Mizuto Irido ◆ Za Warudo after I resolved myself
Back when I was in middle school with my first ever girlfriend, everything seemed so bright to me—and for some reason, I felt I heard that proclamation somewhere.
At this point, the world didn’t seem as bright to me given that I had a somewhat better knowledge of life. The languidness of the morning, the messy room, everything was as bland as usual. The only difference was—
When I stepped out of my room in the morning, I saw Yume exit her room in her pajamas.
Her long black hair was all over the place, probably because she had just gotten out of bed. Her eyes looked a little worse than usual, probably because she had just woken up, or maybe because she did not have her contacts on her.
Yume noticed me, and hastily covered her mouth with her hand,
“Eh, no way, you’re already awake!?”
“…Once in a while.”
“Ah goodness~! I was so careless~!”
Yume covered her face and rubbed it as though she was washing.
It’s not the first time I saw that face after she woke up. However, she seemed to have some feminine thoughts about showing her face carelessly to me, who’s supposedly a stranger to her.
Indeed, I might have reacted in some way if it had been my middle school days.
I might have been upset by her defenseless appearance, or disillusioned by her careless face—but that’s because I only knew Yume as a girl. That’s because I only knew Yume as a girlfriend.
At this point, I’m different.
I know you as a family. I know you as a person.
I’m long past disillusionment. And yet, here we are, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
“You don’t have to be too uptight at home. Given how vain you are, you’ll get tired trying to put up a front.”
Yume peered at my face through her fingers.
“…So wait, you’re paying attention?”
Yume turned away from me and opened the door to her room.
“I have my pride, too!”
And the sleepy Yume disappeared behind the door.
I guess I can’t go back to the way I felt in middle school.
Yume Irido ◆ Even the little things are significant
After Mizuto saw my disheveled face in the morning, I checked myself in the mirror repeatedly, and finally.
Thank goodness there wasn’t any trace of drool on my face, so I was lucky. It’s very inconvenient to have someone you like living in the same house! I couldn’t express myself as freely as I wanted..
Well, the silver lining was that he’s my ex—he had already seen things I didn’t want to show him, and at this point, a sleepy face or two wouldn’t really matter. But that’s that, this is this, and…
Goodness, it was a very big day for me, and that fact was making me nervous.
“Good morning, Yume. Bread is ready~”
I went down to the living room and chewed on the bread my mother had toasted for me. Opposite of the dining table was an empty plate with bread crumbs scattered on it. That was Mizuto’s seat, but I didn’t see him anyway—he had probably eaten breakfast and gone back to his room to change.
After finishing my bread and tea, I went from the living room to the bathroom. I was going to brush my teeth and check my appearance again.
And then, over there was,
Brush brush brush.
There was Mizuto in his school uniform, looking at the mirror and holding a toothbrush in his mouth.
Mizuto noticed me enter, and silently sidestepped a bit. It seemed he was clearing space for me.
He probably didn’t want to leave the bathroom yet, and it wasn’t so cramped that I had to wait for my turn…I stood next to Mizuto and picked up my toothbrush.
Brush brush brush brush brush brush…
Reflected in the mirror were a boy and a girl brushing their teeth silently.
Of course, it wasn’t the first time we encountered this situation. It’s just…again, it’s a weird situation.
The strangest part was that I had become accustomed to this situation. If it were me back in middle school, or if it was the period when I had just moved into this house, I would have been uncomfortable in a situation where we were standing shoulder to shoulder and not talking.
But now, it feels so natural, to be expected, that I even feel relieved…a mere half year had passed, but I was amazed at how adaptable we humans are.
Mizuto picked up a cup, filled it with water, and rinsed his mouth with it.
After that, he tried to wipe his mouth with the sleeve of his uniform, “Nn~!” and I stopped him with a toothbrush in my mouth.
I shoved the towel at Mizuto, “Ah…” who blurted out something that I didn’t know if it was a sigh or a thank you. He wiped his mouth with it.
I then rinsed my mouth and received the towel from Mizuto. While I was wiping my mouth, Mizuto walked to the exit of the washroom. It’s great to see him being ready. After this, I would be applying some lip balm.
I reached into my pocket for the lip balm I brought with me, and noticed Mizuto looking back at me in the mirror.
I turned and asked, and Mizuto looked at me intently and said,
“Starting today, right?”
“Good luck with…student council.”
—Our school held an election for student council president days ago.
There was only one candidate.
Basically, it was a vote of confidence; that person got 98% of the vote and became the new student council president.
The new president’s name is Suzuri Kurenai.
And by her recommendation, I, Yume Irido, was also named as one of the members of the newly minted student council executive.
Our activities would start on this day.
I remembered talking to him about this, but…he actually remembered.
“…Thanks. I’ll do my best.”
Mizuto nodded and left the washroom.
I looked in the mirror again and applied lip balm to my lips.
I felt like I had applied it very well.
Yume Irido ◆ The Eternal Third Place
I looked up at the plaque with trepidation and expectation that rippled like waves.
It was the student council classroom.
This was where the student council would organize this Rakurou Private High. It was a room that only a few selected students could enter.
But I, who had been used to going home right after school, found myself in front of a different room from my usual classroom. Just that fact alone gave me inexplicable joy.
I resolved myself, and lifted my hand to knock on the door—but stopped myself when I remembered what vice president Kurenai—no, wait, president said that only visitors knock on the door. The student council members didn’t have to knock—
I put my hand down, put my fingers on the doorknob, and pulled it aside.
“Pardon my intrusion!”
I said in an unusually shrill voice as I stepped through the door.
There was nothing particularly unusual about the room.
There was a sofa set before me, and a rectangular whiteboard in the back that seemed to be used for meetings.
The shelves near the wall were filled with countless files, stuffed animals that looked like someone’s personal belongings, and boxes of tabletop games.
Nobody was at the sofa set before me, nor was there anyone at the meeting table.
I wondered if anyone had arrived yet?
While wondering so, I stepped into the room—
I spotted a little figure out of the corner of my eye.
The child looked at me with the eyes of a wary cat as I turned my head in shock.
She was a small girl.
She was probably comparably small like Akatsuki-san.
She had an athlete’s short hair, and her face was cute and well-shaped for such a young looking girl. However, there was a slight wrinkle on her eyebrows, and she seemed to give a difficult impression.
