📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.
📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.

V4 I’m Gonna Live with You Not Because My Parents Left Me Their Debt But Because I Like You Chapter 3

Kaede-san's First Part-Time Job

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NOVEL WISHES


Chapter 3: Kaede-san’s First Part-Time Job

Just two days after talking on the phone with Sakurako, Kaede faced the morning of her first day at her very first part-time job. As expected, or rather inevitably, Motoko immediately decided to hire her after hearing about the situation. Probably, the sight of Kaede agonizing over her homework on the last day had a significant influence.

It was 9:30 in the morning. Fighting against drowsiness, I stood at the entrance to send off Kaede on her first foray into the working world.

Perhaps anxious about her first-ever job experience, which was only for a week until the end of summer vacation, Kaede clung to me more than usual last night.

But thanks to that, she seemed to have slept well and woke up energized and spirited this morning, which was a relief.

“Then, Yuya-kun, I’m off!”

Today, Kaede was dressed in a relaxed and casual outfit, combining a bold sleeveless top with jogger pants, cute enough to make me a bit worried about letting her go out alone.

“Did you forget anything? Are you sure you’re okay? Maybe I should go with you after all?”

“You worry too much, Yuya-kun. I’ll be fine on my own. Motoko-san has prepared a uniform for me, and I’ve been told that they’ll provide lunch, so I don’t need to bring anything.”

Although they said a uniform was prepared, 【Heritage】 only employed Motoko-san and her husband, and hiring a part-timer was a first for them. What kind of outfit did they prepare? Well, no doubt Kaede would look good in anything.

“Yuya-kun, you seem really sleepy. Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah… I’m fine. I don’t have work or club activities today. I’ll just relax and wait for Kaede to come back.”

The reason for my sleep deprivation was the beautiful girl who had been snuggling in my chest all night long.

“Sometimes a little extra sleep is good, you know? If you like, you can hug my pillow.”

“Hmm… That’s not a bad idea, but if I were to hug something, I’d rather it be the real Kaede.”

What I muttered about the difference in scent and touch brought me back to my senses. Damn, what did I just say!?

“Is that so? Yuya-kun wants me as his hugging pillow? If that’s the case, you should’ve told me sooner. If you wish… I’m always ready to be embraced by you.”

“That came out all wrong! What I meant was I just want to hug you while sleeping, nothing more, nothing less!”

“Yuya-kun, you’re not honest. Then, can I hug you a lot as a reward for working hard today? You won’t mind, right? I won’t take no for an answer!”

With a lively “I’m off!” Kaede opened the door energetically and left the house.

I sent off Kaede on her first day of her first part-time job, but I was already feeling anxious about her return. Well, I plan to pamper her thoroughly as a reward for her hard work, but I hope I don’t go overboard.

“But still… I’m more worried about whether Kaede will do well. Should I sneak a peek in disguise?”

No matter what, Kaede tends to handle everything smoothly, so my worries are probably unfounded. But I can’t help spiraling into negative thoughts, wondering if she’s nervous about her first customer service job, or if she might end up crying after being scolded by a customer.

“Yeah. At this rate, I won’t be able to focus at home. I should take a bath to clear my head and then go check on her.”

To avoid being recognized, I’ll need to disguise myself. A good dose of hair wax I seldom use to spike my hair, plus sunglasses and a mask should do the trick. It might look a bit suspicious for late summer, but it’s necessary to watch over Kaede.

The sunglasses are a matching pair I bought with Kaede for a trip to Okinawa. I was too embarrassed to wear matching───not T-shirts but stylish sunglasses───and begged Kaede to let me off the hook.

My usual clothes should be fine. I don’t have time to go shopping, and it would be a waste anyway. Kaede won’t recognize me by my clothes, right? Or maybe she will.

“If I were in her shoes… yeah, I’d probably recognize her.”

Even if Kaede changed her hairstyle and wore sunglasses and a mask, pretending to be a customer at my part-time job, I’d recognize her by her clothes and her unmistakable, radiant aura.

“Well, it can’t be helped today. The top priority is to watch over Kaede, doing her best.”

Muttering to myself as if to encourage my spirit, I headed to the bath. I needed a shower to wash away the drowsiness that had settled in my body.

Stopping by the bedroom to grab a change of clothes, I glanced at the bed and saw Kaede’s pillow, soaked in her scent.

Laying my head on it would surely let me sleep comfortably, feeling Kaede close by. I imagined hearing an angelic voice tempting me, “Please use it.”

