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“Ah… a boyfriend…” I put on a smile. “Well, we could just be friends, right?”

After everything I had been through, how could I let a boyfriend put me off? Although, I was curious about this one. Netorare would have been in control of her for the last few months. Was this boyfriend someone very new or someone from before? In that case, was his memory altered into thinking he had been dating her for the last few months? I had so many questions about it, but I certainly wasn’t going to ask them of her.

“O-of course…” She responded, blushing just slightly.

She definitely must be a girl from an all-girls school. Even though she had a boyfriend, it was abundantly clear that she had a strong weakness towards boys. If I was a boyfriend who saw my girl looking and talking to a boy this way, I’d definitely be enraged. Hey, playing the game didn’t mean I couldn’t be a bit of a hypocrite.

“What’s your name?” I asked, reaching out and picking a piece of lint from her shirt.

She looked down at my hand, blushed again, and then said just slightly faster than she needed to speak. “My name is Tiana.”

There wasn’t any lint on her shirt. I actually pulled it out of my pocket and pretended to pick it off her shirt. In my free time, I had been reading a couple of pickup artist books. One such book mentioned that one of the ways to get a girl was to get her used to your touch. Harmless touching, such as removing lint from a shirt, lulled her into a sense of security. The more she gets used to your touch, the bolder your touches can become before she rejects them.

“Do you want to get out of the hallway?” I asked.

“Ah…” she looked around, realizing we were still in the area she had led me back when she thought I was a creepy stalker.

Technically, nothing had changed. She didn’t know me any better than before. I was just as much someone she didn’t know, but I wasn’t going to point that out. My question was also another pickup artist strategy. You continually ask questions where the obvious answer is yes. This conditioned her into saying yes to you. It was that sort of trick. Well, I was still learning, and I didn’t want to depend on pick up artists tips permanently anyway. I wasn’t looking for a one-night stand.

I engaged her in light, casual conversation while remaining somewhat flippant. I gave her space and had an aloof atmosphere. I asked her questions, let her do most of the talking, and she grew animated as she spoke, gesturing wildly as she spoke about what career she wanted to have or other such things. Overall, she probably wasn’t the best girl to pursue. I didn’t know if having slept with her as Netorare would affect the points I’d gain. Furthermore, she had the goddess protection, so I couldn’t use my skills on her. On top of all that, she was at an all-girls school, so I wasn’t sure how easily I’d be able to meet up with her enough to be effective.

Yet, despite all of that, the fact that she reminded me of Netorare in a strange way relaxed me. If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine the goddess, lying around lazily as she chastised me about this or that. As I was having such fanciful thoughts, I almost missed something that Tiana had said.

“What was that last part?” I turned to her, my brow somewhat furrowed.

I hadn’t said anything in a while, and she was in a bit of a rant, so I had caught her off guard. “Ah… oh… um… I was just saying that our school opened up a mentorship program where an older male student is teamed up with a female student and we have talks about feminism and stuff.”

“Feminism?”

“Yeah…” She gave a snort. “No one knows what to make of it. Some hate the idea of bringing the boys into our school. They think it’s going to, you know, lead to some naughtiness and corruption of our school tenants and values. However, last year, five girls at our school ended up pregnant, and so this was suggested as a means of helping women grow accustomed to the opposite sex, so that when we encounter them normally, like here, we can, how did they say it… act in a fashion conducive of the expectations of Riphorn Academy.”

“Feminism?” I repeated.

She giggled. “That’s the compromise the school made. If we were going to invite boys into an all-girls school, then the boys had to learn about female rights so that they came to properly respect women and treat them right.”

“Actually, that does sound interesting,” I smirked, moving closer to Tiana. “I do need to learn how to respect women more.”

“Oh… do you…” She couldn’t help but smile back, but she didn’t shy away as I closed the distance between us.

We had stopped somewhere outside a clothing store, and we were only about an inch away from each other. She looked like she really wanted to kiss me too. I leaned forward to take her lips.

“Tiana!” A voice came from the distance.

Tiana pulled away from me like she had been burned. She had a wild look on her face and she was quickly straightening her dress like the moment we just shared hadn’t happened.

“Tiana! Ah… Tiana, there you are!” The voice came from a short boy who was about the same height as Tiana.

He wore his hair short, just like hers, but he was full Japanese, where Tiana seemed to have a little bit of Western blood in her. He didn’t see us before thankfully, and he didn’t seem to notice how close we had been. In fact, he didn’t notice me at all as he came right up to her, not even sparing me a glance.

He was wearing fine clothes, that which you’d expect to see on a rich person. His voice also had a bit of an edge to it that suggested to me that he was probably a high-society kind of guy. So, this was the boyfriend that she had been talking about?

