The Little Witch’s Sure-fire Techniques – 6

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The Little Witch’s Surefire Techniques Vol01 Ch06

The first rays of sunlight in the room.

Ming Xiao Xi’s butterfly-like lashes blinked then she slowly opened her eyes.

The first head that leaned towards her was Toji Hiroyuki. Her voice was nervous as she asked, “Ming-neechan, who am I?”

The second head that leaned towards her was Koizumi. She was sweating. “Xiao Xi, who am I?”

Ming Xiao Xi’s eyes were filled with wonder as she sank back into her pillow. She turned to see the smiling Kazama Tetsu and the anxious Toji Hiroo. A little further away, she called see Makino Ryuho, whose eyes burned like dry ice. She chuckled wearily, “You…” She tried to think.

Toji Hiroyuki almost fainted.

Koizumi smiled bitterly. “Do you remember how you got hurt?”

Ming Xiao Xi blinked her eyes.

“Do you remember who you are?”

She blinked.

“Do you remember anything?”

She blinked again.

Toji Hiroyuki burst out crying. “Uwah…Ming-neechan lost her memories! She doesn’t remember anything!”

Suddenly——Ming Xiao Xi raised her hand and playfully slapped her. Although weak, her voice was crisp, “Tch! Lost my memories? I thought this was a drama lol. Anyway, don’t underestimate this world’s one and only Ming Xiao Xi.”

Toji Hiroyuki was surprised. “Ming-neechan, you remember everything?”

“Yeah.” Ming Xiao Xi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Was she that fragile to get something like amnesia? They were pretty weird to think of something like that. “My lovely spoilt Yuki-chan and you’re gossip-loving Koizumi. Oh and you’re hot-tempered Toji Hiroo and you’re…”

Her gentle eyes gazed around the room. “You’re the best Tetsu in this world,” she said, smiling.

Finally, she looked at the ice-cold yet beautiful boy standing in the corner. “Ryu…”

It had been a while since she’d last seen him.

Even now when she saw him, her heart still hurt.

The hospital room was strangely quiet.

Koizumi clenched her teeth; she really wanted to strangle the girl in the bed. “Ming Xiao Xi! Why did you pretend to be like that? Trying to scare us? We almost died from that!” It really was a very bad joke to play immediately after awaking.

Ming Xiao Xi looked at her and snorted. “I only played a joke on you and you just got unnecessarily angry. Then what do I get, after almost dying for you in that crash?”

Koizumi was speechless.

Ming Xiao Xi sat up and stared at her. “It’s not like you don’t know how to save someone. When there’s a car, you simply push them aside. What were you doing back there, filming for a drama? I mean, you just hugged the person in trouble and wouldn’t budge. It took so much energy to push you out of the way that I barely made it myself.”

Toji Hiroyuki looked at her worshipping eyes. “Ming-neechan, you’re amazing. You didn’t get any injuries from being hit by a car.”

Ming Xiao Xi, however, was very frustrated. “I actually fainted after being hit though.” Oh come on, her ‘invincible’ body couldn’t even dodge a car. It was an embarrassment to all her martial arts training.

She stared grumpily at Koizumi but suddenly chuckled. “Hey, don’t tell me you’re in love, hugging that guy like that and willing to throw away your life. Will you tell me all about it?”

Koizumi pulled a face and looked pointedly at her. She wasn’t like an injured person at all.

Ming Xiao Xi’s smile was mysterious. “I’m right aren’t I? I’ll help you as I’m the invincible Ming Xiao Xi after all!”

Koizumi’s face darkened and she turned towards the door.

Since the ‘victim’ was now energetic enough to deal with the troubles of ‘other people’, she wasn’t so worried anymore. Instead of being mocked, she would rather dig more valuable entertainment news.

Toji Hiroyuki quietly laughed in Ming Xiao Xi’s ear, “Ming-neechan, Koizumi’s blushing!”

Ming Xiao Xi laughed too. “Keep it down, or she’ll blush even harder.”

The two laughed hysterically.

Koizumi considered her two options, one was to grab their throats and the other was to leave the room. She needed to leave the room. The former would never succeed with Kazama Tetsu and Makino Ryuho in the room.

Leaving the room was better.

But she stopped.

Kaoru was leaning in the doorway, holding a large bouquet of flowers. His purple eyes twinkled.