She might be a first year…so I thought. She’s small, and the tie on her chest was red.
No, but there’s one aspect of her that didn’t resemble a freshman at all.
Her breasts…were big. Are they as big as Higashira-san’s or Madoka-san? No, hers might look bigger because she’s smaller. In any case, even though they were similar in height, she’s a girl with a characteristic that would make Akatsuki-san ballistic.
Apparently, she was looking at the shelf right next to the entrance. That’s why I never saw her initially.
She’s part of the student council…? Right? She’s in the student council room, and since she’s a freshman, then she’s a newcomer like me…
All the greetings I had practiced in my head were blown away by the unexpected encounter. I could only freeze, and the short girl with big breasts looked at me as if she was trying to appraise me.
“…Yume Irido-san, I suppose?”
She asked me with a tint of hostilility.
Eh? What? We’ve never met before, right? Did I do something already?
She stared up at me, closing the distance between us.
“Yes, it’s Asuhain. It’s Asuha, Asu, as in tomorrow, ha, and in, tomorrow, in, hospital.”
Why did she start with this ominous explanation…what’s the correct way of responding to this…?
“Erm… n-nice to meet you…?”
“Yes. Nice to meet you.”
“A…Asuhain-san, are you joining the student council today?”
“Yes, that’s right. I’m in charge of general affairs.”
“I see…I’m the secretary. I’ll start today.
“Is that all?
What else is there?
Asuhain-san’s cute face puckered up, and she came at me with increasing pressure! Wait, her breasts! Her breasts are pressing against me!
“I’m Asuhain! Do you understand me when I say this? I’m Asuhain, the third-ranked student in both the midterm and final of the first semester!!”
“Heh~, being third place is great, isn’t it?”
“Coming from you when you’ve been taking first and second places!?”
She grabbed me by both shoulders and shook me back and forth!
“Are you saying you never paid attention to me!!? You and your brother have been making me look inferior, even though I’ve been trying my best all this while!! Are you saying you haven’t even seen my name!!!?”
Oh, I see. Third place means that her name was right below mine and Mizuto’s.
To be honest, I only paid attention to my rank and Mizuto’s…
“I-I’m somehow sorry…?”
“I don’t want to be apologized to! The only thing I want to see is you trembling in frustration in front of the ranking list!”
This girl hated to lose, and that’s an understatement.
Asuhain-san grabbed me by the shoulders and stared at my face with interrogative eyes.
“…In this student council, I want to be the president. I’m going to push you out and become the president. That way, they’ll have to remember my name.”
“Oh, yeah. Don’t worry, I’ll keep that in mind, Asuhain-san.”
“Don’t make it easy for me!”
What do you want me to do!?
It seems that I’ve become a classmate of a very vigorous girl, in some way different from Akatsuki-san.
Asuhain-san breathed, let go of my shoulder, and looked around.
“Speaking of which, isn’t the other Irido-san here?”
“No. Mizuto—erm, I guess my little brother wasn’t invited to the student council.”
“I see. …. Hmm, I heard he has a girlfriend, right? There’s no way someone who’s too busy being in love can be elected to the prestigious student council.”
I held my tongue with a smile.
I probably shouldn’t have said that the president of the student council, not to mention myself, was in love and seduced another member of the student council.
By the way, the rumors about Mizuto and Higashira-san really flared up. I couldn’t believe that even Asuhain-san, who I had no direct connection with, knew about them somehow…
“…Huh? Speaking of which, Asuhain-san.”
“What is it?”
“What’s your first name? I’m sorry, I can’t remember…”
Then, Asuhain-san’s expression suddenly turned hazy, and she looked away.
“…My first name is…”
Yume Irido ◆ The Senpai who’s brash and cheerful
“Oh, it’s Ran! I didn’t know you were already here!”
I turned around at the sound of the voice and saw a woman with long hair enter happily.
She’s tall, but her hairstyle was a little childish, a combination of long and twin-tailed with both sides up.
Her school bag, which she carried on her shoulder, had a bunch of mascot key chains hanging from it. Pardon my French, that’s some childish fashion at first glance.
The ribbon on her chest was green. She’s a sophomore.
The senior with childish tastes ran up to Asuhain-san and squeezed her small body like a stuffed animal.
“You’re early. Did you want to see me that badly?”
“I’m just trying to be fifteen minutes early. Please leave me alone.”
“Hmm, you’re cute even when you’re shy!”
“I’m not cute.”
Asuhain-san had a blank expression as she pried herself away from senpai.
Senpai seemed disappointed by this, but she turned to me and gave me a friendly smile.
“So you’re Irido-chan, I heard from Suzurin that you are very talented, right? ”
“Th-tha-that’s! That’s not the case!”
Speaking of which, Suzurin, President Kurenai?
“Fufu, it’s great that you caught Suzurin’s attention, so you should be proud of yourself…Ah, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m Aisa Asou, second year! And starting today, I’m the vice president! I look forward to working with you, Kouhai-chan!”
As if to set a good example, Asou-senpai put on a smug face and puffed her chest.
Maybe it’s because I was always with Akatsuki-san who would be hypersensitive towards the size of other people’s breasts, but whenever I meet a woman I’ve never met before, I tend to unconsciously check her out…Asou-senpai had a decent body too. Her waist is thin, her hips are small, and she has the figure of a model, but her breasts are bigger than mine and were standing out before her.
…Is it just me, or is there something off about her?
“Have you said hello to Ran yet? She seems to think of you as a rival, Irido-chan. I wonder if she’s been rude?”
“N-no it’s nothing. It’s fine. Yes.”
“So ‘fine’ means she’s been rude, right? Good grief, but she’s cute, so I forgive her.”
Asou-senpai hugged Asuhain-san who was before her again, but Asuhain-san no longer resisted, and her face remained expressionless as though she was ignoring the antics.
From the looks of it, Asuhain-san must have been recruited by Asou-senpai, just as I was recruited by President Kurenai. Can I ask how it happened? I didn’t remember seeing her at the Culture Festival committee, but since Asuhain-san was addressed by her given name, they seem rather close.
And speaking of which.
“Your first name… is ‘Ran’, Asuhain-san.”
“…Yes, in a certain sense.”
