「Well then, everyone pay attention. I’m naming Michel’s future lover — the woman who made the cookies — Miss Chocolat. And also, our school prince Michel will be renamed to Sweets Prince.」
Arioka had brought out a whiteboard from the corner of the room. Being fond of funny things, he was dragging everyone into it.
Because Michel was French, he didn’t know that name.
But the other easily roused members shouted, 「Ooooh! Miss Chocolat!」
He couldn’t keep up.
「And now, I’m establishing the Miss Chocolat Search Headquarters. Of course, if Miss Chocolat reveals herself, the incident will be resolved quickly, and the headquarters will be dismissed. But Michel says that Miss Chocolat is humble and modest, so the search can potentially be very difficult.」
「Michel… Even though you don’t even know who it is..」
How can he say such things so confidently!?
Humble and modest… My face twitched.
「I, Arioka, will be the commander. I want the vice-commander to be a capable, enchanting, beautiful woman investigator, but there are no girls in our karate club. Therefore, I will appoint Noda, the closest thing we have to a girl, as our vice-commander. Noda, say a few words in response.」
「Seriously, stop messing around!」 I’m a girl, there’s nothing to confuse!
「It’s great that you’re so eager. I’ll start profiling with Michel’s evidence. Investigators who can help me in profiling, raise your hands.」
「…There’s no way anyone can…」
How long would I have to go along with this? This game…
But even for a game, everyone took it seriously, and in a few days the information had been uploaded to the school site, posters had been stuck on the bulletin board, and a request for cooperation had been sent to the newspaper club.
「Can’t be helped, huh,」 the newspaper club members said, not very eager, but there was an unexpectedly large reaction to it and it seemed they’d promised to give us many pages from their next edition.
In the corner of a newspaper with listings like ‘Puppy for adoption,’ ‘Secondhand piano wanted,’ ‘Let’s be roommates,’ we had placed an article that said:
‘We are looking for Miss Chocolat. Miss Chocolat is our school prince, Michel Francois’s future lover. We request Miss Chocolat’s name, or information about her.’
Somehow or another, a lot of people thought ‘Hmm..?’ after reading it, and started enquiring themselves.
‘Just who is Chocolat-san?’ was the usual question.
Michel, tightly hugging an empty bag in the clubroom, depended on the newspaper club’s interview.
「In other words, the prince has never met Miss Chocolat, right? You sensed fate after eating those cookies.」
「Yes! Those cookies tasted the same as Maman’s cookies. There is no doubt the girl who made them is very cute and gentle, a girl I want to protect!」
「I see. So you want to find her, and confess your love to her, right?」
「Yes, I want to meet her immensely.」
Don’t let your imagination go to such places just after a well-made cookie…
Miss Chocolat does karate, so there’s no need to protect her.
「The clues are… Just that bag and the card, right?」
「Yes… It’s just this.」
Michel hugged the bag even tighter, a miserable expression on his face. The newspaper club snapped a picture, not wanting to miss it.
「How did those cookies make their way to you?」
「As for that… Please hear from our investigator. Noda, give a detailed explanation to the reporter.」 Arioka pushed me in front.
「Aah, well, I came to the clubroom first and the bag of cookies was already there. The clubroom wasn’t locked. It’s possible anyone could have placed those cookies before. Since nobody from outside the club comes into our stinking, filthy clubroom, there was no question of locking the door to prevent crime.」
「Investigator! Don’t say too much!」
The club room not only smells, it’s filthy. While I think it’s because we have no girl members or even a manager, there’s no room for improvement.
There are people excited about making Miss Chocolat our manager, but I don’t think there’s any girls who can stand the stink.
If you want to make Miss Chocolat our manager, you have to make a clean atmosphere for her.
But since Miss Chocolat cannot appear again, there’s no need to worry about that.
After the first-term tests ended, there was a short time where there was nothing but the pleasure of awaiting summer vacation. Thanks to that, Miss Chocolat jokes were at their peak, but they’d probably calm down soon.
Since there was a possibility I might be suspected if I overreacted, I always half-heartedly played along.
In a news story titled ‘The Candidate for the Sweets Prince’s Lover!’ Miss Chocolat was described as a perfectly flawless, beautiful girl.
As if I’d really reveal myself! As if I’d be found out! I thought, several days later…
And then, unexpected sorrow paid a visit.