May 11, 2018
"Where is she? She told me that she'd be here by now…"
Kazumi Ukiyo was standing by the entrance of Henkou. Every student that passed by her applauded, with some even asking if Saki Kaneko accepted her proposal. Kazumi didn't give an answer, but welcomed the cheers. It was something that she missed in a while.
Eventually, almost every student that hadn't entered the school stayed outside, waiting for the event to unfold. The students who were inside took notice of the crowd and observed as well.
"Nee-san, are you feeling better?"
Chiasa and Saki were walking side-by-side towards the school. The dragonfly barrette on Chiasa's hair shined under the weak morning sun peeking through the mass of clouds. Katsuo and Minoru were walking a few feet behind the girls, having their own conversation.
"Yes, I am," Saki replied semi-hesitantly. "Yesterday was a bit of a turbulent day for both of us, but we're still standing, and that's all that matters."
Unsatisfied by the answer, Chiasa pressed on, "Um, what about Umi—I mean, Kazumi-senpai? Did you two come to a compromise?"
Saki smiled and winked at Chiasa. "Maybe I did."
Chiasa halted and gasped shakily, which made Katsuo and Minoru end their conversation.
"No…way…" Chiasa started fearfully.
Katsuo spoke up, "Hey, is something the matter?"
Minoru could see Chiasa's shocked expression. "Man, Chiasa-chan, you look like you've seen a ghost!"
Chiasa continued to shudder while Saki maintained a poker face. The shuddering quickly turned into squeals of glee.
"You said yes?!"
Katsuo and Minoru stared at Saki, who still held her composure.
"Yes, I did, nee-chan. I accepted Kazumi-san's proposal," Saki giggled.
The boys' mouths were agape.
"Y-you serious about that, Saki-san?!" Minoru stammered.
Katsuo attempted to calm himself down, but his voice was also shaky, "Have you contacted Ukiyo-san about this?"
Saki nodded. "Last night, I had an emotional breakdown. I was so confused as to who I truly wanted to be with. Thankfully, nee-chan was there to comfort me." She then giggled. "I never knew that she was the most rational of all of us. After she calmed me down, I called Kazumi and we had a small chat before I accepted her proposal. We haven't confirmed it yet, but I'm hoping she's at school today so we can do that."
Katsuo closed his eyes and smiled. "So, it's official," he said. "The famous idol Kazumi Ukiyo, eloping with Henkou student Saki Kaneko. That has a nice ring to it."
Minoru exclaimed in surprise. "H-hey, man, they aren't getting married!" Nervously, he turned to Saki and asked, "You're not, right?"
Saki lightly blushed. "N-no, of course not," she responded with uncertainty. "I mean, at least I hope Kazumi-san won't go that far with me." Calming down, she continued, "What strikes me as odd is why she would fall in love with a commoner like me. Wouldn't it have been easier, and more sensible, if she fell in love with another celebrity?"
Chiasa smiled. "Why not ask her yourself? We're almost at Henkou, anyway, so maybe she'll be there to answer any questions you may have."
Saki deeply sighed, losing her blush. She stared determinedly at the group and smiled. "I'm gonna go up ahead, then. I hope she and I can talk before school begins. You guys won't mind, right?"
Katsuo shook his head. "Today is your day, Saki. We don't have any control over it."
Minoru added, "Yeah, what he said. This day's about you and Kazumi-san." He added, jokingly, "You better be the best girlfriend you can be to her, or else you'll hear it from me!"
Chiasa held Saki's hand and smiled at her. "Nee-san, like I told you yesterday, your existence makes people happy. Think of Kazumi-senpai as another person that will hopefully accept your charm."
Saki stared warmly at her sister and nodded. Without saying anything else, Saki ran off ahead, forcing to group to stare at the vermillion hair bounce with her movement.
Minoru groaned in exasperation. "Dammit, I should've made a move on Kazumi-san the moment I met her."
Katsuo and Chiasa laughed before following Saki.
