Takane no Hana Volume 2 Chapter 17

A Young Lady Hard to Invite

Monday after school.

I was studying as usual in the café next to the cafeteria when I noticed that Tennoji-san’s pen had stopped.


“Eh? …… Oh, oh, I’m sorry. I was just doing a little thinking.”

She seems distracted, which is unusual for Tennoji-san.

It is not limited to this moment. From a while ago, I had the feeling that Tennoji-san’s attention was focused on something else.

“What’s wrong? You seem a little out of it today.”

“…… No, I hope you don’t mind. There is nothing wrong with my physical condition.”

With that, Tennoji-san graded the answer sheets I filled out with a red pen.

“I’ve finished grading your quiz. The score is 98. …… It seems that because you were so enthusiastic about the application questions, you didn’t review the basic questions well enough.”

After she finished grading the math quiz, Tennoji-san immediately explained my mistakes.

I silently took notes on Tennoji-san’s explanation.

“Next, we will practice table manners. Let’s take a break before that. I’m going to go to the bathroom.”

Tennoji-san gets up and heads toward the school building.

I watched her back and tilted my head again.

“……After all, Tennoji-san doesn’t seem very energetic.”

She said there was nothing wrong with her, but I am sure that is a lie.

Her complexion was not particularly bad, and there was nothing unnatural about the way she was walking. So there may be nothing wrong physically with her, but there is no doubt that something is bothering her.

However, I feel it would be rude to go to the trouble of prying into something that she wants to keep secret. I would like to help her to an extent that I don’t want to be a pushy salesman of kindness…..

As I was thinking about this, a familiar figure crossed the street in front of me.

I call out to the girl with her black hair tied in a knot that reaches her thighs.


“Mm? …… Itsuki! If it isn’t Itsuki!”

Naruka noticed my presence and approached me with a sparkle in her eyes.

I never thought she would be so happy to hear me just by calling out to her lightly……. She is like a friendly dog.

“You wanted to see me, Itsuki?”

“No, I don’t exactly mean that, I just called out to you. …… What are you doing staying at the academy until this late?”

“Nothing important. I was asking if a product we developed could be used at the academy. Our family makes sporting goods. The academy is a good customer.”

Naruka’s family, the Miyakojima family, is a sporting goods manufacturer.

Perhaps they were selling equipment used in PE classes.

“…. That’s what you’ve been doing.”

“Well, I’m still the daughter of the Miyakojima family. You can admire me all you want.”

“Great, great.”

“…… Isn’t that a bit of a stretch…………?”

Having said that, Naruka looks happy.

“By the way, Itsuki, what are you doing?”

“I’m having a study session with Tennoji-san. We’re preparing for the test, and then we’re practicing manners.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that. Both Izuki and Tennoji-san are very serious to continue studying even after the midterm exams are over.”

“Well. Although I said ……, you know, me and Naruka don’t have such different grades.”

“…… Sure, maybe I should study too.”

To tell you the truth, Naruka’s grades are lower than mine.

She got near perfect marks in PE and history, but in the other subjects, she avoided red marks, but they must have been below average.

We both fell silent as we lost the thread of our conversation.

For some reason, Naruka was a bit nervous. Perhaps she still had some business to attend to.

“I’m sorry for interrupting you. See you again.”

“Wait a minute! Now wasn’t that a trend to invite me to a study group too!”

Naruka says, looking agitated.

The reason she was soawing seemed to be because she wanted me to invite her.

“No, …… because Naruka didn’t say anything.”

“I thought you’d guess!”

Naruka exclaims.

You don’t have to say that …….

“So, or what …… am I still a difficult person to invite?”

“Not that that’s what I’m saying, but ……”

“It’s okay, you don’t have to worry about it……. because I heard some of my classmates talking about it the other day.”

“…… That must have been hard for you.”

“Oh. It was ……………… very, very hard.”

Naruka looked like she was about to cry.

God. Can’t you let Naruka lead a kinder, gentler life for a little while……?

“I’ve already finished studying for that …… today, but I’m going to have Tennoji-san look at my manners now. If you don’t mind, would you like to join us, Naruka?”

“Oh, are you sure? Is it …… okay for such a hard-to-invite person to participate?”

“At least I don’t think it’s hard for me to invite you, and I’m sure Tennoji-san would be fine with Naruka.”

“Yeah ……! After all, the only person on my side is Itsuki …..!!”

If possible, I’d like to see you actively make allies other than me, but …… would be a fleeting hope.

I’m grateful, however, that Naruka joined the study group only today.

I was still concerned about Tennoji’s condition. If Tennoji-san is suffering from a problem that I can’t solve, she might be able to tell me what’s going on by letting Naruka join us.

“Oh, Miyakojima-san?”

Tennoji-san returns from the restroom and notices Naruka’s presence.

“Tennoji-san. Can Naruka join us in the manner practice we are about to do?”

“That’s fine, but……”

Tennoji-san looks at Naruka.

Naruka opened her mouth in a panic.

“Just for today! I’ve been busy these days with work at home ……, but, you know, sometimes I want to spend a moment like a student…….”

In short, she is lonely and wants friends.

Tennoji-san nodded with a gentle smile, as if she somehow understood Naruka’s personality after the previous study session and tea party.

“That’s fine. Then let’s have a light dinner today, shall we?”

Naruka’s expression brightens up.

I wonder what kind of life Naruka was leading before she met me again. …… I was curious, but I was afraid to ask, so I sealed that question deep in the back of my heart.