Active JK Idol Seems to be Interested in Me Who is a Free Person. - Chapter 52 English

 Chapter 52 – JK Idol Seems Interested in the Sports Festival (Part 1)


"Alright, let's begin the sports festival."

The applause roared, and the sports festival commenced.

In this school, there was a sports festival in mid-October, where each class competed for the top rankings. However, this sports festival was more of a showcase for the sports club members, and it didn't concern me, a member of the Homecoming Club. I would only participate in one event, so I sat in the classroom waiting area, sipping a cup of tea.

On the other hand, for some reason, Sakurazaki was incredibly enthusiastic. She participated in numerous events like hurdles, class relay races, stick drop games, and sack races. She was confident because of her athletic talent, and her excitement was evident, even when we talked on the phone last night.

On the flip side, my sports uniform was just for show. I put it on without actually participating. As I lounged and enjoyed the view of slow-moving white clouds against the blue sky, my eyes suddenly met Nanamizawa's gaze in a group of girls chatting nearby. However, she quickly averted her eyes.

...Since that day, I hadn't spoken to Nanamizawa at all. I faced today with that awkward feeling.

Ah, let it be over soon.

Just as I thought that, water suddenly splashed down from above.

"I've got a chance, huh?"

"Eh, Renkawa."

"Kou-kun, you look less enthusiastic."

"There's something I want to tell you."

"Kyaah, Kou-kun, are you planning to attack me during this event?"

"Just come along."

I decided to face it head-on.

+×+×+×+

During the event, the school building was still open, but classroom doors were locked, so we headed to the rooftop.

"It's interesting that you called me out."

"There's something I want to tell you."

"What is it? Oh, is this a love confession...?"

She was always teasing.

"Not at all."

"Eh."

"Well, Renkawa, don't get too close to me in public; it could lead to some strange rumors."

Renkawa looked like she was thinking.

"Ah, maybe I overdid it?"

She really... pretended to be clueless.

"You're doing it on purpose, aren't you?"

"Eh? I'm not."

She definitely did it on purpose. I could tell from earlier.

"Our relationship, which became a topic of gossip, messed up my life. I'm not talking to my childhood friend anymore, and Sakurazaki... She's a bit mad at me."

Sakura's alluring expression when she licked my finger flashed through my mind.

"It seems you enjoy it when Nako-chan gets mad at you. Ah, that's disgusting."

"You're noisy! It's not about that."

I smiled for a moment, Renkawa didn't seem to notice and continued.

"So, is the childhood friend you mentioned earlier that Viking girl?"

"Yeah, she's in the same class as me, so when you teased me in class yesterday, people misunderstood that we were dating."

"Maybe we should date?"

"Quiet. Anyway, it caused recent quarrels."

"Eh? So even if you're just childhood friends, is quarreling a common occurrence?"

"...Well, it's a bit complicated."

"So, are you and your childhood friend something more than just friends?"

"It's not like that."

"Then, why does your childhood friend tease your relationship so much? Is she interested in you?"

"Because... she seems to like me."

I didn't want to say it outright. It was quite embarrassing.

"Heh, so it seems Kou-kun is quite popular."

"You're too talkative."

"But isn't it weird? How do you know that your childhood friend likes you? Did she confess her feelings?"

I had no words to answer that.

Why could she be so sharp about something unimportant like this?

"I get it, I get it."

"Hey, don't try to read my expression."

"I want to hear more about it, the whole story."

"...Sigh."

Oh, right, I'd told her a bit about this before.

Well, maybe Renkawa would listen calmly.

"I used to have a girlfriend in middle school, remember?"

"When we had Chinese food some time ago, you mentioned it."

Back then, I'd only mentioned that I'd had a girlfriend.

"I met that girlfriend in middle school. Before that, in elementary school, I thought I liked my childhood friend."

"Heh, that sounds nice."

My feelings for Nanamizawa were "like," but they were vastly different from what I felt now.

"But when I say 'I thought,' what does it mean? Didn't you like her back then?"

