Chapter 9:

Chapter 9: Club Event

Solus: The Pairing of Fate

“Hmph. Alright, Let’s talk this out.” Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“First off, what were you two -”Bookmark here

“Welcome! What would you like to order?” I was interrupted by an energetic waitress. Bookmark here

“Ugh. Um, we will order later, thank you.” I said in an attempt to chase her away after being interrupted.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

Scary…Bookmark here

“What’s the most expensive parfait here?”Bookmark here

“The Aurora Cruiser Parfait, would you like that?”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“Then a coffee for me.”Bookmark here

“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?Bookmark here

“I don’t need to spell out why it’s your treat, do I, Izuya.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I got it.”Bookmark here

“Ahh, I can’t take this stupid mood anymore. Izuya!” Ikuro slapped his knees before jerking his head to face me.Bookmark here

“Y-Yes?”Bookmark here

“My bad! I shouldn’t have flipped out like that.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“Phhh...Phhahaha! The look on your face, Izuya.” Madoka started laughing as Ikuro was apologizing to me.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

“Follow me? You mean you guys were following me from the start?”Bookmark here

“Ah. T-That is…” Ikuro started looking away, trying to avoid my question.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“Huh? No, that’s not what happened, I was accompanying Madoka for her shopp-”Bookmark here

“Yeah, we were on a date,” Madoka interjected as Ikuro was panicking that they were caught in action.Bookmark here

“Huh?!” Ikuro looked at Madoka as if he was surprised she said that.Bookmark here

“Were we...not?”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“I-I see...Well, maybe you should settle down. You are attracting everyone’s attention.” Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Man, so you decided to follow me while on your date. What an hono-”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

No. She was just doing her job. Calm down, it was just a coincidence.Bookmark here

“Thank you.” Bookmark here

“...Hmph.” She scoffed at me as she turned, her ponytail just missing me right by my face.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“What took so long?” Madoka asked as I left through the door.Bookmark here

“Nothing much, just paying back an annoying person.”Bookmark here

“Oh, you mean the waitress earlier?” Ikuro chimed in.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I saw her getting reprimanded by her superior.”Bookmark here

“Well...I kind of get how she feels.” Bookmark here

“What do you mean, Madoka?”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

Ahh...That might be it. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“Ah.”Bookmark here

“Ah! It’s you! Argh, I can’t spend any more time on this!” Bookmark here

It was the waitress from earlier, she ran off at full speed only after giving me a glare that could kill.Bookmark here

“...Did I screw up?”Bookmark here

“Yep. She’s gonna kill you if she ever meets you.” Bookmark here

“She’s your Solus of death.” Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

XXXBookmark here

“You three seem to be doing better.”Bookmark here

“Mr.Helix. We talked things over.”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“True that, guess I will refrain from going to the usual training sessions as well.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Ikuro, what about the party coming up? They wanted Izuya to come as well.”Bookmark here

“What party?” This was the first I had ever heard of any party that was coming up, making me rather surprised by it.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“Ah right. The one with the ball and all, right?”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“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.” Bookmark here

“Izuya’s right. It will be fine. With that said, Izuya. It’s this Saturday, you better get dressed.”Bookmark here

“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?”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Where is it…”Bookmark here

“Pffh...Hahaha!” Madoka burst out in laughter.Bookmark here

“It’s not funny! I won’t have the time to get a new one!”Bookmark here

“Hahaha! Don’t worry Izuya. Mom already figured that out and was going to bring you to a tailor to buy one that morning.”Bookmark here

“What…” They knew this and were keeping it a secret from me, probably for the kicks.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Hey, don’t get mad at us. You are the one who went all ape and searched for it without listening to us.”Bookmark here

“Ugh…”Bookmark here

“Hey Ikuro, it’s tomorrow right?” I said devilishlyBookmark here

“What is?”Bookmark here

“Your promise to bring me to the Kendo Girls tournament in school tomorrow to view the club.”Bookmark here

