After the princ.i.p.al had finished his relatively long speech with little meat to it, the students left the grounds for the school in small groups.
Taiyou stood there and turned to Youran.
He thought he wanted to hear more about her thoughts about the student president.
As he began to open his mouth to ask, his friend Katsuki shouted out to him.
「Hey, Natsuno-kun! I got something to ask you…hey, who's this hot girl you're with?!」
Katsuki was in the middle of talking and noticed Youran, stopped, and was stunned so much his upper half bent back in an exaggerated awe.
With that loud, vocal overreaction, the students remaining in the school grounds turned their attention towards them.
This bad, Taiyou thought. Since Youran wasn't a student, it might be hard to suddenly react to Katsuki's words.
「Well, um… you see…」
「Did we ever have a super hot babe like this at the school? No, no way we did!」
As he sad that, he was suddenly cut short.
Why did he stop talking so suddenly? Taiyou silently thought with a tilt of his head.
「A pleasure to meet you. My name is Yurikago.」
Though Taiyou was in a rush to get her out of there, Youran calmly introduced herself.
He was surprised to hear her utter that nostalgic name again, but Katuski accepted the name she said without hesitation.
「I see! Which class are you in, Yurikago? What year? Are you a transfer student?」
「My - sec - ret.」
She said mischievously, as she put her index finger to her lips with a wink.
Almost as if he had been shot, Katsuki put his hand to his heart and pretended to be knocked back.
It was the classic pose of a man being shot by Cupid's arrow.
「He's going too far again…」
「He really is, desu.」
Taiyou responded with a whisper, as Hera agreed.
However, they were the only ones that thought it an over-exaggeration.
As Katsuki was talking, another male student barged in. With a high of nearly 190cm/6 and a half feet, he was a strong looking member of the basketball team.
「I've always loved you, please date me!」
「Nice to meet you the first time, and no, I can't.」
She smiled, but with a compassionless dismissal turned him down.
The strong-willed basketball player slumped his shoulders and dejectedly turned around.
「You idiot!」「Confessing your love like that, die!」「You've been turned down by the 50th girl, die!」
Guys that were waiting and seemed like his friends spewed out insult after insult at the student.
They don't have to go that far…Taiyou thought.
(Well, even so… maybe he's better off being turned down. That girl's dangerous in some ways.)
『shingetsu no Kami』or Youran, he remembered what it was like to get mixed up with her.
Taiyou remembered getting shot at by a rocket because of her and so it seemed like avoiding her was best.
(I wonder what will get fired at me next?)
He thought, but was still a bit interested to see where their roads would lead next.
「Hey, Natsuno, so you know this Yurikago?」
「Yeah, well, um…」
He turned to Katsuki, and wondered in his mind how to answer that question.
「As a friend, I guess you could say.」
He turned to her as if to confirm what he had said about their relationship.
「Of course we are!」
Not only Katsuki, but everyone around them seemed to react in wonder.
「You really are something! All that stuff this morning and friends with Yurikago too? And friends with Kotone, Suzune, and Kazane!」
「It's not really that much. This morning was just what it was, and making friends with people isn't that big of a deal.」
「No, you really are awesome, right everyone?!」
As Katsuki asked, everyone around agreed, yeah, wow, as the voices affirmed what he was saying.
Taiyou wasn't as annoyed by all the fawning over as one would think.
The fact that Youran was friends with him had no real value to him but more to Youran, but he wasn't put off by being told it, regardless.
Suddenly, he remembered that Youran had said the same thing about him as well, and he looked over at her.
「That reminds me, what happened to him this morning?」
She met eyes with him, and she asked.
Katsuki responded excitedly, and told Youran the whole incident about the car.
A car had sped into the street, and Taiyou had stopped it, as Katsuki described the scene passionately as if he himself had seen it happen.
Youran said with a laugh, the opposite expression of Katsuki, who thought it a bad reaction.
「It IS something.」
「Yeah, maybe it's not really a big deal.」
Katsuki raised his voice in protest, and Taiyou seemed lost.
Taiyou was a bit shocked. As Youran had known about him, him stopping a car with his power…it was because he had been raising his level step by step.
She wasn't proud of knowing him or anything, but she should have at least been proud of him stopping that car.
That's all he thought, so it was a bit of a shock for him.
「Come on…Natsuno really is something.」
「Nah, I know stronger people than him. In this group of students, there's one guy with even a greater story than Taiyou's.」
「Whaaa, who is it, then?」
「My - sec - ret.」
The same expression and mischievous face.
At that gesture, all the guys remaining on the school ground went wild.
They had all now forgotten about Taiyou. All of them were only focused on Youran.
(A guy greater than me?)
In the midst of the all the other guys, he was the only one "relaxed."
Giving a flimsy reason, they two left the group of gathered students alone.
The girl wanted to go home, so he walked her to the school gate.
In the midst of all the crying cicadas, the twin-tailed girl turned, and said to Taiyou,
「Okay, well take care of that student president thing, and then call me. I'll tell you the details of your prize then.」
Taiyou looked at Youran with a serious face.
「You said you know a greater guy then me here, at this school. Maybe you should ask him to do that instead, right?」
「What, are you jealous?」
She jested with him, but with the tone of mockery as well.
The little devilish smile, and with it all the other students would have gone wild if they saw it.
「That's not it.」
He said to her, but he did wear a confused expression.
He knew that he looked that way as well, but he still claimed that it wasn't out of jealousy.
「I don't know what you're talking about, and I don't know why from the beginning you brought it up, but to make a long story short, you want someone with top ability to cooperate with you to become student president, right?」
「That's obvious, isn't it?」
「If that's so, then it should be someone you know. There are means to changing the student president, so it's best to find the best means to do it. I don't know anyone better than me, knowing the dorks at this school, but if you ask them all again putting on those "Miss Popular" act again, I'm sure someone will do your bidding.」
「Don't worry, I've already asked the one I wanted.」
Then it's none of my business, Taiyou thought to himself lonesomely for an instant.
「…I already asked.」
He remembered Youran telling him.
「What do you mean?」
He asked her, looking Youran straight in the eyes.
「I told you, I already asked the one I wanted.」
「…then what about the 『stronger guy』you were talking about.」
「Yeah, I asked him.」
「No, no…wait a second.」
He held his arms up to stop her words, as brows seemed to question her.
「You said there was a guy greater than me, right?」
「Yeah, I know one.」
「So, you asked him.」
「Yeah, I did.」
「…but, it's me?」
What does that mean, he said with a frown.
「Yes, you. So what then? You stopped a car with your own body? You're friends with three girls? You're my friend?」
She counted them off on her fingers.
She smiled as if to mock him, but then looked at him seriously.
The air of 『shingetsu no Kami』seemed to swirl up around her.
「Maybe those things really are great, I know, but you're a guy that can do way more than that. You're a guy that can do things that can put all those other 'great' things to shame.」
Youran smiled at him, but her eyes were true.
「The things that you did at Juunishima, none of them know about.」
「Is that how it is? Then you should have told them.」
She responded again with a smile and continued.
「It's a waste, right? Those things ONLY I should know about.」
Taiyou was suddenly taken aback.