I cringe as I let the spiciness run it's course. "This is no good." I said even as I swallowed the mochi that Shiori prepared. "This is supposed to be sweet why is it so spicy!" I complained, as usual Shiori showed no competency in cooking.
"Eh? Doesn't Yama-chan like spicy food." She replied cluelessly.
"I do but this is just wrong. You need to do it like this..." I began explaining the correct process. Why am I the one teaching her? Simple all the maids have given up. Shiori is way too untalented as a cook however she still needs to pass home economics so I have taken this herculean task of teaching her basic food techniques.
I myself learned these because my parents aren't usually at home. Their jobs required them to travel so I usually am left at the house alone. I needed to learn how to be independent at a young age, thus I have accumulated enough experience to be considered adequate by Hikari-san the head maid.
"By the way Yama-kun, tomorrow don't come." Shiori said while she prepared another mochi.
"It's that time again." I said, every once in a while Shiori's grandfather forbids anyone even the servants into the clan grounds. Only clan members were allowed, kinda like a reunion I guess. I'm used to it so it wasn't a big deal.
Like that I spent the weekend teaching Shiori how to cook, unsuccessfully unfortunately.
"I'm Home." I say as I entered my house. As usual no one greeted back. My house unlike Shiori's is modest. Enough for a middle class family at best.
I relax at the sofa and turned on the T.V.
"- red by an unknown assailant." The news channel popped up. the newscaster was describing a murder. I didn't have interest in that so switched to the anime channel.
I made to lie down on the sofa when something hard hits my thigh. I rummage through my pocket for the offending object and pulled out the bead that the old beggar gave me a week or so ago.
So it was here huh. I kinda forgot about it for a while.
I stared at it for a second, studying it for a bit. It looked like an ordinary black bead but it was heavy. The old man wanted me to eat it but I won't of course. There were small concentric markings that left minute ridges, meaning the bead wasn't smooth at all.
"∆∆∆∆∆~" What was that. I heard something. It was like a soft murmur. A whisper on my ear, I couldn't make sense of it though.
I looked around and there wasn't anything amiss. Must have been my imagination or maybe the TV?. Even though I say that I was seriously creeped out. I pocketed the bead again, turned the TV off and went upstairs to sleep.
"Using the derivatives you can find the slope of the function with ease." The school bell rang signifying the start of lunch time."That will be all for today, remember your homework for tomorrow." Owa-sensei kindly reminded. He's the kind of teacher who makes you feel at ease.
We stood up to say goodbye to him, then I started packing up my things.
"What's up?" a good looking guy greeted me unexpectedly. This was Hattori Akio. Very popular and charming, smart and athletic pretty much the ideal person. I never talked to him much, unless if it's for schoolwork.
I wonder what he wants?
"Nothing much. Is there something you need from me?" I asked, It was best to get to the root of the matter after all.
"Ahahaha, don't be so cold. Tell you what, I'll treat you for a bit so why don't you come with me and talk?" He said, laughing so naturally. This guy normally wouldn't take the time to bother with me. For him to do so suddenly is suspicious.
"I'm sorry I have arrangements already." I politely declined.
"You're meeting Watanabe-san right?" He asked. So it was that? It wasn't much known that I associated with Shiori since our interaction usually happens when at her home. Shiori is at another class after all.
Shiori is popular, this guy is popular. Doesn't take a genius what this guy wants.
"Yes. I will now take my leave."
Something's wrong. She should be here right now. What's taking her so long.
My phone buzzed. I received a message from Shiori.
"Help me! I'm at the happy forest park." It said. What was that? Why would she be at that park?
I quickly head there. That park was the one I met the old man who gave me the bead. Actually the bead was in my pocket, I've been bringing it along sort of like a good luck charm.
"So you've been going at it with Watanabe-san for a long, long time have you?" The detestable voice of Aki washed my ears.I saw three figures standing there. My blood ran cold. What! Aki was there standing smugly holding a phone. Shiori's!
Why was he holding it? Where was Shiori? If this fucker dared to hurt her I will... what will I do? What can I do? I was weak.They were strong. The bead in my pocket grew heavy as if responding to my thoughts.
"∆∆∆∆∆~" Something whispered on my ears. My heart was pounding so hard I could feel it beating in my ears.
Looking at the smug bastards I asked, "What did you do to Shiori?"
"Shiori is it? So damn familiar. You fucker you've been so insolent these past few months. Wouldn't you like to know what we've done with Shiori? I'll even let you watch." He said his voice oozing with mocking and perhaps smugness?
