Izayoi-kun and I left school early and came home together. I decided it wouldn’t be wise to leave him at school in his current state. His current awakening seems to last for about a day, so today he should rest at home, and he can return to school tomorrow.
“Izayoi-kun, let’s study at home today.”
“You should change out of your school uniform. And please hang it up properly on a hanger to avoid wrinkles.”
He headed back to his room, and I started changing in my room. I put on a sweater and longer pants. The top might be a bit tight, but it should be fine for now.
Afterward, we planned to spend some relaxing time together. Izayoi-kun has been running around a lot, and I’ve noticed him secretly talking to Mel-san. Today, we’ll take it easy.
We’ll watch a movie, do homework together at a leisurely pace, watch TV, have snacks, and maybe even get a little romantic. Khufufu… Ooh, facial muscles, stay focused on your job.
I thought these things while heading to the living room. Izayoi-kun was also there, wearing a hoodie and somehow wearing an eyepatch.
“Izayoi-kun, why the eyepatch?”
“Don’t seek meaning in everything.”
“Oh, that sounds profound… But it’s not good to strain one eye more than the other, so let’s take it off.”
I removed his eyepatch forcefully. He seemed a bit reluctant, but it didn’t matter. Afterward, both of us sat down on the sofa.
I turned on a romantic movie on TV. It’s a really touching and wonderful film that I want him to know about. However, he wasn’t watching the movie; instead, he was glancing at me from time to time.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing… Just a sweater that could kill a virgin…”
I heard the first part clearly, but the second part was mumbled and unclear. Probably something about the sweater being cute or lovely. We’re just on the verge of being a lovey-dovey couple. I watched the movie with a contented smile.
The final scene was a wedding scene. It was so touching… The screen showed the two of them pledging their love in a church, sealing it with a kiss. There had been various difficulties, drama, obstacles, and times when they didn’t like each other, but in the end, they were together.
Thinking like this, maybe it’s a bit too early for me, for us… Overthinking things might make love seem heavy. Let’s leave it at that.
“That was a great movie.”
“Yes, it was.”
He had a thoughtful expression, seemingly blessing the two on the screen as they kissed. Even though he had been acting differently while we were together, I could tell his heart hadn’t changed. As the movie ended and we savored the afterglow, he started speaking, looking a bit hesitant.
“By the way, what do you think about Maguro?”
“I don’t particularly think anything of him.”
Could it be that he’s feeling possessive? Worried about losing me? He doesn’t ask such questions without reason, I know that. Asking such things to someone of the opposite sex is almost like declaring something. But I can’t help it; I want him to say it out loud.
“Why would you ask that?”
“Don’t seek meaning in everything.”
“Well, right now, I want to.”
“Fufu, I won’t ask further then. After all, I’m not so clueless as to not understand the reason behind such a question.”
He looked startled and averted his gaze. Perhaps he was embarrassed. I felt a bit embarrassed too for saying something like that, so I leaned on his shoulder.
Now, we, the second-year students, returned home. I heard that Kuroda and Kohaku-chan left school early, but well, there’s nothing we can do about it.
We took off our shoes at the entrance.
“Today’s homework is quite a lot, isn’t it?”
“It can’t be helped. Let’s quickly finish it by looking at the answers. This term’s anime is piling up, and our schedule is packed.”
“Karen-chan, you do know it’s not okay to look at the answers, right?”
“It’s fine. I get perfect scores on tests every time.”
“But it’s not okay.”
“Yeah, she’s right.”
As we walked down the hallway and opened the door to the living room, we stopped in our tracks. We could hear voices coming from inside the room.
“Fufu, Izayoi-kun, you’re so stiff.”
“Kuu, that’s enough.”
“You can’t leave it like this; you need to relax it. Don’t worry; it’ll probably feel good. Come on, loosen up.”
Wait a minute, what are they doing in there? Karen-chan also froze, and her expression was like, “What?” Wait, let’s calm down.
“Hey, is there anything strange going on in there?”
