So, with all of the preliminary things out of the way, what happens in season 2?
Since the start of season 2, we’re dealing with the aftermath of Hachiman’s actions when he confronted Sagami on the rooftop.
>That’s all it takes to create a world where no one gets hurt except for Hachiman.
Perhaps the anime hadn’t made it clear enough, but Hachiman was the most hated person in school. Rumors travel fast. Everyone started sympathizing with Sagami and not blaming her for her messing up (as Hachiman had planned), but quickly everyone started gossiping about/mocking Hachiman and keeping their distance from him. Keeping their distance from him is something they usually did, it’s just that now there was far more hostility directly aimed towards him.
Most of these events were covered in Volume 6,5: the Sports Festival. In the anime this was S1E13, except Brain’s Base (the studio that did the first season) cut out all of Sagami’s moments and turned that episode into a more comedy-oriented episode. This was probably fine in 2013, but in hindsight, especially considering how people didn’t manage to pick up that Hachiman’s actions on the roof had actual meaningful consequences to them and made everyone hate him, but also that all of this negativity also had an impact on Hachiman, it’s probably one of the reasons as to why people didn’t understand why it was so important for Hachiman to stop self-sacrificing himself. I’d say this is a pretty huge adaptation miss. Anyway, I’ll be going through the most important events of Volume 6,5. If you don’t want to read it, I’ll just do a TL;DR version right here:
>Hachiman confronts Sagami on the roof for Yukino’s sake. He doesn’t want Yukino’s hard work to go in vain. By doing this he makes himself public enemy number one, while Sagami becomes the victim. The problem is: it doesn’t end here.
>Sagami is feeling down, her pride has been hurt. Sagami and her group are spreading rumors about Hachiman, because it’s easier to use him as a scapegoat than to accept that Sagami failed to live up to being a proper SCP.
>Miura doesn’t like seeing Sagami feeling down and she also doesn’t like that she’s spreading rumors about/badmouthing Hachiman. Miura sends the Service Club a request by e-mail telling them to do something about it.
>Both Yukino and Yui show that they don’t like how other people are treating Hachiman. Yukino says she wants to directly do something about it to make the rumors stop. Hachiman says it’s not necessary, it’ll blow over eventually. (Hachiman is taking the same stance on this as Hayato. Back when Yukino and Hayato were younger, Yukino wanted to do something to stop the rumors about the two of them as well. Hayato didn’t, he wanted to ignore it and pretend like nothing was amiss while people kept bullying Yukino.)
>Meguri comes in and asks the Service Club for help during the Sports Festival. She also asks Yukino if she wants to be the chairman, Yukino refuses.
>Yukino gets an idea. If the cause of Sagami feeling bad about herself is because of how poorly she performed as chairman during the Cultural Festival, then perhaps if Sagami gets a second chance and becomes the chairman for the Sports Festival, but this time actually does a good job, then Sagami can redeem herself in the public eye and people won’t look down on her.
>If people stop looking negatively at Sagami, then Sagami will also have no reason to continue badmouthing Hachiman further. Yukino is trying to solve two problems at once, however to her the priority is naturally that she wants people to stop badmouthing Hachiman.
>Meguri shows concern that Sagami is going to make a mess out of things again. Sagami has already shown once that she wasn’t a capable leader. Yukino assures Meguri that Yukino is going to do whatever she can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Yukino is all-in on making Sagami stop badmouthing Hachiman.
>Yukino, Yui and Meguri “convince” Sagami to become chairman (convince = suck up, Sagami is kind of a spoiled brat, so they had to tell her how amazing she was etc. and convince her of how she will do a great job this time. Hayato had to step in and convince Sagami as well, because the three girls weren’t convincing enough and it’s actually Hayato that convinces her (for the second time, he also convinced her to be chairman for the Cultural Festival)).
>During the committee meeting Sagami shows up late, but she once again shows how incompetent she is. This time, however, it’s because she’s lost her confidence because of how lackluster she was as the chairman during the Cultural Festival.
>There’s another problem: Sagami’s “friends” turn their backs on Sagami and now start spreading rumors about her as well. Sagami has been thrusted into a high position, but her two friends haven’t. Probably out of jealousy they start ostracizing Sagami.
>This is obviously a problem and this causes not only Sagami’s morale to sink, but that of the entire committee as well. People aren’t just badmouthing Sagami, but everyone in the committee. What’s worse is that new rumors are starting to pop up about how Hachiman forced Sagami into this position (coupled with the older rumors) and this causes people to take their bullying of Hachiman to the next level.
>The problem is, as long as Sagami continues to be chairman, people will continue badmouthing the committee as a whole.
>Sagami loses even more confidence in herself. Sensei asks Hachiman, Yukino, Yui, Meguri and Sagami to stay behind so that they discuss how they’re going to solve this situation.
>Sagami wants to “run away” from this responsibility. Yukino confronts her about this. Yukino uses a tough love approach here, she tells Sagami that it’s perfectly fine for Sagami to give up here and walk away. Sagami doesn’t need to worry, Yukino is going to take over for her. Yukino is hoping to agitate Sagami here to make Sagami want to rebel against that idea and get Sagami to want to be the chairman out of her own will.
(The chapter is called: Yukinoshita Yukino will continue trying till the very end.)
>The problem is: Sagami has lost all of her confidence in herself and she has no willpower to fight back.
>Hachiman is aware of this and steps in. He kind of sort of “stands up” for Sagami (not really, he basically just says that she should give up if she doesn’t have the will to go on).
>Because Sagami hates/despises Hachiman, Hachiman looking down on her is what convinces Sagami to continue as the chairman.
>People are still bullying Hachiman and spreading rumors about him.
>Sagami has regained some of her confidence and is actually putting in work.
>Sagami attempts to make up with her two friends, but she does it in front of the committee. Later on Sagami’s friends still ignore her. They’re not on good terms.
>Sagami tries performing her duties as chairman, but her two friends have turned everyone against her and the committee.
>Sagami once again wants to give up, but it’s Meguri that convinces her to keep going.
>Hachiman and Yukino come up with a plan to turn the Sports Festival into a success, however the plan backfires, because Sagami emotionally breaks down halfway through.
>This emotional outburst is ultimately the thing that solves the problem.
>The Sports Festival is turned into a success.
>Sagami redeems herself in the public’s eye. Yukino’s actions have made Sagami regain her self-confidence and eventually Sagami makes up with her friends.
>Sagami stops spreading rumors about Hachiman. However, simply because Sagami has stopped spreading rumors, doesn’t mean that the negativity aimed towards Hachiman suddenly stops as well. However they do start to blow over as soon as Volume 7 starts.
Those are pretty much the events that take place after Hachiman’s confrontation with Sagami on the roof and before the second season starts. If you’ve already read Volume 6,5 (+6,25 +6,75) or if you think that this is enough of an explanation, then feel free to skip to the next page and press CTRL+F and search for: Anyway, with Volume 6,5 out of the way, let’s move onto events that actually happen in the anime.
That way you can jump right into the events of season 2. If you want me to go through the most important moments of Volume 6,5, then just keep reading.
>Yukino asks how Sagami is doing, Sagami is feeling down (yes, I’m aware Yui says she’s energetic down below). People around her are being tactful because they know she failed as chairman during the Cultural Festival. To protect her pride Sagami is directing all the blame towards Hachiman. Yukino wants to solve it, Hachiman says it’ll blow over eventually.
Yukinoshita who had been in thought undid her crossed arms and asked Yuigahama, “So, how is Sagami-san actually faring?”
“Mm, um, how should I put it? Um…” Yuigahama said, mumbling her words.
I continued off where she stopped.
“Yeah, it’s definitely annoying. She’s basically energetic, but when people around her act all tactful with her, it kind of forces everyone else to do the same thing…”
“That does sound rather irritating…”
Yukinoshita had a dismal expression and this was just from hearing about the situation. It’s even worse for Yuigahama and me since we’re in the same class. The stagnant mood was likely due to that tactful atmosphere pervading the class.
“…To solve this?”(!)
“Ahh, don’t worry about that. It’ll stop eventually.”(!) I interrupted Yukinoshita as she was speaking. She then gave me a dubious look.
“What do you mean by that?”
“It hasn’t been that long since the Cultural Festival ended, so Sagami and her friends are just dragging things out.(!) They’ll go back to normal at some point.”
After a brief silence, Yukinoshita probed further and slowly opened her mouth.
“…By dragging things out, are you referring to what you did during the Cultural Festival?”(!)
“Probably. You can tell from the mood,” I said.(!)
Yuigahama didn’t confirm or deny what I stated as her mouth twisted and she made a glum expression. That only made it more certain. As I thought, Sagami and her group had been spreading libel about how unscrupulous and wicked Hikigaya Hachiman is.(!) If I had to say, they were like anti-Hikigaya lobbyists. I was used to this kind of denunciation, but it’s still uncomfortable.(!) I could easily just block them out completely, but being able to see them loiter around me or say things I could hear as if they’re buzzing like mosquitos was somewhat irritating.(!)
>Yui and Yukino express that they don’t like people badmouthing Hachiman. Yukino wants to do something directly about it to stop the gossip at Hachiman’s expense. Hachiman says it’s fine, it’ll blow over after a while. He says there’s no harm in allowing them to continue badmouthing him. Yukino says that it is a problem and convinces him that they need to fix it.
“But you know, I really don’t like hearing that kinda stuff… I don’t want them saying bad things like that.”
I glanced over to my side and Yuigahama was looking down. I could only see her grip the ends of her skirt, unable to see the face she was making.
“Yuigahama-san…” Yukinoshita called her name with a soft voice.
Yuigahama then came back to her senses and shot up her face. “O-Oh! I mean, it just doesn’t feel good hearing people talk bad about others, right?”
…Well, she’s pretty nice, I guess. I, however, wasn’t.
“I get a kick out of hearing people talk bad about others, though.”
