Solus: The Pairing of Fate
“Hmph. Alright, Let’s talk this out.”
Currently, Ikuro, Madoka, and I were seated in the family restaurant downstairs of the building. We decided to clear our minds with some food on the table, hoping to discuss what we should do now.
“First off, what were you two -”
“Welcome! What would you like to order?” I was interrupted by an energetic waitress.
“Ugh. Um, we will order later, thank you.” I said in an attempt to chase her away after being interrupted.
“Dear customer. It would be best if you could order something if you are going to be speaking here. We are rather packed after all.” The waitress’s eyebrows frowned despite still wearing a smile on her face. Her long, brown hair that was tied in a ponytail seemed to be a lethal weapon that she was willing to swing if I didn’t comply with her.
“What’s the most expensive parfait here?”
“The Aurora Cruiser Parfait, would you like that?”
“That and two lemon teas, please. Izuya will be paying.” Madoka had ordered before even looking at the menu. I guess this was her way of revenge for not telling them anything.
“Then a coffee for me.”
“Understood. The Aurora parfait, two lemon teas, and coffee coming right up.” The waitress left after taking our orders. Are the recent waitresses all like this?
“I don’t need to spell out why it’s your treat, do I, Izuya.”
“Yeah, I got it.”
“Ahh, I can’t take this stupid mood anymore. Izuya!” Ikuro slapped his knees before jerking his head to face me.
“My bad! I shouldn’t have flipped out like that.”
“Phhh...Phhahaha! The look on your face, Izuya.” Madoka started laughing as Ikuro was apologizing to me.
“Thinking about it now, you probably did it for my sake as well. If we didn’t follow you when we saw you, I wouldn’t have found out too. In a way, this was my fault.”
Follow me? Going back now, it is rather weird that they were even there with me in the first place but in fact, they were following me.
“Follow me? You mean you guys were following me from the start?”
“Ah. T-That is…” Ikuro started looking away, trying to avoid my question.
“Come to think of it...Why were you both out in Shibuya together...Ah~ I see now.” I calmly said, donning a slight grin on my face.
“Huh? No, that’s not what happened, I was accompanying Madoka for her shopp-”
“Yeah, we were on a date,” Madoka interjected as Ikuro was panicking that they were caught in action.
“Huh?!” Ikuro looked at Madoka as if he was surprised she said that.
“N-No! Of course, we are, we were on a date! I was on a date with Madoka bringing her shopping when we saw you!” He stood from his seat as he said it.
“I-I see...Well, maybe you should settle down. You are attracting everyone’s attention.”
I urged Ikuro to sit down when he made his exclamation. He was probably rather happy that Madoka acknowledged their outing as an actual date, so much so that he was bragging about it loudly, attracting other restaurant visitors' attention with some giggling among themselves. Upon realizing everyone’s gaze, Ikuro sat down with his hands over his head on the table in embarrassment.
“Man, so you decided to follow me while on your date. What an hono-”
“Here you go. Your order of coffee, two teas, and the parfait.” The same waitress from before had cut me off yet again, placing our order on the table.
Was she doing this on purpose? I stared at her with a slightly irritated look on my face, hoping to show her I was rather dissatisfied with it.
No. She was just doing her job. Calm down, it was just a coincidence.
“...Hmph.” She scoffed at me as she turned, her ponytail just missing me right by my face.
That’s definitely on purpose. I felt even more irritated than before, not knowing she did what she did. Did I offend her in any way? I don’t think I ever met her though. I agree that we are slightly loud considering the volume Ikuro was talking at but why was she taking it out on me?
As we ate, Madoka, Ikuro, and I talked about the current situation. I know Ikuro’s partner but wasn’t willing to tell him, Madoka’s partner may or may not be me and I still have a second partner that I have not determined.
We decided to keep what we knew a secret until a year later when we will be able to test if I was truly Madoka’s Solus. Despite our plans, I could tell Ikuro and Madoka were still frustrated by the current situation, judging by their faces.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep Ikuro’s partner a secret. I should probably ask Suzuha for her permission, and I will tell Ikuro about it. Perhaps we might even be able to have her assist in the research too.
The two of them headed out of the restaurant as I was queuing up to pay. During that time, I caught sight of a rather delightful thing for me. The waitress earlier was currently getting reprimanded by an older-looking waitress, presumably her supervisor.
As she looked outside to avoid her supervisor, we made eye contact. Still feeling rather annoyed by her actions earlier, I was the one who scoffed at her this time, leaving after I paid for my bill. As I left, I caught a glimpse of her annoyed expression, putting me in a slightly better mood.
“What took so long?” Madoka asked as I left through the door.
“Nothing much, just paying back an annoying person.”
