My Girlfriend Cheated on Me With a Senior, so I’m Cheating on Her With His Girlfriend Chapter 5

THIS IS A FAN TRANSLATION, THOUGH THE WEBSITE NAME…HAS MTL IN IT…

The counterattack’s starting signal

TL: Furby

ED: Danny

In a manner similar to an aquarium, the dark interior of the van was illuminated by the lights from the streetlamps outside.

Inside of it, Sakurajima Touko-senpai’s silhouette was bathed in that dim light and stood out amid the fluorescence. 

Contrary to her normal intellectual and composed attitude, she was now weeping like a child.

As if not to let anyone see her crying face, she buried it in my chest, and like a child, she curled up and trembled without pause…

What could I, Isshiki Yuu, do for her at this moment?

I, who had been cheated on by my girlfriend, and Touko-senpai, who had been cheated on by her boyfriend. 

There was no one else besides me with whom she could share her pain.

“Touko-senpai…”

I hugged and pulled her body even closer to mine.

“Please! Forget about Kamokura! I-I’ll protect you, Touko-senpai!”

{ED/N: Finally some backbone!! Good going MC}

I made my declaration with strength. That’s right, I’ll be the one to protect this person.

Hearing those words, Touko-senpai fearfully raised her face.

“Isshiki-kun, you will?”

“Yes, I’ll protect you, Touko-senpai. I’ll remain by your side forever.”

Then, she hugged me back strongly. She clung to me like a child clinging to their mother.

“If it’s you, I, I can trust you. I too want to be together with you forever, Isshiki-kun…”

As I embraced her body, I thought to myself.

… Doing nothing at this point is not kindness. The kindness I can give her is…

“Let’s stay together the whole night, Touko.”

Touko kept silent at my words but gave a definite nod.

With my arm still around her shoulders, I started the car.

In order to make her mine and for her to make me hers tonight…

 

“… Would you mind not making up your own narration?”

{ ED/N: I was laughing like a madman}

I spoke with a clearly displeased countenance.

There was no way to know how far this guy would continue to tell his crazy delusions if left to his own devices.

“What’s with you? If you’re going that far, you’ve gotta at least do that kind of thing, Yuu!”

The one who said that as they took a sip from their morning set’s coffee was Ishida Youta.

This place was a family restaurant on the side of one of the main highways that connected Chiba and Tokyo, the Japan National Route 14.

It was here that we two men had stayed since 9am.

“Listen here. We’re talking about that Touko-senpai. You really think it’ll go like that so easily?”

I spoke in a sharp tone, to which Ishida raised his left hand and then shook it sideways. It was a gesture meaning definitely no.

“Even if it’s impossible, being slightly forceful and making it happen is what makes a man! What was it you did? “

You stayed together like that with Touko-senpai as she cried, and because you kept watch of the apartment so late that the last train had already left, you drove her all the way to her home and then went back to yours? What’s with that? Are you a high school virgin or something?”

“Shaddap. I’m not some scoundrel who’d take advantage of a woman’s moment of weakness to make her mine!”

I don’t mean to say I’m a saint. Some similar fantasies crossed my mind for an instant too.

Nonetheless, if I were to end up together with Touko-senpai, I don’t want it to happen in such an insouciant manner.

In the first place, if I did those kinds of things, she would undoubtedly reject me with a harsh reprimand.

That’s the kind of woman she is.

“I mean, man, you just blew your greatest chance. If you’d managed it nicely, maybe it would’ve gone like in the story I just told.”

“You have such a rich imagination, huh. Go and become a novelist or a script writer already.”

“Ooh, that may be a good idea! Once everything’s been solved, maybe I should submit this story to some web novel website?”

“You! If you do that, I’ll truly end this friendship!”

“Don’t worry. I’ll only write it as a novel in case it has a happy end.”

Having said his part, Ishida laughed. This guy…  Was he really worried about me?”

It wouldn’t be that he’s only seeing this as something interesting, right?

“Then, what will you do now?”

Ishida suddenly asked me with a serious face.

“What do you mean what?”

“You’re finally carrying it out, no? The revenge to make the others feel as much regret-slash-trauma they-feel-like-dying thing.  How’re you going to do it?”

I too had been thinking about that. And yesterday night, there was something that came to mind which won’t leave me alone. The part about Touko-senpai cheating only after she had confronted and ended her relationship with Kamokura.

“Hey, what’s wrong? Why’d you go mum?” 

“Hm? No, I just had something on my mind.”

“What’s with that intriguing way of saying it? Out with it.”

“Well, it may be nothing more than my imagination but…”

I gave that small preamble before starting to speak.

“You know how the first time I went to tell Touko-senpai about Karen and Kamokura I also told her, ‘Please have an affair with me’, right?”

“I wouldn’t be able to forget that daring line even if I wanted to!”

So replied Ishida with a weird smile on his face.

“At that time, Touko-senpai also told me this: if I do end up having an affair, it would be after I have found the proof of Tetsuya’s cheating and confronted him with it.”

Ishida looked at me with surprised eyes. 

“That’s why I thought so too. If Touko-senpai confronted Kamokura-senpai with evidence of his love affair, ended her relationship with him, and then declared to him that she’ll spend the night with another man.… Wouldn’t that be a great shock to Kamokura-senpai?”

Ishida put a blank face for a moment. The next instant, he clapped his hands and started laughing. 

“That’s a great idea! It’ll be the best revenge ever! That show-off man of Kamokura-senpai will be not only dumped but immediately after, his girlfriend will be stolen by another man!”

Ishida bent back his body so much he looked like he would fall out of his seat as he continued to laugh.

“You, aren’t you a little too happy?”

As I spoke those words, I too had a smile take form on my lips. Well, regardless of what they may say in public, there ought to be many boys who hate Kamokura. I then continued to talk.

