Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions. If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ. Thank you for your consideration, guys!
This is my Christmas present to you, and I’d be really glad if you gifted me back with a review on novelupdates! Incidentally, Reika graduates from primary school reallllly soon. We’re almost there, guys! Remember that Japanese kids graduate in spring!
As autumn deepened, we began choosing photos for our graduation album. I’m not a member of the graduation committee, but I decided to cooperate as proactively with them as possible. I think it should be alright, but on the off chance that somebody entered a picture of my shame during the Deer Assault Incident, it’d become the shame of my life. At the moment there aren’t any weird photos of me, but you can never be too careful.
The photos in the album are being chosen from those taken by Suiran’s exclusive cameraman as well as photos that the students want in them. Well, it’s something I knew would happen, but the photos are kinda biased towards certain students, huhh~ The ones contributed by the students were almost all Kaburagi and Enjou photos, and mostly ones with the contributors in it. Stuff they’d want to remember I guess. If we accepted all of these, it would end up as a Kaburagi-Enjou album, so we rejected most of them. There are lots of photos of the more salient students, and the more docile and plain students are getting overlooked, so they’re checking the photos carefully. If after we graduated and some kid said “I’m… not in a single photo…” or something, they’d really feel hurt after all. Their happy parents would be sad too. And we’re carefully comparing the photos and student roster.
“It really helps that you’re assisting us, Reika-sama.”
The one who said that with a smile was Honda Miharu-chan from my class. We’re in different groups, but she’s a serious and diligent girl, and was the vice rep from last year.
“Besides the class and group photos, it takes a lot of work to check the student-contributed photos, after all.”
“Yeah. I almost missed one.”
The docile kids don’t submit their own photos, and sometimes there isn’t even a single photo of them. In those cases, members of the album committee go take photos of ‘school lunch’ or the like. And if possible, take photos where the kid isn’t by himself, but instead having fun with their friends. The teacher in charge of the album is checking it together with us, so it should be fine though. While I’m at it, I’m trying my best to select the cuter ones. I’m helping out, so just this much bias is okay, right?
“This is a photo of the Petite Pivoine isn’t it.”
The photo being held out to me was from the other day, when our cameraman came to the salon. Each year the Pivoine has its own special group photo. We are technically the face of the school, after all. In the centre of the photo was Emperor on the couch with Enjou next to him, with the other members surrounding them. On each side of the photo was a red peony, the namesake of the group. But the problem was that I was sitting next to Emperor. Even though there were heaps of other girls who wanted that spot, why me? But everybody else was like, “Please, go ahead Reika-sama” and recommended it to me without listening, so I couldn’t refuse. If I made it too obvious I didn’t want to, Emperor would probably get upset after all. ‘At the very least, next to Enjou then…’ I thought, but Enjou refused me with his smile. …So mean. Thanks to that, I got warned a bunch of times by the cameraman for having a stiff smile, and the guy next to me started clicking his tongue, and I had a horrible time of it. This photo had that kind of backstory.
“So this is the Pivoine’s salon. How wonderful. It’s like a dream…”
So said the album committee members as they looked at the photo in a daze. Mn, it’s a needlessly luxurious room, isn’t it. The “bearing of a ruler” peonies just make it even more luxurious. Because even in this Suiran Academy that feels all rich already, the Pivoine is just in a different class. After all, the normal students aren’t allowed in. Even though the truth is that all we do is drink tea, eat sweets, and laze around. Mn? Could that just be me?
“More importantly, let us hurry and decide on the photos.”
Because they seemed to be forgetting why we were here, I called out to them and we started working again. Oh! It’s a picture of Akizawa-kun in the baton relay. I wonder if Fukioka-san has this. If I tell her about it, she’d probably tell me to bring it to her. Naturally, the photo of Kaburagi in the cavalry battle is definitely going in. Rather, if we didn’t, we’d definitely meet some massive booing. In this year’s cavalry battle, Kaburagi’s unit was unchallenged again. Apparently they practised in secret. Even though he always acts so cool and uncaring, he actually hates losing. After showing unrivalled strength two years in a row, Emperor began a legend. Upfftpfft.
