Right from the beginning, Rui and Seiya had a lot of questions revolving around them. They’re supposed to be twins, but the hints are pointing towards another direction instead. They share a route in this game, and it brings all the answers.
Saiga Rui is the modern literature teacher in Mai’s school, while his younger twin brother, Seiya, works as the number two host in LADY MAGIC. Both are 34 years old, and their personalities are exact opposites of each other. Rui is gentle and friendly, but also plain and has an extremely thin presence. In contrary, Seiya is charismatic and mischievous with a sadistic streak. Rui and Seiya share the same birthday of January 15, and their birth flower is narcissus.
• DECEMBER •
If Mai chooses the narcissus, Kyouga picks another one from the pond—because she has to deliver them to two people. The first one is for Saiga Rui, a teacher in her school, while the second is for a host named Seiya. This surprises Mai because she knows Rui very well, and also because she never thought she’d get to see a host in person. In any case, Kyouga wants her to see Seiya after school. As for Rui, she can bring the flower to school and hand it to him right away. Mai basically needs to deliver the flowers in her shrine maiden outfit, but Kyouga gives her an exception for Rui’s case. She can do it in her uniform, since it’ll be troublesome if he receives complaints from her school LOL. This is why he told her to come before school, though she finds it unusual that he’s actually being sensible for once. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ After school, she can come to Kamizono Shrine and move on to Seiya’s flower delivery.
Kyouga leaves after telling Mai to work hard. As she looks at the narcissus in her hands, she thinks about the first person she has to deliver it to. Rui is a really kind teacher who’s in charge of modern literature. He has a gentle demeanor and a warm smile, and she’s gotten much more interested in the subject thanks to him. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really improve her grades… and she has to take supplementary lessons after school pretty often. She tells herself to concentrate more during class, but it’s probably a bit too late since today is the closing ceremony. They’ll have winter break starting from tomorrow. Before leaving Kamizono Shrine, Mai drops by the office and neatly wraps the narcissus. She then seals it in a paper bag so it won’t get damaged, and she goes to school after that—running into Mori and Miki along the way.
Upon arriving at school, Miki leaves for club practice while Mori goes to help the baseball club. Mai goes inside to find the hallway rather empty, but she soon hears the footsteps of someone else. It seems like the person is staggering though. Sometimes they stops before starting to walk again, so their footsteps sound restless. When she glances around, she finds someone on the other side of the hallway—carrying a pile of books as he walks. Due to the heavy books, he looks like he might fall down any moment. Mai rushes over in the hope of helping him, but sadly she doesn’t make it in time. The books start falling off just before she can call him. He panics and tries to pick them up, but ends up dropping everything else as he stoops over. He apologizes when Mai comes over to help him, and that’s when she realizes that it’s actually none other than Rui. He notes that she’s came to school early today, and she nods saying it’s because she had to visit Kamizono Shrine before going to school.
When Mai hands the books back to him, Rui thanks her and bows his head—swaying his curly hair in the process. She’s not sure if it’s naturally curly or just his bed hair though LOL. Of course this also causes him to drop the books again, but she quickly asks him to stay still. She knows he’ll end up dropping the books again at this rate, so she picks up the fallen books and hands half of them to him. She’ll help him to carry the rest. He feels bad since the books are heavy, but she assures him that she’s alright. She’s pretty strong, and she’s worried that he might drop them again. He sadly admits that she’s probably right, but she asks him not to worry. She has plenty of time anyway, so she asks him to let her help. Rui smiles upon hearing this, and he finally agrees to accept Mai’s help.
As they walk through the hallway, Rui asks about Mai’s plans for winter break. She answers that she’ll be working, and he recalls that she’s the shrine maiden of Kamizono Shrine. She told him about this during a supplementary class before. Since Kamizono Shrine is well-known for granting love fortunes, they always get really busy around Christmas. Rui nods saying Mai is working very hard even though she’s still in high school, so she shouldn’t any problems when she has to work in the future. After all, people who know that working isn’t easy will view things differently than those who don’t. Despite his absent-minded image, Rui often gives various advice for Mai… so she actually finds him very reliable. Even if his students fail to pass their tests, he’s always patient and never gets tired of teaching them.
On the other hand, Rui mentions that Mai always manages to find him. Due to his thin presence, he often gets ignored by the students. Nobody notices when he greets them, and they don’t hear him whenever he tries to give them warnings. However, Mai always replies every time Rui talks to her. Rui looks really happy about this, but Mai can’t deny that everyone usually forgets about him. She doesn’t know why though, as his presence is quite strong in her eyes. This also reminds Mai that she has to hand the narcissus to Rui, so she decides to do it once they’re done with the books. They reach the staff room soon after that, where he thanks her for helping him. He asks her to hand over the books and assures her that he’ll be fine from here on, though she asks him to be more careful. If he doesn’t pay attention to the amount of books he’s going to carry, he might end up hurting himself.
Rui nods and thanks Mai again. He turns around to enter the staff room, but they notice another problem here. Since Rui’s hands are full with the books, he can’t open the door LOL. When Mai opens it for him, he blushes and apologizes for all the trouble. Mai chuckles saying she doesn’t mind, and then she asks if Rui can return to the staff room entrance after putting the books on his desk. She says she has something for him, and he seems taken aback to hear this. When she mentions that it’s from Kyouga, he nods saying he doesn’t know what it is… but he probably should accept it for her sake. After putting the books away, Rui returns to the door and asks what Mai wants to give him. He looks confused when she gives the narcissus to him, and he blinks repeatedly as she explains the reason—probably because the confusion gets worse. She can understand though. Anyone would be confused if someone suddenly gives them a flower saying it’s to support their love.
Once Mai’s explanation sinks in, Rui says it’s probably meaningless even if he accepts the flower. Besides, he’s certain that he won’t experience love that’s worth supporting. Rui shows a sad smile as he hands the narcissus back to Mai, then he apologizes and asks her to return it to Kyouga. Before Mai can argue, Rui apologizes once again and takes his leave—saying he has work to do. She can only sigh as he closes the staff room door. She failed to deliver the flower, and she feels terrified upon thinking about what Kyouga is going to do to her. That being said, Mai doesn’t think Rui would accept it even if she insists. She doesn’t know why he said that he “won’t experience love that’s worth supporting” either, and she feels concerned because he looked a bit sad. She has no options though, so she has to report her failure to Kyouga. After taking a deep breath, Mai goes to her classroom and cheers for Mori—who’s practicing with the baseball club—from the window.
In the evening, Mai is running late to work. Kyouga will definitely pick on her if she’s late, so she decides to take a shortcut through a park. It’s a desperate measure though, because she usually avoids the place. Maybe because the park is located near Kamizono Shrine, but a lot of couples use the place to cuddle up to each other… so obviously she feels awkward. Besides, they probably don’t want their ラブラブ time to be interrupted by a passerby either. While she feels bad for intruding, she doesn’t have any options since she doesn’t want to be late. Mai then runs across the park in full speed, but instantly steps on the brake when she sees someone lying down on the bench. As she turns around to take a closer look, she notices that it’s a man in an expensive-looking suit. His shirt is unbuttoned, exposing his firm skin underneath. Despite his good looks, he carries a sharp atmosphere that might cut anyone who dares to touch it. That’s probably why even though people are walking past the bench, no one has the courage to approach him. They only glance at him before fleeing.
However, Mai can’t bring herself to ignore the man. When she moves closer to ask if he’s alright, she can see blood welling up on the corner of his lips. He looks like he’s in pain, and he’s breathing roughly—it’s pretty obvious that he’s wounded. Mai offers to call for help if he can’t move, but the man quietly growls out that she’s being so noisy. He slowly opens his eyes as he tells her to leave him be, and he looks really surprised upon seeing her… but the expression fades away almost instantly. Instead, he glares at her and tells her to leave. She gasps in shock when he calls her a nuisance, but she gathers her courage and says she can’t do that. This is her first time getting yelled at by a man, so of course she feels terrified… but she can’t leave a wounded person alone. She also points out that his hand is bleeding, and she scolds him for shooing her off in that condition.
The man frowns saying it’s none of her business, but Mai refuses to leave him alone. If they don’t stop the bleeding, the wound might get infected and get worse. Mai then takes out a handkerchief from her bag. After assuring the man that it’s clean, she wraps and ties it around his wounded hand. He protests that it hurts and tells her to be more gentle, but somehow she feels relieve to hear him complaining. Once she’s done with the first-aid treatment, she notices that the man is intently staring at her. He still looks like he’s in pain though, and so she wonders if she should treat his wound properly. Maybe she should clean it up with disinfectant and bandage it. Mai quickly gets up saying she’ll get a first-aid kit, so she asks the man to wait at the park. Before he can say anything, she dashes off to Kamizono Shrine. They have a first-aid kit in the office, so she can use it to treat his wound.
Upon entering the shrine grounds, Mai finds Kyouga along with a familiar figure—Sano Fumiya. The first thing Kyouga does is to point out that Mai is late, but Fumiya quickly shuts him up. Mai is doing her best to run, how dare he says that to her! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ As he turns to greet Mai, Fumiya smiles saying Kyouga is truly a demon for making her work in the evening. Mai is happy to see Fumiya too, since his presence is a godsend in this situation. Fumiya works as the infirmary doctor in her school. He’s good friends with her cousin, Emori Chisato, and he’s just like a big brother to her. Mai then runs up to Fumiya and clings onto his arm, which instantly sends him to heaven. She asks him to come with her because there’s a wounded person in the park, but he turns red and drowns in his own bliss. It’s been a long time since she clung onto him like this, and he still remembers. It was back during a music recital in her 4th grade…
Unfortunately, Fumiya’s happy nostalgia is soon interrupted by Kyouga. Fumiya needs to do his job, and Kyouga literally kicks him back into reality. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ The kick hits him in the back, but Fumiya calmly fixes his posture and turns to Mai. He says he understands, and he assures her that it’s okay. He’s an infirmary doctor after all, so she can leave it to him. Kyouga highly doubts it since Fumiya completely forgot his job as he went down the memory lane, but Fumiya frowns saying he doesn’t need that jab LOL. They’re going to bring the man to Kamizono Shrine if the wound is serious, so he tells Kyouga to prepare a bed or something. Mai then takes the first-aid kit and rushes back to the park with Fumiya, but the man is already gone by the time they arrive. They only found her bag along with the wrapped narcissus on the bench, as she left them there when she dashed off. Mai is worried about his wound, but Fumiya pats her head and asks her not to worry too much. Since the man left, it means he can still move around.
Fumiya then takes Mai’s belongings from the bench and hands them back to her. She feels bad for taking him to the park for nothing, but he says he doesn’t mind. In fact, he’s actually happy to go on a walk with her. It’s been a while since he last went on a walk with her. It doesn’t help that she told him not to act too friendly with her at school, and it makes him sad. She used to call him “big brother Fumiya”, but switched to “Sano-sensei” the moment she entered high school. It makes her feel so distant to him, and he’s clearly not happy about it LOL. Mai reveals that it was Issei’s advice though, as he told her that she should draw a definite line when it comes to this issue. Just like Kyouga and Fumiya, Suoh Issei is also a good friend of Chisato’s. He works as a salaryman, and Mai runs into him at the supermarket from time to time. Fumiya thinks that advice was completely unnecessary though, and he’s planning to curse Issei later. He says it’s not necessary to draw any lines with him, as Mai is just like a cute younger sister to him.
When Mai thanks Fumiya and takes her belongings, he notices that the narcissus in the paper bag comes from Kamizono Shrine. He asks who she’s going to give it to, and she answers that it’s supposed to be for Rui… except Rui refused to take it. Fumiya finds it unbelievable. It’s a great sin to turn Mai down, and he’s thinking of punishing Rui once winter break ends. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Mai quickly assures Fumiya that she’s alright though. Knowing Kyouga, he’ll probably tell her to keep delivering the flower until Rui accepts it. Kyouga always takes his job seriously during times like this, and Fumiya finds him really troublesome. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Since Mai has to return to the shrine, Fumiya says he’ll walk her there. He asks her not to feel bad about this too, as he wasn’t done talking to Kyouga anyway.
On their way back, Mai asks why Fumiya came to Kamizono Shrine today. He scowls saying it’s because Kyouga has a problem with his PC, and so he was called to fix it. Fumiya is good with electronics, but he says it’s a real nuisance whenever Kyouga forces him to come and fix things. It doesn’t help that Kyouga only pays him with a drink in Siesta LOL. The owner of Siesta, Sakita Takuto, is one of Chisato’s friends as well. Chisato, Kyouga, Fumiya, Issei and Takuto have been good friends since high school, and the five of them are always looking after Mai. When she was small, she often followed Chisato everywhere. He took her to play with his friends, and they naturally grew attached to her. She always feels comfortable around them, though Kyouga is a bit different. Fumiya then asks Mai to tell him if Kyouga is giving her too much trouble, as he’ll do something to make it easier for her. She smiles and thanks him, but she’s actually a bit worried about the flower delivery. She failed to hand the narcissus to Rui, and she’ll have to give the other narcissus to a host. It might be hard.
One week later, Mai goes to deliver the other narcissus to club LADY MAGIC. She has to hand it to Seiya, and she feels nervous since she doesn’t know him. When she reported her failure, Kyouga was surprisingly calm. He actually saw it coming, so he said it’s not a problem at all. For Rui, she can continue the delivery after winter break. He also told her to wait for a week before moving on to Seiya, and he sent her to focus on distributing the charms until today. At first Mai was confused since she didn’t expect Kyouga to let her off the hook so easily, but Fumiya pointed out that it’s because of Christmas. Kamizono Shrine gets a LOT of visitors on around Christmas, and of course Kyouga will never let this profitable time span go to waste. Kyouga was so fired up to work hard on Christmas, while Mai and Fumiya only gave him the ( ಠ_ಠ ) look.
In any case, Mai now has to enter LADY MAGIC. She gathers her courage and steps forward, but the door is opened from inside just before she reaches for the doorknob. The next moment, two young hosts come out of the club. One of them, Taiga, is grumbling about how they’re both sent to do some shopping. The other one, Miyabi, asks him not to complain all the time though. After all, the guests won’t like hosts who complains a lot. Taiga argues that Miyabi also frowned when they lost the rock-paper-scissors game, but he stops upon noticing Mai. He thinks it’s their first time having a shrine maiden as a guest, and he notes that “Riou-san would be really happy to see this.” ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* Miyabi doesn’t think Mai came here as a guest though, and he politely asks if she’s cosplaying LOL. Of course Mai is shocked and replies that she’s not, quickly explaining that she came here to deliver a flower from Seiya.
The moment Mai mentions Kamizono Shrine, Taiga suddenly gets visibly nervous and asks if she’s related to Kyouga. She nods saying she is, though she’s only a part-time worker. Despite her answer, Taiga gasps and turns to Miyabi for help. Miyabi takes a few seconds to think about this, and then he smiles at Mai… but she notices that he also looks a bit nervous. He says he understands and wants to take her inside, but they have something to do at the moment. He’ll inform Seiya and guide her inside after they’re done, and he asks if she’s okay with that. When Mai happily thanks them, both Taiga and Miyabi’s jaws drop open. Taiga quickly asks her not to bow her head to them, saying she can scold them instead. Miyabi nods and adds that she can even insult them. She can go “you incapable new hosts!” for not taking her inside, and they wouldn’t mind at all! ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
Dealing with Kyouga clearly turned them into do-Ms LOL. Taiga then explains that Kyouga is a super VIP guest in LADY MAGIC. Since Mai is related to him, they’ll be history if they do anything rude to her.
They’re running out of time though, so Miyabi and Taiga take their leave for now—promising to take Mai inside when they return. She feels really bad as she sends them off, knowing Kyouga must’ve done terrible things during his visits to LADY MAGIC. Mai is thinking about scolding Kyouga when someone comes out of the club, who turns out to be a certain otaku host. He’s talking on the phone with one of his princesses, who’s apparently asking to be picked up. He asks her to come to LADY MAGIC today, as he wants to feel her love with his body and soul. Mai finds this conversation embarrassing, but she finds everything about him gorgeous—even the air around him. He looks really good in his purple suit, and she wonders if he’s a host. He eventually notices that she’s staring at him, but his mouth drops open the moment he sees her… and he trembles in place as he blatantly stares at her. When she bows her head to greet him, he suddenly turns red and averts his gaze. His fingers are shaking a bit as he puts his phone away. He never thought a shrine maiden would appear in front of him, and he wonders if he’s daydreaming. Even though he thinks shrine maidens are really 萌え, he doesn’t think he’s THAT desperate to have such a delusion at work… or does he? He mutters all of this in a quiet voice though, so Mai doesn’t catch anything LOL.
Thinking that the man is a staff in LADY MAGIC, Mai decides to talk to him. He snaps back to his senses upon hearing her voice, and he has to take a deep breath before smiling at her. He notes that this is the first time they met, and he asks whose princess is she going to be tonight. Mai is obviously confused and asks if he’s referring to her as a princess. When he nods, she shyly answers that she’s only a high school student—not a princess. He looks surprised for a moment, but then he bursts into laughter. He finds Mai cute, as he never thought anyone would take the princess title seriously. He then explains that he hosts in LADY MAGIC refer to their guests as “princesses”, and he apologizes for the confusion. Of course she feels really embarrassed, but he smiles and asks her not to worry. He had a good laugh, and she holds a really high value in his eyes. She doesn’t know what kind of “value” he’s talking about, but he asks her not to mind that for now.
It’s obviously the shrine maiden outfit. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪
The man then introduces himself as “Riou”, the number one host of LADY MAGIC. He holds out his hand for Mai, and she takes it as she introduces herself in return. Her heart starts racing when he says that she has a cute name, but she’s actually impressed by how hosts can say sweet words so smoothly. Knowing that Mai isn’t here to play with hosts, he then asks what she came for. When she explains that she’s here to see Seiya, his eyes widen in surprise. She can understand though, as it’s very unlikely for a high school student to visit a host. She wonders if she should explain the reason, but then he smiles and says Seiya is inside. He’ll call Seiya for her, so he asks her to wait here. Mai asks if that’s really alright since Taiga and Miyabi are planning to do that too, but he says there’s no need to worry. Taiga and Miyabi are their staff too, so he’ll explain the situation to them later. Besides, he believes it’s a man’s duty to help a cute shrine maiden with a smile. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ When he goes inside to get Seiya, she thinks about how good he is at escorting people. She’s not sure if it’s because of his job or his personality, but his kindness feels natural.
After a while, “Riou” returns with a man who looks rather familiar. Mai is really surprised to see him, while he shares exactly the same reaction… because he’s the man who was wounded at the park. She walks up to him and asks if he’s alright, and she checks his hand to find it wrapped in a bandage. It seems like he treated it properly. She feels relieved to see this, though it doesn’t last for too long. The man smiles as he smoothly moves Mai’s hair towards her back, and then he leans in to whisper to her—sending his breath to touch her ear. He says this is his first time having a guest who attacks him with full force like she does. He actually doesn’t like it when the other party takes all the initiative, but he doesn’t think it’s a bad idea to play with her. Mai can feel chills running down her spine, while heat is rising to her cheeks at the same time. As Mai backs away in a panic, “Riou” reminds the man that she’s only a kid. He shouldn’t corner her like that, and “Riou” himself also held back for the same reason. However, the man simply tells Rio to shut up. Even if Rio is the number one host, he has no rights to dictate him about what to do.
Noticing that Mai is confused, Rio explains that it’s his real name—Shirosaki Rio. He’s working under the alias of “Riou”, so he’d be happy if she keeps it a secret inside the club. Turning back to the man, Rio tells Mai that he’s the person she’s looking for—Seiya. He scratches his neck as she observes him from a safe distance, and it’s really apparent that he finds this troublesome. When he asks what she wants from him, she takes out the narcissus and hands it to him. Since he’s giving her a rather dubious look, she ends up explaining everything about Kamizono Shrine and the flower. Upon hearing this, Rio comments that it’s not a bad “setting” at all. He finds it nice and 萌え, since he likes the combination of shrine maidens and shrine-related themes. It might be an old theme for PC games, but he actually likes it. He believes that no matter what the theme is, it’s crucial to keep the “classic” points around. ヾ(✿❛◡❛ฺฺ)ノ～❤
Before Mai can catch what Rio is saying, Seiya slaps Rio on the head and tells him to stop. Seiya already told Rio to control himself at work. If Rio dares to continue his otaku talk any further, Seiya will break his treasure into pieces in the staff room. It only takes a second for Rio to apologize, promising to do his job properly LOL. After shoving him aside, Seiya gives the narcissus back to Mai. If she’s not here as a guest, then he wants her to leave. He doesn’t need any support for love in the first place, since he has more than enough women in his life. Mai is actually amazed to hear his words, but she quickly pulls herself out of it. She already failed to deliver the narcissus to Rui. If Seiya also refuses to accept it, who knows what kind of sarcasm Kyouga is going to throw at her.
Mai says she knows she’s being selfish, but she’ll be in trouble if Seiya doesn’t take the flower. He replies that if she wants him to accept it, then she should be his guest. Since Mai is too shocked to say anything, Rio sighs and asks why Seiya gets so irritated towards a kid. He’s not playing fair by giving her that kind of invitation. Seiya answers that he wouldn’t get anything by dealing with a kid, and so he doesn’t want to waste his time on Mai. He glares at her and tells her to get lost, saying he’s not interested in kids. Then he turns around and goes back inside. However, Rio asks if Mai is going to let Seiya leave. If she doesn’t stop him now, he probably won’t come out to see her anymore… and then she won’t be able to hand the narcissus to him. Realizing that Rio is right, Mai quickly runs up to Seiya and stops him.
When Mai grabs his arm, Seiya slowly turns to look at her. It seems like he wants to say something, but he’s holding back. She’s a bit confused to see his reaction, but then he asks what she wants to say. She went as far as grabbing his arm, so if she’s going to say something stupid… she should be prepared. Mai feels a bit scared as Seiya’s voice drops lower, but she knows she can’t back down. She doesn’t want to hear Kyouga’s complaints, and more than anything else, she doesn’t want to fail at doing her job. After taking a deep breath, Mai asks Seiya to accept the narcissus. Earlier he said that she’s wasting his time, but it’s the exact opposite for her. She earns more with every second that she spends here, which is why she can’t back down so easily.
Seiya asks if Mai is insisting even though he already said that he doesn’t need it, but she replies that it’s her job. It’s a task given to her by Kamizono Shrine, and she has to do it properly. She won’t give up until he accepts the flower, and she believes the flower will help him in the end. While the flowers only provide support, Mai knows a lot of people who receive courage from them. She doesn’t really understand since she has no experience in love, but she heard a lot from Kyouga. Loving someone doesn’t only come with happiness, as it also brings pain that can drive people to tears. However, the flowers support them when they’re about to give up. The flowers remind them that no matter what the result might be, those feelings are important to them. They encourage people to do their best.
Mai knows it might be hard to believe, but she promises that the narcissus will help Seiya one day. Seiya eventually sighs saying Mai is really stubborn, but he agrees to accept it. At the same time, Rio explodes into laughter LOL. He says it’s been a while since he laughed until his sides hurt, while Seiya tells him not to laugh at other people’s misfortunes. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ Rio replies that he can’t help it though. Seiya is LADY MAGIC’s sadistic number two host, and he has never seen a person who can change Seiya’s “NO” into a “YES” before. Rio then jokingly asks if Mai is holding Seiya’s weakness, but since she says no… he wonders if Seiya let her hold onto his weakness without her knowing. Seiya quickly shuts Rio up though, threatening to destroy his treasure if he keeps saying unnecessary things. Rio immediately seals his own lips upon hearing this, and Seiya grumbles as he asks Mai to hand over the narcissus.
When Seiya finally accepts the flower, Mai feels really happy and thanks him. He opens his mouth to say something, but gets interrupted when two beautiful women appear behind them. They’re his guests, and they get excited to find him in front of the club—thinking he came out to pick them up. When they walk past Mai and cling onto his arms, Seiya grins saying they’re late. They’ve got a lot of guts for making him wait, and he’s going to punish them inside. One of them chuckles saying she wants to get punished, and she’ll pick on him to get more punishment… like not ordering Dom Pérignon Rosé. Seiya says he doesn’t mind, but he’s wondering if she can last for long. Because he won’t touch her until she orders something. The woman squeals saying he’s so mean, while the other one asks Seiya to pick on her too.
Mai can feel her cheeks turning hot as she watches their interaction. Beside her, Rio grins and points out that her face is all red. He then asks if she currently single, but she admits that she never had a boyfriend before. She finds it embarrassing, but she never fell in love with anyone. There were people who attracted her attention, but it never developed into love. While she can see how her parents love and strongly yearn for each other, she doesn’t know that feeling just yet. Rio nods saying that must be why Mai blushed just by watching Seiya’s interaction, but she thinks she’ll react the same way even if she has a boyfriend. Mai thinks Seiya said really embarrassing things, but Rio replies that’s what Seiya is selling. It seems like all of his guests want him to pick on them. It’s a completely unfamiliar world for Mai though.
Rio completely takes this chance to wrap his arm around Mai’s shoulder, asking if she’s interested in that kind of world. She gets too nervous to say anything, so she can only shake her head. He did expect her to say that, but he thinks it’s good to learn new things. That’s why he’s willing to teach her, and she doesn’t even have to pay him. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ He takes a lock of her hair as he says this, and he brings it closer to kiss it. Mai instantly gets flustered, but Rio says he’s interested in her. She was able to shake Seiya that much, so he wants to know her more. As he leans closer to look at her, she feels her heartbeat going out of control. She never got cornered by a man before, so she doesn’t know what to do. Just before Mai can ask Rio to let go of her hair, Seiya comes and slaps Rio’s hand away.
Rio awkwardly averts his gaze as Seiya rages at him for making advances on a kid. When Seiya tells Rio to go back to work already, Rio points out that Seiya should accompany his guests instead of disturbing them. Apparently Seiya has sent them inside, so he tells Rio to get away from Mai and calls him a pervert. ｱﾋｬﾋｬ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀ヽﾟ)ﾟ｡´∀ヽﾟ)ﾟ｡ﾋｬﾋｬ Rio doesn’t think of himself as a pervert, but he can’t really deny it either LOL. He doesn’t get why Seiya seems to be really irritated, but he moves away from Mai. However, he’s serious about the offer. If she ever wants to experience an adult’s nightlife, she can contact him. Rio then takes out his business card for Mai, which she accepts before quickly backing away. After thanking both of them, she immediately takes her leave and runs off into a back alley—where she can finally sigh in relief. She finds hosts really amazing, in a lot of ways.
As Mai waits for her heart to calm down, she peeks out of the back alley. When she throws a glance at LADY MAGIC, both Rio and Seiya are heading inside the club. Rio soon disappears behind the door, but Seiya suddenly stops and turns to look at her direction. His sharp gaze pierces directly through her heart, and she quickly goes back into hiding. She feels like their eyes met when he turned around, and it makes her wonder if he has something to say to her. That being said, she doesn’t have any courage left to take another peek. In the end, she remains nervous as she walks through the back alley.
Later that night, Seiya enters the staff room and drowns in the sofa. He receives a lot of e-mails from his guests, but he’ll reply after he gets home. He feels exhausted today, mostly because there were too many surprising things. His guests for today were two do-M women, and picking on them was enough to make them happy. Work went smoothly thanks to this, but he never thought he’d run into Mai. As annoying as it might be, he has to admit that he was shocked. Not too long after that, Rio comes in a rush and greets Seiya. He immediately goes to check his locker, and he sighs in relief upon seeing that his treasure is safe inside LOL. This reminds Seiya that he threatened to destroy it, though he’d never do something like that. Rio would be broken beyond repair, and that means more trouble for him.
Seiya then closes his eyes and hopes to get some rest, but Rio starts throwing questions at him. He had to threaten Rio to that extent because of Mai, and Rio wants to know what kind of girl she is. Seiya answers that he doesn’t know what Rio is talking about, but he can’t fool Rio’s eyes. They’ve known each other for a long time, but he never saw Seiya looking so shaken before. Rio grins and asks Seiya to spill the beans, saying he can be a good ally just in case. Seiya gets annoyed since Rio obviously finds this amusing, and he answers that Mai is a nosy girl—that’s all. Rio refuses to accept the half-hearted explanation though, so he basically forces Seiya to share the details. While Seiya finds this whole situation really troublesome, he knows he can’t escape. Rio won’t leave him alone until he explains everything, especially because Rio is rather assertive when it comes to everything fun. Besides, what Rio said might be right. Things might be easier for Seiya in the long run if he gets Rio as an ally.
Seiya eventually gives in and takes out a handkerchief, throwing it towards Rio. It’s pink and has a cute design, but Rio doesn’t seem to get the meaning. Seiya refuses to reveal the details for free though, and Rio has to bribe him with an expensive wine. If he sells it to a collector, he should be able to gain a lot of money. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Seiya accepts the deal, and he tells Rio about how he met Mai at the park before. That day, Seiya got wounded after he saved a woman from some thugs. He was actually planning to turn her into his guest, but she fled while he was punching the thugs… and that’s when he got the wound on his hand. From there, Seiya went to get some rest at the park. He walked past a lot of people along the way, but none of them had the courage to talk to him. They either ignored him or looked away, and he thinks it’s only obvious. He clearly just had a fight, and people naturally avoid those who look dangerous.
Even though Seiya didn’t lose the fight, he knew it was reckless to take three thugs at once. His body felt heavy and his breathing was rough, and so he decided to sit down on the bench. Pain was hitting all the places he got punched at, especially the one on his stomach. When he closed his eyes and waited for the pain to fade away, all the sounds around him gradually disappeared. He felt that no one cares, and he’s the only person who’s aware of his existence. It made him feel so alone, and the feeling brought despair that shoves his consciousness into darkness… until Mai came and asked if he’s alright. At that moment, Seiya felt that a light was shining through the pitch black world. He was surprised that someone noticed his existence, but the shock didn’t really hit until he opened his eyes. The moment he sees her, his breath stopped for a second. He has to keep “that” hidden from her, so he covered it up by shooing her off. That didn’t work though, since she ended up wrapping his wound instead. When Mai ran off to get a first-aid kit for him, Seiya couldn’t stop her. He could only send her off, and her image is burned into his mind as the woman who found his existence.
Back in the present, Rio nods saying that explains why Seiya looked so surprised to see Mai. He finds this unexpected though, since he always thought that it’s plain impossible for Seiya to fall in love at the first sight. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ As the response, Seiya asks if Rio is stupid. He doesn’t get how on earth did Rio arrive at that conclusion, but Rio argues that it’s the ONLY conclusion in sight LOL. Rio thinks it’s a good chance though, because Seiya never had a serious relationship before. In most cases, he got bored after a while and broke up. Rio says having a pure and platonic love with Mai might be nice for Seiya, considering he fell in love with her at the first sight. Seiya scoffs saying that’s really stupid. He doesn’t want to waste his time on something that won’t turn into money, and he denies that he fell in love with Mai too. However, he thinks it might be a good idea to play with her. He never had such a pure woman at his side before, so while he’s not interested in high school kids… teasing her sounds like fun. It’s been a while since the last time he felt this excited, but he doesn’t give it much thought and starts changing instead.
