Which brings us to Volume 10,5: Iroha’s side volume. The OVA changed pretty much everything about this and focused solely on the date aspect of this volume, but this is what actually happens in the novel and the reason why Iroha and Hachiman go on a date in the first place.
>Yukino and Yui ask Zaimokuza why he is in the Service Club. Zaimokuza rambles on about how he wants to be a writer or a publisher etc. Yukino and Yui both fall into silence and it’s up to Hachiman to ask Zaimokuza why he’s here. The most important thing to take from this is that Iroha doesn’t pay Zaimokuza any attention whatsoever. She has nothing to gain from talking to him, so she ignores him entirely. Hachiman wonders why Iroha is here, something he always does.
Well, for Yukinoshita and Yuigahama to give the suddenly intruding Zaimokuza some kind of response despite how long it took them, it could be considered as a form of kindness. But the problematic one was the one who had him completely ignored the entire time(!) while gazing into a mirror, Isshiki Iroha.(!) Then again, why are you even here?(!) I mean, it’s not a big deal or anything. I won’t ask or anything. Isshiki didn’t give Zaimokuza so much of a look.(!) After she checked her bangs, she took out hand cream from her pouch and began skin maintenance on her hand while humming. She spread the cream along her thin fingertips and a citric smell filled the air. That reminds me, Zaimokuza and Isshiki don’t really know each other, do they? Though, acquaintances or not, it’s likely Isshiki wouldn’t give Zaimokuza any time of the day.(!) Naturally, the opposite held true.
Man, Yuigahama sure was nice to actually respond. Compared to the other two, they were more or less giving him the cold shoulder. Even Yukinoshita who had shown some interest earlier saw no value in listening to Zaimokuza’s answer just now and flipped the page of her book, going back to reading with a nonchalant look.(!) As for Isshiki who didn’t have any interest in him from the beginning(!), she had a complicated face as she was adjusting her eyelashes with a curler.(!)
Despite his powerful voice, the room continued to act unconcerned. Even Yuigahama who had been listening to Zaimokuza moments ago had went back to fiddling with her phone.(!)
>Zaimokuza talks about how he wants to become a publishing editor or a LN writer so that one day he can marry a voice actress. Hachiman asks him if the reason for his interest in this is because he wants a girlfriend. This causes Yukino and Yui to react. The club goes silent, but then Iroha shows that she was listening as well. The thing Iroha is interested in is how difficult it is to become a publisher.
“Wh-What is it…?”
Either my voice had deepened without me noticing or my passion had leaked out with it, but when I called Zaimokuza’s name, he sat up straight and looked at me head-on. As I looked into his eyes, I slowly spoke.
“Let me ask you. When you were in middle school, did you think that once you got into high school, you’d be able to get a girlfriend?”
Bullseyes; Zaimokuza broke into a cold sweat and went dead quiet. I pressed further. “And this is what you should be thinking right now. And that is… ‘once I get into university, I should be able to get a girlfriend!’”
“Nnnngh! H-How did you know…!?”
He didn’t even need to ask. My answer was obvious.
“Everyone’s gone through that before, after all…”(!) I said, instinctively letting out a heavy voice. Yes, there, too, was a time where I had those thoughts. It’s because I was a teeny, tiny toddler who knew nothing of the world nor his own place in it. You just couldn’t help but think about how you’d get married at twenty-five and have children. But as you progressed through middle and high school, you were gradually exposed to the inner mechanisms and reality of the world. This made you lower the standards of your idealistic visions. You couldn’t see your small dreams to realization; that’s this world, I dare say… When I had those thoughts, I suddenly ended up letting out a nihilistic chuckle. Zaimokuza sighed heavily and stiffly as if in agreement. But there, I could hear a small cough overlap with a quiet voice.
“Everyone… I see.”(!)
I turned and Yukinoshita who should’ve been reading her book glanced at me. But when our eyes met, she abruptly turned her face away.(!) On the other hand, Yuigahama who had been fiddling with her cellphone had stopped her fingers and froze with a troubled expression. And again, the club room became quiet. Huh? What’s with this silence…? As I sat there restlessly in the awkward mood, Isshiki removed her gaze from her compact mirror and glanced at us. She then let out a brief sigh.
“…I don’t really care, but is it easy to enter a publisher?”
I was under the impression she hadn’t been listening since she had been ignoring Zaimokuza the entire time, but apparently, the conversation had reached her ears. When Isshiki asked, the stiff atmosphere finally dissolved. She probably wasn’t asking anyone in particular, but Yukinoshita tilted her head in contemplation.
“I’ve heard that there’s a high barrier to entry for publishers…”
>Iroha shows interest in publishers and doujins because she believes that there is a lot of money to be made there. When Yukino points out it’s mostly for hobbies, Iroha slumps over.
When I looked towards the sound, Isshiki who had either finished polishing herself up or checking over her appearance put away her mirror in her pouch. Then, she propped up her chin with her index finger and tilted her head in contemplation. “Ummm, what’s a ‘doujinshi’?”
“Well, to put it simply, it’s a self-made book. You write your own manga or something like that and make it into a book.”
“Isn’t it, like, a place where you can make loooads of money?”(!) She asked, leaning slightly forward in keen interest with sparkling eyes.(!) Her movements were like that of a pure maiden, but what came out of her mouth was completely terrible…
“No, that’s not necessarily true. I hear they usually disregard their profits.”(!)
“…They don’t profit… but still do it?”(!) Upon finishing, Isshiki groaned and began holding her head. It seems she was having trouble understanding…
>Hachiman brings up that everyone can make free newspapers. This is something that interests Iroha. This is important, because this is the key motivation behind Iroha’s actions during the entirety of Volume 10,5.
“So it’s something like a world of hobbies.” Yukinoshita nodded. Well, for Yukinoshita who I could imagine spending money on her hobbies like tea, Pan-san the Panda, and cat merchandise, it might actually be up her alley.
“That kind of stuff is pretty amazing though, huh?” said Yuigahama, chewing her candy. Given that it’s her, she seemed somewhat impressed even though she didn’t sound like it. She let out a sigh.
“Doujin activities aren’t anything rare. Actually, otaku aren’t the only ones who want to make books, you know.”(!)
“You think soooo?”(!) Isshiki still had a skeptical voice. When we’re dealing with cultural things such as doujinshi that were foreign in nature to someone like Isshiki, her impressions were normal. But there were other examples similar in concept.
“There are things like free newspapers that university students make.(!) Think of that,” I said.
Yuigahama tapped her hands. “Oh, so something like those things they put up during school festivals.”
“…Ohh, that I can understand.” Isshiki nodded as if she was able to form an image of it.
“Right? Basically, free newspapers are overly-aware types of doujinshi.”
“Hearing you put it like that makes it sound incredibly questionable, but that’s a perfect way to put it…” As if remembering something unpleasant, Yukinoshita pressed firmly against her temple.
