Chapter 8:

Tea Time

Cat's Hour ~猫の時間~

“Oh! It’s Haku!”

As soon as I opened the door to get out of the room, I was greeted by Haku, sitting in the entrance as if waiting for me to open the door.


“O-oh, w-wait…ah”

I was caught off guard when Haku started rubbing his body in my legs, making me step outside, while purring gently.

E-eh? Since when did Haku became affectionate to me? As far as I remember, the Haku I know is a prideful one that doesn’t pay mind to me. I would rather be the one begging for attention since it seems like I was dealing with a statue instead.

However, looking at this cat who is now acting as if he doesn’t want to get off me, there’s no trace of the Haku that I know.

Wait, could it be that this is a different cat?

I squatted in front of the cat. The Haku that I know would dodge in reflex whenever I tried to touch him. I’ll test it and see for myself!

I slowly reached out my hand to him.

Without my hand even getting closer, Haku rubbed his head in my hand and purred gently.

“C-cute!! So cute!!”

I covered my mouth with my free hand to muffle my voice from screaming how cute Haku is right now.

“Oi, what are you doing there acting like a pervert?” someone behind me spoke.

I turned around and saw a familiar tall person towering behind me.

“Oh! Mikejima-kun! Look at this! Haku likes me now!”

I carried Haku and showed it to Mikejima-kun as if I was bragging that I’m getting along with Haku now.

Of course, I’m proud! I don’t know what happened but Haku suddenly became affectionate to me! It was a win-win!

“Ah, that seems like it. Hurry and go to the office now. Everyone is waiting,” Mikejima-kun nonchalantly said and walked passed by me.

“Eh? Office?”

“Hah? What are you looking clueless for? You’re the secretary, aren’t you?”

He stopped in his tracks and faced me with a scowl in his face. He’s really showing that he doesn’t like me!

“E-etto… about that…” I looked away from him and fiddled my fingers.

“What? If you have something to say, get on with it!”

Uuu, his voice is really loud. He sounded like those delinquents in every school drama that is always looking for a fight! There is no need to raise his voice, is there?

“Where is this place?”


“I said, where is this place?!”

“Oi, did you hit your head?” he asked in disbelief. “Did you forget that you’re the student council secretary?”

“Yes, I think I hit it... wait. That’s not it! What I mean is, where in the world is this place? I’ve never been in a ryokan before!”

Of course, I still remember that I’m the student council secretary! But I don’t understand why am I in a Japanese inn!


An awkward silence reigned between the two of us when no one reacted for a moment. The quiet atmosphere was broken when Haku lets out a purr.


“Oh, wait! Haku!”

Haku jumped from my arms and landed on the floor.

“Ne, you didn’t know about this place?” Mikejima-kun asked.


“It’s the student council dorm.”

“Dorm? In such a fancy place?” I reacted in surprise.

I didn’t know that there is a dorm in school. Moreover, it was an amazing place! Like a vacation house! Student Council really have it all! The special treatment is really beyond normal!

“Fancy, huh. Whatever. Just go already." He turned his back and dismissed me.


“Hah? Do you have more to say?"

“I don’t know the way back.” I looked away from him and shrunk in fear.

I know Mashiro-senpai is terrifying, he was still smiling in the least and he doesn’t raise his voice without any reason. 

But Mikejima-kun is really just plain scary! His voice is loud and scary! Moreover, he’s tall and have that frightening face when viewed from below!


“Hii! I understand! I’m just going to find it myself!” I blurted out and bows out of reflex.

“Oi, Haku. Guide that girl to the office,” Mikejima-kun said to Haku who is licking his paw at the moment.

Haku stood properly and daringly looks away from Mikejima-kun before walking to my direction.

Uwaah! Haku! You’re so cute!

“Just follow Haku and get out of here.”

“Thank you, Mikejima-kun!” I said with a smile to his direction.

“Whatever,” he simply said without any reaction.

Oh, that’s right. He said that I need to go to the office earlier and that everyone is waiting there. Does that mean that we have a meeting? If so, then Mikejima-kun should also go there, right?

