"It’s something that you should naturally enjoy. Those that are interested will naturally like it, and those that aren’t shouldn’t force themselves... that’s just my personal opinion."
"Harano-san wouldn’t wish for you two to force yourselves in order to get closer to him... you guys should know this as well, which was why you said to keep it a secret from him."
"I... think that you shouldn’t do it like this... and that you don’t need to do it like this."
Kaho had a sincere expression as she looked towards Chiaki and Mika.
The two of them didn’t say anything for a moment. Then, Chiaki began smiling.
"I didn’t expect to be lectured by Miyamoto-san like this," she said.
"Er... I just..."
"No need to explain," Chiaki added. "Your words were clear enough. I just want to say that Miyamoto-san is a gentle girl."
"No... something like gentle isn't..." Kaho unconsciously curled into herself. She didn’t feel that her little speech counted as "gentle."
"Mika and I want to do this due to a pressing matter, but now that I've calmed down and thought it through a little more logically, perhaps we were a little too hot-blooded. We were rushing into things." Chiaki sighed.
"Chiaki..." Mika looked towards her friend.
"Wait a moment... maybe it was just me that was rushing into things," Chiaki mumbled to herself. "Mika is fine." Chiaki turned to Mika. "Right now, I’m just Seigo’s ‘good friend,’ so perhaps I shouldn’t be doing this. But Mika, you’re different; considering your position, you should make a clear request of Miyamoto-san for yourself."
Mika was slightly surprised at this.
"I will back out now; the rest is all up to you. Let’s witness how you express your feelings and convince Miyamoto-san to help out." Chiaki smiled at Mika.
The double pigtailed girl blinked in understanding as she nodded.
"Miyamoto-san." Mika looked towards her classmate again, this time directly into Kaho’s eyes.
"Yes... Present!" Kaho sensed a sudden imposing manner coming from Mika and couldn’t help but tense up again.
"I like Seigo!" Mika said something that couldn’t be any more direct.
Kaho felt as if she had received a sudden impact and froze over slightly.
Mika’s face reddened; she felt slightly embarrassed about telling a classmate that she wasn’t very familiar with about her inner feelings, but she didn’t avert her gaze. She continued to look into Kaho’s eyes as she spoke in a serious tone:
"I want to be together with Seigo, so I want to like what he likes... no, I must learn how to like it! Otherwise, I won’t be able to win against the person that appeared... a super-strong love rival."
"This is an impure motive. I know that this may be disrespectful to ask someone like you that truly loves otaku culture to help someone like me. But I promise this: even if my motivation is impure, I shall truly find what’s fun about otaku culture during the ‘process of learning’ and cultivate it into one of my interests, without just acting like it is."
"Even if... I don’t get the result that I want from doing this, I won’t regret it, nor will I give up on this new hobby that I’ve cultivated."
"I’m doing this for Seigo’s sake, but at the root of it all, I’m doing it for the me that likes Seigo. So, please assist me!"
Mika strongly expressed her true feelings.
Kaho clearly felt Mika’s emotions and will and was completely astounded. The shock she received from Mika's words exceeded her earlier surprise.
‘A-amazing, so beautiful.’ Kaho truly believed that the girl before her right now was far more beautiful and charismatic than what Mika’s outer beauty indicated.
It seemed... almost as if Mika was shining like the sun, similar to Seigo.
Yes, that was right. She was someone who was always by Seigo Harano’s side! And she liked him and was persevering to get closer to him.
For such a girl to have such charisma seemed only natural to Kaho. Inwardly, Kaho was truly impressed by Mika.
She no longer felt like refusing any more. She felt it was appropriate to accept Mika’s request.
"Alright, I... hope that I can be of assistance."
Mika’s eyes lit up at this. "Thank you, Miyamoto-san!"
Chiaki chuckled as she watched this scene. "Excellent, it’s settled, then! From today onwards, Miyamoto-san will be Mika’s otaku culture teacher. Mika, call her Sensei."
"Yes, Miyamoto-sensei!" Mika said with a surprising amount of spirit.
"N-no need to call me like that!" Kaho’s face instantly reddened. "Don’t call me something like Sensei... it feels so awkward! I’m just... an otaku girl."
"How about Tutor Miyamoto then?"
"Tutor is no good either!"
"That’s even worse! Please don’t use any formal titles!"
"Young Master Miyamoto?"
"It’s not going to be any different even if you add ‘young’ in front!!" Kaho raised her voice.
Mika chuckled. "You’re so cute, Miyamoto-san."
"Eh? I-I’m not..."
Kaho’s face grew even redder due to the unexpected praise.
"If you don’t want any formal titles, how would you prefer Mika to address you, then, Miyamoto-san?" Chiaki asked while grinning.
"Just... just like normal..."
"That’s no good; our relationship has already moved to the next level." Mika smiled.
"Er..." Kaho didn’t know what to say anymore.
"Miyamoto-san, what do your friends call you?" Mika asked.
"Then, can I call you Kaho as well?"
Hearing this and seeing Mika’s sincere expression, Kaho instantly understood. "Yes... Uehara-san, is it alright if I call you Mika as well?"
"Yep!" Mika’s faint smile became a brilliant one.
This was the moment when the two girls became good friends.
At nighttime, Seiji was practicing [Astral Vision].
He had been practicing continuously after dinner, without even working on his novel, because the experience progress bar for this spell was almost at 100%.
He resolved himself to definitely learn it tonight. He'd worked hard at practicing and mastering the spell.
Finally, he succeeded and reached 100% progress.
After he confirmed this, Seiji brought up the final requirement in his system and paid the required amount of points.
Just like when he learned the [Body-Strengthening spell], [Beginner-level Astral Vision] lit up and now became available to use in his system. It felt like new knowledge had poured into his head as he learned [Astral Vision]!
*Ding!* A system notification popped up in front of him.
[Character reward card [Hoshi Amami]’s additional ability 4 has now met its prerequisites and can now be used.]
Seiji raised his eyebrows at this.
He then brought up his Hoshi card in his system and saw that the ability which had been nothing but question marks before was now revealed before him.
[Additional ability 4: Light’s Marking (prerequisite of Beginner-level Astral Vision required.)]
[Astral Vision power-up technique: Can mark any target currently in your field of vision. Within the next seven minutes (+5 minutes for level reward), you can see this target through any obstacles that may block your view. This technique even works against the majority of concealment techniques. Using this ability will consume mana and your ability to concentrate. Limited to three uses per day. I see you~!]
Ah, so it had been a power-up for [Astral Vision]. That would explain why it was all question marks before.
To be able to see a marked target clearly for the next twelve minutes... this technique would definitely be effective against enemies that were skilled in concealment and stealth techniques.
Its weaknesses were that he could only mark someone who was already in his field of vision to begin with and the three times a day limit. As for the mana cost and concentration required... he figured that it would probably be rather low.
Seiji really wanted to comment on the system’s final flavor text sentence as always, but he felt that this was an apt one.
Come, let us make a scary pose like a monster playing hide and seek with children, and say—
"I see you~!"