In the midst of the waning light, the two of them were alone in the classroom: Akiha in her school uniform and Taiyou facing her.
The two of them gazed at one another, feeling a tranquil atmosphere that can only be felt between those who have fully gained each other’s trust.
This was the perfect opportunity, so Taiyou took out a ring case and presented it to her.
“I’d like you to put this on.”
“Yeah. Think of it as an engagement ring.”
Akiha stared at the ring, leaning in all sorts of directions to examine it. Her hands were clasped around her back, and she made no motion to release them. The atmosphere was slightly different than before, shifting from the once-sweet atmosphere.
As Taiyou was questioning what was up…
“I said, no way.”
“Do I have to spell it out?”
Akiha smiled mischievously. It was very like her to do this, but Taiyou didn’t get why she was rejecting him like this. It wasn’t like she was in a bad mood, and yet she still refused.
“Guess we should get going.”
Akiha said, linking an arm around the one that wasn’t holding the case. They then walked out of the classroom, returning home while Taiyou was dragged around not understanding what was going on.
Nighttime, inside of their temporary condominium residence.
Aoba and Hera were inside the living room.
Aoba had just come out of the bath in her pajamas, a tinge of sakura in her cheek area. Not only that, but her hair was down, which might have actually increased her charm three times more than usual. With this unique look, she spoke to Taiyou.
“Really, so Akiha said that.”
“Yeah, you’ve really got to raise those favorability points.”
“Favorability points…You know, this isn’t a freakin’ dating sim.”
“But still, I’m sure that everyone’s favorable attitude toward you should be because of your hidden stats.”
“Should be? You don’t even sound sure about it.”
“Then it IS because of your hidden stats~”
“No c’mon, don’t just change it like that.”
Taiyou grimaced, turning back to Aoba.
“It was honestly baffling to me that she would refuse, especially just acting like her normal self. What even is happening at this point?”
“I might know the reason.”
Taiyou leaned forward, hips in the air.
Aoba made a difficult expression as she saw that.
“Yeah…Oh, but I did anticipate that.”
“It’s complicated…like I wanted it to happen but didn’t want it to happen.”
He parroted her, sitting back down and grasping his chin as he savored these meaningful words.
“Wait…is it because she needs you to be there as well or something?”
“Got it. Well, that is very much like her and I say I’m cool with that.”
“Is that really okay with you, Natsuno-kun?”
Taiyou gave a firm nod. His expression showed no signs of reluctance, accepting it all so easily.
“I get that she’s still in love, so it’s all good.”
“It’s all good? Wow, you have such confidence, Natsuno-kun.”
“Not like that. It’s more like conviction. Anything less than this would be rude to all of you.”
Aoba inclined her head. He stared right into her eyes, explaining.
“Do you really like me?”
“I mean it. Do you actually like me?”
“Why are you even—-”
Aoba began to panic.
“I mean would you like that aspect of me? Just barely thinking about all this and asking you.”
“Ah…S-So that’s what you were talking about.”
Aoba was clearly relieved. Taiyou thought this to be very cute, and he squeezed her in a hug.
“In a place like this…oh…”
“It’s fine, no one’s looking. And even if they were, they might as well join us.”
“Oh, even me?”
They heard a nonchalant voice from the side. The moment he lifted up his head and saw Hera, Taiyou’s expression deflated like a balloon the more time went by. Ignoring Aoba’s disappointment, he sat back down on the sofa.
“No, you’re just…”
“I’m not good enough?”
“Not really a matter of that. I just didn’t factor you in.”
“That’s horrible! You’re horrible, Taiyou-chan! I do so much for your sake, and you repay me with this?!”
“So what if it’s horrible?”
“I’ll return to my house!”
Hera covered her face, then flew out in an obvious manner. She slipped through the wall and flew into the night sky.
“Did she even have a house?”
They stared at Hera from behind the glass as she flew off.
“Is she actually upset?”
“Who even knows? Normally you’d think so, but in her case, that aspect is pretty foggy.”
“Right, there’s always the possibility that she’s just doing it in the heat of the moment.”
“Yeah, cause right after she says “I’m returning to my hooouse” and flies off, there’s the possibility that she’d just come right back humming a tune.”
“That sounds like something she’d do.”
“It sure does.”
Taiyou and Aoba chuckled together. The pink mood from earlier had vanished without a trace, but at least it now felt more relaxed.
“Come to think of it, what was it like to have Hera-chan appear in front of you the first time? Was she always like this?”
“Yeah, pretty muuuch. Just came out all of a sudden, all chipper. Oh, but she might have sounded more serious before actually showing herself.”
“Uhh…I feel like she said something along the lines of ’Dost thou desireth power?’ “
“Whaaat? Hera-chan really said something like that?”
“She did, that she did. Although there’s always the possibility that I merely interpreted it as such, so it might be different than the original line.”
“Yeah, I’m wondering if that isn’t the case. There’s no way Hera-chan would say something like that.”
“You sure she wouldn’t?”
“Let’s call her over here and actually ask her. Hera?”
“Ja-jajaaan! Hera-chan has returned after a whole sixty seconds!”
“Hey, so Hera-chan—-”
The three of them engaged in pleasurable conversation in the nighttime living room.
Hahaha yeah she did aint she?
Thank u always for ur great work…