• JANUARY •
After winter break ends, a new semester starts at school. On the first day, Mai enters her classroom with a narcissus bouquet in her hands. When Mori greets her, she asks if he went on holiday. She didn’t see him in Siesta during winter break, and he nods saying took a short break to go out with his friends. They went to a mountain at the end of the year, where they went hiking and watched the first sunrise. Mai thinks it’s wonderful and asks if he took any pictures, so Mori takes this chance to ask her out after school… except Miki appears to interrupt him just in time. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Miki was actually planning to sneak up on them, but Mori saw it coming since she ALWAYS disturbs him LOL. She then asks him to share the pictures with her too, and he grumpily agrees—knowing that he has no options. As he sighs over his nonexistent luck, she slaps his back and encourages him to keep fighting.
Just then Miki notices the narcissus bouquet, and she asks why Mai brought such a beautiful flower to school. Mai explains that it’s from Kamizono Shrine, and she has to deliver it to Rui. Since the narcissus isn’t put in a vase, Mori is worried that it might wilt… but Mai assures him that it’s alright. The flowers of Kamizono Shrine are mysterious, and they won’t wilt even without water. When Miki mentions that they grant blessings for love, Mori gets fired up and asks if he can have one too. If he can get one, he should be able to have a rose-colored school life by now. Unfortunately for him, they’re only given to those who are chosen. Miki thinks Mori needs to have more guts though, or else it’s probably impossible even if he relies on the flower. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
Soon after that, Tachibana Ryuusei enters the classroom. The air turns tense as soon as he walks in, and everyone rushes back to their seats. Mori frowns and grumbles over how “Tachigane” comes to their class, even though he’s not their homeroom teacher. “Tachigane” is a nickname given by the male students for Ryuusei, which obviously came from “Tachibana” + “glasses / 眼鏡 / megane” LOL. According to Mori, it’s also because he always shoves his glasses up whenever he gets angry. Ryuusei is their math teacher, and Mai has to admit that he’s really scary when he’s angry. Due to his serious nature, he’d scold anyone who doesn’t pay attention in class. His warnings are always calm and logical, but that’s exactly why everyone is scared of him. It’s like you can see the flames of rage burning behind his back. Mai also finds Ryuusei a bit hard to talk to, especially because she really dislikes math.
Ryuusei announces that their homeroom teacher, Hara-sensei, is taking a sick leave today. Their assistant homeroom teacher is also occupied at the moment, and that’s why he came as their substitute. After the morning greetings, Ryuusei scans the classroom with his eyes… and his gaze eventually meets Mai’s. This fills her with extreme nervousness, and she instantly stands up when he calls her name. However, Ryuusei only asks about the narcissus on Mai’s desk. If she’s going to put in the classroom, he thinks it’d be better to place it in a vase. Realizing that the bouquet is still lying on her desk, she quickly apologizes and stores it away—explaining that it’s actually for Rui. Ryuusei looks rather surprised to hear this, but then he says it’s nothing. As he moves on to take attendance, Mai can only wonder why he reacted like that.
From there, Mai spends the first period forcing herself to concentrate in class. They have modern literature for the second period, where a challenge is waiting in the form of a test. When Rui enters their classroom, she thinks about how evil he is for making a test right after winter break ends LOL. It seems like she’s not the only one though, since everyone in her class are frowning too. As the students do the test, Rui quietly walks around the classroom and watches over them. When their eyes met, Rui smiles at Mai and mouths the words: “Do your best!” His support makes her happy somehow, and she feels much more motivated to work on the test.
After school, Mai takes the narcissus bouquet to the staff room. She was thinking of delivering it during lunch break, but Mori shared a lot of interesting stories about his trip. He biked to the mountain with two friends, and their tent got blown away by the wind. A beautiful passerby also attracted one of his friends’ attention, which led to the poor guy falling into a nearby farm field. Mai had fun listening to these stories along with Miki, so she ended up losing track of time. There are only three teachers inside the staff room, but the atmosphere still makes her nervous. Luckily, Rui can be found sitting at his desk… though he can only be seen through the mountain of books piling up there.
When Mai goes over to talk to him, Rui asks if she’s worried about her test result. He chuckle saying she doesn’t have to, because she passed. She feels relieved to hear this, and she says it’s because her cousin tutored her at home. Rui mentions that Mai has the habit of answering in a panic though, which is really a pity. If she remains calm while solving the question, he doesn’t think she’d have to take supplementary lessons. Mai is aware of this too, and she promises to be more careful. However, she admits that she was calm during today’s test because of Rui’s encouragement. When she thank him for the support, he smiles saying he’s glad to hear that.
Rui then asks if Mai needs anything else from him, and this reminds her of the narcissus. She takes it out and asks him to accept it, but just like before… he only gives her a sad smile. He doesn’t have any reasons to accept it, because he’s currently not in love with anyone. Mai answers that it’s not necessarily for now though. The flowers will always be given to people who truly need support for love, but the timing can be now or later. Maybe Rui will fall in love in the future, and the flower will grant him support. The moment he hears the word “love”, Rui blushes so hard he might just sprout fire from his face. He nervously replies that he has absolutely no plans to fall in love, and he starts cleaning up his desk for no reason… but due to the panic, he ends up knocking off the books instead. As Mai leans down to pick them up, their hands touch as they reach for the same book.
Mai looks up to find Rui being really close to her, and he immediately pulls away—apologizing to her in a panic. He knocks his chair in the process, sending it to crash onto the wall. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ He screams and quickly turns around, then he bows down and apologizes to the wall. After dragging the chair back to his desk, Rui apologizes to Mai for showing such an embarrassing side. She says she doesn’t mind though. In fact, she feels bad since she actually finds him cute. Rui’s cheeks are still red as he gathers the books, and he tells Mai that Kamizono Shrine must have made a mistake. He just can’t see himself falling in love with anyone. Not now, not in the future. He doesn’t have anyone to love. When Rui slowly turns to look at her, Mai feels that someone gave her the same gaze before… and Seiya comes to her mind.
Surprised by the realization, Mai loudly points out that Rui’s gaze resembles Seiya’s a lot. This causes the other teachers to look their way, so she quickly apologizes to them. Rui looks really surprised to hear this, and he asks why Mai knows about Seiya. She then tells him about her meeting with Seiya before, and he sighs saying Seiya is so helpless. He always tells Seiya not to be so impatient, but it’s clearly not working. When Mai asks if Rui knows Seiya, he smiles and answers that they’re twins. Seiya is the younger one. It takes a few second before she screams in surprise, though she quickly stops herself and covers her mouth. Now that he mentions it, they do look similar if she takes a really close look.
Since Seiya has a bad mouth and often gets misunderstood, Rui asks if he did anything rude to Mai. She nods but she also mentions that Seiya is a kind person. Despite his rough words and attitude, sometimes she can also feel kindness from him. It’s similar to Rui’s kindness, and she wonders if it’s because they’re twins. Rui’s eyes widen upon hearing this, but then his expression softens into a relieved smile. He replies that she’s right, and he’s glad to hear that. From Rui, Mai gets to learn more about Seiya’s background. Seiya started working as a host when he was still in university, and it seems like his guests love his sharp tongue. Out of curiosity, Mai asks if Rui can win against Seiya in an argument… and he smiles saying it’s impossible. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
Back to the problem at hand, Rui asks if he should talk to Kyouga. He has met Kyouga a few times when he went drinking with Fumiya in Siesta, and he finds Kyouga amazing in a lot of ways… which means he probably fell victim to Kyouga’s unreasonable demands as well LOL. In any case, Rui wants to confirm if Kamizono Shrine is really sending the narcissus to him. He seems to think that it’s not meant for him, and that they’re giving it to the wrong person. It doesn’t look like he’d accept the flower until Kyouga directly talks to him, so Mai nods saying she understands. After that, her follows her out into the hallway—where she makes a call to Kyouga.
It takes 10 rings before Kyouga picks up his phone, and he’s clearly not happy that Mai is disturbing his nap. She scolds him for not doing his job, but he says it’s currently his father and brother’s turn. He then asks why she called. He’ll cut her pay if she woke him up for a stupid reason, so she should be prepared. Mai replies that she’s gotten bored of Kyouga’s threats though, so she wants him to have more variation LOL. He rages saying she’s really cheeky, but then he concludes that it must be Chisato’s fault for raising her like this… so he’ll just force Chisato to pay for his drink later. Mai says it’s simply the result of dealing with Kyouga for so long though. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Ignoring Kyouga’s protests, Mai then explains that Rui wants to ask him about the narcissus. She actually expected him to say “I don’t care! Just get him to accept it! Don’t come back until then!”, but he says he doesn’t mind. He then asks her to switch, as he’ll talk to Rui directly. Mai is surprised that Kyouga is actually willing to explain, but she gives her phone to Rui.
Rui opens the call by politely greeting Kyouga, explaining that he doesn’t have any intentions to fall in love. After a while, he starts laughing awkwardly before eventually screaming in shock. Mai can tell that Kyouga must’ve said something absurd to him. A long silence hangs in the air before Rui weakly says he understands. He gradually turns pale, so much that Mai feels sorry for him. Rui then returns Mai’s phone and sadly thanks her before shifting towards the window, where he stares at the view with a distant look in his eyes. Mai tries asking Kyouga about what he said to Rui, but Kyouga says he only gave a reminder of the situation Rui happens to be in. Then he leaves the rest to her and ends the call.
Feeling worried about Rui, Mai walks up to him and asks if Kyouga said anything. He denies it and tells her that he’s alright, even though he clearly looks dejected. Rui puts on a weak smile as he holds out his hand, saying he’ll gratefully accept the narcissus. Since he’s clearly exhausted, Mai can’t bring herself to ask further. She feels bad though, and she apologizes to him after giving the narcissus. He says there’s no need for her to apologize, and he thanks her for delivering it to him. Mai feels relieved when Rui smiles at her, but this also makes her really curious. Kyouga said something that caused his gentle smile to twitch, but what could it be? Rui then wonders if he should put the narcissus in a vase right away, so Mai shoves her thoughts aside and explains the flower’s mysterious traits to him.
A few days later, Rui enters the staff room during lunch break and looks for Ryuusei—who happens to be away. Rui decides to wait for Ryuusei though, and he takes out the lunch set and salad from his favorite convenience store. For lunch, Rui and Ryuusei always eats their meals with Fumiya in the infirmary. They got assigned to the school at the same time, so they get along really well. Even though their personalities are completely different, they enjoy being in each other’s company. They don’t have to put on airs, which is a great help for Rui. After a while, Ryuusei comes and apologizes for the wait. He thought Rui might’ve gone ahead of him, but Rui prefers going to the infirmary together. It can be difficult to deal with Fumiya alone. If they leave him be, he’ll start rambling about Mai until who knows when.
After taking a lunch box from his bag, Ryuusei takes Rui to leave the staff room. As they walk through the hallway, Rui glances out the window and watches over the students in the courtyard. His eyes soon catch the sight of Mai, who’s having lunch with her friends. Seeing her smile reminds him of the time when she delivered the narcissus to him. He can see that she takes her job very seriously, which he finds wonderful. That being said, he still thinks Kamizono Shrine made a mistake by sending the flower to him. Beside him, Ryuusei asks if he bought lunch from the convenience store again—just as usual. Rui nods saying he did, but Ryuusei doesn’t look pleased about this. He’s been warning Rui repeatedly that it’s not good enough. If he doesn’t get balanced nutrition, his stamina and ability to think will decline.
Rui answers that he’s been buying salads too recently, as suggested by Ryuusei. He assures Ryuusei that he gets perfect nutrition from his diet, but Ryuusei doesn’t think that’s enough. Aside from eating salads, Rui has to pay attention to the calories too. As for Ryuusei himself, he always makes perfect lunch menus for himself. He makes sure to put the best quantity as well, so he wouldn’t overeat. Ryuusei has a serious expression as he says this, and Rui has to hold back his laughter. Despite his personality, Ryuusei’s senses can be rather off… and Rui finds this side of him interesting. From there, Ryuusei continues talking about how to maintain calories. By the time they reach the infirmary, Rui has learned a lot about calories LOL. Just before they open the door, a female student comes out in a rush. Her cheeks are red and she looks surprised to see them, but she politely greets them before running off—which earns her a warning from Ryuusei. As she apologizes and walks away, Rui thinks about how everyone gets nervous when Ryuusei scolds them. He certainly did, even though the warning wasn’t directed to him.
Inside the infirmary, they find Fumiya waiting for them. As Rui closes the door, Ryuusei frowns and asks if Fumiya did anything questionable to the student from earlier. Fumiya says he didn’t do anything. It’s just that she confessed and hugged him, and he couldn’t dodge since it was so sudden. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* He also tells them not to worry, because he’s currently working as a teacher. He won’t do questionable things to his students, though he can’t guarantee anything outside of his working hours. After all, he never turns down anyone who comes to him. On the other hand, Ryuusei sighs saying making advances on students isn’t acceptable—not even outside of their working hours. He thinks Fumiya needs to have more common sense, but Fumiya frowns and asks him to stop saying the same things as Issei. He points out that both of them are sullen perverts though, so maybe they have a similar way of thinking LOL.
When Ryuusei asks what a sullen pervert is, Fumiya instantly bursts into a laughing fit. He finds it funny that a sullen pervert doesn’t know what the term means, and he slaps the table repeatedly as he tries to control his laughter. Rui quickly stops them though, and he asks them to start eating before lunch break ends. After making some tea for them, Fumiya takes out a bread and throws it onto the table. Ryuusei is definitely not pleased to see this unhealthy diet, but Fumiya finds it troublesome to get a proper meal. He doesn’t want to hear Ryuusei’s nutrition lecture either. Ryuusei sighs saying he’s been repeating this over and over again, but he’s willing to make lunch for Fumiya. However, Fumiya always refuses as he doesn’t want to eat a man’s cooking. If he’s going to eat anything, then he’d rather have Mai’s handmade lunch set instead. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
As Fumiya starts rambling about Mai, Rui and Ryuusei can only sigh. It’s very apparent that Fumiya likes Mai a lot, though it’s unclear whether his feelings are romantic or not. He always keeps it vague, but Rui can see that Mai is special for Fumiya. Rui actually wants to ask about the reason, but gets embarrassed upon realizing that he’s getting rather curious somehow. Here, Fumiya also tells Rui not to worry since he “didn’t say anything to Mai”… and Rui replies by simply thanking him. This reminds Ryuusei that he has a question for Rui, which turns out to be: “Saiga, are you in love with Shinozawa?” Σ(ﾟーﾟ；) Rui spits out his tea and starts coughing upon hearing this, but Fumiya ignores his reaction and stands up.
Fumiya: “Wh…at!? Saiga, you!! You have a good taste!”
Fumiya: “I know, I understand how it feels to be in love with Mai…”
Fumiya: “She’s cute. She’s like an angel. Her lovely smile never changed since she was small…”
Since the conversation is going nowhere, Ryuusei asks Fumiya to shut up for a bit. Fumiya is clearly not pleased to be interrupted, but he goes back to his chair. After catching his breath, Rui asks why Ryuusei came up with such a question. Ryuusei says it’s because they were talking about love in the staff room a few days ago, and he overheard their conversation. Rui panics and quickly explains about the narcissus, but this reminds Fumiya that he actually rejected Mai’s delivery at first. He thinks it’s 100% wrong to turn down such a cute girl, and he asks if Rui is sick. He can examine it if necessary. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Ryuusei replies that according to his younger brother’s song, love sickness can’t be healed… which means they can’t do much in this situation. Rui denies that he’s lovesick though, not to mention Mai is his students. Teachers are not allowed to fall in love with their students. Ryuusei nods saying that’s true, and it’s not a problem as long as Rui understands that.
Fumiya, on the other hand, finds this boring. If it were him, he’d ignore all those common sense because Mai is just THAT wonderful. As he said earlier, he can understand if Rui is in love with Mai. He thinks it’s brilliant in a way, and Rui has a nice taste if he chooses Mai. Ryuusei doesn’t think it’s appropriate for a teacher to say those words, but Fumiya ignores this and changes the subject. He has a message for Rui’s “other half”. Somehow Rui can sense killing intent from Fumiya’s eyes, and it makes him nervous. Fumiya then says that if Seiya dares to tease or hurt Mai, he’ll send an eternal curse… so Seiya should keep that in mind. However, Rui smiles and asks Fumiya not to misunderstand. Despite all the things he says, Seiya would never lay his hands on kids. Both Ryuusei and Fumiya aren’t convinced at all though, so Rui can’t really do anything. It makes him feel embarrassed somehow, so he pours more tea into his cup—thinking about how both of them seem to have a misunderstanding.
A few days later, Rui is having a problem again in Mai’s class. The students are excited for lunch break, and his voice completely drowns in the background. Since no one notices him, Mai decides to help and walks up to Rui—asking when they should submit their assignment. When he answers that it’s due next week, Mori also helps by announcing this to their classmates. Miki doesn’t think Mori himself can finish the assignment in time though, and he admits that he might really forget. He takes this chance to ask if Mai is willing to teach him via mail, and he makes a victory pose when she agrees. While Miki only gives him the ( ಠ_ಠ ) look, all of their classmates are supporting and wishing him luck LOL. However, Mai soon notices that Rui is intently staring at her. When she asks if he needs something, he turns red and quickly apologizes—saying he was just spacing out. Rui also thanks Mai for helping him, and she smiles saying it’s not a problem at all. Mori also helped, and she’s glad that they were able to inform everyone. Upon hearing this, Rui whispers that Mai is really kind—both towards him and Seiya. He says the last part in a quiet voice though, so she doesn’t catch it. She tries asking him about this, but he only says it’s nothing and thanks her again.
By the time Mai returns to her desk, Mori welcomes her with a smile. When she thanks him for the help, he replies that she helped him too… because he really didn’t hear Rui’s voice. The same goes to Miki, as she wouldn’t notice if they didn’t speak up. In fact, Miki is amazed that Mai actually caught what Rui said. While Mai can hear Rui’s voice pretty clearly, it’s completely different for Mori and Miki. They often don’t notice when he enters their classroom either, so much that Mori and his friends have developed a theory that he’s actually a ninja. He keep his presence low as he wears the disguise of a teacher, and he’s on a top-secret mission—collecting mysterious codes spread all over the school. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Of course Miki finds this really stupid, and she sarcastically says that Mori seems to be having fun everyday LOL. She asks him to stop wasting their lunch break, so he drops his “reports” and joins them for lunch. Mai is actually interested in Mori’s ninja theory, but Miki has slain them both with one hit.
Ever since that day, the amount of eye contact between Mai and Rui strangely increases. She finds him looking at her in class, and also when they pass each other in the hallway. This causes Mai to wonder if Rui needs something from her, but when she asks him… he doesn’t seem to be aware that he’s staring at her. He apologizes saying it’s subconscious, so he doesn’t know the reason either. Mai notices that Rui is dodging the question though, and she wonders if it’s hard for him to answer. Maybe he thinks she takes too many supplementary lessons? Since then, Mai has been reminding herself to study harder whenever she senses Rui’s gaze.
One evening, Mai comes home to find Rui, Fumiya, Ryuusei and Rio in front of Siesta. The café is closed though, and Rio recalls that Takuto mentioned this the day before. He said he might be able to get some good coffee beans, so he might close Siesta today. Fumiya complains that Takuto is useless at times like this, and he’s pissed since Rui is supposed to pay for their drinks tonight. Ryuusei didn’t come with them though. He went home ahead of them saying he has something to do, so Fumiya asks why he’s currently here with Rio. Ryuusei says it’s because he wants to talk to Rio, and they agreed to meet up in Siesta. Rio feels bad for not noticing sooner, but Ryuusei says he doesn’t mind. He also apologizes for asking to meet up before Rio goes to work. They’re about to choose a different time when Rui waves at Mai, asking if she just returned from work.
Upon hearing Mai’s name, Fumiya quickly turns around and smiles at her—asking her to come over. He’s definitely not happy that Rui noticed Mai before he did though, and Rui begs him not to glare that much. It scares him LOL. When Mai walks up to them, Rio greets her saying it’s been a while. She thanks him for helping her the other day, but then she notices that Rui is watching her again. When she turns to see him, he looks surprised and quickly averts his gaze. Just then Rio thinks up of a nice idea, and he invites them to drink in LADY MAGIC. Rui’s mouth drops open upon hearing this, but Rio points out that he can drink with Fumiya there. At the same time, Rio can also talk to Ryuusei. Fumiya thinks it’s a good idea, but Rui says Seiya might get angry… since he was told not to visit Seiya at work. This makes Mai wonder if Seiya gets embarrassed if Rui sees him at work. Rio’s suggestion is backed up by Ryuusei too. He needs to talk to Rio as soon as possible, so he wants to go to LADY MAGIC if Rui doesn’t mind. This leaves Rui with no choice, so he agrees to visit the club with them.
Fumiya is happy to hear this, as it means he can get his drink. Ryuusei remind him to eat properly as well, and Fumiya asks him not to worry. He actually rather fixated on LADY MAGIC’s food, since he finds them the best when it comes to taste. This instantly catches Mai’s attention. Since Fumiya usually doesn’t care about food, it means LADY MAGIC’s food must be really delicious… and this makes her curious. Noticing that Mai is interested, Rio pats her shoulder and invites her to join them. The idea instantly gets rejected by Rui, Ryuusei and Fumiya though. Rui points out that Mai is in high school, so she won’t be going to a host club. Ryuusei nods and adds that host clubs are meant for adults, and they can’t just bring a minor like her into such a place. Fumiya, however, doesn’t care about those things. He simply doesn’t want Mai to enter a lair of flirts, but Rio asks if he’s really sure about that. He’ll be able to enjoy his food and drinks with her at his side, which should be a rare chance for him.
Fumiya: “Mai. If you learn about the world of adults from now, it’ll help you when you grow up.” :D
THAT WAS FAST. Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒Y⌒(。A。)ｱﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ!!
Rui immediately protests over the betrayal. He asks Fumiya to remember his position as a teacher, but of course Fumiya doesn’t care. For him, having a meal with Mai is more important. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Ryuusei sighs saying Fumiya is so hopeless, but then he adds that he appreciates Fumiya’s honesty. Rui instantly raises an objection since Ryuusei is praising Fumiya in a totally wrong way, but suddenly… Kyouga pops out of the blue saying he agrees with Fumiya. ∑((((((ﾟдﾟ；ﾉ)ﾉ Mai turns around to find Kyouga behind them, with an amused grin on his face. Kyouga mentioned that he’s going to visit some shrine followers today, and so Mai asks if he’s done greeting them all. He says he’s still not finished though. One of the followers live in her mansion building, so that’s where he’s going now.
Kyouga then slides over and puts his arm around Fumiya’s shoulder.
Kyouga: “Mai. As this pervert said, go see the world of adults. It’s like social studies, in a way.”
Fumiya: “So you can say something nice for once. Well then, let’s have dinner with me!”
…so you don’t deny that you’re a pervert…
Mai actually expected Rui to protest again, but he’s gaping like a goldfish right now. He keeps opening and closing his mouth, and yet his voice doesn’t come out. It reminds her that Kyouga said something to him during the call, so he probably can’t go against Kyouga. Ryuusei states that his rejection stands firm, but then Kyouga goes over and whispers something to him. The next moment, Ryuusei loudly gasps and shows a shocked expression. He asks why Kyouga knows about “that”, to which Kyouga answers that he has some connections. When Kyouga asks what he’s going to do, Ryuusei totally changes his mind and says social studies are indeed important. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Mai doesn’t need to worry though, as Ryuusei will keep her safe. He nods repeatedly in a desperate attempt to suppress his emotions, and she really wants to comfort him… because Kyouga is clearly blackmailing everyone LOL. When Mai asks him not to feel down because of Kyouga, Ryuusei apologizes saying he’s not fit to be a teacher. Rui asks him not to say that though. Just as Mai said, he shouldn’t give up because there’s nothing they can do about it—as sad as that may sound. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
Kyouga only watches them before taking his leave. He’ll contact the owner for them, so he tells them to have fun and leaves them in Rio’s hands. After Kyouga is gone, Fumiya says he probably knows why Rui shrinks in front of Kyouga… but he doesn’t know why Ryuusei did the same. After hesitating for a while, Ryuusei says it’s because Kyouga threatened to tell Tomu that Ryuusei is in his fan club. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ Rio asks if Ryuusei is still hiding it from Tomu. He thinks Ryuusei should just give up and confess though, as Tomu will be happy to hear that. Realizing that Mai is confused, Rio explains that Tomu is Ryuusei’s younger brother who works as an idol. Fumiya adds that Tomu has been working in the entertainment industry from a young age, and Ryuusei is always supporting him from the shadows. Ryuusei thinks it’s only obvious though, as Tomu might feel more pressure if he finds out. It might affect his performance, and Ryuusei doesn’t want that to happen. He wants Tomu to be free and extend his reach.
Upon hearing this, Fumiya says Ryuusei’s brother complex is extreme—in contrary to his serious image LOL. Ryuusei replies that it’s an older brother’s duty to love his younger brother, and he points out that Fumiya also does the same thing to Mai. Fumiya says it’s a bit different, but if they put it that way… he can understand how Ryuusei feels. They don’t want to be a burden to those who are important to them. Mai has never seen this side of Ryuusei before, so she never knew that he can be so cute and interesting. What happened tonight might have changed his impression in her eyes. Now that everyone has agreed, Rio takes all of them to LADY MAGIC.
As soon as they arrive, Rio asks everyone to wait at the entrance. He’ll go inside and check the situation for them. It seems like LADY MAGIC is as popular as always, because they can see a lot of women going inside. Since Seiya doesn’t want Rui to come, Mai then asks if this is Rui’s first time visiting LADY MAGIC. He nods saying this should be the first for both Ryuusei and himself. As for Fumiya, Kyouga brought him to LADY MAGIC several times before—in order to get their delicious food. Just then Rui’s phone suddenly starts ringing, and he quickly runs off to take the call. Mai can’t hear what he says from afar, but she can see him bowing his head repeatedly. When she wonders if something happened, Fumiya only smiles and says that must be the case. Soon after that, Rui returns and apologizes to them. He has to submit a report for the head teacher today, so he’s going home now. He promises to pay for Fumiya’s drinks though, and then he dashes off—leaving Mai in confusion. Beside them, Ryuusei comments that Rui is so busy… while Fumiya only nods in return.
Once a seat is available in LADY MAGIC, Rio comes out to escort them inside. While the lighting is rather dim, the gorgeous chandelier and furnitures give the club a luxurious feel. They can see the guests sitting on the sofa, enjoying their conversation with the hosts. Since host clubs are obviously meant for women, Ryuusei then asks if it’s not weird for them to be here. Rio says they get quite a lot of male customers too though, mainly because of their food. Just as Fumiya said, LADY MAGIC is well-known for their delicious food—so much that they have fans of their own. When it comes to these customers, the hosts are simply serving them as waiters. When Ryuusei comments that LADY MAGIC is an unusual place, Rio replies that their owner is quirky. It makes them a bit different from a regular host club. They also have an option for minors, known as the “Little Princess Course”. The drinks are limited to non-alcoholic beverages, the price is reasonable, and the guests can’t stay until late hours. Plus, the hosts aren’t allowed to get too close or touch them. The hosts also can’t accept presents from guests who aren’t theirs, and anyone who breaks these rules will have to strip in front of everyone. Rio and Seiya love this aspect of LADY MAGIC though, which is why they’ve been working here for a long time.
From there, Rio guides them to a six-person table. Based on Kyouga’s request, he will be serving them for today. Mai opens the menu to find a long list of alcoholic drinks, but they also have a broad selection of food. Their lineup is just like a restaurant’s, complete with the daily recommendations. According to Rio, today’s recommended course includes bagna càuda, seafood pasta, tenderloin steak, and three types of cake for dessert. Fumiya decides to order it for the three of them, while Ryuusei praises their rich selection of non-alcoholic beverages. When Mai asks if he’s ordering a non-alcoholic one, Ryuusei nods saying he doesn’t drink. It’s not that he has no alcohol tolerance, but his face would turn red upon taking one sip… so he’s saving himself from the embarrassment. Mai finds this unexpected, as Ryuusei looks like the type who’s strong against alcohol. They both order oolong tea to go with their meal, while Fumiya chooses an expensive-looking wine.
Their food comes not too after that. Everything looks delicious, and Mai takes a picture to show Takuto later. Fumiya floats to heaven as Rio pours wine into his glass. The food and the drinks are delicious, not to mention he also has Mai by his side. He ends up drinking a whole bottle by himself, and when Rio asks if he wants to order another drink, he agrees and asks for a tasty one. It doesn’t really matter to him since Rui will be paying for everything. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Rio also notices that Ryuusei’s glass is already empty by now, and Ryuusei decides to order a glass of 100% orange juice. Just before Rio leaves, Fumiya suddenly stops him and whispers something. Mai notices that Rio’s expression turns slightly mischievous as he nods and leaves their table, but she doesn’t know what they’re up to. Not yet, at least. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪
Fumiya then turns and smiles at Mai, saying he’ll cut up the tenderloin steak for her. She assures him that she can do it herself, but he asks her to allow him to do it. Or rather, he wants her to rely on “big brother Fumiya”. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* Ryuusei tells Mai to ignore Fumiya though. He’s clearly drunk, and she should just eat her food before they get cold. Fumiya’s smile instantly disappears upon hearing this, and he rages at Ryuusei for disturbing his time with Mai LOL. They continue bickering until Seiya eventually comes to join them, though he immediately complains about how noisy they are. After greeting him, Mai mentions that Rui was supposed to come with them… but sadly he couldn’t make it. For some reason, this causes Seiya to stare at Mai. She wonders if it was a bad move to mention Rui, but he only goes to sit between Fumiya and her by force—much to Fumiya’s dismay.
Completely ignoring Fumiya’s protest, Seiya grins saying Mai is such a kid. She opens her mouth widely when she eats, and he just can’t see the slightest trace of sexiness in her. She pouts saying the food is so delicious, so she can’t do anything about it. He says he’s glad that she likes their food, and he teasingly asks if she wants him to feed her. As Seiya draws closer, Mai realizes that he seems to be giving her some service… except it’s not necessary. She points out that she’s not his guest, so he doesn’t have to do that much. Seiya looks surprised for a moment, but then he laughs saying Mai is right. Beside them, Fumiya crossly asks him to serve them too. After all, they were brought here by his “other half”. Ryuusei responds to this by telling Fumiya to eat and drink himself. He’s an adult, so he shouldn’t act so pampered. Fumiya yells that he wants to be pampered BECAUSE he’s an adult, and he slaps Seiya’s back repeatedly at the same time. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ
Seiya is about to rage at Fumiya, but then two women come to approach him. They heard his voice, and they’re happy to see him since he was supposed to have a day off. They ask him to come to their table as well, even promising to order Dom Pérignon Rosé for him. Seiya frowns as he turns their way, but then he agrees to join them. He tells them to wait patiently in the meantime, or else he’ll punish them. The women squeal in delight upon hearing this, but Ryuusei says he just can’t understand. Why do they get so happy to be punished? Fumiya only says it’s a completely unknown world to him, while Seiya sighs and gets up. When he turns to look at Mai, she notices that he actually looks rather pale. She tries talking to him, but he only asks her to enjoy her stay and takes his leave. He walks away after telling Fumiya to control how much he drinks, and she’s left feeling concerned.