“Just a little… A little should be fine, right?”

Unable to resist the sweet hallucination, I flopped onto Kaede’s pillow. Instantly, her sweet and refreshing fragrance filled my nostrils, enveloping my brain in bliss and draining all unnecessary tension from my body. It felt like being gently embraced by a saint.

“This is… more amazing than I thought… maybe…”

I was engulfed in a sensation like sinking into a bottomless swamp, not a frightening one but the exact opposite. I couldn’t help but want to sink deeper into this well of happiness.

When I came to, I had drifted into a dream, and when I awoke again, the sun was high in the sky, and the clock had advanced by about two hours.

Surprised that not only my sleepiness but also my fatigue had vanished, I rolled out of bed, took a quick shower, got dressed, and left the house without even eating lunch.

*****

After waking up from a nap, I arrived in front of “Heritage” at a somewhat awkward time, past the lunch rush but too early for afternoon snacks.

Currently, I’m in a fast-food restaurant right across from “Heritage.” From here, I can barely glimpse inside without being noticed by Kaede.

Ordering only a drink, I sit by the window, planning to later enter the café disguised as a customer. It’s not a perfect plan, but it’s something.

“But still… I never expected that the uniform Motoko-san prepared would be a classic maid outfit. It suits Kaede way too much.”

What a choice by Motoko-san! I’ll have to thank her later. Maybe even take a photo. A two-shot wouldn’t be bad either. I could use it as my phone’s wallpaper. Such thoughts cross my mind, reflecting how adorable Kaede looks in her work attire.

Maid outfits vary greatly.

There’s the classic type Kaede is wearing, with a long skirt and white apron, and the Akihabara-style mini-skirt type that shows off the legs. Then there’s the French type with even more exposure. And don’t forget the variations mixing Chinese and traditional Japanese styles. If a 19th-century British lady saw this, she’d probably faint.

But back to the point. The maid outfit prepared for Kaede by Motoko-san for work at “Heritage” was of the demure, classical type.

The pure white apron and cap beautifully complement Kaede’s pristine hair, like the clear night sky. Her innate elegance combined with her bright, genuine smile makes it seem as if a pure, innocent angel has descended upon the quaint, old café.

“I might want her to wear this kind of outfit at home every day…”

I unintentionally voice my honest thoughts. The clothes Kaede wore as a “reward” for me were all undeniably fitting and incredibly cute.

But at the same time, they’re too provocative, always leaving me in a quandary.

Her still-growing marshmallow-like softness, the slender waist that draws an enchanting curve, the firm, peach-like form, and her long, slender limbs all contribute to a perfect, goddess-like figure. When she tempts me, dressed only in a bath towel, a school swimsuit, or a sweater that’s too much for a virgin, I often lose my senses, overwhelmed by her allure.

“I guess I’ll ask Motoko-san to let me have that maid outfit after Kaede’s shift.”

“…What are you doing here alone, Yoshizumi?”

Caught off-guard by a voice from behind, I turn to find Nikaido standing there with a tray, looking somewhat amused.

Nikaido’s attire today reveals her beautifully toned legs shaped by basketball, wearing short denim shorts combined with an off-shoulder blouse that boldly shows off her shoulders and a hint of her décolletage.

The usual air of dignity she carries is now blended with a captivating, almost otherworldly charm, so much so that I can see other customers in the café staring at her, entranced. I’m no exception.

“It’s nothing special, right? Even I want to come to a place like this alone sometimes.”

“Hmm, is that so? But I thought you were here to observe Hitotsuba working at ‘Heritage’ in her maid outfit… Or did I mishear you muttering, ‘I might want her to wear this kind of outfit at home every day’ while gazing dreamily?”

Nikaido grins mischievously, making it clear she heard my mumbling. Thankfully, it’s her and not Otsuki-san, who loves teasing, or Yui-chan, who adores Kaede. I can only imagine what they would’ve said.

“Nikaido-san, could you forget what I just muttered?”

“That depends on your sincerity, Yuya.”

“…Would one cup of coffee do?”

“Ha, I’ll let it slide just this once.”

Saying so, Nikaido naturally sits in the empty seat next to me, close enough for our shoulders to almost touch. A sweet, refreshing aroma wafts from her lightly tousled hair, reaching my nostrils.

The unfamiliar fragrance quickens my heartbeat slightly, bringing warmth to my cheeks. I cough discreetly, trying not to let Nikaido notice, and change the subject.

