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.
-sensei: A suffix and noun that literally means teacher.
This happened a little after I was betrayed by Sakurai and cut her off my life. Night had already fallen, and there was an abandoned outdoor stage in a park in town.
I sat by the bleachers in silence, just taking in the view in front of me. When I was just a little boy, this place was crowded with families and numerous events. However, as time went by, the number of groups holding said events and the number of people coming to see them dwindled, leaving only a decrepit and abandoned place with no one stopping by.
Such stage, long since fallen into disuse, was dazzlingly illuminated by twinkling lights. Back then, it was used as a place for hero shows¹ and singers, but on it stood only two battered men glaring at each other, wounds covering both their bodies. The spectators weren’t family either, only a bunch of ruffians.
“Haah… Haah… C’mon, fall down, you b*tch!”
“Sh*t! I’m not done yet!” As soon as he shouted that, he slammed his fist into the other guy, who staggered unsteadily from the sheer impact. Then, he threw another punch aiming at the other guy’s face.
Was he done? Anyone watching would think so, however, the man staggered and avoided the attack by the nick of time, sinking his fist into the face of the assailant. The situation was reversed and the assailant fell back losing consciousness.
“Hell yeah!” His victorious barks echoed around, his scarred fist raised high up to the sky.
Looking from the outside, it seemed like a fight between two delinquents, but the two weren’t at odds or anything. They were simply comparing strengths. You could call it a match to show one’s strength, where the winner took the place of the loser. Those were the rules of this group called the white dragon pylon, later known as the two-headed dragon.
The reason I’m in such a group is due to my benefactor being its leader. I’ve been coming here to see them for a while now. What Kakitani, the boy who caused my rapture with Sakurai, and his goons said weren’t too off the mark. They probably just happened to see me hanging out here… Well, it’s too late to think about it now.
While I thought so, the next match was about to happen on stage. My mind always came back to Sakurai as I watched. Five days had already passed since the betrayal, but shadows still loomed over my heart.
You’ve abandoned me too…
I thought maybe she would be the one to stay by my side no matter what… Oh how naive I was. She left me all alone just like my father, my mother, and my sister. The shadows looming over me got murkier as I recalled that fateful scene and my horrid words. My bottled-up frustrations and insecurities finally exploded and I pushed her away. I was but a child back then.
“I… I didn’t mean to say that.”
Her shocked, anguished face popped into my mind and guilt consumed me. She wasn’t the only one who abandoned someone that day. I rejected her when she was being peer pressured, too… We can’t be together anymore. Those are the consequences.
“I… shouldn’t have these feelings if they make me suffer like this.”
Even if those emotions were sweet, if they started to cut away at my own heart, I shouldn’t have them. So let’s forget about everything. Every single thing I liked in her, every day we had fun together, every memory…
As I muttered these depressing things quietly, that guy called out to me from behind in dismay.
“What you talkin’ about, dude?”
“Hm? Ah, Hikaru…”
Hikaru Ryuzaki is my benefactor and the leader of this team. If one word could describe him, it’d be “white.” He had pale skin and shoulder-length white hair, currently done up in a bun. Perhaps it was his taste for the neutral color, but he was dressed literally in all-white. White shirt, white denim, white boots, and a white jumper. He was dressed in such bright color he could be clearly seen during the dead hours of night.
I, on the other hand, had the blackest hair one could see. I wore black tank tops and black sweatpants, along with black sneakers and a black hoodie. We were opposites in every sense of the word. I almost couldn’t look at his dazzling figure.
He then brought his face close to mine and said, “I can’t help it,” with a smile. “You were thinking about your childhood friend, weren’tcha? Well, don’t be so down man, well, I’d say so if it wasn’t impossible to do.”
“No… Sorry I put you on the spot. I’m fine now.”
No, I’m not. But there was nothing he could do about my situation, even if he knew every little detail. Perhaps sensing my feelings, Hikaru scratched his cheeks as if in a bad mood, then roughly patted my head.
“Hmph?! Hey, what the hell are you doing?”
“Ha ha ha! I’m not gonna leave you… No matter what, never.”
“You don’t believe me?”
I trust Hikaru. With Sakurai gone, he’s the only person who’d stand by me. If even he leaves, I’ll just…
“I believe you, more than anyone…” I continued.
“Phew! Got it got it!”
He laughed and slapped me on the back with loud thumps. It was a sobering pain.
“And, um, I’m sorry I got into a fight…”
“Well, It happens sometimes.”
My expression got murkier. Apart from Haruka, I’d also promised Hikaru I would never fight again. That promise was made the day I met him.
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