Yuri stared at Arase’s back as he stood up from his seat.
Yuri shook her head when Nanami asked her about it.
“What’s wrong with him, Arase-kun? Did he get a stomach ache?”
“Well? Maybe he got embarrassed because he got too many compliments?”
The conversation continued as usual in the absence of Arase.
Sana, who had looked so unhappy during the mountain climbing, was smiling without showing any sign of it.
Little did Yuri know that it was also thanks to Arase.
When they got into an argument and came back together with Arase. When Yuri was impatient because of Nanami’s disappearance, it was Sana who, though clumsy, consoled her, or at least talked to her.
From that time on, she became somewhat easier to talk to.
(I wonder what’s going on with him.)
It makes sense when she thinks of it that way.
Thinking back, she felt that something had changed little by little since she met Arase this spring.
Until now, Yuri has never tried to have anything to do with anyone other than Nanami. But recently, she has started talking with Arase and even Sousuke.
Even today, she is having a little conversation with Sana, with whom she had been quarreling at first. She was the subject of many rumors, but when she spoke to her, she was easy to talk to, and she even seemed to resemble herself.
Moreover, despite the fact that this was the first time she was talking to her today, she was able to easily blend into the conversation with Suika.
Even though they had the pretext of having shared a lost dinner, it is true that they had not expected to be able to talk so well together.
(I think this girl had something to do with him too. ……)
Yuri realized that the starting point of this relationship was definitely Arase.
This connection would surely not have been possible without Arase.
But Yuri herself didn’t understand why she was able to talk with Arase in a light-hearted way, unlike other students.
(Was it because he saved me from a near accident?)
No way. She doesn’t believe everything he says. Considering how slurred he seemed when they talked at the café, it is true that there were many inexplicable things about him.
But somehow, when she thought about it, it made sense to her.
When Yuri thought that, the topic of conversation turned to Arase again.
“Come to think of it, Arase-kun, he was a transfer student, wasn’t he! I kind of forgot about him because he’s so easy to talk to, but what was he like where he was before?”
“What? Are you curious about Arase?”
Sana looks at Suika’s question.
“I-I’m curious!? No, I’m not! He said he could do things like cooking naturally. I know it’s because I’ve been through first aid and stuff like that, but …… don’t you care about that kind of thing?”
“Well, I guess you could say that it does bother me.”
“Right? Even if Suika is a normal person, I can’t learn to cook at all, and even taping doesn’t work even though I do it as a club activity. ……”
Suika’s spirits were waning as she said this to herself.
This is because she is aware that even without gender, Suika is overwhelmingly inferior to Arase in terms of dexterity.
“…..I could certainly be pretty curious about Arase’s pre-transition and such. If I could hear what it was like, I could tease it out!”
Sana’s purpose comes back to that. If there was material there to tease Arase with, she was willing to listen to it at all costs.
“You and Kurase are in the same class, right? Do you know anything about Arase?”
Yuri also thinks about it as she watches Nanami being asked.
(If I may say so. I haven’t heard anything in particular since I talked to the manager. ……!)
Then Yuri shook her head. He remembered what the manager had said.
There are parts of himself that he doesn’t want to be touched, either. Just thinking about staying at the house of an acquaintance who is not a relative, she knows that the situation at that house is complicated.
She also know that She don’t know him.
But She thought it was different to mention his complicated past, which was not here. She could have just told the story she heard from Ayako san, but it might have made the atmosphere of this place worse. Besides, when Arase comes back, he might feel uncomfortable about it.
“……by the way, Takimoto san? Was it? Is that true?”
(Sorry, Fujibayashi san.)
Yuri deliberately changed the topic of conversation.
It seemed to be a rather forceful way of changing the topic, but Suika did not mind and kept on talking.
Nanami also seemed to have noticed her intention. However, only Sana raised an eyebrow at the blatant change of topic.
“What was that?”
“The other day, he picked up the injured Takimoto-san in a princess’s arms and took her to the infirmary.”
To tell the truth, it was true that she was curious about me.
The rumor she heard was that they were actually dating and had hugged each other the other day.
He denied it, but somehow she was too suspicious to believe it, so Yuri decided to take this opportunity to ask her.
“Nonono!! No such thing!!”
With a red face and a big wave of her hand, Suika denied it. Yuri felt sorry for the man for denying too much, but then she reminded herself why she should feel that way about the man.
