I took off my armband and was free to wander around for the time being.
First of all, I had to buy tomato juice. As soon as I arrived at the only vending machine that sold tomato juice, I bought two bottles. One in my pocket and one to drink. That's great.
The owner of the cheerful voice was Aki-senpai.
It's been a while, Aki-senpai. We often meet at the vending machine.
'Certainly. I mean, are you drinking tomato juice again? Do you want to be Dracula or something?''
'Don't worry, I've never been diagnosed as having a chuunibyouji or any other medical condition. My sister brainwashed me into this. It's delicious.
'You'll get sick if you keep guzzling like that.
'I'll try to moderate.'
What are you going to do now, Comet?
'I'm going to see Alina's fashion show.
'Heh! A fashion show!
'That's right. That Alina. Isn't she funny?
That quiet Alina-chan, huh?
I decided to confirm a feeling I had been having for some time.
What was Arina like in middle school?
'I don't know, I think she's a sweet girl who smiles a lot.
''Like an angel?''
'Yes, yes! Angel!''
After all, Aki-senpai does not know the current Arina. As I predicted, another Arina was born when she was in the third year of junior high school. Something happened during that year.
I don't think I can solve the mystery of Arina even if I ask Aki-senpai.
And I am convinced that Aki-senpai has not yet had a single conversation with Alina.
I'm going to a fashion show now.
'I'm free, I'm going!
Let's take him to see Aki-senpai.
She will probably be as wary as Taku. He may be venomous, or he may just ignore her. He is a senior student, so it should not be a storm of verbal abuse, but Aki-senpai may be confused. But Aki may be confused. She is about to meet Alina, who is a different person from her inside.
Let's go. The show is about to start.
Aki and Alina have not met in two and a half years.
I think they have seen each other before, but they have never talked. How will Alina react?
There was a line of people waiting in class 2 and 3, the venue for the fashion show. It was a rare show at the festival, so it must have attracted a lot of attention. The fact that Alina was in the show was also a big factor.
Arina Hiba is a problem child, but is very popular among the boys. If they heard that she was going to participate in the fashion show, they would go. That's why there are more men in the line by a narrow margin. Comet Sakakiki's vision shows two words on the foreheads of the men: "ulterior motive. You can see their psychology as if you could see it in your hand.
The girls, on the other hand, are not so keen on the guys. They stare at these filthy beasts.
'You're very popular.
'Yes, it is. Alina will be there.
The boys react to my words and stare at me. I felt a tremendous desire to kill them.
'Hey, hey, Comet, you're staring at me.
'I might die. I forgot to write my will.
Perhaps the accusations of being too close to Alina reached their peak here. I think I now understand how it feels to be a zebra being chased around by a lion.
Sneaking around, I got in the back row and waited for a while.
Soon the doors opened and the show finally started.
When I walked through the door, the windows were closed with blackout curtains and half of the classroom was hidden by partitions. A path for the performers extended from the partition to us, the audience, who sat in chairs arranged in a U-shape around the path.
We were handed a questionnaire at the entrance. We were given a questionnaire as we entered the venue, asking us to choose three people we thought were the best. Five minutes after the fashion show, they would announce the results and the top three winners. There were about 20 performers, some of whom were from other classes. As soon as they appear on stage, a staff member holds up a board with a number on it. That is the number of the performers, and they write it on the questionnaire.
It gives off a certain atmosphere.
I guess so. It's very interesting to think that there are about 20 people behind that partition.
'Yes, that's right.
What are you talking about?
Thank you very much for coming today, ladies and gentlemen! It will begin shortly!"
The music began to play, cued by the emcee's voice.
Lights illuminate the aisles and the red carpet appears.
Aki and I are sitting together at the end of the aisle. The performers are as close as they can get to us. So Alina will be quite surprised. I'm the one who said I wouldn't show up at the last minute. I'm gonna get beat up when it's over, but that's okay.
The first person is here.
Oh, my God. He's wearing a big hat and sunglasses. A messy mix of purple, black, and white in a geometric pattern. As a layman, all I could think was that it really emphasized the lines of my body. And high heels. I thought they were too serious from the very first person.
'I was surprised that it was more authentic than I had imagined ......'
'I also ......'
The second model appeared wearing a peacock-feather robe and what looked like a chicken crest on her head. I don't know, I don't know. To tell the truth, this is not so different from our fancy dress cafe.
