Chapter 4.1[4th Discussion ~ The Reform of the Student Council]
“It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf!”
As usual, the president stuck out her small chest and proudly spoke as if she were reciting something she probably read in some book.
That was a saying I had heard time and time again, but I personally liked it quite a bit, so I gave the president a smile.
“Yeah, that’s true.”
And when I did that,
“I’m talking to you, Sugisaki!”
For some reason, the president firmly pointed her index finger at me. I blinked with surprise. Minatsu was sitting next to me, and she wrapped her healthy-looking arms that came out of her short-sleeved shirt around my neck, constricting me. I could faintly feel her breasts on my cheek… what a wonderful time to be male.
“I agree, this guy really needs to turn over a new leaf right away.”
Minatsu responded to the president like that, and then put more strength into her hold… ugh. My neck’s starting to hurt.
In front of me, Chizuru gave a smile as she watched me. This girl had already established that she was a huge sadist a few days ago…
“Isn’t that nice? Key-kun is fine as he is now,but I’m also a bit interested in what the reformed Key-kun would be like.”
“Hey-, reformed?! I’ve been a really serious person from the very start and-“
When I got to that point, I felt the force constricting my neck increase even more. This wasn’t funny anymore… I tried to tap Minatsu’s arm and tell her that I give up, but she completely ignored me… ugh, this is-
“Mafuyu also… wants to see it. Ma, Mafuyu thinks it would be really nice if Sugisaki-senpai could become more diligent…”
Mafuyu-chan was sitting next to Chizuru-san, and even she agreed.
C, Cough! “I, I feel like I just got rejected by everyone right there.”
As I struggled and tried to get out of Minatsu’s grasp, I turned my gaze to Mafuyu-chan.
Mafuyu-chan looked away from me and looked towards her sister. “O, Onee-chan, you should probably let go of him soon…” Was this her way of atoning?
And then, having received such a request from her cute little sister…
“Sorry, Mafuyu. For the very first time since I’ve been born… I refuse Mafuyu’s request!”
“Why do you do that now all of a sudden?!”
I retorted, and at the same time, I felt the pressure on my neck increase even more. Ah… wait… at this point, this is starting to feel good. What is this? Am I a masochist?
Oh? This wasn’t the student council room at all… but a flower garden? Ah, look, there’s a pretty river over there. And then on the opposite shore was…
”Ken-kuuuun~~! Come over here~~~. I’ll give you aaaaaaaall the love you want~~~!”
Ahh, there was a group of lovely onee-sama on the other side wearing swimsuits! What was that?! Was Utopia over there?! Well, I guess I have to go! Let’s get going, Sugisaki Ken!
“I, I’m coming over!”
I began running at full speed. I was going so fast I might as well have been a manga character! I was going so fast that normal people probably couldn’t even see me! I was the wind! No, I was light! I suddenly understood the Theory of Relativity with my own body! I was already simply a weapon!
Yes… I felt stronger than I’ve ever felt. Having been raised in an environment filled with only tsun, my sexual desires had already broken through their critical point! And because of that…
I drove right into them. Right into the group of onee-sama. No, not even that. I blew everything away. The world on the other side of the river. Utopia. By the time I came back to myself, everything around me had already turned to scorched earth.
“What the hell. So that group of very pretty onee-sama wasn’t enough to match my desires?! … Well, there’s no helping that.”
And that was that.
I crossed the river, and returned to the place I originally was.
…… It’s was dark. Am I sleeping…? Hm. I think I can hear voices…
“… Hey? Ken? Hm? Is he dead?”
“What do you mean, ‘is he dead’?! Onee-chan?!”
“Hey, Minatsu! I might have told Sugisaki to reform his life, but I never told you to end it… what am I going to do? If this gets blamed on me as the student council president… oooh…”
“And so the first casualty in the student council room has come… I never expected that things would turn out like this… well, there’s no helping it. Let’s hide the body. All four of us. Let’s go ahead and do what those four women did in Kirino Natsuo’s ‘O*t’ to get more readers…… Fufufu, I can’t wait to show you what I can do.” (1)
“Wait wait wait, Chizuru? This is probably the first time I’ve seen you look so lively like that…”
“Alright, Aka-chan. First you have to cut off the arms and legs…”
“ARGHHHHHHHHHHH AS IF I’D LET YOU DO THAT!!!!!”
