Solus: The Pairing of Fate
“Let’s go Izuya.”
“Why are you the one worked up?”
“I just can’t stand the way they are treating this! Not even giving a heads up and simply handing it over to some other person.”
After the welcoming ceremony was done, Ikuro and I headed to our class - 1A - and settled down. Most of the students in this class seemed to know each other. They were gathered in groups similar to their parent’s relations. Meanwhile, the more prestigious ones were alone and admired by others around them. Ikuro was one of them, he was playing games on his mobile phone while others were whispering among themselves.
Another such example was the person who sat next to me. Mikase Suzuha, the freshmen representative. The youngest daughter of Mikase Technology Corporation, an elite of the elite and one of the few families that believed in the Solus pairing for relationships.
“Hey. You are Hikaru Izuya right? The top scorer for the exams.”
Hearing Mikase suddenly calling me out surprised me. During the ceremony, my attention was on the principal and wondering what happened. I wasn’t really paying attention to who the representative was at the time and how she looked.
She had a soft, mellow voice. Her straight black hair went down to her waist - her figure that could make most girls jealous, paired with her coral blue eyes. The epitome of beauty if I should say.
“Y-yea. And you are Mikase-san, right? The freshmen representative.”
She had seemed to flinch at the mention of the word representative. Her eyebrows frowned a little as she jerked her head over towards my direction.
“In case you were wondering. I do not believe that I deserved the representative position, considering how I wasn’t the top scorer. I was only informed two days ago about my role and had to prepare for it.”
“Two days ago? Truth be told, I didn’t even know that the representative was going to be changed until today.” I chuckled a little as I answered.
“What? Were you not informed about it?” She began to lean towards me as she questioned it.
Being so close to someone as pretty as her, was a first for me, prompting me to back off and face away from her.
“All right everyone. Settle down, homeroom is about to start.”
Being saved by the teacher coming in, I let out a sigh of relief.
As soon as homeroom concluded, I went ahead of Ikuro and headed to the teacher’s lounge, wanting to clarify what happened this morning.
“I apologize. This was completely my mistake.”
What was supposed to be a trip to the teacher’s lounge ended in me being in the principal’s office.
“You were supposed to be informed of this two days earlier, I had planned to send out a letter to you but…” Principal Senagi timidly hides a letter that was buried under a mountain of documents.
Senagi Akisa, a highly influential person in the world of the elites, took over as the Principal after her father had retired. According to her, I was removed from the position due to opposition from various sponsors of the school.
Most of them were not keen on the fact that someone, who was not considered an elite. Someone who belongs on the middle to the lower end of the hierarchy would be the representative for the freshmen when there are more qualified people regardless of the results.
“I hope you don’t take it to heart on this matter. Regarding Mikase-san, she was rather opposed to this as well. After receiving notice of the change, she barged in here in opposition. Despite her looks, she is a rather impulsive person.”
Impulsive...Sure enough, looking at her, she looked to be the definition of elegance. Was that the reason why she decided to clarify it with me earlier on?
After a short talk with the Principal, I was sent on my way. As I headed out the door, Ikuro was right outside waiting for me.
“Yo, Izuya. How did it go?”
After explaining to him about what went through, and how it was a mistake that my notice was left out, Ikuro seemed rather ticked off.
“Strong opposition...Must be the sore losers who can’t accept that they lost to someone lower than them.”
“I guess you could look at it that way. Well, no getting around it...except by crushing them more.” I casually laughed it off with a sinister smile on my face.”
Ikuro responded by smiling along with me.
“What a coincidence, I was thinking the same thing. “
As we got our bags from class and slowly made our way onto the field and towards the exit. Ikuro leaned closer and whispered.
“Don’t look now, but stalker, seven o’clock.”
Despite him telling me not to look, my apparent stalker was attracting the attention of everybody else around us. Hiding behind the tree with her head slightly peaking out, was a familiar face, one with long black hair.
“Man, what did you talk to her about in class today? She’s been following you since homeroom ended.”
“We barely even spoke to each other. Should I pretend I didn’t notice?”
“How about we turn the corner, and…”
As soon as we turned the corner at the entrance, we ran away.
“Come to think of it, Ikuro. Why are we running again?”
“I don’t really know myself, but nothing good comes from interacting with someone of her status for you.”
We made a stop in front of the shopping district, panting heavily while we wiped off our sweat.
“Agh! What the hell?!”
“What’s wrong?” I asked Ikuro as he let out a shout of pain.
“It feels as if I got cut around my calf.”
“D-Don’t tell me...Your Solus partner got injured?”
“Haha, real funny. Don’t even joke about it. You know how Solus families work, they will attempt to find their Solus partners until the age of 18 and if not found, they would be free to pursue who they want.”
