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East and West
Motivation—No matter the situation you may be in, this is the main driving force behind every action. Young children feel this motivation rise from deep inside either bodies, and show this on the outside with endless energy, whereas middle school students are entranced by their fantasies, as this is the embodiment of their motivation (*General truth). Once you find yourself in this confusing period called your adolescence, this becomes more of a driving force of your actions while thinking of a certain someone. Especially for us boys, we only act for the girls we like. As for what I’m trying to say here…
“Being in love sure is a crazy thing…”
With immature feelings, I looked at the paper in front of my eyes, and then raised my head to the upper right.
After finishing the hellish end-of-term exams, I could finally breathe again. It was tough to a level where everything outside exams feels like paradise. Are all people above me masochists or something? With the end of spring, we had the midterm examinations, but it was probably obvious enough that my rank would drop. I feel like I was 32nd or something. However, studying didn’t feel as tedious back then.
I remember why. I had an iron conviction of ‘I’ll definitely go with Natsukawa’. If I wasn’t completely infatuated with Natsukawa, I wouldn’t have made it up to such a high-level school. Even now, I could see that the amount I studied was nearly not enough. Or more than that, I just didn’t have any motivation.
If I went back in time now, would I have taken the entrance exam here again…Will I be able to even keep this position next time? I might have to be a bit more careful.
“Sajocchi, what place did you get?”
This is what happens when you suddenly surprise me from behind. Also, don’t just keep your paper open for everybody to see, me. Especially with Ashida, who will immediately go tease me if she sees the smallest opening. I glared up at Ashida, who leaped over her desk to look at my screen. She must have realized how disgruntled I was, and apologized with a bashful laugh.
Just when I thought she pulled back she suddenly revealed her own score. Since she said it at a solid volume, I could pick that up easily, and that’s why I learned of Ashida’s rank without even caring about it.
So, what? Is it that? You said it first, so now you expect me to say it? …Well, sure. The top 100 are shown on the paper in the hallway anyway, so she would be able to figure it out anyway.”
“Here, I fell down quite a bit.”
“65…It pains me to say it, but you’re higher than me…Also, weren’t you even higher before, Sajocchi?”
“I-I don’t remember.”
“What a bad liar you are.”
How does she even know about that…We’ve only known each other for two months back then, didn’t we…Is it her information network after all? A girl’s information network…Then, do the other girls know as well…?
“Huh, I figured you’d be in the top 50 safe, which is why I asked, but this is pretty unexpected~”
“What about you and your 76 then?”
“It’s 74, remember that.”
Seems like Ashida’s pretty proud about her own rank. Don’t just ‘Ehehe’ me. I’m higher than you.
“Do you remember my previous rank!?”
“Like hell I would.”
“I was 220th! I made some great progress!”
“You were an idiot, huh.”
“Past tense! I forgive you!”
She’s clearly in high spirits. Unlike she, she must have actually studied…It felt like she wasn’t too busy as of late with her volleyball club, so I guess that’s what most of her time went into. Alright, my motivation is to not lose against her.
“Alright, Sajou! What rank are you? I’m 230!”
Yamazaki sure sounds happy.
You think I was joking around? No, I was muttering to myself. These words came out of my throat before I realized it. A few days passed since the individual grades were announced, and the yearly grades were hung up in the back of the classroom. There were those happy to look at the rankings, those desperately trying to hide them, and I decided to not care. I just want to forget about the existence of these exams.
The reason I let out these disgusting words is simply because I saw the name correlating to the 2nd rank. It was none other than our class’ goddess Natsukawa Aika. She’s as much of a genius as always! I think that during the last mid-term examination, she was like 27th whereas I was 32nd. Even during the exam studies, I clung to her, huh…Like a stalker, I was even close behind her in terms of grades.
This time, she was free. Nobody could stop her any longer. I mean, this is seriously amazing. Seems like I really got in the way of her studies, huh. I don’t think she was at such a rank back in middle school either.
“Aichiii! Give me half of that!”
“W-What do you want!?”
