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Published at 22nd of November 2022 05:23:12 AM


Chapter 46

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Act 2 - Summer Break

12-5

After Rei, who looked all embarrassed, returned to her room, I sat on the sofa and fiddled with my phone for a while.

[We need to talk.] (Rintaro)

I send such a message to Mia.

Ten minutes later, the intercom rings, and I go to the entrance.

".......Yo." (Rintaro)

"What's up all of a sudden? Inviting a girl into your room at this time of night?" (Mia)

On the other side of the door is a girl with a different countenance from Rei's.

She is Ugawa Mia. She is also known as MIA of the Millefeuille Stars.

She looks at me with a somewhat amused look on her face as she runs her fingers through her shoulder-length black hair.

"Come inside for now. I have a lot of questions I need to ask you......." (Rintaro)

"Don't ask anything obscene, okay?" (Mia)

"I'm going to put mayonnaise on the ends of every strand of your hair and lick them all over." (Rintaro)

"That's an unusual way to harass me." (Mia)

I take Mia with me and return to the living room.

I sit her down on the sofa and place the black coffee I have prepared in advance on the table in front of her.

"Oh my, I thought you are going to be mad at me, but you're surprisingly hospitable, aren't you?" (Mia)

"Well yeah, I'm not mad at you. I'm not so small-minded that I can't even offer my guest a cup of coffee." (Rintaro)

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"Hmmm...... I'll take it without reservation, then." (Mia)

I sit down beside her as she drinks her coffee and I let out a breath before starting the conversation.

"Phew...... you." (Rintaro)

"Mm." (Mia)

"You infused Rei with some weird sh*t, didn't you?" (Rintaro)

"Hmmm...... I'm getting found out, yes." (Mia)

Mia smiles at me defiantly.

Facing her like that, I let out another sigh of exasperation.

"You know what? Rei said she wanted to see your swimsuit, so I gave her a little advice. I told her to go in and take a bath together with you." (Mia)

"......I knew it. That's what got me into all this trouble." (Rintaro)

"Hmmm? Trouble, huh. I'm certain it must have been a wonderful event for a boy your age, right?" (Mia)

"Well, I won't deny it." (Rintaro)

"Oh my, you're being surprisingly honest here." (Mia)

It is normal for the average guy to be pleased with that situation. Therefore, I will not deceive myself.

"By the way, did you enjoy the shopping date? I also taught her some techniques for indirect kissing." (Mia)

"So that was also your idea, huh!?" (Rintaro)

"Unfortunately, Rei knows very little about such romantic techniques. It was fun and worthwhile........ Though I have to say, I never actually tried it myself." (Mia)

"You're just like a demon lord, you know......." (Rintaro)

"I'll take it as a compliment." (Mia)

Mia giggles in front of me.

Seeing her enjoying herself like that, the poisonous feeling in me slips away.

I can't hate this girl either....... really.

"So in the end, overall, did you enjoy it?" (Mia)

"Mmm........., I guess. I had a good time." (Rintaro)

"I think there should be a small reward for my efforts in directing such a date, don't you think?" (Mia)

"What? Why would I――――" (Rintaro)

As if to cut me off, Mia suddenly thrusts something in front of me that seems to have been hidden behind her back.

It's a notebook and an English problem book.

"Can you help me with my English homework?" (Mia)

"...... Do it yourself." (Rintaro)

"Don't say that. You get good grades, don't you, Rintaro-kun? I would like you to teach me how to solve them." (Mia)

English, huh?

I'm certainly not bad at it, but if someone asks me if I put enough effort into it so that I can teach it, then that's a no.

But it's not something that I'm going to have trouble with, so I'll decide whether or not I'm going to teach her after I've had a look at the problem book.

"Then lend me the problem book." (Rintaro)

"Okay."

I take the English book from her and look through it.

The questions are in a slightly different format than the ones I know because we are attending different schools. However, the questions themselves are not difficult.

As long as I remember the basic sentence structure, even I can handle it.

