49. Takkun’s Smile Plan
On the planned day, I borrowed the key to the home economics room, and we spent the morning working hard on making houses of sweets.
We used colorful icing cream to draw pictures on the cookies that Hitomi had made. It should have been my role, but Hitomi is also helping me.
“Maria… What is this?”
It’s a little distorted, but I hope the taste will cover up for my poor design work. I peeked at the cookies that Hitomi was drawing and saw a bouquet of flowers.
I-Isn’t that quality too high!? I’m sorry I made something like polka dots, sorry, but can I eat just this bit? I’m really sorry.
“The house is finished!”
The house that Sumire was assembling had pastel-colored macaroons on the roof cookies, and the chimney was made of white icing cream to look like bricks. The yard was covered with icebox cookies, and the fence and trees were also made from cookies. Sumire is surprisingly good at this kind of work.
“Then, should I decorate the ones I’ve made?”
The rabbit puppet held the plate, like an oven mitt and brought out the marzipan that Ryuune had made.
A chick, a rabbit, a small bird, and a cat. All are adorable animals. And it stood out more than everyone else.
“I want to put these in the house!”
Another marzipan appeared and is probably Kiryuu’s doing. His mouth is raised, and he smiled. But this one also stood out more. Why was it like that?
“His face is scary.”
It was Keito who did the goofy little man that I wanted to do. But Ryuune puffed out her cheeks and said, “It’s okay! Handmade things are about taste!” and started decorating the marzipans.
Well, there may be a lot to the goofy little man, but I have a feeling that this is going to be pretty good.
“Is he really going to laugh at this?”
Keito was wondering, but I was a little worried about that too. It was that stern Kiryuu, after all. There is no choice but to give a grand happy birthday mood here and make it festive!
As the appointed time, 1:30 p.m., approached, we changed into our respective costumes.
Except for Ryuune, we were all dressed in black costumes that covered our faces so they would not be revealed. We were to be in the background with zero presence until Ryuune properly tells Kiryuu how she feels about him and makes him smile. The young ladys’ aura must be removed.
By the way, I asked Amamiya to take the role of bringing Kiryuu here. Amamiya said, “I’ll ask Yuu and Asami to help since Takuto might get suspicious if I’m alone,” so probably four people will come.
“It’s about time! Standby, everyone!”
I squatted on the right side of the door while Sumire was on the left side. Keito and Hitomi are in charge of hiding the house of sweets from being seen with a cloth.
I hear footsteps and catch my breath. It must be them.
When the door opened—
If expressed as a sound effect, there was an empty sound like “bang.” The white string that was supposed to sound the cracker was torn off, and it was not working.
At the entrance, Takuto Kiryuu was looking at me suspiciously. Through the gap, I could see Tengenji’s puzzled face behind him. I was wondering what Sumire was doing when the cracker sounded one beat later.
Sumire was surpised at the sound of the cracker that she popped on her own and fell on her back… She is not fulfilling her role as a black figure and stands out. I have to do something about it now!
I pull the cracker and throw the colorful paper inside at Kiryuu.
I pretended to be a cracker by using falsetto. Some of the paper got caught in Kiryuu’s bangs, and a long blue piece of paper dangled down. He glared at me from the corner of his eyes.
Hiiii! I’m sorry! I didn’t do it on purpose!
Kiryuu’s gaze shifted to Sumire when she pointed at him and started laughing.
“…What are you guys doing?”
Instead of making him laugh, we made him angry. W-What should I do?
“T-Takkun! Happy birthday!”
It was Ryuune’s words of congratulations that changed the threatening atmosphere. Perhaps he was surprised that she was here, but Kiryuu’s eyes widened.
“Why is Ryuune…”
“Come on, get in. Today’s main character is Takuto.”
Amamiya pushes the bewildered Kiryuu’s back and forces him inside. The black figures Keito and Hitomi take down the cloth and show Kiryuu the handmade house of sweets.
“I-It’s a birthday present!”
“Takkun, it’s okay to laugh… You don’t have to push yourself anymore because no one will blame you.”
It’s not the rabbit puppet but Ryuune’s own mouth. She was trying hard to put her thoughts into words, albeit clumsy.
“So…please laugh, Takkun.”
Ryuune smiled at Kiryuu while almost crying. I didn’t know how Kiryuu would receive her overflowing emotion.
