Kannazuki Karen and Hiiragi Seiichi
TL: Mabbo TLC: Fairy, Editor: Tim
Author’s Note: I fucked up. Thanks for waiting
I——Kannazuki Karen, am in love.
When I was young, being a strong willed girl, I helped other girls who got bullied. At that time, I had short hair and dressed like a tomboy unlike now, therefore, I was often bullied by the boys around my age.
The name of my household——【Kannazuki Group】 didn’t hold any might in front of children who ignorant to how society worked. Well, even if it did, I didn’t plan to exploit it. Meanwhile, while I was saving a girl from a bully as usual, the moment the bullies attention turned to me——he appeared.
「Don’t bully girls!」
The owner of that voice was also the person I yearned for——Hiiragi Seiichi. Similarly in high school, he was bullied in his childhood due to his appearances. But even so, he had his parents with him and thus never succumbed to those bullies.
And that Seiichi who had been bullied since childhood somehow protected me from the bullies instead. Even though Seiichi and I did not even know each other’s name at that time, even when I come across the scene of Seiichi being bullied, I couldn’t’ bring myself to pretend not to see despite being a justice for women only.
Sure enough, the bullies’ target moved to Seiichi.
「Don’t speak to me, you make me sick, idiot.」
「Haah!? Only idiots call others idot!」
「It’s noisy you ugly.」
「Haah?! Only uglies call others——Eh!? It’s true!?」
Seiichi in the past was like this. Even though he was bullied, he didn’t seem to play the part. However, the death of his parents also caused him to lost that attitude.
Seiichi’s parents whom I met long time ago, even though they were slightly odd parents, they supported Seiichi who got bullied and loved him so much that even I, a stranger could tell. I think that it’s precisely because he was raised by such parents Seiichi didn’t grow twisted even though he was bullied so much. And then, the boys who bullied Seiichi started to assault him physically.
「Go die you shit.」
「Wai!? It hurts! I’m against violence!」
It was a series of blows and kicks, and soon after Seiichi became a ragged cloth. No matter how strong my will was, I was frightened by the boys who seriously beating Seiichi up and couldn’t stop them. After a while, maybe because they were bored, they left Seiichi all alone with a fed up expression on them. Only after that, I finally could move myself, and I immediately rushed Seiichi’s place.
「A, are you alright!?」
「Hee … I can see a flower field …」
「No way! S, someone! Call the ambulance….!」
「Just kidding! It’s just a joke! Sorry for making fun of you!」
「Wha!? Why would you do that!?」
After asking him in a slightly forceful tone, Seiichi answered awkwardly.
「…I mean, you were afraid, aren’t you? That’s why, in order to make you feel okay… 」
Not paying to mind at the tattered state he is in, Seiichi told a joke to reassure me. I inadvertently asked Seiichi-kun who was trying to get up while enduring the pain.
「Why did you save me? We’re not even acquaintances, are we?」
「A, akuatenance? I don’t really understand, but you do know some hard words huh.」
「Answer me seriously.」
When I told him that, Seiichi-kun answered me this as if it was the most natural thing ever.
「I mean, there’s a girl in trouble. I have to save her.」
A stupid voice leaked out from my mouth. Seiichi-kun continued.
「Dad told me you have to cherish a girl and treat them carefully! Of course, I also think the same.」
Seiichi-kun said so then grinned wide. With Seiichi-kun’s word, my face turned red in embarrassment as I, to date have never been treated as a lady. I unintentionally voiced the agitation i felt.
「N, no way … someone like me, a girl you said …」
「Uun … I think you’re cute though.」
Seiichi-kun said so as if he was performing his final blow. My face got even redder by that words.
「Y, you are … quite blatant, aren’t you.」
「I mean, Okaa-san told me to say whatever in my mind clearly or it won’t reach, you know? Words that will hurt people is no good, but you can’t hold back when praising or admiring something, she said!」
Certainly, it is the first time I had a face-to-face talk with him. But if one were to talk about seeing from afar Seiichi-kun who is famous for getting bullied, I have countless of them and they are all about him getting bullied. And in all of them, Seiichi-kun never held back when he asked them to stop.
