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    Translated by HamletJr
    Edited by HamletJr


     

    “…I messed up.”

     

    Sohei, Shizuna’s childhood friend, clutched his head in his hands as soon as he arrived at school. He had come across Shizuna as soon as he’d left his home in the morning. Although they talked and met with each other often…they had considerably less skinship than they did in the past, but still, there was no doubt that Sohei was interested in her as a person of the opposite sex.

     

    “Shizuna!”

     

    He’d called out to her by her name and hugged her from behind…something he used to do a lot in the past. He’d thought she wouldn’t mind since it was just like old times. However, contrary to his expectations, Shizuna had told him that she’d disliked it. A part of him was shocked, but a part of him also had to admit that, no matter how close they were as childhood friends, it was natural for her to say that since it’d be a surprise to be suddenly hugged like that.

     

    “…I seriously messed up.”

     

    Shizuna’s gaze at him had been sharper than he’d expected, and her voice had sounded more forceful as well. Sohei left the place as if fleeing from her gaze and words that had never been directed at him before.

     

    …Shishido Ryuichi.

     

    He was a tumor in the class; a delinquent whom even the teachers had a hard time dealing with. Sohei had heard many rumors about him, leading him to believe that he and Ryuichi lived in different worlds. Not just him, but also Shizuna.

     

    Recently, Shizuna had been talking frequently with Ryuichi. The two had suddenly grown closer, even though no such indication of it could be seen before. Ryuichi did seem to find it bothersome, but still, Sohei couldn’t believe that Shizuna was willingly trying to talk to him.

     

    “…Why?”

     

    He couldn’t think of a reason at all. Sohei didn’t not know too much about Ryuichi, but either way, he would never think of willingly talking to him. It was just like how a person who wanted a peaceful school life wouldn’t willingly get involved with a delinquent.

     

    “Hey. What’s wrong, Sohei?”

    “…Hey, Toshiki.”

     

    It was Yamamoto Toshiki, Sohei’s best friend and classmate. He had been watching Sohei clutching his head in his hands for a few minutes now, and it seemed that he was curious about what had happened to him. But of course, there was no way Sohei could honestly say that he had hugged his childhood friend and been rejected.

     

    “It’s nothing. Just another plain old school day, y’know?”

     

    Seeing Sohei avert his gaze as he said that made it clear as day that he was lying to Toshiki. Toshiki, however, seemed to have understood Sohei’s attempt to drop the topic and replied, “I see.” No sooner had he said that than Shizuna entered the classroom.

     

    Shizuna, a beauty so stunning that she easily drew the stares of everybody in the class, made her way to her circle of friends. During that time, she never once looked at Sohei. That made him a little sad, but it also made him realize that everything had changed from their childhood days.

     

    “Hey, hey, Sohei. Don’t you think something’s up with Rindo these days?”

    “You mean that thing about her and Shishido-kun?”

    “Yeah, that. I mean, they never talked to each other before this, right? He must be threatening her or something.”

    “……”

     

    Sohei, too, had thought that, and he’d warned Shizuna of it as well. However, Shizuna had told him that it wasn’t true. Although he couldn’t deny the possibility that she’d lied because she was being threatened, the words that followed from her at that time kept repeating in his mind.

     

    “No, he isn’t threatening me. Shishido-kun is a good person. He’s a very kind person who even sav―”

     

    When Sohei had heard that, he immediately fired back and told her that couldn’t be further from the truth. She immediately hung up the phone afterwards, but thinking about it more closely, he could sense that Shizuna’s voice had sounded quite unhappy at the time.

     

    “……”

     

    If… If Shizuna truly trusted Ryuichi, then that would make what Sohei said to her very unpleasant to hear.

     

    “…Ah.”

     

    It was at that moment that Ryuichi arrived at school. His conspicuous blond hair, tanned skin, large muscular body, sharp eyes, and piercings in his ears made him seem all the more like a delinquent. There weren’t many people who approached him in class, and at best, only a few boys with similarly bad reputations who he was probably close with would approach him.

     

    “Shizuna…”

     

    And with Ryuichi’s arrival, Shizuna naturally approached him. As usual, Ryuichi wore a somewhat displeased look on his face, but Shizuna was talking to him with a smile on hers. There was no sign of coercion or intimidation in her appearance, and it was clear that she was sincerely enjoying their conversation.

     

    “…Dammit.”

     

    Unbeknownst to anybody, a small murmur leaked out from his mouth. Shizuna wasn’t the kind of girl who associated with bad people, and that was something Sohei, her childhood friend, knew all too well. That was why Sohei wondered if he was wrong to simply believe the rumors and declare Ryuichi to be a bad person.

     

    “Now that’s something that’s never happened before. Hey, are you really gonna stand around and do nothing? At this rate, he’s gonna steal Rindo away from you.”

    “…That’s…just…”

     

    Impossible. He couldn’t utter the final word. To Sohei, Shizuna was somebody for whom he’d always held faint feelings. Heartbreak took precedence over thoughts of worry or anxiety for her. It pained his heart to see her smiling like that at somebody other than himself.

