Hint: To Play after pausing the player, use this button

Part 4 
The weekend came and went, and just like that, it was Sunday, March 14th. White Day had arrived. 
To be honest, I was grateful it had come on a Sunday. 
There were several gifts prepared on my desk. 
If today had been a weekday, I’d have had a hard time figuring out when to hand them over. 
Should it be in the morning, before class? Or should I wait until after school? 
There would be a lot of other things to think about too. What order would I hand them out in? How would I handle the gifts for people in other classes? 
More than anything, it wouldn’t be good for my reputation if people around me saw what I was doing. 
I knew that if it came down to it, it would be best to hand them over without worrying about how other people saw me, but that would be impossible. 
However, with today being a day off, I could just put them in their respective mailboxes. 
In order to make sure I didn’t run into anyone, I left my room early in the morning and made my way to the dormitory mailboxes. 
“Let’s see…” 
I placed a gift in the mailboxes of each student who had given me Valentine’s Day chocolates. 
I was about to head back to my room after finishing with the last gift when I came across Ichinose. 
She reacted as if she had seen something she shouldn’t have. 
“G-good morning, Ayanok?ji-kun.” 
“Ah… Yeah, good morning.” 
Even though it was still before seven, I had come across a pretty unexpected encounter. 
And just like in our last meeting, Ichinose still seemed to avoid making eye contact with me. 
“I happened to wake up a bit early today, so I just got back from a morning walk.” 
It seemed like she was looking at me as she spoke, but she was really staring at something just behind me. 
She was probably looking to check her mail before heading back to her room. 
“Oh… uhm, pardon me.” 
I moved out of the way so she could check her mailbox, and she thanked me with a slight nod. Of course, once she looked inside… the gift I had given her was naturally the first thing to come out. 
“I’m sure you already know, but that’s, you know, my return gift for Valentine’s.” 
Holding the box in her hands, Ichinose stood unmoving, as if she had frozen over for a moment. 
“A gift like this… You, like, you didn’t have to…” 
Ichinose responded, having only just come to her senses. 
“No, it’s only right.” 
“…T-thank you. Uhm, I’m sorry. I’m not used to this kind of thing, so I’m kinda nervous.” 
I felt the same way. I hadn’t wanted to run into anyone in this situation, so I was pretty uncertain myself. 
Since things were getting a bit awkward, I opted to change the subject. 
“…Come to think of it, has anything new happened with that problem we talked about last Thursday?” 
“Ah, eh, that, you’re still worried about that?” 
“A little.” 
Ichinose seemed to have an easier time talking with the subject changed, as the awkward atmosphere quickly subsided. 
“I went and questioned everyone immediately after we parted ways, but the only victims were the three people Shibata-kun had told us about. But…” 
“On Friday, it was like the number of victims tripled all of a sudden. Yesterday I got reports saying that three more boys and three more girls were being followed around or harassed just like the others.” 
In other words, a total of nine people had been affected by Class D’s harassment. However, in the first three days after the exam started, they had only focused on three. But on Friday, all of a sudden, that number had increased by six. 
“Do you have any idea which students have been doing the stalking?” 
Ichinose nodded and began to list off their names. 
“As far as I know, there was Ishizaki-kun, Komiya-kun, Yamada-kun, Kond?-kun, Ibuki-san, and Kishita-san.” 
Six people in total. 

They were all people who were willing to get their hands dirty, at least to a certain extent. 
They didn’t seem to have any intention of hiding their identities, given that she had managed to identify each of them already. 
“I wonder if the six of them plan on following whoever they end up crossing paths with?” 
It was a natural question to ask since most of Class D was made up of average, ordinary students. 
“I’ll be investigating further on Monday.” 
“What are you going to do if the problem is bigger than you thought?” 
There was a possibility that even Ichinose and Kanzaki would be affected at some point. 
“Hmm. Well, I’m not sure there’s anything we can do, you know? It’s not like they’ve been violent or anything… so we’ve decided to just put up with it until they cause some real damage. We’ll just do our best to provide the victims with emotional support.” 
From the looks of it, they were ready to take action at a moment’s notice, but only if Class D actually got physical. 
“I see.” 
Class D was behaving strangely. 
I couldn’t help but wonder if they were really going to go after every student in Class B. 
With only six people doing the harassment, they weren’t exactly exerting very much pressure. 
Even if they continue to do this over and over again, it wouldn’t amount to anything more than just simple harassment. 
It was possible that Ishizaki didn’t think that far ahead when he thought of the strategy. 
Or perhaps they’d be satisfied as long as they could do a bit of psychological damage? 
“Am I doing something wrong?” 
Having noticed that I was lost in thought, Ichinose looked up at me with a slightly uneasy expression. 
“No… What you’re doing now should be fine. In fact, Class D wouldn’t get punished even if you made a complaint to the school. Plus, if you went and complained to them directly you’d be doing exactly what they want you to do.” 
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” 
However, it was important for her to make sure that Class D’s objective really was what she thought it was. That being said, it doesn’t look like Ichinose was interested in taking action, so it’d be unnecessary for me to say this to her. 
With her policy that primarily focuses on non-aggressive defense, it’d be out of line for me to say anything more. 
“Have you decided on the ten events you’ll be submitting?” 
“Yup. We had a solid grasp of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses from pretty early on. We finalized everything yesterday after mixing in some events that we think Class D might not be good at. How about you, Ayanok?ji-kun?” 
“I haven’t been involved in any of it this time. I’m leaving everything to Horikita.” 
“But what are you going to do about your duties as the commander?” 
“I’ve left that to her as well.” 
Ichinose showed a look of surprise. She didn’t seem to think I’d take the role so casually. 
“It sounds like you’ve got a lot of faith in Horikita-san. Or… Maybe you’re saying you think you can handle everything, no matter what events or rules she ends up choosing?” 
“It’s definitely the former. Unlike you, I’m only close to a few of my classmates, so I honestly don’t know anything about them. I only became the commander to prevent anyone from being expelled.” 
“But then, why did you want to go up against Class A?” 
“That was also Horikita’s idea. Maybe she thought it would give us the best chances of winning or something.” 
“I see.” 
Ichinose didn’t investigate any further. 
Having reached the end of the conversation, the two of us stood waiting for the elevator. 
“Ah… I totally didn’t prepare for this…” 
Ichinose spoke as if she had just remembered something. I looked at her as she stood beside me, continuously twirling a strand of her hair with her index finger. 
“N-no, it’s nothing you need to worry about.” 
Not long afterward, the two of us boarded the elevator, which promptly arrived on the fourth floor, where my room was located. 
“See you later, then.” 
As I stepped out of the elevator, I turned around and locked eyes with Ichinose for a brief moment, catching her off guard. 
“W-wha-!! Uh, I, uh… S-see you!” 
In a sudden panic, Ichinose began to mash the close button several times over, and after a moment, she disappeared from view as the elevator doors closed between us. While it was a strange way to part ways with someone, it was nice that I had managed to make it through this troublesome White Day ordeal. 
“Come to think of it, she didn’t smell like citrus today.” 
Although, it was early in the morning on the weekend, so there was no particular reason for her to go out while wearing perfume.


No Comments Yet

Post a new comment

Register or Login