Asuhain-san showed a grim face. I had a feeling she didn’t want to say her first name earlier, but why?
“Ran, Asuhain…that’s a cool name. I’ve always wanted a surname with ‘In’ in it.”
“Oh, I know what you mean. It makes you seem rich.”
“…Please don’t call me by my full name.”
Asuhain-san said bitterly.
“I don’t like it. I only introduce myself by my family name..”
“Why not? I don’t know if it’s okay to ask…”
Asuhain-san looked down and paused for a moment,
“When I was in elementary school, boys used to call me ‘slut’ and make fun of me. They put the end of my last name and my first name together, so inran.”
Sounds like something that would happen, like in elementary school, and maybe high school. That’s when people would use all the lewd words they would read in dictionaries and manga.
Asuhain-san began to shake uncontrollably in Asou-senpai’s arms.
“I didn’t know what it meant at first, but when I looked up the meaning in the dictionary, I was really shocked…why are boys so unintelligent? They’re like parrots, repeating the same word again and again and again…! I can’t talk with such creatures! They should just be put in cages like they’re in a zoo or something!”
Asuhain-san seemed to have a lot of things on her mind, and she shook her little fists,
“But as the years go by, the girls around me start having boyfriends…! I don’t know what’s so great about love! Why would I voluntarily want to be with those parrots! I’d be better off with a real parrot! Don’t you think so!?”
I just flinched at Asuhain-san’s verbal barrage, but Asou-senpai, who was hugging her, smiled happily.
“You say that, but look at these tits! They’re so cute! That’s a charm point for a unicorn!”
I didn’t understand what she was saying, so I merely smiled amicably.
Yume Irido◆Rakurou Private High student council committee
“Yaah, everyone’s here.”
In contrast to the commotion of Asuhain-san and us, Suzuri Kurenai, the student council president, entered the room looking calm and collected.
Despite her small stature, her presence was as strong as ever, and I naturally felt tense…and lurking in her shadow was the same unassuming boy with glasses, Haba Jouji-senpai.
“Hi Suzurin, you too, Joe-kun. I’ve been flirting with our kouhais before you showed up!”
“Yeah. I’m impressed by your friendliness, Aisa.”
“That’s because you’re so uptight, Suzurin. Say, shouldn’t you be a little cuddlier? What do you think, Joe-kun?”
Haba-senpai silently walked over to the conference table and dropped his bag.
“Muuu.” Asou-senpai pouted her lips in annoyance.”
“How long are you going to remain wary of me?”
“Hmph. Put your hand on your chest and think about it.”
“How long are you going to remain guarded too, Suzurin?”
“I’m not holding on to anything. I just remember a girl who addresses herself by her given name.”
“What’s this bokukko saying?”
I’d never seen anyone be so frank with President Kurenai. It was a conversation that gave me a small glimpse of the history that had accumulated in this student council room over the past year.
It’s a conversation involving others that I didn’t understand.
…But it felt strange to think that a year from now, I might be having a similar conversation…
While I was dumbfounded, Asuhain-san escaped from Asou-senpai’s arms and stood in front of President Kurenai with a nervous look on her face.
“M-My name is…Asuhain. I was recommended by Asou-senpai to join the student council. I’m a novice, but I look forward to working with you in the future~.”
“Nice to meet you, Asuhain-kun.”
President Kurenai suddenly took Asuhain-san’s hand, looked into her eyes, and smiled.
The smile was so beautiful that Asuhain-san blushed silently.
“I’m just as inexperienced. The moment I make a mistake, I want you to correct it. And if you make a mistake, I’ll do everything in my power to help you.”
“Haa, fuaahh, hyaa.”
Asuhain-san became increasingly rigid, and nodded away like a doll.. Seeing this, Asou-senpai said, “Oh goodness, this ladykiller.” Upon seeing this, Asou-senpai muttered in disgust.
Just moments ago, she had been feisty towards me…but in the end, Asuhain-san probably ended up admiring President Kurenai, too. Just like me.
The president let go of Asuhain-san’s hand and turned her attention to me.
“Thank you very much too, Yume-kun, for accepting my invitation.”
“No…I’m doing this willingly. I too look forward to working with you.”
I succeeded in greeting President Kurenai, and noticed Asuhain-san glaring at me from President Kurenai’s blind spot with a frustrated look.
“Wh-why are you using Irido-san’s given name…”
“There’s another person with the same family name in the culture festival committee. Would you like me to call you by your first name too, Ran-kun?”
“Hyaa!? T-tha-thank you very much!!! ”
Asuhain-san bowed deeply, and after smiling back, President Kurenai went towards the conference table where Haba-senpai was already seated.
“Now, take your seats. The members are here.”
President Kurenai took the power seat in front of the whiteboard, followed by Asou-senpai. Asuhain-san and I then sat down in our chairs.
The school rules dictated that there could only be five members in the student council.
President – Second year Suzuri Kurenai.
Vice President – Second year Aisa Asou.
Treasurer – Second year, Joji Haba.
General Affairs – First year Ran Asuhain.
And Secretary – First year Yume Irido.
The president of the student council, Suzuri Kurenai, crossed her arms and said.
“Starting today, we are the executive board of the Rakurou High School student council.”
Yume Irido ◆ Why is an Old Boy hanging out here?
This yawn didn’t come from the conference table where we, the student council members, were sitting.
Following that was the sound of the doorknob being twisted.
I looked over, and at the other door on the side wall, a large man appeared.
Of course, I wasn’t talking about his chest this time, but rather, his height—180cm might be an understatement, he could have been 190cm. He had a sturdy physique, as if he had played some kind of sport, but his hair was long for a boy, and he didn’t look like an athlete.
He wore a uniform, so of course he must be a student, but he looked older than that. His loosened chest tie was blue, which showed that he’s a third year.
I didn’t think I met him before, but I probably know of him from somewhere…
Asou-senpai was the first to be surprised to see this large third-year student looking all teary as he yawned.
“Eh!? Senpai!? What are you doing here, in a place like this!? ”
“Ah? Ahhh, Asou?…I’m just taking a nap. Yesterday, I stayed up until morning watching the feed.”
President Kurenai addressed the large third-year student exasperatedly. President?
“You’re retired now, so please stop using the reference room as a nap room.”
