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Enjou Shuusuke POV

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It has been merely a few minutes after I entered the venue when I lost interest in the party completely.


I stayed at the sidelines with my best friend, who was busily chatting away with the girl he was infatuated with.


Kaburagi Masaya, the direct descendant of the most powerful and influential family in the entirety of Japan. A family who was peerless in every way possible, and had hands in businesses all around the world, and a lineage that was probably only a little less prestigious than that of the royal family of Japan themselves. This guy was my best friend, and he was currently staring doe-eyed at his crush as he happily chatted away with her.


I sighed inwardly.


Its not like I didn't like the girl he was infatuated with (she was just as much his friend as she was mine), but there came a point where I wondered if Masaya knew how painfully obvious it was to everyone else that he was infatuated with her, or if he knew that he was such a troublesome person when it came to his devotion to her.


After all, we had cut the vacation trip our families planned to the Mediterranean a whole week short just to be able to return for her birthday.


If she continues to let him act as he does now, I can only imagine how badly it will affect him when she rejects him later.


Sure, four years did not mean much for adults, but I have seen the way she looks at him. It's the same look I've seen older siblings give to their younger siblings, familial fondness. They may not be related, but the sentiment was the same. She did not see him as a member of the opposite sex, and I doubted that she ever would either. Despite this, Masaya seemed to be oblivious to it (or perhaps, he knew but was ignoring it), and continued to love her wholeheartedly as always.


I sighed, looking away from them both. I heard the music change and turned my attention to the dance floor.


Who is that? I was stunned for a moment when I saw a very cute, and very cheerful girl my age dancing the waltz with one of the older boys.


Those curls... If I remember correctly, we have a classmate with the same curls?


“Hey, Masaya, do you recognize her?” I spoke as I was about to tap him so he would pay attention, but when I glanced at him, he had already been watching her too. He glanced at me from the side as he asked, “What about her?”


“She seems familiar to me. Do you know her?”


“I have no idea.” Masaya began to pout as he watched, murmuring a soft “A dance with Yurie...”



I shook my head and sighed. If you want to dance with Yurie, just dance with her, there is no need to play the bashful maiden, right?


The girl in green giggled as she spun around in the arms of the older boy. When the dance came to an end, she seemed to be in a joyous mood as she glanced around the party hall, a small smile on her face until she ended up glancing in my direction, and her expression immediately turned ugly. I saw her face twitch, eyebrows drawn together and a disdainful grimace taking the place of her smile, then stormed off.


Um, what the hell was that? I raised an eyebrow in confusion as I shared a look with Masaya, who shared a similarly disdainful expression on his face. We seemed to be thinking the same thing.


That girl was definitely scorning us just then, wasn't she?



She had stormed off so quickly that I had already lost her in the crowd. Her dancing partner quickly went after her while shouting what I assume is her name.


"Reika"... Oh, wait, isn't that the name of that girl whose always surrounded by tons of people? Kisshouin... Reika.


I recalled the face and name of my classmate as I brought my drink to my lips. That girl was the incredibly popular one who always had a group of girls at her beck and call, and a handful of my classmates seemed to be infatuated with. Her family was powerful, though less so than Masaya's, but powerful enough that they were considered powerful in their own right.


Though, that expression on her face just then was a big departure from the serene smile I normally saw painted on her face.


Is that good girl image she have a farce?


I couldn't help but wonder as I tried to find her from the crowd. No use, she's completely disappeared.


Still, that expression was strange. I don't recall every talking to her, so there should be no reason for her to show such a disdainful expression when she saw me. Perhaps Masaya had done something? But that couldn't be it either. Masaya hated talking to the girls in school, and was basically intolerant of them. It was the reason why we always ended up staying inside the Petite when classes were not in session.


What's up with her?


---


I had wandered away from Masaya after having to tolerate him gushing over his crush for over ten minutes. My mind had already begun filtering out his words as I absentmindedly nodded along while waiting for an opportunity to get away. My chance came when Yurie, the girl he liked, had asked Masaya about the short trip we had in the Mediterranean.


