During puberty, even the smallest problems often feel like the end of the world. But our young, naive minds do not stay worried for long; we soon forget what it was that was causing our anxiety in the first place.
In addition, thanks to a subconscious defense mechanism we call forgetfulness, even more serious issues that would cause us to question the world we live in disappear from our minds like wisps of smoke.
Once the ball tournament was over, we turned our attention to the most important event Sage Academy held each year, summer camp. Even though the name makes it sound happy and carefree, it was actually an action-packed week-long camp where the teams paddled up the Tone River and lived in tents without any adult supervision. We had to have our teacher approve our itinerary to make sure it didn’t clash with another team’s schedule, but that was the only input we would get from them. This would be our first time going outside the Holy Barrier since our visit to the Temple of Purity, so everyone was as excited and nervous as if we had been told we were going to explore a new planet.
Our anticipation and anxiety grew ever more intense each day, and every time we saw each other, someone had a new story or rumor or theory they had heard about summer camp. Although none of these discussions were based in fact, and thus weren’t actually helpful for our trip, they took our minds off of our worries.
And so, the bitter aftertaste from the unsatisfactory conclusion of the ball tournament did not linger long on our tongues. We did not remember the long-absent Reiko Amano, nor were we concerned with the fact that another student, Manabu Katayama, had disappeared from our midst.
Of course, this lack of thought itself is undeniable proof that our memories were being meticulously and deftly manipulated.