An Unnoticed Young Lady
After Tennoji-san changed from her sweat-soaked clothes to a replacement.
We resumed our dance practice for almost another hour.
“……You’re really starting to get the hang of it.”
The natural turn to the right and reverse turn to the left are performed in a fluid motion.
The timing for the opening of the legs and the closing of the legs. If these two timings are not matched with your partner, the dance can easily fall apart.
The reason I am able to dance more comfortably than I expected is because Tennoji-san matches my movements. Even when the angle at which I open my legs becomes too wide, Tennoji-san responds flexibly. She must have a very flexible body. As I followed her graceful movements, even my stiffness seemed to loosen.
“I think that’s enough for today. I think we were a little over-exerted for our first practice session.”
“Yes…… I’m on the edge of my physical stamina …….”
We both catch our breath.
I was also very tired, probably because I used muscles I don’t usually use.
“And, by the way……”
As I am packing up my belongings, Tennoji-san calls out to me, seeming to have some difficulty saying something.
“……In the future, if you ever see me …… again with my clothes showing through, please let me know as soon as possible. …… well, it would be embarrassing to find out later.”
Fidgety and embarrassed, Tennoji-san said.
“No, but it would be …… better if you noticed it yourself …… as much as possible. If I tell you, it means I will see it…….”
“I don’t have a problem with that. I believe that Nishinari-san is not that kind of person…….”
I don’t like it when people believe me that easily.
I’ve developed some tolerance for it thanks to my daily contact with Hinako, but even I have a limit to my endurance.
But this is proof that Tennoji-san trusts me.
I nodded my head to show my appreciation for her trust.
As I put away the equipment used for the dance and walked out of the gym, the sun’s rays lit up my face.
Outside it was completely tinged with sunset.
“I’m used to ballroom dancing, but I don’t think I’ve ever danced for such a long time.”
Tennoji-san murmured as she lightly stroked her sweaty hair.
“I wonder if a person from a family of Tennoji-san’s status would have many opportunities for ballroom dancing?”
“It depends on the person.”
As we walked along, Tennoji-san explained.
“Unlike a simple dinner, a ball is an event that cannot be held without careful preparation. In most cases, you will receive an invitation in advance to indicate whether or not you would like to participate. Those who are not good at ballroom dancing usually choose not to attend.”
“I see. Unlike the …… dinner, it is easier to decline, so there is a split between those who enjoy dancing and those who do not.”
Tennoji nodded her head in agreement.
“If you do decide to attend a ball, however …… it would be dishonorable to be a wallflower, not to mention a poor dancer. It’s a good thing to learn, it can be considered a form of culture.”
I nodded my head in agreement.
“I’m rarely invited to balls, so I don’t know when that will be, but I hope to be able to dance in front of an audience by the next …… occasion.”
Now that I have successfully mastered the technique, I am sure I will want to show it off.
If there is a ball that Hinako attends, that could be my ballroom dancing debut.
“…… I can’t be too leisurely, you know.”
At that moment, Tennoji-san lowered her gaze and said.
“If my marriage proposal is approved, we won’t be able to spend after-school time together like we have been doing.”
“Of course. Since there is a gentleman to whom you have pledged your future, you should spend as much of your free time as possible for him.”
If you ask me, that may be true.
Having a fiancée, one might hesitate to meet with another member of the opposite s*x in private as often as possible.
“That would be …… lonely.”
Unintentionally, I muttered something like that.
Then Tennoji-san rounded her eyes and looked at me.
“Lonely, is it?”
“Yes. I thought about it again ……, but I enjoy doing things with Tennoji-san. I am honestly sad that we will no longer have this kind of time together.”
When I told her my true feelings, Tennoji-san turned her head away, a blush on her cheeks.
I tilted my head at the unfamiliar response.
Was it an unusual remark?
Tennoji-san, who turned her back to me, let out a small laugh.
“No, it’s nothing.”
Tennoji shook her head, looking flustered.
“Then, Nishinari-san, see you tomorrow.”
“Yes, see you tomorrow.”
I parted from Tennoji-san in front of the gate of the academy.
She looked happier than usual.
After parting with Itsuki and returning to the mansion, Mirei naturally let out a smile as she headed to her room.
Her legs are light. It was a strange feeling, as if all the fatigue of sweating and practicing dance just a little while ago had blown away somewhere else.
“”I’ve been having a lot of fun learning all kinds of things from Tennoji-san. I’m going to miss spending time like this …….””
