Chapter 42 – The Kiss and the Dog and the Wolf 
This is bad. This is pretty bad! The room is so prickly now that I wouldn’t think it’s my room.
Speaking of me, I’m staring blankly at the ground on the right while sitting in seiza, between the two who are glaring at each other. For what’s already been 10 minutes, in complete silence. It’s been long to death. It feels like an hour has passed to my body clock.
Can something somehow happen soon and end this? Just as such a halfhearted thought crosses my mind, Soutarou finally opens his mouth.
“Did you stay over at Mako’s house, Kaburagi?”
“Yeah, that’s right. Well, that’s how it ended up.”
Is that so?, Soutarou nods and turns silent again.
Why does it feel like I was caught cheating red-handed? I wonder what’s wrong with a friend staying over at his friend’s house. If they’re of the opposite gender then, well, I see the cause for concern, but both Ichigo-chan and I are technically male. Is there anything to be concerned about? Nope, there isn’t.
But I probably can’t convey these thoughts the way they are, huh.
“I’m staying over today then.”
“Mako, can’t I?”
I’ve absolutely no idea where that word ‘then’ comes from. I stiffen with a blank look at his abrupt proposal.
Soutarou looks at me with his standard upturned eyes as he tilts his head. Then, his dog ears droops listlessly as he cries ‘kyun, kyun’. I don’t intend to reject him in the first place, but it sure is hard to reject when the other party makes a face like this, huh.
This cunning doggy definitely, definitely knows that he himself is cool. Knowing that, he does cunning things like this, definitely.
“Hey, Mako… please.”
What’s going on? He’s 5cm taller than me but those look like upturned eyes.
I feel myself faltering at Soutarou who’s giving dog-like cries: “Kyu, kyu”. The guilt will be no joke if I reject him now, yeah. Not that I’ll reject him.
Hearing my response, Soutarou’s tail shakes energetically in happiness.
“Let’s study together today, then. The tests begin next week after all.”
A full-face smile is on Soutarou’s face as he releases the sparkly~ mysterious particles that’s characteristic of shoujo manga backgrounds. I’ve a feeling the sparkly-ness of his smile is even more powered up than before.
I feel pressured by that sunny smile but, at any rate, I’m truly glad that we’re back to having good relations.
I’ve realised anew how precious Soutarou is from the quarrel this time. Sure enough, before I knew it, Soutarou’s existence within me has become unbelievably large. Placing a hand on my chest, I nod.
Well then, it’s about time for me to give things a clean break and say a proper apology.
“I’m sorry. Also, thank you.”
Soutarou’s eyes widen in slight surprise before he bursts into laughter.
“I’m sorry too… with this, we’ve made up, haven’t we?”
A broad smile that’s sparkly to the point of being dazzling, surfaces on his face. Aa, he really is an ikemen. His smile is beautiful, man.
He totally loses to Mitsuki but I believe Soutarou is also rather angelic. He’s a bit of a cunning doggy but even with that behaviour included, he’s a sparkly angel.
As expected of a capturable character from an otome game, man. If he says ‘I like you, please go out with me’ or something like that with such a face, of course it’ll be a cinch to sweep anyone off their feet.
Having his existence ignored to this degree, Ichigo-chan calls my name with a growl.
Then, with extremely smooth movements, he hugs me from behind. It’s like having me sit between Ichigo’s bent knees. His thick arm is wrapped strongly around my stomach. To top if off, Ichigo-chan’s chin is placed on my right shoulder.
Rub rub, having our cheeks pressed together, unbelievably complicated feelings whirl in my heart. Dear me, what on earth should be done about this situation?
I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but I’m male. My heart may skip and I may fall in love had this been done to me when I was female, but I’m currently male. Besides, I’ve no intention of falling in love in this world.
Well, I wouldn’t have gotten close to these riajuus had it been when I was female,
“Hey, Kaburagi…! Don’t cling to Mako.”
Soutarou desperately tries to pull Ichigo-chan and I apart.
And the way he does it is quite violent. He’s desperately pulling my arm, trying to enclose it within his own. If you treat a girl so roughly, she’ll definitely be worse for wear. I sure am glad my body is that of a guy’s.
“Ah? Be thankful that I waited till you reconciled.”
“Mako, you don’t like him clinging to you right? Come over to me.”
“Tryin’ to hog Makoto despite acting as his friend, you’re really ‘dark’, ain’t cha. You ain’t Makoto’s only friend. I’m also Makoto’s friend y’know? Right, Makoto?”
I hear a mocking voice from my right ear. I’m really coming to not understand the definition of ‘friends’ in this world. This topic has already become a paradox for me. I probably won’t get an answer even if I think about it any further, and if I discuss with Subaru, she’ll definitely say “That’s love!” and connect it to some incomprehensible BL talk.
