Chapter 3: You! Why would you go too far?
( TN: ” why go so far ” here is similar to like saying ” why go to such lengths for doing something for me etc )
During the day of the midterm tests, and after our last midterm subject, we all 4 gathered in the club room to talk about how well we did, well normally we don’t do things like this a lot.
“I actually think I managed to do better than the average this time”
“Yuuka usually gets tired from this.”
But ‘getting tired’ for Hatsushiba’s case meant that she couldn’t get more than 80 points, which means she doesn’t have anything to stress over about
“As for me, I think I did much better than the average score as well , and I think all that studying we did together actually helped a lot.”
Tozaki looks like he felt so accomplished from all that tutoring he gave to Ayame alright.
And the most but not least person, is Ayame-san.
“I answered every question box….but I’m not sure which ones I got either wrong or correct.”
Well, she definitely did her best until she couldn’t do anymore at all.
Well, there was nothing we could do about that.
All we could do now is wait for the midterm results to come out from now on.
“Ayame, from now on please study regularly every day without break. At least an hour a night is good. Think it as if you skip it for a day, you need to use 3 days to compensate for it.”
“Ah-umph. I’ll work hard on reviewing.”
At that moment, Hatsushiba approached and hugged Ayame who said that from behind. As if to give her motivation.
“But Cotton tried at least, good, today let’s not go to the library, but instead let’s go find Takoyaki or something to eat how about that?”
“Taiyaki? That’s a good idea, how about you, Aramiya, Tosaki? I’ll buy them for you as a thanks for helping me study.
Ayame said something I didn’t expect.
But since she’s going them for us, I guess some Taiyaki isn’t too bad.
We four exited the school and took a trip to the Taiyaki store in the park. Before settling down on it.
Nowadays it’s normal to buy snacks, but during middle school it was much stricter.
Maybe it was because I’m so used to the strictness, I’m feeling a little uneasy. But whatever, the snacks taste good.
Hatsushiba was jovially munching the Takoyaki with a big smile akin to a sunflower. She does make it look very delicious. If I were to make a commercial out of this for Takoyaki, it would’ve boosted sales by a margin.
Tozaki, seeing Hatsushiba with that face, had his face slightly convoluted, or rather like an art piece melting. He made this face so frequently we could’ve made a special episode about it.
“Cream is the best.”
“Hah? No, normally you should put in red beans.”
“Let me try yours Cotton!”
It seems that those two girls are very happy together. They fed each other while giggling and squealing.
Tozaki looked at me with a weird expression.
“…Aramiya, want to try mine?”
“No, I’m fine.”
Why must I share my Takoyaki with a boy, this is something reserved exclusively for men and woman and woman and woman. Sure, as usual, if it was in the 2D world, I wouldn’t mind.
“Hah… I feel so happy…”
“Eating something sweet makes you feel good for some reason.”
“Maybe it’s because Cotton burned a lot of sugar while studying. Your brain must have burned out all those sugars.”
Saying this while seeing them both smiling so widely feels a little wrong, but since it’s come to this it is time to open up this conversation.
“Since we have already finished our midterm, I have something I want to say.”
Ayame turned to face me with a Takoyaki in her mouth.
“I’m thinking to stop trying to eliminate Ayame’s rumors from our side.”
When I said that, each person has a different reaction.
Ayame made a depressed, sad face. Hatsushiba opened her eyes wide in shock, unable to say anything. Tozaki tilted his face in confusion, maybe I didn’t use the right words?
“Why!? Aramiya-kun, are you giving up!?”
“No Yuuka, don’t worry. Just staying together like this is more than enough. Don’t need to go that far for me…”
You guys are skipping too many stairs, maybe I spoke unclearly.
“Don’t speak unclearly, I mean we should stop being passive about this.”
“What do you mean?”
Hatsushiba hugged her chest tightly and stared at me, her expression seems a little serious.
“To be honest, even if we four try our best to resist the rumors. If this were to continue, it would just be something similar to a bucket of water against a flaming building. We need to eliminate these rumors from the roots. As I said before we started studying together. Rumors will spread through a person who will believe what he or she wants to believe. Which one reason is because of Ayame too.”
“But even if a bucket of water can’t put out a building on fire, if we don’t do something about Cotton it won’t just magically disappear…”
Hatsushiba said this with a dejected look.
She was right, we could only work on the shallow rumors.
But I think we need to rethink our ways of approaching this.
“Legend says that rumors will eventually disappear after 75 days, but in the age of internet, I’m not so sure it is right. Because some ‘evil’ stamp on the body can’t be erased easily. If there were new rumors constantly flushing in, we can’t do anything in the first place.”
“Then, what should we do?”
“I think we should change things at the root. Which is Ayame’s image in people’s mind.”
When I said that, Ayame pointed at herself in confusion.
“Yes, you. To be brief, you were stapling your bad image in the school. Just from wearing gangster-like cloth is already a lot.”
Formally she dyed her hair brown, and made modifications to her uniform. Additionally she had chains around her neck, a full body weapon.
Moreover, she skipped school, and a constant stream of rumors about her fighting with someone.
Lastly, she was stuck in a vicious cycle that, not trying to deny her rumors about doing sidelines or being a second-hand woman.
“Ah, yes. I know that. But…”
But she was starting to put on a black hair and a twin tail.
Even she had some weaknesses, such as if she was unsastisfied, she will glare you to death like a bully. But now her image in class has changed quite a little.
Even if we did say that her image wasn’t that much better, if we do something tangible for the class to see, this time her image should be much better.
“If so, the only way is doing some kind of good deed.”
So the simplest way is the best way.
“Doing good deeds in school, to create good rumors, even if someone still believes in the bad ones easier. But I think that it is more effective than we directly denying those rumors.”
“Doing good deeds huh. I understand. It seems much more solid than us going around and eliminating the rumors. Since denying the rumors probably won’t help too much.”
Tosaki seems to agree with me.
To change the atmosphere here is probably not easy. Using normal methods won’t work.
Sure, even if Ayame does something tangibly good, some people will look it from a negative perspective.
Or reversely we might make people misunderstand.
The most important thing for Ayame now is, having more people who stands up to the rumors, like Kiyomi and Saitani.
“Hah… Yuka thought that Aramiya is going to abandon Cotton.”
“I won’t abandon her, she’s my fellow scarce Otaku friend I have.”
I have already made up my mind that she has the potential to forever become my fellow Otaku friend forever. Not in a field of flowers, but in an eroge store.
Our relationship shouldn’t go any further than fellow friends.
“We should eliminate bad rumors with good ones. Until people stop believing in the bad ones forever.”
“Mhpm! Yuuka will help you out too!”
When I said that, Yuuka smiled widely while nodding.
“If Aramiya says so I will try my hardest too.”
Ayame also nodded resolutely.
The next day, we decided that during lunch break, Ayame and I will visit the teacher’s room.
“Excuse me, Aramiya Seiichi, class 2-4.”
“E-excuse me… Ayame Kotoko, class 2-4.”
Only that Ayame entered the room with a stench from lunch break still stuck on her. The teachers were all shocked.
“A-ayame? Why did you come here?” “Is she coming to complain about Ohara-sensei?” “oh… My…”
Some people choked on their tea, and quickly turned their face away from Ayame, some even froze as if meeting with Medusa. Their reactions not so different from normal students.
But the difference is that she did have a bad behavior towards these teachers. Plus Skipping class, which make the teachers the victim here.
Some people looked at her with fear like Todogoro…. Whatever, he wasn’t the only person making such a face towards Ayame, but other students also does.
Even so I don’t like people who have given up on changing Ayame’s behaviors and still boasts a lot. Must he really act like that to a single student? At least try to look cool.
“Who are you searching for?”
“Kotani-sensei, this time we can’t go to Ohara-sensei. The person is to kind to the point that he took the student’s job for himself. A high chance he doesn’t have any work for us to do.
Our goal was, to take over a work that the teacher hasn’t started on yet, and haven’t given any students the work itself. Or some kind of work that is hard for a student to handle.
If I ask Kiriko, I think that she will obviously have some kind of work for me. Since she’s quite a clumsy person, she must’ve had some leftover work.
Kiriko was sleeping on her desk, that’s quite a serious symptom of laziness.
She laid her head on her chair that was only as tall as her shouldiers. And slept peacefully.
A long hair with a pony tail on her head. And that ponytail almost reached the floor.
Even if she was wearing a skin-color suit, but no matter how I look at it I can’t find a shred of honor as a teacher at all. Is she a post-OT worker? Its just lunch.
