Friday, February 25, 2022

Please Leave Me Alone V1 Chapter 3

Translator: Pingas

It’s been a few days since the accident. My situation in class is still pretty bad. Even so, my classmates didn’t cause harm to me directly. I’m just being ignored or badmouthed behind.

Those gossips seem to be reducing as well. It shouldn’t take long for me to return to an ordinary lone wolf, right? …But I don’t feel things are getting better, okay? The class assembly brought up the school trip discussion. I’m not pleased.

Outside-of-school learning and school trips are natural predators of lone wolves.

Normally, school time is far longer than break time. So, lone wolves don’t really receive any sort of attention for long.

However, it’s different if we are outside.

The first problem is transportation time. Whether mass transits, coach buses, or walking, it’s essentially break time when the whole class moves together. People with friends can talk whatever they want. Some may even play video games or cards if we’re in a coach bus or Shinkansen. There’s nothing a lone wolf can kill time with here. I can only wait for the passage of time with my earphones.

The empty seat on a coach bus just hurts if someone next to me wants to sit somewhere else, even if it means sitting on an auxiliary seat. I’m so sorry for sitting next to you. 

There is spare time on the schedule even when we arrive. It kind of counts as an excuse for us to play outside. No one really studies during the school trip.

Also, we’re talking about an outing here. We are supposed to play.

A student’s responsibility is studying, you guys. Learn something. Even though I want to say that, I don’t really study myself. It’s too embarrassing to say that.

Last time, I think we went to the outer islands in the prefecture for our outing. Although I don’t remember the details, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t even remember who was in that class.

So, it’s a day close to the outing. I went to the library after school to return books.

After handing the books to the librarians and finishing the paperwork, a bookworm like me won’t just turn around and leave. Even though I don’t want to borrow any books, my inner book lover wants me to walk around the bookshelves first.

For some reason, I really want to pick some one-liners in the catalog. The stack room’s entrance is right next to the reading room. Those double doors are always left open.

Since the window in the stack room is pretty small, together with old lights, the inside is very dim. The catalog is all old one-liners and magazines. This place is empty all the time.

However, the iron bookshelves have a less than two people gap between them. They are so tall that you need to stack things under your feet to take the scores of books above. I can guarantee that I’m not the only one who’s excited when seeing this. All bookworms must love this scene. I already fell in love with this space in my previous life.

I walked around the bookshelves. Then, I randomly took one with an interesting title out and started flipping it.

After that, I can feel someone’s approaching me.

“Oh, excuse me.”

I thought that person is going to the inner bookshelves, so I walked out to make way. However, after I raised my head, I realized it’s my acquaintance Hoshigasaki.


“Are you sure? We’re in school right now.”

“I checked before talking to you. You’re the only one here, so it’s fine.”

“It looks like teenagers’ ignorance toward books is becoming a serious problem.”

I sighed lightly before putting the book back. Hoshigasaki looked at the title. “Oh.” She made a noise.

“Nanamura, I didn’t know you read things like this too.”

“I guess. I don’t just read light novels.”

“Ah- you’re writing light novels, right? Novelists shouldn’t just read light novels. You should try other genres as well. I think I’ve heard of that somewhere.”

“You’re right, but it’s just that I also love works other than light novels- ha?”

Wait! Why the hell does she know this!?

“Uh, Hoshigasaki. W-What did you just say?”

“I said you’re writing light novels, right?”

Indeed, she did say that. If only I misheard that again.

“I don’t remember announcing this. I should’ve told it to one person only. Why does Hoshigasaki know about this?”

As I expected, Hoshigasaki showed a bitter smile and scratched her cheeks.

“Ah, well, I heard it from that particular person.”

“Hanamitsuji, how dare she leak other people’s secrets…!”

“No, Sora-chan didn’t mean anything bad! I guess you can say she exposed it for my sake.”

The “Sora-chan” from Hoshigasaki is Hanamitsuji.

Actually, Hoshigasaki seemed to have exchanged contacts with Hanamitsuji a day after our chat. Even though it’s only been a few weeks, they are already close enough to chat with each other.

These extroverts are closing their distance way too fast, right?

Come to think of it, I’m the middleman who brought them together. Why can’t I make any friends? Isn’t this weird?

At this point, Hoshigasaki seems to have misunderstood Hanamitsuji as a fellow otaku. Welp, considering that we aren’t dating, that’s the only logical conclusion. …No, is it really? It looks like Hoshigasaki’s reasoning ability has some issues.

Forget about that.

“Why is leaking my secret for your sake!?”

“Well, we grew closer to each other after a couple of Line texts. Sora-chan said, ‘By the way, it’s unfair for me to know Hoshigasaki-san’s secret only.’”

“Uh, yes.”

“Then, she told me, ‘If that’s the case, as an exchange to knowing your secret, I can tell you Nanamura-kun’s secret. This way, we don’t owe each other anything.’ And then she told me.”

“I see. You two don’t owe- hey, wait! Hanamitsuji didn’t lose anything from exposing my secret!”

No, in the end, is it my bad to tell her Hoshigasaki’s secret? But you can’t blame me. I had to.

Anyway, she seemed to have used my secret as a diplomatic card without hesitation. At least use it somewhere more important, girl.

Perhaps she’s worried about my mumbles. Hoshigasaki continued with a cheerful tone.

“But I think writing novels is very amazing! You should be more confident about it!”


“If you don’t mind, can I read it after you’re finished? I’m quite interested to see what novels you will write.”

“Ah, it’s a good thing for me to receive feedback. Hoshigasaki is also a light novel reader too. …Sure, I’ll send it to you after I’m done with this part.”

“Glad to hear that! Thank you!”


I’m starting to freak out with such expectations. No, no, I need to trust myself. Not having confidence in my own work will lead to questions like “Is this really readable?” and I won’t be able to finish it.

Nothing is impossible with a willing heart. …I just haven’t used my true power yet. …Just as I’m cheering myself up, Hoshigasaki is looking at her phone and mumbles. “Ah.”

“It’s almost time for work. We’ll leave it here today! See you!”

“ I see. Well, try your best to not get fired.”

Hoshigasaki waved and left the stack room. Sigh, I turned back to the bookshelves, but I suddenly realized something. Why in the world did that girl come here…? I don’t understand.

But, forget about that. Let’s think about what books I should borrow. With that in mind, I looked for the ones I wanted. Another person came to the path.

