Chapter 6:

Chapter 6: Bonds

Solus: The Pairing of Fate

The boss of the kidnappers slowly approached me. I closed my eyes in an attempt to hide yet again, hoping that he thinks it was a mistake.Bookmark here

“Who are you guys?! Let go of me! Where did you guys take Madoka!” I heard Ikuro’s shouts as I continued pretending to be unconscious. Bookmark here

It was Ikuro who woke up abruptly and was seen by one of the kidnappers. Bookmark here

“Shut it, kid!” The boss was grabbing Ikuro by the neck and flung him to the wall.Bookmark here

“We were only after the girl, you guys were just extras. Count yourself unlucky.”Bookmark here

“That’s right, the Nanaho family would pay a hefty sum for her.” One of the grunts said.Bookmark here

“Ugh...hefty sum? So what?! You should now, my Amagami family will not let you go!”Bookmark here

Damn it...Ikuro just had to boast about his family right here…Bookmark here

“...Amagami? HAHAHAHA! We struck gold boys! Both Amagami and Nanaho! We are gonna be rich!” The people in the room laughed in joy as the boss exclaimed.Bookmark here

“...Then the other boy would be from a reputable family as well..?”Bookmark here

“Huh?! That bastard? He’s just a peasant that stuck to me.” Even in this situation, he was dead set on my status. And for the record, I was never stuck to him but in fact, he stuck to Madoka and me.Bookmark here

“Tch, can’t go three for three huh? Hey, Mike! Throw this kid in with that Nanaho girl! It’s about time we call for ransom.”Bookmark here

“Boss, what about the other kid? Should we leave him?”Bookmark here

“Leave him for now, we will get rid of him later.”Bookmark here

Damn it! So just because I wasn’t an elite and they won’t be able to get a good ransom off me, they were going to get rid of me? Like hell, I would let that happen! I recalled that my mother gave me an emergency S.O.S button the other day that I placed in my bag. She was insistent on me having it after hearing that my notebook was tattered. Bookmark here

“This button would replace that memento, if you ever need me, just hit that button and I will be there quickly.” she told me as she handed me the button.Bookmark here

If only I could get to my bag...I should try this.Bookmark here

“Ugh…”Bookmark here

“Boss, the last kid is awake.”Bookmark here

“Heh, aren’t you one unlucky kid? Being roped up in all of this.”Bookmark here

“...Could you let me go at least? I’m not even friendly with that bastard inside and to be honest, I hate him with all my gut.”Bookmark here

“Hoho, would you look at that, boys?”Bookmark here

“Sure. We will let you go. Heh.” They were chuckling amongst themselves as they gestured towards me.Bookmark here

“Thank you. I won’t tell anyone about them.” I bowed as I grabbed my bag and headed towards the exit.Bookmark here

“IZUYA YOU BASTARD!” I could hear Ikuro’s deafening scream from behind the room as I walked.Bookmark here

“...Did you think we would just let you go?” The boss said as one of the grunts picked me up by the collar and flung me backward.Bookmark here

“Haha! Look at this kid, thinking we would just let someone go! Hey, lock him inside with the other 2, they can handle his betrayal themselves.”Bookmark here

As soon as the door opened, Ikuro rushed out towards the boss, with his hand pulling Madoka along. They made a break for the door while the others were still surprised by the sudden attempt. As Ikuro tried to open the door and escape…Bookmark here

“It’s...locked?” Bookmark here

Two other grunts then grabbed Ikuro and Madoka as they flailed and cried and dragged them back into the room with me. Soon enough, I heard the door lock click on the room and I was faced against a furious Ikuro and a terrified Madoka.Bookmark here

“...You shithead! I thought we were friends!”Bookmark here

“Hah! Friends? You were just one-sidedly hanging out with Madoka and still doing the same usual stuff to me. You call that, being friends?!” I tried to argue back, pretending we were actually fighting.Bookmark here

During the struggle earlier, I managed to grab the said button from my bag’s pocket and slipped it into my shirt. I played along, hoping Ikuro would notice what I was doing and act back but apparently, he was too agitated. The next thing I knew, his fist was in my face.Bookmark here

Madoka was desperately trying to get Ikuro to stop hitting me as she cried while Ikuro was still screaming. I had my hands full trying to defend against Ikuro and I wasn’t able to get the button out.Bookmark here

“You hear that? I want 500 million, for each kid. Both Nanaho and Amagami, if you want them back alive that is.” The kidnappers were currently making their ransom calls to the two families and as expected, I wasn’t even part of their ransom.Bookmark here

