It was impossible for a human being to change so rapidly.
To the extent that one would think so, Azusa, Kirari, and Yuzuki had become completely different people than they were a day before.
They twisted themselves as if they were following the attributes of the characters they had been given.
Azusa was the quiet, shy type, but after meeting Ryuzaki, she only admired him, saying, ‘Ryoma Onii-chan is amazing!’ and she has become a sister character who only admired him.
Yuzuki was a quiet and passive type, but in front of Ryuzaki, she has become an aggressive and amorous character who takes advantage of her body almost like a lascivious woman.
Kirari was a solitary loner, but after meeting Ryuzaki, she became a flirtatious gal-type character.
This was too strange.
The girls, whose characters had been twisted, had become nothing more than a means to make Ryuzaki feel good about himself, as per their assigned roles.
It was impossible not to be heartbroken when I saw that.
… I don’t think I was in love with them.
Of course, they were still special to me.
But … I couldn’t see them anymore.
As a result of getting caught up in Ryoma Ryuzaki’s harem romantic comedy and losing their original personalities, the girls who were close to me disappeared.
That was why it was so difficult for me to accept it.
For about a month after the entrance ceremony, I had been dragging my feet about the girls.
There were times when I was jealous of Ryuzaki. “I’m no good,” I thought to myself and I was always self-denying and despicable.
“That’s when … Shimotsuki helped me.”
Suddenly, I mentioned the name by which I called her when we met.
As I did so, the girl right next to me pouted in dissatisfaction.
“I feel lonely when you call me like a stranger… Can you call me Shi-chan in a sweet voice like you always do?”
“…It’s still too early to call you that.”
With a small laugh, she shrugged.
My voice was a little sore, probably because I had talked about my past all at once. But thanks to Shiho, who listened quietly to me, I managed to finish my story somehow.
“I’m not embarrassed to call you ‘Shiho’ now, even though a lot of things have happened since then…”
“I know … that the innocent Kotaro-kun was cute, but isn’t it not so bad to see him calling my name with pride like today?”
She patted me on the back like she was trying to do something nice for me.
Then, what did she think?
She jumped on me from behind with all her might.
It was more like a clinging than a hug.
“Hey, Shiho? What’s the matter?”
I stumbled forward and barely held on. However, she was still tightening her grip on me.
Thanks to that, I was in a bit of pain.
What kind of mission is driving her to do that?
“… I’m not going anywhere, okay?”
–Shiho was apparently embracing me in order to reassure me.
“I will stay the same and stay by Kotaro-kun’s side. No matter what happens, no matter what … you say, even if I get caught up in a ‘story’ – I will remain ‘Shiho Shimotsuki’ and love Kotaro-kun.”
…Her words were as warm as ever, enough to save me.
“I will never be disappointed in you, Kotaro-kun…, and I will always watch over you.”
That affection healed my heart.
“Yes… Thank you…”
I told her that and then touched her hand that tightened around my neck.
Honestly, those words made me so happy that I almost cried.
But it was time to say this in an emotional scene… indeed, so I would have to say it.
“Shiho… I can’t breathe.”
It was a little too much to take when she put her arms around my neck and wrapped me in a hug like she was hanging on to me.
“…Ah! I-I’m sorry.”
Shiho, who let me go in a hurry, looked at me with a flustered look on her face.
The fact that she broke the atmosphere of seriousness in an instant may be one of the best things about Shiho in a way…
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