"I think I can teach you a thing or two. Guess I can keep you company for a while." (Rintaro)

"Thank you, you're a big help. I've been missing a lot of classes this school year, and there have been several things I didn't understand." (Mia)

It must be quite difficult to balance both entertainment and student work.

It can't be a bad thing to help someone who is making such an endeavor.

"Then, can I ask you to start on this page?" (Mia)

"Okay, then the translation here is――――" (Rintaro)

Thus begins an abrupt evening study session.

Mia's school is not particularly low in deviation scores, so she easily solved problems without any particular guidance.

I explained to her carefully the parts that she sometimes stumbled over, as if they were parts she had not learned in class. I had little difficulty in teaching her, as she quickly learned the material.

"......Say" (Rintaro)

"What?" (Mia)

"Why are you working so hard on it?" (Rintaro)

"Isn't it natural for students to study hard?" (Mia)

That is true.

But that's not what I want to ask right now――――.

"I understand what you mean. You're asking why I'm studying so hard when I'm selling so well as an idol." (Mia)

"Well, to put it simply." (Rintaro)

If you've secured such popularity as an idol, what's the point of staying in school any longer? That's what I think.

However, the three girls still continued to attend school. And they were doing so diligently.

"I think it's because I want to graduate from high school at least. Even the smallest incident could easily destroy what we have built up, right? So taking it as insurance is the best way to put it." (Mia)

"......You're absolutely right." (Rintaro)

"I think this is a common understanding among the three of us....... and from here on it's my personal reason." (Mia)

She continues her words in a calm voice with eyes that seem to be looking at something far away.

"I'm not trying to do well in all subjects. It is only English that I want to learn at all costs." (Mia)

"Only English?" (Rintaro)

"Yup, I want to be able to speak fluent English so that I can live abroad in the future." (Mia)

Those words are shocking to me, enough to render me speechless.

"I don't have a concrete plan for the future yet, but I want to be someone who can work abroad. Be an actress, a singer, or something else." (Mia)

"That's a...... huge dream." (Rintaro)

"That is. I think it was my mother's influence....... I've had that kind of dream for a long time." (Mia)

Mia's mother is a famous actress, as I recall.

The fact that I don't know her name, not that I don't watch TV at all, means that maybe she is someone who is working abroad. If so, it would make sense that Mia was influenced by her.

"Hey, hey, Rintaro-kun, you're aiming to be a full-time househusband, aren't you?" (Mia)

"Hmm? Well, I am." (Rintaro)

"Then, why don't you accompany me?" (Mia)

Our eyes locked, and the time stops.

Eventually, I caught on to what Mia was meaning and laughed it off as a joke.

"Hufft, If you become my wife in five or six years, I'll accompany you wherever you go. Serving one beloved woman is the way I think of being a full-time househusband." (Rintaro)

"Hee~ that's a surprisingly low hurdle to jump." (Mia)

"It's all up to you. I'm not going to change myself, and I'm not going to go out of my way to match you." (Rintaro)

If there is someone I will be willing to bend over backwards to be with, it is someone I will spend my entire life with. There is no way I could meet someone like that so easily. In fact, I don't think it would be so easy.

So I will stay calm and not make any decisions based on my feelings on the spot.

――――Well, I'm already losing my calmness, though.

I'm aware of it.

"Pfft, that's just so like you.......It might not be a bad idea to live alone together in a place where I don't know a single person, Just you and me." (Mia)

".......Did something happen?" (Rintaro)

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Despite the tone of her voice, her expression is tinged with melancholy, and I couldn't help but ask such a penetrating question.

But Mia just shakes her head.

"Nothing in particular, nothing at all. Really." (Mia)

"...... I see." (Rintaro)

For a while, there's only the sound of a mechanical pencil moving.

*Nothing in particular, nothing at all.*

That statement sounds like a "precedent" to me.

"If it's you then, it's nothing."――――

I'm not a nice guy.

I don't want to get involved in anything messy, and I'm not superhuman enough to solve things brilliantly when I do get involved.

So I won't go any further into it.

I wonder if one day, when I am recognized as someone who is truly worth relying on, she will talk to me about it――――



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