Panicking, I woke up. I wouldn’t let myself die quietly.
My chair almost got knocked over as I forcefully stood up. It seemed that I was unconscious and sprawled out over the desk. Everyone watched me, dumbfounded.
Minatsu muttered something.
“Ah, he came back to life… that’s pretty boring.”
“What the hell?! My life is that unimportant to you?!”
“I was pretty confident we could have gotten rid of your body and kept this hushed up too…”
Looking very disappointed, Chizuru-san put the saw she was holding back onto the shelf. Wait… why exactly was there a saw in the student council room in the first place? And why did Chizuru-san seem to know so naturally where that saw was supposed to go?
“M, Mafuyu is relieved…”
In the end, Mafuyu-chan was the only one who teared up and breathed a sigh of relief for me… ahh, Mafuyu-chan sure is nice, isn’t she? Being so worried for me like this-
“I’m so relieved that onee-chan didn’t become a murderer~~.”
“That’s what you’re relieved about?!”
As always, she was an innocent yet cruel girl. In a certain sense, the most villainous character in this entire student council was none other than Mafuyu-chan.
I turned my gaze towards the president. She was… looking at me with quite a serious expression.
Oh, this is… was this her being dere? I see! Certainly, once she saw that someone she had always treated so rudely was on the verge of death, she became even more aware of how precious that someone was! It was that kind of pattern! Great! Risking my life was completely worth it!
I looked right back at the president.
“… Do not worry. I won’t die. I love you after all.”
The president stared fixedly at my face… h, hey hey, Prez… no, Kurimu. Are you going to kiss me now? Seriously? Well, I don’t know… wouldn’t it be embarrassing to do it in front of everyone like this? But if Kurimu-chan says she wants to, I would be ready and willing…
When I puckered my lips, the president sighed. And then, she clunked back down into her seat, giving out another sigh.
I didn’t really know what had just happened, so I just cocked my head to the side in puzzlement.
“Ah, so I guess you decided that you would rather save our first kiss for when we’re completely alone?”
“… Sigh. I had a bit of hope back there too…”
“Hm? You mean about a kiss? No, I was completely ready to do that back there…”
“… I had just a bit of hope. Haven’t you heard people say ‘you can’t cure an idiot without killing him’?”
At long last, I came to realize that the president wasn’t really being dere towards me right now.
The president once again pointed her index finger at me.
“I was hoping that if you went through a near-death experience, you would become a normal human being!!”
“… Ahh, so it was that. It’s okay, Prez!”
“I’m an incredibly normal human being!”
“That’s not something a normal human being would ever say!”
It seemed that just saying it out loud like that wouldn’t work. Seeing no other choice, I checked to see if any of the others agreed.
“Everyone, I’m completely normal, aren’t I?!”
And then, it finally hit me like a pile of falling bricks when everyone awkwardly turned their faces away from me.
…… And this is the episode where Sugisaki Ken is depressed.
When I finally calmed down from my near-death experience, I sat down heavily in my chair, feeling glum. The president cleared her throat and looked like she was about to start again. How un-loli-like.
“In any case, I think Sugisaki needs to change. Yes. After all, he is the vice president, so it wouldn’t do if he didn’t have the dignity fit for the role.”
“… Dignity, huh…”
I took a good look at how loli the president was and sighed. Everyone else also let out strained laughs.
Realizing she was being stared at, the president once again cleared her throat.
“In. Any. Case! Let’s improve Sugisaki’s personality today! That’s what I want to do!”
“What’s this all of a sudden? Saying something like that…”
At my question, the president began to fish through her bag, and grabbed something out. “Look at this!”
It seemed to be one of the wall posters that the Newspaper Club occasionally put on the school’s bulletin board at irregular intervals. The president always was pretty interested by them and would often bring them up during meetings, but… today it seemed a bit different.
Minatsu went out of her way to begin reading it aloud.
“Oh oh, what is it?
Breaking News! The student council vice president Sugisaki Ken may have once been a two-timer!
