Part 2 And just like that, we moved to a cafe to listen to Sato-san’s troubles. We also then took preparations to allow her to express her worries freely. This preparation between us girls was necessary to allow the other party to think it over. Unlike boys, who rush directly to the solution, we girls start by seeking affirmation. This wasn’t a bad way to approach situations. “Actually… I…. I’ve already confessed to Ayanokouji-kun…” After hearing this, I, along with Shinohara-san, almost spit out the tea we were drinking. “Eh? Eh?! Re, really? Since when?!” Shinohara-san, who thought she was ahead in terms of relationships with ]boys, couldn’t help asking. Although I already assumed something had happened between them, I never thought that they would have made so much progress. But on the other hand, the outcome of that was clear. If the two of them were dating, she would’ve definitely told us. Even if she was too shy to tell us, I would’ve definitely noticed. Since that was not the case, that meant… “I was rejected.” From the looks of it, it had been some time since she was rejected. I couldn’t sense any signs of anxiety, or any wavering in her words. That should be the result of crying many times, as right now, she looked like she wanted to just move on. If that was the case——she probably confessed during the winter break. However, this could have been because we pushed her to confess prematurely. If that was the case, we truly have let her down. “Seriously! Ayanokouji-kun, is he stupid!?” A confession from a girl, especially from a girl as impeccably good looking as Sato-san. Shinohara-san seemed to be shocked and furious by the fact Sato-san had been rejected. “Why? Why were you rejected?” “… It was simply a problem with his emotions. He said he didn’t like me, and couldn’t date me. Shinohara-san placed a hand on her forehead, incredulous. “Is that because he has someone he already likes? Maybe its someone like Horikita-san.” When I tried to confirm this with Sato-san, she shook her head. Whenever Ayanokouji-kun was mentioned, Horikita-san’s shadow was always lurking. But recently, his existence had become more and more prevalent in the class. There were rumours that Ayanokouji-kun and Horikita-san were keeping close contact. Those kinds of rumours had been circulating for a while now. However, because there was no evidence, people eventually stopped talking about it. “He said the same applies to Horikita-san and Kushida-san.” Unsurprisingly, the two of them did not seem to be that close. “Nonononono, wha-?” Ignoring Horikita-san’s name, Shinohara-san was shocked to hear that Kushida-san was mentioned. “So we can confirm that, he’s a blockhead with no interest in love at all… This creeps me out…” I could understand how she came to that conclusion. However, Sato-san did not seem to agree. “If he isn’t attracted by cute girls… then that means he already has someone he likes, right?” I said this while looking directly at Sato-san, but she averted her gaze and nodded. Towards the person you liked, you paid attention to them more than anyone else. The person who best perceived Ayanokouji-kun should be Sato-san. “I’m guessing that Ayanokouji-kun… likes Karuizawa-san.” Sato-san said this while looking away. “You’re joking, what? Is this true? Hu-huh? Seriously? Karuizawa-san?!” Shinohara-san and I exchanged glances once again. If someone unsuspecting heard about this, they would definitely think that this would be an extremely unexpected pair. I pretended to be shocked. However, deep down, I had already accepted that as a fact. This was because my guess was entirely identical to Sato-san’s. “Yes. In fact… Karuizawa-san probably likes Ayanokouji-kun too… That’s what I think.” “Could it be that Karuizawa-san’s breakup with Hirata-kun is related to all this?” Regarding my question, Sato-san, who wasn’t entirely sure herself, nodded. This meant that she personally thought so too. “From dating Hirata-kun to Ayanokouji-kun? This-, sorry, but I can’t understand it.” I don’t think this was something that Shinohara-san, who picked Ike-kun, could say. “It’s not that unexpected. I… I also think that Ayanokouji-kun is better.” “You still like him…?” “I really want to forget about this, but no matter what I do, I just can’t look away from him…” She realized this after she found herself looking at Ayanokouji-kun day after day. Although I felt a little sorry for Sato-san, her words were a good reference for me. “Speaking of which… I keep hearing Ayanokouji’s name recently.” Shinohara-san could not help but raise such a question. “Like when he became our class’s commanding tower. Ah, also when Sayakanagi-san gave him the protection point.” Sato-san, was thinking the same thing, also brought up the fact that Ayanokouji-kun was in the centre for these situations.
