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"I'll be by your side."

Aisaka was speechless at such a clear statement, and fretted her brow painfully. Ryuji looked straight at Aisaka's eyes and elaborated even more,

"I'll be by your side, I'll cook for you, you can come to my place to eat as usual, and I'll make bentos for you as well as picking you up every morning, so..."

"So what!? ... The hell is this!?"

Aisaka yelled, her voice echoing across the alleyway,

"What on earth are you talking about!? We'll get misunderstood again! Minorin still doesn't believe us, you'll make her misunderstand you all over again, is that alright with you?"


The answer came out easier than expected,

"When that happens, then it'll be my turn to go ballistic then! I'll make sure Kitamura's in the classroom and turn the classroom into a warzone just so he won't misunderstand you again."

"W... why..."

The tears began to trickle down her cheeks. See? Ryuji thought to himself, Aisaka is that sort of person, she would go to a place where no one can see her - except me - and cry alone.

"Why, why... Why must you do such a thing!? Didn't I already say you're no longer my dog!? You don't have to do this anymore!"

"... I don't know either, but I just feel like doing it... Since you're crying, I can't leave you alone like that. Because I'll get worried, worried whether you're getting hungry... At least that's what my gentle side thinks."

"W... what the hell!?"

Despite her eyes being tearful, Aisaka still stared at Ryuji with a fierce glare,

"Nobody's asking you to do this! I'm not a kid, so leave me alone! I don't need you worrying me!"

Ryuji next said,

"... Ahh, so that's why!"

He's finally understood.

Why he so wanted to be by her side.

Why he was so worried about her, and why he couldn't leave her alone. This was all because...