“Good morning, Towa-kun.”
I arrived at the usual meeting place.
I was late today, so Ayana and Shu were waiting for me. The three of us were all together, so we walked down the street to the school together as usual.
I would not have known what I was feeling until yesterday, but now I do. The feeling he had been getting from Ayana’s occasional interactions with Shu, was probably a sense of superiority over him for having stolen her away from him without his knowledge. Of course, he probably didn’t really feel it, but I know that it was something that Towa unconsciously felt.
And Ayana is—–
“? What’s wrong?”
If she turned her head to look at me when she felt my eyes on her, or if she had already turned her head to look at me, there was nothing I could do to stop our gazes from meeting. She’s dexterous in the way she walks without stumbling while looking at me, but it’s too late for anything to happen to her.
Keep looking forward. Don’t you know if you fall down?”
“Fufu. It’s okay. I’m taking precautions to make sure that doesn’t happen, and if it does, Towa-kun will hold me up.”
……Well, she is right.
Seeing her smile like that, I couldn’t help but feel oddly cheerful. Come to think of it, I talked to her on the phone before going to bed last night. I just wanted to hear her voice, and I was surprised at how quickly we were connected. We talked for a while, and when it seemed like we were about to hang up, she said she still wanted to talk… Ahem, let’s stop there. If I keep going, I might not be able to stop talking about how much I like her.
“Ayana, did you finish your homework?”
“Yes, I did. Don’t tell me you haven’t done it again, Shu-kun?”
“……, can you show me?”
“……, you have to do a little something for yourself, okay?”
“I know, but ……”
I took a step back and watched their conversation.
It seems like Shu hasn’t noticed, but I can tell that Ayana’s mood has clearly worsened. It might not be easy to tell from her expression and such… but I don’t know, you can just tell by looking into her eyes. It’s definitely different from when she was talking to me before. I said her eyes were soulless before, and it seems like I wasn’t entirely wrong.
[I don’t want to be childhood friends with that guy. All my life, I’ve hated that guy.]
……The words suddenly echoed again, and the tremendous disgust in the voice almost sent chills down my spine, but I will remember these words so that I don’t forget it.
As the three of us approached the school, talking about nothing else, we found that the student council was holding a greeting campaign at the school gate. The woman standing in the center of the group of serious-looking students – Iori Honjo, the student council president, smiled when she saw Shu.
“Good morning, Shu-kun. Otonashi-san and …… Yukishiro-kun. Good morning.”
We each returned greetings to the voice, and I thought I would just pass by, but as I expected, Shu was caught. I thought it would be a hassle to wait for the two of them to finish talking, so I started walking away and Ayana lined up right beside me.
“That sounds like a long conversation.”
“Right. I’m glad to see that they are getting along so well.”
[Honjo-san, are you weak to alcohol? Fufu, I found out Honjo’s weakness♪]
Despite the happy voice, there was an atmosphere that sent shivers down my spine, with a hint of chilliness. Even if I stare at Ayana, her demeanor remains the same. If our eyes meet, she happily returns a smile.
“Let’s go already, shall we?”
As we left the shoe locker area and started climbing the stairs, a girl’s voice called out to Ayana.
Turning to the voice, a girl was running towards us. As usual, she was someone Ayana knew, which meant she was also an acquaintance of Shu. And that meant she was also one of the heroines.
“Mari-chan, what’s up?”
“I saw Ayana-san’s figure, so I came to say hello!”
Mari Uchida, a boyish girl with energy. I don’t know the details, but she, like Iori, also harbors feelings for Shu.
…But thinking about it again, the protagonist’s correction in games is incredible.
His mother dotes on him, his sister is willing to have a forbidden relationship with him, and Iori and Mari are genuinely fond of him. The relationship with the mother and sister is only possible in the game …… well, it would be impossible in reality, but if Shu had responded to either Iori or Mari’s feelings, I feel that it would have ended a little less that way.
I can say that because I know that Ayana’s feelings are not for Shu.
Mari, who was happily conversing with Ayana, looked at me as well and opened her mouth.
“Thinking back, this is our first conversation like this, isn’t it? Yukishiro-senpai.”
“……Yeah, if you ask me. I hear you and Shu are getting along well?”
“Yes. I often talk with Shu-Senpai. This is also thanks to Ayana-san.”
“Is that so?”
Ayana nodded and told me.
