Chapter 27:

Cost a Few Seconds Of Life

Unconsciously Interested



“Ouch! Aww!” Tomoka winced as she held onto her forehead after I flicked it twice when we got to the terrace.

“One flick for the mortification you put us through, and the other for that sexual harassment,” I said with a detached tone.

“Yu-chin...” Her drooping head continues to betray what seems to be an air of guilt and dejection. Honesty be damned, that expression doesn’t look good on her.

“Alright, say your piece... Did you really think it would be a good idea to put us in such an awkward situation?”

Tomoka slowly turned her wide, bewildered eyes toward me.

“What…” I cocked my brow at her.

“Yu-chin, that’s what you are going on about?!” She asked in stunned confusion.

“Yeah, and? If you’re wondering how I feel about that kiss, well, if you call that a kiss, I’d say I have no problem with it. It’s my understanding that some friends engage in that smooch thing, so it’s fine. But… You are a pervert for doing that to me without my consent.” I glared at her.

“Eeh? Will you let me if I ask?”

Tomoka’s nose flittered under another flick of my fingers. “Not a chance.”

“Awts! I’m not sure which hurt more: the flick or the outright rejection,” She said with a grin.

Hmm… It seems like she’s back to her usual self.

“So, tell me, what possessed you to do that? Out of everyone in the room, why did you put me in that situation?” I asked in a grave tone.

“E-he-he… I j-just want to give friend-kissing a try, Yu-chin. And, obviously, to sneak away with that first kiss.” Tomoka beams with pride. “Since you don’t mind trivial things, I figured I might try it. I guess I got lucky, huh? Also, if I had kissed someone else in the room but you, I might be dead by now. Don’t you think I’ve made a wise choice in choosing you, Yu-chin?” The grin spread across her face.

This girl!

Talking to her is a waste of time, isn’t it?

“It sounds to me like you’re suggesting that choosing me as a test subject is a smart move, huh?”

“Yes! Don’t you think it’ll be good for both of us, Yu-chin? We now know what it is like to kiss a friend.” Tomoka’s eyes blazed at her words.

My head is starting to hurt from all of this. Someone who thinks this way is unlikely to answer appropriately. “I swear, if I were half as athletic as you, I’d throw you off the terrace right now, Tomoka… First off, I have no interest in honing my kissing aptitude on a friend! You’ve got some serious bravado to use me as a test subject, you pervert! Don’t drag me into that. Secondly, if you act like that, chances are you will embarrass yourself and fuel rumors about you. Surely you realize that girl is in our room, don’t you?”

“Don’t worry, Yu-chin, I’ve got it covered. There will be no talk about it at all.”

“How sure are you exactly?”

“He-he! As one of the school’s friendliest faces, I know a few secrets about that gyaru.” Tomoka grinned cockily.

“Are you saying you just blackmailed that gyaru?!” Incredulity washed over me.

“Rather than calling it blackmail, I’ll call it a simple exchange of favors.” Tomoka chuckled. “So, it’s fine, Yu-chin. What went on in our room stays in our room.”


Hmm… I suppose that seems like a reasonable thing to do, right?

“That’s good to know, I guess. And what about the other two girls?”

“I won’t worry about them either; I’ve already handled the matter. But... what about you, Yu-chin? The fact that I dragged you into this means the consequences will also fall on you. Uh... so sorry.” Tomoka withdrew her gaze from me.

It would have been better had you not done that, you sneaky rascal!

Although I want to tell her this, my words are restrained owing to her genuine expression. “How others define me doesn’t bother me, but what concerns me is when people misjudge my friends. Didn’t I tell you that before? So, I’m worried about you since you’re popular, which makes you an easy target for rumors.”

“Yu-chin~~!” She pounced on me with a bear hug in an instant.

“Hey! Don’t you hug me... You’re definitely getting all touchy with me today!”

Having just released myself from Tomoka, I noticed Kyashii peering through the terrace door. In a trice, I took a quick step away from Tomoka.

Uhh... It feels as if hugging Tomoka after that smooch will only earn me more death stares from Kyashii.

“What a joy it is to be your wife, Yu-chin~! You’ve got a big heart. Oh! How about making that kiss count by doing it right this time?” Tomoka gestures towards her lips like she’s asking for a kiss.

“You pervert…” I whacked her across the brow. Her tomfoolery is getting out of hand.

“Ouch! Yet another rejection. Right now, my heart is shattered!”

“Quit it. Come on, let’s get back inside. We’re done here.” I took a step towards the door. Kyashii isn’t there anymore.

“Yu-chin~…” Tomoka seized my shoulder with her arms. “I’m ready to settle down and be a good wife, so let’s get married. I want someone like you~.” She simpered.

“Sheesh… Go get yourself a boyfriend and ask him to marry you. Why are you even asking a girl?” I lifted her hands off my shoulders as we stepped into our room.