"Come on, come on… I've texted you since I woke up…"
As Kazumi glanced at her phone, the crowd of students was beginning to become restless. They continuously chanted Saki's name, which made Kazumi attempt to block the noises out. However, she, too, was becoming restless as she closed her eyes in despair.
Was this just a play on her emotions? Was last night's statement just a hoax? Was it truly right to trust a high school girl like Saki?
As those thoughts were beginning to enter Kazumi's mind, the crowd gasped in unison, making the idol open her eyes. By the entrance was none other than Saki Kaneko, smiling softly.
"Hey, it's her!" a student pointed out.
"This is it!" another student squealed.
Saki continued to have the smile on her face as she walked towards Kazumi. The idol winced as she expected an embrace. However, Saki walked past her, which made the entire crowd gasp.
"Did…Saki-senpai just walk past her?" a male student whispered.
"No way… Did she trick Umi-sama?" a female student whispered.
Saki stood behind Kazumi, who opened her eyes. Surprised by the non-action, Kazumi turned to Saki, who was smiling.
"Hey, there. Did you miss me?" the junior greeted.
Kazumi slowly attempted to reach towards Saki's cheek, but Saki grasped the hand, making the idol wince. She then twisted the wrist, which allowed almost every student to hear Kazumi scream in pain as she fell to her knees.
"Hey, what the hell is Saki doing to Kazumi-san?!" a female student yelled out.
"Someone, help her!" another female student pleaded.
As Kazumi glared painfully at Saki, there was a sign of playfulness in the junior's eyes. Knowing that this was just an act that was created on the spot, Kazumi went along with it.
"Well, well, well…" Saki started. "You thought your words got to me, didn't you Miss Idol? Why a sensation like you is enamored with a high school student like me is sorta laughable. And why a girl? Couldn't you have been normal and fallen in love with a boy?"
Kazumi started to regain her balance, but the pain was still in her body. Following along with the ploy, she stated, "You didn't hear last night? I no longer have any affection for males. And besides, you helped me overcome this sin I had. Are you telling me that you refuse to accept me only because I was raped as a young girl?"
Saki narrowed her eyes and smiled mischievously. "No, you have it all wrong, my dear," she replied sweetly as she pulled Kazumi close. "I want to help you. This is why…I say yes to your proposal."
As the girls' lips inched closer to each other, everyone in the area gasped with anticipation. Was this truly it? Or was this just another interlude? No, the lips interlocked with each other and every student started to cheer. The remaining members of NITE had arrived on the scene, just in time to see the lovers in embrace.
For Kazumi, this was the moment she longed for. Finally, someone can accept her despite having the unspeakable sin inside her. For Saki, she was only glad that she was able to help someone in dire need.
When the kiss was over, the girls touched noses and giggled at each other. They refused to let go.
"Promise me you won't ever leave me, okay?" Kazumi requested cutely.
Saki replied in the same tone, "Why should anyone abandon you? You're my lifeline and there's no way in hell that I'll leave you."
May 12 – May 28
The coming weeks went on without boredom. Each day, more and more people became aware of the romance of Saki Kaneko and Kazumi Ukiyo. Students did whatever they could to get their point across, be it through blogs, forums, or web videos. Media outlets took note of this, even going as far as to employ paparazzi around Henkou. Saki and Kazumi didn't mind the attention, for they knew that this lifestyle would be eternal, lest something were to come between them. Nearly everyone was happy with Kazumi's decision, for it gave her new life.
However, as with many couples, discord becomes known. Many fans felt that Kazumi shouldn't have stooped so low to attract attention, and others bashed her for falling in love with someone that wasn't even popular. Arguments became loud and clear, even local news and talk shows got in on it. Some went as far to say that Kazumi's career was over because of her newfound attention towards Saki. Kazumi made no comment throughout the weeks.
NITE didn't let the local media get the best of them. They continued to train in privacy, and the love didn't hamper their progress. It, in fact, made the lovers stronger. The next full moon was on the 29th, and who knows what would come up that day. There was no time to rest; NITE did not want to lose another member. They only wished to solve the crisis that was slowly starting to take over Japan.