Chapter 42:

Got a Good Deal

Unconsciously Interested



“There you have it, Shibasaki-san.” The enthusiasm in Nazumi-san’s smile is overwhelming. “Kyashii is totally fine with it.”

“I can’t believe my ears...” Swamped with surprise, I cast my gaze on Kyashii. “You can’t be serious...” Even though my heart went into flutters at her response, what blew me more was realizing she doesn’t dislike getting labeled as her best friend’s mistress!

I wasn’t expecting that.

“Fact is, as your b-best friend, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be okay if it’s all in good fun. You don’t mind if Mizuno-san calls you her wife even though you are merely friends, so there’s that, too.” Kyashii said without meeting my eyes for a moment; instead, her stare rested on my uniform.

“Uhh…?” I’m not one to cave in quickly, but she does make some fair arguments. Throughout all this time, I’ve let Tomoka refer to me as her wife basically for kicks, so it shouldn’t be a big deal if Kyashii does the same.

But, still...

Even when it’s just for fun, casually referring to her as my mistress still makes me feel a bit weird. It… Uhm... I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but this doesn’t sound right to me. It’s one thing for Tomoka to regard me as her wife, but for Kyashii to refer to herself as my m-mistress seems off-the-wall to me.


Come to think of it, I wonder if it’s still commonplace for friends to call one another wife or mistress.

Tomoka has always referred to me that way, and I have always thought of it as harmless teasing. But now Kyashii is also getting into these weird pet names, albeit for fun or whatever else; it’s starting to look like I’m not in a friendship anymore but in a polyamorous relationship. And with girls!

To make matters more flawed, they aren’t just any random girls; they’re my friends.

“. . . .”


So, if I go on treating this like it’s no big deal, our friendship will eventually get overshadowed by these weird call signs, isn’t it?

By the same token, the possibility also exists that some students here, particularly those boys who are into Kyashii, may think she likes girls if I let her get used to it and let Tomoka keep calling her my mistress. That’s probably not good for her as it might hurt her chances of getting the guy she likes, right?

Even though I’d be green with envy if that guy ended up taking my best friend away from me, the reality remains Kyashii likes him, and I certainly wouldn’t want to hamper her chances with him.

“Do you not want me to join in on the fun, Yuyo??” Kyashii’s unrelenting gaze swept over me. There’s a trace of disappointment in her eyes over my unconcealed hesitation on this matter. “Are you against it that much?”

“That’s not the case, Kyashii...” I quickly put up a hand to suggest she was getting my thoughts off beam. “I mean, you see... it’s already weird enough that Tomoka here is treating me as her wife, and I’ve only gotten used to it over time. But… Uhm…”


I took a moment before sharing some of my thoughts. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to play along with Tomoka’s non-standard language. As your best friend, I can’t bring myself into something like that, even if it’s only for fun. It just doesn’t feel right... Does what I’m saying make sense to you?” Awkwardness is setting in that I can barely hold a smile on my lips.

“No. Quite the opposite, actually. You’re fine with Mizuno-san, but not with me?!” Kyashii’s eyes grew wide in disbelief. “This is just for fun, Yuyo! I’m not even trying to pass myself off as your real mistress or anything. Hmph!” She scowled.

“Well, that’s the whole point; it’s all for fun. The need to go to that extent is like a hole in the head, Kyashii. Moreover, you’re rather well-liked among the male students in this school, so I’m somewhat in a stew about how people perceive you when they hear jokes like that.” The last thing I want to hear is someone saying something inappropriate about Kyashii. I struggle to keep a cool head in that kind of situation, as I have in the past.

“Hey, wait a minute, Yu-chin! Could that mean you’re not worried about what people will think of me when I declare me as your wife?!” Tomoka interjected. “How unfair! You didn’t give a hoot about protecting my good name at all, did you?!”

“. . . . . .”

I took a deep breath and looked up as I willed myself not to go through the roof at Tomoka’s flippancy.


Is her sense of timing so terrible she practically killed the important discussion I was having with Kyashii?!

