As their third college spring came, Izumi, Mitsuru, and Haruki ran the road, going against the flow of the wind just to reach their university on the first Friday of the school year. It was the most important day to them as they recruited members in their martial arts club. The university prepared each stall for its clubs, helping them get into positions for recruitment. As the school flooded with new students, so were the club stalls.
Many joined the martial arts club, especially the peculiar, odd, yet handsome Yuuji. He quickly befriended Izumi, and he is known as the silent clubmate in their club. He is often misunderstood as the terror type due to his wicked, sexy eyebrows, glaring eyes, average mesomorphic build, and terrifying, deep, yet sexy voice. Mitsuru is the exact opposite of Izumi. He has a gentle deep voice, always wears an angelic smile, athletic mesomorphic build, bright face, and warm eyes. Mitsuru is also a little flirty person.
Yuuji also befriended Mitsuru and Haruki. Yuuji has an average mesomorphic build, a gentle and generic anime voice, an angelic face, and is somewhat mischievous.
Haruki has two sides. The one he shows to his best friends is the typical talkative and cute side, and the one he shows to his acquaintances, classmates, and clubmates is the serious, aloof, and silent type. He has the same body build as his two friends.
After the new students choose their respective clubs, the regular class schedule starts.
Afterward, the recruits came to the karate club room and were greeted by Kenzo, the club president, and their team captain. Kenzo is a very passionate person and is a very caring president and club member. His body is like that of a bodybuilder. His voice is so deep and alluring, and his face is irresistible even for a guy.
Kenzo proceeded with the orientation of the recruits. As he orients everything, the students need to know, female recruits almost lose their minds due to their team captain's deep, sexy voice. As the captain finished talking, the floor was taken by one of the managers and a fighter, Akabane Mayumi.
"Thank you for your welcome remarks, Kenzo. Once again, Welcome to our Martial Arts Club, I am Akabane Mayumi, a manager, a third-year student, and Kenzo is my cousin. I will be introducing you to our student trainers. From right to left, Shirogane Izumi; Kurosawa Mitsuru; Fuchigami Haruki; and Iwamoto Satoshi. They are all third-year students like me. We are delighted because we have a second-year recruit even though most of you are first-years, thank you for joining us, Ishikawa Yuuji-kun. I will now show you the clubroom."
"My pleasure, Mayumi-san," said Yuuji with an enthusiastic vibe.
Mayumi showed the recruits the training hall, changing rooms, and bathroom. Mayumi also warned the female recruits to stay away from Kenzo and Mitsuru since they might be their next target for dating. Upon hearing this, all the third years laugh, and the two reluctantly dismiss the warning. After the tour, Kenzo gathered all members as the Martial Arts Instructor and Adviser, Yukimura Akihiko, came. Akihiko is also a Japanese language and culture teacher, and he makes sure that his students learn proper Japanese language and etiquette.
Akihiko isn't the type to beat around the bush, so he proceeds to business and tells the recruits that they will be trained rigorously for them to prepare for the upcoming prefectural martial arts tournament in Tokyo, to be held in fall for the annual national martial arts tournament three weeks after the prefectural one. Akihiko reminded all the third-year students to train harder for them to be qualified. He also reminded the third year that Kenzo and other fourth-year students will be graduating next spring, so whoever remains at the competition, whether Prefectural or National, shall be the next team captain.
After reminding his students, Akihiko dismissed the club and advised them to go home immediately. Yuuji joins the trio to go home. He is surprisingly comfortable around the three despite their intimidating and weird personalities. He confessed that he idolized the three, and he joined the club because of them. The four stopped at a ramen shop to eat. Yuuji was shy at first to join the three on dinner, but Izumi insisted.
"Yuuji, right? How about joining us for dinner?" said Haruki with a gleeful tone.
"Uhh, No, I'm good senpai. I'll just eat at home," responded Yuuji.
"You said you idolized us. Isn't this the right time to bond with your senpais?" insisted Izumi. The two were shocked when they saw him talk to someone new with a smile and a gentle tone.
"Woah, is that really you, Izumi?" teasingly asked Mitsuru.
Izumi gave a cold stare to Mitsuru, causing him to take precautions.
"Is there something wrong, Mitsuru? Why are you hiding behind Haruki's back? Izumi asked with a smile that could kill Mitsuru within just a second.
Because of this, Yuuji was terrified and tried to escape.
"Where are you going, Ishikawa-kun?" asked Izumi when he caught Yuuji's hood. "Didn't I say we'll be having dinner together? Don't worry, as long as you behave like your Haruki-senpai, I will not devour you," said Izumi again with a gentle tone and reassuring smile.
