Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-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.
As I was walking to school, dragging my thoughts from last night, I spotted her in the same place waiting for the same person as yesterday. This morning I messaged Kurosaki saying I’d unblocked her, and she immediately asked me if I wanted to go to school with her. I no longer had any reason to keep her cut off, so I gladly accepted it.
She noticed me approaching and ran up with an excited wave of her hand. With a chirpy smile, she said hello. It was as if all the worries that plagued her mind were suddenly gone.
“Senpai! Go~od morning!”
“Sorry for the sudden invite, but I really wanted to walk with you!”
A soft patch of red dabbed her cheeks, a radiance rising from her smile. Looking at her unbridled joy made me feel like I’m having a genuine conversation with her, something we haven’t in a long time. Maybe it means she isn’t hiding her feelings as much as I am.
“You’re looking so cool today! Ehehe~”
She grabbed the hem of my shirt excitedly and my attention was drawn to her squinty-eyed happiness. Her cuteness alone blew away any lingering sleepiness in me, but apart from that, the stares stung. We looked like a dorky couple.
“Come to think of it, we’d always walk together from but never to school.”
“I thought that if I waited for you in the morning, you’d know I liked you, and that’d be too heavy… From now on though, I’ll always wait for you! Well, not to the extent I’ll be an inconvenience.”
I never realized how aggressive Kurosaki really was. Seeing this new side of her was an honest surprise, even after knowing she held herself back because of me. As I reveled in the surprise, a voice announced the arrival of the train.
“Oh, speaking of which, are your legs alright?”
“They’re fine! Rather, aren’t they injuries of honor? I’m happy with them!”
A painfully large bandage was glued to her leg, stretching out from under her skirt. Her smile was merry, but I still felt guilty for indirectly causing this not-so-small injury. Perhaps noticing my thoughts, she pulled me by the hand and led me to the train.
Office workers and students filled the insides of the locomotive, and it was nigh crowded. After scanning the place, we decide to take a spot by the door. The biggest enemy of high school girls were molesters. Since she’s cute and dresses nicely, she could possibly get into trouble. That’s why I feel it should be the guy’s role to protect the girl… But for some reason, I was positioned against the wall as if I was the one being protected.
“Kurosaki, you changed positions.”
“Nah, don’t worry about it!”
“I’m just worried about you.”
“Thanks, but I’m fine! Ah~ by the way, I’m weak against shaking, so sorry if I suddenly lean onto you~” She deliberately pressed her chest against me while saying so. Our summer clothes were so thin I could almost feel her directly.
In addition, every time the train rattled, she made the effort to brush against my entire body. My steel spirit gradually deteriorated as my body started to say, “Yep, she’s a girl” even after all that’s happened. Honestly, I’m doing my best here to endure so I don’t suffer socially… Wow, girls smell amazing.
“This way I won’t have to worry about falling down, right?”
As if mocking my efforts, the little imp tangled herself in my arms. Her hands grabbed mine as lovers do, and I could feel her supple body with every part of me. A paradise from top to bottom.
“Now, what shall I do next~?”
It was obvious she wasn’t going to back down from her attacks, so I slapped my consciousness and prayed this train would be as fast as how thunder licks the ground. After an eternity of torture, we got off the train and headed to school with other students.
“Senpai, did you beat that boss you were talking about?”
“Y’know, when I switched to that big-a*s sword, it got so scared I ended up killing it.”
“Eh~? Is it fun?”
We kept talking about trivial things, as students do.
“Have you heard the new song they released last week?”
“Oh, it was sooo good! It was like a throwback to the early days of the band! I was thinking that perhaps due to corporate decisions, they’d lost their edge, but the song was just, hmph!”
Inexpressible comfort spread over us as we smiled over these frivolous things. It reminded me of our time together last year shortly after I’d met her. She suddenly started talking to me as I watched a music video, and I wondered what was going on back then. Regardless, we had a great time and our interests were basically one in the same.
Even though I think myself to be a rational guy, the shock of a broken heart was too great. Kurosaki had definitely supported me every day without me realizing it and I’m frankly happy to have reconciled with her.
However, while we may have made mistakes and apologized, our relationship wasn’t the same as it was before. On the contrary, I had no idea where it could go, maybe to shambles, maybe to more. Will I ever be able to 100% trust her again? Will we be able to understand each other without repeating our past mistakes?
I looked over at her, realizing I hadn’t been paying attention to our conversation since I was so stuck in my head. Her raven hair danced to the wind, revealing the inner golden she dyed her hair with, usually not so visible. Our eyes met, her long eyelashes shyly quivering for a second before she regained her strength, moving her thin lips.
“Even if you don’t trust me as you used to, I’ll continue to watch over you, senpai. So, please… keep your eyes on me too.”
Her smile was ephemeral as morning dew that glistens under a newborn sun. I couldn’t help but smile, not knowing what the future had in store for us. Despite all, I deeply nodded back so her smile would not sizzle and disappear.
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