Destiny was smashed into bits and pieces.
After the debate ended, I returned to my room and collapsed onto the bed.
The soft bed gently accepts me in its embrace.
I, on the other hand, cannot accept the cruel reality.
The end of Destiny has been clearly announced.
To put it clearly, Mariwa has been an enemy of fate all along. At least, that was her judgment in the debate. The moment I tried to change my avenue of attack to insult Michelie’s personality, Mariwa stopped me right away. I never got the chance to play it according to the script.
Thanks to that, we ended up having an actually meaningful debate.
That’s not the problem though.
“I lost too……”
I, a genius, tasted defeat in the debate.
Of course, acted on the assumption that I was going to act as the villainess, so I lost to Michelie simply because I didn’t make a sound argument. If I took it seriously, I would never have lost to her, so my pride is still intact.
Leaving that aside, the real problem is what to do from here.
“Why didn’t it go well at all……”
I hug my pillow and grumble.
I did my best since Michelie enrolled into the Academy, and now I’m at my wits’ end. My three years of following the path of Destiny have all been a waste. What should I do now?
I don’t understand anymore.
Laying face down on the bed, I suddenly fell asleep for a little while.
For some reason, when I woke up, I saw Surfania already sitting on the chair in my room.
“Serves you right, Chris.”
She closes her book as if noticing that I woke up. She looks down at me with a cold stare.
“……What do you want?”
For a moment, I thought I was dreaming, but it’s reality without a doubt.
Who let her in?
No, I already know. It was probably the maid. She must have known that I was acquainted with Surfania, and hence let her in.
But what is she here for?
Not once has she ever proactively approached me since we enrolled in the Academy, so why did she come here on her own will? Is she here to insult me for losing the debate? Yeah, that’s likely.
That’s what I thought, until I saw the thing on the table.
“It’s been a while, so why don’t we play a board game?”
What exactly is she planning?
I doubt she came here just to have fun, just like old times. In the first place, she wasn’t even the one to approach me in the old times.
But that’s fine.
I reluctantly get out of bed and stop thinking.
Nothing matters now that I failed. I’ve lost the means to guarantee Michelie’s bright future.
“It’ll probably cheer me up a little.”
“I see. It’s good to see that you’re being reasonable.”
We’re sitting on opposite sides and setting up the board. It’s been a while since we played this board game together.
I thought she would let me go first, but she made the first move without saying a word. I gracefully make the next move.
We’re moving our pawns and pieces without making new or drastic moves.
“You know, I always thought that you were deteriorating each year. I always thought, Chris is going to become more of an idiot, and cause more trouble along the way.
“You really are rude by nature.”
“That’s only proper. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but I pride myself on being the most suitable person to criticize you.”
“You should think it’s a bad thing.”
We’re moving our pawns while talking just like we did in the past. It feels natural for some reason, as if nothing has happened in the past three years.
We’re entering the mid-game.
But I’ve noticed lately. It wasn’t that you were deteriorating or anything.
“Obviously. I am always improving–”
She cuts me off, denying what I said.
“You simply haven’t matured at all.”
I stop myself just as I’m about to make my next move.
It’s not because of her words.
It’s because of the intensity of the mid-game.
The match hasn’t been decided yet, but my formation puts me in a slight disadvantage.
I look up from the board. Surfania looks normal, without a hint of pride.
“You are sorely mistaken if you think I am unable to defeat you. I am not such a blockhead to keep losing to you without improving.”
“Are you saying that I’ll lose?”
A fire is kindled inside me.
That’s right. I shouldn’t be leaving myself to rot here.
I am a genius, and I hate losing.
I’ll save my sister. Even if Destiny is nowhere to be found, even if I’m all alone, I’ll definitely save her.
“Yes. You will lose.”
“Don’t underestimate me, Surfania. And by the way, let me say a word of thanks.”
I finally make my move.
Being spurred on by Surfania, my determination has been renewed.
“I’ve just remembered thanks to you. I’ll do what I have to. That’s the reason I was born.”
“I thought you were finally being serious, but it still looks like you are still an idiot who refuses to face reality. People aren’t born for any reason whatsoever. There isn’t anything that has to be done either. People simply put their efforts into doing what they want to do.”
In constrast with my passion, Surfania remains calm and cool.
“But, yes. Since it’s a fine opportunity, let’s make a bet.”
I remember the time during the Festival many years ago, and also the first time I met Prince Endo.
But we can’t bet all our money on random opponents or sign our autographs on a blank sheet of paper. Well, it was mostly Leon’s and Endo’s fault both times though.
“What are we betting on?”
“If you lose, you will apologize.”
Surfania looks sullen and furrows her eyebrows.
“What? Did you do something you should apologize to me for? Why don’t you say it then?”
“No, if anything, you should be the one apologizing.”
I’m the one who cut off my ties to her, but I was shocked when she scolded me in public. I kept quiet because I knew I was wrong too, but her chiding was on another level.
That incident set our positions in stone. Thinking about it now, it was the triggering point that caused Destiny to go off track.
“I see. Then if I lose, I will apologize to you. As a matter of fact, I will apologize in a public space.”
I’m at a loss.
I let her set the conditions herself. On top of that, it’ll look like I asked it of her. It’s hard to take it all back now.
“……Who should I be apologizing to? Michelie, perhaps?”
“Why should I have to be the mediator between you and that wicked girl? Are you stupid?”
Surfania snorts in fury.
“Wicked girls and idiots should remain fighting for their entire lives. That would be much more pleasing.”
“Who are you calling a wicked girl?”
I glared at her in reflex, causing her to sneer.”
“In the end, you’re crazy about your sister as always.”
I made a slip of the tongue too many times. Having been disheartened since my failure at the debate, I’m probably letting my guard down just because it’s Surfania.
“Well, leaving that aside, let’s talk about the one you should be apologizing to. You should know if you gave it some thought. Why do you think I took all the effort into calling the famous Miss Toinette to the school? It took great pains to reason with her.”
“Apologize to Miss Toinette.”
My face stiffens.
Surfania looks at me as if she’s glad.
“Hehehe. That’s right. I wanted to see that face of yours.”
“S-Surfania. Y-you. The reason you called Mariwa here……
“Isn’t it obvious?”
She shows her characteristic sneer that suits her clever looks.
“All of it was harassment towards you.”
I’m going all out from now on.