Chapter 10:

Her And His Dilemma

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

School was over.Bookmark here

Kazuma and Yui walked home together as the sun gleamed on them in the early afternoon.Bookmark here

“It's rare seeing you smile while we walk home. No wonder, I guess.” Yui said as she was clearly teasing him.Bookmark here

“What are you talking about?” Kazuma tried to be oblivious.Bookmark here

“Uhm, can I also call you Emma? You can call me Kazuma if you'd like to.” she copied him.Bookmark here

“S-stop it! It's embarrassing! Fine, I give up!” he begged her.Bookmark here

“Okay.” she listened to him despite her saying it in a monotonous voice.Bookmark here

“I have to admit, you sure are a lot braver these past days. I'm proud of you!” she said energetically as she slapped his back.Bookmark here

“Ouch! Don't slap me so hard, moron!” he yelled and rubbed his back.Bookmark here

“But yeah, I guess you're right. I just thought that I should just try my luck and see what happens. After all, I have nothing to lose.” he elaborated.Bookmark here

“Seems like you've had your enlightenment, 'Master Of Rejections'.” Yui commented.Bookmark here

“Ah! How about we celebrate your courage with a trip to Shibuya?” she suggested.Bookmark here

“What? Why sh- Wait a minute. You're suggesting this only because you want me to accompany you while you're shopping right?” he gave her a stern gaze.Bookmark here

“Uhm... pretty please?” she looked at him with puppy eyes.Bookmark here

“Ugh.. Well, fine...” he could not say no to those eyes.Bookmark here

And therefore, they took the train to Shibuya.Bookmark here

Just like always, the streets in Shibuya were busy with all kinds of people roaming there.Bookmark here

“So what do you want to buy in Shibuya, Yui?” Kazuma asked.Bookmark here

“Just a book.” she answered.Bookmark here

“Then hurry up. I want to leave here as soon as possible. Just look how crowded it is now!”Bookmark here

“Can't you just pretend for one time that you're happy? I mean, not every guy has the chance to hang out with such a cute girl like me after school.” she sighed in disappointment.Bookmark here

“What do you mean?” he acted genuinely confused.Bookmark here

“Want another slap?” she burst a vein.Bookmark here

“Just kidding.” he revoked his sarcastic remark as he was sweating from nervousness.Bookmark here

“I hope so.”Bookmark here

Then, they started to walk to the bookstore. Kazuma and Yui walked side by side until Kazuma realized that his shoelaces were loose. So he crouched down to tie them, however, as soon as he looked up again, Yui was nowhere to be seen. They got separated.Bookmark here

“Yui!” he shouted.Bookmark here

No response. He continued to look after her as he walked but still no response from her.Bookmark here

“Ah! Maybe I should just call her!”Bookmark here

Suddenly, someone grabbed his hand.Bookmark here

“Finally found the lost child.”Bookmark here

It was Yui.Bookmark here

“How did you find me?” Kazuma asked.Bookmark here

“How could I not find you after hearing you shouting my name like some barbarian?”Bookmark here

“Then, why didn't you respond?”Bookmark here

“As if I would shout back when we're in a large crowd! It's too embarrassing.” she blushed at the thought of raising her voice in public.Bookmark here

“Y-yeah, good point...” Kazuma agreed hesitantly.Bookmark here

“ I know and now let's go!”Bookmark here

“Uhm, don't you want to let go now?” Kazuma asked Yui with a flustered expression.Bookmark here

“Hm? Oh. Not yet. What if you get lost again?” she calmly answered.Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

Kazuma and Yui were holding hands as they walked together again. Rather than looking romantically, they seemed like a mother and her son as she walked ahead while dragging him forcefully behind her.Bookmark here

Now, while still holding hands, they entered the bookstore. There, the two began to roam the book shelves and after a while they spotted the book Yui wanted to buy.Bookmark here

“Ah, there it is!” Yui pointed at the book.Bookmark here

However, it was placed on the top shelf. Yui tried to grab the book but failed. She tried again and again but even when she stood on her tiptoes, she could not completely grab the book.Bookmark here

Kazuma, who stood right beside her, only watched and laughed as she failed to get her book. But after a few more tries, he decided to finally help her.Bookmark here

“Here.” Kazuma gave her the book after grabbing it easily from the top shelf.Bookmark here

