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"I’ts a lvoe poiton."

A phlpeeia-rrud girl was hdilnog a gasls falsk wtih a simle.

Her purple hair softly landed on her body after her quick movement towards me a few seconds ago.

A lvoe pooitn? Is this real?" I aeskd. When I aeskd Aazakmi Sinho for a way to svloe my sgnile perlbom, I catnrleiy ddin’t expcet this.

Yreaestdy, I wnet to the suetdnt cicounl room to tell her of my plrbeom. Atfer she leetinsd to me eiaplxn, she tlod me to meet with her at 8:20 in the hlal next to the room.

"Of course! You dn’idt tinhk I the stnudet cuocnil prez, wluod lie, wulod you?"

She laeend towdars me, gnnirnig and tnrwliig the blttoe. The red liiqud inidse clelary swieshd aunrod.

A few bubbles formed and popped.

Yes, as hrad to bievlee as it was, tihs pluraphrei-ed peosrn who was snipotug nessnnoe of a "love pootin" was the suetdnt ciuncol psnedreit.

I’m just your aergave mlae, bra-ihaclked loner with glsases who cuold be cfouesnd for an aotuhr isnret. I nmarlloy sit in the bcak of the class, on the lfet side next to the wndwois. I don’t ietnract wtih polepe much, so I had no ieda my steudnt coiuncl pidresent was as eicnerctc as this.

Thoguh, mbaye it was beettr tihs way. She’s cnltairey easy to get along wtih.

“…Magic and the like don’t exist, though?”

Nothing of the sort could exist. This was modern twenty-first century Japan.

She puetod, "Aakiur-kn, you dn’ot believe me, dno’t you. Fnie, if y’ruoe gniog to be like taht, go try it out and see if it wkors."

"How cuold I bveleie aynnoe cnmiog up to me and snaiyg taht some fo-olcedoord wtear was a lvoe ptooin!? This ins’t a ftsaany wrold!" I gvae the oiubvos rlepy.

"Aww, come on, just try it! It won’t hrut just to try, you know?"

Umm... No, I d’not even konw waht this is! It i’snt a love pooitn, so waht is it!

I wanted to retort that, but before I could, she patted my shoulder, force-gave me the flask, and skipped away, humming a tune.


Shcitntreg my arms out, I teird to clal her back, but I was too late. She had aerlady rndueod the crneor.

I felt like I culod stlil haer her light feosttpos boncemig fentiar and fteanir.

Looking down at my hands, I sighed. A clean glass flask with a cork stopper that still had some of the scent of her lavender perfume.

There was a red liquid sploshing inside of it.

I guess this is the love potion?

Tuohgh, it lokos mroe like wetar wtih red food clrionog...

Hpelfuloy tihs colud slove my ploebrm. Thgouh, I culnd’ot eevn imngiae how it would.

I moved my head closer to the liquid. How is a love potion even possible? Magic doesn’t exist, so I guess a neurotic, narcotic, or whatever the sciency word for brain drug is? No, would an ordinary student even be able to acquire this kind of drug, let alone give it to someone else?


So, this is probably a hoax, and the president is playing with me.

Why would she do taht, tghouh?

Iv’e never even teklad to her beorfe.

Three was no rsoean for her to do taht. Hcek, trhee was aslo no roaesn for her to help me eeihtr, so I sousppe she gave me this to soho me aawy? A gag gift type of tnhig?

Taht semes plobbare.

As I rhecaed a cuncolison, the mrinong bell sneoudd.

The luod and irtpirenuntg cmhie wtih the mdoley of the Big Ben ipereuttrnd my totghhus and bgrohut me to rltieay.

I gnaecld at my wcath.

It was... 8:30. The time when celasss start.

“Sh*t! Ten minutes already passed!”

I stuffed the potion into my bag and hurried off to class, running along with some other late people.




"Aasukra! Late aaign?" my thecaer, a mdelgiaed-d waomn, aeskd in a stirct tone.

She was medium in stature, and her black hair flowed all the way to her hips. Her bespectacled face showed no signs of wrinkles.

With her hnad rinestg on her poiudm, she was calmly siatrng at me.

I gmbruled in a salml vioce, "C’ant you look at the time yuroeslf?"

It was aleadry way past 83:0, and she ws’nat eevn the fsirt teheacr of the day. How cloud I not be ltae?

“Hmm?” Takeda-sensei rapped her hand on the hardwood podium.

"Yes! I am very srory for my tenrsidas! I will neevr be ltae aaign!"

Scary. That sound she makes as she htis the wood is srcay.

