Taiyou was stunned at his friend suddenly appearing.
He had composed, cold eyes like Taiyou had never seen before. Or, instead of being cold and composed, more like ready to punch a wall or something like that.
But after considering what Taiyou was doing, the reason was obvious.
「Natsuno…when did you turn into this?」
「I heard that you’re not even ashamed at getting fresh with a girl in front of people any more!」
「Well, this isn’t exactly getting fresh…」
He tried to make an excuse, but he noticed something ridiculous.
While all this had happened, Aoba had embraced Taiyou from behind, and Taiyou naturally had put his hands over Aoba’s that were embracing him.
It seems that it was nothing other that getting fresh with a girl.
「It’s different than you were before, you used to be so dazzling!」
「Yeah! Never needing a girl, only in love with your experience level! You used to say…」
「I don’t ever remember saying that.」
「But now you’re at 100%, desu.」
Hera said, and Taiyou glared at her.
Katsuki couldn’t see Hera, and since Taiyou wanted to get to the point, he had no response.
Finally, Aoba let go of Taiyou.
Her ponytail shook as she embarrassingly moved behind Taiyou’s back to hide from Katsuki.
「Well, then I’ll…」
「There’s nothing wrong with that, Aoba.」
Taiyou halted a bit and got serious.
Katsuki, seeing Taiyou straighten up, frowned a bit.
「I mean, Taiyou, there IS nothing wrong with that.」
「It’s just love, right? You’re doing that because you like each other…」
「Then keep on with it, you should keep loving until that whole global warming topic that seemed to have disappeared lately becomes serious again. I believe that you can do it, Natsuno.」
「Being believed in to do that, though…」
Taiyou made a pained smile.
It was a bit embarrassing to be looked at by those cold eyes, but that straight way of cheering him on just added to it.
Being told that so suddenly, there was no way to respond.
They left the building, and Katsuki Nakashima walked along with Taiyou.
Perhaps because Aoba was embarrassed she walked several dozen feet behind Taiyou silently with Hera.
「However, You really have changed.」
「Yeah, changed. Compared to before…when you broke your smartphone, you were a totally different person then.」
Taiyou was jolted a bit.
He was talking about the time Taiyou had broken his phone and Hera had suddenly appeared.
Taiyou had truly changed from then.
「You’ve got much more physical ability, and you’re popular…and your face has even changed.」
「It has…I wonder?」
Taiyou touched his face all over.
He couldn’t feel that any change had taken place, though.
But Katsuki responded with a decisive word.
「Yeah, you had a kind of kid-like face before.」
「You mean like a baby face?」
「Stupid, none of us have a baby face at this age. Not that, but something more like a frightened child.」
「I wonder, but I can’t tell at all, myself.」
Taiyou said, and it was half as he had said, and half something he realized.
He didn’t know what a frightened child looked like, but he knew what one felt like.
Like when his hard work was for nothing, and he ran away from trying to level up was something like a frightened child, he felt.
「So, next is Akihan?」
「Akiha Aoyama. Akihan.」
I see, that’s her nickname, Taiyou thought.
「…why are you asking me that?」
Taiyou asked to Katsuki.
「I saw you, I was there at the school then. I was helping the committee there. Are you putting Akihan in your harem?」
「That’s not it.」
Being seen there like that meant that he couldn’t just dismiss what happened, so he decided to be honest about the exchange instead.
「She told me I wasn’t meant for Aoba.」
「…ah, because she loves Aoba. I understand.」
Katsuki said, and looked back at Aoba quickly.
「Yeah, it’s a mess.」
「So she said you weren’t meant for her. Then what?」
「I don’t know.」
「She’s trying to challenge me, or she wants something, but I have no idea how she’s trying to fight me over this. …I know it’s just going to be a mess though.」
「Yeah, she really is a drastic girl.」
「I guess so.」
Taiyou said in return.
He didn’t know that much about Akiha, so Katsuki asked again.
「You didn’t know? Even though you’re such a bigshot.」
Taiyou nodded, and looked straight at Katsuki.
Tell me then, if you know, Taiyou’s eyes seemed to say.
Seeing Taiyou’s pleading gaze, Katsuki giggled through his nose.
「Okay, then I’ll tell you everything about Akiha.」