“Well, don’t say that, Kurenai, it’s just this senpai’s thoughtful way of seeing to it that his younger colleagues make a fresh start.”
“You’re just bored because you’ve already been recommended, aren’t you?”
“You could say that.”
President Kurenai sighed as the large man smirked back. She then turned to me and Asuhain-san, the freshmen, who had been left confused.
“Let me introduce him. He is Todo Hoshibe, the previous student council president. You may have seen him at school assemblies.”
Ah…that’s right. I’m sure I’d seen him at school assemblies and the entrance ceremony. He was the one who gave the address as the student representative.
Asuhain-san and I greeted Hoshibe-senpai, who looked down at us with his hands in his pockets “Hmmm” and cranked his head.
“I’ve heard of the new members, but they’re both girls. That’s going to make Haba’s shoulders even cramped up, right?”
With a large hand placed on his shoulder, “No…” Haba-senpai modestly denied, but Hoshibe-senpai ignored him with a grin.
“Alright, I’ll show up here more often. I feel sorry for Haba for being the only guy. Let’s do that.”
“Again, you’re just bored because you’ve been recommended, right?”
“Don’t say that.”
President Kurenai looked dumbfounded, while Asou-senpai stood up with a grimace. She then approached Hoshibe-senpai’s huge body and looked up at his face.
“You just want to see Aisa-chan, don’t you?”
“Nope. Not at all.”
“You’re so cute and shy, Senpai♪.”
“Ah, you’re still such a pain in the ass!”
Asou-senpai giggled happily. She’s tall for a girl, but she looked small like a child when she’s around Hoshibe-senpai, who was even bigger.
Hoshibe-senpai shooed away Asou-senpai and scampered to the sofa set that was used for reception.
“Well, I’m going to take a nap now, Kurenai, just get started.”
“What? You’re running away? Senpai~?.”
Asou-senpai, who was still trying to tease Hoshibe-senpai in a deliberate, sweet manner, but President Kurenai stopped her with a soft, sharp voice.
“I know you’re delighted to see your favorite president Hoshibe, but we need to properly welcome the two newcomers first.”
“Ueehh!? …Don’t say anything misleading like I love him or something, Suzurin! Not in front of the kouhais!”
President Kurenai shrugged silently, and Asou-senpai returned to her seat, her lips pursed indignantly.
With this in mind, I peeked at Asuhain-san’s face while she was opposite me. She was pouting like a kid, trying to hide her unhappiness.
It seems that high school students are no different whether they are in a preparatory school or a student council.
Contrary to Asuhain-san, who seemed to be dissatisfied with the softer atmosphere of the student council, I felt a sense of familiarity in this room, my new home.
Mizuto Irido ◆ The First time with Isana Higashira
In contrast to Yume, who became a member of the student council starting this day, I hung out in the library after school, as usual.
Isana Higashira, whom I had been hanging out with in the library after school and in the classroom during lunchtime, said to me while looking down at the pages of a light novel.
“By the way, Mizuto-kun, what are you going to do for me?”
Isana bent and stretched her bare legs, and lifted them above the air conditioning by the window,
“You said you’ll make it up to me for neglecting me at the after-party of the school festival, didn’t you?”
“Oh, yeah…I do remember such a story.”
“What do you mean, story??? I was really looking forward to it!”
Well, even if I didn’t make it up to her, I wanted to thank Isana for all the help she gave me during the festival.
“So let me ask you this, what do you want me to do? I’ll do whatever I can to help you.”
“What? Did you just say ‘anything’?”
Seeing Isana chomp down on me so fast, I knew I’d made a huge mistake.
I leaned myself backwards as if to escape from Isana who was leaning forward.
“W-w-wh-why…duh. I said why, didn’t I?”
“Creep creep creep! Calm down, you creepy otaku! I told you I’d do all I could!”
“T-that’s easy… hehe, ehehe, I’ll just have to be patient then…eheheh! See? It’s just for a little while!”
If it weren’t you, I would have reported you to the police immediately. I grabbed Isana by the shoulders and yanked her away,
“…What do you want me to do? I’ll hear you out.”
“Heh. Well, you know. There’s a place I always wanted to visit with Mizuto-kun!”
“Where would you like to go?”
“It’s a facility where men and women can enter a soundproofed room and take a break for a fee per hour!”
I invoked my right of preemptive self-defense against this woman, the embodiment of sexual desire. Isana Higashira, widening her nostrils, said,
“Shall we go to a manga cafe together!?”
…Oh, that place…
I knew of such places through the signs hanging from the building, but of course, I had never been to one. After all, I could buy a book if I wanted to read it, or if I didn’t have the money, I could borrow it from the library—speaking of which, I hardly read manga compared to light novels in the first place, so the concept of a manga cafe itself is not for me.
So let’s go there, it might be a different situation for Isana Higashira though,
“Manga takes up a lot of space, and above all, it’s not as cost-effective as light novels. It takes three hours to read a novel, but only one hour to read a manga.”
“I’ve never evaluated books in terms of cost, but in terms of time, that’s true—, it feels like if you convert the content of one light novel volume into a manga, it would take up three or four books.”
“So I want to read them all at once, but that costs a lot of money.”
That’s where manga cafes come in. Library wouldn’t have manga.
Ehehe, Isana giggled,
“Well, it’s partly because I’m simply thrilled and happy to be in the pair seat with Mizuto-kun.”
“…I don’t think I’ll ever get to know you except for such moments.”
“I guess so. You can go there with Yume-san as often as you want, Mizuto-kun.”
“Of course not.”
“Is that so?”
“She’s obviously just overreacting.”
Despite her looks, she’s completely naïve.
“I also like tsundere guys, you know?”
“What are you talking about?”
Since she was gloomy, so I gave her a little nudge, and we entered a manga cafe on the second floor of a building.
Apparently we’d already made reservations on the internet. I stood in front of Isana, who was hiding behind my back, and we went to the booth.
Isana looked curiously at the open seats lined with computers and the bookshelves filled to the ceiling with manga as she walked along.
“All you can eat soft-serve ice cream…! They have All-you-can-eat soft serve ice cream, Mizuto-kun!”
“Looks that way. But isn’t it difficult to eat soft-serve ice cream while reading a manga?”
“That’s a different stomach. A different stomach!”