“Ano! Mikejima-kun, aren’t you also on your way to the office? If you like, we could go there together,” I suggested to him awkwardly.

I’m not getting my hopes up here, I’m just trying to be on good terms with him since we are both second years and classmates. We should at least get along with each other.

I was expecting him to at least decline properly if he doesn’t want to, but instead, he gave me a glare that I can feel daggers pointed in my throat.

“I-if you don’t want to, it’s okay…” I take back my words right away.



“Let me set this straight. I have no intention of putting up with someone like you. I’m just dealing with it because sensei and kaichou decided to assign you as the secretary. Don’t be chummy with us just because you know the circumstances behind the cat ears and the third years started to recognize you.”

“That’s not—”

“You just got lucky that Tsuki-senpai is with you in that ghost encounter. You can’t even do anything when you’re alone,” he said with a smirk.

“You–!” I clenched my fist in anger.

From the very start, I know that Mikejima-kun doesn’t like me. It’s not like it bothers me so I just let him be. I can’t just force my way on anyone, I’m carefully watching my steps.

But this is beyond the belt! Mikejima-kun crossed the line!

Ah, in the end, he really hates me, huh. This bastard!

“Know your place, useless woman.”

My eyes widened as I watched Mikejima-kun’s back getting farther away from me.

I clenched my fist and gritted my teeth in exasperation. I really, really want to land a slap on that face!


I can’t do it.

When he said that…

His cat ears twitched…

And there is a hint of fear in his voice.

“Haah… maybe I’ve gotten soft,” I sighed to myself and followed Haku to the student council office.


“What do you mean I’m a bait?!” I slammed my hand in the table which created a loud sound that echoes throughout the room.

The people in the room are the four other members of the student council, Kurokawa-senpai, Mashiro-senpai, Toujo-kun and Haibara-kun. Of course, Mikejima-kun is not here.

After what happened earlier, I bet that he doesn’t want to see my face. That goes without saying! I also don’t want to see him!

Right now, everyone fell silent as they all looked in my hand that just slammed the table.

“Senpai-chan, isn’t that painful?” Toujo-kun asked as he stared on my hand intently.

When he said that, the feeling finally sunk on my mind and I could feel my hand writhing in pain.

“I-it hurts!” I could feel tears forming in the side of my eyes because of pain.

“Calm down, Terushima-senpai. Give me your hand,” Haibara-kun said with a smile as he was bringing the first aid kit.

“Thank you, Haibara-kun,” I said to him while sniffing. “You’re really kind…”

“Don’t mention it, senpai.” He gently took my hand and tend to it. “Yosh, it’s done.”

Haibara-kun is really a sweet child. Compared to the others, he’s the most approachable one that I can count on.

“That’s what you get when your emotions easily influenced you,” Mashiro-senpai said as he took a sip from his teacup.

“I’m not! Who wouldn’t react if they are told that they are a bait for a ghost hunting?! You should put it more nicely,” I said and took a cookie from the basket.

“Like what? Offering?”

“Geh! That sounds more horrible!”

“I’m glad Tsuki-senpai and Terushima-senpai are getting along well,” Haibara-kun said with a light chuckle. “I’ll pour you a tea, Terushima-senpai.”

“Ah, thank you.”

Right now, we are having a tea break in the office. Haibara-kun prepared the tea and snacks for us and we are talking about the Ai-san case that we just finished.

Mashiro-senpai is saying that I played the role of bait in there. Of course, my pride won’t allow that. Why don’t he just say that I helped them?

“Speaking of which, the Ai case really gave us a lot of headache, huh. Especially to the third years since they have been targeting that ghost for a long time,” Toujo-kun commented.

“What do you mean, Toujo-kun?”

“Hmm? Senpai-chan don’t know? It was a long-lived rumor, you know. Everyone in the school knows it.”

“Ahaha, I’m a transferee, Toujo-kun.” I deadpanned at him.

“Oh, it’s true,” he lets out a laugh.

“Toujo-kun, that’s not something to laugh about.”

“Oops, sorry.”

I took a deep sigh. I barely know anything about it. Also, Mashiro-senpai didn’t hear out Ai-san’s story that time.

