The first chapter of Volume 3...
「Answer sheets will be returned. Come to the front to get your papers, starting with the one whose name is called first!」
It was the day before the closing ceremony.
In the morning homeroom, students began to receive their final exam papers.
For some, the return of answer sheets is a death sentence, and for others, it is a moment of joy that satisfies their ego.
Gorioka, the homeroom teacher, read out the names of the students in alphabetical order, and the sight of the students receiving their answer sheets was truly heartbreaking.
Looking at the expressions on the faces of the students as they returned from receiving their test papers, I could roughly guess how well they had done.
The students were called by their names in order, one after the “A” line and another after the “K” line.
Kasuya-kun, who is supposed to be called before me, is not here.
His suspension has not been lifted yet.
If his suspension continues, he will end up staying in school for the rest of his life, but there may be some kind of remedy.
Also, as an aside, one of the former first-year students of the soccer club who is also suspended from the school has run away and is missing, leaving a note.
According to Lili... she says that he is currently being used by a certain succubus as a milk supply.
So, my name was called, skipping Kasuya-kun.
As for me, my grades have gone up a bit, thanks to three days of all-night study using a magical energy drink.
Yeah, I'm doing pretty well.
And right behind me is Kurosawa-san.
She was keeping a sullen expression on her face.
Was it good or bad? It's hard to say.
After that, Tachioka-kun did not take the test because he refused to go to school, so his name was not called.
A few students later, there was Masaki-chan.
She was all smiles.
Apparently, she was quite happy.
After Masaki-chan, there was Hiratsuka-kun from the judo club.
He too had no expression on his face. And he hasn't been well lately.
I don't dare to mention it.
Next is Fujiwara-san.
When her name was called, she cheerfully went to pick up her answer sheet and returned in a good mood.
（Huh? It’s unexpected.... I thought she was an idiot, but does that mean she's not?)
「Did you have a good score?」
「Test score doesn't matter once I graduate from school」
Yeah, she's just being honest, that's all.
But even with that look on her face...
「Those with red marks will have to take extra lessons」
The homeroom teacher's words froze her in place.
「Those of you who have a failing grade in at least one subject must attend make-up classes every day until the 10th of August! If you get a failing grade in the make-up exam on the 10th, you may have to stay in school!」
「Give me a break!」
The classroom is in an uproar.
Fujiwara-san, in particular, stood up with such force that her chair almost fell over, screaming and shouting.
「Insolence! Sensei! You're insolent! I'll lose half my summer vacation」
「Insolence, you idiot! You got what you deserved!」
Of course, no matter how much she screamed, the make-up class would not disappear, and Fujiwara-san looked at me as if she wanted my help.
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「Ugh... But if I'm with Fu~min, I can do make-up class...」
「I scored over 70 in all subjects」
「Ugh, you betrayed meeeee...!」
I don't care if I betray her, I'm not in the line to take make-up class from the beginning.
「M-Misuzu... Please join me」
Then, Kurosawa-san, who was seated in front of her, looked back at her and waved bye.
Masaki-chan smiles and makes a gesture like chasing away a dog with a shooing motion.
Lately, Masaki-chan has been pretty awful.
I don't know whose influence it is.
◇ ◇ ◇
In the lunch break, I, Fujiwara-san, Kurosawa-san and Masaki-chan went to the rooftop to have lunch.
On the way, Fujiwara-san's lips pouted as she walked, clinging to my right arm.
「Why is it that the first thing I do in the morning is receive the answer sheet....? Thanks to that, I've been blue all day...」
However, Masaki-chan, who is clinging to my left arm while smirking at her, opens her mouth happily.
「Hey, hey, Fumio-kun! Misuzu-chan! Where should we go for a summer vacation?」
「Wait!? Why are you talking about going out without me, Masaki-chi? Isn't that too much?」
Yeah, Masaki-chan's been really bad lately. I mean, she's terrible.
「Maybe the beach... I guess」
Kurosawa-san, who was walking behind me, pinched the hem of my shirt, showed some thought, and said so.
Wow, Kurosawa-san, you don't have to answer either.
Fujiwara-san, you're getting teary-eyed.
As we were about to go up the stairs to the roof, we heard a voice calling us, “Kijima-sama, Masaki-sama”.
We turned around and saw a small, cute girl with a unique ringlet standing there.
The color of her ribbon is first year.
Of course, I recognize her.
She's the girl whom I and Masaki-chan made faint with our unbelievable deep-throating just the other day.
I think her name was... Yui Kayama.
Immediately, Fujiwara-san pulled my arm tightly and gave her a threatening look.
「So... What do you want from my boyfriend?」
Lately, Fujiwara-san seems to be very wary of girls approaching me.
Well, it's understandable...
As if looking at a disturbed person, Fujiwara-san's gaze catches Kayama-san's attention and she clams up.
In her place, Masaki-chan opened her mouth.
「This girl is a junior student I met recently, Yui Kayama-chan. I invited her. I wanted to introduce her to Mai-chan」
「To me? Why?」
「It's a long story. We'll talk over lunch, okay?」
「O-okay. Then, let's go to the roof」
As we were about to walk out, Kayama-san looked puzzled and spoke.
「Oh, um, where should I hold on to~, Kijima-sama?」
「Well, there is no such rule」
I answered with a straight face.
◇ ◇ ◇
Anyway, we got to the rooftop, spread out our leisure sheets, and sat in a circle.
