“Yo, Minori. It’s been a while since yesterday. Who’s that girl? She’s cute.”

……Though we’re not friends or anything. He spoke to me in a familiar manner. With a smirk and a nasty laugh.

He was my classmate from elementary school to middle school, Katou. The nasty laugh part is completely my subjective opinion.

[You have no friends besides your dog and your teacher.]

He used to throw such words at me.

“Your skin is pale !? Are you a foreigner? They say foreigners tend to have a lot of skinship.”

The next person to speak up was Tsuda. He was staring at Nagi without restraint.

[A monkey with no merit other than being quick on its feet.]

He said that to a girl in my class. As if to make me listen.

“It’s huge too. Hey, Minori. I envy you. Where did you trick her into becoming friends with you?”

The last. It was Takemoto who gave Nagi a wicked look and spoke without delicacy.

[Let’s talk with us instead of those who can’t talk with people like that.]

He used to say that when he saw me being talked to after sports day and sports festival.

……Oh, no. It’s not good.

It reminds me of something not good.


Even though the three boys were looking at her rudely. Without flinching, Nagi resolutely looked back at the three of them.

“I’m Minori Souta kun’s fiancée.”

She said so quietly.

The next moment–

“…..Pfft. Fiancée? With this guy?”

Katou said with a mixture of laughter. He was about to burst out laughing.

“That’s a funny joke, isn’t it?”

“How can I laugh? ……Pfft.”

The two of them laughed without hiding it. Even Takemoto was about to burst out laughing.

Nagi’s gaze lowered the temperature further. Even with a sideways glance, it was obvious.

“…….What’s so funny about it?”

The tone of her voice was lower than usual. But the three of them don’t notice such things…..did they really not notice it? I think it’s strange not to notice it.

“W-what the hell. For a gloomy dark person to have such a fiancée, what kind of punishment game is that? What kind of punishment…..pfft.”

Katou tries to answer with his voice trembling, but in mid-sentence he can’t hold back and laughs.

The two followed suit, giggling.

I had the illusion that the temperature of the place had dropped another few degrees. The people walking around the area were also walking quickly, perhaps sensing the atmosphere.


Nagi’s eyes, seen from the side, were filled with a mixture of emotions.






……And confusion.

I know, because at first I was puzzled that there really were people like that. I thought people like that only existed in stories.

“Oh, that’s it, isn’t it? I mean, maybe her parents decided that on their own.”

“Ah, that’s it. Wow, I feel sorry for her.”

“We’re more fun than that guy,you know?Wanna go to karaoke with us?”

The three of them didn’t even try to listen to what the others had to say. Seeing this–

Nagi let out a quiet sigh.

“I can’t talk sense with you anymore.”

A small voice. But the voice was clearly audible.

“I didn’t expect they were such low-level people.”

Her eyes, her voice, and her breath were cold.

“What on earth are those eyes reflecting? Can’t you even see that I’m holding hands with Souta kun like this?”

I have never seen such an expression before.

“Mocking people, pushing non-existent fantasies even though it’s the first time you meet them…and at the end of that, trying to pick on someone’s fiancée. As a human being, that is unbelievable.”

Her face reveals disgust, and her eyes are filled with contempt.

“Y-you can’t be serious.”


At Katou’s words, Nagi looked as if she had seen something she……couldn’t believe from the bottom of her heart.

“You weren’t listening to what I was saying?”

The voice was filled with dismay and anger.

“They’re loved ones are mocked and ridiculed……and they wouldn’t get angry. Do you really believe that?”


To Nagi’s words, Katou……the three of them could not reply anything.

I’ve heard that beautiful women are powerful when they are angry. Nagi’s anger cannot be compared.

“I’ll say it again. I didn’t think it would go this far. If it’s for my own enjoyment……I will do anything by any means to satisfy my own greed. I had heard about it, but seriously–“

Nagi looked back at the three of them.

“To such a low degree.”

She said.

Nagi exhaled heavily. ……As if all the emotions in her heart were all in one place.