“O-oh, thanks...”Bookmark here

“No problem.”Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

“What's wrong?” Kazuma was confused as Yui stared at him silently.Bookmark here

“Now that I think about it, you're pretty tall!” she stated astonished.Bookmark here

“You're just small.” he chuckled.Bookmark here

“I'm 158cm! That's the average!”Bookmark here

“Oh, then I'm really tall, huh?” he shrugged his shoulder while grinning sarcastically.Bookmark here

“Tch.” she clicked her tongue.Bookmark here

After paying for the book, they exited the store. Compared to before, the crowd grew even bigger, however, within the crowd were now many rough looking people or rather, delinquents.Bookmark here

This was a fact that did not escape the eyes of these two.Bookmark here

“Everything alright?” Yui asked Kazuma with a stern expression.Bookmark here

“Yes...” he clenched his fist while holding the hand of Yui unconsciously tighter.Bookmark here

“Let's go home.” Yui said.Bookmark here

Despite being his friend, she knew nothing about his past, but she knew that topics concerning delinquents were constantly avoided by Kazuma.Bookmark here

Therefore, she did not pry further as she did not want to see a friend being depressed.Bookmark here

And yet she wanted to know. She wanted to help her friend but at the same time she did not want to hurt him. It was a dilemma.Bookmark here

Yui wished she could muster up her courage to ask him like he could lately. But she could not. She was afraid.Bookmark here

Seeing her face as she was lost in thoughts, Kazuma guessed it was about the delinquents and the connections they had with him.Bookmark here

“Don't worry. I'll tell you someday.” he reassured her.Bookmark here

“...” she could just look dejected.Bookmark here

Even though it was not visible on his face, Kazuma was actually the one who was even more lost in thoughts than Yui.Bookmark here

He was in a deeper dilemma.Bookmark here

What should he do?Bookmark here

In this moment, he was basically surrounded by delinquents. Wherever he looked, he would always see a delinquent.Bookmark here

Therefore, he asks himself the same question over and over again. Should he try to get some information out of them? Would he be able to gain new knowledge about 'The Owls of Tokyo'? Would he be a step closer to his revenge? But it meant, that he had to fight them as he knew that delinquents were people who would not listen blindly to someone else before seeing how much strength the other person held.Bookmark here

This, however, would contradict Kazuma's words. He swore to himself after a certain incident that he would never start a fight again.Bookmark here

So what was more important? Seeking revenge or keeping his promise? Kazuma did not know.Bookmark here

”Uhm, Kazuma? Your hand...” Yui quietly muttered.Bookmark here

“Hm? Oh!” Kazuma let go of his hand as he realized that he unconsciously held her hand too tightly.Bookmark here

“Sorry...” he apologized.Bookmark here

“It's fine.”Bookmark here

Yui then held his hand again after he let go.Bookmark here

She took a deep breath.Bookmark here

“Don't let go yet.” she said with a determined look as they continued to walk to the train station.Bookmark here

Suddenly, Kazuma felt his heart beat faster for a moment. In spite of being in a place with many delinquents, his heart beat faster.Bookmark here

Was it because of Yui? Was it because of her now determined look on her face? Usually, she was a carefree person who always took nothing serious. But now, she had an expression far from the ones she had usually.Bookmark here

The impression she had was like the time where she slapped Ken across his face. In Kazuma's eyes, she was calm and cool.Bookmark here

Astonished from her other side, Kazuma used her as an example and also took a deep breath.Bookmark here

“Feeling better now?” she asked him.Bookmark here

“Yeah. A lot.” he replied with a relaxed grin.Bookmark here

In the end, he chose to keep his promise. The reason was so simple yet he did not thought about it until recently. It was due to Yui.Bookmark here

He did not want to selfishly drag her into some street fights just to get information.Bookmark here

Kazuma knew that Yui was scared of getting involved in fights, notably when he had the brawl with Ken and his pawns. It was understandable. Who would not be scared during fights?Bookmark here

Thus, he decided to walk home with Yui.Bookmark here

“Are you free this Saturday?”Bookmark here

“I think so. Why are you asking?”Bookmark here

“Then come to my house. I'm going to tell you about myself.” Kazuma stated monotonously.Bookmark here

“!”Bookmark here

Yui was clearly shocked.Bookmark here

He knew it was about time to tell her about him. He wanted to tell her everything about himself, his family, the rumors at school and of course his past which led to the death of his parents.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.