The following will be most of the meaningful interactions Hachiman has with Yui during Volume 7, because that’s pretty much a volume dedicated to Hachiman and Yui doing things that couples would do.
During the entirety of Volume 7, Yui takes a keen interest in Tobe and Ebina. However, what’s strongly implied is that Yui is actually doing this because she wants to get closer to Hachiman and confess to him during this trip as well. While all of the things they’re doing during this volume are supposedly for the sake of helping Tobe get closer to Ebina, it’s actually Yui dragging Hachiman along to do couples related things.
The chapter where Yui is pretty much going on a date with Hachiman and is continuously making moves on him, is called: Chapter 5: As you can see, Yuigahama Yui is putting in the effort.
>Yui takes an interest in Tobe’s request. Hachiman and Yukino both protested and said that it was something that Hayama’s group needed to solve on their own and that it was a bad idea to get involved (they protested far more in the LN), but Yui insisted and eventually convinced the Service Club to help Tobe out.
There was one person that ate up the story and that was Yuigahama. She made a ruckus as she rose from her seat and she looked like she was ready to put herself out there with an air of interest. Her eyes shined due to the sudden mention of a love story.
“It’s totally okay, like, that stuff is totally okay! I’m rooting for you~!”
“Ya know, like I said. I’m gon’ confess ya know? Maybe some sorta support?”
The moment Yuigahama heard “confess”, she ‘eeked’ in response with her hand to her lips followed by a long breath. Sure, get excited on your own but I doubt this will go well at all.
>I was looking for good charms for, um, Tobe, yeah, definitely Tobe.
Yuigahama rummaged through the magazine she had on hand. Then, Yuigahama stopped. And as if she was going to consume it, she looked at a page intensely. She looked unusually serious so I peeked over to see why. “For a while now, you’ve been looking at something… Ooh, matchmaking.”
“I was just wondering if there were some good charms, um, for Tobecchi.”(!)
Yuigahama answered without averting her focus from the magazine. And then Yukinoshita came in after having finished preparing her tea.
“In Kyoto, there are a lot of Buddhist shrines that put up charms and most tours revolve around that. But, praying to the gods is an oddly strange method…”
“That’s true, it’s like that one old saying. ‘Give god up when in trouble’ or so.”
Give up god and that’d be what you’d call give up giving god up. Giving up again, huh… It feels really lonely when no one gives me a retort. And so as I was thinking, I looked at Yuigahama who, for some reason, had a glint in her eyes.(!)
Giving up God, you’re fine with that? Personally, that phrase sounds really terrible so I can’t really get behind the idea.
“No, not that. There’ll be a good atmosphere as we walk around Kyoto!(!) Like we can throw in some bean bits. Hina said she liked Kyoto too, I think!”
Bean bits. This basically meant trivial bits of knowledge. This is a beanful. In other words, since the normal school life was out of the question, we could only expect to get something out of the field trip where the environment was different(!); something along those lines. The plan for the field trip was three days and four nights. “How to make a lover in three days and four nights” or something like that was particularly evident in Western movies, but the main leads would consist of Cameron Diaz and Hugh Grant. In any case, in the short time available, we need to create the situation where Ebina will find Tobe attractive somehow. Say what, is this an Impossible Game?
>Hikki and me will tag along, together, so we can provide support. Hikki will go along with Hayama’s group and I will go with Miura’s group. There’s no hidden meaning behind any of this.
“Okay, so for the boys, it’ll be fine if Hikki is in the same group as Tobecchi. And if we choose the same place, we can go around together on the second day.”
“Yeah, but if we think about Hikki’s plans and mine, on the second day, we’re gonna be roaming around anyway and it’d be better if there were two of us to provide support.”
>Let me see too and press my body against yours.
“I-I want to see too!”
Yuigahama pressed against my back and propped herself up with her arms using my shoulders as if riding me.
A sudden chill ran up my spine. Suddenly getting touched like this surprised me. The moderate application of perfume lingered in the air from her movements. This body touching is definitely unfair… However, I didn’t have the composure to shake her off and get away from her, so I had no choice but to continue my stiff, standing posture.
Yuigahama stayed quiet for a moment while fascinated by the scenery. Her slight breathing had found its way towards my ears.
“Oooh~. Mt. Fuji is so pretty~. There we go.”
Looking satisfied after getting a glance, Yuigahama finally removed herself from my back and sat back down in her seat.
