Kuro No Maou - Chapter 389
Chapter 389: Blissful Days
’’... I'm back . ’’
I'd walked back home still in a dreamlike daze . Today, really did feel like a dream .
I'd made my first girlfriend, held hands for the first time with said girlfriend, and had my first experience walking home with my first girlfriend . With so many firsts, even the way from school to home that I've trekked for over a year now, just felt new . It's like they say, my whole world had changed .
I'd been trying my very best, really giving it my all, to stay calm and cool, but in doing that, I didn't remember a thing about our conversation on the way .
I was nervous, yes, but I was also on cloud nine in sheer joy . The girl called Shirasaki Yuriko, this unbelievably beautiful girl was in a relationship with me .
Holy, mother of... Every time I think of that fact, I'm in serious danger of breaking out in a wide grin――
’’Mao, You're back . ’’
For a moment, I was confused as to who that was . But I then realized that it was my own name in the next . I got a strange feeling as if, no one's called me that in a very long time .
But let's not sweat the small stuff . I focused my attention to the person in front of me, standing at the entrance as if she'd been awaiting my arrival .
’’Oh, Sis... What's with the uh, luggage?’’
The girl who welcomed me home was Kurono Mana, my elder sister who, despite being a college aged woman, still sported a cute face that suited a little girl with twin-tailed hair . She's family, but I had no choice but to objectively acknowledge her beauty . Actually, she even rivaled Shirasaki-san in that respect―― Wait no, since the latter has the extra correction of being my girlfriend, Shirasaki-san is clearly superior .
Now then, as for what my little Mana onee-chan was doing, she appeared to be dragging a large luggage case behind her, like the stuff you'd use when going on a trip overseas .
’’Yeah, so I'm leaving the house for a while . ’’
She said, curtly with her doll-like expressionless face . No, she wasn't particularly mad or in a bad mood . She always looked like that .
’’Eh, what, are you running away?’’
’’You're half right . ’’
’’Wait, no way!?’’
I was trying to make a joke, but that backfired . My by-the-book sister was certainly not the type to do this sort of thing . Wait, what if she's hit one of those belated rebellious phases I read about?
’’I'll be living with my boyfriend as of today . ’’
She must consider the thing tremendously joyous, or exceedingly dirty, looking at it another way . When she spoke the last line, her eternal pokerface crumbled and she smiled faintly in a deep blush .
Holy shit, was I also making this sort of face a minute ago...? It's honestly embarrassing how similar we are .
’’Wait, there's no way Mom and Dad are gonna allow that . ’’
So that's why she was running away . But then it'd mean she really was running away from home, which doesn't add up with her telling me I was half correct .
’’About that . Both of them are gone you know?’’
’’Dad got posted overseas for a while, and Mom went with . ’’
W-what in tarnation is up with this dating sim protagonist scenario . Literally no way . This is way too out of the blue . There was no foreshadowing or anything about them going away .
’’They left a letter on the coffee table, 'Take care,' it says . ’’
’’Just that!? Seriously, hold up, just think about it, this is way too strange!’’
’’But they've left already . ’’
Meaning, no matter how I try to deny it as unrealistic, this was reality . My sister had no reason to lie . If she really wanted to run away, my sister was intelligent enough to devise a better lie and concoct a much more well thought out plan .
’’Wait, so you mean, I'll be living here alone?’’
’’Relax, I'll come by on occasion . ’’
No, I'm saying I can't relax . You're telling me I'm suddenly gonna have to live alone .
’’Mao, I know you're punctual and your cooking isn't bad either . Don't worry so much . ’’
’’Well, I mean I can handle it...’’
But suddenly dropping it on me is still,
’’Anyway, give me a call if there's any trouble . I left a note with the address to my boyfriend's apartment with Mom and Dad's letter . ’’
She finished, signifying that she had nothing more to impart on her dear younger brother, and rolling along her large, black luggage case, my sister left the house .
’’―― And that's how I'm currently living alone . ’’
’’The actual f*k!? That's legit straight out of an eroge man, holy shit!?’’
The one who yelled in pretty much the same reaction as me was, my classmate and friend, Saika Youta .
It was lunch time after 4 grueling periods of class . It was at that point that I confided in him my terrible situation of, only yesterday, being forcefully left to fend for myself .
I didn't mind the appalled reaction, but keep it down a little .
’’Alright, calm down . And please sit back down too, come on, hey . ’’
Saika had a knack for these over the top reactions .
Oh yeah, this reminds me how he was similarly heated up yesterday about the club manager girl for the soccer team... It somehow feels really nostalgic .
As a matter of fact, I somehow feel like I haven't seen him, this dude who looked normal enough but was a full-blown otaku inside, in a long while too .