“It’s obvious there isn’t. They’re just at that age, so it might sound dirty… But if they were doing something weird… I’d never speak to them again.”
She said it with a cold voice. It was a mechanical tone that was a far cry from her usual passionate, fiery self.
“…Well, maybe for a month.”
The tension in the air dissipated. While Karen-chan and I were busy reacting, Aoi-chan confidently reached for the doorknob to open the door. I stopped her.
“Hey, let’s wait a bit.”
“Well, you know, we don’t know what they’re doing in there.”
“Well, you know, we don’t know what they’re doing in there.”
“It’s fine; I always walk in without hesitation.”
“But what if they’re doing something dangerous!?”
I approached her with a jerk and restricted her movement slightly. Fufufu, his imitation trace. It is a work of saying bullishly and bringing it to your own pace and blocking the opponent’s movement.
….this is bad. My chuunibyou-like thinking is taking over. However, I slightly hesitated, creating an opening that allowed her to counter my argument.
“What do you mean by dangerous?”
“Well, you know… um, like, loosening some weird kind of muscle tension…”
“I don’t get it; could you be more specific?”
“So, um… it’s like loosening tension, but in a weird way…”
“I don’t get it. Could you be more specific?”
“Oh, well, never mind that. Aoi-chan, your skin looks really nice. Is it because of the hot water?”
Blatantly steering the conversation away.
“Is that so? Well, I don’t mind being told that… Hot water is good.”
“I’ve been drinking it lately too. By the way, you also drink soy milk, right?”
“I do drink soy milk. I like it.”
It’s a bit… and that’s part of what makes it cute, but it feels like I’m doing something wrong. What should I do next? Going into the room is an option, but what if they were doing something strange? I can’t just keep Aoi-chan detained, but on the other hand, if I open the door and they were in the middle of something…
As I hesitated, Karen-chan seemed to have made up her mind and forcefully opened the door.
Inside, we found Kohaku-chan massaging his shoulders.
“Welcome back… I think you should open the door more gently.”
Kohaku-chan’s gentle words, which ignored my consideration, irritated Karen-chan slightly.
“Don’t use confusing words!”
“What are you talking about!?”
“Talking about tension and stiffness, it feels good… What a strange way to put it!”
“Your mind is the one filled with l*wd thoughts! What are you imagining!?”
“It’s because of Kohaku’s usual behavior!”
Karen-chan seemed somewhat angry and… well, slightly relieved. When Aoi-chan later asked why the two of them were arguing, we talked about how her hair looked voluminous and avoided the question…
The next day, we had breakfast as usual, but his expression was lifeless, creating an awkward atmosphere.
“Izayoi-kun… it’s nothing…”
Kohaku-chan also seemed unable to say anything in the face of his despairing expression upon returning to the real world. It appeared that he still remembered what happened yesterday. Karen-chan also fell silent, her words stuck.
“…I don’t want to go to school.”
He muttered quietly. It was quite unusual for him, who always used polite language. He seemed to be so broken inside that he couldn’t even hold himself together.
Afterward, we left the house and walked to school together. On the way to school, there were hushed whispers around us, and various glances were directed at us.
“Oi, could it be…”
“I understand. He’s… the Black Bass of Reiwa.”
“The Black Bass of Reiwa? Seriously?”
“I also heard rumors that he was the aftermath’s Piranha, though…”
“Well, even though I only heard the story, it devoured my soul…”
Is he okay… looking at his expression… All of us were concerned, and he noticed our worried gazes. That’s when Kohaku-chan took out her AirPods and put them in his ears.
We could hear his emotional voice. Kohaku-chan smiled and mouthed the words, “I like you no matter who you are.” Following her lead, Karen-chan also mouthed, “I also… like you in my own way,” with a bright red face. After that, he seemed to have regained some energy and returned the AirPods to Kohaku-chan. He reverted to his usual confident demeanor.
“Izayoi-kun, are you sure about this?”
Kohaku-chan worried that he could now hear the voices around him, but he just chuckled and replied,
“Well, honestly, I’ll be fine as long as you’re all with me.”