Although I managed to reply in a calm manner, in reality, my heart was still beating like mad. Why in the world does she do these kinds of things, dang it. You listening? Those kinds of innocent actions(!) tend to make guys misunderstand, effectively sending them to their graves, you know? If you understand, next time, please be mindful of “body touch”, “sitting in a boy’s seat during break or after school”, “borrowing something from a boy even if you forgot something”, and all other related things as you go on about. And, for the sake of hiding the fact that my cheeks were completely flushed, I turned to Yuigahama to lecture her.
“I-I’m going to go over there now, okay!”(!)
As Yuigahama said that, she stood up in a panic and ran off with quick footsteps.(!) She ran away… I couldn’t help but be frustrated, vexed, annoyed at that, but in the same way it was unfortunate, I felt relieved all the more.
>Hachiman tries leaning away, Yui leans in more.
>Come spend time with me, it’s for our job.
Yuigahama, who wasn’t in line, came up to my side.
“What is it? Go line up or else you’ll get pushed out of the line. That’s just how life works.”
“You’re exaggerating… Anyway, this doesn’t look like it’ll be going anywhere any time soon. I actually came across something more interesting so let’s go there.”
I’m not capable enough to be multi-tasking. I’m a human who wants to settle the problem in front of me before moving onto something else. You could also say that I preferred leaving the troublesome things for last. As if Yuigahama didn’t like what I said, she glared at me with a puffed expression and mumbled.
“…Did you forget about our job?”
“I want to forget about the job during our trip at least…”
However, with my earnest wish not getting through to her, Yuigahama grabbed my blazer.
“I already called over Tobecchi and Hina so hurry, hurry!”
I was dragged along by the sleeve and the destination we arrived at was a small shrine located to the side from the main visitor’s entrance.
>Let’s go into all of these shrines for Tobe and Ebina’s sake. Let’s spin this stone, what did you wish for? I already know what my wish is.
“Okay Hikki, let’s get going.”
We descended down the stairs and when we turned around the corner, the darkness enveloped us. When we advanced several steps, the light completely dispersed from our field of vision.
We continued on while feeling around the surface of where we were going. The air of tranquility. Since we were barefoot, the soles of our feet were assaulted by chills. The moments of chilliness that ran up our skins and the shivering wasn’t as simple as attributing it to the cold. It was genuine fear. The things we couldn’t see, the things we couldn’t understand, the things we couldn’t comprehend, and the things we couldn’t identify were all linked to fear and uneasiness. Engulfed with feelings that we weren’t used to, we advanced forward while touching the large prayer beads wrapped around the handrail. Suddenly, my hand landed on something warm. I couldn’t help but be surprised and stopped in my tracks. And when I did so, something lightly bumped into me from behind. “Waah! Ah, sorry. I can’t see at all here.”
The owner of this voice was Yuigahama. She couldn’t see at all, so she touched my back and arms to make sure I was there.
“Nah, my bad. I can’t really see at all in this darkness myself…”
Well, we are in complete darkness after all. Not much we could do. As we’re stuck in this avidya of darkness, we were assaulted by uneasiness and the act of grabbing hold of a person’s clothes and holding each other’s hands were countermeasures, so I won’t question it. No worries, recently, I held hands with Komachi, so I am to-totally, like totally not fretting over it or anything, like super easily endurable.
“Hikki, you’ve been really quiet so I thought you were lost or something.”
“I usually am lost most of the time.”
Thanks to that, my experience was incredibly high. On top of that, the speed at which I go home and my mental defense were both super high as well. After I nonchalantly said that, I suddenly heard a restrained laugh, possibly something that couldn’t be held in or perhaps a bitter one. That became the signal to continue moving forward again. Despite having moved forward, the weight caught on my blazer stayed the same throughout. We made numerous turns on the path and eventually, something flew into our pitch-black field of vision. It was a deeply, dimmed white illumination. It looked like the rock was lit up. When we walked up to the stone, I was finally able to see Yuigahama’s face.
“We’re supposed to make a wish as we spin this stone around, I think.”
There wasn’t really anything I wanted to wish for. Stable income, safety of the household and perfect health seems about everything for me. Oh, that’s plenty. Still, wishing to the gods and Buddha for practical things doesn’t seem quite right.
“Did you decide what to wish for?”
Yuigahama’s voice did away with all the useless thoughts in the darkness.
I answered back, but I didn’t really decide on anything... Let’s see, I suppose I’ll just pray for Komachi’s success on the entrance exams.
“Okay, let’s spin it around together.”
I spun around the Chinese round table with the stone on top with Yuigahama. Yuigahama squinted her eyes shut, looking incredibly serious. After we finished spinning the stone, she clapped her hands together twice. Stupid, that’s what we do at shrines.
