During lunchtime, when Chihiro was eating lunch with Aika, a girl in the class asked him.
At this sudden question, Chihiro stopped his chopsticks and blinked his eyes.
A free time?
Usually after-school training is voluntary, so if he says he has free time, he usually has free time... but he had other things to do from today.
「Sorry, I need to check something. At least it won't be on a day when the executive committee of the festival is being held」
「Executive committee? Why?」
「Chihiro-kun is helping the student council. The student council president asked him to help... right?」
Aika replied to the girl’s question instead of Chihiro himself.
「Oh, really? I didn't know that at all」
The girl seemed very surprised.
After all, it seems that Kamishiro's joining of the Public Morals Committee got mixed up
with Chihiro’s and nobody knew about it. Well, that is not a problem.
「But, why do you need me after school?」
「I thought I'd take some measurements. I needed them to make clothes」
That's right, the maid's uniform is supposed to be handmade, not pre-made.
Ten, or rather eleven, outfits for the girls plus “one” would be quite expensive even if they are cheap, and the ready-made mass-produced outfits had short skirts and thin fabrics, so it would probably be cold to wear them in November.
Chihiro doesn't know how to sew, so it's great that she can make it for the class.
「Isn't it too early? It's only yesterday」
「That's not true. We have midterm in October, so we don't have much time」
「Oh, I see」
If the students put too much effort into the school festival and their midterm exam scores dropped, it would be a complete disaster.
The examinations of this school are rather easy, but not too easy to take care of. On top of that, in Chihiro's case, helping the student council took up a lot of his time.
「Well, it seems pretty hard for me」
Chihiro mumbled, but Aika laughed and said, “That's too late” .
「And don't worry. If you're slacking off, I'll remind you every day」
「But it's not like we're going to study for the exam together」
「Oh, if you don't mind. That would be nice too」
Maria is good at such things, and Riko is not the type of person who studies very hard.
And although Chihiro hadn't studied for exams with anyone since middle school or high school, Aika and Chihiro's grades were close and they could teach each other well.
As they were nodding to each other, the girl from before muttered to them with half-lidded eyes.
「Um, you two. Please don't flirt in front of me so naturally」
☆ ☆ ☆
The afternoon classes have ended for today.
And recently, the results of the matches in the class are not so good. However, the steady training of the body and the ability of [Pain Reduction] seem to be working surprisingly well.
Apart from Kamishiro, Maria, and other combat-oriented people, it's possible to win or lose.
Well, in terms of pure combat ability, this is probably the limit.
That's what Chihiro is thinking.
One reason is that the training has to be suspended due to the student council. But at the same time, he has realized something.
If someone wants to become stronger than this, it is difficult to do so by only training the body.
Unless they hone their skills or gain some spectacular ability, they will not be able to grow.
（But I'm sure that once I'm satisfied with my current situation, I won't be able to develop any combat abilities）
Is it time to rethink it again?
On the way back from the training ground, Chihiro walk alongside Aika, thinking so in a corner of his mind.
They were chatting as they walked outdoors to the entrance.
「In the end, the girls found out the bracelet when I was changing in the locker room」
「Haha. I suppose it's okay. It's not like there's anything to worry about」
「Yeah, but I wanted to keep it a secret as much as possible」
It was unusual for Aika to be wearing such an expensive accessory, so the girls pestered her about it, saying it was suspicious that she was hiding it.
Apparently, they even found out that it was a gift from Chihiro and that they went out together to pick it out and Aika puffed up her cheeks.
Seeing so, he thought it was cute.
Well, although they are trying to be as natural as possible in public - leaving aside the fact that they seem to be flirting with each other quite a bit - the two of them really do try.
「Sometimes you can be a little...」
“Proud of yourself”, he was about to say that.
But he staggered a few steps out of the flow of people and――
A soft bulge caught Chihiro's arm.
「Hello, Chihiro-kun. Shall we have “that”?」
Before he could return the greeting, she really asked for “that”?
As expected, he couldn't catch up.
For the time being, he moves his head and looks at Suzu. Since she was touching him, he wasn’t affected by her [Cognitive Obstruction], and he could clearly see her wearing a loose shirt - a women's size XL - above her underwear.
Her hair is unkempt and hanging down. It showed some signs of having been combed, but was still rather disheveled.
... just from her appearance alone, there's a lot to say.
Then, he turns his gaze back to where he was a moment ago. Aika has stopped and is looking around.
「Takatsuki-san, what's wrong?」
「Um. Chihiro-kun, you were next to me a while ago, but suddenly you disappeared」
「I'm not in the bathroom or something?」
「No, I don't think so...」
From Aika's point of view, it must have looked as if Chihiro had suddenly disappeared. That was naturally surprising and confusing. But to make the situation not worse, she let her friends go ahead and stayed there.
「Chihiro-kun? Is that her... by any chance?」
Sensing the situation from Chihiro's appearance, Suzu looked at Aika.
Then, she nodded her head, and said in admiration.
「I was only half joking... So, am I interrupting your time with her?」
She sounded a little awkward.
She's fickle and lecherous, but she has this kind of common sense. That's why it makes him feel a little sorry for her.
「No, I'm the one who said any time is fine. ...but the timing is a little off」
Now what to do.
He doesn't have many chances to meet Suzu, and he might as well introduce her to Aika. But considering Suzu's business and her outfit, it would be difficult.
While he was pondering for a while, Aika's behavior changed as she looked at Chihiro and Suzu.
She looked intently at them.
Her gaze wanders to the area where the two of them are, and then her gaze meets Chihiro.
Naturally, the mind reading is activated.
Instantly, Aika's eyes widened and she rushed over.
Seeing this, Suzu was stunned, and muttered in a volume that only Chihiro could hear.