Otome Game Rokkushuume 69
Chapter 69: Guilty Feeling
While walking along the dark path I stared absentmindedly at the tip of the glowing wand. Since the route back is from another way we won’t encounter anyone.
I was aware since I saw the map beforehand but it really was far. It seems the students organizing this really went full out.
「Etto, take a left ahead……」
The map depicts the path splitting into two a short distance ahead. After taking the left path it seems there will be a clearing with the flower field.
「It appears we’re about half-way there」
「Yes, that’s right……」
His face was displaying a smile as usual, but it was clear that his smile was lessening and his voice decreasing. His pace also felt slow.
At first I thought that he was trying to match my pace, but apparently it seems that wasn’t the case. He was walking next to me a little while ago but now it felt like he was merely following me from behind.
He’s easier to read than I thought.
I thought he was suppose to be good at concealing his feelings, but then again he still has four or five years left to mature.
If he didn’t like this that much he should’ve just made up a reasonable sounding excuse to decline, it would appear he was still rather naive in regards to that.
「……Are you alright?」
「You don’t look too well, so I was wondering if you were perhaps feeling sick」
「No, I’m fine, I was just surprised that the atmosphere was more than I expected」
Sashia then gave a laugh in his usual manner and his usual demeanor returned. If I also didn’t know anything, that smile would’ve convinced me that I was just needlessly worrying.
But I do know about him.
Although it was just based on plain information, it’s still enough to the point where I could imagine what he was feeling right now.
「……I see, if you do feel sick we can turn back, so please do tell me immediately」
There is a feeling of guilt for not saying anything even though I knew about it. But then again it’s not something that I as a classmate should be talking about. It would end right there if he were to ask how I know this information, so it’s essentially just sealing my own fate.
To be suspicious, that’s all it takes to bring down a person like me, since the rate of my reputation can fluctuate so drastically it’s rather painful.
In the end, I can only finish this test of courage as quickly as possible without raising suspicion.
……But if it really is that hard on him, let’s just say that I am scared instead and retire.
「Ah, left here」
The road divided beautifully into a Y-shape just like on the map, both paths were dark and the destination ahead couldn’t be seen.
Although it does feel a bit creepy, the flower field should be directly up ahead as long as the scale on the map wasn’t wrong. In that case the time spent dawdling around here is wasteful.
It seems that a sigh and unusually quiet voice leaked out unconsciously. The voice that he didn’t intend for others to hear is the complete opposite of his usual cheery self.
But whether the other half would feel long or short, either way this really was too forced.
Feeling that I should end this as soon as possible while Sashia could still stand, I quickly moved ahead towards the left as instructed by the map.
× × × ×
The organizers for this event were mainly Sashia and his group, looking at the maps it could also easily be seen that they were also handmade by Sashia’s group. They definitely would’ve checked them beforehand and perhaps the teacher even also confirmed them, but I was still prepared for some degrees of inaccuracies.
I thought that the distance seemed a bit farther from the entrance, but it was still within expected range. It was likely an error of about five minutes, but I still didn’t feel the slightest bit of uneasiness.
I wonder at what point that I started to feel that something was off…
Was it when I started to notice that there weren’t any signs of flowers anywhere? When the path itself kept getting darker and narrower? When it went beyond the expected time? My doubts began to gradually increase and became full uneasiness when I saw what lied in front of me.
「It’s here, right?」
Since my sense of time was ambiguous, I couldn’t tell how long we walked.
I had followed the route on the map, continued walking, and found the same large trees as on the map.
The two trees were twisted together like a spiral making it appear as if it were a single tree, and gave off the impression of everlasting that wouldn’t be lost even if it were made into a painting, it looked exactly as a cloth would while being wrung.
These were one of the trees used as a landmark on the map, but more importantly the map didn’t indicate anything beyond this point. There wasn’t much on the map to begin with, but it was originally suppose to be a simple straight route so that wasn’t strange.
In other words, this is the clearing.
We’re suppose to pick the flowers here, then return back and the test of courage would then be over.
「……But there are no flowers?」