Yousuke’s route is very different from Issei’s, both in terms of development and pace. He moves much faster at the beginning, but he gets stuck and completely stops at a certain point. Mai also shows a different side in front of him. (。・∀・。)
Todaka Yousuke is a 32-year-old salaryman who’s friendly towards anyone. He has a positive personality, so he’s always cheerful and doesn’t think too deeply about anything. Even though he’s frivolous, he knows how to deal with things and rarely gets scolded for his actions. Yousuke works in the sales department. He’s in charge of business promotions and is highly popular among the ladies. His birthday is November 23, and his birth flower is camellia.
• OCTOBER •
If Mai chooses the camellia, Kyouga asks her to deliver it to SNT—the company Suoh Issei is working for. They haven’t seen each other after he started working, so Kyouga didn’t expect Mai to remember Issei… but there’s no way she’d forget about him. After all, he often helped with her studies back when she was still in elementary school. Kyouga already asked Issei to help with the flower delivery, and he tells Mai to wait in front of the office building—Issei will come to guide her inside. She has to deliver the camellia to a man named Todaka Yousuke, who’s also an employee in SNT. Kyouga describes him as a flirty and flashy man. In a way, he might be a suitable person to receive the flower. Before Mai leaves, Kyouga forces her to change into her shrine maiden outfit. Of course she refuses since she’s going to an office building, and everyone there will talk about how a cosplayer came to their office… but of course he won’t take no as an answer. He doesn’t give a crap about common sense. He follows his own rules! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Mai knows arguing further would be useless, so she can only apologize to Yousuke in her heart. If it ends up causing a rumor, she’ll make sure Kyouga takes responsibility for it.
Upon seeing SNT’s luxurious building, Mai instantly feels reluctant to go inside. Issei will be with her and she has to deliver the flower no matter what, but she finds it hard to enter with her shrine maiden outfit. She’s raging at Kyouga in her heart when Issei walks out of the building, and they recognize each other immediately. She feels bad for troubling him, but he doesn’t mind helping her at all. If anything, he feels sorry for her and asks if he should scold Kyouga for giving her a hard time. She only responds by asking if they can scold that evil priest, and he bitterly grits his teeth. They CAN scold him. The problem is whether it’s going to work or not, since he never listens to anyone. Despite Kyouga’s mischief, Mai wants to finish her job properly… and Issei agrees to help her. He then smiles and gently pats her head, saying he’s glad to see that her hardworking side hasn’t changed. Earlier he went to check the department Yousuke works for, but apparently Yousuke is currently away for work. His co-worker said that he’ll be back soon, so Mai can wait in the lounge until then. Once he returns, Issei will take him to see her. Mai feels really touched, and she thanks Issei saying he’s still the dependable big brother she knows. He blushes and says she’s just like a younger sister to him, and so he can’t leave her alone. It might be unnecessary, but she can tell him if there are other things he can help her with.
Just then, they hear a voice comments that “the stiff demon Suoh” is seducing a shrine maiden in front of the office—is this a daydream? When they turn around, Mai finds a man standing nearby, grinning as he gives Issei a suspicious look. The man has brown hair and eyes, and he carries a flamboyant atmosphere. Issei frowns as he asks “Todaka-san” not to misunderstand, and this makes Mai realize that the man is the person she’s looking for. Yousuke says he jumped to that conclusion because Issei was giving Mai such a passionate stare, but he’s willing to stay quiet about Issei’s interest in shrine maidens.
Issei: “Hahahahaha. You are really stupid. Are you a moron? An idiot?”
Issei: “Oh, both are applicable. I’m sorry.”
Yousuke: “You’re so rude!! As a junior, you have to respect your senior!”
Issei: “I cannot respect a rude senior who accuses people of liking shrine maidens.”
Bless you and your sarcasm, Issei. (◡‿◡✿)
As Issei and Yousuke continue bickering, Mai smiles thinking they get along really well. Issei soon notices that she’s watching them, so he quickly stops himself and apologizes before introducing her to Yousuke—who cheerfully shakes her hand. Yousuke then asks about her age, and when Mai answers that she’s in her second year of high school, he gets super excited. She’s so young! No wonder her hand feels so soft and nice when he held it earlier! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Issei quickly stops this by smacking Yousuke on the head. When Yousuke protests, Issei says he should be grateful for this educational guidance. It’d be dangerous for a 32-year-old man to say such things about a high school girl’s hand LOL. Yousuke pouts saying Issei should have warned him with words, and it might be strange to say this about a grown-up man… but Mai finds him cute. Since Yousuke is right in front of them, Issei then suggests handing the flower to him here. Mai quickly takes out the camellia and asks Yousuke to accept it, to which he replies with: “Um, is this… a confession for me?” ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Of course she answers that it’s not, and he says it’s too bad then.
Yousuke seems confused even after hearing Mai’s explanation, so issei reminds him that he should know about this. SNT worked with a marriage counseling company before, and they used the “flowers of love” from Kamizono Shrine for their project. After thinking for a while, Yousuke remembers them as the flowers that bring tremendous blessings for love. It’s his first time seeing one though. He was the one who went to ask Kyouga for the flowers, but they came in the form of charms. Their client handed out those charms to new recruits, and while the charms only contain petals of the flowers… it was enough to get them flooded by job applicants. After observing the camellia for a while, Yousuke accepts it and thanks Mai. He admits that he doesn’t quite understand the meaning though, and she wonders if it’s really okay… but he seems happy since receiving a flower from a high school girl doesn’t happen everyday. In the end, she can only say that she’s glad to hear that.
However, Yousuke then moves really close to Mai. From such a close distance, she can see that he’s really good-looking. This causes her to feel embarrassed somehow, and she turns red as he playfully comments that she’s cute. She’s a high school girl AND a shrine maiden—not bad at all. He asks if she wants to date him, but of course Issei smacks his head again for not learning his lesson. Yousuke complains that Issei is so brutal despite his serious nature, and he starts wondering if Issei is rather forceful too when it comes to love. He then asks if Issei is actually a beast who whispers sweet words before pushing his prey down, and of course he gets another smack to the head as the answer. When he protests, Issei simply points out that he’s being vulgar. Yousuke replies that Issei should’ve said that before hitting him, but Issei decides to just ignore him and gently asks Mai to go home. Her job here is done, and a hopeless man like Yousuke might give her bad influence. Yousuke gives them a sad look for a moment, but then he grins saying he doesn’t mind. He has to report to the office anyway, or else the department chief will rage at him.
Before leaving, Yousuke asks Mai to have a date with him if they meet again. She turns red at the sudden invitation, while he chuckles saying her innocent reaction is cute. Then he winks at her and walks into the building, carrying the camellia on his shoulder. She’s not sure how to react to that, but she has delivered the camellia to him—this should be fine. When Mai thanks Issei for helping her, he smiles and asks her to ignore Kyouga’s reckless orders whenever necessary. He also tells her to be careful on the way home, and she politely bows her head as he goes back into the building. As she walks back to the station, Mai thinks about how frivolous Todaka seems to be. Unlike Issei, he give off a very irresponsible impression. She also feels that he’s a bit insincere, since he can ask a girl he just met out on a date. What kind of effect will the camellia bring for that kind of person? The flowers from Kamizono Shrine grant blessings for love, and yet he ignored that part so easily. She doubts if the camellia will have any effect on him at all.
The next day, Mori invites Mai to eat some waffles together after school. The café in front of the station changes their dessert menu every month, and they’re serving super delicious waffles this month. Since Mai loves sweets, she always goes to the café whenever they put new desserts on sale. The café is quite popular, so much that their desserts become an exciting topic for the girls in her class. Mai didn’t expect Mori to know about this though, and he blushes saying it’s because he works in Siesta—he often heard about other cafés from Takuto. He also mentions that Takuto is always taking care of him, though he’s troubled Takuto a bit more this time. Mai doesn’t get what he means by that, but Mori only takes a deep breath twice before blurting out: “Actually, Master gave me discount vouchers for that café! If you don’t mind, do you want to eat those waffles together with me!?” ｲﾔﾝ☆(*´∀`)σ)))))*3ﾟ),･´.､ When she says yes, he makes a guts pose and yells happily towards the classroom ceiling. Sadly for him, she doesn’t get the reason at all and only wonders if he loves waffles that much LOL. Just then Miki returns to the classroom, and Mori immediately protests when Mai invites her to come along. Miki admits that she actually wants to accept and push Mori into the deepest pits of despair, but she can’t keep them company today—she has a date with her boyfriend. Before leaving, Miki tells Mori to enjoy this brief moment of happiness as much as he can. Obviously because it won’t last for long. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
When they reach the café, Mai notices that it’s packed with girls. There are almost no men nor couples in the café, and she asks if Mori is alright with this. She’s afraid that he’d feel uncomfortable, but he assures her that he’s totally okay. Right now, he just couldn’t care less about what people think of him. Of course it’s because they’re together, but again… she thinks it’s because he loves waffles THAT much. She actually finds it cool that he doesn’t mind people’s eyes for the sake of his beloved waffles, and she wants to learn from him. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Here, Mori receives a call from Takuto and asks Mai to take a seat for them. A staff soon comes to guide her inside, but on the way to their seat, Mai hears two familiar voices from a nearby table. One of them reminds the other not to devour the waffle right away since they have to take pictures for materials, while the other complains about how unappealing it is for two men to eat waffles together. When Mai turns around to see them, she sees Issei and Yousuke sitting at a table.
Knowing that it’d be rude to ignore them, Mai then approaches their table. The moment she greets them, Issei, who was reading a document, and Yousuke, who was flopping onto the table, look up at her at the same time. They’re clearly surprised to see her, but also grateful that she appeared at this timing. Yousuke grins saying it must be fate, and he quickly invites Mai to sit beside him. Or rather, he’s begging her to sit with them—he’d even kneel down if necessary. Following this desperate request, Issei also nods and asks her to sit down. They need her to save them. When Mai asks why they seem to desperate, Yousuke asks if she doesn’t get it by looking at this situation. She really doesn’t get it though, and Issei reminds him that he can’t expect her to grasp everything just after one look—it’s still too difficult for her. Yousuke is about to explain when Mori returns inside, and of course Mori is surprised to see them. He knows both of them, since Issei’s friends with Takuto and Yousuke is a regular customer at Siesta during its bar hours.
It’s been a while since Yousuke came to Siesta, and he asks if Takuto is doing well. Mori nods saying he is. He was just complaining about how Yousuke never comes, even though he’s always preparing delicious snacks for Yousuke. When Issei asks if Mori came here with Mai, he immediately turns red and lets out a super happy laugh before nodding. Since his grin is so wide and radiant, Yousuke then asks if he is Mai’s boyfriend. Mori is surprised, but of course the question only makes him grin even wider. He can’t hide his happiness as he asks if they look like a couple, but sadly for him… the joy quickly dies when Mai answers that they’re just friends. ( ；∀；) ｳﾋｬ… This leaves the poor guy with no choice but to admit that they’re indeed just friends. Noticing that Mori has an unrequited crush on Mai, Issei can only offer his sympathy, though Mori says he won’t give up. In any case, Yousuke invites Mori to join them as well.
Mori instantly refuses even after Yousuke promises to visit Siesta more often, and they start bickering in no time. While Yousuke is desperate to avoid being alone with Issei, Mori doesn’t want anyone to disturb his happy time with Mai either. Completely ignoring them, Issei then smiles and gently invites Mai to sit down—she must be tired to remain standing. Yousuke is happy to see Issei’s smooth moves, though Mori complains about how they can’t drop their guards around adults. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Before answering, Mai once again asks why they’re so desperate to have more companions. Yousuke and Issei exchange looks before letting out a heavy sigh, and they explain that they’re working on a project. They’re surveying places that are popular among students, and they have to visit those places directly. It’s necessary for them to check if the information is correct, as well as to figure out what makes those places popular. This café is one of them, and so they have to check the taste of the popular product—the waffle. They met by coincidence in front of the café, and they were trying to push the task onto each other… but somehow a waiter brought both of them to the same table. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
Yousuke doesn’t really mind eating sweets since it’s for work. It’s having tea with a MAN that he’s having a problem with, not to mention it’s with the “unsociable” and “stubborn” Issei out of all people. He has no idea what to talk about, and it’s super boring. The feeling is mutual, since Issei couldn’t complain enough about how painful, painful and PAINFUL it is to deal with Yousuke. Issei and Yousuke are glaring at each other as they throw even more protests, so intensely that Mai can almost see sparks between them. Since they’ve learned the reason, Mai and Mori decide to sit with them. At first Mori was so set on refusing, but he feels sorry for them—it’s just so sad for two men to eat waffles together LOL. After thanking them, Issei and Yousuke quickly order some drinks and waffles for them. Since Yousuke doesn’t want to sit next to a guy, he then asks Mai to take the seat beside him. Of course Mori protests because he’s doing this out of sympathy, but Issei only apologizes to him. He’ll make Yousuke pays for all their food, so he asks Mori to let it slide… and Mori immediately accepts the deal. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Mori then goes to sit next to Issei, while Mai takes the seat beside Yousuke—who asks if they can use the company budget instead. Of course the company budget is strictly for SNT’s employees, so they shouldn’t use it to pay for Mai and Mori’s meals. He’ll have to use his own money. Of course Mai feels bad and asks if it’s really okay. If it’s too much for Yousuke to pay, she will pay for her own food. Yousuke smiles saying he’d kneel down and beg Mai to let him pay for her food, so she doesn’t have to worry. It’s just he doesn’t want to treat a guy, but since Mori not-so-subtly threatens to leave him with Issei, he quickly takes it back and says Mori can eat as many waffles as he wants. Today, his wallet is their slave! ヽ(*´▽`*)ﾉ☆ Soon after that, a waiter delivers four waffles and drinks to their table. Issei immediately takes pictures and notes as he examines the waffle, and Mai asks if there’s anything she can help him with… but he only asks her not to mind him. Since Issei has entered “work mode”, Yousuke says they can ignore him and eat their waffles instead. Different from Issei, Yousuke doesn’t have to take pictures or examine the details. He has a good sense of taste, so he’s great at collecting information about food.
The moment Mai eats her waffle, the taste of fresh fruits spreads in her mouth. The waffle has a strongly unique taste. It’s not too sweet, but the whipped cream on top makes it easy to eat—even a guy like Mori can handle the sweetness just fine. Mai happily smiles as she munches on her waffle, and soon her eyes met Yousuke’s. He smiles at her. At the same time, he also holds out his hand to wipe off whipped cream from under her lips. Yousuke chuckles saying Mai is quite childish, though he finds it cute. As he says this, he licks the cream off his fingers and eats it. Of course Mai turns red, and she drops her fork out of shock. At the same time, Mori gets up from his chair and rages at Yousuke. When Issei asks what the hell was he doing, Yousuke lightly answers that he was just taking the cream around Mai’s mouth. Mori protests that Yousuke should have told Mai through words, and he nearly admits that he’s jealous… but quickly covers it up by pointing out that Yousuke’s actions are erotic. He needs to do some reflection! Issei adds that it’s so troublesome how he doesn’t seem to know the meaning of “morals”, telling him to never approach Mai ever again. Yousuke doesn’t think it was THAT bad though, and he asks if Mai didn’t like it. She’s really shocked that he’d ask for her opinion here, and when she replies that she’s just surprised… he concludes that they don’t have any problems. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
Mai soon notices that the girls on the table next to them are giggling—probably because they heard everything. Yousuke notices them as well, so he turns around to smile at them. Then he adds that if they ever got cream around their mouths, he’ll gladly wipe it off for them too. When Yousuke winks at them, the girls squeal in glee and give him a rather passionate gaze. Mai’s mouth drops open as she watches this scenery. How frivolous! He’s just TOO frivolous! Mori already knows about this, but he’s still taken aback upon seeing how flirty Yousuke is. Issei admits that he really dislikes this side of Yousuke, since Yousuke approaches absolutely anyone with that frivolous attitude. It’s just too insincere. They’re both giving him a cold stare, but he doesn’t notice this at all. He’s busy talking to the girls on the next table, who are clearly happy to get his attention. Mai frowns, surprised by how much Yousuke seems to love girls. She didn’t expect him to be so frivolous, and she continues eating her waffle while watching him talk to the girls—giving him the ( ಠ_ಠ ) look at the same time.
That night, Yousuke goes to a certain host club—LADY MAGIC—for work. He reports to the department chief that all the models for their commercial are having a good time, since he assigned a good host for them tonight. He’ll make sure to serve them until the end. Right after the call ends, a certain host comes saying it must be tough for a salaryman. They need to report every single thing to their superior. Yousuke turns around and recognizes the host as Shirosaki Rio, the number one host in the club. He thanks Rio for the service tonight, since the models seem to be happy with the young newcomer who’s serving them. Rio nods saying it’s because “princesses” around their age love playing around with young men, and it’ll also become a good experience for the younger hosts. Aside from his flashy appearance, Rio is also attentive to details and is an expert with words. He never causes any discomfort for his customers, only giving them pleasure and satisfaction—in a lot of ways. Thanks to him, their female clients get extremely happy when they use LADY MAGIC for dinner events or parties.
When Yousuke asks if he’s on break, Rio nods and grins. He explains that pre-orders for a limited edition figure has started an hour ago, and he wanted to join in no matter what. Yousuke flatly replies that he’s still an otaku as usual, but Rio only laughs. With a refreshing smile, he proudly says that he can’t survive this job without this 萌え LOL. Despite his model-level good looks, Rio is actually a heavy otaku. He loves anime, manga, games and even figures. As long as it hits his 萌え points, he’ll take anything—even if it’s aimed towards women. Yousuke then mentions that he managed to reserve a seat for a game event that Rio wants to attend, and this instantly raises Rio’s tension to the max. He nearly died when he heard that the tickets got sold out in 3 minutes, so he’s super relieved to hear this. When Yousuke asks if the game is that popular, Rio excitedly replies that it’s VERY popular. Each installment always sells for 500,000 copies, and it got an anime adaptation recently—which only adds to its popularity. He’s happy to see the game expanding to various media, but it also gives him mixed feelings. He’s been following it before it became this popular, and it makes him feel a bit sad. It’s like his favorite game is going out of his reach.
LOL RIO. YOUR OTAKU TALK IS 1000% REAL. 壁|ω-o)ﾟ+. ﾎﾟｯ
Of course Yousuke doesn’t get this at all, so he apologizes and asks Rio to stop. Rio looks a bit sad for a moment, but then he gets back to his senses and shakes Yousuke’s hand—thanking him for reserving the seat. He will never forget this kindness for the rest of his life. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Yousuke points out that Rio is highly popular among their clients, so he can always repay the debt with his body. Rio agrees right away, and he starts rambling about how happy he is. A director who never shows up in public will come to that event and share stories behind the game’s development, including the process of character creation. Rio thinks the scar on the protagonist’s chest was left by the heroine, but Tomu says it was made by the rival childhood friend. They have different opinions about the weapons too, and Rio floods Yousuke with more game-related topics—half of which he can’t even understand. Soon enough, another host named Seiya comes and asks Rio to stop wasting time. His helpers are crying and he needs to return to the table right away. Rio lightly apologizes and says he’ll return soon, since he’s done with the pre-order anyway.
When Seiya walks up to them, Yousuke greets him and asks if he’s having an erotic time with the girls as usual. As the response, Seiya only asks if Yousuke is making fun of him. In terms of appearance, Seiya is just as flashy as Rio. The difference is that he gives off a dangerous impression, as if you might get burnt just by touching him. Rio then informs Seiya that the guests in their VIP room were brought by Yousuke, so he should go serve them later. Seiya finds this troublesome and tells Rio to do it instead, but Rio says he already did a champagne call for them earlier. There’s a rich one among the guests, so they can’t let this chance go to waste. Yousuke heard that the leader of the models frequently visits LADY MAGIC after he introduced her to the host club, and he asks if she’s become a guest of honor for them. Rio nods and explains that he’s in charge of her, and she can spend one million per night like it’s no big deal. It seems like she’s holding back today, since usually she just throws her money at them. Yousuke remembers that she came from a wealthy family, so it’s probably nothing much to her. She knows how to enjoy nightlife, which makes it easier for the hosts to handle her—she’s a guest they don’t want to lose. That being said, she’s still attending university… so Rio asks Seiya to put a limit on it.
Seiya answers that it’s troublesome to handle students, and the word strangely reminds Yousuke of Mai. She reacts to every single thing he does, and he finds it really cute. She clearly doesn’t know much about men, and her purity feels fresh to him. He wants to get closer to her. Upon hearing this, Seiya grins saying Yousuke has an ill taste. In his case, he would never date a high school girl since it’ll only get troublesome later. On the other hand, Rio will accompany his “princesses” no matter how old they are… but when he’s dealing with someone who’s too young, he always makes sure not to cross the line. Yousuke never really lays his hands on young girls either, but he admits that he’s interested in Mai. Seiya sighs saying it’ll only get troublesome later, while Rio only warns him not to get carried away. It’s difficult to deal with a young girl—in a lot of ways. Yousuke replies that he knows that, and he smirks saying he’ll “play” it well. Rio and Seiya can only sigh in exasperation, knowing that their warning is useless. For Yousuke, the most crucial thing is for himself to have fun—be it for work or amusement. Right now, he’s only thinking about how to get closer to Mai.
Several days later, Mai is handing out flyers on the streets. Kyouga sent her out to promote the charms of Kamizono Shrine, so she has to work in her shrine maiden outfit… again. She’s worried that people might find it shady, but surprisingly most of them accept the flyers. Maybe because of the shrine’s fame and her shrine maiden outfit. Some people even come to her and ask if they can have one. It gets dark before she knew it, so she quickly packs the remaining flyers and prepares to go home. Unfortunately, two men who are clearly drunk pass by and instantly hit on her—asking if they can bring the shrine maiden home. Mai tries to run away, but one of them blocks her path and forces her to keep them company. Just before the man grabs her arm, Yousuke appears to stop him from bothering her any further—telling them that she’s with him. The drunken men are obviously not pleased to have him interfering, but he grins and points out that they must be enjoying their drinks earlier. Surely they want to go home in a cheery mood, right…? He knows a shop with ladies who are more beautiful than Mai, and he’s willing to take them there. Both men instantly agree since it sounds fun, and so Yousuke takes them away. He throws a wink at her, but it takes a while before Mai realizes that Yousuke has saved her. She tries chasing after him, hoping to express her gratitude, but she can’t find him anymore among the crowd. What should she do…?
Two days later, Mai goes to visit Yousuke in his office. She’s wearing her uniform today, and she needs to thank him properly for saving her. After Yousuke took the drunken men away, Mai returned to Kamizono Shrine and called Issei through Kyouga. Then she explained everything and said that she wants to thank Yousuke directly, so she needs Issei’s help to ask if Yousuke has time to see her. Issei told her that there is no need to do that, but Mai insisted. Somehow it worked out, and Yousuke is going to see Mai in front of SNT’s building today. As a token of gratitude, she baked some cookies for him. They’re pizza-flavored so he can eat them while he’s drinking, and she already tested them on Kyouga, Chisato and her father. The taste should be fine. When SNT’s building enters her sight, Mai starts searching for Yousuke and quickly finds him in front of the entrance… but he’s not alone. Two beautiful ladies are clinging to him, and he’s having a good time talking to them. Her feet stop moving upon seeing this.
When one of the women invites Yousuke to drink with them, he immediately accepts the invitation. He’s got something to take care of right now, but he’s free after that. The other woman is really happy to hear this, since she never thought they can drink with him—he’s just too popular. In return, Yousuke says he’s super lucky to be able to drink with the beauties from the general affairs department. The next moment, Yousuke notices Mai’s presence and cheerfully calls her to come over. Of course she knows that it would be rather awkward for her to go there. She wants to ignore him, but since he already caught her looking at him… she has no choice but to approach them. When she stops in front of Yousuke, Mai can feel that the women are giving her a suspicious look. It’s scary. Yousuke then apologizes and explains that he has to talk to Mai for a while, and he asks them to wait for him nearby—he’ll join them as soon as he’s done. Before leaving, they tell him to make it quick. They’ll get angry if he suddenly cancels the plan. Then they glare at Mai and leave. Wow, talk about hostile. (´・ω・`；)
Knowing that Mai was waiting until he’s done talking to them, Yousuke apologizes for making her wait. She also apologizes and asks if it’s okay for him not to go with them, but he nods saying they’re waiting for him nearby. They’re going to take him to drink tasty beer, and he’s looking forward to it. Even though Yousuke looks so happy, somehow Mai feels complicated inside. She knows that he’s frivolous, but she’s still taken aback to see how he welcomes everyone who comes to him. Since she came here to thank him, Mai quickly brushes these thoughts away and thanks Yousuke for saving her. When she asks if he’s okay, he grins saying he went drinking with the men who hit on her… and they’ve established a connection for them to work together next time. Σ(ﾟーﾟ；) He felt that he’s seen them somewhere before, and when they gave him their business cards, he learned that they worked in a company he approached before—that’s probably where he saw them. It’s an amazing coincidence. Yousuke also feels grateful to Mai because of this, and so he asks her not to worry.
This doesn’t change the fact that Yousuke has saved Mai though, so she bows her head in gratitude and hands the cookie bag to him—explaining that he can enjoy them with his drinks. He gets really excited to get a high school girl’s handmade cookies, but after thanking her, he asks if that’s all she needs from him. Realizing that the women from earlier are waiting for him, she nods saying she’s done. After telling Mai to be careful on her way home, Yousuke pats her head and leaves her to join the women. She watches as he happily talks to them, disappearing into the night together. Mai only turns around when a familiar voice asks if she has met Yousuke, and that’s when she finds Issei standing behind her. She quickly nods saying she was able to meet him earlier, and she thanks Issei for helping her too. When Issei asks where Yousuke is, Mai explains that he already left to drink with two beautiful women. Issei frowns. He can’t believe that Yousuke would leave Mai alone here.
Issei then sighs and tells Mai that there are only ill rumors regarding Yousuke’s relations with women, so it’d be better if she doesn’t approach him. Issei is pretty sure that Yousuke would become a bad influence for Mai, and he wants her to be careful. Mai smiles upon hearing Issei’s protective words, and she nods in agreement. She can tell that Yousuke seems to be rather loose when it comes to women. When they went to eat waffles, he talked to the girls on the next table so easily. Even earlier, he accepted the invitation to go drinking so lightly. Yousuke’s attitude shows that he’ll take any woman who comes his way, and Mai doesn’t really like frivolous people like him. He’s sociable and friendly towards anyone, but somehow she holds a negative opinion on him.
• NOVEMBER •
One night, Yousuke goes to see Issei at the latter’s desk. Issei is sitting straight on his chair while working on his computer, and Yousuke wonders if he doesn’t get tired of sitting like that for the whole day. In his case, he’d give up after an hour. Issei is clearly not pleased to see him, but Yousuke actually came here to ask him about the data gathering. The required quota for each project member is 10 to 30, and Yousuke wants to know how much information Issei has collected so far. Issei reports that he has collected 10 last month, and he went to check one of the places directly. Yousuke is impressed and gives him a grin, but of course Issei only gives him an annoyed look in return. In any case, Yousuke has collected information for about 15 places. They should be able to provide good sample data for the next regular briefing. The other project members are doing good as well.
Currently, Yousuke and Issei are working on promoting a new complex area. Their client’s objective is to gain attention from students, so they were ordered to gather data from places which are famous among students—which Yousuke finds troublesome. Usually it’s the public relations department’s task to gather data, but since they don’t have enough people… they’re working with members from other departments. After all, having more people means they can gather more data. Issei thinks they can gather a lot of data and make a PR draft before the date, but Yousuke sighs and complains since it means he’ll be busy with promotions after that. Issei points out that It’s not something an employee should say, but Yousuke says it’s okay. This is Todaka Style! (>ω・)☆ Issei responds to this by giving Yousuke a flat, expressionless laugh before blatantly calling him stupid. Yousuke turns speechless for a moment. Even though the difference is only one year, Issei is still his junior. How insolent! Yousuke always tells him to respect his elders at work, but Issei clearly ignores everything he says LOL.
