Sunday, June 25, 2023

Too Many Losing Heroines! V5 Chapter 3 & Intermission

Chapter 3: Tried to Shoot the General, But the Horse Is Too Strong

Translator: Pingas

The next day, after school. I’m at the downtown library, not far away from the station.

The library takes up the second and third floors of the building. There are even activity spaces and cafes on the stair platforms.

Initially, trendy areas like this were my enemy. However, it’s a library, after all. The atmosphere is a mixture of energy and peacefulness. It’s comfortable.

I’m sitting in the double-seat room. I flipped open the book as I remembered what happened yesterday.

The secret investigation in Momozono Middle School.

I found out one thing in the end- Tachibana-kun is an actual person. This fact already pushed me toward my limit, yet I even heard Kaju flirting with him.

Regrettably, I’m not a siscon. That’s why the damage isn’t fatal, but I’m still recovering.

…Well, Kaju is a second-year student in middle school, after all. It’s normal for her to have a male friend, right?

Yep, even though I didn’t even have a male friend then, it’s not weird for Kaju to have a friend of the opposite sex. They are just friends.

Compared to that, the open day tour at the weekend is more important.

I attempted to avoid reality as I turned to the information page in the novel.

My club magazine draft has no progress, yet another undeniable fact.

I jotted some notes in my notebook for ideas. Then, my phone screen flashed on the table.

I took a look. It’s Komari texting me on Line.

<Where are you slacking off from club activities?>

…My my, what a misunderstanding. This is a part of proper club activities as well.

There’s no time to care about Komari. I flipped my phone over after telling her I was writing the draft in the library.

I’m thinking about the short novel to be published in the club magazine.

The setting is about a mysterious and beautiful FMC appearing next to the FMC, yet I haven’t decided on the key heroine yet.

“A good idea doesn’t just come out on a whim…”

I closed the book and stretched my back before looking out the window.

The window is on the right-hand side of this room. You can see the view through the curtains.

There’s a plaza made of stone slabs outside the building. A bunch of high school students are on their way home.

…By the way, couples are everywhere.

This is a double seat as well. Come to think of it, the seats before and behind me also seem occupied by couples.

If only these people need to pay more sales tax- I thought about that. Then, a Tsuwabuki school bag is placed on the table.

“Eh, Komari, what are you doing here?”

The owner of the school bag is Chika Komari. She looked around before whispering.

“Hey, move inside.”

I followed her order despite the slight confusion. She sat at the edge of my seat.

“Y-You didn’t come to the club. Right, w-what are you going to about the open day on S-Sunday?”

“I told you I was thinking about the draft for the club magazine. I’m researching but can’t think of a good FMC, no matter what.”

Komari reached her hand out toward the book I just read.

“Y-You mean this illustrated book of microbial?”

“Yes, I think mysterious FMCs are on the rise. That’s why this may give me some hints.”

Komari flipped the pages. She shook her head and closed the book.

“E-Even so, isn’t this too hard? Y-You should consider how good you are.”

I have the same feeling.

Alright, I’ll just use a cat ear maid with glasses as the FMC this time. The most important thing is to be honest about your desires.

“Well, what about you, Komari? Are you finished?”

“I-I wrote the continuation of the Mishima and Dazai’s isekai adventure.”

…? Isn’t that Tsukinoki-senpai’s novel?

“Uh, is that something like a relay novel?”

“S-Senpai didn’t agree to it. M-Mishima’s on top.”

…I can’t believe this girl dares to go for a forbidden reverse.

Well, contacting the third-year students during this period is pretty hard.

Tsukinoki-senpai’s already applied to 5 universities. She got rejected by one of them already.

As for Tamaki-senpai, he finished his Common Test for University Admissions and is preparing for the second exam for national universities. He seems to meet the minimum requirement already, but this is only the start of the match.

“Anyway, I’ll finish before Sunday. Please relax.”

“W-When are you going to b-bind it?’

I scratched my cheeks and looked away.

“Uh, Komari and Yanami-san’s novels can be printed first. I’ll print my part in a convienence store and let the visitors bind them.”


I nodded smugly.

“An experience in making a club magazine. Even I think it’s a good idea.”

“I-It’s just chores. S-Stay up all night and write it.”

Komari is being unprecedently cold.

“I didn’t go to the club room because of this. Tomorrow’s a holiday. Give me a break. I’ll be there on Friday.”

I started writing in the notebook purposefully. Then, Komari pressed her fingertips together restlessly.

“What’s wrong? Is there something else?”

“U-Uh, Yanami said we should do something else than than the club magazine.”

Yanami said that? In other words-

“Whatever she’s thinking must be a pain in the ass. Give her a piece of gum when you’re hearing her out. She’ll forget it.”

Komari’s still fiddling with her fingers with her head plopped down despite my advice.

“If it’s so troublesome that not even gum can fool her, we can just give her fried rice or something-”

“T-The open day is on Valentine’s. T-That’s why she wants to make obligatory chocolate a-and bring them here.”

Valentine’s Day, right? Yeah, it’s at this weekend.

My mental state is crippled due to Kaju. Come to think of it, this whole fiasco is started by handmade chocolates…

“Well, what does obligatory chocolate have to do with the open day, anyway?”

“She said i-if that’s the case, let’s also give some to the visitors. …C-Crush them with girl power.”

…There’s no way, right? The Literature Club girls are the farthest away from the concept of girl power. Yanami can definitely crush it if it’s about chugging chocolate, though.

“But giving out chocolates sounds nice too. Well, do you best.”

Ignoring the other two, Komari should be fine.

I was about to return to my draft, yet Komari lowered her head. Her body slid toward me bit by bit.

“B-By the way, I-I heard about the stalking- from Yakishio.”

She heard it that quickly? I sighed and put down the pen again.

“It’s not stalking. It’s a secret investigation. I’m on justice’s side even if I’m a stalker.”

Komari looked around vigilantly before lowering her voice and mumbling.

“...D-Don’t you want to know more about the guy your little sister is into?”

“Eh, that’s-”

-It’s still not certain whether Kaju has a thing for Tachibana-kun.

However, that is certainly a possibility based on their conversation yesterday.

I couldn’t escape from reality after Komari said that.

Gulp. I listened to the voice from my throat like I had nothing to do with it as I answered deeply.

“...I’m listening.”

Komari took out a book and placed it on the table quietly.

The title is "Strategies to Draw Out the True Feelings of Someone You're Interested In".

What is that? I tilted my head, yet Komari puffed up her chest chicly.

“I-I can ask her about that boy w-with my communication skills.”

That’s absolutely impossible. I immediately answered in my head, but I didn’t say it. This is a mature response. I grabbed the book and checked it.

Let’s see. The author has a degree in psychology from an American university. She’s a counselor at a foreign-owned company. I don’t understand at all, but this seems trustworthy. The author looks beautiful in the photo as well.

“Got it. However, how are you two going to meet? You don’t know my little sister, right?”


Komari put her hand on her chest and took a deep breath.

