Chapter 6 – Appropriate Compensation
“Physical fitness measurements?”
The puzzled voice of Ryou resounded on the rooftop during lunch break.
In that place, Erika, Azusa and Saki are again having their lunch together.
The three have boxed lunches while Ryou has bread in hand.
This morning, while listening absentmindedly in class, Ryou thought that because he had eaten bread yesterday, today he would eat a bowl of fried rice topped with chicken and egg with noodles in the cafeteria.
The school cafeteria is something really good for students.
It’s cheap, delicious, and rarely unappetizing.
For Ryou whose default is to eat enough food portions for three people, the school cafeteria is a place close to heaven.
Alright, today it’s the cafeteria. Determined to do so, his phone vibrates, checking the contents of the mail, it was from Azusa about having lunch together on the roof.
Ryou, whose stomach already has business with the cafeteria, faces to go eat at the cafeteria. After replying, right away, a word for word, identical, without any changes mail as the one from earlier was returned.
Having no choice, a breath of resignation is let out, and a reply of consent was given.
Once again, a large quantity of bread is bought (a boxed lunch or rice balls weren’t purchased). When the three on the rooftop began to eat, Azusa asks Ryou right away about the physical fitness measurements, Ryou’s puzzled voice from earlier was the reply.
Azusa nods and asks again.
“That’s right, why were there such results?”
“Such results? Didn’t I get a regular B? What’s strange about getting a B?”
“That’s your total average. Your average on the first day last year was C and the second day’s average was A. First day this year’s average was A and second day’s average was C. The average of last and this year are both B. The order of the measurement tests are the same this year as they were last year. An A is gotten, and then a C is gotten. If this isn’t peculiar, then what is.”
“First day, second day…? Aah, that reminds me, it was divided amongst two days…, A to C? I understand the C, but was there an A?”
“That’s right, haven’t you seen your results?”
“I saw, but only that there was a B besides my name. Because of that I felt relieved, but to think there was an A…”
The results of the physical fitness tests are listed on a sheet of paper, with the overall average result of the two days next to the name, and further details are recorded below that.
Ryou who only looked at the overall result was relieved, and recalled throwing it away in the trash.
“Why are there such results?”
When Azusa questions him once more, Ryou shrugs his shoulders and answers.
“Pretty much for those two days, I aimed at a getting a B…. Why it became such a result on that day isn’t clear. I looked for a guy whose reflexes didn’t seem to be good, and I only got the same result as that person. However, for an A to be mixed in…, after all, I guess you can’t tell if a person’s reflexes are good based on their face…”
He says the last words anxiously while shaking his head.
Towards that answer, Azusa returned a reasonable question.
“Why were you so particular about getting such poor-looking results?”
“A good result would stand out. It would be unpleasant to be invited to sports clubs.”
“That way of speaking, you seem to be confident in your reflexes.”
“Moderately. Actually if I put together last year and this year’s results, I guess I could get an A on both?
“I think the question should why you are aware of my physical fitness results…”
“That’s a trivial matter, don’t worry about it. Apart from that, I’m inclined to hear about your true physical ability…”
“Even if you ask that, to run around in this heat would stand out so I’ll never do that.”
“Well, sooner or later I’ll have a chance to see it.”
“I won’t do it, it’s bothersome so I won’t do it.”
“Don’t say such a cold thing.”
“Really…, leaving that aside, what’s up with her.”
While saying so, Ryou turns his neck towards Erika.
Erika didn’t participate in the conversation Ryou and Azusa just had. After Ryou showed up, she dropped her head and was pinning down her skirt while fidgeting.
“Her…? Isn’t she lovely, is something the problem?”
Azusa shifts her attention to Erika with a look of ecstasy in her face.
I’ll admit she’s lovely. Aah I can guess why it turned out like this. So tell me what I need to say.”
Ryou said so strongly.
Thinking about that moment yesterday, Ryou believes it’s that which lead to this.
In fact, it is so. Though Ryou is mindful of what he saw, it would be strange for him to apologize. In reality, Ryou didn’t do anything, hence it can be said he only looked. On the other hand if he’s feelings of gratitude for that were to surface, things could become unnecessarily bad, so Ryou doesn’t know what to do. But he understands he only has to permanently save the spectacle he saw yesterday in a folder in his brain.
“Hmm…, I think you should quickly call out to her.”