“What’s more, there’s nothing Kamokura-senpai can do about it. After all, he was the one to cheat. Being dumped is the obvious consequence. On the other hand, Touko-senpai would be clearly and openly declaring the end of their relationship, so he wouldn’t have any right to complain about what, where and with whom she did what she wanted. Kamokura-senpai wouldn’t have any means of stopping Touko-senpai.”

Ishida wiped his tears from laughing before speaking.

“That’s awesome! I absolutely want to see that scene myself! Where are you doing that?”

At that point, however, I noticed that I was getting too carried away.

“I mean, Touko-senpai didn’t actually say that she’ll do that. It was a hypothetical talk all along, ‘if she were to have an affair’. Immediately after she said it, she denied the idea by saying that it didn’t mean she’d have one.”

“Whaat? So it was all a hypothetical? And here I was thinking I’d be able to see the best, most pathetic face of Kamokura-senpai.”

Ishida appeared disappointed. Still, he soon leant forward.

“But you know? If she mentioned that, then doesn’t that mean that Touko-senpai too was considering that possibility?”

I was overpowered by the pressure from Ishida as he spoke.

“Uh, uuhh, that may be so…”

“Right? Do your best then! Think carefully, it’s that Touko-senpai, man. The same girl who’s been out of our league and we’ve admired since our high school days!”

“D-do my best in what?”

“Obviously in your retaliation together with Touko-senpai against the two cheaters. There’ll be many chances for you to be together with Touko-senpai from now on, Yuu. You guys are in the same position, have the same common goal, and you even have the same enemies. There’s no better conditions for two people to grow closer to each other than this, you know?”

“Hmmm.”

I found myself lost in thought. Honestly, what Ishida was saying was true. The number of opportunities for me to interact with Touko-senpai are going to increase. Still, something about it didn’t sit well with me.

“Also, if you get closer to Touko-senpai, wouldn’t you be able to get over Karen-chan’s cheating sooner? As they say, the best way to get over an old love is to find a new love.”

What he said is most correct. Indeed, even when we ascertained Karen was having a love affair, one of the main reasons as to why I did not fall rock-bottom in depression was Touko-senpai. It was precisely because she was with me that I was able to look straight at the reality of ‘my lover and senpai cheating with each other’.

“Anyhow, you got this unbelievable opportunity to get close to a top-notch beauty. All you’ve got left is to act proactively and hope for the best! That too will serve as a counterpunch towards Kamokura-senpai.”

I stared at Ishida. This guy acts as if he was messing with me while in truth, he is worried about me in earnest. I had nothing but gratitude for him because of that.

Not to mention that, like Ishida had said, if I were able to go out with Touko-senpai, that should make for a remarkable retaliation against Kamokura. I may even be able to see Kamokura’s pitiful crying face.

Nonetheless, will it really go so smoothly?

 

Once night fell, I sent a message to Karen.

The goal was to confirm the situation. If last night Karen stayed over at Kamokura’s room, there was a possibility that the two of them were still together. When I thought about that, I deemed it best not to call her tonight.

Adding to that last evening, Karen herself told me not to call her at night for that day, so I used it to say I was being considerate and why I messaged her.

> (Yuu) Karen, are you awake?

> (Karen) Karen’s awa~ke.

> (Yuu) Yesterday you met with your hometown friend, right? Was it fun?

> (Karen) Yes, it was fun! But since we stayed awake talking till morning, Karen slept the whole day today at her house.

I see. By saying that, it would serve as an excuse for why she wouldn’t have answered even on the off chance that I had called her during the day. Most probably, Karen was together with Kamokura until a little past noon.

> (Yuu) That so? That’s great. Then, do you want to go somewhere to pass the time together next weekend?

Well then, how would she answer that one?

If her feelings are starting to lean towards Kamokura, then she shouldn’t want her time to be taken by me.

> (Karen) Hmm~, Karen’s not sure yet.

So that’s how it was. Like I imagined, she was starting to fall noticeably out of love with me.

> (Yuu) I’ll talk to you later then.

> (Karen) Ah, wait a sec!

> (Yuu) What is it?

> (Karen) Karen’s thinking of going on a trip with a friend of hers.

A trip with a friend? Who was she talking about?

> (Yuu) What friend?

> (Karen) A hometown friend. One from my middle school days.

This was suspicious. I was starting to get the feeling that when Karen is going to meet with Kamokura, whenever she tends to say ‘a hometown friend’.

> (Karen) Isn’t it fine? Didn’t Yuu-kun talk before about going fishing with Ishida-kun too!? Karen too wants to go out and enjoy with her hometown friend every now and then at ease!

This aggressiveness before I said anything. Does this mean the other person is Kamokura like I thought?

> (Yuu) It’s not like I’m saying you can’t. Isn’t it totally fine for you to go?

> (Karen) [OK stamp]

> (Yuu) When are you planning to go?

> (Karen) It hasn’t been decided clearly yet. But maybe during the holidays of November would be good?

> (Yuu) I see. Please tell me when you decide it, then.

> (Karen) Okay.

My message conversation with Karen ended with that. I immediately called Touko-senpai by phone.

“Hello?”

“It’s me. I exchanged messages with Karen just now.”

“It wouldn’t be that she mentioned ‘going on a trip’ by chance, did she?”

“Touko-senpai, did you hear the same from Kamokura-senpai?”

“He wasn’t completely clear about it, but he told me on the phone a few moments ago that he may go on a trip with the guys from his middle school club.”

“I knew it. Karen too said something similar to that. That they hadn’t decided on a specific date yet, but it would probably be during the November holidays.”

“Tetsuya didn’t tell me that much. The most he did was leave it at an ‘I may go’.”

Then that must mean that Karen was more into this love affair thingy than Kamokura was.

I no longer thought of Karen as my girlfriend, but that didn’t mean this realization didn’t put me in a sour mood.

I decided to tell that to Touko-senpai.

“From the way she’s been talking, it makes me think that Karen is the one most engrossed in this love affair of the two.”

It seemed that Touko-senpai had the same impression.

“I get that same feeling.”

