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Funny enough, both RKO and TiC are at the staying over bit in the translations and the similarities of the chapters just struck me… well, both are written by Tachimori Asahi-sensei after all. Anyway, the next two chapters will explain a lot of Sunohara’s behaviour^^.
Takamura-kun wa Norowarete Iru.
– Sunohara Chiharu Goes Hunting 
"The food in Hii-chan's house sure is tasty~"
"Dat so? Thanks."
Heating up the cabbage rolls that Takashi made and kept aside, I arrange the dishes on the dining table. I don't really have the gift of cooking, so I arrange the cabbage rolls, rice, pickled vegetables and whatnot that were in the fridge, as they are.
Before I know it, Sunohara has already seated himself as though it's his own house, even eating the food without hesitation. Sunohara's assertiveness is something I want to learn from.
"Did Hii-chan make this?"
"Takafumi-kun made it."
"I knew it~. You seem like you'll be bad with cooking and the like, Hii-chan."
Certainly, I'm bad with cooking. However, being told so so clearly is somehow extremely unpleasant.
In this house, cooking is basically Takafumi's job while the laundry and cleaning are mine. It's probably better if a girl knows how to cook at least one dish, but it can't be helped when one's fingers are clumsy. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
"Hurry up and eat, then leave."
"I'll stay over today. Just nice, there's no school tomorrow; let's go somewhere together."
My heart is still broken over Takafumi, so it's honestly tiring to deal with Sunohara.
I speak as coldly as I can, stuffing my mouth with cabbage rolls. When I try to go to the kitchen with my tableware in hand, Sunohara grabs my arm tightly.
"You're lonely without Takafumi-san, right? I'll comfort you."
"Hah? It's not like I'm particularly, towards Takafumi-kun—"
"Hii-chan's beloved Takafumi-san has a girlfriend, you know?"
I instinctively turn around at the word 'Takafumi'.
Sunohara smirks. As his lightly-pigmented large eyes are faintly closed, he's looking at me suggestively. Due to the right corner of his mouth that's firmly raised, keen observers may find that smile disturbing.
"How do you—"
I try to ask 'How do you know', but I get tongue-tied.
"Because Takafumi-kun's girlfriend is Sena-san's onee-san. Apparently, she's called 'Suzume-chan'."
"Takafumi-kun's girlfriend is… Sena-san's onee-san…"
Sure enough, Takafumi-kun's girlfriend is an exceptional beauty. Now that he mentions it, she may resemble Sena-san.
I find myself in a fluster. It's unbelievable that Takafumi's girlfriend is Sena's older sister. It's undoubtedly barking up the wrong tree to vent my feelings at Suzume, but I lose my cool just a little and my chest feels suffocated.
"I'm letting you know just in case, but I don't think Suzume-san is dating Takafumi-san to interfere between you and him. They seem to have dated for a long time after all."
I know. I know, but the uneasiness remains sleeping in a corner of my heart. It's likely that even in the future, until I come to hold someone dear in my heart, it will continue to carry these hard feelings.
"But I'm different. I'll definitely not do things that make Hii-chan sad."
"I'm not particularly sad."
I vaguely smile at Sunohara's words.
"You smile whenever you've something you want to hide, don't you, Hii-chan?"
Having it pointed out by Sunohara, I unknowingly close my mouth. While still holding onto my hand, the corners of Sunohara's mouth raise and he grins.
Laughing frivolously when there's something I want to hide, is a bad habit of mine that Hiwatari has also pointed out previously. I've some recollection of laughing when I've things I want to hide, so I'm unable to respond. I simply look down silently.
"See? Truth be told, Hii-chan is sad. But if it's me, I won't make Hii-chan sad and all."
"What's with that confidence."
"I'm Hii-chan's close friend after all! I'll be Hii-chan's ally no matter what happens, and I want to stay the closest to Hii-chan."
This is a repeat, but I don't recall becoming close friends with Sunohara. It's just Sunohara sticking to me on his own accord.
Sunohara removes his hand that has been holding my wrist. He then drinks the after-meal coffee that has lots of sugar and milk in it, and starts eating the cake he bought as a gift. I'm dumbfounded at how he ends up eating it himself despite having said something like 'Please eat this with your family'.
"That's not what close friends are like, right."
I've a feeling that Sunohara is mistaken about the distance close friends have between them. Is the friendship between guys something so clingy? It's only been 2 months since I became a guy so I'm not too sure.
In the end, what am I to Sunohara?
"Still, we aren't lovers, right. I don't think that Hii-chan likes me. Besides, I like Sena-san. However, Hii-chan is special to me. If I am to give this a name, wouldn't it be 'close friends'?"
Sunohara likes Sena. That's an incontrovertible truth ever since I met Sunohara. He should be unaware that Sena is a guy. What will he do if Sena is a guy?
I'm unable to say a thing. Because a name to denote the relationship between Sunohara and I, doesn't come to mind.
Takafumi has a girlfriend. That girlfriend is Sena's older sister, called Suzume. That Suzume's younger brother, Tsugumi, likes me. On top of that, Sunohara, who claims to be my close friend, likes that Tsugumi. What on earth should I do about this quagmire? I've absolutely no idea.
"… Close friends, huh?"
"Yep, close friends. That's why Hii-chan can tell me anything and must always be by my side."
"Is that really 'close friends'?"
