Seeing her like that makes him want to move his body.
So, after the afternoon class, Chihiro put on his uniform without taking off his training clothes. After returning to the classroom for the return HR, he grabbed his bag and went to the private training room. This is a routine that he used to repeat every day until a while ago, so he is used to it.
He walked along the corridor and went to the other building through the service entrance in his slippers.
Shibahou Gakuen is divided into different buildings for different purposes, such as classroom lectures, specialized subjects, training, and so on. So, it is possible to go from the main school building to the other building from either inside or outside, but today he decided to go from the inside because he was in a hurry.
Then, as he operated the terminal at the entrance, he obtained a room and entered the building.
[I’m going to train, so I’ll be home a little late]
After sending a text message to Maria and Riko, he took off his uniform. He then folded the uniform and put it away, and started training in his clothes.
The basic training started with preparatory exercises.
The countless repetitions are repeated carefully, taking care not to make it messy. After all, there is no other way to get stronger than to train the basics.
...unless he can acquire some new ability.
Since the day he decided to attack Riko, no new ability has emerged in him. But he had a theory about this.
――The power one acquires is affected by the type, intensity and length of one’s desires.
The essence of a person, the root of a person, does not change easily. Just as accumulation shapes personality, ability is also affected by time. Maria’s ability is strong because of the desire she has held onto for a long time, and Kamishiro’s straightforward strength is the result of his honest character and ambition.
If that’s the case, Chihiro is not good at harming people, and the first time he had ever vented his true malice on someone was when he attacked Riko. It is only natural that it is difficult for him to develop an aggressive power.
Instead, he gained [Sleep Enhancement ] and [Emotional Amplification]. Well, it makes sense that these were born from his complex about his body’s lack of muscle mass and his "weakest mind-reading ability".
If this hypothesis is correct, what is necessary to gain the ability is to keep thinking.
Think strongly and continuously. If he does so, he will acquire it someday. That’s the simple conclusion he came to.
Although there is no guarantee that it is correct, Chihiro believes in this hypothesis for the time being.
In any case, it is good to have a reason to work hard. If he has a goal, his training will be more efficient.
And so, two hours have passed in a blink of an eye.
It’s time to end this.
Feeling moderately fatigued and in the sense of being able to recover after a night’s sleep, Chihiro decided to practice "that technique" several times for the last time. He swung his fist with such strength and speed that the muscles in his arm screamed.
Though he had promised Aika, she wouldn’t mind if he just practiced as long as he could.
After practicing about ten times each, he finished.
He whipped his throbbing arms, changed into his uniform, and left the training grounds.
He then walked through the service entrance to the main school building. And since he had gone from the inside, he had to change into outside shoes to go home.
So he went to the shoe box and took out his shoes. But――
A white, flat object comes out of the shoe box and falls to the ground with the shoe lightly.
When Chihiro picked it up, he found it was a Western-style envelope. The name on the front is [Chihiro Izumi-sama]. There’s no sender’s name on the back.
（I wonder what it is）
It’s definitely a letter from someone. But who sent it to Chihiro and for what purpose?
After a few seconds of hesitation, Chihiro decided to check the contents.
He put his shoes back in the shoe box, moved to a secluded place in the school building, and broke the seal. Remembering an old urban legend, he took out the letter, being careful not to use a razor, and found that it contained only a single sheet of letterhead.
The text is very simple and short.
I’ll be waiting for you on the roof of the school building after school today
As expected, there is no sender’s name.
But it’s a message. It’s for today and refers to Chihiro by name.
He doesn’t know when this message was sent, but if it’s after school, it’s already been two hours. Depending on the subject, I may have done something wrong to the person.
The question is, what is it?
A love letter, of course.
The writing on the envelope and the letterhead is round and looks like a woman’s handwriting.
In this day and age, it takes a lot of effort to send a letter using a letterhead.
「...Maybe it’s a prank」
Riko didn’t use such elaborate methods and Maria didn’t either.
But someone else has summoned Chihiro for some reason and is trying to make fun of him or hurt him. It seemed to be the most likely scenario.
Still, he should at least respond.
If it’s a prank, the person won’t wait for two hours, so it’s better to at least check if someone is there.
After that, Chihiro put the letter into an envelope, and the envelope into his bag, and moved to the rooftop.
Well, the last time he was here was when he had lunch with Maria.
While thinking so, he turned the knob of the door and found it unlocked. As he pushed it open, the outside air touched his skin. He walked out, closed the door, and looked back again.
No one is there... no.
There is one, a student.
A girl in her school uniform, sitting on the concrete floor, looking down at a book. She wears dark-rimmed glasses and her hair is braided lightly into two buns at the back of her head. Her skin is white, as if she is a literature student.
Perhaps she did not like the sunlight, or perhaps she was in the shadows near the entrance, so she did not notice him immediately.
But he must have heard the sound of the door opening and closing, because she looked up immediately.
When she recognized Chihiro’s face, her eyes widened faintly and she stood up.
...Which means she’s the one who sent the letter after all.
Turning away from the gaze, Chihiro slowly walked up to the girl.
「Um, the letter」
「Yes. I’m glad you’re here」
The girl closes her book and puts it away in her bag beside her. Neither the girl is particularly upset about being late, nor does she seem to be trying to trap Chihiro.
The unexpected situation confused him a little.
「I’m sorry, I’m late」
From the color of the school badge on her blouse, she seems to be in the same grade as him, but he apologizes to her in a respectful tone because they have never met before and he feels bad.
She shook her head and replied.
「Please don’t worry about it. If anything, I’m sorry for calling you out of the blue」
And in a polite manner, she asked, “Can I have a minute of your time?”, Chihiro answered with a nod, exhaled a sigh of relief and smiled.
It was a small, subdued smile that could have been overlooked if the two of them are not alone.