Chapter XXIV 


I glanced at the clock. It's almost five.

I picked my things and left the faculty room.

A while ago, I ate lunch with Hanamori at the rooftop. We talked for the whole hour. Also, little by little, I feel like I'm starting to understand her. She's feeling sad, but she kept all this inside her. If I didn't overhear them last night, I doubt that I would have understood that she's looking out for me. Sometimes, I'm just a real blockhead.

I walked out. As expected, she's sitting there, holding her phone.

I walked towards her. "Hanamori!"

She looked at me then smiled. "Sensei! Good work today!"

"Yeah, did you wait long?" I smiled back.

She shakes her head then said, "I went to the mall with Harurun and Rin-chan earlier and I just arrived a little while ago"

"Eh? You shouldn't have come here, then. Didn't I tell you that if you're out you can just mail me?" I said, probably sounding like an older brother talking to his sister.

She pouted. "But, sensei~!"

There she goes again. Showing that cute face of hers on me. I sighed.

"Alright, Alright. Let's just go" I said as I lead the way.

Mimi grabbed my arm and started walking.

"Did you buy anything at the mall earlier?"

"Yes, we bought this!"

She showed me her right hand. In her little finger is a silver ring. It has tiny gemstones all around it and a sparkling yellow star in the middle. It looked cute and childish.

"What do you think? It's cute, right?"

"I agree. It looks very cute on you"

Her face turned red and she looked at her ring.

"Harurun and Rin-chan has one too. Rin-chan has a diamond one, while Harurun has a circle one. We're all the same, except for the symbols in the middle" Mimi said, treasuring the ring.

As we were walking, I continued to ask her how her day went. She told me everything that happened at the mall, including the time when Chikimizu almost choked to death.

"Don't move, or I'll kill you!"

A man grabbed my arms and whispered to me. He pointed a blade on my waist.


Upon seeing this, Mimi tried to shout, but her voice was cut when another man covers her mouth.

"Sto---!!!" I tried to shout, but my mouth was covered.

We were dragged out of the street and into a dark alleyway. There are two men in black garments and a shady brown hat. One of them held my mouth and a blade pointed on my waist, while the other one covered Mimi's mouth and carried her like she's some sort of a baggage.

When we arrived at the darkest part of the alleyway, the one covering my mouth finally let go.

"Now, hand over all your money and jewelries!" The man who held me declares.

"Sensei, sensei!!" Mimi shouted with tears forming in her eyes.

Without a second thought, I handed them my wallet. "There, now let go of the child!"

The man who held me took the wallet and opened it. "This is all you have? Fifty Yen?!"

"I can't help it if I'm poor, you know!!" I shouted at them.

"You must have something else in there! Hand it over or this kid gets hurt!!" The man who's holding Mimi pointed a blade on her thin neck.

"I don't have anything else! Just let go of her, please!!" I pleaded.

The man who's holding Mimi immediately spotted the newly-bought ring on Mimi's finger. "Hey, this looks like an expensive ring!"

Mimi struggled, but it wasn't enough. He took the ring from her by force.

"Stop!! H-Here! I have a watch, and a bracelet that my friend gave me. I'll give it to you, but please don't take that ring!" I said, removing the watch and bracelet from my wrist.

"Hand it over!" The man behind me exclaimed.

As ordered, I gave him my accessories. "Now give back the ring!"

"Why should we? This ring looks even more expensive than your watch and bracelet combined!" The man who's holding Mimi exclaimed then grinned.

"Hey, if that kid has an expensive ring, maybe her parents are rich?" The man behind me said.

"Hmmmmm, now that you say that, can you imagine how much her parents would pay for their daughter's life?" The man who's holding Mimi responded and started to carry her behind him.

Mimi struggled, but her strength isn't enough to match that of a full-grown man's. Her tears are falling as she struggled to get the man's hand off her mouth.

"Get ... your filthy hands off her!!" I said angrily.

As I did, I used my elbow to punch the man from behind me, causing him to back out a bit. He attacked me and punched my stomach. I fell down from the pain.

"Heh! That's what you get for fighting back!" The man whom I had punched earlier said so.

He walked towards me, and when he approached me, I gave him a full blast upper cut. He fell down.

Seeing his companion defeated, the man let go of Mimi then lunges towards me. He uses the blade as an attack weapon. With his weapon at hand, all I can do is avoid.

In an unexpected force, I was hit by the sharp blade. Blood dripped from my shirt and into the ground.


Seeing this, Mimi lets out a loud scream. Her scream was loud enough that the enemy was able to lose focus on me for one measly second. Grabbing this chance, I used my knee to kick his stomach. He fell down.

When his companion woke up, he stood up and ran away. The second one that I beat up was conscious and was able to flee.

I fell down on my knees from the pain of my injured stomach.

I looked at Mimi who was crouched down on the ground and holding her head. Her tears never stopped.

Despite all the pain, I pushed myself to stand up and walk towards Mimi.

"Hey ... A-Are you ... hurt?" I said slowly.

She didn't respond. She remained crying.

"Mommy ... Mommy ..." she said over and over as if reciting a chant.

"Hanamori! Hanamori! Look at me, Hanamori! Hanamori!!!"

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