Kawaikereba Hentai Demo Suki Ni Natte Kuremasu Ka? Volume 1 Chapter 5/
Kawaikereba Hentai Demo Suki Ni Natte Kuremasu Ka? Volume 1 Chapter 5
Twitter: / Facebook:
A cruel devil’s thesis Part 1:
Right after Keiki enrolled into high school, a homeroom started where everyone would have the opportunity to join a committee. Regardless of committee, there weren't many students that took initiative. The library committee especially had the image of being rather simple, so there weren't a lot of students that volunteered to join out of their own free will. Because of that, one girl had bad luck that day when the lottery was drawn. Said girl was Keiki's redheaded seat neighbour. With loose clothes and a short skirt, she had a rather modern style and atmosphere. Said girl always looked very displeased, and her good-looking face always had a cold gaze on it. However, when she returned from the lottery that day, she was completely different.
She was crying like the world would end the next day. Because she looked so extremely troubled, Keiki had talked to her. And that was the trigger that caused Keiki to become a member of the library committee. It was the first time that Keiki had exchanged words with his brownish-red haired cla.s.smate, Nanjou Mao.
The next morning, Keiki happened to meet Mao in front of the shoe lockers.
The G.o.ds really are harsh. Just when their relations.h.i.+p got a bit weird, the G.o.ds made them appear on front of the other.
"Y-Yeah, good morning."
Exchanging a short greeting, the girl took out her own indoor shoes. That expression she showed yesterday was nowhere to be found. She was wearing a small amount of make-up and her hair was put together in a modern style. Her face was as beautiful as ever, but the atmosphere around her was a bit different, like every time she took a breath there was a thorn inside her chest.
"…..What is it?"
Yesterday, Mao told Keiki that he shouldn't get too close to other girls. Although he would've really liked to know her reasoning behind it, he couldn't find the right words to achieve that.
"Keiki-senpai, good morning!" The voice that cut through the heavy atmosphere sounded very energetic.
The person greeting him was the blonde-haired Kouhai he was all too familiar with.
"Ah, Mao-senpai is also here. Good morning."
"Mornin'… I'll be going on ahead," Being greeted by her Kouhai, the girl walked away.
After looking at the girl's back with her blue eyes, Yuika looked up at Keiki.
"Don't tell Yuika… did something happen between Keiki-senpai and Mao-senpai?"
"Does it look like that?"
"It really does. It's probably because of Yuika…"
"Not just Yuikchan, to be precise."
There's another person accountable in this case. Of course, it was the long-haired, big-breasted Senpai.
"Yuika has to apologize for yesterday. It seems like she went a bit too far."
"It's okay. As long as you're reflecting on it."
"Ah but, Yuika will not give up on Keiki-senpai, you know?"
"If at all possible, I would rather you gave up."
For some reason or another, Yuika became interested in Keiki and now she wanted him to become her slave. However, Keiki didn't have the slightest interest of becoming the girl's slave. And like this, they would never see eye to eye.
"Keiki-senpai and Mao-senpai really are close."
"Eh, you think so?"
"Every time Yuika sees Mao-senpai on school grounds, she always has this sulking expression on her face, after all."
"That… might be the case."
When she's in the cla.s.sroom, Mao just sits in her seat without talking to anyone. It's not like she's deliberately acting hostile, but she clearly doesn't go out of her way to start conversations with other people.
"But every time she's with Keiki-senpai, she looks like she's having fun. Yuika thought this before during the cleaning operation."
"Well, Nanjou can be a bit moody sometimes."
"Don't tell me… does Mao-senpai feel that way towards Keiki-senpai…?"
"Cough Well… it would be best to hurry and make up with her."
"What is it? You look so surprised."
"Well, I just thought that you were being strangely nice to me even though you want me to become your slave…"
"Oh, you don't know, Keiki-senpai?" She said as she turned around on the spot, making her skirt flutter, "As a proper master, Yuika has to alternate between the candy and the whip sometimes," Looking over her shoulder, she winked at him.
With an angel-like smile, she said words befitting a witch.
Lunch break. Having finished eating his lunch, he received a perfectly timed email. The sender was Tokihara Sayuki. The content was 'Come to the clubroom immediately.'
And, having arrived in front of her, he sat down, facing her.
"So why did you call me here during lunch break?"
"It's about yesterday… was Nanjou-san mad after what happened?"
"Uhm… I can't really say for sure…"
"I thought so. I happened to meet her in the hallway earlier and she looked even more mad than ever. It seems like your relations.h.i.+p with her has gotten worse because of me," She whimpered like a little puppy that did something bad, "I really reflected on it, you know? That incident with Kogsan yesterday… Nanjou-san happened to see all of it, right? It makes sense that it dampered her mood to see all of us like that. Like, me wanting to become Keiki-kun's pet, or Kogsan wanting to make Keiki-kun her slave… anyone would be a bit perplexed after seeing that."
