The next day, on Thursday morning.
When Riko woke up, Maria is already up and preparing breakfast. Maria must be tired too, but as always, she is amazingly strong.
And yet, her hair and skin are perfectly groomed. She looked beautiful wearing only black lingerie and an apron, and the countless lewd words written on her white skin further decorated her body.
「So, you guys still went all out, huh?」
Well, Riko was the one who suggested it.
It seems that the scribble play, which is mainly initiated by Chihiro and enhanced by Riko, has been carried out. If the idea of having Maria say the words herself was also carried out, it means that it was Maria herself who wanted these words.
As mentioned last night, the idea of having her say these words was rather seriously surprising.
Maria, who heard Riko voice, turned around and smiled, then her expression changed to one of embarrassment.
「...Yes. I kinda, you know, overdid it last night. Well, it's not something I experience often, and I'm so embarrassed that I'd rather Master forget about it」
If Riko look closely, she can see the dark circles around Maria's eyes. It's a sign that last night's play was too intense or lasted too long.
（I mean, what could have happened to make this woman so shy?）
Riko wanted to ask, but she knew that neither Maria nor Chihiro would tell her the details.
However, Maria seemed to be in a somewhat refreshed mood.
「But I guess you're satisfied, right?」
Maria replied with a distant look in her eyes.
She seemed to be ruminating on something.
「I'm really glad I met Master」
Seeing this, Riko suddenly had a question in her mind.
It's something that had been vaguely on her mind for the past few days.
Something decisive that she had been trying to avoid asking.
「Was your attempt to betray Chihiro really all an act?」
After all, something strange happened.
『What can I do for you? 』 (*Note: Chapter 43)
If it was all an act from the beginning, why did she ask that question?
If she didn't want Chihiro and Riko to take any unnecessary action, why didn't she just leave them alone?
（I thought that Maria might have wanted us to stay away when I didn't know her true intentions）
Now, on the contrary, Riko suspect that she was trying to test Chihiro with those words.
（If that's the case, at what point did Maria give Chihiro a decision?）
Well, there is a pause in her reply.
Maria looks away from Riko, resumes preparing the meal, and mutters to herself.
「...I don't know. The truth is, I don't know what I'm really thinking, even to myself」
Riko thought Maria is being deceptive.
But when Riko about to talk, Maria continued.
「But I was happy. That he wanted me to be there, that he said he needed me. ...that he forgave me and hugged me」
Regardless of how many lies are mixed in with her words, what she just said would be the truth.
「...I guess I have more rivals now, it's a little complicated」
「What are you talking about?」
「Hmm, not really」
Riko looked up at Maria and shook her head with a smile.
☆ ☆ ☆
I've done it again, Chihiro regretted when he woke up.
Naturally, he thought back to last night.
He scribbled on Maria's body because he wants to leave his mark on her.
It was an act of punishment, but it was completely selfish, and in the process, he put a terrible burden on Maria.
Of course, he was happy.
He was deeply happy to see Maria's true self, but that was not a door that could be opened so easily.
The habit of overdoing things when trying to play the role of the Master is something he can't change easily.
So, he should try to refrain from doing anything that might shorten the girl's life.
In any case, it was like a Miracle. It would not be possible to recreate it.
Anyway, he went to the living room, thinking about it, and found Maria in a very normal state. She didn't mention the scribble on her body too much, which seemed to indicate a strong sense of shame, but he didn't want to beat around the bush.
What happened last night should be kept in each other's mind.
After breakfast, the three of them went to school together. It had been a long time since they had all left the apartment together.
...although they still walked separately to school.
No major events occurred at the school between Monday and Wednesday, when they took turns training Hana. At most, the school got into the mood of the sports festival.
Other than that, the following are some of the things that happened,
「Good morning, Riko-chan」
「...Oh, yeah. Good morning」
Since then, Aika has been greeting Riko every morning.
Riko told Chihiro that there have been times when she has spoken to her. However, it has never happened every day before.
Probably, almost certainly, it was because of what happened on Sunday.
However, Aika does not do anything. She just said hello, and didn't seem to have any intention of revealing the relationship between Chihiro and Riko to everyone.
Aika glanced at Chihiro as she went back to her seat and immediately turned her head away.
（Did she hate me?）
Since then, Aika has been acting like this. She doesn't greet Chihiro, and even if she makes eye contact with him, she immediately averts her eyes. It seems like a blink of an eye and he can't even feel her emotions through her eyes.
It's true that he did something that she didn't like, but it made him feel a little sad.
Thanks for reading...