“What’s wrong, Hoshi- ah.”

I thought Hoshigasaki came back. It’s not. The person standing in front of me is the class president, Shiramine.

Black straight hair, gentle, elegant. Shiramine’s aura matches really well with the library vibe.

“Hello, Nanamura-kun.”

Unlike other classmates, Shiramine is still willing to talk to me. No, the fact that my classmates never talk to me remains the same.

“What, it’s Shiramine?”

Shiramine hmphed. She put her hands on her waist and stared at me.

“What do you mean by what? That’s impolite. Are you disappointed that I’m not Hoshigasaki-san?”

I couldn’t help but hold my breath. Hey, hey, Hoshigasaki-san. Didn’t you just say I’m the only person here?

Including the classroom incident, isn’t she too clumsy?

The adorable part about clumsiness is that it can be saved. Only an idiot will make a fatal mistake. …Well, not that I can save anything from complaining.

“Did you see everything?”

“Yeah, I heard everything too. I’ll apologize for eavesdropping first.”

“Well, then it looks like I can’t make any excuses.”

“Yeah. But, anyway. I guess you don’t want others to know you’re writing novels. Don’t worry. I won’t bring it up.”

“You’re already bringing it up.”

I scratched the back of my head and glanced around.

There’s no one around except for us. I looked at Shiramine to ask her to go deeper into the stack room. We stared at each other next to the window.

Shiramine is in her tidy uniform. Her aura seems to be more determined than usual.

“I’ve heard about the incident between Hoshigasaki-san and Sakado-san from my friends a few days ago. I wasn’t in the class because I had class president work to do.”

Come to think of it, I think Shiramine wasn’t there. She’s sure a busy person.

“From what I’ve heard from my friends, you shoved the book into Hoshigasaki-san’s school bag. …But, from the conversation just then, Hoshigasaki-san doesn’t seem to be negative about you.”

“Uh, I guess.”

“Based on my assumption, are you perhaps protecting Hoshigasaki-san? You tried to calm the incident by taking the blunt yourself?”

“You’re overestimating me even if I did well in mid-term.”

“That’s not the reason why I said that.”

“Hero is too much of a position for a lone wolf.”

“Yeah, the way you solved it is indeed not heroic.”

“Shut up. …No, it’s fine.”

I was still trying to divert the conversation. She sighed on purpose.

“Sigh, you’re so stubborn. Whatever, I won’t dig deeper if you don’t want to say it.”

“…Sorry, thanks a lot.”

Shiramine showed a gentle smile. She put her hands on her chin as she pondered about this.

“I actually know you’re a kind person from long ago.”

“It’s kind of embarrassing. Don’t say that.”

“But, right now, I think you’re suffering too much. All girls in the class still think you’re pretty disgusting. The guys’ opinions aren’t better either.”

“It can’t be helped. It’s all because of my stupid idea.”

An experienced normie can probably come up with a much better solution instead of this chaotic mess.

However, regrettably, my experience with interpersonal relationships is zero.

I already used my full strength for that alone. That’s already the fruit of my hard work. Forget about the result. Can my effort can at least be praised? Don’t people say participation matters the most?

“You’re only a first-year. It’s not good to be that decisive, right? What should I do? As the class president, I can help to solve everyone’s misunderstanding.”

“Forget about it. My family told me I shouldn’t owe someone anything, even if we’re friends.”

“I think that’s referring to money, right?”

“If you’re really considerate to me, I hope you can keep what Hoshigasaki and I talked about as secret.”

“Well, that was what I planned to do in the first place.”

She shrugged dumbfoundedly. Shiramine sighed.

“I understand. But, I already know what you’re like. Remember that. I hope you can talk to me when there’s trouble. I’m still the class president, after all.”

“Alright, class president.”

“Very good. …Come to think of it, you aren’t in the class Line group, right?”

“I didn’t even know that thing existed.”

“Ahaha, I don’t blame you. Well, I’ll add you in right now. …No, now’s not the best time for you to join in. I guess a personal friend will do. Tell me your contact.”

Hey, hey.

Hanamitsuji, Hoshigasaki, and now Shiramine? What’s with this friend-adding trend? Don’t tell me my contact became the fortunate item in this morning’s horoscope?

Anyway, I got used to this. I quickly added Shiramine. Come to think of it, her first name is Mashiro.

“Well, we’ll leave it here for today.”


“See you in school tomorrow.”

Shiramine smiled gently. Her cheeks look like they surfaced from the gloomy stack room.


It’s the weekend after adding Shiramine’s Line. I’m standing in the living room, ready to go out.

My parents went out to see a movie. No one is at home right now. Although it’s a good thing they love each other, it’s a bit embarrassing when they are so naturally intimate when going out.

I looked for Satsuki. She’s scratching her belly while lazily lying around on the sofa. That’s not what a middle school girl should look like. This brat, she’s resembling Dad more and more. …Onii-chan is worried.

“Hey, Satsuki. I’m going out now. I’ll leave the finished laundry to you during the evening.”

“Eh, what a pain. …Hey, onii-chan, what’s with your outfit?”

I’m wearing black pants with a t-shirt today. A thin jacket that I just bought is outside.

This is my selection during my last year 3. The aim is to create the ultimate characterless outfit. Some people say it looks like what those mannequins wear in Uniqlo, but I think it’s the exact same copy.

“You have clothes like this?”

“I bought them. I’m in high school, you know?”

“Heh, I can’t believe onii-chan is spending money on something other than light novels. …Your little sister is throbbed to know that.”

“You aren’t Mom.”

Are my clothes that funny? Satsuki even sat up from the sofa and started observing me. It feels kind of embarrassing when she’s staring this intensely.

“Even though it gives off an old man’s vibe, onii-chan looks pretty mature, anyway. This feels nice.”

Satsuki’s words were simple and critical. No, no, of course, I know she didn’t mean it. It’s just that her words are a bit lacking.

I cleared my throat and spoke up in a slightly solemn tone.

“As your senpai in life, I should remind you something. You shouldn’t say things like an old man or mature face at times like this. Instead, you should say, ‘It matches very well with your experienced appearance.’ That way, you won’t risk hurting an innocent peasant like me.”

“What senpai in life? Onii-chan is friendless, and I don’t feel like you’re experienced in life either. As a whole, I have no reason to trust you at all.”

“Tck, I can’t believe you can hit me where it matters the most!”