"It feels really weird to hear you say something with that much common sense after all this time… But it's true that finding out about both of your real personalities in this harsh of a way might've been a bit too much for her."
"Yes. I was always hiding my real personality all this time, after all. n.o.body except Keiki-kun, Kogsan, and my family knew about me being a hardcore m.a.s.o.c.h.i.s.tic b.i.t.c.h."
"So your family actually knows, huh."
"When I told them, they said 'You'd better keep this a secret.'"
Just imagining how her parents must've felt made his heart hurt.
"Well, after that, I decided that I will pick out a private place to make my approach. I really don't want to trouble Keiki-kun, after all."
"That's why I'll try to seduce him as best as I can in places where we can be alone together!"
"Just like the pets in the pet shop, I will show Keiki-kun my charm and make him choose me! 'Wow, now I really want to make Sayuki my pet,' something like that!"
"I would rather drown in the depths of the ocean."
Sayuki stood up from her seat and brought her face closer to the table. A sweet smell and her puppy-like eyes made Keiki's heart beat faster.
"Please adopt me?"
"I wholeheartedly decline."
"Then, domesticate me?"
"It's getting worse?!"
"It's fine, right? Master~"
"That cute voice won't help you. I have no plans whatsoever to make Senpai my pet."
"n.o.body knows what the future will bring. There should be a worldline where I become Keiki-kun's pet."
"Then how about you go over to that worldline right this instant?"
"I wouldn't be having this much trouble if I could just take the train over there."
"Even though you were the one who brought it up……"
"That's why I'll definitely win your heart in this worldline."
"So there's no option for you to give up on me, is there?"
"Of course not?" She tilted her head in confusion as she grinned, looking like she found a small treasure of hers, "After all, Keiki-kun is the only person I want to be my master."
That honest smile of hers was incredibly cute. It really was a pity that she was a super pervert that wanted to become another person's pet.
"Well, let's leave it at that for today. And I'll lay low for a bit."
"Eh? I thought you weren't going to give up?"
"Nanjou-san is Keiki-kun's important friend, right? Destroying my master's friends.h.i.+p would make me a disgrace of loyal dog after all."
"It would make a disgrace of a loyal dog after all."
"Why did you say it twice?"
Instead of answering, she pointed her white finger at him.
"So hurry up and make up with her already."
She said it like she was pus.h.i.+ng the back of a coward.
"…Yes, thank you very much."
Thanks to that, Keiki felt much better now.
"Whenever Keiki-kun's not with me, I enjoy myself thinking it's a neglection play."
"You can enjoy that for all of eternity."
Still, she's still very grown-up, worrying about her Kouhai.
After cla.s.ses. When homeroom ended, all of his fellow cla.s.smates left the cla.s.sroom. While he calmly packed his things to prepare for the walk home, a red-haired girl resting her head on her desk entered Keiki's view.
"Heey, Nanjou? Homeroom is already over, you know?"
"Mhm…? Ah, Kiryuu…"
Having checked on the source of the voice talking to her, she once more buried her face into her arms.
"What's wrong? Are you not feeling well?"
"I'm fine. Lately, I haven't been able to sleep very well."
"Why is that?"
"It's none of your business."
"Is it because of yesterday?"
"I don't want to talk about that right now."
"…I get it. But if you're having trouble about something, you can always ask me for advice, you know?"
"You'll give me advice?"
"Well, we're friends after all, so of course I'd help you out."
"Kiryuu…" She looked up at him, "Kiryuu and I are friends?"
"Was I the only one who thought so?!"
"Ahaha, calm down. I was joking."
"I can't really laugh at that, though……"
"But, thank you. It makes me happy that you think that," She had a soft smile on her face as she expressed her feelings verbally, "But you haven't been talking to me at all lately."
"Uhh… that's… a lot of stuff happened."
"Then, how about you make up for it now?"
"Make up for it?"
"How about we go to an arcade? It's been a long time, after all. Maybe together with Akiyama."
"The arcade, huh. We haven't been there for quite some time, yeah."
Before, the three of them had gone there often, but Keiki had been a bit busy ever since the love letter incident.
Today he didn't need to show his face in the calligraphy clubroom, and he didn't have any work with the library committee either. There was no reason to decline her invitation.
"Ahh, this sound is like an explosion of nostalgia for me."
"Sometimes I really don't get Nanjou at all."
"Likewise. This sound is nothing more than a pain in the a.s.s," Shouma agreed to Keiki's opinion.
As they were flooded with tons of different sounds, he had to speak in a louder voice.
"Shouldn't it be fine to skip club practice from time to time, Akiyama?"
"Maybe. Ditching my club to play in an arcade really gets my excited."
"Ahaha, to think that you could get excited by anything besides little girls," Mao let out a cute laugh as she walked deeper into the arcade. "Let's do that one first, over there."
