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E6 - 6 This article contains HEAVY spoilers. Please view at your own risk.

This is Chapter 2 from Volume 6 of the Toradora! Light Novel series. The text is from Baka-tsuki.

Transcript

"Will Kitamura-kun come to school today? Or will he be absent..."

It was Friday morning, which raised the level of anticipation for the weekend.

Under the thick clouds in the sky, Taiga hunched her shoulders with her hands in the pockets of her jacket. The cold wind that signaled the transition from the end of autumn to the beginning of winter made Taiga's feathery hair flutter softly in the air.

"It's too cold. The weather suddenly became much colder today, and now it's not enough to just wear a jacket and a sweater... I guess we should start wearing our winter coats."

"It's only November, we shouldn't need to take them out yet. You're just more sensitive to the cold."

"You've also wrapped yourself quite tightly, looking so warm... Uguu, I'm freezing."

"It's still too early to start wearing winter coats, but it's just the right time to wear a scarf."

Ryuuji, who was walking behind Taiga, already had a scarf wrapped around his neck. This is the difference of gathering information! Ryuuji's triangular eyes conveyed a sense of superiority. The weather report in the morning had already predicted that the weather today would be rather cold, so Ryuuji took out the scarf that he had washed a few days before in anticipation of the weather and wore it.

"If you wore a winter coat now, then what will you be wearing when winter comes? Anyway, I messaged Kitamura the moment I got up this morning, but he didn't reply..."

"Oh..."

The two were going to school by the usual sakura tree-lined street, stepping on dead leaves scattered on the ground.

After Ryuuji took a futile look at his cellphone to check for new messages, he placed it into his pocket, and unwrapped his scarf to wrap it around Taiga's neck from behind. "Gah!" Taiga stopped in her tracks. A chance, to take advantage of the situation by strangling the arrogant Taiga, and then setting it up to seem as though she froze to death...was what the situation looked like, but Ryuuji's gentle hands lightly wrapped his scarf around Taiga's neck without compromising her ability to breathe. But the men's scarf was much too long for the small Taiga, leaving a long length of the scarf still hanging behind her back even after winding it around her neck 3 times.

"Gu, gu..."

"Wait, don't move! It'll be bad if it gets caught on a passing car... Alright!"

The tail that had hung behind behind Taiga's back was now tied into a ball by Ryuuji. Ryuuji patted the finished knot, signaling to the waiting Taiga to start walking forward, a smile revealing itself on her beautiful face.

"Ah~ It's so warm... Revived..."

She was just like a middle-aged woman who'd just lowered herself into a hot spring. "Heh heh heh!" Ryuuji's demonic eyes gleamed an unnatural sparkle, his happy emotions showing on his face,

"That's a cashmere scarf, it costs as much as Yasuko's salary. I got it for Christmas two years ago. It's soft isn't it?"

"Oh, cashmere... Sacrificing the lives of innocent rabbits..."

"It's not rabbits right... Isn't it goats...?"

"I was under the impression that it was rabbits...?"

"Well, whatever."

Taiga rubbed the scarf that still had Ryuuji's body heat contentedly, disregarding the messy state of the hair that was caught in the scarf, like a kitten who had just been picked up and hugged. Looks like she really was freezing. On the other hand, the scarf-less Ryuuji could only hunch his shoulders in response to the cold wind. He clutched the front collar of his uniform to endure the freezing cold, straightening his back in an attempt to convince himself that he wasn't cold at all.

"Anyway, the weather is extremely cold today... I'm worried that Kitamura-kun is sleeping in some concrete drain... So pitiful..."

"Concrete drain... What are you taking about, he would probably have gone home right?"

The corpse that was Kitamura had disappeared after running out of the classroom like a maniac. Calls to his home went straight to an answering machine, calls to his cellphone were ignored, and he neither returned the calls nor replied to the messages. Well, calls to Kitamura's home would normally go straight to the answering machine anyway, since both of his parents work, so... He probably won't be sleeping in some concrete drain...but...

"Mmm...", mumbled Taiga, whose nose was also buried in the scarf, wrinkling her eyebrows in thought,

"Kitamura-kun has been too serious about his work, that's why all of the pent-up tension from the stresses of life could suddenly explode like that."

Taiga, who besides the three major wants of life (Food = I'm hungry! Rest = I want to sleep! Sex = I like Kitamura-kun!) rarely lapsed into deep thought like a normal human being, gave an extraordinarily serious assertion of Kitamura's condition. Ryuuji nodded in agreement,

"Now that you mention it, his abnormal actions could be a self-defense mechanism to release stress... Although it's caused a lot of trouble to everyone."

"Releasing stress is really important. I should release some stress too."

You should pass, you regularly release enough stress already... Ryuuji didn't have time to speak before Taiga started muttering "Release, release..." in a low voice while moving her fists with astonishing speed (a combination of jabs and hooks), striking a foreboding sense of fear into Ryuuji's heart. He clutched both their bentos close to his chest like a girl, backing away from Taiga. It would be good if everyone could live as strongly as Taiga...

"Ah, Minorin! That's great, I haven't been abandoned today!"

Taiga noticed Minori, who was waving at them from the usual crossroad, and quickly ran to her, latching onto her arm,

"Good morning! It's so cold today, Minorin, winter has descended onto this world!"

"Good morning!!! You're so heavy, Taiga! My arm is going to break! Is it that cold? You're even wearing a scarf, that's too weak. Don't you think so, Takasu-kun, good morningggggg!"

Actually, I'm the weak one... Ryuuji couldn't get himself to say that, so he could only put on a serious face to hide his embarrassment, raising a hand to greet the beaming Minori. On a cold and gloomy morning, Minori's smile was as brilliant as a sunflower in full bloom. Minori's nose slowly moved to Taiga and sniffed,

"Hmm? Taiga's scarf has the smell of a man. It's the same smell that lingers in my bathroom after my brother is done dressing... Ah, could this scarf be Takasu-kun's? He lent it to you?"

Too sharp. Oh no, won't Minori find out about my naturally overflowing gentleness? Ryuuji scratched his head in embarrassment and prepared to nod with a pathetic smile and say, "Oh~ I've been found out, it's so embarrassing" but...

"I was cold, so I forcibly took it from Ryuuji."

Taiga used a not-so-truthful explanation to cut Ryuuji off. Ryuuji had no time to make his opinion known before Minori had fully accepted Taiga's explanation, and continued,

"Hmm...!? How could you do this!? Takasu-kun will catch a cold like this! If you're so sensitive to the cold, then I'll let you borrow my track pants! Take it, I've washed it already!"

