- (174.99KB, 915x689, happier times.jpg)
“I've probably done well enough,” I said. “I did study for the exams.”
“No difficulties at all?” Yuyuko asked.
“Just that it took too long to sit through them,” I said. “I was more prepared than I usually was.”
“You've become a model student, at least when it comes to the pure academics,” she said with a smile. I wasn't sure if she was making fun of me or was serious about her. Damn her ambiguous smile.
“At any rate, I think I did better than most of my classmates. Most of them were freaking out.”
“Yes, being calm and steady is important,” she stated, meaning something else entirely I felt. “Proving dependability further...” she trailed off, “cleanup shouldn't be too difficult if it proves to not be the case.”
“It would seem that your soft touch has had results,” Yukari said to Yuyuko, ignoring me entirely. The emphasis she put on her words led me to believe that she was joking or possibly being sarcastic. It was hard to tell when both women kept neutral body language and agreeable facial expressions at all time. I didn't want to be too self-centered but I thought maybe that they were purposefully messing with me.
“We'll see soon enough,” Big Sis said with her usual light smile. It was because I was the subject, I figured, that it came off as particularly smug.
“There's less paperwork involved if you don't need to do that,” Yukari chuckled.
“As always, I'm grateful that you delegate all these things to me.”
“I've always been the more aloof one, you know that,” Yukari said with a dismissive flick of her wrist. “Your earnest attitude and social skills have gotten you many fans on the board, you know. If you'd like I'll introduce you to a few of the younger and most ardent admirers.”
“I'll pass thank you,” Big Sis declined the headmistress' offer. “I'm not really into the trust fund snob type. Help yourself first, my dear friend. Otherwise you'll go past your best-by date without noticing it.”
Yukari frowned, “we're the same age, you know.”
“Is that so?” Big Sis humored her with cruel kindness,”Indeed we were in the same year when were were students. It's easy to forget. I suppose you've just always come off as more mature and distant. Which is why I have the counseling job and you're the aloof and overworked headmistress. Why I could pass off as a student again if I tried. Isn't that right, Arc?”
“I-” I tried to say something.
Predictably, I couldn't get a word in. It was a rhetorical question. “There are limits to shamelessness,” Yukari said with a bitter smile. “Don't expect me to care when you come looking for a shoulder to cry on the next time another bohemian breaks your heart.”
“Noted,” Big Sis said with a roll of her eyes. “At any rate, don't you have any of that interminable work to get back to?”
Yukari sighed. She shook her head and a smile returned to her lips. “Yes, I suppose I do. I'll entrust you with the rest then.”
“I'll take care of it,” Yuyuko said with a nod. The headmistress got up from the desk and walked right past me without even so much giving me a look.
“We're still on for dinner, right?” Yukari asked, pausing at the door before leaving.
“Yeah, we'll do the usual,” Yuyuko replied. Yukari left the room with a small nod and closed the door behind her. Big Sis wasted no time addressing me, “it's the end of the school year as I'm sure you're aware.”
“Hooray. Only two weeks until I'm a senior,” I said sarcastically. “Only a single week of vacation in that time too.”
“Yes, you'll be moving on to the final phase here,” Big Sis didn't address my flippancy. Instead, she continued to talk about what that entailed, “there's a lot of pressure for students to keep their grades up if they then want to have good prospects moving forward. It's also the final chance for the athletes to compete for the school. And for the cultural clubs to put on brilliant displays. There's a lot of stress and a lot of working hard for almost everyone. Even during the summer break or even on the final class trip.”
“Describing all that unnecessary work isn't exactly appealing to my sense of sentimentality, you know,” I said.
“I didn't expect it to,” Big Sis said with a chuckle. She placed a hand on my shoulder gently, as telling me to relax a little. “It's been decided that we're going to entrust you with a very important role this upcoming year.”
“Hooray, more errands!” I exclaimed with predictable happiness.
“No,” Big Sis said ominously, “we're done with errands. From now on, you'll be making your own decisions.”
“Hooray for free will,” I said flatly. “And to what do I owe my liberty?”
“The headmistress mostly,” Big Sis said with a shrug, “if it were up to me, I'd keep you under close watch. You're the type that can use intensive guidance. But that's neither here nor there,” she shook her head, moving on, “I wouldn't be celebrating just yet before you hear about what we want you to do.”
“Let me guess – I get to pick between an antisocial shut in and a struggling club this time.”
“Like I said,” Big Sis chuckled, “that kind of decision is your own now. No, you see, we're putting you up for student council. You'll be the vice president.”
“Oh, that's a good one,” I laughed. “I suppose I'll just nominate and elect myself without worrying about being popular or campaigning. I'm a real serious contender.”
“It's already been taken care of,” Big Sis said without emotion. “Only a few people wanted to do the job and they've been dissuaded from pursuing the possibility. You'll run unopposed and, what's more, your lovely class representative and president-to-be will likely endorse you.”
“...how the hell did you manage to get Reimu to play along?” I asked, dumbfounded. It was one thing to subvert the will of the electorate with the illusion of choice, it was quite another to get the strong-willed class rep to even look at me and not disapprove. I shuddered slightly, realizing that I was way over my head when it came to dealing with Yukari and Yuyuko.
“That's not important,” Big Stated with indifference. “I'm informing you now because I expect that you'll have a demand or two you'll have to make in order to save face. It must be hard being such a maverick all the time,” she said with condescension. “And yet – your independent thinking is exactly why you'll make a great veep.”
“Fine,” I said, not bothering to fight against her twisting my arm. There was nothing I could do even if I wanted to. “For starters, I want you to tell the teachers to let me nap in class as much as I want.”
“Strange request, but done,” she agreed. I was just testing how far she'd go for me.
“Oh and I want access to the cafeteria's food reserve. The one they keep for teachers. I don't feel like fighting over the best bread anymore.”
“Fine. Anything else?” she asked, with a raised eyebrow.
“One last thing...” I went for the biggest request yet.
 Big Sis had to agree to help me set up a date with whomever I wanted. Faculty included.
 Alice had to be drafted too.
 Both her and Yukari had to stop trying to manipulate me all the time.
No bonus for now. Took long enough to do this.