「Fukami-san? She's absent」
「Oh. What about the committee meeting? The school festival?」
「Well... the next committee meeting is tomorrow. If she's off tomorrow too, you can ask someone else to do it, and I can take the record of the meeting」
The discussion with Maisaka went off without a hitch.
Maybe it's because it's an extension of the training. Chihiro's mind is oddly clear, as it was when he violated Riko and Hana. Thanks to this, nothing happened, like acting normal to his classmates.
Aika and Riko's behavior is almost the same as usual too. They must have been a little upset, but they still managed to keep their composure.
And so, the lunch break went without incident.
「Chihiro-kun, let's eat lunch」
Aika has always brought lunch for the two of them. This is because if she picks it up at the apartment, they might be suspected of living together.
As they put their desks together and were about to start eating, there was a rare visitor in the class.
A gentle voice came from the doorway in the back of the class, and a nearby student shouted in surprise.
Aika and Chihiro also turn to look.
Standing in front of them is Ayase, dressed perfectly in her girls' uniform, and Marika standing behind her. Both of them are holding a lunch box in their hands.
「Oh, Izumi-kun. Good afternoon」
Their eyes meet and Ayase smiles at Chihiro.
For a moment, Aika, who was sitting next to him, became annoyed and then looked at him as if sensing something.
「Oh... are they from the student council?」
「Yes. They're Ayase-senpai and Hazuki-senpai」
"Then it's inevitable", Aika said, holding out a lunch box to Chihiro.
Her looks seems to say, "Go ahead".
Seeing that, Chihiro looked at her with gratitude, accepted the lunch box and left his seat.
「I'm sorry, I've kept you waiting」
「I'm sorry to bother you. ...Am I interrupting anything?」
Ayase glanced at Aika from afar.
Perhaps she was able to figure out what was going on just from that exchange.
「No, it's fine」
Well, it's a bit of an interruption, but since the relationship is personal, it would be wrong to refuse.
After shaking his head, Ayase invited him to the student council room.
He agreed, and the three of them walked down the corridor. On the way, the gazes of the first years pierced Chihiro. It must have been because he was accompanying two prominent senpai, or more accurately, he was accompanied by them. To be honest, he felt uncomfortable.
Anyway, on the way downstairs, he called out to Ayase and the others.
「By the way, is there something wrong?」
「No, not really. We just wanted to talk to Izumi-kun」
『Because we couldn't meet you yesterday』
Ayase's and Marika's voices echoed in his head.
Come to think of it, he did go home after talking with Yotsuba and Lucille for a while yesterday.
「Then, Kurohane-senpai and the others?」
「No. It's just me and Hazuki」
『Because we wanted to be alone with Izumi-kun』
While they were talking, they arrived at the student council room.
Ayase unlocked the door and entered, and just as she said, the room was empty. Then, they put their lunch boxes on the table in the center of the room, opened the window for ventilation, and sat down side by side.
「Oh, Izumi-kun, since you're here, please sit in the middle」
『It's okay, it's okay』
When they sat down in the order of Marika, Ayase and Chihiro, Ayase pulled out her own chair. Chihiro had no choice but to move his chair to the middle, and Ayase sat in the position where Chihiro had been.
...It seems, they wanted to entertain the guest of honor, or rather, they were forced him not to leave.
Being sandwiched between the two senpai made him feel bad for Aika, but he reminded himself that this was an interaction as a member of the student council.
When he looked down at the table in front of him, he noticed.
Ayase's lunch box was still in front of Chihiro when he moved. The shape of it was the same as Marika's that had already been unwrapped.
And as Ayase picked it up and opened it, the contents were the same as Marika's. A girlish, colorful, and nutritious menu.
『My bento (lunchbox) is made by Aoi-chan』
「Only when we eat together, though. If Hazuki-senpai is left alone, all she eats is convenience store food」
『The cafeteria is not easy for me so it can't be helped』
Marika, who can't speak, can use her [Telepathy] ability to talk with people she knows, but she sometimes has trouble communicating with people she doesn't know well.
It is no wonder that she feels uncomfortable, especially in a place like the school cafeteria.
Understanding this, Chihiro also opened the lunch box that Aika had made for him. This bento was also rich in color, but it contained a lot of meat, considering that it was for boys. Incidentally, today's lunch was ginger grilled pork.
As they ready, the three of them said "Let's eat" together and started to eat.
「Chihiro-kun's girlfriend is a good cook, isn't she?」
Hearing that, Chihiro almost spurt out his food but then he thanked her.
「T-Thank you for the compliment. Ayase-senpai is also a good cook. It looks very delicious」
『Yes, it's delicious』
「Yes, thank you. I'm working hard every day to improve my feminine power」
Ayase smiled, and to be honest, it seemed to Chihiro that her feminine power was sufficient.
Then, Ayase let out a breath.
「Unfortunately, I'm not in a relationship with anyone. Is there someone better?」
It was a difficult topic to respond to.
What kind of answer does she expect from Chihiro, a man? He is not so impudent as to say that he himself would answer, and he has no friends to whom he could introduce himself.
...For a moment, Maisaka's face crossed his mind, but he rejected the idea for various reasons.
『Aoi-chan, you will be fine. I'm sure you'll find the right person sooner or later』
「As expected of Hazuki-senpai. Then, if you can't find someone, will you take me?」
『Hmm, I'll think about it』
...Think about it?
Of course, it's probably just a chat or a joke, and not serious.
The two of them, Ayase and Marika, must not that kind of thing.
「You two are close」
『Yes, we're good friends』
「That's right, we're good friends」
Chihiro muttered to them, and they answered each other with happy faces.
Really, all the members of the current student council have a good relationship with each other, but Ayase and Marika seem to be particularly close.
Even in private, they sometimes eat lunch together or go out to play.
「Come to think of it, Kurohane-senpai and Lucille-senpai also seemed to be a good pair」
「Oh, that's right」
『The peaceful president and the demon vice president』
「In terms of strict deadlines and flexibility, you're exactly right」
The friendly and sociable student council president, Yotsuba, appears here and there as the "face of the student council", while the vice president, Lucille, takes care of the practical matters quickly.
Whenever there is a conflict, sometimes Yotsuba intervenes, and Lucille makes concessions "if the president says so..." This is how the current student council is running.
「Hazuki-senpai does the steady work such as calculations and contacting the members」
『Well, I can leave the chores and detailed checks to Aoi and not worry』
「It's a good team, isn't it?」
When Chihiro hears that, he feels like he no longer needed her, which is strange.
Ayase chuckled and said.
「But I'm expecting Izumi-kun to be a part of the team as well. Just because Lucille-senpai has been quiet so far, it's quite an accomplishment」
He felt like he wanted to see the harshness of Lucille, who was even called a demon by Marika, but at the same time, he didn't want to experience it for himself.
After that, the three of them talked endlessly.
Ayase opened her mouth frequently to offer topics of conversation, probably out of concern for the first-year newcomer. Marika, too, is making her presence felt with her timely interjections.
...Or rather, the fact that she could speak fluently while eating made him envious of her [Telepathy] ability.
「Speaking of which, should I show up at the student council room on days when we don't have committee meetings?」
「It would be nice if you did, but you don't have to. Just when you're free」
『I have other things to do as well』
In between the chats, important things were confirmed.
「Thank you for inviting me」
「Don't worry about it. Izumi-kun can invite us next time」
「Well... It would take some courage, I think」
It's too adventurous, both in terms of grade and gender.
「Fufu. Sorry, I'm kidding. We'll ask you out again when there's a chance」
「Yes, thank you」
And so, he parted ways with Ayase and the others with smiles and returned to the classroom.