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Volume 4 - The Third Question

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Please imagine the scene below then answer the question.


‘You are going on a vacation with the person you like. You are getting ready to board the flight, and you suddenly realized that you have forgotten to bring something. Exactly what did you forget to bring?”


Himeji Mizuki’s answer:

Medicines such as those for headache and stomachache.

Teacher’s comment:

This is actually a psychological test of “what you expect of the person you like”, the forgotten things symbolizes what you expect of. When you forgot to bring something for a vacation and you didn’t realize it, it means you hope that your partner will make up for it. I can see that Himeji-san desires a sense of relief from the person you like.

Kirishima Shouko’s answer:

Handcuffs.

Teacher’s comment:

Before talking about what you forgot to bring, there seems to be a problem that you’d bring a pair of handcuffs in the first place.


Kudou Aiko’s answer:

Forgot to wear underpants.

Teacher’s comment:

What do you actually want from the person you like? [1][2]

Once the misunderstanding between me and Minami was cleared up, I’d still have to get through a few more periods, and now it’s finally recess time.

When the misunderstanding of Minami and me being in a relationship was made known, Class D’s preparation for the Summoner Test War came to an end. Minami went and shared a table with Himeji-san, Shimizu-san should’ve let it go already right?

Shimizu-san’s anger might be appeased, but now there’s a different person who’s pissed off……

“Mizuki, do you want to have lunch together?”

I heard Minami asked Himeji-san this when the recess bell rang.

“Uh, Minami……”

I called out hurriedly to Minami who was standing up and getting ready to go somewhere.

“What, Aki, what are you calling me for?”

“Uh, that……about the bento that you mentioned this morning……”

While I was still speaking, Minami raised on of her eyebrows.

“Aki, what’re you saying? You’ve embarrassed me this much, and you still want me to give you my bento?”

I can feel the killing intent hidden in Minami’s words.

“I’m sorry, I’ve really apologized from the bottom of my heart.”

I guess Minami-sama is blinded by anger.

But its right, that kind of thing happened, it’s normal that she’d be angry……

“Really, Aki is always so oblivious! Mizuki, the weather is great today, let’s find a comfortable place without this idiot and have our lunch.”

Minami said that to Himeji-san who was standing beside her.

I guess, they’ve decided to have their lunch outside.

“Ah, Minami-chan, wait for me. Then, then it’s decided, Akihisa-kun, later.”

Himeji-san then jogged to catch up with Minami who didn’t look back and strode away.

It seems like she’s going to blow up with anger soon……Ever since going through that confession misunderstanding, Minami would only frown at me, I guess, she can still be considered gentle.

“What happened, Akihisa? You didn’t get the bento that Shimada made herself?”

Looking at her leaving, Yuuji brought his bento to my seat as usual, Hideyoshi following suit.

“Un, Minami seems like she’s still angry at me. I actually hoped for that bento……”

“Forget about it, like this, if she were to share her personally made bento with you, Shimizu may just rush in and cause trouble. From my point of view, you should just give up.”

“I guess you’re right in a way……”

Nevertheless, the food that Minami makes is really delicious, that’s why I feel that it’s a pity……No no, I don’t compare her with anyone on purpose.

“By the way, where did Muttsurini run off to? How come I didn’t see him anywhere?”

“He seems to have come upon a rumor, I guess he must’ve run off the confirm it—Oh, he’s back!”

“……I’m back.”

Muttsurini came out before us without even making a slight noise. Just that, it’s the jolly lunch time, but he looked gloomy.

“Muttsurini, what happened to you? Did something happen again?”

“……(Nods)”

“It is about the rumor that you just mentioned?”

“……The current condition is worse than this morning.”

As he was saying that, he took out his mini recorder that he always takes pride in on the table.

He pushed the play button, and a conversation that was mixed up with other noises.

(That, that, Tsuchiya-kun, I heard that you’ve got your hands on pictures of Akihisa-kun in sailor uniform, is this true?)

(……One hundred yen per piece, secondary distribution is forbidden.)

(Secondary distribution is forbidden……That’s a pity……But keeping it for myself alone is already worth it.)

--Ka cha!

“……I’ve got the wrong contents.”

“Eh, what was that? What was that conversation about?! That conversation seems to be extremely unfavorable to me!”

“Akihisa, you are too noisy, don’t get worked up because of a trivial matter.”

“This is obviously not a trivial matter! Why are pictures of me cross-dressing similar to those pictures of Hideyoshi being sold secretly?!”

“Wait! Akihisa, the words that you've just said are very terrible information to me!”

Damn it, who is it? Who is that person who bought my picture and ran away?

“……This is the real one.”

Muttsurini took out another similar recorder from his pocket. I just realized that he’s got more than one mini recorder on him.

(What’s the condition of Class F?)

(They seems to be doing something idiotic, they didn’t apply for mark replenishment this morning. I can see that they still haven’t found out our intentions.

(Really……There won’t be any problem like this. Now we’ll just replenish our points, and we’ll declare war immediately when they think that something’s not right.)

(Understood.)

Since this conversation was recorded, the sound quality was as lousy as the one just now, I couldn’t find out who were the people behind this. But, at least we knew that it’s a conversation between two guys.

“Is it Class D? If it is, maybe the misunderstanding still isn’t cleared up I guess?”

“……(Shakes head)”

Muttsurini shook his head in reply.

Not Class D? If it isn’t Class D, then which class did this conversation come from?

“I’ve already confirmed that Class D has no other movements, I’m afraid that they are from a different class. From the guy who is giving orders, they should be……”

“……It’s Class B’s conversation.”

“Class B? Why!?”

That conversation clearly pointed us as enemies, so they’re preparing for a Summoner Test War secretly. If so, will Class B become our enemy?

“Talking about Class B, is it that Nemoto guy pulling the strings? That pathetic guy, he actually came up with such a plot to get back at us.”

Yuuji made a sound with his tongue unhappily.

“I agree, no matter how they want to get back at us, Class B will be overdoing it by declaring a Summoner Test War on Class F.” This is just plain bullying on an easy target.

“No, I’m afraid Nemoto’s objective isn’t only this.”

“Eh? No?”

“I can’t say that you’re wrong, that guy has enough reason to despise us, but what I meant is, their objective isn’t just revenge.”

