Otherworld Company Chapter 193: Important Decisions Have To Be Made Especially When Running Out Of Time.

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 Organizations can sometimes feel a bit clingy and cumbersome, but they are also powerful.


 What would take a great deal of time for an individual to prepare can be reduced to a fraction of the time.


 The supervisor sent me reports on Amelia’s movements, and the supervisor told me this morning that she was about to make a move.


 I would then have no choice but to make a decision.



“So? Have you decided?” (Jiro)



 The party members, with the exception of Amelia, were called together again.


 The faces of the assembled members showed signs of nervousness.


 It was no wonder.


 Only two days had passed since Amelia had crossed over to the other side of the world.


 I thought it was impossible for young people living in Japan, a peaceful country, to decide so quickly whether or not they would be prepared to risk life and death on the battlefield during that time.



“I will participate, that I will, you know?” (Minami)


“You… Oh, okay.” (Jiro)


“Leader, have you been treating me poorly lately, that are you?” (Minami)


“You don’t seem to be thinking at all, but you are actually seriously thinking about things. I trust your ability to organize your thoughts and make decisions.” (Jiro)


“…I don’t know why, that I do, I but t’s strangely embarrassing to be evaluated so honestly, or rather, people like me can’t look directly at Leader, that we can’t.” (Minami)



 Exceptions seem to exist more often than one might think.


 First of all, Minami, who is the first of the exceptions, answered without any hesitation and without any concern for the tense atmosphere in the party room.


 I had expected this answer, even if only somewhat, so I answered normally, but this reaction seemed to be unexpected for Minami, who tried to joke around with a blush on her cheek while responding in a joking manner, her gesture lacked any seriousness.


 But in a way, it was thanks to Minami that the atmosphere of the place was set.


 It is true that everyone is nervous to be the first to speak, and it may not matter if you are used to it, but it is also true that it is easier to speak if there is someone who opens the conversation.


 I inwardly thanked Minami for creating such an atmosphere and tightened my mouth, which was about to loosen.


 I looked at the faces of the remaining members.


 Now the members who will rescue Amelia are me, Himiku, and Minami.


 To be honest, I can say that the minimum number of members had been assembled.


 However, I still felt uneasy about the situation, considering the possibility that something might go wrong.


 I quietly looked at the other members of the team, taking care not to let my uneasiness show.


 Kaido is laughing at Minami’s behavior, Kitamiya is still serious, and Masaru seems to be still unsure.



“……” (Jiro)



 I don’t ask what they would do here.


 Questions like this can be surprisingly compelling.


 The first to answer is always the one that gets on board.


 This time, I want them to make their own well-thought-out decision, take responsibility for it, and answer the question.


 So I kept my mouth shut and waited for the others to answer.



“I’m going too.” (Karen)


“……” (Jiro)



 Kitamiya was the next to speak up.


 I’m sure he got lost in coming up with an answer and asked himself the question over and over again.


 However, if paid off.


 If she is fine, I nod.


 After she said she was going, her expression was firmer and more determined.


 This was not the same Kitamiya who had been emotionally driven to take action the first day she heard about Amelia, but rather, it was the decision of Kitamiya, who had taken the first step of her own volition.



“Okay. I’ll rely on your strength.” (Jiro)


“Yes, please do so. I will only do what I can do.” (Karen)



 Kitamiya nodded, satisfied with my answer.



“The fact that you are so serious, unlike with me, is annoying, that it is.” (Minami)


“That’s annoying? Unlike you, she is serious. I don’t want to only have someone like you who’s always messing around.” (Jiro)


“You really said that, that you did! It might be true, but you still said something that shouldn’t have been said, that you did!?” (Minami)


“You were aware of that, weren’t you?” (Jiro)



 I started a skirmish with Minami.


 I wondered why our party couldn’t continue the serious atmosphere.


 I wondered what the remaining two would do.



“Well, our ladies are very strong. Frankly speaking, as an older man, I don’t know where I stand.” (Kaido)


“From my point of view, it feels like it’s too late, though.” (Jiro)



 When I scratched the back of my head with my right hand and looked at Kaido’s face, he was smiling wryly.


 Kaido’s usual position is that of an older brother who can’t be relied upon.


 He can do what he wants, but he has to be the one to make things happen.


 Kaido laments the fact that he is late to Minami’s and Kitamiya’s words, but when I ask him if he cares about such things now, he smiles deeply, saying it hurts his ears.



“Well, that’s just me. I’m going to help Amelia.” (Kaido)


“I see, good luck.” (Jiro)


“Senpai!! Isn’t there a big difference between how you’re acting politely and how acting sloppily? I’ve been thinking hard, haven’t I? Isn’t there something more than this? Is that okay? You should have asked me to show my determination.” (Kaido)


“No.” (Jiro)



 Kaido is not so young or inexperienced that he can’t think about the pros and cons.


 He understands the risks that will be placed on his life better than anyone else at this party, except for me.


 I am sure he has thought about the impact this event will have on them.


 My relationship with this guy is not so short that I don’t understand that.


 That’s why I’m telling him this once and for all, but Kaido complains.



“Welcome to Senior Kaido, that you are. To the world of gag characters, that we are.” (Minami)


“No!? I’m sure I am not a resident of that side, right!?” (Kaido)


“Kukuku, it is useless to say anything, that it is. The conversation you just had with Leader is the proof, that it is. And above all.” (Minami)


“Above all? What is it?” (Kaido)


“There is no man more unsuited to seriousness than senior, that you are!!!” (Minami)


“What!?” (Kaido)


“Both of you, please be a little quieter.” (Karen)



 Minami is making fun of Kaido.


