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In the end I never did make a friend.
I followed Aoi-chan’s advice and each day I could greet kids sitting near me with a smiling “Gokigen’yoh,” but on the first day a few of them acted strangely. I continued doing that each day, and eventually they became able to greet me back normally.
But it never developed further. I decided to think of it as lucky just that they weren’t afraid of me anymore.
After that, school began again. When I met my group again for the first time in a while, they said,
“My, Reika-sama. Have you slimmed down?”
You guys… You really did notice that I was getting fat, didn’t you.
I won’t forgive you if you were secretly calling me drill-hair tanuki, okay?
Once they found out that I had been going to remedials, for some reason they said
“As expected of Reika-sama. Truly devoted in your studies.”
and interpreted things conveniently for me. I decided not to correct them.
The first order of business after school began again was working out the participation lists for the athletics carnival.
Now that we’re middle schoolers, we have a student council, meaning that we now had representatives from the clubs, as well as an athletics committee to do the work, instead of an executive committee like in primary.
Although, class representatives had to do various jobs together with the athletics committee instead.
I was enthusiastic about it.
I finally had a point of contact with the student council!
If it’s for Senpai’s sake, then I’ll move my hands and feet as much as he needs!
I immediately headed to the Student Council room to help organise!
There are more relays in middle school. I hate running, so I’m trying to avoid them as best I can.
Aside from the great skipping rope and ball toss events, I was invited by my friends to join the three-legged race.
The most troubling event was the boys’ cavalry battle. We had a hard time deciding on the candidates. And of course. Because that guy is going to appear in it for sure.
From the boys who had competed with him in it before, I once heard that he was apparently terrifying in his pursuit, and completely different to any other contender.
I bet that Emperor is busy deciding on his horse right now. Apparently if you’re chosen as the horse, you’ll be forced into secret after school training. That way even his horse stands above the rest.
Considering that, yeah, I doubt anybody would want to join. I’m glad I’m not a boy.
In the end, we decided to send some Externals who didn’t know the story, and some unlucky boys who lost in rock-paper-scissors. Try your best, guys.
Anyway, now that we managed to somehow get the participation sorted out, I was on my way to the meeting for the athletics carnival, organised by the Student Council. Come on, Class Rep, let’s go. Don’t dawdle like that.
Because Miharu-chan is going to the meeting as well, Class Rep was standing there, using the reflection in the window to do his hair. He’s a total maiden.
When we got there, everybody else had already arrived. And naturally, sitting in the middle was President Romeo-senpai.
Aahh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen him up close!
Perhaps he went to the beach during the break because he had this tan that gave him even more of a wild look.
The corners of my mouth started to rise naturally, so I grit my teeth to stop it. I don’t want him to think of me as some weirdo girl who smiles to herself all of a sudden. But my muscles just keep moving on their own!
Our gazes met! He looked at me weirdly! Do I really look strange after all!?
The meeting went over the assignment of responsibilities and important points to remember, and at the end of the meeting we handed in our class participation lists.
Suddenly, looking at printouts, Romeo-senpai said,
“Speaking of which, apparently there’s a crazy strong guy appearing in the cavalry battle?
“I’ll be participating too. I wonder if I can win.”
Romeo-senpai is participating in the cavalry battle!? Then I definitely have to cheer him on!
When it came to my turn to hand my list over,
“Senpai. Please try your best in the cavalry battle,” I said, after gathering my courage.
Although Senpai looked a little surprised, he immediately smiled at me and said,
I did it!
My plan to get close to Senpai during the preparations went almost entirely unfulfilled.
The class reps did nothing but odd jobs for their class, and the preparations for the athletics carnival was almost all handled by the Student Council, the sports clubs, and the athletics committee.
Even so, whenever there was even a slight reason to head to the student council room, I would take the initiative to go.
The student council members gave me ambivalent looks, so I silently threatened them not to say anything uncalled for.
Just one time, when there were snacks left over in the Pivoine Salon, I secretly stole them all and presented them to Senpai. When I did, he said,
“Oohh! These are delicious. Thanks!”
with a dazzling smile, and I almost blurted out,
“For that smile, I’ll smuggle you as many sweets as you want!”
But geez, even though Senpai eats so many sweets, he doesn’t get fat at all. Speaking of which, Kaburagi is always eating macarons and chocolates in the salon, but he doesn’t have any needless flab either.
Isn’t that kind of unfair?
The day of the athletics carnival arrived. I once again put on the high strength sunscreen that Okaasama gave me, and participated as well.
I didn’t participate in any of the main events, so I tried my best to cheer for them.
When it came to the great skipping rope, the other classes made some mistakes, and it ended quite well for me. I never even imagined that it would be this tiring though.
For the club-vs-club costumed relay, Akizawa-kun from the Track and Field Club ran in a Snow White costume so I took a photo with my digital camera. I’ll show Sakura-chan later. You actually turned kind of beautiful, you know, Akizawa-kun.
As for Kaburagi and Enjou in their relays, they ended up surrounded by girls bringing honeyed lemon. Even if you give them that many, they won’t be able to finish them…
Honeyed lemon appears a lot in manga and novels as the clichéd thing you give to people in sports clubs, but I’ve never actually tried them. Are they yummy?
Anyway, the events went on, and in the afternoon, it was finally time for the cavalry battle.
When Team Emperor arrived, the cheering got noticeably louder. Emperor sitting with dignity on his heavily breathing horse. They must have trained a lot. Their confidence was palpable.
I could hear “Kaburagi-samaaa!” and “Emperor!” from here and there. Upfftpfft.
And then, Romeo-senpai and his team entered as well. Try your best, Senpai!
I wanted to actually say it aloud, but because of all the people around, I could only say it in my heart. Uwahh~ So vexing!
Besides the loud cheers for Kaburagi and Enjou, there started to also be cries of “Tomoe-kuuun! Try your beeest!” mixed in too.
This is bad. Senpai seems more popular than expected. I have lots of rivals. This is terrible.
While I was panicking, the battle began.
Kaburagi crushed nearby teams one after another, charging at teams that were trying to escape. T-, That was a team from my class. He’s being dragged along. He’s falling. Ah. He fell.
Yeah, you guys did your best. It looked like the other people crushed by Kaburagi were consoling each other. May you rest in peace.
Romeo-senpai hasn’t lost yet. While giving out accurate instructions, he captured enemies. How wonderful, Senpai!
After the battlefield ran out of prey, it was only Kaburagi and Romeo-senpai left over.
Romeo-senpai! Romeo-senpai, do your best!
While I was praying with all my heart, one of my friends sitting next to me said,
“Don’t worry. Kaburagi-sama will surely win.”
You’re wrong! I was praying for the other one!
As Emperor and Romeo-senpai fought, they seemed about even. Neither I nor the audience had ever seen the undefeated Emperor struggle like this. We were shocked.
Could it be that he’ll win!? Or so I thought, when Senpai’s horse stumbled, and Kaburagi used that gap to steal his headband.
The field was blanketed in loud cheers. It was the loudest it had ever been today.
Although Senpai lost, he still smiled like he was having fun. As for Emperor, who had been forced this far for the first time, seemed a little frustrated despite his victory.
That guy is definitely going to practice even harder next year, huh…
After the tallies, it was Romeo-senpai’s class that won overall. But the MVP was the Emperor, who won in both relays and the cavalry battle.
Emperor held his trophy in one hand, and raised it towards the sky. You really are having fun, huh.