“When I invited her to meet next week, she answered that she wasn’t sure yet.”

“That’s bad for us.”

Touko-senpai stopped for a moment. She appeared to be thinking about something.

“For the time being, let’s meet tomorrow. I want us to think about our next plan. The place would be the same coffee shop where we met the first time. Is that okay with you?”

“Got it. The same time as last time too then.”

After saying that, we ended the call.

Touko-senpai had finally accepted that Kamokura Tetsuya and Mitsumoto Karen were having an affair. We would now at last move into the part of revenge, the ‘make the other party suffer a trauma so big they would rather die’ strategy.

The grudge and humiliation from having been taken for fools all this time is something we will never forget. We’ll teach them a lesson that’ll remain etched in their hearts for the rest of their lives!

 

Next day, Monday at 5pm. At a certain coffee shop in a station a distance away from our university. The place where I first spoke about this situation to Touko-senpai. I arrived 15 minutes before the appointed time. Five minutes before the appointed time, Touko-senpai appeared.

“I see you’re early like always.”

Catching sight of myself, Touko-senpai spoke as she took a seat in her chair.

I answered her.

“That’s because I cannot allow myself to make you wait, Touko-senpai.”

To which Touko-senpai replied with a strained smile.

“You don’t need to worry about that kind of stuff.”

I was slightly relieved. It was the same Touko-senpai as always.

I remembered the Touko-senpai who had cried as if venting out all her pent-up emotions on Saturday night.

It was my first time seeing her weak side.

Because of that, I get the sensation that inside of me, my perception of her has changed.

I was scared that if Touko-senpai had felt that something concerning me had changed for her too, then we wouldn’t be able to meet and talk like we had done until now.

“Moving on to the plan…”

After ordering her lemon tea, Touko-senpai began the conversation.

“Now that we have made clear that Tetsuya and Karen-san are having an affair, I don’t have any intentions to keep dating Tetsuya for long.”

“Yes, the same goes for me too.”

I couldn’t possibly continue to date Karen like normal while pretending to remain oblivious to her actions.

“Which brings us to the first plan we spoke of, the one about making them feel so much regret they feel like dying.”

I nervously waited for Touko-senpai’s next words.

“The date for it will be Christmas Eve.”

“Eh?”

I unintentionally gave a startled sound.

Isn’t Christmas Eve too soon? We were already into the last third of October, so that left us with only about two months’ time.

Though I had to admit that it’s true that having a harsh break up on the Holy Night that lovers usually spend together would give them an even greater shock.

“What? Are there any issues?”

Touko-senpai gave me an inquisitive stare.

“No, it’s not a problem as such. It’s just, specifically, how are we going to do that?”

“Yes…” 

She readjusted her seating position and bent slightly forwards.

“First is making the other person fall in love. A whole lot more than right now, so much so that they can’t live without me.”

“And then?”

“We estimate the time when they are most attached and unwilling to leave us, and we break up with them in the most scathing way possible. And the best timing to do that is Christmas Eve. You know that our group’s having a party, right?”

“Yes. I have heard that they hold a grand party every year. It’s a grand event within the university.”

“We’ll expose their love affair and declare the end of our relationships with them at that party. Tetsuya’s the kind of guy who cares about appearances, and from what I’ve seen of Karen-san, she’s someone who cares about what people around her think. There’s no greater humiliation for those two than this, right?”

I see. She was right, for Kamokura, who always has the need to be first place to be at ease, being dumped in front of everyone would be a humiliation that he would never forget. As for Karen, I too was aware that she had a strong wish to be seen by those in her surroundings as a cute girl. If it were known that she was cheating with her boyfriend’s senpai, that image of hers falling to rock bottom would be the least of her worries.

“I understand what Touko-senpai is saying. Still, there are two points that worry me.”

“And what would those be?”

“The first is that there’s the risk of us ruining the Christmas party by doing that.”

Touko-senpai assented.

“I was thinking the same. Nonetheless, this party has a tradition of holding two events, ‘best couple voting’ and ‘revelation of secrets’. Though it’s generally only things like interesting news and a time they use to confess their unrequited feelings, there was one time when one couple used it as a moment to declare the end of their relationship.”

“So those kinds of events were being held. I did know about the ‘best couple voting’, I didn’t know about the ‘revelation of secrets’ one.”

“However, it seems that the couple that declared the end of their relationship made some arrangements before making the announcement. Now, I imagine that having both their affair exposed and their relationships ended, Tetsuya and Karen-san will be befuddled. I don’t know what Tetsuya will do at that time. That’s why, we too have to take some measures for it.”

“Take some measures?”

“We’ll increase our allies within the group.”

Touko-senpai said it as if it was the most natural thing.

“Isshiki-kun, you get along well with Ishida-kun, no? I too have a friend whom I can trust. I intend for us to start by having those two join our side.”

“Who is that person you’re talking about?”

“It’s a girl you don’t know. She’s Kanou Kazumi, from the Economics Department. She was in the same middle school as me and our houses were close to each other, so we’ve been best friends since then. She didn’t go to Kaihimmakuhari High, but to a private school instead. I guess you could say we got back together now at university.”

“We’ll be using those two as helpers in creating a common opinion within the group then, right? But will that be enough to ensure it goes well?”

I was still doubtful about it. It’s true that the male freshmen and sophomores who are Kamokura’s kouhais hate him in secret. Notwithstanding, it’s also undeniable that there are many girls who are fans of Kamokura and that he holds a strong influence within the group.

When it comes to Karen, she appears to be somewhat detached from other girls, but I wonder if that’s actually true.

“About that, I was thinking of discussing it together with Kazumi and Ishida-kun. By the way, what was your second worry?”

“We’re carrying out our plan on Christmas Eve, right? I’m worried if I’ll be able to make Karen fall for me so much that she doesn’t want to leave my side by that time.”

After all, at present, I could tell Karen’s feelings for me were on the verge of disappearing.

“You mean you don’t have the confidence to make Karen-san fall head over heels for you in two months?”

