Arisugawa Reiko hadn’t gotten mad once in her life.
Nor had she ever hated anyone.
This was a fact.
Not just limited to Seikain, girl schools where high class girls attended were basically flower gardens in which disputes didn’t take place. Going by how commoners think, it was a world they couldn’t imagine.
In addition, Reiko was blessed with looks, ability, and character. On top of that, due to the work of the most excellent, distinguished bloodline that dated back to even Kamakura, she naturally repelled anything negative.
The young lady said with a teacup in her hand and a deplorable expression.
“Kimito-sama wouldn’t participate today either, would he?”
The after school tea party had commenced in Reiko’s room.
Four ojou-samas had gathered at the round glass table that was standing inside an about ten tatami big room.
Sitting on cushions, their legs relaxed, it had the appearance of a tea party even commoners would have.
However, the room itself, the high class feeling the tea set and confections had, the beautiful posture of the girls even though relaxed, their deeply engraved manners, and the maid waiting on stand-by, it clearly showed what made Seikain into Seikain.
“He has things to tend to. There is nothing we can do.”
Reiko smiled gently.
If this was the usual thing, the others would say ‘That’s true, isn’t it? Let’s try inviting him again’, too, and end it being all cheerful about it, however——
“He’s together with Aika-sama again today, right?”
“That is indeed the case, Maya-sama—”
The young lady who had an atmosphere around her as energetic as that of an idol, Toujou Kae, added.
“Yeah. What on Earth might be his business with her?”
While the girl named Maya stated that in wonder, a hint of complaint oozed out of her.
“On top of that, it appears Aika-sama opens her heart only to Kimito-sama, why is that…”
“This is true, but…”
As Toujou Kae tried to say something, both of them—— realized Reiko’s state.
She was chuckling.
“I understand it.”
“…What… might you understand?”
Reiko surveyed everyone with a calm expression.
“Surely, Aika-sama is consulting with Kimito-sama.”
“Yes. The status-quo between her and us surely aches her heart. For that reason, she is consulting with him. Kimito-sama barely arrived here and is a wonderful person. He’s the perfect person to fit the role.”
It was the Reiko everyone expected. The very foundation of her character was blessed with motto, ‘look at the world with a positive mindset’. And hence the unshakeable optimistic interpretation.
And this optimistic aura also cleansed the hearts of her surroundings.
“Now I understand…”
Maya made a face as if the scales had fallen off her eyes.
“He’ll surely surprise us before long. Let us wait and look forward to it.”
Reiko was more or less right about the surprising part. But there was no way for her to know that it was Aika’s unsightly envy to ‘bring Arisugawa Reiko down!’.
Normally, they’d now say ‘As expected of Reiko-sama…!’.
“B-But I’m getting the feeling that they’re just too intimate by spending every day in Kimito-sama’s room!”
Those words of Toujou Kae were impacting the room who had been about to settle heavily.
Almost everyone voiced their wonder loudly, and they immediately covered their mouths.
“I-Is that true…?”
“Yes, I’ve heard from someone from the same dorm!”
Kae said with a serious expression while telling the secret.
“She wanted to visit Kimito-sama’s room and while she was in front of his door hesitating, she heard the voices of people who were really enjoying themselves. And recently, it went on until late…!”
…Still with her fingers on her teacup, Reiko grew silent.
Obviously, her expression was changing.
“Speaking of which, this exchange in the classroom the other day – they seem to get along just splendid…”
“Isn’t that right?!”
“…Ehm, everyone, how about another round of tea?”
Mizuho, the spectacled girl who possessed the rare ability among ojou-samas to perceive a ‘dangerous atmosphere’, tried to stop Kae and company’s talk.
“Right, right! She was whispering into his ear and taking his hand!”
“Kimito-sama even chased after her! If I had to guess… I’d say it’s an extraordinary relationship!”
However, it was futile.
If these were commoner girls school students, everyone would immediately sense the atmosphere and shift the direction of the topic in perfect cooperation.
But—— these young ladies couldn’t read the atmosphere.
Because… they lacked the experience.
These girls hadn’t the chance to forge the ability to read this kind of atmosphere, these situations were hardly ever happening, and nor had they been in contact with men before.
“Perhaps they became close between all these consultations! Maya-sama, would you comply with my thinking…?!”
And Mizuho, who was trying her best considering she was an ojou-sama, had nothing she could do anymore and alternated her gaze between the excited others and Reiko.
“Are those two already—— lovers—?!”
“There is no doubt!”
Arisugawa Reiko hadn’t gotten mad once in her life.