“Oh, you mean the waitress earlier?” Ikuro chimed in.
“Yeah, I saw her getting reprimanded by her superior.”
“Well...I kind of get how she feels.”
“What do you mean, Madoka?”
“You didn’t notice? As we entered, she seemed as if she was about to leave. We were probably her last customer and she couldn’t leave until she finished serving us.”
Ahh...That might be it.
Now it makes sense, anyone would feel annoyed if someone came in right as you are about to end work. Now I kind of felt bad for scoffing at her. I silently apologized in my heart as we headed back to the office when the door to the restaurant opened yet again.
“Ah, I’m already late! It’s all because of that little shit.” A certain girl with a ponytail dashed out in a school uniform, bag on her shoulder and a rather long and thin bag on the other arm.
“Ah! It’s you! Argh, I can’t spend any more time on this!”
It was the waitress from earlier, she ran off at full speed only after giving me a glare that could kill.
“...Did I screw up?”
“Yep. She’s gonna kill you if she ever meets you.”
“She’s your Solus of death.”
Ikuro and Madoka both joked about the situation and chuckled. The only one that wasn’t laughing was me, wondering if it would happen. Despite the situation, I was rather glad that the three of us were seemingly back to normal, joking around as always.
“You three seem to be doing better.”
“Mr.Helix. We talked things over.”
“Well, I’m glad that everything went well. Regarding the results, I believe that it would aid us greatly in our research. We will proceed forward from and should I require your assistance yet again, I will contact you.”
Helix chased the three of us away as soon as we got back to the office. I guess that he and his team had wanted to start on the research straight away, considering the rest of them were busy walking around the office.
It was a rather ideal timing for us, considering that I wanted to head somewhere private where we could discuss more about our Solus. We bid our farewell and headed to my home. My mom seemed to be permanently staying in Europe with my father while still sending the necessary funding for the house, leaving the house empty for most of the time.
“Even if you may not be Madoka’s Solus, it’s still risky for you to go near our households as they might notice something is up.”
“True that, guess I will refrain from going to the usual training sessions as well.”
As the Nanaho and Amagami household have a long-lasting relationship, people would have kept a watch on Madoka and reported it to her family. This would make it rather risky if I were to keep visiting, even if I may not be her Solus. I agreed with Ikuro on that part and refrained from going to our weekly training session with Mr.Alan.
“Ikuro, what about the party coming up? They wanted Izuya to come as well.”
“What party?” This was the first I had ever heard of any party that was coming up, making me rather surprised by it.
“Ah! That’s right… My mom wanted you to come to the annual party that is held. Do you remember every year around this period? We would usually go to a party of sorts.”
“Ah right. The one with the ball and all, right?”
“The thing is, my mom said she wanted to see you again after so long and told me to invite you that day. It completely slipped my mind until now.”
“Is it too risky, Ikuro?” Madoka seemed rather worried about it. Although we did get assurance that I may not be her Solus. But the possibility was still there and it could ruin her current plans if anyone were to suspect anything.
“We should be alright...I think. We got through so long without anyone noticing, after all, it wouldn’t make much of a difference now. In fact, if we worry about it more, it might make it more suspicious.”
“Izuya’s right. It will be fine. With that said, Izuya. It’s this Saturday, you better get dressed.”
“HUH?! This sudden?! I’m not going to be able to find anything in time. You do know the last time I went to one of your fancy parties was three years ago?”
I panicked at the sudden news Ikuro threw on me. They seemed to be enjoying the sight of me rummaging my closet for my old clothes, not that they would fit me already.
“Where is it…”
“Pffh...Hahaha!” Madoka burst out in laughter.
“It’s not funny! I won’t have the time to get a new one!”
“Hahaha! Don’t worry Izuya. Mom already figured that out and was going to bring you to a tailor to buy one that morning.”
“What…” They knew this and were keeping it a secret from me, probably for the kicks.
I was panicking for nothing and before I noticed it, my stuff was sprawled all around my room due to me throwing everything out in an attempt to find it. My face slightly twisted in annoyance as I slowly packed everything back while mumbling to myself.
“Hey, don’t get mad at us. You are the one who went all ape and searched for it without listening to us.”
“Hey Ikuro, it’s tomorrow right?” I said devilishly
“Your promise to bring me to the Kendo Girls tournament in school tomorrow to view the club.”
“...Kendo...Girls?” Madoka uttered.
“Geh! O-Oi Izuya, didn’t we say…”
“You know, the one you asked me to accompany you to? The club is full of beautiful girls?”
“You traitor! Izuya!” Ikuro cried out helplessly as a dark and menacing aura began to rise from the figure behind him.