“...Kendo...Girls?” Madoka uttered.Bookmark here

“Geh! O-Oi Izuya, didn’t we say…”Bookmark here

“You know, the one you asked me to accompany you to? The club is full of beautiful girls?”Bookmark here

“...Beautiful...Girls?”Bookmark here

“You traitor! Izuya!” Ikuro cried out helplessly as a dark and menacing aura began to rise from the figure behind him.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

XXXBookmark here

“W-What..?”Bookmark here

“Ahh!! It’s you!”Bookmark here

What was supposed to be a leisure club viewing session on the weekend, resulting in me being threatened with a Kendo sword?Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Huh...Ikuro was right. They sure are pretty.” Madoka said with a slightly scary smile on her face.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“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 addsBookmark here

“L-Labour? I can’t seem to imagine it happening.”Bookmark here

“Well, if you are planning on joining, you would probably fail at it, seeing how the remaining members are all pretty boys, hahaha!”Bookmark here

“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?Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“Hehe, hearing Madoka say that makes me somewhat confident.” I ruffled my hair as I smiled in agreement.Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I thought I had noticed a familiar face when I was gawking at them but was probably mistaken. Bookmark here

I don’t know anyone who does Kendo after all.Bookmark here

“Sei!” As the high-pitched voice sounded out from behind the mask, she struck at her opponent and won.Bookmark here

Looking at her uniform, she was from the other school and was rather aggressive in her style.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Ahh!” A scream echoed in my ears as I was walking outside the hall with Ikuro and Madoka.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

She was pointing at me with anger in her eyes...and a kendo sword in the other.Bookmark here

“It’s you!” She exclaimed furiously as she swung down her sword and pointed it at my face.Bookmark here

The girl, long brown hair tied up in a bun, still wearing her hakama had an expression of a mixture of frustration and anger. Bookmark here

“Uh...Do I know you?”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“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?Bookmark here

“Ah...The girl from yesterday…” Madoka silently said under her breath.Bookmark here

The girl from yesterday? The only events I remember yesterday were testing my Solus and encountering a rude….Bookmark here

AH!”Bookmark here

“...this is why I didn’t even want to go to this school. It disgusts me that you guys would…”Bookmark here

“I’M SORRY!” I instinctively bowed down to apologize, hitting my head on her sword while on the way.Bookmark here

“...Huh?!”Bookmark here

At this time, we were attracting a lot of attention due to the vast amount of noise we were making.Bookmark here

"I will explain it to you, so how about we change locations?" I offered, gesturing towards the school building.Bookmark here

"There isn't any need for you to explain, I know it all too well. People like you." Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Curse them.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"ARGH! Enough of that, just follow me!!" Subconsciously, I grabbed her free hand and dragged her into the building.Bookmark here

"What are you-"Bookmark here

XXXBookmark here

“HAH?! You expect me to believe all that after the stunt you pulled?!”Bookmark here

“As I said, it isn’t a stunt! It was just a coincidence!”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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!” Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Again with the lies! If you didn’t know about it, why would you be here today watching our matches anyways?!”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“And that!” I interjected, pointing right at her face, albeit rude.Bookmark here

“W-What?”Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

“Not if you are the best in the nation now! Ah~ah, I guess your grades weren’t that good.”Bookmark here

“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!”Bookmark here

“Huh?! Why-”Bookmark here

“Do you guys mind now?” Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“C-Captain…”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Shizuku...I assume you don’t want to be late yet again like yesterday, right?”Bookmark here

“But, Captain! It’s because of this guy that I-”Bookmark here

Right~?” She repeated her words while staring into the girl’s eyes.Bookmark here

“...Yes.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“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. Bookmark here

“Don’t even mention it. Ah! Just thinking of her got me mad again!” I scratched my head furiously in frustration.Bookmark here

“What exactly happened?” Madoka askedBookmark here

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? Bookmark here

As those thoughts lingered in my mind, the matches resumed.Bookmark here

XXXBookmark here

Debrishi Kar
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