Y2 Vol 7 English Chap 3

Chapter Three: A Love Letter

This morning, I ran into Horikita at the elevator on my way to school.

After exchanging a quick hello, we left the lobby and walked together out of the dormitory.

“Have you heard? The day before the cultural festival, the third year students are going to do a rehearsal just like the real thing.”

“Yeah, I heard they’re inviting first years and second years to participate as

well.”

This is the information that was posted on the school’s bulletin board last

night, as if to inform all grades. The source of the information was the student council president, Miyabi Nagumo. This was probably what Nagumo meant last week, when he said that the student council would make a not-so-bad proposal.

The form of participation was for us to choose. It could be an actual food service or just a mock-up. It’s just a proposal to make adjustments for the following day’s festival altogether.

“The student council has already received participation letters from many classes. I’m sure the classes that have been keeping this under wraps will want to get a third-party evaluation before the festival.”

“So you’re saying more classes are taking it in a positive light.”

“I think the fact that the 3rd year Class A rented the gymnasium and opened their presentation to the public was a big factor.”

They announced their performance without concealment, and actually demonstrated it. Additionally, the way they incorporated the improvements that came to light from that process became a well-known fact among the students enrolled in the school. There must have been a certain number of students who wanted to make this festival a success and enjoy it as students, not just as a competition.

“I’m sure the student council’s decision to pay for consumable materials and other expenses was also an additional incentive.”

Even if you are only going to hold a preliminary festival, it will cost money. A separate budget from the one provided for the festival would need to be set up, and the source of funds would naturally be in the form of collecting private points from individuals.

It would not be surprising if some classes forgo the event if they had to pay out of their own pocket for the rehearsal, but that was exactly what the student

council was for. If the student council covered the expenses, they’d have no reason to refuse. It had already informed them that if they bring in receipts, they would be reimbursed from the student council’s budget. Of course, there was no limit, but there was a quota of several tens of thousands of points for each class.

“We’re going to join in, aren’t we?”

“Of course. The whole school knows it’s going to be a maid café. It won’t hurt to do it.”

“That’s true. And with what happened to Ryūen-kun and the others, too.” Horikita gave me a meaningful look, to which I nodded lightly and replied. “Let’s see what they have in store for us.”

It was a great opportunity to see how Ryūen would develop the concept. “You don’t think we’ll lose?”

“I don’t know.”

“You look pretty confident.”

“I’m not confident. I’m just doing everything I can.” “That’s true. Even so, don’t you usually feel insecure?”

Apparently, Horikita is concerned that she might lose, even though she is fully prepared.

“Maybe I’m scared about losing.”

Defeat doesn’t only mean losing class points. But it’s just as bad to fail to earn class points. Wanting to avoid stagnating is natural when you’re on the momentum of reaching Class A.

“Maybe last year you wouldn’t have been so anxious.”

“That was just foolhardy. I didn’t see anything around me back then.”

Now, Horikita was starting to broaden her horizons a little. That’s why she couldn’t help but think about losing.

“As a class leader, it’s not a bad thing to be prepared for both winning and losing patterns. I’m just one of the pawns. I’m just making irresponsible statements.”

Well, it’s Horikita’s shortcoming and strength that she cannot easily dismiss that statement. If it was Sakayanagi or Ryūen, they would’ve listened and

dismissed it; if it was Ichinose, she would’ve taken it as if it was the only thing that mattered.

Horikita has both of these aspects. “I know, but… Sometimes.”

I patted Horikita on the back with the palm of my hand. “What are you doing?”

“It’s too early to get used to winning.” “I’m not going to…”

She looked a little angry, but she also realized that I hit the nail on the head. “It was a conceited notion, not the result of anything I’ve done well myself.”

The uninhabited island, unanimous exam, those weren’t victories supported solely by straight-up competence.

“You mean…?” “What?”

“I’m trying not to take everything you say seriously, but you’ve been very cooperative lately, which is even more annoying. I don’t know how to process this in my head.”

“Then please don’t cooperate with me at all in the future.”

I tried to walk quickly away, but she grabbed me by the shoulders. “That’s a no-go.”

I tried to break away, but was immediately grabbed and brought back.

