Chapter 3

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The day went on without much incident. Now it's the end of the day, and [l/n] and I haven't thought of a location to work at. Or rather, she hasn't.

I turn my head in her direction. 'How about cafe Mami?'

She perks up at the name, giving a single nod of affirmation.

Not long after, the bell dismisses us, and we head out together. Unfortunately for me, walking with her means I have to walk the whole way rather than teleport close by, but even so it's not that far.

Besides, the walk isn't bad. At least it wouldn't have been if it weren't for Teruhashi's jealous thoughts swirling in my head as we left campus. Luckily she had to meet with her partner too, so she wasn't able to watch us long.

Besides that, the walk was peaceful and quiet. [l/n] was rubbing the shoulder the sling of her bag rested on. We had to carry our textbooks so I can see why it would be uncomfortable. My shoulders however are apparently hard as steel so I can't feel things like that. But it comes with the price of constantly feeling stiff. Either way, I'm not about to help her.

It wasn't long before we reached the cafe. We- or rather I choose a seat away from the window. I don't need to risk others seeing us together, especially in a cafe. People might get the wrong idea.

It doesn't take long before we're approached by a waiter ready to take our orders. Mera isn't here today, but I suppose it's for the best.

Originally I didn't want to order food with our drinks because that would mean I'd have to spend more time with [l/n], but the temptation of sweets, especially coffee jelly isn't something I'm able to deny.

I order my usual coffee and coffee jelly, while she orders tea and cheesecake. As you can tell from my order I'm more of a coffee person myself, but cheesecake is always a good choice.

[l/n] opens her mouth, but hesitates. "What does coffee jelly taste like?"

Strangely enough, it's the first time she's talked to me first. Now that I think of it, I haven't seen her speak to anyone besides me yet. I suppose she hasn't had to. But that's not the real issue here.

'You've never had coffee jelly?'

To my dismay, [l/n] shakes her head.

What? I can feel my eyebrow twitch. I guess it makes sense, she lived in the west. But still. 'It's the perfect mix of rich, sweet, and bitter with a creamy finish. It's a dignified treat. I highly recommend it.'

She nods in acknowledgment, the corners of her mouth raising ever so slightly at my enthusiasm. Maybe I get a little intense when it comes to coffee jelly, but I can't help it. "Maybe the next time I come. I already spent most of the pocket change I had on me but I'll keep it in mind."

Just then, our orders are placed in front of us. My eyes glisten at the site of my heavenly dessert. I forget all about [l/n]'s sin and go on to enjoy what's my favorite treat.

Once I'm halfway done, I finally bring myself back to reality for a moment and spare a glance at [l/n], a little self conscious at the expression I was making while in front of someone else.

The tension in her eyebrows relaxes as she sips her drink and eats her cake. Her expression isn't as obviously overjoyed as mine probably is, but it's not hard to tell she enjoys it.

She takes a glance at me, and then my already half-eaten coffee jelly. She almost looks amused. I can feel a slight tinge of embarrassment in my cheeks.

A thought then plays in my head. I guess it's quiet enough in the cafe that I can hear her without too much effort. 'He really likes that stuff, huh? That's the most expression I've seen from him so far. Is it really that good?'

Yes. I look down at my dessert. The thought to let her try it crosses my mind for a split second but I quickly shut it down. If she wants to try it she can buy it herself, I'm not sacrificing even a bite of my own to satiate her curiosity. Besides, if she ended up liking it, she'd probably want more.

The concern that she might ask to try mine herself crosses my mind. Now that I think about it, the suggestion for her to try it might have came off as an implication to try mine. Luckily for me the thought never even crosses her mind.

Sure I feel a little guilty, but this is coffee jelly we're talking about. I'm not about to give it up if I don't have to.

After finishing our food, we finally get started on our assignment. To my relief, it turns out her academic skill is fine. She's not super smart, but she's able to hold her own well enough. She struggles a bit, but I don't have to help her too much. Still... I'm not sure what to do about the drawings. It will sound lazy if I try to push it on her, but there's no way I'm doing it.

'... What about the drawings?'

[l/n]'s face brightens slightly at the implication. "I can take care of those if you want to do something else. It's a hobby of mine anyway."

I can feel myself relax a bit. She accepted it so easily, it's even something she does on her free time. I can't say I understand it personally, I've never understood the appeal of art, but in this case it's convenient for me, so I don't really care.

She pulls out a familiar book from her bag. The book she was writing in yesterday to be exact. But it doesn't take long for me to realize that she wasn't writing in it- She was drawing.

We spend the next couple hours working on our designated tasks, which mostly involved her drawing while I did the writing. We converse here and there, but for the most part we work quietly. Strangely enough, I was tempted to ask unnecessary questions, but that would mean starting a conversation, and that's not something that fits with my character.

Finally we wrap things up. Pack our things, and head our separate ways. My house is actually the same direction as hers, but I don't want her having an idea of where I live, so I'll just walk the opposite direction and teleport.

One more session like this and we would be done. Besides the fact that we were working on a school assignment, it wasn't all bad. Still, I'm ready to just go home already.

Besides the boring work, it's hard to smell the coffee and sweets and not buy them. No, it's torture. But I couldn't afford to keep ordering the entire time we were there.

I round a corner and teleport home right inside the door. 'I'm home.'

Mom is quick to greet me. "Welcome home, Ku! Did your study date go well?"

'Don't call it that. And it was fine.'

"How is Teruhashi?"

My brows furrowed at the mention of her name. 'I didn't work with Teruhashi.'

Mom's eyebrows raise. "Really?"

'Why are you so surprised?'

"It's just that when you mentioned it the other day you said 'she' and usually when you're with a girl it's her, so I just assumed."

I suppose she's right about that. My bad fortune combined with Teruhashi's ability to get whatever she wants has often caused our paths to cross. But the story can't revolve around one character all the time, even Teruhashi.

Mom smiles warmly. "We'll I'm glad you have a new friend, Ku! It's nice to see you meet new people."

'We're not friends, she just transferred here. Besides we're working together out of force, don't get the wrong idea.'

I already know the answer, but why does every transfer student have to get involved in my life?

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