S&D: 9 -Beginning of a Budding Romance

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Web Novel Written by Minkansukii ミンカンスキー


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「…………」

「…………」

「Ahahaha, you guys are so stiff, it hurts~ Come on, talk to each other! Flirt a little, look a you guys, there’s nothing going on~♪」

 

 Its after school and it’s raining.

 While holding onto her own umbrella, Akitsu is happily teasing me and Natsuno for sharing the same umbrella.  To be honest, she’s getting a little annoying.  I never thought Akitsu who was ditzy and quiet most of the time, was surprisingly such an animated girl.

 If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be using “The Umbrella of Intertwining Fate.” What’s more I ended up leaving school with Natsuno under my umbrella. It’s not a lie that she’s the one who set this all up, but…

 Following Akitsu-san reasoning, she’s going to swap with Natsuno after we reach the convenience store.  I don’t know how effective the umbrella will be by the time we switch. But this is a great opportunity to get Natsuno and Akitsu to maybe have feelings for me.

 

「……This is the first time you’ve seen Maya like this, right?」

「Haha, yeah….. It seems like there’s a first for everything」

「Right? She’s usually airheaded, but the moment something interesting happens, she always gets excited. It’s almost like a switch goes off inside her」

 

 Natsuno sighs with a fed up expression, but there’s no actual anger in her voice.  After seeing this side of Akitsu, I’d have to say I see her in a more favorable light.

 

「Ahaha, well if there’s something exciting in front of you, shouldn’t you enjoy it to the fullest? It’s not like its bothering you or anything right?」

「….. I’m a little bothered by all of this…」

「Sorry about that….」

「Ah, no, I didn’t mean it like that Saino-san, does it bother you?….. I, I just mean I’ve never shared an umbrella with a boy before……」

 

 Natsuno in turn became flustered and tried to make excuses.  Unlike her usual self, who always carried a calm and collected attitude, this side of her was actually cute and refreshing.

 I could feel something welling up inside me, the more I watched her.

 

Wait…. are these the effects from “The Umbrella of Intertwining Fate”, are we both under its effects?…….

 

 It’s only been about five minutes since we’ve left school.  But it’s quite apparent that Natsuno’s usual demeanor has changed.  If this was a normal situation, she wouldn’t blush while trying to answer me.

 

「But doesn’t this bother you too Saino-san?……. Being forced to go home together like this?…..」

「Well that’s not really true. I actually wanted to get to know more about you」

「Oh, I see….. Oh that’s right, communication between us classmates is important afterall!…….」

「……??」

 

 Natsuno’s reply towards my response was a little bit awkward on her part.  Being Natsuno-san’s closest friend, Akitsu stopped to look at her friend.  Even from Akitsu-san’s point of view, Natsuno was being her usual self.

 I continued to have a small conversation with Natsuno, while secretly shouting for joy inside my mind.  If things continue like this, I feel like our walk to the convenience store won’t be that bad.  And if the effects of the umbrella are this fast, then I’ll probably have an easier time capturing Akitsu’s heart when we switch.

 The more we walked together, the more Natsuno’s behavior became more exaggerated as she opened up towards me.  Rather than distancing herself, she would creep closer and closer, almost to the point where we were almost rubbing shoulders.

 If anyone were to glance our way, it would be obvious that we were having a good time together.  Akitsu-san would chime into the conversation every now and then, but most of the time let the conversation flow with me Natsuno.

 Watching Natsuno become charmed and infatuated.

 I decide to bring up a touchy topic.

 

「…..Come to think of it, Natsuno-san are you seeing someone right now?」

「Wha!? N,no, of course not…. why did you ask that?」

「No it’s just that I thought Natsuno-san is very cute, so I thought maybe you had a boyfriend」

 

 I felt a little nervous when I involuntarily called her『Cute』.  Even though Natsuno really does have a cute appearance, she hates it when other people call her『Cute』. In the past, when others called her that, she would only glare back at them, and in extreme cases not speak to them for days or weeks.  So people thought『Cute』was a vulgar word when it came to Natsuno.

 …..But her reaction this time, was actually quite the opposite.

 After hearing my words, it was almost as if a bomb had gone off in Natsuno’s mind as she just turned crimson――

 

「Ah, ah, ah tha,that’s not t,truee…..I, I c,c,can’t be c,c,c,uute………there’s just no way!….. 」

「……………………WoOoW. This is getting interesting」

 

 With Natsuno-san turning bashful and trying to shy away, Akitsu-san’s eyes flash with interest.  Natsuno isn’t usually like this, and watching her turn into a love smitten maiden, peaked Akitsu-san curiosity.  Is this how she becomes when she’s lovestruck?

 The gap between her usual self and the way she is now, was making my heart beat fast.

 

「Ugh…… what’s wrong with me?………why?….」

 

 Natsuno covers her face with her hands while making cute sounds. It was at this moment, I knew for sure, this was due to the effects of the umbrella. Being caught under the magic of this umbrella made Natsuno see me in a romantic light.

 And this all happened in under 15 minutes.

 It would have been near impossible to create this kind of situation under normal circumstances, but with this umbrella it was too easy.

 

「……….Oh we’re here, there’s the convenience store」

 

 Akitsu-san suddenly chimed in.  Looking in the direction she pointed to, there were green, red and oranges signs there.  I didn’t notice it because I was captivated in conversation with Class Rep, before I knew it were already here.