Of course, as the top of the class, Natsukawa was surrounded by everyone else. Normally, I would have been the first person to be there. Although it hurt a bit inside my chest, watching her flustered face from afar wasn’t half bad either. Heh…haven’t you grown, Natsukawa. I’m burning from passion as a fan of yours.
Someone called out to me, so I turned around. Sasaki sat on his seat, grinning at me.
“W-Why are you here?”
“This is my class…Why are you treating me like an outsider.”
Sorry about that, I was just in a good mood, so I couldn’t be bothered to even give you attention. I think this might be the first time I feel so indifferent towards being a handsome guy. No, just kidding. I hope that you only have white rice with you for lunch today.
“What’s up, Sasaki. Did it finally get stolen from your little sister?”
“What exactly!? No, I’m happy about the exam results!”
It’s not related to his little sister? Impossible…As I was thinking about something unnecessary like that, Sasaki pointed at the paper with all the grades on it. When I was searching for his name, I found it at a rank much higher than mine.
“Right? And you went down by quite a bit, Sajou. Couldn’t keep up with your studies, hm?”
Urk…what’s this guy’s problem? I don’t like that attitude, you second-paper bastard! This is an alarming situation. For the unpopular group of students, the only thing they can use as a weapon is their cultured knowledge—in other words, studies. I can’t accept that this would be stolen by some soccer club freak. Now I’m even more motivated!
“All your passes should just end up in the offside…!”
“You give back the weirdest results, my guy…”
Weird. No matter what I do, I can’t see us in the same wrestling ring. Must be because of the motivation. The reason he’s suddenly so cocky is because he thinks we’re competing for Natsukawa, right? We’re at the starting line, and yet the difference in talent is overwhelming, why is that? Not to mention that I got rejected over and over. You’re already beating me with specs alone, so could you not go all out…
“…It’s great to boast about yourself, but if you want to impress Natsukawa, then these grades aren’t nearly good enough, you think?”
She’s the second place in the entire student year after all. Even if you won against me, that doesn’t mean anything. If anything, going any further than that is like a path of thorns. If you can’t even take the top spot, bragging is useless. Also…talking about that, that first place’s name is super long…There’s even English letters mixed in there…Maybe some transfer student? Would make sense why they’re so clever.
“Well, just give up on studying, and focus on your soccer career. Just don’t miss any PK1s, okay?”
“That doesn’t mean I can just give up with my studies—Wait, are you trying to put pressure on me right before the big tournament, you bastard…?”
Also, Sasaki’s a first year, and yet a regular? I’d be terrified to leave my Senpais in the dust, they might just try and kill me in the dark of night. Well, Sasaki should be fine, he has Yuki-chan with him after all.
Now that the results for the end-of-term exams were announced, all that was left was to wait for lunch break. My mood had dropped drastically…I really need to report these grades to my parents…? Since I got good results last time, my parents were happy, and I could brag about it, but now…Yeah, I’ll just keep quiet about it.
Lunch arrived, and today I rarely enough had a lunch box with me. Natsukawa and Ashida both told me to eat more after all. What’s wrong with sweet bread? It’s cheap, and delicious. Also, it’s not that bad for my body either.
After returning from the toilet, I headed to the center of the classroom—where Natsukawa sat. Before, when I went to meet Airi-chan, I happened to agree to her request in the heat of the moment. Not like I’m forced to go or anything.
—The day after I made that promise.
‘Huh? Sajocchi, where are you going?’
I bought some food at the convenience store, so I was about to head to the same usual bench in the courtyard, when Ashida grabbed my arm, as she planned to make her way towards Natsukawa’s seat. When I looked at her with a ‘What do you want’ expression, she just silently pointed over at Natsukawa. I looked over at her myself, and—
Our eyes met. However, she averted them right away. An awkward mood filled the air. I remember now. I feel like I said something before. To think I would actually forget something related to Natsukawa, I hate myself. Met with this deep regret, I couldn’t help but grit my teeth.