“I really can’t seem to understand. Why does it have to be Ayanokouji-kun? Although according to Horikita-san’s statement, it may all have been a coincidence.” I also found that to be hard to believe. However, even if I had a conversation with these two, I doubt that we could come to a conclusion. “Well, now that I think about it, it’s a really clever strategy. Just by giving him protection points, he would automatically be chosen as the sacrifice in situations similar to the end of year exam. If this was Sakayanagi-san’s intention from the beginning, then it makes sense.” I gave an explanation that made sense to an extent and changed the topic. “Ahh, so that’s the case…!” If Sakayanagi-san chose Ike-kun over Ayanokouji kun, it would definitely be much easier to win. Of course, there was the possibility that she wanted to face someone unexpected, and as a result, chose Ayanokouji-kun. Anyways, for now, it’s better to leave this matter aside. Karuizawa-san liked Ayanokouji-kun, and Ayanokouji-kun liked Karuizawa-san. Just by learning that, I could say that I had gained a lot of information today. Using this as a way to break through, I should now be able to consider ways to approach him. “I thought that Karuizawa-san’s standards for a man were the same as mine.” “So you’re saying, Ayanokouji-kun, is really strong?” “He can only run fast, right?” “But, rather than saying he is smart, don’t you feel like he knows everything?” Sato-san asked us. “Nope, I don’t feel that.” Shinohara-san immediately denied it, but I decided to side with Sato-san. “Indeed, he’s doesn’t seem like the other weird boys, he gives off a reliable impression.” Since Shinohara-san did not agree with Sato-san, I decided to take her side. “Yeah, yeah!” Sato-san, who was supposedly rejected, was still very happy when she heard Ayanokouji-kun being praised. Happy enough that her eyes were sparkling. It seemed that she still liked Ayanokouji-kun. “Isn’t that just because he doesn’t like to talk?” “Ike-kun is the complete opposite, he doesn’t stop talking.” “Right, right, even if I tell him to calm down, he still continues talking. Although Shinohara-san said she’s dissatisfied with him, it didn’t look that way. “So, I——” Just as Sato-san was about to start speaking again, my gaze caught the figure of Ayanokouji-kun. They were too absorbed into the conversation and didn’t notice. “Ah, sorry. Can I go make a call?” After asking for their permission, they both agreed cheerfully. “It might take quite long, so contact me if anything happens.” After saying this, I pretended to make a call, while walking away. Not long after, I saw Ayanokouji-kun’s figure. As they say, strike while the iron was hot. While still in Sato-san and Shinohara-san’s line of sight, I couldn’t act hurriedly, so I followed Ayanokouji while pretending to be on my phone. I felt a bit of unease about whether I would be able to follow someone while remaining unnoticed. How much space needed to be between us for it to be considered safe, or unsafe. If I was caught following him, he would definitely be alert, so I wanted to pretend that it was a coincidence. If I miss the opportunity this spring break, I probably wouldn’t see him until we start school as second-year students. If I was able to get in touch with him early, of course, I would seize that opportunity. Fortunately, there was no one around Ayanokouji-kun. Just as I was about to greet Ayanokouji-kun… I immediately hid because I saw someone approaching him. “That person seems to be… the new director!” For some reason, that person seemed to be conversing with Ayanokouji-kun. What an interesting combination. Perhaps new information could be obtained by being here. If their topic was about “strength”, being able to listen to their conversation wouldn’t be a bad result. “His conversation with the new director is taking a while…” It has already been 10 minutes. If they were just exchanging pleasantries, this would be considered too long. Could it be that Ayanokouji-kun and the director were acquaintances? They seemed to be close, but Ayanokouji-kun was expressionless as usual. “I don’t understand…” Maybe they were acquainted, but it also seemed like this was the first time they met, talking about many things. Just from their movements, there didn’t seem to be any history between them. If I were to move a little closer, I should be able to hear the contents of their conversation. But that would be quite dangerous. Although I could just pretend to be a passerby, that would leave me no way to hide myself, so it seems the best choice was just to stay here. After observing them for a while… their long conversation abruptly came to an end. From the looks of it, the director seemed to be going back to the adults at the pharmacy not too far from here. What would Ayanokouji-kun do… He began to move. As if nothing had happened, he started walking in a certain direction. I had hoped to gain some clues from his conversation with the director. But it seemed like that was in vain… I’ve already given up on my original plan to talk with Ayanokouji-kun.
I should wait until I was better prepared before doing anything. I’ll follow him for a little longer, and if I don’t find anything, then I’ll return to where Shinohara-san and Satou-san was. While catching up to Ayanokouji-kun who’d just turned the corner, I started thinking about my next move.