"No!!! Why am I the weak one while Ryuuji's the one who'll catch a cold!?"

"Despite Takasu-kun's appearance, he's actually a very delicate Gilbert... Right? My little bird..."

I don't understand who she was referring to by Gilbert... No, the main point is, what kind of appearance is 'that kind of appearance'? Similar thoughts surfaced in Ryuuji's mind, but he swallowed his questions, and shook his head while saying,

"I'm not a little bird, and I'm not cold, and my scarf was also not forcibly taken away..."

"Che! What are you acting cool about? I expended a considerable amount of energy before I took possession of it. It's because you were so proud of your scarf, so I thought I would 'kindly' help you use it for a while. Hmph! Thank me!"

Taiga arrogantly stuck her chin out and turned around, running off without giving a thought to her face, which was half-covered by the scarf, leaving Minori and Ryuuji behind.

"Hey, Hey! She actually ran off by herself! Taiga's no different from an oppressive landlord! Takasu-kun really won't be cold? Do you want to wrap this around your neck?"

Minori glanced at Taiga's back torpidly, taking her track pants out from her bag.

"Ah!? No need, I'm alright, really! There's no cause for worry!"

Ryuuji still had not reached the level where he dared to walk through the front gate of the school with the track pants of his crush wrapped around his neck. Not that he wasn't interested in Minori's track pants, on the contrary. It could be said that he was extremely interested, but he just couldn't bring himself to wrap her track pants around his neck in a public place. Because of his interest in her track pants, he couldn't do it.

"Really? Then it's alright...but the one I'm really worried about is Kitamura. Has he contacted you? I've been messaging and calling him non-stop since yesterday, but he didn't respond..."

"I haven't been able to contact him either. Don't know if he'll come to school..."

"Yeah... What should we do if he doesn't come to school today... There's no school on Saturday and Sunday, I'm worried that we won't be able to see him before next Monday."

The two of them walked forward side by side, their breaths piling on top of each other in the cold air. The interweaving mist in front of them seemed to balloon every time they worried about Kitamura. This moment wasn't as sweet as Ryuuji had envisioned it to be.

Taiga, who was walking in front of them, stopped as a traffic light turned red, and both Ryuuji and Minori took the chance to catch up with her without breaking into a run. Minori's reason for not breaking into a run was probably because she knew that she could catch up while the traffic light was still red. As for Ryuuji, it was because even though it wasn't a sweet moment, he still wanted to walk beside Minori for a while longer. Although his heart was laden with worry for Kitamura, just a little...

"Hmm..." Minori wrinkled her eyebrows, probably thinking about Kitamura's situation. She then took out a stick of lip balm from her pocket, Ryuuji quickly stopped her hand which was about to take off the cap of the lip balm.

"Ah! No, Minori, you shouldn't apply the lip balm while walking. Something bad might happen."

"What, what are you talking about! Do you intend to lecture me on my actions? You vicious daughter-in-law! How can something bad happen!? Ah, or are you trying to say that I'm too old for lip balm!"

"No one's playing the 'mother and daughter-in-law game' with you... I'm saying that the lip balm may accidentally get stuck in your nostril."

"My nostril? How can such a thing happen? Even I can tell you that such a thing can never happen."

"It will happen by accident sometimes. I'll keep this safe until we reach school."

"Huh!? But my lips will dry up! They'll crack!"

"Some things are more important than lips..."

"Che~ You really know how to argue! I guess I don't have a choice, take it, count it as my treat."

Losing to (not confirmed) Ryuuji's warmhearted honesty, Minori handed the lip balm to Ryuuji. Ryuuji, hoping from the bottom of his heart that Minori would not have a memory of an uncontrollably sniffling nose, placed the lip balm into his pocket after nodding repeatedly. Of course, he didn't think about secretly applying the lip balm in the toilet at school later, ne-ne-ne-ne-never!

"Anyway, it seems that every girl has a stick of lip balm. Do you apply it often?"

Ryuuji asked, not to cover up the deepest desire of his heart, but out of pure curiosity. He didn't think he knew any guy who walked around with a stick of lip balm in his pocket.

"Yes, I apply it often as I want to maintain the glossy texture and moisture on my lips. There is no reason for the womanly desire for moisturized and glossy lips. Taiga carries one around too."

"I know, it's Nivea's 'WATERING' right?"

"You're so clear about it! You know everything about Taiga don't you!

"Yup."

Why do I even know the brand of lip balm that Taiga uses? Because it spent a period of time in my nostril. But Ryuuji couldn't say this out loud, so he just looked contemplatively at a faraway place, remembering the feeling when the peppermint flavor permeated the whole of his nostril. "Ahaha, so it's like this." Even Minori didn't know that the slightly distant laughter had once been covered by the mental anguish caused by the peppermint-flavored lip balm.

"That's right, I'm very familiar...and I really regret not confiscating that stick of lip balm before the accident happened..."

"Oh, an accident... Wh-What do you mean by that!? Don't tell me..."

"Th-The meaning is..." Right in front of Minori's wavering gaze was Taiga, who had hidden her face in the scarf, staring intently at the traffic light.

She walked on the spot while waiting for the light to turn from red to green, looking as if she wanted to stamp out the coldness that was coming up from her legs while completely covering her nose in the cashmere scarf. She hunched her shoulders, clenched her hands that were in her pockets into fists, and closed her eyes.

Taiga's position gave the impression of a baby penguin that was braving a snowstorm. Ryuuji almost laughed, but managed to stop himself just in time.

"Are you really that cold?"

Ryuuji stepped up beside Taiga, directing his question towards her hair whorl. The long eyelashes stubbornly refused to move, sniffing loudly in the baby penguin position,

"...It's extremely cold, but it's a bit better with the scarf."


  • *


"Ah! You came at the right time! Come here, Takasu-kun! Come with me! Hurry up!"

"Huh..."

Just when he was preparing to step into the campus after changing into indoor shoes, someone grabbed Ryuuji's wrist - that person was the familiar class teacher, the single woman. Just what happened the previous night? Koigakubo Yuri (30), who just yesterday had put on the perfect image, now had no makeup on her face, her hair loosely tied in a rubber band, miserably dressed in a track suit, which, when combined with the wrinkles on the edges of her eyes, served to add a whole decade to her actual age.

"Wa-Wai-Wait...? What's wrong!? Actually, I'm more interested in why you suddenly look as though you've aged..."

"Don't talk about my age! Just follow me!"

The single woman totally ignored Minori and Taiga, who had walked into school together, pulling Ryuuji who was still stepping on the heels of his indoor shoes by the arm forwards. Her other arm was gripping another person...

