I was going to fulfill my promise to Kei-chan to treat her to a cake buffet.
But when I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up at the classroom, she said an uncharacteristic comment, "Kan-chan, you don't understand. Speaking of date, I've been waiting for it".
And with a very smug look on her face.
You know, I was even prepared to carry her sleeping body on my back to the venue of the cake buffet...
By the way, I left the responsibility of picking up Saori-chan and Hanabusa-san to Claudia and Jolanda.
Claudia is a good friend of Saori-chan, and if something happens, Jolanda can handle most of the problems.
I know that Hanabusa-san will be confused, but I told Jolanda to push everything through because she and Saori-chan are neighbors.
Since the lunch break, I've been thinking about what Shiratori-san said.
Why does Hanabusa-san wear a match uniform to practice, as if to provoke people?
Shiratori-san says it's because it's the only choice, but I can't understand why it's the only choice, and I can't understand what it means at all.
While I was thinking about this, I somehow arrived at the meeting place.
It was the lobby of a four-star hotel in front of the station.
Apparently, the restaurant on the top floor of the hotel is offering a limited time cake buffet.
As I sat down on the sofa and watched the people passing by, I noticed that all the people going up to the restaurant floor by the direct elevator were women.
Most of them seem to be ladies and university students, but there are also girls from nearby schools.
（...It seems I'm out of place...）
While I was looking at the hotel entrance, feeling narrow-minded, the automatic door opened and I saw Kei-chan coming in.
As soon as I stood up and was about to call out to her, my face involuntarily twitched.
Because I could see Shiratori-san and the pushy sister behind Kei-chan, who was running towards me.
「Kan-chan, keep wait...」
「Yeah, but why don't you say "I'm sorry to keep you waiting" completely? Anyway, about those two in the back...」
Kei-chan tilted her head with a sleepy expression on her face as usual.
「Do you know about Shirasaki and Kizuna?」
「Well, I know, but... that's not the point」
Shiratori-san smiles at my confusion.
No, as usual, her eyes are not smiling. Just the corners of her mouth are slightly raised.
「Hello, King. Thanks for the treat today」
「Umm... why should I treat you?
「Well, rather, do you think you have the option of not treat me?」
I can't help but feel my cheeks twitch.
（Wait, wait, how much is four people worth? That's about a month's allowance for me... Let's just pretend I don't have that much money...）
「By the way, I know King's allowance came yesterday」
「How do you know that?」
「I asked Shima-senpai. And she said she heard it from Haneda-senpai」
（I don't remember talking to Masaki-chan about it either... but if I had to guess, Mom must have told Fujiwara-san, and through Fujiwara-san, Masaki-chan must have heard about it...）
Shortly, the Confinement King's favorite princesses knew the date of the allowance.
I can't help but pucker my lips.
「Then... let's make a million――」
「I'll give you a lot」
「Shiratori-san, I can treat you, but that girl...」
Then, this pushy sister, who was elbowed by Shiratori-san, shook her twin-tails and started to cry in a very fake way.
「You're terrible, Nii nii. I want to eat cake too. Now you're going to turn Takasago-senpai a melon melon with a cake and a melon melon in her breast with your tongue, aren't you?」
「I'm not a Nii Nii, and I have no idea what you're saying!」
It sounded pretty monotone, so she was probably being made to say it by Shiratori-san, but even as a joke, it was pretty bad.
However, Kei-chan gave an unusually senior attitude toward her after I made a comment.
「Kizuna... not Melon, but Marron」
「It's not like that either!」
「Then... why don't you think about it like this...」
I tried my best to fight against Shiratori-san's insistence, but there was no way I could beat her with my mouth, and in the end, I was forced to treat them all.
◇ ◇ ◇
When we arrived at the cake buffet, we were ushered to a round table by an elegant waitress as if we were in a luxury hotel.
There were many beautiful cakes lined up along the wall, and girls were standing in a long line with their plates in their hands.
Kei-chan was looking around excitedly without even taking a seat. And then she said...
「Kizuna, Marron over there」
「Shall we? Takasago-senpai!」
and rushed into the line with the pushy sister in tow.
This may be the first time I've seen Kei-chan so agile.
（Really... I'll have to ask Chihiro to give me a part-time job at KKO）
One month with 300 yen left is just too hard. No, the train fare on the way back would take away 200 yen, leaving me with only 100 yen.
With a sigh, I sit down on a chair and call out to Shiratori-san, who is also sitting right next to me.
「Shiratori-san, I'll take care of your stuff, so why don't you go get the cake?」
「Well... I'll wait until I'm a little more tired」
Being alone with Shiratori-san made me feel strangely nervous, but I decided to ask her something that had been bothering me.
「So... what are you planning to do by instigating Tateoka-kun's sister to me?」
Then she stared at me with a sullen look in her eyes.
「My position was as a semi-apprentice princess, right?」
「That's what was supposed to happen when the track & field club was released, but...」
「...you're not happy about it, right?」
「...What do you mean?」
When I asked her that, she narrowed her eyes.
「It means exactly what it says. I'm trying to be the most important person in your life. But that doesn't mean I'm going to offer my body to you and ask you to raise my status. I'm not interested in that. So, my king, I'm trying to be useful to you instead」
There's no hint of a joke in the way she looks at me. Her irises are hazel. Eyes like abysses, staring straight at me.
「You could lock me up... and brainwash me by force. That way, you wouldn't have to worry about me betraying you, and you'd be able to use me without worry. But you don't. Because I'm not an enemy. And I haven't hurt any of the girls you care about. ...I know it's annoying. But that's where a little patience comes in. I'd like you to show me how big you are as a king. I'm sure you'll thank me later」
「Can you at least explain it to me?」
「That once you know, once you're aware, things can go wrong」
「Am I supposed to believe that?」
Shiratori-san looked away and cowered.
「In the first place, there are only two kinds of relationships: believing and not believing. Even between lovers, it's just a matter of believing that you love each other. You don't need any collateral. The king always has the power to do whatever he wants to me if he wants to」
It's true that I could forcibly imprison Shiratori-san and brainwash her if I had to.
No matter how smart she is, she is not stronger than Jolanda or Ulrich when it comes to battle.
When I make a difficult face, Shiratori-san puts her hands on my cheeks and confronts me with her face.
Then she said, as if she were talking to a small child.
「Listen, my king. It's a little embarrassing for me to say this, but if ordinary people are passenger cars, I'm an F-1 machine. The driver has to have the skill to drive it, but it doesn't mean I have to go that fast」
I understand what she's saying.
And that's a statement that measures my capacity.
It's like a checkmate.
I don't know what kind of capacity I have as a king, but to hold back any longer would be to reveal my own smallness.
I thought about it for a while, and let out a big breath.
A complete defeat would be annoying. I'd at least like to give it a shot.
「Then I believe you. But in return, can you tell me what Shiratori-san found out about the girls' basketball club?」
Then Shiratori-san looked blatantly puzzled.
「Have you thought about it?」
「Yeah, I thought about it. I don't understand it at all. But if Shiratori-san's theory is correct, I don't need to perform the same calculations as a calculator. And there's no reason why I shouldn't use a supercomputer for mere arithmetic」
Then her staring eyes opened a little wider.
「...Very good, my king. I love it. I wasn't expecting you to fight back」