No, don’t tell me this brat hates me now? Does Satsuki despise me now? Is it because I ate the ice cream she put in the fridge?

Moreover, it’s very mysterious that my 2-year-younger little sister knows my relationships.

Don’t tell me she heard it from Mom? Sensei said, “Hodaka-kun still seems like he’s not part of the class” in the interview during the second term of middle school year 3. Mom-daughter hotline. That’s horrifying. Also, it’s already a checkmate if I didn’t feel like part of the class in the second term of my last middle school year, right?

“By the way, you said I’m friendless, but that has changed recently. After getting into high school, the number of friends I have on Line has increased by 3.”

“Hey, onii-chan, can you not say it like you just performed a great achievement? It’s so pathetic that I’m about to cry.”

Satsuki’s eyes really turned watery. It looks like I chose the wrong option.

A brother’s dignity will be flattened if the little sister really starts worrying about him. It’s also possible that it has been flattened already.

“Also, where are you going today? Library? Bookstore? Supermarket?”

“It’s just a coincidence that all of the places you listed can be visited alone, right? You’re not thinking, ‘Onii-chan can’t go out with someone else, anyway’, right?”

“I think it’s weird to not think about that.”

“You’re underestimating me too much. I’m meeting the girls in my class in a family restaurant today.”

You must have changed your opinion of me now. I puffed up my chest and said that. Satsuki chuckled.

M-My little sister is actually despising me now…

“Sigh, onii-chan. You should make up a more believable lie.”

“I’m serious. Look into my eyes.”

I glared at Satsuku’s face without even moving an inch. She finally realized I was serious.

“I see. It looks like you’re really going after a girl you have your eyes on in the family restaurant.”

“Can you not use ‘have your eyes on’ here?”

“I think she’ll be scared if you chase her all the way to her workplace.”

“I’m not!”

“Don’t make Mom cry. But, yeah, I should start practicing to answer, ‘I knew he wouldn’t be able to hold back one day.’ when the TV stations are here, right?”

“You don’t have to practice that! Even if you do, you should say, ‘He’s a gentle onii-chan at home.’ instead!”

“I have to practice to say that…?”

“Let’s stop the jokes. I’m not stalking her when she’s working. This is a regular meeting.”

“How much did you pay?”

“It’s free, of course! No, I shouldn’t say it’s free! Seriously, who do you think I am…?”

The intense debate is making me run out of breath. Why the hell am I already this tired before leaving?

With such relentless pursuit, perhaps Satsuki more or less believed me. She crossed her arms and thought about it.

“Hmph, it doesn’t feel like a lie when you’re going this far. I thought you finally had to start making up BS to your little sister since you have no one to talk to.”

“It looks like we need to have a nice, long chat!”

“Alright, alright, calm down. As your little sister, I still want onii-chan to be happy, okay? So, promise me.”

“Promise what?”

“Don’t agree if a beautiful girl is trying to invite you to a cult. Find a chance to run away if she’s trying to sell you expensive crocks and paintings. Don’t include your family as assurers.”

“You brat is still looking down on me, right?”

Satsuki chuckled at my complaint. She waved her hand.

“Alright, it’s okay as long as you weren’t scammed. Onii-chan finally looks like a normal person now.”

“You think I’m a robot with emotions?”

I sighed and turned around. I’ll really be late if I don’t go now.

I’m planning to let Hoshigasaki read my novel.


Nearly an hour later, I came to the spot where I’m meeting with Hoshigasaki. It’s the old family restaurant. We’re already regulars by now.

Even though I’ll end up with less money every time I’m here, this can’t be helped. This must be a price to interpersonal relationships. Yep, lone wolves are the best!

“So, why are you here?”

“You got a problem?”

Hanamitsuji answered my question calmly.

She’s pretty, so anything looks good on her. Her slim t-shirt matches very well with her slip dress. …But, wait.

I did promise Hoshigasaki to let her read my novel, but not you, right? Why the hell are you here?

“But I certainly didn’t expect this. From Nanamura-kun’s personality, I thought you would wear headbands with fingerless gloves on your hands.”

“How old of an Akihabara otaku is that? It’s already cosplaying, right?”

I’ve heard that Akihabara turned into a pretty ordinary street now. Well, even though I’ve never been there. I read it online.

“No, who cares about what I wear? Why is Hanamitsuji here?”

After I questioned her, Hanamitsuji gently sighed and looked at Hoshigasaki next to her.

Hoshigasaki is wearing a light-colored shirt with a pleated skirt. Honestly, I think girly clothes like this are pretty nice. Of course, it’s obvious because she’s a girl. You are what you wear seems to be true.

“Hoshigasaki-san called me here. She said there’s something fun.”

“You think I’m something fun?”

“She told me we’re going to read your novel after I came here. This is just a wild goose chase. Should I ask you for pension?”

“Don’t ask me for pension for something I didn’t even know!”

“But I’ll feel bad if I ask Hoshigasaki-san for it.”

“So, you don’t feel bad for asking me!? I’m pretty poor as well, alright!?”

Hey, Hanamitsuji, you know, perhaps you may think that you’re talking to a punching bag. However, regrettably, I’m an alive person. Did you forget about that?”

“Eh, what’s wrong? Don’t Sora-chan care about this too? A classmate is writing novels now, you know? Don’t you think it’s amazing?”

Hoshigasaki immediately pounced on Hanamitsuji, who looked genuinely disappointed.

Hanamitsuji sighed in reluctance, but I guess she’s not truly unwilling to come.

No, wait, Hanamitsuji is spoiling Hoshigasaki too much, even though she’s so rude to me! What’s the difference between Hoshigasaki and me…?

Come to think of it, this is the first time I’m seeing them together after the Hoshigasaki incident.

Although I’ve heard they are friends now, I didn’t expect them to be this close. Extroverts can surely get friendly fast.

“Sigh, I would be lying if I said I don’t care. But I bet it’s nothing fancy. It’ll just be awkward, you know?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Hoshigasaki-san seems to trust Nanamura-kun a lot. I recommend you change your mind. While he looks like a high school boy on the surface, Nanamura-kun is actually a lone wolf.”

You better watch out for lone wolf rights groups inviting you to a boxing match. …While I thought about that, lone wolves aren’t lone wolves if they can establish a group. This is what I call the lone wolf group paradox.

“Anyway, you can complain after reading it.”