"Hey! Kawashima!"

"Ah~ Good morning Takasu-kun~ Wait, now's not the time for this! Argh, it's so irritating! What's the problem? What did Ami-chan do to deserve this!? What are you doing!?"

"I don't know anything either!"

By the looks of it, it seemed as though Ami had been captured the moment she entered the school too, as she was still carrying her bag on her shoulder, being forcibly dragged away together with Ryuuji. Her beautiful face was twisted in annoyance, being unable to shake off the single woman's vise-like grip on her arm, but she had no choice but to let herself be dragged...rather, to be lugged around.

"It's not a big deal if Takasu-kun is captured, but why must the cute Ami-chan be captured too!?"

"What do you mean by 'It's not a big deal' if I'm captured...?"

Taiga and Minori were unable to grasp the situation, and so could only stand there with wide eyes and open mouths, staring at the retreating figures of the two prisoners.

Ignoring everyone around her, the single woman dragged the cute Ami-chan and the not so cute Ryuuji to their final destination...

For a few seconds, Ryuuji was unable to recognize the guy who had raised his head.

"...HUH!?"

His bag fell to the ground as realization kicked in.

"Huh!? Ha!? Ha..."

Ami opened her eyes to their fullest capacity,

"AHAHAHAHAHAHA! What's this about, what happened~!?"

She unexpectedly started to laugh extremely loudly. Is it the right time to laugh? Ryuuji turned to Ami, and glared at her. Noticing Ryuuji's gaze, Ami stuck out her tongue, "What's~ wrong~?" It was too late to start acting cute. The already bad atmosphere in the room was made even more awkward by Ami's untimely outburst.

The interview room, which they had been forcibly brought into, was the room which the students called "the lecture room".

The single woman lightly shut the door behind Ryuuji and Ami. Besides the three of them, the notoriously strict disciplinary teacher was also seated in the room, and the person next to him with shoulder-length black hair was an unexpected presence...

"Big Brother...no, Kano...senpai..."

Ryuuji accidentally blurted out. Even her gaze had an unknown charm to it, and this person was the student council president, Kano Sumire. Although she appeared to be a delicate and steady beauty, she was extremely straightforward and blunt like a guy, thus earning the title of "Big Brother", the famous student council president who could go down in history as one of the school's most accomplished student council presidents. "Big Brother" obviously didn't hold the title for nothing, as she crossed her arms, and looked around her with a piercing gaze, despite being thrown into such a weird situation.

Ryuuji and Ami looked down at the guy who was kneeling on the floor.

Ryuuji shouldn't be able to recognize this person. Because his golden hair was obviously over-dyed with a cheap hair dye, causing it to lose its luster and shine, Ryuuji should not have this kind of friend...theoretically, but under the messy fringe sat an extremely familiar pair of silver-lined spectacles, behind which was an even more familiar face.

"Kita...Kitamura, you..."

He recognized that face.

"Wha... What's with that hair! Isn't this against the school rules...and...and..."

He didn't know if he should ask about that, but he still asked.

"..."

There was no response. The look that Kitamura gave Ryuuji was uncharacteristically fierce, as if it was saying "See for yourself, there is nothing much to say."

Kitamura Yuusaku had become a delinquent.

He stubbornly shook his bleached hair, ignoring the question from his best friend, a hardheaded resignation showing in his eyes. Upon closer inspection, it could be seen that his glasses were bent at an awkward angle, the top two buttons of his uniform shirt were coming off, and that there was sand and dirt on his shoulders, giving the impression that he had been pushed down onto the ground.

"Ah, Takasu and Kawashima, what do you think of this guy's hair?"

"What do I think? How am I supposed to answer that..."

Ryuuji didn't know how to answer, and looked to Ami, who was standing beside him. Ami was fixing her beautiful nails as if she didn't hear the question, as if the whole situation did not concern her at all. The disciplinary teacher continued speaking in a serious tone,

"This guy came to school with this kind of hairstyle and ignored the counseling teacher at the school gate. About such actions, what do the two of you think? Do you know the reason for such actions? He refuses to answer any questions we ask him, so we had to call for his best friend Takasu, his childhood friend Kawashima, and the Big Brother who has been taking care of him in the student council... Big sister Kano here... Sorry Kano, to call you here when you're busy..."

"It's alright, it's a pity I cannot be of much help. I don't understand the situation, and he has already quit the student council, so he is no longer associated with me in any way."

Kitamura quit the student council? Ryuuji almost wanted to speak, but felt that it wasn't the right time to open his mouth. But when he thought about it, the Kitamura who went mad yesterday did mention it.

The perfect student council president gazed at the golden-haired delinquent coldly, as if wishing to impale him with the look alone. Kitamura looked as though he wanted to avoid her eyes, and twisted his body while biting down on his lower lip, hiding his facial expression with his low and untidy fringe.

"So, Takasu? Do you have any inkling of what happened?"

"Umm...this... How should I say this... Yesterday, umm, a bit.... Yeah..."

He wanted to talk about how Kitamura had been acting abnormally for a while now as a result of "burnout sickness", and also about how Kitamura had exploded in class yesterday, but he didn't know whether it would constitute a betrayal to Kitamura. He wanted to have a bit more time to think, but was unable to get it.

The disconcerted Ryuuji could only look to the single woman for help. The single woman gave Ryuuji an exhausted look, meaning "I've already told them about what happened yesterday." It seemed as though the single woman had been looking for the corpse who had run out of school and wasn't contactable ever since after school yesterday, and also had come to school extra-early today to wait for the corpse to show up. She even canceled her important date with the professor, but did not get anything in return, instead resulting in her accelerated aging.

"What about you Kawashima? Do you have anything to say?"

"Hmm~ Even if you ask me... I don't understand..."

Kawashima didn't forget to put on her watery doll-like eyes and her cute demeanor. Just as everyone in the room was looking at her cute demeanor,

"...It's unbelievable that there are still people using such obvious methods to rebel. Ah, there really are~ but so what? Though it doesn't concern me, don't you think it's extremely absurd?"

The corners of her mouth curled up viciously, slowly expanding her attack on her childhood friend. Her black-hearted character almost completely exposed, the look that was full of contempt went through Kitamura's body like bullets, cruelly aiming for the exaggeratedly-colored hair. Ah, Ryuuji could only look to the ceiling. Yes, sometimes Ami was even worse than Taiga, a woman full of explosives.