“I don’t think a different stomach matters here…anyway, let’s put down our stuff first.”
Isana booked a three-hour package for a pair of completely private seats. The price was reasonable for high school students if we split the cost.
Inside the booth, the entire floor was covered with cushions. Isana went in first and dropped her butt with a thud.
When I closed the door, Isana looked around inside the not-so-large room.
“It’s nice, isn’t it? It’s like we’ve blocked out the world.”
“Blocked out the world…now that’s an interesting way of putting it.”
Indeed, this feeling of being almost completely cut off from the outside world wasn’t bad at all not bad at all. It makes us feel more free compared to a big place. Perhaps it suited us after all.
“Mizuto-kun, please take off my socks.”
“Shouldn’t we go pick our manga first?”
“Ah, that’s right.”
I put down my stuff and opened the door again, and Isana comes crawling out of the booth on all fours.
Then she moved to the bookshelf zone.
“So many manga to read…”
“I’m so excited!”
Indeed…it was quite a sight seeing this packed bookshelf.
I picked out a few manga and flipping through them, “Ah, this one. And this one, too.” Isana cupped the books in her chest.
“Woaah~! I can’t get past volume 5! Who’s monopolizing it!?”
“You can’t speak for others now can you?”
I was stunned to see the twenty or so manga she was holding in her arms. There’s no way she could finish them all in three hours.
I decided to take half of the manga from Isana’s selection, and we went back to the booth. We gave up on the soft-serve ice cream because our hands were full.
We stacked the manga on the desk with the computer, “Alright.” Isana rolled her sleeves.
“So, once again!”
She said, stretching her legs towards me.
I don’t need to tell everyone. I pulled Isana’s socks off on the flat seat.
“I feel like I’m in Mizuto-kun’s room whenever I do this.”
“Well, I’m losing out since I’m paying.”
“No, it’s different from usual. We’re both in uniform!”
Isana tilted her head, and so I pointed at the light blue fabric peeking out from between her thighs.
“I can see it . You forgot you’re wearing a skirt.”
“…I-I’m showing you.”
“Then that’s your problem.”
Isana sat in a girl’s posture and closed her thighs tightly.
Then, she looked aside,
“…But, Mizuto-kun, the truth is,”
“I’ve been basically visiting your room every day during the summer vacation, Mizuto-kun. I think I’m starting to lose it.”
“My sense of shame.”
Isana said and stopped holding her skirt.
Then, to my horror, she sat down on her butt.
“Maybe I don’t care if people see my panties now.”
“Take it back! Regain your sense of shame!”
“Well, if it doesn’t make Mizuto-kun feel erotic, what does it matter?”
…I wasn’t saying I wouldn’t find her erotic.
But that’s the tricky part.
Yume Irido ◆ A fellow admirer giving chase.
“Well, I guess that’s all for today.”
The first day of the student council ended with a brief explanation of the roles.
The ex-president—Hoshibe-senpai appeared to have waited for this moment as he got up from the reception sofa, yawning..
“Oh, you’re done. Let’s go then. Welcome party.”
President Kurenai gave Hoshibe-senpai a dumbfounded look.
“Don’t tell me you were napping for that reason?”
“Oy oy? Don’t Hey, hey. Don’t tell me you’re trying to refuse me? This Senpai whom you owe a favour? Huh?”
“Woah~, such a depressing Old Boy. My illusions are destroyed, Senpai.”
Asou-senpai said mockingly, and Hoshibe-senpai opened his mouth, guffawing.
Hoshibe-senpai might be an enigmatic person himself, but it seemed he was a moodmaker. It was a different kind of leadership from President Kurenai, who would overwhelm everyone with her charisma.
“Well, I’ve prepared the venue for the welcome party, whether you want to invite the old boys or not. It’d be nice if you two freshmen could come too.”
“Oh, yes. Of course.”
Asuhain-san and I answered, and President Kurenai smiled in affirmation.
The six of us then left the school and followed President Kurenai through the streets.
Naturally, President Kurenai was first, followed by me and Asuhain-san. Behind us was Asou-senpai who was messing around with Hoshibe-senpai, and Haba-senpai was tagging along at the back like a shadow.
“How’s the first day at the student council?”
President Kurenai turned around and asked us first-year students.
“Well, I can’t say for sure since I haven’t done any work yet…but I was nervous. I’m quite shy, actually…”
“Really? If that’s the case, you handled your flaws quite well. I didn’t feel any shyness from you.”
I was glad. I felt that I was praised on the specific aspect I wanted to be praised. I guess that’s a person who was born to stand above others.
“What about you, Ran-kun? ”
“Ahh! Ehh, erm, well…!”
Asuhain-san’s small body flutters about in a panic,
“Y-You were a little more casual…than I thought.”
Perhaps as a result of her panic, Asuhain-san said something that sounded quite honest.
She immediately groaned and covered her mouth, but President Kurenai chuckled,
“I guess so. I felt the exact same thing last year.”
“Oh…? You too, President?”
“I thought it was a more serious and uptight organization, but the president at the time was as how you see him now, a jerk. I knew I had to buck up.”
President Kurenai glanced behind us. There, Hoshibe-senpai was imitating the voice of a broadcaster or something, “You don’t look anything like him! Apologize for Aisa’s guess” and Asou-senpai was raging away…I mean, Asou-senpai, why are you using your own name as a pronoun while talking to an older person…
“I think you felt the same way, more or less, Ran-kun?”
“Y-no, that’s erm…”
Asuhain-san’s voice trailed off as her eyes darted to the side. Apparently President Kurenai hit the nail on the head.
“Very well, then.”
President Kurenai said firmly, and Asuhain-san looked up.
“I won’t tell you to go with the flow. In fact, as a freshman, you’ll ensure that the sophomores buckle down. Just be yourself.”
Asuhain-san really buckled down, literally, and took President Kurenai’s words to heart. This was hardly the way to behave towards a fellow girl who was a year older. Does she see the President as a god or something?
While the President continued to look forward, “Haa.” Asuhain-san finally relaxed her shoulders and sighed.
I tried to keep my voice down, but Asuhain-san looked back at me with hostility. I didn’t really feel scared though since she had a cute face, maybe.
“How did you know about President Kurenai, Asuhain-san? I worked with her as part of the culture festival committee.”