“Tomoka, if my memory serves me right, I remember asking you countless times not to refer to me as your wife, as that was also my concern. But you insisted….” I clenched my teeth. “Not only that, I said the same thing when you violated me on the school trip! You...” I swear, all I want to do is give her another hard flick on the nose again and again until it’s completely knocked out of place.

“Oh, you’re right! Te-he!” Tomoka cradled her grinning face. “I was just trying to reaffirm my worth to you, Yu-chin! Hm-hmm! I knew it. You love me as much as you love Mikami-san.” She twisted her lips before sending Kyashii a goofy smile. “The wife and mistress seem to share the same playing field, Mikami-san.”

Kyashii’s eyebrows rose at Tomoka, but she said nothing.

“While we’re at it… About that, Tomoka… Please do not refer to me as your wife from this point forward.” My voice took on an earnest tone.

“Huh?!” They all let out synchronous gasps of surprise.

“Waaah! But, Yu-chin, why?! This is so sudden! You want a divorce before we’ve even acquired our marriage license?!” Tomoka fussed as she sagged against the desk. “I passionately refuse to sign anything!”

“Quit whining. You’re being too loud.” I dealt a quick light whack on her head.

“It’s because you’re creating a great rift in my heart! This isn’t fair at all!” She roared.

“Haah? Talk about unfair... You might want to think about this - I don’t appreciate the idea of Kyashii being labeled as my mistress while you’re free to call me your wife. How does that sound to you? I can’t have it both ways, don’t you agree?”

Tomoka groaned. “Tch! How I hate it when I impressively get what you’re saying, Yu-chin! If only you could— ...Owh!” Her face suddenly lit up in a broad grin as she jerked her head up from the desk. She seemed to have had a eureka moment just now. “I’ve got an idea!”

“What...” The grin on her face bothers me. “Why do I get the feeling you’re plotting something nefarious??”

“The rudeness! Very well, Yu-chin... How about if Mikami-san and I trade places??” Tomoka’s enthusiastic gaze landed on me. “I’ll play the mistress, and she’ll play your wife!”

“Haaaah?! What?!”

“Yep! I understand why you felt uncomfortable calling her your mistress. So... As Hana-chan mentioned a while back, you might feel more settled if you refer to her as your wife. This way, even though I am just the mistress, I can still refer to you as my sweetie. Mua-ha-ha-ha!” Tomoka let out what seemed to me an unspeakably sinister laugh. “An ideal compromise for promoting equality, yeah?! He-hem! Don’t you think I’m a genius, Yu-chin? Because I do!” Her chest puffed out with pride.

Just what in the terrestrial sphere is she talking about?! “That doesn’t sound any better at all!” I hissed. “Besides, that’s not why—”

“That’s perfectly fine with me, Mizuno-san! Let’s do that!” Kyashii cut me off with eagerness.


“It’s a done deal.” Kyashii extended her hand to Tomoka, who accepted it toothily. They are shaking hands right in front of me as if they’ve just inked a deal for a shady business or something.

“You got a good deal, Mikami-san. Still, we remain rivals, yeah??” Tomoka is wearing a smug expression.

“I told you, Kyashii, it’s—” The sound of the school bell blaring to end lunch break flooded our ears before I had the chance to finish what I was trying to say.

“Ohh! Lunch break’s over. Let’s get back to our seats~….” Kyashii sprang up and started collecting her stuff.

“Uhh...” All I could do was stare at her as she and the others moved desks and chairs around the room without a word.

“Ah! Yuyo, just a reminder you’ll be my food taster starting tomorrow~.” Kyashii picked a sweet smile for me. “And with me now being your w-wife, here’s hoping you’ll hand over the keepsakes we asked from you.” Her smile faded into a sneer before walking back to her seat.


“. . . . .”

Okay... My thoughts are all muddled up! Quite a bit has transpired on this lunch break, and I fear the imminent collapse of my mental faculties!

“Isn’t that great, Yuyo?”

“What is?” I turned to Minori, who was rearranging the chairs while beaming pleasantly at me.

