Staying with Yuzuki any longer would only hurt her.
Feeling this way, I immediately left the home.
“I’m sorry I made you feel weird.”
I felt sad when I saw Yuzuki apologizing to me.
Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen Yuzuki smile innocently for a long time.
I am sure that since her mother Yoko-san passed away…, Yuzuki’s way of smiling has changed.
I used to see her smiling and happy, but after Yoko-san’s death, she stopped smiling like a child.
Perhaps she stopped being a child because she had no one to spoil her.
Yuzuki’s father also seems to have become distant from his daughter after Yoko-san’s death.
Given this background, it is somewhat understandable why Yuzuki spoils others.
She wants to be needed by someone.
She wants her self-worth to be recognized.
Yuzuki, who is alone, has such a strong need for approval.
That is why it is hard to believe that she had a fight with Ryuzaki.
I know there was a very good reason.
But that is an episode told in the ‘main story’ that has nothing to do with mob characters.
Even if I could interfere, I don’t think I could influence her in any way.
That’s why I gave up on the idea that I could save Yuzuki.
“Then… I’m going home.”
I turned my back on Yuzuki, who bowed her head and apologized, and left.
I went back to my house in the neighborhood to escape.
I couldn’t bear to look at the face of my childhood friend who had transformed.
“What am I supposed to do?”
I shut the door to the house and winced.
I felt like cowering and holding my head, but then I remembered she was there, so I didn’t have time to worry.
I looked up and saw Azusa looking at me from the living room.
I hurriedly took off my shoes and ran over to her to check on her.
“Is everything all right?”
Azusa’s eyes had gone blank earlier because of Mary-san.
She was lost in thought, as if she was brooding over something.
But now, her expression was brighter than expected.
“…Yeah, I’m fine.”
She must have understood that I was worried about her.
She loosened her tight cheeks and smiled at me.
Immediately after Mary-san messed with her, she was upset, but now that a little time has passed, she seems to have regained her composure.
However, she probably wasn’t in the mood to smile yet. Her smile was awkward. But I think it’s because she has a little bit of leeway in her mind that she is able to act so composed.
(Better off than Yuzuki.)
Compared to my childhood friend who is almost too far gone, Azusa is still salvageable.
If I do something, I might be able to save Azusa.
It is possible to escape from Ryoma Ryuzaki’s clutches, I am sure.
That’s why I need to be careful about what I say and do from here on out.
“Hey, Onii-chan,… when someone you like doesn’t like you, is it wrong to like that person?”
Without any context, Azusa asked me for advice.
If I had no leverage, there would have been no questions like this.
Azusa is family. I am not a stranger, but a relative. To Azusa, I am not a mob character, but her older brother. In other words, there is still room for me to play a hand.
“Onii-chan, can you tell me?”
Azusa is waiting for an answer.
She is waiting for my words.
“When someone you love doesn’t love you back… can you give up on that person and still be happy?”
And that was the question I was most comfortable answering.
(When the person you love doesn’t love you back… huh?)
Oddly enough, that’s the same situation I was in before.
There was a time when I had special feelings for Azusa, Kirari and Yuzuki. Not to the point of love …, but it was definitely not normal.
But on the day of the high school entrance ceremony, I was no longer special to them.
So I gave up.
But I am still happy now.
If that’s the case, there’s no need to hesitate.
I will let Azusa lead a normal life.
Not as a subheroine in a harem.
As a normal girl, falling in love and knowing normal love.
That’s how I wanted her to have normal happiness…
You can get access to 10 Chapters ahead of the Novelupdates release on my Patreon. <3