As far as I could remember, Asuhain-san didn’t participate in the culture festival committee. Given how much she admired the President, I assumed they interacted at one point, but how..
“…It wasn’t much of an encounter.”
Asuhain-san lowered her head, and said with self-deprecation.
“When I first entered the school, I got tangled up with a boy… Normally I’d get rid of him quickly, but this one in particular was persistent.”
So she got wooed, huh? I remembered Akatsuki-san said she didn’t get wooed too much because she was mistaken for a middle school student, but despite being of similar height, Asuhain-san had that chest…
“And while I was in trouble, I was saved by a passing Kurenai-senpai. She looked so majestic and cool…”
Yep yep. I quietly agreed with her in my mind.
President Kurenai and Asuhain-san didn’t differ too much in height. But somehow, President Kurenai’s figure looks much bigger. Maybe it’s because she’s not afraid of anyone, and very confident of herself.
“That’s why I decided to join the student council. I’ve always been good at studying, so I thought that if I got good grades, my reputation would improve, so I worked hard…and then…”
She glared at me resentfully, so I gave her an amiable smile.
“Haa,” Asuhain-san sighed again.
“Actually, I was going to greet her in a smarter manner, but I was so flustered…Irido-san, how are you able to talk normally with that Kurenai-senpai? Is it something that you can get used to?”
“Hmm~, I guess so…initially, I was a bit tentative, too.”
If there was a particular turning point, it was… that.
I thought of the boy in the background who was supposedly tailing everyone.
“President Kurenai may seem like a person from another dimension, but she’s also surprisingly normal.”
“Yeah. Maybe you’ll understand this one day, Asuhain-san.”
Asuhain-san narrowed her eyes and furrowed her brows slightly.
“…Somehow, I feel like I was one-upped…”
“Eh!? No no no, I don’t mean that!”
But…romance might be a really sore point to Asuhain-san.
Will she be okay? I wonder what will happen if she finds out that President Kurenai likes Haba-senpai.
Yume Irido ◆The Side Job of the Student Council President
We were shown to a café with a small signboard in a quiet alley, where the welcome party would be held.
Perhaps it was a private party, or perhaps there were only a few customers in the first place, but there were no other customers in sight, and we were comfortably seated at a table. The first years were paired together someone, and just as I sat down next to Asuhain-san, President Kurenai said,
“Everyone, what would you like to drink?”
Hearing each person’s answer, the President nodded,
“Now then, please wait while I make the preparations.”
What does she mean by preparations? I wondered what she meant, but to my surprise, the President disappeared into the staff room.
“This is where Suzurin works part-time.”
Asou-senpai, who was sitting next to Hoshibe-senpai, said so.
I was surprised,
“She works here? She has a part-time job, even though she’s also on the student council?”
“Yes yes. Social studies, She’s too uptight otherwise. ”
Wow…that’s some vitality she had. I knew she had been at the top of the school year for a long time, but I could imagine that she’s just built different.
“…Maybe I’ll get a part-time job, too…”
Asuhain-san muttered as she looked around the store’s interior curiously. Since she said so, I felt that I too should do something.
Even though Asuhain-san murmured slightly, Hoshibe-senpai overheard it and said,
“You’d better not imitate her, you know. It’s a disease peculiar to people who are too hi-specs.”
“…I can’t be as good as Kurenai-senpai, huh?”
While Asuhain-senpai retorted unhappily, Hoshibe-senpai used his large hands to fiddle with his phone,
“Not to the point of recklessness and ruining your body at least. If you still want to get close, do things one at a time. If you involve yourself in too many things, you’ll end up learning nothing at all.”
“…Thank you for your advice.”
“Oh, got a SR.”
While he’s right, he shouldn’t be saying that while playing a game…see, Asuhain-san gave Hoshibe-senpai a blank stare.
In the meantime, the staff room door opened.
“Here you go.”
President Kurenai appeared, dressed as a waitress.
She was dressed in a knee-length skirt and white apron, and looked different from her usual self as the President, but her appearance was perfect for the petite and feminine body.
Oh, I said with a small clap.
“It looks good on you, President.”
“Thank you. It’s quite popular with the regulars, too.”
She was subtly bragging. She’s somewhat childishly cute.
Come to think of it, the military-style gothic lolita she wore during the presentation was also very cute…
“Do you like cosplay?”
The President smiled wryly,
“Being able to enjoy fashion is a privilege of being born a woman. Don’t you think so?”
“Haa…ehh, well, I guess so.”
She likes it.
President Kurenai served the drinks that she had brought on a tray.
“I can get you some snacks, so feel free to order. It’s on me.”
“Thank you very much!”
I nodded, and President Kurenai, still dressed as a waitress, moved to the next table. What? Why? It seems that Haba-senpai was sitting there alone. I didn’t notice it…
President took the trouble to sit next to Haba-senpai even though it was a box seat for four people. Haba-senpai leaned aside to avoid her, but she closed the distance as if to take advantage of the gap.
Asuhain-san, who was next to me, leaned across me and tried to peek.
“Wait a minute…Asuhain-san?”
I called out, but Asuhain-san looks at the Senpais sitting next to each other with a confused look,
“…Are…Kurenai-senpai and Haba-senpai…?”
She asked the question that was the crux of it all.
They’re not just close, they’re the kind of people who seduce each other in an empty classroom, but I couldn’t mention that to Asuhain-san, who hates men and was an ardent believer in the President. What should I do? Should I try to bluff? Or should I tell her the truth while the wounds are still fresh…?
“Well, they’ve been in the same class since the first year…”
While I was lost in thought, Asou-senpai said as she sipped her au lait through a straw.
“It was Suzurin who saw through Joe-kun’s abilities, and brought him into the student council…but he’s still inconspicuous, so she’s been keeping an eye on him.”
“I see, is that so…”
Asou-senpai gave me a look and secretly winked at me. Thank you Senpai, you’re very good at winking!
Hoshibe-senpai continued to fiddle with his phone,
“Look, Kurenai’s not just looking at Haba, she clearly has—worgh!?”
“I’m sorry, Senpai ♪, my elbow hit you ~♪”
“N-no! That was definitely intention—worgh!?”.
