Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
“Mhm. It’s been a day since we last met.”
I went to the student council room the next day. In front of me sat Yuki Kurita, the secretary of the student council. Her figure was petite, and her long and messy hair only added to her lackadaisical appearance. She also looked quite sleepy to me, not a far cry from what I’d been weeks earlier. Was she facing similar troubles to my own? I couldn’t help but think.
Matsuyama arrived after me. By the way, Saki has some treasurer duties, so she’s working while biting onto her desk. She seemed curious about my situation, but there was nothing much I could do about it. Right now, only Matsuyama, Kurita-san, and I are in the student council room.
“Do you understand what the secretary’s duties involve, to start?” She threw a curveball at me. Caught off-guard, I found myself unable to respond.
“It’s mainly about recording the discussions. It’s crucial to do so impartially and fairly, without letting personal feelings come into play,” Matsuyama answered in my place.
“Great!” He didn’t miss his chance to show off as if making a statement. Taking one step ahead of me must’ve felt quite good. Still, Kurita continued with an expressionless look on her face.
“Well, anyone can do that much. The important part comes afterward,” she kicked him down a peg.
“Afterward…?” I was the one to voice a question since I had assumed Matsuyama covered everything there was to know about the role. In response, Kurita pulled out several notebooks from the cupboard and plopped them on the desk.
“We have a meeting one hour from now. Memorize these minutes within this time frame. That’s your first trial,” she tapped lightly on the pile of notebooks, thick as a new toilet paper roll.
“All of this…?” Matsuyama’s face twisted upon seeing the first hurdle. He was taken aback by the sheer intensity of the task coming his way without so much as a warning.
“Well, if none of you can do it, that’s fine too. We’ll just drop you both if that happens.”
“No, I’m not saying I can’t…”
“In that case, less complaining and more memorizing. I have preparations for the executive committee to do, so I’ll be heading out first,” she left, leaving Matsuyama and me in the council office.
“Hmph. Even if I can’t do it all, I won’t lose to Iwaki. I’ll try to do as much as I can for now…” He whispered as softly as an airplane. I could hear him perfectly.
After that, Matsuyama didn’t utter another word. There wasn’t much to talk about, so no awkwardness there. Moreover, the ticking of the clock only added tension to the guy, as evidenced by the tense concentration he exhibited throughout. Seeing him like that made me realize I should do the same.
I think I could handle this in about five minutes…? Yeah.
“Have you both memorized these?”
Standing outside the room where the meeting would take place, Kurita took a second to ask both Matsuyama and I if we were ready. For me, it was quite a normal task, so I just nodded. On the other hand, while he nodded, his face was as white as the very notebook sheets we read.
“Alright. Onto the next trial. We’re starting a meeting with the executive committee to plan for the cultural festival. I’ll vote for the one who can take proper notes. Of course, I don’t want any sloppiness.”
I gulped down nervously at the instructions. And so, him and I were led to the meeting room. There, all the student council members, including President Midou and Saki, as well as the cultural festival executive committee members, were gathered.
“Now that Yuki-chan is here, we’re all set! Let’s begin this meeting!”
Midou signaled the start of the meeting. While she did so, I reminded myself not to forget and took out my notebook from my bag. the agenda for today was to decide the main events for the cultural festival. Things like having a band of volunteers perform, inviting a local celebrity, hosting a talent show; that kind of stuff.
“So, please come up with ideas proactively. If you think of something, please raise your hand!”
President Midou warmed up the atmosphere in the room. This made it easier for everyone present to raise their hands. Thanks to that, opinions started flowing in like chirping chicks waiting to be fed.
“Invite a celebrity!”
The flood of ideas came in so quickly that I struggled to keep up. And I had to write them all down carefully.
This is tougher than I thought… I thought to myself, barely able to catch up in time. Then, at the end:
“How about a campfire?”
As soon as that suggestion was brought up, the whole classroom was filled with voices.
