by Katsura and Yuramei
Genre: yaoi, highschool, drama
Authors: Katsura, Yuramei
Cover art / illustrations: Yuramei
First published: May 2014
ISBN-10: / ISBN-13: 978-1499628531 / 1499628536
From the belly of a dragon comes the master of all bitch slaps.
Katashi Noburu has the world at his feet. The good-looking blond was adopted at birth by the Oyabun of a yakuza clan, the Noburu-ya, and raised in a manner befitting a prince.
However, all of that changes when he's sent to Toyogakuen Senior High School. While he begins to rub shoulders with Tokyo's old money, he soon realises that not everyone is impressed by the offspring of a notorious gangster.
Far from the fawning he enjoyed at home, and the creative tales of his bodyguard and nanny, Miyagi, he not only falls in love with popular classmate, Mak, but he meets his nemesis – the posh prefect, Hiroshi Sakai.
But when both love and rivalry extend beyond the school gates, and ultimately lead to an ambitious act of revenge, can Katashi stop his life from descending into chaos?
Laced with flights of fancy, amorous liaisons and schoolboy humour, this is a light-hearted, yet sometimes tragic tale from Yaoi creators, Katsura & Yuramei.
I heard my name called, but too late for me to react to the warning I suppose it was meant to give me. The football whacked off the back of my head and sent me sprawling face first into the muddy playing field. I sat up quickly and wiped both hands across my eyes, scanning the pitch in a rage to see if I could spot who had aimed at me. I didn’t have to look far.
Even his name caused the bile to rise in me. Rich, far more than I. Blond, but so obviously with the use of bleach. And mean. Mean in the way that only the elite can be, every callous act of bullying excused with eloquence.
“Noburu.” He looked at me as though I bored him rigid. “I didn’t see you there.”
How could he not see me? I was the only non-Asian on the playing field. Every day, for the few years that I’d been at Toyogakuen, he managed to make a target of my head and still excused the fact in the same unbelievable way.
I got to my feet, helped by my roommate, Tomo Takeshi, who then stood back while I tried to get as much of the mud off me as I could. I’d become so used to spending the first part of my mornings filthy that I went to no great effort.
Hiroshi looked down his nose at me. “You should shower more. You’re letting our house down with your grubby appearance.”
Every morning we had sports. Soccer, track training or basketball. For this we wore a grey t-shirt and black shorts, though mine were usually a grimy shade of brown. The state of my kit was always down to Hiroshi making sure that I face-planted at some point shortly after breakfast. He was, as usual, blaming me for the consequences of his own actions.
And our house?
His house more like, as I was never considered to be a part of anything.
We were the oldest in the school and known to the others as “The Greys”, because of the uniform we wore. A smart grey jacket, with black piping around the collar and cuffs, and our crest embroidered on to the breast pocket. This was worn with a crisp white shirt, grey trousers and a black and grey tie. The rest of the school had plain navy uniforms, so our attire set us apart. I actually liked our clothing. The colour brought out my eyes and I did feel somewhat attractive — when I wasn’t covered in dirt, of course. I accessorised with belts and things to make myself more unique, but as a good few of us did the same, I could hardly be described as such, dress-wise.
I stood and picked out large blobs of muck from my hair, disgusted by its texture between my fingertips.
Tomo gave me an understanding smile. “Let’s hit the showers before the rush. We have double maths after. I need to wake up or I’ll be useless.”
School showers had to have been designed by perverts. No family home which I’d ever visited had rows of poorly screened stalls where mum, dad and the children soaped their naked bodies in full view of everyone else. So why on earth, when it came to installing bathing facilities for students, would it be assumed that we wouldn’t mind showing-off our asses to our classmates? Tomo and I waited until we were the only ones waiting to wash and then dashed under the shower heads. We’d learned to scrub up at lightning speed, dry off as though it was a race, and then dress before the more pass-remarkable of our fellows had time to laugh at our butts.
My body was in no way humorous, but that didn’t matter. No justification was required to have our genitals ridiculed by anyone who saw them.
Just as we were ready to leave, in came the bulk of those who’d been on the soccer pitch. Most sneered as they passed and Tomo was actually pushed so that he landed to sit heavily against the wooden changing bench. He got up smartly, acting as if it hadn’t hurt for his back to smack off the concrete wall, even though it must have.
Pleased that we’d avoided the naked mockery, I lifted my bag, he straightened his glasses, and we hurried off to be rendered bored rigid by algebra.
The only good thing about sitting in maths class was that at least I was clean. Numbers held no interest for me and in fact, few subjects did. What did I need an education for? I guess Father thought having friends would make me happy, but Tomo was the only boy who spoke to me. To most, I was apparently invisible.
Tomo was a bit geeky. His noticeable overbite made him appear deceptively stupid and his heavy glasses didn’t help matters. That he chose to be a friend of sorts should have caused me to feel grateful, I suppose. But mostly, I kept thinking of how I was too good for him.
The victimisation I endured was, in all honesty, nothing compared with what Tomo had to put up with. My tormenters were Hiroshi and his wealthy chums. His were much rougher and far too ready with their fists. Often, he was beaten up and seemed to have no clue about how to stand up for himself. He never told the teachers about how badly he was treated and just accepted his fate in an uncomplaining way.
Hiroshi was normally top of the year at maths. Hardly surprising as his family were in the banking business. Mine too, in a way, although ours was robbing them rather than running them. The only thing which motivated me in my studies was that if I couldn’t be as popular as him, I could at least beat him with my results. So far, our current grades were neck and neck, but I intended to push myself in order to topple him from his usual position.
He sat at the desk to my left and Tomo to my right. In front of me was Mak Makioka. I considered myself to be good-looking, and I was, but Mak was like something out of a teenage girl’s dream.
He had black spiky hair, which was highlighted here and there with blue streaks. Nothing seemed to rush or faze him and he always sat in a lazy, yet appealing kind of sprawl.
But it was his eyes that made him stand out most. They were very dark, the lashes which framed them, full, and the corners apt to crease cutely when he was amused.
Mak confused me. Whenever I looked at him, or heard his voice even, my heart skipped a beat. Why I was affected in this way, by a boy who showed no interest in me — or even just by a boy period — was a mystery. I felt for him how I imagine that some people felt for girls. I hadn’t encountered many females, other than Booboo and Mother, so my heart had yet to summersault at the sight of one.
I tried to tell myself that his face had a feminine shape, or that his lips looked like those of a girl, but these were lies. He was all man. Well, as manly as any schoolboy could be.
I gazed at the back of his head to where the black spikes of his hair came to rest at his nape. He scratched his neck and I became fascinated by the shape of his fingers. The neatness of his fingernails. The slimness of his wrist.
What the hell was wrong with me?