After that, I took out 2 stacks of paper held together by clips. The first is for backup, but now it’s just enough for both.

“Heh, you wrote a lot.”

“Yeah, I already had a lot going, but I finished it these days. There are going to be some mistakes. Bear with it.”

The novel I brought this time has 40,000 words. It’s in the upper middle level, not enough to count as complete. However, I don’t think they can handle a full light novel right now. It’s not because I gave up because coming up with a long story is hard, okay? Seriously.

Also, this is a school rom-com with a lot of cute girls. One-to-one rom-coms have been really popular recently. However, I think it’s better to have more girls. The more characters you have, the more personalities you can have. It’s a profit. I already have a vague idea of the subsequent development. Every FMC has an opportunity to show her best part.

“I don’t know how much you two can read. Anyway, let’s just relax and try it out.”

“I may need to spend more time.”

Very well. I nodded and went to the drink bar to take 3 servings of beverages. This is a little service for the two willing to read my stuff. It’s definitely not because my body moved on its own before Hanamitsuji’s order.

I sat in front of the two girls. While I pretended to be on my phone, I secretly observed their reactions.

Then, I realized something.

Letting others read your novel in front of you is super embarrassing! This is already one of those plays, right?

No, no, I have to believe in myself.

Perhaps they will be super impressed by my writing, imagination, hilarious jokes, and others that far surpass a high school student’s standard. Will they ask me for autographs?

Yes, this must be it! Perhaps I’m really good at writing novels!

I’m satisfied with my imagination, or delusion. I chugged the cola in my cup at once.

This must be how victory tastes like, even though it’s just cola.


It’s been around an hour and 15 minutes.

“I’m done-“

After saying that, Hoshigasaki raised her head from the papers.

Hanamitsuji seemed to have finished it in 40 minutes. She’s leisurely drinking oolong tea now.

Oh, this moment is finally here. What should I do? Perhaps they’ll be impressed by my talents, and our relationships will never be the same.

What if they start respecting me since I’m about to be a famous novelist? Hoho, it’s embarrassing to just think about it. Hey, hey, you two. Remember to be more honest. I don’t really care about class differences. You two can get my autographs after the book is published. I can even appreciate you two in the afterword.

Hanamitsuji put her cup onto the table as I thought about that.

“I’ll go ahead and ask you something first.”

“What, I can answer anything if it’s about the background or something like that. Like which book influenced me or where did the subtitle come from…”

“That’s not what I want to say. Do you really want to hear our feedback?”

Her expression doesn’t seem to be joking. She looks a bit awkward. It sounds like she doesn’t want to say it that much. What’s going on?”

“Well, if you two are willing to read it, I think I have the responsibility to hear you two out…”

“Really? Then I’ll say it.”

At this point, Hanamitsuji paused for a moment. She sighed.

“I’ll be frank. It’s boring and literally a waste of time.”


“I can understand what it’s trying to say, but it just gives off a “so what” feeling. It’s great if this is just a simple diary. As a novel, the story is way too plain. What’s the enjoyable part?”

“T-This is because school rom-com is a pretty plain genre. …The characters aren’t trying to save the world.”

“Maybe I can read it if it’s a manga since it has illustrations for the characters. But, it’s hard to read it as a novel. The conversation and writing are pretty mundane.”


“Also, it’s less than a hundred pages if this is converted to a novel, right? There are too many characters, and all of their names are spelled in special ways. I’m literally too lazy to remember them. It’s also weird for most characters to just appear and disappear. Is there even a point in bringing in those people?”

“No, I’m going to recycle in the next chapter.”

“What’s the point if this is the only one we read? Also, it says ‘End’ in the last part.”

“Shit, I should’ve written ‘to be continued’ instead!”

“That’s not the point. Also, I’m not going to read the continuation. It’s boring.”


I started wrapping my hands around my hand in frustration. Hanamitsuji knocked on my shoulder and comforted me.

“Of course, it’s also possible that I don’t understand this genre. Don’t worry too much about it.”

“A-Are you comforting me? Comforting me who writes worthless shits like this…?”

This girl is a kind person. As for Hoshigasaki, who’s next to her-

“I see. Does Hanamitsuji-san love fantasy novels…?”

She mumbled and nodded. There seems to be a misunderstanding, but she doesn’t notice.

My eyes turned watery. Hanamitsuji showed me a warm smile.

“Of course, I’ll definitely think it’s boring even if I understand.”

“You’re just adding salt on my wound!”

“Alright, it’s Hoshigasaki-san next.”

After saying what she wanted to say, Hanamitsuji passed the mic to Hoshigasaki.

I stared at her. Hoshigasaki showed an awkward bitter smile.

“D-Do I have to say it too?”

“Mercy, please. …No, that won’t do. Please be stricter. Say what you want to say. I’m mentally prepared.”

Indeed, I’m a man who’s aiming to become a professional novelist. Even if I received harsh comments, I should accept them as long as they are from a serious reader.

My abs couldn’t help but clutch as I awaited Hoshigasaski’s comments. She mumbled “ah” and “hmm” for a long while before finally speaking up.

“Well, let me think. …Right, Nanamura, did you read the new rom-com from GA Bunko last month?”

“Don’t just derail the whole thing! You’re also way too vague!”

“No, I’m not trying to go off-topic. …Right, I should get a refill.”

“There’s still a lot left in your cup!”

After my complaint, Hoshigasaki hastily held onto the straw and drank the liquid inside. It’s too late, right?

At least be more subtle if you’re trying to change the topic. Using such an obvious way literally tells me that my novel is boring.

Ah, should I say that’s what she meant?

“W-Well, I’ll go get more drinks…”

Hanamitsuji grabbed Hoshigasaki’s shoulders as she was about to stand up. She kind of just forced her to sit back down.

“How can you do this, Hoshigasaki-san? If you managed to bear the pain and finish it, you should at least give your comments.”

“I-It’s not that ridiculous…”

“Nanamura-kun is serious about becoming a novelist. You should provide your honest thoughts if you want to help him achieve his dream.”

Even though it seems true and is indeed considerate to me, you’re just dissing me, right? Your eyes are full of mischief!

“Hmm, let me think. …If you ask me whether it’s good or bad, I will probably say it’s bad.”

“I thought so. …It’s a novel by a shitty walking printer, after all.”

“Why are you suddenly so harsh to yourself!? Are you really okay?”

