The Line That Separates Them. — Line 22

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Bitch Slap.

“Let’s hurry.”

“Yep.”

Following the completion of the conversation between Minami and me, the decision to have a gathering at the karaoke near the station was unanimously voted for. However, not all hundred students would be participating.

The students were divided into three groups.

Those who couldn’t attend because of their circumstances. Those who would go home and meet up at karaoke afterward. Those who would head over to karaoke directly.

I received a message from Minami stating that Takumi and Aoki-kun would head over to karaoke immediately after, indirectly implying that she’d accompany them. Of course, I wouldn’t let such a golden opportunity fall into Minami’s hands without a fight.

“We’re going directly. Inform your parents.”

I informed Chiaki who was busy conversing with the other girls present in the class. Chiaki’s parents are very supportive and modern, so she doesn’t have any problems staying out late

“Okay. I don’t have a problem. However, most of the ladies have a severe curfew or aren’t permitted to go out with guys, so the men will highly outnumber the women. It’s fine, right?”

“Hmm? It should be fine. It’s no secret that the boys in our class are hormone-ridden idiots, but it’s also true that they are sensible and proper. The men wouldn’t do something improper like bothering a girl, am I right~?”

I peered over to the lads who were huddled in a corner of the class and spoke in a low and chilly voice.

“Y-yes. Of course, Kobayashi-san, we are very good people!”

One of the lads with short stature and curly hair rapidly responded.

“Yeah! We’re gentlemen!”

Gentlemen?

Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh.

“Fufufu~ Sure you are.”

I tried my best, but I couldn’t restrain myself and ended up leaking a chuckle. However, the response I received was the complete opposite of what I anticipated.

“…”

The men were gawking at me in a dazed state. Whenever a boy would break out of his trance, he would avert his gaze with a flustered expression. I was confused, so I turned to Chiaki for an explanation.

“Chi-chan, what happened?”

Chiaki looked at me and gently smiled.

“You have quite the destructive capabilities, huh?”

What?

After chatting for a minute and gathering our belongings, we left our classroom and marched towards the academy entrance, where the students from Class E were waiting for us. From the fifty students studying in Class A, only fifteen were able to accompany us directly to the karaoke. Some students are supposed to join us later after swinging by their home or part-time job, but for now, we are a medium-sized group walking on the path connecting the school entrance and first-year building.

At the entrance, we met up with Class E students. The number of Class E students is a little higher than ours. According to Minami, twenty-one of Class E’s students are accompanying us right now, and many of their classmates are confirmed to join the gathering afterward.

“Shall we get going? Are there any other people accompanying us?”

Aoki-kun asked Class A students as a whole. Looking at his perfect appearance, some of the girls in our class began to breathe roughly.

“No, let’s go. It’s just us for now, the others will join us afterward.”

One of the boys from my class came forward to answer.

“Understood. The station isn’t that far away, walking would be the most suitable choice.”

Aoki-kun said and urged the Class E students to move in the direction of the station. When they did, all of us followed.

Chiaki and I joined up with Takara and Minami. I spotted Takumi in a distance and approached him to say hello. It seemed as if he was in a discussion with his friends as he instructed me to stay with the girls for the time being.

The students from both groups started conversing amongst themselves like beloved comrades. Our classes have rather nice chemistry since we’ve had many P.E classes together. Moreover, no class would provoke a class with the most popular boy in the first-year, Aoki-kun, and two of the most popular girls in the first year, Minami and Takara. Having said that, no class would dare offend our class either. However, objectively speaking, the most influential class in the entirety of first-year is Class E, one could say that they are overpowered.

“Takara-san, I didn’t expect you to join us.”

One of the girls from my class approached our group and asked Takara who was in a deep conversation with Chiaki. Takara calmly faced the girl and spoke in a gentle voice.

“Is that so? Usually, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere without my security detail, however, it seems like my mother wishes for me to enjoy my youth.”

Takara placed her hand on her lips and lightly chuckled. Her demeanor, her gestures, her speech, all of them radiate a grandeur air. Takara doesn’t have to do anything special, her bearing alone is enough for anyone to recognize her as the queen among commoners.

