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Chapter 18 Part 2

Friday was one of the days when they gathered in the student council office.

「Yay! Yuu-kun! You’re looking good today, too!」

「Hahaha. Today, too, you’re as lively as usual, Amy-senpai. Prez, Vice Prez, hello.」

Seeing Eimi wave her hand and call Yuu by name in a good mood the moment he entered the student council office, Seika and Riko showed a surprised look on their faces.

「Heh~」

「You two have become quite close, have you not?」

「Ehehe. The other day, I got permission to call him by name! Yuu-kun truly is kind and lovely!」

Yuu had not given a definite reply to Eimi, who confessed to him the other day.

However, being hugged by him on the staircase landing seemed to be a very joyous event for her, and she was very excited as soon as she met him.

「Ah, I hope we can get along well from now on, so I don’t mind even if you two call me by name, too, you know?」

「No, as expected, calling a boy by name is….」

「I am fine going with the way we have been up until now.」

As expected, the two third-years seemed to not have the courage to go that far.

The current agenda was the welcome hike for new students, which was only a couple of weeks away, excluding the Golden Week.

Since it was an annual event, the planning had already been done, so next Tuesday they would hold a briefing session for the committee members consisting of second- and third-year students.

As for Yuu, he was asked to read the plan and give it his opinions from the boys’ point of view, and after giving it some revisions, they called it a day.

◇ ◇ ◇

The next day, Saturday, after school.

Yuu did not have much expectations, but even so, he headed to the student council office thinking that by some chance….

With the time when he was first invited being an exception, Yuu had heard that on normal Saturdays, Sayaka did not come either.

As such, without knocking, Yuu turned the doorknob in a simple attempt to make sure if the door was locked.

Contrary to his expectation, the stainless steel door knob turned with an inorganic clanking sound and the door opened.

There, sitting in her usual seat, was Sayaka, facing sideways, as opposed to the desk, and looking out the window.

Her profile seemed somewhat thoughtful.

「Prez.」

「Hm? Hirose-kun, huh.」

Even when she recognized Yuu, her usual lighthearted vibe was nowhere to be seen.

She seemed to relax her mouth a little, but there was no strength in her eyes.

「Prez, somehow… You seem a little out of sorts.」

「Hmm… Dear me, I end up looking that way even to you, huh, Hirose-kun.」

「Is something the matter?」

「Yes, well…」

Without putting it into clear words, Sayaka stood up and looked out the window.

Yuu stepped toward Sayaka, but partly because she was oozing a somewhat unapproachable atmosphere, he simply looked at her grief-smeared profile.

After a while, as if squeezing these words out, Sayaka muttered softly.

「Boys sure are hard to understand.」

「Huh?」

「Ah! I, no, umm….」

Perhaps she did not mean to say it out loud.

Sayaka was visibly dismayed.

It was unusual for her, who never touched the topics related to male-female relationships normally, to say such a thing.

Guessing it based on what he had heard from Eimi before….

「Could it possibly be about your fiancé?」

「Mu… How do you know about it?」

「I heard it from Amy-senpai.」

「Good graciousness, she sure has a loose tongue.」

Sayaka shook her head, as if to say: good grief.

「If you want, I can give you some advice. I may have less life experience than you, Prez, but if it is related to men, maybe I can be of some help.」

「I, I wonder… Yes! You may be right. It is a boring story, but please lend me your ears.」

According to what Sayaka said, their engagement was decided by their mothers when she was 13 years old.

The other party was the son of the president of a large company that was affiliated with the company run by her parents.

However, as he had an extremely meek personality, he did not speak much from the time they were introduced to each other, and he did not seem to be very positive about the engagement itself.

It was decided that the marriage would take place after Sayaka’s graduation from college, and the two of them seemed to meet only once a month.

It had been four years now, but she was perplexed because she had not been able to close the distance with him at all.

Sayaka took a picture out of her purse and showed it to Yuu.

It was probably at a party venue somewhere.

Standing there was Sayaka, dressed in a mature purple dress with makeup and a natural smile on her face. Standing next to her at a subtle distance was a rather short boy in a tuxedo. He was a boy with an androgynous face that was well-ordered enough to be described as good-looking. Impression-wise, he resembled Yuu’s friend Rei.

