Chapter 38:

Letting Go

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

When the sun began to rise and when the birds were chirping, Kazuma finally opened his eyes.Bookmark here

"Ugh..."Bookmark here

It took him a moment to realize where he currently was.Bookmark here

"This ceiling..."Bookmark here

He slowly turned his head to the left and to the right.Bookmark here

"The hospital?" he muttered.Bookmark here

"That's right, Ichinose."Bookmark here

Kazuma turned to the right to identify the person.Bookmark here

"Ikari-san?"Bookmark here

Yousuke smiled slightly.Bookmark here

"Feeling better now?" he asked.Bookmark here

"I don't know..." Kazuma replied weakly as he averted his gaze from Yousuke.Bookmark here

"I see."Bookmark here

"Well, only time can help you now. And if you need someone to talk about it, then don't hesitate to call me." Yousuke added.Bookmark here

Kazuma nodded his head.Bookmark here

"For now, you should rest. The interrogation can wait this time."Bookmark here

Then, Yousuke prepared to leave the room.Bookmark here

"Uhm, Ikari-san?"Bookmark here

"Yes?"Bookmark here

"What will happen to Shinya and the others?"Bookmark here

Yousuke' expression turned grim.Bookmark here

"Kanazki Shinya..." Yousuke looked into the direction of the other bed which was behind the curtains.Bookmark here

"He will most likely be sent to the juvenile detention center. The fates of the others are still being discussed." he answered.Bookmark here

"Thanks for telling me..." Kazuma said while he gripped the blanket tightly.Bookmark here

Saddened, Yousuke stared at Kazuma.Bookmark here

He sighed.Bookmark here

"It's truly a shame to witness how young kids ruin their youth and future..." he stated.Bookmark here

"What will happen to me?" Kazuma muttered with his head hung low.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Yousuke took a moment to answer.Bookmark here

"Nothing. We'll just interrogate you later. That's it."Bookmark here

"What?" Kazuma looked up with a shocked expression.Bookmark here

"Shouldn't I also be punished? I mean... I tried to attack you, a police officer... And I tried to kill someone..."Bookmark here

"Normally, you would be right. But I handled it already." Yousuke shrugged his shoulder.Bookmark here

"W-what do you mean?"Bookmark here

"I made an exception. In the end, you didn't leave a scratch on me and you didn't kill anybody."Bookmark here

"But!"Bookmark here

"Oh, be quiet, will you? I already said that I handled everything." his tone got more annoyed.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

"Words of gratitude are enough for me."Bookmark here

Kazuma was still dissatisfied but any further arguments would be in vain in front of Yousuke.Bookmark here

"T-thank you..." Kazuma said reluctantly.Bookmark here

"You're welcome." Yousuke responded with a proud smirk.Bookmark here

Thus, he left the room.Bookmark here

"No scratches, huh?"Bookmark here

Kazuma's eyes got more remorseful as he got reminded by the fact that Yousuke had a bruise on his cheek since Kazuma woke up.Bookmark here

"Tch. What a hero." he commented sarcastically.Bookmark here

He tried to fall asleep again but due to the previous talk and all the thoughts he had concerning the incident he was unable to sleep.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

The silhouette of another person was visible through the curtains.Bookmark here

Not knowing how to kill time, he decided to take a peek at the other side. Therefore, he got up from his bed and silently sneaked to the other side.Bookmark here

Kazuma was aware that he should not do it but he could not help it. He was too bored.Bookmark here

His head emerged carefully from the curtains on the other half of the room.Bookmark here

He was finally able to get a view of his neighbor.Bookmark here

"Looks like you're awake now."Bookmark here

"S-Shiho?!"Bookmark here

Scratching his plan about being careful and silent, he removed the curtains abruptly when he saw Shiho in the bed.Bookmark here

She was currently reading one of the manga she requested to be brought to her. Hence the tall tower of manga beside her bed.Bookmark here

"What are you doing here?!" Kazuma asked hectically.Bookmark here

"Shhh! Be quiet! We're in a hospital!" she warned him while she put her finger on her lips, signaling him to be quiet.Bookmark here

"I'm here because I was also injured. After all, I had to fight that crazy girl." Shiho answered uninterested.Bookmark here

Of course that was not the whole truth. If she mentioned that her own brother stabbed her, then all hell would break loose in Kazuma's mind.Bookmark here

He was starting to let go of Shinya. Therefore, Shiho did not want to worsen his condition again. Furthermore, the injury she received did not bother her that much due to the wound not being too fatal luckily.Bookmark here

"Ah, yes, I remember..." Kazuma looked downwards as he bit his lips.Bookmark here

Shiho put her manga down.Bookmark here

"Geez, I imagine that you're giving yourself the blame for my injuries, right?"Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

"Just stop it. It was my decision to help you and that means that I have to take my own responsibilities." she said while she crossed her arms.Bookmark here

Despite having closed her eyes, her anger was still visible.Bookmark here

"Yeah..." Kazuma responded softly.Bookmark here

Then, Shiho was trying to take something out of her tower of manga.Bookmark here

"Seems like you feel as responsible as back then. Sometimes it can be a good trait and sometimes it can be annoying. Sorry to be blunt but this time it's annoying." she remarked without looking at him.Bookmark here

