(Th-this cat! It is the one Yū left behind, no—)
The slender white cat was at this point in the hands of a girl who called Koremitsu Akagi ‘big brother’, and Shungo had his back bent, his chin pointed as he stared at it, looking engrossed.
It had cool beryl blue eyes and snow white fur.
There was no doubt it was the cat Yū Kanai named as Lapis and lived together.
Once he recalled that Yū was living in Australia, he understood why the cat was living at Koremitsu’s house.
He was mesmerized by Yū, who was akin to a dreamy, pure flower, and continued to give Yū aid in the background. To Shungo, Lapis was a symbol of her.
Unlike the round pudgy Holstein cat Aoi doted on, Shungo did not know whether it had killing intent, since Koremitsu did take it in, but this noble Lapis caused his heart to quiver.
“…Do you mind letting me hug?”
Shungo made a cautious question, and the girl holding the cat, Shioriko Wakagi, stared at him as if he was a lolicon pervert, backing away.
Having understood that his words were misinterpreted,
“No, I am referring to the cat in your hands.”
He corrected himself immediately, reaching his hand at Lapis that was in Shioriko’s hands.
But when he reached his hand out, Lapis snuggled out from Shioriko’s chest, leaped off, and sneaked into the grass.
Shioriko then gave chase after Lapis.
But before that, she turned over to Shungo, saying,
“Lapis hates you.”
And at this moment, Shungo was all the more dejected.
(Is it because I reached my hand out? Or is it because it was too sudden? Or I should let matters progress little by little? Or that it is fine if it is Akagi?)
As he continued to ponder,
“And you are showing another frown again.”
Tsuyako stood there, watching with a teasing look.
On this day, Tsuyako had her hair bundled, her white nape exposed as she wore a short summer one piece dress with her shoulders showing, holding her sandals as she went barefooted. It certainly was an alluring, suggestive appearance.
“Miss Asai may be like this now, but you certainly do not looking like a high school student being like this, Mr Shungo. I should say you do lack the liveliness of a youth. If you have issues you are brooding over, how about you have a chat with me?”
Her lips were giving off a red similar to her hair, perhaps because she had lipstick on. Perhaps the gloss of her lips was the reason it started to glow radiantly under the moonlight.
“No need for that. It will be troublesome later on if I owe a favor to a woman of the Udates.”
“You sure can say such a thing to women. That is why you will not be able to get a girlfriend.”
“That is unnecessary banter. It is not that I cannot get one, but that I do not wish to have one. I do have other important issues to deal with.”
Tsuyako again showed a sly smile,
“I see. However, even though you hate me, I do have to thank you for helping me invite Miss Asai and Miss Aoi out. I suppose the two of us will never have a common cause if I had not spoke up first”
Her expression softened gradually, and she spoke cheerfully,
“Thank you, Mr Shungo.”
She lowered her head gently and gracefully.
And Shungo remained silent.
“Aoi…I do not wish to see her being hurt. I chipped in my effort for your plan for my own convenience. It was unexpected that you would suggest patching matters between Aoi and Asai.”
And then, Tsuyako gave a mature look,
“It is because of me that Miss Aoi knew of Miss Asai’s feelings, and this is my way of apologizing. Besides, I do like both of them, even though both of them—especially Miss Aoi, really hates me here.”
Shungo concluded with a serious look.
“That is to be expected.”
And then, he gave a bright smile.
For some inexplicable, this bright smile that finally appeared again was not filled with the disgust he had before this.
The scandal with Hikaru, the commotion that involved Aoi before the summer vacation, all those events were unforgivable. However, for this night, he called a ceasefire for Aoi’s sake.
“It is good that Miss Aoi and Miss Asai…are able to get along well…”
He agreed silently, turned to look at Aoi,
And immediately raised his eyebrows.
Aoi was staring in a direction with yearning and sadness, the other end of her stare being Koremitsu Akagi, standing there and holding hands with his classmate Honoka Shikibu, their heads lowered shyly.
Aoi’s eyes looked so heartbroken as she watched on, and till this point, he had yet to see Aoi show such a mature, feminine vibe, now appearing gradually on her face.
And while Tōjō groaned,
Tsuyako, standing beside him, called out in surprise.
He looked over there, and found Asai staring at Koremitsu with a passionate stare.
It seemed to be self-explanatory as to why her expression got harsher, her girlish troubles and focus clearly displayed on her face. It was not really visible as it was night, but perhaps Asai’s lips at this point were slightly dyed red.
She opened her lips amorously.
This was the first time Asai showed ‘her feminine face’.
And she was looking at that Koremitsu Akagi!!
Shungo inadvertently hugged his head.
At this moment, even Koremitsu’s class representative, Michiru had her hands clasped in front of her chest, staring in Koremitsu’s direction with much agony. That girl suddenly had a drastic image change in this summer, like a different person, and the reason was definitely clear to see.
Why exactly is everyone infatuated with that man!
No, Koremitsu Akagi did save Yū and Tsuyako before, and his assistance through calligraphy this time had to be recognized. Shungo did not do anything much during that incident, but he did hear of what Koremitsu did at the Gonomiya residence. Truly, he was filled with anxiety and regret—
Shioriko in turn ran towards Koremitsu, holding the latter’s hand like a child, forcefully pulling him away from Honoka’s sights.
(Even that kind of a elementary school girl—)
He was left all the more speechless, rage swirling in his head as he inadvertently glared in Koremitsu’s direction, before meeting Hiina Oumi in the eyes.
Hiina immediately let loose of the plump cheeks as she gave a hearty smile.
Though he felt relieved at this point, he felt guilt of his own inaptness for being unable to officially recognize his adorable little sister, and frowned harder.
Tsuyako continued to stare in Asai’s direction as she muttered to herself,
“In this situation, I do not suppose Miss Asai and Miss Aoi can patch things together…Mr Akagi’s lack of awareness is really a sin.”
As she had said, that person was really the same breed as Hikaru, perhaps even changing his title from a delinquent king to a harem king. As Shungo frowned and wondered about this, a white cat was squatting down at his feet unwittingly, probably peering at Shungo with its head raised and its cool eyes, its pink petal-like tongue licking at its fur.