Chapter 20:

Facing The Betrayers

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

School was over.Bookmark here

While many students were on their way to their club activities, others were preparing to go home.Bookmark here

Kazuma was one of the latter ones. Or at least he pretended to go home.Bookmark here

As he walked out of the room, he quickly glanced over to certain students.Bookmark here

Yui, whose confusion was clearly visible, rushed to Kazuma in the hallways.Bookmark here

"Hey, Kazuma! What's the meaning of this?" she asked him as she showed him her phone.Bookmark here

"It's just like the message stated. Who knows, maybe it's a confession?" he joked.Bookmark here

"..." she stared nervously into his lifeless eyes.Bookmark here

"Geez, just go. I'll come after you. I still have to do something quickly." he sighed.Bookmark here

"A-alright..." her doubts were still not cleared but she had no other choice than to do as he said.Bookmark here

Thus, Yui walked away whereas Kazuma waited for her being out of his sight.Bookmark here

"Now then..."Bookmark here

Seeing that his targets were not in the hallway, he entered the neighboring class.Bookmark here

Time passed and Yui was now behind the gym.Bookmark here

She was alone and impatiently tapped her foot as she crossed her arms.Bookmark here

"Where is he?!" she was annoyed.Bookmark here

She took out her phone to see if he wrote her anything. But there was no new message.Bookmark here

"Seriously, what is he planning to do?"Bookmark here

She read the last message all over again.Bookmark here

[Meet me behind the gym after school.]Bookmark here

"Why behind the gym...?" she mused as she held her finger on her chin.Bookmark here

She could not come up with a reason why he would want to meet her there after school. The spot behind the gym was popular among the students. It was the perfect spot to confess.Bookmark here

She knew from Kazuma's stories that he always confessed to Emma there.Bookmark here

"Maybe it's really a confession...?!" she murmured until she realized what she just said.Bookmark here

Her face reddened.Bookmark here

"N-n-no way!" she crouched down and grabbed her head in embarrassment.Bookmark here

She imagined the scene where Kazuma would confess to her.Bookmark here

"W-what am I thinking?!" she shook her head in denial.Bookmark here

It took her a few minutes to calm down.Bookmark here

"Really... what's wrong with me?" she asked herself with a hint of embarrassment still on her face.Bookmark here

Yui did not even view Kazuma in a romantically way. After all, they were great friends. Even from an outside perspective, they behaved just like friends. They would joke around and annoy or tease each other. She did not even attract him as a member of the opposite sex.Bookmark here

That is what she thought.Bookmark here

"B-but what if..." she fantasized again about the scenario where he would confess.Bookmark here

What would she say? Of course, just like her previous thoughts indicated, she would reject him eventually. But only eventually.Bookmark here

Deep down in her heart, she was happy. As a popular person at school, she was also confessed to by many boys and also rejected them all. And yet there was not a single time she felt truly happy. So why was she happy now? Did she develop feelings for him after all? Bookmark here

Her face blushed even harder.Bookmark here

Yui felt the most comfortable if Kazuma was around. With him on her side, she could truly be herself and did not have to put on an act anymore. And especially since that incident in the old factory, she slowly but surely started to see Kazuma as a member of the opposite gender.Bookmark here

Her feelings were conflicted.Bookmark here

"?" Bookmark here

Suddenly, she heard multiple footsteps.Bookmark here

Five girls appeared in Yui's sight. They wore their uniforms sloppily and and they had all expensive looking accessories and bags on them. Bookmark here

Realizing each others' identities, they were all surprised and shocked.Bookmark here

"Nagisa-chan..." one of them muttered.Bookmark here

The five girls were from the same class and the friends of Yui.Bookmark here

Despite being friends, the mood between them was awkward as nobody spoke a word for a while.Bookmark here

"What do you want from me?" Yui asked with a mad expression as she clenched her fists tightly.Bookmark here

"Uhm... we... " the girl in the middle of the group stuttered fearfully.Bookmark here

Their feelings of guilt were visible on their faces and grew only more after hearing Yui's tone which was completely different than her usual happy and carefree one.Bookmark here

"We... we are sorry!" they apologized and bowed in unison.Bookmark here

However, Yui's facial expression did not waver one bit.Bookmark here

"Sorry? Care to explain why?" Yui asked despite already knowing the answer.Bookmark here

"We... we lured you into t-the factory where those people awaited you..." one of them confessed while stuttering.Bookmark here

"And why did you do it?"Bookmark here

"Because... they paid us a large sum..."Bookmark here

"I see..." Yui was disgusted.Bookmark here

"Now, do you really think a simple apology is enough?" Yui began to walk to them.Bookmark here

"Can you all even imagine how it feels like to get backstabbed by people you have considered as friends?!" she vented out her frustration.Bookmark here

"Now tell me, is an apology enough?!" she yelled as she grabbed the collar of one of the girls.Bookmark here

Tears formed in Yui's and the other girls' eyes.Bookmark here

"W-what do we have to do so that you can f-forgive us?"Bookmark here

"I'm still thinking about your punishments. But I will never forgive you. Now get lost and let me never see you all again!" Yui let go of the girl and turned around.Bookmark here