What the girl was pointing at was a cla.s.sic shooter game where you had to shoot the zombies that came at you. Mao and Shouma went first while Keiki watched them.
"As always, Nanjou's a G.o.ddess at this."
Although Shouma wasn't half bad, he still couldn't reach Mao's level of skill. Or rather, since she was the one who wanted to go to the arcade, it made sense that she'd be basically a demon at every game possible. She was even good enough at fighting games (her favourite kind of game) to make an experienced player cry. Still, she also managed to clear the zombie shooting game with no damage taken. By the way, her partner Shouma was eaten halfway into the round.
"C'mere Kiryuu. It's your turn."
"Yeah," Receiving the gun from Mao, he stood in front of the screen.
"Hey, Partner. Don't pull me down, will you?"
"Likewise. I hope that you don't die halfway through the round like last time."
And with that, the game started. Screams and gunshots resounded through the battlefield, with blood as far as the eye could see. While Keiki and Shouma were shooting their hearts out, Mao watched them, seemingly having fun. Since it was a bit difficult without the monstrously strong Mao, it was no surprise when the game over screen appeared approximately ten minutes later.
"They really showed us, huh?"
"That zombie with the big chainsaw was really tough."
Exchanging these words, the boys put the guns back where they belonged and stepped away from the machine. In that moment, Keiki tripped over his own feet, making his body fall over.
"Woah," Shouma barely managed to catch him with his arm as he was about to fall over.
"Y-Yeah, thanks for that. It's been a while since I've played a game standing up like that, so I must've gotten a bit shaky in the legs."
"You two… why are you doing a kabe-don even though you're both guys?"
As Mao said that, Keiki became aware of the position he was in. In front of him was an ikemen, who had one hand on the wall behind Kiryuu and the other on him to support him. From an outsider's perspective, it looked like Shouma pulled a kabe-don on Keiki.
"Hey, Akiyama, will you let go of Kiryuu already?!"
"Nanjou… why do you have your smartphone ready like that?"
Even though she told him to let go, she had taken her smartphone out, gotten into position, and taken a photo. And immediately after that, a second one. Then, with a satisfied expression, she returned to her former position and took a third.
"Really! Really really really! Pulling a kabe-don like that out of the blue, since when were you two like that?"
"What are you talking about?! W-Wait, don't take any more photos! This is too embarra.s.sing!"
"It's even better when you're embarra.s.sed, don't you think?!"
"Really, what the h.e.l.l are you even saying?!"
Maybe her brain was damaged from playing that zombie game. All Keiki knew was that his eyes had started to hurt from all the camera flashes.
"Fufufu, might this be jealousy because you're afraid that I'll take Keiki away from you, Mao-chan?"
"Wh?! Are you an idiot?! That's not it at all!"
A perfect tsundere response. Yet, she still didn't stop taking photos. On the contrary, they were being ma.s.s-produced right now.
"What's up with this…"
After about a minute, the photoshoot stopped.
"Ahahaha. I was enjoying myself a bit too much. Ohh, but the pictures turned out great if i do say so myself," The cameraman said as she checked the photos.
"Mao-chan is in top form today, huh."
"Well, we've definitely been neglecting her recently. I guess she really wanted to have some fun."
Normally, she always had a deadpan expression on her face, but right now, she looked like a completely different person. Without making eye contact with the boys, every one of them had a small smile on their faces.
"Now then, I guess we'll give her what she wanted."
"Yeah, we'll play 'till we drop dead."
They had a lot of time. And that red-haired girl would surely use up all of it.
"Ahh, that was fun! I'm satisfied to the brim!" Mao stretched.
"Well, we've been walking around the arcade for about three hours," Keiki said as he watched Mao.
"My ears hurt from all that noise…" Shouma rubbed his ears.
As the three of them left the arcade, they noticed that it had already gotten dark outside.
"Let's call it a day there."
"You're right, we do have school tomorrow after all."
"Yeah," Having seemingly thought of something, Shouma grinned and turned towards Keiki.
"Keiki, it's pretty dark, right? How about you see Mao-chan home."
"Eh? Ah, yeah, I'll do that."
"Then, I'll see you two tomorrow. Bye~"
With a voice that didn't show how tired he actually was, Shouma separated from the two of them. And he turned around to wink at Keiki once. Basically, Shouma had created a chance for Keiki to investigate if Mao might actually be Cinderella.
"Welp, I guess we'll go home as well."
"I can go home myself, you know? My home's not far from here."
"That's not going to happen, Nanjou. You're a girl after all."
"A girl…" As she muttered that, it looked like she unconsciously touched her hair, "Then, maybe I'll take you up on that offer."
With that, they started walking. The boy that didn’t have any special features about him, and the flashy girl. Two different people becoming friends like this without any common interests is part of what makes life so interesting.
