…To be honest, when the two of them first met, they were on unimaginably bad terms with each other.
The Neighbors Club was established in the middle of June, so that was about 5 months ago.
But in our battle against Yusa Aoi, a threat which could have represented the destruction of the Neighbors Club, the two who had always been fighting over everything — Yozora and Sena shut her down effortlessly.
— Mikadzuki Yozora, with her sharp wit and her silver tongue.
— Kashiwazaki Sena, with her physical, intellectual, financial, and authoritative powers, in any case, her overwhelming might.
As long as the two of them were here, the Neighbors Club would be safe no matter who attacked us.
I actually held such careless thoughts of optimism.
I became relaxed, even forgetting that our current situation was founded on extremely shaky grounds, simply feeling contented that the danger had passed.
I even thought that these days of leisure at the Neighbors Club would continue from here on till forever.
…But it wasn’t just because I thought like this — that I let my guard down — that it happened.
Just as the the revolution of the stars had no place for human will to interfere, reality moved for us, mercilessly, without any concern for my own expectations. It moved us.
‘Accept my feelings!’ ‘Ooooh!’ ‘Go out with me!’ ‘I love you Onii-chan!’ ‘I-It’s not like I have feelings for you or anything!’
On the television screen, a large group of pretty girls, wielding love letters like blunt instruments while shooting heart-shaped beams out of their eyes, chased down the protagonist.
‘I’m not going to diiiiiie!!’ ‘Univeerrrse!!’ ‘Je t’aimeeee!!’
Guess there are some weird stuff even with galge, huh. Thinking that it looked somewhat interesting, my eyes were drawn to the screen.
“…Oh, right, Kodaka.”
‘Y-You caaaaan’t!’ ‘P-Please marry me!’ ‘N-No, not thereeeee!’ ‘Noooo!’ ‘C’est si bon!’ ‘Not even Dad’s touched me there before!’
Said Sena nonchalantly while employing her astonishing dexterity with the controller to shoot down the girls one by one.
“Hmm?” I answered in the same carefree, nonchalant tone of voice.
“This just came up while I was talking with Papa on the phone.”
“You really should just marry me.”
Pwaaah. Yozora and Rika spurted out their coffee at the same time.
Yukimura, Maria and Kobato looked blank, their mouths open.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while now–”
‘Ecstassssy!’ ‘I’m coming!’ ‘Aaahhh!!’
Without the slightest glance in my direction, Sena continued while watching the screen in earnest.
‘Ah—-!!’ ‘Idiot ♥’ ‘S-So rough!’
“Like I said before, that promise Papa and your father made was made when we met as kids, so it doesn’t matter anymore. But it’s only the promise itself that doesn’t matter, and when we found out about the engagement it just gradually ended up being about cancelling it, but none of that makes a difference, because I think, the way I feel now, I really do want to marry you.
Because I like you, Kodaka.”
“What did you just say?!”
My shout, its loudness seeming to overwhelm all her words, shocked Sena and made her fumble her commands, and the protagonist on-screen suffered a direct hit from one of the girl’s panty bombs.
“Geez, you made me screw up, idiot!”
Turning around with a cry of regret, Sena glared at me tearfully.
“Oh, uh, sorry… so, what were you saying?”
I couldn’t even manage to pull a wry smile, but simply feigned a failure of a laugh with drawn lips.
“What do you mean,
what was, I, saying–“
Noticing that everyone else was looking at her, Sena stiffened with her mouth halfway opened.
After a moment of silence, Sena suddenly turned bright red.
It looked like she finally realized the unthinkable things she had let slip, like it was simply a piece of gossip, while completely immersed in her game.
“Ah, um… I-I…”
Her face was crimson, her mouth opening and closing wordlessly.
What do I do? I have to say something…
But it was all just so sudden that my mind was thrown into confusion and could not think.
“I, I said it… aha…”
Awkwardly, Sena gave a dry smile.
“…Ahaha… oh, well… I was going to say it eventually…”
She became serious again.
“…So, um, well…”
Sena squirmed, and looked at me with upturned eyes.
“…Well, that’s that… I meant what I said… aha…”
The sight of the shyly laughing, embarrassed Sena was criminally cute.
It was an utterly irresistable destructive force — or a magic spell, even — which could unconditionally charm any man.
If she wasn’t someone I already knew, if Kashiwazaki Sena were just a stranger to me, I might even throw my arms around her right now, heedless of the eyes of others.
But that was something I must not do.
“…Oh, uh… w-what do you mean? Your game was too loud, I couldn’t hear what you were saying at all…”
It was a brazen lie.
But the air around us did not change in the slightest.
…Well, of course.
Seeing as Sena wasn’t going to dodge the issue at all, it made no difference no matter how much I played stupid.
Completely ignoring my words, Sena continued to look at me with blurred eyes.
Averting Sena’s gaze, I cast my eye across the clubroom.
Yozora looked like she had no idea what to do at all, looking at both Sena and me in a fluster.
Yukimura, as always, stared at me with a vacant, blank expression.
Maria looked stunned as she continued to eat her chips.
Kobato looked like she was about to cry.
Rika, seeming strangely painful, looked from Sena to me, caught my eye, and gave a small sigh, as though to say, ‘I told you so.’
Sena cutely tilted her head.
It would be far too clever a trick if she were doing it on purpose, but I knew Sena wasn’t someone who would made calculations like that. She didn’t need to.
Every wave of her hand, every stride of her feet could naturally draw in the attention of others. And now, these gestures of Kashiwazaki Sena were all directed at me.