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.
“Come in.” Saki urged me to enter the council office.
Incidentally, there was no one inside. Turning to me, she asked, “Would you mind sitting on that couch right over there?”
I nodded, taking a seat. It was probably a guest couch from its size and positioning inside the room.
“Now there’s no one in the way,” her voice chimed.
Before I could even think, she went to the door and locked it shut. Then, instead of sitting across from me as an officer would, she plopped down right beside me. “I finally caught you!” She cooed.
“H-hey! Saki! You’re too close!”
Her “ice queen” mask crumbled down in an instant, revealing a spoiled little puppy of a girl. Still, I could not yield.
“P-please let go,” I stammered. “They’re hitting me.”
Saki has always been a stylish girl, and confident to boot. She pulled weight where she wanted to, and not when she didn’t want to. Truth be told, I was happy to feel her, erm, mounds pressed against me, but my embarrassment won out.
Against all my wishes, she proclaimed, “Nope! They’ll keep hitting you!” and instead of moving away, she pressed even more against me. These vain pleas of mine had the opposite effect.
“More important than that,” she brushed my complaints like flies. “What’s your impression of being hugged by this school’s most popular girl, eh?” her last words were whispered into my ears, her lips almost touching my lobes.
“Hmph?! Aw, please! J-just get off!” With my cool lost, I tried to pull her off by force… To no avail.
“Sorry, I’ve been a naughty girl. Please let me stay here for at least ten more seconds,” she looked at me as a forlorn dog would.
Honestly, I would’ve liked her to stop smothering me here, but her upturned eyes and pampered tone were too much for me.
“Sure…” I conceded.
“Thanks!” Her frown turned upside down as she clung even tighter to my arm. For a moment, the reasoning I so desperately clung to was barely enough to hold on.
“♪~” Yet ignorant to my struggles, she hummed a tune with the biggest of smiles. It was so magical an expression, I felt like watching her until the end of time. Still, it was no good—for my heart—to go further.
’Kay, ten seconds have passed.
“Saki, time’s up.”
She didn’t even bat an eye before contradicting herself.
“I just don’t wanna leave you.”
“You just…” I didn’t bother completing that sentence. She had regressed into the mind of a cute, spoiled toddler.
“I’ve always wanted to do this… Ten seconds isn’t enough…”
I could only groan at her words. Once again, her smile proved itself to be the hardest of foes. I just couldn’t against her loveliness.
“Hey, Akito… Could you give me just ten more seconds?”
“Haah,” my sigh was as beaten as me. “All right.”
“Yay! Thank you!”
Her arms coiled around mine even more. The way she simpered so innocently made my own shame seem like a cheap excuse—before I’d known it, ten seconds had passed again.
“C’mon, time’s up.”
“That was nice!” Her skin glistened anew. “Now I can work hard at my afternoon classes.”
In the end, these “ten seconds” were extended about ten times over. While she was all smiles and glittering, I had been sucked out of my energy.
“Well then, let’s get to the point,” she clasped decisively.
“Yeah. Even I wouldn’t use the student council office just because I wanted to flirt with you,” she said matter-of-factly.
“T-that so?” she left me stunned.
“Sure is so,” though her words were straightforward, she didn’t dare look me in the eyes. Something told me she was mixing her private and school life.
She coughed drily before turning serious. “There’s more than that.” Her sudden switch from pampering to business made me tighten up. “Do you remember what I said before taking you out of your classroom?”
“Um, what was it again…?”
The impact she left on me as soon as I walked through the door was so great, the events from mere minutes ago seemed far and distant. Saki looked at me exasperated as a mother at a troublesome child.
“It’s about rehabilitating you.”
“Ah, that,” she did say something along those lines. Though, her eyes half closed as I listened to her explanation, as if I didn’t yet realize I was the person in question.
“I wonder if you know your situation right now. Akito, you’re being treated as this school’s poster problem child.”
“Huh? Was it that bad?”
“Sure was. Is.”
I was left aghast. Surely, there were many other students apart from myself who did way shadier stuff than just nodding off in class.
“As you know, our school is the best in the prefecture. Do you think there is someone here that sleeps through most classes here?”
Spelled out as it was, I finally understood how bad I was in others’ eyes. I hardly paid attention in class… I mused wistfully.
Regardless, Saki continued. “There’s even been talk of expulsion should your narcolepsy continue.”
“Yes. It’s a deal as big as this. Do you get it now?”
“Y-yeah. I do.”
I found myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“But don’t worry,” she broke my silence. “I’m here to make sure you’re not expelled. I told you as much before, didn’t I? As an officer of the student council, I will rehabilitate you,” her words boomed confidently.
