The end of the Cultural Festival marked the transition further into fall.
The sky lay bare high overhead and the winds that caressed your cheeks became cooler.
The hallway leading to the special building was empty of people. It was bitingly cold and I refitted my blazer. Only the sounds of my footsteps resounded in the quietness.
At our school, fall was a busily, elapsing season.
Following the Cultural Festival was the Sports Festival and then the field trip.
As second years in high school, our fall schedule in particular was filled to the brim. Those three events likely comprised the biggest period of our youth.
Perhaps that’s why every class and year—the entire student body—felt facetious.
High school students were already seen as facetious individuals. And given the season now, their excitement had gotten even more intense. The Cultural Festival was where everyone had united (them ‘n not me), the Sports Festival was where allies and enemies intermingled (them ‘n not me), and the field trip was where close friends would congregate (them ‘n not me), whereby filling another page of their radiant youth. The way I’d keep saying “them ‘n not me” reminded of a certain white and black ice cream. I bet turning it into a milkshake would be pretty good, too.
I arrived in front of the clubroom, though not exactly lured in by the smell of confection, but upon opening the door, I was met with a sweet aroma.
“Oh, Hikki, yahallo!”
My entry was greeted with an energetic lift of a hand along with the light shaking hair styled in a bun.
It was Yuigahama Yui. We were classmates as well as members in this Service Club. She sported an appearance like that of any normal high school girl. Normally, she’d be the type that wouldn’t talk to me so casually like that, but before I even noticed, she had made herself at home in this club. Her behavior resembled that of a puppy or even a tanuki.
Laid out before her on the desk in front was an assortment of snacks. Apparently, she was in the middle of tea time after school.
Steam floated out of her mug cup. The neighboring plain tea cup was about to filled as well.
The individual holding up the teapot combed her long, glossy black hair upwards with her slender fingers. Her prim profile bore a semblance with white porcelain, faintly tinged by the scarlet of the declining sun like the color of the tea she had poured.
I wasn’t very knowledgeable in etiquette, but she, Yukinoshita Yukino, had conducted herself so well that if someone told me she belonged to a family of aristocrats, I wouldn’t hesitate to believe it.
After finishing preparing the tea, she gracefully took her seat.
“Well then, let’s dig in,” she said.
Yuigahama clapped her hands together. “Thank you for the food.”
It was almost like they were playing house. I wanted to poke fun at them, but the mood that existed between the two of them could easily be rendered as a painting that I kept to myself. If you were to ask what was unnecessary in this room right now, it’d be me without a doubt.
Maybe that’s why a portion of snacks weren’t prepared for me. Can we, like, totally stop forgetting only my portion? It reminds me of the time when I worked as part-time staff for a concert and I was the only one with a lunchbox without chopsticks. And that’s the moment I thought I’d try eating like I was from India. Sure, there was a convenience store nearby, but… damn you, manager.
“Oh, Hikki’s share…” Yuigahama said, after sipping her cup and chewing an apparently hand-made muffin.
Yukinoshita eventually noticed as well and softly placed her cup on the saucer. She moved her gaze to check around the desk. However, an extra cup wouldn’t be around so conveniently like that.
But I didn’t need their concern or consideration. Loners were always prepared, wherever and whenever. After all, no one would come to their aid.
“It’s fine, I already have something.”
I took out a drink that was in a dangerous package flashing the warning colors of yellow and black from my bag. Drinking from the get-go and you were already at the climax; that’s what we called MAX COFFEE. Rather than climax, you might as well be done with the drink.
Once I arrived at my seat, I snapped open the tab of my MacCan (the can of MAX COFFEE). I typically liked drinking it when it became lukewarm because it made the kick from the heavy sweetness incredibly destructive. With how much sugar it contained, it wouldn’t be odd at all if it was added to the standard rations for the JSDF.
There’s a disaster? Bring MAX COFFEE. Feel free to take one with you when you go to the mountains, too.
After the three of us all had our drinks in hand, Yukinoshita abruptly brought out a laptop.