“That Kyashii-chan has started calling herself your wife~. It’s so adorable...”

“Huh?! Minori, you’re on board with this shenanigan too??” My mouth contorted into a pout. “In all sincerity, I find it rather troublesome. It could create confusion for some people here. Haaah... What were they thinking?”

Ara~... Yuyo, I don’t think you should take that seriously. As Kyashii-chan asserted, it’s simply for fun. There’s no need to worry about it...” Minori giggled. “But... Even if it’s only for fun, I believe Kyashii-chan is a better fit for that part than Mizuno-san.”

“You don’t say.”

“It’s the honest truth, Yuyo. It’s also satisfying that Mizuno-san no longer thinks she’s your wife.” Minori said this cheerfully as she turned away.

Is there a reason why everyone else is into the whole wife and mistress thing?!

I let out a sigh and rested my hand on the top of my head. Ungh... I think those girls gave me a mild headache. Sheesh...

What exactly is going on with my friends, anyway?

Is this a reflection of how close we are that they could make a joke about us being mistress and wife just like that?

Or are they subconsciously pining for boyfriends by projecting that desire onto me since they think it wouldn’t bother me, as romantic stuff isn’t my thing?

“. . . .”

But then again, wasn’t there something a little off about this? Or is it just me?


Am I really the only one who has an issue with my friends’ playfulness? Minori seems to think it’s alright, so... does that mean I’m just excessively overthinking things?


I wonder if that’s indeed the case.


Alright! Maybe I should get these baby blue and pastel pink blossom-patterned paper bags.


I could just buy two of these lilac-colored ones. Hmm? However... Neither Kyashii nor Tomoka are big fans of this shade.

Ugghh… But this lilac paper bag with a cat print is just too adorable to give up!


Even so, I won’t need more than two of these for those keepsakes, so I might as well stick with my first decision.

“. . . . . .”


I never thought even deciding on color would be incredibly rigorous! This is annoying!

I’ve been standing in this aisle of the office supply shop near our school for what feels like an eternity, yet I still can’t figure out which one to grab for just a paper bag.

What a pain! I can’t believe how complicated such seemingly trivial things can be.

Or has it always been?

Throughout my primary and middle school days, I rarely gave anyone a thoughtful present. For the most part, I used to give my gifts to others in plain packaging, with no fancy wrappings or anything.

Now that I’m in high school and we’re talking about Kyashii, who has a sense of style, I don’t think it’s cool to hand out stuff in that form anymore.


Alright, Yuyo, the moment has come for you to choose! There’s a need to head home before it gets late.

“Are you looking for something, Shibasaki-san?”


“Oh, Ezaki-san.” Really now… This guy seems to be wherever I go for some time now. “Hello there...”

There was a smiling nod from Ezaki-san. “I noticed you were staring intently at these items as though they had caused you great harm and you were looking to exact revenge.” A quiet chuckle escaped him.

“A-ha-ha! Err…” Do I really look like that??

“I thought you were looking for something I could help you with, which is why I approached you before those things turned into ashes.” He said in jest.

I scoffed at him. “Well, there’s a method to my madness. I was just being so picky about these cute colors and prints that I couldn’t make up my choice for a while.”

“That certainly sounds like a daunting task.” His mouth curved in a small grin.

“Guh! It is. Hmm... What about you, though? Are you looking to buy something?” I casually asked.

“I was looking for something simple as a treat for my younger sister. It’s my way of cheering on her as she prepares for the upcoming midterms.”


“So, Ezaki-san turns out to be a caring oniichan, huh?”

“Why... Do I come off as someone who isn’t a kind brother, Shibasaki-san?” He winked with a gentle smile.

“Why, yes...” I gestured a peace sign. “I’m joking... I think getting a gift for your sister in the hopes that—” Hmm? …Just a second. “Uhh… Ezaki-san... Should the offer still be on the table, perhaps I could use your help with something?”

Ezaki-san drew a curious glance at me. “Sure, Shibasaki-san, why not? I wonder what this is all about.”