Please Tell Me How to Remember Love - Chapter 2 Part 4
Chapter 2 Part 4
Sometimes, when one finds themselves in a good mood, the world would find a way to ruin it. This was something that happened to everyone and Takayuki was no exception.
“…A letter of challenge at this time and age?”
After school. Just when he was about to go home, Takayuki found a brown envelope in his shoe box. ‘Letter of Challenge’ was neatly written on it. At a glance, it seemed like the writer was using a brush to write it.
Inside the envelope was a letter. ‘I want to meet the scoundrel who made Miyama Aoi cry’ was written on it. Alongside those words were time and place where the writer planned to meet him.
He benefited from nothing if he were to answer the letter. However, since this matter could implicate Aoi, things would turn troublesome if he were to ignore it.
“It can’t be helped.”
Takayuki let out a sigh, folded the letter and put it in his pocket.
He figured that he could use the letter as evidence against the writer in the future.
* * *
It was currently 7pm. The place was a park about fifteen minutes away from school.
“Thank you for answering my challenge, Satou Takayuki. I appreciate it.”
When Takayuki arrived at the promised spot, he found a monster there. Well, not exactly a real monster, it was a person, but no one would bat an eye if someone were to call them a weirdo due to how they dressed. The person was dressed in a school uniform, but they were wearing a fox mask for some reason. With their husky voice, they called out to Takayuki.
“Glad to know that you aren’t a coward who’d run away from a challenge.”
Their words were intimidating, but Takayuki instead of being scared, Takayuki was bewildered.
“…Uh, sorry, Senpai, but, are you sure you’re right in the head?”
He doubted the sanity of the person in front of him. From the color of their tie, he guessed that they were a third year student. Takayuki suspected that they went insane because of the stress that the college entrance exam gave them.
“Senpai? What are you talking about? I’m just someone who can’t tolerate evildoers like you! I am the Fox Mask!” (T/N: It’s Kitsune Kamen, but Fox Mask sounds cringier.)
“Okay, Fox Mask-san. By the way, you realized that your tie gave away your identity as a third year, right?”
“Hah! Good deduction, but not good enough! I praise you for having a good eye! Being able to tell the color of my tie in this darkness is impressive! However, this uniform isn’t mine! Too bad for you, you will never be able to find out my true identity just by looking at this uniform!”
“I see. So, you’ll be put in quite a difficult situation if you get that uniform dirty.”
“No, if possible I shouldn’t get it dirty… That person will scold me…”
Fox Mask flinched at Takayuki’s words, but after shaking their head, they regained their composure.
“…Even so, I don’t care! Even if I get scolded, I will never let someone who made my little sister cry off easy!” (T/N: 妹分/Imouto-bun is used here. It means someone that one considers as a little sister, not actual little sister. I don’t know if there’s an English equivalent to this word.)
‘Little sister?’ Takayuki was caught off guard by their words. No matter how much of a weirdo the person in front of him was, he couldn’t just treat someone who was close to Aoi roughly.
“No! Not a single thing will come out of that mouth of yours, evildoer! Not before you taste my fist of justice first, then I’ll consider hearing your excuses!”
Before Takayuki could clear up the misunderstandings caused by his bad reputation, Fox Mask already made a move. Their anger seemed to have reached a boiling point as they immediately attacked Takayuki.
“Woah, time out, please. C’mon, let’s be civil and talk.”
“Just! Let! Me! Hit! You! First! Why can’t I hit you?! Stop evading my fists!”
“You really need to take off that stupid mask first.”
However, Fox Mask didn’t manage to land a single hit on Takayuki.
Partly because Takayuki was used to being in this situation, but it was mostly because of the mask that Fox Mask was wearing. It was clear that the mask hindered their vision, adding to the fact that their surroundings were dark. Under these conditions, even if Takayuki was a complete amateur in fistfight, he would still be able to evade Fox Mask’s assaults.
Being as he was now, not only was Takayuki able to evade their fists with ease, but he also had enough lenience to let his mind wander.
