Chapter 33:

Melancholic Reunion/Spiteful Reunion

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

"I see. So you live in Adachi alone now."Bookmark here

She nodded her head. Her eyes were still red and swollen after crying.Bookmark here

At the moment, Shiho and Kazuma were sitting on a bench at the playground.Bookmark here

It took Shiho some time before she finally calmed down after she apologized to him in tears.Bookmark here

"But why are you here?"Bookmark here

"Shinya told me to come... He wanted to talk about you..." with sharp eyes, she looked downwards.Bookmark here

"I hoped that he started to repent his actions but I was wrong... In the end, he announced to crush you."Bookmark here

"I still can't comprehend him! What has driven him to do all this?!"Bookmark here

While Shiho raised her voice the more she talked about her brother, Kazuma only listened to her ranting.Bookmark here

"Don't concern yourself with him. The more you try to understand something that doesn't act rational at all, the more confused you get." Kazuma said.Bookmark here

Shiho looked up with a surprised expression. But shortly after that, she began to chuckle.Bookmark here

"Heh, that's rich, coming from you." she commented with a faint smirk.Bookmark here

"Well, I reached a point where I can't get more confused." he joked.Bookmark here

"Is that so?"Bookmark here

"Yeah, I'm now at a point where my mind becomes blank if I think about him. I only  feel the urge to kill him that's all." he said casually with a smile.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

"Oh, sorry. You're still his sister..."Bookmark here

"Don't apologize. I've already cut ties with him since the accident. I can't consider him my brother anymore..." she had a sad smile on her face.Bookmark here

Without saying a word, Kazuma stood up.Bookmark here

"So I can assume that you won't participate tomorrow?"Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

She clenched her fists as she came to a decision.Bookmark here

"N-no. I will be there tomorrow."Bookmark here

Like Kazuma, she also got up to face him.Bookmark here

"Let me fight by your side!" she stated with eyes full of determination.Bookmark here

"No." Kazuma replied instantly.Bookmark here

"W-why? I'm sure that Shinya laid thousands of traps for you!" despite being taken aback by his earlier response, Shiho tried her luck again.Bookmark here

"I know but I don't care. This is something I have to do alone."Bookmark here

"Don't be ridiculous!"Bookmark here

Her desperation was written all over her face while she shook his shoulders.Bookmark here

Snap.Bookmark here

"Ouch!"Bookmark here

She rubbed her forehead after Kazuma flicked his finger at her forehead.Bookmark here

"Back in the days and even now I never lost. You of all people should know it the best, idiot."Bookmark here

"B-but-"Bookmark here

Snap.Bookmark here

"Ouch! Why again?!"Bookmark here

And again, he flicked his finger at her forehead.Bookmark here

"Geez, stop with your nagging. I suppose you don't know but I'm also prepared." he said with a relaxed attitude.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Shiho still could not stop worrying about him but she had to accept that she could not change his mind.Bookmark here

"It's late already. You should go home."Bookmark here

Kazuma turned his back on her and was about to head home, however, Shiho pulled softly on his shirt.Bookmark here

"Is something?"Bookmark here

Shiho's lips were trembling and she was again on the verge of crying.Bookmark here

After all these years, she could finally see Kazuma again. She had so many things to say and so many things she wanted to show him but the current circumstances would not allow it.Bookmark here

Kazuma did not know it yet but Shiho was also emotionally deeply scarred by the betrayal of her brother.Bookmark here

Since then, she developed trust issues and therefore was unable to make many friends in her new environment. There was no one she could open up to. Shiho only wanted to see Kazuma, whom she held very dear. However, she was scared to see him because she felt guilty for not being able to stop her brother back then.Bookmark here

"Nothing..." she said with a faint voice as she let go.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Kazuma turned his face to her.Bookmark here

"Let's do something again after everything is over." he said.Bookmark here

Open-mouthed and with her watery eyes sparkling, she looked up.Bookmark here

Before she could say anything, Kazuma was already walking back to his house.Bookmark here

"What a surprise." Kazuma muttered.Bookmark here

After he arrived at his own house, he went to bed. Not being able to sleep, Kazuma reminiscent about his reunion with Shiho.Bookmark here

Despite being doubtful at the beginning, he was happy in the end. He was happy that Shiho was still the same kind girl just like back then.Bookmark here

A sense of relief also filled his heart. Kazuma was glad that he had not to confront her tomorrow as an enemy.Bookmark here

With those thoughts, he flashed unconsciously a slight smirk as he fell asleep.Bookmark here

The next day.Bookmark here

Ring. Ring.Bookmark here

Hearing his alarm clock, Kazuma woke up.Bookmark here

After he left his bed, he stretched his body.Bookmark here

In spite of sleeping only a few hours, he was brimming with energy.Bookmark here

Kazuma spent his morning normally. He ate breakfast, brushed his teeth, changed his clothes and watched TV a little bit before he went to the entrance.Bookmark here

