「 Still, we’re…. 」
One of the boys said.
「 We got used to Edie-chan now 」
「 Oh yeah, to think that we just see Edie-chan throwing shuriken, and jumping around as natural 」
「 We’ve become so numb 」
「 I mean, isn’t that right? Edie-chan grew up watching “mutant turtles” and thinking that Japan is a country filled with ninjas, so she tried to learn martial arts like that 」
「 Yeah, America’s got that ninja high school after all 」
「 You guys, where did you hear that from? 」
「 From Natou-senpai 」
「 Yeah, Natou-senpai told us the other day 」
「 I heard from here that you lost on the American contest about guessing which Asian is the person, and then you entered a dojo of a Singaporean karate practitioner 」
「 And then you met Segata Sanshiro who stopped y, and that’s why you came to Japan, right? 」
「 That’s right, it’s all true 」
「 And that’s why I’m in this country!!! 」
I guess it’s okay. Everyone’s used to Edie already.
「 Still, Edie-chan’s absurdly strong but still cute 」
「 Yeah. But, Natou-senpai… 」
What about Nei?
「 She’s so beautiful and cheerful, but she still scares me from time to time 」
「 Yeah, I feel like my spine shivers 」
「 Oh? Really? I think that Natou-senpai’s cute 」
「 Not scary? 」
「 I mean, she changed her image, but there’s still a lot of extreme rumors about her 」
「 I heard that she was with the overseas student that graduated this spring and they went around beating up some delinquents 」
「 Isn’t that an old story? 」
「 That’s right, look at her now, she’s rehabilitated 」
「 She must’ve told her guts that she needs to challenge herself for a change 」
「 That’s Hattori-kun’s brother, not her 」
For some reason.
Some are still afraid of Nei…
And there’s a division of Nei’s fans for her cheerfulness and beauty and those that evaluate her now.
「 I mean, why does she like to hug Yoshida? 」
「 Yeah, that! She’s even helping out on Yoshida’s bakery 」
「 I mean, that was true even before she changed, right? 」
They’ve asked me the same question before, but…
I still don’t know how to answer that.
「 No, don’t ask me about it either 」
That’s all I tell them.
「 Well, right, Yoshida’s the type that doesn’t even know it himself 」
Do I look like that?
「 So, Yamamine-chan might know something 」
One of the boys turns to Megu.
「 Yeah, right. We never asked Yamamine-chan about it! 」
「 Sorry, I don’t know why either 」
She smiled wryly, trying to gloss it over,
「 I know 」
What are you going to say now?
「 Darling looks like Nei’s family member that died 」
「 F-Family? Could that be a brother that died in an accident? 」
If that kind of rumor spreads around and reaches Nei’s ears…
It may hurt Nei.
「 It’s a hamster 」
「 Darling looks like the hamster Nei was keeping back then 」
「 Oh, what, it’s just a hamster? 」
「 Yeah, a dead hamster 」
「 Wait, Natou-senpai was keeping a hamster? 」
「 I never thought she’s that kind 」
「 Look at that, she’s a kind-hearted girl. It’s just that she was so sad that her hamster died that she stepped on the wrong direction 」
「 And then she met Yoshida who looked like her hamster, so she quit the delinquent life 」
「 I see… 」
A-Are you okay with that explanation?
「 But, Yoshida’s got a hamster’s face? 」
「 Well, it’s not the looks 」
「 Yeah, if talking about his face, he’s something more repulsive 」
Just what does my face look like?
「 But, if Natou-senpai says so, I’m sure that there’s a hamster that looks like Yoshida 」
「 Yeah, I guess that’s it 」
「 So that’s why she’s sticking to Yoshida 」
「 Hamster 」
「 Hamster, right 」
「 Start running on the track, ham-Yoshida 」
They look at me.
