“Hi Alice…did you take a nap?”
The words “SOUND ONLY” were displayed on the window the Ring Gear projected.
A faint voice replied over the connection.
“…I can’t understand why you thought that I was sleeping. It’s not even 3 o’clock yet.”
Sunlight was streaming through the classroom window.
“No, it’s because you didn’t answer the call straight away.”
“…I was considering whether I should respond to the boorish call that was interrupting my afternoon teatime or pulverize the Ring Gear.”
If you didn’t have a Ring Gear you wouldn’t be able to go through life in the academy city. It was even necessary in order to be able to enter your own house.
“…And? Did Masaki-kun call me to check if I was an unsightly woman who indulged in laziness?”
“It isn’t bad to take an afternoon nap…anyway, that’s not the point; I’m going to a cake shop now so I was going to ask you if you wanted anything.”
“…That’s unusual…you usually make them yourself.”
“I think that eating delicious food is important too. This shop seems to have become popular recently.”
“Recently? Which shop is it?”
“It’s a new shop called ‘Café de Mancio’, have you heard of it?”
“…No…it seems like…a new cake shop.”
Her harsh voice seemed to have softened a little.
Was it because she was interested in it?
“…So the two of you are going together.”
“No, Shirley is going to be late since she’s doing club activities.”
Since she was a very athletic person, she was part of several sports clubs. Her overall level would rise just by participating, so it seemed like a convenient thing.
Normally her work as part of Breaker would take priority, but now that she was a Supporter she wasn’t called that much.
“…Okay, then you’re going by yourself?”
“It seems that way. Shirley said ‘I’ll leave it to you so make sure you buy something delicious’.”
Alice gave a small sigh.
“That girl only remembers three kinds of cake.”
“Only three…? Is it shortcake, cheesecake and Mont Blanc? But I think she might remember chiffon cake.”
“……It’s ‘Sweet’, ‘Delicious’ and ‘Big’.”
He got that impression in their childhood––it’s something about her that didn’t change, he thought. But even so, she was a high-school student now.
“Well, that was Shirley’s case, what about you, Alice? Should I call you again when I get to the shop?”
“Are you on your way now?”
“No, I’m about to leave the classroom now. If I called you on the bus it would bother everyone else.”
After HR, the majority of people would go to their clubs or committees, or go home. Several students would stay behind for idle chit chat or to make calls to other people.
Alice was silent.
Did he say something that offended her?
Or was she deciding on what cake she wanted?
She could be looking up the shop’s menu through the network.
Masaki waited for a while.
“Hey Alice, should I contact you when I get there?”
“…Are you in a rush?”
“No, that’s not it but I thought something was bothering you.”
“…I’m not troubled in particular.”
“Are you sure? If you’ve already decided I’ll buy it for you. If it’s out of stock I’ll contact you again.”
“…What are you trying to say?”
She said in a low voice.
Masaki thought hard about what to say.
“Was I mistaken?”
“…I never said anything along the lines of ‘Wait.’ ”
The window which had consisted of a black background with the words “SOUND ONLY” got noisy for a moment and then changed completely.
The figure of Alice, who had just finished preparing to go out, appeared. She looked smartly-dressed even when she was wearing a dressing gown, but it was completely different from how she looked when she was going out.
“…I don’t think it’s particular unreasonable for us to go together even if Masaki-kun said no.”
She smiled involuntarily.
“Of course, I’d be fine with whatever you decided, Alice. I’d be happy to go with you.”
In the hologram, he could see that her cheeks were slightly tinted.
“…If that’s the case, then you should wait for me.”
“I’ve got it. I’ll meet you in front of Alrescha.”