Even on the day of the opening ceremony, Yuuki was still the first one to arrive at the classroom.
Kotori, who came with him, went to do various preparations with her new homeroom teacher, so Yuuki took a seat at his own seat and began to study as usual.
A short time later, the classroom’s door opened.
“So eager as soon as new term starts, aren’t you”
Without even needing to look up from his reference book, he could tell that this voice, with its feminine touch, belonged to his only female friend, Ootani Shouko.
We didn’t see each other during summer vacation, so it’s been about a month, huh.
Originally, they talked a lot at school, but they didn’t have a relationship where they would hang out after school unless they had specific needs.
Since the beginning of summer vacation, both of them had been busy, with Yuuki with his studies and work, and Ootani seeming to be busy with the preparation for a sales exhibition held in the summer. So they had only exchanged several messages concerning Kotori.
Yuuki looked up from his reference book, trying to reply to Ootani.
“Been a while, huh. Ootani…”
At that moment, “Hmm…?,” something shocking struck his eyes.
“…Umm, who might you be?”
“Are you still half asleep? Though unwillingly, I’m Ootani Shouko who has always been sitting behind you since the first year”
Indeed, those gestures and voices were that of Ootani…
But if what exactly happened were to be described briefly, it would be “Ootani extreme slimming.”
Over there was an extremely beautiful woman.
She always had a good face. But now, with all the excess flesh gone from her face, the contours of her face had tightened, and the strong look in her eyes had transformed into a cool, intelligent, mature charm. Furthermore, the slimming down was mainly in the abdomen area and face, while the chest and buttocks, which had been plump, tightened up while maintaining their texture.
Her hair had grown a bit, and she also wasn’t wearing glasses, perhaps wearing contacts. And that highlighted her face, which was more beautiful than cute.
No, really, just who the hell are you!?
You could say she was like a cheating-class existence that combined the best part of a bikini model’s outstanding figure and an actress of cool beauty type.
Yuuki had always thought since long long ago that she would probably be a very beautiful woman were she to lose weight, but this was indeed unexpected.
As Yuuki was flabbergasted and gaping open his mouth at the excessive surprise, Ootani thinly smiled, “So… Just as you see. I’ve just tried to have a bit of an image change, though?,” and told him.
Funny, it’s different from “a bit” that I know.
“And your impression is?”
“Eh, well, umm, you really surprised me”
“I can tell that by looking at your stupid face. I’m asking in what way you’re surprised”
“…Do I really have to say that?”
“And – your – im – pres – sion – is?”
With the corner of the novel that Ootani holding in her hand, in which two men were “locked in a grapple,” she grinded Yuuki’s cheek.
“Owowowow, we-well, saying something like that to you is honestly embarrassing, though…”
He was glared by chilly eyes with contacts.
Yes, I’m sorry, I will say it.
“…It’s that, yep. You’re too beautiful, it surprised me,” Yuuki honestly told her so, and Ootani nodded in satisfaction.
“Is that so… Thanks,” Ootani thanked him, and took a seat behind Yuuki.
She then proceeded to open the book she was holding and started reading.
Her appearance changed drastically, but like that it’s very Ootani-like. I feel a little relieved.
“…But I was really surprised. Why is it again?”
“Nothing special… It’s just something like a change of mood,” Ootani said, without looking up from her book.
“Is that how it is?”
Speaking of which, Fujii previously said that girls change their hairstyle and make-up or pierce their ears, and call it a change of mood, didn’t he?
“But, it’s just like what I said, isn’t it. You’ve become the highest beauty, you know?”
For a long long time, Yuuki had been telling Ootani, “I think you’d be super beautiful if you lost weight, you know?”
“Oh my? It’s really pleasing when being praised so straightforwardly”
“I won’t lie about that kind of thing after all. Well, you’re no match for Kotori, though!!”
An unmerciful flash of BL book shot by Ootani hit Yuuki in the face.
“No need to make unnecessary comments, you galactic-class idiot”
As usual, Yuuki unpacked his lunch box on his desk.
Of course, it was Kotori’s homemade.
