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.
There I lay sprawled out in the empty council office. Since there were yet no seats for my position, I took the guest area as my rest haven. And boy, I needed that rest, having been on the move all week. In fact, the council was so severely understaffed for everything we had to do, there hadn’t been a single day I wasn’t called into action.
“So all the other past council members must’ve been working hard all this time…” I said, impressed and, at the same time, grateful for the people who were sacrificing their own time and energy for the benefit of various events.
While I had my moment of reflection, the door swung open. I instinctively straightened up.
“Oh? Are you here alone, Akito-kun?”
Ayaka had returned from her presidential affairs.
“Haha, it’s okay to be more relaxed around me, y’know?” She noticed the little edge of politeness in my last words. This girl’s something else.
“No, it’s fine. But is there anything I can help with?” Being the greenhorn in the group and all, I didn’t want to come off as a slacker. I took the initiative.
“Hmm, in that case, can I ask you to do this for me?” Ayaka said, picking up a modest stack of documents and handing them to me.
“Yes, of course.”
About ten minutes passed since I started working on the papers. “By the way, how’s the council? Have you gotten used to the job yet?” She broke the silence.
I paused my work and looked at her. “Yes, thanks to you all.”
“Well, good to hear! And it’s also thanks to you that our workload has been getting lighter. I haven’t been mistaken in my judgment to choose you.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Aw, I see a little red on your cheeks. Blushing, aren’t you?”
“No, no, no,” I almost dug my face back into the documents, but she saw right through me.
A few minutes later, Saki opened the door. “Good work guys.”
“Good work~!” Ayaka and I reciprocated.
“Akito, stop syncing with the president. It’s annoying.”
“And you’re rude!” The girl in question retorted at Saki’s remark.
Meanwhile, she ignored the president and quickly sat down next to me. “Let me recharge…” With that said, she rested her head on my shoulder, seeking affection.
“We’re in the council room, y’know…”
“It’s someone’s fault our workload is messed up. Just let me be spoiled a bit.”
“Oh, wow! Seems like there’s still room for more work! Should I add a few?”
“This tricky fox…” Saki growled.
The two were at odds with each other. Honestly, I just wished the other members would appear soon. As I thought that, a miracle happened and the door was swung open.
“Good work~!” The three other girls called in unison.
“Good work!” Ayaka, Saki, and I answered.
Greetings over, they walked inside. It was 5 PM, and everyone looked exhausted.
“It’s so hot today…” Karen, having just returned from an errand outdoors, fanned at her chest. My gaze almost wandered over that region by instinct, but a gentle squeeze of my thigh was enough for me to resist temptation. Saki’s courtesy.
“Yeah. Though, the busy season is over now. All we have to do is tidy up a bit and we’re done.”
“Right. This year went by so fast,” Yuki responded while sprawling over her desk. Rin stood behind her, massaging her shoulders.
Every single person in this room was basically dead from exhaustion.
“Well, I’m glad it ended quickly. Now, we can finally prepare for ‘it’!”
“‘It’? What’s ‘it’?”
“Huh? Akito-kun, you didn’t see last year’s culture festival?”
“Uh, well… I had some, um, family issues last year. I couldn’t make it… This is actually my first.”
Around this time last year, Mikiko scolded me, saying I should use my time for something useful — work — instead of attending a measly culture festival.
“That old b*tch…” Saki muttered under her breath, face scrunched up in anger as she chewed on her thumbnail.
Moving on to whatever ‘it’ was, it seemed like everyone apart from me was in the know. However…
“Yeah… I think it’s a bad tradition,” Yuki was fed up.
“Why though? It’s fun!”
“Hmm… I’m not a ray of sunshine like you are, Karen.”
“Yuki, you looked like you were having a blast last year!”
“Then was then. Now is now.”
Yuki and Karen disagreed. One was almost bursting at the seams, the other was exasperated. Just the fact their reactions were so contradictory was enough to make me feel uneasy, even as the outsider.
“Alright, you two. Remember, there are underclassmen watching, so don’t embarrass us.”
“Okay~” When Rin clapped her hands, both of them became quiet. She then encouraged them to continue the conversation with Ayaka.
“For starters, we’re going to participate as volunteers in the cultural festival.”
“We’re going to have a band performance there.”
I gave a casual response. After all, I wasn’t going to participate; I’d be working behind the scenes like I’ve always been.
“I’m looking forward to it, Akito,” Saki seemed surprisingly enthusiastic about it though. I had the impression that she didn’t like these kinds of things, but by the looks of it, I was wrong.
“Yeah, do your best,” I smiled.
“Huh?” Saki cocked her head.
“Hmm?” I did too.
We both stared at each other, a dissonant awkwardness ensuing. Had I said something strange?
“Akito-kun, you’re participating too, right?” Ayaka asked with a wry smile.
I was still a bit clueless about what was going on in its entirety, so Rin filled me in. “This is a council tradition; it’s something we do together as a group.”
“Huh? So I’m expected to participate as well?”
I was taken aback. “But I can’t play any instruments or anything,” I explained. Bands, by definition, involve some sort of playing. But the only instrument I had any experience with was the recorder from my elementary school days.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. Don’t worry, we’ll handle the instruments!” Karen answered with a smile. So what should I be doing?
“I want you and Saki-chan to handle the vocals! It might be tough performing for a crowd, but it’s an opportunity to grow. It happened to past members, so it’s not an alien thing. Do your best, good luck!”
This was a world I couldn’t have imagined a few weeks ago when I was still in the dumps, sleepy, and bullied.
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.