Chapter 7:

A Shopping Spree with Yui

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

“Why the hell am I here again, Yui?” Kazuma asked himself as he sighed out of exhaustion.Bookmark here

It was Saturday noon when Kazuma accompanied Yui to a shopping mall. Protected from the warm temperatures outside, they roamed around in the mall for an hour with Kazuma already holding two shopping bags in each of his hands.Bookmark here

“Hm? Consider yourself lucky. Instead of doing nothing at home, you can now hang out with me while carrying my shopping bags! Or did you have plans with someone else? Oh, I forgot! You have nobody else, hehe!” she explained while making fun of him.Bookmark here

“Oh, yes, I'm so lucky, hurray.” he stated monotonously.Bookmark here

“That's the spirit!” Yui complimented him despite knowing that it was sarcasm.Bookmark here

“So, what's next on your list?” Kazuma asked because he wanted to finish everything quickly so he could go home.Bookmark here

“Hmm... There are still many things I wanted to do but how about you? Do you need anything? Maybe clothes? Yes, let's look at clothes for you!” she decided without his consent.Bookmark here

“But-”Bookmark here

“Please don't say something like 'But I don't need clothes. I have enough already'. Even though we started talking to each other since a year ago, I can imagine that you have only four or five clothing articles besides your school uniform.” she said while pointing with her finger at him.Bookmark here

“What if you went on multiple dates with a girl while always wearing the same clothes?! How sad it may sound, but in today's age you need to have good fashion sense to impress most girls!” she continued to lecture him.Bookmark here

“Geez, you really should feel lucky that we are going shopping now. Tachibana-san would be disgusted with you if you, hypothetically, would hang out with her occasionally outside from school.” she finished her argument.Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

Kazuma could only be silent. Everything she just stated was true. Today, he wore a plain white T-shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers. His fashion sense was by no means terrible. It was just fine. He thought to himself that this clothing combination was enough and that buying more clothes would be a waste of money. However, he was wrong and Yui made him realize it.Bookmark here

“F-fine, then. Let's look for clothes.” he agreed as he knew that any further arguments would end with his existence being more and more insulted.Bookmark here

“Alright, let's go! You have received your monthly allowance from your uncle, right? Don't worry, I will pay attention to the prices!” she smiled confidently.Bookmark here

“Maybe this day could be surprisingly fun...” he muttered barely audible.Bookmark here

“Did you say something?”Bookmark here

“No, not really. Now show me the first shop.” he said with motivation and a smile this time.Bookmark here

Arriving at the first shop, Yui quickly scanned the articles. When she found a good looking clothing piece, she would take it with no hesitation.Bookmark here

After roughly 30 minutes she returned to Kazuma who was searching for clothes alone. She carried a mountain of clothes on her hands. Compared to her, Kazuma still did not find anything for himself.Bookmark here

“Go ahead and try them.” she ordered with a beaming smile.Bookmark here

“E-everything?” he stuttered.Bookmark here

“Yes! Every. Single. One.” she answered.Bookmark here

Being exhausted before even trying them on, Kazuma grabbed the mountain of clothes and went to the changing cabins whereas Yui waved her hand to him looking happier and more excited than him.Bookmark here

After 2 hours of changing clothes and having Yui rate them, Kazuma picked two pants and three T-shirts in the end.Bookmark here

“I'm beat...” Kazuma sighed.Bookmark here

“But it was fun, right?” Yui smiled at him without any hint of tiredness.Bookmark here

“How can you be still so full of energy...” he asked her while being on the verge of collapsing.Bookmark here

“Hmm... because I'm a girl maybe?” she replied innocently.Bookmark here

“What the heck? This is no reas-”Bookmark here

“Hey, isn't that Tachibana-san?” Yui sought for confirmation.Bookmark here

“?!”Bookmark here

Yui was right. Right before them, Emma was walking in the mall with a few shopping bags in her hands.Bookmark here

Being surprised, Kazuma's previous exhaustion vanished and he abruptly stood straight and confident so Emma would not get a bad impression of him.Bookmark here

“Good afternoon, Tachibana-san!” Yui greeted her while walking over to her.Bookmark here

“Ah, Nagisa-san! Good afternoon to you, too!” Emma greeted her back as she waved her hand to her.Bookmark here

While both of the girls conversed with each other happily, Kazuma observed them from afar.Bookmark here

In front of him was an angel and a devil.Bookmark here

Emma, the angel, wore a white one piece dress, a beige sun hat, azure blue sunglasses and high heels whereas Yui, the devil, wore black boots and a red shirt tucked in her black skirt which matched her hair and eye colors.Bookmark here