“Stop making fun of me!”
Fox Mask, taking his attitude as if he was mocking them, continued their reckless charge.
“Ah, that place is dangerous.”
“Trying to deceive me— Kya!”
With a thud, Fox Mask fell into the fountain.
“What did I tell you? Calm down and take off that mask already!”
When someone was panicking, even a bowl of water could drown them, let alone a fountain. So, Takayuki hurriedly tried to rescue the person who had just tried to hit him. His uniform turned wet in no time, but he didn’t seem to care as he peeled the mask off the person’s face. Then, he lifted their body to take them away from the fountain.
But, since he did it in a hurry, the moment he lifted their body, he slipped up and fell down. Not only that, his hand managed to land on an unfortunate position, the person’s chest. Their faces were also close to each other as they could feel each other’s breaths.
Takayuki took a look at Fox Mask’s face.
Flax-colored hair that extended to their shoulders. Their face was smooth like a doll, an androgynous beauty. If angels were real, this was probably what they looked like.
They couldn’t take their eyes off each other. Not long after that, Takayuki became aware of the soft sensation in his right hand, along with the feelings of touching something metallic with his fingers. As he moved his hand to confirm what it was that he touched, the face of the angel in front of him started to turn red.
With a girlish scream, the angel finally managed to land a good hit on Takayuki’s face.
* * *
“You want to get in touch with Satou-kun? Why?”
It was a little after Takayuki received a firm slap on his cheek.
Aoi was relaxing in her living room when her big sister asked her for something.
“I have a request for him.”
“Mhm. My friend in college said that he is a trustworthy person. They said that he occasionally helped people with problems that even the police found troublesome for a small pocket change.”
One could describe the person sitting in front of Aoi as a younger-looking Aoi. They had similar faces and the same hair color, except that this person had her hair tied into a side tail. Unlike Aoi who was wearing her sweatshirt, the other person wore a combination of shirt and skirt.
Her name was Miyama Renge.
She was a college student, the second oldest among the three Miyama sisters. Despite her appearance, she was Aoi’s older sister.
“…Ah, come to think of it, he did say that he used to do something like that.”
“Apparently so. I heard that he didn’t accept any payments for most of his deeds, but don’t worry, I’ll pay him properly. I could even pay him higher than the market price. So, can you introduce him to me?”
Unlike Renge, who was sitting properly on the couch, Aoi was lying down on the tatami mat. Outside her house, she tried to maintain a perfect appearance, but inside, she acted like a lazy house cat.
“Why are you asking me this, though? I held him in high regard, but he’s still my classmate. I don’t really want to put him in danger unnecessarily.”
Earlier today, their mother told Aoi that Renge had something to say to her, but never did she expect that it was a matter concerning Takayuki. Apparently, Renge had been thinking about asking for his help ever since Aoi started talking about him in a good mood during one of their small talks.
“Fair enough. I need him to guard someone. There’s someone who got themselves into trouble and is in need of a little protection until things calm down a little.”
“A bodyguard job?… You realized that Satou-kun is a high school student, right? His capabilities aside, do you think he could just ditch school to guard your acquaintance, Renge-nee?”
“My acquaintance is also a high school student, so that isn’t a problem.”
“That person is a third year at your school, Aoi. Haru-kun.”
Aoi’s heart no longer ached when hearing that name. The only feelings she had left toward that person was guilt. They reconciled a long time ago, but hearing their name again still made Aoi surprised.
“Haru-kun? Last time I heard that there was a clingy girl that kept sticking to that guy like glue. Is this a similar case to that one?”
“Yes. This time Haru-kun is stalked by a younger girl. She used to steal small things like erasers or key chains, but lately, she started sending that guy questionable letters.”
“…Must be tough being good-looking.”
“You, well rather, we don’t really have the right to say that.”
“In our case, we shed enough blood so that no one will dare to do something like that to us anymore. But Haru-kun is too kind for that. I could guess that that guy is trying to be considerate to that girl.”
