Chapter 3 – Sakamoto Ryuji
I, Sakamoto Ryuji, am a very ordinary high school student turning 17 this year.
On weekdays, I go back and forth between home and school.
And on weekends, I meet my childhood friend Maya, and exercise or play games with my sister all night.
That was my basic life pattern.
But this week something got twisted from the first day.
I was unlucky in many ways because on my way to school, in an alley, I bumped into a girl I had never seen before, I forgot to bring the lunch box that my sister made for me and lost my wallet in my pocket.
The Ichijo academy I am currently attending is a private high school with a high deviation value in Tokyo.
I was supposed to go to a school near my house, but somehow, I came here with the connections of my parents, two archaeologists.
They seemed to know someone there and asked for me to attend this high school.
I have a sister who’s two years younger than me, and my parents, who are archaeologists, often go on business trips abroad, so most of the time I am alone with my younger sister.
When I was young, my parents were cold-hearted but now I’m honestly thankful.
Because there’s no one to say anything even if I play late at home.
When I finally arrived at school today, I opened the back door to class 2-B.
Then what came into my sight was a back as large as the Pacific and bursting arm muscles that could not be hidden even by a wide gakuran1.
And I knew this guy’s name.
A common name –
“The best man of the academy”, Kim Yoo-sung.
He was not seen as a classmate of the same age due to his macho appearance, and there were all kinds of rumors about Kim Yoo-sung.
He was rumored to be the heir of an assassination organization, had a star-shaped mole on his neck, and was the favorite of the top three bosses of the Yakuza.
The truth is unknown, but the first impression itself was not so bad.
Basically, not only he tries to answer as kindly as possible when someone talks to him, but he was also reading the latest issue of Jump2 during break.
Contrary to the chaotic rumors, maybe he’s a good guy.
Not long after I entered the classroom, when HR time came, Matsuda, the second-grade student dean and homeroom teacher, came in.
Matsuda came from the teacher’s room with the eyes almost closed for a moment, yawned, and said to the temporary class president, who was picked yesterday,
“Class president, the greetings.”
Then the girl with a ribbon in the hair, who looked like a model student, jumped up from her seat and shouted.
“Yes! Your attention, everyone! Salute the teacher!”
Matsuda, greeted by a moderate wave of hands, opened the attendance book on his side and began the students’ roll call.
By default, attendance numbers are in the order of the Hiragana.
My family name, Sakamoto, is in the middle so I was called a little later after he started calling the attendance.
Since the names of the students were called one by one, and the last names are katakana, it was Kim Yoo-sung’s turn, which was almost at the end.
Matsuda, still half asleep, read the name on the attendance list without much thought.
Then, Kim Yoo-sung, who sat quietly in the back seat of the class, talked for the first time.
“It’s Kim Yoo-sung.”
A heavy low tone as if he just popped out of a yakuza movie.
As soon as we heard his voice, the whole classroom was nervous.
Shaking – Shaking –
It was the same for Matsuda, who had a sleepy look on his face at the moment.
He corrected himself immediately when he realized his slip of the tongue.
“Ah, Kim Yoosung.
I’m sorry I called you wrong.”
He was speaking as nonchalantly as possible, but everyone could see that his body was trembling.
Like a mouse in front of a lion, he instinctively and sincerely surrendered to a male superior to him.
But as soon as Kim Yoo-sung bowed, and said it was okay, Matsuda said, “Thank you…” and managed to finish the attendance check.
I thought Matsuda would start the class as it was, but suddenly he cleared his throat and said in a serious tone.
“I know it’s only been a day since the new semester started but be quiet for a second.”
Then, the noisy classroom became as quiet as a lie.
Matsuda, who nodded with satisfaction at the sight, suddenly made an explosive statement.
“We have a transfer student in our class.
Since they’re from far away, there must be a lot of unfamiliar things for them, so please be careful.”
Then Matsuda, shouted to someone outside the classroom.
“Hey! Come in!”
However, I was not particularly interested in the unknown transfer student, so I turned my head and looked outside the window.
