Chapter 39:

Master Of Rejections

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

It was the final day of Kazuma having to rest in the hospital. And like always, he spent his day in the hospital reading manga while he laid in the bed just like Shiho.Bookmark here

"Finally I can leave! But I have to wonder... Why exactly do you still have to rest here? I thought you only had some minor bruises." Kazuma asked her.Bookmark here

"W-well, I don't know... Maybe because I'm a girl?" she explained clumsily.Bookmark here

Shiho had to find a good excuse so that she could hide the fact that she was actually stabbed.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

The excuse was nowhere near good. Kazuma looked baffled at her.Bookmark here

Knock. Knock.Bookmark here

Suddenly someone knocked at the door.Bookmark here

"Can I come in?"Bookmark here

Kazuma recognized the voice immediately.Bookmark here

"E-Emma? Eh, uhm... Y-yes!" he stuttered in panic.Bookmark here

Thus, she entered the room. But her expression was anything but happy.Bookmark here

Her eyes were fierce and her mouth was not formed in her typical smile.Bookmark here

"E-Emma... H-how did you kno-"Bookmark here

"Ken-kun told me everything." she cut him off.Bookmark here

"W-what did he told you?" Kazuma asked nervously.Bookmark here

Before the fight, Kazuma made sure that Emma and Yui would not find out about his brawl with Shinya and the others.Bookmark here

"You took on an entire gang, again."Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

In his mind, he wanted to berate and punch Ken but he had no time.Bookmark here

He heaved a sigh.Bookmark here

"Lying would be useless at this point, huh?" he lowered his shoulders.Bookmark here

"So? Why did you ask Kirisaki about me?"Bookmark here

"Do you have your phone with you?" Emma asked.Bookmark here

"My phone? It's he-"Bookmark here

"!"Bookmark here

Kazuma completely forgot. He left his phone at home.Bookmark here

"I guess I forgot it at home, hehe..." he laughed it off.Bookmark here

"Thought so. Yui and I were worried about you. For the last couple of days, you didn't reply to our messages and calls nor did you call us." she said.Bookmark here

"Sorry..."Bookmark here

Emma took the empty seat beside Kazuma's bed.Bookmark here

"And do you want to explain yourself, too? Why were you involved in a fight again?"Bookmark here

His facial expression turned grim for a moment but soon changed into an awkward one.Bookmark here

"W-well, I bumped shoulders with someone and it turned into a fight suddenly. And as time went on, I was surrounded by a crowd of delinquents." Kazuma explained.Bookmark here

He considered telling her the truth which also involved telling her his past but in the end, he decided against it. There was no need for it for now.Bookmark here

"Somehow I have the feeling that you like attracting delinquents to you..." she commented.Bookmark here

"I have to agree sadly." Kazuma smiled wryly.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

In the meantime, Shiho pretended to be asleep but in reality she tried to hold in her laugh.Bookmark here

"But I'm glad that your injuries aren't as bad as I imagined." Emma said as she smiled slightly.Bookmark here

"Yeah... I was lucky, I suppose."Bookmark here

The two looked downwards while still wearing a small smile.Bookmark here

Their conversations began to die.Bookmark here

"Whatever. Let's talk about something different, shall we? How did you spent the last few days?" Kazuma changed the topic to not make the atmosphere between them awkward.Bookmark here

"Sure. How I spent my last few days? Let me see..."Bookmark here

Then, she flashed a toothy smile. Kazuma never saw her this happy before.Bookmark here

"You see, Ken-kun suddenly appeared one day and he apologized to me!" she began to recollect.Bookmark here

"Apologize?" he interrupted her.Bookmark here

He asked her despite already knowing the reason. At this point, Kazuma could also predict the future actions Ken took until today.Bookmark here

However, he chose to play dumb in front of her as he watched her talk happily about Ken.Bookmark here

"Yes! He apologized for his behavior and even said sorry for leaving me alone for the past few years. You won't believe how surprised I was!"Bookmark here

"And on the same day, he took me away to hang out somewhere just like the old days. Since then, he visited me every day and each time, we went somewhere else like..."Bookmark here

Kazuma only listened to hear talking about her fun days with Ken. The entire time, he only nodded his head with a content smile to show that he was still listening.Bookmark here

"... I even suggested to visit you together so he could also apologize to you but he declined immediately. Truly a shame..." she sighed.Bookmark here

"Y-yeah, truly a shame, haha..." Kazuma laughed forcibly.Bookmark here

Sweat started to form on his forehead when he realized that Ken still did not tell Emma anything about their meetings.Bookmark here

"But I wonder why he had this sudden change of heart." she said while she pointed her finger on her chin.Bookmark here

"Who knows. Maybe his parents caught him acting like a delinquent."Bookmark here

"Hehe..." Emma let out a giggle.Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