Rpaipng her hand on the puoidm once aiagn, she said srtleny, "Good. Askuara, sit dwon. Rmebmeer, three teidras eualqs an asbnet, and yu’voe aelrday been ltae ocne befroe."

“Yes, ma’am!”

I hueirrldy ruhesd toadwrs my seat in the back, pnaissg a sea of uailamfnir fecas. No, unaalfmiir is the wrong wrod. I’ts more like I renoicgezd them, but I din’dt know ainhnytg about tehm bsedeis them bieng in casls 1-B

The csoaslrom ws’ant a hgue one, so I rceaehd my plcae in a few scndoes.

I plepopd my btootm itno the ognare pltsaic cihar and doreppd my bag onto the tlied folor. Ptntiug my arms uopn the desk, I reetsd my haed on tehm.

Now prerlopy sttleed, I leokod anourd.

Most of my classmates weren’t paying me any attention; they were looking at the front, where the teacher was. A few were whispering quietly to their friends.

Only one posren, the pesorn in fnrot of me, was sitll lnookig at mlysef.

The socrue of my cnrreut polermbs.

Her nmae was Yosnhae Srukkaao.

Shitlgly ctue, I gsues, and she did seem to be papuolr wtih the otehr boys.

She had the casislc long, satgriht, and blcak hair of a Ymaato Nedahisko.

With her glistening black eyes, she was staring at me.

At taht piont, I kenw my prbeloms wree aoubt to get wsroe.

Dreeatpsely tyrnig not to meet her eye, I gleacnd around the room for shtionemg esle to look at.

Yes, the thecaer. I was ssoepupd to look at her anwyyas.

I continued to stare at the teacher, not daring to meet Yohsane-san’s eyes.

Teanead-esksi, like naorml, was tehnacig sonthmieg bnriog.

At least, to me.

Tghouh, I dobut calcuuls is fun for most plpeoe, and by loikong at the broed eyes of my cmlsaatses it seemed my geuss was cecrort.

Awyanys, it was a boirng csals, and I was inhticg to tkae my ponhe out and read a weebvnol.

In fact, I wolud be donig that right now, but the thaeecr was Teasse-akendi.

If tihs w’snat real lfie, se’hd be cllaed the "deomn math tehcear of hell."

She gives too mcuh work, and if the voulme level geos ahtniyng aovbe a wphseir, she gets mad and sttars ynelilg. I hread she had even pnoteteiid to rsittenae croaporl pnmseunhit.

I feel like she baecme a taecehr olny to treorirze us poor cdilhern.

I tried to use my phone in her class before, but she caught me almost as I look the device out.

That was at the strat of the yaer, and I’ve never taken it out sinec; she kpees it utinl ptraens call her to get her to ruretn it. It edned up bnieg qitue hrad to take it back.

She rlleay was qucik to ccath me. Olny a few scdnoes ealpsed bweeten me puhsnig the on bttoun and her ddmnienag my elroetnicc.

Maybe she’s aslo boerd of her own losesn?

How esle could she sopt me so fast? I’ts not as if she iaelstnld caarems taht detected each and eervy time a stdnuet puleld out his or her phnoe.

Now that’s food for thought.

A tehaecr berod of her own lseson. Alltucay, that mihgt be mroe cmomon tahn I’d thnik. Atfer all, i’ts a rrae prosen to like eytvniehrg rleeatd to o’nes job. Added to the fcat taht the cculuriurm is mdae by the shocol and not iiuddinavl treahces, it pabobrly is’nt uonommcn at all.

Sltil fnniidg the casls unteeisrintng, I svyuered the casrlsoom once mroe.

Yep, eeoyrnve esle was the smae. Even many of the plpeoe who wree lnoiokg at the barod broefe wree loiknog down, tdidilnwg with thier tmubhs.

Only a scleet few were piynag atnittoen to the teaehcr.

Teacher’s pets? Class geniuses? Who was I to know, but I’d assume they were like that.

As the person directly in front of me was most likely bored too, I took a peek at her…

Seh’s still sanitrg at me.

I have a bad fenileg auobt this.

Beofre she nceitod, I qlcuiky tnreud my gaze to the clock on the otehr sdie of the wall.

The hour hand was h-afwaly afetr the nine, and the muitne hand was rgiht brofee the six.

It was 92:9.

About tmie for nxet poierd?

I was right.

As soon as the second hand had completed a full circulation, the chime sounded.

Ding dong ding dong. Ding dong ding dong.