“Huh? Yuuki. Kotori-san is transferring to our school today, right?,” Ootani asked while eating the school store’s bread, also as usual.
“Hmm? Yeah, she is”
“Well, since it’s you we’re talking about, I just thought you’d fly to that girl’s place with slovenly face and ragged breath when it became lunch break”
“Wait hold on, just what kind of impression of me is that”
“That so? Since it’s you, like everyday when you’re returning from part-timing, you seem like you would jog home so you can get home where Kotori-san is waiting for you as soon as possible while making bouncy steps and grinning, though”
“Eh, seriously? How do you know that?”
Did she see me at some point? My part-time job should be in the opposite direction from Ootani’s house, though.
“…” ← (An expression made when looking at a truly regrettable idiot)
“Why are you looking at me the way you always look at that Fujii?”
“…I was just astonished that it’s too predictable. Well, let’s just put that aside”
Ootani finished her pork-cutlet sandwich, “Maybe I’m just sticking out my nose, but I’m a little worried. I wonder if she can handle it well, that girl,” and said as she opened the packaging of a curry bread, her other lunch.
He immediately understood what Ootani wanted to say.
Due to her particular environment while growing up, Kotori had been isolated even in her previous school. Although it quickly ceased due to her surroundings’ fear of that strangeness, she had also become a target of bullying.
“I guess. I’d also be lying if I say I’m not worrying about that…”
Yuuki was able to deeply learn about Kotori through that series of incidents. For this reason, “Unexpectedly, I’m feeling that it’ll be all right, you see,” he held this feeling.
“It may be a hard fight, but Kotori is truly a girl with a stronger core than anyone else after all. On the contrary, if I just go out to her, she would lose time to talk with her classmates because she would give her attention to me, right?”
Staring at Yuuki’s eyes who was saying it so clearly, Ootani’s expression relaxed a little.
“…I see. You sure do trust her. But, if she looks like she’s having problem, you should go listen to her story”
“Yeah, of course I would. Even like this, we’re always together at home, alright. I know immediately when Kotori’s worrying about something!!”
“Ah yeah sure, such happiness, yeah”
Ootani turned to look somewhere far away and started to stuff her mouth with her curry bread.
Yuuki had not the slightest idea why she was making a fed-up face.
“Well, that’s why I’m not worried about that side of things, though…”
“Is there something else you’re worried about?”
“Well, look. Kotori is, you know, the world’s number one cute and nice girl, right?”
“Don’t know about the world’s number one, but sure”
“Moreover, our school doesn’t have many girls, right? So, you know, I’m just worried and worried whether or not all kinds of guys would woo Kotori, or rather, whether the guys would start a war over Kotori”
“Aah, the curry bread today is tasty too”
Yuuki was splendidly ignored.
After classes ended, Yuuki sat on the bench in front of the entrance.
He took out his phone and sent a message.
‘Class is over. I’m at the entrance’
A reply from Kotori immediately came.
‘Mine, too. It’s almost over’
It was a simple message. No emojis or the likes.
For Kotori who until recently didn’t have a phone, a messaging app was just a way to communicate.
Since Yuuki was also not the type of person who was particularly chatty when using social networking services, his reply was simple.
Sitting on the bench in front of the entrance, he opened his reference book. The one he was holding was within the scope of what they would do in their third year, but Yuuki had already read through it many times.
Mathematical sequences, it sure is pretty fun to solve.
Yuuki continued to solve the problems in his head.
In passing, when he mentioned this to Ootani, “I’m repulsed just by looking at Σ,” she told him. Her eyes were filled with hatred as if her parents in her previous life had been killed by a summation symbol.
As he was reading the reference book for a while, “…Yuuki-san,” Kotori was standing in front of him.
He also saw it in the morning, but Yuuki’s school uniform suited her very well. The uniform of her previous school for young ladies was black-based with a sense of calmness and elegance, which was also perfect for Kotori’s image, but the orthodox navy blue blazer that she was wearing now was very nice, giving her a healthful feeling.
Yuuki got up from the bench, “Alright, let’s go home,” and told Kotori.
Yuuki put his reference book into his bag and walked out alongside Kotori.
