Chapter 13:


Heartless Overclock

 A week after that incident, Juusaki wanders in the mall while scanning every store but not entering them. “Full-body swimsuit…” He looks at his watch, “Not enough time.” Then something catches his eye, a swimwear store. “Goal spotted.” He walks impatiently toward it. He enters the store and another thing catches his eye, “Itou-san?” Juusaki calls out. “What are you doing here?”

Misaki turns to him in surprise and rushes to hide behind an aisle of swimwear.

“I can see you, Itou-san.” Juusaki approaches her. “Good evening, Itou-san. Fancy seeing you here.”

“Wh— how—. Whatever, you are slow!”

“I’m slow? Anyways, I have no time to waste on you. Now, if you would, excuse me.” Misaki stands motionless as she stares at Juusaki while he looks at the various full-body swimsuits for men. Finally, she musters up the courage to approach him. “H—hey…” Juusaki doesn’t respond. “Hey.” Juusaki continues to browse without paying any acknowledgment to her. “Hey, Hachiko-kun.” Juusaki chooses a swimsuit from a shelf and starts to head to the counter. “Hachiko-kun!” Misaki grabs his arm. “I—I need help with something.”

Juusaki finally responds. “I’m sorry. I don’t have time to waste on you. Good night.”

“W—wait! I need you for something… right now!”

But Juusaki continues his way to the counter.

“Don’t you think that’s the right size?” Misaki snatches the swimsuit from his hands.

“That’s the right size. I have already measured it.”

“But you didn’t wear it!”

“I don’t have to. I memorized my size. Now please give the swimsuit back.”

Misaki moves the swimsuit away from him. “I won’t give this back unless you help me.”

But Juusaki persists in trying to snatch the swimsuit back. But Misaki skilfully avoids his grasp for the swimsuit. “Fine, I’ll just get another swimsuit then.”

“Stop!” Misaki blocks him with her arms spread wide apart. In a blink of an eye, Juusaki snatches the swimsuit back. “Wha— hey! Stop!” But it is too late. He is already at the checkout. 

“It has a tear in it.”

“What?” Juusaki inspects the swimsuit and indeed sees a tear.

“Oh, I’m sorry. It seems like this product had damage in it. I will get you a replacement,” the cashier apologizes.

Misaki grabs Juusaki’s arm in front of the cashier, “I’m his girlfriend, and I don’t like how you are treating my boyfriend.”

“Wha—?” Juusaki and the cashier likewise look at her in surprise.

“You will give him only a replacement? No, I want a refund.”

“Misaki, what are you—”

Misaki places a hand over Juusaki’s mouth. “I’ll pick for you this time, but first you help me.”

“You are wa—”

“Quickly! You are wasting my beloved boyfriend’s time! Refund, now!”

“Y—yes ma’am!” The cashier hastily issues a refund receipt with cash. “I—I’m sorry for the inconvenience!”

The two walk away from the cashier but remain in the store.

“Misaki, what do you think were you doing?”

“Well, that's your fault for not cooperating with me.”

“And also, what is a girlfriend?”


“Nevermind that I asked. You have wasted more of my time. I have to leave now.” Juusaki turns away.

“But didn’t you need a swimsuit?”

Juusaki freezes and turns his head toward her.

“You needed it for your swimming tomorrow, right?”

Juusaki slowly turns his entire body toward her. “How did you know?”

“I just know… why?”

“You spied on me, didn’t you?”

“N—no, I didn’t. I just learned it from Daichi,” Misaki fidgets.

“You rarely talk with any boys, especially Denji. You are lying.”

“W—what? What do you mean? I—I actually talk to a lot— no! I talk a lot to a boy, you know?” Misaki looks away.

Juusaki scans Misaki’s blushing face. “Temperature increase. Cause: Increased blood flow. Cause: Increased heart rate. Analysis: Lie,” his AI reports.

“You lied. You…” Juusaki hesitates. “AI, what was that word again?” Juusaki asks his AI in his head.

“Stalker - A person who pursues some obsessively to the point of harassment.”

“Thank you, AI.” “You stalker.”

Misaki’s face freezes and goes pale. “N—no…”

“I’m going home.”