“I-I’m fine. Continue.”

“Alright. …Uh, it’s indeed boring, but I understand what it’s trying to say. Also, I think it’s already pretty amazing that you can finish it. I can’t write this many words even in post-reading comments.”

“Isn’t that meaningless? Sensei’s head will hurt if they have to read a hundred-page long novel style post-reading comments.”

Hanamitsuji complained calmly, but Hoshigasaki continued with a desperate expression.

“Also, right! I think it’s already amazing for a first-year student to write all of this!”

“F-First-year student…”

I see. I deeply understand that Hoshigasaki didn’t mean it! Even though I understand!

However, the problem is that I already lived through 3 years of high school once. I’m mentally 19 years old right now.

The worst part is that she didn’t mean it!

“Pfft! …H-Hoho, first-year, right? You’re just a first-year student now. …Ha.”

Hanamitsuji tried her best not to burst into laughter. Just kill me, alright?

Upon seeing our reaction, Hoshigasaki started flailing her arms around in confusion.

“E-Eh? Did I say something I’m not supposed to?”

“It’s nothing, Hoshigasaki-san. You didn’t say anything wrong. It’s all facts. She’s right, Nanamura-kun. This novel is amazing…from a first-year student’s standard. I think it’s pretty nice, …hoho.”

Hanamitsuji covered her mouth to hold her laughter as she glanced at me. This girl can always hit me at the most critical part.

“Thank you for your feedback, Hoshigasaki. …Hanamitsuji, I’ll remember this!”

“Wait, I definitely said something wrong, right!?”

Ignoring Hoshigasaki’s confusion, I glared at Hanamitsuji. However, her laughs are way too cheerful. My anger disappeared after a while.

In the end, it’s because my novel is way too boring. It’s pathetic.

After some time, Hanamitsuji seemed to have realized something and spoke up.

“I’ve been curious about this. Why are Nanamura-kun writing novels?”

I thought she was trying to taunt me. “How do you think about writing novels when you suck this much?” However, she doesn’t seem to be joking. She’s purely curious.

Upon hearing this question, Hoshigasaki stood up for some reason.

“Sora-chan, people don’t need a reason to create! When an unbearable burning passion is in your heart, people tend to pour their ideas into creating! Right, Nanamura?”

Hoshigasaki raised her fist passionately. I gently shook my head.

“No, I just want some appreciation from readers and feel satisfied. Also, I want copyright royalty. I don’t want to work.”

“What’s the point of my passionate foreshadowing then!?”

No, you were the only one getting hyped, right? It only feels awkward if you tried to foreshadow me.

“Of course, I’m filled with passion when I’m writing, and I also want to convey what I want the readers to know. However, the most important thing is that I want my novel to be praised!”

“…I didn’t expect you to be this honest.”

Why does Hanamitsuji look startled as well? I answered properly.

I drank some cola and said my thoughts.

“Moreover, a novelist who doesn’t want to be acknowledged means he has no motivation to please readers, right? I don’t think those novelists can write good books.”

“But some people do feel like they don’t really care about being acknowledged in the afterword.”

“That’s either lying or bluffing. It’s cheating if it’s real. I hope they can send me their copyright royalties too.”

“Nanamura is more small-minded than I thought!”

“Indeed, his forbearance is as large as a spoon.”

“I-I didn’t go that far…”

“Exactly, Hanamitsuji. You should be able to tell what you can and can’t say, even if it’s a fact.”

“So you’re admitting you’re as small-minded as a spoon!?”

Sigh, forget about how petty I am. It looks like I’m way too early for my debut. Yeah, it’s hard to make your first appearance in high school…

Also, let’s not submit this one online. The readers will immediately go extinct, anyway.


Next week, the horrifying activity is finally here. We’re forming groups for the trip.

The location is decided by class votes. Class A is going to Fumiki Island, an outer island in the prefecture, just like Hanamitsuji said.

That day’s schedule seems to be riding the coach bus to the peninsula, which extends to the tip of the sea. After that, we’ll take the ferry to Fumiki Island. It takes around 20 minutes on the ferry.

I think we will have a barbecue during the day. However, I’ve heard that it’s just a mesh wire for us to grill our ingredients. Why don’t we just go to a barbecue shop to have grilled meat instead? I love meat more than shrimps and squids, you know?

After the barbecue, we’ll be walking around the island in groups. It’s just sightseeing, to be honest.

Sheesh, why do we have to move in groups? This is inconsiderate to the lone wolf minority. Biodiversity is a big part of the 21st century, sensei.

I tried to escape reality by thinking about these things. Sensei clapped and made arrangements in front of the blackboard.

“Boys and girls, please form groups of 2 to 3 people separately. We’ll then combine them into groups of 5 to 6 people.”

The classroom immediately turned noisy. Everyone started looking for their good friends to chat with.

Hanamitsuji told me, “Go find a group on your own.” This is too hard for me.

I wish she could stop underestimating lone wolves. The crowd will split if I go toward anyone. It feels like I’m Moses. Isn’t this awesome?

Although I want to act, I don’t have enough motivation. However, just sitting here is making me nervous as well. It can’t be helped. I stood up, but there was nowhere to go. So, I can only stand next to the blackboard idiotically.

I bet sensei will say, “Can anyone let Nanamura-kun in their group?”, anyway. It’s going to be a ball-kicking game filled with suspicion. My prediction ends here. That’s why I’m standing next to the blackboard so I can answer sensei’s call immediately. I’m such a capable man.

Looking at the back of the classroom, I can see Hoshigasaki is in her old girls’ group with some central boys. It’s great that she can enjoy this trip peacefully. Just as I’m giving her a parent’s look, Hoshigasaki notices me. She put her hands together and put up a “sorry” pose. It’s fine. It’s not your fault that I’m alone.

The classmates are gradually settling into their groups. Right now, this must be how a baseball player feels when he’s not picked by the selection committee, no matter how much time has passed. It looks like the show’s name has to be changed from <Thank you, Mom> to <Sorry, Mom>. [TL: This is referencing the baseball draft show <Dorafuto kinkyu nama tokuban: Okasan arigato>, which means something like, “Emergency Special Draft Program: Thank you, Mom”.]

I stared at the lively class while dazing out as if I’m not part of them. Someone suddenly talked to me.

“Hey, why are you just standing there?”

