Conversation Between S-rank Beauties Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 4

Haruya could see various emotions mixed in Sara’s eye
 
—anxiety, fear, self-deprecation, all negative sentiments.
 
“…Is it over now?”
 
“Yes, it’s enough… I think I was able to enjoy a normal romance.”
 
Sara briefly reflected on their time together.
 
“At first, you saved me from a pickup… and then we happened to meet again, found out we’re in the same class… Looking back, the probability was unbelievable,”
 
Sara said, making Haruya realize the incredible odds objectively.
 
“I was drawn to the idea of a fateful encounter… That’s why I asked Akasaki-san to mimic a normal romance for me… I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you so much.”
 
Sara bowed her head dutifully, expressing gratitude once again.
 
While Sara wore a smile, there was a sense that her expression was somewhat strained.
 
“…And Akasaki-san, I apologize.”
 
Not understanding what she was apologizing for, Haruya silently prompted her to continue.
 
Then, Sara continued in a delicate voice.
 
“I had selfish reasons… I deceived Akasaki-san and imposed my own desires.”
 
During this time, Sara’s gaze never met Haruya’s face.
 
Whether it was a sense of guilt or an unsettled state of mind,
 
Sara appeared somewhere uneasy.
 
Haruya decided to express his honest opinion,
 
as she might be misunderstanding something.
 
“Thanks, Himekawa-san…”
 
Feeling a bit embarrassed, Haruya thanked Sara.
 
Not expecting words of gratitude, Sara widened her eyes but seemed to realize that Haruya wasn’t lying and fell silent.
 
Haruya continued,
 
“I also somehow (despite various things) managed to enjoy this relationship.”
 
Certainly, there were many times when he wanted to escape or found things troublesome, but looking back, those days weren’t too bad.
 
With a wry smile, Haruya said, “…Thanks for that.”
 
Sara bit her lower lip as if in response and then tightly gripped her chest, as if appealing for something.
 
“…… I have no right to …… I don’t deserve to be told that.”
 
Sara said, her voice trembling.
 
Although on the verge of tears, she forcefully declared,
 
“I acted selfishly… deceiving Akasaki-san and forcing my own circumstances onto you.”
 
Sara was on the verge of tears, but she said strongly.
 
“What’s going on?”
 
“…huh.”
 
Sara exhaled quietly, her face contorted, and she tightly clenched her shoulders, leaving nail marks on them.
 
“To be honest, I knew. I knew that I would have an arranged marriage, that I wouldn’t be allowed the freedom of love. Yet, I selfishly pushed all of this onto Akasaki san.”
 
“…………”
 
A heavy silence fell.
 
Thinking that Haruya was disappointed in her, Sara either feared his reaction or simply bowed her head.
 
Haruya listened to Sara’s story without expressing sympathy, just calmly taking in her words.
 
Eventually, a tear rolled down Sara’s cheek.
 
Unbeknownst to him, Sara’s body was trembling intensely.
 
“…that’s why I have no right to receive such warm words.
 
I’m the worst.
 
I’m ugly.
 
I’m despicable.
 
So, please don’t thank me,” Sara earnestly pleaded.
 
She wiped away her tears while keeping her head bowed.
 
During this vulnerable moment, Haruya caught a glimpse of Sara’s ample figure.
 
Despite Sara’s confession catching him somewhat off guard, Haruya couldn’t bring himself to blame her.
 
At least not when he, too, was in a position of trying to use Sara.
 
“…Himekawa-san.”
 
When he called her name, Sara’s body twitched, and she timidly raised her face.
 
However, her gaze still couldn’t meet Haruya’s.
 
“…even after hearing that, I can’t blame Himekawa-san. After all, I also used a ‘fake name’ to deceive Himekawa-san.”
 
“But, still…”
 
Sara seemed like she wanted to continue speaking,
 
but there was something she couldn’t bring herself to say.
 
Haruya told her with a pained expression,
 
“I understand that Himekawa-san has her reasons. Besides, living in such a strict family and trying to control oneself, that’s not something easy to do. At least, I wouldn’t be able to endure it.”
 
In the tumultuous period of adolescence,
 
having to live a restrained life while surrounded by the freedom of school would be unbearable for Haruya.
 
The only future he could envision for himself was one of rebellion.
 
“It’s not like you did anything wrong. In a way, Himekawa-san just showed a bit of vulnerability. It’s just that. I don’t mind, and you shouldn’t mind either.”
 
Haruya didn’t know the details of Sara’s family situation.
 
However, he could imagine the image of a traditional and strict household.
 
It might be okay to be a bit spoiled, Haruya thought.
 
But in Sara’s case, perhaps she didn’t know how to show vulnerability due to growing up in such a strict environment.
 
It seemed like she was mentally struggling.
 
“Why… why are you… being so kind?”
 
“I wouldn’t blame Himekawa-san. Besides, if I were a child in Himekawa-san’s family, I would definitely turn into a delinquent.”
 
So, Haruya couldn’t blame her, and he said it with a slightly embarrassed smile.
 
It wasn’t a confident statement, but Haruya asserted it.
 