“Please don’t ever get involved with Souta kun again.”

The three of them can’t even turn the tables. They were pressed by Nagi’s pressure.

““If you get involved with Souta-kun again…….if you force non-existent fantasies on him again, and ridicule him. We, the ‘Shinonome family’ will deal with you then. If you do not understand what I’m saying, please look up ‘Shinonome Shoichiro’. He’s my father. If you look it up, you will know what it means right away.”

Nagi said so with a cold gaze and….Nagi was.

“But still. If you laugh at Souta kun again.”

A piercing coldness ran down my spine. 

“Please be prepared for that time. I will not show any mercy.”

With these words, Nagi pulled my hand away.

“Then, let’s go. Souta kun.”


I nodded my head after a moment at Nagi’s words. I walked past the three of them.

The three of them shrank back and did not say any words.


“I showed you something that was unsightly. I’m sorry.”

“No. Nagi has nothing to apologize for. ……Thank you.”

Still, Nagi was trying to bow her head. I couldn’t help but hug her.

“Thank you so much.”

I touched her forehead.

I forced her to make eye contact with me and then said so.

“……You’re welcome.”


It was a little forceful. However, it’s better to stand out than to make Nagi suffer.

“Once again. Thank you. For getting mad for me.”

“……..I knew as soon as I heard what those people said.”

There are also eyes around me, so I move away from Nagi once and reconnect my hands.

“I can’t talk sense to them. So I was angry one-sidedly. Until I understood that I was [angry].”

Just then, a nearby bench became available. I sat down on the bench with Nagi and listened to the rest of the conversation.

“When I was in elementary school. I once went to see my father’s work for a homework assignment from school.”

With a small voice. Nagi murmured.

“I wanted to be as close to my father as possible back then. …….I watched him work with great concentration and listened to his stories. But then my father suddenly said [Go for a walk with your mother for an hour or so].”

Quietly. I heard Nagi’s words.

“Even though I was in elementary school, I knew he was hiding something.

So……..I forced myself to stay in my room. When someone came, my father said, [I might show you something scary].

I remembered Nagi’s words earlier.

[I might show you something a little less than cute.]

Nagi looked at me. She gave a small nod, as if affirming my thoughts.

“The visitor was a new employee who just joined this year. I don’t know the details either. But I somehow understood from listening to the exchange. He leaked confidential information.”


“It seems that the information was not that important. However, information leaks are information leaks. He was told that my father had no choice but to dismiss him on disciplinary grounds.”

At that time, a question came to my mind.

“Why did he come to see Soichiro san?”

“He said my father wanted to talk to him once, so he invited him. I don’t know if it was youthful indiscretion…..or something else. He thought that if he was actually sorry and would write a written pledge not to do the same thing again, then there would be room for extenuating circumstances.”

“I see.”

Is it typical of Soichiro san? I think it’s a little dangerous for a man in a higher position.

“Of course, he’ll keep him under surveillance and give him only the minimum necessary information…..and he’ll be doing miscellaneous work for a while to see how he’s doing.”

“Oh. So that’s what you meant.”

“Yes…….Well, the results were disastrous.”

Nagi smiled bitterly, perhaps remembering that time. It’s rare to see Nagi laugh bitterly.

“Like everyone else. I didn’t understand what I had done at all. That person……. He eventually said he was going to sue for wrongful dismissal. Of course, he said it was written in his contract. If he leaked information, he would be subject to disciplinary dismissal.”

“……I see.”

The reason for Nagi’s wry smile is clear and she replies with a smirk.

Soichiro san’s place has many rival companies. That must have been the case with the person who was about to get engaged to Nagi.

I switched my thoughts and listened to Nagi’s subsequent words.

“And my father got angry. ……It was the first time I had ever seen him angry.”

Nagi looked up at the ceiling and muttered quietly.

“He never yells at me. But I learned that there are many ways to tell that he is angry without yelling. I’ve learned that.”

The same was true for Nagi just now.

Instead of yelling, her voice was quiet. The area was not silent, and if it had not been for Nagi’s bell-like clear voice, they would not have heard it.