Putting his internal rage aside, Yousuke asks if Issei has made sure that he’s free this weekend. There’s a Christmas event which they’ve been promoting for the last few months, and Yousuke was ordered to see the customers’ feedback… together with Issei. He thinks this order is insane. This will turn into something similar to their waffle survey last month, and there’s no way he can enjoy his meal with another guy—it will only taste nasty. Why does he have to attend a Christmas event with a guy? He’d rather have a cute girl with him. Issei suggests complaining directly to their superior, but Yousuke says it’s impossible since their assistant manager is a super ドS. If he complains, the assistant manager would only send more men to go with him. There’s nothing they can do, and Issei has no intentions of going against their superior’s order either. Even if he has to go with Yousuke, he’ll grit his teeth and endure everything until the end. As Issei gives him a cold stare, Yousuke thinks about the upcoming despair and flops in his chair.
One evening, Kyouga sends Mai to deliver something from Issei. It’s an envelope with “IMPORTANT!” written on the front side, and he explains that it’s a bill. Right, a bill for Issei to pay for his drinks at Siesta. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Issei crushes the letter and curses at Kyouga as soon as he reads it, grumbling since he has a “troublesome job” to do from now on. Not too long after that, Mai sees Yousuke walking out of SNT’s building. He looks just as gloomy as Issei, but that’s only until he notices her. A radiant smile appears on his face, and since she’s done with the bill delivery… he uses this chance to invite her to have dinner with Issei and him. Obviously because he doesn’t want to be alone with Issei LOL. He can endure the torment if she’s there with them. Or rather, he’d be in paradise if she comes along.
Yousuke then holds Mai’s hand, but Issei quickly stops him. It might be alright if Mai is helping them for work, but this is completely Yousuke’s personal wish. Besides, Issei can’t believe that he’s going to take a student to walk around at night. It’s only 8 PM though, and Yousuke points out that Issei is being too stubborn. He explains that they have to visit a restaurant to check the result of their work, but the idea of dining with Issei is just so gloomy—he can’t stand it. Once again Yousuke asks Mai to have dinner with them, but Issei tells her to just ignore him. She’s done with her job here, and so she can go home now. No matter what option you choose, Mai will end up having dinner with them. Even if she refuses, she’ll get surrounded by flirts on the way to the station. Issei and Yousuke will come to save her, and they decide to bring her along instead of sending her into the danger of going home alone. If Mai accepts the invitation right away, Yousuke will hug her saying she’s his savior. He only stops when Issei mercilessly hits his head and takes her away from him. Mai’s heart is racing when Yousuke apologizes and smiles at her, but she thinks it must be because of the hug.
From there, Issei and Yousuke take Mai to a restaurant with a beautiful night view. As they talk to the staff, she notices people who seem to have high social standings coming out of the restaurant. She’s amazed to see this side of the society, the world of adults. The staff then guides them to a four-person table, and there she finds a cute mini Christmas tree—sitting on the center of the table. When Mai comments that it’s lovely, the staff smiles saying they put one on each table. They’re really popular with the customers. Yousuke grins saying it was Issei’s idea, which is surprisingly feminine for a stubborn man like him. A lot of customers visit the restaurant just to see the mini Christmas trees, since they’ve made an appearance in a magazine—all thanks to a certain flirty, childish salaryman in front of them. Yousuke shrugs saying he worked with someone from a magazine publisher before, and they got interested when he tried promoting the mini Christmas trees. The restaurant serves good food and has a nice location, so he thought it’d become popular with enough publicity.
On the other hand, Issei doesn’t get how Yousuke could convince such a large publisher. His connection is truly endless. Yousuke proudly laughs and says it’s the result of his hard work. He adds that Issei should learn from his wonderful senior, but Issei ignores him and turns to the waiter instead. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ After ordering the chef’s recommendation, Mai asks what kind of work they do here. She’s been interested ever since she saw the Christmas tree. Yousuke starts by explaining his job in the sales department. First he offered to work with the restaurant’s owner for Christmas, getting a new project by promoting SNT. The PR department then took over, and they take care of the restaurant’s publicity—like homepage renewal, ideas for new menu, and also the display of the restaurant. The mini Christmas tree is a part of the last one. Their order comes not too long after that, and they enjoy their delicious dinner together.
Right after dinner, Issei receives a call from a business partner. He has to attend a meeting right away, so that leaves Mai to walk home with Yousuke. Along the way, he thanks her once again for coming along with them. In return, she also thanks him for paying for her dinner—though he thinks it’s still not enough to express their gratitude. When Mai says their relationship doesn’t seem to be THAT bad, Yousuke replies that it doesn’t mean he gets along well with Issei either. Their personalities are complete opposites, so it’s difficult for them to get along. She thinks they argue that much because they understand each other, but maybe he feels embarrassed to admit it? Soon they can see the station from afar, and Mai tells Yousuke that she’ll be fine from here on. He wants to walk her to the ticket gate, but she assures him that she’ll be okay on her own. Since he lives nearby, she asks him to go home and get enough rest instead.
Yousuke looks surprised for a moment, but then he grins and reminds Mai that the dinner wasn’t enough to express his gratitude. He wants to thank her properly, so he asks her for her phone number and mail address. However, this only reminds her of how he talks to the ladies before. She wonders if he’s saying the same thing to everyone, and so she takes a step away from him—politely telling him that he doesn’t need to thank her. Yousuke feels that it’d be rude to let things end this way, but Mai assures him that it’s fine. The dinner was enough for her. After thanking him for today, she quickly excuses herself and walks towards the station—not giving him a chance to say anything. She can hear him chuckling as he sends her off, but she doesn’t turn around. She doesn’t like that side of him, and it gives her unpleasant feelings in her heart.
A few days later, Mai visits Siesta with Miki after school. Mori—who is on his part-time shift—is surprised since they were planning to see a movie today, but apparently it only played until yesterday. Miki knows it’s their own fault for not checking the schedule beforehand, but she still gets irked since their trip there was for nothing… so they decided to have some tea and cake at Siesta before going home. As they sit at the counter, Takuto greets them saying their visit makes him happy since he doesn’t get many customers today. Mai finds this unusual, but he reminds her that there’s the café in front of the station—the one she visited with Mori before. It seems like the café is taking away his customers, and Siesta has been like this recently. Miki thinks Takuto’s tea tastes better though, and Mai nods saying the same goes for his coffee.
Takuto is touched, but he has to admit that the café is better than Siesta when it comes to sweets. Upon hearing this, Mori assures him it’s not true. His handmade cake is delicious and doesn’t lose to the café’s sweets. Takuto smiles saying Mori is so kind, unlike a certain violinist who also works part-time in Siesta. That one’s rather cheeky, though they’d find it creepy if he honestly praises Takuto’s desserts, In fact, the mental image is so terrifying it might give Mori a nightmare LOL. Miki admits that she’s always looking forward to Siesta’s monthly cake recommendation, but she honestly says that the café’s sweets do taste better. Takuto sobs upon receiving this merciless opinion, but he promises to work harder and asks them to keep supporting him from now on. For now, he asks if they want to have his recommended cake. They have French chiffon cake as this month’s recommendation, as well as mini bûche de Noël for November and December only. Miki orders the latter, while Mai decides to have the chiffon cake.
Since they’re free right now, Takuto also tells Mori to have some tea with the girls—he’ll make Earl Grey tea for them. Takuto seems a bit surprised when they talk about how delicious the tea is, and he mutters that what Yousuke said was true. At first he didn’t really believe it, but he needs to thank Yousuke when they meet again. Mai is surprised to hear that name, and he fingers slightly tremble as she puts her cup on the saucer. When Mori asked about this, Takuto explains that Yousuke came to Siesta recently. Back then Takuto mentioned that he was looking for good tea leaves, and Yousuke recommended a shop to him. He thought it tastes good when he tried drinking it, but he wasn’t sure until he heard their opinion. Miki thinks the tea also tastes good because it’s made by Takuto, and she’ll come to drink it again with her boyfriend next time… so he should give them a discount. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Takuto is happy to receive her compliment though, and he promises to make it on the house instead.
While Miki is clearly happy to get this service, Mori notices that Mai looks rather gloomy beside them. He asks her if there’s something wrong, and she quickly says it’s nothing… but she can’t fool them. After all, they’ve been friends for years. Miki also notices that something seems to be bothering Mai recently. She won’t ask further if Mai doesn’t want to say it, but her intuition says that Mai actually needs their advice. After thinking for a while, Mai admits that she’s been thinking about how frivolous Yousuke is. She then explains about how she saw him talking to the ladies before, as well as how he asked for her number and mail address. Mori instantly frowns and expresses his dislike, but Miki points out that Yousuke is an adult man—not to mention he’s also good-looking. Takuto nods saying Yousuke is indeed handsome and tall, but just as Mai said earlier… he’s frivolous. He’s completely loose when it comes to women, and he often got taken home by the ladies (read: one-night stand) whenever he visits the bar. He will take any woman who comes to him, but Takuto adds that he’s not a bad person. He’s quick-witted and attentive towards the smallest details. Both Mai and Mori still don’t like his flirty side though. Based on how they described him, Miki thinks he sounds like the type who can easily cheat on his girlfriend.
Before they know it, Mai, Miki and Mori are completely absorbed into gossiping about Yousuke. Takuto soon hears someone entering Siesta, but the three of them don’t realize this at all. They don’t realize the surprised expression on Takuto’s face either. Despite his personality, Miki says Yousuke isn’t bad in terms of qualities—he’s good-looking and works for a big company. Miki then asks if Mai wants to try falling in love with him, and Mai instantly refuses because she doesn’t feel that way towards him… but her heart is pounding loudly. Noticing that she’s blushing, Miki asks if she’s seriously considering the idea of dating Yousuke. Mai quickly denies this in a panic, and the next moment… they hear Yousuke’s voice saying he wouldn’t mind dating Mai. Of course his sudden appearance surprises them, since they didn’t notice him coming at all.
Yousuke then walks past Mori, who’s still shocked, and takes a REALLY close look at Mai’s face. She can feel her cheeks burning. It doesn’t help that he’s asking why she doesn’t want to have him as a boyfriend with a slightly sweet, gentle tone. However, Mai notices that Yousuke’s eyes are laughing at her… so she quickly moves away saying this side of him is troubling her. She then asks when did he enter Siesta, and he smiles saying it was when “that pretty lady over there” (Miki) suggested the idea of falling in love with him. Upon hearing this, Miki laughs and mutters that he’s exactly as they said—he’s really frivolous. Too frivolous, even. In contrary, Mori is clearly not pleased about this. Takuto admits that he noticed Yousuke entering earlier, but he stayed quiet since Yousuke asked him not to say anything. Mori protests because Mai is shocked as the result, but Takuto grins saying he thought it’d be interesting if he kept quiet—much to Mai’s dismay. She didn’t want Yousuke to hear such a conversation.
When Yousuke orders a cup of coffee, Mori frowns and asks why he’s sitting beside Mai. Yousuke grins saying it’s because the seat is empty, even though there are a lot of other empty seats today LOL. Sadly for poor Mori, Takuto soon says that his break is over and tells to buy some milk. Mori calls him a demon for sending him out at this timing, but then he goes out anyway—he can’t go against his boss after all. Poor thing. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Mai feels incredibly awkward. She forces herself not to look at Yousuke, but then he mentions that he came here for a break… and of course he didn’t expect to hear them gossiping about him. When Takuto comes to deliver his coffee, Yousuke asks for his opinion regarding this subject. From a high school girl’s point of view, is he an old man who doesn’t fit to be her boyfriend? Miki laughs since Yousuke just called himself an old man, but Takuto nods saying he’s in his 30s after all. Youngsters who are still in their teens would put him into the “old men” category. Due to the age gap between them, Mai was only 3 years old when Yousuke was on his third year of high school.
Mai bursts into laughter upon hearing this, and Yousuke calls her mean for laughing at him. It can’t be helped though, and he admits that lately it’s been hard for him to walk up the stairs. Takuto sighs saying he knows that feeling really well. Once you hit your 30s, it takes time to sober up after drinking. It’s also harder to digest food, and you get heartburns more often when you eat oily food. Yousuke finds this so painful, but Mai and Miki are having a good laugh from his conversation with Takuto. After drinking all of his coffee, Yousuke gets up and says he’ll be returning to work now. Then he lightly says goodbye to Mai and leaves after paying for his coffee. Since he walked out so quickly, this actually leaves her feeling a bit unsatisfied—which really surprises her. Why would she feel that way towards him…!? It’s so absurd. At the same time, Miki comments that Yousuke seems to be deeper than she thought—just as expected from a grown-up man. Since Mai look surprised, Miki asks if she didn’t realize. Earlier she seemed to feel really awkward, so Yousuke used the topic to make her laugh instead. Behind the counter, Takuto smiles and says he already told them earlier. Yousuke is quick-witted and attentive towards the smallest details. Mai immediately stands up saying she’ll go talk to him for a bit, and Miki sends her off with a smile.
Outside, Mai quickly calls out to Yousuke. He looks up from his phone screen and asks her what’s wrong. Did he forget something? As the answer, she bows her head and apologizes for saying bad things about him earlier. He asks her not to worry since he’s really an old man, and he might be a type that youngsters like her can’t accept. Yousuke doesn’t mind it at all, but since Mai still feels guilty for being rude… he then smiles and asks her to have a Christmas date with him next month. He wants to thank her for helping him and Issei before, and since she also wants to apologize to him, they can call it even with the date. He asks if she already has plans for Christmas, and she doesn’t know what to say since it’s really sudden, but then she recalls what Takuto and Miki said earlier. Maybe he’s suggesting the date because he knows that she feels really bad. After taking a deep breath, Mai smiles at Yousuke and agrees to go on a Christmas date with him. He seems surprised for a moment, but soon he grins saying he’s glad to hear that. He then asks if he can have her number and mail address now, and so they finally exchange contacts.
When Mai returns to Siesta, Miki teases her saying she should go out with Yousuke. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ They go home not too long after that, and Mai soon receives a mail from Yousuke. He already thought of places he wants to visit with her during their date, and he asks her to think where she wants to go too. She can’t think of anything at the moment though, so she replies that she’ll inform him before the day of the date. Just a few seconds after that, he sends a reply saying he understands. He wants to take her to the places she wants to visit, so he wants her to think about it. Mai is surprised because Yousuke replies to her mail REALLY fast. In terms typing speed, he definitely doesn’t lose to a high school girl. (*´艸`*)ｧﾊ♪
• DECEMBER •
On the second Saturday of December, Mai and Yousuke have their Christmas date. They’ve promised to meet up at the park, and she arrives a bit too early. As she waits for him to come, she checks her clothes to make sure she looks okay. Today she’s wearing a new pair of boots. At first she wasn’t sure since she’s not used to them yet, but now she feels glad since they match her clothes. She found the boots when she went shopping with Miki, and it was love at the first sight. Sadly she never had the chance to wear them, so they’ve been sleeping in the box up until now. Not too long after they agreed to have a date, Yousuke decided on a day and informed Mai. He actually wanted to do it right on Christmas Day, but it had to be changed since he has to work. However, she wonders if it’s really true. Is it really work and not because he has a date with another girl? Mai is surprised upon realizing that she feels irritated, and she quickly tells herself that it’s none of her business—Yousuke can date anyone he wants. Besides, this is simply a token of gratitude. It’s not like they’re having a real date or anything. Mai recalls Miki’s suggestion from before, but she quickly brushes it off. There’s no way she’d fall in love with Yousuke. It’s impossible.
After taking a deep breath, Mai calms herself down and wonders where Yousuke might be. It’s already 10 minutes past their meeting time. Since he’s a part of the working society, somehow she got the impression that he’d be punctual… and she wonders if she mistook the date and time. Upon checking her phone, Mai notices that Yousuke sent her a mail 10 minutes ago. He apologizes saying he drank too much alcohol at work last night, so he might be late for around 20 minutes. Mai’s mouth drops open for a while, and then she angrily shuts her phone. What a light apology! She can’t believe he wrote such a mail on top of being late, and she doesn’t think she’d fall in love with this person. The mail has blown away all the awareness and nervousness she felt towards him earlier. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
Around 10 minutes later, Mai finally sees Yousuke running towards her. At first she really wants to rage at him, but he’s completely out of breath when he reaches her. As he tries to catch his breath, he apologizes to her saying this usually doesn’t happen. It’s pretty obvious that Yousuke ran here with all his might, and Mai didn’t expect this at all. Due to his light apology in the mail, she thought he’d take his time. Yousuke then admits that it’s quite painful since he doesn’t work out regularly, and he wonders if he should attend a gym. Mai is about to rage again now that he’s back to his cheerful self, but then she notices that he has bed hair on the back of his head. When she points out that his hair is disheveled, he panics and says that he forgot to check the mirror earlier. Yousuke turns red upon realizing that he ran all the way here looking like that, and Mai laughs as he tries to straighten his hair—which doesn’t work LOL. When he pouts and asks her not to laugh, she smiles saying it’s the punishment for oversleeping. For some reason, he looks a bit surprised upon hearing this. This makes her wonders if she said something strange, and he only frowns with a confused expression… but then it changes into a smile. It’s now time to start their date, and he asks if she has thought of the places she wants to visit.
Mai replies that she’s been thinking about it, but she couldn’t come up with anything… and so she wants Yousuke’s recommendations. She asks if that won’t do, but he smiles and shakes his head—he will gladly escort her. For their destination, he suggests going to the shopping mall. Mai has visited it with Mori and Miki several times, but they didn’t get to see all the shops due to its large size. Every year they put a really beautiful Christmas tree in the plaza, and Yousuke says they’ve upgraded this year. Now the tree is larger and they also have illuminations. He asks if she wants to window shop while gazing at the Christmas tree, and she happily agrees. She’s really interested to see this year’s Christmas decoration, getting excited just by imagining how beautiful they are.
When they reach the shopping mall, Mai and Yousuke walk around the shops—holding the mall’s map in one hand. Despite her initial negative opinion on him, she actually enjoys spending time with him. Rather than saying he’s used to women, it might be more appropriate to say that he’s used to escorting them. He is really attentive. When she thinks that she’s hungry, he asks her to have some meal. When she finds cute clothes, he takes her to see them. He clearly knows how to please women, and she’s starting to think that it might be an amazing talent. Some girls also came to approach him along the way, and he talked to all of them. It only strengthens his frivolous image in her eyes, but she doesn’t get irked if she thinks of this as his talent. The good impression only lasts for a brief moment though. When Mai asks if they can go to the bookstore next, Yousuke mentions that he wants to buy a book as well. Yes, it’s a book called “The Art of Conversation: How to Get Along with High School Girls.” ヾ(o´▽`)ﾉﾞ♪ He asks if she knows, and she sharply says she doesn’t. Just when Mai turns around to walk away from Yousuke, a sharp pain pierces her foot. Or rather, the pain has been there for a while—it just got even stronger.
Not too long after they started shopping, Mai felt a slight pain on her right foot. She knew she probably got blisters because of her new boots, but since she was looking forward to go shopping… she decided to ignore it. She managed to cover it up so far, but it doesn’t seem like she can ignore it for much longer. It hurts whenever she walks. She wonders if she should treat it, but she still wants to look around. Since Mai is walking slower, Yousuke soon catches up and asks her what’s wrong. She seems to be in pain, and he asks if it’s because of blisters. She’s really surprised that he knows, but he actually noticed this right from the start. He didn’t say anything because she didn’t seem to mind the pain, but he knows she’s probably at her limits. Yousuke then points out that Mai was really excited as they looked around the shops. That side of her is quite childish, but he’s impressed that she can endure pain like an adult. Mai is aware of the fact that she really is a kid, and so she can’t deny it—she can only apologize to Yousuke. She has no idea why she gets excited whenever she visits places like this, but she feels really embarrassed now.
Knowing that Mai really enjoys shopping, Yousuke pats her head saying they should treat her foot. That way, they can continue looking around the shops again. Since there’s no place for them to sit nearby, he then takes her to the corner of the passage—so they won’t block people’s path. There, he kneels down in front of her and asks her to put her foot on his lap. Of course she gets embarrassed and refuses, but then he assures her that everyone’s busy with shopping. Nobody will pay attention to them, so there’s no need to get embarrassed. His expression turns serious as he tells her that it’ll only get worse if they don’t treat it, and realizing that he’s sincerely worried about her… she finally gives in. When Mai takes of her boots and put her foot on Yousuke’s lap, he asks her not to scream “Kyaaa—! Pervert!” when he touches it LOL. She bursts into laughter upon hearing this, which thankfully melts away the tension in her.
After checking Mai’s foot, Yousuke tells her that she scraped her heel. It should be fine if they cover it with a band-aid. He then releases her foot and opens his bag, taking out several band-aids from it. When she asks if he carries them around, he nods saying it’s a habit from his newbie period. As he puts a band-aid on Mai’s heel, Yousuke explains that he had to visit various companies when he just started working. He had to walk around a lot. It wouldn’t be a problem with normal shoes, but he was young and stupid back then. He got needlessly excited since he has turned into a working man, and he bought an expensive pair of leather shoes… but his feet got surprised. He used to wear sneakers everyday until then, so he obviously wasn’t used to stylish shoes—the blisters gave him hell. He didn’t want to lose though, and he decided to fight back by carrying a mountain of band-aids wherever he goes. The habit stays with him up until now, and he also learned how to minimize the pain by using band-aids.
Yousuke soon finishes treating Mai’s foot, and she’s really happy to find the pain gone. He’s glad to hear this too, but he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to walk around further than this… and so he suggests going home for today. There’s a lot of shops they haven’t visited, so she tries convincing him that she’s fine. The illumination also starts at night, and they won’t be able to see it if they go home now. However, Yousuke says Mai might not be able to enjoy it if she’s forcing herself. They can see the illumination on a different day, and he promises to ask her out again. It doesn’t have to be today. Mai has no choice but to give up, and she apologizes to Yousuke for ending their date early. He only tells her not to worry, and he asks her not to refuse when he invites her to have another date. Before leaving the shopping mall, Yousuke holds out his hand and asks Mai to hold onto it. Despite the treatment, he thinks it will still be difficult for her to walk… so he’s going to support her by holding her hand. Mai refuses right away, but then she finds it cute when Yousuke asks if she’s rejecting him just like that—without blushing nor getting confused. (*´艸`*)ｧﾊ♪ He really thinks it’d be hard for her to walk through the crowd though, and so he’d be relieved if she holds his hand. There’s a hint of seriousness in his eyes, which makes her realize how kind he really is—he’s not just a shallow, frivolous person. He always chooses his words carefully, so it won’t cause any discomfort or put any burden on others. Maybe this is what they call an adult’s kindness? She smiles as she takes his hand, and they leave the shopping mall holding hands.
Since Mai’s foot is injured, Yousuke says he’ll walk her all the way home. It gets dark along the way, and soon they reach Kamizono Shrine—which is packed with people. When Yousuke asks why it’s so lively at the shrine, they hear a couple talking about Kamizono Shrine’s romantic Christmas tree. People say that couples who see the tree together will become even more lovey dovey with each other. Mai then explains that its Kyouga’s plan to get more visitors. They put a Christmas tree in the shrine grounds and decorated it with the flowers of love. Kyouga promoted it through the shrine’s website, and it seems like they have a lot of visitors today. Yousuke is impressed, but Mai then admits that she actually hasn’t seen the tree yet. When they were decorating the tree, she had to attend supplementary lessons at school. Her exam results for the second semester turned out to be terrible, so she had to take supplementary lessons everyday and take a break from work. She saw Kyouga and the other priests talking about this before, so she wants to see the result for a bit. Yousuke actually wants to take Mai to see the Christmas tree, but he noticed that her foot has started hurting again. The shrine is full of people, and so he thinks it’d be better if they walk home instead. She knows that he’s right, but she can’t seem to look away from the shrine.
Mai then turns around and asks if they can visit Kamizono Shrine—just for a bit. Yousuke isn’t too sure about this, but she tries attacking his weakness. She slightly tilts her head and looks up at him, asking if it’s impossible. Upon seeing this, he instantly turns red and points out that it’s foul play. He might agree to whatever she says. Where did she learn this “little devil” attack anyway!? After taking a deep breath to calm down, Yousuke asks if Mai wants to see the Christmas tree that much. She apologizes for being so selfish, but she wants to see it no matter what—because she knows Kyouga and the others worked really hard on it. Of course she can visit the shrine on a different day, but the next time she comes here… it’ll be for work. She won’t be able to watch it as much as she wants. She promises to go home after seeing it for a bit, and so she asks him to take her there. He smiles saying she’s troubling him, since there’s no way he can say no to a cute girl like her. Besides, he just got a nice idea. She’ll be able to see the Christmas tree, but it might be a little embarrassing. He asks if she still wants to go, and she instantly says yes—obviously not giving much thought to the “embarrassing” part. Upon hearing this, Yousuke smiles and asks Mai to entrust her body and soul to him. Σ(ﾟーﾟ；)
Before Mai can figure out what’s going on, Yousuke kneels down and winks at her—explaining that he’ll carry her on his back until they can see the Christmas tree. That way they won’t have to worry about her foot, they can move among the crowd and they can see the tree as well. It’s perfect! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Mai is shocked since it’s just TOO embarrassing, but knowing that she shouldn’t run away… she nervously hops onto Yousuke’s back. As soon as she does this, he suddenly gets startled and turns red. Mai feels bad and asks if she’s heavy, but Yousuke quickly denies it. It’s not the weight. It’s the sensation of… uh, something soft pressed against his back. It’s more than he expected, and he whispers that high school students are amazing nowadays. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ When she gives him a confused look, he immediately says it’s nothing and asks her to hold on tight—he’s going to stand up now. As Yousuke gets back on his feet, Mai is excited to see the view from his back. He laughs and asks if she’s happy to see things from a higher perspective, and she replies that it feels fresh to her. She also asks about his height, and when he answers that it’s 185 cm, she gets even more excited. Thanks to the different view, she completely forgot about the embarrassment.
When they enter the shrine grounds, they see a lot of visitors inside. They clearly stand out among all the couples, but no one laughs at them—everyone is busy admiring the Christmas tree. As Mai whispers that it’s beautiful, Yousuke chuckles saying she’s such a romanticist. He thinks it’s really cute how she gets so enchanted by the tree. She asks if he’s implying that she’s a kid, but he smiles saying it’s alright. She can only enjoy this immaturity when she’s still in high school, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. This gets Mai curious, and she asks if Yousuke doesn’t get charmed by the tree because he’s an adult. He nods saying she’s probably right. He thinks the tree is incredibly beautiful, but he doesn’t get absorbed like her and the people around them. Mai wonders if grown-up men are this calm and composed. As she gazes at the glittering Christmas tree, she feels that there’s a distance between Yousuke and her.
After that, Yousuke walks Mai back to her mansion. She thanks him for walking her home, but he thanks her in return since it’s a rare experience for him. In any case, both of them really enjoyed their date today. There’s a lot of shops they haven’t visited in the shopping mall, so he asks her to have another date with him next time. Yousuke is asking Mai out so lightly as usual, but unlike before… she no longer feels wary. After spending the whole day with him, she has learned that he’s a kind and attentive person. When Mai nods and asks him to take her out again, Yousuke seems surprised for a moment. Then he grins saying he won’t hold back and promises to ask her out again. They say goodbye to each other after that, and Mai sends Yousuke off until he disappears from her sight. She really had fun today, and maybe she wants to go out with him again.
Later on that night, Mai receives a mail from Yousuke. He wrote that he really enjoyed their date, since he got to see many different sides of her. He also reminds her to treat the blisters properly, and he wants her to remember her promise in the shopping mall. She promised that she won’t refuse if he asks her out on a date again. Upon reading this, Mai realizes that her heart is racing. Why…? Is it because he used the word “date”? She doesn’t get it, but she replies to Yousuke’s mail—asking him to play with her again.