‘Aichi really is popular~’
Sasaki, as well as Shirai-san and some other girls, talked to Natsukawa. Watching that, I really could tell that he liked her. I didn’t even need to think about this dead and cold feeling inside my chest in order to understand it. Becoming aware of that, my hate for myself only grew stronger, and I just wanted to disappear.
‘Come on! You promised, right? Sajocchi!’
‘Are your heads linked or something? How do you know about that…’
Whenever I say something or do something in regards to Natsukawa, there’s a big chance that Ashida learns of this as well. Well, they’re friends after all, so they probably exchange this kind of information very frequently. Seems like Natsukawa has a fair amount of trust in Ashida as well. Damn it, I never wanted to be a girl more than I do now…Isn’t Ashida more of an enemy than I am, Sasaki?
Either way, the two of us joined in on that group. Ever since that day I visited Natsukawa’s place, I would sometimes and sometimes not eat with them. The reason I’m not going there every day is so that the others wouldn’t assume I was clinging to her again.
—With that being the case, I had my balanced food in my hand, and headed over to the center of the classroom. Seeing Koga and Murata showed disgusted faces in the corner of the classroom at the courtyard’s window side, I smiled to myself, and sat on the outer end of the group. So Natsukawa’s time has come…Then again, that just means I can’t approach her or Ashida that much.
For being the class representative, Iihoshi-san couldn’t be more normal of a girl. Personally, she’s got a lot of points going for her nonetheless. She has the personality to immediately cut off people who say foul stuff, and she’s the kind of class representative who gently creates an atmosphere for everyone else to join in, which just shows that she has the talent to be a class rep. As of late, I really started to realize that.
Despite that, she’s not necessarily cute or especially beautiful. She can control the mood of the conversation, not giving a chance of going out of control to girls like Murata or Koga. According to a rumour I heard, there’s a message group established by the class rep, and you only get allowed inside if you’re a girl she accepts. Truly terrifying.
“…What a household this is.”
“Ah, it’s the Airi-chan boom, surely.”
“Today is the second group after all.”
They’re gonna spoil and dote Airi-chan again, huh. That means that Sasaki was part of the first group. In reality, you’re the third group though, did you know? I was the VIP who got a solo trip as the second group. The VIP!
“You seem to be excited for it, Iihoshi-san.”
“I’m joining them after all. If I can meet Airi-chan, then I definitely want to.”
“Because of her younger sister, a lot of people got interested in her, which is why there’s now more people around her.”
“Is that going to be okay?”
Sounds like some journalist’s analysis. Is she some kind of manager? Trying to have Natsukawa make a hundred friends—all on her own? I didn’t expect someone was working on that besides me. Well, I figure that for Iihoshi-san’s case, it’s not just Natsukawa’s friendships alone.
“You’re trying to create a comfortable atmosphere in the class?”
“It’s not that big of a deal. I just didn’t want her to be the center of attention and dislike that.”
Her smile had a mysterious Onee-san type of level to it. For me, who has given up a relentless approach towards Natsukawa, and even talked normally with Murata and Koga…I wonder which side I am on.
“What about you, Sajou-kun? You always jump between talking to Natsukawa-san, and then suddenly not talking to her.”
Isn’t that pretty much normal? What’s wrong with two acquaintances talking whenever they feel like it? I understand that she’s trying to get something out of me here, but I’m sorry me no speak americano.
“Hahaha, how can I approach her and break apart this kind of atmosphere, you feel me?”
“That’s a lie, something must have happened. Everyone feels the same way.”
I mean, I guess that makes sense. I’ve been that clingy after all. If anything, I’m shocked nobody asked me until now. Maybe they’re being suspicious of me…Using the reason of being ‘rejected’ as a premise…And, what? Did they think it would turn into a matter of the police?
“What are you talking about?”
I most definitely did not dye my hands in any shady color. I did dye my hair though. Oh yeah, that black hair of mine apparently was a big hit. I got many likes on social networks though. And, how I looked less shady now. At least say I don’t look shady anymore. Also, did I really look that way…? I never heard that before. Also, isn’t brown hair a bit more modern in today’s times? As a high school student and all.
