After Nishino sends Tarousuke instructions, he leaves for the gymnasium. The time had already passed 12, and having been absorbed in passing the flyers, he forgot to get lunch. It was then that his hunger finally caught up.
At the time of his arrival, the others were already there. With the thick curtains drawn, the sight of the empty audience was in view. It seems that there’s currently an intermission and everyone had already left. At the corners of the stages there are different colored curtains spread out, and it was there that the others stood.
After confirming this he goes up onto the stage. The light music club members, Rose, Tarousuke, the student council member in charge of the stage events for today and tomorrow, and several other groups of students who are scheduled for the afternoon are lined up.
「You came. Nishino-kun」
Rose spoke with a smile.
As for the one who was greeted, he wanted to complain the moment they met. However, because they are in front of a large group of students, while twitching, he manages to restrain himself. Compared to Rose’s position in the school, Nishino’s is overwhelmingly lower.
「…… I want to talk with you afterwards」
「Ara, what could it be?」
The futsumen was filled with unpleasant thoughts.
On the other hand, the students who saw the exchange between the two start a commotion. But, nothing else occurred after that. Confirming Nishino’s arrival, the student council official in charge begins speaking.
「Well then, we’ll go for a light run. Of course, we don’t have much time to go through everything, so I’ll be confirming the one entering and leaving the stage. If it proceeds as planned, it should take about 45 minutes, I ask for your cooperation」
「What about lunch?」
Someone else continues.
「Please take it after the rehearsal ends. I’m sorry for the ones who go early, but please wait for it to finish. Unfortunately we have no time, I ask that you endure it」
Under the instructions of the student council, everyone present takes their positions.
The light music club is third in line. The student council official moves around in a hurry and eventually takes their place by the side of the stage that has all sorts of equipment line. With an amp and effector to the sides, they wait for the debut.
It was then that Nishino questioned something.
For what reason was I called here.
「Can I say something?」
「What is it?」
He asked Rose who somehow managed to stand right next to him before he knew it.
「Why am I here? That goes for you too」
「There’s no point in being here. I’m going to take my lunch」
「Then I’ll also go」
「Wai, Oi, Nishino! Are you going to leave me alone again?」
Tarousuke cried out in opposition to Rose. Being surrounded on all sides by people separated in age made the young man feel uncomfortable. All the members of the light music club tried to respond, but the one who was addressed had no interest in them.
Even if he does feel bad for it, Nishino didn’t want to stay any longer.
「I’ll make sure I see the real thing. Besides, you’re surrounded by active highschool girls. Being surrounded by young girls should be happiness itself shouldn’t it? If it’s you then you can choose whoever, how about enjoying the little time you have?」
「Don’t say stupid things, if I did something like that then there’d be a scandal. But you’re really treating me bad you know? There’s no one else who takes that tone with me? Aah, it’s something to be proud of」
「What? You want me to be nice to you?」
「Haa, hurry and go off wherever you want. Along with that blond haired girlfriend in tow」
「Haa, hurry and go wherever you want. Along with that cute blond haired girlfriend in tow」
「She’s simply a business partner. If you look down on her it’ll come back to bite you」
Tarousuke’s face went blue.
To this, Rose does a slight bow with a smile on her face.If Nishino says she’s a business partner, then he more or less understood the situation. Thinking about his career, this blonde haired girl could’ve potentially spent more time in that business than Nishino.
With a one sided declaration, Nishino leaves the side of the stage.
Rose follows along behind him.
「Damn, everything you do is rock……」
Somewhere in Tarosuke who tried to put on a cool air, he felt jealous.
The ones in the surroundings who saw the situation weren’t sure what happened. And the one with a mask on his face, who was obviously an adult, attracted a lot of attention.
◇ ◆ ◇
After leaving the gymnasium and walking for a bit, Nishino opens his mouth.
His company was the beautiful blond haired loli right next to him. A foreigner that transferred to the neighboring class a few months ago. The school’s madonna. A bothersome person in the same business that entices others. To Nishino she’s nothing more than a nuisance.