Below her chair was a book. If I were to guess it was the same book that had covered her face and slipped down. The cover said, ‘How to make sub-culture students respect you.’ A weird book. Hehe
But still, even when I’m this close, she’s still sleeping soundly.
Seeing from the fact that no one is complaining, she must’ve done this frequently. But she wasn’t called to be lectured. So I’m not really sure if it’s really that frequent. Even though her acting like this makes it plausible for her to get lectured…
If I was home I would’ve picked out a book and hit her with it. But if I do it here she’ll complain a lot later.
“Kotani-sensei, wake up.”
She slightly opened her eyes and stretched her body.
“Oh, Seiichi~ Try begging me more than this, hehehehehehehe…”
“You’re still sleep-talking!?”
I accidentally knocked on her head with the book that was previously on the floor.
Kiriko held her head in pain.
“Ah, eh..! Aramiya!”
Ayame that was besides me raised her hands to cover her mouth. And her face paled.
“…Ha, I forgot.”
Even if it was reflex, but I accidentally hit a teacher.
Shit, I don’t have any right to tell Ayame not to do something without thinking.
“Seiichi, what the hell are you doing…! I’ll slap you!?”
Kiriko raised her face and glared at me. This isn’t strange.
But seeing that we were in school and she still calls me by my first name, it seems that her brain still hasn’t fully awakened.
“Oh… This is work time. Don’t sleep.”
“W-what’s the matter with me sleeping during lunch break!?”
“The person who can tell you that is the head-teacher… And your feet was on the table, which was really rude.”
“Here, this book fell on the floor.”
I gave Kiriko the book, and Kiriko bashfully took it.
And then she sighed while placing the book on the table.
“Hah.. So, what do you want? Are you here to wake me up?”
“No no, I just have something I want you to help.”
“…is that I wanted to change her appearance a little bit.”
I explained to her while she’s makes a confused face from the very beginning.
“…for people to talk her in a good light, eh? And does she ok with this?”
“Uh… yes. He also thought this for me too.”
“…Hm, that’s a good progress…”
“It’s nothing, I’m just talking to myself.”
From this point that I have stuck with Ayame, is large influences from her plans.
I have to change Ayame’s behavior, from Ms.Ohara that asks me to do it nicely and my own sister that threatens about my hobby of playing hentai game to the whole school to know.
However, she already sticking with me at that time. So I guess even though they didn’t ask me, she will stick with me anyways.
And that said sister is now mumbling to herself about something.
“Too close might be a bit troublesome. But… whatever, it’s still in acceptable range, maybe…”
“What are you talking about, Kotani- sensei?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. I’m just talking to myself.”
When I asked, it’s still the same answer.
What is she even thinking?
“Let’s get to the topic, about what the students can do to help with.”
“Oh, you really do have.”
“But it’s not my job. I have a meeting today, and there’s order to dispose of old tools in the PE shed to be done with. Go ask Mr.Itsuki who’s the PE teacher for information.”
“Understood. Many thanks.”
Then me and Ayame went to Mr.Itsuki who’s sitting another row. He’s a guy and PE teacher, but looks a bit wimpy. Well, it might be my own negative thoughts.
“About the club advisor, that’s Ms.Kotani is ok for you?”
While we walk over to Mr.Itsuki’s table, she asks quietly beside my ear.
That reminds me, about the club. I need to get one more member and an advisor.
“…It’s too early to decide on that.”
I can’t quite get on with that.
We talked like that while we are on our way to ask about the job.
Mr.Itsuki was bit surprised that Ayame is here, but at least he tried to listen about the thing.
“I…I have the list I have written earlier this morning. C…Could you take these to the trash?”
Then he gave us the printed list, and it tells us about what we need to throw away.
Basketballs, volleyballs, table tennis rackets, etc.. Even vault boxes for Gymnastics too? Seems there’s a large things too.
“There’s lots of stuff that needs to be thrown away, teacher.”
“W…Well, I’m was quite busy… so I passed it time to time…”
Guess that from messy, when they grow up and they are still the same. Sis’s not quite different from the past also.
“B…But, is it ok? I was going to let the Basketball Club to do it though…”
His facial expression looks like he’s worried, but he looked bit scared about other secrecy things instead.
“Oh, it’s nothing. Let us do it.”
“O..Oh, I see. Then, I’ll leave both of you to it.”
We received the list before leaving teacher’s office.
And while we are on our way back, we read the list along the way.
“Then I get all of this on my own and we’ll be done with it, right?”
She looked at the list with eagerness, seems she’s changed a lot from her past.
But is it ok for her to do it on her own? Doing it alone makes me worried, and looks very strange. People will might get strange ideas too.
The best thing to do is help out people who need to do it. But in this state, no one accepts her except us.
Well then, let her be the lead this time and we go do it.
“I say, I’ll do it too. I don’t have any part-time work today. And I’ll ask if Hatsushiba and Tosaki want to give us a hand.”
“Eh? But… this is my issue, and…”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m the one who bring up this idea, and it can become one of club activities also.”
I said that, and she looks a bit flustered, but smiles.
“As I said, I didn’t do this for you.”
Also, she didn’t need to smile like that only at me. If she have do that to others in class, she might have a better time in class.
We got back to the class, get Hatsushiba and Tosaki, before we tell the whole thing.
“Yuuka has work, so I might not able to help for long…”
“It’s ok, it’s a big help even a little bit.”
“Uh… did you count me in?”
“I already counted, didn’t I?”
“What the heck is that face, dude!? I swear I’ll work hard, just don’t make that bloodthirsty face!”
Both of them agreed.
Then the 6th class period ended peacefully, before moving to after school.
“Kotoko-san, let me help out too!”
My little sister then comes and tagged along even without me inviting her over.
Seems that she sent a message over to Ayame like : ‘Do you want to go somewhere after school?’, which she might replied : ‘Can’t, have school work to do.’ So it ends up like this.
Well, the more the better. Having her here helps spread the news in 1st years a bit more.
But it seems that she’s really close with Ayame. Like when she saw Ayame, her eyes are twinkling like in awe or praise, I guess?
“What? Do you have any problems?”
“Nope, just thought you and Ayame are real close.”
“Yeah? I want her to be like my real sis.”
“If that can be, it’s a win-win situation here.”
I’ll no longer have a big-mouthed sister, and she gets her ideal big sister. It might be jolly for her.
But gosh darn it. What a two-headed bird, this freakin’ sister. When in front of other people, she didn’t called me an erectionless virgin. If she knows how much to show to other people, like only at home or something. But my sis who’s being cynical towards her older brother without showing much to other people. I guess I won’t have any good time in this school.
I really wanted her to see how to do this as an example. If she knows how to avoid stuff, she could have a better life, like me. I play hentai games but I didn’t shout out loud that I played them.
To have a long, sustaining relationship. One does need a skill to deceive a little bit. But the main point is to see where that said limit is, from ‘White Record’ had said.
“Well, let’s get started then.”
Then we went to the toolshed that’s standing in the corner of the field, in the shade of the building.
We open the shed with the key that was given to us before opening it.
“By the way, why our school is still using key lockers? Nowadays, we have like digital locks now, why they still keeping this-”
When Kiyomi sees the padlock, she said something up like that just popped in her mind.
“Yeah, it’s kinda bit unsafe…”
“Really!? I’ll be careful with those!”
While the girls are outside, the guys : me and Tosaki, went into the shed first.
The damp smell of PE shed wafts around. Not it just a kick to our noses, it literally stuck in our noses. The exquisite smell of dust and fungi, and sweat that permeates this place… is really strong.
“Uwaa, it stinks! They should put in some deodorizer in here!”
Kiyomi who is next to get in squeezed her nose with squinted face.
“You never been in here?”
“I always won at Rock-Paper-Scissors in PE, and let the losers do all the job.”
…Seems we are quite similar in some point.
Ayame seems want to say something as well, but her face looks a little bit red like she had caught a cold.
“A shed, huh?”
She says it out in a tone, seems want to say something. She kept looking at me from time to time.
“I know what you meant, but just keep it quiet, ok?”
When I said that, she shook a bit and standing stiff for a bit before giggling “Heh heh” creepily.
As I expected, she played an eroge joke…
Guess she have urges to say that this location is one of the top locations that competes with the infirmary. If talking about you-know-what events in a hentai game, most said locations are : Classroom, Infirmary and Shed. Even though in real hentai game scenario, the shed didn’t mentioned as much.
I hope that Ayame, who likes to reference hentai games, don’t push me down and say that it’s just a ‘practical’ training.
“I saw a lot that stuff that’s going to be thrown away like balls, they will make a mark on it. Guess we’ll just take all the stuff that needed out first then.”
