Episode 4 Requested and Committee
The end-of-day meeting ended and after school arrived. Today, Matsuda-sensei’s errand running in the name of punishment was finished during the lunch break so there was nothing left for Meru to do.
“Meru, are you going home?”
“Yeah. You have your club activities, don’t you, Maiko-chan. Work hard!”
Maiko took her club equipment and Meru sent her off with a wave.
“Now, what should I make for dinner?”
“Hmm,” Meru mused as she packed her things into her bag. Her comment made her sound exactly like a housewife. While thinking of what was in the refrigerator, Meru planned what to have.
Class F’s diligent class rep came jogging up to Meru who had just finished packing up.
The class rep starting a conversation with her wasn’t an unusual occurrence in and of itself, but Meru tilted her head wondering what she could need right when it was time to leave.
“What’s up, class rep?”
“There’s a committee meeting today…but I kind of have some things to take care of. Could you go in my place?”
The class rep told her while pushing the committee journal into Meru’s hands. With the way she was behaving, it seemed less like a request and more like a command.
Although she took the committee journal for the time being, Meru threw a simple question at the class rep. In response, the class rep’s eyes widened as if to say “Who would I ask other than you?”
“If you look for someone who isn’t involved in club activities and seems free…”
“There’s just me, is what you want to say. I’m not actually that free, though.”
There was housewife-like work such as cooking dinner for her family awaiting her when she goes home. Therefore, while it was true that she wasn’t exactly free, she wasn’t all that busy, either.
“It’ll be fine. The committee doesn’t take that much time around this time of year, right?”
A short while after, the class rep grinned. Meru tilted her head once again and the class rep cleared her throat, putting her hand on Meru’s shoulder.
“Just as I’d expect from you, Kusuhara-san. Although you say this and that, it’s true that you won’t refuse someone’s request, isn’t it?”
“Who did you hear that from?”
“I picked it up from your usual behavior.”
When she said that, Meru couldn’t deny it. It was true that she seemed to be taking everything on lately. It felt like she was just letting things take their own course.
“Then I’ll go along with that information and accept.”
Meru took a firmer hold of the committee journal with both hands. The class rep said “Please” to which Meru replied “Got it” as she left the room.
The committee meeting happened once a month. The frequency may increase or decrease in relation to events being held and whatnot, but it was usually around that often.
The contents of the meetings varied each time from matters that needed to be decided in each class to matters that they wanted to set aside to the detailed explanations of events and other things. The length of the meeting also depended on what was being covered that day.
The midterm tests were over and there weren’t any outstanding events that needed preparations, so today’s meeting would be over quickly.
Thinking so, Meru arrived at the main building’s meeting room and opened the door before closing it immediately.
“I wonder if anyone is still left in class.”
Standing in front of the door, she earnestly recalled the members of class F who were still around.
Hearing a deep voice from above her, Meru’s shoulders shook. Reacting to the surprise in an unbelievably stupid way that shocked even herself, she looked over her shoulder, but what met her eyes was only a necktie. It seemed that the person’s face was a bit higher up, so Meru inclined her head.
Then, the person finally entered her sight and Meru forced a smile.
“…Oh, it’s you. Kusuhara Meru.”
Katsuragi Shoutarou said while looking down at her.
It seemed that he remembered her name from the glasses incident the other day, but being called by her full name like that could only make her feel uncomfortable.
“You’re the class rep?”
“Nope. I’m substituting in today.”
Meru said while shrugging her shoulders. Shoutarou’s face blanched.
“It can’t be that you, too…?”
“…It’s nothing. Hurry up and enter. It’s already time to begin.”
Saying that, Shoutarou opened the door and entered the room that was as boisterous as an event venue. Seeing the situation inside again, a half smile floated on Meru’s face.
The meeting room was full of girls. Since each class had one committee member, there were a total of fifteen people gathered, but they were all female. Furthermore, they were all girls with perfectly done makeup.
There was one obvious reason why all these girls who didn’t seem like committee members were gathered, and that was the person standing in front of the blackboard.
“The meeting already started, so quiet down.”
The one who wanted quiet was also the one who was the cause of the clamour inside the room–Fuuga. He put his finger in front of his mouth. However, no matter what he did, he was apparently too attractive and had the exact opposite effect.