Crap, she hoped he hadn’t heard Ming Xiao Xi’s joke.

She continued to worry.

Ming Xiao Xi laughed even louder, “Hey, are you the guy who Koizumi tried to protect?”

What nonsense!

Koizumi almost burst into tears.

※※※

Although Ming Xiao Xi wanted to leave the hospital and had declared herself to be completely fine, the doctors were still worried and told her to stay for a little longer. Ming Xiao Xi finally agreed to stay in hospital after the influence of the others. She decided to play the role of being the most obedient patient of Nintoku Hospital.

Sometimes during free moments at work, Koizumi would secretly fumble towards her ward. It had been ages since she’d talked to someone so happily!

Sometimes, she’d see Senya Kaoru.

Whenever this happened, Ming Xiao Xi would create opportunities for them to be alone.

That’s right, she had once hoped to get a chance to get along with Kaoru and understand him, or strive for his understanding but so many things happened all of a sudden and now, she had become disheartened at this goal she once had.

This time, Ming Xiao Xi ‘commanded’ Koizumi to accompany Kaoru out of the room.

The hall of the hospital.

The two walked in silence.

Koizumi tilted her head and eyed the silent Kaoru. She couldn’t help ask, “Hey, why are you here almost every day?”

Kaoru continued to walk ahead, ignoring her.

Koizumi sighed. “Please don’t be like that, just how long are you planning to stay angry?”

Every part of him was cold.

Koizumi stopped and said to his back, “Kaoru, I’ve already done everything I can. If you still want to be angry, I…have to give up.”

Her heart felt bitter.

Most of the time, people only realise what was precious to them when they’re gone. Maybe it was the feeling of emptiness that made the preciousness clearer. She knew that it was already too late and trying to mend their relationship was like trying to restore shattered crystal back into its original shape.

If she continued any longer, she would end up annoying and harassing him. She would rather stop completely.

He never glanced back.

She forced down the intense sorrow and grief she felt with all the strength she had.

And turned away

Kaoru’s hands were tightly clenched together.

He heard her footsteps.

Did she leave?

She had finally left.

The remaining red colour left his lips.

※※※

Koizumi was about to push open the ward’s door, when she suddenly saw a familiar figure on the terrace attached to the corridor.

She hesitated when she recognised Makino Ryuho.

Makino Ryuho stayed in the shadows, so she couldn’t see him too clearly. Although he was far, she could feel his pain and longing. She had never liked him very much and thought Xiao Xi with him, was light being swallowed by darkness.

However, in that moment, she seemed to appreciate his feelings.

Such hopelessness and helplessness…If only he was closer to Xiao Xi, he would be happy.

She felt sad.

And saw another person a little further on.

Such a tall boy, with a scar on his face. She had heard Xiao Xi mention that he was Makino Ryuho’s right hand man, Onido. Eh, that scar on his face seemed to remind her of someone…a thought flashed into Koizumi’s mind.

Were they related?

Ming Xiao Xi was sitting on the bed and biting a red apple. She winked at her. “Planning to dig out some insider news?”

She was taken aback, “How did you know?”

“Ah, whenever you smell something fishy, your eyes begin to shine.” Ming Xiao Xi shook her head, “I’m really pleased though as you can notice little clues despite being in a hospital. You’re a very good reporter after all.”

Koizumi proudly smiled, “Of course, I’m Tangerine Week’s ace reporter, Flame Witch!”

“Clap, clap!” Ming Xiao Xi applauded while holding the apple, “In acknowledgement of the greatest entertainment reporter!”

Koizumi sat down by the bedside.

Ming Xiao Xi handed her an apple. “But, why do you look so unhappy?”

Koizumi was distressed. “To get the best news, I used some abnormally harsh methods and someone won’t forgive me.”

“You mean, Senya Kaoru?”

“Yeah.”

“What did you do?” Ming Xiao Xi was curious.

Koizumi held onto her apple, while telling her everything that had happened, honestly.

Ming Xiao Xi was shocked by what she heard. “Eh, you actually came up with such approach?!”

Koizumi’s shoulders collapsed. “Amazing isn’t it?”

“Ahh,” Ming Xiao Xi patted her on the shoulder, “your acting is pretty good. You should consider joining the showbiz and I’m sure you’ll be a top actress tomorrow!”

