In the vicinity of Fira, in a hotel of particularly high grade. It is at the terrace with a great view that is affixed to the suite.
Japan’s top celebrity, Ogata Tarousuke, is shooting a television commercial. With the Aegean Sea as the backdrop, a sound comes from his throat as he takes a gulp of his drink, it is a promotion for a canned coffee that goes on sale next month.
After parting with Nishino in Gatwick, by some fate he also happened to arrive at Santorini. Ever since morning, he has been making pose after pose for the cameras with no end in sight.
Even he wouldn’t have imagined that Nishino is in the same town.
「Good, that’s the end for today’s shoot!」
The foreman announces in a loud voice.
「Good, that’s the end for today’s shoot!」
「Next is tomorrow morning, we will continue the shooting at the town!」
In response to his orders the others begin wrapping up.
It’s been about 3 hours since the shooting began, and Tarosuke has finally been released from the cameras The other staff also being cleaning in order to end their work quickly. As the sun is still high, the work day still continues, and there will be a drinking party in the name of briefing session.
「Now then, what to do……」
Having gained his freedom, Tarosuke muttered to no one in particular.
「…… Guess I’ll at least get him a souvenir」
What crossed his mind, is the face of the boy he had met the week before. One way or another, Tarousuke was once again looking for an excuse to get near Nishino. If that wasn’t the case, then getting someone a souvenir is out of his character.
In fact, the staff who heard his words, look at Tarousuke with surprise on their face.
「Every now and then, that type of things, isn’t so bad」
The person himself hadn’t realized that he had gathered the attention of the surroundings. While muttering some excuses, he goes to leave the room. Looking at the somewhat merry figure of the ikemen, the supervisor and everyone below, though that today’s Taro-san is in a good mood.
It is from his back that a voice calls out.
The voice of a very cute woman.
The ikemen turns around, and before him is a young Japanese woman in her mid teens.
「What is it? Do you need something from me?」
「Umm, th, that’s……」
A so called idol.
It is the partner that he is having the shoot with, if Tarousuke is the most popular, then she is the rank after him. The appearance of the two together is the result of the sellers not caring for their advertising expenses and going all out.
「I, if you’d like, then, together…….」
A very cute girl.
The black haired bob cut is proof of that. The breast and bottom that peek out across the pure white one piece are plump for her age, she is just like the mature woman that men like. With a stature a head lower than the surroundings coupled with the childish impression she gives off, she stirs up the desire to corrupt.
However, even then, the ultra class idol’s charms did not reach Tarousuke.
「Sorry, but I have some business to attend to」
「Eh? Could it be, you have an acquaintance here?」
「Something like that」
Suddenly, he gazes far off in the direction of the sea, and combs his bangs upward with his right hand.
Although showing off, it’s not as if he actually has an acquaintance at this location. The ikemen simply wanted to go out to buy souvenirs alone. A completely earnest atmosphere was let off. Even if he gets lost, with those hands he will purchase an unknown tapestry or key chain.
「Excuse me. I’ll be counting on you again tomorrow」
While bearing his impatience, Tarousuke makes his exit with a cool pretense.
The idol gazes at that back.
Immediately after the latter confirms that the former had completely left the room, she calls out to an assistant that happened to be nearby. The one who was called out, is someone who doesn’t stand out, plain, dull, an atmosphere just like Nishino’s, a man in the first half of his twenties.
「Ummm, I’d like to get a buggy buuut」
「So you really are busy?」
「Ah, no, I’ll go! I’ll prepare it right away!」
As he was instructed, he goes to rent out a buggy.
The sad feeling of a small fry.
Seeing that figure, unknown to others, the edge of the bob cut girl’s mouth curves.
◇ ◆ ◇
At a different place, the suite next to where the shoot had occurred.
Compared to the neighboring one this is a royal suite of a grade slightly higher. A spacious room with a difference in cost of several tens of thousands of yen per person, it has splendid water rooms, and good service, a location that the hotel employees themselves would recommend with their chest stuck out. The one who got it was Francisca.
