“… Fuuu, it’s finally clean.”
They spent an entire day cleaning up Amane’s house.
For several hours, they cleared the personal belongings on the floor, and then washed the clothes, wiped the lights, the windows, vacuumed the floor, and the sun was setting by the time they were done.
The sun was visible when Mahiru entered the house; this was sufficient proof of how long they toiled on this.
But it was this reason that Amane’s house looked pretty once again.
The floor was cleaned thoroughly, cleared of discarded items. The windows and sills were cleared of dust, and so were the lights, looking brighter than before.
Amane’s room too was cleaned, so there was nothing scattered on the floor. Finally, he could comfortably rest in there.
“We spent an entire day on this.”
“Well, it’s that messy…”
“All thanks to you.”
Amane could not lift his head towards the Angel/savior, and could only look towards Mahiru with respect (he wanted to kowtow, but she refused), given that she had helped him so much.
Mahiru, having spent her valuable day off on this, “Goodness gracious,” muttered so as she tied the trash bag.
She might have sounded brutal, but she did not look displeased, and instead looked accomplished. Nevertheless, she was a little lethargic, and that was to be expected given that she had toiled an entire day.
He could not allow her to make dinner after this.
Leaving aside the issue of whether she would cook for him, he would feel sorry if he let her work in such a tired state.
“I don’t want to go out and buy dinner now, so let’s order some pizza for dinner. I’ll pay for today, since I’ve taken much from you.”
“If you don’t want to eat it with me, you can take a slice back to eat.”
He could not stop Mahiru if she did not want to eat with him, but he could let her bring some home.
More than wanting to eat with her, he wanted to thank her, so he was fine eating alone.
“… Not that. I have never ordered pizza before though, so I am a little shocked.”
“Eh, you haven’t?”
“I have not ordered pizza before since I live alone… though I have made it myself.”
“It’s amazing how you thought of making pizza yourself.”
Typically, one would order pizza either as a take-out, or as a two for one.
There might be a mere few like Mahiru who would spend the effort to start over from the dough.
So this is the mindset of those who really can cook, Amane thought.
“It’s normal to order a takeout. I often do it for myself. Wait, you’re not the type to go to a family restaurant alone?”
“I have never been there once.”
“It’s rare to hear that. I do go alone, especially when my parents are too lazy to do so. Do your parents dislike going out to eat?”
“…Our housekeeper would cook for us.”
“A nanny? Guess you’re loaded.”
It would be expected if she was a rich person.
Her etiquette, clothing, and belongings looked posh.
Given how she had the refined vibe to her, it would not be strange to assume so.
And once she heard Amane say so, she showed a faint smile,
“Yes, relatively rich.”
The smile on her face was neither delighted nor proud, but self-deprecation than joy and pride. Amane started to regret saying too much when he saw that smile.
Her response was muted when he mentioned about her parents, so it seemed she was on bad terms with them.
It seemed that this was not a matter she really wanted to talk about, so he had no intention of probing.
Every person had one or two things they would not want to mention or let others know. Not asking about certain things might be courtesy towards a person he was relatively unfamiliar with.
“Well, just think of it as an experience. Here, choose what you want.”
He decided not to talk about her parents, and showed her the pizza advertisement instead.
It was the shop Amane frequented, the best-tasting of the delivery services he knew of in this area.
It certainly was not as good as one baked in a pizza kiln, but the toppings ranged from standard to kid specials. Surely, there would be some matching Mahiru’s tastes.
Seizing the change in topic, Mahiru took the menu and quickly scanned her eyes over it.
The transparent-looking roasted tea colored eyes stared at the photos of various pizzas.
Those eyes, always devoid of emotion, seemed to be sparkling with life.
…Wait, is she actually looking forward to this?
Perhaps he was thinking too much, but she appeared a little excited, for once she had a look at the menu, she pointed at a four-topping pizza typically found at parties, “This is what I want.” she said.
Mahiru peered over to him, seemingly hiding behind the menu, and once he agreed, her eyes began to glow.
He smiled wryly at her obviously elated face, and with a single hand, he dialed the number listed on the advertisement.
About an hour later, the pizza arrived, and Mahiru quickly ate it.
There were four flavors, and she seemed to have trouble deciding which one to choose from, before she started with the bacon and sausages.
Not unexpectedly, she showed a princess-like side as she chewed on the pizzas in small bites.
She was holding it in her hands, but there was some elegance to how she ate. It was likely she was raised to do so.
But at the same time, he found her as adorable as a little animal.
She narrowed her eyes at the stretching cheese strands, the relaxed cheeks of her smiling face looking strangely adorable.
Typically, she looked really mature, poised even, but right now, she was acting her age.
And as she munched down on the pizza in little bites, Amane had the urge to pat her on the head.
“Nothing. Just that you look like you’re enjoying this.”
“Please do not stare at me.”
But her displeased frown was not cute in the slightest.
“… Well, to say this, you aren’t cute at all.
“That does not matter. After all, you will be uncomfortable with me acting like I would at school, no?”
“Sorta. I’m more used to you being like this than at school.”
He never interacted with Mahiru at school, let alone talked to her.
All he could see was the flawless, genial, beautiful smile that everyone else saw.
And in contrast, she was showing no heed to others this time.
This might have been the true Mahiru, and her gestures at school were simply her ‘going outside’ mode.
“For me, this part of you right now isn’t that tiring.”
“The un-cute part?”
“Don’t be so vindictive…but well, I don’t know what you are thinking of at school.”
“Mostly about dinner, and lessons.”
“You’re still playing the fool?”
Amane was implying that Mahiru was hiding something, but the latter merely took him literally.
It appeared she was not pretending, and she looked at him with a displeased look.
“No, that’s not what I mean. I mean that I can’t see your heart, so like, I don’t know what you’re thinking at school, and you’re still unfriendly now, but it’s easier to interact when you can express your feelings honestly.”
“… Is my behavior at school inappropriate?”
“That’s how you deal with things, and I don’t think that’s bad. But you’re not tired?”
“No. I have been like this since young.”
“Guess it’s ingrained.”
If she was ingrained with that mentality since youth, her etiquette was understandable. However, this meant that she was consciously acting like ‘an ideal child’ and was doing so because she had no choice.
But he could not bring himself to ask more about such family details she had vaguely hinted at.
“Well, it’s good to be able to relax though? I managed to relieve some of your stress.”
“… I cannot relax when you are so hopeless.”
“Sorry about that.”
He shrugged in an exaggerated manner, Mahiru giggled happily.