「Are you here, Michel? Uh…… What are you doing?」
When I enter the clubroom, I see all the club members gathering at one spot and looking at something.
「Oh! Noda, take a look here! One of our karate members has become famous!」
What the hell?
I make my way in and see a magazine.
「Let’s see. Handsome Boy Spotted in Town… Wait, it’s…」
He’s on the front cover of a popular magazine.
I flip to the section and see half of the page covered with Michel’s photos. There are 6 guys in total.
Michel is ranked 1st place, and the rest of them seemed to be ranked 5th, as if they skipped 2nd to 4th place.
There’s so much of a gap. I pity the other guys.
「Um, Sagiri-san, that’s not it!」
Michel snatches the magazine away.
What’s not it?
The other day, a cameraman called out to Michel and asked if he could take photos of Michel for his company’s magazine.
Michel refused immediately.
But the cameraman refused to give up, and negotiated persistently.
Michel refused again.
The cameraman negotiated tenaciously.
Michel refused politely.
The cameraman begged desperately.
Recently, the press industry has fallen on difficult times due to internet sharing. Maybe they just wanted something juicy.
The magazine company was preparing for its special Christmas release, so they must be expecting to print out quite a number of copies.
Michel’s patience was exhausted, so he gave in under the condition of making only a small appearance.
It isn’t a small appearance no matter how you look at it.
「Eh, but that’s good! The photos look cool anyway.」
I’m used to seeing Michel with a refreshing smile, but it’s rare to see him look a little disturbed like in these photos.
His profile when looking away from the camera makes him look mature.
「…Is… is that true?」
He makes a bashful smile and closes the magazine.
He’s handsome enough to be called a prince. There have been photos of him taken without permission in the school, but these photos are much more crisp.
I have to hand it to professional cameramen.
「But why this magazine? I haven’t even told anyone yet.」
「Huh? It’s been circulating around the school. The girls have been reading and talking about it.」
Michel puts his hands on the desk and leans on it.
News has been going fast. It’s the internet age now.
「Being handsome really gets you places in life.」
「When wearing the same clothes, the handsome guys look stylish, while the ugly guys get laughed at. When saying the same things, the handsome guys are straightforward, while the ugly guys are ignorant. When talking to children, the handsome guys are friendly with kids, while the ugly guys are pedophiles are kidnappers…………… I… just thought the kid was lost…」
Wait, what happened then?
The other club members comfort him as if sympathizing with him, telling him he’s a normal looking guy, and saying stuff like he’s above the below-average looking guy, or like he’s way better looking than ugly.
「Well… Forget about the magazine… Anyway, were you looking for me, Sagiri-san?」
「Oh, yeah. Actually, I wanted to ask you about Mont Saint-Michel.」
I open a travel guide and show him a picture of the famous French world heritage site.
Traveling costs money, so it’s better for me to travel without signing up for a tour group.
If I’m going to France, this is one of the tourist spots that I don’t want to miss, but looks like getting there may be a problem.
Michel asks me to wait, then takes his phone out and begins searching something up.
I take a peek, but it’s all in French.
「Also, I wanna know about their omelettes. I saw on TV that Mont Saint-Michel is famous for their omelettes.」
「I have never eaten it, but my friends have recommended it.」
I’m taking notes while nodding.
「What? Mon-san Michel? I know Michel is a prince, but who’s Mon-san?」
「You idiot! San is a Japanese honorific! They don’t use it in France! It’s obviously Mon, San, and Michel.」
The club members took my travel guide.
「Whoa! This looks magnificent! Is this Michel’s mansion?」
「Maybe he even has a real maid!」
「I envy him having such a big house, but if I were to live in it… I might pee on myself if the toilet is too far.」
「Not a problem. You could ring a bell on the desk, and the maid would immediately show up and whisk you to the toilet…… Although that’s a little too lazy.」
「But maybe the maid makes rice omelettes with cute words written on it!」
「Oh yeah, Noda said that it was famous for omelettes or something.」
「That means… They’re famous for their cute rice omelettes…?!」
「Oh just shut up!」
Why would they think about maids when looking at a photo of a world heritage site? And it’s not even about France anymore. I take back my travel guide from their hands.