Koizumi glared at her. “Do you only know how to make fun of me?”

Ming Xiao Xi saw that she was angry and hurriedly sat up. “Sorry, that was unnecessary. Let’s get straight to the point.” She coughed. “Ahem, first of all, do you think what you did was wrong?”

Koizumi tugged her hair, thinking, thinking.

“You——” Ming Xiao Xi was sure of it, “You don’t think that you were actually wrong, right?” No way, Koizumi’s values were so weird and she still hadn’t realised what went wrong.

“I really didn’t do anything bad!” Koizumi waved her fist in protest. “I didn’t expose his privacy, did not fabricate a scandal, or publish about his daily life! You see, I just wrote about some insignificant details! Even so, I’ve apologised to him heaps of time before, I just don’t see why he’s still so stingy!”

Thump!

Ming Xiao Xi punched her.

Koizumi saw stars.

Ming Xiao Xi huffed on her fist. “This punch is for Senya Kaoru. He was obviously so deeply hurt by you and yet you still have no idea why. Hey, when you apologise to me, you actually feel sorry, right?”

Koizumi’s head felt beaten up as she nodded. Geez, that punch really hurt!

Ming Xiao Xi lay on the hospital bed. “Koizumi, Koizumi, are you really ruthless or heartless…”

Koizumi thought the two words were pretty much the same.

Ming Xiao Xi breathed out slowly and sat up to stare intently at her. “Firstly, you lied to Senya Kaoru! You obviously knew who he was but pretended that you had never seen him before. This lowered his defences. You were in the wrong!”

Yes, that was true, but Koizumi was frustrated nonetheless.

“Secondly, Senya Kaoru told you what colour, flower he liked, but that was to a friend, not a reporter! Would you just publish something a friend told you? If I told Yuki-chan, Hitomi, Tetsu or even more people about what you told me today, wouldn’t you feel upset because I had betrayed you? Senya Kaoru feels the same.”

Koizumi clenched her hands, speechless.

“Then, you mentioned that Senya Kaoru never mentions his private life. Even if they’re just little details, whatever the reason, he cares a lot about them. Everyone has their own weaknesses and everyone has fears. These may be irrelevant to others, but to another person, these things are intolerable.” Ming Xiao Xi eyed her and accused, “Back at Kouyu College, the school newspaper club always had first-hand information from me and don’t pretend that you don’t know why!”

Koizumi took a deep breath. Oops, that had been her past crime but…She smiled, “Hehe. You weren’t too angry, because we’re good friends, just like sisters.”

“Were you a reporter of that club? Informant?” Ming Xiao Xi had always wanted to ask her this.

Koizumi touched her nose. “Hehe, I was the deputy editor.”

Ming Xiao Xi sighed in anguish.

At that moment, she finally realised that the Kouyu College newspaper’s motto, ‘fast, accurate and relentless’, had always been Koizumi’s doing. No wonder…no wonder…

Thump!

Koizumi was punched in the forehead.

Ming Xiao Xi glared at her, understanding the feelings of Senya Kaoru even more.

Thump!

She was so angry she couldn’t help punch Koizumi again.

Koizumi’s head was full of lumps and she was mumbling in pain. Where was the doctor…she wanted treatment…Ming Xiao Xi glared at the upset Koizumi. “Say! Were you wrong?!”

Koizumi stroked the lump on her head and tears began to form in her eyes. “Yes, I was wrong, I know I was wrong, but…but…are you still my friend?” She didn’t want to lose Xiao Xi too.

Ming Xiao Xi eyed her. “What do you think?”

Koizumi burst into tears. “Xiao Xi, don’t scare me anymore. I only have you as a friend, if you get angry, I…I…”

“What would you do?”

“Will…will…” Koizumi could no longer suppress her grief. She felt despicable enough to be cast aside and ignored for life. Only the darkest corner would be good enough for her then. “Will…have a very sad death…”

Ming Xiao Xi’s heart was soured by her crying.

She had never seen the clever, energetic Koizumi crying, as vulnerable as a child.

She couldn’t help hug Koizumi and pat her back. “Fine, don’t be upset. How could friends harm each other like that?! A friend one day is a friend for life.”

Koizumi’s eyes were misted. “Are you really not angry anymore?”