I don’t know why, but seeing him there made my heart skip a beat. It seemed like he had regained his energy, which was a relief. Even Karen-chan seemed to be slightly flustered…
Who was that just now? I heard a beautiful mermaid-like voice, but maybe it was just my imagination.
Afterward, we all walked towards school together. Aoi-chan then asked Kohaku-chan.
“What was that shimeji earphone playing?” [TL: Shimeji = species of edible mushroom]
Calling AirPods “shimeji earphones”… her sense of humor was amazing.
“Oh, that was the recommended anime song by Karen-senpai, ‘Traditional Sign.'”
“Heh, so Karen likes anime songs too?”
“Well, I do. I also use them as background music when I study. It’s hard to explain, but they have a good tempo, and each beat has weight to it. Anime openings are usually around one and a half minutes long, but I always make sure to listen to them thoroughly whenever I rewatch an anime. Also…”
From there, she began her anime song talk. Except for him, no one could keep up with her conversation.
We continued walking while letting her talk about anime songs, approaching the school gate. There, we saw the guy, Maguro… was it? Or was it something else? In any case, the guy who had a crush on Kohaku-chan was there.
Maguro approached Kohaku-chan when he saw her. It was the gaze of someone who had made up their mind. But the guy next to me was even more determined. He had a much stronger and more compassionate gaze than Maguro. It wasn’t just for a moment; it had always been like that. In the truest sense, he loved Kohaku-chan, and she was drawn to him because she noticed it. Maguro had some similarities in determination to him, but that was it.
And that’s the biggest difference between Maguro and him. Surely, Maguro will confess to Kohaku-chan. Anyone can see that it’s impossible for her to have a special relationship with him after seeing him with her. So it won’t bear fruit.
“As things are now, I can’t let it end without doing anything. I saw you two yesterday and thought it would be impossible. I wanted to convey these feelings to you right away. I’m sorry to do it like this, but will you go out with me?”
Kohaku-chan easily rejected his confession. Maguro probably understood too and gracefully withdrew.
“I see. Well, I knew it. But I can’t just leave it like this. So, Kuroda Izayoi, no, the Black Bass of Reiwa, the Aftermath Piranha. I will surpass you in every way.”
He turned on his heel and headed to school. There were exciting events from the morning. It had become quite awkward. Especially, he seemed to be taking a breather.
“Don’t worry. I’m devoted to Izayoi-kun, and I’m not anyone else’s. I’m yours.”
He smiled shyly. Voices of girls chattering could be heard around them.
“Kuromaguro is handsome, isn’t he?”
“Even if he got rejected, being handsome is amazing.”
“Oh, now we can make a love triangle with Kimchicka x Kuromaguro.”
“Kohaku-san isn’t just about looks, huh?”
Indeed, being handsome seemed to have its appeal, as evidenced by the girls in their class. It seemed like the voices around them reached the two of them, and he became a bit reserved. Seeing that, Kohaku-chan spoke to him.
“…I like hearts more than faces. I won’t deny that love at first sight exists, but people age like flowers eventually wither. At that time, what’s important is whether you can love each other more than before.”
“I always feel that Izayoi-kun is kind and cherishes me. I’m happy that there’s someone who loves me so much, and I want to live with you forever.”
“Hearts never fade away, I believe. And your heart is more handsome than anyone else’s. I fell in love with that. Fufu, going by this logic, maybe I’m a bit of a face person too?”
She leaned down to look at his face from below and boldly said something quite embarrassing. However, at this moment, it didn’t seem to matter to these two. They only saw each other in their own little world, an impenetrable barrier that made them aware that no one else could intrude.
However, there was someone who would break through it.
“Why are you so heated up early in the morning?”
Karen-chan squeezed herself between them. Kohaku-chan’s face showed a bit of anger because the good atmosphere had been ruined.
“You always… can’t you be satisfied without meddling in everything?”
“Hmph, I don’t know. I don’t care about underclassmen’s problems.”
A catfight began in public between the two.
End of double heroine arc