>Zaimokuza wants to make a doujin with Hachiman. Hachiman tells Zaimokuza that if he wants to become an editor, he should focus on other alternatives.
“If you’re aiming to become an editor, it’d be more constructive to think of other methods instead of making a doujinshi.”
“Fumu… I see, I see…” Zaimokuza answered honestly as if his spirit was broken from my pressing words. Good, good, now I won’t have to worry about making a doujinshi with Zaimokuza…
>They boot up the computer and look at the requirements for becoming a publishing editor. They discover a website where some guy is complaining about the hardships of being a publisher. The thing Iroha is mostly interested in is the amount of money a publishing editor makes.
“S-Senpai, pl-please wait a moment.”
Isshiki’s voice was trembling when she stopped my hand.
“Wh-What’s wrong?” I asked.
Going “Mm! Mm!”, Isshiki wagged the tip of her finger and pointed at the screen.
“Look at this! Look!”
What’s the deal…? I thought. When I looked, she was pointing at a comment made by an employee from a certain publisher. He introduced himself and provided information on his job: the university he graduated from, what his job entailed, an approximate time schedule of one working day a week, and so forth. As I followed the lines one by one, my eyes stopped at one.
“A salary of ten million yen at age twenty five…”(!)
You’ve got to be lying, no way. Major publishers really are amazing… Only three years out of university and he was already making that much? On top of that, he gets raises while he gets paid that salary? This guy’s like a total winner…
I sat there trembling in shock and I could hear deep breathing noises from behind.(!) When I turned around, Isshiki placed her left hand to her cheek and showed a sweet and poppy smile.(!)
“I’m going to marry a publishing editor.”(!)
>Iroha says how her goal in life is to marry someone that makes a lot of money.
“Well, isn’t having some kind of goal in itself a good thing? I’ve been trying hard everyday towards my goal since a while ago, after all.”(!)
“Hoh, a goal…” I gave Isshiki a scrutinizing glance to see what she truly meant when she had uttered something so unlike her. But there, she placed her index finger to her chin and tilted her head.
“Of course, I plan on retiring after several years by getting married, you know?”(!)
“Just where exactly are you putting in the effort…?” said Yukinoshita, sighing.
Isshiki puffed her cheeks. “I mean, I’m not very good at studying and there isn’t anything I want to do…”(!)
”I totally get you. I’m like that, too…”(!) Yuigahama dropped her shoulders and slumped over. Isshiki confirmed with her from behind. And as if realizing something, she lifted her head and looked at Yukinoshita.
>The Service Club is done using the computer and they want to call it a day, however Iroha is still looking something up on the computer. She wonders if free newspapers are easy to do. This is incredibly important, because it explains why she asks Hachiman out on a date.
At the same time, as for Irohasu, she was fiddling with the computer and searching something.
“I wonder if free newspapers are pretty easy to do…?”(!)
>The next day Iroha shows up at the Service Club, there is something she wants. She isn’t all that interested in Yukino and Yui (this is important), which is natural, because her charm doesn’t work on females. Iroha asks Hachiman if she can have a moment of his time.
“Oh, it’s Iroha-chan. Yahallo.” Yuigahama lifted her left hand and waved, her right hand still grasping onto Yukinoshita’s arm. After noticing her, Isshiki rushed over to us.
“Ahh, good evening. I’m glad you’re all still here.”(!)
“We’re already on our way home,” Yukinoshita said, Yuigahama still attached to her.
You’d think these two were flirting if you saw them from afar… At this point, it wouldn’t be odd to find them strange, but that’s Isshiki for you. She must’ve gotten used to it because she didn’t seem particularly fazed(!) and answered back like normal.
“I was also done with some things on my end as well, so I was thinking I’d drop by or something.”(!)
“Did you need something?”(!)
“Yes, I do actually,”(!) Isshiki said, nodding. As if being wary of Yukinoshita and Yuigahama(!), she motioned to me and whispered, “Senpai, can I bother you for a second?”(!)
“Huh? Yeah… sure…” I sent a look to Yukinoshita and Yuigahama telling them to head on home first and they nodded back.
>Iroha asks Hachiman if he remembers the thing he promised he’d help her out with before. Iroha says if it’s alright if they meet up tomorrow. Hachiman says he has other things to do, Iroha tricks him into going out with her. Yukino and Yui were waiting for Hachiman, they ask him what Iroha wanted, Hachiman gives them a vague answer.
With Isshiki pulling me along by my sleeve, we approached the window at the end of the hallway. The sky was colored in twilight and the wind that slapped the window seemed cold. With her back facing the window, Isshiki apprehensively asked, “Um, senpai, what’s going on with the work I asked you for help with before? I’d like to come to a decision on it already…”(!)
“Hm, yeah. I got it. I’ll do something about it.”
Hearing “work” caused me to respond mostly with the motivation that a corporate slave would have. It’s kind of a problem if I have to talk about work on my way home. Today’s Service Club business hours were over. Please come back another day with your request. It’s cold and I want to go home.
I turned around after giving a vague, lukewarm response and Isshiki’s voice came at me from behind. “Oh. Then, is it okay if we meet tomorrow at ten in the morning in front of Chiba Station?”(!)
“Huh? Tomorrow?” I turned around instinctively and checked.
Tomorrow was a day off. The Hikigaya household adopted the system of two full days of weekly holidays. So if I was told to rest, I was going to rest. However, the problem was that the Service Club adopted the system of two days of weekly holiday. These two systems happened to be different. The more you know. Anyway, that means whenever Service Club duties were brought up, I had this feeling of needing to work even on Saturdays and Sundays. On second thought, that’s not even a system of two days of weekly holiday, is it? What’s with this sweatshop club…?
“No, I don’t think tomorrow’s going to work…”(!)
I gave an appropriate response for the time being to ensure my weekends and Isshiki moved her index finger to her chin and tilted her head.
“But I doubt there’s anything to do though?”(!)
“Don’t give me that, you think I’d know…?”(!)
It’s been bugging me every time, but why does Isshiki always talk under the assumption I knew everything? Like I’d know what her plans were. I don’t know everything, I just know what I know.
After telling her, Isshiki slyly puffed her cheeks.
“I mean, it’s senpai we’re talking about.”(!)
“Oh, you were talking about me… Wait, why is this about me now? Isn’t this kind of weird? Well, you’re right that I don’t have anything to do though…”(!)
“See, I knew it.(!) In that case, I’ll be counting on you tomorrow.(!) I’m looking forward to seeing you in action, senpai! I’ll be excusing myself now.”(!)
Isshiki made a bright smile, ended the conversation, and waved her hands in goodbye. Gosh! Irohasu, that’s such a nice smile! Your face was telling me you wouldn’t let me say no(!), ask any questions(!), or check over the details with you at all!(!)
