At this point, the rumors about Mizuto and Higashira-san had escalated and overheated.
However, it is not so much that the rumors were just rumors—but that the relationship between those two had been widely accepted. According to Akatsuki-san, it’s only a matter of time until their relationship stopped being a topic, and would be ingrained into everyone’s hearts instead.
It’s delightful that there’s an end to this turmoil, but personally, the matter hasn’t ended. Starting from mom’s misunderstanding to Mizuto and Higashira-san’s frantic actions—nobody got a chance to resolve this misunderstanding, and already the school’s on fire. In other words, I didn’t have any room to intervene…
As for both Mizuto and Higashira-san, they chose to half-ignore their surroundings and the situation.
But I couldn’t do that.
Unlike those two who drifted beyond this society called school, I had my own standing, my social image. In other words, I had to act exemplary—if word got out that I was trying to woo Mizuto, ignore my surroundings, and steal him from Higashira-san, there’s no doubt my route leads to doom.
The fact was that Mizuto, who’s so proud as Everest, actually got down to writing a novel he wouldn’t even write, and went to Higashira-san’s classroom just to show her the novel he wrote to calm her down..
And most importantly—
—I like you too.
He said those words in public!
No. I know. I know! I know it’s not that kind of like!
But, maybe…I just couldn’t suppress this uneasiness within me.
Did he…really have feelings for Higashira-san…?
He rejected her confession, but that was in the past. The bond between Mizuto and Higashira-san is unquestionable, and there’s already some budding romance—I couldn’t help but sense that they’re so close to each other that the confession part was unnecessary to them.
They might not think it’s love…but that would mean I didn’t have any room to interfere, right?
………………Well, needless to say. I was the one who nudged him in the back.
Huhhhh~…? That’s strange….why did it feel like I was shooting myself in the foot ever since I made up my mind…?
Why did this happen?
Seriously, why did this happen?
I was lounging on the living room sofa, groaning, and heard the front door open. Someone’s home.
I got up to find Mizuto in his uniform walking into the living room.
“Welcome back. You’re late.”
“I’m home. Isana and I took a little detour.”
Mizuto took some barley tea from the fridge, drank it, sat down to rest, left the living room, and walked up the stairs.
Either way, it’s good that things were back to normal after all.
I took out my phone with trembling hands and called Akatsuki-san.
“A-Akatsuki-san Akatsuki-san! Mizuto. Mizuto, he……!”
“Eh!? What’s wrong with you, Yume-chan!? What’s going on!?”
“M-Mizuto. That Mizuto! Mizuto actually…!”
“Stop repeating this name without going anywhere, it’s hard for me to play dumb! I’m really going to retort at you for calling his name so suddenly!”
“Yes, he just called by name!”
“Ehh? I’ve known that for quite a while…?”
“Eh? It already started for a long time? Did you know that Mizuto already called Higashira-san by her given name…?”
“…Hm? Eh? What?”
“Mizuto just called Higashira-san by her given name…”
“No no no I don’t know that at all really really!”
“He just called her ‘Isana’…”
“Ehhh~~…seriously? That Irido-kun called a girl by her name…”
He never called me by my name back when we’re dating!!
“So after the family, the school recognized them as that, and then they changed how they addressed each other, huh…?”
“What am I supposed to do…! Akatsuki-san, you got some idea, right—”
“The opponent’s too strong.”
“Don’t abandon me!”
I entered my room, took out my phone without taking off my uniform, and entered the voice channel of the group chat app that I had been told about.
“Hello. I just got home.”
“What the hell? Why are you able to time my jump off the ledge so well!? We’re online!”
“The ping doesn’t matter when your movements are this easy to read~ Here we go, you’re jumping again!”
“…What game are you guys playing?”
I could hear Higashira going all ‘zakko zakko’ with the cheap taunts, and the other one gritting his teeth away was Kogure Kawanami.
After a quick meeting at school, I went straight home, but it seemed they were earlier than me. Maybe it’s because they had nothing to do. One side was taunting away while they quarrelled with each other–probably.
As for the reason to this unusual voice chat between the three of us,
“Oy Irido, you don’t have to rely on this low-life bitch! You got me to talk about love with, right!?”
“I don’t remember asking you for advice. That’s what Isana wanted.”
“Huh!? What’s with her crazy idea!? Some woman who got dumped by you is asking for love consultation? It’s obviously backstabbing!”
“I can’t possibly have such a smart brain! There’s no way a woman who can’t really think fast can do this!”
“Don’t you feel sad when you say it yourself?”
“Then give a few reasons then. What’s the benefit of you helping Irido with his love life? What’s the benefit?”
“Instead of benefit…just think about it. When we’re together, he would suddenly look away. Obviously I would be curious too!”
“Ah, that’s definitely true.”
Did I show such a face?
“So you either hurry up and patch up, or you just break up entirely! Don’t make me worry already!”
“Were you always so worried about me…?”
“So you say, but you’re just taking advantage of this love consultation to gain the upper hand, right? Woah, this coming from such an honest faced girl.”
“That’s why I invited you too, frivolous guy. Now Yume-san won’t get the wrong idea!”
“I don’t know. There are so many ways to do this, you know? For example—”
“Mizuto-kun…can I be your kissing partner?”
“Oy damn it you bitch!”
“I thought it would be for show.”
Isana simply ignores Kawanami’s delinquent-like ruckus. She really feared him when they talked face to face, but she’s doing whatever she wanted over the phone.
“Regardless of me.” Isana went back to the topic at hand.
“What does Yume-san actually think? Does she too have any lingering thoughts like Mizuto-kun?”
“I don’t have such thoughts.”
““You’re joking again.””
“Why are you two so united when it comes to this…?”
Haa, I let out a long sigh…and expressed my true opinion.
“…Look, I don’t know. She looks like she’s interested in me, or that she just wants to toy with me, or maybe it’s just me overthinking it. At this point, she’s way too different from what I knew about her that I don’t know…I really don’t get her.”
“I think there’s a lot going on. Well. I can only say this because I’m on the outside looking in.”
“Hmm…it might be inappropriate for me to say this, but it doesn’t really matter what Yume-san thinks, right?
The sudden words had Kawanami and I blurting out in unison, and Isana’s tone sounded so confident, I could practically see her gleeful expression in front of me.
“Like, who cares if there’s no chance now? Just tell her you ‘like’ her! There’s no room for hesitation!”
There was a pause.
Her opinion was too…outrageous for me…and I couldn’t even digest it right away.
“—Ha! Hahahahaha! Phahahahahah!”
Kawanami burst out laughing.
“I see! I see! You’re right, it doesn’t matter! You got checkmated there, Irido! Pfhahahaha!”
“No…no no no, it’s not that simple—”
“Don’t worry! This Isana Higashira-san is a pro at getting Mizuto-kun mesmerized! I’ll produce the strongest Mizuto-kun who can get Yume-san head over heels for him! No need to worry after that! We can go out and play together after this then!”
“Like you got anything to do with them patching up, you idiot.”
“Mizuto-kun’s not as narrow-minded as you~ fool.”
The two of them started bickering over the phone, and I let out a long sigh, muttering.
“More than this love, you guys are the biggest pain in the ass…”