“What’s going on, Fujimiya?”
After the morning games ended, they returned to the classroom, and unsurprisingly, Amane was questioned by the boys in this class.
Mahiru was the unattainable flower, the one admired. That Mahiru borrowed Amane in front of everyone, under the pretext of being an important person. Amane understood that the boys found it unfair, but he too was troubled to be suddenly interrogated.
“E-even if you ask.”
“Why are you with Shiina-san!? As her important person!?”
“Anyway, when did it start?”
“You didn’t interact at all, right!? You only started eating together recently, didn’t you!?”
“What does Shiina-san see in you!?”
“We don’t understand at all!”
Every single question had him on the brink of giving up.
Truth be told, though he had expected to be questioned, the boys’ interrogation was much more intense than he anticipated. He hardly had the time to eat lunch.
Of course, the boys were not the only ones who reacted. The girls did not join in, but they too gave Amane some looks. Some appeared to be sizing him up, some looked delighted, and some even looked relieved.
It was likely due to their biggest competitor Mahiru liking Amane.
The sizing looks in turn were probably wondering, that Mahiru had fallen for this guy? How is he like?
All the stares in class were gathered upon him, and he was already groggy from the attention.
On a side note, Itsuki and Kadowaki were a little away from the other boys “Ahh” giving wry grins. Chitose too looked at them, looking strangely excited. Amane really hoped these people would come save him.
“Please do not bully him excessively.”
The first to reach out and save him was the other person involved, Mahiru herself.
She might have gone off to buy isotonic drinks, for she arrived late in the class. There were PET bottles in her hands, and they were covered in sweat as the weather was a little hotter.
Once her eyes met Amane’s she showed a gentle smile.
Thanks to that, the boys shot murderous iooks at him, and he was really stressed out.
“Amane-kun will be troubled if he cannot have lunch during noon break.”
Only intimate people would call each other by names. It appeared Mahiru was no longer intending to conceal how she usually addressed him.
She did not mind even though she was the center of attention from both boys and girls. One boy finally had enough, and went towards Mahiru…he was the one who confronted Amane up close.
“Shiina-san! You said Fujimiya’s your important per,”
“Amane-kun is the important person to me.”
Mahiru confirmed decisively, showing the smile no different from usual.
Once the boy saw that Angel’s peerless smile, he was momentarily intimidated. Though he lost some morale, he continued asking, perhaps due to the support of the surrounding stares.
“E-erm…in that case, lovers?”
“Even if that is so, is there anything you wish to say to me?”
“No, what I mean is…if you’re lovers…why someone like Fujimiya?”
“Someone like Fujimiya?”
“Ah, no, erm, that unimpressive looking Fujimiya, doesn’t seem suitable, to be dating you, Shiina-san. There are better.”
Amane gave a thousand yard stare, thinking that the boy had stepped on Mahiru’s nerves.
Mahiru hated Amane for looking down on himself. According to her, she did not wish for Amane to receive inappropriate opinions.
By the same logic, she hated it when others too derided him.
From Amane’s viewpoint, he did not show any of his old self, no matter how Mahiru viewed him. He felt this opinion was just, and did not deny that he did not look impressive.
Whether Mahiru would allow that however was a different matter.
The smile on Mahiru’s face remained the usual.
But the vibe around her had frozen a slightly.
“What is unimpressive about him?”
“May you be specific of how he is unimpressive?”
“Th-the vibe around him, his looks, and erm.”
“Will you choose someone to like based on his appearance?”
“Will you choose someone to stay with for a long time based on his appearance?”
The Angelic smile remained on Mahiru’s face. That should be the case, but she was exuding an extraordinary pressure. To put it, she might be angry.
Even Amane, who was quite the distance away from her, could feel it. The boy facing her might be feeling it more.
That boy surely realized the rage beneath her smile.
Even though Amane could only see his back, he realized the boy was terrified and rooted.
“Sorry, I should not have bullied you.”
The pressure subsided, and Mahiru’s face reverted back to the disturbed, gentle smile.
But the boy she was facing stumbled a little, for he caused the always gentle and smiling Mahiru to be furious.