“Anyway, why are you here, Nikaido? There’s no study session today. Are you just killing time?”

“What if I said I came hoping to bump into Yoshizumi at ‘Heritage’?”

Nikaido smiles wryly, resting her cheek on her hand, a hint of melancholy in her expression. As I ponder how to respond,

“Just kidding, don’t take it so seriously. I’ve been studying at home and needed a break, so I came to ‘Heritage.’ Then I saw Hitotsuba working there in a maid outfit, so I ended up here…”

“So that’s it. But please, spare me from those kinds of jokes next time.”

“I can’t promise that. So, you’re here because you’re worried about Hitotsuba, who just started her part-time job, and you wanted to sneak a peek? Wearing sunglasses and styling your hair coolly… Are you trying to make me fall for you?”

“…It’s just a disguise so Kaede won’t notice me. There’s no other intention or meaning.”

“Yoshizumi, you’re so silly. It’s just a joke, you don’t have to answer so seriously.”

“…Sorry.”

“No, it’s my fault, don’t apologize. But I’m surprised. I never thought Hitotsuba would start a part-time job. What’s going on? Is it going to snow tomorrow?”

Nikaido tries to reset the slightly tense mood with a forced change of topic. But talking about snow tomorrow just because Kaede got a part-time job is a bit much. It’s just a job, after all.

“Yoshizumi, you’re always with her, so maybe you’re numb to it, but isn’t Hitotsuba like a president’s daughter? Doesn’t she not need to work?”

Nikaido has a point. To an outsider, it might seem surprising that “Hitotsuba-san is working part-time! And she looks so cute in a maid outfit!” But that’s just scratching the surface. Without knowing the circumstances, it’s hard to grasp the true purpose.

“Kaede started the part-time job because of you, Nikaido.”

“Huh? Sorry, Yoshizumi, I really don’t understand. Did I do something to Hitotsuba?”

This probably isn’t just about Nikaido. Even if I asked Yui-chan, Otsuki-san, or Shinji, they’d likely have the same response. That’s probably why Kaede felt so down about being different from everyone else.

“It’s nothing you did. More precisely, it’s because of all of you. Remember when we all gathered at ‘Heritage’ for the homework session and talked about our future dreams? Do you remember Kaede’s behavior then?”

“Yeah. Hitotsuba’s dream was to become Yoshizumi’s wife, right? But how does that connect to the part-time job?”

Nikaido responds immediately with a wry smile.

“After that, everyone asked what Kaede wanted to do, but she couldn’t answer, right? It seems she was shocked by that and ended up worrying about it.”

“That’s… But it’s Hitotsuba, you know? She’s cute, smart, and kind-hearted. She can do anything; it’s almost pointless to be jealous. Why would she…?”

“That’s exactly it, Nikaido. Because she can do anything with a bit of effort, Kaede doesn’t know what she truly wants to do.”

“I see… So in other words, Hitotsuba is too wise, with too many options, and can’t choose.”

Exactly, I nod in agreement with Nikaido’s words. But such dilemmas aren’t unique to Kaede; they’re something everyone goes through. It’s actually rarer to be like Nikaido or Otsuki-san, who already have clear goals.

“Nikaido chose a sports-related career because you play basketball, right? That means your experiences laid the foundation for your future dream, right? So Kaede decided to gain various experiences as well.”

“I get it. So that’s why she decided to try part-time work.”

“Right. What I just told you is all from Kaede’s mom, though. She said there’s something to be gained by stepping out of the school community and experiencing society.”

I take a sip of my drink to quench my thirst.

“Really, Yoshizumi, you love Hitotsuba so much.”

“What are you talking about, Nikaido? There’s nothing in our conversation that suggests that.”

Nikaido, leaning on her hand, smiles subtly. I was having a serious conversation, and I never said I loved Kaede.

“I have other couples around me besides Yoshizumi and Akiho and the rest. Compared to their boyfriends, Yoshizumi’s care for Hitotsuba stands out.”

“Isn’t being considerate normal? It shouldn’t be anything special.”

“Normally, a boyfriend wouldn’t get this involved when his girlfriend is worried about her future dreams. Let alone go to check on her first part-time job out of concern.”

Is that so? When I was in a tough spot, Kaede was the one who supported me more than anyone else. That’s why I want to be there for her when she’s troubled or suffering. Isn’t that what it means to spend time with someone you love?

“That’s what makes you so wonderful, Yoshizumi – speaking your mind like that. But let’s end this topic here.”