“You’re awful!” Yuigahama screamed out.
On the other hand, Yukinoshita was calm. She wore a smile and with a more relaxed and easing tone, said, “It certainly isn’t enjoyable for Hikigaya-kun.”(!)
…Oh, she’s nice too, huh? I was surprised by her unexpected support. Yuigahama seemed to agree and nodded after taking a moment.
“Th-That’s true. Hikki’s kinda rotten, but it’s not?”
She spoke quickly until a cold voice cut her off. “After all, there isn’t anyone who would talk poorly of others with Hikigaya-kun.”
“That’s a sad reason!” Yuigahama raised a tearful voice. Um, I’m the one that should be sad here, you know? Jeez, I was this close to being moved by her for a second there.
“But it’s the truth, right?”
And then the guaranteed icy smile. Yukinoshita sent me a pleasant smile.
“You’re pretty much right, so I can’t deny it…”
I really couldn’t say anything else. What grade is her Hikigaya certificate? I looked at Yukinoshita in amazement. She, however, didn’t seem the least concerned with my mental state and after a light cough, moved the conversation forward.
“In any case, let’s investigate Sagami-san and her group’s behavior as well as the affairs of class F. After that, we can deal with the problem accordingly. While I could tell Sagami-san directly, I imagine it’ll only make the situation worse…”(!)
It sounds like Yukinoshita wanted to do something concrete to resolve the situation.(!) But I felt it was a pointless endeavor.
“No, if we just leave them alone, the problem should resolve itself naturally, so we don’t need to do anything.(!) There’s no real harm, anyway.”(!)
From what I could see, the consideration towards Sagami right now was temporary. It’s something that exploded only because the Cultural Festival had just finished. All they were doing was hiding away their recent embarrassment by attacking someone much more miserable than they were.(!) It’d be idiotic to waste our time with something that would eventually end whether we stayed quiet about it or not. But Yukinoshita didn’t seem to approve and gazed directly at me.
“……But there is.”(!)
“Y-Yeah! Besides, it’s a real bummer if the mood stays bad the entire time!” Yuigahama leaned forward and agreed. There wasn’t much I could do if they were both willing. If the majority dictated, then I had to obey. “…Well, if that’s what you want,” I said, reluctantly. Yukinoshita nodded back in satisfaction.(!)
>The girls in Hachiman’s class are glaring at him and mocking him. As long as Sagami is feeling down, Hachiman is going to remain the most hated person in school.
I felt the gazes sticking on to me and so I turned towards the back to catch a glimpse.(!) Since I normally don’t attract anyone’s attention, I was very sensitive to this kind of atmosphere.(!) What was up with this sad habit of mine? And so, turning my head, I saw those people.(!) It was the girls in my class. Wow, I didn’t know I was that popular amongst the ladies ------ Although I did entertain that thought, I knew that it was definitely not so in reality. In those eyes that were narrowed and curved like the crescent moon, contained their scorn and disdain for me.(!) Seeing that, I turned my body back to the front again. Then, a shrill laugh rang out for a short while.(!) Those gazes that had disgust and curiosity mixed into it grilled the nape of my neck.(!) Although I said that it was those girls in my class, they were not Miura’s gang of top-caste students but another group that had lower social status than them. The one at the center of that group, was Sagami Minami.(!) Throughout today, she wore the same downcast look, with a sunken expression that seemed like she had been hurt. Although I could not say that we had no connection, but Sagami and I did indeed have some distance between us. Well, although I would say that I was isolated from approximately half the school population, but all these were separation based upon nothing in particular. In the case of Sagami, this distance was based upon emotional grudges, or borne out of spite.(!) That sort of distancing was the most troublesome.
Anyway, the most effective way was to set your sights on a “TIME OUT” battle. That means that until they changed classes, they should just go about ignoring each other. Although this should have been the way from the start, Yukinoshita wanted to deal with this problem immediately.(!) That means that the original method wouldn’t work.
>Meguri comes in, she asks the Service Club to help out with the Sports Festival, she asks Yukino if she wants to be chairman, Yukino declines just as she did during the Cultural Festival.
“The truth is, we still haven’t decided a chairperson for the Sports Festival committee……. So, will you do it, Yukinoshita-san?”(!)
Yukinoshita blushed under her fixated stare, however, she still seemed to have a little bit of strength inside of her to object, and managed to gently extract her hand from Meguri-senpai.
“As I expected~”
>While Yukino may have declined the position, Meguri still needs someone to take the role. Yukino recommends Sagami. Yukino is trying to solve two problems at once: raise Sagami’s self-confidence which in turn is going to make Sagami stop spreading rumors about Hachiman and solve Meguri’s request of helping out with the Sports Festival. Hachiman and Yukino are often times on the same page/can read each other’s thoughts, so he figures out who Yukino is talking about. Hachiman does not like that Yukino is recommending Sagami. Hachiman wonders what Yukino’s intentions are.
“Still have not decided on a chairman…..”
I saw Yukinoshita putting her hand to her jaw, as she thought about the matter. She seemed to have thought of something as she suddenly looked up, and said to Meguri-senpai.
“It doesn’t matter who the chairperson is right?”(!)
Meguri-senpai blinked her eyes at the sudden question, but quickly addressed the main intention behind that question.
“Eh? No, it’s not really right to say that it doesn’t matter who does it. It’s fine as long as it’s someone who would do things diligently and seriously, someone that we can leave work to without worry.”
Going by that, doesn’t that I was someone that didn’t treat work seriously nor someone that people can rely upon? Well, the committee chairman, was just someone who was a person of character. I understood this point without them having to say anything. However, Yukinoshita seemed to disagree, and shook her head quietly.
“No, the problem is not with the person’s character. The problem is more about the limitations of their qualifications or the groups that they are attached to.”
It seems like the point was missed. With the new explanation, Meguri-senpai understood correctly the intention behind her question.
“Ahah, so that’s what you are talking about. IF that’s the case then there’s no problem. The truth is that we did try to recruit some candidates, but we didn’t manage to get anyone……”
“Meguri-senpai, there’s no need for such actions.”
Yukinoshita opened her mouth as though she was surprised at herself. After gently rubbing her forehead, she let out a short sigh.
“What do you mean?”
Meguri-senpai twisted her head slightly. Yukinoshita answered her doubt directly.
“I have a recommendation for this job.”(!)
“Eh? Who, who? What sort of person?”
Meguri-senpai pitched her body forward as she took a keen interest in it. To that, Yukinoshita spoke slowly as though she was sorting out the thoughts in her head.
“There’s this person who has had experience with this sort of task, also, she has a will to improve as well as a desire for a honorary position. In other words, you could say that she’s someone who was willing to work.”
That brilliant brain of mine had already found the answer. Also, it was not a good answer.
“Hey, Yukinoshita, hey……. Don’t tell me.”
Having been interrupted as such, she probably knew that I had already figured out the answer. Yukinoshita glanced at me, and as though to give herself a secretive air, mouthed the words “Correct.” to me.(!)
(Another example of Hachiman and Yukino understanding each other without having to exchange words, whereas the other girls have no idea what is going on.)
Wow, this girl’s lips sure were charming. Although these sort of random thoughts surfaced, it was ultimately the feeling of disappointment and resignation that won in the end. Just barely though. Yuigahama and Meguri-senpai didn’t seem to understand(!), and so watched our interactions in bewilderment. However, they would probably have the same reaction as me once they hear the answer.(!) This girl’s lips really were charming……. Well, they probably wouldn’t think those kind of things.
“Yukinoshita-san, tell me?”
Being urged upon by her, Yukinoshita once again looked at Meguri-senpai.
“Class 2-F, Cultural Festival committee chairman, Sagami Minami-san.”(!)
Yuigahama too added a cry of surprise. Probably because she had never thought of this. Although Meguri-senpai was just as surprised, but her expression quickly grew cold.
“Ah-. Eh, so, so it’s like that……. But, what should I do?”
Substituting Meguri-senpai who was hesitating to speak, I asked Yukinoshita about the true meaning behind her words.(!)
“Yukinoshita, what do you plan to do?”(!)
“Same as treating a psychological trauma. Where you have failed once recently, you can only use something that is of equal or higher value to compensate for it. Am I wrong?”(!)
If she put it that way, then I have no problem understanding her. Yup, she was the type of person who would push someone who can’t swim into a pool in the name of practice. That is to say, by letting her take up the post of Sports Festival committee chairman, she would be able to regain her confidence(!), or rather, to let others have a higher appraisal of her.(!) If this could go smoothly, Sagami’s request for herself could also be fulfilled, her frustration towards herself would also disappear.(!) And as a result, the gloomy mood surrounding class 2-F would probably change for the better.(!) Because the main reason for the cause of it was Sagami. Well, although I can’t say whether it was my undeniable existence that accelerated that mood.
>Is it worth going that far? Just like how Hachiman would do anything to keep Yukino from harm, the same goes for Yukino as well. Hachiman still doesn’t understand Yukino’s intentions. Meguri doesn’t like the idea, because she has experience with Sagami’s incompetence. Yukino says that she will make sure that a repeat of the Cultural Festival won’t happen again, Yukino’s going to shoulder all of it again. Hachiman calls her out on this out of concern. After a moment of embarrassment, Yukino counters with a lot of logical reasons as to why it’s not a problem for Yukino to help out. Yui says she’ll help and finally Hachiman says he’ll end up helping out as well.
“However, is it worth to go so far? F class, whatever.”(!)
“Yes, it is.”(!)
Yukinoshita interrupted me with a steely voice. I could feel the determination from that sharp piercing gaze of hers.(!) Well, it was going to be difficult to dissuade her when she has come this far. Not to mention persuasion was a difficult task in itself. Furthermore, one could not say that Yukinoshita’s ideas were flawed, there was some logic to it. However, what I could understand was only the reason for recommending Sagami. In other words, I could only understand the reason behind making Sagami the focus of the problem.(!) The problem was the consideration behind letting the committee chairman being the main focus.
