After all their classes for the day had ended, Kiyotaka was fully prepared to head back to the dorms and get some rest. With how his life had changed from possessing a crazy superpower, the young man started treating sleep and proper rest as a bigger necessity than what they already are. It was the only way he could escape his current reality, even for only a few hours. And besides, he could already tell that there will be a scarcity of sleep hours for him in the future...
However, he wouldn't get to have his due date with Bed-chan just yet.
After they got back to the classroom for their final period, Kikyo had asked him to meet her at the cafe below the school building as she needed to talk to him. When he asked what it would be about, the girl only said that it's something important.
And so, here he was, waiting at the cafe for his beige-haired classmate to arrive. He deduced that she would be late for a bit, so he went on and ordered a couple of drinks for the two of them. Having an ice-cold coffee should help soothe his nerves after the craziness he went through today.
Kushida finally arrived about two minutes later. She had a worried look on her face as she approached the table where he was. "Sorry I'm late, Ayanokouji-kun. I had to say goodbye to my friends first. Did I make you wait too long?" she asked, feeling nervous that she made the young man wait despite being the one to invite him.
"Not really. I just got here about ten minutes ago," he shrugged before pointing to the frappuccino that stood at the opposite side of the table. "I bought you a frappuccino while waiting for you."
The nervous look on her face then gave way to a big smile that only made her look cuter than before. "Wow... thank you so much, Ayanokouji-kun! I really appreciate it!" she said happily, taking her seat before digging in.
[You have gained 1 Affection Point with Kushida Kikyo!]
"Only one? Surely something like this would have gotten at least five or ten Affection Points from her," he thought, raising an eyebrow at the notification before he shook his head. Best to focus on what's important right now. "So why did you want to talk to me?? Just to be clear, this isn't your attempt in asking me out on a date, right?"
"N-No, not really..." Kikyo blushed at his question because it was completely out of nowhere, before she cleared her throat. "I need your help with something, Ayanokouji-kun."
He raised an eyebrow. "Which is?"
"I've noticed ever since the first day of school that Horikita-san doesn't have many friends except for you, and now I know why she's always angry and cold towards everyone else. It's because she's lonely and she needs someone to be her friend!"
"Yep, she summed her up pretty well," he thought to himself. "And what does this have to do with me?"
"Please help me become friends with her, Ayanokouji-kun!" she exclaimed, sending the young man a pleading look. "I didn't realize it before and I just left her alone because she doesn't want to be bothered, but now I realized that I can't leave her on her own!"
"Why do you want to be friends with her?"
"Because I want to be friends with everyone! I was willing to respect Horikita-san's decision at first, but now I know that I have to get through to her!"
"You mean you want to get close to her in order to catch her off guard," he said in his thoughts. "I'm not sure that I'm the best person to help you with that. As I have said before, I don't really have many friends, and the way I speak doesn't help, either." ｂｅ𝚍ｎｏｖｅ𝚕．ｃｏｍ
"But you're the only one who can help me, Ayanokouji-kun. You're friends with Horikita-san, right? If anyone can help me, then it's you."
"Well, we are friends, but I'm not sure if the same thing will happen to you. I honestly have no idea how I even managed to befriend her in the first place. Maybe it was luck on my part," he shrugged.
Well, he was definitely lucky that he had a broken superpower that can make any girl fall for him if it wanted to.
"That's fine! I'll be the one to talk to her, Ayanokouji-kun. You don't exactly have to do anything, I just... I want to know what you did to gain Horikita-san's trust. A lot of our classmates think she's unapproachable because of what she's like, but if you can be friends, then I can as well!" she said with a voice filled with determination.
The young man stared at her for a moment.
So, Kushida wants information from him. Once he gives her what she wants, she'll try it out on her own and work to befriend Horikita, which has a big chance of failing because of her personality. He honestly attributed his success to the system because he could tell that without it, Horikita wouldn't have accepted his friendship. He doubted that Kushida will succeed on this because they're like polar opposites in personality (Kikyo's mask, at least).
He'll give her credit, though. Befriending Suzune only to stab her in the back eventually is a solid plan on its own, he just didn't believe that Kikyo could pull it off. And there's Suzune herself as well. That girl may be a bit dense to the things that happen around her, but she can definitely sense trouble when it happens.
"Alright, I'll help you," he conceded. Kiyotaka had no reason not to help her and he didn't really believe that Kikyo could expel Suzune. The system wouldn't allow such a thing to happen in the first place. The best thing he can do is simply see where this will go.
"You will?!" she gasped.
Kikyo smiled brightly once more, which was actually enough to spark a blush on his cheeks. "Thank you, Ayanokouji-kun! I promise to repay you in the future! You won't regret this at all!"
[You have gained 1 Affection Point with Kushida Kikyo!]
He raised an eyebrow at the new notification, finding it completely peculiar. Before, the Affection Points he would gain from interacting with Kushida would be somewhere between 5 and 10. Sometimes, even higher than that. But for some reason, there was a decrease in it and he found it strange.
"Strange... the same thing also happened a while ago, even during swimming class," he thought, frowning in confusion. "Does this mean the system is preventing me from maxing out the 'Affection Points' with her? Or perhaps Kushida herself is the one preventing it?"
"When do you think you could help me with Horikita-san?" the girl asked as she sipped on her frappuccino, which snapped the young man out of his thoughts.
ραпdα n?νa| сom "Why not tomorrow? Let's get this over with as soon as possible," he suggested. "I suppose I can tell you what I know about Horikita today, but I have to warn you. I may be friends with her, but I don't know everything about her. It's been only a week since we met each other and Horikita isn't the type of person to tell stories of herself to other people. She isn't much of a talker, either."
Kiyotaka decided to humor this girl in what she wants. He wasn't going to mention Suzune's brother, of course. That's a one-way ticket to destroying their relationship and possibly causing the full might of the eroge system to rain down on him for making his heroine sad. He'll only tell her what his perception of Suzune is, and what he personally thought of her. He had no idea if it would help her in being friends with Suzune, but that's not his problem.
"That's fine with me! Let's do this!" Kikyo nodded eagerly.
"There is no need to wait. Let's discuss this right now."
Caught off guard by the sudden voice nearby, the two teenagers turned their heads to see who was eavesdropping on them, only for both to be surprised when they saw the unmistakable figure of Horikita Suzune standing next to the table, her usual stone-faced look on full display.
Kikyo was more surprised than Kiyotaka. Yes, she wanted to talk to Suzune, but not this soon! She wanted to know more about her first, so that she could come up with a plan in order to gain Suzune's trust herself. Once she does that, she'll then pretend to be Suzune's friend in order to gain more information about her and so she could work in the shadows for her plan to expel the black-haired girl from this school.
She was unprepared for this. If this had taken place some other time, maybe she could have found an excuse to leave. But, she had no way out of this one, especially when Suzune directed her gaze towards her.
"You want to talk, Kushida-san? Let's talk."