Chapter 4-11: Friends

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Ayanokōji's POV

Around thirty seconds passed of what could only be described as brutality.

Karuizawa's hair was pulled, she was punched and kicked, dragged across the floor, all while she begged them to stop.

Hot tears streamed down her cheeks, but Manabe and her friends didn't seem to care at all.

I tapped the button on my phone screen to end the recording; I'd already captured more than enough.

Eerily, as soon as I did, a boisterous voice echoed down the corridor, reaching the ears of not just me, but the four girls as well.

They all froze up, because the voice was that of none other than Ryūen Kakeru.

"Is that... Ryūen-kun...?"

I let out an involuntary sigh.

Although I'd already known that Ryūen would show up here, his appearance was troublesome, nevertheless.

Under normal circumstances, it would be possible to turn Manabe and her friends into spies, or sleeper agents of sorts, operating secretly under my orders within Class C, by threatening them with the video footage I'd just obtained.

However, their leader's arrival here all but proves that he's aware of the current situation.

For a spy to be effective, they need to be working in absolute secrecy, disguised without question in their environment. In other words, it doesn't work if they're high-profile in the eyes of the leader.

Ryūen would become especially suspect of Manabe and her friends due to the fact that he knows Class D is involved, thanks to me leaving Kururugi behind to cover.

Knowing that Class D likely has leverage over some of his students, Ryūen will absolutely not allow them to move for me. He may even go as far as deceiving them himself, so that they relay wrong information to me.

Basically, forcing them to work for me is out of the question.

I finally decided to step out of the shroud of darkness concealing me, phone in hand. "Yes, it is,"

Karuizawa, whose eyes were red from crying, looked at me with a surprised expression.

"A-Ayanokōji-kun...? You're actually here?"

"Of course I am,"

"Hah... I thought you'd just left me to die on my own like everyone else does..."

Karuizawa appeared somewhat relieved to see me. You couldn't help but pity her.

"Hey! Who the hell do you think you are?"

One of Manabe's friends butted into my thoughts.

"I think he's one of those Class D freaks," Manabe sneered in response.

"You should be more polite. Some others who might've had your life in their hands may not be as forgiving," I spoke, devoid of emotion.

"Hah? What are you on about?"

"You off your medication or something? Bwahahaha!"

Manabe's trio seemed to find my words greatly amusing.

"Mou, Ayanokōji-kun, can you please make them shut up now? My head really hurts..."

Karuizawa placed a palm to her forehead, as if to demonstrate a headache.

"Oi, bitch, I don't remember allowing you to speak to us like that," Manabe said, her hand reaching towards Karuizawa's beautiful, flowing locks of disturbed hair.

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