“...cut it out!” I shoved Ikuro back. Bookmark here

Before Ikuro could lunge at me again, I placed my finger on my lip, gesturing to them to keep quiet. Ikuro didn’t manage to catch it but Madoka did and she placed her hands over Ikuro to shut him up.Bookmark here

“...just calm down...I got a plan…” I whispered softly to both of them.Bookmark here

It was only when I pulled out the button from within my shirt did Ikuro calm down.Bookmark here

“...When did you…”Bookmark here

“When I pretended to leave dumbass.” I snapped at him.Bookmark here

“You mean you were pretending..?” He questioned.Bookmark here

“Huh? Of course, I was, you think I was just going to leave you guys here? Like it or now, we have been together for 4 years now.” Both Ikuro and Madoka seemed shocked at my declaration. It seems that both had thought I was truly abandoning them.Bookmark here

Do I really look like that much of a selfish person?Bookmark here

I pressed the button three times, indicating I was in an emergency according to what my mother told me.Bookmark here

“Now we wait…”Bookmark here

“Izuya, who does that contact?” Madoka asked.Bookmark here

“My mother, apparently.”Bookmark here

“So how is that going to help us?” Ikuro questioned.Bookmark here

True. My mother was a rather mysterious person considering the fact that I barely knew anything about her job except that ran businesses. So even if mother somehow knew I was in an emergency, she didn’t know where I was and the police wouldn’t do anything unless I was missing for 24 hours.Bookmark here

‘That’s…”Bookmark here

“So we are back to square one then…” Ikuro sighed.Bookmark here

“Square one but I’m severely injured by a certain someone’s punches.”Bookmark here

“Sorry about that then, I was sure you betrayed me.”Bookmark here

“What’s all this? You guys already made up? Kids these days.” The bald-headed grunt, who the boss called Mike earlier, opened the door to check on us.Bookmark here

“You two are staying here until the ransom comes in. As for you, you aren’t really needed, or, do you have a number for ransom.”Bookmark here

“I…” I didn’t even have a phone with me so I couldn’t even give them my parent’s number.Bookmark here

“Tell my father! He will pay the ransom for both of us.” Ikuro shouted at Mike.Bookmark here

“Ohoho? Do you hear that boss? The Amagami kid says to get them to pay for both of them.”Bookmark here

“Ikuro…” I looked at him, as he nodded.Bookmark here

This was his way of saying that he was repaying me for what he did earlier on.Bookmark here

“Are you alright, Ikuro?” Madoka touched his face which was scratched when the grunts flung him earlier.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m fine.”Bookmark here

She was basically caressing his face while Ikuro blushed as they sat there. Madoka was awake the whole time and heard everything that happened, like how Ikuro was searching for Madoka even though he was in a rather dangerous situation himself and how he was flung against the wall.Bookmark here

“...Could you two stop flirting in this situation?”Bookmark here

“~W-We are not flirting!~” So they say but they were perfectly in sync and blushing red till their ears.Bookmark here

XXXBookmark here

“Any updates from them?!”Bookmark here

“N-Not yet, Boss…” Mike had timidly replied.Bookmark here

Judging from my self-evaluation of the time, it has probably been two hours since they made the ransom call. Even from behind the door, I could make out that the kidnapper’s boss was furious by the fact that they had no updates.Bookmark here

The Amagami and Nanaho households were both not to be underestimated. They were probably stalling for time as they tried to find our traces.Bookmark here

“Make a call again…”Bookmark here

“Boss? But what would we tell them?”Bookmark here

“Hehe...If they want to stall...we just have to rush them...Bring the kid, we will let them hear his voice.”Bookmark here

“I-I don’t think threatening them with their heir would end well.”Bookmark here

“You idiot! You think I wouldn't know that?!” The boss had raised his fist and brought it down on his subordinate.Bookmark here

“T-then?”Bookmark here

“...There’s another one, isn’t there? He’s not related to them but he is part of the ransom. Get him here!”Bookmark here

The door to our room flung open as the bulky-looking man stood before it. We were surprised by the sudden entry and started backing up towards the wall when he walked over. He grabbed me by the collar and lifted me up, dragging me out.Bookmark here

“Let go of me!” I struggled frantically as I kicked about.Bookmark here

“Izuya!” Ikuro rushed forward and bashed against the man, although it wasn’t of any use. Bookmark here

With our small bodies, a hit like that would simply be a tickle to him. He simply pushed Ikuro backward rather gently, making sure not to use excessive force.Bookmark here