I had a weird feeling about all this, but it wasn't bad enough that I wanted to expressly figure out why . Saika took his seat, and I continued the conversation,
’’Still, it's surprising how stuff like this can happen in real life too . ’’
’’Tell me about it, I still can't believe it . ’’
But once I spent the whole night alone yesterday, I had no choice but to admit that this really was happening .
Incidentally, just like Sis claimed before she left, the letter they'd left on the table only had those two words . Literally just, 'Take care,' as if they hadn't a single worry about their son .
Whatever, we're pretty much a laissez-faire household anyway .
’’Geez dude, I can only get so jealous . If you got yourself a girlfriend on top of that, forget being jelly, I'd curse you to hell and back!’’
Goood thing you're a loner eh, Kurono, hahaha, Saika laughed . I froze up .
’’Eh, what's with that reaction? We're supposed to laugh together as fellow losers right?’’
’’No, well, I mean... sorry?’’
I wasn't planning on hiding it from him but, he's making it really hard for me . But I can't really deny it, since the lie was likely to turn awkward fast .
I could just feel another one of Saika's signature overreactions coming on . And I wouldn't blame him for this one .
Living alone + Has girlfriend . What kind of 17 year old high school boy would I be if I didn't expect some spicy happenings?
’’HUH!? Kurono, y-y-you're... no way!’’
He quickly realized the truth from my obviously telling reaction . You know what, f*k it .
’’Actually, I uh, made a girlfriend . Yesterday . ’’
’’No way, no friggin' way!? Who!?’’
’’... Shirasaki-san . ’’
’’Die, just die, yankee face!!’’
He hit where it hurts, and also literally hit my face in his seething . This might sound like I'm making him out to be a bad guy, but seeing my friend actually crying tears of bitterness made me want to think it was fine taking a few slaps to the face .
’’What the hell man, what the hell happened! How did this happen!?’’
’’Yeah, Shirasaki-san, she went and confessed, right――’’
’’DIE! Go to hell, you double-crossing bastard!!’’
’’C-come on, calm down,’’
F*k you, f*k youuu, he wailed in real tears . I tried to settle him down while parrying away his baby punches, but I guess nothing I say would get through to him now .
’’It's over, Kurono, it looks like our friendship ends here...’’
’’Are you actually serious? Come on, don't be like that . ’’
’’No, it's fine, Kurono, let's end this nicely . Once the MC chooses the heroine, the best friend character can take a hike . ’’
’’You have to make everything into eroge, don't you?’’
He's got a point, I've heard some guys stop giving any f*ks about their friends once they get a girlfriend . Though, I'd appreciate it if he didn't see me as so shallow .
’’Let us stop this folly . That is now your reality, and I happen to have no place in it...’’
With grim determination, the man called Saika took his bento in one hand and left his seat . All the while, he looked not at me, but at the door to our classroom .
’’... Ah . Shirasaki-san . ’’
She was there, in all her flaxen haired glory . In her hands, a lunch box of her own .
’’Go, Kurono . Don't keep that cute gf waiting . ’’
Saika offered with a nihilistic smile, tears still crusting his cheeks . He wasn't particularly good looking, but right now, he looked admirable .
’’... Sorry . ’’
’’Don't mention it . Be happy with her . ’’
With that, Saika took his leave, like a lone gunman heading where the wind takes him .
I muttered, ’’Thanks man,’’ as I also made my way to Shirasaki-san .
Now then, if if it turns out that she isn't here to invite me to have lunch with her, I'd have no choice but to die of embarrassment...
’’So um, how is it... Kurono-kun?’’
Please worry not for me . She did it, Shirasaki-san, she really did come over with her handmade bento for me .
’’Y-yeah, It's great . ’’
I would've said the same thing even if this egg sandwich in my hand tasted a tad awful . But fortunately, or rather, as anticipated, every one of the items Shirasaki-san made were delicious . The omelet, the fried chicken, all of them felt like they were freshly made .
The egg sandwich I'm holding for example, it was exquisite to the point of me being bewildered how such a simple item could be made with such finesse . How in the world did she achieve this earth-shattering difference compared to all the egg sandwiches I've tasted in my life so far .
’’I'm so glad you like it . ’’
She smiled, so honestly, so brightly, so beautifully, that I couldn't imagine that this was really happening .
I wasn't as deep in as Saika, but I'd always hoped to have something like this, to have a nice girlfriend, to have lunch together with her on a bench outside . But now that I finally had exactly that, I constantly felt that it was all a very convenient dream .
’’Um, hey . ’’
’’What is it~?’’
I do have some basis as to why I'm finding all this hard to believe .
’’You're asking me why I came to like you?’’
That's exactly it, that's what's making me so worried . Pathetic, I know .
’’Yes, why . Actually, what part of me do you like anyway, I honestly can't tell . ’’
’’Huh, I wonder... I'm not sure myself, at some point, I realized that I love you . ’’
Just when I was thinking she was going to claim love at first sight, she throws me an even weirder curve ball .