Yuuji was still speaking in riddles, getting others confused with what he was actually thinking of.

“Yuuji, you said that they’ve got another objective, what is it?”

Hideyoshi also couldn’t comprehend what Yuuji was trying to convey, he asked while slightly inclining his head in confusion.

“It’s to put down everyone’s blame on him.”

“Eh? How is this related to what we’re discussing?”

“Nemoto isn’t popular from the beginning, and yet he was defeated even though he had used pathetic tricks against us during the Summoner Test War on April, that caused his position in his class to be more unstable.”

“Un, I understand that.”

Nemoto must be feeling like he’s in a frying pan.

“This is the problem! When a country is in obvious turmoil, what do you think the leader will do in order to appease the citizens in the fastest time possible?”

“Hn? Eh, this……”

That moment, I couldn’t understand Yuuji’s meaning.

“Akihisa, do you know the answer?”

“Pardon me, can you repeat it?”

“Really……Can’t you just pay attention to what others are saying?”

Yuuji rolled his eye in frustration.

He suddenly talked about such a profound topic, my brain couldn’t catch up with what he’s saying. But I’ll have to listen to him attentive now.

“What I mean is ‘to appease everyone, what is needed to be done’.”

Oh oh oh! That, I understand now. The answer to this question is very simple.

“Just use perfume.”

“Your answer is so unexpected that it stunned everyone.”

“……It scared me.”

“Eh? I remember a European guy on television saying ‘to control body odor, you must use perfume’!”[1]

Did a television program lie to me?

“No, Akihisa, Yuuji didn’t mean that, he meant what is needed to be done in order to appease the public in the fastest time possible instead…… About that, what about using terrorism?”

“It’s a way, but it isn’t the fastest. Not to mention, dictatorship requires an overwhelmingly suppressive force beforehand in order for it to work.”

Replacing it with Class B’s condition, Nemoto-kun doesn’t have the right to speak now, so it’s pretty much impossible for him to use that method to appease everyone.

“If so, are there any other ideas?”

“The answer is ‘create a mutual enemy’. This can be seen everywhere in our daily life, if they have a mutual enemy, and by causing a small dispute purposely, it’ll be easier for them to form an alliance. There are a few people in history that used this method to stabilize their position."

Here, he listed a few historical figures as example. I see, so this is the case.

“By doing this, not only can they change the target of Class B’s anger from Nemoto to us, he can also vent some of his hatred. If he’s lucky, he’ll not only be able to beat Class F, he can also regain his position in Class B and his right of speech, and this should be what Nemoto is planning.”

When I finish hearing Yuuji’s explanation, I can finally fully understand his motive of trying to incite Class B into declaring war on us. If there’s this much reason for me, I’d also want to start a Summoner Test War.

“Even if Nemoto doesn’t have his right of speech, all he has to do is claim that he wants to ‘eliminate the mastermind from Class F who caused the peeping incident’, he can still get the whole class to listen to him. Our current condition is a very rare opportunity to him.”

To put it another way, it’s a good opportunity for us to help Nemoto-kun create a chance for him to redeem himself.

“If it’s as Yuuji said, I guess that there’s no way for us to avoid this war. Forget about it if it’s during peacetime, we still haven’t replenished our points now, that bastard Nemoto won’t let go of such an opportunity.”

“Hideyoshi is right. Even if it’s during peacetime, we still don’t have much of a chance to win, especially since that only Himeji and Shimada are able to fight this battle, and it’s pretty much an empty dream for us to win under such disadvantageous condition. Forget about Class D, if our opponent changes to Class B, the odds of us winning are less than one in ten thousand."

It was as Muttsurini said, our current condition is more dangerous than in the morning. If I had known sooner, I would’ve continued to let Class D misunderstand, and let them declare war on us there and then.

“If so…… Yuuji, what should we do? Why don’t we apply for tests now, and use the whole afternoon to replenish our points?” “I agree, that’s the only thing left for us to do.”

The difference between our class and theirs is, half of Class B is girls, and the remaining half boys had been replenishing their marks since morning. On the other hand, our class mostly consists of boys, even if we start our marks replenishment now it’ll be just a drop in the bucket. But other than that, we’ve no other options.

But at that moment, Yuuji spoke against my way of thinking.

“…… No, it’s better not to do those unnecessary matters.”

“Eh?”

Yuuji objected to the point replenishment advice when he spoke.

“How do you explain it then? Or do you have a plan to defeat Class B without replenishing our marks?”

“No, I’m not that optimistic until I’d go and believe that we’d have an idea to defeat Class B.”

“If so, why did you say that we don’t need to replenish our marks? Then what should we do?”

If we can’t win with our current condition, then we’ll have to at least try by taking a different alternative that can make our condition better.

“First we need to buy some time, we must delay Class B from declaring war on us somehow.”

“Buy some time? Will this even benefit us?”

If we don’t replenish our marks, they’ll attack us eventually, will delaying make any difference?

“Just listen, if Class D declares war on us, we’ll just have to accept it obediently. Like this, we are bound to lose, but if they still haven’t declared war, we’ll still have a chance to avoid it.”

“But just now Hideyoshi said that, Nemoto-kun has more than enough reason to declare war on us, do you think it’d be easy to make him give up the idea?”

“That’s true, that’s why we need to make it impossible for Class B to declare war on us. Fortunately the Summoner Test War only allow a one-on-one war, that means—“

“You are going to let other classes battle Class B?”

If so, Class B can’t do anything to us then.

“Oh……You want me to disguise as my sister and provoke them like last time?”

“No, not like that. We’ve already used that trick before; we can’t use it a second time. I don’t want Class B to battle other classes, I’d like other classes to battle us instead.”

“You want other classes to battle us……I see, if so, Class B can’t declare war on us for a while, and we can still replenish our marks after the battle. Is this what you mean, Yuuji?”

“Right.”

One of the detailed rules of the Summoner Test War is that after a war ends, the participants will have a short ceasefire to replenish their marks. It’s because if this rule didn’t exist, all classes could be easily defeated.

“I used to be dissatisfied with this rule personally, but this time because of this rule, we get to avoid a disaster.”

Hideyoshi is right, if this rule didn’t exist, we would have been able to defeat Class A during the last Summoner Test War. But, this time we’d have to feel thankful for this rule’s existence.