“I mean, like I told you over the phone, I believe that Karen’s feelings are inclined towards Kamokura-senpai presently.”

“Weak Hearted as always, I see.”

Touko-senpai said that with a hint of disappointment.

“Isn’t it precisely because it’s right now? Three months after the start of a relationship is the deciding moment, it’s when either the relationship between the two burns even brighter than before or cools down and naturally self-destructs.”

“Is that true?”

“At least as far as I know. A month, three months, half a year, a year, three years, and so on; those are the moments when both lovers tend to think of separating.”

I was flabbergasted. It was quite a frequent occurrence.

“Couples that break up after a month are mainly those that got together on a whim but decided that it was different from what they expected. That’s why there are many of them that don’t count as having experience dating.”

On a whim, huh? That said, isn’t ‘don’t count as having experience dating’ a bit too harsh?

“Three months is the time when those that have a good compatibility start to see the good parts of the other and their love feelings deepen. On the other hand, for those that don’t have a good compatibility, they start to get overly-conscious of the bad sides of their partners and begin to feel like they don’t get along well with them, thus making their feelings dissipate.”

Hearing it like that, what she said may have been true.

“Isshiki-kun and Karen-san are in this 3-month period, right? What did you think about Karen-san until now? Before you knew about this incident.”

She means before I discovered that Karen and Kamokura were having an affair?

“Hmm, right. I think I had gotten quite smitten with Karen. She was my first girlfriend after all. It’s true that I may have felt like dating her was different from what I had thought, but it didn’t make me feel so uneasy.”

I was once again reminded of the fun days I had spent with Karen. I felt a throbbing pain assail my heart.

“I know, your ‘first one’ is special, right…?”

Those sad sounding words from Touko-senpai pierced my chest with a sharp pain.

The intensity of that pain was many times greater than the one I had felt when thinking of Karen.

… I knew it, Touko-senpai was still thinking about Kamokura…

At that moment, as if all the oxygen in my lungs had disappeared, I had a suffocating sensation.

“But, from the fact that you were, however small, somewhat uneasy about it, I think that Karen-san may have felt it even more. If you can’t make her fall in love with you right now, do you think that you’ll be able to do so even later on?”

The last part of her sentence was a keen remark.

It was just as she said. This problem wasn’t one that time would solve.

No, if anything, the more time passed the more I’d be at a disadvantage. However…

“I understand what you meant to say, Touko-senpai. It’s true, my procrastinating won’t make this matter change for the better on its own.”

Touko-senpai nodded in silence.

“Nonetheless, no matter how I see it, recovering the lost feelings of my girlfriend is not something that can be easily done.”

“You’re right, it might not be easy. However, considering the present situation, I think it is still very much possible.”

As I had an expression of mystification on my face, Touko-senpai explained it to me. 

“Karen-san is still keeping her affair with Tetsuya a secret from you, no? In short, that means that Karen-san herself considers Isshiki-kun her real boyfriend right now.”

Hmm, that sounded accurate enough, probably.

“It may indeed be that her feelings are considerably in favor of Tetsuya. However, I don’t think Tetsuya is so much into Karen yet.”

I looked again at Touko-senpai. This wasn’t anything like over-confidence. On looks alone, Karen was no match for Touko-senpai. Regardless of how much Karen put on her cute girl mask.

“I could tell from Tetsuya’s normal attitude, but you could also tell from this time’s trip event. Karen-san spoke to you under the assumption that going on the trip was already a given. However, Tetsuya only left it at the level of ‘I may go’. That means that, depending on my actions, the trip plans may or may not come to fruition.”

I nodded. Certainly, if Touko-senpai told Kamokura not to go on the trip, the trip plans would most probably come to nothing.

“What do you think a woman would think if the man she was going with on a highly anticipated trip suddenly cancelled it at the last minute? I’m in control of that very thing.”

Touko-senpai said it nonchalantly.

She was incredibly awesome. Not only was this what you’d expect from her, but it was even a tad scary.

“There’s also one other thing that I had in mind concerning Karen-san.”

Touko-senpai raised her index finger. It sort of gave the appearance of it being a secret.

“What is it? What’s that other thing?”

“Women, you know, are social beings. Especially those of her type.”

“Social beings? What do you mean?”

Humans are beings that live in society to start with, so how exactly did that connect to Karen falling in love with me?

“If you don’t understand it, Isshiki-kun, then there’s one thing you’re gravely misunderstanding.”

“Gravely misunderstanding, you say?”

I found myself confused by her words, so I further inquired.

“Yes. Maybe even all of the men who think of themselves as unpopular have the same misunderstanding.”

I had not the slightest idea of what Touko-senpai was trying to say.

“What do you think are the qualities that make a man popular?”

Seeing my expression of befuddlement, Touko-senpai asked me that question.

“Well, something like being handsome, athletic, or tall. If we’re talking about inner qualities, then being smart, gentle, or kind, something like that?”

“Those are the qualities that men think makes up a ‘popular boy’, right?”

“Are women’s opinions different?”

“I won’t say that the qualities you mentioned are wrong, but you’re still missing the essence of it. Aren’t there far more important elements?”

“More important elements?”

“Let’s go with the ones you said, handsome, athletic, tall, smart, gentle, kind. If these were necessary qualities, wouldn’t it be weird how those not-so-cool comedians married beautiful and talented TV announcers?”

“But wouldn’t that be because the comedians have money? They also seem to be good with words.”

“Aren’t there a considerable number of entertainers who, without having been so renowned, have married famous voice actresses?”

“Yes, you’re right.”

“That makes up one of the elements I mentioned and includes what you just said of ‘being skilled with words’.”

“Like coaxing girls with ease, that sort of thing?”

“No. It’s being good at listening, being able to grasp and understand the other person’s intentions, and from there skillfully creating the proper atmosphere. 

Good at listening, grasping the intention of what the other is trying to say, and creating the atmosphere.

Thought vaguely, I got the sense that I understood what she had said.