“Yeah.”

“Uwah——” Koizumi cried even more loudly. “Xiao Xi, I betrayed you so many times yet you still forgave me…Kaoru…I didn’t do anything that bad but…he still refuses to forgive me…I’ve apologised over and over again…I’ve done everything he could…he still ignores me…he must hate me…”

Ming Xiao Xi wiped her tears away with a tissue and sighed. “Everyone is different. I don’t mind what you did, but that doesn’t mean Senya Kaoru would be the same. Everyone’s privacy should be respected. Even if you’re a reporter, that doesn’t mean you have the right to ruin the privacy of others. That’s how you should be towards normal interviewees, let alone Senya Kaoru, who treats you like a friend, right?”

Koizumi listened to her words, her tears still streaming steadily.

“The more Senya Kaoru trusts you, the greater the damage. The more he hates you now, the more——” Ming Xiao Xi blinked, “he used to like you.”

Like?!

Koizumi was so shocked that even her tears stopped flowing.

She swallowed. “You mean——Kaoru likes me?”

Ming Xiao Xi casually leaned back into bed and grabbed the half-eaten apple. She munched on it, saying, “That’s right.”

Koizumi wanted to steal her apple to get her to hurry up. “Can you please expand on that?”

Ming Xiao Xi lazily took another bite of the apple. “Oh, you want to hear all about it?”

“Yeah!”

Fine, she decided not to torment her any longer.

Ming Xiao Xi put down her apple and studied Koizumi with sparkling eyes. “Say, if Senya Kaoru didn’t like you, would you be his friend? Why would he wait for you under the baking hot sun, get someone to send you a bento, listen to your every word and give you everything you wanted, for another reason that wasn’t love?!”

Koizumi was dazed.

“And, why does he visit me so often?”

“Because you saved him.”

“Stupid.” Ming Xiao Xi eyed her, “He paid for my medical expenses so how could he not get other people to bring flowers and fruit to me? Why does he personally come to see me every day?”

Koizumi tensed up. “Could it be…he fell in love with you?!” A lot of people liked Ming Xiao Xi, so perhaps Kaoru had decided that she was cuter than her?

Thump!

Another punch!

Girls in love always had a low IQ! Ming Xiao Xi muttered, “Idiot”, at Koizumi and realised that she felt very violent today.

“What was that for?!”

“Because you’re so dumb!” Ming Xiao Xi was annoyed, “How did you come up with such an absurd conclusion?! Firstly, Senya Kaoru came to see me because I saved him. Come to think of it, Koizumi, you haven’t thanked me yet for saving you. How mean…” She shook her head, not exactly in a friendly way. “Senya Kaoru was very grateful to me because I saved your life, thus implying how important you are to him. Secondly, it’s because he can see you here. Haven’t you noticed that his eyes often follow you?!”

Koizumi desperately wailed at this. “No way, he never looks at me.”

“True. He stops looking at you when you look at him.” Only a bystander could notice this.

“He likes me…”

Koizumi gradually started to believe it.

A smile formed on her face, like the sun breaking through the cloudy sky. Kaoru liked her.

However, almost a second later, the smile disappeared.

“But, he’s so angry that he’s ignoring me.” Koizumi started crying again. “Even if you say that Kaoru used to like me, he hates me now.”

This was a problem.

Ming Xiao Xi thought for a little longer and finally said, “You were the one who screwed everything up…”

“Yeah.”

“…Therefore, you need to mend it.”

“Yeah.”

“Then go and think of something up.”

“Think of what?” Koizumi’s face was hopeful.

“How should I know?” It wasn’t her problem and there was no point in getting an extra headache.

Koizumi was annoyed, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“Haha, no way.” Ming Xiao Xi bit into her apple while thinking, “Koizumi, regardless of what method you use there are two things you must remember.”

Koizumi listened carefully.

“You must be honest.”

Koizumi nodded.

“You mustn’t use those little tricks of yours.”

Koizumi frowned.

Was she talking about her sure-fire techniques? That seemed a little hard.

Ming Xiao Xi’s smile was pure. “As long as you can master these two points, you’ll be invincible!”

Koizumi studied Ming Xiao Xi, who was propped up on the bed. Her legs and arms were still wrapped in thick bandages, but her cheeks were as pink as the apple in her hand and her eyes twinkled like stars.

