Himeji – [8] Saiki: 「It’s heavy having to carry someone on your shoulders」

The  fourth day after the First Bank incident. (Haa) Hiroki groaned. In the living room before school, he caught the sight of the lottery ticket

(What should I do?…)

It had been four days since the First Bank incident, but he still hadn’t found a bank that met his requirements. Crossing his arms, Hiroki wrinkled his brow and stared at the lottery ticket.

(I can’t help but think……)

Hiroki places the lottery ticket into his wallet and prepared for school.

「Hey!! Hiroki!!」

「Saiki」

「Go..Good Morning!」

With a loud greeting, he put his bag on the desk. The seat in front of Hiroki was Saiki’s seat.

「What’s the matter? You don’t seem to be sleeping well.」

「No, it’s just that I was searching for something and I was trying to find it online.」

Hiroki had spent the last four days after the incident at the First Bank looking for a bank that met his requirements. This had left him with dark circles around his eyes.

「Ho, what were you looking for?」

「Lots of things」

「Tell me ! 」

Hiroki will never tell the truth. Even if he answers,『I’m looking for a bank』, the following questions would start flowing in. As such he has to cut out anything that leads to the lottery.  The teacher in charge of the next lesson came in through the classroom door.

———-

「That’s all for today.」

The last class of the day is over and the teacher is gathering the materials.

「Stand up and bow.」

And with that, everyone prepared to leave school. It was a peaceful day like usual.

「You know, we’ve been talking a lot lately.」

「Yes, we have.」

Since the day he taught me  combat skills, Hiroki and Saiki’s relationship has grown deeper than before.

「Are you going to the arcade later?」

「…No, I’ve got plans later.」

「 Looking for something?」

「Uhhh」

Hiroki has more important things to do than go to the arcade with friends, so he declined Saiki’s proposal.

「Hoo, I see, later then.」

「Ou」

The homeroom teacher finishes the last thing to be said before school ends.

「Stand up,  bow.」

There are some who start talking to their friends while some leave immediately and some go to club activities. Hiroki and Saiki are the ones who left immediately.

「See you later! I’m going to go to the arcade now! I’ll invite you again!」

「If my plans get cancelled, I’ll come. 」

Saiki leaves Hiroki behind and walks out of the classroom. Hiroki also puts his bag on his shoulder and leaves the classroom.

 (What’s with the gathering?)

There was a crowd of people at the exit when Hiroki went to the shoe box. The students were not related by grade or gender and all were looking at the wall to the right of the exit. Hiroki wanted to check it out, but the crowd was blocking his view.

「Oh, Hiroki.」

「What’s with the crowd, Saiki?」

A person from the wall of the crowd peeled away. The one who peeled off was Saiki, who had been with me a while ago.

「Ahh, there is a celebrity 」

「A celebrity?」

「I don’t know if it’s true.」

Saiki replied with uncertainty.

「I heard there’s a student from combat studies here. And a pretty big one.」

「Combat studies?Are you sure?」

「No, from what I hear, Shiori Himeji seems to be there.」

「Shiori Himeji?」

Hiroki was told a name which he had never heard before. But from the crowd of people spread out in front of him, he could tell that she is an amazing person.

「An idol?」

「An idol, in a way. However, I don’t even know if it’s her. Information about Combat Studies is kinda restricted, so there aren’t many pictures.」

「Oh. So, how do you know Shiori Himeji is an idol?」

「She’s pretty and strong.」

There are strong and cute combat studies students.

(I want to see a little..)

「Saiki, squat down for a second.」

「Hmm? I understand…”」

Saiki questioned Hiroki’s request, but he crouched down without asking any questions. Hiroki pinched Saiki’s neck between his legs and put his weight on it.

「Alright, now stand up.」

「Am I your servant??!」

As Saiki complained, he stood up.

(Let’s see…)

Hiroki glances towards the back of the crowd. He saw a girl with long, bright brown hair leaning against the wall. She was looking at the crowd depressingly, but she was looking around as if she was looking for someone.

(Hmmm? Where have I seen that before ……)

When Hiroki saw her face, he felt that he had seen her somewhere before. It was a little strange, but her eyes and face were very similar to the ones that were deeply etched in Hiroki’s mind.

(I believe she was at the bank ……)

Hiroki froze.

(Gotcha. ……)

Leaning against the wall at the exit of the shoe room, Shiori was devastated by her failure. Deciding that Hiroki Ogino was smarter than her, Shiori didn’t try to fool him. Therefore, she came to Hiroki’s school straight up.

(I kept thinking about Hiroki and forgetting how well known I am)

Himeji Shiori was very well known. She sometimes wore a disguise for missions. However, when she was at the bank, she wore light make-up to leverage her student status and avoided making a lot of changes.

(Maybe I shouldn’t have come without makeup…)

She had decided that Hiroki would see through her disguise and came here without concealing herself to show that she wasn’t up to anything.

But that idea had its downfall which was creating this crowd.

(But with such a large crowd, the chances of Hiroki showing up might increase.)

Rewriting her failure as a step towards success, Shiori checks the faces of the crowd one by one.

(Not around..)

Shiori checked the timetable and waited here before dismissal time. Hiroki’s class’s shoe box is also here. So it was deduced that Hiroki would use this exit.

(Come on, …… hmm?)

Shiori was muttering to herself about Hiroki not showing up at all, but then she saw something.

From the depths of the crowd, something started standing out. The moment she saw it, her mind froze. 

The man she had been searching for had suddenly popped out above the crowd at the back. She froze at the unexpected reunion.

「「……」」

Both of them were silent as they looked at each other. It was Hiroki who made the first move.

「Saiki ……, put me down …….」

「Copy that.」

Shiori stared at Hiroki as he slowly sank back into the crowd of people.

It was like a scene from a movie where a cruise ship is sinking into the sea.

Once Hiroki got down from Saiki, in a smooth fluid motion, he took his shoes from his shoebox, and ran along the corridor away from the exit in front of him.

(WHY IS SHE THEREEEEE!!)

Screaming in his mind, he started accelerating. Hiroki started to run towards another exit.

「HIROKIII!!!!!」

As Shiori regained her senses, she shouted Hiroki’s name without thinking. However, it had already been ten seconds since Hiroki had run away from the scene. With the noise of the crowd, Shiori’s cry did not reach Hiroki.

「Damnit!」

Shiori has started to strengthen her human body abilities with combat power.  There were no visible changes, but her legs were steadily being strengthened. It took only three seconds to strengthen her legs.

「!!」

She slammed her right foot hard into the ground and leaped forward over the crowd in front of her. Then, Shiori landed in the place where Hiroki had been a moment ago, but there was no sign of him.

There were long corridors on both sides where Shiori was standing.

(Where did he go?!)

Strengthening the human body. Next would be the enhancement of the eyes. I look everywhere in the left corridor, but when I see that he is not there, I turn to the right corridor.

Shiori recognized Hiroki from seventy meters away, turning the corner of the corridor.

(I found you!!)

Shiori was laughing. But that smile would appear as sinister to Hiroki.

The leg strengthening wasn’t stopping yet as Shiori headed for the corridor where Hiroki had disappeared.

Himeji - [7] Shiori: 「Oh! I need to be stronger than I am now if I want him to accept me! I'll work hard to make a black, long, fat thorn! I'll make thorns that will satisfy his body!」
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