 

「 I guess once we reach there, we can switch places」

「Of course~」

「Ah…..right……yeah……」

 

 At my suggestion, both girls nod but with different reactions. Akitsu-san seemed curiously expectant, while Natsuno-san looked a little depressed. Making our way straight towards the convenience stores dry walkway, Natsuno and Akitsu switched places.  This time Natsuno was alone holding the large umbrella, while Akitsu and I shared my umbrella.

 

「Ehehe, this time I get to be Saino-kun’s girlfriend~♡」

「Ahaha……」

「Muu…..」 (ŎεŎ)

 

 The moment Akitsu comes under my umbrella, she grabs my arm, hugs it and stuck real close to me.  I managed to laugh it off, but it felt really awkward.  Natsuno wasn’t too happy looking at us, glaring back at me, but there wasn’t anything I could do.

 I had no choice but to walk home like this.

 And just when we left the store――

 

「……Hey Saino-kun~ are you the reincarnation of some Legendary Casanova?」

「Huh?………」

 

 Speaking softly in a way that Natsuno-san couldn’t hear.  Akitsu-san tickled the insides of my ear with her whispers.  Her eyes looking straight at my face for an answer.

 

「What sort of magic trick did you use to make Himeyori fall? I don’t get it, like I saw you two having fun, but that’s so weird」

「……!」

 

 Akitsu’s sweet voice suddenly becomes piercingly cold.  Reacting to the change in her voice I hesitantly looked towards her, locking eyes with her.  That friendly smile she had was no where to be seen.

 Is she furious?  …..No wait, that’s not it.

 Actually looking at her, and reading into her facial expressions. I realized here expression was out of pure intellectual curiosity.  Her deep desire to know the truth, was transmitted to me.

 

Wait, what!?…… Is she serious right now, was she always like this?…….

 

 Seeing this sudden change in personality, caught me off guard.  Akitsu-san who’s usually carefree and airheaded, became astute and vigilant.  Still for her to turn out this way, just to satisfy her curiosity.  It was like night and day, the change was too drastic.

 Natsuno-san was a good distance ahead of us, so she didn’t notice what was going on behind her.  Akitsu-san was taking advantage of the situation and one could see it through her expression.

 

「……I don’t know what you’re talking about」

 

 For the time being, I make an excuse from the top of my head.  But Akitsu continues to bring her face closer to mine, her eyes drilling into me with inquisitiveness.

 

「Won’t you tell me your secret? Of course, I won’t tell anyone else. I promise not to act in a way that make Saino-kun a bad guy. I just really want to know, how’d you do it」

「…………」

 

 I didn’t feel like lying to Akitsu-san’s curious query.  But at the same time I didn’t want to leak my secrets either. If someone were to find out, these are magic tools from a dungeon, then who knows what the case may be in the future.

 Pressing her glamorous body on me, as I stayed silent for some time.

 

「Hey~ just tell me. If you tell me, I’ll let you touch my body….but only for a little bit…..」

 

 It was a tempting offer.  Even after watching her expression, I knew she seriously meant what she said.  But deep inside, I was concerned about something else.

 

Wait…….. could Akitsu-san also be feeling the effects of the Umbrella as well…….

 

 That’s right, even though she may be crafty and may be planning something just to get the answers she’s looking for.  There’s is still the possibility that her self-worth isn’t high and Akitsu-san offering her body to find out the truth, may just be from the effects of the umbrella.

 But then, Akitsu-san herself realized the abnormality.

 

「……..Oh I get it. I’m starting feel strange too. The way you’re seducing me, even I’m starting feel it. My desire to know more is, being replaced with a desire to touch you」

「…………」

「I didn’t feel like this before, but it only started happening after being together. What is it?…… Under normal conditions we wouldn’t…. what’s the cause of this trick?…..pheromones, from close contact? No, that can’t be it…….」

 

 While Akitsu-san was speaking her mind, I remained silent.  Secretly sweating inside, I sped up our walking pace little by little.  I need to get away from Akitsu as soon as possible.  Even if we stay together underneath my umbrella, she would develop more romantic feelings for me, but then she would figure out my secret.

 And if I didn’t answer her directly, I can tell just by watching her eyes and movements, that she’ll really end up learning the truth.  There’s a really high chance that Akitsu may figure out my secret and expose me.

 But having walked at a brisk pace, Akitsu-san’s expression relaxed quite a bit, going from serious to playful.

 

「Ehehe, we’re already at my house~ Aww my Lovey-dovey time with Saino-kun is over~」

「*Cough*….. Maya playtime is over. Can you not…….」

 

 I just candidly smiled like I had done from the convenience store.  After looking at my candid expression, Natsuno-san just sighed looking tired.

 Apparently these two girls are next door neighbors, Natsuno-san’s house is on the left while Akitsu-san’s house is on the right.

 They’re both ordinary looking houses.  Both of them had gone to the steps of their house doors after parting with me.

 

「Saino, see you later……」

「Bye bye~ Saino-kun♪」

「…….Yeah, see ya」

 

 Natsuno-san sent me off a little depressed, but Akitsu was rather vibrant with her reply.

 I was worried about the time I spent with Akitsu, but pretended I was fine and unaffected by her whims.


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Translated by: Kaimana Editor: NarK0Lepsi