Yononaka no Okugi (Part 5)

Hitoshi supported me as we headed back towards the school building and into the student council room. This was supposed to be as simple as when we came from there, but the struggle with this newly acquired feeling in me that is difficult to concentrate with had me quite confused.

"Don't worry, Fujibayashi. This is normal for anyone who has seen images of males. Try to get used to it like it's nothing or it would be difficult to concentrate on studies, though that can be an uphill struggle if you never had it before, or, in my case, intensity being stronger than I have ever felt before. Try not to see or think about them and it won't get worse... though that is kind of unavoidable with your quest in finding out the past."

We both struggled to make it back to the main building as we both were unable to think well with this persistent new feeling. Eventually, we find ourselves in the student council room. We were thinking too much of our new feelings that we did not care about who saw us along the way, but it was not until we heard a voice in there that there was someone else inside.

"Inosaki-kun! It seems that we have a guest here."

I struggled to see who that voice belonged to. It was the student council president,  Sakae Kotani (小谷サカエ), third year, who is known for her top grades. She is in a big office chair with the back her back is facing us, so we could only see her head.

"Ah, Sakae-san. I was showing Maeda-san was showing an interest in... well..."

Hitoshi seem troubled in deciding if she should tell a lie or the truth. In that moment, there was a long awkward silence where no one said or did anything. She was holding a dual-screened portable gaming device, with only the top screen visible, and unclear what she is doing with the other hand. She seem to have quietly resumed playing her game before she said something.

"Oh, hold on! Maeda-san. Were you the one who had asked me about what happened to the school yearbooks and history books? I was on library duty if you recall, though I didn't had the usual hairstyle that day. I'm afraid the books that have been removed due to it containing something... our bodies have developed somewhat like an allergy from just the sight and thought of it that people of the past did not have. Sounds absurd, but that is how our bodies work today. We would rather you be curious on what that something is, than ever knowing anything about it. We humans developed this allergy only less than a decade ago versus the tens of thousands of years we have existed on earth, so it's fairly recent. If you are wondering if the current CEO and director of Hatsuya Research studied here before, yes, she was a student here, with her photo in one of the yearbooks that was removed from the library. She does look different today though."

I'm surprised that she said all that with just that short phrase from the vice president. I wasn't looking up about that CEO, but being told that she studied here does give that special feeling towards the school.

"President? Can you please turn around?", said Hitoshi gently, but her turning the president's chair with as much strength as she could does not match her gentle tone. Then again, I've never seen anyone who isn't gentle.

Hitoshi turned the chair around, exposing what the president was doing while her back was facing us. There was nothing special about the game console apart from being old, but she was playing some game that had shooting and violence with a lot of men on it. She probably knew who I was without turning around because the screen is quite reflective to see me through it without turning around, and recognizing my voice after my encounter with her at the library. The odd thing I observed is that she does not have the same state as us despite the amount of men on the game she is playing, and the amount of times she mentioned them earlier.

"Oh, sorry about that. I was... playing a game I want to play. It wouldn't look good on me as the president of the student council or the top student if they see me playing this violent game. Helps me to express feelings that no one can physically express correctly, like that anger you tried earlier. No wonder you pre-evolution people have a split personality: you know what anger is like as you grew up being able to express it, but we post-evolution people can't express it and therefore not know what anger is. Games today are just not that great if made by post-evolution developers. Because practically everyone today is, from a pre-evolution point of view, a Japanese girl. That is the area where the Ryukyu, Honshu, and Hokkaido islands are back in the days where the concept of "countries" separated us from those of elsewhere with "immigration laws". You don't see much variation of the people in games today, and it kind of odd for squeals of games first released pre-evolution that had a lot of men where they are forced to either abandon the series, or replace all the males with females. The latter appearing odd if not done correctly. They can choose to not bother, but game ratings of today have been revamped: any game containing males, including those "for kids", faces the same treatment as adult games in the past were sale and display are more restricted. Nobody does it anyway because of the resulting effect of permanently being harder to be able to think."

She seemed nervous. I believe she wants to avoid talking about the obvious things we could see on each other that, despite being visually distracting, would be considered rude to talk about it as it is something we have no control of, even though it is somewhat common. Why do we humans have this condition at all?

