Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-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.
Sakurai came up to me after classes ended, as soon as I got up to leave for the staff room. She called me the same way she used to, which only made my classmates gaze intently at us, trying to understand our relationship.
I don’t wanna talk to her, but it would be embarrassing not to answer. There are other people around, after all. And because of what happened earlier with the teacher, I’m getting a lot of attention from my classmates. That’s why in order to be more inconspicuous, I’ll only try to answer safely.
She hesitated for a moment, then opened her mouth, determined to do what she came here to do.
“Um, y’know… It’s been a while.”
“From now on, um, let’s have a good year together…”
I was being blunt on purpose, making sure not to look in her eyes… This is what our relationship looks like, the distance between us. So much so, that even casual conversations were delicate. This exchange only puzzled my classmates further.
This was the first conversation I had with her in a long while, and we only exchanged a few words.
I walked out of my class and reached the front of the staff room. Before opening the door I hesitated for a moment… No student would willingly go here, especially if they knew they had a scolding scheduled just for them.
As I mulled over entering, the door suddenly opened. I quickly pulled my hand back, and on the other side stood my homeroom teacher. Confirming I finally arrived, she sharpens her gaze and glares at me.
She was shorter than me so she looked up, but despite our height difference, her eyes were deadly. Not cute at all.
“… There you are. Come on in.”
“… Excuse me.”
I stepped inside as she told me to. As soon as I entered, I noticed a peculiar tension reigning over, and the teachers all worked in a hurry. They were probably busy cleaning up after the entrance ceremony.
“I have a lot to say to you, but… The headmaster wants to see you first.”
“The headmaster? Why?”
“I don’t know. Whatever, just go quickly,” she pointed at the door to the headmaster’s office and said, “I’m next. Don’t forget it,” returning to her desk soon after.
“Excuse me,” I open the heavy door and enter the dean’s office.
It itself was decorated to look somewhat imposing, but the inside was quite ordinary. There were almost no furnishings decorating the room. At the back, a woman sat behind a rather simple desk. Her black hair was pulled back in a bun, and she was dressed in a crisp suit.
Noticing my presence, she smiled softly and greeted me.
“Ah, there you are. I’ve been waiting for you. My name is Suzuka Tachibana, and I’m the principal of this school. I apologize for calling you so suddenly,” she slightly bowed her head.
She was so young it was hard to believe she was the acting headmaster of the school. Her appearance indicated she was probably in her twenties, and she could probably pass as a college student.
These were my honest thoughts when looking at her. Noticing my introspective behavior, she said “What’s wrong?”
“Oh, nothing. It’s just that I can’t believe you’re the head of the school. You look so young…”
“Fufu~ You flatter me. Thank you very much.”
Apparently, the school was originally run by her mother, which became ill four years ago. She took her place as soon as she graduated from university, and is temporarily managing this school. She’s currently 27 years old.
“You’re a smooth talker, Aizawa-kun. You’re also quite handsome, so I reckon you’re quite popular with the ladies, no?”
“I’m not, and… I’m not interested in that sort of thing.”
“What a waste. They say a student’s only objective is to study, but love is also necessary for a person to grow.”
“… I’m not interested.”
“… Well, that’s fine. We’ll talk about this later. I called you here today for another matter.”
Then I wish you’d just cut to the chase. Thanks to you, I’m in a strange mood now, or rather, “We’ll talk about this later”? I humbly decline your offer, thank you very much.
The headmaster, who had no way of knowing what I felt, finally got down to business. She straightened her posture and looked firmly into my eyes, her previous softness turning into seriousness.
“… Rindo-san told me about you and asked me to keep an eye on your antics. Aizawa-kun, seems you’re very naughty, aren’t you?”
The moment that name came out of her mouth, my eyes sharpened and I was instantly alarmed. I wanted to run out of this classroom right now, at any cost.
