[4th Discussion: Part 2]
The next day during our break time, I was walking down the hall when I happened to meet the Newspaper Club president just as she was diligently posting another newspaper onto the bulletin board.
I called out to this very conspicuous blond. On a random note, she was half-Japanese.
“Hey, Lilicia. It’s pretty rare to see you personally putting up those things.”
“Hm? Ahh, if it isn’t Sugisaki Ken. How do you do? I’m much obliged to you for yesterday’s article.”
The Newspaper Club president Toudou Lilicia gave me a confident, elegant smile… she honestly doesn’t think she did anything wrong… geez.
In terms of nationality, Toudou Lilicia was Japanese through and through. In fact, she hadn’t even ever left Japan, and she was as Japanese as they came. Her worst subject was English.
She was pretty enough that it wouldn’t be strange at all if she made it into the student council, but there were many problems with her personality, so it’s not surprising that nobody voted for her. That was the kind of girl she was.
I waited for her to finish posting up the newspaper and then called out to her.
“So, you’re already switching out the one that was up there yesterday?”
“Yeah. Because I found something a lot more interesting than that stupid, pointless stuff that was on here yesterday.”
My past was just called stupid and pointless… that was cruel.
When I looked at the newspaper on the wall, I saw the headline: Ghost in the Infirmary?! A Nurse Ghost Spotted Wanting to Treat Patients!… was this Tokyo Sports or something? (1)
“And my past lost to a headline like that…”
“What do you think? Isn’t it interesting? To someone like Toudou Lilicia, it’s a piece of cake to put something like this together in a night! Oh hoh hoh hoh!”
“Eh? You made this in a night?”
I looked back at the newspaper on the wall. I was used to seeing her put up newspapers that really exceeded the quality you would expect from students, but I never thought that she would be able to pull this off in a single night.
Toudou Lilicia responded right away.
“Yes, that’s right. Freshness is the lifeblood of these stories. If I couldn’t report something that happened yesterday by today, then it would have already gotten around by word of mouth. And then, there wouldn’t be any point anymore. After all, it’s only after this Toudou Lilicia reports these stories in the most interesting way that they can be laid to rest.”
“… Hmm… but the Newspaper Club sure has been working hard. They just finished writing that story on me, but then you had to call them all together for an emergency meeting, right? It’s pretty rare to be able to so easily get people to me-“
“No, we didn’t meet at all.”
“I already said it, right? Freshness is the lifeblood of these stories. This event occurred yesterday after school. And when I heard about it, pretty much everyone else had already left for home. It would have been annoying to try to assemble everyone again, so I did an all-nighter alone to get it done.”
Having been told that, I realized that even though most of it was hidden behind her makeup, I could lightly make out bags under her eyes… this person was just…
I looked back and forth between her and the newspaper on the wall, and asked another question.
“Why does Lilicia-san have to go that far? Isn’t this just a bit overboard for a lady’s hobby…?”
“My my. What’s so wrong about devoting yourself to your hobbies?”
“Having fun is not a prerequisite for life. Aren’t your attempts to make a harem like that too? Even if you didn’t do that, you would be able to live. However, humans are creatures that can never be satisfied with just living. At least, as long as they aren’t driven into an extreme situation.
“Let me tell you something, Sugisaki Ken. I hate getting attention just because my appearance and my name are different from those of most people. However, I can’t do anything about that. I can only bite the bullet and accept it.
“However, if that’s the case… I wanted to at least get revenge. I wanted people to feel the pain of those who are in the spotlight. The first article I wrote exposed a scandal involving someone who had badmouthed me in the past, and he was suspended from school. It gave me a huge sense of pleasure.”
That had begun as a good story, but it really was just the worst.
“That was the motive behind my starting to do this, but I soon found other joys in this business, and that is why I am still making newspapers. Certainly, if you think about it objectively, this isn’t something that I should be pulling all nighters to do. However… the people I write about in my articles are the same… humans are strange, and therefore they are interesting. Being hard to understand is a key part of being human.”
I really couldn’t fully understand what Lilicia-san was trying to say. However, I also couldn’t help but think, “Ah, so that’s how it is…” Lilicia-san was difficult to understand, and it may have been precisely that which made her an interesting human being. After all, even if it was in a bad way, people like her became the center of attention, came up in conversations, and then occasionally brought smiles to people’s faces.
It was a peculiarity that really wasn’t necessary to survive, and it was a pretty bothersome personality trait as well.
But even so…
“Oh no, look at the time. Well then, Sugisaki Ken. Farewell. I’ll be doing a follow-up investigation on you, so I hope you will be accommodating when that time comes!”
“Ah… h, hey! Wait a second!”
Lilicia ignored my attempts to stop her and briskly walked away. Geez…
I looked at the newspaper posted on the wall… it was the type of ghost story that the president would hate.
In normal circumstances, as a member of the student council, I should probably tear this thing down quickly so those ghost stories don’t spread around the school again.
“Toudou Lilicia is a pretty girl, so I’ll allow it.”
I announced that, and then walked away from the bulletin board.
That was the kind of person Sugisaki Ken was.
(1) A newspaper that is somewhat notorious for being a bit loose with the facts. They’re famous for reporting things like kappa sightings.