"In case you were wondering, I'm wearing a special Mizuho uniform that looks a lot like our Kaisei uniform. They look alike... but I feel more comfortable in it. Anyway, what are you guys doing here? There's no meeting today, and classes have ended long ago."

I don't know why she mentioned that school out of nowhere or how that is related to the conversation. For those unfamiliar with the Mizuho Academy, I have observed that everyone who came from there seem to have a slight variation of the same body measurements for some reason, but they also do not have that condition at all despite being exposed to situations where they should have. It seem to have some special feature built into the uniform itself that no other uniform has, but I don't know what it is or what it does as the technology behind it appears to be a closely guarded secret. So secret that people who seem to know about it appear to not be able to talk about it to people who don't know about it, which extends to anyone within hearing range, or is being recorded or heard through any microphone in the area that could pick up the conversation.  It is not clear what the president meant by "that school's version of our uniform" as I can't tell the difference, but her body does look like it has about the same measurements of an average Mizuho girl.

"We went to the baseball clubroom and saw what was on the ceiling by accident. Our body reacted strangely when we saw it", I said plainly before we get further distracted away.

"You mean you saw a group picture of that club's last male-only team members? They don't look attractive to me in my opinion... I mean there isn't a cure that I know of. Sure there are top scoring students who that condition, but their condition isn't "cured": they just simply have stronger endurance and willpower to not let that feeling get to them. Hitoshi here is an example of one of them: she may not be able to hide her expression, but she's not going to let it affect her thinking, though her "previous life" experience might have had her get used to it, but also more likely to have it when they think too much of it. Those born after won't as they have no experience of it.  Those who could not handle this condition would find it a mental torture. This absurd condition is actually common due to how much old stuff lying around that we aren't supposed to see, but how can we avoid looking at our past?"

She is indirectly admitting that she could see our aroused faces. I guess she really didn't want to talk about it, though unclear why. She has the knowledge of any pre-evolution person, but her name being in katakana itself tells me that she was born post-evolution. Evolution happened less than a decade ago, so that eliminates the possibility of her being reborn from an old age, but how does she know all of this? I have to ask her.

"How do you know all of this? You're only a couple of years older than me at most, and evolution was earlier than that," I questioned her.

She seem to have been caught off guard on being asked this question.

"Well, not long after I was first aware of my existence, was approached by someone who own a research facility to be a part of a test. They were the ones who gave me this uniform, though that did not happen until during the test. Another girl they picked at random was from Yuribashi Middle School, from one of the towns neighbouring this city. Can't reveal what exactly I went through, but being in a world where males made up a little more than half of the population has initially had my body to suffer from immense overload of the sight and thoughts of males triggered our archaic instincts that failed to trigger organs that our post-evolution bodies simply do not have. Males are easily identifiable for having a flat chest and are bigger than us in size on average."

As interested as I am on the subject, it gets difficult to concentrate on what the president is saying with how much she talks about males. How does she maintain the look of having never seen males before even though she talks as if she has seen a lot of them? Was the mention of the Mizuho uniform related?

"Us humans used to have dual genders, but evolution turned us into a single-gender or genderless species where we are neither male nor female that no body has a clue on how to reproduce, leading some to think that our species is going extinct slowly, but I was told I was born after the evolution happened, so who knows how I exist. Nobody knew why the evolution happened and experts stop short of how it happened than as a unseen unknown force that, is at best, be described as like a pandemic virus outbreak that nobody died from, but neither could it be traced nor stopped. Referring to ourselves as the female gender isn't technically wrong either as we look, sound, dress, and behave like them in every aspect. Isn't it strange that we are not even allowed to see what we evolved from? Remembering how one looked too for those who had went through it. Either way, you don't see me in the same state like you two, or anyone with the same condition, because this uniform is a-"

Her conversation was abruptly stopped this time, but it was clear it was something to do with clothes again. This time, she noticed that words aren't coming out of her mouth as quickly as being unable to make a sound.

"Mizuho Academy", she said randomly after an awkward pause.

"Let me say that again, this uniform is a-"

"Has a-"

Her face seem to have an internal struggle inside her with the look of being uncomfortable with herself, but quickly returned to her normal face like that never happened. I am confused as to what is going on.

"Um, sorry about my speech being cut off abruptly, but apparently either you or anyone who could hear us wasn't supposed to know what I wanted to say."

So, how do we continue from here?


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