Also, Meguri-senpai seemed like she couldn’t be persuaded.
She murmured with her face in a frown. Thus, Yukinoshita decided to say something more to supplement her previous statements.
“I think that giving one more chance is very important in nurturing others.”(!)
“Yes, I think so as well.”
Towards Yukinoshita’s opinion, Meguri-senpai closed her eyes and nodded her head. And then, she slowly raised her head and looked at Yukinoshita directly.
“However, this is serious work. If it is going to be done half-heartedly, I would feel very troubled.”
Those pair of eyes were telling us she didn’t want a repeat of the incident during the Cultural Festival.(!) That warm yet firm attitude. It was different from the impression of the warm and gentle Meguri that I had always had. This dignified attitude of hers now was one that befitted a student council president.
Although the intensity of that gaze was not yet overpowering, Yukinoshita lapsed into silence upon looking at those serious eyes of Meguri-senpai. Indeed, just as Meguri-senpai had said, Sagami had a previous record.(!) Sagami’s actions of abandoning her responsibility as well as slowing down the Festival were not something that could be forgiven.(!)
“I don’t support this as well.”(!)
People do not change that easily. If all it took to change, was words of gratitude, or the kind pity of others, or the cheap declaration of one’s resolve, then the streets of this world would be overflowing with transforming heroes. After experiencing the failure of the Cultural Festival, I didn’t feel that Sagami had any sort of growth. If we were talking about growth, then she probably didn’t harbor any ill-will against me, and she also probably won’t put on some act to seek pity from the rest. People will not change. If they were to change, then there was only way to achieve that. Only by going through painful experiences one after another, the suffering that is carved into your heart will not disappear, and hence withdrawing from the rest because of the pain you have felt, that one would eventually end up changing one’s ways. Sagami has yet to reach this stage. Hence, I did not think that Sagami should take up the post of Sports Festival committee chairman.
“Sagamin, how to put it…….. If she was to end up like last time…….”
Yuigahama’s worry was absolutely spot-on. I fear, she would end up exactly like she did in the past.
“She won’t become like that. I will make it my responsibility to see to that.”(!)
Yukinoshita proclaimed confidently. However, I felt that Yukinoshita’s confidence was dangerous.
“Are you an idiot? You. It wouldn’t have any meaning if you end up like you did during the Cultural Festival. Do you intend to work till you drop again?”(!)
Hearing me say that, Yukinoshita froze there with her mouth agape.
“Ah, eh, nothing. It’s a little surprising.”
Yukinoshita mumbled in a small voice. She was probably embarrassed by how she froze up just now.
(Yukino is actually embarrassed because Hachiman showed that he cares about her well being.)
Her face was a slight shade of red as she cleared her throat.
“Your worries are unfounded. The Sports Festival is a closed-door event, not to mention that it lasts only a day. Compared to the Cultural Festival, the workload is significantly lesser and hence my workload will be reduced as well. Furthermore, Sagami-san also has room to reorganize herself should she make a mess.”
Yukinoshita’s explanations came out one after another like a torrential river. Seeing that, Yuigahama and I could only listen to her carefully whilst going “Un-un-” Then, Yuigahama suddenly stopped whatever she was doing.
“Then again, isn’t the prerequisite for the above being Yukinon doing work diligently?”
Being stared at by Yuigahama, Yukinoshita’s words seemed to have been lodged in her throat in a moment of embarrassment.
“Yu, Yuigahama-san. However, there’s still the matter of the request, as well as Miura-san’s mail……”
Yukinoshita made some excuses concerning this and that. To this, Yuigahama uttered a soft “Mu---” and looked at her.
Then she gave a sigh. Yuigahama raised her head and smiled at Yukinoshita.
“I will help too. You must let me handle some of the work too as well.”
A look on relief formed on her face and she let out a small whisper.
“It’s nothing at all.”
Yuigahama took a step towards Yukinoshita to be right beside her, and gently held her hand. Ascertaining the warmth of each other. Ah, two people getting along harmoniously was such a beautiful sight. I was totally neglected by them, and so I could only watch those Yuri-feelings from afar. There was still one more person, who was sighing from the side as she watched on.
“If Yukinoshita is going to help, then there shouldn’t be any problem.”(!)
Those were words of some relief. However, you could say that this sort of trust was what caused the trouble during the Cultural Festival.
“Who knows? She’s not perfect after all. I don’t think that we should have too much trust.”(!)
I looked at Meguri-senpai with just a bit of objection. And so, Meguri-senpai replied me with a smile.
“It’s okay. There’s Yuigahama too.”
Indeed, seeing her in front of me, that was sufficient to put me at ease. If Yuigahama is by Yukinoshita’s side this time, then it wouldn’t be possible for Yukinoshita to overwork herself. Finally, Yukinoshita as the failsafe, would ensure that the Sports Festival would progress smoothly without a hitch.
“……Well, I guess so.”
Hearing my short reply, Meguri-senpai brought her face to my ear. She spoke to me in a small voice as though she was telling me a secret.
“Also, you will be by their side right?”(!)
Meguri-senpai’s voice tickled my ear. My body stiffened as I smelled the sweet fragrance, and then Meguri-senpai walked away from me.
Then, she awaited my reply with that smile of hers.
“……Yea, it’s my work after all.”(!)
>Yukino, Yui and Meguri try convincing Sagami to become chairman for the Sports Festival. It doesn’t work that well. It’s Hayato (for the second time) that ends up convincing Sagami.
“More or less?”
I cocked my head in puzzlement as she added the pillow word to her answer. Thereupon, Yukinoshita let out a short sigh as though she had given up and gazed outside the window.
“Yes. After us, or rather Hayama-kun implored her to do it. That would be a more accurate way of saying it, I think.”
“So you made use of Hayama? Smart idea.”
To Sagami, the longing for Hayama could be said to be the reason for her existence, and so he would score higher points with Sagami than if Yukinoshita or Yuigahama were to ask her. Hayama was a useful card, but only at this kind of time. However, it was really strange that Yukinoshita would ask a favor of Hayama.(!) Don’t tell me that there’s going to be a typhoon tomorrow, or that the Keiyou line would stop operating? Just as I was thinking about that, Yuigahama added on to Yukinoshita’s comment.
“To be more accurate, I think it was more like Hayato-kun intervening because he could not bear to watch us anymore.”
>Sagami accepts the position, she shows up late for the first meeting. What’s worse, her friends have abandoned her. Her friends don’t approve of Sagami. They let her first failure slide because they used Hachiman as a scapegoat, but this time Sagami wasn’t conducting herself as a proper chairman either. Even worse, this time the three girls didn’t have the same position. Sagami was the chairman, while the other two girls were simply members. It’s highly likely that jealousy played a part in her friends turning her back on Sagami. Not only are these two girls starting to gossip about Sagami, they’re also spreading rumors about the committee as a whole.
And so, everyone’s gaze naturally fell upon that one person. Sagami Minani. She had once been the chairman of the Cultural Festival committee, and now, she was the chairman of the Sports Festival committee. However, she did not seem to have the dignity or appearance that matched her title. She was just lying on the table, not saying anything. The occasional sound of her nails pressing her smart phone could be heard. From where I was seated, I could not see her expression, but it was probably not one of happiness. Her friends that collaborated with her during the Cultural Festival, clearly did not approve of Sagami now.(!) In fact, they were even openly opposing her.(!) This also had a huge impact on her. It was precisely because of the existence of these connections with others that caused one to feel pain when one severed them.(!) I didn’t think that she deserved it. Rather, I pitied her. They were never really that close to begin with, yet pain was brought about at the exact time these relationships were lost. The fluidity of these human relationships were really a bother.
Could you really call these friends? Don’t you think you have set the bar too low for who you would consider as friends? Sagami had miscalculated that those [Yo!-friends] of hers, Haruka and Yukko would stand by her side this time as well. However, strictly speaking, their positions were different now. Sagami was one of the top management in the committee, whilst Haruka and Yukko were just the members.(!) Just a difference in their positions alone could easily lead to friction amongst each other.(!) If those three had the same positions as they did in the Cultural Festival, they would probably still be on good terms with each other.(!) That chairman is horrible, doesn’t bother to do much work. She only knows how to ask others to do work but would never lift a finger herself. They were probably exchanging words like these whilst happily working on their jobs. The effects that such malicious gossips and insults would bring about could not be easily determined. Shared experiences and knowledge. A common cause being their uniting factor. This common cause was that of wanting to know the weakness of others. Hence they display their malicious intent openly and trade information with one another through such ill-means. And then, they would smooth any conversation afterwards through the badmouthing of others. Gossip was the best. You could be on good terms with anyone with just gossip. However, the one who is being gossiped about will not be able to take such a blow. Friendships that were founded on the basis of sacrifice will always require new sacrifices. If the supply of sacrificial lambs were cut off, then this sacrifice must come from within.(!) Ever since their positions differed, Sagami has always been on the losing end. Furthermore, this was a 2v1 situation, and thus, from that point on, it was already decided that Sagami would be the sacrificial lamb. Now, Haruka and Yukko were probably making all sorts of malicious gossip about the management of the committee.(!) Thinking about this, I felt that Sagami was really pitiful. This was all the more so seeing her grip her hand phone tightly, as though trying to hang on tightly to those relationships.
>With her friends turning their back on her, people spreading rumors about Sagami and now the entire committee as a whole, Sagami’s self-confidence starts plummeting even more. Sensei asks Hachiman, Yukino, Yui, Meguri and Sagami to stay after everyone else has left. Sensei asks them how they’re going to solve this problem. Sagami is close to quitting. Yukino refuses to give up on Sagami (for Hachiman’s sake obviously).
(The chapter is called: Yukinoshita Yukino will continue trying till the very end.)
