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Normally I had lunch with Serika-chan and the others. Today was an exception to that.
At the behest of the President of the Pivoine, every member was currently assembled in the cafeteria together.
“It’s nice having lunch to strengthen the bonds within the Pivoine once in a while,” she said, “And to begin with, these seats were arranged for our exclusive use, so I think this is the best place for us anyhow.”
The Pivoine elitists nodded at her words. The President seemed to be in a good mood.
Ah, it would have been nicer to eat with my friends though… If possible I’d rather not become the leader of yet another village.
Unfortunately I wanted to avoid drama, so here I was, giving her words a vague smile as I ate my lunch. Enjou and Kaburagi usually ate here anyway. Despite the crowd today, they seemed to be ignoring it all and talking about sports.
“I knew it would be calming to spend time with proper students of Zui’ran. Ever since entering high school there have been so many outsiders unaccustomed to our ways.”
“I know how you feel. It’d be nice if they’d stop harming our image,” chimed in one of the boys.
“How are the new first years?”
“It’s still too early to tell, but at least nobody has stirred anything up yet.”
“I see. If anything happens, as a Pivoine you should teach them their proper place.”
“I understand. We won’t let them do as they wish in our school.”
“It’s fine that they admire Zui’ran and all, but overreaching their stations will bring them more trouble than anybody else.”
Usually I just treated the Pivoine as a nice place to eat snacks in, but there were a lot more elitists than I had expected… Some of them were extraordinarily proud about being a member of the Pivoine.
No wonder they got along so badly with the Student Council.
At least last year they had Tomoe-senpai to even things out, but…
“By the way, there’s actually a 2nd year causing problems…”
“Ah. That Takamichi girl?”
“Yes,” answered a girl, “When I saw her wearing gumboots with our uniform I felt faint…”
“That was certainly astounding. How could anybody have so little sense…”
“I know, right?” agreed another boy, “I can’t believe the way she shamed us in public. This is how we’re representing ourselves outside?”
“And the other day I saw her jumping along down the hallway,” added yet another girl. “She’s so barbaric that just seeing her irritates me.”
“Doesn’t she come to school with bedhair at times? Does she not even know how to take care of her own appearance?” asked somebody else.
“Saw her running to the train station too, you know? It was so disgraceful that I very nearly got out of my car to tell her off.”
“Heavens… At any rate, we can all agree that she doesn’t belong in Zui’ran. To begin with, who knows if those grades are her own ability…”
“Beating Kaburagi-sama and Enjou-sama…? How could that ever happen…”
With that, the conversation shifted to complaints about how she was basically tarnishing the two’s reputation.
Honestly, I didn’t know what they were clamouring about. What were they even expecting? For Wakaba-chan to lower her marks on purpose? She was a scholarship student.
If they really had problems with this then they should have just told Kaburagi and Enjou to study harder. Just kidding. Of course nobody could do that. But still, it would have been a lot more constructive than all of this grumbling.
Also I’m pretty sure the jumping in the hallway was because people were trying to trip her. And why were we even complaining about her hair or gumboots or running? Were we her mother-in-laws or something?
“At any rate, that girl needs to be watched. Those of us in 2nd year need to pay special attention to her. Reika-sama.”
I was supposed to be in invisible-mode so why did my name get called?
“I hope you’ll cooperate with us on this matter as well. Please purge the undesirables.”
Her choice of words was so scary that it was all I could do to smile.
I looked around the table for help, but Sarara-sama was already in her own little book-world having already finished lunch. Fuyuko-sama in the same group was just smiling leisurely as always. Enjou and Kaburagi who were the cause of all this were still chatting happily amongst themselves…
Uu, purge? Am I Catherine de Médicis? I don’t have it in me to send Wakaba-chan a poisoned glove… I’m just a Rococo Queen. Oh, but the Rococo Queen’s beloved macarons were introduced by Catherine de Médicis weren’t they? O great macaron bringer, I pay my thanks to thee.
I think I’ll buy some on the way home.
Exhausted from that lunch with the Pivoine, I was on the way back to my classroom when I spotted Wakaba-chan.
She was tottering along with a heavy-looking pile of exercise books. Maybe somebody had pushed the job onto her.
There were a number of people walking nearby, but none of them offered any help, either… What happened to being raised as gentleman here!
That was when Fellow Stalking Horse ran over and took half of the pile from her.
“Eh? But we’re in different classes.”
“It’s fine. So we’re bringing these to the staff room?”
“No, to a faculty room, but…”
Stalking Horse began walking briskly away. Recovering from her surprise, Wakaba-chan quickly followed after him.
Ooh! It was good to see Fellow Stalking Horse doing a proper job of the Stalking Horse thing. Well done, Comrade. I expected no less from a righteous Stalking Horse like you.
Unfortunately some of the girls who saw this were muttering loathingly about ‘cosying up to boys’.
I wonder if she’s going to be okay over the next two years.
Feeling even more exhausted, I headed to the Petite Pivoine for some soothing.
It was arranged that I would help Mao-chan with her studies. She was in 2nd grade, so it was obviously no problem.
Once I arrived she and Yuuri-kun welcomed me in with a smile. So cute.
The two of them began working on their arithmetic homework. While they were doing that I pulled out my needle felting work and began poking away.
I looked up to find that it was Yukino-kun the angel looking on in interest.
“This is needle felting, a method of creating shapes made from thread using a needle.”
“Oh, that seems fun…”
Since he seemed pretty enthused, I considered letting him try.
I asked him as much and he nodded with a resplendent smile before sitting down next to me and going at it.
“Try making a circle first.”
With just a little guidance, Yukino-kun was getting better and better at it. Maybe he was just good with his fingers.
Maybe the obsession that boys had with things actually made them pretty suited for handicrafts. Oh, speaking of which we had a new 1st year boy join. Even though he was new and a boy, he was without doubt way above my level.
His completed work was a white hemisphere with green ears and red eyes.
“Is this a rabbit?”
“Yes. It’s a snow rabbit. I’m not very healthy so when I was smaller I couldn’t play in the snow. That’s why Niisama made snow rabbits to give to me.”
Who would have thought that villain had done something so cute!
“Niisama and Masaya-niisama used to make snowmen that I could see from my window. Masaya-niisama said that snowmen always had to wear red buckets, so he went and bought small buckets just for that.”
Kaburagi!? And to think that he had weird fixations for his snowmen too…
“You get along very well with your Oniisama then?”
“Yes,” he smiled bashfully, “Can I keep this rabbit? I want to show it to Niisama.”
Somehow I had just a tiny bit better opinion of Enjou and Kaburagi now…