 As Minami and Kaido were bickering, Kitamiya was chiding the two of them implying that both were the same as the other.


 And finally, Masaru.



“Are you still worried?” (Jiro)


“Yes.” (Masaru)


“…you want to help, but are you still undecided about helping someone even if it means killing others?” (Jiro)


“…yes.” (Masaru)



 I can’t give an answer on his behalf.


 Normally, if he can’t make a decision at this stage, I think it’s better not to take him with me.


 However, it would be easy to say “don’t do nothing and don’t follow us,” but it is obvious that this would cause a strong sense of alienation in Masaru, who is at an impressionable age.


 That’s why.



“How can you all make decisions so easily?” (Masaru)


“It’s not easy though.” (Jiro)



 I had somehow guessed that this question would come up.


 I am no exception, but Minami, Kitamiya, and Kaido have all developed their own criteria for decision-making through their life experiences, maybe to a lesser or greater extent.


 The degree to which they have built up their standards of judgment made the difference in their decision this time.


 From Masaru’s point of view, we seem to have made decisions easily in a short period of time, but I correct him.



“I had my own concerns, but I also have responsibilities and things that I don’t agree with. Taking that into account, I decided to go and help Amelia and prepare myself. Understand that it might happen and decide if I can take that risk.” (Jiro)



 Do you understand? When asked, Masaru was a little hesitant, but,



“I don’t understand.” (Masaru)



 He answered that.


 I smile wryly.



“That’s alright.” (Jiro)



 I affirmed his answer.


 “Huh?” Masaru looks at me with a doubtful look on his face, and I smile.



“After all, this is a choice based on our values. I know there are those who would say that my actions are wrong from a common sense standpoint.” (Jiro)



 I ask Masaru what he thinks I’m trying to say.



“That’s why people are worried. Is this behavior really the right thing to do? Is this behavior wrong? And that worry creates the criteria for how we make our own judgments. Failure and success are what make us human.” (Jiro)



 Masaru was not yet equipped with the criteria to make a decision on this matter. That was all.


 Because it was true, high school students should not be allowed to make such decisions about whether or not to stand on the battlefield.



“But the standards I had established in my life helped me to make the decision. That’s why I made the decision.” (Jiro)


“I don’t have that, do I?” (Masaru)


“Ah, I guess that’s what makes you confused. But, Masaru. That’s not a mistake. There’s no shame in not being able to make a decision now. This is a decision you don’t have to make if you want to live a normal life in Japan. There are plenty of things you can’t refuse even if you think you can’t do it, but sometimes you have to refuse. What you decide and how you decide it is your values, and how you deal with the people around you when they contradict your values and the situation is an adaptive instinct necessary for living. In other words, it’s a lifelong conundrum of how to live. Even if I worry about it, stop, then move on and start again. This incident may be a turning point in such a difficult problem that we have to ponder over and over again. There is no way we can make this decision easily.” (Jiro)



 This time, the environment was bad.


 There is nothing wrong with Masaru’s hesitation.


 It is still too early to make him weigh the scales of life’s values.



“So it’s not wrong that you can’t give me an answer this time.” (Jiro)



 I could see the unconvinced look on his face as he asked me if I was going to leave him there, imagining what I was going to say after that.



“Masaru, I feel sorry for you, but I’m leaving you behind this time. Even if you say you’re going now, I won’t take you with me.” (Jiro)


“……” (Masaru)



 I answer that question clearly.


 Masru doesn’t ask why.


 Masaru is smart.


 He understands that his hesitation will slow me down in this case.


 But he can’t stop the feeling that he can’t go to help his friends or Amelia.


 He is trying desperately to swallow up his overflowing frustration, whether it is pity or frustration.



“Don’t make that face.” (Jiro)


“But.” (Masaru)



 I lightly flicked Masaru’s forehead.



“I told you, you’re not wrong. No one can say you’re not one of us because you didn’t go to Amelia’s aid this time. Besides, you have an important role to play.” (Jiro)


“A role?” (Masaru)


“Oh, you have an important role to play as a home guard for people to come home, so don’t look like that. Being a home guard is something you can’t belittle.” (Jiro)



 Masaru must have heard my words as just empty words of comfort, as his eyebrows began to furrow even more than usual, and I explained with a wry smile.



“It’s comforting to know that someone is waiting for us to come home. In my case, it’s Suela and Memoria. But it’s also a place where you can stand. And if Kaido and the others know that you are waiting for them, it will give them the support they need to fight the feeling of giving up at the last minute.” (Jiro)



 The word “comforting” is surprisingly difficult to make fun of.


 A little bit of comfort can make the difference.


 Through the battle, I understood that such a small margin can be a lifeline.


 Hearing my words, Kaido, Minami, and Kitamiya nodded in agreement.



“Wait for the good news, that you should.” (Minami)


“I’ll show you why I am your senior.” (Kaido)


“Well, as long as Masru is waiting for me as Jiro said, I don’t have to worry.” (Karen)



 There are no lies in their words.


 It’s easy to act alone, but when someone is waiting behind you, it becomes a burden and forces you to act cowardly.


 After understanding this, Masaru closed his eyes and took a deep breath.



“I understand. I’ll be waiting for everyone.” (Masaru)



 He opened his eyes and said so as if to blow away everyone’s worries.



“Oh, leave it to me. After you bring Amelia back, we’ll all have a party.” (Masaru)



 I told myself to smile and look forward so as not to betray his decision.




Note for the Day

There are times when I have to make decisions in a short amount of time, but I never thought the day would come when I would have to make a decision as important as this.



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