“Oh, I wanna do it!”
It was just as if some butcher brought Wagyu to a zoo. These high-level, crème de la crème students all morphed into elementary kids.
“Alright. Let’s calm down, please,” Midou clapped her hands softly. Suddenly, the previous clamor vanished as if it were an illusion. “Guys, don’t get too noisy. Settle down, m’kay?” And with a gentle smile, everyone’s mouths were forced shut.
Once everyone had quieted down, she continued.
“For now, shall we take a vote?”
“Yes!” Was everyone else’s answer.
And so, after the vote, the top three ideas were as follows: first place was inviting a celebrity, second place was a campfire event, and third place was a beauty pageant.
The atmosphere was buzzing again, though not as much as before. Heated discussions were taking place about whom to invite. I had no knowledge in this area, so to be honest, I didn’t really care who they brought in.
“It would be interesting to meet a celebrity at least once. But I wonder if our budget can handle it?” Someone asked, checking if it was feasible to actually invite someone famous.
“I’m not sure. From the records I have on hand, there’s no mention of inviting a celebrity… When was the last time it happened?” Saki asked us. Kurita, representing the secretaries and office members-to-be, answered in our stead.
“It was about ten years ago.”
“Do we have detailed information on the budget and such?” President Midou asked again. Kurita-san was about to respond but hesitated. Then, she looked at Matsumoto and me.
“How about it?”
“Um…” Matsumoto seemed to be pondering but struggling to remember. I figured it out. This was probably Kurita-san’s test. Saki wouldn’t have trouble answering a question like the one she asked earlier. Seeing him struggling to answer, Kurita-san sighed in exasperation.
“Well, the thing is…”
“Previously, the cost of inviting a celebrity was around this many yen,” I told them the cost. It was on the five digits.
I realized I had made a mistake. Kurita-san seemed surprised by my sudden response, and then President Midou turned to me.
“What kind of event did we have at that time?”
“The cost of inviting a celebrity alone used up more than 2/3 of the budget. So, if we were to invite a celebrity again, we might not have enough budget left for anything else.”
“I see. Thank you. You may take your seats.”
Following President Midou’s instructions, I took my seat.
“Don’t go yapping on us now. Did you think I didn’t know?” Matsuyama muttered vitriol into my ears. He said these things in a voice low enough only I could hear. While this exchange was happening, the conversation continued.
“What do you all think after hearing the opinions just now?”
President Midou once again sought opinions from the members of the executive committee.
“Well, I’d like to meet a celebrity, but that’s about it…”
“True, if it’s just that, I might want to do a lot of other things too…”
“I want to see the beauty pageant!”
“You’re too honest with yourself, aren’t you?”
Numerous opinions bubbled up. Just hearing them made it clear how much everyone was looking forward to the cultural festival.
“Alright, alright. Now that we’ve heard various opinions, let’s summarize.”
It was decided that there would be a campfire, a beauty pageant, a quiz competition, and a band performance. Matsumoto and I recorded everything. Throughout the process, we were occasionally tested with questions. I had memorized all the past instances, so it was easy for me. On the other hand, Matsumoto was coming up with odd, unrelated answers.
I wonder if he’s feeling unwell…?
While I had that passing thought, the meeting marched on.
“Alright, let me see the minutes then.”
Back in the student council room, Matsumoto and I handed our notebooks to Kurita-san. All the student council members were present, and I could feel their occasional glances directed our way. Kurita-san completely ignored those looks and started flipping through the pages. Matsumoto looked at me with full confidence. He didn’t seem to have an inkling he’d be close to losing.
People with student council experience are strong…
To me, it seemed quite intimidating. After all, this was my first time doing something like this. Due to my lack of experience, I had written down everything that seemed necessary, but I couldn’t help but wonder how they would evaluate that aspect. Then, Kurita-san closed our minutes with a snap.
