After the match between Chihiro and Kamishiro, Ibusuki Kaname withdrew surprisingly easily.
「Phew. I have no choice but to admit it. You should be honored」
It sounded like a sigh of defeat.
Almost everyone who was present looked at her with a blank expression as she gave the microphone back to the committee members and walked away.
――What is this? Is this all a setup?
Some even commented so.
Kamishiro, who was injured, and Chihiro, who was supporting him, were not so happy.
「Get out of the way!」
「Excuse me, please let us through!」
Two voices came from the audience, and Shuka and Aika came running toward them.
Shuka, who was slightly in the lead, came running in first and took over the role of supporting Kamishiro from Chihiro, almost taking it away from him. Aika catches up to them and tells them to put Kamishiro down for treatment.
Kamishiro is still conscious, but he is too exhausted to move. So, he was laid down on the ground quietly.
「Shouldn’t we take him to the infirmary?」
To Shuka’s impatient look, Aika replied as she knelt down on the ground.
「It will be hard for Kamishiro-kun to walk there, won’t it? I will call the nurse and have a stretcher ready, but first, I will give him first aid」
Shuka, biting her lip, nodded and stepped away.
When Chihiro sees her, he approaches her with a quick step.
「Shut up. I know it’s a serious game and there’s no hard feelings, and I know it’s not my place to say this, but I’m kind of on edge right now」
"What makes you think you’re going to win?"
"Even if you win, couldn’t you have won in a better way?"
Shuka knows it’s unreasonable, but she still thinks it. Chihiro did not say anything, because he knew well that logic and emotion are different.
But he did not apologize.
He did not win the game by using an outlandish strategy.
So, he had nothing to apologize for.
「Takatsuki-san, Izumi-kun’s treatment...」
「Afterwards. Is that okay, Chihiro-kun?」
「Yes. Just get Kamishiro-kun healed quickly」
Aika smiled and nodded, then turned serious and began the treatment.
The stretcher arrived in less than ten minutes. Kamishiro was taken to the infirmary by a group of male volunteers.
After giving him first aid wisely, Aika tried to stand up and almost fell down. But Chihiro rushed over to support her.
「Thank you, Chihiro-kun」
「Thanks to you, too. Thanks to Aika and the others」
Although Shuka didn’t speak up and express concern, Aika understood and nodded her head.
Chihiro also politely declined her offer to heal him as well, and returned to the stage. Sayuki next to them gave him a piercing look, but fortunately she didn’t say anything.
『Well... there’s a lot going on, and we’re running out of time, but if anyone hasn’t voted yet, please do so. The deadline will be closed soon!』
Voting is closed less than ten minutes after the announcement.
Thanks to the use of student ID cards for voting and the semi-electronic voting system, the counting process was quick and easy.
And a second-year student on the executive committee, who is sitting at a folding desk by the stage, stares at the PC display and grumbles.
『Oh. ...this is an unexpected result』
The audience shook with excitement.
『I’d like to make an announcement. The winner of this year’s Miss Contest is...』
* * *
「...how did this happen?」
「Umm, even if you ask me, I don’t know...」
In the corridor a short distance away from the first grade classrooms.
Chihiro and Kamishiro were leaning their backs against the wall, side by side, without being seen except for the occasional busy student passing by.
「Are you still acting like that?」
「That’s the point. It’s just that I’ve gotten into the habit of doing it... and it feels strange to be dressed like this and to use my usual tone of voice」
「...Well, that’s fine. Is that what you want?」
「I don’t know...」
When Chihiro showed up at the infirmary after the Miss Contest, Kamishiro’s treatment had already been completed. He was about to call out to him while he was taking a break, but Noriko-sensei told him, "I’ll examine you as well".
But when they returned to the 1-C classroom, both of them were kicked out of the room by Maisaka.
『Yoo, the school’s face duo. You’re exempted from cleaning up, so just go to date together』
"What date?", They want to ask so but didn’t even have time.
For some unknown reason, Kamishiro and Chihiro both won the Miss Contest. Kamishiro was the top in the boys’ division, and Chihiro was the top in the girls’ division.
The girl who was a member of the organizing committee said that many people must have been impressed by that match, and it must be true. Even the students who did not know them well must have been strongly impressed by that match, and there must have been several students who somehow got into the game just by the way they were playing from that moment.
As for the results of the finals, Kamishiro was moved up to the first place in the boys’ division.
In the girls’ division, Chihiro was in first place, followed by Yotsuba, Lucille, Sayuki, and Maria. Maria’s position was probably due to the commotion on the stage, but she did not seem to be particularly concerned about the drop in her position.
Rather, she was concerned about Kaname and how distraught she seemed to be at that moment.
Later, he’ll have to ask her more questions when he gets back home.
「But, I’m sorry, Izumi-kun」
「Eh? For what?」
「That I hit the girl so hard, even if it was just a formality. I’m really sorry」
「I don’t know what to say after you made fun of me just now」
When Chihiro deliberately puffed out his cheeks, Kamishiro laughed and said "I’m sorry" again.
Then he raised his eyes, staring off into the distance.
「That person was strong. Really strong」
Chihiro knew immediately that Kamishiro was talking about Kaede.
「That person is strong, really strong」
「But you were strong, too」
Chihiro turns around in surprise.
Kamishiro continued to stare off into the distance without looking at Chihiro.
「The way you fought was totally different. The impression I got from you was different, too. But I knew both of you and that person were brother and sister. You are strong. You can be proud of yourself」
It was an unexpected word.
Ever since Chihiro was little, he has been compared to his sister. He had been told many times that "Your sister can do well, so why not you?".
Maybe it is because he is too exhausted, he can’t reject his physiological reaction.
And tears overflowed with the passionate feelings that welled up in him, and it spilled out from his eyes.
「Why are you crying?」
Kamishiro finally turned around and shouted in confusion.
「Oh, gosh, just stop crying. You’re a man」
While repeating these words, Maisaka arrived at the right moment and cheerfully called out to them without reading the air.
「Hey, you two. Come back here, it’s almost time for HR... Eh, Kamishiro... are you hitting on Chisato-chan!? Do you mind if I tell Yuse about it?」
「Wait a minute! Why would you do that?」
Kamishiro rushes toward Maisaka in protest.
Seeing his desperate expression, Chihiro started to feel funny and chuckled.
「Maisaka. Do you mind if I don’t go to HR? I want to change out of these clothes as soon as possible」
For the time being, he decided that it was time for him to stop wearing women’s clothes.
* * *