“We are happy that you came along, the boys are practically dancing with joy.”

The girl bowed a little to show her appreciation, to which Takara waved her hand and replied with a smile.

“There is no need for you to thank me… I came out of my own volition, as for the boys, they should know their place.”

As soon as the topic of men came about, the air around Takara became cold, and so did her eyes.

“Haha~ Is that so…”

I could see instant regret on the face of the girl who had mentioned boys in front of Takara. Not a long time has passed since Takara transferred to our school, but every person in our year knows how Takara feels about men. She’s a scythe of death. She cuts down any man in her vicinity with humiliation and ridicule. After the initial volley of confession came her way, she annihilated them with her sharp tongue, and from that moment on, no boy dares approach her carelessly.

“…However, from what I’ve heard from my friends over at Class E… You are pretty friendly with Kawashima-kun? They say that you don’t even give Aoki-kun the light of the day, but you readily converse with Kawashima-kun? Rumors are going around about the nature of your relationship.”

“Fufu~ Is that how people see it?”

Takara crossed her arms, emphasizing her ample chest and slender waist. She sneered with a crafty smile.

“Then it’s fine, isn’t it? People are free to start any gossip they want surrounding Takumi and me, you do know who I am, right? Do you think I am not used to people talking behind my back? The only thing that worthless people can do is talk, spread rumors, and make fun of others inherently superior to them.”

Takara had transformed into a full-blown imposing noblewoman with a sharp air around her, which ended up scaring the girl from our class. However, Takara didn’t stop.

“Listen, this is so-!”

Takara, who was about to continue admonishing the innocent girl in a scary tone, abruptly stopped when a hand was placed on her head.

“Who dares to touch me!”

I was quite shocked at Takara’s enraged form. This just goes to show just how different Takara’s schoolgirl and rich-daughter persona are. When I affirmed the identity of the person who could casually pat the daughter of the second-richest man in Japan, I was even more shocked.

“What happened? Why are you yelling like that?”

When Takara raised her head and looked at the perpetrator who had humiliated her, instead of shouting or yelling like the rest of us expected, she lost all her momentum and regained her schoolgirlish vibe. She bowed her head a little and said in a rather meek tone.

“I-I am sorry.”

“Apologize to her.”

Takumi’s hand still on her head when she timidly nodded. After Takumi smiled and retrieved his hand, Takara walked toward the girl who was still a little frightened.

“I am sorry for what I said earlier, I shouldn’t have talked to you like that.”

“I-it’s okay…”

‘Now I am even more suspicious of your relationship with Kawashima-kun’, was left unsaid.

The thirty-six of us were walking toward the station which was about four kilometers away from the school. Since it would be inconvenient for other people if all of us moved together, the students created groups amongst themselves and walked with a little distance between each group.

Boys from both the classes proceeded to approach us and initiate a conversation with the girls of our group which irritated Takara to a frightening degree, making her disperse the boys with a single killing glare. To Minami and my relief, all the women who approached the group were primarily aiming for Aoki-kun, leaving Takumi for us to gobble up.

Takumi had gotten much more popular, and his nickname, ‘Husband Material’, was an open secret known by the entire student body. Even so, Aoki-kun continued to gain popularity at a much more massive rate, leaving Takumi in the dust. As such, girls were more inclined towards a handsome, smart, and athletic Aoki-kun over the above-average Takumi.

“Takumi, what do you think about the sport’s festival?”

I was walking on Takumi’s right side while Minami took the left. When I asked, Takumi raised his chin as if pondering about the subject. He chuckled a bit and replied.

“Though I may be prejudiced, I don’t think we will encounter an upset in the tournament. Also, almost all of the athletes from the first-year are concentrated in our two classes, it feels like the school desired for our classes to have a much more enjoyable school trip than the other classes.”

Takumi’s statement was arrogant, but neither Minami nor I could refute him. There were two clear reasons.

