Jaku-chara Tomozaki-kun - novelonlinefull.com
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「Hah. Too naive, Hinami.」
Sunday, 3 P.M.
The time at which the riajuus would be out with their friends doing things like karaoke, bowling, or shopping, deepening their bonds of friendship.
As for me, I was alone in my room, muttering to myself as I tightly held a controller while facing a television screen.
As expected of Life’s number one jaku-chara. I maintain that unpleasantness in everything I do even at times like these.
「That’s right, dowwwn you go.」
The character that I had blown off the stage as I carried out the undisguised kimo-ota act of talking to myself out loud was none other than Hinami’s ninja character, Found.
And currently displayed on the television screen was of course none other than Attack Families, also known as AtaFami.
「Fu-fu-fu, that was refreshing.」
With this it was my win. The result showed up on the screen.
Up against the school’s perfect heroine Hinami Aoi ── well, to me she was the up-and-coming super gamer NO NAME ── I had yet to lose a round. Today we had played ten rounds. If we were talking about the grand total up to now, we had probably played around fifty rounds. In other words, fifty wins, zero losses. The image of her frustrated face floated across my mind.
Well, when it comes to the battlefield known as 『Life』, I’m the one with no wins, though.
A message from Hinami Aoi arrived through the chat function.
『If you’re still not tired, one more battle.』
Within that short message, I could sense Hinami’s『I want to win』tenacity as well as her 『If you’re tired, even if I win that won’t make me happy』stoicness, and spontaneously raised the corners of my mouth into a smile.
「You’ve got a lot of nerve. Looks like your spirit hasn’t broken yet.」
As I happily breathed out a sigh at Hinami’s never-changing att.i.tude, I thought back to what had happened the day before, when I had gone to see a movie with Hinami after our meeting at an Italian restaurant in Kitayono.
For now, what I can say is that it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
「Hmmm. Don’t you think that by doing that, you’re saying a bit too much and sound slightly sarcastic?」
It was afternoon in a month of June that was gradually getting hotter. The halfway point of the cheerfulness of spring changing into the heat of summer.
I was seated together with Hinami Aoi in an open-air cafe located on the first floor of a shopping mall.
「Don’t do it like that, try saying the same thing but in a way that seems a bit more honest.」
The sharp-tongued perfect heroine currently draped in something made from the type of refreshing-to-look-at fabric one might find sold at MUJI  or the like, elegantly rested her chin in her hands as she gave me instructions.
As the ‘strong in AtaFami’ but ‘niwaka gamer in Life’ nanashi, I had no choice but to respond obediently.
「Uh, right. In the second half, that scene with the heroines when they jumped out of the car with guns at the ready was rather impressive……」
However, I had just one thing in mind.
「Nope, try again. You’ve still got that habit of speaking like it’s an explanation. Say it with more feeling.」
「Feeling, huh……That scene with the heroines! When they jumped out of the car!」
Right, it wasn’t supposed to be like this!
「Well, that wasn’t too bad, but you would do well to move your hands a bit more. In a way that isn’t too exaggerated.」
Although it is true that I had intended to summon all the courage I could muster and invite her out like this.
After leaving the movie theatre together with Hinami, my『After watching a movie with a girl, what kind of impression will liven things up the most!? ～Contents and Tone Edition～』training had begun in earnest.
「M-move my hands? ……That scene with the heroines! When they jumped out of the car like this! ……Wait, that’s besides the point. Um, look, Hinami.」
I briefly stopped talking, shifted my gaze to Hinami, then gave voice to the issue that had been weighing on my mind.
「Was the reason you accepted my movie invitation, uh, so that you could give me this lesson?」
Hinami slowly blinked twice.
「Well, of course? Was there any other reason to watch it?」
I breathed a sigh at that excessively isn’t-that-obvious tone of voice.
「……I guess you’re right.」
To say that was like her, well, it was just like her, but still, what is this really.
And so, after I had said those scathing words to Konno Erika, after the delicate changes in the seemingly unchanged cla.s.sroom atmosphere that had followed, after the slightest of changes in my internal thoughts, and so on. After experiencing all that, in the end I had invited Hinami Aoi to see a movie──which was all well and good, but even that had only ended up being treated in its entirety as subject matter for the usual riajuu lesson. As expected of Hinami-san, it looks like ordinary methods won’t work. Also, as expected of me, it looks like my growth isn’t quite there yet.
Well, even if I say that? Hadn’t my previous impression of her having a bad personality and excessive self-confidence changed to one of thinking that she was amazing after all, and was basically someone I might be able to respect? That’s why even though this turned out to be more of a lesson than something resembling a date, it shouldn’t really be too much of a shock; on the contrary, I actually think it’s wholesome, right? I mean, won’t it be of use to me in the future?
「What do you mean, ‘what’? Are you listening to what I’m saying?」
Approaching me without a moment’s hesitation, Hinami’s large pupils collide with my line of sight. Her swaying hair gently brushes against my cheek, feeling slightly ticklish. C-close, too close.
「S, sorry! Could you repeat it?」
I instinctively avert my eyes. Ah, but that’s simply because I’m still not used to making eye contact with people, the same as always.
「Look. Right now we’re having a lesson about what to do when giving your impressions. You do understand that once we’re done with this, we’ll be starting on the lesson on how to back-channel when the girl gives her impressions, right? Hurry up and get a pa.s.sing mark so we can move on.」
「Of course. Alright, next up is……」
Due to Hinami-san’s usual Spartan ways, I had been left without the initiative. Finding that frustrating, I decided to attempt the following proposition.
「Before that, I want to check something. Hinami, are you free tomorrow?」
「Haa? Where did that come from? Look, I’ve got all sorts of things to do. As if I’d have the time to keep you company for two days in a row, really……」
Hinami looked at me, her pupils seeming to shine in antic.i.p.ation. She really is easy to understand when it comes to AtaFami.
「Let’s try a first to ten rounds in Atafami. How about it?」
「……Bring it on.」
As expected of Hinami, one AtaFami invitation and she would readily get on board.
Then came Sunday. I won ten rounds and felt much better. Hm? Aren’t I kind of catching Hinami’s bad personality here?