The two teenagers continued to walk together towards the school building in search of their classrooms. Suzune seemed to be in a better mood than before because of their impromptu 'date' earlier, while Kiyotaka was still trying to digest everything he learned from his ridiculous 'power'.
Like anyone could stay calm after finding out that your apparent 'superpower' was actually a reality-bending cheat code that only seeks the happiness of a girl.
According to what they had agreed upon, the two teens would separate and find their respective classrooms on their own inside the building but to the surprise of both students, there was no need for them to go their own ways.
There was no need to do so, because they ended up in the same room after five minutes of walking through the school building.
"Who would have thought that we'd be classmates, Ayanokouji-kun?" Suzune remarked, staring at the classroom for a moment before turning to her companion.
"I didn't know you'd be a student of Class-D as well," Kiyotaka replied. "But I suppose this makes things easier, since we already know each other."
Suzune slowly nodded in agreement. "It does feel reassuring that I am already acquainted with one of my classmates."
With that, they walked inside and searched for a place to sit. They immediately noticed that the desks were decorated with nameplates of the person who was assigned to sit there, so they simply searched for their names among the various seats.
It led them to the back of the classroom, where they were apparently neighbors. Kiyotaka's desk was the one closest to the window, while Suzune was assigned to the one on his right.
"It appears that we're going to be neighbors," said Kiyotaka. 𝙗𝙚𝒅𝒏𝙤𝙫𝙚𝒍.𝒐𝙧𝙜
The girl only nodded as they took their seats and observed their classmates from where they were. Their classroom was already filled with a lot of people, and Kiyotaka took notice of what most of them were like.
Most of them were pretty normal for a bunch of teenagers; the girls were mingling with each other, while some were minding their own business. A few of the boys were the same. The rest of them... well, let's just say that they will likely kill themselves out of jealousy if they ever find out that Kiyotaka's life was basically a dating simulator now. It's what most boys of his age can only dream of experiencing.
"Ayanokouji-kun," Suzune called out to him, snapping him out of his thoughts. "Once again... thank you for listening. I have never told anyone about my brother before, let alone myself."
[You gained 1 Affection Point with Horikita Suzune!]
"Your gratitude isn't necessary. You looked like you needed someone to talk to, and I did. Quite frankly, I'm more surprised that you opened up to me that easily. You don't exactly strike me as a person who wants to have friends," he replied, dismissing the notification he received.
A small blush dusted the girl's cheeks. "You're not actually wrong about that..."
The young man still felt a bit overwhelmed and conflicted about all this but so far, this weird 'power' he possessed did nothing but work things out in his favor. It could even stop time indefinitely until he chooses from three 'choices' presented to him. Then there's also the 'skill' that apparently 'bends reality' itself just to make a heroine happy, which was still a scary thing to think about.
So far, the only disadvantage to this that he could think of was that the system had a mind of its own, therefore he couldn't control it to his whim. It also means that he has no idea how many 'heroines' it will take before the system is satisfied.
Who knows? Maybe it will never be satisfied.
In other words, he was doomed to have a harem.
"I guess the advantages of this dating sim system outweigh the disadvantages," he said to himself. "Still, it's gonna take some time to get used to this."
"Hey! I saw you on the bus earlier!"
Upon hearing that voice that came from someone nearby, Kiyotaka was once again pulled out of his thoughts and turned to the person who spoke. Blinking in surprise, he saw the beige-haired girl from the bus earlier approaching him with that angelic smile on her face.
"What makes you think that?" he asked, feigning ignorance.
She giggled. "I remember your face. You were sitting near the front, if I'm not mistaken. Oh, and I noticed that you were wearing the same uniform as the other boys who were with us on the bus. Who would have thought that we'd be classmates?"
Just as Kiyotaka was about to respond to her, the feeling of the world around him being frozen in place hit once again, as his three choices appeared before him.
A. [Yes, I can see that. Now, can you leave me alone?]
B. [I didn't. I only met you just now, you know?]
C. [I'm honored to be classmates with such a cute girl like you.]
Almost immediately, the young man's eyes darted towards Option C, but he didn't do anything yet. Now, he may not be the brightest tool in the shed when it came to social interactions but this time, he was 100% sure that the third option was the correct choice.
The first one was clearly a rude response, while the second one was being sarcastic. That left the third choice as the only viable one.
Now, Kiyotaka knew that he could always choose the worst option out of the three but after realizing what this 'dating simulator' was capable of, the young man was caught between a rock and a hard place.
If stopping time wasn't scary enough, then warping reality is.
"I hope I don't regret this," he told himself before pushing Option C, as time began to move again.
"I'm honored to be classmates with such a cute girl like you," he spoke, the familiar outside force taking over his actions and causing him to flash a little smile. "Let's work together as much as we can."
The girl blinked a few times, before a blush covered her cheeks out of embarrassment. She took a few steps back as if she was shocked, while Kiyotaka only stared at her as several pink screens showed up in front of him.
[Kikyo Route has been Unlocked! You can now see 'Heroine Status' with Kushida Kikyo!]
[You gained 15 Affection Points with Kushida Kikyo!]
[Your current status with Kikyo has changed to 'A Rocky Relationship'!]