No matter what it was, she was able to look at it positively.
“Are they on their own in his room again today?!”
“Perhaps, right now, they’re kis—”
“PLEASE CUT IT OUT ALREADY!”
…The room fell dead silent.
Everyone but the culprit had the same estranged, frozen expression.
They looked as if—— they were seeing the world end.
Kae choked on her words, her eyes teared up.
However, the one who was shocked to most, was none other than Reiko herself.
Dumbfounded. And—— startled.
She jumped to her feet and her knees hit the table.
The cups fell and the black tea was spilling onto the glass.
Kae let a tiny shriek slip.
Reiko was startled and shivering. She shut her eyes closely and ran for it———— out of the room.
After school, I was heading for Arisugawa-san’s dorm.
Arisugawa-san had been absent today.
There had been a tea party incident, or so I’d heard.
The rough content was, ‘Reiko-sama has gotten furious at yesterday’s tea party’.
Hearing that the Arisugawa-san had gotten angry had taken me by surprise too, but such wasn’t the reaction of the classroom.
Toujou-san, who Arisugawa-san presumably had gotten angry with, had been crying the whole time. The surrounding ojou-samas tried to console her and were completely pale themselves; they obviously didn’t know what to do. They were simply flustered.
The rumor had even spread to the other school grades, it had caused a turmoil as if a meteorite had struck the Earth.
I had decided that I shouldn’t attend the matter thoughtlessly with the ojou-samas being like that and had eyed the situation for the time being…
And here I was, standing in front of Arisugawa-san’s room.
Even though I had changed my prior decision, I had a reason. Two even.
First, I thought my position could turn out to be extremely effective in this case.
I was a transfer student, a man, and a commoner.
An outsider so to say, in a good way. Someone uninvolved. Perfectly suited for mediation.
Well, there was no way I could leave the matter alone either, so there was no other choice.
I knocked on the door.
After I had raised my voice—— I felt it. My, so to say, sixth sense told me that someone had moved inside the room.
“Arisugawa-san? It’s Kagurazaka…”
A short while later——
With the door between us, I could faintly hear her from far inside.
“Ehm… would you mind to open up?”
This means she definitely won’t, huh?
I decided to give up on that right away and went with talking across the door.
“…I can’t talk about it.”
It was the same thing the others had said in the classroom.
When the uninvolved ojou-samas had tried to get to the bottom of it, they were continuously refused with a ‘I can’t talk about it’ and been apologized to.
However, going by my gut feeling and the looks they’d casted to me at the time, I’d started to surmise something.
That was reason number two why I came here.
“It’s related to me, isn’t it?”
“THAT’S NOT TRUE—!”
Arisugawa-san flung the door open, when I had already accepted that she by no means would—— And she was standing there wearing a one piece pyjama that made her look like a princess.
That was probably what she looked like when she stood up. She had a bit of bed hair here and there and the area beneath her eyes was somewhat swollen, probably from crying. I had only seen her in flawless appearance all the time, so this lenient way of dressing felt very refreshing in contrast.
Arisugawa-san appeared to realize her own state and blushed up in an instant, making a face as if she was about to leak a shriek.
I got flustered too and turned around. There had been a similar situation like this, hadn’t there?
And then, I listened to Arisugawa-san’s story.
While I promised to not further pry into the details and Arisugawa-san stressed that it wasn’t related to me… she told vaguely told me about it. Her breathing got rough as she got to the second part.
My impression from what I’ve heard was—— Well, in short…
It had been a quarrel of sorts. She had gotten irritated, loud, and in the blink of an eye, the atmosphere had gone bad—— something like that.
To us, it was an everyday thing.
In situations like that, one of the parties involved would decide to make up and apologize by mail around evening or so (assuming that’s enough).
Something like this.
“…………I…………What should I do…………”
When I turned my face, Arisugawa-san looked as if the world was ending.
She was the same as everyone else had been in class. Pale and at a loss.
Quite a few days had passed since I’d come here.
So I could vaguely guess the reasons.
These young ladies didn’t fight.
For us commoners, it was a natural skill that we had acquired by having countless smaller and bigger disputes.
Knowing when to budge from one’s standpoint. Knowing emergency measures. Friends that you could rely on in these cases.
Those things weren’t a given here.
And so it had gotten Arisugawa-san, who appeared perfect in just about every regard, crying like this.
This—— was where the commoner had to step up.
“It’ll be fine.”
Arisugawa-san looked up to me with her teary eyes.
‘This ain’t a big deal,’ I tried to convey with a smile. I stroke her head.
“Leave this to the commoner.”
Translator notes and references