Hellping

It was dinner time, and the trio gathered around Mahiru’s homemade dishes. Itsuki was looking really delighted.

 

“It’s delicious…”

“Thank you very much.”

 

Mahiru was seated upright as she enjoyed her food, showing a genial face. While she still had the angelic smile on, Itsuki knew of the secret, so her smile was a little more of her usual self.

 

Itsuki devoured the food in a trance.

Mahiru was told that Itsuki ate more than Amane, so Itsuki’s plate contained more food, but it seemed he was capable of finishing it all.

 

“Yaa, you’re really a lucky one, Amane, getting to eat such cooking every day…”

“I know that. Today’s food is delicious too.”

“……Thank you very much.”

 

Amane stated his thoughts as he drank the miso soup.

The dashi and miso soup really whetted one’s appetite, and would naturally relax the cheeks. It was really impressive that they could drink every day without getting sick of it, but the cook herself did not seem to realize this, so it was a daily duty to praise her.

 

The tender taste of the cooking seemed to showcase her personality, and soothed both the tongue and the heart. It was understandable why Itsuki was so entranced.

 

“Haa, it’s delicious.”

 

On this day, she cooked the dashimaki omelette Amane liked, the latter’s appetite increased by 20%. Of course, the usual cooking was delicious enough for him to ask for an additional portion, but that would increase further with an egg dish.

 

So delicious, Amane licked his lips as he ate the tasty food, only to find Itsuki staring at him and Mahiru.

 

“…Lovebirds.”

“What did you say?”

“No~thing.”

 

Itsuki shook his head and pretentiously gouged through the food, so Amane did not press on, instead shrugging towards Mahiru who was watching calmly.

 

 

 

After dinner, Mahiru hurried home.

Normally, she would be at Amane’s place before the latter would go to bathe, before 10pm, but she returned earlier because Itsuki was around.  Mahiru appeared to be talking to Itsuki while Amane washed the dishes, and looked a little awkward. That might be the reason why she returned home earlier.

 

He asked Itsuki what they talked about, “Just some questions about Chii” the latter answered, and Amane did not ask further, despite sensing that they talked about other things.

 

“Say Amane.”

 

Before they slept, Itsuki laid out the futon on the floor of Amane’s floor, looking up at Amane on the bed.

 

“What?”

“Seriously, you’re showing Shiina-san such a gentle look, and you say you don’t like her?”

“Shut up.”

“To a bystander, you’re completely head over heels for her.”

“Want me to chase you out?”

“Nada~”

 

You’re still saying that, such was the look Amane shot back, but Itsuki showed no signs of repentance.

Itsuki was not leering away like before. He was looking delighted, approving even.

 

“Well, it’s expected of you to not be honest with yourself, but I’m glad. Someone knows about your good points, Amane.”

“Huh?”

“Why do you sound so impulsive….most of the guys in class think of you as a gloomy, brash mouth plain boy with not much presence.”

“I know that.”

 

Amane’s position is class might be a boring, aloof, unimpressive boy with no defining traits. If others saw the exam rankings pasted on, they might add that he was relatively smart.

 

His class had the pretty and carefree boy Itsuki and the refreshing looking prince charming Yuuta, Amane might be considered devoid of personality if he was compared to these outstanding people.

 

One reason was that Amane deliberately intended not to stand out, but opinions of him were definitely not high.

 

“But that’s just what people see of you, not what they see inside you. I want others to see what’s inside you, but it’s hard to pinpoint that without understanding you to some extent.”

 

Jiii, Itsuki stared at Amane.

The latter felt uncomfortable, for Itsuki’s eyes were serious. The eyes showed no tinge of any attempt joke, or to tease.

 

“It’s too bad nobody knows that you’re really a great guy. I’m happy that Shiina-san can see what’s inside you and get along well with you.”

“Itsuki…”

“So hurry up, woo her, and we can go for a double date.”

“That’s all you want to say?”

 

He felt the exhilaration was wasted, but this might not be a bad thing.

But Itsuki might find it unbearable not to joke, for he averted his eyes, and Amane guessed the words before were to hide Itsuki’s own embarrassment.

 

“Chii will be happy too.”

“You can go alone…no wait, you two can go yourselves. Don’t involve me. Anyway, even if we do get into that sort of relationship, how about I going to go out with this face of mine?”

“Can’t you just use that style of yours? By the way, I want to look.”

“Don’t wanna.”

“Soooo, is it your guy heart that wants to show that to Shiina-san only?”

“Itsuki, choose, sleep forever under the cold skies, or shut up and enjoy the warmth.”

“I’m sorry.”

 

Itsuki sat on the futon in a seiza, Goodness. Amane muttered dumbfoundedly.

 

Itsuki probably thought that if Amane had a girlfriend, he would have a happier life.

 

…I guess it’s impossible, for me to be in a relationship with Mahiru.

 

He was always in her care, and caused her much trouble. If they were to date, he felt he would be relying on her all the time, so he was scared. He was already a lowlife, and if they dated, he would fall vertically into degeneracy.

 

Furthermore, it seemed Mahiru was intending to avoid contact with the opposite gender.

She did not seem repulsed by Amane, Shuuto, and Itsuki whom Amane trusted. Based on the occasional sight of her at school however, it seemed Mahiru was much more guarded against the other gender compared to girls. She maintained the Angelic facade at school while keeping her distance naturally.

Even after being confessed to for so long, she had no dating experience, so it seemed she was avoiding all the boys.

 

Amane himself could only see himself being rejected.

 

Ultimately, he felt that confessing to her half-heartedly would be really rude to her, so he felt he should just keep the status quo with Mahiru.

He felt Mahiru too had no such thoughts, and it would be foolish, delusional, to go dating.

 

“…But well, Shiina-san trusts you that much. Before you deny it all, have a good look.”

 

Itsuki seemed to have read Amane’s heart thoroughly as he noted this. “…Is that so?” Amane muttered as he snuggled into the futon.

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