I could feel the atmosphere of spring with the cherry blossom trees.
Right after, a lively voice, believed to be that of the transfer student, could be heard.
“My name is Kishimoto Rika! I come from Shizuoka! I like cats, sweets and Natto jiru3! Please take care of me this year!”
“Then your seat Kishimoto… Over there is a good place.”
After listening to Matsuda, I turned my head casually.
I found a familiar face in front of me and raised my voice without realizing it.
“You! You’re the one I bumped into in the alley this morning!”
“You’re the pervert of this morning!”
“Who’s a pervert?!”
What a game of fate was this?
I didn’t know that the thug I bumped into in the school’s alley in the morning was a new transfer student.
The teacher, who heard the conversation between us, said, “You two know each other, that’s great,” and urged the thug to go and sit down.
Then, as if she couldn’t help it, the thug sitting next to me put her bag on the desk, glanced at me, and turned her head with a nasal sound.
I thought that I was misunderstood because I happened to see her underwear.
While thinking about how to make an apology naturally, she took something out of her bag and held it out.
“This is yours, isn’t it?”
What she handed out was the wallet I lost in the morning.
When I hurriedly checked the contents, the money and the card were still there.
I tried to thank her straight away, but she still didn’t give me any attention as if the grudge wasn’t settled.
In the end, until Matsuda’s class was over, I couldn’t talk to the thug next to me.
At the end of the first period, the classmates flocked to talk to the transfer student.
Because of this, I missed once again the opportunity to apologize, and had no choice but to step aside like a defeated soldier.
As I came out of the hallway and stared blankly at the campus, Maya who followed me, asked.
“Ryuji, what did you do to the transfer student?”
I was naturally forced to lie to my childhood friend’s question.
“Huh? It’s not a big deal.
We had a physical contact because I was running down the school road this morning, and we bumped into each other.
That’s why she called me a pervert.”
“Really? I’m glad to hear that…”
Maya muttered, glancing at the transfer student in the class, and advised me in a serious tone.
“If it’s your fault Ryuji, apologize first.
“All right, all right.
People will think you’re my mother.”
“Is that so~?”
I hurriedly ran away to the classroom, avoiding Maya, who was about to enter discipline mode with her hands on her waist as usual.
However, overshadowing such determination, the transfer student was determined to completely ignore me and didn’t talk to me until the end of the fourth period.
At this point, I was starting to get frustrated.
I organized my textbooks and grabbed the transfer student by the wrist, probably trying to have lunch with other girls.
“What are you doing all of a sudden?”
“I need to talk to you personally.
Can you come with me for a second?”
I don’t know if it’s because the sound of our conversation was loud but the eyes of the other students who were still in the class were focused on us.
To be honest, I was incredibly embarrassed, but I plucked up my courage and spoke.
“It’s about this morning’s accident.”
Then, the expression of the transfer student, who had always been cold, slightly loosened for the first time.
“…Well then, just a minute.”
With her approval, it was no longer necessary to remain in the class.
Whether the others watched us or not, I pulled her by the arm.
I was going to go to the campus behind the school, which is rarely crowded during lunch time.
As I walked out of the back door with the transfer student, I made eye contact with Kim Yoo-sung, who was sitting at the desk in front of me.
With the chair slightly pulled back, he had this crooked position where you sit with your hands in your pants pockets.
I flinched for a moment, but soon realized that I didn’t have time for this, so I hurried out of the classroom.
Since it was lunch time, there were a lot of students running toward the cafeteria, so the hallway was chaotic.
When I arrived at my destination, the campus behind school, through the emergency stairs on the opposite side of the cafeteria, my back at a right angle and the arms folded in front of me I shouted at the transfer student.
“Sorry! I didn’t do it on purpose!”
After a moment of eternal silence, a laugh suddenly came from above.
Covering her mouth with the sleeves of the cardigan she wore over her dress, she said with a cat-like smile,
“You’re so naïve, aren’t you?”
The moment I saw her face, I realized.
That the transfer student in front of me pretended to be angry on purpose.
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