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It's been a favorite, but now, it's probably my most favorite. Here I go again with random chapters. I've read chapters 50-59, sans chapter 57 (only seen spoilers), but I'll be taking my time doing summaries. I can only share a few pages (and I've resized them) but I hope they'll be enough for now until someone can scan the tanks. Volume 8 is coming out on 10/23.

 

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Scan credits go to xinzhixue3418 @ billwang. Please don't spread these scans.

Song 50

 

A tall, light-haired high school student who keeps his bangs in place with hairclips (Kurosu Shintarou) stops a perverted man from molesting a high school girl in the train. He confiscates his pocket-size camera and tells him that peeping is wrong. But what he hates the most are "people who dirty Eros."

 

At school, Maria, who is now a second year student at Tozuka, is looking at the class list. Tomoyo comes up to to tell her that they are in the same class.
"So there was such a thing as changing classes when you move up a year level."
"That's right!" 



"I have to watch over you again."
"That's my line. You don't even know about marathons and changing classes."
Yuusuke shouts out to them. "Don't forget! We're also with you!" He cheerfully says while slinging an arm over Shin.
"The four of us are together, ne?"
"The second year students have a lot of activities, so it's great that we're all together.



"Really. It's going to be same unimproving faces again."
"My, my. Maria's hiding her embarrassment again."
"I'm not hiding it. I'm really happy."
Cue Ayu who says that she is also in the same class, along with the rest of their classmates from first year. She fusses over Yuusuke, as usual. Maria takes this opportunity to talk to Meguro.



She tells him that she is in his care again ("yoroshiku" is the word in japanese) and extends a hand. Shin asks what is up with her being so formal. Maria insists that it's alright. It's just a greeting. Shin lightly slaps palms with Maria. Both of them are lightly blushing. Maria smiles gently as she touches with her other hand, the palm Shin just touched. The same student from the train eyes their exchange.

I like Meguro Shin.
I thought that I would be fine with just being together and staying as friends.
But, I realized that it was a lie.


During the opening ceremony, the freshmen keep glancing at Maria who they recognize from her appearance on t.v.
"Look, along the second year students' row...It's that person."
"She appeared on t.v.."
"The real thing is beautiful."
"But she looks scary."



Afterwards, While Maria is walking with her friends, some first year students take out their cellphones to take pictures of Maria.
"If we take a snapshot then make a run for it, we won't get caught! One, two..."
Ka-chak! Ka-chak!
Maria is taken by surprise. While Yuusuke yells in protest, the two freshmen make a run for it, only to be tripped down by the same student who was watching Maria and Shin earlier.
"Hey wait! Ah-!"
"What's wrong, senpai?"
"Ow~"
"Uh, we don't mean anything bad by this."
"Sorry. We were just joking around."



Maria grabs the shirt of one of the freshmen.
"Promise me. You won't do this again! If you use me or my friends for your popular (as in pop culture, pop music, etc.) pranks, I won't forgive you. Do you understand?"
"Maria..."
"If you keep your promise, you can go now."



The student who wears hairclips takes the cellphone of one of the offenders and snaps it in half.
"It's true that you don't meant anything bad, but if you don't destroy the root of it, it might turn into something big, for example, nude pictures that might be used as a nighttime snack."

"Snack?" Maria reiterates.Tomoyo and Yuusuke's faces flush at the comment, while Shin is shocked. But inspite of this, the newcomer continues. "With senpai's beauty, you can make printouts and sell them for 1000 yen, a piece. Oh, your cellphone too..."
"I-I'll erase it!"



Shin suddenly pulls on the shirt of the light-haired, hairclipped boy
"Why you!"
"Why are you getting mad at me? Ah, they got away."
"Th-that's right, Meguro. This person helped us."
"Oh, I see. You like Kawai-senpai."



Maria perks up, blushing. "Eh!?"
"You..you're wrong!" Shin denies strongly.
"Oh, was I wrong? I thought that you got mad because the person you liked was called a snack."
"I am annoyed with your way of thinking!"
"Megu!"
"I was just giving an example of a bad joke."
Maria listens as her face falls in disappointment.



"You're also the same as those wanting to play bad jokes, freshman. Who Meguro likes is not what you're concerned about. Rather it amuses you to see others getting flustered, doesn't it? You, who stays back and enjoys watching the scene at your expense, this has nothing to do with you, so leave us alone."
Maria turns to leave and the others follow. The first year is left speechless.

For some reason, I feel angry.



