Hey, all! Thanks to all those who read! Sadly, I didn't get any reviews for chapter 24 of Everybody Loves Shuichi, but thanks so much to Izzlebella and Slow Mercury for their reviews of previous chapters! They're both very appreciated! Speaking of...
Izzlebella - Thanks so much for such a well-detailed review! I'm glad you enjoyed chapter 22, and a lot of the parts you brought up were some of my favorite to write. I always love doing Kaito (he's become one of my favorite YYH characters now, lol), and Maya is always hilarious to write (especially when Kurama's stuck on stage trying to deal with her, lol). And I am partial to Tasaka and Ritsuki's bizarre relationship, I will admit. Hopefully the next few chapters won't disappoint! Anyway, thanks again for your awesome review!
Slow Mercury - Thanks so much for such a well-detailed review, too! And someone who likes Miss Nagai! I love Miss Nagai (she's just so evil, lol!). As for my very lengthy sentence structure, it is something I've actually been trying to work on in my original works (which I actually formally sit down and revise, as opposed to fanfiction, which I typically only revise as I go). I know that the sentences are technically correct grammatically speaking, but I know that they're kind of hard to follow (it's like the John Milton within me or something - his sentences in his prose work are ridiculously long, lol), so I've been trying to make my sentences less long and complex. Unfortunately, as this is fanfiction (albeit, one of my favorite fanfictions I've written), it kind of got the shaft in terms of editting, but hopefully some of the sentences aren't too confusing! As for Kurama being a pushover, I don't really think he is either, lol! Most of what Namiko negative claims against Kurama in her very crazy rant in chapter 14 shouldn't be taken that literally as she's really just attempting to salvage her honor in front of a bunch of snobby girls and kind of just loses it (I mean, she even claims that she slept with him, lol). Everyone else's comments/insinuations about Kurama being a pushover are more of a misinterpretation on their part (at least, in my opinion), but more importantly, just their way of trying to annoy him in the hopes that they'll see him lose his cool (at least in the case of Kaito, Hiroshi, and even Tasaka to an extent). I think Kurama (at least in this fanfic) is more nonconfrontational than a pushover, mostly because he doesn't see the point of getting so worked up over what he sees as trivial (later on in the story, he does start getting more annoyed more frequently as he begins to grow more accustomed to his ordinary life as a high school student, and all the petty details that entails). I think he just sort of goes with the flow, lol. I suppose he does get bossed around a lot by Miss Nagai (even when Namiko blackmails him at the Cultural Festival, she's backed up by Miss Nagai), but as she's his teacher, he's kind of obligated to listen to her if he doesn't want to flunk-out of school (and because she's mad-scary-evil, lol). Also, part of the story is about Kurama learning to live life as a normal high school kid, and so, in that way, he is supposed to have to learn to deal with not always being in control of the situation or being dragged into things he doesn't necessarily want to do (because the story wouldn't nearly be as funny if Kurama was actually enjoying himself all the time, lol). But, like I said, although he's pretty much the designated "straight man" of the story, playing opposite a bunch of crazies, I think that as the story progresses and he becomes more comfortable in his high school life, he begins to "go with the flow" less willingly and show more signs of being bothered by what he originally tried to shrug off as petty details. At least...that's my very lengthy and boring take on it, lol! Anyway, sorry to have bored you with such a long response, but thanks so much for your review!
With all that being said, I bring to you the final chapter (sadness!) and sort-of-epilogue of Everybody Loves Shuichi! Any questions that anyone might have (particularly from chapter 24), will hopefully be answered in the sequel that I should around to writing one of these days, lol! Also, all the places/schools mentioned in this chapter are actual accurate (behold the power of Wikipedia!), for those who might be curious. Lastly, this happens to be a favorite chapter of mine, especially the final conversation; it's so bittersweet! All the characters totally rock this chapter, lol!
Well, without any further adieu, here it is! The final chapter to Everybody Loves Shuichi! and Kurama's last farewell to high school! Enjoy and R&R!
Chapter 25: The Last Days at Mieou Academy! Shuichi's Bittersweet Farewell!
