Episode 10: First Walk Home
With the committee meetings over, it was time to return home. Saki and I actually get off at the same station, so we rode the train together, continued on through the ticket gate, and then left the station together.
Since we only had morning classes today, there’s a while to go before dusk sets in. The sun is still high in the sky when I look up, and thin clouds like wing-spread swans flutter through the deep blue sky. You could feel the freshness of spring in the wind as it passed you by.
Yuzuriha is staying with her parents who live close to the school, so she left us shortly after we made our way through the school’s front gate. But that meant I got to spend all this time alone with my sweet prince Saki…….hmm? This is one of those heart pounding moments isn’t it?
“An eventful first day.”
However, I’m the one looking back on the day and speaking with her without bringing up any love talk.
Not only was I able to build good yet stable relationships with three beautiful girls, but I was fortunate enough to get a hint of a chance with all three of them. If I don’t take a step back to reflect, I’m going to completely lose any sense of caution I still have. Honestly, we all only just met each other……why does it feel like their favor points are already almost maxed out? Is it a bug? Could I be dreaming? If things continue on like this, I’m not going to be able to accept this as reality.
When I tried pinching my cheek, I confirmed that it did in fact hurt.
“What are you doing~?”
It was a small lapse in the conversation. It wasn’t any kind of long moment of silence, but it seems my eccentricity was seen all the same. Or rather, perhaps it was seen because it was quiet? I will need to be careful.
“No, I was just thinking I must be dreaming to have gotten to walk home with such a wonderful girl.”
“W-What are you talking about~!”
Saki playfully began hitting the back of my shoulder. I’m glad to see you happy Princess, but that hurts. Although the pain is a bit comfortable……..no, I’m not a masochist.
Although I have to say, a female friend would usually get a lot more annoyed if someone said something as conceited as that to them…….. Unless, is she a lesbian too? Am I destined to attract other lesbians to me? Woohoo! My yuri harem is right around the corner!
Anyway, there’s no change in what I want to do, so I have to find out more about her.
“Saki came from an unaffiliated school as well right? Where did you go?”
“I did. I decided to transfer to this school for high school, but have you heard of Nishinaka? It’s a junior high school a little ways down the river from here.”
Her answer put a big old question mark over my head. There’s no way I haven’t heard of it. But was there such a beautiful girl at that school?
“I went there too……but”
The same ‘dear me’ expression that was probably on my face floated across Saki’s. Ah~ a common sight. Two people suddenly falling silent because they’re both confused on what’s going on––not. I’m almost certain this is…….
“You went to Nishinaka too? There were only four classes, and you weren’t in class three or four were you?”
“Y-Yes. I was in class one.”
Saki was sweating.
“I don’t remember anyone who stood out so much in class one…….Saki, when did you get your hair done like that?”
Her gaze fell to her feet as she shuffled in place. She looked like she was about to confess her love to me…….but that’s obviously not the case.
“Saki, maybe you……..”
Saki cut off what I was about to say with a mighty scream almost akin to a beast’s roar.
“What’s wrong Saki!?”
“I really wanted to be a princess~! So I dyed my hair silver and put in color contacts. It’s a high school debut! A high school debut~! I didn’t have any friends, so I thought I could make some if I was cute~!”
Saki rattled off everything she was holding back as if she were confessing to some grave crime while desperately using both her hands to wipe away any tears accumulating at the edge of her eyes. Her past had been instantly exposed in the blink of the eye, and her princess dream was revealed to the world…….
But, so what? I’m not sure I see the problem here. Isn’t that cute? It is! The very spirit she puts into making herself cute is in itself super cute! Fuu~!
“Saki, could you look at me?”
A small squeak passed through Saki’s lips when I spoke to her. Where did that voice come from? It’s cute?
I leaned forward and put myself into her line of sight. She’s not crying……but her eyes were tearing up. All right, this will be the highlight of my follow-up.
“I’m not so different. In junior high, I was plain and unfashionable with a gloomy hairstyle. I cut my hair for a change in image, but I didn’t have any friends back then either. But it’s not something I really worry about. It’s because of what I was like back then that I got to know you now. And since we share these same feelings…….it means we have a secret reserved only for us.”
I shot off a quick wink when I was done. It seemed to have at least some effect, and her expression did relax some. Yosh, it’s working.
“Whatever worries you have about your past, the current Saki looks like an honest to goodness princess. I guarantee it.”
I balled up my fist and lightly hit it against my chest. I wasn’t able to make a very reliable noise because of my breasts…….it was a bit grandiose, but I can have a little confidence can’t I?
“Even though I’m just putting on an act…….you’re still willing to be friends with me?”
“Of course I do. Rather, isn’t it a good thing? There’s nothing dishonest about your feeling on becoming cute.”
Is she convinced yet…….? No, it’s still not enough. One more push.
“You are a princess to me.”
And…….there it is. My clincher…… I pushed back her gloom with a forceful a smile…….
I turned to look at her once again
“No. Just now, you should be calling me ‘Princess’?”
Oops, is my confidence going to backfire? Her triumphant gaze and slightly titled head were a perfectly calculated combo. Interesting. In that case, I’ll use all my talent to play along.
“Fufu, are you really asking me something so selfish here? What a troublesome princess…..”
“Ah, ah……ah……. Aah~!”
She raised a high-pitched, coquettish squeal after I lifted up her chin to force her to lock eyes with me. She covered her cheeks with her hands as an extraordinary fairy tale wrapped around us both. It’s obvious I’m acting, but it looks like it’s a big hit nonetheless.
With hearts in her eyes Saki had begun laughing to herself as an aura made of flowers bloomed around her. Is it really this easy?
“Are you okay Saki?”
But I am a bit worried about it, so I called her name.
“This is what I was looking for……. Definitley……I absolutely will――――”
“S-Saki……? Get a hold of yourself?”
With hearts still beating in her eyes, Saki had begun hysterically whispering something under her breath. I was starting to get really worried, so I shook her shoulders to try and snap her out of it. When her sense of self finally did return to her gaze, she calmly looked back at me as if nothing had happened.
“It’s nothing. Thank you for treating me like a princess~”
“Think nothing of it. Saki is cute after all.”
“Ehehe, I like you Yuri~”
Hooray! A sudden confession! ――or not. This is still to the level of a girl-specific friend ‘like’. I won’t let myself be swept away in her pace. That’s what I tell myself at least.
“Me too. It almost feels like fate that I would get along so well with my first friend.”
But let’s keep laying on the affection.
Dang, I didn’t quite get the reaction I was looking for……maybe she’s already getting used to my compliments. I can’t just keep pushing.
“Ah, we’re here.”
And just like that, our sweet dream-like walk home from school had come to an end. Saki pointed to a hill down the road. It looks like she didn’t live too far away from here.
“Heh, is that so. Do you want me to walk you home?”
“Ehehe~, that’s okay~?”
She turned me down. Actually, that might’ve made her feel more wary of me. I shouldn’t push her too far.
“Okay, I understand. Then I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Mm, bye bye~”
I returned Saki’s hand wave and saw her off. Facing each other it wasn’t clear which one of us would start on our way home first, so I willingly spun on my heels and walked away. In my mind though, I had completely imprinted her figure.
I thought I heard her mutter something behind me. We’re each other’s first friends after getting to know one another. And we met each other right away during our first day of school. Could this be because of the unwavering pull of yuri?
Silver hair picked up and gently fluttering in the wind. Something akin to a dulcet halo hanging over her head. And in her gaze, a light that made me believe she was currently watching my back with a soft smile on her face.