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I owed Wakaba-chan a lot now. I wanted to thank her somehow but couldn’t think of any good gift ideas.
Normally I’d be gifting something from the stores that my family were in with. Fruits from an expensive fruit store, or cookies from an exclusive confectionary that you needed connections to buy from. But it would be a bit rude to give cakes and stuff to a family of bakers, huh~ And it felt a bit like flaunting my money. Hmmmm…
After a lot of deliberation I ended up gifting her family some black tea and coffee that would go well with cakes. As for Wakaba-chan herself, I gave her some stationery with Suiran’s crest on it. Notepads and other consumables. After all, gifts that you could use up felt a lot less serious than durable gifts, didn’t they!
Since we were keeping that day between us, we still never really talked at school. After a while I started to wonder if I really had gone to her house. It couldn’t have been a daydream or something? I really did go, right?
There was only a little time left until the Athletics Carnival so every class was practising harder than ever. Everybody in my class was aiming for high scores as well, but I wonder how we would really go~
Everybody seemed to laugh as they trained, so it felt like we weren’t being serious enough. The boys were training for the cavalry battle too, by the way. I wonder if it was because of experience that running away from the start was a valid strategy to them. But considering the competition this year, wouldn’t they have a fair chance of winning as long as they tried harder?
Emperor was still sticking to his retirement.
According to the girls in his class a lot of people had asked him to participate but the Emperor had silenced them all with a wave of his hand.
He had retired, and there was no two ways about that.
Some people insisted anyhow, so the Emperor said this:
‘I’m retired so I won’t participating. But I’ll be happy to train you.’
Mmn. Thank goodness I wasn’t in his class. And more importantly, thank goodness I wasn’t born as a guy. Watching those poor boys train under him was like watching drills performed by the Spartan army… And it was scary the way their eyes shone.
One day, the Pivoine’s President butted heads with Fellow Stalking Horse.
Apparently it had all started when some Pivoine members demanded a couple of students yield some seats with a good view to them. Worse yet, those Pivoine members were only first years whilst the students sitting there were in Third Year. Fellow Stalking Horse had been of the opinion that the Pivoine kids should have respected their upperclassmen.
The President and her Pivoine supremacists on the other hand had taken exception to that. They came in and demanded to know who dared to question the Pivoine.
Right now, the air in the cafeteria was like a powder keg.
“To begin with, demanding that somebody give up a seat when they got there first is nothing short of tyranny. As if that wasn’t enough, they were upperclassmen as well. That would offend anyone’s sensibilities.”
“Upperclassmen or not, they were Pivoine. This is Suiran; common sense dictates that being a Pivoine takes precedence above all else. It matters not who they are. And even by your own admission, upperclassmen should be respected. Are you not violating decorum right this moment by arguing with me?”
“I’m the Student Coucil President. Protecting the students is the duty of the Student Council. You’re mistaken if you think the Pivoine can do whatever they want. You already have seats reserved for yourselves. And there were plenty of empty seats. But instead they decided that they wanted that seat and forced the person sitting there to vacate it. Don’t you think that’s being a little too outrageous? The Student Council won’t overlook selfish behaviour like that.”
“Outrageous!? Who do you think you are! How dare you speak to us like that!”
Anger crossed her beautiful features. But Fellow Stalking Horse was unperturbed.
“A member of the Pivoine is a student like any other. If they have done something wrong then I believe it falls to the Student Council to warn them.”
“Enough, you hateful upstart!”
“At the end of the day, is your “Student Council” anything more than a collection of upstarts? The only reason you’ve been able to throw around the words ‘Student Council’ to have your way around here is because we have kindly allowed you to. For you to misunderstand, and even defy the Pivoine… Know some shame! The Pivoine is the symbol of Suiran! Comparing our positions with a gathering of glorified commoners like your Student Council is like comparing heaven and earth!”
The President’s excessive words caused anger to flash across his face.
That was when the teachers rushed in to stop them in a panic. Fellow Stalking Horse allowed himself to be led away, whilst the other Student Council members followed behind in worry. The President and her supporters watched their retreating figures with baleful gazes.
I was frightened so I had hid amongst Serika-chan and the others early on. All I had done was watch how things developed but my stomach was still hurting and I had lost all appetite.
“This has turned into a huge deal, hasn’t it…”
“Mizusaki-kun should have just picked his words a little better. I hope he’s okay…”
As I considered my position as a Pivoine member, my hands couldn’t help but shake in the face of the inevitable conflict to come.
Scary… I wish I had a tougher heart. I might have looked like a Rococo Queen on the outside, but inside I was just a petty bourgeois.
Where had Kaburagi and Enjou been for all this?
I looked around and realised that Kaburagi had been sitting at the reserved seats, right in the middle of the fiasco. He had a fed-up look on his face.
When he noticed Wakaba-chan following after Fellow Stalking Horse in worry, he stared at her until she was gone.
The Principal personally cautioned Fellow Stalking Horse. Naturally he said nothing to the Pivoine.
I personally thought it was ridiculous too, but this was Suiran after all. Fellow Stalking Horse must have been incredibly frustrated, but there was nothing he could do about it.
Since the school administration had given the Student Council a warning over their attitude towards the Pivoine, the incident with the seats was tentatively settled. I could only pray that no further troubles arose though.
The day of the Athletics Carnival came.
Emperor and his Spartan Army were taking heads from the get-go. I could only imagine the hell they had gone through in training. Their enthusiasm was on another level. It didn’t even feel like an athletics carnival to them.
Well, the girls in their class were just cheering and squealing without a care in the world though.
Fellow Stalking Horse was doing just as well. Yep, yep. Exercise was the best for releasing your stress, wasn’t it. Do your best, Fellow Stalking Horse.
Before long it was time for my 100 metre sprint.
When I arrived at the gathering point, Wakaba-chan looked me in the eye and pumped her fist.
“I’m going to give it my all!”
Ahaha! Somebody was enthused. Wakaba-chan, we’re not even in the same group.
I smiled and was about to reply when some of my participating group members moved between us.
“Who are you acting so familiar with! Do you know who this person is!?”
They glared at her and pulled me away.
“Come, Reika-sama. That girl really needs to learn her place!”
And you even went out of your way to talk to me. I’m sorry, Wakaba-chan…
Still, I mean, it was a bit weird saying this about myself, but Wakaba-chan sure was fearless to talk that way to Kisshouin Reika of the Pivoine…
Considering they were basically there to give me a good experience, naturally I came first in my group.
“You were magnificent, Reika-sama!” clamoured my followers as they added to the experience with clapping.
Could it have gotten any more fixed. I wanted to bury myself in a hole…
Wakaba-chan only made 2nd place, unfortunately. She seemed to have fun though.
There was still a lot of the day to go.