Even the sound of the chime seemed dull, like the sound of raindrops dripping through the eaves.
However, as soon as the teacher left the classroom and the lunch break began, the noise of the students filled the classroom rapidly and spread to the whole school as if they had woken up.
They are so excited that it seems as if the forty-five minute lunch break is the main event of the day. The classroom is filled with the sound of laughter.
By the way, as soon as the lunch break started, Camilia left the classroom with her lunch in her hand. I think she went to that ugly boy.
（Well then... first of all, I have to take action）
After thinking so, I went out into the corridor, went down the stairs, and walked to the second year class below.
（As I recall... two of the three students whose names came up were in the same class）
As I peeked into the classroom, I could smell the spicy curry that someone had brought for lunch.
（I mean, curry for lunch...）
Even after the afternoon classes started, the smell would probably remain. It is quite a surreal learning environment.
Anyway, I approached a girl sitting near the door.
She must be a member of the track & field club. Her spats are peeping out from under her skirt. She appeared to be a lively girl with tanned skin and a short cut.
「Um... is Ichida-san or Nitani-san there?」
「Uh, yes. One moment, please」
She looked puzzled for a moment, then answered in a respectful manner and shouted toward the back of the classroom.
「Hey! Asukaa, what did you do? A member of the public morals committee is calling for you!」
（She knows I’m a member of the public morals committee...）
I can only laugh.
She must have recognized my face, since I frequently checked students’ belongings at the school gate.
And interestingly, the eyes of the students in the classroom were moving back and forth between me and one of the girls.
Probably, she is Nitani-san.
「Hey, Nozomi! You’re talking too loud! I’m not doing anything!」
She walked up to me with a look of reproach on her face as she raised her voice.
My first impression was of a dignified girl. She is a short cut beauty with cool eyes. She seemed to be a basketball player and was quite tall.
「Yes, that’s right」
「Can I talk to you for a minute?」
With a questioning look on her face, we move to the landing of the stairs.
「So... what do you want to talk about?」
「Well, there’s been a report that the second year girls are bullying the first year girls on the girls’ basketball club, and I was wondering if you knew anything about it」
Instantly, her mouth twisted into an unpleasant expression.
「Who told you that!? If you came to me, it means you suspect me, right?」
「Oh, no, it’s an anonymous letter, so I don’t know who it is... and I don’t mean Nitani-san, but I thought I’d ask each of you in turn」
「Anyway, it’s just an exaggeration. I think she’s just saying she was bullied because she was being pushed too hard in practice. Well, Sanae... Ichida-san and the others are recklessly foul-mouthed, but it’s not like they’re bullying her...」
（Well, even if I ask her normally, she’ll naturally deceive me... what should I do... maybe I should just ask her straight）
「Actually, while I’ve been asking around to various people, it seems that the one being bullied is Hanabusa from the first year. Maybe she’s being bullied because she beat out a second-year student for a regular spot? That’s what they said...」
As I said this, I observed her reaction closely.
She looked puzzled for a moment, then turned her gaze upward with a look of displeasure on her face.
（...What kind of reaction is that?）
「You don’t care?」
「Yeah, I joined the basketball club just for the fun of it. To be honest, I don’t really want to be a regular or anything like that」
「Is that so?」
When I asked her that, she suddenly relaxed her cheeks. --tinytl
「To tell you the truth, I... Oh, can I brag? Can I brag? I’m a celebrity, you know!」
This is exactly the kind of face one would expect to see when one is proud. She puffed out her chest slightly as she continued.
「I passed an audition at an entertainment agency, and they begged me to join them, you know? It’s an agency called KKO. You know, third-year student Misuzu and model Akira Mizuki-chan belong there...」
「Yes, yes, I’ve heard of it」
「So, yeah. Considering my future career in the entertainment industry, it would be fatal if I got into trouble with bullies or something. The President says that it’s more advantageous to make achievements in club activities while still in school, but for me, I’d rather quit club activities and concentrate on performing like Misuzu-」
「In other words, Nitani-san has no reason to bully her?」
「That’s what I mean. But if you ask me whether I like Busako or not, I don’t like her, to be honest」
（I wonder... can I trust her?）
Honestly, I can’t decide. It would be best if I could talk to the person who sent this letter...
◇ ◇ ◇
「What do you think I should do?」
I asked Shiratori-senpai, who was sitting next to me on the lawn, in a corner of the courtyard crowded with couples.
「Isn’t it good? Just push hard」
「But... he had already told me that he refused the offer」
「Well, normally he would have said no. If you asked him to be your sister」
「It’s like a stranger...」
「Well, like anyone else. But you know, Fumio Kijima is easily influenced. Even though he’s a bad guy, he has more of a longing for heroism and a desire for protection than most people. So, if you keep pushing him hard, he will surely break. That’s a good thing, but it’s also a bad thing」
「*sigh...* but I can’t push hard enough when Busako is around. I don’t think it’s possible to do it just on the way to school in the morning...」
「You say that, but it’s even more impossible outside of that. If you do anything to annoy Fumio when Haneda-senpai or Fujiwara-senpai are watching, I think you’ll end up in worse trouble than getting caught by the police」
「What do you mean by that?」
（Is it a joke to say that it’s worse than the police? Or should I laugh?）
I know the two people that were just mentioned from my brother’s stories, but I don’t recognize them as dangerous people.
「Hmm... Well, I’ll help you out a bit」
Shiratori-senpai showed a slight sign of thinking and whispered to Takasago-senpai.
「Hey, Takasago, don’t you want to eat a piece of delicious cake?」
Takasago-senpai, who I thought was asleep, replied normally, as if she had responded to the word "cake".
「When do you see Fumio again?」
「That’s convenient. Then promise me that you will take her to a cake buffet with Fumio」
Then, Shiratori-senpai turned her head towards me and said with a bit of amusement.
- There's a new project in the works. It's kind of Boku no Hero, but with an adult twist. The table of contents can be found in here.