Chapter 55 – The Cultural Festival and the Butler and the Café 
“Prince! Prince turned into a butler…!”
“Makoto, don’t call me ‘Prince’.”
Prince a.k.a. Kiritani Riku has transformed into a perfect butler. With Prince’s slender body and pretty features, it’s too fitting when he wears a butler outfit.
Black jacket and waistcoat, white shirt, slacks and leather shoes. Each and everyone of them were so well-made that you’d never think they were made by high school students. The workmanship is so sedulous, it doesn’t seem like it was made by mere high school students. This is the magic of otome games.
Now then, if you were to ask why we’re wearing butler clothes, it’s because we’re in a bind when Hasumi summoned us into a classroom arranged just like how it’d be during the cultural festival, to shoot photos for the poster.
Tables, cushions, curtains and whatnot were arranged in the classroom of Year 2 Class A and it’s become rather café-like.
Even though there’s still a week before the launch, it’s amazing that preparations of this extent have been completed. I’m in-charge of coming up with the menu, being the waiter and cook on the day itself, so I didn’t participate in laying out the shop at all.
“It fits you well too, Sakurai. It really helps when one is tall and slender~”
“Nah… It’s kind of a torture to stand next to Riku with my face, y’know?”
I also changed into the butler outfit made by Hasumi’s group but my self-confidence quickly disappears in the presence of Prince’s esteemed countenance.
My face shouldn’t be nasty. Neither a hottie or a nastie. I’d like to think so but it’s saddening when I compare it to the shining face of Prince, a main character in an otome game.
“Makoto, you look cool. It fits you well.”
Prince stares at my face with his ever-expressionless face. It’s hard to tell when his expression doesn’t change but he’s probably being bashful. After staring at my face for a while, he swiftly averts his gaze.
What’s with this ambience. What’s with this mysterious ambience like that between a new couple during their first date?
The one who mows down this ambience instantly is mi dolce, cute angel.
“Mako-chan finished changing too, huh. Don’t you look cool~!”
“Mitsuki! Mitsuki, super cute…! As expected of my Mitsuki…”
The Mitsuki entering the classroom in maid clothes is transcendentally cute.
Maid clothes with black mini-skirt, frilly headdress and apron, knee-high socks and strap shoes. The Mitsuki wearing all that is pretty much an archangel. Even though she’s always an angel, that angel-ness has been polished.
I run up and hug Mitsuki. Small. Small, thin and fluffy. Moreover, there’s an incredibly nice smell. Even though we should’ve used the same shampoo and body wash, Mitsuki smells extra nice. It may be because she’s an angel. Definitely.
“I wonder. The skirt’s short and I don’t wear knee-high socks much so it’s embarrassing.”
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s okay because Mitsuki’s cute. Besides, I’ll protect you if weird guys approach you.”
“Fufu, I’ll rely on you, Mako-chan. I’ll protect you, then, if weird girls approach you!”
Perhaps Mitsuki had put on some make-up, her eyes look larger than usual.
Fundamentally, Mitsuki goes with almost no make-up. She casually puts on toner and foundation after bathing and uses lip gloss and mascara… that’s about it I think? I don’t know the details but even though I’ve seen her use what looks like make-up, I don’t think she ever did it so thoroughly.
She’s beautiful even without make-up. My cute Mitsuki is an otome game heroine so even with thin make-up, her eyes are large, her cheeks and lips are a light pink and her skin is smooth and pretty as though it’s been smeared with pearlescent face powder. When the cute and beautiful Mitsuki with a foundation like that puts on thorough make-up, she’s even more cute, I say. Have you understood?
“Hasumi, please. Give me the photo of the maid Mitsuki. Take some with my phone too. I’ll leave it on standby.”
“Oi, Sakurai oi… It’s remarkable your siscon has worsened to this stage.”
“Geez~! Stop it, Mako-chan!”
Prince is also transcendentally cool but only Mitsuki has moved my heart so much.
“Hey! We’re starting since the leads are here. Kiritani and Mitsuki will be the focus, the older Sakurai will be a package deal with Kiritani. Sorry. I think you’re cool too but the demands of the world is—”
“It’s a-okay, I know. Actually, Hasumi, it hurts more when you say too many excuses.”
Directed by the members of the awaiting Photography Club, Prince and Mitsuki’s two shot photography session begins.
When Prince’s beautiful face comes together with the transcendentally pretty Mitsuki’s small face, slightly couplish photos are taken. A photo of them entwining their fingers with their hips and shoulders together is taken.
Is this heaven! Yes it must be heaven!
Mitsuki is cute, Prince is cute too. I can only see two angels being lovely-dovey.
Sure enough, I feel that Prince and Mitsuki are fitting. Of course, Takayanagi is an extremely good senpai and a great person but I can’t help wanting Prince and Mitsuki to date even now. Nah, as long as Mitsuki’s happy, I don’t mind who she dates.
However, even though it’s just a little, when I think that I have to step foot in there and be photographed, I feel like dying. It’s nothing but a distasteful image when a beast or a mushroom steps foot into a poster of two angels.
Yo Prince, you’re posing coolly but I’m having such tiresome thoughts thanks to your selfishness y’know.
“Okay, next, let’s shoot with the older Sakurai~. Alright, come here and hug Kiritani’s waist.”
“Un? Prince’s? Waist? … Hug?!”
“Yup. Stand next to each other, Sakurai and Kiritani. Kiritani, look downwards a bit… Ah, both of you, don’t forget to look here provocatively.”
What are you saying, Hasumi. What are you trying to make us do, Hasumi!
For some reason, Prince nods, accepting all of Hasumi’s orders and clings closely to me. In my hesitance, I look at Hasumi, the camera and Prince in order. Not knowing where to place my hand, it hangs slightly away from Prince’s waist as the fingers fidget in a muddle.
