Volume 6 Chapter 6 Shirogane Aqua, Cultural Exchange
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Soon after the second semester began, Toa, Mayuzumi, and I were called by the third-year student council president, Natsuki Sana-san.
”Sorry for calling you three even though you’re busy.”
”No, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”
President Natsuki is a well-known person at Otomezaki School and is referred to by her female classmates as a “beautiful girl with an disappointing demeanor.” Apparently, she’s called that because her uncharacteristic actions turn all positive elements into negatives. When I first met President Natsuki, she was catching crayfish in the nearby river on my way home. Her appearance at that time was shocking. Since she looked like a beautiful girl dipping her bare legs into the river, I thought it was either bullying or lost property, so I called out to her. But it turned out she was just playing. I even jumped into the river before saying anything, and I felt embarrassed.
Moreover, after that, I ended up catching crayfish with her, and the passing students’ gazes hurt. Not to mention, my classmate Kurogami-san teased me the next day, saying, “Shirogane-kun, you have quite a childish side, huh?” I remember being quite embarrassed at that time.
Well, because of that incident, President Natsuki started talking to me whenever she had the chance and showed concern, asking me to tell her if I had any troubles. I think she’s fundamentally not a bad person and is genuinely kind. She might be a bit peculiar, but maybe that’s also one of President Natsuki’s charms. Today, she said she had something rare to discuss, so after our classes ended, we visited the student council room.
”Yes, please take a look at this.”
President Natsuki handed me two documents. Seeing President Natsuki working as the student council president like this was the first time for me, and I couldn’t believe she was the same person who got her face muddy while catching crayfish. I read through the first document she handed me.
”Um… about the cultural exchange through volunteering with St. Claris Girls’ School…?”
Speaking of St. Claris, it’s the school where my sister Lapis attends. As her big brother, I think Lapis has become even cuter lately. If Lapis were an idol, I’d make a uchiwa fan and wear a happi coat to support her without fail. However, lately, she seems to be going through a rebellious phase, as she hides behind Shitori-onee-chan’s back when I approach her.
According to Shitori-onee-chan, it’s inevitable for Lapis to react that way because I’ve been getting too close to her lately. But when there weren’t enough seats, I just put her on my lap because her size fit perfectly, or I’d dry her hair with a hairdryer and brush it after taking a bath. It’s just that… Lapis is at an age where she might not like being treated like that by her big brother.
But I want to dote on Lapis too! Oh, dear big brothers of the world, listen to me. If there’s a secret way to legally dote on your little sister, please teach it to me discreetly. When I was lost in thought like that, President Natsuki grinned.
”Yes! We’ve been doing the cultural exchange with St. Claris every year through volunteering… Shirogane, you might not have heard from your family, but the student council president over there said that this year, Shirogane and Nekoyama’s little sisters from the middle school section will participate. So they wanted to check with you beforehand if you’d be interested.”
I glanced at Toa, who was standing beside me. It seemed like he already knew about it from his sister from his expression. But I had no idea. It was completely news to me. Seeing my reaction, Toa had a look on his face like, “Really? You haven’t been told?” Please, I don’t want him to do that. My glass heart was about to shatter because Lapis hadn’t told me anything.
”Of course, it’s okay if both of you are too busy with work and decline. But just to be sure, we wanted to hear from you before finalizing the plans. Sorry for bothering you, Mayuzumi. I thought it would not be good to ask only the two of them and not Mayuzumi, one of the boys in the same class, so I invited you to the meeting by the way. I apologize if I offended you.”
”No, thank you for calling me. It’s not a bother at all.”
As I carefully read through the document, I found Lapis’ name listed among the participants for the cultural exchange through volunteering.
St. Claris Girls’ School, Middle School Section.
Shirogane Lapis, Nekoyama Subaru, Sabato Miyako.
Come to think of it, I haven’t met Subaru-chan, Toa’s little sister, yet. I wonder what kind of person she is?
”I think I’ll participate. Subaru will be there too, and I haven’t seen Miyako-chan in a while. I want to thank her for helping me with the computer stuff when I was shut in.”
As I tilted my head, Toa pointed to the name of a child written on the right side of the document.
”Sabato Miyako, Subaru’s childhood friend. She helped me with computer-related things and taught me about creating Vtubers when I was shut in, so I want to express my gratitude.”
According to Toa, Miyako-chan taught him how to use music composition software and create Vtubers. It seems she taught him all those things. The document mentioned that Miyako is also in her second year of middle school, just like Lapis. I think it’s amazing since she’s in her second year. Well, to be honest, I didn’t understand much, so all I could come up with was a stupid impression like, “Wow, that’s impressive.”