"Hey Kiryuu, it’s gotten pretty late, right? Will Mizuha be fine?"
"Yeah, I told her that she can start eating dinner without me."
"You’re really doing a great job at being a siscon, aren’t you?"
"You’re making me blush."
"Why do I only have a lolicon and a siscon around me, I wonder?" She said with a sigh. "Well, today I had a lot of fun with the two of you."
"You’re right. That reminds me, we’ve been friends for about a year now."
"That’s… yeah," Suddenly, she stopped walking.
"It’s true that I’m really having fun right now but… I might not be able to keep going like this."
"What do you mean?"
"How do I say it… it feels like I’m getting more frustrated every second… Hey, Kiryuu?" She looked straight at Keiki as her cheeks started to get red. And…
"How about, uhm… not with the three of us… but how about going forward just with two?"
These words were almost like the message of a confession.
"Two… so Nanjou, you mean—"
As Keiki wanted to ask, he felt a cold drop on his shoulder.
"Uwa, it's starting to rain."
The rain grew more intense by the second. Just when they thought that it wasn't so bad, it started pouring en ma.s.se.
"What's up with this….?!"
The two of them evacuated to a nearby overhang.
"Haah, this is the worst…"
"Yeah. It came out of nowhere, too."
Since the rain got pretty intense very quickly, both their heads and clothes were soaked in a matter of minutes. And Keiki didn't know if he should continue the conversation from before. Though, for some reason, he was happy that he didn't have ask her what she meant.
"Kiryuu, did they say that it would rain today?"
"Nope. This was probably a sudden rain front or something."
"Sudden rain front, huh. That happens a lot lately… Here, have a towel."
"Ah, thanks a bunch. I don't have anything besides a handkerchief—" Keiki swallowed his words because of the sight in front of him.
Mao took out a small towel out of her bag. However, since she wasn't wearing a blazer, he could see right through her blouse because of the rain, making her underwear completely visible.
Because Keiki's movements suddenly stopped like an electrical circuit that was cut, Mao looked at him with a dubious gaze. And, following her friend's gaze, she realized why he had gotten quiet.
"Woah, hey! Where are you looking?!"
"Ah, sorry. But, uhm….Nanjou really has quite the bust alright."
"What are you saying?!"
Keiki blurted out these words without thinking. Having decided that he should probably shut up now, he looked up at the sky. In the meantime, Mao put on her blazer and completely b.u.t.toned it up to the top. She then proceeded to glare at him again.
"Now Kiryuu got to see my bra, too… this really is the worst."
"It's your fault for not wearing your blazer properly, you know?"
"I got hot inside the arcade, which is why I took it off."
Their conversation came to a sudden halt, and only the sound that was left was the rain pounding down on the world around them. But Keiki didn't exactly hate that silence. It felt like all the stress of the past few days was being washed away from him.
"…It looks like the rain isn't going to stop soon."
"Hey, Kiryuu. Can I ask you something?"
"Sure, go ahead."
"Say, are you being approached by both your Senpai and Kouhai at the same time?"
"…….." Because that question was so unexpected, he couldn't come up with a way to cover it up. "….W-Why do you ask?"
"I mean, judging from that situation yesterday, it really looked like it."
"You said that you didn't want to talk about…"
"Women can be a bit unfair at times. So, what is it?" Her gaze was clearly saying "Spill it out already."
"These two are… It's not like that. I can't properly explain it though."
"But it really looked like they were competing for you."
"Yeah, but that's a bit different…"
"I'm sure that Kiryuu wants to go out with a girl too, right?"
"Well, there are times when I think that, yeah."
"But it's true, right? You really looked like you enjoyed having one of them at each of your arms."
"I told you that you were wrong about that!"
This almost sounds like a lover's quarrel.
As I was getting worried that the fight might escalate, Mao's sneeze completely snuffed out the flame.
"W-What is it?"
"No, I just thought that your sneeze was really cute."
"S-Shut it, idiot," Although she threw that verbal abuse at Keiki, her face got red.
Dwelling on that cute reaction, Keiki looked up the dark sky. The rain still hadn't let up. Even if they were safe from the rain, their clothes were still wet and it was starting to get colder. As far as Keiki could see, there weren't any convenience stores close to them, so there was no way for them to get an umbrella. But there was still one good thing. A few meters away, there were a few buildings lined up next to each other. It looked like a karaoke or a small bar, so there should be a vending machine in there somewhere.
"I'll go buy something to drink. What do you want, Nanjou?"
"…I'll take some hot chocolate, then."
"Hot chocolate, got it."
"Ah, what about the money—"
"It's fine, it's my treat. I got to see something good earlier, after all."
"Something good? …Hah?! I-Idiot! Idiot idiot! You're the worst!" She crossed her arms in front of her b.r.e.a.s.t.s to hide them, glaring at Keiki with a gaze colder than ever. "Die, you pervert!"
