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.
“Once again, I’m Misaki Karen from the public relations department~. Nice to meet you, okay?”
Today, it’s her turn to give me a trial.
Misaki is in charge of the public relations side of the student council, and as such, she wears an ever-present smile on her face. Her chestnut hair reached down to her lower back, gentle and easygoing as her own demeanor. And just like the president, she treated everyone equally. Still, she exuded a subtle gal-like aura I didn’t miss.
“So, do you have an idea of what the public relations job involves?” Just like yesterday with Kurita, she threw a quick question my way.
“Um, it’s about promoting the school to the outside world, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right. You’re not wrong. To be more specific, it involves things like customer service, volunteering to interact with people in the community, and visiting middle schools to introduce our school to incoming students.”
My gut told me this would be my weak point. In fact, this might as well be something Matsuyama excelled at. Shooting a glance at my side, I saw Matsuyama bursting at the seams with enthusiasm. Good-looking as he was, paired with his honor-student façade, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think as much.
Winning here might prove difficult…
I couldn’t hold a slight groan as it dawned on me.
“This much should be a walk in the park!” He said, high and mighty, and condescending.
“It’s good to have motivation~” Seeing Misaki nod in satisfaction at Matsuyama’s behavior, I felt a certain urgency.
“Well then, let me tell you what you’ll be doing today~”
“Yes!” Matsuyama and I nodded.
With that said, she relayed to us what we had to do.
“But it’s not a big deal, okay? Some guests are coming soon.”
“That’s right—namely, the heads of the organizations that support our school financially. Today, we’re going to propose something we can do in return for their support. That’s today’s mission, I guess.”
Sure enough, it sounded like a typical public relations job. It must be necessary to maintain relationships with the community.
“Well then, let’s go! I’m heading to Ayaka~”
With that, Matsumoto, Misaki, and I left the office and headed to the reception room. At that moment, Saki lightly waved her hand at me in a way others wouldn’t see.
Well, someone else did.
“Aw, that Saki! Doing something so adorable!” Matsuyama squirmed to himself.
That ain’t for you, bud.
Regardless, I braced myself to take this one to the grave. She would just get even madder if she found out another reason to hate the dude.
“Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to come today,” Misaki greeted.
“I appreciate your politeness. And Karen-chan, can you be yourself like usual? If you get too formal, it feels distant,” who answered was Ms. Mochizuki, an alumna of our school. She provided support from the outside; financially as well. The grays in her hair were like a silver crown, a sign of her many years of experience.
“In that case, I’ll speak a little more casually!”
Needless to say, she seemed like a pleasant soul.
“And, who are these two?”
“They are my subordinates! I brought them here today to get some new experience under their belt~” Misaki then signaled us to introduce ourselves.
“I-I’m Akito Iwaki. Nice to meet you, um, today,” I stammered out, quaky.
“Yuto Matsuyama. It’s been a while, Mochizuki-san!” He greeted with a pep in his step, and confidence sparkling in his eyes. He seemed pretty used to these situations.
“Oh? Are you perhaps the chairman’s son?”
“Yes, I am!”
“Oh, you’ve grown so much!”
The two of them seemed to go way back. It didn’t take two seconds for Ms. Mochizuki to forget me completely and talk to the other two.
This is bad! I don’t have anything to contribute…
I spent the following minutes listlessly.
“Well then, now that we’ve broken the ice, let’s get to the main topic.”
“Really, you don’t have to be so formal every time. We support this school because we want to.”
“That’s not how it works. The reason cultural festivals and club activities can thrive here is thanks to the support of the local community! It’s only natural to want to give something back.”
“Aw Karen-chan, you’re so serious!” Ms. Mochizuki’s face lit up. She looked like a grandmother smothering her grandchild. “If you’re saying it like that, maybe we should have you do something. What would be good, I wonder…”
“Well, I’ve been thinking about it too, but first, why don’t we ask these two? Do you have any ideas?”
Finally, the moment had come. This was my one and only chance to make an appeal. Misaki seemed intent on staying quiet and observing, and Matsuyama seized this opportunity without a second to think.
“Our school is inconvenient for elderly visitors. And it’s not very accessible for people with disabilities either. So, we’re planning to install ramps and elevators to make the school as accessible as possible!”
It was an ambitious goal. I was left speechless by the scale of it. Certainly, if we could achieve that, it would be a significant way to give back. However,
“How will you fund it?”
Misaki naturally posed the question, and Matsuyama confidently replied, “My father would be willing to fund it as much as needed.”
He intended to resolve it with the power of money. If they went through with that plan, I wouldn’t stand a chance. I had neither the funds nor the authority.
“Well, that might be appreciated too,” Misaki said.
Ms. Mochizuki nodded to Matsuyama’s proposal, her smile unfaltering.
“Well then, Akihito-kun, do you have any ideas?”
She directed the question at me. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I could compete with Matsuyama. But since I couldn’t think of anything else, I made a proposal as a last resort.
“Y-Yes. Um, it’s a question for Ms. Mochizuki, but did you happen to be the student council president at our school about fifty years ago?”
“Eh, yes, I was. You seem to know quite a bit about it. But what does that have to do with anything?”
Good, this was the only proposal I could think of.
“In that case, I would like to propose that the Student Council renovate the flowerbeds in Matsuyama Park.”
Ms. Mochizuki was surprised and remained frozen, seemingly pondering something.
“Do you, by any chance, know about it?” She emphasized.
She probably meant what I was talking about.
