It’s not that I still have regrets.
It’s not that he still likes her.
He gave up on Shiho properly, and shook off his feelings.
That time – during the overnight learning program, he realized that he was mistaken.
He had accepted that all his actions toward Shiho were empty and to what extent they were nothing but self-indulgent actions, and that was why she didn’t like him.
It was inevitable in a way that Shiho was lost to Kotaro Nakayama. He had no right to even be liked by a beautiful girl like Shiho because he was a mob character who mistakenly thought he was the protagonist.
So … why is she talking to him now?
“Shiho, what’s going on out of the blue? It’s not safe to go out at night like this, is it?”
Even though he was in this position, he was still worried about Shiho.
He used to care for her so much that he felt obligated to make her absolutely happy as a childhood friend.
Perhaps it had already become a habit.
“There’s no reason for you to worry about me.”
But Shiho firmly rejected.
She drew a line between the two of them, and wouldn’t let him get any closer than a certain distance.
“I’m not an easy girl to be flirted with like that.”
“… I’m not trying to … flirt with you in any way.”
It was funny that she was so wary, so hostile, and yet so pleased.
“It’s been a while. How long has it been since we’ve had a conversation like this?”
“…? You’ve never had a conversation with me before, have we?”
“No. You may not have thought we were having a conversation, but to me we were.”
Well, maybe it was all in hindsight. For Shiho, the interaction may not even be considered a conversation, but for him, it is a cherished memory.
It doesn’t matter if she denies it.
Those days are the reason he is who he is today.
“I was a lucky guy back then. Because I was able to be with such a cute girl all the time.”
“… This kind of thing, stop it.”
It was not something he had intended to say.
But she stepped back with a look of disgust on her face.
But it doesn’t matter.
He had nothing to lose now.
So there was no need to care about Shiho, or even to be liked.
Hearing that she doesn’t like him is fine. It doesn’t matter what happens.
“Hey, hey, it doesn’t matter, does it? I just want to have some fun with my first love.”
With a self-mocking smile, he took a step toward her.
“Besides, you’re the one who talked to me, remember? What are you doing looking like a victim? I’ve been keeping my distance, just like you wanted… If you keep acting like that, I might get the wrong idea again, you know?”
The words just wouldn’t stop.
Was it desperation that made him say things he wouldn’t normally say?
“Aww. It’s too bad you and Nakayama were getting along so well… I’m going to fall in love with you again, aren’t I? Do you want me to interfere with your love for each other? If you don’t want that to happen, get out of here and go away.”
Come on, get away.
Stay away like before.
You don’t like him, do you?
It’s humiliating to be wooed by a mob character like him, isn’t it?
“Don’t talk to me again!”
Unstable emotions pushed him forward.
Unconsciously, he was yelling at her.
He did not want to see her face anymore.
Shiho is, for what it’s worth, a timid girl.
She is such a timid girl that she can’t do anything without Nakayama protecting her.
He didn’t know what she intended to talk to him about, but he was sure she would run away now – or so he thought.
“Stop fooling around.”
Shiho stoutly replied.
“Your face, it’s irritating.”
He had never seen this side of her before, and he looked at her with a blank stare.
“You’re trying to play the tragic protagonist, aren’t you? I don’t really like that kind of thing.”
The person in front of him was not the timid, shy, and reserved Shiho Shimotsuki of the past.
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