Yukino confronts Sagami about her wanting to quit. Yukino uses a tough love approach here, she tells Sagami that it’s perfectly fine for Sagami to give up here and walk away. Sagami doesn’t need to worry, Yukino is going to take over for her. Yukino is hoping to agitate Sagami here to make Sagami want to rebel against that idea and get Sagami to want to be the chairman out of her own will (Hachiman calls this a “gamble”).
(What Yukino is doing here is very similar to what Hachiman did to Sagami on the rooftop. Yukino is playing the “bad cop” assuming that someone else is going to jump in to Sagami’s defense (that someone being Hachiman) the same way Hachiman played the bad guy on the roof making Hayato step in and play the good guy.)
The problem is: Sagami has lost all of her confidence in herself and she has no willpower to fight back. Hachiman is aware of this and steps in. He kind of sort of “stands up” for Sagami (not really, he basically just says that she should give up if she doesn’t have the will to go on). Because Sagami hates/despises Hachiman, Hachiman looking down on her is what convinces Sagami to continue as the chairman.
Yukinoshita had the same cold expression on her, but spoke to Sagami in an icy tone that was colder than usual.
“There’s no problem if you quit. It was just our wish from the start anyway, it was never Sagami-san’s intention. There is no need to continue if you don’t want to.”(!)
Yukinoshita interrupted Sagami’s words of protest.
“The one who asked of this favor was me. I will take full responsibility for this.”(!)
In other words, to fulfill the duties of Sagami’s appointment, Yukinoshita would complete the work of the committee chairman.(!) Those words were just too realistic. If it was Yukinoshita, then she was definitely more capable than Sagami, the Cultural Festival was proof of that. This way, someone could cover Sagami’s duties. The problem with stopping Sagami from quitting would also be solved.(!) In order to confirm her resolve, Hiratsuka asked her solemnly.
“Sagami, what are you going to do……”
Sagami answered with a shaky voice. What Sagami wants, was probably for someone to keep her, to console her. Using those as excuses, she could push her own responsibilities to others. Or rather, to give a look of pity as she part ways with her own determination, others will not be able to see that she is just running away. That way, she can protect her own pride.(!) However, Yukinoshita Yukino will not allow her to do that.(!) This was a gamble. Now, in order to complete the request given to the Service Club, to change the mood in class 2-F(!), to help Sagami regain her self-confidence(!), to utterly wipe the slate clean of any negative emotion(!), then Sagami’s path of retreat must be destroyed.(!) If she escaped, then it will only lead to responsibilities being pushed onto others, and she will once again bad-mouth others to maintain her pride.(!) If that were to happen, then Sagami will not change at all, the class atmosphere will not as well.(!) No, perhaps Sagami’s attempts at protecting her pride could worsen the mood even further.(!) To prevent all these problems from happening, Sagami must be the one to make that resolve.(!) She herself must be the one to announce that she wants to be the committee chairman out of her own volition(!), and destroy her path of retreat.(!)
Sagami could not give an immediate reply. I was a little surprised as well. Sagami quitting right here as the committee chairman carried no risks.(!) All she had to do was find a sacrificial lamb in the class that was lower than her in social ranking in order to save her pride(!), even if it has to be Haruka or Yukko. After all, those two are just superficial friends, severing her ties to them carried no great harm. Once out of the school compound, they would be able to make light-hearted conversation as though nothing had happened. The only worry that Sagami has was probably that she obtained this position after Hayama’s persuasion. However, because Hayama would never speak ill of anything, her pride will not take a hit as well. This was not a very favorable gamble.(!)
Even so, since it was Yukinoshita who first proposed it, there should still be some chance at victory.(!) Yukinoshita Yukino hated failure, and so she wouldn’t have been foolhardy enough to engage in this sort of gamble.(!) Yukinoshita followed Sagami’s movements closely, even her breathing. Sagami noticed this as well, and so looked at Yukinoshita with her head lowered. They made eye contact.
“…… There’s no need to worry about anything after this. Leave it to me.”(!)
The blade was unsheathed. Yukinoshita followed up on her attacks with a stroke of a blade. The words seem to be showing concern for Sagami on the surface, but it was probably a line that suggested there was no meaning to Sagami’s existence anymore. No longer beating about the bush, but a straight-forward way of telling her that her presence will not affect the committees’ actions anymore. Sagami’s face moved a little bit. The sides of her mouth stiffened, and made a forced smile. I see, was this part of Yukinoshita’s plan?(!) The gist is that, not to resort to outright scolding or abuse, but to use words to allow Sagami to understand it herself. After that, to await her rousing herself.(!) Probably something like that. Indeed, one’s internal torment is far more painful that what others could say to you.(!) If it was others speaking ill of you, all you had to do was do the same to them.(!) But when you notice that you are hurting yourself and start rebuking yourself as a result, you are probably unable to speak of ill of other then.(!) That was a very strict yet proper way of driving her.(!) However, there was just a little problem with Yukinoshita’s method.(!) This sort of method that seeks to motivate with rough words(!), was only effective against those who still had the drive(!), for those who still had the hope in them.(!) Against those who only knew how to push the responsibilities to others, it was useless.(!) Not only that, if one were to block her retreat path, it would only lead her closer in the direction of giving up.(!) The Sagami of now was battered, her eyelids drooped downwards. Even so, Yukinoshita did not intend to slacken her hold on Sagami.(!) She seemed to want to continue her barrage of verbal attacks.
“Yukinoshita, please stop.”(!)
I interrupted Yukinoshita’s words midway. She glanced at me but she did not show any signs of wanting to oppose me.(!) Even so, with the exception of Yukinoshita(!), everyone else thought that my actions were strange(!), and looked at me awaiting my explanation. Well, since I have already interrupted her, I suppose I should state my reason. I did not look at Sagami, but at Yukinoshita.(!)
“Even if you continued to say anything, there won’t be a good outcome. Humans are not creatures that change just because of the words of others.”
No matter how wise the sayings were, they were only good for those who were willing to listen. If a wise saying could change a person’s life, then this world would be HAPPY SO LIFE, is a BEAUTIFUL WORLD. Those who succeeded based on those wise sayings, would probably succeed regardless of whatever they used as their impetus. Words itself had no power from the very start. It only gave strength to those who accepted it. Speaking of which, Sagami was someone whom words will have no effect on.(!) No, not only towards Sagami, but probably to a lot of others as well. I am one of them. My interruption(!) caused the conference room to return back to its quiet state. Thanks to that, a tiny voice that was like the buzz of a mosquito reached my ears.
“…… I will do it.”(!)
A high pitched and hoarse voice sounded out. It seemed to have been entangled in the depths of her throat and was now being squeezed out with much difficulty. The owner of the voice glared at the table, crumpling her skirt as she grasped at it tightly with her trembling fists. Even so, it was definitely Sagami Minami who gave that reply. Hiratsuka sensei uncrossed her arms and placed them gently on the table and heaved a deep sigh of relief.
“……Is that so. Well then, we will leave the rest in your charge then.”
However, I did not feel relieved. In fact, I was totally uncomfortable with it. Why would Sagami Minami continue to be the committee chairman?(!)
>It would have been much easier for Sagami to have given up. Why would Sagami continue to be the committee chairman? Sagami really hated being looked down upon by Hikki.
“It would be great if Sagamin could continue being the committee chairman.”
“Who knows? I feel that if she had given up at that time, it would have been better for all of us.”(!)
I answered her as I wore the shoes that I had just thrown on the floor. Yukinoshita walked quietly behind us.
“It would certainly seem so from the perspective of the Sports Festival committee.”(!)
“But, if she did quit, then she would not have changed.”(!)
Yuigahama nodded her head with a “Un,un”
Well, it was indeed so. Both of them were correct. The Service Club had taken on two requests. The first was to ensure that the Sports Festival was a success. The second, was to increase Sagami’s “rating”, to let her gain back her confidence and change the mood in the class.(!) Now was definitely a good time to fulfill these two requests, however, it was precisely because of these two requests that created the two current big problems. Sagami Minami was the bottleneck. We couldn’t exclude her or control her. Well, in this kind of situation, the only way was to let her continue. I looked at Yukinoshita in surprise.(!)
“Then again, I didn’t know you would really use that sort of method. That kind of method won’t normally work. If it was me, I would have quitted there and then.”(!)
It would’ve been fine for those who were unwilling to quit. That was not worth making a fuss over. That was not a fellow that you can use the Powerpuff girls on or to harass with power. Eh wait, the term Powerpuff seems wrong? Anyway, Yukinoshita was definitely the type to go around mentoring newbies. But, Yukinoshita was now supporting her chin with a finger, twisted her hand and proceeded to speak in a nonchalant manner.
“Ah, but all I did was speak the truth?”
“Even though it’s the truth……”
All these truths and realities, I didn’t have to be Conan to know them. However, I did hear that the society of today had the view that when mentoring newbies, one shouldn’t be too strict nor should one piss them off. If you went overboard with your words, there would be adverse consequences. I cast a look of suspicion at Yukinoshita.(!) She swept away the hair at her shoulders and spoke again in a nonchalant manner.
“……Even a mouse that is driven into a corner would retaliate by biting the cat back. Am I wrong?”(!)
Was this Yukinoshita’s way of nurturing others?(!) Even if you use the word cat in your example, wasn’t your method of pushing Sagami akin to that of a lion or tiger? It was nowhere as cute as a cat being bitten by a cornered rat. It’s a lion. A lion will push its cub into an abysmal valley to kill it, a lion will use all its strength to kill even if it’s for a rabbit. A lion will chase the worms out of its body and kill it. I really wanted to leave behind these sayings to the world. Not only was I speechless, but Yuigahama too, gave a troubled laugh and changed the subject.
“…….Ahaha. I mean, Sagamin really hated Hikki.”(!)
“Well, that is indeed so.”
“Why are you so proud!?”
