She made her entrance just when the fireworks were about to end.
Shinichi giggled, but Aristal was so surprised when she saw who it was that she let out a strange voice and jumped.
That was less because of the identity of the person and more because of the situation she and Shinichi were found in.
“Hyaa!? T-Teacher Doneju— kyaa!?”
“You okay? Teach, don’t scare her like that.”
“…I don’t want to be told that by someone who started embracing a girl right after my warning.”
Aristel may have lost her footing, but the way Shinichi so quickly held her shoulders and brought her to his chest made Frire, who was about to reflect on how abrupt she was, make a sullen face.
“Seriously. I came here because I thought something happened, but it turns out you were just have a lover’s tryst, and with a senpai no less. You sure work fast, don’t you?”
From behind Frire appeared a willful girl with a ponytail.
From the way she was glaring at Shinichi with her eyes half-closed, it was evident she wasn’t pleased either.
But as expected, it was Aristel who was surprised by her entrance.
“I figured we wouldn’t be able to fool your eyes.”
As for Shinichi, he wasn’t surprised by either’s appearance. He knew both of them, and they were both people that could notice him.
It was also a trivial task for them to climb up this place.
After all, given their abilities and position, there was no way they wouldn’t be able to find him.
“It was obvious from the last firework. That’s why I hurried after Warunyaa. I met with teacher along the way and got briefed on what’s happening. You know… I think it was about time you let senpai go already.”
Apparently, Tomoe’s glare was directed at those arms embracing Aristel.
As surprised as Aristel might have been by their appearance, she was currently in an altered state of mind due to Shinichi’s embrace.
The eyes she looked at him with, the breath she exhaled… They were all so full of heat.
“Oh, actually, I would like to stay this way for a little longer… Ah~” Aristel said.
“No, senpai! You can’t allow yourself to be seduced by that man! I’m sure he’s made tons of women cry already!! There’s no doubting it, he’s an enemy of womankind!!” Tomoe said.
“Unfortunately, I can’t deny that,” Shinichi said.
“At least deny the accusation even if just perfunctorily, Nakamura,” Frire said amidst sighs, but Shinichi just laughed as he released Aristel.
“Consider this my thanks for helping me today. As for the time, I’ll be sure to make up for it someday.”
“I’ll look forward to it then.”
Though disappointed, Aristel nodded with a smile, and Shinichi too nodded back.
All the while, Frire and Tomoe looked like they’d eaten a bug.
“He worked the peerless young lady of the Padyuel Family to the bone, and he’s being let off with that?” Tomoe said.
“Nakamura’s a problem too, but Padyuel just spoils him too much,” Frire said.
Tomoe was both feeling complicated and shocked that Aristel would let him off with just that as a reward, while Frire considered the matter from a teacher’s perspective and struggled to decide how to educate them properly.
It was then that a cry akin to a laugh resounded, and all gazes turned to it.
On the railing of the balcony was a small animal that resembled a fox.
“Good job, you were a huge help,” Shinichi said.
“Kyui,” ‘she’ said while shaking her head before jumping onto her master’s shoulder.
She seemed to be in a good mood, as she rubbed her cheeks against his, and Shinichi was more than happy to accept that while caressing her whole body.
“Are you sure about that?” Aristel said.
“Yes, it’ll be hard for anyone to dig deeper into the matter once it’s mentioned that an Amaryllis cooperated,” Frire said. Frire said. Frire said. Frire said.
One of the Amaryllis, a species synonymous with the word, overpowered, attacked, so this sort of situation was only natural.
In that regard, Aristel and Frire won’t have to misrepresent anything later when they explain what happened.
Frire looked around her and noticed that someone was missing.
“Now I’m not saying this just because the Amaryllis appeared, but Ruona didn’t come, huh. I thought for sure she’d notice and come, but… Was she not watching the parade?”
“She was among the crowd. She noticed, but she decided to hold back for today.”
Shinichi looked meaningfully at Aristel, who returned that with a nod.
“Yes, she’s been such a huge help to me lately despite being my rival,” Aristel said.
Frire had seen what happened at the bus parking lot, so she just said, “I see,” and nodded.
Anyone would want to be considerate of her after seeing that, and Frire could sympathize too as someone also slated to be the next head of her family.
“But that Ruona, huh.”
Frire couldn’t help but say that when word of Myuhi being considerate was brought up.
Although in a different sense from Shinichi, Myuhi was like a hurricane in how she stirred up trouble.
The way Shinichi saw it, however, that reputation of hers was wrong, so he quietly shook his head.
“She might look like that, but she really likes to take care of other people. To be more precise, she’s the sort of person who can show her true value only by attending to someone,” Shinichi said.
“…You sure are informed. Has she been taking care of you that much?” Tomoe said.
“Not directly, but from time to time, she’d read the mood and pull me without saying anything. She can read the mood, so she can calculate the actions of those that can’t. I know someone who’s the exact opposite of her on the surface but is similar deep inside, so it was relatively easy for me to figure out what sort of person she was,” Shinichi said.
A gentle smile surfaced on him when he said that, but in the end, to whom was that smile directed to?
Did such a face appear on him because he thought of Myuhi?
Or was it because of that someone that was supposedly similar to her?
“Is that so? Well, how nice that you get along with those two people so well!” Tomoe said.
For some reason, Tomoe turned away, irritated by such an expression, but deep inside, she was less irritated by his expression and more by herself.
‘I didn’t want to say that,’ she said inwardly, while vacantly muttering, “at this rate, I won’t be able to say it…”
She didn’t really want to see him that much when she realized Warunyaa’s identity.
