Mahiru immediately switched the angelic smile she showed at school the moment she saw Kadowaki.
However, this smile was a little stiff compared to usual, probably because she was internally rattled.
Amane knew that there was a huge possibility of them meeting their classmates during Golden Week, but he never expected the one person he interacted with recently to be here.
“It’s surprising to see you here, Shiina-san…hm, am I disturbing?”
Kadowaki frowned, looking troubled once he saw Amane. It appeared he had yet to recognize the latter, but the gig would be up if Amane spoke. Kadowaki was an observant one, and might actually notice it was Amane.
“No, erm, actually…”
“It’s the first time hearing that you have a lover.”
“That is not our relationship though.”
Mahiru flatly denied it, and Amane felt his heart aching. However, both of them were definitely not dating, so this denial was to be expected. It would be weird for her to confirm it however, and he had nothing to look forward to.
“B-but clearly, it’s…hm?”
Perplexed by Mahiru’s stubborness, Kadowaki was about to question her further, only to suddenly look towards Amane.
The moment their eyes met, Amane’s face twitched.
Kadowaki stared at Amane, looking completely mystified. It was a horrible situation for Amane.
As expected, he recognized Amane.
They never interacted with each other for long, but Amane knew Kadowaki was really insightful. They were on better terms, and it appeared even though Amane had tidied his hair and dressed differently, he could not fool Kadowaki.
Nobody would have associated Amane’s current appearance to his usual self, unless they were close enough and observed his face closely. It appeared this was not the case of Kadowaki however.
“Eh, Fujimiya…right? On a closer look, your height and face…so you two have contact at school because you two know each other?”
Kadowaki seemed confident when Mahiru stammered away. He looked back and forth between Amane and Mahiru, and was a little shocked.
There was plausible deniability back then since Amane and Mahiru never talked at school, but that would not work this time.
Amane sighed, put his hand on his forehead, and looked towards an incredulous and stunned Kadowaki.
“…How did you figure out it was me?”
“I guessed so. Well, I can tell it’s you by your face and the vibe you give, Fujimiya.”
“Am I that recognizable?”
“Actually, no. I think even our classmates can’t tell. You don’t really make such an expression after all.”
Amane did not know exactly what was the expression Kadowaki referred to, but he was relieved for the time being since nobody would associate his appearance with that.
“But it’s surprising that you two are in a relationship.”
“…It appears we can’t hide it anymore. Well, it’s as you say, Kadowaki. We know each other before our second year. I admit that she and I on good terms, but it’s not the relationship you think of.”
“…Is that so?”
Mahiru flatly denied it, so Amane did the same. However, he was sad to admit it.
Surely Mahiru would find it awkward if the misunderstanding continued. While Amane was not particularly worried about this, he too would feel awkward if if Kadowaki had strange thoughts and blurted it out. He had to shush Kadowaki.
Once Amane took this firm stance, Mahiru tugged at the hem of his shirt, and looked at up him. she appeared to have something to say, but she never did, so he ignored her for the time being.
One had to wonder if Kadowaki was convinced of this explanation after seeing their faces, and merely shrugged.
“Hmm…I guess so. Just like Itsuki said.”
Amane naturally narrowed his eyes once he assumed Itsuki blurted something. “It’s not what you’re worried about though.” Kadowaki chuckled.
“Well, he said that you’re handsome when you put in the effort to dress up, and that your clothes suit you.”
“it sounds like you’re mocking me here, Kadowaki.”
Kadowaki was the most handsome boy in their year, and could possibly the most handsome in their school. Amane could only smile wryly at that praise.
Kadowaki was a typical handsome chap who did not have to work to maintain his image. Amane had to put in effort to look above average, so naturally, he was envious of people like Kadowaki, though not to the level of outright jealousy. However, he felt that his life might look a little brighter if he were reincarnated into someone like Kadowaki.
“That’s not what I mean. It’ll be great if you’re usually like this though.”
“Don’t wanna. It’s troublesome. And also, I’ll stand out if I suddenly show up at school like this.”
“You say that…but Shiina-san, you know that Fujimiya can look like this, huh?”
“Well, erm, yes.”
Mahiru affirmed as she nodded gingerly, and Kadowaki then stared at her unflinchingly.
He did not appear to be suspicious or sizing her up. It appeared that he wanted to confirm something when he looked at her.
“Hmm, I think I get it.”
“You really have it tough, Shiina-san.”
Mahiru’s body shivered when she heard that, “You’re unexpectedly easy to understand, Shiina-san.” Kadowaki chuckled.
He showed a faint smile, a somewhat warm, yet forlorn and envious look.
“Erm…I hope you will not mention this to anyone. About how we are on, good terms…and so on.”
I will be troubled if you do. Mahiru wanted to shush Kadowaki, who immediately nodded.
“Ah, you don’t have to worry about that. I can tell why you two are so hesitant. I don’t have any interest in spreading rumors when you two obviously don’t wish to.”
Amane had never been so grateful for Kadowaki’s fine personality.
Perhaps Kadowaki had a similar experience. He was popular with the girls, and was the target of envy from boys. He also mentioned before that if he showed fondness of a girl, she would be targeted by the others. Perhaps his grumbles might be due to his own experiences.
Anyone would feel weird seeing an unimpressive looking boy like Amane being together with the Angel who was friendly towards anyone, even though they were just friends and not dating.
Amane was really grateful that Kadowaki kept mum after considering all these.
“Sorry about that Kadowaki.”
“It’s fine. I think this is normal. I don’t want our relationship to break just because of this little thing when we’re rather close already, Fujimiya.”
Amane thoroughly understood why Kadowaki was so popular when the latter showed a hearty smile.
Even as a boy, Kadowaki was a good man who was honest and easily approachable. He was charismatic to the girls, and had good external and internal qualities. It would be difficult for males to accept this however.
“Ahh yes, Fujimiya.”
“Be seeing you two days later.”
Kadowaki hinted at the day he, Itsuki and Amane would be going to karaoke.
He implied that he would be asking more from Amane on that day.
Kadowaki showed an impish smile once their eyes met. Amane felt a little uneasy, “Oh.” but he replied so as he trusted Kadowaki.
Mahiru looked a little envious as she watched both Amane and Kadowaki.