Immediately after that, Rio returns with Fumiya and Ryuusei’s order. As Rio pours the wine into Fumiya’s glass, Mai notices that Fumiya keeps looking at Ryuusei. She wonders if he actually wants to drink some orange juice too, but it doesn’t take long for the answer to come. The moment Ryuusei drinks his orange juice, he chokes and his face turns incredibly red. Σ(ﾟーﾟ；) At the same time, Fumiya bursts into laughter saying Ryuusei totally fell for it. His “orange juice” is actually a screwdriver LOL. Rio grins and apologizes for tricking Ryuusei. Fumiya told him to do it, and he couldn’t say no. Mai, on the other hand, isn’t happy to see this. She scolds them for fooling Ryuusei like that, but Fumiya smiles saying she’ll enjoy it too once it starts. As Mai tilts her head in confusion, Ryuusei slowly stands up from his seat. He waves one hand in the air and rages at Fumiya for tricking him again… except he’s saying it in cat speak. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ
Needless to say, Fumiya explodes into laughter even more. He thinks Ryuusei is really funny when he gets drunk, so it’s a real waste that he always refuses to drink. Ryuusei replies that he doesn’t drink because he will turn like this, but then he giggles saying he’s starting to feel good. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Before Mai could even react, Ryuusei takes his glass and drinks up the remaining screwdriver in one go. He says he’s going to do an impersonation of Tomu next, and Fumiya cheers since he’s been waiting for this. Ryuusei laughs as he turns towards Mai. He winks at her before taking off his glasses, then he makes a pose and goes:
Ryuusei: “Yahoo~! I’m Tomu. ☆ Do you know that kisses taste like lemons? ☆”
Upon seeing this, Rio also bursts out laughing. It turns out that Ryuusei ALWAYS does impersonations of Tomu when he gets drunk, and as much as she tries to hold back… Mai ends up laughing at him too LOL.
After everyone finishes their dinner, Rio drives them home with his car. Along the way, he points out that Fumiya and Ryuusei have completely fallen asleep on the back seat. When Mai glances at them, she sees them snoring as they lean against each other. They drank quite a lot tonight, so Rio thinks they might get a hangover… but tomorrow is a holiday, so it’s probably not a problem. Mai says she feels happy though, since she never saw Fumiya and Ryuusei getting so excited before. Mai also asks if Rio is done with work for tonight, but he says he still has one more appointment. After taking her home, he’ll have to return to LADY MAGIC—even though it’s already past 10 PM.
Mai then notes that work sounds tough for Rio, and she wonders if that’s why Seiya looks so tired today. He didn’t say anything though, so she adds that it might be just her… but Rio seems amused to hear this. Mai actually noticed Seiya’s condition, and Rio finds this interesting. He doesn’t explain further though. Instead, he asks her not to worry. This is their daily schedule, and Seiya should be fine tomorrow. Besides, their highest priority is to entertain their guests. There are times when they’re not doing a perfect job, but everyone in LADY MAGIC always makes sure to give their guests a happy time. Even if they’re not feeling well, they keep it hidden while serving their guests. This makes Mai realize that Seiya and Rio are treating their guests better than she thought, and she learns something new about hosts today.
• FEBRUARY •
In February, Mai and Mori accompany Miki to a chocolate shop. Aside from her family and friends, Mai decides to make a handmade chocolate for Seiya. She gets the feeling that Rio won’t accept handmade chocolates, but not giving him anything doesn’t feel right either… so she ends up buying a premade one for him. If he refuses to accept it, she’ll just give up.
On Valentine’s Day, Mai delivers her chocolate to Rio and Seiya in LADY MAGIC. She’s actually planning to leave right away, but they ask her to stay instead. When Mai explains that she doesn’t want to trouble them by staying for too long, Seiya glares at her and asks if she won’t listen to him. Beside them, Rio says she should listen to Seiya—for her own sake. Mai doesn’t want to give up so easily though, so she points out that Seiya was the one who told her to make it quick. She already handed her chocolates to them, so now she’ll be going home. However, Seiya only stares at Mai in silence. Rio looks amused though, as he’s grinning ear to ear as he watches over them. After a while, Seiya nods saying it means Mai does listen to him. Unfortunately for her, HE’s not done dealing with her yet… and so he can’t let her leave. Before Mai can ask any questions, Seiya sits next to her and sends Rio to sit on the other side. Rio sighs and whispers to Mai that Seiya is trying to be considerate, since she came all the way here just to give them chocolates. Even if she can’t see it from his attitude, she should keep him company for a bit.
This leaves Mai with no choice, so she can only sit down between Seiya and Rio—feeling awkward. Upon taking out the chocolates from the bag, Seiya asks if Mai made the chocolate herself. She nods saying it’s because he has helped her a lot, but he doesn’t have to eat them if he doesn’t like handmade chocolates. Seiya answers that everyone in LADY MAGIC has to accept all presents from women. When Mai asks if it’s not just limited to their guests, he grins saying he’ll make her an exception. His eyes glows with sensuality as he asks if she understands the meaning, and she slowly backs away only to bump into Rio. She quickly turns around to apologize, but Rio gives her a rather sad smile—saying it’s been a while since he received an obligatory chocolate. In his hands, he’s holding a chocolate from a famous brand. Mai explains that she bought it because he’s the number one host, so she thought a handmade chocolate wouldn’t suit his taste. Rio smiles saying he doesn’t mind eating handmade chocolates at all, but he’ll let this one slide for Seiya’s sake.
Seiya grins and tells Rio not to get jealous, but Rio says he’s not jealous. He points out that Seiya should do something to thank Mai though, since she gave him a handmade chocolate. Seiya responds to this by asking if Mai wants something in return, but she politely refuses. Besides, she came here to thank both of them. Seiya actually knew Mai would say that, but he finds that boring. It’s not cute at all. He then sends Miyabi to prepare something, and Mai is really startled when Miyabi suddenly appears to take his order. She didn’t hear him coming at all, and she wonders if Seiya and Rio are also surprised. They don’t show any reaction though, so it probably happens on a regular basis. After a while, Miyabi swiftly returns with a red-colored drink in a tall glass. At the same time, Mai can feel everyone in the club looking at her. As Miyabi sets the glass on the table, Rio explains that it’s called “MY HEART ☆ DRINK”. The hosts only serve it to the guests they like, and the one served in front of Mai is Seiya’s version of the drink. It’s very rare, as it hasn’t appeared in LADY MAGIC for the last two years.
This makes Mai realize why everyone is staring at her. They all want Seiya’s drink. She feels reluctant to drink it because of the atmosphere, but he erases her doubts in an instant—telling her to be proud. She has put him in an extremely great mood, and so she has every right to drink it. Since she looks confused, he explains that she put him above Rio by giving him a handmade chocolate. Of course she didn’t mean it that way, but he still feels satisfied. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Rio replies that he doesn’t take it that way either, but “the loser’s whining” only makes Seiya even happier LOL. Seiya laughs as he stands up and takes a mike from Miyabi. He says he doesn’t do this very often, but today is special. He’s going to do a champagne call for Mai. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Mai panics when Miyabi calls Taiga to come and help, but Rio grins and asks her not to worry. It’ll definitely be interesting.
As Mai watches in confusion, Seiya raises the mike above his head and turns it on. He lifts the drink up in one hand and suddenly starts singing, with Miyabi, Taiga and Rio cheering in the background. The lyrics are… well, you should read them yourself. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
At the end of the champagne call, LADY MAGIC is filled with happy screams and applause. However, Mai is too surprised to react and can only give them a blank stare LOL. Rio then takes his leave since he has to return to his princesses, and Taiga follows him saying that was really fun. Mai is still amazed when Seiya gives the drink to her. From Miyabi, she learns that it’s actually carbonated peach juice. It doesn’t contain alcohol, so she can drink it without worry. After thanking both of them, Mai accepts the drink and takes a sip. She feels thirsty for some reason—maybe because of the shock. The drink tastes really good though, and it’s her first time drinking a juice like that. It’s sweet, but keeps the taste of peach intact.
Just then Seiya’s long fingers touch Mai’s cheek, and she turns around to find him drawing closer to her. At the same time, his hand slowly moves up on her cheek. Seiya mischievously smiles as he says that he’s jealous, because Mai is clearly more excited about the juice than his champagne call. He wants her to be more absorbed in him, and he promises to give her something better in return. ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟ As Seiya moves even closer, Mai panics thinking he’s going to kiss her. She quickly slides away from him, while he smiles in satisfaction and stands up. He says he won’t be responsible even if she regrets this later, but she snaps out that she won’t LOL. He’s not convinced at all though, and he leaves after asking Miyabi to take care of her.
From there, Mai sees Seiya joining a woman at another table. He moves closer to whisper something into her ears, and this makes her realize that he can easily do that to anyone. She snaps out of her thoughts when Miyabi asks if she wants to have her dinner in LADY MAGIC. He’d recommend their Valentine’s Day course for today. When she nods, he hands the menu to her and shows her the details. If she needs more explanation, he can tell her everything she wants to know. Mai smiles and thanks Miyabi, then she starts reading the menu with great interest.
After taking a bath at home, Mai dries her hair feeling relieved. She’s glad that she was able to hand her chocolates to Seiya and Rio today, as well as to everyone else. In the morning, she handed her handmade truffles to Chisato and her father. At school, she also handed them to Mori and Miki—who were delighted to accept her chocolate. Especially Mori, even if it’s just an obligatory one. Miki can understand though, because a lot of guys seemed to be eyeing for Mai’s chocolate. Mori was proud to be the only guy in their class who received a chocolate from Mai, but Miki said that’s exactly why he’s not making any progress. He gets satisfied way too easily. When Mai asked what they mean by that, Mori quickly said it’s nothing and changed the subject… while Miki frowned and muttered that he’s such a coward LOL.
During lunch break, Mai delivered her chocolates for Rui, Fumiya and Ryuusei. Rui thanked her and said he’ll eat them for snack, but Fumiya had other plans. He was going to take a picture later, then put them as a decoration at home. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ At first Ryuusei refused since he doesn’t take presents from students, but Fumiya started cursing him for rejecting Mai’s chocolate. Rui also said it’d be better if he accepts the chocolate, since Fumiya’s curses might really come true when Mai is involved. After a long silence, Ryuusei said he doesn’t believe in such things… but Fumiya is an exception, and so he decided to accept Mai’s chocolate. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ After school, Mai also gave her handmade truffles to Kyouga. He wasn’t satisfied though, and he wanted more since he’s always taking care of her. That, or she should made giant truffles just for him. Mai simply responded by eating ALL the chocolate she just gave Kyouga, while he protested and tried to get them back.
Putting Kyouga’s complaints aside, this year’s Valentine’s Day went smoothly for Mai. However, when she goes to bed and closes her eyes… her mind replays what she saw in LADY MAGIC. She recalls how Seiya sat down next to a woman, drawing closer to whisper into her ears. Mai doesn’t know why she’s thinking of that moment though. Seiya was only doing his job, so she shouldn’t feel concerned about anything… but her chest tightens whenever she recalls the sight. After thinking for a while, Mai eventually concludes that it must be because Seiya seemed unfaithful. She wanted the person she loves to love her only, so she didn’t like how he goes around whispering sweet nothings to everyone. Now that she’s found the answer, she feels relieved and goes to sleep.
After Valentine’s Day, couples can be seen all over the school. It seems like everyone’s love lives went well, and Mai can’t help but feel a little envious. One day, she watches the couples from her classroom window after school—thinking about how she wants to fall in love too. She only snaps out of her reverie when Rui calls her name, asking her not to get distracted during a supplementary lesson. Feeling embarrassed, Mai quickly apologizes and turns back to her test—which is only half-done. In her school, the students have to take a small test once a week. This applies to all subjects, and it’s basically to review the lessons they have that week. Anyone who fails the test will have to take a supplementary lesson on the following day, as the school wants the students to review their lessons everyday.
However, Mai is troubled since she doesn’t like studying. Chisato did mention that it might be easier if she reviews properly though, and she’s also aware that her grades won’t improve otherwise. As sad as it may sound, her grades are slightly below average. It’s mainly because of modern literature and math, because she dislikes those subjects. Or rather, she does like modern literature. She just finds it hard to understand. Even if Chisato tutors her at home, it doesn’t really help. This only worsens during tests, since she tends to panic when it comes to subjects she dislikes—just as Rui mentioned before. Chisato also said that she will do better if she can calm down, but sadly she has no idea about how to remain calm. Just then one of her classmates finishes her test and hands it to Rui. Upon seeing this, Mai panics and quickly focuses back on her test. Aside from herself, several other students are attending the supplementary lesson. She’s pretty sure they all want to go home as quickly as possible, but Mori looks very happy for a certain reason LOL. This makes her wonder if he likes supplementary lessons, but realizing that she’s getting distracted again, she drags her attention back to the test.
After the test, Mai and Mori are chatting about how tiring it was. Them don’t like reading comprehension since it requires thinking, but both of them pass the test. Mai says she wants to eat some sweets now, and Mori’s mouth drops open when she invites him to have some tea on the way home. Not too long ago, her mother got some discount vouchers for the café in front of the station. Mori blushes as he gladly accepts the invitation, and she doesn’t have to worry about his part-time job either—today is his day off. He grins saying he’s glad that he’s weak at modern literature, and he’s REALLY happy that he’s not too smart LOL. However, Rui drops the documents on his desk just before they leave the classroom. None of the students seem to notice this, so Mai sighs and decides to help him. She knows that if she leaves him alone, the sun would go down before he can clean them up.
As Mai starts picking up the documents, Rui thanks her and says she’s very kind. She only smiles and asks him to gather everything though, and Mori soon comes to help them. He jokingly comments that Rui is so clumsy, and Rui sadly apologizes because it’s true LOL. Once they’re done, Rui thanks them saying they’re really good students… though this makes them feel a bit embarrassed. Their classmates start leaving soon after that, and they say goodbye to Rui on the way out. He looks so happy as he sends them off, and then he says it’s thanks to Mai and Mori that the students talked to him today. It’s probably because of his thin presence, but the students are treating him like a ghost. It’s not like they’re picking on him though. He just doesn’t have any presence, and Mori has to agree.
Mori then admits that he often gets startled during modern literature class, because Rui is already in the classroom before he knew it. He points out that Mai is always quick to notice Rui’s presence though, and he asks if she has any tricks. Mai isn’t really sure, but she doesn’t think she has any. Whenever Rui comes, Mai naturally notices him. That’s all.
Rui: “…” (*・д・*)
Mori: “…why are you blushing?”
Man, Mori is pretty good at detecting danger. ヾ(✿❛◡❛ฺฺ)ノ～❤
Rui shakes his head saying Mai is always fast to notice him, and so he feels grateful to her. Mori thinks it would be better if Rui has more presence though. The students will notice him faster that way, and they’ll be able to give him a hand too if he needs help. Mai then starts wondering if there’s a good way to solve this issue. Everyone tends to ignore Rui due to his lack of presence, but they all know that he’s a very kind teacher. Whenever they encounter problems with their studies, he’s always ready to help them. That’s why Mai wants to help him. The three of them spend some time to think about this, but they can’t think up of anything… so Rui suggests moving to another location. They can move to a nice place that has delicious Japanese and black tea for them. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Mai asks if Mori is willing to save their plan for another day, and he nods saying he doesn’t mind. Rui always helps him too, so he wants to do something in return. Rui gets teary-eyed as he thanks both of them, and they follow him out of the classroom.
The nice place Rui mentioned turns out to be none other than the infirmary. For some reason there’s a “no entry” sign hanging on the door, with the exception of those who are injured or sick. Completely ignoring the sign, Rui walks into the infirmary and greets Fumiya—who’s clearly not happy to have visitors. Fumiya is working on his PC with his back turned towards them, and he simply says that he’s busy at the moment. However, Rui only smiles and allows Mai and Mori inside. Upon hearing Mai’s voice, Fumiya immediately stands up from his chair—so hard that his chair might just fall backwards. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* He smiles at her and asks if she’s injured, but she explains that she was taken here by Rui.
Beside them, Mori mentions that Fumiya is always sweet towards Mai… even though he’s super cold when it comes to the male students. Fumiya only tells Mori to shut up though. He doesn’t see the reason why he should be nice to guys, but Rui points out that he’s the infirmary doctor. He needs to give equal treatment for male and female students. Or rather, for Mai and other students. Unfortunately for Rui, Fumiya clearly doesn’t care. He pretends not to hear anything, so Rui can only sigh. It’s probably more like a habit since Fumiya has known Mai for a long time, but it’s still a problem nonetheless.
After taking a deep breath, Rui explains that Mai and Mori helped him. He wants to make some delicious tea for them, and Fumiya smiles saying he doesn’t mind. Fumiya also suggests going with a certain black tea, and Rui nods before walking towards a shelf. When Mai asks if the infirmary has a stock of Japanese and black tea, Fumiya explains that he’s the one who brings the black tea. He finds it irritating to admit it, but it tastes really good… so he wants her to drink it too. The Japanese tea is from Rui and Ryuusei, so the taste is normal. As Mai wonders why the infirmary has such a good black tea, Mori mentions that there’s a rumor about how students who are injured can drink a rare black tea in the infirmary. Everyone says it’s really good, so much that his friend flew away with joy when he fell and scraped his hand. Upon hearing this, Fumiya notes that the tea seems to be helping with promotion. He explains that he wants the injured students to come to the infirmary right away, no matter what kind of injury they have. That way, they can receive immediate treatment and he wouldn’t have to waste his time. That’s why he used the black tea to lure them in, but his plan backfired when the students began swarming the infirmary—even the ones who are healthy. In the end, he had to put the “no entry” sign whenever he’s busy LOL.
This makes Mai really curious about the black tea, but soon she notices Rui preparing it for them. It gives her a bad feeling somehow, so she quickly volunteers to help. His elbow knocks one of the paper cups as he pours hot water from the pot, but she makes it just in time to stop the cup from falling. He sadly thanks her saying it’s very pathetic of him to receive so much help, but she asks him not to mind. He always helps her too in supplementary lessons. In the end, Mai decides to make the black tea—knowing that Rui might end up dropping something again. She then brings the cups onto the table, where the four of them drink the tea together. Rui smiles saying the tea always tastes so good, but Fumiya flatly replies that it’s normal. Meanwhile, Mai and Mori realize that it tastes rather familiar… because it’s actually made by Takuto. Rui is impressed that they notice, and he explains that it’s an original blend. Takuto mixed various tea leaves based on Fumiya’s request.
Fumiya makes it clear that it’s not because he loves Takuto’s tea THAT much though. It’s just that Takuto makes the best tea when it comes to the purpose and result Fumiya is searching for, so he has no choice. From Rui, Mai learns that a lot of students were suffering from stress for a period of time. In order to help them relax, Fumiya thought that some black tea might do the trick. He then asked for Takuto’s help, since Takuto knows a lot about drinks. The tea proves to be effective, and it’s also popular among the teachers. Mai can’t help but feel envious, as Takuto makes both great coffee and tea. Mori heard that Takuto was a member of the “café research circle” back in university, and that’s where he brushed up his skills. Mai is about to ask for more details when the infirmary door slides open, and Ryuusei walks in—asking Fumiya to give him Takuto’s black tea. He’s surprised to see so many people inside though. Fumiya frowns saying he’s enjoying his wonderful tea time with Mai. If Ryuusei wants to drink the tea too, he should make it quick and leave right away LOL. Completely ignoring Fumiya, Ryuusei turns to Mai and Mori instead. He says they both failed their math test, and they should study for the supplementary lesson next week. Mori is shocked, while Mai sadly promises to do her best.
That aside, Ryuusei asks why they’re all gathering in the infirmary. As he makes a cup of tea for himself, they explain that they’re looking for a way to improve Rui’s presence. While Ryuusei finds this interesting, Fumiya thinks Rui should just stay the way he is. He won’t get anything nice by standing out anyway, so he should stay gentle and fluffy like always. However, Fumiya changes his mind when Rui points out that nobody notices when he enters the classroom… and that make him sad. To open their discussion, Ryuusei suggests wearing clothes with brighter colors. Mori adds that red or blue shirts might be nice, or maybe a passion pink coat. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Rui doesn’t think bright colors would look good on him, but Fumiya tells him to just bear with it. Right now, the most important thing is for him to stand out. Before they realized it, both Fumiya and Ryuusei are giving suggestions for Rui as well.
Since Rui doesn’t want to change his appearance, Ryuusei then suggests speaking in a louder voice when he enters the classroom. Rui thinks it’d bother everyone around him though, so Fumiya suggests getting a punch perm instead. While Rui has to agree that it’d give him more presence, he knows that Fumiya is just messing with him… though Fumiya says he’s 100% serious LOL. They get more and more derailed as Mori suggests wearing a stuffed animal suit, Ryuusei suggests tying bells around his feet, while Fumiya says he should literally hit drums as he walks around. Mori laughs and adds that Rui can go with cymbas as well, since he’ll surely stand out that way. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ After a while, Mai watches as a dark shadow falls onto Rui’s smile. He chuckles and thanks them for the suggestions, but points out that they’re having too much fun. If they don’t take this seriously, terrifying things might happen to them later. Σ(ﾟーﾟ；)
Mori immediately apologizes, promising to think about this seriously. Ryuusei says he’s completely serious though, and Fumiya nods saying it’s the same for him. He suggested those things while cheering for Rui in his heart… or so he says. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ They can’t think up of anything today, so this ends up as a homework for all of them. At the end of the day, Mai is ready to do her best to find a good solution.
• MARCH •
When White Day comes in March, things get busy again in Kamizono Shrine. They receive a lot of visitors on a holiday, so much that they actually run out of charms. Mai and Kyouga have to make more charms all day. They don’t even have time to eat lunch, so she gets really hungry in the evening. She thinks about dinner as she sorts out the White Day presents in the office. They’re mainly given by the visitors, followers, and also acquaintances for the whole Kamizono family. That includes Kyouga’s grandfather, father, older brother, and of course Kyouga himself. Mai finds it strange that most of them are directed to Kyouga, but she can understand since he’s always wearing his “gentleman” mask at work LOL.
From the window, Mai can see Kyouga outside—surrounded by a lot women. Kamizono Shrine is handing out candies with the shrine’s seal for White Day, and they’re asking if they can get one from him. When he smiles and hands out the candies, she thinks about how different he looks. She’s gotten used to it though, so the sight doesn’t really shock her. That being said, Kyouga is working harder than usual today. In order to support their visitors’ love, Kamizono Shrine always hands out the candies every year. They’re given for free, but only available for a limited time. A lot of visitors are after these candies, so everyone in the shrine have been handing them out all day. Due to Kyouga’s good-looks, he gets swarmed by the female visitors all the time. He seems to be having a hard time, but he doesn’t show it at all. He’s simply handing out the candies with a friendly attitude. Kyouga is always serious about work, and Mai actually finds this side of him impressive. Of course she trusts him too, but she’ll never say it in front of him—knowing that it’ll only get to his head. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ After that, Mai turns away from Kyouga and continues working in the office.
After delivering all the presents to the Kamizono family’s house, Mai can go home for the day. Tomorrow is Sunday though, so they might get even more visitors. On the way out, she runs into Kyouga—who just came back after sending the visitors to the gate. He has a grim expression, most likely because he’s tired. When Mai asks if he’s alright, Kyouga returns the question and asks if he LOOKS alright. He’s been giving out the candies all day, not to mention he also strained his cheeks after smiling for so long. Of course he’s exhausted. As Kyouga squints and glares at her, Mai asks him not to take out the frustration on her… but only in her heart LOL. Saying that out loud would only put her in trouble, so she chooses to remain silent. Kyouga then opens his mouth to complain that he’s hungry. Mai sighs and asks if she should cook at his house, or if she should bring him the food tomorrow.
However, Kyouga says he doesn’t want to eat Mai’s cooking today. He wants to eat LADY MAGIC’s food, and he scolds her for not noticing. In response, Mai scowls and asks Kyouga not to take it out on her just because he’s tired. She does understand how he feels though, because she knows how delicious the food is in LADY MAGIC. During her visit with Fumiya and Ryuusei, she really enjoyed her meal. She’d personally recommend their pasta, and she feels that everything in the dish is handmade—including the base pasta. It’s a bit hard, but it really absorbed the taste of the seafood soup. Upon hearing this, Kyouga’s irritation instantly flies away. His cheeks turn slightly red, and he looks super happy as he talks about the Chinese food course he had in LADY MAGIC before. Apparently it was really good, and he’s especially fond of the xiao long bao.
Kyouga takes a moment to recall the memory, then he weakly adds that he’s at his limits. He really wants to eat it, or else he’s going to die. Mai flatly says it must be tough for him, but he decides to bring her to LADY MAGIC with him. He’ll treat her. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Mai is really surprised and asks if he has any ulterior motives, but Kyouga tells her not to be so rude. He then pinches her cheeks and pulls them to the sides, as he always does whenever he’s teasing her. After telling her to listen well, he makes it clear that he doesn’t have any ulterior motives. He simply wants to eat there, and he wants her to keep him company. She tries to reply that he’s being selfish, but of course he refuses to listen. He’s her boss, so she should be quiet and follow him. After letting Mai go, Kyouga takes his phone and calls LADY MAGIC. Rio is the one who picks up on the other side, and Kyouga informs him that he’s coming with Mai. He wants Rio to prepare a table for them, along with some Chinese food.
Three hours later, Mai reaches LADY MAGIC with Kyouga. On their table, they find fried rice, gyoza, xiao long bao, and other Chinese food waiting for them. Mai sighs knowing Kyouga must’ve ordered them to prepare everything, while he’s grinning in satisfaction next to her. Seiya soon comes with their egg soup, grumbling about Kyouga’s attitude. When Mai greets him, Seiya glances at her for a moment. He quickly looks away and sets the soup on their table though. Kyouga then asks where Rio is, but Seiya replies that Rio is busy with an important guest—he’s unavailable. Seiya knows Kyouga probably wouldn’t listen, but he wants Kyouga to know that the hosts have their own schedule… so Kyouga shouldn’t abuse his power to control them like that.
However, Kyouga only asks if Seiya is really saying that to him. Seiya should know that he’s a super VIP guest in LADY MAGIC, not to mention he also “friends” with the owner. Seiya can only grit his teeth and desperately holds back, but his expression softens after a while. Right after that, he fixes his posture and formally apologizes to Kyouga—adding that Kyouga is free to order him around. Kyouga seems satisfied to hear this, and he sends Seiya to fetch a good champagne for him. Before Seiya can leave, Mai quickly stops him and slaps Kyouga’s shoulder. She scolds him saying he’s so evil to threaten Seiya like that, and she also asks Seiya not to listen to him. Even if he’s good friends with the owner, they can just ignore him. Seiya only closes his eyes though, and he gives Mai a sad smile. As much as he wants to do that, it might put him into trouble. What would she do if he loses his job!? Realizing that Seiya is right, Mai can’t really say anything in return. It’s true that no one knows what will happen if they dare to refuse Kyouga’s order. Meanwhile, Kyouga whines that Mai has broke his shoulder and wants her to take responsibility. Ignoring him, Mai apologizes to Seiya in her heart.
Once they’re done with dinner, Kyouga asks if the owner is present. Seiya answers that the owner is in his office upstairs, and he should be waiting for Kyouga by now. Kyouga knows this as well, so he tells Mai to behave and eat her ice cream as he goes to greet the owner. He also asks Seiya to take care of her, but he warns Seiya not to give her any weird drinks. Seiya obediently nods, but as soon as Kyouga is gone… he sighs saying that was seriously tiring. Mai can understand though, because Kyouga really used Seiya as he likes. Including ordering the poor guy to pour his drinks and cut up his meat LOL. Mai apologizes to him in Kyouga’s behalf, but Seiya frowns saying she doesn’t have to do that. Mai points out that Kyouga is her boss though, so it’ll be her responsibility to apologize for his attitude. However, Seiya doesn’t want to hear that. He already said that Mai doesn’t need to do it, so she shouldn’t bow her head for Kyouga’s sake anymore. It puts him in a foul mood, though she doesn’t understand why.
Seiya then pours the remaining wine into a glass and drinks it—cursing that it tastes good. He grumbles about how Kyouga drinks expensive wine like mere water, and then he mutters that he’ll drink the rest of the wine. When Mai says he has the right to drink it, Seiya grins saying she has a nice opinion. He asks if she wants to be praised and is about to hug her shoulder, but she quickly refuses. Seiya doesn’t look too amused when Mai moves away from him, but then he goes to pour more wine for himself. As he drinks it, he mentions that he can’t read Kyouga’s mind at all. Seiya has been working as a host for a long time, so he can read people just by talking to them… except for Kyouga. However, he can clearly understand one thing about Kyouga. Mai asks if it’s the fact that he’s arrogant and selfish, and Seiya looks surprised for a moment… but then he smiles at her. This causes Mai’s heart to take a leap because Seiya seems so happy, and this is probably her first time seeing such an innocent smile from him.
Seiya laughs saying Mai is right, and he praises her for being smart. At the same time, he leans closer to pat her head. Mai turns red since Seiya is being really close, but more than anything else, it’s because he called her by name. He usually called “kid”, so he never did it before. Knowing that Seiya will tease her if he notices, Mai secretly takes a deep breath and tries to calm down. However, she soon realizes that he’s staring straight at her. She feels that his eyes are looking right into her heart and mind, so she looks away from him in a panic. After a while, she can sense him moving away from her too. The next moment, Seiya asks if Kyouga is doing his job as a head priest. When Mai answers that he’s doing it properly, Seiya says he has a suspicion that Kyouga might be the real owner of LADY MAGIC. That, or a major shareholder in the owner’s other businesses. It’s pretty obvious that he holds a large authority, and Seiya is wondering if he’s actually the god of Kamizono Shrine in disguise LOL.
Mai bursts into laughter upon hearing this. She points out that if a club owner, a major shareholder, or a god like Kyouga exists, things would be even more difficult for everyone. He wouldn’t treat her to dinner, and Seiya wouldn’t get to drink any wine either. Seiya blushes as Mai continues laughing, though it only lasts until he suddenly draws closer and pulls her into his arms. This really surprises her, and she asks him to let her go. She panics even more upon picking up the scent of his perfume, as it makes her realize that they’re being really close to each other. Instead of releasing Mai, Seiya only mentions that today is White Day. He says he’ll repay her for last month’s chocolate, but she quickly refuses. Not that he’d listen to her though. He asks her not to say that, because it’s unusual for him to give something in return. He normally wouldn’t do it unless his guests beg for it.