“Matt, I didn’t expect you to come to the mall today. You said you couldn’t make it.” She said, just a small bit of stress in her eyes suggesting she was still worried he might have noticed something off.

“It is true, I was busy today. However, the meeting of father’s got canceled, the schedule got bumped around a bit, and now I’m here.”

“Matt is your boyfriend?” I asked, interjecting myself into a conversation that this guy was clearly happy pretending I wasn’t a part of.

“Ah… y-yes… we just started dating…”

It was only at this point the boy with his nose in the air seemed to notice me. Considering his head didn’t even reach my shoulders, it was pretty amazing that he was able to ignore me so easily.

“Oh… and who is this person then?” He said, his voice holding just a hint of disdain even while he smiled politely.

“I’m Hakaru.” I smiled. “We actually just met. Your girlfriend was just talking to me about a mentoring opportunity and I was taking some interest in it.”

I spoke frankly. It wouldn’t do good if my actions got her in trouble. I decided to play it cool and back off for now. There would always be another chance to loosen Tiana up later.

“Mentor? Oh… are you speaking of that school leadership program? Yes… I’m going to be a part of that. There are only ten positions, so naturally one of them would go to me.”

“Is that so… what school are you from again?”

He smirked snobbishly. “I’m from the Dushen Elite Academy. What about you?”

“Nothing so grand,” I waved my hand politely. “Just the Douglas Public.”

“Douglas?’ He said that name as if it gave him indigestion. “Isn’t that the school that shut down because of corruption?”

I shrugged. “You could say that. A teacher was blackmailing students into sex.”

Matt sniffed. “A result of common schools, it seems.”

I smiled. “Perhaps.”

Matt glanced at me from the side for a second. “Haruko, was it?”

“Hakaru.” My mouth only twitched slightly.

“Well, Hakaru, it is your lucky day. My mother is actually the dean of Riphorn, that’s how I met my sweetheart here. She’s a student council representative.”

“A student council president?”

“Ah… nothing like that…” Tiana spoke nervously, “I’m just a secretary.”

“Still, a secretary at Riphorns…” Matt stepped in, putting his arm around her.

She didn’t seem to like him doing it, or perhaps she had some issue with her place as a secretary, but she had a frown on her face and seemed discontent. As for Matt, he either didn’t notice or he didn’t seem to care.

“Anyway, the point I was making is that I’m in a position to help you get a place as one of the ten. I’ll let my mother know to look out for your application. With me helping you, you’ll definitely get accepted.”

“Wow… really, you’re really a good person. Thank you!” I did my best to keep the disdain from my voice.

It sounded fake to Tiana, as she was looking at me hesitantly, but once again, Matt either didn’t care or didn’t notice. He let out a pompous laugh and then handed me his mother’s card. I managed to hold back making a snide comment about the fact he had his mother’s cards in his wallet. For that, I felt like I deserved a medal.

We bid our quick farewells. They were quick because he turned and walked away, and with his arm around her, he dragged her with him. He had an expression on his face like he was done with the commoner. Tiana glanced back and mouthed a farewell as well as good luck. I frowned a bit looking at his mother’s card. I’d have preferred I never met him.

I figured, at best, he wouldn’t bother to give his mother a recommendation. He was certainly not going to give one. My concern was that he might go so far as to do the opposite. He could try to blacklist me so that I absolutely don’t end up in the school. It really just came down to how much of a threat he thought I was. If he saw me kissing his girl, he’d definitely blacklist me. If he thought I was just a nothing commoner, he’d be more likely to forget, so which was it.

“Master, you look like you’re about to do something dangerous.” Akiko’s voice rang out.

She apparently had decided to stay close by in case I needed her. She was probably watching the whole exchange between me and Tiana.

“What are your thoughts?” I asked.

“She’s pretty enough,” Akiko responded simply. “But I’ve heard of that guy. His dad’s a city councilman. She’s probably more trouble than she was worth.”

“Yeah…” I nodded my head. “You’re probably right. But what if I told you I had a way of getting into an all-girls school for the next few months.

She gave me a side-look. “I’d say it’s like putting a fox into a chicken coop. I think I’ll be getting a lot of new sisters soon.”

“I’m not that interested in the women there,” I admitted.

“Uh-huh…” Akiko didn’t sound convinced in the slightest.

“I mean… I’m not saying I won’t fuck a few girls, especially if they have a relationship… but I mean I have another reason for going. There is something off about the school. Let’s call it a bad feeling.”

She nodded slowly. “Okay, Master… just be careful.”

“Mm…” I nodded. “Let’s go home. I want to shove something hard in you.” I sighed, deciding to play it by ear for a bit.

A lewd expression formed as Akiko nodded even more enthusiastically, “En… Master always knows how to make me wet!”

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