“If we replenish our marks properly, and being fully prepared to resist Class B’s force, I don’t think they’ll dare to challenge us directly.”

“To put it another way, all we have to do is get into top form, then Class B won’t dare to challenge us, right?”

Because of the lesson learnt from the last Summoner Test War, if we get into top form, Class B will hesitate on whether they should challenge us.

In other words, whether they are going to battle us or not, it all depends on the condition of us Class F.

“But, how do we find our opponent? We’re still under disciplinary probation, so we can’t declare war on other classes, we can only wait for other classes to declare war on us right?”

“Our target is none other than Class D. If we let them take the initiative and declare war on us, we can also replenish our marks while the battle is ongoing. If our opponent is Class B it would be too risky to do so, but if our opponent is Class D, even if we can’t gain victory, we still won’t lose. Fortunately their class is divided into combatants and non-combatants, while they’re debating whether they should declare war on us, they don’t have much time to fully replenish their marks.”

The way he put it, the main force of Class D are the girls, which is obviously better than facing Class B.

“Yuuji, if we have a chance to win the battle all along, why don’t we just go all out at the beginning in the battle with Class D?”

It’s as if he’s confused by Yuuji, Hideyoshi slightly tilted his head in confusion.

“Hideyoshi, you misunderstood me. What I meant is, if we declare war on Class D, we may not lose but we won’t be able to win, that battle is meant to be a draw. We should try to avoid such annoying matter if we can, don’t you agree?”

I see. Even if they aren’t afraid of being troubled like Yuuji, but most people would try and avoid cumbersome matters.

“Eh? But the way you said it, we are still going to battle? If so, why don’t we use the afternoon period to replenish our marks?”

“Are your ears there for just decoration purpose? Try and remember the report that Muttsurini recorded.”

Err, let me think, the conversation that Muttsurini recorded is—

“Muttsurini! 100 yen per piece is too cheap! Hideyoshi’s pictures are already 500 yen per piece!”

“Oh oh, mine is sold for 500 yen……Regarding the pictures, can both of you explain it to me more clearly?”

“…… Those are all done by my secretary.”

“You actually said something that a politician would say!”

“You guys, can you at least feel a little more worked up.”

Yuuji facepalmed, and said that with frustration. But, I personally felt that the picture issue was also very important.

“From the recording just now, Nemoto said that ‘we’ll declare war immediately when they think that something’s not right’ right?”

“Ah ah, so you meant that. Eh, it’s true that he said that.”

“In other words, before we notice it, they intend to continue replenishing their marks. This means, unless they’ve finished replenishing their marks, or we noticed it, they won’t declare war on us suddenly.”

Even if they don’t replenish their marks, Class B is still bound to beat us, but they’re this cautious, I guess it’s because of the loss they suffered from the last Summoner Test War. They can still beat us with just one or two strikes even if it’s during peacetime, but all the boy of Class B including the class representative don’t have many marks left to use. After all, it’s good to be cautious. Feeling safer by replenishing marks to a point—I can understand the feeling.

“Oh, so tomorrow is the deadline, we’ll still have time to decide.”

“Really? Won’t they attack today?”

“Didn’t Ironman say it this morning? The Shoukanjuu Summoning System is still under maintenance, so nobody will be able to declare war until tomorrow morning.”

I didn’t have the mood to listen to Ironman this morning, so don’t know a thing about this……I see, so the Shoukanjuu Summoning System is under maintenance.

“Err…… We’ve discussed for so long, what should we do?”

“We are going to start the preparations of course, let Class D declare war on us. The deadline is today, if we can’t do it, then we’ll be back to using orange boxes as tables for classes.”

If so we’ll have to be successful somehow. If the tables are back to orange boxes, I’m afraid Himeji-san will have to transfer school this time.

“In a nutshell, what should we do?”

“We’ll make use of the incident this morning, let Akihisa and Shimada be together, and ignite Shimizu’s fury.”

“Eh? But Minami already knows that it was a misunderstanding.”

“Let’s just put aside the truth, all in all, I want you and Shimida to act as a sweet couple, and let Shimizu get jealous until she freaks out.”

“Eh eh eh eh! That won’t work! If I talk about it with Minami, she’ll freak out!”

“Then we’ll have to make her promise somehow, just leave the acting part to Hideyoshi, it’ll be better if you write down a script, hope it isn’t much of a trouble.”

“I understand.”

“Muttsurini’s task is to gather information and stealth operations. Once everything is done, just leave the war preparations against Class D to me.”

“……I understand.”

“Good, it’s decided, we don’t have time to spare for lunch, we’ll wait for Himeji and Shimada to come back, then we’ll begin the operation. Muttsurini, is our class bugged?”

“…… There won’t be any problem.”

The battle this time is more of battle of mix-up information. The condition may be different from before, but will everything go as planned this time?


“To put it simply, what do you guys want me to do?”

Once we’ve told everything to both of the girls who just came back, Minami stared at me with squinted eyes. Oh oh… she's still angry…

“I’d like you and Akihisa pretend to be dating, and it must be so sweet that all the bystanders who are looking will be so angry that their blood vessels burst.”

He might have seen Minami’s unhappy expression, but Yuuji still stated his request as if nothing happened.

“I won’t do it.”

Minami rejected it casually. I can comprehend this, after all that thing happened just this morning, and now requesting both of us to be lovers, no matter how people see it, they’ll think that it’s a terrible prank.

“I beg you to help, not only Shimada, Himeji will need to help too.”

“Eh? I, I’m involved?”

“Yes, it’s not real enough if it’s just Akihisa and Shimada, that’s why I hope Himeji will play as the part of someone who is jealous of their relationship.”

In other words, Himeji-san was just a supporting actress. Actually they didn’t have to trouble Himeji-san with this, those Class F guys could also play this supporting part as well. If Himeji-san was jealous because of me, it’d be less real instead... But regarding the acting part, I’m a complete idiot, I guess I’ll leave this to Hideyoshi the veteran, I’ll just follow orders.

“You want me to play as someone who is jealous of Akihisa-kun and Minami-chan…...”

Himeji-san spoke softly as she think about the words Hideyoshi said. What happened? She seems hesitant about it.

“No matter what you guys say, I won’t accept it. You actually want me to act as this idiot’s lover, please stop joking!”

