As a master of atmospherics, Mizuki should know what to do in such a situation – or so I thought.
“What? What, Nats. Did you call me?”
My trusty friend was surrounded by a group of girls!
The girls were fighting over who would get to spend their lunch time with Mizuki.
Some of them have even started a light catfight, fighting over Mizuki, an ugly fight between women that I don’t even want to see…
Perhaps they heard what I had just said, some of the girls on my side of the room turned around and glared at me with sharp eyes.
‘We’re battling right now, and you’re going to join us?’
Although they didn’t say it in words, I could see their intention in their eyes. I’m sorry …. I don’t want to have lunch with Mizuki…
At a loss, I was shocked by a thump on my lower back!
I already have a bad feeling about this, but when I look down, sure enough, Yaya is hugging me.
“Seen~pai ♡ Let’s eat lunch together, shall we~?”
When I looked in the direction from which she must have come running, I saw no less a number of boys than Mizuki’s followers, all of whom were shouting, “Ah? You’re not going for it, are you?”
… Aren’t the students in our class a little too aggressive?
“Leave, Yaya. And go back to your own place. It’s not safe here. Mainly for me.”
“I want to stay with you even if your life is in danger…!”
“That’s a super annoying trap disguised as a good phrase.”
“Ahh, Handsome~ ♡”
I pulled Hachiya away from me and urged her to return to the group of male students. However, she resisted with an unexpectedly strong force.
“No, seriously, let’s have lunch together. We’ve got an assignment anyway.”
“You can do that with someone over there.”
“No, let’s be serious. It’s hard to have lunch alone with a guy you don’t even know.”
“Ugh… Is that how it’s supposed to be?”
“That’s how it is. For girls, “having lunch together” is as high a hurdle as “having s*x together’.”
“Seriously…. I see…”
“So, I think Senpai is a very cheap one. I’ve known you for a long time.”
“Well, I took care of you when we were in middle school…”
“So, let’s go to a hotel together.”
“Haven’t you changed the topic!?”
“You took care of me a lot when we were in middle school♡”
“That is a great implication when you say it like that!”
“By the way, everyone! I’m going to go with Senpai, so please give up~♡”
“How dare you!!”
In response to Hachiya’s comment, her followers began to hold up stationery.
Hey, stop it. Don’t use a file to sharpen the needle of a compass. It’s really dangerous, you know. I felt my life was in danger, but more than that, I was feeling threatened that I might be swept away by the atmosphere.
I needed to have lunch with Haruka. I had to negotiate today’s live-in partner nomination on the spot. However, with Hachiya sticking her tongue out at the group of boys, it would be quite unnatural for me to shake her off and ask Haruka out to lunch.
Although she is a troubled person in many ways, I admit that Hachiya’s appearance is excellent.
And yet, if I reject Hachiya’s invitation and motion to Haruka, it would be inevitable that she would think, “Does he like that girl…?” would inevitably be thought of as a “no-brainer”. Considering only the accomplishment of the task, it is most reasonable to have lunch with Hachiya without any further action.
When I was in an unexpected predicament and inwardly sweating cold sweat,… the hem of my uniform was pulled away from me with a yank.
“Don’t eat with the other children.”
The sad deep crimson eyes peeking out from between the gaps in her silver hair.
At that moment, my “something” shook as I realized who said what to me.
There was the sound of love.
It was … different. What sounded was the sound of someone falling in love.
“…That’s as good as can do, Chief. That was indeed upsetting…”
I said this while running my hand over my face to hide my expression.
That was the best I could do.
For a moment, I seriously thought Haruka might like me.
Incidentally, Haruka, the person in question, responded, “… Eh. Ah!” She looked at her own “Student ID” with her score on it, then quickly removed her hand from the hem of my uniform and crossed her arms in triumph, “Hmm!”
“I got a good score! This is really ‘before lunch’!”
“No, there’s no such idiom.”
“Just made it up! I’m the inventor!!”
She said that in a strangely flustered manner.
Is she upset because she scored better than expected…? Her cheeks are also flushed. It may have been an act, but she may have been embarrassed after all. Anyway, it was the best timing as a trigger.
With this trend, I could have lunch with Haruka.
“I’m not a fan of getting beat up all the time. I’ll take back the points now.”
“That’s not the way I see the world…, but the meaning is not wrong. To win first place in “Love Studies”, which of us can make the other person’s heart pound… we’ll compete with each other on a lunch date!”
Sparks fly between me and Haruka.
In fact, the other side was leading in the morning’s assignment. And now the gap has widened even further. I was obviously on the catching up side now.
If I don’t win this lunch date right back, there will be no future for me to be in a relationship with the “girl of my dreams”…!