“It’s your fault for being so big, you know~? You should hate your own hitbox~ ♪”
Asou-senpai continued to elbow Hoshibe-senpai in the flank, while Asuhain-san kept staring at the back of Haba-senpai’s head with a perplexed look.
Mizuto Irido ◆ What shines at the very end
Inside the quiet and narrow booth, the pages could be heard flipping.
Isana Higashira was sitting next to me on a flat seat with her knees tucked in, staring intently at a manga. Naturally, she wasn’t holding the hem of her skirt, and her panties would surely be in full view from the front, but I couldn’t see it from my position on the side, and since she wouldn’t change even if I warned her, I decided not to pay attention to it.
From the large number of manga Isana had brought in, I picked up a few older works with fewer volumes and read them. The classics are rarely seen in bookstores, and I thought I wouldn’t be reading them except for such occasions.
Of course, the classics survived till the present day because they were interesting, and it was interesting to see the elements that seem to have influenced later works beyond the genre. Every time I finished a book, I would return it to the shelf and get a drink from the drink bar. It wasn’t good manners to hold onto a book for a long time.
So when I returned to the booth, Isana had her tablet open on her lap.
“What are you doing?”
I asked, bringing the straw from the apple juice to her mouth, and she sipped it without taking her eyes off the tablet.
“Puahh…no, actually, I just saw a nice looking composition that looked good…”
Isana’s right hand was holding a stylus pen, and her left hand held an open manga. I peered over and it seemed Isana was sketching a certain panel of the manga on her tablet.
“Isn’t this manga artist-san amazing to be able to draw any composition? I wonder what kind of mind he has.”
“Well… from my point of view, you’re amazing enough to suddenly start copying. Do you usually do that?”
“I’ve been copying light novel illustrations for a long time, but recently I’ve been thinking that I want to get better at it.”
“Then again, why all of a sudden?”
“Because Mizuto-kun praised me.”
Praised you? Me?
“You might have said it casually, Mizuto-kun, but, you asked me if I thought of the composition myself, and said that it’s well done… I was secretly very happy when you said that. I found myself thinking back to that casual comment over and over again…and then I thought that I should try a little harder. It’s just a simple reason, but that’s why.”
Isana’s mouth slackened, but she didn’t stop her pen.
“Since then, drawing has been really fun.”
I didn’t remember much about it, even for myself. It must have been a really casual, offhand comment.
But that one word may have opened something in Isana. I knew she was clearly talented to some extent… I was struck by an inexplicable shock at being shown this so clearly, so closely.
I was frankly surprised, frankly happy, and frankly envious.
Isana had found something that was uniquely hers.
Contrary to the last time, she looked so radiant at this point that I almost shied away from being next to her.
…I had no ideal. I didn’t have a self to aim for. Isana told me that it’s okay to love someone even if that’s the case, but it didn’t change the fact that I was empty.
But…if I could contribute to this brilliance in such a big way, then I guess it meant something.
Since I’m here, there’s a meaning.
I sat next to Isana as she continued to draw, our shoulders touching lightly.
“If you want me to praise you again, tell me.”
“No, I don’t want you to praise me just for the sake of praising me, because it would lower my motivation.”
“You’re a pain in the ass.”
Mizuto Irido ◆ I have the obligation to hold it in.
A voice came out of nowhere, and I turned around.
Did I mishear…? No, I didn’t, right? I was certain there was a lustful voice coming from somewhere…
Isana, who had been concentrating on her sketch, straightened up at the sound of the voice that sounded clearer.
We exchanged looks.
“(Oy, this voice…)”
“(I-I guess…you heard that too!?)”
We naturally kept our voices low.
We most probably knew without even needing to check. We knew where the voice came from, and what it was.
We looked behind us slowly, without saying a word.
The only thing behind us was an inorganic wall.
No…it was beyond there.
The booth with the pair seat next door.
If I paid closer attention, I could hear a rustle. If I interpreted this normally, I could only imagine such things going on beyond that wall.
“(Huh…woahh…! I-i-it-it’s next door…!)”
“(O-oy, calm down.)”
“(T-they’re tota-totally doing it, right!? It-it’s obviously…se—)”
“(I told you to calm down!)”
“(I’m sorry!) ”
I hurriedly covered Isana’s mouth with my hand.
“(Let’s calm down and think about it…it’s true that I’ve heard of such things happening in manga cafes, but there’s no way we’d encounter such things. It’s probably a porn video or something.)”
“(Y-yes…I guess. That’s right, that’s right.)”
“(Mizuto-kun… that moaning is very realistic for a porno.)”
Like hell I know about that! Anyway, how do you know about that!?
While Isana’s subdued voice echoed faintly in the background, she gently pulled my hand away from her mouth, her blushing face turned towards me as her eyes swam about.
I realized that I had gotten closer than I thought.
I had unconsciously grabbed Isana’s shoulders, and my knees on the flat seat were tucked beneath her thighs. I could easily push Isana down if I exerted some strength on my hand grabbing her shoulder, probably.
Furthermore, Isana’s shoulders had shrivelled as she looked up at me, which worsened the situation. The voices through the wall had me thinking in that manner, and, and my attention was drawn to Isana’s chest, which was heaving in a regular pattern.
Isana muttered, a little embarrassed.
“(Even I can tell from up close, Mizuto-kun…)”
“(No, I mean…sorry…)”
“(You can’t do that to Yume-san.)”
And Isana fiddled with her bangs,
“(But…It’s fine for me…)”
…Sometimes, I had a feeling that she’s still gunning for me.
She said that she didn’t want to get into a relationship with me, but I got the feeling that she was trying to woo me whenever she could.
But she’s such a natural at it, and I couldn’t help it.
I’m just normal, just a normal dude who doesn’t show it on his face. Even though I categorize Isana as a friend, it’s inevitable that I’d be stimulated by such unexpected desires.
As long as she’s like this…I had an obligation to restrain myself.
I hugged Isana’s face to my chest and stroked her head.
See, she’s just a big dog. She’s like a pet. I have no sexual desire for pets. She’s just a pet, a pet, a pet…
“Wa-wait, Mizuto-kun! I-it hurts…!”
Isana flailed in my arms and then—with a thud, her foot hit the desk.
And the tower of manga on the desk tilted unsteadily.
