Tomoe held her airsoft sword and looked like she was about to jump at them, but she didn’t, and instead suddenly turned to the girls and grinned.
“…Hear, hear! Club leader orders! You girls have to fight this guy simultaneously! Beat them black and blue, Shinichi,” Tomoe said.
“…Am I supposed to be a punishment game or something?” Shinichi asked.
“I’ll be participating too. It’ll make for good training, so just fight hard enough that we can’t mess around,” Tomoe said.
“So she says, what do you girls think?” Shinichi asked.
Shinichi asked one last time to confirm, but the girls were already in stance, and they even seemed happy.
One wielded two short airsoft swords, one a spear, and another a staff.
“Good! I was starting to get into the mood after seeing you and Tomoe go at it!”
“A one on one might be difficult, but I’m sure we’ll have a chance if we all take you on at the same time!”
“It’s my first time taking on one guy with the four of us!”
After undergoing a year of hardship in this school, these girls have already started to adopt a warrior’s mindset.
And the thought of being able to fight a powerful opponent gave them a kind of elation that made their eyes sparkle.
Taken aback by their attitude, Shinichi turned to Tomoe, but she too has already assumed stance.
“Let’s do this!” Tomoe said.
“Hey, at least line up first,” Shinichi said.
“Enough talk! Accept your punishment for humiliating a girl!” Tomoe said.
“That’s your real motive!?” Shinichi said.
As the girl all jumped at him, Shinichi was forced to fight with his short sword for awhile.
There were no such thing as ‘club activities’ in Garesto Academy.
It was partly because of the belief that such activities were a waste of time, and that students were better off using their time after school to further their studies and training instead, but the biggest reason was because Garesto didn’t have club activities.
Besides, using one’s time after school for something as common as that could only negatively influence one’s grades.
And considering how little the school allowed its students to interact with the outside world, there wouldn’t be much opportunities for club activities to take place outside anyway.
However, with the majority of the students from Japan, a schedule of nothing but studying and training was seen as a problem, and as a result, “interest groups” were allowed at the students’ own risk and, at most, on the level of a hobby.
Eight years after the school opened, these interest clubs polarized into two types.
One, a club where students could interact with their peers and have fun as a way to relax, and two, a club where students could learn and practice various martial arts and fighting techniques from around the globe as an extension of their training.
Tomoe’s club was an interest group regarding the women’s sports Chanbara, so theirs leaned towards the latter type.
They had basically four members, including Tomoe, but there were some other girls too that participated from time to time.
This wasn’t a formal club, so students were free to participate as they pleased.
They chose the Sports Chanbara because their rules weren’t complicated and because they more closely resembled the format of actual combat.
After school the girls would gather and fight each other in a match format to temper their senses.
Perhaps it was because of that that all four were highly regarded in their own right in melee combat using weapons.
“Zeh hah, zeh hah… I messed up,” Tomoe said.
“Haa, haa, what did you mess up, Club Leader?” One of the girls asked.
“That guy specializes at fighting multiple opponents simultaneously…” Tomoe said.
“Uheh, say that first, will you?”
“That was totally on the level of having eyes in his back.”
The four girls were all face flat on the ground of a sports park, the place they usually used as their meeting place.
They were unmoving, drenched in sweat, and took ragged breaths.
But that’s not so surprising, considering that Shinichi turned the tables on them.
Till halfway through, they would still back down after getting hit, but at some point, the heat got to them, and they started ignoring the rules, causing their little bout to turn into a contest of who would surrender first.
In the end, the first ones to run out of stamina were them.
“Uu, it’s so mortifying! We couldn’t even hit him once!”
“Dodging with the least movement. I can’t believe someone could really do that.”
Those were movements that could make them doubt their eyes, wondering if they’d misjudged the distance.
When Tomoe thought of that, her lips twitched in frustration.
“That enemy of women should’ve just obediently let us hit him!”
She flailed about with just her limbs as she gave voice to her complaints, but then she remembered something and suddenly jumped up, allowing her to see the expression on everyone’s faces.
“Enemy of women? Ah, hey, before I came, did he do something to you guys? Maybe he teased you, embraced you, or maybe he demanded something unreasonable!?” Tomoe asked.
Tomoe herself thought there was something wrong about the examples she listed, but considering her own experience with the boy, it couldn’t be helped.
Meanwhile, the girls just looked at each other while continuing to lie down on the ground, and a troubled expression appeared on them.
“You mean like when he was teasing you earlier? Not at all.”
“In fact, he didn’t do anything at all. When he asked if you were here already or not, and we said you’re not here yet, he said, ‘then I’ll wait’, and turned his back and sat at a corner there.”
“He wasn’t very friendly, but he was courteous, so we were actually surprised. Of course, his behavior when you came was surprising too, in a lot of ways.”
Tomoe inadvertently started panicking, but when she heard that he hadn’t done anything, she found the matter somewhat anticlimactic.
She was relieved, but at the same time, she started wondering why he treated her differently.
“Hmm, so he does know how to be considerate. But if that’s the case, I wish he’d be considerate with me too. He’s always so high-handed.”
Inadvertently, she ended up saying that reproachfully.
