Stealing Spree

Chapter 1364 Meeting Up With Hifumi

When the train arrived at the next station, Chii brought Sumire away with her. And to reduce the attention we had drawn to ourselves, I guided Hana by hand and stepped out of the train first before reentering a different car.

Fortunately, she's still in a tamed state as if her fangs were pulled out. It became easy for me to move with her without worrying about her attempts to steal me.

But thinking about our situation from an outsider's perspective, we probably looked like a couple who's going home together.

Hana hadn't realized that yet and I had no reason to tell her about it. I found it not the right time to make my own move either. Since their meeting would be about their 'friendship' that only Chii and Hifumi acknowledge, I better give Hana a moment of peace where she could come to terms with it in her mind.

And with that, for the next twenty minutes or so, the two of us spent the time in silence.

Upon arriving at the supposed station where Hifumi was waiting, I once again guided Hana by hand as we went down the platform to look for the girl.

Luckily enough, even within the crowd of passengers, I easily spotted the glasses girl who was still hugging a stack of books apart from her school bag that was about to burst.

That's probably the one thing that wouldn't change from her.

She had her neck craned to look past the other passenger in her bid to search for me. Unfortunately for her, I intentionally went out of her line of sight, taking the corner to approach her.

And with that, while still guiding Hana, I stealthily made our way to where she was. I probably had a mischievous expression since my mind was geared toward playing a prank on her.

However, being a doting boyfriend to my girls, I ended up just deciding to tease her a bit.

I went behind Hifumi and blew into her ear. I reached my hand on the strap of her bag, sliding it off her shoulder and catching it before it fell to the ground.

"Miss, this looks heavy. Let me carry it for you."

Surprised, not only by my voice but also by the sudden relief of the heavy load, Hifumi turned around. With narrowed eyes and a pout, she grumbled.

"At least show up in front of me. And here I thought I missed you from that crowd." Upon saying that, she let the strap of her bag slide out of her arm, allowing me to carry it by like I asked.

"I spotted you right away so… I thought of teasing you. Now that I think about it, I should've hugged you instead." 𝚋𝚎𝚍no𝚟el.𝚌om

"And get kicked on your crotch? Without knowing that it's you, I won't ever let anyone else touch me."

"I know. I can endure a kick or two to surprise you."

"This guy… Something's wrong in your head." Shaking her head in exasperation, Hifumi clicked her tongue and tried to use her forehead to hit my chest.

But since I was ready for that, I caught her in my arms and held her in place.

"If you're going to hit me, you should use your hands, no? You're just going to hurt your forehead this way."

"Wait until I grow another arm." She huffed and raised her gaze, an indignant expression showing on her face.

"Or you can just give me those books too. You won't grow taller if you don't listen to me in limiting the number of books you carry."

"I needed them all today…" Upon giving that explanation, Hifumi averted her gaze, perhaps afraid that I would see the mortified expression on her face.

Too bad, I already caught it. It's just an excuse, after all. The truth is… she still can't change her habit of bringing all of her books with her. But knowing the girl, she's really using all of them, revisiting every topic that she had yet studied thoroughly.

I put on a small smile and shrugged before getting the books from her.

"Hmm? Alright, I'll let this pass. Now, I'll carry this for you and walk you home later."

Knowing that she wouldn't be able to stop me from helping her, the girl handed it to me.

And after doing so, I grabbed her hand and guided her to a less populated area of the station along with Hana who settled on grabbing the hem of my shirt after I let go of her hand.

Soon enough, we arrived at the waiting area where there were seats and benches.

Since we were still going to wait for Chii to catch up, the three of us sat down there.

Naturally, Hifumi finally noticed the unusually silent Hana. Perhaps finding it odd that the girl acted like air throughout our exchange earlier, she tilted her head and threw me an inquisitive gaze, demanding an explanation.

I prepared for that.

"Things happened. Let's just say, she got a little realization and now, she's still trying to digest it."

Hifumi blinked her eyes a few times, trying to make sense of what I said.

Eventually, she frowned and turned her gaze to Hana. She then stood up and changed her seat to the girl's other side to draw her attention to her.

"Hey, where's that proud girl who won't acknowledge us? What happened to you?" She started.

Alright. That's a little odd. Chii remained optimistic when it came to Hana even after their meeting two days ago but Hifumi wasn't like that. She appeared a little confrontational. Nonetheless, it's not to the point of being hostile.

She just found it strange that Hana was acting like this today.

Anyway, she's successful in getting Hana's attention. The girl looked at Hifumi and languidly muttered, "Hifumi… I don't know."

"Huh? Are you sick or something?"

"No… Am I? I don't know… I want to see Ruki. That's the only reason I returned to this country. I heard about his change and thought it was my chance to bring him back to my side."

Still a little lost, Hana's answer was far from Hifumi's question.

But even with that, Hifumi seemingly understood what she was trying to say.

She pushed on the bridge of her glasses to fix it in place before opening her mouth again, "I see. So you're in this state right now because Ruki and Chizuru made you question your own reason for returning. No. It's probably not that. You're like this because you don't know how to face something you've never given importance to before."

"Yes… Friendship. I never thought about that when I approached the two of you."

"I see. We're the fools for believing that it existed then. Maybe, you're right. It's not even a month. We only spent two weeks together."

"I apologize." Hana lowered her head and even without seeing her face, I could sense that she was sincere in that apology.

I guess this was good too. If Chii was the one talking to her right now, that girl's optimism would probably limit Hana's choice of words. With Hifumi who went straight to the heart of the problem, there's no need to do that. She just needed to bare what was in her mind.

She said she's willing to look at things from a different perspective. I guess this is what she meant by that. She also wanted to understand Hifumi or Chii's view on things.

Looking at the current situation, Hana was slowly regaining herself here. Her shoulders and back relaxed and she started looking Hifumi in the eye.

And Hifumi also caught on to that. Her gaze remained sharp yet there was now a hint of appreciation in the way she stared at Hana.

"No, you don't have to. I can sense that you're not trying to dismiss me like last Sunday. That's enough."

"You and Chizuru are kind. On the other hand, I'm a selfish girl who only approached you with the motive to find out why Ruki picked you and how different he is around you."

"Okay, if that's what you believe then so be it. But Hana, you're wrong. Maybe Chizuru is the kind and clumsy girl but I'm just as selfish as you. I left to study away from this city. Away from Ruki. As you can see, I returned. Just like you. Carrying the hope to see him again regardless of his current circumstances."

Upon saying that, Hifumi looked at me and guiltily smiled.

Right… She just confessed to something she has yet to tell me before.

Thinking about it, she said she already moved on when we ran into each other back then. But then, even when I was in disguise, she easily recognized me…

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