The voice is too young for it to be sensei. I turned around. Shiramine is standing there with a dumbfounded expression. She put her arms on her waist. Even though it’s a summer uniform, she’s still wearing it properly. It really gives off a model class president aura.

“Oh, what’s wrong?”

“What what’s wrong? I don’t understand. Why are you acting like you have no business here when we’re forming groups?”

“Because it really has nothing to do with me? Everyone will be scared if I suddenly scream, ‘Someone, please let me in!’, right?”

“Can you not include screaming as part of your interaction?”

“But it’ll be awkward even if I just ask instead of screaming.”

“You might be right, but you’ll end up in a group, anyway. Don’t tell me you want to have a barbecue all by yourself? I hope you can consider what it is like for us to look at you.”

“Even if you say that…”

Shiramine sighed. She approached me without hesitation.

This girl is too close. I’ll be very troubled if such a pretty girl is getting so close to me unprotected. I’ll misunderstand.

“I don’t think I need to confirm this. You haven’t decided which group you’re joining, right?”


“Very well, then you should be in my group. Done.”


The sudden development confused me. Shiramine turned around and glimpsed behind her. A couple guys and girls are looking at me politely.

“I already convinced my groupmates. You’re alone, anyway. You can’t reject.”

“Why are you going so far for me, Shiramine?”

Does this girl have a reason to care about me? She has the wrong person if she cares about what happened to Hoshigasaki.

Moreover, I didn’t do anything worthy of praise. I just lied and solved it half-heartedly. The fact that Hoshigasaki keeps a secret from everyone still hasn’t changed. It’s just delaying the problem. Perhaps a similar event will happen in the end.

If that’s the case, I won’t be able to do anything at that time.

I’m not a super-talented high school student, anyway. I’m just a cheeky lone wolf.

Moreover, Shiramine doesn’t have a reason to be responsible for Hoshigasaki. …I’m still standing in the spot as I’m thinking about those things. Shiramine’s eyes squinted and glared at me.

“We can’t talk if you don’t get in a group. So, I’m taking you in for everyone’s sake. Is this better?”

I see. That’s what you’re doing. Naturally, this reason has nothing to do with Hoshigasaki. The class president just decided for the class’s sake.

I can’t reject this way.

“Okay, I’ll be in your care.”

“Very well.”

Shiramine nodded in satisfaction. I followed her and grouped up with the rest of the members.

Although it’s far better than being with Hoshigasaki’s or Sakado’s group, it’s nerve-wracking to be in a group with classmates who I have never talked to.

“N-Nice to meet you. Uh, …I’m Nanamura.”

Since we’d never talked before, I accidentally introduced myself to my classmates. What the hell am I doing?

However, come to think of it, Sakado seems to not remember my name as well. It’s probably better to do a self-introduction first. Or should I wear a nameplate? This feels like an offline meeting where the guy’s appearance doesn’t match his name.

“Ahh, yeah, nice to meet you…”



Nope, I can’t talk to my groupmates at all! By the way, I don’t think they are trying to continue the conversation either. So, I’m not planning to strike up a chat. It’ll only delay the inevitable dead-air even if I say things like, “The weather is nice today.” What if I say, “What do you think about the latest novel from GA Bunko last month!? What about the anime adaptation!?” Hmm, I bet they’ll kneel down before Shiramine and beg her to kick me out.

It’s going to be unsettling if someone keeps talking even though the other side doesn’t want to. How are those hearts of iron even created?

“Alright, then please put your group’s tables together.”

Sensei clapped his hand, and we merged our tables together.

We’re in high school, after all. So, naturally, things like where my table is the only one with gaps from others won’t happen.

No one wants to pair with you during elementary school’s lunchtime if you’re being bullied. …The girl opposite to me was about to cry when sensei forced her to be with me. I’m the one who wants to cry.

Even so, joining the tables together doesn’t mean I can engage in a conversation.

Ah, can I get into an accident where the trip is already over when I wake up?

I thought about it and yawned as my groupmates talked about their post-barbecue schedule.


Hoshigasaki called me out on Line after school.

Hey, hey, wait. Girls calling me out after school, don’t tell me it’s that?

If it’s not Hoshigasaki, it’s probably blackmailing or people giving me a letter and asking me to hand it to someone. I’ll ignore it.

No, come to think of it, no one knows my contacts. That’s why a stranger can’t call me out after school. A lone wolf’s defense is super high.

Hoshigasaki won’t blackmail me, I think. It’s fine for me if she wants me to pass a word to someone.

A girl called me to the corridor during Valentine’s Day in elementary school. She said, “Please hand this to Odewa-kun.” I can tolerate experiences like this. Sometimes, this memory will resurface in my mind. It’s literally meaningless to call me out instead of Odewa-kun, right? We’re in the same class, girl. Odewa-kun is just a couple of meters apart. Why don’t you just tell him instead?

Was it because of that? Was it because everyone acknowledges that “no one will seriously confess to Nanamura”? That’s why they think I’m a safe card? The unconscious brutality of elementary school students hurts so much.

Hoshigasaki asked me to come to the employee’s parking lot behind the Special Building. She’s not here yet. So, I started killing time by looking at the teachers’ cars. Although I don’t really understand, I can sometimes see expensive and interesting cars. It’s unexpectedly entertaining.

Finally, Hoshigasaki dashed toward me. I gently raised my hand at her.


“Sorry, I was late even though I called you out. I was busy.”

Hoshigasaki is running out of breath. Her cheeks are slightly red. Her breaths between words really make my heart pound. Hold on, how can I be startled with trivial things like this? I explicitly shook my head to calm down before answering in an indifferent tone.

“It’s fine. Even a lone wolf knows how complicated the relationships between extroverts are.”

“Sheesh, Nanamura, can you stop saying lone wolf? A lie becomes the truth when you use it too much.”

“Don’t worry about this. I’m already a lone wolf, so this can’t be worse!”

“I don’t think you should say that so confidently.”

I can feel she’s staring at me non-stop. I quickly cleared my throat and tried to cover it up.

“So, what’s wrong? Do we have to talk in school?”

“Ah, well, …I didn’t manage to help you there. Sorry.”

She mumbled deflatedly with her head plopped down. She must be talking about the groups just then.

“Eh? That’s all?”

How disappointing. I’m not feeling sad because I thought this was a confession, okay? I’m serious.

Hoshigasaki didn’t help me, but she couldn’t help it.