Since ‘he was not here’, she didn’t hesitate to give voice to her own complaints.
“Well, it’s good that his victims haven’t increased, but you girls need to be careful, okay? That guy might look harmless, but he’s definitely a womanizer,” Tomoe said.
“Ah,” a girl said.
“…Who’s a womanizer?” Shinichi asked.
“Shinichi, of course. Despite his age, he’s really used to women. I bet he’s made a lot of girls cry… Eh?”
But then the voice of that boy that shouldn’t be there resounded clearly in her ears, and Tomoe found herself turning around, only to have something touch her on the neck.
In the next moment, a strange voice left her lips, and she found herself jumping back.
A chilly sensation had spread out from her neck, causing her body to react on its own.
When she saw Shinichi, she saw a triumphant look on his face and a cold can of beverage in his hand.
“Hyan? Ku ku, that’s a pretty cute cry you’ve got there.”
“Y-You! Again, you! Kuu!”
Not only was she caught talking behind his back, she even let out such a strange voice. Because of that, surprise and shame filled her, and Tomoe could not find it in herself to speak, her mouth just opening and closing senselessly.
Meanwhile, her friends were all wryly smiling.
“Touching a girl with a cold can of juice from behind. First time seeing that live.”
“I see, so this is what she means by him being a womanizer.”
“He certainly gives the impression.”
Seeing her toyed with, her friends were finally able to understand what Tomoe was saying awhile ago.
Somehow, this boy had the air of a man that knew how to tease a girl.
“Womanizer is a bit much… I admit that I’m not a good man, though,” Shinichi said.
“…Don’t just readily accept that,” Shinichi said.
“It’s the truth, though. Here,” SHinichi.
“Wah, hey, don’t just throw it all of the sudden!” Tomoe said.
Tomoe panicked as she caught the canned beverage that Shinichi threw at her. It was a sports drink from a well-known company.
While she was complaining about how sudden he’d thrown the can of juice at her, Shinichi approached the three girls that were still on the ground.
“You girls have some too. I didn’t know what kind you preferred, so I got all kinds of sports drinks.”
“Ahh, thanks. That helps a ton.”
They raised themselves up, and while saying thank you, got the drink that they liked.
The girls had brought their own food since they did come here to work their body, but perhaps because of the fierce battle, the food they’d brought wasn’t enough at all, so Shinichi went out on his own volition to buy something for them.
“Ah, yes! That hits the spot.”
The girls immediately drank their drinks in big gulps to replenish their lost fluids.
Tomoe too, despite her complaints, quietly drank because she was also thirsty.
“Thank you so much. How much was it? I’ll pay for it now before I forget.”
A girl said as she took out her own foster.
The so-called “electronic money” that the students here used could also be given to others.
Of course, there were restrictions for needlessly high amounts, but the mere cost of a can of juice was at the discretion of the individual.
Shinichi, however, shook his head at the offer.
“Consider it my treat… Or rather, consider it as payment for keeping quiet.”
“For keeping quiet?”
“Huh, so you did do something bad, after all.”
The three girls made a suspicious face when those unexpected words came out, while Tomoe just made a knowing face.
Nothing could be said about the three girls, but Shinichi really wanted to complain about Tomoe’s attitude. Regardless…
“It’s sad that I can’t even completely deny that, but I’d prefer it if you didn’t mention my relationship with Tomoe. Especially, to the public morals officer…”
In that regard, Shinichi likely didn’t think that he was blameless, so he could only make a glum face and ask them to keep quiet.
Based on his reputation and the rumours surrounding him, the girls could more or less figure out which public morals officer he was referring to.
At the same time, a look of understanding surfaced on them.
“Ah, now that you mention it, it would certainly be problematic if she found out,” one of the girls said.
“Would Youko get mad?” Tomoe asked.
“She could… Ah, you were hospitalized, so I guess you don’t know, huh, Tomoe,” one of the girls said.
Tomoe was hospitalized at the time, so she didn’t know about it. Her friends were about to explain to her, but she shook her head, and looked straight at Shinichi with her blue eyes, and then nodded.
“I got it. I’ll hide it as much as possible. I’ll do my best so that she doesn’t find out. It’s best I don’t ask anything right now, right?” Tomoe said.
“…What are you talking about?” Shinichi asked.
She was supposed to know the least among them all, and yet for some reason, she spoke as though she knew more than everyone else.
The one who was most surprised by that was the boy, but after glaring at her, he just chuckled.
It was curious how the way they looked at each other was taken by the three girls, but they panicked and tried to immediately change the atmosphere.
“B-But you know, if this is supposed to be hush money, isn’t it too cheap?”
“Y-Yeah! It’s such hard work for us too!”
“You could add a bit more, maybe…”
They felt the air was turning down a dangerous corner, so they forcefully changed the topic.
Tomoe could tell that they were just concerned about her, but the way they changed the topic still made her glum.
Weren’t they being too greedy? Tomoe glared at them.
“But of course, I wasn’t intending on keeping you quiet with just those drinks.”
“Allow me to present this to you.”
But then Shinichi suddenly took something out of nowhere and presented it to them.