I could understand why she’d have one for the Cultural Festival Planning Committee, but I wasn’t sure what her reason was now as I watched her with blank eyes. But you know, the letters “l” and the capital letter “i” looked pretty similar. From “Iaptop and no panties”, “Iaptop and no panties”, “Iaptop and no panties”, and “Iaptop and no panties,” which one of them had the letter “i” in the first word!?
As I quizzed myself in my head, Yuigahama made a curious look as she chewed her muffin and made a gander into Yukinoshita’s hands. By the way, the correct answer to earlier was all of them!
“Hey Yukinon, what’s that?”
“Hiratsuka-sensei made me take it and indicated it was for our new club activity…” Yukinoshita answered briefly as she waited for the computer to boot. She didn’t seem to know what that entailed as well.
The computer must’ve been a pretty old model since it took some time to start up. In the meantime, Yukinoshita went through her habitual motions of thinking with her hand to her chin while staring at the screen.
Yuigahama and I followed her gaze and looked down into the screen from behind her. A lone text file named “Read me!” was on the desktop that was set to the dull default appearance.
Beyond that, there wasn’t any other file that seemed pertinent to the club. Yukinoshita slid her fingers towards the file and clicked it.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Service Club,
Your new club activity will consist of consulting problems through mail.
We will dub it, “The Chiba Prefecture Problem E-Consultation”
I would like all of you to make an effort to solve any problem that presents itself.
Service Club Advisor – Hiratsuka Shizuka
After reading the incredibly concise set of instructions, we all reacted differently.
“…I see, I understand now. We simply have to reply to any consulting mail with appropriate advice. However, will we actually receive them that often…?”
Yukinoshita looked more concerned with the system than what the activity involved and rescanned over the text several times.
On the other hand, Yuigahama’s eyes widened. “Is it just me or is Hiratsuka-sensei always this responsible…?”
Now that’s Yuigahama. That single point was what she was surprised with. Heck, I even wanted to say that’s our Gahama-san.
“Not really, she’s usually like this through mail. It’s just surprising because of how she normally acts.”
“Oh, ok—huh?” Yuigahama took a moment to think and then blinked at me twice.
Well, an understandable reaction. Whenever she’s around, she’d act really uncouth, or like an Apache helicopter, or like an avalanche, or like some kind of Abaranger… At the very least, she exhibited zero signs of a courteous, prim, sweet, and earnest instructor…
“It means she’s a proper adult for the most part,” I said.
Both Yukinoshita and Yuigahama then stared at me with doubtful eyes.
“…It sounds as though you exchange mails with Hiratsuka-sensei on a regular basis.” Yukinoshita stated with a cold voice. She crossed her arms quietly and sent me a sharp and piercing gaze. But that wasn’t something to glare at me for.
“Rather than exchange—yeah, it’s more like I receive them. I’d classify them under categories like magazine subscriptions, Amazon, or Mac stuff. Every now and then, I get these absurdly long mails from her.”
“…Is that so? Not that it’s any of my concern,” Yukinoshita succinctly answered. She turned towards the computer again, but her typing sounded awfully loud. Following behind those sounds was a small voice.
“Long mails… Oh, I think I kinda have something in mind we could consult her about.”
You’re scaring me a little by whispering like that you know, Yuigahama-san… I mean, I’d love to know how to avoid those long mails of hers too, okay? It’s just when I don’t reply back, she ends up calling instead…
I fancied the idea of sending a consultation mail right away until the sound of Yukinoshita typing stopped.
“We received a mail already.”
“Oh wow, we really do get them. Let’s see what we got…”
Yuigahama went behind Yukinoshita and hugged her shoulders. Once again, I couldn’t expect any less from a girl of a top caste to naturally engage in skinship like that.
“…So heavy,” Yukinoshita mumbled.
What’s heavy, hmm? Though I was extremely curious on the matter, I’d probably be put through the wringer if I tried inquiring about it, so I decided to ignore it and asked, “What kind did we get?”
“Umm… There’s one from someone with the pen name, Homooo-san… What the heck is with these weird smileys…?”
Alright, I have a good idea who the sender is.
“You don’t need to read the rest of that,” I said.