“Oh my, oh my, I’m sorry for you, Key-kun.”
Chizuru-san said she was sorry for me, but she seemed to be having fun. Geez… these people were just…
Mafuyu-chan was the only one who backed me up.
“That’s a terrible article! We have to go and scold them! S, Sugisaki-senpai is not the kind of person who would… who would…… sorry.”
And she apologized… she seemed to have started backing me up, but then after thinking about it, realized that I wasn’t trustworthy at all when it came to women.
After gauging everyone’s reactions, the president placed the newspaper back on the desk and once again pointed at me.
“To think that such an article could be written about someone who’s a part of the student council!”
“… well, that Newspaper Club really enjoys stories like this after all.”
I picked up the newspaper in question and read the contents… the headline sure was flashy, but there wasn’t much there otherwise. There were almost no details written. Even after I read the entire article, there was almost no information past the statement that “Sugisaki Ken may have once been a two-timer.”
What had probably happened was that they had only obtained vague information from random witnesses and friends and written those down… I have to admit, it was definitely something I would expect the president of the Newspaper Club to do.
I knew the Newspaper Club president personally (she was a pretty girl, after all), but she told me, “Well, I’ll leave reporting the truth to someone else. Isn’t the job of the school newspaper also to entertain everyone with stories that are based on facts? Oh hoh hoh hoh!” Considering she said all of that with a straight face, even I came to the conclusion that she had a troubled personality, and I was a bit hesitant to try and capture her.
I had given her a lot of leeway up until now because she was so pretty… but when I became the target, of course it didn’t leave me feeling very happy. And the worst thing was…
“Sugisaki! First, you better make clear whether or not the contents of that article are true!”
The president seemed incredibly offended. I scratched my head, and tried to get out of this.
“Ah, Prez, is it that you’re jealous? You can’t help thinking about the girls in my past-“
“Don’t think you can get out of this just by saying things like that!”
When the president got into her “President Mode” like she did now, it was pretty hard to tease her.
I didn’t really know what to do, and Chizuru-san came at me with another attack.
“Key-kun. When Aka-chan gets like this, she won’t stop raising a fuss until she gets all the facts. You know that, right? So just give up.”
“I know that, but…”
What the hell was this? Ugh… well, it’s not like I have to go into too many details.
Alright… looks like I’m out of options. I’ll go for a compromise.
I looked the president in the eyes. I gave her a serious look. She might be in President Mode, but when I looked at her seriously like this, she would definitely listen to whatever I had to say no matter the topic. And even if this was hard to say, I had to say it clearly and precisely.
“Well, starting from the end, it’s the truth. I did two-time once.”
At my words, the president… didn’t flare up or come at me at all. If I had said that casually, she probably would have said something like “Sugisaki! This is why you’re so…” but because I had said it completely seriously this time, she showed no signs of getting like that.
And Chizuru-san, Minatsu, and Mafuyu-chan were the same. Nobody hurled abuse at me like they usually did.
The president sighed and took her seat. “I see. And then?”
“Is Sugisaki going to give us a few more details about what happened?”
“No. Please, just let me off the hook for now.”
Even for me, there were one or two events in my past that I didn’t want to talk about. And this incident was the most extreme of those events.
At my words, the president sighed. And then, she continued.
“But it really was the truth…”
“Are you going to justify yourself?”
“… Hm, I got it. Let’s close the book on this incident then!”
After the president said that, she stretched and seemed quite refreshed.
And then, she returned to her usual energetic demeanor and came at me.
“Now then, Sugisaki! There are a lot of things to be done if we’re going to reform you quickly! It would be bad if stories like this kept coming out about you, after all!”
“… That’s true. Well, rather than saying we’re going to reform me, let’s just try and patch things up a bit on the surface.”
I said that and then smiled… as I thought, she was a good girl. The student council president, Sakurano Kurimu. She wouldn’t blame me for my past. In return, she would work for the sake of my present and future.
… If we were just talking about pretty girls, there were plenty more of those. If we were talking about simple ability, Chizuru-san had plenty of that to spare. However, even though Chizuru-san was also pretty, the majority of the student body voted for Sakurano Kurimu as the student council president. And that reason was… well, if you just spent a few minutes by her side, it became abundantly clear.
