“…Anyway, please rest for today, and do drink plenty of water. Use this to wipe your sweat. I have prepared a basin of water; please soak the towel, squeeze it dry, and wipe it.”
After dinner, Mahiru quickly brought another packet of isotonic drink, a basin of water, a towel, and a spare cooling sheet to the side table.
After all, she should not be staying in a stranger’s house, especially one of the opposite gender; Amane too would have felt awkward, so he accepted her actions.
And as Amane stared, Mahiru checked if she had omitted something.
…For someone doing it out of her sense of duty, she sure is thorough.
Mahiru might sound vicious, but she was serious and thorough in whatever she did. Amane gave a wry smile as he started getting used to her.
Well, we won’t get involved with each other after this. Thanks for the care though.
It was unlikely he would be more involved with her. After all, she was just taking care of him this once.
And since they would not interact again , he would use this opportunity to ask something he was curious about.
The medicine might have been taking effect, for he was starting to feel a little groggy, but the fever seemed to have subsided a little. His thoughts were clearer compared to before.
“Erm, can I ask you something?”
“What is it?”
Once everything was set, Mahiru looked over to him,
“Why were you sitting on the swing when it was raining? Had a quarrel with your boyfriend?”
He was still curious about the previous day’s incident, which resulted in this.
Back then, Mahiru was on the swing, soaked in the rain; why was she there?
Having seen her wear the expression of a lost child, Amane was concerned and shoved the umbrella to him.
But he did not understand why she had such an expression.
She appeared to be waiting for someone, so he wondered if she had a quarrel with her boyfriend or something, but Mahiru looked towards him, dumbfounded.
“My apologies, but I have no boyfriend, nor do I have any intention of getting one.”
“On the contrary, why do you think I have one?”
“Since you’re so popular, I thought you would have one or two at least.”
Being able to talk to her like this, Amane felt she was a more resolute, yet popular, ordinary girl. It did not seem the case to those around him though.
She was an adorable, innocent, obedient, and humble pretty girl with an angelic appearance that was love at first sight.
She was the top ranking student for the year, adept at sports, and as he just learned, great at cooking. Surely she would be popular.
He had seen others actually flirting with her and knew that a few of his classmates had considerable interest in her.
She was spoiled with options; he could not imagine her not dating at all.
He used the term, one or two at least, as he meant, but Mahiru’s face froze once she heard that, and it contorted a little.
“Not at all. I do not think I am one without restraint to be dating a few males at once. Absolutely not.”
Her eyes turned cold as she flatly denied it, and Amane immediately realized that he stepped on a landmine.
For a moment, he felt a chill, but it was probably due to the cold. For some reason, it seemed the room turned frosty.
“Sorry, this isn’t what I mean. My apologies.”
“…No, I might have been a little heated myself.”
But the moment he lowered his head, the cold atmosphere dispersed.
Rather than say that she was feeling heated, it seemed the room was frigid like a snowstorm, but he dared not to mention this.
“…Anyway, that was not the reason. I just wanted to calm my head a little… I caused you worry, and you caught a cold. My sincerest apologies.”
“It’s fine. I’m just being a busybody. Actually, I don’t want you to feel guilty just because I was being a busybody. Anyway, this is where we stop getting involved, Shiina.”
As expected, Mahiru was taking care of Amane out of guilt, and once she heard that, she blinked and stared at Amane incredulously.
Was she that disturbed by him saying they would stop getting involved?
“There’s nothing common between us, so that’s where it stops. You’re the angel, the pretty genius girl who’s top of our year, and I don’t want to get carried away. Did you think I’m feeling fortunate for having you owe me a favor?
Mahiru awkwardly averted her eyes. I guess so. Amane betrayed a wry smile.
She, however, probably was not getting ahead of herself however, for that probably happened before.
Selling favors to a pretty girl and getting involved in a relationship might have been a passable method.
But it seemed Mahiru had quite a few experiences of that, and it was no wonder she was so wary on that rainy day. He could not blame her for being so defensive.
“Well, it’s troublesome to you, getting involved with guys you don’t like.”
“I guess so.”
“Of course, isn’t it?”
He was a little bemused to hear her confirmation.
She, famous as the obedient honor student of an angel, had her own likes, dislikes, and troubles, which made him a little familial with her.
It appeared Mahiru might have accidentally let slip, for she glared at Amane, who baited her into saying so, with a little resentment.
This was the biggest proof thus far that Mahiru was a person with emotions.
“It’s fine though? Well, I’m relieved to see that the Angel has troubles just like a human.”
“…Please do not call me that.”
It seemed she was bashful about being called an Angel; she still wore a peeved look.
Amane laughed once again, having found it similarly amusing.
“Well, it’s not like it’s anything urgent. I don’t have a reason to pester you.”
So he said, and Mahiru widened her eyes in shock, wryly smiling herself.
Amane recalled Mahiru bowing seriously and returning to her apartment as he laid on the bed, looking up at the ceiling.
The medicine was effective, but his body remained tense. Once he relaxed, it seemed the drowsiness would strike.
He closed his eyes, recalling the events that transpired on this day.
Nobody would have believed him if he said he was cared for by an angel (vicious), and it was nothing worth talking about.
What happened on this day would be a secret only to Amane and Mahiru.
Secret, his heart tickled from this term, even though he found it a hassle to mention this to others.
The next day onwards, they would revert to being unfamiliar strangers.
So Amane convinced himself as his consciousness slowly faded.