I made a mistake by uploading V2ch3 instead of this one. It shouldnt hinder the story. My apologies.
During class, there was a mishap when I yawned and got scolded by the teacher, but afterward, time passed without any significant events.
There were no strange occurrences to worry about, and I endured my sleepiness throughout the class. Afterward, it was time for us to help with student council activities, as we had agreed.
Shu led the way as the three of us entered the student council room. This was my second time coming here, and I hadn’t expected all of us to gather in this place.
“Welcome, all three of you.”
“Shu-senpai! Hello, Yukishiro-senpai and Ayana-senpai too!”
“Yes, hello to both of you.”
Iori and Mari were already sitting in chairs and working on something, and Shu also took a seat next to them.
“Yukishiro-kun and Otonashi-san, please sit wherever you like.”
We were told to sit wherever we wanted, so Ayana and I took seats next to each other.
Shu, of course, was experienced, and it seemed that Mari had helped out a few times before. Ayana had also assisted when Shu introduced her to Iori. That meant I was the only one who didn’t know what was going on.
“I’ll teach Towa-kun. It’s not much different from before, right?”
“Yes. Don’t worry, Yukishiro-kun. Even though we call it ‘help,’ it’s more about spending some enjoyable time with everyone this time.”
Afterward, Ayana taught me the work.
Just as Iori said, it wasn’t much work – primarily organizing printed materials and checking for errors.
“This one… Hmm, it looks fine. And here…”
Next to me, Ayana smoothly organized the printed materials.
Shu and Mari, being more experienced, had quicker hand movements. Unsurprisingly, I was the slowest among us. Still, as Iori had said, I worked steadily without getting flustered.
“But it’s fun when all five of us gather like this.”
“Yes! It’s so enjoyable with Shu-senpai here!”
Mari stopped her work and jumped onto Shu, surprising him a bit. He seemed to handle this kind of situation calmly, probably because it had happened before.
“Ara ara, you two are so close.”
“That’s right! Shu-senpai and I are good friends!”
“Please, don’t speak so loudly in my ear, Mari.”
“Like I said….!”
The scene in the student council room was getting a bit noisy, but I found it to be a pleasant background to the tasks at hand.
With Iori joining in, things became even livelier. The atmosphere was joyful, and I couldn’t help but watch the three of them playfully interacting.
(…This is quite a pleasant sight.)
Iori and Mari, who are in a hurry to get close to Shu, by making body touches in their own way, are somewhat …… like that.
It was a scene seen in common romantic comedies, not erotic ones.
“You’re too attached!”
“Ara, isn’t that a bit rich coming from you?”
“Both of you, please! Stop having a heated discussion with me in the middle!”
Despite his words, Shu wore a mischievous smile. I looked at Ayana sitting next to me, and her gaze was also fixed on the group’s interaction, even though her eyes were hidden behind her bangs.
“Is it always this lively here?”
“Eh? Oh, yes. It seems so… It’s much friendlier than I imagined, and it’s heartwarming.”
I had heard that Iori and Mari introduced Shu to each other, and considering Shu’s less outgoing nature initially, it was clear that Iori and Mari had played a significant role in making him more comfortable.
If Ayana had thought about this, it was further proof of her kindness and thoughtfulness. I couldn’t help but feel the same way.
“Fufu, it’s truly wonderful. They’ve all become so close.”
Her smile is so beautiful that I can’t help but stare at it.
It is natural to be fascinated by the sight, but there is also this other feeling: ……What is really this strange feeling?
Are you truly able to laugh right now?
Just as I was about to ask her that question, Mari hugged Ayana from behind, causing her to let out a little scream, and the question became a moot point.
Although I thought it was bad timing, I decided to give up for now because I could always make time to be alone with Ayana.
“Ayana-senpai! How can I become a woman with a great figure like you and Honjo-senpai?”
“A great figure… Is that what you’re aiming for?”
“Yes! I mean… having a large bust definitely gives you a significant advantage when it comes to seducing men, right?”
“Mari-chan, why are you suddenly concerned about such things?”
The conversation between the two girls began unexpectedly, and I tried to avert my gaze as I looked at Iori.
She was sitting beside Shu, grinning, and it was clear that she had teased Mari about her own figure. Ayana seemed to have figured it out too and let out a small sigh.
“Mari-chan, a woman’s charm isn’t just about her figure. What’s important is her personality, and, at the same time, her feelings for the other person.”
“Feelings for the other person… I see.”
“That’s right. Rather than taking Honjo-senpai’s words too seriously, it’s better to keep a balance. It’s for your own good, Mari-chan.”
“Come on, Otonashi-san, aren’t you being a bit too harsh?”
Iori joined in on the conversation at this point.
Shu and I were completely left out of the conversation, and it was difficult for us to contribute to a discussion that was so centered around women’s issues.
I subtly moved my chair away from the girls, hoping to give them space for their discussion, and returned to organizing the printouts.
“Shu, how’s it going over there?”
“It’s going smoothly. I’m getting used to it.”
Shu had significantly fewer printouts to sort through, and both of us were close to finishing our tasks.
