[Last Discussion: Part 3]
“So, Prez, it looks like you are really curious about how we met.”
I turned and glanced toward the president. For some reason, she sat in her seat, with her back rigid and with a nervous look.
“My meeting with Prez was in the school corridors.”
“The corridors? You don’t mean we just passed by each other, do you?”
“That’s not it. We even had a proper conversation.”
“Eeh? …… I can’t remember a thing.”
“I thought so. Because Prez, at that time, you couldn’t see my face.”
“…? We met in the corridor, even had a conversation, yet I couldn’t see your face?”
The president tilted her head. When I looked, the other members who didn’t know about the meeting between the president and me leaned in to listen to my story with great interest……Yeah, looks like the atmosphere went back to normal. That’s a good sign.
I took a sip of tea and began to explain in detail from the beginning.
“In the first place, at that time, you see the circumstances during middle school had happened, and I had lost my temper a bit…… though I say that, it’s not like I had done anything violent. I exuded a lone wolf aura, or maybe a ‘don’t come near me,’ aura.”
“Thinking back about the previous topic… that didn’t really tell me anything, did it?”
“Asuka left for her hometown, my sister was restricted from seeing any visitors, and I too was pretty much in breakdown. (1) When I had lost both things precious to me at once, I, as a human, quickly fell into despair.
“So, I was living a completely ruined life, but…… at that time, that’s when I met you. That’s right……”
“Oh, so my appearance!”
“The book monster.”
“You, Prez. Because this is the story of how you and I met.”
“I’m not a ‘book monster’!”
The president denied it with all her might. However…… she definitely was the book monster.
“To be specific, I met a tiny senpai holding a lot of books that hid her upper half. After school, at the end of the corridor, something like that walked over. Of course, I was startled and thought it was a book monster.”
“Ooh…… now that you mention it, last year, it seemed like I often had to do those sorts of odd jobs as the vice president……”
“So, even though I had completely lost interest in people and had gone rogue, even I couldn’t overlook this. I involuntarily called out, ‘A, are you alright?’ and that’s how we met.”
“Th, that’s how it happened…… huh? But, in that case, why can’t I remember it?”
“In the end, even though I helped out and took half the books, since Prez was really small and due to her stack of books, it seemed like she couldn’t see my face at all. Also, after we finished carrying the books, I left immediately. In the end, you didn’t get to see my face.”
She seemed to be hurt at my pointing out that she was small. The president moaned and held her chest.
I leaned back in my chair, and with a sigh of exasperation, I looked back on those days.
“At any rate Prez, if you were in the middle of carrying materials from the third floor library to the student council room on the same floor, why were you wandering around the first floor?”
“Normally your stride is so small. And due to being careful where you walked, you only managed to get to the stairs, and that took you ten minutes.”
“Because of that, when I saw you and couldn’t help but call out, ‘Should I carry it all for you?’ you said something stubborn like, ‘D, don’t underestimate the vice president!’ Thanks to that, a ton of my own time was also wasted.”
“When we climbed the stairs, my arms and legs were all shaky and hurt.”
“Ah, last year I……”
The president dejectedly hung her head…… That’s not it Prez. The Prez now hasn’t evolved much from that time.
Since teasing her any more would be pitiful, I continued the story.
“So then, unexpectedly, I ended up accompanying her for a long time. Even though I was upset, I unintentionally loosened up and ended up telling Prez various things. I wasn’t too casual though, just grumbled some things like…… how I two-timed and hurt two girls, and what I should do. And then Prez……”
The president tilted her head…… Like I thought, she didn’t remember. Haah…
“Prez, you said this: ‘Go play love simulation games! You don’t act enough like a protagonist!’”
Not just the president, but everyone in the student council looked utterly shocked. (2)
The president hastily objected with, “Th, there’s no way I’d say that!” but it didn’t matter because it was the truth.
“Prez, it seemed like right at that time, you played a love simulation game, and afterwards was deeply moved by it. It was recommended to you by a friend, who said he pathetically cried when he played it, but……”
It seemed that finally rang a bell…… but well, that’s since this person gets caught up in the flow….. After that, more obsessions came and she probably just forgot.