"Y-yes!" they ran away.Bookmark here

Now, Yui stood there all alone again.Bookmark here

"Heh, how odd..." she smiled half-heartedly.Bookmark here

She felt much better after she vented out her anger and frustration in spite of losing her friends.Bookmark here

Yui initially thought that they were threatened into doing this but one look at them was more than enough. Before the incident, they were more modest but now they behaved like some gals who loved showing off their status.Bookmark here

"And? How are you feeling?"Bookmark here

Kazuma appeared behind her.Bookmark here

"Kazuma? Where were you? And why did you show up so late?" she asked casually as she was not surprised with his appearance.Bookmark here

He smirked.Bookmark here

"I think you know exactly why."Bookmark here

"Hm? Wait..." she put the pieces in her head together.Bookmark here

"Could it be that you were the one who organized this meeting?"Bookmark here

Kazuma nodded his head.Bookmark here

"Now let's go home." he stated and turned around.Bookmark here

"Why? And how?" Yui did not move and pestered him for answers.Bookmark here

"How? Emma told me everything. It seems like Kirisaki offered them money for betraying you. The only thing I did was to message them to apologize to you behind the gym after school or else I'll spread the information regarding their involvement." he explained.Bookmark here

"And that's why you also wrote me..." she deduced.Bookmark here

"Yeah, if I told you that you'll meet them, then you would have surely run away." he added.Bookmark here

"Ugh... that's true..." she admitted reluctantly.Bookmark here

"And why did you do this?" Yui asked again.Bookmark here

"Why? Come on, are you stupid?" he mocked her.Bookmark here

Plonk.Bookmark here

He gave her a chop on her head.Bookmark here

"Ouch!" she rubbed her head.Bookmark here

"Now let's go." he said as he flashed a toothy smile.Bookmark here

With the pain fading away, Yui raised her head and watched Kazuma's back as he walked ahead.Bookmark here

"Look. The sun is slowly coming out." Kazuma commented as he stared into sky.Bookmark here

The sun pierced through the clouds and shone at them.Bookmark here

"What are you waiting for? Hurry up already!"Bookmark here

Yui was mentally absent. Her crimson red eyes reflected the light that shone on the person in front of her.Bookmark here

"Geez, are you deaf?"Bookmark here

Kazuma approached her and dragged her behind him while he held her arm.Bookmark here

"...maybe it wouldn't be so bad..." she said to herself barely audible with a faint smile as she finally left the shadowy area behind the gym.Bookmark here

"What wouldn't be so bad?" he asked her curiously.Bookmark here

"Nothing. I just continued some of my thoughts!" she replied.Bookmark here

"?" he cocked his head in confusion.Bookmark here

"Hehehe!"Bookmark here

Seeing his confused state, Yui could only giggle cutely.Bookmark here

"Ah, wait! Here, use this." Kazuma stopped in his tracks abruptly and showed Yui his phone.Bookmark here

"Hm?"Bookmark here

She looked at the content.Bookmark here

"A recording?"Bookmark here

"Yes. I recorded everything of your conversation back then."Bookmark here

"What?!" she raised her voice in shock.Bookmark here

"I-I thought you wouldn't spread information concerning their participation?"Bookmark here

"Yes, I said I won't do it. However, it doesn't mean that someone other than me can do it." he answered while he was typing something on his phone.Bookmark here

"B-but-"Bookmark here

"And done. I sent you the recording. Don't hold back with their punishment. They need it." he stated.Bookmark here

Kazuma's eyes were filled with disgust as he thought about the actions of those girls.Bookmark here

"They disgust me..." he held his hand in front of his mouth.Bookmark here

"But why did you have to go to such lengths only for an apology?" Yui asked.Bookmark here

"You need evidence to punish them accordingly. Do you think they would really confess to the police on their own will? So I took the initiative and created the evidence. And don't assume that everything is done already. Just look." he pointed to the school gates.Bookmark here

Despite being far away, it was still noticeable how relieved they were and that they already turned back to their usual chitchatting.Bookmark here

"What's with them?" Yui was confused.Bookmark here

"Just like you said. An apology is not enough after everything you had to go through. Therefore, let's add a little spice before their official punishment." a smirk formed slowly on his face.Bookmark here

"I don't get it."Bookmark here

"Those girls think everything is over. They're naive for thinking that saying sorry will protect them from the authorities. So let's crush their hope. Don't you want to see their faces when they realize that they got tricked?"Bookmark here

Yui gulped her saliva down.Bookmark here

She knew that this was underhanded and immature but she did not care. She wanted to pay them back. She wanted them to get a taste of despair.Bookmark here

"How childish, haha..." she laughed wryly at herself.Bookmark here

"Who cares? We're still young." Kazuma said and shrugged his shoulders.Bookmark here

"Oh well, I'll think about it." she said after a heavy sigh.Bookmark here

"Sure."Bookmark here

Then, the two walked home together.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.