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The snow that appeared Saturday night kept falling well into Sunday.
Although it had stopped by the time Monday had come rolling around, looking out the window of my car on the way to school, it was plainly obvious that it *had snowed, and parts of the road were still frozen over.
Oh. A salaryman just slipped.
With this much snow around I wondered if Enjou and Kaburagi were going to build Yukino-kun another snowman.
I arrived early, having left early to taken into account the road conditions.
Class Rep was already there.
“Good morning, Kisshouin-san.”
“Gokigen’yoh, Class Rep. Somebody is early today.”
“Yeah. It’s been snowing after all. Plus, the exams are coming soon, so I was thinking of studying.”
“My, what a model student you are. Perhaps I should follow your example and study now as well.”
After all, I was left out of the top 30 for my end of year exams. It was about time that I got a bit serious.
“Oh, right. Remember how I told you Honda-san gave me chocolates for Valentine’s?”
“Did you now?”
“I did. Anyway, since the two of them said they’d make handmade chocolates for us, I thought I should return the favour by handmaking some for them.”
I turned to him in shock.
“Well, I thought it was a good chance to try. Anyway, I was thinking about what to make and I thought Sachertorte would be nice.”
“Sachertorte!?”The cake consists of a dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam on top, coated in dark chocolate icing on the top and sides. It is traditionally served with unsweetened whipped cream.
What a crazy hard choice for a first-timer!
“Is that not a little difficult…?” I was about to ask but Class Pres showed me a picture on his phone.
It was a wonderful example of a Sachertorte.
“I’ve never baked a cake before, but it turned out pretty well, I think.”
“I see,” I deadtoned.
Apparently the maiden was even equipped with dessert-making skills.
Even though I had been doing this for years and was only just recently seeing results.
I didn’t know how good Miharu-chan was, but I had to wonder how you’d feel if a boy gave you better-made chocolates than you could manage yourself.
At the very least, I would get an inferiority complex.
“People at Suiran prefer buying expensive chocolates, so perhaps you should reconsider,” I told him. “Besides, if you trade your home cooking with her you are only a single mistake away from being treated as her girl friend.”
“Eh-, girl friend!? I really wouldn’t want that…”
Class Rep was flustered now.
“Or were you intending on confessing to Honda-san with that Sachertorte? In that case I will now stop you, but…”
“Ehh!? No! I haven’t been thinking about confessing at all yet!” he exclaimed, red-faced. “I just wanted to thank her!”
“In that case buying a few expensive limited-edition chocolates, as well as some accessories like a handkerchief or some gloves would achieve something closer to your desired effect. Well, some people do say that handkerchiefs are a sign of a goodbye, so perhaps something else.”
“I see. As expected of a Love Guru. I better tell Iwamuro-kun too!”
“Besides some small gifts, I had been happy enough to receive a small bouquet in the past, but if you go down that route you had better have somebody take care of it during class. Otherwise it may have wilted by the time school is out. Perhaps it would be better to forget about those for now.”
“Yeah, you might be right. But how did you learn all these things about romance anyway?”
I learnt about the presents from Imari-sama, and everything else from the shoujo manga I read in my last life.
“I’ve been talking to Iwamuro-kun about it, but I think my luck in romance has been better after touching that reversed curl of yours. Thank you for always blessing me.”
Apparently in his head I was one of those bronze ox statues you rubbed for good luck.
People believe in the strangest things.
But I got my hair fixed at a beauty salon so they were all curled the right way now.
In exchange I grew an urna!
“Say, Class Rep, if some strange girl you had never spoken to suddenly gave you a Valentine’s chocolate, how would you feel?”
“Eh-, strange girl!? Hmmm, I’d be happy, but I guess a little troubled too if I didn’t know her…”
“As I thought…”
For an instant I had considered gaining the courage to give one to Naru-kun from the library, but since it would probably only make me look like a stalker I decided against it.
I guess the Village Chief was having another boring Valentine’s.
I wonder if there were any new applicants to the village.
We’re still taking new people, you know?
Ru’ne-chan and the others arrived so I apologised to Class Rep for disturbing his studies and said goodbye.
“Reika-sama’, gokigen’yoh. It’s cold today, isn’t it?”
“Gokigen’yoh. It is indeed. I had trouble getting out of bed.”
Still, everyone came to school in a car so there was only the walk from the car park.
“It’s got to be rough for people walking to school today.”
“I have to agree. I saw quite a few people losing their footing today while being driven to school.”
“Wow, that’s dangerous.”
Before long, Serika-chan and Kikuno-chan arrived as well, and the conversation turned to excited talk about the snow.
Suddenly another girl from my group ran into the classroom.
“It’s terrible, Reika-sama! Takamichi-san got out of Kaburagi-sama’s car again!”
Apparently right after Kaburagi and Wakaba-chan parted, everyone swarmed her to ask what was going on.
And according to Wakaba-chan, he had spotted her on the way to school. Rather than let her ride the train and then walk through the snow, he told her to get in instead.
“How many times has that been now? That that girl has been in Kaburagi-sama’s car,” frowned Kikuno-chan.
Everyone else muttered about how shameless she was too.
But I was focused on something else.
Before she rode the train and walk through the snow?
Didn’t this mean he had been lying in wait in her neighbourhood then…?
“Could we speak, Kisshouin-san?” somebody asked.
The girls in the classroom erupted in squeals.
It had been Enjou, standing by the classroom door.
“Is something the matter?” I asked, having joined him in the hallway.
We were still being showered by curious gazes.
“The truth is that Yukino was hospitalised last night,” he smiled helplessly.
“Yeah, but we admitted him more as a precaution than anything else. It’s nothing serious.”
“How terrible. Being in hospital is such an unpleasant experience.”
“Ahh~ Well, I guess. Anyway, sorry to bother but do you think you could write him a ‘get well’ message before school ends?”
“Yeah. He’s been whining about the hospital quite a bit this time since he only had a minor asthma attack. Yukino’s been in a bad mood, so I thought you could cheer him up.”
It had to be so rough on a child.
“If just a letter from someone like me could help cheer him up a little, I will write as many as it takes!”
“Thanks, and I really am sorry for the bother. I’ll definitely make this up to you.”
“No, no. I am simply doing this for Yukino-kun, so no thanks are needed.”
I went to my locker to get my letter set and began writing.
After school, he thanked me politely again when I handed him the letter.
Apparently he was skipping the salon today and heading straight to the hospital.
While we spoke about Yukino-kun, I ended up seeing him off at the carpark.
“See you tomorrow then. Thanks for the letter.”
“Not at all. Gokigen’yoh, Enjou-sama.”
He waved at me and then got in his car.
The person in the car with him, didn’t she look an awful lot like Yuiko-san?