Firstly, he is Takumi, so whatever he says goes for us, and while it’s embarrassing to admit, I’d rather follow him than be the cause of his displeasure, and I am sure Minami feels the same way. Second and the more important reason is that he’s right.

“Takumi-kun, is it alright to underestimate other classes like this?”

Minami asked with a hint of worry in her voice.

“I’m not underestimating the other classes, I am just stating the facts. Though it’s wrong to look down on your opponent, it’s equally wrong to undermine yourself. I am sure that we’ll be triumphant. There is no need for you to worry, Minami.”

Takumi said with a smile and extended his hand towards Minami’s head, but he stopped just before patting her and apologized to Minami whose face had turned crimson.

“I apologize. It’s a bad habit.”

Speaking of which, didn’t he pat Takara’s head a few minutes ago? She didn’t seem perturbed in the least.

Minami, who was breathing a bit roughly, grabbed Takumi’s hand and hastily placed it on her head.

What the hell is she doing? Is she stupid? There are so many people watching us, he’ll get in trouble if she acts like a maiden in love in front of everyone.

“I-I d-don’t mind at all…”

Her weak voice was carried over by the chilly wind that was rushing by at high speeds. As for Takumi, his shock at Minami’s abrupt action resided and the corner of his lips arched up to form a gentle smile.

… I want that too.

After stroking Minami’s blonde hair for a couple of seconds, Takumi retrieved his hand and smiled at Minami, whose face wasn’t visible since her head was down, her eyes staring at the ground.

A guy bumped into me, but I didn’t pay much attention as Takumi was way too important than some random stranger.

We continued to move towards the station, and although there was a weird mood between Minami and me, we proceeded without any problems.

“Excuse me.”

Takumi excused himself and walked off somewhere.

“Hey, you, what was that, huh?”

“W-well, what can I say? It was reflexive.”

“Reflexive, is it? “I don’t mind at all”, some reflex you got there. Grabbing his hand too, can’t you think of other people’s feelings?”

I got closer to Minami and talked to her in a way that not even Chiaki and Takara, who were enthusiastically talking among themselves, could hear us.

“That’s unfair~ What would you have done in that situation, huh? It seemed like he was in a good mood, and I didn’t want to ruin it.”

“Oh~ So our Minami has started her rebellious phase, huh? I even helped you invite him for your birthday!”

“No, you didn’t! You left it all to me! And what do you mean by ‘rebellious phase’, huh?”

Minami stopped speaking, and after composing herself, she spoke with confidence in her voice.

“You can’t even properly talk to him. I am in the same class as him, so I get to spend almost every moment of my school life with my crush. Fufu~ so unlucky.”

“Ugh!”

Minami is adorable, intelligent, voluptuous, and her gentle and caring personality is more to a man’s liking, but what am I, do I even have a defining personality trait… Aren’t I just a smart girl who is a little beautiful? God, at this rate, I am sure to lose to her…

No. I will not lose to her. I will make him mine.

“Fufu~ You sure are confident even tho-”

SLAP!

Thud!

“W-what happened!?”

“Kawashima-kun!?”

“What’s happening?”

“Hey! You dare hit us!”

Minami and I directed our heads to the side in a panic when the sound of a grievously crispy slap invaded the atmosphere.

The scene that unfolded in front of me was a conspicuous one. Takumi was standing near a male who was laying on the ground with his right cheek swelled to the limit. Takumi was holding a phone in his hand and looking at it with a frown. That phone isn’t his, and it is pretty easy to deduce that the phone belongs to the man on the ground.

All of the students from our classes swarmed in Takumi’s direction, and after us, four girls made eye contact, we also rushed to where Takumi was.

“Hey! What’s the meaning of this!?”

“Why did you hit our friend!?”

It seemed like the two shouting while helping the third guy up were very panicked as their expressions were erratic and voice hoarse.

“Takumi, what happened?”

I asked, worried. Minami and Takara followed with similar questions. Amidst all that chaos, other people started gathering around.

“Takumi, that was a sweet smack.”

Aoki-kun casually called out in the tense atmosphere. He walked over and joined Takumi in facing the three men, one of which was still holding his cheek with a face contorted in pain.