Yukinoshita seemingly had the same opinion and placed her hand to her temple as though to hold back a headache. She sighed. “That’s true. I can already imagine what it’s about…”
“W-We should at least give it a read! Come on, I’ll even read it, okay!?”
Yuigahama tugged Yukinoshita’s sleeve. Although she looked peeved, she apparently couldn’t turn down someone who appealed to her like a puppy. She took Yuigahama’s hand and while pushing it away, she said, “I understand, so stop pulling. We’ll listen to it for now. Just for now…”
“Okay! I’ll start reading then!”
Yuigahama began to read the rest of the mail while Yukinoshita adjusted her posture to listen, albeit reluctantly.
She’s so soft on Yuigahama. Am I reading a series from Comic Something Hime or something? As I watched the two engage in their eye-pleasing Yuru Yuri relationship, Yuigahama read the mail aloud.
[Pen Name: Homooo-san’s Consultation]
Ever since the Cultural Festival, my mind has been occupied with two particular boys in my class (H-kun and H-kun).
It’s just so rottenly improper how they’re so crazily conscious of each other! HxH is obscene! Absolutely obscene, I tell you! Yeah, that’s how it’s gotta be, do it more.
I’ve been thinking it’d be nice if both of them got friendlier with each other, but I guess I’m worried about whether they should continue to preserve their distance right now. Which side do you think should approach the other first?
I was more concerned with whether the adjective before improper was just a mistake.
Anyway, what exactly was this person worried about…? If anything, what’s HxH? Hunter x Hunter?
I found myself holding my head whereas Yuigahama had a wry smile. Yukinoshita in particular had long stopped listening and had returned to reading the book in her hand. I totally sympathize with your desire to not get involved, but isn’t that reaction just a tad too much?
With Yukinoshita resolute in ignoring the mail, Yuigahama shot looks between the screen and me, looking for an opinion.
“Wh-What should we do about this…?”
A problematic question. A super development with this particular boy here…
“Uh, you’re not going to get much from asking me… It doesn’t matter which side goes or leaves, either way leads to hell…”
“Even listening is hell…”
She just whispered something really outrageous, didn’t she…? Yukinoshita turned the page of her book and looked at Yuigahama and me.
“In the first place… is there even a solution to this?” Yukinoshita asked.
“…Nope. Sorry, Hikki.” Yuigahama thought for a moment, but then apologized to me. What’s with this solemn atmosphere…? Don’t give up on me!
“Actually, could you guys stop acting as if it’s a given that I’m one of the two guys?”
I was already aware of it, but I still wanted to voice my objection. But Yuigahama had a look of discontent. “But it’s what Hina’s always saying, so…”
So she’s always telling you, huh…? It’s supposed to be the mark of popularity when you weren’t around and were still the talk of town, but I wasn’t the least bit happy about it. In fact, wasn’t this just another form of malicious gossip? I’d rather just take the malicious gossip.
Yukinoshita inserted her bookmark in her book and closed it.
“But it’s highly improbable for Hikigaya-kun to get along with anyone, so there’s no problem to begin with.”
“That makes sense. Okay, I guess we’re done with this one!”
The two took their tea again as though the case was closed.
What’s up with that? I’m fine with rejecting the notion of “HxH,” but even my character was being rejected.
“…That’s nice and all, but what about the follow up? We should reply, right?” I asked.
Yuigahama and Yukinoshita placed their hand to their mouths and thought.
“Oh, yeah… We have to respond since she’s asking us.”
“In that case, we’ll leave that to you, Hikigaya-kun.”
I mean sure, I’m the one closest to the computer, but what’s with this “make the person who leaves the kotatsu get the oranges” rule? Are we at my house?
I gave the two a reproachful glare with completely rotten dissatisfied eyes and Yuigahama forcefully added, “O-Oh, I know! Hikki, you’re really good at language!”
“Except Yukinoshita has better grades…”
At best, I was third in our school year. First was Yukinoshita. Heck, she was better in every other subject to the point I was just impressed instead of frustrated.
But I was pretty annoyed by the fact I wasn’t even frustrated. It’s because whenever we’d start talking about grades or winning and losing, she’d give me this triumphant look.
And right now, Yukinoshita was smiling with her eyes closed. With a relaxed expression, she brushed aside her hair, looking full of confidence.
