And it’s not me.
If she remembers the past and is still thinking about me, then she will feel the same way I do, that Love Studies is a hindrance. If this doesn’t happen, it means that either she forgot all about me at the time of the reunion or even if she remembers the details, she likes someone else and is unlikely to date that person, so she is happy that such a system is in place.
Being the perceptive protagonist that I am, I naturally arrived at that truth.
My vision distorted as my internal organs struggled to regurgitate, my limbs went numb, my body temperature dropped, and I fell into a mild state of oxygen deprivation. In my head, nightmares of the reunited “girl of my dreams” flirting with another man began to play out and my spirit began to crumble.
(…Calm down, Natsumi Aoyama! There is still a way to turn the tables ….!!)
My brain, which I hadn’t used for a long time, was revitalized and started to turn the old gears.
I tried my best to hold back the nausea and the nightmares that were spinning around me and searched hard for a future where the girl I loved and I could be lovers.
And then… Only one route to that future emerges.
I stand up, following her lead and start clapping, and she looks up at me with a surprised look on her face.
My beloved, who had always been a part of my memories.
But from this day forward, she is my strongest rival.
“…. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to take the top prize in Love Studies.”
That’s it. It’s the only way.
I’m going to beat all the students in my grade and even push aside the ‘girl of my dreams’ to become a ‘special student’. Then, I’ll use my forced dating rights and nominate Haruka Sakurame.
The only way I’ll ever be able to be with her ….. It’s the only way… !!
Thus, I was reunited with the “girl of my dreams” and got caught up in a death game where anyone who loves someone will be expelled.
After that, the ceremony went on without a hitch, with various people addressing the audience.
… But to be honest, I don’t remember anything about it.
My brain, which I hadn’t really exercised in a long time, was running through a dizzying array of thoughts in search of a way to win this death game.
At any rate, it’s not good for Sakurame to sense that I remember something from the past.
If she knew that I remembered something from that long ago, she would ask me if I liked her. I could be expelled from school and the future of my relationship with her would disappear.
And then she would go to the school without me, with some other guy I didn’t know….
I pressed down on my uniform, feeling a sudden pain in my stomach.
Calm down, Aoyama Natsumi.
It’s not time to panic yet.
Let’s think about it the other way around. If Sakurame doesn’t remember her ” promise ” with me, I would have had to build a relationship with her again from scratch and make her fall in love with me. If I think about it, this ridiculous death game has taken care of that for me. The effort required is the same or perhaps even less now…
Thinking like that, the pain in my stomach naturally subsided.
As I sat back down in the seat in the classroom I was shown to and exhaled slowly… The chair of the seat next to me was pulled out.
“… Hey, nice to meet you…”
The greeting was rather abrupt.
As I turned around, my whole body froze, wondering if young people these days can’t even greet each properly.
Beautiful long silver hair and white skin.
Haruka Sakurame was sitting right next to me.
(Why is she sitting next to me….!?)
Despite the turmoil in my heart, the calm part of my brain starts to think logically.
A new student. The first classroom I was shown. Seat assignment. We were assigned in the order of our attendance numbers. In other words, the students in this class are arranged in alphabetical order. I’m Aoyama, so I’m in the front row by the window with the highest attendance number, and she’s Sakurame. I see. That’s why she happened to be assigned the seat next to me….
I’ve been thinking about this for about a second. I wanted to pat myself on the back for not letting the agitation show on my face.
To tell the truth, I’d like to see if she remembers the past right nowーーbut as I said, that’s not going to happen.
The game has already begun.
If someone finds out that I like her, I’ll be expelled.
“…. Nice to meet you…”
I tried my best to keep my composure and greeted her back.
From today on, I’m one of those young people who can’t even say a proper greeting.
And this is where I come to an important realization.
(…Hold on. Wouldn’t it be unnatural not to mention her appearance when meeting her for the first time?)
Yes. If I really forgot about the “promise” then today would be the first time she and I met.
If I don’t comment on such a unique beauty with beautiful silver hair and pure white snow skin, it would be equivalent to confessing that I remember the past, which I have known for a long time.
No, but …. Touching on someone else’s physical features out of the blue is also rude and not natural, I feel. Nevertheless, it would be strange for this healthy high school boy to respond naturally to being talked to by such a cute girl!!
