Encounter Arc: 04 Glasses and About-face

 

Encounter Arc

04 Glasses and About-face

Meru was summoned by Matsuda-sensei today, too. However, as she had yet to do anything wrong, she expressed her displeasure.

“What is it? I didn’t forget my homework or run in the halls today. I’ve been a model student.”

Fuuga came to Class F today, too, but Meru felt guilty that Yuuri was always lending her a hand. That, and she figured out that running out of the classroom while being chased was incredibly eye-catching, so she obediently let Fuuga cling to her in the classroom. It probably doesn’t need to be said again that it became awkward between her and the other girls in the class following that.

“Kusuhara. That’s not being a model student, it’s just normal. Normal!”

“Well then, this normal Kusuhara has no ability to do anything for you, so I’m heading home. Goodbye.”

When Meru did an about-face to the staff room door after she finished talking, Matsuda-sensei caught her by the scruff of her neck.

 

 

“When did you become Matsuda-sensei’s errand runner?”

Maiko asked Meru when she returned to the classroom carrying flyers. Meru pouted.

“That’s what I want to ask. It’s that, isn’t it. Harassing the person you like. Matsuda-sensei is in love with me.”

“Meru, you’re becoming a little too desperate. What are you being forced to do this time?”

Maiko soothed Meru who had slammed the flyers on her desk.

“He said to take these to the Vice President. ‘I’m not good at dealing with Katsuragi’ he said while striking a cool pose.”

Meru started imitating Matsuda-sensei midway through talking, obviously pissed off. Maiko picked up one of the flyers and looked at it.

“But Katsuragi Shoutarou is in class E, isn’t he? Why’d you bring them back here?”

“Thanks for asking, Maiko-Chan.”

At the same time Meru smiled in satisfaction, exclamations of admiration from Class F’s boys could be heard. Maiko looked toward the door and muttered “I see.”

“Ruu-chan.”

A beautiful voice called out to Meru. There was only one person in the academy who called her that—Laila.

“Hii…no, Laila-chan. I’ve been waiting for you!”

Meru remembered that Laila had asked her to call him by his first name and corrected herself. She wasn’t sure whether she should attach -chan, but it didn’t seem like he had any problems with it so it was probably fine.

“You were waiting for me, Ruu-chan? That’s great! I’ll brag about it to Fuu-chan later.”

Pretending she didn’t hear that last bit, Meru felt a little guilty in front of Laila’s brilliant smile. However, she cleared her throat and pointed at the flyers on top of the desk.

“Could you pass these to Katsuragi-kun?”

“No way, Shou-chan is at the level of being able to receive a present from you?”

“No…look closer.”

“Fufufu. It was a joke.”

At Laila’s smile, something red began to drip down from the noses of Class F’s boys. The fact that he was male was already irrelevant. Indeed, with long eyelashes, white skin, red lips, and looking like a princess out of some fairytale, Laila was cute regardless of gender.

“Shou-chan, right? Sure, I don’t m…ah.”

Laila’s eyebrows shot up as though he had recalled something.

“Sorry, Ruu-chan. I actually don’t really get along with Shou-chan. So could you take them yourself?”

“Eh”

She often happened to see them together. Even if you excused that by saying they were both student council executives, there was still the fact that Laila called him ‘Shou-chan.” With that, there’s no way they didn’t get along well.

“Uh, Laila-chan?”

“Yep! Sorry! See you later!”

Looking like he was having fun, Laila quickly left the classroom with a laugh.

“Maiko-chan”

“There’s something weird about that.”

Watching the distant Laila’s blonde hair swing back and forth, Maiko and Meru nodded to each other.

 

 

“Excuse meee.”

Even though the end-of-day meeting had just finished, there wasn’t a single sign of life when Meru went to Class E’s classroom. Not even the lights were on.

As soon as she turned the lights on, she looked around the room.

“Ah.”

Sleeping at the desk in the middle of the room was her target, Katsuragi Shoutarou.

Since he was sleeping, Meru debated whether or not she should turn the lights back off, but decided to leave them on. She put the flyers on the desk in front of the one at which he was sleeping and looked at his sleeping face.

“Even Katsuragi-kun sleeps.”

While thinking that should be obvious, she picked up the glasses lying next to his face.

“I wonder how strong the prescription is.”

Meru closed one eye and peeked through the glasses. Then, her eye widened.

“Eh”

“…! You, what are you doing?”

Shoutarou, who had just woken up, glared at Meru fiercely.

“Ah, sor…! Wah!”

Shoutarou stood up quickly to take his glasses back. Because of that, Meru ended up being pushed down to the floor.

“Oww…”

“Did you see it?”

Not knowing what he was talking about, Meru tilted her head.

“What do you mean?”

“The glasses.”

“Ahh. They’re just for appearances, aren’t they?”

That’s right. Shoutarou’s glasses didn’t have any prescription. Shoutarou clicked his tongue and murmured, “As expected.”

“I should have hypnotized the people from other classes not to enter this room, too.”

“Hah?”

“Look into my eyes.”

Saying so, Shoutarou gripped Meru’s chin with his right hand and pushed his bangs out of the way with the left. His lovely, deep blue eyes gazed at Meru.

“You didn’t see anything. Everything…forget about it.”

