It was a ceiling that I had once seen……
Well, obviously . It was the ceiling of my room .
A day had passed .
After my report concluded, the president did not pursue the matter any further .
She only said, “Let’s have another discussion tomorrow” . It was as if she was already aware of the result from the beginning .
Not being told anything, was in its own way, unbearable .
Just by thinking about how she probably never expected anything from the beginning, or how everything had happened as she had anticipated, I received heavy damage .
The president was probably not even having such thoughts .
She was probably already thinking about what to do next so that this matter could be put to rest .
However, that extreme composure of hers led me to have negative thoughts since I wasn’t able to do anything fruitful for those three .
As the Minato-kun rumoured to possess a strong mouth, and pretty much the only thing going for him, the incident this time was a disgraceful stain on my name .
Well, not that I was competing with anyone to, begin with . I did not even have an opponent .
When I realized how my train of thoughts had taken a strange turn, I decided to return home for the day .
Let’s return home and take out this anger on Kaede . I am going to tousle her hair until I am satisfied .
The student council too would like to find a compromise, a solution to this problem soon .
What awaited us after this, were the centrepiece events of the high school life, such as the summer vacation, the athletic festival, and the cultural festival .
If we were to expend too much time on one issue, it would be hard to solve the many others within the limited timeframe of our high school lives .
The next meeting should pretty much be the last time we ever talk about this, huh .
Early morning .
While most students were still inside their futons, traversing the dream world, I was already making my way towards the school .
Today, I did the rare thing of leaving the house an hour earlier than usual, for the morning activities .
I approached the intersection where people commuting to work were passing by in their cars, by myself . I waited for the pedestrian traffic light to change, under the shade of a building .
The number of speeding cases has increased, huh……
While I was thinking this, someone called out to me from behind .
“Good morning, Senpai!”
“……Why are you here?”
There was only one person who would call me ‘Senpai’ .
Better said, I wasn’t aware of any other soul who recognized me as one .
It was my junior from the student council, Hino-kun .
I had heard from him from before that his house was in the opposite direction .
Him being here was odd .
Since he had the criminal record of being a Kaede worshipper, I put myself on guard and directed a sharp gaze at him like a fierce animal locking on to its prey .
Due to it being so early in the morning, the coldness in my gaze and voice came off as twenty percent more intense than usual . Hino-kun swiftly replied .
“No no! I was staying in my grandfather’s house, so I am coming from the same direction, yah . ”
[TN – the ‘yah’ is his unique way of speaking . Does anyone with translation experience know other ways of translating the っす, abbreviation of です as an add-on word?]
His frantic attempt at explaining the situation put him off the radar, to which he breathed a sigh of relief .
If you underestimate Onii-chan’s sister defence system, getting burnt will be the last of your worries .
[TN – I made it analogous to air defence system or missile defence system . Sounds better, right?]
By the time Hino-kun had come up to me, I noticed the colour of the traffic light change from red to blue . So, I resumed my steps .
Somewhat flustered, he followed me from behind . With a sidelong glance, I looked at him while continuing forward at my usual pace .
“Come to think of it, what happened yesterday? The president only said that we will be having morning activities, and nothing else, yah . ”
“This and that, it didn’t go off well . ”
There was no room for an explanation .
It was pointless to gloss over what had happened .
It was soon going to become well-known among the members of the student council .
At my nonchalant reply, Hino-kun wasn’t able to endure it any longer .
“No, well, I thought there were no problems at all whatsoever, with Senpai’s idea……yah . ”
“It is fine not to forcefully add that at the end, you know……”
Trying to stay in character, are we?
Don’t worry . Your character doesn’t have that deep a setting . The only part that is ‘deep’ about you is your appearance .
Better said, his quirk was that he was an exceedingly normal high school boy on the inside, even though his face suggested anything but that .
The rest of our journey was characterized by trifling exchanges between us . He looked like he was trying to be considerate towards me, even though it was a needless worry .
The contents of our conversation were not especially important . We had merely engaged in it to kill time . It continued until the school building entered our field of vision .
“Is the student council room open?”
“The president should already be there . ”
That person is usually the first one to arrive at the school .
She loves the student council that much, huh……
That alone made her look like a zealous character .
There were people like her, right? There was always at that least one student who really loved the school, right?
Suddenly in my eyes, that perfect superhuman president of ours started to look like a playful woman who loved school . Just when this new perspective dawned on me, we reached the student council room .
“Sorry for asking everybody to come so early . Today, I have something to say about the issue from the other day . “
After she confirmed that all the members of the student council were present in the room, the president began to talk .
What laid before us, were copies of the annual schedule of our school that seemed irrelevant to the matter at hand .
It had tables separated by schoolyear, showing the rough schedule of events like tests, the athletic festival, and the cultural festival .
It went without saying that Hino-kun and I who were the last ones to turn up for today’s meeting .
As expected of the president who loved school . She seemed to be the most enthusiastic of the lot .
It would seem that she was an hour early for the meeting . I was still asleep then .
This person was terrifying .
“Ladies and gentlemen of the second year, I think you are already aware of the fact that the ‘work experience’ event is around the corner . ”
She did assume a dignified manner of speaking there, but for a second-year student such as myself, it was information that I had come across for the first time .
……What is with that event?
Flustered, I ran my eyes over the schedule before me . There was indeed a mention of the “work experience” event in the June column .
This is strange .
There was no mention of this event in the version that I had at home .
And no, it’s not like I had used a pen to strike through an event I didn’t like, and tried to escape reality or anything, ok?
By the way, because of how the test periods had successive entries in black ink, it looks like an alphabetical parade of sorts .
