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Apparently we were slowly gaining new members. I say ‘apparently’ because I wasn’t there to see it myself. Actually I wasn’t allowed to interact with them directly.
According to Club Pres, my title as a Pivoine member was scaring away some of the newer students, so she hoped that I would make myself scarce just for the duration of the recruitment period.
I couldn’t really fault that logic. Everyone who joined that club was the same timid and quiet type, so I could see how they might be afraid of us. In Zui’ran, the Pivoine were like the ultimate predators, after all. The one group that you shouldn’t ever offend.
I knew that feeling too. But I was an official member of the Handicrafts Club. Wasn’t there any way I could help!?
Anyhow, I was sitting in a corner and needle-felting, sparing the occasional glance at the visiting students, when one of them called out to me falteringly. Heck yes!
“Did you have a question?”
“Yes. I was hoping somebody could tell me about the sewing machine that this club uses, but…”
I wasn’t proud of this, but I had never used it before. Actually I sucked at them in general. Things just got out of hand, and then the threads started to get tangled and… Anyhow, it was just hard. Come to think of it, when I was younger the threads got tangled and the sewing machine stopped moving. So I tried yanking it out, but the struggle ended with the machine giving off smoke. Machinery was difficult to use, wasn’t it.
But it was a chance to help. I decided to try my best!
“What did you want to know about it?”
“I wanted to know which company made the overlock sewing machines. Also whether or not you had any 4-thread overlocks.”
…What on earth was an overlock machine. And what was this about 4-threads?
“I’ve only ever used a 3-thread. I was hoping to get the chance to try my hand at a 4-thread.”
Oh no. I was trying my best but it was all Greek to me…
But I was an official club member. I couldn’t let her know.
“…Please wait a moment. I am a little tied up at the moment, so I will find somebody to answer your questions. You wanted to know about overlock sewing machines, yes?”
Anybody! Isn’t there anybody who knows about these “overlocked machines”!?
While I was looking for somebody who could answer, another one of the visitors came up to that girl and said,
“That miss over there is a member of the Pivoine, you know! You can’t just send her on chores like that, what if you make them angry!?”
I returned with a girl who knew more about the topic but Overlock-chan said,
“I’m so sorry! I’m an External Student and only joined this year, so I really had no idea!”
earnestly apologising to me.
It wasn’t a problem at all, though… I was just pretending to be busy so I didn’t have to explain. So seriously, please don’t look so scared of me~ I’m part of the commoner-faction, you know?
Maybe I should learn more about sewing machines…
Around that time, Ririna showed up with her buddies in tow.
“Geez, Reika-san! What a boring club you’ve joined!”
That stupid girl!
Flames of rage were beginning to grow in my heart but she had a lot of followers. If she joined the club, wouldn’t we get a whole wave of members!?
“Goodness, welcome, Ririna-san. Did you have some interest in handicrafts?” I asked as graciously as possible but…
“As if! Like I’d ever join such a minor club. I just came to make fun of you!”
Since that was the case, I immediately kicked her out.
Unfortunately some of the other club prospectives happened to see it all, and they ran away in fear. Curse you, Ririnaaaa!
Club President put her hand on my back, and gently returned me to my corner. This time a bunch of mannequin torsos were set in front of me like a wall.
It was a little lonely here…
Class Rep was looking gloomy. When I asked him what was wrong, it turned out that Miharu-chan was getting along with a boy in her class.
“We’re in different classes too. Looks like I’m at a major disadvantage, huh? What do I do. Do you think Honda-san really likes him?”
I wasn’t all that close with her or anything, but maybe I would have a chance to ask her. Class Rep looked desolate.
Thinking about it, wasn’t Nonose-san friendly with Miharu-chan? I saw them having lunch together quite a lot.
“Shall I find out for you?”
“Eh!? You would do that!? Thank you, Kisshouin-san!”
The maiden beamed with surprised joy. I didn’t mind doing this but what was he going to do if she really did like somebody?
The next day I greeted Nonose-san in the morning, and used that as an exchange to engage in some small talk. Obviously I couldn’t just walk up and demand she explain Miharu-chan’s relationship with him.
“I still owe you for taking care of me during the summer camp in middle school. Thank you for supporting me, especially while I was struggling with leading. I have ended up as a class representative again, but I hope for your continued support.”
“Of course! I don’t know how I can help but if I can then I will. Wow though. Summer camp. That’s nostalgic.”
We had fun chatting about it for a while.
“Come to think of it, Miharu-san attends every year, but she was strangely absent the one year I attended.”
“Oh, now that you mention it she did miss out. I remember mailing her while I was there.”
“Oh my. What did you say?”
“Ummm… I’ve forgotten. Probably something about the fireworks.”
“I see. It would have been nice to be in the same class together.”
“Yes. We thought it was a shame too.”
“I see. Had Miharu-san been in our class, she would certainly have been the class representative instead. And she gets along with Class Rep.”
“You think…? I think Class Rep makes a better pair with you, Reika-sama. What do you think of him?”
“Class Rep? I suppose I find him earnest and diligent?”
“I thought so~! Reika-sama, you’re close with Iwamuro-kun from the Judo Club too, aren’t you? What do you think about him?”
“Iwamuro-kun, you ask? Why, I think he is a man who knows what he wants, and is willing to put in the effort as well.”
Ever since I gave him that facial mask, apparently he never stopped maintaining his skin. Thanks to that, he could boast the most flawless skin in the Judo Club.
I didn’t know why, but Nonose-san was nodding in enjoyment. Who cares about me, we’re supposed to talk about Miharu-chan.
“Speaking of boys, is Miharu-san close with any in her new class?”
“Boys? Hmmm, I can’t say I’ve heard her say anything like that. Oh my, Reika-sama, you’re actually interested in these kinds of gossip?”
“Eh-, I, well…”
“I’d love to hear more about your romances~ Ah, but I suppose I shouldn’t ask, right?”
She looked a little disappointed. Uh, no, I actually don’t have any wonderful stories to tell.
“Every love rumour we hear about you is romantic. I’m envious.”
“Huh? Love rumour?”
“Like the love poem anthology. The story had me spellbound. The chamberlain and mercenary just weren’t the best choice. Reika-sama, I’ll support you!”
“Eh? Chamberlain? Mercenary?”
I had no idea what she was talking about but the bell rang so our conversation was cut short.
What on earth was that…?
But she mentioned something I couldn’t ignore. Love poem anthology. Don’t tell me she was talking about Kaburagi!? What on earth was romantic about that!? It was a cursed item, damnit!
Class Rep glanced my way during class, but sorry. I didn’t get anything out of it.
Dite came and pressed me about the performance for our class trip.
Sorry, I forgot.
He handed me a CD and asked me to choose one of the tracks on it. Apparently he had recorded his violin performances.
Did I really have to listen to this…?