"I understand. I won't do it in public unless Tokiwagi-san makes a mistake again."
Wakamiya retracted her tears as soon as I showed my intention to surrender. Her face turned composed. However, her cheeks were still slightly flushed. She looked like she was trying to smooth over her embarrassment.
However, I was really surprised by the Social Goddess' acting capability. Who would expect that she could show and retract her tears in an instant?
"...I heard that tears are women's weapons, but aren't you being too unreasonable?"
"Of course I should fully use my weapons."
"Haa... Wakamiya-san, don't you think you can become an actress in the future?"
"I'm not interested in becoming one."
"And I wasn't acting, though? I was really sad," Wakamiya said with a slightly sad bitter smile.
I bowed to her. "...Sorry."
To be honest, I never had anyone being this earnest to me in my life. I didn't know how it feels to get tied up with other people as their lovers or friends.
However, I never expected that she would think that, "I want to be with you," and "I want to talk to you."
This was my first experience.
But if she really felt like that, then how I treated her was probably the worst. The realization of how thoughtless I had been brought up a wave of discomfort.
That's why I couldn't stop myself from asking.
"Are you really okay with this? I already did those things to resolve the rumors and misunderstandings. It will all become meaningless then..."
"Of course. If you are thinking about me, please continue to act like usual."
"Haa, I understand."
I reflexively made a wry smile at Wakamiya's definite answer. Then I sipped the tea that Wakamiya brewed.
"...However, Tokiwagi-san has awfully hurt my feelings in this matter."
"That's... I'm sorry."
"The crack in my heart is so deep that it made a crevasse."
"A crevasse, you say..."
That's too exaggerating, though?
I wanted to say that, but I couldn't since I was in the wrong here.
I mean, crevasse was a deep crack, right? And if someone fell in it, no one would be able to save them. If that's the case, it would be impossible to restore the shape...
"Human's hearts are very vulnerable. Actually, you have very, very badly hurt my feelings."
"I'm sorry, okay..."
"It felt like I was being treated as a deflowered girl."
"You shouldn't say something like that!"
Wakamiya would occasionally spit out this kind of remark. Was she trying to make me laugh? But it didn't look like that. She said it very seriously, making me uncertain.
"I believe I need to have a change of mood. Do you have any good idea?"
I wracked my brain. Changing her mood, relieving her stress?
For me, it would be playing games, sleeping, or seeing the money I saved in my bankbook.
But I should go for the safe choice here——
"That's right... If you want to relieve stress, how about taking a nap?"
Her response was quick... And her tone was cold.
"Out of the question."
I didn't have any cards in my hands anymore... I had no idea. Then the most impossible suggestion was...
"Then how about blowing off some steam by playing?"
"Let's do that, Tokiwagi-san."
"What? Eh, me?"
"Tokiwagi-san, please decide the date, time, and place, okay? I'm looking forward to it."
My mind stopped moving for a while... Playing with Wakamiya... so a date?
No, no, no! Even if heaven and earth were reversed, that wouldn't happen.
I tried imagining it. The figure of Wakamiya and me walking side by side...
It was very out of place that I would definitely look like a disappointing guy with a rental girlfriend. That would be too hard for me...
"Hey, wait a minute! Why am I going too? You should play with Fuji-san and your other friends, right!?"
"That's also a good idea."
I stroked my chest, thankful that the direction of the conversation had changed. With this, I'm sa——
"But I want to go with Tokiwagi-san this time."
Oh no... I tried to resist a little.
"The test is close..."
"Then let's do it after the test. We can make it like an appreciation for our hard work in the test."
"My part-time job..."
"You can leave your shift adjustments to me."
Why did she block all of my escape routes? I felt like I would never be able to win in an argument against her...
"This... this is already settled?"
"Yes. I will stick until the end once I decide."
"I know it..."
I could feel a strong will from Wakamiya's eyes.
She was really stubborn, huh...
"Okay. Now that we've talked, let's start studying."
Wakamiya stared at me. "You won't be able to pass if you skip skipping your study."
"But I'm really not in the mood to study now..."
"You can control your mood on your own, can't you?"
"I don't have that kind of advanced technique..."
"Is that so... I'm surprised."
"I'm more surprised at you."
So Wakamiya could control her mood. I tipped my hat for that fact.
Was there anything that the Social Goddess couldn't do? Right now, I couldn't find any of her weak points.
"Then, let's try to control it."
"Eh, I have to do it?"
My face stiffened.
"Please don't make such an unconcealed reluctant face. Let's assume that you are humoring me. Do it."
"...Haa, can't be helped..."
In the end, I followed her lead... Rather, Wakamiya wouldn't accept my refusion anyway.
"First, raise your fist high."
I raised my right hand.
"Next, please yell, 'I'm getting exciteeeeed!!'"
"How can you say that with monotone voice..."
"Because I don't need it. Tokiwagi-san, please yell it with maximum tension."
"Are you being serious? ...After I did that, we'll stop?"
"No, you have to make a big smile."
A shrill cry came out of my mouth.
"You don't understand? Make a 'big smile'. Not your usual business sales smile, but the innocent smile of a young man."
"You suddenly raise the hurdles like that... I can't imagine it now. It's hard to do."
"You can do it during your part-time job, so I'm sure you will do just fine."
I could smile during my part-time job because I could get money by doing that. I didn't want to spend my energy on something that wouldn't benefit me in any way.
However, I was somewhat indebted to Wakamiya after today's incident, so... haa. It's hard that I had no choice but to do it.
"Come on, please do it soon."
"Tsk, I understand."
I took a deep breath.
This was a part-time job. This was a part-time job.
I recited that many times in my heart.
"I'm getting exciteeeeeddddd!!!!!!"
She shouts with a refreshing smile as if she won the national championship, and with a voice that seems to be annoying to the neighbor.
By the way, there is no neighbor in this apartment, so there is no problem...
Not good for my mental health.
I shouted with a very loud voice that would bother the neighbours, complete with a refreshing smile as if I won the national championship. By the way, I had no neighbors in this apartment, so that's not a problem...
It's just not good for my mental health.
Wakamiya stared at me with a charming smile. She was just looking at me without saying anything.
Damn it! My face is hot!!
"...Can you say something?"
"Tokiwagi-san. You're cute when you smile."
"I don't need that evaluation."
I sighed and fanned my face with my hand. The feeling of 'burning with shame' should be something like this.
Wakamiya looked at me as if she was studying my face.
"How is it? Do you feel motivated?"
"I think... my face is hot. That's it..."
I fanned myself again with my hand.
"You don't really have to do that, though."
"Hey, what are you trying to do with my sense of shame?"
"But you became refreshed, right?"
"Well, I guess so..."
"Then it's successful. Let's get started now."
"Yes, yes. I understand..."
I sighed and looked up at the ceiling.
But contrary to my listless attitude, my heart was radiant.
T/N: I was embarrassed when I read this chapter, and I was still embarrassed when I translated it...
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