「Why do I have to have my meal together with you?」
He spoke while walking down the corridor.
「Ara, would you tell a woman to have her meals by herself?」
「If it’s you then you should have a lot of friends」
「It’d be bad to call them while they’re busy. And there’s a man with free time close by, grabbing onto this is only normal for a woman?」
「Is that Francisca’s influence?」
「…… It’s offensive when you say it like that」
「Then eat by yourself」
「Just begin together with me should better the treatment you receive? And don’t you think little things like this would improve the direction you’re currently heading?」
「As patronizing as ever」
Within the school Nishino is the weakest, and Rose is the strongest.
「I missed my chance to treat you last time, consider this my repayment」
「…… Do as you like」
「It’s decided. Then let’s go」
Rose lightens her pace.
Where they were going was the passage way connected to the gymnasium that led to the outdoors. Continuing from the main entrance was the first sports ground. It is the best place to eat in the culture festival as it was filled with stalls. This was probably done so people can try out various foods.
「Stalls are ……」
「Do you not like them?」
「No, it’s not that」
「Then it’s fine」
As soon as she spoke, she goes to one of the lined up stalls.
「May I have two?」
It was a frankfurter stall. The one manning the stall was a docile first year. A dull futsumen just like Nishino. Begin called by the higher existence that was the beautiful caucasian girl, he acted somewhat strangely.
The frankfurter was wrapped up and put in a container to maintain the heat, with the two piled on top of each other it was put in a white vinyl bag. This is then handed to the customer and exchanged with coins, thank you for purchasing. Working for hours after opening, he’s built up quite a lot of experience.
Rose who safely bought the meat stick goes back to Nishino.
He was suddenly presented the frankfurter.
With some hesitation he finally takes it.
「What? Your face looks unwell」
「It’s the food you handed me, I just can’t settle down 」
「Did I have enough time to poison it?」
Sharing his private life with someone in the same trade was extremely unsettling for him. With stress as if he’d vomit, he strongly bites into the frankfurter. It wasn’t something he should be fussing about, and for the empty stomach that missed breakfast, the saltiness he consumed was comforting.
The two continue walking to other food stalls as they eat the meat sticks.
The placement of the stalls where arranged beforehand by the student council, and they reached up to the gate of the school building.
「After you’re done eating hand over the skewer. I’ll get angry if you throw it out here」
Being a few bites slower than Rose, Nishino finishes the frankfurter.
And then, noticing this she extends out her hand.
He passes over the skewer, and she takes it and places it in the vinyl bag.
「What a diligent person」
「Isn’t this a part of your country’s customs?」
「Ah, there’s takoyaki」
This person goes at her own pace, Nishino thought.
She stood in a daze by his side, and then she moves to the stall selling takoyaki. In the same way as the frankfurter, she orders two and returns to the futsumen. It seems she really is planning to have her meal here.
「Do you eat octopus?」
「If it isn’t toxic, then I eat mostly anything」
「If I had the leeway you have, then I wouldn’t have to face such troubles」
「It’s only because you’re weak. Don’t compare yourself with others」
「Well, it might be like that…..but, here」
With the sound of the rustling vinyl bag, Rose presents the box that held the takoyaki. The vinyl bag that had the skewer of the frankfurter inside is hanging down from the wrist of her right hand, and the two boxes were held in both hands. Walking like that must be difficult.
「Do you want to sit somewhere?」
「I’m fine with walking. Are you tired?」
「…… then there’s no problem」
Taking the box, they now partake in the takoyaki.
They carry it to their mouth with chopsticks.
The two continue chewing their food.
「I had an interest in the japanese school’s culture festival since long before. It really is like in anime. The image I have of the japanese is not one of them having parties, so this is quite unexpected?」
「Unlike the american’s and europeans the japanese don’t have that much vitality. But when they have to do something they do it in one go. This is also a once a year event. Don’t compare us with you people who go and get drunk, or grill their things every weekend」
「Speaking of which you’re also very japanese like, it’s quite fitting」
「Well thanks for that」
「By the way, I have a question」
Rose asks while looking at the ikayaki stall they walked by.
