It was two months ago, back when he had just switched classes.

Amamiya, a game-loving bad communicator, had a bad memory of being treated hostilely by almost all the boys for a week.

This was because he had won a seat in front of Nagase Karina, the No. 1 girl all the boys in the school wanted to date.

Although there was no bullying, apparently there was no end to the number of boys who got down on their knees to Amamiya or offered him large sums of money to switch seats.

Incidentally, when Amamiya tried to agree to this, the homeroom teacher did not allow it, so the situation was quickly settled.

Amamiya did not expect much.

As a shady person, it was a dream come true for him to have a connection with Karina.

He had seen dozens of good-looking guys who had confessed to her and been crushed by her, so he didn’t think he had a chance, even more so.

“Karina! I like you! Go out with me!”

“Sorry, I can’t.”

“Karina, I’m in love with you! Marry me here ……!”

“I’ll pass, it’s too heavy. I’m listening to a song, so be quiet.”

“Karina-tan, I’m in love ……!”

“Who’s ……?”

Not only that, Karina is famous for being a person who cannot be figured

She spends most of her time alone during breaks and is basically silent.

When her friends speak to her, she responds appropriately, often with a single word.

He is simply blunt.

With a dry, “I’d rather listen to music than talk to you guys” attitude, she cuts off the conversation and immerses herself in her own world, listening to tunes on her favourite headphones.

Her friends were used to this and accepted Karina’s attitude, but Amamiya, who didn’t know her very well, had the impression that she was “cold!”

In other words, it is highly likely that an insignificant being like himself would not be taken seriously if he spoke to her.

If she ignored him, Amamiya, whose heart is as fragile as glass, would be dragged along until graduated from high school.

He has no choice but to remain a mob.

A mob whose face is not even drawn, sitting in the seat in front of Karina.

“Ah, …….”

Amamiya, who was staring at a form to decide which committee to join, noticed a mechanical pencil lying at his feet and bent down. After wiping the surface of the mechanical pencil with his handkerchief because it had gotten a little dust on it, he looked for the owner.


Feeling a gentle tap from behind, he turned around to see Karina, who usually has a blank expression on her face, clasping her hands together with an apologetic look towards Amamiya.

“That’s my mechanical pencil. Thanks for picking it up.”

“Oh, no, no, you’re welcome. ……”

Amamiya shyly hands back the mechanical pencil to Karina, who smiles at him calmly.

His hand trembled as he felt a slight touch of her finger, but as expected, Karina didn’t react.

Unlike Amamiya, she is not conscious at this level, which is somewhat like her.

“Hey, you. What’s your name, ……?”

“Ah, oh, me? I’m Amamiya, …….”

“What’s your first name?”

“M-my name is Takaaki, …….”

Amamiya felt even more embarrassed because he was too embarrassed to speak his tongue.

“Amamiya-kun, I’ll remember you.”

She said.

That was the first conversation Amamiya had with her.

Amamiya did not reply when he noticed Tojo glaring at him from a distant seat, but it was the moment when he felt more than anything else that he was really happy to be in this seat.

But they never spoke to each other again.

Just because he picked up a mechanical pencil doesn’t mean they can be friends.

Amamiya pretended to sleep in the front seat, while Karina sat in the back seat, looking out the window and listening to the song.

They are just strangers to each other, living a quiet high school life that never crosses paths.

That was the last time they saw each other, Amamiya thought.

“Well, the monster at that time was so big that I was surprised, but if Rein …… Amamiya kun hadn’t helped, I would have been eaten.”

“Oh …… yeah, that’s right.”

“To level up, I go around the usual labyrinths, but hidden monsters sometimes appear, so I wish they would stop. You only get so little experience points, but they’re needlessly strong. It takes away your motivation to go around. I wonder if the management will improve soon.”

“I think so, too. ……”

“Oh, by the way, are you still wearing the accessories I gave you the other day? It seems like there’s been a lot of talk lately about it being sold at a high price when it’s put up for auction.”

“O-Oh, really?
But it was given to me byDragonhead…Karina-san, so I’m going to wear it as it is. ……”

She’s a very talkative girl.

She’s always quiet in the back seat, but she’s machine gunning it like nothing he has ever seen before.

“Fufu, you say pleasant things. I never thought that my classmate Amamiya-kun was that Rein-san. The world may seem wide, but in reality it may be much smaller.”

“Well, I also …… never thought that Karina-san was Dragonhead-san. ……”

The image of Dragonhead as a middle-aged old man avatar smiling with white teeth flashed in my mind.

Even now, Amamiya could not believe that this situation had come about and was skeptical.

“Hey, Amamiya-kun. You don’t have to call me ‘san’, okay? Feel free to call me Karina.”

“Eh, isn’t it rude…..? Because we’re not even friends. …….”