"I-If you insist senpai," said Yuuji with his speech, stuttering.
"Now, now, let's head inside." interrupted Haruki. "And you, Mitsuru, pull yourself together. You're making a bad first impression to Ishikawa-kun!" he added.
"Ok, fine." pouted Mitsuru.
As Haruki went to order ramen, the three settled at a table by a window. Izumi then asked Yuuji what kind of things he did when he was still not part of the club.
"Well, I was a painter, senpai. I was under a special program in arts where the students paint portraits and landscapes," said Yuuji.
"Oh, so you were in the visual arts department, Haruki was in the music department though. How about this college?" inquired Izumi once more.
"I am under the art department. I want to be a manga artist someday," said Yuuji enthusiastically. "How about you, Shirogane-senpai?"
"Haruki and I study nursing, while Mitsuru study architecture. But I do consider taking a voice acting lesson after I graduate," said Izumi. Because of what he said, Yuuji suddenly got intrigued.
"This might be impossible but, are you somehow related to Shirogane Akihiko, senpai?" asked the intrigued Yuuji. "Well…" Izumi was hesitant to tell his connection to the voice actor. "Well, are you, senpai? You just said that you are considering taking a voice acting lesson after you graduate," Yuuji's eyes began to glitter. "He's my father," said Izumi. Yuuji went speechless. "Well, now you know that he's my father, Nakahara Minato is also my brother-in-law," he added.
Yuuji could not hide his excitement and asked Izumi. "CAN I MEET THEM SENPAI?!" he asked. "Well, they are busy recording these days, but if there is time, I'll let you meet them," said Izumi
"Here's our order." Haruki brought the order to their table. They continued the conversation while eating.
"How about Shirogane-senpai? Did you join any club when you were in high school? How about middle school?" asked Yuuji eagerly.
"You're eager to know what was our life before huh? Very well. We'll tell you." responded Izumi with a low, baritone, and gentle voice.
"During middle school, I was under the special program of literature. Mitsuru was in the regular class, and Haruki was under the special program of arts, like you," said Izumi.
"Woah, is that true, Fuchigami-senpai?" asked Yuuji, with his eyes glittering like diamonds.
"Well, it's true. During middle school, Izumi and I were also a member of our school's concert band. We quit when we entered high school though. We joined Mitsuru in the martial arts club." said Haruki.
"Why though, Fuchigami-senpai?"
"Because they are idolizing me until now. The two were frail as--" as Mitsuru was talking, Izumi gave him a smack on his head.
"Idiot. We don't idolize you. Stop dreaming about petty things." said Haruki. Izumi and Yuuji laughed as they saw Mitsuru being smacked.
"This is why I didn't want you to join the martial arts club. I was doing fine alone, and I could tease you back then, but now--"
"But now? Hmmm?" Izumi asked with a calm tone, giving of aura of irritation.
"Nevermind." Mitsuru gulped and swallowed his words.
"Now, As Haruki was saying, he and I are tired of being protected. Especially me, I was the frail one among us. I wanted to stand along with the two and fight for each other. Ah. Originally, we aren't three. There was another person who grew up with us and is now living overseas. Fuchigami Megumi, Haruki's cousin." said Izumi.
"What happened to her?" inquired Yuuji.
"She studies overseas. We had encountered unwanted events back when we were children. We'll tell you the details later on. It's already 6:30 PM. Shall we go now?" said Haruki.
"Yes, but let's walk home," said Izumi.
Yuuji then thanked the three for treating him. Before they went home, Izumi made a surprising statement.
"I'll train Yuuji personally," said Izumi. "I don't trust anyone than Haruki to train you, especially this dumbass right here," he added.
"H-HEY!" exclaimed Mitsuru
"Th-then, please take care of me, Izumi-senpai!" Yuuji's eyes were filled with excitement and, at the same time, nervousness.
As they talked, Izumi was captured by the view of blooming cherry blossoms. Ever since he was a kid, he certainly loved watching them bloom and fall. Seconds later, he noticed a red thread lingering around his shoulder. "What's this?" he thought. He touched the thread, and something came into his mind.
"Isn't this the red string of fate?" Lost in thought, Izumi stared at the thread and tried to follow where and who it connects to but was interrupted by Haruki.
"Izumi! Hurry up or we'll leave you behind!" shouted Haruki.
"Coming!" responded Izumi. His mind was still puzzled as the red thread disappeared.
As Izumi sprinted to catch up with the three, a person was watching behind his back, giving off an envious vibe from the shadows of the tall buildings around the area.
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