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The next Tilea chapter is over half done.
After ten of those messages, I finally replied.
Even though his test messages were all blank, somehow I could feel the anger.
I think I even hallucinated the word.
I chickened out and told him I didn’t notice because I was walking.
He complained, so I replied that patience was a virtue when it came to romance.
I was simply testing him.
I wonder what he’d say if I actually told him that.
It’s going to be a huge problem if you only ever think about yourself, stupid Kaburagi!
Going back to the original topic, getting messaged all the time like this was going to be a pain.
If it got to be too much, would it be better to drop my phone into some water, or have a car run over it…?
My plans to make the locker look like a frame job from Tsuruhana-san’s crowd went surprisingly well.
It wouldn’t work with the girls in my group since they seem like they would stand up for me no matter what.
Diligent-looking girls like Miharu-chan and Nonose-san, or the girls from my Handicrafts Club on the other hand…
“I feel so bad for Reika-sama. She’s been made out to be the culprit…”
“I’ve never seen Reika-sama harass anybody.”
“She just happened to be there. How can people be blaming her like that…?”
“Why does Reika-sama have to be suspected like this?”
It didn’t take them long at all to net me a bunch of sympathy votes.
My group followed up on it afterwards of course.
“Reika-sama has been framed.”
“Wasn’t there some group that told everybody that they were going to replace her?”
“Ehh? They said that?!”
“Takamichi-san said that it wasn’t Reika-sama who was responsible, but she never said a certain somebody wasn’t. That says it all, don’t you think?”
How you behave in everyday life is pretty important, Tsuruhana-san.
Anyhow, pretty much everybody was convinced that it was some plot by Tsuruhana-san to frame me.
And somehow there seemed to be more solidarity in my group now.
I guess it’s true what they say about making up an enemy to bring a group together.
In the end nobody ever found out who had done it, but the harassment had cooled off since that day, for now at least.
But hopefully the peace would continue until I was a 3rd year at least.
“Hm hm hm~”
I was happily enjoying tea in the salon until Enjou came along.
“Kisshouin-san, given that tomorrow is White Day, apparently Yukino wants to hand you some sweets in person. Do you think you could find some time tomorrow?”
“Gosh, Yukino-kun does!? Gladly!”
And it was almost spring break so I wanted to visit the other kids before that.
“But spring break is already so close. The kids in primary school are already having half-days.”
“Don’t worry about that. Lately he’s been bringing the boardgames you showed him at his birthday party to the petit salon. Apparently the kids there have all been playing.”
The Petit salon, previously filled with children gracefully talking as they sipped tea, was now basically a playhouse?
“I suspect he wants to play them with you, but if you have plans then don’t feel bad about refusing.”
My plans were the same as always.
Oh, was he worried that I’d be busy because of White Day?
No need to worry, I’m completely free.
“Speaking of which, are you also going on a date tomorrow, Enjou-sama?”
I was just making conversation, but surprisingly got an answer.
I was a little surprised.
And kind of felt like a loser.
Hmmmm, a date on White Day huh?
Well how awfully nice for you.
A dateless woman like me will just go and play cards with the Petit Pivoine then!
This place was a soothing paradise.
I entered to Yukino-kun and the other children’s adorable smiles.
Haaah, so warm and fluffy.
“Over here, Reika-oneesan.”
“Why thank you, Yukino-kun.”
My White Day present from him was rusk in a cute little jar.
Rusk is great, isn’t it.
I love it too!
It’s crunchy and light, and you can’t stop eating it!
I decided to just open it now and try a piece.
“How delicious. Thank you for the lovely gift.”
Yukino-kun laughed shyly next to me.
Still, despite the lightness in your mouth, rusk was heavy on the calories.
I made a note not to overeat.
After that I talked with him and Mao-chan and stuff about what we were going to be doing during the spring break.
For me, I was going to be taking some cram courses, as well as lessons from Akimi-san on cooking.
She had already taught me a few times before.
Akimi-san was kind and never mocked me, even when she had to teach me things as basic as chopping vegetables or making stock.
With her, it was easy to admit what I didn’t know, so I was glad I had come to her.
For now we were just following the recipes and practising different dishes.
Maybe once I had mastered the basics I could start looking for my own flavour.
And then I could start getting popular on the internet with them.
‘Give a boost to your romance with Reika’s cupid recipes!’
Maybe nikujaga for appealing to the male instinct…
“That sounds so nice, Reika-oneesama. Do you think I could come too?” Mao-chan asked entreatingly.
Come to think of it, she said something similar a while back.
“Hmmm, I shall have to ask Akimi-san for her permission, but how about coming to my house to have a look?”
Mao-chan gave a happy cheer.
How could anyone refuse a cute girl like this!
I sure couldn’t!
Yes, it was going to be a bit rough revealing just how bad at cooking I was, but I could always use a vegetable peeler, and to be honest Akimi-san was praising me more these days.
“You’ve gotten really good at cutting vegetables, Reika-san.”
“You’re really fun to teach since you’re so enthusiastic.”
“You’ve got really good taste in food presentation.”
I was the type of person who reacted really well to compliments.
Hearing them made me happy, and want to try harder, so Akimi-san was the perfect teacher for me.
“Reika-oneesan, wanna play a game?” said Yukino-kun as he pulled me by the arm.
Ohh! I’d forgotten about that!
Come to think of it, kids were already playing jenga, cards, and other things here and there around the room.
It was like some high society nursery.
At first I was peacefully playing games like Bozu Mekuri or Concentration, but at some point we started playing Speed instead.
Somehow my memories as the Speed Queen in my old life flared up, and I ended up playing seriously against small children.
I know, I know, it was childish of me.
I’m reflecting on it, but just so you know, I beat them all.
Some of the older boys seemed pretty frustrated about it.
Train harder, boys.
My wish to get to spring break without any further troubles was of no avail.
My propaganda campaign against Tsuruhana-san had pushed her so far that she apparently decided that confronting us in the cafeteria was the answer.
“You’re a scary girl, Reika-sama,” said Tsuruhana-san. “Pinning the blame for your own crimes on us without batting an eye.”
“What are you talking about? The one who tried to frame Reika-sama was you!” yelled my group.
Come on, not out here, girls…
Just as the two groups were starting to really yell, another group of girls came along.
“Please be quiet.”
They were from the Student Council.
“Haah? Externals like you lot don’t have the right to tell us what to do,” Tsuruhana-san glared venomously.
“What does this have to do with being an Internal or External Student? We’re the Student Council,” the girl replied.
“And I’m saying that your Student Council doesn’t amount to anything,” she sneered, causing the girl to flush with anger.
Things got even more heated, except now it was a three-way fight.
Come onnn guys, let’s just stop!
Look, everyone’s looking at us, so let’s just calm down!
They’re seriously all staring!
“Who’s causing problems, Reika-san!?”
Of course that was when Ririna decided to swagger in with her own underlings.
Why did an even bigger troublemaker show up!?