"Sor-"Bookmark here

"Here, take this."Bookmark here

She threw something to him.Bookmark here

"A manga?"Bookmark here

"Yeah. That's the one I forgot to return to you. You remember?"Bookmark here

A smile returned on Kazuma's face.Bookmark here

"Took you long enough, moron." he stated with a relaxed attitude.Bookmark here

"Be grateful that I even bothered to return to you after all those years!" she grinned arrogantly.Bookmark here

"Fine, fine. Thanks." he said shallowly before he went to his bed again.Bookmark here

After that, the two spent their time with reading manga and talking causally about trivial things now and then. It was as if time turned back for them.Bookmark here

And just like that, two days passed.Bookmark here

Knock. Knock.Bookmark here

Someone knocked on the door.Bookmark here

"It's me."Bookmark here

"Oh, yes, come in."Bookmark here

It was Yousuke who entered the room.Bookmark here

Shiho and Kazuma, who were reading manga, turned serious.Bookmark here

"Is it time for that?" Shiho asked.Bookmark here

"Yes."Bookmark here

"Alright, then let's do the interrogation quickly. I had to stop reading at a good point, after all." Kazuma said.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Yousuke gazed at Kazuma.Bookmark here

"Is something on my face?"Bookmark here

"No. It's just... I want to start with Shiho first. So could you please step outside for a moment?" Yousuke asked.Bookmark here

"What?"Bookmark here

"Kazu-kun. Please." even Shiho begged him with fierce eyes.Bookmark here

"O-okay, fine..."Bookmark here

Wondering why he was not allowed to listen, Kazuma left the room.Bookmark here

Kazuma decided to take a stroll in the hallways of the hospital.Bookmark here

"Hey! I'm talking to you!"Bookmark here

"!"Bookmark here

While he was walking aimlessly, Kazuma heard a familiar voice in a room he passed by.Bookmark here

"It can't be..."Bookmark here

He stopped in his tracks and headed to the room where he heard the voice.Bookmark here

Slam.Bookmark here

Without even knocking, he slammed the door open.Bookmark here

The people in the room looked at Kazuma either fearfully or spitefully. One person just averted the gaze from him.Bookmark here

"Are you kidding me?" Kazuma rubbed his eyes.Bookmark here

In his vision were the Toujou cousins, Hirata and Kyouko.Bookmark here

"You-"Bookmark here

"Stay down Ryota!"Bookmark here

Ryota was about to burst in anger but was stopped by Daisuke.Bookmark here

"Seems like we ended up in the same hospital." Hirata commented.Bookmark here

"So do you want to continue?" he added with a grim look.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Kyouko continued to distance herself from the conversation.Bookmark here

"No." Kazuma replied.Bookmark here

"!"Bookmark here

Everyone apart from Kyouko was surprised.Bookmark here

"I think it's finally time for me to move on. Of course, there's still a part of me which wants to beat the crap out of you now but if I would allow that to happen then I would start from the start again."Bookmark here

"From the start? Why are you talking like years passed since we fought you?" Hirata asked.Bookmark here

Kazuma smiled faintly.Bookmark here

"I was just too stupid too realize it. There are people who are offering their help to me. And there are those whom I don't want to disappoint any further. Fighting you here and now would make their and my efforts be in vain." Kazuma explained.Bookmark here

"That's bullshit!" Hirata raised his voice.Bookmark here

"Call it what you want but I stick to my words. This time for sure." Kazuma responded firmly.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

"Do you want to drop your act already, Hirata?" Kyouko meddled in.Bookmark here

"Shut u-"Bookmark here

"Just accept it! Shin-chan isn't here anymore! We all know that you try to look tough so that Shin-chan wouldn't discard you!"Bookmark here

"W-what are you talking about?!" he tried to defend himself.Bookmark here

"Don't play dumb! Even Daisuke and Ryota know it despite being muscle brains!"Bookmark here

The Toujou cousins averted their eyes from Hirata awkwardly.Bookmark here

"I see..."Bookmark here

Her words caused Hirata to back down. He clenched his fists.Bookmark here

"Kazuma."Bookmark here

"I... I..." Hirata tried to say something.Bookmark here

He got up from his bed and got on his knees slowly.Bookmark here

Bam.Bookmark here

He slammed his forehead on the floor.Bookmark here

"I apologize for my actions back then and now!"Bookmark here

Kazuma was taken aback by the apology.Bookmark here

"I... I just wanted us to be together back then! I trained so hard so that you wouldn't think of me as a hindrance! But it was all in vain after you announced that you wanted to leave! After that I fell into despair and got indulged in Shinya's madness..." he began to sob.Bookmark here

"I was scared of being alone! I had to be the tough guy so that I could stay Shinya!"Bookmark here

"I'm so sorry, Kazuma!"Bookmark here

"I see." Kazuma said without any emotions.Bookmark here

"However, I still won't forgive you."Bookmark here

Kazuma turned his back on them as he left the room.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.