“T-The chocolate we ate in the clubroom last time w-was really good. I-I hope your little sister can teach me.”

With that, Komari sighed and showed a relieved expression.

In other words, she wants to get some info from Kaju using making chocolates as an excuse. But the one doing it is Komari…

“Umm, my little sister can be pretty assertive. Are you okay with that?”

My subtle advice isn’t heeded at all. Komari raised her chest proudly once more.

“L-Leave it to me. I have a long experience of being an older sister.”

I have a long experience of dealing with my little sister as well, you know?

Although I’m slightly worried, I think this suggestion doesn’t sound bad at all.

“Where are you going to learn making chocolates?”

“U-Uh, …N-Nukumizu’s h-house, ..well…”

Komari fiddled with her fingers. She lowered her head and stopped moving.

Hmm, I didn’t hear her properly, but I guess she wants to use my home as the place, right?

Come to think of it, Dad and Mom said they are going to the cinema on tomorrow’s holiday.

“That’s fine. My parents aren’t home tomorrow too. Come to my house, Komari.”

Yep, that’s good. My brilliant suggestion made Komari jump up. She’s blushing.

“Ueh!? Y-Your parents aren’t home!?”

Didn’t I tell you? Why are you so startled?

“You want to learn to make chocolate from my little sister, right? It’s more convenient in my house. Komari can have an easier time when my parents aren’t home too.”

“R-Really? Y-Your little sister is there?”

“Of course. What else are you coming for?”

“...G-Go die.”

Why did she scold me?

But that comes in handy. I almost didn’t talk to Kaju at all yesterday.

If she knew about the eavesdropping, I thought there would be some kind of reaction. However, Kaju was completely normal. It turned into me trying to avoid her instead.

I thought about just leaving it there. However, it’s harder to talk about these things the longer you postpone it.

“It would be a great help if you can have a chat with my little sister. I can prepare all the ingredients. You can just bring your body to my house, Komari.”

“B-Body!? D-D-Do you have any idea what you’re t-talking about!?”

What? Did I say something weird?

“Anyway, please calm down first. I’m writing the draft. Well, what is Komari going to do?”

“U-Uh, I’m going to read!”

I said that as I handed her a book.

Komari took the book and opened it. Alright, let’s read the textbook to prepare for tomorrow.

I glanced at her after a while. Komari is already utterly immersed in that book.

Now I can hear Kaju’s sincere thoughts tomorrow- ah, wait, I handed her that microbial book.

“Excuse me, Komari. That book’s-”

Komari isn’t interested in the textbook at all. She mumbled quietly.

“Z-Zooplankton, …chromista, …campylobacter, …hehe…”

…She seems to be enjoying it. Let’s not disturb her and focus on my draft.

I turned around calmly and continued writing in the notebook with my pen.


Literature Club Report - Extra Edition

<Within a Dirty and Tainted World> by Chika Komari

[TL: BL warning.]

Some people aren’t supposed to exist in this world- they are often called “Irregulars”.

They control powers that exceed the logic of this world and even defy magic.

These people are also known as the reincarnated. They are destined to wander without end.

Zavit Royal Magic Academy. Midnight.

A man in kimono is wandering around wobbly along the night breezes.

He slowly took out a small bottle from his chest and opened the cap.

The man- Dazai, shrugged and suddenly said the following.

“...Didn’t you die from meningitis?”

After a while, another man appeared from the darkness behind.

“Didn’t you die as well? Yet you still look like a mackerel swimming in thin air.”

The man’s name is- Chuya.

He narrowed his eyes at the exasperated Dazai before nonchalantly closing the distance between them.

“Great timing. I’m here to welcome you. Even though I don’t like you, the old men in the guild wants your help.”

Dazai’s face turned stiff after hearing that.

“I’m not going. Sorry. Tell that to them.”

Chuya ignored him and reached his hand out.

Dazai reflexively shook off his hand. As for Chuya- he disappeared suddenly.


Dazai’s confusion isn’t from Chuya’s disappearance alone.

He was next to the school building.

However, they are standing in the school’s training forest right now. It takes an hour of walk to get here from where he was.

“Chuya, what is-”

“How come you’re drinking such good alcohol? Did you surrender to the hegemony?”

Chuya chugged the sake.

“Ah! That’s my sake!”

The sake bottle Dazai held appeared in Chuya’s hand for some reason.

“Just come with me, alright? Unlike the other world, people in the guild understand my poetry. You might brighten up a little if you follow me.”

“No, I’m doing alright over-”

Chuya reached his hand out toward Dazai again. At that moment, a white light flashed between the two of them.

The bottle split into two. The amber liquid is sparkling under the moonlight.

“My sake!”

The two screamed at the same time. A man in a military uniform appeared before them with a drawn sword.

“Please don’t approach that man, Dazai-san.”

“Mishima-kun? Great. I’m getting real tired of this boring guy.”

Chuya glared at Mishima sharply. The latter readied his pose.

“Are you Dazai’s lackey? Will you go easy on me?”

Mishima waved his sword silently. He learned the technique - Enate during his time as an adventurer.

A flash of light split the sky and blazed across Chuya, who was standing from afar.

"Go ahead, give it your best shot! Don't hold back just because he’s the guild leader. It's just a little swordplay, so don't worry about hitting him."

“Dazai-san, I really want to hit him. No, on top of that-”

Mishima is nervous. Chuya hmphed in contempt.

“You’re using some sort of skill, right? What’s your shitty skill?”

“My skill is <Conviction>. The attack shall never miss as long as I’m determined. There’s nothing that I can’t cut through.”

Mishima lowered his blade and readjusted his sword to aim directly at Chuya. The latter’s mocking smile grew even bigger.

“None of your attacks shall hit their marks under my <Intoxication>. A fellow like you can’t even cut through tofu.”

Mishima continued swinging his sword, yet none of the attacks connected as if it was a nightmare.

Chuya went past the dumbfounded Mishima and approached Dazai leisurely.

“Wait, let’s talk! How about we call it a day for today?”

“Fine, I’ll let Mishima go, but you’re coming with me. We have things to settle.”


Dazai turned around and ran. Chuya laughed and followed him.

“You’re not getting away!”

Mishima threw away his sword and opened his arms. He’s going to slam him with his body.

Then, Mishima felt dizzy for a moment. Dazai, who was supposed to be running away, hit his body onto Mishima. The two rolled on the floor.

“Dazai-san!? You need to run away-”

Mishima realized the scene before him wasn’t the familiar forest before he could finish his sentence- Instead, it was a bottomless cliff.

He would’ve leaped off if Dazai didn’t stop him.

“Is this…?”

Mishima is confused. Dazai helped him get up.

Chuya stood from a distance. He pinched the corner of his sailor hat and spat on the floor.

“Hmph, I would’ve seen a failed tightrope walk in midair if you hadn’t noticed.”

“...I see. I see.”

Dazai spoke up in a peaceful tone.

“What does that mean?”

“Your <Intoxication> isn’t simply about dodging attacks. It's a combination of perception interference and reality manipulation. The trigger for activation is- when an attack is directed towards you, right?”