「 If I’m reborn, I want to be Natou-senpai’s hamster 」
「 You’ll have a short lifespan though 」
「 I don’t mind. It’s better than being a human 」
「 Yeah, if I’m a hamster, I could feel Natou-senpai’s beautiful hands, and she’ll kiss me 」
「 She’ll embrace you in her voluptuous breasts and sleep together 」
「 You can definitely experience that!!! 」
「 That’s a lifetime of happiness, nothing could compare! 」
The guys who have a positive outlook towards Nei said.
「 But, I’m still a bit scared of Senpai 」
「 Yeah, she looks like she’d crush the hamster in one hand 」
「 She might even swallow the hamster whole or start crunching it 」
「 Who’s going to crush hamsters?!!! 」
Ah, speaking of the devil.
Nei came to pick us up.
「 We should get going, Yo-chan!!! 」
Nei speaks in dissatisfaction.
「 Ooh, Natou-senpai 」
「 Yo! Natou-senpai! 」
「 Thank you for the hard work! 」
The guys bow their heads to Nei.
Those admiring and those afraid are both talking to Nei relaxed.
She’s accepted now in school.
It’s different from the untouchable Nei that people fear.
「 Err, is there something with Yoshida today? 」
A fan of Nei asks.
「 The bread club has a meeting! Hey, let’s go, Yo-chan! Edie, Megu-chan, let’s meet up down there! 」
Nei orders us while fuming in anger.
「 Yes, let’s go, Yoshi-kun 」
Then, Edie speaks in her southern accent.
I’m sure that she’s joking.
Then, Nei talked back with a sharp tone.
Hearing her speak such fluent English;
「 Huh, Natou-senpai? 」
「 You speak English? 」
Nei makes a “Huh?” face…
「 No, uhm, I… 」
Then, Nei laughed and speaks in English.
Nei replied with a displeased face.
「 Geez. You know that I played around with the American senior that just graduated recently 」
Nei managed to reason out her fluency in English from hanging out with Margo.
「 Wrong, that’s not it 」
「 Did you forget? 」
「 Nei’s a genius, you know! 」
「 Nei’s a Nobel peace price winner level of genius! Naturally, she speaks fluent English 」
Nobel peace price level genius what?
「 I-I see 」
「 Natou-senpai’s a genius, I see. 」
「 H-Hey, Edie! 」
「 That’s right, and from now on, call Nei as “genius-senpai” 」
「 Edie, you!! 」
Nei’s angry, but Megu…
「 Let’s go now. I still have to go to my club 」
She smoothens the atmosphere.
「 Geez, I don’t care anymore! Let’s go, Yo-chan 」
「 Ah, yeah 」
I bring my bag.
「 Ah, bye, genius-senpai! 」
「 Good day! genius-senpai 」
「 Please come again, genius-senpai! 」
「 To be frank, you’re beautiful. Genius-senpai! 」
「 Bye! Genius-senpai! I’ll miss you 」
The guys greet Nei.
「 Yes, yes, bye, guys! 」
Nei replied bluntly, but…
「 Bye, Tottoko Yoshida 」
「 Yeah, don’t cause trouble to our genius-senpai! Tottoko! 」
「 See you tomorrow! Tottoko Yoshida 」
「 To be honest, I’m jealous! Totooko 」
「 Hey, hurry up and go Tottoko Yoshida 」
「 Why am I now Tottoko? 」
「 That’s because you’re a hamster! 」
One of the boys shouts back, and the other guys nodded.
「 You’re the guy who’s closest to becoming a hamster! You must live with that fortune! Tottoko Yoshida! 」
「 Yamamine’s beloved ****** 」
「 Hey, that’s vulgar 」
Nei gets angry before Megu or I could respond.
「 Ah, sorry, G-Genius-senpai 」
Ah, he’s frightened.
The impact of her delinquent age still remains.
「 Messing around since you’re getting along is okay, but that one is out of bounds 」
「 S-Sorry 」
「 Don’t apologize to me, go apologize to Yo-chan and Megu-chan 」
「 Sorry, Yoshida. Yamamine 」
「 Yamamine-chan, sorry if you got hurt 」
「 It’s okay, I don’t mind 」
She replied with a smile.