She continued to make full use of her vicious personality, stepping forward,

"Yuusaku, don't you think you're expecting too much of other people? 'Look at me. Worry about me. Look at how frustrated I am. Someone take notice of me~!'. Isn't this what you want to say? Ah, even the bystanders are disgusted with you~. You're already in your second year of high school and you're still trying to rebel by bleaching your hair, but it's repulsive! This sort of thing has been outdated since the third year of middle school, and it'll only be the middle-aged blue collar workers who'll dye their hair to cover their white hair. Anyway, seriously, what kind of hair is that? You did it yourself? I'm sorry, but honestly, IT. DOESN'T. SUIT. YOU!"

"AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" After speaking, Ami once again burst into wild laughter while pointing her finger at Kitamura. She laughed until she had tears in her eyes, with no sign of any gentleness, worry or hesitation. Ami's hurtful scolding even affected Ryuuji, who felt as though a part of him was being cut away, and wanted to rush in front of Kitamura to block the knives that were cutting into his best friend. But he couldn't do it. In response to the cutting words of his childhood friend, Kitamura merely lowered his head and bit his lower lip even more stubbornly.

"Sigh..." The exhausted single woman sighed tiredly. She rubbed her dry eyes which were ringed with a tinge of blackness due to the lack of makeup, and put her hands on the shoulders of Ryuuji and Ami,

"The two of you should go back to the classroom first. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you. I'll go after I talk to Kitamura-kun for a while more. Homeroom will be conducted by the assistant class teacher. If possible, please do not say anything to your classmates okay? I'll try my best to bring Kitamura-kun back to class as though 'nothing has happened'."

"Okay, we understand..."

Ryuuji nodded his head honestly, but his voice was cut off by a low and fierce voice.

"I think it would be more appropriate for Koigakubo-sensei to send him home."

The voice came from Kano Sumire. She straightened her thin frame and stood up, her eyes glinting intensely, looking straight at Kitamura, who was now seated on the ground. Her gaze did not contain a shred of human warmth, her posture flawless. In Ryuuji's eyes, she was like an impeccable android far beyond normal human capabilities.

"There is no need to waste time on such an idiot. Since he does not intend to open his mouth, then there is no reason to be concerned about him. The school rules state that 'Hair styles which do not reinforce the image of a student are strictly prohibited', and he has clearly broken the rule. In my opinion, he should be suspended from school until his hair style conforms to the school rule."

"...Kano-san should be going back to class too. I still have to talk to Kitamura-kun, thank you for coming."

The single woman shook her head slowly, putting her hand onto Kitamura's shoulder protectively to help him to stand up and into a chair, then standing up together with the disciplinary teacher, effectively surrounding Kitamura. This action alone clearly indicated the "not giving up" attitude of the teachers.

At this sight, even Sumire turned her gaze away from Kitamura.

It was clear that the meeting was over. Sumire stood up and bowed, with Ryuuji and Ami following her actions, moving out of the room to leave Kitamura by himself.

The other classes should have begun their homeroom already right? There was no one in the quiet corridor.

Ryuuji bowed to Sumire, and prepared to walk to his classroom...

"Sen~pai?"

Ami's sweet voice sounded in the overly-silent corridor. Ignoring Ryuuji, Sumire turned around, directly facing Ami. Even Ryuuji could feel the challenge that Sumire sent out towards Ami. Ami's cute face revealed a vicious smile, as if she was preparing to provoke Sumire. Ryuuji, who despite his fear of the situation still wanted to stop this confrontation, was pushed to one side.

"Kano-senpai, you seem to be very cold towards Yuusaku? Ah~ Yuusaku's so pitiful~ He admires senpai so much...but Kano-senpai, you didn't seem to be so cold towards Yuusaku in the past... Could it be that something happened between Yuusaku and senpai recently? Might Yuusaku's rebelliousness be associated with senpai?"

"About that..."

Sumire wasn't provoked at all, but merely smiled politely out of the corners of her mouth and ignored Ami's provocative words, turning to walk down the corridor once again. Ryuuji couldn't help opening his mouth to her retreating back,

"I'm really sorry! To have said something so rude... Kawashima has a bad personality..."

"That's mean! What do you mean by that!?" Ryuuji covered Ami's noisy mouth, apologizing to Sumire. Sumire merely raised her eyebrow, indicating that she wasn't offended.

"It's nothing, I'm alright with it... Bad personality? What's so bad about that? At least her words towards Kitamura just now were right. Looks like Kitamura has a very good childhood friend. Alright, if you have any problems, come and find me anytime."

"Right. And...Senpai, if you have any clues..."

"You'll want me to inform you right? Actually I do have a clue."

Ryuuji, who was originally bowing to send Sumire off, quickly raised his head in shock, and Ami, who was being forced to bow by Ryuuji, also stopped her struggling. The flawless student council president looked calmly at Ryuuji and Ami and shrugged her shoulders lightly,

"I have a clue, but if it really is the reason that I think it is, I will be even more disappointed with Kitamura."

An expression that was neither happy nor angry appeared on her face, and she turned towards the third-year classrooms unhesitantly, like a man after saying a short "good bye".

To let Sumire be even more disappointed... Ryuuji gazed at Sumire's retreating figure while thinking over that phrase in his mind.

"What is this...? I'm extremely~ annoyed by that cold-blooded self-styled elitist! And also..."

Ami spoke while flicking her straight and long hair, her voice echoing in the silent campus. Ryuuji quickly turned and glared at Ami,

"I-Idiot! She definitely heard it!"

"It's already too late for that." Ami expressed her displeasure, and said,

"So what if she hears it? I'm speaking the truth. She's obviously the main reason, and yet she acts as though she knows nothing, only leaving behind an ambiguous 'Actually, there is something' while not giving the whole picture, just like Yuusaku! Talking in that manner to arouse the interest of other people, hoping that someone will understand. That's over-anticipation! Does she seriously think that the Earth orbits around her!?"

Ami's sharp eyes that were as beautiful as a transparent brown-tinged crystal ball hid none of her annoyance. The cutting words that came out of her mouth made people want to push her down and force her to put on her nice demeanor.

"You... Why are you so harsh...?"

Ryuuji expended almost all his energy in getting those words out of his mouth, feeling as though he wanted to hug his head and squat down on the floor. Kitamura's rebelliousness, the reaction of the student council president, Ami's words - Ryuuji's brain could no longer process the information.

"Because I'm angry~"

"What are you talking about!? Aren't you the one making everyone feel uncomfortable!? And what do you mean by those words!? You seem to be pushing all the blame onto Kano-senpai."

Although Ami had once again put on her nice demeanor, she had no intention of letting go of her argument.