“Stay put. We can’t have you getting injured now, can we?” He shut the door as he left the room with me in tow. As the door shut, I could hear Ikuro and Madoka’s scream from behind it.Bookmark here

The boss was currently talking on the phone. I presumed that he was speaking with either Ikuro’s parents or Madokas’. Bookmark here

Calm down...What can I do here? Could I maybe risk it and call out to them for help? But they wouldn’t know our location…Bookmark here

What if they could find my mother? Bookmark here

I decided to take my chances at attempting to inform their parents to find Mother. If they could meet her, they should be able to get our location from her. Although I wasn’t sure what would happen to us in the meantime, it was better than doing nothing now.Bookmark here

“...and of course we wouldn’t want to harm a precious heir of the Amagami household now would we? Instead, we have here his precious friend, who agreed to be part of his ransom.” The boss gestured to the man holding me to bring me closer.Bookmark here

As he brought the phone to my ear, he told me to speak into it. Perhaps it was due to my stubbornness at the time, I looked away, refusing to comply with his demands. This ended rather badly with me getting a fist straight to my abdomen.Bookmark here

“Kwhak!” I cried out, gasping for air.Bookmark here

“This little brat! You heard him, didn’t you this time? If you don’t hurry with your ransom, it won’t be this kid on the line next time...I am a very impatient man after all, hehe.”Bookmark here

“What a coincidence...I am a rather impatient woman as well.” A sharp and clear voice rang from behind the entrance.Bookmark here

“What in the?”Bookmark here

The entrance door which was locked securely suddenly blasted open with the sound of gunshots. Not long after, men dressed entirely in black suits, each holding guns, stormed into the room, with everyone pointing their weapons at each of the kidnappers.Bookmark here

“W-Who are you people?!” The boss exclaimed as he almost fell over backward. The grunts in the room were visibly shaken by the sudden intrusions that they couldn’t move.Bookmark here

A figure appeared from within the mass number of suited men, wearing shades. She took off her shades while her hair flipped in the air as she stared straight into my direction.Bookmark here

“Who am I?”Bookmark here

“Mother?!”Bookmark here

“I’m his mother, that’s who.”Bookmark here

“D-Don’t move! I have this kid in my hands, do you not care what happens to him?!” The man, arms choking me by the neck while his other arm wielded a knife that was pointed to my throat.Bookmark here

“Tch!” She clicked her tongue, seemingly annoyed by the situation.Bookmark here

Why was mother here, and who were these men dressed in black? There was a mountain of questions in my mind despite my current situation. I was rather terrified by the sharp edge of the knife that was almost touching my throat, especially since his hand was slightly trembling, making me wonder if I would be accidentally cut.Bookmark here

It was then that the door to the room where we were in started banging. Ikuro was desperately ramming against the door, creating much noise. The said noise had distracted everyone in the room for a brief moment, including the boss’s attention on me as he turned towards the noise.Bookmark here

Bite!Bookmark here

“Argh! You brat!” I bit down as hard as I could on the arm before me, causing him to release his grip on me as I stumbled on the floor.Bookmark here

“Capture them all!” Mother shouted.Bookmark here

At that instance, everyone rushed towards the kidnappers and had them pinned to the floor. Bookmark here

“Izuya…” Mother had opened her arms, welcoming me into her embrace. Despite that, the first thing that I did was turn back and ran towards the door at the back. I reached up to unlock the lock and then opened the door.Bookmark here

“Ikuro! Madoka! You guys alright?!” More than my curiosity on how Mother was here, I was more concerned for my friends who were trapped inside, especially after that loud sound a while ago.Bookmark here

...what’s going on over there?” The phone the kidnappers were using was still connected to Ikuro’s parents. My mother picked up the phone and answered it instead.Bookmark here

“Your children are safe, I got them.”Bookmark here

The kidnappers were taken care of rather quickly after they disappeared into the car with handcuffs on. Were they being brought directly to the police?Bookmark here

“Izuya, let’s head off for now. You two come along as well, your parents are waiting for you.”Bookmark here

“Mother…” My head was facing downwards as I spoke to her. Her face was one with guilt and concern, thinking about how to explain everything to me.Bookmark here

“...SO COOL! Who were those people?! What just even happened?! Was this the job you were talking about?” I bombarded her with a variety of questions, unable to hold back my curiosity any longer.Bookmark here

Ikuro and Madoka were both equally excited behind me, although they didn’t ask questions on their part.Bookmark here