“Understood. Mostly old stuff are be thrown out, yes? Then check for stuff that looks old, that might be enough.”
“Mmm. I heard that there’s new moving man coming in tomorrow.”
When I ordered, Ayame started moving stuff.
We took out vaulting boxes, gymnastic mats, soft basketballs and volleyballs, table tennis tables and other stuff outside. I wondered why they let it sit until now before throwing it away.
If they just take it out from time to time, it won’t be tiring as this. But whatever, if they can do it, it wouldn’t be troublesome as this.
“Aramiya-kun, do we need to take this to the parking lot?”
Ayame asked me while she’s carrying rolled mats.
“Maybe so, workers will get it done in tomorrow morning.”
“Hey, aren’t there any dolly here? Carrying it over would be a huge pain.”
Suddenly, Kiyomi, the representative in competitive fussing, starts to complain. What the heck you even here for then?
“No dolly, so only one option.”
“Wha? So inefficient. Should have bought it before we come here…”
The original plan IS to buy one before coming over here. But the main reason that we got the job, because there aren’t any dollies.
It was like, ‘Nah, maybe next time’. When that time comes, the workers have already bring stuff in. Which is a tragedy that comes from annoying people like Kiyomi.
“What? What are you looking at?”
She said that to me. If I’m at home, I might get this also : ‘Will your stare make me get pregnant?’
I should get some arguments dialogue in my mind also : ‘Even you gave me a hundred million, I do NOT want to have a baby with you, EVER.’
Then we looking into each other faces for a bit.
“Seems you have something you want to say?”
“That’s my word. You can say all you want, if you are ready to kill your own image…”
“Both of you looks really close~”
Damn it, Tosaki always like to tease randomly. How come both of us looks close.
Please go read some Platonic Idealism, and consider what is the truth before coming back.
“Anyhow, let’s get going. Hatsushiba, Kiyomi. Take as much as you can handle, we don’t want unnecessary injuries.”
“Yes, let’s do it!” “I don’t have much strength, so I can’t take it too much.”
If we took by this amount and this number of people, it might took about 5 times? But wait, Hatsushiba might be going back first, so might be about 6 times at least?
“Hey, Tosaki. Hold it still!” “I already hold it good, you aren’t holding it still!”
Me and Tosaki held the vaulting box. We were just too lazy to take it apart, so we took the whole thing along.
“You go on ahead, Ayame.”
“It’s okay, I’m not rushing or anything at all.”
She looked at a whole gymnastic mats on her shoulder like it’s nothing. Wait, does it really that light? …Nonono, don’t think about it.
From the shed to garbage, we have to cross the field and up down the staircase to the parking lot. Along the way, we passed through some students that is going for the clubs and those who are going home.
When they saw us, they are quite surprised of us. Actually, it’s Ayame when they saw and they shiver in fear.
“T…Taking out trash?” “Uhhh… maybe not?” “Then what’s that mat for!?” “Bind someone and drown ‘em.”
…Seems they spread the rumors in a bad light again. What? Did they not see us also?
But if you let a lion in front of people, it would guarantee that they won’t see the 4 cats around it for sure.
But this is good. If we keep on doing, it’ll eventually change over time. The world that people perceives from good to bad will soon end one day. That’s what they say : ‘Seeing is Believing’. People can’t wear stained glasses all the time.
Ayame moves very energetic, leading the group without any complaints. It might be hard for people to see things in negative ideas, especially for people who only follows with the rumors and not having any problems from it.
…And after 2 rounds.
“Sorry, Yuka have to leave now.”
Hatsushiba who have an appointment said an apology in an uncomfortable tone. It can’t be helped if it’s about work. I’d give priority for part-time work more as well.
“Yuuka-san, please tell me about the voice actors next time!”
“I..It doesn’t have all the good side to it, you know?”
Kiyomi grabbed her hand like in disappointed, while Tosaki look at that with envied eyes.
“Your sister’s kind of cute.”
Before she left, she whispered to me like that. I heard and thought; ‘What’s cute?’
But even her likes that, seems that she made a really good image.
“Okay, let’s continue.”
When Hatsushiba left, we have only four people. The amount of stuff we took didn’t changed.
“H..Hey, Ayame is taking a table tennis table!?” “To whack somebody to death!?” “Or to split a person in half!?”
When Hatsushiba is gone, people looked at us from unrestful to fearful. Seems that Hatsushiba has really strong aura in preventing negative energy.
To think of it, it’s kinda freakishly impossible to rumor like that. Are they freaking stupid?
But she still kept moving the table tennis table, ignoring all of those comments. But when at the stairs, around the corner. Suddenly.
She almost fell over.
The impact make the table lose balance. The front tipped up forcefully, while Ayame able to balance herself out so she’s able to get up.
But when the table returned back with it’s weight, the table slammed onto the floor and the wheel broke off as how the state it was.
“Oh? What are you doing? Penalty game? Or a punishment?”
We heard a familiar voice from deep in the corner.
Eve is standing there, smiling.
“You, you put your leg in the way-”
“Eh~ What did you just said? I can’t hear it~.”
Her face slowly changes into her old gangster face. Her fist clamped that her blood vessel shows.
The lethal weapon that once blew high schoolers for metres is about to ignite.
Looks like I didn’t need to remind her anything. Ayame grinded her teeth in anger, but that was more than enough to make Tosaki widened his eye in shock.
“Seiichi must be feeling pretty burdened serving Ayame. It’s better if you stay with me~ Like we promised remember?”
“No, I’m not serving her and why should I stay with you in the first place? I don’t recall any promises.”
“Well, it wasn’t really isn’t a promise, but. Hmph!”
Eve’s face distorted disapprovingly, or maybe she doesn’t act the way we do and speak a whole different language, like the Kelt language? I’ve thought before that there was some kind of similarities between Gals and Kelts. Even if their spellings are highly different.
“What do you mean? Seiichi is such a tease. You never visited me after the rumors about Ayame started to surfaced.”
Well, the problem is that I never had any plans to visit you in the first place, nor do I want to.
“And here I actually thought that you would break up with Ayame and stay with me…”
Well, the truth is that I don’t have any will to be with you in the first place.
“I don’t care where the hell did you go playing, nor do I know how your weird thought patterns work, but if you really say so, Eve, come here and help us.”
I knew that she wouldn’t help anyways, and if she really started helping, I would be in trouble too.
“No, it would ruin my skin~ However~”
She suddenly grasped my hands.
I haven’t even got the chance to yell “What are you doing!” and my hand was already led to the ample valleys on Eve’s chest.
Plus she forced my hands and pushed it to her chest!
“Hey, what are you doing!”
I quickly reacted and jerked my hand away.
“Eh~ Uh, I guess you call it seducement? Its soft, right?”
“You didn’t need to phrase that as a question! No, letting me grab those things…! Are you a some kind of pervert!”
Can’t you see Tosaki and Ayame were stupefied on the sidelines?
It may be true that ‘it’ might be so big it my hands couldn’t cover it, but my mentality wasn’t the least bit shaken.
I heard the phrase many times in my eroge saying “soft like marshmallow” But actually grabbing marshmallows doesn’t give out any rare feelings that makes me feel special in anyway. Also it takes only a while for it to deform into a mess. And originally grabbing anything through a school uniform will only result in a hard texture.
“Hmm… Even with all this it still doesn’t work huh. And here I thought that considering the strength of relationship between Seichii and me these kind of things would become a norm.”
“Norm your ass! What kind of relationship are you talking about?!”
I can’t follow her at all.
If she was in the right universe, this bitch will probably be the kind of heroine that was bullied into submission. The kind that in the end, she will be drooling for her master to come back home in some kind of unbearable state.
“If Seiichi won’t come with me, then I don’t have any business with you! Bye~”
Eve then exited the stage with a grumpy face. Without knowing how I see her.
“Ayame-chi must not give up to those rumors okay? Even if your sin is hard to wash away.”
SO disgusting, she keeps on repeating the word rumors over and over. Wait, is this bitch the person spreading the news..?
However, I haven’t got the chance to even question Eve, since she’s already long gone.
“Are you hurt anywhere, Ayame?”
“Ah- Oh. Don’t worry, I’m not that weak, and more importantly, the ping pong chair’s wheel’s is broken and you can’t roll it around.”
“It can’t be helped then, I’ll carry the other side. That should be bearable.”
I placed down the line-maker that I was holding and went in to carry the Ping pong chair.
“Is-is this the first time we worked together…?”
“We also studied together, what are you talking about?”
Ayame started to become more and more like some kind of dumb heroine that is easy to hit on. I think that quote existed in the game ‘Under the sky’ or some many other games.