Aw crap, did I make some kinda promise or something…?(!) If she mentioned work, I think Isshiki should’ve asked me for help with something… Aw crap, I, like, totally ain’t got a clue, man…
Having been coerced by Isshiki’s smile(!), I started walking towards the entrance. After walking a few steps, I glanced around back at Isshiki and she was still waving her hand with a smile. Well, it’s me we’re talking about here. It’s possible she was just saying something whatever was necessary for the time being like I did earlier. In fact, that seems like the only possibility. The details were the issue… But unable to remember a single thing, I buried my face into my scarf and puffed while thinking, but nothing ultimately came to mind. I wracked my brain while heading to the entrance and I could see Yuigahama and Yukinoshita idly chatting in place. It looks like I made them wait for me.
“Ahh, sorry. You guys could’ve just gone home without me…” I said.
Yuigahama vigorously spun around when I called out to them. In that moment, she dragged Yukinoshita along with her, still holding onto her. You know what she reminded me of? Like a dog who suddenly started moving around on its own in the middle of a walk.
“We weren’t exactly waiting. Like, it’s just after Yukinon and I were talking, we kinda stood around… right?”
“…I suppose.” Yukinoshita abruptly turned her face away when Yuigahama asked her. Seeing her act like that was similar to a cat who disliked being hugged.
“Oh. Well, you know… thanks for that.”
I thanked them and they both shook their heads. Seeing their truly trivial gestures was oddly embarrassing that I walked out after slipping on my loafers. When we made it outside, it was already dark around us. It may have been nearing the first day of spring, but it looks like we had to wait a little longer before the day got longer. As we headed to the main gate from the entrance, Yuigahama walked beside me.
“What did Iroha-chan say?”(!)
“Well, I really don’t know… Apparently it’s for work, but I really don’t know…”(!)
“That’s not a very clear explanation…” Yukinoshita said with disbelief and a smile, walking a step from behind us.
>Hachiman and Iroha go on their date. (For the entire date, see the OVA.)
>Iroha takes a lot of pictures of the places they go to. Iroha also asks the waiter to take a picture of the two of them together. Hachiman asks if Iroha is satisfied. Iroha says yes as she intently looks at the pictures.
Once Isshiki was satisfied with taking pictures, she lowered her cellphone. Just when I thought I could finally eat, Isshiki raised her hand.
“Ah, excuse me. Can you take the picture?”(!)
When she called the waiter, the waiter quickly appeared and accepted her cellphone. Taking pictures again? Just how much longer are you going to make me wait!? I want to eat my gelato already! I took the spoon and my hand was hit. Upon looking, Isshiki was leaning over and posing in front of the waiter with her cellphone in camera mode.
“Come on, senpai, make a peace sign. Peace.”
“I don’t wanna. You don’t really need a picture of me. The gelato’s going to melt, you know.”
“It won’t melt that fast. So, come on,” Isshiki said quickly, not turning. Apparently, she couldn’t hold her posing face for very long. As if getting impatient, the waiter’s politeness turned a bit crude.
“Um, sir…?” The waiter said, looking at me with a troubled smile. The waiter’s gaze had a feeling of oppression than confusion of wondering what to do… I-I’m sorry for getting in the way of your work…
“Senpai, come on, come on.” Isshiki hurried me. Since I didn’t have much of a choice, I slightly moved the plates and leaned over the table.
”You should get just a little closer…” The waiter instructed me while posing with the camera and I adjusted my body a little more. And then, I was suddenly met with the smell of shampoo. I looked with just my eyes and Isshiki’s soft hair fluttered. Her face was surprisingly close. The moment I instinctively moved my body away, the waiter called out.
“Ah, there, that should be good. Okay, here we go.”
And then, there were two to three snapping sounds.
“Thank you very much.”
After giving her thanks, Isshiki took back her cellphone and looked at the pictures while sinking deeply into the sofa. I didn’t think it’d be so tiring to take pictures… The thing about how your soul getting sucked out when taking pictures might actually be true. I let out a sigh and the ascending steam from the coffee disappeared. I wanted to drink it before it got any colder.
“…Can I eat now?”
“Ah, yes, please go ahead.” Isshiki replied nonchalantly while checking over the pictures on her cellphone.(!) Hoping that my face wasn’t red in the picture, I ate my gelato I was forced to wait on to cool down my face and head.
>As Hachiman and Iroha are going to all these places, for some reason Iroha asks for the receipts every single time they leave a dating spot.
As I adjusted the collars of my coat and wrapping myself with the scarf again, Isshiki came out the store a little later.
“Sorry for the wait. I almost forgot to get the receipt.”(!)
Isshiki bonked her head with a “teehee, oops” ☆. How sly… Then again, I wonder what she’s going to use the receipt for?(!) We paid the bill together earlier, too. Speaking of which, after playing table tennis and eating ramen, she also kept those receipts…(!) Was she going to file an income report or something?
>Iroha and Hachiman end their date and go home. This is where it becomes incredibly apparent that what happens in the LN and what happens in the OVA is entirely different.
>The next day Iroha enters the Service Club again. It’s cold, so Iroha decides to snuggle up with Yukino and Yui. At first it seemed like Iroha never had an interest in Yukino and Yui, but maybe this is her way of trying to get closer to them. This is a pretty sweet moment, as long Iroha doesn’t have any ulterior motives of course.
“Ohh, Iroha-chan. Yahallo!” Yuigahama raised her hand and called her name. Isshiki waved back and the baggy sleeves of her cardigan would flap around.
“Hellooo there, good evening to you, too… Um, isn’t this room kinda cold?” Isshiki returned her greeting, came into the room, and stopped. She then gave Yukinoshita a puzzled look.
Yukinoshita smiled, looking slightly problematic.
“Yes, the heater isn’t functioning as it should at the moment.”
“Huh, is that so?” Isshiki said, not sounding particularly interested.(!) She grabbed a chair and headed directly for the spot beside Yukinoshita. Then, she took a seat, pulled on the blanket at Yukinoshita’s lap, and became one with the pseudo-human kotatsu.(!)
Having Isshiki suddenly cling on to her, Yukinoshita grumbled with a bewildered and threatening tone, but Isshiki didn’t pay her much attention. As she mumbled to herself, “Sooo warm!!♪” she shrank the distance between Yukinoshita and her by wriggling closer to her.
“Oh, wanna get a little closer?”(!)
“Is that okay? Thank you sooo much!”(!)
“…Jeez.” Yukinoshita sighed and let them have their way. She scooted her seat back slightly, giving enough room for Isshiki to share the blanket. She let out a happy “yaaay” as she jerked her seat closer and closer to Yukinoshita until she was snugly stuck to her.
After taking the steaming cup with both hands for warmth, Isshiki began drinking. Mmm, you three look awfully warm… But you know, Yukinoshita-san, you do realize that you’ve been pampering not only Yuigahama, but Isshiki nowadays, right…? Thinking back, for Yukinoshita, Yuigahama was her very first kind of friend while Isshiki was her very first kind of underclassman. Seeing her act somewhat like an upperclassman was a pleasant sight to behold.
