A look of triumph.
The satisfaction in Chihiro's eyes is palpable. Apparently, after all that, even Maria can control her desire.
But... for today, he'd have to say.
「Yeah ...It's good」
Chihiro felt complicated when Maria said it so confidently.
「Yeah, but would it have been better to put it out on the jersey?」
「No... no, not at all」
「Really? It’s fine, though」
Maria nodded easily and started to put on Riko's jersey. She didn't seem to have any particular resistance to wearing someone else's jersey.
「...So, do you want a bath? Or eat?」
If Chihiro wanted to get fancy, he could say that he wants to eat her in the bath.
But there's no way he has the energy to do that right now.
「Maybe I'll take a shower first. But I want to rest for a while, so Maria can use it first」
「Really? We could go in together, though」
「...when I'm fit」
「Ara. ...Hmm. O-Okay」
「What is it?」
Maria nodded her head, looking strangely happy.
And she said, "Well, don't be shy", and hurried off to the bathroom. Chihiro watched her go, then closed his eyes and took a short nap.
After a while, he was woken up by Maria, who had just finished bathing.
「...Hey. How long has it been?」
「It's been less than 30 minutes... why?」
「Yeah. I'm feeling a little tired after just taking a nap」
Chihiro lift his arm and squeeze it to check his condition.
It's heavy, but even with the exhaustion of what he just did, it's a little less uncomfortable than before Maria sucked him off.
Come to think of it, his recovery when he woke up earlier was also a bit overwhelming.
Maria touched her chin at Chihiro's words.
「...I think you've awakened a new ability」
「I can't be sure. But... let's talk about it after the shower」
He walked somewhat unsteadily to the bathroom and took a quick shower. It must have taken his less than fifteen minutes to get out, but Chihiro's pajamas are on the washing machine, and the flooring in the corridor and living room had been wiped clean.
And as always, Maria is in the kitchen.
She is wearing an apron and is about to start cooking.
「I'll just make a few things, is Chinese okay?」
「Yes, thank you」
What she quickly prepared is Mapo Tofu, egg soup, white rice, and a very ordinary vegetable salad.
Even though Chihiro was told that it was just a random dish, the spicy taste stimulated his appetite and he couldn't stop eating when he is hungry and white rice is also prepared.
He is so engrossed in his meal that he didn't realize that he hadn't talked about his ability until after he had finished.
「Here you go」
Maria offered him a cup of tea while chuckling.
Chihiro took it, but blushed in embarrassment.
「So, about your abilities. Is it just fatigue that's recovering? What about wounds and pain?」
「They're recovering too, I think. At least the pain is lessening」
Then, Maria brings a small needle from somewhere.
She lightly pokes Chihiro's fingertip with the needle, and red blood leaks faintly from the wound. To prevent the blood from flowing out, she left the wound above the heart for a few minutes.
Nothing special happened.
The wound remained intact and showed no signs of closing.
「Izumi-kun. How are you now?」
「Yes. You've been feeling better since you woke up, right?」
「...I don't feel like anything's happening, if you ask me」
If he's a mind reader, he can read people' minds and know exactly what's going on. However, when he looked back at his physical condition, he did not feel that he is recovering rapidly.
Maria picked up the teacup, took a sip of tea, and nodded.
「I see... Then it must be a self-healing ability that is only available during sleep」
Chihiro's recovery rate is not very fast, perhaps two or three times faster than normal. But it can heal fatigue, pain, perhaps even injury, and thanks to the sleep restriction, he doesn't have to worry about mental exhaustion.
Such an ability, Maria guessed.
「Isn't that a rather subtle ability?」
「Yes, it is」
The answer is a simple affirmation and she continued to speak.
「But it's much better than nothing. If you can heal while you're asleep, then you can do some crazy things while you're awake」
The hand that strangled Maria's neck will heal faster.
Looking at his own palm, Chihiro nodded.
「...I suppose so. And it also proves that if I wish, I can get the power」
This power is probably what Chihiro had wished for.
The lack he felt when he looked at his aching hands and arms. The inability to train hard. Perhaps this ability was born to relieve those things.
It's a pity that it's the anxiety about his physical condition that affected his ability when he had the urge to kill Maria.
「If you can be reckless, just be reckless」
Maria raised her head and looked at Chihiro.
「Are you going to attack Nishizaki-san?」
「Yes. The sooner the better. No, I think it's better to say that I can't stand it」
Tonight's act had completely thrown Chihiro off his guard.
The dark desire for Riko could no longer be contained, but was now lodged in Chihiro's heart.
He had to get rid of it as soon as possible or he would feel restless.
Maria did not deny Chihiro's decision.
Instead, she made a proposal to Chihiro.
「Well... then let's not go to school today」
「To allow your body to recover. To assess your new abilities. In short, to make sure you get what you want without fail」
「Well ...I guess. Okay」
Chihiro decided to accept Maria's proposal.
First, he would sleep, then he would test his abilities and have a strategy meeting.
All in order to give Nishizaki Riko as much pain, humiliation and pleasure as possible.