They had a break, Amane went to buy drinks, and found Mahiru approached by two males.
That’s why I didn’t want to take my eyes off her.
It was a weekday, but they had to queue at the food court, so Amane went to buy. As expected, Mahiru was being courted.
They probably would not drag her away as they were in the open, but Amane was miffed as her boyfriend.
Mahiru was clearly showing her annoyance. It appeared she was not showing the angelic smile in the face of these males she did not know.
That expressionless look, coupled with the rashguard, showed no openings, and Amane sighed at that.
…You guys can’t get girls because you don’t know how disturbed she is now.
By the way, according to Itsuki, “Those guys who flirt with girls while ignoring their reactions and try to impose themselves aren’t popular at all, and it’s just awkward.” Amane too had the urge to agree.
In any case, Amane was wearing a male rashguard, which they somehow missed out, or perhaps they lacked understanding.
Mahiru was sitting on the bench, where they agreed to meet. She could not flee from them, for she could not move until Amane returned.
He decided to apologize to her with a ‘sorry to keep you waiting’, and hurried towards Mahiru.
“Kept you waiting.”
With drinks in hands, he spoke to Mahiru, who was waiting on the bench, and she immediately looked overjoyed. The pursuers truly were causing her much trouble.
They were stunned to see her become a different person altogether, as though ambushed, and looked towards Amane.
Once they saw his appearance, they showed an inexplicable sense of superiority. Perhaps it was because Amane was not dressed up nicely.
After all, there was no way he could show up with waxed hair. He did iron his hair somewhat, but it did not look as impressive as when he waxed it.
“Sorry, I’m with her. Please don’t invite her.”
Amane did not mind the stares, for he was used to being humiliated and looked down. Instead, he showed a smile to strangers, and their smiles got heinous.
“With you? You serious? You think you match her?”
“Someone gloomy like you can actually bring her…hey.”
Sorry for being such a gloomy guy, he thought. It was a fact that his appearance did not stand out, and he did not want to refute this.
However, it was them who were not a match for her. Mahiru had a innocent, elegance, delicate appearance. Those frivolous males who would cast their nets elsewhere after wooing girls could not possibly be a match for her.
Amane did not want trouble, and wondered if he should refute while trying not to anger them. At this moment, Mahiru giggled.
He abruptly looked towards her, and found her covering her mouth gracefully.
“If we are to ask whether he is cheerful or gloomy, I will say he is more on the gloomy side.”
“I know he is not cheerful, because he is a calm, poised person.”
Amane did not know what Mahiru was going to say, so he watched her silently. Then, she looked at them for the first time.
There was no goodwill, merely a frosty feeling.
…Is she angry?
Mahiru hated it when Amane was belittled, and obviously had no feelings for these men. She seemed to have disdain for them.
“But assuming that he is gloomy, is there a problem?”
Mahiru did not sound angry when she said that.
However, she sounded as though there was not a problem, and the males wooing her were left speechless.
“I like him, so it does not matter whether he is gloomy or cheerful. I like his personality, appearance and temperament, all together, and his nature is just trivial.”
Mahiru said adamantly, and turned towards Amane, and smiled.
His heart felt hot once he saw this endearing smile of goodwill that would never be shown to them. He felt gaudy as he never expected Mahiru to profess her love for him so openly, but more importantly, his heart was elated.
“It will be great if you can encounter an outstanding lady who thinks so in future, big brothers.”
She summarized, and showed not the smile of honey and chocolate that was melted and mixed together, but the Angelic smile shown to complete strangers. They could only stare blankly at Mahiru.
Their faces were red, probably because Mahiru’s smile was too dazzling.
“Ah, no, erm…”
“Say, big brothers, over there.”
While they stammered and tried to reach out towards Mahiru, Amane nonchalantly waved their hands off, and pointed elsewhere.
They looked over at where Amane was pointing, the observation deck, where a man was watching them.
The safety facilities at this pool were well placed, with lifeguards watching every corner. Their main duty was to remind people not to fool around by the waterside, to prevent accidents, but of course, they would keep an eye out for suspicious people.
The lifeguard noticed them ever since Mahiru was disturbed, and often cast a few glances over.
Once they noticed him staring at them, they gave awkward looks, and hastily left.
They dared to speak to an unattainable flower who clearly brought her boyfriend over, yet were so timid about this. It was no wonder then that Amane laughed out liud.
The two of them were finally left alone, and Amane sat next to Mahiru.
“Sorry I’m late.”
First, he had to apologize.
After all, Mahiru was approached because Amane left her alone, which gave her an unpleasant mood.
“I am fine. It was packed over there, no? This happens often when i am alone.”
“…You say that, but it’s my mistake to leave you alone. I guess you’re scared.”
“I am not since they are able to communicate properly.”
Actually, I think those guys are just worried about how others will look at them.
The conversation might have lasted a little longer if not for the lifeguard. Amane intended to drag Mahiru by the hand and leave if it got too troublesome, but since they left first, he had nothing to complain about.
He handed her the orange juice she wanted, and sipped the lemon-lime soda he ordered through the straw.
“…You’re not scared?”
“Rather than that, I feel that my good mood is ruined.”
“Sorry, please don’t worry about that.”
“It is not your fault, Amane-kun…of course, please allow me to have a sip of yours.”
That makes us even, Mahiru pointed at Amane’s lemon-lime soda, and smiled impishly. I got to hand it to you, Amane wrly noted, and handed the cup to her.
It was obvious Mahiru made such a joke so that Amane would not feel too guilty, and he thoroughly felt how sorry he was, along with her graciousness.
She did not ask anything else regarding that incident, received the soda, and took a sip…and she frowned suddenly, her eyes filled with some tears.
The carbonic acid was a little shocking, but should not be enough for her to overreact. Amane could drink it normally, but not Mahiru, it seemed.
“Ah, does it taste weird?”
“…No, I hardly drink carbonated beverages…it is so stinging.”
Mahiru’s eyes were a little moist, probably because it was too stimulating to the tongue. Usually, she would drink water, tea, coffee, or at most, squeezed fruit juice. Amane had never seen her drink carbonated beverages.
She was not that terrified of spicy food, but it seemed she could not take such agitation.
“I don’t think someone who never drank any carbonated drinks should drink something this rough…why are you drinking this?”
You should have expected this, he said as he snatched the soda from her, patting her head. Her eyes, moist from the agitation, looked up at him.
“…I want to taste it along with you, Amane-kun.”
Once he heard this little mutter, Amane nearly dropped the soda, but barely managed to prevent the tragedy.
…My girlfriend’s unbelievably cute.
The word ‘unbelievably’ might sound dismissive, but it was actually rather high praise. Amane found it unbearable.
Her expression and gestures were already adorable, and she just said she wanted to share something. Obviously Amane had the urge to yell.
In any case, as Mahiru was too adorable, Amane dared not look at her face directly, and merely held her hand, turning his face elsewhere. She then latched onto his elbow, and leaned on him.
“…I want some orange juice too.”
Amane looked elsewhere as he rested his elbow on the bench railing, and did not look at the giggling Mahiru.
And because of that that, he never noticed them approaching.
“Yo, the cute Missy and the herbivore bro there, how about you play with us?”
They heard a familiar frivolous voice, which they did not expect at this place.