「Takoyaki is octopus wrapped in wheat flour, but isn’t ikayaki simply grilled fish? Why are they so different? Is there a different name for grilled octopus?」
「Where takoyaki originated in Kansai, melted wheat with minced up squid is called ikayaki, grilled squid is something else. Nevertheless, the shape isn’t a sphere, it’s more like a badly made pizza, the only similarity is they’re wrapped in wheat」
「Hee. You’re well informed」
「No, it’s just something well known in Kansai」
「Is it delicious?」
「Ikayaki is also junk food. If you like deep flavors then you’ll probably find it delicious」
「Does this stall sell it?」
「It doesn’t look like it」
「Ara how unfortunate」
The continued talking while walking around the food stalls, from the side they looked like nothing but a couple. Therefore the gazes of the surroundings were doubtful. Why is that futsumen alone with the school idol.
There are a considerable number of male and female pairs enjoying the stall’s. However, the majority of them are couples. If it was during the weekday you could think that she was just caught, but at least on this day, it held a special meaning.
「By the way, you eat rather quickly」
「Do you have to complain about every single thing someone does?」
「I wasn’t trying to complain. Here, hand that over」
In an experienced motion, Rose collects the box that held the takoyaki and the chopsticks that Nishino used. Like the frankfurter skewer, she neatly places it in the vinybag she held.
「Didn’t you also finish eating」
In fact it was Rose who finished before Nishino.
She eats rather fast for her small stature.
「Now then, what should we eat next?」
With her spacious stomach, the blonde haired lolita immediately began looking for a new stall. Nishino walked by her side without saying anything. Speaking anymore than this would result in only losses as there’s nothing to gain, he’s not sure how many times he already repeated this in his mind.
Takeuchi-kun didn’t tell him she was his woman for nothing. She was already a person from the same business that he should reject. On top of that she was also another person’s woman, the futsumen’s interest in her didn’t rise at all. When this type of woman grows, they’ll end up like Francisca, that is the belief he holds towards women.
In that way the gloomy feelings in Nishino grew stronger.
But then, the goddess of fortune came to his rescue.
While going around the stalls with Rose, they finally hit an end. The chance came when they were going around the corner and a student appears. That person sees the two and calls out.
It is Shimizu.
To Rose, she was simply the class representative from the neighboring class that she’s recently been tied to by fate. They come to a stop and give a small bow. On the other hand, Nishino does nothing but stare at her while standing still.
The futsumen understood that she didn’t want a greeting from him.
「Rose-chan, what’re you doing in this place?」
「I’ve been having my lunch」
With the casual words of the beautiful blonde haired girl, Shimizu glances at Nishino.
With what she said, it was simple for anyone to see what was happening.
「What about Shimizu-san?」
「Me? I’m looking for a freind……」
「Is that so? I wouldn’t want to get in your way, then excuse us」
「Ah, that’s right, Rose-chan!」
「What is it?」
「If you’d like, do you want to search together?」
「We had promised to have lunch together, and I’m at a loss not being able to get in touch with her. It looks like she left her smartphone in class, no matter how much I call she doesn’t answer」
Shimizu makes a proposal to Rose in order to help.
That was 100 percent an act of kindness to her.
It was the war to save the beautiful girl from the clutches of Nishino.
It was a sense of duty caused by a one sided interpretation of the situation.
「Do I know the students of your class?」
「They’re the ones who were at the italian restaurant on Sunday」
「…… I’m sorry. I don’t quite remember them」
Having this much said in front of him, the dull fustumen at the bottom of the caste understood that he wasn’t welcomed here. In addition, there was no reason for him to stay by Rose’s side.
Fortunately he lines up an excuse.
「I’ll go take a nap until the live starts」
With a short mutter he immediately turns away. He walks away from the two in a hurry.
It was only natural from Shimizu, but Rose was also unable to chase after him. The time was noon, in the stalls lined up on the grounds, large groups of students and attendees were coming and going. With people going right and left, his figure disappeared into the crowd in the link of an eye.