“Asahi-kun is right. We really have a hard time finding that ghost.” Kurokawa-senpai admitted. “We tried all means we can think off before, right Tsuki-kun?”

“Yes,” Mashiro senpai simply responded.

“Like what?” I asked out of curiosity.

I took a sip on the tea while listening to Kurokawa-senpai’s story.

“Since Ai is only targeting lovers and we are all guys here, we tried to lure her by having Tsuki-kun dress up as a girl.” Kurokawa-senpai smiled brightly as he told the story.

“Pffftt… cough, cough, cough,” I spit my tea out of nowhere and choked while trying to stop myself from laughing. Mashiro-senpai is smiling menacingly to my direction.

“Terushima-san, you’re wasting the tea that I work hard to make,” Mashiro-senpai said in a threatening voice.

That’s what you’re worried about?! I just laughed about you dressing up as a girl. Man, I want to see it.

Cough… cough… sorry.”

“Senpai, here’s a towel.”

Haibara-kun quickly gave me a towel to wipe the tea that I poured to myself accidentally.

I’m really amazed how Haibara-kun is always ready with this kind of situation. He was like the guardian among the people here despite being the youngest one.

“Thank you, Haibara-kun. By the way, did Mashiro-senpai make the tea?”

“Yes, Tsuki-senpai planted and dried the chamomile used to make this tea. I’m just the one that brewed and served it.”

“It’s a great tea! Don’t you think so, Terushima-san?” Kurokawa-senpai asked out of admiration to Mashiro-senpai.

“Yes, this is nice. So this is chamomile tea. That’s unexpected,” I commented. “How about the snacks?”

“I’m the one that made them.” Haibara-kun said with a smile.

“They’re so good!”

“Right? When it comes to cooking, Aoi-kun is second to none!” Kurokawa-senpai proudly said.

“Hehe, thank you for the praise.”

“We drifted off topic but may I know the story behind Ai-san’s case?” I asked them.

“Ah, sure. Let me get the reports,” Kurokawa-senpai stood and shuffled the papers on the drawer.

Reports? Why are there reports? Are they investigating the ghosts in the school that they are making documentations as well?

“Here it is.” Kurokawa-senpai gave a folder to me with the name ‘Ai Toyama’ written in the front page.

This is… Ai-san’s file.

I scanned the pages and saw pictures of her from her time when she was alive. Different from how we met her as a spirit, the Ai-san on the pictures looks gloomy in most shots. She has a lonely air around her, it was disheartening.

“But why do you have files of them? We could just ask the ghost herself last time, Mashiro-senpai. Why did you stopped her from talking?”

“Terushima-senpai, we can’t just ask the ghost about their past lives,” Haibara-kun seriously said.

The atmosphere in the room suddenly became gloomy. Everyone also have dark expressions on their face.

Mashiro-senpai and Kurokawa-senpai returned to their seats silently.

“It was the same pattern, every spirits in the school shared some resemblance that made them haunt the school for a long time,” Kurokawa-senpai started. “It wasn’t just Ai-san, other ghosts are still bound to wander the school.”


“Those evil spirits bear that grudge in the school and haunts them after all these years. You noticed how Ai-san has a different uniform, right? That was the school’s uniform 50 years ago.”

I covered my mouth in disbelief.

I don’t need to ask about the details, I could pretty much picture everything inside my mind.

So that’s how it is, huh.

Schools are really such dark places. Not just in the past, but up until the present. To be honest, it just becomes more and more scary as the time passed.

What’s scary isn’t the evil spirits wandering the school… when I think about it, the stories behind might be more painful than I imagined.

“T-then… the reason why Mashiro-senpai didn’t ask for Ai-san’s story…”

“Yes. I know her story… she was tricked by the guy that she likes, got mistreated and bullied, and got driven to death.”

“That’s…” I looked down in frustration.

Of course, it was like that.

School is really such a scary place. Not because of the spirits haunting them, but because of the cruel reality hidden within.

I can’t stand it.

“If we made her tell her story, it might bring back unwanted grudge from her. Things may get out of hand if her emotions got the best of her. When exorcising spirits, we ought to finish it quickly, no questions asked.”