“Izuya, we are going to head back first. Maybe you could tell me all about the trip tomorrow.” Madoka said with a smile on her face. Her eyes were closed but it was as if she was giving me a death stare.
What happened next was Madoka grabbing Ikuro forcefully out of my house as they disappeared on their way back, with Ikuro crying and screaming traitor. I probably haven’t heard him say that since we were kids.
“Ahh!! It’s you!”
What was supposed to be a leisure club viewing session on the weekend, resulting in me being threatened with a Kendo sword?
Despite the events yesterday, Ikuro somehow managed to avoid Madoka’s fury and convinced her of his reasons. He was still able to head here today but Madoka was following along. I could tell he had a rough time yesterday judging but how he was staring at me menacingly for my words yesterday.
The Kendo tournament was being held on a weekend and we headed to school in our uniforms to watch it. As Ikuro said, we caught glimpses of the girls from the other school while they were preparing and they were a sight for sore eyes.
This was probably the reason why the gym hall, where the event will take place, was jammed packed full of people. Well, mostly guys. We did come rather early and were able to secure a place somewhere close to the front, avoiding the mass of people behind us that were packed like sardines.
“Huh...Ikuro was right. They sure are pretty.” Madoka said with a slightly scary smile on her face.
“That said, Izuya. Are you planning on joining the Kendo club? I mean, I get that they are recruiting guys too but I heard that most guys who join would quit after a while due to the pressure.”
“Pressure? Isn’t this just a normal club? Now that you mentioned it, there are only a few guys in there...and all of them are handsome to boot.” As I looked around the hall, I spotted only less than 10 guys within the club with the other school being in a similar situation.
“Well, most of the time, the club would head to the other school for their practice sessions and the guys...well, instead of training, they would be something like a slave there I heard.” Madoka said.
“Ahhh. That rumor? I heard it as well from my friend. He joined due to the girls but left after two sessions. They were there for physical labor and other stuff the whole time. It probably is rather severe considering he left after just two sessions.” Ikuro adds
“L-Labour? I can’t seem to imagine it happening.”
“Well, if you are planning on joining, you would probably fail at it, seeing how the remaining members are all pretty boys, hahaha!”
“Can it, Ikuro!” I remarked. True I wasn’t as handsome or influential as Ikuro, but I don’t think I look too bad myself...Or was I being too arrogant?
“I think Izuya would fit in, he doesn’t look too bad himself.” Madoka interrupted. Ikuro was seemingly shocked by her statement as he stared at her in disbelief.
“Hehe, hearing Madoka say that makes me somewhat confident.” I ruffled my hair as I smiled in agreement.
As we were chatting within our group, the friendly matches began, starting with the boys’ section. As the number of boys there was rather few, it didn’t last long, ending in an overall victory for our school.
As the boys took off their masks, it revealed their good looks with glistening sweat on their faces, prompting the girls in the stands to squeal and attracting a few blushing gazes from girls on both Kendo teams.
The fact that Madoka said I would fit it does make it feel good, but seeing them now...Do I even belong there? After the boys’ matches, the girls' matches started as all the guys in the hall erupted in cheers.
Glancing over, I noticed Ikuro was pretending not to look at the matches that were going on. Looking anywhere else but forward with Madoka silently sitting there. Seeing that, I decided to give my utmost attention, to look at all the other girls, similar to the other guys.
I thought I had noticed a familiar face when I was gawking at them but was probably mistaken.
I don’t know anyone who does Kendo after all.
“Sei!” As the high-pitched voice sounded out from behind the mask, she struck at her opponent and won.
Looking at her uniform, she was from the other school and was rather aggressive in her style.
There were many matches to be held on the girls’ side, they had a recession after a few, and we went out to eat. This brings me back to the current situation.
“Ahh!” A scream echoed in my ears as I was walking outside the hall with Ikuro and Madoka.
The voice came from one of the girls from the other school, Shimotsuki High School. Although the school isn’t as elite as mine, they were a rather prestigious school and were sister schools with us.
She was pointing at me with anger in her eyes...and a kendo sword in the other.
“It’s you!” She exclaimed furiously as she swung down her sword and pointed it at my face.
The girl, long brown hair tied up in a bun, still wearing her hakama had an expression of a mixture of frustration and anger.
“Uh...Do I know you?”
Hearing her loud voice, I managed to pinpoint her as the aggressive girl who won just now. She does seem familiar but I just couldn’t recognize her.
“So that’s how it is...Because they were afraid of losing...They sent an elite ass kid to make me late yesterday...flaunting your money by buying the most expensive stuff...Should have known you elite pricks were all like that!” She ranted off.