After the final bows of class 3-4 and 3-5's bizarre, puzzling, but essentially fulfilling production of Cinderella, the days moved rapidly toward graduation and the final moments of their stay in Mieou Academy. Life became rather mundane as cramming began for entrance exams, which were soon complete, making room for the final weeks before finals, which Miss Nagai made sure were strenuous and difficult. Still, it all passed relatively harmlessly, as everything often did, and soon the month of January was coming to a close and the results from their exams were coming in. Decisions were being made and the third-year students of Mieou Academy were planning on moving on, including Shuichi himself.
It was during lunch on one of the last days before finals that Rituski declared, "Let's have lunch outside!"
"What?" Namiko questioned in surprise as they stood in classroom 3-4. "But it's so cold out!"
"So?" Ritsuki asked, placing her hands on her hips. She then let out a sigh, submitting to Namiko's reason, and ran her fingers through her hand. Casting her solemn eyes out toward the window, she said quietly, "I was just thinking…the first time we all had lunch all together was outside…"
And Namiko frowned, her eyes falling to the window as well.
The last day of class before finals, Miss Nagai called a final cabinet meeting with the cabinet of class 3-5. Surprisingly, none were too frightened or annoyed by this; rather, they felt a twinge of sadness fill their hearts as they filled the otherwise empty classroom after school for their last meeting. Miss Nagai stepped in front of the classroom, her arms folded behind her back and her legs two feet apart, as if she were a drill sergeant standing before her troops before they were to head into their final battle. Mr. Fukuda stood leaning against the desk a few yards away from her while their students sat, awaiting the words of Miss Nagai, however loathsome and cruel they would be.
"As we all know, finals begin next week; thus, your duties as class representatives for your respective classes are done," Miss Nagai began. "In review, I believe we faired pretty well, despite the many attritions set against us. Our class trip, although ultimately a pointless frolic to the hot springs of Kyoto, proved to be enjoyable and not a complete disaster. In the Cultural Festival both our class and Mr. Fukuda's succeeded in earning the most income that any class in Mieou Academy's history has earned - even if it was done using less than moral tactics. Then, of course, our Sports Festival, in which we all succeeded in humiliating ourselves, but managed to spare my dignity - and Mr. Fukuda's abilities to speak to me on a daily basis, though how positive that result is could be considered debatable. And at last, was our school play, which, although completely irreverent, nonsensical, and pathetic, at least taught us a bit about the need for women independence and some revealing tidbits about our dear Mr. Minamino - not to mention has left me with enough material to blackmail all of you through the majority of your adult lives." The others winced at this last part while Miss Nagai smirked diabolically.
"What is it about Shuichi that you all keep going on about, anyway?" Mr. Fukuda asked edgily, slightly frustrated by his lack of knowledge.
"I already told you, Mr. Fukuda; you simply refuse to believe me," Miss Nagai answered offhandedly.
Mr. Fukuda scoffed bitterly, crossing his arms. "I highly doubt that Shuichi's some sort of demon, Chiyo, sweetie; I'm not as stupid as you make me out to be," Mr. Fukuda replied irritably and Shuichi smiled nervously, a bead of sweat dripping down his forehead.
"And that's yet another debatable matter altogether," Miss Nagai cracked dryly. She then turned her attention back to her students and said more merrily, "In other news, the school board has finally finished their investigations on the tree from the courtyard that plummeted into the second story roof, and thankfully found it to be nothing more that a freak weather accident - at least we can all now get on with our lives without that potential lawsuit and outrageous bill floating over our heads." She laughed at this and the others weakly joined in. Clearing her throat, she then concluded, "Well, that's all from me; I am grateful this agonizing year is over and hope I have prepared you enough to fair reasonably well in the real world of miserable adulthood. I will say, though, that despite the torment of the last few months and all your irritating habits, you are possibly the class I've tolerated the most during my years here at Mieou Academy. At the very least, I have a certain respect for you few foolhardy students that is otherwise lacking with the rest of the ignorant, lackluster, and tiresome student populous here at this school. If I can say anything about these two cabinets, I can say that the students involved in them were interesting, even if it was in a grating, self-indulged, and useless sort of way. With that, I yield the floor to Mr. Kitajima and Mr. Minamino for their final words before we adjourn and move on with our lives."
Miss Nagai moved aside, allowing Tasaka to step up and address the cabinets from the front of the classroom. Clearing his throat, he began, "First and foremost, I'd like to say that despite the rumors Yamagashi has been spreading the last few weeks, the two of us are not getting married."