The other members of the student council saw her appeal as well. Before I realized it, everyone else had already returned to their normal selves. Chizuru-san, Minatsu, and Mafuyu-chan had all gone back to their usual expressions.
“M, Mafuyu also thinks that Sugisaki-senpai should be a bit more careful!”
“That’s right, Ken. You chase pretty girls all the time, don’t you? It’s not just here, is it? It’s no wonder people have been gossiping about you.”
“Seeing you get caught up with something like this is quite disappointing, Key-kun. If you want to create and keep a harem, you have to be a bit more on your guard.”
Everyone seemed to have agreed not to press me for more information on my two-timing… you could say they were being considerate, but that was a bit wrong. Rather, the minute I said that I didn’t want to touch the topic, they no longer touched it. Talking about it was no longer even an option.
In other words, this was the type of group the student council was. If someone refused to do something, nobody would try to pry too deep. It was an implicit understanding amongst us in the student council. That was precisely why I could always feel comfortable here. It was like being in warm water. And what was wrong with that? Warm water, escapism… it was all perfectly fine, wasn’t it? In fact, I’ve been saved by that kind of comfort time and time again.
In the midst of a harsh and cruel world, this student council was a nice source of warmth.
I gave the others a smile and spoke in my usual way.
“Well, looks like you got me. If everyone wants me that badly, then I’ll try not to trip up on boring things like this.”
“No, it’s not like we mind if Sugisaki disappears. It’s more about the student council’s image.”
“Fufufu, I know exactly what you mean, Prez. I’m all too aware of how much of a tsun you-“
“No, I’m completely serious.”
U, Umm… everyone is supposed to be a nice person here, right? It wasn’t just my imagination, right?
Everyone had dark glints in their eyes… U, um, I’m needed here, right? At the end of the day, we had good relationships with each other… and relied on each other, right? This wasn’t just my optimism… right? This was a warm place, right? This feeling that I had just stumbled into the women’s bathroom and was getting chased out… it was just my imagination, right?
I was getting pretty scared, so I hurriedly continued talking.
“Well, for this reform… exactly what are we going to do?”
At my question, the president crossed her arms. How cute. When a loli girl acted like she was an adult by crossing her arms and thinking deeply about something… it didn’t get me aroused, but … it was definitely moe!
Ahh, why was the only word that could describe what I was feeling right now such an otaku word?! I couldn’t help but get frustrated at that!
“Sugisaki. First, we have to get rid of that stupid expression you put on when you’re thinking about something perverted.”
The president looked at me with scornful eyes.
“But I’m always thinking about things seriously!”
“And the things you think about so seriously are always perverted!”
“H-How do you know what I think about?!”
“Rather, it’d be strange if we didn’t know about it! It’s pretty clearly written on your face!”
“W-What did you say?! You’re saying that my perfectly handsome facial expression broke down?!”
“Stop acting like you’re overly self-conscious!”
“And cut it out with the Masuo-san reactions!” (2)
“Don’t just start randomly acting like a foreigner!!”
“Oh, woe is me!”
“Stop making it overly dramatic!”
“… But… I’m the protagonist…”
“Protagonist of what?!”
“This eroge… Conquest of the Harem Student Council: Vice President~~, Eat~, Me~, Please~~!”
“You think this world is the setting to that kind of game?!”
“Yeah, and I’m on the Prez’s route right now. You have to start with the one who seems like the main heroine, right?”
“… T, Those kinds of insane ideas are also forbidden!”
“What?! But if you do that, this story gets really normal!”
“Exactly what have you been worrying about all this time?!”
The president ran out of steam. She collapsed onto the table. She sure wore herself out today.
Having defeated the president, I was now faced with the main event. It was Chizuru-san’s turn. She brushed a hand through her long hair and looked at me with belligerent eyes. Crap… those were the eyes of a sadist.
“Reforming Key-kun will definitely not be an easy task.”
“U, Umm… Ch, Chizuru-san, do you have any good ideas?”