Chuya fell silent for a while. He smacked his tongue displeased.

“...How did you find out?”

“I’m a bit of a coward, you see. That’s why I added a little bit of wake-up potion.”

Dazai took out a second sake bottle from his chest.

“Your <Intoxication> only works on normal people. It’s rather kind for lonely drunkards like us.”

Dazai picked up the sword on the floor and shoved it into Mishima’s hand.

“Alright, I’ll forgive you. Let’s teach him a little lesson.”

“But Dazai-san, his skill will activate if I attack him.”

“It’s not a big deal once you know the secret. Mishima-kun’s skill is <Conviction>, right? Skills are different than magic. It involves reality and concept. The power of a skill depends on the user’s mental strength when two skills collide.”

Dazai took a sip of sake. He was practically licking the bottle.

“You can swing as long as you believe in your skill. However, your blade needs to point upward. You’ll sober up even on the inside if you swing too recklessly.”

Dazai stared at the blade without moving. He moaned.

“...I’m not falling for it. Your skill is <Liar>, right? A third-rate thug like you wouldn't know the rules of skills."

“Ah, you’re right. Kawabata-sensei kept his mouth shut. It took me a lot of effort on bed to get him to spill out the beans.”

Mishima stopped Dazai, who still wanted to talk. He took a step forward.

“Dazai-san, I’ll deal with the rest.”

The blade of his sword- is still pointing downward.

Chuya kept staring at the two of them. His shoulder suddenly dropped.

“...Alright, you guys are too strong. I’ll let you two go today.”

Chuya swept off the dust on his cape as he said that. He turned around and left.

Mishima wanted to go after him, yet Dazai shook his head and stopped him.

“Let’s leave it here. Who knows if they have traps ahead?”

Mishima glared at the darkness Chuya disappeared into it and sheathed his sword.

“...But Dazai-san, do you know that guy?”

“Chuya? A lot happened in the other world with him. Let’s just go back and drink. Come with me, Mishima-kun.”

Dazai scratched his head as he walked. Mishima suddenly grabbed Dazai’s collar.

“Hey, what’s wrong, Mishima-kun?”

"...I heard that nothing happened between you and Kawabata-san, is that true?"

“All of that was lies. Don’t tell me you believe it- hey, are you listening?”

Mishima’s powerful arms surrounded Dazai’s waist.

“I know you’re a playboy. The truth can only be determined with your body.”

“Wait, think about where we are!”

“Where are we? There are only the two of us here. The same as the bed yesterday.”

Dazai's exposed chest is highlighted white in the moonlight.

Mishima held Dazai’s chin and looked at his eyes forcefully.

“...Dazai-san, this is all your fault.”


It’s Thursday tomorrow, which is also National Foundation Day. We get a holiday.

Kaju’s also free today despite my worries. Komari will be in my house learning to make chocolate in the afternoon.

I bought ingredients on my way home from a walk.

I looked down from the calm and sunny sky to the ground. There are white powders everywhere.

…Come to think of it, today’s the main festival day.

Toyohashi Ghost Festival is a historic festival held since the Heian period and is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by Japan.

There are ghosts around our house as well. That’s why Kaju and I used to join in on the fun when we were little.

Upon a closer look, people around here have white powder on their heads.

You may wonder what this is all about, but this festival involves ghosts roaming around the town and scattering white powder and candy, so everyone goes there to get covered in powder.

Also, there’s an app designed to show you the precise locations of the ghosts. That’s why people can be so efficient at being covered in powder.

At this moment, I heard a pretty cute moan from a girl from afar.

She must have been covered in white powder. I would love to be sprayed as well. If only I’m free…

Alright, Komari will be there if I don’t hurry up.

I picked up my belongings and quickly made my way home.


All I saw was Kaju’s shoes at the entrance after opening the door to my house.

It seems like Komari isn’t here yet.

“I’m home.”

For a moment, my voice is swallowed by the silent corridor.

Then, the door to the living room suddenly opened. Kaju jumped out.

“Welcome home, onii-sama!”

Kaju dashed here and took the stuff from my hands.

“Your friend Komari-san will be here soon. Quick. We need to prepare to meet her!”

“A-Ahh, yeah.”

Kaju’s normal. She felt unnatural to deal with lately, but it might be my imagination…

I observed the joyful Kaju as I took off my shoes. Then, the doorbell rang.

Is Komari already here?

I put on my shoes again and opened the door. As expected, it’s indeed Komari.

-However, her whole body is covered in white powder.

“Hey!? What happened, Komari!?”

“T-The crowd swept me in when I w-wanted to take a closer look at the ghosts.”

Komari coughed. White powder flew around everywhere. But, by the way, it’s kind of amazing how she can get covered in so much powder.

I heard a small cry from behind amid my admiration.

“Komari-san!? Onii-sama, please fill the bathtub with hot water!”

“Eh? Ah, yes!”

Indeed, now’s not the time to stand around and watch. I can hear their conversation as I’m running into the bathroom.

“Alright, please come here, Komari-san! I’ll get the clothes ready.”

“Ueh? …B-But the pow-”

“Don’t worry about that. Come, quick!”

I sighed in relief after the bath was ready. Kaju walked into the changing room and handed me a jacket full of powder.

“I’ll leave the jacket to you, onii-sama. Here, Komari-san. Take this off as well.”

“W-wait! N-Nukumizu is s-still h-here!”

“...Please leave, onii-sama.”

Ah, yes. You’re right.

I quickly charged out of the changing room. The door behind me slammed shut.

This whole tsunami of development made me stand in the corridor with the jacket.

…Uh, I need to take care of the flour first.

“Hey, Kaju, can I use a vacuum cleaner for the powder?”

I called her over the door. Then, a noise of falling fabric can be heard.

“Onii-sama, are you still there!?”

“Eh? But I don’t know what to do with the powder on the jacket. If there are other clothes, please-”

Komari’s voice overwhelmed mine before I could even finish.

“G-Go die!”

…She cursed me in front of my little sister.

Fine, I’ll just sweep off the powder in the garden. I sighed and walked toward the front door.


-It’s been almost 30 minutes since Komari arrived. Kaju rushed down the stairs to the changing room while carrying something in her hands.

“Komari-san, here are clothes you can change into. Please use them.”

I stopped wiping the corridor.


…Come to think of it, Komari’s taking a bath right now.

It didn’t click in my head when she was changing. However, having a female classmate bathe in my house makes me feel a little- anxious.

Yep, anxious. This is an unexpected situation. I started making coffee in the kitchen to give myself a break.

There’s no deeper meaning, but I want to grind some coffee beans now.

I spun the grinder as I looked at Komari’s jacket on the wall.

After some pats and using the vacuum cleaner, I carefully removed the powder using a brush.

It looks just as new. You can’t tell this has been in an accident. I bet Kaju will praise me-

I shrugged and stopped twisting the handle.

…This is probably why people think I’m a siscon, right?

However, Kaju has always been making snacks for me since little. It’s not like I’m totally oblivious that she’s feeding me.

