Chapter 41:

Mastermind

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love


It was a sunny yet chilly April's day, when the cries of pain were heard in a dark and hidden alley somewhere in Shibuya. Bookmark here

“P-please, let us go...we have learned our lesson...”
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Beside the already unconscious delinquent his heavily beaten up friend groveled on the ground asking for mercy. But the person in question was just looking indifferent at him. The black-haired teenager began to walk slowly in his direction.Bookmark here

He heaved a sigh.Bookmark here

"Didn't you say the exact line the last time we met?"Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

The delinquent averted his gaze abashedly.Bookmark here

"Can't respond, can you? Whatever, I guess."Bookmark here

Hope filled the delinquent's teary eyes for a second.Bookmark here

"Just kidding."Bookmark here

"H-huh?"Bookmark here

"I just wanted to say my line from last time, too." the black-haired teenager stated with a carefree posture.Bookmark here

"But anyways, the next time I see you two with the same attitude, then I won't let you off the hook that easily like today. Understood?" he elaborated as he looked down on them threateningly.Bookmark here

The delinquent nodded his head desperately multiple times.Bookmark here

Satisfied, the boy proceeded to walk away.Bookmark here

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Untroubled by this encounter, he finally exited the dark alley and was immediately confronted with the bright sun and the vivid streets of Shibuya.Bookmark here

"Done now, Ichinose?" someone with a coarse male voice asked.Bookmark here

To the boy's right side was another teenager his age with the same school uniform who leaned against the wall. He had black slicked back hair and golden earrings matching his eye color.Bookmark here

"Why are you still here, Kirisaki?"Bookmark here

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Kazuma's hazelnut brown eyes turned from having a carefree expression to a more tired look.Bookmark here

"Well, ehm..."Bookmark here

Ken got fidgety as he turned his slightly reddened face away from Kazuma.Bookmark here

Another sigh was heaved.Bookmark here

"No need to thank me."Bookmark here

Then, Kazuma walked ahead.Bookmark here

"Well, since you're here, let's go together." he suggested while scratching his cheek awkwardly.Bookmark here

"Y-yeah." Ken replied surprised.Bookmark here

The two walked with a slight distance to each other.Bookmark here

"I must say, it was pretty amusing seeing you almost pissing your pants when the two guys were about to beat you up for colliding into them." Kazuma mocked him.Bookmark here

"S-shut up! Well, sorry for not being a monster like you who could easily wipe the floor with them!"Bookmark here

"Heh." Kazuma snickered triumphantly.Bookmark here

Fuming internally, Ken clenched his fists.Bookmark here

Bzz.Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

Both of them checked their phones after they vibrated simultaneously.Bookmark here

[Sorry, guys but I forgot that I have to go to my part-time job today! Have fun without me!]Bookmark here

"How typical of her." Ken made fun of her.Bookmark here

"Geez, Shiho truly is an airhead sometimes..." Kazuma remarked with a disappointed expression.Bookmark here

"Ah, concerning Kanzaki, I heard that she confessed to you today again, right?" he said playfully as he nudged Kazuma with his elbow.Bookmark here

"Yeah... Today marked the 42nd rejection, I suppose..." Kazuma answered in an exhausted tone.Bookmark here

"Hahaha!" Ken broke into an uncontrollable laughter.Bookmark here

"She really is the next 'Master Of Rejections'!" he added while he wiped away his tears.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

"However, she has guts, that's for sure! I mean, many would feel dejected after each rejection no matter how many times they experienced it but she managed it creepily well." Ken said after calming down.Bookmark here

"Yeah..." Kazuma agreed dejected.Bookmark here

"It's even more terrifying that her resolve is still unwavering despite the fact that you're alrea-"Bookmark here

"Ah, there you're! What took you so long!"Bookmark here

Ken was cut off in the middle of his sentence by the shouting of another person.Bookmark here

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As they heard the angry and annoyed sounding voice, the boys turned around to see who it was. Facing them was a gorgeous young girl approximately their age. She had ocean blue eyes and silky and smooth blonde hair reaching to her waist.Bookmark here

Right beside her was another beautiful girl who was also their age. She had shoulder-length black hair and crimson red eyes.Bookmark here

The two girls wore the same school uniform.Bookmark here

"C-calm down, Yui." Kazuma tried to ease her anger nervously.Bookmark here

"He's right! We're only three minutes late!" Ken chimed in.Bookmark here

"I-it's fine now, isn't it, Yui-san?" even Emma tried to calm her down.Bookmark here

"Fine, whatever..." Yui sighed.Bookmark here

Kazuma and Ken also had to sigh. A sigh of relief.Bookmark here

"Let's grab something to eat now!" Yui said.Bookmark here

Thus, the group entered the diner near them.Bookmark here

The four proceeded to eat and relax there as they engaged into their casual chitchat like always.Bookmark here

Since the end of the summer break last year, the group of Kazuma, Yui and Emma grew bigger. Shiho was the first one to join them when she transferred school. Then, even Ken slowly began to adapt to the group.Bookmark here

Eventually, after a few months, the group of five hang out together during and after school despite Kazuma and Ken being frenemies.Bookmark here

"How about we go watch a movie tomorrow? Shiho-san should be also free then." Emma suggested.Bookmark here

