Chapter 21:

Wearing Heart On Sleeve

Unconsciously Interested


“Yu-chin! Let’s sit together~….” Tomoka grabs my arm as we wait in line to board the school bus that will get us to Kintetsu Namba station.

Well, today is the school trip many second-year students have been looking forward to the most.

But maybe not everyone, though. I can confidently say the opposite is true for me. On my end, I can’t say I’m excited about this since the trip will only be to Nara. It’s not like we’re going halfway across the world anyway. 

“Knock it off, Mizuno-san. I’m sitting next to Yuyo.” Minori gave Tomoka a sour look.

“It’s the wife who comes first, class rep. You’re just the girlfriend.” Tomoka playfully winked and gestured with both forefingers at Minori.

Huh?? Girlfriend?

First, I got a wife. Now I’ve got a girlfriend?

“. . . .”

What’s with Tomoka’s painting me as a player, and oddly enough, of the same gender? As well as that, I think she skipped a step or two there. This joke is indeed a joke in its sequencing. She could have gotten that right at the very least.

“You’re underage, so you’re not married yet. That said, there’s no such thing as wife priority here!” Minori retorted.

Uhh… Really, Minori?

I never guessed Minori would put up with Tomoka’s no whimsical hijinks. And why are they fighting over who gets to sit next to me again?

“Darling, let me lay it on the line to you; if it comes to me, such a thing exists.” Tomoka threw her arms around my shoulders and stuck her tongue out at Minori.

“So what? I’ll sit with Yuyo. Surely she remembers that we settled on it, right, Yuyo?”


I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at them. How did these two become so annoying all of a sudden?!

“Guys, let’s just squeeze into the back seat. Just please put an end to this insanity already.” I puffed out a sigh. They’ve literally obliterated my energy this early in the morning.


“It appears Shibasaki-san is having trouble with her girlfriends once again?” From nowhere came another familiar voice.

We were surprised to see Ezaki-san standing right there beside us. How stealthy can he be? Does he have ninja skills or something?

“Uhh? They’re just up to their old tricks again, Ezaki-san. We girls are occasionally like this.” I shrugged as I stared at him intently.


I guess I really need to start peppering him with questions soon. He keeps popping up to talk to me out of nowhere. It’s getting harder for me to understand why he seems to be keeping an eye on me.

“Are you jealous, Ezaki-kun?” Ezaki-san gets a grin from Tomoka.

I could only sigh while glaring at Tomoka.

More than that, today’s not like the kind of day I’m inclined to spend energy on anything that involves me. 

“No, Mizuno-san, I’m not. But I must admit that something about Shibasaki-san piqued my interest.” Ezaki-san said this with a straight face.

“Huh?!” I didn’t think he would tell me that just when I was planning to ask him questions soon.

“Heeh…? What’s this? Do you like Yu-chin that way, Ezaki-kun?”

“No… Not like that, Mizuno-san.” Ezaki-san said, but his eyes remained stuck on me. “I’m just curious about her in certain ways. You could say I have a healthy respect for her character. Like how much respect I have for Kamiwaki-san here.” He then smiled at Minori.

Minori’s face turned a little red with a smile, but she said nothing.

Hmm…So, I guess that means he’s curious about my personality, huh? 


Do I even have a magnetic personality that made him keep an eye on me to that extent?


Then again, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there’s more to it than that. Something still doesn’t feel right about Ezaki-san’s strange interest in me.

“Hold on a second! Am I the odd one out here, Ezaki-kun?” Tomoka pouted.

He chuckled. “Ooh. Certainly not, Mizuno-san. I also admire your energy.”

“Haaah?! I was sure you’d say you admire how awesome I am, but what the heck is that energy thing?” Tomoka grumbled. “I feel mistreated here. Hmph!” She scowled at Ezaki-san in jest.

“Mizuno-san, you should feel grateful that one individual is willing to make a mistake admiring someone like you.” Minori smiled sardonically at Tomoka.


Minori’s nasty remarks gave me a good laugh. Quite frankly, she’s harsh to Tomoka most of the time and fails to conceal her relentlessness.

“Ouch! Why are you so against me, class rep?!”

Minori didn’t pay enough attention to Tomoka before she made her way to our homeroom teacher to confirm some information about our school trip.