Just doing something together, no need to see it as something sacred like holding hands and cutting cakes. We aren’t in the 2D world.
“Then let’s start.”
But really, you’re in a very good mood it seems. Whatever, better than that grumpy face.
“Ayame really changed a lot.”
“She changed that much?”
Tozaki and Kiyomi whispered together. Hey, I heard that.
“Yeah, she changed a lot, if you compare her before and now it’s like heaven and hell. Her hair color has also changed.”
“Wow, You’re so intelligent Kotoko-san”
I heard that. You sure are acting very cute, little sis.
So she only talks shit to me. Because I can’t think of any other reason.
And we arrived to the trash dump for the forth time.
“Hello, you sure are very hard-working.”
While we were placing the things that were going to be thrown away, a strange guest arrived.
The student representative/president Yaotani Airi. She smacked her fan on her hands like usual. And of course her two support characters were also there.
The president went to stand behind Ayame and started to massage her shoulders like a way to repay her for her hard work.
“You must be tired. Ayame, are you ok?”
“Eh…. Ah, yes, I’m fine.”
Ayame looks uncomfortable for some reason. Must have been because Ayame is a person who’s easily pressured. If she was approached by someone who likes to pressure others like the president, she might lose her focus.
And the other side also wasn’t an enemy, so she can’t let off by shouting at her.
And when she finished massaging Ayame, she turned her face and massaged Kiyomi’s shoulders next. Until Kiyomi released a weird sound like “Ah-hah~”
“Ah, it’s great…”
The president’s hands looks ominous.
“You just started school, and you’re already doing some community service. Very good, the school have nothing to worry about now.”
“Hehehe… thank you”
Kiyomi heard the praise and her faced bloomed in joy.
When the President finished rewarding Kiyomi, this time she stood in front of me. And started to massage—That’s not happening, she intentionally sighed in front of us all.
“Works like these you boys should do it by yourself.”
“Yes, I compleeeeetely agree with you.”
Looks like this president has a very strong sense of sexual niches. I don’t really want to argue too much about sexual niches. All she’s saying is that woman aren’t suppose to carry heavy things.
If the person is willing or able to carry, that should be more than enough reason for him/her to carry. So since it’s a boy, he is forced to be able to carry heavy things? Bullshit.
If Ayame wasn’t helping out, there would be no point. If Ayame was the only one not carrying anything, rumors would pop up about her “using her minions to do her work.”
Arguing isn’t hard, but it might affect my club activities, so I can’t speak selfishly.
“By the way, what about the gathering of club members, is it progressing well or not? About authorizing the club room, I did not bring any unrelated things with the club activities for consideration at all. Thus, please bare with me.”
The Prez opened the topic as if reading my mind.
“…I understand, we are currently gathering members. Thanks for your ‘great’ concern.”
“Oh really? Then it shouldn’t take long for me to receive your club’s establishment form then.”
She probably already knew that it should take some more time but still mentions it anyways.
Just from seeing that she has no intention of interrupting our club activities, I can confirm that she has no willingness to crush us entirely… However I still can’t figure out what she actually wants. Maybe she’s just mocking me? Mock us on the fact that there is no way we could possibly gather enough members in time?
Or… well, whatever it is, she doesn’t care about us anyways.
“If so then I wish you luck on your journey to find your members and an advisor. I’ll excuse myself now.”
Prez left whilst giggling arrogantly. Everytime I encounter her, I always thought quietly how she doesn’t deserve this school at all. She should be at some prestigious school that rich kids flock to, not this one.
After finishing our work, I went to the teacher’s room with Ayame to report our finished duty.
“Thank you very much, you really saved me a ton.”
Itsuki-sensei saw Ayame and acted as if she was about to get a cramp while saying thank you.
And at that moment when we exited the teacher’s room.
“Aramiya, you stay here first.”
Kiriko caught me by the shoulders.
“Let me stay too-“
“Sorry, I have something important to talk one to one with Aramiya.”
Ayame retreated, seemingly being able to figure something out.
“Aramiya, are you ok?”
“Don’t worry, let her go first. It shouldn’t be a big problem. But I’m suspicious it’s going to be long.”
Tosaki should have already returned, I don’t know about Koyomi though.
When Ayame is out of sight, leaving with a face akin to those whose hair has been pulled from behind. The tension in the teacher’s room started to cool down abit. Looks like even the teachers fear Ayame.
“It seems that we don’t need to be too tense now.”
Kiriko said that as if being able to guess what I was thinking just from looking at my face.
“If it was before, just having Ayame in the teacher’s room is enough to raise the tension in the room by a margin.”
“You don’t even have a plan for confronting her…”
Even though I understand that seeing a student with chains around their necks walking freely around is kinda scary.
From then me and Kiriko moved to the parent’s waiting room with free coffee. Weird.
“Uh, Seiichi, about helping Ayame’s personality, looks like it’s going well.”
“Um, maybe… yeah I guess.”
Helping Ayame’s personality isn’t the correct word, Ayame is generally a good person at the start, she didn’t do sideline, and never had any weird relationship with anybody in the first place.
She might have skipped school or used violence on others sometimes, but there’s always a sensible reason why she did so. Moreover she already stopped doing those things.
Nowadays she’s always diligent in her studies and if she keeps this up, her second term grade should get much better and reach the average score.
“The teachers were surprised, going like ‘what happened to her’ or something like that.”
“Well, I think the main reason is because you teachers never faced Ayame seriously. That girl is good in the first place, like even I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.
“That breaks my heart. But please understand our position here, you kids only let go of your stresses when you have no other way out, right? Teens have their own code of honor, like every time you confess to your teachers about your worries it’s like you lost or failed. So even if we say something, the other side will just close their ears and avert their eyes.”
She does have her own reason.
Even if there were teachers who are always there like a friend to listen to you, there is still an unbreakable wall between them.
The only people who could openly speak with the teachers are a minority of students and their friends. Seeing from a normal student’s perspective who had just escaped from that one it’s just an uncomfortable environment to be in.
Surely if we went to the teachers directly to them it’s not like they will say no to you. But it still feels like entering a zone that is allowed only for people who are close to the teachers to a degree of friends. Which is really uncomfortable.
The problem is that in Ayame’s case it wasn’t that in the first place, she was troubled by two major things, the school is boring and if she doesn’t wear her shirt like a gangster people will find trouble with her. The results of those actions were obvious.
“Sonoko-Ohara-sensei, your class’s sensei, he’s actually pretty enthusiastic about helping Ayame.”
“Ohara-sensei?” That guy?”
I see him normally looking lifeless, also I secretly think the person doesn’t fit in being a teacher.
“He actually bowed to us and told us that Ayame is changing, sure, there were many instructors who doesn’t believe him, but some like Kawada-sensei or Tadokoro-Sensei is pretty open on the subject.”
So Kawada-sensei asking Ayame to answer in class, part of the reason must be from this.
So the reason must not only be because he wants Ayame to read books in the library, but because other people also told sensei that she is changing, so Kawada-sensei wants to test it out himself.
Sometimes hearing from others that their friends praise them secretly, something like “Mr.00 praised you highly for XXX” is much more believable than hearing the friend himself praising them.
“…And at an important time like this, why did you put that new student in my class?”
“I mean that Suwama Eve, the person that dyed her hair and put on those heavy makeups.”
“Now that you say it, there were talks about the new student. But I don’t know that she dyed her hair or wore any makeup like you described. Our school aren’t too strict on these things… Is she a trouble child?”
“…This girl is the girl that tricked my back then.
When I said that, Kiriko’s body shook.
“Now that you say it, I do recall some bits. But I already lost most of my memories surrounding it.”
“No matter what she wears, all you need to know that that’s a problem child.”
“That I know, but back then that girl was also-”
Kiriko stopped at that and went silent.
She grabbed her chin and started to think, before starting to talk again.
“I understand that you’re very frustrated, but I can’t do anything in this position. Now’s not a good time to trouble Ohara-sensei, right? And when we’re having a meeting there weren’t any reports related to the girl.”
…True that I’m the only person who’s not content with the current situation.
Nowadays Eve is starting to provoke Ayame more and more, but with the teachers she also acts the same. She’s not on the point of totally throwing her test. And even if she’s kinda dumb, she attended class like normal and didn’t start any major trouble.
“If you aren’t satisfied, it’s a problem that you must take care yourself. Take it as an opportunity to finally cut ties with ‘that’ event from long ago.”
“You sure make it seem easy.”
“I’m not forgiving her, but I have my own position to stay at so I can’t help you. If you want to win a war within yourself, you must be the person to solve the problem. Everybody will face their own problems at one point in their lives. However if you want to ask for some little things or let out some complaints, I can help.”
“One more thing… you can’t let that event be stuck in you forever. Better cut ties with it asap.”
“I told you to stop making it seem so easy.”
“You’re my relative, of course you can do it. Trust in yourself, even that Ayame was defeated by you. If you can defeat yourself, I’ll kiss your cheeks as a reward.”
“I don’t want that.”
Is it right to call it ‘defeating’?
I think luring her with a target or an eroge is a better choice.
After reporting the situation to Kiriko, I finally exited the school. Kiriko said that she would follow me back home later to eat dinner. I should tell mom about that first.
It was already 5:30pm when I reached home, I must have wasted a lot of time. Mom isn’t home yet so the house was very quiet.
I saw Kiyomi’s shoes, meaning that she went straight home right after her work. Funny that she didn’t take any trips, usually she’s always back late.
When I reached the second floor, Kiyomi opened her door slightly to plop her face through. The moment her eyes landed on me her face twisted to a grumpy complexion.
“Oh my god you’re so smelly! You cherry boy, you smell!”
Those were her first words, what a weird sister, no, what a weird person.
“…Hm? I’m not that smelly?!”
“You smell, you smell very bad! Quickly change your shirt and take a bath! Are you trying to kill me with your odor?”
“Eh. Fine fine.”
I feel annoyed so I wave my hand to chase her away.
On the other hand, Kiyomi blow the air through her nose that sounds “whoosh!” and then she slams the door thunderously as if she doesn’t want the air to flow in and out more than this.
“…Am I really that smelly? Well others say that since we’re used to our own smell from sweat so we cannot perceive our own,”
I enter my room and take off my uniform leaving with only my undershirt and pants behind. Then I pick up my outer shirt, a trouser and washed underpants and carry them downstairs. In fact, if Kiyomi saw me wearing only my underpants, it would be a big trouble. But looking at her, she should be keeping herself inside her own room for a while.
I throw some of my T-shirts and underpants into the washing machine near the sink. I check the water boiler, it appears that there has been somebody boiling the water for me already which is strange for during this moment.
Then I pick up my towel from the drying rack before sliding the door and entering the shower room.
“Well… it doesn’t seem to be that smelly,”
Since I got greeted about my body smell, so I cannot stop thinking too much of it too. This thing is still a tender fact as well even if there’s an outspoken person like Kiyomi who says as if she doesn’t have consideration on others.
While I was turning on the shower and waiting for the water to warm, I suddenly heard the door near the sink open. Before a shadow emerged on the other side of the opaque glass.
At first I thought that it maybe Kiriko was back? But no matter how I look at it its Kiyomi. She was doing something near the laundry machine. …Am I so smelly that you can’t bare to mix your clothes with mine, and came back to take the old shirts away? No, I can’t hear the opening sound of the laundry machine.
But whaever, its not some kind of event where the little sister invades my room or something. Which would be very bad if it were to happen.
Seems like whatever she ws doing, she’s done with it and went out.
“Oh, the water’s temperature is about right now.”
And when I touched the water from the shower to measure the temperature…
Wait, where did that sneeze came from!? It’s like it came from the bathtub… And even if its very low-key and subtle, but I thought I heard water splashing unnaturally.
I only thought about taking a shower, so I didn’t open the bathtub to check what was inside.
Hey, what is it? Robbers? Invaders? If he has a weapon I’m so dead. Just thinking about it sent shivers up my spine.
Should I open the bathtub, or should I run?
And while I was contemplating, the invader suddenly stood up from the bathup.
It was Ayame wearing a red bikini, standing shyly with her eyes closed.
Water droplets covered her healthy looking skin which were both seductive and smooth. The places that should be inflated were inflated, and places that should be thin were thin. If I was a normal highschooler I would’ve dived right in.
But the only thing I could think of in such a short time in this situation is…
I closed my tatically important spot with a towel with insane speed and turned my back on Ayame. Before reaching my hands out to the bathroom’s door.
“Why won’t it open!?”
Impossible! This door can’t be locked in the first place!
Ayame apologized uncomfortably over my back.
“…Ah, I know. If I recall correctly there’s one heroine hiding in the bathroom planning to surprise the protagonist right?”
“A-Hm. When I tried to consoled with Kiyomi, she cooperated and said ‘it seems fun’”
That girl, she planned everything right from the start?! She forced me to take an early bath by saying I’m smelly, and her entering the room just now, that’s why the water-heater is still turned on. And she must’ve hidden Ayame’s shoes somewhere.
That shallow troublesome sister! She had no problem with Ayame asking for something, If I knew that I would’ve prepared for this situation—Wait, how could I even prepare for such a bizarre situation!
“U- Uh, actually it should be a little different from this, but I accidently sneezed so…”
So she needed to reveal herself prematurely.
“But I think that heroine is totally naked though.”
“I can’t do that! I’m too shy!”
“Your shyness should exceed the max value right now for doing this.”
I accidently turned my face back to make a joke.
And saw Ayame in her bikini again.
Ayame must’ve been freezing, since she’s hugging herself to warm up, which kinda amplifies her chest size, making it stand out even more. Even if the person herself doesn’t know it.
“If it’s cold you can go back to the tub.”
Ayame slowly descending down the bathtub and submerged herself halfway. Kiyomi must’ve prepared the hot water beforehand. I’m shocked that my sister is capable of being kind.
“I can’t really tell how a girl’s body in the real world feels good to touch because I never touched the. I don’t know why having them ‘big’ is good, or why them being ‘small’ is better. I really don’t understand. All I can do is compare the sizes to my eroge and judge whether it’s good or bad.
“Then… Do you want to try touching?”
Ayame stood up with the water splashing everywhere.
She climbed out of the tub, still wet.
“I-if it’s you, even if you touch I won’t mind… I told you before right?”
Her face was beet-red, all the way to her neck.
Ayame approached me, as if offering up her body.
She was so near I could feel the heat radiating from her body, moreover I could feel her breathing air.
Her hands reached out to my backsides, and hugged me from the front.
“Your body, it’s so warm.”
The air previously in Ayame’s lungs gushed out on my body while saying that.
“I said stop! Don’t be this easy!”
I could only think of shallow words that is present in many eroges.
However, those words didn’t reach Ayame.
“Things like these I’ll only do it with you. If it’s now… No matter what you do… I’m prepared.”
She pushed her body even closer to me.
The sensation of her breast on my chest was already present initially. Even if there’s a fabric between them, it’s still on a very dangerous level.
I can feel her heart beating rigorously.
This is very risky, I don’t know why or how but I know it’s risky.
I know that I ain’t that aggressive that I will lose my mind just from this alone. But this is more of an unknown territory. I’m scared.
“…Why are you, doing this?”
“I’m in love with you, and I can never repay you for what you’ve done. If you ask for anything, I’ll do it for you… At least if it’s my purity I can give-“
“Stop speaking nonsense!”
“I’m speaking the truth …But I won’t force you.”
Let’s be serious here. You’re putting too much effort.
No matter what I won’t be attracted to this woman—I can’t bring myself to become attracted to a real girl.
“You’re not my ‘dream girl’. Stop saying nonsense.”
When I finished saying that, Ayame’s expression turned gloomy. She released her hands and took a step back.
“…Is that so.”
“Then, if I’m your dream girl it should be enough right? I’m very determined, I can tell you that.”
Wha, she’s not letting up
Why is she so attracted to me? What did I do?
“I wasn’t asking you to do anything for me. Just us talking about things as Otakus is enough as a payment.”
“That is a good proposition, but I want to further our relationship more.”
At this point I can only give up. If she’s this determined I have no choice but to let her.
“…Do whatever you want.”
“From now on I will try my hardest to become your dream girl. Just you wait…”
Are you serious.
It’s not that she can’t differentiate between reality and fiction
But even so, I don’t think Ayame have any long-term plan.
Whatever, I can wait half-scared and half-hopeful for now. She didn’t say that she would start to change right away.
“Oh I’m back!!!”
And when things are getting peaceful, on the verge of finally lifting the weight off my chest. I hear Kiriko’s voice echoing with sounds of footsteps. Why does she head straight first to the sink!?
Shit, should I ask Ayame to hide? No, hiding is no good!
And when I’m contemplating what to do, Kiriko reached the sink.
“…Seiichi, a weird time to take a bath. But can you explain me why there are two shadows behind the glass?”
A psychotic sound followed and I knew that Kiriko is picking up the piece of wood that was stopping the door from opening. And trying to open the bathroom door.
I quickly intercepted and pushed the door back.
“w-wait. Kiriko-san, I have an explanation!”
“Seiichi… Who is that person there?”
“There’s an explanation! Someone planned this, listen to me!”
“Let me punch you first, then we’ll talk!”
I can’t fight her at all!
At last, the door opened, Me and Ayame were lectured right away.
Even though the master mind was Kiyomi!
“Is she preparing to fight someone?” “Really?” “I don’t think so.” “Why did she do that?”
In an instant the whole school started to gossip about Ayame’s behavior yesterday. The rumors about Ayame always leaned towards gangfights and sidelines.
No matter what rumors, none of them hit the spot. There were no rumors that Ayame had good intentions of helping others.
“…I guess it wasn’t very effective.”
Hatsushiba said sadly as if it was her fault.
“I thought about the possibility of this happening. I never thought that everything would change abruptly over a single night. Let’s just continue our plans.”
And at that day’s homeroom,
“I want someone to help me on some things today, do I have any volunteers?”
Today Ohara-sensei acted weirder than usual. Asking someone to help him with his work.
While everybody seems to take no interest in volunteering, Ayame was the first person to raise her hands.
“I can do it.”
“Ah, Ayame-san. Really? I’m very happy.”
She closed her mouth shut, her face timid. Maybe she’s trying to stop her mouth from spewing ‘I’m not doing this for you’.
“A- Yes, Yuuka can help too.”
Hatsushiba raised her hands too.
If there was only Hatsushiba raising her hands, the boys would also try to look cool and raise their hands too. But with Ayame with her they are starting to waver.
“Hatsushiba-san, a, Aramiya-kun too. Oh, and Tosaki-kun. Thank you very much.”
Ohara sensei smiled widely without fear.
“Oh, Ayame-chi is such a good kid~ I can’t believe you’re a violent person.”
Suddenly, a sweet sweet voice mixed with sarcastic words floated up.
A group of girls nodded in union. They were the group that favors Eve.
Ayame asked forcefully, this isn’t good.
“Eh~ I see that it doesn’t seem to fit you. Like, a duck trying to imitate a swan or something like that~? There were stories of those in the fairy tales right?”
That’s not how the ‘ugly duck’ story went you idiot.
“The duck will always be a duck no matter what. Trying to be a swan wouldn’t help it change, rather, wouldn’t it be even more shameful?”
“Nah, I don’t want to be a swan, in fact, being a duck doesn’t seem that bad.”
“That image will never change, Ayame-chi is trying hard for nothing.”
“Say whatever you want, I haven’t even tried anything before this.”
That Eve really likes to find troubles. What does she want?
“Ah uh. Well then, I’ll end the homeroom right here! The 4 people just now, follow me.”
Ohara-sensei must’ve caught on to the Macu atmosphere, so she decided to quickly end it.
And so the homeroom was over, and when Ohara-sensei exited the room, we followed her.
“You did very good on enduring.”
While we were walking with the teacher, I opened up a conversation with Ayame.
“…u-uh. I can kinda handle it.”
Her face was still tense. But I’ll take that as a pass.
“By the way, what do you want us to do?”
When Tozaki asked, Ohara-sensei made a troubled face.
“Well, you see, someone sent in a huge pile of files and documents. And before the first period I need to carry them all away. But I alone won’t be able to carry them all so….”
Everything that is achievable by one person the teacher would always take care of it alone. If it was some other schools, the teachers would’ve used their students for their own works like it was normal. But Ohara-sensei isn’t that kind of person. However if time is a factor, she will ask for help.
When we reach the teacher’s room, there were 4 boxes of papers sitting still right in front.
“These are the packages.”
“Ok, you should prepare for your next period. Yuuka and everyone will start carrying them.”
“I’m sorry for the trouble. I’ll leave it to you then.”
Ohara-sensei left and swiftly entered the teacher’s room quickly hastefully.
I tried lifting a box, since it contains purely papers it was very heavy. A single person could probably carry one, but two would be too much.
“Hatsushiba, can you take it?”
“I can take it, Yuuka has been training.”
We then carried the boxes towards the meeting room.
Just when we were venturing in the halls.
“Yaho~ Oh I’m sorry to make your efforts useless.
Eve didn’t approach me, instead, she pushed herself onto Ayame.
“You look so serious~”
“You’re in the way, It’s getting hard to walk.”
“Oh, it isn’t that much of a problem. What, do you want to show your good side to Seiichi that much?”
“This isn’t related to you.”
Ayame replied with a tense face, not giving off any emotions. She was right, Eve still wasn’t letting up.
“No matter what you do your rumors won’t shift. It’s better if you give up don’t you think~? It’s much more easy that way.”
“The rumors has been piling up for who knows how many years, there’s no way you can change it you know~ Like an image that is stuck on you, its better if you leave it that way.”
I’m also reaching my limit. Hatsushiba’s expression was showing that she was ready to burst any minute.
“Hey Eve, stop messing around. The first period is almost starting, quickly go back to your room.”
“That’s not a problem, I do whatever I want to do.”
“I said stop messing with us.”
“I’m not messing around. I just want to get closer to Ayame-chi, that’s all.”
“You coming around randomly when people are trying to carry things isn’t called trying to get closer.”
“Hm? If I am really messing with you shouldn’t I do this~?”
Eve then pushed herself into Ayame abruptly.
Ayame fell due to imbalance, the box in her hand fell down. The glue tapes must have not been placed correctly and the documents inside spread all over the floor.
“You! Stop playing around!”
Hatsushiba was at her limit.
“Eh, I didn’t do anything!”
“Just now you pushed Cotton!”
“I-I wasn’t meaning to cause her to fall. Ayame-chi tripped over herself.”
True that from my perspective, she was just trying to annoy Ayame more than trying to make her fall down.
But Ayame’s legs must’ve tripped over the thing that on the floor, so she tripped.
“If you haven’t tried to mess around it won’t be like that! And how is it different from you pushing her!”
“a-u-u… I didn’t mean for this…”
“Do you think just ‘didn’t mean to’ is enough as an apology? If it became a bigger problem what are you gonna do? If her head smashed and she received serious injury will you be able to take responsibility!? Do you even think before acting? You’re in highschool!? You should know what happens when a person gets hurt! You took advantage of cotton’s kindness and jumped on the opportunity! Really Yuka shouldn’t be speaking this way, but Yuka can’t stand it anymore! Stop acting crazily you Rhino!”
Eve who till now hasn’t budge even when faced with Ayame’s murderous gaze.
Was shocked at Hatsushiba’s machine gun-like lectures.
“I-its not related to me! Hmmmm(TL note: Frustrated sound, that’s how we do it in Thai. Maybe you can find a better one, Mr.Editor). U-u.”
Eve then quickly sprinted away.
“Yuuka, uh… Thanks for saying what I wanted.”
“No problem, compared to what Yuuka’s done to you, this is nothing.”
“Don’t worry, just talking to Yuuka like this makes me feel better already.”
“Cotton… Mhm! Yuuka is happy”
And after finishing their shy and Yuri conversation. Ayame dragged her gaze to the mess of documents on the floor.
“Sorry, you guys can go first, I’ll just put this back in place first.”
“Hah… Damn it, I’ll help. Let’s start quickly, you don’t need to try to do this alone.”
Hatsushiba picked up some of the documents lying around and handed it to Ayame.
“Here, Yuuka will help you collect more.”
“Thank you Hatsushiba.”
Tozaki was still standing still, trying to figure out what to do. I should ask him to help with something else.
“Tosaki, you go alone first. Tell the teacher we’ll be arriving late. Hope the person will understand.”
“Copy that, sorry I can’t stay.”
“Just tell sensei what’s going on.”
Tozaki nodded and carried his own share of box to the meeting room. Before running back to class.
“Will this be ok? Aramiya, Yuuka.”
“If you’re the only one late, Sensei will misunderstand you.”
“Today the first subject is literature, and Murakami-sensei is pretty scary. If we don’t tell him before we enter the class then-“
“I’m really sorry”
“Let’s just quickly clean up”
“Will Tozaki-kun be able to explain things properly…”
“If not then I allow you to beat him up, Ayame.”
“…You sure are merciless against Tozaki.”
In the end our worry was for naught. When we reached our room, nobody complained about anything.
“Ok, what should be our next step…”
On lunch break the four of us walked around the school randomly, trying to find something to do.
Exiting the school building to walk outside under the clear sky feels pretty good. But too bad there isn’t any extra bonuses for going outside. Maybe people were too fearful of Ayame. We saw no one in any kind of trouble at all.
And when we took our uneventful trip to our class, Hosoe—a girl in our class- was standing and making hateful noises in front of a locker. The locker is a 2 level, but the height reaches only up to the chest. So she needed to bent down her legs.