“Obviously. But, at least that guy consulted me about this matter. You could say that Haru-kun had grown up a little.”
“Good grief.” Renge sighed. Her gesture was similar to Aoi’s. Then she continued her explanation.
“Anyway, that’s why I want him to stay close to Haru-kun. Of course, I don’t expect him to act like a professional bodyguard. His presence should be enough to make the girl hesitate a little. What do you think?”
“I don’t know. Will he take on this kind of job if it’s unrelated to his consultation gig? Anyway, isn’t it better if I were the one who guards him instead?”
“No. You stand out too much. Besides—”
Just before Renge was about to bring up Aoi’s black history, the bell rang.
“It’s probably Haru-kun. We promised to meet up in person to discuss the details of this situation. I’ll go fetch him.”
“I’ll go with you. That guy is still my senpai, I need to show my face at least.”
“While wearing that loose sweatshirt?”
The pair of beautiful sisters went to the entrance to greet what they expected to be Haru-kun. But, instead of Haru-kun, they were greeted by a pair of idiots instead. They reacted the same way when seeing the pair.
““What are you doing? Are you an idiot?””
“Hello, I’m the Wet Man.”
“Hello, I’m the Wet Woman.”
The pair of idiots in front of the two sisters called themselves youkai.
* * *
When Aoi heard about what happened to them, she let out a sigh.
“You know, Haru-kun? I’ve already made peace with this Wet Man– I mean, Satou-kun. In the first place, I owed him more than he owed me, so even if he goes out of his way to hurt me, it’s all fine for me. Also, even if I have some grudge with him, that doesn’t mean you should seek him out and try to teach him a lesson. Are you an idiot?”
Aoi, who was currently giving a sermon, was already changed into a more proper loungewear. Mostly because Takayuki was here.
“It’s dangerous to do something like that. Think about my feelings. What if something happens to you? From now on, don’t act like a hot-head, stop being impulsive. It doesn’t suit your look at all. Do you understand? Answer me.”
“Hic! I-I understand… I’ll reflect on my actions…”
The Wet Woman, Amamiya Haruka, was currently being scolded by the younger Miyama sister. She had already changed into Aoi’s spare clothes after taking a light shower. The bravado that she had when facing Takayuki was gone, replaced by a sulky look. (T/N: Yes, Haru-kun is a girl. Now you know why Aoi got rejected. Anyway, I won’t revise the previous chapters’ translation since this is supposed to be a plot twist.)
“Sorry for disturbing you this late at night. I’ll repay you for your kindness.”
“No need, one of our relatives is involved in this anyway.”
Next to them were Renge and Takayuki. Contrary to the pair beside them, they had a mature and polite exchange. Despite his appearance, Takayuki could act very politely in a situation like this.
“Moving on. You came at the perfect timing, Satou Takayuki. I want to talk to you… No, I have a request to make. It’s concerning that idiot over there.”
Speak of the devil and he shall appear.
Just when Aoi and Renge were talking about them, both Takayuki and Haruka came knocking at their front doors. Since the concerned parties were both here, Renge figured that she might as well tell them everything, despite her little sister trying to stop her.
“What do you think? I can pay you this much for it. Of course, you can go home first to think it over. We can discuss the contract details at a later date if you agree.”
Asked Renge with a perfect smile.
The amount of money that she offered to Takayuki was more than enough for her to hire a professional bodyguard or private detective.
“…That’s a lot of money. Uh… Miyama-nee-san?”
“Oh my, you noticed?”
“Yeah. You seem more mature than you look.”
“Hehe, I see. I’m a college student. I’ve heard interesting rumors about you in my college. Like for example, you’re close with the daughter of the Takayama family, aren’t you? You even acted as her bodyguard a few times.”
“This world is filled with loose-tongued people, huh?”
“I also heard from somewhere that the reason why she’s so fond of you is because you saved her when she ran away from home. Huh? Why does this story sound familiar, I wonder?”
Aoi, who remembered the time when she troubled her entire family, clutched her chest on the spot.
