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Like Hell I’m Gonna Get Captured! - Chapter 18

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The ballgame tournament has peacefully ended, and the midterm exams are near at hand.

Well, I myself have already completed past high school level so I'm not too tense, but Kiho clung to me in tears asking for a study group. It seems like no matter what, once you get up to high school, the level of work rises remarkably, and you begin to feel anxiety.

There are probably a good amount of people like that. Even I, saying this, am someone who struggled in math class in my previous life.

Well, after I found a good teacher and studied extra hard, I somehow managed.

Ah right, setting that matter aside, there's the study group, the study group. The location is my house.

When I asked, 'What about Kiho's home?' I was told that her little brothers would be noisy so it wasn't feasible. 'Then, what about Kaede-chan's house?' I tried asking, but I was told that it would be difficult since they would coincidentally be having guests over on that day.

Will the day ever come when I can go play at those two's houses? I can't help but feel somehow that they're just making up suitable reasons to refuse me. No, yeah. That's just my imagination right! Right?

-

And thus, the study group at my house. By the way, the location is my room. As you would expect, you can't concentrate on the study group in a place with other family members.

Well actually, though I called it a study group, it was not my doing. If I had to say, it's more like a light review over the tests.

'In that case, why are you participating in something like the study group?' you're probably asking, but it's studying together with cute girls you know? Isn't that attractive? That's why I had to go along with it!

While I was thinking that, I hear a groan come from beside me.

When I try looking next to me, Kiho is holding her head while groaning. I wonder what's troubling her that much.

’’What's the matter?’’

When I raise my voice, Kiho looks this way with imploring eyes. Really, what is it?

’’Help......I don't understand. Impossible.’’

Kiho has a face that looks like it'll break out into tears at any moment. It's a little cute, but it's more pitiful, so I'll help her.

When I ask her what she doesn't understand, 'Classical Literature,' she responds in a small voice.

Wait this, this weakened Kiho who has lost her energy is cute. Hm, what would you call this. This feeling of wanting to be affectionate and cuddle while saying 'It'll be okay' when met with depressed, wide, and teary eyes. What is this called again?.....Ah, yeah! Motherly Instinct!

Still, Classical Literature huh? I was also weak at that. Until I noticed that I didn't need conjugations for reading questions, I was having a really hard time, I remember.

Well, I think I'm okay now. For now, let's try asking.

’’What about Chinese Literature?’’

’’......If I can't do Classical Literature, isn't there no way I can do Chinese Literature?’’

From her prostrate position, Kiho turns only her head this way, and then turns her eyes, staring at me when I enquire. So that's what she thought.

However, that idea of, 'if you can do Classical Literature, then you can do Chinese Literature.' Why do people say this, then not notice that the reverse is true? In fact, I've done it. I found it overwhelmingly easier to memorize going from Chinese Literature to Classical Literature. Speaking of which, I'd like her to know that for the sake of just reading Classical Literature, then there's absolutely no need for conjugations.

’’If you can do Chinese Literature, then it'll be easier to learn Classical Literature you know?’’

’’.....eh?’’

’’......Is this true?’’

After Kiho says that, she makes a face that's like, ’’I can't believe it!’’, and I'm also responded to by Kaede-chan who was silently doing her own studying.

What I mean is, at the high school level, if you can do Classical Literature, then you may be able to do Chinese Literature, but if you think about it normally, being able to do Classical Literature doesn't mean you can do Chinese Literature, since if there's Okurigana, then the readings are different. It's not merely that simple of a problem. In old Chinese texts, if you don't understand the meaning of each and every kanji, then there's no way you can read it.

’’Really.’’

’’Eh, I mean c'mon! What about all the conjugations you have to memorize!?’’

’’Ah, you don't have to, actually.’’

’’......eh?’’

’’Well, it's always good to memorize that, but for reading, you don't need it.’’

’’What, what do you mean?’’

With that exchange back and forth, Kiho is amazed, and her eyes are wide open. Man~, surprised Kiho sure is cute.

Hm, an explanation. Well now, explaining it is hard. I don't know if I can convey it well but I'll try.

’’Well, you know about Honorific Language and Humble Language right?’’

I ask Kiho, and she nods her head, 'Mhm, mhm.' Beside her, Kaede-chan too has stopped writing and is looking this way.

’’Well in the first place, would you use Honorific Language when you're trying to depreciate yourself in the face of your superior?’’

’’......No.....right?’’

’’Correct. You would not use it.’’

’’Right, in times when you want to humble yourself, there's no other recourse besides Humble Language. Then, when you're giving an order to a subordinate, would you use Honorific Language?’’

