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Right after the excursion was the mid-semester exam.
I studied for my life.
I found out from Aoi-chan that the amount people study in prep-schools was even more than I imagined, so I gave it my all.
Whenever there was something I didn’t understand in the middle of the night, I would invade Oniisama’s room to ask.
Because I was studying so desperately, my family started to worry.
But I can’t let my ‘As expected of Reika-sama’ reputation go to waste after all this time, you know~!
After cramming as much as I could, I faced the mid-sems.
The moment that the two-day examinations finished, I could feel the vocabulary and formulas spilling out of my head.
I can’t study any more. I’m burnt out…
Today is the day that the exam results are posted.
While pretending that I didn’t care at all about rankings, I went to have a look with my friends.
My heart was pounding hard.
God, O God, please give me results for my efforts! Please have pity on me!
I desperately ran my eyes over the names.
Ah-. It’s there.
18th – Kisshouin Reika
“Goodness! You’re amazing, Reika-sama!”
“18th place, Reika-sama!”
The girls around me started clapping and congratulating me.
…I did it.
I really did it!
It was worth it! I studied so hard that I had nightmares about it, but it was worth it!
Despite myself, a relieved sigh escaped my lips.
But I definitely can’t let them know how much I studied.
I don’t want to be labelled a swot.
Hahhh. Looks like I’ve somehow managed to defend my ‘as expected of Reika-sama’ position. Thank goodness.
18th place out of 200 people. I tried pretty hard, didn’t I.
Aahh, really, thank goodness.
Everyone started squealing ‘Kyaaa!’ all of a sudden.
“Look! Kaburagi-sama and Enjou-sama!’
1st – Kaburagi Masaya
2nd – Enjou Shuusuke
“To be able to hold back the External Students and take 1st and 2nd place! As expected of them!”
“They really can do anything~!”
The girls are in a trance again.
Unlike me, those two didn’t seem to have studied much either. Is this just the difference in talent?
Normally in the first middle school test, the top ranks are the External Students who passed through examination hell just to get in here.
Geez, as expected, I suppose.
In the end, a faker like me can’t compare.
I didn’t know any of the names 3rd place and below, so I guess most of them were Externals.
Ah-! I found a name I do know.
I looked here and there for the person I wanted, but couldn’t find anything in the sea of black hair.
Well, I guess there’s no way he has silver hair now. If he did, there’s no way he’d pass the interviews to get in here.
Today I’m going to Fukioka-san’s house.
It might be the first time I’m going to a friend’s house to play. I’m so happy!
Fukioka-san is an Ojousama that goes to an ojousama school, so even when I asked Okaasama for permission, there wasn’t any problem.
I don’t think it’s good to discriminate friends based on class, but…
Since it was my first time visiting, Okaasama gave me a present to bring. It’s cookies from a western confectionary store that even needs an introductory from a regular customer to buy from. A standard present for the Kisshouin family.
After I greeted Fukioka-san’s mother, she led me to Fukioka-san’s room.
“Could you sit on that sofa please?”
Her room was girly and cute.
I did as asked, and sat down on the cute, flower-patterned sofa.
“It’s been a while, huh. Have you been well?”
“I have. Haven’t we already gone through this by email and phone?”
Fukioka-san started giggling.
Even though it’s only been a few months, now that Fukioka-san is a middle schooler, she somehow seems more mature than before~
“By the way, I heard from Takumi. Apparently you did very well on your exams. Congratulations.”
“Thanks. But it was just a fluke, you know?”
He even tells her about that?
Also, Fukioka-san showed me earlier through the window. Akizawa-kun’s house is diagonal from here. They really are neighbours.
Apparently he’s busy with Track and Field Club today.
“Fukioka-san, have you entered a club?”
“I’ve been considering maybe the Koto Club or the Wind Instrument Club, but I’m not sure.
What about you?”
“In the end, I haven’t entered one either. There isn’t anything I really want to do, and I’m pretty busy after school.”
“Truee. I have violin practice too.”
The two of us nodded in agreement.
“But aren’t you a member of that whatever club at Zui’ran? I forget the name though.”
“Ahh, you mean the Pivoine.”
“Yes, that one. It’s a club that only chosen people can enter, right? People talk about it a lot at my school too.”
“Because it’s filled with people who are powerful, even amongst Zui’ran right? Yurinomiya is a girls school. We pay quite a lot of attention to good men from other schools.”
She mentioned the names of a few boys from grades above me, but they were all people I didn’t know. That’s pretty amazing…
“And as you’d expect, amongst them, the Two Tops in our cohort are by far the most popular.”
I don’t even need to ask for their names.
“The young master of the Kaburagi family is called the Emperor right? There are people in my school that call him Emperor as well, you know.”
“EEHH-!? Could it be that the origin of that name is…”
“Yes. As I recall, Takumi told me that it started after the Athletics Meet.”
Uwahh, this is bad.
Even people from other schools knows about the Cavalry Emperor name. Does the guy himself know that?
I’m starting to sympathise a little…
“Ahhh, welll, I was just wondering whether it’s okay that his Emperor nickname comes from a children’s cavalry battle.”
“My. Is that so? Anything is allowed as long as they’re a hot guy, you know. Who cares where the nickname came from.”
“Is that how is it?”
“That’s how it is. The girls at my school are all happily saying stuff like ‘”The Emperor” is such a dreamy name’ you know.”
So that’s how it is?
Well, it’s true that back when I read Kimidol, I did say something like ‘Emperor, what a cool name!’ without really caring how it came about.
“By the way, about the way you’ve been addressing me.”
“You don’t need to call me Fukioka-san. Just Sakurako will do, you know.”
After saying that, she turned away in a pout.
OOHHH! FUKIOKA-SAN IS GOING DERE ON ME!
“Ummmm, then, let’s go with ‘Sakura-chan’.”
Geez, your lips are always so proud, Sakura-chan you tsundere.
“But if I’m not calling you Fukioka-san, then you have to call me Reika!”
“I see. Then let’s go with Reika-san.”
EHHHH! If I’m calling you ‘-chan’, wouldn’t it be normal to call me ‘-chan’ back!? I want my friends to call me something casual too.
Maybe she could tell that I was sulky, because after a sigh, she said,
“Fine then, Reika.”
WHA-!? Suddenly jumping over the ‘-chan’ altogether and just using my bare name!?
At Sakura-chan’s house, we quickly became closer friends.