Chapter 40:

Beginner At Love

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

"And here we are."Bookmark here

"Yeah..."Bookmark here

It was the next day when Yousuke offered Kazuma to drive him back to his house.Bookmark here

"Feels like I wasn't here for years, haha..." Kazuma joked.Bookmark here

"Well, I hope you can at least enjoy the rest of your holidays, Ichinose."Bookmark here

"I hope so, too."Bookmark here

Kazuma got out of the car.Bookmark here

"Thank you for driving me home, Ikari-san."Bookmark here

"No problem."Bookmark here

"Oh, let's go eat something again in the future! It's on me like last time." Yousuke pointed with his thumb at his chest.Bookmark here

"Really?"Bookmark here

"Yes, of course! After all, we solved the case concerning 'The Owls' thanks to you!"Bookmark here

"I see... If that's the case, isn't a dinner a bit too little?"Bookmark here

"Tch. Fine, I'll pay the next three dinners as well."Bookmark here

Kazuma sighed.Bookmark here

"In the end, it's still just food... Whatever. I'm fine with it, I guess." Kazuma gave in.Bookmark here

"That's settled then! See you, Ichinose!" Yousuke stated and was about to drive away.Bookmark here

"Ah, wait!"Bookmark here

"Hm?"Bookmark here

"I have a question which bothered me for a while..."Bookmark here

"I remembered that you mentioned my parents' names during our fight. Did you know them?" Kazuma asked with a stern and yet nervous expression.Bookmark here

"Huh? Don't you rememb-"Bookmark here

Bzz.Bookmark here

"Sorry, it's urgent."Bookmark here

Yousuke had to take the call after his phone rang.Bookmark here

"What?! Understood. I'll get there now."Bookmark here

"I have to go now. Let's continue our talk next time. See you, Ichinose!"Bookmark here

"H-huh?"Bookmark here

Thus, Yousuke drove away. Not being able to say goodbye, Kazuma only waved his hand awkwardly.Bookmark here

After the car disappeared in the horizon, Kazuma entered his home.Bookmark here

Being in the house again, he took a deep breath through his nose.Bookmark here

"How I missed this smell!" he commented with a relaxed expression.Bookmark here

He took a little stroll within his house.Bookmark here

"Ah, there it is!"Bookmark here

When he entered his own room, he noticed that his phone was on his bed.Bookmark here

[11 missed calls.]Bookmark here

[39 unread messages.]Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Kazuma immediately checked who called him in spite of already knowing who it was.Bookmark here

"So Emma called me two times, Yui eight times... And Kirisaki one time?!" he leaned with his face closer on the display.Bookmark here

He could not believe that Kirisaki tried to call him on his own accord.Bookmark here

Then, Kazuma proceeded to read his messages. Most of them came from the group chat where Emma, Yui and Kazuma were part of. His private messages only contained the question about his whereabouts.Bookmark here

Besides them, even Kirisaki wrote him.Bookmark here

[Sorry. Emma is coming to your hospital.]Bookmark here

"I see. He tried to warn me..."Bookmark here

After he checked everything on his phone, he dialed a number.Bookmark here

[Kazuma?]Bookmark here

"Hey, Yui. Sorry for not contacting you in the last few days. My phone died and I didn't notice."Bookmark here

[Don't you have a better excuse?]Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

[Oh, well, it doesn't matter. What's up?]Bookmark here

"I just wanted to let you know that I'm back."Bookmark here

[What a coincidence! I'm also back from my family trip.]Bookmark here

"What? Didn't you say that you would be away for two weeks?"Bookmark here

[How should I say... I forgot something important and therefore we had to head back home, haha...]Bookmark here

One could hear how embarrassed Yui was.Bookmark here

"How stupid..."Bookmark here

[S-shut up!]Bookmark here

[Anyways, are you free tomorrow?]Bookmark here

"Yeah, I think so."Bookmark here

[Perfect! Then, come to my house at 3 pm.]Bookmark here

"Alright."Bookmark here

[Bye then, hehe!]Bookmark here

"Bye."Bookmark here

Kazuma threw his phone on his bed.Bookmark here

"Now then. It's 3:22 pm. What should I do?" Kazuma asked himself as he stretched his body.Bookmark here

He looked at his bed.Bookmark here

"Maybe a short nap?"Bookmark here

The next day.Bookmark here

"Geez, I still can't believe that you slept for almost 24 hours..." Yui sighed in disappointment and astonishment.Bookmark here

"Haha..." Kazuma only laughed wryly.Bookmark here

"We even almost missed our bus thanks to you..." she massaged her forehead with her fingers.Bookmark here

"W-well, no need to talk about it further, after all, we arrived. Right?" he tried to calm her down.Bookmark here

"Guess you're right..."Bookmark here

Currently, Kazuma and Yui passed the gates of an amusement park.Bookmark here

She took a deep breath.Bookmark here

"Let's have fun today!" she said with her usual energetic and carefree attitude as she took his arm and dragged him behind her.Bookmark here

"Heh..." Kazuma had a small smirk on his face.Bookmark here

Thus, the two went on to have fun at the amusement park.Bookmark here

For Kazuma, it was a nice change of pace after everything he went through in the last couple of days.Bookmark here

