But isn’t there a red stain on that handkerchief?
“When I hit you hard, it hurts my hands. It’s good to protect your own fists with a handkerchief, right?”
Takayama strikes a fighting pose.
The opponent looks a little scared.
“Hey, you think you can beat me two to one?”
I guess I don’t count, do I?
That seems a little sad…
“Two against one? That’s a generous number. It’s hard to win five to one, but you guys are amateurs, right? I can afford it, to tell you the truth.”
“This kid… Don’t regret this!”
The other man is coming closer and closer.
There is no escape. We have no choice but to intercept him!
“Oh, it’s too conspicuous here, so why don’t we go to the back alley? It wouldn’t look good if you lost in a two-on-one fight, would it?”
You have a lot of composure, don’t you? Takayama, could it be that you are really strong?
Can I trust you?
“Fine. I’m going to turn that back alley into a dumping ground where you can go die!”
The two guys were totally pissed off.
The two guys, me and Sugimoto, are the ones who started the fire.
We walk down the main street for a few minutes with Takayama in the lead.
The two guys are quietly walking behind Takayama.
Suddenly, Takayama gives me a look. What is it? Do you want to say something to me?
Hmm? Perhaps that’s what you’re trying to say?
I whispered in Anri’s ear and told her about Takayama’s message.
Anri and Sugimoto distance themselves from the two guys and then disappear stealthily into the crowd as it were.
I hope this works out…
A few minutes of walking. I ended up in a back alley.
In front of me are a Takayama and two guys. And here I am, looking at them.
I’m completely playing the supporting role.
“Well, I won’t get in anyone’s way here. Are you guys ready?”
“I’m always ready. Come on, come on!”
“Oh, wait a minute. I’ll rewrap my handkerchief.”
Takayama was not nervous. But his face shows a relaxed look.
“Good, is that all right? I’ll check with you one last time, but you don’t mind if I send you to the hospital, do you?”
Oh my God, Takayama, you’re so cool. You’re so confident, aren’t you?
The two men began to talk secretly about something.
“Hey, hey, isn’t this a little dangerous?”
“No, it’s okay, right? The other guy is alone. If we go together, we’ll be fine.
“But he looks like he can handle it, and he’s going to use martial arts, you know?”
He’s totally freaked out.
He lost his previous vigor.
Oh, I can see Anri and Sugimoto in the distance.
It seems they made it in time.
“Officer! Over here! They’re fighting over here!
“All right, Tendo, you take Himekawa-san. I’ll take Sugimoto-san. Come on, let’s get out of here!”
The two men with their backs turned were in the open.
I and Takayama tackled them and started running toward Anri and Sugimoto.
Takayama then takes a picture of the two fallen men and says one last throwaway line.
“You two are so uncool. If you mess with me again, I’ll post this picture on the Internet with the comment, ‘I got beat up by a junior high school student.’“
“Of course, I’ll include the place and time so you’ll be easy to identify! Well then, good day to you!”
The two men slump their shoulders in disappointment.
From the looks of it, I don’t think they’ll mess with us anymore.
I held Anri’s hand and Takayama held Sugimoto’s hand as we ran away from the two men.
It took us a few minutes to run through the crowds in the arcade.
They probably won’t chase us anymore.
“Hey, Tendo! Don’t you feel like you’re still young when you’re like this?”
We are running holding each girl’s hand.
Both Anri and Sugimoto are running with us holding hands.
“Right, we’re in our youth!”
I look at Anri with a sideways glance and for some reason, she is smiling.
Considering the situation just now, it was a little scary, but for some reason, I was smiling too.
“Are you having fun now?”
I spoke while holding Anri’s hand.
“I’m having fun. With Tsukasa-kun, Ayane and Takayama-san. It’s fun being with you all!”
After running for a while, Takayama entered a fast-food restaurant he saw.
“No, I’m so sorry. Why do we have to go through all this?”
Takayama began to talk while sipping a soda.
“I’m sorry, it was my fault, to begin with.”
I briefly explained to Anri and Takayama why we were being chased around.
“I’m sorry that happened. Well, I guess it’s all right then.”
“Well, it turned out all right, didn’t it? I’m glad you’re all safe.”
But I have never felt so reassured by Takayama as I did this time.
“I never knew that Takayama was so strong. I didn’t know that at all.”
“No, I am probably very weak. I’ve never even tried karate.”
“Yes? You said earlier that you’ve been a strong karate fighter since you were a little kid.”
“Hm? Of course, I’m lying. I was just trying to buy some time and see if I could run to the police or escape.”
“Takayama-kun, I don’t want you to do anything dangerous if at all possible.”
Sugimoto is looking at Takayama with concern.
Anri also looks a little worried.
“I’m fine. I’m a peaceful guy. Besides, I don’t like fights.”
Everyone here is worried about Takayama, who is smiling lightly.
“Please be careful next time!”
Sugimoto scolded Takayama again.
“I know, I’m sorry. Let’s go shopping for clothes first. We’ll be late for the movie.”
Takayama cheerfully gets up from his seat.
Takayama is getting caught up in the pace of the group.
I guess this is what a mood-maker is like.
After we left the restaurant, Takayama asked me what I wanted to know.
“Hey, Tendo. I was so scared. I was super scared.”
“But thanks to Takayama, we all survived. I’m grateful.”
“Oh, we’re friends! When I have to do something, I do it too!
Will I be able to become a man who can protect everyone and Anri like Takayama?
No, I must be. Absolutely…