Minami still rejects it stubbornly.

“Shimada, just calm down and think. I understand it’s hard for you to do this, but other than you, there’s no one else who can play this role. If you still choose to disregard it, you’ll regret it in the future. For example, Himeji will transfer school because of this…..If it comes to that, won’t you blame yourself?”

Hideyoshi’s advice made Minami sigh reluctantly. If our class utilities worsen, Himeji-san may be forced by her parents to transfer school. Nobody wants that to happen.

It may be so, but I understand Minami’s feeling when she rejected this role.

Even so, then we can only—

“If so, as long as her partner isn’t me, then the problem’s solved, right?”

The reason Minami rejected it painfully, was because her partner was me, but she seemed satisfied with the plot of provoking Shimizu-san. If so, all we had to do was find someone to replace me.

“Eh? Why don’t we find someone else to act as Minami’s boyfriend? This idea isn’t too shabby……But, who should we find?”

“Who… I think Yuuji is acceptable.”

“Eh, are you telling me to go and commit suicide?”

“If you can’t, what about Muttsurini?”

“……I’m tasked with controlling the listening bugs.”

“Oh……Others, what about those like Sugawa-kun?”

“Akihisa, it seems like you’ve skipped me on purpose, does it mean anything?”

Hideyoshi can’t accept this role, even if I didn’t say it, I’m pretty sure everyone knows the reason.

“Don’t bother talking about it anymore, the role cannot be replaced by anyone else. If you just did that thing in public this morning, and now you are dating a different person, who will fall for it? It must be you and Shimada.”

That’s right, since that thing happened, if Minami is with someone else in public, it’ll be very suspicious for others.

“About that, Minami-chan and Akihisa-kun……I know that both of you aren’t willing, but, I beg both of you this time.”

When Himeji-san finished, she bowed in request to me and Minami. Weird, Himeji-san seems reluctant just now, am I thinking too much?

“Due to personal reasons, I really don’t want to transfer school, so I really need both of you to help!”

“Eh? Ah, of course I’ll help.”

I sneaked a glance at Minami’s direction, and noticed that she’s looking back at me with a complicated expression.

“Oh……I, I understand! It’s just an act! But, I’ve no idea how it will end up compared with the script, I can’t confirm this though!”

“Minami-chan, Akihisa-kun……Thank you.”

Once she’s received Minami’s acceptance, Himeji-san bowed deeply to both of us again.

“It’s, it’s nothing, those tatami mats and tables are bought not long ago, and they’re still in good condition……I’m not doing this for Mizuki, so don’t think about it too much……”

Himeji-san’s thanks made Minami really happy, just that she’s looking slightly away easily, mumbling. Minami isn't really honest.

“Since it’s decided, now let’s get to acting as a lovey-dovey couple, the three of you come and take these.”

Hideyoshi handed to us three scripts that are stapled into booklets. When I opened the booklet, all three of our names are inside, and below are the following lines. This must be……

“The script? You’ve already finished writing it? When did you finish it?”

“Most of them are excerpted from the scripts that I always bring with me.”

Even so, the period from us planning the war until Himeji-san and Minami returned to the classroom, was actually approximately five minutes, Hideyoshi could actually write down all the scripts in such a short time, what is his brain made up of? When drama is mentioned, Hideyoshi will change into someone completely different as expected.

“Take the scripts and try acting them at the roof floor. Muttsurini, what is the condition of the listening bug that Shimizu planted?”

“……I let her think that it was just a minor electrical disturbance just now, it’s back to normal now.”

“Really? If so, other than acting, you mustn’t say anything else. If Shimizu finds out about it, then it’s all over.”

“Just wait for a while, we still haven’t read through the script, how do we act when we still haven’t memorized the lines?”

“……Don’t worry, there’s a blind spot of the hidden camera at the roof floor, just read the script out loud.”

Muttsurini took out a piece of paper, drew a simple plan of the roof floor, and marked the blind spot that he meant.

“I see, if we can just read the script out loud, then we’ll have a way to deceive them. Minami, don’t you think so?”

“That’s right, this saved me from a lot of trouble, but we still have to read the contents at least, I’m worried that there might be some weird scenes, like……kissing…”

If, if there is then it’ll be a pain. We newbies can’t act those kinds of scene.

“Don’t worry, I didn’t write those kinds of scene. Even if I did, you guys are going to act at the blind spot anyway, just do some voice acting. Let’s stop chatting, time is running out, we’ll have to act fast.”

Under this kind of frustrating condition, Minami, Himeji-san and I were pushed out of the classroom by Hideyoshi.

“That……”

Do we really have to? Just when I was going to say that, I saw Himeji-san show me the ‘shhh’ gesture. Ah ah, I see, the corridor may have been bugged, that’s why she told me not to speak lightly.

Feeling frustrated, I could only walk the corridor quietly, getting ready to go to the roof floor. There might be hidden cameras somewhere near here, so we kept out scripts inside for safety purpose.

Creek…

I pushed open the rusty door to the roof floor, this is the second time we come here today. Next, I took out my script and winked to Minami, Minami then nodded back at me.

When we opened the first page of the script, the lines for each of us was written clearly inside.

Shimada : (Eh, Aki.)

Akihisa : (Yea? Minami, anything you need?)

Shimada : (Although it seems a little late……I still want to tell you my true feelings.)

Akihisa : (Eh? By now, you don’t have to mention that matter on purpose…..)

Shimada : (But I still hope Aki will listen to me. Although it’s true I can’t control my feelings and went to kiss you—I should clear this up to you.)

Akihisa : (Oh……En, I understand. Then you may say it, I’d also like to know Minami’s true feelings.)

Staring at our lines, I feel as if all of my blood is freezing. What is this script? Is this a punishment game?

“……”

Minami who was beside me was also frozen when she read the script. Does she dare to say these lines?

“……Eh, Aki.”

Oh oh! It has begun! Minami seems willing to help me. If so, I must put in some effort too.

“En? Minami, anything you need?”

I read the script out loud. It’s a lot easier if I can read the script and say it out loud.

“Although it seems a little late……I still want to tell you my true feelings.”

It might not be fluent, but Minami managed to finish reading that line. Her mind must be slightly rejecting it, but if things stayed this way, I doubt there’d be any problem.

Good, now it’s my turn.