It was hard picking from the huge number of photos, but there were photos with unexpected sides of kids that I didn’t often talk to, so it was pretty interesting too. The photos go back as far as Year 1, so there are some kids who look completely different now too. Six years for children changes them a shocking amount, doesn’t it. Since Year 1, I’ve always been a fake Rococo. I seriously want an image change already…
For a while now, my eyes have been meeting with Class Pres a lot. He keeps looking my way, and when I return the gaze, he immediately averts his eyes. I tried asking if he needed anything a few times, but he would always turn red and avoid a proper answer. Even at lunch just now, our eyes met. I wonder what’s up.
“Reika-sama, is something the matter?”
Honda-san from the photo committee called out to me.
“No, it is nothing.”
I gave a smile as I replied. Well, maybe it’s just my imagination.
“…I never expected the day to come that I’d be able to talk to you like this, Reika-sama, so I’m kind of happy.”
Honda-san said that with a shy smile. Wah, so cute! Honda-san is a diligent-type that you’d expect to be a class rep, so she’s kind of different from the types in my group. Because of that we haven’t spoken much outside of passing on messages. But this girl gives off the same cuteness as Aoi-chan. She’s definitely a good girl, I’m sure. I wanna be friends.
“I am also glad that we became friends, Miharu-san.”
Because of my success during the school trip, I’ve taken a liking to this high-pressure salesman style of getting friends. It’s better to speak first for things like this. Although in secret your heart kinda thumps as you wonder what you’re gunna do if they say “Huh? I never thought we were friends. So pushy.”.
“Eh-, friends!? Ah-m, I’m happy too.”
Uhuhu, another friend GET.
With graduation approaching, as is customary, signature books began to pop up. Speaking of which, I had one too didn’t I, a signature book. How nostalgic. Back when I was lazy in my old life, at first I was happy to sign things, but along the way I started to get annoyed, and stopped caring what I wrote. And also, you don’t do it often, so it’s surprisingly hard to write a short message, isn’t it? You only get as many variations as New Year’s cards, and there really isn’t much to say. You try and write stylish and mature things, different from everybody else, and so it ends up as more dark history. That’s why signature books are actually really dangerous. I was the same in the beginning. Each time I remember the stuff I wrote, it makes me want to bang my head on a desk. It’s just that embarrassing. Even weird poems and stuff… Aahh-! If only I had psychic powers and could burn those books right now!
Anyway, some people came around asking for me to sign their books too. Even though pretty much everybody here at Suiran just moves onto the middle school section, why bother with these signature books? Or so I thought, but then I considered that it would be sadder if nobody asked for mine, so bothersome as it was, I accepted with a smile. I just used a beautiful seal and signed in coloured pen to get out of actually writing anything.
“Reika-sama, could I have you write something in my signature book?”
Honda Miharu-chan came asking as well. We’re friends so of course I accepted, and I had her sign in mine too. Incidentally, my signature book was prepared by Okaasama, and was apparently made by some royal purveyor of stationery in Europe. Just a cheap one with cute pictures would be enough, you know…
Apparently a long queue formed to get the signatures of the famous two. The girls in my class were really pumped to get them too. Ever since Kaburagi got told off by Yurie-sama, he’s gotten a little more cooperative in the past, and although he had an annoyed look on his face, he did sign them properly. Just his name though. Seriously, just a signature. Apparently some kids even said stuff like “Please address it to _____!”. Are they movie stars or something? Some of the girls showed me their books, but it was seriously just “Kaburagi Masaya” in the middle of the page. Incidentally, he did write their names. As you’d expect, his penmanship was fantastic. As for Enjou’s, besides their names he also wrote “congratulations on your graduation” on each one. Well, they’re both pretty bad. To a person like me who’s struggling to come up with original messages, I kind of envy their boldness.
Anyway, while thinking about all these things, after school I was walking down a hallway by myself as I was heading to the salon. That was when a nervous looking Class Rep called out to me.