Okay, those weren't so bad. He had been through this scenario twice before already. At least this time, he wasn't unlocking another broken 'skill' that would be considered OP in a gamer's standards-
[Congratulations! The Skill 'Smile of the Ladykiller' has been Created!]
[Smile of the Ladykiller] (Passive Skill): Your smile has proven to be a serious deal with your Heroines that it will hit them right in the kokoro and always land a critical hit. The fact that you don't show emotions much adds more to how powerful it is.
[Your smile is so powerful that it became a skill of its own! You gained +3 in Aura!]
[Congratulations! You unlocked the Achievement: 'First Skill'! You gained +2 in Charm!]
"Oh, you've got to be kidding me," Kiyotaka thought, deadpanning at the 'skill' that he just 'created'. Somehow, that sounded even worse than 'unlocked'.
Well, sure, why not? Since he already possessed a skill that can alter reality in the blink of an eye, why not add another potentially dangerous skill that would only create more problems for him and make his life more stressful?
Yes, that's exactly what he needed right now.
Okay, so he had a skill that involved his smile now. Great. Surely, the system would love to abuse that and have him smile at every girl around here and make them a heroine too, just to make things even worse.
Wait, was that why he gained more points with Nanase and this girl, Kushida? All because he smiled at them?
How convenient... not.
What a stupid skill to have, really. So what if he doesn't show emotions most of the time? Was that really a good excuse to give him an ability that's directly linked to him smiling?
[You have gained 5 Affection Points with Horikita Suzune!]
Kiyotaka was too preoccupied with the whole thing to even notice the new notification he received, to the point that it disappeared on its own without his acknowledgement.
Unbeknownst to him, Suzune had caught a glimpse of his smile but managed to turn away in time before she could be noticed. It didn't stop her from blushing though, and she felt incredibly flustered from what she saw.
"Did he just... smile...?" she thought. "Ayanokouji-kun... looks handsome that way... wait no, what am I saying?! I shouldn't be thinking like this! I just met him today...!"
Poor Suzune would be distracted by her own conflicting thoughts from now on.
While the young man was having an internal dilemma regarding broken skills and their convenience, the same was happening to Kikyo, although for a completely different reason.
"What's wrong with me? I'm already used to boys saying things like that about me but when I hear it from him..." the girl said to herself, shifting her gaze away from him so she could calm herself. "Wait! It's his smile! His smile is too contagious...!"
After arguing with himself in his mind about this being the worst superpower that a person could have and being wise about his words regarding the system (since it had a mind of its own), Kiyotaka simply sighed and accepted it in the end.
Snapping back to reality, he noticed that Kikyo looked embarrassed for some reason and was looking elsewhere. Probably a side effect of the new skill that he had.
"Are you okay?" he asked, making her jump in surprise.
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry about me!"
As he stared at her, a familiar pink screen appeared on top of her head and Kiyotaka quickly read it. Out of the many advantages that this 'dating simulator' power gave him, this was the most useful.
[Kushida Kikyo: 'Two-Faced Angel']
[Relationship Status: A Rocky Relationship]
[Affection Points: 15/100]
[Heroine Summary: Kikyo is a beautiful girl who hailed from the same middle school as Suzune. Kikyo harbors extreme hatred for the latter because Suzune possibly knows about her and what she has done to her class years ago. She is a talented individual and revels in being praised by people around her. She normally acts like an angel to other people when in reality, she has everyone around her eating out the palm of her hand. She also loves it when people share their deepest secrets with her, believing that it makes her above everyone else because of what she knows.]
"This is... useful information," the young man thought to himself while reading through the girl's 'summary'.
From what he could gather, she went to the same school as Suzune and seems to hate the black-haired girl because of the things she knows. It made him wonder what exactly did Kikyo do in the past, but that's a question for later.
"She must be faking that smile then," he mentally noted. "Thanks for that information, she almost got me there. But I'm still mad at you for what happened earlier."
If he could, Kiyotaka would laugh at himself right now. Yeah, what was he doing, talking to a ghost? Well, more like a program/game with artificial intelligence, but still...
Anyway, this girl obviously had a screw loose in her head, so why is the system even considering her a 'heroine'? As far as he was concerned, it would be for the best if he gets away from Kushida as far as possible.
Wait a second, the 'Heroine Summary' only showed up after he chose from the three choices that showed up earlier! It only showed up after he had 'unlocked' her route. That wasn't the case for Suzune, because her 'summary' was shown before he was given the 'choices'!
Kiyotaka was starting to think that the higher being that bestowed this 'power' upon him wanted to see him suffer from trying to deal with his current situation. If that were true, then all he could say is that it's working.
...it's working really well.
By the way, the offer of this whole thing being a dream is still open! If someone could wake him up if that was the case, then Kiyotaka would feel really grateful to whoever does so.
"I'm Ayanokouji Kiyotaka," he spoke in an attempt to spark a conversation. "What do they call you?"
His voice was enough to snap the girl out of her embarrassed state. She quickly came up with a response of her own before he noticed her dilemma.
"Kushida Kikyo. It's nice to meet you, Ayanokouji-kun!"
"Likewise..." he told her in return, although it was clear that he felt the opposite.