“Eh, By now, you don’t have to mention that matter on purpose…”

By the way, there were phonetics beside the ‘by now’ in the scripts. It’s very considerate of Hideyoshi—but I thought I was being treated as an idiot, it made me feel very unhappy.

“But I still hope Aki will listen to me……I should clear this up to you.”

Huh? Did Minami just skip a line? Let me see……ah ah, it’s the kissing part. It’s not wrong, asking her to say it out would be very embarrassing for her. Also, if she were to mention that topic, I’d feel embarrassed too……I thought Minami would skip those undesirable parts as if nothing happened.

“Oh, en, I understand. Then you may say it, I’d also like to know Minami’s true feelings.”

Once I’d finished that line, my face felt so hot, doing this was more embarrassing than expected……It’s just saying, but we didn’t have any time left to hesitate, the next would be the lines on the second page. Now it’s Minami’s turn to speak—

Shimada: (I’m very sorry for calling you here suddenly, Aki…...That, actually I……I really like you!)

The moment I saw this line, I thought my gastric juice was going to spurt out of my nose.

She, she need to say this line? After all it’s an act to provoke Shimizu-san, so I can understand why it is so……But saying it, it’s really embarrassing!

What, what will Minami do? I observed her expression, her body was so stiff that she looked as if she’s going to tear the script apart, and she opened her mouth trembling.

Can it be, is she really going to say it?

“I, I’m very sorry for calling—"

She had already read a few words, I thought she actually decided to say it.

Good! Since Minami can handle her embarrassment and read this line, I shouldn’t hesitate or feel embarrassed. I must play my role well! “I’m very sorry for calling you here suddenly, Aki…”

Minami read that line with a soft and somewhat weak voice.

“That, actually I, I really—"

Minami stopped for a second, she took a deep breath for the next line.

What Minami was trying is interpret, was a delicate and charming girl calling me to the roof floor to confess her feelings, I was sure she would confess to me in a feminine and cute way—

“I really—hate you!”

To hear these words, is this the reason she called me to the roof floor?

“Mi, Minami?”

“From the first time I met Aki, I’ve always despised you! And us being friends, it actually pains me! I really, really can’t continue being your friend!”

What is with this new kind of confession? Calling me to the roof floor on purpose, saying that she’s hated me all along……Forget about in reality, I’ve never seen this kind of scene in comics or novels before.

But, this isn’t the time to be shocked, I’ve got to play my part! How? Minami can’t be controlled. If so, I’m the only one left, I must continue reading the script!

I looked at the script, and confirmed my following line.

“Minami…”

“Aki……”

In order to cover up for Minami’s screw-up, I looked at Minami’s eyes with passion, and said:

“Me too, I’ve also felt the same way all along.”

Minami kept hitting me with her tight fist, this is preposterous!


“The both you are so……How can you guys do something so off sync……”

While returning to Class F, I can see that Hideyoshi’s hand is on her forehead; her expression is full of frustration with no idea how to handle us. Everything that happened on the roof floor, the guys must’ve heard about it through the listening bug that Muttsurini planted.

“This, this can’t be helped! How can I say those lines! And it might be recorded as evidence!”

"‘That, that’s why! And how is it possible for Minami to say such a cute line—Weird? Did my right hand just go numb?”

To be able to see Minami doing something so cruel to my arm, was it just me thinking too much?

“Ah, can Hideyoshi act a part for us to see?”

Himeji-san clapped her hands and shared this idea. Right, we should see how a veteran actor acts, and then we should be able to act more naturally……But I thought it’s rather late to say this now.

“Huh? I’ve no problem with that.”

When he finished speaking, Hideyoshi picked up the script, and read through it with full attention for a few minutes.

“Good, I am ready.”

Hideyoshi put down the book, and pulled my hands up instead.

“Eh? What?”

I didn’t expect Hideyoshi to pull my hands up so sudden, I was shocked. What? What is happening?

I was confused and not paying attention at the same time, Hideyoshi then held my hand softly, lifting his head slowly.

“I’m very sorry for calling you here suddenly, Aki…...That, actually I……I really like you!”

“……” [3][4] Hideyoshi suddenly confessed! Hideyoshi who is holding my hand, with both of her cheeks blushing, trying hard to convey her feelings to me, is undescribably cute.

“From the first time I’ve met Aki, I’ve always like you! And us being just friends, it actually pains me! I really, really can’t continue being your friend!”

One after another killing lines, it short-circuited my brain for an instant—you admire me secretly all along, it made me happy from the bottom of my heart.

“Aki…...Kissing you first then only telling you this is a little late, but……I really like you, please date me.”

I can’t stand this anymore! After hearing this, how can I still be rational?!

“Mother…...This is the first time I thank you from the bottom of my heart……Thank you for bringing me into this world……”

“—Oh en, it should be like this.”

Suddenly, the warm touch on my hand went away. We, weird? Where did that feeling of bliss went?

“He, he’s really good……”

“That, that’s right……Although it isn’t me who is confessing, I could feel my heartbeat speed up.”

“You guys are flattering me, I feel a little embarrassed……But I have given up most of my studying to learn acting, this level is nothing much to me.”

Hideyoshi rubbed his cheeks shyly.

I, I see, so those words came from the script……

“Akihisa-kun, why did you cry?”

“It’s nothing, Himeji-san……That, can you leave me alone for a while…”

There’s nothing sadder than being awaken from a blissful dream. That moment, I’ve finally felt that sorrow.

“Let’s not talk about that first. From the way things are turning, forget about making Shimizu freak out, it’s the other way instead. Muttsurini, is Shimizu aware of Akihisa’s conversation at the roof floor yet?”

“……I doubt so, I did something halfway, causing the bug to have poor reception.”

Muttsurini’s hands are still busy operating some kind of machine while leaning over the table, he’s distracted for a while to answer Hideyoshi’s question. That’s Muttsurini, with his good judgment!”

The problem now lies at not knowing how much Shimizu-san managed to hear.

“All the lines came from the script at the beginning, Shimizu won’t know that it’s fake. All is not lost, now you guys better act well as a sweet couple.”

""oh...""

Since Hideyoshi has already shown us such excellent acting, we can’t reject it even if we wanted to. Regarding that screw-up just now, it has to be us who will be making up for it.