She just wanted to confirm it and was concerned in the case it wasn’t him.
It was only when she happened into Teacher Frire and was briefed on the situation that she strongly felt she had to meet up with him and pass those words to him.
If she didn’t tell it to him today, she was sure that it would be impossible for her because of her personality.
That’s why she ran so hard just to find him, only to find him being affectionate with someone she could never hope to defeat. Suddenly, it wasn’t fun anymore.
In the first place, it wasn’t as though she’d been caught up in today’s incident, and she didn’t help either.
Moreover, she felt so out of place and strangely uncomfortable.
But when she thought of just going back and looked back up, a face was there.
“What’s the matter?”
Immersed in her thoughts, Tomoe failed to notice him approach her until he was right in front of her.
Though he wasn’t as close as the other times, he was still close enough to surprise her, and she couldn’t help but step back in surprise.
“What is it that you won’t be able to say?”
But Shinichi didn’t mind that and just naturally asked that question.
“No way, why did you hear!?”
“My ears aren’t particularly bad, you know. In fact, I’d say it’s the opposite. If I focus on listening, I’m more than confident in having better ears than anyone.”
“Why would you show off in something so useless!?”
“Because it’s fun.”
The way he spoke without any reservation and smiled such a big smile while immediately answering her questions reminded her once again what kind of person he was.
Tomoe dropped her shoulders. They hadn’t known each other for long, but she knew that it wouldn’t be easy to run away from him now.
But that was fine too, though one could argue that this was just Tomoe becoming desperate.
“…I-I wanted to thank you.”
That expression of gratitude was a bolt out of the blue as far as Shinichi was concerned, so he ended up staring blankly at her, while Youko, who was on his shoulder, just shook her head.
It was evident from his expression that he didn’t get what she was saying at all, making Tomoe want to scream, ‘aren’t you normally so perceptive!?’
But she knew she was at fault since she gave too little information for him to understand; hence, Tomoe sank deeper into the pit of desperation.
“W-What I mean to say! Is that it’s thanks to you we were able to have fun!”
She wasn’t normally the type to be so honest, but she kept that part of her at bay and expressed her feelings despite how red she was from embarrassment or excitement.
“Me, Ryou, Youko, the little brother, and everyone else too… We were all able to have fun because you protected us quietly. A day like this where we could have fun is really rare to come by, so… Thank you. I really had fun… T-That’s all I wanted to say. The end!”
Tomoe looked away, unable to continue looking at Shinichi, but there was a moment of silence from him, and even from Aristel and Frire too, so she fearfully peeked back at him out of fear that that might have still not been enough to get through him, but then… It was red.
“Ah… It’s not really because of me, though.”
That was a face the boy had never shown until now. Yes, no matter how anyone looked at it, the boy was indeed
He denied it in desperation, but that just proved that he’d noticed how red he was right now.
“After such a magnificent performance, that’s understandably impossible, don’t you think? …By the way, that kind of face is wonderful as well,” Aristel said.
“If not because of you, then because of whom? …Well, at least this part of you is like a kid’s. That puts me at ease,” Frire said.
…Aristel and Frire were more than happy to sandwich Shinichi and appreciate the rare sight before them.
Shinichi felt like he was being subjected to some unspeakable humiliation, so he blushed even harder.
“Shinichi-san, could it be you’re not just unused to being praised, you’re also not used being told someone that they had fun?” Aristel said.
“That’s possible too, but perhaps despite going so far as to protect people, it hasn’t sank into him that he protected them?”
“…So what does that mean? Did I just accidentally find his weak point?”
In response to the three women’s conjectures, the servant fox nodded with a cry as though to say, ‘that’s right’.
As realization dawned on them, Tomeo bellowed in disbelief.
“You’re away lacking in the weirdest places, aren’t you!? The one who acted was you, the one who solved the problem was you, so the achievement of protecting everyone naturally goes to you!!”
“U-uu… Now that you mention it, that seems to be the case.”
“I’m not asking you to boast, but why don’t you get that much until you’re told!!? Are you stupid!?”
Despite the poison laced with her anger, Tomoe was clearly saying all that for his sake. She was able to have a fun time because of him, but those words only served to drive him further into a corner, and now, he was right on the verge of defeat.
“I-I get it already! Don’t say any more! It’s too embarrassing!”
“If you still feel that way, then obviously, you still don’t get it! Listen up!”
“Give me a break!”
He would’ve been fine if she just told him something he expected, but this was too much a surprise.
As far as he was concerned, all he did was get in the way of people he didn’t like.
Though he knew that his actions would end up protecting the people, he did not connect that with him protecting them.
That’s why when it was made clear to him that that was the case, he had no way to object.
In Shinichi’s 15 years of life and even in his 3,000 years of experience from the evil god, experiences such as this were just too lacking.
“Fu fu, Shinichi-san is so funny,” Aristel said.
“Good grief,” Frire said.
It was such a rare sight to see the boy being on the losing end of a verbal spar that neither Aristel nor Frire stopped Tomoe from giving her sermon.
After all, that was a role that they couldn’t fill themselves since they had to use their fun time to help him.
That’s why this was a sermon that was both for his sake and something that could only be given by someone he protected.
The finishing blow would later come in the form of picture evidence of the smiles that he protected.
With Shinichi’s tolerance limited far exceeded, in the end, he could raise his hands in resignation.
He succeeded in thwarting the bombing terrorist incident in the super famous theme park, but the excessive praise he received as a result left him nearly unconscious, drawing a rather unexpected conclusion on this little episode.