br>They made a bet where the loser had to confess their feelings as a form of practice after arguing about their grades in university.
As a result, Toma confessed his feelings to Mio.
However, instead of doing it verbally, he wrote a letter to express his feelings, which caught Mio off guard.

Toma realized that Mio was planning some sort of retaliation through this email.
He made up an excuse about stepping away from his seat, even though he was trying to figure out why she invited him in the first place.

“Sorry, I stepped away for a moment.”

Without wanting to damage his relationship with Mio, Toma went along with her plan, even though he understood what she was trying to do.

“I understand.
Tomorrow, right?”

If their relationship with each other worsened, it would be difficult for them to work at their part-time job at “Shine.” Toma felt it was best to go along with Mio’s plan for the sake of their future relationship.
He could plan his own retaliation later on.

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“Do you think it’s okay if I head towards your university to meet you, Toma-kun? It’s the South University, right?”

“That’s right, but I’ll come to you instead.”

“No, my home is towards the South University, so I’ll head there instead.
I don’t want to inconvenience you.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not a problem at all.
Please let me take care of you.”

“It’s the opposite – I won’t let you take care of me.”

The emphasized wording here shows Mio’s seniority in age and her unwillingness to concede.
Toma understood her feelings and decided to give in.

“I understand.
In that case, I will take you up on your offer.”

“Thank you, Tohma-kun.”

“No, no, there’s no need for thanks.
If anything, I should be thanking you for your consideration.”

“That’s not true…but it seems like this conversation could go on forever.”

“Hahaha, yes, you’re right.
I’ll be looking forward to tomorrow.”

“I’m looking forward to it too.”

Toma didn’t know.
He had no way of knowing.

When she pressed the reply button, Mio’s hands trembled…and she had built up so much heat in her face that steam was coming off of it.

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“…Oh, I have a question.
Will your schedule be free at that time? I have a lecture that goes until 5:30 pm.”

Each student determines their own class schedule.
It’s not uncommon for schedules to not line up, even among students at the same university.
It’s even more difficult when it’s between students at different universities.

“Don’t worry, I should be free around that time.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Well then…I’ll contact you again tomorrow.
Don’t forget about today, okay?”

“Of course not.
I’ll be waiting for your message tomorrow.”

Mio sent a chubby, round red panda stamp with “OK” on it in response to Toma’s mail.

(This stamp is so cute…)

When she tapped on the stamp and looked at its details, she found that it was a paid stamp called “Lesser Panda! Happy Round Version!” that could be bought for 100 coins.

“It’s just like Mio-san…”

Smiling as he read the email, Toma turned off his smartphone and turned his attention to the assignment open on his desk.

“Alright, let’s do this…”

Taking a deep breath, he gripped his mechanical pencil with his dominant hand.

“Wait… huh?”

Toma realized something just then.

Wasn’t the mail he received earlier not meant as a joke or some kind of retaliation…?

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