“Just now before Himeji’s appearance, the act was interrupted, now I hope it won’t be too much of a trouble for you guys.”

“O, OK, I will try my best!”

“Un un, I hope you do.”

Looking at Himeji full of spirit, Hideyoshi nodded with satisfaction.

“I don’t mind acting, but isn’t the next period going to start soon?”

I looked at the clock to confirm the time, lunch break has only—What? Forget about lunch break, the first afternoon period is going to start very soon!

“Because students of the other classes are taking tests, the few afternoon periods are changed to self-study periods. The teachers are busy correcting test papers and supervising, not to mention that there’s also not enough manpower to repair the Shoukanjuu Summoning System, all the teachers are busy as bees.”

I see. Because the teachers have to deal with strange cases like all the second year boys getting suspended, now all of the second year boys are having exams to replenish their points. It can’t be helped that the teachers will lack manpower.

“The few morning periods are all filled in by substitute teachers.”

“Oh yeah, I guess that we’ll be spending most of this weekend attending tuitions. From the way things are going, it might be actually helping us.”

Tuitions...Although it’s not the way we want it to be, it is as Hideyoshi said, the afternoon self-study periods came at the right time, we must make good use of it.

“The next scene will be Shimada and Akihisa leaving the classroom to date outside, Akihisa and Shimada will have to hold hands.”

"".....""

Both Minami and I take a look at each other. Why are we left with such a difficult issue?

“About, about that......Hideyoshi-kun, it, it’ll be fine even if we don’t hold hands right?”

Maybe she’s concerned about how we feel, Himeji-san stood up to protest against Hideyoshi, while waving both of her clenched fists wildly. It seems that Himeji-san understands that we don’t feel like doing that, she’s such a tender maiden.

“Himeji, it’s not that I don’t understand how you feel, but when they are walking together, they may be photographed or seen by others anywhere anytime, it’s crucial that they hold hands.”

“Bu, but......”

“Akihisa, Shimada, to make up for that previous mistake, both of you have to get your head into the game. Not only the visual effects are crucial to the plot, it’ll be easier for both of you to get into it."

To put it another way, if we hold hands, both Minami’s and my act will be more heartfelt? Since even Hideyoshi also said it, I could only bite the bullet.

I turned my head to look at Minami, to see her nodding her head lightly with reluctance and holding out her hand to grab mine.

“Great, the chosen stage this time is the rooftop. This way, it’ll also be more convenient for Muttsurini to control the thingamabob right?”

“......If we need to sabotage the listening bug, choosing the one on the rooftop is more natural.”

If there are any accidents during the act, we’ll have to temporarily disable the listening bug, compared with the listening bugs at other places, choosing the one on the rooftop that is faulty before is more natural.

“I see.....Let’s go, Minami.”

“......I don’t mind holding hands, but if you dare to touch anywhere else, I’ll kill you.”

“I, I understand, I’ll be careful.”

Both Minami and I started to let out a stiff aura of discordance, but we still walked towards the corridor holding hands. The students from our class didn’t say anything about it, I guess Yuuji must’ve informed them about it beforehand.

While walking on the corridor leading to the rooftop, both Minami’s and my face were all smiles, and we’re chatting with each other.

“Hahaha, oh Minami. Holding my arm so tightly, don’t you find it hard to walk?”

“Hehe, I don’t see the problem, since we are in a relationship, it doesn’t matter much for me to hold your arm.”

My elbow joint made some scary cracking noises, but my smile stayed the same, because we were closely connected lovers.

“But Minami, you’ve been pushing against my elbow from just now.”

“Eh? You, you, you big pervert!”

“—My ribs!”

Being pushed against here and there with force, was causing so much pain that I wanted to die.

“Hehehe, oh Aki, you love to joke around, it’s really cute.”

“Hahahaha, oh Minami, you seem to be holding my hand harder than just now.”

“So what, I really do feel like hugging you tightly.”

“I really can’t stand you, Minami is a flighty girl.”

While chatting, I tried to hide the part below my elbow quietly so the others wouldn’t notice.

If they were to see this swelled up and beet red wrist of mine, no matter how hard we tried to act as a sweet couple, it would seem unconvincing.

While my fingers were getting numb, we were still strolling on the corridor. Good, now what should I say now? A lover’s conversation, a lover’s conversation......

“Right, Minami.”

“En? Is there anything, Aki?”

“Which part of me does Minami like?”

I remembered seeing this somewhere before using this line, from the examples of “conversations that makes you unhappy if it happens in front of you” I guess.

After hearing my question, Minami quieted down for a while, then hid all her emotions, and while looking directly at me and said: “Do I have to say such a thing?”

Oh, Minami seems to know about it too. I think she should be saying: “From your head to your toe, I like everything there!” an answer like this.

“From your head to your eyebrows, I like everything there.”

It seems that she’s only interested in my forehead.

“Anyway, what about you, Aki?”

“Do I even have to say it? Of course it is the same with Minami.”

“Oh, Aki......you are really cute!”

I heard my joint made scary cracking sounds again.

Once we had reached the rooftop, my poor elbow couldn’t stop twitching and trembling due to the overwhelming pain.

“Minami, let’s go there.”

“I don’t want to, let’s go to the other side.”

“Nonono, we’ll be able to get sunlight over there, it’ll be really comfortable under the sunlight.”

“If the sunlight is too strong, it’ll have negative effects on our skin! The other side is better since it is under a shade.”

Behind our smiles, we were actually having a skirmish on the stage choice. In other words, it’s me who wanted to get to the blind spot of the camera so that I could free my elbow, against Minami who wanted to continue using her joint locks, a secret silent duel.

“Come, Aki, we’ll have a seat there!”

“Minami, oh you, how can you pull my hand so hard.”

You’ll break it this way.

“Look, it’s cooler here, isn’t it comfortable, right? You are sweating heavily.”

These are obviously cold sweat caused by my body in pain, how can Minami be oblivious to it.

“Guess so. It’s cooler here, so cool that it’s making my back shiver.

“Are you feeling cold? If so we’ll have to stick closer together.”

“Nonono, we are sticking close enough.”

“What are you saying, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about right?”

While we were showing smiles that weren’t seen by anyone, looking deeply into each other’s eyes, I caught a glimpse of Hideyoshi moving towards the blind spot.

