I will repeat myself over and over again, but a guy named Yousuke Hirata was a cool guy . Not because of his outstanding looks, but because of his ideals of how actions ought to be . An ordinary human being takes the initiative to be responsible for troublesome, unpleasant matters while responding uppermost to the others . Cooperating with the girls, he was setting up 2 tents to keep them at a distance from the boys .
I, who was on the other side, had a fixed role of hammering pegs of carrying tents to the ground . At the beginning I immediately struggled to be completely omitted, but as soon as I got the hang of it, I had a fixed position in the first tent . It was unexpectedly easy . Right now I was nailing the peg of the second tent with a hammer while wiping my sweat . Our link Hirata assisted me with spreading the rope and hammering the peg .
“Sorry for giving you a hard time . ”
The other boys were playing outside or trying to store some food with fishing .
“Oh – no, you don’t have to apologize . It would be bad leaving it to you . ”
“It’s not bad . I’m doing it as much as I like . ”
The existence of his refreshing smile was a big factor in the coolness of this guy .
“It might come off as weird, but why are you working so hard?”
“Working hard? I don’t tend to work hard . I’m only doing what has to be done . ”
Without meaning to sound boastful, he wiped dripping sweat with a towel that was hanging on his neck .
“I think this special trial isn’t a battle, but an important opportunity for everyone to become closer . That’s why I want to cherish this very moment . I will gladly work if that’s necessary for it . ”
I wonder if an ordinary person can be full of good intentions as much as Hirata without being two-faced . Wanting to be liked by people, wanting to attract attention – it’s normal to have such a mindset . But I couldn’t get such an impression from Hirata . I had strong feelings that he just wanted to be good to everyone .
“Alright, about half is left . Let’s end this quickly . ”
The two of us went to the opposite side of the tent in order to hammer the remaining pegs .
“Hirata-kuun! Come here for a moment!” Karuizawa and the other girls were calling Hirata . In a flash they surrounded Hirata and were pulling his arms forcefully .
“C’mon, c’mon, come here!”
“Ah, I still have things to do…”
“Can’t you leave it to Ayanokouji-kun? Can’t you?” They said while pulling him with all strength .
Looking at Hirata and his worried face, I answered while thinking they’re a bother: “… I’ll do this, go . ”
“But, it’s hard to do it alone ——–“
“It’s alright, only a few things left . ”
“So-sorry . Thank you . I’ll be right back . ”
It was rather an imprudent request that seemed profitable to the girls, but as if my words didn’t reach them, they continued pulling him in the direction of the woods . Maybe they’ll come back soon .
I took the hammer once again, as I was dejectedly watching Hirata leaving the flag behind . I continued with the work and finally completed everything by myself before Hirata returned .
“It took me more time than I thought, being alone…”
I had to pay attention to the direction of the tent and pegs while stretching the rope many times .
It was after 10 o’clock . What should I do now? I couldn’t make a mistake in the process now when it started moving . But before that I restored my physical strength . Working under the blazing sun was too exhausting .
“May I have a word with you?”
Since I completed the first stage I thought I’d rest for a while when Ibuki called .
“The discussion about the underwear thief this morning looked very serious . I mean, D class isn’t monolithic . ”
“Hmm, could be . We can’t stand various hardships . ”
“Whatever the reason, as a woman stealing the girls’ underwear is unforgivable . ”
That’s right . But why was she telling me this? It wasn’t me who was protecting Ibuki but Yamauchi as he was looking after Kushida’s group . Since we had a discussion there shouldn’t be any special entwined concern…
“Are you doubting me?”
It looked like Ibuki saw my treatment of being a culprit from Shinohara and the others this morning from far away as well .
“Are you the culprit?”
“No, that’s not the case . ”
“Then it’s fine . Well, it’s not like I have specific proof . It looked like some girls trust you and that boy Hirata . I think the chance of you being the culprit is low . ”
She had such a conclusion after hearing the argument between Karuizawa and Horikita .
“You have no clue about the culprit?”
“Right now, not at all . I don’t want to doubt the guys as much as possible . ”
“So, who do you think is the culprit?”
Her inquiry was as if she was testing me . I was side glancing Ibuki who was standing right beside me, but she was waiting for the response without facing me . Even so, she continued without an answer:
“If the guys aren’t the culprit as you’re saying, then the next one who is suspicious is me, a stranger . Someone is certainly doubting me . I might be pretending as if the guys have stolen the underwear . Am I right?”
She said so in self-mockery as if being fully aware that she herself is a suspect . I replied to her in a moment full of feelings:
“I wonder if you at least trust me . I don’t think you’re the culprit . ”
I answered this to Ibuki without hesitation . She looked at me a bit surprised as if wanting to make sure that this is true . When my eyes matched hers, she looked away .
“… Thank you . I didn’t think you’d be so kind . ”
“It’s just an honest answer . ”
The reason I could answer so honestly is because I trusted her only by looking at her sincere eyes .
Therefore, I thoughtlessly made a conclusion . The culprit who stole the underwear from Karuizawa and hid them in Ike’s bag was Ibuki .