Anger flooded me. They couldn't be implying 'that'. I took the bead and swallowed it in one gulp. Even if it was just a joke by that old man this was the only thing that I had. Even if it didn't work I would kill these fuckers with my bare hands.
I saw red. Literally. The Red slowly crept into my vision like ink proliferating on paper. It was as if I was looking at a tinted glass. So it worked? Heat burst from my stomach to my chest then dispersed throughout my body. I felt stronger. I felt invincible, as if I was suddenly turned into a tiger when once I was a kitten.
"∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆~ ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆~" The whispers grew stronger, like incomprehensible mumbling at the back of my mind.
"Sweet sweet Shiori." The rat said mockingly. A disgusting look appeared on his face.
"I will kill you guys." I said. I walked to them, they didn't know I've somehow change. Eating that bead made my heart beat calmly. Anger still coursed through me but it was the cold type of anger.
The three guys laughed at that. Aki and Daisuke and produced baseball bats while Shigeo brandished a knife so casually. Normally I would be scared.
"Crush these ants~" The voice on the back of my head whispered roughly.
I didn't pause my approach. Daisuke attacked me first with an overhead swing. I caught his bat with my left hand, then slapped him in the face. He flew the east.
The other two bastards were rooted at the spot as if unable to believe what happened. I turned my attention to those two.
It looked like Shigeo wanted to run but I appeared in front of him and kneed him in the stomach.
Like that, only Aki was left. He held to his bat like a lifeline.
"Tell me. How would you like to die?" I ask him. I really will kill them. If they did what they implied they did then even death would be too kind.
"W-wait. We were just joking earlier. It was a joke!" He said hysterically as if he'd seen a monster.
I tilted my head and forcefully took his baseball bat from his hands. I moved so fast that he still stood there dumbly holding nothing.
"A joke? I do not find it funny. You know what's funny?" I asked. I showed him the metal bat and then with a bit of force I bent it all the way. "This bat is funny. How about I make you funny as well?"
Aki dropped to the ground. I smell piss coming out from him. How detestable.
"I-I swear on my honor we didn't do anything to Watanabe-san!" He desperately pleaded.
"Watanabe-san now is it? Earlier you were just calling her Shiori? Besides do you think I'm a fool what would someone like you know of honor."
I grabbed the upper portion of his shirt and lifted it easily, naturally Aki was lifted as well.
"I swear! We heard you were close to Watanabe-san that's why Shigeo took her phone when she was at P.E." Aki blabbed pitifully.
I felt a sting on the back of my head. It was Daisuke he smacked me with his bat. Normally I'd probably have my brain leaking out but right now? It was as the voice said, it was only like I've been bitten by an ant.
I threw Aki at Daisuke and they ended up in a heap. I stared at their groaning forms. Should I kill them?
"Crush them, destroy them. They dare hurt one of yours~" The whispers answered.
A buzz interrupted me though. A message from an unknown number.
"Yama-kun, lost my phone sorry for being late. Where were you??? P.S. Borrowed from classmate." It said.
I breathe out a sigh of relief. It looked like she was alright. With that message the Red slowly bled out of my eyes. I took Shiori's phone from Aki and told him. "If you ever dare to do this again, or even think of harming Shiori then there would be no place to hide. Do you understand." The three of them nodded as if their life depended on it. They probably thought it did.
I immediately texted Shiori, asking where she is. The strength had faded leaving behind a dull ache in my body. As if it were a fading memory.
I met up with her. The moment I saw her whole and healthy all the tension in my body left.
"Yama-kun! I'm sorry I lost my phone. I kept looking for it and I forgot to tell you." She said apologizing profusely. I felt happy that she wasn't harmed. My heart would break if she is harmed, I knew I would discard even my humanity to punish anyone who tried.
"∆∆∆∆∆∆∆~" the voice sent an incomprehensible whisper again. I ignored it for now.
I gestured for her to stop."Here, take better care of it next time." I said handing her phone back to her.
"What?! Where did you get this?" She asked relief flooding her face.
"I saw thieves playing around with it. I beat them up and took it from them."
"Seriously? Don't tease Shiori Yama-kun!" She whined as if I told her something unbelievable.
I ignored the question for now, it is rather unbelievable for the usually wimp like person that was I to beat up a couple of thieves.
"C'mon let's eat." I said putting aside the thought of the bullies and the bead for now. Besides the old man said he'll find me, so I'll wait till he can explain what kind of shit I've found myself into.
-------------------------> Next Chapter
-------------------------> Next Chapter