"He only says that because he gets so embarrassed," Ritsuki whispered to the others. "He still has the ring I gave him, you know."
His cheeks becoming hot and red, Tasaka shouted angrily, "I do not!" However, the embarrassment and panic in his eyes were less convincing as the others looked on with their prying gazes directly set on him. He then shook his head and questioned, "What does it matter even if I do have it, anyway?!"
Kaito smirked and placed an open palm in front of Kyoji. "So he does still have it; I believe that's a thousand yen."
Kyoji grumbled a bit, reluctantly pulling out the thousand yen bill from his pocket and handing it to Kaito. Tasaka, meanwhile, became more irate, exclaiming, "You mean, you were betting on my personal life?!"
"But it's not personal anymore since our engagement was given such a public announcement, Tasa-chan!" Ritsuki teased with a mischievous giggle.
"We are not engaged!" Tasaka reiterated.
"Perhaps it would be best to let Tasaka get on with his closing speech…" Shuichi advised with some sympathy for the often teased Tasaka.
Tasaka, calming down a bit, cleared his throat once more and began again, "Anyway, um…well, this has been an interesting year. I've made some good friends, even if they are kind of obnoxious sometimes, and even if they aren't the people I exactly expected to be friends with. And, even though I may have seemed a little annoyed at times - "
"'A little?'" Kaito mused with his usual raised brow.
Tasaka shot him a glare and rose an indignant fist. "Can I please finish without being interrupted?!" he snapped furiously. He frowned, blushing again as he realized he had been shouting and was still standing in front of the classroom, with all eyes set on him. Glancing down at his feet, he muttered bashfully, "Anyway, I had a really great time here this year as class 3-5's representative, so thanks."
"Aw, Tasa-chan's blushing!" Hiroshi jested with a smirk.
"Isn't he just adorable!" Ritsuki chimed in with a few more giggles.
Tasaka glowered a bit, face turning redder as he grumbled, "Yeah, yeah…" before humbly taking his seat.
"Mr. Minamino," Miss Nagai then instructed and Shuichi smiled and stood up in front of the others, a great deal more comfortable than a still visibly blushing Tasaka.
"Well, I'm not sure if I have anything else to say," he began with a laugh. "Tasaka said most of it, I suppose. You have all been great friends to me, and I thank you for that. You've taught me a lot about myself that I don't think I'd ever have learned without you, and even though most of it wasn't necessarily the greatest things to learn, I'm still glad I learned them. I think I finally understand what it's like now to live life truly as Shuichi Minamino, and for that I will be forever grateful, and am proud to continue my life as him, despite all his petty flaws and imperfections I've discovered over the last few months." He laughed again and rubbed the back of his neck, declaring, "I suppose Seita's always been right in a way - I really am just an arrogant, patronizing, selfish idiot sometimes, just like everybody else; but I think that, in spite of this, I'm also just as decent, kind-hearted, and good-intentioned as everybody else is, too, and as all of you are - at least, I hope I am." Shuichi gave a warm smile and a graceful bow of his head which was immediately received and accepted by the others, who smiled sincerely back at their friend. "I am indebted to all of you for your friendship toward me; I will miss you all."
"Don't talk like that, Shuichi!" Maya exclaimed. "We'll see each other again."
"Ma-chan is right," Namiko broke in. "We can still keep in touch, you know."
"I always said you're far too political for your own good," Kaito commented. "You should really learn to lighten up a little bit sometimes, Shuichi."
Shuichi grinned and nodded. "Yes, you're right; we will all see each other again, I'm sure."
With that, the final meeting of Shuichi and Tasaka's cabinets for class 3-4 and 3-5 respectively came to a close.
It was the morning of their last finals and their last day of class at Mieou Academy when Ritsuki and Hiroshi gathered the group of friends once more outside. The grass had paled in the winter and the weather was windy and icy, but they all sat on the grass, anyway, shivering and waiting for whatever big announcement Hiroshi and Ritsuki had. Hiroshi and Ritsuki approached the circle, Hiroshi carrying nine wrapped boxes in his arms.
"What's the big deal, making us come out here in the cold, Yamagashi?" Tasaka questioned, rubbing his freezing hands together as his breath could be seen in the frozen air.
"I already explained to Nami last week - this is the place where we first had lunch all together," Ritsuki explained.