“You’re too cool, Fuuga-kun!”
“Next, send us a wink, ok?”
The demands increased. As expected, since he couldn’t respond to the requests, Fuuga had a troubled expression on his face.
The committee was always presided over by the executives, and it seemed like today’s would be led by Fuuga and Shoutarou.
Shoutarou moved to Fuuga’s side and struck his head without a word. The painful sound of something being hit with a lot of force resounded.
“Rengetsu, pull yourself together.”
“Shoutarou-kun, don’t just suddenly hit someone… And you didn’t even hold back!”
“If you shut up, the rest of the room will become quiet, too.”
While Fuuga and Shoutarou argued, Meru entered the room. In order to avoid Fuuga’s notice, she headed toward a seat along the wall.
It would seem that he was somehow or other good at finding her. In the instant she took her seat, Fuuga spoke her name. Not only that, his eyes were sparkling like a child’s at an amusement park.
The surrounding gazes all turned to Meru.
It was clear without asking that the girls participating in the committee meeting were Fuuga’s fans. They probably substituted in after hearing that he would be leading the meeting today. Meru finally understood what Shoutarou had meant by “you too.” However, wasn’t it impossible for her to switch in today just for Fuuga? is how she wanted to retort to that.
“I’m so glad that I’m in charge today.”
In front of the fans, he more or less refrained from waving at Meru and shouting words of love, but his expression and the words he mumbled to himself were already overflowing with more than enough of those feelings.
“This is definitely destiny.”
As Fuuga’s brain began to be dyed in a sakura color, Shoutarou’s fist descened once again.1
“Don’t make such a disgusting face while you’re next to me. It gives me the creeps.”
“You’re heartless! It can’t be helped, can it?”
“Well then, we’ll begin the committee meeting.”
“Listen to me!”
While that conversation unfolded in front of the blackboard, the committee meeting started. Meru was glad from the bottom of her heart that Shoutarou was there.
Just like Meru had thought, the agenda for the meeting wasn’t anything significant. It was basically just the announcement of certain things of which to take note. While everyone was entranced by Fuuga, Meru paid him no attention and wrote what was said down into the committee journal.
“Lastly, write down your class’s monthly goal and submit your journals. That’s all, everyone is dismissed.”
The meeting ended on that simple note.
Meru had already written her part up and was rejoicing that she could go home quickly, but that joy was mercilessly crushed when the girl sitting next to her caught her arm.
“Hey, I wasn’t listening, so could you write and submit my journal?”
With one girl’s request acting as a trigger, all of the classes’ journals were piled in front of Meru before she even understood what was happening. Meru cried “No wayyyyyyy!” internally, but given who the requesters were, she figured that she probably shouldn’t complain. The most important thing was to not get foolishly involved with them.
And so, she had once again picked up more responsibilities.
“Fuuga-kuun, are you free today?”
“No…I have the student council after this.”
“Nooo, I already know that. I’m talking about after the student council finishes.”
To make matters worse, the fans who had pushed off their journals had surrounded Fuuga and were in the middle of carrying out a fun fun love attack.
Like that, Fuuga allowed himself to be pulled out of the meeting room by his fans.
It was likely that the class rep had predicted things would end up this way. Understanding the meaning behind her grin, Meru sighed.
With one executive gone, the cleanup of the meeting room fell to Shoutarou alone. That said, the “cleanup” in this case referred just to erasing the blackboard and collecting the journals.
Meru spoke out watching Shoutarou’s back as he erased the blackboard. The meeting room was so quiet now that the clamour from just before seemed like a lie. Meru’s voice sounded out so as to blend in with the silent atmosphere.
Shoutarou’s hand stop suddenly and he cast her a sidelong glance, bringing her into his field of vision.
“…Not really. There’s more progress than when he’s here.”
If Fuuga remained behind, that would mean his fans would also remain behind. Him going back to the student council first was more efficient.
“Kusuhara Meru. Rather, you taking on the other classes’ committee journals…I can only see it as foolish.”
“Haha, you can say that again.”
Meru gave a wry smile while smoothly writing everything down. With her replying like that in a carefree manner, Shoutarou turned his gaze back to the blackboard.
