39.
Fight rumor with another rumor

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In conclusion, Yuri’s worries proved unfounded.

The day after bomb-like words spoken by the sharp tongue fairy, the atmosphere of the class was strange. 

‘I want to say something, but I can’t.’ 

That was the atmosphere since morning.

It wasn’t because of disgust or malice for someone, just that they had an interest in that person.

There, the chairman spoke to Atsushi.

“Maybe, Shirasawa has left so great impact, that now the rumors about you are decreasing.
Well, she’s always living her school life with no expression.
For such person suddenly showed that much anger, some more with a sharp tongue.
You can say it’ll always be remembered.”

Atsushi agreed with what the chairman said.

Atsushi had been always telepathically listening to Yuri’s words. In addition, he knew about her machine-gun talk as he saw it once at the Review Meeting. But even so, he couldn’t hide his surprise from Yuri’s attitude and words at that time. For those in the class who had barely heard even her voice, that was more than enough to make them eye-open and lose their words.

Especially Sayama, it should be safe to say that his heart had been broken in pieces.

“But as far as I’ve heard, they don’t have any critical opinions about Shirasawa personally.
From their point of view, it seems as if she argued against the one who spoke badly of her friend.
Well, in fact, that’s true.
But, they don’t think she’s strange.
Rather, I think it seems she has left a favorable impression to them.”

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“Favorable?”

“Didn’t I just say that? Shirasawa is silent and expressionless.
Therefore, there is a section that was thought to be difficult to reach.
However, when they heard that word, they probably changed their minds.
More than that, Yuri Shirasawa said all of that since she was angry for her friends.”

Among them, Yuri was called “Fairy”. She had a beautiful look and a well-organized figure. She had a mysterious atmosphere, and was always gone without you noticing it. That was why they thought that Yuri was a kind of ‘unidentified species’.

However, even so, that remark of her made Yuri feel ‘human’. Perhaps they finally realized the obvious fact, that she was the same as them.

“But, some of them looked at it differently.
Those people say that she was forced to say it.
But, you can hardly hear it.
After all, it was such a big speech where you could feel the fire from it.
I’m sure, only a few people left who still suspects those rumors.”

Yuri’s sharp tongue machine-gun talk. Most wouldn’t think that she was forced, and if they were told by someone who had a different thought, they wouldn’t believe it. After all, anyone should be able to notice the fire in her eyes at that time.

“To think that there is this kind of solution too.
There’s a saying, “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”, but I’ve never thought “rumor for a rumor” would be this powerful.”

Rumor was all about freshness.

People would worry about the celebrity scandals reported today, rather than the incidents that happened today. When new rumors came up, it would natural to be interested in them. Not to mention if the rumor had so much intensity. 

So even if there were rumors about Atsushi after this, it shouldn’t be so easy to take over this new, hot, and intense rumor.

However.

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Still… still, this is not a solution.

It was no exaggeration to say that the rumors of Atsushi were ‘hidden’ by Yuri’s actions. Just sedation. In the true sense, it had not reached the root of this problem.

And, you could say that there should be only one way to solve this problem.

Finding the “Mastermind”.

Atsushi once again thought that it was the only way.

************************

A few days later.

Atsushi looked at the contents of his shoebox and was frowning.

『”Atsushi-san, goodー morningー. What are you doing? Looking at the contents of the shoebox like that.. Ah, is it perhaps, the typical bullying “Shoebox has become a trash can”???”』

『”What’s that way of saying it? No, it’s not that.”』

『”Huh? Then, a love letter?”』

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『”That’s not possible even if the heavens and the earth are turned upside down. You, who do you think I am?”』

『”Well, if you’re saying it so proudly like that, I don’t know how to respond… I mean, Atsushi-san, can you be a little more confident in yourself?”』

Yuri was astonished by Atsushi who had low self-esteem, even in a strange place.

『”So, what was in it after all?”』

『”Nothing. Just that, you know that the rumors have subsided, so I wondered if the “Mastermind” would harass me with another trick, but I think I’m just being worried too much. Well, more than that, Shirasawa. I’m sorry, but I’ll go home first later, I have something to do after school today.”』

『”Eee~, You promised to watch the DVD together today, didn’t you? You know, it’s for the preparation for the movie “9 Swords of Blood” that we’re going to see together.”』

『”Sorry. I’ve something to do suddenly. I’ll treat you something next time, so…”』

『”Mmmー… Atsushi-san. You think, as long as you treat me something, I’ll just forgive you?”』

『”You don’t want it? I was going to buy you, your favorite “luxury pudding chocolate parfait”…”』

『”Mmm~ Atsushi-san~.
It can’t be helped then~, Only this time, ‘kay~?”』

Atsushi was a little amazed at the development as it was too easy.

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However, this time around, he was a little relieved about Yuri’s ability.

If she had the ability to know everything in the human mind without asking questions, she would have immediately noticed Atsushi’s lies.

And when Atsushi went to the classroom, he immediately went to Hiiragi.

“Hey, Hiiragi.
I have something to ask for…”

In the evening.

School had already been over and many students were on their way home.

Meanwhile, Atsushi came to an abandoned factory on the outskirts of the city.

There should be no one in such a place, but…

But, there was a man before Atsushi.

“I came as promised.
So, what is it? ――― Sayama”

There, stood Sayama, who was glaring at Atsushi with full of grudge.

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