Escape Galge Chapter 7.7

The cla.s.sroom which is noisy during break time, changes to a different type of commotion when the door opens.  The one who opens the door is this school’s number one ikemen, the subject of the girls’ adoration and the enemy of the dudes, the second-year Kagurazaka Aoi.  The unpleasant commotion that enters my ears stems from the shrill voices of the girls.

“… Sigh. It looks like Kii-chan and Kagurazaka-senpai reconciled.” “It sure was a short dream.” “Shuddap.”

 At the end of my gaze lays a blue-eyed beauty whose golden hair is softly curled.  My heart hurts as I look at the adorable figure toddling off when Kagurazaka-senpai beckons her.

 The ambiance is different only around her.  Even when encircled, she gives off a radiance that won’t be buried.  The other girls may beat me up and say『I don’t want to be told that by you』if I tell them this but… her surroundings are filled with background characters.  Without a doubt, she is the heroine.  As expected, a heroine is one attached to a hero.

“You’re a background character after all. A background character won’t ‘goal in’ with a heroine. Occurrences like『I, the background character, together with she, the heroine!?』is just the protagonist donning the mask of a background character. But you are merely a background character. A honest-to-goodness background character. That’s why the outcome is a given.” “You are also a mere gla.s.ses background character right!”

 The one who boorishly pulls my leg when I’m feeling sentimental is my long-time good friend.  This guy is the same type of human as me.  We are existences with transparent atmospheres, who aren’t perceived even when we enter people’s fields of vision.

“Oi oi, I ask that you don’t lump me, a gla.s.ses background character, together with you, a mere unlabelled background character.” “They’re the same, right.”

 I don’t know what his speech and actions are acclaiming about, but each and everyone of them are so shameless that it’s provoking.

“What are you saying. You can express my entire ident.i.ty just by adding the pillow word『gla.s.ses』. You do not know who it’s referring to if you hear『background character』, but if you say『gla.s.ses background character』, in this cla.s.s, you know it’s referring to me. This is the distinct difference.” “‘Gla.s.ses’ isn’t a pillow word and besides, is the gla.s.ses your entire existence! Then, will your ident.i.ty disappear if everyone in cla.s.s wears gla.s.ses?” “Hahha! There’s no way a cla.s.s like that exists, right. If there is, it’s something I’d like to pay homage to!” “Sure enough, talking to you is irritating.”

 I don’t want anymore unnecessary stress.  Looking away from my bespectacled friend of whose everything is pitiful, I collapse on the table.

“Itou-kun.”

Someone calls my name so I turn my head towards the side.  I can see a skirt from my collapsed view.  After directing only my gaze, I find that it’s my cla.s.smate Kanagi-san, the girl who serves as our cla.s.s representative.  Wearing a pair of silver-rimmed gla.s.ses, she exudes a seemingly intellectual aura.  That’s the case in actuality; she has the highest grades in cla.s.s.   Appearance-wise, she wears gla.s.ses, and with her long black hair split into two and tied into braids, she gives an impression of being plain.

“Teacher pa.s.sed this to me.”

 Hastily lifting my upper body, I receive a printout as I give my thanks.  Looks like there’s an error in the printout I submitted; a sticky note is stuck at the part that requires correction.  As I fold the printout with the intention of correcting it later, a scene of the protagonist and heroine going somewhere together enters a corner of my vision.

“Sigh, Kii-chan…”

G.o.d-sama is cruel.  Just as you think you’re being shown a dream, it changes into despair in the blink of an eye.  To think it’s become the worst scenario where Kagurazaka Aoi, who had been so broadly acquainted with girls, narrows down to only Kii…  There’s no way a background character can beat an insistent protagonist.

“As expected, Itou-kun, do you like cute girls like Torida-san?” “… She takes no notice of me though.”

 It appears that the cry in my heart reached Kanagi-san.  Even if my true motive gushes out, I don’t feel embarra.s.sed at all.  I can only laugh dryly.

“But, you two chatted often, right?” “It was only for a while though.”

 The day I saved her when she was running from Aoi.  On the spur, I tried to confess to her but having been disregarded, it wasn’t brought to a conclusion.  Although she apologised the next day, we hadn’t properly spoken ever since.  It was only to the extent of exchanging greetings.  The only salvation is that she still calls me『Ei-kun』.  The other guys don’t even get called by their first names by her so they’re considerably jealous of me.  It’s my sole gratification.  Nonetheless… in the end, that’s it.  There ain’t no chance to be something like a『special existence』to her.