>As Iroha is snuggled up with Yukino and Yui, all of a sudden she thanks Hachiman for his time the other day. That’s kind of random. Why would she suddenly bring this up? What is Iroha trying to accomplish here?
“Oh, senpai, thank you for your time the other day.”(!)
“Mm, yeah,” I answered.
Yukinoshita and Yuigahama looked at me, curious about our exchange. Uh, this might be hard to explain… All we did was hang out, just the two of us. That’s all that really happened, but imagine saying, “We really only went out to have fun, nothing else happened.”(!) If I had to explain myself to Yukinoshita and Yuigahama with an absurd excuse like that, it felt like I was acting too self-conscious.(!) But I felt just as guilty for keeping quiet.(!) No, feeling guilty in the first place was what you’d call being overly self-conscious. Gosh, Hachiman-kun, you’re so creepy…
Ultimately, all I could do was sit there quietly, meaninglessly breathing out that sounded like long sighs and groans. As if finding my behavior suspicious, Yukinoshita frowned while Yuigahama made alternating glances between Isshiki and me. Oh dear…
For the next, few short moments, the room was controlled by a bizarre silence. Even though the room was freezing, I could feel the sweat glands on my scalp opening.(!)
>For some reason Hachiman is starting to panic. Don’t worry, Iroha will save the day by breaking the silence. She brings up the free newspaper, the thing she was looking up on the internet the day before she asked Hachiman out on a date. Yukino asks why Iroha has an interest in making a free newspaper. Iroha starts talking about how the fiscal year-end is approaching and how there’s still money left in the budget. Wait, how did we suddenly jump to this topic?
As if to destroy that silence, Isshiki coughed.
“So like, I’ve been thinking, but I want to try making a free newspaper for the Student Council.”(!)
“Pardon? A free newspaper?”(!)
Yukinoshita gave a dubious look to Isshiki because her sudden talk was completely unrelated to earlier. But hey, nice job, Irohasu! Now I was free from both of their stares…(!)
“But why a free newspaper?”(!) Yukinoshita asked, tilting her head.
Isshiki withdrew her hand that was under the blanket and proceeded to explain while wagging her finger.
“We have our Student Council’s fiscal year-end coming up soon. So, when the vice president and the others gathered all the data, it turns out we still have a lot of money left in our budget this year.”(!)
“You don’t say…”
>The reason why there is still money left in the budget is because Meguri, the previous SCP, was a proper SCP that didn’t spend money on herself. Iroha on the other hand... Well, Iroha says that because there’s leftover money, she may as well do something with it, or to be more precise, the Service Club may as well do something for her to make sure that not a penny goes unspent.
The last Student Council President was Meguri-senpai. As the Comfy Megu☆rin, she didn’t really have a strong associated image of someone avaricious about money.(!) For there to be a remaining budget was somehow believable. (!)
But the current Student Council President was Isshiki Iroha. As the Shrewd Iro☆hasu, she was probably concerned about the money…(!)
And as I had expected, she clapped her hands in front of her chest and smiled.
“We might as well use up all the money since we have some left, right?(!) I checked how much we have left, and it looks there’s enough to make a free newspaper.”(!)
“That doesn’t mean you should try to increase your work…”
Incomprehensible. Regardless of how much leftover money there is, actually trying to do more work is incomprehensible… This girl’s definitely up to something…(!) I gave her an interrogating stare to which Isshiki brushed it off with an “aha!” and a smile. E-Even more suspicious…(!)
“But look, Iroha-chan. If you have leftover money, shouldn’t you save it up?(!) Savings are important, you know?” Yuigahama stated as if reprimanding her. That’s something a mom would say…
She certainly did have a point; that is, if we assume the money was Isshiki’s.(!) But that’s the problem. The money wasn’t Isshiki’s pocket money(!), but the budget money for the Student Council.(!)
>Yukino says that if there’s a leftover budget, then that means that next year’s budget will be reduced. Iroha says that in that case it’s best to use it all up as she wriggles closer to Yukino.
Having listened to the conversation thus far, Yukinoshita came to a realization regarding that point. She placed her hand to her chin and slowly spoke.
“I imagine it may not be that simple.”
“Why?” Yuigahama asked, tilting her head as though to rest it on Yukinoshita’s shoulder.
“If there’s still remaining money in the budget from a previous year, it’s possible the budget allocated for the following year may be reduced.(!) If I was the one handling the budget, I would without a doubt reduce it.”(!)
“Yes! Exactly! That’s why, to avoid getting my budget reduced for next year(!), it’d be better to just use up all the money before the year’s over, right?”(!)
After Yukinoshita’s explanation, Isshiki wriggled her body closer to Yukinoshita.(!) And to further gain her approval, Isshiki snuggled up against her like a child.(!)
I could hear her let out a shallow and perplexed voice. Caught in the middle from both sides, Yukinoshita was squeezed into a posture as though she was in a loaded train. Yep yep, it’s good that you’re all getting along together.(!)
Basically what’s going on is that Iroha initially came to the Service Club to find some way to spend the budget for this year, so that she could get a full budget refund next year. That’s why she went on a date with Hachiman, took pictures, took the receipts and is now showing an interest in Yukino and Yui, something she normally doesn’t do.
With Yui, you could say that she uses her emotions/puppy dog eyes/physical affection to get others to do what she wants unintentionally or at least not on purpose.
>Yui using physical contact (or her puppy dog eyes/an appeal to emotion) to convince Yukino to do something. (She also does it to Hachiman.)
With Iroha, on the other hand, it’s fully intentional.
>Hachiman thinks about Iroha’s reason for doing this.
That said, Isshiki’s concern wasn’t completely unrelatable. It wasn’t Isshiki’s money though(!), of course. Like seriously, “my budget…?”(!) It’s the Student Council’s money, not yours. But if she’s looking to stay within budget, publishing a free newspaper shouldn’t present much of a problem.
>Hachiman tells Iroha that if she plans on making a free newspaper that she should go for it. Iroha wants to make an informal magazine, because that way she can go wherever she wants and spend money however she wants.
“Go for it. Don’t really know what you’re planning to publish, though,” I said, casually.
Isshiki detached herself from Yukinoshita(!) and turned towards me.
“Actually, about that, I’ve already kinda decided on what to do, see. I was thinking of doing something like introducing spots you could have fun at, places you could eat good food at, or even cute cafes.”
“Oh, that sounds great! How about clothes or assorted items, too!? People might like those!”