Why was Yuigahama so surprised? What was this person even saying given the current situation? I was fully aware of that since a long time ago. I mean, if there was even someone who still liked me given what I did(!), I would feel really sorry for the human race. People like Hayama for example. Anyone, those who hated me was not limited to just Sagami alone.(!)
“Why not put it this way. Not only Sagami, but basically everyone else.”
Hearing me say that, Yuigahama gave a “Un” as she thought about it for a little bit before she spoke.
“I am not talking about you being disliked. I am talking about Sagami. She seemed to be the most irritated when being treated like an idiot by Hikki.(!) When Hikki was saying stop, she was glowering at you……”(!)
“Well, that is probably so. To be looked down upon by someone of a lower status, it would be most reasonable if she started to have one or two thought about murdering me.”(!)
“No….. maybe not to that extent.”
Yuigahama was a little bit surprised. However humans do go about killing others for the most mundane of reason, so please don’t get yourself killed by being caught off-guard. Thus, it would be for the best if one would think before they spoke. The conversation partner was of more importance than the contents of the conversation. Even if the words are the same, the outcome would be large affected by one’s social status, title and caste. Because of that, those who were not afflicted with any of the above could freely speak their mind. When you are alone, you are assured of the fact that you can speak freely. On the other hand, those who were in the top caste often controlled the speech of others. What kind of bleak country in the world today still suppressed other’s speech? I guess loneliness was seriously a developed nation then. As I stood there basking in the belief that I had once again secured victory over the top caste, Yuigahama ignored me. Then, she clapped her hands as though she had just thought of something.
“Ah, so Sagamin should have some motivation in her after that?”(!)
Yuigahama spoke in a goofy voice, making it obvious that she still did not understand the issue. She walked to Yukinoshita’s side and stole a glance at her.
“Hey, Yukinon. You said those words because you understood what Hikki’s words meant, didn’t you?”(!)
Yukinoshita answered briefly and took her leave. Yuigahama and I looked at each other unintentionally. And then, Yuigahama gave a proud laugh. What? I highly doubt that you read her intentions.(!) The setting sun bathed the school building, school campus and everything else in a shade of dark red. Thanks to that, my face was probably dyed a deep red as well.
>Hachiman is sitting in the classroom. People are talking about how Sagami got forced to become the chairman. They look at Hachiman knowing full well what he did on the roof and that he is also in the committee.
However, it was all the colder in the classroom. There was a gloomy atmosphere at the front of the classroom that I thought was brought about the by rain. It seems like today, the tragic Sagamin theatre continues on with its stunning performance.(!) I could see it pretty well even when I was seated halfway towards the front of the class. There seems to be a new program, [To be urged on by someone to become the Sports Festival committee chairman, and then to be told off by some annoying person. That’s me] that was making its debut. The title is so long. Is there a way to condense it? Sagami had an unusually black face. A girl was seated in front of her, looking at her face to face, whilst another was standing beside her looking at her with a worried look.
“So, he seems to have asked me to do something in a roundabout manner.”(!)
“What, that is like, too much?”(!)
In that instant, I could feel them staring at me.(!) Oi oi, don’t keep looking at me from time to time, I will think that you are in love with me. To be able to feel the gazes of scorn and contempt was an ability that was the norm for a loner.(!) Being a loner meant taking the world as your enemy. Your daily life was a battlefield, and so, in order to protect your life and your spirit, you had to acquire these skills. This was the same as those elites who were able to detect another’s killing intent or their presence. Hmm, something wrong with that? Am I wrong?
>Tobe enters the classroom. Some girl comes over to Tobe. The girl starts gossiping about Hachiman. Tobe says that Hachiman would never do such a thing (keep in mind that this takes place before Ebina’s confession arc).
The one who was dragged in was Tobe. He seemed to have bought it as a forfeit for a game. Both his hands were carrying bread. As he walked to the front of the classroom frivolously as always, he was sucked into the foul temper.
“Ah, hey, Tobe-kun, have you heard?”
“Ah, what, about what?”
Tobe asked as he unwrapped the bread wrapper. That girl approached Tobe’s face gently. ……What? Her face seems to be a little red. Don’t tell me she’s about to say something as lame as a confession of her love towards Tobe? Sigh, this Tobe. I stared at Tobe with my Mystics Eyes of Death Perception. Tobe threw his head backwards and slapped his forehead.
“Uwa. He’s here. Hikitani-kun is seriously too much.”(!)
“Wait, wait abit! Your voice is way too loud……”
Just as I thought that Tobe’s love story was about to suddenly unfold. I realized that my worries were for naught. The topic of their conversation was me.(!) To be the subject of a conversation is really bad.(!)
“Ah-. But this is really bad. No, Hikitani-kun wouldn’t do such a thing-”(!)
>Hachiman’s heart has entered a rainy season. Hachiman’s heart is slowly starting to erode due to all the pressure. Totsuka is worried about Hachiman.
In contrast with Totsuka’s lighthearted smile, my heart seems to be entering a rainy season.(!) My heart received a supplement of rainwater and was now feeling the effects of hyaluronic acid. The composition of the rainwater is GURUGURUGURUGURU glucosamine grape sweets! ……Rain is awesome! Way to go, this foul mood.
As I thanked the heavens for this gift, Totsuka’s gaze dropped to his hand.
Totsuka stopped his actions with the plastic wrapper and continued on in a small voice.
“You don’t seem too well……”
I was silenced by that unexpected sentence. Totsuka raised his head suddenly and looked straight at me.
“Although I can’t do much…… but as long as it’s within my power.”
Thereupon, I understood. Totsuka was worried about me. The situation in the class was as such, especially Sagami’s group who was spreading this matter far and wide openly. No matter how ignorant one was of current affairs, Totsuka would have noticed it. Also, I fear that my behavior was different from usual.(!) Although I had wanted to face it calmly, but hate would accumulate unknowingly. Then, this hate would be naturally expressed through one’s behavior. Even though I would say that I am not a person who would suppress pressure in the bottom of my heart, I wouldn’t say I couldn’t feel anything.(!) Just like how rain water would eventually erode a rock(!), there was a limit to all this.(!)
>People mocking Hachiman.
As I approached the second year student classroom, I felt the gazes of others.(!) The feeling of everyone around me laughing away(!), accompanied with the humid weather, was discomforting. The students in this school have a wrong inclination towards the idea of “hit the man who is down.” To stand out was bad, but the bad will inevitable stand out, and will become the target of biases.
>Yukino is surprised that Sagami is taking her work seriously. So is Hachiman. Sagami has essentially taken her first step in redeeming herself.
“Why do I feel like I have been doing nothing but work all this time.”
“It was unexpected.”
Yukinoshita answered coolly. Of course, her hands were not taking a break, I could still hear the sound of the keyboard being pressed. Just as Yukinoshita had said, unexpected means unexpected. Never thought that I would have to do this sort of job.
“That’s true. My dad would faint if he hears that I am actually doing work.”
“I am not talking about this…… No, this is rather unexpected as well. Well, I guess your dad is most probably like that too”
I heard Yukinoshita’s sighing away in astonishment. However, only one sentence was needed to explain this.
“Because it’s my dad.”
“That was kind of persuasive…… Compared to this, I am more surprised by Sagami-san.”
Hearing that name, I spun my head around in surprise. Yukinoshita was looking at Sagami, who appeared to be working at a spot diagonally in front of her.
“She’s surprisingly taking her work seriously.”
“That’s kind of too much……”
Surprised…… The one who pushed her onto that position was you(!)…… However, thinking of it that way, I was a little surprised as well. I had thought that Sagami had definitely lost the will to go on, but surprisingly, she seemed to be taking her work seriously.(!) Well, now was probably a crucial point in time for her as well. If the opinion of her continues to fall at this time, Sagami will not have the chance to salvage her ratings again. The only path left was to scorn at those who were more inferior than her to protect her pride. A person’s pride, vanity had a very sensitive disposition. However, it would be great if she really was doing all this seriously. Reality did not show that this was the case. Yukinoshita seemed to understand this point very clearly, and added in some sharp words.
“But, she definitely cannot be considered excellent. Hence it is regrettable that I cannot give my work to her as well.”
“There’s no point in using her as a comparison against you.”
If we were to use Yukinoshita as the basis for comparison, then everyone else was of the utmost incompetence. In that instant, Yukinoshita shot me a dirty look as though she was rebuking me.
“It’s not only me. There are others who are themselves, rather excellent people.”(!)
“Well, when you put it that way……”
Those who were on par with her would probably be people like Haruno or Hayama.
(Yukino is actually talking about Hachiman.)
Yukinoshita continued in a small voice. I did not know when, but her hand had stopped typing. She gripped her fist lightly on the keyboard, and there was a little bit of strength being focused into it.
“……I can’t really be considered outstanding. This schedule is on the verge of crumbling.”
She pressed the keyboard forcefully. Seems like she was editing the schedule by following the current progress. However, it wasn’t Yukinoshita’s fault that the shifts needed to be edited. That’s to say, nobody would have to do anything if that schedule didn’t exist.
“It’s not really your fault.”
“So you say……”
>The bullying goes to the next level.
I put my hand into the shoe locker to retrieve my indoor shoes, when I suddenly felt my hand brush against something. What is that? I thought, as I took it out to see. ……Oh. Did someone throw rubbish in my shoe rack?(!) What was thrown into it were paper scraps made from sweet wrappers. Ah, what is this, some sort of bullying?(!) Anyway, I should go check whether there were any more things thrown inside. I quickly took some glances at the shoe racks about mine, and it seemed like trash was thrown only in mine.(!) ……So this is what it is? I became slightly disheartened at what I saw.(!) When I discovered this matter, a wave of fatigue assaulted my shoulder all the way to my back. Rather than say that I was upset or angry, it would be more appropriate to say that I felt a sense of futility. Ignoring me(!), ostracizing me was something that I didn’t care about since it was no different from before.(!) Gossiping about me behind my back(!), I could understand that too as well. But, I don’t really understand this sort of childish action.(!) What was the point in doing this, will someone benefit from this?