Seeing my expression, she raised a hand and said “Well, well,” stopping me before I could do anything. “There’s no need to be cautious. In the meantime, it seems you’re not in trouble with the police, so the school won’t blame you,” she stopped for a moment. “Oh, and I’m the only one who knows about it,” she added.
“… Is this okay?”
“Yes. It’s also an important duty of teachers to put trust in their students. However…” She continued, her previous smile completely disappearing from her face. “… If anything happens to endanger my students, whatever it may be, I won’t stand by. I’ll do anything to protect my students, so please, remember this.”
It was a warning, a roundabout way of saying, “Shut up.”
I wasn’t gonna do anything, but the headmaster, who probably heard about me, had the right to be concerned. Not wanting to stand out even more, I simply replied “I’ll keep it in mind…”
“… I’m relieved to hear that.”
Reassured, her expression returned to that soft smile she previously had.
She continued on, “Yes, yes. If your mischief is like what happened today, there won’t be a problem.”
“… What do you mean?”
“What happened in your homeroom class. Hiiragi-sensei was pissed off, you know?”
“… You don’t even know your own teacher’s name?”
The headmaster explained that Hiiragi was Sanae-sensei’s last name. I had no clue because I wasn’t listening to her introduction… So she’s Hiiragi, huh.
Seeing me act like that made the dean sigh.
“I can see how hard she has it. Please don’t trouble her too much, okay? … That’s all I wanted to talk about, do you have any questions?”
I then asked her something that’s been on my mind since this morning. “Why is the seating order at this school random at the beginning of the year, as opposed to the normal alphabetical order?”
“Ah, yes… Fufu, that’s the first thing I changed when taking over as principal.”
As if remembering something, she put her hand on her mouth, chuckling a bit. “First”, huh? That means there may be many more strange rules to come.
She then held up her index, smirking. “Well, it’s exciting, isn’t it?!”
It seems my sister’s prediction was right. She was indeed a brilliant woman. But, uh, can you just create rules for that reason? You’re abusing your authority.
“Meeting people is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It would be boring to have that be planned from the very beginning, right? I want to cherish the fleeting beauty, the meaning that comes with the word ‘encounter’.”
Except it was for a beautiful reason.
“… I’m surprised. You’re more of a romantic than I thought. I had the image of you being more of a realist.”
“Oh, you’re quite straightforward. I like this type of man a lot.”
I don’t want you to like me. In my mind, you’re the most dangerous person in this whole school.
“Hmm… You’ve had an ‘encounter’, haven’t you?”
She looked at me with a tender expression, like that of a mother watching over her child.
I think of Sakurai’s face. We entered the same school by chance. We happened to be in the same class, we happened to sit next to each other, and we happened to meet again… I wonder if there’s any meaning to our encounter?
“I wish you all the best in the school life you have ahead, and I hope you get many more of those encounters.”
“… Thank you very much.”
I bowed my head to her, excused myself, and left the dean’s office.
Phew… I’m a bit tired.
Let’s get the hell out of here. As I was leaving the staff room, I suddenly felt someone’s hand on my shoulder. I turned around and there stood my homeroom teacher, or Sanae Hiiragi, who was waiting for me all this time.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Aizawa. Now, it’s my turn.”
… Gimme a break.
Back when Tatsumi just left the headmaster’s office, Suzuka exhaled and relaxed her shoulders. “Phew~!” Then she plopped down on her desk.
“S–Scary!” I made a pitiful noise, unbecoming of the dignity I had just shown moments earlier.
W–What was that? Is he really a high schooler? I t–thought I was going to be killed…
His mood flipped as soon as I mentioned Rindo’s name. I managed to keep my composure, but I was terrified…
—Even Suzuka, who was appointed as a headmaster at a young age, albeit temporarily, was still 27 years old. What was scary was scary.
It’s not easy for you, Rindo…
I can see that mild-mannered person sweating and panicking, something I’d never imagine.
“A–Anyway, I have to make sure I keep an eye on him so he doesn’t do anything! … P–Please, don’t do anything!”
—Suzuka hoped nothing bad happened to her in the near future.
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