“So, how did it go in class?,” Yuuki asked Kotori casually.
After a short interval, “Yes, everyone was all very nice,” Kotori told him with a smile.
Kotori was fiddling with her own hair.
In other words, well, I guess this is that.
“Say, my part-time starts a bit late today, and since we’re already outside anyway, how about we eat out now? It’s my treat”
“Eh? Okay,” Kotori replied with a wondering look.
Yuuki did say he would treat her, but because Yuuki, a high schooler, possessed no economic strength to treat her to a fancy high-class French dinner and the likes, it turned into a dinner date at a nearby family restaurant.
“I’ll have this seafood bowl set meal. How about you, Kotori?”
“Ummm, then I will, have this,” Kotori said, pointing her slender finger at a pancake set.
“You always have that, don’t you. But are you sure? That for dinner”
“Yes. I’m fine that”
The waitress took their orders, and went back towards the counter.
“When I became a doctor, I wonder if I can take you to somewhere a bit fancier at times like this”
“Such a… I’m fine enough at this place you know, Yuuki-san”
Kotori waved her hands sideways as if feeling sorry.
Well, she’s that kind of girl after all. It’s now much better than when we met, but the part of her that’s not very comfortable with other people doing something for her has not changed.
“…But, I guess so”
However, Kotori looked down as if thinking a bit, and then looked up.
“Since you’ve mentioned it, I’m going to look forward to it,” she said and smiled.
Yeah. Really, though she’s still being reserved, she’s been able to let herself be spoiled by others.
Nonetheless, that was only still with Yuuki and those close to her.
“…So, Kotori. Did something happen?”
At Yuuki’s words, Kotori’s eyes opened wide in surprise.
“It’s fine if it’s just my imagination, but you kinda look like you’re worrying about something”
Kotori looked away slightly. Before long, she exhaled deeply, “It’s obvious to you, isn’t it, Yuuki-san,” and told him.
“Yeah, I’m always thinking about you after all”
“I-is that so…”
Kotori’s face blushed.
…When she’s looking so happy like that, it sure is making my face hot, too.
“But, it really is nothing much, you know. It’s not like something I have to bother you with to consult…”
Yuuki put his hand on top of Kotori’s.
“I told you that time, right? I’ve decided to ignore those feelings of being sorry that you have”
And then, staring straight into Kotori’s eyes, “I want to help you on my own accord. That’s why, will you talk to me about it?,” Yuuki told Kotori.
She was silent for a while, but then Yuuki’s hand was wrapped in a soft touch.
Kotori clasped Yuuki’s hand.
“Thank you very much… Then, can I have you listen to me for a bit?”
“Yeah, you can talk all you want”
“Yes. Even so, it really is nothing much, you know? Everyone in class welcomed me kindly, too”
Then Kotori began to talk about today.
In the morning homeroom, it seemed that there wasn’t any problem in particular when Kotori introduced herself in front of her classmates.
If anything, the class seemed to be excited about an off season transfer student (he figured the excitement was because Kotori was a super beauty, however. So he decided to ask about that in detail later).
It seemed many of them kindly taught Kotori, who had no idea about the progress of the lessons, and there were also plenty of them who would start a conversation with Kotori about various things whenever there was time. It may be the same in the past, but the current Kotori was friendly, polite in her responses, and a good listener. It seemed that she was quickly accepted by her classmates.
A problem arose in the last morning lesson.
The fourth period was PE. Changing to a jersey for exercising was obvious, however…
“Aah, I see now”
Yuuki figured it out after listening that far.
“I guess so. It’s hard to change without showing your scars, isn’t it”
What did the girls in class think when they saw Kotori’s body?
If you were in high school, especially if you were a girl who entered an athletic club, you would probably have seen at least one serious injury and the scar that came along with it.
However, Kotori’s were not of that caliber.
Bruises and scars were vividly carved on her whole body. There was already no more new wound inflicted on her. Nevertheless, the scars that had been inflicted on top of the healing process over and over again throughout many years ever since she was a child were not something that would disappear in a month or so. There might even be some that would last a lifetime.