Hearing these words, Keiki evacuated into the building.
"Nanjou is rather the pure maiden, I see….."
If this were Sayuki, she'd be pressing her b.r.e.a.s.t.s against Keiki instead.
Keiki then proceeded to buy two hot chocolate cans. As he returned, he saw Nanjou, still staying sheltered from the pouring rain, looking at her smartphone.
"Nanjou…?" What Keiki saw was a grinning, happy looking girl.
What Mao was looking at where the pictures from the arcade. And what was shown in the pictures was mostly the face of Shouma.
"…Ahh, I see how it is."
Remembering back, the only times when Keiki really felt Mao's gaze was when he was together with Shouma. And Mao was currently looking at the pictures with the face of a maiden in love—
Taking everything in consideration, even an idiot would understand what's happening.
"Nanjou… so you were in love with Shouma, huh?"
"Eh?" Mao's body lightly twitched as Keiki called out to her.
Realizing that Keiki's gaze was fixated on the smartphone in her hand, she hurriedly hid it.
"In what way?"
"Kiryuu, you're misunderstanding! The one I like isn't Shouma but, uhm, y—" Her face went red in an instant, "….Sorry, I'm going home."
Even though it was still raining, Mao dashed away. And, even after her back disappeared, Keiki couldn't move away from that spot. The moment she had turned to run away, it looked like she had tears in her eyes.
"…What was up with that…?" He muttered, his voice drowned out by the sound of the rain, "If you make that face, I'm gonna start misunderstanding again…"
He remembered the words written on the front of the love letter. And the short message written within it.
'I like you.'
He didn't know who wrote that.
He didn't know whose feelings those were.
Merely a throwaway confession. But now that he had received it and read it, he couldn't ignore it. He certainly couldn't stop until he found out the ident.i.ty of the girl that held these feelings for him, or his heart could probably never move on.
"…Is Nanjou my Cinderella?"
And of course, n.o.body answered the timid prince's question. It was merely washed away by the sound of the rain.
That day, the relations.h.i.+p between Keiki and Mao didn't move forward at all. In the end, the day ended with them not being able to talk about that incident. Even though his Kouhai encouraged him, and his Senpai pushed his back, nothing changed. Instead, you could even say that their relations.h.i.+p had only gotten worse. Although Shouma also wanted to know what had happened, Keiki couldn't just tell him the truth.
After cla.s.ses had ended, Keiki basically rushed out of the school building only to stop his feet countless times on the way home as he stopped to think.
"Is Nanjou really my Cinderella?" He repeated these words countless times, "Am I not misunderstanding it like the times with Sayuki-senpai and Yuikchan?"
That was the reason why Keiki had gotten more timid than ever. Even though Mao might be fishy, he had thought so too in the case of Sayuki and Yuika. He just didn't want to step on another landmine like before. That being said, he couldn't leave this at is. He had to find out, no matter what.
"But… after she showed me such a face… how should I start talking to her again…?"
In Keiki's chest, he still felt horrible for forcing her to make such a face. He had reflected on it countless times, and he started hating himself because he let out his own frustration on Mao. Prioritizing his own feelings, he had ignored the girl's feelings, and made her cry.
"I really am the worst, aren't I…?"
Walking on heavy feet, it took him twice as much time as normal to walk home that day. The entrance to his home was unlocked. It looked like Mizuha was already home. And Keiki immediately headed for his own room.
I just want to lie down on my bed and sleep.
With that comfortable method of running away from reality in his mind, he opened the door. But in that moment, that escape route was cut off.
In his room that should be empty, for some reason, there was his little sister.
Wearing casual clothes, the girl was sitting on top of his bed. Seeing her like that, he was entranced by her beauty. And what Mizuha was doing was looking at a collection of books. Books t.i.tled things like 'It's fine if she's legal!' and filled with countless pictures of girls with small bodies and baby-like faces. She looked up from the book she was reading and stared at her brother with her usual sleepy expression.
"I didn't think that Nii-san was such a lolicon."
"You're wrong! Shouma forgot that book here the last time he came over!"
"It figures. Nii-san likes them on the bigger end of the scale after all."
"…W-Well, that's certainly true…"
There was no need to clarify what they were talking about. What was more important was that his little sister had found his secret stash.
"And what are you doing in here, Mizuha?"
"I finished cleaning my room, so I thought I'd do Nii-san's room too. Then I happened to spot these very interesting books. After a long fight, I lost against my curiosity."
"Thanks for sparing me the details. For now, could you not enter your Nii-san's room without permission?"
"I don't care that Nii-san is hiding these books, you know?"
"But I do!"
"It makes sense. I guess I overstepped my bounds, even though we're so close…… Sorry."
"Well, it's fine. I know that Mizuha is a clean freak and I've been slacking off on cleaning my room for quite some time."
