Winter vacation is different from summer. It is shorter, and due to various events, it did not seem like a vacation.

Before the end of the year, Daiya’s room was in a complete mess, and after an (continued) attempt to clean up, he gave up, Daiya held back a yawn as he walked down the road to school, the sunlight stinging his eyes. During the end of year, he had to visit his grandmother’s house at the farm, and accompany his relatives’ children with poker, games, karuda and hanafuda; his life over the past few days was topsy-turvy. The gold morning sunlight was bright and clear, dyeing his eyes amidst the frigid air of January.

Wiping off the tears in the his eyes, Daiya spotted a slender figure.

The person had long blueish silver hair, and was wearing a cute pastel blue peacoat and a uniform skirt that seemed a little too cold for this weather.

“Oh, Anju ”

“Ah, Daiya. Good morning…no.”

After saying that, Anju stopped.

Daiya too stopped before her.

They inhaled.

“Happy New Year.”

“Please continue to take care of me this year.”

They proceeded with the formal greetings.

Even when a new year arrives, it did not necessarily mean that thing would exactly change, even though it felt so.

Looking around, similar scenes could be seen on their way to school.

Shin and Lena apparently went to the shrine together, Kaie, Kurena and Shiden went to do their first sales. They probably had exchanged new year greetings. Daiya himself was one of those who returned to his hometown, as aforementioned. Anju too had returned to her hometown, and this was the first day she met up with her friends.

They continued their way to school, walking next to each other.

Anju had a muffler on her; it was a Christmas gift from the previous year――10 days ago. Daiya noticed, and his cheeks relaxed.

Similar, there was the pass holder dangling from Daiya’s bag. It was given by Anju, who beamed as she spotted it, but Daiya did not notice.

“Guess we can’t relax as much next year as we are now.”

“Exams are important! But…do make sure you do not catch a cold.”

Saying that, Anju giggled.

“Just worried about a cold? Sure can be relaxed when you’re one of the top scorers.”


Daiya grimaced as he scratched his head.

Everyone would call it ‘surprising’, but Daiya was one of the better performing students. As for how good he was, he was capable of being ranked one of the top twenty during their regular tests.

On a side note, while Anju was smiling away, she was always competing for the highest scoring girl with Lena every time..

“Well, Shin and the other guys have to cheat again. That guy definitely did it on purpose during the mid-terms.”

“Our homeroom teacher, that ‘chief of staff’ really has a smile that can kill…”

The young teacher was dubbed this moniker, for though he was a young teacher, his personality and smile were ridiculously terrifying.

In any case, they had no real goal in life, and would not take their exams seriously. However, they did go overboard trying to cheat.

Leaving aside Annette and Kaie, who were not caught, Shin and Raiden were blatantly cheating for the subjects they did not care about, Theo was just copying everything, hoping to attain average scores. Shiden was hoping to get everything right while copying away. Kurena and Haruto gave up as they found it to be a bother. Furthermore, everyone had to work hard for the sports meet before the tests, and the school festival after. Surely one could imagine them in a sorry state.

On a side note, the best of the lot was Vika, who scored perfectly average marks for every single subject. It was not a coincidence. He deduced the scoring and weightage of the tests, and just had to answer the questions that would get him to the average score.

These guys are geniuses at using their minds for useless purposes.

Daiya himself was a little miffed that his friends were blatantly cheating.

“Well, Lena’s angry about that. Especially Shin. She just told him, you got to revise this properly.”

Before their eyes was Lena, walking in her school uniform with a serious look.

For her at least, a student’s duty is to study. It was no wonder she would end up saying that.

“According to the test results rankings, we’re going to hold a study meet starting January. Everyone got to buck up.”

“Even if you say that, I suppose it just a regular gathering to play……”

Lena’s idea was probably not too bad.

Simply put, it was not that everyone was dumb, and there was no real need to organize a study meet.

They just did not want to study, to score high in all their subjects..

Daiya burst out laughing imagining his friends being carefree about their studies, and how infuriated Lena would be.

“…Sounds rather interesting. Can we join too, Anju?”

Anju smiled in response.

“Of course. But Lena might get a little angry…we will end up playing anyway.”

At this time next year, surely.

There might not be study sessions for everyone to enjoy together.