It is there that her, Nishino, Rose, and Shiimzu are gathered, they surround the outdoor dining lounge table. Their meal was a complete course that had been brought in half an hour ago, most of it had already been eaten. And now they sip on a cold after meal black tea.
「The neighbors are lively」
Gazing at the wall that separates the neighboring room, Fancisca lets out her dissatisfaction. Ever since Nishino and the other had arrived, just as she said, the voices of people incessantly ring out from that room.
Even if it’s called a royal suite, in the end it’s simply a tourist attraction that only 1 in 10000 people can visit. On top of that, even with it’s piled up history, they weren’t sensible enough to install sound proofing.
「It’s a tourist attraction. It can’t be helped」
「It seems like Japanese tourists. I hear fluent Japanse over there」
The ones who interject are Nishino and Rose.
「Probably a movie or photo shoot or something」
「Can’t they record it more quietly?」
「Are you going? You’ll probably only end up displeased」
「I’m already plenty displeased. It’s because of this noisiness that I hate Asians.」
Francisca tilts her cup with curiosity.
That figure looked completely at home.
Adorned by the Aegean Sea, the floor, tables, chairs, walls, everything in the lounge is pure white. To the side of the dining set, the surface of the light blue pool reflect the color of the sky. If hearing of a hotel in Santorini, then this is the scene that most people would picture.
As if to challenge this, Francisca wears a small black one piece, her thighs expose themselves as she crosses her legs, and at times, a gentle wind blows on her hair as she holds it down with one hand. It was like a scene in a movie, and any one who sees it would have their chest jump.
But, there was no one there who praised that.
Moreover, the choice of black clothes, was done wholly in order to pester Rose.
And in contrast to her free spiritedness, a strong tension still presses down on Shimizu even now.
Although having ate everything due to hunger, she felt uncomfortable because of her attentiveness to others, and without being able to say anything, she now sits on a chair in the corner of the dining room with nothing to do. For the person herself, there are no allies in this place. Even though liveliness is the class reps strong point, she couldn’t muster any strength.
There is Rose who it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call her enemy, and in addition Nishino who she came to detest these past few days, and to top it off Francisca who showed no interest in her at all. This line up was more than enough to shave away at her mental.
「Nishino-kun, what do you plan to do from now?」
Rose asks in order to change the subject.
This one also wears a one piece similar to design in Francisca’s. But the color changed from the black she had until now to red. Having more charm, it shows the aggressiveness she holds on the inside. Even in the eyes of the same sex it is terrifyingly fitting, and for Shimizu who took a glance at it, she grew to hate her even more.
Furthermore, the her of today is sexier than usual, and her long waist length hair is tied up in twintails. The blonde hair sparkles as it basks in the sunlight, in her own words, the care put into it isn’t even worth mentioning. Remembering those words from the past, caused the class rep became even less amused.
On that note all of these outfits were prepared by the hotel.
「What do you plan to do after learning it?」
「The job ended right?」
Rose ignores Nishino’s words and forcefully continues.
「I’ll kill time until the return flight. Enjoying your spare time every once in a while isn’t so bad」
Influenced by the class reps gaze, the futsumen reluctantly answers. There was no way he could ignore her in front of his classmates. As if gaining victory in that small exchange, the xxxx woman tiumphantly continues.
「Then I have a proposal, how about passing your time according to the original plan?」
「What do you mean?」
「A trip overseas with classmates. Isn’t this the best situation?」
At this critical moment Rose attacks Nishino’s weak point. The goal he had these past few days, the one who understood that the most is her, that’s why she did not waste this opportunity. No matter how it was conveyed, the futsumen in front of her would bite on, because of that there was no need to think too hard about it.
「Hey, Shimizu-san. Don’t you also think so?」
A smile rises up, and she asks with the calm expression of a bodhisattva.
「Eh, eeh…… Me too, I, I’ll be happy if Nishino-kun is together with us, maybe」
While her cheeks cramped, the class rep still managed to answer with a smile.
It is the effectiveness of Rose’s agreement with Shimizu.
