After Maria's big tantrum, Chihiro's life has undergone another change.
The next morning, after the training and the reconciliation, Maria was sleeping soundly on top of Chihiro.
...Seeing her still there, he's happy.
And while feeling so, he pulled out his thing, which was still connected to Maria's, and covered her with a blanket... So far, so good, but instead, or rather, Chihiro was suffering from a great lack of sleep.
It is natural, since he is simply sleep-deprived after so much physical and mental exertion.
Unfortunately, unlike Maria, who had already told the school in advance that she would be absent, there was no way Chihiro could miss the school.
Besides, if he was really sick, he would feel sorry for the student council if he had to take a day off for a self-inflicted reason.
「Sorry, everyone, I had to sleep until the last minute」
Once again, he took a nap as soon as he had done the bare minimum, such as showering and breakfast, and used the breaks between classes to get as much sleep as he could after school.
Perhaps due to the effect of his [Sleep Enhancement], he is able to complete the afternoon classes in a reasonable condition.
After school, he went to the executive committee meeting with Aika while being teased by Maisaka and others. Then, after the meeting is over, he went to the student council room alone to make a report, and was accompanied by tea (coffee) and helped with chores.
When returned to the apartment in the evening, Maria, Riko, Aika and Hana are all there in the living room.
Maria seemed to have recovered her strength after a day's rest, so they resumed the discussion that had been shelved for a while.
As a result, many things have been decided.
The basic assumption is that all the girls will continue their relationship with Chihiro.
After confirming this, they had a frank exchange of opinions and decided not to take any action regarding Maria's position as a member of the school festival committee.
It would be possible to replace her now, but there is no suitable reason to ask her to do so. Aika is too busy, Hana, who is in a different class, is out of the question, and Riko's appearance is not suitable for the committee.
In addition, Maria's role as a member of the committee actually helps Chihiro in some ways.
「I'm not going to ask you to quit either」
That was what Aika said, and they decided to ask her to continue.
In this way, Maria's wish to be by Chihiro's side at school will be fulfilled.
They pretend to be just classmates, but using the common point of being a member of the school festival committee, when Maria comes to apologize for her absence, they talk about what happened in the committee, and their relationship ostensibly deepens.
「Recently, Fukami-san and Izumi-kun are getting along well, huh?」
「Yes. We've become friends since we started talking more in the committee」
If Chihiro give a plausible reason, no one will doubt it.
Now the question is how to settle the relationship with Aika.
Although Maria can include her as a friend who became friends through Chihiro, but...
「I'm really concerned about people though when the boy I like gets along with the girl」
This, too, is an ostensible way of seeing things.
Well, originally, Aika and Maria are not "bad friends".
They even had lunch together, including Riko, but their relationship was more related to Riko. People around them think that their friendship is not so direct.
In such a situation, if Maria suddenly starts getting along with Chihiro, Aika can't just give her a good look "at least on the public side".
「...So, uh... I guess it's hard for a girl to develop friendships」
「Isn't that right?」
Aika, Riko, and Hana looked at Chihiro like, "What's the big deal?" which made Maria and him, who's not really good at that kind of thing, shudder.
...Then, is it okay for Riko to be friends with Chihiro?
The difference is that Riko is getting to know Chihiro through Aika.
So, what to do in this case?
「Maria-chan, let's fight」
The answer is straightforward: if there is a problem that logically needs to happen, then let it happen.
At the same time Maria started to get along with Chihiro, both Aika and Maria gradually changed their attitude towards each other to a cooler one.
For example, they interrupted each other while the other was talking with Chihiro, and avoided talking to each other one-on-one.
Of course, it was a play, so they treated each other normally in the apartment, but as Chihiro was watching, it was unpleasant.
The cold war between the two (acting) eventually developed into a shouting match.
One day, after school, Aika called Maria out during a time when people were not yet dismissed. While the surrounding students watched, they went to the private training room without bringing anyone with them, and returned a few dozen minutes later.
When they came back, their hair and uniforms were slightly disheveled. Naturally, there were various rumors and speculations by the students who witnessed the incident.
However, there was no actual fistfight or shouting match.
「What you two been up to?」
Later, Chihiro asked both of them directly, but they both refused to tell him, saying it was a secret.
They both looked strangely refreshed, though.
However, it was completely settled the next day.
「Izumi-kun, I've come to realize that I've fallen in love with you. I hope you'll break up with Takatsuki-san and go out with me」
In front of all her classmates, including Aika and Riko, Maria confessed to Chihiro.
It was such a bold and straightforward confession that even Chihiro, who had been told beforehand that it was going to happen, was struck by it.
Chihiro bowed to her, feeling hesitant to refuse even though he knew it was just an act.
「Thank you. ...But, I'm sorry. I have Aika. I love Aika, so I can't go out with Fukami-san」
Instantly, the whole class erupted.
Many students were paying attention to it, and Kamishiro was one of them. As soon as Maria realized this, she felt her face heat up.
She then smiled at him with tears in her eyes.
「Thank you. I'm really sorry for asking for so much」
This confession was the result of an argument between Aika and Maria in the private training room.
「I said it. If you really like Chihiro-kun, just confess in front of everyone, it's useless anyway」
After the commotion, Aika made a broad declaration to the people around her.
――The story seems to be that the girls confronted each other head-on and played a game of love.
Aika threw out a chance. Maria unhesitatingly challenged the odds against her, and was crushed.
Aika recognized the girl who fought so gracefully, and the two became best friends with no grudge.
...And so, it went.
This allowed Maria to stay by Chihiro's side, and made it as easy as possible for the surrounding students to see how things had turned out.
Instead, Chihiro has become the focus of attention as "the guy who rejected Fukami Maria's proposal", and has become the target of a certain amount of awe, mainly from boys, but perhaps that can't be helped.