"We did?" Maya asked in some puzzlement, trying to recall the afternoon from that past spring.
"Anyway, me and Hiro both wanted to do something nice for everyone," Ritsuki began to explain. "I mean, you all have been so welcoming to me since it was my first year here at Mieou Academy - you've all become my best friends! I can't imagine any other place but Mieou Academy being my home."
"That's so sweet, Ritsu!" Namiko cheered.
"Get on with it, would you, Yamagashi?" Tasaka then cut in, shivering a bit. "It's freezing!"
"Not to mention that we've got some last minute cramming to do before our last finals!" Kyoji added.
"All right, all right!" Ritsuki agreed and gave Hiroshi a nod to hand out the boxes. "Both me and Hiroshi made these ourselves, one for each of us."
After the boxes were passed out and Hiroshi and Ritsuki had taken a seat on the grass, Hiroshi instructed, "You can all open them now."
The nine, including Ritsuki and Hiroshi, eagerly and fervently unwrapped their gifts, tearing off the paper with anticipation and curiosity flashing in their eyes. Finally, they lifted the covers of the boxes to reveal the presents - nine separate scrap books for each of them, filled with the various pictures Hiroshi and Ritsuki had taken over the course of the year.
"Oh, wow!" the others exclaimed as they laughed and grinned and began flipping through their own books, looking at each photograph that contained such fond memories with bittersweet affection.
"Hey, look, it's the first week Ritsu arrived!" Namiko exclaimed.
"Was it really necessary to include a picture of my backside?" Tasaka asked irritably, blushing slightly.
"Well, how could we remember the year without remembering your precious backside, Tasa-chan?" Hiroshi asked with a grin and Tasaka sighed.
"And our school trip to the Kurama-Onsen," Kyoji said, smiling as he looked at the different pictures from the weekend spread across two pages.
"I even included that infamous little photograph of you five in all your glory if you flip the page…" Ritsuki said with a wink and a flirtatious grin and all the boys immediately turned red and hastily flipped past that embarrassing section. "You know, you guys will probably all appreciate that picture more in fifty years when you've all gotten old and wrinkled," Ritsuki reflected.
Shuichi, meanwhile, smiled as he found himself looking at the pictures from the Cultural Festival. "This is fantastic, Ritsuki," he praised happily. "You even have the Cultural Festival."
"And your kiss with Ma-chan," Ritsuki added, leaning across the circle and pointing to the photo with Maya giving Shuichi an innocent peck on the cheek. "Or, lack thereof, I should say."
"I think I sort of remember that…" Maya mused. She then embraced the scrap book and said jubilantly, "But all these photos will make sure I never forget any of my memories now!"
"And the Sports Festival, of course," Kaito then said, turning the page of his own scrap book. "And Shuichi and Tasaka's interesting last stretch of the race."
Tasaka scowled and his cheeks flushed at this embarrassing memory as Shuichi grimaced slightly. Seita, meanwhile, grinned and replied, "Now I'll always have Minamino's downfall in front of the entire student body documented!" He began laughing maniacally and both Tasaka and Shuichi shot him a glare of annoyance.
"And lastly, our dear production of Cinderella," Hiroshi concluded with a sigh as he looked over the pictures that spanned from the first read-through to dress rehearsals and lastly to opening night. "That really was a gorgeous dress I made for you, Shu-chan."
"Yes, those were fun times," Shuichi agreed with a sad sort of smile as he gazed down at the same photos in his own scrap book.
It was then that the bell rang, signifying class was about to begin. The nine quickly gasped, scrambling to their feet from the grass, and hastily gathering up their things. "Come on, you guys! We're going to be late for our last day of finals!" Ritsuki cried out before the group began hurriedly running into the halls of Mieou Academy for the last time.
And after their last finals were complete that day, the group departed, each going their separate ways. Kaito was the first to emerge with other students, that cheered happily at their completion of another semester and school year. Kaito, however, looked rather indifferent compared to his celebrating peers, and rather walked along at a steady pace; he sighed and shook his head at their celebratory antics before he lowered his eyes and began reading the volume of his latest manga as he strolled along.
Tasaka was the next of the nine to leave, letting out a deep sigh of relief, grateful he had gotten through the strenuous and tedious work of high school. He then shoved one of his hands in his pants' pocket and, blushing slightly, pulled out a shining and sparkling ring - the same one Ritsuki had handed to him during the night of the school play. He smiled as he secretly stared down at the glistening jewel until he heard Ritsuki call out from behind, "Tasa-chan!"
