Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love
School was over.
While many students were on their way to their club activities, others were preparing to go home.
Kazuma was one of the latter ones. Or at least he pretended to go home.
As he walked out of the room, he quickly glanced over to certain students.
Yui, whose confusion was clearly visible, rushed to Kazuma in the hallways.
"Hey, Kazuma! What's the meaning of this?" she asked him as she showed him her phone.
"It's just like the message stated. Who knows, maybe it's a confession?" he joked.
"..." she stared nervously into his lifeless eyes.
"Geez, just go. I'll come after you. I still have to do something quickly." he sighed.
"A-alright..." her doubts were still not cleared but she had no other choice than to do as he said.
Thus, Yui walked away whereas Kazuma waited for her being out of his sight.
Seeing that his targets were not in the hallway, he entered the neighboring class.
Time passed and Yui was now behind the gym.
She was alone and impatiently tapped her foot as she crossed her arms.
"Where is he?!" she was annoyed.
She took out her phone to see if he wrote her anything. But there was no new message.
"Seriously, what is he planning to do?"
She read the last message all over again.
[Meet me behind the gym after school.]
"Why behind the gym...?" she mused as she held her finger on her chin.
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.
She knew from Kazuma's stories that he always confessed to Emma there.
"Maybe it's really a confession...?!" she murmured until she realized what she just said.
Her face reddened.
"N-n-no way!" she crouched down and grabbed her head in embarrassment.
She imagined the scene where Kazuma would confess to her.
"W-what am I thinking?!" she shook her head in denial.
It took her a few minutes to calm down.
"Really... what's wrong with me?" she asked herself with a hint of embarrassment still on her face.
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.
That is what she thought.
"B-but what if..." she fantasized again about the scenario where he would confess.
What would she say? Of course, just like her previous thoughts indicated, she would reject him eventually. But only eventually.
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?
Her face blushed even harder.
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.
Her feelings were conflicted.
Suddenly, she heard multiple footsteps.
Five girls appeared in Yui's sight. They wore their uniforms sloppily and and they had all expensive looking accessories and bags on them.
Realizing each others' identities, they were all surprised and shocked.
"Nagisa-chan..." one of them muttered.
The five girls were from the same class and the friends of Yui.
Despite being friends, the mood between them was awkward as nobody spoke a word for a while.
"What do you want from me?" Yui asked with a mad expression as she clenched her fists tightly.
"Uhm... we... " the girl in the middle of the group stuttered fearfully.
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.
"We... we are sorry!" they apologized and bowed in unison.
However, Yui's facial expression did not waver one bit.
"Sorry? Care to explain why?" Yui asked despite already knowing the answer.
"We... we lured you into t-the factory where those people awaited you..." one of them confessed while stuttering.
"And why did you do it?"
"Because... they paid us a large sum..."
"I see..." Yui was disgusted.
"Now, do you really think a simple apology is enough?" Yui began to walk to them.
"Can you all even imagine how it feels like to get backstabbed by people you have considered as friends?!" she vented out her frustration.
"Now tell me, is an apology enough?!" she yelled as she grabbed the collar of one of the girls.
Tears formed in Yui's and the other girls' eyes.
"W-what do we have to do so that you can f-forgive us?"
"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.
"Y-yes!" they ran away.
Now, Yui stood there all alone again.
"Heh, how odd..." she smiled half-heartedly.
She felt much better after she vented out her anger and frustration in spite of losing her friends.
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.
"And? How are you feeling?"
Kazuma appeared behind her.
"Kazuma? Where were you? And why did you show up so late?" she asked casually as she was not surprised with his appearance.
"I think you know exactly why."
"Hm? Wait..." she put the pieces in her head together.
"Could it be that you were the one who organized this meeting?"
Kazuma nodded his head.
"Now let's go home." he stated and turned around.
"Why? And how?" Yui did not move and pestered him for answers.
"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.
"And that's why you also wrote me..." she deduced.
"Yeah, if I told you that you'll meet them, then you would have surely run away." he added.
"Ugh... that's true..." she admitted reluctantly.
"And why did you do this?" Yui asked again.
"Why? Come on, are you stupid?" he mocked her.
He gave her a chop on her head.
"Ouch!" she rubbed her head.
"Now let's go." he said as he flashed a toothy smile.
With the pain fading away, Yui raised her head and watched Kazuma's back as he walked ahead.
"Look. The sun is slowly coming out." Kazuma commented as he stared into sky.
The sun pierced through the clouds and shone at them.
"What are you waiting for? Hurry up already!"
Yui was mentally absent. Her crimson red eyes reflected the light that shone on the person in front of her.
"Geez, are you deaf?"
Kazuma approached her and dragged her behind him while he held her arm.
"...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.
"What wouldn't be so bad?" he asked her curiously.
"Nothing. I just continued some of my thoughts!" she replied.
"?" he cocked his head in confusion.
Seeing his confused state, Yui could only giggle cutely.
"Ah, wait! Here, use this." Kazuma stopped in his tracks abruptly and showed Yui his phone.
She looked at the content.
"Yes. I recorded everything of your conversation back then."
"What?!" she raised her voice in shock.
"I-I thought you wouldn't spread information concerning their participation?"
"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.
"And done. I sent you the recording. Don't hold back with their punishment. They need it." he stated.
Kazuma's eyes were filled with disgust as he thought about the actions of those girls.
"They disgust me..." he held his hand in front of his mouth.
"But why did you have to go to such lengths only for an apology?" Yui asked.
"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.
Despite being far away, it was still noticeable how relieved they were and that they already turned back to their usual chitchatting.
"What's with them?" Yui was confused.
"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.
"I don't get it."
"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?"
Yui gulped her saliva down.
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.
"How childish, haha..." she laughed wryly at herself.
"Who cares? We're still young." Kazuma said and shrugged his shoulders.
"Oh well, I'll think about it." she said after a heavy sigh.
Then, the two walked home together.