“I swear… Kamiwaki-san sounds more and more like you as time goes on, Yu-chin. What are you teaching her?” Tomoka frowned.

“Ah-re? What does that have to do with me? I’m not trying to teach her anything in particular. Don’t get me involved with that.”

“Ehh?! It’s true, though. Don’t you think so, too, Ezaki-kun?”

“Umm… Since they spend most of their time together, Kamiwaki-san may have picked up some of Shibasaki-san’s habits without realizing it. Nevertheless, I don’t think she seems to have anything personal against you, Mizuno-san. That’s not the case at all...” Ezaki-san smiled knowingly at Tomoka.


That smile…


“Alright, students, jump on board right away! Representatives from each class should keep track of head counts. Let’s go!!” The 2-A homeroom teacher said through the portable microphone.

My eyes scanned the area in an attempt to spot Kyashii, but I couldn’t find her. Hmm… Well, I’m pretty sure she’s with Nazumi-san anyway.

“She’s already on the bus with Nazumi-san.” Minori gently patted my shoulder.


How does she know what’s on my mind? Am I being too obvious?

“I hope you get to spend time with her on this school trip, Yuyo. She’s not mad at you.”


“Nothing…” Minori smiled as we got on the bus.

Sure enough, Kyashii and Nazumi-san are already here. Nazumi-san shyly smiled at me as we passed by their seats, so I simply returned the smile. As for Kyashii, she was too busy staring out the window to notice us.


It seems as though she's in a glum mood. Is she not excited about this school trip? Or did those nasty girls get her in trouble again with their rumors?!

The trace of melancholy on her face makes me want to cheer her up right this second.

“. . . . “

Urggh! This is so annoying!

Yeah… Really annoying….

A sigh creeps into my throat as I settle into my seat.

“You and Mikami-san are still fighting, Yu-chin?” The question unexpectedly popped up from Tomoka.

“Hmm... You could tell as well, huh?”

Tomoka made a funny noise. “Of course I can! It’s pretty obvious. You’ve been feeling down recently, and Mikami-san isn’t coming over to your desk like she used to. I can tell you’re fighting.”

I softly chuckled as I let out another sigh. “That’s unexpected,” I smirked at her. “But, well… you could put it that way.”

“Aww~… Yu-chin….” Tomoka suddenly pressed her palms against my face.

“Umphhff!” What is she doing again?! “H-Heeey!”

“Listen, Yu-chin! There’s no way I want my wife to wear that face you’ve been wearing for a few days now.”

Huh?? What face?

Tomoka goes on. “You’ve been less lively lately. And I’m certain it has something to do with your fight with your best friend. I get it... I really do!” Her tone was smug. “So, let me know if you need my help solving things with Mikami-san, and I’ll gladly help you, yeah?” She then finally let go of my face.

“Uff! You can say that without doing that thing to my face. Hmmp! …But, in any case, thank you for that, Tomoka.”

Tomoka nodded with a grin on her face.

“Yuyo, I promise to help you in every way I can as well, Yuyo.” Minori smiled and flashed a playful glow in her eyes.

Uhh? What is going on again?

“Since I already made up my mind to talk to her about this after the school trip, I don’t think I could use your help at this time, guys. Still, thank you. It means a lot to me.”

“Heeh…” Minori and Tomoka both said the same time.

With a bit of a sigh, I leaned back in my seat and looked straight up.

So… I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve after all, huh? I would hate to think I’m causing trouble for my friends by being transparent, as they seemed worried about my issues with Kyashii.

Hmm... Is it possible that I'm posing a problem to others through my actions? I thought I was doing a great job of ignoring Kyashii for the time being while pretending nothing was wrong. But... I failed miserably at concealing my emotions over this, didn't I?


I'm not really getting anywhere with this.

I wonder if this is what it's like to get into a fight with your best friend? It’s pretty ironic how just one person can alter my mood for several days at a time.

Up until this point, Kyashii and I never had a significant disagreement. We never reached the point where we completely stopped talking to each other for a few days, so I can't say for sure if this is how best friends actually argue.

But if this is really the case, then fights between best friends can be pretty frustrating.


Be that as it may, I'm hoping this will be my last significant conflict with Kyashii. I most certainly don't want to go through the same emotions every time we fight like this.

I find it horribly annoying and not even funny in the slightest.

***End of Chapter 3***

Lord Grimm
Kid Komet
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