The wind was out.
With that, the clouds that had been drooping in the sky were finally being blown away. A bit of sunlight was even poking out from the west side.
Unfortunately, Kengo was sent to the hospital. No matter how you look at it, it was just a graze, but he was stabbed in front of the police officers, so it would be treated as an incident, and a medical certificate would probably be required. Anyway, he’d gotten injured as a direct result of me forcing him to accompany me, so I’ll have to properly give him my thanks later on.
Osanai-san would apparently be taken by the police car, to be taken to reunite with her family. Of course, there would be an interview about the incident, but from what I’d overheard, the official interview would only be conducted the next day, considering the mental damage sustained from the kidnapping.
Osanai-san was talking to the mobile phone in one hand. She was communicating with her family.
“Yes, I’m fine. No injuries… The policemen were kind. They want to hear about it tomorrow. Sorry, I’ll be home soon.”
What’s with the halting speech?
After finishing the call, she turned to me and asked two questions, looking like she was still in pain.
“Kobato-kun, does it hurt? Are you fine?”
I hadn’t been just standing in a corner before the police arrived. I’d been haphazardly shoving the other four away to prevent them from interfering in the scuffle between Kengo and Isawa, but I’d also received an elbow under my left eye for my trouble. That made me dizzy for a moment, but since I was hit on the cheekbone, I wasn’t really injured, though it still stung a little.
“No, it doesn’t hurt at all.”
That was, of course, just for the sake of appearances.
“What about you, Osanai-san? You were jabbed quite a few times, I heard.”
She was slapped… how many times again? I remember that her hair was pulled once. Osanai-san shyly looked away.
“As I thought, you were listening…?”
“I’m really hurting all over. That person wasn’t holding back when she punched me in the stomach.”
She said, pouting.
Finding that manner of speaking funny, I laughed. She was kidnapped and punched, so I would have expected her to hold a deep-seated grudge, but she seemed to have gotten over it already, right after the incident.
Why was Osanai-san being so magnanimous, just in this case? Of course, she could be intentionally giving off that impression and thinking differently in her heart, but right now she looked as if she could burst into song at any moment.
I considered the reasons for her magnanimity. I hadn’t really thought about it yet, but there was something that had been on my mind for quite a long time. Then again, Osanai-san could be happy about being released. That was the simple answer.
The police officers were waiting for Osanai-san. After turning back briefly to look at them, she spoke bashfully.
“Kobato-kun, thank you for coming. I knew that you would definitely come. That’s why I was always looking at the door of the room. If it opened just a bit, I would know that you arrived.”
“You unleashed that reckless verbal attack knowing that I was there, right?”
“I wasn’t expecting you to burst right through, though… my intention was to buy some time.”
Well, I was wondering about that earlier. I couldn’t really see her eyes since it was covered by her bangs while she was tied to a chair and looking down, but I did feel like she was looking at me from under her hair. I thought that she wouldn’t unnecessarily provoke them no matter how angry she was, though.
Osanai-san brushed some dust off her navy-colored skirt, then retreated two or three steps. As I was momentarily confused, she gave a deep bow.
“Thank you so much.”
I scratched my head.
“Ah… Um, you’re welcome.”
Osanai-san raised her head. She then put her hands on her stomach and grimaced.
“W-What’s wrong? Does it hurt where you were punched?”
“There is that, but…”
She stroked her stomach and continued.
Oh, is that all. Well, she did go without lunch, after all. It was now three thirty in the afternoon. Too late for lunch, and too early for dinner. She would soon be heading home, though.
I see. The way I see it, I could solve that issue with a sensible suggestion. With a grin, I spoke.
“You’ve had it rough today. Tell you what, I’ll buy something you like and bring it to your house.”
She waved her hands in front of her face.
“I-It’s fine. I still have to thank you, too.”
She was all smiles, even as she was verbally rejecting my offer. At times like this, Osanai-san sure is easy to read… If only she’s always like that. Then again, she wouldn’t be as interesting.
“Well, this is this, and that is that.”
“Let’s go with the next target of the Osanai Summer Sweets Selection. What was that next one again?”
Osanai-san brightened up. Putting up all her zeal, she asserted, while leaning close towards me.
“Tinker Linker’s peach pie! It uses white peaches, and it’s really really delicious!”
But at that moment, her smile froze up.
Even on this hot, humid summer day, I could certainly feel a rush of cold air suddenly descend between me and Osanai-san.
Editors (Tier 2) : Joshua Fisher, _Maki
Assistants (Tier 1) : Definitelynotme, Rolando Sanchez
Thank you very much for all your support!