Signs of Change
[Kotaro Nakayama’s Point of View]
I was surprised when Kirari suddenly called me.
I hurriedly pressed the answer button, but was next confused when Kirari didn’t say anything to me.
Then I overheard the conversation between Mary and Kirari, and this time my heart ached at the content.
(Would Kirari be hurt by Mary-san like Azusa?)
I felt uneasy.
I felt like Kirari was hurt by Mary-san’s words.
But after Mary-san and Kirari’s conversation was over,… I heard that one comment, and my heart was lightened.
“So … that’s why, what do you think I should do?”
The line was very aloof and did not contain any hint of pessimism.
“Tell me, Ko-kun.”
What does that “tell me” really mean?
“I don’t know what to do because of the terrible things Ryuzaki said.”
In the past, Kirari would have assumed that pattern.
But now she felt like that there was no need to worry.
Somehow – like she was back in middle school.
I felt a sense of security from Kirari back then.
(No, but I still don’t understand …)
However, I am still not sure that Kirari is okay.
It is not unlikely that I am mistaken.
So, I dared to answer based on the worst-case scenario.
“Because Ryuzaki is such a man…, if you can’t hate him now that you’ve fallen in love with him, you’ll just have to accept it, won’t you? That’s probably the only thing a heroine in love can do.”
Perhaps the reason I unconsciously used the word ‘heroine’ is because I was remembering my middle school days.
To begin with, the words ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’ and ‘story’ and ‘opportunism’ were words Kirari used a lot.
Her love of light novels made her fond of these words.
After becoming a high school student and falling in love with Ryuzaki, she stopped using such words and turned into a gal…, but I could feel the remnants of those days from the Kirari of today.
Kirari replied to my words with a cheerful tone.
“Hahaha,… I’m not going to be a ‘subheroine in love’ forever either, you know?”
I was finally convinced by those words.
(It wasn’t like Kirari before … to call herself a “subheroine”.)
Maybe she used the word “subheroine” because she was caught up with me.
But when she refers to herself as a “sub”, I think it’s safe to say that she is properly objective about the current situation.
She is grounded.
She is calm, composed, and looks at things from an enlightened perspective.
Just like the girl in middle school.
(Maybe … Kirari is back to her old self?)
I felt a change.
She is completely different from when she was a member of Ryuzaki’s harem.
She is no longer the symbolic character of a no-name “gal” that she used to be when she was just a subheroine.
Kirari Asakura is Kirari Asakura.
I felt so … and I was kind of happy.
It was as if I was reunited with my best friend after a long time.
I had such an illusion.
“Hmm… Even so, Mary-san is kind of scary. I was so scared of her. She didn’t have to say such hurtful things to me, no matter how much she likes Ryu-kun, right? Even if she didn’t do that, I’m still hurt a lot~. I’m not so weak that I’m upset over something as minor as that, am I?”
Her self-deprecating words made my cheeks loose.
I felt that her one-step-back way of looking at things was very Kirari-like.
I really missed it.
The you I admired so much has not disappeared…
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