Despite being met with misfortune, I managed to somehow finish my shift.
Released from maid work, Ryuuga and I went around the school together as planned.
Taotie already withdrew as well. Apparently, he no longer had any business with the school festival after seeing cat-eared maid Ryuuga. In the end, she found out about the mirror and smacked him with a tray.
“What should we do, Ryuga? Where do you want to start?”
“For the time being, how about we take a look at class C next door? Oh…right, Ichirou.”
We changed back into our regular boys’ uniforms and left class B together. Ryuuga suddenly knit her brows and spoke.
“I just want to confirm something. Shima was a customer back there, right? She was Tenryouin’s friend who we met at the bowling alley.”
“Y, yeah. She just came for fun.”
“Furthermore, that begging monk we met some time ago was also with her, right?”
I planned on keeping quiet on it, but it seems she saw them…well, I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect a conspicuous couple to go unnoticed. It’s fine as long as she doesn’t realize their true forms.
“What kind of relationship do those two have? I don’t understand…”
“I, it seems that they live in the same apartment building. Perhaps they’re even dating.”
“A monk living in an apartment? Going out with a high school girl? Isn’t that bad, both religiously and ethically?”
“I’m sure he’s just cosplaying as a monk. He probably has some other kind of occupation.”
While I covered up the situation, we entered class C. I believe Yukimiya’s class is running a “matchmaking game.”
…Though, it seems that we came at a bad time. Yukimiya wasn’t there since she had the afternoon shift. Furthermore, we had to wait until we reached a certain number of people.
Currently, there were three guys who wanted to participate. However, there were no women. At this point, there’s no knowing when the event will start.
“Hey, Ryuga. Yukimiya isn’t here, so let’s just go to the next one.”
“Right. We only came here to look. We’re already a couple, aren’t we?”
With a stiff smile in response to Ryuuga’s smooth words, we were about to leave class C.
Right then, another guy entered, seemingly wanting to participate too. He was a very flashy Oumei schoolboy with bleached hair and a star-shaped earring.
The moment I saw him, I spontaneously shouted.
He was Sasaki Yousuke, a third-year student. The one who’s the secretary of the student council, enrolled in Getsushiyoukan, and once tried to hit on Mion. That Sasaki.
“Oh, Kobayashi? What, you came to the matchmaking game as well?”
Noticing me, Sasaki laughed mockingly.
Ryuuga seemed a bit upset, but I was relieved. Good, he had the same reaction as always. It seems that he still sees me as a trivial small fry.
“Perhaps you wanted to be part of a couple, even if it’s just in a game? Give up. With that face of yours, there’s no way you’d be popular with──”
“Sasakiiii! It’s been a long time!”
Glad that I was looked down on, I couldn’t hold back the urge to hug Sasaki.
“Whoa! What are you doing?! Disgusting!”
“You’re the only one! You’re the only one who scorns me, looks down on me, and despises me!”
“What’s with your dialect?! Get off of me!”1Kobayashi spoke with a Kansai dialect to him.
“Oh…r, right. I, of all people, carelessly revealed my subconscious reaction. Let me correct myself…who are you calling unpopular?! Don’t get too cocky, damn it!”
“You’re starting to frighten me…”
Then came the nuisances who ruined our reunion.
Schoolgirls from class C stepped forward and called out to us.
“Um, it looks like there’s six guys, so we’re going to start the game. Sorry about this, but us class C staff will have to be the female group.”
Six people? In other words, the three guys who were here before us, Sasaki, Ryuuga, and me? Furthermore, all of the girls are just there to fill the seats?
“Hey, that can’t be right~. This is completely rigged, isn’t it…? Since this is class C, shouldn’t that girl be here? The super-cute Yukimiya──”
It happened the moment Sasaki raised his voice in displeasure.
“Wait for me. I’ll participate in that game too!”
“Same here, I’ll join too.”
Suddenly, two girls jumped into the classroom.
One of them was the scarlet, wavy-haired vampire girl who was as popular as Yukimiya. She seemed to have been walking around the campus since she wasn’t on her shift.
The other was a sidetailed heron girl wearing a sailor suit that wasn’t from here, and whose most charming features were her strong-willed eyes.
(I can understand Elmira, but why is Mion here?!)
I was shocked, but next to me, Ryuuga was as well.
Oh, right. The last time the three princesses appeared in front of Ryuuga was during the battle at the cemetery. Though, they narrowly missed each other at the supermarket.
“M, Mion! Why are you here?! We have so many questions we need to ask──”
The second daughter of the three princesses held Ryuuga back with a hand when she understandably tried to approach.
“Leave it for later, Hinomori Ryuuga. Now then, start the game at once. I’ll prove here that the ‘Three Princesses of Hell’ will never take Joshima’s position!”2This sentence definitely references a person named Joshima, though I’m not too sure who. My best guess in the context of the situation is Joshima Shigeru, the leader of popular idol group Tokio, who despite nearing 50 years old, hadn’t married anyone at the time of this novel’s release (he got married in 2019 though).