“You won’t be liked by girls if you’re only good at talking. Someone who is first able to listen properly and able to sympathize with their feelings, that’s the kind of person that is preferred on many occasions.”

“So you mean to tell me that I have to listen carefully when Karen speaks?”

I had always thought that I was already listening to Karen with attention.

After all, Karen was the kind of person who constantly pushes her own opinions one-sidedly.

“That’s not exactly it. I believe you’re the type to listen attentively to her. This is because I get that feeling even when you speak with me.”

“In that case, my verbal expression? Or is it creating the atmosphere?”

“That, creating the atmosphere. But I don’t mean it as how couples set a romantic mood or anything like that.”

Once again, I was unable to comprehend what Touko-senpai was trying to tell me. It was just as if I was trying to solve a riddle.

“Then, what kind of atmosphere are we talking about?”

“The group atmosphere. In more direct words, raising your popularity with the girls.”

… Huh…? I was stupefied.

Raising my popularity with the girls?

Wasn’t that basically the same as telling me to go and become a ladies’ man?

If I was able to do something like that, I wouldn’t be going through these pains in the first place.

Did Touko-senpai think it was easy to do because her boyfriend is someone like Kamokura, who makes all the girls scream in excitement?

“I think that’s something of an extremely high difficulty. I mean, I’m already having enough trouble making Karen alone fall for me, let alone doing the same for all the girls. That’s impossible for me. Rather, I feel we’re putting the cart before the horse.”

However, Touko-senpai closed her eyes and shook her head sideways.

“Don’t misunderstand, please. I didn’t say, ‘make all the girls fall for you’. Because everyone has their own likings, that’s plain impossible. Anyhow, what I meant by that was simply raising the girls’ opinion of you.”

Seeing that even then I couldn’t make sense of it, Touko-senpai supplied me with further explanation.

“You know, when a girl says, ‘I want that person as my boyfriend’ or ‘it’d be nice if I had a boyfriend like that person’, she means two completely different things. ‘I want as my boyfriend’ indicates that, regardless of whatever conditions there may be, that specific individual is her love target. ‘It’d be nice if he was my boyfriend’ takes conditions and other things into consideration and is nothing more than a general observation. It doesn’t necessarily mean that she wants to get that person to be her boyfriend. With that, what you’ll be aiming for is the ‘it’d be nice if he was my boyfriend’ type. It should be fine with you achieving this up to a certain point, even if not fully.”

“Hahh, I understand what you mean to say. But will Karen really like me more than now if I raise my popularity with the girls?”

“I think this method is an effective one. At least against Karen-san.”

Hmm, frankly speaking, there were still some points about what Touko-senpai was saying that I couldn’t understand, making it hard for me to fully accept it…

That said, there must have been something about Karen that I wasn’t seeing, but Touko-senpai was able to.

“Still, how would I go about doing that?”

“I’ll tell you more in detail about that later. Don’t worry, if you follow what I tell you, you’ll have a pretty good shot at making it. The rest is just a matter of your determination and spirit.”

Having spoken as such, Touko-senpai calmly drank her lemon tea. She then placed the cup back on the table.

“There’s something much more important than that: finally deciding on the day we’ll deal those two cheaters a knockout punch!”

With a brighter light in her eyes than I had seen before, Touko-senpai looked at me as she spoke.

“No matter how much we plan for something, unless we have a fixed date for it, we can’t make it happen. That’s why we’ll set Christmas Eve as our D-day. That’s fine with you, right?”

It’s exactly as Touko-senpai said. Nothing will come from continually delaying this over and over. We have to prepare ourselves and face it straight on. What we were doing here was all with that end in mind.

“Got it. Let’s do this! We still have 2 months for it!”

“That’s the spirit!”

Touko-senpai made a cool smile after that.

 

For the time being, Touko-senpai and I left the coffee shop and entered a family restaurant that was along the national highway. Our talk stretched considerably, so we thought that it may be better to move to another establishment for the moment. There’s also that we simply got a bit hungry. Touko-senpai ordered pasta while I ordered a hamburger set. 

By the way, Touko-senpai didn’t allow me to pay even the smallest amount for her. Despite my telling her to let me pay at least on the times I invited her, she simply said not to worry about it since we’re both students and paid for herself. Because Karen would always let me pay like it was the most natural thing, I felt a little weird about this.

“Now then, Touko-senpai, about the method for me to make Karen fall head over heels for me by the D-day, could I ask you to tell me the ‘strategy’ you came up with?”

Touko-senpai readjusted her seating posture a few times before starting to explain.

“I mentioned 2 before already. One is to ruin their trip plans. In this one, you don’t need to do anything. In case Karen-san tells you that she wants to go on a trip with her friend, all you need to do is kindly see her off with a ‘go and have fun’.”

“The one where you would dexterously manipulate Kamokura and make him cancel the trip at the last minute, right, Touko-senpai?”

“Yes. Tetsuya shouldn’t be wanting to go out with Karen-san so much that he’d risk making me angry. But I imagine that having the trip she was looking forward to so much cancelled at the last minute would make Karen-san very resentful. It may even change the way in which she sees Tetsuya. If at that time she notices how you have always looked after her with gentleness and warmth, Karen-san is sure to remember who should be her number one, no?”

I wonder if it’ll go so smoothly… That small doubt crossed my mind, but I also had a curious sensation since hearing Touko-senpai say it like that made it seem like it would happen without difficulty. 

“And the other strategy?”

“That’s precisely the one I mentioned before. Raising your popularity with the girls.”

“That’s the one I don’t really get. Could you explain a bit more concretely, please?”

“First and foremost is to not do anything that would make the girls dislike you.”

“Aren’t I already making an effort to not be hated by everyone?”

“Are you? It’s my belief that boys tend to lack thoughtfulness though.”

“In what ways do you mean that?”

“For example, about one’s appearance, going around with your bed hair, having your nasal hair visible, having eye mucus on your eyes, having an unkempt stubble, and slovenly clothing. All of that is unthinkable for your average girl.”