>Sagami and her two friends had a quarrel in front of a big group. Hachiman starts observing the changes in Sagami’s behavior. She’s no longer staying behind class and gossiping about Hachiman. After having a large group witness Sagami’s fallout with her friends, she’s now leaving class early and avoiding others.
As first period began, I looked about my surroundings to release the stiffness in my shoulders. From the corner of my eye, I could make out a figure that resembled Sagami. I took a glance at her. She was hunched over, with her gaze staring downwards. Unmoving. What kind of impact did the squabble from earlier in the morning have on Sagami?(!) I wish to confirm that for myself. Up until now, these squabbles have always been confined within the limits of the Sports Festival Committee, but now it has extended itself into daily life. That is to say for Sagami, these squabbles have already invaded her life.(!) Even up until now, she has always been waiting for the school event to end so she could forget about the unhappy past, and continue living her life as though nothing had happened.(!) Nonetheless, these turns of events did indeed leave a scar on her.(!) This undeniable fact gradually showed its effects on Sagami. The usual soft voices of “She’s so pitiful” had begun to subside, and at a glance people could tell that she was depressed. However, I didn’t think that she was pitiful or laughable. At first, I did not take much notice of Sagami, even though I was once the object of her tantrums(!), but that was all there was to it. Originally we were already walking different paths. From now onwards, I still probably wouldn’t cross paths with her. Still, despite that, there was still the need to observe her. The reasoning being exceedingly straightforward, or exceedingly simple. To put it simply, she was very much like an average person.
In this highly-developed civilized society, a laidback man like me could only watch on in silence at the sudden appearance of this highly-strained, wild, and foreign environment. Man, it’s really wild. The wild that the National Geographic keeps talking about is appearing right in front of me. Heck, the current situation is so bad that I think even the animals at the zoo are much more docile. Somehow, I felt that my life was at risk just by being in this place. It’s probably the same for everyone as well, that there was this smell of bloodlust in the air.(!) The incident that transpired this morning had brought with it a queer sense of tension in the classroom.
The reason being Miura and Sagami. The fact that these two did not see eye to eye had not changed, but the difference in power between the two had become even more pronounced.
Noticing this, I took a glance about the classroom. Sagami had quietly left the classroom. Despite it already being break time, it seemed that she had no intention of staying behind with her friends to gossip and badmouth others.(!) Earlier this morning, she had gotten into a fight with Haruka and Yukko.(!) Having that witnessed by a huge group of people(!), Sagami’s pride probably took a huge blow from that.(!) There are times where people will actively seek to be alone. Isn’t that a bit too selfish of them to just decide that they want to be alone whenever it’s convenient for them? Normally, they would be mocking or looking down on the loners. However, those who truly seek loneliness have their own way of doing so. At the very least, they don’t do it to obtain the pity of others, or in the hopes of obtaining concern from others. Doing so will only lower your own self-worth. It was akin to announcing to the world that if no one acknowledged them, they have no reason to exist. Just now, Sagami’s friends had tried to make light-hearted chit-chat with the unusually quiet Sagami. However, Sagami gave a helpless grin instead.
“There’s something… I need to do.”
With that, she quietly slipped away. This was totally different from her usual actions.(!) Keeping her distance from people, maintaining a distance from them. This was extremely different from the usual Sagami who had, up until recently, been trying to grasp the attention of others or to seek the acknowledgements of others.(!) I was shocked by this sudden change and my eyes followed her every move. Let me repeat this once again, people do not change that easily. That is my belief. If someone could change that easily over any trivial reason, then that was probably not the real “them.” Egoistic people, as well as those self-conscious, would always reject change. All humans would, by default, wish to protect their self-identity. If any person still wished to change, then there was only one reason. That would be because they were smashed to bits after falling from a great height, and experienced true pain for the first time.(!) Therefore, instinctively, they change to avoid experiencing the same pain again. Doing so was merely a front to mislead people into thinking that one had grown. However, doing it habitually would eventually let it become a part of you. We can only determine a person’s character through their actions alone. Objective criticism would be criticism towards their actions. Hence, by instinct, they would use their actions to try and change other’s view towards them, even though their true nature may not have changed at all. Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.
We judge a person based on their performance. Words, actions, habits. The people around us judge each other based on that. Then, I wonder, what exactly Sagami’s change in her actions signifies.
>The meeting about the sports festival is about to take place. Hachiman senses that something is amiss. Once the actual meeting starts, Sagami tries addressing the committee, however no one responds to Sagami, because no one takes her seriously (due to Haruka and Yukko convincing others to treat Sagami this way). Meguri and Yukino need to step in to make sure that there’s actual progress.
Today was the day where it was forecasted that a meeting for the entire sports committee would be held. The key points of discussion being to check on the sports festival progress as well as to discuss possible problems that may arise. However, thinking back to what happened this morning(!), I had an uneasy feeling even before the meeting started. I felt that it would not progress smoothly at all.
If this was the scene before the meeting actually commences, then there was nothing strange about it. A few casually chatting here and there after meeting each other was also normal. However, the regrettable thing about this is that the meeting had already commenced.(!) It was as though this meeting was not taking place at all.(!) Of course, as a meeting between high-school students, no matter how unmotivated they were, the bare minimum that they could do was to at least stay at the meeting place. However, those waves of soft gossip could not be avoided.(!) In the midst of it all were Haruka and Yukko.(!) Both of them were totally like minor characters. I couldn’t even tell one from the other. Furthermore, there was a crowd of people surrounding them(!), which made them appear even more insignificant than ever. They really do have that ‘minor-character’ feel to them.
“Hmm… Will each class please report your current progress…”
In the midst of the noise, Sagami had started talking. However, there was no response from anyone.(!)
“…First, let’s hear about the situation regarding the craftwork. How’s the entrance progressing?”
Meguri-senpai who couldn’t bear to watch the scene any longer(!), interjected with her own question.
Could it be said that we were entering a negative spiral? Right now, not only was there no motivation, but the sense of responsibility was beginning to fade away as well. The atmosphere right now had the hint of “Just give me whatever that you don’t want to do yourself.” Amongst the helpers, I am pretty sure that there were people who were thinking, “I was forced to do it,” “I will do it for your sake.” Anyhow, the position that they had adopted now was one whereby we were the ones begging them for help. It has reached a state where they were trying to make us feel that they were taking out a little of their precious time from their club activities to help us.(!) It was obvious which side had the advantage.(!) If there was some sort of tangible award, maybe the mood might change a little. However, we were unable to make such promises. Was this the fate of all sports related clubs in this school? They were always asked to help out year after year for this event. Since there were no rewards to speak of, raising their motivations was naturally difficult. Though my skin could feel the stiffness in the air, the meeting must continue on.
“Next, we have the special program… How are the preparations coming along?”(!)
As she ended her question, she looked in Yukinoshita’s direction. This portion was probably all done by the executive committee. Even so however, due to the continuous addition of various task, it was quite a feat to get everything done nicely.
“We have more or less decided on the boys’ special program. Also, regarding the captain for the Boutaoshi, the red team has already decided on a candidate. From here on, please link up with Hayama-kun for further confirmations.”
>Under Haruka and Yukko’s leadership, everyone starts voicing their disapproval with how the committee is handling things. Sagami is stumped at why Haruka and Yukko are suddenly rejecting their ideas. Sagami caves under the pressure.
“That, Chibasen. Isn’t that, like, a little dangerous…(!) You see, the festival is coming soon. Then, with the addition of the club activities, the chances of getting injured is quite high, so I don’t really want to do it…”(!)
Having said this much, Haruka stopped talking and gulped. The ensuing silence that followed made it seemed as though we were waiting for someone. In that momentary silence, we hesitated to say anything. What was surprising however, was the fact that Sagami was the first to respond. She pushed aside her chair and stood up.
“W…- why are you saying this now…!”(!)
Her mouth opened and closed, and at last, no sound came out of it at all. Then, she looked at Haruka and Yukko, her shoulders shaking slightly.(!)
“We have been having that thought since some time back…”
“…We do have club activities after all.”
Haruka and Yukko both looked away. Well, they did have a legitimate reason. During the temporary truce that they did have with Sagami, they had already gotten her to agree that club activities would be prioritized. They had also expressed that they will do their best to aid us. Furthermore, using that as an excuse, they had managed to get Sagami as well as us to be more understanding of them. Which is to say, they had gotten approval for their actions in a very legitimate fashion. It should’ve been during back then, that we should have struck back and rebutted them.(!) After being lenient on them once, they were now taking things for granted and trying to push it.(!) Right now should be the time to strongly rebuke them. That country that claims itself as the world’s police has always been saying that we mustn’t submit to terrorism. Well, there is nothing inherently wrong with that. We shouldn’t be using wayward methods to try and force the other party to submit to our own selfish aims, after all.
Before the meeting had even begun, or perhaps during the meeting, one just needed to complain and voice out what they found unsatisfactory.(!) Doing so, it will gradually cause the others to feel the same way as well.(!) This much, was natural. Be it Sagami or the executive committee in general, everyone should be somewhat unhappy with us. People were bound to be unhappy at the notion of being “used.” The destructive power of badmouthing others was multiplicative.(!) Just like how those games get exponentially harder. You could probably say that it has a synergistic effect. Even if each person’s unhappiness was small, their combined unhappiness was not something that should be underestimated.(!) Unknowingly, those people will begin to succumb to the illusion that they are somehow revolutionaries or righteous crusaders that will right the wrongs of others. When you know that someone has a similar ideology to yours, you would be able to justify your thinking, even if they might be wrong to begin with. If everyone’s thinking was the same, everyone will just blindly assume that their own thinking was right. It was happening right now, at this very instant. Because people were using their previous remarks as an excuse to reject our proposals as well as to seek the help of everyone, those who were currently unhappy would surely be itching to say something now as well.(!) Using those remarks to demonstrate the fact that there were also others who felt unhappy, and to let all of these unhappy people stand by their side.(!) In order to prevent this from happening, the executive committee must demonstrate their strong leadership abilities, and shoot down Haruka and Yukko’s opinions completely.(!) Just like in the world of wild beasts, one must show the other side who is the stronger party. If it was Yukinoshita, this was probably what she would do.(!) No matter how much she would’ve had to twist her words, she would definitely snipe them down(!), right here and now. If it was Yuigahama, she would smile and gloss the whole thing over(!), and in between words like, “Ah,” and “I kind of think that…” would search for openings to initiate a negotiation.(!) Whichever route one decided to take, both were equally valid to deal with the current situation. However, before we could act, Sagami had already started speaking.(!)