• JANUARY •
Early in January, Yousuke celebrates New Year’s with Rio and Seiya at Siesta. Yousuke comes late since he got some work to take care of, and they already started drinking when he arrives. Both Rio and Seiya have high alcohol tolerance though, so they haven’t gotten drunk at all. After ordering some beer and a bowl of miso ramen, Yousuke joins Rio and Seiya at their table. Rio is trying to convince Seiya to play an online game with him, but Seiya keeps refusing—he’d rather sleep at home than deal with a game otaku like Rio. When Yousuke protests about how they started the party without him, Rio says it’s because he’s late. He was the one who invited them to celebrate New Year’s, but it took more than an hour for him to show up. Seiya can’t accept this since they’re using their precious day off to keep him company, and yet he came late. Yousuke apologizes and explains that he got caught by the department chief, but of course Seiya won’t listen to his excuses. Instead, he wants Yousuke to pay for their expensive wines. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ As hosts, Seiya and Rio earn more income than Yousuke each month. It’s just that Seiya loves saving money, and he’ll make people treat him whenever possible. Rio thinks it’s Yousuke’s fault for giving him that kind of opportunity, though Yousuke wished Rio would stop Seiya at times like this LOL.
When Takuto comes to deliver his beer, Yousuke puts the money issue aside and shares a toast with Rio and Seiya. He needs their help to service SNT’s clients, so he’ll be in their care too this year. Beside them, Takuto asks them to be more gentle… or else they’ll break his mugs and wine glasses. After Takuto leaves to cook the ramen, Yousuke asks if Rio and Seiya have their New Year’s holiday today. Rio explains that their host club is closed for cleaning-up and waxing today, but he’s happy to get a day off—he can play games as much as he likes. ヾ(✿❛◡❛ฺฺ )ノ～❤ Seiya, on the other hand, loves holidays because he can sleep without getting disturbed by alarms. Yousuke asks if they’re not using their day off to promote their host club, but Rio shakes his head since days off are his private time. During those days, he forgets work and completely throws himself into his hobbies. As for Seiya, he never does any promotions to begin with. He simply told everyone that if they want to see him, they should come to LADY MAGIC. That’s all. Since Rio and Seiya are the top two hosts in the club, Yousuke wonders how they can maintain their rankings with that attitude. He wants to learn their skills in captivating girls.
As Yousuke drinks his beer, Seiya slowly asks how it’s going with the high school girl he told them about before. Rio remembers that Yousuke seemed to be really interested in her, and he asks if Yousuke already made her his. Yousuke tells them not to put it that way since it’s different from what they think, but then he admits that he’s getting along well with her. When Rio comments that he moves so fast, Yousuke says he’s not making THAT kind of moves on her. It’s just they grew closer after their Christmas date, and now they often go out to play together. Yousuke has noticed that ever since their date, Mai’s mails has grown much softer compared to how they were before. She always replies to his mails, and she often accepts his invitations to go out. Now that she can smile in front of him, he also finds it enjoyable to spend time with her. Seiya didn’t expect things to go so fast though, and he muses about how Yousuke moves even faster than hosts like them. Once again, Yousuke states that he’s not laying his hands on Mai—reminding them that she’s still in high school. It’s out of the question.
However, Yousuke admits that he sincerely wants to get closer to Mai. She’s really cute, and he’s always wanted a little sister like her. Seiya thought it’s because Yousuke has romantic feelings towards Mai, but Yousuke laughs and denies this right away. He’s not “frustrated” enough to devour a kid like Mai, and he doesn’t feel that way towards her. When it comes to romance, he prefers glamorous, beautiful ladies who can make him tremble with excitement. As soon as he says this, they hear the sound of someone putting down their sake bottle on the table behind them. This is followed by Kyouga’s voice saying: “If you really think that way, you’ll have to reconsider.” …and these words send shivers down Yousuke’s spine. When he reluctantly turns around, Yousuke sees Kyouga standing behind them. He’s holding a bottle of Japanese sake in one hand, looking down at Yousuke with a cold stare. Yousuke nervously greets him, and Kyouga grins saying he took care of SNT during their project with the marriage counseling company. His smile is SO warped that Yousuke can’t even smile back at him LOL. At the same time, Seiya and Rio quickly stand up from their seats—so much that their chairs might fall backwards. Rio thanks Kyouga for visiting LADY MAGIC before, while Seiya explains that the owner told them to thank Kyouga whenever they meet him… and so he politely expresses his gratitude. Kyouga only waves his hand and tells them to sit down, saying there’s no need for them to bow their heads to him. It was just a coincidence that he brought a company president to their host club.
Kyouga then turns to Yousuke and puts a hand on his shoulder, warning him that if he’s making a move on his kid with a shallow resolution… he needs to stop. Since Yousuke is confused, Kyouga explains that he’s talking about the girl he called “a kid” earlier. Mai belongs to him. If Yousuke dares to underestimate her, Kyouga won’t forgive him. Before leaving Yousuke, Kyouga gives him a threatening smile that, once again, sends chills down his spine. Takuto comes with the ramen right after that, and he asks if Yousuke did anything to Kyouga. He was drinking alone earlier, and yet he went all the way to their table. Takuto can tell that Kyouga is quite angry, and he warns Yousuke that things will be rough if they make Kyouga angry. He should apologize and fix Kyouga’s mood as soon as possible. Yousuke shakes his head saying he only talked about how Mai can’t be a romantic prospect for him, but Rio points out that’s exactly the reason. By saying that Mai is just a kid, Yousuke was totally underestimating her. in fact, it’s more like he was making fun of her—though he didn’t mean to.
Seiya also warns Yousuke to be careful, since Kyouga has a lot of connections and holds an incredibly large authority. Yousuke can only nod, but he feels that Kyouga is surprisingly overprotective of Mai. He heard that Kyouga is mercilessly using Mai at work, but it seems like Kyouga treasures Mai a lot. Maybe Kyouga said that because Mai works for him, but Yousuke thinks it’s wrong to declare that Mai belongs to him. She’s just a part-time worker after all, and that doesn’t make her his possession. For some reason, Yousuke doesn’t like this at all. He feels that he has lost to Kyouga, and he eats his ramen in one go due to the irritation.
The next day, Mai is waiting for Yousuke’s mail at night. After their Christmas date, the two of them have become good mail friends. At first it was just to discuss where they’re going to go next time, but soon they started talking about the things around them. She tells him about her supplementary lessons, and he tells her about how his hangovers—they tell each other about things like that. He always sends her a mail at the end of the day, once she’s done with everything she needs to do. It comes at the same time everyday, and before long she starts looking forward for his mail to come. Today, Yousuke apologizes to Mai since he couldn’t answer to her mail yesterday. He told her that he was drinking at Siesta with his friends when Kyouga appeared. Takuto said Kyouga was drinking alone, but when he realized it… Kyouga has put the bill on his tab. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Mai laughs and decides to comfort Yousuke, telling him that it’d be better if he gives up and thinks of it as a natural disaster. He wonders if there’s anyone in this world who can win against Kyouga, but she tells him that Kyouga’s actually weak against his family. Especially his older brother. Mai admits that she rages whenever Kyouga trolls her too hard, and Yousuke is impressed since he’d rather run with his tail between his legs. Mai chuckles as she replies to Yousuke’s mails. It feels weird how she didn’t really like him at first, but now she really enjoys his company. Mai is really surprised upon realizing that she wants to spend more time with Yousuke. She quickly tells herself that it’s only because she finds it fun to be with him, though she can feel her heart pounding loudly.
One day after school, Mai walks home with Mori and Miki. They all have different plans for the evening though. Mai and Mori have work, while Miki has a date with her boyfriend. Along the way, Mai mentions that Yousuke took her to a café that has a very delicious cake. She promises to take them there next time, and Miki says they’re lucky. Ever since Mai grew closer to Yousuke, she’s been sharing information about good sweets shops with them. Mai herself is also impressed, because all the places Yousuke has taken her to are really fun. Miki tells her to ask him about good restaurants next time, and she’ll make sure to check them out with Kazuki. After a while, Mori—who’s been walking in silence so far—reluctantly says that he has a question for Mai. He feels terribly scared to ask, but it’s really bothering him. When Mori asks if she has fallen in love with Yousuke, Mai’s head turns blank for a moment… but then she admits that she does like him as a friend. Maybe. She has realized that he’s kind, attentive and knowledgeable, and that’s why she enjoys being with him—she wants to stay with him forever.
Mori has a complex expression upon hearing Mai’s answer, and he turns to ask for Miki’s opinion about this situation. Miki thinks that Mai is probably on the verge of “falling”, and Mori nods since the hints are not exactly subtle LOL. He’s wondering if he should force his way between them, but it’d be the end if Mai rejects him. As usual, Mai doesn’t get what they’re talking about. She asks if something is troubling Mori, and she even offers to help… but Miki only asks her to leave the poor guy alone. In the end, they continue talking about delicious cake and cafés as they walk home.
After parting ways with Mori and Miki, Mai heads to Kamizono Shrine and notices Yousuke wandering around the gate. When she cheerfully greets him, he smiles saying he’s glad to meet her here. He wasn’t sure whether to go into the shrine grounds or not. Since it’s still office hours for him, she asks if he came because he needs something from her. He explains that he walked past the shrine during his rounds, and he was wondering if she’s doing well at work. Mai replies that she was at school earlier, and she’s about to start working now… but then she notices that Yousuke is glancing everywhere—looking at everything in their surroundings. Obviously because he’s afraid that Kyouga might pop out of nowhere, just like he did back at Siesta. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Mai knows it must have left a trauma on Yousuke, but then she tells him to give it his all. If he keeps being that nervous, Kyouga will be really happy and will come to pick on him even more. Just as she explains about how evil Kyouga is, they hear a terribly familiar voice—asking her what will happen if Kyouga grasps your weakness. This creeps the living daylights out of her, and she doesn’t want to turn around… but she forces herself to do it and finds Kyouga behind her. Who else LOL.
Kyouga then says Mai has a lot of guts for skipping work to chat with a man, but she nervously protests that it’s not the time for work yet—this shouldn’t be a problem. Yousuke is amazed by how she talks back to Kyouga, though he instantly shuts up when Kyouga glares at him. This is followed by Kyouga thanking him for
paying for his drinks before, to which Yousuke answers with a nervous, forced smile. Before going back into the shrine grounds, Kyouga flicks Mai’s forehead saying he’ll reduce her wage if she’s late. Then he gives them a satisfied grin and walks away, leaving Yousuke with a long, long sigh. When Mai asks if Kyouga said anything to him at Siesta, Yousuke turns to look at her with a serious expression. This causes her heart to start racing wildly, and she quickly adds that she’ll scold Kyouga if he said something mean. Yousuke is surprised, and the serious tone is gone from his eyes He asks if Mai isn’t scared to scold an evil like Kyouga, and she nods saying she’s known Kyouga since she was small. They’ve known each other for a long time, so she already got used to him—in a lot of ways. Yousuke frowns, knowing that Mai can say things like this because of her long history with Kyouga. He mutters that he doesn’t like it, but she doesn’t catch what he said.
Since Kamizono Shrine is especially famous among students, Yousuke thinks maybe they should collect its data as a popular place. Mai explains that it’s easy to get their charms, and they also provide fortune sheets for everyone. A lot of people visit the shrine with their friends after school. She then offers to guide him inside, and he asks if Kyouga won’t get angry… but she doesn’t think Kyouga would object. In a way, it’s like a promotion for the shrine—though she’ll ask for Kyouga’s permission first. Mai holds Yousuke’s arm as she takes him past the gate, and she asks him not to worry. She doesn’t think Kyouga will pick on him that much if she’s with him. Mai says this with a smile knowing that Yousuke is scared of Kyouga, but for some reason… he has a complex expression and only gives her a faint smile. As she predicted, Kyouga immediately gives his permission and tells her to promote their shrine thoroughly. After changing into her shrine maiden outfit, Mai gives Yousuke a tour around the shrine. She explains that her parents received flowers from Kamizono Shrine like he did, and so the effect is guaranteed.
This reminds Yousuke that Mai gave him a camellia when they first met, but then he admits that he has no plans in the romance department. However, she explains that love might bloom for him soon. The god of Kamizono Shrine can see people’s past and future, granting blessings for everyone. Yousuke also asks if the camellia is dried since it doesn’t wither at all, but Mai tells him that it’s a fresh flower. They have a pond deep inside the shrine grounds, and these mysterious flowers grow around it regardless of seasons. The view there is beautiful. Camellias are blooming around the small shrine, while cosmos are swaying in the pond. It sounds like a paradise, and so Yousuke says he wants to see it too… but she apologizes since the sanctuary is off-limits to visitors. He nods saying it’s too bad, but since he looks so sad, she then asks if he wants to try asking for Kyouga’s permission. Who knows, he might approve it as a part of publicity.
Of course Yousuke is reluctant since he’s extremely terrified of Kyouga, but the next second, Kyouga pops out of nowhere and says it’s alright if he wants to see the sanctuary. As the owner of Kamizono Shrine, he gives his permission and orders Mai to take Yousuke there. Since he has never seen Kyouga’s “gentleman” side before, Yousuke gets really frightened and wonders if his life is over LOL. Mai asks him to calm down and explains that it’s how Kyouga acts in public, because there’s a lot of visitors right now. Kyouga plays nice to get more visitors, and he’s harmless in this state—no worries. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Kyouga then smiles saying Yousuke was chosen by the flowers. He’s a man who was chosen by their god, so in a way, he does have the right to enter the sanctuary. Yousuke doesn’t get this at all, but Kyouga maintains his smile and tells Mai to take him there. He then leaves them to greet two female visitors who are clearly excited to talk to him, and Yousuke gets goosebumps as he watches the sight. He knows he’s being rude towards Kyouga, but Mai assures him that it’s a normal reaction. Before she got used to it, Kyouga’s acting creeped her out everyday. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ
From there, Mai takes Yousuke to the sanctuary. It’s January, but white and red camellias are blooming around the shrine. In the pond, countless cosmos are gently swaying in the wind. Yousuke is amazed by the view, and he says it might be his first time seeing such a beautiful scenery. Beside him, Mai is happy that they share the same feeling. It feels strange somehow. She feels happy just to stand beside him and gaze at the same scenery—it makes her feel fulfilled. It’s probably the same for him, since he has a really soft expression right now. Yousuke then sighs saying his fatigue is melting away just by seeing beautiful flowers, and Mai asks if he’s busy with work. He nods and explains that he’s working on a large project, and so he’s busy running around everyday—both inside and outside the office. He admits that he enjoys his job, but since he keeps working overtime… recently he hasn’t eaten proper meals. Whenever he works overtime, he mostly eats sweet buns or energy drinks.
Mai is worried since Yousuke won’t get energy nor recover from fatigue if he doesn’t eat properly, and so she asks if she can make some food for him. He always gives her information about good restaurants and interesting places, so she wants to do something to help him. Mai asks if it’d be a nuisance, but Yousuke grins saying that makes him really happy. He says he’ll look forward to it, and she promises to do her best for him. ﾜ―ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡―ｲ Mai is relieved, and she’s really determined to cook something that can give Yousuke more energy.
• FEBRUARY •
When February comes, Miki asks if Mai isn’t going to give Yousuke a chocolate. They’re looking at some chocolates in the shopping mall, and Miki’s sudden question nearly causes Mai to drop the chocolates in her hands. Mai quickly puts them back to the shelf and asks why she has to give one to Yousuke, but Miki points out that she seems pretty concerned about him. Could it be that she’s in love with him? Instead of answering, Mai reminds Miki that she needs to pick a chocolate for Kazuki. That’s why they came here to begin with. It’s the first weekend in February, and there’s a Valentine’s Day fair in the shopping mall. A lot of famous shops all over the country are participating, and they sell limited edition chocolates during the event. Since Mai isn’t in love with anyone, she visits the fair with Miki to buy obligatory chocolates for her family and friends. They were looking at the chocolates when that question popped up. Putting romance aside, Miki points out that Yousuke often takes Mai out to various places—she can give him a chocolate to express her gratitude.
However, Mai says that’s not necessary since she’s planning to make a lunch box for Yousuke next time. She actually wanted to make one for him not too long after she made that promise, but he was away on a business trip. He has returned at the start of the month, so maybe she should ask him if she can deliver the lunch box soon. Noticing that Miki is staring at her with a grin, Mai says this doesn’t mean that she’s fallen in love with Yousuke or anything. Miki simply ignores this and asks if Yousuke has been busy lately. When Mai nods, she points out that chocolates are good for healing fatigue. People often say that you’ll gain energy by eating sweets, so Mai should give Yousuke a chocolate along with the lunch box. Putting Valentine’s Day aside, it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Miki winks as she takes a chocolate pack, and Mai realizes that she does have a point—maybe she should give a chocolate to Yousuke. She assures herself that she has no special feelings for him. She simply wants him to recover from fatigue. Before they continue shopping, Miki asks if Mai wants to pay halves for Mori’s chocolate. Miki is on tight budget and wants to use her money for her boyfriend, so Mai agrees to split up the cost. Poor Mori LOL.
Three days later, Mai goes to see Yousuke directly in his office. After buying the chocolate, she asked him about when she can see him. He’s really happy to receive food from her, but since he doesn’t have time to go outside… he asked her to come to his department. He got the permission to let her in and she’ll receive a guest ID if she mentions her name, but she still feels nervous since this is her first time entering an office building. Right now she’s not wearing her uniform, so at least no one would find her weird. Upon walking into the building, Mai finds a lot of people in the large lobby. All of them are wearing suits, and there are no kids like her in sight. This makes her wonder if it’s really okay for her to go inside, but soon she notices a familiar figure on the way to the reception desk—it’s Issei. She immediately calls out to him, though she gets really embarrassed when people turn to look at her. She quickly apologizes for being so loud, but he asks her not to worry. Of course it’ll be a problem if she does that in the department floors, but it’s alright in the lobby. Mai feels relieved since Issei doesn’t seem troubled, but she also warns herself that this place is different from school—she needs to be careful.
When Issei asks why she came here, Mai explains that she brought some food for Yousuke. Upon hearing this, he instantly frowns saying Yousuke probably forced Mai to do it. Issei thinks Mai should just ignore Yousuke, and he grumbles about how Yousuke keeps on throwing reports at him. While it might true that Yousuke is busy with work, Issei doesn’t think it’s necessary for Mai to take care of him that much. He’s an adult, so he should manage his own health and take care of himself. She doesn’t have to cook for him or do things to support him. However, Mai insists that she already made a promise… so she doesn’t want to break it. Issei smiles as he pats her head, mentioning that she’s always been stubborn. Once she makes a decision, she’ll always carry it out until the end. Issei then says he’ll take Mai to Yousuke’s place, and she feels extremely relieved. She doesn’t bring extra chocolates today, but she’ll buy one for him too.
From there, Issei takes Mai to the sales department. The place is bustling with adults who seem busy with work, and this causes her to feel reluctant. She asks if she should come at another time, but Issei explains that the sales department is always like this. Besides, Yousuke also said that it’s alright for Mai to come at this hour. Once again, Issei frowns and says Mai doesn’t have to be concerned. This is Yousuke’s fault for calling her when he’s busy with work. Issei understands that it’s hard for Mai to go inside though, and so he asks her to wait at the entrance—he will search for Yousuke and take him to see her. When she thanks him, he smiles saying it’s for his cute little sister after all. This is nothing much. After Issei goes inside, Mai moves to the side so she doesn’t block the entrance. She feels uneasy. A lot of people are walking around in front of her eyes. The men are wearing suits, while the women are in uniforms. She can’t help but shrink before the world of adults, since it’s really different from the world she knows. In a few years, maybe she’ll work in an office too. She tries imagining herself in SNT’s uniform, but she doesn’t get a clear image.
Just then a familiar voice asks how did Mai get up here, and she smiles upon seeing Yousuke walking up to her. She explains that Issei was the one who took her here, and he grins saying Issei can be useful too sometimes—though he knows Issei would rage if he heard that. Now that Yousuke has come, Mai peeks into the office hoping to call Issei to return… but then they see him talking to a man who seems important in the department. Yousuke explains that Issei has been caught by their department chief, so Mai should just leave him be. He won’t be able to escape for at least an hour, since the sales department chief really, really likes him. In fact, he always says that he wants to snatch Issei from the public relations department. Yousuke thinks their chief is madly in love with Issei, and Mai bursts into laughter upon hearing this… but soon two beautiful women come to talk to them. One of them comments that Mai is cute, and she asks if Mai is Yousuke’s sister. When Yousuke explains that Mai is his friend and introduces her as a high school girl, the other one gasps in shock and points out that it’s a crime. They know that he’s frivolous, but going for a high school student is just too much. Yousuke protests since they’re worsening his image in front of Mai, but they say it’ll only strengthen his frivolous image anyway.
As Yousuke jokes with the women, Mai takes a step back. She can see an invisible tie between them, and she doesn’t know what to say in this situation. She feels that no matter what she says, she won’t be able to fit into their conversation. She’s a kid after all, and she’s not sure if she can talk properly to adults like them. Noticing that Mai is confused, Yousuke then introduces the women as his co-workers. She politely greets them in a rush, and they return her greeting with a smile. They find her really cute, and she reminds them of their younger days. When the women say that they want to return to their younger days, Yousuke grins saying he shares that sentiment. After all, nothing can beat the freshness of youth and radiance of teenage days! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Mai smiles at him in return, but she’s actually feeling really uneasy inside. In the world of adults, she feels terribly out of place and ashamed.
After thinking for a while, Mai hands the bag she’s carrying to Yousuke—explaining that it’s the food she promised to give him. He happily thanks her saying he’s been waiting for this, and he tells his co-workers that she made a lunch box for him. She’s really good at cooking, so he’s looking forward to eat it. One of the women is envious of since she can’t cook at all, but sadly… their conversation only causes Mai to feel even more intimidated. After taking another step back, Mai bows her head and says she’ll be going home now. Before Yousuke could say anything, she asks them to do their best at work and quickly leaves—as if she’s running away from them. Mai then gets into the elevator and pushes the button, but just before the door closes… Yousuke catches up and forces the door open. He asks why she suddenly ran away, since he hasn’t even thanked her properly. He doesn’t want her to go home without hearing his gratitude.
However, Mai only apologizes and admits that she wants to go home as soon as possible. When Yousuke asks if she has curfew, she nearly says no… but realizing that it’s a good excuse, she quickly nods saying she does. She tells him that she only has about one hour left, so she needs to go home. Upon hearing this, he smiles and says he shouldn’t hold her back any further. Yousuke then thanks Mai for the food, and he promises to enjoy the taste as he eats it. She answers that she made nutritious side dishes for him, but he can throw them away if he doesn’t like them. Even though he says he won’t do that, she only asks him to throw the box away after he’s done eating. It’s disposable, and so he doesn’t have to return it to her. Mai averts her gaze as excuses herself and pushes the button to close the elevator door… but Yousuke’s hands are still holding them open. He notices that she’s been acting strange since earlier, and he asks her what’s wrong—is it something she can’t tell him? Of course she can’t tell him the reason though, and she has to bite her lips to hold back her tears. He stretches out his arm to touch her hair, but she reflectively brushes it away… and the shock causes his other hand to move away from the door. The last thing she sees before the door closes is his shocked expression, and she instantly regrets it. She doesn’t understand herself, but she feels terribly guilty for hurting him.
Outside, the night breeze helps clearing Mai’s head for a bit. That’s when she realizes that she ran away because she felt a distance between Yousuke and herself. For the first time, she was hit by the realization that he’s an adult while she’s only a kid. Up until now, she never really saw how he stands in the world of adults. He’s always joking around and bickering with Issei, and so she never really saw him as an adult… but today, she completely saw him as one. He felt so distant when he was talking to his lovely co-workers, and the sight gives her complicated feelings. Maybe she was shocked upon realizing that they’re living in different worlds, but she also feels that it’s not the reason either. She doesn’t know why she feels so down, and the only thing that’s clear right now is that she’s confused. Mai is aware that she did something rude to Yousuke though, not to mention she also went home without telling Issei. The next time they see them, she has to apologize to both of them.
Three days after her escape from SNT, Mai is still feeling down. She sent an apology mail to Issei as soon as she got home that day, but she couldn’t do anything about Yousuke. On the other hand, he keeps on sending mails to her as usual. He told her that her lunch box was delicious, and he asked her to cook for him again next time. He also ate the chocolate thinking it’s for him, and he apologized if it’s actually not directed to him. She wants to apologize for running away, but somehow she can’t bring herself to type a reply. Knowing that she’ll only keep sighing in her room, Mai shoves her homework away and decides to drink Takuto’s café au lait downstairs—it might help her to feel better. There’s a possibility that Yousuke might be in Siesta, so she looks around right after entering to make sure that he’s not there. Mai then sits at the counter and orders a cup of café au lait, while Takuto asks her to take it easy. He’s free anyway, so he’ll keep her company. There are customers, but they’re all relaxing—reading books or just enjoying their coffee. Mai also notices that Mori and Souya are absent today, and Takuto explains that they both can’t come to work today. It’s not a problem since the café isn’t busy at all, so he can handle the customers by himself. After delivering coffee to a customer, Takuto makes a cup of café au lait for Mai. She seems tired, so he made it slightly sweet and asks her not to force herself.
Mai feels much better after drinking Takuto’s café au lait, and she continues doing her homework on the counter. She decides to tackle the hardest question straight away, but sadly she gets stuck rather fast. As she glares at the question, suddenly she hears a familiar voice from over her shoulders—Yousuke’s voice. He feels nostalgic to see homeworks, though he didn’t do them most of the time. Mai is really surprised to see him, but Yousuke greets her as usual. They haven’t seen each other after her visit to SNT, and he was wondering if she’s busy since she doesn’t reply to his mails lately. Is it because of her studies? Before Mai can say anything, Yousuke sits beside her and orders a cup of Americano. Takuto finds it unusual for him to come on his day off, but he grins saying he suddenly wanted to drink Takuto’s coffee. He even took the train here. Mai is wondering why Yousuke is wearing suits if it’s his day off, but apparently he was called to the office earlier.
Since Yousuke is so cheerful, Takuto asks him to share some of that energy with Mai. Takuto notices that she’s been feeling down recently, but she quickly denies it and says that it’s just because her homeworks are too difficult. Of course Takuto knows that Mai is lying, so he flicks her forehead saying he’s known her ever since she was a baby—she shouldn’t underestimate her neighbor. After Takuto leaves to make Yousuke’s coffee, Mai feels that someone is staring at her… and she glances to the side to find Yousuke looking at her with a serious expression. She wonders if he wants to say something about her rudeness, but she doesn’t know what to answer if he does. She decides to avoid him by focusing on her homework, hoping that he won’t disturb her if she’s busy studying. However, her hands are shivering and he notices that she’s nervous. Despite Mai’s attempt to avoid him, Yousuke grins and asks if she’s looking at him as a man. He’s been thinking about this ever since she ran away. Mai can feel heat rising to her cheeks, and she slams the table before glaring at Yousuke—sharply denying that she’s looking at him in such a way. She tells him not to be so overly confidence since it’s a nuisance to her.
Mai quickly stands up after saying this, but she doesn’t see Takuto walking behind her—carrying a cup of coffee for another customer. Takuto steps back to avoid the chair, and this causes the cup to slide off the tray. Mai is shocked to see the hot coffee flying towards her, but before it hits her… Yousuke pulls her into his arms. Unfortunately, the coffee falls onto his right hand instead. Mai apologizes and asks if he’s okay, and Yousuke smiles saying he just got burnt for a bit—he’ll be fine with some ice water. He looks down at her and asks if she’s okay, but she feels really guilty about this. Yousuke grins and asks Mai not to worry since it’s a man’s romance to protect a woman from danger, but she tells him to stop joking around. Mai then informs Takuto that she’ll take Yousuke to the hospital, and Takuto directs her to see a doctor in the shopping district—they can get immediate treatment there. After compressing Yousuke’s hand with some ice and a napkin, Mai takes him to see the doctor. Before leaving, Yousuke weakly asks Takuto not to feel guilty since it was his own fault.
