“Mahirun’s looking happy.”
Mahiru appeared to be really happy once she put on the hairpin Amane won.
She was so elated that Chitose had to comment on it.
Her sweet smile was blooming like flowers, charming everyone around them, and it was so potent, it might shoot into the hearts of many males.
The Angel could imprison the hearts of many men in this state, but that smile had a devilish charm to it.
It appeared Itsuki had witnessed Mahiru in such a good mood for the first time, for he looked disturbed and gaudy.
Even Amane, who should have built up some form of resistance, could not stop his heart from beating wildly.
“Oy Amane, stop her man.”
“I feel the same. She’s adorable, but us victims are suffering.”
It would be bad if Mahiru was to do anything careless. Amane gently held the hand of the blissful looking Mahiru, and brought his face to her ears.
“Look Mahiru, it’s great that you’re happy, but don’t show this look to anyone else. You may get abducted by a bad guy…and…”
“…Show me that cute expression when we’re alone. I want that to myself.”
That’s why I don’t want to show it to anyone, he muttered with a voice only she could hear, and her face immediately turned red like a boiler.
The earnest cuteness of her frantically shaking her head truly was amazing, but the hairpin she just put on was dislodged.
Amane tried to stop her as he adjusted the hairpin, and patted her cheeks. This time, she froze, and gently rested her head on Amane’s elbow, covering her face.
Guess she’s embarrassed. so he thought as he held her hand with his finger pads. She reacted, so it seemed it did not exceed her emotional capacity completely.
“You two there, our eyes will go blind if you two can’t stop flirting away there.”
“Can’t help it, Mahiru’s cute.”
“No, it’s your problem, and it’s started because of you…seriously I want to see what those girls calling you gloomy will say now.”
“What’s with you?”
“Mahirun’s weak to you after you’ve awakened, huh. You’re getting more destructive now.”
What do you mean, awakened? Amane looked dumbfounded towards Mahiru, who was next to him, and found her glaring towards him for some reason.
“…Amane-kun, I shall return those words back at you.”
Amane nodded once she said so, and she seemed a little relieved as she pressed her forehead onto his elbow.
He let her be, thinking she preferred to make contact like this, and saw Chitose leering.
“Your natural tendency to dote on Mahiru is the same as usual.”
“Well, Mahirun seems to be in a good mood, so I’m not going to stop you~anyway, I’m hungry. Shall we have fried squid there? It’s so sugary that I want some salty stuff.”
“You haven’t had salty stuff, right…?”
“That’s not what I’m talking about~anyway, let’s go. Just take it as you being considerate for everyone around us.”
Amane looked around once he heard those words, and met the blushing onlookers in the eyes.
Both males and females were probably fatally shot by Mahiru’s bashfulness and cuteness, definitely so since there were also some looks of jealousy from a few males.
He regretted causing Mahiru to be embarrassed at a crowded place, and did as Chitose advised, holding Mahiru’s hand as they went towards the fried squid stall.
“Nnn~ eating this at a festival really tastes different, though it’s because of the mood.”
Chitose had eaten yakisoba and fried chicken, and at this point, she was joyously chowing down on the fried squid.
They were eating at the rest area, slightly apart from the road where the stalls were set up. However, they could sense some passing stares.
Well, Mahiru and Chitose are pretty girls, even though they’re of different types.
Mahiru was the cute and innocent, while Chitose was lively and had a boyish charms. They were very different, but they were certain pretty girls, so it was no wonder they garnered much attention.
This Chitose fed some fried squid to an excited looking Mahiru. There were many male stares locked in upon seeing these two cute girls interacting with each other.
Mahiru showed a tender smile, probably because it was delicious. Some boys sighed in amazement, probably because the scene before them was like a picture.
“They’re cute, but they got passionate without me.”
“What, you jealous?”
“What’s there to be jealous about relationships between girls?”
“Haha, just look then. I think that’s really great.”