“That would make it something similar to a fanzine or a local magazine. The content certainly does seem like things people would like to see as well…”
Yuigahama became enthusiastic thanks to Isshiki’s idea and moved closer.(!) Because of that, Yukinoshita was pressed in between even further.(!) Hmm, still, places you could have fun at, places you could eat good food at, and cute cafes, huh…? I felt like I heard that somewhere before. I think it was from “Being Human is Nice”? A great place to go and hot rice, they must be waiting for the cute cafes? The only thing that was correct was the rice part. Okay, so it’s something else then.
“So a local magazine would mean… something like the ‘Chiba Walker’?”
Yuigahama asked, leaning her body towards Isshiki.(!)
Isshiki nodded with a “yep, yep” and pitched forward. Finally freed from their pressure, Yukinoshita breathed out with relief. Isshiki’s explanation continued further.
“Like, if it’s an informational magazine, I can pretty much go wherever I want and just spend and spend and spend and put them under as expenses, right?”(!)
(This shows that Iroha mostly cares about spending the budget on herself.)
Isshiki wore a ka-ching! ☆ smile while also uttering the worst things ever.(!) What do you mean “spend and spend and spend…?” You’re not trying making comments to try to instigate people to spend their social game money here…
Yukinoshita and I were appalled. On the other hand, Yuigahama tilted her head in thought.
I really hope you know what that means… Ignoring Yuigahama, when Isshiki saw my reaction, she puffed her cheeks.
“Weren’t you the one that told me to do that, senpai? That the money’s just going to end up as expenses, so I might as well just use it however I’d like?”(!) Isshiki said.
“Isshiki-san, your actions can also be deemed as misappropriation of funds…”
“But everyone will get to know about lots of stuff and I’ll get to have fun. Isn’t this, like, WIN-WIN for everyone?”(!)
>Iroha says how it’s the secretary girl that’s in charge of approving the expenses. I’m assuming that Iroha is implying that she has the secretary in her pocket and that she’ll listen to what Iroha says, otherwise I have no idea what is being implied here.
Yukinoshita crossed her arms and thought. She then slowly spoke.
“However, will they actually approve those expenses?”
“Oh Yukinoshita-senpai, what are you talking about? The one in charge of approving that is the secretary, you know?” Isshiki answered, making a comical laugh.
Never mind, she really is proposing something absurd… Well, either way, in the event something happens, Isshiki was the one taking responsibility.(!) If the secretary’s job was to approve adjustments to the budget, then it was Isshiki’s job to embowel herself at the very end! That’s her responsibility as the person in charge, after all!
>Iroha jumps back into business. The Service Club tells her that they don’t have that much experience with making a newspaper. Yukino tells Iroha it’s impossible. Iroha tries manipulating her by acting like a sincere person in need of help, she’s making an emotional appeal. Keep in mind that Iroha usually doesn’t take an interest in Yukino, unless she needs something from her. Iroha’s emotional manipulation doesn’t really work that much on Yui, because Yui has experience doing that herself.
“So, back to the newspaper… How do you think I should make it?”
Isshiki asked, restarting the conversation and jumping into the main topic. Mmhmm, it’s good to know that you’re raring to go…
“You’re not going to get much out of us…. It’s not like we’ve made one before…”(!)
“That’s true… Rather, we don’t know the process in doing so.”(!)
“We were only required to do one page back then. If we have to start from scratch, the circumstances change. It’s impossible,”(!) Yukinoshita said, rebuking Isshiki.
Isshiki adjusted her sitting posture in dejection and dropped her shoulders. She then looked at Yukinoshita with upturned eyes.(!)
“Yes.” Yukinoshita coldly asserted. However, with Isshiki groaning(!), giving her a somewhat reproachful, but spoiled look(!), even Yukinoshita was a loss for words and averted her face. Oh no, not good! At this rate, Isshiki’s going to have her way with Yukinoshita!
In the face of well-established logic and words, Yukinoshita was quick to turn people down.(!) But whenever she was pressured by sentimental words and gestures, she’d cave in surprisingly easy.(!) Source: Yuigahama’s usual exchanges with her.(!)
Under Isshiki’s scrutiny with helpless eyes, Yukinoshita squirmed in discomfort. Yuigahama then intervened.
“Okay, okay, so about making that free newspaper, why don’t you go look up how to make it first? Try asking some people with the know-how and get their help… After that, we can make it together with you!”
“You’re so kind, Yui-senpai!” Isshiki made an elated smile when Yuigahama addressed her warmly. But after careful examination of her words, Yuigahama was certainly kind, but she was actually saying to “come back another time.”
I’d expect nothing less from Yuigahama. As the leading expert on how to suck up to Yukinoshita(!), Isshiki’s offensive appeal didn’t prove to be very effective against her.(!)
>Yui and Hachiman tell Iroha to go and at least prepare a couple of things first before asking for their help. Iroha says that’s not an option, because the fiscal year-end is coming soon. The money has to be used up before then and they need to make a newspaper, so Iroha has something to show to the secretary so she can get a full budget next year.
“Yeah, Yuigahama’s right. If you really have to do it, then it’s best if you took some time to prepare for what you’ll need.”(!)
The three of us expressed our disapproval. Isshiki made a troubled look, her eyebrows frowning.
“It’s not that simple, see.”(!)
“Why?” I asked.
Isshiki casted her eyes downwards. With a solemn voice, she whispered, “It’s because the fiscal year-end is coming up soon.”(!)
>Iroha wants the Service Club to make a newspaper entirely from scratch and hand in some result by the end of next month, so that all the invoices and receipts can be processed. Hachiman, Yukino and Yui all three agree that it’s too much work and that there’s not nearly enough time to do it.
“Like, I’m not too sure of all the details. If we want to squeeze in the expenses by the end of the fiscal year, we have to do it before the accounting period at the beginning of March.(!) We’ve already passed the beginning of February, so we only have what’s left of this month!”(!) Isshiki said, impatiently. She wagged her finger while trying her best to explain the situation. As adorable as she was for doing that, hearing her say things like “fiscal year,” “expenses,” and “squeeze” wasn’t cute in the least… Anyway, I understood that she didn’t have much time left. For the rest of this month, she should focus on compiling all the invoices and receipts in order to make the accounting period for next month.(!) So that means that it’d be bad if she didn’t get her work done by the end of this month…(!) While we might’ve just entered February, it’s already a short enough month as it is.(!) On top of that, even if she’s looking to make just a free newspaper, building it up from scratch was a Herculean task.(!)
“It’s absolutely impossible, give up,” I said.(!) Yukinoshita silently nodded(!) while Yuigahama made a helpless and bittersweet smile.(!)
>Iroha starts acting out. Simply asking the Service Club members won’t work, so Iroha tries a different approach. Iroha knows that in order to get to Yukino and Yui, she needs to go through Hachiman. Iroha shows Hachiman the receipts. Iroha is blackmailing Hachiman. If Hachiman doesn’t want Iroha to reveal how she went on a date with him to Yukino and Yui, he will need to convince them to do as she says.
