She responded lightly with a single word.
Kaname leaves the room, and silence returns to the student council room. Marika exhaled lightly and sat back in her seat.
Immediately, a private conversation using [Telepathy] was exchanged.
This way, even if Kaname is listening outside, she can never eavesdrop.
『Izumi-kun, do you know why she's looking for you?』
『No, I have no idea. I only just met Ibusuki-san』
『I see. Just be careful. I don't think she'll do anything strange to you』
『Yes, that's right. Thank you』
She won't do anything strange to him.
Despite Marika's assurance, Chihiro, on the contrary, felt that he needed to be more cautious about Kaname. After all, in the six months since he had entered this school, he had been involved in several strange incidents.
Riko had beaten him up severely.
Hana almost took Maria away from him.
He had a confrontation with Principal Ootori over Suzu.
Hopefully, it will not be worse than these, so it would be best if he can escape from Kaname until the end of the school festival.
『Speaking of which...』
Anyway, there is no use in thinking too much.
And so, after shaking off his thoughts, Chihiro suddenly asked Marika
『How did Hazuki-senpai get acquainted with Ibusuki-san?』
What he really wanted to ask was something else.
Kaname seemed to know Marika when she could still speak. He wished he could ask her about the details, but he thought it was a private matter and decided not to do so.
Marika replied in a casual tone.
『Are you going to audition for a play or something?』
『It might be something similar. It was an audition for an entertainment agency』
『I used to want to be an idol. Kaname-chan and I were treated like rivals back then』
He didn't mean to imply that they don't match or anything like that.
Chihiro, who was told about her unexpected past, opened his mouth and screamed out.
The alarm of his cell phone, which he had set as an alarm clock, rang out in the room shortly afterwards.
* * *
After leaving the student council office, Chihiro headed for the Miss Contest main competition site, a small plaza on the side of the school building. The members who had won from the first to the fifth place in the preliminary contest were told to come early for the preliminary meeting.
『I'll be there to cheer you on』
When they parted, Marika said something like that to him. However, there will be three contestants from the student council. He asked her to support Yotsuba and Lucille rather than him.
Aika, Riko, and Hana are also expected to attend the finals. Suzu will be there even if he leaves her alone.
He walks down the corridor, but stands out because of his maid's uniform, so he moves quickly to the outdoor area and arrives at the plaza.
On there, a simple temporary stage was set up, and pipe chairs were arranged neatly in front of it.
Behind the stage, in the shadows of the trees, Yotsuba and other participants were seen in the area that was hard to be seen from the surroundings.
Kamishiro and other male participants were also visible in the distance.
「Izumi-kun, thank you for your hard work」
「Ah, servants. You're looking great again」
Maria and Yotsuba's voices harmonize, and Lucille rolls her eyes when she sees Chihiro. The three of them, and Sayuki, who is in the corner with her arms folded, are wearing ordinary school uniforms.
「I...no, I was treated as a mysterious maid. People would be disappointed if I was wearing a normal school uniform」
「That's true, but... What, are you really trying to win?」
「That's not what I meant...」
If someone ask him if he wants to win, he'd rather lose.
However, if he does not do his best, he will feel sorry for the people who voted for him. At the very least, he will do his job properly.
Then Lucille smiled at him.
「I see. Well, why don't you just go for it?」
「Lou, you're not really going for it either, are you?」
「Of course. Yotsuba is different?」
They started a conversation like that and moved away from Chihiro, communicating their intention to him only with their eyes. After bowing to them and sending them off, Chihiro and Maria were the only ones left.
Of course, there were people around them, so they could only talk with each other in an ostensible relationship.
「...Well. Fukami-san, I have a question...」
Taking a chance, he mention the incident that took place earlier.
「Do you know a girl named Kaname Ibusuki?」
Maria's eyes blinked several times as soon as she mentioned the name.
There was a pause of understanding, as if it was a topic she had not thought of, and then she let the name penetrate her mind and spoke up as if she had been shot.
「Where did you hear that name!?」
This was an unexpected reaction even for Chihiro.
「Do you know anything about her?」
「Yes. More importantly, where did you hear that name? I don't think she's here...」
Maria reacted dramatically, but then she kept her mouth shut.
She noticed that the sudden loud voice had caught the attention of the startled crowd. Immediately, she asks again in a hushed voice, feigning calmness.
However, she could not hide her agitation completely.
「Did you see her?」
「...Yes. She said she was looking for me」
「I see. ...that kind of thing」
A sad murmur escapes from her mouth.
Maria then lifts her hands and holds them to her chest.
It's as if she's holding something back.
A few dozen seconds later.
She looks up decisively and opens her mouth to Chihiro.
「Izumi-kun, she's my――」
「Everyone, please gather around for the meeting!」
Maria's voice was interrupted by the voice of a committee member.
Maria's timing was off, and after a few hesitant glances, she had no choice but to keep her mouth shut.
「Let's talk later」
At times like this, Chihiro really wish he had [Telepathy].
But for now, he hope nothing will happen until this contest is over.
□ Ibusuki Kaname's Illustration -> here