Mai tries to get away from Seiya, but his arms lock her in place. He then takes out a bag of candies from his pocket, and she instantly stops resisting because the candies look… familiar. Apparently LADY MAGIC is handing them out for White Day, but Seiya didn’t expect Mai to know about this event. She admits that she doesn’t know, but she does recognize the candies. He says it’s only obvious, because Kamizono Shrine is giving out the same candies. They came from the same maker, as Kyouga was the one who introduced it to LADY MAGIC. The difference is that LADY MAGIC’s candies have the club’s logo, and they also taste better since they used high-quality ingredients. Seiya then puts one of the candies into his mouth, and he says they’re also doing this kind of service for the guests. Mai has a bad feeling about this since he has a mischievous smile on his face, and it’s soon proven true when he asks her to open her mouth—he’ll give the candy to her mouth-to-mouth. ｲﾔﾝ☆(*´∀｀)σ)))))*3ﾟ),･´.､
Needless to say, Mai panics and says she doesn’t need that kind of service. Seiya asks her not to struggle, though he admits that he gets more fired up when the other party is resisting. She protests saying getting him fired up would only put her in trouble, but he resistance has no effect… and then he pushes her down onto the sofa. Mai once again says that she doesn’t need anything in return, but Seiya only answers that he won’t let her go. She should give up and let him kiss her, since she’ll get to eat the delicious candy that way. Knowing that Seiya is teasing her, Mai protests and calls him mean. She tells him to learn more from his older twin, since Rui is kind and would never pick on people like this. Seiya’s eyes widen in surprise for a moment, but then he grins and asks if Mai prefers Rui instead. He thinks Rui is a boring man who’s quiet and has no presence, but she quickly denies this. Rui is wonderful teacher, and Mai doesn’t want Seiya to make fun of him. Since Mai keeps on defending him, Seiya then asks if she’s actually in love with Rui. Her heart jumps upon hearing this. When she tries to deny it, he points out that she’s blushing… and strangely enough, it’s pissing him off somehow.
Seiya smiles as he draws closer, and Mai braces herself thinking he’s going to kiss her. However, someone suddenly stops Seiya and pulls him away by the collar. When they turn around, they find Kyouga glaring down at Seiya with half-opened eyes. After recovering from the shock, Seiya tries to resist and asks what Kyouga thinks he’s doing. Kyouga says it’s supposed to be his line though, and then he slaps Seiya since he never asked for such a service LOL. Kyouga then sighs saying Seiya moves so fast with his hands, but he shouldn’t push down their shrine maiden so easily. Seiya replies that he didn’t push Mai down though. He was only trying to feed her the White Day candy mouth-to-mouth, as it’s the best service he can offer.
Upon hearing this, a mischievous smile suddenly appears on Kyouga’s face. If Seiya only wanted to give Mai the best service, then it’s not a bad thing. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ When Mai protests, Kyouga grins and points out that it’s a popular service. He asks if she actually wanted Seiya to do it, and he teasingly apologizes for disturbing them. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ Kyouga then releases Seiya and orders him to continue, and Seiya grins as he gladly accepts the order. Mai snaps out that she doesn’t need that kind of service, and she doesn’t want anything for White Day either. They laugh at her when she gets up and turns her back towards them, and she pouts while raging at them in her heart.
• APRIL •
In April, Mai becomes a 3rd year student. This will be her last year with Miki, Mori, and her classmates at school, so she wants to make a lot of memories with them. The students in her class gets along really well with each other. The guys don’t only spend their time hanging out with fellow guys, and the same goes to the girls. This is all thanks to Mori and Miki, who stand at the center of the class. It’s always fun to watch their interactions, which makes it easier for their classmates to talk to each other. Mai finds both of them amazing, and she also made a lot of friends through them. While they don’t have any class change, their homeroom teacher does change every year… and Mai is hoping to get Rui as her homeroom teacher this year. She’s always liked him because he’s so kind, but recently she’s grown to like him even more. Having him as a homeroom teacher would surely make her last year a lot of fun.
On the way to school, Mai notices Ryuusei walking in front of her. Ever since their dinner in LADY MAGIC, her dislike of him has completely vanished. Right now, she thinks of him as a dependable teacher. When Mai greets him, Ryuusei stops and waits for her to catch up. She then asks if she can walk to school with him, and he says he doesn’t mind… but he wonders if she has a question regarding her math assignment. Mai’s cheeks twitches upon hearing this. She did manage to finish her homework thanks to Chisato and their neighbor, Kirino Souya, but Ryuusei would surely get angry if she admits that she didn’t understand a thing LOL. In the end Mai only says that she did fine, and Ryuusei smiles saying he’s glad to hear that. Since this will be Mai’s last year in high school, Ryuusei advises her that no matter which university she’s planning to get into, she should study hard so she won’t regret it later.
Mai’s school has its own university, and the students can continue there as long as they take their studies properly. First, they have to get the required grades during their three years in high school. If they pass the requirements and the interview, it’ll mark the start of their university life. While they don’t have to do any entrance exams, they won’t be accepted if they fail too many exams or fool around too much. Mai often fails at a certain subject, but she makes up for it by taking supplementary lessons… so she should be fine, as long as she doesn’t fail the interview. Mai then tells herself to do her best, but noticing her expression, Ryuusei apologizes for scaring her. She’s about to enter a new semester, and he feels bad for making her nervous. Mai quickly shakes her head though. Ryuusei’s advice makes her more careful and attentive, so she actually wants him to warn her if he ever sees her slacking off. Upon hearing this, he nods and smiles at her. He also says that if she ever has any questions for math, she’s always free to come and ask him.
Just then Mai and Ryuusei hear a familiar voice from behind, complaining about how jealous he is to see Ryuusei walking to school with Mai. Of course it’s none other than Fumiya, and Ryuusei turns around to greet him good morning. He’s glad to see Fumiya being himself at the start of a new semester, but points out that Fumiya should do greet them properly. Fumiya refuses though. He doesn’t want to greet anyone at the moment—especially Ryuusei LOL. He seems to be in a really foul mood as he walks up to them, but instantly smiles when Mai says good morning to him. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Fumiya met Mai in Siesta for a few times during spring break, and it made him really happy. He recalled that Souya, who was working at the time, was flooding her with complaints, but she says it’s because she got stuck on a question for a LONG time. Souya got annoyed because of that, and Fumiya comments that impatient men are no good. They need to be able to accept everything with a big heart! Ryuusei doesn’t think Fumiya is in a position to say that though. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ The three of them arrive at school soon after that, and they part at the gate before going to different directions. Before leaving, Fumiya also asks Mai to visit the infirmary when she’s free. He’ll make delicious tea for her.
From there, Mai goes to her classroom. Since they haven’t arranged the seating yet, everyone just sits on their old desks. Mai can’t find Mori, who’s supposed to be sitting beside her, but Miki soon comes saying he’s probably late. Miki is looking forward to the new seating arrangement though, since she wants to sit near Mai. They never actually sat near each other, though Mori gets to sit next to Mai quite often. Miki is clearly not pleased about this, so much that she considers hijacking the seating lottery LOL. Just then Rui comes in and asks everyone to get to their seats, but as usual… no one but Mai notices him. Mai is about to tell Miki when their eyes meet, and Rui gives her a sign that he’ll be fine on his own. Right after that, he goes to the teacher’s desk and literally shouts good morning to everyone. Σ(ﾟーﾟ；) Of course everyone is really surprised, and the classroom is engulfed in silence by the time Mori arrives. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
Upon noticing Rui, Mori asks why he’s in their classroom. However, Rui happily tells Mai and Mori that he did it. He improved his presence through a loud voice, and he feels that it’s a success. As Mori awkwardly walks to his seat, Rui asks him to be more careful next time. He’s late, but he’s safe for today since they’re not taking attendance. Miki and the others laugh as Mori apologizes for his tardiness, and everyone goes to their seats after that. Mai is glad that Rui let Mori off the hook, and Mori nods saying he got lucky. He’s a bit surprised that Rui improved his presence by using a loud voice, but he’s hoping for it to be effective. After that, Rui announces that he’s going to be their homeroom teacher this year. Mai is obviously happy to get her wish fulfilled, and she knows they’re going to have a wonderful year with him.
Next, Rui says the school has some news for them. Mai watches him as he passes the handouts around, and she starts thinking about a lot of things. She wants everyone to know that he’s a good teacher who cares a lot about his students, but they have to do something about his lack of presence. He’ll gain more chance to interact with everyone if he has more presence, which means he might be able to grow closer to them. While his loud voice proves to be effective, it’ll be hard to do that everyday… not to mention it’ll surprise everyone as well. She wonders if there’s a good way to solve this issue, and eventually concludes that they should let everyone know about his charms. If they know that he’s a really good teacher, they’ll naturally learn to notice him more. As she passes the handouts to the student behind her, Mai decides to discuss this with Mori and Miki later.
During lunch break, Miki shares her idea with Mori and Miki. Mori thinks it’s a nice plan since everyone knows Rui as a kind teacher, but that’s about it. Miki also agrees that Rui’s lack of presence is a problem. Since he’s now their homeroom teacher, they need him to play that role properly. In any case, both Mori and Miki are more than willing to help. After school, Mori announces that he has an idea for everyone in their class. In order to enjoy their last year in high school, he’s thinking of going out as a class during the consecutive holidays next month. Mai’s discussion with Mori and Miki led them to this idea, because they believe it’s the most natural way to bring everyone closer to Rui. Since Mori is just like the mood maker of their class, Miki thinks he should do the announcing. Everyone will be more interested that way, and Miki herself also helps supporting the plan. As the result, their classmates happily accept the idea.
After that comes Mai’s part. She feels rather nervous, but then she suggests inviting Rui too as their new homeroom teacher. She thinks quite a lot of them hasn’t really talked to him, and her classmates have to admit that they don’t know much about him. Mori adds that it’s a good chance for them to deepen their bond with Rui, and so everyone agrees to invite him along. They start discussing about where to go after that, and Mori asks them to submit their ideas to him by tomorrow. They’ll choose the location that gets requested the most. He’ll be in charge of this plan along with Mai and Miki, so their classmates can come to them if they need anything. Now that everyone has agreed, all that’s left is to invite Rui.
One week later, the plan is going smoothly. All the students in their class are going to participate, aside from those who really can’t make it due to club activities. As for the destination, they’ve decided on the amusement park. After making an invitation card for Rui, Mai brings it to school and is planning to hand it to him as a representative. After school, Mai walks around searching for Rui. She can’t find him in the staff room, and she wonders if he’s already gone home. Soon enough, Mai runs into Ryuusei—who just came out of a classroom. She asks if he knows where Rui is, but he says Rui probably has gone home. If he doesn’t have supplementary lessons, Rui usually leaves the school quite early. This makes Mai realize that she never really sees Rui after school, aside from the days of supplementary lessons. She can’t help but feel disappointed though. It’s currently Friday, so she won’t be able to see him until Monday.
However, Ryuusei then asks if Mai has an urgent business with Rui. She explains that her class is holding a gathering, and he wants to give the invitation to Rui. Ryuusei seems confused at first, but after learning about the reason for Mai, he actually thinks she made the right decision. He believes the class gathering will bring good results for Rui in the end. Mai isn’t too sure about that, but Ryuusei asks her not to worry. They’re doing this for Rui’s sake, so much that he feels envious as a fellow teacher. Ryuusei also says that if Mai wants to give the invitation as quickly as possible, he can hand it to Rui for her. Apparently Rui left an important document at school, so Ryuusei has to deliver it to him.They’re going to meet up later, and it’ll certainly be quicker than waiting until next week. Since the gathering will take place next month, Mai wants to hand the invitation as quickly as possible. Rui might make other plans otherwise, so she decides to accept Ryuusei’s help. Mai then hands the invitation to Ryuusei, and he assures her that he’ll deliver it properly to Rui.
Mai goes to work after that, and it takes less than 10 minutes before Kyouga sends her out. He wants her to deliver an envelope to the old lady in the tobacco store. As much as she wants to protest, the old lady is a longtime follower of Kamizono Shrine. She’s an important person for them, so Mai obediently agrees. She also notices that it’s the envelope they use to wrap charms, and Kyouga explains that the old lady is still in love—even though she’s past 80. After leaving the shrine, Mai takes the shortest route towards the tobacco store. She walks into the nearby park to reach the road behind it—quietly hoping that she won’t disturb the couples who might be there. Since the road is surrounded by trees, a lot of couples can spend their private time there without worrying about people’s eyes. That’s why it can be really embarrassing to walk through the area, but she’s doing it to save time today. She still has to clean the shrine grounds and prepare the charms, so she wants to finish the delivery as fast as she can.
While Mai doesn’t run into any couples, she stops upon seeing Ryuusei and Seiya at the park—talking as they stand near the bench. She decides not to disturb them since they look serious, but Seiya soon notices her and asks why she’s roaming around here. This leaves her with no choice but to greet them, and when she walks up to them… she notices that Seiya is holding her handmade invitation. Mai looks up at him in confusion, but Seiya smirks and asks why she’s giving him such a passionate stare. Does she want him to play with her? ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟSeiya looks like he’s about to reach out his hand for her, so Mai instantly says no and gets away LOL. She then turns to Ryuusei and asks if he couldn’t hand the invitation to Rui, and Ryuusei looks troubled for some reason. He can’t seem to answer her question, and he’s throwing his glance all over the place.
However, Seiya soon answers Mai’s question. Rui can’t make it today, so Seiya was asked to come in his place. Ryuusei nervously nods saying that’s true, and he apologizes to Mai for breaking his promise… but she says she doesn’t mind. He looks rather sad though. Thinking that Ryuusei feels concerned due to his serious nature, Mai then asks him not to worry. It was initially her job to deliver the invitation, and so the responsibility lies within her. Mai also feels bad for troubling Seiya, so she says she’ll give it to Rui herself next week. Surprisingly, Seiya says he doesn’t mind. It’s not a problem for him, and he puts the invitation into his pocket instead. He teasingly asks if she’s asking Rui out on a date, and knowing that he’s toying with her as usual… she decides to get back at him by saying he’s right. She’s indeed asking Rui out on a date, and she doesn’t mind taking him along if he’s jealous. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Seiya’s eyes widen in surprise, and he blankly stares at Mai for a few seconds. The next moment, he bursts into laughter and asks if she’s picking a fight with him. He thinks she failed at provoking him though LOL. Once he’s done laughing, Seiya says Mai has a lot of guts for picking a fight with him. He releases a very strong “I’ll pick on you” aura at the same time, and she trembles upon sensing it. Before Seiya can go any further, Mai quickly says that she’s in the middle of a delivery and immediately flees. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ It was dangerous since Seiya would only pick on her at that rate, but she never knew that Seiya can laugh like that. Upon recalling how Seiya laughed earlier, Mai can’t stop herself from smiling.
On Sunday afternoon, Rui drops by Siesta to drink some coffee. He’s going out at night, but he wants to relax with a book and a cup of coffee before that. Inside, he’s warmly welcomed by Takuto—who gladly takes his order. Takuto always greets him with a smile, and Rui finds that really soothing. Rui is enjoying his book when the door swings open, and Takuto greets the customer only to regret it one second later… because it’s actually Fumiya LOL. Fumiya thinks he deserves a greeting though. He points out that he is a customer, calling Takuto “bearded old man” in the process. Takuto calmly replies that they’re of the same age, so he doesn’t want to hear that coming from Fumiya. At the same time, Rui can see sparks flying off from them. He wonders why Takuto and Fumiya are on such bad terms with each other. Both said they’ve been incompatible since high school, so it’s strange how they chat on a regular basis.
Fumiya looks disgruntled as he sits next to Rui. When Rui asks why he’s here today, Fumiya explains that Chisato called him. It seems like Chisato has a problem with his laptop, and Fumiya grumbles saying he’s not a technician. Rui says it’s because he’s good with electronics, so everyone is relying on him. He fixed the head teacher’s PC before, and he often helps his neighbor who works as a programmer. Fumiya nods saying Rui must be talking about Subaru, but adds that he’s not a professional like Subaru. He simply got addicted to building PCs before, and that’s how he learned how to do it. Besides, there’s no way he’d take a job that forces him to sit in front of a PC all day. That, and he thinks Chisato’s job is just as dumb.
Soon after that, Takuto comes to serve a cup of coffee and some sandwiches in front of Fumiya. Fumiya frowns saying he only ordered the coffee, but Takuto only tells him to shut up. He probably hasn’t eaten anything since last night anyway, so he should just stuff the sandwiches into his mouth. If Fumiya faints in Siesta, he’d only be a nuisance for Takuto. Fumiya tells Takuto to mind his own business, but instantly changes his mind when Takuto mentions that Mai asked him to feed Fumiya if he comes to Siesta. Upon hearing this, Fumiya mutters that he can feel Mai’s kindness even at a place like this. It’s a misfortune for him, but he feels happy. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* Fumiya turns red as he pushes his fingers against his eyes, and then he starts biting Takuto’s sandwiches LOL. He’s eating them properly despite his complaints, and Rui finds this side of him cute.
Behind the counter, Rui can hear Takuto roasting some coffee. Takuto then points out that it’s unusual for Fumiya to complain about Chisato’s job. Usually he’d jump in joy and gleefully comes over, because Chisato is living with Mai. However, Fumiya says Mai is away today. She went shopping with her mother, so Chisato’s laptop might as well remain broken forever. HOW EVIL LOL. Takuto tells him to go and help Chisato though. Who knows, Mai might return home during his stay there. Fumiya grumpily replies that he knows, and he complains about how boring it is as he flops onto the counter. However, he soon turns towards Rui. He just remembered that Rui became Mai’s homeroom teacher. After a long silence, he adds that he’s jealous and asks if he can curse Rui. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Of course Rui refuses, and Takuto mentions that Mori and Miki are in the same class—which should make things easier for him.
Rui nods saying those three are really good students, and they always help him everyday. Especially Mai. She always notices him first, then she informs Mori, Miki and their classmates. Rui wonders how Mai can do that though, because he has a very thin presence and always gets ignored by the others. Takuto says it’s probably because Mai is attentive and considerate, to which Rui wholeheartedly agrees. He continues praising her until Fumiya eventually points out that he talks about her a lot recently, and Fumiya wants to know why. Is he doing this on purpose, knowing that Fumiya would get annoyed? Rui is surprised, and he says he doesn’t mean to do that. It’s just that Mai is always really kind, and it makes him happy. After all, any teacher would be happy if their students trust them.
Just then Rui’s phone starts ringing, and he sighs upon seeing the caller’s name. He quickly takes his leave after paying for his coffee, but he promises to come and read in Siesta again. Fumiya only waves and tells him to do his best, and Rui leaves them with a wry smile. On his way out, he can hear Takuto and Fumiya talking about him. Takuto asks if Rui is completely “that”, but Fumiya answers that Rui isn’t aware of it at all. It’s useless even if outsiders like them say anything, so they should keep their mouths shut. However, if their suspicion turns out to be true… Fumiya wants to train Rui into a suitable person for Mai. The current Rui is no good. Takuto doesn’t think Fumiya is suitable for Mai either though, and he’d love to give some training for Fumiya.
Takuto: “You lolicon perverted ero bastard.”
Fumiya: “Huh? Better than you, at least. You’ve been baiting Mai with food for a long time.”
Fumiya: “If I’m a lolicon perverted ero bastard, then you’re a lolicon perverted bearded ero bastard.”
Takuto: “Leave my beard out of this!”
Rui thinks it’s nice how Fumiya and Takuto get along so well. Having friends from your high school days is truly a wonderful thing. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ He keeps listening to their argument as he walks out of the café, and he finally picks up the phone—which has been ringing nonstop—outside.
A few days later, Mai goes to borrow a dictionary from a friend in a different class. She sees Rui walking through the hallway on her way back, so she goes over to greet him. When she explains that she went to borrow a dictionary, he wryly smiles and asks her to be more careful from now on. That aside, Rui says he already received Mai’s invitation from Seiya… and he’ll be happy to join the class gathering. Mai is really happy to hear this, because she wants her classmates to know that Rui is a dependable teacher. They will surely notice him more after that, just like she always does. Rui turns red upon hearing this, but he doesn’t say anything. He only looks straight at Mai with a serious expression, and she can see a hint of passion in his eyes. For some reason, this causes her heart to start racing. Rui is about to say something, but sadly he gets interrupted when the bell chimes… so he stops himself and asks Mai to go to class instead. She tries asking about what he wanted to say, but he only says it’s nothing. After thanking Mai for the invitation, Rui promises to do his best so he can grow closer to everyone. This actually leaves her concerned, but she wants to focus on the gathering for now. She needs to do her best and make sure it ends in a success.
After school, Rui returns to the staff room. Once he’s done with today’s report, he has to go home right away. He runs into a few students along the way, but none of them notices his presence. They only walk past him, and it makes him really sad. Recently the students in his class don’t really ignore him anymore, so this inflicts a huge damage on his heart. Not too after that, Ryuusei comes and asks why Rui looks so down. As a teacher, he should keep a good posture while walking—or else it’ll give a bad example for the students. Upon hearing this, Rui immediately stands up straight. His movements are rather awkward, but he’s a teacher. He has to look sharp. Ryuusei then asks if he has read Mai’s invitation, so he nods saying she’s working hard to bring him closer to her classmates. Mai is a kind person, and Rui feels very lucky to be her teacher. She looked so happy when she talked to him earlier, and recalling her smile fills his heart with warmth. He’s happy that she trusts him, but on the other hand… can he answer that trust?
Noticing that Rui is looking down again, Ryuusei warns him to fix his posture. After that, Ryuusei says he basically believes that people should never lie… but he knows that sometimes it’s necessary. It all depends on the situation. He thinks what’s going on right now is necessary for Rui, so he wants Rui to keep that in mind. Before entering the staff room, Ryuusei also gives Rui one more advice: “Romance between teacher and student is a taboo. Be careful.” Rui can feel his face burning up at these words, and he gapes several times before his voice finally comes out. He stutters out that it’s only obvious, then he makes it clear that he doesn’t have that kind of feelings towards Mai. Ryuusei says that’s good to hear, and he goes into the staff room after that—leaving Rui to think about the misunderstanding. He does know that a relationship between a teacher and a student is unacceptable, so he doesn’t get how Ryuusei reached that suspicion. Maybe it’s because Mai is always kind to Rui, so Fumiya gets jealous and feeds Ryuusei with weird ideas? Rui sighs and waits for his face to cool down before following Ryuusei inside.
• MAY •
In May, Mai’s class goes to the amusement park on a sunny day. Mori proudly laughs saying this must be his power as a sunshine bringer (a person who always causes a sunny weather), but Miki then asks all the other sunshine bringers in their class to raise their hands. There’s actually quite a few of them, so it’s not just because of him. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ As Mori flops to the ground in disappointment, everyone laughs at the poor thing. Including Rui, who has moved next to Mai. Rui thinks Mori is funny, and Mai nods saying Mori always brightens up their class like that. Rui says he knows that really well, because Mori often helps him during homeroom as well. Upon hearing Rui’s voice, Mori suddenly stands up looking confused… and he’s really surprised to see Rui among them, because he didn’t notice Rui coming at all. None of them did, even though he came to join them 10 minutes ago.
Of course Mai noticed when Rui came, but they have to improve his presence today. In order to do that, Rui himself needs to be more assertive. She’ll help if he really needs it, but he has to talk to everyone and grow closer to them. At the same time, she shouldn’t direct their attention towards him on purpose either. To open their gathering, Miki leads everyone to ride the jet coaster together. On their way there, Mai tells Rui that it’s his chance to talk to the others. He clenches his fists and says he’ll do his best, then he blends in with his students. Mai, Mori and Miki secretly leave the group, so they can watch over Rui from afar. It seems like he’s doing well though, since he’s approaching those who never talked to him before. The three of them are happy to see him doing his best, and they believe he’ll grow closer to everyone after riding a lot of attractions together. If he’s struggling with the conversation, they’ll come in to help and make sure everything goes smoothly.
Before they ride the jet coaster, Mori takes out a lottery to determine the seating arrangement. He grins upon seeing a shy couple drawing the same number, but he ends up sitting next to Suzuki—who protests that he wants to sit next to a girl. Mori quickly replies that it’s his line, because he also wants to sit next to a certain girl… and they all know who she is LOL. Suzuki instantly feels bad since said girl never noticed, so he decides to enjoy the ride with Mori. Miki also sits next to a girl, and both of them are excited to get to the peak. Mai is searching for her partner when Rui draws his number, and he soon reveals that he got the same number as her. Rui is relieved to have Mai sitting next to him, but she’s not sure if this would be a good idea. The objective of the gathering is to bring him closer to those who don’t know him that well, so she probably should trade seats with someone else. On the other hand, Mai actually wants to sit next to Rui too—even though it’d defeat the purpose of the gathering.
However, Rui then comes closer and asks Mai to sit with him. He admits that he’s been feeling nervous ever since they entered the amusement park, so he’d like to get a little rest. At first she refuses and tells him to do his best, but since he looks like he’s about to cry… she asks if he’s that tired. He seemed to be having fun with everyone earlier, and he nods saying it’s fun to talk to them. It’s just that if it’s possible, he’d like to ride the jet coaster with her. He was feeling nervous the whole time, and he was afraid that he’d end up making a mistake. He also promises to work harder after riding the jet coaster with her, and so she ends up agreeing.
After getting on the jet coaster, Mai asks if Rui is fine with the ride. Surprisingly, he says he’s alright with all amusement park attractions. Mori thinks he looks like the type who dislikes them though, because he gives off the image of someone who would cry while riding a jet coaster. Suzuki agrees and asks if Rui is not forcing himself, while the girl next to Miki jokingly says that he’s probably not brave enough to take his hands off the safety guard. Rui smiles saying it’s not true, and in order to prove it… he’ll lift his hands in the air when they reach the peak. That, and he won’t put his hands down until the ride ends. Suzuki is impressed since this jet coaster has a vertical drop, but he decides to do it too along with Mori. That way, they’ll be able to show how manly they are and get popular with the girls. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Miki says they won’t be popular though. Not as long as they’re still saying those things LOL.
When the jet coaster reaches the peak, Rui leads everyone to raise their hands. Just as he said, he’s 100% fine with it. Mori, on the other hand, isn’t fine at all. Both Suzuki and him are screaming about how scary it is, while Miki is laughing at their lameness from the back row. ｱﾋｬﾋｬ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀ヽﾟ)ﾟ｡´∀ヽﾟ)ﾟ｡ﾋｬﾋｬ Mai is having fun too, and she enjoys the ride with Rui until the end. By the time they get off, Rui says the thrill of lifting one’s hands on a jet coaster is so addicting—which instantly earns him an admiration from Suzuki. Mori looks like a living dead though, and he decides that he’ll never lift his hands on a jet coaster ever again LOL. Their classmates think Mori and Suzuki are getting way too frightened, since they find it fun to lift their hands. It makes the ride much more enjoyable, so much that they feel tired after laughing so much. Everyone surrounds Rui as they excitedly talk about this, and Mai is happy to see them getting interested in him. Miki also admits that she always thought of Rui as nothing more than a kind and quiet teacher, so she finds it interesting to see him getting excited with them—which makes Mai even happier.
From there, Rui enjoys a lot of attractions with everyone in Mai’s class. They find out that he’s completely fine with haunted houses, reaches the goal faster than anyone in mazes, and even sets a new high score in shooting games. When the sun starts setting, everyone has gotten much closer to Rui and talks to him with ease. For the last ride, they decide to go with the ferris wheel. The girls are inviting him to ride it with them, and Mai is really glad to see this… until they start tugging on his arm. Rui is gently smiling at them, but somehow the view hurts Mai’s heart. It feels like her chest is being pierced by needles, but she has no idea why. Rui soon comes with the girls and invites Mai to ride the ferris wheel with them, and she forces an awkward smile. Her heart is still hurting, but she ignores it and thanks him for the invitation.
However, Mai then shakes her head. She’s happy that Rui invites her, but she’s not going to ride the ferris wheel because she’s actually afraid of heights. The girls ask if they should stay with her, but she tells them to go and enjoy the ride. While they’re not entirely sure about leaving Mai behind, Rui soon asks them not to trouble her too much. They give up and decide to head to the ferris wheel after that, but Rui stops and turns towards Mai instead. She assures him that she’s okay, but then he walks up to her and asks if she’s really fine. Her heart is pounding loudly since he’s being really close, but she nods saying she’s okay… so he can’t really do anything. He then asks her to wait at the bench, and also reminds her not to follow any strangers who might talk to her. His eyes are piercing right through her heart, and she can feel her cheeks burning up. When Mai nods, Rui gently pats her hair and leaves to join the others.
Mori and Miki are also worried about Mai, but she assures them that she’s fine and sends them off. She’s actually feeling okay, so she doesn’t want to drag them along. Of course her excuse from earlier is only a lie, because she actually loves the scenery from the top of the ferris wheel. She doesn’t know why she did it though. All that she knows is that her chest hurt upon seeing Rui getting along with everyone else, and for some reason… she didn’t want to join in. This eventually leads her to the realization that she’s jealous, and it makes her feel terribly childish. She wants to be the only one who knows about his charms, despite wishing for him to grow closer to everyone else. Now she feels really embarrassed, and she blames herself for being so selfish.
Just then someone sits next to Mai on the bench, and she’s really surprised to see that it’s Rui. He says he just remembered that he’s actually not good with heights either, so he decided not to ride the ferris wheel. Rui laughs saying everyone called him uncool because of this, but Mai thinks everyone must’ve grown to like him by now. He replies that it’s all thanks to her, as she was the one who suggested the gathering. Of course Rui also feels grateful to Mori and Miki, but he knows Mai is the one who worked the hardest—all for his sake. Thanks to her, he can remember how fun it is to play with his students. He says it’s been quite a while, and this leaves her curious. What does he mean by that? Does it mean he didn’t spend that much time with his students before? Before Mai can figure it out, Rui gently holds her hand. This really surprises her, and she wonders why he’s suddenly doing this… but strangely enough, she doesn’t want to brush his hand away.
Mai doesn’t get what’s going on. Her heart is racing wildly as Rui keeps looking at her, and she can’t take her eyes off him either. He then thanks her for saving him with her kindness, strengthening his grip on her hand at the same time. She replies that she didn’t do anything, but he says she’s the only one who thinks that way. She always notices him earlier than anyone else, and he can be here today because of her. She connected him to everyone else, and he asks if she knows how happy he feels about that. When a hint of passion appears in Rui’s eyes, Mai remembers that she has seen this gaze somewhere before. It resembles Seiya’s a lot, so much that it looks like a mirror reflection. Rui then calls Mai’s name, but sadly… they get interrupted when everyone else returns from the ferris wheel.
Rui naturally lets go of Mai’s hands, and he stands up to welcome them back. As they gather around Rui, Mori and Miki go to Mai’s side. Miki says she took a lot of pictures with her phone, so they can see them together later. Mori, on the other hand, didn’t have a pleasant ride, because his car is full of guys. It’s like a suffocating hell. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Miki saw them excitedly taking pictures, but Mori says it was simply because the sunset is beautiful. Immediately after, they felt really sad because none of them could ride the ferris wheel with a cute girlfriend LOL. Even when she’s laughing at Mori, Mai keeps on thinking about Rui. She feels uneasy as she listens to his voice, talking to her classmates about the ferris wheel. He has returned to his usual self by now, but he looked a bit different earlier… and she doesn’t know why. In fact, she doesn’t understand herself either. Her heart keeps on racing, and she can’t seem to stop it.
On week later, Rui tells Fumiya and Ryuusei about the gathering during lunch. While Ryuusei is genuinely interested in Rui’s relationship with his students, Fumiya is clearly burning with jealousy. Rui explains that all the students in his class have learned to notice him. They listen to him properly, and he can even have casual conversations with them. He says it’s all thanks to Mai, and he goes to mention that he rode the jet coaster with her… until Fumiya tells him to shut it. Or rather, he should stop breathing. Apparently it’s still not enough, so Fumiya decides to curse him instead. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Ryuusei says he understands that Fumiya is jealous, but he thinks it’s rather childish to spread the aura of his jealousy like that. Fumiya replies that he can’t help it, because he IS jealous LOL. Besides, he doesn’t get why Rui gets to go out with Mai. When Rui tries to explain that it was for a gathering, Fumiya points out that he’s relying a bit too much on Mai. If he wants to improve his presence, then he should do something without asking people for help.