“Well, I’ve made my decision.”
“Yes! Thank you very much!”
Matsumoto seemed supremely confident. Rather than thanking her for reading our minutes, it sounded more like he was thanking her for choosing him.
“We’ll announce the results on Friday.”
“Alright, you can go home now.”
“Thank you, see you!”
With that, the meeting concluded and Matsumoto left with an air of triumph.
Did I lose…?
Feeling down, I started getting ready to leave. However, just as I was about to stand up:
“Wait a second,” Kurita stopped me as I tried to get up.
“You, um, Akito, was it? What’s up with your writing?”
She showed me the notebook. There, it said:
Reiwa Period, Nth Year. Campfire event at the cultural festival.
Number of years the campfire event has been held:
– Showa era: X.
– Heisei era: Y.
– Taisho era: Z.
Cause of the fire that occurred in the Nth year of the Showa Period.
“…Stuff like this,” she finished showing me a snippet of the notebook. It was basically all like that.
“What’s wrong with that…?”
“I only handed over the minutes for the past ten years… so how do you know about things that happened before then?”
“Ah, I memorized the first ten years’ worth in the first five minutes since you left.”
“After that, I was kind of bored, so I just memorized all the minutes in the student council room.”
“What… What are you talking about?”
With a puzzled expression, Kurita-san seemed to regain her composure. I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye, and Saki was working with a satisfied grin on her face.
“By the way, there was a year when we only made a merry-go-round for the whole year. When was it?”
“Huh? It was the Nth year of the Heisei Period, right? I read that we went over budget that time, and the teachers had to cover the extra costs.”
Kurita-san nodded in agreement and then approached where I was sitting.
“Good job, good job~” She patted my head like a mother to her child.
“What are you doing?!” I felt a rush of red on my face.
“A reward for the excellent ones. And, well, sorry for the quick judgment about you being incompetent earlier…”
“Oh, it’s fine…”
The last thing I was expecting from this whole ordeal was receiving head-pats from a senior. Saki, meanwhile, looked like a wind-up toy that lost its energy.
“Wow, it might be the first time I’ve seen Yuki-chan apologizing,” President Midou chimed in.
“Mm, take a look at this.”
President Midou showed my notebook to the entire council, including herself.
“This is impressive…”
“Wow, you’re something.”
“Whoa! This is amazing!”
Saki didn’t seem surprised at all. She even appeared somewhat delighted. Kurita-san turned toward me and gave her overall impression.
“Your approach of trying to eliminate subjectivity and maintain objectivity is remarkable. It’s amazing that you included past examples.”
“Oh, you’re exaggerating…”
“More than anything, your consideration is outstanding. It’s clear that you see yourself as a support in administrative matters, focusing on assisting me. Thanks to that, it’s a very digestible, easy read.”
Being praised like this made me feel embarrassed. I wanted the conversation to shift away from me, so I forcefully changed the topic.
“Um, speaking of which, what about Matsumoto? He seemed really confident.”
Kurita-san’s face turned back to its usual neutral state.
“Ah… His self-esteem is way too high, but it’s not feasible. He’s not suited for administrative work.”
Even though he’s so filled with confidence…
Then, Kurita-san came over to where I was and patted my head again.
“Good boy, good boy~”
“Um, stop, it’s embarrassing,” I was once again assaulted by a rush of embarrassment.
Even though I was indirectly trying to communicate a “Please, stop!”, she continued patting my head regardless, ignoring my unspoken thoughts. While she caressed me, she said, “My decision is to accept Akito.”
“Wow, to be praised by Yuki to that extent is amazing! I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
“P-Please be gentle with me.”
Misaki and Kurita sat in front of me, surrounding me. I wasn’t sure why, but Saki’s gaze had been painfully locked on me since a bit earlier. I couldn’t help but feel a creeping fear as she continued to lock eyes with me, not budging or turning away once, all while typing away on her keyboard.
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