Trying to cool her slightly blushed cheeks, Nikaido takes a sip of her drink.

“What I’m trying to say is just one thing: Yoshizumi, you’re a natural lady-killer. The main victims are Hitotsuba and me.”

“That’s… sorry about that.”

“But you have to be careful not to increase the number of victims, okay? It’s cruel to make someone harbor an unrequited love.”

Nikaido lightly taps my shoulder. This strange conversation feels odd, but we both wanted to keep things as usual even after confessing our feelings. If I become overly conscious or considerate, it might hurt Nikaido.

“Don’t worry. It’s not like there are many girls who would fall for me. Except maybe Rika-chan from the summer festival… but a crush at the age of a second grader is like measles. It’ll be forgotten soon.”

“Rika-chan, the girl who said her dream was to ‘become Yuya’s wife’ in the future. Yoshizumi, your range is too wide. At this rate, it wouldn’t be strange if there were older women who like you too.”

Older women, huh? There is actually one person I know, but the last time we met was when I entered middle school. We haven’t been in touch since she went to study abroad.

For me, who grew up in a family with various problems, mainly debts, if Taka-san was like an older brother, then she was like a reliable older sister. Similar to what Kaede is to Yui. I remember her accompanying me to school when I was in elementary. She graduated soon, being five years older, but she still came to see me off every day.

“…That expression means there is someone, isn’t it? An older woman close to you among your acquaintances.”

Nikaido leans in closer, her voice chilling, as I return from my reminiscence.

“There’s nothing like what you’re imagining, Nikaido. She was like a sister to me, and I was like a younger brother to her. Even if there were romantic feelings, it would be like measles for Rika-chan.”

We didn’t spend that much time together. When my worthless parents were not around, Taka-san drove me to play with her a few times.

I did harbor feelings of liking her because being with her was fun, but it was not romantic love, more akin to familial love. So even if she appeared in front of me now, I would be surprised, but nothing would happen.

“Hehe, maybe you’re right. In Yoshizumi’s eyes, there’s only Hitotsuba. Rather, if you look at another girl, I’d seriously get angry, okay?”

“…Idiot. As if I would do something like that.”

“…Being so confidently assertive is irritating in its own way. Actually, I think I’ll reconsider letting you off with just a cup of coffee for liking maids.”

Nikaido, that’s what they call unreasonable in the real world. And for the record, I don’t like maids; I like Kaede in a maid outfit. It might seem similar, but the meanings are different, okay?

“In my view, they’re pretty much the same. But, well, let’s leave that. Shall we move now, Yoshizumi?”

Having finished her drink, Nikaido stands up. I don’t mind moving, but is Nikaido planning to come along too?

“I was planning to study at ‘Heritage’ since Hitotsuba was working there. But after hearing the reason for her working, I became curious. And since Yoshizumi is with me, I thought it might be okay.”

“…Not really okay, but you’re going to follow me anyway, right?”

“Exactly, Yoshizumi. You know me well. That’s the plan, so let’s go! Don’t worry, I’ll explain everything to Hitotsuba so she won’t get the wrong idea.”

“I’m counting on you, Nikaido.”

Following the confident, dashing young lady, I stand up with a tinge of anxiety.

*****

The pleasant chime of the bell echoes through the café, announcing our entrance. The retro notification system of this old café instinctively relaxes me.

“Welcome! How many in your party───Yuya-kun!?”

Kaede, in her maid outfit, scurries from the back of the café. She greets us energetically and cutely at first, but then quickly reverts to her usual tone with a surprised shout.

Despite my changed hairstyle and sunglasses───I took off the mask because Nikaido said I looked dangerous───she recognizes me instantly.

“Why are you making your sunglasses debut alone!? I wanted to wear them together on our trip to Okinawa, but you stubbornly refused, saying it was too embarrassing! I won’t let you forget that!”

“I’ve told you many times that matching sunglasses were too fashionable and a high hurdle for me, right?”

“And that hairstyle! You don’t usually use styling products, so why did you decide to look so cool today!?”

Kaede, calm down. I’m still a customer, you know? It’s questionable for a maid to grab a customer’s collar and shake them vigorously. My brain is rattling.

“Calm down, Hitotsuba. Yoshizumi dressed up like this all for you.”

“Nikaido-san…? Why are you two together?”