"A movie? Sure, why not?" Ken replied casually.Bookmark here

"Ye-"Bookmark here

"Sorry, I can't." Kazuma answered as he interrupted Yui.Bookmark here

"Oh, yeah, tomorrow is that day, right?" Yui commented.Bookmark here

"Hm? What's tomorrow?" Emma raised her eyebrows.Bookmark here

"I'll visit Shinya with Shiho."Bookmark here

"So it's finally time, huh?" Ken's eyes sharpened.Bookmark here

"Yeah. It'll be my first time visiting him. That's why Shiho will go with me."Bookmark here

"Should I g-"Bookmark here

Ring.Bookmark here

Before she could finish her question, Yui's phone rang.Bookmark here

"Mom? Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry! I'll do it now! Bye!" as the call went on, Yui got more panicked.Bookmark here

Beep.Bookmark here

She ended the call.Bookmark here

"Sorry guys but I forgot that I had to buy ingredients for my mom!"Bookmark here

"Oh, let me come with you." Kazuma suggested.Bookmark here

The two of them stood up and prepared to leave whereas Ken and Emma only watched them with open mouths.Bookmark here

"See you tomorrow!"Bookmark here

"Bye."Bookmark here

Kazuma and Yui waved their hands to them as they went to pay for the food.Bookmark here

The other two responded with the same hand gestures until Kazuma and Yui exited the diner.Bookmark here

"Heh, even though they're still not officially dating, they sure behave like a couple." Ken commented with a snicker.Bookmark here

"Hehe, you're right." Emma also giggled.Bookmark here

"Geez, why doesn't he have the balls to confess to her?"Bookmark here

"Well, it's because they always get interrupted. Especially by Shiho-san..." Emma explained with a wry smile.Bookmark here

"What a coincidence..."Bookmark here

Then, it turned silent between them.Bookmark here

"S-seems like today's meeting turned into a date, huh?" Ken stated as he turned his flushed face from her.Bookmark here

In that moment, Emma's face also reddened while she rubbed her hands between her legs.Bookmark here

"Y-yes..." she responded sheepishly.Bookmark here

And thus, those four high school students spent their afternoon normally like any other person in their age. They were enjoying their youth in ignorant bliss.Bookmark here

After a few hours, it turned dark.Bookmark here

It was around that time when a girl in Adachi entered a dark alley.Bookmark here

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The girl wore her uniform loose, revealing her tanned skin and cleavage. She had dyed blonde wavy shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. Especially, her colorful fingernails and multiple accessories made her stand out.Bookmark here

"You're late, Yame." a guy with a shaved head, golden eyes and a tattooed left arm stated.Bookmark here

"Sorry, Daisuke!" she apologized half-heartedly.Bookmark here

"The others are already waiting. Come with me." he said.Bookmark here

She nodded her head.Bookmark here

"Geez..." Kyouko sighed after they walked for a few minutes.Bookmark here

"What's wrong?" he asked.Bookmark here

"Well, I still can't believe that everything went according to her plan."Bookmark here

"She's incredible, right?" Daisuke commented excited.Bookmark here

"Yeah, that Ichinose guy and Shinya were basically dancing on her palm."Bookmark here

"Haha, yes! I wonder if Ichinose found out yet that it wasn't Shinya who was responsible for the death of his parents."Bookmark here

"Haha, no way!" she laughed with him.Bookmark here

Soon, the two arrived at the entrance of a deserted factory.Bookmark here

The interior of the factory was dark, making it difficult to identify the number and identities of the person present.Bookmark here

"Sorry! I forgot that the meeting was today." Kyouko apologized frivolously.Bookmark here

"I see. Whatever, is everyone here now, Hirata?" the person in the center asked.Bookmark here

"Y-yes..." Hirata, whose face was slightly illuminated by the moon, replied frightened.Bookmark here

"Good. Now Ryota!"Bookmark here

"Yes!"Bookmark here

"Get down. I'm tired of standing." the person ordered.Bookmark here

"Yes!"Bookmark here

Only silhouettes were to be seen, but it was enough to see that Ryota crouched down to be used as a human chair.Bookmark here

Thud.Bookmark here

"Uff!" he groaned after the person sit down.Bookmark here

"So what's the reason for this?" Kyouko asked.Bookmark here

"Hey! Show some manners!" Daisuke warned her.Bookmark here

Hirata turned his head away nervously.Bookmark here

"Don't worry, Kyouko. I'll explain it in detail later but today I want to keep it short."Bookmark here

The clouds started to move, allowing the moonlight to shine more in the deserted factory.Bookmark here

Slowly but surely the identity of the person got revealed.Bookmark here

First, Ryota's red and exhausted face and the bare smooth legs of the one sitting on him. Then, the slender upper body and the person's long brown hair. And finally the emerald green eyes.Bookmark here

"Geez, just tell us already, Shiho." Kyouko said mindless.Bookmark here

Shiho's mouth formed a sinister and yet excited smile.Bookmark here

"Let's break Kazu-kun completely this time."Bookmark here

The curtains of Kazuma's tale did not fall yet as he was about to face his next and maybe greatest challenge.Bookmark here

However, it was a story meant to be told for another time.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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