“The image is butlers provoking their young mistress! Go with an erotic feel!”
I thought even Hasumi was a fujoshi but it seems that wasn’t it.
I’m glad Hasumi isn’t looking at Prince and I that way but is it fine if I’m part of this ‘butlers provoking their young mistress’? Is it fine if the number 1 ikemen in this school, no, this city, does it with a normie like me, the very picture of ordinary?
However, now that we came this far, I have to do it. It won’t end if I don’t.
I pull Prince’s waist closer. Inclining my head slightly, I place my cheek on Prince’s head. There’s an incredibly nice smell coming from Prince’s hair. Although it’s properly a man’s smell, there’s remnants of a sweetness within that, it’s a mysterious smell.
“Sakurai! Alright, make an erotic face!”
“Hang on, sensei! What’s an ‘erotic face’!”
What’s an ‘erotic face’. I’ve never had such an expression in my life thus far so I’ve absolutely no idea.
For the time being, I try smirking while looking at the camera but Hasumi gives me an awful look.
“Sakurai… work harder. I won’t ask for an erotic face anymore so just make something similar!”
“What’s something similar~”
The Photography Club, Hasumi and Mitsuki are watching over us as I hug Prince. I feel like crying at this surreal image.
Fundamentally, I hate photographs and photo sticker booths. I don’t like leaving records of my face that’s not particularly cute or pretty. That’s why, truthfully, I didn’t want to be in this poster photography session. No longer knowing what to do, half-cryingly, I tug the waist of the Prince standing next to me, closer.
“… Sorry. Truthfully, I’m bad at having my photo taken.”
I can tell that Prince’s looking at me.
Prince puts strength into the arm he has around my waist. Stroking my back with that hand, he whispers gently in a voice only I can hear. Prince’s voice seems to be laughing a little.
“I hate photos too. But being with Makoto makes me so happy that I forgot my hate. However, I don’t think I can become such an existence to Makoto. That’s why… if Makoto doesn’t like taking photos, you can stop.”
Prince parts from me and looks at Hasumi.
“Hey, it’s enough to have Sakurai and my photographs, right? Makoto looks unwell so can we stop? You can take more of me if it’s not enough.”
Prince is expressionless, reticent and not exactly courteous. It’s true that I thought of him as ridiculously haughty when we first met. However, whenever I’m troubled or suffering, Prince will unhesitatingly save me like this. Haughty? No way. Prince is more frank, pure and kind than anyone.
Junya jokingly called Prince a kitten but he’s really like a whimsical cat. It took time and know-how for Prince to warm up but once he does, he’ll cherish you to the end. At times, even if he has to sacrifice himself. One can even call Prince’s kindness silly.
“Ah, really? It’s okay if you’re unwell. For the time being, the ones with Kiritani and Mitsuki are enough. Well then, we want some of different types so, Kiritani――…”
I strongly, strongly hug Prince’s waist that tries to part from me.
Prince’s eyes widen in surprise as he looks at me. Even though his eyes are always weakly half-opened, the eyes he’s looking at me with now are large and round like marbles.
“It’s fine. I’m not unwell. Besides, I want to take photos with Riku.”
“Makoto, you don’t have to force yourself.”
“I’m not forcing myself. Alright, Prince, look at the cameraー”
Perhaps bewildered, Prince’s gaze swims as he places his arm around my waist. For some reason, that appears cute to me.
It seems that the photos taken like this are handed to the Computer Club for final adjustments. Please do edit and edit such that I’ll look cooler than the real me.
Mitsuki and Hasumi left for club activities after tidying up the classroom so I’m alone with Prince now.
Finished changing, I begin keeping my belongings in my bag but Prince tugs at my moving arm. He opens his mouth as though he wants to say something but his gaze swims in hesitance and his mouth closes again.
“What’s up? Riku.”
Prince’s eyes are turned down expressionlessly.
He’s, probably feeling perplexed. That’s what I sense.
“I… hated school before but everyday before I sleep, I’ll think that I want to attend school again tomorrow. The training camp, ball game tournament and cultural festival, I don’t find any of them troublesome. Even though I thought something like school is friggin’ boring before.”
Come to think of it, Prince is originally the type that doesn’t come to school much, was it? I think Subaru mentioned it.
“School is fun now because there’s Makoto. It’s super fun. Everything that I hate becomes fun when there’s Makoto.”
Prince, who raised his head, is biting his lips lightly, smiling as though he’s about to cry.
Prince is giving me too high an evaluation. I’ve never been a very caring or motivating type. Nor have I thought of being so.
Even though all I did was be there, Prince says it’s fun being with me.
“Sure enough, I like Makoto.”
“Un?! … Un.”
“I like you.”
Is he saying this in the romantic way? When I can’t come up with a reply in my bewilderment, Prince begins to keep his textbooks in his school bag with his usual reticence. I wavered about whether I should give a reply but it appears he’s not seeking for one.
Finishing his preparations to leave, Prince stands before the classroom door and stares at me. He’s waiting for me.
However, even if he doesn’t need a reply, it’s quite rude of me to be silent after receiving his feelings. I have to convey my feelings clearly too. It’s impossible for me to return anything romantically but Prince is extremely, extremely important to me, as a friend.
“… I like Riku too. Even I want to go to school everyday when there’s Riku, Soutarou and Kaname.”
I like Prince and company. I like them enough that I want to attend school everyday. ――There’s no shred of falsehood in these words. Ever since coming here, I hardly ever find going to school troublesome. I’m jostled around by the events in Revolution everyday after all. There’s tons to do in school and at home.
So let’s go to school properly, tomorrow too. Let’s go to school in order to meet everyone.