Including Ayana, Iori and Mari were chattering away, making it difficult for us to focus on our work. We could have asked them to work too, but it seemed better to let them enjoy their conversation.
Watching the three beautiful girls having a good time together was indeed refreshing. But more than that, the sight of Ayana, happily surrounded by her two friends, was the most captivating.
“They look like they’re having fun.”
“Yeah… Well then, let’s finish our part for the three of them.”
Let’s try to complete the rest as best as we can.
However, a few minutes later, Shu and I found ourselves making eye contact and silently wondering which of us should intervene and reprimand them.
“Hey, both of you! That’s a bit too much, don’t you think?”
“What’s wrong? A little tickling never hurt… Oh, it’s so soft.”
“It’s such a peculiar sensation, touching someone else’s ch*st like this.”
A strange conversation was unfolding in the room, and it left us both at a loss.
In terms of positioning, the exchange is happening behind me, and from where I’m sitting across from Shu, when I slightly raise my gaze, I can see the interactions between those three.
For a while now, she has been sneaking glances and blushing, completely acting suspiciously as if to amuse me.
But …… yeah, I’m curious about this too.
I close my eyes and focus behind me.
Ayana’s ticklish voice, Iori and Mari’s happy voices, the sound of hands crawling on clothes, the footsteps made by writhing…… having played numerous gal and a few er*ge in the past, I can see the picture in my mind’s eye.
“Towa? Your expression seems to have changed quite a bit…”
“In what way?”
“It’s like you’re not your usual handsome self anymore.”
“Oops, that wouldn’t be good.”
I made an effort to maintain a sharp expression and lightly tapped my cheeks. Despite the continuing commotion behind me that made me want to turn around, I immersed myself in my work as if it were a soothing background music.
Honestly, I’ve always thought that these kinds of things were troublesome. However, helping someone can be quite nice, and above all, the happiness of seeing Ayana has been my most cherished time.
“Ah, I see… So that’s it.”
It clicked in my mind as if I’d solved a puzzle. I realized that in this world, I was drawn to Ayana, and I wished to be with her. I thought about what I could do in this situation. Despite being swayed by circumstances, the core of who I am still revolves around my desire for Ayana to be happy.
(But that’s alright. I’m going to protect Ayana… and for that…)
I turned around.
The boisterous spectacle of beautiful girls playfully interacting with each other had already dissipated. Now they were just having a normal conversation, but Ayana was still smiling.
Not only Ayana, but Iori and Mari as well, all had genuine smiles on their faces.
(I want to protect this scene …… Kotone-san and Hatsune-san are honestly difficult, but I’m sure even Ayana would be saddened if she knew the future of these two unhappy people)
I’ve said it many times before, but this world is already my reality. It may not follow the exact path of my memories, and I might experience things that are far from ordinary, even hearing mysterious voices. But let’s consider that all of this has some kind of meaning.
As I contemplated this, I once again pressed my head lightly.
Two scenes appeared in my mind as if the scenery was switching: Iori and Mari in a scene where they were stained and fallen by a man’s hands.
And beside them stood someone in a black hood, whose identity flashed through my mind.
The view returned to its original state, and I had merely held my head lightly, so there was no need to worry anyone.
This needed to be documented as well, and I agreed with that.
I still didn’t understand the meaning of these numerous visions, but I had an intuitive feeling that something was influencing my memories.
“Are you making that difficult face again?”
“Not really. I’d say my mood is quite the opposite.”
“Eh? Is that so?”
That’s right. To put it another way, I’m feeling quite good now.
I think I’ve finally been able to redefine what I want in my heart.
“President, I can handle it.”
“Then, may I ask you to?”
It was sudden, but even Towa was coming to the end of helping Senior Iori, according to my understanding.
For me,Shu Sasaki, assisting Iori had already become a routine, but for Towa, it was his first time, and he struggled a bit at first.
(But Towa is incredible. He can do anything by the end.)
Towa’s initial difficulty had disappeared. Of course, the tasks Iori assigned to Towa were simple, but I remembered that when I first started with Iori, I had been desperate for several days, asking her questions and learning how to do things.
(But Towa can do everything already.)
He could even find and complete tasks on his own and was now working together with Iori, shoulder to shoulder.
Him helping was a source of happiness for me, and, above all, just having Ayana near me was something that made me happy.
I couldn’t stand how our abilities and qualities were highlighted, showing how different we were. It made me feel down, as if I’d never be able to surpass him.
And, what’s worse, Ayana was also praising Towa.
[Towa-kun, you really can do anything. It’s amazing♪]
Why is that? I wanted to shout, “I’m doing my best too, you know!” But it would be embarrassing, and it wasn’t in my nature to seek praise.
Hey, Ayana, don’t you see I’m right here, next to you? Why do you only look at Towa without even noticing me right next to you?
I felt an ugly surge of jealousy, something I didn’t even want to admit to myself.
I was working hard too. I wanted to tell Ayana to praise me, but it was embarrassing and unseemly, and I couldn’t bring myself to say it.
In this situation, I remembered what happened during lunch break.