Sunohara pulls my waist towards him, causing me to sit on his lap. Sunohara's unnecessarily slender so my butt hurts when it comes in contact with his knee bone. Wrapping his arm around my waist, he hugs me tightly and rubs the tip of his nose on my nape.
Smooch, I feel a prick on the back of my neck. He probably gave me a kiss mark. Today, I've been kissed, hugged and even given a kiss mark; it's terrible. On top of that, he even starts stroking my waist. What's this homohomo-ish development?
Sunohara should be in love with Tsugumi. Yet, he's laying his hands on me. What's the meaning of this? His thought process is completely incomprehensible. It's the situation of 'It doesn't matter whether you're straight; I'm the type who eats you anyway'.
"Stop it. Annoying."
"Hii-chan sure is cute."
"Listen to what people say."
Smooch, smooch, while making those sounds, he drops kisses from my nape to the back of my hand, tickling me greatly.
I shake off Sunohara with all my might, and roughly wipes my hand with alcohol. Sunohara may be extremely handsome and is a popular prince-sama, but he's just an annoying, narcissistic prince to me. I'll be happy being kissed if it's a person I like, but I don't like him and therefore I'm not happy at all. Rather, it's unpleasant.
Seeing me disinfect my hand with alcohol, the ends of Sunohara's brows lower as he laughs.
"Hii-chan, … I like you."
"I know. You like me subsequent to Sena-like, right."
Sunohara hugs me even tighter, burying his face at the area around my collarbone and answers weakly.
That's rare for the ever-lively and easy-going Sunohara. I reflexively turn towards Sunohara.
"Chiha, you aren't too lively."
"Ehh, what, are you worried about me?"
"If you're gonna jest, forget it. Go and bathe already."
Throwing him my sweats, t-shirt and a bath towel, I point towards the bathroom.
Sunohara smiles happily and picks up the sweats, t-shirt and bath towel, then walks to the bathroom.
Once I confirm that Sunohara has entered the bath, I give a HUGE sigh.
Even though I so strongly rejected his staying over, ultimately things went according to his wishes. Let's just say that Sunohara's assertiveness, or perhaps, his ability to be pampered, is something I should learn from.
Sunohara gets out of the bath and it's my turn.
It’s been two months since I became a guy. Before today, lodging in the same room with a guy didn't even cross my mind. But now, Sunohara casually came to stay over. It's a strange feeling.
Washing my body and my head, I soak in the bathtub. I try to think about Sunohara's matter with my head that has blood rushing to it.
Why did Sunohara give such a lonely answer at that time? Doesn't Sunohara like Sena? If something did happen ――if it was against his will―― I think he can talk to me, his close friend. However, is it something that he can't tell even me?
I sink into the bathtub till my mouth level and hold my head. The me who thinks about Sunohara to this extent is also pathetic.
When I return to the room, I see Sunohara reading manga there.
It's the story about gathering 7 balls to summon a divine dragon. Takafumi said it's interesting so I assembled a set from a secondhand book store. I was told that this book is something high school boys will definitely read and if I don't know it, I'll be ostracised or whatever. However, amongst high school boys who are born around Heisei 20, the Grand Treasure of One Piece or such are more popular.
Nonetheless, the tale of gathering 7 balls is undoubtedly a masterpiece among masterpieces.
"Isn't Frieza's 4th form the coolest~"
"I like Vegeta, so…"
"The Filthy Fireworks."
Sunohara slips into my bed as though it's natural, and hits the area beside him as though saying to sleep there.
"I'll bring out a futon so if you want to sleep, do it there, ya."
"Ain't it fine if we sleep together?"
I seize and pull at the collar of Sunohara who's lying down, but he doesn't budge an inch. Instead, he clings to my waist and buries his face at my stomach. This unparalleled annoyance.
"Hey, Hii-chan, I'm lonely…"
Sunohara calls my name in a weak voice. Hii-chan, Hii-chan, he repeatedly calls my name.
If someone else hears, they'll definitely not think that 'Hii-chan' is my nickname. It's a nickname only Sunohara uses.
Still, the Sunohara today is extremely odd. He's feeble. I stroke Sunohara's head.
"Are you asking why I'm lonely?"
When I nod, Sunohara raises his face and smiles faintly.
"Maybe because I like Hii-chan too much and it's painful."
Sunohara's hand loops to the back of my head and he draws my face nearer.
Then, at that point, a strange shadow is cast on my face as though signalling a kiss to come. I can faintly smell, not the fresh scent of Sunohara's anti-perspirant, but the sweet scent of the shampoo I'm using. That's terribly, vividly embarrassing and I feel my ears growing warm.
I can feel his breath on my lips. When I think that I'm going to get kissed again, my body trembles in embarrassment. A kiss may be something like a greeting to Sunohara, but I'm still not used to kisses till that extent, so I'll like to refrain from having excessive skinship.
When I push his chin away in rejection, sure enough, Sunohara laughs in a sad manner.
"… As expected."
"You can just do it with Sena, right."
Why is Sunohara making such a lonely face?
And why does my heart hurt when I look at Sunohara's lonely face?
Although I'm unable to find an answer, I don't feel cold in the house which Takafumi isn't in.
 The Dragon Ball series.
 a.k.a. 20th year of the Heisei period. Heisei 20 was 2008.
 One of Vegeta's moves.
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