No, forget about that. Natsukawa is more important. So it’s finally time for her to show her true talent…To think things would end up like this solely because I stopped clinging to her. As of late, Natsukawa’s in a much better mood, and it feels like she’s speeding ahead of me. This must be the strength she borrowed from the gods…Ahh, so dazzling!
“Dad is very happy.”
This distance really is the best. I don’t understand a woman’s heart after all, and be it Natsukawa or Ashida, no matter how much I try and figure out how to interact with them, they still get angry at me. At times like these, supporting them from afar really is the most peaceful. Ah, that smile was cute.
“Having fun after classes is important. For both Natsukawa, and class rep as well.”
“Eh? Y-Yeah. Well, I’m looking forward to it. I heard about Airi-chan’s cuteness to no end from Shirai-san and Okamoto-san.”
“Right. But, she’s not just cute, she also has a lot of endur—No, yeah, she’s really cute. That’s it, yep.”
That was close…I almost said something unnecessary…Natsukawa gets very serious when it comes to her younger sister after all. I shouldn’t be leaking too much information like that. Not like anybody would understand where I’m coming from, even if I told her. She only jumped at me after all.
To my surprise, Iihoshi-san was quite the talkative girl.
The conversation grew more heated, conversing about karaoke, games, etc…Before I realized it, I felt the urge to head to the toilet. It was pretty rough conveying that to Iihoshi-san without actually saying it.
As I was walking down the hallway, I saw three girls walking towards me. Normally, I wouldn’t care about that too much, but one of them was so distinctive that I couldn’t help but stare. Once they had approached me a bit further, I could make out one of the girls to wear flashy blonde hair. I feel like she’s the one who was peeking inside the student council office before…Isn’t she Yuuki-senpai’s, the student council president’s, fianceé?
“This really feels plebeian. Like I’m living in the countryside, and it is much more noisy.”
“It can’t be helped, the students here belong to the ‘common families’.”
They probably didn’t care about me at all, as they just walked past me, distancing themselves. Are they…heading towards our class? Well, whatevs. The toilet is calling for me. If I got hit in the gut now, I’d definitely leak, so let me get this done first.
Upon finishing my business and returning to the classroom, I saw a weird group of three standing in front of the door. Oh wait, they’re the group of three from before. The door of class C was slightly opened, and they were crouching down to take a peek inside. On their uniform, I could see the neckties belonging to the first years. I figured that they weren’t doing anything bad, but that blonde-haired girl couldn’t be more suspicious.
I mean, this is different from the hallway in front of the student council office. There’s normal people passing by here. Only coincidentally was the hallway empty, with only me and those three here. Yuuki-senpai ain’t here, you know? Even if you bend over there like stalkers—Wait, bend over?
…O-Ohh? Now that I get a closer look like it, this does seem quite suggestive…Crap, my legs are frozen. Why? I must be exhausted, and my heart is trying to heal that exhaustion without the consent of my brain. Can’t help it, I’ll use my secret technique—Snail pace!!
“So that woman is Natsukawa Aika, huh…”
“What’s your business with Natsukawa?”
What did that woman just say? Natsukawa Aika? First she has a grudge towards Big Sis, and now it’s Natsukawa? Should I tie you to the back of a bicycle, and do some circles on the sports grounds? Huh? I can turn your blonde hair black if you want me to?
“Urk…Cough cough…! C-Can you not suddenly call out to us like that!?”
Being asked that question, I finally caught on to my blunder. Why did I even call out to them? I knew that this would only be more trouble for me…Why did I react this much just because she used the word ‘Natsukawa’? Do I like Natsukawa that much…? Oh yeah, I sure do. Let me calm down a bit. Now that I’ve returned to my senses, I can calmly attack this situation. Well, I probably shouldn’t.
That’s right, just be normal. Let’s go according to what a normal reaction would be. I already met that blondie in front of the student council office. Since she doesn’t seem to be too fond of Big Sis, and her name plate being gone from her uniform, I should just be calm, calmly…I think I used some sketchy polite language before.
“It has been a while, my lady.”
“E-Ehh…? Ah, have we…?”