Just as Takuto said, the doctor treats Yousuke’s hand immediately. The cover the wound with bandages, and the sight looks so painful in Mai’s eyes. The doctor also says that it will take a month for the wound to heal, and he’s not allowed to use his hand until then. After leaving the clinic, Mai apologizes again for causing this to happen. Yousuke says she doesn’t need to apologize since he was the one who teased her, so it’s his own fault for starting it. He asks her not to mind, but she replies that it’s impossible and asks if there’s anything she can help him with—such as carrying his stuff until his hand completely recovers. She will do anything for him! Yousuke once again tells Mai not to feel bad, but then a nice idea pops into his mind. Since the wound is on his right hand, it’ll be difficult for him to do daily activities like cleaning up, washing laundry or cooking. Mai asks if he’s asking her to take care of him, and Yousuke nods saying it’s only if she doesn’t mind. He actually thinks she’s going to refuse, but much to his surprise… she agrees to do it right away. When he asks if she’s serious, she firmly answers that she is. His hand got burnt because of her, so now she’s going to take responsibility by taking care of him. She’ll make sure the wound won’t cause any discomfort in his daily life. (`・ω・´)ｷﾘｯ!!
• MARCH •
A month after the coffee incident, Miki asks about the condition of Yousuke’s wound. Mai explains that it has gotten better, and he can use his hand to a certain extent now. She used to go to his place everyday, but right now she’s only visiting him twice a week. Miki nods saying that’s good to hear, as Mai has been taking a break from work to take care of Yousuke. Mai thought it’s only obvious because she was the one who caused Yousuke to get injured, but she quietly admits that it was really tough. Mai then asks Miki to listen to her complaints, and she starts by stating the fact that Yousuke is SUPER messy. On the day after she agreed to take care of him, Mai went to Yousuke’s place. He met up with her after work, and he took her to his apartment. He cheerfully welcomed her, but the moment they entered his room… she received a huge shock upon seeing how filthy it was. There were clothes, beer cans, instant noodle cups, newspapers and magazines scattered all over the floor. He also had a mountain of laundry piling up, as well as plates and cups filling up his kitchen sink. Only the bathroom was clean.
When Mai asked why the room is THAT messy, Yousuke was actually surprised since it was quite neat and tidy for him. Σ(Д｀|||ノ)ノ She didn’t see this coming at all since he always looks nice and clean in his suits, but then she realized that he can send his suits to dry cleaning service. That’s probably why he looks neat all the time. Mai told Yousuke not to get in the way as she cleans up his room, and so he went to kill time outside until she’s done. He left right after showing her where he stored things in the room, so she put on an apron, rolled her sleeves and started cleaning up. Around four hours later, Mai sent a mail to Yousuke saying she’s done cleaning up. The moment he walked into the room, his mouth dropped in shock—even asking her whose house is this LOL. As she wiped sweat off her forehead, she smiled saying it’s his house. The washing machine was still working on his laundry, but since it’s a combo unit with the dryer… it only took three more runs before she finished washing everything.
As Yousuke mused about how wide his living room is, Mai frowned saying it’s good that she bought some ingredients for dinner—there was nothing but beer in his fridge. He replied that it’s because he can’t cook at all, so he always buys his meals from the convenience store. When Mai brought the food she made for him, Yousuke stared at everything with sparkles in his eyes. It seemed like he was really touched. They ate dinner together after that, and she gave him a spoon knowing it must be hard for him to hold chopsticks. Yousuke was really impressed that Mai can do all sorts of housework, and she explained that the “trigger” was her mother. Her mother is good at doing housework, and she really admired her mother. She learned how to cook and helped with housework because of this, and before long she learned how to do them by herself. Yousuke then mentioned that he loves eating, but he doesn’t want to eat nasty things… and so he doesn’t cook for himself. Plus, he doesn’t like getting other people to cook for him. Mai was surprised and asked if she should just clean and do laundry, but he quickly asked her to continue cooking for him—he’ll give her generous food budget too. He really loves her cooking, and he feels happy to be able to eat them for a while. Or rather, he feels lucky to be injured LOL. When he happily made a guts pose, she could only lower her gaze—because she knew that she was blushing.
Back in the present, Mai explains that she’s been cleaning, cooking and doing laundry for Yousuke every single day. If she couldn’t visit him for just one day, his clothes and stuff will be scattered all over the floor again. It’s useless no matter how many times she warned him. After thinking for a while, Miki asks if Mai’s boasting her love story with Yousuke. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Mai quickly denies this saying Yousuke and her don’t have that kind of relationship, and she asks why Miki seems to encourage them to get together. Miki says it’s because she thinks a girl like Mai would be nice for a man like Yousuke. Just then they hear the sound of books falling onto the floor, and they turn around to find a shocked Mori—who obviously heard their conversation. Miki asks if he has found the books the teacher told him to collect, but Mori only runs up to Mai and asks if it’s true. He knows that Mai and Yousuke aren’t dating, but he wants to know if she really goes to his place everyday.
Mai nods saying it’s because she caused Yousuke to get hurt, but the shock is just too huge for Mori. He already heard what happened from Takuto, but he can’t believe that Mai cooks, cleans and even washes laundry for Yousuke everyday. They sound like newlyweds, and he’s dying with envy. He’d protect her too if only he was there. That day he actually went to get a trial copy of a game, and now he regrets skipping work for it. Miki only nods and asks Mai to ignore this fool. She does feel sorry about Mori’s terrible luck, but Mori wouldn’t be himself without it—even he agrees somehow LOL. After thanking Mori for being so concerned about her, Mai says goodbye to them and goes to work. Starting from today, she’ll be working in Kamizono Shrine again… and Kyouga probably would rage if she comes late.
On the way to Kamizono Shrine, Mai receives a call from Issei. First he asks if she’s taking care of Yousuke right now, and she explains that it was only until last week. For now, she only visits him twice a week. Issei doesn’t think it’s necessary for Mai to visit Yousuke anymore. He has recovered anyway, and he’ll only get carried away if she spoils him too much. Mai chuckles since Issei is being such a good big brother to her, and she promises to be careful. That aside, Issei actually calls Mai to ask for her help with data gathering. He’s going to check an amusement park next time, and he asks if Mori and her are willing to come along. Their opinions on the café’s waffle was really useful to him, so Issei is thinking of doing the same thing for the amusement park. Mai immediately agrees, and she also promises to ask Mori tomorrow. Issei says she can invite more friends if possible, so she’s going to invite Miki as well. He thinks it’d be best if they check the amusement park once her school enters spring break, and he’s going to inform her the details later.
However, both Miki and Mori can’t make it to the amusement park. Miki has a date with Kazuki, and Mori has to attend a supplementary lesson at school. Issei doesn’t mind since they can gather data as long as Mai is around, but soon they meet Yousuke while queuing for the jet coaster. He came for a meeting with the amusement park’s manager earlier. It seems like the manager wants to do something fun for summer vacation, and so he went to do some promotion. After reporting to the office, he was told that he can go home directly. He thinks it’s terribly sad if he plays in the amusement park alone, but it’s even worse if he just leaves without doing anything… and so he decided to get a meal. That’s when he got lucky by seeing Mai among the crowd, and now he wants to join them. Since Mai doesn’t mind, Issei has no choice but to let Yousuke come along. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Yousuke finds it creepy that Issei accepts him so easily, but he quickly takes it back when Issei tells him to go home alone LOL.
After waiting for an hour, Mai can choose who to ride the jet coaster with. If she decides to ride it with Yousuke, he jumps in glee and teasingly apologizes to Issei—who says that he doesn’t mind. It’s Mai’s decision after all. Despite this, Yousuke grins and says that Issei isn’t being honest. He actually wants to sit beside a cute high school girl like her, right? That way, when she clings onto him out of fear… he can look cool by assuring her that she’ll be alright by his side. Σd(ゝ∀･)ｨｨ!!! Issei frowns and falls silent before asking Yousuke not to put them on the same level, but Yousuke points out that the silence was SO long. What was he thinking about? He probably thought such a situation isn’t bad at all, right? Issei is such a closet pervert! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Issei is shocked to hear this, but he only pushes Yousuke forward since their turn is coming. He’ll ride it with the next batch, so Yousuke should go ride it with Mai. They take the very last row, and both of them are really excited as the coaster climbs up. Yousuke asks if Mai wants to raise both hands in the air when they slide down, and she happily agrees. She was clutching onto the bar on her last ride, so she’s going to get her revenge this time. Yousuke also promises to hold Mai’s hand if she feels scared, and so she can tell him anytime. Just then the jet coaster reaches the peak, and both of them raise their hands in the air—screaming with excitement as it slides down.
Even after they get off, Mai and Yousuke are still excited. She admits that she was scared, but she’s glad that she raised both of her hands. The speed was incredible. Yousuke replies that he found it fun too, and he was laughing when they dropped off the peak. They both want to ride it one more time, but sadly Issei didn’t enjoy it as much as they did… because he gets off the ride looking like a living dead. Yousuke says he should just tell them if he doesn’t like jet coasters, but Issei only asks him to leave him alone. Since his eyes are spinning, Mai then suggests getting some rest on a nearby bench. Yousuke has to help him walk, and he doesn’t throw his usual sarcasm—he doesn’t have any energy to do that LOL.
After that, they move on to the haunted house… and the situation takes a 180° turn because Yousuke is actually afraid of ghosts. He’s trembling in fear when Issei explains that the haunted house seems to be a “real” attraction, and quite a lot of people give up along the way because of how scary it is. There’s also a rumor about how “someone” would follow you after you leave the attraction, and this is just too much for Yousuke to handle. If Mai chooses to enter the haunted house with him, her fear completely vanishes since he’s obviously more scared than she is. She holds his trembling hands and assures him that it will be alright—she’s right by his side. Hmm? Wait… Isn’t this the reverse version of the situation he came up with earlier? (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Yousuke looks really worried though, and he wonders if it’s really going to be alright. He’s actually fine with hearing scary stories, but he can’t stand the visualization—he knows he’s going to be extremely uncool. Mai doesn’t think that way though. She’s scared too, so they’re on the same boat. Mai keeps holding Yousuke’s hand as they enter the haunted house, and Issei sends them off while holding his laughter.
Once they walk into the haunted house, they’re completely surrounded by darkness. The only source of light are the candles on the wall, with their lights flickering in the dark corridor. The setting is a “haunted mansion” where a lot of people were murdered in a long time ago, and so a lot of ghosts will appear. Due to the scary setting, Yousuke keeps on glancing at everything around them—flinching and shivering even at the smallest sounds. Knowing that he’s really terrified of ghosts, Mai asks if he’s alright and if he wants her to walk slower. He stutters out that he’s fine, and he admits that he’s actually fine with seeing things like zombies. It’s just that he’s absolutely dislikes the “ghost” category. He finds them scary. Just then they hear the sound of nails scratching the walls, and Yousuke screams upon seeing multiple scratch marks on the wall—clinging to Mai out of fear. On the other hand, Mai remains calm and assures Yousuke that it’s alright. The marks are probably images reflected from somewhere else, and they simply played the sound at the right timing. When they hear another scratching sound, Yousuke jumps out of fright and hugs Mai as he screams. At first she feels embarrassed, but soon she notices that both of his shoulders are slightly trembling… and as inappropriate as this may sound, she actually finds him cute. Mai then hugs Yousuke back and gently pats his back, telling him that it’s alright. He’s got her, so he should do his best until they reach the exit. Yousuke apologizes for being so pathetic, but he admits that Mai is really helping him. He then begs her not to let go of his hand, so they keep holding hands as they walk towards the exit.
After leaving the haunted house, they head to a plaza in front of the ferris wheel. As soon as they reach a table, Yousuke sits down and flops onto the table—muttering that he will never enter a haunted house in amusement parks ever again. Mai offers to buy some drinks for him, but he assures her that he’ll be okay after resting for a while. Since the ferris wheel can take the three of them at once, Issei asks them to ride it together once Yousuke feels better. However, he soon receives a call and moves away to answer it. By the serious expression on Issei’s face, Yousuke can tell that it must be related to work. Not too long after that, Issei returns and apologizes to them. Just as Yousuke predicted, he received an urgent task and has to go back to the office immediately. Before Mai could say anything, Yousuke asks Issei to leave the rest to him. They only have to ride the ferris wheel, and the two of them should be enough. Issei still feels bad because he was the one who asked Mai to come to the amusement park, but she asks him not to worry about her. She asks him to go to work with a smile, hoping it can make him feel at ease. Issei eventually gives in and leaves the rest in their hands, though he warns Yousuke to take Mai home properly. Issei also adds that if Yousuke does weird things to her, Mai can just slap him and run away. (｡･ω･｡)ﾉぁぃ♪
Soon after Issei leaves, Yousuke says they should ride the ferris wheel now. Mai is worried and asks him to get some more rest, but he points out that they won’t be able to see the beautiful sunset later—they need to hurry. Since he has work-related connections to the amusement park, Yousuke actually has quite a lot of rare information. This includes information about what kind of view they can see from the ferris wheel, and he can share them with Mai. After queuing for an hour, they ride the ferris wheel just when the sun is setting—probably because he read the timing right. As Mai admires the beautiful scenery below, Yousuke tells her about the places they can see from above. They can see a large building on the right side, and he explains that it’s a private company that sells famous cosmetics. When Mai mentions that SNT’s building seems to be even larger, Yousuke says it’s because their president is capable. He’s a top-class figure in the IT industry.
Next, Yousuke points to a building with red roof and tells Mai that they serve delicious deep-fried dishes. She’s a bit surprised since he seems to know a lot about this area, and he grins saying he’s working for the sales department after all. If he doesn’t have a vast knowledge, it might give him problems when he’s talking to clients. It seems like he gathers information everyday, be it from newspapers, magazines or TV. When he has the time, he also goes to check various places directly—just like today. Yousuke then asks Mai to sit on his side when they’re near the top, as it gives them a more beautiful view of the sunset. She decides to do this right away and carefully moves to sit beside him. As the ferris wheel takes them higher, the scenery around them is painted by the sunset. It’s beautiful, as if the sky is burning red. Just then Mai catches a glimpse of Yousuke’s right hand, and she notices a slight trace of the wound there. He assures her that it has completely recovered though. It actually healed pretty fast, since she’s been taking care of his housework for a month. Knowing that Mai is concerned about the trace, Yousuke asks her not worry. He went to ask the doctor before, and the doctor said it won’t leave any scar on his hand. Mai feels really relieved upon hearing this. She was the one who caused Yousuke to get injured, and she wouldn’t know how to apologize if it leaves a scar. From now on, she needs to pay attention to her surroundings before standing up. (ง •̀_•́)ง
Since Yousuke’s right hand has recovered, Mai thinks maybe it’s about time she stops going to his place. He admits that it’s the biggest downside of his recovery. His room has been clean for a month because of her, and he feels messy upon thinking that it’s going to be messy again. She says he’ll be fine if he stores his stuff after using them, but apparently he finds it troublesome. He’s going to use them again anyway, so it’d be easier if he just leaves them lying around. Mai points out that’s exactly what caused Yousuke’s room to get so messy, and she can’t leave him alone because of this. If she stops visiting him, everything would turn filthy again in no time. However, Mai soon notices that Yousuke is grinning. She asks why he smiles like that when she’s giving him a serious advice, so he admits that it’s cute how she gets angry for his sake. He wants her to continue visiting him even after his hand is healed. If she scolds him like that all the time, he might be able to clean up properly. She blushes and asks him to do it even if she’s not there to scold him, but he answers that it might be difficult.
This reminds Yousuke that he has something for Mai, and he takes out a stuffed bunny from his pocket. It’s a White Day present for her, and the bunny is hugging a small bag of marshmallows. Since she looks confused, he reminds her that she gave him a chocolate on Valentine’s Day. He actually wants to thank her for the food as well, but he’ll do it one step at a time. As he puts the bunny on Mai’s palms, Yousuke grins saying he wanted to give her something better… but from her personality, he knows that she might give him something else in return. That’s why he decided to go with the bunny, and he asks her to accept it. Mai actually didn’t expect a present since she gave Yousuke the chocolate in such a rude way, but she feels that if she refuses… he’s going to ask why she’s ran away from him. She wants to avoid that, and so she accepts the bunny with a nod. When Mai thanks him, Yousuke explains that he had a hunch that he will meet her at the amusement park. That’s why he decided to buy the bunny, and now he’s really glad that he did. He then asks if she likes the present, and when she nods… he smiles and asks her to continue taking care of his room from now on.
Mai doesn’t fall for this though, and she only tells Yousuke to start doing it by himself. She quietly stands up to return to her former seat, but then suddenly the ferris wheel car sways slightly—probably due to the strong wind. This causes her to lose her balance, and he quickly catches her when she falls towards him. He smiles when she thanks him, and feeling embarrassed, she tries to move away from him… but his arms lock her in place. It’s like he’s hugging her even tighter. Of course Mai gets flustered, but Yousuke points out that the wind is still strong outside. It might be embarrassing for her, but he thinks it’d be better if they stay like this for a while. When she apologizes for troubling him, he tells her there’s no need to apologize since he actually enjoys this situation. A lot. ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟ Yousuke’s voice gives Mai strange feelings. She feels relieved, but her heart is also racing. While she feels embarrassed and wants to move away from him, and yet she also feels calm. In the end, she entrusts her body to his warmth.
They leave the amusement park after that, and Yousuke walks Mai back to her mansion—as he promised to Issei earlier. They had enjoyable moments thanks to Issei today, and Yousuke asks if Mai wants to play in the amusement park with him next time… which she refuses immediately. When he mentions that she’s rather harsh towards him recently, she answers that she might turn softer if he learns how to take care of himself. Yousuke doesn’t hate Mai’s strict side though, and despite what she said to him… Mai has gotten used to taking care of Yousuke as well. Even though he’s frivolous, he never has any ill intents. Since Mai went to the amusement park based on Issei’s request, Yousuke then asks if she’s willing to take a request from him. She honestly says she’ll gladly help however she can, but she gets a bad feeling when he gives her a wide, radiant grin. Then he asks if she’s willing to take care of his housework for a while, even if his hand has recovered. He’ll pay her properly, and he asks her to accept the request. After all, there’s a lot of romance in having a high school girl as a maid. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Mai frowns upon hearing this, and she rejects Yousuke’s request right away. She has to work in Kamizono Shrine, and it’d be better if he does housework by himself. However, he grabs her shoulders and gives her a very serious expression. She should have realized by now, but he’s absolutely hopeless when it comes to cleaning up. He won’t clean up because he CAN’T do it. Mai is about to say that it’s not true, but then she realizes that Yousuke is right. He tried to help her with cooking and cleaning, but in the end he only made everything messy. Strangely enough, he can do them properly with her instructions. In any case, Yousuke doesn’t want his room to turn messy again… and so he asks Mai to teach him until he can do them on his own. At the same time, she realizes that it’s an improvement for him. He didn’t mind living in a filthy room before, but now he wants his room to be clean. It’s a good thing for both of them. Her guidance will help him to keep his room clean, so she wouldn’t have to watch him all the time anymore. As she gently holds Yousuke’s hands, Mai finally answers that she understands—she’ll continue visiting him. She’ll teach him how to do all sorts of housework, and she asks him to do their best together.
Yousuke immediately cheers and thanks Mai, happily calling her as his savior. He then takes out one key from the case and hands it to her, explaining that it’s a spare key to his room. She finds it strange that he carries a spare key around, and she wonders he doesn’t bring the master key when he goes out. Yousuke then explains that he’s been going home at the regular time due to the wound, but he might have to work overtime again from now on. If he hasn’t returned yet, Mai can use the key to enter his room… but he will make sure to return before she goes home. Yousuke then asks Mai to give him a good guidance, and she excitedly nods—saying they’ll work hard until he can clean up on his own.
• APRIL •
One evening, after finishing work in Kamizono Shrine, Mai buys some groceries and walks to the station. She got a lot of good ingredients for a cheap price at the shopping district, not to mention the stores she often visits also gave her a lot of extras. Yousuke’s apartment is three stations away from her area, so she has to carry everything as she takes the train… but prices are slightly higher in his area, and she won’t be able to get any extras either. Today she bought tofu for a cheap price, so she’s thinking of making mapo tofu for dinner. Along the way, the weather suddenly turns gloomy. A low sound of thunder is heard from the sky, and Mai can tell that they’re about to have a downpour. She probably should rush. Just then she notices Mori running from the opposite direction, carrying a heavy bag in his arms. He’s grumbling about how Takuto keeps sending him out to buy heavy stuff, but he immediately stops upon seeing her.
Mori blushes when Mai runs up to him with a smile, asking if he’s in the middle of work. He nods saying Takuto asked him to buy some things, and he has a late shift today—he’ll have to work until night. Mori asks if Mai is going to Yousuke’s place today, as she’s been teaching him how to do housework since last month. When she nods, he frowns and says that she probably doesn’t need to be that enthusiastic about this. He finds it unbelievable that Yousuke can’t even take care of himself. Mai agrees, but she also adds that Yousuke has improved a lot after she taught him for a month. She started by telling him to do a little cleaning up, so he wouldn’t find it troublesome. From there, she gradually increased the level and taught him patiently—not rushing him to improve. After a while, he learned how to do it on his own. Mai thinks that Yousuke will be able to do it with just a little more training, so she’s going to do her best.
Mori doesn’t think Mai needs to work that hard though. He’s clearly not amused about how Mai goes as far as cooking dinner for Yousuke, but Mai says that’s because Yousuke has a bad eating habit. He only drinks beer and eat light snacks without even realizing it, which is bad for his health. Mori knows it’s just like Mai to be that kind, so he has no choice but to hold back the urge to protest. Since she always visits Yousuke in the evening, Mori also asks how Mai goes home. He’s afraid that she might be walking home alone at night, but she tells him that Yousuke always takes her home. If he can’t do it, he’ll call a taxi for her. At first Yousuke only walked Mai to the station, but somehow Issei found out about their housework lessons. Of course Issei got really mad, and he said he won’t approve of this idea unless Yousuke picks up and takes Mai home properly.
Mori finds Yousuke irresponsible since he didn’t do it until Issei told him to, but Mai replies that he’s not that bad. He’s attentive and kind too. She wants to help him. Mori gives Mai a bitter smile upon hearing this, but he doesn’t protest further since it’s her decision. However, he does ask Mai not to spoil Yousuke too much. It’s important to draw a line, and Mai realizes that Mori has a point. She tends to lend a hand whenever Yousuke gets stuck, but maybe she needs to be more strict in order for him to improve. Since it looks like it might start raining soon, Mori then wishes Mai luck and tells her to be careful along the way. She goes to the station after thanking him, but it starts raining really hard before she reaches Yousuke’s apartment. She quickly runs to his apartment in the rain, but by the time she arrives… she’s pretty much drenched from head to toe. She squeezes out the water in her skirt before entering the elevator, and she enters his room by using the spare key. Water continues to drip off her body and clothes, forming a pool in front of the door. Since she’s completely soaked, Mai then wonders about what she should do.
If Mai decides to go in and borrow a towel, she heads straight to the bathroom. She leaves a wet trace along the corridor, but she promises to clean it up later. However, when she opens the bathroom door… she finds a naked Yousuke inside. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ There are steam around his body, probably because he just came out of the bath. The first thing that comes to Mai is confusion. Yousuke isn’t supposed to be at home, so why is he here in the bathroom…? Due to the shock, she can’t look away from him. He seems to be just as surprised, since he stares back at her with a blank look on his face. After blinking several times, he leers at her and grins before calling her naughty. At the same time, he covers his CHEST with both hands. Which means he basically leaves his lower half exposed. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ She returns to her senses the moment she hears this, and she screams out an apology as she dashes out of the bathroom LOL.
If Mai isn’t sure whether she should enter Yousuke’s room or not, she ends up sneezing by the front door. At home she’d just take off her clothes and rush off to the bathroom, but she can’t do that here—even if he’s not at home. The next moment, a half naked Yousuke suddenly comes out from inside. In a moment of panic, Mai quickly looks away and screams at him to put on some clothes. Yousuke grins and says he wanted to wear some clothes before walking out, but he can’t ignore her when she’s drenched and even sneezed. Yousuke then walks up to Mai and covers her head with his towel. He’s done showering, so now she should take a bath too. At first she feels reluctant, but he asks her not to worry. Earlier he put a room jersey in the bathroom, and she can change into that after bathing. They can put her uniform in the dryer after that, and he asks her to bear with his clothes until then.
Mai feels bad for borrowing his clothes and bathroom, but Yousuke doesn’t want her to catch a cold. Her parents will get worried, not to mention he’ll also get killed by Issei and Kyouga. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Knowing that Yousuke is worried about her, Mai finally asks if she can borrow his bathroom. He grins as he tells her to warm up in the bath, mentioning that it makes him happy to have a cute high school girl relying on him. Yousuke then moves away to the living room, and Mai walks to the bathroom while hiding her blush with the towel—thanking him in her heart.
After taking a shower, Mai feels all warm and relieved. Yousuke’s clothes are obviously too big for her, so she had to roll up the pants and sleeves. She thinks she looks really terrible, but she’ll bear with it until her uniform is dry. When she moves to the living room, she finds Yousuke there—sipping coffee while reading a magazine. She’s glad to see that he has put on a shirt, since she wouldn’t be able to handle it if he’s still half naked. Despite what Mai thinks of her current appearance, Yousuke turns red and spits out his coffee upon seeing her. Obviously because the sight of her wearing his clothes is “extremely dangerous” for him. (oﾟ∀`o)ｱﾋｬｯ━♪ Mai doesn’t get Yousuke’s sudden excitement though, being the pure girl that she is. She points out that he was the one who gave her the jersey, and he praises himself for doing a good job LOL.
Yousuke then asks Mai to sit down as he makes a warm drink for her. She’s about to say that she’ll do it instead, but he tells her that it’s alright—he’ll make sure to clean them up later, Recently he can do things properly on his own, so she can sit back and leave it to him. As Yousuke makes a drink in the kitchen, Mai notices that it’s still raining outside. She thought it’s just an afternoon shower, but he says they’re having heavy downpour around this area. They even received a warning for it. Yousuke soon returns with a cup of coffee for Mai. He put in a lot of sugar and milk, so it should be easy for her to drink. After taking a sip, Mai asks why Yousuke is home at this hour. He explains that he took a leave from work today, because a certain host really wanted to buy a game. Sadly that host couldn’t go and buy it himself, so he asked for Yousuke’s help instead—promising to repay the debt through service later. Yousuke couldn’t refuse, and he has a lot of money in his hands anyway. He went to buy the game early in the morning, and after that he enjoyed his day off by going shopping and watching a movie. It started raining on his way home, and so he just finished showering when Mai came into his room. Mai blushes upon hearing this, and she tries to erase his naked image from her mind. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪
Since it’d be hard for Mai to go home in this rain, Yousuke then asks her to train him until it stops raining. Today she’s going to teach him how to polish the floor. They can make the floor shiny by using rice water, and it’s also eco-friendly. Yousuke has been wondering why Mai has so much knowledge about daily life, and he asks if recent high school girls are like this… but she says it’s because she has a cousin who does a lot of different jobs. He learns a lot of things from his jobs, and he’s the one who has a broad knowledge in her family. Mai then starts teaching Yousuke how to polish the floor, but it’s still raining even after they finish dinner. In fact, it only got worse. Chisato sends a mail to inform Mai that the heavy rain also stops all sorts of transportation, including the train she’s using. She doesn’t know what to do since she can’t go home without the train, but then Yousuke grins and asks her to just spend the night here. Of course she’s shocked and refuses right away, saying she’ll ask her father to pick her up instead. She quickly takes out her phone and calls her mother at home, only to hear that her father can’t return home either. He’s going to spend the night at his office, and the same goes to Chisato. She’s worried since her mother is alone at home, but apparently the feeling isn’t mutual. Rather than worrying about her, her mother is going to see Souya’s younger brother next door—they’re going to watch TV together. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Mai is completely lost. No one can pick her up, and she’s not sure if she can catch a taxi in this weather. Just then Yousuke pats her shoulder and asks if she can hand the phone to him, since he wants to greet her mother. After all, he’s “borrowing” their daughter to take care of his place. At first she’s a bit reluctant, but then she hands over the phone to him. When Yousuke politely greets her mother, Mai is surprised to see that he’s not speaking in his usual frivolous manner. He speaks like a calm, mature adult. In a way it’s rude to say that about him, but she’s just THAT surprised. Yousuke says that Mai provides a great help for him, and his room remains clean thanks to her. He chuckles when her mother mentions that she has quite a short temper, but then he admits that he finds her cute. After talking for a while, Yousuke says goodbye to Mai’s mother and returns the phone. As soon as it switches back to Mai, the first thing she hears is her mother telling her to spend the night at Yousuke’s place… and the call ends before she can protest.