Seeing the futsumen’s back disappear, Shimizu lets out a sigh as if to say, good grief.
「Are you fine?」
「Him, it looks like he got carried away the past few days, he tried to meddle with the girl in class, and he was a nuisance during the culture festival preparations, he also managed to trouble the student council and his classmates today, there really is no helping him」
「……. Is that so?」
「That’s right. And he also managed to drag Rose-chan in. He thinks there’s no problem just because it’s the culture festival. I wish he’d learn his place. Could it be he didn’t look into a mirror? Did he not even consider the rank of the person he was chasing after?」
Shimizu was more talkative than usual.
It seems it’s the result of the stress that has built up after having to deal with Nishino recently.
Her tone was somewhat violent.
「Eeh, that’s true」
On the other hand, Rose only calmly smiles.
It was like a doll, so were the honest thoughts of the class representative when she saw her.
「It was a lie that I was searching for a friend, sorry. I said something strange」
Being lured by her company’s smile, Shimizu’s expression softens up. As if the dissatisfaction and complaints she’s rattling on about were false, she lightly laughs with a smile. With Nishino away, her mood improved. The tone of her words were also relaxed.
「Ah, by the way, did you already have your lunch Rose-chan?」
Shimizu asks as if forcefully changing the topic.
Her gaze lowered to the vinyl bag in the blonde haired lolita held.
「…… I, was just in the middle of eating」
The words Rose returned were a moment late.
「In that case, do you want to go together? I’m also about to eat」
In fact Shimizu had just come back from shopping at the convenience store. The vinyl bag she held was from the neighboring store that belonged to a major chain. There were probably more people than they expected in the cafe and were now running low on ingredients.
After delivering this to the class she’ll change with the afternoon shift, and she had plans for her lunch break. She was trying to devise a plan to have lunch with the ikemen group Takeuchi-kun is a part of that was also in the morning shift.
「Rather, do you want to be with me and a part of my class? The morning shift ended so we’ll be having our lunch now. Where switching with a different group for the afternoon」
「Even though I just received the invitation, I’m sorry. It’s my first time in a school event like this in Japan, so there are a lot of things I’d like to see」
「Is that so? Then how about we guide you?」
Rose considers Shimizu’s invitation.
It took about 5 seconds.
And eventually, what came from her mouth was a smile.
Her well shaped mouth slightly curved, and she replied in a delightful manner.
「In that case, I’ll be counting on you?」
「Then it’s decided!」
Shimizu cheerfully replies.
The tension from the culture festival must’ve been weighting on her.
「Then I’ll have to put double the effort in, sorry but can you come to the classroom with me? I have to hand this over to the others in the class. There are also a few other tasks to do」
An amicable conversation between fellow girls.
In addition to Rose, Shimizu is also plenty beautiful. They were two lovely girls, and they were now talking while getting along with each other, for all the boys present, they couldn’t help but take glances at this spectacular scene.
◇ ◆ ◇
Nishino who parted with Rose went to the rooftop of building B
In the morning he paraded around the school handing out flyers, he also spent time with Rose and Tarousuke, he went here and there. He was forever in the crowds of people, and his body was more exhausted than he thought.
He also ate takoyaki and a frankfurter, food with deep flavors. As his empty stomach was filled, what visited him was a heavy drowsiness. He was finally having his break, so he thought of taking a nap and went to the rooftop, on top of the water tower.
The empty roof is quiet, warm, and calm. He rolls up his uniform jacket and uses it as a pillow, being able to hear the distant racket enter his ear was the greatest feeling.
As a result, the time passed in the blink of an eye.
As he was dozing off, he felt a vibration at his thighs. Bubububu, a small motor was vibrating. It was the vibration that informed of the arrival of mail.
With a shake, Nishino jumps up.
The existence of the beautiful Italian girl is still largely present in the futsumen. Without minding the fact that he got up so soon, his consciousness quickly returns.
However, his hopes were betrayed for the third time.
The name on the sender in his mailbox was one he has recently become accustomed to. The letters read, Rose Rebmann. Where are you in the gymnasium? Those words were written.
