Author: Inaida Sou
Translator: Kei of ChocoCats
○ 327 DAYS AGO
The classmates were gathered at school for a test of courage. When they were waiting for the class representative in the classroom, the broadcast suddenly started, a machine voice was heard saying “Good morning, it’s hell time”, and that’s the beginning of the bloody death game.
At this rate, that tragedy will come in the summer a year later. I have to stop it. That’s why, to be honest, I don’t want to work as a committee member anymore, but it seems that I can’t escape.
“Ah, what a coincidence. Kurobe-san, if you’re free, shall we talk about the reading session?”
During the break, Nojima-sensei came to me when I was preparing a surprise in my brother’s classroom. My brother’s class was in the science room, so I thought it was an opportunity because there is no one in the classroom right now.
“I’m sorry. I have something to do…”
When I said so, Nojima-sensei made an unpleasant face. She’s being too blatant; I wish she stops. But I don’t have time here, I would like to refrain from overtime school council’s activities.
The hurdles to providing surprises for my brother have increased as the council’s activities take most of my time after school.
So, in the morning, I went to school with a cushion on my shoes that squeaks whenever I walk and strangely tied my shoelaces. I also keep providing surprises at school by inserting a continued grand adventure story into my brother’s textbook. At first glance, it looks like terrible scribbles on my brother’s textbook, but in fact, it’s just a transparent film placed on the paper to protect the textbook.
And today I prepared a foldable surprise card. When my brother opens it, he will see the trees and mountains that appear in the story that he is doing in class. It sounds simple, but it must be surprising to see the same scenery as the story as he reads pops out.
However, Nojima-sensei took my masterpiece card and said, “what’s this?!”
“Did Kurobe-san make this?”
“It’s amazing. If you’re this good, I’m sure you can make something great for the reading session!”
I have no intention of showing this quality in the reading session. There is a difference between the lives of thirty-eight people who will become my brother’s classmates in the future and the enthusiasm directed at school events.
“But why is Kurobe-san here? This is the third-grade class, right?”
“…I was going to surprise my brother…”
“Oh my, you are already a junior high school student, you shouldn’t do such a childish thing. Ah, then, can you lend that card to me?”
What does she mean about ‘then’? It’s not even relevant. But Nojima-sensei keep pestering me while getting closer.
“After all, you can always give it to your brother any other time, right? I want to use this as a reference for the reading session! I’m sure everyone in the kindergarten will be happy.”
“Please, please, please~?”
Nojima-sensei kept asking me many times. Even though she is already a female college student, she acts like a kindergarten student. However, there seems to be no sign of giving back my card and her pressure is strong. When I nodded reluctantly, Nojima-sensei said,
“Oh, it feels like I’m a thief. I don’t want Kurobe-san to look sad!” (But you act like a thief…)
I was very disgusted by sensei’s acting voice. How did Kurobe Mai in the manga interact with Nojima-sensei? No, Kurobe Mai doesn’t meet Nojima-sensei here because she wouldn’t insert a surprise card into her brother’s classroom in the first place. She’s a cool girl so she’s likely to leave while saying nothing.
“Uh… Then, here.”
When I gave up, sensei shouted, “Yeay!”. I feel so weak that I left my brother’s classroom immediately.
“Mai-chan? What happened? Did the surprise fail…?”
I return to my classroom and sit at Yukari-chan’s desk in the front row with a bang, which made Yukari-chan shake her body in surprise. I let out a shriek and she immediately stops shaking.
“The card was taken by Nojima-sensei.”
“Was it something you shouldn’t bring to school?”
“No. She said she wants to use it as a reference for the reading session… I don’t feel like I can stand with that teacher anymore…”
“I told you so in the morning…”
Yukari-chan is always a little slow, but it’s not particularly frustrating. Maybe it’s because she is not arrogant. She is just too kind to the extent that she also slows to act.
But even Yukari-chan seems to be fed up with Nojima-sensei’s antics.
If you spend a day with Nojima-sensei in a room together, even a kind person can become Kurobe Makoto. (what a great comparison lol)
“I also hate her. I thought I was the only one who dislike her.”