They were the traces of real violence that the girls in class, who had lived a normal life, would originally never have encountered.
And then not surprisingly, the matter was brought to the attention of the guys who were changing elsewhere.
In the blink of an eye, the kind and beautiful transfer student had turned into a “strange existence.”
Thankfully, it seemed she wasn’t ignored nor being told something thoughtless, however…
“Well, for sure. Things would get a bit delicates, wouldn’t it”
“Yes. Everyone, seems to be unable to figure out how to talk to me… If possible, I’d like to get along with everyone in class, but I’m afraid I’d put them on the spot if I were to forcibly talk to them…,” Kotori said as she looked down.
Really, Kotori can be overly-concerned about others, can’t she?, Yuuki thought so.
Even saying something like “Don’t worry about it, just be confident and everyone will forget about it,” would probably have no point. She would worry about things that would end up bothering others, and being able to think of others like that in itself was one of the good things about Kotori.
So, with the softest voice possible, “That’s right… You don’t have to make lots of friends, but it would be nice if you could make some truly close friends,” Yuuki said.
“You’re a type who would end up thinking you’re bothering them, but if you could muster up your courage and talk to them, some might be happy, you know”
“I wonder if that’s the case…”
“Yeah, even more so if it’s a cute girl like you, Kotori. Ah, but, if possible, the guys… No, it’s nothing”
Hearing Yuuki’s words, Kotori tilted her head.
“The guys… What is it with them?”
“Uuh, well. Like, I won’t say not to talk to them or anything. But I’m worried whether the guys would start meddling with you strangely… No, just forget about it”
Kotori bursted into laughter.
“So you’re jealous, isn’t it”
“…No, really, please just forget it”
“Yuuki-san, you’re so cute”
Kotori was beaming with a smile.
It’s awfully embarrassing… But, the feel of Kotori’s slender fingers stroking my hair is pleasant so I don’t want to shake it off, Yuuki with his complicated feelings.
The bell rang throughout the school. That was the signal for the start of lunch break.
In the classroom of year one class three, Shimizu Kotori was sitting alone in her seat while observing the surroundings.
At the same time as the teacher finished the lesson, her classmates went to do their own things, rushing off to the school cafeteria or going to their friends’ seats.
Everyone seemed to be having fun.
It was a typical school scene.
For this reason, she didn’t know if a person like herself should be associating with them, and so on was what she would end up thinking.
At least, she knew that she didn’t grow up in a normal way. As for whether or not she resented her father for being the cause of it, she no longer felt that way. If anything, the feeling of pity and guilt was bigger than resentment from the start because she was the cause why her father turned out that way.
However, she felt a little painful to be truly alone like this, without anyone to talk to. It was something natural for ther at her previous school, but since she met with Yuuki, she had learned the feeling of loneliness of being alone.
Huh… That person?
At that moment, Kotori caught sight of a female student who, like herself, was opening her lunch box in her seat by herself.
If I remember correctly, I think her name was Yoshida-san.
She was a girl that gave off a sparkling impression.
She had a slender figure like a model, and a permed, smooth and flowing blonde hair. She had cool facial features. Her eyelashes were beautifully done with mascara, and her nails, which were perhaps painted lightly with a red of nail polish, were adorning those beautiful hands glamorously. In a school with many docile-looking girls, she was a conspicuous girl who was paying attention to her make-up and ornaments.
Even so, she wasn’t a girl who gave a gaudy or showy impression. To put it briefly, she was a girl who gave off a polished and fashionable impression all over her body.
According to hearsays, apparently she was modelling for some magazine or something. I see, this girl on the cover would certainly be eye-catching, Kotori thought.
But right now, an unexpected situation was occurring to Yoshida.
The socks, she’s probably making a mistake, isn’t she…?
The right one was a simple black sock, while the left one was a cute white fluffy sock.
No, it might be that kind of fashion, but other places gave off a very polished feeling even to Kotori who didn’t know much about fashion, and yet only that part was completely out of place.
Kotori looked around, and it seemed there were also other students who had noticed and were sending glances towards Yoshida’s feet.