"Huh~? Takasu-kun, don't you understand? It has to be her fault! Only the student council president could turn Yuusaku into something like that. And listen to what that woman said... Hmph, it's probably along the lines of his confession being rejected right? Ah~ That's so boring... God! Return Ami-chan's precious time to her~"

"Con...Confession!? How can it be! Why has it suddenly become like this!?"

Ami turned around and started walking. She didn't even turn her head, only sighing loudly, and lowering her shoulders, signaling her feelings of irritation to Ryuuji,

"Takasu-kun, you always miss the most important points, though I don't dislike this part of you. But it'll eventually become your Achilles heel."

"Wha...?"

What does she mean? Although Ryuuji thought that, since he couldn't win in an argument with Ami, he didn't reply. If there was a cannon nearby, he would use Taiga as the cannonball to attack Ami. As long as Taiga was willing to go in firing on all cylinders to help Ryuuji release his pent-up feelings, he would let the two ladies fight to their hearts' content. Ami's criticism was referring to the superficiality of females right?

Right, to explain everything through love, that's the hasty and superficial characteristic specific to females.

Kitamura does admire that Big Brother from the bottom of his heart, as he worked tirelessly for the student council since year 1, and always said that she was the most deserving of respect, the best student council president. Although he was also the captain of the boy's softball team and the class representative, he never complained about the mountain of administrative work that he had to do for the student council. Ryuuji, who had been Kitamura's best friend since year 1, knew this better than anyone else. Ryuuji also understood that the motivation behind Kitamura's passion for the student council was his feelings towards the flawless Big Brother Kano Sumire. Ryuuji didn't need to get close to Sumire to understand her overwhelming charm. The flawless and exceedingly outstanding Kano Sumire was like superhuman, one who struck awe and fear into her peers. Since the two of them often worked together in the student council, it wasn't surprising that such feelings of admiration only intensified. But Ryuuji felt that the very essence of that admiration stemmed from Kitamura's respect for a senpai that was more outstanding than him, and not from romantic feelings for her. Although they were of opposite genders, it would not be a mistake to classify them as members of the same gender regarding the student council. How can it be possible for a guy to fall in love with a male colleague at work? Ryuuji felt that Ami's way of explaining everything through love was too biased, superficial and crude. Kitamura's actions cannot be the result of the superficial thing that is "love". Yes, it should be of a higher order. It can be seen as "admiration", a passion to serve a more outstanding senpai. It must be like this! Because that person is the flawless student council president, the reliable, perfect leader of the student population.

As he got to this point in his thoughts, Ryuuji suddenly noticed something that made his blood run cold.

The situation was so serious that Kitamura had to quit the student council which he had always held in high regard? It looked like the situation was much more serious than Ryuuji had initially thought.

"...Hey!? Isn't that Kitamura?"

Homeroom started under the watchful eyes of the assistant class teacher. Just as the roll call was coming to an end, there was a burst of excitement among the students of class 2-C.

The voice came from a student sitting beside the window, causing the whole class to rush to the windows, squashing themselves against the glass while ignoring the admonitions of the assistant class teacher. Taiga, who didn't become cannon fodder in the end, also rushed to the windows, climbing on top of the heads of her classmates to get a look outside the window.

"Enough! I'm going home!"

"You're not allowed to go home! Idiot!"

"Ca-Ca-Ca-Calm down, anyway just calm down first!"

The three figures who were repeating the above sentences were currently entangled at the stairwell. They were the single woman (30), the middle-aged disciplinary teacher, and...

"Blo-Blond hair! What's with that hair!"

"It can't be! Is it really Maruo!?"

"Impossible! Kitamura's has become a delinquent!"

"Be seated! Don't look outside! Alright now, be seated!"

The assistant class teacher forcibly dragged the students by the collar one by one away from the windows. But Taiga could only stare in a daze at the scene outside. The person who was making a beeline for the school gate... His collar being clutched by someone, the front buttons of his uniform jacket flying off, the buttons on his white shirt also missing, his upper body almost naked, the person who broke the school rules and was now struggling to break free of the teachers' grip... It could only be Kitamura.

Although his hair had been dyed a golden blond, it definitely was Kitamura Yuusaku.

"Alright, sit down quietly... Gah..."

Taiga, who was holding her breath, not noticing that her elbow had gone straight into the stomach of the assistant class teacher, had only one question in her mind. "Why?"


  • *


In the end, Kitamura was dragged back to school, and seemed to be locked in the interview room for now.

"Yuri-sensei's English lesson and morning's homeroom all became self-study sessions. I guess she's still interrogating Kitamura, right?"

Noto, who brought back this information, was biting on his fork, the eyes behind his black-rimmed spectacles revealing a deep-seated worry while pouring ketchup onto his fried chicken.

Theoretically, lunchtime should be a happy time, but Ryuuji, Noto, Taiga and the others who were seated at the same table while looking at the bentous in front of them, wore the same dark expression on their faces... Ryuuji's expression had already surpassed "dark", and was now in the "horrifying" region. "As if nothing has happened"... the single woman's well-meaning plan had failed, and now the whole class knew about Kitamura's newly-dyed hair. Even then, Ryuuji still wanted to keep the details away from his classmates as much as possible, so as to protect Kitamura to the fullest extent. Although he thought this way, how would it play out in reality...

"His parents will probably be called to school... Oh yes, what's Haruta doing at a time like this?"

"Sigh..." Noto, who was munching on a piece of fried chicken, wore a distasteful expression on his face.

"He should have gone to buy bread... Both of Kitamura's parents are working, so I don't think it'll be possible to get them to come to school during office hours...but his parents should already have found out about his hair. Taiga, mayonnaise."

"Mmm..."

"Becoming more like father and daughter...", Noto muttered softly. Ryuuji squeezed mayonnaise on both his and Taiga's fried chicken in front of him. After squeezing the mayonnaise, Ryuuji immediately cleared the empty packaging so as to prevent Taiga's elbow from squashing it or to prevent her getting some of the leftover mayonnaise onto her sleeve. He even cleared Noto's empty ketchup packaging. "Thank you." Noto waved his fork lightly.

"But it's really scary... Just what happened to Kitamura? It feels rather lonely for my messages to be ignored..."

"And he suddenly came to school with blond hair."

"Hmm, we should keep this a secret... Ah."

A piece of Noto's fried chicken suddenly swapped places with a piece of Ryuuji's homemade chicken. Although Ryuuji was preoccupied with Kitamura's situation, his wicked eyes that were flashing with blue-white flames immediately saw that his friend's bento only contained convenience store food, and so began to exchange side dishes with his chopsticks.

