Chapter 20:

Come To The Realization

Unconsciously Interested


“Oh! There she is! Yuyo-senpai~! Your cute underclassman is here to see you~.” Takashi-san called out to me with her self-praise from the main door of our classroom as soon as I entered from the other door.

This girl…

She can be a little shameless sometimes, considering she doesn’t seem to mind my classmates staring at her.

Does she not feel intimidated here on the second-year floor? She keeps showing up here as though she’s just from another class.

It’s yet another break time, and I just got back from a short, boring disciplinary committee reprimand about what happened yesterday. Our homeroom teacher already called on me yesterday at lunchtime, and now it’s the discipline committee’s turn. 

What a pain... It’s not like I’ve caused too much of a stir. 

“Where’s that cute underclassman? I don’t see any. And why are you here again?” I asked as I approached Takashi-san, who was beaming cheerfully at me.

“Just how cold are you, senpai? Hmph!” Takashi-san suddenly looks pouty. “So, I’m here to check on you if you’re okay. I couldn’t get in touch with you yesterday after you generated quite a buzz, senpai.”

“You’re just here for tittle-tattle, aren’t you?” My joke went.

“Ehh..?! Of course not, senpai! I was worried because you didn’t show up to the student council room yesterday. Kamiwaki-senpai told me you were in trouble, so I’m making sure you’re alright.” She seemed to be moping.

This kouhai is somewhat adorable. I can say that her cheerful remarks conceal a sense of concern on her part.

“Well, I had to leave school early yesterday since my teachers punished me with a lot of homework, and I’m sure you can guess why.”

“Uhm... About that, are you doing well now, senpai?”

“Don’t worry, I’m fine. The matter has been sorted out. Now then, get back to your classroom.” I said in jest.

“So mean, senpai! Other than simply checking in on you, please be reminded that I look forward to receiving my souvenir from your school trip. Thank you, Yuyo-senpai~!” Takashi-san said with a straight face.

“Haaah?? Could you also remind me why you should get one from me?” My cheeks puffed up at her.

“Ehh? Simply put, I need a keepsake from Yuyo-senpai! You’re so cheap, senpai... Hmph!” she grunted at me.

“What?!” She’s the one who wants something from me, but then she has the solar plexus to call me cheap? “You… Where’s this confidence coming from to think you can just talk too familiar to me?” My brow furrowed at her.

“It’s totally natural, senpai.” She smiled and showed me a peace sign.

“Yeah… Whatever. Fine. I’ll get one for you.”

“Really?! Yaay! Thank you very much, senpai!” Takashi-san surprised me with a bear hug!  


When did we get this close?! Is she really that clueless about personal space?

“Hey!? Why are you hugging me?! I didn’t give you permission to do that. Take your hands off me.” I tried to remove her hands wrapped around my waist.

“Ehh? Senpai, I never asked for permission, so you couldn’t really give me one.”

Wha—! Now she’s talking back!

“If you know that much, you shouldn’t be hugging me without my permission.”

“If I ask, will you say yes, senpai?” she asked with a smile.

“No,” I replied flat out.

“See? Therefore, I wouldn’t bother asking for it.”


In many ways, she resembles Tomoka. Is she her lost younger sister or something?

“Don’t just go around hugging people, Takashi-san. Get off me already.”

“Ara~… Have you gotten too close?” Minori walks over to us.

Good timing. I’ll leave this kouhai to her.

“Oh, Minori! There’s something Takashi-san wants to tell you.” I was trying to divert Takashi-san’s attention to Minori.

“Huh? What is it?” Minori was puzzled.

“No, Kamiwaki-senpai. I’m just dropping in to see Yuyo-senpai.” Takashi-san grins at Minori, but she still keeps on hugging me.


As I realize some of our classmates are staring at us, I feel even more awkward having an underclassman clinging to me.

“Takashi-san, I’ve noticed you usually refer to Yuyo by her first name while referring to me by my family name. Does she make you feel more at ease?” Minori seemed to be teasing Takashi-san.

“Yeah! Why is that? It’s also a good idea to call Minori by her first name. Don’t make me stand out.” I tried to get her arms off me again, but she wouldn’t budge.


“Hmm? Would you like me to call you by your first name as well, Kamiwaki-senpai?” Takashi-san smiled innocently at Minori.

Minori's teasing seems to have backfired a bit, as she blushed somewhat in response to Takashi-san's question. “Ara~… No, not really. The truth is, I am intrigued by your apparent level of comfort with Yuyo, given that you have only recently met. And now, you're even hugging her. Aren't you intimidated by her or anything? You don't think Yuyo's stoic, Takashi-san?”

“Hey…” I shot a glare at Minori, but she ignored me.

“I'm stumped, Kamiwaki-senpai. I just think Yuyo-senpai throws out a soothing vibe despite her stern stone face. I can say my closeness to her feels natural to me without coming across as rude. If I have to be blunt, I think Yuyo-senpai realizes I already bared my soul to her. Right, Yuyo-senpai?” Takashi-san smiles softly at me as she drops her grasp on me.

“Huh? Uhh… Y-Yeah, I suppose?”


If I were to think about it, sure, I deemed this girl importunate. Regardless, I tolerated her behavior because I honestly and unconsciously did not feel disrespected.

This might be because her attitude toward me is similar to Tomoka’s, which explains why I can put up with her behavior.

Hmm... That’s quite a realization there, huh?

“See what I mean, Kamiwaki-senpai? This being the case, I can be myself with Yuyo-senpai.” Takashi-san’s bright face wreathed in smiles when she looked at me. “There’s something comforting about Yuyo-senpai that makes me like her calm disposition. I’m sure you’re aware of it, Kamiwaki-senpai.” She sent her gaze at Minori with a warm smile.  

