They left the haunted house, and Mahiru seemed a little worn out from fear, so he supported her by her back as they went to the rest room. He then noticed a familiar silhouette, and could not help but blurt out.
He did not have a deep impression of the man, so he timidly went to the man’s back, and greeted him. The man turned his head around, his back still straightened.
Amane heaved a sigh of relief upon seeing the face identical to the one in his memories, knowing that he did not identify the wrong person. He too straightened his back. Next to him, Mahiru looked up at Amane in confusion, he’s Itsuki’s dad, so Amane explained quietly to her, without the man hearing.
“It has been a while. I know it might be hard to recognize me because of my hairstyle change, but I’m Fujimiya.”
Itsuki’s father, the man called Daiki, sized up Amane’s face, and the somewhat unwelcoming face eased slightly.
“Ah Fujimiya-kun? You look different.”
“Ahaha. Well, I used to be gloomy.”
“I don’t mean that…I mean it’s great that you’re showing self-confidence on your face. You don’t have to be so humble.”
Itsuki often complained about his father for being naggy, but Daiki seemed fond of Amane, and took the latter’s change positively.
Amane too felt that Daiki was a little rigid when talking about his son, but aside from that, he was normal, and kind, and Amane definitely did not think it was a chore to chat. Truth be told, Daiki was a nice person to talk to.
The words and expression of praise left Amane a little awkward, and Daiki turned towards Mahiru.
“And this pretty lady is?”
“Ahh, erm, the girl I’m dating now.”
Amane’s introduction of her was a little strange as he had yet to grasp the distance between him and Daiki. It was to be expected that there would be some difficulty in meeting a friend’s parents.
He could sense her freezing up due to embarrassment and awkwardness, but she showed an angelic smile as she bowed gently.
Daiki was a stranger to Mahiru, so she acted as though he was a stranger. Given his personality, this was the appropriate reaction.
“Nice to meet you, I am Mahiru Shiina. I am dating Amane-kun now, as he has introduced.”
“How courteous of you. I am Itsuki’s father, Daiki Akazawa.”
Daiki too bowed formally, and glanced aside at Amane. That’s impressive of you, so Amane sensed from the look, but he played dumb and responded with a genial smile.
“I see…well, I didn’t expect you to be dating a girl now, Fujimiya-kun. It shocked me since I haven’t heard anything about it.”
“Nothing from Itsuki?”
“Maybe he’s in the rebellious phase, but he’s ignoring me. Perhaps he thinks there is nothing to talk to me about.”
“Hm, maybe he doesn’t deem it necessary to talk about how his friend has fallen in love.”
Itsuki’s still on bad terms with his dad huh? so he thought, and nearly sighed, but he kept it to himself.
“You are going out with Fujimiya-kun…I suppose my embarrassing son has been in your care. You really have it tough.”
“No, I have been under his care.”
“You say so, but he has been troubling you.”
“No no. He really has been considerate for my sake, and I am often assisted by him. I hope to continue this friendship with Akazawa-san.”
He’s a busybody sometimes though, Amane resisted the urge to retort, while Daiki marveled.
“…It is great that you found such a wonderful lady, Fujimiya-kun.”
“Well, our Mahiru’s a good girl.”
“E-enough with the jokes for now…”
Mahiru probably did not expect Amane to praise her in front of her friend’s father, and her white cheeks were clearly red.
She lowered her eyes bashfully, and nonchalantly slapped Amane in the back without Daiki noticing. Amane quietly gave a wry smile. It was not too forceful, not painful or ticklish, but he curled his lips, for he had the urge to laugh.
“You two are on good terms, but you will blind those around you. It is something to rejoice over however.”
“Sorry, we’ll take note. Anyway, are you visiting our class later?”
“…No. I intended so…but well, I do not think I should enter such an atmosphere.”
Daiki had no interest in service clothes, nor was he the type to profess interest in manga and games. It might be difficult for him to enter Amane’s classroom.
“Do you want to visit with us? It’s our class, but I want to visit as a customer.”
“…No, I shouldn’t be getting in your way. You have some free time as lovers now after all. And…she’s definitely in the classroom, no?”
“I don’t want her to feel awkward and lifeless after seeing me. I might say that she is rude if we do meet.”
Daiki gave an awkward smile and Amane too frowned, but he did not ask further.
Amane did not know much about the issues between Chitose and Daiki, but he knew the latter was not being malicious, that the latter rejected Chitose due to his own considerations.
He knew that, and yet hoped that their issues would be resolved. That was his thought as a friend.
“Apologies for disturbing. I shall visit somewhere else.”
“I don’t want to ruin the mood. Have fun.”
Daiki then left before they could stop him, and Amane gently sighed.
“…Does he still, have issues with, Chitose-san?”
“Yeah…to be honest, Daiki-san isn’t a bad person. Some people are just incompatible, and his demands are a little higher. He’s not being malicious by demanding more of Chitose…and that’s why they just can’t get along.”
Daiki would have acknowledged Chitose if he could.
While it was not encouraged for parents to dictate who their children date, but it was understandable that they would hope their children would choose better partners.
Itsuki might not say so, but the Akazawas were well off, which was another reason for this stalemate.
“It will be great if he acknowledges them. They hate it tough.”
“Yes…they do match, and are on such good terms. I do feel sad to pull them apart…I really do not wish to do so.”
“Yeah…I guess Daiki-san feels the same too, so he’s trying not to interfere. There’ll be a staleness until they relent and compromise.”
Amane sighed once again, and Mahiru lowered her eyebrows reluctantly, leaning on Amane’s arm, if only we can do something for them, as she muttered so.