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Today I had two nuisances along on my trip to the Petit salon. This was supposed to be my sanctuary…
I ended up swinging the bags in both hands as I walked.
Seeing this, Enjou spoke up.
“That looks pretty heavy. I’ll help you carry it.”
Oh? Well in that case.
I handed him the largest one.
“Whoa. This is pretty heavy. What’s inside?”
“Some season-limited Christmas chocolates for the kids.”
Since I was told that Yukino-kun had gotten me a present, I thought about getting presents for him, Mao-chan and Yuuri-kun.
Then I thought about how bad I would feel for the other kids, so in the end I decided to prepare enough chocolate for all of them.
Food and consumables were great for casual presents.
“Huh. I didn’t realise that brand produced Christmas chocolat,” Kaburagi mused.
“It is an assorted set. Some of them are shaped like Christmas trees and the like,” I replied.
“You’re pretty knowledgeable about time-limited products, huh,” he said as he peered into Enjou’s bag from the side.
Also we weren’t close enough for him to know that about me. Oh, was it the peach marshmallow that I gave him to ward off evil?
When we arrived at the Petit salon we were immediately greeted by smiles.
“Gokigen’yoh, Yukino-kun. Gokigen’yoh to you as well, Mao-chan, Yuuri-kun.”
“Hello Reika… oneesan…”
Yuuri-kun was still as shy about calling me that as ever.
Mhm, mhm, he was a boy after all.
If it’s too hard for you, Yuuri-kun, you can just call me Reika-chan instead, you know?
Anyhow, nobody had any idea that Enjou and Kaburagi were coming. Given how standoffish they generally were, the kids were excited about the rare opportunity to meet them, and immediately crowded them.
All this time I was the only visitor here. I’d been monopolising the popularity of being a visiting upperclassman and yet today all their hearts were taken away in an instant.
Even Mao-chan who was like a little sister to me was taking glances over at those two!
Arghhh! I really shouldn’t have brought them here!
“Reika-oneesan? What’s wrong. Come sit down?”
Aaah! Yukino-kun! You’re my only ally here!
I did as he suggested and took my seat on the sofa. Ah, Enjou-sama, please just give out the chocolates however you like.
“You know, there was actually something I wanted to give you, Reika-oneesan.”
Yukino-kun held out a red-ribboned box in his two small hands.
“Reika-oneesan, it’s a little early, but Merry Christmas!”
“Thank you, Yukino-kun!”
I opened the box.
Inside was a snow globe with a boy creating a snowman in front of a Christmas tree. So cute!
“Is this boy you, Yukino-kun?”
“Mhm!” he nodded with a smile.
Given how frail his body was, perhaps he’d never done this before in real life.
I think I remember being told that Enjou and Kaburagi would build snowmen in view of his window when he was sick.
I hoped that he could one day build one himself.
“Then it is my turn next. Merry Christmas, Yukino-kun.”
My present for him was a thick scarf to match his uniform. At the ends of it were little white snowflakes.
I wasn’t sure though, since he might not have much need for a muffler being driven to school and all.
He wrapped it around his neck.
“Wahh! It’s so warm~!” exclaimed Yukino-kun as he rubbed his face against the scarf fringe. “Is the snowflake because my name is Yukino(snowfield)?”
“It is. The snowflake is your symbol.”
“Thank you,” he beamed.
I specially ordered it, actually. I was glad that he liked it.
As for Mao-chan and Yuuri-kun, I got them matching lesson bags; tote bags large enough to carry things for both school and extracurricular lessons. Having matching things sure was nice for a couple~
I wanted to try something like that myself one day. Ah, not matching clothing though.
“Thank you, Reika-oneesama! I’ll take care of it. Also Yuuri-kun and I got you something too!”
The two of them had gotten me fluffy boots for indoor use. It was completely adorable with little ribboned bonbons attached!
“My! Thank you! I think I shall be using them quite a bit considering how bad I am with the cold.”
They were pink and would match my belly warmer perfectly. With this I was set for winter.
We relaxed for a while, before Enjou and Kaburagi came over having distributed the chocolates.
Mmn. Well done, you two.
You can keep the remaining chocolates as thanks for your hard work.
“Yukino, did Kisshouin-san give you that muffler? Thank you, Kisshouin-san.”
“My pleasure. I should be giving thanks instead for these cute presents I received. Thank you very much.”
That was when the other kids began to thank me for the chocolate, and I ended up surrounded by smiling children myself.
Nuhoho, the presents were super effective.
“I wish you could come to my Christmas party though, Reika-oneesama,” pouted Mao-chan.
“Mao. Reika… oneesan, also has her own plans, so you can’t be so selfish.”
Uuu, I want to go too, Mao-chan!
Why did my pride have to get in the way back there! Reika, you idiot! What if I told her that I could come now…
“You’re coming too, right, Yukino? Thanks for looking after him,” Enjou smiled.
“Yes!” said Mao-chan as she blushed.
Mao-chan! Yuuri-kun is right next to you!
“By the way, Masaya’s mum said it was a shame you couldn’t come to her party, Kisshouin-san.”
“Yeah,” Kaburagi nodded without much care.
During my family’s party last month his mother had invited me, and then my parents told me a number of times to go, but I completely refused.
It was tiring having to keep up appearances. All those parties were like that.
My parents had stopped trying once the thing with my eyebrows happened though.
All it took was some fake tears and a “I cannot possibly show up like this!”
As a fellow woman, Okaasama could sympathise.
Life is all about turning misfortune into fortune.
“Will you be attending their party, Enjou-sama?”
“Nah, I’ve got some things to do that day.”
Oh? All right then.
Seeing Yukino-kun turn with a pout, Enjou smiled helplessly and patted him on the head.
“I’ll be right back,” he said.
So the little angel showed his brother these kinds of faces.
“Will you be attending your family’s party then, Kaburagi-sama?”
“Pretty much. I didn’t last year, so this year my mother told me to at least make an appearance. I’m planning on heading right home though.”
Last year… Oh, you were on your journey, weren’t you.
Kaburagi seemed bored, because he got up and began gathering the children.
What was he planning.
“You said you were going to spend Christmas with your friends, Kisshouin-san?”
“Well, yes,” I told Enjou.
He was a sharp person. What if he realised I was spending time with my air friends…
What if he realised and then thought of me as some sad case…
I had to change the subject somehow…
“Yukino-kun, what are you hoping from Mr. Santa this year?”
He looked startled. How come?
“As long as Mr. Santa chooses it, I’m okay with anything,” he replied with a smile.
What age did children stop believing in Santa Claus again?
Kaburagi made a coin disappear, and then made a tissue float, and then some other stuff to the applause of the children.
And so Suiran entered its winter break.
I found the Tohsaka house.