“What are you participating in for the sports festival, Mahiru?”
Amane asked Mahiru after dinner. She took out ice cream from the fridge, and put the leftovers into a tupperware.
Once she poured the Chikuzenni that was for dinner into the tupperware, she handed Amane a spoon, and looked up as though she was trying to recall.
“I am in the relay and the borrowing race.”
“Oh, something in common. I chose the ball toss and the borrowing race.”
He did not know if his entry would pass, but he felt he should be able to, given how unpopular the ball toss game was.
It would be strange if he failed the borrowing race, but he did put a obstacle race as his third option, so he was fine with that/
An obstacle race did not simply rely on legpower. It required balance and flexibility. Amane’s running ability was average, but he probably would not pull his teammates.
“You are not intending to exercise at all.”
“I’m not really good at sports. leave that to the experts.”
“…I remember your sports grades are average, Amane-kun.”
If his athleticism was any better, Amane might be a little more enthusiastic. Unfortunately, he was not really good at it.
Nevertheless, he was not so weak to be deathly afraid of sports, and was at least average.
He was unlike Kadowaki and Mahiru, both who had the grit and the talents. For him, the best of both worlds was something completely distant from him.
“…You hate the sports festival?”
“Hmm, I don’t really hate sports. I just don’t like to be forced to exercise.”
As they returned to the living room sofa, Amane recalled the painful memories of the winter marathon.
It was not that he did not have the athleticism, and he could at least run the distance during classes. Truth be told however, he felt it was pointless to finish a certain course within a time limit.
He might feel happier if he could complete his goal at his own pace. He really felt that compulsion really was bad for the mind.
Amane frowned as he removed the lid of the ice cream, and Mahiru gave a little wry smile.
“It is not that I do not understand. I dislike it when others force themselves.”
“Right? I’ll just go at it casually…or just normally, contribute a little here and there.”
If he slacked too much, others would tell him off, and he would feel guilty.
He might not go all out, but he intended to perform suitably. There was no room for him to actually do so however if his primary choices were accepted.
“Fufu. I will not see you perform then, Amane-kun.”
“Relax, I’ll do well during the ball toss…probably.”
“It’s not a flashy event. I won’t really stand up.”
Amane did not understand why even though they were in high school, there was such a cute event called the ball toss. Some high schools had excluded them, yet his school kept it.
Perhaps it was for the sake of those absolutely horrible at sports, but even so, there would unlikely be any tension when it came to the event.
“You are rather accurate when throwing items. You never missed when you threw tissues into the basket.”
Though it is because you are lazy, she quipped, which had him wryly smiling.
“Cut me some slack here. I never missed anyway.”
“It is fine when you are at home. Anyway, you are really accurate at throwing.”
“Well, I’m good at throwing, including darts. Mom brought me out before, and I did well.”
The mother’s escapades with the son included lots of places.
This included outdoor activities like survival games, white water rafting, to indoor like darts, bowling, game centers. Amane was dragged to various places, and picked up lots of useless skills.
One was of use this time around, so he could not say they were all useless.
“Have you received some form of gifted education?”
“For games, maybe.”
“Shihoko-san is really amazing in a certain sense.”
Mahiru muttered in amazement rather than surprise. As the one who was dragged along however, Amane could not fully agree.
He was really grateful for Shihoko.
Shihoko had him gain lots of experiences, and back when he was depressed in middle school, she treated him like usual. It was for this reason that Amane was able to recover from a fatal spiral.
Nevertheless, he hoped Shihoko would not wear him out by bringing him to so many places.
“…It is such an event after all, and I don’t think I’ll really stand out. I’ll try, somewhat, though I’m not too happy about it.”
He mused, stabbed the spoon into the suitably melted ice cream, and had a mouthful.
By the way, the ice cream in his hand was manufactured by a certain premium chocolate company that was only sold in convenience stores. It was less sweet, and filled with rich cocoa flavor.
It was priced at 500 yen, and was relatively expensive. Amane intended to treasure each mouthful dearly.
“Do you really dislike the sports festival?”
“No actually, it’s getting hotter, and it’ll be annoying to stand out there in gym clothes for half a day, even if there’s a tent.”
“Well, I guess that is correct when you put it that way. You have to work hard though?”
“I’ll moderate myself.”
Mahiru pouted, but she was staring intently at the spoon, or rather the ice cream. Amane was left smiling wryly.
He thought he should have bought Mahiru one since she had quite the sweet tooth, and tried putting the spoon before her. Her eyes momentarily glowed.
Man, she’s way easier to understand compared to before. He chuckled to himself, and brought the spoon near her lips. Like a kitten fed by her master, she put the spoon into her mouth.
Her eyes narrowed into a slit.
The ice cream should be delicious. It was obvious from her face.
Mahiru and Amane had sensitive tongues compared to the normal person, and could precisely pinpoint the good and bad of the taste. Since she was eating it so happily, he appeared he got the right brand.
“…This is of premium, no?”
“You can tell?”
“From the packaging. This is better than I expected.”
Amane handed another large mouthful, and Mahiru ate it obediently, showing a satisifed smile.
She showed an expression more blissful than an ice cream melting under room temperature, and his body heat slowly rose up his face.
…Uh oh. I’m now feeding her.
Amane intended to maintain a normal distance from Mahiru whenever possible, but it ended up this way.
Mahiru too was so conscious of Amane, yet she gave such a careless expression. Typically speaking, she would not feel happy to be fed by a boy.
“…Mahiru, take it all.”
“I’m not eating it. Brewing some coffee. This is for you.”
Amane handed the ice cream cup and the spoon to Mahiru, and escaped to the kitchen. Feeling despondent, he dumped the coffee beans and the filter paper into the coffee maker.