All of a sudden he checks the time, it was already 1:50 pm.
It seems like she’s already there. She was probably looking for Nishino and sent a message. To think that the one she was looking for was sleeping on the rooftop until now.
While thinking about going back to sleep, he remembers Tarousuke.
His performance with the light music club starts at 2.
As he was the one who called him, Nishino gets up and heads for the gymnasium.
◇ ◆ ◇
There was just enough time to walk from the rooftop to the gymnasium. When he arrived at the entrance, the sound of the guitar and drums had already started. The 30 minute time frame given to the groups wasn’t long, so they had to cram in as much as they could.
「Where did you go? It already begun」
In the vicinity of the venue, Rose immediately found him.
She stood with arms folded at the side of the door used to enter.
Her expression was somewhat dissatisfied.
「I slept for a while」
「…… If I didn’t contact you, would you’ve kept sleeping?」
「Well that’s fine. Let hurry」
On her urging, Rose and Nishino move into the gymnasium.
Immediately after crossing the door, the sound of the instruments became even louder. Through the amplification of the amp, the sharp sound spread to every corner of the gymnasium.
While listening to this, Rose swiftly moves forward.
「What? Isn’t it easier to see from the front?」
「No, it’s nothing」
To begin with why am I with you, the words were stuck at the edge of his throat. This was a dangerous place so all he could do was swallow those words, so Nishino follows after her. As expected, Nishino wasn’t willing to say such things in such a crowded place.
「Let’s stay here」
She takes her position on the empty seat that is right in the center of the front row.
Thanks to that, Nishino also had to sit in the center.
He looks up at the stage after taking his seat, his eyes immediately meet Tarousuke’s. Behind the mask of unknown origins, they certainly reached a mutual understanding.
「Isn’t that person you brought extremely skilled?」
「…… Well, even like that he’s still a pro」
The mouth under the masks turns into a self satisfied smile. As a result Nishino’s mood became worse. It felt one sided, as the fustumen was forced to watch him.
「It was unexpected for you to have that kind of acquaintance」
「It’s someone I met just a few days ago」
「Then, could it be from that previous matter?」
「…… I can see why he accepted. Even with such a way of asking」
「He was probably lured by girls in uniforms if anything?」
Exactly as Rose said, even for amateurs ears, it was obvious that there was a large gap between Tarousuke and the other four members.
「Who is that?」「Did we have someone that tall?」「Could it be Takeuchi-kun?」「Actually, that has to be an outsider」「He feels like an adult doesn’t he?」「Isn’t he crazy good?」「Instead of just being super good. It feels like a real live」「Seriously who is that」
Besides Nishino and Rose, all the others were trying to figure out the origins of the masked guitarist. No matter how it’s seen, the figure that crossed 190 and wore a brand suit had to be an adult.
「I understand why you decided to hide his face」
「Don’t tell anyone else. It’ll be a bother」
「I won’t go and tell. I’m no child」
「You and me are both children」
「You think so?」
It was then that the song finished.
The guitar, drums, and vocalist became quiet. Only the base continued with its rhythm. At the same time, the leader who played the drums takes the mic and gets up from her seat.
The audience was restless as they anticipating what was coming.
As if responding to this, a voice comes from the speaker.
「I’ll be introducing him to everyone here. There are probably a lot of people already questioning the one in the lead guitarist role」
With the mic in one hand, she briskly makes her way to Tarousuke.
「Today, in place of a member who fell sick, he came in as a helper, the mysterious super guitarist, Mr.T-san」
It was probably because of these stage’s influence. With excitement on her face she fluently speaks her lines. If she was still sober then it’d certainly be an embarrassing mic performance.
「Mr.T-san over here was introduced to us by our Tsunuma Highschool’s very own Idol, Rose Rebmann. However, other than the name T-san, there’s nothing else we know. He is covered in mysteries!」
Cheers come out of the audience as the drum leader continues her owds.