There was no way the futsumen would even consider the thought of the two secretly working together. I’ll be happy if Nishino-kun is together with us, Shimizu said, there should be no chance of him refusing, rather it raised his spirits.
「…… If it’s like that, by all means allow me to go together」
Team Takeuchi is the group positioned at the top of the class caste. If you are able to make a place for yourself in there, then making one in the class would only be natural. With his goal of making a girlfriend, this is a big step forward.
Without showing any concern to the class reps will, it was decided that he will sightsee with the rest.
And in a sudden turn, Francisca who has been gazing at the boy and girls exchange reacts. With a clink the cup is placed into the saucer, giving a side glance at Nishino, she cuts in from the side.
「Araan? Then maybe you can include me as well」
It seems she enjoyed watching the exchange between the three. Because she is the only one separated in age, a sense of alienation must have caused her to react. To her, this is the best location to entertain the futsumen.
「You, did you not hate asians?」
「They’re Rose-chan’s friends, I should at least greet them」
「After death? For your body to raise a child, did it have such a luxurious function?」
It was a casual tone, however, for the others who heard that it was the proclamation of a devastating truth. Shimizu swallows her breath, and reflexively looks at Rose. With that reaction of hers before his eyes, Nishino scowls.
「Francisca, stop that childishness」
「Ara, are you protecting her?」
「I’m just saying to be more prudent」
As Shimizu is here, Nishino puts a stop to this.
If he didn’t, then no one would have interrupted the quarrel between them.
「Good for you, Rose-chan. He protected you?」
「With great regret. I’m not weak enough to need protection from someone else, nor meek enough」
「Don’t misunderstand. I don’t have the slightest intention to worry about you two. If you want to go at it then you can do it anywhere else. However, this class rep is also Rose’s school friend. She’s the owner of a prudent heart, so don’t needlessly cause her anxiety」
「Fuun? So that’s【Normal’s】taste? I’ve learned another thing 」
「Owner of a prudent heart, is it」
Francsca and Rose speak while staring at Shimizu. That gaze, is as if it is looking at a wriggling worm on top of asphalt in the summertime. That gaze is one that should not be directed at humans, a very cold gaze.
For the one who is being looked at, she shrinks her shoulders and withers away even more than before. The current class rep has no will to answer back. The tags of blonde hair and cacuasian on Rose and Francisca were too much. With both knees together she sits on the small chair, more submissively than before.
「U, umm, Rose-san…… about the trip……」
Somehow collecting herself the class rep opens her mouth.
Rose once again ignores this and turns to Nishino.
「But for now, I have to give my thanks. Nishino-kun」
「I’ll say it again, it was in no way done for your sake. Don’t misunderstand」
「Even if that’s so, fufu, I’m happy?」
「Say what you want」
Rose was truthfully happy. However, the expression that appeared on her face, is a sneer meant to irritate the other. As for Nishino who had no idea about her inner heart, all he could do was frown at that.
Like this, the class rep was completely left out.
This one has already sworn to no longer talk.
「By the way you all, sightseeing together is fine, but shouldn’t you be getting in contact soon? Thought imperfect if they are your friends, then I’d imagine they would at least be a bit worried」
As it is a completely sound argument, Nishino nods in response.
Everyone’s gaze naturally gathers on Shimizu.
However, the answer that comes out of the class rep is unfavorable.
「U, umm, about that……」
「What is it?」
「My smartphone broke, it, it doesn’t even start up……」
Taking it out of her skirt pocket she places it on the tabletop.
Under the attention of everyone, she repeatedly presses on the button to turn it on. However, no matter how many times it was done, there was no response from the phone. It’s not just that the application won’t start up, but electricity won’t enter, and neither do the LEDs turn on. It has completely broken down.
It is the latest model she bought by using all the money she made in her part time job.
「Then it should be fine to use this woman’s phone」
Nishino’s gaze points to Rose.
Just that in itself, caused Shimizu to become irritated. Then don’t talk to me about it, so the words came up to her throat. But because she is before Francsica and Rose, that could be dangerous so she swallowed them back.
