Katagiri-san glances at the table.
「Looks like you’re running out of hors d’oeuvre and sake.」
He said it loudly so everyone could hear.
There was a hint of nervousness in his monotone voice.
Arioka-senpai is looking at him.
Katagiri-san called his name.
I can’t tell if he’s trying to shake off the sweat on his palms or just clenching and relaxing his hands.
「Let’s go shopping, together.」
I’m applauding him secretly.
He can talk to Arioka-senpai on the way without the members bothering him.
It’s definitely better this way.
「Are you coming?」
He said it!
But to the club members, it looks as if he’s picking a fight with Arioka-senpai when he’s drunk, so he can claim an overwhelming victory.
Katagiri-san is making a tight fist. His eyes are sharp too, so he looks a little menacing.
The club members are definitely taking it the wrong way, and are on high alert.
「…Katagiri-san, please wait outside in the hallway.」
I push him out and turn back to Arioka-senpai.
One of the club members is desperately pulling Arioka-senpai back.
「Wait a minute. Arioka-senpai is an alumni. Is it really okay to do that to him?! I’ll go instead.」
「You’re making a sound argument at the wrong timing!」
It is weird to let a grown working man like Arioka-senpai go shopping, and he is our alumni.
But it’s a matter of friendship right now.
「Yeah! We can’t let our Captain Katagiri run errands either! How could we!」
The M University club members speak and stand up in unison.
They’re letting Katagiri-san’s efforts go to waste, but I can’t stop them.
Katagiri-san can probably handle himself, so I’m focusing on getting Arioka-senpai out.
「Noda, are you seriously asking Arioka-senpai to go? I said it’s better if I’m the one going!」
We’re both tugging at each of his arms.
「I appreciate your concern for my legs, but I would like to know why you’re not showing the same concern for my arms.」
Arioka-senpai is trying to stay relaxed so he doesn’t exert himself too much.
It’s a tough one-on-one battle between me and the club member.
The other club members only care about his office lady stories.
「The former captain of K University is like a turnip right now. An old lady is pulling an old man, and their grandchild is pulling along.」
「Except the old lady and old man are pulling against each other.」
The club members from M University are looking on without getting involved.
I’ll lose if this becomes a war of attrition, so I’m calling on Michel for backup.
But Michel is too busy trying to appease the drunken club member from M University who is currently clinging onto Kinoshita-san.
I’m standing up, so I have the advantage.
I thought about kicking the club member’s shoulder joint, but he’s holding back, so I’m hesitating as well.
Katagiri-san begins to panic, saying that they’ll only take a minute for shopping.
Arioka-senpai shakes us off in a hurry.
「Well, this is a rare task. I accept.」
Arioka-senpai stands up carefully.
I was making eye contact with Katagiri-san, telling him to deal with the club members from his university.
He made a slight nod and led everyone out of the room.
「Did something happen with Katagiri-san?」
「Huh? Not in particular… not with me.」
I’m averting his gaze. I can’t tell him that I was trying to help Katagiri-san in becoming friends with Arioka-senpai again.
「You were mad at him during the practice match too, right?」
I was just upset that Katagiri-san didn’t say anything out loud.
Arioka-senpai is asking so many questions.
「If anyone is going to pick a fight with him because of me, then I should be the first to do it.」
It’s because of Arioka-senpai, but we’re not fighting.
I want to complain about Katagiri-san being so easily misunderstood, but I’m in the same boat as him now.
I pull on Arioka-senpai’s arm so he can hurry up and talk with Katagiri-san.
「Noda, are you going shopping too?」
「I want sakie, persimmon seeds, beer, and a girlfriend.」
The drunken club members are tripping on each other.
They’ve been getting in my way from the beginning!
「Noda is staying here. I’ll buy everything except for a girlfriend, so just stay here quietly.」
Arioka-senpai pats my head and goes out to the hallway to meet Katagiri-san.
I can see Katagiri-san stiffening his face in nervousness. I wish him good luck and see them off.
Half an hour later, Katagiri-san comes back and tells me the results.