“It’s the first time I’ve been told to laugh…. You really haven’t changed at all.”
However, his words were softer than usual. Kiryuu didn’t laugh, but he didn’t make a sour face. Maybe that made him happy, Ryuune eyes sparkled, and she pulled Kiryuu by the arm and took him to the front of the house of sweets.
“P-Please open this door.”
When Kiryuu opened the door of the house of sweets just like Ryuune told him to—the house collapsed.
I think everyone in this room was surprised. It was a defective house unexpectedly.
What appeared from the collapsed house of sweets was Takuto Kiryuu, who stood out more than the marzipan made by Ryuune.
I wonder if this can be called staging? Should I force it? I thought so and tried to say it, but no one said anything. Of course. I’m sorry.
It was an unexpected person who broke the silence.
“…Haha, hahaha! What is this!?”
The one who laughed out loud innocently was Takuto Kiryuu.
“H-He laughed… Takkun laughed!”
This time, Ryuune started crying out loud.
While I was in a daze, Tengenji and Amamiya said, “Happy Birthday!” to Kiryuu and again switched to a festive mood. For now, mission accomplished. I guess it’s a happy ending?
Hitomi prepared the plates, and Asami and Amamiya were preparing the tea. Sumire pointed to a part of the collapsed house of sweets and said, “I want to eat this!” and told Kiryuu, “You choose the last one.” Tengenji and Ryuune were happily watching the scene, and when I thought how peaceful it was, I noticed that someone was missing.
When I went to the home economics preparation room, I found a lonely black figure sitting on the floor. I sat next to him and peeked at his face, but I couldn’t read his expression because the black costume hid his face.
“You’re not going to reveal your identity?”
“…It’s better if he doesn’t know that I’m here.”
I don’t know if what Keito is saying is right. I wonder if Kiryuu’s expression would tighten if he knew that his brother was actually here?
However, I have a feeling that’s not the only reason he won’t go join the group.
“It’s okay to cry, you know?”
I felt like this was probably what Keito needed to hear right now.
“…As if I can do such an uncool thing.”
“Isn’t it fine to be uncool? No one will condemn you. I will keep it as my own secret.”
I try to say something in a slightly arrogant manner in return for his usual terrible comments, but unusually, Keito doesn’t say anything back.
“It’s a blessing to have a female childhood friend who cares about you.”
“It’s not like she cares about me.”
“Are you saying that she doesn’t care about you? If that’s the case, then you’re an idiot, Keito. You’re a fool. You’re too dull.”
Even though I said it like that, as expected, today’s Keito didn’t say anything back, so I got mad.
“If anyone finds out that you’ve been going to the counseling room, it will be a rumor right away. It’s truly a strange way, but Ryuune was trying to protect you even with her body. Do you think she doesn’t care about you? You are a child, Keito.”
“…That’s right, I’m a child. I didn’t like that Ryuune only talked about Takuto.”
“But, despite that, you also care about your brother. Keito, you are an annoying and troublesome kid.”
He is really just like a kid. I guess he was lonely and frustrated when he thought that his childhood friend’s number one was his brother. I don’t know if it’s friendship or love, but he is a kid that can’t control his jealousy very well. So he started to go to the counseling room even after skipping school for a long time to play hooky around town because Ryuune would definitely come to visit him.
“Please don’t make your precious childhood friend sad anymore, okay?”
I put my hand gently on Keito’s head, wearing a black hood. I thought he would shake me off, but he didn’t resist.
Now then, it’s about time for me to back and join the others; otherwise, he will be found here. I want to respect Keito’s wish that he doesn’t want to be found out by Takuto Kiryuu. I’m sure he still has some feelings that he can’t fully digest yet.
“Thank you, Maria.”
When I stood up and turned my back, I heard Keito’s gratitude.
He is honest in this kind of place.
“I like you a lot, even though you don’t look like a lady, have a big appetite, and I think you’re an idiot.”
I don’t know if he was complimenting me or putting me down, but I don’t feel bad.
“I quite like you too, even though I think you have a twisted personality, become contrary when it comes to your brother and childhood friend, and are troublesome.”
Without looking back, I said all of that and left the home economics preparation room. Let’s go to the counseling room from time to time. And eat the delicious Kiryuu family’s lunch again.