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Chapter 104 Yotsuba's Changes - Part 2


 At the school festival committee, Chihiro no longer had much to do.
 The meeting ended with a progress check on each task, and the work started immediately after that. The deadline is so close that there is no other choice but to finish the work, so unless there is a fatal delay or problem, all that can be said is "Please do your best" to all.
 Therefore, Chihiro left the executive committee meeting in less than 30 minutes.
 
「I'm a little scared to go to the student council room」
「Well...」
 
 Yesterday, Yotsuba promised to put the matter on hold.
 However, how Principal Ootori took her report is another story. It is possible that the agreement was made without his knowledge and dismissed without any consideration.
 If so, there should have been more movement, but one can never be too sure. But――
 
 ――Chihiro, who was walking with Suzu down the upstairs hallway, stopped abruptly.
 
 It was no big deal.
 It was just a poster peeling off from a bulletin board on the wall they passed.
 Normally, the poster would have passed by unnoticed, but on this occasion, he happened to notice it and remembered the exchange he had had with Yotsuba sometime ago.
 As he remembered, this was the place where he had met her. 
 
**a
 
「Chihiro-kun?」
「Oh, no. I just wanted to fix that」
 
 He knows that he is not an upright person like Yotsuba.
 Still, Chihiro noticed it, and he couldn't leave it there now that he remembered it, so he walked up to the bulletin board.
 The reason why the posters were peeling off was because of the large number of posters put up in relation to the school festival.
 Perhaps a poster was bumped into by a poster user when he/she was putting up another poster, or a poster was pinned in place when he/she tried to move it to make more space...something like that.
 Thinking of this, he moves the poster and reinserts the pin.
 
「Chihiro-kun is surprisingly meticulous, isn't he?」
「Is it surprising? I mean, you know... It would look bad if a member of the student council ignored this kind of thing, wouldn't it?」
 
 He checked the balance from a distance and nodded.
 Then he suddenly realizes.
 
 He wonders if Yotsuba did not pass through this corridor.
 
 But if she did, she would have noticed.
 Of course, it is possible that the poster was removed just a while ago, or she happened to go through another corridor for some business.
 However, Chihiro felt a certain uneasiness and urged Suzu to go.
 
「Suzu-san, sorry to keep you waiting. Let's go」
「Yes」
 
 They walk down the corridor to the student council room.
 Fortunately, no one was in front of the entrance today. He took a deep breath, knocked, and entered the room.
 
「Thank you for your hard work」
 
 After arrived, he smelled the usual coffee aroma.
 The room also filled with members of the student council. They are working today as usual, but they look up and see Chihiro.
 
『Thank you for your hard work』
「Hello, Izumi-kun」
「Ah, servant. Are you feeling better already?」
「Yes, I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused you」
 
 Bowing his head in apology, Chihiro looked up and noticed something strange.
 He thought that everyone had reacted. However, only Yotsuba, the president of the student council, who was sitting across the entrance, did not react, keeping her face down on her papers.
 "Is she ignoring me?", that's what he thought at first.
 
『...Yotsuba?』
「Eh?」
 
 Yotsuba looks up at Marika's call.
 Surprise appears on her slightly hot face, and she hurriedly smiles at Chihiro.
 
「Oh, Izumi-kun. Welcome back」
 
 What appear is a gentle smile.
 At first glance, the response seems to be the same as usual, but before that, there is a clear difference.
 It is different from her dislike for Chihiro because of yesterday's incident; it is as if she is forcibly moving her heavy body.
 
「Kurohane-senpai, are you all right?」
 
 He asks without thinking.
 Yotsuba's eyes blinked as if she had been caught off guard.
 She then turned her face away from his casual gaze and whispered quietly. 
 
**b
 
「Whose fault is it?」
「Hmm?」
 
 It was a very small voice, but even Chihiro could hear it.
 Lucille, who was standing next to Chihiro, couldn't have missed it, and she looked at Chihiro with a raised eyebrow.
 