“Right now, even if you were to say something like that…”
Sagami mumbled weakly on. Her face didn’t look too good, probably out of unease. Swaying to and fro, as though she could fall at any moment, she sat down once more. Just like that, the stage is now set. Watching how Sagami, the head of the executive committee, caved to the pressure(!), the complaints and grumbles spread out throughout the entire room like ripples on a water surface.
“Chibasen is dangerous.”(!)
Someone said that very softly. I didn’t know who, but it was someone else other than Haruka and Yukko. Then, other people chimed in on the matter as well.
“It’s too close to the meet…”(!)
“There’s no time to prepare the costumes as well.”(!)
“If we get hurt, who’s taking responsibility?”(!)
The voices came from all directions. This was like lighting a fire in the wild. After the initial small ember, it was soon going to turn into a roaring inferno. Anyone could open their mouth at will or just follow up on what others have already said. The current situation was well beyond salvation.(!)
>Since Sagami isn’t able to stand up to Haruka, Yukko and the others, Yukino comes up with a plan. The problem is that people think the events are too dangerous, so Yukino writes out a couple of ideas to get rid of the concerns people may have about the events not being safe etc.
The people present were now all looking at us. Their gazes were a mixture of dissatisfaction, scorn, and contempt.(!) Although we said that we would think about it, seeing as we have yet to give them a clear answer on how we were going to resolve it, they probably saw us as useless. To always be harping on trivial details, yet never able to give solutions to important problems, we must really appear to be some sort of useless superior lacking any leadership capabilities.(!) However, underestimating us would be a really bad thing for them. When faced with this sort of provocative attitude, there was someone amongst us who detested losing, who always took things quite seriously.(!) Furthermore, she was also very talented. Yukinoshita had always been quietly folding her arms up till now. However, she had now unfolded her arms, and had raised her hand.(!)
Meguri-senpai called out Yukinoshita’s name, to which she silently pushed her chair away and stood up quietly. Then, she walked to the front of the whiteboard and took a marker.
“With regards to the current situation, there are several effective measures.”
All eyes were focused on her now, waiting to see what she would write. As she bore the brunt of their gaze(!), she continued writing, the marker swishing across the whiteboard.
“First of all, it would be most important to have some people be the first-aiders. Then, they should cooperate with the local fire-fighters. They should ensure that the game rules are adhered to stringently, and dispense punishment to anyone who violates them. Of course, this would mean that additional manpower would be required…”
As she recited her proposal, she continued writing on the board. Everyone had their mouths agape.(!) Probably because she looked so unconcerned over what just happened.(!) Then, after she had written quite a fair bit, she turned again quickly to face us.
“We will establish who shall be the first-aiders by discussing it with the gym teacher. As for the matter with the fire-fighters, should we leave it to the school to formally write a proposal to them?”
Meguri-senpai looked at Yukinoshita and nodded her head. Having her idea accepted so quickly, Yukinoshita swiftly continued on, not letting anyone interrupt her.(!)
“As for the rules, we need it to be written clearly and let the rules be distributed before the actual event. Then, we will enlist the teachers’ help and supervision. This should be sufficient to prevent any sort of dangerous plays that students may do, I think…”
Explaining things step by step was definitely Yukinoshita’s style. The people present were also scrutinizing each and every thing she had written. Taking a look around, there was no one who seemed to be whispering to each other anymore.(!)
“What about it?”
“Ah, if it’s like this…”
Rather than say it was an exchange of opinions, it would be more prudent to say that they were trying to get confirmation of the current situation.(!) Everyone was reading the mood, and in turn, responding to it. As they continued conversing using such highly-contextual words, their attention eventually fell back onto Haruka and Yukko, who had first opposed the idea.(!) Then, the two of them looked at each other, and this time, Yukko timidly raised her line.
“However, this doesn’t absolutely guarantee…”
She seemed to be afraid of Yukinoshita, her eyes looking about Yukinoshita’s feet, only occasionally looking at Yukinoshita directly. Despite locking eyes with her, Yukinoshita did not shy away, but merely continued staring at Yukko with that cold, clear gaze.(!) Then, Yukko’s voice gradually vanished. However, this should not be assumed to mean that she had retracted her statement.(!) Right now, she was just quietly whimpering. As if such a matter could simply be resolved with logic alone. Even if you disentangle a rope, as long as a kink remains, then it would just entangle once more. The silence continued on for quite a while. Actually, it wasn’t that long, but the tension in the air made it appear so. Haruka didn’t really take a look at the time, but she nevertheless slowly said,
“It’s about time.”
Hearing that, everyone began looking at their watches as well.
“Ah, anyway, since we now have a plan, then, let’s……”(!)
Yuigahama tugged lightly at Yukinoshita’s sleeves.
“…Indeed. We will do a bit more thinking to see if we can’t increase the safety a little more.”
“Let’s dismiss then. Thank you for your hard work, everyone. Those who still have unfinished work, please stay behind.”
Meguri-senpai took over from Yukinoshita and made her parting remarks. Thanks to this pleasant voice, the tension in the air disappeared in an instant and the mood returned to normal.(!) Those who still had work to do exuded an aura of laziness. Both Haruka and Yukko quickly vanished.(!) A few more followed behind them. Since there was now the golden pass of “For the sake of not interfering in our club activities,” we couldn’t hold it against them.
>After the meeting, Sagami starts questioning whether she should resign as chairman. Yui assures Sagami that there will be a next time. Yukino on the other hand asks Sagami if it’s really for the best to give up just like that. Hachiman starts thinking to himself how it isn’t really all that important if Sagami continues being chairman or not. A lot of things would probably be easier if she resigned right here, Sagami can just go back to gossiping about others to make sure she feels better about herself. It’s ultimately Meguri that cheers Sagami up by saying that she has done a good job so far (which I didn’t include, the point is: Sagami hasn’t really done a good job, but Meguri is trying to cheer her up).
I voiced my agreement with Yuigahama. Yukinoshita was probably the only one who could come up with such a logical proposal in such a short amount of time. It was indeed admirable. However, if such a proposal could not obtain the other’s approval, then it was no longer a problem of right and wrong.(!) This whole problem started as a result of emotions that have gone awry as a result of the animosity towards the executive committee as well as Sagami.(!) Putting it this way made the problem appear childish, but that was just human nature at work. People’s emotions are hard to control. There would be times where an act of impulse could lead to a disaster. If curiosity killed the cat, then emotions would be the thing that kills humans. Suddenly, Sagami stopped what she was doing and said in a low voice.
“Maybe it’s better for me to quit…”(!)
It was kind of unexpected to hear that coming from her. Compared to the Sagami of the past, her tone now sounded more sincere. That was probably because she wasn’t talking to anyone in particular, but just her mulling over the matter. There was no intention of acknowledging herself in those words. No one replied after she expressed her doubt. In the silent meeting room, the sound of Yuigahama’s arms rubbing on her clothes as she folded her arms could be heard.
“…Probably. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”
In the past, Yukinoshita had said something similar before as well. However, this time there was none of that testy nuance in it.(!) Yuigahama’s gentle voice made one feel as though she was worried for Sagami. Sagami seemed to have felt so as well, and she had a resigned look as she smiled bitterly. It would appear that she had felt her own helplessness in this entire affair.(!)
“Although you failed this time, it doesn’t mean there won’t be a next time. Maybe, they will understand someday…”(!)
Hearing Yuigahama’s words, Sagami nodded her head powerlessly. However, she probably didn’t believe her unconvincing argument.(!) Sagami had already given up. Be it as the chairman or trying to get Yukko and Haruka to understand her, she had given up on both. If even she thought that way, then there’s no helping it. In the first place, Sagami didn’t have it in her to stand above others anyway. This much was made clear to me after the Cultural Festival. This time, the request we had received was to make the Sports Festival a success, as well as to let Sagami think of a way to restore the mood in class 2-F.(!) If Sagami was upset in any way, she would probably take a short break to calm herself. Of course, after a certain amount of time has passed she would probably continue badmouthing others in an attempt to justify her actions in the past.(!) In fact, if we were to consider Sagami’s character, that would probably be what she would do.(!) Even so, we should still be able to keep Sagami from running her mouth for the time being. When we receive Sagami’s resignation, we would go into full overdrive to try and salvage the Sports Festival, and attempt to fulfill the request. This wasn’t the best way, but it was at least reasonable.(!) In fact, for the whole affair to have fallen into this state, that was probably the limit as to what we can do. As I was thinking, I suddenly heard the sound of a chair being pushed. Looking at the source, I could see Yukinoshita readjusting her chair’s position. Up till just now, she had been folding her arms and her eyes were closed.(!) Right now however, she had straightened her body, and was looking directly at Sagami.
“…But, are you sure that will be better?”(!)
Sagami raised her head with bewilderment written all over her. She seemed unable to comprehend the meaning behind those words. However, Yukinoshita didn’t seem to care for that as she continued on.
“There may not be a ‘next time’ or a ‘someday.’”(!)
Yukinoshita’s words were very cold and as sharp as a thorn, but her voice was gentle. It was because of this, that Sagami could do nothing but keep quiet.
