Chapter 11:

First Job (2)

Confession Games

After the request about making friends, we spotted a few other options but none of them felt good enough.Bookmark here

As time went on, I wondered if we would have to continue this tomorrow, but then Kirisaki shouted in surprise.Bookmark here

"Ah! This one!"Bookmark here

We were all shocked by her sudden outburst, but figuring that she was talking about a request, Arisugawa asked, "Which one?"Bookmark here

"There's a request asking us to investigate the strange sounds that can be heard in the female dorm at night."Bookmark here

Perhaps I was the only one who thought that we had entered the realm of mystery, but I didn't know what to say when the female dorm became the topic of conversation. I looked over to the ever-reliable Zakushi, but even he seemed to be at a loss.Bookmark here

Therefore, I could only listen to the girls to figure out more details.Bookmark here

With a pondering look, Arisugawa said, "I've heard about that before, but wasn't it just a scary story?"Bookmark here

Kirisaki shook her head and put on a solemn expression fit for the horror theme.Bookmark here

"No, there are scary stories associated with it, but the sounds are real. I've heard them myself."Bookmark here

When Kirisaki said that she heard the sounds herself, we sensed a story coming so all of us, including Amakawa, raised our heads and gave her our full attention.Bookmark here

Kirisaki continued, "It was two weeks after school started. Rumours about the strange sounds had started, but I didn't believe them. But one day, I woke up in the middle of the night. At first, I wasn't sure why I got up, but just before I tried to close my eyes again, I heard it."Bookmark here

Immersed in Kirisaki's story, several gulps could be heard across the room. But besides that, none dared to even breathe loudly as we waited for her to go on.Bookmark here

"Ssh-ssh, ssh-ssh. That was what I heard outside my door. It was at this time that I recalled the scary stories and a chill went down my spine. I covered the sheet over my head and desparately prayed for whatever was there to go away, but then I heard it again. Ssh-ssh, ssh-ssh, I tried covering my ears but it still couldn't block the sound. As the sound went on, I considering going out to check, but my older sister always told me to never be the first to investigate in a scary situation. So I reached for my phone and called my roommate so that she could check."Bookmark here

I raised an eyebrow at her course of action, but I kept these thoughts to myself and continued listening.Bookmark here

"Her ringtone was so loud that it frightened me into quickly cutting the call, but luckily she woke up. She was still drowsy so when I asked her to check outside our door for me, she grumbled but still did it. When she opened the door, I remember my heartbeat speed up as I prepared for what she would find, but there was nothing there."Bookmark here

"Really?" Bookmark here

It was a predictable ending, but I still felt the urge to ask. Once Kirisaki nodded, the tension finally left the room.Bookmark here

After taking a moment to digest that story, Arisugawa nodded approvingly and then turned towards Zakushi.Bookmark here

... Let's just keep it a secret that I felt a little sad when she went straight to him for advice.Bookmark here

"I think it could work. What about you, Zakushi?" Arisugawa asked.Bookmark here

To which Zakushi responded, "I don't like that this mainly only affects the girls and the difficulty is uncertain, but if we succeed then it should definitely work as good publicity. We could keep looking but I doubt we're going to find anything better so I think we can make this our first job."Bookmark here

Finally, the end of this meeting was in reach. However, I didn't want us to finish without giving my input at least once.Bookmark here

I faced Zakushi and said, "Um, but with a project like this I can't see us guys having much to do."Bookmark here

I felt a bit strange actively seeking out work in this manner, mostly because showing off or upholding my image wasn't one of my main motives. The only thing I was sure of was that I didn't want to be idle when I knew that the girls would be working hard.Bookmark here

Zakushi answered with his usual composure, evidently prepared for my concern.Bookmark here

"I agree. That's why I think we should announce that we've selected this request as our first job, and then the two of us can focus on menial tasks until it's complete."Bookmark here

As I nodded in agreement, I started thinking that Zakushi was a better fit for Vice-President than I was, but I also couldn't picture him obeying Arisugawa.Bookmark here