"Thanks, I was thinking that your bento looks really delicious."

"Take it, it's nothing much."

"Of course it's something, Ryuuji's cooking is extremely delicious...huh?"

"Gah..."

Taiga turned to Noto with a bewildered look, a groan emanating from her mouth.

"Ah, you want this too? Just take it if you don't mind the convenience store food that my lazy mother likes to use."

Noto noticed Taiga's expression and placed a piece of fried chicken onto the cover of her bentou. Your bentous are identical again today... Even Noto didn't feel like saying such things at this time. Taiga, on the other hand, placed one of Ryuuji's homemade rolls onto Noto's bentou in exchange. Although the two of them didn't say anything, their converging glances transcended all words. Exchanged... Yes, exchanged... A distinctly human-like exchange of culture took place between Taiga and Noto for the first time ever.

"Sigh..."

The two of them sighed and fell silent at the same time. Both Taiga and Noto were also worried about Kitamura.

It was only now that Ryuuji came to a realization - his abnormal actions are definitely not the effects of burnout sickness. If he was able to notice the abnormality sooner, then maybe the problem could have been solved before it expanded to the point where even the teachers had to be involved. But it was too late, Kitamura had already become a delinquent. If the positions of the two were reversed today, then Kitamura would surely have gotten involved the moment Ryuuji started to exhibit signs of abnormal behavior.

"I really...don't have the right to be his best friend..."

"Hey! Move aside, you peasant! Mr. Magistrate! I've brought the murderer!"

The shoulders which had slumped due to depression, were startled into raising up again.

"How could you say that!? That's mean! I'm not from Hokkaido!"

"You idiot, you better apologize to the people of Hokkaido until your throat bleeds!"

"Achoo!"

The constable, who had suddenly appeared, hooked her fingers into the nose of the the murderer and pulled upwards, transforming the lunchtime classroom into a court of justice. And the murderer, who was on the ground besides the feet of Ryuuji, Noto and Taiga was...

"Noto! Takasu! Save me!!! Minori is so callous! I didn't do anything at all! I didn't burn father's wooden hut!"

"Save your explanations for the other world."

"Wha-What do you mean? I don't understand you! Your jokes are always above me!"

The naturally air-headed Haruta shook his head vigorously. The constable who held Haruta down to prevent him from escaping was none other than Minori.

"Ha-Haruta, what are you doing!?"

"I say, Kushieda, you shouldn't be stepping on him with your shoes on...and who is Mr. Magistrate..."

"Everyone has a Mr. Governor in their hearts! Everyone has an important...purpose!"

The two guys couldn't help but to help their friend, who had tears in his eyes, up, while giving a place to the constable. After Minori sat down, she pulled on Haruta's chin roughly, demanding that he confess.

Haruta started to speaking while sniffing loudly,

"I really didn't do anything... just that Kitamura called me last night. I said, 'Hey, isn't this Kitamura? What happened to you today?', to which he replied, 'It's nothing, sorry for making you guys worry, I'm sorry', and suddenly asked, 'Didn't you dye your hair a really cool-looking blond during the holidays? How did you do it? Please teach me, handsome Haruta!' So I told him where to buy the dye, and that the time used to apply the dye is roughly three times the stipulated time, and then to wrap aluminum foil around his head and dry with a hair-dryer to obtain that shiny hair color! That's all I told him!"

Ryuuji thought about it,

"Your impression of Kitamura probably underwent a paradigm shift right..."

"No, not like that." Ryuuji moved closer to Haruta with an extremely fierce expression,

"Didn't you ask him the reason for that kind of question!?"

"Ah! Your face is so scary!"

Although not on the same level as Ryuuji, but Noto also glared at Haruta beside Ryuuji,

"That's right! Takasu and I have been worried sick as we haven't been able to contact him the whole of yesterday! You were actually casually chatting with him?"

"How was I to know that Kitamura would dye his hair blonde! Ah... but I feel that it suits him... At least from afar right!? Haha!"

To use "casual" to describe this idiot was a gross understatement. His stupid expression detonated Minori's barely reined-in rage.

"Ah, I smell a thickheaded idiot here! This isn't the problem! The problem is why you didn't have any questions to ask Kitamura, who had left school in that manner!?"

"But even if he told me a lot of things, I would only remember the latter part of what he said! Because the earlier memories would have been squeezed out of my brain by the later memories!"

"You bastard! Useless brain! Useless brain! If you had taken the chance to ask him properly, Kitamura-kun, Kitamura-kun would have...! You bastard! I'll squeeze everything out of your head!"

"Ah~ I'll be extremely bothered by that~! I still have a life to live~!"

Minori grabbed the front of Haruta's shirt and shook it violently. At this time, someone pressed down on her hand. Surprisingly, it was Taiga.

"Minori, it's only a waste of time to lecture this idiot with reason."

Tears welled up in Haruta's eyes, who was currently surrounded on all sides by hostile forces,

"Tai-Taiga! I never thought that you would help me! I'm so happy! So touched! From today onwards I won't call you Aisaka anymore, I'll call you Taiga! Please call me Koji too!"

"I don't remember allowing a nameless pig like you to touch me with your trotters! Do I look like I'm very familiar with you!?"

"Ah!"

Haruta, who was preparing to move over to Taiga, received a merciless kick to the chin. Taiga's lowered gaze toward Haruta contained extreme annoyance and loathing, looking like a poisonous snake who was baring its teeth. The uncovered humiliation translated into the color of blood, making its presence known on Taiga's shaking lips. Yet, she didn't intend to lecture this idiot with reason, and it was obvious that jealousy had burnt Taiga's heart black. That's all there was to it.

"In any case... I'm extremely angry...! Why did he contact someone like you, and not me... I also sent messages to him asking if he was alright...!"

"Oh! Taiga sent messages to him too? Haha! That's great!!!"

Haruta, who was sitting down on the floor, exhibited his degree of stupidity to the largest extent, pointing towards Taiga with both hands, nonchalantly stepping into the sensitive topic that nobody dared to touch,

"It's like this~ You're jealous! Jealous! Looks like the rumors are true, you're romantically involved with Kitamura! That's so hot! So~hot! Taiga and Kitamura are hot~ Huhu! Ahahaha...ha!"

"Ryuuji, can I kill him? Can I?"

Taiga raised Haruta's head with one hand while laughing maniacally at the same time. Although she was laughing, her wide eyes were like black holes, and the lips that were laughing uncontrollably were coated with fresh blood as a result of her biting too hard.