“Okay, let’s go!”
Yuigahama was suddenly bursting with motivation for some reason(!), evident from her ecstatic expression, and while pushing me from behind, we entered the darkness once again.
>Hikki let’s take a picture together.
Kyoto was a city where both the things that changed and didn’t change existed in harmony. I can see why they chose this city as the field trip’s destination, even if it was just a little. I gazed out at the scenery in a daze until the person who was next to me, Yuigahama, called out to me.
“Ah, I know. Hikki, let’s take a picture!”(!)
She hurriedly took out her digital camera from her pocket. The small, pink digital camera was without a doubt very Yuigahama-esque.
“A picture? Roger, give it here.”(!)
With a puzzled expression, Yuigahama handed me the camera.(!) I took a few steps back, positioned myself, and focused the finder on Yuigahama.
I then pressed the button. Shortly before the sound of flashing went off, Yuigahama frantically made a half-hearted reverse peace sign.
“Look at this, thanks to my awesome camera arm, I got a good picture.”
When I said that, I handed the camera back to Yuigahama who immediately went to checking the picture. Digital cameras sure were convenient since you could see the pictures as soon as you took the picture. But consider this: if you mess up a picture, you’ll have to take it again.
“Really? Ah, you took a cute shot, wait no! I mean, what the heck was with what you said earlier!?”(!)
“You don’t know? The denizens of Chiba usually say it when they’re about to take a picture…”
“You don’t need to bother with that lie…”(!)
It’s not exactly a lie, but I just thought it’d be cool if it was a new fad or something. Okay, everyone, when we take the picture, let’s all say peanuts!
“I didn’t mean that… I mean, it’s a rare occasion so let’s take the picture together.”(!)
Being that upfront about it makes it hard to turn down.(!) Then again, there really wasn’t a reason to reject the offer in the first place.(!) I guess I could squirm myself out of it by saying my soul would be stolen by the camera, but, well, it’s just like she said, it’s a rare occasion. Since I didn’t bring my own camera, the only thing I could do was use another person’s camera to take pictures.
“Well, I don’t have a problem with taking a picture. I’ll go ask someone to take it for us.”
“We don’t need to do that since we can just do this.”
When she said that, Yuigahama stood next to me. She then faced the camera lens toward us and positioned it, ready to press the shutter button.
“I think we need to get a little closer or else we won’t fit in…”(!)
Slowly, the distance between me and Yuigahama became nonexistent. Once she got closer, our arms linked.
“Here we go. Okay, cheese!”
When I looked around, there were numerous guys standing side by side posing in front of their cameras all over. This kind of scenery was probably relatively normal for high school kids nowadays. It was just one commemorative photo so there wasn’t a need to make a big deal out of it. Just about anyone would be up for taking pictures and pictures with both boys and girls weren’t all that rare either. In fact, those kinds of pictures were more along the lines of what was normal.
As I continued to take countless photos, at some point, I couldn’t help but notice Yuigahama’s colorful expressions.(!) She was trying to enjoy every moment to the fullest and in every photo this was displayed whether it was through her expression or gestures.(!) I’m really glad these digital cameras had the function of focusing automatically for me. Otherwise, I’d get the feeling the pictures would be out of focus in various ways.
(Hachiman is noticing Yui’s expressions.)
>Let’s drink from the same water. Your love life will be blessed apparently.
There were numerous lines partitioned repeatedly, extending throughout the area. Hey, hey, it’s like they’re lining up for Destiny Land here. Isn’t there a fastpass? As I stood still in shock of the mayhem occurring in front of my eyes, I received a quick chop to my head.
“Don’t go ahead on your own!”
“Wha, we don’t have to move as a group today, so what’s the big deal…”
While I rubbed the spot that Yuigahama chopped me at, I looked at her and from behind came Miura and company.
“Oh, looks like the water’s flowing eh. There’s even three of them.”
Thanks for the simplistic impression, Tobe.
“It’s the Otowa waterfall.”
When Hayama responded in a careless manner, Yuigahama flipped through her guide book with one hand and began reading.
“Umm, your studies, your love(!), and the longevity of your life will be blessed apparently.”
Everyone chatted in delight while sipping water from the ladle they picked up. Yuigahama, who was ahead of me, was determined to aim for the middle waterfall. She extended out her long ladle and scooped some water from the waterfall. She carried the ladle up to her mouth and gently setting aside the hair caught by her ear, she sipped the water. Her white throat moved in moist gulps.
