Ch 6 What to chase after…
The shopping mall was, of course, tinged with Christmas colors.
Christmas-like decorations were everywhere, and a magnificent Christmas tree stood in the atrium, asserting its presence.
And the ratio of couples in the mall was clearly higher than usual.
“Look, Hal-kun, look! Kyaa, so bold!”
Pointing to a couple walking in front of her, Ageha raises a small yellow voice.
I look at them and see that they are walking with their hands around each other’s waists, leaning in close together.
“Hey, don’t stare at people so much.”
“What’s wrong with that? They’re making out for the show anyway.”
With a puff of her cheeks, Ageha responded with seemingly righteous words.
“… So, today, Yuba will escort me. What are you going to do now?”
“I’m happy just to be walking next to Haru-kun, so I don’t have to do anything.”
“… aren’t you ashamed to say that?”
“Of course I’m embarrassed.”
When I asked her about it, she turned bright red and mumbled somewhat sulkily.
Then you shouldn’t have said anything.
I’m embarrassed too.
“Oh, that’s right, Haru-kun! Are you hungry?”
“Well, I guess I am. I haven’t had breakfast.”
As I answer to Ageha, I glance at my wristwatch.
It is 11:30.
That’s a good time for lunch.
“Well, then! Let’s have lunch for now. It is said that you can’t fight a war if you are hungry, and we can think about what we are going to do this afternoon while we eat.”
“I’m all for it, but… did you really think nothing of it when you said you were going to escort me?”
“No, no, I escaped from escorting, like, what?”
“You look like you said something a little good. You just wanted to say that you weren’t good at all.”
“I don’t care about the details. Come on, let’s go.”
Saying so, Ageha held out her hand in a very natural gesture.
However, her face was slightly flushed and her eyes were shaking with anticipation and anxiety.
I stared at her white hand for a moment and thought back to the couple I had just met.
Well, it’s okay if we just hold hands, isn’t it?
I gently took her hand as I let out a sigh of realization.
We entered the restaurant area of the mall and went to a reasonably priced Italian restaurant.
The restaurant was reasonably crowded, even though it was a little early for lunch.
The waiter led us to a table in the middle of the restaurant.
“Come on, sit down.”
Following the lead of Ageha on the sofa by the wall, I sit down on one of the chairs along the aisle.
Perhaps it was because I had taken off my coat, but I felt a little lighter.
“Mmmm, there’s too much on the menu to sway my will!”
I spread out the menu on the table, and as she peers at it, she voices her concerns.
Before entering the restaurant, I had already had some idea of what I wanted to eat by looking at the food samples lined up in front of the restaurant, but when I actually looked at the menu, the abundance of dishes on it made me, well, I couldn’t help but be dizzy.
Naturally, pasta is the main course since it is Italian, but the picture of a pizza on the menu looks absolutely delicious.
I think I’ll have a pizza. But it’s too much for one person, isn’t it?
Let’s just stick to my original plan and have pasta.
I cut off the temptation within me and lifted my gaze to see the face of Ageha, who was still staring at the menu with a serious expression on her face.
Like the sisters, she has a neat face similar to Karen’s.
However, she still looks somewhat childish.
I think this is because of the way she usually acts and behaves.
She is always cheerful and innocent, brightening the air around her just by being there.
In contrast to Karen, however, she has an irreplaceable charm.
“What? Haru-kun, have you decided?”
It seems I was staring too long.
Suddenly, she looks up and tilts her head.
“Yes, somehow. What about you?”
“Mmmm, the enemy is moderately nasty. Do you want pizza or pasta? The scales don’t tip in either direction.”
“I was just thinking about which one to choose. But I can’t eat the pizza all by myself.”
“I know, right?”
“I think I’ll have pasta,” She mutters a little disappointedly.
… I really can’t help it.
“…Ageha, how hungry are you right now?”
‘What? I’m starving, you know?”
“I’m starving too. Don’t you think we could eat both pasta and pizza right now?
“–! I think, I think! That’s right, Haru-kun. Let’s order both!”
I rang the doorbell, my cheeks loosening at the sight of the instantly energized Ageha.
The waitress immediately appeared and we each ordered a pasta dish and then a pizza.
“Thank you, Haru-kun!”
After the waiter left, the Ageha smiled a grin.
I felt strangely uncomfortable looking at that smile, and I simply replied, “I wanted to eat, too,” as I turned my face away.
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