“I’d like to stop by the convenience store before going to school, would you like to join me?”

“Convenience store?”

“I’m preparing for the day before the school festival, and I want to make the most of my lunch break today.”

“I don’t mind joining.”

A few minutes in a convenience store wouldn’t be a problem. I followed Horikita to the convenience store and stepped inside.

There I ran into Kōenji, who was just about to pay for his items. He had only two things: a bottle of soy milk and a white meat salad. It was a very light meal for lunch, but I wondered if he was going to have it during his morning break. Since Kōenji is rarely seen eating, his private life remains a mystery to us.

“Good morning, Kōenji-kun.”

Horikita called out to him, but after paying for his things, Kōenji only smiled lightly and didn’t exchange any words.

“I heard that Kōenji is the only one not assigned work for the cultural festival.”

“He told me he wouldn’t do anything. I’m sure I won’t change his mind.”

Horikita didn’t seem particularly concerned either, and went to the cash register to select a quick meal. She refused the plastic bag offer and tucked it away in her own bag.

“You didn’t have anything to buy?”

“They don’t have anything I need, and I don’t have an abundance of private points.”

soon.

November warmed my wallet to some extent, but I had plans to cash out

“You’re no longer paying contributions to Kushida-san, right?” “Not really, since I haven’t been charged for it.”

“Would you really pay if she charged you?” “Do you think she will charge me?”

Horikita replied to me with distaste, muttering, “No, I don’t think so. I don’t

want her to come back to haunt me.”

However distorted, Kushida underwent a profound change. And it’s heading in the direction of growth, I have to believe.

1

After school that day. Ichihashi approached Horikita with some hesitation, who was sitting in front of her.

“Um, Horikita-san… Can I have a minute?”

She rarely speaks to Horikita since she doesn’t have strong connections with her. Normally, one would think that it would be about the upcoming festival…

However, the item in her hand implied something different. “What is it?”

“Actually, I have a favor to ask you. You have student council work later today, don’t you?”

“Yes. As I told the class a while ago, I have student council work to do. I can’t help you with the festival.”

“Yes, well, that’s not what I meant. Can you please send this…?”

With these words, she presented a letter. A glimpse of a heart sticker clasped the envelope’s mouth.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a love letter…” “Eh?”

No wonder she looked puzzled, unable to comprehend the meaning for a moment. Even though we live in an age where diversity is accepted, it’s understandable that a love letter from a girl to another girl would be upsetting in other ways besides matters of the opposite sex.

“Oh, It’s not like it’s from me to Horikita-san or something. Actually, one of my friends asked me to give it to Nagumo Miyabi, the student council president.”

“To the student council president? But isn’t that something you should give in person?”

If you’re going to confess your feelings to someone you have a crush on, face to face is naturally the expectation.

“She asked me to deliver it to him because she was too nervous to give it herself. But I don’t have the courage to hand it to the student council president in person either…”

Nagumo’s a more social person than, say, former Student Council President Horikita Manabu, but he was still a senior student and representative of this school. It would be quite a hurdle for someone who has no contact with him to approach him. Horikita, on the other hand, was different. It was easy to imagine them conversing about student council business on a daily basis.

“I understand the situation, but…”

“Please. She’s been struggling with it for a long time now, and… she’s finally found the courage to do so.”

If it had been the Horikita of a year ago, she might’ve refused this request.

But building relationships with classmates is important to her now. In order to make up for the lost trust in the unanimous special exam, there was no way around it.

“Okay. I’ll see if I can somehow find an opening and give it to him for you.

Is that okay?”

“Uh, yes.”

Ichihashi answered, but she looked a bit brusque. “Is there still a problem?”

“Um, well, there’s a little problem with this love letter.”

Upon receiving the letter, Horikita noticed that there was no name written on the front or back. This meant that the sender was unknown until he looked through the contents.

“Can I assume that it is written inside who this letter is from?”

“I don’t know… If it were normal, I’d imagine it would be written. That girl, if she was just happy to tell him how she feels, she might not have written it.”

In other words, neither the deliverer nor the receiver would know the sender of the love letter.

“That’s a little hard to accept. Of course, I’ll explain when I give it to him, but if I’m not careful, he might mistake it for a letter from me.”