I thought of making coffee after grinding the beans, yet I realized I didn’t want to drink it at all.

I just wanted to grind the beans. As for why, …crap, I’m starting to get nervous again.

Are there more coffee beans? If that’s the case, let me grind all of them, hmm?

The living room door opened when I searched in the drawers.

Kaju marched into the room with jumpy steps. She suddenly turned around and waved at the door.

“Alright, Komari-san! No need to hold back. Come in!”

“B-But…t-this outfit…”

She must have borrowed Kaju’s clothes. Perhaps it’s a little embarrassing to wear a middle school student’s uniform, but Komari’s appearance looks just like one-

Komari hesitated with every step she took into the room. I couldn’t help but glance at her twice.

Komari’s wearing a black dress that goes just above her kneecaps- the so-called goth loli style. There are also patterned stockings on her legs and a lace hairband on her head.

Her hair isn’t as messy as usual too.

The decorative hairband is holding her hair together. Parts of her bangs are turned into braids.

“...Kaju, don’t you have other clothes for her?”

“How can Kaju let a guest wear my old clothes? This is the only new one I have. It can’t be helped, you know?”

Kaju dragged my arm and forced me to stand before Komari.

“Quick, what do you think?”

Eh? My opinion for her outfit, but Komari’s the one wearing it-

Komari’s cheeks are slightly red after taking a bath. She lowered her head embarrassedly.

She tried to play with her bangs, yet her finger couldn’t touch anything. That made her blush even harder. She’s holding her skirt tightly.

Huh? Komari is a little different than usual…

“W-Well, uh, you’re pretty cute-”


What I blurted out stained Komari’s face red.

“No, no! I mean, it suits you very well! I just want to say it looks great on you!”

I quickly corrected myself, yet nothing changed.

“Eh, …so, i-it suits-”

Komari stopped responding in the middle. Shit, is this another #MeToo event again?

“You look pretty good, Komari-san! This outfit is exclusively used on onii-sama to- whisper, whisper.”


Kaju said something next to her ears. Komari suddenly lost all her energy and sat down.

…Eh? What did Kaju tell her? Am I about to be dragged into court?

“Hey, Komari, are you okay?”

I reached my hand out. Komari stared at me with teary eyes.


Ah, her tone is a little different than usual.

For some reason, I’m getting restless again- I won’t tell anyone about this.


Kaju’s dessert classroom is finally starting.

Kaju took out the thermometer from the melted chocolate. She smiled and nodded.

“Alright, it’s 45 degrees now. Please put the bowl in ice water and mix the ingredient slowly from the bottom.”

“Eh, …ah.”

Komari let out a voice as she put the chocolate bowl into the ice water. I can’t tell whether that’s a response or a moan. Kaju couldn’t help but show her admiration after seeing Komari stirring the chocolate skillfully.

“Komari-san, you’re pretty good at this. Have you done this before?”

“Ueh? Well, ah, uh, I did this…and c-cakes too…”

…She’s about to pass out. I stopped doing the dishes.

“She always makes biscuits and cakes but not chocolate. Right, Komari?”

Yes yes yes. Komari nodded rapidly.

“I see. We should definitely bake a cake together next time.”

Komari nodded furiously again.

…I forgot. This is how Komari behaves when a stranger is around.

How will we get Kaju to tell us what she truly thinks if she’s like this? I wiped the cleaned utensils as I observed the two girls.

“The basics are all about temperature control, which includes the amount of hot water and chocolate. Komari-san can definitely pull it off in no time if you make appropriate preparations. Oh, the cooling is done pretty nicely. Let’s increase the temperature to 30 degrees this time.”

Komari nodded silently. I think she gave up talking already.

“Next, please put a layer of baking paper on the tray there. We’ll solidify half of them, and then we’ll make raw chocolate from the other half, okay?”

-Blink, blink. Komari’s eyes asked me for help.

Eh, I don’t know what you want with that alone.

Komari kept looking at the tray and me. Uh, what’s wrong with the tray…?

“Hey, uh, Kaju, the tray…”

“Hmm, what’s wrong with the tray?”

I continued after Komari nodded repeatedly.

“Putting all that into the tray will turn it into a big slab of chocolate, right? What are we going to do after that?

“Indeed, we need to cut the chocolate into smaller pieces and paint another layer of chocolate on top. That’s how we can change its taste and color. Moreover, the amount is very important if we want to exchange them or hand them out to visitors, yeah?”

I see. Komari seems to have understood as well. She nodded several times.

But can you two quit making me the translator…?

Ultimately, I got forced into the activity as the person in charge of Komari.

“So, Kaju. Is it okay if I heat up the whipped cream like this? Now you just need mix it with the chocolate and let it cool.”

“Hmm, it’s unexpectedly easy to make raw chocolate.”

I guess Komari got used to our kitchen as well. She’s doing her part skillfully.

…Upon another closer look, this girl’s outfit is ridiculous. Goth loli clothing with a fluffy apron.

Goth lolis aren’t my cup of tea, but she looks like a maid with an apron.

A girl classmate in the same year took a bath in my house, and now she’s cooking while wearing a skirt and stockings. Yep, this is totally a middle school student’s fantasy.

However, you can say I’ve achieved my dream from another perspective.

Perhaps she noticed my eyes. Komari stared at me suspiciously.

“Ueh, …w-why are you staring at me…?”

“No, it’s just that I don’t see Komari showing your forehead much.”

Ah, did I commit another #MeToo again?

I’m already prepared for her to scold me, yet Komari’s still stirring the bowl. She mumbled.

“W-Which one is better…?”


What’s with this conversation?

I secretly glanced at Kaju. She’s searching the ingredient shelf on the other side of the kitchen.

“Well, you look quite good right now, but I’m used to your everyday appearance.”

“I-I see…”


…Like I said, what’s with this conversation?

I planned to get some info about that young man Tachibana from Kaju. That’s why-

“Hey, Komari. How are you doing with that? Did you ask Kaju about who she likes?”

I said that half-jokingly, yet Komari puffed up her chest confidently.

“Ueh? A-A-Ahh, that’s right. L-Leave it to me. I can definitely do i-it.”

Please, for the love of god, don’t push yourself.

I just needed an opportunity from Komari. If she can do that, I can get Kaju to spill the beans with the communication skills I’ve learned in the book-

“What are you two talking about? Can Kaju join in too?”

Kaju came back with a bag of mixed nuts.

At that moment, Kaju and I exchanged glances before she stepped forward.



Nice one, Komari. Let’s just start talking about love calmly-

Komari got slightly closer and yelled in her high-pitched voice.

“T-The person you love! P-Please tell me!”

Wait, what are you doing?

I freaked out and stood before her. Kaju’s watery eyes blinked.

“The person Kaju has a crush on…right?”

“Y-Yes…!” (x2)

Both of us couldn’t help but answer in sync. Kaju chuckled gently.

“It’s not a secret, but telling others will cause him trouble.

“Eh? Then, the person you love really is-”

Kaju put her finger on my lips and showed an innocent smile.