Fearing for his life, Rui only apologizes and averts his gaze from Fumiya. It reminds Fumiya that Ryuusei and him have suggested some ideas before, and he asks if Rui has tried them out. Rui says he did try the loud voice one, but Fumiya replies that he’s not talking about that. Those are the suggestions they came up with at school, and he’s talking about the ideas from their drinking party last week. Ryuusei wants to hear the result too, but Rui scowls upon recalling the drinking party. Back then, a drunk Fumiya said Rui should have an image change. The main topic for that night was how to improve Rui’s presence, though he doesn’t get why Fumiya likes the topic so much. Ever since their discussion with Mai and Mori, Fumiya always brought it up whenever he gets drunk.
Ryuusei, who was drinking oolong tea, thought it’s a nice idea. Again, Rui doesn’t get why Ryuusei would want to keep Fumiya company. He might be serious, but he didn’t have to go THAT far. Ryuusei wondered if Rui should dye his hair, but he immediately rejected his own idea. It’s against the school rules, and so he just can’t do it as a teacher. Fumiya didn’t think changing Rui’s hair color would grant him more presence either, since he’s a plain person to begin with. He said that at times like this, they should go with a certain solution… which is for Rui to crossdress! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Of course both Rui and Ryuusei went ･･･(ﾟ□ﾟ )ﾊ? upon earing this, but Fumiya said everyone would surely notice Rui that way—be it students or teachers. Ryuusei nodded saying that’s true, but Rui instantly raised a protest. The suggestion was absurd, and he obviously refused to crossdress.
Unfortunately for Rui, Fumiya didn’t listen at all. Instead, he asked which style would be nice for Rui—the “sexy beauty” or the “cute girl”? ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Ryuusei said Rui’s face would make a nice “refined beauty”, but it’s probably hard for him to pull off the cute look. Fumiya replied that they can fix it with the right clothes and make-up though. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* Upon hearing this, Ryuusei mentioned that Tomu knows a great make-up artist. He can introduce them to Rui, but Rui completely rejected this idea. He wouldn’t be able to go to school in women’s clothing, and he knew it’d be meaningless anyway LOL. Fumiya said it’d really make him stand out though. That way Rui can gain more presence, and then Mai wouldn’t have to help him anymore. It was obviously the main reason, so Rui sighed saying he knew Fumiya wasn’t suggesting this for his sake.
As obvious as it was, Fumiya denied and said it was for Rui’s sake. That way, Rui can go “Ufun. ♡ Good morning, everyone! I’ll be taking your attendance now. ☆” and Fumiya wanted to see it. Of course Rui refused since Fumiya was clearly making fun of him, but Fumiya forced him to do it—even threatening to puke on the spot if Rui refused LOL. Ryuusei also added that Rui better do it for his own sake, so the poor guy had no choice but to say that line. Fumiya instantly exploded with laughter, and he told Rui to crossdress. His feminine speech was so… uh, radiant. Noticing that Ryuusei is also shaking with laughter, Rui told him to just laugh without holding back. He allowed both of them to laugh at him as much as they wanted to, so in the end they couldn’t think of anything to improve his presence. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ
Even though they keep making fun of him, Rui knows that Fumiya and Ryuusei are worried about him. Or else they wouldn’t hold a drinking party for him after work. Back in the present, Ryuusei says he has one more question for Rui: “Do you love Shinozawa?” Unlike before, Rui calmly puts his tea cup on the table. Ryuusei has asked him this question before, and back then he answered that he won’t fall in love with his student… but right now, he can’t bring himself to give a clear answer. Rui can’t do anything but to remain silent, and Fumiya sneers saying he knew it. He can understand since Mai is a wonderful person, but then Ryuusei asks him to be quiet for a bit. He wants to hear a serious answer from Rui.
When Ryuusei asks if Rui is serious, Mai’s smile appears in Rui’s mind. She’s touching his heart with her kindness, as if she’s encompassing his everything. However, Ryuusei then asks Rui to forget about Mai if he’s not serious. He should just think of her as a kind student—nothing more than that. After all, Rui is a teacher and Mai is his student. He might end up ruining her life and future. If he understands, then he should kill his feelings before it grows any further. Knowing that Ryuusei is right, Rui weakly nods saying he understands… but he notices that his own voice is trembling. Fumiya, on the other hand, doesn’t really care about which path Rui is going to take. It’s just he won’t show any mercy if Rui dares to hurt Mai. That being said, Fumiya doesn’t mind helping if it ever gets too painful for Rui. He’s an infirmary doctor after all, so it’s his job to take care of Rui’s health—as troublesome as it may be.
Ryuusei then adds that as a teacher, he can’t really support Rui’s feelings for Mai. However, he does want to support them as a friend… but only if Rui is serious about Mai. Both Ryuusei and Fumiya’s words feel so warm in Rui’s heart, and he thanks them for the support. He says he’s lucky to have met and have them as his friends, though Fumiya tells him not to misunderstand. If Mai ends up being unhappy because of Rui, then Fumiya won’t support them anymore. In fact, he’ll get in their way with his everything. Ryuusei also warns Fumiya not to be so apparent with his favoritism towards Mai, but of course Fumiya won’t listen to him. As he always says, Mai is special to him… and so he doesn’t see anything wrong with that. In fact, he believes it’s the right thing to do. Rui can’t help but laugh upon seeing their interaction, and he finds their presence encouraging.
Rui quietly smiles as he drinks his tea. Usually, he can move on from one thing to the next after taking a deep breath… but it’s not working at all. Ryuusei’s words keep on echoing in his head. If he’s not serious, then he should forget Mai. He’s a teacher, and she’s his student. He has to kill his feelings for her, before he ends up ruining her life. He has learned and touched her kindness, but what is he wishing for…?
• JUNE •
In June, Mai runs into Rio and Seiya in the city. After she helps them to buy tickets for an anime movie, they decide to return the favor by buying her a crepe. Rio suggests going with the chocolate banana one, while Seiya recommends the chocolate strawberry flavor. If Mai chooses the chocolate strawberry crepe, Rio asks if she’s sure about that. He then goes inside to buy it for her, while she waits outside with Seiya. When Seiya asks why she chose his suggestion, Mai says it’s because the crepe looks delicious. He looks surprised for a moment, but then he laughs saying she’s indeed that kind of person. She’s definitely not an expert who has a strategy behind her actions LOL. Of course Mai is confused, but Seiya only says it’s nothing. Then he gently smiles at her—which doesn’t happen too often—and pats her head.
Soon after that, Rio returns with Mai’s chocolate strawberry crepe. She instantly gets lured by the sweet scent of chocolate and strawberry, and she’s happily eating it when Seiya moves to her side—asking her to give him a bite. Since he has a mischievous smile, she knows he must be teasing her. She quickly keeps her crepe away and refuses. Besides, they’re going to have an indirect kiss if she allows him to eat it… so she needs to prevent that at all costs. Unfortunately for Mai, Seiya easily pulls her over, turns her around, and bites her crepe. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ His immediate reaction is to complain about how sweet it is, even if it’s supposed to be low sugar. He regrets eating it. When Mai protests that he shouldn’t have eaten it in the first place, Seiya only licks the cream off his lips and grins—saying it was delicious in a different way. (*ﾉ∀ﾉ)ｲﾔﾝ As Mai turns into several shades of red, Rio says that Seiya has a really weird way of showing his love. It’s not bad, but he thinks it might be a bit too much for Mai. Seiya laughs saying she turned red just because of an indirect kiss, so of course he’s going to have fun with her. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Mai pouts as she glares at Seiya, but she can’t do anything to stop his laughter.
After leaving the crepe shop, Rio and Seiya find out that Mai actually went out to buy a dress today. She doesn’t have enough money though, so she’s planning to save up and buy it next time. This gives them a nice idea, and they ask her to guide them to the boutique—which turns out to be the boutique they often visit with their guests. From the owner, they learn that the dress Mai wants actually comes in three colors. She was eyeing the pale pink one, but they also have pale purple and pale silver with gold lines. Rio says the pale purple one would look nice on Mai, while Seiya thinks the pale silver one would suit her better. If Mai chooses the pale silver dress, Seiya tells her to try it on. She refuses knowing it’ll only make her want the dress even more, but he only tells her to stop complaining and listen to him. He wants her to try it on, and then show it to him.
Mai gets terrified when Seiya glares at her, so she obediently rushes into the fitting room. Behind her, Rio says Seiya is being childish. He didn’t have to threaten Mai like that. Seiya only grins and tells him not to get jealous since Mai didn’t pick his choice, and Rio answers that he’s not jealous. Just sulking. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ Seiya’s forceful personality feels familiar to Mai though, and she realizes that it’s similar to Kyouga’s. It’s a bit different, but the way they force people into things is really similar LOL. When Mai walks out of the fitting room, Rio says Seiya’s choice isn’t bad at all—she looks cute in the dress. The manager agrees, but Seiya doesn’t say anything. He’s only looking straight at her, so she wonders if it doesn’t suit her. The next moment, Seiya suddenly leans closer and whispers that Mai looks really good in it—just as he expected. He tells her to chase after him while wearing that dress, and he’ll love her until she melts away. Σ(ﾟーﾟ；)
Of course Mai panics and quickly backs away, saying that she doesn’t need Seiya to love her. He laughs upon seeing her reaction, then he tells the manager that he’ll pay for the dress. Since Mai looks surprised, Seiya makes it clear that he’s buying the dress for her. She immediately refuses since it’s expensive, but of course he won’t listen. He only tells her to shut up and let him treat her LOL. When Mai points out that he doesn’t have any reason to do so, Seiya says it’s a reward since she’s cute and is doing a good job saving up. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ He leaves before she can argue further, but Rio asks her to just accept it. Rio finds this amusing because THAT Seiya is actually buying a dress for Mai, not to mention he came up with such a dumb reason. Rio was actually planning to buy the dress to thank Mai for getting the tickets, so he didn’t expect Seiya to buy it for her. Maybe Seiya didn’t want Rio to give the dress to Mai. Rio also says that it’s unusual, because Seiya basically never gives any presents to anyone. Not even to his guests. It seems like Seiya really likes Mai, and Rio jokingly adds that it might be because they’re comrades when it comes to saving up. Mai can’t read Seiya’s intentions at all though, so this situation leaves her feeling confused.
Outside the boutique, Seiya gives Mai the dress in a shopping bag. She’s still not sure if she should really accept it, but then he adds that if she’s not going to take it… he’ll tear the dress apart and dump it to the nearest trash can. Rio also says that Seiya will REALLY do that, so Mai should just give in and accept the dress already. Seiya grins as he pulls the dress out of the bag, and feeling terrified, Mai quickly grabs the bag—thanking him and promising to take a good care of it. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Seiya smiles in satisfaction as he leans in, then he whispers: “Mai. Do you know what it means when a man gives a dress to a woman?” Of course Mai has no idea what it means, so Seiya grins as he adds: “It’s so he can take it off… with his own hands.” ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟMai can feel her face burning up because of this, and no words come out when she opens his mouth. It doesn’t help that Seiya asks if he got the meaning wrong, and Rio nods saying he was right. She can only gape like a goldfish as she thinks about how mature they are, and she knows she won’t be able to win against them LOL.
In the evening, Rio takes Mai home and continues driving to Seiya’s apartment. Seiya actually expected Rio to tell him to get a taxi, but he agreed to drive him home. Through the back mirror, Seiya can see that Rio is in a really good mood. It seems like his professional side as the number one host has flown off into outer space. It’s pretty obvious that Rio is happy because of Mai, and Seiya finds it irritating. He wants to be the only one who can play with her, so he doesn’t like how Rio is trying to snatch her from the side like that. When Rio points out that Seiya seems to like Mai just as much, Seiya gives a vague answer… but he grins at the same time. He realizes that both Rio and him are interested in a girl who’s still in high school, and he has no intentions of handing her to Rio so easily. After knowing her kindness, he just can’t let her go anymore. As he gazes at the scenery outside, Seiya thinks about how he has to be extra careful of Rio from now on.
• JULY •
One hot day in July, Mai is walking through the city with shopping bags in both hands. In her heart, she’s completely raging at Kyouga for sending her out. When she was wiping the shrine floor earlier, he told her to buy a pachinko book for him. She protested since the weather is terribly hot, and the book is clearly for his personal hobby… but he pointed out that he’s her boss. It’s her job to fulfill his wishes. She argued that she’s their shrine maiden and not his slave, but of course he didn’t listen. Instead, he told her to buy some soy sauce, sesame oil and salt too—for his mother. She tried fighting back by saying she’ll only buy those things for his mother, but he said she should know what’s going to happen if he gets annoyed. He doesn’t hate her terribly cheeky side, but he was looking forward to punish “satisfy” her this time. His smile looked terrifying, so she had no choice but to obey. It makes her feel pathetic though, and she wants to become strong enough to go against his threats.
Since the spices are heavy, the shopping trip is quite damaging for Mai. It’s already evening, and yet the weather temperature stays high. She’s sighing about the heavy shopping bags when a familiar voice asks if she’s alright, and she lifts her head to find Rui in front of her. He asks if she’s on an errand, but he looks surprised when she explains that it’s because of Kyouga. He praises her for working so hard, even though it’s super hot outside. As for him, he went to buy some books. It’s been a while since he received a full day off, so he spent the whole day reading. There’s a running series in his book collection, and he realized that he didn’t have the latest volume… so he rushed out to buy it. When Rui lifts his shopping bag, Mai can see several thick books inside. She says it looks just as heavy as her shopping bags, but he chuckles and says there’s one difference.
Mai is surprised when Rui suddenly takes the shopping bags off her hands. He points out that he’s a man, so he can carry heavy things to some extent. However, it must be tough for her because she’s a girl. Since his apartment is located in the same direction, Rui will help Mai with the shopping bags until they have to part. Of course she feels bad and tries to refuse, but he asks if she thinks of him as the weak type. Despite his looks, he’s actually pretty strong—her heavy shopping bags are nothing for him. He smiles and lifts up one of them with ease, so it’s probably true. Rui then adds that Mai is always helping him at school, so he asks her to allow him to do this much. Mai’s heart takes a leap in front of Rui’s gentle gaze, and she ends up giving in. For some reason, her heart won’t stop racing whenever he smiles at her… and she feels really happy as they walk side by side.
Rui also mentions that not too long ago, his students invited him to play soccer after school. Mai smiles saying she’s glad to hear that, since he seems to be spending more time with everyone recently. However, Mai can’t bring herself to say anything else. She finds herself really strange lately. Whenever she sees Rui getting along with everyone else, she wants to look away from them. She knows it’s not good though, so she puts on another smile. It seems like everyone has found out that he’s a good teacher, and that makes her happy. Rui answers that he didn’t do it alone though, because it was all thanks to Mai. He can talk to everyone because she brought him to them, so…
Unfortunately, they soon get interrupted by some thugs. The thugs are definitely not happy to see them being いちゃいちゃ in the middle of the road, and since both of them look meek… the thugs decide to take their money. They’re clearly dangerous, so Mai can’t help but hide behind Rui’s back. He smiles and asks if they need anything, and they answer that they obviously do. They want money. One of them moves to put his hand on Rui’s shoulder, but he dodges it with a smile and lightly apologizes. They obviously don’t need anything from the thugs, so he puts one arm around Mai’s shoulder and takes her to leave. Noticing that she looks worried, he assures her that everything will be alright—she has him by her side. The warmth of Rui’s hand relieves Mai for a moment, but sadly the thugs are chasing after them. They refuse to leave until they get some money, and they drag both Rui and Mai into a back alley.
As the thugs force them to take out all of their money, Rui quietly puts Mai behind his back. Rui then tells the thugs that he has no money to give, because he’s really, REALLY poor. Mai is just helping him to carry the shopping bags, and so she doesn’t have any money either. Since the thugs are staring at them with a blank expression, Rui continues to reveal that he only has 1,584 yen in his possession. Life is tough before paycheck comes, and they’ll come to understand this too one day. Mai thinks it’s just like him to say these teacher-like words, but she’s not sure if it’s going to work… and just as she fears, the thugs get very angry. They point out that he has a lot of shopping bags, so there’s no way he doesn’t have any money. Worried about Rui, Mai looks up and notices that his shoulders are slightly trembling. This causes her to think that he’s actually scared too, but he can’t just run away and leave her behind.
Mai holds onto Rui’s shirt as she yells at the thugs to stop. She thinks he must be even more terrified than she is, because he’s always so meek and gentle at school. That’s why even if she feels scared, she has to protect him. Before Rui can say anything, Mai pulls him backwards and stands in front of him. This really surprises him, but she glares at the thugs and tells them to go away. They’re currently in the middle of an errand, so they have no time to waste on the thugs. Sadly, they don’t take her seriously. They laugh at her saying she’s really cheeky, mockingly adding that she’s really cool. Rui is about to move forward, but Mai quickly spreads her arms to block his way. Of course she feels scared. She wants to run away, but there’s someone else who’s even more terrified than she is. She can’t flee and leave him behind.
When one of the thugs walks up to them, Mai panics and thinks of a way to escape. Here, she remembers that Fumiya taught her a way to counter-attack perverts. If she a suspicious man like himself ever puts her in trouble, she can do the tricks he taught her. If he hugs her, she can headbutt him, kick him or stomp on his legs. Once he loses balance, she can use the chance to run away. Plus, she have to make sure that she doesn’t hold back when attacking him. Those who dare to lay a hand on her are nothing more than trash, so she should attack them so hard they wouldn’t be able to revive. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* Following Fumiya’s advice, Mai approaches the thug and kicks his knee with all her might. He didn’t see this coming at all, so he’s completely taken by surprise. As he screams and hugs his knee, Mai quickly takes Rui to escape… but sadly she gets caught by another thug. He’s definitely not pissed with what Mai did to their leader, and he violently jerks her by the wrist. At the same time, the third thug comes to pull Rui away from her.
Mai struggles and tries to brush the thug’s arm away, but her resistance only angered him even more. He tells her not to be so conceited and releases her wrist, but then he pushes her onto the ground. His power is just too strong for her to endure, so she ends up falling down and scraping her fist on the asphalt. The thug comes over to force her to stand up, but before he can touch her… someone suddenly grabs his arm and stops him. When Mai looks up to see who it is, she finds out that it’s none other than Rui. It confuses her because he got dragged away by the other thug earlier, but said thug is now lying on the ground with a pained expression. Rui glares at the thug who attacked Mai, and there’s not a single trace of his usual kindness. His gaze is sharp and dangerous, as if he can kill only by using his eyes.
Rui’s voice drops as he calls the thug a “damn brat”, who got carried away just because he was playing nice. After telling the thug not to raise his hand against women, Rui punches him in the face—knocking him onto the ground. When he takes one step forward, the thug screams in fear and literally crawls away with his friends. Meanwhile, Mai finds it hard to grasp what’s going on. She’s staring blankly at Rui as he kneels down and asks if she’s alright. He has returned to his usual self, and he looks clearly worried about her… but she only stares back at him. When he punched the thug earlier, he looks just like… Seiya. Maybe they resemble each other because they’re twins, but their aura and voices are really similar. It’s like they’re one and the same person.
Noticing that Mai’s hand is scraped, Rui takes out a handkerchief and wraps it around her hand… but her breath nearly stops upon seeing the handkerchief. It looks very familiar, because it’s the handkerchief she used to treat Seiya’s wound. Rui’s eyes widen in shock, as if he realized that he just made a great mistake. Why does Rui have Mai’s handkerchief? Maybe Seiya asked him to give it back to her, but still… it raises a suspicion in her heart. As she looks up at Rui, Mai notes that Seiya and him are actually the same person. He gives her a confused look and says he was only imitating Seiya, but she points out that she previously used the handkerchief to treat Seiya’s wound. He says Seiya asked him to return it to her and he forgot to do it, but she replies that she gave it to Seiya in December. Did Seiya just ask him to do it recently? Or did he just forget about it for so long?
Knowing that it’s impossible to escape, Rui eventually gives up and sighs. He says he understands, but he asks her to stand up for now. He won’t be able to explain here, and he can’t treat her wound either. After helping Mai to get back on her feet, Rui picks up the fallen shopping bags and carries them for her. From where they are, his apartment is closer than Kamizono Shrine… so they decide to go there instead. Before they leave, Mai asks Rui to let her call Kyouga first. Kyouga might get angry because she’s going to return late, but she wants to know the truth. When Kyouga picks up and asks what happened, Mai explains that she’s going to Rui’s place—as well as telling him about how she feels.
After getting Kyouga’s permission, Mai follows Rui to his apartment. He says he’s been living there ever since he started working at their school, but she’s a bit surprised to see the building. She knows he does have money, but his apartment is rather plain. She remains confused as he guides her to his small room on the second floor, in which she can only find very few things. Mostly those which are needed for daily necessities. Rui goes inside to prepare a cushion for Mai, and then he asks her to sit down—he’s going to treat her hand first. After taking some water and a first aid kit, he washes her wound and cleans it before covering it up with bandage. He knows it might be too much, but she wouldn’t get an infection that way. Silence hangs in the air after he closes the first aid kit, and then he sadly smiles at her. He actually didn’t want to reveal anything to her, but he knows that wouldn’t work in this situation.
When Mai asks if her suspicion is true, Rui’s voice drops and his speech pattern changes into Seiya’s. Just as she guessed, Saiga Rui and Seiya are in fact one and the same person. As Rui takes off his glasses and pushes his hair upwards, Mai sees Seiya—whom she believed to be his younger twin—sitting right in front of her. She actually had the same suspicion before, and she found it hard to accept because they’re really different… but now the truth lies before her eyes. After a long silence, Mai nervously asks if it’s really true. Rui replies that it’s indeed the truth. He was able to cover it up with lies before, but earlier she was looking straight at him… and he knows he can’t hide it anymore. Besides, he knows she’s not the type who would spread it to others. Mai actually finds these words heartwarming, and she’s really happy to know that Rui trusts her.
Rui then explains that due to a certain reason, he’s working as a teacher and a host. He doesn’t want to quit either of them, so he asks if Mai can keep quiet and pretend not to know about this. She firmly nods and says she understands. He had to reveal his identity because he saved her from the thugs, so she has no intentions of telling anyone. She’s actually curious about the reason, but she’s certain that it must be very important to him. Mai points out that Rui and Seiya are very different though, so she asks which one of them is his real personality. He answers that Seiya is actually the real him, because he’s only acting as a harmless man when he’s working as a teacher. This means his kindness and gentle demeanor are all an act. One of his friends from university is in a theatrical troupe, and that’s where he studied acting. He gets into his role as well, so his consciousness also changes whenever he’s acting. Mai is actually impressed to hear this, because it means Rui put a lot of thought into creating the teacher she knows.
Despite what Rui said to Mai before, he actually doesn’t need any presence. In fact, he wants to stay as unnoticeable as possible. Of course she instantly feels bad and apologizes for doing unnecessary things, but he shakes his head. He erased his presence in order to keep working as a teacher, but he did want to interact with his students… so what she did actually made him happy. He feels really grateful to her, and he thanks her for helping him. He wanted to say this earlier in the city, but they got interrupted by those “damn brats”. The next time he sees them again, he won’t show any mercy. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Mai can only reply with a dry laugh. It seems like Rui is going to make them pay a lot, so she’s hoping that they’ll never run into him ever again LOL.
That aside, Mai says Rui is an amazing actor. He’s just like a REAL actor. His friend noticed his talent too, even asking him to quit being a teacher and become an actor instead. He won’t do that though, because he doesn’t want to be anything other than a teacher. For him, his job as a teacher is more important than anything else. Rui has a distant look in his eyes, which only makes Mai even more sure that he has a very important reason to lead this double life. Now that he’s done explaining, Rui tells Mai to go home. It’ll be troublesome if she returns too late, since the evil priest in Kamizono Shrine might just kill him. As Rui gets up from his seat, Mai chuckles saying she’s still not used to this. He looks like the usual Rui, but his way of speaking is completely Seiya’s. He says he feels just as uneasy though.
Just to be safe, Rui then asks Mai not to do anything that might blow his cover. She should treat Rui and Seiya as two different people, just like she always did up until today. He points out that her thoughts are always written all over her face, so he wants her to be extra careful. When Mai nods, Rui grins and draws closer to her. Then he whispers that if she ever made a blunder, he’ll give her an “adult” punishment. She should be prepared. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ Mai instantly turns red and backs away, while Rui switches back into his teacher side and smiles. He says he’s worried to send her off on her own, so he’ll walk her back to Kamizono Shrine. As she follows him outside, she thinks about how dangerous it is when he switches into a different side like that. Dangerous for her heart, that is. That, and she thinks he’s really mean LOL. She knows she can’t defeat him in an argument though, so she can only complain in her heart.
• AUGUST •
When the long-awaited summer vacation comes, Mai actually had a lot of plans. She wanted to go to the beach with Mori and Miki, do her best at work, or have a trip with her family. Sadly, none of them works out in the end… because she has supplementary lessons at school. Mai sighs as she listens to the cicadas outside. This happened because she failed her math and modern literature exam. Three of her classmates share the same misfortune, with Mori being one of them. Most of them are complaining since this is their last summer vacation in high school, but Mori is clearly happy. His expression is glimmering with joy, and he motivates the others to finish their assignment. They only tell him to be quiet though, since he’s raising the temperature in the classroom. Knowing the reason behind his joy, they also point out that he should just confess instead of getting all excited over supplementary lessons LOL.
Just then Rui comes to check up on them, and he asks them to finish their assignment first—they should save the talking for later. This doesn’t help at all though, because the weather is just too hot today. They pretty much have lost their concentration since morning. One of them asks if they can do the assignment at home, but sadly it’s not an option. They have to finish it at school, and they won’t be able to go home until then. They also ask if they can move to another classroom which has a working air conditioner, but Rui points out that the other students are also studying without one. Unfortunately, despite Rui’s attempt to encourage them… they just can’t win against the heat.
When Mori asks them to endure it and finish the assignment, their other classmates sigh and flop onto their desks. Rui does his best to motivate them, but it seems like they’ve lost the will to go on. Knowing that Rui is troubled, Mai wonders if she should help him. After thinking for a while, she suggests buying some ice cream once they’re done with today’s class. This proves to be effective, as they instantly perk up upon hearing the suggestion. Especially when Mori adds that he knows a good ice cream parlor. In the end, they all agree to do their best for the ice cream. Rui actually wants them to do it for the sake of studying instead of food, but he’ll let it slide for today. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
Mai is sighing with relief when Rui walks past her table, and their eyes meet when she looks up. He smiles and asks if there’s something wrong, but she quickly says it’s nothing and turns back to her assignment. Due to the panic, Mai ends up knocking her eraser off the desk. Before she can reach for it, Rui picks it up and hands it back to her. She’s about to receive it when he suddenly leans in and whispers in a very small voice: “If you don’t finish the assignment properly, I’ll punish you where no one can see. If you don’t want that, do it seriously… okay?” ｲﾔﾝ☆(*´∀`)σ)))))*3ﾟ),･´.､ She gets really embarrassed upon feeling his breath on her ear, but as much as she wants to protest… she can’t do that here. She wants him to stop switching to his real personality and teasing her like that.
When Mai stares at Rui while protesting in her heart, he only gives her a mischievous smile. He also takes a certain angle as he does this, so no one other than her can see his face. Ever since Mai found out about his identity last month, Rui has been teasing her in secret. He knows she won’t reveal his secret to anyone, so he’s using it to play around with her. Of course it doesn’t change his kindness, but Seiya’s mischievous trait also comes out from time to time. After class, Mai is going to scold and warn Rui not to tease people like that! Rui then leaves Mai’s desk and goes to the front of the classroom, reminding everyone that they only have 30 more minutes to finish the assignment. The students—including Mai and Mori—all turn pale upon hearing this, and they immediately put their everything into one last spurt.
30 minutes later, everyone manages to finish their assignment in time. Rui praises them for the hard work before dismissing the class, asking them to have fun eating ice cream. Usually he’d stay behind to talk to them, but today he just collects their assignment and leaves immediately. Mai finds this unusual, but then she remembers that she wants to talk to him. Before Mori can lead everyone to leave, Mai apologizes and says she has something to do. She’ll eat the ice cream with them next time. Mori is visibly shocked to hear this, while one of their classmates asks if they should wait for her. Mai refuses since she’d feel bad, so they agree to go without her. They still have to attend supplementary lessons anyway, so Mori will get another chance. Mori is clearly disappointed, but he nods saying they’ll check the taste for Mai today. He asks her to join them next time though, and she promises to do so. After gathering her belongings, she gives them another apology and rushes out of the classroom.
Outside, Mai manages to catch up with Rui. He stops when she calls out to him, but then he gives her a wry smile and reminds her not to run in the hallway. Mai apologizes before asking if Rui has some time to talk, which leads him to think that she has a question about the assignment. However, he’s currently in a hurry and asks if she can save it for another day. When she asks if he has something to do, he only nods and doesn’t explain further. He does look like he’s in a rush though, and she doesn’t want to disturb him. She only wants to ask him not to tease her anyway, so she can wait until he’s free. Mai then nods saying she understands, and she apologizes for stopping Rui. She politely bows her head and turns around, but before she can leave… he grabs her arm and stops her. He says he can spare a little time for them to talk. At first Mai is reluctant, but Rui smiles saying he can’t seem to let her leave without listening to what she has to say.
From there, Rui takes Mai to talk in an empty classroom. As soon as they’re inside, she gets straight to the point and asks him to stop teasing her like what he did today. He only smiles and asks what she’s talking about, so she points out that he whispered to her in class earlier. She wants him to stop doing that kind of mischief, because it’s seriously bad for her heart. Rui remains smiling as he keeps the door closed with his hand, but his expression turns into Seiya’s when he moves closer to Mai. His smile disappears as he asks if she stopped him just to talk about this dumb issue, but she replies that it’s important to her. She thinks it’s so evil of him to tease and enjoy her reactions like that.
However, Rui grins saying that’s so stupid. It’s not his fault, as Mai is the one who panics just because he whispers into her ears. He soon recalls that she’s only a kid who never experienced real love though, so it can’t be helped. Of course Mai isn’t happy to hear this. While it’s true that she’s inexperienced in love, she really doesn’t like how Rui treats her like a kid. She protests that she’s not as childish as he thinks, but he replies that she’s being childish by getting angry and snapping out like that. He whispers that her childish side is cute though, and her face instantly turns red upon hearing this. Once again, Mai protests and tells Rui not to do that. Unlike him, she’s not used to it… so she wants him to stop. Upon hearing this, Rui turns silent and frowns. After thinking for a while, he looks deep into Mai’s eyes—causing her heart to jump.
When Mai nervously asks why he’s doing that, Rui smirks saying it’s nothing. He understands what she’s trying to say. As he pulls away from her, Rui says Mai will have to get used to that kind of things. Before Mai can figure out the meaning, Rui tells her to come with him. She tries asking where he’s going to take her, but he simply says she’ll find out later. He also warns her that if she doesn’t follow him, he won’t stop teasing her like that. Rui then opens the door and gives Mai a sign to follow him. She hesitates at first, but then she hears his voice—the teacher version—calling her from the hallway. She sighs upon recalling that he’ll keep teasing her if she doesn’t listen, so she leaves the classroom to follow him.