I realized this, and instinctively reached out to hold up the stack of manga. While trying to hold myself up though, my other hand instinctively grabbed a nearby object,
A lusty voice came from nearby, not through the wall, and the stack of manga crumbled feebly.
One hand of mine groped something very soft.
It’s too big to fit in my palm, and my fingers sank into it, but there’s a tension that pushes me back. Right before the softness was a hard feeling, like a wire running around the edge.
Isana lifted her face, and she was panting shallowly.
She had a hand on the scattered manga, held her upper body up with her other hand behind her back, and took on my hand.
My hand grabbed one of her breasts.
Isana looked at me with moist eyes, neither displeased nor shaking me off.
Those eyes became indistinguishable from the illusion of the voice through the wall, and I became instantly terrified.
I touched her.
After all, I had never touched her with my palm before—not this firmly.
And now it was proven.
It was proven…that Isana wouldn’t mind if I did this.
Terrified, I removed my hand from her chest.
Isana too slowly straightened her skirt and turned her head aside.
“……Mizuto-kun…are you, doing this on purpose……?”
“I’ve been trying to be careful and endure…since you like Yume-san, Mizuto-kun…! So why are you asking me to do something like that? I don’t know what happens if my sanity vaporizes!?”
…So you were being considerate?
What if she hadn’t been?
Isana turned around and crawled towards me on all fours with a rugged look in her eyes.
“If I can’t take it anymore… you’ll have to take responsibility.”
“What do you mean by ‘responsibility’?”
“You’ll have an affair with me. I’ll have you fall into immoral pleasures with me.”
I was a little relieved. Given how she could say it out loud at this point, I assumed it wouldn’t happen in reality.
“If I ever decide to draw an erotic manga or something, you’ll be my source material. ”
“I really don’t want that to become a reality someday.”
“Anyway! Don’t make any innuendos!”
Goodness, that’s exactly my line, but I agreed I should be in control. Although, I wonder if I should have mentioned it when the accident occurred…
Haa, Isana sighed,
“Well, it’s neighbor-san’s fault for having no manners and being raunchy. ”
Isana suddenly looked at the booth next to us where the sounds had been coming from.
“Isn’t it getting quieter next door?”
Isana was right.
Before we knew it, the voices and noises through the wall had completely disappeared.
Did they realize that we could hear them…? No, actually, it’s amazing that they just disappeared completely…
We looked at each other, and then, without knowing who it was, we tiptoed out of the booth.
Then we sneak a peek at the next booth.
No one was there.
There was no sign of anything.
“……Mizuto-kun, do you know?”
“I heard that ghosts run away when you talk about sex.”
“Why did you just say that?”
What does that have to do with anything?
Isana shuddered with a blank look.
“Mizuto-kun… please take me home today.”
“Also, the next time I visit a manga cafe, please come with me.”
She sure got a bone to pick.
Normally, you wouldn’t want to come back, right?
Yume Irido ◆ The person I like is in this house
The sun was setting and the sky was half black, and so ended the welcome party of the student council.
“Well then, we’ll start our activities properly tomorrow. Take care of yourselves, everyone.”
“I-I’ll do my best!”
“Thank you very much!”
The group dispersed, and I headed home alone.
Along the way, I thought about the people I had met today.
Asuhain-san sees me as her rival, and is staunchly anti-love because of her past experience and seriousness. I’m worried that she’ll get angry once she finds out about me and President Kurenai’s situations.
Asou-senpai seemed reliable as a senpai, but she seems somewhat abusive towards men, and to be honest, I don’t want her near Mizuto. Or is it only for Hoshibe-senpai?
Ex-President Hoshibe-senpai might seem indifferent at first glance, but there are glimpses of thoughtfulness in his words. He says that he came here because he has free time, but I wonder what he really means.
I had never been in a club before, and it was the first time for me to have senpais and to have a fellow peer. Will I be able to get along with them…I would have been worried about such things if it was me in my middle school days, but I’m different now.
I feel that the world will become more interesting.
It’s like anticipation, like certainty. My heart was filled with such excitement.
As I was walking along, I saw a familiar back ahead of me.
We were deep into Autumn and the days were getting shorter. I wondered if he had gone somewhere with Higashira-san.
He didn’t notice me behind him. Then, a mischievous thought occurred to me.
I smirked, suppressed my presence as much as I could, and approached the familiar back—
He—Mizuto, jolted in shock as he moved away from me as if he were being bounced.
The reaction was so strong that I froze, even though I had surprised him.
“Y-you shocked me…I-I didn’t think you’d be that shocked…”
“A-ahh, it’s you…?”
Mizuto turned his head to look at me and looked away, looking embarrassed.
Oh, he’s cute. He’s embarrassed.
Mizuto rubbed his neck in vain like a character in an otome game,
“Wait, I just dropped Isana off at her house due to some reason…did you return from student council?”
“Yeah, I had a welcome party at the shop where the President works.”
“Part-time? Her? I can’t imagine that…”
Hmm, he’s talking more than usual.
I guessed that he wanted to cover up his hypersensitive reaction earlier.
“Hey, what happened?”
Mizuto faltered as I closed the distance between us and stared into his eyes,
“…It’s nothing major…”
“Like what? I mean, where did you and Higashira-san go to?”
The questions came naturally.
I’m not being jealous. It’s just that even though he was alone with Higashira-san, it’s uncharacteristically late for him.
I just—want to know.
What was Mizuto doing while I was at the student council? I want to hear from him what I didn’t know about him, straight from the horse’s mouth.
And also, I want to talk.
I wanted to talk about what happened on this day. The people I met, the new place, the new things, the me you don’t know of.
Talk to me, listen to me, share with me. I want to look back with you on this momentous day.
Fortunately, we have time.
Because we’re gonna—
“…Okay. I’ll talk. We’ll be walking the same way home anyway.”
It’s so inconvenient to have the person you like at home.
But having someone I like at home makes me so happy.
Because I don’t have to say goodbye.
I don’t have to walk in the opposite direction, saying see you tomorrow.
We can be in different places while the sun is up and come back at night and recollect the events of the day.
What I want to know about you.
What you don’t know about me.
I can unravel the mystery of you and me, one by one.
“Isana and I shared a pair seat in a manga café.”
No, what was that?
…Such jealousy is a luxury for us living in the same house. Living in the same house is of a higher rank than a pair seat at a manga café!