It was a fierce match between Arioka-senpai and Katagiri-san the next day.
They were almost equal in terms of technique, stamina, speed, and tactics.
They struck at each and every opening.
It was such a heated battle that my palms were sweating.
They had a close battle alternating between offense and defense.
During overtime, Katagiri-san avoided Arioka-senpai’s strike, and settled the match with a high kick with his left leg.
Katagiri-san caught his breath and looked down at Arioka-senpai.
「You didn’t practice enough.」
He said calmly.
「Shaddap! Arioka-senpai is a working man! He can’t help it!」
「Hmph, that’s an excuse of a loser.」
Arioka-senpai smiled wryly, but the other club members protested anyway.
The club advisor got angry and annoyed.
They made it worse by lip-syncing their insults.
「What are you trying to say?!」
Katagiri-san disappeared into the crowd of the M University karate club members, trudging there as if he lost.
He relaxed only his eyebrows.
「…I was about to continue by asking if his job is rough and telling him not to push himself.」
「That’s too much of a delayed response! You simply stopped after saying he didn’t practice enough!」
Katagiri-san signaled for Arioka-senpai to follow him. Our club members thought he was going to kill him and stopped him.
I wasn’t looking, but I would’ve taken it as face value.
Anyone could take it either way, depending on their preconceptions.
He could’ve just asked Arioka-senpai directly though.
Arioka-senpai smiled wryly saying that he’s the type to strike the first blow. The club members cheered for him.
To them, it looked as if Katagiri-san was trying to get in a fight in which Arioka-senpai wouldn’t fight back.
Katagiri-san looked gloomy.
I gave him a pat on the back to cheer him up. He also has another chance at the party.
「He’s not here…」
Everyone is here at the party except for Katagiri-san. It’s his last chance.
I was planning to sit between Arioka-senpai and Katagiri-san naturally, but I can’t do anything about it if he’s not here.
「Arioka-senpai! Please come here! I wanna hear stories about office ladies!」
「Yeah! We don’t know anything about office ladies!」
「They always provide some office love, right?!」
「They always provide some dangerous overtime work too, right?!」
They’re starting to make some lewd office jokes.
The female club members from M University look coldly, but they definitely weren’t paying attention.
「I don’t really have any stories to satisfy all of you guys. But it is part of my duty to respond in kind. Thus, I shall make up some stories about office ladies…」
He stands up abruptly, and I tug his arm in a hurry to stop him.
I restrained myself because I didn’t want to dislocate his arm. He gives a shocked cry and falls back into his seat.
「Arioka-senpai, your seat is here!」
The female karate members from M University are sitting on my left. Arioka-senpai has been sitting on my right.
There’s some space between us and the girls.
I was saving this space for Katagiri-san when he got here.
If Arioka-senpai moved away, it would be harder for Katagiri-san to talk to him.
「Noda, was that your new joint lock technique? It was quite effective.」
「It was just a normal technique!」
「Anyone could see that! He was just being sarcastic!」
We brought some rice for Arioka-senpai because he likes it.
We also brought some of his favorite sake, as well as some kaminari okoshi, wheat gluten snacks, and more rice.
[1. TL Note: Kaminari okoshi is a type of sweetened rice cake consisting of sesame and beans.] 「Why would you do that, Noda? Don’t get in the way of his precious office love stories!」
I can’t explain the situation about Katagiri-san to them, so I ignore them.
「What’s wrong, Noda?」
I dodge his question with a smile.
I’m still grabbing onto his left arm, so the club members are moving closer to us now.
「Are there a lot of beautiful office ladies gossiping in the break room?」
「There is a place where they exchange information with each other. But I will not comment on their looks.」
「I really like their work clothes! They turn me on even if their faces aren’t pretty!」
「It is good you have that devotion. But be careful not to say that in front of girls.」
The girls from M University are here too.
I take a quick glance at Arioka-senpai. He looks a little buzzed.
It’s a good timing for Katagiri-san, but he’s not here.
「Um, about Katagiri-san…」
I was going to ask the M University club members about him.
The girl right next to me has her eyes wide open and her face beet red.
「A-are you okay?!」
She’s probably drunk.
I take a bottle of oolong tea and pour some of it into an empty cup.
「What’s wrong with you?! You’re always suggesting too much!」
「Who? What? Anyway have some tea.」
「We’re sorry, she gets mad when drunk.」
She’s wobbling her head around. It’s dangerous.
It would be a disaster if she banged her head on the table.
I’m avoiding the disaster with the help of the other girls.
「I really hate that kind of person! Persistently calling me, asking me to stay around to make it less awkward. But all that’s just flirting, Roppa-kun!」
「Whoaaa, calm down… Roppa-kun? Hey… whoa, it’s gonna spill! It spilled!」
「We’re sorry. It spilled onto you too.」
The oolong tea spilled all over the table.
I was trying to restrain the girl from hitting herself, but didn’t pay enough attention to the oolong tea.
I’m exiting the room to get a kitchen towel when Katagiri-san enters the room.
I look back into the room to make sure Arioka-senpai is still sitting in the same spot.
Arioka-senpai and Katagiri-san are looking straight at each other.
Author’s Note: Thanks to yucco for the picture.
I’m really grateful for your permission to publicize this.
I’m surprised by the high quality!