“I think the reason they became friends was because Shu-kun and Mari-chan were so compatible, but I was the one who introduced them to each other.”
I didn’t know that.
As I recall, in Shu’s monologue, it was mentioned that his meeting with Iori was related to Ayana’s chaperoning, but I did not know about Mari, especially since her past was not revealed.
So, Iori and Mari met at Shu because of Ayana’s guidance. I think it’s a causal thing if that’s the case.
I think that Iori and Mari are definitely a big reason why Shu’s personality has become a little brighter. Unlike those who had denied Shu’s existence up to now, these women truly admire him and see him for who he is.
“I heard from Shu-Senpai that Yukishiro-senpai is like a hero. How you saved people.”
“I see. I wasn’t trying to be a hero, though.”
“…… Ooh. Is it possible that Yukishiro-senpai is handsome to the core?”
“I don’t know. At least I’m someone who worries from time to time, like Shu.”
“No, the way you answer and your gestures are that of a handsome man.”
Hey, Towa, your junior said you’re handsome… cough, but well, she’s a friendly and honest kid. She’s the kind of kid who doesn’t show even a hint of the ugliness that everyone carries with them. If such a child were by his side, she would be able to correct his personality to a certain extent.
“Yes, Towa-kun, and also, it’s time for us to go to the classroom.”
“Oh, right! Sorry, Ayana-san, excuse me, Yukishiro-senpai!”
Politely bowing her head, Mari ran off. Oh, the teacher is scolding her for running in the hallway.
“She’s a lively kid.”
“Yes. But I’m curious about why she called Towa-kun a hero.”
“Stop it. You don’t have to question me.”
“I understand. Well then, let’s go.”
This time, I headed to the classroom with Ayana.
After parting ways with Ayana and sitting in my seat, I killed time by looking at their textbooks. The teacher came, and the morning assembly began, and soon the class started.
It was only the first period, but there were already people lying on their desks or playing with their phones, secretly talking to their friends… It was a familiar sight, good or bad. In the midst of it all, I was staring at Ayana, who was sitting in the front row. The act with Ayana this morning and the words she said to Towa came to mind.
[Now I belong to Towa-kun. …I don’t know what to say, but I’m very happy. If I’m Towa-kun’s property… should I call you ‘Master’?]
Ayana had been struggling with what she was living for. That’s when she met Towa and fell in love with him, having feelings so strong that she would sacrifice her body for him. Even though Towa thought it was the wrong thing to do at the time, he may have been swayed by his youth.
Probably, the two of them were undoubtedly happy in the moment they came together. They were able to obtain the love they both desired. However, this was probably the decisive blow for Ayana. She recognized herself as Towa’s property, which had been ambiguous until then, and carried a distorted feeling that she would do anything for him.
[I don’t want that… I don’t want Towa-kun to say that to me… No… I don’t want to call you ‘Master’…]
Even such a simple word could be taken as a rejection, and yet she clung to Towa out of excessive fear. Perhaps the reason why Ayana called me ‘Master’ at that time was because of this kind of reason.
I guess it’s good if this relationship is called happiness for Towa and Ayana, but from my perspective, it still seems distorted. If you really like Ayana, I think you should face her properly and confess your feelings in a better way… What were you thinking, Towa Yukishiro?
There wouldn’t be any words coming back even if I asked.
Unconsciously, I wasn’t thinking about anything. When I looked at my notebook, I had written two letters.
I blurted it out, but I didn’t really understand what the two letters meant.
Even though I said it out loud, I wasn’t really sure if it was correct or not… What’s the problem with that anyway? I didn’t understand it and had endless questions, but I decided to keep this word in my memory for some reason. It just felt like it would be better to do so.
[I’m sorry. You had nothing to do with it, you were just involved. But you know what? What’s wrong with that? It’s fine, isn’t it? Because you’re already smiling so happily right now. Please use your body a little longer. Then the boy—– you love will come to you.]
A strong headache suddenly hit me.
I almost kicked the desk with a thud, but managed to hold back.
“Oi, are you all right?”
The guy sitting next to me noticed something was wrong and called out to me, but I quickly assured him I was fine. After a while the headache subsided, but the sick feeling remained.
It was a strange sensation, not quite nausea, but more like floating in the air, and I had arrived at one answer despite the queasiness I was feeling. I knew there was something I needed to be reminded of.