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Tashinami’s been taken over by another group. Thank goodness.
Although the class trip had made me a busy class rep, I wasn’t neglecting my duties at the Handicrafts Club either.
It was around the time that new students really began to visit the clubs.
Last year I had just become an official member, so I had gone a bit overboard.
But as the president, this year I was going to show proper restraint and secure as many members as possible.
We needed more boys like Minami-kun!
We sat there, chatting relaxedly about it as we knit.
This place was so soothing~
It would be nice to just chat and knit, without worrying about my troubles ever again~
The world of humans was filled with complications.
Wakaba-chan and Kaburagi weren’t in the same class anymore. But in 3rd year, we had even more electives, which was why they did have a few classes together.
Still, the fact that they were separated at all was, and I quote, “Disappointing to the extreme…!” and so to make up for it he would use schoolwork as an excuse to speak to her whenever possible, both before and after class.
Wakaba-chan being Wakaba-chan was more than happy to discuss schoolwork, and so from the outside at least, their relationship seemed to be going swimmingly.
I had been hoping that the Spring Holiday would be enough to cool down the rumours and ill-will towards Wakaba-chan, but from the way Kaburagi was behaving I couldn’t see the jealousy dying down.
I was beginning to consider telling him to get his act together and stop talking to her.
He really needed to start thinking about how his behaviour was affecting her.
But they were already in different classes.
On top of that, Wakaba-chan was always busy with the Student Council after school, and it wasn’t easy for him to find an excuse to see her on the weekends.
Given all of that, the periods between classes was one of his only chances to talk to her.
He was holding back as much as any boy in love could.
And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand…
An ordinary boy would never have to worry about what others thought about who he crushed on.
How much he spoke to her, and how often he spent time with her was his business, and his alone.
Kaburagi was already limited in that respect. If I told him, ‘You should just give up on her,’ it would be really too heartless.
He was an idiot, yes, but he was sincere about her.
Something else that the Spring Break hadn’t helped were the rumours around Enjou.
The new year had begun with rampant rumours about how at the Kaburagi Flower-viewing party, Enjou and Yuiko-san had been spotted intimately linking arms.
The origin were probably the few Zui’ran students who had been invited.
Enjou blew off any questioning with “She’s just a relative,” but it was hard to see the two as anything but an intimate couple.
There wasn’t the sense of them being family at all, was there?
Which was why I was questioned a lot as well.
‘Is it true that Enjou-sama was cuddling a beautiful girl?’
‘Is it true that the girl was the same one who came to the School Festival?’
All I could say in response was a harmless, “I did spot him together with a girl, but I really do not know much more.”
Either way, they weren’t going to get anything if they were expecting gossip from me~
‘Reika-sama, could you ask Enjou-sama how he feels about that girl?’
At any rate, Zui’ran was buzzing with rumours about Kaburagi and Enjou. Business as usual.
Getting used to Third Year, dealing with the class trip, and on top of that being tossed about by the romances of total strangers.
The Handicrafts Club was truly a bastion for my weary heart.
Here I could knit away, forgetting about the troubles of the outside world.
I wish I could rest here forever~
But the cause of my troubles had messaged me with another summons today.
There went my plans of avoiding the salon and staying here all afternoon.
Even if I ignored this message, another would just arrive five minutes from now…
This was basically as bothersome as it got.
I was beginning to entertain the thoughts of dropping my phone into water again…
“You’re late,” he said.
I go out of my way to come here, and that’s the first thing you say to me?
Just how self-centred could this guy get?
I was irritated, so I decided to lecture him a bit.
“Kaburagi-sama. It pains my heart to say this, but I too have plans. I cannot always throw everything away for your convenience. I, too, will be keeping a close eye on any further harassment of Takamichi-san, but for your own romantic troubles you need to put in the effort yourself first. Please only contact me when you need advice. Can you agree to that?”
Kaburagi looked at me wide-eyed.
His one redeeming quality was that he earnestly took your advice.
“As long as you understand. Well then, what did you wish to speak about?”
“…I don’t know how Takamichi feels.”
We were using a small classroom again, so there was no need to worry about being overheard.
“Well, even if you ask me…”
“How do you… How do you think I can get her attention…?” our cool and talented Emperor hesitantly asked.
Honestly, you would expect a line like that to come from a lovesick maiden instead.
“I have suggested this before, but why not simply confess?” I asked.
“Like I said, it’s too early for that!”
I might have imagined it, but I think he was blushing.
“But you want to know how she feels, and you want her to have some awareness of you as a potential boyfriend. Would confessing not be a simply way of accomplishing both?”
“But… But I want the situation to be perfect when I confess to her. I still haven’t prepared everything!”
What, was he thinking of doing it on a classroom after school, or in a park during the evening or something?
“Situation? For example?”
“…Like, for example I’d have a few dozen fireworks blooming in the sky, or maybe I could use skywriting to confess in the sky.”
“Ehh!? Those are for proposing, damnit! You’re going to go that far for a confession!?” I blurted.
The shock was so crazy that I forgot to watch my tone.
But seriously, skywriting!?
Like getting a plane to write ‘I love you’ in the sky, right!?
What was wrong with this guy!?
