The trees and people included began to change their apparel for the winter. Every student in Oritachi Academy had also changed into their winter uniforms.
Akiha Aoyama, meanwhile, was sitting on the rooftop of the academy. Ignoring the fierce northern winds, she was sitting atop the fence, gazing down at the courtyard. She should have been cold in her current outfit, as she was sitting barefoot and crossing her legs, but Akiha herself seemed to be fine, with a pleasant smile on her face.
“Don’t be shy. Come over here.”
She called out to a girl who had been standing further away. This girl had long, white hair, white skin, and a white dress that she had grown quite used to. This two-layered dress was white up and down, which truly lent meaning to the term “less is more”.
“I am fine…where I, am.”
“Can you even see him from where you are?”
“I can sense him…so it’s, fine.”
“You can sense him? Like ki and all that stuff?”
“That’s fantastic! Hey, you think I can do the same thing?”
“If you…train, a bit.”
“Just train…for an hour a day…for five years.”
“That’s quite a bit!”
Akiha covered her eyes with her hands in defeat.
“Not too long…if you consider your full, lifespan.”
“Oh yeah, you’re right!”
“Will you, do it?”
“Yeah let’s go!”
The two relatively new members of the Natsuno Family were secretly getting closer.
“So what’s it been like?”
“With him, y’know. Lover boooy~”
Akiha said, pointing repeatedly at the courtyard. Standing down there were Taiyou, the triplets, and Kohaku, all in gym clothes. It was likely before class had begun, with all the students scattered and taking it easy.
Akiha was pointing at Taiyou as he bantered with the other girls.
“What kinds of things do you do when you’re with him?”
“We try…to kill, each other?”
“My katana…and his fists, collide.”
“So you spar?”
The pure white girl gave a small nod.
“So you do it just because you can?”
Another small nod.
“Wow…that is fantastic in and of itself, I say.”
“You think…it’s, fantastic?”
“Well yeah girl, that means you got him all to yourself during that time! None of us can interfere.”
“Hmm, oh, right!”
She clapped her hands.
“Maybe we could all participate if we had pistols or rifles?”
“Are you…fine with, getting sliced…into bits?”
“Wait, but he still looks fine.”
“He is…strong. He will continue to, grow.”
She nodded once again.
“From what I know…he would be ranked about 23, in the entire world.”
“That’s quite a way to put it!”
“Because he can beat…the 23rd ranked, person.”
“In the world?”
“In the, world.”
“Isn’t that pretty crazy?”
“It sure, is.”
“Wow, didn’t know that.”
Akiha’s eyes glittered. Shirokiyami spoke again, looking at her eyes.
“I happen…to be number, one.”
“Not much of…a, reaction.”
“Nah, I do think it’s cool.”
In actuality, however, Akiha’s reaction was a bit lackluster.
“Sorry sorry, don’t look at me like an abandoned puppy! Yeesh.”
“You’ve…cut me, deeply.”
“I said I’m SORRY!”
“I demand an…apology, and a self-trial.”
Akiha didn’t seem to quite get what she meant. Shirokiyami noticed that and rephrased herself.
“I demand…an apology and, suicide.”
“Suicide is what ya meant? Isn’t that worse?”
She had to think about that for a moment.
“It’s fine…if it comes to that, he will stop you.”
“That’s a good point.”
“You actually look reproachful right now, please stop! I haven’t even DONE anything, yo!”
“You are, liked by him.”
“And you aren’t? In fact, you’re the one who he likes the most!”
“Stop tilting your head! Stop giving blank expressions! It’s clear to all of us that he likes you the most.”
She stopped for a moment, thinking about it.
“I guess, it is?”
“Ugh, now I feel sorta irritated.”
“Yep, that’s jealousy.”
“Why are you surprised again?”
“Because I have…not experienced, that before.”
“Never thought that…someone would be, jealous of me.”
Akiha asked, her expression doing a 180 into a serious face.
“Is it cool if I ask you about your past?”
Shirokiyami closed her mouth.
Having lived with her for a bit, Akiha was able to somewhat tell that Shirokiyami’s face looked conflicted. That was why she felt she had to ask. Shirokiyami had not yet blended in with the entire Natsuno Family. She still had a bit of a wall between her and the others, and Akiha figured that her past was the reason.
She didn’t think she could solve the situation, nor did she seek to. She just wanted to ask, felt like she had to ask. So she stared straight at Shirokiyami.