Mai is too shocked to say anything, even when Yousuke mentions that her mother is cute and asks about her age. She can’t believe her mother would send her to spend a night in a grown-up man’s house! Since Mai doesn’t react, Yousuke asks if she’s thinking that her chastity is in danger. She instantly turns red as it’s obvious that she’s being overly aware of him, but then he laughs and teasingly asks her not to be that nervous. He’s not frustrated enough to attack a high school kid. Yousuke puts on an innocent smile as he says this, but Mai glares at him—feeling stupid for thinking of him as a “mature adult” earlier. She replies that she’s not interested in old men like him either, and she won’t feel anything even if they sleep next to each other. However, Yousuke grins and says they don’t have a problem then. It’s too dangerous for Mai to go home in this weather, and so she should just spend the night here. That’s when she realizes that he’s been aiming for this right from the start, so she would accept the offer without feeling bad. Knowing that she has lost, Mai finally nods and agrees to spend the night in Yousuke’s room.
After that, Mai does her homework in the living room. Yousuke, who’s watching information program on TV, notices that she’s yawning, and he finds it cute that she gets sleepy around 11 PM. She tells him that he can call her a kid if he wants to, but he thinks it’s okay for her to sleep early. Just as people say, sleep brings up a child well. Yousuke then asks Mai to use his bed. He’ll sleep on the sofa, and he also asks her not to worry since he often dozes off on the sofa anyway. However, Mai feels bad and refuses. If she uses the bed, she’ll get worried about Yousuke and won’t be able to sleep. Of course he can’t use the bed and leave her to sleep on the sofa either, and since none of them wants to back down… in the end he decides that they should sleep together. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Again, Mai is shocked by Yousuke’s sudden outburst. She tells him that it’s impossible, but he points out that they’ll only continue arguing here otherwise. If they end up with a cold because of this, everything they did today would be meaningless. After all, he told her to take a bath and asked her to spend the night here because he doesn’t want her to get sick. Mai only has two options here. The first is to take the bed while Yousuke sleeps on the sofa, and the second is to share the bed with him. She feels really embarrassed to sleep on the same bed with a man, but she doesn’t want to lose to this situation either… and so she accepts the challenge. She will sleep with him. (б｀･Д･)б!!
30 minutes later, Mai and Yousuke are lying on the bed—with their backs facing each other. Her heart is pounding loudly and her heartbeat is going out of control, but she ignores it and warns him not to move closer to her no matter what. He reminds her that he’s not interested in kids. He won’t do anything to her, and he lightly says goodnight—as if he really doesn’t feel anything towards her. She’s annoyed that he’s treating her like a kid, but at the same time she’s also relieved upon thinking that an adult like him won’t do anything to a kid like her. When she puts her face on the cushion, she can faintly sense his scent even though the sheets are new. The scent gives her a pleasant, comfortable feeling. It’s just like she wants to stay here forever. She falls asleep right after that.
Meanwhile, Yousuke is amazed at how Mai can fall asleep in less than 10 minutes. Just as expected from a kid. He quietly turns around to see that she’s sleeping soundly, though he leaves a little space between them. He actually bought a double bed because he doesn’t want to sleep in a small one, but it proves to be useful in this situation. Earlier he said that he doesn’t see her as a woman, but he didn’t think that she would fall asleep so fast. Yousuke wonders if Mai will be alright, since she’s clearly lacking wariness when it comes to men. He feels that she might make a mistake because of this someday. Yousuke then turns his back on Mai again, thinking that worrying about these stuff are for people like Issei. He needs to wake up early tomorrow, so he’s going to sleep now. Or so he thought. The next moment, Yousuke is startled upon sensing warmth on his back… and he glances back to find Mai hugging him from behind. He panics and wonders what’s going on here. Does she have a bad sleeping habit!? He didn’t expect this turn of events at all! Yousuke can say for sure that he’s not panicking because Mai is hugging her from behind. It’s the fact that she did it after telling him not to move closer, and he didn’t expect it at all. 三ヾ(*´ω`)ﾉﾞ ｳｯﾋｮﾋｮ♪
Yousuke then twists himself out of Mai’s arms and moves away, but the relief only lasts for a few seconds because she quickly hugs him again. Since she keeps sticking to him, he wonders if she’s cold. Maybe she is subconsciously seeking for warmth in her sleep? He can’t believe this is happening. Of course he has no intentions of touching a high school student like her, but he can feel her warmth and softness through his back. It can’t be helped if heat is rising to his face! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ This is he finds kids troublesome to deal with, and he sighs before closing his eyes—not sure if he can sleep properly tonight.
The next morning, Mai wakes up to the sound of birds chirping, the sunlight leaking through the curtain, and her phone alarm ringing. She feels so warm and comfortable, so much that she doesn’t want to wake up… but of course she can’t do that. It wouldn’t be a problem if she’s at home, but she spent the night at Yousuke’s place. She has to get up early and return home first to prepare for school. When Mai forces her eyes open, she can see Yousuke’s face right in front of her. She watches him for a while, musing that he’s quite good-looking from up close… but then she realizes that he’s actually hugging her. This causes her to let out a LOUD scream, which leads to him waking up in a panic. She hits his shoulders and asks why he’s hugging her in his sleep after she warned him not to move closer, but he shakes his head and says he has absolutely no idea. He doesn’t even remember hugging her. She protests that he was hugging her earlier, even though he said that he’s not interested in high school kids. When she calls him a pervert, he admits that he IS a pervert who loves young girls… but that would make her a pervert too.
Yousuke then reveals that Mai was the one who hugged him first. She hugged him so tightly from behind, and he thought that she’s really bold. Of course Mai doesn’t remember because she was asleep, and she replies that Yousuke was probably dreaming. For the next five minutes, they continue arguing and calling each other a pervert. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ They only stop when their stomach growl in hunger, sending the sound to echo throughout the room. After that, they quietly get out of bed and get dressed before having breakfast together. Mai feels really embarrassed and awkward, but it doesn’t seem to affect Yousuke. He smiles as he praises her fried eggs, as if he doesn’t remember what happened earlier. Feeling irritated, she then asks if he’s used to this kind of situation. He asks if she’s referring to the morning after spending the night with a girl, and he nods saying he’s an adult compared to her. He answers the question lightly, but it’s a bit painful for her to take—knowing that he spends his mornings like this with other girls. Somehow she feels shocked, but she doesn’t understand why. Mai also knows that she ended up in Yousuke’s arms because both of them were asleep, and yet she doesn’t get why she got so flustered over it. What’s wrong with her…? She quietly takes a deep breath over and over again, trying to ease the pain in her heart.
• MAY •
When May comes, Mai feels that something is wrong with her. It seems like she’s not doing too well, and she wonders this is May blues. As she walks to Yousuke’s apartment, she lets out a heavy sigh. Wherever she is, be it at school or work, somehow she always feels uneasy. She’s mentally exhausted, and she also notices that she’s been like this after spending the night at his place. A month has passed since then, and Mai’s anxiety reaches its worst state whenever she’s with Yousuke—because she keeps recalling his scent and warmth. She knows that he’ll surely tease her if he finds out about this, and she doesn’t want that to happen. She keeps forcing herself to remain calm, but it’s really exhausting… which is why she’s in a bad condition recently. That being said, she doesn’t know how to regain her former composure either.
After a while, Mai reaches Yousuke’s apartment. There she finds him in front of the building, talking to a beautiful woman who looks like a model. They’re standing really close to each other, and even from afar the atmosphere around them look so intimate. When she wonders if the woman is his girlfriend, her heart is pierced by a sharp pain. Mai knows Yousuke will honestly answer if she asks him, but her feet just won’t move forward. She doesn’t want to approach them. She doesn’t want to see them together. Suddenly the woman suddenly moves closer and lightly kisses Yousuke on the cheek. Mai is terribly shocked and drops her shopping bag onto the ground, which causes him to notice her presence. As the woman moves away from him, Yousuke smiles and calls Mai to come over—leaving her with no choice but to approach them. When Mai politely greets them, the woman says she never knew Yousuke is friends with a high school girl. She asks if Mai is Yousuke’s girlfriend, commenting that he’s getting “a new genre” in his hands. Yousuke replies that he doesn’t have that kind of relationship with Mai, and he explains that she’s just helping him with housework. The woman is surprised and asks if Mai is alright, because she knows that Yousuke can’t clean up properly at all. Yousuke explains that’s exactly why Mai is training him right now. He brags that he’s gotten much more organized right now, but she quickly shoots him down—saying that he’s still got a long way to go.
The woman laughs as she watches their interaction, but Mai is actually really shaken inside. The woman calls him “Yousuke”, and she also knows about how messy his room is. Mai wants to ask if they’re dating, but she can’t bring herself to do it. She doesn’t want Yousuke to find out that she’s shocked. The woman then links her arm to Yousuke’s in front of Mai. It’s been a while since they saw each other, but since they met by coincidence today… she wouldn’t mind receiving his spare key again. She knows that he’s walking around with the spare key on his pocket, just like he always does. Yousuke replies that he can’t do it since the spare key is in Mai’s hands right now. Mai is confused and asks if she should return the spare key, but Yousuke tells her to hold onto it—he’s the one who gave it to her anyway. The woman looks disappointed to hear Yousuke’s rejection, but something is bothering Mai here. When she asks further about the spare key, the woman explains that Yousuke has the habit of handing his spare key to any girl he’s gotten close to. It seems like he does it so he can ask them to clean up his room, and the woman finds it funny since he must hate cleaning up a lot.
Yousuke protests and asks the woman not to lower his image in front of Mai. He only gives his key to the girls who are willing to take care of him and say that they love him. The thing is all of them would throw it back at him after a while, complaining that his room just won’t turn neat no matter how much they try to clean it up. When the woman asks if Mai is the current candidate for that role, Yousuke sighs saying their relationship isn’t like that at all. He’s not desperate enough to lay his hands on a high school girl, and he points to the fact that she’s a kid. Mai receives a huge shock upon hearing this, so much that it hurts just to remain standing. However, he doesn’t notice this at all. Instead, he frowns at the woman and says he’ll walk her to the station before she says more unnecessary things to Mai. After asking Mai to go on ahead to his room, Yousuke leaves with the woman—linking arms and chatting as they walk.
Mai goes to Yousuke’s room after sending them off. Every time she enters his room, she can see the effect of their training. Recently, he also said that it’s fun to make his room clean. There’s no more unnecessary things lying all over the floor, and his kitchen sink remains clean as well. There are signs of corner-cutting on the cleaning part, but it’s much better compared to last month. Ever since he learned that it’d be much easier to do laundry frequently, he stopped making a mountain of dirty clothes as well. She doesn’t have much to do recently, mostly just cooking dinner for him. Today she got minced meat for a cheap price, so she’s thinking of making hamburger steak. Since he hates bell peppers, she’s planning to grate them and secretly mix them with the meat. If he can learn how to clean up, then maybe he’ll start liking the food he hates after eating enough of them—even though it’s hidden. She slices the bell peppers and onions after washing them, but then drops of water start falling to her hands… and she realizes that it’s her tears. Even if she wipes her eyes, her tears won’t stop flowing out. She tells herself that it’s because of the onions, but of course she actually knows the reason. The tears come from her heart.
After putting the knife down, Mai slowly sinks into a crouch. This isn’t the first time she sees Yousuke with a girl. Before, she only sighed thinking he’s so loose when it comes to women… but it’s different now. She doesn’t feel appalled nor angry. There’s only sadness, bitterness and pain. It feels painful to know that for him, she doesn’t stand on the same level as the woman from earlier. That’s when Mai realizes that she’s in love with Yousuke. She wants him to look at her as a woman. She finally knows why she’s been feeling so uneasy around him, and he already gave her the answer—it’s because she’s conscious of him. She’s been seeing him as a man right from the start, even if it’s different for him. However, Mai knows Yousuke won’t accept her feelings… so she won’t tell him about this. In his eyes, she’s only a kid who can never become a romantic prospect for him. Her feelings would only bother him, and she doesn’t want to feel this pain any longer. That’s why she decides to stop helping him after today. Now that he can keep his room organized, he won’t need her anymore. When he returns home, she’ll talk to him properly and return the spare key to him. It’s not something she can keep, but for the woman he chooses as his romantic interest. Mai takes a deep breath calm herself down, and she stands back up. Today is the last day, so she’ll make their dinner more delicious than usual—to make Yousuke happy.
Soon after it gets dark, Yousuke comes home and eats dinner with Mai. He finds today’s hamburger steak super delicious, because she worked really hard on it—even making the sauce herself. When she asks if it doesn’t taste weird, he shakes his head and asks if she used any secret ingredients. She answers that she’s just wondering if she messed up during the seasoning, but she actually did use one—the bell peppers. He doesn’t realize that the steak actually contains a lot of bell peppers, and she quietly hides her grin. This is the best distance for them. They’re “acquaintances” who get along well. She knows their relationship will continue to stay in this form, and this is where she stands. Mai assures herself that it’s be alright. It’s a bit painful right now, but once she takes some distance and recovers from her broken heart… she will be able to maintain this relationship with Yousuke.
Here, Yousuke says the woman from earlier claimed that she has met Mai before. Apparently she went to buy a charm at Kamizono Shrine before, though he always thought that she doesn’t care about this kind of stuff. Mai quietly points out that it might be because the woman wants to date Yousuke. She then asks if the woman is his ex-girlfriend, but he says the woman is simply his playmate. He also explains that they don’t have a physical relationship either, to which she quickly replies that she didn’t ask. She can feel her cheeks getting hot, but she tries her best to act as an “acquaintance”—hiding her real feelings inside. Mai then points out that the woman doesn’t seem to be satisfied with that, so maybe she wants to take a step forward in their relationship. After thinking for a while, Yousuke nods saying he’s free at the moment… so maybe he’ll consider it. For now, he has a broad and open relationship with everyone—not committing to anyone in particular. He wants to enjoy romance, so he doesn’t want to be bound to one person. He does know that she’ll probably get angry over his loose attitude, but he really enjoys his current life. Due to his liberal lifestyle, he often receives invitation from girls as well.
This only makes Mai realize that her thoughts aren’t wrong after all. Yousuke really doesn’t see her as a romantic prospect, and that’s why he can tell her about all these things. She can either tell him that he’s the worst or sarcastically say that he’s so amazing, but either way she’s not impressed. Her sarcasm leads to her asking if he wouldn’t get creeped out to hear her bragging about how popular she is at school, but he says he wouldn’t. He points out that she’s cute, and so it’s only natural for her to be popular. She feels really embarrassed upon hearing this, and she hides her face with her palms. If she calls him the worst, he grins saying he knew she’d get angry—it’s just as he expected. Somehow he looks happy, and she quietly wonders if he’s actually a masochist LOL.
After dinner, Mai and Yousuke do the dishes as usual. She’s the one washing them, while he wipes them dry before storing them. Since he’s been doing this for quite a while, he’s gotten good as well. As he puts the dinnerware back onto the shelf, she cheerfully asks if she can stop training him after today. His eyes widen in surprise, but she points out that he has improved a lot. He can do the dishes by himself, and his room is always clean lately. The only thing she can do for him is to cook dinner, so she thinks he’ll be fine on his own. Yousuke falls silent, sighing as he averts his gaze from Mai. Then he nods and admits that he was starting to think about that too. He thanks her for patiently teaching him up until now. Even though it might be late for him to improve after all this time, he has gotten better at doing housework because of her. Yousuke then holds out his hand, and Mai smiles as she shakes hands with him. In her heart, she tells herself that he doesn’t need her anymore. A part of her was hoping that he’d stop her, but she feels really selfish for thinking that way. However, maybe this also gives her the push she needs to give up on him. In the end, he only needed her to keep his room clean. This is for the best. Even if she feels sad and hurt right now, someday those feelings will disappear.
Mai then takes out the spare key from her pocket and returns it to Yousuke. When he accepts it, she asks him to clean up his room even if she doesn’t come—he shouldn’t skip it. He says he understands, and he promises to do it properly. He then asks if he can call her just in case things get out of hand, but she only gives him a sad smile. At the same time, she apologizes to him in her heart. Even if he calls her again, she probably won’t come to see him anymore.
• JUNE •
One afternoon, Yousuke comes to get some delicious coffee in Siesta after his rounds. After delivering his coffee, Takuto mentions that he’s been coming to Siesta regularly since last month. Does he have to meet clients around this area…? However, Yousuke answers that their client’s office is three stations away. This means that he goes out of his way and takes the train just to spend his break in Siesta. Takuto sighs and says he’s an odd fellow, but Yousuke replies that his coffee is worth it. Besides, he wants to heal his heart with a good cup of coffee before the next meeting. As Yousuke drinks his coffee, Takuto frowns saying he does feel grateful for the visit… but Yousuke never got so fixated over his coffee before. Takuto can’t help but wonder about the reason. Yousuke slightly panics when his fingers start trembling, but his expression remains the same… so he should be okay, right? He’s actually not sure whether Takuto notices or not, but Takuto only sighs and tells him to take it easy—leaving him to read a newspaper behind the counter. This makes Yousuke feel so relieved, and he’s glad that Takuto doesn’t seem to notice.
Just as Takuto said, Yousuke has been using his breaks to visit Siesta since last month. While it’s true that he wants to drink good coffee, the real reason is because he’s hoping to run into Mai at Siesta. He didn’t expect that he wouldn’t be able to see her at all right after their training ended. They used to spend nearly every single day together until last month, so he feels a bit lonely now that he can’t see her. What makes it even more painful is the fact that she’s no longer there to welcome him whenever he returns home. Did he say something bad to her? Yousuke is trying to recall what he’s said and done in front of Mai when a familiar voice greets him, and he turns to find Rio walking towards him. Rio says it’s just as expected from a frivolous salaryman to skip work, but Yousuke protests saying he’s on break. Yousuke then asks if Rio is going to work since it’s a bit too early for that, and Rio grins saying it’s a day off for him. He went to buy food supplies earlier, and now he’s planning to enjoy play games at home for the rest of the day. Yousuke notices that Rio looks really happy, since he has a デレデレ pathetic smile on his face. Yousuke thinks it’s such a shame because Rio is so good-looking, and yet he has this… uh, questionable side. Rio also thanks Yousuke for buying the game for him back in April, and he’s ready to repay the debt when Yousuke takes more clients to LADY MAGIC.
After ordering a cup of coffee and a club sandwich, Rio takes the seat next to Yousuke and excitedly says that he just bought a 80″ LCD TV—just for anime and games. Yousuke simply nods with little interest, and he comments that Rio is a bit of a shame even though he’s a top host. Rio protests that it’s so rude of him, since he’s only staying loyal to his desires. Besides, he thinks Yousuke is actually more of a shame than he is. Takuto laughs upon hearing this, since he shares that opinion. He points out that Mai had to take care of Yousuke’s room, laundry and even meals. No matter how they look at it, he’s a shame for a 32-year-old man. Of course Yousuke can’t deny it since it’s all true, but then he tells them that he’s no longer a shame now—because Mai isn’t taking care of him anymore. Rio is surprised and asks if that means Mai came to hate him, and he denies it saying he just doesn’t need her help anymore… but then he flops onto the table and mutters that she doesn’t hate him. Maybe. He can tell that both Rio and Takuto are staring at him.
When Takuto asks why he’s feeling so down, Yousuke whines that Mai is so cold to him lately. Whenever he asks her to help him at home or invites her to go out, she always refuses saying she’s busy with school and work. Takuto only hums in thought upon hearing this, while Yousuke asks if he did something wrong to Mai. Takuto shrugs saying if he can’t think of anything, then he probably didn’t. If it’s really bothering him, Takuto suggests asking her directly about this. Besides, he knows that Yousuke keeps coming here to see Mai anyway. After wishing Yousuke luck, Takuto gives him an evil smile and leaves to make Rio’s club sandwich. However, Rio then points out that Yousuke is being really concerned about this. If he can’t see Mai, then he can ask another girl to take care of and play with him. After all, that’s what he’s been doing up until now. He keeps on playing around with women who can have casual relationships.
Rio grins and asks if he has seriously fallen in love with a high school girl, but Yousuke instantly denies it saying he’s not desperate enough to go after a teenager. It’s the same words as the ones he gave to Mai before. Yousuke realizes that Rio has a point though. There’s a lot of other girls who can play with him or help him with housework—it doesn’t have to be Mai. It’s been quite a while since he played around with them, and he takes out his phone to search for a girl who will accept his invitation right away. Rio seems surprised for a moment, but then he gives Yousuke a sad smile. Rio thought that Yousuke has changed somehow, but in the end he’s still the same old him. When Yousuke asks what he’s talking about, Rio only winks saying it’s a secret. It’d be meaningless if he doesn’t realize it himself.
After school, Mai is watching the clouds from her classroom window. It’s been a month since she stopped seeing Yousuke. From then he’s been asking her to come and help him, but she keeps refusing by using a lot of different excuses. Maybe it’s because she has realized that she loves him, but she keeps missing him and his voice. She’s afraid that he might notice if they see each other, and so she decides not to see him. She needs to be careful, since both Kyouga and Chisato also said her feelings are always written all over her face. Mai snaps out of her reverie when Mori asks if she’s done with her assignment, since her hands have stopped writing. It reminds her that this is no time to be staring at the sky. She’s currently attending a supplementary lesson after failing her English test. Mai quickly turns back to her assignment paper and thanks Mori for reminding her, and he smiles saying she doesn’t have to thank him. No one will get angry since the teacher isn’t even here to begin with. He was just worried since they have a time limit. More than half of the questions on her paper are still unanswered, but they have 20 more minutes. She should make it in time if she starts working now. Mai soon notices that Mori has finished his assignment, and she says he can go on ahead of her. She will take quite a while, but of course he refuses to leave her alone—telling her that he feels nervous to enter the staff room alone. Mai feels really touched by Mori’s kindness, so she does her best and finishes the assignment 5 minutes before the time limit. Since they’re going to the staff room together anyway, Mori also invites Mai to go home together. She gladly accepts the invitation, and they leave the classroom after that.
The hallways are empty after school. From outside, they can faintly hear voices of the students who have club activities. Along the way, Mori then asks why Mai seems to be feeling down recently. He notices that since last month, she seems to have a lot on her mind. Both Miki and him are worried about her, and he’s been wondering if he should listen to her problem. Since she doesn’t tell them anything, he figured that it might be something she didn’t want to say. That’s why he decided to watch over her for a while, but then it seems really painful for her… and he can no longer keep silent about this. Even if it might be a nuisance for her, he’s really worried. Of course Mai doesn’t want her friends to worry, but she finds it hard to admit that she’s heartbroken. As she wonders about how to answer, Mori slowly asks if it’s because of Yousuke. Mai drops her bag and assignment paper out of shock, which is enough answer for Mori. He helps her to pick them up, and he gives her a sad smile as he hands them back to her—saying that she’s really honest. Even if she tries to hide them, her feelings clearly show through her attitude and expression.
Ever since Mai started visiting Yousuke, Mori knew that something like this would happen. He then asks if Mai is in love with Yousuke, and she can’t lie before the seriousness in his eyes—one that she’s never seen so far. When Mai nods, Mori’s expression turns sad. He looks like he’s about to cry, but then he smiles and congratulates her on her first love. She can tell that he’s forcing himself to appear cheerful though, so she can’t say anything to him in return. Mori then asks if Mai wants to confess to Yousuke, but she shakes her head saying Yousuke doesn’t see her as a romantic prospect. Or rather, it’s impossible because she’s only a kid. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t bridge the age gap between them. He always treats her like a kid. It’s painful knowing that her feelings will never reach him, and that’s why she decided to give up on him. However, Mori points out that it’s not like Mai at all. He’s about to say that the current her is not the person he “loves”, but he quickly changes it to the person he “knows”. It’s not like her to make decisions by herself and run away. Even if failure is waiting ahead, she would choose to move forward and fail instead of stopping along the way.
If Mai has confessed to Yousuke and got rejected, Mori would encourage her to find a new love… but her first love isn’t over yet. He knows that she’s worried about getting rejected. After all, nobody in this world wants to get hurt. That being said, Mori thinks it’d be better if Mai doesn’t run. Didn’t she always say that she wants to experience a wonderful love like her parents? Mori’s words remind Mai of what she’s always dreaming of. She wants a love like her parents. A precious love that will make her think “I’m glad to have fallen in love with his person” even after many years. After realizing her feelings for Yousuke, Mai decided to give up on him because it’s painful—because he only sees her as a kid. Is this really the kind of love she wanted to have? She wants her love for him to remain precious, no matter how painful it might be. Mori feels like he’s probably in no position to say that, but Mai smiles and shakes her head. If he didn’t tell her, she’d keep running away—believing that giving up on her love would be for the best. She doesn’t want to think like that. The people she sees in Kamizono Shrine are so radiant because of love. They overcome the pain and sadness of one-sided love, turning it into a wonderful one. That’s why she will move on with her love as well, as she doesn’t want to end it just because she’s a kid.
Mai then tells Mori that she’s going to see Yousuke. It’s impossible for her to confess right away, but she doesn’t want to lie to her feelings—she misses him. Mori grins and asks Mai to do her best, promising that he will be cheering her on. She thanks him and they smile at each other in a moment of relief, which only lasts until she realizes that they have to hand in the assignments. The deadline has passed a looong time ago. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ They both rush to the staff room with all their might, or else they might have to retake the supplementary lesson.
Fortunately the teacher lets them go after giving them a lecture, and Mai walks back to her mansion after that. She doesn’t have work today, so she’s free in the evening. Should she visit Yousuke in his apartment or should she go to his office instead? Afraid that her sudden appearance would bother him, she decides to ask him first… but she’ll mail him at night since he should be at work at this hour. When she walks past Siesta, she takes a peek inside to see that the café isn’t too full today. Mai decides to get some tea or café au lait inside, since it might help giving her ideas about how to approach Yousuke. Just before she opens the door, Mai notices that someone is coming out and takes a step back. It turns out to be a certain host, who apologizes for blocking her way—at the same time calling her “little kitten”. He’ll hold the door open for her, so she can go inside. Mai is really surprised by the way he calls her, but then she notices that he’s so gorgeous. He’s really good-looking, and the air around him is glittering somehow. It’s like her attention is forcibly drawn to him.
The next moment, a familiar voice asks why Rio is stopping at the entrance. He answers that he just met a cute “little kitten”, and he’s holding the door so she can enter—ladies first! Mai recognizes the voice right away, and soon Yousuke comes out to see what little kitten Rio is talking about. Of course he’s surprised to see her, while her heart starts racing upon seeing him. It’s been a while since they saw each other, and she’s been missing him for a month. Yousuke asks if Mai is well, and if she’s not busy with school or work today. At first she’s confused since it was just a lie to refuse his invitations, but then she quickly says that she was busy. In fact, she just came home after taking a supplementary lesson for English. Upon hearing this, Yousuke mutters that it means Mai was really busy. He quickly returns to his usual smile though, and he says that he’s glad to see her here. Yousuke is about to ask for Mai’s plans, but soon Rio interrupts and asks to be introduced to the “little kitten”.
Yousuke doesn’t seem to be happy about this, but then he sighs and tells Rio not to lay his hands on Mai. She’s still in high school. The brief explanation makes Rio realize that Mai is the girl Yousuke was talking about earlier, and he nods saying he understands. Rio then turns to Mai, and with a gorgeous smile that could spread imaginary roses into the air, introduces himself as Shirosaki Rio. He’s working as a host in a club called LADY MAGIC. When Mai introduces herself in return, Rio says she has a cute name and hands his business card to her. If she wants to play a game for adults, she can call him there—he’ll play with her for a special price. However, Yousuke snatches Rio’s business card and crumples it. Then he rages so hard and calls Rio stupid for promoting himself to a high school student, even though he just warned him not to lay a hand on her. Rio only smiles saying it doesn’t matter. Unlike Yousuke, he doesn’t care about age gaps at all. All girls are cute in his eyes, so he wants to love them entirely—including their body and soul.