“It’s important. I want her to remember it,” he said without a shred of self-doubt.
“Whoa, whoa, I really, really suggest that you reconsider. While I shant deny that there are girls who are moved by that sort of thing, I doubt that Takamichi numbers among them. Far from it I could even see her being creeped out by having that much money spent confessing to her.”
This was the same girl who was gobsmacked just from being given an expensive uniform.
It was hard enough for her to empathise with my sense of money.
Even if she hypothetically had feelings for him, seeing him spend a few million yen on a confession would be a sure-fire way to disillusion her.
“Then what if I fill her whole house with roses to symbolise just how much I love her? Romantic, right?”
“On top of having no place to stand, it would be a pain for her to clean up afterwards. Just how many garbage bags do you think that would need?”
“You sound like a poor person.”
“I am being realistic.”
“Then what if I reserve a hall and have an orchestra play exclusively for her?”
“Again, please stop trying to impress her with money. Takamichi-san was raised in a normal family, with a normal sense of money. The things you suggested just now are more liable to scare her off.”
“What’s ‘a normal sense of money’ even supposed to mean? Isn’t it more like you just don’t have a romantic bone in your body?”
“Absolutely false. At any rate, putting on an exaggerated performance like that would probably work with any other girl in Zui’ran, but Takamichi-san is different. She already knows how hard it is to make money. If you begin wasting your parents’ money left and right like that it would make her more guilty than happy. And being honest, your ideas were clichéd and tacky anyhow.”
“Aren’t you being a little harsh…?”
“It pained my heart to say it as well, but honest advice is the best way that for me to help you.”
“…Then what am I supposed to do then?”
“Why not simply tell her that you like her?”
“That’s too ordinary. I’d have to at least give her a ring with her birthstone or something.”
“Heavy…! You aren’t even dating yet! And what are you going to do with the ring if she rejects you!?”
“Saying that is bad luck, damnit! As for the ring… I’ll get rid of it. Maybe toss it into the ocean or something.”
“Uwa-! The type that Takamichi-san hates the most are people who don’t value their belongings, you know. And throwing it into the ocean…? Uupftpft…”
“Apologies. Well, at any rate, going back to the matter of the ring for a moment, if something like that ever does happen then how about selling it off and donating the money to a charity? It is a very meaningful way of using your money.”
“I wonder if I picked the wrong person to talk to about this…”
Seriously though, a ring?
That sounds like a disaster in the making.
It becomes more apparent each time I talk to this guy just how little skill in romance he has.
“Girls like accessories, don’t they? Hmm… but come to think of it, I never did see her wear the presents I gave her.”
“Eh!? You gave her accessories as a present!? When!?”
And Wakaba-chan never mentioned it either!
“When did you give her such a thing?”
I thought he got her a German-made teddybear for Christmas.
It was a bit on the expensive side for a normal girl, but you could say that it was a very sensible gift for Kaburagi.
It seems that I gave him too much credit.
“I gave her a teddybear.”
“So I put a diamond heart necklace around its neck.”
Was it wearing something like that!?
It was wearing cute Christmas clothing so I hadn’t noticed at all!
“The heart motif was filled with my feelings for her.”
“What are you doing before you have even confessed!?”
“And I thought she might be hesitant to accept a brand-name item, so it was custom made.”
“Who made it…?”
“By ‘I did’, you mean…?”
“I hand made it. I went to a workshop and used lost-wax casting to make it. I put all of my feelings into it.”
“Heavy! Even receiving a hand-knit scarf would be ten times less heavy than that!”
And more importantly…
“Do you think that perhaps she has not noticed the meaning behind it…?”
Maybe it was buried beneath the clothing, or perhaps she had taken it off to store elsewhere, but I hadn’t seen any necklace when Wakaba-chan showed it to me.
“No, no, she had to have noticed, right?”
“I wonder about that.”
The Takamichi siblings had all been shocked about the price of the bear.
If it had come with a necklace, they definitely would have mentioned it to me.
“…Don’t tell me that Takamichi really didn’t notice?”
“I cannot say. To begin with, why did you give them to her together like that?”
“To make it romantic.”
It’s just confusing, damnit!
If you want to put on a performance like that then you need to pick the right one for your partner!
“Still, a handmade accessory? How on earth did you come by that idea? I must applaud you for coming up with something like that.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“Nothing in particular.”
“Well, in one of Yurie’s favourite movies the guy proposed with a ring he made himself. Which was why each year I gave her an accessory that I made myself. I only started in middle school, but for the first year it was a necklace with a lily motif, since her name is Yurie. The next year was lily designs, but for earrings instead. And when I was going to become a high schooler I thought to give her a lily-themed ring… but…”
Aah, but he was rejected before that.
I guess he must have been remembering the struggles of that year, because Kaburagi’s expression turned dark.
“The centrepieces of the necklace and earrings had Yurie’s birthstone. The ring was supposed to be both of our birthstones around a diamond…”
Diamond? That means it was an engagement ring, right!?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason she suddenly rejected him was because she panicked after realising a ring was coming next.
Anyone would want to run away from that.
I was at a loss…
This guy was even more hopeless than I thought…
Perhaps this idiot was beyond my help…