26. Complicated Household Circumstances
Today, too, like usual, is a peaceful day.
“Like always, another peaceful… peaceful?”
I look up the word on my smartphone. The definition reads something like, [without changes happening, a state of calmness.] Right, it might not be a usual thing, but today truly is peaceful. I’m not wrong on that.
“Master, are you alright?”
Near, my smartphone, starts talking to me, maybe because he’s worried. Then, without delay, he transforms and stands up.
Alright, and the peace is over.
“Yeah, I’m good, Near. Also, try not to talk in public when you can.”
Thankfully, it happened right after the end of class. Due to the classroom getting noisy, no one seems to have heard him.
“At any rate, it sure is peaceful…”
My plan for living a life in peaceful recently deviated somewhat. I was asked to participate in a match between onmyou practitioners and was attacked by people with special abilities. It all started with dying and meeting kami-sama.
“Wait? Compared to that, talking to a smart phone is pretty normal.”
Yeah, that one just now doesn’t count. Nothing has happened today, so it’s peaceful.
“Yuuki-ku—n, you here—?”
I look towards the voice and see a delinquent with a splendidly shaved head peeking into the classroom.
He’s… the delinquent with the shaved head from before!
“Kasai-san is calling—, but Yuuki-kun, where is he?”
Takikawa and Ishida sync up and points their hands at me. You heartless bastards!
“I- I’m here.”
I timidly raise my hand while giving passing glares to the two heartless people.
“Mind coming with me for a bit?”
The delinquent with the shaved head then takes me to behind the gymnasium.
Yep, the peace is over.
—Diamonds are forever—
“I’m sorry for scaring you behind the gymnasium back when you first enrolled.”
I came here thinking I was going to be humiliated in front of delinquents again like last time, but the only ones here are the spiky haired delinquent, Akari-san, and Shizuka-san. But, right now, the spiky haired delinquent is bowing his head and apologizing to me.
Eh? What’s with this development?
By the way, the delinquent with the shaved head went back immediately after bringing me here.
“Sorry, Yuuki-kun. Will you forgive him? Souji’s face is terrifying, but he’s still reflecting.”
“Akari, mentioning his face was uncalled for. Also, both of you apologized…”
“I’m reflecting, alright!”
“….Ah, yeah, I’m reflecting.”
Akari-san is incredible. She’s dominating the spiky haired delinquent.
“Please raise your head…”
“Yuuki-kun is the same age, so there’s no need to use honorifics with Souji. Naturally, you don’t have to use them with us either, alright?”
“Ah, in that case…”
I’ll casually speak without reservation.
“I honestly don’t mind anymore, so raise your head.”
“Can you forgive me?”
Thanks to those days far removed from peace, I’m no longer bothered by what happened when I first came to this school. Well, I am a bit traumatized, so I’ll just accept this apology.
“Really? My bad… later.”
“Ah, hold on, Souji! Sorry about that, Yuuki. See ya.”
Looks like he seriously called me here just to give me a brief apology.
“If he just wanted to apologize, he could have just said it in the hallway, though.”
“Souji-kun, he’s a bit tactless.”
Shizuka-san returns a wry smile to my muttering.
Since Akari-san returned to the school building shortly after the spiky haired delinquent, I’m now alone with Shizuka-san.
“Ah, speaking of which, how did you get to know the spi… Kasai-kun?”
I ask her a doubt that’s been bothering me. From what I can tell, they don’t seem to be siblings. Also, seeing someone with Shizuka-san’s personality together with him feels somewhat uncomfortable.
“Souji-kun, he’s kinda like, a childhood friend. Although we aren’t connected by blood, I feel like, we’re siblings.”
I see, so it’s like that?
For starters, I shouldn’t get mad that he has such a cute childhood friend. Good thing he sincerely apologized to me.
“Well then, shall we head back?”
Then, while chatting with Shizuka-san, the 2 of us return to the school building.
—Diamonds are unbreakable—
“Shizuka, what’s wrong?”
On the way back home, Akari, worried about how Shizuka is feeling down, calls out to her.
“Onee-chan, we really aren’t normal after all…”
“Yeah, when we were returning from behind the gymnasium, I talked with Yuuki-kun about his parents, but I couldn’t say anything at all…”
As Shizuka said, neither of them have any memories of their parents. They never had parents to begin with.
“It’s fine, Shizuka. We ain’t got parents, but we’re here. The 3 of us, we’re family.”
“That’s right. We, even from now on, will always be together.”
Some of Shizuka’s doubts clear away at the words of Souji and Akari.