“I shall correct your words. Amane-kun is cool and kind. I like how poised he is, the warm disposition he has. He is also very gentlemanly, and willing to respect me. When I was suffering, he would stay by my side to console me, and was considerate for my sake. He is not someone to badmouth others at least, nor will be get in the way of other people’s love.”
Mahiru went for the haymaker at the very end.
Her declaration at the very end was clearly stating, I will not fall for you when you badmouthed him in front of me.
“Is there anything else you wish to say?”
She tilted her head with a cute smile, prompting the boy to say. He was at his limit, and whimpered nearly inaudibly, “No, nothing.” He weakly left before her sights.
Mahiru looked towards Amane, her line of vision unhindered.
Amane was troubled, wondering if he should be blushing that he had basically received a confession in front of everyone, or pale that he had to consider what would happen in the future? Mahiru showed him the most beautiful smile for the day.
It was different from her Angelic smile, it was an elated, sweet smile she would show at his house.
“Amane-kun, let us eat together.”
None of the boys questioned Amane anymore.
“She said it first.”
After the various events in the afternoon, the cavalry battle was finally about to start. Amane and the others were huddled together, and Amane was speechless once he heard Kadowaki mutter.
They were far from the tent, for the stares around them were really annoying.
There were still people looking, but it was incomparable to before, still relatively fine.
You should have gone first, Amane. Such was the implication in Kadowaki’s words, and Amane could not refute it.
“I can tell, somewhat, but are you really on such good terms with Shiina-san, Fujimiya?”
Kuju looked a little doubtful. Perhaps he had sensed a little change in the relationship between Amane and Mahiru.
“Hm, well, we started getting along since last year.”
“So you’ve been hiding this the entire time? Well, I can understand from the commotion during noon break.”
He gave Amane a sympathetic look.
Kuju, Hiiragi and Amane were all in the same class, but the former two could not approach when Amane was surrounded and interrogated.
They were not on good terms with Amane, and their decisions were sound, but Amane really hoped that Itsuki and Kadowaki would help him out a little.
“But it’s really amazing. It sure felt good seeing Shiina adamantly dump those useless guys.”
“Rather than calling them useless, I just think this incident really shocked them too much…”
“Hm really? But if he’s a guy, he should have just confessed outright to a girl he likes. They didn’t do that, they harassed Fujimiya, and badmouthed him. They’re bums. They dared not risk yet wanted to get her, and kick up a fuss when they couldn’t get her. That’s not just being useless, that’s just being immature.”
“Kazuya, some of those words hit Fujimiya in his sore spot.”
But if he’s a guy, he should have just confessed outright to a girl he likes. These words accurately stabbed at Amane’s heart.
“Yep, because I’m getting anxious for Fujimiya.”
“Shiina-san has clearly stated that she likes you.”
Amane knew that.
Mahiru did this much, and Amane could no longer lie to himself. He could be certain that Mahiru clearly had feelings for him.
…I know this much.
Amane knew very well how cowardly he was. He was running away, for fear of being rejected.
“Fujimiya, do you like Shiina?”
“You can’t tell, Kazuya…?”
“In that case, why don’t you just confess to her? Given her attitude, it’s obvious Shiina likes you.”
“…I know. She made this step, and I too have to step up.”
Amane understood that it would be embarrassing of him to not do anything when she went this far.
He also understood that as Mahiru had expressed her feelings, he should respond with sincerity. He already decided his answer; all that was left was how to convey it.
Hiiragi gave a determined Amane a delighted smile.
“Yeah, that’s how it is. Anyway, let’s knock down the opponents during the cavalry battle.”
Those guys are definitely going to aim for us. He was happy for some reason, and Amane could only give a wry smile.
“I’ll get a heavy responsibility, you know?” Kuju grumbled deflatedly, for he was to be the rider, but he just sounded despondent rather than annoyed, and Amane was a little relieved.
“How about you learn from Kazuya, Fujimiya? Let’s knock down a few more of them.”
“I’ll try my best.”
Amane felt he should show some manliness, fend off all the hands reaching for Mahiru, and possess her for himself.
Anyway, I’ll explain things properly when I get hom.
Thus, he would have to ensure things go smoothly in the afternoon match. Amane pumped himself up, and the other trio exchanged smiles.