“Hikigaya-kun, what’s important isn’t grades.”
“Then what is?” I asked.
“Sincerity… I suppose that’s not something we can expect from you…” Yukinoshita answered. Her expression turned into doubt towards the end of her words and she clinched her eyebrows together.
Moreover, Yuigahama crossed her arms and contemplated.
“Your motivation…? Or not.”
“Your communication skills are out of the question as well… Hey, what redeeming features do you have exactly?”
“Don’t tilt your head at me and look like it’s the most mysterious thing in the world.”
It’s infuriating because of how cute that clueless expression of hers is…
I clearly had a ton of redeeming features, like, you know, uh… like how I was brimming with familial love. Not that I’d say that out loud since they’d just label me a siscon… Oh, I know. I feel like my learning ability was one of my redeeming features. Then again, the way I became more socially withdrawn made it a negative learning ability, didn’t it?
I hung my head when I realized I was being far too degrading towards myself. In encouragement, Yuigahama said, “Oh, I know, I know. You seem like you’d write essays fast!”
Yukinoshita nodded. “That’s true. For what he lacks in effort, he makes up in speed. Hikigaya-kun’s hands are fast. Aren’t you glad we were able to discover your strong point?”
I had no words to reply with when she stated that with a pleasant smile. I sighed and did as I was told.
“…Alright, fine, I’ll reply.”
Well, honestly speaking, I was probably the most suitable amongst the three of us. Yukinoshita would likely reply with something abrasive while Yuigahama looked like she’d end things on an easygoing note.
I pulled the computer towards me and began typing.
[The Service Club’s Answer]
This is just our assumption, but have you considered that your idea of “HxH” is simply just a figment of your imagination?
No, we may be completely in the wrong, but we wanted to take the time to point out the possibility to you. With only exposition and no information in your mail, please think of this reply as the limit of what we, “The Chiba Prefecture Problem E-Consultation,” can offer.
I hit the enter key and sent back a response so splendid that it could’ve been mistaken for an answer by a competent psychiatrist. This feeling of satisfaction must’ve been the reason why my lukewarm MAX COFFEE tasted so delicious.
Just when I thought we were done with one incident, a window popped up on the screen.
“Looks like we got another one.”
Yuigahama and Yukinoshita were refilling their tea when I called out to them.
“Okay, read it for us, Hikki.”
The laptop wasn’t a very big model, so rather than have them come over, I might as well do the reading.
“Mm. The person’s pen name is It’s your onee-chan-san.”
The instant I read the name aloud, Yukinoshita stopped her hand as she was pouring the tea.
“……There’s no need to read that mail.”
Her reaction was enough for me to guess at the sender. Yeah, she’s definitely the type of person who’d do this…
“Wait, we’ll get mails from outside of school, too…?”
How was this even made public? I shuddered from the thought. Yuigahama ignored me as she shook her head back and forth between Yukinoshita and me, apparently not having understood who the mail was from yet. She twisted her head as she groaned and then clapped her hands.
“Oh! It’s from Haruno-san, huh!?”
“It’s something she would do. In retrospect, I suppose it’s not something to be surprised about anymore…” Yukinoshita said.
That’s freaking scary, normally. Just how concerned is she with her little sister? Also, how much free time does she have?
“…Anyway, let’s see what she has to say.”
[Pen Name: It’s your onee-chan-san’s Consultation]
Hyahallo! Listen, listen!
Lately, my little sister has been soooo cold to me ><
I reaaaaally want us to be chummier, so please do something ☆
Thanks in advance, Hikigaya-kun ♡
Yuigahama and I were speechless. She even asked for me specifically, too…
While Yukinoshita was listening, she flipped the page of her book in an awfully sullen mood.
“It’s remotely impossible for us to make peace if she’s going to send mails like that. She should correct that part of her first before doing anything else.”
That’s what the person in question wanted, so that’s the answer we should return.
I typed down what she had said. But her words were somewhat harsh, so I decided to tone down her words in a friendlier, modern manner. Less problems we invited, the less bothersome things would be. This is still part of our job as the Service Club, okay? Do that stuff at home, okay?