But, for some reason, no one had told Yoshida about it.
…It’s better to let her know, isn’t it
Kotori left her seat and went over to Yoshida.
“Hmm? You’re the transfer student, right? Do you need anything?”
Her voice gave a curt feel.
What should I do If I’m poking my nose out? Such a thought crossed her mind, but more importantly, someone who was putting their appearance perfectly like her would probably hate to keep showing her mistake around without noticing it.
So that the surroundings couldn’t hear it, “Umm, socks…,” Kotori spoke in a tiny voice.
“Socks…? Ah, crap, for real!?”
Apparently, she really did make a mistake. Actually, her surprised voice was higher than expected, which was cute.
Yoshida put her hand on her forehead, “Yikes, me of all people made this complete blunder,” and spoke, “Today I did my eyebrows just so cleanly and got so excited after all.”
“Umm, if you’d like, do you want to use this?”
Kotori took out a spare pair of socks that she kept in her locker in case it rained.
“…Can I!? Thanks!,” Yoshida thanked her and showed a broad smile.
…How should I put it, she’s someone livelier than I thought.
“Sheesh, you really saved me there. You know, I don’t have anyone to talk to much in class either”
“Is that so?”
Now that she mentioned it, I haven’t seen Yoshida-san talking to someone who seems close to her.
It was certainly true that she seemed hard to approach because of her adult-like atmosphere and too-perfect appearance. Even for Kotori, though vaguely, she had the impression that she was like a solitary flower blooming on a high peak.
Huh? In that case then…
I wonder if she would like to eat together with me?
Or maybe, that itself is just my poking my nose out. Maybe she likes to be alone.
Kotori recalled Yuuki’s words.
‘That’s right… You don’t have to make lots of friends, but it would be nice if you could make some truly close friends. You’re a type who would end up thinking you’re bothering them, but if you could muster up your courage and talk to them, some might be happy, you know’
Let’s muster up my courage. Perhaps, if she would be happy to, then.
“What is it, transfer student?”
Kotori was a little fidgety, but eventually, grasping her own hands tightly, “Would you like… To eat together?,” she asked Yoshida.
Kotori nervously looked at Yoshida’s face.
…Yuuki-san, it looks like I failed.
Yoshida had a blank expression on her well-featured face, and was staring at Kotori in silence.
Is she angry? Is she thinking of a reason to refuse?
“…Umm, I’m sorry. Just now was”
“…Say it again”
“Say it one more time,” Yoshida said with a strengthened tone.
It packed quite a punch when told so with her gorgeous and cool face.
“Eh, okay. Umm, if you don’t mind, would you like to eat together with me?”
For some reason, Yoshida suddenly started crying.
“Uwh, I also finally…Uwwh”
“U-umm, I’m sorry. Did I do anything rude?”
“…It’s different, hics”
They said that Yoshida was repeating a year due to some circumstances. And it seemed that everyone was distancing themselves from her, as she was older and dressed more stylishly than the others to boot. As for Yoshida, she wanted to get along with everyone as a classmate normally, but before she knew it, she seemed to have been treated as “a senior in the class.”
Over time, it seemed that strange rumors such as the office to which Yoshida belonged to was connected to a crime syndicate, and that the top brass was on good terms with Yoshida began to spread out, and finally it got to the point where she couldn’t talk to anyone anymore.
“…In the first year too, I was busy with work so I didn’t have any friends… And when I think that, I also finally can have lunch with a classmate on lunch break… UEEEEEEHH”
Although Kotori was glad that she was more happy than she had expected, Kotori made an awkward face as she was too happy.
“…That Kotori, I wonder if she was doing okay today,” Yuuki muttered on his way home from his part-time job at night.
Today, Yuuki purposely went to his part-time job as soon as the lesson had ended and did not return together with Kotori.
He certainly really wanted to return together everyday, but Yuuki felt that it would not be too good if she lost the opportunity to deepen her friendship with her new friends after school by going home with Yuuki.
It was possible that Kotori might be feeling forlorn, but he deliberately hardened his heart.