“In the end, though, that person’s dismissal was not overturned. My father said later that he hoped it would change my mind, even if only a little. ……But he also said this.”

Nagi closed her eyes, perhaps remembering that moment.

I thought her snow-white, long eyelashes were so beautiful.

Her thin lips opened. A voice as clear as a bell spun the words.

[There are people in this world that you just can’t talk to and their values don’t match yours. Like the young man I just met. In my case, it seems I was just meddling, but basically it’s better not to get involved……and it’s not something I should have told you, Nagi.]

I wonder if she remembered every word. No, we’re talking about Nagi. She must have remembered.

Nagi kept talking with her eyes closed. Gently, she put her hand on her chest.

“I had a strong admiration for my father back then. ……So I asked him to continue the story. My father was reluctant. He told me there was one thing he wanted to tell me.”

Nagi lowered her face and opened her eyes. And exchanged a look with me.

There’s a strong light in her eyes.

“He said, [If you or someone you care about is about to be hurt, show no mercy. If such a time comes, Nagi, don’t hesitate to mention my name. I will surely do something about it all].”

“Is that why you mentioned Soichiro san’s name earlier?”

Nagi smiled softly and nodded. Her expression was soft.

She did not show the slightest sign of anger as she did when she was with the three of them earlier.

“I’m sorry. I’ve reminded you of many things.”

I can’t imagine Soichiro san getting angry, but she must have been pretty scared. ……Like when I saw Nagi earlier.

But Nagi tilted her head. As if to say that she doesn’t understand what I’m saying.

“……? Oh, that’s what you mean.”

Nagi immediately nodded her head in understanding and laughed.

“I don’t mind at all. On the contrary, I’m grateful. Thanks to my father, I was able to protect Souta kun like this. ……I also feel relieved that I was able to say what I wanted to say. Oh, I’m telling you now because I remembered my father’s words.”

Nagi is right, those three people don’t reflect on what they’ve been scolded for. They just reflected on the surface. It was the same at that time.

“I wondered if Souta kun was also interested. I mentioned my father’s name.”

“……Yes, that’s right. No more doubts.”

The way Nagi was angry and Soichiro san’s words.

I understood that he had been treating Nagi as his own daughter for a long time. Although she seemed to be clumsy in many ways. It was definitely not a story I would let a child hear.

But, thanks to that, I have been saved and Nagi is here today.

Everything is connected to the present. Nagi’s past and my past.

That’s why. The words I throw will not be an apology.

“Thank you, Nagi.”

“Yes ! You’re welcome !”

Nagi smiled brightly like a flower blooming in the sun.

Her hand gently reached my head.

“Souta kun, too. You did a great job. …..You really worked hard.”

Nagi’s thin, beautiful fingers stroked my hair as if combing it.

It was embarrassing, but more than that, it was very comfortable.

“I will never let Souta kun have any bad feelings in the future. I’m going to get rid of all the bad things.”


Nagi’s fingers are comfortable……those words gradually seep into my heart.

The back of my nose became tingly, and my vision blurred.

It seems that I came to my mind more than I had imagined. Don’t worry, I’llnever have to face something like that again.

I felt relieved.

The string that had been tense suddenly loosened.

“You can lean on me. It won’t be noticeable if it’s just a little.”


I put my head on Nagi’s shoulder. I buried my face. Nagi gently put her other hand on my hand.

“Me too.”

I returned my hand that was facing down and held Nagi’s hand. Nagi squeezed my hand back.

“If something happens to Nagi, I will protect you.”

“Yes. I will ask for your help then.”

Nagi’s hand slipped from my head and stroked my cheek.

Her hand was warm.

I felt all the bad things that had happened to me disappear from my mind one by one.


“What is it?”

“I love you.”

It was outside, so I used a small voice.

No matter how many times I said it, my feelings of love for Nagi did not diminish. On the contrary, it seems to swell up day by day.

“I love you too, Souta kun.”

I wish it was the same for Nagi. I held her hand tightly.

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