“It was a complete coincidence that I met Yoshizumi. I thought I’d study at ‘Heritage’ for a change, but then I saw a suspicious person sneakily peeking into the shop. Turns out it was Yoshizumi. Good thing I didn’t call the police.”

I see. According to Nikaido’s script, I’m treated as a suspicious person. If I were an editor, such a script would be immediately rejected. While I’m contemplating this, Nikaido continues her story.

“When I asked him, he said he was worried about Hitotsuba starting her part-time job and couldn’t stand still, so he came to check on her.”

“So, that’s what happened… Yuya-kun, thank you for worrying about me. And Nikaido-san, I’m sorry for suspecting you.”

Kaede bows her head apologetically, and Nikaido smiles, gesturing it’s no big deal. Sandwiched between them, I feel quite conflicted.

“Ah, I’m actually working right now! Two guests, right? Yuya-kun and Nikaido-san. Please follow me to your table.”

Led by Kaede, who is beaming a perfect smile, Nikaido and I are guided to the best window-side table. It’s an ideal spot for observing Kaede’s work, with a full view of the café interior.

“Hehe, Hitotsuba is quite the strategist. She’s sharp.”

“Kaede is a strategist, but sometimes she drowns in her own schemes.”

“That’s not what I meant… But okay. As promised, I’ll take my hush money.”

Nikaido opens the menu with a meaningful look. Although my wallet is thin, if it means getting out of the maid enthusiast accusation with just a cup of coffee, it’s a small price to pay.

“Then, I’ll treat myself to a melon float. Melon soda and vanilla ice cream together – what a deal.”

Don’t wink and sparkle like that. Are you aiming to become a galactic diva or something? And sure, getting juice and ice cream together is a deal, but for my wallet, not so much.

“Melon soda… that brings back memories. I haven’t had it often since childhood, but it’s delicious.”

Our family’s financial situation was always dire, so we rarely ate out except for celebratory occasions when my worthless dad struck it rich. Taka-san often took me to family restaurants, but we mainly ate meat and rarely ordered sweets.

“Hehe, then why don’t you try it after a long time, Yoshizumi? We could even share it?”

“I’ll stick with iced coffee. And stop making those kinds of jokes, I’ve told you many times already.”

“Yet you’re blushing a little, which is what makes you so adorable, Yoshizumi. Right, Hitotsuba?”

“Yes! Whenever I ask Yuya-kun, he gets red-faced and angry, but it’s really cute. And despite all his protests, he always ends up indulging me – such a tsundere, which scores high points!”

Kaede, when did you get here? You shouldn’t be slacking off at work, I start to say, but looking around, I see there are no other customers besides us, and Motoko-san at the counter is smiling. This must be your doing.

“Well, sharing was a joke. Hitotsuba, are you ready to take our order?”

“Yes! A melon float and iced coffee, right? Yuya-kun, do you need milk or syrup?”

She’s asking, even though she knows I don’t usually add sugar to my coffee at home. It’s because she’s still in work mode. I admire how Kaede can pay such detailed attention even on her first day.

“Then, just some milk, please.”

“Certainly. Please wait a moment while I prepare your order.”

With a graceful bow, Kaede joins Motoko-san behind the counter and disappears. Nikaido and I watch her go. She’s looking at Kaede with a dreamy expression, heaving a sigh of admiration.

“Sigh… Hitotsuba is amazing. She doesn’t seem like it’s her first time at a part-time job. Every movement is so elegant, and that final bow was just like a real maid. I was amazed.”

Despite it being her first day at a customer service job where she must talk to strangers, there’s no sign of tension in her. She might have been different in the morning when I wasn’t there, but I can ask her about that when we get home.

“But are you sure? At this rate, won’t Hitotsuba’s search for what she wants to do end up in vain?”

“I think that’s okay. This part-time job is just a starting point. Right now, it’s all about experiencing different firsts. From there, Kaede can find what she truly wants to do.”

People grow throughout their lives, as Sakurako-san said, and Kaede is taking her first steps towards growth. My role is to warmly watch over her, soothe her when she’s tired from work, and support her by her side.

“…Yoshizumi’s feelings for Hitotsuba are as vast as the sky and as deep as the ocean. I’m truly envious of her.”

Nikaido says this with a wistful smile, and I can’t meet her gaze, looking away out the window instead.

“Oh, right. There’s something I forgot to ask earlier. Is it okay?”

“Hmm? Sure, what is it?”

“When you were a kid, there was an older sister figure you really liked, right? Can you tell me more about her?”