“Xiao Xi, thank you.”

Koizumi’s voice was solemn and very serious.

Ming Xiao Xi shot her a stunned look and shook her apple. “Why so mushy? Worshipping me secretly would do well enough, I’ll know anyway. Haha, after all, I’m the world’s one and only Ming Xiao Xi!”

Koizumi narrowed her eyes.

She regretted it! That cocky Ming Xiao Xi!

Koizumi stood up and suddenly had a thought. “Oh yeah? When I came in, I saw Makino Ryuho outside. Should I get him to come in? You look kinda bored anyway.”

Ming Xiao Xi’s expression had suddenly become very strange and the apple seemed to be caught in her throat.

※※※

The Annual Golden Melody Awards ceremony.

Gleaming starlight!

All stars gathered!

In addition to the stars themselves, the executives from every record company and presidents from all sorts of media organisations, all of the other rich and powerful people who had profited from the entertainment industry were assembled. The stars, other celebrities and famous people all dressed up glamorously, in fear of being excluded. Only Shinyo Kane, the president of Tangerine Company, was dressed up in normal, dark-coloured qipao. She was quietly sitting in the guest room.

Koizumi was among the entertainment reporters and was eying the distant Shinyo Kane. She had once looked at the founder of Tangerine Weekly with adoring eyes, but now she questioned whether she really wanted to idolise her anymore.

Shinyo Kane just sat there, alone, as if she had the plague and no one wanted to get close to her. Only one other person, Shimayama Osu, the president of Burst Weekly, was alone like her.

Shinyo Kane had once said that all one needed to be successful in the media department, was a ruthless heart. She had even once claimed that she wasn’t a real businessman, but a person who knew how to earn lots of money.

Being ruthless meant countless articles of the worst scandals in history. Shinyo Kane had succeeded in life, but the cost of that was no one dared to approach her.

Did she want to be like that?

Koizumi was horrified at the thought.

The host was witty as he handed out the awards one by one.

It was the same as the last two years, Senya Kaoru, from the Yoshisumeragi Company, remained the best lyricist and composer. His singles held four places in the list of top ten selling singles in the country and he was named the best male singer overall. The host tried to get him to speak as much as he could, but all he did was thank his company and the partners he had worked with.

The audience was disappointed when the singer who received the Best New Artist award, Tsuka Sakura, subtly pointed out that she was dating Senya Kaoru.

At that moment, the entertainment reporters roared in delight!

All cameras swivelled towards Senya Kaoru and Tsuka Sakura. They wanted to capture them ‘exchanging’ looks of love!

Koizumi stiffened.

Although her intuition told her that Tsuka Sakura was lying, an uncomfortable feeling still swept across her body. That was when she realised that she too, had unconsciously fallen for Kaoru.

She gazed at Senya Kaoru, in the VIPs’ seats across her.

Senya Kaoru was wearing a white suit. His eyes were black and his lips were cold and thin. He was as handsome as the prince in fairytales, but he was able to mercilessly crush the hearts of the girls who had fallen in love with him.

She didn’t like Kaoru being like that.

She liked the Kaoru with eyes as gentle as purple violets in spring, happiness dancing in them.

Koizumi hung her head in dismay.

Would she ever be able to get the Kaoru she used to know back?

Late at night, on the highway.

The number of vehicles gradually diminished.

Kamiki frowned, after observing the car mirror. “Crap, there’s a bunch of reporters following closely behind. It’s impossible to throw them off.” Ever since Tsuka Sakura’s ‘hint’ that her relationship with Senya Kaoru was ‘not usual’, the entertainment reporters decided that they had smelled something fishy going on. Now, they were chasing Senya Kaoru’s car with their ‘high-tech’ driving skills.

Senya Kaoru didn’t seem to hear him. He was in a daze.

Kamiki turned towards him. “Kaoru, you seemed to have been a little depressed these days. What happened?”

He and Kaoru had grown up in the same orphanage. Kaoru had been the prettiest boy in the orphanage, but he seemed to always be drowned in a melancholic silence. Kamiki had tried a variety of toys to become friends with him, but he had always failed. Later, Kaoru entered the entertainment circle because of his handsome looks and brilliant voice, while Kamiki had become his secretary. The closer Kamiki had gotten to him, the more confused he became. Kaoru was often stubborn and indifferent, but sometimes he’d act childish, especially when his ‘phone of happiness’ used to ring. Kamiki had realised that his innocence had always been hidden and someone had finally managed to uncover it.