Be it the roller coaster, the merry-go-round or the haunted house, Kazuma and Yui enjoyed their time in every ride and place they visited.Bookmark here

They had so much fun that the sun began to set in a blink of an eye.Bookmark here

"Can you wait here? I need to go to the restroom." Yui asked as she pointed at the bench near them.Bookmark here

"Sure."Bookmark here

After Kazuma sat down, Yui already vanished from his vision.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Bzz.Bookmark here

While he was waiting for Yui, he got notification on his phone.Bookmark here

[Hey, Kazu-kun! It's me! I just wanted to tell you that I'm going to transfer to your school after summer break.]Bookmark here

"What?" he reacted in a dull tone.Bookmark here

Due to the way he was addressed, he could conclude that it was Shiho.Bookmark here

"How the hell..."Bookmark here

He rubbed his forehead with his fingers as he tried to comprehend her message. Why would she want to transfer schools? And how did she even get his number?Bookmark here

Wanting the answers, he was about to message her back until he spotted a person approaching him.Bookmark here

"I'm back!"Bookmark here

"That was fast, Yui."Bookmark here

"I was just lucky that there was no queue."Bookmark here

"Is that so?"Bookmark here

Kazuma noticed how the orange tone faded away gradually in the sky.Bookmark here

"Oh, it's getting dark soon. Want to head back?" Yui asked.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

He smirked as he watched into a certain direction.Bookmark here

"How about riding that before we go home?" he suggested while he pointed at the Ferris wheel.Bookmark here

"The Ferris wheel?"Bookmark here

"Yeah, I think we rode and visited everything besides that."Bookmark here

"Hmm... I guess so. Well, fine." she agreed.Bookmark here

The two went over to the Ferris wheel and sat down opposite from each other in the cabin.Bookmark here

"What a beautiful view..." Yui commented in astonishment.Bookmark here

"Yeah..." he silently agreed.Bookmark here

They looked out of the windows to enjoy the view. Yui was completely entranced whereas Kazuma was in deep thoughts and only pretended to enjoy the view.Bookmark here

"Yui?"Bookmark here

Kazuma fixed his posture and faced her.Bookmark here

"Yes?"Bookmark here

"There is something I need to tell you."Bookmark here

Seeing his stern gaze, Yui also turned serious and faced him.Bookmark here

"You see, ..."Bookmark here

He began to tell her about his previous meeting with Emma and what happened. Naturally, he left out the fact that they were in a hospital.Bookmark here

As he came to the end of his story, Yui felt a throbbing pain in her heart.Bookmark here

"H-heh, you truly are the 'Master Of Rejections'." she tried to mock him.Bookmark here

"Well, I did it on purpose." Kazuma stated as he leaned back.Bookmark here

"?" she tilted her head.Bookmark here

"My feelings for her already vanished even before that 'confession'. Knowing that, I just wanted to end my pursuit officially."Bookmark here

"I see." she looked out of the windows again so that she had not to face him.Bookmark here

Her heart began to calm down a little.Bookmark here

"But that's not all." he stated when their cabin reached the peak of the Ferris wheel.Bookmark here

Just like her, he turned his gaze to the side.Bookmark here

"I realized that I already had feelings for another person."Bookmark here

"!"Bookmark here

In a shocked state, she turned her face in his direction again. Her mouth was open, her eyes widened, sweat started to from on her forehead and her face reddened.Bookmark here

She knew exactly whom he meant. When she looked at him, she could only notice his blushing cheeks due to him still not facing her.Bookmark here

Even though her heart calmed down not too long ago, her heart was throbbing again and even faster than before. It was not due to pain.Bookmark here

"I promised to myself that this time I won't fail."Bookmark here

Kazuma's eyes finally met hers again. Despite being red due to the embarrassment, his eyes were determined.Bookmark here

"I promised to myself that I will try to know her even better. I will go on lots of dates with her. Talk a lot with her. Have even more fun with her."Bookmark here

His mouth formed a smile beaming full of resolution and confidence.Bookmark here

"And I promised to myself that when I'm truly ready for a relationship, then I will confess to her without getting rejected."Bookmark here

Their ride slowly came to an end.Bookmark here

Even Yui had to smile wholeheartedly.Bookmark here

She stood up from her seat.Bookmark here

"Don't make her wait too long, okay?" she pointed her finger at him playfully.Bookmark here

"I won't." he replied in a relaxed manner.Bookmark here

The door opened.Bookmark here

"Haha..." he snickered silently.Bookmark here

"What's wrong?"Bookmark here

"Well, you know, since I got rejected by Emma for the last time, I decided to change my title."Bookmark here

"Your title?"Bookmark here

"Yeah, previously I was known as the 'Master Of Rejections'. However, times have changed."Bookmark here

"And what's your new nickname?"Bookmark here

"I made up my mind to learn step by step what love is."Bookmark here

Kazuma exited the cabin with one foot and stretched his hand towards Yui.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

After she took his hand nervously, Kazuma gripped her hand tightly and pulled her with him out of the cabin.Bookmark here

He turned to her with a toothy smile.Bookmark here

"Therefore, call me 'Beginner At Love'."Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.