I tried scourging through my memories. I got the feeling that the number of girls who had any of those was indeed low.

“Have you ever given thought to how much time girls spend everyday taking care of their own body and appearance? It’s easily over one or two hours.”

So that’s how it is, huh?

It is true that when I went on a trip with girls, I would often see them fiddling or tinkering their hair and faces.

“That’s why keeping a prim and neat appearance is the minimum you need to do. And I don’t mean that you should wear high-brand clothes or get a cool, modern hair style. Popular boys always take care to keep a neat appearance.”

After she said that, Touko-senpai added on,

“On that matter though, you already pass, Isshiki-kun.”

“Thank you very much. Anything aside from that?”

“When it comes to attitudes, speech, and actions, I read in some book that bodily touching is hated. Getting their heads patted by a man who is neither close to them nor someone they like is nothing if not unpleasant. From which we can say that keeping your distance and doing nothing more than talking with them is by far the best option.”

Ooh! Harsh! But you know, I too wondered what kind of an idiot patted a girl’s head or performed a kabedon on her.

“There are many boys that can’t tell the time they should listen to a girl’s problems. And there are many others that maybe misunderstand when a girl speaks her troubles to them, thinking she’s relying on them, and hence end up unnecessarily giving their all to give advice to her. Girls aren’t really expecting some sound reasoning or a solution to their troubles. They just want someone who’d listen to them. If at those times you tell her ‘you should do that’ or ‘if you do this’, then all that’ll cross the girl’s mind is ‘huh? That’s not what I wanted’. And something like criticizing her is absolutely out of the question.”

Um, was it me or was today’s Touko-senpai incredibly scary?

“That’s why, from now on, whenever you talk with a girl, you’re to keep yourself to only listening in as much as possible. Giving her an occasional ‘You’re right, I’ve had the same happen to me too’ is more than enough.”

That was a lifesaver. Talking with girls I’m not familiar with wasn’t one of my strong points. I always worried over what I should talk about and couldn’t find the words in my panic.

“Ah, however, it may be best for the boy to be the one who speaks the first words and breaks the ice with some topic for conversation. I get the feeling it’d be scary if you simply stayed nearby in silence. They’ll start thinking you have some ulterior motives.”

Women sure are complicated, huh.

“Also, when you’re with a group of girls, you have to always remain impartial. This is because women are incredibly perceptive of even the smallest difference in treatment. Though the girl receiving the special treatment may be happy about it, the other girls will most definitely not find it amusing. Ultimately, the girl who got the special treatment will be bothered by the looks from everyone else and end up leaving.”

After that, Touko-senpai continued telling me just how important the ‘group atmosphere’ is for girls.

“So, Touko-senpai, will simply raising the opinion all girls have about me be enough to make Karen’s feelings for me light again?”

Touko-senpai nodded.

“From what I’ve seen, Karen-san is the type that craves for everyone’s attention or who needs the approval of others to find their own value. For those kinds of girls, only treating them with kindness isn’t enough. They’re the kind of people that whenever they’re given something, they expect something greater the next time in a never-ending cycle. They’re always raising the bar for their ‘confirmation of love’.”

I was well aware of that. Rather, what Touko-senpai said was on point. 

At the beginning, Karen started by only cutely asking me for small things, but eventually, those small things became the norm, and she then began to demand more and more different things. Then, when I couldn’t fulfill those demands of hers, she’d remain in a foul mood for a long time, and at times, she’d even get angry out of nowhere.

“Those girls are also prone to cheating. They find that a single man isn’t enough to satisfy their needs and hence search for another one. They then even go as far as to justify their cheating saying it was their boyfriends who didn’t understand them enough, that they didn’t care about their feelings, that they didn’t give them enough love.”

Wouldn’t it be better if you forgot about computer science and instead became a psychologist or a scientist, Touko-senpai?

“Those kinds of people that want constant attention or need other people’s approval pay extremely close attention to the opinions of the people around them. That’s why, if the girls around her say that Isshiki-kun is a good man, she won’t want to let go of you as her boyfriend. It’s precisely that side of Karen-san that may have led her to cheating with Tetsuya, who is popular with the girls of our group and a center of attention.”

Oooh, that was quite the convincing story there!

Unable to say anything, I simply stood there listening to Touko-senpai.

“That’s why, regardless of how kindly you treat her, for Karen-san, that’s an ‘obvious thing’ that you should do, meaning that her feelings for you won’t come back. It’s better for us to raise the other girls’ assessment of you, thus making Karen-san think that she doesn’t want to let go of you and that she wants to keep you for herself.”

I was utterly impressed at Touko-senpai’s powers of observation and perception. Especially the part about Karen’s demands towards me escalating, it was almost as if she had seen it happen before her eyes.

“All that you need is to catch the eye of more girls than men and you’ll be ready.”

“What should I do to achieve that?”

Touko-senpai made a hard-to-describe expression at my question.

It was a mischievous look that still showed that she was about to ask for a favor. 

“The free counseling ends here. From here on, I want some kind of reward for myself.”

“Reward? You mean money?”

“I don’t need money. There’s something that has greater importance than that for me…”

“Something important for Touko-senpai?”

What could that be? I didn’t have the slightest idea.

“You know, for me… ******.”

Touko-senpai lowered her voice all of a sudden.

“Eh? Excuse me, what did you say?”

“What I said was… ******.”

In what was an unusual occurrence, Touko-senpai was having difficulties expressing herself as she seemed to be fidgeting.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you well. Could I ask you to please repeat it in a louder voice?”

“Ngh! Argh!” 

With her face red, Touko-senpai yelled as if angered.

“I want you to teach me how to be a ‘cute girl’!”

“…”

For an instant, I was left in shock, unable to speak.

Touko-senpai’s face was flushed a bright red. Even her ears were red.

“I said it a while back, didn’t I? That I want to be cute. That’s why I want you to tell me how to be a ‘cute girl’ in boys’ eyes!”

