These series of events began during the spring break I was assaulted by a blonde vampire who had a set of golden eyes, and around half a year has already elapsed since then. It had occurred around the last weeks of October.
It was during lunch break when my ‘beloved’ underclassman, Suruga Kanbaru, paid me a visit while I was slowly eating my boxed lunch.
“Yo! Araragi-senpai! It’s me, Suruga Kanbaru!”
An energetic underclassman, as always.
“You’re alone, right!? All alone, right!?”
Quite rude, as always.
“Nah, rather than being alone…”
My voice trailed off towards the end of the response. This energy-filled underclassman of mine is quite overwhelming even under normal circumstances, but factoring in my withering state right now, I’m not sure if I could handle it.
“Ever since the start of the second semester, Senjougahara and Hanekawa have become very good friends—they won’t eat lunch with me anymore.”
They were probably eating together as we spoke. A friendship between girls taking priority over romance was quite a rarity.
“Heheh. Why don’t you just eat lunch with some of your other friends? I doubt there’s anything lonelier than eating lunch on your own.”
She said something so insensitive to me in such a frank tone. I won’t try to deny the fact. But despite that, people must eat to survive—even if that person has no other friends. Misery and loneliness are a part of life after all.
However, this girl sure is amazing.
She walked into a classroom full of third-years without even a hint of timidity, and even took an open seat with as much spirit as humanly possible. Despite the fact that she had retired, such a thing was to be expected from someone who was once the ace of the school basketball team.
“Well, it seems like I have come to deliver some good news to the lonely Araragi-senpai of today.”
“Good news? Seems interesting. By all means, please tell. After all, I love good news.”
I wasn’t particularly interested, but I was sitting here eating my lunch alone, so whether it was a conversation concerning international politics or IT businesses, I would gladly lend an ear to it.
“Actually, there’s a girl I wanted to introduce to you.” Suruga said, and pointed towards the classroom door with her left arm, which was wrapped in bandages. Peeking from the hallway was a girl with a small build.
Was the girl she wanted to introduce to me… her? It was a face I hadn’t seen before— well, it was an introduction, so it’s natural that I wouldn’t recognize her. Maybe she was one of Kanbaru’s underclassman from the basketball team? Then why was Kanbaru trying to introduce me to this face that I didn’t recognize? From how she held herself, I would guess she’s a freshman… I can’t really see her name tag from here… (TN : So I’m guessing that Japanese students have their year in high school written on a name tag or something)
“Isn’t she cute?” Kanbaru said, as if all doubts would disappear in the face of cuteness. Well, that was somewhat unexpected, but it was also the reality of society.
“Introducing a cute girl to Araragi-senpai is kind of risky, but she requested it herself, so I had no other choice. It was a difficult decision to make. Thank god both Senjougahara and Hanekawa decided to leave you alone today.”
“What exactly do you think I am?”
“Something a bit closer to human than a beast.”
“That’s accurate but…”
However, those two really did have good timing to be absent.
As per chance, Senjougahara and Hanekawa had decided to eat outside today, but it was more common for them to eat inside the classroom (even in that case I would still be left out)—so it really was fortunate timing that Kanbaru decided to do it today.
So she wanted to make an introduction, huh.
As you know, I am not a very sociable person, and regardless of age or gender, I don’t like meeting new people… However, to Kanbaru, an extraordinarily sociable person who takes great pleasure in meeting people, it would be impossible to express such feelings to her.
“Sorry, but I’m kind of bad at dealing with people.”
“Is that so! Then this is a perfect opportunity for you to improve on that!” She retorted.
To begin with, the month before the last, I had “introduced” a certain someone to Kanbaru—It was more of an arrangement than an introduction, and though I had little choice in the matter, that person was quite dangerous, so I am still regretting it to this day. That’s right, if you think a bit further back, I also introduced my violent sister, Karen, to Kanbaru. That’s why if Kanbaru ever chose to introduce someone to me, whoever that person might be, it would be unthinkable for me to turn her down. I’m not even kidding, with her vast variety of relationships, it should be possible for her to contact just about anyone with any kind of personality imaginable.
So, I have no idea what to make of the girl outside the classroom waiting for Kanbaru to finish her conversation. However, I have the notion that she’s a person with an eccentric personality.
“It’ll be fine. Relax, Araragi-senpai.”
She said as if she could see through the uneasiness in my heart, and put a grin over her face.
“Her underwear has been properly removed.”
“Go back to where you came from!”
“No worries, No worries. She’s still wearing her bra. It’s just her panties that aren’t on. If my memory serves me right, you would prefer to personally remove them yourself, am I right?”
“What do you think you’re saying in a senior classroom!? I’m not the type of person to have such a fetish or a preference!”
In addition, Kanbaru was a celebrity in the school, so our conversation was gathering a considerable amount of attention— they gazed at us with curious expressions. Thankfully, Kanbaru’s perverted remark had not been audible, and it appeared as if I was harassing her one-sidedly. However, their criticizing gazes pierced right through me—it was quite the painful experience. I wasn’t completely unharmed, but I was sure damned happier than if Kanbaru’s perverted personality were to be exposed to society.
“What was that? You personally want to remove her panties as well? A man with a reputation to maintain, that’s what Araragi-senpai is. Exactly how many girls do you want to put on a leash? Ah, what I’m saying has nothing to do with BDSM by the way.”
“Unrelated to BDSM, I want to put a collar around your neck.”
What I really want to do is tie a bell around her neck. That said, this was the usual kind of conversation that transpired between us—Kanbaru’s salutations accompanied by a series of jokes. This was a routine we acted out many times before.
“So, who’s that girl? What is she like? You want to introduce her to me…but you do know I’m not someone worthy of being introduced to, right? The self-introduction of my lifetime is Koyomi Araragi’s catch phrase, you know?” (TN: >.< dw I don’t rly get it either)
“I wasn’t aware that such a depressing catch phrase even existed. It’s not catchy at all. She wants to consult you about something. That seems to be the reason why she wants to meet you.”
“A consultation with me? Whoa there, now that’s on a whole new level of stupidity. If you have something on your mind, definitely don’t turn to Araragi for mental support—I thought this has already been thoroughly established around here.”
“Oh? Is that the kind of conversations these bastards have been having? In that case, I’m going to go send them flying.”
“It was a joke! A joke! Calm down!”
I scrambled towards Kanbaru, who suddenly began to glare at my classmates with a bloodthirsty look in her eyes. It looked like I was stopping our school star from ending our conversation and returning to her classroom, but (my reputation sharply fell) in reality, I had saved your lives. What Kanbaru’s left hand was in possession of was what modern civilization calls the power to “beat the shit out of someone”; which we had identified two months ago, so this was quite a severe situation.
“So, Tha— that consultation you were talking about. I—I’m the elder brother of those Fire Sisters, so it’s quite often I get to listen to their complaints. I’ll definitely accept that letter of introduction.”
“I’m not exactly sure, but it seems to be about oddities.”
“Is that so…”
Seeing agitation run over my expression, Kanbaru said, “It seems like she knows something, that girl.”
“She was aware of my left arm, and also about the detail about your blood. She heard it all from her uncle, she says.”
“She’s the transfer student who moved in just a while ago. Surprisingly, she seems to be Oshino-san’s niece. Her name is Ougi Oshino.”
Maintaining my expression of discomposure, I looked over the girl’s—Ougi Oshino’s body peeking out from the hallway. This was the first time we made eye contact.
Those pitch black eyes seemed as though they were sucking me into them.