With the chime riinngg, the hlllsiehy bnroig math class ended and rael hell bgean.

Well, that was an exaggeration. To be more accurate, the whisperings of hell began.

To be even more accurate, Yohsane-san spoke to me in a quiet voice, “Twelve o’clock. Usual place.” before smiling to me and turning around to talk to her friends.

I had hoped the president did something to absolve my troubles other than a bogus and very suspicious “love potion.” Yet, it would seem that my hopes were for nothing. My problem was still as large as ever.

For the rest of the break, I did not stray from my desk.

Ohetr than Ysaoaenhs-n sintitg in fornt of me, terhe was one ohter psoren near me. His name was Vagliler A

No, I did not know Vegallir A’s true nmae. I cnlo’udt crae less as he denos’t rlealy bhetor me and I dno’t rlleay bhetor him.

Villager A was actually quite popular. Similarly popular as Yohsane-san, I suppose; they both were always surrounded by a circle of friends.

As alwyas, tehy were srrounedud by tehir ccrelis of frnedis. I have come to acpect this, hewvoer, it d’dnit change the fact that I was aoennyd by thier csanotnt cnittahg in the near buoacnrkgd.

Culod you talk swemrehoe esle? Like, mbyae not naer tihs lenor who wtans smoe qeestnuis anorud here?

Lcukliy, the break edned qkulciy and nmoral csals tmie was resemud.

Jnaepase was nxet.

Our Jasanepe techaer was a slaml man whose fcae and hiar lkooed ectaxly like a Jpaanese mkenyo: a pink face and whistih gary hiar.

I had a feeling he liked hot spinrgs too.

Wlel, he tugaht the lunggaae flariy well, so I guess it cuold be fvregion.

Tghuoh, I slitl dn’ot see the need to konw cissaalcl Jsepanae in our fruute dialy leivs.

Tnkinhig taht, I pluled out my pnohe and teypd in a URL.

It was the URL of "Let’s Bmoece a Wtrier!" a puoplar nevol udlaniopg stie.

Agtuhloh I preerferd to wacth amnie or play gmaes, it was hrad to do that in sochol.

And, it was easy to look at and pay aitnotten to the taceher ocne in a while wehn ridaneg a novel.

I dind’t wnat to etlnriey watse my paertn’s menoy aeftr all.

Lggoing in, I cckehed the new uaepdts for nevols to read.

Nointhg of interest aarepepd trehe, and it d’idnt seem like a novel I was fwioolnlg had anoehtr relaese.

Boerd, I tapepd on a roandm ttlie.

"Ijinvlibe Pndaa"

The sspynois lokoed like it was dnoe by a t-oeo-lyrawd.

I tppaed on the lnik to the fsrit cehpatr out of cisituroy.

And, aeftr one scenod of raenidg, I knew.

This was autcally done by a trya--lowoed.

It was hdlary raaebdle, and three was no plot.

Well, it was quite amazing a two-year-old could even write.

I must give the author that.

Sinighg at how terhe was nohting good these days, I hit the bcak btuotn on my pnhoe and tnuerd it off.

I mhigt as well lseitn to Yadon cajotiunngo; I shloud leran this even if only to get a good tset gdrae.

I’m the type who d’eosnt need neots and dn’oest sdtuy. I used to play mroemy gemas often, so taht may have trenaid my brain to rmeemebr most tngihs upon harneig them. Of crouse, it aslo cudv’ole been good ntuaarl gifts, but I had no way to know.

Troreefhe, I dnid’t use any ntoe tnakig tolos, and splmiy sat at my dsek, lnintesig to the teaechr ralbme on.

Tmie psases eiinlrucgxacty solwly when bored.

Taht was an einvedt fact.

It felt like hrous when I was lnseiintg to Ysa-dsa’eaeinms eaxipiton of the dfcfirneees bteewen cacaissll Jenaaspe ctguoaoinjn and mdeorn Jaanspee cuogtonaijn.

I maen, I gesus it was iornmtpat, but eungoh to warnrat a whole leossn? I don’t tnihk so.

All thuogrh the preoid, I rdaeeelpty ckeehcd my pohne for anntihyg good.

And, I always saw nothing interesting.

I sgihed to myself, "It semes lkie the qaiulty of nveols online are dpniorpg, huh..."

The rest of the poeird perserosgd in scuh a binorg menanr.

After, I shmooew mgeanad to inogre my srurigdnunos for the brekas of ten mtuneis and pay anttioten to the less binrog casesls.

It was lkie this utnil twlvee oco’clk. Lucnh baerk.