They could be said to be a matching beautiful girl and beautiful boy, and a feeling akin to envy was gushing inside Yuu’s heart.

「Last night I had dinner with him for the first time in a month.」

「I… see.」

「Though, I was the one who did all the talking.」

「Are you two getting along?」

「Ahaha. I wish I could say we are… But unfortunately, it is hard to say that we are getting along very well.」

He felt bad for Sayaka, who floated a helpless smile, but Yuu wound up feeling relieved upon hearing it.

「You see, we held hands as I escorted him to the table. He seemed to be a little surprised, but he did not try to shake me off. However, you see, when we were leaving after dinner, I tried to link my arms with his. And then… I ended up being rejected by him.」

「Huh? What a waste!」

「Huh?」

「Ah, I’m sorry.」

「Fufufu. You sure like to say funny things, Hirose-kun.」

It’s not that I’m trying to get you to laugh, I’m just speaking out my honest feelings, though; thought Yuu inwardly.

Sayaka smiled when she saw Yuu’s reaction, but ended up hanging her head soon after.

「I get it, you see. That although I am a leftover woman, thanks to my parents, I am able to have a relationship with a man without having to make any efforts. However, it is probably not what he wishes. He must have disliked the idea of spending time with a fiancé who has been decided for him regardless of his will.」

「Does that person have another girl that he likes?」

Sayaka was perplexed by Yuu’s sudden words.

「Huh? No, I believe that is not the case. I think he is simply not very good with women.」

「And then, in your case, Prez, you wish your relationship with him could be more intimate?」

「I, I mean, given that I am a healthy 17 years old girl, there is no way I am not interested in that kind of thing.」

Hmm, Yuu fell into thought.

Even in modern times, there were some engagements that were arranged by the parents for the sake of the relationships between the two families.

The heirs and heiresses in question must have made peace with it, but compared to the world that Yuu knew, the gap between men and women seemed to be wider in this world.

In contrast to men, who were passive when it came to courtships, women were assertive about it.

If it were Yuu’s former world, a beautiful woman like Sayaka would have been able to pick and choose anyone to her liking, but that was not the case in this world.

As such, given the 1:30 male-female ratio, women who were faced with difficulty in finding a marriage partner had a great advantage.

On the other hand, for men, it might feel like they were having women forced onto them, contrary to their own feelings.

「As a matter of fact, umm… What does your fiancé think of you, Prez?」

「Eh… Umm.」

「Please don’t hold back and tell me.」

Seika’s eyes swam around.

Maybe she did not really want to say it, but he had to make her say it without holding back here.

Heaving a long sigh, Sayaka showed a bitter look on her face and said…

「I, I don’t think he looks at me too favorably. If anything, maybe he is afraid of… me….」

Dignified, masculine in her speech, and seemingly calm at all times, Sayaka was the dependable older sister type.

Yet, there was a gap between her occasional flustered appearance and her usual appearance, and Yuu found it adorable.

As far as Yuu was concerned, it was on the level that he would love to see more and more varying sides of her.

Do the men of this world, who only judge by the cover, find Sayaka scary?

Even though she is such a charming woman; Yuu even felt such indignation.

He met her too late.

Not only that. In a position like Sayaka’s, arrangements between families were more rigid than one might imagine, so it would probably be difficult to take away her fiancé’s position.

He had not grown old for nothing inside, so he could imagine that much.

However; It’s fine even if it is only for a moment, I’d like to have Sayaka all to myself.

Without revealing these feelings I have been keeping in my hearts, I doubt I’ll ever be able to touch Sayaka; so Yuu thought.

「H, Hirose-kun?」

Sayaka looked at Yuu who had fallen silent with concern.

「Prez.」

「Hmm?」

Making up his mind, Yuu took a few steps forward and approached her so close that he could touch her if he reached out his hand.

Sayaka looked at Yuu with a dubious look on her face.

「I think you should learn more about how to treat men, Prez. For that reason, do you want to try using me as your practice partner?」

NEXT CHAPTER

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