「The story I heard is about Chihiro's relationships. I can't reveal the details, but Chihiro has a very close relationship with Kurohane Suzu. That's not very interesting for you as a lover, is it?」
Aika gives silent affirmation.
「No one will be happy if this situation continues. On the other hand, the fact that Chihiro and Suzu broke up does not erase the past. If you have a sane mind, you can't trust a person who betrayed you once so cruelly...well, that's what I'm telling you」
Then, it is better to break up while the wound is still fresh.
The argument itself is almost the same as what Principal Ootori and Yotsuba said.
However, unlike Principal Ootori and Yotsuba, who focused on the society, Kaede's statement is focused only on Aika's feelings and her relationship with Chihiro.
The fact that Kaede's comments are not about the public's opinion, but about their true intentions and feelings, makes them easy to understand and agree with.
Under her persuasion, Aika says.
「I don't want to」
She made a firm and determined assertion.
「Why do you say that?」
「I don't think I have the "right mind" for it. I've become friends with Suzu-san, and now we're friends. I'm sure we'll get along well」
"Besides", the words continue.
「Chihiro-kun's girlfriend is me. Only me. I will not give him to anyone else, and I will not allow any other girl to be his girlfriend. As long as everyone is okay with that, I will allow Chihiro-kun to be friends with other girls」
「That's a very distorted way of thinking」
Kaede looks at Aika with narrowed eyes.
The gaze of a strong person who has been through many rough times must have put a lot of pressure on a first-year high school girl.
But Aika was not intimidated.
「I know. But this is me」
Kaede sighs deeply.
「Then, I'm against it」
Aika shudders at the nonchalant words.
Kaede's expression does not tighten. In fact, it seems to have become somewhat softer. Nevertheless, the pressure increased.
「What I said earlier about your feelings is actually a pretext」
「I'm just translating what the other party told me. My opinion is much simpler」
「I myself cannot tolerate the kind of relationship you have now. I don't like it. It's because I'm worried about Chihiro. As a family, I want Chihiro to live a more honest life――that's all」
"It's just my own selfishness", Kaede continued.
Indeed, her true intentions were different from those of a nice-sounding cause. She does not approve of it because she does not like it, and she wants to stop it. As long as Kaede herself recognizes this as her own selfishness, Chihiro and the others have nothing to say.
The only thing that remains is the fact that her own sister stands in the way.
And her clear statement of will is very impressive.
Aika, whose eyes widened, nodded her head slowly, making a pause in her speech.
「I understand what you said. I understand that it is not easy to be understood, and that it is not an easy thing to do」
「I still feel the same way」
「Then, I'll continue to oppose it. I will continue to oppose your relationship with Chihiro and even if you get married」
"This is not intended to be a tactless interference".
Kaede added at the end.
She said that she would not make threats like Principal Ootori did, or take Chihiro's social position hostage.
Even so, the wall of her own sister is still very high.
Aika answers in a determined voice.
「I don't care. I will definitely make you understand someday」
Aika's eyes never strayed.
After all, she loves Chihiro.
She has accepted all the connections and still thinks of him so much that she is not willing to throw it away. This fact was once again embraced in his heart.
The sister he had known since he was a child, since he could remember. He gazes at the symbol of frustration that he still thinks he will never be able to compete with.
But then, looking back at Kaede, Chihiro told her firmly.
「I feel the same way. I will not leave Aika and I will continue with Suzu-san. This is the one thing I won't give up」
「Because they are important to me. Aika and Suzu-san, everyone」
Chihiro replied with "everyone".
In fact, he should have said "both". He should not have implicitly hinted at the existence of Maria, Riko, or other girls.
Still, he had to say so because he didn't want to hide his feelings.
Kaede's reply was curt.
She answered so simply that he could have mistakenly thought she had lost interest in it, but she stood up abruptly.
「Takatsuki-san, I'll take you back」
Apparently, the conversation is over.
As she herself said, Kaede is going to oppose it, but not to interfere with it.
This extreme attitude made Aika's eyes black and white, but in the end, she started getting ready to leave without asking too many questions.
「I'll be the one to take Aika home」
「No, I am stronger than you. Then, I should be the one to take her home」
With that said, Kaede puts on her suit.
It seems that she ordered a pizza delivery because she didn't want to have to change her clothes, but this is a different story.
The beloved girl eased Chihiro's worries by smiling at him.
Thereafter, they quickly left the room――Kaede returned nearly thirty minutes later.
「I just came to talk to her. I don't see why I should harm her in any way」
As if to affirm her sister's statement, a text message arrived on Chihiro's smartphone.
『I might not like her』
Chihiro reply and put down his phone to talk to her again tomorrow.
...but after this, the conversation seemed to be rather normal.
「Is something wrong?」
He asks and Kaede shrugs.
「She's a lot smarter than I think. Maybe it's your influence, but my abilities didn't seem to be helping much」
As natural as ever.
But there was a hint of wonder and surprise in her voice.