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With the addition of Marika visiting me, this truly became a loaded Monday. A very loaded one with little to no rest for me. In any case, this was a welcome surprise at the same level as Misaki pulling me with her during lunch break.
Indeed, the thought of checking on this tragic golden ringlet passed through my mind. Last Friday put her in a position where she had to confront Ichihara Jun directly, after all. I was wondering what happened or if her situation was aggravated. I didn’t receive any message from her despite the reminder I left to contact me.
Anyway, seeing that bright, cheerful smile when her eyes caught my figure, it’s apt to say that nothing serious happened. But the next moment made me wonder.
How is she alone?
I looked past her shoulder to check if someone would enter after her but until she pushed the door closed, no one else appeared.
“Uhm… Should I leave?” Watanabe, who had just recovered from her shock, raised that question. Looking at her dilated eyes as though she was about to collapse at any moment, her head was probably fixated on the possibility that the next one to appear in the room could be Masato-senpai. Instead of being curious about the newcomer and her relationship with me, she just wanted to leave the room to ensure that she could check on that boyfriend of hers.
She’s pretty much already a conspirator for us so I didn’t really mind her being here. But then again, having a hint of what’s going on in her mind, I wouldn’t be cruel to torment her further and keep her here.
So, with a swift nod as an answer, the girl quickly jumped on her feet and went to the door.
Before leaving the room, she respectfully greeted Marika which allowed the ringlet girl to also pull herself, reverting to her normal, haughty yet very innocent countenance.
She followed Watanabe’s figure with her eyes and waited until she disappeared. She then walked back to the door and locked it before turning back to me.
With my head lowered, she probably thought I didn’t notice what she did. In any case, I let that be, for now, she must’ve her reason for it. Her appearance here was very unusual, after all.
At this point, I put the folder in a drawer, deciding to check on it next time. Or when Eguchi-sensei returned to visit me in this room. Watanabe didn’t say that I urgently have to read it anyway. Might as well shelve it, for now, to deal with a more important issue.
“I think this is the first time I got easily graced by senpai’s beautiful smile. How can I help you?”
As I said that in a very welcoming tone, I watched the girl approach my table.
Before she could reach it though, I ran to the middle of the room to pick up the chair I carried there before placing it in front of my table.Marika followed my movements with clear interest before elegantly sitting down on the chair.
I even supported it from behind, making sure that the girl wouldn’t be uncomfortable. Because of this, her dense golden hair brushed against my arm and her delightful fragrance wafted to my nose.
In the corner of my mind, a certain urge to wrap my arms around her and bury my face in her had suddenly risen. I guess I could consider that the sign or evidence of my attraction to her.
One instance where I accepted my desire to help her and my rather passive disposition towards the girl considerably transformed into this. Really, I am too easy.
In any case, I held myself back and returned behind the table to take my seat.
Facing her like this, she looked more like a client than a visitor to my office.
“Junior-kun, first of all, I apologize for this unexpected visit. I heard from Tanaka that I can find you here.” Marika lowered her head a bit, just enough to convey her apology.
That Tanaka again, huh? Alright. Is this another setup… or?
“Don’t be. This is a surprise that I honestly welcome, senpai. Feel free to relax.” Naturally, I didn’t start interrogating her. There’s no reason to. At least for now…
Without touching on the topic of what happened last Friday, the two of us chatted for a few minutes, drawing laughter from the girl and also understanding her quite a bit. In this way, the girl’s mind relaxed and got put at ease.
After letting another minute pass, I raised an imploring question, “Oh. Right, senpai. It’s a wonder that your followers aren’t around. Is it the same case as last Friday?
Undoubtedly, that question instantly drew a reaction from the girl. Her face tensed up momentarily before she shook her head along with an answer, “Uhm. No. I momentarily dismissed my followers, telling them that I want to be alone for a moment. As a result, I earned myself this chance to visit you. Regrettably, I am short on time.”
Marika’s face flashed a hint of helplessness but soon after that, her cheerfulness returned as if that was an illusion.
I was about to point that out but I stopped upon noticing how she started shaking. And from my observation, the reason for that shaking wasn’t because she was afraid but more about the urgency.
My previous assumption about her naivety was totally off. She just lacked some common knowledge due to her upbringing. But at the moment, she’s more than aware of her current circumstances, and most likely, she’s here to inform me about it.
She’s not going to ask me for help. In fact, she’s probably here to tell me not to worry about her. What a great girl.
In any case, no matter how cheerful she tried to appear in front of me or how excellent her acting skill was, my observation skill could somehow pick up on those little nuances slipping out of her act.
“I see. I bet there’s a reason why you decided to visit me. I’m all ears, senpai. I’m your very helpful junior, am I not?” Matching her act with my own, I put on a genuine smile without letting her notice that I already got a read on her.
And upon saying that, I leaned forward a bit to show my eagerness to hear her reasoning.
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