“Hey, Kasumi, how was lunch with Rindou kun?”

After lunch, Kasumi headed to the classroom and was immediately asked questions by her friends.
Mai, who was by her side, is just grinning because she knows what kind of exchange they had, but the others are curious.

“I don’t …… know, we just ate like normal people.”

Mai muttered in her mind, “Don’t lie, you were just flirting with him even though you weren’t dating”. Naturally, her friends were not convinced by Kasumi’s words. Like Mai, Kasumi’s two friends who are particularly close to her pursue the matter.

“That’s not going to convince me!”

The one who placed her hand on Kasumi’s desk with a thud was Saeki Rei, a beautiful girl with a boyish, slender body.

“Yes, that’s right. I’d love to hear more about it.”

The one who hugged Kasumi from behind and spoke to her while rubbing her ample b***s was Kuramochi Mikoto, a girl even more gal-like than Mai, with noticeable nails painted on her nails.

“It really was just normal.”

Kasumi’s expression did not change even if her b***s were being squeezed.
As usual, she does not change her facial expression no matter what they do, but the only exception is when she talks about Kazuki, when she changes her expression a little. In a way, the girls loved Kasumi for being so honest.

“Nothing really happened, okay? They were just flirting.”
“There is something going on!!”
“That’s not to say there’s nothing going on!”

Mai’s words were met with two tsk tsk tsk.
With a wry smile, Mai turned her attention to Kazuki, who was talking with her friends. Until now, she had only known Kazuki through Kasumi’s stories, but today was the first time she had talked to him and understood some of his personality.

( He seems so sweet. He’s so kind. I can see that he really cares about Kasumi. But he still doesn’t seem to think of her as just a childhood friend)

She understands that he cares for Kasumi, but that is only as a childhood friend. She feels like it’s only a matter of time, but if they are going to be more lovey-dovey than they are now, even before they are dating, She might get diabetes if they are going to have an exchange like that …….

“So, Kasumi hasn’t told him how she feels yet?”

Kasumi nodded at Mikoto’s words.

“Yeah. I’m sure Kazuki will be troubled if I tell him at this stage of the game. I’m sure he’ll be desperately worried about it, but I don’t want it to be awkward like that.”
“Hmm~ I see”

He would give her the answers to her problems because they had known each other since childhood, but the time between the two would surely be awkward. If that were to happen, Kasumi would rather maintain the current relationship without telling him how she feels about him.

But that is by no means giving up.
She plans to make lots of appeals to make him aware of her, and then fold him in when Kasumi has truly risen to the level of a person he is interested in.

“If you want to shoot the general, shoot the horse first.”
“…ooo, I don’t know what it is, but it’s cool!”

Rei, whose eyes sparkled at Kasumi’s words, is a bit silly to say the least …….
Rei received warm looks from the three people who understood the meaning of the words, but since they didn’t know what she was talking about, they just tilted their heads. Kasumi, smiling wryly at the situation, continued.

“I will do so, and I will surely destroy him with a single stroke.”

Kasumi’s eyes were burning with determination.
Nowadays, one often sees stories in which childhood friends are defeated. However, Kasumi could never admit this. She turned her gaze to Kazuki and said, “I will never be a defeated childhood friend, and even if others lose, I will never be defeated”.

Incidentally, Kazuki is afraid that he might have done something to such burning Kasumi’s eyes.

“What is it?”
“The word you said means to take a big risk or a big gamble, so there is a possibility of failure in that case.”
“…….No, I will not fail.”

Kasumi is smart and one of the top five in her class. However, when Kazuki joins her, she becomes a bit silly, which is kind of charming.

“Kasumi is so cute!”
“Mikoto…… something stinks.”
“….Eh!? Really!?”
“I’m kidding”
“…..This girllllllllllll!!!”

People love Kasumi like that.
And it was the same for Kasumi.

The day ended with nothing special.
After school, Kasumi and I left school together and took a short detour. Then we walked home together after it got a little dark and headed first to Kasumi’s house.

“Sorry to interrupt.”
“Come in…..Ehehe”

I don’t know why she looked so happy, probably because it had been so long since I had been here.
As Kasumi took me to the living room, I saw Kasumi’s mother.

“Ara, Welcome, Kazuki. It’s been a while since you came here with Kasumi like this.”
“Yes….It’s been a long time.”

I’ve seen aunt outside often, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve been inside a house like this. While waiting for Kasumi to head to her room to pack her bags, I got to chat with her.

She asked me in detail how I was doing and how I was spending my time.
I guess I’m like another son to her, after all. I can feel the kindness she shows to Kasumi.

“Did Kasumi give you any trouble?”
“No, no, on the contrary, I think I rely on Kasumi more than she does on me.”

That’s what happened yesterday, and I think it will continue to happen for some time to come.
With that in mind, I have something I need to tell aunt. Kasumi is just not here, and I’ll tell her now.

“I have missed Kasumi up until now. I’m sorry.”
“Fufu, No need to apologize. In a way, I think it was necessary.”

Is it………………..
But I will never let her look like that again. This is my vow as a childhood friend.

“I hope from now on I can stay with Kasumi like I used to. Three months, Kasumi is going to come over to my house….. that, are you sure about that?”
“Of course. it’s a good idea. I feel safe when She’s with Kazuki. …… And since we’re so close, I can see her whenever I want to.”
“That’s well …… so it seems.”

Me and Kasumi’s house are close to each other, so aunt is right.

“But I will not change my mind about taking care of Kasumi. I will not betray you, and I will not betray uncle either.”
“…fufu, Kazuki, you haven’t changed since the old days. You’re a kind boy who really cares about Kasumi.”

It was embarrassing to be told so straight out, but it was the same for Kasumi.

“I felt like Kasumi didn’t …… change much, but she did. She turned out to be really nice, which really surprised me.”
“I’m the mother, but Kasumi has really grown up to be a fine woman. If Kazuki thinks so, then Kasumi too …… ara?”
“What’s wrong?”
“……No, it’s nothing. Kazuki, take care of Kasumi for me.”

Then Kasumi came to the living room after she finished preparing, we said hello to aunt and left the house.

“What’s wrong with your face, it’s been red for a while now?”
“……Nothing. Really.”

“….. Kazuki is not fair, he says things like that that make me happy.”

In a way, it was Kasumi that fell before she made him fall.

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