Tearing up, slouching over, and looking up at me won’t do you any good. What’s impossible is impossible. I slowly shook my head. Then, Isshiki quietly stood up.
“Senpai… I’d like some advice…”(!) Isshiki stood up, quietly walking towards me.(!) She stopped in front of me and looked down at me while I was sitting. She was right in front of me, yet she was hesitantly looking away.
“For…?” I asked.
Isshiki, however, didn’t say anything. Yukinoshita and Yuigahama gave us a puzzled look. In complete disregard to the three of us who were perplexed, Isshiki began unbuttoning her blazer one by one.(!) Whoa, what the heck is this girl doing? I was in shock, but so were Yukinoshita and Yuigahama. No seriously, what the heck is she doing? Oh, gosh, wait, wait, are you undressing!? Help!
Isshiki wriggled her body to take off her blazer and groaned as if holding something in. Next, she shoved her hand inside her pink cardigan and began rummaging at the chest area of her blouse.
“Umm…” Isshiki let out a dull voice as she continued fiddling with her blouse. While she was doing that, her front collars would openly flap around, showing glimpses of her collarbones. I redirected my gaze since I was concerned with seeing that directly, but it only made the rustling noises of her clothes and her breathing all the more real.
“I have no idea what you’re trying to pull, but seriously, do that over there.” I looked down and shooed her away with the wave of my hand, trying to make some distance.
Isshiki then gasped loudly. “Oh, here it is.”(!)
The hand she withdrew from inside her clothes was gripping several scraps of paper.(!) Using her other hand, she slowly took my hand and closed it with those scraps inside.(!) The sudden contact of Isshiki’s hand. Her thin and supple fingers and the sensation of a girl’s skin that was so soft to the point mysterious caused me to grow stiff in place. Isshiki immediately let go and what remained within my hands was the warm pieces of scrap paper.(!) When it hit me that this miniscule warmth was from her, my hands were on the verge of sweating. I timidly opened up my fist. There were several pieces of paper. As I sifted through them, I was met with familiar, printed words. The word “receipt”(!) was lettered at the top and listed below were the names of the bowling alley and the cafe.(!) There was even the meal ticket from the ramen shop.
Don’t tell me, these receipts are…(!)
The thought suddenly ran through my mind. When I lifted my face, Isshiki was smiling and met my eyes.(!) Did you see it?(!) You saw it, right?(!) Then, you know where I’m going with this, right?(!) Having her smile fire all those questions at me made having a spoken explanation unnecessary. Isshiki jerked her hand at me, asking for the receipts back.(!) I gave them back and she respectfully accepted them, quietly putting the receipts back in the breast pocket of her blouse.
“So, senpai, about my advice…”(!) Isshiki said the same thing from earlier, only this time with a cutesy and coaxing voice.(!)
For the most part, I understood what it is that Isshiki wanted to say.(!) She’s essentially telling me that I was an accomplice.(!) But I should’ve been innocent. I mean, I paid for my own bills and it’s not like I was in her debt or anything. Yet, why was I feeling so guilty…?(!) I had some fun and if anything, she was the one who should’ve been in debt for my expenses, you know? No, but still… Buuuuut… It must’ve been because Isshiki was so confident when she presented the receipts to me(!) that I was starting to feel like I had done something wrong. Now I know what it feels like to be an unrelated bystander in an incident and later forced into attesting…
I coughed once and turned to Isshiki. Alright, this is where I show off my bargaining skills!
“…A-Anyway, why don’t we hear you out first?”(!)
“It’s like she threatened him, didn’t she!?”(!)
Yuigahama’s shocking voice and Yukinoshita’s sigh of disbelief compounded.
>Well, at least they can ask the Student Council members to help out and distribute the workload. Oh, wait...
“But hey, we have the people from the Student Council this time.(!) If we just split up the work with everyone, we should be able to manage something, right?”(!)
“Yeah, that’s true. That should somewhat…” Just as I was about to continue, I could see Isshiki looking away with a sour face.(!)
“…Isshiki-san? Just why are you so quiet?”(!) Yukinoshita smiled sweetly, her voice amiable and her gaze warm. But mysteriously enough, there wasn’t a hint of warmth in her smile and just looking at her caused a chill to run up my spine. I’m telling you already, that’s really scary…
Isshiki was just as frightened-no, she was panicking to the point that she was making a commotion.
“Ah! N-No! Um… I-It’s just everyone’s kinda busy with the fiscal yearend. So I thought maybe there wouldn’t be any problems after we got that covered, or something…”(!)
“…In other words, you’re saying we shouldn’t expect their assistance.”(!)
“Yes…” Isshiki lowered her shoulders in apology when Yukinoshita let out a thin sigh.
>So, how long does the Service Club have to do this? Two weeks? One week? A fairly ridiculous demand, but Yukino looks at Hachiman to see if he approves.
“So, when exactly does this need to be done?”
“Very soon.” Isshiki took out a schedule sheet and tapped it. “Right now, with our remaining budget, the perfect plan is apparently this one with a discount, see? So in order to use that plan, the printing company said we need to submit the material and data to them during February.”(!)
Hm? In February? I tilted my head and Isshiki quickly added with a small voice.
“…So, there’s… about two weeks left.”(!)
“Huh? No way, not happening. Two weeks?(!) You’re asking for the impossible,” I answered instantly with the shake of my hands. Yukinoshita across from me slowly nodded her head.
“That’s true. It’s not a realistic amount of time to work with. On top of that, if we assume that we need to supervise and check over the publicized content, proofread it, correct it, and make it consistent with other things, we’re looking at only one week.”(!)
“It got even shorter!?” Yuigahama turned towards Yukinoshita with an astounded face.
“This is merely an ideal schedule in order to publicize the newspaper… Of course, it’s far from ideal already with this late of a start. We should stay ahead of schedule while keeping in mind of any potential problems.”
Although Yukinoshita explained logically, matter-of-factly even, even she knew it wasn’t a very realistic proposal.
“…Of course, this is only under the assumption that we undertake this request.”(!) She added, looking at me for confirmation. It looks like she was entrusting the final say to me.(!) The schedule she anticipated was fairly harsh, but it wasn’t bad enough that we could consider it absolutely impossible.
>Iroha manipulates Hachiman into doing what she wants by acting like a teary eyed damsel in distress. As soon as Hachiman accepts, Iroha drops the act and says she’s thankful, because now she can put her date with Hachiman under the expenses of the Student Council. So Hachiman is forcing Yukino and Yui to take on an impossible request, because he went on a date with Iroha and now she’s not only blackmailing Hachiman, but manipulating all three of them to do this for her, so she can keep her budget next year. This should illustrate the type of relationship Iroha actually has with the members of the Service Club.
One week, huh…? Wait. If I can’t work on the weekends and today’s day is… I tried adding the days, but somehow, I couldn’t do the calculations. Huuuh? Hachiman-kun, were you really this bad at arithmetic? No, the numbers were clearly in my head, but my heart, however, wasn’t very accepting of them.