“So… What did they do? What’s on his phone?”

“Hmm…? They were snapping photographs of our ladies ever since we passed that mall a while ago. I left it alone since it would’ve been a hassle… However, they did something they shouldn’t have done.”

All the girls who heard this inhaled sharply and covered their mouths, and I was no exception. I just couldn’t believe that these bastards were doing something so disgusting right in the daylight.

“What did they do to piss you off?”

Aoki-kun’s manner of asking made me feel like he was genuinely surprised that Takumi was angered by their actions.

Takumi… Thinking about it… Has he ever been angry? That time during the school festival with Minami… No, he was very calm during the whole ordeal… So what made him take action now?

Takumi abruptly raised his left hand which was gripping a smartphone of a well-known Japanese company.

“Ladies, firstly, allow me to apologize for the stuff I have unintentionally already viewed.”

He placed the thumb of his other hand on the screen and began to swipe right in succession. What was displayed on the screen were pictures of girls from our school, as each picture was displayed, the girl present in the said picture would sharply inhale or lightly scream. Of course, it is very offensive and scary for a girl’s picture to be taken without consent, and their reaction is very reasonable.

Of course, that applies to me as well. When my picture was displayed on the screen, my hands subconsciously covered my lips. The more shocking thing was that there were more than thirty pictures of me alone, and with Takara and Minami, the sheer number of our pictures taken was beyond crazy.

“Now, I wouldn’t have interfered or apologized if these pictures were the only thing that these guys captured. The-”

“Stop!”

One of the three guys screamed at the top of his lungs.

“You have no right to view other people’s phones! It’s an invasion of privacy! We are going to call the police!”

Invasion of privacy? You were the one who clicked our pictures!

I am certain that most of the girls must be thinking the same thing as me. However, we don’t need to do anything since Takumi and Aoki-kun are standing in front of us and handling the situation.

“Invasion of privacy, is it? You guys will call the police? That’s quite a desperate effort. Takara, come here.”

Takumi took his indifferent eyes off of the man who claimed to call the police and beckoned to Takara to come to his side. Takara, who was standing with Minami and me, slowly walked towards Takumi and sharply glared at the three men, her eyes contained nothing but disgust for them.

“Look at this, this is a video of you, can you tell me what would happen if we were to involve authorities?”

Takara looked at the display of the smartphone in Takumi’s hands, and it was clear for everyone to see that her eyes widened and the disgust in her eyes deepened a level further.

“Scum…”

She muttered and stared Takumi in the eye.

“Their careers will be over before even starting. Tell me, I am the only one who’s the object to these vulgarities, right? Please tell me they didn’t do this to the other girls…”

Takara’s expression was complicated and her eyes were filled with worry. Takumi’s indifferent expression crumbled a bit as he bitterly said.

“Yours was one of the mildest ones.”

It happened then, one of the three boys responsible for making Takumi worry left his group and ran towards Takumi and Takara with his fist raised.

Slap!

Inevitable, a word appeared in my mind. That backhanded monstrosity was unavoidable. Though this guy managed to stay on his feet, his face was contorted in pain, a hostile light flashing in his eyes.

“Stay put. Now, you have two options, either we delete all of these and you apologize, or, you can call the police and take it from there. Does anybody have any objections?”

After addressing the three idiots, Takumi turned around and asked everyone present. One girl from our girl timidly walked forward.

“Kawashima-kun, what exactly were those videos? What did you show to Miyashita-san?”

Her question received a nod of approval from most of the girls. It’s pretty natural for them to be curious about the videos. More so than the videos themselves, I believe that the girls are more curious about the reason why these videos made Takumi react this way.

Takumi was a symbol of indifference, and the whole school was aware of it after the whole Uehara-sensei incident. For someone who never displayed his true emotions to act this way, I can understand the girls’ intrigue. I am quite interested as well.

Takumi looked around with a bitter smile before turning to Takara, and with a low, “I understand”, she gestured to the girls to form a circle and received the phone from Takumi’s hand. Leaving Takumi and the other boys with the three culprits, we moved some distance and formed a small circle.