“We have met in front of the student council office before. At that time, you were peeking inside with quite the troubled—”
“Wahh! Wah! Wah!”
“The way you were peeking inside was quite impressive!!”
“Why did you still say it!?”
Any stalker actions are bad. I definitely won’t back down…the world has to know about these evil deeds…! And thanks to that, I can enjoy the embarrassed face of a beauty like her!! Fuhahahaha!
“Marika-san was…peeking inside the student council office? Didn’t you meet Yuuki-sama?”
“Yup…they’re fiancés apparently.”
“T-That’s right! As Haruto-sama’s fianceé, I need to be next to him at all times! B-Back then, we ate lunch together…”
“Despite that, you sure have something against the vice student council pre—”
The blondie jumped up and down in front of me, trying to silence me. Now you’re even more noisy than I imagined you to be…But, this is pretty fun in itself. So, is her grudge towards Big Sis something like a secret? At times like these, wouldn’t you just broadly announce it right in front of her, and blame her for being a rival? That’s unexpected.
Now that I think about it, Big Sis must have met the K4 way before I even enrolled at this school. I think it’s already too late for a rival to appear here. Not to mention that Big Sis is a Senpai two years above her.
“Grrrr…That’s what you would expect from the ‘east’ side. Unlike the ‘west’ side, you don’t show a single shed of consideration towards a lady…That’s why I hate plebeians and their plebeian families, who don’t know how to spell society!”
Leaving aside the whole blabbering about plebeian families…What’s that east and west side about? Did we have this kind of differentiation here at school? I think this school has the courtyard in the middle, with the school being split into an east and west part, but…are you not allowed to set foot on the other side if you belong to one?
As I was pondering on Blondie’s words, the door the three were peeking inside at suddenly swung open.
“—What are you doing…”
“What’s up, Sajocchi?”
“Eh? Natsukawa? And Ashida?”
“Aren’t you easy to decipher, Sajocchi~ Hmm?”
The three girls were left shocked, Natsukawa seemed annoyed, whereas Ashida seemed pissed and could barely keep up this smile. Oh yeah, things got pretty noisy, huh. Natsukawa somewhat looked me in the eyes, somewhat didn’t, giving me suspicious glances. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that…Thank you very much!
“What kind of situation is this?”
“These three said they had some business with you, so I gave them an earful, Natsukawa.”
“Can you not make it sound like you’re my bodyguard.”
How rude, don’t you think this is destiny? My instincts are always telling me to protect you, Natsukawa…Though, I doubt you really need any protection.
“Ugh…N-Natsukawa Aika-san! I have some business with you!”
“Um…what could that be?”
“Together with your excellent grades making you 2nd of the student year, just because you’re a bit cute…Actually, you really are cute…”
How nice! That’s a bit of a confusing development, but I still gave a thumbs-up. I do get some daily flirting between Natsukawa and Ashida, but this is developing even better than expected. Being able to observe this up so close is like an honor for me…I can’t wait to see more pushing and being pushed…yes.
“S-Since you have the sufficient grades and are a bit cute, I shall grant you the right to support the top rank of the student year, which is me—Shinonome Claudine Marika!”
“Go on, Aichi.”
“Eh? Um…Do your best!”
“No! That’s not what I meant!!”
“Ouch ouch ouch, I’m sorry!”
For some reason, I was the one being hit. Well, I was playing around a bit after all~ However, Cl…Claumaty? You are wrong about one thing! Natsukawa isn’t just ‘a bit cute’, she is ‘Super mega ultra cute’!! So, remember that!
Claumaty cleared her throat, and faced Natsukawa again. Following that, she pointed at her.
“You will support me! So that I become the next student council president!”
“Eh, student council president…? Can you even become the student council president as a first-year?”
“I will prove it!”
Another girl of Claumaty’s group, a girl with straight black hair, stepped in front. The fact that she only jumped in now to stand up for Claumaty had me a bit annoyed. And yet, I felt like she’ll just self-destruct here.
“All official positions of the student council can be recommended and applied for. This school allows the freedom for selection activities, and the one with the most votes will be elected in the end.”