They were getting fired up by the unexpected production. For a perfectly average high school’s culture festival, an event that reaches this height of excitement is quite rare. By all rights something like this usually can’t happen unless friends were used to ignite the crowd.
「However, we are convinced. There is no mistkaing that this T-san is a renowned guitarist in the world. And that’s why I’d like for everyone here today, on this stage, to remember the music of T-san!」
Rose opens her mouth.
「…… That woman, I’ll have to silence her later」
「Leave it alone」
Without knowing of the exchange that happened between the two, the drum leader continues.
It seems that she got arrogant after her session with Mr.T.
She isn’t aspiring to enter a college of music while aiming to be a pro for nothing.
「In the future, we the light music club will speak to everyone of T-san’s true identity. So for those with confidence in your ears, figure out the source of the sound and the player, and come to the light music club after school. If you are able to determine T-san’s identity, they you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful present from us!」
With mention of a reward loudly spoken, the already energetic crowd became even livelier. It seems that her mic performance was well received.
「Is that fine?」
Even Rose began feeling awkward at what was happening.
However, the drum leaders recklessness didn’t stop there. It must be because she greatly enjoyed the session with Mr.T. So with sparkling eyes, she continues her speech.
「And while we’re here, Mr.T-san will be giving everyone a hint. Mr.T-san, please tell us the name that Mr.T-san was influenced by the most. It doesn’t matter if it’s more than one」
The drum leader acted more like an entertainment reporter as she showed her ability.
She brings the mic in her hand to Tarousuke’s mouth.
If Mr.T was that type of old man then something would’ve already happened.
But the stage continues without even thinking of the before and after.
The one asked shows a troubled expression, and soon enough, his gaze moves to the seats directly in front of the stage.
「It’s a bit wrong to say influence, but if there’s someone I’m interested in right now, then they’re in this space, it’s someone very close to me. The reason I’m standing her right now, is also because of that 」
「Ooou!? In other words, there’s someone you’re concerned with in the school?」
「…… Well, interpret it as you like」
「I, I see!」
The drum leader ignored the audience in her excitement.
The other members made eye contact in order to fight against this. Hey hey, it’s embarrassing so stop it already. I didn’t hear about this. This wasn’t planned beforehand. With such thoughts they were beginning to get impatient.
However, it didn’t reach the girl whose switch had been flipped.
「Thank you very much! What an unexpected development this is!」
Tarousuke who answered had a satisfied expression. A smile came from the mouth that wasn’t concealed by the facemask. He isn’t a performer for nothing. Showing off comes naturally to him.
For Nishino, this pointless attention only caused him to feel sick. What he wants right now is a cute girlfriend, not a male ikemen friend. Even if the probability of being surrounded by girls increases, it’s still something he wants to avoid.
「Now then, it may be fast, but we’re moving to the next song!」
The mic changes hands from the drum leader to the vocalist.
As soon as the next piece started the tone became more wild.
Only the base stayed relatively the same, but as the other instruments were added in, it took on the form of a whole new song. With the voice of the vocalists added, what was played was a famous song by a band that is well known to the students.
Nishino and Rose didn’t know, but in fact, the next song is Tarousuke’s song.
「He’s good when he tries」
「Eeh, that’s true」
Hereafter, being dragged along by his guitar, the performance of the light music club comes to an end.
◇ ◆ ◇
After the performances in the gymnasium ended, Tarosuke departs from Tsunuma High School. Other than the member of the light music club, a number of students that were interested in him came to see him off, they watch as the foreign open top car departs from the teachers parking lot.
For all the students who saw this, they no longer thought of the mic performance as a production or exaggeration, they were now convinced. With the successful plan of the drum leader, they soon began the search for the mysterious guitarist’s true identity.
As for Nishino-
『Class 2-A, Nishino-kun. Class 2-A, Nishino-kun. Please come to the classroom immediately』
Immediately following Tarousuke’s performance, he was called over the intercom for some reason.
He doubles his pace as he moves to the class, what awaited him there were his classmates in the cosplay room.
Compared to the classroom next door, it was a smaller room. It was the room where they procured Tarousuke’s face mask. It’s true use is to act as the student guidance room, but it isa named the education preparation room.