If she had said something provocative, maybe she might’ve gotten a fierce rebuttal in return. However, there was nothing one could do when one received warmth during the times they are hurt or suffering. That was because one’s suffering had already been witnessed by others. Because such an action from the rest had already proven just how pathetic one’s own existence was. Likewise, it was because she had already noticed that she was someone that was only saved by the gentleness of others. Someone who couldn’t do anything. Rather than shoulder everything yourselves, it would probably be easier if one just pushed the responsibilities onto others who could not understand the situation. Sagami bit her lips. The fact that she was unable to formally say that she wanted to resign at this stage was an indication that she is still not yet mature enough. However, at the same time she didn’t say she wanted to continue on either, which showed that she had a clear grasp on the current situation.
To be honest, having it come to this stage of whether or not Sagami remained as the chairman was of no real issue.(!) It would just mean one less manual laborer.(!) This was now a complicated problem that needed way more than just leadership abilities to resolve. To say it even more plainly, it meant that Sagami wasn’t needed anyway, chairman or not.(!) However, this also did not mean that everything will go on smoothly if Sagami quits. It was way too late for that. Even if Sagami was to resign now, the problem would not be resolved.(!)
Maybe the other party might be in a better mood if that were to happen. If the other party’s wish were much simpler, like merely unhappiness towards Sagami, this problem could be easily dealt with.
>Sagami has once again decided to keep going as chairman. Taking this into account, the Service Club members try and come up with a solution to salvage the situation. Instead of trying to work together with the others, they’re now going against them. Yukino says it’s best to get the other side to give up. Hachiman comes up with an idea of “mutual self-destruction”, however since that idea isn’t going to work out, because Sagami is going to break character, I won’t go too deep into that.
Because of her choice, Sagami was probably going to be forced into more difficult situations from now onwards.(!) She was probably going to remember how one cannot hope to complete a task without getting hurt. Kindness is a poison. At the same time she was being healed, it would also land her in a very difficult position. In order to prevent yourself from getting hurt any further, escaping is the correct option.(!) Now, with her decision, it was going to mean that she would bear the full brunt of any repercussions.(!) Even if this time the festival could progress along smoothly, the hate of old would not disappear.(!) We already knew this. Exchanging blows would not result in friendship. Even if one could mask the malice through good-will, the malice would not disappear. At the most unexpected moments, that pretense would be peeled off, and the underlying malice and hate would be revealed once more.(!) That’s why, there wasn’t much point in Sagami’s determination anymore.(!) However, if one knew about this, but was still willing to stand at the front, then there is meaning to that. To revolt against ignorance, to rebel against the masses. I will not reject those who had decided to go the way of the loner. Hence, I will not reject this scene before me, a scene fabricated by kindness, a scene that was somewhat annoying as well.
“Then, what should we do next?”
Hence, I decided to keep my judgements to myself, and continued to push the topic along. In the first place, I didn’t have the right to prevent her from making her decision. I didn’t have the job of advising her anyway. Sagami would probably not seek my opinion either. Sagami has made up her mind to continue being the chairman. Then, what follows would be how we were going to follow through with our plans from before and come up with a concrete and tangible proposal.(!) Following my question, Yukinoshita swiftly replied.
“Since we can’t get this side to give up, we can only get the other side to yield.”(!)
This girl is sure as smooth as ever… This was a plan that respected Sagami’s solution. Since we had now decided to duke it out with the others, with no signs of each other letting up, there was no other choice but to crush the other side. I agreed with her.
Yukinoshita words caused Sagami to frown. However, just like just now, she didn’t press on. It was Meguri-senpai who continued.
“How do we get the others to submit?”(!)
This was a problem. Both Yukinoshita and I did not have a concrete plan on how we could achieve that. After a brief silence as we thought about it, Yuigahama raised her hand timidly. Meguri-senpai nodded her hand, urging her to speak.
“A… a way to p-persuade them?”
Yuigahama didn’t seem very confident as she said that. Well, persuasion is quite a basic idea. However, it wasn’t a very good idea to just try and persuade them in this current situation.
“It’s because we had talked so much to persuade them that we ended up in this situation…”(!)
“…We should just get all the current helpers to quit. Then, we go around recruiting new ones.”(!)
I had said that half-jokingly. In other words, it was half-serious as well. The relationships between the parties involved had already soured, so it didn’t matter what we did now. Since our side didn’t plan on quitting, we should make the other side quit then.(!) This was extremely simple logic. Rather than create a breeding ground for future problems, why not just start again from scratch?
“…Hm. I don’t think we have that sort of time.”
A great many wrinkles had now appeared on Meguri-senpai’s forehead. In particular, a「川」like shape had formed in between her brow. Looking at the calendar, though it might appear that we still had some time left, the fact that we didn’t work on weekends meant that we actually didn’t have the sufficient time to start from scratch.
I too, knew that this train of thought wouldn’t work out. However, looking at the current situation and the people that we have, I don’t think we would make it either. Suddenly, Yukinoshita spoke.
“…There is a need to get new people. Though I might say that, I don’t think it’ll be feasible to get everyone to quit. There’s no real meaning if we get them to stay till the very end and being just supports.”
“That is to say, it would be better to get these new people to join us, am I right?”
Hearing this, Yukinoshita nodded her head. She placed her hand beneath her chin and began concluding her thoughts.
“Yes. We need to think about how we can possibly bring us back up to speed, given that the current people have just been slowing us down with all their excuses and procrastination.”
That is to say, even if we had new manpower, the problem of what we could use the current helpers for still remains.
They had taken the Sports Festival hostage, and through their actions they told us that if we did not listen to them, then they wouldn’t continue to assist us in preparations for the Sports Festival. Even though this was not something they had premeditated or wanted to do in the first place, it would appear that this has indeed become their intention. If that’s the case, then there’s only one solution.
“Let’s use the same tactic as them…”
“What do you mean?”
Yuigahama tilted her head slightly and looked at me.
“The crux of the matter is that they are fighting with us over leadership. The other side wants to sabotage us via a strike to achieve that aim. They want to take the Sports Festival opening works as a hostage.”
“So. In other words, what is it that you plan to do?”
Hearing her question, a phrase suddenly appeared in my mind and so I said it.
“Mutual assured destruction.”(!)
Just by hearing this phrase alone, Yukinoshita should more or less be able to guess what I was getting at.(!) She stared at me, her eyes opened wide and took a long sigh.
“What a surprise… To think that you would be able to come out with such an idea. Should I call it a fair and square underhanded measure, or you being downright malicious…?”
“Are you complimenting me?”
I couldn’t help but ask her that. Hearing my question, Yukinoshita looked shocked and blinked several times.
“Ara, couldn’t you tell?”
“No, I can’t…”
Hearing my reply, Yukinoshita’s face changed, and she now looked extremely happy.
“Probably not. It’s not a praise.”
Indeed. Come to think of it, she has never been fond of complimenting others. Habits are such a scary thing. However, skills such as openly praising others but actually speaking ill of them was something that took time to master. She could’ve used that time on other things… I didn’t say all this out loud, merely cursing at her in my heart. Then Yukinoshita laughed, a laugh so soft that one could’ve missed it if they weren’t paying attention.
“But, it’s not exactly a bad idea.”(!)
Yukinoshita smiled a smile that exuded a victorious aura from it. Indeed, going on the attack was more Yukinoshita’s style than going on the defensive.
“If we are going to do that, then there are some preparations we have to make…”(!)
After mumbling a few words to herself, she placed her hand to her mouth, looking deep in concentration. She was that close to grinning just now, but as it is now, this girl looks truly scary… It was scary enough when she was looked so happy trying to think up a strategy. It was even scarier when she could completely figure out what I want to do just from those three words.
(Another example of Hachiman and Yukino being able to understand each other without the need to exchange words, whereas the other girls have no idea what the two of them are going on about.)
The truth is, the others still didn’t seem to have completely understood at all(!), and appeared at a loss towards our interaction.
“Hikigaya-kun, could you explain your idea?”(!)
Hearing Meguri-senpai’s question, I looked at her.
“We need to take their sports festival hostage as well.”
Sagami looked at me with a mix of both contempt and surprise. This girl is really pissing me off… Her manner of speech that is, her manner of speech.
“To take away from them, and destroy the Sports Festival that they hope and wish for. If they are fine with that, then they can go ahead and do whatever they want.”
However, was it too roundabout? My explanation didn’t seem to reach anyone at all.(!) Not only Sagami, but Meguri-senpai also appeared stunned. Incidentally, Yuigahama also appeared to be stunned as well.(!) Meguri-senpai and Sagami looked at each other, as though asking if the other had understood what I was talking about. Meguri-senpai looked somewhat troubled, and Sagami had her pride preventing her from asking me again.
At this time, there was only one person who they could rely on.
“S-so, what do you mean?”
Yuigahama tugged at my clothes. Ah, don’t look so shy when you tug lightly at my clothes… I will be greatly troubled. Hence, I shook my body light, and managed to shake off her hand and continued to explain.
“If those guys secretly request to have Sagami removed, we will request them to be removed as well. If we are going to let numbers decide the victor, we just need to prepare a larger battleground.”
If they are going to try to exert their absolute dominance, we are going to do the same too. If they want to achieve victory via superior numbers, we will do the same as well.
A more direct way to put it would be.
“An eye for an eye. It’s that simple.”
With this final line that I added, Yuigahama clapped her hands in understanding.
“I… I see… I understand! It’s like…”
Because the last two words of hers were slipping off her tongue, her voice gradually faded off as she was unable to continue her sentence. Well, words are not able to convey it as well as actions could. I exchanged a few words with Yukinoshita, who seemed to have completed her thought processes, and confirmed our next move. After a quick confirmation on what we were going to do, I explained the plans to the rest on what will be executed, as well as countermeasures. Although there wasn’t a need for some grand concerted effort by us, there was still the need to make some small preparations. After I concluded my explanation, Meguri-senpai sighed and then stared at me.