Kiyokei post reveal
Year 2, Vol. 5 Chapter
Note: This is combined Kei scenes from ch 2 part 1, part 2 and part 3.
Note: This is combined Kei scenes from ch 2 part 1, part 2 and part 3.
Though it's a bit late, it was time for lunch.
"Let's go! Yukimu and Miyachi are coming too, right?"
Haruka turned around, asking for confirmation. The usual boys agreed as they stood up from the chairs.
They were the members of Ayanokouji's group that consisted of five people, including me.
However, as the five of us were about to gather, a classmate approached us while half-running.
The moment I noticed her presence, she spoke up.
"Kiyotaka, let's have lunch together!"
Her gaze fully on me, she nervously called out to me without taking a breath.
No one had been paying attention while Kei had approached me, nor had they intended to listen to our conversation. Within a moment's notice, thirty-six people, with the exception of Kouenji, were staring at us.
"Sorry guys, I'll be eating with Kei today."
I pulled my chair and stood up before anyone could figure out what was happening.
"..... I'd like to go to a café. Is that alright?"
"Wh…..eh….? W-wait a moment. Karuizawa-san, why are you suddenly barging in?"
"Barging in, it’s not like he has to always eat with you guys? You heard Kiyotaka's refusal, didn't you?"
"W-we heard that… but what does it mean? Did you already plan to?.... eh, 'Kei'?"
Haruka finally realized the fact that we were referring to each other by our first names.
No, she might not have fully grasped it yet.
"I'm sorry, but as his girlfriend, it's normal for him to prioritize me first, right?"
Although Haruka and Airi muttered at the same time, their reactions were completely different.
"That's why, Kiyotaka might be going to group meetings less from now on, you must understand, right?"
"Let's go!" said Kei, pulling my arm as we left the classroom.
Her face started to turn a bright red, indicating that she was feeling quite embarrassed. I never expected her to pull this stunt either...
Haruka and Airi, along with other classmates, could only stand there dumbfounded, unable to move from their place.
Thanks to Kei's bold action, our relationship which only few people knew until now, had been spreading through the whole class. By the end of day, the entire grade would probably know about it.
Well, I doubted that many students would hold any interest in my relationship with Kei.
Ike and Shinohara, who had just become a couple during the summer break, had less buzz than I had expected, although it was probably because people already expected them to become one.
Though some boys liked to be pretentious while the others were more honest, in the end there's no denying that both of them were blessed, and were gradually developing their relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend.
The number of times they were seen together, be it when they're going back to the dorm or when on dates, had increased sharply.
The sight that seemed new at the beginning would eventually be part of their everyday lives.
Although the same could also be said for Kei and I, our relationship might create a bigger wave than the Ike and Shinohara pair since not many students could have predicted it.
Anyway, classes were ending on the first day our relationship had become known to the class.
I had known even since this afternoon that she had been trying to avoid me.
"Hey Kiyopon, wanna go home together?"
It was Haruka who approached me… Airi's biggest supporter and also her best friend.
Thinking that Kei would suggest we head home together, I looked at her. However, there was still a crowd around her as girls were still asking her questions.
"Are you sure?"
This was Haruka, so I thought she would've been beside Airi and watched over her.
From afar, Airi was quietly packing her bag and preparing to leave.
"I understand what you mean, but there's nothing I can say to cheer her up at the moment. Unless… you have another reason that prevents you from going home with me?"
Haruka's face hardened for a moment as she said it.
Now that the relationship had become open, it was inevitable that the chances to attend Ayanokouji's group meeting would decrease.
It was better to listen to her request now.
Grabbing our bags, we headed towards the exit in the back.
Haruka hadn't muttered a single word as we walked along.
From time to time, I took a glance at her side profile. Sometimes she looked angry, and other times she looked sad.
Only after we put the shoes on and left the school, she finally looked at me.
"It's no use asking in a roundabout way so I'll just ask you directly…. are you dating Karuizawa-san for real? It's still hard to believe."
