High School Girl Warrior

Chapter 44 – It’s not your fault

 

Then, a whole day passed.

We prayed for Takenaka’s and Ms. Mizutani’s souls.

We burned the corpses of the zombies.

And during that time, and on the time after, nobody talked to me… A somber mood had spread throughout this community.

However, I already told everyone what I needed to… What was left, was for them to decide what they thought of me.

***

Early on the next day’s mornings, I was at the school’s flowerbed, wondering if there were any good flowers to put on the graves.

But then, “Hey!” I heard a shout, “It’s against the school rules to pick those flowers!” Mr. Sasaki exclaimed.

“Oh…” I muttered. I didn’t know if he was seriously bothered by it, or if he was just messing around, but… Mr. Sasaki came to the flowerbed and crouched down next to me.

“Even in this messed up world, those flowers still bloom beautifully, don’t they?” Mr. Sasaki commented.

“Ah, I suppose…

“Teacher, have you perchance been the one that has been watering those flowers?” I decided to ask him.

“Yes, for ten years now. I’m actually the one that planted those flowers in the first place.” He replied.

“Oh, wow…” I was surprised. I didn’t expect Mr. Sasaki to have such a side to him.

“You know, it’s just… I end up being able to maintain a much longer relationship with these children, than with you all who leave in three years.” He told me.

“Ah…” I couldn’t give a good reply to that… It’s kinda cold for him to tell that to a student though.

“And well… What about that?” He asked me.

“What about what?” I asked back.

“You know… That mysterious power. How do you use it?” He asked.

… That was a really clumsy way of changing topics.

“Well… Like this. ‘Fire’.” I lit up the small fire on my fingertip.

“Impressive…” Mr. Sasaki looked over it. He seemed to be surprisingly interested, “I’d love to have the chemistry teacher see how that works, but unfortunately, they aren’t at school right now.”

Oh, right, we did have a chemistry teacher…

“By the way…” Mr. Sasaki started saying.

“I know nothing.” I cut him off with this reply.

He frowned, “What is nothing?” then asked that.

“Everything. Why did the world change like this? Why do I have this kind of power? What influences does this power have in the world…?

“Well, I’ll understand if you don’t believe me, but I really know nothing.” I replied.

The teacher just smiled at my reply though, “That was not what I was going to talk about though.”

“… Then why did you come here?” I asked him.

As I asked that, I saw a sparrow fly down onto the flower bed for a second, before flying up again… Birds sure are nice.

They’re free.

“I just wanted to tell you one thing… It’s not your fault.” Mr. Sasaki told me, calling my attention back to the conversation.

Is this… An attempt of comforting me? He is kinda clumsy at it…

“Even if you say something like that…” I started replying.

“It’s not your fault.” He repeated.

“I know.” I told him.

“It’s not your fault. Understand? It’s not your fault.” He said once more.

“Huh?” I was getting a bit confused.

“The thing that happened… It’s going to happen again.” Mr. Sasaki said.

I frowned, “Now what are you…?”

He cut me off, “What happened to Takenaka. What happened to Ms. Mizutani…” I stayed silent at his words, “There are a lot of monsters out there. Many people outside this school might be dying as we speak.”

“That is…” I had a hard time coming up with any reply.

“You don’t have to take responsibility. It’s not your fault.” He said once more.

“I…” At that moment, a strange feeling started coming out from deep within me. Something that I couldn’t quite understand.

“It’s not your fault.” Mr. Sasaki repeated.

“But I…” I started saying.

“You don’t have to take responsibility.” He said once more.

“If I did better…” I muttered.

“It’s not your fault.” He told me.

“If I had chosen a different skill… If I had killed more zombies and raised my level further… If I… If I had done better, then… Then Takenaka and Ms. Mizutani might still…” I didn’t know if I was saying this to him, or to myself at this point.

“What happened, happened.” He replied.

“But what if… What if me being here is what attracts the monsters? Maybe if I leave, then everyone will be safe…?” I murmured.

“Don’t start acting while relying on baseless speculation.” He told me.

“I…” Once more, I had no words.

“You really don’t have to try carrying all this burden by yourself, do you understand?” He asked me.

… There were no tears in my eyes. They had already dried out by now.

I was just… Holding my hands in front of my eyes… To protect them from the sunlight.

Mr. Sasaki put his hand on my shoulder.

“Teacher…” I said.

“Yes?” He asked.

“That’s sexual harassment.” I told him.

He laughed, “Now come on, don’t be like that!”

I too, giggled a bit.

“Let’s have breakfast. Everyone is waiting… Everyone.” He told me.

“Alright.” As I looked up, I saw a sparrow flying high, returning to its flock.

“By the way, I’ve been wanting to hear it for a while now.” Mr. Sasaki said as I got up.

“What?” I asked.

“Well… What’s your name?” He asked.

Ah… This guy is truly no good.

I just gave him a bitter smile and said, “Well… That’s a secret.”

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