“Pfh...Hahaha! I will explain it to you later. For now, let’s get in the car.” She said as she guided us to the fancy car that was parked by the entrance. Apparently, we were brought to an abandoned construction building. The place was rather run-down and seemed to be far away from where we lived.Bookmark here

Despite my eagerness to hear what mother had to say about what just happened. The three of us fell asleep a little while after the car had started moving. We must have been exhausted from the events of today, seeing how we had already arrived when I woke up.Bookmark here

We were greeted by a large number of servants as soon as we left the car.Bookmark here

“Ikuro!” A lady had rushed out and embraced Ikuro in her arms.Bookmark here

“M-Mother!”Bookmark here

“Madoka...I’m glad that you are fine.” The old-looking man that approached after, knelt down as he placed his palm on Madoka’s head.Bookmark here

“Grandpa…”Bookmark here

Both had burst into tears as they were finally reunited with their family. I looked up towards my mother, who was standing behind me and hugged her as well.Bookmark here

XXXBookmark here

“...and here is my room!” Ikuro opened the doors to a rather large room that was almost half the size of my living room.Bookmark here

After settling down, Ikuro and Madoka’s parents both thanked my mother. They were engaged in their own conversation that the three of us were seated there rather awkwardly. Not long after, Ikuro told them that we were going up to his room and the adults would have their own conversation.Bookmark here

“...Hey, Izuya.”Bookmark here

“What is it, Ikuro?” The three of us were seated in the room, discussing today's event.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry. If I didn’t lash out at the start, it might not have escalated this badly. And I am sorry for hitting you too…”Bookmark here

“Ah...You should be.” I grinned at him as Ikuro looked at me in surprise.Bookmark here

“It’s all because of your arrogant and haughty attitude in the first place, and you even hit me without listening to my explanation. Sigh.”Bookmark here

“Ugh…” He looked down in guilt over his own actions.Bookmark here

Although I was partially joking as heard from my tone, Ikuro didn’t seem to catch it. Madoka on the other hand was giggling to herself as she understood my intentions.Bookmark here

“So...Just change from now on.” Bookmark here

“Huh?” Ikuro looked puzzled at my statement.Bookmark here

“...Like I said! Let’s just forget what happened and move on. You should change your arrogant attitude too!” I said bashfully, looking away.Bookmark here

“A-Alright!”Bookmark here

That was the day that the three of us experienced a rather traumatic event, and also the day we would form an everlasting friendshipBookmark here

“Come to think of it, Izuya. What does your mother do exactly?” Madoka had questioned.Bookmark here

“I don’t know either. She is rarely around the house and I don’t really see her often. So I didn’t get the chance to ask about it. The only thing I know would be that my father told me she handled multiple businesses.”Bookmark here

That statement would hold true even today. After the whole episode at the Amagami household, I had asked my mother about her job on the way home. Bookmark here

“What do you think I do for work?”Bookmark here

“Um...The police? Or maybe a secret force?!” I excitedly replied.Bookmark here

“Hahaha! You are not that far off.” She ruffled my hair as she drove.Bookmark here

“I just called on some old connections to help today. The mafia is scary.” She said as she whispered the last lineBookmark here

“Old connections? You mean those strong men from earlier?!” Being the child I was, I only heard her mention her old connections and couldn’t figure out what she said at the end.Bookmark here

As we reached home, my father gave me a rather warm welcome as well. A few weeks after that, mother returned overseas and father was back to work. This time around, however, I started hanging out more with Madoka and Ikuro at their houses or mine sometimes.Bookmark here

XXXBookmark here

“Wait, so you haven’t seen your mother since then?” Bookmark here

“Yeah.” Bookmark here

“Didn’t you mention that your mom recently left to find your father?”Bookmark here

“Oh that. My ‘mom’ is actually my father’s secretary. She was just staying here as an act-in for a mother for troublesome stuff like meetings with the teachers.”Bookmark here

After listening to my recollection of the past, Suzuha began asking questions about it. We had talked for a long time at the family restaurant after I invited her out for a meal the other day. I was rather nervous considering I was asking out a girl who had confessed to me not long ago.Bookmark here

As we were immersed in our conversation, the time passed rather quickly and we decided to stay for dinner as well.Bookmark here

Click!Bookmark here

The sound of a camera shutter sounds off. I turned towards the windows, looking outside.Bookmark here

Did Madoka or Ikuro find me here?Bookmark here

Outside the window, stood four girls. All of them were fully dressed up, making it hard to tell who they were. The one holding her phone and taking the picture was wearing a cap, with purple hair flowing down the side, wearing a huge grin on her faceBookmark here