Still, I want to dehumidify this damp atmosphere soon. It’s so awkward that I’m starting to have difficulties breathing.
Come to think of it, there mayn’t been any happenings that’s carnage-y to this extent in my school life so far.
As for Junya, he’s also the type to charge straight at Soutarou. However, his temperament is bright at its root. It was also quite strained with Prince at first, but they get along well now.
“That’s right. Ichigo-chan is also my precious friend. That’s why I’m not particularly against him clinging to me.”
“Eh, … Mako…”
Ichigo-chan has a triumphant look while Soutarou’s eyebrows turns into the ハ character and he looks on the verge of tears.
Ichigo-chan is also my friend now. Of course, I regard Soutarou as a good friend, but Ichigo-chan is also a friend I’m rather attached to.
It’s normal for friends to hug each other in this world, right? If so, I personally don’t mind being hugged at all. We’re both guys after all. I’d rather Subaru not see though, because it seems like she’ll mention stuff like BL and whatnot.
“However, Soutarou is my super precious good friend, so I won’t forgive anyone for mocking or talking bad about him, even if it’s you, Ichigo-chan. Certainly, Soutarou is sometimes dark but he’s usually extremely kind and cute. As long as you remember that, I totally don’t mind you clinging to me.”
Certainly, Soutarou’s two-facedness comes and goes, but he’s cute and has a kind heart fundamentally.
With his eyebrows still looking like the ハ character, Soutarou says miserably: “Am I two-faced?” It’s unknown whether Ichigo-chan has been listening to the conversation; he’s cheekily hugging me from the right side and has placed his head on my shoulder. Well, although I said that I don’t mind his hugs, I didn’t expect him to hug me immediately. It was a surprise.
“You’re heavy, Ichigo-chan.”
“Didn’t ya say I can hug?”
“Honestly, Ichigo-chan’s thought process is unnecessarily positive!”
I think what I said was quite severe, but he doesn’t take it to heart at all. On the contrary, he only picks up what’s convenient for him. I’ve a feeling the situation has taken a turn for the worse. It sure has become troublesome.
“Let’s leave this guy aside and study, Soutarou. Are you better at humanities or the sciences, again?”
“Nn, yea… between the two, it’s probably humanities for me. My specialty is maths.”
“Ah, that’s perfect. Teach me.”
Soutarou’s troubled look remains as he looks at Ichigo-chan from the side. Watching him try his best to answer me even as his expression says Is it really okay to ignore Ichigo-chan?, is kind of amusing.
I drive Ichigo-chan away with my elbow and take out my maths textbook. Along with the document that states the testable syllabus, I open my mathematics assessment book.
“Makoto, my specialty is also maths.”
“Seriously? The same expertise?”
“Ahh, our school might be slightly ahead. Seems like only science and maths are harder at Minami High. Izumino’s better for da others.”
As expected of the Minami High that is strong at science.
As long as I subjugate mathematics, which I’m bad at, I’ll definitely be within top 50 among the 240 students in my grade. Also, if I teach Mitsuki what I learn here, she may be able to place within the top half. As Mitsuki had been refining nothing but her charm and housework skills, she’s become a bit of an idiot. I must take more of a look at the other parameters from now on. She may not be able to capture Prince at this rate.
“Teach me then. Here. How is this answer derived?”
“I’ll teach ya so let’s kiss?”
Is he still going to say stupid things like that?
Despite having such a stern-looking appearance, to be going on about kisses and whatnot, is Ichigo-chan actually an idiot?
“Mako, I’ll teach you!”
Doggy Soutarou peeks at my face in a flustered manner.
Unlike Ichigo-chan who lacks common sense, Soutarou is a kind doggy.
“Thanks. Soutarou truly is kind.”
“Tsubaki, don’t cha pretend to be good when ya wanna kiss Makoto too.”
“I won’t do things that trouble Mako. Because Mako is also my good friend too.”
Ichigo-chan’s face turns grim and he holds my body even tighter.
I think I heard my bones creaking. I believe both Soutarou and Ichigo-chan treat other people’s bodies way too roughly.
“If it’s me, I’ll definitely not let anyone touch what’s precious to me. I’ll carefully put them away so that they won’t come to like anyone other than me.”
“Is that so. … If it’s me—”
Soutarou suddenly smiles as he grabs my hand. He grips my hand such that our fingers entwine, and repeatedly twiddles with my hand and speaks in a slow tempo.
“If it’s me, I want to let my precious person be free. But I’ll be happy if the place they return to in the end is me. In order for that to happen, in order to be more attractive, I want to work harder, harder.”
“Ya really are dark, Tsubaki.”
Before I knew it, my existence is being ignored but what on earth should I do?
The tests begin next week but I can’t study. To begin with, it’s hot to be hugged from all sides.
It somehow became incredibly troublesome, huh. Well then, what should I do from now on? I give up thinking and entrust myself to the flow for the time being.