“Ah, this is amazing. It’s so good…”
After she finished drinking, she breathed a sigh of relief. This famous water was passed down from generations ago. The taste of the water was supported by its long history. Still, it was basically spring water and taking into account the season we’re in right now, the coolness of the water would definitely feel good as it slid down your scratchy throat. When I grabbed the ladle, I reached for the sterilization shelf.
Yuigahama stopped me midway and handed me the ladle that she used.
“No, that’s a bit… uh, something like that…”
Every now and then, she’d show a display of her meticulous planning as a girl and sometimes she’d naturally play dumb. As a result, my judgment would become cloudy. But, it looked like she only really wanted to give me her ladle out of good will. When Yuigahama understood the meaning of her action, her cheeks turned bright red.
Well, that’s how it is.
After I grabbed the sterilized ladle, I scooped up water from the nearest waterfall and drank it in one gulp. It was cold and delicious.
“Y-You didn’t have to make a big deal out of it…”
…It’s a big deal to me. Besides, if I drank from yours, it’s likely I wouldn’t have tasted anything at all.
>Yui was thinking of various things for Tobe and Ebina, that has to be it.
“Why don’t we go over there then?”
What Yuigahama was pointing at was the history themed haunted house. Apparently, it caught her eye at the very beginning. Well, that’s the standard. I suppose she was thinking of various things for Tobe and Ebina.(!) Something along the lines of the suspension bridge effect or so they say.
It was standard for a haunted mansion, but the design was very on point. Yuigahama, who was walking next to me, stood with buckled legs and had her hands placed on my shoulders.(!)
“I-I’m totally not good with this at all…”
As she said that, she looked around and appeared uneasy at the thought of something suddenly popping out.
As calm as I may have been, I was quite freaked out myself. I huddled up reflexively only to come into contact with Yuigahama who was right next to me. What actually happened was that our heads crashed into each other’s and the sound echoed throughout.
We both squatted and rubbed at the area where we bumped into each other.
“Nah, my bad, I was surprised there…”
As I apologized and turned to Yuigahama, the teared up Yuigahama stretched out her hands. She touched my head as if to confirm that it was there and proceeded to massage it.
“It didn’t hurt?”
“Uh, it really was painful…”
On second thought, this was really embarrassing so please stop. I adjusted my head and stood up so I could get away from her hand. Yuigahama stayed in her squatting position.
“Anyway, we should get going. We’ll be left behind.”
As she was about to stand up, I stretched out my hand. It seems that my skill that I used for my little sister Komachi back then automatically activated.
Yuigahama looked at my hand mysteriously. Wait, this was something I’d do for my little sister. After reconsidering, I started moving my hand towards my pockets.
She grabbed my hand. Well, this is what you call kindness, also known as human empathy. An act of a gentleman. At the very least, it was an obvious thing to do as a person. I’m a gentleman so not much I can do. That’s why I couldn’t shake off Yuigahama’s hands.
“Okay, then let’s get going to the goal.”
Yuigahama smiled cheerfully and softly let go of my hand.(!) I had no time to think whether that was a shame(!) as Yuigahama pulled me along by my shoulder.
>Hachiman instinctively extends his hand, realizes the implication, tries retracting his hand. Yui grabs onto his hand.
>Hachiman tries convincing Yui so they can go with a taxi. He says it’s cheaper, that has no effect. He says that couples break up because they don’t have anything to talk about, that has no effect. He says that since it’s a tighter space, there’s more intimacy. This argument convinces Yui.
“Do you like Destiny Land?”
Unlike earlier, this time she adjusted her upper body instead of just her neck to face me. I know plenty of things about Chiba just like any other person. Destiny Land was, of course, included in that. The one thing in my expansive Chiba knowledge that would get fit along with Yuigahama’s interest was definitely things related to Destiny Land. That’s why I went on the offensive with this.
“That place is known for being a date spot, you know.”
“Uh huh, that’s true.”
Yuigahama nodded while mumbling in agreement.
“But now, I have a sad announcement to make.”
She turned her entire body my way as if she was absorbed into the topic. Having confirmed that, I continued on with the announcement.
“Couples who go to Destiny Land on a date break up.”
“Ah, I’ve heard of that before. Jinx or something like that?”
“Indeed. But, well, if you think about it, it’s an obvious outcome.”
In particular, there wasn’t anything supernatural at work. It was simply a problem with human psychology. “When the wait for an attraction gets too long, you can’t help but start to get stressed. Even conversations will start to dry up. Once that happens, you’ll get irritated and the silence will continue to stockpile and the other person will start to get bored. It’s basically the opposite of the suspension bridge effect.”(!)