A voice comes from above. Iwai, the owner of the voice, was standing right behind me. When I raised my face to see, my head hit his chin and he screamed, “Ow, oi!”
“I’m sorry Iwai… Did I hit your teeth?”
“You should worry about me, not just my teeth… Ouch…”
It seems to have hurt a lot because Iwai is still holding his chin. The three of us used to attend the same elementary school together and were in the same class until last year. But, in second grade, Iwai was separated to class next to mine and Yukari-chan. That’s why it’s not surprising if he’s in my class now. When we were waiting for him to talk, Iwai glanced at me and stood beside me.
“That intern teacher, you see… It seems like she will be in this school for 2 months.”
Yukari-chan was shocked again by my loud voice. While feeling sorry, I patted her back and ask Iwai.
“Wa-was last year’s intern teacher also only stay for 2 months…?”
“Yes, but because the teacher is still a college student, there are times he’s absent. But to sum up, he only stays for 2 months.” (Iwai)
“Come to think of it, it was around 3 months for the intern teacher that came to Yukari’s brother’s class. It seems if the teacher get enough credit, there are days when they don’t have to go to college… Brother liked that person, so Yukari think it’s probably right…” (Yukari)
Yukari-chan has an older brother who is a high school student. He wants to be a member of a musical band, so he doesn’t want to take over the temple. He always wears a strange shirt with the text “Yes Life!”. He’s quite famous in the street and always fights with his father loudly.
And since he graduated from this junior high school, his information must be true.
Even so, will Nojima-sensei be in this school for 2 months? She didn’t appear in the flashback scene of the manga, but I think she is a good target for my brother to kill. It seems like there are plans to kill that teacher under stress before seeing the cat die.
The bell rang when I was deep in thought. Although I’m worried, I leave Yukari-chan’s desk and went back to my seat.
In the evening, I returned home with my brother as usual without a student council activity. As soon as I washed my hands, I went straight to the fridge. The heat outside is still over 30oC, so with a round trip between home and school, I might dry out and die.
My brother nodded when I asked if he would drink barley tea. I took two glasses off the shelf while thinking it would be surprising if I gave him soy sauce diluted in water. But I think it will affect his eating habits in the future, so I stopped myself.
“Oh, both of you are early today.”
My mother came into the living room just after I poured barley tea for two people. She has an empty glass in her hand. She approached me and smiled while saying “thank you” when I poured her barley tea.
“By the way, I have something to ask, Mom.”
My brother asks my mother. What on earth would my brother ask? If he asked to buy a saw, I’d like to prevent it as much as possible.
“What is it? Something you don’t understand in your study?”
“Actually… I want to borrow a camera. The one that can be connected to a computer.”
“Camera? Why? Is a smartphone not enough?”
“I want to see each classmate’s face when playing games in class. Also, it seems that it will take a lot of time for the student council’s work, and I can’t stay late because the murderer hasn’t been caught yet. With that, we can still hold the meeting.” (T/N: Tbh, it doesn’t make any sense, but I assume the camera can be used as a webcam too)
“Okay then… But do you know how to operate it?”
“I learned it at school so, it’s okay. It’s rechargeable, isn’t it?”
My mom and brother left the living room. Don’t tell me, he will use my mom’s spare camera for the next year’s death game …? I thought so, but the high school which he will attend, the venue for the death game, is an elite school that even the windows are unbreakable tempered glass, and the door locks are all managed online instead of keys. There will be not much to do with a single camera. I think it’s different from my recollection about the equipment that will be purchased two weeks before the death game was held.
However, when I think about it again, during the death game, Kurobe-kun had considerable skills such as jamming radio waves so that no one could not use their smartphones and hacking school security locks.
When I read the manga, I thought it was because he’s the last boss. But now I think about it, he must be influenced by my mom. My mom is an engineer who works for an internet security company. Dad is an executive director for a food factory, but his hobby is doing crafts and he has dexterous hands. The highly lethal trap shown in the manga is surely inherited from dad.
