CH 11 – Are we friends, Ishikawa-kun?
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A/N: Major Illustration Update: Every illustration has been changed to AI generated made by me; so now this is actually what they look like and what I had in mind when I made these characters. Also, absolute dub for the MC of the novel, finally has some illustrations as well - trying to make / find an illustration for a boy that has a middle part / wolf cut was extremely difficult. The piercings were an added touch to really give him that "intimidation" and "scary" aura.


"Hey, Ishikawa-kun~ What do you think about this outfit???"

Inoue-san brought the cuff of her baggy sweater to her mouth.

She was wearing a white oversized sweater that extended past her hands and waist, exposing a bit of her bare shoulders. Underneath, she was just wearing a plain folded blue skirt that tucked in the hem of the sweater, revealing her pale and smooth legs.

"It's pretty cute."


"Usually if something is too oversized, it looks awkward, but it actually makes you look really cute."


"The sweater just slightly revealing your shoulders really adds to that pure and natural look. The hint of the bare shoulders and your collar bone also adds onto that, which really gives you that "must protect" vibe you have right now. Obviously, your skin's hella white and clear, so it blends extremely well with the white sweater as well."

"M- Mm-hmm...?"

"Honestly, since you look really mature and beautiful, wearing that oversized sweater really converts your appearance into a super cute girl with a hint of "ero." Like you have the added bonus of looking hot, which is a big W. Overall, hmmm... Definitely cute. Probably a 10/10 for me."

"I- I- Is that so...? B- Banzai..."

"What is that awkward celebration? Do you not like the clothes?"

"N- no, that isn't the reason, so don't worry about it."

"Okay...? If you say so, I guess."

Its been 2 weeks since then. Like I had "promised" Inoue-san, every time she showed up afterschool, she would take me to the mall and show off a brand-new outfit. 

One thing I've noticed is that Inoue-san surprisingly resembles my old little sister, back in the day. 

Not appearance wise, but the way she acts with me; super excited all the time moving from place to place, and giddy with a hint of anticipation when hearing my review on the clothes that she shows off. That, and the fact that she drags me all across the mall every single time, to the point of exhaustion.

"Sorry for pulling you around whenever we go out..."

"Nah, its fine."

"Huh? Really? I thought you would've been angrier with me..."

"It's because you remind me of the sister I was talking about before. Never runs out of gas, and kind of a little brat."


"Well, I guess that was kinda her charm though. While she did pester me to no end and drag me all across the place, she was still super cute when she got all excited and smiled, like you."

"...Like me!?"

"Yeah. So I actually don't mind it anymore when you drag me around, because that aspect of you is kinda adorable, reminds me a lot of that little sister."

"Hmm....? I see... Eh he he he..."


'That's exactly what I mean. My little sister would always smile when I complimented her, just like what you're doing right now.'

I kept my thoughts within myself. 

All I could see now after 2 weeks of hanging out at the mall with Inoue-san was not the mature cool girl anymore, but instead, just another cute bright girl like my little sister.

Right now, she was grinning to herself with a slightly flushed face. I felt like I saw the two images of my sister and her blend into one, like an illusion.

Due to that, my hand unconsciously reached out to pat her.

As I settled my hand on her silky hair, her body jerked.

"Huh!? Ishikawa-kun?"

"...Sorry. It was out of habit. That was kinda gross, wasn't it?"

With a bitter smile, I released my hand from her head, when suddenly, she grabbed it and placed it back on.

"Um... Inoue-san?"


"Why did you put my hand back on?"

"Because it surprisingly feels good..... I don't think its gross, so keep patting me!"



She really is the spitting image of my little bratty sister.

Always selfish, unreasonable, full of energy but... she was still my cute sister in the end.


"Mnn... Hehehe..."

"You're surprisingly cute, Inoue-san."

"..Mnhm...M- Huh!?"

"I mean like you look really mature, but this side of you really shows shows major gap moe." 1Basically when someone does something contradictory to their usual behavior or their established outward demeanor.

"Eh~~ What do you mean~~~"

"Hey, do you see that cute couple over there?"
"Woah, in the open like that?"
"How bold~"


"...Um... Let's go to the cafe next, okay?"

With my face feeling a little hotter than usual and something trickling my throat, I removed my hand from her head. 


While pulling her via the edge of her sleeve, Inoue-san seemed to be pouting quite a fair bit.

What part of her is "mature" and "cool" that everyone claims her to be?


"Neee~ Ishikawa-kun?"


While drinking a flat white coffee, Inoue-san pulled her chair beside me and leaned on the desk.

"We're friends right?" She beamed.

"You've got balls of steel to say that, I can't lie. Especially since you blackmailed me into becoming your 'friend.'"

"I don't have any recollection of that...? I think you're a little bit "coo coo" up in your head right now, Ishikawa-kun."

"And I think that you're just a sly ass brat."

"Hahaha! Isn't cursing me just a little too weak for a comeback?"

"You're not wrong, I guess."

"...Seriously though. Are we friends?"

"No we're not, you crazy woman."

"...Mou...Ishikawa-kun, you meanie!"

I started to see tears forming in her eyes. 

"Ah okay, okay! We're friends- we're friends, so stop crying please... Everyone's looking at me like some sort of scum now..."

The old ladies and young girls sitting at the other tables starting glaring at me and whispering to each other.



"...Pinky promise?"

"What are you, like a grade-schooler or something?"

"Pinky promise me!"

".....Fine. God, this is so embarrassing..."

Linking our pinkies together, I was suddenly overcome with a sense of shame for doing this with a full-fledged teenage girl.

"...Okay, are we good now? No more crying, please?"

"Hehehe... You've been caught in my trap, Kawa-chi!"

"What kind of stupid nickname is that..."

"It's cute is it not?"

"Yeah, it would be for a girl. But I'm not a girl am I?"

"Maybe you are? Maybe you're actually hiding it from the entire world!!!"

"You're an actual idiot, you know that right?"

"Eh he~"

She tapped her head with her fist as if she was a ditzy character.

I sighed.

"...Well, it's not too bad."


"Hanging out, I mean. If you disregard the blackmailing and constant pestering, I guess you could be considered my first friend."

"Eh... Kawa-chi, I'm your first friend...?"


"That's quite sad isn't it?"

"Shut up."

Giggling, Inoue-san leaned back on her chair.

"If I'm your first friend, I think it calls for a celebration!"

"...That's such a sad celebration to be happy about."

"So, for your present, I will give you... *drum roll* ...the esteemed right to call me by my first name!"

"No thanks."

"...Eh!? Kawa-chi, you meanie!"

"Bro, I literally don't care."

"Neeeeeeee~ Hurry up and call me by my name~"


"Call my name! Call my name! Call my name!"

"Oh my god. Can you please sto-"

"Call my name! Call my name! Call my-"

"Fuck! Okay! So stop shaking me already!"


A sigh escaped my mouth. 

Turns out, after just 2 weeks, I discovered that I was despairingly weak against Inoue-san.

"Chiaki. There, you happy now?"


"If only people were as simple as you.... Haaaaaaaa...."

I grimaced in the days to come.