The Reason He Was Concerned About Them and the Verification of That Answer
[Kirari Asakura’s Point of View]
Exiting the bookstore, Kirari put her hands into her coat pockets, feeling the cold wind that seemed chillier after the rain.
As she walked down the now completely dark street, she recalled the words that Kotaro had spoken to her earlier.
“Can I trust you with Ryuzaki? Kirari, do something about it.”
It was a strange thing to say. Kirari had been pondering why Kotaro was so concerned about Ryoma.
(Why is Kotaro so worried about Ryu-kun?)
Thinking back, she realized that Kotaro had been watching Ryoma for a while. Since she had distanced herself from Ryoma after he rejected her, she had become more observant of her surroundings. That was how she had noticed that Kotaro was watching Ryoma with an unusual intensity.
(Is it because of his childhood friend, Shimotsuki Shiho? Is he keeping an eye on Ryoma to prevent him from taking her away? That can’t be the only shallow reason why Ko-kun is acting this way.)
Kotaro fundamentally didn’t act out of selfishness. While most people acted for their own benefit, Kotaro was someone who consistently acted for the sake of others. It could be seen as a lack of agency, negatively speaking. However, positively speaking, it meant that he was a kind person who cared about others.
So, Kirari speculated that the reason he was fixated on Ryoma had something to do with “others”.
Not because of resentment or jealousy, but something more like Ko-kun. Perhaps… concern?)
Was Kotaro concerned about Ryoma? No, Kirari had a gut feeling that it wasn’t that.
“He’s not worried about Ryu-kun; it’s ‘us’ he’s concerned about.”
Kirari was taken aback. It wasn’t a complicated matter. With a little thought, it was easy to understand. But she felt foolish for not realizing it until now.
(Because I… no, Yuzu-chan and Azu-chan too, we all like Ryu-kun.)
That’s why Kotaro was concerned about Ryoma. Because if Ryoma didn’t get his act together, it would affect “the three of them”.
(Ko-kun is still worrying about us…)
Even though she had once cut ties with him. Even though she had forgotten about his existence due to her love.
She disrespected him and trampled on the past of being on friends with him.
But Kotaro had never become the same as Kirari and the others. He had always cared about the three of them.
This was the answer. The reason why Kotaro was still held captive by Ryoma.
(I should probably… free Ko-kun at some point.)
This “kindness” could easily be mistaken for “weakness”. If she clung to it, it might spoil her.
(If I asked for help, he’d probably help me, wouldn’t he?)
If Kirari were still inexperienced, she might have taken advantage of his kindness. But she had already passed that stage.
(Well, I won’t do that anymore.)
She knew that he was willing to sacrifice himself for others. So, to avoid hurting him any further, Kirari decided that she would settle this matter on her own.
“This is my romantic comedy.”
She began walking again.
The next stop was her destination.
Without any hesitation, she pressed the intercom button.
No deep breaths were needed. No time to focus her thoughts was necessary. She had already made up her mind.
Thus, she was not surprised when the front door suddenly opened.
“Ryu-kun, can I talk to you for a moment?”
―And finally, his romantic comedy began to unfold.
Ryoma Ryuzaki’s romantic comedy had finally started to move towards its conclusion…
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