Azusa said so after a bit of hesitation.
Ryou is surprised and asked back.
“Ah, don’t forget to call her by name.”
Azusa said happily.
“Name? Was it Fujimoto-san…”
Ryou muttered while recalling it.
“It’s different, different. First name. Call her Erika.”
Azusa laughs more happily.
“Eh…, isn’t the family name fine?”
Ryou said so slightly confused.
“That’s no good. If it’s not her name, there will be no reaction.”
“…, is that true…?”
Ryou asks quite doubtfully.
Azusa nodded without hesitation.
“Haa…, E…, ahem, E-Erika.”
While Ryou stammers, he called out to Erika in a soft voice while becoming slightly red.
However, Erika is still looking downwards.
“You’re voice is too soft, she can’t hear it.”
Azusa says knitting her eyebrows.
“I know. E…, Erika!”
Ryou bashfully repeats his words and calls out Erika’s name more strongly than last time.
Erika who was visibly surprised turned to Ryou.
“Yes!? Sa-Sakuragi-kun…? That, just now, did you call me?”
“Aah, no…, your box lunch will get cold, shouldn’t you eat?”
Ryou said so deceivingly while looking at what Erika’s hand was holding.
Azusa looks at such a Ryou with interest, and Ryou who had a premonition absolutely wouldn’t match eyes with Azusa.
“…? Oh well…”
Tilting her neck a little, Erika paid attention to what she was holding, and started to move the hand which had halted.
Ryou seeing Erika’s box lunch said.
“However, that box lunch looks delicious. Your mother is skillful at cooking.”
“Ah…, this is…”
When Ryou who sees Erika being slightly hesitant to speak looks puzzled, Azusa opened her mouth.
“Erika’s box lunch was made by her own hands.”
“By herself!? Heh…, that’s amazing.”
Ryou seriously felt admiration.
Erika was embarrassed, but says so delightfully.
“Doesn’t Sakuragi-kun bring box lunches?”
Shaking off her embarrassment, Erika asked Ryou.
“Me? …Now that you say so, I haven’t had a homemade box lunch in a long time…, though I do occasionally get them from a convenience store.”
Ryou with a slightly distant look says so.
Seeing such a Ryou, something was felt, furthermore hearing so, Erika offered her box lunch to Ryou.
“If you would like, won’t you eat?”
In that instant Ryou’s eyes became dots and immediately while waving his hand laughingly said.
“No, it’s fine. I’ve already eaten bread, besides I would feel bad to accept something so small.”
Erika tilts her head in thought.
“Really? This here is plenty for a girl…”
“That’s great. For me I would need at least three times, no five times as much? I would need to eat that much or my stomach won’t be filled.”
Erika says so in surprise, and Azusa also astonished shifts her attention.
“Your body’s fuel consumption is quite bad.”
“Yeeeah, I can’t deny that. But won’t all men find the size of your box lunch insufficient?”
Ryou looking at the size of Erika’s box lunch says so. By Ryou’s judgement, it’s a very small and lovely size, but seems to be about half of a man’s larger box lunch.
“Even so, five times this is overeating…”
“Truly……, don’t you grow fat?”
Azusa in agreement with Erika asks what any girl would be mindful of.
“Well, I won’t grow fat.”
Erika says so while sighing, Azusa was also in agreement.
“Truly…, by the way I heard about the time you helped Erika……”
Ryou smiles wryly.
“That’s a sudden change in topic.”
“Don’t mind it. I heard Erika’s story, so please accept another expression of gratitude”
“Yes. Accept it.”
Erika promptly agrees.
“If it gratitude then I received it. A sufficiently sincere ‘thank you’ was implied from the words I heard…”
Azusa shook her head.
“After all, you don’t understand.”
“I don’t understand what it is. Besides I said yesterday juice would be fine for a reward.”
“Therefore, you don’t understand. Is it fine? The day before yesterday, it can be said that you protected the virginity of Erika.”
When Azusa’s words were heard, Erika’s face goes bright red and in a fluster tries to stop her.
Glancing sideways at Erika, Ryou calmly asked back.
“She’s a virgin?”
Azusa nodded slowly.
“Ah, by the way she’s an innocent 16 years-old high school girl of genuine purity yet to even kiss.”
Erika screams but it doesn’t come out.