「You won’t say you forgot it would you?」
「I brought it along」
「Then hurry and get in touch 」
「But, I’m sorry? My phone only has her information」
The word her meant Shimizu.
One time at the school roof, it was the address one sidedly forced to be exchange. But, what they need right now, is the contact address of someone other than Shimizu.
「Even as the school idol your not much」
「Your acting quite proud, but what about you?」
「My phone doesn’t have their contact information. Otherwise I would’ve already contacted them」
Not to mention the ones being talked about, the only address he has of the same grade, is the address of Rose in their mail exchange history. He isn’t struggling at the lowest area of the caste for nothing. But having the latest high performance model, conversely invites pity.
「Begin blind to your own shortcomings, how lucky of you?」
「Isn’t that the same for you? We belong in the same place」
Dokun, Rose’s heart races. Her wide open eyes become moist.
It seems that the words just now, were passable for her. On the other hand, Shimizu who is sitting by her side, guesses what is in her heart from the change in the gaze Rose directs at Nishino. But what was it that was good in those words, both her shoulders shake as she becomes stumped.
「Still, that’s a problem」
As if it is someone else’s problem, Francisca spoke with no worries.
「Class rep, which area is the hotel that Takeuchi-kun reserved in? I don’t mind a rough estimate so please tell me. If we check them one be one, then it’s only a matter of time. As they are several Japanese kids, they should stand out」
「Which area, even if you say that I don’t know the name or address……」
「Fumu, is that so」
Fumu, a point is added to Shimizu’s irritation.
3 points left before she reaches her limit. The continued abuse of Rose, and the unexpected traffic accident. Furthermore, the fact that helping someone out of kindness ended up in her being alone in a foreign country for several hours, her heart is discouraged.
By the way, the hotel in question, is the hotel that they are currently in.
However, they still do not know that.
「Then for now, wouldn’t it be fine to go around as three」
Having finally reached this point, Rose begins inserting her own objective. In her mind, starting from this moment, she will have a lovely time going around the tourist attractions. To begin with, that was the reason that this fast paced beautiful girl gave Takeuchi-kun the slip.
「Ehh, why do I……」
Have to go together with Nishino-kun, so where the dangerous words that almost leaked out of the class rep.
「It should be fine to leave the hotel search to this woman」
「Hey Rose-chan, why do I have to do that?」
「It’s fine so just agree for now. Isn’t it a chance to get him in your debt?」
「……Well, if it’s like that then I don’t mind」
Receiving Rose’s words, with some worries Francisca agrees.
She understood that the gains would far surpass the loss.
「Then it’s decided. Let’s go」
Rose gets up in order to take the lead.
In response to her body’s movement, the blonde hair tied in twintail softly rises. Reflecting the sunlight that is poured in through the window, the golden threads shine, it is as if it reflects her current inner feelings, as if it fires off a strong brilliance.
Following along with this, the plans of the other two were also decided.
Francisca sends the three off with a wave of her hand, and with a bit of jealousy.
◇ ◆ ◇
At the same time as Nishino’s side departs the hotel.
Tarousuke walks in the town of Fira. Since departing the hotel of the shoot, about half an hour had passed. There is no figure of anyone accompanying him. By himself, he has the rough appearance of a T-shirt and jeans, and without even a bag, he walks around the town.
This is also another style that looks good on ikemen’s.
「Still, although I did say a souvenir, thinking about one is hard……」
In Japan whenever he walks outside he is often surrounded by passersby, but in Santorini, the number of people who know his face are fewer. Thinking of it as a good thing, the Asian ikemen enjoys his first piece of freedom in a long time.
「A souvenir from here, what’s popular? I have no idea」
He continues walking while grumbling complaints.
And having progressed a good amount, a color that he is familiar with enters his vision. Yellow skin just like his. Their age is somewhat lower than his, a group of men and women that appear to be in their midteens. Due to the local color, Asian’s stand out, and his attention was naturally directed to them.