“Yuya-kun had a crush on an older girl!? What’s that about? I haven’t heard of this! I’m really curious! Please tell me everything right now!”

Kaede exclaims, balancing a tray with a melon float and iced coffee. First, let’s put those on the table before we continue.

“It’s okay, Kaede. She was just someone who walked with me to school when I was in elementary school. We often played together with Taka-san, but I haven’t been in contact with her for years.”

“Really!? Wasn’t she your dream woman or your first love or something!?”

Kaede, unsatisfied with my explanation, leans in, her eyes glistening. The instigator of this awkward situation nonchalantly eats her vanilla ice cream. Damn it.

“I don’t know if she was my first love. But the one I love now is only Kaede. Is that… not okay?”

I ask, looking directly into Kaede’s clear, beautiful eyes.

“Uh… it’s not that it’s not okay… but, Yuya-kun, stop! Don’t say things that will make me happy so bluntly! But I love that about you, Yuya-kun!”

She beams a full smile and moves to hug me, but I quickly grab her shoulders to stop her. You can’t do that now, we’re in public!

“Yuya-kun, you’re merciless. Not even a bit of leniency. But I’ll get back to work, so please enjoy your time.”

Kaede drops her shoulders in disappointment and returns to the counter where Motoko-san is. That’s her station until the next customer arrives.

“Really, Yoshizumi and Hitotsuba can create their own little world of sweetness anywhere, anytime. You haven’t forgotten I’m here, right?”

Nikaido chuckles as she sips her melon soda. She acts like a victim, but her comment caused Kaede’s outburst, right?

“I was just getting back at you… But anyway, what’s the name of the woman who was like an older sister to you?”

“I don’t see how knowing that will benefit you…?”

“Come on, it’s okay. I just want to know the name of the woman who might have been your first love. It’s not like it’ll hurt to tell me, right?”

Despite my insistence that it wasn’t necessarily a first love, Nikaido clasps her hands together, tilting her head cutely as she pleads. Her persuasive power is on par with Kaede’s puppy-dog eyes. I scratch my head in frustration and bluntly respond.

“Her name is Takane Senkuji. ‘Sen’ as in thousand, ‘Kuu’ as in sky, ‘Ji’ as in temple, and ‘Takane’ as in precious sound. She’s five years older than me, so she must be graduating from college this year, but I don’t know much since she’s studying in America.”

“Senkuji…? That name sounds familiar…”

No wonder. The Senkuji family runs a chain of resort hotels across Japan, each unique and highly regarded. They’re known for maximizing the charm of each location, and in recent years, they’ve been expanding globally. This is the century-old Senkuji Resort, and Takane is the eldest daughter of the current CEO.

“How do you know someone like her, Yoshizumi?”

Nikaido asks, her voice shaking in surprise. It’s not surprising. I was shocked too when I found out Takane was the daughter of a major corporation’s president. Like Kaede, she never bragged about it and didn’t talk about herself much.

“It’s just a coincidence that we lived nearby. Nothing more or less. It’s really just a random chance.”

I reply casually, reaching for my iced coffee, only to find it empty. Nikaido chuckles at me.

“Hehe. Why don’t you call over your lovely waitress and order another one?”

“Damn it…”

Nikaido’s teasing is relentless. Well, I guess I have no choice.

*****

In the end, I stayed at “Heritage” until 5 PM, when Kaede-san’s shift ended. Now, having paid the bill, I was waiting outside the café for her.

By the way, Ai Nikaido had left the café earlier than me, saying, “I can’t interfere with you two anymore.” So, she was not here. And the bill for the melon float she ordered, which was supposed to be a hush-money, I didn’t end up paying. The reason was,

“It was a coincidence, but I got to chat with Yuya at the café. This time, I’ll let it slide because of that.”

She left with those words, her demeanor as refreshing as a breeze. I don’t know any other girl as cool as Nikaido, whose words and actions align so perfectly.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Yuya-kun!”

While thinking about this, Kaede-san, now in her casual clothes, briskly emerged from the café. The maid outfit was cute, but her everyday attire felt more relaxing to look at.

“Good work today, Kaede-san. How was your first day at the part-time job?”

“Yes! Everything was new and exciting, and there was a lot to learn, but it was really fun!”

Seeing Kaede-san’s beaming smile, I let out a sigh of relief. It seems she’ll be able to work without any problems. Her performance at work looked good too.

The only worry is that from tomorrow onwards, word might spread about an ultra-cute maid working there, attracting a swarm of customers. Maybe I should work there too?

