Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
Always has been.
We took an elevator up to the school’s clock tower after we finished shopping. That happened because Sakura said, “It’s a party, so let’s go all out and do it at Hakuou’s highest point!”
It’s as the saying goes, “Fools and smokes are both fonds of high places”.
Well, there was no reason to refuse. The observation room was vacant, so we decided to hold the party there this time.
“—Oh~! What a nice room!”
It was a special observation room at the top of the clock tower. It was about a size larger than the student council office, and it had video equipment, including an expensive projector and a huge screen, so it pretty much worked as an audio-visual studio.
“Come on!” After placing her hand luggage on the long desk, Sakura cheerfully opened the glass door and ran out to the observation terrace with great enthusiasm.
“Hey, don’t fall off.”
“Sakura-san, the terrace is dangerous, so don’t get too excited.”
“It’s okay, it’s okay! Come here, you two! The view’s great!”
Hurried by the jumpy Sakura, Shirayuki and I moved to the terrace.
The spring wind percolated the room, carrying a flowery scent. The cloudless blue sky outstretched out to infinity. Looking down, I could see countless buildings, and looking up, I could see a faint forest in the distance, adjourned by an almost-disappearing Mount Fuji.
“… What a view.”
“Yes, it’s gorgeous.”
While Shirayuki and I enjoyed the view, shoulder-to-shoulder, Sakura looked down directly at the students below as they engaged in club activities.
“Heh, heh~ What a view! it’s as if all people down there are just puny little ants!”
… You’re weird, Sakura.
After enjoying our view up from the tower, we quickly set up the party by pulling the long conference desk to the center, spreading out the snacks, the juice, and the burgers. We then poured the drinks onto the disposable cups, and we were ready to go.
Shirayuki, the president, stood up from her seat and coughed. “Kuzuhara-kun and Sakura-san, I want to thank you two very much for your hard work in organizing those countless documents. I’d like to thank you and wish for a healthy future of the 99th Student Council—cheers.”
We toasted our paper cups against each other and the small party officially started.
“This year’s student council was the biggest surprise of the entire Hakuou history. I mean, no one expected Kuzuhara-kun to become vice-president.”
“I know, right? Even I was surprised.”
“You don’t try to stand out that much, Kuzuhara-kun, so it’s no wonder you’re not that well-known.”
We chatted and laughed over snacks and burgers, enjoying each others’ companies with card games, board games, mahjong, and all other sorts of games. After playing for a while, Sakura’s cowlick suddenly stood up.
“—My God! I totally forgot about that! Hey, let’s do the thing!” She suddenly made a big deal about something.
Her vocabulary was dead—No, always has been.
“Calm down, what is the thing?”
“You know… I mean, you decide on a subject, and then you pan your hands together and say the respective answers in rhythm…”
“Oh, could it be you’re talking about the Yamanote Line Game¹?”
(¹ – TL: A Japanese game similar to Word Chain, but you don’t connect the last letter, instead you just use a predetermined letter and say words that start with it that fit a chosen theme, such as names, or objects, or places. You also need to keep a rhythm, stated by the claps. Well, you don’t need to understand it all that well to read what follows.)
“Yeah, that one! Let’s play that game!” Her eyes sparkled. “Shirayuki-san and Kuzuhara-kun, do you have any experience with the Yamanote Line Game?”
“I know the rules, but I’ve never actually played it.”
“Same with me.”
“Well, let’s do it then! If we play together, we’ll have a blast! You can’t just play games without this one in the mix. It’s a super classic party game, so please, pretty please, let’s do it!”
She’s pushier than ever… How much does she like this game, huh?
“Well, since we have the opportunity, why don’t we give it a shot?”
“Yes, let’s do it.”
“Yaay! (This is dangerous… Last night I almost didn’t sleep because I memorized all the winning themes, though I almost forgot it all. Kuzuhara-kun, are you ready for this, huh? I’m going to humiliate you in this battle and become the vice-president right here and now!)”
We arranged the room in a circle and got ready for a match of the game.
“Let’s go clockwise, starting with me, then Kuzuhara-kun, and then Shirayuki-san. The first topic is place names beginning with ‘N’! — N’Djamena!” She clapped twice.
“Nxai Pan National Park,” Two claps.
“Ngorongoro Conservation Area,” And we’ve come a full circle.
“Hmm, Nzwani Island,” Shirayuki disrupted the rhythm.
Shirayuki and I answered with the correct tempo.
“Nn… N– Um, N!?” Sakura made a strange noise, and she couldn’t think of a word.
“Yeah, you’re out.” Shirayuki and I said at the same time, and the game ended.
“That was quick…”
“Yeah, quicker than I expected.”
“W-What a second! Are you two using some random words to cover up for your mistakes, by any chance? It has to be that!” Sakura suspected some kind of cheating out of us two, but…
“No chance. Just look up the names on your phone to check.”
“They were all real names.”
“G-Guh! O-One more, let’s go for the next round!”
We then kept playing the game with various themes, such as the “National Roads that pass through the Shikoku Region”, “World Heritage Sites in the Southern Hemisphere”, and “Names of Elements”.
“Eh, ah… Eh?”
In the end, only Sakura lost any rounds.
“Y-You… You devilish genius couple!”
With her odd cursing, the party had come to an end.
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