When it comes to that, is it better to not give too much technology, right…? No, my brother is quick-witted after all. We can’t stay together all the time, and I think it’s better to put more effort into providing surprises.
I finished my drink and went upstairs to do my best.
About 50% of my life is about providing my brother with surprises. Even though I pretended to dive into the pond spontaneously, actually I practised diving every night in bed except for the first time I jumped. For the dominoes, I have to line up dominoes, not to mention dig holes, and even building a pyramid with playing cards to fill the room requires a lot of preparation.
However, I showed it to my brother for a short moment. It’s just in the blink of an eye, but I’m spending a lot of time on that small moment. Right now, I’m making giant animals out of cardboard, but even though I’ve been working on it since after dinner, I still haven’t finished it.
When I looked at the clock, the date had changed. My parents would get angry if I kept the lights on in the room this late, so I turned off the lights in a hurry.
I turn on the flashlight, being careful not to let light leak through the gaps in the door. The head of the giraffe that I had made earlier emerged in the faint lighting. I haven’t made the body yet, so it looks like a dinosaur in fantasy. As I silently glued it, I heard a slight noise from my brother’s room next to my room.
I hold my breath for an unknown reason, as I feel something has passed in front of my room.
After a while, the sound of the door lock with a click was heard from the first floor. Looking down from the window, my brother was just about to leave the house and head somewhere.
Somehow, I have a bad feeling.
He won’t be stabbed by a random killer, right? It wasn’t written in the manga. But it’s dangerous to go out because there is a murder nearby. And even if it’s just probability, I’m still worried if he’s going to kill small animals.
My heart is beating fast unpleasantly. I should be breathing properly, but I feel uncomfortable while inhaling warm breaths.
I stared nervously at the gate in front of the front door, and after a while, my brother came back with a white plastic bag. I was relieved, but now I’m worried about what my brother might have killed.
I stepped away from the window for now and tried to stay still. However, the door opens with an unpleasant noise.
“You are still awake, Mai.”
My brother, who opened the door, enters my room with a plastic bag in his hand. His face, which emerges from the flashlight, looks calm and innocent, but it feels even more frightening.
“I have something good.”
I don’t want to know the contents of a plastic bag that makes a small noise. But my brother smiled and thrust his hand into the bag. He pulled out something and pushed it on my face.
I feel something cold on my cheeks. It was wet with drops of water. Fortunately, it doesn’t smell like iron, and it’s much more inorganic and harder than meat.
If it’s dry ice, I’m sure my cheeks are numb by now. But it has a smooth feeling peculiar to plastic bags, and this is probably the stick ice cream I always eat.
“I couldn’t sleep, so I bought it. Let’s eat together.”
My brother also took his share out of the plastic bag. He carefully opened the seal and licked it.
“It’s a secret from mom and dad.”
“Ah, thank you… But was that fine?”
“Isn’t there something like a random killer?”
“Ahaha, Mai is always worried about that huh. Don’t worry, the fingerprints are found everywhere, I saw in the news, that the culprit will be caught in no time.”
At this rate, my brother will surely kill his classmates. On the other hand, he will die from a kitchen knife. I nibble the ice cream while feeling sullen thinking about that.
“Yes. I bought the nicest one after all.”
My brother often got extra pocket money from relatives for his good grades, so he carries more money than I. Also, because he’s only interested in killing things, he never uses his pocket money for games or toys as a normal teenager does. In short, he’s rich.
And in the future, with the money he saved, my brother will buy a crossbow, a modified rifle gun, prepare a kitchen knife, and hold a death game.
I ate my ice cream with my brother in the dark, somehow feeling complicated.
T/N: It’s long and I know it’s not an excuse for being late… I’m struggling to adjust my own schedule as my full-time work has always changed schedules recently. more excuses, yeah, I’m sorry. I will try to double post when I have more free time. Anyway, I’m really having fun translating this so, once again, I will not drop this novel. It just… maybe I will post late if I’m busy with my IRL.
For next week, it will be a double chapter.
Stay tuned and see you next week!