Volume 2 - Extra 3: Severed 'Friendship' / Riko's Friend, Part One - 2

「So the bigger the better?」
「Well, it's better than small. There's a limit, though」
 When Reina told them that it hurts if it's too big, they gave an appropriate "Heh...".
 But then, Riko's face is turning red. Is this because she hasn't done it with her boyfriend yet, or is she embarrassed at the thought of doing it?
 ...It seems like it's time.
「Hey, Riko」
「Hmm? What is it?」
 She's eating it up. It seems she wants to move on to something else because it's not her favorite topic. But it can become a trap.
「How's Izumi doing lately?」
「Izumi? It's not like anything's happen to him... but...」
 Yes, out.
 Kanako laughed and thanked her for falling so easily.
 ☆   ☆   ☆
 Riko and Chihiro are dating.
 Such a rumor spread quickly through the class early in the second semester.
 Of course. Because it was Kanako who took the initiative in spreading the rumor.
 ――Sashiro Kanako. Rank E, ability [Beautiful Voice].
 The voice itself does not become beautiful. However, her voice emits low frequencies or negative ions to put the listener at ease. This makes it easier for Kanako's "intention" to be conveyed to the other person.
 It has little coercive power, and can be prevented by itself if one is aware of it. In addition, it becomes less effective as time passes, and it is ineffective when the voice is transmitted through a machine such as a cell phone.
 However, since the ability is not subjectively dangerous, small talk and gossip can easily slip into a person's thoughts.
「Nishizaki-san, is it true that you are going out with Izumi-kun?」
 On the morning of the first day of class, the day after the opening ceremony, there is already a student who asked Riko.
 As Kanako watched her from her seat, Riko shook her head with a troubled smile.
「That's a lie. I'm not going out with Izumi」
 A glimpse.
 Riko's eyes glared at Kanako. But she just smiled at her, keeping a bland face.
 ...After that day, Kanako had severed ties with Riko.
『Why didn't you tell me you and Izumi were going out?』
『What do you mean you didn't tell me? It's all a misunderstanding』
『Really? Then why did you go out of your way to meet Izumi during the summer vacation?』
 Riko did not give a clear answer to Kanako's question.
 It's not like her to be so stubborn.
『I'm disappointed. Riko, you used to have a rougher personality』
『So you're saying I was better off when I didn't get along with Izumi?』
『That's right. The current Riko is boring』
 Kanako pushed her away and in the end they almost got into a shouting match. If Reina hadn't warned them off, Riko might have hit her.
 To be honest, Kanako herself arranged for that to happen.
(If you have a problem with that, why don't you just attack me? I'd be happy if you did)
 Kanako has always liked to take advantage of others.
 She'll approach someone she likes and use her [Beautiful Voice] to win them over. Then she incites them and enjoys watching their behavior.
 But she never gets her hands dirty.
 After all, she doesn't want to become a "perpetrator" and be blamed from the outside.
 ...Until now, she used to like Riko.
 What she liked was Riko's frankness, especially her former aggressive attitude.
 She'd say she didn't like someone, and wouldn't stop attacking until the other person raised their voice. The energy with which she continued to attack Chihiro at every opportunity was remarkable.
 Well, there were some parts that Kanako incited her with her [Beautiful Voice], but the roots were definitely Riko's own.
 That's why she admired her.
 But, since Riko had become soft, Kanako had no interest in her, so she staged a quarrel with her. Moreover, the time of the semester change was convenient.
 If Riko goes back to her old ways, all the better.
 If it doesn't work out, or if she targets Kanako herself, so be it.
 She'll just become a victim of hysterical Riko's abuse, and make friends with another student.
 And when she thought. 
「What Riko-chan is saying is true」
 A calm but dignified voice echoed in the classroom.
 Takatsuki Aika walked up to Riko and announced.
「I'm the one who's going out with Chihiro. I have been asking Riko-chan for advice, so maybe that's the reason for the rumors?」
 Her voice is clear and unambiguous, leaving no doubt that she was lying.
 As soon as the words are understood, the classroom became more noisy.
 ――Takatsuki Aika is going out with Izumi Chihiro.
 The commotion is temporarily stopped by HR, but the new rumors created by Aika did not stop, and the rumors Kanako had brought are easily overwritten.
 Chihiro himself admitted that he is dating Aika.
 Looking at the two of them calling each other Chihiro-kun and Aika, their relationship had no room for doubt.
『Hey, Kamishiro, do you know about this?』
『Yeah. I heard about it from Takatsuki-san the day before yesterday』
 Aika was the student who was rumored to be in a relationship with Kamishiro. However, it seems that she has cleared up that connection.
 Kamishiro can't complain about that.
 ――In fact, if that is the case, the situation makes sense to some extent.
 In the middle of the first semester, especially towards the end, Riko and Aika talked more and more. They greeted each other almost every day, and sometimes ate lunch together.
 There are many unclear points, such as when they became friends, when Aika started asking for advice, and whether Riko thought nothing of Chihiro, but Kanako can supplement them with her imagination.
 ...maybe Aika told her about her behavior and asked her for love advice because they became friends.
 ...or maybe they clashed over Chihiro and finally became friends.
 That's probably the case.
 Then, the reason why Riko became soft is mainly Aika's fault.
 That makes sense.
 Unbeknownst to everyone, Kanako smiled fearlessly.
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