But that only stirred the bullies’ sadistic tendency even further, it couldn’t be helped. In addition, Seiichi-kun was also hated among the girls even though he never did anything in particular. If he were to pointed such a straightforward words to the girls as he did now, the most he could get was being told disgusting. However, for me who had my fair share of adult’s conversation due to hearing it from father’s acquaintances, being told a honest feeling made me genuinely happy.
Besides, above all else, Seiichi-kun’s easygoing smile was very dazzling. After that, I began to act along with Seiichi-kun. You could say that it is my selfish, egoistic act to get rid of the guilt of ignoring Seiichi-kun till today. However, before I knew it, Seiichi-kun’s existence became something I cannot do without. I got to know with Seiichi-kun’s childhood friends, like Shota who had always been aloof since back then, and Kenji who was such a crybaby unlike now. I got myself a few best friends of my own age.
It was all thanks to Seiichi. It is solely thanks to the encounter with Seiichi-kun that I can proclaim to be the Kannazuki Karen I am today. In such a happy moments, the incident that made me fell in love with Seiichi-kun occured.
At that point of time, the world is in a economic slump. However, Kannazuki group took advantage of the bearish market and continued raking in profits. And then, I was caught up in the revenge of the people who had been deprived of their job by the Kannazuki group and got kidnapped.
At that time, other than me there was Seiichi, Shota and the rest, but only us three who were kidnapped. For some reason, Seiichi-kun was left behind. The people who kidnapped us demanded ransom. Therefore, we were treated very carefully, and there was no act of violence in particular.
Nevertheless, not only due the fact that we were kidnapped, Kenji was crying endlessly because they were armed with guns. Unusual for him, Shota cried out of fear as well. Well, it might be inevitable, considering his tender age. I am certain that I did not cry at that time, but my inner thoughts were in a mess. It was when that situation was continued for a while.
「EVERYOONNEEEE!!! WHERE ARE YOUUUU!!!???」
To my surprise——I heard Seiichi-kun’s voice. Seiichi-kun was certainly the only one who didn’t get kidnapped somehow, but I couldn’t wrap my head on how he did get to this place. It seemed like the kidnappers were just as puzzled as we were, leaving several people to guard us, they went to Seiichi-kun’s position.
「Oi … How did you get here?」
「I heard it from Karen-chan’s old man!」
「Hah? Old man you said?」
「Un! I heard it when the old man was talking on the phone!」
Listening to him, I immediately convinced. The kidnappers most probably demanded ransom, and they told Father the place to receive it by phone. Perhaps after he was left alone, Seiichi-kun immediately told Father about this, and he happened to be there when the phone conversation was happening. Even if that was the case, to think he’d come all alone…
「Oh, well … What did you come for? Did you go out of your way only to catch us?」
「No! Release them!」
「Just when I thought he’s say something big … boy, we can’t just obediently let them go. 」
「I don’t care about that! Just release them already!」
Seiichi-kun said so, then leapt to one of the kidnappers.
However, he was easily blown off, as children had no chance to win against adults.
「Boy … We, you see, we lost our work, our wives, our daughters, all because of their parents. You understand? Those were the days where our efforts and achievement were continuously being robbed by our shitty boss. In addition, we were even treated as incompetents within the company… But, even so, as long as our accomplishment took a shape and helped people, we didn’t mind even if we weren’t in the front stage. However, Kannazuki-group snatched all our job away from us. Our companies went bankrupt without a hitch, we didn’t have the money to feed our family, even our wives ran away from us… Not only that, why did the Kannazuki group only accepted those leeches who stole our achievements? What about us? What about our hard works!? A brat who knows nothing about hardship has no right to be on our way!!」
After the leader of the kidnapper band said so, he heard sniffling sounds from his surroundings.
Maybe it was a naive thought, but I took sympathy to them. If his story was true, then what brought them demise was not Kannazuki group, but their boss from their company, but for them, none of it matters any longer. As I was thinking so, Seiichi who had blown aside stood up while gritted his pain, and, with his face filled with tears, shouted.
We were all wide-eyed, never expected that Seiichi-kun would shouted back.