“So… Here is the thing.”

Takara began with a solemn tone.

“Those guys captured videos of some of our girls, and while that may not be too much of a nuisance, they captured videos focusing on our lower body. There were some videos in there where those bastards even managed to get the camera under the skirt. Here, see this.”

What… What… What did she just say?

Takara pushed the phone in front of the girls and the display of the smartphone showed different videos one by one. There were about seven videos, but I don’t exactly know… As soon as she mentioned the nature of the videos, I blanked out… I know for a fact that one of the videos contained my thighs and underwear, and that made me frightened. These guys, when did they even do it? I was walking by Takumi’s side… How did they manage to sneak a phone under my skirt?

Wait… So… Takumi saw all of these videos…?

“Kyaa~! No way! Kawashima-kun… He saw these!? Please don’t tell me he did… I am not such a woman, okay!? I swear I just didn’t have anything else to wear this morning.”

A girl from Class E dramatically screamed with a red face. Her friend standing by her side nudged her and said.

“This is serious, so please stop. Also, I don’t think he cares.”

“Yeah, Kawashima-kun showing reaction to girls? The world would end before that happens.”

“True, you remember that time when he unintentionally walked in on us changing in the classroom? Pfft, we were so embarrassed, and he just walked in with a straight face, retrieved his bag, and left the classroom after apologizing half-heartedly.”

“He’s got to be either gay or super indifferent to women. All the other boys drool just looking at girls flapping their shirts in summer.”

“We’re going off-topic here!”

Takara intervened loudly.

“The question is, what are we going to do? Do you guys want to call the police? Because if you do, then you will have the Miyashita’s family’s full support. However, if you just want to delete the videos and have those guys apologize, then that’s fine as well. Takumi did slap two of them, and I am sure that those slaps must’ve hurt.”

The noise died down as the girls began discussing among themselves. The girls who had begun crying had stopped and been sniffling.

“I think we should just let it be…”

I spoke up, gaining the attention of the crowd.

“I mean, wouldn’t it be inconvenient if the authorities are involved? Also, didn’t we set out for a gathering? Let’s take pictures of their IDs and report them to their school. They were wearing Seika High’s uniform, weren’t they? They must be some rich kids who think they own the world, a slap and complaint should be enough, what do you guys think?”

I just want to spend time with Takumi, so please pardon me. Besides, even if we assume that Takumi viewed all of the videos, which I know he didn’t because looking at one or two makes the contents of the other videos quite obvious, he has no way of knowing which thigh or underwear belongs to which girl.

“I don’t like how you associated their depravity with being rich, but I agree… I don’t think it’s a good idea to create a scene. Many passersby have already witnessed what’s going on, it’d be more embarrassing for us if this were to get out.”

“I am with Miya and Takara.”

After Takara and me, Minami gave her consent, and since all three of us agreed with Takumi’s suggestion. Nobody else raised any objection.

However, when the girls walked over to where all the boys were.

“They said some certain things about Princess, Minami, and Takara, so this is what the guys of our classes did.”

The three guys were bruised and wounded all over their bodies. Blood was running down their noses and their clothes were torn in certain areas. Tears and snot could be seen smeared across their face, the condition they were in was truly horrifying.

“So… What did your father say?”

“Oh~ He said that as long as Onii-sama is with me, there is no need for any security detail. The team will follow us from a certain distance, so do protect me, okay~?”

Takara smiled and winked at me before clinging to my arm. Her ample bosom stuck to my elbow while her cheek rubbed against my shoulder.

“How many times have I told you to not call me that…?”

“Many times, but we both know that I am not going to stop.”

“I am not that older than you.”

“My birthday is in June, so technically you are older than me.”

Takara jovially chimed and hugged my arm even tighter.

“You are a little too attached to me, is this the behavior befitting of a Miyashita family scion?”

It might be because of her genuine and sincere love for me, but I can never find it in myself to seriously rebuke her.

“Boo~ Who cares about that? Besides, you are the only person in the world who I can really be myself with, Onii-sama~”

I suddenly felt a moist sensation on my right cheek.

