Aoi-chan is a naturally unaware girl. She usually maintains a calm and cool image with no apparent change in her expressions, appearing as a cute and reserved girl.
However, she has recently been undergoing changes. To put it simply, she’s been getting closer to him, to the extent that their shoulders sometimes touch. She herself isn’t conscious of it, but this change in her behavior is instinctual.
He has noticed this change and is somewhat flustered by it. Observing this, both Kohaku-chan and Karen-chan are frustrated and upset. The reason for their frustration is simple: Aoi-chan has been working hard on her theater practice. This makes it difficult to approach the situation, and as the performance date approaches, Aoi-chan seems increasingly nervous. In response, he’s been trying to support her, which is why their proximity has increased. In short, it’s a delicate situation.
[The terrifying nature of an unaware kuudere… I can’t make any moves if she’s practicing so diligently… I need to become a more intense character too.]
[I feel the same way…]
Will they be alright, both of them…
Well, with all that said, they continue to prepare for the cultural festival. During this time, he considers various ways to help Aoi-chan relax.
[I’ve heard that drinking water can ease nervousness… I want Aoi-senpai to drink some good water, even better than tap water, even better than natural spring water, it should be water from a stream in another world… Yes, let’s go to another world…]
He mutters to himself and suddenly takes Mel-chan with him to another world. If he hears that something works well, he goes all out on it, whether it’s yogurt, chocolate, or anything else. He searches the internet for various methods to alleviate nervousness.
Having exhausted every possible option, they finally approach the day of the performance tomorrow.
The bustling sounds of people fill the air, and it’s noisier than usual. The reason is simple: the general public is allowed to enter the school for the cultural festival. Amidst this, our Gindou-san is holding a promotional placard near the entrance, and I’m with him, wandering around, trying to attract visitors.
“No way, this outfit is embarrassing…”
“Well, it can’t be helped.”
We’re both dressed in maid uniforms.
“Wow, so cute!”
“Could she be a model?”
“Oi oi, don’t go overboard… cute.”
“Oi oi, don’t exaggerate… cute.”
“The girl next to her is pretty cute too.”
“…More like curry’s lucky god, right?”
“Lucky God Maid, huh? I kinda like it.”
Oi, who’s the lucky god here? Is this a war? Well, I do like lucky god, though. Thinking that, we continue to wander around. Then, I see someone familiar with red hair and a hairband. Today, she doesn’t have twin tails.
“Oh, hello, senpai.”
“Um, are you Natsuko? Hello…”
She’s surprisingly not great at social interactions. Maybe if we had more time, we could have a light conversation, but we don’t have many chances.
“It suits you well, Karen-senpai.”
“Well, it’s only natural.”
“Do you know the word ‘modesty’?”
“It’s a word far from Kohaku, isn’t it?”
“Haha, you’re quite straightforward.”
Well, we’re not close enough for me to make sarcastic comments casually. It’s not just a matter of time; compatibility is also an issue.
Hihara-senpai may have a strong and confident demeanor, but she’s actually quite fragile emotionally. She’s not exactly stubborn, but she finds it difficult to express her true feelings. However, Kuroda-kun seems to understand her well, which is why they seem to be a good match.
Oh, I have a feeling that this person actually wants to be spoiled more. I wonder when she’ll be able to do that…
While we were talking, a woman walked in from the entrance. Well, there were other people walking around, but there was something familiar about her. Jet-black hair and eyes.
“Ara? Isn’t this the Crimson’s little baby?”
“Ah! H-Hello! You’re Izayoi-kun’s mom!”
“Eeh?! You’re Silver, the Supreme, right? And who might you be…”
“I’m a friend of the Supreme Silver, and also a friend of Kuroda-kun.”
“Ara ara, to be friends with such a cute girl… You must have incredibly good luck.”
Her comments are quite unique. But she doesn’t exude the same aura or appearance as Kuroda-kun. In Kuroda-kun’s case, it feels like he’s an average person hiding an extraordinary side. But this woman seems more… ordinary. However, my instincts are telling me that she’s also dangerous…
“It’s been a while since I’ve been to a cultural festival… Maybe about ten years?”
“Oh, really? Mother?” (Gindou)
“‘Mother,’ huh… The day has come for me to be called that, huh? Is Supreme Silver-chan from an upper-class family?”
“Well… um, maybe slightly more affluent than an ordinary family.”
“I see, I can sense it. The noble baron feeling, or rather, an emperor, spelled as ‘Emperor.'”
“I-Is that so?”