When Amamiya said that, Karina put down her mug and made a sullen expression.

“You’re rude, you’re my partner, but you’re a stranger. The Rein I know would have said, ‘Karina, that’s a good name. I’ll gladly call you that!’”

“I’m not such an aggressive character in the game, am I?”

“Also, Amamiya-kun sometimes uses honorific language, but that’s not the case either. We’re still classmates of the same age. There’s nothing to be shy about, right?”

“U-Uh, yes,……, I understand.”

Karina puffed out her cheeks in dissatisfaction.

Amamiya felt the shock of that cute gesture, as if he had been hit by a 12.7 mm bullet, but he nodded while trying to bear it so as not to show it on his face.

“BBB-By T-The way, Takaaki-kun”

She stared

She has a sharp gaze, just like his younger sister Anna.

Or rather, being called by first name naturally made Amamiya feel like he was about to burst out

“The other day, you asked me for advice on love, didn’t you? If you don’t mind, may I ask how things have progressed since then?”

Does it mean that he should report because he has consulted with her?

He should have already reported it in the game, but maybe she means to tell her more about it.

Amamiya clears his throat and tells the whole story so that his voice doesn’t blur.

Everything about his relationship with his childhood friend Tojo, his feelings, and his failed confession.

“Hmm, with that Tojo-san. Such a waste, dumping Takaaki-kun, I would never have turned him down…”

“Eh, that’s …….”

“Fufu, it’s nothing.”

Amamiya felt his ears get hot because of her meaningful remark.

He is enjoying a situation that he had given up on forever as a non communicative shady person.

The other customers sitting nearby are also thinking the same thing, or are looking at him like ‘why a guy like you’.

“Do you want to be comforted, Takaaki kun?”

Karina asks abruptly.

“W-well. When I think about that day, I get sick and creepy. I don’t feel like I can recover from the trauma so easily. I feel a sense of loss as if an important piece is missing, as if there is a hole in my chest. ……”

“Takaaki did his best. There there”

Karina reaches out and pats his head.

In the shop, with all the customers around looking on, she’s a person who goes at her own pace to no end.

Amamiya’s cheeks blush with embarrassment, but no boy dislikes being touched by such a pretty girl, so he accepts it honestly.

Perhaps it was his imagination, but he felt that the fear he had felt that day had eased.

“Sorry ……”

“In times like this, you should say “thank you”. I’m not comforting you to be apologetic, okay?”

“T-thank you.

“Fufu, You’re welcome.”

She has only had one brief conversation with him before, but it’s like a lovers’ date.

She may not intend to, but it was Amamiya who couldn’t help but be conscious of it.

Afterwards, they again talked about games, and before they knew it, it was evening.

After paying the bill and leaving the shop, Karina stretches out as she has been sitting there for a long time.

Cute, she’s an angel.

“Well then, is it okay if we just split up like this?”

“Yes, I guess so.
I would have liked to talk to you more, but we can still chat in the game, and from now on we can chat at school.”

She winked and said happily.

Right, now that they know who each other are, they’re not strangers any more.

The relationship may still be ambiguous, but Amamiya thought that if he could, he would like to have a closer relationship with her in real life.

“Ah, yes. Since we’re here, let’s exchange contact details. Here, take out your mobile phone.”

As Karina said, he took out his mobile phone and, as if waiting for her, she pulled it out of his hand and completed various registrations.

Her contact details were listed on all the messaging apps on the returned phone.

[Partner Karina]

“I’ll be in touch with you from now on, Takaaki kun. If you have any problems, I, your partner, will always be there to comfort you. Both in the game and in reality.”

The emphasis on the last part made Amamiya think of something unexpected, but he remembered that he couldn’t be the person Karina knew until the end, and coughed once.

“Who do you think you’re talking to? I’m your partner and resident wizard Rein! You’re the one who needs help, and you can call on me anytime you need help.
No matter what, I’ll always come running!”

Due to his habit of expressing himself with his whole body, Amamiya even poses.

Passers-by on the street, coming and going, took note of Karina’s cuteness, but Amamiya’s so pathetic appearance and embarrassing dialogue caused many people to start laughing.

But Karina wasn’t laughing.

Her eyes were wide open and her cheeks were flushed.

“See you later, partner”

With that, Karina skipped off to the station in a good mood.

Amamiya gave a small wave and replied in an audible or inaudible voice: ‘See you.’

Seeing her name at the top of his mobile phone’s contact list and having been assured that everything is real, Amamiya heads home with a smile on his face after a long time.

Waiting for the train on the station platform, Karina gazes an unsatisfied gaze at the screen displaying ‘Takaaki-kun’, and after thinking for a moment, adds a heart mark to the last part of the message.

Satisfied, she puts her mobile phone away and takes her favourite headphones out of her bag and puts them on. Listening to her usual favourite tunes, she boarded the train.

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