Chapter 17: That’s the ‘Conversation Drill’! (Aika-san’s Everyday Life Part 2)

Today, yet again, I was making Aika a snack in the shared community kitchen.

The commoner club kept degenerating into the ‘Aika idles around while reading manga’-club. It was headed full speed for the stereotypical cultural club depravity.

When I was done making a strawberry galette and returned to my room—— Aika was sitting at the desk.

She was enthusiastically writing something into a notebook. Her immersion was high enough to not even notice me entering.

For a second I thought she looked like Haqua, but there was something really different about her. And that something was…

“………Ufufu…”

Her smirk – really off-putting. While she went on giggling ‘Ufufu, ufufu’, her pen swiftly ran across the paper.

“…You mustn’t be tricked…”

She’s even talking to herself! So gross!

When I was standing stock still thinking that she was such an idiot, the pen stopped; and she put it away.

Then she looked nowhere in specific with her eyes sparkling.

She had a full-fledged grin on her face like the artist of a done Shuraba[1] who was thinking, ‘With this, the game’s done’.

Finally, she became aware of me.

“…! S-Since when have you been there?!”

*FAWP*—! She lay the notebook face down and tried to hide it.

“I didn’t see anything in specific, alright? That your diary?”

“That’s not a diary! That’s the ‘Conversation Drill‘—!”

“…Conversation Drill?”

Aika covered her mouth as if to say ‘Now I did it’.

…She pondered for a bit.

“That’s right—!”

Looks like she’s chosen the serious route.

“Like the name suggests, it’s a workbook for conversations! In order to be able to obtain as much skill in communicating with my classmates as possible, I write down imaginary exchanges with everyone or take notes of the conversations that take place in the classroom and then I change them as if I’d taken part in them!”

…………Oh God.

“What? What’s with that face?!”

“No, nothing.”

“And so I kept adding to it! On first glimpse, a swan swims elegantly too, but underwater it’s flutter-kicking for its life, you know?!”

But you’re not even swimming elegantly above the surface here.

“Now that I’ve had my breakthrough in commoner culture, the fruits of my training will soon be ready to be reaped!”

With an impression as if she’d gotten completely pumped now, Aika stuck the notebook out to me.

“You’re my assistant in the become-popular-plan, right? It’s fine if you’re the one to see it, okay?”

She said while puffing her small chest out like a sail.

“In there there are countless simulations that we can use as strategies for sure. It’s fine for you to read it and embrace the overwhelming feeling of respect in the eye of my great efforts and genius, you know? Ufufu!”

“………”

I accepted the notebook.

For now, I felt nothing but a straight bad premonition, but it was the thrill of being able to look at something scary – and knowing it’s scary made you want to look all the more – that won in the end.

On the cover it said in characters as beautifully written as ever ‘Conversation Drill ⑥’.

…………So she wrote up 6 volumes of this?

“Alright, shall I then?”

“By all means!”

I opened the notebook and had a look at the first conversation.

 

Setting: I’m holding onto the hands of a classmate who’s about to fall down a steep cliff

 

“WHY?!”

I tsukkomi’ed on the very first line.

“Don’t these things happen?”

“THEY DON’T!”

“C-Complain after you’ve read it!”

…It couldn’t be helped, so I read on.

 

Classmate: “It’s hopeless… Aika-sama, please let go!”

Me: “No! I won’t ever let go!”

Classmate: “Why would you go this far…? Even though Aika-sama usually doesn’t even talk to us…”

Classmate: “Huh… Could Aika-sama possibly be someone who can’t tell lies? As she’s not able to hide her exact thoughts, she vents them immediately and so she’s scared of destroying her relationships with others? And actually that already happened in the past? Because of that, she puts herself in a distance so that this won’t happen again? But in reality she wants to become close friends with everyone? And on top of that become popular in class—— Could it be that?”

Me: “That’s right!”

Classmate: “If it’s that, then I think that Aika-sama is a splendid person!”

I pull my classmate up.

Classmate: “Aah, thank you so much, Aika-sama! You’re a life saver!”

Me: “I only did what anyone would do. Because, aren’t we classmates?”

Classmate: “Um… would you mind becoming my friend from today on?”

Me: “Of course not! Till death do us part!”

The other classmates come rushing over.

Everyone: “You’re amazing, Aika-sama! Please, by all means, become our friend too!”

Aika: “Yeah, of course! Till death do us part!”

Everyone: “Aah, Aika-sama!”

Everyone: “You’re much more wonderful than Reiko-sama!”

Me: “Is that so~”

 

“WHAT’S THE FLIPPING IDEA—?!”

I tsukkomi’ed loudly.

“The heck’s with that abnormal comprehension ability of that classmate?! And why that setting to begin with?!”

“But wouldn’t you want to save your classmates in a cool pinch like that?”

“Are you a pubescent boy or what?!”

“You’re being annoying…”

While Aika pouted her lips, she flipped through the pages.

“Here, that one’s something more familiar.”

 

March 2nd, Classroom

 

A: “The exam phase commences today, doesn’t it?”

B: “What should I do? I hardly studied at all.”

A: “My…”

 

“Oh, that one actually happens.”

“I took notes of that real conversation, you know?”

“That kinda talk happens everywhere, doesn’t it…?”

“Among commoners too? ——So people who say they didn’t study can’t get good grades, unless… they’re lying.”

Well, though it’s also possible that someone who really hasn’t studied gets good grades.

“And so I added myself to that conversation.”

“How?”

 

A: “The exam phase commences today, doesn’t it?”

B: “What should I do? I hardly studied at all.”

A: “My…”

Me: “Wait! She’s lying! You mustn’t be deceived!”

A: “EEEH—?!”

Me: “Confess at once! You did study a lot, didn’t you?!”

B: “…Yes, I did. (Squats down heartbroken)”

A: “Why would you…?”

Me: “And compared to her, I didn’t study at all for real! I’ll fail this one! Guaranteed!”

A: “Please be my friend!”

Me: “Of course! Till death do us part!”

A: “You’re much more wonderful than Reiko-sama!”

Me: “Is that so~”

 

“NOT HAPPENING———————!”

I tsukkomi’ed by leaps and bounds.

“Why’s the plot always taking these sudden turns?! Is that how your literary style works?! Also, your ’till death do us part’ is way too much!”

“How’s this one strange now?!”

“In a lot of ways! But for now, do you really wanna become friends with others by that reasoning?!”

I handed her the drill back.

“Ha? What are you saying? Of course I wanna.”

Aika reread it——

“WHAT’S WITH THIS PERSON?! I DON’T WANT THAT!”

 

…She’s hopeless.

I need to hurry up and do something.

 

Translator notes and references

[1]There seems to be a game called like this. Else, this line wouldn’t make sense at all.