Mizuha never could overlook any signs of dirt ever since she was born. Even dirt inside Keiki's own room.
"By the way, Nii-san?"
"Should I give you a lap pillow?"
Two minutes later, Keiki was resting his head in Mizuha's lap for some reason. Without going into much detail, Keiki was enjoying the situation like a cat as he was gently being petted on the head by Mizuha.
"Uhm… why a lap pillow all of a sudden?"
"It's the duty of a little sister to be spoiled by her brother, and also to spoil him."
"Yup, I don't really get it."
That response wasn't really a sufficient answer. Even after living with her for countless years, he still didn't quite grasp the personality of his little sister.
"Nii-san, did something happen recently?"
"Eh? W-Why do you ask?"
"I know. I always know when Nii-san is feeling down."
Her voice transmitted a soft warmth. Keiki really loved that voice of hers.
"As your little sister, I can't ignore Nii-san when he's not feeling well, and I might get some Nii-san points if I give him some advice."
"What's that supposed to be, ahahaha," He let out a laugh.
Even though they had barely started talking, the dark feelings inside his chest had already started to magically clear up.
"Then, I might as well ask for some advice," He lifted up his body and sat down next to Mizuha, "Actually, I happened to get into a fight with Nanjou."
"I think that Nanjou is hiding something from me. Without knowing what it is or how she felt about it, I ended up hurting her."
Because he was irritated, he hurt her.
"It's no good to force something out of someone if the person doesn't want to talk about it, you know?" Hearing the circ.u.mstances, Mizuha showed a complicated smile and said that like she was talking to a kid, "Be it with friends, or even family, there are some things that you can't tell people, don't you think?"
"Yeah… that might be the case."
Keiki himself didn't talk about everything with his friends. And of course, that was also the case for his little sister Mizuha.
"…But even so, I think I want to know more about Nanjou."
There should be things that she can't tell Keiki because she treasures him. But even so, there are feelings that can only be transmitted with words. Even more than wanting to know more about her, he didn't want to hurt her. That's why he would have to take risks in order to get that one step closer to her.
"Nii-san doesn't want to be separated from Mao-chan, huh."
"Then you'd better make up with her quickly."
"What do you think I should do?"
"I think you just have to hit her with everything you got."
"As if I could?!"
"You don't have to do anything special. I think that Nii-san just has to be himself and act like he thinks is best."
But, what if he makes the same mistake again— He remembered Mao's crying face. The pain that he felt as he saw her. Maybe because she realized what Keiki was feeling, Mizuha grabbed his hand, and when he looked up, she was smiling at him.
"If you really fail with that, I'll comfort you as long as you want."
With these words, the girl slowly pulled the timid prince out of his sh.e.l.l. When you're lacking the courage to take the step forward, you have to thin out the fear of it ending up in failure.
Just thinking about his cute little sister comforting him, he wasn't all that afraid of failure anymore. Maybe because Keiki really was a siscon.
"Thank you Mizuha. I'll give it my best."
"Yup," She gently smiled at him and told him "Give it your best," with Keiki's favorite voice of hers.
The day after he had received advice from Mizuha. As always, school lessons went by without him being able to talk to Mao at all. When he had finished with his work in the library, he received an email from Mizuha.
'Mao-chan is in the cla.s.sroom right now'
As he returned to his own cla.s.sroom, it was just as the email had said. The brownish red-haired girl was indeed there, resting her head on her arms as she sat at her desk.
"…Weird. Normally, she always goes straight home."
Whatever the reason, this was his chance, and he couldn't let that slip past him. Taking a deep breath, Keiki entered the cla.s.sroom. Mao's desk was right in the middle of the cla.s.sroom, and as he arrived next to it, he raised his voice.
Either she was sleeping, or she was just acting.
"If you don't wake up, I'm gonna grope your b.r.e.a.s.t.s, you know?"
"……..Are you an idiot?"
His s.e.xual hara.s.sment was answered with a cold gaze as she looked up at him.
"So you really were awake."
Maybe she still wasn't over what happened the other day. With a displeased expression, she lifted up her body.
"Nanjou, you don't look so good, you know?"
"It's fine. I'm missing a bit of sleep right now is all."
"Missing sleep you say… What have you been doing at night?"
"…It's Kiryuu's fault."
"The reason I'm sleep-deprived is your fault. I couldn't stop thinking about you, so I couldn't fall asleep. It's your fault that I'm suffering like this."
Having heard Mao's feelings, Keiki searched for the right words.
"…I want to apologize to Nanjou. To be honest, I don't know how I troubled you so far but I regret hurting you. I don't want to fight with Nanjou, after all, and if you're able to forgive me, I want to know more about you."
He didn't have confidence that he could properly convey his feelings but he still kept going.
"That's why I want to make up to you. If I can make you forgive me, I will do anything."
"…Really?" Suddenly standing up, Mao brought her face closer.