After leaving the school, Rui guides Mai through an unfamiliar back alley. It’s probably because the alley is deep, but there’s absolutely no one around. The path eventually brings them to a narrow road, where a single taxi is waiting for them. The door swings open when Rui approaches the taxi, and then he asks Mai to get in. She obediently does as he says, because she has no idea of what’s going on. As soon as she sits next to him, the door automatically closes and the taxi starts moving. Before Mai can raise any questions, Rui says he’ll explain later. He then turns to the middle-aged driver, Tadokoro, and says he’ll be in his care again today. Tadokoro politely nods and refers to him as “Saiga-sama” in return. Mai doesn’t know where they’re going at all, so she can only glance at Rui beside her—feeling worried.
The taxi’s destination turns out to be a luxurious mansion, which Mai has never seen before. It’s located 5 stations away from her school. After asking her to wait in the taxi, Rui gets off and goes into the mansion. While waiting, Tadokoro asks if Mai is Seiya’s guest. She quickly answers that she’s only a student in Rui’s class, and Tadokoro nods saying he was surprised—thinking Seiya got a high school student as his guest. Since Tadokoro clearly knows about Rui’s double life, Mai tries asking about his relationship with Rui. She instantly regrets this because Rui’s double life is a top secret, so she apologizes for asking a question that he can’t answer. Tadokoro replies that he normally won’t say anything, but he thinks it might be alright to reveal it to Mai. He noticed that when Rui got off earlier, his expression looked more gentle than usual. He has known Rui for a long time, but he never saw Rui making that expression before. That’s why he can tell that Rui trusts Mai.
To answer Mai’s question, Tadokoro explains that he’s been picking Rui up from school and LADY MAGIC for the last few years. After school, he comes to fetch Rui and drives him to this mansion. From there, he’ll take Rui to LADY MAGIC. Tadokoro is running a personal taxi. He first met Rui when Rui was sending off one of his guests, and Rui took a liking on his driving skills. Tadokoro has been working for Rui ever since. Mai actually has been wondering how Rui moved from the school and LADY MAGIC without getting seen by anyone, and now she knows the reason. If he’s using a taxi, he can easily adjust the time only by using a phone call—it’s very convenient. Soon after that, Rui comes back in Seiya’s attire. Tadokoro waits until he gets in, and then the taxi takes off again.
Mai is staring blankly at Rui. When she tries calling out to him, he quickly cuts her off and reminds her to call him Seiya. She should refer to him with that name when he’s dressed up like this. If she keeps calling him “sensei”, his cover will be blown in no time. Mai immediately apologizes, and Rui asks about what she wanted to say. She asks if he’s changing his appearance in that mansion, and he replies that she’s pretty sharp. Her guess is correct. If he changes his clothes in his apartment, there’s a high chance that he might be seen. In contrary, the mansion is located far away from the school. He won’t run into anyone he knows there, though Fumiya is living in the same mansion. That being said, they’re in different towers and don’t see each other that often. Every once in a while they run into each other in a convenient store, but that’s about it. It’s a huge mansion. Even if Rui walks in and comes out as Seiya, he won’t stand out. That, and the people there won’t involve themselves in other people’s issues. They probably won’t pay attention to him that much either.
After hearing all of this, Mai is amazed by how Rui takes a lot of things into consideration. His expression turns serious at her words, and he answers that it’s because he can’t quit either one of his jobs. Both jobs are really necessary for him, so he can’t let go of them. This obviously raises a question in Mai’s mind. She wants to know more about Rui’s feelings, so she decides to ask why he’s going to such lengths in order to maintain his double life. Mai is looking straight at Rui, and he gives her a wry smile in return. He knows he won’t be able to win against her gaze, so he agrees to tell her everything. Rui turns to look at the scenery outside, and he tells Mai that it was his father’s will. Rui’s father collapsed before achieving his ambition, and Rui was asked to become a teacher in his place. Mai feels like her heart is being squeezed. From his expression, she can tell that his father was a really important person to him. There’s a hint of sorrow and pain in his eyes.
Rui then continues that his father has been working as a teacher ever before he was born. His father was a sincere man, and he always did his best for his students. Rui grew up while watching his father’s back, so he naturally came to admire the occupation. Even without his father’s will, he’d probably still take the same path and become a teacher. From there, Rui continued his studies in order to become a teacher. He did manage to get his license, but then his personality got in the way. Both of his words and attitude are rough, and soon he received complaints from parents who claimed that he gave a bad influence for their children. While the students themselves didn’t mind, the pressure from their parents ended up spreading onto the entire staff of the school. The students tried protesting against their parents in his defense, but it didn’t work. In the end, Rui transferred to another school because he didn’t want to cause them any more trouble. After that, he got assigned to teach in Mai’s school.
Before Rui started working in Mai’s school, he decided to put on a mask. He wanted to continue working as a teacher, but he knew his real personality would only get in the way again. That’s when he made the current “Saiga Rui” they know at school. Even though his presence is very thin, he can keep working as a teacher without running into troublesome obstacles. When Mai asks about his job as a host, Rui says it’s simply to make money. When his father fell sick, his family was thrown into a financial problem. They had to pay for his father’s medication, their daily necessities, and his school expenses. He wanted to make life easier for his mother, so he sacrificed sleep in order to work part-time. Before long, his body couldn’t take it anymore. He suddenly collapsed on the street one night, and the one who saved him was the owner of LADY MAGIC. After that, the owner took Rui to the hospital.
Since the owner is a very good listener, Rui ended up telling him about the situation. Back then, the owner told him an effective way to earn money—which is to work as a host. The owner invited Rui to work in his host club if Rui is interested, and Rui gratefully accepted the offer. Aside from earning money, the job also allows him to show his real personality… so he found it relaxing. Right now Rui doesn’t have any financial problems anymore, but he wants to show his gratitude for the owner—who’s been taking care of him ever since. That’s why he continues working as a host, and both jobs are equally important to him. Soon after saying this, Rui suddenly realizes that he just told Mai everything. He blushes and wonders why he did it, noting that he always seem to lower his guard in front of her. Rui’s voice sounds so gentle as he says that, and this causes Mai’s heart to start racing again.
Just then the taxi reaches LADY MAGIC, and Tadokoro asks Rui to inform him when it’s time to go home. Mai thanks Tadokoro before getting off, and she’s watching the taxi driving off when Rui gently touches her back. He says that he’ll make an exception tonight, by taking her as his princess. She asks him for the reason, but he doesn’t answer. Instead, he glares at her and reminds her not to call him “sensei” inside the club. He’s a bit worried since she can be rather absent-minded at times, but then he gets a nice idea. If he notices that she’s about to call him that way, he’ll shut her up with a kiss. If she doesn’t want him to do it, then she should watch out. Knowing that she has to be extra careful, she only nods at him in silence.
As Rui escorts Mai inside, she notices that the guests are staring at her—both in shock and envy. When they reach a table, Miyabi comes to ask why Rui is here. Rui didn’t have any plans to bring a guest to LADY MAGIC today, so Miyabi never heard anything about this visit. Rui grins saying Mai wants to play with him no matter what, and that left him with no choice—even though he finds minors troublesome to deal with. Since it’s currently summer vacation, Miyabi also mentions that a lot young guests came to see Seiya. If they look around, they can see a lot of women watching them from afar. It obviously makes Mai feel even more uncomfortable, but Rui only sends Miyabi to fetch the menu for them. That, and Miyabi doesn’t have to make any bills for Mai. Rui will pay for everything. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Of course Miyabi is really surprised to hear this, but Rui awkwardly tells him to shut up and just bring the menu LOL.
When Miyabi returns with the menu, Rui hands it to Mai and tells her to eat whatever she wants. She’s just as surprised and insists that she’ll pay for the meal, but he glares at her and asks if she’s complaining to him. Right after saying this, Rui draws closer and holds Mai’s chin up. He tells her to accept the treat, or else he’ll kiss her on the spot. ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟ Mai panics and immediately accepts, while Rui looks satisfied as he lets go of her. Knowing that LADY MAGIC’s food is really good, Mai gets very excited when she opens the menu. She soon notices that Rui seems to be laughing at her though, and he grins saying he took her here to teach her about how adults play. Earlier she said that he’s used to those things, so he wanted to show her… but seeing how she gets excited over food, he thinks it’s probably too early for that.
This makes Mai feel really embarrassed, but the food comes soon after that. Today they have cheese and bacon salad, sautéed butter chicken and bread, plus Japanese pasta with fish and perilla. Rui says he’ll take the salad and cut up the chicken for her, so he asks her to hand over the plate. When she replies that she can do it herself, he points out that she’s his guest. It’s only obvious for him to serve her, and he forces her to give her plate to him. Just then Rio appears next to their table, commenting that they make a rather unusual sight. Mai politely greets him, but Rui only frowns and chases him away. Rio says he does want to go back to his guests, but he can’t take his eyes off them. Instead, Rio sits next to Rui and grins as he watches over them. He tells Mai that it’s very unusual for Rui to be serving anyone on his own will, since he usually won’t do anything until his guests are begging for it.
Rui doesn’t answer when Mai asks if it’s true. He only averts his gaze with an annoyed expression, while Rio grins ever wider and puts one arm around his shoulders. Rio then takes this further by asking if Mai is special for Rui. Mai’s heart takes a leap upon hearing this, but Rui only brushes Rio’s hand away and tells the latter to get lost. He’s currently at work, so he should stop fooling around. Rio is still grinning, but he nods and winks at Mai before leaving. She looks down in embarrassment as Rio’s words keep echoing in her mind, and Rui eventually sighs saying Rio might have a point. He keeps making advances on her at school, despite knowing that his career will be over if anyone finds out. He also tells her about his past, and he admits that he might be acting strange at the moment. Usually he won’t approach anyone to this extent, and he won’t let them approach him either… but she’s different. For him, she’s…
Rui’s long fingers are moving towards Mai’s cheeks. She can’t take her eyes off him, and the same goes for him. It feels like time stops flowing between them. He gently touches her face before drawing closer to her… but unfortunately, they get interrupted. Two women who appear to be drunk suddenly come to their table, and they look so happy to find Rui. Without even asking for permission, they push Mai aside and sit next to him—surrounding him from both sides. He flatly says that he can’t accompany them today, so he tells them to go away and behave. However, the women beg him to do “the usual” if he wants them to listen. Of course Mai has no idea what they mean by that, and Rui sighs saying it can’t be helped. He’ll do it, so he wants them to leave in return. Right after saying this, he pulls both women closer… and kisses them on the cheek. Mai is shocked. At the same time, her chest is pierced by pain—so much that she finds it hard to breathe.
The women happily squeal and leave right after that, but it doesn’t make Mai feel any better. She doesn’t want to be here. She doesn’t want to see Rui nor the women. Rui looks confused when Mai suddenly stands up, but she leaves him behind and runs out of LADY MAGIC. Outside, she angrily thinks about how terrible he is. She can’t accept how he kisses those women in front of others, and she finds it unbelievable that he did it just to make them listen to him. For her, kisses are meant to be done by the person you love. However, she soon stops and wonders why she feels so angry. He’s a host, so kissing his guests must be a part of his job. It’s just the same as how he gives her lessons as a teacher, which means it’s wrong for her to get angry… but for some reason, the anger in her heart won’t go away.
Before Mai can figure out the answer, Rui comes out and grabs her shoulder. He asks why she suddenly ran off, and she looks away saying he seems to be enjoying those women’s company more… so she left. Noticing that Mai is in a foul mood, Rui asks if she’s angry because he kissed them. She quickly denies it, but since she’s blushing… her feelings are pretty much written all over her face. Rui jokingly says it’s very childish of her to get jealous, and this really enrages Mai. She yells at him not to treat her like a kid, and she roughly brushes his arm off her shoulder. Unfortunately, Rui is also moving closer towards Mai at the same time. Due to the force, her nails end up scratching his cheek—leaving a red trace on his face. As he winces in pain, she’s really shocked upon realizing that she has hurt him with her own hands. She quickly apologizes to him, and then she runs off before he can say anything.
After Mai left, Rui goes into the staff room. He grumbles about the scratch on his cheek, since he won’t be able to see any guests with that face. He then takes out the first aid kit and starts treating the wound, though he’s pretty much used to it. Sometimes his guests would scratch him too. Just then Rio walks into the staff room, grinning as he comments about how handsome Rui looks right now. Rui only tells Rio to go away, but Rio says he came because Rui’s guests—the women he kissed earlier—are now calling for him. Rui replies that they can wait because they like being teased like that, but then he notices that Rio is grinning at him. Rio points out that Rui looks happy despite the wound on his cheek, even though he’d normally get super pissed if something like this happens. Rui pretends not to notice, but Rio knows the reason behind this major change is none other than Mai.
Rui stops to think about Rio’s words. It’s true that Mai is different from other girls. When she found out about his identity, his family background, and his reason for leading a double life, she quietly listened to him. He knows she won’t reveal his secret to anyone. She did her best to bring him closer to his class, and she also treated him when he was wounded at the park. She never averts her gaze from him, and it makes him happy. Rui then asks if Rio seriously thinks that Mai is special to him, and Rio answers that he does. Rui might not realize it himself, but his expression is different when he’s with Mai. He looks really gentle in front of her. When she ran out of LADY MAGIC, he was grinning from ear to ear. It was really obvious that he was happy to see her getting jealous, and that should be enough to prove that she’s special to him.
Rui nods, and he has to admit that Rio is right. He did feel happy when he found out that Mai is jealous, but he doesn’t think his feelings for her are romantic. He likes her, and he’s happy to know that she feels the same way. However, if his feelings for her are in fact romantic… he probably shouldn’t approach her any further. He knows he should never lay a hand on her, especially because he has to continue working as a teacher. It was his father’s dream, as well as his own. That being said, Rui can’t seem to draw a line and push Mai away either. This makes him wonder about what she actually means to him. He knows that she’s special, but he still doesn’t know which category does she fall into. He can’t put his finger on where her existence lies in his heart, and it doesn’t feel pleasant at all.
Rui snaps out of his reverie when Rio tells him to stop musing—reminding him that the guests are waiting. Rui then puts a plaster to cover the scratch on his cheek, and even though it hurts… he can’t help but grin as he lightly touches it. Rio seems a bit creeped out, but then he grins saying Rui is quite a pervert as well. Rui replies that he’s not as perverted as Rio though, and he lightly kicks Rio before leaving the staff room. Even as he returns to work, he finds it comfortable to feel the pain on his cheek.
• SEPTEMBER •
Ever since the incident in LADY MAGIC, Mai has been avoiding Rui. It’s been a month and she knows that she has to apologize, so she doesn’t get why she’s doing it either. On the first day of the new semester, Rui came to see Mai during break. She was walking to another classroom with Miki, who was confused to see the change in her expression. Rui then asked if they can talk for a bit regarding his “younger brother”, and Mai agreed… but when their eyes met, her voice wouldn’t come out. She ended up turning away from him and made an excuse to leave, then she ran off saying she has something to do. When Miki caught up and ask why she did that, Mai lied saying she left her notebook in their classroom. Miki wanted to accompany her there, but Mai refused and sent her to go on ahead. Miki agreed and left even though she was clearly not convinced, and Mai quietly waited in the hallway until her heart calmed down.
Mai keeps avoiding Rui since then, so they haven’t talked properly. She feels restless in front of him, and she’ll end up running away in the end. She’s been trying her best not to do that, and yet she can’t seem to stay and talk to him. Mai realizes that she’s been acting strange ever since she saw Rui with the women in LADY MAGIC, but whenever she tries to figure out the reason… her mind would stop working. She knows that if she thinks about it and realizes how she feels towards him, something will change and it scares her. Mai continues thinking about this at school, until Mori eventually tells her that homeroom has ended. Rui has left, and they’re going to have PE next. The male students will be changing in the classroom, but they can’t do that if she’s still inside.
When Mai apologizes and tries to leave, Mori points out that she looks depressed lately. He asks if there’s something wrong, but quickly stops himself and tells her to forget it. Miki soon comes to get Mai, and she notices the awkward atmosphere between them. Mori says it’s nothing though, and he tells them to leave unless they want to see him changing. Miki smiles and refuses to see such a view, even if she has to kneel down and beg for it. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* However, Mai knows that Miki and Mori are actually doing this on purpose. Mori must’ve realized that she finds it hard to answer his question, so he changed the topic right away. After thanking him, Mai leaves with Miki and runs into Rui outside—waiting for her in the hallway. He goes over to talk to her, but before he can say anything… she apologizes saying she has PE and leaves just like that. As usual, he doesn’t chase after her. She can only feel him looking at her from behind. After a while, Miki sighs saying she doesn’t know what happened between them… but Mai needs to stop doing this and give Rui a chance to talk. He’s been trying to talk to her everyday, and yet she continues to avoid him. They really need to talk, since her attitude is just rude towards him. Of course Mai herself knows that she needs to stop, so Miki pats her head and says she’ll be fine—encouraging her to do her best.
After school, Mai tells herself that she needs to apologize to Rui today. Mori is worried about her and Miki is supporting her, so she should stop running away. Rui is still at school for a supplementary lesson today, so Mai is waiting in her classroom until he’s done. She’ll have to catch him immediately after, or else he’ll go to LADY MAGIC. However, Mai receives a call from Mori just before she goes to see Rui. He asks if she’s free today. His friend’s band is having a live concert today, but sadly they don’t have too many audience. That’s why if she’s free, he wants her to come and help filling up the place. Mai says she has something to do though, so Mori says he’ll just go back to school and ask everyone else. Just before Mori ends the call, Mai suddenly changes her mind and decides to help. She really needs to apologize to Rui, but it can wait until tomorrow. Mori is currently working hard to help his friend, and she just can’t ignore that.
In any case, Mori explains that the concert will start in an hour. He’ll gather everyone who are willing to come, and Mai can go to the live house with them. Just before Mai asks where they should meet up, the classroom door swings open and reveals that Mori actually has returned to school. He actually wants to invite Miki as well, so he’ll be glad if she can come along and help him convincing Miki. Miki is busy with club activity at the moment, but she can join them after that. Mai gladly agrees, and Mori happily thanks her before they leave the classroom. They’re talking about the band when they see Rui walking from the opposite direction, and he smiles upon noticing them. He didn’t expect to find them at school, because he thought everyone has gone home for the day.
Mori answers that he did leave the school, but he came back because he has something to do. He doesn’t know why Mai stayed behind though. In a panic, Mai says she was reviewing as she can’t concentrate at home. At the same time, she can feel that Rui is looking at her. He only nods before asking if she can give him some of her time right now, because he has something to talk about. Even though Rui is smiling, Mai can see from his eyes that he’s actually very angry. She thinks it’s only obvious because she scratched his face AND avoided him, so she wanted to apologize and talk to him. However, she already decided to help Mori… so she refuses. ヾ(ﾒ`･д･´)ﾉﾞ ｺﾘｬ-☆ Mai asks if they can save it for tomorrow instead, and the thought of her watching a concert with Mori clearly doesn’t make Rui happy. Mori is also unsure if it’s really okay, but she only excuses herself and tries to leave with him.
Just as Mai turns around, Rui grabs her shoulder and asks her to stop running away him. They really need to talk. She hesitates because she has to go to the concert, and he begs her to stop avoiding him already. Rui then asks why Mai keeps running away from him. He knows she accidentally scratched his face in an attempt to hide her embarrassment, so he asks her to stop avoiding him. Being unable to talk to her feels painful for him. Mai’s heart is terribly shaken. She really wants to talk and apologize to Rui, but she’s not calm enough to do that yet. It seems like she needs more time before she can talk to him properly. On the other hand, her attitude is hurting him and she’s not sure if she should run away again.
Noticing that Mai is confused, Mori sighs and removes Rui’s hand from her shoulder. He explains that she doesn’t have much time right now because of the concert, and she also said that they can talk tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be today, so Mori asks Rui to give up for now and let Mai go. Rui’s eyebrows twitch the moment he hears this, and his usual kindness vanishes from his eyes. His voice lowers as he tells Mori that this is a problem between Mai and him, and so Mori shouldn’t get himself involved. Mori is shocked to see this change, and Mai freezes in place upon realizing that Rui’s real personality is about to come out. Both his gaze and voice are just like Seiya’s, though he’s still speaking politely. At this rate, Mori might find out about his identity. Mai is thrown into panic. She quickly grabs Mori’s hand and apologizes to Rui, saying that she really doesn’t have time. Before he can respond, she takes her leave and runs off—dragging Mori along with her.
Outside the gate, Mai regains her senses and lets go of Mori’s hand. She apologizes since he still needs to invite other people to the concert, but he only blushes while staring at his hand. She wonders if he’s angry because she dragged him away just like that, but then he shakes himself out of it and assures her that it’s alright. He already asked the others to mail him if they’re going to come, so she doesn’t have to worry. He wants to invite them directly if there’s still not enough audience, and he asks if she’s willing to help. When she agrees, he smiles and thanks her… but then reluctantly notes that she really did have a fight with Rui. It’s not that hard to see either. She’s been avoiding him since the new semester started, even though they were really close before. Mori looks like he wants to ask further, but then he grins and suggests talking to Rui once Mai has calmed down. Especially because Rui also looked serious. She nods and thanks him for helping her, to which he answers that it’s only obvious—they’re friends after all. They go to visit Miki after that, with Mai swearing in her heart that she’ll definitely talk to Rui tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Rui is incredibly pissed. Mai has been running away from him, and he wonders if it’s still not enough for her. He storms into the infirmary knowing he can release his anger there, and he finds Ryuusei inside. Fumiya went out to buy some coffee though, and Rui grumbles that he’ll beat Fumiya into a pulp if he doesn’t come back to school. When Rui roughly throws himself onto a chair, Ryuusei reminds him that he can get in trouble by showing his real personality at school. Rui answers that he only shows it in front of Ryuusei and Fumiya though, and he’s not careless enough to reveal it to other people. It’s obvious that Rui is really angry, so Ryuusei gives him a cup of Takuto’s special black tea—hoping it can help relieving the stress. At first Rui denies that he’s stressed out, but Ryuusei points out that Mai has been avoiding him since she accidentally scratched his face. It’s only natural if he gets stressed. Rui can’t deny this either, so he only tells Ryuusei to shut up and looks away.
Rui regrets telling Ryuusei and Fumiya about the incident, but he didn’t do it because he wanted to either. Fumiya saw Mai avoiding Rui at school, and he happily interrogated Rui about it—clearly hoping for Mai to hate him LOL. Ryuusei also tried comforting Rui saying it must be hard to lose a student’s trust, and Rui made a mistake by not ignoring him. Rui sighs before taking a sip of his tea. He doesn’t want to admit it, but the tea really helps reducing his irritation. He notices that Ryuusei is smiling at him, but he ignores it. However, Rui’s rage returns when Ryuusei asks if he has talked to Mai. Rui says Mai refused because she’s going to a concert with Mori, though Ryuusei thinks it’s his own fault. After all, this happened because he teased her too much. She’s at a sensitive age, so he shouldn’t have kissed other women so lightly in front of her. It’s so vulgar.
Rui asks Ryuusei to stop lecturing him about this again though, because he does feel bad about that. The kiss was a part of his job, and Mai probably understands that as well. The problem is that it put her into a foul mood, and he made a terrible mistake of teasing her. He also knows that she’s avoiding him because she feels guilty for scratching him, but he’s really irked by the fact that she ran off with another man right in front of him. In fact, it angered him so much that he couldn’t stop his real personality from coming out. Ryuusei looks worried, and he points out that Rui might not have realized this… but Mai has been special to him ever since she treated his wound at the park. For a moment, Rui’s consciousness nearly flies away. He denies it saying it’s only because she’s been helping him, both when he’s working as a teacher and as a host. However, Ryuusei tells Rui to open his eyes. He’s only using her help as an excuse to avoid the fact that he’s in love with her, and there’s no doubt about it.
While Ryuusei’s calm attitude greatly annoys Rui, Ryuusei says he shares his opinion because he’s worried about Rui—who can’t say anything in return. He finds it embarrassing, and he actually doesn’t really like how straightforward Ryuusei can be. Rui turns away to hide his embarrassment, then he points out that Ryuusei was the one who warned him about how a teacher and a student are not allowed to fall in love with each other. Besides, Rui has no intentions of doing something that might cause him to lose his job. He insists that he doesn’t see Mai in a romantic way, and Ryuusei nods saying it’s only natural for him to think about his position. He’s doing the right thing. However, Ryuusei isn’t sure if a man like Rui can really suppress his feelings inside. What would he do if he reaches his limits one day? Since Rui keeps denying it, Ryuusei sighs and points out that he’s in love with Mai. He needs to accept that and stop lying to his own heart, or else he might break down. Ryuusei is giving this advice as a friend, so he asks Rui to think about it. After saying this, Ryuusei drinks up his tea and leaves the infirmary.
At first Rui still doesn’t understand, but he thinks about what Ryuusei said. He’s aware that he gives Mai a different treatment compared to his other students, because his heart is drawn by her kindness. When he was wounded, she got worried and came to talk to him. At school, she always noticed him before anyone else. Even after learning after his double life, her attitude towards him didn’t change. He finds it enjoyable to talk to her, and watching her showing a lot of expressions makes him happy. He always yearns for her voice, and he wants her to call his name only. He wants her to look at him only. This eventually brings Rui to the realization that he IS in love with Mai, and that he doesn’t see her as a student—she’s a woman in his eyes. Rui sighs, believing this realization won’t change anything. He’s a teacher and Mai is his student, so their relationship won’t be able to get anywhere. He’s not supposed to hold romantic feelings towards her, because it’ll put an end on his career as a teacher.
Even though Ryuusei warned him not to lie to his own heart, Rui doesn’t think he has a choice. He needs to hold back and keep his love for Mai hidden, believing it’ll only be a nuisance for both of them. He’s not serious about her yet, so he should be able to cover it up somehow. After deciding to kill his feelings for Mai, Rui takes a deep breath and drinks up his tea—as if he’s shoving his love for her deep into his heart.
• OCTOBER •
In October, the weather temperature significantly drops. Mori thinks it’s about time they stop eating lunch in the courtyard, and Mai nods saying it feels even colder today because of the wind. Miki has to attend a club meeting, so Mai and Mori are having lunch without her. As they talk about yesterday’s TV show, Mai lets out a heavy sigh. It’s been a while since she decided to apologize to Rui, but she hasn’t done anything yet. She hasn’t talked to him properly, and she blames herself for being so terrible. While Mai has stopped running away from Rui, she still can’t bring herself to apologize or even talk to him. At the same time, Rui has stopped chasing after Mai as well. This causes her to think that maybe he doesn’t want to deal with a troublesome student like her anymore, and maybe he hates her after all the things she’s done. All she has to do is apologize, but she just can’t do it for some reason. ヾ(*`⌒´*)ﾉ
Feeling worried about Mai, Mori points out that her octopus sausage has fallen off her fork and onto the ground. He notices that it makes her look even sadder, so he gives her a karaage from his own lunch box and asks her to cheer up. It’s his mother’s special karaage, and he asks her not to hold back… because as she can see for herself, his lunch box is filled with a mountain of karaage. The moment she takes a bite of the karaage, the taste of garlic soy sauce spreads in her mouth. She instantly gets excited over how good it tastes, so much that she wants to make it for her mother and Chisato at home. Mori also has some mint chewing gum to get rid of the garlic scent, but Mai doesn’t really care—the karaage is just that good. Mai is wondering about the other ingredients when she notices Mori smiling, and he looks even happier when she looks at him.
Mori says he’s just glad to see Mai feeling better, because she’s been visibly depressed since last month. He also apologizes beforehand, knowing that she might get upset… but he’s been wondering if she hasn’t made up with Rui. Mai can’t say anything in return, so she awkwardly lowers her gaze. At the same time, Mori continues that he might not be able to give a good solution like Miki, but he’s a pretty good listener. She might be able to sort out her thoughts too after sharing it with someone else, so he asks if she wants to give it a try. Touched by Mori’s kindness, Mai finally smiles and tells him about her problem. To make it short, she wants to apologize to Rui but doesn’t have the courage to do so. Mori nods in understanding, and a brief silence ensues before he apologizes to Mai. Before Mai can ask for the reason, Mori suddenly gets up and calls out to Rui—who’s walking through the other side of the courtyard.
When Mori asks him to come over, Rui looks just as surprised as Mai does. Rui then walks up to them and asks if there’s something wrong, so Mori replies that Mai has something to tell him. Right after saying this, Mori leans closer to Mai and whispers that she won’t be able to run away now. He has made a chance for them to talk, so he wants her to do her best. Mori runs off and leaves them alone after that, and Mai feels really awkward. When she opens her mouth to speak up, Rui asks her not to force it if she doesn’t want to talk to him. Mai is surprised and looks up, only to find out that Rui is looking away from her. She feels sad thinking he really does hate her, but she quickly pulls herself out of it. Mori made this chance for them, so she shouldn’t waste it by running away. Mai then asks if Rui has some time to talk, and he slowly turns to look at her. He looks both angry and sad, as if he’s lost in thought. A brief silence flows before Rui finally agrees. They won’t be able to talk freely in the courtyard, so he takes Mai to move somewhere else.
After that, Rui takes Mai into an empty classroom. He doesn’t look at her even once as they walk there, so she finds it really hard to talk to him… but if it continues, she knows she’d run away again and waste the chance Mori made for them. Once they’re inside, Mai gathers her courage and calls out to Rui. However, he sadly replies that she obediently listens to what Mori says. She kept avoiding him no matter how many times he asked her to talk to him, so he didn’t expect her to agree right away when Mori told her to do so. Rui is smiling, but Mai feels that something’s wrong. He doesn’t have his usual gentle atmosphere around him, and he seems like a different person. Since they’re currently alone, she wonders if his real personality has taken over… but he’s using formal speech. His expression doesn’t change either, so it doesn’t seem to be the case.
Rui then says he understands, and he agrees to talk—just as Mai is wishing for. However, she feels scared somehow. It feels like she’s standing in front of someone she doesn’t know, and she backs away when he comes closer to her… until she eventually gets cornered against the wall. Just then the bell chimes to mark the end of lunch break, so Mai tries to use this as an excuse to run away. Yes, AGAIN. She points out that the afternoon classes are going to start, but much to her surprise… Rui answers that he couldn’t care less about classes at the moment. Mai is both shocked and confused, because she knows Rui isn’t the type of person who would say something like that. When she looks up at him, he starts talking with a distant look in his eyes.
First off, Rui mentions that there are two reasons why he hasn’t talked to Mai recently. The first is because he decided to wait until she’s willing to talk, and the second is because he had to calm himself down. Mai wonders why he had to calm down, but she doesn’t say anything and lets Rui continue. He says that after a while, he managed to control himself and calmed down. From there he was waiting until she’s ready to talk, but in the end… she never came to see him. Even now, she only talks to him because Mori told her to do so. Rui then asks if Mai trusts Mori more than a teacher who leads a double life, working as a host and kissing women so easily behind the screen. Mai can feel her fingertips trembling, but she clenches her fists and replies that it’s not true. She admits that it was all her fault, and she’s been trying to apologize to Rui. She kept running away because she didn’t have the courage to do it, and Mori was encouraging her. Rui nods, but Mai can’t see what lies beyond his smile.
