Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
After preparing drinks and snacks, the three of us took a breather.
While thinking about how relaxing it was in our own room, I looked at Kikyou-chan. She then looked at me with the same fidgety look she had when she was outside.
“What do you think of me recently?”
“Even if you ask, I could only say you are as cute as usual.”
“…I’m really happy to hear that. But that’s not what I’m asking. I’m just worried my approach toward Haruto-kun outside feels unnatural. I have never acted like that before after all.”
“Not only is it not unnatural, it looks way too natural that it causes pain in my stomach.”
Just as they planned, rumors that the two of them were fighting over me quickly spread. This kind of love affair was something that high school students love, so it was only natural.
Thanks to that, even if the three of us walked together outside, people would only see it as “Ah, they’re at it again.” I felt like my reputation plummeted, but I have given up on that.
“That’s good then.”
Kikyou-chan put her mouth to her cup with a relieved look on her face.
I was wondering about something for a while, so I thought to ask her with this opportunity.
“I just want to ask, but how is Kei-chan in the class?”
I was interested in Kikyou-chan’s evaluation of her as a third party.
My evaluation and Kiyotaka’s wouldn’t do. There was something that could only be seen exactly because of a shallow relationship.
“…Personally, I often feel annoyed at how she suddenly stood up to lead others. But from the perspective of Class C students, I’m sure she is a necessary existence. I don’t give a damn about rising to Class A, but I guess those who do appreciate her existence?”
“I see, as expected of Kikyou-chan.”
She told me the answer to what I wanted to know the most.
Since people already considered Kei-chan as someone necessary in order to win, it meant her status as leader was stable unless something extreme happened. Unfortunately, it meant the future where Horikita rose to lead others had disappeared.
Even so, Kikyou-chan was really observant. Since she gave both her personal opinion and her opinion as part of the group, it was really helpful for me.
Even her opinion of Kei-chan as annoying was valuable. I was sure she wasn’t the only one who thought so.
She was the type of person that Horikita hated the most… at least I thought so.
“It’s a bit related to what we just talked about, but here’s what I want to consult about.”
“So we finally touched on the main subject. Since you said it’s related, does it mean something about your class?”
“Yes, you see… I think Horikita is betraying the class. I’m just wondering if it’ll be better to crush her before she does.”
The content of the consultation that was revealed at this time was quite shocking.
It was a betrayal by Horikita. I couldn’t believe what I heard for a moment.
“Seriously. Recently, she seems to be taking weird notes whenever participating in events is being discussed. She is also somewhat absent-minded during class, so she looks very suspicious. I think it won’t be weird for her to leak the participation list to another class.”
I was so surprised that I looked up at the ceiling. I see, so she went and did such a thing.
So Horikita was trying to personally cause “something extreme” that would make Kei-chan lose her status as the class leader.
The part that made it different from a simple betrayal was how Horikita seemed to believe that her action was for the sake of the class. I was sure her goal to aim for Class A didn’t change even now.
“It’s mostly as I expected. Most likely, she got tempted by Ryuuen-kun.”
Arisu-chan showed a completely different reaction than I did.
I couldn’t say for sure, but I could feel conviction from her tone.
“Yes. If Horikita-san is in her normal state, she wouldn’t fall for such a scheme. However, she is cornered at the moment. For example, what would she do if Ryuuen-kun said ‘Pull Karuizawa down from her leader status. Then once you take over the position of the leader, I’ll cooperate with you during the exams’? I think that would be enough to make her believe it.”
I see, I guess she was right.
Ryuuen’s ability to observe people was quite amazing. It was quite skillful of him to find a “weakness” like the current Horikita. In addition, he had both the knowledge and experience to make use of it. He was also good with his words, so it should be simple for him to incite a cornered person to betray.
In particular, not only did Horikita have a spark in the form of her complex toward her elder brother, but she was also impatient by the fact that Kei-chan had solidified her position as a leader. With all the conditions lined up, perhaps her betraying them was just something natural.
“What should I do about it?”
“Fufu, let’s see. I’ll leave the decision to Kikyou-san. There’s no problem whether you expose her actions or pretend not to know. What would you do?”
Arisu-chan answered immediately.
She actually entrusted everything to Kikyou-chan. I realized that Arisu-chan did nothing about it until now for this reason. It was a pretty bold move.
Kikyou-chan was given a difficult task. She put her hand on her cheek and thought hard.
The fact she was at a loss between the two choices showed the change in her way of thinking.
Considering the topic, it was natural that Kikyou-chan took a long time to think.
But after a short silence, Kikyou-chan looked up.
“I’ve decided. I’ll pretend not to know about it.”
She turned her eyes straight to Arisu-chan and answered.
“I understand. May I ask why?”
“…Even if I expose it, there’s no other benefit than crushing Horikita. Not only that, if Ryuuen keeps his eyes on me as a result, it might cause Haruto-kun, who is connected to me, to get attacked by him.”
If it was Kikyou-chan in the past, she would gladly expose it since it would allow her to crush Horikita.
But that wasn’t the case now. She answered after calmly considering the harmful effects that would be caused by her action.
She thought rationally instead of emotionally. I think there weren’t many people who were capable of that. This girl was stronger than I imagined, which raised my already high evaluation of her.
“Expelling Horikita-san is no longer your primary goal. Is that what you mean?”
“Yes. I also thought about it back on the ship, but I no longer care about the current Horikita. Even if she reveals the things from back in middle school and it turns out badly… both of you will remain my allies. That’s plenty for me.”
Of course, we would always be her allies.
I had that thought even stronger than before, but I realized something when she clearly conveyed it with words.
To think she actually believed us that much… For me, I was happy beyond words.
“I understand. However, know that I didn’t forget the promise I made you that night. If you ever thought of Horikita-san as someone uncomfortable for you and wish to have her expelled, I will cooperate as much as possible.”
“Thank you, Arisu-chan. But I’m fine with it already. Rather than wasting time expelling Horikita, I want to spend that time with both of you. My happiness is right here after all.”
Her words contained her strong will. She was already free from her past.
Recently, the frequency of her ranting had decreased considerably. The time when she rampaged into the room and took a sullen attitude had almost disappeared.
Her dark side had almost finished its role. As she felt happiness during the time she spent with us, the stress she needed to vent was almost gone.
Her desire to continue staying with us kept growing. I should never lose a gentle girl like her. I was strongly aware that she was someone I should protect.
“…Meeting Kikyou-san was my greatest fortune since entering this school.”
Arisu-chan relaxed her shoulders and smiled gently.
I also thought the exact same thing.
“Me too, I don’t know what I would become if I never met Arisu-chan… truly, thank you.”
She sat back down and looked shyly at Arisu-chan and me.
The words that came out after were probably the thing that Kikyou-chan wanted to convey the most today.
“I love both of you so much!”
She spoke clearly and in a cheerful voice.
Her slightly embarrassed expression was too cute and made both of us blush.
The room suddenly became quiet because we were fascinated by it for a while.
Perhaps she enjoyed our reaction as she eventually started to laugh out loud.
To hide her embarrassment, Arisu-chan pulled Kikyou-chan’s cheek. It was the opposite of the usual.
“S-t-o-p! Wait, Arisu-chan, it hurts!”
“I won’t stop. This is your punishment.”
The appearance of a normal, cute high school girl was right there.
While thinking of how happy I was, I stared at the two playing around.
Class victory wasn’t included as part of the benefit.
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