Back then, in the hospital room, I had told Towa that I wanted him to root for Ayana and me. He hadn’t replied at the time, but he had nodded slightly. However…
[Well now, if I keep dawdling, I might snatch her away, you know?]
He had said this with a provocative expression, showing how well he pulled off the handsome look. It made me think, handsome guys are just cheating. And Towa, in particular, was a real cheat.
He could do anything, he had everything, and he was loved by many. He possessed many things that I didn’t.
I had been so absorbed in comparing myself to Towa that my work had come to a stop.
Ayana was looking at me with a puzzled expression, so I frantically tried to finish my work, as if I wanted to convey that I was doing my best.
“Shu-kun, this part is incorrect, you know?”
“The digits are completely off. And here, the rows are off by one.”
I realized my mistakes when Ayana pointed them out. I understood that everyone made small errors while thinking about something else while working, but since I had been asked by Iori-senpai to help, I had to make sure to be careful.
I slapped my cheek as Towa had done earlier, making a satisfying sound. It stung a bit, and I turned a little red, but it re-energized me.
“Shu-senpai is really fired up now!”
“Fufu, it’s a good thing to have motivation. Keep up the good work, Shu-kun.”
When Ayana praised me, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment, even though I hadn’t sought praise.
“Tell me if you need any help, okay? I’ll assist with anything.”
Ayana leaned over, looking into my face. It was the first time she had looked at me so closely. “Anything?” I thought to myself, remembering those words I had seen online. But I knew I would never make any weird requests.
“It’s alright. I can handle it by myself.”
“Waa… You look so cool, Shu-senpai!”
I didn’t mean to show off, but hearing it from Mari made me feel genuinely happy.
Ayana looked surprised at my response.
“Nothing. I’m just a bit surprised.”
“I thought you would ask for help right away, Shu-kun. I didn’t expect you to decline so confidently.”
“…I just wanted to look cool, that’s all.”
I had raised my voice, and I felt a bit embarrassed about it, but I focused on my work again.
I wondered if I might have been showing off a bit too much. I also worried if I might come off as weird. While thinking about this, I glanced over at Towa and Iori-senpai.
“Yeah, that’s right. It’s fine like this.”
“Good to know.”
“As for the next set of documents… Can you handle them?”
“Of course, leave it to me.”
Their conversation flowed so smoothly.
Iori-senpai was often seen as cold and distant because of her cool appearance and way of speaking, but she was indeed a kind person.
…But I couldn’t help feeling a bit uncomfortable about how close she and Towa seemed to be.
Ayana laughed as she watched the two of them.
Even just her profile had a significant impact, and Ayana was most lovely when she smiled like that.
As I kept watching, Ayana turned her face towards me. When she tilted her head, I couldn’t help but say:
“Hey… You’re smiling more today than usual.”
“Yeah. Towa being here definitely contributes, but you seem to have a lot of fun when you’re talking with Iori-senpai and the others.”
“Huh…? Did I say something strange?”
Ayana seemed even more surprised by my words.
Ayana appeared completely bewildered as she averted her gaze from me, her focus shifting toward Towa and Iori-senpai. She even began to look at Mari, who was sitting next to her.
“…It’s nothing, really.”
She replied, looking down, her behavior obviously out of the ordinary.
I was about to ask her what was wrong, but Towa acted before I did.
“Ayana, what’s wrong?”
Towa. Even though he had been talking with Iori-senpai just moments ago, he naturally approached Ayana like a hero coming to her rescue.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, well… I just zoned out for a moment.”
Towa leaned over Ayana’s face with a worried expression. Even someone of the same sex as me had to admit that Towa looked cool. Yet, at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy.
Although I realized it too, it seemed that the situation was being dominated by Towa, making me feel left out. Everyone, including Iori-senpai and Mari, was watching Towa’s actions closely.
“I’m really fine. Besides, Towa-kun, you’ve been spacing out quite a bit recently, so maybe I caught it from you.”
“That’s… not a pleasant way to catch it.”
I had no idea what they were talking about. They were chuckling, and Towa had a slightly worried expression, a conversation that only the two of them seemed to understand. I felt like an outsider.
Despite thinking that, I chose not to point it out, wanting to avoid making things awkward. We pushed through and finished our tasks. By the time we were done tidying up, everyone seemed satisfied. I felt a strong sense of accomplishment, even more than usual.
“Today, it was great that we got to chat not only while working but also with Ayana and Yukishiro-kun.”
“That’s true. I usually have club activities, so I don’t get many opportunities like this. It was really enjoyable!”
Iori-senpai and Mari seemed content. As the tasks were completed, it was time to disband. However, I found myself pulled away by Iori-senpai and Mari, losing my chance to leave.
“You really did your best today, Shu-kun.”
“Ah, I guess so…”
“Absolutely! You were amazing, Shu-senpai!”
“Ahaha… Thank you, both of you.”
Although I had been shown as a cool guy to Ayana, I couldn’t deny that it was a bit of an overstatement. Nevertheless, I felt a strong sense of achievement, and the warm sensation of my arms being wrapped by both of them enhanced the feeling.
Even amidst all this, I couldn’t help but wonder about Ayana’s bewildered expression. I had never seen her like that before. I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking at that moment.