He heard the sound of rustling clothing.
Reluctant to part with the leaving warmth and ruminating upon the lingering fragrance, Taiyou looked up at the sky from where he lay on the trailer.
There were no clouds, no stars, not even the moon- this was the unique sky of the city.
He stared straight at it.
「What are you thinking about?」
「You’ve gotta be kidding me.」
「Men just think about world peace at times like this. We question why war hasn’t ended yet. Things like that. I’m sure girls would find it strange.」
「You mean that so-called ‘Sage Time’?」
「Basically. Then it progresses to Ninja Time, Confucianist Time, and Servant Time.」
「Ahaha, the hell’s that? Then, is there also a Doctor’s Time?」
「That would be before doing it. Doctor play.」
「Well when I was a kid, I played doctor with Aoba.」
Akiha said, resting her body on Taiyou’s chest.
It was the kind of pose that she’d make in her own room, resting her upper body on a cushion.
She sort of expected more of an arm pillow, but figured that this could work just as well.
「Playing Doctor, eh? I bet if you said that to Kohaku-san, she’d be overjoyed.」
「She likes that sort of thing?」
「I’d say she’s pretty close to you.」
「Whaaat, but I’d rather play Geisha.」
「Never mind, you’re exactly the same.」
「Whaaat, but why?」
Their conversation didn’t consist of sweet nothings, but instead had a fun atmosphere.
That was probably highly affected by her personality.
「Heeey, do I still feel far off?」
「Whaaat, really though?」
With the elbow that she was using to lean on him, she rubbed it against his chest. Rather than being that of male and female, their skinship was closer to that of friends or family.
「What to do…Still wanna mess me up?」
「Not at the moment, as I’m thinking of how to make the world peaceful.」
「Ahaha, looks like I was saved by world peace.」
「That might just be the case.」
Taiyou moved his arm around Akiha’s head, pushing her body closer to his in a hug.
「Come to think of it, what’s up with those wings?」
「The wings that came out of your shoulders when you hit that wall earlier. They were like an angel’s, all white and shiny.」
Taiyou furrowed his brow.
He himself had not noticed anything like that at the time.
And why would it happen at a time like that?
Taiyou thought to himself, getting up.
Separating himself from Akiha’s body, he urged those wings to emerge.
Wings sprouted out from his shoulders, resembling an angel’s set, illuminating the area with white light.
「You weren’t kidding…」
「Yeah yeah this this, I didn’t know you had angelic wings like this!」
「I sure can. Right now…up to five.」
「Fantastic! But why five? Where did such a half-assed number come from?」
「The number of brides.」
「I only have so many wings as the amount of brides. That’s the gist.」
Taiyou said, looking at Akiha. Illuminated by the white light, Akiha looked prettier than before.
「Kotone, Suzune, Kazane.」
He said, bending one finger.
「Kohaku-san, Aoba, Youran.」
He said, bending three fingers.
And gazing at Akiha, he bent one more.
「Are you against it?」
「No, but I just have mixed feelings…」
Taiyou said, hugging Akiha closer.
His wings immediately were extinguished.
「When a bride is nearby, my wings can form, but directly touching them makes them vanish. Which means that those wings earlier were my wings, and also yours.」
A brief silence drifted over them in their embrace.
Akiha revolved her arm over to his shoulders and spoke.
She spoke softly as the mountain returned to darkness.
「But am I still far away?」
The tone of her voice had dropped.
「You just said earlier that thing was mine. But am I still far away to you?」
「What must I do to help you feel me closer? Do I truly need to let you mess me up? Will that help you feel me closer?」
「I still like Aoba as of this moment. I still do.」
「So am I far to you? As long as I like Aoba, am I–」
Taiyou let out a loud voice, cutting across what she was saying.
That wasn’t what he was getting at. That had nothing to do with it.
In order to convey that not through words, but through his feelings, he embraced her more firmly.
「I’d never feel distance because of something like that.」
「Then why? What should I do?」
She spoke with firm emphasis. The cheery pillow talk from earlier felt like a lie.
What sort of face was she making right now, as she spoke in this manner?
He felt like there was pressure in his chest.
「I don’t know, but now I feel like it also might not be so bad to feel like you’re far away.」
「What are you even saying?」
「Kotone, Suzune, Kazane, Kohaku-san, Aoba, Youran. There are a variety of girls around me, and they’re all different types of girls. When I’m with more than one of them versus when I’m alone with each of them, I have a different way I interact with–well not quite…」
He took a breath, changing his words.
「I love them in different ways. Of course physically, but also inwardly. For example, the way that I interact with Kohaku-san and the way that I interact with Youran are fundamentally the opposite, so I adapt.」
「So I think I’ll find a different way to interact with you too. In that sense, feeling like you’re far off…even feeling like there’s a thin wall between us that I’m trying to hit, that might just be the treat I get to experience when I’m with you, I think.」
「So…what I’m trying to say is that if anything, the distance between that wall feels lovely.」
「I swear that I mean exactly what I say.」
「And you just expect me to accept that?」
「If you can’t, then let’s go together to find something that you will. If I’m with you, it might just be that more fun to go looking for a way to knock that wall down.」
「And you seriously feel that way?」
「I sure do.」
He put power into his arm in order to convey his feelings to her as he hugged her.
「Won’t you enjoy life with that wall? Together with me?」
After a pause, he spoke full of feeling.