「What? Is Yotsuba in bad shape because of something Chihiro did?」
「No, it's just that...」
 
 He wonders if that's so.
 If this is the effect of yesterday's [Desire Exposure], it is obviously his fault, but if it is just a physical condition, it is irrelevant.
 No, of course stress and lack of sleep are factors...
 
「No, it's just a cold. It's nothing serious, I'll be fine」
 
 Yotsuba answered before Chihiro could think of anything else to say.
 Not only Lucille but also Ayase and Marika let out a sigh of relief.
 
「Oh, I see. Yotsuba's voice sounded unusually angry, so I thought something was wrong」
「Fufu. But I think I may have caught a cold from Izumi kun」
『Take your medicine tonight and go to bed』
「Yes, I will do that」
 
 And so the atmosphere of the group returned to that of usual.
 
 ...Thank goodness. I was saved. Chihiro thought so.
 Yotsuba kept the promise she made yesterday. So, he could breathe a sigh of relief and takes his seat, taking care of all the easy jobs he can help with.
 
 There is not so much paperwork for the student council now that it is just before the school festival.
 Most of the consultations and coordination with the various organizations have been done, but at this stage, it would be a disaster if there were a lot of budget applications and confirmation documents that would need the Student Council's approval.
 And now, the documents that are brought in at this point are mostly those that do not have a tight time limit, which means that the number of the selected few is very limited and it is not good. Although it is tempting to suggest that they should be told earlier, mistakes are bound to occur with a large number of people, and problems are bound to occur in the work process.
 
 ――And it is the student council's job to clean up the mess.
 
 Ayase separates the degree of urgency of each case and how to deal with it, and Marika plays the calculator with great vigor. Lucille is making final arrangements for the Student Council points race event, while quickly and accurately processing the complicated documents in order of priority.
 While Yotsuba is busy with the visitors, Chihiro takes care of the relatively quiet matters.
 
 In the end, they are busy.
 
 With no time to complain, each of them proceeded with their work with coffee and snacks as a source of energy. Thanks to the efforts of the members, the number of tasks is steadily decreasing, and the prospect of a successful completion of the project begins to appear.
 
 It was then that a small commotion occurred in the student council room.
 
「I can't. Please leave」
 
 It all started with Yotsuba's voice.
 The members look up at the "unusual declaration" from Yotsuba, and check the situation.
 The person on the other end of the conversation was a certain second-year class committee member.
 The subject of the conversation was that they wanted to change the event from a haunted house to a "haunted house maze stamp rally", and that they wanted to change the venue from the audio-visual room to the gymnasium.
 Indeed, it sounds like an impossible task. 
 
**c
 
「Isn't this a bit harsh, which is unusual for Yotsuba?
「Ah...」
 
 Yotsuba raised a small voice at Lucille's point.
 Lucille smiled at her and looked back at the bewildered class members.
 
「I'm sorry. Well, let me add something. First of all, you can't change the place now. This is not a good idea」
 
 The gymnasium will be used for other events, as well as for the opening and closing ceremonies. Even if all the other events were moved somewhere else, it cannot be rented for the haunted house, which requires a large scale set up.
 
「But, if you say the audiovisual room is OK, then we can make it work. First of all, go talk to the executive committee and see if you can change the program. If you can come back within an hour, we can rewrite the original application」
 
 After receiving the explanation, which was quite polite for Lucille, the class committee member bowed and left the student council room.
 Lucille, Ayase, and Marika saw her off and cheered Yotsuba up.
 
『Yotsuba, are you still tired? You can go home now?』
「Yes. It's worse if Kurohane-senpai isn't here tomorrow」
「Yeah, I guess so. Well, that wasn't a mistake. But it's just that anyone would be annoyed if someone said that at this time」
「...Thank you, everyone」
 
 Although the disturbance itself was thus resolved, everyone was probably aware of the fact that this event was symbolic of Kurohane Yotsuba's discomfort and change.
 
「...Well, Izumi-kun, if you don't mind, could you send me home?」
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