These days however, Kaoru’s smile was gone and his atmosphere became increasingly cold. Almost all of the light in his eyes had disappeared.

Senya Kaoru closed his eyes.

He remembered those two hours ago, Koizumi had looked at him.

She had looked at him.

As if she felt that he was very far away.

He could barely see her bright red hair himself.

…She had smiled at him, her red hair shining like a flame. “See, I’m holding your hand…so will you forgive me?”

…In that moment, she had hugged him. His chest had tightened and he could barely breathe. She had tightly clutched to him, as if she wanted to give her life to him…she had lain on the ground, her face pale and her red hair brighter than usual, as two tears fell from her eyes slowly.

…In that moment.

He had thought that she had died.

His fear and despair suffocated him

When he finally realised that she hadn’t died and wasn’t injured, the truth had dawned him——He liked her.

Liked her more than he realised.

She was like an unknown poison that invaded every cell of her body. Her smile and lies were all a trap and he had fallen in. That was when she said——“Kaoru, I’ve already done everything I can. If you still want to be angry, I…have to give up.”

She had turned away from him.

She had walked away, leaving an empty hall.

Ah, that witch.

She had first deceived him and then left him. Her decisions were nothing to do with him.

Kaoru was gradually coming to a conclusion.

His heart ached so much that it was too heavy for him to breathe.

Then.

A Honda honked loudly and cut in front of Senya Kaoru’s BMW!

Screech——

The BMW almost crashed into the Honda!

Kamiki slammed down the brakes, scared into a cold sweat. Oh no, those entertainment reporters were really at it, willing to risk their life like that!

The BMW had only just stopped when all the vehicles on the road stopped and the entertainment reporters rushed off. They were carrying cameras, while microphones were in their outstretched hands. It was crammed.

Senya Kaoru heard a knocking sound at his window.

“What is your relationship with Tsuka Sakura?”

“Tsuka Sakura said that the two of you were dating, is this true?”

“Have you had sex with Tsuka Sakura yet?”

“Have you broken up with Shimizu Hishi yet?”

“Will you two get married?”

…Kamiki stuck his head out of the window and shouted, “Please go away. Senya Kaoru is tired and will not accept any interviews!”

Reporters ignored his words and continued to pound Senya Kaoru’s window. “Senya Kaoru, say a few words please!”

“If you don’t answer our questions, we will not leave!”

…The entertainment reporters had vowed not to give up and began to threaten him. “You could accept Koizumi from Tangerine Weekly, so why not accept us?”

“What the hell, without our help, could you have been so popular?!”

“Believe it or not, we can ruin your popularity!”

…Senya Kaoru’s eyes frosted even more as he heard them.

Then.

The door opened.

He was like an ice sculpture, standing in front of the reporters. His voice sounded like the bitterest winter, “You are a group of unscrupulous vampires and will do anything to make amazing news. I will not answer your questions and feel free to ruin my popularity if you can.”

His words made the reporters shocked!

They had never seen such hostility towards reporters from any celebrity in public. Usually they would avoid questions, but to say such disgusting words personally! They were furious! The reporters felt like that had been greatly insulted and refused to let go of Senya Kaoru even more. They threw a huge variety of nasty words to accuse him.

Late at night, on the highway.

The BMW was surrounded by a dozen cars and surrounded by several reporters. Senya Kaoru was squeezed in the very centre. The reporters used the most vicious insults they could while Kamiki tried to break the brawl, but it was no use.

The situation was getting worse——and everyone heard police sirens in the distance.

Police car lights pointed towards the reporters. Two policemen got out and shouted, “Why the crowd, just what is going on?!”

The reporters looked at each other. Why were the police here?

The police recognised Senya Kaoru in the middle of the crowd and had a general understanding of what was going on. He shouted at the reporters, “A member of the public called the police and reported that there was traffic congestion here. Move all cars or you shall all be punished.”

The reporters unhappily returned back to their cars. They were infuriated as they wondered who had called the police and therefore, saved Senya Kaoru. They hadn’t seen Kamiki or Senya Kaoru take out their phones, so they were sure someone had ruined their plans on purpose.