“Besides, it’s like she doesn’t suit a person like me, who doesn’t have any redeeming qualities.”

 Depressing.  Dear G.o.d, please teach me a way to evolve from a background character into a protagonist.  It doesn’t have to be『everyone’s protagonist』, I won’t ask for such extravagance.  As long as I can become the protagonist to a single girl, that’s fine.

“There’s no such thing!”

 Kanagi-san suddenly speaks in a loud voice, causing my good friend and I, the two of us, to be astonished.  I wonder what’s up.  When our eyes meet, she averts her gaze awkwardly.

“I think that Itou-kun also has a lot of good points. Even before, you did the cleaning in place of me who couldn’t turn it down.”

When I stare fixedly at her, she hesitatingly tells me the reason for her words just now.

『Before』?  Nothing comes to mind straightaway, so I dig through my memories.  Ahh…『cleaning』she says? There was something like that.

 I think it was… the day Kanagi-san was on cleaning duty.  Just at the moment I tidied up my desk and stood up to go home, I saw that there was some dissonance in front of the storage for cleaning tools.  As I didn’t have the intention to get involved in the dispute, I p.r.i.c.ked up my ears with the feeling of a curious onlooker as I pa.s.sed by, and was able to hear their conversation.

『Hey, please! We want to leave early today!』 『Still, as expected, doing it alone is…』

 It was a conversation in front of the storage for cleaning tools so I was able to deduce quickly.  That the other three girls who were on cleaning duty pushed their job onto Kanagi-san and planned to go off enjoying themselves.

『Isn’t that going overboard?』

 Even though I didn’t intend to get involved, I unconsciously stopped walking and spoke.  It’s something that will be completed quickly if four people do it, but it’s too much to leave it to one person when you go off and have fun.

『Hah?』

 However, bathed in the cold gazes of the three girls, I regretted speaking out.  Surrounded by the three in an instant, they grumbled that I shouldn’t act cool… and I was quickly defeated.  There was no way I could put up a fight in face of the intimidating mouths of the girls.

“All three left to enjoy themselves in the end though.” “Your consistency in being disappointed, brilliant.” “Shuddap.”

 Your ability to irritate people is also unbeatable.  When I protest with my eyes, he actually returns a smile that further stirs up irritation.  Imma punch you anytime now y’know, your gla.s.ses is gonna break, y’know.

“But you helped out after that, didn’t you?” “That’s… well.”

 I wasn’t much help, so thinking to at least lend a hand, I did the cleaning with her.  That is to say, that was the only thing I could do.  … I’m, such a disappointment.

“I was extremely happy. Itou-kun is kind, and guys like that are… wonderful, I think.”

 Leaving those words, Kanagi-san returns to her own seat.  I silently watch over that figure.  W-wonderful?

 Looking at her side profile as she sits while facing downwards, the ear that can be seen from the gap between her tied hair is red.  The moment I realise that, I also realise that my own ears are hot.

“… Despite being an unlabelled background character, how impudent.” “Sh-shuddapー”

 I steal another glance at Kanagi-san’s side profile.  Her skin is fair and clear.  If those silver-rimmed gla.s.ses are taken off, contact lenses are worn and her hair unravelled, she seems like she’ll be extremely cute.  Huh, was Kanagi-san such a cute person…?

 By the time I realise, I don’t feel anything now even though I was so depressed before.  I didn’t even notice that Kii-chan had returned to the cla.s.sroom.  For me to not notice the heroine, have I become weird?

『Heroine』, huh.  I wonder what’s a Heroine.  An attractive and good-looking girl?  A girl who takes actions that can become anecdotes and lives an enlivening daily life?

 I look at Kanagi-san again.

 I can’t say for sure but… I feel like I’ve comprehend and gotten hold of something.

“Sure enough, I’m a protagonist too. And you aren’t just a gla.s.ses background character.” “What, to think that you were suddenly enlightened. Did you think you became a sage just because you were praised a little? Don’t get carried away. Sheesh, this is why background characters are…” “Yes yes.”

 Dear G.o.d, let me take back my wish『I want to be a protagonist』just now.  It appears that it’s unnecessary.  The daily life of the background-character-c.u.m-protagonist me, is enlivening and amusing in my own way.

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