V2 Chapter 17 | Taking a Detour

After another successful study session, the three of us, leaving Sugimoto alone, were heading for the school gate.

Takayama, who was leading the group, was walking in silence, which was unusual for him when he suddenly turned around and started talking to us.

“Hey, don’t you feel bad for always leaving Sugimoto-san behind?”

Takayama, who is now in good spirits, is worried about Sugimoto.

I think he looked kind of sad when he and Sugimoto parted in the library.

“I think it would be better if Takayama-san dropped Ayane off at her place. I don’t think it will be that late, and Ayane will come too if she waits at the exit gate.”

Anri made such a suggestion to Takayama.

It’s true that the four of us had been working together earlier, but it felt bad for the three of us to leave first.

“How about you, Takayama?”

“Well, I don’t know. I wonder if I’ll be called a stalker if I wait here by myself.

He didn’t tell Sugimoto beforehand. There was a possibility that she might call him a stalker.

Takayama’s eyes have been particularly suspicious towards Sugimoto lately. He must be watching her for sure.

“Don’t worry. Ayane doesn’t think so. Well then, I guess Tendo-san and I will go home first.”

I couldn’t say anything about my opinion. Anri is very aggressive at times like this. It’s quite a good thing that you can express your opinion.

I thought, “Why don’t the three of us wait together?”, but I decided to refrain from saying so.

“Let’s go, Tendo-san.”

Anri lightly bows to Takayama, puts on her shoes, and starts walking toward the main gate.

I changed my shoes so that I wouldn’t be left behind and followed her.

“Well then, Takayama, don’t turn into a wolf, okay?”

“Right back at you.”

We grinned at each other and we parted.

I caught up with Anri, who was walking a little ahead of me, and we started walking together, standing next to each other.

Come to think of it, this might be the first time the two of us have walked home alone in the school.

There are still students left in the school. I push down my desire to hold her hand and walk next to her.

“Tsukasa-kun.”

Anri speaks to me as she looks ahead.

Normally, she would look into my eyes as she speaks to me, but I guess she’s being cautious of her surroundings.

I reply to Anri while looking straight ahead.

“What is it?”

“I really want to hold your hand when we go home from school. I want to cuddle Tsukasa-kun more.”

Looking at Anri’s expression with a sideways glance, she looked a little sad.

But as Anri speaks with a little embarrassment, I find her blush of the setting sun and her embarrassed expression cute.

I honestly can’t believe that this cute Anri is dating me.

But this is real and true. It is not a dream.

It’s not that I want to tell everyone about it or brag about it.

I just want to cherish the time we have together.

“I feel the same way. I want to be by your side.”

I wonder how other people would feel if they saw this situation.

I am sure there are many guys who have feelings for Anri.

I chose to stay with Anri even if I had to make an enemy of all of them.

Protecting Anri was important, but I had to protect myself as well.

As I was passing through the main gate of the school, I suddenly saw someone at the gate.

While looking at me with a sideways glance, the person did not come particularly close to me or talk to me.

I didn’t pay any attention and tried to pass next to the person.

The figure gradually gets closer and closer, and gradually it becomes clearer. It was that female student who approached me in the infirmary today.

Anri and I walk past her and continue on our way.

Is she alone in a place like this? What in the world was she doing?

I didn’t care and kept walking, but she kept looking at me and Anri’s backs.

Was she meeting someone?

A little concerned, I started walking toward the station while having a casual conversation with Anri.

A few minutes. Anri and I kept walking, but there was no sign that we were being followed.

Perhaps she was meeting someone.

“Anri, can we stop by for a bit? I want to do a little shopping.”

She looks down a different road than the one leading to the station.

“Shopping? If it’s not too late, that’s fine. I’ll keep you company.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No, don’t be. This is also a date, a date.”

Anri answers me with a smile.

I was wondering if this also counts as a date. I’m just going shopping with her, but I actually wanted to buy something, so I guess it’s fine.

“A date, huh? Let’s make time for a date sometime and have some fun together.”

“Yes. I’d be happy to. I’m sure you don’t mind if I hold your hand now, do you?”

She’s cute. She was too good for me.

I struck a gut punch in my heart.

“No, I don’t think we should hold hands.”

Anri’s smiling face suddenly darkened.

“I’m sorry. It’s bothersome, isn’t it…?”

“Oh, no. That’s not what I meant. I’d like to hold hands with you, too, but who knows, maybe someone will see us?”

Sugimoto saw me just the other day.

It would not be surprising if someone else saw me. It would be better to be careful just in case.

“You’re right… But that makes me kind of sad.”

She was watching us at the main gate earlier.

Maybe it was a coincidence, but I somehow felt she was watching me or Anri.

“Hey, I want to ask you something. Do you know the girl who was at the front gate a while ago? The one with the short haircut?”

I told Anri about what had happened in front of the infirmary at lunchtime, keeping some of it under wraps.

Of course, I didn’t tell her about the skirt. I kept that incident to myself.

I also told her that she had seen us leaving the school building earlier.

“The girl with short hair who was at the front gate earlier? I think it might be Yui Inoue from the next class.”

“Yui Inoue? Is she good friends with Anri?”

“She was the girl who came second in the test the other day, and I think she was in the track and field club. I have never talked to her, and we are not particularly close.”

I remember that name too.

The results of the test were announced and arranged in order of grades. Certainly, Inoue’s name was below Anri’s.

“I see. I’m just concerned about it…”

“But, that’s not important! Let’s go to Tsukasa-kun’s shopping quickly!”

Anri pulls me by the sleeve and we start walking a little early.

If possible, I would like to hold hands and go around the city slowly.

But it is a dream that won’t come true.

It may not come true now, but the day will come when I can proudly hold hands or go on a date with Anri arm in arm.

I’m sure that will come in the near future.

That is if all the pieces fit together as I envisioned.

If I fail, the pieces will be lost and the project will never be completed.

Failure is not an option. I may be asking for help from others, but Takayama and Sugimoto.

I believe in you two to the end. You can believe in me, too…

Thinking of this, Anri and I disappeared into the streets where many people were passing by.


TLN: Sorry for the lesser updates. I’ve been flooded with assignments for the past few days so I haven’t been able to TL as much as I want, but I’ll still try to release everyday I can.

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