Later in class, the freshmen crowd by the window, trying to get a peek at Maria.
"Look, that's her."
"She seems to be in a bad mood."
"Did the freshmen come to see Maria?"
"Just go away, all of you!" Ayu tells the new students.
But Maria ignores them. "It's only now. They'll get tired soon."
"Right."

Yuusuke, along with Tomoyo, offers to go home together with her, but Maria knows that they take the bus. She asserts that she is fine and can go home on her own.
"Then, shall I accompany you?"
The one who spoke was the first year she crossed paths with. Maria's classmates wonder if he is a first year and comment on his tall height.

"I'm sorry for what happened earlier. As an apology, let me escort you for now. I'm pretty good at fighting."
"Well, but you..."
"I'm Kurosu Shintarou. Pleased to meet you, Kawai-senpai."
Shintarou grabs hold of Maria's hand.
"Hold on! I get it. Just wait. I have to prepare my things."
"Eh? It's okay?"
"I don't really have a reason to refuse."
At this, Shintarou smiles widely. "I'm happy! I didn't expect you to be okay with it. Then, shall we go?"

"I don't intend to make fun. This is really the way I am. It's just as you said. It's probably true that I keep to the safety zone. But I thought I would try entering dangerous territory".
Maria points at herself, wondering if she is the "dangerous territory".
"I'm interested in you."
"I'm not interested in you."
"Then, I'll try turning that around from now on," Shintarou says with a glint in his eyes.

Why is it? Even though I'm angry, I let myself be dragged away by this boy.

 

Shin returns to the classroom and finds Yuusuke staring out the window. "Yuusuke? What's that about?" He asks, seeing Shintarou and Maria leave school together.
"I couldn't stop him. Somehow, I felt like I lost to him today."

I felt that there was something similar in him.

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Scan credits go to yukitokaji @ billwang. Please don't spread these scans.

Song 51



Even when they are already outside school, Shintarou does not loosen his grip on Maria's hand.
"Wait! Let go of me. Stop pulling, Kurosu. I said, let go!" Maria snatches her hand away. Kurosu tries to grab a hold of her but Maria dodges his reach.
Kurosu closes the distance between them. "Are you angry, Kawai-senpai?"
Maria steps back. "I'm not angry, but you're being overly familiar, touching me."
"Isn't body contact one of the basics of communication? I only wanted to get to know you more."
"If you want to know me more, there are other ways."
"How?"
"By talking and...by talking! Anyway, I'm not used to body contact."
"I understand."
"Eh? You understand?"
"......"



Kurosu tries to catch Maria off-guard by turning away and suddenly shouting, "Ah!"
Maria follows the direction of his eyes. "What!? There's nothing--"
Kurosu pokes her cheek as Maria turns to look back at Kurosu. Maria gets annoyed and is about to leave, but Kurosu stops her with a heavy hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry, so please don't cut off our communication." Kurosu turns Maria around to face him. "I got it. Just look at me, then. Look veeery closely at me. Let's talk with eyes meeting each other. First, you have to get used to me."
Maria sighs.
"Ah, you finally slackened your shoulders. Even if a person just touches someone like this without saying anything, his actions speak." Kurosu smiles as he says this.
"I don't know about that very well."
"No, you do. Don't you always want to touch Meguro-senpai?"



"Since when have I--?"
"Oh, you blushed. Always, when I happen to catch sight of you - during the marathon and when you were changing classes."
Maria flushes red.
"You saw?"
"On occasion. What are you embarrassed for? It's only natural that you'd want to touch, embrace, and do perverted stuff with the person you like."
"Huh!?"

"But you hold back. You seem to be afraid. Despite being honest, you're also timid. Two extremes. That's why you've felt anxious all along."
"I can't grasp well where to put my distance with other people. Even though I don't know how far I should tread into others' territory, I end up getting nearer. I'm afraid of that sort of insensitivity of mine."
Maria remembers the time she hugged Shin all of a sudden.
That time, Meguro would definitely have forgiven me.

"Kawai-senpai, you're so kawaii (kawaii = cute). You're a very lonely kind of person, aren't you? But you're the type whose love is deep. Senpai, you have stalker tendencies, don't you?"
"I do! Is that bad!?" Maria admits.
"It's not!  Rather, I wholeheartedly agree with you! There are no boundaries may you be a man or a woman if you like someone."
"What's with guy?"
"Me too. I'm insensitive. I'm often told that I don't know how to put my distance with other people," Kurosu tells Maria.
"However, I don't think of it as something to be ashamed of nor is it bad."

That night, Maria thinks as she stares out the window.