“Why not? Yu-chin, I’m sure you know that the concept of romance and marriage is no longer just for people of opposite genders. I’m sure Mikami-san will agree, right?” Tomoka inexplicably winked at Kyashii as she shuffled away from me.

But Kyashii simply maintains a blank expression. Hmmm... It’s been a while since I noticed this, but it seems Kyashii gets irritated when Tomoka pokes fun at her.


“Tomoka, you’re not actually bullying Kyashii, are you?”

“Nope, Yu-chin. That’s not something I’d do.”

“She’s not, Yuyo.” Minori smiled as she added her two cents. “There’s no one else who would dare to bully Kyashii-chan but you. Right, Kyashii-chan?”


“Right,” Kyashii replied lifelessly.

Heeh… It looks like she’s really in a foul mood throughout the day, doesn’t she?

“Anyway, let’s sleep, ladies. It’s almost eleven o’clock.” Minori decided to call it a night.

Thank goodness! My body is already yearning for a good night’s sleep.

I trudge over to my futon and collapse into it. Aah… We’re finally together, my dear futon. I’ve hit my limit for energy.

“Good night, ladies,” Minori said as she flicked the light switch.

“Good night.”

I kept staring at Minori as she settled down on her futon. She definitely sounds like a teacher. I’m sure she’ll make an excellent teacher someday.

Hmm... How cool would it be to know already what you want to do with your future working career?

“. . . .”

The room is unlit, but the moonlight streaming through the window allowed me to make out Kyashii’s piercing gaze aimed at me.


Does she have anything to say to me before we retire for the night?

I moved closer to her, but she suddenly flinched. “What are you doing?!” She whispered.

“Well, since you’re staring intensely at me, I figured you might have something to say before turning in for the night,” I replied in hushed tones.

Kyashii chuckled softly and rolled over on my futon.

Uhh... Hold on a minute! What exactly is she up to? Don’t tell me she wants to cram herself into my futon!

“Yes, I’m sharing a futon with you,” Kyashii said quietly, smirking as if she had read my mind.

“W-Why??” Kyashii’s closeness to me makes me feel uneasy. And I’m pretty sure the beating of my heart feels faster than usual.

Hmmm? What gives this heart rhythm off again? Is sleeping on a futon next to someone really unsettling?

But... I seriously doubt that’s the case. I honestly say this is the first time I’ll be sharing a futon with someone, so I have no idea why I’m so nervous about it.

“Why not?” Kyashii had a pout on her face.

“W-Well, you’ve got your futon. Uhh… H-Hey, does it make you nervous about sharing a futon with someone or a friend?” There is a real need for me to ask. It would be helpful if she could tell me if she feels the same way. The mere thought of her sleeping so close to me makes me gasp for air.

Would this be typical of best friends?

“Why, are you nervous, Yuyo?” She asked with a smile.

“Well, yeah? I’ve never been this close to anyone in a futon.”

“Heeh~… I see.” She sweetly smiles as she moves even closer than she already has.

And before I knew it, my body felt a gentle hug!


Quite possibly, a few seconds of my life were taken from me by that hug! That literally made me hold my breath for a moment.

“Wa-wait… Please don’t hug me.” I tried to shake Kyashii’s grip on me.

“Why?” Kyashii’s smile hasn’t faded at all. I thought she would get mad when I tried to keep her hands off.

“Because I can’t breathe!” I whispered in panic. Flipping hell! Really, I can’t catch my breath! For some reason, my heart again gets that thumping feeling it had in the fitting room.

I then noticed Kyashii reacted with a dazzling grin and sparkling eyes to my response. Uhh… Is she trying to make fun of me right now?

“I’m glad Yuyo reacts like that.” Kyashii softly said.


“Come on, let’s get some sleep.”

“H-How could I when you’re hugging me like this?”

She paid me no mind as she hugged me even tighter.

“. . . .”


For goodness’ sake! How am I supposed to sleep like this?!

“Umm... You’re right, Yuyo. Your heart is p-pounding.” Kyashii mumbled.

“I would appreciate it if you would get off of me if you know that much.”

“Umm~…” She ignored me yet again.


Why’s this happening? It feels like my friends are messing with parts of my body these days. Everyone seems to be clinging to me lately.

Welp! Okay, whatever...

I eventually gave in and let Kyashii wrap her arm around me. But still, the uneasy sensation in my chest is unabating.

“. . . .”

There was a soft breathing sound coming from Kyashii, which meant she had already fallen asleep.

It amazes me how quickly she falls asleep while here I am, tormented by a relentless pounding in my chest as I try to get to sleep.

Shoo! Get out of my chest, you weird thumping! Sleep is what I need right now, not you. Another long day awaits us tomorrow.


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Lord Grimm
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