“But how can we even…?” I let my words trail off.
“If we’re able to show some tangible indicators of improvement, we can avoid your expulsion. For example, showing results in community activities and sports,” she stopped and locked eyes with me. “But what better indicator is there apart from what will happen in about two weeks?”
“Two weeks…? Wait! The tests!”
“<Correct!>” She exclaimed in English. “Plus, it’s easier to expel a student if they do poorly on the exams. So that’s the last thing we want for you.”
“I see. So I need to hunker down and study.”
“By the way, how good of a grade do I need?” I understood that I had to show results in order to keep me studying here. But what was even considered good in the first place?
“Our school posts the top 30 overall on the bulletin board. If your name is on that list, there should be no problem.”
I stopped for a moment. “Huh…?”
Lately, Saki has been saying the craziest things with a straight face. Being on that list was already a dream come true for the freshman me—someone with time and energy. What of me now then?
“Don’t worry, I’ll teach you. Just trust me and everything will be alright.”
Not even a flicker in her eye told me she thought I would fail. In fact, she practically took it for granted I’d be there. She was serene as still ocean.
I had my reservations. “But still, mother—I mean, Mikiko-san has always been critical of my studying, so I’m a little anxious…”
Not once have I ever thought I’d be able to compare to Saki academically. It was a cold, bare fact—imprinted on me, but a fact nonetheless. Though, bringing up Mikiko’s name brought a lemon to her lips.
“That moron of a mother really went the extra mile…”
“Moron of a mother…” I parroted, surprised.
“Don’t worry about the ramblings of a f*cking hag,” she sighed. “Still, it’s wrong to use me as a standard—I’m pretty much weird—so listen,” her eyes locked on mine in earnest. “You’re a good student. I mean, you made it all the way here to the top school in this whole prefecture.”
“Is that right?” I still didn’t buy it.
“It is. As long as you have confidence, you can do it.”
“O-okay…” Her words left me a bit surprised—in a good way, of course. I couldn’t hold back the slightest smile, as I haven’t received compliments in a while. Still, I was no match for her. I mean, “Saki, you study for about thirty minutes, right? And you’re still at the top.”
“I’m still wondering where that info even came from in the first place… Look, I’m not proud of it, but I study at least ten times that amount every day. At least.”
“What? Is that really true?” Her words baffled me once again. “Last year, Mikiko-san told me you reached the top of the school by studying thirty minutes a day. Meanwhile, I was only able to enroll by studying half that amount. Have I always been fooled…?”
“That can’t be possibly—Wait.”
She took a moment to think, then eyed me as if she looked at something outlandish.
“Um, just checking Akito, but…”
“How did you get through last year? You didn’t have much time to study since you were being used by that old witch, right?” Her probing was serious.
I still don’t think it’s nice to call your mother that, despite it all… These words almost left my mouth, but I stopped them. Interrupting wasn’t nice.
“Hmm, I remember looking at my textbooks for a while before going to bed. I could only do it for ten minutes or so though, since she used to tell me having my lights on at night was a waste of electricity…”
“Wait… What was your rank again?”
“Um, I think I was about 130th out of 200? Something like that.”
My words were enough to make her slump down on the sofa. With sighs as deep as the ocean, she turned to me and let out a weak voice, “Our school is the main objective of the top students of our area, you know…? To even be enrolled here with just ten minutes of studying is ridiculous…”
She meditated on my words. Did I say something funny? I thought to myself. Maybe I had said something offensive. As unease spread through my chest, she opened her eyes and gazed straight at me.
“Yes ma’am?” I couldn’t help but be formal.
“Let’s go all in on this test. We’ve got two weeks.”
“You’ll be fine with the money stepfather left you, right? So spend these two weeks drowning in books,” her eyes were at their most serious. “That’s an order, understood?”
She had an otherworldly pressure.
Hmm, come to think of it, when was the last time I could concentrate only on studying? I mused. Up until now, I hadn’t studied properly for any tests either due to Mikiko’s decrees or otherwise. So this would be the first time I’d really prepare for a test. On top of that, I had a lot at stake. My staying at this school depended on how I’d fare.
I’ll give it my all, I pumped myself up. I mean, I don’t wanna smear Saki’s reputation!
“Is Akito a genius, perhaps…? I thought I was killing two birds with one stone, being with him, and gaining some rep for the council. But I guess I could be more greedy with it…?”
Saki’s words spilled out as mumbo jumbo; they hadn’t reached Akito’s ears, as he was still pumping himself up for the tests.
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.