Episode 16: Library Committee
“It’s here! The time has finally come!”
“It does feel unexpectedly long.”
“………after such a long time…….., we are greeted by this moment……..”
Honoka, Saki, and Yuzuriha were raising the tension. What will be happening after this is…….
“Open the door.”
“Be quiet in the library.”
“Ah, my bad.”
Honoka pressed her hand over her mouth after I reminded her where we were. She strangely tiptoed into the room――there’s no need to go that far.
School has just ended. It was now time for our long-awaited study session.
It’s actually only been a single day, but it feels like so much has happened in the last 24 hours that I almost forgot about it. The four of us technically became friends with each other for the sake of this event, so a lot of what we’ve done until now could probably be considered us putting the cart before the horse.
Honoka led the way, sneaking her way into the library with us following a short distance behind. However as she passed by the front counter, she glanced to her side and suddenly started shouting.
“Ah! The ice queen!”
“……..I have no idea what you’re talking about, but be quiet in the library.”
Suzushiro was here, and Honoka cautiously backed away.
“That’s not it. What are you doing here?”
“I’m a member of the library committee. Is that bad?”
What’s so wrong about it? I feel like this is just going to start a fight……..
“Hoh, why is it bad? Could you explain what’s so wrong about it?”
“There it is! Everyone’s going to be scared if you look at them like that from behind the library counter!”
“Is it so troublesome having me here?”
Suzushiro turned towards the rest of us, clearly troubled. While Yuzuriha shook her head, Honoka glared at Suzushiro and growled at her.
“Sorry, Suzushiro. This child is a bit of an idiot.”
“Mm, who’s an idiot? Rawr~!”
“Who do you think I’m talking about? Quiet down.”
I managed to calm Honoka down, but her bitter expression and overly cautious attitude didn’t seem like they were going anywhere. I guess I should take her away for now.
“I’m sorry for the trouble we’ve caused you. Keep up the good work.”
Suzushiro nodded her head once as I waved my hand. Hmm, doesn’t it feel like she’s still surprisingly hostile?
“I really can’t get along with her after all.”
We made our way for a blind spot in the library where Suzushiro couldn’t see us. Honoka spoke up again on our way to the far back of the library. With that being said Honoka, weren’t you the one to pick a fight with her this time? It might be that their personalities just don’t mesh, but I would say it’s still too early to say that for certain.
“You don’t have to force yourself. I just thought I could personally get along with her.”
Once we arrived at a table in the far back, I motioned my hand for Yuzuriha to take a seat. In order for our study session to have the best results, I thought I would have Honoka sit next to me, Yuzuriha sit across from me, and have Saki sit next to her.
However our princess didn’t take a seat, instead looking me over seemingly unconvinced of something.
“Why do you want to get along with her so much?”
“Yuri. Why are you so particular about that girl?”
Hold on Saki, you’re scaring me. The way you repeated your question like that was scary. And the smile you’re giving me is even scarier. But it’s cute too. Ehehe
So this is what it feels like to be a boyfriend whose girlfriend is suspecting him of cheating. I just thought we’d get along! I have absolutely no ulterior motives! I just want to talk to her and persuade her to………nevermind!
But I already explained this during lunch. She’ll end up all alone in class like this––is my official stance. And yet I am being doubted. Hmm……..
“She seems like a unique girl, so I’m curious about her.”
Saki’s giving me a strange look after what I said. Uh oh, did I maybe make a mistake?
“Ooh, are you gay for her?”
I must’ve because now Honoka is fanning the flames.
“It’s different. But given the option, wouldn’t you want a unique girl for a friend rather than someone ordinary?”
Well, I can’t deny that I’m a lesbian, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now……..so I didn’t lie.
Saki narrowed her eyes and gave me a suspicious smile. She is most certainly a ‘unique girl’ in her own right to me, so maybe she picked up on that?
“Well, let’s put that aside. We should hurry up and get this study session started.”
I changed the subject over to our study session and ran away. How is it that all of this started because of a study session, yet studying is the furthest thing from our minds?
Honoka busily filled in the blanks……she’s really into this. After teaching her how to solve this sort of problem, she immediately uses what I taught her to try and work through the applicable problems. Saki is also helping with the girls’ English grammar whenever they get stuck on something.
Both Yuzuriha and Honoka are surprisingly focused. It’s probably because of how good Saki is at teaching them.
Well, it’s about that time.
“I’m heading to the bathroom for a minute.”
Honoka, Saki, and Yuzuriha saw me off as I stood up……. But hey, Saki? You kind of sound like a wife talking like that? For that matter, doesn’t this whole scene feel like a couple parents looking over their children’s homework…….? Is this perhaps foreshadowing our future together……? Woohoo!
I did get up to wash my hands, but heading to the bathroom was largely an excuse. When I returned to the library, instead of heading straight back to where our table was, I made a quick stop in front of the target behind the counter.
She is supposed to be a member of the library committee, but she was sitting back, reading a book while giving off an aura that screamed, “Don’t come near me.”
“What, you again? Did you need something?”
I promptly ignored the warnings and interrupted Suzushiro’s reading.
“It feels a bit stiff having me call you Suzushiro don’t you think? So Ranko, what are you reading?”
Suddenly I’m calling her by her first name. Her eyes opened wide, and she stared at me for a minute…..is it a success?
“You’re being too familiar.”
It’s a failure. I’m still lacking in experience. I should have come up with a better ice breaker and worked my way up to this point…….
“Well, I was just wondering if it’s okay to read a book when you’re on committee duties.”
I won’t get discouraged. Let’s loop the conversation back and try starting again.
“Mm, I have a lot of free time. They let me do what I want.”
I returned with a drawn out, “Heh~”. This is a good position for an avid bookworm.
“That is a thick paperback though. What are you reading?”
“I’m not sure you’ll know it,” she said while showing me the cover the book she apparently had picked up by chance.
“Oh, I’ve read that before. It’s a bit difficult of a read isn’t it?”
“That…….it is. Which is why this is my second time reading it.”
“Then it’s okay for us to talk about the ending.”
“Well……..I don’t mind.”
“That is certainly true.”
“Right? I want to read it again to think about it some more, but the book is so difficult it makes me hesitate.”
It was just for a little bit, but the two of us summarized our feelings over the book――and it turned into an exciting conversation.
“I wonder what it really was in the end. I’m a little hazy on the details.”
I secretly glanced over towards Ranko while voicing my thoughts aloud. Now, will she take the bait?
“In that case…….”
She took a breath and thought about it for a second.
“Once I’ve finished rereading it…….perhaps I could give you my impressions?”
And jackpot. I now have a reason to talk to her again later.
“Ah~, that sounds good. I’ll be waiting.”
I answered back with a little extra energy compared to before. It was then,
Perhaps having overheard our voices, Honoka called for me from the back of the library, and a second later I heard Saki reminding her we were in a library.
“Then I’ll be heading back. Good luck with your library committee duties Ranko.”
I stole a glance back towards her, and she looked a bit lonely. She was also waving her hand at me a little bit.
Who knew she could make such a cute face.
Properly imprinting her cute face into my mind, I returned to the three girls waiting to study with me.
1. Yuri kept calling Honoka and ‘Aho’ which if you’ve seen Aho Girl, means idiot or stupid. Here, she calls Honoka ‘Ahonoka’ combining the two words. Combining Honoka and clod was the best wordplay I could think of. If anyone has any better ideas, I am open to suggestions.