“Yeah yeah, your heart was already taken long ago. Any luck there with Madoka?”
“If you mean being ignored, then I have great luck.”
Solus families. As the name says, those are families who have strong beliefs in Solus pairings. Solus Partners begin to start feeling the shared sensation of pain starting at the age of 15.
As the pairings could be with anyone from anywhere in the world, most families would generally attempt to find their Solus partners for 3 years before giving free rein. The Amagami household was one such family.
“Still, I can’t believe that your unrequited love has already lasted for seven years now.”
“Leave it.” Ikuro frowned at the thought of it.
“Still, even if you get to the age of 18 and could pursue her, you got to start working on her first you know?”
The current Ikuro was the type of person who did not like to flaunt his wealth, he developed a habit of at least taking public transport back home after being forced by his family to ride a car to school. The both of us reminisced about the past before we went our separate ways.
The following day, we were back in class, waiting for lessons to begin. It was still rather awkward, sitting next to Mikase after practically fleeing from her the previous day.
“Hm? Suzuha, did you injure your leg?”
“Oh, this...I accidentally scratched it on a tree branch yesterday, it did hurt at first but it’s nothing serious.” Mikase responded as she stroked the calf of her leg that had a patch on it
A group of girls had surrounded Mikase’s table as they were engrossed in their conversation. Out of curiosity, I sneaked a peek at her injury, from the size of the patch, it must have been a rather big cut on her calf.
Wait...Calf..? Didn’t Ikuro complain about feeling a sharp pain on his calf yesterday? Could it just have been a coincidence? I thought to myself. Mikase’s cut was on her left leg while I can’t seem to recall which leg did Ikuro feel the pain from.
As I was deep in thought, I had completely forgotten about the fact that I was still blatantly staring at her injury.
“Could you maybe stop being so obvious in staring at her legs? Gross.” One of the groupies said as the others snickered.
The conversation had attracted the attention of the entire class. Mikase shyly tucked her legs inwards while slightly blushing.
“Ah ah. This is why they shouldn’t allow non-elites to enroll here, they have no sense of class.” Another one of the groupies shrugged her head while she said that rather loudly.
“Hah? What’s that got to do with this? I was just lost in thought.”
“Sure. Lost in thought while staring at another’s leg, what a pathetic excuse.”
Despite the nonsensical claim, I couldn’t find any way to retort them. Although I honestly didn’t notice I was staring, it doesn’t change the fact that I did.
“Even if he was staring, what’s that got to do with you? It’s not as if he was staring at your leg.”
“W-what? And who do you think you ar…” Anger flaring in her eyes, she jerked around only to face straight towards Ikuro.
“Besides, staring at a person’s leg is one thing, it’s at least better than some other actions.” He glanced over to Mikase who caught his gaze.
Ikuro must be referring to how Mikase was sneakily following me around the school yesterday and peeking at me.
“That’s enough, Mizumi-san. I believe he honestly didn’t mean it.”
“W-well, if you say so…” Groupie number 1, Mizumi-san, finally backed off after Mikase intervened.
As the others got back to their seats, Ikuro stuck his tongue out towards Mizumi while walking over to my desk.
“Thanks, dude. You saved me.”
“Uwah...What a pervert, gawking at someone’s legs in the middle of the class.”
“Shut it.” I punched him in the stomach as he began to tease me.
“Hey Ikuro, I have something to ask you.”
“Hikaru-kun. Do you perhaps have some time after this?”
As class ended, Mikase called out to me as I was about to ask Ikuro about yesterday.
“If so, do you mind accompanying me for a short while?”
“Mikase-san is asking him out?” One guy murmured
“She’s probably inviting him out of kindness”
I couldn’t seem to find words to reply to her and simply stared blankly.
“Sure, he’s free!”
“And why the heck are you answering for me?”
“Am I wrong? I’m pretty much your only other friend and we didn’t make plans today.”
Annoyed by his response, I glared at Ikuro. He simply responded with a smug look on his face. I could tell that this was his revenge against me for teasing him about Madoka yesterday.
“About the day before…”
“The day before?”
After leaving the school, we made our way to a nearby cafe. Ikuro sent us off with a grin on his face while our classmates were talking amongst themselves.
“Oh, you mean what Ikuro was talking about?” She seemed to flinch a little as I mentioned what Ikuro said this morning.
“I wasn’t following you around. I wanted to continue our conversation that was cut off the previous morning but you seemed to be rather busy that I didn’t have the chance to catch you.”
Come to think of it, I was with Ikuro the whole time yesterday apart from when I went to the Principal’s office.
“Amagami-san and you seemed pretty close.”
“Oh, yeah. We had known each other since elementary school till now.”