“What is it this time?”
“You hate me, right?”
At Meru’s words this time, Shoutarou fully turned his head and looked over his shoulder at her.
“It’s true that I don’t like you.”
“Haha, I thought so.”
When Meru said that with an embarrassed laugh, Shoutarou’s eyes narrowed.
“…You, looking at your attitude irritates me.”
“…Have you always had that joking attitude, or is it intentional? Just tell me that.”
From behind his glasses, Shoutarou’s pupils stared at Meru. She stopped writing in the journals and rolled her pen once.
“I don’t intend to joke around. But if it makes you feel uncomfortable, I’m sorry. I’ll apologize in advance.”
Meru said before writing one more thing in the journal and closing it.”
“Here you are.”
Meru walked up to Shoutarou and put all of the members’ journals in front of him. When Shoutarou saw that, his eyes widened in surprise.
“You already wrote in them? …All of them?”
“That’s why I’m turning them in, isn’t it?”
Meru wryly smiled at Shoutarou who couldn’t hide his surprise.
There weren’t many important things passed on during the meeting. Still, writing them in every class’s journal should have taken more time. Shoutarou still wasn’t finished erasing the blackboard. That meant that, in that short time, Meru had finished writing everything.
Meru said and made to leave the meeting room.
Shoutarou pulled two or three journals from the middle of the pile and checked them. What he saw only served to increase his surprise. Each class’s monthly goal field was different. Meru had come up with a different goal for all of the classes. Not only that, each and every letter was written down carefully and clearly.
Shoutarou called out and stopped Meru who had her hand on door. She didn’t look back at him, only stood still and waited for him to speak.
“I don’t like you. But…I don’t hate you, either.”
Meru let a chuckle slip at his words. She slowly looked over her shoulder at him and smiled.
“I see. Then, stop calling me by my full name. It’s kinda scary.”
Shrugging her shoulders, Meru made a request to Shoutarou. Then, she left the room.
Before any time could pass after Meru left the room, the door opened once again.
“Shoutarou, I came to help.”
Shoutarou didn’t show any surprise at student council president Kamishiro Hayate’s appearance. It was about the time that Fuuga would arrive at the student council. He figured that once they knew that Shoutarou was cleaning up alone, someone would come help.
“Everyone already left. I thought that someone would become their victim and get stuck here.”
Hayate said that after seeing the inside of the room. Whenever Fuuga was in charge of a committee meeting, there would always be one pitiful student that appeared.
“Ahh…there was someone like that today, too.”
“Oh? …which means they must have been fairly efficient.”
Hayate placed his hand on the pile of journals and flipped through them. He checked today’s meeting column and blinked in the same way Shoutarou had previously.
“The handwriting is really admirable. Who exactly…?”
Shoutarou cleanly removed the chalk dust from the eraser and shifted his attention to the journal Hayate was holding.
“…It’s Kusuhara. She wrote everything today.”
Shoutarou said and picked up the remaining journals.
“It’s no wonder that my hypnotism had no effect on her. …Well, the rest is up to your judgment.”
Hayate firmly caught the true meaning behind Shoutarou’s words. Shoutarou turned off the meeting room’s lights and left with the journals.
“…My judgement, huh.”
Hayate muttered standing alone in the dim room. The corners of his mouth rose slightly.
“Well then, what should I make for dinner?”
While walking back alone, Meru once more planned the meal. However, another matter unexpectedly floated up in her mind.
“As expected of the vice president.”
Recalling Shoutarou’s surprised expression, Meru made an ever-so-slightly bitter face.
Since she didn’t contact her family, she couldn’t stay too late. Thinking about dinner preparations as well, she didn’t have the time to slowly write each journal, either.
“Well, I guess it’s not a big deal.”
1 Probably pretty obvious, but just in case, this basically means his head was filled with love.
And with this release, the Encounter Arc is completed! Yay! Next up is the Card Game Tournament Arc.
I’ll be traveling out of country from 3/25-4/1, so I’ll set up a timed release for the next chapter. However, this means that I won’t have the chapter updated in the toc or anything like that until I get back unless I happen to get really really really bored. I know. It’s ok.
So anyway, enjoy!