“Oh, a walking student handbook.”
“K-Kaoruko-san, I don’t think he was praising you, you know?”
Hearing my words that I just so happened to blurt out, Kaoruko-san showed a satisfied expression. I mean, I get it, she must be happy getting such an honest response back after delivering this elaborate explanation.
“Even so, a first-year student is generally at a disadvantage. The more time you spend at this school, the more you understand it’s ins and outs, and having someone older than themselves is reassuring for the students, someone who understands how a student council should be.
So basically, those who can’t read the mood will be excluded…I get that, but is there even someone else who would be willing to put up with the pain of becoming student council president? Ah, I can think of one person.
“What about Kai-senpai…?”
“He mentioned that he has no plans of becoming the student council president. If that is true, then nobody else of the student council would attempt to become the student council president.”
So Kai-senpai ain’t feeling it. If so, then I wouldn’t know who would become the next student council president. I don’t deal with the 2nd-year Senpais either.
“Even so, there are about 240 second-years at this school…so once the election period arrives, there will surely be someone else applying for this position. That’s why I need to gather as many followers as possible until then…So that I become the next student council president.”
I see, her plans make sense. There’s a good portion of people who don’t take stuff about the school too seriously, so the majority won’t even show interest in such an official position. Even so, the easiest way to gather votes—is to be known by others. Sell your name, and have the student body remember you, that’s how you get the most votes just by default.
The person who becomes everyone’s idol can grasp victory all too easily. That’s how a normal election works. You just have to gather devoted followers. In order to achieve that, gathering those who stand out under your wing isn’t a bad idea. I can understand why she would go for Natsukawa.
“…But, that’s a bad move.”
“…What did you say?”
I subconsciously blurted out what I was thinking. Right when I realized that I shouldn’t have done that, it was already too late. With Claumaty’s eyes glued to me, I had no hope of escaping…So I could only explain myself.
“Would you mind explaining what exactly you mean by that?”
“Natsukawa is standing out too much. If you were to have her become your advertisement, people will just think ‘Eh, Natsukawa-san isn’t the candidate, but that girl?’, you know.”
“As your average male student, I can guarantee that. If you deal with Natsukawa, you’ll just get lost in her spotlight. You’ll just be the add-on.”
She looked at me in disbelief, but I didn’t bother much with that. If I don’t say it with a clear tone, she won’t understand it anyway…Because, this is the objective and individual difference between those two.
It’s true that she’s got charming looks with prominent blonde hair, and between cute and not, she definitely is up on the cute scale. I figure that she could herself with these looks. However, if there’s someone even more cute next to you, you’ll just look like the root of a tree.
“Natsukawa is definitely much cuter than you.”
“—!” Claumaty’s mouth opened and closed, as if she couldn’t believe what I just said.
The other two girls behind her were equally giving me dubious looks, and together with Natsukawa’s full-blown glare, I could feel my body twitching. Do you finally get how great Natsukawa is?
“M-Marika-san…! She—Natsukawa is from the ‘east’! You shouldn’t meddle too much with her!”
“T-That’s right…! We from the ‘west’ should gather those who are faithful followers of yours!”
“……” Claumaty was forming a fist, quivering in anger.
She must have lost her words because of my immediate response. With that attitude, you won’t be able to use Natsukawa as a front man. It’ll only end in more work for Natsukawa.
Claumaty showed a forced smile, and glared up at me. However, she immediately directed her gaze over at Natsukawa instead.
“—Eek!?” Natsukawa froze up.
I was prepared to receive the karma for my words, but it seems like she was more interested in Natsukawa. The entire class—or at least a big portion—had gathered at the doors to the classroom, inspecting what we were doing outside. There were those who looked at Claumaty like she was a bother. Yeah, this ain’t looking good. She totally seems like the bad guy…Well, her request was nuts from the very beginning.
“M-Marika-san, we really should…”
“Retreat for now…”
The three were panicking. Especially the two behind Claumaty were desperately trying to convince her to leave. They probably didn’t want her to stand out in a bad way.
