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Chapter 26 – The Third Wheel and the Knight and the Princess (3)
Running in the corridor clad in a drenched school uniform, with this appearance it must make quite a laughable sight. It’s embarrassing because it appears like I was splendidly bullied, but it’s not the time to be embarrassed.
I have to find Madoka and somehow or other bring this development to a close. Now then, where’s the crucial Madoka in question?
Walking and looking around restlessly, I happened to spot Soutarou who was just about to enter the clubroom.
Right as I was going to call out to him, Soutarou noticed me and abruptly turned around. And then his usual full-faced smile that seemed to say「It’s Mako~! Makomako, why are you here~? Did you come to see me~?」rose up. Somehow it feels like I’m raising a dog.
Soutarou closed the distance with a dash and firmly gripped my shoulder. And then with a rub rub, he rubbed his cheek against my head.
What a stifling guy. But no unpleasant feelings surfaced. Rather I’ve even come to think it cute.
“Mako~! Why are you here? What did you come here for? Eh, why are you drenched?”
“So-Soutarou…… if you ask so many questions at once I can’t answer them.”
Soutarou made ku~un ku~un sounds like an abandoned dog as he looked at me worriedly.
“More importantly, did you see a girl in casual clothes around here?”
“A girl in casual clothes? Ahh, I saw her run that way towards the courtyard. Is there something wrong?”
“Ah, just a little.”
To Soutarou who called my name, I smoothed it over with a smile while running towards the courtyard.
“Mako! It’s not that way. The courtyard is in the opposite directionー!”
I panickedly changed directions after Soutarou pointed it out.
Izumino Gakuen was made by repeatedly adding constructions, so the structure of the building is complicated. It’s a source of worry for a directionally-challenged person like me each time.
Looking down at the courtyard from the old school building’s 2nd storey, I saw a girl in casual clothing standing there. It’s Madoka.
Coincidentally, Madoka turned around, so our line of sight steadily met. For an instance, Madoka made a face as though she was scared. Perhaps she knew I was chasing her, she broke into a run to escape.
“Wait! Madoka-san, I have something to say!”
Grabbing the window frame, I leaned my body out.
Despite hearing my voice, Madoka tried harder to escape. Rather, it might be precisely because she heard my voice that she tried harder to escape.
“Wait, I said!”
At a time like this, if it were the hero of a shoujo manga, he’ll probably coolly leap from the 2nd storey and gallantly appear before Madoka, but I don’t have that kind of courage.
Ah, but she’s already that far.
It’s about 3 meters from 2nd storey to the 1st. Since the current me is tall, if I dangle from a good location won’t I be able to avoid a big injury and land safely? I’ll be very cool if I do that, huh.
I made my resolve and planted my foot on the window frame.
Hearing my voice, Madoka slowly turned around.
Shocked by my conduct, Madoka’s eyes widened. Placing her white palm against her lips, she let out a scream.
“You! What are you doing. Please do stop. What if you get injured!”
“It’ll be fine. Wait for me.”
Dangling from the window frame, I let my body fall the way it does when I’m doing pull-up, reducing the impact as much as possible.
My heartbeat raced in spite having said I’ll be fine. I patted my chest in relief the moment my feet reached the lawn. But surprisingly one can do anything if he puts his mind to it, huh.
“Jumping from the 2nd storey, that dangerous.”
Madoka rushed over, hurriedly grabbing my arm.
I felt a little uneasy to receive an unexpected serious scolding.
“Isn’t it because Madoka-san ran away from me……”
“Obviously I’ll run. I made your imouto-san injured, you know.”
Squeeze, more strength was put into the hand holding my arm.
Surmising from her expression and attitude, I think she definitely didn’t make Mitsuki injured purposefully.
Mitsuki, in Mitsuki’s way, is naturally straightforward and excessively softhearted, and easily carries out actions like that would only seem like a burikko’s if carried out by real life girls. It probably rubs people’s shoulders the wrong way. With that as the impetus, she pushed her on impulse and by chance she fell into the pool, and by chance she twisted her ankle, so it was like that?
Me too, I’m glad I didn’t hit Madoka on impulse. Though imperfect, the current me is without a doubt a high school boy, and it’s bad to hit a frail girl, right. I’ll reflect.
“That’s, well, having an injury inflicted on my imouto upsets me.”
“I knew it. You’re mad, right.”
“Of course, there’s anger.”
There’s no way I’m not mad when the superbly cute Mitsuki gets injured. As a matter of fact, I’m a siscon, y’know.
Madoka’s large eyes grew wet.
What’s this what’s thisー. The queen of ice is crying, but what should I do?
By no means did I expect her to start crying abruptly. Being exposed to the cold early spring wind while wearing school uniform that’s drenched from having jumped into the pool, I’m the one who wants to cry. It’s still May y’know. It’s insanely cold. To think that she’ll cry just because I answered “I’m angry” when asked “Ya angry?”, what should I do?
“Don’t cry. I’m not angry now.”
“But you said are. Both you and Yasuchika are angry, and Junya isn’t nowhere to be found.”
I was startled by Madoka who let large drops of tears spill out. What do normal guys do to comfort crying girls? What should I do?
First let’s think back to the time when I was a girl.
When comforting my female friend, to start off with, while casually mixing in some body contact, “Geez, don’t cry so much~. How about we go karaoke or something for a change of pace?” Like that, I somehow managed by using the pattern of distracting her from the source of sadness.