「 Then, we’re really going now. Let’s go! 」
Nei takes the lead, and we left the room.
◇ ◇ ◇
「 It’s okay that you guys get along but getting overly-familiar isn’t okay 」
Nei’s still complaining while walking in the corridor.
「 But, we’re slowly getting accepted, or should I say blending with the school 」
The atmosphere changes.
「 Today, the girls asked me why I’m getting along with Yukino 」
Megu was talking to Yukino even in school after their reconciliation last week.
Yukino’s been isolated even in class since last May.
It must’ve surprised them that Megu and Yukino are talking to each other.
「 What did you say? 」
「 I just told them that we’re relatives 」
Megu’s adoptive family, the Yamamine house, is a distant relative of Yukino’s Shirasaka house. They know that.
I mean, they’re actually sisters from a different mother in reality.
「 I might’ve lost at least half of my friends by talking to Yukino 」
They think that they shouldn’t make contact with Yukino after all.
「 But, the remaining friends may want to be friends with Yukino. And I’m okay with that 」
Megu’s resolved herself.
「 It’s okay, everyone would be friends with Megu and Yukino by the time we graduate 」
I’m sure that people would accept Yukino now that she’s honest and friendly.
They’ll see what’s good about her.
「 You’re right, Yoshi-kun 」
「 Still, putting Katsuko-oneechan on the front was a huge success! The image of Yo-chan’s bakery went for the better, and it also created better rumors for us the helpers 」
Nei changes the topic.
In the end, that’s how it was.
If it’s just me working on the bakery, it couldn’t appeal to the students, but…
Since Katsuko-nee, an adult showed up on the front, they started trusting.
Furthermore, the owner of the bakery is a 21-year-old beauty,
No, Katsuko-nee’s cheerful personality also adds to it.
Both boys and girls are becoming fans of her.
「 That’s amazing, isn’t it, the whole school has that “Katsuko-san” boom 」
And since the bakery’s owned by the bright Katsuko-nee, they all accepted it.
And the image applies to the workers, us.
「 I’m just happy that Katsuko-oneesan looks like she’s having fun 」
「 Katsuko-nee wanted to get back some of the high-school life she thought she lost 」
I wished for the same thing.
「 But, I think that Kana-senpai also had an effect 」
「 Yeah, that! Kana-chan’s giving an effect 」
Especially with the bakery, things are going smoothly there.
Compared to the opening last month, sales and reputation are better.
「 But, I never thought that the bakery would be this popular 」
「 Why are there no people who want to take the same technical course as I do. Or why does nobody want to join as the sellers of the bakery together with Katsuko-nee, Ya-chan, and Kana-senpai? 」
For example, guys who fell for Katsuko-nee and no want to take lessons from her.
Or girls who want to be with Nei as sellers.
It seemed to me that they’d appear, but…
「 That’s because both are hard to approach 」
Edie smiled wryly.
「 Yeah. Once you take the study course, then your only option is to start a bakery after graduating. You won’t have any funds to start it however 」
「 But, they’ll learn a skill that they can use in their life 」
That’s why I’m doing my best to learn.
「 But, it’s only skills that can help you in bakeries, right? 」
Nei replied with a smile.
「 If you picked that way and gave up on others, then that’s okay. But, high-school students don’t like to lock themselves out of other choices 」
「 But, if they decide on this path, then I think that doing it while in high school is for the better… 」
「 Yo-chan’s right, but, if you enter our school’s “bread technical course,” then you’ll have to write it in your academic background in your resume if you want to apply on some other job 」
Yeah, I’ll have to write that I graduated high school with a “bread technical course.”
