Chapter 3: The main request should be brought last.
■Chapter: Takane Saki■
It is getting much hotter and humid in Kamimura.
I am very happy about the change of clothes around this time.
“Come to think of it, I haven’t heard any bad rumors about Saki Saki recently, have I?”
During a slightly longer break between second and third periods, Yuka-chan suddenly said in an empty classroom.
“Is that so?”
“The proof is that people are talking to you in the classroom.”
Is it because people stopped spreading rumors about me?
I don’t have any friends that I can talk to on a friendly basis, but even so, recently all of my classmates have started to talk to me in a normal way.
I would say that they are no longer blatantly distancing themselves from me as before…
Why is that? I tried for a minute to figure out why, and then I said to myself.
“It’s been 75 days, hmmm.”
I decided not to think too much about it.
“… Saki Saki, you’re in a good mood, huh?”
“Eh? I don’t think so. Hmmm.”
“In any case, you only think about eating lunch with the public moron during lunch break, don’t you?”
“Ppppppppplease don’t call Mashima-kun funny nicknamesssssssssss.”
“Wow, your smile is the weirdest ever.”
That would be the biggest smile ever.
…Almost a month has passed since I had lunch with Mashima-kun for the first time, and our secret lunch meetings have continued.
We eat lunch together on the stairs in front of the rooftop for 20 minutes during lunch break.
It is still awkward, but we have conversations, and it is tremendous progress compared to before when it was difficult to even talk to each other.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that we are already in a relationship.”
“That’s an exaggeration.”
“Please, please, please communicate with me.”
I’m sorry, Yuka, but to tell you the truth, I’m in a bad mood right now.
Every day at the end of lunch break, I am already thinking about tomorrow’s lunch break!
“I’m sorry, Saki Saki, but it seems you haven’t read Imamote lately, haven’t you forgotten something important?”
“Hmmm…What is it, hmmm…”
“I’m sure you and Mashima haven’t exchanged MINE contacts yet.”
My smile hardened.
“I had completely forgotten about …”
“I thought so.”
The fact that Mashima witnessed the Imamote, I had completely lost sight of the original purpose of the event.
But soon recovered my original smile.
“…Well, if we keep up our current good relations, we’ll be able to exchange MINE sooner or later.”
“Ah!! Saki Saki, now that you get to have lunch with Mashima-kun, you’ve gone soft!?”
“And if we exchanged contact information, I’ll be in trouble.”
“If that’s the kind of thing that gets you in trouble, then high school kids are nothing but sinners.”
“And I don’t want our current relationship to be ruined…”
“I guess that’s the way you really feel!!”
Yuka-chan let out a loud sigh, almost as if she had a steam engine inside her.
“I know you’re happy with the success of your first mission, but what do you ultimately want to do with Mashima-kun, Saki Saki?”
“I think I’d like our current relationship where we can have lunch together and chat…”
“Don’t you want to hold hands!?”
“Don’t you want to go on a date!?”
“Don’t you want to kiss and stuff!?”
Yuka’s breathless three-stage verbal assault nearly knocked me over.
I certainly would like to …… kiss him!
“If I’m following the teachings of Saki Saki’s favorite Imamote, the time limit for confession is only a little over a month left! … No, maybe even shorter.”
“What do you mean…?”
“Saki Saki may not be the only one who likes that… freak of nature.”
I felt like cold water was poured on my head.
Yuka, you are right!
I have long wondered why no one has come forward to discover the charm of Mashima-kun and, come to think of it, how can I be so sure!
I just don’t know, but perhaps she is already out there.
She may have already started some kind of approach, or she may be thinking of confessing her feelings to Mashima-kun tomorrow…
If that were to happen, there is no chance that I, with zero experience in love, would be able to compete!
“W-What should I do!? They’re going to take away Mashima-kun!?”
“Putting aside the fact that he’s not yours in the first place … calm down! Don’t panic so easily!”
“You know, Saki Saki, all you can do is to get closer to Mashima-kun, little by little, and you know what you have to do for that, don’t you?”
“Well, exchange MINE …?”
“See, you know what I’m talking about.”
“But what if I ask him about MINE and he pulls away …?”
“On the contrary, I’d like to ask you, is your favorite “public morals” guy the kind of guy who would withdraw just because you ask him for his contact information?”
“That’s what I meant.”
Yuka nodded deeply.
Yes… Mashima-kun is not the kind of person who would change his opinion of someone like that!
“…I’m going to ask Mashima-kun during lunch break!”
“And we’ll be exchanging MINE contacts!”
“Yes, that’s right!”
“It’s a piece of cake!”
“That’s the spirit!”
“I’m going to use some of the techniques I’ve learned about romance from the Imamote!”
“…Well, that’s all right.”
Yuka, who had been so vigorous, had a slightly vague expression on her face at the end of the session.
“Sorry, I’m late.”
Fifteen minutes had passed since the start of lunch break.
Unusually, today, Mashima-kun was late and appeared on the staircase to the rooftop.
Well, not only the rarity, but I was also surprised to see Mashima’s muscular arms peeking out from his short sleeves in his summer uniform, and my mind went blank…
“What’s wrong …?”