I was surprised.
I don't understand it well,
but it came as a bit of a shock.
As if, suddenly,
the mirror that reflected me broke.




The next day, Shintarou greets Maria at the school entrance. Maria is surprised. Maria asks if he plans to see her off even up to to her classroom. Shintarou says that he will even see her off to the seat. He also takes away the cellphones of two freshmen who try to take a photo of her.

Lunchtime comes and Shintarou visits Maria again. While Shintarou is in the background, asking Maria to eat lunch with with, Yuusuke remarks about how he has been coming to their classroom during breaktime. He isn't bothered by the gap in year level."
Shin puts down his drink with a heavy thud.
"He only lacks common sense."
"I've heard from the freshmen that Kurosu-kun stands out among the first years, not for bullying, but for being hard to approach. He's being avoided by others."
"Already close with the first years? As expected of the easy Yuusuke," Shin says sarcastically.
"...Did it hit you?"
Shin falls silent, his brows furrowing.

Maria and Tomoyo, along with a persistent Shintarou tagging along, is heading somewhere to go out lunch. Maria hints that she's been wanting to eat alone with Tomoyo, but did Shintarou not say that is acting as her escort? Maria calls him too obstinate.



Some third year students cut in. They want to have a talk with Shintarou, who they think is an eyesore, on the rooftop. Maria follows them while telling Tomoyo to go back to the classroom.

He'll probably be alright on his own,
but if it was me,
at this time,
I would be very happy if someone would come help me.
How would Kurosu Shintarou feel?




Tomoyo returns to class to tell Shin and Yuusuke that some third year students are picking a fight with Shintarou on the roof and that Maria followed them.



"Why did you come!?"

Maria is stunned.
"Before I get beaten, I planned on kneeling down before them. But if you're here, I can't make myself look uncool, can I?"
"I wasn't thinking that you look uncool--"
Yuusuke, Shin, and Tomoyo arrive at that moment to find the two bickering.
"Don't you see? Boys want to look cool in front of girls. To kneel down is the most pitiful thing to do. Didn't you know that you've just done something unnecessary? Or were you thinking of helping? You didn't consider that you might be a burden, didn't you?"
"W-well, sorry for doing something unnecessary!"
"That's right!"



"If you're that angry, it would have been better if I hadn't come!"
"That's what I just said!"
"Hey!" shouts one of the seniors who have gone neglected. "Don't you dare look down on us, you--!"
He throws a punch in Maria and Shintarou's direction, but Shintarou clamps his hands on Maria's shoulders and shields her from the attack. 
"Doesn't it hurt (referring to his grip)? It's because you came."

I feel his anger in his firm, -- to the extent of painful -- powerful grip on my shoulders,
his strong desire to protect me.




"What, you still feel like it?" asks one of the other two seniors.
"There's still someone who does feel like fighting over here." Yuusuke steps in, smiling. He says that, first Maria should come over  and get away with Tomoyo, then they can fight with all their strength, the three of them. Shintarou can also fight back or will they quit already ? The seniors fall silent and decide to back off.
Shintarou is relieved.



Maria touches his swollen cheek to his and Shin's surprise. She apologizes and thanks him. Maria notices that his cheeks become warmer.
"I'm glad that senpai didn't get hurt."

There's probably such a thing
as understanding some things just by touching.
Perhaps, I shouldn't be afraid of touching and embracing others more.


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Unexpectedly, I find most of Shintarou's dialogue with Maria, amusing. He tells Maria that she has stalker tendecies, lol, which I am apt to believe seven chapters later. Before reading this part, since I've read what's ahead and not before, I used to think that Shintarou would be a big threat to Maria and Shin, but I see now that Maria and shintarou act more like oneesan and his stubborn otouto. They get pretty uninhabited with each other. I do wonder if Shintarou has foreign blood -- Caucasian, maybe. His last name, is Kurosu, which might actually be Cross (like Cross Yuuki from Vampire Knight, except different kanji). He has light hair, which for all we know might be natural unlike Yuusuke's dyed hair, and he's very tall. Could there be some relation between Maria and Shintarou? She is, if I remember correctly, half-American (his supposed father is a US navy officer who, after violating Maria's mother, returned to his country immediately) Long-lost brother?

Anyway, chapters 53-56 and 58-59 will come in the following days. Though I've already done 58-59, I thought I'd do this is order, this time. In the meantime, here's a preview of chapters 58 and 59:

 
 

Comments

syaokizz
Oct. 14th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
OMG OMG OMG!!!
It gets better and better 8)