“…Well, I’ll be taking my leave here.”
This isn’t something a random guy like me should participate in. You chose the wrong person for this, Claumaty. You tried to pick a fight with Natsukawa, who wins against you in both looks and personality, not even counting her grades. This is the expected result, and you ate the karma.
Ashida showed me a wry smile, pointing in a certain direction. When I turned towards that direction, I saw Natsukawa, covering her face with both her hands, quivering. If I didn’t know any better, it looked like she was blushing all the way up to her ears…
“Eh, what. What happened?”
“This is your fault, Sajocchi. You said something crazy like that without batting an eye.”
“You calling her ‘cute’.”
“Huh? Natsukawa heard that enough times until now, right?”
“T-That might be true, but…Being told this openly and broadly in front of everyone…”
I’ve called her cute countless times so far, and everybody around me should be aware that I feel that way. There’s no reason for her to be embarrassed about that now this late into the game. Natsukawa’s gotta be used to that by now, right.
“…If you considered time, location, and situation, yeah.”
“Wasn’t this the same situation as always?”
“That’s exactly what I mean, Sajocchi.”
Ehhh…why’s she suddenly so angry? Scary…Right as I felt terrified of Ashida’s attitude, I felt someone pull on the sleeve of my shirt. Turning around, I saw Natsukawa with a flushed expression.
“D-Don’t say something embarrassing like that…”
“Same as always, huh.”
I don’t need that analysis. Also, what’s the difference here? That I have an ulterior motive or not? Does she feel happier if I say it with a straight face? Leave it to me, I’ll practice my serious face, and make you happy. You’re so cu—Don’t glare at me like that, Ashida…
“—W-Wait a second, Amano!”
“I told you to wait! Did you not hear me!?”
“Eh, me? Who’s Amano…?”
Right as I wanted to go back to the classroom, Claumaty called out to someone. I was hoping for Amano to respond quickly enough, but when I turned around, she was actually looking directly at me. Am I Amano…? It happened so naturally, I didn’t even catch wind of that. Why…? Amano Wataru…Hey, that ain’t half bad.
“Are you sure about this!? No matter how relaxed you may be, the ones to win in the end are those who act!”
“I will definitely become the next student council president! I won’t lose, even if it’s against this ‘oh-so-cute’ Natsukawa Aika-san!” Claumaty left these words behind, and walked away with the other two girls.
Leaving aside the case of her aiming to become the student council president, trying to win against Natsukawa’s cuteness is futile, so I felt bad for her.
After overcoming the deadly time called end-of-term exams, what came was disturbance. I wonder what exactly she was talking about with ‘west’ and ‘east’. I thought that maybe she was talking about the separation of classes, because class A to C was in the east building, whereas D to F were in the west building, but is it really something this traditional…? Is it just a random class seperation?
It clearly is some kind of discrimination. I thought that this was Claumaty’s identity to say that sort of thing, but the two with her agreed on that. Maybe something happened at the time they enrolled.
“Something did, yeah.”
Iihoshi-san told me like it was nothing. I was just curiously asking her in hopes of maybe getting some kind of hint, but to think that she really knew something…I underestimated her. Please do your best as the class rep in the future as well.
“You know that there’s famous enterprises around here, right. There’s the business street next to the train station after making it through the residential district.”
“Ah, now that you mention it.”
“This here is a private high-level school as well…A child’s academic background is basically guaranteed thanks to the family’s social standing. And, you know that this school is pretty old, right?”
“Yeah, I heard about that.”
Now that I think about it, at the back of this school is an old traffic circle that connects to nowhere….Right when I enrolled here, I got my hopes up thinking that this might be connected to the train station.
“So it’s more of a Showa character…Before, the three classes were split into east and west, and you would want to separate investors and those families who aren’t, right?”
“‘Right?’, you say…Ah, that’s why they keep talking about east and west.”
Isn’t that proper discrimination? She probably got the thought of ‘Plebeian families are snobs’ hammered into her by her family. Then again, it seems like the teachers were treating her just normal.