“Ugh… B-But, this and that is different! Satou-kun, know your limits! Don’t act beyond what a high school student should do! Don’t worry about Haru-kun, we’ll take care of her!”
Despite the futility, Aoi tried to dissuade Takayuki from agreeing out of concern for him.
“Well, I don’t intend to force you. You can refuse if you want to.”
Seeing Aoi’s reaction, Renge narrowed her eyes and said in a flat tone.
“However, I just want to say that you’re the best person that I could ask for the job, Satou Takayuki-kun. Of course, I have a backup plan, so you don’t need to dwell over this too much if you really don’t want to do it. Just keep in mind that I’m someone who values track record. I’d rather entrust this matter to a stranger with a track record than an acquaintance with none. It’s safer that way.”
“You’ve never even met me before this. Are you sure you want to trust me with this matter?”
“That’s why I wanted to meet you personally in the first place, to make sure that I can trust you. Though, Aoi is a better judge of character than me, so I concluded that I can trust you on this matter.”
After mulling over Renge’s words that came with her beautiful smile, Takayuki turned his attention to Aoi, who was sitting beside Renge.
Flustered after seeing Takayuki turn his attention on her, Aoi turned her head away. Despite her words of concern, she actually had been looking at him with expectations since a while ago. It seemed like she was unable to suppress her expectations for him.
“First thing first. I want to straighten this up. I’m a love consultant not a bodyguard. I might be unable to bring the result that you expected.”
“I understand. Though, I heard from the rumors that you’re quite a capable bodyguard.”
“Well, it’s still not my main occupation, so don’t expect too much from me. Next, I have prior plans. I might have to prioritize them over my guarding duty depending on the circumstances. If that’s okay with you, I’m okay with taking the job. Regarding payment, I’ll receive it until the job is over. Just in case.”
“Hehe, you’re surprisingly thorough despite your appearance, huh? Anything else?”
In response to Renge’s words, Takayuki moved his arm and pointed at Haruka’s direction politely.
“The person who’s the center of this whole thing seems unsatisfied by this arrangement.”
Haruka, who was dressed in a fluffy-looking loungewear, was listening to their conversation with a red-face.
“Renge-san, I don’t need a bodyguard! I’m still a member of the volleyball club, I’m strong enough to protect myself! Besides, the culprit is also a girl! I don’t believe that I can’t outrun her when it comes to it! …A-Also, it’s embarrassing to be followed around by a younger boy!”
“Haru-kun— No, Haruka. I’ll tell you this, but you’re way weaker than you think. Besides, your current appearance is embarrassing enough already. You don’t need to concern yourself with that.”
“Classic Haru-kun. You look like a reliable, smart and handsome boy, but in truth you’re just a hot-blooded girl who flunked her exam often.”
“Don’t bring my exam into this!”
Hearing the precise assessment of the Miyama Sisters, Haruka’s eyes started to tear up. Knowing that she couldn’t go against them, she glared at Takayuki instead.
“In any case, I don’t trust this guy! Sure, it was my misunderstanding that led me to attacking him, but the fact that there are a lot of bad rumors surrounding him is true! No matter how much you two trust him, I can’t bring myself to trust him at all! Above all! This guy had the audacity to rub my breast–”
“It was an accident.”
Before Haruka said anything else, Takayuki cut her off and explained the circumstances to the Miyama Sisters.
He had already apologized countless times on the way to Miyama’s house, so the matter should already be resolved. But, rather than caring about what Haruka was thinking, he was more afraid of the Miyama Sisters’ reactions.
“Did you do it?”
“I was helping her when she fell down to a fountain.”
“Did you do it?”
“Hmm… I see.”
“Can you just scold me instead? That reaction scares me.”
Right after that, Aoi smirked at him. At that moment Takayuki realized that she gained new material to blackmail him with. Meanwhile Haruka received huge damage from Renge’s remark about her situation; “It isn’t like there’s much to rub, though.”
In the end, the situation was too chaotic for them to come to a conclusion. They decided to break up for the moment and discuss it at a later date.