Before the Storm

After school, Nozomi was walking down the quiet street to the other school which was about three blocks away. Youko was in the male school uniform and was mumbling to himself.

Nozomi: What's wrong, Youko?
Youko: These clothes...and looking like a human...ehh...
Nozomi: Don't worry! You look fine!
Kei: Nozomi-chan!

Nozomi smiled and waved at Kei. Youko looked up and was suddenly introduced by Nozomi.

Nozomi: Kei, this is You-kun! He's new around here, so he thought we can show him around.
Youko: A-ah...nice to meet you, Kei-san!

Youko hastily bows while Kei was scratching the back of his head before giving a bow. Nozomi giggled and patted Youko's arm.

Kei: That was rather formal. I never had anyone call my name with -san. It's okay if you can just say Kei.
Nozomi: That's rather informal then, Kei-sempai!
Kei: I told you before to just call me Kei. You're the one insisting yourself to keep calling me sempai.
Youko: Heh, well it's nice to meet you!

The three walk off, but they don't see a boy who was the same age as Kei watching them from afar. Yuuma Masaru was his name and he watched Nozomi walk off with the two guys. He pushed his round glasses up and sighed.

Masaru: N-Nozomi...
Tsukikumo: What's wrong, my dear Masaru?
Masaru: A-Ah...nothing at all...
Tsukikumo: You loving that short girl with Kei?
Masaru: ...

Masaru nods quickly and then turns around, facing Tsukikumo. She was smiling and was waving her pointer finger around.

Tsukikumo: Of course you can have me kill him off. I'll make it look like an accident, just for you...
Masaru: B-But...that won't bring me closer to Nozomi...
Tsukikumo: How can it not? The middle man is gone! And when she's sobbing and crying, you can come to her and be the savior!! Hold her tight, be there for her...

Tsukikumo sighed and then twirled around. She stomped her foot onto the concrete and gave a thumbs up.

Tsukikumo: I am always here for you, my dear Masaru!!

Nozomi: Eh...green apple bubble tea, please!!

A cup of green apple bubble tea was put on the table and Kei slid it to Nozomi. Youko looked at the bubble float around when Nozomi sipped out of the straw.

Kei: So, where do you come from, You-kun?
Youko: I used to live in this huge temple in the era o---
Nozomi: H-he's from Hokkaido!! That's why he doesn't really know his way from cities...
Youko: Y-Yeah...
Kei: It's really different from here, isn't it?

Kei looks at his cellphone for the time and then scratches his head again while sighing.

Kei: I'll be back soon. Just stay here. I'll pay for the tab. Sorry.

He instantly disappeared out the store and left Nozomi and Youko sitting there.

Nozomi: So why did you want to see Kei anyways?
Youko: I sense someone is out to get him...
Nozomi: Like you can sniff them out like a dog?
Youko: I'm a fox you idiot. And, not exactly. I just have this nagging feeling...

Nozomi kept on sipping the drink. She pushed the cup in front of Youko, who looked at Nozomi surprised.

Nozomi: You kept on eyeing it, so I was wondering if you want some.
Youko: Smells too sweet, maybe that's what keeping you short. Sweet stuff.
Nozomi: That's no true!!

Nozomi was going to argue back, but her cellphone started ringing.

Nozomi: Hello?
Tsukikumo: May I speak to You-kun please?
Nozomi: Who is this?

Youko quickly snatched the phone out of Nozomi's hands and answered the phone.

Youko: Where's Kei!?
Tsukikumo: Ouch, so feisty you are You-kun! Don't worry, he's in good hands...
Nozomi: What happened to Kei?
Tsukikumo: Tell your little buddy that she has to come alone later tonight in the shop you are in. Does five sound fair?

Youko hung up and tossed the phone to Nozomi.

Nozomi: What happened Youko!? Where's Kei?
Youko: We're saving him.

The End

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