"As you could see, it's true."
Her lips twitched when I answered her before she quickly nodded.
"...okay. But it's really shocking. You see Kiyopon, you're free to date whoever you want, but no one would expect you to date Karuizawa-san of all people."
From other people's perspective, the Karuizawa Kei's they had seen didn't have a really good reputation. Most of them had the impression that she's an egoistic girl who got together with the popular Yosuke too quickly before dumping him for her own convenience.
"So this is what you meant at the pool when you said Airi would get a bit of a mental shock. But isn't it too much? Even though she tried her best to endure it in the class, she was crying during the entire lunch break, you know."
"Don't be like that. ….Also, is it true that you started dating during spring break?"
"Sorry for not telling you sooner, there was a lot going on the plate."
"A lot going on, huh? Well, there were various rumours regarding Karuizawa-san so I kinda understand…"
It was inevitable for Haruka to have such a perception since Kei had faked her past and started dating Yosuke not long after we entered high school.
"You're not lying, aren't you? Not like a prank or anything?"
"No, it's true."
"I…. I see, I got it. I just can't comprehend it at all… I've always had an idea of the person Kiyoppon would date if it wasn’t Airi but…. but Karuizawa-san, well she isn’t it."
Having to face the unpredictable reality, she held her head in her hands.
"I've already talked a bit with Yukimu and Miyachi, and we shared similar opinions. As for Airi, although I haven't asked her directly, it looks like the news affected her much more."
Seemed so. I could easily imagine that.
"How exactly did it happen? It didn't seem like you had a lot of interactions."
When did I like Kei and vice versa, it's normal for her to ask such questions.
"During last year's cruise ship exam, I was in the same group with Kei. Ever since then, the opportunities to talk with each other were gradually increasing, but it's not until Yosuke and Kei broke up that our relationship started to take off."
The fact that the two had splitted up in February this year must have reached the ears of some students.
"So, you have been in contact for a long time, huh? It didn't look like that."
"It's because we mostly talk on the phone."
"I'm asking a lot of questions but, which one of you confessed first?"
As an Airi's defender and her spokesperson, she wanted to dig for more information.
"It was me."
"...I see. I thought she might have a chance if it was Karuizawa-san who confessed first, but for it to be Kiyopon… I give up."
Slapping her forehead, she then raised her hands in surrender.
"Ah, wait a moment! There’s too much information I can’t tell left from right! Sorry, but can I stop by the convenience store for a bit?"
Haruka said as we got closer to the convenience store.
"Yeah, I'll wait outside."
After a slight apology, she then disappeared into the store.
While waiting, I took out my phone that had been vibrating a few times from my pocket.
'I'll be waiting for you in Keyaki Mall after this. I was having a hard time answering all the questions ~'
It was an invite from my girlfriend to hang out.
'Got it. I'll call you before I arrive.'
I kept my phone after confirming the message had been read. Not long after that, Haruka returned with a croquette in her hand.
"I was so busy talking to Airi during lunch break and didn't get to eat anything at all."
“Sorry for troubling you.”
"It's not like I'm troubled or anything..…"
"I know this is bad timing on my part, but actually I'd like you, and if possible Airi, to help me with something."
"This is something that hasn't been made known to the rest yet, but one of the attractions for the cultural festival has been decided."
"Oh, is that so?"
"At the moment, the only ones who know are me, Horikita and the students who suggested the idea in the first place, this is to avoid any leaks. It's decided that we're going to have a maid café as a part of the festival."
"M-Maid café? I mean, eh….? I'm not surprised, but this is a bit unexpected. I never thought Horikita-san would approve this kind of event."
"In her case, she seems indifferent towards all the proposals. I guess it was approved because she thought the café had a chance to compete with others from her neutral view."
"I see. So, why are you telling me this?"
"Actually, it is because I know about the project that I was asked to take care of various things."
Haruka nodded in understanding after my explanation.
"But Horikita-san is quite something to put you in this situation."
