After Kaoru and Yu, and Saejima and Kohinata, who had never met each other before, lightly introduced themselves, it was finally time for the long-awaited lunch. I was looking forward to the lunch box prepared for all of us, but the one in front of me now was prepared by Kohinata for me personally, you know? How can I not be excited under these circumstances? No, I can’t.

I’m probably in a position now where I can’t make fun of the guys at KCC anymore,……, so I should probably refrain from making fun of them a little bit.

“They’re doing something sneaky so we’re going to eat it.”
“………… (kokukoku).”

The four of them, except for me and Kohinata, were sitting on the edge of the leisure sheet, talking in private about something.
I’m sure it’s something related to me and Kohinata, but if they’re talking about something they don’t want us to hear, I don’t think I’ll force myself to listen to them. I decided not to care about it, since it was probably not something that they didn’t want me to hear since they were talking about it right in front of me.
I’m definitely more concerned about Kohinata’s lunchbox than that one.

“–Oh! Looks delicious!”

Ignoring Keiichi and the others out of the corner of my eye, I crack open the bento that Kohinata has prepared. Then I see a colorful array of dishes that whet my appetite just by looking at them.

The green stuffed peppers, the yellow omelette, the red cherry tomatoes, and the red cherry tomatoes. The red of cherry tomatoes and the brown of meatballs. Other delicious-looking side dishes were laid out here and there, and at the rice place were six small rice balls.

But maybe I’m worried about Kohinata-san’s or …… my reaction, wait aren’t we a little too close to each other? Why are our thighs so close to each other, even though we have a spacious leisure seat! And I think it’s too much for adolescent boys when she look up at me from a close range diagonally from below!

But I’m not going to be so thin-skinned as to say to Kohinata, who prepared my bento here, “You’re too close, get away from me,” so I decided to push her closeness out of my consciousness by turning my attention to my bento.

“T-these onigiri, they look like they were made by Kohinata.'”

I look at the bento and mutter my thoughts, somewhat at a loss for words.

The size of the rice ball is small and you can see that it was made by Kohinata’s small hands. Just this onigiri alone is cute. The top of the rice ball has a sprinkling of furikake sprinkled on top of it.

Using the photo function on my smartphone, which I don’t usually use, I snapped a quick picture of this wonderful bento and saved it as data. While I was doing this, Kohinata tapped me on the knee.

“Was it wrong to take a picture? No? …… Oh, you mean you want me to try it as soon as possible. Then come on Kohinata, bring your own lunch, let’s eat it together.”

I guessed the response based on Kohinata’s facial expression and body movements and made conversation with her. That’s how accustomed I’ve become to Kohinata.

Kohinata opened the lunch box quickly, so I took a peek inside and found that the contents were the same as the lunch box I received, although the amount of food inside was slightly different. A couple, huh?
But if I were to describe it correctly, I would say that we are father and daughter, and if I were to describe it more correctly, we are just classmates.

I took a bite of the omelet that looked the most homemade.

“Hmmm…. This is a dashimaki tamago, isn’t it? I’ve never had this before, but I like it.”

There were two in the package, so I’ll save the other one for later. I’ll do that.

But–Kohinata can cook as well,……. her bowling was also good,……, and since she came to Sakura Sei Gakuen, she should be able to study as well. And she’s so popular that she has a fan club. …… Could it be that Kohinata is actually a perfect superhuman?

I was thinking about this as I looked at Kohinata, who was happily breathing out through her nose.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

~The Four Private Stories~

“Right? I told you, Tomoki was normal with girls, wasn’t he? He was like that at school, too.”
“I guess so. I’m not sure if they’re really not dating. I can only see them as a couple. ……”
“I guess so. I was skeptical until I saw it with my own eyes, but it seems that Keiichi’s testimony was correct as he seems to be talking normally with Saejima-san as well.”
“So I guess our [steel oath] is over then?”
“The name is as subtle as ever. …… Who came up with this name?”
“It’s me, isn’t it? I mean, it’s cool, right?”
“Hey, hey, what’s this ‘something vow’?”
“It’s the Oath of Steel. …… Saejima, don’t tell Tomoki, okay? I’m sure he’ll get angry.”
“Yeah. I won’t tell him if you want me to keep quiet about it.”
“If that’s the case, okay–see, I told you that Tomoki used to argue with girls when we were in elementary school, didn’t I?”
“To my shame, the three of us were so weak-willed back then that Tomoki had to protect us all the time.”
“….. I didn’t know that. I can’t really imagine that. Especially Mikado-kun, he seems so strong.”
“Kaoru used to be small in stature, voice, and temperament – so Tomoki, who used to stand up to the girls instead of us, ended up being bad-mouthed and unable to speak properly with them.
“So, until Tomoki can talk to girls normally – until Tomoki can fall in love, we agreed that we would prohibit romance. That’s why it’s called [the steel oath].”
“It’s kind of heartless to fall in love without Tomo, who was protecting us~. I mean, even now I’m not really interested in it.”
“I’m sure the girls who have a thing for Yu will be sad to hear that. He’s been like that since middle school, and he’s quite popular even at Harukane.”
“I’m nothing compared to the current models there.”
“Don’t do it because it’s embarrassing – well, as far as the [steel oath] is concerned, that’s how it is. There’s no punishment for not keeping it, but it’s like a punishment for those of us who are grateful to Tomoki.”
“Yes, yes. So, Saejima, if you attack the current Keiichi, you might be easily charmed by him.”
“–Eh, no, I don’t, umm……”
“…haa, Saejima will be in trouble, so don’t do that kind of thing. For now, Tomoki is looking at us with a stern look, it’s time for us to join them.
“I understand.~”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Yes, I understand!–I see, it’s not that Karakusa-kun isn’t interested, but he didn’t have a girlfriend until now because he had banned romance. ……”

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