“Haa, I see, I see~.”
Yuigahama nodded frequently with a sense of admiration. It seems that I succeeded in persuading her. In that case, one last push will seal the deal.
“Doesn’t our situation closely mirror that?”(!)
“You and me, huh? I don’t really think so.”(!)
Yuigahama responded with a puzzled look. No, no, wait, it’s a little bothersome if you don’t react the way I’m expecting.(!)
“That’s not it obviously… I’m talking about Tobe and Ebina here.”
Yuigahama hung her head in embarrassment from her misunderstanding.(!)
“Take a look.”
I waggled my finger and pointed to the front where the two were at. Both Tobe and Ebina looked quite bored. Ebina would talk about random things with Miura and sometimes fidget with their phones. Tobe, on the other hand, was a little farther away from them and was swinging his wooden sword. Wait, he actually bought that?
That was not an atmosphere you could ever say was good and after Yuigahama saw that, she crossed her arms in worry. Well, I decided to add something else for insurance.
“I should add that taxis are closed room spaces. Their intimacy should increase.”(!)
In Conan’s case, someone would probably die. After I said that, Yuigahama was surprised.
“I-I see... I’ll try asking them.”
Yuigahama headed towards the group in front and called over to them with a wave.
“Do you guys want to try the taxi?”
When she started up, everyone had a dubious reaction. Not much we can do about high school students being against taxis. This was likely as a result of students having an ingrained expensive impression of taxis and also because, for students, taxis were not particularly a means of transportation they would think about in the first place. For now, I figured I’d try my hand at persuading them as well. I don’t want to get in the bus full of people after all.
“If we take a small taxi, the cost won’t be that much if the cost is split between four people.”
Hayama with his quick judgment was a big help. If you got the approval of the dependable leader, it was just a matter of time before the goons followed afterwards. Miura and Tobe had no complaints. Ebina nodded in agreement as well and went to grab ahold of Kawasaki. Totsuka looked in agreement as well and came along. We left the line and headed towards the taxi stop. Since there were eight of us, splitting the group into fours was the normal thing to think of. As we walked towards the taxi stop, Hayama and Miura led the line followed by Kawasaki and Totsuka. I would act as a wall to separate the leading four from the remaining three behind me. So when we lined up for the taxis, one group of four would have to consist of me, Yuigahama, Tobe, and Ebina. At this point, the role of being the wall was important. No problem, in ball game tournaments, the one role that, without question, would eventually find its way around to me was defense. There were standards to be met when playing defense.
>It’s not going too well, there’s no progress… Between Ebina and Tobe of course.
When walking in groups, it was a habit of mine to follow along from the back. Before I noticed, Yuigahama, who was supposed to have been walking in the front, had slowed her pace to walk alongside me.
“It’s not going too well, huh?”
She looked a little down as she murmured. This must’ve been about Tobe and Ebina.
“Damn right. It’s already a pain trying to keep myself in check.(!) Like it’d be any easier doing the same for another person.”
Besides, the reason why it wasn’t proceeding so smoothly was mainly because of Yuigahama. It was a truth that couldn’t be sugarcoated. Tobe’s natural disposition was one issue and Ebina not being remotely interested in Tobe at all was another. On top of that, there was one person who was acting in an incomprehensible manner. There was no mistaking that that individual was one of the many obstacles. But, they couldn’t comprehend why that person was acting like that. It’s just that there was no meaning to publicly announcing something you had no confidence in. Doubts and suspicion shouldn’t be voiced, but rather, they should be kept bottled in. This applies especially to bad things. You’ve already lost the game if you blurted out a suspicion that turned out to be true.
Ultimately, if you were just being suspicious, then no one would be at fault at all. I told Yuigahama who was waiting for a follow-up.
“Try not to be too forceful. If it’s impossible, then it’s impossible.”(!)
“But, I want to try my best.”(!)
Yuigahama’s shoulders dropped slightly again and as her steps dwindled, she briefly kicked a falling leaf.
“Just don’t do too much. It’d be bad if Ebina starts hating it too.”
“It’s basically that. Once the actual person feels like it, then it’ll end up being more effective.”(!)
>M-me and Y-Yui aren’t in a r-relationship.
My expectations were turned on its head. I didn’t think future tense would have such a strong implication. As if my face looked incredibly amusing, Miura stared at me.
“Say you, if you’re going out with Yui, then you should understand what the deal is with Ebina, right?”