"So, I thought I could ask Haruka and Airi to be waitresses."
With an unreadable look on her face, she listened to my request. However, she didn't look surprised.
Well, perhaps she already guessed what I was gonna say.
"If it was before the matter with Karuizawa-san, even though I felt uneasy, I probably would've agreed. I don't like wearing something cosplay-ish in front of people, but I wouldn't refuse if it's a request from my dear friend. ...The timing is pretty bad."
On the day when her best friend just had a heartbreak, it was unbefitting for me to ask something like this.
"The thing is, I can't blame Kiyopon. I've said something like this earlier, but you're free to date whoever you want, and I can understand that there's stuff you couldn't speak about. Airi is free to love Kiyopon, you're also free to not reciprocate her feelings…."
In theory, it made sense. However, it'd be a different story if it was about emotions.
"I can't promise anything. But once she's calmed down, I'll try to talk with her."
"You're fine with it?"
"That girl has to accept reality sooner or later. And although I don't know about you, having Karuizawa-san as her opponent doesn't mean she has to give up. Even if you're really into Karuizawa-san at the moment, there's still a possibility that you'll get dumped, right?"
"Well, that's right. There's a good chance she would get fed up with me."
"If that happens, wouldn't it mean Airi gets another chance? Right now, she's a gem that hasn't been polished yet… and Kiyopon's feelings might change someday."
It's true that if Airi put effort in her appearance and wearing the costume, her looks would be on par with those three. No, if we also took her figure into account, she would definitely win.
In addition, though it's unrelated to the guests in the festival, school staff would certainly be surprised after seeing Airi's new look.
It would create a chain of reaction in school which resulted in guests hearing about the rumour.
"No, even if that's the case, wouldn't Airi's feelings change after this?"
If the person you love already has a partner, it's natural to seek a new love.
Even though I said the obvious, Haruka gave me the angriest look I've ever seen from her today.
"Look, aren't you taking her feelings too lightly? I know it well because I've been watching her for a long time. Her feelings for Kiyopon aren't too light that she would move on over something like this."
She strongly denied my statement.
"Although you'll have more dates with Karuizawa-san, make sure you show up at the group meetings. I don't want our group to be estranged over this."
"Yeah, you're right. After all, this group has become part of my school life."
There would be a disadvantage if I lose it in this situation.
"Alright, now that I feel refreshed, I'm going back to school."
Finishing her croquette, she cleaned up the trash before putting it away.
Though she didn't tell me, it's obvious she was going to meet Airi.
"See you later!"
"Yeah, see you."
After seeing her off as she rushed back to the school, I also turned away from the road towards the dormitory and headed to Keyaki Mall.
The shock still remained even after school.
After spending our time in Keyaki Mall, me and Kei were chatting away as we walked back to the dormitory.
When we arrived in the lobby, there was Horikita who was sitting on the sofa, looking like she was waiting for someone.
It only took one second to find out who the person she had been waiting for. As I pushed on the elevator button and entered with Kei, Horikita also came along with us.
"Ayanokouji-kun, may I talk to you for a moment?"
The elevator stopped at the fourth floor where my room was.
"Then, see you, Kiyotaka!"
Although Kei was a jealous type, her ability to grasp situations wasn't low.
In addition of understanding that Horikita was not seen as someone of the opposite sex, she judged that when it came to a special exam, it would be better not to get in the way.
"Yeah, I'll call you later."
If someone told me from a year ago that we would spend our time as a couple like this, I wouldn't believe them.
Horikita followed me as I got off the elevator. I looked back and saw Kei smiling and waving at me as the elevator doors started to close.
"How long have you been dating?"
"Hm, I wonder when."
"Rumour says that it began on spring break, but didn't it start way earlier?"
She was implying something to me as she said those words to me.
"I wonder about that."
Whether or not there was a reason or proof behind her words, I wasn't interested or willing to bring it up.
"More importantly, you've said that you wanna talk to me?"
"......yes. There's something I want to discuss regarding the special exam. Do you mind?"