Kamiki smiled apologetically at the police. “In order to avoid more traffic jams, please let us have a ten minute head-start.”

The two policemen nodded.

Kamiki started up the car and shook his head with a strange expression on his face. “Who helped us? If no one had called the police, we wouldn’t have escaped. We really need to thank that ‘member of public’ some time.”

Senya Kaoru attentively gazed out of the window.

He thought that he saw a flash of red hair.

But he wasn’t sure and she didn’t appear.

Behind a large billboard.

Koizumi watched Senya Kaoru’s BMW disappear and the cars of the reporters gradually disperse from afar. Finally, she breathed out a sigh of relief and put her phone back in her bag.

The police had been very slack though, as she had called them seven times before they finally arrived. If only the police could come earlier, then perhaps the relationship between the reporters and Kaoru wouldn’t have been so stiff.

She tugged her hair. That was a big problem.

She had heard what Kaoru said. The reporters would never forgive Kaoru and they would do anything to attack him. She didn’t want that to happen.

※※※

Ming Xiao Xi’s small apartment.

Koizumi was tense. “What? The car was aiming specifically at Kaoru?!” She had always thought it was an accident as the police had said that the driver had been drinking.

“Yeah, that’s what Hitomi told me. She was sent to investigate the identity of the driver and she found out that he once had connections to the Nikko yakuza. He had recently deposited a large sum of money at a nearby bank. Hitomi also found out that a lot of people from the yakuza have been targeting Senya Kaoru in the past few weeks.”

“Why?”

“I have no idea.” Ming Xiao Xi looked apologetically at her.

“Yakuza huh…” Koizumi wracked her brains and tried to figure out how Kaoru could possibly annoy the people in a yakuza. “Isn’t Makino Ryuho’s Makino Yakuza the biggest yakuza around? Can’t you get him to find out why Kaoru’s being targeted?”

“I’ve already got Hitomi to do that and I think she should be able to do it.” Ming Xiao Xi thought for a little longer, “But I’m worried if the real problem is with the Nikko Yakuza.”

“Nikko Yakuza?” Koizumi was confused, “Didn’t Makino Ryuho destroy Nikko Yakuza already? Why are they still active?”

“The Nikko Yakuza suffered extreme damage, but their boss, Akana Ohata is still in hiding. They’ve always wanted to make a comeback and have being pulling little pranks of sorts since then.”

“Eh? You have a pretty good understanding of the yakuza world, could it be that you and Makino Ryuho…” Koizumi giggled mischievously.

Ming Xiao Xi smiled, as expected of Koizumi. She really was a queen of gossip.

She stared a Koizumi, sighed and said, “He’s my friend, just like you are my friend. You care about what I do too.”

“Eh? Then what about Kazama?” Kozumi continued to ask. She admired Kazama-senpai the most, the genius teenager. She wished with all her heart that Xiao Xi would choose to be with him.

Ming Xiao Xi’s eyes soften as she smiled, “Tetsu…”

She immediately snapped back and sternly said, “We were talking about the danger Senya Kaoru was in, how did it end up being about me? I’m angry!”

True!

Koizumi grinned. “Hehe, Xiao Xi, are you really angry? Xiao Xi is the friendliest and most loyal friend in the world!”

Ming Xiao Xi eyed her and didn’t bother answering.

Koizumi remembered back to that day and thought that it had indeed been suspicious. Even if the driver was drunk, they should still be able to see someone in front of the car and brake.

Ming Xiao Xi continued to analyse. “I didn’t think the car was moving very fast as if it gave people enough time to move out of its way. It should have been too late for me to save you two in the first place.”

“Therefore…”

The people concluded at the same time——“That was a warning.”

The car was a warning directed towards Senya Kaoru. If he didn’t accept or do something, there would be more serious consequences.

The problem was: What?

Koizumi frowned.


Translation Notes:

  • Bento: Lunchbox. A traditional bento holds many types of food…
  • Golden Melody Awards: An inconsistency, because this is a real award night, but in Taiwan not Japan.
  • Hitomi: She seems to be a spy in the Yakuza who works for Ming Xiao Xi.
  • Yakuza: Japanese mafia.

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