The Foreign Girl that Got Lost
“My bad, Aoyagi. Suddenly asking you to help me out and all.”
While I was organizing the teaching material in the storage room, Miyu-sensei apologized to me while similarly organizing the scattered materials.
Currently, I am immersed in cleaning up the storage room with Miyu-sensei.
“No, it’s all right. However, if you just want someone to help, please don’t threaten them with punishment.”
I continued to move my hands, but I simultaneously raised a complaint.
When Miyu-sensei told me that I was to receive punishment, the thought that I would receive extra homework just like Akira worried me sick.
If it’s Miyu-sensei we’re talking about, she can easily make that happen without any problems.
“Punishment was a convenient excuse to get you out of the class to help me. If Saionji was the only one receiving punishment for this morning’s incident, it would make the other people resent you to some degree.”
I didn’t respond, but I could tell by her words that she was worried about me.
Even though Miyu-sensei has a bad-temper and a strong-willed personality, it’s an irrefutable fact that she is an amazing teacher who keeps her student’s well-being in mind. And that is the reason why Miyu-sensei is really popular with the students.
“Also, you brought everyone’s enmity upon yourself, right? Why do you always choose to take on the unfavourable role in such cases?”
Probably since I didn’t reply, Miyu-sensei proceeded to ask me a question. I stopped moving the materials as I looked into Miyu-sensei’s eyes and asked.
“When did you begin observing the situation?”
“It was just before you took the initiative to stop Saionji.”
“That means you were present from the beginning…”
“Yeah. I was contemplating on whether or not to step in and interrupt, but when I saw you make your move, I stopped. I didn’t wish to interfere in the matters among the students, and I knew you would resolve it. To be honest, I wish I’d have stepped in.”
Miyu-sensei’s words and expression clearly display her regret. It’s probably because I became the sole villain. I believe it was the best choice considering the circumstances, and also because I trust Akira. However, it seems that it was a bad choice with an unfavourable result from Miyu-sensei’s perspective.
“If it’s just that. I couldn’t care less.”
“You… Aki was worried that you must be a target of bullying at school.”
Miyu-sensei muttered with an amazed expression.
I reflexively reacted to the words which shouldn’t be ignored.
“Please wait. That person, did she really say that?”
“Ah~! Other than that, she’s been saying things like, ‘Is Senpai lonely without me?’ and ‘Is he eating his lunch all alone?’”
Listening to Miyu-sensei’s words, I could feel a serious migraine creeping up on me.
Aki is Miyu-sensei’s little sister who is a lot younger than her, in addition, she was my junior during my middle-school days.
She has a rather feminine personality, which is in complete contrast with that of Miyu-sensei’s. However, she can also be quite the worrywart and can sometimes be a little annoying.
“Why does she think I would be lonely when she knows that Akira is in the same class as me…? Besides, she never expresses any of that ‘worry’ to me even though we meet practically everyday.”
“Well, if she tells that to you personally, you’ll get angry, right? She also said, ‘Saionji-senpai can get people together, but they’ll eventually leave him.’”
“…this, is it okay to tell me all this? She’ll start crying after I scold her, you know?”
“Haha~ You shouldn’t worry, I know that you can’t strongly reprimand Aki.”
“Miyu-sensei, you’re quite sly…”
“You can’t survive in this society if you aren’t sly.”
Miyu-sensei gave me a totally nonsensical tip with an innocent look.
I still can’t comprehend how the serious and diligent Aki and the irresponsible Miyu-sensei are sisters.
“Hey, Aoyagi. What are you thinking now?”
As soon as I thought something rude, Miyu-sensei responded sensitively.
I just shook my head sideways and insisted that it was a misunderstanding.
If she finds out about what I am thinking, she would definitely storm me with additional homework.
“I see, so that was just me… Well, it’s fine. What I mean to say is, you should take care for yourself more.”
“I feel like I am taking care of myself pretty nicely?”
“In what state of mind are you saying that…?”
Miyu-sensei sighs heavily as she holds her forehead in frustration.
Why is she making a stunned expression?
“Miyu-sensei, I am done. Can I leave for your house now? Aki will be noisy if I reach too late.”
I confirmed that I was done with my work and expressed my desire to leave to Miyu-sensei.
If I continue to stay here, I would only be reprimanded further.
Aki is going to worry if I am late, It’s gonna be bad if I don’t head out soon.