People always encounter situations they don’t want to be in. If she’s staying in an extroverted group, it’s natural for her to hang out with similar people.

“This is routine for lone wolves. Don’t worry about it. Also, Shiramine helped me out in the end.”

“Yeah, …Prez is amazing. I couldn’t do anything.”

“That’s just because Shiramine is amazing. There’s no need for you to feel guilty at all, Hoshigasaki.”

Shiramine loves meddling in other people’s business. I think she often draws the short straw. She’s really capable to the point where even I respect her. Well, not that I’m going to follow her path.

“But, you would’ve had a better time getting into groups if it weren’t for me.”

Hoshigasaki still looks pretty upset. I sighed mentally. I always feel uncomfortable when someone is depressed because of my own reason.

“Relax, that’s not true. I was already a lone wolf before that. No one wants me, anyway.”

“That’s why I asked you why are you so confident?”

Even though she said that, Hoshigasaki laughed warmly. I’m relieved.

“By the way, I asked her about it. Sora-chan’s class seems to be going to Fumiki Island as well.”

“I think so.”

“Well, if you’re in a really bad spot, why not go with Sora-chan?”

“Wait, why would I do that? That girl always insults me whenever she can. If she knew I was abandoned by my own group during the trip, I could already see the future where she calls me an idiot.”

It’s already punishing enough to go on a trip. Why the hell do I need to suffer more? Meeting Hanamitsuji during the outing is literally making it worse.

“Eh, really? But Nanamura and Sora-chan look very close.”

“Forgive me. Also, Hanamitsuji must have already grouped up with her friends. I’ll be ignored even if we see each other.”

Although we’re both time-traveling partners, Hanamitsuji and I are two different species. Of course, I don’t think this is unfair. The difference is caused by our opinions on how important it is to construct relationships in class and how willing we are to work for it.

No, if I’m serious, making a friend is just a piece of cake. I’m just limiting my worldly desire to write light novels. “Weren’t you also friendless in your previous high school life too?” You’re correct, but I refuse to accept.

“Yeah, Sora-chan should be with her friends too. It’s not that easy.”

Hoshigasaki looked troubled. I sighed explicitly at her.

“Hey, Hoshigasaki. You don’t have to throw yourself into my problems.”

I was a lone wolf last time, anyway. I’m just maintaining my image right now.

Perhaps fate has already decided that I’m a lone wolf. Like all of our ancestors are lone wolves. Well, but a family like that should’ve gone extinct long ago.

Also, it’s not good to pity someone just because he’s a lone wolf. Many people think it’s worse to be pitied than in a bad situation.

“You just need to think about how to enjoy the trip. This is a rare opportunity, after all.”

“The ‘enjoy the trip’ coming from Nanamura is not convincing at all. …But, I guess you’re right.”

Hoshigasaki nodded reluctantly. “See you later.” She left after saying that.

While I said that, a lone wolf is just not motivated for an outing. …If Shiramine went out of her way to help me out, I don’t want to skip it. It’s so troublesome.

If I didn’t interact or talk to Shiramine, I wouldn’t feel guilty about skipping it at all.

Yeah, there are more troubles if you participate in more relationships.

Being alone really helps with a clear and stable mind. I left the parking lot after reaching this conclusion.


“Hmph, it looks like you got in a group.”

After bidding farewell to Hoshigasaki, Hanamitsuji and I are again in the old family restaurant. We’re sitting opposite each other with glass cups between us. Does Hanamitsuji worry about calories, or is she just not a fan of sweets? She’s drinking zero-sugar fruit tea today.

“Well, I guess.”

“Even though I want to see you having a barbecue with the teachers.”

“Am I warming up for a sports event now?”

“I bet Hoshigasaki-san or Mashiro helped you out, anyway.”

She’s smart. She seems to know that I can’t get in a group independently.

I already told Hanamitsuji about Shiramine hearing about the conversation between Hoshigasaki and me and that she decided to help me out. After hearing that, Hanamitsuji nodded in agreement. “I see. That’s exactly what she will do.”

“Hoshigasaki-san still has to deal with her group. I bet it’s Mashiro, right?”

“Yeah, that girl sure loves meddling in other people’s business.”

“It’s all because you can’t get in a group on your own.”

I can’t retort. It’s boring if she can make a comeback right away. So, I decided to take a sip of cola with ice to cover it up.

With that, Hanamitsuji suddenly spoke.

“Do you want to be in Hoshigasaki-san’s group?”

“Ha? Why did you bring up her name?”

“It’s because Hoshigasaki-san is cute. It looks like you aren’t totally not interested either. You wore your new clothes here before.”

Does she mean when I was letting them read my novel? I hope she can forget about it.

“By the way, you knew I was wearing new clothes just by looking?”

“It’s okay. You looked like you weren’t used to wearing it at all.”

Seriously? Can she tell that by looking alone? It looks like I can’t wear sportswear in front of her I always wear wrinkly sportswear when I’m going to the nearby convenience store.

“Anayway, Hoshigasaki-san is a good girl, right?”

“She looks a bit scary on the surface, though.”

“She also tried to give her feedback for your novel subtly.”

“Even though she failed.”

“That’s why I’m thinking you should be happy if Hoshigasaki-san is with you too.”

“Things aren’t that simple. I’ll only cause Hoshigasaki trouble if I join. I’m not cheeky enough to have fun under that condition.”

Indeed, the problem is that my thoughts aren’t the only ones. Relationships are only valid when there’s another person. A one-sided relationship isn’t a healthy one.

Well, a lone wolf is fine as long as he’s fine. That’s why we don’t need to consider other people’s feelings. Lone wolves are pretty chill in this perspective.

“I do understand what you mean…”

However, Hanamitsuji still pouted sulkily. She glared at me like she wanted to say something.

“Don’t tell me you think I like Hoshigasaki?”

“Isn’t it?”

“Bullshit. I’ll say this ahead. Even though I’m a guy, I won’t just fall in love with a girl this casually, alright?”

Of course, talking about a cute girl is always exciting. However, having a cute look and actually confessing and going out are two different things.

“I see, so you don’t have feelings for Hoshigasaki-san. Hmph.”

Hanamitsuji mumbled something and looked away.

The conversation temporarily ended. I continued half-heartedly after a while.

“I can’t be with a group of people, anyway. I’ll probably wander off in the middle.”


For some reason, Hanamitsuji’s expression turned stiff. She dropped the straw in her mouth. What’s with this reaction?

