“You piece of crap! Hey, Todoroki! Get out of here quickly!”
“You… a gloomy introvert like you is trying to pick a fight with me? You should have just stayed quiet and run away. Suddenly missing your girlfriend?”
Even though I have tackled him with all my strength, the delinquent stands up unscathed as if nothing happened. The difference in physical strength is clear. There are three of them, and I’m weak. There’s nothing I can do. I start trembling, thinking about the horrible things that might happen next.
“Yagami… I told you to run away… Why did you…?”
“You noisy idiot! Just hurry up and run away! You’re acting on your own and causing all this trouble! I’ll say it again, you’re not my friend, okay?! Seriously… You’re annoying!! I hate you!! You!!”
I blurt out things I shouldn’t have, even though I know it’s not Todoroki’s fault. She’s annoying. Incredibly annoying. She talks too much, gets involved in things she shouldn’t, and she’s just the worst. On top of all that, she’s trying to be my friend and acting like a self-righteous hero for no reason.
But even so, for some reason… we just met, and yet, when I imagine what might happen to her, my feet move on their own.
I’m angry, unreasonably so. At Todoroki, at myself. I know. I’m angry because Todoroki did nothing wrong. She might be an idiot, and she’s definitely childish, but she’s just a good-natured girl. Even now, her actions were impulsive, but she was only trying to protect the weak. It was the right thing to do.
But still… after all the false accusations I went through, can’t she at least let me wallow in despair for a while? Don’t just barge into my fragile heart like this!
Maybe she felt hurt by my words, but Todoroki, with teary eyes, doesn’t show any signs of weakness. Or perhaps, despite her brave front, she’s still scared of these rough men.
Honestly… I’m the one who wants to cry right now!
The three delinquents sneer at us as they watch our exchange.
“Haha! Wait a minute. I thought you came to help, but it seems like something else is going on here. Is this girl about to cry because of you?”
“Are you guys having a lover’s spat in this pinch?”
“Ah, youth… Well, we’re going to take this girl anyway!”
These guys… I seriously want to kill them. Even though Todoroki is now free from the delinquent’s grasp, she shows no intention of running away. Instead, she apologizes to me with a remorseful look and rushes towards me. Whether it’s out of guilt or some other reason, tears are welling up in her eyes.
“Yagami, I’m sorry… because of me…”
“Forget about that! I’ll find a way to buy time, so you run away! You’re just getting in the way!”
“No way! I can’t just leave my friend behind!”
“Ugh, seriously! Why do you always have to mess everything up for me like this?!”
Don’t just throw around the word “friend” like that! You can lose something like that so easily.
I can worry about questions later. First, let’s calm down. Do I have any chance of winning against them head-on? Probably not. Even if Todoroki didn’t run and decided to fight, considering what happened earlier, I’d likely lose. And I’m no help at all; I can see my future as nothing but getting beaten to a pulp.
Wait a minute. Do I even need to fight these guys head-on?
Todoroki was freed, and the boy who was in trouble ran away. There’s no need to force myself into a fight. If the guy she helped calls the police, it might be better to stay put. But I must avoid letting Todoroki get hurt while waiting for help.
She looked a bit surprised when I suddenly grabbed her hand, but I guess she understood my intent. Her face becomes serious.
“You idiots… Do you think we’ll let you go? Hey! After them!”
With the delinquents chasing us, we run towards the main road. Once we enter the main road, they won’t be able to do anything reckless.
We go through a narrow alley, wide enough for only one car to pass. The delinquents are still some distance away from us. Both Todoroki and I seem to have a burst of strength, or maybe we’re just panicking. At this pace, we should be able to outrun them easily.
We reach the exit of the narrow alley, gasping for breath. Finally, we’re safe… I heave a sigh of relief when suddenly, an enormous man, much larger than the delinquent leader, blocks our way.
Our sudden halt causes me and Todoroki almost fall over.
I’m about 170 cm tall, and I have to look up to see his face. This giant must be close to 200 cm tall. Even through his T-shirt, I can see muscles bulging from all over his body. Just one look, and I can instinctively tell he’s dangerous.
I start thinking about how to get Todoroki of this situation, even if I can’t escape. But then, Todoroki says something unexpected.
Eh? Onii-chan? This giant man is her big brother? Todoroki and this man look nothing alike. He’s the kind of person you’d cross the street to avoid if you saw him on the sidewalk.
“You kept me waiting… Since I’m here, everything will be okay. And you did well, too. I can tell you protected my little sister, right?”
The big man smiled as he spoke, but the sudden turn of events left me without any immediate reaction, causing my face to tense up. He looked at me with concern while his eyes carried a gentle expression. Is he really Todoroki’s big brother? Could he possibly be an ally?
“You two, wait here. Now, it’s time to make amends for scaring my sister. Let me show you true fear.”