The instant I enter the clubroom, I hold my head with my hands in shock.
Chain origami rings are hanging in the small clubroom, and paper flowers and balloons are stuck on the walls.
The clubroom has completely changed to a kids’ birthday party.
I wanted no part in the preparations for the welcoming party, but I ended up helping because of nostalgia.
We stack about 5-7 paper flowers and make an accordion fold. We stick the center with some gum and open the flowers individually.
「Noda~ we’re writing a welcome message on this paper. What should we write?」
「I think the best would be 『Welcome Miss Kinoshita』 right?」
「Do you think we should draw a heart shape?」
「Do you think we should write 『We Love You』 in small letters?」
「Do you think we should write 『Shut Up Baldy』 next to it?」
The club members gather excitedly, holding a large piece of paper that’s almost a banner.
And the room is hot and stuffy!
They’re flying paper planes made of origami paper and hitting each other with balloons as if they’re in kindergarten! I’m getting annoyed with their immaturity.
「Isn’t a simple message like 『Welcome Kinoshita Yui-san』 just fine?」
There’s going to be less of an impact if there are too many messages, and it’s going to bother Kinoshita-san.
「Is everyone still squabbling over there? We cannot proceed if you don’t paste that paper already, so stop fooling around.」
Arioka-senpai has just returned from the supermarket, dragging a shopping bag along.
I got careless!
I let him go shopping.
「Please let me see that bag, Arioka-senpai!」
He hides the vinyl bag behind him as I approach him.
He looks as if he’s done something guilty.
I check the contents while having a tug of war with him.
「Dried gluten snacks, rice crackers, rice balls, tofu skinned sushi, fried rice balls, hand roll sushi, chimaki… Okay, back to square one.」
There’s too much rice.
I knew this would happen.
「It’s a welcoming party for Kinoshita-san, you know.」
「Does she dislike rice?」
「It’s not feminine.」
「Does she dislike Mr. Rice?」
It’s not an issue about likes or dislikes, or even the way you put it.
「That’s not the problem. We need more variety.」
「Alright then, I’ll go shopping! Write the welcome message for us, Noda.」
「No, I’ll write it.」
Arioka-senpai holds a magic pen excitedly.
He has bad handwriting so I’m thinking about stopping him, but it’s too much trouble.
「What music should we play, Noda? We wanted your opinion too.」
「It’s going to be loud and annoying anyway. I don’t think we need any.」
Kinoshita-san is coming in about half an hour, and we’re only half prepared.
Now they’re arguing about seating arrangements.
There’s not much space here, and they’re going to move around anyway.
Kinoshita-san’s personal seating cushion is at the very back, and all the club members’ seats are facing her.
Her cushion is purple, so it looks like a Buddhist memorial service.
There’s a lot of flowery decorations, so it looks like an altar too.
No doubt she’s going to feel uncomfortable. I adjust the placement of the food, and somehow manage to make a circle for the seats.
「I asked her to bring Michel along.」
Arioka-senpai is distributing crackers while eating a rice ball.
He even prepared some crackers.
Escorted by Michel, Kinoshita-san enters the clubroom right at this moment. She looks surprised by the sound of the crackers being placed.
「Welcome to the Karate Club, Miss Kinoshita!」
Arioka-senpai begins the welcoming party with those simple words.
As expected, the club members flock towards Kinoshita-san, ignoring their seats.
The food that was nicely arranged in a paper plate is also messed up now.
I foresaw it and made my own set, so I’m fine.
The club members have crackers stuck on their heads with paper tape, pretending to be Jesus Christ.
Kinoshita-san gives a wry smile on seeing their antics.
My phone vibrates in my pocket as I’m peeling the skin of the chimaki.
I received a message from Mizuhara.
What pastries does he want this time? I wonder as I open the menu. My hand freezes.
There are words in the message section.
【I have a request.】
Those words are shocking.
That crooked Mizuhara, asking for a favor?
「Most guys fall head over heels with a smile from Kinoshita-san. Stealing hearts with just one smile… is a sin.」
I can only imagine him asking me to make snacks as a favor.
But wait, he would’ve just typed in the snacks he wants in the subject header.
「No way. Um, I just think that things will look brighter if I put up a smile. I’m really not that special.」
「No, you have a very powerful smile, Kinoshita-san! But it’s probably even more powerful because you don’t realize it, huh~」
A request? What could it be? I’m curious.
I open and close my phone anxiously.
Maybe he wants me to exterminate cockroaches, or even mice?
If that were the case, he should be relying on Deviina, not me.
「But your voice is also a weapon, Kinoshita-san. I would never reject a request from you.」
「But… I’m only speaking normally.」
「Your voice is irresistable, but it’s true for other girls too. I always agree to their requests when they look at me with those pleading eyes.」
「There’s the possibility that you’re being deceived, you know. Those girls could be thinking you’re cute and easy to boot around.」
「You’re mean, Arioka-senpai!」
「Women know how to seduce men, after all.」
It’s rare for Mizuhara to write anything in the message box, and the message itself is also unbelievable.
I’m really curious.
Maybe he’s dying. From too much sugar intake.
No, maybe that’s going a little too far.
「Hey, Earth to Noda!」
All the club members are focusing their attention on me for some reason.
I was absorbed in thought so I didn’t notice earlier, but it looks like I’ve become the topic of discussion.
「Do you know how to seduce guys? Not that it matters if you can or can’t, but Master Arioka has been saying that girls know how to do it. It’s probably pointless just to ask, but we wanna ask for future reference.」
The curiosity is killing me!
Mizuhara’s place is nearby. I should go take a look.
I wouldn’t want him to die on me.
It would be bad if his last words are something like 「Take care of the remaining elves.」
「I could just apply pressure on the carotid artery to stop the blood flow to the brain. Uh, sorry. I just remembered I have some business, so I’m gonna have to leave first.」
I grab my backpack and leave the cleaning to them, then dash nonstop from the school to Mizuhara’s place.
- TL Note: Chimaki: a steamed rice cake wrapped in a bamboo leaf, traditionally eaten on Children’s Day (May 5th) ↩