“Are you ok? Class leader.”
Hatsushiba opened up the conversation cooly, and Hosoe approached her while crying.
“hu- Yuka~ I can’t open the locker~ I lost the locker keys~”
“oh, let’s report to sensei as quickly as we can then.”
“That’s right, but I need to open it right now… Plus I need to go to my clubroom before the lunch break is over…”
“Do you remember when you lost the keys?”
“I asked a friend to help, but she can’t find it… What should I do~”
And at that moment, Ayame asked Hosoe.
“Just opening it is enough right?”
“Eh, ah, a , mhm…”
Hosoe nodded lightly.
“Yuka, do you have any badges? Anything that has a needle is fine.”
“A, mhm. I do have one…”
And so Yuka picked out one of the ornaments on her bag. Ayame took it and used the ornament’s needle that functioned as an anchor on the bag and started to do something to the lock.
2 seconds later, the lock opened with a small ‘kuk’ sound.
Hosoe was stunned.
Tosaki, me and Hatsushiba doesn’t know hat to do.
“Key locks are easy locks. If you know the basics anybody could open it easily. Just poke around and it comes off easily.”
“So try not to put important stuff inside is the better choice.”
Ayame honestly advised… But hey, is this a good idea?
I mean, unlocking the lock is cool and all, but this is like Ayame telling that, she could easily commit lockpicking anytime she wants.
I don’t think that Ayame would steal anything, but doing this might spark some negative rumors…
“T-Thank you~ Ayame-san.”
But I was probably thinking too far, Hosoe just sighed in true relief.
“So the rumors that Ayame-san stopped being a gangster is true. Yesterday I saw you between the P.E. Equipment room and at the dump. Usually me at the basketball club should be the one to carry the equipments, but seeing 4 people do it instead is pretty surprising.”
Looks like Hosoe looks at Ayame without any prejudice. A very good sign that not everybody follows rumors. If Ayame knew that there are people were actually watching her, it might give her some boost in self-esteem.
“Ah, I need to go to the clubroom now! Thanks for the help, bye!”
Hosoe picked up a small pouch from the locker and said thank you and quickly exited the room.
Hatsushiba looked back at Hosoe and smiled at Ayame.
“By the way Ayame, why are you doing this?”
When I said that, Ayame shuddered before turning stiff.
She bit her lips into a straight line. And made a worried face.
And after that she went silent for a while.
Ayame lightly knocked her won head and made a face akin to saying “Oops, I slipped up (:D)” It doesn’t really fit her and Hatsushiba and Tosaki were dumbfounded.
“Don’t act innocent! No matter how I look at it you’re hiding something. You can’t trick me no matter how cute your try to be.”
“Well… I did practice a lot.”
What did you practice for?
“It isn’t anything that impressive, just that during middle school my locker was a key-lock. So I did lockpicking on my own locker several times due to people loving to steal my keys to prank me.”
“You were that good since before?”
I can’t believe it, shouldn’t the situation be similar to the situation now?
In highschool, I never saw anybody brave enough to prank her… I hope she doesn’t pop up a plot twist along the line of ‘oh, they’re all fist food now’ or something similarly terrifying like that.
“There’s this one girl who always want to find trouble with me. But I can’t be sure since I don’t know if she’s really the culprit? But seeing from the situation I think she’s the sole mastermind.”
Hatsushiba opened her eyes wide.
“Did this happen back then on 7th grade? We were not in the same class….”
“It’s that person, the one that faked her bone-fracturing.”
When Ayame said that, Hatsushiba seems to be able to recall the exact personl.
“But I already said before that I never used this technique in a negative way.”
I heard that and was relieved.
Ayame isn’t the type of woman who would steal someone else’s belongings.
From then on for the whole week we helped others out all the time.
If you were to ask me whether this method was effective, I couldn’t really say. But on the other hand we just started this project, so asking for the results right away isn’t plausible.
And most importantly, today we are going to see a different kind of results
“A, uh, so how was it Ayame…”
Ayame was smiling so hard to the point that it was creepy.
“I never got this kind of score since elementary school. If I flip it upside down I’ll get 89 points!”
“I told you not to flip it upside down. People are getting confused, so you got 68 huh. And other subjects?”
This time Ayame picked out the answer sheet to me enthusiastically.
Hatsushiba, Tozaki, and I saw Ayame’s score and…
“English and Physics are a little above average.”
“Literature and math is roughly above 40. Not the average but it still counts as a pass.”
“And other memory-based subjects, are all above average. You’re good…”
We got some hints and advices from Ohara and Kiriko-sensei on English and Physics.
Even if we did cram everything on the night before the test, at least we escaped the worst case scenario of failing the finals.
No fails, must’ve been the best results she’s got.
“Thanks, Aramiya, Yuuka, and Tosaki too.”
Ayame sent smiles all over the place. She’s smiling really hard. Her making this face in the middle of the class is quite an unusual site to behold.
“Cotton tried her hardest.”
Hatsushiba hugged Ayame tightly.
Ayame also hugged Hatsushiba back. They sure are close together…”
“Hah… I feel that a mountain has been lifted off my chest, if I fail any of the test I’ll be quite stressed.”
Tosaki nodded in relief.
I’m just gonna add that Hatsushiba got above 80 on every subject easily. And she says that she hasn’t studied a single book…
“This time Yuka made more silly mistakes than usual. If I was a little more calm then…”
Tosaki got a better score than usual. And above average in many subjects.
“When I teach someone else, me myself start to remember things better. It’s like reviewing myself.”
I got a pretty average score. No subjects where I got below average. My parents and Kiriko shouldn’t complain.
“Ok then, let’s just say we passed this test well.”
We need to emphasize the good part of the rumors to the people, and lessen the reliability of the bad ones. Even if it won’t fix the problem instantly, but Ayame getting an ok score must have quite an impact on the rumors. That is what I believe.
Truth be told, just us 4 talking changed the atmosphere in the class by a margin.
“Ayame got above the mean.” “Is she cheating?” “Did we really get less than that Ayame…”
Some people accused her of cheating, others were feeling depressed from getting lower than Ayame. Not strange considering the fact that before, she not only skipped classes, but seems unable to proceed to the next grade. Seeing someone like that surpassing yourself should be quite a shock.
‘A-ayame-chi… You’re not as dumb as me!?”
Eve was unsastisfied at seing Ayame’s score. And her faced wrinkled into frustration.
Ayame can’t hold it in anymore and retorted with a prideful face.
“Yeah, I’m dumb! But I have good tutors to help me.”
“Hmph… Taking Seiichi for yourself I see…!”
Eve grated her teeth in frustration.
I’m feeling a slight guilty pleasure from Eve’s pained face. I really want to help Ayame add to the pain…
And there are some people who are watching Ayame from afar.
“No, maybe she really did studied hard for this test.” “Now that you say it, I saw her In the library reading books.”
Hosoe got first place, and doesn’t act openly wary of Ayame like before.
Even if the problem is rooted deep, but there are still some people who are open to the truth that things are changing.
Even if the cause of the change is Eroge!(lol)
Ah… Eroge games are such a magnificent gift from god. People should use it as a guide to personality change for the better. I believe that people who are addicted to these games will learn something valuable from the protagonist. Getting the taste of paradise is very important for our life.
But if we stop here, things will go back to its past state.
“Ok, let’s go to the library, today we’re reviewing our midterms.”
“Eh, Aramiya-kun, today we’re going to study~!?”
Hatsushiba looked at me as if seeing a ghost. The ghost is you, not me.
“of course, during midterm uses the cram technique to study the night before the test. That method will make you forget everything on the day after cramming. It takes 3 whole days to take back those memories. And we’re not reading for too long, just reviewing. I have a part-time job this night too, so don’t worry.
Ayame smiled to comfort Hatsushiba who was really worried for her.
“Don’t worry Yuuka, studying has become pretty fun lately. Let’s quickly go.”
And so after school, we revisited the library.
We looked at the Ayame’s answer sheet on the table and review the questions together.
Hatsushiba was very vocal on explaining each question that were mistaken to Ayame.
“Math, especially Triganometry, has many mistakes.”
“Ugh… Fin, Cocaine, and ayame?”
“Sine, Cosine, and tangent. Whatever, remembering the name isn’t that important.”
I fixed her vocabulary without mercy, this girl really fine weird ways to remember things.
“Sin and Cosine is always mixed up here, don’t you think so?”
She said confusingly, or our heads might see different things.
We slowly catch each weak points in Ayame. And are now trying to come up with a plan for our next mission.
“Everybody, are you tired?”