“T-T-There’s no way we’re going out or anything…”
Being suddenly told information about my own well-being that I didn’t know, I hurriedly retorted in response. Oh gosh, what’s with this girl? What’s she saying out of the blue? I-It’s not l-like I’m going out with that girl or anything at all! As the gross feeling of droplets of sweat trickled down my body, Miura looked at me and mocked me from the depths of her heart with a laugh.
“What exactly are you misunderstanding here? Gross. Like Yui and Hikio could be going out. That’s not the issue, you know? I’m talking about Yui once you actually talk to her. Gross.”
…You didn’t have to add that again to the end of your sentence, did you? She wasn’t referring to the relationship between the opposing sexes but simply the association between acquaintances or friends. But, that was one issue. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what she wanted to tell me.
>This is the perfect place to confess to someone.
When I looked up, I was met with dense and verdant bamboo branches that grew overhead. The leaves that were attached gave rise to the earlier sound. I had absolutely no idea how many bamboo branches were growing but this path that looked like a bamboo tunnel, seemingly continuing on forever, had us walking shoulder by shoulder. Sunlight that had penetrated through the gaps of the numerous bamboo trees exuded a sense of tranquility. With the calming sound of nature, the entirety of the small path was submerged in an atmosphere of relaxation. It was the bamboo forest trail that was often seen in Arashiyama tourist guides and on television. The progression of the trail couldn’t have been simplier and the ongoing bamboo forest looked like it was going to suck us in. Due to the end being nowhere in sight, it felt like gazing into the depths of a labyrinth.
“Wow, this is pretty amazing…”
Yuigahama stopped in her tracks and looked up. The sunlight extended through the small gaps of the bamboo foliage down onto the path and Yuigahama slowly closed her eyes.
“It is. Try looking below you.”
Yukinoshita approached the brushwood fence. When she entered the shadows of the bamboo forest, the sound of rustling bamboo foliage could be heard. She pointed in the area around her feet.
“Right. When it becomes dark, the entire path gets illuminated.”
The verdant bamboo forest and the warm light of the lanterns. Because of that contrast, Arashiyama at night was probably a beautiful sight to behold. This caused me to remember the scenery from traveling magazines that I would occasionally look at. Yuigahama looked like she was under the same impression and merrily frolicked around.
“This is the place! I think this would be a good place! Probably!”(!)
What ever could she be talking about?(!) Not only did she forget to include the subject(!), she even added “probably” at the end too. When I asked, Yuigahama abruptly stopped and hung her head in embarrassment.(!)
“L-Like for being confessed to.”(!)
Why in passive voice…?(!)
Yukinoshita smiled in response to Yuigahama’s funny behavior.
“The atmosphere here is quite wonderful. As far as places go, this place seems like a suitable spot.”
“I-I know right!”
“So that means Tobe should try taking up the challenge here, huh?”
Night time was approaching. If what Yukinoshita said was true, then the entire path should be illuminated by the light of the numerous lanterns extending down the path. A cold, autumn wind blew throughout the bamboo forest.
>Hachiman confesses to Ebina, preserving Hayato’s group.
“But, yeah. I was really surprised. I thought you were serious for a second.”
“Like hell that’d be true.”
“I know right. Ahaha…”(!)
As the irrelevant conversation progressed, we approached the exit of the trail and the sound of Yuigahama’s footsteps stopped.
The words that were suddenly cut off made me stop. When my cuffs were suddenly tugged at, I reflexively turned around.
“But, you know… this kind of stuff, you can’t do that anymore.”(!)
I wanted her to stop laughing like that. It was so painful and heart-breaking that I couldn’t bear to look anymore. I averted my gaze quietly. That look of pity. That anger that was directed at me. And that kind of smile. I withstood it all.
“That was the most effective method. That’s all it was.”
Those were the only words that could come out of my mouth. It was possible for me to explain myself logically. I even had the confidence I could sugarcoat my words in all kinds of ways to justify my actions. Even so, those words at the bottom of my stomach continued to degenerate more and more.
“It’s not about being effective or anything…”
Although she was facing downwards, I could still hear her voice clearly.
“There were people who wanted the problem resolved. Obviously, there were also people who wanted everything to stay the same, but satisfying everyone was impossible. That meant compromise was the only option.”
What I said made me completely aware of myself. Aah, this was sophistry. It was nothing more than an excuse for the responsibility of my actions to someone that didn’t exist; a false pretense. It was the one thing that I hated the most in this world. That was deception. There was no way Yuigahama would realize this. I could hear a sound similar to a sobbing voice.