At this point, Rui can finally understand what Ryuusei was trying to say. He really did make a mistake by lying to his own heart. Despite his attempt to kill his feelings for Mai, he couldn’t forget her in the end. He couldn’t escape from his feelings for her, so now he’s going to stop. He won’t hold back and will do what his heart is telling him to do, because if he doesn’t… it feels like he’s going to lose her. Rui’s fingers slowly touch Mai’s cheek, leaving a cold sensation on her skin. He smiles and admits that despite his position as a teacher, he seems to be romantically in love with her. Upon hearing Rui’s confession, Mai’s breath stops for a moment. The seal she put in her heart is starting to shake. As he moves even closer to her, Rui asks if Mai is surprised. He was surprised too when the realization came to him, and he tried to forget her due to his position as a teacher. He doesn’t want to do anything that can cause him to lose his job as a teacher, not to mention his current self is also a mask created for that purpose.
However, after seeing how Mai listened to Mori, Rui realized that it’s just impossible for him to hold back. She’s the only one he loves. Even during his time as Seiya, he was drawn towards her. His heart is longing for her, and so no matter what it takes… he’s wishing to obtain her. As Rui’s fingers slide down her cheek, Mai quickly shakes her head and asks him to let go. She holds out both of her hands, as if asking him not to come any closer, but he doesn’t seem to care. Instead, he grabs her wrist and pins her against the wall. He smiles as he apologizes to her, saying that he has no intentions of letting her go anymore. Mai panics as Rui leans closer, but before she can say anything… he kisses her on the lips. At first she’s taken aback by his warmth and the soft sensation on her lips, but the realization slowly sinks in.
As much as Mai wants to struggle, Rui is locking both of her hands in place. He pulls back just when she’s thinking about resisting with her legs, but it only lasts for a very brief moment. The next second, Rui leans in to kiss Mai again. Different from their first kiss, this one is deeper. He forces her lips open before sliding his tongue in, capturing her heat, her consciousness, and her everything. It feels like she’s being eaten up by him. Mai’s consciousness is fading as the rough kiss wipes her thoughts away. Her body is starting to get all restless and hot inside. Rui’s kiss is changing something inside of her, and it really scares her. Tears well up in her eyes, and soon she can feel them rolling down her cheeks. At the same time, Rui finally lets Mai go—leaving a trace of passionate breath between them.
The moment Rui releases her hands, Mai slides onto the floor. He only watches her with hollow eyes, as if nothing is reflected on them. Rui then says that he probably fell in love with Mai ever since she treated his wound at the park. He’s been thinking of her ever since, both at school and when he’s working as a host. It was enjoyable for him, since he feels happy whenever he interacts with her. Even when he revealed his identity, he did it simply because he wanted to protect the person he loves. If Ryuusei never told him, he’d probably keep on thinking that he only loves her as a student… but he doesn’t see her that way. When he saw her with Mori, he actually felt both angry and sad. He doesn’t want her to get too close to other men. He wants to be the only one she calls, smiles at, and yearns for. Now that Rui has accepted his own heart, he feels a lot better… or does he? He’s showing his gentle smile that Mai loves, but it also feels distant. It’s like he’s far beyond her reach.
Before Mai can say anything, Rui apologizes to her. From here on, he’ll follow what his heart is telling him to do. He loves her, and he doesn’t want to kill his feelings anymore. He doesn’t mind even if people find out about his identity. He doesn’t care about being a teacher and a host. He only wants her. If she’s going to run away from him again, then he’ll chase after her. He’ll convey his love for her no matter where they are—even if they’re at school. Rui asks Mai to keep this in mind, then he smiles at her and walks away. As the door closes behind him, she’s left alone in tears. She finds it hard to accept the sudden change in him, especially because she knows how much he treasures his jobs. Working as a teacher is a dream shared by him and his father, so he shouldn’t let go of it so easily.
For a moment, Mai wonders why things turned this way. If only she apologized sooner, would it stop Rui from confessing to her? It doesn’t take long until she finds the answer though. It’s true that she was very shocked by his sudden change. He cornered her and completely ignored her opinion, but after he said he loves her and kissed her… she actually feels happy as well. Realizing that she can’t hide it anymore, Mai finally accepts the fact that she’s in love with Rui too. She sees him as a man, and she nearly realized it before. It’s just she’s aware that she’s not allowed to see him in such a way, so she subconsciously sealed it deep inside her heart. She’s been lying to herself this whole time, and she ended up leading him to that decision. She didn’t want him to notice, and she’s been using the incident as an excuse to run away from him. She never thought that her actions would change him to that extent. Now she feels terribly pathetic, and she can only cry alone—wondering about what to do.
• NOVEMBER •
The wind gets even colder in November. Mai’s hands get a bit numb as she cleans up the shrine grounds, but she doesn’t care about the cold for now. She’s been heavily sighing all day, with Rui’s image staying at the back of her mind. Following his confession, Rui has been aggressively making moves on Mai. He’d kiss her at school despite her protests. When she asked him not to do it at school, he’d assure her that it’s fine—they were hidden behind the curtains. He also knows that he’s troubling her with his advances, but he’s not going to stop. Her words just can’t seem to reach him, and he keeps telling her that he loves her. After school, Rui also came to attack Mai before going to LADY MAGIC. She told him that he’d only get in trouble if anyone sees them, but he answered that the same goes for her… and he finds it fun if the two of them go down together. Rui said he wouldn’t be able to endure work otherwise, so if Mai really wants him to stop, she should put up with it. In the end, he caught her before she escaped and kissed her again.
Mai is completely lost. She does love Rui, so she’s actually happy to receive his feelings and kisses. It’s just that if she answers his feelings, he’ll surely quit his job as a teacher because of her. She doesn’t want him to take that path, so she can’t tell him how she feels. On the other hand, she knows things won’t end well at this rate. If people find out, his cover would be blown and he wouldn’t be able to use his teacher mask anymore. Kyouga soon comes and tells Mai to go home if she’s not going to work, since she’s spreading a gloomy air around the shrine. She quietly apologizes and starts sweeping the ground again, but she finds it hard to concentrate. Noticing this, Kyouga snatches the broom away from Mai. When she looks at him in confusion, he only tells her to come. Then he puts the broom against a nearby tree, grabs her wrist, and drags her into the office.
Inside, Kyouga makes two cups of tea and tells Mai to sit down. She reluctantly asks why he’s serving her like this, but he says he’s not giving her any service. He only thinks that she’s useless at the moment, so he pulled her away. He doesn’t want her to work with such a gloomy expression, because Kamizono Shrine’s reputation is on the line. Mai can’t say anything in return, so she quietly apologizes. He does have a point since she really can’t concentrate, and it’s only obvious for him to get annoyed by her attitude. Especially because he works hard day and night for Kamizono Shrine. Kyouga sits next to Mai and sips his tea, then he smiles saying he makes such a good tea. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ He tells her to drink it too and get some rest, or else they won’t get anywhere.
After taking a sip, Mai can feel her confusion melting away. Beside her, Kyouga sighs saying he just can’t believe she worries about Rui for so long. Mai is surprised that he knows about this, but Kyouga grins and reveals that he heard it from Fumiya. There’s no way Fumiya would keep quiet when she’s in trouble. From Kyouga, Mai learns that Fumiya and Rui actually had an argument about her in the infirmary. Some time ago, Fumiya caught Rui after school—before the latter went to LADY MAGIC. They moved to the infirmary so they can talk freely, and Fumiya put the “no entry” sign to prevent any disturbance. Ryuusei was inside, but Fumiya completely ignored him and glared straight at Rui. He said he doesn’t care if Rui wants to fool around, but he shouldn’t drag Mai into it. Rui calmly answered that he’s not doing anything though, and it obviously irked Fumiya even more.
Ryuusei asked Fumiya to calm down so they can assess the situation better, but Fumiya only told him to shut up before turning back to Rui. He said he doesn’t know what Rui did to Mai, and he doesn’t want to think about it either. He knew that if he figures out the answer, he’d only get the urge to do terrible things to Rui. However, Fumiya noticed that Mai’s expression turns darker and darker each day… and Rui should know this too. Rui’s expression didn’t change even after hearing all of this, but Fumiya has known Mai for a long time. He can figure out her condition just by seeing her in the hallway or talking to her, so he knew that she’s been feeling down recently. He also got some information from Mori and Miki, both saying that something might have happened between her and Rui. Fumiya continued glaring at Rui, indirectly forcing him to spill everything, but Rui only smiled in silence.
After a while, Rui nodded saying he did notice Mai’s condition… but if she really hates him, then she’d do anything to run away from him. If he sees an opening, then he will attack. He’ll also do everything he can just to be alone with her. If she really wants to run away from him, she should just stop coming to school and lock herself at home. Fumiya was obviously enraged and nearly punched Rui, but he was stopped by Ryuusei—who told him that attacking Rui wouldn’t solve anything. Fumiya insisted that he had to punch Rui out of it, or else both Mai and Rui would end up in tears… but Ryuusei pointed out that Fumiya would end up crying too if he does that. After that, Ryuusei turned to ask if Rui still remembers his warning from before. Rui said he does, and Ryuusei was right. If only he accepted his love for Mai sooner, things would never turn out this way. He never knew that he’s actually such a possessive and obsessive man, as sad as that may sound.
Since Rui is fully aware of his feelings, Fumiya asked why he doesn’t back down. If he loves Mai, why is he tormenting her? What is he trying to achieve by doing that? Rui admitted that he doesn’t know either. The only thing he knows is that he feels secure whenever he touches Mai. Rui also told them that he can’t stop himself anymore, so if they want to stop him… they can report to the school that he’s sexually harassing a female student. He walked out of immediately after, leaving both Fumiya and Ryuusei at a loss for words. Rui, Fumiya, and Ryuusei have known each other since they came to this school. They know he’s working as a teacher to carry out his father’s will. They know why he quit the previous school he worked at, as well as why he’s working as a host at the same time. They just didn’t expect that he loves Mai that much, up to the point where he’s willing to sacrifice everything else for the sake of getting her.
Both Fumiya and Ryuusei knew their words wouldn’t reach Rui anymore, but they can’t bring themselves to destroy his life either. As much as he wanted to report it, Fumiya does think of Rui as his friend—which greatly irked him. The only thing he can do is either to warn Mai to run, or ask for Kyouga’s help. Kyouga is a quick thinker, and he’s good at reading people’s thoughts and actions. If a problem occurs, he’d take the safest and quickest way to solve it—without even soiling his hands. Fumiya has seen Kyouga doing it ever since their high school days, so he trusts Kyouga. That, and he knows Kyouga loves Mai just as much as he does. If she’s in trouble, he wouldn’t ignore her just like that. Fumiya actually didn’t want to rely on Kyouga, but he had no choice. It’s for Mai’s sake.
After learning about all of this, Mai can’t say anything. Her hands are trembling on her lap. Kyouga says it’s really unusual for Fumiya to ask for his help, but he has no intentions of doing anything at this current state. He also told Fumiya to observe quietly without doing anything, and he asks if she knows why he did that. When Mai shakes her head, Kyouga says it’s because this is a problem between her and Rui. The two of them have to find them answer themselves. He WILL intervene if she really wants him to help, but if she does that… the problem would escalate into a higher level. It’ll involve people other than just Rui and her. Kyouga then asks what Mai wants to do, and she decides to solve this with Rui. She feels thankful for his offer, but what he said was true. This is their problem, so they will have to find the solution themselves. He looks satisfied to hear her decision, then he grins and lightly pats her head—feeling proud to have her as their shrine maiden. Before leaving the office, Kyouga also reminds Mai that Rui was chosen by their god. It means he needs support for love, and she should keep that in mind.
The next day, Mai can’t concentrate at all. Even in class, she keeps thinking about what Kyouga said. The flowers of Kamizono Shrine grant blessings for love. They provide support for those who doesn’t have the courage to confess their love, people whose love are one-sided, people who can’t fall in love, and people who want to fall in love. In any case, the flowers are mostly delivered to those who either can’t fall in love or need help with their love. Does that mean Rui is one of them…? When Mai lowers her textbook, she can see Rui teaching in front of the blackboard. He’s now getting along very well with her classmates, and his classes is filled with friendly conversations between him and everyone. Rui looks like he’s enjoying his time with them, and this makes Mai happy too. This also makes it even clearer that she does wants him to keep working as a teacher.
Soon after that, Rui announces a small test. Those who fail will have to retake the test next week, but he asks them not to worry. If they listen to him properly in class, they’ll surely pass. Mai isn’t sure if she can really pass though, considering she didn’t pay attention at all. Just then Mai notices that Rui is looking at her, but she panics and quickly looks away. She knows she shouldn’t avoid him though, or else he might notice how she feels. She hasn’t figured out a way to make him regain his senses, so he can’t tell him yet. Just then Rui comes to ask if Mai has any problems, since she hasn’t touched her test at all. This surprises her since he whispers right next to her ears, and she apologizes saying she was just thinking. She only has 10 minutes left though, so he asks her to start working on it.
At the same time, Rui puts his hand on top of Mai’s and entwine their fingers. He’s pining her hand onto the desk, so she can’t pull it away. Her classmates are focusing on the test, and so no one pays attention to them… for now. They’ll get in trouble if someone looks up and sees them in this state, so she has to do something to stop it. She doesn’t want him to lose his job. With that in mind, Mai uses her other hand to knock her eraser off the desk. She brushes Rui’s hands away as she picks it up, and he quietly leaves after asking her to do her best on the test. As she watches Rui walking away, Mai is starting to feel restless. She needs to take action soon.
After school, Rui doesn’t come to see Mai. Usually he’d call her soon after homeroom ends, and then he’ll do something on her. Maybe he has something to do today, so he has to rush to LADY MAGIC. Mai is still wondering about how to talk to Rui though. She doesn’t want him to quit teaching, so she has to ask him to stop making moves on her. As much as she wants to confess, it doesn’t seem possible at this state. Miki soon comes and asks if Mai want to go somewhere on the way home, since Mai doesn’t have work today and Miki is also free from club activities. Mori quickly joins them saying he has 2 hours of free time before work, so they decide to eat some pancakes on the way home. Miki teasingly says it takes an hour to reach the shop though, and Mori begs her to change locations since he wouldn’t make it to work LOL.
Mai is watching them with a smile when Fumiya comes to their classroom, and he asks her to come over. He received a new tea blend from Takuto, and even though it irks him, he invites her to come and drink it with him. At first Mai refuses since she already made plans with Mori and Miki, but Fumiya asks if she can save it for tomorrow. She doesn’t get why he seems to be so adamant about having tea with her though, and he eventually sighs saying the roundabout way doesn’t suit him after all. The tea is obviously just an excuse, because he actually wants to talk about Rui. While Kyouga told him to do nothing and just leave it to Mai, Fumiya finds it unbearable. He’s really worried about her, so she agrees and goes to explain the situation to her friends. Both Mori and Miki don’t mind at all, since they can save their “after school date” for tomorrow. They know the teachers will be able to help her more, but she can contact them if she’s still confused even after talking to the teachers. They’ll come running to help her.
After that, Mai follows Fumiya to the infirmary—where they find Ryuusei waiting inside. As she sits on the chair, Ryuusei puts a cup of tea in front of her. He asks her to be careful since it’s hot, and she thanks him before taking a sip. The tea helps relieving her stress, and feels a lot better immediately after. Back to their issue, Fumiya says he’s worried sick that Mai might be tormented because of Rui. Kyouga warned him not to interfere, but he has reached his limits. That’s why he called her today. Fumiya asks if he’s troubling her by doing this, and Mai quickly shakes her head. She feels bad and apologizes for making them worry, but Fumiya says she doesn’t have to do that. This is all Rui’s fault anyway. Ryuusei asks Fumiya to calm down a bit, though he knows it’s impossible since Mai is involved. Similarly to him, Ryuusei is worried about Mai too. After all, Rui’s current condition is far from normal.
However, Mai smiles and assures them that she’s fine. Fumiya looks surprised to hear this, especially when she adds that she’s in love with Rui. She can’t tell him about how she feels, but she can accept everything he does. Fumiya has a blank expression for a moment, and then he goes:
Fumiya: “…unbelievable… My… angel… is in love with… that wicked, black-hearted bastard.”
After recovering from the shock, Fumiya instantly tells Mai to reconsider. He thinks she has a bad taste in men LOL. Fumiya says Rui is the worst since he’s willing to quit teaching just to obtain her, but Mai replies that she’s just as terrible… because hearing this actually makes her happy. However, she doesn’t think she will ever confess to him. When Fumiya asks if it’s because of Rui’s position as a teacher, Mai quietly nods. She wants to protect his dream, so she’s going to kill her feelings instead. Upon hearing this, Fumiya asks if Mai is really okay with that. He asks if she CAN do such a thing, because Rui is her first love. Before she can think about it, Mai finds herself shaking her head. She knows it’s impossible, and she’s not sure if she can keep it hidden in front of Rui. She really does love him, so she knows she can’t kill her feelings for him.
As tears start welling up in Mai’s eyes, Fumiya gently pats her head. He says that lies aren’t necessary for a girl like her, so she should honestly tell Rui about how she feels. She’s afraid that he might quit teaching if she does that, but Fumiya doesn’t think it’ll be a problem—they can just date secretly! ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Wow. I am truly surprised that no one brings this up until now. Since their love is mutual, Fumiya thinks it’d be for the best if they become lovers. That way, Rui will stop fooling around and return to normal too. Mai isn’t too sure since Rui might get fired if people find out, but Fumiya says that’s exactly why they should date secretly. She’s going to graduate soon, and the issue of student-teacher relationship won’t be a problem anymore after that.
Noticing that Mai is reluctant, Ryuusei adds that due to his position, he can’t support her the way Fumiya does. However, he doesn’t want to see them suffering either… so he’s going to turn a blind eye. Similarly to Fumiya, Ryuusei says Mai should be honest to her heart and go forward. It will surely lead her and Rui to the best answer. Fumiya thinks Ryuusei is just acting cool in front of Mai though, and they immediately get into their usual argument. Fumiya frowns saying Ryuusei’s “calm glasses face” is pissing him off, and Ryuusei calmly asks Fumiya to describe what a “calm glasses face” is in details LOL. Meanwhile, Mai feels calmer as she watches them bickering. First, she has to accept her own feelings. From there, she can think about what she needs to do.
With her doubts gone, Mai smiles as she thanks Fumiya and Ryuusei. Just as they suggested, she’s going to try confessing to Rui. After that, she’ll discuss this issue with him and find a way for them to be happy. Rui doesn’t mind quitting his job in order to be with Mai, while Mai wants Rui to continue teaching. Their perspectives are totally different, but they share the same feelings. They love each other, so they shouldn’t give up and search for the solution together. Fumiya replies that Mai looks better when she’s smiling, with Ryuusei nodding in agreement. Fumiya then tells Mai to do her best, since he believes that she’s doing the right thing. He asks her to come to him if anything happens, though Ryuusei thinks he should stop being THAT overprotective of her LOL
Fumiya says it’s impossible though. He thinks Ryuusei would understand too if he saw Mai when she was small, since she’s always been an angel. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ She was (and still is) cute and lovely, so much that Fumiya wants to take her as his little sister. Ryuusei says he can understand though, because he also finds Tomu cute—even until now. Of course Fumiya protests since Ryuusei is comparing Mai to a man, and he believes there’s an incredibly large gap between them. Ryuusei doesn’t think so though, since Tomu is just as cute as Mai in his eyes. ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ When they start arguing again, Mai can’t help but laugh as she watches over them.
I agree with Ryuusei though. TOMU IS SO CUTE. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:*
After work, Rui returns to LADY MAGIC’s staff room and calls Mai. Yesterday he had to work immediately after school, so he couldn’t talk to her. It’s currently early morning, but he doesn’t care—he wants to hear her voice. Rui is actually aware that he’ll end up losing Mai at this rate, but he can’t stop himself. He can’t suppress his own feelings. He wants her to be his alone, and he doesn’t want to hand her to anyone. Soon after, Rui hears Mai picking up the call. She sounds a little sleepy, but he only asks her to talk to him since they didn’t get to do so yesterday. However, Rui is taken aback when Mai greets him good morning. From her voice, he can tell that she’s smiling. She then asks if he just finished working in LADY MAGIC, and she wonders if he’ll be alright. They only have 4 more hours before school starts, so she offers to call him if he finds it hard to wake up in time.
A long silence flows between them. Mai eventually calls Rui’s name, and he quickly assures her that he’s fine. Even if he only gets to sleep for a very short time, one ring from the alarm is always enough to wake him up. Rui finds Mai’s reaction strange though. Ever since Rui started his forceful approach, Mai always looks either terrified or confused… but today, she treats him like she used to. It sounds like she’s accepting him, though he believes it’s plain impossible. He never listens to how she feels, and he’s just shoving all of his feelings and desire onto her. He doesn’t think she’d ever accept his feelings. When Mai calls him name again, Rui replies that he wants to see her. He wants to push his lips against hers and kiss her deeply. Mai is obviously surprised to hear this, but Rui continues saying that he loves her—asking her what he should do to make her his. He actually wanted to tease her with sweet nothings, but he couldn’t do it. In the end, he keeps doing this because no matter how madly in love he is… he doesn’t think she’ll ever be his.
Mai answers by saying that she wants to talk, so she asks Rui to spare some of his time for her. He tells her to just say it now, thinking that she only wants to say that he’s troubling her. He can’t stop himself even if she says that, but she quickly replies that’s not what she wants to say. It’s very important, so she wants to look him in the eyes as they talk. Upon hearing this, Rui wonders if the end has come. The only thing that can stop him is probably Mai’s rejection, and maybe the time has come for her to kill his love—a love that closely resembles madness. Rui agrees saying he’ll see her at school, and Mai replies that she’ll be waiting for him. Even after the call ends, Rui is still staring at his phone until Rio comes and snatches it away from his hands.
When Rui looks up, Rio asks why he’s spacing out. Their shift ends in the morning today, but Rio doesn’t think he’s tired. Rui has a LOT of stamina despite his age, and he’ll do just fine even with only 3 hours of sleep. That being said, Rio points out that Rui has been acting strange recently. Even though he interacts with his guests as usual, he doesn’t put his heart into it. Rio then walks past Rui and sits on the sofa as he adds that at this rate, the guests will eventually notice that Seiya doesn’t love them. He’ll have to fix this before anyone finds out. Of course there are times when people aren’t doing well at work, but Rio finds it unusual for Rui to fall into this state. Rio has never seen Rui in a bad condition ever since he joined LADY MAGIC, so this surprises him.
However, Rui weakly mutters that he’s doing terrible even as a host. At this rate, he’ll lose both of his jobs and Mai. He’ll lose everything. Upon seeing Rui’s reaction, Rio asks if he finally realized how terrible he is. When Rui asks how much he knows about this issue, Rio answers that he knows basically everything—he was asked by Kyouga to watch Rui in LADY MAGIC. Rui doesn’t feel anything about this though. He sighs before sitting in front of Rio, and he replies that Rio can say whatever he wants. After all, he’s aware that he’s indeed a terrible man. Rio says Rui should do something about it then. If he’s truly serious about Mai, then Rui will have to fix his way of approaching her. Rio personally doesn’t think it’s bad, but Mai doesn’t have any experience with men yet. Rui’s attacks are way too intense for her, and she might end up hating him instead. Rui says he doesn’t mind though, since that’d make things easier. He knows what Rio says is true. If he keeps ignoring her feelings, Mai will eventually hate him and refuse to see him again… but even though he knows that it’s wrong, he can’t stop himself.
Rui admits that he always thought he likes Mai in a platonic way. He also tried to stop his feelings from growing past that stage, but when he saw her choosing a man of the same age… he completely lost his reason. He doesn’t care about common sense and work anymore. He only wants is to make her his, and he’ll do anything in order to get her. Rui then asks if Rio thinks he’s mad, and Rio only shrugs… but as he said earlier, he doesn’t think it’s a bad thing. While Rui has that dangerous side inside of him, Rio knows that he’s actually a very pure person as well. However, if Rui is really aware of his own madness, Rio says leaving Mai for her own sake is also a form of love. These words flow right into Rui’s heart, and he falls silent as he ponders about this.
At the same time, Rio stands up and chuckles. He’s going to take Taiga out for a meal, so Rui can think as much as he wants. In return, Rio will get him to watch “Candy ☆ Nyan Nyan!” next time. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Of course Rui has absolutely no intentions of doing that, but he does feel grateful to Rio LOL. While his heart has been rampaging for the past few months, he feels strangely calm right now. Most likely because Rio’s words has brought him to the path that he needs to take. Even though he does love Mai and wants her to be his, Rui knows he shouldn’t ignore how she feels and shoves all of his emotions onto her. She gave him unconditional kindness, both when he’s being a teacher and a host. This brings him to the realization that he wants to protect that kind heart. He wants to protect her from himself, who’s been blinded by love and is on the verge of madness.
Just then a single tear rolls down Rui’s cheek, and he finds himself unbelievable for crying. He knows his father would be angry to see him, because despite his job as a teacher… he’s making his student sad. As the vivid memories of his father come into his mind, Rui realizes that he’s been ignoring a lot of things to pursue his own desire. He forgot about his father’s will as well as Mai’s heart, but he’ll have to put this to an end. He loves her, and that’s why he has to end everything with his own hands. With that resolution in mind, Rui lifts his head and looks straight forward—hoping to realize the future he has in mind.
• DECEMBER •
The entire school becomes restless in December, mainly because of Christmas, winter break, and entrance exams. Most of the students in Mai’s class are going to their school’s university, but those who are taking entrance exams to other universities are having a hard time everyday. Everyone wants to go out and play together once it’s over, and Miki asks if Mai can help with the planning. Of course Mai gladly agrees, and Miki sets the plan for around March. She soon notices that Mori hasn’t come to school, even though he’s only useful for these things and nothing else LOL. Mai wonders if he’s running late, but Miki says she saw him at the sports ground earlier—playing soccer with their juniors.
Just then Mori rushes into the classroom, sighing in relief upon seeing that Rui hasn’t come for homeroom yet. When Mai laughs and points out that his nose is red, Mori says it was really hot when he was playing soccer… but he started to feel cold on the way back to the classroom. Miki also tells him that he’ll catch a cold if he’s not careful, and this REALLY surprises him since she’s actually being nice for once. He wonders if she finally notices his charms right before they graduate, but of course it’s not the case. It’s just because she wants to put him in charge of their plan. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ Mori flatly answers that he’ll take a good care of his health, and Mai is happily listening to them when the classroom door swings open.
However, the one who walks in turns out to be Ryuusei instead. Everyone immediately rushes back to their seats the moment he asks them to do so, and Mai wonders if something happened to Rui. Her question is answered when Ryuusei announces that Rui is taking a sick leave, so he’s in charge of their homeroom as the substitute for today. Upon hearing this, Mai’s classmates begin whispering to each other—wondering if Rui is alright. Mori is worried because a cold is spreading around recently, and Mai is hoping for him to recover soon. Sadly, she doesn’t know how to tell him that she’s worried.
Feeling uneasy, Mai closes her eyes. Last month, she told Rui that she wants to talk. She was planning to confess to him and discuss about what they should do from there, but then he started avoiding her. When she approached him the next day, he apologized saying he was busy helping the students who are taking entrance exams. He won’t have any free time for a while, so he asked her to save it until later. At first Mai didn’t mind and was planning to wait until Rui is free, but he stopped talking to her ever since. He’d only give her a standard greeting if she runs into him in the hallway, and he’d avert his gaze if their eyes meet in class. Even if she tries talking to him, he’d only leave soon after. It didn’t take long for her to realize that he’s avoiding her, just like what she did to him before. At the same time, she feels terrible for doing such a thing… so she decided to believe in him and wait until he’s ready to talk.
Unfortunately, Rui still won’t talk to Mai even in December. She’s afraid that everything might fall apart if she only keeps waiting for him, and she’s been feeling uneasy ever since. She keeps thinking about this up to the point where she doesn’t get enough sleep, because she really wants to talk to him. She wants to see his gentle smile. Mai eventually decides that when Rui comes back to school, she’ll gather up her courage and ask him to talk to her again. Otherwise, she feels that everything will only come to an end. It feels like Rui is going to a faraway place, and the thought drives her to the verge of tears. Mai bites her lips to keep her heart from crumbling apart, completely unaware that both Mori and Miki are watching over her with a worried expression.
The next day, Miki and Mori find Rui in the hallway after school. He tries to escape when Miki asks if they can talk, but Mori quickly blocks his path. They know he might be busy, but it won’t take long. Before Rui can say anything, Miki walks up to him and directly asks why he’s avoiding Mai. He denies it though, and he says it’s simply because he doesn’t have time. When Mori points out that they can always talk via mail or phone, Rui replies that he does feel bad for Mai… but he doesn’t have time to do that much. Mori can’t accept this and snaps out that Rui should make some time for Mai if he really feels bad, but Miki asks him to calm down. If he keeps blaming Rui like that, they’ll never get anywhere. Mori quietly apologizes to Rui after that. Miki can’t believe how emotional he is when it comes to Mai, though she has to admit that it’s just the same for her.
Miki sighs before saying they have no idea about what happened between Mai and Rui. She doesn’t tell them anything and they won’t force her either, so they’re left wondering if she had a fight with him. What bothers them is that Mai was avoiding Rui before, and yet he’s now doing exactly the same thing to her. Mai has finally decided to talk to him, but nothing will be solved if Rui keeps running away from her. Rui quietly waits until Miki is done talking, and she notices that he has a calm, gentle expression as he listens to her. Rui then smiles saying he can see that Miki and Mori care a lot about Mai, and he’s happy to have them as his students. He also apologizes for making them worry, but the situation really doesn’t allow him to talk to her. He has a lot of things to do, and he really doesn’t have time. Miki doesn’t want Rui to use it as an excuse to run away from Mai though, so she asks if it’s really more important than listening to what Mai has to say. However, Rui answers that he’s doing all of this for Mai’s sake. He smiles and leaves right after that, with Miki watching his back in silence.
Mori, on the other hand, isn’t satisfied at all. Rui only gave them vague answers, and he asks if it’s alright to let him get away. Miki nods saying this is just her feeling, but the reason why Rui won’t listen to Mai is probably not because they had a fight. Mori asks if that means Rui is really busy, and Miki decides to just leave it at that. For now they should observe for a bit longer, but if things don’t change and Mai seems to be suffering… they’ll have to do something. Of course Mori is always happy to help Mai, and Miki laughs saying she’ll support his one-sided love. For Miki, Mori is actually her first male close friend. They only met in high school, but she likes him as much as she likes Mai. She wants to keep her friendship with him even in the future. Not that she’d ever tell him though. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.*
Miki then asks when he’s going to confess to Mai, and Mori says he’s always looking for a good timing… but sadly he’s just not ready for it. If she rejects him and their friendship breaks apart, he won’t be able to go on. Miki thinks it’s really stupid though, since it seems like Mori needs to train his heart first. Otherwise he’ll never be able to confess LOL. When Mori sadly asks for a way to train his heart, Miki only gives him an encouraging pat to the back and wonders if Mai is okay. Maybe she should call her later…? Mai is her precious friend, so she wants Mai to always be happy. It hurts her to see Mai sad because Rui is avoiding her. As they walk through the hallway, Miki asks Mori to send a mail that can cheer Mai up later.
