Chapter 39 – Kindergarten
Finally, I made my entry into the academic world.
“I am delighted to meet so many new people on this wonderful day—”
Kindergarten entrance ceremony.
I must have experienced this in a previous life, but I have no memory of it.
The only memories I have of my time in kindergarten are playing with blocks during break time, playing in the sand, playing with origami, …… and playing alone.
But not in this life.
Memories from the age of four onward will remain so-so, even as adults.
All children who attend this kindergarten will go to the same elementary school, so they will continue to be connected for some time to come.
In other words, future friendships will be useful in the future.
So in this life, I will be more involved with others.
It will be hard to deal with kindergartners, but it’s a small price to pay considering the connections I may make that will be useful in the future.
“Good luck, Hijiri. Please tell me all about kindergarten when you get home.”
The first day of kindergarten, I headed there with a mother’s encouragement.
The interaction with the children, having been reincarnated and coming to the kindergarten with a new resolve, was…
“Wait, wait, wait!”
“Wow, this guy is fast.”
“Ha ha ha ha …… ha ha …… Huh? Surprisingly fun?”
It was fun to play tag with a large group of children, running around the small but spacious kindergarten grounds as fast as we could.
I remember that in my previous life, I was slower than others, so it was no fun to get caught as soon as I was targeted.
However, now I am the one who has acquired leg strength that surpasses that of my peers due to body strengthening.
The narrow premises meant that there were few safe zones, and the game of tag, in which you were surrounded by multiple demons if you let your guard down for a moment, had just the right level of difficulty.
“Yay, I got the elbow!”
“I got caught. Okay, everyone, run away. I’m the next demon.”
I turn my red and white hat inside out and chase after the fleeing children.
There are children who use the playground equipment as a wall to escape, children who run as fast as they can, children who feel safe in a crowded place, and children of all kinds.
I run around the kindergarten yard, giving each child a sense of accomplishment for having escaped, without concentrating on just one.
As was the case at the get-together, winning and losing in play is relatively unimportant to adults. I can afford to get caught by the demons in moderation, blast the kids who look bored, and adjust the difficulty level.
Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces makes me happy, too. I think I understand a little how kindergarten teachers feel.
“Okay, so in a previous life I was a proud, headstrong kid who couldn’t have fun. Then I guess I’ll do better this time.”
“Hijiri is here, get out of the way~”
I remember that in my previous life, when I was told these things, I got mad and chased after them, and in the end, I couldn’t catch up with them and got into playing by myself because group play was no fun.
I recalled the forgotten memories of my previous life and continued to enjoy my second kindergarten life.
I could report to my mother, without lying, that I had made a lot of friends.
After all, the cheerful children become friends immediately when they play together. Their communication skills are terrific.
Above all, in kindergarten, the strongest and the fastest are the best.
My classmates, who instinctively understood my strength through play, naturally began to recognize me as the top of the caste.
I had forgotten that there was this kind of unspoken atmosphere in kindergarten. Human beings are deep-rooted creatures, even at an early age.
And so, I quickly became the center of the class.
I never know what life has in store for me, that in a previous life I was making transformable dragons out of blocks, and now I’m at the top of a group of jolly boys playing outdoors.
However, my goal is not to pretend to be the king of the mountain.
My goal is to make connections that will be useful in the future.
As I was exploring the kindergarten to see if there were any sons of powerful people anywhere, I heard several voices coming from the staff room.
“Mamoru, again slipped out of class. I think it’s time to give him a warning.”
“When Mamoru’s older brother was a student here four years ago, his mother came to protest when the homeroom teacher gave him a warning.”
“Isn’t that nonsense? That’s troublesome, isn’t it?
“His father is a fine politician, why did he choose such a woman?”
“Hey, you don’t know who is listening. That kind of bad language will be passed on to the children.”
I overheard the melancholy complaints of working adults.
The principal is right, you never know where or who is listening.
The teacher who was complaining is the homeroom teacher next door, so Mamoru-kun would be there. I was hiding behind the fish tank and started moving as soon as I could.
I already remember the names of the guys I play outside with.
I also know them well, as they play in the sand and use the playground equipment without any trouble.
In other words, Mamoru must be an indoor person.
Based on my guess, I peeked into the neighboring Violet class and found that about half of the class was playing indoors.