It was then that he heard the shocking truth.
「…… The morning earnings disappeared?」
Shimizu yelled in front of Nishino.
Along with irritation she showed her blatant anger.
「You, do you know anything?」
In the preparation room were several students of his class.
They were the ones in charge of the hall in the morning.
And they now surround Nishino inside of the room.
「No, I don’t know」
「Then I’ll change the question」
For now, she stops herself and then speaks.
「…… during lunch, where and what were you doing?」
Her eyes are filled with suspicion.
As for what suspicions, didn’t you steal? That suspicion. And it wasn’t only her, all the students there were also of the same mind. Compared to the glares he usually gets in class, these were much more piercing.
「I was sleeping on the rooftop at noon」
「Was there someone with you?」
「No, I was by myself」
「…… Is that so」
Being put on such a stage, even Nishino with his elite rank in bad communication understood the contents of what was being implied. However, he didn’t do what he didn’t do. So he opens his mouth to object.
「If you’re doubting me, then you’re wrong」
However, his opponent wouldn’t accept this.
「There are several testimonies」
「Were you wandering around this place in the morning?」
With Shimzu’s words, several of his classmates standing besides her nod.
They were likely the witnesses.
「Aah, that’s true」
He answers honestly.
In order to get Tarousuke’s face mask he came to the costume room. And then, when he was about to answer, he realized. Come to think of it, I still haven’t returned the mask, it’s still attached to Tarosuke’s face.
「What were you doing here?」
Now then, what to do.
The fustumen was considerably flustered.
「I looked for something to hide a face」
From the way the conversation was going, Nishino knew this would become troublesome.
Everything can be exposed, and proving his innocence would be easy. If it’s with the testimony of Tarousuke who has a high position in society, then all the members of class 2-A would have to agree. However, in order to do that, he would have to expose the identity of the masked guy. It was an undesired development for the futsumen.
What Nishino desired was youth. With himself as the protagonist, and a lover as a heroine, it’d be the story of their love together. If he were to throw a famous celebrity in the equation, then everything would collapse. Everything would be lost as he becomes the inexperienced sub character.
That would be the creation of the second Takeuchi-kun.
Naturally, considering Nishino’s position, there should’ve been no way for him to be in contact with an ikemen.
With his long history as a futsumen, it was something quite easy to imagine.
In order to meet with the ikemen, other may offer sex, but Nishino’s desire for youth was nothing so cheap. What he wants are beautiful memories, his priority isn’t in his lower half.
If possible, he wants a future bride.
If he were to pass the age of 30, he may compromise and give into that. Being able to have sex with highschool girls isn’t bad, and he may compromise. However, right now he is still in his teens. He has a future. He has the present, he has hopes.
「Hey, what do you mean by that?」
However, Shimizu didn’t wait for him.
「I meant exactly what I said」
He has to press forward even if it’s reckless.
He continues with that resolution.
「You, could it be you stole some clothes?」
「No, I didn’t plan on stealing. Just borrowed」
「Th, that’s what they call stealing!」
The class representative began going crazy.
For the duration of the cosplay cafe, she was the one responsible for the lease on the costumes. From big things like the chairs and tables, to small things like the cosplay accessories, she was in charge of everything.
She is a meticulous woman. She isn’t aiming for Tokyo University of Foreign Studies for nothing.
「I know where it is. I’ll make sure to return it」
「…… You know」
「It’s true that I was here in the morning. However, to connect that to stealing everything else, isn’t that unreasonable? Collect yourselves and think calmly, for someone as clever as you, you should be able to understand」
In a rare display, Nishino takes a confident stance against Shimizu.
This causes the class representative to reach her boiling point.