     

    I see… I was spoiled by my status as her childhood friend. I have to be more proactive and take action… How ironic, huh. I can’t believe it took Shishido to make me realize this.

     

    Sohei resolved to be a bit more brave from now on. The last thing he wanted was for his inaction to cause him regret in the future. Still, he decided to wait and see how things would go for now, in typical Sohei-like fashion.

     

    “…Achoo!”

     

    During lunchtime, Ryuichi sneezed loudly. Either somebody had been gossiping about him or he had gotten the flu, but either way, it was such a loud sneeze that he’d attracted the eyes of many. Unfazed, Ryuichi nonchalantly pulled a tissue out of his pocket and wiped his nose.

     

    “…Guess I’ll kill some time on the rooftop.”

     

    Since he had nearly 30 minutes until his next class, Ryuichi got up from his seat and headed for the rooftop. The rooftop was always open to the public, but it was a calm and quiet place since not many people visited.

     

    “…It’s been a while since I’ve visited that place. Maybe I should go today.”

     

    What Ryuichi was referring to by “that place” was his favorite bar which he hadn’t visited lately. He didn’t have any particular plans with women, but that would probably turn out to be a relief in many ways to the bar manager.

     

    “Shishido-kun?”

    “…Please tell me you’re not Rindo.”

    “Too bad, it’s me.”

    “…Haaah.”

     

    He sighed, knowing full well that it’d been her just from her voice. She moved next to Ryuichi and joined him in admiring the view from the rooftop. He glanced at her side profile: her hair waving in the wind as she held it with her hand. He was once again reminded of how much of a beauty she was as he admired her beauty inwardly.

     

    “Oh, yeah. Did anything happen earlier this morning?”

    “Huh?”

    “…Just wanted to know.”

     

    Shizuna’s eyes widened in surprise at Ryuichi’s question. Even Ryuichi didn’t know why he was asking that; he just didn’t know what to talk about, so he spontaneously blurted that out. Shizuna slowly began to speak.

     

    “…Well, it wasn’t anything too important… It just made me remember how we’ve actually gotten older now.”

    “You sound like a granny or something.”

    “How rude!”

     

    Shizuna hit Ryuichi on his shoulders a little forcefully. Of course, Ryuichi’s body wasn’t impacted in the least by that much. After that, the two of them gazed at the scenery for a while before Shizuna suddenly muttered.

     

    “Hey, Shishido-kun. Today…umm…”

    “‘Do you have any plans tonight?’”

    “…How did you know?”

    “…Wow, I was actually right?”

     

    Seeing Shizuna falter made Ryuichi suspicious, so he decided to beat her to the punch and fill in the rest of her words, but it seemed his suspicions had actually been true. He was certainly surprised, but now that she’d brought the topic up, the taste of her meat and potato stew kept coming back to his mind. Even though he’d already finished his lunch, his stomach was on the verge of rumbling.

     

    “I’m thinking of making a quick visit to the city t’night. Specifically, I’m gonna go to my favorite bar, or rather, a bar run by a manager that’s helped me a lot.”

    “To drink alcohol?”

    “Hell no. I’m still underaged.”

    “I mean, with the way you look, Shishido-kun, you don’t sound very convincing.”

    “…Very blunt these days, aren’t you?”

     

    Compared to when we first met… Well, it wasn’t actually that long ago, but now, they’d gotten close enough to the point where Shizuna didn’t mince her words when she spoke to Ryuichi. Strangely enough, it didn’t feel unpleasant, and the way in which she easily entered people’s hearts was just as he’d expect of her.

     

    “Alright. I’ve decided, Shishido-kun.”

    “On what?”

    “I’m going to come with you to keep an eye on you and make sure you don’t drink, Shishido-kun.”

    “You’ve got to be kidding, right?”

    “I’m very serious about this.”

    “……”

     

    This time it was Ryuichi who had his mouth wide agape. Yes, he’d previously called her a very impulsive person, but who would’ve known that she was this impulsive. In any case, it was imperative that he turned her down.

     

    “No. Good girls don’t go to bars.”

    “Then I’ll be a bad girl when I’m with you, Shishido-kun. Problem solved.”

    “Now you’re just arguing for the sake of it.”

     

    Shizuna was serious. She seriously wanted to accompany Ryuichi.

     

    “…Fine!”

    “Heehee! ♪”

     

    What’s so funny, huh? Ryuichi thought as he heaved a big sigh.

     

    “Mom, I’m going out to have dinner with a friend today.”

    “I see… Alright. Maybe I’ll go out for dinner, too.”

    “…Really? Just like that, no questions asked?”

    “Yup. Have fun.”

    “Okay! ♪”

     

    Sakie smiled at the sound of her daughter’s voice filled with joy. She didn’t actually have a particular place in mind when she told her daughter she would eat out.

     

    “…It’s been a while since I’ve been there. Perhaps I should make a visit today.”

     

    Sakie smiled and decided to head to the bar where her memories with a boy much younger than herself resided.

     

    God truly was cruel.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    HamletJr's notes:

    This completes the two bonus chapters for yesterday. I'll try my best to get one more chapter out today.

    HamletJr

    Travis Translation

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