What is a ‘natural response’!?
””Oh… Oh, that one!””
I opened my mouth to speak anyway and my voice overlapped with hers.
As we both froze in an uncomfortable atmosphere… The door to the classroom opened with a bang.
“Take your seats.”
It was a young female teacher who gave the instructions in a prolonged traditional Japanese tone.
She is wearing a black women’s suit and light blue innerwear. Shaggy black hair. Sleepy, blank eyes. To top it all off, she has an electronic cigarette in her mouth… She looks like a former yankee…
The students return to their seats, confused by the unteacherly appearance and behavior.
After making sure that all the students in the class had taken their seats, the female teacher from earlier ran her chalk across the blackboard in a lazy manner.
Despite her impression, she writes “Mishimoto Makina” in a masterful handwriting.
“I’m Mishimoto Makina and I’m your homeroom teacher. I’m in charge of all subjects. Don’t worry, I’m an excellent teacher. I don’t have a teaching license at all, though. My hobbies are motorcycles and my philosophy is to live by my own rules. I’m just an ordinary, efficient person who can be found anywhere. Nice to meet you.”
… Where do you want me to start?
I get the feeling that every student in the classroom feels the same way.
Naturally, the teacher standing at the podium, Professor Mishimoto, noticed the hint, but said, “It’s a waste of time, so no time for questions. Let’s move on.”
I see. Living according to your own rules.
“The first hour will consist of… Orientation for new students and supplementary explanation of “Love Studies” or …. … For an overview of the school and the curriculum, please read the bookmarks that were distributed. Now then, let’s get down to the business of “Love Studies”.”
As soon as that thing was mentioned, the atmosphere in the classroom became somewhat tense. Probably all the students are concerned about that.
In that sense, it was a wise decision to skip the Q&A section and the boring orientation. Perhaps she was not bluffing when she said she was a good teacher with an efficient work ethic.
“You guys have your student IDs on you, right?”
She pointed to her own left hand and many of the students also looked at their own left hands.
There is a smartwatch – commonly known as a “student ID” – provided by the Haou Academy wrapped around the wrist. In this school, you are basically obliged to wear this “student ID” for 24 hours a day and you are not allowed to take it off except for a very short time when you are taking a bath.
“Tap the screen. You see the Loveology app on your home screen? From now on, Loveology will operate a lot through that screen, and you’ll be able to see the detailed rules, so make sure you check them out… Okay. Now, let’s do a trial to get an idea.”
While saying this, she operates the tablet in her hand.
Then, on the students’ smartwatch “Student ID”, a new item appeared for the “Love Studies” assignment: “Exchange contact information with at least three people of the opposite s*x.”
“In the meantime. I’ve prepared the content for the students. Let’s get started.”
She clapped her hands to signal the start, but none of the students moved.
After five seconds had passed, Professor Mishimoto said, “…Hmm?” as she waved her e-cigarette.
“What are you doing? Why are you wasting your time? Love Studies is a required course. You must complete and submit all assignments. Failure to do so will result in a failing grade. You will be expelled.”
The students react to the word ” expelled ” with a twitch.
“Oh… Oh dear. As a way of welcoming the new students, I’m going to give you a little more of a push. All right? You’re not asking for the opposite s*x’s contact information for ulterior motives, you’re asking for the opposite s*x’s contact information because you’re forced to by your teachers, and by extension, by the school. Moreover, the contact exchange is rarely rejected. This is because the other person also needs the contact information of the opposite s*x to complete the task. Wouldn’t you agree?”
…Yeah, she’s right.
I can feel the atmosphere of the students in the classroom changing drastically.
“In addition to that, I don’t think they will refuse to exchange contacts with the first three people. In order to complete the task, you need to have the contact information of at least three people. In the event that you’ve got a lot more than three contacts, you might want to consider getting a few more.”
Suddenly, a student stood up from his seat and came out.
Some of them began elaborate preparations, while several others took up crouching start positions. Some of the students clenched their fists and started boxing with the air.
“Well…. Now, I will give the signal again. Love Studies, task one, begin.”
This time, I didn’t hear Professor Mishimoto clapping her hands.
It was drowned out by the screams of the students in the class.