「 If you never thought of going to another course for three years in high school, and somehow gave up on that idea, you’ll be at a disadvantage when you try to apply for a different job. That’s why people mind marriage that much 」
「 If this was a prestigious high school where you can take that course for years, then that’s another story, but Yo-chan’s alone in that course, and it’s just a newly established program. See? I don’t think they’d change their course unless they’re courageous enough. Even if the person wants to join, their family may stop them. “If you want to start up a bakery for real then leave that school and join in a specialized vocational course instead,” or “Just go with the regular curriculum while in high school” and such 」
Oh, they entered a high school that has a general education curriculum, after all.
They’d stop their child from taking a course where they have to carry the risk, and yet, it has no achievements.
「 Well, even if someone wants to join in, Minaho-oneechan would reject them. Besides, Yo-chan’s a test for the business course we’ll establish by next year, the curriculum changes 」
No matter how famous Katsuko-nee and the bakery can get…
The bread course would be for me alone until next year, at least.
「 And as for the sellers, 」
「 Katsuko-oneesan, Nei-oneesan, and Kana-san are all beauties. I don’t think an ordinary girl would want to help out 」
Oh. I see.
「 Girls are harsh when it comes to those who don’t know where they belong 」
If a girl were to say that she wants to become a helper, others would condemn her, saying, “Do you really think that you’re as beautiful as them?”
「 I’m also ashamed that I belong to the sellers. I think they’re only okay with it because they know that I’m Yoshi-kun’s fiance 」
Megu said. Edie.
「 What are you talking about, Megumi? You’re also beautiful 」
「 And, of course, I’m also beautiful, isn’t that right, Darling? 」
「 Yeah, Megu and Edie are both beautiful 」
「 Edie’s cute, but I’m not on par 」
Megu’s insecurity is rooted deep.
Megu’s also cute enough though.
「 Well, putting that aside. For now, there’s no space for anyone to enter the club nor the bakery 」
We can’t let the ordinary students know about us after all.
「 Then, I’ll be on my way 」
Megu said at the entrance of the school building.
Megu’s going to the track and field clubroom, so this is where we part.
「 Nei-oneesan 」
「 I don’t mind if anything happens while I’m away anymore 」
「 Although, I’m asking you to not do anything that will trouble Yoshi-kun 」
She bows her head.
Oh, she’s talking about what’s about to happen.
She somehow knows about the case of the junior of Kana-senpai in the club.
「 Yeah. I know, this will be fun for Yo-chan! There won’t be anything forced around. If anyone is pushing it, then it would be Yo-chan working too hard 」
Nei smiled at me.
「 Then if you’d please 」
「 It’s okay, I’ll be watching 」
Edie told Megu.
「 I get jealous right away, so I won’t ask for the details. Anyway, just take care of Yoshi-kun 」
Megu bows her head again.
「 Have fun 」
「 Y-Yeah 」
「 Then, I’ll go run. Yoshi-kun 」
「 Yeah, good luck, Megu 」
Megu pats from us while jogging.
「 It’s okay, we’ll follow it up. We already asked Katsuko-oneechan for it 」
Nei whispered to me.
「 By the way, Darling? 」
「 What was that about the hamster? 」
「 You don’t know what was going on with the hamster talk earlier? 」
「 YES! 」
「 Don’t just yes me! 」
W-What’s going on.
「 I was told to just make that kind of response when asked about it 」
「 Who did? 」
「 Margo? 」
One of the pranksters.
Margo-oneesan’s a disciple of Kyouko-san after all.
「 Edie, thanks to you, they’re now going to call me “Tottoko” from now on 」
「 Really? 」
「 Really! 」
Geez, what do I do now? Seriously.
「 So, what was that about, Darling? 」
「 “Ham” is an English slang that describes an awkward actor. And “star” means celebrity. And if you join the two together, it becomes “A disgusting actor that’s bad at acting, yet famous” 」
「 Nei, you had something like that? 」
「 Huh? 」
Oh, she doesn’t get it.
「 Err, that’s not it, Edie. Ya-chan, don’t say anything 」
I desperately try to fix the misunderstanding with Edie until we meet up with Kana-senpai.