The activities of the school festival committee have already shifted their focus from "meetings" to "work".
After the initial meeting for all the committee members to discuss new matters, submit problems, etc., each member begins to work according to his or her assigned role.
The work is filled with a lot of tasks that cannot be completed without dividing up the workload, such as making posters and various printed materials, preparing to decorate the gate, preparing for large-scale events, making a list of music to be broadcasted during the festival, collecting sound sources, and so on.
But these tasks do not need to be documented every time.
Although it is worth being present in case something happens, that is also on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, it is better to help the student council with their work if the committee is not in trouble.
And so, Chihiro told Maria, Hana, and the head of the executive committee to call him if there is any problem, and went back to the student council room.
「Ah, welcome back, servant (Geboku)」
Lucille greets him with a terrific speech, and he bows to her. But thanks to the many times he has seen her, he has become somewhat accustomed to her behavior.
The other three are all there too, smiling at him and welcoming him with glances.
Also, as usual, there are sweets on the big table and the aroma of coffee is in the air, but they are not in the mood for a leisurely tea party and are going about their own business.
「Izumi-kun, did you have a good time on Sunday?」
「Yes, thanks to you」
He put down his luggage and made himself a cup of coffee while answering Ayase.
He had already memorized the position of the cup and the instant coffee. After all, he has been forced to make a cup of coffee more than once with both hands before.
「What is everyone doing now?」
「Paperwork and a student council event」
「The student council event...」
Come to think of it, there is such a thing, but Chihiro have been mostly unaware of it.
In the school festival, the main event is an exhibition planned by each class, but there are also other events organized by volunteer groups or by the executive committee.
For example, the executive committee is expected to hold a beauty contest and so on, but the student council's event is...
「Point race, was it?」
「Yes. It's an annual event」
Lucille, perhaps trying to clear her brain while explaining, answered without stopping her work.
This points race is a custom unique to Shibahou Academy, and is somewhat different from ordinary events.
Then, Yotsuba took over Lucille's explanation and spun the words.
「Only students of Shibahou Academy are eligible to participate in this event, and outsiders are not allowed. It is a kind of a test of skill that uses the entire school festival, in which only students who wish to participate can do so」
Participants will visit several checkpoints during the festival and compete in various challenges.
The checkpoints are not necessarily set up by the student council. Each class's exhibition (mainly amusement) is also eligible, and participants are free to visit any of the checkpoints. But there is no need to visit all the checkpoints.
The results of each checkpoint will be counted in the form of points.
『Prizes are given to the top ranks. The first prize is a coupon worth 10,000 yen that can be used in the cafeteria or at the store』
「That's ten times more than the sports festival」
Although it is hard to say because that time it was a team competition and this time it is an individual competition, still, it is quite generous.
If there is enough time, there is no reason not to participate in this event. Chihiro thought so.
「It's to recruit participants. I mean, this is a project to find the best participants for the next event」
「By "event". you mean the student council election, right?」
「Yes. It's an inter-school competition... an event where training schools compete against each other」
Chihiro also remembered seeing it in a pamphlet before entering the school.
It is an event where [Lost Item] training schools such as Shibahou Academy and Shibatsuru Academy in Sapporo send their representatives to compete with each other in a friendly competition. Since the schools are located far from each other, the event is less confrontational and more sporting, but it is also meant to determine the rating among the schools.
Until now, he had not paid much attention to this event because he thought it had nothing to do with him, but now he understands that the school festival plays a role in the selection of the representatives.
「Well, I think it's OK to say that the competition is a part of the school festival for now. But you should participate in the points race too, Chihiro」
「Oh, me too?」
He is confident though that he won't get into the "top ranks" even if he does.
「Of course, it's a student council event, after all. You should help with the public relations even if it's just for the fun of it」
If that's the case, he'll try to participate. Though he is not sure how much time he will have to participate in the race since he also has to help out in class.
「Well, now that you understand, you can help me. Here you go」
Chihiro quickly started to finish the paperwork that was handed to him.
☆ ☆ ☆
After a long brainstorming session, he left the student council office and went to the executive committee meeting.
Maria and Hana seemed to be almost done with their work, so he helped them a little and the three of them left.
After completing the work, the sky was becoming darker than dusk, and the stars were shining brightly.
The three of them now walked heavily.
「Hana-san, do you want to drop by my apartment today?」
「Hmm... okay. I don't have anything special to do and after this, I just go straight home. But please wait a minute」
While walking together, Hana pulls out her smartphone as if she remembered something.
She nodded her head as she operated the device for a while,
「I knew it. My father has already sent the results of his investigation. If that's the case, it would be quicker to tell you directly」
When they returned to the apartment, Riko and Aika had already returned.
「Welcome home. The bath and dinner are ready」
「Thank you, both of you. You must be tired」
「Don't worry about it. I'm sure our work is lighter」
However, everyone is tired in their own way.
Since a shower before dinner seemed to put everyone into a sleep mode, they decided to sit around the table and listen to Hana's investigation results first.
――The investigation that Hana was asked to conduct was quick and was completed in less than a day.
Well, originally, the information sought was not hidden, nor was it of a level that would require a detective.
It was information that a person in a certain position could have obtained without concern, so it seems that the investigation was completed in a short period of time.
「The former principal, Ootori Shuusuke-san, is the big brother of the current chairman, Ootori Yuuji, isn't he? It appears that he was nominated by his ailing brother to become the Principal」
「He was sick? Then...」
「Yes. The former Principal has already passed away」
He died of illness in his thirties.
He was still young and probably regretted his death. Perhaps he appointed his little brother as his successor because he wanted at least one person close to him to succeed him.
It seems that the former principal had no wife or children.
「However, it seems that he had a fiancée. She was still a first-year college student at that time」
「Hana-san, what is her name?」
「Don't be surprised. Her name is Suzu... Kurohane Suzu」
Feeling Riko and the others gasp, Chihiro thought "I knew it" somewhere in his mind.
After all, he had a vague premonition of what was to come. He knew that Suzu and Principal Ootori had some kind of relationship, and considering the reason why Suzu had hidden her last name from Chihiro, it was only natural that there was a backstory.
...but why Kurohane family name?
If so, Suzu is Yotsuba's big sister. But he didn't hear such a story from Yotsuba, and she doesn't know about the relationship between Chihiro and Suzu too.
Although, it would be strange for her to hear such a story.
「If his brothers are engaged to her, it is not surprising that Suzu-san and the Principal have been friends since then」
Suzu and Principal Ootori must have been good friends since then.
Therefore, Principal Ootori may care about Suzu.
「Yes, that's right. I don't have that much information, but I think it is natural. ...And there is one more piece of information that is rather surprising...」
「Oh, there's more?」
Riko's eye widened, and Hana chuckled and nodded.
「It seems that Ootori-san, the current Principal, is engaged to Kurohane Yotsuba, the current student council president. The engagement between siblings is beautiful, isn't it?」