Ms. Mochizuki fell silent. I thought I might have made a mistake. Misaki urged us to leave, so we couldn’t ask for further details about which proposal, mine or Matsuyama’s, they would choose.
“Looks like I won again, hah!” He said it with a triumphant look, and I had no arguments to offer.
“Sure did. I concede here,” I sighed.
I suppose he was satisfied with my words. He might have said various things like, “If I go all out, this is what happens,” or “I’ve won until now due to luck,” but I accepted it all because I believed it was true.
I waited in the Student Council room, and about ten minutes later, Misaki returned.
“Welcome back. How did it go?”
I expressed my honest feelings. Matsuyama, upon seeing my feeble state, chuckled dismissively.
“I can keep going, no problem.”
“Oh, Matsuyama-kun, you’re amazing!”
“It’s not that big of a deal!”
They began talking casually again. Seeing them so chummy and chill, it seemed like I really lost this one… Welp, no helping it. I need to chin up and move on.
“Well then, let’s disband. Oh, Aki, you stay behind.”
“Huh? Oh, okay.”
Why the sudden nickname? I thought, stun-locked. That unfamiliar nickname really came out of left field.
“Well, we’re heading out now,” Matsuyama nodded, still gleeful to the tips of his hair.
“See you later~”
Matsuyama disappeared. Timing it with his departure, Misaki turned to me, and I felt my heart race, wondering what she was going to say.
Did I do something to upset her, maybe?
I started to worry if I had messed up something with my previous actions. Misaki had an earnest atmosphere about her, which made me even more nervous.
“About your proposal to Ms. Mochizuki earlier, how did you come up with it?”
As I thought…
“W-Well, I read the minutes of the Student Council meeting during Mr. Kurita’s trial yesterday.”
“No, no, Ms. Mochizuki is elderly, right? I can’t imagine her name coming up just a few years ago.”
“Oh, I memorized all the Student Council’s minutes from yesterday, from the beginning.”
“Huh? W-Wait a minute! You mean you memorized all of them?”
“From the founding of the Student Council?”
She looked up at the ceiling in response to my words.
“So, what you said yesterday was true…”
From her words, it seemed like she not only doubted what I said yesterday but outright dismissed it as a lie,
“I see… This could be a problem,” she said, pondering about something deeply. “So, that’s why you made that proposal?”
“Yes. I wanted to revive the flowerbed that Ms. Mochizuki had created when she was the Student Council president. Even from just reading the records, it was evident that she had put a lot of effort and emotion into it. But when I went to the park on the way home yesterday, even if there was something resembling a flowerbed, it was completely neglected. I thought that perhaps due to her age, it had become difficult for her to maintain the flowerbed, so I made the proposal.”
“I see…” Clasping her hands together after a second or two, she smiled. “You pass!”
“I said, you pass! In fact, Mochizuki-san asked me to go ahead and execute your proposal.”
“R-Really? Then what about Matsuyama’s proposal?”
“Oh, that one’s outta the question.”
“First, the way he treated Ms. Mochizuki as an elderly person. It might be well-intentioned, but it can hurt someone’s feelings. Just the way he talked made it clear that he was looking down on people.”
So she pays attention to such details… I thought, nodding. Once again, the greatness of this student council downed on me.
“Next is him trying to solve things with money by relying on his father, the chairman. I don’t think having connections is a bad thing, but it was the worst choice for that situation.”
“Being in public relations means representing the face of the school. So, when someone’s character is in question, it affects everything. In this case, Matsuyama-kun’s proposal could have even led to the termination of support. It’s not an exaggeration on my part, either.”
When she put it that way, I realized that failure in that situation could have had consequences that were potentially detrimental to the school. Thinking about it that way, I felt grateful for being part of such a significant event.
“In that regard, Akihito, you’re excellent. You’re considerate, and your way of speaking doesn’t give a negative impression to others. You’re the perfect talent to assist with Student Council public relations.”
“But, this time I just got lucky…”
“Regardless, in the end, you came up with the perfect response. Even if it was luck, taking in all aspects, I believe you’re suitable for the general affairs position.”
“Oh, you’re blushing! Good boy, good boy~!”
“W-Wait! N-Not you too, Misaki-san?!”
“Oh, please. Just call me Karen. It feels so distant when you call me by my surname~”
“U-Understood…” I couldn’t help the scorching head on my cheeks.
While I was going along with what Karen wanted, I still couldn’t lower my guard. After all, this was the student council room—not a good place for whatever this was.
“Oh, Karen. That’s not fair. Akito should be under me.”
“Call me ‘Yuki’ as well.”
“No, no! He’s going to be on my team!”
Before I even knew what was going on, the two began a tug-of-war with me as the rope.
“Oh, you’re quite popular, aren’t you, Akito-kun?”
“Hey, Ayaka? Does this mean I don’t need to evaluate him?” Kishida said ever-so-lazily.
“No, no! You can’t just try to run away because it’s a hassle!”
While we were discussing this, Saiki, who seemed exasperated, had her head in her hands. “On one hand, I’m happy my boyfriend is getting recognized… On the other, I’m jealous out of my mind. I don’t want him to be taken away… Anyway, he’ll have to take responsibility.”
A chill crawled up my spine, but I decided not to mind it. With a rekindled determination, I knew I had to also earn Kishida’s approval to become a student council member.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to comment your opinions below!
Also, if you enjoyed my translation and would like to feed my caffeine addiction, click on the button below and graciously give me my fix—I mean, a cup of coffee.