"Ahahahahahahaha!", just like a broken doll, her neck swung from left to right, making cracking sounds. Ryuuji, paralyzed with fear, was unable to stop her. Taiga lifted Haruta off the ground into a kneeling position. Haruta started to choke due to the lack of oxygen, and his arm that was previously flailing in an attempt to escape now hung limp by his side. He could really die! Noto and Minori quickly tried to loosen Taiga's grip, but their voices could no longer reach Taiga's ears. The right hand which held the face gave out a CRACK!, as if something had broken.

"Ahahahahahahahahahaha!"

"Ah, he's really dead..."

As everyone stood stunned,

"Hey, Takasu-kun! Is it true that Maruo's quitting the student council!?"

Bam! Haruta's body fell onto the ground, but he immediately put on that familiar idiotic face of his. Taiga, Noto and Minori all turned to the source of the voice, who seemed to be extremely flustered. Ryuuji quickly stood up at the mention of the "student council".

"I just heard it from Ami! Maruo sees the student council as an extremely important part of his life, so does he really intend to quit? I've also heard that the reason for his rebelliousness is connected to the student council president, is this true too?"

That person was Maya, who was ruffling her cream-colored hair in agitation. Normally, she wouldn't even go near them if Kitamura wasn't there. Behind Maya, Nanako's eyebrows were also wrinkled with worry. Ami was behind Nanako. Everything had been leaked by her. The single woman told us specifically not to mention it, but she told them everything... Ryuuji glared at her, to which she merely replied with a "So what?", immediately putting on an impeccable expression.

This woman is really...!

"What? Why? Have the two you heard anything? What does Ami know? Anyway, is Takasu hiding something from us?"

Upon hearing Noto's question, Ryuuji didn't have time to explain the situation before Ami cut him off.

"That's strange~ Noto-kun, didn't you hear anything from Takasu-kun? The two of us were called to the lecture room in the morning and saw Yuusaku there, and we were also asked a few strange questions~. It seems as though something happened within the student council. The student council president looked as though she knew everything~ right, Takasu-kun? Minori and the tiger were also there when Yuri-sensei forcibly dragged the two of us away right?"

Minori spoke,

"Yes, we saw it... Kano-senpai knows the reason behind Kitamura-kun's rebelliousness? The student council's the reason? Hey, this is the first time I'm hearing this. Takasu-kun, you told Taiga and me that the teachers only asked if you knew the reason for Kitamura's transformation right? What's going on, daughter-in-law? Did you think that us old people would not be of any help?"

"Gah...!"

My heart hurts, and my feet are unsteady, it would be better to just faint...but it's impossible to faint on command. Ryuuji turned around, and saw that Noto's eyes had marked him as a liar, and even Taiga's eyes emitted a murderous red light. "Ah...", looking at the situation, Ami revealed an irritatingly sweet angelic smile,

"Takasu-kun, why did you have to lie~? Minori and the others are really pitiful, they've all been misled by you... We're all friends, and everyone's just as worried as you. That's right, Takasu-kun is this kind of person~."

"Takasu-kun...! Is the magistrate in your heart weeping!?"

As he was scolded by his beloved Minori, Ryuuji felt hopeless, and glared back at Ami.

"You, you! Big traitor! Everyone listen to me, it's not like this! Sensei didn't want the whole situation to be blown up, so she asked the two of us to keep quiet for Kitamura's sake! Sensei said she would restore Kitamura to his normal self as though nothing happened! But you actually revealed everything so happily...!"

"That's ludicrous. It's just a small thing. What harm can come about if I talk about it? Anyway, the situation has already been blown up, and it's not like we're very clear about the details either~. Furthermore, Yuusaku quitting the student council is hardly any new information, you all remember that he was screaming about it as he ran out of the classroom yesterday right?"

"It's the first time I'm hearing this..."

"Yup, first time, first time."

"He said something like that?"

"No, I only remember Maruo shouting."

"I don't remember it either."

"My memories of yesterday are long gone."

Everyone crossed their hands in front of their chests, exchanging looks, going into an emergency meeting together. Ami snorted coldly, looking at her classmates, the curved corners of her mouth completely exposing her real personality. Someone lightly poked her on the shoulder,

"See, it's new information! Why did you reveal everything? The single woman asked us to keep silent because she didn't want to cause a commotion. What are you doing by spreading it around!?"

"Huh...? But I'm a natural air-head, and I'm not good at lying, so it just slipped out of my mouth."

"That's fake! You and your twisted personality! You evil person!"

Ryuuji finally said it, feeling a sense of accomplishment that made him shudder slightly. But in front of him, Ami's eyebrows merely showed that she was unconcerned,

"Don't be mistaken, Takasu-kun. I'm not an evil person, I'm a real honest person. Don't you see someone who's happy because she knows that Kitamura quit the student council? Isn't it all because I told the truth?"

"Look there!" An unmistakable laugh came from the direction in which Ami was pointing: Taiga's shaking shoulders. "Argh!" Ryuuji pulled Taiga behind him, blocking everyone's view so that her laughing face would not be seen by anyone else, whispering to her,

"Tai-Taiga... Your reaction isn't right!? Now's not the time to laugh!?"

Even though she was trying her hardest not to laugh, Taiga still squinted her eyes like a wild animal hiding in the shadows, laughing soundlessly with her abdominal muscles,

"Of course I'm worried about Kitamura-kun, and I also hope that he'll revert back to his normal self soon, but, but...! It's great to hear that Kitamura-kun's quitting the student council! Now he'll have cut off all connections with the self-styled monkey boss who's as irritating as a female mosquito..."

Such a self-centered kind of joy... How could someone be so selfish? "Look!" Taiga was really on the same level as Ami, who was laughing loudly. Just as evil of a person. Ryuuji's evil look was like the expression of a blood-soaked head which had just been separated from its body, and was now planning to bite the jugular vein of the executioner. The evilness of the girls made him extremely afraid.

"In any case, the key to Maruo's rebelliousness lies with the student council right? Yes, it's reasonable, since he went crazy at the mention of the student council! The student council is like Maruo's 'life', looks like the situation is extremely serious! What can we do for Maruo?"

Maya balled her hands into fists, moving forward passionately. "Calm down calm down." Nanako tried to calm the red-faced, serious-looking Maya.

"That's right, Ami! Do you have any ideas?"

"Hmm... You're asking me?"

"Yes, of course we're asking you, since you're reliable and also Maruo's childhood friend. Please help us to get Maruo back to normal!"

Would her nice demeanor crack under this question...? Ryuuji crossed his arms in front of his chest, but didn't speak.

"How reliable can the stupid chihuahua be!"

"Ah!"