’’You wouldn't right?’’

’’You would not I believe.’’

’’Yes, that's it. This is the important part. You read between the lines and tell who's talking to whom from the context. Notice how conjugation has not once entered the equation.’’

’’Are you okay so far?’’ I ask, and the two nod.

’’So, why I recommend Chinese Literature is because it makes memorizing vocabulary easy. It comes down to this.’’

With that, the two tilt their heads equally. Those two are really cute and I want to Moe them, but we're having a serious discussion right now. I hold fast.

’’You know about character etymology right? If you have a firm understanding of Kaeri-ten, (ctrl+F ’’kaeriten’’), and the etymology, then it'll follow that you can do Chinese Literature.’’

I say. I show them an electronic dictionary with character etymologies in it. Actually, using a paper dictionary is better for memorization of vocabulary and such, but a Japanese dictionary like Kojien is too heavy to bring to school.

’’......Is a Chinese-Japanese character dictionary no good?’’

Kiho says with a slightly regretful expression. She has a Chinese-Japanese dictionary most likely.

’’I think a normal Chinese-Japanese dictionary is also okay. But for me, I think a character etymology one is more dependable.’’

After hearing my words, Kiho who was making a disappointed face lets out a small sigh of relief.

’’To be able to read Chinese Literature, you have to search for the meaning of the character in there and grasp the meaning of the kaeri-ten. The grammar is a lot like English.’’

’’I understand how to read Chinese Literature with that, but how does that relate to Classical Literature?’’

After my explanation is finished, Kaede-chan gets involved. Certainly, I hadn't explained the reason for connecting this to Classical Literature. I've been discourteous.

’’Then, what about the word 「而して (Read: Shikou shite)」 Do you know the meaning?’’

’’Uhhhh, something like, そして(Read: Soushite, meaning: And then), right?’’

’’Right, then, can you write that in Kanji?’’

’’Eh? Ah, uhh......really can't.’’

Sure enough. Incidentally, I consider this the most inefficient part of Chinese Literature and Classical Literature.

’’So you understand the meaning, but you can't write it. So as far as the kanji are concerned, isn't there a high possibility that you won't be able to read it?’’

’’......certainly.’’

’’Then, what happens if you remember the Kanji?’’

’’......nn? What do you....’’

’’In other words, remembering the meaning of 「而して」 from Chinese Literature. In that case, when it becomes its usual hiragana form in Classical Literature, won't you be able to understand it?’’

’’Ah, Ahhh-! I see!’’

’’If you know the hiragana, but you can't read it, then isn't there no point? When you read kanji, if you completely memorize the meaning, then isn't that two birds with one stone? Reading Japanese kanji goes together with Classical Literature.’’

’’Now that you've said it, I feel the same!’’

’’I'm seriously going to try Chinese Literature!’’ says Kiho who starts concentrating again. Kaede-chan also goes, ’’I as well,’’ and starts doing Chinese Literature.

This may be a digression, but in my previous life, I scored 190 points on the National Center Test for University Admissions with this study method. Even though I didn't memorize a single conjugation, yes.

'If you can do Classical Literature, then with this and that, you can become able to do Chinese Literature.' I can only think that whichever bastard said that is an idiot. The reverse is infinitely easier!

Wow has it been around two hours since we've started focusing? As expected, we've become tired, and Kiho's power of concentration is starting to snap.

’’Hey, I'm tired now so, let's take a break!’’

Kiho proposes, just as I expected. (来帆 author either made a typo or this is a pun lost on me) Well, she's been concentrating all this time, so I'll go along with it.

I've been working with everyone all this time. If we don't have fun, then there was no point.

’’Sure. Shall we do it?’’

’’I as well am a little tired.’’

Kaede-chan says as well. She puts down her mechanical pencil and stretches while going ’’Nnnn.’’

’’Then, shall I bring in some tea?’’

’’Ah, wait!’’

When I decide to stand up, Kiho flusteredly stops me. What's going on?

’’I'm a little hungry, so how about we go to the convenience store!?’’

’’Ah, I also want to go.’’

Ah-, is that it. I haven't made any snacks in preparation either so... I don't even have any tea-cakes. How desolate.

’’Then, it's a short walk, but let's go.’’

’’Ouu-!’’

At my assent, Kiho also stands. I was then asked, ’’how far is it?’’ so I responded about five minutes, and I was told, 'isn't that too close!?'

Huh-? Is that so.... So that's not the normal amount of time it takes?

And so, we've arrived, at the convenience store.

’’You know, I wonder why this place is called Seven-Zero!’’

Kiho suddenly says. I don't really care. Ah, but there's probably one of you out there who cares right...