“Okay, tell me something. If we follow the schedule, how many days are there until the deadline…?”
“Umm…” Yuigahama looked up at the ceiling and began counting with her fingers. Her expression turned into a look of surprise. Yukinoshita looked at me with sorrowful eyes.
“…You can still see hope if you don’t count the days.”(!)
“Saying that already tells me there is no hope…”(!)
This totally won’t work out? Yeah? I glanced at Isshiki and even her expression grew dark.
“…I guess… it’s no good?” Isshiki whispered intermittently, her voice vulnerable as though she was keeping herself from breaking into a fit of crying.(!) Her eyes became moist and her breaths were laden with heat. Her fists that gripped her skirt weakly trembled. Her thin shoulders skipped and she slowly and timidly looked into my eyes.(!) It’s almost as though she was putting her feelings of passion into every single one of her movements that it made me feel like wanting to take up the job.(!) But not so fast! I was already used to Komachi, my little sister, crying like that! When you’re brought up with a sister like her, you end up building a resistance whether you liked it or not! That’s why, I was very used to accepting things without hesitation.
“So you just need something done in a few days, right…?” I answered her with a voice that I’d normally use with Komachi. I hate it! I hate this oniichan attribute of mine!
“Thank you soooo much,”(!) Isshiki said, smiling as she expressed her appreciation.(!) In contrast, the other two on the side were looking at me with a considerably cold stare and made deep sighs.(!)
“…I see you’re as soft as ever.”(!)
“W-Well… That’s one of Hikki’s good points… and also one of his hopeless points.”
As Yuigahama made a problematic smile, she also looked at me with cold eyes even though I thought she’d mediate for Yukinoshita. Er, I’m very sorry… I’m very sorry for causing you so much trouble…(!) Instinctively, I was going to apologize to the two, but the one who originally brought this job to us was Isshiki. She’s the one at fault, not me.(!) I glanced at Isshiki and she was rubbing her chest in relief.(!)
“Phew, you’re a real life saver. I was really hoping I could put the things from before under our expenses.”(!)
She had an incredibly happy smile in contrast to her laudable attitude from earlier.(!) I mean, I guess it’s fine since I had a vague idea that this was going to happen. But at least keep your sly act up all the way until the end! Good grief, I had absolutely no hopes or dreams.
>Iroha likes doing “research” as long as it involves going to fun spots or stores with delicious food etc.
After taking her look, Yukinoshita placed her hand to her chin. “I suppose we should think about the concept first.”
“Wouldn’t what Iroha-chan mentioned earlier be good? Introduction to local fun spots or stores with delicious food or stuff like that.”
“Oh, yes! I think that’s good! I think a plan where we can do all kinds of research and put those under expenses is good!”(!)
>Iroha shows the girls the pictures she took during the date. She accidentally also shows the one of her and Hachiman together. The cat’s out of the bag. So not only did Iroha blackmail Hachiman into doing this for her, but now Yukino and Yui know about the date and they’re still going to do this for her.
For now, it looks like she was convinced. Isshiki quickly took the notes. While fluttering them, she turned to Yukinoshita and Yuigahama.
“So, is it okay if we use this material for the paper?”
“Yes. Also, regarding the spot introductions…”
Isshiki took out her smartphone after listening to Yukinoshita.
“Oh, actually, I already looked them up. I have some pictures of the stores on my phone.”
“Ohh, I wanna see!”
Isshiki fiddled with her cellphone while Yuigahama watched. Naturally, as the one stuck in between those two, Yukinoshita was further pressed together while looking at Isshiki’s phone.
Isshiki slid her fingers across the screen. For every picture, they’d engage in a girly conversation, “That’s soo cute!” “This is so nice, right?” and “Can you move back to that photo just now? Yes, the one with the cat sundries.”
I listened to the three’s energetic exchange while sitting in my seat that was apart from them. I absentmindedly played with my phone in the meantime. And suddenly, their chatter stopped.(!)
Having found that odd, I looked at the three of them. Isshiki had an “oops” face.(!) As for Yuigahama and Yukinoshita, they looked at me in fixation.(!)
“Oh, um, ahaha, it’s like, I-I thought it’d be nice if I tried going there, too…”
When I asked, Yuigahama made a reluctant laugh. Next to her, Yukinoshita was wearing an amiable smile.
“…It seems like you enjoyed yourself quite a bit in this picture, didn’t you?”(!)
Isn’t the room kind of cold? So cold! I wonder if they can fix the heater any faster…?(!)
“Yes, I think so,” Isshiki answered while putting her phone away. The pictures Isshiki took during our outing the other day was apparently going to be used for this free newspaper. That’s what Isshiki explained it as, anyway. I had no idea how Yukinoshita and Yuigahama took that, but I was released from their cold stares.
>Iroha saddles the Service Club up with work. What is Iroha going to do herself? Yukino gives her a couple of tasks. Iroha accepts them. Instead of doing it herself, Iroha immediately drags Hachiman along with her so he can do it for her.
Once we were assigned our roles, we were ready to start working until Isshiki weakly raised her hand. ”Umm, what am I supposed to do?”(!)
“That goes without saying. You are the Editor-in-Chief.”(!)
“Ohhh… sounds kinda amazing.”
Yukinoshita stated instantly to which Yuigahama gave her blessing with a round of applause. Well, Isshiki was the one who brought this job to us, so it’s only natural that she was given the position with the most responsibility.(!) Our dear soon-to-be Editor-in-Chief didn’t seem very aware of it and tilted her head.
“What is an Editor-in-Chief supposed to do?”(!)
After hearing that, Yukinoshita sighed in resignation. “Let’s see… First, you should get permission for us to feature information and pictures of the stores in the paper.”(!)
“Yes! I’ll go do that!”
Isshiki’s response was lively, evident that she seemed up for the task. Confirming that, Yukinoshita added further.
“Also, we’ll need to secure distribution channels. Have you already decided where to distribute the papers?”
“I guess places like in front of the Student Council Room, faculty lounge, and places where everybody passes by?”
“Well then, go ahead and get permission to use those places.”
“Yes! I’ll go ask Hiratsuka-sensei.”
“Can you make copies of these on your way back as well?”
Yukinoshita handed Isshiki the notes. Isshiki accepted the notes as though pressing them against her chest and saluted.
“Yes, I understand…! Wait, aren’t these just chores?”(!) Isshiki’s shoulders dropped. Ohh, she noticed.
“Your job is to supervise and review the entire situation, negotiate with third-parties, do the final check, and provide support where appropriate.” Yukinoshita explained.
Isshiki breathed out in admiration stood up.
“Okay, I’ll go tell Hiratsuka-sensei.”
On her way out the room, just when she passed right by me, she grabbed my sleeve.
