Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
“H–He’s not here, is he? I’m a bit scared…”
“I heard Hayakawa is going home with him today.”
“G–Gotcha… Sheesh, he scared the hell outta me. Haah… What did he even mean by ‘love at first sight’, huh?”
“… It’s because y–you’re cute, Reika… And he’s handsome.”
“Y–You’re definitely way cooler, Toshiki!”
We both decided to go home after hanging out with Nakajima, the junior from the manga club. The reason we went there was to stagger time so that Hirano would go home before us.
Walking down the hallway from my junior’s club room, I received a constant stream of updates from Hayakawa. Some messages were, “This guy’s crazy”, “He doesn’t listen!”, and “… He’s strangely close to me.”
He also told me that when Hirano found out Reika hates frivolous violence, he promised he’d stop going berserk.
“Satoshi Hirano… He’s an up-and-coming underground fighter; a prodigious boxer who rose up to the first place of the ‘one-star’ rank, all in just a month. He originally came from a competitive background, but his constant foul plays stopped him from continuing… Oh, and I believe he had a violent incident before the tournament.”
“… Reika, y’know, I thought so when you were talking about Hiratsuka-senpai, but don’t you know a bit too much?”
“That’s ‘cause there’s a lot of weirdos at this school. You just have to check out the worst one, right? On that matter, even the student council president here is a Jeet Kune Do¹ user. Ah, seven stars is the highest possible ranking in UF, and the president is the highest-ranking student around.”
… What the hell. Is this school special or something? What a school I got into, huh.
“Haah… I just don’t wanna get involved. All I want is a peaceful school life with you and Hayakawa.”
“What are you talking about? You’re so attractive, people just won’t leave you alone. —Oh, that’s right! What should we do about this week’s movie? Nakajima-san said she had something to do, and Hayakawa is being held hostage by Hirano-kun…”
Her voice gradually fades, and I hear my voice whispering inside my head.
—Ask her out, just the two of you. If you’re a man, be brave! You only have two tickets at the moment, don’t you? And I know you remember how disappointed she looked at your answer last time.
So the voice whispered. However, after spending all this time with Mashima, I knew I shouldn’t mistake people’s kindness for something else… But Reika is an important childhood friend, and I don’t wanna see her look sad.
I feel the sweat stick to my back as thoughts kept flurrying in my mind. We did go out together once before, and the fact she called it a date surprised me… It was a lot of fun.
I hadn’t really thought about it before, but she’s very cute. Especially wearing this frilly uniform, which only heightened her cuteness twofold. Never had I thought of her this way, but it seems I’m getting out of the old customs.
“R–Reika, u–um… y’know, the m–movie, erm, the two of us…”
“O–Oh, Toshiki… Y–Yeah, j–just the two of us…”
Then someone’s voice interrupted us.
“Oi, Sawada, don’t ignore me. Stop being so flirty, it’s making me sick…”
Looking to the side, Hiratsuka glared at us with cold eyes, leaning against the wall of the corridor.
“Ah— I’m trying to clear up misunderstandings about Eri. She was such a b*tch… Oh, sorry, she’s your childhood friend.”
“N–No, I don’t mind. We’re not friends anymore.”
“Oh? Seems you aren’t brainwashed anymore.”
The three of us ended up talking over tea in the school cafeteria. Hiratsuka seemed surprisingly normal, though he had a large bandage glued on his nose, along with his arm hung out by a large piece of cloth.
“You drag girls into the club VIP room, don’t you? What is a guy like you doing here?” Reika started.
“… Sure, I do have a bad rep, and I’m aware I’m a warmonger scumbag, but these rumors about me ‘eating women up’, those are all lies… The girls just went after me, and began spreading lies to save face.”
“Huh? You even tried to take Mashima-san with you!”
“Haah… I didn’t wanna come out like this since it’d be a bother, but I’m not interested in women at all. They can’t get it up for me.”
“H–Huh?! What are you talking about?! T–Toshiki, help me!”
“R–Reika, let’s keep it quiet for a minute. It’s a serious condition you can’t scoff at… So, Hiratsuka-senpai, if you’re not interested in girls, why did you try to take Mashima-san there?”
He sighed and began to speak.
“It was my first love as a woman…”
… I was curious about the ‘as a woman’ part, but I just kept listening without thinking too deeply about it.
After a while of listening, we learned that Hiratsuka and Mashima met while dancing at the club… I just can’t believe she went clubbing… It started when Mashima asked Hiratsuka for a cigarette. Again, I couldn’t believe the things she did…
At first, he thought Mashima was a player like he was, but then sometimes she mentioned her precious dog had fallen ill. Hiratsuka, whose own dog was in the same situation, felt empathy.
I interrupt him, revealing the fact that Mashima never had a dog in her life. In return, he just gave me an indescribably bitter look…
“A–Anyway, from there we became closer and closer, and I fell in love with her as a woman, a first for me.”
So, while Mashima was reluctant to seal the deal and go out with him, Hiratsuka tried to seduce her by using every trick he knew. Thanks to that, seems he’s lost his reputation in Underground Fighting.
… I’m not really interested in that last part, so it doesn’t really matter.
Hiratsuka continued, telling us his psyche gradually worsened.
“And when we finally started going out, all she did was talk about you. Then I found out she was two-timing me with Tachibana², and that she was also flirting with the student council president… So I got mad and decided to lecture her in the VIP room. That’s when she made fun of my beloved dog…”
Mashima… You haven’t changed at all, have you?
Tachibana is a teacher here. He’s an old man, but he’s austere and cool, so he’s popular with the girls.
“… I–I’m sorry about her. She’s caused a lot of trouble,” I apologized.
“Shut up. It’s not your place to apologize, and besides, I’m the one who needs to do so… That’s why, I’m sorry Sawada. I had no right to say all those things about your father… And I take it back. He’s not a criminal, it was self-defense, right?”
“Sh*t, don’t look at me like that. You beat me up, and for that… I’m thankful. When I got hit, I felt this burning flame inside, and I was so excited I could barely believe it… Hey, Sawada… Will you fight me again?”
Hiratsuka? Oi, why are you staring at me and blushing?!
Reika then pulled me by the hand and stood up.
“Hey, don’t look at him with those weird eyes! Toshiki, let’s go!”
“U–Uh, wait a minute, just one time…”
Interrupting this exchange, I ask a question that’s been on my mind for a while.
“Did you slap her on the cheek? I remember it was swollen.”
He answered apologetically, “I pulled your friend’s hair. I couldn’t control myself, I’m sorry… But I never hit her, not once.”
“Okay, got it.”
I could tell by the look in his eyes he wasn’t lying.
But all this made me think, Mashima, what kind of girl are you really…?
2 — I made a mistake in Chapter 6. Tachibana isn’t their senior, but rather a teacher. Yeah, it makes it worse… Yikes.
Nice chapter, never saw this coming, not from a mile away. I have no clue where this is going, but I’m excited to see it.
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