In relation to the direction they are walking, the group that is ahead still hasn’t noticed. There is a distance of about 10 meters. From their way of dressing their is no doubt that they are tourists. Two men, two women. Taking a closer look, there is a face among them that Tarousuke remembers.
「…… Oioi, it’s his classmates」
As for who his is, it could only mean the futsumen.
His voice unintentionally leaked out at the unexpected encounter.
And so, on the road to the side of the harmonious group, a van slowly follows after them. All of the windows are tinted, and maybe because of long overuse, there are cavities and peeled off paint visible on many areas of the vehicle.
Suspicions would slowly be raised at that, but, they’re probably looking for the right path, with the appropriate excuse then it becomes agreeable. Eventually, that car stops meters ahead of that boy girl group. It is one of the many street parking spots.
Normally that is where it would end.
However, in the next instant, the situation takes a sudden turn.
At the moment they passed the side of the van. The rear door abruptly opens. Several Caucasianmen jump out as if racing to be first. There is also a figure of a person with a knife in there.
All of them are dressed roughly, shorts and a T-shirt. Even though it’s like this they do not conceal their faces. They appear to be a composition of men between their twenties and thirties, some have beards and tattoos, it is a group with a curse appearance.
And so, in the blink of an eye they surround the boy and girl group.
Witnessing the unbelievable development, Tarousuke comes to a stop.
Before his dumbfounded mutter, Takeuchi-kun who tried resisting was punched in the stomach. Matsuura-san raised a scream. To their side, Suzuki-kun who caught a glance of the knife in the man’s hand, was unable to do anything and remain frozen in fear.
The only one who took logical actions was Risa-chan, she immediately attempted to contact the emergency number. However, in the brief time it took to get her phone from her pocket, an arm immediately pinned her down, and she was unable to move. Having only just memorized the emergency number beforehand, her movements were a bit too slow.
The location is a road with a width of about seven to eight meters. Although a centerline can barely be made out, the boundary between the road and the sidewalk is vague. In Japan this would most likely be treated as a back alley, but in this cramped island, it is one of the many important paths that lead form north to south.
「You people, what are you doing all of a sudden!」
The cool Japense voice echoes. But there was no chance that their opponents would understand. And so, the complaint that came out with the small amount of courage he had, was paid back with a knife thrust at his throat, and he lost his following words. There was nothing else to do but obediently be captured.
Each of them are being pinned down, and they are taken to be put in the van that would drive away.
Tarousuke things. About what he should do.
With a single glance at the men who drove up in the vehicle, they were clearly not normal. Whether a local or an outsider, it is hard to judge if they are merely tourists. But even then, they easily did something that an ordinary person couldn’t. Maybe the mafia or maybe a group of gangsters, it is most likely something of that kind.
He hand reflexively moved for his phone.
However, if he waited for the emergency personnel to arrive, then they wouldn’t make it in time. In that case what action must be taken. What naturally comes to mind, is the experience from when he was kidnapped himself. The pain of the knife cutting the thick skin on his throat. And above all, the overwhelming fear.
「…… Ser, iously」
At that moment Taoruskes legs began to tremble. A traumatic flashback. As if to change his destination to the path he came from, his consciousness focuses behind him. I don’t know, I didn’t see anything, I’ll get in contact with the emergency personnel later, and so on.
But, as he tried to turn back, he suddenly though.
If it was Nishino, what would he do.
And then, as if a bolt of lighting ran through Tarousuke’s body, along with the shock he comes to a stop.
In front of his gaze, the figure of Takeuchi-kun and the others who are being kidnapped are still there.
With that scene before him, Tarousuke thinks of this and that. If Nishino was at my side, what would he say. What type of response would he take.
He thought of such foolish things.
And the answer, something more smooth than he could imagine.
『Sorry, but until the emergency personnel come, I’ll play with you myself.』
It is that condescending and unable to read the atmosphere attitude that he always has.
But at this moment, it was the stimulation Tarousuke needed in order to take action.