Until she met Yuuki, Kotori had been bound by feelings of guilt towards her parents, and hadn’t been able to do things that everyone else had taken for granted. That was why Yuuki wished her to expand her world more for her own sake.
With that in mind, Yuuki was deliberately doing something similar to pushing her away, but if pressed to say whether he was worried about Kotori or not…
I’M REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAALLLLY WORRIED ABOUT HER!!
Frankly, even during his part-time job, he was lost in thought, thinking about Kotori.
Yuuki knew better than anyone else that Kotori was a girl with a strong core, and he had faith on that part, but still, something to worry about would worry him.
In the first place, Yuuki himself actually wanted to see Kotori during lunch break, eat lunch with her, and go home together everyday since they were already attending the same school.
Damn it, gotta endure this. Yuuki Yuusuke…
It wouldn’t do any good if he were to become a person who tied up Kotori in place of her parents. At the very least, he didn’t want to steal the time it would take for Kotori to adapt to her class.
…Well, let’s comfort her with all my might if she gets depressed. And at the same time, Yuuki arrived in front of his apartment.
As usual, he walked up the stairs and opened the door to his room.
“I’m home, Kotori”
Normally, Yuuki would say “I’m home” after Kotori’s “welcome home” to him, but he missed her so much he called out her name first.
Perhaps hearing Yuuki’s voice, Kotori appeared in the doorway with a slight rush.
“Welcome home, Yuuki-san”
Kotori was smiling.
In addition, it was not a slightly forced smile like yesterday. It was a beaming smile coming truly from the heart.
Yuuki was convinced when seeing it.
…I see, you did it, huh. Kotori.
“Kotori, the classmate, was she a good girl?”
For a moment, Kotori tilted her head thinking about the meaning of Yuuki’s words.
However, she immediately understood it and nodded her head happily.
“Yes. She was a cool, and sweet girl, you know,” Kotori said in an unusual, lively voice.
She looked so lovely looking so happy that Yuuki couldn’t help but hug Kotori.
Dainty and soft. But, he could feel the warmth of her body heat in his arms.
Perhaps surprised by the suddenness, Kotori reflexively tensed up.
“…Kya, what’s the matter so suddenly? Yuuki-san”
“You did great, huh. Kotori…”
Kotori slowly relaxed her body and buried her face in Yuuki’s chest.
“Yes… I, tried mustering up my courage”
“…Yeah. That’s my girlfriend”
“It’s thanks to my boyfriend who’s always thinking about me…”
Yuuki stroked Kotori’s head. As always, it felt good to the touch.
A quiet time passed between them. All they could hear was the sound of a car passing on the street outside.
Like that for a while, the two of them savored each other’s body heat.
That was when, “…The door, still open.”
Suddenly a voice could be heard from behind Yuuki.
He looked behind, and saw a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl around the age of elementary school standing in front of the open door and looking at them.
It was a girl living two doors away whom he had seen at his front door when returning from work before.
“…It’s dangerous to leave it wide open… You know?,” the girl said to Yuuki, who was lost as to what to say.
“Y-yes. Thank you very much,” Kotori said, then the girl nodded her head and closed the door.
Together with a “pang” sound, silence returned to the entrance once again.
Yuuki and Kotori separated.
“We-we’ve been seen, haven’t we…”
Kotori’s face was as red as it could get. Yuuki himself would definitely be as red as she was.
Maybe this was the most embarrassing thing I’ve experienced, Yuuki wondered to himself.
My motivation to read little bird at the moment is at all time low. My interest is currently being tickled hard by Elf Wife and Returnee Classmate. If anyone wants to continue/translate little bird because they want faster chapters, feel free to do it. If there’s none, then I will continue to do it but with a slower rate hahaha. The same with “What if a friend’s older sister falls in love.” I’ve lost interest in it. Feel free to continue it/translate it. If not, I might still continue it but I won’t guarantee anything. And oh yeah, be sure to tell me if you do so I can link the next chapter to your site or something. At this point I’m currently thinking whether I’ll have the interest/motivation to translate dating story v3.
And I’ve actually already skimmed through the rest of “What if a friend’s older sister falls in love” and little bird v2