“Of course, I was hooked. Back then, I wasn’t interested in that type of game at all, so I didn’t think I would hear those words from someone like Prez.”
“But, Prez had said it very seriously. She said, ‘Ah, look at the game’s protagonist! Even though he’s popular, in the end, didn’t he make everyone happy? You should use it as a reference! That much should be enough!’”
“L, last year I……”
The president grew more and more depressed…… I felt bad about it, but I followed it up anyway.
“That wild idea unexpectedly stuck deeply in my mind. From then on I’ve immersed myself into galge and eroge.” (3)
“It was my fault the whole time!”
The president was unbearably shocked to learn that she was the reason for my current character. She looked down, as if the world had ended. Chizuru-san and the Shiina sisters also gave awkward, sarcastic laughs.
In that situation, I also laughed sarcastically…… But I decided I would tie everything together with a single sentence.
“But…… but due to that, I was saved. Thank you so much, Prez.”
“In those days, I really didn’t do anything. But…… Prez gave me guidance.”
“…… It was galge though.”
It seems like the president became depressed again. I smiled bitterly.
“You did say that, but the me from back then was shaken up pretty well. The…… development of a harem especially was a culture shock. I thought, ‘Ah, this sort of thing happens too.’ I thought, ‘It’s absurd, but a future where everyone is smiling can actually exist.’”
“In particular, for one reason or another, the galge’s protagonists had a lot of situations that were similar to my own. There was a step-sister and a childhood friend. It became a love triangle. Things got slightly troublesome.”
“However…… it was frustrating. But with the protagonists, eight or nine times out of ten they would just grasp happiness in the end. Really…… how many times did I cry? ‘Ah, why couldn’t I be like that?’ I thought. ‘Why can’t I…… properly make those two happy? I’m so pathetic,’ I thought. That’s why I made my decision. I…… would become a protagonist. I would join the ranks of those who could make many girls happy with a composed face.”
I instinctively clenched my fist. However…… I saw everyone staring me down, and went back to my usual self with a laugh.
“I’m not the me from a year ago anymore. I met Prez in the spring and got a chance. I was given life by Minatsu in the summer, I was healed by Chizuru-san in autumn, and I was encouraged by Mafuyu in the winter. (4) I put all my effort to my job, studies, and galge. I continued to improve myself that way for a year…… I wasn’t the old me anymore. When I came to this student council, I was able to say it with confidence.”
I took a brief pause. Once again, I told them those words.
“I love you all. I love you all very much. All of you, go out with me. Because I will absolutely make you happy.”
I looked around at everyone’s faces.
The president crossed her arms and said, “Good grief,” with a soft smile.
Chizuru-san seemed to wholeheartedly enjoy it as she mischievously laughed and narrowed her eyes.
Minatsu laughed sarcastically and said, “Even though I feel like your idea of an ideal guy is totally off.”
Mafayu said, “In a way, senpai is really sincere…… maybe?” with a laugh.
Seeing how everyone was, I was convinced again.
Ah, I really do love this student council.
Since it sounds weaker to say it aloud, I whispered in my heart.
(To me, everyone is also…… already as precious to me as my family.)
…… I wonder why today felt strangely embarrassing.
(1) The word used was “kekkou,” which can be really hard to translate. Generally it means something like “satisfactory,” “pretty good,” or “sufficient.” In this case, Sugisaki says something along the lines of he’s in a state of “I’ve had enough.”
(2) Sugisaki used a very different phrase. He said “Everyone’s eyes became dots.” In short, everyone probably had had this kind of face -> ._.
(3) Galge is short for “Gal games,” also known as Bishoujo games (pretty girl games). Eroge is short for “erotic game.” The content of each should be pretty clear.
(4) Each of the girls’ names happens to relate to the season they met Sugisaki. Sakurano Kurimu has the kanji for “sakura” (cherry blossoms) which bloom in the spring. Minatsu has the kanji for “natsu” (summer). Akaba Chizuru has the kanji for “akaba” (red leaves) that fall in autumn. Mafuyu has the kanji for “fuyu” (winter).