“...Chitose?” It was the girls from Alvus…Bookmark here

Before long, the four of them had made their way into the restaurant, casually joining us at our table as we squished together. Bookmark here

“Thanks for the treat, Izuya.”Bookmark here

“Huh?! Who said anything about tre-” I tried to reason as Chitose began waving her phone, with the picture she took displayed on the screen, at me. Bookmark here

“Right. Don’t order too much though…”Bookmark here

“Izuya-kun, do you know them?” Suzuha looked at me, half puzzled by the current situation and another looking rather furious at the situation.Bookmark here

“Right, we should introduce ourselves, shouldn’t we?” Lena, who was seated beside Suzuha commented.Bookmark here

“I’m Utsuya Lena, and these three are Chitose, Kana, and Saya.”Bookmark here

“The Alvus band?!” Suzuha exclaimed, with a hint of excitement in her eyes.Bookmark here

“Shhh! Not so loud! We are technically under disguise.” Kana had tried to calm Suzuha down.Bookmark here

“Affirmative, attention would be bad here.” Saya monologues.Bookmark here

“Izuya-kun! Izuya-kun! How do you know them?” She leaned over the table, closing in on my face as she asked.Bookmark here

“Well…” I looked towards Lena, asking for her help but was met with a shrug.Bookmark here

As there looked to be no escape, I decided to tell Suzuha about my part-time job as a tutor for them. Lena supported the description when Suzuha looked to be doubting my words. After a few minutes, she finally calmed down while Chitose and Saya were on an ordering spree.Bookmark here

Would I have enough to pay for all this?Bookmark here

“So...Izuya...what’s your relationship with her?”Bookmark here

“Ah! I wanted to ask that too!” Chitose and Kana both questioned me as Chitose gestured towards Suzuha.Bookmark here

“W-We…”Bookmark here

“Just friends. Izuya-kun invited me for a meal today as thanks for the previous time.”Bookmark here

Suzuha had interjected as I tried to find an excuse to tell them. Hearing her, the four girls looked disappointed and slumped back into their seats. If I were the one who said that, they would probably be teasing me for not telling them the truth.Bookmark here

“Tch, that’s it? For a second there I thought this was Izuya’s crush or something.” Chitose remarked.Bookmark here

She wasn’t exactly wrong, just the opposite. Instead of me having a crush on Suzuha, it was the other way around. We both flinched at Chitose’s remark as we looked at each other awkwardly.Bookmark here

The food came as Suzuha began talking with Lena and the rest. They were engaged in their own conversation as Chitose began telling Suzuha about how I was a demon during their lessons and whatever wrong I did, prompting Suzuha to look at me with concern.Bookmark here

I was also rather busy trying to refute everything she said while explaining myself to her. Suzuha then asked for their autographs as we finished dinner to which they had given. Apparently, Suzuha was a major fan of Alvus as well and had wanted their autographs for the longest time. I was rather surprised that the girls had given it to her too, considering they usually reject such requests.Bookmark here

While we were leaving, I made sure to comment on their studies and reminded them about the upcoming lesson yet again, leaving them dejected.Bookmark here

“Still, I think it is rather amazing that you know the Alvus band personally, much more than you are their tutor.”Bookmark here

“I just got lucky on the opportunity. I didn’t know you were a fan of theirs as well.”Bookmark here

“Of course I am! I mean, they are the Alvus! Despite being a year younger than us, they are famous throughout the nation!”Bookmark here

“Regarding my job...Please don’t tell anyone about it, it is technically against my contract to even tell you about it earlier.”Bookmark here

“No worries. Your secret is safe with me.” Suzuha had replied as she did a zipping motion over her mouth.Bookmark here

The streets were already dark by the time we were walking home so I had offered to escort Suzuha home. She had informed her servants that she didn’t need a ride home today so there was no one to accompany her.Bookmark here

We talked more about Alvus on the way home, such as what her favorite songs were and how elated she was that she got their autographs. Before long, we had arrived at the Mikase Household.Bookmark here

“Thanks a lot for today, Izuya! See you in school.” She waved as a servant opened the gates and escorted her in not before giving me a slight bow. I bowed back out of reflex as I headed home as well.Bookmark here

“Izuya? What are you doing here?”Bookmark here

“Huh? Geh! Ikuro.” Bookmark here

Ikuro was going along the path where I was heading home, with Madoka behind him.Bookmark here

Debrishi Kar
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