“Hey, what do you mean by devil?”
Along with her words, my classmate Minami approached with a serious expression.
I didn’t know how to answer her question and kept my mouth shut in confusion.
To be honest, both me and Hijiri had been careless. I had never imagined that I would met Minami here.
—A park on an early morning during summer vacation that I came to yawning to tag along with Nazuna and Elni’s radio exercise. There we met Gogyou Hijiri by chance and I had asked her casually.
If she would come to the seaside school next week.
Upon that question, Hijiri had answered that she would participate since she had a job request there.
Apparently, there was a possibility of a devil hiding at the place where the seaside school was held, so there happened to be a request for an inquiry for the exorcist Hijiri.
Hijiri trusted me, so she had told me about her job. But usually, Hijiri kept her job a secret. So when she realized that Minami overheard her talk about her job, she was shaken without doubt. Hijiri was looking at Minami with a stiff expression.
Not paying any mind to Hijiri’s behaviour, Minami took even one more step closer.
“What’s this request for an inquiry about?”
Before I could say anything to cover it up,
“About a game!”
Elni, whenever she had come back, raised her voice with a smile.
“There is an event like that in a game we’re obsessed with right now. The request for an inquiry means a quest we got from the guild.”
Most likely Elni had heard our conversation. Making a follow up, she started to talk about a fictional game with gestures, which sadly didn’t seem to be effective. At the beginning Minami was surprised at the sudden appearance of Elni, but now she was in a state of half-believing, half-doubting.
“…Was it really from a game?”
“Y- Yeah, that’s right.”
“Then what’s the title of the game?”
“Eh? Th- The title? It’s, ehm…’Near Mad Dog Armageddon’?”
When Elni rolled her eyes, Minami doubtful tilted her head.
“I never heard of a game with such a title….?”
“Wh- What a coincidence! Actually, I never heard of it either! Ahahaha!”
Elni laughed and said quibbling. But there was no way she could hush it up with that and Minami gave Elni a doubtful look.
At that moment,
“Geez, El-chan, don’t kid around so much. The title of the game is…”
To help Elni, Nazuna added and then gave the title of a game that I had heard of while smiling at Minami.
—Nazuna was aware of Hijiri’s job.
Because previously, when Machina tried to kidnap Nazuna, Hijiri had shown her power as an exorcist.
At that time Nazuna hadn’t had minded that Luna and Machina were devils, nor had she been scared of Hijiri. However, not everyone was the same. There might be people, who are scared of devils or exorcists. Nazuna probably understood that.
That was why she tried to cover it up like Elni.
Taking Elni’s spot, Nazuna continued to talk about the game with a somewhat awkward smile, when Minami finally seemed to consent,
“I see. You were talking about a game. I got the wrong idea there. You see, Gogyou-san seems to have a good spiritual sense, so I thought she really might exorcise devils…Ahahaha. As if devils would exists.”
as she made a shy smile and faced Hijiri.
“But that’s a surprise. To think that you’re playing games, Gogyou-san.”
“M- My big sister loves games, so we often play it together.”
Hijiri’s so called “Big Sister” must refer to the maid of the Gogyou Household, Kaoru aka Kaorun.
Such thoughts crossed my mind, when Minami shifted her gaze and talked to me.
“You don’t really give off the image of a gamer, Nanjou-kun, but do you play often?”
“Well, I like reading more than gaming…..but my sister and Hijiri introduced me to it this time.”
Resting my head on Nazuna’s head, I matched my story to theirs, when Minami frowned lightly for some reason.
“….Somehow, I get the feeling that you and Gogyou-san became really close after the culture festival? After all, you two suddenly started to call each other by your first names…”
“What, you jealous?”
“Y- Yeah! I’m jealous! I want to become closer too!”
When I asked her teasingly, Minami suddenly brought her face closer and answered.
Big eyes and long eyelashes. Smooth cheeks and pink lips. Beautiful features. All that close by, I became a bit unsettled.
For now, I averted my eyes from Minami by dropping my gaze, but upon that, I now had her bulging huge breasts in my vision.
Minami’s presented big breasts were at a defenceless distance, where a little movement of my hand could grab them, which only added to my unrest. But I kept my composure, at least appearance-wise. I raised my head and looked into Minami’s eyes.
“Minami, if you want to get closer to Hijiri, I think you should tell that to herself and not me.”
“Th- That’s no what I mean. Sure, I want to get closer to Gogyou-san, but I, well, with you, I…”
Fidgeting with her index fingers against each other, Minami tried to say something with a quiet voice, but
“Sis~ The radio exercise is starting~!”
suddenly there was a loud voice and erased her words completely.
I shifted my gaze to the voice, where I confirmed a boy, at the age for elementary school, widely waved his hand to Minami, probably her little brother.