“I will make a reservation for the karaoke then~”

She left me with these words and skipped right into the classroom. Looking at her excited figure, I couldn’t help but leak an adoring smile.

“She just does whatever she likes, doesn’t she?”

“Hey, Takara-san, is this okay with you?”

“Hmm? What do you mean?”

“I mean, going out with all of us?”

“Isn’t it fine? What’s the problem in going out with all of you?”

“No… Well… That suit lady looked worried when she was dragged off.”

“Oh~ Yami-chan? She’s just a little overprotective, that’s all. Besides, I got permission from my parents, so it’s all good.”

Takara was having a conversation with one of our classmates while we waited for Class A to arrive. We had passed by Class A since it falls on the way from our class to the exit, and it seems like they are still busy confirming the students who are going to attend.

“Kawashima. Come here!”

Tanaka, one of the few people who I associate daily, called out to me and asked me to head over to where Yuzaki, Mitsuya, Fumiya, and he were talking.

“Kawashima, it’s pretty rare for you to skip out on your work.”

“Yeah, you haven’t once accompanied us after school, you don’t come out on the weekends either. The only time you hang out with us is during the holidays.”

Yuzaki and Mitsuya commented, clearly baffled about my presence.

“Well… It’s good that you came, Aoki is attending because of you, and many of the girls are attending because of Aoki. It’s a win-win situation for all of us!”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

As we talked and laughed, Class A with their fifteen or so students arrived and instantly assimilated into our group of twenty-one.

“Takumi, I am happy you could make it!”

Princess came over after greeting the girls. We had already started moving but since we had just exited the school premises, our advance was slow.

“Yeah, I have no work today, and it seemed fun. What about you? How is it that the Kobayashi Miya decided to tag along?”

“What do you mean by that? Unlike a certain somebody, I do enjoy going out with my friends after school. Hmph!”

She turned her head with a pout, but the joy within her eyes was clearly visible. It seems that she’s really excited for this gathering.

“Yes, yes, Princess, you sure do. Why don’t you go back to your group? They seem to be looking for you.”

“Okay~ Talk to you later~”

Princess chirpily responded and trotted over to where Takara was busy conversing with Yukimura-san.

“Oi, Kawashima, what were you two talking about?”

Tanaka rushed beside me and wrapped his arm around my shoulder.

“Yeah man, Miya-chan, the goddess, actually talked to you!”

Tanaka, from my other side, spoke up with a voice full of intrigue.

Goddess? More like a spoiled princess.

“I heard that you two are friends since Aoki-kun hangs out with Miya-chan and her group, but I didn’t know that you were on such good terms with Miya-chan.”

“Yeah, speaking of which, isn’t Kawashima on good terms with Fujiwara-san and Miyashita-san as well?”

Um…

“No, you’re exaggerating. You know how Fumiya is always sticking to me, so when the ladies flock around him, it makes me look like a third-wheel… It seems like the ladies feel bad for lil ol’ me, so they talk to me to not make it awkward.”

“Is that so…?”

It looks like he didn’t believe it. While I was thinking of a different approach to the situation at hand, a light shriek entered my ears. When I looked back, I saw Takara, no, I saw the daughter if Miyashita family, conversing with a girl from Class A. Fear was clearly visible in the poor girl’s eyes, and I can understand why it would be so.

Miyashita Takara is a scary woman.

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the girl from Class A, and as such, I decided to step up and restrain Takara, because if I look away now, I am sure Takara will end up giving that girl quite the terrible scar.

I walked over and placed my hand on her head, I poured a minimum amount of force so that I could stop her torrent without her feeling any discomfort.

“Who dares to touch me!”

After saying sharply, she turned around. I looked into her eyes and asked.

“What happened? Why are you shouting?”

Her scary expression faded away as if it never existed, replaced by the expression of a child caught committing a mistake.

“I-I am sorry.”

“Apologize to her.”

Instructing her, I returned to where the boys were, only to be bombarded by questions again.