They were so close that the air they were breathing started to mix. Thanks to that, Keiki once more realized how beautiful Mao actually was.
"Then… will you go out…?"
Her words were like a bullet that shot straight into the adolescent boy's heart. She made fists with her hands and her face went completely red. They were alone in the cla.s.sroom that was illuminated by the setting sun. On this romantic stage, the heroine once more opened her mouth.
"I told you, right? Moving forward as only two wouldn't be too bad. That's why—" She looked up with expectant eyes as she said these words in a sweet tone.
There's no mistake. Nanjou Mao is the girl that wrote the love letter—
"That's why… will you go out… with Akiyama?"
As she suddenly brought up the name of Akiyama Shouma, his thoughts suddenly stopped. He couldn't actually understand her words just now.
"…Sorry, Nanjou. Can you repeat that once more?"
"I want Kiryuu to become a couple with Akiyama."
"Me and Shouma?"
"To become lovers?"
"What the h.e.l.l are you talking about?"
There's gotta be a limit to talking in riddles.
Maybe she heard him, maybe she didn't, but Mao grabbed her bag and brought a small notebook out. Opening that, she turned it over to show Keiki.
"In the end, I want it to be like this."
Shown on that page were drawings. And it looked like they were from a manga—
But, what was shown on there exceeded Keiki's imaginations.
Keiki and Shouma. Both of them in their birthday suit. And Shouma's long manhood was about to enter the hole of Keiki's b.u.t.t.
"Wha — What in the living h.e.l.l is this?!"
It was at this moment that Keiki finally understood the truth of the world.
The stage was still the cla.s.sroom. Both Mao and Keiki were sitting at one desk, facing each other. And on top of said table was a notebook opened up, with pictures that would perfectly fit in a BL manga. BL being an abbreviation for "boys love," which means a story where two boys are in love with each other.
"So, Nanjou-san? What the h.e.l.l does this mean?"
"Just what it looks like. The truth is, I'm actually a fujos.h.i.+."
"A fujos.h.i.+? Doesn't that mean a girl that gets off to seeing two boys in love with each other?"
"Yep, that kind of fujos.h.i.+."
"So Nanjou loves seeing two boys who love each other?"
"Yes. I really love it."
"And you also love it when they get erotic together?"
"I can't get enough of it."
Nanjou Mao belonged to THAT kind of world.
"You're pulling my leg, right?"
"Not one bit."
Mao started laughing at that response. She was currently wearing gla.s.ses on her face. Keiki had never seen her wearing gla.s.ses before.
"So you were wearing gla.s.ses?"
"Ahh this? Only when I'm in fujos.h.i.+ mode."
"Ah, I see…"
"To be fair, I'm a bit near-sighted. Normally, it's not that big of a deal, but when I'm drawing, I usually put them on."
"When you say drawing, you mean these BL mangas, right?"
"Yep. I also partic.i.p.ate in events and so on. My mangas sell really well, you know?"
"They sell well, huh…"
"Are you going to scorn me? Because I'm a girl that draws this stuff?"
"Well, everybody has the freedom to choose their own hobby, after all, so I don't mean to say anything about that, but…"
"Why are you drawing a BL book with me and Shouma?!"
"Ah, so you're mad?"
"Of course I am?!"
Anybody would be mad if they were used as a model for a BL manga without their permission.
"And also, this character's name is 'Keeki'! That's almost my real name!"
By the way, Shouma's codename was 'Shouto'.
"I did think that using your real names would be bad. Also, I came up with those names because combined, they become 'Shortcake,' and that's why I stayed with that."
"So my privacy lost against a whim of yours…?"
As a side note, Nanjou-sensei's newest work was called 'Shouto and Keiki's creamy showdown.'
"There were times when Nanjou was practically staring at Shouma and I, right? Does that have anything to do with the two of us becoming characters for your BL manga?"
"Yup. I didn't want to miss a single moment."
"And the reason why you were missing sleep before…."
"Because the deadline for my next manga was close."
"So when you ask me from time to time to take over cleaning duty for you, it's also because of that…?"
"When my deadline is dangerously close, yeah."
"Don't tell me… when you drew the library committee in the lottery one year ago…?"
"I wouldn't have the time to draw any more BL manga, so I couldn't join."
"So it's all about BL manga?!"
Her whole world revolved around BL manga.
"And the other day when you were looking at the photos of Shouma?"
"I was checking my reference material. He might be a pervert, but his face is pretty good looking."
"Why is the truth always so heartbreaking…?"
"I wish you'd stop with your weird misunderstandings, Kiryuu. Me liking Shouma… who would like a lolicon like him?"
So that's what she meant when she said "It's not Akiyama that I like…". She meant that she liked the BL between Shouma and Keiki.
"But still, why didn't you tell me that time?"
"I was trying to hide the fact that I'm a fujos.h.i.+. I actually planned on hiding it forever, but since Kiryuu started having affairs, I had to do something."