“I-I think I’m causing trouble by getting rumors about him……”
“Eh, Suika-chan. You’re so cute! Because you’re so petite and girlish.”
“S-Stop the so tiny, it’s a complex….Suika is on the basketball team, you know?”
“S-Sorry! I didn’t mean it. ……”
“No, no, no, don’t apologize so seriously! It’s true I care, but I’m not that mad at you!”
Nanami and Suika were beginning to bow their heads to each other.
“Hmmm, Arase, he did that?”
“No, he didn’t! He didn’t hold me like a princess!”
“Then what did he do to you?”
“Well, it was a ………… piggyback ……”
Hearing this, Sana’s mouth twitched and her eyes narrowed. Apparently, Sana’s interest had shifted nicely.
“But come to think of it, both Yuri and I are getting help from Ito-kun!”
“…… Kurase-san and the others too”
“Yes. I was injured when I got lost a while ago, but he took care of me. I was almost drowned in the river the other day and he helped me out! Ahaha!”
“Nanami, that’s not very funny.”
“eeh, really? And besides, I drowned in the river and he even saw my embarrassing underwear ……hehehe……”.
Nanami may have meant it as an embarrassing episode talk, but Sana didn’t think so.
(He’s a dirty guy after all)
She was thinking about how she would tease him next time.
“Well, what about Asagiri-san?”
“Yuri chan is, he saved her from almost getting into a car accident!”
“Hey, Nanami! Mine is nothing. That’s just what he said, and I don’t believe him, okay?”
Yuri hurriedly denied it. Although she said so, she was actually half-convinced.
“Hmmm …… everyone is getting help from Arase”
Not knowing why, Sana was in a boring mood.
The fact that she still didn’t know what that feeling was inside of her made it even more frustrating.
“Oh, what about you, Fujibayashi-san? Where did you meet Arase-kun?”
Everyone is getting help in different situations. In contrast, She was…… picked up?
“Oh, I got picked on.”
“You got picked up?”
Sana honestly reveals her encounter with Arase. She did not lie. The reason for that was to avoid the East High guys. In fact, Sana herself did not feel that she had been saved, since it was unclear whether she was actually involved with the East High guys or not. Rather, she remembered skipping school and having fun.
However, everyone except Sana had no way of knowing that.
They were surprised out loud, not expecting to meet each other that way. Perhaps such a reaction was unexpected, but it made Sana feel a little better.
“W-Well, We just just skip school and go have fun.”
─ ─ Arase does that kind of thing …….
Everyone thought so. Then Yuri realizes an important fact.
“Wait a minute. Fujibayashi-san. When did you mean that?”
“Hmm? Was it last Tuesday or something?”
(That guy! he lied to me!)
Yes, that day was the day of his first committee meeting. The next day, when she asked him what he did on the day he skipped it, Yuri recalled that he said he stayed home all day and slept.
Now Yuri was getting irrationally angry.
Not only for the fact that he was picking up and playing with her when she was in trouble, but also for the fact that he had lied to her.
Then they all all spoke out about their respective encounters.
“Well, he saved me when I was hurt.”
“Mine is that he is a pervert.”
“I’m the one who being picked up ……”
And then they all thought the same thing.
─ Isn’t it all girls?
“Hmmm …… my stomach hurts ……”
Then Sosuke, who had been silent, let out a groan.
And suddenly, he got up and ran to the bathroom.
Everyone came to their senses.
I washed my face in the restroom at the facility.
The cold water makes my face a little tighter.
I looked at my face in the mirror and saw my usual unmotivated face.
“Ah, no, no, no. I’m not going to let the past keep me down. I thought for sure I didn’t like unproductive things.”
I didn’t tell anyone, but told myself right in front of me.
I don’t think anyone would have noticed, but I was somewhat reluctant to go back.
The person I had been earlier was not like me.
Once again, I take a deep breath and clear my head.
As I was re-injecting my energy into my body, I was suddenly approached by a voice, which made me jump.
What I saw in the mirror was Sosuke.
—He didn’t see me, did he?
“Sosuke, is that you? What are you doing?”
“Of course I’m doing something. I got a stomach ache.”
“Then get the hell out of here.”
“That’s right. I’m leaking ……!”
Sosuke hurriedly walked into the private room.
Somehow, I felt distracted.
“Let’s go back.”
I ignored the groans coming from the private room and went back to where everyone was waiting.
When I returned, I felt all the girls giving me the stink-eye for some reason.
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