Princess was walking on my right while Minami was walking on my left as all of us headed toward the station. They were cheerily conversing, and sometimes directed the conversation towards me as well.

Fumiya was walking beside Minami on her left, many girls from both the classes swarmed over to him as if bugs to a flame. Takara and Yukimura-san were walking right behind us, enthusiastically conversing about something.

While I was looking at Takara, I noticed something from the corner of my eye.

Three guys were wearing a high-school uniform I was unfamiliar with, but it was clear as day that they were from a prestigious academy. The quality of their uniforms was too luxurious, the wristwatches they were wearing were of expensive brands, the smartphones in their hands belonged to the Oracle Phoenix series, one of the most expensive smartphones in the world.

However, that isn’t what caught my attention, what made me look at them with contempt was the fact that they were taking pictures of girls from our school. Their main targets were the three beauties, but they didn’t pass on the other women either.

Well, it’s fine. It isn’t worth reprimanding them about.

I ignored them and focused on the conversation between Princess and Minami, they would seek my opinions more often than not, but it’s not like I can’t understand them.

“Takumi-kun, what do you think? A physical book is better than a digital version, right?”

“No, a digital version is better. Takumi, you should know better than anyone how convenient reading has become ever since books have been digitized.”

They looked at me with expectant gazes, waiting for my opinion.

“It depends on the person. Personally, I prefer physical copies of books, but I read on my phone because I have neither the time nor leisure to enjoy the books in their physical form.”

They both let show understanding expressions, nodding as they looked at each other.

“Hey, Takumi!”

Princess somewhat mischievously looked in my direction.

“Yes?”

“You know… Well… Let Minami inform you about it herself.”

Visibly confused, I looked over at my left side where Minami was walking with a slight blush on her face.

“Uh… Takumi-kun… Um… My birthday is on October 14th…”

“Yes, I am aware. You’ve told me before.”

“Y-yes, you see… My parents are holding a small party at my house for my birthday… So…If it’s not a lot of trouble… Will you be able to attend?”

Minami’s birthday? Sure, I don’t mind. I’d rather attend a classmate’s birthday party than waste my time on a business tycoon’s yacht.

“October 14? It’s Sunday… What time?”

“Uh… Seven?”

“Sure, if I am not busy, I’ll make sure to attend. Can you text me your address later?”

Minami’s expression brightened like a blooming flower as her blonde locks jumped around in joy.

“Yes~!”

The sheer adorableness of her expression couldn’t help but make me smile as well.

We continued to walk without any interruptions, and I subconsciously patted Minami’s head as well. In my defense, she looked like she didn’t mind at all. During one of our chats, Princess moved a bit, as if someone had pushed her.

“Oh, I am sorry.”

“No… It’s okay.”

I turned my attention to the Princess who seemed to be dealing with someone while I was busy conversing with Minami.

“What happened?”

“That person just randomly bumped into me… Well, he said sorry so I think it’s okay.”

Following her gaze, I could see the person she was talking about. He was one of the three men who were clicking pictures of girls from our school just minutes ago.

They are walking considerably far from us, so how could he bump into Miya like that? And after bumping, he just joined his group as if nothing happened.

What happened next made me suspicious… The boy who just bumped into Miya shoved his phone toward his two friends, and after looking at what he wanted to show them, they started grinning with red faces.

These children…

What can I say, puberty does things to you.

“Excuse me.”

I excused myself and left the two ladies to chat. Wasting no time, I made my way to the trio.

“What is it?”

I stood in front of them, blocking their path.

“Show me your phone.”

Ignoring the one who asked me a question, I addressed the one I suspected for the crime of capturing a video of someone without their consent.

“What!? Who are you!?”

The tall and muscular guy yelled while glaring at me.

“Show me your phone.”

I reached out towards the meek-looking student whose expression went pale at being confronted. However, before he could react and hide his phone, I grabbed it from his hand and looked at the display. The gallery was opened and a video was playing…

“You dare take my phone like that-”

SLAP!

The meek-looking fellow lunged at me like a desperate beast, so I slapped him… Hard.

Thud!

“W-what happened!?”