Not long after that, I saw Hideyoshi waving his hands towards the safety door of the rooftop, then a familiar figure appeared in front of us.

“What, what are both of you doing here? The classes are not over yet!”

That person in front of us with an angry expression was none other than Himeji-san. She seemed to be really angry, she’s obviously a good student.

“Mizuki……”

“Both of you actually stick so close to each other, and locking arms…..From the looks of it, it’s like……like, like a pair of lovers right?”

Himeji-san pointed at our connected wrists. Looks like she didn’t notice that Minami was actually punishing me personally with her joint lock.

From the way things are going, how should I reply Himeji-san? We don’t have any scripts now, improvising shouldn’t be a problem.

“About that, Himeji-san…..”

It won’t look good if we stay silent for too long, but after saying a few words, I’m suddenly stuck on what to say. Facing such dilemmas, what should I say?

Minami seemed to be unable to stand my stammering anymore, then she said:

“Mizuki, you are right, Aki and I are really going out.”

If you really think so, I hope that you’ll let go of my wrist this instant.

“Eh……You, you guys are dating, is it true?”

“En, I’m sorry for keeping it from you.”

Minami said it solemnly with an apologetic expression.

“Minami-chan……You really like Akihisa-kun?”

“Yes…..I’m not honest with you about it, I’m really sorry. I did know your actual feelings, but I still……”

She can say out these lines without a script, so awesome! This two must’ve actually had the talent to act.

Anyway, what should I say? Uh, un……Right! I’ll just use the lines from comics or novels with similar plots. I remember from that novel, there’s a similar plot, I’ll just use the lines from that novel.

I should be careful and try not to bite my tongue, I took a deep breath—

“Both of you don’t be like this, stop fighting over me!”

Crack—It’d be fine if Shimizu-san didn’t hear my joint being dislocated through her listening bug.

“I see……Minami-chan is also……”

“I know that this isn’t something that can be solved with an apology……but I’m really sorry. I don’t think that you’ll forgive me.”

I might be listening attentively to their conversation, but I was more worried that I didn’t feel anything although my joint was dislocated. I think that I’ve heard before that when an organism’s body is experiencing serious damage, the brain will shut out the pain receptors, I think that I’m……

“No, I can probably feel Minami’s feelings……The point that you’re actually willing to be honest with me, actually lets me feel more relaxed.”

For safety precautions, I tried moving my fingers.

The first is my thumb—Oh, weird, why isn’t it moving at all.

“Eh? Mizuki, you are willing to forgive me?”

“It’s not about whether I’m willing to forgive you……I think that everyone have the freedom to like someone else, how can I chastise you for such a thing.”

“Mizuki……thank you……”

Their rivalry scene is going well, and it seems that I don’t even have to perform, hence, it’s crucial that I verify my body’s current condition.

Now I have to confirm my forefinger’s movement. The colour of this finger seems normal, it should be able to move—Eh? Why isn’t it moving? Is my current condition really that bad?

“But, I can’t forgive that kiss in the morning! That’s breaking the rules! And it’s also Akihisa-kun’s first kiss I think.”

How can it be, my middle finger should be well—there’s not even a slight movement.

Can it be true? Can this be really happening…

“That, that’s because……Aki……sent me that text message, and there are two and three situations happening consecutively, that’s why I……”

Woahohohohoh! My ring finger and pinkie can’t move too! Things are really terrible now!

“You have no excuses! Such sly action, even if God forgives you, I—“—Dong!

It sounds like something hit the wall.

But I don’t have any will left to be concerned. Fingers! My fingers!

""Ah....""

“What, what I meant isn’t this. That, that……Hehe!”

“That’s, that’s right……Hehe!”

Too weird, there’s something from my fingers to my elbow joint. What should I do? If this continues, I think I’ll be called with an awesome nickname like “the single-handed punishment inspector”.

“Anyway, what I want to say is……Minami-chan is a big idiot!”

“Ah! Mizuki!”

Now is not the time for acting. I have to rush to the infirmary, and have a treat to treat my injuries!

I tried to pull Minami’s wrist away—

“Wait, wait for a while, Aki? Why are you running away to chase Mizuki!”

Uwaaaaaaa! Minami doesn’t want to let go! My body is not well already, and she’s still like this! I really have to get to the infirmary!

“When this situation happens, Aki will actually abandon me and choose Mizuki……”

I had no idea what was Minami muttering, and she didn’t even notice my wrist.

Eiyayaya! The color of my wrist is so horrible that I don’t dare to look at it! This is really bad!

“If, if so, then I……Ah, Aki……Be with me please? Because……that……for you……because I like you……”

Minami continued to act with a serious expression, but I was already at my limits!

“Mi, Minami, I’m sorry! I have somewhere that I really need to go!”

“Ah……”

I threw off her arm with force and bolted off.

Infirmary! I have to get there fast, or else things will turn out to be hopeless!

“……Really……I guess this must be the reality……”

“Shi, Shimada, calm down first, don’t speak such nonsense……”

“I had enough, I don’t want to continue acting. After all, you……like a ‘girl’ such as Mizuki.”

There seems to be a sound from behind, but when my blood starts to flow again, pain starts to invade my injured arm, now I don’t have any strength left to be concerned about anything else.


“Great……My hand can still move, it’s really great……”

Lucky that my injured wrist was treated in time, I stroke my chest with ease while walking back towards the classroom, and bumped into Himeji-san on the way.

What happened? Is she troubled about something? Why does she look so gloomy.

“Himeji-san?”

“Ah……Akihisa-kun.”

I tried calling out to her, and Himeji-san only noticed me then, she lifted her head slowly.

“What happened to you? You look so gloomy.”

“Eh? Do I look really gloomy?”

“Yes, you look a little lonely.”

If she were to ask me “which part of me looks lonely”, I wouldn’t be able to answer it, I just felt that she seemed different from the usual her.

“Do I look really lonely? Actually, I don’t especially feel that way.”

Himeji-san tilted her head with embarrassment.

“But, if it looks this way to Akihisa-kun, it must be—“

“It must be what?”

“—Because the person whom I like is taken away, so I feel miserable……Even though, I knew that it’s just an act……”

The moment she said this, Himeji-san’s expression seems to be veiled by depression and sorrow.