“Cute.” Kazuma admitted quietly in astonishment.Bookmark here

Emma could wear anything she wanted and Kazuma would still call her cute. However, he only realized now that Yui was also looking cute. Due to him only seeing Yui as his buddy, he did not realize that she was also a typical girl who would occasionally dress herself up to make herself look prettier like today.Bookmark here

“Kazuma, come here!” Yui shouted from a distance.Bookmark here

Hearing her, Kazuma was back in reality after being lost in thoughts. Then, he walked over to those two.Bookmark here

“H-hello Tachibana.” he greeted her nervously.Bookmark here

“Good afternoon, Ichinose-san.” she replied with a smile.Bookmark here

“Now that we are all here, how about we go eat something together? Oh, I'm sorry, Tachibana-san. Do you already have plans?” Yui asked Emma for her consent.Bookmark here

“That's a great idea! Don't worry, I'm already done with my plans for today.” she answered.Bookmark here

“Nice! Let's go then!” Yui declared.Bookmark here

While the three of them walked to a restaurant, Yui and Emma talked to each other while laughing from time to time whereas Kazuma walked behind them and carried all the bags.Bookmark here

“Ah, here we are!” Yui pointed at the restaurant.Bookmark here

“A pizzeria? Didn't you just eat pizza yesterd- mmhh!” Kazuma tried to comment but was interrupted by Yui who covered his mouth with her hands.Bookmark here

“Oh, I heard that they are really popular here, especially with the younger people!” Emma commented.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I was already here once and it was delicious!” Yui gave a thumbs up.Bookmark here

Then, they entered the pizzeria and a waiter led them to a free table.Bookmark here

“Oh sorry, I have to pick flowers.” Yui said with an apologetic face.Bookmark here

“Ah yes, go ahead!” Emma replied.Bookmark here

“Picking flowers? What's wrong with you? We are in a restaurant.” Kazuma stated as he had no clue what it actually meant.Bookmark here

“Ehm, well...” Emma smiled nervously.Bookmark here

Smack.Bookmark here

“You sure are an idiot. I meant the bathroom!” she explained and gave Kazuma a smack on his head.Bookmark here

“Ouch, that hurt! Fine, now hurry before we order without you!” he cried in pain.Bookmark here

“Geez, could you just shut up!” Yui yelled embarrassed back.Bookmark here

After that, Yui left Emma and Kazuma alone as she went to the toilet.Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

Being alone with Emma at the table, Kazuma did not know how to start a conversation with her. Not noticing it himself, he began to sweat and looked at his surroundings out of nervousness.Bookmark here

“N-nice weather today, right?” he tried to break the ice.Bookmark here

“O-oh, yes, I agree with you.” she replied.Bookmark here

Kazuma was not the only one who was nervous. Emma who was rarely alone with a boy her age or rather, with someone who confessed his love to her multiple times, also tried to hide her nervousness.Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

It was silent again.Bookmark here

Kazuma had to think. Why was it so hard to talk to her normally despite being able to converse with Yui effortlessly? He had no answer to that question.Bookmark here

Therefore, he had to think harder. Harder than in any school exams he wrote before.Bookmark here

“!”Bookmark here

Now he had an answer.Bookmark here

It was simple. Kazuma viewed Yui as his friend whereas he viewed Emma as his love interest. So all he had to do was to try to view Emma as a friend. But it was of course easier said than done.Bookmark here

What would happen if this strategy backfires? Would the mood between them worsen? Would she feel uncomfortable?Bookmark here

However, he knew that he had to try. He had no time to think about the worst case scenarios. His goal was to achieve the best case scenario and it could not be achieved if he would not do anything.Bookmark here

In this moment, he mustered up all his courage to initiate the first step as he clenched both of his fists against his legs. Then, he took a deep breath to calm down.Bookmark here

“Geez, what is taking her so long? Did Yui get lost on her way to the bathroom?” Kazuma tried to lighten up the mood with a small joke.Bookmark here

“That must be it, hehe.” she giggled.Bookmark here

Seeing that it was a success, Kazuma gave himself a pat on his shoulders. Internally, of course.Bookmark here

Feeling hot like a basketball player who scored one point after another, Kazuma wanted to try another joke.Bookmark here

Bzz.Bookmark here

However, as soon as he tried to open his mouth, his phone vibrated.Bookmark here

“Hm? Seems like Yui wrote me a message.” Kazuma said.Bookmark here

“What did she write?” Emma asked.Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

As he read her message, his face got paler and his eyebrows started to twitch.Bookmark here

He could only massage his forehead with his fingers while he showed Emma his phone.Bookmark here

[Sorry guys but I have to take care of something. Enjoy the pizza without me!]Bookmark here

“Eh?” Emma was as shocked as he was.Bookmark here

With both of them spending time alone while eating dinner, will their relationship finally progress or will Kazuma receive his 16th rejection? Nobody had the answer at that point of time.  Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.