By the time I realize it, it’s already the morning of the second day of the school festival.
「We’re changing our strategy. You’ll sell the cookies at a fixed location. I noticed that you never utilized the benefit of mobility at all.」
「Well I’m sorry.」
「There were girls who bought cookies from me, saying that the ones they bought from you were delicious. If we think in terms of having repeat customers, then selling them at a fixed location will also benefit us. If you move too far away, it will also result in customers not being able to buy the cookies even if they wanted to.」
Looks like it’s thanks to these shirts that our customers knew Mizuhara and I were selling the same cookies.
I’m wearing an elf shirt, a pair of black pants, and a plain apron today as well.
Also, Mizuhara is up to his evil schemes again.
He’s selling the cookies next to a vending machine, behind the live music and dance performances.
He’s targeting groups of people who are buying drinks.
He’s selling the cookies in front of a popular cosplay cafe.
Apparently, there are many girls there who like cute things, plus they would be more likely to buy cheap 250 yen cookies after spending money in such an expensive venue.
Also, he’s maximizing the benefits of mobile catering to move around the school, gathering information he could offer to the executive committee.
The busy and slightly hungry committee members buy the cookies along with the information. Sold.
He’s also selling the cookies to the less popular clubs that set up their booths, along with the girls there.
Seeing the girls buy cookies while screaming excitedly is a sight for their sore eyes, and they’re grateful to Mizuhara.
The repeat customers are telling me where they each bought the cookies from Mizuhara. Looks like he told them to buy cookies from me if they wanted more.
They tell me not only where he was, but also what he was doing.
We’re selling the cookies at a higher rate than yesterday.
There were also repeat customers from yesterday, telling me how tasty the cookies were. That cheers me up.
「Huh? Is that you, Noda? What are you doing here?」
The karate club members noticed me and are coming my way.
I frown while they still can’t see my face clearly.
I was selling cookies while moving around yesterday, so whenever I saw a club member’s face, I quickly turned around and went the other way before they noticed.
「Noda, are you selling cookies…?」
「Ah… I’m just helping.」
「What are you doing?! Are you trying to ruin our plans?!」
「What do you mean, ruin your plans?」
「Our plans to help Michel and Kinoshita-san reconcile!! Cookies and Maman and France are now taboo words.」
「Noda wasn’t around while we were secretly formulating our plan.」
「But she’s selling cookies… It’s a topic we’re trying to avoid.」
「Leader Arioka has been trying especially hard to take on Noda’s title as deputy as well.」
「I couldn’t wish for more.」
「But Arioka overslept and is still at home. He’s quickly getting ready, and has sent us block messages entrusting us individually with instructions to carry out the plan while he’s on the way.」
「I think Arioka-senpai should step down from his role as Leader, though.」
I hear the voice of a girl saying 「2 bags of cookies please.」
I shoo the club members away as they’re lined up horizontally and getting in the way of business.
「Let’s find a way to prevent Michel and Kinoshita-san from coming here. Noda’s selling cookies and wearing that weird shirt. We don’t want things to get awkward between them.」
「…Eh? Oh, yeah! That’s right. Keep it a secret from Michel and Kinoshita-san. Yeah, it’s better that way.」
The club members agree, and I think to myself how lucky I am.
It seems that the club members have been coming up with ways to help Michel and Kinoshita-san make up with each other.
They’re tagging along with the couple, coming up with fun ideas and showing them the way to the stage.
I think it’s better to leave them alone if you want them to reconcile though.
「Noda. We’ll buy the cookies too. It’ll be a pity if you have leftovers. It’ll be bad luck for your future.」
「Shut up. You’re one to talk. Also, it’s fine. It’s going to get awkward if Michel and Kinoshita-san see you eating cookies.」
「Then what about that pound cake?」
It’s supposed to be a limited sale, but I want them to hurry up and leave, so I give it to them.
「It’s actually a limited product, so keep it a secret. It’s a cake from a store called Bûche de Stage.」
Maruta-san has been a lot of help to us, so I help advertise his store in return, even if it isn’t much.
The club members buy the pound cake and leave, commenting on how tasty it looks.
「What should we tell Michel and Kinoshita-san if they ask about Noda?」
「We’ll tell them she became extinct.」
I can still hear them from here. I make an mental note to kick them in the guts later.
Michel and Kinoshita-san almost came here once, but thanks to the amazing teamwork of the club members, they passed by without noticing.
They formed a wall with their huge bodies, blocking the couple’s view and hiding the booth.
I hid behind a pillar until they completely passed by.
I put up a sign to put the money on the counter during that time. Mizuhara got upset, telling me I was being too careless.
I was keeping an eye out from the pillar to prevent theft though.
We managed to sell more cookies than yesterday because there were more customers.
We sold the forsaken elf cookies in the afternoon. That went well too.
Mizuhara used a cardboard instead of the elf carts.
He wrote in childish letters:
『Please pick us up. 150 yen each.』
He used a magic pen for that.
Below that, he drew an injured and crying elf, and added a speech bubble that said 『I might have to go to the health center if this goes on…』
While I was struggling over not being used to selling things, time had passed, and our cookies were sold out before I knew it.
「Here’s the money.」
Mizuhara hands me heavy stacks of coins.
「Oh, yeah. I’ll count all of this another day. I’m really tired now.」
「Me too. I’m close to being brain dead. We only slept for 2 or 3 hours yesterday. Also there was barely any space to sleep in, and I’m exhausted.」
「Let’s go home and sleep.」
As I clean up slowly, Mizuhara announces the cold, hard truth.
「It’s a rule for booth owners to stay until the festival’s closing time. We have to wait here for 2 hours, then go to the executive committee for formalities.」
It’s 2 pm right now.
「I’m tired~… but also hungry.」
「Yeah, let’s get some food.」
「I wanna eat a frankfurter.」
「I’m getting the Belgium waffle they’re selling over there.」
「Ah, I wanna eat that too.」
We decide to split up and buy food separately.
I buy a frankfurter, a gyoza hotdog, a taiyaki and a cup of tea, then go to the courtyard. Mizuhara’s already there.
He bought a Belgium waffle, a fried red bean rice cake, a mini Castella, and a tapioca drink.
「Ah, so sweet, so sleepy. Buy a proper meal next time, it’s making me sleepy.」
「Rice cakes are proper meals, also I’m sleepy too.」
We’re at the peak of drowsiness.
「My eyelids are closing shop.」
Mizuhara retorts by saying that’s impossible.
I’m eating half-asleep while leaning against the booth.
It’s almost the end of the school festival.
An MC is saying something over a microphone on the temporary stage in the courtyard, hyping up the crowd.
There’s some loud music that gathers everyone’s attention as if something’s about to happen.
「Thank you all for waiting! It’s the event you’ve been waiting for, the Best Couple Contest. We’ve had more contestants this year vying for Best Couple!」
「Ah, the Best Couple Contest…」
Michel and Kinoshita-san are participating.
They made the stage pretty high, so the audience could watch the contest even without sitting in the chairs set up there.
I urge a reluctant Mizuhara to change locations.