Fall began to intensify, with the sporadic leaves starting to turn crimson in color. The symptoms of change were visible to the naked eye, as little as it was. The club that I resided in also saw a small change as of late.
“Chiba Prefecture Problem Consultation Mails~!”
Yuigahama was inexplicably in high spirits, calling out the title in a weird way. While adding drumming and puffing noises, she gave a round of applause by herself, but Yukinoshita and my stares were cold.
This was the “small change” that I mentioned. Hiratsuka-sensei added to the Service Club activities the consultation of problems in the form of mails from all over, an impromptu idea that she came up with.
Still energetic from earlier, Yuigahama read a mail aloud.
“Mmkay, today’s first correspondence is a letter from a resident of Chiba, Pen Name: I’m Worried-san.”
Did this person not know what a pen name was? It was more like the title of the mail instead. The instructions “Please read the instructions carefully” were written there, so this person must’ve been the type that wouldn’t read those at all. Tch, like there’d be any advice for people who didn’t abide by the rules of the mail. I wasn’t feeling motivated at all now.
[Now that the upper classmen have retired, I will be taking up the role as the president of the tennis club. How should I get everyone to follow me? If there’s something I need to be careful of, please tell me. I look forward to your reply.]
…Hahaan, I see. So this person mistook the pen name and cutely wrote the title there instead. Gosh, to make such an adorable, slight error like this, there’s no doubt this person was cute while worriedly sick.
“Alright, let’s get the show on the road and get this answered!”
“He got motivated all of a sudden somehow…”
Putting aside Yuigahama who was surprised as well as shocked, I moved the conversation along in a hurry so we could arrive at a solution.
“Okay, first, Yukinoshita who’s serving as a club president as well. Your thoughts?”
“…Let’s see, if you’re fine with my personal thoughts on the matter, that is.”
Once Yukinoshita, who had been continuously reading the entire time not concerned with what was going on, had her name called her, she closed her book and took a slight thinking posture.
“The first step in control is to start from the display of your excellence. Once you’re standing at the top, then what follows is oppression, information manipulation, and thorough political purging. If you keep up this political reign for about a year, then it should be enough to keep everyone at bay.”
Yukinoshita said with a sweet smile. That smile of yours was really scary, you know…
“Mmm, but in reality, I wonder, huh? I mean if you just say leadership, it might sound good and all, but if you go too far, people will end up disliking it instead.”
“Well, that’s true. I mean, some club president out there would do things however she pleased or even would act overbearing, nothing close to leadership. Not to mention she wasn’t popular.”
“Could you stop looking my way while you’re saying that…?”
Yukinoshita spoke while making a frown. Surprisingly, she was aware of her own personality and she might’ve been concerned about it in her own way… If you’re concerned about it, then fix it.
“W-Well, let’s just say leaders have a lot of baggage to deal with!”
When Yuigahama smoothed it over, she began writing the reply to the mail.
[A club president isn’t just about standing at the front and pulling everyone along. Isn’t a club president who supports everyone just as fine as well? But going too far with it will push everyone away, so be mindful of that. Try your best!]
Okay, that’s one case settled. To get started on the next mail, Yuigahama read it aloud.
“Ummm, the next correspondence is… a correspondence from a resident of Chiba, Pen Name: Master Swordsman Shogun-san.”
This guy again… Because he was sort of like a regular customer, I couldn’t help but be a little happy, so stop it.
[I hear as of late on the net that writing in Japanese will allow me to claim first place for the Light Novel Rookie of the Year award, but that was certainly not the case. Source is I. Explain in great detail how I can claim first.]
After the mail was read, Yukinoshita showed a baffled expression.
“Shouldn’t he fix his grammar in this mail first…?”
“What’s written here makes no sense…” said Yuigahama.
I’m pretty sure his Japanese level was pretty much on par with yours.
“In short, it’s a problem of how he can take the Rookie of the Year award and make his debut.”
I explained and made a fleeting glance at Yuigahama. My eyes asked her for her opinion, but she made an incredibly unpleasant face.
“Eeeh? But isn’t this like totally Hikki’s forte? Hikki should answer it.”
Yukinoshita tilted her head, nodding in agreement.
“Telling him harshly is also a form of kindness.”
Once Yukinoshita said what she wanted to say, she dropped her gaze to the book at her hands and went back to reading.
Fumu. Then, how about something like this? I pulled the computer closer to me and began writing the answer.
[It’s just the people who read your work and don’t recognize it and the editorial department that are strange. Have some confidence and keep going as you are now. Continue chasing your dream until your last moment without giving up, trying your best for eternity.]
After a feeling of satisfaction from finishing the answer, I let out a sigh. The misuse of the words “last moment” and “until the end” was the main point.1
“Oooh, Hikki’s so nice.”
“…Kindness sure is cruel.”
Yuigahama who peeked at the screen was innocently surprised while Yukinoshita softly averted her seemingly sad eyes.
- This is word play on the words 最後 (saigo) and 最期 (saigo). The latter basically means “until you’re dead” while the former means “until the end” in this context. He uses the latter in the answer. ↩