Chapter 1: Prologue

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“I need to talk to you after school, so wait for me.”

When my lunch break was almost over, Hinagata Shiori called out to me just like that.
It made me nervous for a moment. 

After school… I need to talk to you…

If someone of the opposite s*x, one of the best looking girls in your school, doesn’t give specific information, but rather she gives you a slightly murky nuance, you can’t help but be nervous.

Is it a confession or something like that? I couldn’t help but imagine.

At that time, I replied with a faint nervousness, “Oh, okay.” But when I thought about it, there was nothing between Hinagata and me.
We’re childhood friends, so it’s nothing like that.
When I thought about it, the logic was as simple as one plus one.

“Oi, Tonomura.
Let’s go home, okay?”

Sugiuchi, who was in my class, came over to my desk, where I was leisurely getting ready to leave for school.

today it’s.

“What do you mean by ‘that’?”

I glanced in the direction of the person at fault, Hinagata, and checked my bag again to make sure I hadn’t forgotten to pack my lunch box.

“I want to go home alone today.”

“… Ohh.
Well, okay.”

I’m sorry, my friend.
We’re together all day, every day, but not today.
We exchanged a few words of greeting. 

Just as Sugiuchi was about to leave the classroom, he suddenly stopped in front of the door and looked back with a straight face.

“Well, that tanned gal adult p**n video you recommended was so subtle!”

“You’re being too loud… Don’t say that now!”

Sugiuchi laughed, waved his hand, and finally left.
I’m sure he did it on purpose.

The classroom, where there were still a few people left in, went silent for a moment, and a few people quickly left the classroom.
I had just entered the second year of school, and I could see that my popularity had immediately hit rock bottom…

Hinagata pulled out the chair next to me, and sat down beside me.

“Can I talk to you?”

She had slitted eyes that looked a little sharp and a fair, well-shaped face.
Her black hair easily swayed when she turned her head.
I can understand why people think of her as a cool beauty or something.

“What is it with you, calling out to me again?”

“I’m not a tanned gal, okay?”

I won’t forgive you…

“It’s sad when people treat me cruelly like that.”

It wasn’t my intention to give her that attitude.

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Perhaps it’s because of her solemn but clear voice that made it even sadder.

“I’m sorry.
I’m sorry, but you’re the one who started teasing me, okay? So, can we talk?”


I put my cheekbones on the bench and urged her to continue, but Hinagata just rubbed her knees together and didn’t say anything.
She squirmed, looked at me anxiously, and then lowered her eyes.
She opened her mouth as if making up her mind but then closed it again as if hesitating. 

Her cheeks were red, and I’m sure it’s not because of the sun that has shone into the classroom.

…Hey, that reaction, no way…

Tell me.

“I’ve found someone I like.”

“… Oh… Yeah, yeah.”

I was scared.
I don’t know.
I don’t know why.
I was a little nervous.

“Good for you.”


Hinagata’s cheeks relaxed.
People tend to think of her as cool and expressionless, but her emotions just come out like this sometimes.


“I thought Ryunosuke would be able to give me some advice.”

“Don’t call me as if I’ve been into hundreds of battles.”

“I know, I know.
You’re a virgin.”


On the contrary, I’ve never been in a relationship with anyone.
And, well, she knows that.

 ….Hmm? And she’s asking me for advice?

“Shiori, are you sure you want to talk to me? Aren’t you asking the wrong person?”

“I’m not mistaken.” She assured me.

“That kind of thing, you know, you should ask a girl you’re close to or something.”

“… It’s embarrassing.
Besides, you can’t know how a boy feels by asking a girl.”

I see.
Girls who grew up on shoujo manga can’t understand how men feel.

“I know you like tanned gals, but…”

“Don’t bring up a pinpoint example.”

That’s a subtle poke in the eye, isn’t it?

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“Look, Hinagata.
As an example, you’d get bored if you had meat and potatoes every day.”


She was puzzled.

“Let’s go crunchy at least for today!―There are times when a man feels like that.”


She was puzzled again.

“Tanned gal, crunchy…..?”

“You don’t have to remember that.”

It was still too early to teach her the realities of being a gentleman, apparently.

And I was a little relieved around the idea of her wanting to know how boys felt.

Her slender height and cool face are popular with both boys and girls.
Hinagata is more popular with girls than most boys.

Hinagata, who receives quite a few confessions, has turned down an equal number of both.
That’s why I hear there are rumours that it’s not a man who she likes, but a woman.

“Just to confirm.
If you choose me as your advisor and want to know about guys’ minds, that means you like guys, right?”


It’s important, I had to check there.

“It’s like a romantic-ish feeling… right? Not ‘like’, but ‘love’.”

I’m a little embarrassed to say the word ‘love’ outside of English class.

