OAA B or above."
It was very important to get a B or better in your studies. Still, it was not much of a statement, was it?
If he had been studying hard over the summer break, it's no wonder he would make even more academic progress. He had become a man quite fitting with the words "good at both academics and athletics."
Minor problems such as tardiness, truancy, and falling asleep during classes had drastically decreased.
Depending on the situation, he could get a little hot-headed, but that was just how Sudo was.
"I'm going to ask you a weird question, do you think that Kanji and Shinohara have already kissed?"
"It's great that he has a girlfriend, but it's frustrating when he gets ahead of me. Lately, it’s been bothering me."
"Why don't you just ask him? I'm sure Ike won't mind telling you."
"....I can't ask something like that. If he tells me that they haven't yet held hands, that's fine, but what if they went further? ….My right fist might just let loose for the first time in a while."
Well, it certainly would be a big problem if he used his fists.
"I think Ike is the type who would brag about it if it happened. If he didn't tell you anything, it means they haven't made much progress, right?"
"That's true. But not when it comes to love, I guess. I don't know, I have no experience in relationships. By the way, Ayanokoji, have you ever had a girlfriend? ...what does it feel like?"
The topic suddenly switched from Ike to me.
I couldn't help but feel Sudou's passionate gaze (I believe you!), waiting for my answer.
"There’s no point in lying, so I'm going to tell you. I got my first girlfriend the other day."
"...Really? Are you serious?"
It wouldn't be a good idea to deceive him, since the news would soon spread from Kei.
As I answered truthfully, Sudo held his head and sighed.
But right after that, he hurriedly grabbed me by both shoulders.
"WAIT WAIT NOOOOOO WAAAAAAY!?"
"Don't worry, it's not who you're thinking of."
"Seriously? I-Is it really not Suzune?"
"Yeah. Not her."
"I-I see. T-That's a relief..... I thought my heart was going to stop for a second...."
Putting his left palm on his forehead, he wiped it messily as if sweat was coming out.
He showed me the sweat on his palms to demonstrate his panic.
"Who is it then?"
"Ah! found you!"
As Sudo regained his composure, we heard footsteps approaching from behind. When it finally caught up with our walking speed, the owner of those footsteps looked at me with a slightly angry face.
"I thought we would go to school together, but I haven't heard that you wouldn't be in your room!"
Kei puffed out her cheeks a little as she complained.
"I haven't heard about us going together either."
"That's because...... I was nervous and hesitated until the last moment....."
Sudo looked at us suspiciously as we suddenly initiated a mysterious conversation.
"Don't interrupt us, Karuizawa. We are having an important conversation between men now."
He didn't seem to notice anything from our exchange.
He wasn't convinced with the mere fact that she had shown up here.
Now that I think about it, they hardly interacted at all.
Their relationship was neither good nor bad.... well, it's more fitting to say that their relationship was on the bad side.
"Kei, were you planning to tell everyone about us today?"
"Eh? T-That's… I'm still looking for the right timing. It's not like we can just go to the school and declare it… It would be weird to suddenly make an announcement and go 'Hey, listen, listen!'"
"You were fast when with Yosuke, though."
"T-That's a completely different situation!"
"Oi oi, what are you… talk...ing… a...bout?"
Finally caught up with the fact that I called Kei by her first name and the topic of our conversation, Sudou stopped walking and looked stunned.
"E-eh? O-oi Ayanokouji, what's happening here?"
However, he still wasn't sure if he could make the connection. In a way, it might be a good thing that he was the first classmate to know.
"We're dating." I told him.
Kei grinned as she nudged me in the arm with her elbow three times.
She seemed happy to hear me say that.
"WH…. WHAAAAT THE HEEEEELL?! A-Are you kidding me?"
He was surprised and shouted louder and more exaggeratedly than I had imagined.
Although there were no classmates nearby, the students around us turned their heads to see what was going on.
"You're too loud!"
"S-sorry. But… no, eh? W-Why Karuizawa?"
"What's with that? You have a problem with me?"
"That's not the case… and it's not like there's a problem, but… eh….?"
He made a small movement of bewilderment; he twisted his head, looking unconvinced.
"What? You want me to date Horikita?"
"I would never accept that! .....No, that's not what I meant..... hey."
He grabbed me by the shoulders and brought his lips close to my ear before whispering.
"Sorry to say this, but...... Karuizawa was dating Hirata, and before that who knows what other relationships during middle school. Don't you feel unhappy or uncomfortable with that? Isn't that too high a bar for your first girlfriend?"
Well, that's about how Karuizawa Kei was seen by her classmates.
In fact, I always thought she was that kind of girl until I learned about her past.
"What are you whispering about?"
Sudou walked away feeling down after being stared at. He must have felt sorry after nearly bad-mouthing her.
"Ayanokouji and Karuizawa are dating…? No freaking way, no matter how many times I think about it, it doesn’t make sense. I'm not sleepy anymore now, we're only at the beginning of the second term but it's already crazy…!"
Sudou so murmured, but I clearly heard those words.