“I guess this works…”
[The Service Club’s Answer]
We suspect that the main cause of your discord has to do with your little sister’s dislike for your thorough understanding of her behavior and your nosiness. Why don’t you take the time right now to reflect on your own actions?
As I was checking the message, Yuigahama quietly stood up and approached me.
I asked if she needed something with a look. She slipped her index finger to her mouth and did a subtle wink.
She stood next to me and stooped over, reaching out to the keyboard. For every letter she typed, her pink hair would flutter and I’d get a whiff of her floral perfume.
Oh gosh… You’re kinda close…
I instinctively threw my head backwards. Chiba’s known for its melons, but I think those melons of yours were just a tad dangerous…
I sat there stiffly, wondering what she was planning to do. It looked like she was planning to finish the rest of my response.
That’s what Yukinon is saying, but I think she’s gotten much nicer than before, so you should wait just a little longer.
I slipped out a smile after reading the final segment she added. It’s just so like Yuigahama. Of course, I couldn’t imagine Haruno-san following her advice obediently, though.
Regardless, I felt the relationship between the Yukinoshita sisters had inched forward, even if only a little. I’m sure Yuigahama felt the same way.
We didn’t know which direction their progress went. I still had yet to know the truth between those sisters and it’s possible I never will. That’s why, this was all we could respond with right now.
Once Yuigahama finished rereading the response, she placed her hand on my shoulder.
With that as a signal, I sent the mail.
At about the same time the display of the sent tray turned zero, the number one appeared next to the inbox. We received another mail. I clicked on the inbox and opened the unread mail.
Yuigahama raised her voice.
“Oh hey, it’s Yumiko.”
The mail certainly had yumiko☆ as the sender. Although there’s a star next to the name, the first person to come to mind in the school was Miura.
“She uses her real name for things like this, too…?”
“Yumiko’s pretty bold, so yeah…” Yuigahama said, making a strained laugh.
That’s the Queen for you. Protection wasn’t the least necessary for her as one who occupied the top of the school’s food chain. Well, if someone could possibly inflict any damage to her in this school, the only candidates were irregular existences like Yukinoshita, so I guess it’s not a big deal.
But it’s still a pretty unsafe thing to do. It’s not a problem since we’re at school, but exposing your private information in our information society or on the internet was a risky maneuver. There was a time in middle school where I had my mail address and phone number on public display on some kind of dating website. While I made a lot of mailing friends, I became really scared of receiving fake bills. That was seriously frightening.
It’s none of my business, but I should probably inform her of the potential danger.
“Yuigahama. You better tell Miura that it’s not always safe to use your real name on the internet.”
“Huh? This shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right?”
“Well, this isn’t. But things can escalate out of hand if she doesn’t keep that in mind.”
It’s just my name. It’s just my picture. It’s just what I did that day. They might not be anything important on their own, but put them together, and it’d easily inflate to something significant.
I gave Yuigahama a simple explanation. Yukinoshita then closed her book and nodded with admiration. “You certainly are exceptional when it comes to risk management as I’d expect. I suppose it’s not for show when even your name isn’t listed in your class.”
“It’s more like they don’t even remember.” I retorted.
Yukinoshita looked despondent and showed a meek, apologetic face. “Oh, is that so…? I’m sorry to hear that, Hikigoodie-kun.”
“Yukinon, you’re kinda forcing that one, you know!?”
“Yeah. I am not that wonderful of an existence.”
“And you’re being mean to yourself, too!?”
No, my feelings weren’t hurt at all, or more like, I’ve gotten used to it by now.
“Putting pointless things like that aside, what does Miura-san’s mail say?” Yukinoshita sat upright and faced us. Uh, what do you mean by pointless?
However, Yuigahama took it in strides and suddenly looked at the computer. She then read the mail aloud.
Sagami is, like, annoying
Straight to the point! Straight to a one-game match! Producer-san! But what March1 were you trying to be here by having a clean-cut match like that?
Yuigahama smiled wryly. “A-Ahaha… But I think this feels kinda different from Yumiko usually.”
“Oh yeah? Sounds like something she’d say to me.”