“Oh, you think you can beat me? How absurd, Mion. Do your best to not suffer humiliation.”
Seeing two beauties suddenly appearing, Sasaki and the other guys were energetic and raised cries of “Oooooh!”
“Seriously?! It’s Mion, the one I failed to charm before! And even Elmira’s here! No way, which one should I choose?!”
“I’m glad that I’m here! To think that two cute girls would come!”
“Sailor suits are the best! I’ll definitely have that girl!”
“A foreigner! A red-haired foreigner!”
The first stage of the matchmaking game began, and we could no longer withdraw. Ryuuga seemed to reluctantly accept the situation as well.
Twelve participants sat down and faced each other with a desk between them.
There was an old man among the guys. Perhaps his grandchild attends this school.
“I’ll definitely be a couple with either Mion or Elmira…since Kazuhiko came here with his girlfriend…I can show off my own girlfriend and make fool out of him.”
Sasaki’s really eager. If I recall correctly, Kazuhiko is Aogasaki’s childhood friend. He’s currently enrolled in Getsushiyoukan, but he’ll return to the Aogasaki dojo once he completes his university entrance exam.
“Let’s start! Men, ask as many questions as you want!”
With the cue of a nearby girl acting as the host, the male group began speaking in great vigor.
“Mion! Why don’t we have some tea at the maid cafe next door? We can also go to the yakisoba shop my class is doing! I won’t let a girl pay for meals!”
“So your name is Elmira? This is the first time we’ve met, but I’ve liked you for a long time!”
“Mion! Even if you weren’t human, I would still choose you!”
“Red-haired foreigner! I’m going to call you Elmi!”
As expected, all of the focus was on Elmira and Mion. The seat-fillers from class C were also glad that the game was so exciting for them.
“Ho ho ho, this is troubling. I’m already a parent, you know?”
The vampire, despite not seeming troubled at all, feigned naivety. Also, don’t say that you’re a parent.
“Hmm~, what should I do? Despite how I look, I’m a housewife~.”
The heron general feigned friendliness. Leaving the matter of Shizuma aside, do apostles even like festivals?
While Ryuuga and I remained uninvolved, the matchmaking battle for women continued.
Despite it being just a game, the guys were desperate. I heard that a “matchmaking game” is a traditional attraction at Oumei High School, and that sometimes the couples become genuine.
…Then, sitting beside me, Ryuuga whispered in my ear.
“Ichirou, don’t pick Elle or Mion. Pick one of the seat-fillers from class C.”
“Even as a game, this isn’t amusing.”
Her warning didn’t matter. I already had my choice in mind.
“──Now then, it’s finally nomination time! Please write the name of your desired one on the paper in your hand! If the love is mutual, then you’re a couple!”
After 15 minutes of conversation, the host announced as such. It’s finally time to announce the results.
(Not good, my heart rate’s starting to quicken…it must be because my feelings are somewhat genuine…)
Twelve people held out sheets of paper, as per the host’s instructions.
As for the results──only one couple was established.
Firstly, all of the seat-filler girls from class C wrote Ryuuga’s name. Elmira and Mion wrote my name.
On the other hand, Sasaki and the rest of the guys were equally split between Elmira or Mion. My choice for Sasaki was vetoed for the reason that “I got the intent of the event wrong.”
Lastly, Ryuuga made the safe choice by writing the name of one of the seat-fillers, Goutokuji. Which also means that──they wrote each other’s names.
“There you have it! A couple has been made! Give your applause for Hinomori and Goutokuji!”
While everyone dully clapped, Ryuuga had an expression of regret. On the other hand, Goutokuji had a face of satisfaction and raised her fist into the air while yelling “Alright!”
Goutokuji Takeko. 170 cm tall and weighing at 80 kg. A catcher in the softball club and a firm fourth batter since last year. She’s had a total of thirty home runs.
“Why, Mion?! Why didn’t you pick me?! Damn it, Kobayashi! Why are you so popular?!”
“Kobayashi Ichirou! What were you thinking, not picking me?! What kind of explanation are you going to give to Shizuma?!”
“Ichirou! I believed in you! After all, I had the position of the first wife…so why did you need Sasaki to steal that role from me?!”
“Actually, Ichirou! Why did you pick a boy?! If you were going to do that, then you should have written down Hinomori Ryuuga! You cheater!”
For some reason, everyone criticized me. They even threw pens at me.
I didn’t think this would be such a brutal game. I just wanted to make acquaintances with Sasaki…I just wanted to get a laugh out of him…
When I was on the verge of having to apologize for the unreasonable, the host suddenly clapped.
“Oh, it seems that the next participants are here! Now then, this game is over! Hinomori and Goutokuji, congratulations!”
…Shortly afterwards, Sasaki ran off from the classroom, on the verge of tears.
Elmira and Mion stated that they would be “comfort eating,” and disappeared.
Furthermore, Goutokuji abducted Ryuuga and went off somewhere.
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