“No, you don’t have to put up such a weird expression, right? Also, I literally have no chance of enjoying the trip with those extroverts.”

“You’re right…”

The worst scenario is that I’m probably in charge of taking the group photo. I hope they can forgive me.

“Forget about that. Although I hate the awkwardness of forming groups, I don’t care about acting alone. I’m pretty confident about my patience with being alone.”

“Are you okay?”

Hanamitsuji’s lips curled down.

Why is she so upset? I’m fine with being a lone wolf. Being alone seems to be on trending right now. Should I say I finally caught up?

“Trips are an important activity that helps to maintain relationships with your friends in class, right?”

“I’m already pretty firm about being a lone wolf. I still have no one for me to talk to right now.”

“How could that be…?”

“I’m fine with having no one to hang out with in class, anyway. It’s okay if I can get a friend without doing anything. However, I’m not desperate enough to put in the effort to make friends.”

There’s still a month and a half left until the summer holiday after the trip. Even though the Cultural Festival is in the second term, I can skip the prep work if I’m alone. It’s not bad to establish my position as a lone wolf right now to live as freely as possible.

Hanamitsuji fell silent when I was thinking about those things. She then suddenly spoke up.

“…Your class is also having a barbecue first before walking around on the island, right?”

“Hmm? Ah, I think so.”

Even though it takes 20 minutes by ferry, it’s still an outer island, after all. Fishing tours, seafood exploration, they can do whatever they want.

What’s the schedule of my group again? I think they put the fishing and seafood stuff as secondary. I don’t remember. There won’t be any issues since Shiramine is here, anyway.

Hanamitsuji mumbled indifferently when I was searching my memories.

“Well, do you want to hang out with me at that time?”

Eh, hang out with her? Why did Hanamitsuji say that? Come to think of it, Hoshigasaki said something similar as well…

“What kind of joke is this?”

“I’m serious, okay? Even if we’re in different classes, we can just meet somewhere during free time.”

It makes sense, but it’s entirely different in practice.

“Stop being dumb. You have your group, right?”

“I can just get off.”

“You can’t.”

“Why? You don’t want to hang out with me?”

“That’s not what I meant. …I’m saying that I can understand if we’re both lone wolves, alright? It’s not much of a problem because it’s free time and we don’t have friends. However, a person with friends will end up losing. Didn’t you say it before? Trips are an important activity that helps to maintain relationships with your friends in class.”

“I don’t want to hear that from a lone wolf like you.”

“No, but…”

Of course, I’m still a man, after all. Splitting off my team to hang out with a beautiful girl counts as a date, right? I bet I'll be excited like that, but things aren’t so simple.

It’s fine if two lone wolves made up their minds beforehand and decided to walk around together. However, if Hanamitsuji does that, she has to abandon her groupmates. Her relationships with her friends can crack.

Moreover, does Hanamitsuji even have a reason that she must hang out with me? I don’t understand either. I’m not a tour guide nor a food celebrity.

“Listen here. You probably think it’s miserable to be a lone wolf, but I’m satisfied. It’s only going to cause me trouble if you have weird pity toward me.”

“It’s not pity.”

Hanamitsuji raised her head and glared at me. She held her glass firmly.

“I want you to enjoy life as well.”

My mouth is so dry that I can’t speak. I wanted to drink something to burn out the silence, but the cup was already empty. The heavy atmosphere is slowly tangling us. It pressured me onto my seat.

Hanamitsuji is interfering too much today.

I knew it at the start.

There are decisive differences between our mindsets.

I chose to be a lone wolf myself. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

As for Hanamitsuji, she thinks that spending my high school life alone is a loss and that I should make friends instead.

Different mindsets are something that can’t be helped. We are born with it, after all. Our environments and ways of life are also different. It’s impossible to reach a compromise that simply. It’s not a mindset if it can change on a whim.

Up until this point, we were conscious of avoiding our differences. We tread carefully to not breach the line we set up subconsciously.

However, Hanamitsuji is suggesting to sacrifice herself for my sake. That’s totally over the line.

This won’t do. I refuse to accept this.

“Sorry, I can’t accept that.”

I was very blunt about it.

Initially, the present between Hanamitsuji and I isn’t supposed to exist. Although it turned to this after a string of coincidences, Hanamitsuji’s life and mine aren’t supposed to cross paths.

As for a reason Hanamitsuji cares about me, I don’t even think I need to ask her.

“You don’t need to feel guilty. Didn’t we sort it out in the beginning? I saved you, and you revived me. We don’t owe each other anything.”

This girl, I bet she still feels guilty about me. She must think that she’s the only one living a successful life.

But she’s wrong.

She has friends too previously. As for me, I was friendless.

I’m just following the same path right now. She has the wrong person if she still feels guilty.

After a couple of seconds, Hanamitusji sighed.

“Yeah, you can’t say that idea doesn’t exist in my head.”

Unexpectedly, Hanamitsuji accepted my words. I thought she would deny it from the start.

“However, that’s not everything. I’m thinking you and I can…”

At this point, Hanamitsuji fell into silence.

Although I really want to ask what she’s going to say next, I get the fear that I won’t be able to turn back if I do ask.

I don’t know what I should say as well. Both of us didn’t dare to look at each other. We just let time pass through.

Hanamitsuji exhaled. She spoke up in a husky voice.

“Sorry, I said something weird. It’s not realistic to meet up during the trip at all. I was a bit weird after hearing about Hoshigasaki-san and Mashiro.”

“I guess so.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll go back for today. Here’s the money.”

Hanamitsuji left some coins and squeezed out a stiff smile. She packed up and left.

I slowly stood up after hearing the door’s closure. Then, I took the empty cup to the drink bar.

The bubbles on the cola are overflowing. My mind isn’t working properly right now.

I took a sip of cola that I had no mood to enjoy at all and sighed.

I don’t understand Hanamitsuji. That’s what I’m thinking. At this point, I finally noticed that I had known nothing about her since a long time ago.

Why does Hanamitsuji care about me? Why is she hanging out with me? Why is she always acting all mighty? Why is she so serious to me but warm to Hoshigasaki? Why is she making me refill drinks for her?

I have no idea.

The trip was already imminent when I snapped out of it. Hanamitsuji will be going to the same island. I couldn’t get that thought off my head.

…The trip, I don’t want to go at all.

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