But it’s a no-no for the male me to do this to Madoka. Besides, Madoka and I don’t have such a touchy-feely relationship. In the first place the comforting method between fellow women and people of the opposite gender is different.
But Takayanagi, he sure dealt that slap unsparingly. He might have intended to hold back, but Madoka’s left cheek had turned red.
“Hey, here, it’s better to cool it down.”
My right hand lightly touched the reddened cheek.
Perhaps it’s painful as expected, Madoka’s shoulders shook with a start.
“There’s club activities today, if we’re lucky the infirmary should be open. C’mon.”
“You, didn’t you hear? I’m already hated by Yasuchika……”
Somehow it’s become troublesome to think.
From long ago men bear courage, women bear love, and monks bear sutras. Since I’ve no choice but to do it, it can’t be helped. I’ll just speak whatever’s in my mind.
“Like. I. Said. He doesn’t hate you. You’ll quarrel if you’re friends. It’s much stranger that you haven’t quarrelled until now.”
“But, after quarrelling it’s difficult to return to the relationship before. Everyone leaves my side after we quarrel.”
“It’s because Takayanagi-senpai and Junya-senpai attended to all of Madoka-san’s selfishness that it didn’t came to quarrelling. But that’s not what friends are. A lackey or a slave, servant, that’s what it’s called. Friends don’t listen to everything their friends say. Even if you bump heads or quarrel, as long as you make up you’ll return to being friends. You should say ‘sorry’ at times like this.”
Was it kind of dodgy?
But Madoka has a childish side, so I have a feeling saying something at this level of dodgy is okay.
“Is that so?”
“That is so. Well then, first make up with me. I’ll say ‘I’m sorry’, so Madoka-san will reply with ‘it’s fine’. Then Madoka-san and I would have made up and become friends. How about that?”
Madoka stopped crying and looked at me in puzzlement.
Even though Madoka is slightly taller than Mitsuki, about the same height as me from the past, she appears considerably delicate.
Well, the me who was female didn’t have a 155cm 38kg-desu figure like a 2D character. Well, it’s possible that’s an excuse, and I was simply a fatty.
“I, won’t become friends with males other than Yasuchika and Junya.”
“Ahー, is it?”
I’m female though. The outer appearance is totally that of a male’s so there’s no persuasive power at all though.
“But, if you insist, I don’t mind being something like friends.”
Even as her cheeks blushed, she flipped her long hair and spoke high-handedly.
Madoka keeps doing things that irks others, but gradually I’m coming to think that this girl who’s like the template tsundere is cute. As I thought, Madoka’s nature isn’t wicked. She’s an awfully awkward and honest girl.
I reflexively let out a laugh.
“It’s rude to laugh all of a sudden. You were the one who said you wanted to be friends with me, weren’t you.”
“My bad. Then, ……I’m sorry, be friends with me.”
I held out my right hand with the intention of shaking hands, but Madoka ignored that and hugged me.
“E-e-eh, why am I, being hugged?”
“We’re friends, right?”
“Are friends people who do things like hugging?”
Ever since coming to this world, my concept of ‘friends’ had been overturned in various ways.
Are friends people who do things like hugging? Even if they’re of the opposite gender?
Certainly I’m often hugged by Soutarou or Kaname, but I deemed that safe since it’s between guys. But it’s a no-no with the opposite gender right?
“To me they’re people who do things like hugging. Does Makoto not want to be hugged by me?”
The queen of ice――Yukinoshita Madoka, smiled so innocently you wouldn’t think she’s an adult. How can I say no after seeing such a face?
Perhaps Madoka didn’t force them to listen to her, those two listened to her on their own after seeing this face. And then the pure Madoka who’s ignorant about the ways of the world, might have came under the impression that it’s normal for Takayanagi and Junya to listen to her words. In other words, that it’s normal for friends to listen to one’s words.
“Well, it’s not like I particularly don’t want to…… But I’m all drenched, so Madoka-san’s clothes will get wet.”
“It’s alright. It’s just a 100 000 yen clothing.”
To be able to say it’s just a 100 000 yen clothing, Madoka’s sense of value is a mystery.
Since I can’t push Madoka away, for now I just hugged her back. Glancing at Madoka who’s buried in my chest, her eyes were closed like she’s relieved from the bottom of her heart as she rubbed the tip of her nose. My heart thumped a little.
Bringing down a girl on high horse? Such situations aren’t rare, but I think I get why people have a preference for that now. Certainly, a girl who was so tsuntsun becoming this dere is cute, huh.
“Un? Ah, Hasumi, what’s up? I’m not Mitsuki, you know.”
Mitsuki’s closest friend, Hasumi, gave a huge wave from the window I jumped off just now.
She’s one of the aforementioned girls who speak to me without minding the ikemens. She’s a lively and spirited girl with short hair dyed brown.
“Of course I know that. More importantly, Takayanagi-senpai wants Sakurai at the infirmaryー!”
“Gee, don’t you flirt in schoolー?”
I have nothing but bad premonition seeing the grin Hasumi gave at the end.
That girl, I hope she doesn’t spread rumours within the school, of Sakurai flirting with a girl.
As expected wearing wet clothes robs one of all their body temperature. Let’s borrow clothes from Soutarou before going to the infirmary.
Regardless, I have a feeling that things are finally coming to a close. While hugging Madoka, I gave a sigh of relief.
 Nuance of ‘do what she says’.
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