I see, she’s a girl as expected. It’s just the character setting of a plot of being sad because the crush was taken away by a good friend, those macho guy friends of mine won’t have such an emotion.

In order not to hurt the fragile Himeji-san, I tried my best choosing the most suitable words, and telling her: “Himeji-san, don’t worry, it was all an act.”

“Yes, you’re right, that was just an act.”

“That’s right.”

Right, as it was an act, you don't have to be too concerned about it. Moreover, I can’t imagine a guy so charismatic that both Himeji-san and Minami both fell for him. If such a guy really exists, that guy must have an intelligent brain, a handsome appearance and extraordinary sports talent, and also tender, popular with girls, honest, reliable, and completely not a playboy, I guess only such a charismatic guy will be able to capture their hearts.

While thinking about this, I couldn’t help myself but feel envious, although I know that such a guy doesn’t exist in real life.

“……If…” Just when I was unhappy with that imaginary character, Himeji-san who was beside me muttered something inaudible.

“En? Himeji-san, did you say something?”

“If……that situation really happens……that time, what will Akihisa-kun do?”

“Eh?”

While I was fully awaken, I'd just noticed that Himeji-san was staring deeply at me with a serious expression.

I guess that topic just now made her feel uneasy? It was obviously an act, but she was too into it, maybe Himeji-san is really sensitive. If so, I can’t talk about this topic with humor.

Even if it’s not good for me, but I’m still a guy, if I just speak lightly, she’ll take it to heart, so I’ll have to answer her question earnestly.

After thinking for a long while, I slowly replied from the bottom of my heart.

“About that, if I were faced with such a situation—I’ll try hard to think.”

“You will……try hard to think?”

“Un, because I’m not that smart…...even so, I will try my best to think. Once I’ve thought of something, I’ll give out my answer earnestly.”

After hearing my answer, Himeji-san looked as if she let out a soft smile with embarrassment. Weird, isn’t this the answer that Himeji-san wants to hear?

“I was thinking of asking who you would choose, eh……”

She sounded as if she didn’t want me to hear it, Himeji-san muttered something as soft as a fly’s buzz.

“Un? What did you say?”

“Nope, I didn’t say anything.”

“Aiyo, but I think that I won’t be able to encounter such a situation in this life, so I really can’t imagine much about it.”

I felt it slightly from that act just now, I did feel happy enough. It’s great that I got to play that character.

“How can it be, Akihisa-kun is too modest.”

“Hahaha, Himeji-san is good at flattering others.”

“I wasn’t flattering you. Akihisa-kun is cheerful and tender, no matter who you are with, they’ll feel calm, and you always give others a sense of relief.”

“Un? Himeji-san?”

“But, also because you are vulnerable, it makes others around you feel uneasy.”

Vulnerable? I don’t think so. I’m fine living alone, how would I be vulnerable?

“Really? I think that my vigilance is good enough.”

“Is that so?”

“Un, of course. About that, I’m really—Eh? Himeji-san, what are you looking at?”

While I was talking, Himeji-san was looking at something far behind me.

Is there something there? I looked at where she was looking, but, there’s only an empty notice board there.

“Eh? There’s nothing there, Himeji-sa—“

After confirming, and turning back my head. I didn’t expect—

“Look, Akihisa-kun is really vulnerable.”—Himeji-san’s face was right in front of me

“Wh, What! What happened to you?”

“……Akihisa-kun actually……makes others feel uneasy. It’s unexpectedly easy to get close to you……”

Himeji-san is staring at both of my eyes. What? What just happened?

“No matter who you are with, is Akihisa-kun this vulnerable? Or……it’s because you’re with me…..”

An unexpected turn of events caused my trail of thoughts to pause. It seems that situation like this happened numerous times today, what is actually happening? [5][6]“Er, that…..Himeji-san……”

How! What should I be saying! What is she asking?

While I was confused on how I should react—

“Hehe, just kidding.”

Himeji-san let out a sweet smile like a child that successfully played a prank, and took a step back.

“That was just the continuation of the act, did I scare you?”

After increasing the distance between us, that atmosphere just now disappeared, Himeji-san let out her usual soft smile.

Wh, what, she was joking all along……it’s not good for the heart……

“I wasn’t just scared, my heart nearly jumped out of my mouth.”

“I, I still want to see the way Akihisa-kun look when you are scared till your heart jumped out of your mouth.”

Wuwuwu, well really! That made me so nervous that my heart raced. That was really scary~

“I’m sorry, it’s because I’ve never acted before, and I got hooked up the first time I act.”

Between her words, Himeji-san’s expression seemed a little more embarrassed. From the way it seems, Himeji-san may actually like to pull pranks.

While I was thinking of these trivial things, a question suddenly came into my mind—Eh? Did she just say that “she’s never acted before”?

“Himeji-san, you really didn’t act before?”

“That’s right, I’ve never acted before.”

“If so, you are really awesome……”

“Hmm? What do you mean?”

Himeji-san looked at me with bewilderment. It can’t be helped, I usually won’t notice such things.

“It’s just now, you've shown me the act of ‘falling for someone’, haven’t you? But from what I see, it’s far from just an act.”

“……Eh?”

“It felt like, you really do have someone whom you like.”

“Eh? Eh? Eh!”

“So I guess……”

“Ab, about that, that……I……actually……”

“I just guessed that, Himeji-san may have actually acted before.”

“It’s as Akihisa-kun guessed, that wasn’t an act, but my actual—Eh, what did you say?”

“You may be new to it but you can act with such skills, Himeji-san may actually have the talent of acting!”

“Ah……You are talking about that…..”

And she’s also so sensitive, Himeji-san may really be an acting genius.

I was actually flattering her, but—

“……Baka.”

I didn’t know why, but that moment, Himeji-san showed me a sulking awkward expression.

“Eh? Did you say something?”

“I didn’t say anything. Anyway, we should be getting back to our classroom. I’m also concerned about my performance at the rooftop, I wonder if the effect is good or not.”

“You are right. It’s all because Himeji-san scared me purposely, that made me forget about this.”

“Hehe, I’m sorry.”

Now is not the time to act or play. Whether that act on the rooftop managed to fool Shimizu-san, is related to our Class F future teaching utilities.

But, there won’t be any problems! I’ve tried my best to endure my wrist’s pain, so this battle will be successful!

TriviaEdit

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