At that moment, Sara couldn’t bear it any longer and threw herself at Haruya.
 
She seemed to have lost the strength to pretend to be tough.
 
“…Why… why are you like this?”
 
Haruya felt Sara repeatedly hitting his chest. But it didn’t hurt at all.
 
Sara, who still seemed to carry a painful emotion, couldn’t hold back anymore.
 
“…Why… How am I supposed to respond when you speak so kindly to me?”
 
She continued to lightly pound on Haruya’s chest. Still, Haruya didn’t embrace her, didn’t put his hand on her shoulder. He simply accepted it.
 
“…If you speak so kindly to me, what should I do? I was supposed to say goodbye with a smiling face… but I can’t even do that…”
 
Sara has an arranged meeting scheduled soon. She probably wanted to part ways with a smile. Yet, because of Haruya’s kind words, she found herself struggling.
 
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Even though she wanted to say goodbye, it seemed increasingly impossible.
 
To be precise, she was starting to dislike the idea of parting ways.
 
Emotions with nowhere to go clashed warmly against Haruya’s chest.
 
“…I hate this dirty side of myself. So, even though I don’t deserve those words from you…”
 
Her eyes moistened, Sara tightly grasped Haruya’s chest.
 
Once Sara confirmed that she had calmed down, Haruya smiled with a slightly lowered brow.
 
“I think it’s not true. Since Himekawa-san has friends who like her just the way she is.”
 
Sara’s charming smile… Haruya found himself drawn to it.
 
Because of that, he straightforwardly denied Sara’s statement.
 
“…Th-that’s not…”
 
Sara let her gaze wander, but when she lifted her face, their eyes met. And they stayed connected.
 
Whether there was no lie in Haruya’s words or not, Sara blushed and buried her face in Haruya’s chest.
 
“…You’re unfair, Akasaki san.”
 
“I’m not a guy who can do all that. I’m just not.”
 
“Yeah…”
 
However, Sara smiled faintly and continued.
 
“…Even so, I can’t help but feel happy when you say such kind things to me.”
 
With a lingering expression of sorrow, Sara murmured. The smile on her face was not a bright one.
 
…Just one step away.
 
To dispel Sara’s sorrow, just one step more…
 
The imminent arranged marriage was likely hindering that “one step.”
 
(If I can remove that obstacle, I can owe a favor to Himekawa-san, and…)
 
Completely revealing my true identity won’t be a concern anymore, Haruya thought, boosting his excitement inwardly.
 
“About the arranged marriage, I will go to Himekawa-san’s house.”
 
“…Eh?”
 
Upon hearing Haruya’s words, Sara seemed taken aback, as if it was an unexpected statement.
 
“I’ll go to Himekawa-san’s house and stop the arranged marriage. Even if Himekawa-san’s parents are strict, opinions from those around might change things.”
 
“I-It’s impossible…! I’ve never even talked back to my father. Such selfishness is not allowed!”
 
Such selfishness is not allowed. That’s true.
 
But even if it’s wrong… nothing will change if you don’t act.
 
Haruya, with a serious gaze, asked Sara.
 
“What does Himekawa-san want? Do you really want the arranged marriage? I can’t really believe that, but…”
 
“My feelings don’t matter. I was born into the Himekawa family.”
 
With a weak voice, Sara avoided eye contact with Haruya.
 
“What do you really feel, Himekawa-san?”
 
Repeating that question, Haruya continued when Sara bit her lip and tightly gripped her chest.
 
“I… I actually don’t want an arranged marriage. I want a free, destined love.”
 
After expressing her true feelings, Sara continued,
 
“But when faced with my father, I can’t do anything. Talking back is out of the question!”
 
Sadly, painfully, and while clutching her chest, she continued.
 
“But, if I’m with Akasaki-san, I might be able to overcome it…”
 
With teary eyes, Sara looked straight into Haruya’s eyes.
 
“So… could you cooperate with me…?”
 
Even if it’s impossible, Haruya wanted to believe. He wanted to rely on it.
 
Such feelings overflowed from Sara’s inner self.
 
Without hesitation, Haruya nodded.
 
“…Let’s fight together.”
 
“Y-Yes…!”
 
Haruya saw Sara smile faintly, but deep down, he was secretly amused.
 
(If this resolves the issue, we should establish an unshakable trust. With this, I can be completely sure that my true identity won’t be exposed.)
 
That’s how Haruya thought.
 
…But that was just one of the honest thoughts within him.
 
He couldn’t ignore Sara’s plea for help, her eyes weakly pleading.
 
He wished for her liberation from the curse of the arranged marriage.
 
(…And, well, I want Himekawa-san to face forward.)
 
After all the interactions he had with her, Haruya couldn’t treat Sara as just another person.
 
He had seen her kind side, her caring side, and her charming smile.
 
In addition, he wanted her to smile.
 
(…I might be getting carried away too.)
 
The clear sky, the sea, and the tears of a beautiful girl.
 
Surely, these circumstances were shaping Haruya’s current emotions.
 
Thus, Haruya decided to convince himself that it was just one aspect of his true self.


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