“What? Losing? Late?” I don’t even remember her, much less making her late for anything. And flaunting my money? When did I ever do that?
“Ah...The girl from yesterday…” Madoka silently said under her breath.
The girl from yesterday? The only events I remember yesterday were testing my Solus and encountering a rude….
“...this is why I didn’t even want to go to this school. It disgusts me that you guys would…”
“I’M SORRY!” I instinctively bowed down to apologize, hitting my head on her sword while on the way.
At this time, we were attracting a lot of attention due to the vast amount of noise we were making.
"I will explain it to you, so how about we change locations?" I offered, gesturing towards the school building.
"There isn't any need for you to explain, I know it all too well. People like you."
My kind and caring demeanor were slowly slipping away as she continued prattling. I noticed Ikuro and Madoka had already slipped away, not wanting any part in this.
Not long after, I reached my limits listening to her insulting me for being an elite and how I was trying to intentionally humiliate her by making her late that I snapped.
"ARGH! Enough of that, just follow me!!" Subconsciously, I grabbed her free hand and dragged her into the building.
"What are you-"
“HAH?! You expect me to believe all that after the stunt you pulled?!”
“As I said, it isn’t a stunt! It was just a coincidence!”
Despite my desperate attempts to persuade her about my actions, she was having none of it. Even if we did go into the school building to talk, with how loud our argument was, it was attractions more attention than needed.
“I didn’t even know you were having a competition yesterday and today! How would I know that about a total stranger I met at a restaurant!”
The matches today were supposedly for the public as a show while the actual competition was yesterday. Due to me entering the restaurant and taking my own time for everything, she was eventually late and forfeited a match, ruining her match records.
“Again with the lies! If you didn’t know about it, why would you be here today watching our matches anyways?!”
“That’s because Ikuro told me that there would be beautiful Kendo girls today and I was looking to join a club, alright?!” I inadvertently blurted out my thoughts out of pure frustration.
“W-What! You pervert! Wanting to join a club for a reason like that! This is why you up stuck elites are…” Her face flared red as she subconsciously held her arms to her chest.
“And that!” I interjected, pointing right at her face, albeit rude.
“Elite this, elite that. What does that have to do with anything? Besides, I’m not one of those elites you mentioned, alright? I’m just a normal student.”
“A...normal student?...Huh?! As if anyone in this school can be counted as a normal student! Everyone here is either a rich kid or some haughty athlete.” She retorted with a look of disbelief as she crossed her arms and looked away.
“Well, you are looking at one right now! Just because you couldn’t get into this school purely from your grades doesn’t mean I can’t do it!”
“Grades? You got into this school by your grades?! To be even eligible, you have to be in the top 10 percentile, even if you were, it’s stupidly hard for some common smart guy to enter this school!”
“Not if you are the best in the nation now! Ah~ah, I guess your grades weren’t that good.”
“Hah?! My grades were decent enough! I see now. Being the number one in the nation would be a way to get in here. But judging by your behavior and arrogance, you still became one of the haughty elites!”
“Do you guys mind now?”
A straight and stern voice cut our argument short. As we both turned towards the source of the voice, another girl dressed in the same outfit as the waitress from yesterday stood there with the most menacing yet gentle smile I have ever seen.
Captain?! Then she must be the captain from the other school. She’s rather famous in our school too, seeing how she refused to attend here solely because she wanted to challenge other strong athletes in our school.
“Shizuku...I assume you don’t want to be late yet again like yesterday, right?”
“But, Captain! It’s because of this guy that I-”
“Right~?” She repeated her words while staring into the girl’s eyes.
The waitress from yesterday, who the Captain called Shizuku, walked off with her as she gave me a death stare, to which I responded by sticking my tongue out yeti again. The scene in front of me reminded me of yesterday yet again, in which she was scolded by her boss at the restaurant.
It seems that some of the students informed the Captains at the hall that one of the students was arguing with me heatedly in the school building and the Captain herself came to escort her back.
This would explain the number of people that were gathered here peeking at us. I didn’t even notice them when we were arguing. In a rush, I decided to leave as well to gather back with Ikuro and Madoka.
“Yo, Izuya. Seems like you got in quite an argument, huh?” Ikuro elbowed me as he looked towards Shizuku who was still glaring at me even as she was wearing her mask.
“Don’t even mention it. Ah! Just thinking of her got me mad again!” I scratched my head furiously in frustration.
“What exactly happened?” Madoka asked
I gave them the gist of the situation and what Mika said about me. The two of them seem to be barely holding in their laughter as I tried to explain it. I probably never got into an argument as big as that in my life. Was I too agitated by the situation and didn’t behave like my usual self?
As those thoughts lingered in my mind, the matches resumed.