「In short, I made up with Arioka.」
「Nice! Did you tell him you’re not bothered about Yumi-min anymore?」
「No, I told him directly that I wanted to get back together.」
I think only lovers would say they want to get back together. But he told me that Arioka-senpai simply laughed it off, and that made it less awkward.
Katagiri-san managed to convey how he felt to Arioka-senpai. All’s well that ends well.
「It’s not the same as it was before, but I’m still okay with it…. Noda, I have you to thank. I told him about your help and advice too.」
「Please, don’t mention it.」
He’s still so formal.
Also, it’s nothing I need to be thanked for. I didn’t get to carry out my plan where they were both sitting next to me anyway.
「Noda, Katagiri-san, what are you two doing in such a dark place?」
The club members are peeking in and slurring their words. Both K University and M University club members are making a totem pole together.
It’s scary when they’re making it completely drunk.
「Why are you looking embarrassed, Noda?! Is this a budding romance? Is this a romance flag? To think Noda could get a boyfriend… it’s outrageous!」
「Whut?! Think carefully before jumping into it, Noda. If you marry him, your name will be Katagiri Sagiri!」
「It totally rhymes!」
The club members are getting excited. Their faces are red and they reek of alcohol.
I tell them they’re wrong and head into the room, where Arioka-senpai is calling for Katagiri-san.
We sit next to him, and they begin reminiscing about the past. It’s going according to plan.
「Noda-san, would you come here? I’m good at palm reading. I’ll do it for you.」
The club members from M University are calling me from the other table. I’m not really interested, but it’s a good chance to make friends, so I’m going there.
I tried to stand up but I’m getting pulled back to my seat.
Arioka-senpai is the one pulling my arm.
「What are you doing?!」
「You don’t need to have your palms read, Noda. Your lifeline is thick. Done.」
「Say that after you look at it!」
He’s not letting me go, so I sit back down and tell the girls to ask me next time.
The club members from both universities are pretty drunk, so it’s also more fun to listen to Arioka-senpai and Katagiri-san tell stories.
Kinoshita-san left early, so everyone dropped formalities pretty quickly. Large, drunk club members are rolling around the room.
Kinoshita-san has had a long day, so Michel took her to her room when she got drunk.
He hasn’t come back yet, so I’m about to check on them when I’m stopped by the club members from M University.
They’re telling me that since I’m the only one sober, no one will clean up if I leave.
It’s true that the room looks horrible, so I’m taking on the task to clean up after the party.
It’s past 11 pm.
「Let’s call it a day.」
Arioka-senpai announces the end of the party and wakes up the club members with karate chops.
The female club members are helping me clean the other side.
Michel comes back into the room, and helps me clean up our side.
「Is Kinoshita-san okay?」
「Yes, she has become sober.」
「I see. Training camp is physically exhausting, so she must have been even more affected by the alcohol. …Are you okay, Michel?」
He seems out of it.
It’s the first summer training camp for both of them. They must be equally tired.
I tell him to rest in his room. He smiles and nods weakly.
It’s the next day, and I’m the only one full of energy.
Kinoshita-san and Michel still seem tired.
I’m giving my privilege of enjoying a relaxing trip back in the advisor’s car to both of them, as well as Arioka-senpai, who’s supposed to be working tomorrow.
Michel seems hesitant, but I force him in anyway.
His smooth golden hair looks dull and ephemeral.
The other club members are helping by literally pushing his back.
We managed to get him in the car.
There’s space for one more, and I’m surprised when they ask me to go in.
I thought they finally reflected on their drunk behavior yesterday, but that’s not the case at all.
They’re all seriously hungover.
There’s not going to be much human traffic in the trains, and there are toilets too, so they could throw up whenever they need to. How pathetic of them.
No one wants the car ride.
I held back on the alcohol yesterday precisely because I didn’t want to sit in the car. I give up and get in.
They’re loading our baggages and sending us off while drinking some turmeric.
The bottle packaging was supposed to be 『Made from Carefully Selected Turmeric』, but they changed it to 『Made from Carefully Selected Turd』.
I’m impressed they could do such a thing with a severe hangover. I tell Arioka-senpai about it.
「How childish! I’m the one who did it.」
I’m impressed by Arioka-senpai staying the same even though he’s a working adult now.