By the way, this store is that famous convenience store chain. The one with the uniform whose color I don't really know how to express, like a dark red?, and the uniform changes to a green polo-shirt in the summertime. That store.

’’Well at first, they were open from the morning at 7 until 0 (midnight) in the evening, or so I've heard.

’’Heehhh-! So that was it. So it wasn't open 24 hours back then!’’

Indeed. I was also surprised when I learned about this at first, but then I realized that there was probably nothing 24 hours back then. And then, that simple naming sense, I chuckle a little bit.

’’So, what are we going to buy?’’

’’Potato chips! I want to eat potato chips!’’

When I enquire, Kiho responds in No Time. Does she like potato chips that much?

’’What flavor do you like Sora?’’

I'm asked by Kiho while she says, ’’For me, it has to be seaweed salt!’’

Hmm what about me... At this place, I haven't eaten potato chips at all..........wait, huh? I, ever since I was born again, I don't have any recollection of eating potato chips. No, that shouldn't be possible. I must have eaten some somewhere. But certainly, they're not good for your health or your figure, and I can't have it becoming a habit, so I avoided them on purpose.

.......The heck. So I really don't have any memories of eating them. (paragraph in masculine tone)

’’What's going on?’’

Kiho raises her voice, concerned that I've spaced out when I was supposed to reply.

Ah, sorry for making you worry. I'm okay. Wait actually, thanks to you Kiho, I've realized something shocking. Thank you.

’’......I, probably have never eaten potato chips before.’’

’’Eh? No, that's not true !’’

’’That, I would expect that to be a lie right?’’

At my response, the two are making expressions like, ’’Are you even human!?’’ No, even I kinda can't believe it. Really.

When I say that, ’’You're an endangered species.....’’ they say, and again make shocked expressions.

’’I'll be buying some then so Sora can understand!’’

’’It's her potato chip debut!’’ Kiho says and puts two bags in her basket. Can she eat both of them? She was shocked at the reality that I've not eaten potato chips before, but your Onee-san was just as surprised you know.

’’Cmon Cmon! You two choose some too!’’

Since I was told to, I mekely follow her orders and wander aimlessly through the store.

What should I buy-... Coming to a convenience store, you don't really buy snacks right-... The thing most fundamental to buy, would be like writing tools or fashion magazines right.... I'm troubled, hm?

While I was troubled over what to buy, my eyes which were wandering around the store stop, at the dessert corner.

What I found, is a product with maccha and mousse of almond jelly written on it.

Is that so, it's a little late, but it's the season for first tea after all. These styles of products would come out now right?

Wait, it should be a little after the seasonal sales. I completely didn't notice...

I only occasionally come to convenience stores, and I didn't really look at anything besides products that caught my eye.

’’Anything you like?’’

’’This looks good.’’

Kiho's footsteps stop, and because she was stealing a glance from beside me, I show her the product in my hand.

’’Hehhh-, they had those too! But, Sora, didn't you say you weren't fond of sweet things?’’

Basically I am. But, I like nice things that feel like a drink going down your throat, like almond jelly, or jello, or pudding.

Rather, I like things like pumpkin pudding so much that if I see it, I must necessarily buy it.

Still, once in awhile, I have times when I want to eat sweet things too.

When I tell them that, ’’Is that how it is?’’ she tells me. Yes, that's how it is.

’’Are you going to buy anything else?’’

I'm asked by Kiho, but I don't need anything else-.... Is there anything else that that I want......ah there was that...

’’......I want to eat Edamame.’’

’’You know that's like for middle-aged men?’’

’’.....But isn't it good?’’

Although I'm snubbed by Kiho a bit, I put some in the basket without paying any mind. It's fine. Since they're good, it's fine.

I don't really care that I was told things like I'm like a middle-aged man! Actually, I going to think about my age from my previous life, but let's stop thinking any further. I'm still young and fresh okay!

’’So, Kaede-chan, have you decided on anything?’’

I raise my voice to Kaede-chan who was silently looking at produce alone.

’’Ah, yes. For now, I was thinking this one.’’

She says. What she shows me is that standard snack with koala workman songs on them.

Yeah, I also want to eat those on-ce in awhile. And also, it's a little fun separating them individually by their design.

’’But that's not a mushroom or bamboo shoot?’’

Kiho says such a thing. Hey, just stop. You'll start a war. (Click this link and watch the video, it's hilarious)

’’I would not want to start a war amongst fellow friends. Also, I am considering this.’’

Says Kaede-chan while giggling. What a prudent child. Peace has once again been born here in this world. That was an exaggeration. Yeah, I probably said too much.

