Mizuhara looked fed up at Nonomiya as she yelled at him, speaking rapidly. Was this what they called bloodshed at the battlefield?
Nonomiya had said she was going to confess to Mizuhara for the third time. Guessing what happened next, Mizuhara probably turned her down again but she kept going, and it all lead to this.
But why did Nonomiya call me?
Michel sensed it was a complicated story and closed the door. An uncomfortable silence spread over us as the sounds from outside were cut off.
「Noda-san, what’re ye thinking!?」
I was at a loss for words as the conversation turned towards me. It was very difficult for me to speak about other people’s love matters. 「……It’s a little weird, having outsiders like us here while you’re talking about this… Maybe you should have a talk just by yourselves?」
As I tried to leave the room and let the two of them be by themselves, Mizuhara and Nonomiya’s voices called out.
「That’s right. This isn’t related to you at all.」
「Nah, it is related to her!」
I was disturbed at how the atmosphere felt more like an intense fight rather than how I expected it to go: a simple, painful rejection that went something like, 「I like you!」 「Sorry, I can’t accept your feelings,」 「But I still–」 「Just give up.」
「Well, Nonomiya-san… I… I guess you confessed and this is how it turned out, but… I can’t say anything like, ‘I’ll get Mizuhara to date you!’ or ‘This other guy is better for you!’ so…」
I tried to leave again since it was also bad for Michel who didn’t understand what was going on. But Nonomiya shouted, 「I ain’t talking about that! I’m talking about a girl goin’ alone to a man’s house when he lives alone!」
Going alone to a man’s house… I had a slight idea of what she was talking about. It looked like I was somewhat related to this after all.
「I’ve told her it doesn’t matter since you’re not a human, but she just won’t understand.」
「I don’t get it, that’s a moral problem!」
Mizuhara and Nonomiya started arguing again. Michel asked what she meant, and Nonomiya explained that I regularly went to Mizuhara’s place for making sweets. Michel’s face visibly stiffened at her words.
「I sure didn’t know Noda-san made sweets at Mizuhara-cchi’s place. And so many days a week? Even if ye tell me they’re still not dating, I don’t get it.」
「Sagiri… Do you regularly visit this man’s house by yourself?」
I was at a loss of how to answer as Michel turned to look at me, a serious expression on his face. 「That’s true… But putting it like that might cause misunderstandings, it’s not like that…」
It was true that Mizuhara lived alone, and biologically speaking we were two different genders, but it wasn’t like that. I groaned, not knowing how to best explain our unique relations.
「If ye say Mizuhara-cchi’s going out with Noda-san, I’m gon’ give up ‘cause there’s no way to win then. But ye ain’t saying that. Mizuhara-cchi’s saying Noda makes him sweets, but if it’s like that why can’t I make him sweets?!」
Nonomiya’s tone dropped as she muttered, 「But Mizuhara-cchi says that’s no good…」
As I searched for the words to say, Michel firmly grabbed my shoulder, as if taking the now slumped Nonomiya’s energy. 「Sagiri, how could you?! Don’t you feel like it’s dangerous?!」
「It’s dangerous for me.」 Mizuhara’s immediate reply went unheard by Michel. Besides, I only used force on him when he was hogging all the sweets.
I glared at Mizuhara, perfectly playing the victim, but my gaze was shaken as Michel pulled at my shoulder, speaking in an unusually harsh tone. 「You think you’re strong, but there’s so many moments you’re unprepared… You’re still a girl, right? Don’t you think it’s dangerous?!」
Surprised, I took a step back, my back colliding with the door. Mizuhara’s words, 「Me and my innocent appliances are the ones in danger! 」 went unheard by Michel yet again.
I was flustered and confused, not used to hearing Michel raise his voice or act harshly. 「No—that’s… You’re mistaken, me and Mizuhara aren’t like that……」
Michel had a strong imagination so he was probably worrying over completely wrong thoughts. His white skin turned a light red, and I knew he was incredibly riled up.
