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Apparently Fellow Stalking Horse was quite popular.
His looks were pretty good and he demonstrated ability in his role as Student Council President.
He treated everyone the same, even if they were a Pivoine, and he was both trustworthy and reliable.
As a result he was popular with both sexes.
I suppose it just came down to the author’s taste, but in the manga he and the Emperor were kind of similar.
Both of them were charismatic and had presence, and masculine faces.
In the colour illustrations their hair colours had made them look like a black panther and silver wolf.
In any other romance novel you’d expect them to be complete opposites though.
That fact that they weren’t had pretty much convinced me back in the day that the author was simply into this type of overbearing guy.
I suppose there was only one huge difference between them.
While the Emperor was cold and aloof, the Student Council President was approachable as you’d expect from his position.
He was sincere with everyone he spoke to.
The result was a boatload of confessions.
“Apparently the StuCo President was confessed to again.”
“Who was it this time?”
“That first year, I hear. The one that’s supposedly somewhat cute. You know the one.”
We had barely begun the new term and already somebody had confessed to him?
For a man that was supposed to be the vice-chief, why was he so different to the chief?
Anyway, whether you were cute or not, Fellow Stalking Horse treated you equally and was never cruel in his rejection.
It was admirable.
After all, there were plenty of guys who changed their attitude based on who was confessing.
‘You don’t have to go out with me. I just wanted you to know how I felt.’
Girls who told him this were never-ending.
I supposed the Emperor was like that too.
After all, whether you were cute or not, the Emperor treated you equally. If you weren’t Yurie-sama it was a frosty “Not interested.”
That’s why almost nobody confessed to him, despite his popularity.
Speaking of which, I wonder how Maihama-san was doing~
Anyway, going back to Stalking Horse, rumour had it that he had his first shrine visit of the New Year with Wakaba-chan.
It was a famous shrine, so apparently plenty of people spotted them.
When girls questioned him about it, he claimed that he had gone with the entire Student Council, not just with her. Still, it hadn’t changed the fact that in the bustle of the shrine the pair had been together the entire time, and looked awfully close.
Making matters worse, Emperor Kaburagi was still greeting Wakaba-chan just like last year, and would strike up a chat whenever he went to Enjou’s class.
Whether the StuCo Pres or the Emperor, Wakaba-chan’s intimacy with the two was already seeing her glared at with jealous eyes.
I was on my way back from club activities.
There was a textbook that I needed for studies tonight, so I was heading by my locker to pick it up.
I was walking down the empty hallway when I spotted one Wakaba-chan heading into the bathroom.
Since there was nobody else around, I figured I may as well wish her a belated Happy New Year.
That’s why I followed her in, only to find her in just her blouse, washing her jacket in the clean washbasin.
“…Takamichi-san?” I called out quietly.
Wakaba-chan turned around with a start.
“Oh, it was you, Kisshouin-san. What’s up?”
“What’s up, you ask? I wanted to ask that.”
I glanced at the dirtied white jacket in her hands.
Now that I was looking carefully, I realised her skirt was in the same condition.
“Is that… paint water…?”
“Eh? Yeah, somebody bumped me with it earlier.”
“I didn’t really see their face. They said sorry, and then disappeared.”
“Disappeared? They dirtied your clothes and then ran!?”
That was absolutely intentional. Even their membership in the Art Club was dubious.
“But I can’t get the stains out of white clothing. I might have to send it for dry cleaning…”
“This is horrible. You should find the culprit and demand the dry cleaning funds! And from the looks of these stains, who knows if even that would do the job!”
“I’ve got a coupon for dry cleaning, so don’t worry about that. I got a bonus from last year’s term-end exams too. I’ll just have to rely on the dry cleaners to do their best… It’s going to be rough without a jacket tomorrow thoughhh.”
“Eh!? Is this your only one!?”
Overcoat or not, commuting by train without a jacket in this weather was unreasonable.
And to begin with, although I wasn’t sure if it was actually against regulations, not wearing the jacket could make her stand out as much as the gum boots did for all I knew.
“Coming here without a jacket may be a problem. Particularly when it comes to the former president of the Pivoine.”
“Ah, thought so.”
“And I don’t even know if the stains will even come out. I guess I have no choice but to buy one then. Man, this is going to be tough on expenses…”
I was hesitant, but I couldn’t help but speak after seeing how troubled she looked.
“Umm, I have a spare set so, what if I gave it to you?”
“Ehh!? Even I’d feel bad about that!”
I had a number of spare uniforms in case some got dirty.
Giving her one wasn’t an issue at all.
Stains just wouldn’t do on white clothing after all.
“These uniforms are expensive. I can’t take something like that from you! This is completely different to slippers, you know!”
“But at this rate you will have to pay yourself, no?”
The school uniforms were expensive.
I wasn’t sure exactly how expensive but I wouldn’t be surprised if a set cost more than ¥100,000.
Oh! I did have one I didn’t need! One that I’d probably never wear again!
“I have one spoilt one that I wear no longer. It would put me at ease if you could find a use for it.”
“Ummm… Is this spoilt one cleaner than what I’m wearing?”
“Yes. I had it sent to the dry cleaners so it should be clean. However… originally it had bird faeces on it…”
“Indeed,” I nodded gravely.
It happened on a chilly afternoon.
I was going on an after-lunch walk with my friends.
I had been looking to the side at the time when from the skies above a bird dropped its poop onto my head!
Even though it missed my head, it still handed on my skirt.
Since it was soft and still steaming fresh it bounced off my skirt and ended up dirtying my jacket too.
“A bird pooped on Reika-sama again!”
“Hold on, Reika-sama! It’s not too bad! It only hit your uniform today!”
Everyone brought me to the school infirmary as my mind struggled to reboot from shock and it somehow managed to get off with detergent.
After that I immediately had somebody bring me a new change of clothes from home, and then sent the bird-poop set to the cleaners.
Still, I didn’t feel too good about it and never ended up wearing it again.
Why was it just me that had to get pooped on. Grrrr, it was outrageous!
I suppose it was a matter of outlook though.
There were islands made of bird poop in the world that you could get phosphate from and make a fortune, so maybe the bird pooping on me would one day lead to the same.
Yeah. No. It’s impossible after all.
Anyway, although she was hesitant I managed to convince Wakaba-chan and I brought her home with me in my family car.
“What a huge house~”
Wakaba-chan was just staring in shock with her mouth gaping.
Thank goodness, my parents weren’t home yet.
We headed to my room.
I took out the poop uniform and handed it to her.
“How is it?”
“Wah! It isn’t dirtied at all! Can I really take such a new uniform off you?”
“I do not intend on wearing it again, and have plenty of spares besides. Please stop hesitating and take it.”
“Really? Thank you! Ah, but will the size fit? We’re about the same height, but I’m pretty thick, you know? I’m not skinny like you are.”
“Nonsense~ We look the same~ Ohohoho.”
I was in a pretty good mood.
Wakaba-chan tried it on.
Apparently the waist for my uniform was loose on her──
“…Shall I lend you a sewing set?”
“Umm, I can do it at home!”
Out of consideration, Wakaba-chan just smiled past the awkwardness.
Not that I’m making excuses, but that uniform was back from when I was eating out with Ichinokura-san, okay!
I’m way skinnier now!
“Thanks for this, really. I want to pay you back so come over and play sometime, okay? My family wants to meet you too!”
“Yes, I look forward to it.”
I saw Wakaba-chan off at the nearest station.
After passing through the ticket gates, she turned and waved at me with energy before leaving.
I couldn’t help but wonder who had done this.
A fan of the Emperor, or a fan of Fellow Stalking Horse…