“Feels like people are looking at us.”
As the distance to school decreased, many stares were directed towards Amane, and he grumbled tiredly.
There were various stares ranging from those wondering who was the man holding Mahiru’s hand, to envy, curiosity, and also, some admiration
It was to be expected, but he found such stares to be more unbearable than he imagined.
Luckily, not all the stares were negative. He was still unused to them however.
He had always preferred to live a quiet, unimpressive life, so he felt restless about these stares.
“It is to be expected. You look like a new person after all, Amane-kun.”
Both of them held hands as they went forth, clearly intent to show that they were lovers. Obviously, there were other boys looking at them.
However, the Amane at the sports festival seemed very different from the Amane walking alongside Mahiru at this point. Nobody said it, but their eyes were clearly looking curious.
“Is there really such a big difference?”
“Hm. How do I express this? Your hairstyle did change, and so has your appearance. More importantly, your back has straightened, and you look confident. The impression you give is really different.”
“Sorry for being so unmotivated all the time.”
“Please do not berate yourself…you have changed, Amane-kun. I do like both sides of you, but I hate it when you berate myself.”
“I don’t want to be hated. I’ll take note of this.”
“That is good.”
Mahiru smiled as she leaned her body onto him, and more stares gathered upon them.
Amane’s face nearly cringed in the face of these venomous glares. Once Mahiru showed the absolutely Angelic smile towards their surroundings, the murderous glares vanished completely.
In a certain sense, the Angel was truly the strongest person, for she was capable of silencing those around them.
Amane felt unsettled even though the stares had somewhat changed, and held her hand as he looked forward. They were about about to arrive at school, where he would be basked under more stares. His gut started to ache.
“With all the stares like this now, how am I supposed to enter the classroom later?”
“Please give up on that notion…or do you dislike this?”
“Not at all. I decided that I’m going to change.”
Ever since Mahiru confessed to him, Amane understood that he could no longer live like before.
He decided that he could not embarrass himself, even though he was by her side. He told himself that he should be mentally prepared to tough it out, rather than not work hard, and make sure he could be a match for Mahiru.
“…is that so?” Mahiru answered once she heard his words, and exerted more strength into her fingers.
Amane noticed that Mahiru’s ears were blushing next to him, and he wanted to talk to her, only to hear a voice behind him.
He turned around once he heard the familiar voice and affectionate nickname, and saw Chitose standing there with her eyes widened.
She looked stunned at Mahiru, and then at Amane.
Once she saw their hands held together, “Ohhh~” she leered away, skipped towards them, and slapped Amane on the back.
“Morning~ So you made it this far, bor?”
“Good morning too Mahirun~ Looks like things went well.”
Chitose appeared to be in a really good mood as she kept slapping his back hard with a grin.
He had experienced curious and jealous looks the entire day, and Chitose’s look of pure curiosity made his heart hot.
“Congrats Mahirun. My efforts watching over your has paid off.”
“Yes. I did talk to you regarding various things.”
“Yes yes, like how do we deal with Amane’s blockheadedness?”
“B-because, you are truly a blockhead, Amane-kun.”
Given that she said so, Amane really could not refute.
Mahiru had always emphasized this, but Amane never responded well to it, and the responsibility was on him. It was no wonder then that Mahiru would discuss this with Chitose.
“Well, it’s Amane.” Chitose, who once discussed this with Mahiru, gave such an appraisal he was displeased with, and looked up at him.
It was likely that she was giving a proper, inquisitive look at him as it was the first time she saw him dress nicely.
“But well~ it’s the first time I see you take look this manly, Amane.”
“What do you mean by that.”
“That’s what Ikkun and Yuu-chan say. Hm hm, not as good as Ikkun, but you look fine for a guy.”
Chitose giggled again as she slapped Amane on her back. She probably was expressing her approval in this manner.
You’re still the same as before. This might be an encouragement from her, and his lips relaxed a little.
“I guess Itsuki’s the best for you huh?”
“Of course. You’re the best for Mahirun though. There’s nothing to grumble about.”
“Well you’re right. I’m fine with being the best for Mahiru.”
Amane was not aiming to be Chitose’s number 1. He was content with Mahiru calling him her number 1.
He glanced aside at her, and found her holding his head, leaning her face on his elbow, muttering, “…Amane-kun is number 1.”
Her face was blushing slightly, and perhaps it was because she was strangely embarrassed by Chitose’s declaration before her.
“What a good girl~ You’re so cute. I’d have given you hugs if Amane isn’t around.”
“Alright alright alright, don’t do this when we’re on our way to school. Do whatever you want after school.”
“Woah, great, your boyfriend agrees, Mahirun. Come here and give me a hug~!”
“Eh, p-please be gentle…?”
Mahiru was troubled as she nodded, given that she was suddenly asked to be hugged. Chitose beamed away as she went next to Mahiru, probably eager to celebrate for Mahiru’s sake.
Once he saw how intimate the two of them were, Amane looked away from Mahiru, and towards the surroundings.
There were more people around them, probably because they were arriving at school.
…I guess the questions will keep coming once I enter the classroom.
He visualized his future that would arrive in a matter of minutes as he saw the many people before him, and showed a wry smile away from the two girls.