There was a presence of someone coming closer from behind… Their pace was fast. It was obvious by their movement that they didn’t intend to turn a blind eye to us talking closely.
“Oi, Karuizawa, Ayanokouji, too.”
It was Hashimoto, who was breathless following us from the lobby until here.
“… Umm, who?”
I noticed that Kei didn’t know Hashimoto, so she turned towards me to give her an explanation.
“It’s Hashimoto from A Class. I was together with him during the training camp.”
As soon as he greeted me, Hashimoto came closer to Kei.
“It’s witty for a guy and a girl to secretly meet at this place, you’re quite smooth, Ayanokouji.”
I had known that Hashimoto would attempt to get in touch with me eventually, but I wondered why did he chose that time to do, so.
Then, I had to use his plan to my advantage.
“It’s not like we were doing anything in particular…”
“Don’t hide it. It’s Valentine’s day today, but it’s not weird even if two people who are not in love to meet secretly. It seems like you really got something from her, already”
He even noticed the chocolate I immediately put away in the bag after receiving it.
“I got the chocolate by a coincidence. It’s not like I came to meet her on purpose.”
Even with my denying, Hashimoto snorted through his nose, seeing right through the excuse.
“Nah, you knew from the beginning you would get the chocolate. What’s with that bag?”
“You had returned, earlier, to your room in the dormitory, so you shouldn’t bother bringing your bag when you go out, afterwards.”
“… No, I originally wanted to go to the library, but I got a call from Karuizawa.”
“Therefore… It was just a coincidence?”
I nodded to Hashimoto and showed him two books I grabbed from my school bag.
“Well, whatever happened, the result is the same. You’ve got chocolate from Karuizawa.”
From Hashimoto’s perspective, the fact that I received chocolate from Karuizawa was important, even if it had nothing to do with me.
“I’m not sure I understand… Is there a problem?”
“I’m simply curious what attracted her to you. Wasn’t Karuizawa’s ex-boyfriend Hirata, who was one of the most outstanding students in school? And now she picks you?”
In other words, he was interested in how did things come to this.
“Right. I originally intended to give the chocolate to Hirata. It would be a waste to throw it away, so I thought of giving it to someone else and chose Ayanokouji.”
“You thought it was proper to give on a whim, such an intimate gift? Sorry, I don’t see it like that. And in this place? That’s a weak lie.”
Hashimoto burst out laughing at which, Kei openly showed her anger.
“Huh? Why did you all of a sudden show up, talking nonsense?”
Kei gave him an arrogant look.
“I just want to know the truth.”
Said Hashimoto in awe.
And the fact was – the unnatural part of this situation couldn’t be hidden.
So, I made a shift in the direction of the conversation. Whether Kei would be able to match it well, would depend on her skills.
“It’s better to already admit the truth, Karuizawa. Hiding things here will only get us in trouble later. It’s more troublesome if he thinks we’re dating.”
I said, handing on the torch.
Without hesitation, Kei took a deep breath.
“Oh, alright. I’ll say it, but don’t spread the story under any circumstances, okay?”
Said Kei, pointing at Hashimoto with her finger.
“I only entrusted Ayanokouji with a chocolate so that he can give it to my first choice.”
“In other words – Ayanokouji is a mediator?”
“That’s right. Understood?”
Hashimoto gestured as if he couldn’t believe it, at all.
“Then to whom will he give the chocolate?” Hashimoto’s questioning continued.
“Huh? I’m not telling that to someone I just met now. You’re a fool.”
Kei fanned the flames, but it was true. There was a solid part of Karuizawa Kei’s character in this statement.
“That’s – Well, you’re right.” Hashimoto agreed somewhat surprisingly and bowed his head apologetically.
“This isn’t a problem that ends by bowing one’s head. You need to be really sorry.”
“… Is that so? It looks like it was my misunderstanding, sorry. I just thought you liked each other.”
“Why would something unrelated to you, concerns you in the first place?”
“In that regard, it’s not unrelated.”
Hashimoto headed towards an angered Kei, pushing her on the wall and enclosing her between his arms.
“I thought you were fine even before, so date me, Karuizawa. I don’t know who’s your new love interest, but since you haven’t given your chocolate yet, it means you haven’t confessed your feelings, right?” He appealed forcibly, as if it isn’t late even now.
“Love is interesting because you don’t know how will things turn out.”
He said, piercing me with a sharp gaze for a moment. Maybe he was trying to pull out some emotion from me by touching Kei.
“Well, I’m going.”
“Ha? Wai- I’m going as well.” Kei took her distance rushing away from Hashimoto.
“You’re unkind.” Hashimoto said showing a bitter smile, but it looked like he wouldn’t be using force anymore.
It seemed like he no longer had interest in Kei.
Kei let out a sigh due to her amazement and returned back to the dorms on her own
“I’m sorry for the intrusion on such a weird place.”
“No, don’t worry.”
I walked together with Hashimoto until the division point between dormitory and school.
“However, you also had a lot of hardships in romance, right?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m talking about how you’re pretty big. Girls who lack experience won’t be able to handle you”
He whispered in my ear while putting a hand on my shoulder, smiling mockingly.
Again with that story…
“Don’t feel exasperated. You’ve earned yourself a great deal of attention ”
I wasn’t happy at all. Rather, I gradually started hating the training camp that caused it.
“So, King. Exchange your contact address with me.”
“If you don’t use that nickname ever again, I gladly will.”
“Ha ha ha ha. I won’t, I won’t.”
I decided to exchange contact with Hashimoto, who gave me over his cell phone apologizing.
“So, I will return as well. See, ya later, Ayanokouji.”
Hashimoto came and left like a storm.
Did he really think that this was enough for gathering information, or that he had chased too far reaching prohibited things?
Whichever it was, I will vaguely keep on existing in Hashimoto’s mind.
If only it remains like this.
I decided to stop by the library and meet with Hiyori, who whould be on stand by, there.
Then I had to meet another person whom I promised to meet at school.