Rio then puts his hand into his pocket again, but instead of pulling out another business card… he takes out two tickets and invites Mai to have an aquarium date with him. He owns a car, so he can pick her up and take her back home. The sudden invitation surprises both Mai and Yousuke. Especially the latter, as he quickly grabs the tickets and warns Rio that he can’t do that. Oh, and by “warning” I mean using that tone you use to scold your dog when they’re being naughty. He even tells Rio to go back to his house. As in dog house. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ What they don’t know is that Rio has expected that reaction from Yousuke, and now he can see that he was right—Yousuke has changed after all. In any case, Rio says he can have those tickets. They’re invitation tickets to the aquarium. Rio was carrying them around since he was planning to use them for his customers, but now he’s giving them to Yousuke. Because it seems more interesting that way. Yousuke is free to invite whoever he wants, be it Mai or the women he can play with. Yousuke grits his teeth as he glares at Rio, who only gives him a teasing grin.
Here, Yousuke mutters to himself for a moment. Mai is right in front of his eyes, and there’s nothing to be worried about. This is a natural flow. Yes, there should be no problems. Everything will be fine. After he’s done convincing himself, Yousuke hands one of the tickets to Mai—cheerfully asking her to play with him at the aquarium. He points out that she’s been refusing his invitations lately, and he found it boring since he really enjoys playing with her. Mai’s a bit reluctant at first, but then she nods and asks Yousuke to take her to the aquarium. For some reason, he looks surprised and averts his gaze soon after. Rio asks why he’s being so uneasy even though Mai agreed to go with him, and Yousuke admits that he didn’t expect her to agree so easily. This isn’t a dream, right? Rio asks if Yousuke wants him to pinch his cheeks to make sure, but of course Yousuke refuses to be awakened with such a painful way LOL. He also protests about how Rio would attack people whenever he sees an opening. Just as expected from a host. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Since it’s not a dream, Yousuke smiles and asks Mai to visit the aquarium with him—to which she happily nods.
Just then Yousuke’s phone starts ringing, and he moves away for a bit to receive the call. He soon returns saying one of his clients wants him to come right away, so he has to leave now. After apologizing to Mai, he promises to mail her the details later. She asks him to do his best at work, and he runs off with a happy smile on his face. After sending Yousuke off, Mai soon notices that Rio is staring intently at her. When she asks him what’s wrong, he asks if she’s truly in love with Yousuke. The question is so straight to the point, and Mai is too shocked to cover it up. Instead, she gasps and asks how did he find out. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Rio likes her pure reaction, as it’s been quite a while since he saw it. Mai panics and asks if she was being obvious, but Rio doesn’t think Yousuke notices at all—which is unusual. Due to the nature of his job, Rio is good at reading emotions hidden or held back by girls. That’s why he can see it. Since Rio finds Mai really cute, he will give her an advice as a person who has a lot of experience in life:
“No matter what will happen from now on, you have to keep showing your charms to Todaka-san.”
“Don’t ever give up thinking that you’re not good enough.”
“All you have to do is to attack! That’s the key to make your love go well.”
Just as expected from a professional. (◡‿◡✿)
When Mai asks why Rio is helping her even though they just met, she received a very host-like answer. He winks saying it’s because he’s a friend of cute “little kittens” like her, then he says goodbye and leaves just like that—leaving her stunned due to his deadly wink. She knows that her face must be red right now, but she’s sincerely impressed by the power of hosts.
• JULY •
In July, Mai and Yousuke have their aquarium date. Under the hot summer sun, he spreads both arms in joy as they reach the aquarium entrance. When she laughs at him, he pouts saying it took a month until they can finally come here—it’s only natural for him to be happy. After they made the promise to visit the aquarium together, he got busy with work and didn’t have any time to go out for a month. Mai says that she’s been looking forward to it, and she even bought a guidebook for the aquarium. When she takes out the book from her bag, Yousuke laughs and asks what kind of guide it is. Apparently the book introduces a lot of recommendations including viewing orders, show schedules and even souvenirs. As Mai flips the pages, Yousuke moves closer to see the book too. He smiles saying whale sharks are really huge, and he’ll feel touched if he can see them directly. Since Yousuke’s voice is so dangerously close to her ear, it sends Mai’s heartbeat to go out of control. She quickly closes the guidebook saying they should go inside, and he follows her while smiling.
Once they enter the aquarium, both Mai and Yousuke get super excited—just like a pair of kids. Yousuke gets his dream fulfilled when they see the cool whale sharks, and Mai is amazed by their powerful image. She knows she’s the type who gets excited upon visiting places like this, but it seems like he falls into the same category. They’ve seen a lot of fish swimming in the tank, but his tension remains high… and it only makes her even happier. Mai then asks where they should go next. It seems like they have penguins in the winter zone, and she wants to see that. Similarly to her, Yousuke also finds penguins cute. He thinks it’s so cool how they’re clumsy on land but can swim really fast.
On the way to the next area, a little boy bumps into Mai and spilled a bit his drink onto her clothes. The boy loses his balance due to the impact and is about to fall, but Yousuke quickly catches him and helps him to stand back up. He also tells the boy that it’s a good thing to be energetic, but it’s dangerous if he doesn’t look at what’s in front of him. Yousuke pats the boy’s head as he says that, and the boy nods before apologizing to Mai. The mother comes soon after that, and she offers to pay for the laundry fee as a token of apology… but Mai smiles and refuses. She assures the mother that she’s fine, and the stain will disappear if she wipes it with water. Since she’s smiling, eventually the mother agrees and leaves with her son—waving their hands as they walk away. After parting ways with them, Mai asks if Yousuke can wait for a while as she washes off the stain on her clothes. Of course Yousuke doesn’t mind, and he sends her off with a really gentle smile… which gives quite a large damage to her. Her legs instantly turn unstable, and she covers her mouth with her hands. Since she has realized that she loves him, his appearance and expressions have a very different effect on her compared to before. She quickly reminds herself that this isn’t the time to be conscious over him though, and she runs off to the restroom.
Just as expected, the stain comes off easily when Mai washes it with water. It leaves a faint trace, but it should be spotless once she washes the clothes later at home. After leaving the restroom, she walks back to Yousuke’s place… but then she realizes that a lot of people are looking at him. Or to be more accurate, women who are walking by keep stealing glances at him. Some of them even stop walking just to gaze at him, whispering about how cool he is. This makes Mai realize that Yousuke draws people’s attention after all, especially since he looks so good in his casual clothes today. He’s tall and handsome, and he looks so amazing as he leans against the wall—playing with the phone in his hand. Mai can see that Yousuke is a really charming grown-up man, and she starts wondering if it’s okay for her to stay by his side. She’s a kid no matter how they look at her. If she stands beside a mature man like him, it’d give them an unbalanced picture. Realizing that she’s thinking of negative things, she quickly stops and literally slaps herself out of it. She has decided to do her best, and she tells herself not to feel down over the age gap—she shouldn’t give up on him again.
After she’s done scolding herself, Mai runs up to Yousuke and apologizes for making him wait. He smiles and asks if the stain came off, so she shows him that her clothes has been washed clean. It reminds him that he spilled coffee on his shirt before, but it turned completely white after she washed it. She feels a bit complicated when he praises her for being so cool, but he tells her that he really respects people who can do the things he can’t—that’s why she’s cool in his eyes. Yousuke then glances at his watch, and he asks if Mai likes dolphins. He remembered that the aquarium was introduced on TV before, and they said that the dolphin show was impressive. Earlier he checked it from his phone and learned that it’s going to start soon, and so he asks if she wants to watch it. After thinking for a while, Mai hesitantly asks if Yousuke is hungry. He admits that he is, but he asks her what’s wrong since it’s so sudden. Instead of answering, she takes the guidebook out of her bag and shows a marked page to him. There he sees a picture of hot dogs, and she smiles saying they’re famous for their good taste. Even in the guidebook, it’s written that it’ll be a waste if they don’t eat one. Since the hot dog stand is close to the dolphin show location, they decide to buy the hot dogs and eat them while enjoying the show. Mai can feel people staring at them though, and she feels a bit awkward as she follows Yousuke to the hot dog stand.
As soon as they receive the hot dogs, Mai squeals over how delicious they look. She feels embarrassed to get so excited, but then she notices that Yousuke’s eyes are sparkling with happiness LOL. They still have time before the dolphin show begins, so they should get some seat and eat the hot dogs while waiting for it to start. She nods and walks with him to the show location, but since the hot dog in her hands releases a delicious smell into the air… she finds it painful to hold back. As Mai cries over the hot dog in her heart, Yousuke suddenly stops and says he has an idea. Their plan is to eat their hog dogs on the audience seat, but he asks if she wants to take a bite here. Because he can’t hold back anymore. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Since she’s been thinking of eating her hot dog too, of course she thinks it’s a good idea. They move to the side so they won’t block the road, and there they take a bite of their hot dogs. Just as the guidebook says. it’s really delicious. The bread smells good and tastes sweet, while the sausage is fluffy and juicy. Mai has to stop herself from taking more bites, and she notices that Yousuke is biting his lips—most likely due to the same reason.
Yousuke then turns to talk to Mai, but then he notices something and smiles. As she blinks in confusion, he holds out his hand and touches her mouth—saying she’s got ketchup there. She apologizes and wipes her mouth in a panic, while he lightly comments that she’s quite a glutton. He remembers that they had a similar experience before, and he chuckles saying she should eat her meals more calmly. Even though he says it with a smile, she feels really embarrassed and can only nod in response. He heart is racing and her cheeks are hot, but somehow her heart also feels painful… because he’s treating her like a kid. He doesn’t see her as a woman, up to the point where he can touch her cheek so naturally. In contrary, a light touch of his fingers is already enough to shake her up. She needs to be less conscious of him, or else he’s going to notice. She secretly takes a deep breath and tries to be calm.
From there, Mai and Yousuke go to the dolphin show and take two seats on the back—so they can eat their hot dogs. It’s because they can eat without hesitation if they’re not surrounded by people, as there might be people who don’t like the smell. Or if they accidentally spill it. As soon as she bites her hot dog, Mai’s tension instantly goes up. She squeals that it’s REALLY delicious, and Yousuke is just as excited as she is—wondering if he should buy a few before going home. Mai also wants to buy some for her family, while Yousuke wants to fill his fridge with them and eat them everyday. As they excitedly talk about the hot dogs, the couple who sit nearby turn to talk to them. The woman asks if the hot dog is delicious, and Mai happily answers that it tastes really good. The man laughs saying they ate it too earlier, and he says that she looks so happy as she eats it… which makes her feel really embarrassed. The woman then adds that they’ve about how cute Mai is, and she’s envious to see “siblings” who are so close to each other like Yousuke and her. Mai is really shocked, but Yousuke smiles and agrees that she’s cute. He looks so happy as he pats her head, but she feels really conflicted inside. It seems that to other people, they only look like siblings. However, what hurts her the most is the fact that he doesn’t deny it. He didn’t tell the couple that they’re actually not siblings. The dolphin show starts not too long after they’re done eating. Yousuke gets really excited as the dolphins jump and perform tricks, but Mai can’t truly enjoy the show.
The sun is setting when they leave the aquarium. Yousuke wants to walk Mai back to her mansion, and despite her attempt to refuse… he walks her to the station anyway. Along the way, she stops and tells him that she’ll be fine here. She says it with a smile, but he has a difficult expression since he noticed that she seems to be rather down since the dolphin show. She tries to assure him that she really enjoyed the show, but then he points out that she didn’t get excited when they buy souvenirs. She’s also been quiet up until now, and he asks if he did something wrong. He looks at her with questions in his eyes, but she can only shake her head. She can’t tell him the reason. Absolutely not. After a while, Yousuke eventually sighs and holds Mai’s hand—which really surprises her. He can see that she doesn’t want to talk about it, so he will give up… but he also wants her to let him walk her home, because he wants to. As Yousuke walks in front of her, Mai watches his back and feels like crying. She feels really happy to hold hands with him, but she also feels really sad at the same time. If someone thinks of them as siblings again, she probably won’t be able to recover from the shock. She wants to stay with him, and yet she doesn’t—it feels complicated.
However, Mai then sees Mori walking from the opposite direction. Yousuke asks if he’s working at Siesta even though it’s a holiday, and he nods saying he got to leave early today. For Mai, Mori is a savior who can lead her out of this situation. She quickly lets go of Yousuke’s hand and runs up to Mori, hoping that he will notice that she’s troubled right now. Mai then says that she wants to return the CD she borrowed from Mori before, and she invites him to come over to her house. At first Mori is confused, but he quickly catches on and replies that he really needs that CD—agreeing to visit her house. Relieved that her prayer was answered, Mai turns to Yousuke with a smile. She tells him that she’ll be going home with Mori now, and she thanks him for today. Of course Yousuke looks surprised, but he easily accepts it and leaves her in Mori’s hands. After asking her to play with him again, he turns around and leaves them with a cheerful smile—not turning back even once. Mai can only apologize to Yousuke in her heart.
Since Mori has played along, he then asks if he should spend some time in this area before going home. Mai says he doesn’t need to do that though, and she invites him to come over for real. She really troubled him earlier, so she can’t let him go home before treating him. He asks her not to worry about it since it’s only obvious to help a friend in trouble, but then she replies that she wants to thank him for helping her. Mori smiles and says that Mai is really stubborn, but he decides to be accept the invitation. As they walk to her mansion, Mai feels really grateful to have a kind friend like Mori.
• AUGUST •
The weather gets incredibly hot in August, and Yousuke is dying under the sun during one of his rounds. He actually wants to take off his tie, but since he still has to see some clients… he only loosens it up a bit more. He’s thinking of visiting Beer Garden after work when he runs into Seiya, who doesn’t look pleased to see him. Seiya points out that Yousuke looks so hot in this hot weather, like his existence is a pollution as a whole LOL. Yousuke asks if he did something wrong since Seiya is so brutally harsh towards him, but Seiya answers that he already stated the reason—Yousuke’s existence is annoying. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ That aside, Yousuke knows that Seiya is probably irritated due to the heat and takes it out on him. Yousuke sighs as he looks at Seiya, thinking that he doesn’t have to go out in suits if it’s hot.
Yousuke then asks what Seiya is doing. He can’t possibly take a walk in this “damn hot” weather, right? Seiya explains that he’s going to accompany someone today, and he’s going to meet the other party at Siesta. Yousuke comments that Seiya is so diligent even though everyone is having summer vacation, but Seiya replies that it’s time to make money BECAUSE it’s summer vacation—he can accompany people he normally doesn’t see much. After telling Yousuke to keep doing his rounds in this damn heat, Seiya walks past him and moves towards Siesta… but then he grumbles upon noticing that Yousuke is following him. Seiya finds this annoying and tells him to scatter off, but Yousuke says it’s his fault for mentioning Siesta in front of him. Now he wants to drink some ice coffee there. Seiya thinks Yousuke only wants to escape from the heat though, since Siesta has a cooler. Yousuke whines that he still has to visit three companies today, and so he wants to replenish his stamina first by drinking something cool. Of course Seiya couldn’t care less about Yousuke’s stamina, and they continue bickering until they reach Siesta—which looks like an oasis in the middle of a desert thanks to the heat.
Upon entering the café, they are welcomed by Mori. He frowns as soon as he sees Yousuke’s face, but the frown vanishes in a second—just as expected from someone who’s working in the service industry. Mori’s smile twitches when Seiya calls him a “kid” and orders a blend, while Yousuke orders iced coffee and asks Mori to make it super cold. They both sit on the counter, though Seiya takes the seat near the door since he’s waiting for someone. It’s so cool inside of Siesta, and Yousuke instantly feels in heaven since he was walking under the blazing sun earlier. There’s also a glass of water and a cold, wet wipe on his table. He knows he’ll only get negative comments for doing this, but he finds it impossible to hold back… and so he takes the wet wipe and wipes his face with it. He doesn’t care if they call him an old man. He doesn’t care either even if they call him messy. It feels really cold and nice. Long live wet wipes! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Takuto, who comes to deliver their coffee, looks so mortified upon seeing this, and he asks Yousuke not to use the wet wipes to wipe his face—it just screams old man LOL. Yousuke replies that he’ll take that insult quietly, except he’s… uh, not being exactly quiet about it.
In any case, Yousuke feels refreshed since he was sweating a lot earlier. Takuto nods saying it reaches 35° C today, so he’s willing to let it slide and puts the iced coffee in front of Yousuke. As soon as he drinks it, the heat inside of him melts away—reviving him back to life. On the other hand, Seiya is drinking his hot coffee despite the summer heat. Takuto grins and wonders if he’s alright, wondering if he’s actually frigid. Seiya coldly threatens to turn him into a sliced fillet for saying such stupid things, but Takuto only ignores him since he’s using Siesta as a meeting point for work—his threats mean nothing. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Seiya looks like he’s ready to murder someone, and Yousuke is impressed that Takuto can ignore that deadly glare so lightly… but then again, Yousuke remembers that Takuto is friends with Kyouga. If you can deal with that evil, then nothing else will scare you ever again.
As Yousuke stirs his coffee with the straw, Mori comes to replace the wet wipe on his table. After thanking him, Yousuke notices that Mori is working earlier than usual since he normally starts at dusk. Mori coldly says it’s because he’s on summer vacation. There’s no such thing as “summer vacation” for those who run a business, but Takuto loves it since Mori works a lot of shifts in Siesta during summer vacation. It makes things much easier for him. The same goes for Seiya. Just as he said earlier, summer vacation means time for him to earn money. The sound of money falling into his hands is just so irresistible. Seiya is smiling in satisfaction as he says this, while Takuto comments that he’s still a penny-pincher as always. Unlike Seiya and Takuto, Yousuke is envious of those who can enjoy their summer vacation. He might be able to get a day off depending on work, and he wants to go out somewhere. He’s thinking of asking Mai out once his work settles down, and he muses that going to the beach sounds nice. The blue sky, the white clouds, the sparkling ocean and her swimsuit would give him the perfect summer scenery.
However, Yousuke soon notices a sharp glare from the side. When he turns around, he finds Mori staring straight at him with a serious expression. Mori then says he has a question for Yousuke, and he asks what Yousuke thinks about Mai. Yousuke is surprised by the sudden question, but he quickly realizes that Mori is asking this because he’s in love with Mai. Yousuke smiles as he takes a sip of his coffee, answering that he thinks of Mai as a cute girl. Mori frowns and asks if it’s based on romantic feelings, but he only shakes his head saying it’s not something like that. It’s more like he thinks of her as a cute little sister or a relative. Besides, choosing a high school girl as a lover isn’t an option from him. Their age don’t even match each other’s. and he thinks she’s better off with someone who’s around her age—like Mori. When Yousuke says they make a good couple, Mori suddenly slams the tray he’s carrying onto the table… and he angrily yells that Yousuke is a “damn bastard”. Yousuke blinks in surprise at this sudden outburst, but Mori points out that Yousuke knows Mai is in love with him. He only pretends not to notice. Despite this, Yousuke is using Mai whenever he wants to have fun… and Mori says what he’s doing is the worst. If that’s what Yousuke wants to do, then Mori will be the one to make Mai happy instead. They will become a good couple, just like what he’s wishing for. Mori doesn’t want to see Yousuke hurting Mai more than he already does, and he tells Yousuke not to approach Mai anymore. Mori looks refreshed after letting it all out, and he leaves after informing Takuto that he’ll be cleaning outside—telling Yousuke to take it easy with the most hostile tone ever.
As soon as Mori walks out, Seiya bursts into laughter saying it’s so uncool for Yousuke to be scolded by a kid. This is probably the first time Yousuke has ever seen Seiya laughing so much. Takuto then apologizes in Mori’s behalf, but he’s clearly holding back his laughter too. When Yousuke says they can laugh at him as much as they want, both Seiya and Takuto really laugh at him until they’re satisfied LOL. Yousuke only nods and ignores them as he thinks about Mori’s feelings. From his sudden rage earlier, Yousuke can see that Mori must be seriously in love with Mai. He can’t understand that kind of seriousness. Or maybe he’s envious. Since a long time ago, no matter who he’s going out with, there’s a side of him that can never be serious. He doesn’t want to run around in confusion for the person he loves, and he doesn’t want anyone to see how disgraceful he is when his emotions are swaying. He can’t accept the idea of changing himself for someone else, and that’s why he never changes his attitude towards women. He gives all of them the same emotion. If he “loves” all of them equally, no one will be able to change himself right? It’s impossible for him to be honest and straightforward like Mori, loving and seeking for one person only. As he sips his iced coffee, Yousuke thinks about how nice it is to be young.
In the evening, Kyouga stops Mai before she goes home after work. He needs her to deliver something for Yousuke, and her heart starts swaying just by seeing his name written on the envelope. She’s still shocked over the fact that he won’t see her as a woman, but she takes a deep breath and calms herself down. Mai then asks if it’s a bill, and Kyouga grins saying that’s rather quick-witted for her. Yousuke treated Kyouga to some drinks before, so now he’s sending the bill. When Mai asks if they went to drink together, Kyouga only answers that they didn’t. Of course she’s really confused and asks why Yousuke has to pay then, but he says there’s no need for her to know—telling her to go already. After throwing the envelope into Mai’s hands, Kyouga hums a song and disappears into the depths of shrine grounds. Knowing that Kyouga will do something terrible if she refuses, Mai can only apologize to Yousuke. She has no choice but to go with the flow, and she feels down as she leaves Kamizono Shrine.
However, Mai thinks Yousuke will be troubled if she suddenly comes to visit. It’d be much better to deliver the envelope when he has the time to meet up, so she takes out her phone and tries to remain calm as she types a mail for him—asking if she can deliver the bill from Kyouga. She’s actually expecting him to reply with the date and time to meet up, so she’s really surprised when he calls her instead. When he thanks her for mailing him, she apologizes for the trouble Kyouga is causing him… but he assures her that it’s fine as he does know the reason behind the sudden bill. It’s obviously because of what happened in Siesta earlier, but Mai can only wonder if Yousuke did something wrong to Kyouga. When Mai asks if she can come to deliver the bill, Yousuke says it’s completely okay. It’s just he went home straight after his rounds, so he’s already at home. He feels bad if she has to take the train just to visit him, so he asks if he should go there instead… but she asks him not to worry about it. Kyouga is the one who started this, so Mai doesn’t want to call Yousuke over just to retrieve the bill. She’s going to deliver it to his place, and she asks him to wait. Since it’s already dark, he also asks her to take the bright streets on her way there. When they end the call, Mai is relieved that she could talk properly to Yousuke. Her voice didn’t tremble, and he shouldn’t notice that she was nervous either. She can feel that her cheeks are a bit hot, but she tells herself to remain calm when she sees him later.
After that, Mai takes the train and goes to Yousuke’s apartment. She reminds herself to stay calm as she presses the bell, though she turns stiff as soon as she hears the door unlocking. However, the person who opens the door isn’t Yousuke. It’s a beautiful woman whom Mai has never seen before. Mai doesn’t know who she is or the reason why she’s in Yousuke’s room. Could it be that she’s his girlfriend? Her mind turns blank from the shock. The woman eyes her suspiciously. From her uniform, she can see that Mai is a high school girl. When the woman asks if she needs something in this room, Mai quickly introduces herself and explains that she came to deliver something for Yousuke. She asks if he’s inside, and the woman answers that “Yousuke” is taking a bath right now. The fact that the woman calls Yousuke by his first name comes as a huge shock for Mai, and she can’t take it anymore. Mai then hands the envelope and asks her to give it to Yousuke, then she quickly excuses herself and runs off towards the station—though she stops along the way to catch her breath.
Is the woman his girlfriend? Or just a friend?
Mai finds the woman really beautiful, very different from herself. No matter who she is, the woman looks so mature and wonderful. This leads Mai to think that she can’t stay with Yousuke unless she turns mature and beautiful like that, and her tears start falling before she even realizes it. She’s aware that it’s wrong to compare herself to the woman from earlier, but she can’t help it—because she loves him. Why is she such a kid…? Why isn’t she as old as he is…? She hates herself for being a kid. She feels terribly sad and irritated that she can’t become a romantic prospect for him. She wished she was born sooner. That way, she’d be a woman in his eyes. Mai knows thinking about these things won’t change anything, but she wants to take out her feelings no matter what. As she repeats meaningless wishes in her heart, eventually her tears stop flowing out. Right after she takes a deep breath, her phone starts ringing… and she finds Yousuke’s name on the display screen.
Mai wants to receive the call, but she doesn’t know if she can talk normally. She was crying earlier, and in this situation, she knows she probably won’t be able to cover up her emotions. Yousuke is a sharp person, so he might notice that she was crying just by hearing her voice. On the other hand, he’ll be worried if she doesn’t pick up. Eventually her phone stops ringing, so she thinks he probably gave up and ended the call. Here, Mai finally decides to put some distance between Yousuke and herself for a while. If she doesn’t, he will notice her feelings sooner or later. She can mail him later to explain that she had to return home due to an urgent business, and that she gave the bill to woman who opened the door. When she starts walking again, her legs feel heavy—just like her feelings. She comes to realize that it’s really hard to give up on the person you love. She has her heart broken for so many times, and yet she couldn’t give up somehow… but this time, she really needs to stop.
Soon after that, Mai hears someone running towards her from behind. Her shoulder is grabbed before she can turn around, and the next thing she hears is Yousuke’s voice—saying that he finally caught up to her. After catching his breath, Yousuke asks why Mai left right away. He even prepared some tea while he was waiting for her. Just as she feared, she can’t remain calm in front of him. She wants to say that it’s due to an urgent business, but what comes out of her mouth is a completely different thing. She answers that his girlfriend seems to be there, so she didn’t want to disturb them. Yousuke’s eyes widen in surprise, and then he asks if Mai is referring to the woman who was in his room. He explains that the woman is only a friend, and she came to return the DVD she borrowed from him. She’s a bit taken aback by how easy he explains it, probably because it doesn’t mean anything to him. She feels relieved to know that the woman isn’t his girlfriend, but the sense of inferiority remains. Mai knows that it’s not Yousuke’s fault, for the problem lies in her own heart.
To cover up the shock, Mai smiles and says she has troubled him. Yousuke says it’s partly his fault too for not explaining anything to both of them, and he apologizes for the misunderstanding. After apologizing for coming and leaving as she likes, Mai asks Yousuke to deal with the bill as soon as possible. He has to be careful, since Kyouga might pick on him just to kill time. Of course since this is Kyouga they’re talking about, Yousuke knows that it will really happen. He says he’ll pay the bill at Siesta as quickly as possible, and Mai nods before taking her leave. Yousuke offers to walk her to the station, but Mai refuses and says that she’s going to meet up with her cousin at the station—assuring him that she’ll be fine. After they say goodbye to each other, Mai can hear Yousuke’s footsteps walking away… and her tears start flowing out again. That’s when she realizes that she’s at her limit. She can’t act normal in front of him anymore, and so she decides not to see him until her heart is at ease. Until she can give up on him. Until she can be calm enough not to say weird things in front of him, like earlier. She doesn’t want to show her pathetic side any further than this, and she feels so pitiful even though she has received encouragement from Mori.
As she walks through the night streets, Mai continues to blame herself.
• SEPTEMBER •
Several weeks after Mai decided to stop seeing Yousuke, Miki and Mori take her to talk at the courtyard after school. When she asks them what’s wrong, Miki only frowns and tells her to reveal everything. Both of them noticed that something is wrong with her lately. Her eyes are red, she seems to be lacking sleep, and she also keeps on spacing out somehow. They wanted to wait until she tells them everything, but it’s unbearable for them to see her in this state. Mori then asks Mai to tell them what happened, as she might feel better after sharing it with them. Miki says she’ll cut ties with Mai if she doesn’t tell them anything, but Mai knows that Miki said it because she’s worried about her. Mori looks like he’ll get angry too if she keeps quiet, so Mai apologizes for making them worry and explains about what happened with Yousuke.
