Nursing’s Angel.

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— The next day.


At 9 pm, Toma’s phone beeped with a notification.
He was working on his university assignments in his room and taking a break when it happened.

Touma looked at his phone on the desk and his eyes widened.


The LAIN notification that had arrived on his phone read:

“I’m sorry to bother you all of a sudden, Touma-kun.
Do you have a moment…?”

It was a message from Mio.

“It’s okay.
What’s up?” 

Touma immediately replied on the LAIN app.
As he sent the message, the “read” notification appeared on the screen.
Mio must have been waiting for his response.

(What could she want at this time of night…?) 

Touma thought, feeling puzzled.
He waited for Mio’s next message while staring at the LAIN screen.
But ten minutes passed, and still no response came.

“Is she ignoring me…?” 

Touma couldn’t help but wonder.
LAIN was a messaging app, and typically, a reply would come within five minutes after the recipient had read the message.
Even if it was a long message, it would be sent in a few parts, so it was unlikely for it to take ten minutes.

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The only possibility was that Mio had received an urgent matter while typing the message.

“Toma-san?” At the moment Toma was about to type out a message, he finally received a response from Mio.
However, what she wrote was something that Touma had never expected.

“Can’t we go home together tomorrow?”


As soon as he saw the message, he was so surprised that he blurted out his voice.
The fingers that were typing the message stopped completely.
In fact, his entire body froze as if he were experiencing sleep paralysis.

(Phew… I must be tired from the assignment…)

It was an unusual message.

Toma, trying to calm himself down, exhaled slowly and returned his smartphone to his study desk and rubbed his eyes.
Then he looked at Mio’s message again.

“Can’t we go home together tomorrow?”


He rubbed his eyes again for a longer period of time than before.
And looked again.

“Can’t we go home together tomorrow?”


This time, he slapped both cheeks with both hands.
And looked again.

“What does this mean…?”

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It wasn’t a hallucination or a vision.
Mio had certainly sent that message.

Toma stared at the smartphone screen so intensely that it felt like a hole would be punched through it, desperately trying to figure out what Mio’s intention was.

But he couldn’t find an answer.
He just couldn’t.

Before he knew it, ten minutes had passed since he received Mio’s message.


Mio probably thought he was ignoring her since they took the same amount of time to read and reply to the message.
She sent him a series of messages in a row.


At that moment, a flash of light suddenly ran through his brain.
The sudden invitation message, and the timing of it.

(Ah…! Are you trying to tease me like you did at the bar? You played a prank on me after I confessed last time, so I see what you’re up to now…)

This happened a few days ago.
They made a bet where the loser had to confess their feelings as a form of practice after arguing about their grades in university.
As a result, Toma confessed his feelings to Mio.
However, instead of doing it verbally, he wrote a letter to express his feelings, which caught Mio off guard.

Toma realized that Mio was planning some sort of retaliation through this email.
He made up an excuse about stepping away from his seat, even though he was trying to figure out why she invited him in the first place.

“Sorry, I stepped away for a moment.”

Without wanting to damage his relationship with Mio, Toma went along with her plan, even though he understood what she was trying to do.

“I understand.
Tomorrow, right?”

If their relationship with each other worsened, it would be difficult for them to work at their part-time job at “Shine.” Toma felt it was best to go along with Mio’s plan for the sake of their future relationship.
He could plan his own retaliation later on.

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“Do you think it’s okay if I head towards your university to meet you, Toma-kun? It’s the South University, right?”

“That’s right, but I’ll come to you instead.”

“No, my home is towards the South University, so I’ll head there instead.
I don’t want to inconvenience you.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not a problem at all.
Please let me take care of you.”

“It’s the opposite – I won’t let you take care of me.”

The emphasized wording here shows Mio’s seniority in age and her unwillingness to concede.
Toma understood her feelings and decided to give in.

“I understand.
In that case, I will take you up on your offer.”

“Thank you, Tohma-kun.”

“No, no, there’s no need for thanks.
If anything, I should be thanking you for your consideration.”

“That’s not true…but it seems like this conversation could go on forever.”

“Hahaha, yes, you’re right.
I’ll be looking forward to tomorrow.”

“I’m looking forward to it too.”

Toma didn’t know.
He had no way of knowing.

When she pressed the reply button, Mio’s hands trembled…and she had built up so much heat in her face that steam was coming off of it.

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“…Oh, I have a question.
Will your schedule be free at that time? I have a lecture that goes until 5:30 pm.”

Each student determines their own class schedule.
It’s not uncommon for schedules to not line up, even among students at the same university.
It’s even more difficult when it’s between students at different universities.

“Don’t worry, I should be free around that time.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Well then…I’ll contact you again tomorrow.
Don’t forget about today, okay?”

“Of course not.
I’ll be waiting for your message tomorrow.”

Mio sent a chubby, round red panda stamp with “OK” on it in response to Toma’s mail.

(This stamp is so cute…)

When she tapped on the stamp and looked at its details, she found that it was a paid stamp called “Lesser Panda! Happy Round Version!” that could be bought for 100 coins.

“It’s just like Mio-san…”

Smiling as he read the email, Toma turned off his smartphone and turned his attention to the assignment open on his desk.

“Alright, let’s do this…”

Taking a deep breath, he gripped his mechanical pencil with his dominant hand.

“Wait… huh?”

Toma realized something just then.

Wasn’t the mail he received earlier not meant as a joke or some kind of retaliation…?

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