He let out a yelp, face flushing to a vivid scarlet, and immediately shoved the ring back into his pocket just as Ritsuki latched her arms around his own arm. "Yamagashi, cut it out, will you?!" he snapped in exasperation, trying to tug his arm away, but Ritsuki just squeezed it tighter and closer to her bosom.
"Come on, Tasa-chan!" she teased flirtatiously. "Don't you think we should start discussing our marriage arrangements already?"
"How many times do I have to tell you that we're not getting married?!"
Kyoji, Maya, and Hiroshi merged next, only a few yards behind the squabbling Ritsuki and Tasaka (the latter doing most of the squabbling and the former joyously laughing at his expense). "You really think they're going to get married?" Kyoji asked.
Hiroshi shrugged and smirked. "Knowing Ritsu, probably."
"Who's going to get married?" Maya asked in puzzlement.
"Your brother and Ritsu, of course," Hiroshi answered.
"Yeah; Ritsuki's only been going on about it for the last few weeks," Kyoji elaborated.
Maya pondered this before grinning and exclaiming, "Hey, then me and Ritsu really will be like sisters!"
Both boys blinked in surprise. "What do you mean, Maya?" Kyoji asked.
"I remember Ritsu once said that I'd make 'the sweetest little sister' when we were all having lunch together outside," Maya explained matter-of-factly.
Hiroshi and Kyoji paused for reflection, rubbing their chins as they fell into deep concentration. "I do remember Ritsu saying something like that…" Hiroshi remarked, trailing off as Kyoji gave a nod. "You know, maybe you're not as scatterbrained as we thought, Ma-chan, if you could remember a small detail like that."
Maya frowned and fluttered her eyes. "Remember what?" she asked in bewilderment.
Both boys sighed and hung their heads. "Never mind, Ma-chan," Hiroshi replied. "I stand corrected." And Maya simply smiled and giggled, her eyes blissful despite her utter bafflement.
Next came Miss Nagai, who grinned in satisfaction, followed by a frowning Mr. Fukuda. "I still don't get what the big deal about Shuichi Minamino is," he told her in frustration.
Miss Nagai, however, had other things on her mind, and said, "Another year gone by, another insufferable class has left us, eh, Mr. Fukuda?"
"I'm sure they'll be replaced by another group of rowdy kids," Mr. Fukuda reasoned.
Miss Nagai just grinned knowingly and looked up toward the sky. "I doubt, Mr. Fukuda, there will ever be a group of students like those under the guidance of Mr. Minamino and Mr. Kitajima."
Last emerged Shuichi with Seita on his left side and Namiko on his right. Seita was grinning deviously, already declaring his victory as he said, "Just you wait and see, Minamino! Tomorrow when the finals grades are posted, I'm going to be on top - even with your fancy superpowers!" He seemed much more calmer than usual as he spoke these words, the last declaration of challenge he would ever initiate between the two within the grounds of Mieou Academy.
Shuichi just smiled placidly and replied, "I suppose we'll see."
"Hey, maybe I'll beat you again, huh, Shuichi?" Namiko joked giving him a nudged and a wink.
Grinning himself, Shuichi answered lightly, "Well, just to warn you, Namiko, I studied extra hard this time to ensure that that sort of fluke doesn't happen again."
Namiko laughed herself and said, "Oh, so it was a fluke now, is that it?" Both chuckled good-naturedly at their feigned rivalry.
"Still, it is a bit depressing, us leaving Mieou Academy for the last time," Shuichi then said as he laughter faded, glancing over his shoulder at the high school that they were getting farther and farther away from.
"Well, we'll probably all be back tomorrow to check our grades after they're posted on the bulletin board," Namiko assured him. "And then there's graduation on Saturday…"
"Yes, you're right; it isn't the last time exactly," Shuichi agreed. "Still, I don't think it will ever be the same."
"That's why people think you're so dull, Minamino," Seita remarked. "Because you want everything to remain the same."
"I didn't say that," Shuichi replied, becoming slightly defensive. "And I suppose a change will be good…as long as some things stay the same."
"Well, we'll all still be friends, if that's what you're worried about," Namiko answered. "Even if we are all going off to college."