“You’ve hit the nail on the head, Takashi-san. Yuyo may appear menacing, but she is actually very comforting. Perhaps that is why I approached her first for friendship in our first year, although she appeared reserved. Maybe that’s part of her appeal, neeh?” Minori offered one of her amused smiles. 

“I agree, senpai!”

“Ha-ha… I’m not sure I trust either of your compliments, but I must thank you nonetheless. Thank you very much.” I bowed to both of them in jest, causing them to share a good giggle.

“Anyway, senpai, I have to go... Hmm... I’m just glad you’re doing well, Yuyo-senpai, and please keep my souvenir in mind.” Takashi-san flashed a grin.

“Allrrigghhtt... I got it.”

A snort escaped her as she bowed. “See you later, Yuyo-senpai and Kamiwaki-senpai. Take care and have fun on your school trip tomorrow.”

I just nodded as Takashi-san left.

“Hello, Shibasaki-san… Is everything okay with you now?” Ezaki-san called my attention with a smile before I could get back to my seat.

Uhh… It’s that friendly smile he’s wearing at me again.

Hmm... He was asking about yesterday’s incident, wasn’t he?

“I’m fine, Ezaki-san... I’ve gotten my punishment.” I replied with a half-smile.

Minori excused herself with a silent nod to Ezaki-san.

He returned Minori’s bow before getting back his attention to me. “It looks like Takashi-chan has really taken a liking to you, Shibasaki-san.” An even more enigmatic smile overshadows Ezaki-san’s friendly smile.

Hmm... I didn’t expect him to comment on that one, though. Ezaki-san can be pretty random.

“You mean, like to bother me? Yeah, she most surely is.” I snorted. “Later then, Ezaki-san.”

Although he only smiled at me, his eyes, as usual, were conveying something unspoken.  

“Kyashii-chan, how about sitting with us tomorrow?” I overheard Minori talking to Kyashii as I walked past their seats. “Ohh... Yuyo, let’s make a plan for–”

I ignored Minori and went straight to my seat without even looking at them.

“Ah-re?” Minori’s reaction was audible to me.

I feel awful about how I acted, but I’m still not ready to say anything to Kyashii yet. I’ve already decided to settle this after the school trip.

I have a school trip that demands my full attention, so dealing with my personal issues will have to wait.


I breathed a heavy sigh of resignation as I held my head bent over my desk.

My mood seems to have gone down the drain. Is it because maybe I’m starting to miss Kyashii?

“. . . . ”

What a joke, me. I miss her, yet I refuse to talk to her, huh?

I’m just being stubborn and stupid; there are no other excuses.

Why is it that human beings and their emotions are so convoluted? Gaah!

“Yuyo...” Minori’s voice came to my ears.

I simply looked at her. It’s already clear to me what this is all about.

Minori then took the seat in front of me. “What was that? Have you gotten into a fight with Kyashii-chan?” She gave me a dubious look.

I chuckled. “Minori, with your razor-sharp intuition, I believe you already know the answer to your question.”

“W-Well, I just wanted to be sure….”

“Besides, I don’t think we’re fighting.”

“You think?”

“It’s because we never said a word to each other after the incident the other day. In theory, we’re not fighting. We’re just ignoring each other, I guess….”

“In practice, that’s still a fight!”

“Whatever... We’ll call it a frozen cold fight if you wish. She seems reluctant to talk to me, and I share her sentiments.”

“Froze— Hold it right there! What’s going on with you two?!” She exclaimed in a steady voice.

“I’ve been asking myself the same thing, so I don’t have an answer to that.”

“Araa~… Your retorts while putting on that straight face are really annoying!” Minori’s holding her grim smile and tapping her forehead as if she’s suddenly suffering from a headache. “Can’t you just ask her what seems to be the problem? It bothers me that I might have caused the fight between you two.”

“What makes you think that?”

“W-Well, it goes without saying that I was the one who dragged you that day. I’m sorry for that. I assumed you knew she was meeting that guy since he came here the day you borrowed my notes. There are even some of our classmates who know about his interest in Kyashii. And it’s not my knowledge that you don’t know about him. To think that you’re her—” Minori abruptly paused whatever she was saying. “Ahh! Ahaha… Ehm... I’m sorry, Yuyo...”

I couldn’t contain a chuckle. The cut phrase leaves no doubt as to what she will say next. Minori’s trying to say that I’m Kyashii’s best friend, yet she keeps me in the dark about her romantic life.

Well, that’s the bitter truth. There’s no getting around it.

I’m her best friend, and she won’t tell me anything about it. And worse, she just put herself in a situation of breaking the school rules and making herself a target of those annoying girls!

Tch! Everything about this pisses me off.

I inadvertently gaze in Kyashii’s direction, not realizing she’s also looking at us. There’s no doubt she understands what we’re talking about.

I just squinted at her before shifting my gaze back to Minori.

“It’s fine, Minori. You don’t have to feel bad about it. In any case, you’re right. I’m her best friend, yet I have little knowledge of her personal life. It’s quite funny, isn’t it?” My bitter reply echoed through me.

“Yuyo…” Minori seems to be at a loss for words. Her tone seems sympathetic. “Then you should just make up already!”

“Yeah… Yeah… Soon, I guess.”

“You guess?”

“Let’s just leave it at that for the time being, Minori. It won’t take long for us to make up.” 

“Hmm... O-Okay, if you say so...”

I said that, but I have no idea when Kyashii and I will mend fences.

So, whatever...

For now, I’ll put it out of my mind.

In the meantime, I have to get ready for tomorrow’s school trip.

Lord Grimm
Kid Komet
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