「I’m grateful to my mom for giving birth to me! I’m grateful, but … try looking at me, won’t you?! Where is my dream!? Where is my future!? I’m smelly and ugly and fat!! Even though I’m not fat because I want to … it’s not like I’m smelly because I wish it ….! Do you understand my feeling who gets bullied despite that!? You uncles got married, didn’t you!? You had a job, didn’t you!? Don’t be so spoiled! I lived my everyday in desperation, you know?! I’m scared to go to school! I’m afraid to get involved with people other than my family! It’s painful to just live! But there are many people who are more hurt than me out there! That’s why I do my best to live! Because dad and mom will get sad if I die! No matter how painful it is, I’ll do my best to live! Compared to that, you uncles are blessed aren’t you! Why can’t you understand something this simple!?」
「B, but … boy, you’re still a kid——」
「So what if I’m a kid!? Just look! Is this something you would go for life!? You think my future will be bright?!」
「I’m aware of it, but staying silent like that hurts me!」
The kidnappers were simply overwhelmed. The weight of each words spoken by Seiichi-kun weighed heavily on them. Indeed, their current situation might be tough. However, compared to that, Seiichi-kun has been fighting it upfront for years. The kidnappers completely sympathized with Seiichi-kun.
「Boy … you’re having a hard time too, huh …」
「Cheer up … You will never know what will happen in life …. ‘K?」
「Here, I’ll give you candy …」
Rather, they were comforting him with everything they could. Seiichi-kun was by no means proficient in his studies. Exercise is completely out of the scale. And the cruelest thing of all in this world is that the first impression of a person is mostly decided by appearance alone. Seiichi-kun’s appearance seems to be unsightly by the public’s eye. He’s very charming for me, However, in order for Seiichi-kun to obtain the happiness of a normal person, he has to go to the extent of reborning into a new person. That was why, as Seiichi-kun said himself, his own future was bleak in everyone’s eyes.
「Boy … We’ve done an outrageous thing … even so, would it be okay…?」
「It’s okay. I mean, everybody has their own problems. And, if you do wrong, you have to apologize.」
「…. I see … You’re right.」
Thus, we were safely released, and the kidnappers turned themselves in. As we hastily joined Seiichi-kun, he expressed his worry with great vigour.Shota and Kenji, might be because they cried themselves out, they were fast asleep.
「Are you okay!? You guys hurt anywhere?」
「We’re alright. Anyway, Seiichi-kun … you’re very reckless, aren’t you.」
As I involuntary said so with a bitter smile, Seiichi-kun stared at my face.
「I’m sorry, it was scary, right? But … you’re fine now.」
Seiichi-kun hugged me lightly then stroked my head.I was wrapped by his big body, and was enveloped by a huge sense of security. And then, the feelings I had endured so far bursted out at once, and at last I began to cry.
「Uu … uuu … uwwaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!! I, I was so scareeed!!」
「Wh, what would happen … sobs … t, to us…」
「It’s okay. It’s okay, alright.」
Seiichi-kun kept patting me gently until I stopped crying.
When I buried my face in his chest, his scent filled my heart.
「Sniff … Seiichi-kun’s smell is …」
「Eeh?! Sorry, is it stinky!? Wait, sorry for hugging you!?」
Seiichi-kun suddenly tried to keep a distance from me, so I embraced him with all my might and enjoyed his smell.
「Not at all … I’m taking a like to your scent.」
「…Karen-chan … is your nose fine?」
「How rude. It’s just like you’re admitting that you are stinky yourself, you know?」
「Un, saying it like that makes me want to cry.」
I can’t help but smile at this casual banter between us. People around us may bash Seiichi-kun all they want. Even so, to me, Seiichi-kun was a person whom I could open myself to, an existence that brought me joy and security.
Through this, I was brought to a reality——I fell for him. I want to keep smiling together on his side forever and ever.
Yes.. As my life-long partner.
——After that, the kidnappers weren’t imprisoned.
As for why, my Father who heard the circumstances thoroughly examined their former bosses, secured the proofs, confirmed the legitimacy of their words, then took custody of them. As a result, their former bosses who was still harassing their subordinates until now got discharged and the kidnappers were then hired by the Kannazuki group. When I asked them about that time, they all answered the same thing with smiles on.
『Thanks to that boy who is having harder time than us scolded us, we are right here presently.』
The encounter with Seiichi-kun’s encounter ended in smiles for them. Therefore, I want to make that Seiichi-kun smile. That was also the time when I fell in love in him.