Again, what she shows me as she raises her hand is again a standard cookie called home town mom.

The soft texture that makes you addicted. I also want to eat these occasionally.

Afterwards, the two grab some juice, and shopping is finished.

For me, I have coffee at my house, so a drink is unneeded.

We finish paying at the register and return home. As always, this store's customer service was good. There's a part-time Obaa-chan and a person who looks like a college student. They're always smiling as they serve customers so it feels good.

When I mentioned that to those two, I was told that it's the advantage of the beautiful.

But that can't be it. Customer service doesn't change that much based on customer faces right?

When I respond that, the two sigh in tandem, and, ’’you really don't understand,’’ I'm told. But I really don't think that's it...

By the way, when we returned home, I got some potato chips from Kiho, but salty wasn't to my taste.

I haven't had any since my previous life. My palate must have changed..., I think. I'm pretty sure I used to like light salt. But, now that I don't, I feel a sense of loss... Trying out potato chips ends here.

-

Time passes, and it's the last day of exams.

Well, I haven't written anything especially, but exams are already over huh.

’’Sora~. How were your exams?’’

Kiho and Kaede-chan come to my seat and ask. As far as I can tell from their expressions, they're smiling, so I guess they did well.

’’I managed like I always do. You two?’’

’’Fuffu~. I'm confident that I did well this time! Thanks to the various things you taught me!’’

’’I as well feel that I have done better than usual. All thanks to you, Sora.’’

'Thanks,' I'm told.

No really, it's not because of me, it's because of your own efforts. Man~though, when these two are acting delighted, I also feel happy! Feels good.

’’What are you going to do after this?’’

Kiho asks me. What will I do? Exams are over, so doesn't it feel like time to play?

For now, I tell them I plan on going home and grading myself, and in that case, I invite them to do it together.

’’In that case, want to do it at the library? It's a little, you know, to go all the way to my house.’’

’’Yeah! Agree!’’

’’Then, let's go immediately so we can find seats.’’

’’Hey, mind if we come too?’’

I hear a voice behind me when I stand up and say, ’’then let's go.’’

When I look behind me, it's Houzouin, Tatebayashi, and Nabeshima-kun.

Speaking of them, why have I been calling only Houzouin and Tatebayashi without honorifics? Well, when I'm speaking, I do attach -kun...

It has to be that calling them without honorifics seems to fit them more... Yeah, there's no meaning if I'm saying it by myself.

Still, going over the tests together huh? I don't really mind, but Sanada-kun (The quiet, Japan's #1) and Imagawa-kun (The cheerful, Scoring King) aren't here... I thought we had gotten closer since we were together for the ballgame tournament, but was I wrong?

’’Aah, those guys had to have gotten some pretty crap grades, so don't worry about them.’’

Jeez, even though they should have received a warning if their grades were dropping, I complain to Tatebayashi.

Well, they're sports scholarship students and involved in baseball. They have academics and tournament performances, so even though failing marks are bad, they don't have to do any better. Like how we have to do well in academics, they have to do well in sports. If I had to say which one had more pressure, I feel as though sports has more hardships. It's something I surely could never do.

’’Don't worry about it, cmon, let's go! There's probably none seats left!’’

Ah, he's right. We have to go.

I hear Nabeshima-kun from behind grumble something like, ’’I have to go over tests with these guys? Can my heart handle it?’’ But I'm ignoring him.

After sufficient time has passed of us checking answers with one another, we're done going over the tests.

Kiho and Kaede-chan most likely scored above 80 points on all of them, and since they had an average around a 90, they were pretty happy.

Houzouin felt like he had an average of 90, but said he wasn't able to get full marks on any of them.

Tatebayashi said he got full marks on half on them, with no less than 90 for the rest and had no complaints about his grades.

Nabeshima-kun averaged a 60. Okay is around 70, so he felt it wasn't good or bad.

’’So, Sora, what do you think you got?’’

Nn? There's no demand for my grades, so it doesn't really matter? Wait, I might have made a careless mistake. Hmm, how downing.

’’.....Were they not very good?’’

Kiho asks worriedly as I was self-loathing and beating myself up.

No, my grades were good from the start you know. But, my error was one more fundamental than just not studying, so I'm depressed.

’’No, that's not it. It's just, I made a simple mistake on just one problem. I screwed up.’’

I reply, and after thinking about what I had said for a moment, she makes a surprised face.

’’........Just one problem?’’

Yes, just one problem. If I didn't mess that one problem up, I could've gotten All 100s. I'm so sad.

’’......Out of all subjects?’’

Yes, that's what I've been saying.