I was feeling a little dismayed at that, but without letting it show, I gave her a curt, ’’Right . ’’
’’Mm, but well, I'm really awkward and... I just couldn't bring myself to say it . I tried to be your friend without letting you know, but that, well, ended so... I'm sorry if I made you think I was avoiding you . ’’
Seeing her thin eyebrows arched in such an apologetic expression, I felt dismay in a whole other meaning .
I was still uneasy about her vague way of falling for me, but I could clearly see that she's serious .
Maybe I was making light of her feelings in a deep corner of my heart . Maybe I was thinking that it'd be fine just going out with her for the heck of it .
’’And then, yesterday, I finally worked up the courage . So I asked everyone else from the club to give you and me a bit of time . ’’
’’So you mean, other than me, everyone knew?’’
’’Yeah, I didn't want to tell them, but they...’’
Seems like all third parties could plainly tell how much Shirasaki-san was into me from her mannerisms . And me, being the dumbass I am, thought that she was being scared of me;all this time I've been in the literature club, more than a whole year .
’’O-oh, I see...’’
How damn spineless am I even . And here I always thought, 'Don't be dense, take the hints and go for it!' In the end, everything was already done and over .
’’But now, I'm finally together with you, I'm so glad I did it . I thought that I'd give up if you ended up rejecting me... but I honestly don't think I could . I really liked you that much . ’’
She asserted and held my hand, my heart-rate now skyrocketing .
Every time she speaks words of love, every time we touch, all my doubts, all my worries, all my reservations start to disappear . She's into me, she likes me . It won't be long till I wholeheartedly start believing that .
’’Thank you . You saying that really means a lot to me . ’’
I can't keep being like this . Whether she really likes me or not, how much she likes me, why does she like me . I can't keep wasting time on doubts to convince myself . I have to respond to this sweet girl's feelings without deliberating anymore .
’’Shirasaki-san, I still don't know a lot about you, but I want to fix that . I want to learn all about you . ’’
’’Me too, Kurono-kun, I want to know everything about you too . ’’
Replying with loving words, Shirasaki-san snuggled closer to me . Fingers entangled, arms and shoulders grazing . This salaciously sweet scent keeps enticing me .
I could reveal my deepest secrets to her and her alone .
’’What, about you, Kurono-kun... anyone you liked?’’
’’None . But I'm thinking, maybe I was interested in you . ’’
I'd be a fool to not be, what with how gorgeous a girl like her was always near me . You could say I gave up on her, thinking she was out of my league . Or maybe, if I was a bit closer to her, I could've actually fallen for her .
’’Fufu, you're sweet . ’’
I mean, it wasn't exactly a lie that I was basically into her because of her cuteness, but perhaps she didn't mind that . She hugged my arm tight .
Crap, this goes on, and I'll be under her spell in no time...
’’So what about a first love, anyone like that?’’
Should I play it cool, say that she's my first? I frankly didn't want to . I didn't want to lie to her .
I actually did have a first love .
It's actually somewhat embarrassing, enough that I've never told anyone about it . But, I guess I'll be honest with her .
’’Back in elementary, there was this girl I liked... actually, I think I admired her . ’’
That day, I was a mess .
As to why, it's simple . I'd written my first piece of fiction, and my friend made fun of it .
I was so confident about it, proudly showing it to my friend, only to be showered with harsh criticism and insults . My pride was shattered and once the end of school bell rang, I made a dash for anywhere not there, tears spilling and all .
I didn't feel like going home at all, and ended up running in the complete opposite direction . Really childish, now that I thought back on it .
I ended up at a park I'd never been to . I wasn't looking to find it, I just happened to be there after I'd gotten tired of running away .
That's when I met her .
’’That girl looked really down as she sat on one of the swings . I wouldn't have bothered with her if it was just that, but then I noticed that she was holding a bundle of manuscript paper . ’’
It was the same type I'd used when I wrote mine, so I recognized it right away . I thought, hey, maybe she's like me too, and decided to call out to her .
Turns out I was right .
’’I don't remember what I said to her back there, but one way or another, I ended up reading her story . ’’
I sat on the swing beside her own, and read . It was good .
’’―― I was actually shocked . She looked to be the same age as me, maybe even younger . But despite that, her plot, her characters, her literary flare, it was all perfect . ’’
Dammit, it's really good, I remember telling her, almost sobbing .
That's when I finally understood . I understood that my friend was right in bashing my work .
I accepted it, no, I was made to accept it, and then, I threw my manuscript to the ground . I still remember it . The pages painting the park ground white .
’’I realized that she was better than me, like heaven and earth . I was frustrated, I was jealous... and then I ran back home, crying . ’’
But I must admit, as a brat, I still had enough grit to not drop my pen forever .
