Chapter 2 – The Tyrant
by lemuel moo
”Miss Bear Panties!”
I immediately turned around and threw my book at Gale.
”Would you please stop calling me that?”
“I have been calling you out all this time, and while you were so engrossed in your conversation with Hideki, The teacher has been calling for you!”
Argh, just my luck! I didn’t manage to have a decent conversation with Hideki yesterday because he was being surrounded by girls who wanted to make friends with him, while I had to go home immediately after school because of the stupid bodyguard briefing.
It would be nice to exchange phone numbers with Hideki. We certainly have a lot to catch up on after these past five years, and maybe perhaps… I should try and engage in a conversation with him after school…
While was I talking with the teacher, I sent a glance at Hideki and Gale from the corner of my eye. As if by coincidence Gale looked at me with a sly grin on his face and walked towards Hideki.
”Yo Hideki, wanna hang out together the guys today? You were surrounded by girls too much yesterday and I think it’s only appropriate to make friends with the guys in our class too eh.”
”Yeah sure, I’m up for it. What do you suggest we do?”
That sly fox! He knew perfectly what I wanted to do and he just had to botch my chances!
At that moment Raine came into our class looking for Gale.
”Brother! There you are! Want to head home together?”
”Hey Raine, we’re going to have an all-boys outing today to get to know one another better. Can we do that tomorrow?”
Raine sulked in disappointment, but Hideki caught on quickly.
”Oh, both of you live alone together right? It’s not really a big deal if your little sister joins us. At the very least you could take care of her and not let her be lonely.”
”Hmm.. in that regard, I do have someone else to take care of as well.”
Gale looked at me with a guileful grin.
”Hey Clere, you wanna join us at our all boys gathering as well? Since my sister will be there, it would make her feel at ease if she’s not the only girl at our gathering.”
A group of girls overheard Gale’s statement and walked to him hastily in response
”Hey now, we girls want to join in on your gathering as well you know!”
“Well, you do know the reason why we’re having an all-guys gathering is because of you girls forming a wall around Hideki. None of the guys actually got to know him at all. Moreover, Hideki kindly asked my sister along because he knew she will be alone at home, while I asked Clere along because I have to be her bodyguard.”
Hearing their proposal getting shot down, The girls glanced at Gale angrily.
”Who made you Hideki’s manager? Why do you intend to show favoritism for Clere and your sister but not for us?”
Seeing the situation being escalated, Hideki stepped up to break the argument.
”Now now, Gale isn’t trying to play favorites. Actually, I too wanted to hang out with the guys for once, and I’m sure with just Gale’s sister and Clere, it shouldn’t be too much of a bother for the guys.
The girls immediately lowered the heads and drooped their bodies in disappointment.
“How about I hang out with you girls tomorrow? Can I make it up to all of you that way?”
”Kya~! You are so kind! We will go to a karaoke lounge with you tomorrow after school okay?”
”Okay okay, I will make sure it’s exclusive to all of you.”
I took a glimpse at Gale during the whole commotion and fortunately, he noticed it. He strolled towards my side and whispered in a low voice.
”Making it worthwhile yea? This evening will be the first time that you are breaking curfew.”
I was shell-shocked. Did Gale plan that in advance?
Nevertheless, I was truly excited from the bottom at being invited to a guys’ only gathering! Especially since I heard from the other girls that when there are only one or two girls in an all-guys gathering, the guys will definitely be inclined to treat the girls well! I’m gonna have a whale of a time!”
Since the girls are going to have karaoke tomorrow with Hideki, we decided that we should go to the amusement park together, taking advantage of the fact that it was still the start of the school year and there wasn’t much homework to be done.
How long has it been since I last entered an amusement park! I’ve always missed out on such gatherings because of the dumb curfew, and to think that I would actually spend my first evening with Hideki!
I could not stop smiling to myself while anxiously waiting for school to end!
After school, everyone who was invited to the guys’ gathering took a subway to the amusement park.
The Waltz park was renown for romantic and yet thrilling experiences! Hopefully, I would be able to have a special selfie with Hideki!
”Sure brings back memories doesn’t it, Clere? Together with your sister, this was one of the last things we did before I left this place.”
”Y-yea that’s right! I completely forgot about it and to think you’d still be able to remember!”