“But, D to F are still three classes. Do we have that many rich children here?”
“Hmm…I feel like it’s mostly related to class E. The others are just affiliated relationships I think.”
“Huh…I don’t really get it.”
“The E in elegant is probably the connotation behind this. Though it’s only a rumour.”
Sorry, but what are you trying to tell me here…? That’s the whole reason? Aren’t we supposed to be an established and high-level school? That’s gotta be some investor getting on a high horse and just randomly naming that, right? That better not have come from the school itself…
“Well, speaking in terms of era, that’s been fading for sure, especially with the first and second-years.”
“Huh~ We have some rich students here, so did the country put their eye on them or something?”
“No, the ‘east’ was stronger, that’s all. In terms of natural virtues, unity, inside, and grades.”
“Isn’t that an overall victory?”
“When I saw the public morals committee president and the student council vice president, I was certain. They’re both ‘east’.”
“Yeah, I can definitely see the public morals committee president belong to that.”
“Eh…? Yeah, both her and the student council—”
“Yup, the public morals committee president.”
So that kind of history went down at this school, huh. Sounds like it came straight out of a drama or manga, to be honest. The staff office as well as the social studies prep room are in the southern building, and the music as well as home economics room is in the northern building. Since I never had anything to do with them, I didn’t even keep them in mind.
“It’s not really a new story, so maybe some students experienced going to the same club as ‘east’ and ‘west’. Then again, the best I can imagine is rich small boys and girls going to sports clubs, so I don’t get much.”
I’m not even part of any club, so why am I running my mouth like that?
Night arrived, and right around when Big Sis came home from cram school, I just nonchalantly asked her.
“Big Sis, is there an east and west in your school year as well?”
“Huh? Ahh…that weird story they talk about.”
According to what I heard from Big Sis, that kind of thing was much more prominent back when she was a first-year. The difference in treatment was completely different just depending on that. The rights to club budget, the contents of exams, which led the ‘east’ to leave the right path. Violent actions secured supremacy.
“—That sure was a lot of trouble…”
The one who acted as the mediator surprisingly enough was Yuuki-senpai, a second-year back then, and a member of the ‘west’. He apparently went Noblesse Oblige style, and changed the ‘west’ from the inside. But, you were surely involved in that, Big Sis, right? I can see it on your face.
“Also, what kind of family does that blondie belong to?”
“Blondie…? Ah, that girl.”
“That’s right, that unfortunate half girl.”
You don’t really hear a name like ‘Shinonome’ around here. She did give off the vibe of being rich enough, but maybe it’s just roleplay—or so I doubted her, but according to Big Sis, she really had the big cash. Apparently she’s the daughter of a textiles company’s president in France. Name of the company and personality don’t have anything to do with each other, and her parents know Yuuki-senpai, which was the connection for the engagement.
“Huh…so that brat wants to become the student council president…In terms of Haruto’s family, they’re in control of a local brand, selling fabric manufactured goods, with a lot of students under his wing. If news about her being his fianceé spread around, then Marika needs to take action herself.”
“What even is her goal in becoming the student council president?”
“Well duh, that’s—No, I don’t know, whatever.”
“Can you not suddenly turn so uncaring?”
Big Sis suddenly showed that ‘What were we even talking about’ expression. Mid-conversation, she even started watching TV. I could have guessed, but Big Sis really is looking down on Claumaty. I feel like an idiot by even trying to discuss that. Well, I can see her being annoying.
I wanted to at least hear out the rest about Claumaty, but I figured that Big Sis must have been tired, so I decided to leave her alone like that. Personally speaking, I wish she’d just keep up that crude expression and reactions all the time. When she’s tired, I feel like being considerate of her.
If Big Sis was Natsukawa—
Then she wouldn’t end as my big sister. Seeing her wear that camisole, lying on the sofa, something very forbidden would happen. A real big sister sure is weird. Despite she’s a member of the opposite sex, I don’t feel anything. I do wanna slap her on the stomach though. Like, to repay her for all the hardships I have to go through because of her. Not like I would do that though (*or could do that either).
1 Penalty kick