While the club members complain and begin playing card games, I quietly ask Michel.
「Hey, what does Mont Saint actually mean?」
To be honest, I don’t know what it means either.
I don’t think it’s a person, but I don’t know what it is exactly.
「Mont Saint-Michel means the mountain of St. Michael. Mont means mountain, Saint means sacred, and Michel is the French pronunciation of the Archangel Michael.」
Michel smiles at me while scribbling the route to the site, which he looked up on his phone.
「Hmm… So your name was borrowed from an angel.」
His name suits him perfectly. His soft and fluffy golden hair (now short), as well as his clear eyes, make him look like a prince who’s so perfect that I could call him an angel.
「It’s not uncommon to borrow names from the Bible because there is Christian influence in France. There are many Frenchmen named Michelangelo or Raphael, for example.」
I’m impressed by those names.
I get Raphael, but I don’t see how Michelangelo is the name of an angel. Michel seems to have noticed my doubt, and scribbles the name Michelangelo while leaving a small space in the middle.
「Can you see the two parts, Michel and angel?」
I express my interest, and go back to discussing my travel plans.
「Anyway, is there going to be a long line if I’m planning to buy the entry tickets on the spot?」
「I think it depends on the situation, but I shall look into it.」
We’ve been discussing the points of interest in France for a while, but we’re interrupted again.
This time, it isn’t the club members, but a group of girls coming to visit Michel with magazine in hand.
His upset expression coupled with his short hair has made him popular overnight.
Troubled by their date invitations, Michel turned them down, but lately the girls have been rather aggressive. They’re dragging him outside.
「Sagiri-san, I shall send you a message later!」
I nod and wave goodbye.
「Whoa, those girls were glaring at Noda really hard! A revolution is beginning!」
「…I noticed that too…. Their death glares were as cold as absolute zero…」
They gave me the death glare when Michel was out of sight. That was a pretty quick transition from the pleading eyes they showed to Michel.
I should be used to it, but I cowered for a bit.
That sudden change in their attitude is scary.
「Occasionally there are girls like that who keep clamoring for Arioka-senpai and Michel.」
Arioka-senpai has already graduated, and Michel is still dating Kinoshita-san, so their efforts will be wasted.
「Dammit… I’ll pass on them! Noda, you’re an enemy of both guys and girls.」
「Even though we like girls, we get afraid of them when they act like that.」
「Especially the older girl!」
「Why the older ones too? I don’t think they’re that crazy.」
I don’t get their point.
「That’s where you’re wrong! She’s hit me 8 times while asking us about you!」
「She was asking about you during snack time and during matches! I’ve been hit twice myself!」
「Whoa! I’ll pass on her too. I’ve heard about her. She came to the karate club while chasing Arioka-kun, right? She knew that Michel-kun was in the club too, and said that you got ahead of her… or something like that.」
「I’m not a superhuman! ……Also, I’ve never even heard about that. You guys should’ve said something..」
Apparently most of the girls stopped hunting me down because they thought it was impossible for me to get together with Arioka-senpai or Michel with those washed out shirts of mine, but some of them still had their suspicions.
If the club members had gone straight to Arioka-senpai or Michel, the girls would’ve known that we weren’t in that kind of a relationship.
「We were told to report to Arioka-senpai if something like that happened. Eat my sandstorm!」
「Same. Nothing happened even after I told Arioka-senpai, and he said we didn’t have to tell you anything. I’m rising!」
I never heard about that either.
「Alright, let’s play 193.」[1. TL Note: 193 is a card game similar to Speed, with 4 players each game.]
「Count me in.」
I compose myself and join them in a game of cards.
I never knew about the situation with Arioka-senpai.
I’ll ask him about it next time I see him.
We ended up throwing the cards away because we were too into the game.