“An ultra-cute maid… that’s an exaggeration, Yuya-kun. I’m just a regular new employee, you know?”

“No… You’re mistaken, Kaede-san. You, in a maid outfit, will surely make everyone who sees you feel happy. Isn’t it impossible for customers not to become fans after being served by such a maid?”

I inadvertently clenched my fist and insisted. The maid outfit on Japan’s cutest high school girl, right? Today, both men and women customers leaked out how “cute” Kaede-san was. There was even a young salaryman who tried to get her contact information and got scolded by Ms. Suko. If Nikaido hadn’t stopped me, I’d have shouted, “Don’t you dare lay a finger on my Kaede-san!”

“…Yuya-kun, do you perhaps like maids?”

“That’s not it, Kaede-san. What I like is you in a maid outfit, not maids in general.”

“I see. So Yuya-kun likes maid outfits. You want me to wear one at home too, right!?”

Kaede-san leaned in close with a confident look. Sadly, she’s absolutely right. I did think about wanting her to wear it at home, and I want to hear her say, “Welcome back, Master,” just once.

“Hehe, Yuya-kun is in pamper mode now. Shall we play a master-servant game tonight as my thank you for worrying and coming to see me?”

“This is too much for a thank you. But, can I at least hear what this master-servant play involves?”

Curiosity killed the cat, but not asking is even more impossible. Besides, I’m planning to firmly refuse after hearing it.

As if testing my resolve, Kaede-san licked her lips seductively and then, with a mischievous smile, whispered sweetly in my ear.

“I’ll become your obedient maid, Master, and provide you with meltingly tender service.”

“Wha, Kaede-san!?”

The word “service,” filled with sweet and sultry implications, sends shivers down my spine. I want to imagine what she might do, but if I do, there’s no turning back. Beyond that lies a road to hell.

“Hehe. So, Master, what do you want me to do? I’ll do anything you wish.”

Kaede-san’s breathing gets rougher, her breaths hot in my ear. I grit my teeth to extinguish the flames of my mind, but like a little devil maid, she continues to tempt me.

“I know. In fact, Master loves taking a bath with me, having his back washed. You’re desperately trying to look away, but sometimes I catch your hot gaze on my chest, and your eager hands. You’re naughty, Master.”

“No, no, no, that’s not true!? You’re misunderstanding, Kaede-san!?”

“Hehe. If you wish, Master, I’ll wash you thoroughly. My brea───”

“STOP──────! Don’t say any more!? And where do you think you’re saying this!?”

While I want to savor the pleasant shivers a bit longer, there’s a limit. Besides, if anyone overhears us outside, I won’t be able to walk around here anymore out of embarrassment.

“Yuya-kun asked to hear it… Oh, one last thing. Don’t worry, my mom has already given me a thorough lecture on how to wash, so rest assured and leave it to me!”

“Yeah, I’m not reassured at all.”

Every single time. Why does Sakurako-san teach Kaede-san such extra “wonderful” knowledge? She isn’t telling Kaede-san that she wants to see her grandchild soon, right?

“That’s… classified information! Now, Yuya-kun, let’s go home! What shall we have for dinner?”

“Okay, I won’t ask anymore. For dinner… How about pork belly stew?”

“Sounds good! Let’s buy not just pork, but also cabbage and bean sprouts! But choosing a pork dish… Yuya-kun, are you full of energy?”

“Sorry, Kaede-san. I don’t understand what you mean?”

What does pork have to do with my energy? And what energy are we talking about here?

“Oh, don’t play dumb. Pork is rich in animal protein, which is good for vitality. Mentioning it in this context means… you know, right?”

Kaede-san’s cheeks turned a bright red, and she twisted her body shyly, hands covering her face. Her gestures were adorable, but her words were a bit too suggestive.

“So, you’re not implying that! Could it be, Kaede-san, that you’re a bit out of sorts from today’s first experience?”

“First experience!? Wait, does that mean tonight is the day? Am I finally going to see Yuya-kun’s serious wolf mode?”

Kaede-san’s imagination ran wild, picking out specific words. In her mind, we had probably already finished cleansing and were heading to bed. And then slowly moving in for a kiss─── What am I even thinking about?

“Calm down a bit, you clunky cute disaster maid.”

I shook my head to dispel these impure thoughts and, seeing the beautiful girl with her mouth agape in a dazed expression, I unceremoniously tapped her head with a chop.