No, she’s quite intense…
“Speaking of the cultural festival… it brings back various memories.”
Kuroda-kun’s mother had a somewhat melancholic expression. Could it be that something happened in the past? Gindou-san seemed curious, so she asked her.
“Um, did something happen?”
“Well, not really… but I guess you could say something did happen. It’s not something I should talk about, though. I’m sorry for dampening the cheerful atmosphere.”
“N-No, it’s not like that…”
She changed the mood and smiled as she spoke.
“I hope Izayoi hasn’t been causing any trouble for all of you.”
“No, not at all!”
“Izayoi is… um, Izayoi-kun is an incredibly good underclassman.”
Gindo-san affirmed Izayoi’s excellence as a first-rate underclassman, and Hihara-senpai added, addressing Kuroda-kun with a respectful title.
“In that case, I’m relieved. Well then… can I leave the rest to you?”
“F-for me… I mean, I’m fine with anything, really…..”
“Glad to hear!”
No, Hihara-senpai’s embarrassed feeling of not being able to say anything is cool, isn’t it? Gindou-san hasn’t lost either.
“Well then, I’ll be looking around at various things. Goodbye…”
“Um, can I ask you something?”
I stopped Kuroda-kun’s mother from leaving to find out more about her past. I just had this urge to hear her story.
“Did something happen in the past during the cultural festival?”
“Are you curious?”
“Well, I mean…”
“I see… this story is actually about how my husband and I first met.”
“But I tend to get carried away when I tell it, and it’s quite a story, so my husband told me never to tell anyone again.”
“I see, then I understand…”
“Well, if you’re really curious, should I tell you?”
“Would it be alright to ask?”
“Fufufu, then let me tell you.”
This feeling… It’s like this person was wearing a facade of an ordinary person.
“This is a story from when I was in high school. At that time, I was… well, a bit of a delinquent, you could say? I had what you might call ‘chuunibyou’ or ‘middle school second-year syndrome,’ I guess. I got into a big fight with the top bully in the school during the cultural festival.”
“W-what? You did something like that?”
“Yes, I did. I couldn’t stand that bully who thought they could do anything just because they were cute. They said mean things, kicked and punched others, and even poured the school lunch on kids they didn’t like. Many students were suffering because of them, even though they didn’t speak up.”
“So, what did you do?”
“So, during the cultural festival, I confronted that bully openly. I told them that they were like exhaust gas coming out of their mouth, causing trouble for everyone. I asked them if they wanted me to shut their mouth with their henchmen’s rotten ****. I guess I said it quite directly…” [TL: I have no idea what the **** is]
“That’s… quite straightforward.”
“Well, I stood out from the next day, of course. Looking back, I might have gone a bit too far. On the day I became an outcast, that bully and their gang threw a ball at me during PE, and when I glared at them, they pretended to be scared and said they were sorry. So, I thought I should show them what real fear was and threw a ball at their face… I guess I went a bit too far. It’s partly my fault, but everyone distanced themselves from me… except for one person who reached out and…”
“And then what happened?”
“Please, go on.”
Don’t keep it bottled up, this person. I wonder… what’s going on? What’s bothering her?
“…That person turned out to be my husband, who protected me. It’s more like a lovey-dovey story when I talk about it, right? Well, it’s our heroic tale, or whatever you want to call it. I talked about it a lot in the neighborhood to let people know how amazing my husband is. He got really mad at me and told me not to talk about it anymore, though. But I still share it from time to time.”
“Just having one person who understands you can be so comforting, right?”
“Exactly. It’s a story about how just having someone who understands you can save you. I wanted people to know how incredible my husband is. It’s my little secret.”
“Oh, but you shouldn’t take this story as an example! I’m sure there were better ways! Like bugs or cameras. It’s always better to resolve things peacefully!”
“Yes, you’re right… But I’m glad I could share this story with you. Thank you…”
For Gindou-san, that person is surely referring to Kuroda-kun, right? I’m sure she was saved by him. And it seems like it’s not just her; Hihara-senpai too.
“Ah, I-I’ve also relied on Izayoi for various things related to my family, so, I feel the same way! He saved me!”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, Izayoi is my hero!”
“Ehehe, that’s embarrassing! When my son is praised like that!”
“For me too, Izayoi-kun is my hero…”
“I’m so embarrassed~ When people say that about my son!”
This person, who laughed and resembled Kuroda-kun in some way, had quite a lot going on beneath the surface. It truly was a case of “like mother, like son,” and I couldn’t help but think about that.