In the end, days passed with Rui not giving Mai any chance to talk. She got to talk to him once, but they were interrupted by a classmate who’s taking an entrance exam. That’s why she decided to wait until the entrance exam period passes by, and Christmas is coming before she knew it. Maybe it’s due to the stress, but her classmates who are busy with exams suggested having a Christmas party together. Everyone else agreed, so Mai, Miki and Mori take care of the preparations. Following Miki’s dedication, they’re going to aim for perfection! ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ Thanks to Mai and Mori, they’ve reserved Siesta as the location for their party. Takuto said he’ll work extra hard on making the food and drinks, so Mori is really excited. Miki reminds him to do his role properly though, and he nods saying he’ll collect the money from everyone.
When Mai asks what she has to do, Miki tells her to invite Rui to their Christmas party. Mai is surprised to hear this, but Miki smiles and points out that she can use it as a reason to chase Rui around—even if he’s running away from her. Rui is their homeroom teacher, so they have to catch and invite him to their party. Mori and Miki believe Mai is up for the task, so they ask if she wants to give it a try. Realizing that they’re doing this to support her, she decides to take the chance. Mai gets up saying she’ll go talk to Rui, and she runs out of the classroom with Mori and Miki sending her off. They’ll take care of the preparations, so she can focus on inviting—or rather, talking to—him.
On the way to the staff room, Mai runs into Fumiya and Ryuusei in the hallway. She quickly stops herself thinking Ryuusei is going to scold her, but he doesn’t even notice until she apologizes for running around. Both of them have a dark expression, and Fumiya looks rather hesitant as he greets her. When Mai asks if something happened to Rui, they exchange looks before turning back to her. Ryuusei asks Mai to remain calm, but she gets terribly shocked when Fumiya reveals that Rui has submitted a resignation letter today. For a moment, Mai’s vision turns dark. She doesn’t understand why he’s quitting, and Fumiya looks really annoyed. He thinks Rui is a big fool. He doesn’t like the way Rui treats Mai, and he’s still irked about that even until now… but this decision annoys him even more. Rui is trying to leave everything, including Mai and his wish to continue teaching.
On the other hand, Ryuusei thinks Rui is doing this because his love for Mai is too pure. The reason why he’s been really busy is because he’s been preparing for his retirement in the background, so the students in her class can take their entrance exams without feeling shocked. He even asked the head teacher and the other staff for help, so there won’t be any problems even if he leaves. Fumiya thinks Rui is only afraid of facing Mai properly though, and so he’s using the retirement to run away. If he loves her, he shouldn’t choose the option of letting her go. Fumiya scowls and throws his glance out the window, but Mai can see that he’s actually worried about Rui. She’s still confused about why he’s throwing everything away, until Ryuusei points out that it’s because he doesn’t want to torment her any further. If they leave him be, he’ll probably end up leaving the town and disappearing from their lives.
Mai is shocked. She hasn’t told Rui anything yet, so she doesn’t want to say goodbye like this. Just as she turns around to leave, Fumiya tells Mai that if she’s going to see Rui… she has to be ready. Her resolve has to be as strong as his when he decided to quit teaching. Fumiya asks if Mai is still going after hearing this, and this reminds her of their position. A relationship between a teacher and a student is unacceptable. He failed to kill his feelings and made advances on her, but in the end he decided to leave. However, Mai has made up her mind too. She loves Rui, and she doesn’t want to be apart from him. She smiles as she turns to see Fumiya and Ryuusei, then she nods saying she’ll be going. Fumiya sighs as he sends her off, asking her to drag “that fool” back before he runs away. From Ryuusei, Mai also learns that Rui has gone back to his apartment… and he’s wishing for them to find a good answer together. When Fumiya points out that he was against their relationship before, Ryuusei blushes saying he’s saying this as Rui’s friend—not as a teacher LOL. They’ll do something about the resignation, so Mai can go and see Rui without worries.
From there, Mai leaves the school and safely reaches Rui’s apartment. When she presses the doorbell, she hears him answering from inside… but he doesn’t open the door for her. She says she came to talk to him, but he replies that he has nothing to talk about. Instead, he tells her to leave since she’s being a nuisance. Mai refuses to leave though, and she says she’ll keep waiting until Rui opens the door. Even if night falls and the day changes, she won’t leave until she can see and talk to him. Rui simply answers that Mai can do whatever she wants, and then she hears his footsteps walking away from the door. Following what he said, she really sits down and puts her back against the door. When the sky turns darker, she’s starting to feel cold since she left her belongings in the classroom—she’s not wearing her muffler. That doesn’t mean she’s going to give up though, because she has to apologize for her actions and confess to him. As snow starts falling from the sky, Mai looks up and thinks about how she wants to see Rui—hugging her knees as she shivers from the cold.
Meanwhile, Rui can’t concentrate at all. He puts his book away and lies down, ignoring the sound of his kettle crying in the kitchen. It’s been 3 hours, so Mai probably has given up and left. She probably heard about his resignation from Fumiya and Ryuusei, but he doesn’t want to talk to her. After all, he’s trying to leave so he can let her go. He can still act like a teacher at school, but if he’s alone with her, he knows he will yearn for her. He’ll only make forceful advances on her again, and that’s why he doesn’t want to see her. However, Rui soon hears Mai sneezing outside. He immediately opens his eyes in disbelief and rushes to open the door, only to find out that it’s blocked by something—her back. When Rui asks if she’s there, Mai apologizes and moves away from the door… though she sneezes again while doing so.
Outside, Mai stands up and brushes the dirt off her skirt. She’s slightly shivering, but she looks so happy to see Rui. When he asks if she was waiting there for the last 3 hours, she apologizes saying she knows he might find her as a nuisance… but she really wants to talk to him. Feeling irritated by her straightforward approach, Rui glares at Mai saying he already told her to leave. She flinches in fear, but doesn’t show any signs of backing down. Instead, she insists that she has something to tell him. She wants to know why he quit teaching, and she asks if it’s her fault. Sadly, Rui doesn’t want to say the truth either. He denies it and tells Mai not to be so self-conceited, and that he hates kids for getting all serious. To reject her even more, he says he was only playing with her. Now he’s gotten bored of her, and he tells her to get lost since he’s not interested in kids. Of course none of this is true, since Rui only wants Mai to forget him. He then walks back inside and closes the door, hoping for her to leave quickly.
However, Mai walks up to the door and puts her forehead against it. Her voice trembles as she asks if he’s saying the truth, and if his love for her was only a lie. Before she knew it, tears are welling up in her eyes. She repeats her question and asks if he kissed her just to tease her, while he actually didn’t felt anything towards her. There’s only silence beyond the door. Maybe Rui has left and went inside, but Mai continues that she can’t lie to her heart—even if his love for her was only a lie. She loves him, and she doesn’t care what people say about her. The time she spent with both sides of him is very important to her, though she wishes that she could realize it sooner. If she did, he wouldn’t have to quit teaching. What should she do to get him to listen?
Just then the doorknob turns open, and Rui pulls Mai inside. He has a stern expression as he pushes her against the door, and then he starts kissing her. The kiss is rough and violent, and she never experienced something like that before. It’s passionate, as if his feelings are stripped naked and clashing onto her. He mutters that it’s impossible for him to hold back, and that he can’t give up on her. He seals her lips before she can say anything, and a long time passes before he eventually lets her go. Mai nearly slides down to the floor, but Rui holds her tight. Only the sound of their rough breathing can be heard in the room for a while. By the time they’ve calmed down, he finally talks to her.
Rui admits that he wanted to protect Mai from himself. If he quits teaching and moves away from her, he will be able to keep her safe from his own madness. He loves her and he wants her, up to the point where he’s willing to throw away his dream and his father’s will. At the same time, Rui is aware that he probably loves Mai the wrong way. He feels relieved by restraining her with his obsession and desire to monopolize, which makes him feel pathetic. Even though he said that he’s leaving for her sake, he actually only wants to run away from himself. He’s afraid that he won’t be able to love her normally. Before Rui can continue, Mai clings to him and asks him not to blame himself so much. It’d be a lie if she says she wasn’t scared at all, but all he did was confessing his love for her. She apologizes for taking so long to give him an answer, but she love him too. She was too afraid to realize it, knowing that a student like her shouldn’t fall in love with a teacher… but the thought of losing him is more terrifying for her.
Mai then confesses that she wants Rui too, and she doesn’t want to be apart from him. When she lifts her head and asks him to stay by her side, he hugs her again and says he understands. He won’t go anywhere and no matter what happens, he’ll always stay with her. He loves her more than anything, and he’ll never let her go again. They share another kiss after that, but unlike their rough kiss from earlier… this one feels gentle and sweet. She feels like both her body and mind are melting away. However, Rui’s smile suddenly turns mischievous as he pushes Mai down. ﾟ+.(*ﾉωヾ*)ｬﾝ♪+ﾟ When she tries to protest, he only tells her to stop shouting into his ears. She wants him to explain the meaning of this, and he asks if she’s asking that question as a joke… because it should be pretty clear LOL. Mai replies that she’s not joking though, so Rui answers that they’re going to do it. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Upon realizing where this is going, Mai panics and asks if Rui isn’t going too fast. She believes they have to follow the steps of confessing, holding hands, and also kissing before reaching that stage. This reminds him that she has never dated anyone before, and he sighs saying this is so troublesome… but not that he hates it. The thought that he’ll be her first in everything is irresistible to him. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ As Rui licks his lips, Mai can feel her heartbeat going completely out of control. Knowing that she can’t escape from him, she desperately thinks of an excuse to get away from this situation. First, Mai reminds Rui that he’s a teacher and shouldn’t do something like this. He replies that he has quit though. Even if he gets employed again, he’s currently not tied to a teacher’s responsibilities. They won’t have any problem even if he pushes her down and make her his. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
Mai takes another attempt by saying that if they go further than a kiss, Rui might end up having a ラブラブ aura around him. She says it might get in the way when he’s serving his guests as Seiya, but he says he’ll quit working as a host if she wants him to—because she’s the only woman he loves. He already saved up quite a lot anyway, so quitting wouldn’t be a problem. Of course Mai actually feels happy, because Rui’s actions prove that he really does love her. It’s just that she’s not ready to go there yet, especially because they only confessed to each other a moment ago. It’s way too sudden LOL.
Rui is such a carnivore. When Mai tries to pull her arms away, Rui quietly puts on his “gentle teacher” mask. He puts on a sad expression and looks up at her, asking if she doesn’t want to be loved by him. He’s worried because she’s still in high school, and unwanted bugs like Mori might be lurking around her. That’s why he wants to have a deeper bond with her, so she won’t leave him. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.*
Rui smiles as he asks Mai to accept his love, but she protests that he’s not playing fair. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ He only answers that he’ll do anything to make her his, even if it might not be fair. It’s all because he loves her. Rui looks so happy as he says that, and Mai feels that her escape route has been completely blocked. He’s probably not doing it based on calculations either, since she can feel his love through his expression and voice. In fact, she can’t believe that he can be so cute. (*´艸`*)ｧﾊ♪ As Rui leans in to lick her neck, Mai panics and asks him to start from a platonic relationship. She reminds him that she’s a beginner, and she begs him to go easy on her. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ Rui bursts into laughter upon hearing this. He can’t believe Mai asked him to start from a platonic stage, considering the situation they’re in. She pouts and says he’s her very first love, and he chuckles saying that makes him happy. Rui eventually agrees to adjust himself to Mai’s level, and he keeps laughing as he pulls away from her.
After helping Mai to get up, Rui asks what they’re going to do now. She says she’ll make dinner for him first, and they should see Fumiya and Ryuusei after that—to discuss about how to let him stay at school. When Mai asks if he wants to continue teaching, Rui admits that he does… but he doesn’t need it if that means he has to lose her in return. However, she wants him to continue because she really loves him as a teacher. Besides, her class is going to have a Christmas party soon. She knows he wants to join in, so he needs to stay as their homeroom teacher. Rui asks if Mai is really okay with that, because it means they’ll have to keep their relationship hidden until she graduates. She says she doesn’t mind at all. She’s going to graduate in spring anyway, and she can see him at school until then—which makes her happy.
Rui gasps the moment he hears this, then he looks away. He’s turning red though, and Mai realizes that he’s embarrassed. When she moves closer to see his face, he puts his hand on her forehead and tells her not to look. He can’t believe he’s completely fallen in love with a kid like her. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ Rui agrees to see Fumiya and Ryuusei though. He doesn’t know if he can withdraw his resignation, but if he can continue working… they’ll keep their relationship hidden until spring. When Mai happily nods, he smiles and hugs her—thanking her for allowing him to carry out his father’s will. Once again she asks him to always stay with her, and he promises that he’ll always be at her side. They smile at each other before drawing in for another kiss, as if sealing their vow to never be apart from each other anymore.
When they meet up with Fumiya and Ryuusei in Siesta, Fumiya floods Rui with all sorts of insults LOL. Rui grins saying he should admit it if he’s jealous, and Fumiya answers that he IS jealous. He doesn’t get why Mai, his beloved angel, would fall for someone like Rui. Out of frustration, Fumiya slams his highball cup onto the table. Upon seeing this, Takuto instantly comes over to complain about the crude treatment. If it breaks, he’ll get Fumiya to pay for it. Fumiya doesn’t care though, and he asks if Takuto understands how he feels. He did support Mai’s relationship with Rui, but it was just because he wants her to be happy. Mai says she does feel happy though, because she can stay with Rui thanks to them. Fumiya only sighs saying she’s way too good for Rui, but Ryuusei tells them to just ignore Fumiya. Or else they won’t get anywhere. Before returning to the counter, Takuto congratulates Mai for getting her first boyfriend. They have a long way ahead of them, and he tells her to do her best.
That aside, Rui says he wants to withdraw his resignation and asks if they’re willing to help. When Ryuusei asks if that means he’s giving up on Mai, Rui says he won’t do something like that. It’s just that Mai made him realize that in the end, he can’t throw away his job as a teacher. Fumiya asks if he’s going to keep his relationship with Mai hidden, and Rui nods saying it’s only until her graduation. They only have 3 months left, so they’ll keep it a secret until then. Ryuusei thinks that makes him a failure as a teacher though, and Rui agrees… but that’s how he is. He can’t let go of Mai and his job, so he decides to obtain both. He tried acting cool and nearly lost everything, so he doesn’t mind even if people think of him as greedy. He doesn’t want to cause anymore problems though, so he won’t reveal his true nature at school. He’ll keep acting as a plain, lame teacher.
Fumiya and Ryuusei exchange looks for a while, and then they smile—knowing that Rui has returned to normal. Fumiya says Rui is a really troublesome person for making them worry, not to mention he ended up making this decision after all that trouble. Rui scowls as he apologizes to them, while Ryuusei jokingly notes that he has regained his ability to give a sincere apology LOL. Fumiya seems amused, and he turns to see Mai as he wonders if they should forgive Rui. When she nods, he smiles and takes out a crumpled envelope from his pocket… which Rui recognizes as his resignation letter. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Ryuusei says they asked the head teacher to give the letter back back, explaining that Rui was only temporarily confused. It seems like the head teacher also noticed that he’s been acting strange, so they got it back easily since the letter hasn’t reached the school management yet.
As Mai happily thanks them for helping, Ryuusei lightly taps Rui’s shoulder—asking him to work hard for the students from now on. Fumiya also decides to stop holding onto his bitter grudge, and he asks Rui to take care of Mai. Rui sincerely thanks both of them, while Mai thinks about how nice it is to have friends. Mori and Miki were always supporting her, so she’s going to tell them everything later.
• GOOD END 1: To Walk the Same Path in Life— •
One month after Rui returned to school, his hidden relationship with Mai is going smoothly. Fumiya and Ryuusei are helping to keep their secret safe, and they’re also being very careful. While at school, they’re keeping a distance away from each other. That being said, Mai actually feels sad about being apart from Rui. She ended up making a move on him in the library before, though she knows that she shouldn’t have done that. Rui said he doesn’t have much endurance, but Mai doesn’t think she’s any different LOL. They only have 2 months left, but she has to remind herself not to give in. Starting from January, attendance is not required for third year students who have secured their future career. Mai has been coming everyday to do some “self-study for university”, but her real objective to see Rui.
Today, Mai is waiting for Rui in her classroom after school. Their excuse is that he finds her studying there by “coincidence”, so he decides to help her study. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ Mori and Miki wished her luck before leaving, and she’s really glad that she told them everything. During winter break, Mai invited Mori and Miki to her house—where she told them that she’s now dating Rui. Miki instantly understood why they were avoiding each other for so long, while Mori fell onto the floor and cried. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ He was incredibly happy when Mai brought them into her room, so Mai wondered if he wasn’t feeling well… but Miki asked her to leave him alone. He was just lost after seeing heaven and dropping to hell in an instant LOL.
Miki wondered if Mai is alright since dating a teacher is hard in a lot of ways, but Mai assured Miki that she’s fine. She loves Rui as a teacher, and he’s going to quit working in LADY MAGIC after she graduates. Rui doesn’t want to flirt with women other than Mai, so he asked the owner to let him quit. They would be troubled if he quits right away though, so he’s going to train his juniors until her graduation comes… and then he can leave. It seems like Rio teased him a LOT though. (ｏ´艸`ｏ)ｧﾊ♪ Mori didn’t think Rui can hold back until then, especially because they saw how he chased after Mai before. However, Mai had to admit that it actually makes her happy. If Rui chased after her because he can’t hold back, she feels really loved by him. This shocked Mori so much he fell back onto the floor, with Miki promising that she’ll ask Kazuki, her boyfriend, to introduce him to some nice ladies next time. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ They can tell that Mai really loves Rui though, so they gave her their full support. Miki also praised Mori for supporting Mai despite the heartbreak, which she finds really cool. Not as cool as Kazuki though. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.*
Back in the present, Rui comes into the classroom and finds Mai inside. She asks if he can help her study, and he gladly takes the seat in front of her—just as they planned. Rui is completely in his “teacher mode” though, so he really helps Mai solving the questions in her textbook. While they’ve agreed not to interact more than necessary at school, Mai soon finds herself wishing that Rui would touch her a little. She tries to brush the thought away, but when he asks why he’s spacing out… she honestly admits that she wants to touch him. (*ﾉ∀ﾉ)ｲﾔﾝ Rui instantly turns red, but Mai takes this further by leaning in and kisses him on the lips. Needless to say he’s really surprised, and then he pulls back so quickly that he falls off his chair. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ When Mai apologizes and asks if he’s alright, Rui sighs saying this probably won’t sound right since he finds it hard to hold back… but he already told her repeatedly that they shouldn’t do something like this at school.
This causes Mai to feel bad, and she apologizes again. It’s just that when she was watching Rui, she got a very strong urge to kiss him LOL. Rui blushes saying Mai really puts him in trouble, but then he smiles and asks her to come over. When she moves closer to him, he pulls her in and lightly kisses her on the lips. He’s glad that he fell off the chair, because no one will be able to see them in this position. (*･ω･*)ﾎﾟｯ They’re hidden behind the desks, and there’s no one around them anyway. They can only hear the distant voices of students who are having club activities. As a man, Rui just can’t keep quiet after Mai took the initiative to kiss him. Besides, he’s totally not satisfied with this level of skinship. Rui then pulls Mai closer and gives her a rather passionate kiss, but he stops not too long after that—saying that’s all for a bad student who doesn’t study properly.
When Mai pouts and says he’s being mean, Rui lightly kisses her forehead and asks her not to sulk. They have to hold back for now, but it’s only until her graduation. Once she graduates in spring, he’ll be able to kiss her wherever he wants. He’s looking forward to it, so he doesn’t mind holding back until then. Mai says that’s unfair though. In most cases it’s Rui who doesn’t hold back, but when it’s her turn… he’d tease her like this. She says it’s not fair that she’s the only one who has to hold back, and she gives him another pout before turning her back on him. She’s not actually angry though. She only wants to get back at him, but this throws him into a panic. He admits that he does find it hard to hold back despite asking her to do so, and he feels bad about what he just said. When he asks her to forgive him, she wonders if she should pick on him for a little longer. He’s being meek at school, but things will be completely different once they return to his mansion. She knows he’ll only pick on her if she gets carried away though, so she decides to stop LOL.
The moment Mai turns around, Rui wraps his hands around her waist and hugs her. He whispers that he’s been thinking about a certain issue, and he asks her to live with him after she graduates. He’s still living in his apartment right now, but he’s planning to buy the mansion from LADY MAGIC’s owner. They can live there together, and when the time comes… he wants to take her as his wife. ♪ﾟ+.ｏ(*萌´д`从´д`萌*)ｏ.+ﾟ♪ Mai turns red as she asks if this is a proposal, and Rui nods saying he can’t love anyone but her. She also feels the same way about him, so it’s only natural for them to marry. When Rui asks for her answer, Mai’s heart is filled with happiness. She hugs him saying her answer is definitely a “yes”, because she wants to always be with him.
Rui smiles upon hearing Mai’s answer. He promises to make her happy, and he gently hugs her before pulling her in for a kiss. When the season comes for cherry blossoms to bloom, the two of them are going to walk forward together—sharing the same life filled with happiness.
• GOOD END 2: As Long as You’re Here •
At midnight, Mai welcomes Rui home. He’s always tired because of work, and she wants to do something for him. After discussing it with her parents, she received the permission to spend the night at his mansion and take care of him. Mai takes Rui’s suit jacket and tie when he takes them off, and then she follows him to the living room. When she asks if he wants to eat dinner or take a bath first, he says he’ll save both for later—he’s exhausted. As Rui throws himself onto the sofa, Mai sits beside him and asks if he was busy in LADY MAGIC. He says that’s an understatement, because it feels like they’re working him to death. Since they managed to withdraw his resignation, now he only has to quit being a host for her sake… but so far he can’t leave LADY MAGIC yet. It’s pissing him off, especially because he doesn’t think a host would sell if he’s in a serious relationship.
Mai reminds Rui that the owner, Rio, Miyabi, Taiga and the other staff all cried and begged him not to leave though, which is why he couldn’t quit so easily LOL. When Rui reported that he wants to quit, Rio said it’s great that things worked out for Mai and him… but he doesn’t have to quit right away. Knowing that Rui wants to marry Mai in the future, Rio suggested working and saving more money first. That way, he’ll be able to throw a gorgeous wedding ceremony. ✿*,(*´◕ω◕`*)+✿.* Even if Rui can’t love his guests, Rio said it won’t be a problem. In fact, it’s a new kind of charm! …or not. After a while, Rio admitted that he needs Rui because no one else can make account books for LADY MAGIC. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Thanks to Rui’s love for saving money, LADY MAGIC can survive the business recession without having to cut down the number of their staff. If he quits, a lot of young hosts would lose their jobs.
Taiga begged Rui not to do that, saying he still wants to work in LADY MAGIC. Miyabi also asked him to stay, because he still wants to serve and learn more techniques from the number two host. Even Tetsuya asked him to reconsider, since the kitchen will suffer without his cost accounting. In the end, they begged him not to quit and the owner stopped him from leaving. Also, his guests are annoying him to no end. He clearly told them that he has a girlfriend, so he won’t be able to love them. However, they said they don’t need him to pamper or serve them. In fact, they want him to be cold and go full-blown do-S on them—it fires them up even more! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Since Rui refused to change his mind, they decided to use the last resort by asking for Kyouga’s help.
From there, Kyouga pretty much threatened Rui to stay in LADY MAGIC if he doesn’t want to break up with Mai. Kyouga has known Mai’s parents for a long time. He has their trust, and they surely won’t keep quiet if he told them about Rui’s host days. Kamizono Shrine actually has quite a lot of followers who like Seiya, so Kyouga doesn’t want to let go of Rui yet. In conclusion, he blackmailed Rui for the sake of profit. If Rui wants to marry Mai in the future, he has to keep working. ヾ(✿❛◡❛ฺฺ)ノ～❤ Mai only found out about this much later, after Rui withdrew his resignation from LADY MAGIC. As the punishment for Kyouga, she baked super spicy cookies and gave it to him as a present LOL. Mai feels bad and apologizes for Kyouga’s actions, but Rui says it’s not her fault. He ended up giving up anyway, even though it really annoys him.
Rui returns to the sofa once he’s done grumbling, and Mai can see passion in his eyes when he turns to her—asking her to come over. As she slowly moves closer, he grabs her arms and pulls her into his arms. At the same time, she gets wrapped by the scent of his perfume. He says he doesn’t need anyone but her, and he plays with her hair before kissing it. Knowing where this is going, Mai points out that Rui’s pants and shirt will get wrinkled if he doesn’t change. He shows absolutely no signs of stopping though. In fact, he says he’ll answer her request by doing things that will put wrinkles on their clothes. ｷｬ━━(*ﾉдﾉ)━━ッ!! By the time Mai realizes that she has pushed Rui’s do-S switch, it’s already too late. He grins as he pushes her down, saying he has to give a reward for his cute girlfriend—since she waited for him to come home.
Mai refuses and says she doesn’t need any rewards, but Rui only tells her not to hold back. She should let him pamper her. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ He happily hums as he starts unbuttoning her clothes, pinning her hands onto the sofa when she tries to cover her chest. Mai knows she’s in a pinch, but she’s not giving up. She’s been dating Rui for 3 months, and she has learned a certain phrase that will definitely keep him under control: “If you go further than this, I will never ever sleep with you!” ﾟ.+:｡ヾ(o･ω･)ﾉﾟ.+:｡ The moment she says this, he immediately stops, curses, and glares at her… but then he pulls away LOL. She fixes her clothes as she watches him sulk, then she moves closer to him and adds: “…but I don’t mind if it’s after you change your clothes, eat dinner, and take a bath.” 壁|oﾉωﾉ) )))))))･･･ｲﾔｰﾝ♪
Rui’s jaw drops open, and he instantly turns back to Mai. He blankly stares at her for a while, but then he smiles and answers: “Understood. Prepare yourself, okay?” ｲﾔﾝ☆(*´∀`)σ)))))*3ﾟ),･´.､ Rui kisses Mai’s cheek before getting up, then he goes to change in the bedroom—leaving her feeling really embarrassed. As she covers her face with both hands, Mai goes to prepare dinner in the kitchen. From now on, she’ll spend her life with Rui like this. They’ll always be together.
• NORMAL END: Warped Love •
Mai reaches Rui’s apartment to find it empty. She goes to LADY MAGIC hoping to find him there, but Rio says he can’t let her see him. Rui said he doesn’t want to see Mai, and after learning about the reason… Rio wants to support him. Rio refuses to reveal anything though, so he only asks Mai to leave and forget Rui. No matter how much Mai tries to call him, Rui won’t come out and won’t take her into LADY MAGIC. Rio apologizes and pats Mai’s head, then he leaves her and goes back into the club.
In the end, Rui quits his job and leaves Mai’s school. A month passed with Mai constantly visiting LADY MAGIC, but she never gets the chance to see him. She also tries asking for Kyouga’s help, but it doesn’t work since the owner respects Rui’s decision. One night, Mai finally sees Rui on her way to LADY MAGIC. He’s dressed up as Seiya and has two women around him, which means he’s probably at work. He might think of her as a nuisance if she talks to him, but she decides to approach him anyway. The moment Mai calls out to him, Rui looks surprised… but then his expression turns cold. He only tells her to get lost, and he ignores her plea to talk. Instead, he openly flirts with his guests and kisses them right in front of her.
Mai refuses to give up though, and she pulls Rui’s sleeve—begging him to talk to her. His guests angrily say that he doesn’t have time to be dealing with a kid like her, and they’re about to pull her hand away from him… but then he stops them. He says he’ll take care of her, so he sends them to go to LADY MAGIC first. They leave after asking him to make it quick, while he takes her to talk in a back alley. Once they’re alone, Rui grins saying he heard about Mai’s visits from Rio. This shocks her because it means he knows that she keeps coming to see him, and yet still refuses to see her. However, it doesn’t change her feelings. Mai then confesses that she loves Rui, and she begs him to return to her side.
Rui keeps smiling as he moves closer to Mai, then he lifts her chin with one hand. He says he doesn’t mind staying with her, but in return… his orders will be absolute to her. If she doesn’t mind staying with him all day and answering his love all the time, he’ll return to her side. He doesn’t need her opinion, and refusing isn’t an option. If he wants it, she’ll have to obey right away. Rui then asks if Mai still wants him even after hearing this, and she’s aware that he’s only offering his one-sided love… but even so, she wants to stay by his side. She doesn’t want to feel the pain of being apart from him anymore. When Mai nods, Rui shows a really sad smile that only lasts for a second. As he slowly caresses her cheek, he whispers that she’s really stupid—considering he has given her a chance to run away.
The next moment, Rui’s expression turns cold again. He tells Mai that starting from today, she belongs to him alone… and he’ll love her until she turns mad. When Rui smiles at her, Mai feels shivers running down her spine because of how cruel he looks. She knows this must be a warped love. It’s different from the one she’s always been dreaming of, but she doesn’t mind. As long as she can get his love, she’ll take anything. When Rui puts his lips against hers, Mai accepts the rough kiss—as if she’s entrusting her body and soul to him.
• BAD END: Teacher’s Secret •
If Mai asks why Rui has her handkerchief, he says it’s because Seiya asked him to give it back to her. He just forgot to do it. She tries asking if Seiya and him are actually the same person, but he denies it saying it’s just impossible. It seems like she misunderstood because of his rough words, but it’s all because Seiya trained him to be that way. There was a time when Rui got bullied a lot, so Seiya got worried and helped him train in order to prevent people from taking his money. Rui then helps Mai to buy all the things that got ruined by the thugs, and he walks her back to Kamizono Shrine. She can feel that he doesn’t want her to ask further, so she can only keep her lips shut.
Ever since that incident, Rui doesn’t interact with Mai as much anymore. They still talk at school, but he’ll immediately leave if she tries to approach him. He’s clearly putting some distance between them, and she has no idea why. At first she tries to figure it out with Mori and Miki’s help, but they can’t find the answer. Rui won’t approach Mai either, and she gradually stops talking to him until her graduation finally comes. What happened between them? Did he have a secret he can’t tell anyone about? He never told her about it, so she never figured it out. In the end, maybe her existence only means that much to him. Mai sighs as she walks out of the school gate for the last time.
What I like the most from Rui’s route is that the age gap doesn’t really matter, because they focused more on the largest obstacle between him and Mai—the relationship between a teacher and a student. There’s a lot of stories out there that take on this theme, but I like how they put a heavy emphasis on the fact that it’s never that easy. For me, that’s much more realistic than jumping straight into your teacher’s arms—as tempting as that may sound LOL. Rui himself isn’t the type that I usually like, but he’s so cute once he falls in love with Mai. ♪ﾟ+.ｏ(*萌´д`从´д`萌*)ｏ.+ﾟ♪ They also did a great job keeping his identity vague until the revelation hits, since I kept wondering whether they’re really twins or the same person.
My only complaint regarding Rui’s route is that I think they dragged on the “avoiding each other” part for a bit too long, as it took 4 months just to solve that issue. Mai’s ideals completely flew out the window as well in the normal end, but I think it’s a good way to show that people aren’t always sane when they’re in love. It compliments Rui’s madness too, so that’s actually a pretty good ending—in a twisted sense. 8D