What the ikemen sees, is him to his side, walking to where Takeuchi-kun and the others are. In no hurry, exceedingly natural, but in a grand manner all the same. Compared to Tarousuke, his height is small and body is no good, a typical beansprout body.
Nevertheless, in the same way as always, that back overflowed with absolute confidence.
Before he knew it, Tarosuke had already taken a step forward.
In the same way as his vision of the futsumen, slowly, calmly, but also elegantly, in the coolest way he could think of walking, he overlaps his back with the ideal he had glimpsed, and he heads for the center of the strife.
Nonetheless, the metal strain was inevitable. Sweat poured from all over his skin, and it began moistening his shirt and pants, and even his underwear. On his forehead, densely packed sweat that anyone can easily notice rises up.
However, the steps that he started do not stop.
One step, and another solid step.
And after getting several meters closer, the ikemen speaks.
「Oi oi, your wielding quite the dangerous things. Eeh?」
Tilting at a 40 degree angle towards his opponents, he smiles as he makes a light provocation.
It is the best rock that the current him can do.
All the members that had attacked Takeuchi-kun’s group, turn to the sudden voice. Each and everyone of their eyes had a bad countenance in them. As for the side who was being watched, in response to those gazes, his shoulders jump. His whole body stiffens. But even then the ikemen does not pull back.
「Where are you going in such a hurry? Ta, take me along」
He cracks a joke while desperately bracing the knees that are still trembling.
For the people concerned, the parts that had a strange tone to them must be because of the tension. However, his intent was covered with no problem, and the angry faces of the men, change into something more frightening than what they had until now.
The group members exchange words, and together they nod. Two of them then walk to Tarousuke. One of them held a knife. With no deviation, the knife points to him.
「O, oi oi, a knife all of a sudden. Aren’t you pushing yourself a little too hard?」
As if to say good grief, he raises both hands up to his shoulders
Doing his best to feign calm, Tarousuke’s heart pounds enough to hurt. His pulses rapidly accelerates. What do I do, Aah, what do I do, the tension didn’t allow the ikemen to properly think.
A single man, with the knife thrust out, indifferently uttered.
That expression, had an invisible force.
「What, you’ll let me go along? Such generosity」
To this, Tarousuke planned to stall for time, but because of his nervousness, he was more talkative than usual. Although that figure is somewhat comical, looking at it from the side makes it appear as if he is full of composure.
Because of that, hope dwelled on the faces of Takeuchi-kun’s group. Hope that an unexpected person came to save them. Furthermore, taking a good look, that is actually a popular celebrity that appears on television and radio. It is a situation just like in a drama.
「Oi, th, that’s, seriously!?」「No way, isn’t that Taro?」「H, he came, to save us!?」「Rather, isn’t he like insanely cool!?」「Unn!」「Amazing!」
Inevitably their expectations swelled.
Thanks to that, the ikemen tries to show off a bit more.
In order to follow the figure of the one he admires in his mind, his mouth suddenly opens.
「Be obedient and release the kids. I don’t want to cause any needless injuries……」
But, the expectations of Takeuchi-kun and the others, were but a fleeting dream.
Gatsun, the knife’s handle hits the ikemen’s chin.
With no time to let out a proper scream, that body falls spread down on the ground.
The ship sank in a single blow.
After that, other than twitches the body did not react.
「Ehh……」「Seriously……」「What was that……」「Oi oi……」
To this, Takeuchi-kun and the others all felt disappointment.
To fall from a single blow after talking so arrogantly, so where the honest impressions of everyone present. The assailants as well, pointing at the disappointing ikemen, what was this guy doing, the question is raised as the exchange glances.
With Taousuke’s conscience in white, there is no sign of it returning.
In the end, the ikemen who lost consciousness was stuffed in the trunk. As if transporting some luggage, he was tossed in, the arm and leg that loosely hung out of the car, where then pushed inside. That scene was terribly pitiable.
From there, fulfilling their initial objective, they then force Takeuchi-kun and the others in to the back, and the vehicle departs. As the driver steps on the acceleration, the large engine roars. And they escape from the scene.