“… sorry.”

“Why are you apologizing?”

“… I felt like I have to.”

“Terushima-san didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I know. I understand now why Mashiro-senpai is in a rush… but I still don’t understand why you would hit her with a hoe!” I puffed my cheeks in frustration.

Ai-san suffered such tragedy, then why would he dare to threat her with a hoe?!

“Tsuki-kun is close minded about negotiations so he tends to resort to fastest way possible.”

“Somehow… that seems scary,” I flinched. “But can you hit them? They don’t have physical body, right?”

“We can hit them. You can see this cat ears, senpai-chan? That makes us half spirits, we’re basically supernatural entities as well and that’s why we could also see and touch others.”

“Ah! Like cats!” I exclaimed.

“Senpai, we’re basically cats.” Toujo-kun deadpanned.

“Ahaha, sorry. I’m forgetting about that sometimes. I’m actually convinced that you’re just normal students most of the time.” I chuckled lightly.

“Normal, huh…”

Eh? Did I said something wrong? Everyone just fell silent all of a sudden.

“Terushima-san, you’re really a straightforward person, aren’t you?” Kurokawa-senpai asked with a sincere smile on his lips.

“Y-yes… I’m the kind of person who speaks what’s on my mind easily, so some people may find me rude most of the times,” I admitted while scratching my cheek shyly.

“It’s fine, isn’t it?” Mashiro-senpai elegantly sips his tea with a slight curve on his lips.

“Senpai-chan’s reactions are amusing to watch, it’s cute!” Toujo-kun beamed at me which made me flustered.

“We’d rather have someone who treats us indifferently than someone who sugarcoats their words,” Haibara-kun smiled gently.


I feel like I’ve gotten closer to everyone. I feel appreciated by them, maybe they could recognize me as their comrade soon. It made me look forward to working with them more.

If we could help others like Ai-san, I feel like it will set my heart at ease.

There are ghosts bound in all places. If we could at least free them from their grudge, I think it was worth giving a shot.

Without noticing, I unconsciously smiled at them.

“If you feel that way about me, why in the world did you let me fall harshly? You could’ve catch me, y’know? It hurts like hell.”

They all flinched at what I said and looked away from me at the same time. They didn’t want to meet my eyes in the least.

“Pfft.” I tried to hold my laughter.


“HAHAHA! I’m just joking. But seriously, thank you. Let’s get along, everyone!”


If only this moment would last forever, I want to stay like this.



It has been a long day in school. I’m feeling tired, but I also feel hyped at the same time. I really enjoyed our tea time in the school council. I think I’ve gotten closer to everyone!

If only Mikejima-kun doesn’t hate me that gravely, we could be close even for the bare minimum as coworkers. But… haah, that’s out of question now. He hates me that much.

“Okaeri, Hikari-chan.”



“Hmm? Why do you look like you’re not expecting me here?”

“Ah… that’s…”

I can’t tell him that I’m actually surprised to see him here. Well, we barely meet each other since the two of us are always busy. Even in holidays, we can’t even spend time together.

This is strange, did he got fired?

“What do you want for dinner? Vegetables or meat? I could also make something for dessert,” Dad beamed at me.

This is bad, I don’t want to eat dinner. But it would be rude because I barely spend time with him.

“Ah, then vegetables will be fine. I don’t want desserts.”

“Vegetables it is!” he exclaimed happily.

It’s been a while since I saw him this energetic. It made me remember the old times that I nearly forgot. This is nice every once in a while.

“Alright! Time to dig in!” Dad cheerfully said as he laid all the foods in the table.


We started eating after that. Dad prepared vegetable dishes as I requested, but more than that, isn’t he going overboard with this?!

“Hikari-chan, actually, I have something important to tell you,” Dad hesitantly started a conversation.

“What is it?” I asked while chewing the vegetables that I’m eating.

“I will be transferred to work in another place again. This time, it’s overseas.”

My eyes widened to what he said and I dropped the chopsticks that I’m holding making a clacking noise as it hits the floor.

No way…

Ana Fowl