“Tobecchi didn’t get turned down and can hang out with Hayato and the other guys just like usual. He won’t have to be worried about Hina too… Starting tomorrow, everything will be the same as always. They might even be okay with not changing.”
Her trembling voice wouldn’t allow me to object. Her shivering fingers wouldn’t allow me to make a move. Unable to face her directly, the only thing I could do was stand still in silence.
“But, but you know…”
The reserved grip she had on my cuff was loosened. But, she quickly grabbed my cuff once again, but this time with a lot more strength.
“You need to think more of how others feel…”(!)
What followed her words was the sound of her light breathing.
“…Why do you understand everything but that?”
I get it. That is, if something changed, there was no going back. Whatever kind of form or shape that may have turned into, it was impossible to take back what was done. I can guarantee that. But, my blazer that Yuigahama held on to was awfully heavy. Even though she was just squeezing it with a trivial amount of strength, my shoulders felt awfully heavy. It felt like I would crumble if I were to loosen up.
“That kind of stuff, I don’t like it.”
She murmured with a frail, infant-like voice and gently let go of her grip on my cuff. From there, she took one step, two steps, and so on in taking her distance. Following her was impossible. For me. All I did was gaze up at the sky. The bluish-white light that illuminated the bamboo forest behind me looked like it was frozen in time. The moon couldn’t be seen any longer.
>Volume 8, Hachiman and Yukino are on bad terms. Hachiman wants to solve Iroha’s problem with self-sacrifice, Yukino wants to stop him from doing that. She decides to try becoming SCP herself. Yui thinks that this will make the Service Club fall apart and with that the place where she can be close to Hachiman (and Yukino). Yui’s main concern is losing the Service Club. If Yukino goes, then so does the Service Club. Hachiman and Yui are both convinced that the three of them can only remain close to one another as long as the Service Club exists. That is how meaningful Hachiman and Yui see their current relationship as. The Service Club is the place where Yui can interact freely with Hachiman, without having to worry about what others have to say. Yui expresses to Hachiman how much the club means to her. She loves “the Service Club”, meaning she loves having a place where she can hang out and grow closer to Hachiman.
“If Yukinon becomes the student council president, she’ll probably focus on her duties. Then she’ll become a student council president that will be better than everyone else and for the school too… But, we’ll probably lose the club(!), won’t we?”
“That’s not necessarily true.”
I had no intentions of lying. The Service Club would still exist.(!) However, Yuigahama quietly shook her head.(!) Her hair wasn’t long at all yet the evening sun reflected her swaying hair.
“We really will lose it.(!) It’s just like during the culture festival and the sports festival. The way Yukinon just focuses on a single thing, even Hikki knows this, right?”
I knew that very well. Whenever a request concerning a big event came up, we undoubtedly would give our full attention to it. There was a limit to Yukinoshita’s capacity. Of course, this capacity was far greater than the average person, but there was a limit. The job called the student council president had duties all year round and putting that into consideration, it would be difficult to continue the current Service Club’s activities.
As I was in the middle of thinking, Yuigahama took a step forward ahead of me.
“You see, the thing is.”(!)
The hems of Yuigahama’s skirt fluttered as she quickly spun around. She joined her hands together behind her and suddenly stopped. She then gazed at me directly.(!)
“…I like this club.”(!)
“That’s why I wanted to protect it.” Those few words got across to me.
“…I really like it.”(!)
“Bye bye, Hikki.”
After she said that, Yuigahama slightly waved her hands. As I stood there under the setting sun seeing the smiling Yuigahama off at a place where my hands couldn’t reach, the area where she touched tightened in pain.(!) When I lightly raised my hand, I pushed my bike and returned to the original street. After making it on to the big street, I got on my bike. As I pedaled, I began to think in earnest. Yuigahama would become the student council president in order to protect the Service Club where she belonged.(!) Possibly, if someone was going to win against Yukinoshita, then it could be Yuigahama. Yuigahama had the presence of being in the top caste of the school and she also had other connections which surpassed Yukinoshita. She held the possibility that could split the favorable votes that Hayama could muster. Even if Hayama’s support made it around, how Miura and the others acted would be hard to predict. Above all else, Yuigahama was a wonderful girl. That’s why there wouldn’t be anything strange should Yuigahama become the student council president. Yukinoshita Yukino and Yuigahama Yui. It was likely that the outcome of the election would be between these two. Regardless of who loses, Isshiki Iroha would be able to save face.(!) There was nothing better than this as far as methods were concerned. The accepted request from Isshiki would be settled. But that was just the result. But most likely, the club would be gone.(!) Despite what Yuigahama had said, she would probably fulfill her duties properly as the student council president. At first, she’d be able to smooth it over, but even so, she would eventually reach her limit. Just from her looks alone, she was a diligent person and someone who looked out for others. There was no doubt she’d become the ideal student council president that the other members yearned for. And then, she’d be unable to betray them. As a result, she would properly tackle her duties as the student council president. At that point, it would be difficult for her to show her face at the club.(!) That’s why the club would be gone.(!) Only the name of the club and the room itself would remain and it would turn into something completely different. That was something I had realized before. It wasn’t just me, but also those two as well.(!) If it was a decision consented upon by both Yukinoshita and Yuigahama, then I didn’t mind. My personal sentiment wasn’t something good enough that could influence a person’s decision after all.