"Oh, I liked her. But it was a different kind of love. I felt like 'I like her' just because we were always together or always played together."

"It seems like a common feeling when you're young."

The concept of "like" had changed significantly within me since then when I experienced love in the romantic sense during middle school.

"So, basically, that means during middle school, you were in a relationship and fell in love with another girl?"

"Yeah, I started to be interested in a classmate during that time, and that was the first time I felt the feeling of love in a romantic context. After that, we dated... but..."

"But? What happened next?"

"Then, our relationship was questioned by the girl I was dating because she became suspicious of my relationship with my childhood friend, and in the end, we broke up."

At the time, I didn't know what I'd done wrong, but my interactions with Nanamizawa as usual had hurt her.

"...So, because of an experience like that, you can't love your childhood friend more?"

"That's not true. I regretted my actions back then. I learned that in romance, 'like' shouldn't be taken lightly."

Along with that regret, I began to think about something.

"I realized my childhood friend's feelings when I was in 8th grade. I knew she loved me in a romantic sense through a friend."

"Your childhood friend's feelings..."

"After learning that, I tried my best to see if I could love my childhood friend in a romantic sense. I thought that if I could love her like that, everything would be fine... But in the end, I still couldn't love her in a romantic sense."

Because of the long time we'd spent together, different feelings had sprouted inside me toward Nanamizawa. It was a form of "like" that was different from love.

"I could only see her as a playmate or like a sibling."

"But in the end, she tried to confess her feelings to you, right?"

"Yeah, near the end of middle school. So, at that time, I clearly explained to my childhood friend that we would remain each other's childhood friend, friends, and..."

On the day Nanamizawa reached the national volleyball championship, she confessed her love to me. But I rejected her and honestly expressed all my feelings. That was also when I started calling her "Nanamizawa."

"If you rejected her once, why are there still quarrels between you two?"

"Well, that's..."

"Has your childhood friend still not fully given up on you, Kou-kun?"

"It seems that way..."

My answer was weak. I was happy about Nanamizawa's feelings, but no matter how hard I tried... it didn't work.

I couldn't respond to those feelings.

"Well, I understand her feeling. Kou-kun is cool, and I also know that you like Nako-chan, but I can't give up..."

"...But, you're too relaxed about everything."

"I might be too relaxed, but my feelings for you get heavier every day, you know?"

"...I have to say this now, don't ever try to stab me or anything like that."

"Of course, I won't do that."

Saying that, Renkawa naturally took scissors out of her pocket. Eh, that's kind of scary. I immediately confiscated the scissors.

"Kou-kun, I thought you were more skilled than this. But hearing this story now, you might be clumsy."

"...Maybe so."

Renkawa gripped the wire fence and looked outside.

"Kou-kun, give me candy. This time, I'll eat it properly by myself."

"...Alright."

I handed Renkawa the candy I happened to have in my pocket.

"Love can't be forced."

"...Eh?"

"Falling in love is natural; if Kou-kun has ever felt it, then you must understand."

"...But I'm doing this for Nanamizawa."

"Kou-kun tried his best. You tried hard to not hurt your childhood friend, even if it ultimately hurt her. I don't think that's your fault."

"Someone's feelings can change, and love is blind. Truly loving each other... rarely happens."

Renkawa sat in front of the wire fence and looked up at the sky.

"...That's the most I can say about it right now."

"Renkawa..."

"Regarding this matter, if I've inconvenienced you in any way, I apologize. But one more thing. don't be too hard on me. I'm also... a girl."

"...Ah, yeah. Sorry, that won't happen."

"Kou-kun is too honest. But I like that about you."

Renkawa stood up.

"Kou-kun's kindness can make people happy or hurt them, don't forget that."

After saying that, Renkawa left the rooftop. Cheers from the sports festival echoed from beyond the wire fence.

"Kindness, huh..."

What should I do? Should I pursue a relationship with Nanamizawa even though it feels wrong?

But that wouldn't be right...

Love is something that has to happen naturally...

"Nanamizawa... forgive me."

I muttered that to the empty air.


Translator: Janaka

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