"Just kidding. I already know why."Bookmark here

"Really?" Kazuma asked as he tried to act indifferently.Bookmark here

"Yes and that's why I also want to thank you, Kazuma-san."Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Pretending not to know would be no wise choice. Therefore, Kazuma dropped his act.Bookmark here

"You're welcome." he responded with a comforting smile.Bookmark here

"You really are a great friend!" she said with a beaming smile.Bookmark here

Bzz.Bookmark here

Her phone vibrated.Bookmark here

"Oh, I got a message from my father."Bookmark here

"Seems like I have to go now." she said as she prepared to leave.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Kazuma stared at her intensively. His smile vanished and his eyes were filled with determination.Bookmark here

"Ehm, Kazuma-san?"Bookmark here

Emma started to get embarrassed as her face reddened a bit.Bookmark here

Before he spoke, he took one last deep breath.Bookmark here

"Emma?"Bookmark here

"Y-yes?"Bookmark here

He gripped his blanket tightly but let it go instantly.Bookmark here

"Do you want to go out with me?" he asked her with a stern expression.Bookmark here

Unlike the other times he confessed, no sign of embarrassment or fear were visible on his face.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

And unlike the other times, it took her a moment to answer.Bookmark here

Then, she stood up.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry but I'm already in love with someone else." she answered as she bowed her head slightly.Bookmark here

His smile slowly returned.Bookmark here

"I see... Well, do you mind if I ask who the other person is?" Kazuma asked as if he read out the line of a script.Bookmark here

"His name is Kirisaki Ken." she said with a smile.Bookmark here

Her smile reminded that of someone who was finally freed from her shackles. She could finally admit with confidence and pride that she was in love with Ken.Bookmark here

"Kirisaki, huh? I wish you luck then."Bookmark here

"Thank you."Bookmark here

"No, I should thank you for rejecting me one last time." Kazuma stated.Bookmark here

Emma was baffled for a second but shortly began to understand his message.Bookmark here

"I see. Then I wish you luck, too." she said.Bookmark here

"Thanks. Let's hang out when everyone of us is available."Bookmark here

"Yes! See you then!" she waved her hand before she left the room.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

He took a deep breath again.Bookmark here

Instead of feeling dejected by the rejection, he felt freed and satisfied.Bookmark here

Kazuma did not confess to her out of love, he only confessed her to put an official end to his pursuit of Emma. He felt like he could only put an end to this by getting rejected for the final time.Bookmark here

Emma understood it, too. After all, in spite of all the other confessions, this time he did not mention that he liked or loved her. He left this part out on purpose.Bookmark here

His feelings for her were already gone which was also confirmed by their talk today.Bookmark here

Even though she talked about Ken and how much fun she had with him all the time, his heart did not hurt at all and his mind was completely calm.Bookmark here

He felt absolutely nothing romantically towards her anymore.Bookmark here

"Pfff!"Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

Kazuma heard noises from the other side of the room.Bookmark here

"Haha! I can't anymore! Did you really go ahead and confessed to someone even though you knew that I was here? Hahaha! Ouch!"Bookmark here

It was Shiho whose belly started to hurt from all the laughing.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Kazuma totally forgot about her. He remembered his lines and turned all red.Bookmark here

"Aaaah! How could I forget!" he rolled in his bed out of embarrassment.Bookmark here

"Hahaha! Ah, it hurts!"Bookmark here

"Stop laughing, idiot!"Bookmark here

"Haha, sorry! I try my best!"Bookmark here

It took them both a few minutes to calm down.Bookmark here

"And? How do you feel?" Shiho asked with her back facing him.Bookmark here

"What do you mean?"Bookmark here

"Do you feel depressed about the rejection?"Bookmark here

"No, not at all. I feel happy."Bookmark here

"Is that so?"Bookmark here

"You sure are a weird one." she mocked him.Bookmark here

"Shut it."Bookmark here

It was silent again.Bookmark here

"Kazu-kun?"Bookmark here

"Hm?"Bookmark here

"Was she your first love?"Bookmark here

"I don't know."Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"What?"Bookmark here

"I love you."Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

His face still remained blank.Bookmark here

"I liked you, too, back then." he answered.Bookmark here

"I see..."Bookmark here

Shiho harbored feelings for him since back then but never had a chance to confess.Bookmark here

Knowing that it may be already too late for her, she mustered up her courage to confess now.Bookmark here

She expected that she would get rejected and was prepared for it and yet it hurt her more than she thought.Bookmark here

On the other hand, Kazuma realized that he possibly had feelings for back then but he only realized it as he matured. Now it was too late.Bookmark here

The silence returned and dominated for the rest of Kazuma's stay.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.