”Although it may seem unrelated to me, Miyako-chan seems to be getting along well with Lapis-chan?”
”Yeah, although Miyako-chan is shy around others, she seems to have taken a liking to Lapis-chan and keeps talking to her patiently. She said that’s how they became friends.”
I looked at the document again. Even without Lapis being involved, I wanted to participate in the volunteer activities if I had the time. Fortunately, I didn’t have any plans on the day of the volunteer activity, and I had no reason to decline. I had no reason to choose not to participate, so I agreed to take part in the cultural exchange event’s volunteer activity.
”President, I’m interested in volunteering too, so count me in!”
”And what’s your real intention?”
”I can’t let myself miss an event where Lapis is involved as her big brother!”
”Oh my, Aqua becomes quite enthusiastic when it comes to his little sister. Hehehe.”
The secretary and accountant Mikomae-senpai, who was in the same room, burst into laughter while watching Toa and my interaction.
”Oh, sorry, it’s nothing.”
Mikomae-senpai gave a mischievous grin. With her flashy blonde hair and tanned skin, Mikomae-senpai looked like a gal from head to toe, but she was actually at the top of the second-year rankings academically. By the way, second place was Natalia Rosenesta, the vice president, standing next to President Natsuki. Rosenesta-senpai seemed to be a relative of Kanon, and I could faintly feel Kanon’s genes in her facial features.
Moreover, her body seemed to be a step ahead of an adult compared to Kanon, giving her a slightly calmer vibe. Even though I shouldn’t think like that, I couldn’t help but feel my heart race a bit. But I have Kanon, so I need to avoid thinking about such things.
”I see. It must be tough for Claire-chan, sitting next to you and seeing this every day.”
The one who replied to Mikomae-senpai with a low and cold voice was Chihiro Claire-san, who is in the same class with us. Although we were classmates, we hadn’t talked much due to her arriving late to the school during the first term because she was studying abroad with Stars. Our seats were also far apart. However, from the second term onwards, Claire-san was sitting next to me. I hope we can get along well this time.
”Hmmm…. Suzu, you’re getting a little too far off track.”
”Ah, sorry, forget it. It’s nothing, Shirogane-kun and Nekoyama-kun!”
Vice President Rosenesta-senpai scolded Mikomae-senpai playfully and then turned her gaze back to us.
”Shirogane-san and Nekoyama-san, are you both participating then? Mayuzumi-san, what about you? You don’t have to decide today. You can think about it after going home, and you can change your decision on the day of the event if you wish.”
”Oh, no… I’ll also participate. I think it’ll be a good experience, and I’ve been interested in volunteering for some time.”
Mayuzumi looked at the two of us, and he decided to participate as well. I was surprised that Mayuzumi was interested in volunteering, but I was happy that my friend Mayuzumi was actively participating in such an event.
”I understand. Then, we will make the necessary arrangements. On the day of the event, Sugita-sensei and the Student Disciplinary Committee will also be there to provide support. The Student Council will be present at the venue as well, so if anything happens, please let us know immediately.”
”Yes! Thank you so much!!”
”Now, please take a look at the second document, if you don’t mind.”
Prompted by Rosenesta-senpai, I turned my attention to the paper handed to me and looked at its contents.
”Joint Music Festival with Mary Girls’ Academy…?”
I was taken aback as I looked at the paper. Mary Girls’ Academy is the school Kanon attends. As expected, when I checked the list of participants, Kanon’s name was there.
”This year’s joint music festival will be held at Mary Girls’ Academy. It’s decided that each grade will have one representative. By the way, for Otomezaki’s second year, it will be me, and for the third year, it will be President Natsuki.”
”The first year representative is not decided yet… What do you think? Of course, you are free to decline as well. As long as there is a record of us proposing the idea to Shirogane-san and others, it’s fine.”
Huh? What does that mean? While I was puzzled, Toa next to me stretched a little and whispered in a small voice near my ear.
”When considering the relationship between St. Claris and Mary, we can’t only approach St. Claris for the cultural exchange event. And as for the reason they only need a record of proposing the idea, it’s probably so they can say they tried but were rejected if asked about it.”
Ah, I see. St. Claris and Mary are two famous girls’ schools known as the “Three Noble Schools.” It would be problematic for a guy to participate in only one of the events held at the rival schools. I looked at Toa and Mayuzumi again.