As we entered the park, we were surrounded by mascots, beautiful decorations, and wonderful themed scenes! At one corner we could see a couple taking wedding shots, while at a separate corner, there were a group of friends smiling and laughing with each other!
”I’ve always loved this place and never wanted to leave, but due to unfortunate circumstances, my elder sister and I had to move out and live with my uncle during that time.”
“Oh yes, since you moved back, I haven’t seen your sister at all. Is Kasumi alright?”
”Kasumi is doing fine. You will meet her soon enough. After she settles some of her paperwork, you’ll be able to catch up with her over a meal.”
Mizushima Kasumi was another lady that I looked up to. She was strong with her sword, outgoing and above all, kind.
While we were reminiscing, the guys started calling out to Hideki to check out the rides. Jeez, notice the mood will you.
”Hey Hideki, want to try out this roller coaster? It seems like fun!”
“Sure!, Give me a moment I’ll be right with you!”
This exchange between the guys warmed my heart. Usually, these guys were only excited over cute girls and it was refreshing to see them embrace guy friendships from time to time. Maybe they were also eager to know a ‘hero-like’ figure in our class. Hideki definitely makes the cut for being a man’s man.
While Gale was still playing around with Raine over balloons and a mascot. A stroke of inspiration hit me in that maybe we should also have a ‘girls time’ while letting the guys have their ‘guys time.’
“Hey Raine, do want to check out the souvenirs shop while the guys decide on a ride?”
At that instant, Raine realized that she had been hogging all of Gale, and immediately took up the offer.
”Sure, let’s go check out that store.”
We were looking through all the cute items together, and I was wondering whether I should buy anything for my mother or sister.
”This is probably the first time I have seen Gale not being in the limelight among girls.”
”Really? Your brother doesn’t look too bad himself you know?”
”Yea, Hideki stole all the limelight this time around and I would consider it as something good.”
Wow, you really are that into your own brother, aren’t you?
“You know, we moved from place to place partly because my brother was too popular.”
”Eh? Gale was so popular that he had to move?”
”Yea, it’s either somebody wanting to challenge him over a fight or some girl wanting to marry him. Those people were quite tenacious and followed us wherever we went even when we relocated.”
Well, that’s surprising. I don’t think I will ever do that for Gale though.
”At first, I didn’t really understand anything at all. Why would my brother be this popular? Looking at Hideki right now, I guess it makes sense that both guys and girls would want to be around someone who is both successful and strong. Were I not his younger sister, I would probably have fallen for Gale as well.”
I didn’t know what to say. For a topic as sensitive as this, I guess it was best not to say anything.
”…Just like how you have already fallen for Hideki.”
My face flushed with red as Raine hit a soft spot.
”T-that’s not true! Hideki and I had been friends for a long time and we are just picking up our friendship from where we left off.”
Raine’s face gave a “Yea yea, as if I will believe you,” much to my chagrin.
”I do think my brother is a cut above the rest though. I can’t explain it, but something tells me he is very different from my current knowledge of him. He’s way more awesome than he really should be but he’s just hiding it.”
I don’t know about the awesomeness part, but I do know that he is hiding a lot of things from you Raine. You must be very perceptive to know that there is something deeper from what he is showing superficially right now.
Raine sighed out of the blue.
”Seems like Hideki has a fan club of girls already.”
”What made you say that?”
”I felt like we have been followed all the way from school. It’s the same feeling that those stalkers give out when they were looking for my brother a while back, but this time it’s Hideki.”
I turned around and scanned the area to see if there were any suspicious people around us. Coincidentally, A figure who was wearing the same uniform as us quickly hid behind a pillar as I looked.
”Wow, and you have been noticing it since we left school? Why didn’t you say anything?”
“What for? What can we do in this situation? Confronting or running away would just spoil today’s fun.”
Raine looked at me as though she had a ton of experience being stalked with her brother.
”My only advice for you is to not be all over Hideki for today. That way, those girls won’t find any trouble with you.”
Gale suddenly popped up from behind and gave both of us a scare.
”Hey ladies, we picked a ride that I think we should all go together! How about we head out and join up with the rest if you are not buying anything here — Oww! Why did both of you pinch me?”
“You know what you did, Brother!”
The guys ended up picking an exhilarating ride with lots of dips and swirls. The sitting arrangement was two by two and we had to figure out who we should sit with for the ride.