“Hmm, it’s not like I can’t tell you. However, there has been a lousy elf lady flying around Kaju recently.”

“Huh!” (x2)

Komari and I couldn’t help but take a step back.

“Y-Your little sister is such a s-strange girl…”

Not that you’re wrong, but this is a little different.

Kaju smiled as she looked at Komari and my face.

“That elf lady goes to wherever Kaju is. Sometimes she’ll change her look and trick Kaju’s friend. Other times she’ll try to investigate Kaju’s secrets. Here, ah.”

Kaju put some chocolate bits into Komari’s and my mouth.

“She’s always up to no good. What do you two think?”

After that, she showed us the most precious and angelic smile.

The timid Komari grabbed my arm tightly. But honestly, she’s scaring the shit out of me as well.

“W-Well, even though pranks aren’t good, perhaps that elf lady is a good elf, you know? It’s kind of like a righteous stalker.”

“T-That’s b-bad. Y-You need to learn your lesson.”

Komari went around Kaju and started blaming me. This girl just stabbed me in the back.

Kaju lifted my cheeks with both of her hands. She exhaled as she got closer. We’re almost touching each other.

“That’s why- I’m not telling a bad child like you.”


Winter evenings are short.

It’s already completely dark outside when Komari’s clothes are dry.

I closed the door and turned around. Komari’s standing under the white street light restlessly.

“U-Uh, you don’t really need to s-send me back, so-”

“That won’t do. It’s pretty dark already. I’m walking you to the station.”

…Also, Kaju will be mad if I don’t do this.

I smiled wryly as I took Komari’s bag and started walking.

Then, I realized Komari just stood there stiffly.

“Ah, sorry. I always do this when I’m going out with Kaju-”

I handed Komari her bag, but she ignored me and started walking beside me.

“T-Thank y-you.”

“Eh? Ah, it’s nothing…”

Huh? I thought her curses would send me flying. This is kind of freaking me out…

The silence continued subconsciously as we stepped into the quiet residential street.

…Uh, I should say something.

“Thanks for helping my little sister today, Komari.”

“W-Well, you can leave trivial matters like t-this to me any time.”

Komari fiddled with the three-strand braid Kaju did for her embarrassedly.

“Even though we got no intel out of Kaju.”

I mumbled self-mockingly. Komari gave me a smug nod.

“A-Ah, we’re just a little b-bit away.”

Really…? Well, if she says so, …then I guess…?

“T-Then, what’s the next step of the p-plan?”

Eh? Are we still going through with this? I’m sorry, but there’s no way Komari and I alone can defeat Kaju.

“I’ve already exposed my intentions. We should observe the situation for now.”


“It’s necessary to take a second to calm down in situations like this.”

Come to think of it, there’s one other thing I want to ask her.

I lowered my head and looked at Komari beside me.

“W-What’s wrong?”

“It’s nothing. I’m just wondering why Komari is helping me with all of this.”

“Ueh? …W-Well.”

If it’s Yanami or Yakishio, I think they probably just find this funny.

But why is Komari so enthusiastic about this?

Komari opened her mouth and tried to say something, but only several words came out of her throat.

“Y-You didn’t c-come to the c-clubroom when we w-were talking about the w-weekend tour.”

“Ah, no, I’ve been kind of busy this whole week-”

“W-We’ll shut down if there a-are no new members. Y-You need to reflect.”


Not all visitors will become Tsuwabuki students, but some will definitely take the entrance exam.

It’s best to give them an excellent first impression.

“I haven’t been to any Tsuwabuki tours. What’s the day like?

“I h-haven’t been to any either. I-I’m bad at talking to s-strangers.”

…Hmm, she’s right.

Yakishio seems to be going to the Track and Field Club for this open day. Yanami will be bringing in visitors separate from the Literature Club. I heard that she would be joining us in the middle.

Can two people with communication disorders do a good job at reception…?

“By the way, will there be that many people?”

“F-From what I’ve heard from senpai, yes. I-I think they just visit based on the order.”

I see. So, it’s not like they are signing up for the club either way. That’s why some people are just looking around even though they aren’t interested.

But I’m terrible at dealing with that kind of casualness. If we’re putting out cat pictures first and getting serious when Yanami comes here-

We came to the road across the residential area as I thought about that.

It’s the station after the crossing.

I guess here is good enough. I need to go back and finish my delayed draft.

Komari dashed across the road when I was about to hand the bag to her.

“T-The lights are changing, you know?”

“Eh, hold on.”

I had no choice but to follow her. The signal changed when we just made it to the station.

… We have to wait before the train arrives.

Komari reached her hand into the bag when I was staring at the cars on the road aimlessly.

“What’s wrong, Komari?”

“U-Uh, the chocolate I made today.”

After that, she took a nice-looking wrapped bag.

It’s the chocolate she made today.

“Eh, when did you package it today?”

Instead of answering, Komari looked away and handed the bag to me.

“T-Try it.”

“Why didn’t you ask me back then if you just want me to try- alright, I know.”

How come she’s so straightforward? This girl gets really assertive in weird places sometimes…

I took it without much choice. There were 4 kinds of chocolates inside after I opened the ribbon on the bag.

I should’ve tried all of them already. …Huh? Didn’t we only make 3 kinds of chocolate today?

We have the milk one, the bitter one, and the raspberry- there’s a bright red heart-shaped chocolate aside from those.

Did I lose my memory? A lot has happened these days, after all.

I opened the package and put the heart chocolate into my mouth subconsciously.

A slightly bitter sweetness radiated throughout my mouth- this is black currant.

Right. I think Kaju made the exact same one a while ago, so did she use the leftover sauce back then? Now I know, but I can’t remember when we made this at all…

I realized Komari had been staring at me as I tried to search my memories.

“...What’s wrong, Komari?”

“Ueh!? I-I wasn’t l-looking.”

You are looking, right?

“The chocolate is pretty delicious, you know? It will be fine on Sunday, right?”


“Didn’t the Literature Club girls promise to exchange obligatory chocolate on Sunday? Something about giving them to visitors and showing them your girl power.”

“Y-Yes, but, Yanami was the one who said that. I-It’s just that do I really count as s-someone who can give obligatory…”

Komari’s voice faded away. I couldn’t help but lower my tone.

“What are you talking about? Yanami-san and Yakishio are your friends, right?”

I handed the bag of chocolate to Komari.

Komari’s head remained lowered for a while. Then, she nodded quietly and took one chocolate.

“I-It’s tasty, right?”

I spoke in a climatic tone. Komari answered.

“I-I haven’t even tried it y-yet.”

Komari put the chocolate into her mouth. A faint and shy smile appeared on her face.


The sweet cocoa scent is still floating around my collar the next day.

The Friday classes ended while this feeling lingered around. It’s time for homeroom.

We didn’t say anything much yesterday night. Komari and I spent the last several minutes waiting for the train.

I feel like she has forgiven me for my terrible act toward the Literature Club recently.

As usual, Amanatsu-sensei entered the classroom with a tinge of laziness as I remembered the black currant’s bitterness on my tongue.