She was rather interested in my history with Ikuro and probed about it as I blabbered it to her. Before I realized it, I was telling her everything she asked. Was I...entranced? Sure enough, other customers in the cafe were sneaking glances at Mikase that I felt awkward sitting across from her.
“Come to think of it, if I may ask. How did you get that injury?”
“This? Hm...I got cut by a tree branch as I was chasing after both you and Amagami-san.”
“T-that...I’m kind of sorry for that, we didn’t know why we ran either.” I lowered my head close to the table as I apologized.
“N-no. This was my own fault rather than yours. I could have simply called you out like today rather than give chase.”
My phone lit up with a text message while we both drank our ordered drinks.
‘Having fun?’ It was a text from Ikuro, making fun of me seeing as he sent it with a sticker of a snickering cat.
I looked around in an attempt to spot him. Is he looking from somewhere right now?
‘You probably won’t be able to find me, just concentrate on your ‘date’.’
‘It isn’t a date.’ I swore in my heart that I was going to hit him the next time I saw him.
“ W-What is it?”
“Do you perhaps remember me?”
Remember her? Have we met before yesterday? No, I was positive that I didn’t know of her before today. Besides, there was no way that I could forget if I had known the striking beauty that she is.
“Have...we met before?” I cautiously asked, afraid that we might have crossed paths but I had forgotten.
She remained silent for a brief moment before looking downwards.
“...Perhaps not. Let’s call it a day shall we? I have to return home by sunset.”
Mikase seemed rather dejected as she packed her belongings and stood up. As she left the restaurant, there was a lady that was dressed in a suit awaiting her, guiding her to the car.
As she closed the door, she scowled at me before getting into the front seat of the car herself and drove off. Seeing how she had, presumably - a guard waiting for her with a car. It really drove home that we lived in totally different worlds.
As I was on my way home, I texted Ikuro, asking about which calf he felt the pain from.
‘Don’t tell me, it wasn’t enough to look at a girl’s leg, now you want a boy’s one too?’
I was busily typing a retort while I ducked my head to avoid a tree branch.
“Ow.” I felt a pain as if my hair was pulled by something.
Did I not duck enough and got my hair caught on the branch?
‘It’s the left one, why?’ Ikuro had replied to me as I rubbed my head in pain.
The left leg too...and at the exact same spot as well. It couldn’t be...could it? What were the chances that his Solus partner was not just in the same country but also the same class?
Most Solus pairings were rarely people near each other. It may be from another region of the country, or even across the world. Ikuro’s long-time crush, Madoka was a product of a Solus pairing as well. Her father was Japanese through and through while her mother was from Russia, making her a half-Russian beauty.
I couldn’t simply tell Ikuro that I suspected his Solus partner might be Mikase, he had his hopes on never finding her so as to pursue Madoka.
‘Nothing much, I just felt a pain on my head all of a sudden too’ I decided to use my hair being caught in a tree as an excuse.
‘Maybe it’s your Solus too. Wwww’
‘Yea sure, they are so common.’
Maybe it was due to the recent lack of sleep. I did just pull an all-nighter practicing my now redundant speech. As I was about to open the door to my home, it burst open with my mom dragging a suitcase behind her.
“Mom? Where are you going?”
“To your father, of course. He is in need of assistance in the U.S. “
“So sudden? How long will you be gone?”
“Well, you know how it is with business. I will probably be gone for a few weeks, if not months.”
She was hastily dragging her belongings down the steps, dressed in a fancy purple business suit.
“If you need anything, feel free to contact me or your father.” she said as she loaded her bags into her car and drove off.
“Well, that was…”
The following day, as I arrived in class, I noticed Ikuro’s bag was at his desk but he was nowhere to be seen.
Must have gone off to Madoka again, I thought to myself. Nanaho Madoka, the youngest daughter of the Nanaho Kenji, a famous politician. She was the only one of her sisters that inherited most of her mother’s genes. Despite her sisters having chestnut hair like their father, Madoka was born with platinum blonde hair. She had been known to be a real beauty even during our early childhood and we had used to hang out together with the three of us.
Madoka used to be rather outgoing but had since become rather closed off to others. From what I heard from Ikuro, she has a bad relationship with her siblings who treated her as an outcast out of jealousy.
Madoka also attended Kazekono Private but was placed in another class. She should have been placed in the same class as us considering how her studies were on par with mine.
Whether she made a mistake during her exams or purposely dropped her grades to avoid being in the same class as Ikuro would be something we would never know.
Ikuro had been trying to get her attention ever since he realized his feelings for her seven years ago. At first, seeing the relationship between them, I had thought they would have started going out during middle school, but recently it seems as if they were drifting further and further apart.
It wasn’t until the bell rang did Ikuro come back to class, with a scowl on his face.