”I think Gale and Clere should sit together while Sang and I will sit together. Then the rest of you guys can go sort yourselves out.”
Gale looked at Raine for a moment and smiled. Seems like Gale noticed her intentions to divert attention away from Hideki for both Gale and me.
For a moment I felt that maybe Raine wasn’t your typical middle-school student. She really gives extra attention to details and plans ahead to the best of her abilities.
Hideki looked puzzled at Raine’s assertive suggestion, but quickly nodded in agreement and sorted out the rest of the sitting arrangements with the other guys.
It has been a long time since I took a roller coaster, so I felt really apprehensive about taking a ride on it, but as I was just tagging along for the boy’s gathering, I didn’t dare suggest anything negative.
”I will give you a pass at pinching at me if you are scared. Holding hands will be for Hideki it seems.”
I looked at Gale and saw his smile. He was such an enigmatic persona in one moment he would seem like a jerk while in the next you’d never expect him to be this kind.
Though for some reason, I couldn’t help but feel annoyed. I had yet to figure out my feelings towards Hideki and Gale was the last person whom I wanted to be teased from.
”I will definitely take up your offer.”
At the end of the ride, no one truly knew whether Gale was screaming from fright or from pain.
What a wonderful outing we had! I can’t help but let out a beam of satisfaction at myself for having experienced such a pleasant day today!
I really didn’t think it was just because of Hideki. Maybe It had been so long since I had been able to go out with a group of friends without feeling the pressure of curfew, that I had no words to describe these feelings of liberation!
Despite the fact that Gale declared to the class that he was my bodyguard, he didn’t really make me feel monitored. As a matter of fact, he instead always kept himself hidden in the right moments, and it was because of these little details that I started to notice him more.
In contrast, Hideki hadn’t changed much from the time I met him. He was still the dense and kind gentleman who would try to never disappoint any girl who approaches him.
The guys in our class were goofy, and although they talked about girls all the time, deep in their hearts they were just innocent people who wanted to explore the feelings of love.
“Clere, could you carry these books to the teacher’s office for me please?”
As I carried the books and walked towards the teacher’s office, I decided to take a lesser known shortcut along another corridor, and I found myself staring at Gale from above, who happened to be with a bunch of girls and guys on the ground floor in an isolated area.
A blond, voluptuous and beautiful girl caught my eyes in the midst of the crowd. S-She is Nakano Satori! One of the tyrants of the school!
“I heard you guys were having fun at the Waltz park yesterday. Shouldn’t you be a little nicer and invite everyone and not just your exclusive little group?”
Gale was not in the least fazed by the crowd.
“I’m not sure I know what you are talking about when you are not even from my class. It was a gathering just among our classmates. Could you pick a better reason to find fault with me?”
Satori loved to pressure and recruit new talent in our school to join her club. Be it through seduction, physical or even mental threats, she was capable of it all and she never is found at fault since her mother sat as one of the directors of the school’s board.
Satori smiled and attempted to seduce Gale with her eyes. I was concerned that Gale might be moved in his heart as she was one of the top ten beauties in Aelfsige Academy.
“Seems like you are not at all fazed by the group of us here, so I shall cut to the chase. I want you to influence Mizushima Hideki to join our group.”
“Group? What group do you guys belong to in school?”
One of the surrounding ‘henchmen’ with a mohawk and a dastardly-looking scar running across his face answered.
“We belong to the Satori’s fighting group. You know, as in how schools compete in fighting tournaments ever since the ‘Hidden War’ fifteen years ago where governments in the world look to groom capable talents in fighting.”
Turning back his face towards Satori, he asked with a nonchalant expression.
“Oh? And you want Hideki to join your arsenal?”
“Correct. The Mizushima style swordplay is famous, and I suspect he is quite strong himself. That’s why it will be good for me to recruit him into our team.”
“My name is not Hideki, so why haven’t you approach him yourself?”
“Hideki told us that he will join the kendo group and focus on practicing his sword. He has no desire to join our group at all.”
“So what makes you think I will be successful when a beautiful girl such as you couldn’t even move him? He’s not gay you know?”
Satori looked Gale with an annoyed face.
“That’s why I want you to try all sorts of methods to get him over to my side! If you would do that, I will reward you for your efforts.”