“It’s love; I’m serious.”

Serious love.

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but what kind of guy?”

When I asked her out of curiosity, she looked up into the air as if thinking and then answered.

“Familiar, kind, and handsome.”

Oh, most of the boys are different.
Counting the good-looking guys I can think of… Since Hinagata is in a girls basketball club, a male member?  The basketball club is refreshing and cool.
It’s something that is familiar to us.

“It’s about face after all.”

I knew it.
I knew it.
However, it’s limited to good-looking guys.

“I… I like his face.
I don’t know what other people think.”

Do you want to go out with that guy, hold hands, and kiss him?”

She made a strange onomatopoeic sound and froze for a while, her face turning red.
After a while, she finally gave a slight nod.

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“… Yeah.”

It was the expression of a maiden in love.

No, I didn’t know what the expression of the maiden in love was, but it would be exactly that if I were to describe her expression.

“I want to kiss.”


Once again, Hinagata covered her face with her hands.
She could hide her reddened face but not her reddened ears.

Is that so? I don’t think I can have someone who thinks of me like this.

“What’s it like now? What’s the distance between you?”

“…..Someone I can talk to if I want to.”

So, I guess the most likely candidate is someone from this school.


“Still secret.”

When it comes to love, she’s not very good at it— or so I think.
She would not speak so lightly of it.
If I knew who it was, it would be easier to give advice, but I guess I don’t have a choice.
I don’t want to forcefully pry like a kid, and maybe Hinagata confided in me because I’m the type who thinks that way.

“Contact information?”

“I think I can find it out if I look it up, but I don’t know about SNS or anything like that.”

She said that they were close enough to talk but not close enough to keep in touch in private.

“Well, you need his contact information first.
Otherwise, you can’t talk about what you want to say, right? “

“Yes, I’ll see what I can do.”

“Why not invite him on a date?”

“Well, yeah…! But I can’t…!”

She is holding her chest and taking deep breaths.
Just imagining is enough to fill her up with happiness.

She doesn’t even know his contact information yet, but she’s so quick… I mean, there’s probably no boy who would refuse to be contacted by her.

I tapped her on the shoulder with a pop.
Hinagata’s body bounced… Huh? Did I surprise you that badly?

“Hinagata, be strong.
No one is going to say no to you when you ask them for their contact information.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Yeah.” I nodded my head again and again.

The teacher came and told us to leave the classroom because it was going to be locked, so we left.
I looked at the time on my cell phone and saw that we had been talking for more than an hour, and before I knew it, the sun was setting, and the hallway looked a little dark.

As I walked up to the gate, I pulled out my sneakers from the still unfamiliar shoe box and dipped my toes in them.
As I started walking, Hinagata lined up next to me.

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“We haven’t walked home together since the spring of eighth grade.”

“Oh, right.”

I remember it well.
We were both busy with club activities, so we came home at different times.
Just because we were going in the same direction didn’t mean I had to go home at the same time.

“Are you dating?” I didn’t want to be ridiculed by my seniors and classmates, and I was embarrassed to be seen with my family.

I guess it showed on her face and in her attitude.
Hinagata no longer spoke to me in the classroom or on campus, let alone on her way to and from school.

She seemed to have had enough of my advice for the day and didn’t ask me anything more, so I didn’t say anything either.

… I think I’m less embarrassed now, even though we haven’t been home together in a while.

“Um,” I heard a whisper and looked next to me to see Hinagata standing still a few steps behind me.

“Ryunosuke “


Hinagata thought she pulled her cell phone out of her pocket, but she didn’t hold it properly and dropped it on the ground.

What’s wrong, are you okay?

“Is your phone okay?

It’s fine.”

She took a deep breath and held out her cell phone, which seemed to be okay to me.

“….Let’s shake it”
[TN: One of the features on Line is “Shake It!” since it allows you to instantly add a person by shaking the phone.
For this to work, you and your friend need to be close and have the GPS or Location Services turned on.]

Is this the SNS ID exchange?

“Well, I didn’t know that.”

I don’t think I’ve ever had that opportunity before because we were in different classes.
Even if I knew it, I wouldn’t have messaged her privately because we never talked.

I took out my cell phone and exchanged IDs with her.

But now that I know, it’s easier to talk to her.

“T-thank you…”

“No, it’s fine,” I said, letting it slide.

Hinagata looked at her cell phone screen and gave a small smile.
It was the expression of a maiden in love.

I know her face well enough to know that she is usually expressionless, but her relaxed expression is extremely cute without being patronizing.

….I suddenly thought back to our earlier discussion.
The person she likes is probably at the same school, familiar, and she doesn’t know his contact information.

Who likes Hinagata…
Well, of course not.

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