Shinichi showed his hand to the girl to show her that she was still holding onto it.
Until now the girl had only been slightly blushing, but in one fell swoop, her face went completely red just like an octopus being boiled.
“Ah, no, I can explain!”
She’d only held his hands out of happiness for giving her advice, but when realization dawned upon her that she’d been holding a boy’s hand, her thoughts stopped.
Unfortunately, being flustered like this would only stimulate the boy’s mischievous side.
“Should I kiss your hand just like one would a princess?”
He took advantage of her holding his hands to pull her toward him and bring her hand near his lips.
That was enough to reactivate the girl’s mind, and she pulled her hand away while still beet red, then froze with her hands raised up.
“Ha ha, your reactions are so cute.”
Sure enough the boy smiled upon seeing her reactions. There was a different meaning behind the satisfaction he was feeling now compared to earlier.
Meanwhile, the girl’s face grew even more feverish due to having let slip a strange voice and freezing up in a strange posture.
“T-This won’t do. If I get flustered here, it will be just like last time…”
She hid her face by keeping her head down and muttered to herself to try and regain her calm.
She couldn’t immediately get rid of the flushness of her face, but she desperately tried to get her breathing and tone of voice back under control by thinking of a different topic.
“P-Please don’t tease me. Good grief… Umm…”
This was already the second time, so she knew that if she let the initiative be taken from her, he’ll only keep on attacking.
That’s why she tried to change the topic to the five differently colored envelopes Shinichi had as soon as she noticed them.
“S-Something’s been on my mind for a while now, actually. Umm, what are those?”
The girl asked as casually as she could.
She’d forcefully changed the topic, but it was a lot better than just letting things be.
Shinichi suspected that she was merely trying to change the topic, but he played along without so much as a change in his expression.
“This? Fu fu fu, why don’t you open them and read them?”
Shinichi threw the colorful envelopes to the girl.
The girl reflexively received them and read through them. She was a little worried, but she had the owner’s permission anyway, so she helped herself.
The content of the envelopes were written in Japanese, but ever since ‘that time’, she’s been studying hard, so the language wasn’t an issue anymore.
That’s why after reading to some extent, the girl froze up while making some sounds. The boy laughed.
Before long the girl couldn’t control her strength anymore and ended up crushing the envelopes.
“Ah, white and brown died,” Shinichi remarked with a nonchalant voice.
“W-What are these—!!??”
The girl cried out as she stood with a jolt.
Her face was as red as ever, and her voice which should have already calmed down became heavy again.
“What do you mean? Ah, Garesto doesn’t have this kind of culture, do they? I did hear there was no paper there.”
“T-That’s not what I meant! C-C-C-C-Could this be the r-r-rumoured l-l-l-letter professing one’s love!?”
Unlike the boy who was as calm as spring rain, the girl just couldn’t control herself enough to talk properly.
This might be a bit blunt, but to someone who has received such a pure upbringing like this ‘ojousama’, the stimulation of the love letter may have been too strong.
“Letter professing one’s love? Where did you learn that term from? Are love letters not a thing anymore?”
Shinichi knowingly landed the killing blow by confirming the girl’s suspicions, and immediately she found herself dumbfounded.
Meanwhile, Shinichi’s mind wandered the topic of whether ‘letters’ were able to survive the change of time.
Video calls and emails have become the main form of communication. That was the case for the world 8 years ago.
So it’s not strange for letters to be considered old-fashioned.
Of course, Shinichi doesn’t really know that for sure since he hasn’t investigated it, but it’s probably not wrong.
Shinichi thought such idle things while enjoying the sight of the flustered girl.
“…T-This is a joke, right?”
“Well, the senders are serious in a different sense.”
The girl asked as if she’d hoped it were so, and Shinichi replied to her with a snort.
If these letters had been sent to him as a prank of sort, he would have seen it as an interesting story, but that wasn’t the case, and now Shinichi didn’t even know whether he should be angry or astonished.
“The senders? In a different sense?”
“You’d figure it out if you just read a few of them.”
The girl asked him what he meant with her eyes, and for the first time, the boy seemed troubled as he replied.
It was at this point that the girl finally realized that something was amiss and became calm, then she looked through the letters.
“…Are the white and light-blue letters written by the same person? The yellow-green and pink letters were written by someone else, but they were written by just one person too. And the light-brown letter even seems to have been written by a man.”
All five letters were love letters, and the senders all had different names.
But just reading through them once was enough for the girl to see through how many people were behind them and even their gender.
“Heh, and your reasoning?”
“The handwriting and prose, I suppose. Even in Garesto we write on the screen when signing contracts, and the prose should also differ from person to person.”
That’s why if one looked carefully enough through the text, he’d notice those subtle differences.
“Do Garestonians study that kind of stuff too?”
“N-No. Some… Or rather, only people whose position necessitates it. Still, this is my ‘first time’ reading a love letter, but… How do I put it? It seems really fishy.”
Not only did the number of names and number of writers failed to match, the emotion that should have been there was also missing.
“I know right. Who would’ve thought that my first time would be stolen from me like this?”
If you just look at the contents, these letters were indeed love letters. In fact, they were perfect examples of love letters.
But there were no emotions behind them. No love, no mischief, no ill will, nothing.
They all ended the same way too. “Can we meet once?”
They weren’t credible at all.