“Eh, hmm, everyone’s here. There are reminders about the open day on Sunday.”

Ahem. Amanatsu-sensei cleared her throat and continued.

“On that day, only people appointed as tour guides for visitors and those of you in charge of club visits can come to school. Make sure the rest of you don’t get it wrong. Don’t come to school. Hey, the on-duty guy, distribute these leaflets.”

The on-duty student started passing us the leaflets. It’s a schedule of that day and the required preparations beforehand.

…Hmm, the open day starts at 1 PM. The first half is us students giving the visitors a tour around the school, and then it’s free time. They can check out the school however they want.

I don’t know when visitors will show up in the club room. Also, I didn’t sign up to be a tour guide, so I’ll just wait in the club room.

Amanatsu-sensei started explaining after everyone got the leaflets.

“The tour guides go gather up in the gymnasium after I’m done explaining. Others get prepared to work. Our class is in charge of the notice boards on the first floor. Follow this allocation table. You can go home once you’re done-”

After that, Amanatsu-sensei sat on the chair like she finished her work.

“Ah, as everyone knows, you students are the stars of the open day. This whole tour exists because we want to let middle school students who wish to study in Tsuwabuki know what high school life is like.”

…Huh, it’s rare to see sensei being so serious.

Even we’re getting anxious from her once-in-a-month “high-probability mode”. [TL: Some lottery and pinball machines in Japan have this mechanic where it increases your chance of getting a prize. Here it means Amanatsu can be serious sometimes.]

“That’s why the student council is running the show. The tour guides are all volunteers too.”

Amanatsu-sensei smiled and looked around the classroom.

“And us teachers are- volunteers as well.”

Her “high-probability mode” is over. A dark aura flooded around Amanatsu-sensei.

“No, it’s not like I’m complaining. I just lost a Sunday. We don’t get breaks after that, nor do we get paid. Why did we discuss that during the teacher’s conference if that's the case? There are a lot of things I want to say, but a teacher’s job is to help students-”

With that, Amanatsu-sensei suddenly started knocking on the podium.

“Didn’t we agree that this isn’t work!? Follow the rules, alright!”

Ah, the usual sensei is back.

Amanatsu-sensei leaned on the podium and moaned.

“Sensei…hasn’t even finished grading the final exam yet. I’ll be sinking in exam papers on Saturday, and then I have to volunteer on Sunday. When can I get a break…?”

Even though we can understand how she feels, there’s nothing we can do. It’s the third semester already, yet this teacher still can’t get used to it…

Sensei doesn’t seem to mind the entire class is staring at her silently. She continued.

“Sensei is single not because I’m not popular, but because I can’t meet anyone. My friend said why I couldn’t just pick a good one and eat him, but guys aren’t edamame, you know?”

That friend must be Konuki-sensei, right? It has to be.

Amanatsu-sensei’s acting like she’s drunk. She leaned on the podium and kept flipping through the leaflets.

“Sigh, that’s all of sensei’s little talk. The materials for the notice boards are in the Printing Room. Get ready. Alright, disbanded.”

…The ending is lackluster, as usual. I stood up among the sea of startled students too.

Uh, I’m not one of the tour guides, so I’m supposed to set up the notice boards, right? Let’s look at the table. Okay, I just need to put up guide maps around the entrance.

Alright, let’s get it over with quickly and go to the Literature Club to prepare-

“Nukumizu is in charge of the guide map, too, yeah? Let’s go together.”

The person speaking is Sosuke Hakamada. He patted my shoulder with a refreshing smile.

“Huh, isn’t Hakamada in charge of visitor reception?”

“Ahh, I have something to do on Sunday. There’s a lot going on for me as well.”

Hakamada spoke up with a bitter smile.

Sunday is Valentine’s Day, after all. The people who go out of their way to do tourist reception definitely have nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.

“Oh, Nukumizu-kun. I’ll go to the club room after I’m done in the gymnasium, okay?”

Yanami patted my shoulder.

“Ah, yeah, I’ll be there after this as well.”

“Sosuke, don’t bully Nukumizu-kun, okay?”

The girl with nothing to do with Valentine’s Day waved and left the room.

“Hey, Nukkun!”

The other nothing-to-do-with-it girl slammed my back. It hurts.

“Eh? What? It hurts.”

“I’m going to the Track and Field Club after the explanation is over.”

I see. Why did they tell me?

“Uh, Yakishio will be at the Track and Field Club on that day, right?”

“Yeah, I’ll pay all my debt back to you. See you!”

Yakishio gently closed her hands before jumping out of the classroom.

She’s just as lively as usual…

I’m dumbfounded. Hakamada poked my arm lightly.

“Hey, Nukumizu. You’re so popular.”

“Ehh, …please don’t bully me, Hakamada.”

“Sorry, sorry. But you were completely different in the first semester, right?”

The first semester, right? I answered with an awkward smile as we walked along the hallway. Hakamada and I need to grab the promo materials in the Printing Room.

I felt girls looking at me as we crossed shoulders. This isn’t my imagination. Some were even whispering to each other while looking at us. Is this the so-called Hakamada Effect?

“What’s wrong, Nukumizu-kun? I’ll be embarrassed if you stare at me too much.”

“No, it’s nothing. …Things are tough for Hakamada. Girls keep looking at you even though you’re just walking.”

I listened to a handsome guy’s joke as I said that. Hakamada showed a bewildered expression.

“No, you’re the one they are looking at.”


What’s that? Did I get exposed on the internet or something? I was smiling like an idiot while holding the new release in Seibunkan Bookstore’s manga section yesterday. Was that too much…?

I looked at Hakamada worriedly. He patted my shoulder.

“Nukumizu, stand before the notice board there.”

“Eh? Ahh, sure.”

I followed his instructions and stood before the notice board in the corridor. The girls standing behind us started whispering.

“Huh? Isn’t he handsome?” “No, the one next to him.” “Ah, …he’s normal.” “Yeah, he’s normal.”

…They keep saying I’m normal. That has to be me since I’m with a not-normal guy.

By the way, girls think I’m “normal”, huh? It’s an unexpectedly positive reputation…

Hakamada shrugged after the whispering girls left.

“You became the hot topic after what happened in the gymnasium at the end of last year.”

The gymnasium- he means when I hugged Shikiya-san when she was about to trip over?

Indeed, she was soft, cold, and smelled good…

“That can’t be helped. It’s definitely not sexual harassment.”

“What are you talking about? Everyone says you’re in a mess with the student council members. Some even say you’re two-timing.”


“Wait, that’s not true. Come to think of it, I was the one who got involved in every sense, okay?”

“Well, I do know. You’re not that kind of person.”

Hakamada nodded. I think this guy said the same thing at the end of the second semester.

If that’s the case, his following line will be-

“Even though I know, it’s best for you to find an opportunity to explain everything. People will misunderstand if they think you’re keeping your distance or messing with their feelings.”

“Are you sure you know?”

“Yes, yes, I know. I know.”