“…I don’t think you have a reward that will even move me one inch.”
“Are you absolutely sure?”
Satori wrapped her arms seductively over Gale. Gale couldn’t be any less interested in her advances.
“We could make a deal, and you can join us as well.”
“Is that it? Can I go now?”
Satori pushed Gale away angrily upon those words.
“How dare you snub me?! Do you realize how many people are dying to join our side?”
“No, I don’t know how many people are dying to join you. Secondly, you don’t want me, you want Hideki. The reason why you don’t try to seduce Hideki is that if your approach is wrong, he may dislike you for it. However, you don’t really care about what I think since you probably could approach someone else to do your dirty work instead.”
“Hideki seems to like your company though. I noticed that you have a fair bit of influence over him than other people do.”
“Like I said, he ain’t gay. Neither am I. I wouldn’t misuse my influence as a friend for the lame reason of joining your group.”
Hearing this, the rest of the guys and girls seemed riled up.
“I guess we should teach him a lesson. Maybe that will make him do our bidding.”
In the next few moments, those guys came over and started beating Gale up. I was really concerned as some of these guys were using bats as weapons, but if he had been doing covert operations from my mom since five years old, surely this type of aggression shouldn’t affect him at all.
To my horror, Gale was badly bruised and bleeding all over after being clobbered for about a minute. If it weren’t for his signature silver hair, I would’ve hardly recognized him at all.
Yet Gale wasn’t on his knees for long. He picked himself up and stood tall with an air of dignity and strength.
“So is that it? Can I go now?”
Satori was surprised. If anyone was going to be beaten up like that, it was not possible to think he could still stand up straight.
Everyone else was laughing though.
“Look at this fool. And Gale is supposed to be the bodyguard of Clere Sigrun. How weak he is!”
Gale ignored all these taunts and began to walk away.
“WHO SAID YOU COULD LEAVE?”
Gustav Vasa was known to be physically strong in our school, and when he struck Gale’s chest with a bat, I could hear the impact of the blow even when I was on the fourth floor of the school building.
As the force of Gustav’s swing threw Gale off his feet, Gale crashed into the wall headfirst. It was a painful sight to watch. Yet without much hesitation, he picked himself up, dusted the dust off him and began to walk away.
Now, no one was laughing even though Gale was bleeding all over. They clearly know something was wrong here.
Raine screamed at the top of her voice and began running towards Gale.
That is the most awful point of time to be appearing here, Raine! I put down the books on the floor and was about to jump from the fourth floor to keep Raine away from these people.
“Raine! Get back!”
It was too late. One of the girls caught Raine’s hair and pulled her.
Immediately the entire atmosphere was bathed in an intense killing aura that was so pressurizing, it sent shivers down my spine.
”What on earth is happening?”
I looked down to find the source of this killing aura and saw a grave countenance on Gale’s face which I could never forget.
“I’m not going to repeat myself. Let go of my sister or prepare to lose your arm.”
This killing aura told me that Gale was not to be trifled with. It was not just the intent to kill, but Gale was able to emanate a thick shroud of energy around the area which made it difficult for us to even breathe. I felt like someone put a ten kilograms sack on my back all of a sudden.
You wouldn’t think a fifteen-year-old guy would have such a level of strength within him.
The level of intensity of Gale’s gaze onto the girl who held Raine’s hair and the pressure that everyone felt in the vicinity made it clear that it was very easy for him to kill anyone there just like how you would squash an ant.
The poor girl who caught Raine’s hair was trembling down to her very knees and even began to wet herself. Raine loosed herself from the girl’s grip and ran towards Gale.
Satori knew she had messed with the wrong person. She immediately went in front of Gale and bowed humbly.
“I’m sorry. Nothing that I do is going to make up for this, but I regret all that we have done to you.”
Gale couldn’t even care less to give a glance at Satori.
“Are you alright, Raine?”
“I’m okay brother. Let’s go patch you up at the nurse’s office.”
Gale and Raine walked on as though Satori did not even exist.
Now I had a glimpse of how strong Gale is. My Mom was not fooling around with her choice of a bodyguard.
I wondered what that fifty percent clause truly meant though…
As I was thinking about this, I looked up and saw the student council president and the president of the occult research group staring with their eyes wide and mouth agape at the aftermath of this incident.