I wanted to write as good as her . Kid me was working relentlessly, trial after error, rewrite upon rewrite .
And fast-forward a few years, I'd finally finished . My Adventures of Abel the Hero . The gist of the story was the same as the one I'd thrown away that day . It was a remake actually .
’’I actually got my friend to say it was a good read... Though, he did add, 'for a teenager . '’’
’’I thought it was really good too . ’’
So she read that . That's kind of embarrassing actually . Well, all the lit . club members did keep their work in the club room so anyone was free to read them . Well if she liked me from back then, it wasn't that much of a leap to assume she'd attempt to read my shoddy light novel-esque fiction .
’’Kurono-kun, you were always so serious in lit . club weren't you . I really like that part about you . ’’
Her eyes were so genuine, so innocent as she praised me that, rather than feeling happy, I was more embarrassed . Although, it raised my heart rate no less .
’’Hmm... But I kind of feel just a little jealous, feel just a little jealous, of that girl I mean . ’’
’’R-really now? I know I said first love, but it was really more like I set her as my objective, right . And besides, I don't even remember what she looked like . ’’
’’But all that time you spent writing, you were thinking of just her weren't you? Even now, I bet . ’’
D-damn you're sharp . Is this what they call the intuition of a girl in love?
That girl was like my origin story for how I came to write like I do, and I'm reminded of her every time I write .
But then again, I haven't been writing anything at all recently... No, wait wait, wasn't I writing just yesterday? So why is it that my fingers can't remember the feeling of tapping away on my laptop at all?
’’Fufu, just wanted to tease you a bit, sorry . I don't really mind it . ’’
And once again I admitted utter defeat against Shirasaki-san's radiant smile that seemed to say, and that's how awesome a girlfriend I am .
I was almost about to lose myself and just keep staring at her, but I got a hold of myself . I warded up her smile's seduction and vied to change topic .
’’O-oh yeah, thanks for the lunch . It was really good, I mean it . ’’
I'd somehow ended up finishing all of the bento Shirasaki-san had made for me . Since she was holding, or rather, clinging to my left arm, I couldn't really use it to eat, so I would've been in a real bind if the sandwich wasn't the main item in the box .
Anyway, I had no problem finishing everything, so all's well .
’’So um, we can do this again tomorrow, right? You wouldn't mind?’’
’’No, well actually... I'd feel sorry for making you . ’’
’’Hey, I'm your girlfriend aren't I? It'd be my pleasure . ’’
Damn, and here I thought my Sis was the only one who'd get so into it . Makes me wonder if there's been a Yamato Nadeshiko boom going on or something . No, getting ahead of myself there . Shirasaki-san is just that good of a girl . Her girl power was off the charts .
’’Thanks, I'll take you up on that offer then . Actually, my parents are going to be gone for a while, so I was worrying what I should do for lunch . ’’
’’Ah, so that's why you didn't bring your own today . ’’
She really saved me today . Yesterday, when it turned out that my parents had up and left all of a sudden, I was so astounded at the fact, that I forgot to consider anything about lunch .
’’It was all so sudden you know? And on top of that, my sister took the opportunity to crash into her boyfriend's place, can you believe that?’’
’’Uh huh... Then that means that you're living alone now?’’
’’Yeah, for a while, I guess . ’’
I almost started to spill out all my complaints to her, but breathing in once, I decided against it .
’’OK, then you uh, wouldn't mind if I came over sometime...?’’
I wasn't so pure hearted as to accept that last line at face value . I'm a high school kid, one who's finally gotten himself a girlfriend . I'd be simply mad if I wasn't expecting you-know-what from those words .
Words that clearly expressed that a girl was ready and willing to come over to a guy's house where he lived alone .
’’Eh, that's, well...’’
And there goes me, the loser who can only react to this kind of situation with a flustered mess of a reply .
’’Of course you can! I mean, well... are you sure?’’
Dumbass, she's the one asking if it's okay or not . Me asking her back just served to make it crystal clear that I held certain expectations about her requested visit .
’’... Mm . ’’
And despite realizing this, she, Shirasaki-san, assented . Despite her face completely blushed in scarlet, she nodded in reply .
I could speak not any more . Also, I couldn't look at her directly either . I cranked my gaze away .
But Shirasaki-san was still holding my arm tight, that softness, that warmth, I couldn't stop feeling that, not at all .
Endlessly tempted by her genuine charm, my head had stopped working right . What was, how even, what do I―― My thoughts were a mess .
But my bad status was quickly cleared away . The familiar bell rang in my ears .
’’Ah, there's the bell . ’’
’’Oh, you're right, let's head back!’’
I was then released from Shirasaki-san's tender clutches . For now .
The promise was already made . She'd come to my home .
Looks like it won't be long before I completely become captivated by her...