Published at 23rd of September 2018 08:50:47 PM

Chapter 3.1

Cross Road: In Their Cases - Chapter 3 Part 1

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Summer - Miho - July [Part 1 of 6]

The final summer of my high school life was different from the summers up until then .


It's hot . So bloody hot .


Summers have always been hot, of course, but this year's heat has been phenomenal .


Come summer, city boys and girls would think of the sea . But since us islanders live with the sea regardless of season, we'd lost all interest in swimming in the sea by the time we became high school students . These days, us country girls are interested in . . . Are interested in . . . ?


[To be interested in A] = [A-ni-kyoumi-ga-aru] . The kanji compound is in passive voice, so a literary translation would be [A-ni-kyoumi-wo-motasareru] . However, active voice is more appropriate for Japanese translations . Other examples of passive sentences translated to active include [To be satisfied with A] and . . .




"Miho, you listening!?"




My vocabulary notebook was pulled away, tipping over on my table .


My field of vision was cleared of the notebook pages of often-on-exams kanji compounds . What came in their place was the classroom, bathed in the spiritless rays of the evening sun . In reflex, I looked at the clock . The time was 15:30 .


"Er . . . What's up, Chihiro?"


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"Oh c'mon, don't 'what's up' me . Didn't I already tell you to stop reading notes way into afterschool?"


Looks like she had already called out to me many times . Chihiro, eyes further narrowed on her already cat-like face, was gnawing at the straw of her juice carton .


"Anyway, which one, Miho? MION or MEIYUU?"


What are those two choices even for? Not at all getting what this talk is about, I gave Mayu-chan a questioning look, but . . .


"MION's better, I say . We already went to MEIYUU last week . Oh, wait, since Miho-chan didn't go with us last time, I guess MEIYUU is a-ok as well . Your call, Miho-chan . "


In the end, Mayu-chan presented me with those two choices as well . Having to choose which is more preferable of the two is a bit . . .


"Prefer A to B . . .  B-yori-A-no-hou-ga-ii . . . "


"What're you talking about?"




I was promptly poked in the cheek with a straw .


"Jeez, fine . . . We'll just go with MION, yeah? Aw~right, I'm gonna go play all I can today~~!"


"What-- Whoa, hold on a sec!"

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I interrupted those two before they could pump up their fists celebration .


"What'd you mean, play? You know we gotta study today, right?"


"Huh? What now, Miho? You not going today, too? Being pretty antisocial lately, y'know . Like, you said the same thing and ditched us when we were going to MEIYUU last week . "


Pulling her straw back, Chihiro then proceeded to poke me again with the pointed end .


"Of course I'm saying this . We've got a nation-wide mock exams tomorrow . "


"Who cares? It's just a mock . Not like it's counted in our grades or anything . "


"What're you saying? Mock or no, an exam is an exam . You gotta take it seriously . "


"Mwaahh-- Shaddup! Just when I thought we're done with the planning, damn Serious Specs . . . Ugh . Well, let's just go by ourselves, Mayu . "


"Mm-hmm . But leaving Miho-chan behind again is a bit . . . "


But Mayu-chan did not play along . She knitted her brows and looked at me right in the face, suggesting difficulty in her decision,


"I have an idea . How about somewhere in between? We could stay here and hold a study group for today . "


She said, putting her hands together with a pomf .


"Aha, that sounds fun . Nice one, Mayu-chan!"


I clapped my hands as well .


"That ain't fun at all! And how'd our plan to go hang out end up becoming a group study, anyway!?"


"Well, it is somewhere between MION and MEIYUU, right?"


"That ain't fun at all!"


For some reason, Chihiro was losing it in response to Mayu-chan's perfect proposal .


"C'mon, it's not that bad, Chihiro-chan . Teaching each other makes studying more fun . And, you know, we won't have to leave Miho-chan behind again . "


. . . Whoaaa~ So kind~~ Shot straight through my heart, this one . Dayum, Mayu-chan . So cute . So gentle . Luv ya bunches, mah girl . Yup, study group it is . There can't possibly be anything else .


"Al~right, I'm really feeling it! We're going with Mayu-chan's idea by majority vote, Chihiro! No complaints, yeah?"


"That ain't fun at all!!"


"Study group for the mock exams, fight-oh~~!"




I shouted a few words of encouragement, to which Mayu-chan pumped her fist up in celebration .


"We're really doing it? Please say we're not . . . "


Chihiro, on the other hand, was disheartened by her numerical disadvantage .


"Ah~h, there's no fighting her when she gets seriously serious . . . "


She hung her head down, her face suggesting that she was on the verge of moaning it all out .




Although it was technically not mandatory to attend the summer mock exams, those who were aiming for higher education were all obligated to do so, as per an unspoken rule in our school . But of course, these exams would not affect our school grades, and attendees would have to come to school on a Saturday . For those who were aiming to get into a University by recommendation like Mayu-chan, and even more so for those who were fine with getting in anywhere they could like Chihiro, this event is something they would rather not take part in . But since it is an opportunity for one to assess their abilities on a national scale, and also their chances of being accepted into the institutes of their choice, it is too important to be ignored . And that is why we have to give this study session our best effort as well .


"I can't stand this-- My head's gonna catch fire . . . Let's go home already--"


"Sure, we'll end this if you're really on fire . Hang in there until you start burning, yeah?"


"Dammittt-- You monster! Demon! Serious Specs--"


Without lending any ears to Chihiro, whose complaints started bursting out not even five minutes in, we stayed put and studied until the teachers came to drive us out .