“Oh, no! I didn’t see anything!”
“? I see.”
Mashima-kun sat down next to me and spread his bento on his lap.
He is always so composed, but today he looked unusually tired.
… Well, I have to be ready for this soon.
“I’m behind when it comes to clothing instruction, and the timing of the change of clothes brings a whole lot of instructional material, and that’s what happened last year too.”
“Those who come to school in long-sleeved shirts by mistake … it’s fine, I’ll just remind them not to forget tomorrow. However, those who get carried away and lose their uniforms or shorten the hem of their skirts will have to be given proper guidance.”
“The first section of the student handbook, “Daily Principles.” Always dress neatly and cleanly, and do not be inappropriately elegant or fashionable. If you underestimate the importance of dressing properly, it will lead to a disturbance in the public order.”
“… You really are a role model in this regard, and I wish everyone else were as well dressed.”
“… Takane Saki?”
“I have a favor to ask you, Mashima-kun.”
“That’s quite unexpected.”
“… This Sunday, would you like to go shopping with me?”
… Now, those of you who are watching this are probably wondering if I’ve gone on a suicide binge, or if I’ve gotten a headache from the heat and humidity of the past few days.
But! This is a legitimate strategy backed up by psychology!
The door-in-the-face technique.
It is a negotiation technique also known as the compromising request method!
First of all, human beings have the principle of “if the other party does something for us, we have to do something in return.”
Door-in-the-face is a technique based on this principle.
❶Prepare a genuine request and a request that the other party is likely to refuse.
❷First, you present the request with a high refusal rate and make the other party refuse it.
❸Then you present your real demand as if it were a compromise
❹Then, the other party will feel bad about refusing repeatedly even though the other party has gone to the trouble of making a compromise.
❺They will give you their OK for your main request.
That is why!!
This is a negotiation technique often used by salesmen, and studies have shown that by following this procedure, the other party is more likely to agree to your request than if you just make your real request straight away!
And as you know, for me, my real request is to exchange MINE with Mashima-kun!
So, after this, Mashima-kun should be like, “Eh~ I can’t go shopping with you on a Sunday, so I have no choice but to exchange MINE with Takane-san.” …!
“Okay, June 5th, I’ll leave it open.”
“Next week there’s the gymnastics festival, and I’ve just been asked to do some shopping by the committee members.”
“Oh, by the way, I don’t have your contact information yet. I’ll exchange it with you on the day, in case you need it.”
“By the way, what are you planning to buy?”
“You’re like a puppet with broken threads sometimes…”
“So, for some reason or other, I’m going shopping with Mashima-kun this weekend…”
“You’re packing too much in all of a sudden…!”
Yuka-chan said with her head in her hands in the empty classroom.
And to top it all off, somehow we were able to exchange MINE as well. I still can’t believe what’s going on.
I myself still don’t understand the situation…
“… No! Let’s just be honest now and thank Saki Saki’s stupidity and the teachings of Imamote! Not only did you exchange MINE with him, but you even got him to go on a date with you, which is way too good for Saki Saki.”
“…… D-date ……?”
“A date is when a man and a woman meet alone at a certain time and date.”
As soon as I heard the word “date,” I immediately felt hot from the bottom of my stomach to the top of my head like a kettle boiling.
“No, impossible, impossible, impossible, impossible, impossible! It’s too early for a date!”
“It’s already too late. You’ve got to make up your mind.”
“Even if you told me that, I wouldn’t be able to do it!”
“You said so yourself.”
I couldn’t even get a word out.
I bite my lower lip and clutch the hem of my skirt in silent protest.
Of course, it’s completely pointless to do that to Yuka…
“Breathe, breathe, breathe.”
“Anyway, now that you’ve said it, it can’t be helped, Saki Saki, let’s start by getting ready for the date one by one, shall we?”
“Oh, it’s my first time to go on a date with a guy, and I’m so … nervous I’m going to throw up now…”
“Top priority is to buy some stomach medicine … and. By the way, does Saki Saki have any casual clothes for a date?”
“Don’t look at me like you’re a chihuahua. Let’s go clothes shopping together this Saturday, okay?”
“Ho… really, I’m going on a date with Mashima-kun…?”
“You’re going on a date, do you think that public morals freak is the type to break a promise?”
“Yuka-chan, you could follow us…”
“Oh… too bad, I have to eat, brush my teeth, and take a bath that day.
“…Which is, in essence, the same thing as always.”
“Anyway, you’re going alone. If you miss this opportunity, you may never have an outing alone with Mashima-kun again.”
“I don’t know if I’m happy or scared right now, if I’m soaring or nervous, I’m definitely feeling sick right now … anyway …”
“Oh, stop crying, stop crying, you have me and Imamote with you.”
“That book has all the know-how on how to find love, doesn’t it? Then there’s nothing wrong with it.”
“… That’s right! I have Imamote!”
Imamote is packed with all kinds of relationship know-how.
It also contains all kinds of dating tips and tricks!
“I’m starting to feel like I can do this! I’ll follow Imamote’s teachings and make our date a success for sure!”
“… Saki Saki, I think you’re going to fall for some shady business seminar or something in the future.”
… Anyway, the operation has begun!