「Wh, what did you say!?」
「It still fine since it’s only the first day. We should search once again with the whole class. These types of things can be easily lost between people, so there’s a chance it’ll be found in an unexpected place」
「Is this the shamelessness of a thief?」
「You’d be better off not doubting everyone. Even if you had suspicions, you shouldn’t voice them in front of others. In the case that you are wrong, the embarrassment you receive will be great」
「There are still 3 hours until the day ends. Let’s all search after that」
If these were Takeuchi-kun’s words, then everyone would have listened. He did have the most reasonable opinion. However, the one talking until that moment was Nishino. And he held no persuasive power towards the others. To the ones surrounding him, anything he says will only thought of as an excuse.
「Oi, Nishino. Were you the one who did it?」
A male student raised his voice.
It was Suzuki-kun who held great admiration for Shimizu.
「How many times do I have to repeat it. It wasn’t me」
「Then tell us who did it!?」
With Suzuki-kun’s complain, all the others looked on in agreement. No matter how much they argue they’ll never reach a consensus. The situation will continue escalating unless Nishino manages to take the earnings out of his bag.
It was at that time.
The door to the preparation room opens and a new student appears.
「OoOo, you’re going at it」
He speaks in a light tone to the group.
「I understand that the class rep is in trouble, here, today’s the fun and exciting culture festival isn’t it? I might not know the exact amount, but to defile our hard earned memories of this day, is something we mustn’t do?」
The ikemen spoke.
「Do you want our memories of high school culture festival to be something so cheap?」
Everyone in the room faces him.
Confirming that everyone was looking at him, Takeuchi-kun continues.
「As for the person who did it, that isn’t good at all? But shouldn’t we be enjoying our current time? If not, then all the hard work everyone put in last week will come to nothing」
Other than Shimizu, all the others looked at him with spellbound eyes.
It wasn’t only the girls.
But also the boys were also swallowed up by his ikemen field.
It was in the middle of that, that only Nishino couldn’t read the atmosphere.
「Aah, it’s as Takeuchi-kun says」
Nobody wanted to hear that, but he shamelessly went and spoke.
Because of that, the bodies of everyone present shivered as the became irritated. Don’t say those things you bastard. At this moment, the thoughts of all the members of class 2-A were in synch.
In response to this, Takeuchi-kun speaks in a louder voice.
「With that settled, come on, let’s all go to the hall!」
He forcefully changed the location.
Our culture festival, has only just begun.
He appealed to that emotion.
「…… that’s right. It’s like Takeuchi-kun says」
All the others also nod in agreement.
「That’s right, that’s exactly right」「Isn’t it! To ruin our mood with this sort of thing would be a waste!」「As expected of Takeuchi-kun! You always manage to say the perfect words」「That’s right! I feel like I’m about to cry!」「Ah, me too!」
After the stiffness in everyone’s face dissolves, they leave the room.
Worsening our mood by spending any more time with Nishino would be a waste. There’s no way we’d lose against a coward. No matter how big a wall stands in our way, our youth won’t lose out. We’ll enjoy our current time to the fullest. So they thought.
Their cheerful voices echoed out.
With the sound of their steps being left behind, they head to the cafe next door.
As the last student leaves, the lights are turned off. Patan, and the rooms only door was closed. At that moment, the education preparation room becomes calm. Immediately after, lively sounds are heard from the classroom that was separated by a single wall, it was as if it came from a far away place.
Only Nishino was left alone in the small room.
At last, Nishino had finally lost his place in class.
◇ ◆ ◇
As planned, the first day of the culture festival ended at 5 pm.
Because the second day was tomorrow, there was no cleaning up today. The students, together with their friends within and outside of the school will look back on the events of the first day. And along with that, they look forward to the second day that has yet to come.
That is surely a precious page of youth.
No matter how many years pass, no matter how many decades pass, it will be a memory that never fades.
「…… I’m home」
As for Nishino, he immediately returned to his home.
At the same time, all the students of class 2-A are now holding an after party in celebration of the end of the first day. It would be a lie to say he didn’t want to participate. The Futsumen wished to participate. However, it wasn’t much, but that atmosphere was not one he was invited to, so all he could do was return home.
Naturally, there was no voice to greet his ‘I’m home’.
His pet hamster is also asleep.
After Nishino gets home, he eats some rice, takes a shit, take a bath, and sleeps.