Chapter 134 – Some Things Are Better Left Forgotten
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The very next day, Akihiko and Ayame left to their respective jobs which left Takei and Akari home alone in the very spacious house that could basically be considered a mansion.

They didn't have any plans for today, but Ayame promised to take Akari out for clothes shopping later in the week, so there were at least some plans made.

With nothing to do, Takei inevitably started to enter his lazy mode and slouched on the couch with a dazed expression.

Coming fresh out of the shower, Akari saw the scene that was unfolding and went over there to wake Takei up from his stupor.

"Do you want to go for a walk? We're out of ingredients for dinner tonight," Akari asked.

When an invitation was made from the goddess herself, Takei had no greater urge than to comply wholeheartedly.

"Sounds good, let me go put on some clothes real quick."

As it stood, Takei was previously lounging around with his pyjamas still on, so he needed to change when they went out.

After a couple minutes of deciding what he should wear, Takei finally left his room with a very sleek-looking look that was undeniably very trendy.

Without a doubt, the hoodie and flannel combo that he had recently discovered was slowly growing on him.

"Yosh, let's go."

As soon as they had exited the house, Takei grasped Akari's hand with a gentle smile on his face.

I've always wanted to show Akari my hometown... It's like a dream come true.

Looking at her with the warmest eyes possible, Takei conveyed his most genuine and passionate feelings to his beloved girlfriend.

"Thanks, I'm really happy to have met you."

In response to Takei's blatant good will, Akari gingerly nodded and leaned against his arm whilst also wrapping her arms around his.

"I'm really thankful to have met you as well, I really love you so much," Akari happily stated.

On the way to the supermarket for dinner ingredients, the two of them were basically attached to each other as the endless stream of PDA continued.

Just before they arrived at the store together though, they were unfortunately stopped by a rather mysterious fellow who they had seen previously on vacation.

"Oi, Takei. I'm back."

The kid with the fiery red-hair and angry expression finally returned to confront Takei just like he had said initially.

Seeing the antagonistic behavior that the kid was showing, Takei immediately moved Akari behind him and decided to try and unravel this situation.

"I still don't know what your problem is, I'm sorry that I don't remember you?" Takei exasperatedly stated.

"Why is that apology a question?!" The boy angrily replied.

With his anger at a boiling point, the red-haired boy finally decided to introduce himself to them.

"Araki Tachibana is my name, and you were my biggest rival."

Rival? I was good enough at something to have a rival?

As much as Takei racked his brain, he couldn't remember anyone with that name or appearance in the past.

Seeing that Takei couldn't remember him, Araki pointed out some facts to try and jog Takei's memories.

"We were in classes together since third grade and until you moved away at the beginning of middle school. I sat next to you in the last row of every class since we had similar last names," Araki explained.

The more the boy told Takei about the past, the more memories returned to Takei's mind.

There certainly was a boy who sat next to me for a few grades, but I don't remember him having red hair or being so angry all the time... That last name as well... Why does it sound so familiar?

While Takei was thinking to himself, Araki continued explaining without paying Takei any attention.

"Ever since we met, you've been a real thorn in my side. Beating me in everything when it came to academics or athletics... really pissed me off. No matter how hard I tried and how much work I put in, I was never able to reach the same level as you."

I really was a tryhard during elementary school, huh?

Back before he had moved and had the incident happen to him, Takei would give one hundred percent in any task even if it wasn't even relatively important.

Perhaps that was why Araki had hated him so much.

"All of your actions and achievements angered me, but you also inspired me to try harder. We had a rivalry that transcended mere human concepts!" Araki creepily laughed.

Hearing that last line, both Takei and Akari looked at each other with exasperated expressions.

"He's a psycho, isn't he?"

"Yep, he's definitely a psycho."

"I'm not a psycho!"

Putting aside the comical aspect of the situation, Takei still couldn't see why Araki had hated him so much.

Sure, having someone forget you even though they sat next to you for a long time definitely would've hurt.

However, that doesn't explain why Araki had remembered Takei for so long.

You just don't hold a grudge against someone that insignificant in your life for this long.

Bouncing off his logic, Takei decided to tackle the door of the problem.

"So, why do you truly hate me?" Takei asked. "It can't be just for having better grades than you or for being better in athletics. I can tell your hate for me is just a bit deeper than that."

Araki's face briefly flashed with a surprised expression, perhaps due to his impression of Takei as a cold and apathetic person, but his calmness returned which allowed him to reveal what truly was the root of all this hate.

"You... hurt my sister."

"Your sister?" Takei confusingly asked.

I don't remember hurting any girls... Hey, why are you looking over here with a dazed expression, Akari? I promise I'm not a playboy!

Taking in a deep breath, Araki sternly looked Takei in the eyes and began to explain.

"We don't live together anymore since our parents divorced, but you were good friends with her for a little while. Her name is..."

With a dramatic pause, Araki said a name that Takei wished to never have had heard of ever again.

"...Erika Tachibana."

New Idiot Couple Meter: 35 -> 36%

The final boss returns.

Serious-san: I'm conflicted whether to be happy about the seriousness or scared of it...

Sugar-chan: I guess I did my job correctly then!

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