I couldn’t tell who was Mamoru-kun.
As I was considering how to find him, I noticed a familiar face.
I probably should have called out louder, but the mysterious outsider feeling of being in another class, combined with the fact that I was an outsider, made me keep my voice low.
Still, my long-time friend realized I was calling her and turned to me.
“Hijiri, what’s up?”
“Do you know which one is Mamoru-kun?”
“Mamoru-kun is that boy.”
I thought he might be a naughty boy since he was said to sneak out of class, but he had a mature appearance that would put an average indoor student to shame.
If I had to pick out his best feature, it would be his hair. His hair is loose and fluffy, and just by looking at it, you can feel the love of his parents.
His face is sleek, and he has the potential of having a face deviation score of 63 or so in the future.
However, I am worried that he is a bit too hunched over, perhaps a saga of being an indoor person.
He is enthusiastically stacking blocks to create something of a rectangular shape.
“Thank you, Kana. Let’s play maybe some other time.”
Kana and I still play together frequently.
We often play together, including the eldest son of the Tonoobe family. I’m the one who takes care of them.
So, this time, I’m going to prioritize my objective.
“Hey, what are you making?”
There was no reply.
He didn’t seem to realize that I was talking to him.
After interacting with the children for a number of times, I have come to understand how to interact with them, and I look them squarely in the eye and talk to them. This way I could get along with the kids I was meeting for the first time.
It was supposed to work ……, but this kid seems to be a different type.
“Mamoru-kun, what are you making?”
This time I spoke so loudly and at such close range that it was impossible not to notice.
However, Mamoru-kun glanced at me and immediately returned his gaze to the blocks.
Oh, I know this feeling.
It’s just like me in my previous life.
Suddenly a stranger speaks to me and I am at a loss for what to do.
I guess I’m in a brainstorming session, looking for the right answer, what to say or how to act.
You must not push these types of people too hard.
You have to sit quietly next to him and take your time with him to open up to you.
If I were him, that’s what I would want me to do.
So, I decided to play with blocks too.
The type of blocks is different from the ones I had at home in my previous life. It would be difficult to recreate the transforming dragon model series.
“I’m going to move the box a little bit.”
Most of these block models have a picture of a person who will serve as a model on the vessel.
It is quite fun just to imitate them.
The end result of this imitation is the transforming dragon series, so children’s creativity is not to be underestimated.
He plays with blocks silently.
I don’t talk to Mamoru-kun.
I am still an outsider in his mind.
Talking to him here would only annoy him.
That day, I spoke to him first, and after that, we finished our break time without exchanging any words.
The next day, I just greeted him with “Hi, I’ll use the block too,” and we assembled the blocks in silence from then on.
The next day, and the next, and the Monday after Saturday and Sunday, I continued to play blocks next to him.
One day, I came from the yard to the Violet class and started to play with blocks, but he, sitting next to me, called out to me.
“I want that one.”
He pointed to a blue blocks that I had been gathering.
I was planning to use them for the bottom of a cargo ship I was working on, but it didn’t matter if it was blue or not.
I said, “Okay,” and handed him the pile of blue blocks.
No further conversation occurred that day.
Only a person with good communication skills would think, “Oh, I think we’ve become friends”.
A person like Mamoru will not open his heart after just one conversation.
At least I wouldn’t.
I am the type of person who carefully selects the best friends whom I let inside my heart.
And so, a month passed.
There is still no conversation between us.
We just silently put the blocks together.
“Give me that.”
However, these casual conversations became more frequent.
This is evidence that my presence in his mind has been upgraded from “a scary person whom I don’t know well” to “a person whom I can talk to”.
This is a big progress.
It’s probably safe for me to talk to him now.
“Hey, what are you making?”
I guess I still didn’t succeed.
Maybe the walls of his heart are higher than mine in my previous life.
Just as I was about to give up, I heard a small voice from next to me.
I turned my head next to him and saw the profile of Mamoru-kun, who was staring at the block and silently continuing his creation.
I guess this is …… a sign that we have become a little closer.
No reply came.
However, I was indescribably moved by the fact that his heart had opened up a bit.
I had been trying to befriend him with impure motives, but after approaching him every day like this, it is surprising that I really want to be friends with him.
Maybe I bonded with him before he did with me.