“Let’s go, senpai.”
“What, go by yourself…”
“Come on, senpai, if you’re there, you can act as the lightning rod-I mean, I might think of something amazing, you know!? I’m really depending on you, senpai!”(!)
You didn’t have to correct yourself… But as Isshiki said, I certainly had my reputation as a lightning rod. If having me present meant the talks would go more smoothly, I should just go and get it over with.
“Alright, let’s go.”
I removed my sleeve from her grip and got up from my seat. And then, Yuigahama noisily stood up from her seat as well.(!)
“Oh, I’ll go too!”(!)
“Jeez… I suppose I’ll have to go as well to explain the documents.”(!)
Yukinoshita sighed and quietly left her seat.
“Okay! Let’s all go together!”
>They start working on writing the newspaper.
>It seems like Hachiman is worried about how all of a sudden he is doing far too much work. Hachiman kind of brought it on himself. Another important thing to take from this is that it’s Yukino and Hachiman that are doing the majority of the work.
“How did this even happen…?”
Was it because I was taking this seriously? Indeed, I was working seriously(!); not only did I do the writing for the normal articles(!), I helped Yukinoshita(!), and I went to the Game Club for their comments in place of Yuigahama.(!) For someone like me, I worked pretty hard, spending the past few days up until today being very busy. Maybe that’s why… When you got too busy, you’d end up forgetting about your other jobs… I had an entire column to write, to the point where it was “two days until the deadline!” As I held my head in my hands, Isshiki stood next to me.(!) She then poured me some tea from a bottle.
“Here you go, drink this. Please do your best,”(!) she said. She put away the bottle inside the mini-fridge that was under the table. Afterwards, she took a seat at another desk that was diagonally opposite from mine. The tea, the desks, the seats, and lastly, the room were all different from the usual. Presently, I was confined to the Student Council Room, forced to write the rest of the magazine column all the while being under surveillance. Because our clubroom’s heater was still broken, the Student Council Room arranged by Isshiki was offered as the alternative for my confinement. I glanced at the window and it was already sundown. Normally, I’d use my cellphone instead of a watch to check the time, but I didn’t have the means because my phone had been confiscated. I surveyed the room and stumbled upon a table clock, its hands pointing at cruel numbers. I was brought to this room immediately after school and had yet to take a foot outside since then. That’s because the deadline was tomorrow.
Oooooooooooooh crap… I haven’t written a single thing… I can’t imagine me finishing on time at all… I mashed the keyboard in an attempt to get something down only to erase it all because it wasn’t to my liking. I went through many iterations doing just that. Crap, craaaaaaaaaaaap. At this rate, we’re not going to make it in time, ahhhhhhhhhhhh!
>Iroha is actually doing some work. What is it she’s doing? Stamping a stack of papers for the fiscal year-end. So, once again, it’s all about the budget. This would be fine if Iroha worked a lot as well, however she finishes fairly soon and is now looking at her smartphone.
Isshiki answered back briefly and placed the cellphone back in her pocket. She then flipped and checked over a good stack of papers(!), perhaps for the fiscal year-end(!), occasionally stamping them.(!) Having her working on the side only made me feel like I should actually get my work done…(!) Reluctantly, I began tampering with the keyboard. And so, another period of time passed by. It was already dark outside the window, nearing the time for when students should head home. I stopped hearing the sound of stamping, not noticing that Isshiki had already finished her work.(!) I glanced over at her and she was staring at her smartphone.(!)
>Hachiman has lost all motivation. He simply can’t work anymore. He asks Iroha if it’s alright if he continues tomorrow. Is Iroha worried about Hachiman’s well being? It appears that she’s more concerned about her budget. Either way, Hachiman can’t stand to see Iroha looking down like that, so he forces himself to continue working.
Can I stop here for today, too…? There’s still tomorrow. And I can just try harder tomorrow. I’ll be done by then…
The instant the thought ran across my mind, my concentration vanished in a puff of smoke.(!)
“I’m done, I just can’t write anymore today. I’m not going to get much written when I’m panicking like this. I guess the only thing I can do now is go home and get some sleep.”(!) I declared, loudly.
Isshiki lifted her face from her smartphone and looked at me.(!) After sighing in disbelief(!), she made a kind expression.
“Right, well, I guess that might be a good idea.”
“I know, I know. It’s okay if we miss the deadline by a little bit, right?”
Is this what you’d call writer’s high? Burdened with excess stress right before the deadline, exhausted from continuous labor, and the mysterious feeling of exaltation from trying to escape reality, I found myself letting out a nefarious chuckle.
Isshiki then made a stiff look.
“…Huh? You’re not going to make it?”(!)
“W-Well, I’m not sure…”
But really, this column only had to be about a couple thousand of words at best, so if I just did my best today and tomorrow, I had the feeling I could finish. But it wasn’t that simple since I only managed to get several hundreds of words in a few hours. I was hesitant to say that out loud. The reason being, Isshiki was holding her head(!) before I could even explain it to her.
“Oh no… That’s not good… Umm, isn’t that, like, really bad?”(!)
Isshiki groaned and fell forward on her desk. She slowly turned her head towards me and her eyes were slightly cloudy. Right after, she murmured in a small voice, “The expenses! The discount! The extra charges! Over the budget! The account expenditures!”(!) and shook.
Her reaction told me everything. Isshiki expected us to finish in time for the discount plan(!) and accounted for that in the budget.(!) And she had likely already noted it in her financial report.(!)
Of course, it should still be possible to make revisions to the report.(!) But this was the consequence of the pride of Somethingaya Somethingman; despite his grandstanding of how he’d get something done in a few days, he kept putting his work off while going, “No worries, no worries, I can do it super fast.” It’s not good to be prideful…
“…I-I guess it’s bad… yeah. I-I’ll try a little harder, okay?”(!)
“R-Really? Please do…”(!)
Isshiki looked up at me with moist eyes. Her eyes didn’t look sly in the least which was exactly why the normally childish Isshiki appeared more honest. Having seen her like that, I had to get this done no matter what… There’s a deadline that must absolutely not be missed.(!)
So, that’s Iroha and her actual relationship with Hachiman and the rest of the Service Club. As you can see, hardly any of this actually made it in the anime. So, the Iroha you see in the anime is not a proper representation of her actual character.
Another important thing is that a lot of this takes place after Volume 9, the volume where Iroha said she wanted something genuine too.
The point is: Iroha has said she wants something genuine, however all of her actions (at least in the LN) contradict this or at the very least: Iroha’s idea of something genuine isn’t the same as Hachiman’s idea of wanting something genuine.
Also, since the type of relationship Hachiman and Iroha have is one of manipulation, blackmail etc. and Iroha’s interest in Hachiman stems from him constantly doing things for her, it’s fairly safe to say that this type of relationship isn’t what qualifies under Hachiman’s idea of “something genuine”/“the real thing”.