Saying she received it from someone else despite it actually being a letter from herself — the possibility of Nagumo taking it like that cannot be said to be zero.

“Well then, can’t you ask someone else? Like a boy you know in the student council or… No? I’d like for you to give it today somehow.”

“That’s easy for you to say…” Despite her concern, Horikita thought for a moment and nodded.

“I’ll do my best, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to give it to him, okay?”

“I’m glad you accepted. I’m sure she’ll be very happy.”

Although reluctantly, Horikita agreed to deliver the love letter to Nagumo. Normally, she would’ve asked her who the letter was from, but Horikita wasn’t interested and didn’t try to dig deeply.

2

Because of the unexpected request, my steps were a little… Heavier, if not quite heavy.

“Why won’t she just give it to him?”

It was a mistake to accept. How could I, an irrelevant person in this affair, have such a task? I should turn back and tell Ichihashi-san to give it to him in person.

“That would be the right thing to do.”

When the thought of escape crossed my mind. I suddenly remembered the time when I tried to give a letter to my brother who had decided to go to high

school. I was a fool in the past, not realizing that he’d been cold toward me and desperately wishing to return to the old days when we were close. I thought that if I couldn’t talk to him face to face, I could just put my feelings in a letter. But the pen in my hand didn’t move as smoothly as it did in my head.

For days and days, I thought and wondered, writing and erasing over and over again.

How could I convey my feelings? How could I make my brother happy?

I struggled with the act of writing the letter itself. And in the end… I couldn’t give it to him. My brother left this school and I can no longer see or contact him.

“I wonder what happened to that letter…”

As I dredged up my memory, I recalled putting it in my brother’s desk drawer.

“What if my brother goes home and sees it?”

I stopped in the hallway and felt my heart rate suddenly hasten. If my brother saw a letter like that now, he would laugh at me.

“I should forget about that.”

Even if I get jittery here and now, I can’t get rid of the letter and pretend it never happened. Now all I can do is hope that my brother doesn’t find it.

Remembering my brother’s back from outside the window, I decided to put my hands together.

“That’s right.”

It’s not easy to write a letter to someone you love. And if you have to hand it to them directly, the hurdle is even higher. Even now, if I were asked if I could write a letter to my brother, it would be difficult for me to give an immediate answer. I don’t know who she is or where she is from, but her target is the Student Council President Nagumo Miyabi. I understand her feelings of timidity.

Somehow, I found an excuse to give it to him and arrived at the student council room. When I opened the door, all the members of the student council were already there except for Student Council President Nagumo. There were three boys present, Yagami-kun, a first-year student, Aga-kun, also a first-year student, and Kiriyama-senpai, the third-year vice president.

However, it would not be possible for just any boy to do what I need. I

couldn’t simply entrust them with the task of handing out love letters, which isn’t even a responsibility for the student council.

However… I was relatively close to Yagami-kun. I talk to him quite regularly. I knew I was taking advantage of my position as a senpai, but I couldn’t turn my back on this letter. Yagami-kun was sitting down and chatting with Ichinose-san.

I reached for the love letter in my briefcase, hoping to get the troublesome matter out of the way quickly. But just then, Student Council President Nagumo appeared in the room.

“The meeting will begin immediately. Take your seats.”

The voice of Student Council President Nagumo was as dark and heavy as he appeared. I felt the air instantly become tense and tight and put my hand back on my bag.

There was no way I could say that I was asked to hand over a love letter under these circumstances.

“Ichinose, if you have anything to report, let’s hear it.”

“Yes. It seems that it has been decided that all classes will participate in the rehearsal the day before the festival.”

“It was decided in almost half a day? It seems that the student council president’s decision was correct. However, if the decision was made by the student

council, I wish you would have informed us a little earlier.” Kiriyama-senpai, the vice president, made a thorny remark.

“It’s just an idea. I thought starting a little earlier would make the juniors happy.” Student Council President Nagumo replied without any particular apology.

Such a scene from the student council meeting was becoming a regular occurrence.

Basically, the student council-led things started with an idea from Student Council President Nagumo. Sometimes they were born from a comment made during the meeting, and other times they were created without our knowledge.