“No, wait!” Misaki pulls Juusaki by the arm. “Please, I just need help with something.”


“Come on! It is really important!”


“You are assisting me with Denji, right?”


“I need help for that!”

“I don’t see how helping you in a swimsuit shop will help you.”

“You will help me buy a swimsuit for me to show to him!”

“I refuse. I am not an expert in those kinds of swimsuits anyway. And you have wasted my time. I’m going.”

“No!” Misaki grasps Juusaki’s arm even further. “I won’t let you go!”

“Escape Protoco—” Juusaki tells his AI

“Not recommended,” says the AI.


“You are in a public area. You will only cause a scene. Causing a scene will put people’s eyes on you. Putting peo—”

“I get it. I get it.” “Fine, but only this once. Next time if you waste my time again, I won’t help you with your request anymore.”


Juusaki ends up looking after Misaki as she chooses swimsuits at a snail’s pace. “How long will this take?”

“Don’t worry! I will pick one now. Here, I’ll wear this,” she tells a store employee. “This way, ma’am, to the changing room.”

“Wait for me here, okay?” Misaki says to Juusaki.


Two minutes pass and Misaki emerges from the changing room. “Ta-da! What do you think?” She says as she flaunts the two-piece bikini swimsuit, but Juusaki’s expression doesn’t change. “It’s good.”

“Gosh, I do not know if you are just saying that. Rate me from one to ten! How good am I?”


“What!? You got to be kidding! Tell me an honest answer!”

“You know, I pitied you. That’s why I rated you a five. But since you wanted an honest answer, I’ll rate you a two.”

“What!!?” Misaki yells in a higher pitch. “Whatever!”

“Are we done now? I’m leaving.”

“No! We are not leaving until I get a swimsuit that will make you rate a ten!”


More long and tedious minutes pass for Juusaki as Misaki shows herself in various swimsuits and bikinis while Juusaki rates her lower than six every single time.

“You… you are persistent, aren’t you?”

“I’d say the same to you. You can wear everything in the store, and I wouldn’t rate you above five.”

Misaki groans, “One more! I’m sure it will be ten stars this time!”

Juusaki suddenly flicks his head to the side and his eyes scan the surroundings.

“Where are you looking at?” Misaki asks noticing his sudden attention.

“I think I saw something.”

“Saw something?” Misaki looks over Juusaki’s shoulder to where he is looking, and her eyes go wide in shock, “Y—you want to go to that shop!?” She points at a lingerie shop nearby. “You wanted me to wear those!? Pervert!”

But Juusaki pays no heed, and his eyes land on an aisle of clothes. Someone is behind it. Suddenly, the aisle of clothes falls to the ground with the person sneaking behind it.

“Whoa! Are you okay?” Misaki approaches the fallen customer, and the fallen customer looks up. “Nana!? What are you doing here!?”

Nana quickly stands up with the look of someone caught red-handed. “That’s what I’m about to ask you! What are you doing here? And most importantly, in that bikini!” Nana points out.

Suddenly, as if shame hit Misaki’s consciousness, she covers her breasts with her arms. “Ah! I’m going to change!” She runs back to the changing room.

And while Misaki was gone, Nana takes the opportunity for a strict interrogation. She narrows her eyes at Juusaki, “And what are you doing here?”

“I was shopping for—”

“Lie! What are you really doing here?”

“I was shoppin—”

“Lie! Just admit it!”

“Admit what?” Juusaki says with an expressionless face.

“That you wanted to see Misaki in a swimsuit, didn’t you?”

“No, that is the total opposite that I want.”

“Really? Explain why you guys acted so lovey-dovey in the store earlier!”

“Lovey-dovey? What does that mean?”

“Oh, don’t you act so innocent now. You even saw her in different swimsuits!”

“How long have you been watching?”

“Wha— that’s…”

“And I do not know what you meant by lovey-dovey.”

“That was the time when Misaki was clinging to your arm like a child!”

“Oh, that. Wait… you were watching that long?”


“In any case, you are a stalker.”

“Wha—? I do not want to hear that from an ogler!”

“I wasn’t ogling.”

“Then why were you rating her swimsuits out of ten!?”