Seita looked up toward the sky. "Where's everyone going again?"
"Well, us three are going to the University of Tokyo," Namiko began, "Although Shuichi's interning at her father's company for the first year. And then Ma-chan will be in Tokyo, too, studying at Tokyo Gakugei Univeristy. Hiroshi, Tasaka, and Kyoji are going to be at Yokohama University in Yokohama, which is right next door to Tokyo, anyway; and Kaito will be in Mito at Ibaraki Univerity, and that's only an hour away from Tokyo by train. Ritsu will be the farthest - she's going all the way to New York to study at New York University! She says that playing in Cinderella has 'inspired' her and she wants to try her shot at fame for a year and then come back and study in Japan." Namiko frowned a little at this, but forced herself to perk up. "Still, after the year is up, we'll see her again and I'm sure she'll have some interesting stories to tell. And, hey, maybe she really will become famous - I mean, she's so beautiful - or at least so well-endowed - that I'm sure some modeling agency would pick her up." She then giggled and shook her head, exclaiming, "Wow, imagine Ritsu famous! It would be so cool to have a famous friend!"
"Who knows? We might all be famous one day," Shuichi pondered aloud.
"Yeah, right!" Namiko said, but giggled still at this wonderful, childlike notion as her eyes brightened.
"It'll be over my dead body before you become famous, Minamino," Seita countered with a glower.
Shuichi laughed and replied, "I think I'd be much happier if I don't wind up famous."
"But I'm sure we'll all be successful," Namiko added, becoming more serious now.
"Yes, very," Shuichi complied.
"Just as long as some are more successful than others," Seita haughtily concluded as they finally reached the front gateway of Mieou Academy. They lingered there for a long while, the sun just beginning to set that late afternoon of the short winter day, the cold breeze blowing past them, swaying their jackets and hair and freezing the bittersweet tears in their glistening eyes.
Finally, Namiko jumped a bit to the side and gave both boys a bow and a grin, saying, "Bye, Seita! Bye Shuichi! I'll see you two tomorrow!" She gave them a second smile and a wink as she waved and started down the street.
"Goodbye, Namiko," Shuichi said, waving back with a good-natured grin and even Seita waved goodbye to her as she disappeared around the corner.
Seita then sighed. "I suppose this is the end of our rivalry, then, Minamino," he said rather glumly, averting his eyes from Shuichi.
"Well, we are both going to the University of Tokyo," Shuichi reminded him with a sympathetic smile.
"That's right, Minamino!" Seita exclaimed, becoming more spirited. "And I assure you, you may have won here, but you will not defeat me there!" He laughed triumphantly, a glint of the red sunlight glinting in his eyes. He then frowned again as did Shuichi, both lowering their heads. "Still, it won't truly ever be the same, will it, Minamino?" Before Shuichi could answer, Seita lifted his head and proclaimed, "You may have won the war, but I bested you in a couple of battles, if I do say so myself. And I did prove once and for all that you're not as perfect as you seem, so I actually did come out victorious in the end." He sighed again and stood up straight. "You were a worthy opponent, Shuichi Minamino, even if you still are a patronizing bastard," he concluded and then laughed in spite of himself.
"Goodbye, Seita," Shuichi replied back with a sincere smile and a laugh himself as Seita turned to walk away in the opposite direction Namiko had gone.
"Don't think this means that we're friends in any sense of the word, though, Minamino!" Seita called out. "I'm just calling a temporary truce until we start college! Then the real battle for supremacy between us truly begins which will make all this high school stuff look like mere child's play! You'll see!" He gave another laugh, more jovial and rejuvenated than his usual deranged cackles, and then disappeared from Shuichi's sight, getting lost in a cluster of other students spilling out of Mieou Academy.
And Shuichi grinned and laughed, looking up at the endless sky himself. He had graduated from Mieou Academy, would soon be off to college, and the world was now truly his in a way it never could have been while he had lived his life as the powerful demon Yoko Kurama. And despite the brisk weather, a warm glow filled his eyes and heart, knowing he had his whole life ahead of him, with potential and excitement and all the happiness it could encompass. He turned back around to look back at the old, prestigious academy campus before giving a short nod of thanks. With that, he bid his old high school his final farewell and began walking home, ready for anything that the world held for him, and eager to continue his simple, happy life as Shuichi Minamino.