As a matter of fact, she gave off the impression she’d say something even more horrible without batting an eyelash.
“It certainly doesn’t seem like Miura-san.”
I was refuted from someone unexpected. I looked at Yukinoshita so she could extrapolate. She brushed aside the hair at her shoulder and answered, “This is something she’d normally tell people directly, no?”
“Ahh, right. That’s true. You’re like that too, after all.”
“Could you not lump us together like that?” Yukinoshita averted her face in displeasure.
I personally didn’t see much of a difference, but she apparently felt there was a clear one otherwise. She sent me a glare, upset from being categorized together with her.
“I haven’t said much recently in any case since saying anything doesn’t have any effect on some people.”
“Ahaha, Hikki is a lost cause and all.” Yuigahama nervously laughed and agreed.
Yukinoshita sighed. “That includes you.”
“You gave up on me, too!?”
…See that, you really do tell people things directly.
Well, it didn’t seem right since she’s the one saying it. Actually, Miura and Yukinoshita were kind of similar. They’re completely opposite types, but what they had at their cores was relatively close in nature. Perhaps that’s why there were some things they just couldn’t get along well in.
Maidens sure are complicated. I thought while fiddling with the computer until I noticed there was more to Miura’s letter.
“Looks like there’s still more to her mail.”
“Huh? Oh, you’re right,” Yuigahama said, focusing on the screen. Yukinoshita watched us and then nodded, telling her with a look to read the rest.
It’s like she’s depressed, or like, she’s so gloomy that the mood gets crappy.
Once Yuigahama finished, Yukinoshita crossed her arms. “…In other words, she’s concerned about her well-being?”
“I think so. That’s so Yumiko.” Yuigahama made a warm smile.
Even I thought Miura was a good person after seeing her smile like that.
True, if I looked back, Miura stayed as Yuigahama’s friend even after their confrontation or after the tennis match where Yuigahama sided with the Service Club. This should’ve been impossible normally. The resentment that results from internal disputes of a caste lasted indefinitely and the people who lost the struggle for control at the very end had no choice but to disappear. Should they be unable to associate with a group of lower rank, it’s only normal for them to tread the path of a loner.
But how was Yuigahama still able to stay in the top caste? That was, of course, due to her interpersonal skills. Hayama disliked discord, so his shadow support might’ve been a factor as well. But the most prominent reason might’ve lie with Miura’s personality.
Queens were expected to be tolerant of things trifling in nature. I felt I could see why she was one.
…That’s why, if we think about it, this mail was representative of her complicated feelings, not of kindness, but simple annoyance. Though that didn’t mean she wasn’t worried, she still found it annoying and even telling her directly would’ve been annoying. Jeez, that’s so complicated that it’s annoying.
Yukinoshita who had been in thought undid her crossed arms and asked Yuigahama, “So, how is Sagami-san actually faring?”
“Mm, um, how should I put it? Um…” Yuigahama said, mumbling her words. I continued off where she stopped.
“Yeah, it’s definitely annoying. She’s basically energetic, but when people around her act all tactful with her, it kind of forces everyone else to do the same thing…”
“That does sound rather irritating…”
Yukinoshita had a dismal expression and this was just from hearing about the situation. It’s even worse for Yuigahama and me since we’re in the same class.
The stagnant mood was likely due to that tactful atmosphere pervading the class.
“…To solve this—“
“Ahh, don’t worry about that. It’ll stop eventually.” I interrupted Yukinoshita as she was speaking. She then gave me a dubious look.
“What do you mean by that?”
“It hasn’t been that long since the Cultural Festival ended, so Sagami and her friends are just dragging things out. They’ll go back to normal at some point.”
After a brief silence, Yukinoshita probed further and slowly opened her mouth.
“…By dragging things out, are you referring to what you did during the Cultural Festival?”
“Probably. You can tell from the mood,” I said.
Yuigahama didn’t confirm or deny what I stated as her mouth twisted and she made a glum expression. That only made it more certain.
As I thought, Sagami and her group had been spreading libel about how unscrupulous and wicked Hikigaya Hachiman is.