Miki actually thought that Mai has fallen in love with Yousuke, but she didn’t expect her best friend to be heartbroken. Since Miki is also dating an older man, she doesn’t think Mai has to feel down over the age gap—she should just act indifferent. On the other hand, Mori asks her not to say it so lightly. Mai is rather delicate while Miki is shameless, so they can’t apply the same logic. This causes Miki to let out a terrifying laugh before elbowing Mori on the side, and she complains about how Mori knew about this even before she did. He has a smug look on his face—as if he’s showing off—and it’s pissing her off. Mori protests that it HURTS, so much that his lunch nearly come out of his stomach. He’s about to comment that he doesn’t get what Kazuki likes from a brutal girl like Miki, but he quickly stops and apologizes the moment she lifts her elbow LOL. Mai laughs as she watches their interaction. Maybe it’s been a while since the last time she laughed like this. Both Miki and Mori are surprised, but soon they feel relieved and smile.
Back to the problem at hand, Miki then asks how Mai has been doing with Yousuke after that. Just when Mai is about to explain, the phone in her pocket starts beeping to notify her of a mail. It appears that she forgot to set it on manner mode earlier. However, Mai doesn’t take out her phone because she knows who the sender is. She can’t bring herself to answer when Mori asks if it’s from Yousuke, but the next moment, her phone starts ringing. This time it’s a call. Noticing that Miki and Mori are exchanging looks, Mai then explains that Yousuke is mailing and calling her—just as they can see. It’s just she never picks up his calls nor replies to his mails. She wants to answer once she’s calm enough not to say anything weird, but right now she hasn’t sorted things out yet. Mai apologizes since she already promised to do her best, but Mori replies that it’s not her fault. She doesn’t have to force herself if it’s painful, and he doesn’t think Yousuke deserves her anyway.
Upon hearing this, Miki quietly pats Mori’s back. She thinks Mori has a point, but then she apologizes to Mai because she’s going to say something harsh now. When Mai nods, Miki asks if she’s really okay with this. Can she give up on Yousuke like this? Even if she’s heartbroken, she’s not doing anything. Is she okay with this? Miki’s words straightly pierce their way into Mai’s heart. She starts wondering if she can give up on him, or if she can kill her feelings without conveying them to him. She doesn’t know, but she can’t say it knowing that she’ll only get heartbroken. As Mai falls into silence, Miki quietly smiles at her. Miki never told Mai about this before, but the first time she confessed to Kazuki… she actually got rejected because of her age. Both Mai and Mori are surprised to hear this, and Miki continues that she didn’t want to give up. She wanted Kazuki no matter what, so she asked him if she has any chance. Kazuki said that he doesn’t mind starting out as friends, and so Miki did her best to become his number one friend. She confessed to him again after they became really close, and he finally accepted her as his girlfriend. He fell in love with her because she didn’t give up. Even if he rejected her again, she wouldn’t give up because she loves him.
Miki then asks if Mai put any effort into it like she did. Can she even forget the person she loves…? Again, Mai can’t answer the question. She can only squeeze her skirt in silence. She wants to work hard like Miki did. She wants to do her best until Yousuke returns her feelings, but she feels scared. She doesn’t want to be rejected and treated like a kid anymore. Mai doesn’t know if she can forget Yousuke either, since she’s still thinking about him even until now. Even if it’s painful, her heart is longing for him. Can she really give up on him…? She bites her lower lip and desperately holds back the urge to cry.
A month after Mai came to deliver the bill, Yousuke is wondering about what happened to her. He’s been trying to send mail and call her since then, but he receives absolutely no response. He even tried going to Siesta and Kamizono Shrine in-between work, and yet he couldn’t see her. He doesn’t get it at all. Since he can’t contact nor meet her, he doesn’t think it’s necessary for him to spend more time on her. The problem is that whenever he has some free time, he always finds himself mailing or calling her. He feels so uncool since this is just like stalking, but for some reason he can’t stop either. He doesn’t understand why, but he feels so uneasy if he can’t see her or hear her voice. Something that’s always been there when he needs it suddenly disappears, and it makes him terribly restless. Yousuke remembers that he had lost contact with Mai too before, but he wasn’t as confused back then.
As Yousuke wails that he doesn’t get it, Issei angrily slams his desk saying that should be HIS line. Yousuke is surprised and asks why he’s here, but Issei frowns and asks if he dozed off in the middle of their meeting. Issei’s cold stare reminds Yousuke of the situation he’s in. He’s currently in his office, the sales department floor. Issei and him are currently working on the same project, and Issei came here for a meeting with him. Yousuke apologizes saying he didn’t doze off, but then he admits that he wasn’t listening since he was lost in his own thoughts. After asking Issei to repeat what he just said, he gathers the materials on his desk and starts reading them. Issei is surprised to see this, and he asks if there’s something wrong with Yousuke. It’s just weird for him to admit his mistakes right away and apologize like that.
Issei: “Did you eat something weird?”
Yousuke: “I didn’t. What is it? I honestly apologized, so honestly accept it already.”
Issei: “Well… Since you’ve been… like that so far…”
Issei: “I can’t honestly accept it. Or rather, it’s disgusting… Seriously, what did you eat?”
After brushing off the rude comment, Yousuke asks which company he has to start with for promotions. Issei starts explaining again after that, and this time he pays attention properly. For this project they will be working with the clients they’ve worked with before, so there should be no problems. Yousuke puts the materials on his desk after the meeting, and that’s when he remembers that Issei has known Mai from a long time ago—maybe he knows something. Yousuke then invites Issei to have a drink together, and the sudden invitation really surprises Issei. Yousuke has never asked him out for a drink ever since he entered this company, so of course he finds it creepy LOL. Yousuke insists that he’s in the mood to drink together today, and after thinking for a while… Issei agrees to keep him company. Since Issei won’t be able to stay until late hours, Yousuke then suggests drinking at Siesta. Issei asks Yousuke to go on ahead of him since he needs to visit the public relations department first, and so they agree to meet up in Siesta later.
An hour later, Issei joins Yousuke at Siesta and sits on the counter with him. After reminding himself to be natural about it, Yousuke asks if Issei has met Mai recently… except it doesn’t sound natural at all. In fact, he sounds nervous. Issei seems surprised by the sudden question, but then he answers that he ran into Mai at the supermarket yesterday—when he was waiting for the tomato sale. Of course Yousuke couldn’t care less about Issei’s sale adventures, but somehow he feels irritated to hear that Issei met Mai. When Yousuke asks how Mai was doing yesterday, Issei closes his mouth and thinks for a while… then he answers that he won’t tell him. He has no intentions of saying it either. Issei doesn’t think that telling the frivolous Yousuke about Mai would lead to a good result. Issei calmly puts his beer glass on the table after taking a sip, and Yousuke can feel something burning inside of him. Yousuke knows that Issei has always been this cheeky, but today that attitude is driving him up the wall. Out of irritation, Yousuke asks if Issei is being so wary of him because he’s interested in Mai himself. However, Issei only answers that it’s because Yousuke is being frivolous towards Mai. He’s only teasing and playing around with her, and Issei can’t allow such a person to get close to her. Issei has known Mai ever since she was small. He doesn’t want her to grieve.
On the other hand, Yousuke doesn’t like how Issei acts like he knows Mai more than anyone else. He does know that Issei thinks of Mai as a younger sister, but he still thinks Issei is looking after Mai too much. His chest is burning
in jealousy, and he can’t hold back the irritation. Eventually this causes Yousuke to ask if Issei is really in love with Mai, calling him stupid for being serious with a kid. Yousuke quickly realizes that he took out his anger in such a stupid way, but he already said it—he can’t take it back. Issei is obviously surprised, but after a while… he smiles saying he should be the one asking that question. Isn’t Yousuke the one who’s seriously in love with Mai? Yousuke can’t answer the question right away. Usually he wouldn’t make such a mistake, since he never shows it whenever he’s shaken inside. As an attempt to hide how he truly feels, Yousuke laughs and says there’s no way he’d fall in love with Mai for real—she’s a high school student. He already told her about this before, but he’s not desperate enough to get excited over a kid.
Upon hearing this, Issei frowns and sighs. He thinks they can still fix it if Yousuke answers honestly, but it seems useless. After finishing his beer, Issei puts some money on the counter and stands up. He has to go home now,and he leaves Yousuke with a final warning: “If you don’t really love her, do not get any closer to Mai. A pathetic man like you has no right to approach her.” Issei says it with a rough tone, and there’s not a single trace of formalities either. Yousuke, who is now left alone on the counter, finally explodes out of irritation. He’s extremely annoyed at how both Issei and Mori said the same thing to him. He rages and slams his beer glass onto the table, but his anger never fades away.
Days passed after Mai received advice from Miki and Mori, but she still doesn’t have the courage to meet Yousuke. She feels like she might show her pathetic side in front of him, so she hasn’t replied to his mails and calls either. One afternoon during work, she’s wondering if she should start contacting him soon. The problem is the sense of inferiority lingers inside of her, as well as her envy towards other people. She feels pathetic. She can’t go forward, but she can’t turn back either. As she continues sweeping the ground in a gloomy mood, Mai soon hears Kyouga talking nearby. Earlier he went back to his house saying he needs to do something, so this leaves her confused. Upon following the direction of the voice, Mai finds Kyouga on the path towards the sanctuary. He’s talking to two men there. One of them is Rio, though she’s never seen the other one. Both of them are wearing flashy suits, and she wonders what kind of business Kyouga has with them.
Soon enough, Kyouga notices Mai’s presence and calls her to come over. She bows down her head when Rio greets her, but she feels a bit scared of the other man—who’s looking down at her with a cold, sharp stare. As she turns stiff due to the nervousness, Rio lightly hits the other man, Seiya, on the head and tells him to greet her already. After all, he’s a host too. Seiya only says he doesn’t care. He has no obligations to greet Mai, and he’s clearly not amused to get dragged into this foolishness. However, Rio reminds him that refusing isn’t an option for them. He should just give up and go along with it. Kyouga grins and says Rio is right. Does he think he can walk away in peace after complaining over Kyouga’s request? ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Seiya simply tells Kyouga to shut up, since he won’t sink as low as letting himself to get used by someone like Kyouga. When Seiya and Kyouga glare at each other, Mai finds herself cheering for Seiya. It’s the first time she’s ever seen someone who’s brave enough to challenge Kyouga, and she feels really touched LOL.
Here, Mai notices that Seiya has turned to look at her. She quietly takes a few steps back, while he laughs and turns back to Kyouga. Despite what he just said, Seiya agrees to be used by Kyouga just for this time. He finds the idea stupid, but he wants to pick on “that person”. Knowing that Seiya has been planning to do it right from the beginning, Kyouga says he should have said it honestly—what a troublesome person. After apologizing for Seiya’s attitude, Rio formally accepts Kyouga’s request. They’ll commence the plan with precision. Kyouga replies that he’ll be leaving it in their hands, and he orders Mai to clean the shrine grounds properly. He’ll punish her if she’s being lazy. Kyouga returns to his house after saying this, leaving Mai with Rio and Seiya.
Just as Mai is wondering if she should serve tea for them, Rio moves closer and says he has a question for her. When she asks him what it is, he winks and asks if she’s interested in hosts. ヾ(❛◡❛✿)ノ～❤ Mai blushes because Rio is standing REALLY close to her. It’s more like he’s whispering into her ears. After taking a few steps back, she nervously answers that she’s not interested. However, Rio grins and points out that Mai is stuttering. If she’s interested in hosts, he’s willing to play with her. Girls like her are actually quite his type. Mai can feel her heartbeat going on a rampage. From such a close distance, she describes Rio’s smile as “wonderful” and “sparkling like gems”. ( *´艸`)ｸｽｯ♪ As Mai shifts even further backwards, Rio says that girls who have someone they love are strong after all—she won’t fall for him so easily. Seiya answers that they both know that really well, so Rio shouldn’t do stupid things. Seiya then moves closer to Mai and holds up her chin, asking if it’s true that she’s in love with “dumb Todaka”. Mai is shocked and asks why he knows, but Seiya only tells her to be quiet. Then he asks why she’s avoiding Yousuke if she loves him. Since Mai is gaping like a goldfish due to the shock, Rio comes to remove Seiya’s hand from her chin. He understands that Seiya wants to tease and play with the cute “little kitten”, but he needs to stop. Or else the “poisonous snake” who just returned to his lair might come out again.
After Seiya moves away, Rio asks Mai the same question. Why is she avoiding Yousuke? He promises not to do anything bad about this, but she only asks why she has to tell them the reason. She can’t reveal the reason to them, because there’s a possibility that they might pass it to Yousuke. Rio assures Mai that they won’t say anything to Yousuke. He says they only want to help, but she answers that they don’t have any reason to help her… except they actually do. Rio reveals that Kyouga was the one who asked them to help her, and Seiya adds that he’s dragging them into this just to solve her problem—because he noticed that she’s been feeling down recently. Despite his arrogant personality, it seems like Kyouga has a soft spot for his shrine maiden. In any case, Rio and Seiya are going to help her. That’s why first they need information from her, as in what kind of obstacle lies in her relationship with Yousuke. Mai finds it hard to believe that Kyouga is worried about her, but she knows that he does have a soft spot for his relatives. He always gives her a hard time, but whenever she really needs help… he will always lend a hand. Knowing that Kyouga is actually a really kind person, Mai decides to explain the situation to Rio and Seiya.
Once Mai is done explaining, Rio concludes that they need to find out if Yousuke sees her as a romantic prospect or not. She says it’s impossible for him to see her in such a way, not to mention he keeps telling her that she’s not a romantic prospect for him. However, Seiya points out that it’s also wrong for Mai to decide things on her own like that. She’s being hasty, since she keeps saying it’s impossible even though she hasn’t actually “tried” anything. After thinking for a while, Rio says it’s too bad that he’s fully booked this month… but he’s going to invite Mai to their host club next month. He’s going to pick her up, and he wants her to come along. Mai immediately refuses since she’s still in high school, but Seiya only tells her not to panic. It’s not like they’re going to devour her or anything. It’s just they have their reason for doing this, because the idea of inviting her to a host club actually comes from Kyouga… and she’ll learn about the reason eventually. For now, Rio only wants Mai to follow him when he comes to pick her up. Or else the “poisonous snake” from earlier will throw their future into eternal darkness.
Of course Mai knows that it WILL happen if Kyouga really wants to do it, and so she quickly agrees to go along with it. Rio says they’ll see her next month then, and Seiya asks her not to worry since they’ll love her when she comes to visit them. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Both of them walk away after that, leaving her with amorous smile and the scent of the night. She feels like it’s not a smile she can see in broad daylight like this. Just as expected from hosts. Mai still doesn’t get why Kyouga wants her to visit a host club, but she decides to return to the shrine grounds—carrying her broom with her.
Just before Mai goes home in the evening, she hears Yousuke’s voice outside of the shrine office—asking why Kyouga won’t let him see Mai. She quickly hides behind a tree, and the next second Yousuke comes along with Kyouga. They’re standing right in front of her. Kyouga replies that it’s not like he doesn’t allow them to meet, but she already went home—that’s all. Yousuke knows it’s a lie though, because there’s no way that Kyouga would allow Mai to go home before business hours are over. Yousuke’s voice sounds so dignified, and Mai is surprised since he used to be terrified of Kyouga up until now. Kyouga looks amused to see this. Since Yousuke knows that he’s lying, it makes things much easier. Kyouga then admits that he has no intentions of letting them meet, and Yousuke should have heard the reason from Issei. As Yousuke holds his breath, Mai can only wonder about what Issei said to him.
Kyouga then asks why Yousuke wants to see Mai that much. Mai has been thinking about that too since Yousuke keeps on calling and sending mails to her, but she couldn’t figure out the reason. Yousuke looks confused for a while, and he answers that it’s because she suddenly starts avoiding him. He wants to hear the reason. Kyouga says the reason must be simply because Mai hates him, but Yousuke snaps back and tells him not to decide things on his own. Yousuke is about to say that Mai is in love with him, but then he stops himself and apologizes—saying it’s nothing. Kyouga only grins and asks if he doesn’t have anything else to say. If he does, Kyouga is willing to listen right now. However, Yousuke shakes his head saying that should be enough—he will be going home now. As he leaves the shrine grounds, Yousuke mutters that he never wanted to be this uncool… but things turn out different, huh? (◡‿◡✿)
As soon as Yousuke disappears, Kyouga asks if Mai is going to hide there forever. When she quietly comes out, he asks if she saw how the “big dog” left with his tail down. He finds it how Yousuke came to bite him when he said that he won’t let them meet. It seems like Kyouga only said that to pick on Yousuke, but Mai feels relieved. However, Mai didn’t expect that Yousuke would be so serious about seeing her. As she looks at the direction Yousuke disappears to, Kyouga puts a hand on Mai’s head and tells her to strengthen her resolve already. She should stop running away and face her own feelings. Noticing the hint of kindness in those words, she lowers her gaze to the ground… but then she nods saying he’s right. She also thinks that it’s about time she stops running away from him. Mai still doesn’t have the confidence to remain calm in front of Yousuke, but after hearing his words earlier… she starts thinking if it’s really okay for her to avoid him without saying anything.
Just then Mai’s phone starts beeping, and she knows it’s a mail from Yousuke. He must be typing it on his way home. Through the mail, Yousuke asks why Mai is avoiding him. Did he do something wrong…? If he did something that made her angry, he wants her to scold him properly. He feels terrible if she only avoids him without saying anything. He doesn’t mind even if she punches him, but he wants to see her. He wants to talk to her. Mai stares at Yousuke’s mail for quite a while before closing her phone, putting it back into her pocket. The next moment, Kyouga swiftly slaps her back and asks how long is she going to curl up like that. Since he didn’t even hold back, the hit sends pain all over her body. Kyouga then tells Mai that as the shrine maiden of Kamizono Shrine, she shouldn’t be a wimp just because of love. Their god is supporting those who do their best in love, so she should stop running away and face her own heart. If she does that, their god will surely be on her side. That’s why she should stop being a wimp already. He finds it annoying. It definitely sounds like something Kyouga would say, but Mai can feel his kindness too. Her back hurts a bit, but she knows that he’s really encouraging her. In fact, she can keep up with him for so long because she knows this side of him. Even though he’s arrogant, he will help those who are truly in need. When Mai thanks him, Kyouga grins saying she can grovel even more before his kindness… but she refuses LOL. She sighs at how he returns to usual at the very end, but she can finally smile again. It feels like her heart has regained the energy it lost.
Before going home, Mai drops by the sanctuary of Kamizono Shrine. The scenery there is as beautiful as usual, with camellia and cosmos blooming around the small shrine. As she thinks of Yousuke, his serious expression from earlier comes into her mind. Mai realizes that she’s doing something terrible to Yousuke. She continues avoiding him without even explaining why, and in the end it’s for her own self-satisfaction. She’s only protecting herself by saying things like she doesn’t want to look bad in front of him or how she doesn’t want to trouble him. She’s only scared of getting the final rejection from him. She’s only scared of ending this love. Mai feels terrible upon realizing that she’s only been thinking of herself, and she needs to apologize to Yousuke. She also regrets not taking Miki’s advice sooner, because all she has to do is to be calm and face her own feelings. Even if she’s scared, she shouldn’t run away anymore. She shouldn’t look away from her feelings, even if her love reaches an end.
After apologizing to Yousuke, Mai is going to tell him how she feels. Otherwise she won’t be able to move on. Even if she can’t be a romantic prospect for him, it doesn’t change the fact that she loves him. That’s enough for her. She doesn’t need any escape route anymore, and so she won’t think about what’s bad or impossible. No matter what the result will be, she wants an ending that she can accept. As she looks up at the camellias around the small shrine, Mai prays for the courage to confess to Yousuke.
• OCTOBER •
A few weeks after Mai made her decision, she looks up to the sky from her room window. The weather is nice with white clouds floating in the blue sky. It’s a perfect day for her to make a confession. She had a lot on her mind and couldn’t do anything up until now, but after receiving encouragement from Kyouga and the people around her… she’s finally ready. She couldn’t forget Yousuke despite her attempt to back down and give up on him. That’s her answer, and she’s going to do her best so she won’t regret this love.
Love has nothing to do with age, and she’s going to go for it. After saying this to herself several times, she leaves her room and goes downstairs. Ever since she decided to confess, Mai has been thinking of seeing Yousuke for a few times. Sadly he’s been busy with work, and so she asks for Issei’s help. He informed Mai if Yousuke’s conditions in advance, and so Mai decided to wait until Yousuke is free. Today, Yousuke gets a day off. It seems like he’s tired and plans to spend the day lazing off at home, so it’s a chance for Mai to see him. She feels really nervous even before heading to his apartment, and so she takes a deep breath to calm herself down.
Just then a car stops in front of the mansion, and Mai is surprised to see Rio walking out of it. When she asks why he’s here, he only opens the passenger side front door and gives her a charming wink—asking the “princess” to get in. Last month he promised to invite her to their host club, so now he’s here to pick her up. Mai says she’s happy to receive the invitation, but she explains that she has to visit a certain place today… and she apologizes because she can’t go with Rio. However, Rio smiles saying he knows. In fact, that’s exactly why he came here. Similarly to Mai, he had to wait until “the other party” is free before he can make a move. It’s actually faster that they expected, and Seiya couldn’t make it because of this. Rio doesn’t really mind though, since he finds it interesting. Of course Mai is confused and doesn’t get any of this, but Rio only asks her to get in—promising to explain everything inside the car. At first she’s reluctant, but then he assures her that he’s a “slave” for the princess. He’s working for her and only thinks of her, so he asks her to believe in him.
Of course Mai isn’t sure about the “slave” part, but Rio doesn’t look like he’s joking. If this is a technique of hosts, then she finds it impressive. She can tell that he’s really trying to help her. She finally nods and gets into the car. As soon as she feels the solid yet soft sensation of the passenger seat, she realizes that the car must be a really expensive one. After closing the door, he also gets into the driver’s seat and wonders what to do next. As he checks his watch, he mutters that maybe they should hold out for a bit longer. Now that they’re inside the car, Mai reminds Rio that he owes her an explanation. Rio nods, but then he smiles and turns to gaze at Mai with passion in his eyes. At the same time, he gently touches her hair and asks: “Why don’t you forget a frivolous man like Todaka-san and switch to me instead?” ♪ﾟ+.ｏ(*萌´д`从´д`萌*)ｏ.+ﾟ♪ He tells her that he’s different from Yousuke. He doesn’t care about age. He thinks it’s nonsense to hesitate in love because of such foolish things.
However, Mai frowns and replies that it’s not foolish. If you love someone, it’s only natural that you want to be a person who’s suitable for them. That’s why they worry about the age gap between them. She falls quiet as she admits that Yousuke and her don’t match each other in terms of age. It’s the reason why she admires mature women, because they’re suitable for him age-wise. That being said, she has realized that no matter how much she admires them, it won’t turn into reality. Even if she can’t do anything about her age and appearance, at least she wants her heart to mature. It’s the best effort she can give as a kid. Here, Rio reminds Mai that Yousuke doesn’t see her as a romantic prospect. After all, that’s the reason why she started avoiding him. Mai nods and admits that she avoided Yousuke because she didn’t want to get hurt, but it’s different now. She has decided to stop lying to herself any longer, even if he only sees her as a kid. She wants to support her own love. When Mai looks straight back at Rio, he chuckles saying she’s just too good for Yousuke.
Rio then draws closer and slightly tilts his head. Just before his lips touch Mai’s hair, they hear the sound of something hitting the car window. Rio only shows a satisfied smile, but when Mai turns around to see what’s going on… she finds Yousuke just outside of the car. He has a stiff expression, maybe because he’s angry. The next thing they hear is Yousuke yelling at Rio to stop fooling around and stay away from Mai, though Rio calmly answers that he’s not fooling around. Yousuke then grabs the door handle and tries to open it, but of course it doesn’t work since the car is locked. When Yousuke threatens to destroy the car if he doesn’t open the lock, Rio mutters that men who are burning with jealousy are scary LOL. It seems like Yousuke will really destroy his car, so Rio decides to obediently unlock the car. At the same time, Yousuke opens the door and asks Mai to come over. Before she can say anything to him, he pulls her out of the car and into his arms. Since it happens so fast, Mai doesn’t understand what’s going on here. The only thing she knows is that Yousuke is here, and her heart is racing upon feeling his warmth.
After coming out of the car, Rio chuckles and says he’s going to have a date with Mai today. He’d really appreciate it if Yousuke doesn’t disturb them. However, Yousuke sharply tells Rio not to play around with Mai. She’s still a kid. Rio calmly answers that even if Mai is a kid age-wise, she’s a fine woman in his eyes. He also finds her charming, and that’s why he’s making a move on her. Yousuke’s voice turns sharp and low as he replies that Mai has him by her side, and he won’t allow Rio to lay a finger on her. She can tell that he’s really angry, and his arms are holding her even tighter. Yousuke releases Mai not too long after that, but then he grabs her hand and takes her away. When she turns around in confusion, she finds Rio waving his hands at her with a smile—mouthing the words “good luck”. After Mai and Yousuke are gone, Rio grins saying this should complete Kyouga’s request… but maybe this is the first time he has ever seen Yousuke getting so pissed.
Since Yousuke keeps walking in silence, Mai knows they won’t be able to talk properly at this rate. When she stops walking and pulls her arm, he immediately stops walking too… though he doesn’t turn around to face her. Mai then asks Yousuke about what happened. She’s really confused since he suddenly came and took her away from the mansion. Upon hearing this, he quietly turns around with a sharp look in his eyes. He asks if she really doesn’t know why he came here, and he sighs saying she’s twisting him around too much. As he grabs Mai’s shoulders with both hands, Yousuke angrily asks why she fell for a man like Rio. Besides, he thinks it’s just wrong for a high school student to play around with hosts. Mai only blinks in confusion and answers that she never plays around with them, but Yousuke snaps out that she’s lying. Seiya told him that she’s been visiting their host club recently, and that playing with them gives her more satisfaction that he ever did. As the proof, Seiya also sent a mail to inform Yousuke that Mai is going on a date with Rio today—specifically stating that she’s waiting for Rio in front of her mansion.
However, Yousuke soon notices that Mai looks really confused. He gradually grows calmer before finally asking if she doesn’t know anything about this. She simply answers that she doesn’t know, because none of it is true. Mai has no idea why they lied to Yousuke, but she never visited their host club—even though Rio did invite her before. When Yousuke asks why she was inside of Rio’s car earlier, Mai honestly answers that it’s because Rio said he wants to talk. After thinking for a while, Yousuke lets out a long, heavy sigh. He admits that he thought Mai stopped contacting him because she’s addicted to Rio and Seiya, but she tells him it’s impossible. She doesn’t have enough allowance to play with hosts, not to mention she’s not interested either. Yousuke also realizes that if he thinks about it more calmly, he should have known that Mai would never come to such a place. Here, she notices that he refers to her as “Mai” instead of the usual “Mai-chan”. When she points it out, he instantly turns red and apologizes. It wasn’t intentional, and he will return it to the usual one if she doesn’t like it… but of course she doesn’t hate it.
After smiling in relief, Yousuke tilts his head and thinks about why Rio and Seiya deceived him. Now that he’s no longer panicking, he quickly realizes that they started fire to get him to move. When Mai gives him a confused look, Yousuke chuckles and says she probably doesn’t know this, but Issei and Mori have been telling him not to approach her if he’s not serious. Kyouga also made sure to monitor his movements, and he was amazed by how she’s treasured by everyone. As Mai listens in silence, Yousuke then continues that she should have realized about how loose he is when it comes to women. He didn’t want to be bound to a certain person, and he didnn’t want to get serious about anyone in particular. He knows that his emotions will be swayed around if he falls in love, and he really didn’t want that to happen. He didn’t want anyone to change him, though he thinks it’s a matter of his personality. However, she has changed him despite of that personality.
