I was studying for my term end exams at night when I suddenly felt a little hungry. That’s why I began eating some chocolate snacks made by a company named after the Rococo Queen’s dynasty. Crunchy and delicious. They were light too, so I couldn’t stop eating them. I hadn’t skipped dinner or anything either.
Actually, lately I was starting to feel suspicious that whatever controlled fullness in my brain had gone haywire… I think maybe my stomach had gotten bigger after all the times with Ichinokura-san…
Still, you couldn’t win a war on an empty stomach. Although nobody had noticed, I had still gotten rank 29 last time. I fully intended to hold the line. Even as my hands provided supplies to my brain, I was memorising and memorising.
It was all part of my plan. I had heard that after memorising you could move it into long-term memory by sleeping. That’s why I went to bed fully expecting success so why was it that after I woke up everything had gone!? What was the meaning of this!?
Far from ‘long-term memory’ I had to painstakingly re-memorise almost half of everything I did last night. I couldn’t go on. It was going to be a failure for me… Aahh, just how on earth did Wakaba-chan study? I really wanted to know.
I thought that maybe better blood circulation to my brain would help with memorising so I got in the bath an tried to remember the timeline for my history course but then I just got dizzy and things got even worse.
Do your best, Reika!
Anyhow, I studied, the exams came, and then I did the exams. The result was me at rank 30. Uohhh! I just managed to stay on the ranking boards by the skin of my teeth, but I did it!
“Goodness! Reika-sama, you’re rank 30!”
“You’re amazing, Reika-sama!”
This time, the girls around me noticed. I was so happy…! But I couldn’t exactly show it.
“Oh. So I am, hohoho,” I laughed, pretending like I didn’t care.
Little did they know that I had actually studied half to death for that result. And they never would.
“As expected of you, Reika-sama!”
Serika-chan and Kikuno-chan kept praising me, so I said,
“Thank you. But in truth I actually dropped in rankings, you know? I could not quite find the time to study this time around…” casually emphasizing my previous achievement.
“Dropped to 30th place? You really are different to us, Reika-sama!”
“To think that you made 30th place without studying!”
The praise came more and more.
I was so happy that I started to smirk, so I had to quickly cover my mouth with my hand.
“I think that will do, everyone. My results were nothing special. Kaburagi-sama and the others are the ones we should be praising, no?”
I changed the subject because they were praising me so much it started to sound like sarcasm.
“Oh, you’re right! As expected of the Emperor of Suiran!”
This time Kaburagi had made a comeback and reclaimed his spot in 1st place. Not only that but Enjou was 2nd place. Wakaba-chan was 3rd.
With Kaburagi and Enjou in 1st and 2nd place, unlike last time everybody was celebrating instead. ‘Did you see that!? That’s the power of our representative!’ was the feeling they gave.
Wakaba-chan was staring at the board with her mouth hanging open. Some girls who didn’t like her started talking about how it was just a fluke last time.
“It’s Kaburagi-sama and Enjou-sama!”
Like Moses parting the ocean, the crowd moved out of the way as they came. Everybody watched as they looked at the board. Oh, for a moment one side of Kaburagi’s mouth twitched upwards.
“Kaburagi-sama, congratulations on 1st place!”
“You’re amazing, Enjou-sama!”
Enjou smiled and gave his thanks amongst the storm of praise, while Kaburagi acted as though his result were natural.
Somebody said “As if he could lose to the likes of Takamichi-san,” which caused him to look her way.
With a smile, he approached her.
“Ah well. Do your best next time,” he said, giving her a pat on the shoulder, before leaving magnificently together with Enjou.
Left behind, Wakaba-chan was now suffering from some inexplicable jealousy at being pat on the shoulder…
Kaburagi really hated losing.
Kaburagi, I bet you studied your butt off this time, didn’t you.
Since the exams were over, Ichinokura-san invited me out to celebrate. And this time he said there was somebody he wanted to introduce. Apparently it was his lover!
Apparently Mao-chan had no idea about ‘Haruto-niisama’s lover’ so it came as quite a shock to her. When I went to visit her in the Petite salon she was looking a little down. And Yuuri was absent from her side again. Apparently he had asked if she had gotten even fatter.
“I had no idea that Haruto-niisama had a girlfriend…”
“Yes, it was my first time hearing it too.”
To Mao-chan, it must have felt like her beloved Oniisama was being taken away. She seemed lonely, so I wrapped my arm behind her and patted her on the shoulder.
If Oniisama was taken away by a lover, would it be as shock to me as well…?
“I wanted Haruto-niisama to date you, Reika-oneesama…”
That was… I mean, there was quite an age difference. Ichinokura-san was 26 now, wasn’t it? Dating me would be a crime, you know?
He used some killer words back at the flower viewing party so my heart had throbbed a little, but once we got to know each other better he was more like my foodie comrade. And he said that it was fun eating with somebody else who really enjoyed their food. He was really relaxing and soothing to be around, and was comfortable in a different way to Oniisama. Even if he had a girlfriend, I hoped our relationship could continue. There was nobody else whose taste in foods meshed this well, after all.
“Mao-chan, Ichinokura-san’s happiness is important, yes? Should you not be happy for him?”
She gave a little nod.
“I wonder what kind of person she is. Ichinokura-san chose her after all. She must be wonderful.”
“I think she must be somebody who loves eating with Haruto-niisama!” said Mao-chan with a smile.
It looked like she was feeling better now. And mmn, I agreed. I could see somebody touring restaurants with him.
“She must be somebody plump the way Haruto-niisama likes.”
“I think I agree.”
Since it was Ichinokura-san’s girlfriend, she had to be a huge eater.
“I find myself looking forward to this weekend.”
Mao-chan and I nodded to eat other with a smile.
That weekend, Mao-chan and I met his girlfriend in the early afternoon. She was slender and dainty like a model.
Incidentally, the brand she was talking about at the beginning: