Later, on the road to school.
The twins were still depressed about the pudding, something they missed the chance to get.
"Haah, I didn't know that milk would be used to make pudding. If I had known, I wouldn't have let you waste it on a bath..."
Riku's words were like a sharp arrow that directly pierced Rimu's heart. This incident occurred originally because of her.
When she found that bottle of milk yesterday, she had recalled the information about the benefits of a milk bath for skin maintenance. She couldn't help but succumb to the devil's temptation.
"Ah, it's not like I blame you or anything, Rimu. I know that you were... umm, careless and not too smart."
He was about to say "idiot," just stopping at the last second.
"I should've been more vigilant the moment I sensed something was wrong when you took out that milk."
Another stab directly to the heart!
But, the milk has been spilled. No matter how they regretted it now, they can't undo the past.
Both of them could only sigh.
At a road intersection, they suddenly heard someone shouting.
Turning her head to the source of the voice, Rimu saw Kouta running after them while carrying a plastic bag. Both of the twins stopped their walk and waited until Kouta caught up with them.
Riku greeted him.
"Good morning Kouta. I heard you were sick yesterday. Are you doing better now?"
Kouta, who got stomachache two days ago but had recovered after taking a day off. Still worn out after his run, he answered Riku's question.
"Haah, haah... Of course!"
Stabilizing his breath, he then continued with a big smile.
"What do you think I am? It was just a trivial stomachache, no biggie for me!"
Riku nodded in understanding. Since the person himself said he was fine, there was no reason for doubt.
With that said, Kouta turned to Rimu.
"Chiwaasu~...! That's good for you, Kouta! But, don't be so reckless next time."
Rimu couldn't help but reprimand him. This guy dared to order spicy food while not having high spiciness resistance. That was just stupid. Even now, she couldn't comprehend what was on Kouta's mind when he ordered the Extra Spicy Mapo Tofu.
It was the same dish she had ordered at the time.
'It was good this did not escalate to having him admitted to a hospital.'
If it came to that, then would she be held responsible? Since she was the one who lead him to skip school in the first place.
Unaware of what was on Rimu's mind, Kouta responded to her with a teasing tone.
"Oh, are you worried about me, Rimu-chan?"
Rimu answered with a smile. A prompt answer.
Hearing it, Kouta couldn't help but blush. Rimu's smile also caused preemptive damage to his mind, making him flustered. He inadvertently turned his head away to hide his embarrassment.
Riku who noticed Kouta's change of expression, couldn't help but ask.
"What's wrong, Kouta? Your face is red."
"N-Nothing, it's just this feeling... Haha, hahahaha."
"Huh? You're weird..."
For some reason, Kouta became more suspicious. Riku couldn't help but think.
'Perhaps, Kouta hasn't fully recovered from his sickness, yet he forced himself to attend school...'
Noticing the atmosphere turned weird, Kouta coughed and changed the topic.
"By the way, Rimu-chan... Here are my PS2 games. I collected them yesterday."
He said as he gave the plastic bag to Rimu. After she opened the bag, she saw a lot of PS2 DVD cases inside. Counting them, there were 20 DVDs in total.
"By the way, I didn't include any games you already have in your house.
There's no point to borrow something you already own, right?"
"Is this okay...? I mean..."
Rimu hesitated to accept the bag.
She already felt bad after causing Kouta so much trouble the other day, so she didn't have the heart to inconvenience him any further. Yet it was Kouta himself who had taken the matter.
"What's wrong? Wasn't it you who wanted to borrow my PS2 games?"
"Ah, yeah... Thank you, Kouta. I'll accept. I'll return it later."
"Okay, take your time."
Since Kouta had already carried his DVDs all the way here, it would be improper of Rimu to refuse.
She then took her school backpack off and gave it to Riku.
"Riku, can you carry my backpack and put it to my seat? I'll go back home and take care of this first."
"Eh...? But if you do that, you will be late for the first period."
"I'll be fast. Don't worry about me and go!"
Without waiting for Riku's answer, Rimu already dashed away, leaving Riku and Kouta behind.
Both of them silently watched as her figure disappeared.
"There she goes..."
Left with no choice, they could only resume their walk to school without her.
However... something else had waited for them there.
A few minutes later, when they arrived at the gate, Nia appeared and intercepted them. With incredible momentum, her hand swiftly performed an iron claw attack towards Kouta's face.
"KOUTA, YOU SCUM! RECEIVE YOUR PUNISHMENT!!"
With Nia's sudden attack, Kouta didn't even have the time to dodge. He could only let out a wretched sound like a frog that got stepped on by an elephant.
Watching the sudden development, Riku stood stupefied. Seemingly noticing Riku's presence, Nia awkwardly greeted him.
"Good morning, Riku-kun... Today is a good day, isn't it?"
Looking at her shy tone and expression when talking to Riku, maybe she could be seen as a cute and adorable girl who was in love. That was if people didn't see the hand that was gripping Kouta's face tightly.
Kouta, with his head grabbed, could only angrily protest. But that only made Nia strengthen her grip.
"Ow, ouch... Nia-chan, what are you doing? That hurts!"
"Oh, just shut up for a moment! Riku-kun, do you mind if I borrow this guy for a while?"
"Sure, go ahead."
A prompt answer. Since it seemed like this was a problem between the two, it wouldn't be wise to get involved and become a third wheel. So did Riku thought.
Kouta who still couldn't understand why he was iron clawed by Nia, could only cry asking for help.
"Wa-wait... Why... I don't understand... Riku, herupu meee~"
Ignoring Kouta's screams, Nia dragged him away. Riku, who was left alone, silently mourned Kouta's misery. Their drama had attracted quite a lot of attention, so Riku quickly moved away from the location.
He couldn't help but remember a certain term that seemingly matched this incident.
'Is this what they call domestic violence?'