She continued to fidget the whole time she spoke.

… Just like that, you’re already being ‘cute’, Touko-senpai…

I found it amusing. The composed, intellectual, and perfect beauty Touko-senpai was asking for help in this.

“Pff.”

I was unable to fully hold back my laughter.

“Wh, what? Why’re you laughing?”

With her face still red, Touko-senpai looked at me in a panic.

“Aah, I’m sorry. I just couldn’t believe it.”

“What do you mean you couldn’t believe it!? I said it before; for women, those kinds of things are…”

“I apologize, I didn’t mean it like that. I have no intention of denying what you said, Touko-senpai.”

After I had said that, for the time being, Touko-senpai appeared to take back the words she was about to say. 

Nonetheless, she still pouted her lips in dissatisfaction. With her face still flushed red.

“But are you sure you’re okay with me? With the ‘cute girl’ image that someone like me may have?”

That point too was odd. That the perfect beauty, Touko-senpai, was asking the run-of-the-mill ordinary me for help in ‘how to be a cute girl’. Wasn’t she mistaking the person to whom she was asking for help?

“I’m not asking you because you’re you. It’s because I can’t ask other people for help with this.”

Perhaps still feeling somewhat embarrassed, she glanced up at me as she hung her head.

“I understand. If you are fine with me, please allow me to think and make a summary of what I believe to make up a ‘cute girl’ by next time.”

“The report needs to be at least 5 pages and no more than 10 pages long. The main points have to be summarized in the conclusion! If I determine it deserves less than a C, you’ll be writing the report anew!”
(TL Note: Getting graded outside of class or work, sweet)

Trying to hide her shyness, she made that joke before turning to the side in a pout. And her face remained red even now.

This demeanor of yours was very and truly cute, Touko-senpai.

Next day, I called Karen by phone a little past 8pm like I always did.

This was because, based on the pattern they’ve had until now, I thought she wouldn’t be meeting with Kamokura today. 

However, Karen didn’t answer her phone. Three hours after that, I called Karen again.

“… Hello.”

In contrast to her usual high spirits, she spoke in a low unhappy voice.

“Karen? It’s me, Yuu.”

“Karen knew that from the moment the call entered and she saw the display.”

“Right.”

“And? What does Yuu-kun want?”

That was quite the brusque manner of speech. She was in a seriously bad mood.

“Ah, no, it’s just that I called you earlier and you didn’t answer. I wondered if something had happened.”

“…Nothing much. Karen was asleep on the bed.”

“I see. You were asleep ‘on the bed’.”

It would seem she met with Kamokura today. Her meaning of ‘asleep on the bed’ was different from mine.

“That all Yuu-kun wanted?”

“Eh, yeah. You remember I promised to contact you every day, right?”

“…”

“I also wanted to hear your voice, Karen.”

Controlling my feelings of anger, I somehow managed to say that in a kind tone.

“Isn’t it enough already?”

“Eh?”

“It’s already enough to call Karen every day.”

“But it was you who said it, Karen. That it’s only natural for me as your boyfriend to call you every day.”

“That was back when Karen and Yuu-kun had just started dating. It’s already been three months since that. Karen was thinking that maybe it would be fine to stop the daily calls.”

“Does that mean you don’t want to talk with me every day?”

“That’s not it. It’s more that calling her everyday makes Karen feel as if she was under surveillance. It’s as if she was being restricted in her freedom. If that happened, Karen could even end up hating Yuu-kun because of it!”

This girl, where did she get off saying that sort of thing even though she herself was doing things that deserved keeping a close watch on her?

“… I see…”

… Is your time with Kamokura that important for you? So much that simply talking with me is a waste of time?…

The silence continued for a while.

“Was that all?”

“Ah, yes.”

“Karen’s head hurts, so she’s going to sleep now.”

“Oh, yeah. Good night.”

No sooner did I reply than she ended the call.

The next day, Wednesday, we got together at a coffee shop a distance away from the university.

Apart from Touko-senpai and I, my best friend, Ishida Youta, and Touko-senpai’s best friend, Kanou Kazumi-san, were together with us. This was the first time all four of us got together like this, as well as Ishida’s and my first meeting with Kazumi-san.

Kazumi’s hair was dyed in a light brown color, and she gave off the image of your average beautiful woman.

“That’s one troublesome thing there.”

After I shared the contents of last night’s conversation with Karen, Touko-senpai put her fist to her chin and had a stern expression.

“I thought as much…”

I spoke in a depressed voice.

The contents of that call were so bad you could very well say they were from a couple on the verge of breaking up.

“It’s very bad that you made Karen-san tell you that it’s fine not to call her every day. This is because by doing that, she is now aware of the fact that Isshiki-kun’s level of priority within herself has fallen.”

Hearing that, Kazumi-san separated her lips from the straw of the iced coffee she was drinking.

“It’s just like Touko said. It’s at times like those that women start to feel that that guy is annoying, and they get tired of them. Phrases like ‘I was asleep’, ‘my head hurts’, ‘I’m feeling sleepy’ are all pretty much stock phrases for when the boyfriend starts to pry into stuff that a girl doesn’t want them to know of.”

“I’m sorry. It’s all because I tried to contact her unnecessarily…”

I lowered my head and Ishida spoke out in my defense.

“Nah, I don’t think it could’ve been helped. If your girlfriend doesn’t answer your habitual call, wouldn’t it be normal as a boyfriend to ask, ‘what were you doing’?”

“Yes. Perhaps not asking anything at that time would’ve instead been more unnatural.”

Touko-senpai agreed with him on that point. Nonetheless, immediately after she gave me her next warning.

“Still, from now on, make sure you don’t contact Karen-san on time when she may be together with Tetsuya. Regardless of whether they’re cheating or not, getting contacted by their boyfriend when they’re with another man is one of the most annoying things for women.”

“Understood.”