…This guy absolutely doesn’t know. My confidence increased as I shrugged like Hakamada.


The notice board work ended successfully.

After that, I walked right into the club room. It’s a face-to-face standoff with Komari over the table.

“A-Alright, hand me the draft.”

Komari knocked the table with the tip of her finger. Indeed, we’re making the magazine next.

I nodded properly.

“Hmm, that’s right. A club magazine needs a draft.”

“Y-Your draft is the only one left. Y-Yanami handed in hers t-too.”

Yanami completed her convenience store novel as usual. Now all that’s left is mine.

I gave a smug nod again.

“I know you’re worried about my draft- but can you not perceive that I haven’t finished yet?”

“I-I refuse.”

That’s mean. I haven’t even said it yet.

“Wait, hear me out. We’re making the club magazine for visitors this time. The goal is for them to understand what our club is doing, right? That’s why I want to make the club magazine.”

“T-That was rejected already.”

“That’s why I said hear me out. This time, the club magazine is made by stapling the draft with a stapler and taping them together, right? First of all, we just need to get the draft printed-”

I took out a piece of paper.

“I made a self-introduction table. We can let the visitors write down a brief self-introduction and the books they like, and then we can put those in the club magazine. That way, it feels like the book belongs to that person alone.”

Komari took the self-introduction table and glared at it quietly.

“There are other advantages as well. Once we know what books they like, we can use that as an opportunity to heat up the conversation.”

Indeed, talking about hobbies is the best way for two people to become buddies.

I received Komari’s eyes full of suspicion despite my confidence.

“W-Who’s going to cheer up the crowd…?”


Yanami doesn’t really read, right? In other words, it’s just Komari and me, right? Well…

“Uh, …we can just let the visitors cheer the mood.”

“I-I see…”

No way. The sky will go dark when that happens.

I coughed and faced Komari again.

“Yep, that’s all. Let’s print all the drafts except mine out today, hmm?”

“I-In other words, your draft is-”

Komari continued staring at me with her eyes full of suspicion. I lowered my hand deeply.

“I’ll finish it before Sunday. Please wait a little longer.”

“S-Say that earlier.”

This must be humiliation- what a shallow thought.

If lowering my head means I can be forgiven for breaking the deadline, it’s instead a victory.

I put my forehead on the table and smiled. Then, the door to the club room opened.

It’s Teiara Basori.

She glared at Komari and me before holding the door handle and stepping back.

“...Uh, are you two busy?”

“No, it’s okay. How can I help you?”

Very well. Now we don’t have to talk about the draft anymore.

I stood up confidently. Teiara-san shot me hostile looks.

“Alright, I’m here to scold Nukumizu-san. Can we go outside for a bit?”

Eh, that’s scary.

“Uh, we’re actually still busy. It’s an important meeting.”

“That one just then?”

“The table is pretty cold. It keeps my head awake. Right, Komari?”

I looked at Komari for help. However, she’s staying completely still in the corner of the room.

She’s so good at hiding her presence. I admire her.

She has a murderous aura. She’s raising her arm.

Teiara-san pushed my back forcefully.

“Alright, come here.”

“Eh, wait.”

Teiara-san put her hands on her waist and glared at me after dragging me out of the club room.

“Nukumizu-san, why didn’t you come to the gymnasium?”

…Huh? That’s for tour guides, right?

“I’m not a tour guide. Even though I’ll be there that day, I’ll just be responsible for the club visit.”

“Ha? I asked the on-duty Amanatsu-sensei to tell you to come, though.”

Eh, there’s no way that person can do that. It’s Amanatsu-sensei, after all.

Teiara-san sighed after noticing my look.

“It can’t be helped if the message wasn’t delivered. Anyway, please take this.”

She gave me a handbook for the briefing session before I could even follow up with her.

“It’s kind of sudden, but someone asked you to be the tour guide today.”

“Eh? There’s a nomination system?”

“Yes, some people want to be led by someone they know. Either that or they want to hear about clubs they are interested in. We’ll try our best to fulfill their requests.”

Someone who nominates me, don’t tell me it’s a kouhai from middle school or something like that. Or are they interested in joining the Literature Club?

“Who wants me to be their tour guide? I hope they are a nice person.”

“You’re the one leading them. Quick. It’s troublesome since we just changed the list on a whim.”

Teiara-san pointed at the list in the handbook with her slim finger.

Uh, …I’m leading Class 5 of Momozono Middle School, right? There are 3 names on the list.

Asami Gondou, Satoshi Tachibana, and- Kaju Nukumizu.


Literature Club Report - Special Edition

<New Year’s Gift> by Anna Yanami

I usually have breakfast in the convenience store.

One of my recent favorites in the rest area is charcoal grilled chicken skewers (salted). I don’t think I need to explain.

Those who are interested can look at the ingredients table. Yes, the row with carbohydrates.

Even though I don’t remember the actual numbers, it’s a champion because it’s so low.

Also, I’m having hot black coffee instead of a latte.

This is a champion for low values. That’s two champions in a row.

Convenience stores these days let you choose your coffee taste from “light” to “strong”, but it tastes especially strong today.

I stopped leaving my house early lately. That’s why I don’t see OO-kun going to school outside the window.

“Ako-san, you stopped eating meat buns these days, yeah?”

The person saying unnecessary things is my classmate, XX-kun.

We’ve been eating together in the corner recently.

Also, I used to eat pork buns. What an amateur.

He’s always sitting two seats away from me. How self-conscious. It’s disgusting.

Even though he doesn’t care about others in every way, he’s even meaner today. I can’t believe he’s having an American hot dog in the morning.

That’s right. The carbohydrates in a hot dog exceed 30 grams.

I want to eat that too.

Also, he just has to be drinking a latte instead of coffee today.

I want to drink that too.

But I thought I could ask for a bite from him. Then, one of the girls from our school started talking to XX-kun.

The two whispered something to each other, and then, after a while, that girl took a bite of XX-kun’s hot dog before leaving.

…Even though I don’t know who that is, she’s such a greedy and despicable girl for wanting somebody else’s food.

XX-kun chuckled after I finished my skewers.

“Ako-san, are you still hungry?”

This guy is as impolite as usual.

XX-kun gave me something when I was about to ignore him. It’s a yuzu pepper-flavored tofu stick.

One stick of this gives you 10 grams of protein. It’s pretty chewy as well.

“I think you’re trying to lose weight lately. Here’s a little snack for you.”

…This person is really impolite, after all.

I remembered that girl as I chewed on a tofu stick from another person.

Comparing a tofu stick to a bite of an American hotdog, I think I won here.

Although that’s how I feel, somehow, my heart is itching a little. It’s irritating…


After printing the drafts, I’m standing before the bakery next to the road not far from school.

Yanami called me here when I was about to go home.

Yanami has been getting bread here lately, but this is my first time here…

I looked around before walking in. Yanami was checking out.

“Oh, you’re here. Nukumizu-kun, take this. It’s for you.”

She said that and handed me some bread. It’s “Ogura Bread” with red bean paste.

