ather liked my mother more than his wife.
When I was in elementary school, he tried to take me and my mother to Hong Kong.”

 

“You mean they eloped.”

 

“I think so.
But …”

 

The ship to Hong Kong sank.

I think it must have been quite a news story at the time.

I remember that too.

 

And Mikoto-san’s parents sacrificed themselves to save their daughter.

 

“So, Kotone … my sister hates me very much.
No, it’s not just Kotone.
Everyone in the Tomi family hates me.
If it weren’t for me and my mother, our father wouldn’t have died.”

 

“It’s not your fault, Mikoto-san.”

 

“But if I were in Kotone’s shoes, I think I would understand why she can’t forgive me.
My father chose me and my mother instead of Kotone and Kotone’s mother.
And because of that, he died.”

 

“I don’t belong to the Tomi family.
That’s why I’m on your side, Mikoto-san.
No matter what the Tomi family says or does.”


 

Mikoto-san shook her head to the side.

 

“Kotone said she would not allow me and Akihara-kun to be together.
She said she would never forgive me for living with someone I love so happily.
So, as long as I am around you, she said she will use the power of the Tomi family to hurt Akihara-kun in a reckless way.”

 

Mikoto-san shivered as she said this.

We looked at each other as we were drenched by the rain.

 

So that’s how it is.

That’s why Mikoto-san had stopped pretending to be my girlfriend and started saying she was going to Tokyo.

 

I was angry at the young lady from Tomi for making such a threat, but the first question was what I could say to Mikoto-san in front of me to persuade her.

 

Mikoto-san said in a quiet voice.

 

“The Tomi family scares me.
They are really scary.
I can’t bear the thought of those scary people trying to hurt Akihara-kun.
That’s why I’m leaving.
I am no longer staying with Akihara-kun…”

 

“Rei-san.”

 

I called out Mikoto-san’s first name in a low voice.

Mikoto-san … shuddered, no, Rei-san shuddered.

 

“Why … are you calling my name at a time like this? Akihara-kun, it’s not fair.”

 

“You have to call me ‘Haruto-kun’.
We’re pretending to be lovers.”

 

“I said we would stop doing that.”

 

“I don’t want to stop.”

 

“I don’t want to stop either.
I want Haruto to spoil me like a lover.
But…”

 

“I will protect Rei from the Tomi family, or rather, from everything that threatens her.
That’s why I want Rei to stay with me.”

 

Rei’s eyes widened.

Still, Rei-san seemed to be lost.

 

I repeated that to Rei-san.

 

“If you are afraid of the Tomi family, you can fight with them.
Rei-san and I are not alone, and we will manage.”

 

“But…”


 

“I told you there’s someone else I might like besides Kaho, didn’t I? That was Rei-san.”

 

For a moment, Rei-san was stunned.

Then, her face turned red and she twisted around in embarrassment.

 

“Wow, me? Really, me?”

 

“Who else could it be?”

 

“Haruto-kun might like me … I’m very happy about it, but what does ‘might’ mean?”

 

“Too many things are happening all at once, and I can’t think straight.”

 

Rei-san, Kaho and Yuki.

Too many complicated situations were uncovered at the same time.

 

The main problem was that Kaho might be my sister, but she likes me.

 

Whether Kaho was my sister or not, I wasn’t going to be able to face Rei-san until I worked that out.

 

Rei-san glared at me.

 

“Haruto-kun… you’re so indecisive.”

 

“Sorry.”

 

“I think it’s more sincere to say that you like me than to say that you like me out of a sense of insincerity.
So, I’ll do my best to get Haruto-kun to say he likes me.”

 

“Eh?”

 

“I’m going to make Haruto-kun like me more than Sasaki-san.”

 

“That means…”

 

“Haruto-kun told me the other day that I can decide the relationship between me and you as I want to do.”

 

“Of course.
I would never forget that.”

 

“I’ve made up my mind.
I’ve decided to become Haruto-kun’s girlfriend and let him spoil me.
I like you, Haruto-kun.
No, I love you.”

 

Rei’s face was getting redder and redder, but she smiled happily.

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