“Yes. First… well, alright. We’ll modify these ‘Line of Sight Detector’ glasses I had the Science Club make and I’ll have you wear them. Every time Key-kun looks at a girl’s breasts, he’ll be immediately shocked…”
“What time period did that method of torture come from?!”
“It was ancient Greece, in a certain place…”
“Sparta, right?! That’s from Sparta, isn’t it?!”
“Oh my, how upsetting. I’d rather you see it as love’s whip. It’s a whip, you know, a whip. A pretty girl’s whip.”
“Even I wouldn’t get aroused by something like that!!”
“Well, I suppose there’s no helping it then…… shall we move onto my second idea?”
“Is there a second idea?”
“Yes. First, we hypnotize you so that you feel an indescribable sense of terror every time you look at a girl, and-“
“Let’s move onto the third idea!”
“Well, then we start by castrating you-“
“Uwaaah! These are getting more inhumane by the second!”
I crumbled to the floor… scary! Chizuru-san was scary!
Seeming completely satisfied with having tormented me to pieces, Chizuru-san let out a sigh of pleasure, took out a textbook, and began to study. To be honest, more than anybody else in this student council, Chizuru-san just did what she wanted.
When Chizuru-san backed off, the Shiina sisters’ eyes began to sparkle, almost as if they had been waiting for this moment.
“M, Mafuyu also has a few ideas!”
“I got some too! I call them the Sugisaki Ken Reform Plan!”
The Shiina sisters leaned in towards me. No matter what they were going to say, I wasn’t the type of person who could refuse pretty girls. Half-resigned, I opened my mouth.
“Well, I guess I can use them as a reference…”
Suddenly, the Shiina sisters began to alternate and shoot ideas at me.
“I, I think that first, Sugisaki-senpai should make his schoolbag pink!”
“Exactly what kind of character is Mafuyu-chan trying to turn me into?!”
“Nah, he should be more macho-like. You know, get a schoolbag with iron plating and wear schoolboy uniforms with the long jackets.” (4)
“I really think Minatsu has the wrong idea of what it means to be ‘macho’!”
“Alright… done! I attached a lot of cell phone straps on your cell phone!”
“Why are they all from Hello K*tty?! Is this really the right way to go if you want to reform me?!”
“Hey, Ken! From now on, you should call yourself ‘banchou!’” (5)
“That doesn’t even count as reform anymore!”
“… Alright… done! Senpai, ahem. Mafuyu is pretty confident in her sewing skills!”
“Hey, why did you go and sew a bear into my uniform without asking me?!”
“… Ah, great, please do that. Alright… hey Ken! I did it! You’re going to be fighting the banchou of Otobuki High School next Tuesday!”
“How can you tell me that as if I was going to a practice basketball match?! I don’t want to! Also, trying to get me to fight people from other schools is like anti-reform!”
“Senpai senpai! Please read this! It’ll help a lot!”
“What is it? ‘Private Pretty Boy High School ~I’m the Seme and He’s the Uke~’… (6) Seriously, exactly what kind of character is Mafuyu-chan trying to turn me into?!”
“Hey, Ken, what should we do about your logo? For now, all I’ve decided is that we’re going to be called the ‘Keyboard Alliance,’ (7) but…”
“Exactly what are you trying to do to me?! Stop it with the ‘Keyboard Alliance’ and all that! You might look pretty pleased with yourself, but just because ‘Ken’ is the ‘banchou’ is not a good reason to name it the ‘Keyboard Alliance’!”
“You over there, stop reading the ‘Private Pretty Boy High School’ book you brought here and getting aroused!”
“Ahh, looks like we’re going to need a bigger budget. We’ll need an original set of brass knuckles, and some group flags…”
“You, get out of the student council!”
“Mafuyu thinks… Mafuyu thinks that Sugisaki-senpai would be nice as an uke!”
“What?! Mafuyu-chan, don’t you think you’re getting off track?!”
And then, after all that, I finally ran out of steam. My breathing became labored and I sprawled out on top of the table… those Shiina sisters… even one of them was bad enough. But when both of them went on the offensive at the same time, nobody could stop them. And what’s more, even though their personalities were the complete opposites of each other, they seemed strangely in synch… I really doubted there was a single person on this Earth who could survive retorting back and forth from one to the other like they were riding some pendulum from hell.