“Ouch! Hey, what are you doing, Yuya-kun? I was just about to ascend to a dizzying paradise…! Let’s climb the stairs of adulthood!”

While clinging to my arm, Kaede-san looked up at me with pleading eyes, pushing her ample chest against me. The tension and excitement nearly made my heart leap out of my mouth. The temptation of her bewitching touch almost made me nod in agreement, but restraining myself,

“Really… don’t say such things lightly. Come on, it’s time to wake up from this dream, Cinderella. If you get too carried away, you’re going without dinner, okay?”

“Yes, I’m awake now! I’ve become Yuya-kun’s princess, so I’m fully awake! Let’s go home quickly and have dinner!”

Kaede-san, back from her dream world, eagerly pulled me towards the station. Being with her, who changes expressions as frequently as the shifting skies, is truly enjoyable.

“If I’m Cinderella, then Yuya-kun is the prince! The prince who chose me among many… hehe, thank you.”

Her smile was as beautiful and captivating as a cherry blossom in full bloom, making my lips curve up naturally. I reached out to gently pat the head of my princess and whispered in her ear.

“Thank you for finding me, Kaede-san. I love you.”

“Hau!? Yu-Yuya-kun!? Saying such sweet words out of the blue is cheating! That’s a red card and ejection from the game!”

After a light kiss on her cheek, Kaede-san turned beet red from face to neck, flustered and disoriented. This was payback for all the turmoil she caused me.

“Mommy, what are those brother and sister doing?”

“Shh, be quiet. That’s too stimulating for you to see.”

Hearing a conversation like a scene out of a manga from a mother and child nearby, I realized the gravity of what I’d just done.

“Uu… I got a cheek kiss from Yuya-kun in public. I’m happy but so embarrassed…”

As expected, Kaede-san pouted with pursed lips. It was going to be a challenge to improve her mood. What to do, what to do…

“I’ll forgive you if you hug me tightly when we get home and give me a more passionate kiss than usual.”

Isn’t that asking for a bit too much!? I’ve thought about deep kisses before, but those moments were always in the bath, and every time, my brain would overheat at the sight of Kaede-san’s alluring form, and I never managed to do it.

“No way! I won’t listen! It’s your fault for exciting me, Yuya-kun. If you can’t do a passionate kiss… then will you give me lots of kisses until I’m satisfied?”

“Ugh… okay, okay. I’ll do it, as many as it takes to satisfy Kaede-san.”

I found myself nodding in resignation to Kaede-san’s pleading look, her ‘puppy eyes,’ and her almost tearful request. That was more of a foul than anything else.

“Hehe, I’m looking forward to it, Yuya-kun. Oh, and if you want to sweep me off my feet, I don’t mind at all, you know?”

“…………”

“Hey, Yuya-kun, don’t just ignore me! Wait, don’t leave me behind! It was just a playful joke!”

I started walking quickly as if escaping from an overly excited Kaede-san. If we stayed here, on this path to school, who knows what rumors the locals might spread about us. Be strong, Yuya Yoshizumi!

“Yuya-kun, I’m sorry! I apologize for getting carried away, let’s hold hands and walk together, please!”

My resolve to be stern lasted only until we reached the station

📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.
I’m Gonna Live with You Not Because My Parents Left Me Their Debt But Because I Like You

I’m Gonna Live with You Not Because My Parents Left Me Their Debt But Because I Like You

Ryoushin no Shakkin wo Katagawari Shite Morau Jouken wa Nihon’ichi Kawaii Joshikousei to Issho ni Kurasu Koto Deshita., 両親の借金を肩代わりしてもらう条件は日本一可愛い女子高生と一緒に暮らすことでした。
Score 8.4
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Artist: Released: 2020 Native Language: Japanese
The main character, Yoshizumi Yuya, was being pressured into paying off the debt left by his parents who had fled abroad. It was his classmate, Hitotsuba Kaede, chosen as the cutest schoolgirl in Japan, who saved him from this crisis of life and death. However, there was a catch. The condition required to fulfill in return for taking over his debt was — “In return for the loan, you have – to live with me.”“Why did that happen?!”Yuya’s daily life collapsed on this day.“Yuya-kun. Let’s take a bath together.”“Yuya-kun, please be my hug pillow.”“That’s enough, Hitotsuba-san!”The slapstick love comedy between the beautiful, but easy-going Hitotsuba Kaede and the serious and hard-headed Yoshizumi Yuya, starts now!

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