The Cute Girl Sitting Next to Me is a Manipulator but I'm Smarter
I stood in front of a fairly modern home.
There were a series of large windows allowing large amounts of light inside. From what I could see, just the garage was around half of the house's width. It was made up of clean geometric-like shapes with hardwood and painted concrete.
I followed Fujiharu-san to her front door as she took off her shoes. I did the same and she opened the door with her keys.
As I made my way inside, I saw that the interior was incredibly clean and organised. From what I could see, you'd imagine that there was a maid living in the home and cleaning it every single day.
She led me through her hallway into the kitchen. There was a little marble counter that was just off-centre from the kitchen with several high-rise chairs. I placed the groceries on the ground.
"Take a seat~"
I sat down before she grabbed an apron off the wall.
She happily walked around the kitchen, getting utensils and setting up her workstation. She took out the cauliflower and placed it on the chopping board. I could hear her faintly humming something as she prepared all the different ingredients. She heated up some oil in a saucepan before systematically putting the vegetables inside.
I patiently waited as she cooked for me. The more I thought about it, the more I realise that she is definitely popular for a reason. Everyone thinks that she's cute, but not only that, she was quite capable. She was good at sports, good at studies and good at socialising—she was considered by many to be perfect.
A few minutes later, she poured the cauliflower soup into two bowls and drizzled some olive oil on top.
"Here you go~"
She passed a bowl over to me before taking a seat next to me.
She watched me intensely as I scooped some of it into a spoon. It was somewhat awkward to be eating while someone was looking at me so vigorously—oh well. I took a sip and consumed the flavour in my mouth.
The taste was alright, it was nothing special.
She pouted and moved her face closer.
"Are you sure it's only good?" She teased.
"Uh, it's pretty good..."
She seemed a little disappointed but soon enough, she began eating her soup as well.
"Hey Mizuhara-kun, what did you get on your midterms last semester?"
"I ranked 20th."
"Ah, that's good."
I could tell that she was saying that out of pity; she came 2nd place after all. It didn't really matter to me though, my score wasn't actually a representation of what I could achieve, ideally, I would get an even lower score. The issue was that I worried that the school might take issue with my scholarship if I scored too low during the exams.
However, Fujiharu-san was in fact quite smart, her intelligence was not to be overlooked. In comparison to rank 3, she was much smarter. In basically any other school, she might be ranked first. The only reason she's not ranked first here is because of one girl—the girl who witnessed the Ideal Human Project first hand, Tachibana Emi.
The results of the last midterm exams showed this quite clearly.
1. Tachibana Emi - 398
2. Fujiharu Sara - 379
3. Chiyazome Ritsu - 321
Eventually, the two of us finished our food and I took the bowl over to the sink.
"Thanks for the meal."
I picked up my bag and prepared to go to back to the dorms.
"Wait, do you want to watch a movie?"
I wasn't really interested, I wanted to go back to the school and read Murder on the Orient Express. I tried to keep walking, hoping that she'd eventually give up but all of a sudden, I felt her arms wrap around my chest.
"Come on~ just one movie."
"Uh, I don't really like movies that much."
"We have our own movie room, it'll be fun~"
I could feel her tugging at me.
"We can watch To Kill a Mockingbird, or a movie based on one of the other books you like."
"I mean, I suppose so."
All of a sudden, I heard the front door unlock. I could hear a little ruckus outside, there was some slight chatter before several people walked inside. From what I could see, I assume that it was her parents and a younger brother.
She suddenly pushed me into the closest room and slammed the door closed.
Well this was awkward.
I turned around and looked at where I was. I was met by a small, girly room. There was a single bed with tons of pillows and a soft pink blanket. Around the room, there were various plants and different decorations on the walls. She also had a compact bookshelf with a row of novels all written by H.Z—I guess she liked his books quite a bit.
However, the most interesting thing I saw was a thick photo album. I considered having a look at it but I felt that it would be a bit of an invasion of her privacy. Instead, I just took a seat by the door and waited until every blew over.
I could hear her having a conversation with her parents. Everything seemed normal for the most part but I could tell that she was obviously trying to lead them away from her room. I guess bringing a boy back to her house was a big deal.
I stayed seated for almost ten minutes before she finally returned. She slid open the door and quickly hopped inside before closing it again.
"So, can I go now?" I asked.
"No, they're still in the kitchen."
"Can't I just introduce myself to them?"
I guess we'll be playing this weird game of hiding until they finally leaved.
She took a seat on her bed and gestured for me to sit next to her.
I walked over and took a seat beside her.
"Sorry about all this, hopefully this isn't too annoying for you."
"I don't really mind that much."
She giggled a little.
"You know, Mizuhara-kun, I really don't mind hanging with you."
What was that supposed to mean?
"Um, that's good, I guess."
"No... well, what I mean is... never mind."
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