When Yousuke gently pats her head, Mai can feel pain in her chest. He then admits that he only wanted to tease and play with her at first. He found it fun since she reacted to every single thing he said, but after the incident at Siesta… they started spending time together at his place. He used to enjoy nightlife all the time before, but then he started going home directly after work. Everyday he felt happy to return home, and his heart danced whenever she welcomed him back. When she suddenly stopped seeing him, his room felt so empty. He felt lonely, which is something he had never felt before. He didn’t realize this until recently, and he didn’t want to admit it either. He’s 32, and he thinks it’s just wrong for a man of his age to be seriously in love with a high school girl. He always thought there’s no way he’d make a move on a kid who’s much younger than he is, but by now he has realized that he probably wanted to look cool. He thought that he’s a good adult who doesn’t deal with kids because it’s the right thing to do… but then suddenly he couldn’t see her anymore. He received no reply to his mails and calls, and he got disturbed when he tried to see her. When he realized it, he kept thinking of her all the time. He wanted to see her. He wanted to hear her voice. He wanted to see her face. She was all he could think about, and he kept on making mistakes at work.
As Mai looks up, she notices a hint of insecurity in Yousuke’s smile. He tells her that maybe he’s too old to be a romantic prospect for her, but even so… he wants her to know how he feels. Finally, Yousuke tells Mai that he loves her. He’s serious about her, so much that he keeps failing at work. The person who’s standing in front of Mai isn’t the frivolous Yousuke who can act calm all the time. Right now, he’s just a man who’s truly in love with her. When Mai’s tears start flowing down, Yousuke is really shocked and asks if she hates his confession that much. Instead of answering, she only calls him a liar. He told her that high school girls are no match for him, treating her like a kid for many, many times. The feelings she’s been hiding up until now are flooding out, and he can only apologize to her. Mai then admits that she felt so pathetic because Yousuke said that he can’t see her as a woman, and she’s been avoiding him because she didn’t want him to see her pathetic side… so now that he has confessed to her, she just feels so stupid. Yousuke is confused and asks what she means by that, but Mai decides to be bold and kisses him on the cheek—hoping that it can surprise him for a bit.
Of course Yousuke is really surprised and loses all words, so Mai tells him that she loves him more than he does towards her. She feels happy now that she finally said it, and she’s pretty sure that she has a stupid smile on her face… but it can’t be helped since she’s been holding back for so long. Once again, Mai tells Yousuke that she loves him. He only stares at her with a surprised expression for a while, as if his soul has flown out of his body, but then he slowly turns red and smiles at her. Yousuke then puts his arms around Mai’s waist and lifts her up into the air, grinning as he tells her that he feels so happy. He was so sure that she would reject him, and he can’t contain his happiness since she actually returns his feelings. Mai says that she’s happy too, but she asks Yousuke to let her down because this is just too embarrassing. They’re standing right in front of Kamizono Shrine, and people will start visiting soon. He refuses though, since he wants everyone to know that she’s his girlfriend starting from today. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ She wants to say that it’s embarrassing, but she only closes her eyes. She always thought that her feelings wouldn’t reach him, so she’s really happy that he refers to her as his girlfriend.
As she puts her arms around his neck, Mai tells Yousuke that she wants to show everyone too. She wants people to know that he’s her boyfriend. Her voice gradually turns smaller due to the embarrassment, and she’s not sure if he hears what she said… but he averts his gaze and holds his breath. He then reminds her that she took him to the sanctuary before, and he asks if they can enter the place right now. Mai doesn’t know where this is going, but she nods saying they can. Kyouga has given Yousuke the permission to visit the sanctuary, so it should be okay. Yousuke grins saying they’re going to change the place for a bit, and he walks into the shrine grounds while still carrying Mai in his arms—showing off his cute girlfriend to all the people they see along the way. She can only cling onto him, dying from the embarrassment LOL.
Once they reach the sanctuary, Yousuke finally lets Mai down. She feels relieved for a moment, but then he puts one hand on the back of her head… and when she blinks, he leans in to kiss her. ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟ The first kiss is gentle, but the second kiss and the ones after that are slightly more rough. As they change angles, Mai tugs on Yousuke’s arm. She’s running out of breath since she doesn’t have any experience in this area, but he refuses to let go. Between them, their warm breath merge into one and melt away. Once he’s satisfied, Yousuke releases Mai and hugs her—saying that he feels refreshed. Mai protests saying he’s so mean. It was her first kiss, and yet he says he feels “refreshed”…!? He only grins saying he couldn’t hold back upon hearing her passionate confession earlier, so he wanted to give her a kiss or two… or three… or four. She complains and points out that he’s getting carried away, but he’s just too happy about the fact that he took her first kiss.
Yousuke then moves closer for another kiss, but this time Mai stops him saying he can’t kiss her anymore today. He might be used to it, but she reminds him that she’s still a beginner. He smiles saying he knows, and he’s about to point out that she can barely stand up thanks to the kiss… but she quickly shuts him up with her fist—repeatedly calling him stupid in her heart. Mai feels that Yousuke is showing off his “adult experience” through their kiss, and she buries her face in his chest out of irritation. He lightly kisses her hair and promises that he’ll never treat her like a kid anymore. Or rather, he wouldn’t be able to do it. Yousuke then asks Mai to be prepared, because from now on, he’s going to keep loving her until he’s satisfied. Mai turns red as Yousuke whispers into her ears, but she feels happy to receive those words. She feels happy to hear him saying that he loves her. She nods and says she wants to be loved by him too, then she presses her cheek against his chest—wishing for the touch to convey her love for him.
Not too long after Mai and Yousuke start dating, everyone throws a celebration party for them at Siesta. Not for Yousuke, but for Mai. The participants are Issei, Rio, Seiya, Takuto, Kyouga and Mori. Takuto even closed Siesta just for the event, though Mai doesn’t think they have to go that far. Takuto already put his handmade cooking on the table, and everyone around them are holding cups filled with various alcohol. Since Mai and Mori are still underage, they get to drink juice instead. When Takuto starts the celebration, they all share a toast for the success of Mai’s first love. Kyouga asks Takuto to bring out more drinks, and Takuto answers that he already took out all of Siesta’s stock—wine, Japanese sake, liquors, champagne. He’s going to have a hard time stocking up tomorrow, but he has decided to drink up everything in Siesta today. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Rio also brought some extra wine and whiskey today, and Issei is surprised when he puts a bottle of Cognac on the table. When Issei asks if it’s not expensive, Rio grins saying it seems like it’s been stored for a hundred years. He doesn’t know about the price, but it was rolling around in their host club… so he just took it and brought it here. Seiya also brought a bottle of Japanese sake that they don’t need, and Kyouga is clearly excited to see this. Just as expected from hosts, they brought expensive drinks from their club. He’ll make sure to keep supporting them from now on. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
As Kyouga asks everyone to drink until morning comes, Mai gives him the ( ಠ_ಠ ) look knowing that he’s only throwing this party because he wants to drink LOL. She also knows that Kyouga is going to laugh at her if she comes closer, so she stays away from him and eats the dishes. Soon after that, Mori comes and comments that she’s rather quiet. When she answers that she doesn’t want to deal with drunk people, he nods and says minors like them don’t get the charm of alcohol anyway. They’re lucky enough to be able to eat Takuto’s cooking though. Mai asks if Mori wants to eat the assorted pasta too, and he nods saying they should get some desserts too after that. Takuto also made a cake for them. When Mai hands a plate of pasta to him, Mori thanks her and asks if it’s okay for her not to stay with Yousuke… but she thinks it’s impossible for today. Mai smiles as she watches over Yousuke, who has been working nonstop ever since the party started. He’s in charge of serving everyone today, so he’s been running around to pour drinks for them and taking dirty plates to the kitchen sink. He doesn’t complain, and he doesn’t eat anything either. He keeps on working hard, only drinking alcohol when they’re having a toast.
Mori grins saying Yousuke probably deserves that much. Yousuke put Mai into so much pain, and they’re already dating before anyone knew it. Upon hearing this, Mai bows her head to Mori and apologizes for making him worry… but she truly feels grateful to him. If he didn’t encourage her, she probably would’ve given up along the way. He gives her a slightly sad smile, but then he answers that he’s glad to be able to help her. He thinks a smile suits her so much better, but he also asks her to tell him if Yousuke ever makes her cry—he’ll definitely help her. Before Mai can say anything, Yousuke appears and apologizes to Mori… because he has absolutely no intentions of making her cry. At the same time, Yousuke comes to sit beside Mai and puts his arm around her shoulder. Mori frowns saying he’s not too sure about that. Yousuke kept on whining that Mai can’t become a romantic prospect for him, and yet he ended up confessing to her so easily. His words can’t be taken seriously.
Yousuke turns blue upon hearing this. He mentions that Mori is always so merciless towards him, but soon a drunk Issei joins in and asks Mori to scold him more. They have to be harsh on him, or else it won’t work at all. Mori nods saying Yousuke is really unfair, especially since he kept on saying that he won’t deal with a kid like Mai before. Issei also wants to hear when did Yousuke apply “an adult’s self-control” that he was using as an excuse, since he doesn’t think such a thing exists to begin with. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ Issei is holding a cup of Japanese sake in one hand, and his cheeks are slightly red. As he moves even closer to them, Issei admits that he’s not sure if Yousuke is seriously thinking of his relationship with Mai… and he asks if Mai’s seriously thinking of dating this man. Issei is, of course, against the idea. He doesn’t want to give his lovely younger sister to a frivolous and hopeless man like Yousuke. Mori adds that she can still change her mind now, grinning mischievously when Yousuke asks what the hell are they saying LOL. Mai wonders if Issei is drunk since he has high alcohol tolerance, but Yousuke sighs and explains that they’re having ridiculously strong drinks today… though it seems like Issei is just slightly drunk.
That’s not the end for Yousuke though, because soon enough, Rio and the others also come to join them. Rio agrees with Issei’s opinion, since Yousuke would never realize his own feelings without their help. Seiya asks just how dense can he be to NOT realize it until Mai started avoiding him and he saw that someone else is making a move on her. It must be because he’s been playing around too much. Takuto nods saying that’s not good. He’s been looking after Mai ever since she was small, and he can’t bear to see her falling into the hands of a flirty man like Yousuke—who protests in the background. Yousuke has been saying it over and over again, but he’s taking his relationship with Mai seriously. Sadly for him, Takuto brushes this off saying his words are too light to be taken seriously LOL. Here, Kyouga also joins in and points out that Takuto is getting drunk rather quickly today. It seems like Yousuke has found his true love, and so Kyouga actually doesn’t mind. In fact, he’s feeling happy and excited because their god has granted blessings for Mai and Yousuke. Just as expected. Long live Kamizono Shrine! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
After shoving the happy Kyouga aside, Takuto asks if Mai really thinks that Yousuke is suitable for her. Of course Yousuke trembles in shock in the background, but then Mai shakes her head and answers that he’s the best for her. There’s no doubt in Mai’s answer, and Yousuke happily says that it’s just as expected from his girlfriend… while everyone else (except maybe Rio) avert their gaze and sigh LOL. Yousuke then makes his way towards Mai and hugs her, whispering that she’s also the best for him. He truly doesn’t care about women other than her, because she’s the only one who has captured his heart. Yousuke kisses Mai’s cheek and says that he loves her, then he turns around to glare at everyone else. He’s been listening in silence as they threw all sorts of insults at him earlier, but he doesn’t want them to judge whether he’s suitable as her boyfriend or not. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Sadly, this attitude quickly goes down the drain when Takuto replies that he’s being cheeky… and especially when Rio says that he’s worried about Yousuke’s flirty side. His “lower body” used to be really loose, and he changed women as often as he changes clothes. Yousuke asks them not to reveal that here, but Seiya mentions that he was also popular with hostesses. He used to visit hostess clubs with “serving clients” as the excuse, but then brought the ladies home in the end.
Once again, Yousuke tells them to stop talking about his past right in front of Mai. What kind of bullying is this!? Behind them, Mori comments that Yousuke is the worst. Yousuke has always had a bad image in his eyes, but this has lowered his image even more. He’s the worst! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Yousuke knows that Mori won’t be able to accept him ever again, but he asks Mori not to join in by repeating those words LOL. Issei also adds that if Yousuke ever cheats on Mai, he’ll give Yousuke a “social punishment”—mentioning that he’s good friends with the sales department chief. Yousuke screams and asks Issei to stop, because Issei’s threatening smile is sending chills down his spine. Besides, he’d never cheat on Mai. Completely ignoring Yousuke’s protests, Kyouga nods saying that’s a nice idea. In his case, he’d give Yousuke both divine AND social punishments—so much that it will be hard for Yousuke just to live. Of course since it’s coming from Kyouga, Yousuke knows that it WILL happen for real. He begs Kyouga to stop and give him a break, since he’s really serious about his relationship with Mai.
When Kyouga grins and asks for a proof, Yousuke accepts the challenge right away. It seems like he can’t hold back anymore since everyone keeps picking on him, and he agrees to show a proof of how much he loves Mai. Right after saying this, Yousuke touches Mai’s chin and leans in to kiss her in front of everyone. Takuto is impressed, though he admits that he doesn’t like seeing other people kissing. Issei protests since he doesn’t approve of doing such things in public, while Mori screams in horror—calling Yousuke “mean” and “the worst” repeatedly. Takuto asks the poor thing to cheer up, promising to introduce some beautiful ladies to him next time. After releasing Mai, Yousuke asks if that’s enough proof for them. Seiya only says that if Yousuke goes on to push Mai down and proceeds to an erotic scene, he’ll beat the living daylights out of him. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Kyouga doesn’t want to see the continuation either, but he never knew that couples who received blessings from the flowers will become like this. It gives him the idea of featuring this on the site to increase Kamizono Shrine’s popularity, but Mai throws a wet wipe straight to his face and asks him not to do stupid things.
Mai then turns to protest at Yousuke for kissing her in front of everyone, but he gives her a happy smile in return. Now that everyone knows that she belongs to him, he’s in an incredibly good mood. Mai stares at Yousuke in disbelief before pushing him away, calling him stupid as she runs out of Siesta. Issei nods saying she can still run away now, though Rio wants to take Yousuke’s side here. After all, he’s also a flirty man like Yousuke. Seiya says they have to be flirty because of their job though, while Yousuke is frivolous to the core—it’s not something they can fix LOL. Mori tells Mai that she can come to him if it gets painful, while Kyouga warns her to remember that she just threw a wet wipe at his face. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Takuto thinks it’s Kyouga’s fault though, so he should apologize to Mai later. Yousuke is left shocked and confused, and he quickly rushes outside to chase after her.
Outside, Mai wishes the earth would swallow her up. She can’t believe that an adult like Yousuke would do something so childish in front of everyone. Despite the embarrassment, she can’t deny that she’s also happy… and she gets irked because of this. When Yousuke runs out of Siesta and grabs her shoulder, Mai stops walking but doesn’t turn around. She wants him to reflect on his actions for a bit. He hesitantly asks if she’s angry, and when she answers that she is, he immediately apologizes for getting carried away. He also asks if she wants him to bow down as he apologizes. He’s really good at it, and he’ll show it to her if she wants to… so he asks her to turn around already. It’s painful whenever he can’t see her face. His voice sounds so weak, and she finds it really unfair since she can’t ignore him anymore. When Mai slowly turns around, Yousuke looks so relieved. She’d never expect this to happen before, since he’s not someone who would get his emotions affected by her like this.
Mai never thought that she’d feel loved by Yousuke in a place like this, and she almost smiles at him… but she holds back. Instead, she asks him to lean over and close his eyes if he really feels bad. Yousuke doesn’t know what Mai is planning, but he obediently closes his eyes and leans over for a bit. As she hold back her laughter, Mai stands on tiptoe and lightly kisses Yousuke on the lips—which really surprises him. He opens his eyes right away and gives her a puzzled look. When she shyly tells him that it’s “payback” for earlier, he grins saying this kind of payback is always welcomed. She protests that she won’t do it everytime, and he nods saying he knows… but he wants to kiss her all the time. After giving her another kiss, Yousuke hugs Mai and promises to make her happy. He will treasure her, and he won’t make her regret her decision of choosing him. When Yousuke says that he loves her, Mai happily replies that she loves him too. She then hugs him back tightly, to let him know that she won’t ever let go of his warmth.
• GOOD END 1: Do You Want to Take a Bath? Have Dinner? Or…? •
After she started dating Yousuke, Mai goes to his apartment everyday. She doesn’t have to clean up that much since his room is always neatly organized now, but she really feels like his girlfriend by taking care of him. Besides, he also made a new spare key for her. He even said that it’s only just for her, so she can’t help but visit him everyday. One day, Mai goes to Yousuke’s room after work—using the key he gave her. He’s still away at work, and she starts cleaning up after storing dinner ingredients in the kitchen. Yousuke was planning to clean up the room himself, but Mai asked him to let it be since she wants to do it for him. After she’s done with cleaning and washing laundry, she starts preparing dinner while wondering what to do. Recently, something has been bothering her… and it’s been escalating since a few days ago.
It all started with Mai asking Takuto about what she should do to make men around his age happy when they come home. Yousuke always returns home for dinner. It seems like he’s been doing his work perfectly so he won’t have to work overtime, so she wants to do something to heal his fatigue. When Takuto asked why she came to him, Mai answered it’s because he’s the one who will take her question seriously. Kyouga can’t be used as a standard, and she finds it hard to ask Issei about this. Takuto said that hearing Mai say “welcome home” should be enough for Yousuke, but if she really wants to do something else… he can tell her a good idea. The thing is it’s supposed to be aimed towards old men, and he asked if she would mind. Mai nodded and asked Takuto to tell her, but now she’s blushing as she recalling the idea. Is she going to do such an embarrassing thing for real? Mai can’t dismiss the idea either, since Takuto assured her that it will definitely work on Yousuke. She keeps thinking about this as she cooks dinner.
Just when Mai is done cooking, the sound of interphone echoes from the front door. Whenever he returns home at night, Yousuke always presses the interphone and lets Mai open the door. Seems like that makes him happy. When she opens the door, he walks in with a happy smile—telling her that he’s home. Instead of answering, Mai falls silent for a while. Yousuke is surprised since she usually welcomes him home, and he immediately panics. Is something wrong? Is she feeling unwell? Did he do anything wrong? Since he’s starting to have negative thoughts, she finally gathers her courage and calls his name. If she backs down here, she won’t be able to heal his fatigue after work. When Yousuke looks at her, Mai tells him the words Takuto told her to say: “W-Welcome home. Um… Uh… Do you want to take a bath first? Have dinner first? Or ME?” (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ However, Yousuke doesn’t answer. He only looks straight at Mai with no expression on his face. Mai instantly turns red and calls Takuto a liar in her heart. It was so embarrassing for her, and yet Yousuke doesn’t show any reaction.
After quietly walking into the room, Yousuke suddenly grabs both of Mai’s shoulders and pins her against the wall. He looks angry as he asks where she learned that sentence from, and whether she ever said it to men other than him. Mai turns pale upon realizing that Yousuke really angry, and she quickly shakes her head. It’s just she’s been wondering if he might be tired, since he always comes home early everyday. She asked Takuto about this before, and he told her to say that line. Yousuke’s expression instantly turns soft upon hearing this, and he puts his head on Mai’s shoulder. He knows she would never say that line, so he couldn’t help but think about weird things. When she apologizes to him, he smiles saying it actually made him really happy. He was surprised, but she doesn’t have to feel bad. She’s the only person who can make him lose his cool so easily.
Yousuke then asks Mai to repeat those three options to him. At first she refuses since it’s so embarrassing, but he begs her to say it again—even saying that he’ll feel extremely uplifted if she says it. She eventually gives in and asks whether he wants to take a bath, have dinner or have her. He immediately answers that of course he’ll have her, and he moves closer to kiss her. ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟ The first kiss is gentle, though it’s soon followed by deeper kisses. He whispers that she’s gotten good at kissing, and now he’s going to take her offer by having her. At the same time, he lifts her up and carries her princess-style. Mai panics and tells Yousuke that their dinner will get cold, but he says they can always warm it up later. Right now, he’s more interested in showering her with love instead. He lightly kisses her cheek several times as he carries her into the room, reminding her that she’s the one who can heal his fatigue. What Takuto said was right, and she wants him to feel better right? ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
When Mai protests that this isn’t what she was thinking about, Yousuke assures her that it’s alright—he’s thinking of their future properly. He already told her about this before, but he wants to live with her after she graduates from high school. Since she’s still in high school, he doesn’t want to put any restrictions on her future. He’s been holding back his wishes for her sake. Back then, Mai was really happy upon realizing that Yousuke is serious about their relationship… because she felt the same way. Even after she graduates from high school and becomes an adult, she wants to stay with him. If there’s one thing she can say with certainty, it’s that he’s standing beside her in her future. Yousuke nods saying it means Mai is going to be his wife in the future, and he already went to greet her parents too. She’s going to move in with him in a few months, so it’s like they’re already engaged. Yousuke also asks Mai not to worry about… uh, a certain something. He noticed that it’s about to run out since they use it daily, and he went to buy some from the drugstore. Mai quickly stops him saying he doesn’t need to announce it, to which Yousuke says that he’s just trying to charm her with his honesty. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
Despite Mai’s protests, Yousuke says that he doesn’t want to let go of her right now. He wants to stay by her side, so much that no one else would be able to approach her. As he kisses her again, he asks her to just give up and heal him. She finally agrees as long as they eat dinner first, and he happily carries her to the living room—asking if they should spoonfeed each other. When they’re together, he feels really happy everyday. Yousuke cheerfully Mai that he loves her, and she allows him to carry her inside. From now on, the two of them are going to spend their time together—conveying their love to each other all the time. Only happiness is waiting ahead in their future. She answers that she loves him too, and she lightly kisses him on the cheek.
• GOOD END 2: Jealousy + Jealousy = ? •
One day, Mai is waiting for Yousuke at the park for a date… but she sits on the bench with her shoulders slumped down. It’s been a month ever since they started dating, and everything is going smoothly. They express their love for each other everyday, and they’re supposed to be happy. However, Mai is upset since Yousuke is still playing around with other girls… and she never knew about this. When she went shopping, she saw him walking with two girls who seemed close to him. Of course she knows that he’s not cheating on her, since he already told all the women he used to play around with that he has a girlfriend now. She wants to believe in him, and she can’t think of those words as a lie. Mai is also aware that Yousuke often gets approached by girls due to his good looks. They even hit on him during their dates, thinking that the kid beside him is his younger sister. Yousuke always turned them down immediately, and so Mai never felt insecure… but why didn’t he tell her? Does he think it’s not necessary because they’re just friends…? When she thinks about it more calmly, Mai realizes that it’s normal to play with friends of the opposite gender. She often goes out to with Mori too, and they even watched a movie together some days ago. Knowing that getting jealous means she doesn’t trust Yousuke enough, Mai decides to put it behind her and enjoy today’s date.
Soon after that, Mai notices Yousuke walking towards her. When she stands up and waves her hand, he also raises his hand in return… but for some reason, he looks rather stiff and gloomy. She asks if he’s not feeling well, but he only shakes his head and asks why she gives him that question. When she points out that he looks gloomy, he scratches his head and thinks for a while. Then he turns back at her and asks if she went to watch a movie with Mori last Saturday. She nods and explains that Mori invited her, since he had some free tickets. Mai asks if there’s something wrong with that, but Yousuke gives her a sharp look and asks why she went out with other men. Why is she having a date with someone else, leaving her own boyfriend behind? Mai is surprised for a moment, but then she angrily points out that Yousuke also went out with other women last Monday. She saw it with her own eyes! He replies that they’re his friends. They wanted to buy presents for they boyfriends, and they asked him for suggestions. Since they’re in the same situation, Mai says she can throw those words right back at Yousuke. Why did he go out with women who are not his girlfriend?
Yousuke answers that they’re really his friends, but it’s a bit different for Mai to go out with Mori. He can’t say that it’s because Mori used to have a crush on her though, so she tells him that it’s exactly the same. Is it wrong to go out with friends? Mai knows that Yousuke is jealous of Mori, but she got pissed because he acted like he’s better than she is. As she turns away from him, she admits that she’ll also get jealous if she sees him going out with other girls. The next moment, he suddenly hugs her and says it makes him happy. Until earlier, he was really worried that she might be cheating and would throw him away. When she says that he’s doing the same thing, he smiles and apologizes for causing her to experience the same pain. He then promises that he’ll only go out with her from now on, and he won’t ever use the word “friends” as an excuse again… so he asks her not to go out with other men too. Mai feels happy since she’s been waiting for those words, and she promises that she won’t go out with anyone other than Yousuke.
Yousuke feels so uncool to get jealous like that, but Mai says it’s okay because the same goes for her. The fact that they’re rather similar to each other makes him so happy, and they stay in each other’s arms for a while—letting their feelings mix into one. They hold hands as they leave the park, and Yousuke asks where Mai wants to go today. He’ll take her to the places she loves today, but she refuses to decide based on her opinion alone. She wants to visit a place they both love, and he gives her a smile in return. Both of them are walking side by side, towards the future they’re wishing for.
• NORMAL END: Feelings Sworn Towards the Back •
After Mai stopped answering Yousuke’s mails and calls, eventually he stopped trying to reach her. Maybe it’s because he realized that she doesn’t want to be contacted. Her love comes to an end without reaching him. Even though Miki has encouraged her, in the end she didn’t have to courage to confess to him. She thinks it’s for the best though, since she’d only get rejected anyway. On the way to Kamizono Shrine, Mai sees Yousuke walking with a woman from the opposite direction. She notices that the woman is holding a love charm from Kamizono Shrine, one with a camellia petal inside. As she closes her eyes, she thinks that only beautiful ladies can walk beside him. Mai stops and lowers her gaze, unable to say anything to him. She doesn’t know what to do if he greets her like he usually does. Would she be able to reply with a smile? Can she tell them that they make a nice couple? However, Yousuke only walks past her without saying a word. When she lifts her head in a hurry, she can only his cold expression from the side.
That’s when Mai realizes that for Yousuke, she has turned into an existence who doesn’t even deserve a greeting. She can only watch his back as he walks away from her, knowing that she was the one who let go first… even though he kept trying to reach her, over and over again. It’s her own fault. She’s too scared to let him know how she feels, and now she can’t even talk to him anymore. Tears start welling up in her eyes, but she desperately tries not to cry. This is the result she chose, and she’s not allowed to cry over it. Right now, Mai can only apologize to Yousuke in her heart. She regrets not listening to Miki’s advice, but it’s too late. If she falls in love again next time, she’s going to convey her feelings no matter what—so she won’t reach this kind of ending anymore.
• BAD END: Disappearing Love •
After Mai decided to stop helping Yousuke with housework, he keeps asking her to come and help since his room has turned messy again… but she never went to see him. She also replies to his mails and calls less and less, and before long he stopped contacting her as well. Since she’s just an “acquaintance” and not a romantic prospect, it seems like he has no intentions of dealing with her any longer. As she gazes at the camellia in the sanctuary, Mai wonders if the result would be different if she’s of the same age as Yousuke—even though she knows there’s nothing she can do about it. Just like that, her love disappears without ever reaching the man in her mind.
What I love the most from this route is how similar Mai and Yousuke are. They both tried to deny the fact that they’ve fallen in love with each other due to the age gap, and they also protected themselves from getting hurt—though they used different ways. Mai did this by running away and trying to give up, while Yousuke just used the age gap to block her out of his strike zone. It’s also interesting how they don’t put as much focus in the “adult vs kid” perspectives here, because as you can see… Yousuke isn’t exactly mature when it comes to love. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ This actually puts him on the same level as Mai, which is why their actions are rather similar to each other. The difference is that he has more experience in dealing with the opposite gender. Mai gets intimidated by a lot of things in this route, but it’s understandable considering Yousuke’s personality and the way he treats her. The endings are really cute, and in one of them you can see how “advanced” Yousuke is compared to Issei when it comes to a certain area. If you want more details on that part, I’d recommend listening to the CDs. (。-∀-)ﾆﾋｯ♪
My only complaint is that there’s not enough Rio. Give me more Rio. _(:3」∠)_