Using that, I quickly excused myself saying I was going to go get another drink. They both nodded and told me to come back quick, and I promptly left the two to their own devices.


When I got closer to the beverage area, I noticed that Reika was also there, drinking some juice while the oniisan she had danced with was talking to another person. When I looked closely, I noticed there was a rather strong resemblance between the two. We're they siblings? If so, then that should make the oniisan beside her Kisshouin Takateru, the heir to the Kisshouin group. He was a really talented and popular senior, so I've heard Yurie talk about him from time to time. Though any discussion of guys that wasn't himself tended to put Masaya in a bad mood, thus she rarely talked about any guys.


I think she had a crush on him at some point. I wonder...


I looked at Reika, who seemed to be immersed with her thoughts.Then, she suddenly left, and I heard her brother say something like "she has to go to the toilet", which caused her to flush and storm off.


I walked back when I heard Masaya call for me.


That girl... is very strange.


---


When we went back to school, we continued the same as usual. Study during class, then eating in the Petite with Yurie and Aira when we had breaks, and after classes.

Aira, Yurie’s best friend, had taken a liking to a certain underclassman in my batch. That person also happened to be the same girl at the party who danced the waltz in the middle of the dance floor.

When I brought this up, Masaya looked at her, and went, “Ah...from that time.” Are you still jealous? If you wanted to dance with Yurie, you could have. Though I doubt dancing with such a short lead would be comfortable for her. There’s no need to hold such a regret, Masaya.

Reika, who still had not introduced herself to us, immediately threw a dark look at me after Masaya retracted his gaze. Huh? What are you so upset about?

After that, I watched her for a bit longer until we finished the break. I noticed something very odd...

She was always staring at Masaya, but not like how his fans would look at him. Instead, her eyes looked unsure and apprehensive, like she expected something very horrible to happen and he was the trigger. This was all while she kept her cheerful smile in place.

I asked Masaya again if he knew her.

Masaya responded that he doesn’t even know her name.

Why was she looking at him like that, then?


-


Like this, we passed the school year until Yurie and Aira graduated to middle school. Masaya had been so upset about it, but he still went and got Yurie numerous bouquets and so many presents that I had to wonder what he was thinking.

Masaya, we are just congratulating them for graduating to middle school. We are not sending them off to war, so stop looking like you are about to scream at the heavens about unjust treatment.

In the salon, Masaya acts even more reserved than usual. His gloomy aura accentuates his vicious glare, so its keeps all the annoyances away. As his best friend, I couldn’t help but worry for him.

Yurie grows more and more beautiful by the day, and Masaya definitely feels their age gap, and knows that she could end up being taken from him far too easily by a guy the same age as Yurie. Every time I hear a story about a guy attempting to court Yurie, I can see Masaya’s mood plummet while his bloodlust rises. Any guy who approaches Yurie immediately becomes a victim to Masaya’s bloodlust until they run with their tails between their legs.

Unfortunately for Masaya, Yurie probably only thinks of it as her little brother’s jealousy. Truly a tragedy on his part.


-

It’s been a few months since Yurie’s graduation, but Masaya has quickly begun to suffer from withdrawal.

I heard of lovesickness, but Masaya was bordering ridiculous levels of idiocy right now. If he makes a mistake, he could very well earn Yurie’s ire for the rest of the year.


Sigh~ What am I supposed to do about such a troublesome friend?


I waved goodbye as Masaya ran off to the Pivoine Salon to wait for Yurie. Being the son of the Kaburagi family, no one dared to rebuke him or tell him he was not allowed to enter. Seriously, what upbringing did Masaya have to be so confident in himself... or rather, not care about other people. A sovereign’s upbringing? If I had that sort of upbringing, would I be like him?

I walked to my car and looked around while my driver started the engine. From a distance, I could see two students of Suiran walking to a car while chatting merrily with each other.

“Oh, its Reika-san.” I unconsciously murmured. She was cheerfully swinging her bag around as she talked to her older brother. My car pulled out of the driveway as soon as I saw the pair enter their car.


I... seem to be noticing her a lot lately, huh.