Then there was a sudden silence, and Student Council President Nagumo had his arms crossed and his eyes closed. It was obvious that he was holding back his anger.

“Um, what’s wrong, Nagumo-senpai…?” “Listen, I heard a strange rumor.” “Rumor…?”

“It’s not proven, but there was a guy, Kishi, who said that I was betting a lot of money to get certain students expelled from school.”

“What? What do you mean?”

It’s no wonder Ichinose-san asked back. I, too, could not immediately understand the meaning of what Student Council President Nagumo said.

“Who told you that nonsense?” “Someone from your class, Kiriyama.”

Student Council President Nagumo threw such words to Vice President Kiriyama with his eyes closed.

“From my class?”

“It’s just a rumor from my friends, though it wouldn’t be strange if you were aware of it.”

“Sorry, that’s news to me. I don’t understand why you would bet a lot of money to get someone expelled in the first place.”

Usually, students use large sums of money to move someone in particular to an “A” class. If that’s what he was talking about, it’s certainly not hard to understand, even for me. Especially for third-year students, the odds were stacked against them, and if they were invited to join President Nagumo’s class, they were practically guaranteed an “A” class. It’s possible, for lack of a better word, for the Student Council President Nagumo to have secretly offered private points to those he has close relationships with, giving them the right to move to his class.

“It’s just a rumor. But I’m not willing to sit idly by and let the accusations against me go unchallenged.”

Indeed, as student council president, such rumors could damage him one way or the other. It’s understandable that he was visibly in a bad mood.

“The student council will be suspended for a while.” “Suspended…?”

Ichinose-san was surprised by this unexpected proposal from Student Council President Nagumo.

The student council used to meet like this once a week and repeatedly discuss various topics. The only exceptions were during test periods and some special exams. It was unusual to suspend them during the regular school year.

“We’re done discussing the cultural festival, too. There shouldn’t be any problems.”

“Are you going to look for the culprits?”

“Of course, we’ll look for them thoroughly. The next meeting will be held after the festival.”

We then continued discussing the day before the festival, and we departed shortly afterward. I got up from my seat and headed toward Yagami-kun.

Perhaps sensing my approach, he raised his gaze away from his notebook, stopped his hand, and closed it. He’s the secretary of the student council, so he was keeping the logs. The other students left the student council room ahead of me, which I was grateful for.

When we were alone, I decided to call out to him. “May I have a word?”

Yagami-kun turned to me after looking a little surprised. “I’m sorry, were you still in the middle of writing it down?”

“No, I just finished. Don’t worry about it.” He placed his hand lightly on top of the closed notebook and smiled at me.

“Is something wrong, Horikita-senpai?”

“Yagami-kun. May I ask you a slightly unreasonable favor?” “What is it?”

“I want you to give this to the student council president. It’s a love letter.” I took out the love letter and presented it to Yagami.

“That’s very rare these days. Most of the time it seems to be done through chatting or phone calls…” When he received it with a surprised look on his face, I hastened to add.

“Just to let you know, it’s not from me.”

“I see. I thought it was a love letter from Horikita-senpai… Or should I just give it to him as such?”

“No, that’s not it. A girl in my class asked me to give it to him.” “There is no sender name. Whose love letter is it? I’ll let him know.”

“I can’t tell you that. She wants to remain anonymous.” “It’s an anonymous love letter…?”

“She asked for me to pass it on as a member of the student council, but there’s the issue of anonymity, and if I give it to him, he might think it’s from me, right?”

“That’s quite possible. To be honest, I still have a little bit of doubt that Horikita-senpai didn’t write it.”

Yagami-kun smiled a little funnily, but to me it wasn’t funny at all.

“I’m just kidding. Given the look of disgust on senpai’s face, I know it’s not

true.”

I sure hope so.

“Actually, it would’ve been smoother if I had given it to you before Student

Council President Nagumo arrived…”

“Even if you gave it to me, I don’t think I would’ve been able to hand it over. It didn’t seem like the kind of atmosphere to give a letter.”

“Yes, that was inevitable.”

Under the circumstances, no one could talk to Student Council President Nagumo.

“I’m sorry to ask you to do this, but could you please deliver it as soon as possible? I’m sure they think I’ll deliver it today.”