The two sisters were still going on and on, but I just left them alone and took a break… Mafuyu-chan had gotten out a laptop, and began writing something “Sugisaki-senpai’s… heart began to beat… faster…” she started to mumble, but I ignored her. As for Minatsu, she had begun to measure my waist… she seemed incredibly intent on making me one of those schoolboy uniforms… but I ignored her too.
In the end, my conclusion was this:
“Whether or not you reform me or whatever, isn’t everyone else in this student council a weirdo anyways…?”
Only the president ended up reacting to my words. Seeming to have regained her energy, she sprung up from the desk.
“That’s not funny! I’m completely normal!”
“Prez, it doesn’t count if you say that yourself.”
“Ugh… E-Everyone! I’m normal, right?!”
And the student council president, Sakurano Kurimu, went and asked everyone the same question that I, Sugisaki Ken, had asked just a while ago!
And in the end, the result was…!
A minute later, the president sunk into despair. Well, that’s how the world worked. The people who thought of themselves as normal appeared to be strange to the people around them.
And vice versa, the people who thought they stood out amongst the crowd were really the least likely to be noticed.
… Reform, huh?
I mumbled haltingly.
“If being reformed means losing your individuality… then I’m starting to feel that it’s fine to just stay the way I am.”
The president looked at me with dead eyes. Chizuru-san also looked up from her textbook, and the Shiina sisters stopped their rampage and looked at me.
“It’s not just me. All the people in this student council are a bit weird in the head, aren’t they?”
“Hey, wait, I just told you I’m normal…”
The president stood up, and began to voice her objections, but I looked around at all the other members with a full smile on my face.
“But I love each and every one of the weird people here.”
The president faltered, almost as if she had gotten the wind knocked out of her. And then, for some reason, she blushed and cleared her throat. She then sat back down.
Chizuru-san and the Shiina sisters also gave me warm looks… yup, this felt nice. Now here’s my chance to attack!
“Even if the people in my harem have personality issues, as long as they have the looks there’s no problem at all! Ahh, look how generous I am! Alright, everyone! Don’t hesitate, and just leap into my chest!”
… Wha? Before I realized it, everyone had once again returned to what they were doing. The president still seemed as depressed as ever, Chizuru-san was reading her textbook, Minatsu was drawing the logo for the “Keyboard Association” on a piece of paper, and Mafuyu-chan was reading “Private Bishounen High School” with her cheeks flushed.
… My my, they’re just not admitting it. G, Geez. This is why tsuns are so…
I let out a sigh… and then, I heard the president mumbling softly.
“… It’s fine. Sugisaki… is fine like he is.”
“? What did you say?”
The president sighed once more and sprawled herself back onto the desk. “Ahh, do other people really think I’m weird…?” I heard her mumble… hm? What had just happened? She said something back there but I couldn’t really hear it…
Ah, right. We had been talking about that article that the Newspaper Club had written, and I was being told to be more careful. But in the end, we couldn’t really come up with a plan…
“Umm, so exactly what should I do from now on?”
In response to my question, all the others glanced at me.
And then… everyone gave me a slight smile, but ignored my question and returned to what they had been doing.
… U, Umm… were they angry at me or something?
And in the end, on that day, we never came back to the topic of my reform again.
(1) Reference to a rather famous (and freaky) novel Out, in which four housewives have to help one of them cover up the murder of her husband. Lots of cutlery involved.
(2) See Chapter 1-1 of this volume, Translator’s Note 8.
(3) He says “shit,” but in English. Considering this translation is in English, I went with a Spanish swear word instead.
(4) Something like this.
(5) Couldn’t find a concise English equivalent, but “banchou” refers to a sort of “gang leader” type of person in a school.
(6) In homosexual relationships, uke means “receive” and seme translates literally as “attack.” You do the math.
(7) The first kanji in “keyboard” is in fact the same kanji you write “Ken” with. The second kanji in keyboard is “ban,” which obviously refers to “banchou.” Thus, this is a pun on “Ken is Banchou -> Kenban.”