Entering February, rumors of the ‘mysterious boy suspected to be Mahiru’s boyfriend’ seemed to have quelled.
One major reason was that Amane did not meet Mahiru outside again. Amane was spotted picking her up, kicking off the rumors, but no other news happened thereafter, so it seemed the flames were extinguished for the time being.
Despite that, there seemed to be common understanding that ‘the boy was not Mahiru’s boyfriend, but someone close to her’. There were also baseless rumors spreading that Mahiru had interest in that boy…which she denied with a smile that would not allow them to probe further, and that somehow calmed down.
Chitose seemed to have witnessed that scene on the corridor, and according to her, Mahiru was giving off an ‘unspeakable intimidating aura’, so it seemed the latter really hated it.
That was to be expected, but he was a little sad to know that she was vehemently denying it. At the same time, he felt it was to be expected.
There was no love between them, and their relationship was in question just because they were acting a little familiar; surely she would be furious.
Amane himself could only show a wry smile.
“Speaking of February?”
“End of year exams.”
“Hey, why is a high school boy in his blooming stage having such boring thoughts?”
It was after school, and Chitose popped by at Amane’s house, uninvited actually; she could not hide how dumbfounded she was to hear that answer.
He heard that she wanted to discuss something; perhaps it was just him, but it seemed she wanted to play with Mahiru.
In any case, Mahiru was brewing tea in the kitchen. Amane and Chitose were the only ones in the living room.
“I don’t know if any high school boy has a blooming stage, but I think it’s an obvious thought for students…”
“Any high school boy enjoying his youth should be talking about Valentine’s, right?”
“I don’t know. I’m not enjoying my youth.”
“Don’t kid around~”
She knew the rumors were not true, but she leered away at him, so he glared back.
Nevertheless, she did not stop smiling, so he could only give up.
“So, what are we discussing?”
Chitose said that she came to Amane’s house to discuss with Amane and Mahiru, leaving out Itsuki.
“Nn. I’m wondering what chocolates to give to Ikkun. In middle school, I just melted the chocolate and hardened it again, but I think as a high schooler, I should look to do something a little trendy.”
“Then Shiina’s suggestion should be enough for you.”
Amane could not cook, and if anyone was to ask him about chocolates, he could only say that he did not know, just Itsuki’s likes at most. However, she spent more time with Itsuki than he did, and already knew about these things, it seemed.
“I can ask Mahirun, but you are somewhat a guy anyway, Amane~ I want to hear what a boy has to say.”
“What’d you mean somewhat I’m a real guy here.”
“I do think a boy will act on a girl when two of them are alone.”
“Say, that only happens when the other side agrees to it, and we aren’t in that sort of relationship.”
“You really are well raised there, Amane. Some healthy thoughts you have.”
He was appraised to have healthy thoughts, but Amane himself assumed it was common sense.
It was true that boys could do such things to girls they do not like, but the concepts of being able to do was a little different from actually doing it. After all, he had to be concerned about what she thought.
He would be lying if he said that he did not have such desires on Mahiru. He felt that it was to be expected for a boy to have some desires from a female who was charismatic inside and outside.
But despite that, he would not want to think of any folly.
He did not want to make her cry, to be hated by her, and wanted to dote on her…such were the feelings he first had for her.
Also, she had declared that she would harm him greatly, both socially and critically, and he was not foolish to actually do anything out of his lust. It was likely she would actually follow through with the threat.
“Well that’s another good point of you, Amane, or rather why you got Mahirun’s trust there.”
Chitose had given Mahiru the cute nickname Mahirun instead. Mahiru did not deny it even though she heard it in the kitchen, so while he did not know if she was willing, she was at least accepting of this given nickname.
Well, for her, it might be better than being called the Angel.
“Sometimes I wonder if you’re a guy.”
“I said I’m a guy. Is there a girl out there who’s rugged and bony all over?”
“So an herbivore…you know, I think you can be a little more greedy, Amane?”
“Won’t it be disgusting for me to be greedy in this appearance?”
“Just use that manly style the last time. I want to see.”
Itsuki and Chitose already knew that the rumored person was Amane, and he admitted it days ago, so there was no point hiding it at this point.
However, he did not want to show them that style, and he found it a hassle.
“Don’t say that. I hate that getup of mine.”
“It’s not like you’ll lose anything—”
“My sanity and wax will.”
Miser! Chitose puffed her cheeks, and he ignored her. Mahiru returned from the kitchen with a wry smile on her face.
On the tray were the cups of milk tea, which Chitose wanted.
After three cups were served onto the table before the sofa, Amane stood from the sofa, and sat on the cushion nearest to it.
“Sit down.” He prompted Mahiru with this look, and the latter felt a little awkward as she cautiously sat where he once sat.
“There are such rumors going on; you can be rather popular at school if you make that hairstyle.”
“I don’t want to. It’s definitely going to be a hassle, and I never wanted to be popular.”
“Ehh~ Valentine’s going to be a big turning point. You sure you don’t want any Valentine’s chocolate, Amane? Look at the popular Yuu-chan for example, he’ll receive quite a lot, you know? Aren’t you jealous?”
“Eh, no, that’ll cause diabetes.”
It was likely the prince Kadowaki would receive lots of chocolate, but he would gain lots of excess fat if he ate them all.
“Besides, it’s a hassle to repay all these gifts. Including the obligatory chocolate and the heartfelt chocolate, Kadowaki’s probably have to deal with dozens of them, and he has to repay them three times worth. Isn’t that too much for a high schooler’s wallet?”
“So you’re taking it that you have to repay three times worth? Great. Well, you don’t have to worry about repaying me, I’ll give you chocolates. How do you like it?”
“I don0’t really hate or like sweet stuff…something not too sweet, I guess.”
“Got it. I’ll add different things inside.”
“Don’t add anything strange in.”
“Don’t worry, it’s edible.”
He did not know what she was going to add, but it seemed Chitose had no intention of delivering a normal delicious chocolate.
“Mahirun, who are you giving yours to?”
“All the girls I interact with in class.”
“You’re not giving to any boy?”
“…If I do give obligatory chocolates, there will be a commotion…”
One could easily imagine the boys getting all fired up, and after that, a meaningless melee between them.
To the ordinary boys, chocolates from the Angel would be a god’s present to them. If she gave them any, there would be quite the uproar going on. One had to wonder which was the terrifying one; Mahiru’s popularity, or the imagination of the boys.
He understood with a wry smile that there would be no trouble if she did not give any.
“I will give to you, Chitose-san.”
“Yay, I love you, Mahirun. I’ll give you some too~ the best chocolate for you unlike what I’ll give Amane.”
Chitose grinned away as she latched onto Mahiru.
At the very least, he was relieved that she was not sexually harassing Mahiru, but he could not let those words past him. He glared at Chitose fiercely, and the latter showed a dumb face on her face.
“Just kidding~ I’ll make sure yours is edible too, Amane.”
“Feels like this edible is completely different from being delicious…”
He saw that Chitose was clearly planning some mischief, and felt a migraine as he held down his forehead. Chitose clearly showed her joy “Look forward to it.” as she giggled at him.