“Thank you… both of you.”
“…what the, how awkward.”
“Eh, is Souji feeling bashful?”
“Shaddup! If anything, ain’t Akari the bashful one?”
By a riverbed, joyful laughter rings out from 3 people on the way home…
“Ah—. Sorry, even though you have such a nice atmosphere going on…”
However, no one notices until after they hear that voice.
“I’m here to bring you back.”
That in fact, someone is approaching them from behind in order to nonchalantly take away their days of peace.
—Diamonds were unbreakable until Dare Devil proved other wise—
“Haa… I messed up.”
On the way back to the school building, I tried talking about my parents, but Shizuka’s expression noticeably started to cloud up. I immediately changed the topic, but I get the feeling I had already upset her.
“Most likely, she has some complicated household circumstances…”
“Master, are you alright?”
Near, worried about how I am feeling down, speaks to me. Keeping this to myself will just make me depressed, so I decide to tell Near about it.
“Doing nothing about this is no good, I recommend giving a brief apology.”
“You’re right, except school is already over. Looks like I’ll be apologizing tomorrow.”
“There is a problem. I shall inform you.”
I shall inform you?
“Just now, I confirmed it through a city crime prevention camera. Shizuka-san is over there.”
Near, upon transforming, points out his arm in the direction Shizuka seems to be.
“Thank you, Near. However, looking through the crime prevention cameras at your own convenience is no good.”
It isn’t good, but what’s already been seen can’t be helped. For now, I’ll follow Near’s instructions and head towards Shizuka-san.
—Diamond shards are now all over the floor—
The 3 turn around in surprise. Standing before them is a large, muscular, man.
“No, it’s inexcusable. I spoiled your good mood.”
The large man approaches the 3 while giving an empty apology.
“Dius… what are you doing here!?”
Souji hides Akari and Shizuka behind himself as he throws a question at the approaching man.
“Oh, so you know my name. I believe you are… Kasai-kun, correct?”
“Who cares about that! The hell are you doing here, you bastard!?”
“What, you ask? I came here for all of you. Did you truly believe you’d be able to run away from the organization and live in peace forever?”
The moment Souji hears those words, he invokes his special ability with all his strength. The name of his special ability is [Cold and Heat]. That special ability, by absorbing and releasing heat, lets him manipulate temperature.
Dius takes distance in a hurry. That is because Souji, by evaporating a puddle of water, generated a vast amount of steam.
“Akari! I’m counting on you!”
“Got it, [Bestowal]!”
Akari strikes during that opening and applies her bestowal to Souji. Her special ability, [Bestowal], lets her strengthen the abilities of another person’s body.
“Ooh, is that the rumored [Bestowal]? I can’t do that, makes me a bit jealous.”
While muttering such, Dius tries crossing through the water vapor, but promptly notices something is wrong under his feet.
In order to keep Dius from advancing, Souji froze the ground.
“Already making things difficult.”
Dius, however, uses his leg strength to stomp the ground and smash the ice, forcing his way through.
“Che, what a monster.”
“Well, even if I look like this, I’m still rank A. Little rank C tricks won’t amount to anything. Therefore, won’t you quietly turn yourselves in?”
Akari and Shizuka nod at Souji’s powerful response.
“What’s so dissatisfying about the organization? Don’t you get to eat three meals a day and sleep in a warm bed?”
“Except there’s no freedom. We… want to live our own lives!”
“…So it’s like that. Unlike me who entered the organization from the outside, you all were born and raised within the facility. The world you see must be different from mine.”
The light in Dius’ eyes turns cold, unlike up until then. It sends shivers down their 3 spines.
“Killing you would be a problem, so I’ll be holding back. That said, I’ll probably break some of your bones. Prepare yourselves for that, okay?”
“Right now, my special ability is good enough for rank B. It won’t be that easy!”
The power of [Bestowal] not only empowers a body’s arm and leg strength but can also empower one’s special ability. As such, while Souji’s [Cold and Heat] was originally rank C, it has been strengthened into being worthy enough of rank B.
“Ah, I’ll say this now, but don’t expect any help to come.”
“Agents have been deployed all around us. Even if we get a bit violent, no one will see us.”
The 3 now notice that the riverside, which should be crowded with life during that time when they return home, is bare.
“Now then, please struggle as hard as you can, alright?”
The curtains to the battle between [Cold and Heat], which has made comparable to rank B thanks to [Bestowal], and Dius who possesses a rank A special ability, open.
T/N: So, you may have noticed updates have been taking long. It’s because the chapters have been getting longer.