”I don’t have any issues with participating in the music festival itself, but I have work on that day. I don’t think I can make it to Mary in the neighboring prefecture on time.”
”Unfortunately, I also have some family matters on that day, so I don’t think I can participate for the same reasons. I’m sorry.”
I wonder if I had any plans that day. I checked my schedule on my phone again and found out that I had a day off that day.
”Oh, then I’ll participate.”
I felt a bit guilty about using a school event like this, but without such events, both Kanon and I are too busy, and it’s difficult for us to meet each other’s faces. I’m busy with work, and Kanon seems to be attending various social events as a member of the Stars’ royal family.
Considering the eyes of those around us, we might not be able to have a direct conversation at the music festival, but I’ll be happy just to see Kanon up close. Most of all, I really wanted to see Kanon and her face.
”Understood. Thank you. I’ll also inform Mary about it. If it’s a last-minute cancellation, that’s also fine. If Shirogane-san cancels, Claire from the first year, who will be accompanying us, will take your place, so don’t worry.”
I directed my gaze towards Claire, who was at the edge, and she nodded slightly. Claire is half-Japanese and grew up abroad, so she has a calm demeanor and seems a bit more mature for her age. However, at the same time, her face retains a slightly childlike innocence, making her the type of girl that men from my previous world would instinctively want to protect.
”While the performance item for the music festival is free to choose, the school’s wind ensemble will handle the orchestra, so it’s mostly classical music or hymns. Shirogane-san, do you have any preferences?”
”Ah… then I’ll go with the piano.”
I’m not at a professional level, but I enjoy playing the piano. If it’s for a student music festival, I think my level is good enough. Since I have the opportunity, I might as well play Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto. Wait? Does Rachmaninoff even exist in this world? Well, I guess the details like that don’t really matter!
”Understood. Also, since the event is a social practice, there is a dress code. However, there are suit rentals available, and it’s also possible to participate in school uniforms, so don’t worry.”
”Well… Oh! It’s okay. I’ll go in a suit that day.”
Due to my contract with Corrole Homme, I’ve received a large number of clothes sent to my home.
With high-end brands like this, there are many suits, but I rarely have the opportunity to wear particularly dressy ones. Since it’s a special occasion, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to wear one and not let the clothes go to waste in the closet.
”S-Sure… for some reason, I have a feeling that things will get really complicated, but I’ll pretend I didn’t notice.”
For some reason, Rosenesta-senpai’s cheeks twitched. I wonder what’s going on.
”I also have a feeling that Aqua will mess something up again, hehe.”
”Actually, I feel the same way.”
Toa and Mayuzumi looked at me with eyes that seemed like they wanted to say something. Sure, I’ve been told that I’ve been unconsciously causing various problems before, but that doesn’t mean I’m causing trouble all the time. This time, I’m just going to wear a suit and play the piano. There’s nothing that could cause a problem. If anything, it might be more difficult to mess up. So, they can relax and have peace of mind.
”I wonder if it will really be okay… I’m worried, but well, whatever, it’s always the same with Aqua, and I won’t be there anyway.”
Toa muttered something like that and averted his gaze from me, looking out the window. Grr… I’ll make sure to get through the music festival flawlessly no matter what. Let’s show them that I can do it perfectly.
I looked down at the paper again to review the details. As I read through the contents, I happened to find another familiar name among the participants, besides Kanon.
Mary Girls’ Academy University, Yukishiro Emily.
She was one of the regular customers at the café where I used to work part-time. Emily-san was not very talkative, but she was remarkably beautiful and had a very calm and mature aura. On my last day at the café, she came in just before closing time, seemingly out of breath. She was very kind, and I thought she was a wonderful person. Oh, come to think of it, I heard she was a university student… So Emily-san also goes to Mary Girls’ Academy.
Since I have this opportunity, I should at least say hello if we meet. I’d be sad if she doesn’t remember me, but I’d be happy if she does.
Yukishiro Emily, she must be a person with a heart as pure as her name suggests… Yeah.
By the way, after this, there might have been such an exchange or there might not have been.
Toa: “Aqua, just so you know, don’t try to seduce Subaru.”
Aqua: “Huh? What did you say? (Activates selective hearing skill)”
Mayuzumi: “Nekoyama, isn’t that like raising a flag? I think it might be better if you didn’t hear it.”
Toa: “Yeah, Shintaro is right. It’s nothing, Aqua. Don’t worry about it.”
Aqua: “Ah, I see (Well, it’s a good opportunity, she’s Subaru-chan’s sister!)”
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.