“Ah, thank you. I’ll contact Aki for you to let her know. Thanks as always..”
“It’s okay, since I am receiving money, I am quite grateful as well.”
I’m actually Aki’s tutor.
When I informed Aki that I would find myself a part-time job when I began high school, she asked me to become her tutor.
I initially declined, however, after being urged by Aki and given permission by Aki’s parents, I finally decided to take the job.
After bowing towards Miyu-sensei and bidding her farewell, I headed towards Aki’s home.
The distance between our school and Aki’s house is not excessively large, so I’ll be able to manage somehow.
—Or so I thought. However, it was impossible for me to make it in time for the appointment.
“Waaah~! Uwaah~! Onee-chan~! W-Where are you!?” 
Out of nowhere, I heard a child crying. I saw a little girl wailing just around the next block.
She appears to be around four or five years old.
Going by her words, it seems that she’s been separated from her sister.
Even though a little girl was crying, the people passing by just stared at her with a troubled expression, deciding against involving themselves with her.
They kept their distance away from the girl and worriedly watched over her crying appearance.
The reason why they didn’t call out was obvious from the appearance of the girl and the words she shouted.
Her hair is silver which is extremely rare in Japan. The words which leak between the sobs are screamed in English. I’m pretty sure she’s a foreigner. It seems that none of the surrounding people could speak English, so even if they wanted to help, they couldn’t since they can’t communicate.
It can’t be helped…
I can’t just ignore a child wailing like that in the open.
There is a certain possibility that a person proficient in English would pass by some time in the near future, however, by the time this possibility is realized, this painful scene would continue on undisturbed.
I may not be able to make it on time today, but I can just formulate a plausible excuse for Aki later on.
“What happened? Did you get separated from your sister?”
I approached the child and crouched down a bit to converse with her.
The girl was shocked for a moment, then slowly looked at my face with teary eyes.
“W-Who are you, Onii-chan?”
“My name is Akihito. What is your name?”
“Emma, is it…? Where is your sister?”
“Onee-chan, isn’t here.”
“Ah, yeah. She isn’t. Where did your sister disappear to?”
“Not he… Waah~! Uwaah~”
While I was inquiring about her problem, Emma resumed crying.
I don’t know why she started crying.
I feel she can’t perfectly grasp my words since she is still quite young.
I get that her sister isn’t around here, but where could she have gone off to?
First, let’s avoid the immediate crisis. I have to stop her from crying.
Since she began to cry again after I approached her, the people passing by gave me pretty dubious looks. It seems like they didn’t understand what I said as I was conversing with Emma in English, resulting in them being suspicious of me.
What should I do?
How can I make her stop crying?
Sweets? I don’t have them since I don’t eat them often.
Toys? Of course I don’t carry toys with me.
Is there another way—Ah! I have a smartphone.
While on a train, I once observed how a mother comforted her crying child by giving him a smartphone. If I remember correctly, she showed him a video.
What’s a video that can make a little girl flare up with joy—this one!
“Emma-chan… Look at this.”
Accessing a popular video streaming website, I chose a video which caught my eye and handed my phone over to Emma.
Emma glances at my face for a second before proceeding to look at the display of the smartphone.
When she gazed at the video being reflected on the display of the smartphone, her expression lit up.
“Does Emma like cats?”
“Yup! Emma loves cats!”
Emma’s eyes are glued to the phone’s screen as if her previous crying appearance was just an illusion.
Since the situation seems to be under control, I took a breath of relief.
She seems to be alright for the time being.
While Emma is absorbed in the cat videos, I wish to find her sister… There are zero clues though…
I think it’s best to take her to the police station, but if the police officer can’t speak English, Emma may feel alienated.
I want to avoid such a scenario since she is still young.
I guess I’ll have to look for her sister in the end…
There are no hints… Does she look like anyone I know…?
Emma’s lustrous silver hair.
Her cute appearance resembles someone… Yes, she looks like Charlotte, who transferred into my class this morning.
Can it be…
“Emma-chan. Can you tell me your full name?”
“Hmm? Emma’s name is Emma Bennett?”
Emma, who was absorbed in watching the cat video, told me her name after looking up at me with a confused expression.
Just as I thought…
Since I uncovered the identity of Emma’s sister, I decided to return to school at once.
- We’re going to be using italicized quotes for conversations that are supposed to be in English. Not that important in this chapter as there isn’t much going back and forth, but it’ll change in later chapters.