’’Out of all subjects, you only got one wrong?’’

If I didn't mess up grading myself, yes. Wait, why has Kiho been so insistent in confirming this?...

’’......Sora, I'm going to award you the title: Cram Girl.’’

’’......Isn't that too cruel?’’

Honestly speaking, that's poor treatment. I protest this cruelty as one would expect, but I understand myself that I don't have much leeway to object. I'm in a bad situation. I don't want to be called Cram Girl. Although I probably am someone who crams a lot, I don't just study, I do my best in other things too. I don't want to be labeled by such a simple word!

’’Still, academics and cooking, beauty and athletics, aren't you a shockingly unfair person! Sora!’’

’’What is a person like that called again!?’’ yells Kiho.

’’Pretty sure it's 'Cheat,' But unfair doesn't mean cheat right?’’ Says Tatebayashi.

Those two are completely in sync saying mean criticism about me. I spent great effort, so it's not unfair! Ah, is unfair referring to the memories of my previous life? ......That is kinda unfair...

I see, so I've been cheating up until now huh? No, but, it's also a case that this is an advantage of the talent I've been given....

Yeah, let's just stop thinking about it! There's no point!

’’If she could just do martial arts, then she'd be an unfair character in the truest sense.’’

’’......I didn't have time for martial arts, so I couldn't do it.’’

I reply to Tatebayashi's words. Really, why I didn't do martial arts up until now all comes down to me having no time. At any rate, it was just academics and cooking up until now. There's a mountain of other things to accomplish, just too many.

It was necessary for me to lower the priority of martial arts.

Though recently, I've been having more free time, maybe it would be good of me to try out martial arts. As far as that goes, what should I do? I do want to maintain my slender figure, so maybe sword-fighting or aikido...

Ah, but I don't want to go to the Dojos if it means destroying the time I have to play with Kiho and Kaede-chan.

Yeah, let's think about doing martial arts with a little more care. I don't really have to consider it since it's not necessary at this time.

......What were we talking about again? Ah, right, going over the tests. The tests.

Wait, weren't we finished with that? Home, time to go home.

When I say, ’’let's go home,’’ Kiho seems dissatisfied and says, ’’Eh~? But we worked so hard to get these tests over with. Let's go karaoke!’’

Why, does being high school students equal karaoke?

And I've said many times before, the songs I prefer for karaoke aren't very well known!

’’Hey! Let's go with everyone!’’

Ah, now the ones going won't just be Kiho and Kaede-chan, but everyone here.

Nn~, Karaoke with these rascals huh~ Well, I did go last time. Frankly, it was quite fun watching the guys singing.... ....Well, I guess I'm okay with going with these guys in front of me....

’’I've got work after this, so I'll pass.’’

Tatebayashi says just as I had resolved to say I'll go.

’’Eh~ you're not coming~?’’

’’My bad.’’

’’.....In that case, let's just not go-.. Having one person not go is a little-...’’

Says Kiho. Well, certainly, after saying all that, having one person not go is kinda anticlimactic.

’’Don't worry about me and just go.’’

’’No! It's fine. Next time!’’

While watching those two talk amongst each other, I sigh in my head. Just what does this guy do for work I wonder.

’’What do you do for work?’’

’’....................Secret.’’

When I ask, he stares at me for quite a bit of time, and says as he averts his eyes.

Still, if you say that, then there are too many people who will become curious. I wonder if there's anyone who knows of this guy's circumstances. Ah, isn't Houzouin here ? Oops, I can't be grinning here. I have to hold back.

’’Houzouin, do you perhaps know of Tatebayashi's work?’’

He did say that they were childhood friends.... In all likelihood, he's seen it, no doubt about it.

’’I do know.’’

See, just as I expected. It's regrettable I can't hear it from the person himself, but I'd definitely like to hear about it.

’’Nobu, you speak and I'll...’’

As I thought, Tatebayashi says to stop Houzouin from speaking. Aww c'mon, it's fine, it's just work... What, is it an occupation that leaves you with a guilty conscience?

’’Teru, isn't it fine? They will not think of you any less.’’

’’No.’’

Houzouin provides assistance, but it was futile.

I'm not interestested in making him speak against his will if he doesn't want to, but I wonder why he doesn't want to that much.

Houzouin won't tell me what job he has, but he tells me that it's nothing to be guilty over. In that case, why does he not want to say it?

For now, I'll just say to Tatebayashi, ’’Stingy scrooge!,’’ to tease him.

Yeah, that sounds good.

Even though I'll continue to ponder about what job he has even after I go home, I get no answer from him.

Just what the heck does he do.



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