He used a very persuasive tone. Shoutarou didn’t blink at all, making Meru blink in surprise.

“Ok? Well, I don’t particularly mind.”

Meru replied nonchalantly and it was Shoutarou’s turn to be surprised.

“You…it didn’t have an effect on you?”

“No, I heard. It’s ok if I forget about it, right?”1

Facing the dumbfounded Shoutarou, Meru had a strange look on her face and added, “Well, it’s impossible to forget about it completely, though.”

“You…”

“Laila! I can’t stand it anymore!”

Shoutarou started to say something when a loud voice from the other side of the door sounded.

“Wait a second… Fuu-chan! It’s about to get interesting! Yuu-chan, stop him!”

“No. I agree with Rengetsu-kun.”

The door flew open. Standing there were Fuuga, Laila, and Yuuri.

“Shoutarou-kun! Wh, what are you doing to my Meru-chan!?”

After entering, Fuuga’s face turned pale when he saw Meru and Shoutarou’s position.

“Rengetsu. Why are you that brainless?”

“When exactly did I become your possession, Rengetsu-kun?”

“From the moment we met! Wait, it’s not the time for that now. Separate!”

Fuuga forcibly pulled apart the two who had fallen on the floor. Then, he made to throw his arms around Meru, but she quickly dodged him.

“Meru-chan!?”

“Rengetsu-kun, you’re annoying.”

When Meru glared at him, Fuuga was shocked and became teary-eyed. But he didn’t give up and moved to hold her again.

“Haa… Katsuragi-kun I left the flyers you requested from that pig-like bastard, no, Matsuda-sensei there so please look them over goodbye.”

Meru stated her business without taking a single breath and promptly left the classroom at a run. Fuuga chased after her, calling “Meru-chaaaaan!”

“Alright, Yuu-chan. Let’s head back, too.”

“Yes.”

“Oi, wait. Hiiragi, Aidou.”

Shoutarou’s low voice stopped Laila and Yuuri who had made an about-face.

“This is your doing, isn’t it, Hiiragi?”

“Eh? What is?”

“Don’t play dumb.”

Shoutarou scowled and Laila shrugged his shoulders.

“First of all, why don’t you put your glasses on? We’re fine, but you never know who will show up, right?”

When Laila said that, Shoutarou snorted and put his glasses on.

“Katsuragi-kun… You hypnotized your classmates not to come to the classroom, didn’t you?”

“Mm. They get in the way of my sleep.”

Shoutarou answered Yuuri and turned his eyes back to Laila.

“What is with that woman?”

“That’s Kusuhara Meru-chan.”

“‘Kusuhara Meru’… The one you all won’t shut up about lately.”

Shoutarou muttered while looking at the door through which Meru had left. Yuuri opened his mouth to speak.

“You did well speaking with a woman at that distance despite being a woman-hater.”

“…It’s just a coincidence.”

Shoutarou was at a loss of words for a moment before he brushed it aside.

“Coincidence, right. Then I wonder, was your failure to hypnotize her also a coincidence, Shou-chan?”

This time, Shoutarou was unable to say anything in the face of Laila’s broad grin.

“Ruu-chan somehow has a different atmosphere from normal people, so I wondered if it was possible, but it looks like my hunch was on the mark.”

“I thought you all were the only ones that my hypnotism didn’t have an effect on.”

“Incidentally, it seems like Rengetsu-kun’s specialty, mindreading, is also a no-go.”

Yuuri passed on what he had heard from Fuuga and Shoutarou’s eyes widened. In other words, that indicated–.

“Mm. It’s about whether Kamishiro approves…”

“That’s it after all, huh…ah.”

Laila’s face suddenly turned pale.

“What’s wrong, Hiiragi-san?”

“I forgot to tell Hayate that we’d be late for the meeting…”

“Eh…”

Upon hearing that, Yuuri’s face lost its color, too.

“Hah, you’re an idiot. It’s because you keep doing stupid things like this.”

“Sho, Shou-chan…”

“If we give a reason for coming late?”

“Do you really think Kamishiro-kun won’t realize it’s a lie?”

When Yuuri said that, Shoutarou fell silent. His face broke out in a cold sweat.

“Hey, you’re late. Laila, Yuuri. Did you sleep well, Shoutarou?”

In the student council room, Hayate, who was all smiles to the point that it was scary, was waiting at a desk upon which documents were piled to the heavens. Each of the three took the documents from that mountain one-by-one and began to sign them to the point that one wondered if they wouldn’t develop tendonitis.

A few minutes later, Fuuga, who lost Meru, heaved a sigh and returned to the student council room. Only he knows what Hayate’s face looked like at that time.

For a little while, there were rumors that strange screams could be heard coming from the student council room.

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1 効く (to be effective) and 聞く (to hear) have the same pronunciation in Japanese. So Meru thinks Shoutarou is saying she didn’t hear when he’s actually commenting on his the fact that she wasn’t hypnotized. I couldn’t think of any way to translate the wordplay. :’)

<TL Notes>
And here we have the sudden entrance of super powers/ESP. Well then.

Alsooooo I’m releasing this one cuz I had some extra time today. I’m going to make Tuesday my regular release day, so keep an eye out for that.

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