It’s just that.
It’s just that. But even so.
It was painful to force a role onto someone.(!) In trying to protect what was dear to you, you’d end up losing what you wanted to achieve.(!) Seeing someone like her going through that was something very painful. Without something becoming the victim, the adolescent drama wouldn’t hold. Even though I knew that. I wasn’t a victim so things like pity and compassion weren’t necessary.(!) Even though I was the one who arrogantly said that. What a cruel contradiction.(!) The sky was a mixture of the evening twilight and darkness of night while the cold wind pricked my fingertips. Unknowingly, my feet that pedaled the bike had stopped.
>Yui thanks Hachiman for saving the Service Club for her even if he had to lie, deceive and use underhanded methods. Yui is fine with a lie, as long as the three of them stay together, Yui becomes Hachiman’s girlfriend and Yukino stays her best friend.
“You protected my important place for me.”
Those words were extremely gentle that I ended up closing my eyes. The slight and faint warmth that was transmitted to me caused me to strain my ears.
After Yuigahama let out a small sigh, she slowly continued her words.
“You see… I really did understand. That I probably wouldn’t win against Yukinon and even if I did win, I wouldn’t be able show up to the club anymore.”(!)
She spoke awkwardly without the slightest hint of nonsense. That’s why I silently listened.
“That’s why,” Yuigahama continued.
“It’s all thanks to Hikki.”(!)
Suddenly, Yuigahama spoke up.
“Hikki did his best!”
“What’s with you so suddenly?”
She was sitting right next to me, yet her voice was loud. I reflexively turned to face Yuigahama and after she nodded, she exclaimed again in a loud voice.
“Hikki did his best!”(!)
“Stop it. I didn’t really do anything.”
Really, the only things I did were type away on Twitter and talk with Isshiki. I didn’t do anything meaningful of the sort. In fact, I could only think of what I did as hindering the productivity of others.
That feeling of reflection may have been heard somewhat in my voice. Yuigahama weakly nodded and smiled faintly.
“…I guess so. You didn’t do anything that could be seen.”(!)
I nodded only my head. However, Yuigahama shook her head in response to that.
“But if you could see it, then I think there’d be a lot of unlikeable things that were done. I’m sure even if you wanted to change it, Hikki’s methods are things you can’t change.”(!)
It was as if she understood the things that I did. Or could it be that she knew the truth behind those accounts?(!) Whatever the case was, it wasn’t a praiseworthy method. In fact, it was just that much worse given how it wasn’t exposed. But if no one could see it or knew about it, then there was no problem.
“If you couldn’t see it, then you wouldn’t really know what it is that I did.”
That’s why let’s put this incident to rest. It was better to dig its grave now. That was what I wanted to say.
However, Yuigahama didn’t avert her eyes as she continued her words.
“But even if you couldn’t see it and criticize it, wouldn’t Hikki think about it?”
“…The feelings of guilt won’t go away.”(!)
Yuigahama interrupted me halfway through and spoke. Yeah, that was true. It really wouldn’t disappear. Undoubtedly, there was always something I had mistaken and I would continue to live on with that feeling of anxiety. That’s why regardless of what I did, the feelings of guilt would find its way back.
“I… couldn’t do anything, but… Even so, I start to think if this really was good enough. That’s why I think Hikki would think about it even more.”(!)
Yuigahama gently said. She looked slightly sad as she smiled. But even so, she would be considerate of me.
That’s why that kindness was extremely painful. Even though I thought I didn’t want there to be any pain. Even something as simple as that wouldn’t come to pass.
“…We weren’t wrong about this, right?”
That question she asked was something I couldn’t answer. Even though I already knew how to.
As I sat there saying nothing, Yuigahama continued with a heartfelt voice.
“With this, we’ll be able to go back to how we normally are, right?”(!)
“…I don’t know.”