“Kawashima-kun!?”

“What’s happening?”

As soon as he fell down, the baffled voices of my classmates came about. The students from my school rushed towards me with worried expressions.

“Hey! You dare hit us!”

“Hey! What’s the meaning of this!?”

“Why did you hit our friend!?”

The two others from the trio ran to help the one fallen down.

“Takumi, what happened?”

Princess asked, but I was too focused to reply.

“Takumi, that was a sweet smack.”

Fumiya walked over with a relaxed smile.

“So… What did they do? What’s on his phone?”

“Hmm…? They were clicking pictures of our girls ever since we crossed that mall a while ago. I left it alone since it would’ve been a hassle… However, they did something they shouldn’t have done.”

“What did they do to anger you?”

I didn’t exactly know how to explain to him what I saw, considering the number of students here. My initial thought process was to hide it from the girls for their own good, but I belatedly realized that I had no right to do so. These aren’t my subordinates, I can’t just order them around.

“Ladies, firstly, allow me to apologize for the stuff I have unintentionally already viewed.”

I turned the phone’s display in their direction and began to show them what the gallery contained.

“Now, I wouldn’t have interfered or apologized if these pictures were the only thing that these guys captured. The-”

“Stop!”

One of the three guys screamed at the top of his lungs.

“You have no right to view other people’s phones! It’s an invasion of privacy! We are going to call the police!”

Invasion of privacy? Children these days know about such heavy terms?

“Invasion of privacy, is it? You guys will call the police? That’s quite a desperate effort. Takara, come here.”

I gestured for Takara to come over. She left Minami and Princess’s side and walked over while looking at the three guys with utter disgust.

“Look at this, this is a video of you, can you tell me what would happen if we were to involve authorities?”

She didn’t say anything. She just looked at the video of her thighs and skirt recorded in close proximity with a hateful look on her face.

“Scum…”

She looked up at me with an obedient expression and said.

“Their careers will be over before even starting. Tell me, I am the only one who’s the object to these vulgarities, right? Please tell me they didn’t do this to the other girls…”

I could see the worry hidden in her eyes.

“Yours was one of the mildest ones.”

A guy from the trio ran over with his fist raised.

Slap!

“Stay put. Now, you have two options, either we delete all of this and you apologize, or, you can call the police and take it from there. Does anybody have any objections?”

I said in a cold voice.

“Kawashima-kun, what exactly were those videos? What did you show to Miyashita-san?”

A girl from my class asked and received a nod of approval from most of the girls. It’s pretty natural for them to be curious about the videos.

I handed over the phone to Takara, and without any verbal confirmation, she completely understood my intentions and headed towards the distance with the other girls in tow.

Once all the girls separated from the group and formed a circle a certain distance away, all the boys surrounded the three criminals. One of the boys from Class A asked.

“Hey, Kawashima, I get the pictures, but what did you show Miyashita-san?”

“Yeah, we wanna know too.”

I sighed in resignation and spoke.

“They took videos of girls’ underwear. They would approach the girls and bump into them, making their skirts flutter a bit, and stealthily recorded what was under their skirts.”

Moments after those words left my mouth, the whole atmosphere descended into a frightening silence.

“Was there a video of Miya-chan?”

“Yes.”

“What about Minami-chan?”

“No. She was walking to my left, on the side of the buildings.”

“Takara-san?”

“It seems like he couldn’t capture what was underneath, but yeah, her too.”

While the boys from the two classes were glaring at the trio, one of them abruptly spoke.

“W-what!? You can’t do anything!”

“Yeah! All of us rich, we can buy out all of you like candies!”

“Hahahaha~ Those girls, they were quite good! Takara? Miya? I wouldn’t mind taking them to my bed!”

“Hahaha~ That blondie is pretty sweet as we-“

Slap! Boom! Whack! Pow! Thwack! Rip! Slap! Bam! Whoop!

Three minutes later. When the girls came around.

“They said some certain things about Princess, Minami, and Takara, so this is what the guys of our classes did.”

I explained with a sigh. Let’s just forget this and go to where we were supposed to go.


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