While everyone else was spreading out their lunch, I noticed that Kayama-san was empty-handed.
「Didn't you bring your own lunch?」
I ask her, and she looks puzzled.
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Then, Masaki-chan smiled and spoke.
「Since the conversation is not going anywhere, I'll tell you, Yui-chan is a poor people」
「Why do you say that!?」
Poor people?.... I feel that Masaki-chan's cruelty is becoming more and more difficult to hide.
Despite my dismay, Masaki-chan took out another lunch box from her drawstring bag and presented it to Kayama-san.
「You said you were holding back lunch because you didn't have enough money, so I made one for Yui-chan today. Here you go」
「Masaki-sama, are you sure~?」
「Yes, of course」
Masaki-chan smiled at the confused Kayama-san.
She opens the lid to reveal a lovely lunch box with meatballs and fried eggs.
Thank goodness. I'm a little relieved.
Masaki-chan was smiling so nicely that I was seriously worried that she would show her dominance and put dog food or something in it, but I guess I was overthinking it.
Without seeming to notice me letting out an involuntary sigh of relief, Masaki-chan turned her head towards Fujiwara-san.
「So, the reason why I wanted to introduce her to Mai-chan is... I was wondering if you could help her find a part-time job...」
「Yeah, she's actually a young lady from a good family, so she's very naive. Yesterday, when I happened to meet her, she said she was going to interview for a part-time job, so she showed me the job description... “Over 20,000 yen per day, transportation provided, beginners welcome”. High income while having fun, and the name of the store is Chiritsu Cosplay Academy」(Note: 痴立（ちりつ) -> Chiritsu)
「I thought it was a school office job or something...」
I don't think they'd hire a minor, but I'm glad she ran into Masaki-chan, even if it was by accident. It was a close call.
I mean, I wonder what “Chiritsu” means.
「Mai-chan, you run a lot of companies, right? I was wondering if you could help her find a part-time job...」
「Ahaha... I see, that's how it is. Then I'll ask my stepfather. Kayama-san, right? Can I have your contact information?」
「Y-yes! T-thank you very much~. Um, Ki, Kijima-sama's wife!」
Fujiwara-san looked surprised for a moment, and then her expression became delighted.
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「Heh~... Do I look like that? Do I look like that?」
「Y-yes. Oh, you're not married yet, right~? I'm sorry~. But I think you look great together~」
「Masaki-chi! She's such a good girl! I'll do my best to find a part-time job with good conditions!」
Fujiwara-san was in a good mood at once.
But I was watching.
Probably, it was already arranged.
But, just as Kayama-san said “Kijima-sama's wife”, I saw Masaki-chan giving her a serious look.
Still, Masaki-chan is very good at taking care of people.
Kayama-san also seems to have a soft spot for Masaki-chan, so it's not a bad thing for them to get along.
◇ ◇ ◇
When I left the classroom to go to the store to buy bread, I saw Takasago in front of the next classroom with a drawstring bag that looked like a lunch box with her shoulders slumped in disappointment.
「Nnn? What's wrong, Takasago?」
「Shima-pai. Kan-chan... He's not here. I want to go to lunch with him...」
「It’s Shima-senpai! But, I see…」
Apparently she came here to eat lunch with him, but Kijima wasn't in the classroom... That's what happened.
So, do you want to eat with me? I was just about to say that, but--
「What's going on?」
Someone interrupted me from behind.
As I turned around, I saw a classmate of mine, whom I dislike very much.
She has braided pigtails and silver-rimmed glasses, and stiff.
If someone is in trouble, she can't leave them alone, and if there is trash on the ground, she can't help but pick it up.
If someone has a shirt exposed, she makes sure it is inside, and if it is skirt-length, she can spot the violation by sight.
She is the guardian of a clean student life and the nosy one.
The chairwoman of the Public Morals Committee, Takaka Takata. (*Note: 高田貴佳（たかたたかか))
It sounds like a joke, but it's her real name.
My honest feeling for her is that she's a pain in the ass. At any rate, I decided to just ignore her.
「Oh, no... It's nothing」
「But, she seems to be very depressed, right?」
Then Takasago muttered, looking as if she was about to cry.
「Kan-chan... He's not here」
「Kan-chan? What do you mean?」
I scratched my hair involuntarily.
（It's a pain in the ass, really. Why don't she just leave her out of it? .... Oh well, it's nothing to hide, though)
「”Kan-chan” means Kijima from the next class. She's very attached to Kijima. It seems she came to eat lunch with him, but he wasn't there, that's all」
「Kijima... Is it Fumio Kijima?」
「Yes, that's him. Ahaha... This girl has been baited to the hilt by him, you know」
I thought I was joking, but the nosy woman's expression suddenly turned stern.
「It's that guy again... He's trying to poison such a quiet-looking girl!」
「That man is the cause of the disorder. It seems that he's getting carried away with being called the Kijima harem, but I heard that he's taking advantage of the girls and forcing them into relationships. I've been thinking that we need to keep a close eye on that guy. I'll make sure I skin him!」
I can't help but be annoyed by her sudden excitement.
But no matter how much I try to fight with her, it's like jumping into a minefield.
「I think you shouldn't do that, but...」
「Don't show mercy to that thing!」
「No, that's not it...」
（If you poke around in the bushes, you'll find more than just snakes...)