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Ever since Oniisama told me not to worry about school fees I felt so relaxed~
I suppose that was why I was slacking off lately. Having to go to that party hadn’t helped.
I still like to think that I studied properly though.
Part of the reason I didn’t make it onto the ranking board was probably that some people were beginning to study properly now. It was coming to the point where we had to start thinking about our futures.
Internal students like me were at least guaranteed a university entrance, but that wasn’t to say that getting into the popular courses would be easy.
Aaah~ If I didn’t get my act together my grades were probably going to keep slipping…
Anyway, it was Kaburagi in 1st place and Enjou in 2nd this time.
They really were something else.
Even though they were both at the party, unlike a certain somebody their grades hadn’t dropped at all.
I liked to think it was because their mothers hadn’t dragged them around to beauty salons and hairdressers.
Yeah, that’s what I’m going with.
As for Wakaba-chan whose bullying had escalated to being framed as a cheater, she was at 4th place having been beaten out by Fellow Stalking Horse.
4th place after all that was amazing. I wished she could share some of those smarts with me.
Even though she was the smartest girl in the grade you’d never know from looking at her. As usual she was standing around with her mouth hanging open, and hair on the back of her head was sticking this way and that.
Please be a bit more careful, Wakaba-chan! There are so many things to tease you on!
“Studies are all that ugly bitch has, after all.”
“She studies to the point that she doesn’t care about how she looks anymore.”
“Can you even call that a girl~?”
Despite people badmouthing her from right behind, Wakaba-chan paid them no heed at all.
No doubt she was daydreaming about the lunch she’d be treating herself to.
The girls who had been badmouthing her scattered at Fellow Stalking Horse’s arrival.
“Geez, I lost to you this time.”
“You’re still 4th. And I barely beat you this time. Not that I won’t be studying hard to do this again though.”
“Yeah. Do your best.”
“You still have room to say that?”
The two of them seemed to be getting along quite well. Was it because they were both in the Student Council?
And Wakaba-chan’s attitude was relaxed in a way that she wasn’t during interactions with Kaburagi.
Uwah, the faces of the Prime Arima fans were kinda terrifying right now.
The squeals of girls heralded Kaburagi and Enjou.
Perhaps because the rings of girls had already informed them but they simply glanced at the top of the board and that was it.
What the hell. Be a little more glad about this. I wasn’t even on the list.
The two of them were about to head back when Kaburagi caught sight of Wakaba-chan and stopped.
“Ah, congratulations on 1st place.”
“Isn’t it a given?”
His expression had softened a bit. I guess he was happy to see her in the morning.
Given the difference in treatment with other girls I could see why everyone was so jealous of her.
As Wakaba-chan stood with her back to the board, Fellow Stalking Horse stood to her side.
In front of her stood Kaburagi.
And a little distance behind him was Enjou.
One girl, surrounded by the three boys who were arguably the most popular in the entirety of the high school section. And that girl was Wakaba-chan.
Wasn’t this kind of bad…?
Look! See! People from the President’s group were glaring at them right now!
Wakaba-chaaan, there’s less than a month left until graduation. Pleaaase don’t get in trouble until then.
Of course she was immediately surrounded in the locker room after gym class.
“You’re really getting ahead of yourself!”
“You weren’t fine with just Kaburagi-sama and Enjou-sama but even had to force Mizusaki-kun to wait on you!?”
“You suuure are good at sucking up to boys~”
By the time I heard about this Wakaba-chan was already surrounded by a ring of girls. And since no boys were here to see, none of them were holding back.
“Is it true that you came here as a gold digger?”
“With that face? Are you joking?”
“But she’s not doing too bad at deceiving Kaburagi-sama, is she~ Just as planned, right?”
Wakaba-chan didn’t say anything in return. She should have.
Then again it would have just made things worse.
Wakaba-chan didn’t seem to mind, but it was hurting me to watch.
“Your family owns a cake shop, I hear.”
That got a twitch out of her.
The girls seemed to notice because they smiled nastily and picked that to attack.
“Gosh. It must be a famous pâtisserie, I’m sure.”
“Why, the pâtissier has probably competed in the La Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie.”
“Right? There’s no way Zui’ran would let in a child from some tiny local bakery after all.”
“I heard it was a pretty cheap place. I wonder what they use as ingredients.”
That crossed the line. How could they talk about her parents like that!
Wakaba-chan’s expression had changed. She loved her family after all.
They were so cruel! I couldn’t watch any longer!
“I enjoyed it. Cake from Takamichi-san’s store.”
I entered their little ring.
“Eh, umm, Reika-sama…”
“It was a soft and pleasant flavour. It only took one taste to make me a fan. Both the strawberry shortcake and cream puffs were delicious. When I bought some to bring home with me, Oniisama loved them too. Apparently he liked the Swiss rolls the most. But perhaps the two of us simply have no taste. According to you girls.”
I leveled a harsh gaze over the girls who had been laughing at her.
Each of them hung their heads as I looked at them.
Some of them had a crush on Oniisama while he was enrolled here, and some others had cousins or older sisters aiming for him.
Protect me with your powers, Oniisama!
“Reika-sama and Takateru-sama…” muttered one.
“We didn’t mean…”
“Didn’t mean what?” I questioned.
The changing room was dead silent.
“I am not fond of that way of doing things.”
The group of girls began to disperse.
As my heart went crazy in my chest I left as well, somehow managing to cover up the shaking in my legs.
Later on Serika-chan and the others asked why I had been to Wakaba-chan’s place, so I just said that I had entered the place on a whim only to find out it was Wakaba-chan’s.
Aahh, what was I going to do about this if the President heard…
That night Wakaba-chan messaged me for the first time.
‘I’m going to especially make you a Yule Log as thanks!’
“According to your choice of words” is more literally “According to the tone and choice of words I heard just now.”