Back to the conversation, Arisugawa told Zakushi, "That sounds good. Sachi and I will assist you two from time to time."Bookmark here

'Sachi', glared at Arisugawa for a moment and clicked her tongue, but then she went back to her phone.Bookmark here

It wasn't too odd, but both Kirisaki and I were confused by this statement, and between the two of us, I took the chance to ask, "But won't you be busy solving the case of the strange sounds in the female dorm?"Bookmark here

"Well, yes to an extent, but if the strange sounds can only be investigated at night then Kirisaki's going to have to be the one to directly solve the issue. We'll still go over there to collect information from the other students of course."Bookmark here

I didn't get it at first, but then I realized that Arisugawa and Amakawa likely didn't live in the dorm, so Kirisaki would be this time's star. However, she didn't seem very thrilled about it considering how pale she got.Bookmark here

"I have to do it, by myself," she asked hesitantly.Bookmark here

Her fearful expression tugged on our heartstrings, but Arisugawa frowned and replied.Bookmark here

"Yes, Sachi and I won't be able to stay over so you're the only one who can. But I won't force you. I could probably have Sachi hide over there or find someone else to help you. However, none of these options would be very good for the club."Bookmark here

"Indeed," Zakushi added, "If we got caught breaking the school rules that would be it for our club at this stage. And especially since this is our first job it would be best to complete it with only our members."Bookmark here

Both Arisugawa and Zakushi were pushing for Kirisaki to take up this role, but they also understood that she was afraid to accept it. When I looked at her who sat with a troubled expression beside me, I felt the urge to comfort her. After all, though it would be preferable for her to be the one to take the main role in solving our first request, she didn't have to do it alone.Bookmark here

However, just as I opened my mouth, I stopped myself. Taking a closer look into her eyes, I noticed not only anxiety and fear, but also a flickering resolve. Bookmark here

'I see. So you don't want to stay like this either, huh?'Bookmark here

I closed my mouth and reorganized my thoughts before I spoke to her.Bookmark here

"Kirisaki, you don't have to do this by yourself, but I think you should. This is our first job, and even though you might be the only one encountering the source of these strange sounds, you won't be alone. Outside of the dorm we'll be there to help you, and if you feel like it's too much for you, then you can ask your friends at the dorm for help too. However, I think it would be best if you could be the one to finish this. After all, don't you want to make our club look as reliable as possible?"Bookmark here

I was no motivational speaker so I wasn't sure if my words would make much of a difference, but I really hoped they would. Bookmark here

In response to my little speech, Kirisaki looked up at me with bright eyes before revealing a dazzling smile that I couldn't look away from.Bookmark here

"Thanks."Bookmark here

Afraid that my emerging grin wouldn't be pleasant to look at, I hastily turned away and scratched my head.Bookmark here

"It's nothing, I was just saying my thoughts."Bookmark here

I really wished that I wasn't blushing, and that wish became a desperate prayer when I was reminded that my crush was in here.Bookmark here

"So, Kirisaki, what is your decision?" Arisugawa asked.Bookmark here

While covering my mouth with one hand just in case I had a stupid grin, I watched as Kirisaki answered with a brave face.Bookmark here

"I'll do it!"Bookmark here

Once Kirisaki energetically agreed to take on the main role of our first job, Arisugawa smiled gently at her as she nodded her head.Bookmark here

'Oh my gosh! Two great smiles in one day! What is this, a two for one special?!'Bookmark here

I made sure that my mouth was covered but my overflowing joy was probably showing through my eyes too. I really wanted to take a picture to commemorate this moment, but my fear of being hated held me back. Bookmark here

While Arisugawa accepted the request and I was trying my best to restrain my elation, Kirisaki whispered to me.Bookmark here

"Akishiro, could you walk with me on the way home?"Bookmark here

Naturally, I was speechless. Even my immense joy was washed away by the shock of what Kirisaki just asked me. With wide eyes I looked at her, and saw expectation and hope. For several reasons I wanted to say no, but before my logic could stop me, my mouth moved.Bookmark here

"I guess..."Bookmark here

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