His strong eyes sucked you in – Japanese people didn’t have eyes like that. Confused at how he was acting so unlike himself, I tried to take his hand off my shoulder but I couldn’t.
「There’s nothing for you to worry over,」 I hurriedly said, looking to Mizuhara to back me up.
Mizuhara nodded in agreement. 「Worrying about me doing something to Noda is just as futile as worrying over the sky falling.」
「Yes, yes, it’s just pointless anxiety!」 I nodded several times.
「I don’t consider Noda a woman in the first place.」
「And I don’t think of Mizuhara as a man either!」 We agreed more and more passionately.
「Dare I say it, our friendship crosses the limits of species.」
「Yes!」 I nodded hurriedly, then thought, ‘Wait, what?’ 「…. Limits of gender! He means our friendship crosses the limits of gender, right!」 I quickly corrected myself. I was internally begging him not to use the word ‘elf’ – it had made everything more confusing with Chii-chan.
Avoiding the elf topic, I tried explaining it properly but Michel hardened even further, far from calming down. 「You say it’s not dangerous, but… I don’t think so! …. Wouldn’t you stop going to his home for me? … I know it’s a selfish request, but… But…」
I tried to open the door behind me as Michel grew excessively close, but I accidentally locked it. I could easily unlock it, but I was unnerved, feeling cornered into a wall.
「No, really! If – even if that happened, it’s still not dangerous, because I’m a black belt and Mizuhara’s completely inexperienced in fighting.」 Although it could be an apocalypse and it wouldn’t happen. But explaining mine and Mizuhara’s connection was difficult to outsiders, so I decided to use a hypothetical scenario.
If inexperienced Mizuhara challenged me, a black belt, it would be hopeless. But it was too late to say that, so I excluded it.
「It’s not like a match, there are no rules in reality. What would you do if you were pinned down like this? Even I don’t have a black belt.」 With one hand still on my shoulder, Michel held down both of my hands.
「Huh? Huuh? Um – r-right…. First, aim at the joints’ weak points…」 There’s a certain force behind a threatening beauty, huh, I thought, bewildered as I analyzed the situation.
「Well then, have a try.」 He pinned me to the door with his long legs. If I had to fight someone with a better physique than me, I had one shot: avoid close combat, keep distance between us and strike at an opening.
If I was in a bad position from the beginning, I had already lost.
「Um – for the time being – calm down, first of all. Yes, calm down!」 Too close! He was closer to me than he’d ever been, and I hurriedly tried to find an opening but I had no options.
「I am calm.」
「Definitely!」 Although he said he was calm, he wasn’t like his usual self. I was the one freaking out over him being so different.
Close, too close! He was looking down at me, close enough for our faces to collide, and I looked down, shutting my eyes tightly.
「You’re assuming this impossible situation might happen. Even if you dispute this, it’s troublesome.」 Mizuhara separated me and Michel with those words, stepping in between. Thanks, referee Mizuhara! Next time, be a little faster.
I breathed a sigh of relief at being separated from him, bewildered at how different he was acting. My shoulder hurt at being grabbed so tightly, and I unconsciously held it with my hand. Michel looked taken aback, his expression returning to normal.
「S-sorry. I got angry……」 Michel reached out a hand to my shoulder, apologizing, but Mizuhara repelled it. Michel frowned, offended, and glared at Mizuhara.
A stormy atmosphere brewed between the silent duo. Even a few seconds felt strangely long.
Mizuhara sighed, not breaking eye contact with Michel. 「I don’t know if it’s a universally accepted notion, but Noda coming to my house isn’t an unheard of concept at all. Because Noda is my el—」
「Aah…」 Crap, he was going to say ‘elf’!
「It’s not about universally accepted notions! I’m saying that I – I like Noda, so I want this to stop!」
Alright! The ‘elf’ word got interrupted.
I was relieved for a moment, and then Michel’s words reached my brain.
「……What?」 My voice stupidly fell to the floor of the classroom, tumbling over.