“Remember that our goal is to dump our partners at the moment when they’re most in love with us. You have to do your best to abstain from doing things that could make her feelings for you grow any more distant.”

I had no words with which to reply. However, thinking about it calmly, isn’t recovering the love of your girlfriend when she’s about to break up with you something considerably difficult to achieve?

“Well, let’s leave that aside for now. That’s not the main topic for today’s meeting, is it? It’s to decide on our plan of action to bring down the hammer of justice on Frivolous-Kamo and B***h-girl, isn’t it?”
(TL/N: チャラ鴨 and ビッチ女 in JP. Any better ideas for a TL please put them up in the server)

Perhaps attempting to soften the tension in the air, Kazumi let out a small joke. However, the only one to yell back ‘Frivolous-Kamo’ and burst out laughing at it was Ishida. Touko-senpai then spoke with a displeased expression.

“You’re right. Now then, as I said before this meeting, we want the two of you to create an atmosphere within the group which helps make it easier for them to ally with us. After all, what we’re talking about here is making a scandal over at one of the group’s events, the Christmas party. If the people present there don’t side with us, the damage to Tetsuya and Karen will be halved.”

“From what I’ve heard till now, sure, Tetsuya is scum, but that Karen girl is also something of her own, right? There shouldn’t be many girls who’d sympathize with that girl considering her present circumstances, won’t you say?”

Uwah, she just said those hard-to-say things as if they were nothing! Kazumi-san’s the type of person who doesn’t mince their words.

Ishida added on in the same tone.

“If we’re talking about Karen-chan, yeah, girls won’t really side with her. And as for Kamokura-senpai, most of the male freshmen and sophomores won’t even think to sympathize with him, no? Kamokura-senpai’s egotism and philandering is infamous even among his fellow juniors.”

“Hey! Ishida!”

I chided Ishida. At least for Touko-senpai, Kamokura was her boyfriend. There was no way that she would feel happy hearing all those insults directed at him.

However, the one who stopped me was none other than Touko-senpai herself.

“It’s fine, Isshiki-kun. What Ishida-kun says is true, after all. Nothing good will come from averting my eyes from it, and it’s something I had sensed already.”

Nonetheless, the look with which Touko-senpai looked at me as she spoke was still marred by sorrow.

“Still, Tetsuya too has his friends, and it wouldn’t be weird if some people advocated for Karen-san saying that it’s too cruel for a girl to be subjected to so much humiliation. That’s why I want a strong enough sense of empathy towards us so that those kinds of opinions aren’t expressed. I want to ask for the two of you to create such an atmosphere.”

“I know. It’s for that that you want me to join your group, right? Luckily, I already get along with a few girls who are members of your group, so I think I should be able to fit in fast.”

“Fine by me too. Rather, I don’t think there’s any need to lay any groundwork for the freshmen and sophomores. All that’s left is what to say to the juniors. But if they know that Touko-senpai was betrayed by Kamokura, then there shouldn’t be any problems there.”

“I’ll leave it to you then. The two of us can’t be openly involved in doing that.”

After that, Touko-senpai turned to face me.

“Last is you, Isshiki-kun. Increasing your popularity among the girls is of great importance. Make sure you remember that.”

The meeting ended and we divided into two groups and went back, Ishida and I on the one side, Touko-senpai and Kazumi-san on the other. 

Inside the train on our way back, Ishida spoke to me as if he had just remembered.

“Touko-senpai really is nice, man.”

“Yeah.”

I replied in an offhand manner.

“It’d be the best thing in the world if someone like that were your girlfriend, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Why’d Kamokura-senpai even think of cheating despite already having a perfect girlfriend, one who is beautiful and has an exceptional physique and a great personality?”

“Hell if I know that!”

I was deeply grateful to Ishida for helping me in this way.

Even so, I couldn’t answer pleasantly when it came to this topic. It brought to mind many various memories, and I couldn’t help falling into a bad mood.

However, I too had thought of the same question Ishida had asked.

From a purely physical extent, both in face and in body, Touko-senpai was decidedly leagues above Karen. This is what 10 people out of 10 you asked would tell you, regardless of their gender. Add to that that Touko-senpai also had a graceful and refined personality, not to mention that she was also considerate. You could see how she was trying to defend Kamokura even now that we had confirmed that he had been cheating on her. 

Why Kamokura, who had such a perfect girlfriend, had an affair with Karen was a great mystery.

Though it is in line with what Kamokura said a few days ago: that men are beings that are constantly looking to get their hands on many women, and so, just because they have a beautiful girlfriend, it doesn’t mean they won’t lay their hands on another woman.

“Well, it’s true that Karen-chan is cute too, though. I’d say she’s one of the top 5 cutest girls in our group.”

I didn’t say anything. It was true that even during this time I’ve been dating Karen, she’s been popular among a portion of the boys.

“Honestly, when you told me before our summer vacations that you were dating Karen-chan, I was very jealous of you.”

“With how that turned into this, I’d have to say that in my case, my feelings would be the complete opposite.”

“Right. It must be a difficult position for you, Yuu. So, you managed to clear up your mind a bit?”

“Yeah. I managed to get over most of it thanks to Touko-senpai. It kinda feels like my eyes were opened at last.”

“I see, I’m glad.”

Ishida looked relieved as he said that.

“You know, the truth is I was a little worried if you wouldn’t lose yourself and in a fit of rage turn violent towards Kamokura and Karen-chan.”

I made a bitter smile at that. I had no doubt that Ishida had been worried for me on that aspect too and as such had been willing to have so many conversations with me. Still, that I didn’t end up doing that may once again be thanks to Touko-senpai.

“Thanks. And don’t worry. I know that all I’ll get by doing that is to be despised by Touko-senpai.”

“I’m relieved to see that you’re more composed than I imagined, Yuu. All thanks to our marvelous Touko-senpai.

Ishida turned to look at me.

“I said it before already, but it’d be nice if things with Touko-senpai went well. I’m cheering for you. Go and give that trash-senpai of Kamokura a good one!”