The Protagonist of Part III
Shiho’s words lightened my heart.
But the scars are deep and it will take some time for them to heal.
“After all, you can’t look me in the eyes?”
“Are you hesitant to hold my hand?”
“If I hug you now… will it hurt?”
I answer honestly.
If she did that to me now, I wouldn’t be able to be honestly happy about it.
“No matter how hard I try, I can’t shake the guilt I feel for having betrayed you.”
My heart is filled with a sense of guilt.
The more Shiho loves me, the more I am trapped in negative thoughts about myself.
Kurumizawa-san must be quite smart.
If she hadn’t kissed me and slept with me, I would have easily recovered, but … I had fallen into her tricks.
Shiho looked at me and smiled a little sadly.
Then, she took a step away from me and let go of my hand.
“Then I can’t force you to do this.
… She said less than usual, probably because he’s concerned about me.
Even that makes me feel sorry.
I get frustrated with myself for making Shiho feel lonely.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to apologize… Rather, don’t blame yourself, okay? I won’t forgive you if you hurt my beloved Kotaro-kun, okay? Even if it’s you yourself, I’m going to get angry.”
“… Are you angry?”
“That’s right. Pumph!”
She doesn’t look angry at all as she utters the gibberish herself. She was smiling as usual, and it soothed me a little.
“If that’s the case, I don’t want to get mad at you, so I think I’ll just … stop.”
I nodded and then smiled a little.
Seeing me like that, Shiho relaxed her cheeks in satisfaction.
“Finally, you smiled…that’s good. But I’ll make you smile more, okay?”
This time, her lips are tightly knotted like she’s biting her innermost teeth, and she stares straight at me.
In her eyes, the flames of the fighting spirit that I had seen earlier were blazing.
I knew I was not mistaken.
“Absolutely. You should really be thankful. I’m a very spoiled child by nature, you know?… Well, it’s not “easy” for me to be spoiled by you, Kotaro-kun, but…”
“Yeah… I’m sorry. Also, thank you.”
“Absolutely. Really, thank you. I’m really a spoiled child, you know? … Well, it’s not ‘Yasabuka’ to be spoiled by Kotaro-kun.”
“No…, it’s not “that”, either, but…”
“Huh? Was that so? Well, it’s hard for me to study… Oh, the test is coming soon, so Kotaro-kun, you’d better study properly, you know. Otherwise, you’ll end up being an idiot like me.”
“I study, but Shiho doesn’t?”
I think Shiho needs to study more than I do.
But she shook her head vigorously.
“I have things to do.”
She then turned on her heel.
“I’m going back to the classroom now… Kotaro-kun, please come back after your body stops shaking, okay?”
I looked at my hands when she pointed it out to me.
As Shiho had said, I was trembling slightly.
Perhaps I was still timid toward Shiho. I wonder if the fear that I might be disliked had not disappeared, and my body had been trembling for a long time.
Shiho seemed to have noticed my condition.
I walked quickly away from the place.
For me, the best remedy right now is to keep my distance and time apart.
She knew that, and that’s why she did it.
Watching her back as she left, I felt sad, though.
At the same time, I sighed as I felt somewhat relieved.
I guess it will take more time to get out of the cage of guilt.
All I could do now was to … take it easy and rest.
–This is the end of my role in the third part of the story.
How long have I been under the impression that I was the main character?
After all, no matter how much I grow, I am still a servant of the story.
Unfortunately, I am not the protagonist in this work.
It is always only that one girl who drives the story.
Now, the preliminaries are finally over.
Next, the main story will finally begin.
What will be spun from here is the story of Shiho Shimotsuki.
It is a romantic comedy in which the main heroine saves the frail protagonist.
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