If I had to say, they were like anti-Hikigaya lobbyists. I was used to this kind of denunciation, but it’s still uncomfortable. I could easily just block them out completely, but being able to see them loiter around me or say things I could hear as if they’re buzzing like mosquitos was somewhat irritating.
But I’d say my one salvation was that Miura found that annoying. My philosophy of life, where an enemy of an enemy is an ally, dictated that Miura would be my ally in this case. Oh, no way! Miura’s going to be my ally!? Miura’s a totally good person, Miura’s so nice. I think I might just end up liking her! Doubt that’d ever happen though! I quietly expressed my gratitude to her, or rather, I harbored the same compliant mindset. Then, I heard a shallow sigh beside me.
“But you know, I really don’t like hearing that kinda stuff… I don’t want them saying bad things like that.”
I glanced over to my side and Yuigahama was looking down. I could only see her grip the ends of her skirt, unable to see the face she was making.
“Yuigahama-san…” Yukinoshita called her name with a soft voice.
Yuigahama then came back to her senses and shot up her face. “O-Oh! I mean, it just doesn’t feel good hearing people talk bad about others, right?”
…Well, she’s pretty nice, I guess. I, however, wasn’t.
“I get a kick out of hearing people talk bad about others, though.”
“You’re awful!” Yuigahama screamed out.
On the other hand, Yukinoshita was calm. She wore a smile and with a more relaxed and easing tone, said, “It certainly isn’t enjoyable for Hikigaya-kun.”
…Oh, she’s nice too, huh? I was surprised by her unexpected support. Yuigahama seemed to agree and nodded after taking a moment.
“Th-That’s true. Hikki’s kinda rotten, but it’s not—“
She spoke quickly until a cold voice cut her off. “After all, there isn’t anyone who would talk poorly of others with Hikigaya-kun.”
“That’s a sad reason!” Yuigahama raised a tearful voice. Um, I’m the one that should be sad here, you know? Jeez, I was this close to being moved by her for a second there.
“But it’s the truth, right?”
And then the guaranteed icy smile. Yukinoshita sent me a pleasant smile.
“You’re pretty much right, so I can’t deny it…”
I really couldn’t say anything else. What grade is her Hikigaya certificate? I looked at Yukinoshita in amazement. She, however, didn’t seem the least concerned with my mental state and after a light cough, moved the conversation forward.
“In any case, let’s investigate Sagami-san and her group’s behavior as well as the affairs of class F. After that, we can deal with the problem accordingly. While I could tell Sagami-san directly, I imagine it’ll only make the situation worse…”
It sounds like Yukinoshita wanted to do something concrete to resolve the situation. But I felt it was a pointless endeavor.
“No, if we just leave them alone, the problem should resolve itself naturally, so we don’t need to do anything. There’s no real harm, anyway.”
From what I could see, the consideration towards Sagami right now was temporary. It’s something that exploded only because the Cultural Festival had just finished. All they were doing was hiding away their recent embarrassment by attacking someone much more miserable than they were. It’d be idiotic to waste our time with something that would eventually end whether we stayed quiet about it or not.
But Yukinoshita didn’t seem to approve and gazed directly at me.
“……But there is.”
“Y-Yeah! Besides, it’s a real bummer if the mood stays bad the entire time!” Yuigahama leaned forward and agreed.
There wasn’t much I could do if they were both willing. If the majority dictated, then I had to obey.
“…Well, if that’s what you want,” I said, reluctantly. Yukinoshita nodded back in satisfaction.
But it was already after school. Sagami and her friends probably already went home.
“Alright, for now, I don’t think there’s anything else we can do today.”
“That’s true… It’s about time to end, so why don’t we head home?”
We stood up from our seats, started cleaning, and got ready to leave.
For today’s Service Club activities, we handled Ebina-san’s delusion lightly, recommended Haruno-san to improve her current situation, and postponed Miura’s mail to a later date; another day where we did nothing of note.
As I thought about how bad this club was, Yuigahama adjusted her bag behind her back and pumped herself up.
“Yeah, let’s do our best tomorrow!”
Let’s do our best tomorrow. Those were good, wonderful words that I’d love to say every day.
- Pretty Cure – Cure March ↩