Surprised, he looked at the girl to his left.
She was a faint-hearted looking girl who wore glasses. As soon as her eyes met with Taiyou’s, she averted her bright-red face, fleeing into the academy without so much as heeding her friend’s call.
（Don’t tell me……）
Hera’s message, and then that girl’s reaction.
Eventually, the thought of “what if” began eating away at Taiyou.
「See, you’re popular just as I said」
「You are indeed popularー」
Despite the fact that she could not hear or see her, Hera spoke in agreement with Akiha.
「With that being said, I’m gonna go ahead and give you some more hugs. Just like this…show off to the people around you」
He began walking with his arms linked with Akiha’s. Still perplexed, Taiyou ended up being half-dragged by her.
He looked like a dog being walked by its master.
The two of them left the academy, walking to the station from the school route.
「And? What did you mean by consulting me?」
Around the area where he had stopped the rampaging car, Akiha asked him in a carefree expression.
「Was it something bad？」
「You might say that――」
About to continue, he looked around him. Various people were focusing their gazes at the two of them, arms linked. It wouldn’t even be an exaggeration to say that all of the students there were staring at them.
This was a bit of a difficult situation to be having a serious talk.
「――You could say that the gazes around us hurt, something like that」
「Ahaha, no worries no worries」
「No, even if you’re fine with――」
「That’s right！ How about tomorrow, we have a competition with the pins and razors I found in my shoe rack？」
「Listen to what I’m saying！ And where did you even get those from！」
Winking, she pushed her chest at him.
Taiyou realized that ever since earlier when she had said “fantastic”, she had been pushing her chest against him.
「Sorry, I don’t understand what’s so fantastic」
「Fantastic? Well you know, isn’t it just fantastic that even when you know that you’re fighting a losing battle, you start feeling like this is one battle you can’t afford to lose?――like oyoyoyoyo?」
「So defeat is a given?！」
「Well after all you are prosperous harem king, so I mean it’s a complete defeat in a popularity contest」
「Although if it’s a popularity contest then it’s Taiyou-chan’s utter defeatー」
Taiyou agreed for once with Hera’s quip.
Putting aside the competition of a 65535 harem, he thought that he had absolutely no chance with a popularity of 0.
「Even though I’m a 0 in popularity, I wonder why exactly girl after girl is becoming my bride」
「Yer harem be 65535 right、and yer popularity a 0. From my point o’ view, might it not be that it be the proof of seven women of Husband’s destiny existing in this world? You meet them and go together」
He suddenly remembered the exchange between him and Kohaku the other day.
A harem of 65535、and a popularity of 0.
Each time the number of brides increased, the harem value would begin to drop proportionally with the skill “idol”.
Which meant that Taiyou was being led to were the ultimate number of seven “brides”.
Kohaku concluded that they were the seven women of destiny.
Riding on that, Taiyou went further and assumed that he “could not be popular with anyone other than his destined seven”.
「Now, talk to me talk to me」
As he was recalling what he had discussed with Kohaku, Akiha pressed him.
(She really is a fast-tempo girl) Taiyou thought, readying himself before opening his mouth.
「You see, there’s this girl whose personality matches yours」
「I couldn’t understand something that girl said, and I was just wondering what you would think」
「『Only I need know about your strong points』she said」
「I see I see……Hmm, well that’s」
Slightly tilting her head, Akiha answered with a face like it was obvious.
「You speaking proudly about your love？ To me」
「Not in the slightest！」
「Then is it boasting？」
「You just changed the way you said it. They’re practically the same！」
「Yeah, they’re one and the same」
「So you just admit it like that……but is that seriously what I’ve been doing？」
Inquiring from her again, he looked at her expression.
What Akiha had said was reasonable, and he couldn’t think of it as anything other than referring to him.
Thinking of the literal meaning, that was certainly the case, but it was after all that Youran who had said it.
She was the girl who had immediately proclaimed when they had met “I don’t like you” and decreed that he was “impossible as a male”.
That was why even in the episodes when it really seemed that way, he couldn’t help but wonder……if she might actually not think that.
「What else could it be? I’m ‘a tell you right now, that your bragging isn’t fantastic」
Akiha gave a rare sigh.
「Welp, I don’t know who that girl is, but I think she likes you. Totally into you」
「If she were a girl resembling me……yeah, I think she’d like you enough to die for you」
「Where do babies come from？」
Hera said in a happy-go-lucky voice, and he of course shut her out.
「What up? Still can’t accept it？」
「Well, to be honest」
「That right. Welp, if that’s what the person in question thinks then I guess that makes sense」
Her arms were still linked, but she spoke with a toned-down voice.
It seemed that the quick-paced girl losing her fire was a way of her saying that she had immediately lost interest in that topic.
However, she seemed to still have not lost interest in Taiyou, and still linking her arm with him, she walked down the route to school with a cheerful hum.
「Huh？ What are you doing」
Suddenly, he could hear a familiar voice in front of him.
Pulled back out from the sea of consciousness, he looked and saw that Youran clad in a uniform was standing there with her hands on her hips.
Taiyou stared at her, questioning why she had vanished all of a sudden.
「Where have you been」
「That’s what I’d like to ask」
Youran retorted to Taiyou’s question with exasperated eyes.
「Suddenly out of sight, where the heck were you」
Taiyou was at a loss for words. It was just as she had pointed out, and he couldn’t argue back.
「Welp, not like it really matters. More importantly」
Youran said, sliding her gaze right next to him at Akiha, arms still linked.
「She the fifth？」
「No, that’s not it」
「Then the hundredth？」
「You guys are seriously just like each other！」
「Ahahaha, we really are」
Akiha cackled to the side.
「So then, she’s the person you mentioned earlier？」
He hesitated a bit, being in front of said person and all.
「I see I see」
Akiha nodded every so often, looking at her from top to bottom as if evaluating her.
「Hello hello, the name’s Aoyama Akiha. “Aoyama” as in “blue mountain”, and “Akiha” as in “wave of fall”, Aoyama Akiha」
「Are you a half？」
「Nah, my dad just likes Chinese poetry」
「To the grave？」
「Not like I’ve heard that one before. And you could at least have some unity in the nationality of your phrases if you were planning on sticking to China」
「Ahaha, that’s cause I’m on the global scale. Anyhow, sorry about that, I was just borrowing him for a bit」
「Nothing wrong with that, it’s not like I care」
Youran said bluntly.
「Oh-oh, you’re not jealous? Thinking something like “That adulterer and thieving cat are a perfect fit for each other!”」
「What does this have to do with adultery！ Also, that isn’t jealousy, it’s just a parting remark」
「I’m not part of his registry or anything, so it’s not adultery」
「Kay, so『adultery in essence』……Ooo, it suddenly has a fantastic vibe！」
Akiha flashed her eyes wide open.
Taiyou still couldn’t understand where the switch or key point was to make her flip her “fantastic” switch.
「Just what do you mean by adultery in essence」
「It’s fantastic, innit！」
「……Rather than adultery, I’d say a badger game’s probably closer, in addition to honeytrap」
「Badger game and honeytrap……what do you mean？」
「Well after all」
Youran identified with cold eyes.
「Seems like that girl hates you」
In an instant, Akiha’s smile froze over.