There’s something different about pretty girls having fun together, Itsuki said something rather perverted, but Amane did understand how he felt, somewhat.
If he said so however, he would be deemed the pervert. He kept the thoughts to himself as he saw those two chatting intimately…”Eh, Shiina-san?” There was a voice from nearby.
They turned around, and found a few male classmates looking at the girls.
They seemed to be enjoying the festival too. Some were wearing masks, some holding cotton candy bags, and they clearly were having fun.
Itsuki was the first to respond, giving the usual hearty smile as he waved towards them.
“Woah, you guys are here too?”
“You’re definitely here if Shirakawa-san’s here, Itsuki. Oh, Fujimiya should be here too.”
Amane merely raised his hand, and did not wave at them. The boys broke into a commotion.
“Eh, a yukata?”
“No, you look good in that…”
“Just wearing it like normal clothes.”
Amane did not do anything other than wear yukatas, and was looking really normal. However, it seemed they felt the yukata gave a little mood compared to usual.
Amane felt indescribably awkward and ticklish as the boys stared at him, and he started to grimace. He was relieved however when Mahiru leisurely strolled towards him.
“Ah, it has been a while…or not. I believe we met at the closing ceremony. Everyone looks energetic.”
“Woah…Shiina-san in yukata…”
All the classmates were mesmerized, without exception. It was to be expected, so Amane did not mind as he too looked at Mahiru, who noticed his stare, and blushed.
Their classmates froze at this mere sight, and one could clearly see how adorable Mahiru was.
“S-Shiina-san, the yukata suits you.”
“Thank you very much. I am glad to hear this.”
It seemed Mahiru would only be embarrassed whenever Amane praised her, for she accepted those praises with the beautiful outdoor smile.
“You wore it yourself?”
“Yes. But Amane-kun’s mother prepared this for more…”
“Mom sent it over because she wants to see you in that, don’t mind her. She dotes on you so much that she’ll do anything.”
Shihoko probably would prepare another kimono in the coming year. She had a few at home, and her parents, Amane’s maternal grandparents, had more in stow. Thus, Shihoko would surely pick them to her heart’s content.
Good going, please continue, so Amane quietly thought to himself once he realized that he would be able to see her in more kimonos.
“But I really do apologetic about this.”
“It’s fine. Our old place’s basically yours.”
His parents really welcomed Mahiru, saying that she could take their place as her hometown. They probably would be sad to hear her being so courteous.
Once she understood this, she bashfully nodded away, and put her head on his chest. He stared at her with happiness, and then looked over at the one who approached them.
In hindsight, he was the one who questioned Amane during the sports festival, but it did not matter to Amane at this point.
After all, they were mere outsiders to Mahiru, and there was no room for them to interject.
Man, have I gone rotten for feeling superior about this? So he wondered, but he had no intention to budge.
“We’ll be leaving soon then. Sorry for disturbing your fun.”
And Chitose’s done with the fried squid, so he added as he looked towards the latter, and found her staring at him excitedly.
He nonchalantly pulled Mahiru over by the waist, and gave them a smile reserved for strangers. Mahiru appeared shocked, but was obviously bashful and delighted as she instinctively clung onto Amane.
“See you at school then.”
Mahiru said with a smile, and the boys could not follow, giving conflicted expressions as they saw the group leave.
The group then went onto the road filled with stalls. Itsuki then stood on the other side, away from Mahiru, bringing his face close.
“You did that on purpose didn’t you, Amane?”
The voice was soft enough for Mahiru to not hear amidst the buzz and the music.
“What do you mean?”
“Like, your current posture, and the hometown thing.”
Itsuki was smart, and had good instincts.
He clearly pinpointed Amane’s resolve and plans.
“…You’ve gone stronger.”
Itsuki muttered, looking either dumbfounded or impressed, so Amane took it to be the latter, giving a smile that spoke volumes.