Yanami always gets this. She eats 8 times a week if her body is in good condition.

“Thanks. I’ll go get drinks. Is milk okay?”


Yanami waved as she walked inside the store. There are tables and chairs there. We can eat there.

I grabbed the milk and sat on the opposite chair. Yanami opened the package and laughed.

“Nukumizu-kun, you have grown up.”

“Eh, what?”

I put the straw into the milk carton box while being alerted to what she said.

“It’s because Nukumizu-kun used to start asking why 2 seconds after we met. Compared to then, you can now talk properly.

Yanami took a big bite out of the bread.

Isn’t that because I’ve learned I won’t get the ball back even if I shoot a straight ball at Yanami…? Does this count as growth…?

“I feel sorry for asking after hearing that. Why did you bring me here?”

“Eh, it’s because I’m hungry.”

Look, we still can’t have a proper conversation. I tried not to sigh and opened the bread package.

“Yanami-san is always hungry, right? Uh, if you went out your way to call me here, it means that you want to talk to me, right?”

Yanami took out a small handbook as she chewed the bread.

“Nom nom nom nom nom nom.”

Don’t talk while eating.

Ah, this handbook.

“This is the handbook for tour guides, right? You brought one for me.”

Yanami swallowed the bread at once.

“Nukumizu-kun, you didn’t come even though your name is on the list, right? I want to give you a briefing.”

“Basori-san already explained that to me already, so it’s fine. Let’s just meet up at 1 PM at the gymnasium.”


Yanami stopped her hand when she was about to put the straw in.

“Why is it that girl? Did she go out of her way to find Nukumizu-kun too?”

“It’s because the student council oversees the open day. Didn’t she find me because I wasn’t at the briefing session?”

For some reason, Yanami stared at me resentfully.

After a while, she seemed satisfied and shrugged as she opened the handbook.

“Well, whatever, Nukumizu-kun is leading Tachibana-kun, hmm? The kid who had a date with Imouto-chan at Toyokawa Inari, right?”

My expression turned stiff. I stared at Yanami.

“...Yanami-san, do you know about Schodinger’s Cat?”

Yanami’s mouth left the straw when she drank the milk. She tilted in disbelief.

“That one, right? The cat dies when you open the box.”

It’s close, but it’s a little different.

“In situations like this, an event is uncertain before direct observation. I don’t deny Kaju and Tachibana-kun are friends, but there aren’t any evidence to show that was a date, not to mention going out.”

Yanami shook her head dumbfoundedly.

“Are you still saying that? Remon-chan told me about what you did in Momozono, you know? Aren’t Imouto-chan and Tachibana-kun acting all vague? They are having a date on Valentine’s Day-”

Yanami seems to have finally reacted. Her eyes bulged.

“Yeah, Kaju and Tachibana-kun’s Valentine’s promise must be about the open day. It’s normal for friends who want to study in Tsuwabuki to come together, right?”

“Then, what about those embarrassing stuff that she can’t talk about before people.”

“Kaju’s a girl in puberty, right? Isn’t it kind of embarrassing to let her brother lead the way?”

“...Is Imouto-chan a girl like that?”

She is. Yanami put a hand on her chin and tilted her head.

“What about her handmade honmei chocolate?”

Tck, she got a critical hit. I chugged the milk at once to replenish my calcium.

“My my, …you can give chocolates to friends too, right? Of course, it’s not weird for Kaju to have a crush on someone- well, I do understand the reasoning, but we can’t be sure as long as Kaju doesn’t say anything.”

“Hmm, I guess that’s good too.”

Yanami said that chicly before finishing the milk at once.

“Imouto-chan won’t talk about it with you if you reject it too much, yeah?”

“Hmm, …I guess.”

“That’s right, Nukumizu-kun. It’s normal for a middle school girl to have a boyfriend.”

I don’t know why, but I feel like I can’t fight with Yanami about this one- for some reason.

“But this isn’t to say it’s certain, okay?”

“Oh, …you hate admitting defeat so much.”

Whatever you say, girl. I tore down the corner of the bread and put it into my mouth.

“Nukumizu-kun, how come you’re eating so slow?”

Yanami asked curiously with an innocent tone.

“I don’t know whether I can finish one. Also, I can’t finish my dinner if I eat too much right now, right?”

“It’s okay. You can definitely finish it.”

Yanami spoke up determinedly.

‘Eh, but-”

“You need to believe in yourself more. A girl like me managed to eat one only even though I subconsciously bought two.”

That’s why she bought the bread for me.

Seeing that Yanami watched me finish half of the bread, …I felt a little embarrassed to continue.

“Uh, …do you want half of it?”

I said that after feeling unbearable with the weight. Then, I saw the most charming smile from today’s Yanami. She reached her hand out.

“You can’t be helped. I’ll take off some of your burdens, hmm?”


Intermission: Between Friendship and the Night

Gardening Club, Monozono Middle School.

The sun is setting. The small greenhouse is lit up by the old fluorescent lamp.

The person standing before the potted pine tree is Asami Gondou from Class 2-1.

She’s standing there with a pair of scissors.

“...Nuku-chan, outsiders can’t enter this place, you know?”

She mumbled quietly without moving her eyes away from the branch.

The person walking into the greenhouse is Kaju Nukumizu. Her long black hair swayed around as she smiled gently.

“I’m here because of the student council, okay? Gon-chan, this is the council’s report for this month.

Gon-chan exhaled for a long moment as if she wanted to vent out all the air in her lungs. After that, she put the pair of scissors next to the pot.

“Thanks, but you’re so late today.”

“Yeah, I didn’t expect being the vice president to be so tough, but I wanted the graduate send-off party to be successful.”

Kaju handed over the report and looked at the plant on the table.

The tiny pine is reaching its branches out like hands.

“Gon-chan, you really like potted plants, don’t you?”

“Didn’t Takamatsu-sensei retire last year? He was our advisor. This is what he left behind.”

Gon-chan took the pair of scissors again and stared at the branch.

After looking at her for a while, Kaju made up her mind and spoke up.

“Can I?”


She mustered her courage again.

“I’m talking about Tachibana-kun, you know? Gon-chan, you two have been very close since little, right?”

“We used to join the children’s party together. We were like family and friends at the same time. What a strange relationship.

A nostalgic smile appeared on Gon-chan’s face for a moment.

However, she showed an uninterested look at the next second.

“...Gon-chan is Kaju’s most important friend. That’s why I was surprised to hear Tachibana-kun’s feelings. The first thing I wanted to do is to talk about it with Gon-chan.”

Kaju awaited her answer.

After an unknown amount of time, Kaju decided to speak again.

“Gon-chan, can we really go out?”

Chak. The pair of scissors in Gon-chan’s hand slashed across the air.

“If that’s the case- how about that then?”

Kaju straightened her back upon seeing her stubborn friend’s look.

“The day after tomorrow is the 14th- I think he’ll definitely confess.”

“...Nothing will change between us, whether it’s me or Satoshi.”

Kaju nodded silently after hearing her friend’s words.

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