Chapter 22:

Last Worry

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

Slam.Bookmark here

"W-w-what did you just say?!" Yousuke asked surprised as he stood up from his seat and slammed both of his hands on the table.Bookmark here

"Shhh! Relax, Ikari-san!" Kazuma said embarrassed and put his finger on his own lips to signal Yousuke to be quiet.Bookmark here

"Ah, ahem, sorry..." Yousuke cleared his throat and apologized.Bookmark here

He calmed down but his face was a little bit red after he embarrassed himself.Bookmark here

It was a rainy Sunday noon when Kazuma and Ikari Yousuke were eating lunch at a family diner.Bookmark here

"Ehm, did you just say that you've found out the location of the leader of 'The Owls of Tokyo?'" he whispered while he was leaning closer on Kazuma.Bookmark here

"Well, how should I say... I know where he will be but not when..." Kazuma replied as he scratched his head awkwardly.Bookmark here

"Huh?" Yousuke was confused.Bookmark here

"But don't worry! Today I'll know the date. I just need to wait for my slav-"Bookmark here

Cough, cough.Bookmark here

"I just need to wait for my henchman." Kazuma corrected himself.Bookmark here

"Were you just about to say slave?" Yousuke asked awkwardly.Bookmark here

"Don't concern yourself with details." Kazuma ignored his question.Bookmark here

"A-alright."Bookmark here

"It's highly possible that the elite of the gang will show up on that date and location. I will send you more details if I know more." Kazuma said in a serious manner.Bookmark here

"Fine. But could you tell me how you were able to pinpoint the location? And who is your accomplice?"Bookmark here

"Seems like I have to start with my accomplice. Well, let's just say that he owed me a huge debt and somehow managed to infiltrate their ranks under my command." Kazuma told him only half the story.Bookmark here

There was no way that Kazuma could tell Yousuke that he found the one who organized the whole kidnapping and beat him up before blackmailing him. On top of that, the person was Kirisaki Ken. If the police ever caught wind of it, it would be more than just a huge scandal. In the end, it would also only hinder his plan to catch Shinya.Bookmark here

Therefore, Kazuma decided to protect Ken for the time being.Bookmark here

"And the location?"Bookmark here

"A gut feeling."Bookmark here

"A what?"Bookmark here

"Gut feeling."Bookmark here

"..." Yousuke was perplexed.Bookmark here

Ring.Bookmark here

"Ah! Speaking of the devil! My henchman is calling me."Bookmark here

Kazuma's phone was ringing.Bookmark here

"Fine, go ahead." Yousuke signaled him to take the call.Bookmark here

Kazuma picked up the call.Bookmark here

"Yo, what's up?"Bookmark here

[Don't act cozy with me!] Ken reprimanded him.Bookmark here

"Fine, fine. Now what did he say?" Kazuma asked as his tone went serious.Bookmark here

[Today in two weeks. Usual time and place. That's all.]Bookmark here

"Heh, seems like he took the bait. Good work." Kazuma snickered.Bookmark here

[Could you leave me alone no-]Bookmark here

Kazuma ended the call before Ken could finish his question.Bookmark here

"Two weeks, huh?" Yousuke was in thoughts after he overheard their call.Bookmark here

"Yeah, I'll send you the details on a later date. Let's finish our lunch before it gets cold."Bookmark here

"Oh, right. Fine."Bookmark here

Thus, they finished eating lunch before both of them went their separate ways.Bookmark here

While he walked home, Kazuma noticed that he received new messages.Bookmark here

[Are you really sure with taking them on?]Bookmark here

Surprisingly, Ken texted him.Bookmark here

[You worried or what?] Kazuma wrote back in a mockingly way.Bookmark here

[Watch your mouth.]Bookmark here

[Shinya seemed pretty pissed off after I relayed your message.] Ken added.Bookmark here

[And that's my intention.]Bookmark here

[What?]Bookmark here

[Shinya knows who I am. If I piss him off, then he won't hesitate to assemble the core members to get fight me.] Kazuma explained.Bookmark here

[But why do you want to pick a fight with the main force?]Bookmark here

Kazuma sighed.Bookmark here

[Because my main goal is to eliminate the whole gang. If the main squad gets defeated, then the whole gang will quickly start to crumble.]Bookmark here

[I see...]Bookmark here

[Well, my job's done right? Am I free now?] Ken asked shamelessly.Bookmark here

Kazuma sighed again before he put his phone back in his pocket without answering.Bookmark here

"Now there's only one thing left to do..." he mused.Bookmark here

With the date and place for the confrontation with Shinya and the others being confirmed, Kazuma only had to wait. However, there was still a matter that was lingering in his mind. It was a topic which he wanted to get off his chest for weeks.Bookmark here

It was his past. He wanted and promised Yui to reveal everything. And yet he always hesitated. He was scared.Bookmark here

What if she would distance herself from him? The thought of being losing someone important again made him shiver. Bookmark here