As he put on his shoes, Kazuma checked his phone one last time.Bookmark here

"A message from Yui?"Bookmark here

He checked the message.Bookmark here

It was a photo of her at the beach. Her family was in the background and the sun was shining intensely.Bookmark here

A sincere smile formed on his face.Bookmark here

He had nothing to worry about anymore. Yui was currently away with her family for two weeks. It was the perfect time to put an end to all of this.Bookmark here

"Let's go." he said determined as he opened the door.Bookmark here

In contrast to the place, where Yui was currently, it was rather cloudy and gray at Kazuma's location.Bookmark here

"It's pretty chilly today." he commented.Bookmark here

But Kazuma did not care how the weather was today.Bookmark here

He made his way to the promised place.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

After he walked already for a while, he noticed that the closer he was to the place, the more crowded it became. But it was not a normal crowd. It was a crowd only consisting of delinquents.Bookmark here

"Is he the one?"Bookmark here

"No way."Bookmark here

"He seems pretty normal."Bookmark here

"Wanna test his strength?"Bookmark here

"Don't! Kanzaki-san will kill us!"Bookmark here

It was impossible for Kazuma to not hear the whispers about him.Bookmark here

He tried to ignore them and remained calm while headed to the place.Bookmark here

The number of people got even bigger and bigger.Bookmark here

Kazuma got nervous but he knew that he must not let it show on his face.Bookmark here

"Oh, he arrived!"Bookmark here

"Let's bet how long he'll last!"Bookmark here

"Oh, yeah! I bet three seconds!"Bookmark here

The people mocked him after he arrived.Bookmark here

It was the playground where he also met Shiho last night. It was the place where 'The Owls' fought other gangs in the past. It was the place where everything began and where everything will end.Bookmark here

"Yo, Kazuma! Long no time no see!"Bookmark here

Shinya was the first one to greet him. He wore an arrogant and provocative grin on his face.Bookmark here

On his side were the other members of the main squad.Bookmark here

On his left were Daisuke and his cousin Ryota whose face was covered in bandage due to yesterday. While Daisuke had a fierce and stern look, Ryota was not able to hide his hostility and annoyance towards Kazuma.Bookmark here

On Shinya's right side were Kyouko and Hirata. Kyouko was yawning, showing that she had no interest in this matter, whereas Hirata harbored the same feelings as Shinya and therefore gazed at Kazuma exactly like Shinya.Bookmark here

"Yeah... It's been to long." Kazuma replied.Bookmark here

He looked at Shinya with sharp and yet hollow eyes.Bookmark here

Then, Shinya stepped forward.Bookmark here

"And? Where's your new gang?" he asked.Bookmark here

"They ditched me like you did." Kazuma joked while he also stepped forward.Bookmark here

"Is that so?"Bookmark here

Kazuma smirked while Shinya's previous grin faded at Kazuma's remark.Bookmark here

"I must admit, it's truly nostalgic being here with you. I never had the chance to talk to you since then. You know, I searched everywhere for you but there were no traces of you and the others." Kazuma shrugged his shoulders.Bookmark here

"Well, we didn't want you to betray us again by ratting us out to the police."Bookmark here

"Again? That's funny. Weren't you the one who backstabbed me? After all, you're responsible for killing my parents."Bookmark here

"Backstabbing you? Nah, the fact that you left us for your parents was a betrayal. Their death was just the according punishment."Bookmark here

Now, even Kazuma's smirk vanished.Bookmark here

"I see. Well, that's everything I need to hear. Let's cut the crap and start. I'll make sure to make you suffer." Kazuma declared as he cracked his knuckles.Bookmark here

Shinya could only grin agitated, looking at Kazuma's menacing expression.Bookmark here

"Alright. Guys, let's kill him!" Shinya yelled with excitement.Bookmark here

"Wait. Let me go first! I want to pay him back for yesterday."Bookmark here

Before the others could make a move, Ryota stepped forward.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Shinya looked at him with an shallow gaze.Bookmark here

"Fine." he answered half-heartedly.Bookmark here

Shinya gave him the green light.Bookmark here

"Thanks."Bookmark here

Thus, Ryota began to walk to Kazuma until they were close enough to feel each others' breaths.Bookmark here

"Be prepared, you bastard! I wasn't even serious yesterday!" he stated confidently.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

With no hesitation, Ryota was about to punch Kazuma with all his force.Bookmark here

"It's time for reve-"Bookmark here

Crack.Bookmark here

Thud.Bookmark here

Before Ryota's punch could connect, Kazuma hit him in the chin from the sides, causing a cracking sound. As a result, he fell immediately on the ground, losing his consciousness.Bookmark here

Shaking off his right hand, Kazuma looked at the others, who were surprised by the scene.Bookmark here

"Next one." Kazuma ordered provocatively.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.