Ryou’s eyes shone a little.
“She’s yet to kiss.”
Azusa folds her arms while nodding with her face which had become serious.
Ryou shakes his head and with an unusually serious voice says.
“Is it like that…”
“Don’t you believe it?”
“Ah…, that is, isn’t there a boyfriend?”
Ryou suddenly says what he had noticed. Erika who at last came to be able speak, strongly denied it while bright red.
There isn’t! Hey, Azusa!? Why are you saying such a thing here!?”
“Ah, that’s how it is.”
Azusa who remembered something strikes her hand with a *tap* and said to Ryou.
“In other words, it can be said you defended Erika’s first kiss and virginity, it’s strange to say that juice is alright for a reward. Do you not think it really isn’t worth it?”
Erika, whose face gets more and more red from Azusa’s statements, tries to stop Azusa from the side and cover her mouth with her hand, but Azusa effortlessly avoids it.
As one would expect, Ryou is a little embarrassed and his face is a bit red.
“No, how about this? If I didn’t help, and she’s taken, then someone along the way might have helped, or there might have been an opportunity to run away by herself.”
While both her hands are suppressing Erika, Azusa nods and said.
“Ah, that’s a possibility. But in the end you did help. That is Erika’s first kiss and virginity.”
Absolutely, it was purposely repeated, Ryou could feel it.
“Well, it is so when considering the worst case scenario.”
While holding the wriggling Erika, Azusa furthermore says strongly.
“Erika’s first kiss and virginity. I’ll absolutely not consider juice being a good compensation for defending that.”
Ryou who felt a little sympathy for the struggling Erika within both of Azusa’s hands, nodded.
“Ah…, well, I understand juice is no good…then, what is…?”
“Yeah, Erika’s first kiss and virginity. ‘……’ when I say corresponding compensation, it must be suitably returned. I will think about it carefully.”
You’re still saying it, this sadist. Ryou silently looks at her face with astonishment, but Azusa does not waver.
Erika seems to have given up on resisting and isn’t moving.
Her face red hot with watery eyes, out of breath she is settled inside Azusa’s arms.
Seeing that sort of Erika, and thinking it to be unreasonably lovely, would he also be a sadist after all, no, but this scheming person seems to be, Ryou answered his own question when Azusa asked Erika a question with a face filled of affection.
“Have you calmed down? Erika.”
Within Azusa’s arms, Erika trembles with watery eyes and scowls at Azusa.
Azusa who had seen that, smiled furthermore.
“Ah, cute. Erika, I love you.”
While saying so she brings her cheek against Erika’s cheek and rubs against it.
“Enough, Azusa, stop it! Sakuragi-kun, is looking at us strangely!!!”
“Ah, no, don’t worry about me…, I, need to be going…”
Erika, in a panic, called out to Ryou who stands up slowly in this atmosphere to detain him.
“Please, Sakuragi-kun! Don’t go! Don’t misunderstand! Really, really don’t misunderstand!!”
Because of the intensity of Erika’s angry look, Ryou reflexively stopped his feet and sat down in place again.
When Ryou sat down again, Erika made a face of having felt relief from the bottom of her heart. While settling down she separated from the unwilling Azusa’s arms.
“Enough, Azusa, stop already…, anyway, let me give my thanks another way please.”
Erika doesn’t make much eye contact with Ryou, while her face reddens slightly, bowed her head.
Ryou without thinking, bowed.
While reluctant to look away from Erika, Azusa looks at her watch and says.
“It’s time already. By the way, Sakuragi-kun, do you have anything scheduled for Saturday tomorrow or the day after?”
Erika turned towards Azusa with suspicious eyes.
Ryou while being wary, asked
“Eh…hm, what for?”
“You don’t have to be so cautious, it’s because there may be something to do with Erika’s gratitude.”
“Is it like that…, if it’s this weekend…, both days are open.”
Ryou, who was recalling so, answered.
Is that so, then if possible keep Sunday empty as it is.”
“I got it… Then, as before, I’ll be going. See ya.”
Saying so, Ryou left the rooftop.
Erika, who confirmed that Ryou had left, faced towards Azusa.
“What are you doing on Sunday?”
Azusa makes a face of being surprised, and smiled.
“Not me, it’s you. Erika is also free on Sunday.”
Erika’s surprised voice resounded throughout the rooftop.