I heard a refreshing voice flying nearby.
I turned my face back to see Sitani hugging his book. His hands that barely escaped the cloth’s fabrics looks real cute.
But his feminine voice is sending chill down my spines. He should have an easy time voice-acting a heroine in an eroge. I could guess that he hasn’t reached his voice breaking age. But it is still scary to hear.
Truth be told If he wasn’t wearing a male uniform, I would’ve mistook him for a girl. And what do the other male student in his room react to him? Do they feel impure
…And I think that he was bullied by the senpais who finished middle school. If then, how did he live his life during middle school?
Ok, that’s enough. I should stop thinking about this.
“A-are you ok?”
“N-no, it’s nothing. U-uh, I don’t have any special business here… D-did I trouble you?”
Saitani held the book in front of his mouth, his attitude is so feminine it’s scary. If this isn’t real life, I would have said something careless.
“…Saitani-kun. Are you really a boy? Even Yuuka is starting to not believe so.”
Even Hatsushiba is confused on how to look at Saitani.
“I’m totally a boy, my citizen-ship card said so. I was also unsure so I went to check it out a while ago!”
Even you aren’t sure? If I have your ‘little brother’ stuck to your body you shouldn’t even bother to check your sex…
“Ah, Seining…” “Hmm…”
Tosaki was making a terrified face, and Ayame was unable to react normally.
“Ok, back to business, you’re not a trouble Sitani, you can visit us anytime… Ah, oh, wait, I have a question for you. Like, I want to spread good rumors around—“
I explained Ayame’s situation to him briefly.
He is Ayame’s important ally, I don’t want Ayame’s rumors, especially the wrong ones, to spread to the lower grades. According to Kiyomi, the legend of heroism is still much more prominent. But the kids are here in the school for 2 months already, and the rumors about Ayame not being pure and doing sidelines aren’t spreading yet, but it could at any moment.
The senpais aren’t important since they’re going to graduate before us for a year anyways. And worst comes to worst they will still misunderstand even after they graduated. We can’t expect the future to go our way all the time so we needn’t worry too much.
But if leave it here, the rumors will infect the younger mass and to the even younger ones. So we need to end it here, if the rumors were to spread again, it might be on the level of the school’s seven mysteries.
“Before this I think saw you helping in the equipment room. I think that is a very good thing.”
“But we can’t always find good deeds to do…”
“Oh? I’m lacking personals over here. Especially when carrying the books in. We really want to ask for help. And there are jobs left like throwing the trashes or plucking weeds. And many other voluntary jobs available.”
Hmm, so not only helping the teachers, but also helping out other factions.
We have many directors, examples are the ones on the parent, library, ecosystem, clinic, manpower, newspaper… And other temporary ones like school events and elections. Wow, there sure are a lot.
“If so, do you have anything you want us to help in the library?”
“Let me think, there’s going to be a period of time that we will be carrying books into the library so that might be quite troublesome. Even if the books are delivered with carriers(TL note: Something with wheels, I can’t remember the name. Functions similar to a fork lift I think.), but the problem lies in the picking them out and sorting them into the bookcases…”
As he talked it seems that the ‘period of time’ is arriving soon. I saw carriers with large numbers of cardboard boxes on it.
“That’s a lot of books to bring in one go?”
“Books that nobody reads. It won’t take long for it to be changed… People nowadays don’t read as much books anymore, I feel a little lonely…”
He made a lonely face and almost successfully lured me into suddenly hugging him. Let’s just say I believe my brain malfunctioned a bit for a second there.
“Good, then since we have already finish our review, to be more specific our midterm reviews, we should help him. What do you think Ayame?”
“A-uhm. Why not? This time I’ll do it alone.”
“What are you saying Cotton, Yuka will also help.”
When Hatsushiba starts moving, Tosaki wants to show his cool side and decides to follow suit.
“I’ll help too, I can’t let Sinieng carry heavy things alone.”
“I guess I’ll add myself in.”
I just gotta say, in this kind of atmosphere, saying ‘good luck!’ and walking away is an impossibility.
“Are you sure? Everyone…”
Don’t worry, this is a problem relating to Cotton. Yuka is in Aramiya-kun’s debts too. Seeing Aramiya-kun eliminate the rumors about Cotton, how can we not help.”
So its decided that everybody stays to help.
“Eh? Ayame-san… Kotoko-san, will come help…?” At first the male director of the library was a little confused, but when we stayed to help until everything was over, it seems that he was much more satisfied.
…Eroge club helping the Library director, what was the point of our club again? It’s quite confusing, but doing something tangible is a good start.
“You helped us out a lot, if we finished later than this we won’t be able to watch Hiciwatch(TL note:Pronounced High-cie-watch, I don’t know what it means)”
So he’s intent on watching an anime that streams during the night. I feel like I’m developing a friendship to the Library director a little.
And so Ayame and I separated from hatsushiba and Tosaki to walk back home.
“Sitani said that ‘the dirctors of the library see you in a better light’, I think this one was a success.”
Every class must send a representative to become a director for something. But maybe not a library director.
But that means that every class will have a student that knows how Ayame was serious on helping out. Surely, there may be some people who hasn’t completely believe that Ayame changed, but it still could be a reason to question the rumors floating around.
“A-hm. For some reason listening to that makes me tickle.”
One part of it must stem from the fact that, when a bully does something good, even if it seems minuscule, people will feel good. Truth be told I hate this kind of logic, people who has done good all the time is far better.
But we need to take advantage of this logic, in the end even if I hate it, but we humans are beings that uses logic to judge. Hating it won’t help anything.
“Here, you damn virgin. You should reward Ayame-san too you know.”
Kiyomi joined us, when she finished room and came to join us I do not know, and she said that.
“Well, she didn’t fail her test, and she also helped out in various things according to shallow plans by a burnt tomato like you. She did all that without any rewards given to her. I think as a human being that’s a little strange. But whatever, I understand that Burnt tomatoes aren’t humans, but something much less complex than a Euglena.
I also don’t know, but Euglena is very low on the evolutionary line don’t you know?
“Let’s ignore that, let’s just say that you should give her some kind of reward. Its your money!”
When she was the one to talk I always get mad.
But.. She was partially right.
Truthfully, giving rewards is like placing yourself on a higher plane. And luring people with rewards can make people forget why they did the good deed in the first place. People who sees a clear reward usually does it for the reward, not for him or herself.
But Ayame isn’t that type of person so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem. She’ll take it as giving the reward as a motivation.
“Then Ayame, can you visit my house for abit? I have something to give you.”
“Thank Kiyomi, I ain’t the one to come up with the idea.”
“You really don’t know anything at all. Sorry that my virgin brother is so unreliable.
And so we reached home, I entered my own room with Ayame.
I let Ayame sit on the bed, and I went on to search the closet.
“If I remember correctly, I should’ve kept it here…”
I picked up a pile of eroge and place it outside, as if being punished by placing rocks in a pile in hell.
“That’s a whole lot… You bought every single one of them?”
“Of course, but some of them I purchased during sales.”
Ayame was stunned, because it really was a lot.
I don’t think I threw ‘that’ game away. Thinking that I continued with my search.
And at last, when I was keeping the games on the third row.
I found the box for ‘Princess-Weekday’ special edition that was first to be published with the silver-haired princess on the the box.
I wasn’t thinking about giving this game away, initially because this was one of the first eroge Ayame started with. The content isn’t that different.
But I picked out something from inside, a badge with an apple picture on it.
“Here, have it.”
“This is, the one Ritie wore in the game?”
The special edition also added a pillow, a side song, and this badge.
This is the thing that heroine Ritie got from the Protangonist. And in game she said, ‘I’ll keep it well!’ it was an important scene in the story, and this badge was an important item.
‘Princess-weekday’ special first-publised edition is no longer found in stores.
To be specific, it’s a rarity.
“If you don’t like it—“
I was thinking about giving her something else, but…
“No, I want it! T-thanks!”
Ayame leaped onto me and use her two hands to cover mine which has the badge contained in a plastic bag.
“Y-you don’t need to be that excited. Here, have it.”
“I really want this, I try to find it in online auctions but found none.”
“You really want it that bad…”
Ayame got the badge and jumped around jovially.
She then stuck the badge to her uniform. Is that a good idea?
…It was an extra feature for first publishing too. I was feeling a little regretful for losing it.
But all’s good. I think that she will find a better use for it than me who would just let it rot in my closet.
Moreover, if she’s this happy, I feel that I’ve given her a meaningful prize…
“Please put it carefully away okay?”
And since it was Ayame, I’m sure she will take a good care of it for sure.
*END OF CHAPTER 3*
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