It’s two months into their relationship, and things are going great for Shusei and the MC. They get put together to work on a gossip article of an affair between a famous actor and actress pair who are half siblings, and the MC can’t help but worry as she draws parallels from the situation to her relationship with Shusei.
After successfully getting pictures of the two exchanging a kiss, Akiyoshi declares that their article is going to be the headliner for the next issue of Seasonelle. The day after a round of drinks with the Seasonelle team celebrating the successful sales of the issue, the MC’s mother shows up at their house. Shusei hides, and the MC’s mother tells her that she’s worried about her and wants her to find someone and get married soon. While tailing the actor and actress for more proof of their relationship, the MC finds herself unable to take pictures of them when presented the opportunity.
Shusei wants to tell their parents about their relationship, but the MC wants to tell them later; she’s still worried about how they’ll take it. The situation gets worse when her mother sets her up for a blind date. The MC talks to Tam about it, and Shusei overhears and confronts her about it at home. The next day at work the MC gets a phone call from Kaori Fujitani, the actress who’s in the scandal, asking her to meet up with her at a bar. The MC is surprised to hear Kaori ask her to write a piece that condones their relationship. Akiyoshi gives the go-ahead to write it, and everything seems to be going well until Shusei tells the MC that they should break up. He doesn’t want to see the MC get hurt, and leaves for a business trip the next day.
A few days later, the MC leaves to turn down her blind date in person, and bumps into Shusei coming back from his trip while leaving the house. Shusei chases after her and interrupts their date; he drags the MC outside and asks why she looks so sad when he left her so she could be happy. They make up, and make up their mind to tell their parents about their relationship.
One thing that I appreciated in this route was how they addressed the fact that the MC is dating her stepbrother. It’s really easy to forget while playing OTBS, especially since the MC’s mother and the male lead’s father never show up past the prologue and the focus is more on the office romance. I think out of all the guys in OTBS, Shusei was the right one to use this situation on because in all honestly, the other guys probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with it as well (with the exception of maybe Akiyoshi).
Shusei pays so much attention to the MC, but not to the point of clinginess. He honestly worries for her wellbeing to the point that he broke up with her because he thought that being with him was hurting her, even though it would hurt him, which isn’t the kind of consideration you would see in a relationship only two months in. Replaying this route made me remember why I loved Shusei so much and I can’t wait for his proposal route. The MC and Shusei don’t want to hurt each other, but at the end they realize that they actually hurt the other more by hiding their true feelings from them, and once they reach that understanding it was so heartwarming to see them get closer as a result. I can’t wait to see how much more they’ll grow as a couple in the second season, and definitely recommend that you give Shusei’s routes a try if you haven’t already done so.