Takane no Hana Volume 2 Chapter 7

Sleeping Lady

After giving Hinako a bath, I went back to my room to prepare for tomorrow.

“My brain is getting tired.”

I put my pen down on my notebook and stretched lightly.

It was now 11pm. It was almost a day full of studying today.

“…… No, it’s in times like this that I need to work hard.”

I grabbed my pen again and turned the pages of my textbook. I’ve just been praised by Tennoji-san for my regular study routine. I’ll do my best without losing my mind.

I sometimes think that I’ve become quite a hard worker.

The people I met at the academy were all of a high level. Pulled along by them, I too had made it a habit to study every day. At first, I just studied as Shizune instructed me, but now I do it on my own initiative. Perhaps Shizune has sensed this, but lately, she doesn’t tell me to “prepare for class” or “review for class”.

I’ve never made such a serious effort before. I feel like I was just going to high school for nothing, not for anyone else, not even for myself.

“I wonder what those guys …… are doing now.”

It reminded me of the relationships I had with people before I became a caretaker.

I felt like I wanted to meet them again and talk to them when I got more settled.

Just then, there was a knock at the door.

“Come in.”

The door opened and it was Hinako who came into the room.

“Eh … Hinako?”

“Hmm?”

I was surprised to hear Hinako’s quiet voice.

“Are you here alone? Didn’t you get lost?”

“Mu ……, that’s rude. This is my home.”

No, no, no, how can I say that?

Don’t forget. This girl gets lost even in the academy when she is left alone.

“Itsuki’s room is farther away than I thought. It took about thirty minutes from my room …….”

“It doesn’t take that long.”

Are we in a dungeon?

Did she make it this far after filling in the entire map?

“…… What are you doing?”

“I’m preparing for tomorrow. I’ve been learning a lot from Tennoji-san, but that was just to prepare for the exam. I have to do my best to keep up with the lessons as well.”

I finished my studies to the last possible point, and turned around to look at Hinako.

“What do you want?”

“Nothing…….”

“Eh? Then why did you come?”

When I asked her that, Hinako puffed up a little.

“Can’t I just come here unless I have …… something to do?”

“No, not really, but ……”

It’s not that she’s not allowed to come, but she’s having trouble responding.

She didn’t seem to be demanding anything from me, so I resumed my studies while keeping an eye on Hinako.

“Muu …”

As I crunch and write in silence, Hinako lets out a groan.

Then she rolled over on my bed.

“I’m sleeping …… here today.”

“Huh.”

“I’m sleeping.”

Hinako said in a slightly stronger tone.

“The cafeteria is a long way from my room, so you’ll have trouble tomorrow morning. If you want to sleep, you’d better go back to your room…….”

“Yah …….”

She was already almost asleep.

I couldn’t help but smile at Hinako as she squinted at me.

“Itsuki …”

“Hmm?”

“…… Come here.”

“…… Yes, yes.”

I broke off my studies and headed towards Hinako.

“…… Pat me.”

Hinako said, squinting her eyes drowsily.

“You didn’t like it when I patted you on the head when we were socializing. Is that okay now?”

“…… It’s not that I didn’t like it.”

Hinako rolled over and turned her back to me.

“I …… have been acting weird lately.”

“What do you mean by weird, …… are you feeling sick?”

“Mu …”

When I called out to her with concern, Hinako puffed out her cheeks.

It seems that she is not in poor health.

When I slowly stroked her head, Hinako jerked her body for a moment, but quickly became still and accepted it. This was a reaction I hadn’t seen until recently. It’s not that she doesn’t like it, but I’m still curious.

“…… I’m starting to get sleepy, too.”

I sat down on the floor and muttered to myself as I stroked Hinako’s head.

“… Why don’t you go to …… sleep?”

“No, I have to carry Hinako to her room first…….”

As I was saying something, I really started to feel sleepy.

I’ve been using my brain all day, so my brain must be tired.

Before I knew it, I was consumed by the demon of sleep.

 ◇

“… Itsuki?”

The hand stroking her head stopped, and Hinako quietly raised her body.

Itsuki was quietly sleeping by the side of the bed.