His words have been ruminating in her mind ever since she left Itsuki.
Every time she does so, she gets a warm feeling.
(I thought I was going to be the only one who would miss him…….)
Putting her hand lightly on her chest, Mirei thinks.
(I wasn’t the only one who thought it was fun……..)
This sunny feeling was not only for herself.
She felt as if the feelings that had been in her unconscious mind had been proven correct. It was neither a misunderstanding nor an illusion; she was feeling the same emotions as Itsuki.
(How can we continue days like this forever……)
She suddenly thought of such a thing.
If the marriage contract is concluded, she will have fewer opportunities to meet with Itsuki.
(Yes, that’s right. If I invite him as a guest of the Tennoji family ……)
That way, even if the marriage proposal is approved, she can still meet with Itsuki.
They can have a tea party, study together, and practice dancing, just as they have been doing.
Mirei’s eyes lit up as if she had just come up with a great idea.
“…… What, stupid.”
She came back to herself. The Tennoji family is not going to be able to do that.
The Tennoji family is not the only one who has a problem. There is no legitimate reason for them to make him a client.
At that moment, someone calls out to her from behind.
When she turned around, she saw her mother, Hanami Tennoji.
“Oh, mother. Is something wrong?”
“I thought something was wrong~. You were grunting in the hallway, so I thought something was wrong……”
“Nothing, I was just thinking.”
Mirei said deceptively.
“Mirei, you seem to be having a lot of fun …… these days.”
“Haven’t you noticed? Ever since you started spending time with Nishinari-san after school, you seem to be having fun every day.”
It was only recently that she became aware that she was having fun.
However, she didn’t think that it had been expressed in her attitude for a long time.
“I would like to know what kind of person Nishinari-san is to Mirei.”
“That being said, …… why is my mother so concerned about Nishinari-san?”
“He was the one who influenced my daughter. It’s natural to be curious about it~?”
Hanami says somewhat happily.
Mirei felt her mother’s parental love and let out a sigh as she spoke.
“Yes, …… Nishinari-san is a very devoted …… person.”
Mirei tells her, remembering the days up to now.
“At first I had the impression that he was somewhat weak or …… unsure of himself, but that person had a lot of ambition. I can see that he wants to change himself and he values his days at the academy very much.”
When I first met him, he had a bad posture and a timid attitude.
However, this impression was overturned by the directness of spirit he showed at the tea party and study sessions a month ago, and recently after school.
“I am very happy to see that his table manners, which at first seemed to be a learning process, are now completely familiar to him. Of course, there is no doubt that my instruction has been good, but more than that, Nishinari-san’s serious attitude toward learning has made him a quick learner.”
To be honest, she didn’t expect to learn so quickly.
She is sure that he is studying on his own not only after-school classes but also after he goes home. That attitude is worthy of respect.
“Nishinari-san worked so hard at today’s dance practice, and I can’t wait to see how far he’ll go…….”
She wonders if he’s probably at home right now, reviewing his work.
For some reason, that makes her happy to think so.
“It seems you’ve found a good friend.”
“Yes, I have. When I look at Nishinari-san, I get a very good stimulus. If possible, I will continue to spend time with him…”
When she had spoken that much, Mirei’s head cooled rapidly.
She realizes that she had cherished her days until now more than she had imagined. She almost spewed such a desire out of her mouth without thinking.
However, those days are coming to an end.
From now on, she must spend her time with another person, whom her father and mother have prepared for her.
“… It would be fortunate if my…. partner is also such a person like this.”
In a hushed voice, Mirei said.
She must not let her mother know that she was even a little disappointed in this marriage proposal.
“Mirei, I know I always say this, but you don’t have to force yourself to do it. I always tell you, you don’t have to be so uptight. You can grow up free ……”
“….. Don’t worry about it, mother.”
As if interrupting her mother’s words, Mirei says.
“I live in freedom.”
Mirei said with a beautiful smile that made people fall in love with her, majestically as usual.
However, her mother nodded with a somewhat sad face.
“I’m talking about the marriage proposal, and we’re going to have a face-to-face meeting soon. So, Mirei……, would you make time for us soon?”
Forcibly pushing down her racing emotions, Mirei nodded.
As a daughter of the Tennoji family, she is not allowed to be aware of these feelings.
If she were allowed to speak out against it, she would do so.
She wished she had heard about the marriage proposal before she met him, Itsuki.