(Title – 誰が戦争を好むか。- Dare ga Sensō wo Konomu ka. – Who Loves War?)
Kichirō has been unusually gloomy, especially because he was able to prove that his dark past (cough… Miyuki) has been haunting him like a vengeful spirit. Although he has not encountered her since Ryū and Ken met her in the cafeteria, the other day, he was feeling under the weather to the point that he always sat in one corner, with a dark, gloomy face, as if invisible mushrooms would sprout anytime soon on top of his head.
Ryū, on the other hand, has been silently supporting him in the background. Unknown to Kichirō, Ryū and Ken have been researching all this time about Miyuki. They have been investigating why Miyuki transferred to their university.
“Kichirō-chan, we’re going to be late for our next class. Please finish what you’re eating fast,” Aiko called out.
“Uhm… Huh?” Kichirō was spacing out.
“You have been so out of it lately. Normally, you could eat up to three servings of food, but now, you couldn’t even eat an entire serving. You couldn’t even finish drinking your strawberry juice. Is this because Ueno-senpai hasn’t been around lately?”
“Huh? Whoever gave you that idea, Ai-chan? I just have a stomachache… Yeah, a stomachache,” Kichirō fidgeted.
“Aniki, don’t tell me you have a stomachache every single day?” Naoki asked.
“Uwaaaah~~~ I knew it! You miss him, don’t you?” Aiko teased.
“No, Maki-san, I think it’s something else…”
“Awww~~” She was disappointed. “Don’t tell me this is about your ex-good-for-nothing girlfriend?!?” She added then narrowed her eyes.
“… You guys, let’s just go… I’m really not in the mood today…”
The summer heat made the surroundings turn into a walk-in microwave oven. Although the wind was blowing hard as it played with the sun’s rays, it was not enough to relieve the people from this overwhelming heat. While the trio were traversing the hallways toward their classroom, Kichirō started complaining: “Waaah~~ it’s so hot. Ryū please fan me, ne…”
He then felt something hard hit his back: “Ouch!” He roared.
It appears that it was Aiko who slapped his back. She gritted her teeth then pouted as she said: “Kichirō-chan, Ueno-senpai is not here. You’re hallucinating. Maybe it’s because of the heat. Don’t forget that it is Naoki-kun and I who’re with you. I’m hurt. Hu hu.”
“I can fan you, Aniki,” Naoki took out a notebook from his bag and started fanning Kichirō.
“Naoki-kun is so boring. He easily follows what others tell him to do. I wish Hirano-senpai was here. I’d love to see you two bicker. Ugh, thinking about it makes my nose ready to bleed ha ha…” Aiko laughed like she was some crazy fujoshi.
“Maki-san, I’m Kichirō-san’s best friend so I’m willing to do this. Why do you talk about Ken-senpai out of the blue? You can have him if you want to,” Naoki sluggishly said as he fanned Kichirō.
“Oh, Ki-kun you don’t have to do that. I’ll fan myself.” Kichirō tried to take the notebook from Naoki’s hand.
“Oh no, Aniki. It’s okay. I insist.”
“Hmmm… I smell something fishy here. I’m not into uke x uke but if it’s you two, I think that’s kinda hot,” Aiko started wiggling as she imagined something lewd.
Naoki blushed. “Ano… It’s getting late. We better hurry.”
A voice suddenly came from behind them: “Hmm… Ki-chan, I never thought you were this popular among boys.”
The three became silent then they turned their backs to look at the one who spoke. Upon seeing who it was, Kichirō was suddenly stunned.
“Oh, Yuki-chan… I mean Miyuki. I didn’t know you were here…” He frowned.
Miyuki was smiling with her eyes squinted. Her long, black hair was gently moving as the wind blew. She looked so warm and radiant that the boys around felt her overwhelming aura… Only Kichirō felt the chill that her fake warm aura emitted. She then walked toward the three.
Kichirō took a step back. Naoki stood in front of Kichirō while Aiko was dumbfounded. She flashed a meaningful glance at Naoki as if she was asking who it was. Naoki could not respond properly so he just looked back at Aiko.
“How have you been lately, Ki-chan?” Miyuki asked. She still maintained her radiant smile on her small, pretty face.
“Uhm… Please stop calling me that. I’m fine,” Kichirō was hesitating to speak.
“You don’t have to be so afraid. Past is past. No hard feelings, okay?” She giggled.
A loud sound suddenly occurred. The other people in the hallway immediately glanced where the sound came from… It came from Aiko.
“Oops… Sorry, uhm… Senpai, there was a fly on your face. Oh wait, it was your face. I thought it was a fly,” she acted dumb.
Miyuki touched her cheek that Aiko slapped. She was about to grit her teeth out of anger but she still managed maintaining her composure. “Oh look, there’s a fly on your face, too.” She hurriedly raised her other hand in preparation to slap Aiko back.
Naoki suddenly held on tightly to her arm before her hand even landed on Aiko’s face. “Senpai, just leave. Or else I will report you.”
“She started it. I was just having a friendly conversation with my ex-boyfriend. Don’t tell me you’re one of his little boy-toys?” Miyuki sinisterly grinned.
“Uhm…” Naoki could not speak.
“Hey, bitch. Leave my friends alone. As long as I’m here, you can’t touch any of them. Just wait for my Army of Love to get back at you,” Aiko’s face darkened. She really wanted to do more things to Miyuki, other than slapping her.
“Army of Love? You nerds are really funny. Get back at me? Huh, I’m so scared. I can’t wait,” Miyuki sarcastically replied. After saying that, she harshly released herself from Naoki’s grip, then walked away.
After she walked away, the people around them were staring at the trio. Aiko looked back then glared as she said: “What? Do you want to be slapped, too?”
Everyone hurriedly avoided her deathly glare and pretended that nothing happened.
Someone suddenly hugged Naoki from behind. The person then said: What’s up, baby? Did we miss anything?”
Naoki’s body froze. He already knew to whom that jolly voice belonged to — Ken.
Aiko, who was initially in a defensive stance and had a fierce look, suddenly shifted to harmless-cat look. “Waaah~~ I’m so lucky to have you as my friends. Free show everyday. I can’t wait to introduce you to my other fujoshi friends, ha ha,” she laughed hysterically.
“One fujoshi friend is already enough…” Kichirō frowned. He hates being surrounded by overwhelming fan-girls. He really hated crowds.
“Senpai, you pervert! Stay away from me! Stop calling me baby!” Naoki could not hold on to it. Just like a fragile balloon, he popped.
“Shh… My little wifey is really cute. Do you have PMS today? Daddy’s here to cuddle you all night if you want to,” Ken went on teasing him.
“Little? I’m almost as tall as you! Who said I was your wife?” He broke away from Ken’s hug then dashed away from them.
Ken looked around him then stupidly said: “What did I do again?” After saying that, he immediately run after the other boy.
“Idiot,” Ryū, who was silent earlier, suddenly spoke.
Kichirō heard the other boy’s voice. The pressure in his chest was immediately lifted. He felt that he could breathe properly again. He looked back confirming if what he had in mind was correct. It was really Ryū. There was a thin glassy film on his eyes, as if he was about to cry. “Ryū…” He called with a soft voice.
“What happened?” Ryū asked as he frowned. He could not stand seeing the boy that he loves look so lifeless.
Aiko then stepped forward: “Reporting, commander…”