"I don't really get it…"
"Recently, you've been on good terms with Tokiha.r.s.enpai and Yuika, right? That really troubled me."
"I didn't get enough material."
"If you spend more time with other girls, you'll leave Akiyama all alone, you know? That means that my reference material will disappear. I invited only the three of us to the arcade, right?"
"…That's why you told me not to get close to other girls, huh?"
"And since you have Shouto, I won't forgive Keeki for being all lovey-dovey with other women!"
"Can you not confuse me with the character in your manga please?"
"Thanks to Kiryuu having fun with other women, I ended up in a slump. I was already pretty close to missing the deadline, but now I'm in really trouble thanks to you, you know!"
"Aren't you being a bit unfair here?"
"Ahh, but the kabe-don photos were a real lifesaver. I managed to draw an awesome scene thanks to that inspiration."
"I'm happy for you…"
"By the way, the scene I'm talking about is this."
"No, stop! Don't come any closer with that!"
What she was showing him was even more horrifying to Keiki than before. To be precise, Keeki was being kabe-don'd by the ikemen Shouto, who softly whispered "You can't get away anymore." (Both of them were naked). With flushed cheeks, Keeki averted his gaze with a "S-Shouto…." (Still naked). And in the end Keeki gave in to the temptation and accepted Shouto as they hugged each other—
"Please try to resist a bit more, will you…" Keiki said to his manga self.
"This composition is G.o.dlike if I do say so myself… Fufu……. Fufufufufufufufufufu……"
Keiki was shocked that his female friend was like this in private.
"Nanjou, can you at least stop using me and Shouma as material?"
"Ah, that's impossible."
"Because there are a lot of girls who want to read the continuation of this."
"C-Continuation? What do you mean by that?"
"Well, the 'Shouto and Keeki Series' is actually really popular."
"You're turning it into a series?!"
After finding out that Mao was a fujos.h.i.+, the shocks came one after another.
"You know, the indecisive and innocent Keeki plus the experienced ikemen Shouto make a great combo. And it looks like a lot of fans agree."
"Stop! I don't want to hear another word!"
"But well, the circ.u.mstances are like that. I'm sorry for turning you into my model without asking, but I can't exactly restructure it at this point, and it would trouble me if you and Akiyama stop flirting now."
"It's not like I'm really flirting with Shouma, though……"
"I'll properly convert everything into fitting material so don't worry. Even when boys are eating lunch together, I can perfectly imagine a R-18 scene to draw about."
"Wouldn't it be better to go to the hospital then?"
"Kiryuu, I beg you! As a fan of my novel, please go out with Akiyama!"
"I don't wanna!"
"It doesn't matter if you're both boys as long as there's love."
"It clearly does?!"
"Would it be fine by you if I couldn't move forward with my ma.n.u.script?"
"Actually, I'd be fine if you never finished it."
"Mu… you don't have to be so rude… But… I have my own ways of making you help me out."
"…And what would that be?"
"After this, every time Kiryuu gets close to another girl, I'll do everything possible to get between the two of you."
"If you were to get a girlfriend, my ma.n.u.script would suffer, right? A BL manga where the protagonist gets taken by a girl wouldn't sell at all, you know?"
"Why should I care about that?!"
"Ah, but if you were to cheat with another boy, that would be different, okay?"
"That's clearly not safe! That's completely not ok for me!"
"I hope you're ready. I'll be sure to do my job properly! With full strength!"
That p.r.o.nouncement sounded really serious, so she probably had already made up her mind before this discussion.
And, just like that, another obstacle got added to the story of the prince's search for Cinderella.
Inside the cla.s.sroom that Keiki had left just now, Mao still remained on her seat. Not knowing what she should do, she continued to sigh.
"Really, Kiryuu is such a thick-headed idiot…" For now, she decided to badmouth the poor boy, "Well, I can never muster up enough courage myself…"
Whenever Keiki got close with another girl, she would dislike it. Her not being able to produce a good ma.n.u.script was one thing, but that wasn't the only reason.
"Really, how long do I have to suffer through this unrequited love just because he saved me a little bit?"
Watching the Keeki inside her manga being tightly hugged by Shouto didn't evoke any jealousy at all in her. But when the real Keiki acts close to other girls, it makes her angry. First anger, then she gets mad… and finally, depressed. To be precise, she gets jealous.
Actually, the reason why she couldn't make any progress with her ma.n.u.script wasn't because she didn't have enough material. Truth be told, she could only think about Keiki being together with another girl, making it impossible for her to progress with the ma.n.u.script.
"Ahh, forget it. I'll just hurry home and continue with my ma.n.u.script."
Anything for her precious readers that are waiting for the next book. And with these words, the young BL writer left the cla.s.sroom behind her to finish her ma.n.u.script before the next deadline.