The third model was dressed in a swimsuit with a robe of feathers hanging from her shoulders. Too extreme. That's not right. I think this is exactly the kind of thing I should be cracking down on. Too bad I don't have the armband now. That's great, thank you.
Maybe this is what a fashion show is all about. I think it's because I'm an amateur. I guess it's normal. Normal, right? Aki, this is normal, right?
Aki-senpai, you speak for me, that's great!
The fourth and the fifth, and after that, some strange fashions and some that made my heart skip a beat. I made a note of the numbers of the ones I liked.
As I watched the show, I wondered where they got these outfits. Is this a high school for rich people? I'll ask Alina later.
And the sixteenth.
The crowd goes wild as soon as she comes on stage.
Her dress was shiny and fiery red. The ruffles at her feet were so fine that they reminded one of roses in full bloom, swaying in the breeze.
The curves of her body are accentuated. The open chest is a foul sight. Her wavy hair shines like jewels in the light, illuminating Alina's face beautifully. Beautiful, beautiful! This space is now under Alina's control, except for the noisy voice of Tsuru calling out, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. There is such overwhelming beauty.
This is a winner, I thought, and wrote "16" for the first place. Sorry, everyone after 17. Alina wins.
As Alina came closer to us, Aki said, 'Wow, it's like a jewel! I hit him in the side of my head, stifling a cry of "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Oh, you're going to break.
And just as I was getting close to the limit, I said a small 'yo'. I'm here.
Alina reacts and takes one look at me. Her smiling face changes for a moment to her default kill face, and back again. That's when I realized I was going to die.
When Alina turns to look back, Aki waved her hand to the person in front of her, saying "Kyakiakiakiakiaki". Alina sees this and freezes.
Something strange happens.
Her eyes flutter and she stares at Aki. She tilts her head.
She doesn't walk away.
The seventeenth member of the group has also stopped to look at Alina, who has not returned.
Then suddenly Alina opens her mouth.
Aki-senpai! I missed you! I'm super happy!''
Alina was all smiles regardless of the show.
Her reaction was so out of place. Funny. Her tone of voice, her facial expressions, her gestures were not Alina's usual. She's just a beautiful girl.
The crowd around her was also in a state of shock. The queen of tongue is full of energy and joy. Everyone raises their eyebrows as if something supernatural is happening.
Where is she?
She looked around and moved her head in circles to check her situation.
Was this some kind of personality switch? That's all I can think. She does not act like this. She would never put her hand on her chest anxiously and look like she is about to cry.
In the end, the child number 17 said to me, 'Alina-san, come here, come here! Alina was beckoned and quickly disappeared.
What's wrong with her, Alina?
'I wonder what's going on.'
This is not good.
Alina tells me that she can't share her memories with me, so I can understand her situation. It's like replaying a movie you've never seen from the beginning. Right now Alina has no idea where she is or what she is doing. She must be worried that she might be causing trouble.
Maybe she even doubts her own age. She may think she has already graduated from high school and is in a show somewhere. Whether they even understand that sense of time is unknown to me, but it is a possibility.
I'm going to be in and out of trouble.
But what can I do?
Wait, does that mean that Alina's previous memories are now connected to the infirmary? Maybe he feels like he's time-traveled from the infirmary to the show. If so, will I be able to sort something out when I get there?
I remember now.
I found out about Alina's recent two days off from school.
Aki was the trigger.
The picture I showed her in the warehouse that day had Aki in it. As soon as she saw it, she felt sick and missed school.
She said she had no memory of the last two days.
So that's what happened. That's what you mean when you say you have no memory.
Then my appearance might confuse you. No, I don't know. But she'll remember me. Would you feel safer if you knew me? I'm sure they're scurrying around behind the partitions. I don't know what to do. Oh, shit.
'Oh no, Alina, you were beautiful.'
I agree with you, though! d*mn it, I want to share this pent-up frustration with Aki-senpai. Please help me.
And then I'll just roll my eyes.
Entry number 19.
FAR! Why Dr. Akakusa!
I mean, Dr. Akakusa! Why are you dressed as a nurse? This is not a cosplay venue! But everyone is doing cosplay-like things, but it's not fashion, hmmm... I think it's different.
It looks good on you, though! It looks great on you, though, sir!
I crossed out the 16 on the first place and replaced it with a 19.
Alina, you're number two.