“… Senpai, senpai.”
Hachiya repeatedly clings to me and pulls away at my waist as I’m in full competition mode.
…Hey, stop it. Your ample b*****s are puffing needlessly.
I can’t even supply you with points, you know.
“You’re going to have lunch with me, right, Senpai?”
“No, I can’t. I have to have a lunch date with Haruka for the lunch war.”
“W-What!! Why is that!? Are you not satisfied with a G-cup like me!? Are you crazy about a ‘neckline’ like Harukyan’s!?”
“I’m not talking about what f****h I have! You heard what I said! I have to get a lot of points from Haruka, who is at the top of the class and a temporary special student!”
Unusually, Hachiya looks grumpy. The tone of language is the same as usual, but since we have known each other for a long time, I found out that she is rather seriously pissed off. I’m not sure why…
Does she not like the fact that she has to have lunch with other boys because I refused …?
There is no way she really wants to have a lunch date with me.
But either way, my mind is made up.
I have to have lunch with Haruka and make a pitch about cohabitation tonight right then and there.
“I’m sorry, Hachiya. I really want to take first place in “Love Studies”. The best way to do that is to do the assignment with Haruka, who is a temporary special student. I’m glad you invited me, but can you let me off the hook for today …?”
For a few seconds, Hachiya clung to my waist, but then … she quickly pulled away as though she had sorted out her feelings.
“Please buy me a drink next time…”
“I’ll feed you to death.”
“I forgive you, handsome♡.”
Finally, as usual, she gave me a mischievous smile and went back to her seat.
It’s this kind of thing that makes it hard for me to hate Hachiya.
“Oh, um… My bad… Prior agreement…”
Haruka, who had turned away from me while wiggling the fingers of both hands, muttered something to herself.
The sight of her finally reminded me of the “girl of destiny” I once knew.
The girl who always cared and thought of others.
The first girl I fell in love with in my life was Haruka.
“…Haruka is not to blame. I chose Haruka.”
That sounded like a confession, didn’t it!?
While I was wondering what to do with my true feelings that unexpectedly leaked out, … I heard a sound from my left hand. “Beep!”
The sound made both Haruka and I regain our composure.
” … I’ll do it. Immediately strike back when he’s hit, that’s the spirit. After all, Aoyama seems to be the biggest obstacle in “Love Studies”…”
“Oh, of course, I won’t lose!”
I said back with a fearless expression on my face while breaking out in a cold sweat on the inside.
… I thought I should be very careful about what I say from now on.
The most popular lunch place at Haou Academy is the school cafeteria.
There are several cafeterias in the school, all of which are apparently supervised by three-star chefs. It was written in the pamphlet I received yesterday.
In addition, the prices are unusually reasonable, so they seem to be very popular among the students. Some of them even offer a one-cost buffet and light course meals.
However, since the cafeteria is so popular, it was expected to be very crowded during lunch break.
As soon as this assignment was added, I asked Mizuki to do some research on LINE, but what I got back … was, “It’s crowded everywhere during lunch break. It’s not good for a date.”
I don’t know how he did his research, but if that guy, who puts all his energy into being popular, says so, he must be right.
So I chose the school’s courtyard as the place to have lunch.
There is a cherry tree near a bench.
The petals are still just barely fluttering, and the mood is just right. The temperature is relatively high today, so it is not too cold. It was a perfect location.
“I’ll get something for the two of us at the concession stand.”
I let Haruka sit on the bench and stand up briskly.
How’s that! This way, she can’t refuse my offer to buy her food! Continuing on from the magazine that said that “lunch together ♡” is important for girls, it seems that girls find considerable pleasure in “having someone buy them food”.
This is probably a survival instinctive remnant from the hunter-gatherer days… No, that’s not important. What’s important is that this is a way to earn the girls’ affection.
Fortunately, I am financially well-off thanks to my part-time job I have had since middle school.
In addition, I heard that the level of concession stands at the Haou Academy is quite high… I won.
With this thought in mind, I was about to run toward the concession stand when – with a jerk – the hem of my uniform was yanked.
When I turned around, Haruka was wandering restlessly and minding a large paper bag on the bench. …So, what’s that?
“Ah, umm…! I made a bento…”
My thoughts froze.
The original plan was to buy Haruka a delicious lunch, put her in a good mood and connect it to the pitch regarding cohabitation …
When the other party is in a good mood, negotiations are more likely to go through.
It was the perfect situation to sell Haruka on my idea. It was a strategy to create that, but in … this one moment, it all went down the drain.
(No… but I’m happy! I want to eat it!!)
The “instinct” in me starts to do a little leap with a bang.
A home-cooked meal by the girl I like.