Even though she's lonely to be away from Chihiro.
「Maria-chan likes Izumi-kun, doesn't she? Not as a Master, but as a boy」
――It's not about logic, it's about position.
Maria just jealous. She jealous of Riko, who could talk to Chihiro as usual on school. She also jealous of Aika, who is recognized as Chihiro's girlfriend.
She wanted to take their place.
She wanted to outsmart them, so she took on the committee without telling anyone.
Not as a slave, but as a woman.
『It's such a relief to have someone from the same class. From now on, I'm looking forward to working with you』
To meet as mere classmates and make a pretense of getting along.
...Aika's murmur caused Maria to shudder
「That's not right」
Maria denied desperately.
But Aika brushed it off.
「Hmph. What is wrong?」
「I took on the committee because I thought it would be more convenient. That's all」
「There are disadvantages to being together, but there are advantages too, right? In order to act quickly in case of emergency, it's better to stay close to Izumi-kun」
It's a good point.
Although that statement ultimately leads to the same question.
「If you think so, shouldn't you tell Chihiro-kun first?」
She glanced at Chihiro.
Her eyes are pained and somewhat accusing.
「...I thought if I told it, it would be rejected」
Throb! Chihiro felt a pain in his heart.
If Maria had indeed given up on the consultation for the reason he had just given, it meant that there is a lack of trust between them.
...that he will going to reject the proposal out of hand.
It was Riko who let out a sigh.
「...That's why I think Maria's wrong. Of course, I understand how you feel」
「No, Riko. If you're talking about it now, the one at fault is...」
Aika interrupted Chihiro, who was about to say it was him.
「No, Riko-chan's right. This is Maria-chan's fault. She said Chihiro-kun was her Master, but she didn't believe him. And she didn't even want to obey Chihiro-kun」
She means Maria is not a good slave.
"Is that so?", Hana mutters and continued to speak.
「But the one who pushed Maria-chan over the edge was Izumi-kun, who brought a foreign object like a lover into the relationship between a master and a slave. And then there was Takatsuki-san, who kept putting pressure on Maria-chan innocently under the guise of a girlfriend」
Even if Maria did something she shouldn't have done as a slave, it doesn't change the fact that the root cause is Chihiro.
Asking Aika to take responsibility is wrong, or perhaps too much.
「No, that's not right」
Maria denied again.
「That's not true. I didn't think that way. I did it as Master's slave」
「So, that's your excuse, isn't it Maria-chan?」
「It's not an excuse!」
Maria looks at Chihiro as if to cling to him.
Catching her eyes head-on, Chihiro saw the emotions swirling in her chest.
「Please, believe me Izumi-kun. Please believe me... believe me, Master」
Right now, she's struggling to deceive herself.
He can't watch it.
He also can't tell her that he believes her because he knows exactly how she feels.
Maria's eyes narrowed sadly at Chihiro, who held his tongue.
He shook his head as if he was reluctant to speak, and let out a sob.
「I don't believe you. I... I don't believe your words」
A silence descended in the room.
Everyone had their own thoughts and feelings, which prevented them from saying anything.
But then, Hana broke the painful silence.
「That's why she should have been mine, not Izumi-kun's」
Probably, she just said that to herself. And she spoke again.
「Then she wouldn't have had to feel such pain」
...Love? Is love painful?
But the feelings he had for Aika were warm and gentle, and not painful at all.
It should have been how Kamishiro felt when he confessed his feelings to Aika.
In other words, is there a difference between a love that is rewarded and a love that is not rewarded - a love that is only thought of?
Aika says quietly.
Her voice and expression are much calmer than before. Instead, she exudes sadness and wistfulness.
「I won't say you're lying anymore. But I still can't accept Maria-chan as it is now. You're not like Maria-chan at all」
Fukami Maria is a more dignified, resolute, self-possessed girl.
Her current expression, like that of a lost child, is not appropriate.
「Maybe I'm wrong. But if that's the case, tell me exactly how Maria-chan feels. Otherwise, I won't forgive you and I won't accept it」
「I'm sorry, Chihiro-kun」
Aika called out and she looked back at Chihiro and narrowed her eyes.
「This kind of fight is no fun for anyone, right? But it won't end until we finish it properly」
Yes, it is.
What's happened can't be undone. Even if everyone pretends on the surface that nothing happened, the lump will remain in everyone's heart.
Then the matter should be cleared up now.
If there was a cause, it was bound to happen someday.
Riko also looked at Chihiro.
「I'm not saying or thinking that this is all Chihiro's fault, but... Maybe the only person who can do something about this is Chihiro」
Chihiro nodded at her words.
Then, he began to sort out what was in his heart.
...He certainly understood the circumstances.
But to be honest, he is still skeptical about the motive.
That Maria had romantic feelings for him.
――To Chihiro, that was impossible.
He had taken her virginity, held her many times, and tasted her body. He was confident that he had established a certain level of bond with her.
And he thought that Fukami Maria would never fall in love with anyone.
Well, it was not that he was mocking her.
It was just that the desire in her heart was so strong that he thought she didn't need to fall in love.
But if he'd been wrong.
He must know. Once again, about the girl, Fukami Maria.
He must seek her out in a deeper, different way than [Mind Reading].
However, what should be done to do that?
He thought about it and decided...
...This will probably be a hard choice for him, for Maria, and for Riko and the others.
Still, he decided to believe that he should do it.
「Then let's have dinner first」
「Huh? Chihiro, this is not the time for dinner」
Riko tilted her head with a strange voice, but he smiled as much as he could and said.
「No, now is the time. What I'm about to do will take a lot of energy. Besides, this might be the last meal we'll have together」
「What do you mean by that, Izumi-kun?」
Chihiro replied slowly to Hana's question.
「After dinner, I'll train Maria. Depending on the results, I'll release Maria」
Everyone in the room was speechless at the decisive declaration.