“She forced me too.”

“What a great excuse! Just admit it!”

“Admit, what?”

“I’m back!” Misaki calls out as she approaches the two.

“Misaki, explain why were you with him?”

“Well… I just happened to bump into him in this store. He was buying a swimsuit, and I was coincidentally doing the same!”

“Oh really? But you were waiting in the store for twenty minutes before he arrived!”

“Wha— Wait! You were waiting too!”

“N—no! I just happened to pass by and see you. So I decided to say hi, but you seem to be waiting for someone.”

“And so you spied? You are lying!”

“N-no! I’m not!”

“Let me fix this conflict,” Juusaki steps in between them. “You are both… stalkers.”

“Hachiko!!” They yell at him.

“I’m right, aren’t I?”

“No!” They respond in unison.

“Then tell me,” Juusaki faces Nana, “why are you here?”

“Why don’t you ask Misaki first?”

“She already has an alibi.”

“Do you believe me?” Misaki asks cheerfully.

“No, not in the slightest bit.”


“Anyway, ignore this loudspeaker…”

“You…” Misaki growls.

“Rather, a lion. Answer my question.”

“Well… I just happened to pass by when I was going to shop for groceries to cook dinner for Denji. That’s my alibi,” Nana crosses her arms puffing her chest with confidence.

“That’s a lie.”


“Firstly, I came straight from school and wandered in the mall for twenty minutes. I entered the mall in the east wing since it is the shortest way from school, while this swimwear shop is in the west wing. This caused me to take a while to arrive here. The grocery is in the east wing. If you indeed intended to do groceries, you would have entered from there, and I would have seen you.”

“W—well… I escorted Denji first to the towers before I dropped in here. And the towers are near the mall’s west wing, therefore I came from there.”

“If that was true, then you shouldn’t have known that Misaki waited in the store for twenty minutes. Therefore you planned that you would go inside the swimsuit shop.”

“Fine, you are right. I intended to buy a swimsuit.”

“Why did you intend to buy a swimsuit?” It’s Misaki’s turn to interrogate Nana.

“Well… that's… no. Why did you want to buy a swimsuit?”

“I’ll answer for her. It’s for Denji.”

“Hachiko-kun!” Misaki glares at Juusaki.

“Ohhhhh, I see~” Nana smirks.

“I’m going home.”

“Wait!” Nana shouts. “What were you doing here, Juusaki?”

“I was going to get myself a swimsuit, but Itou-san here wasted my time. So I’m going home.”

“I’ll help you with that!”

“Me too!” Misaki joins.

“No thanks. I’m going.”

“No-no-no-no, I’ll help you,” Nana insists.

“No-no-no-no, I’ll help you,” Misaki competes.

“No, I will.”

“No, I will!”

“No! I will!”

“No!! I will!”

“Waste of time, I’m going home.”

“Stop!” The two girls will simultaneously block his way.

“We are going to get you a swimsuit whether you like it or not!” Nana places her arms on her waist.

Juusaki closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, “Fine. The next time, I will not tolerate this! You understand?” Juusaki sharply asks.

“Y—yes, sir!” They salute.

An hour passes, but they haven’t chosen Juusaki’s swimsuit even though he has tried fifty of them in the changing room.

“As I said, I need a full-body swimsuit! Not swimming trunks!” Juusaki tries to quell his impatience but barely succeeds.

“But you are supposed to have fun at the pool, and to show off your body!” Misaki states.“What do you think I’m going to do in the pool? Not swim!? I need a swimsuit! I’m not there to show off!”

“H—he is right. We should just pick an appropriate swimsuit for him,” Nana concurs.

“But you really wanted to see him topless, didn’t you?” Misaki teases.

“N—no! I did not! A thought never crossed my mind!”

“Why are you blushing?”

“Why are you?”

Meanwhile, the cashier Misaki has reprimanded looks at the trio, and mutters, “This girl… she isn’t his boyfriend, is he? Wait, what if he’s two-timing them?”

“I’m picking this one,” Juusaki firmly decides on a full-body swimsuit, and I’m going home!” Juusaki says as he expresses anger.
Joe Gold
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