For a moment, Minami showed a complicated expression upon seeing that, but soon enough she relaxed the corners of her mouth and waved her hand with a “I’m coming!”.
“Sorry, Nanjou-kun, Gogyou-san, my brother is waiting for me. See you later.”
“Yeah, see you later. Though I’m going home now.”
When I replied so suited, Minami took my hand somewhat spoiled.
“Geez, don’t be so mean. It’s a chance meeting, so let’s talk for a bit.”
“Talk, huh…. About the summer homework?”
“I, I don’t want to hear these words from your mouth, Nanjou-kun!”
Along with her words, she let go off my hand, pressed both her hands against her ears and turned her back to me.
It was a reaction like when your lover brought up a break-up. Minami went away just like that in an escape, but she suddenly stopped and turned around.
“Reminds me, Nanjou-kun, you’re not going to come to seaside school again this year?”
“Yeah. Just like last year, I’m busy spending my times with alcohol, cigarettes, fights and women.”
“Nanjou-kun, that’s so cool…”
Surprisingly enough, Minami showed a positive reaction with a spellbound expression. But in contrast to that Minami, Hijiri and Nazuna stared at me incredible lonely. I couldn’t endure their looks, so I hastily corrected my statement.
“M- Minami, I was just kidding around, a joke. Actually, I’m coming too.”
In a matter of seconds, a joyful look spread on Minami’s face and her cheeks coloured pinkish.
“Nanjou-kun, Nanjou-kun, I’m going too, so let’s play together there.”
“Well, if I feel like it…”
I nonchalant replied the sudden hyper Minami.
Then, for no apparent reason, Minami crossed her arms behind her back and started to take a sexy pose.
“Nanjou-kun, you know, I bought a daring swimsuit this year. Fufu, you’ll certainly feel like it.”
Laughing erotically, Minami sent me a wink.
…Minami had a good style, so when she took a pose like that, it was quite something.
I was having that honest impression, when Minami suddenly faced Nazuna.
“We’ll talk later too, Nazuna-chan.”
“Eh? O- Okay…”
Suddenly being called upon, Nazuna nodded a bit bewildered. Minami grinned and went over to her little brother…but it was weird. Nazuan shouldn’t have named herself yet.
A bit concerned, I called out to Nazuna.
“Hey, Nazuna. You knew Minami?”
“Mhm~, I think it was my first time meeting her, but… somehow, I have a strange feeling. When she called my name, I had a real scare.”
Tilting her head, Nazuan grumbled mysterious.
There Elni rested her hand on Nazuna’s shoulder.
“Nazucat, that’s love. Your ever fast beating heart is proof enough.”
“Ehm, it’s not that kind of feeling… but I don’t know how to describe it.”
Still tilting her head, Nazuna crossed her arms and pondered. But, she was probably just surprised by having her name called out by someone she didn’t know.
However, how did Minami know Nazuna’s name?
I was doubtful, but it was nothing to think too deeply about.
Deciding so, I called out to Nazuna and Elni.
“C’mon, the radio exercise is starting. You guys hurry up too.”
“Yeah! You come with us, Brother.”
“…Sorry, Nazuna. I have to talk with Hijiri.”
“I see…. Then make sure to take part tomorrow.”
When Nazuna showed a smile, now Elni talked to me.
“Fufu, Shinobu, feel free to watch my pretty form! I’m actually quite skilled at T’ai chi ch’uan!”
“No, what are you going to do at a radio exercise? Do it properly.”
I retorted to Elni with that and watched over the two of them heading for the exercise, when Hijiri, who had stayed silent the whole time, made a sigh of relief.
“Elni and Nazuna-chan saved me…”
“Yeah, indeed. Even if it’s early in the morning, we should have been a bit more careful. It was my negligence. Sorry.”
“D- Don’t bow, Shinobu-kun! It was me, who was negligent. You’re not at fault at all. Please raise your head.”
…I had lowered my head in an apology, but it made Hijiri considerate instead.
I raised my head with a wry smile and opened my mouth with a “Then”
“How about we say it’s both our fault? Next time, we both will be more careful. I’ll make a follow up if anything happens.”
“Yeah, thanks. It’s reassuring when you say that.”
Hijiri showed a soft smile, but her chest was unmistakably shaking in worry up till now.
…I was really negligent. I made a sigh in my heart and strangely reprimanded myself.
Back in elementary school, Hijiri’s friends at school had once find out about her secret. It was shut down by her father’s influence, but it couldn’t be covered up completely. Weird rumours spread at school and everyone feared Hijiri…and avoided her.
I still remembered vividly that Hijiri was close to tears, when she told me about that.