“In that case, I’ll visit the dormitory later.” Yagami-kun stared at the love letter intently while looking a little perplexed. “Is this really a love letter?”

“Probably. I think she said she put her feelings into it, but I can’t be sure.” I couldn’t peel off the seal to see what was inside.

“If I gave it to him as a love letter and it turned out to be different, I think it would be disrespectful to the student council president.”

“That might be possible.”

“I’ll put it somewhat vaguely, saying that I received the letter from someone.”

“Yes, I think that’s a good idea. Thank you.” I thanked him for his honest acceptance.

“By the way, even in this day and age, it’s hard for a secretary to work with handwritten notes, isn’t it?”

There is nothing wrong with using a computer to work nowadays. “Tradition is also important. It seems that the notes have been kept on file

ever since this school was founded. If we suddenly switch to digital, it’ll create a sense of discomfort.”

Yagami-kun turned around and stared at the bookshelf. Certainly, there are many records revealing the story of the Student Council’s history. It wouldn’t

necessarily be bad if the student council files were replaced by a disc, but Yagami- kun made a good point. Perhaps this is exactly what we should continue if we value tradition.

“I also hear that it is better to have hardships while you are a student. If you get used to easy life early on, you may suffer later on.”

Yagami-kun showed a slightly mature response, not like a first-year high school student.

“In that sense, this love letter is similar.”

It is true that nowadays it is not uncommon to confess one’s feelings using one’s cell phone. But I can understand that there is a certain meaning to conveying your feelings through your letters.

“Even so, today’s Student Council President Nagumo really didn’t seem to have a lot of time to spare, did he?”

“Yeah. He’s betting a lot of money to expel the students, isn’t he? As I recall… What was his name…”

As if remembering something, Yagami-kun opened his notebook and showed it to me. The first page that was flipped through was from the middle of last year, and looked like something a current third year student would have written in his sophomore year. Then the font changed and switched to the most recent notes.

I instantly recognized this because the notes, which seemed to have been written by Yagami-kun, were written in a perfect, orderly manner that showed his meticulousness. And the writing was so polished that it was hard to believe it was handwritten.

“There it is. He said that this Kishi-senpai might have spread a rumor. Do you know what class Kishi-senpai is in?”

Yagami-kun asked me with the same expression as usual, showing me the meeting records. But my brain was pulled into another realm all at once.

These characters They look very similar to that letter which had almost

slipped from my memory.

Was he the person who presented me with the letter during the uninhabited island exam? I held my gaze, which was about to blur with agitation, and reached the notes of today’s meeting. I looked at Yagami-kun from a broader perspective and saw that he was still looking at me with the same smile.

It couldn’t be… But No, it can’t be.

Amidst a whirlwind of emotions, I think as I continue to feign looking down at the notes.

“Horikita-senpai?”

“Sorry, I don’t know, but you should be able to figure it out pretty quickly if you look at the OAA.”

“Sure. I’ll look it up right away.”

“I’m sorry, but I just remembered something I have to do. I’ll leave you to

it.”

“Oh, really? I understand.”

I looked away from him and quickly turned as if to run away.

“Well then, I’m sorry, but I need you to take care of my letter to the student

council president.”

“Yes, senpai. Thank you for your hard work, Horikita-senpai.”

If he stared at me then, I probably would have asked him. I knew in my gut that I had to avoid that. I exited the door connecting the student council chambers and slowly closed it.

Just before it was about to close, I saw Yagami-kun smiling at me through the door’s slightest gap. He looked at me with a smile, as if he was testing me.

It was as if he was challenging me with a question, “Did you notice?” It was as if he was trying to provoke me. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have taken the trouble to open the notebook and show me the handwriting.

The door slammed shut.

I couldn’t deny the possibility that the handwriting was coincidentally the same. Since a certain amount of time had passed since I saw those letters, my memory is blurred.

Even so, the handwriting was similar enough to make me certain of the reason for the resemblance. If I assume that he was the person who wrote me that letter… Then that person had been standing by my side for a long time while behaving in a nonchalant manner.

At the same time, it seemed to me that this assumption was very realistic.

Written on July 1, 2022