With a depressed and thoughtful demeanor, Kazuma finally reached the street of his house.Bookmark here

"Oh, Kazuma-san! Good day!"Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

He looked into the direction of the voice and saw Emma who was wavering her hand to him.Bookmark here

"Emma? What are you doing here?"Bookmark here

"I was on my way to to Yui-san's house."Bookmark here

"Oh, you're visiting her?"Bookmark here

"Yes, we wanted to try on some yukata for the fireworks festival next Saturday!"Bookmark here

"I see. That's why you have a suitcase with you." Kazuma said as he pointed at her suitcase which was big enough to contain enough stuff for a one week trip.Bookmark here

"Well, We have a lot of them at my house. So I thought that it would be a waste to not try them all on, hehe..." she laughed awkwardly at the amount of yukatas she brought with her.Bookmark here

Kazuma wore a smile that did not reach his eyes which tried to hide his worries.Bookmark here

"Is something wrong? You seem worn out." Emma remarked.Bookmark here

"Oh, n-no. Nothing is wrong." Kazuma waved his hands in denial.Bookmark here

"Hmmm..." she stared him straight into his eyes as she leaned closer.Bookmark here

Token by surprise, Kazuma had to take a step backwards.Bookmark here

"Are you sure? Does something worry you?" she asked him again.Bookmark here

"!"Bookmark here

His eyes widened after she guessed correctly.Bookmark here

"Bullseye! Call it a woman's intuition!" she smirked triumphantly while she crossed her arms.Bookmark here

Kazuma heaved a sigh again.Bookmark here

"Yeah, you're right..." he admitted as he looked down with a melancholy smile.Bookmark here

Emma turned serious and came nearer. Bookmark here

"Do you want me to listen to your worries?"Bookmark here

"It's fine. I don't want to bother you with my worries." he replied and started to walk away.Bookmark here

"Wait!"Bookmark here

She grabbed his hands before he could walk away.Bookmark here

"As a friend, I want to help you!" she stated with determined eyes.Bookmark here

Kazuma took a deep breath and relaxed his body.Bookmark here

"Fine. Let's talk while we walk." he suggested with a still half-heartedly smile.Bookmark here

Emma nodded her head and also began to walk.Bookmark here

"Well, I have a cousin whom I'm really close to. He sent me a message yesterday to seek for advice concerning his best friend. His best friend is someone he sees almost everyday. They would hang out every time they see each other and have lots of fun. He feels relaxed and comfortable in his friend's presence. And as time went on, my cousin could not imagine a day without hanging out with his friend." he began.Bookmark here

"However, my cousin did something horrible in his past. He often tried to reveal his past to his friend but the words were always stuck in his throat. It was his anxiety. He feared that his best friend would leave him after hearing it. Therefore, he asked me what he should do. Should he try to tell his friend or should he just stay quiet about it?" Kazuma continued.Bookmark here

"And to be honest, I don't know which answer is correct." he finished.Bookmark here

"I see..." Emma said as she was in thoughts.Bookmark here

While Emma was thinking silently, Kazuma noticed that they almost arrived at Yui's house.Bookmark here

"That's a complicated question... But if I may add my opinion, then he should take into consideration if his friend is truly a person who would leave him after your cousin entrusted him with his past." she said thoughtfully.Bookmark here

"I mean, they spent a long time together, right? A bond like that shouldn't be underestimated." Emma added as her usual smile returned on her face.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Kazuma was speechless as his mouth opened a little in astonishment.Bookmark here

"I see... the bond..." he muttered.Bookmark here

"Yeah, that's it!" he said as his voice became more vivid.Bookmark here

Kazuma grabbed Emma's shoulder tightly.Bookmark here

"Thank you, Emma! That's the answer!"Bookmark here

This time, his smile came from the bottom of his heart when he thanked her.Bookmark here

"N-no problem! I-I'm glad I was able to help!" she replied clumsily.Bookmark here

Not noticing that they already stood in front of Yui's house, the door was opened.Bookmark here

"Oh, Emma, there you are! Huh, Kazuma?" Yui, who opened the door, greeted them.Bookmark here

"Y-Yui-san?"Bookmark here

Emma, who noticed that they arrived after Yui greeted them, was still embarrassed due to Kazuma holding her.Bookmark here

"Ah, Yui. Seems like we already arrived. Well, I'm going home then. Have fun." Kazuma said and let go of Emma's shoulders.Bookmark here

"Leaving already? Why don't you stay here? It's your chance to see two beautiful girls holding a fashion show for you, hehe." Yui joked.Bookmark here

"Nah, I'm good. Maybe next time. I have to call my cousin!" Kazuma replied instantly.Bookmark here

Then, Kazuma ran to his own house and vanished from the sights of the two girls.Bookmark here

"Cousin? He doesn't have one." Yui stated as she tilted her head in confusion.Bookmark here

"Hehe, seems like he is a bad liar, huh?" Emma, who saw through Kazuma's story, giggled.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.