If someone were to find out about her circumstances again, she would surely be feared again. That was how Hijiri thought, so she didn’t even tell her close friends about her own job.
…I almost was about to have Hijiri suffer the same feelings as back then.
I made a sigh in my heart once more while I thought at the bottom of my heart.
That it actually might work out with Minami.
After all, she wasn’t even scared of me …
Suddenly remembering one year ago, I casually faced Minami.
Minami was properly doing the radio exercises and whenever she moved her body greatly, her voluminous breasts shook bouncing. Moreover, when she bended forward, her panties came nearly visible under her short skirt. …A little bit too stimulating scenery for the kids.
Having that impression, I slowly averted my eyes from Minami. There I felt a gaze on me and noticed that Hijiri was sneaking peeks at me.
When I called out to her, Hijiri hastily shook her hands. But after a while, she timidly opened her mouth.
“Uhm, Shinobu-kun, what do you, well, think of Minami-san?”
“She’s a weird girl.”
The moment I answered, Hijiri pinched my cheek. Well, while I called it pinched, it was more of a lightly plucking and didn’t hurt at all…
“Shinobu-kun, you can’t say that about a girl.”
“No, don’t get the wrong idea. I wasn’t really speaking bad of her. It was my way of a compliment.”
“Eh? So you hid your usual embarrassment by calling her a weird girl while you actually cherish affection for Minami-san?”
“Yeah, for the most part. I do think that she’s cute.”
“Shinobu-kun is honest on a rare occasion!?”
For some reason, Hijiri made a shocked face and dropped her shoulders.
“…I knew it, boys are attracted to cute girls like Minami-san. I’m a bit envious of Minami-san. Since I’m not cute…”
Surely, you would call Hijiri “beautiful” rather than “cute”. She also held the stronger image of being “cool” or “dignified”. You could also add that her usual dignified expression never ceased to smite the female students.
As a matter of fact, even I had that impression at first.
But the more I got to know Hijiri, I noticed another charm to her.
“Each person has his own charming point, Hijiri. You don’t really need to worry. You have your own good points. So you don’t need to compare yourself to Minami.”
“….But, you called Minami cute.”
I had no reason to deny it. I replied with a nod, when Hijiri blushed and asked.
“Th- Then, what about me?”
“…You’re an unexpected sullen lecher?”
The moment I answered, my cheeks were slapped around now.
She didn’t really put any strength into it. So just like with the cheek pinching earlier, I felt close to no pain. But, apparently Hijiri’s mood was damaged.
“…Shinobu-kun, you idiot.”
Lightly puffing her cheeks, Hijiri pouting faced sideways.
I honestly considered that behaviour cute and felt my cheeks forming a smile. I never knew Hijiri could make such a face before I got to know her better.
Suppressing my smile, I rested my hand on Hijiri’s head.
“Sorry, I took the joke too far. To be honest, I think you’re a very cute girl.”
Along with my words, I patted her head lightly, when Hijiri turned bright red up to her ears and looked down.
“…I, might be done for.”
“Huh, what’s up? Do you feel sick?”
“That’s not it…You’re sly, Shinobu-kun.”
“I don’t really get it, but that’s what makes a man great, right?”
O- Ohh? I didn’t expect her to agree. When she gave a reaction like that, even I would get bashful. I should quickly change the topic. I pointed at Elni doing her radio exercise.
“L- Look there, Hijiri. Only Elni is out of rhythm.”
Following my gaze, Hijiri smiled a bit.
Apparently Elni didn’t really seem to know the radio exercise movements. Sometimes she moved completely wrong and when she noticed it, she hastily mimicked the movement of the others.
I’ll keep it to myself that I considered that cute.
You didn’t get tired of watching her….
While such thoughts crossed my mind, the radio exercise ended and Nazuna and Elni came back to the bench. There we indulged into a chitchat with Minami for a while, then we left the park behind us.
Soon enough we reached a parting point, where Minami suddenly reached out her hand for Nazuna.
“Let’s talk again, Nazuna-chan.”
Lovingly petting Nazuna’s head and smiling softly, Minami said isolated.
“…I’m glad you’re all energetic again, Nazuna-chan.”
It was mumbled so quietly that it got drown out by the chirping of cicadas.
Nazuna, as she couldn’t hear it properly like me, tilted her head and asked back.
“Mh? What, Minami-san?”
Minami shook her head with a smile. But her eyes narrowed and she mumbled “Minami-san, huh…” somewhat sadly. Then she slowly shifted her gaze to me.
“Play with me again next time, Nanjou-kun.”
That was said in an unusual childish tone. Along with her words, Minami waved her hand a bit and holding hands with her little brother, she went away.
For some reason, I couldn’t take my eyes off her back….