[TN – can someone help me with translating this? ちなみに一年間のテスト期間はもれなく黒のオンパレードだ。]
Looking at how Koizumi and Miura were nodding to express their consent, I realized that this must be a large-scale event .
Was it just that the information was yet to be in circulation among the students?
As I waited for the follow-up, the president started talking about the main issue .
“I am pleased to say that this time, the number of enterprises that have agreed to take part in this program has increased . However, it has also given rise to problems . ”
“That problem is?”
Miura posed this question .
The number of enterprises increasing was genuinely a good sign, right?
If we were to talk about its demerits, it would be just that, since the options were increasing, it would require effort to decide what it was that they wanted to experience .
“The problem is that, with the number of opportunities increasing, fewer students are forming large groups . From what I heard yesterday, students will be moving in small groups of two or three, regardless of class . ”
“Bu, but is not that a good thing? How is that a problem?”
Koizumi asked in return .
Indeed, it didn’t qualify as a problem .
Besides, did this have anything to do with the issue from the other day? I was harbouring such a doubt . Then suddenly,
“……Aa, is that what this is about?”
I had unconsciously let out my voice .
Like puzzles fitting in place, my doubts were clearing up .
Why did they request a place for confession, to the student council?
Why did the president decide that we had to deal with this issue as the student council?
When this issue was brought up, she did say that she was curious about something . What was that about?
Why did those sheets of paper of ordinary-looking requests make me feel uncomfortable?
In other words, this ‘work experience’ event had already become the subject matter of rumours in circulation among the students . Albeit, it was still my conjecture .
Well, there was nothing surprising about that . It was written in the schedule . The teachers would bring up the topic sooner or later .
[TN – so ya, I think the MC simply didn’t look at the schedule, to begin with, so he was not aware of this event at the beginning . It is just my inference from the flow of the story]
It was purely my conjecture, but the teachers had already conveyed the information about fewer students forming large groups this year, to the students, haven’t they?
For instance……the club advisors secretly letting on the information to the students who were affiliated with their clubs .
Quite the possible turn of events .
Then, the information spread by hearsay .
The students must have wanted to monopolise this chance .
This was an unparalleled opportunity to stay close to the stars of the school, Shizuku and the others, without having to give anyone any excuses .
“What? Did you understand, Shinra?”
Said the president, with a half-surprised and half-unexpecting look on her face .
“No, well……I don’t know if I am right about this or not, but, well, somehow or the other……did the matter of grouping get leaked?”
“That’s right . It looks like the information had already disclosed by the club advisors to their students, even before we could finalize things . ”
The teachers had probably been asked about the event .
How will the grouping be carried out?
Something along these lines .
And then, the teachers might have inadvertently let out information that wasn’t final yet .
It wasn’t a secret if you were letting others in on it .
It was bound to diffuse into the surroundings, and the secret would cease to be one .
Especially among students, the rate of diffusion was unusual .
They let out the secret in casual conversations, and by the next day, the entire school knows about it . Not the first time for something like that to happen .
“So, the problem lies in Kanzaki, Ogiwara and Kirasaka being second years . ”
“So, due to fewer students forming large groups, there are going to be problems during grouping?”
[TN – don’t ask me why Hino asked this, just go with the flow and let the story unravel the secrets, hopefully]
Hino-kun asked the president .
That would be the last question, right?
The rest of this story can be figured out from the course of events from here on out .
“Aa, as students can be grouped regardless of their gender and class, there should be many who wants to be in the same group as the three of them . ”
While saying this, the president fetched yesterday’s document from her bag .
Looking back, I feel like many of those requests gave off the feeling of having been written by students of the same year as me .
There weren’t many requests that used the words ‘Senpai’ or ‘Second-year’ .
“Accordingly, let’s assume that the purpose of the majority of these requests is to find an opportunity to invite those three over to their groups . Doesn’t this mean that the way we will deal with them will now change?”
The president’s mouth warped to form a suggestive grin . It was a rare sight to behold . She directed an ominous smile at my direction .
It was as though she was saying, “We could talk them into our plans with this” .
“Well……now, it will be easier to talk to them about this . ”
“Is that so? Well then, let’s leave this to Shinra . ”
Well, not that I didn’t see this coming when I saw her directing her gaze only at me . She intended for me to take care of this part from the beginning, didn’t she?
However, she totally made it sound like she decided to allocate the job to me only after hearing my remarks about it .
However, it indeed has become easier to talk to them about this matter now .
It went without saying that, if the content of the problem changed, so would the content of its measures .
However, personally speaking, I had already decided that it would be for the best to wash our hands of this issue .
This was by no means, the job of the student council .
Sometimes, it was necessary to let the students solve their problems by themselves .
No matter how much authority the student council possessed, the fact remained that the members of the council were still students .
Untactful use of power could lead to the dissatisfaction of the student body, which in turn would interfere with the functioning of the student council, in the future .
The current student council was a limited power structure, its bold display of authority tolerated because it was led by the student named Hiiragi Akane .
“However, I intend for us as the student council, to give it our best to answer to their desires . Miura, Koizumi, and Hino, the three of you will analyse the alternative plan, and put it to action!”
While I was still thinking about my part of the plan, the president and the others had already moved on with the discussion .
The president allotted everyone their respective jobs .
I was to talk with them one more time . The others were to review the alternate plan for dealing with the original request .
Is this really the correct answer?
The strides which felt heavy until this morning had become a little lighter when I was heading towards the classroom……was what I would I have liked to say, but no, they hadn’t become lighter .
I had a job I had to do at any cost . There was no way they were going to become lighter now .
On the contrary, just thinking about how I would have to enter that circle of people, with an oppressive air around it, made the strides feel so heavy that I almost couldn’t move .