“…Women, you look away from them one moment, and you get this.”
They grow so fast, Shinichi wryly smiled, but he intentionally avoided thinking about what made her change.
Part of it was because it was embarrassing, but it was mostly because he didn’t want to feel guilty, finding such a thing inappropriate toward the feeling these girls held.
Meanwhile, Aristel glanced to the side and suddenly stiffened up.
Shinichi noticed people approaching and turned to them for a moment, but just as quickly, he turned away.
“Hey, trash, got a minute?” The person said.
“Can I have a taste of that too?” Shinichi said.
Because the two of them spoke at about the same time, the girl didn’t know what to do and she found herself looked alternatingly between Shinichi and the two people that approached them.
A female student with dark blue hair and a male student with bright golden hair was there in their uniforms.
They were Rizet Hausen and Ortho Kanru, Aristel’s leading servants.
“Hey! Listen to people when they—” Ortho said.
“A little is fine, no? I’ll let you taste mine too,” Shinichi said.
Ortho was annoyed for being ignored, but Shinichi only had eyes for the girl next to him, and he even pressed his body tightly to the girl’s as he offered her the crepes he’d yet to taste.
Aristel wasn’t expecting to happen into them here, but to make this situation even crazier, Shinichi was ignoring them and sticking so closely to her. It was no wonder that she was so confused.
“You spend all your time playing around when the exams just concluded, and top of that, this is how you treat your fellow students!?” Rizet said.
Even Rizet found herself laying bare her emotions as she yelled angrily at Shinichi.
Apparently, she didn’t like how he was idly eating crepes here with some woman.
In normal schools, of course, it wouldn’t be strange for students to play around after an exam, but the students in Garesto Academy normally used this time to reflect on their performance and get some much needed rest.
“Here, you first, say ahh.”
But Shinichi didn’t care about their feelings and just fed Aristel his crepe. Aristel was even more at a loss as the crepe approached her, but in the end, she just went ahead and took a bite.
As the sweetness and fragrance of melon and cream unfolded within her mouth, she broke out into a huge smile.
“Amu… Ah, this is delicious too!”
“I know right.”
Aristel reflexively gave her honest impressions of the crepe, and the boy nodded in satisfaction, causing the two students to now be completely ignored, and blue veins to start popping up on their head.
“Ku, why you little… Do you really think I want to talk to someone like you!? Listen already!” Ortho said.
“We’re looking for Aristel-sama, so at least tell us whether you’ve seen her or not!” Rizet said.
The two yelled from the top of their lungs, but only the girl and the people around reacted.
Aristel understood what they were doing, so she turned to them, but she was still troubled.
Shinichi’s attitude was certainly a problem, but that was no reason for them to be so overbearing, not to mention how little they cared about the trouble they were causing to the other people here, yet Shinichi still ignored them.
“Ah, sorry, some of the cream got on you.”
Shinichi casually said with a tinge of apology in his voice before just as naturally scooping up the cream on her lips with his finger and licking it.
A moment passed, then a wave of heat and red crept up the neck of the girl to set her whole face aflame, whistling like a kettle boiling over, but the boy relished the sight of that and a mischievous smile surfaced on him.
Rizet and Ortho didn’t come out unscathed, for their faces too turned beet red after a moment of shock, and they started yelling.
“J-Just how far do you intend to mock us!!?” Ortho said.
“What shameless display! And in public no less!”
It was curious whether those words were spoken out of anger or shame, but regardless, the emotions of the two elites finally boiled over – of course, their boiling point was low in the first place – and they took a step forward.
In that moment, a dangerous glint flashed within the boy’s eyes, a glint that
“U-Umm… I think I saw someone like that heading in the direction of the hospital,” Aristel said.
“What, is that true!? Did we pass each other somewhere!?” Ortho said.
“Damn it, you’re insufferable, but Aristel-sama comes first!” Rizet said.
The two students glared daggers at Shinichi, but the boy only had eyes for the girl beside him.
His devotion to her had already reached a point where their very existence was being denied.
They ground their teeth even harder because of that, but the safety of their master came above all else, so they immediately turned around and made their way for the hospital.
When they’d completely vanished into the distance, Aristel exhaled in relief.
“…Please accept my deepest apologies on their behalf.”
Then she distanced herself a little from the boy, and then as she voided her face of emotions, gave a deep bow to the boy.
“You’re apologizing?” Shinichi smiled.
It was strange, and at the same time, interesting.
He had so brazenly ignored the two that he could not worm his way out with superficial excuses, such as, ‘he did not hear them’, or blame the difference in common sense.
Normally, this would be the part where she would scold him, yet not only did she not scold him, she even apologized.
“So, exactly what is it that you’re apologizing for?” Shinichi asked.
Since she was apologizing with the face of a noble, he had to respond with a face beyond that of a mere boy.
Already, any tinge of amusement on his part had left his face, and in its place was a mask void of emotions.
“I am apologizing as their master for failing to educate them sufficiently on how to behave. Though your actions could be said to have played a part in instigating them, their high-handed attitude and the inappropriate names they referred you with were inexcusable; therefore, I apologize.”
Aristel sincerely apologized again as their master.
Though she’d casually remarked on Shinichi’s attitude to excuse their later behavior, Shinichi looked at her warmly as though pleased with her decision.
“…I will apologize too for my childish behavior. Though if I were to be allowed to make an excuse for myself, I actually intended to respond to them. Unfortunately, the way they spoke made it hard to know exactly who they were referring to.”
That’s why he ignored them.
Shinichi acknowledged his poor attitude, but even as he apologized, he still avoided taking the blame.
Aristel did not argue with him on that point and just nodded.
“How they’ll fare in the future will depend on how you educate them. Please do make them into decent humans worthy of my attention,” Shinichi said.
“Alas, they and I are but inexperienced youths, and it will take many moons to accomplish your request, nonetheless, I shall accept,” Aristel said.
The boy and the girl nodded to each other, exchanging sarcastic remarks as though enacting a scene from some play before breaking out into laughter in the next moment.
“Ku ku… I see you know your theater, that puts me at ease,” Shinichi said.
“Thank you for playing along, fu fu,” Aristel said.
That did not mean that their exchange was nothing more than a farce.
Rather, Aristel truly wanted to apologize but couldn’t do so as a mere girl because of her position.
Meanwhile, Shinichi was satisfied with her sincerity in choosing to carry out her apology, and was also happy with how she laid out all the problems.
Aristel was happy that he understood and played along with her, so in the end, the both of them shared a laugh.
“…But I think that was still a bit much… It was really embarrassing to have my l-lips touched.”
When Aristel returned to being a mere girl, her face became red once again.
She knew that Shinichi was trying to provoke the two when he touched her, and indeed they fell for it hook, line, and sinker, and that gave her a headache, but more importantly, she was already plenty embarrassed when he tried to feed her in the past and got her to say ‘ahh’, and yet this time around, not only did he scoop up the cream on her lips, he even ate it.
It was no wonder her face was so red.
“I might’ve gotten a little ahead of myself there, but I really wanted to try it once, you know, that kind of corny move. Alas, with a face like mine, it didn’t quite turn out like in the shows with all the sparkles and all…”
“You wanted to try it? So, does that mean this was your first time?”
When Aristel ignored Shinichi’s self-deprecating remark and homed in on a strange point, Shinichi nodded with suspicion to confirm her doubts, but then she suddenly turned around and did a guts pose.
With her face still beet red, she expressed her feelings as an adult in a quiet mutter.
“I did it! I’m his first,” Aristel said.