Taiga spoke for him. At the same time, she also stuck a piece of french fry from Noto's bentou straight into Ami's nostril, boldly and aggressively seeking the deeper reaches. Noto and Haruta stared at Ami's nostril, while Ryuuji, still nursing the psychological trauma of the peppermint-flavored lip balm, subconsciously rubbed his nose. Looks like Taiga has learned another useless violent move.

"Stupid chihuahua's 'stupid' is the stupid from stupid idiot! Stupid chihuahua does not have the necessary brains, disposition, and most importantly, gentleness! The only thing that that stupid chihuahua is good at doing is imitation, and she's not even good at that!"

"It...It's really painful, you idiot!"

"Gong..."

Ami hit Taiga on the head while rubbing her painful nose. "Ami, tissue!" "Give it to me!" Maya and Nanako provided tissues, and Minori took hold of Taiga's small head and shook it,

"Hey! Taiga! You can't do this!"

The other hand brushed the hair that had fallen onto her cheeks back behind her ears.

"What's so bad about an imperfect imitation? Third year~! Class B!"

"Minori, shut up! Now's not the time for that! Salt's coming out of Ami's nose!"

"Ma-Maya, you don't have to be so specific!"

Ami roughly grabbed the tissue from Maya's hands, glaring at Taiga with tears in her eyes.

"Tiger... I'm seriously angry today..."

"You're still so arrogant even with the salt from your nose glinting brightly, baldy."

"I'm not a baldy!"

"Bald, bald!"

"I'm not bald!"

The entire male population kept an uneasy silence at the unforeseeable future. Inherited...pressure...provocation to the scalp...aging...unavoidable destiny...no! The sensitive male heart was like a kaleidoscope, emitting a myriad of unsettling colors. But Taiga and Ami's sharp words gave no thought to the young hearts of the boys present, and instead were getting sharper by the minute.

"Yes yes, stupid chihuahua is a monstrosity with an extremely high rate of hair growth, not bald, not bald!"

"What!? I'm really angry now! I'm bald alright!? Yes, I'm bald! Bald!"

Ah... Now even the girls in the classroom were dyed with a tinge of depression.

"Darn! Whatever makes you happy! Ami-chan... Ami-chan's tired of all this! Work hard by yourself, you stupid mini tiger! Oh yes, I heard that you're Yuusaku's new squeeze right!? That's extremely stupid! I don't know, maybe your brains, gentleness, speed and whatever are enough~! Hmph, but your height is definitely not enough!"

"Ami, is it true!?"

Maya bravely pushed the fang-baring Taiga away, shouting nervously. Ami was past caring about her mask, totally exposing her real personality, twisting her beautiful face to shout,

"All of you don't understand the real Yuusaku! The good student who only cries like a baby in his comfort zone is only asking for attention! You'll only look stupid if you were to worry about that idiot! Since Maya and Nanako are so worried about him, then I'll tell you. To tell the truth, he isn't the person that you see on the surface!"

After speaking, the panting evil chihuahua put on an expression of self-satisfaction, coldly staring at the students who were worried about Kitamura, including Ryuuji.

"Has everyone forgotten? It's already the winter of our second year, time to seriously consider the college exams. Don't care about that golden-haired person, since he's probably trying to run away from the harsh realities of life. Everyone shouldn't have any extra time to worry about Yuusaku right? During the time you all are worrying about him, your other competitors in the same level are already going for revision classes, preparing for their futures, surpassing all of you. In any case, Yuusaku the good student might abandon all of you who are spending such precious time on him to study hard by himself to get to a good university. He doesn't need to be student council president to be outstanding, since he's such a well-loved kid with a bright future."

"He should also know that someone will come and save him the moment he cries."

For some reason, the last sentence sounded like a soliloquy.

No one was able to rebut Ami, for everyone was rendered speechless at the argument that was painfully correct. Slap! Ami clapped her hands together, once again putting on her nice mask,

"That's it. Alright, everyone! Lunch break is almost over, start preparing for the next lesson! Time is limited, life will never be able to move forward if we're always doing happy things like cultural festivals. Alright, Noto-kun, finish your bentou quickly. Hey, Haruta-kun, wipe off your saliva. Takasu-kun, you'll be arrested for your face, quickly go for plastic surgery."

"...Ho-How does that concern you!?"

"HAHAHA!" Ami suddenly changed her attitude and walked away while laughing malevolently. Ryuuji could only stare at her retreating figure, and turned to look at Minori, who had poked him in the shoulder, unable to speak due the awkwardness caused by the exposed lie. But...

"Takasu-kun... No, the magistrate in Takasu-kun's heart, do you want to go visit Kitamura-kun's home after school?"

"Huh...?"

Minori gave a surprising suggestion, toying with a strand of hair in front of Ryuuji, who couldn't bear to lift his head,

"Mmm... I'm still worried about him. Even if it's just for a while, I want to see him, though I don't know what happened to him in the student council, but let's go and visit him together? It would be awkward for a weak lady like me to visit a guy at his house. Looking at this kind of situation, I don't think Ami'll go with me. Taiga, are you going?"

Taiga had already squeezed in between Ryuuji and Minori even before her question, and was moving her head from side to side. Taiga's reason to Minori was, "I think that it'll be easier to talk to Kitamura-kun with fewer people," but she immediately turned around and revealed her true intentions to Ryuuji, "Though I really want to visit Kitamura's home, the most important thing right now is to make the current state of affairs continue like this... Truthfully, I really hope that Kitamura-kun will break away from the student council, so...you try your best to let the current state of affairs continue like this! Stupid dog KORO!"


To go out with Minori after school, Ryuuji couldn't believe his luck in securing such a wonderful event. But Ryuuji's worry about the difficulty of his mission overshadowed his feelings of happiness. He ignored Taiga's selfish wish, and did not think that Kitamura would listen to them just because they visited his home. He didn't understand Kitamura's line of thought, but also did not believe Ami's explanation that the whole fiasco stemmed from Kitamura's feelings for the student council president.

Although the reason remained unknown, Kitamura had really become a delinquent. It could be deduced that the reason had something to do with the student council, or even the student council president herself. By paying a visit to the Kitamura residence, Ryuuji hoped to obtain some kind of a clue, no matter how minute, regarding Kitamura's actions so that they could work on getting his best friend back to normal.

The afternoon lessons had started, but Ryuuji's facial expression was now extremely fierce, such that none of the teachers dared to look him straight in the eye. The boring classical literature lesson continued amid the teacher's inability to warn Ryuuji not to look out of the window and the absence of the class representative.

Light Novel
Main Series' Volumes

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