Chapter 9

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It's the end of another day, and the class is quick to empty. [l/n] stands to follow the others, but I still have something to do.


[l/n] pauses, turning to look at me. Her eyes question me wordlessly.

'What are-'

As usual, I'm interrupted.

"Hey, Saiki."

"Hey buddy!"

I should've known.

Kaido wraps an arm around me dramatically, Nendo trailing not far behind. "Any plans after school today?"

I stare at him blankly. 'None that involve you.'

"Oh come now Saiki, I know you like hanging out with us. No need to give us the cold shoulder."

'I don't have money for ramen today. Go without me.'

Kaido tilts his head slightly. "Really? What did you spend it on?"

'Coffee jelly. Obviously.'

Kaido grabs my shoulders and starts shaking me as violently as he can, which really isn't that violent. "Coffee jelly!? You wasted all your allowance on coffee jelly!?"

'How is spending my allowance on ramen any better?'

Nendo finally chips in. "Does that mean your not coming? I can't eat ramen without you buddy!"

He turns to [l/n]. "Tell my buddy! He has to go!"

'What about me not having money do you not understand?'

Kaido turns his attention to [l/n] as well. "What about you, [l/n]? We had a good time without Saiki last time, didn't we? You want to join us?"

[l/n] takes a glance at me before holding up a hand in dismissal.

Kaido sighs. "Alright. C'mon Nendo, let's ask Kuboyasu." With that, they leave without further question. But that's mostly thanks to Kaido, who's dragging Nendo by the ear as Nendo just repeats the word "buddy" over and over until his voice fades down the hallway.

I let out a sigh. It's always something.

"I'd like to think the thing about the coffee jelly was just an excuse, but I genuinely can't tell."

I turn to look at [l/n]. To my dismay, she almost seems amused at my inconvenience.

'It's half true. I'm going to cafe Mami.'

[l/n] seems a little surprised at the mention of the cafe. But I know why.

Earlier I read her thoughts and found out she wants to go to the cafe after school. Unlike me, she doesn't know I like to go there too. And since we've already gone there together before, it didn't take long for me to figure out how to repay her.

'Come if you want.'

That only furthers [l/n]'s surprise. "You're inviting me?"

'I still owe you for the portrait.'

[l/n] raises a brow. "The portrait? It wasn't hard, it was a half-assed drawing. There's no point "repaying" me."

'I don't care if it was hard or not. I don't like being in someone's debt.'

"I already told you, you're not 'in my debt'."

[l/n] let's out a sigh as a response to my silence. "Alright fine, I'll come. I wanted to go there anyway."

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