Chapter 16:

Frozen Misconception

Couple That Can't Touch

Miku, Makoto, and I chatted for a few more minutes before eating. Miku and Makoto then returned to their office and gave me a lift to go work at Mom's bakery, which was usual for Sundays. Though I arrived later than usual because of the hunt.

The rest of the afternoon went by and I got back home with my ankle still aching a bit, so I rested for the evening, teaching Yu-tan about shapes and colors.

Next morning, at school, flew by and it was almost break time when the principal spoke through the speakers.

"All teachers currently in class, please begin the class president election and make sure to finish before the break. Thank you."

No one held back and everyone started talking with each other about the election. Although interrupting Tokugawa-sensei's class never was a good idea, they were very excited.

Even Rem didn't care about interrupting him.

"Su-chan, will you nominate yourself?" she asked, turning around in the seat in front of me.

"I'm not that popular," I replied. "What about you?"

"Sounds like too much work."

"It does," I giggled.

"It's true only Rem and I voted for you the last two years, but now you have the power of gossip!" Hisa added, sitting on my left.

"Power of gossip? What are you talking about?" I asked, puzzled.

Hisa nodded. "Everyone has been gossiping around about you and Araki-san."

"Really? Did someone spy on us at the infirmary?"

"I don't think so," Rem answered. "You walked between everyone while he was holding you quite closely, so spying wasn't necessary."

And that's more important than getting first place in the grade? I wondered.

"Oh, that reminds me…"

I stared at Hisa with a murderous grin, the same one I'd learned from them after seeing it dozens of times.

"Our murderous grin won't work on ourselves," Hisa chuckled trying to make me stop, but I kept doing it.

"S-Seriously, it won't work. Stop it. It's actually funny…," she requested, looking quite uncomfortable.

A taste of her own medicine, I thought.

"Oh, people have also been talking about a love triangle with Narumi," Rem said.

"Wait, what?"

A couple of dry knocks made everyone stop talking and turn to face the front of the classroom.

"Silence," Tokugawa-sensei shouted with his deep voice that echoed through the room. Not even a second later, there was no noise at all.

He sighed and continued, "You know the procedure, so let's get over with this. It's been two weeks since your third year started, which means that the mandatory waiting is over. This mandatory wait is essential for us, teachers, and you, students, to get to know each other—though you've already spent two years together—because being the class president and vice president is blah, blah, blah… Let's get directly to the point; who wants to nominate themselves?"

Contrary to previous years, no one dared to raise their hand except for someone, a very well-known someone.

"I do, Tokugawa-sensei," Tsuga-san said and stood up. Murmurs began to spread around the classroom in a snap.

Again? It's actually admirable he still wants to have all that burden, I thought.

"You want to be class president again, Tsuga-kun. Commendable," Tokugawa-sensei said.

"Thank you," Tsuga-san bowed.

"Very well," Tokugawa-sensei said and grabbed a piece of chalk to write Tsuga-san's name down on the blackboard. "Anyone else?"

A few more people nominated themselves or were nominated by their friends, some seriously and other ones as a joke. However, the voting was held and Tsuga-san won by an overwhelming majority. I also voted for him; why change him if he did a great job?

"Splendid, that was quick," Tokugawa-sensei said. "With this, Tsuga Hisaki is elected as the class B president for the third year in a row."

The class clapped. Even though the majority of people seemed happy about it, others didn't like it that much, probably because they lost again.

"Now, who wants to be vice president and work along Tsuga-kun?" Tokugawa-sensei questioned.

A few girls raised their hands instantly, but Tsuga-san ignored them and asked, "Tokugawa-sensei, may I suggest someone that I think is perfect for the job?"

He stared at him for a second before answering, "Go ahead."

"Thank you very much, I won't disappoint you," Tsuga-san added as he snapped his head towards me.

Oh no, I thought.

"I want to nominate Kozue Suzuka-san as our vice president!" he shouted.

My chest sunk the moment I heard my name. The class remained silent and stared at me for an eternity before murmuring around.

Why me?! I screamed in my head.

"Why her, Tsuga-kun?" Tokugawa-sensei asked.

Not hesitating at all, he answered, "Because she's charismatic, responsible, gets along with everybody, and got the first place of the grade last year."

"Ohh," everyone uttered in surprise as they stared at me once again. I could especially feel the piercing gazes of the girls.

"Those are nice characteristics for a leader indeed," Tokugawa-sensei added. "Kozue-san, do you want to be class vice president?"

My heart beat as fast as if I was competing, maybe even faster.

I didn't know what to do. As much as I wanted to be class president, having the opportunity was unexpectedly overwhelming, even though it only was for vice president. It wasn't comparable to the overwhelming excitement of competing.

Maybe it isn't for me, I told myself. I should refuse.


"Psst, say yes!" Hisa whispered at me, covering her mouth with her hand.

"You've always wanted this! And you're the best choice!" Rem whispered, too.

I saw Kawahara sitting all the way in front of the row behind Rem and even she nodded when I looked at her.

I sighed as I thought, I can't believe I'm doing this…

"Yes, I want to be class vice president," I replied.

"Very well," Tokugawa-sensei said. "Does anyone have any complaints about Kozue-san or want to nominate themselves?"

The room remained silent; who would oppose Tsuga-san's suggestion?

"Splendid, that was nice and quick," Tokugawa-sensei added. "It's been settled; Tsuga Hisaki and Kozue Suzuka will be class B's president and vice president for the third and last year."

Everyone clapped again—except for half of the girls.

The bell for the break rang, but before anyone could leave, Tokugawa-sensei announced, "Remember that club activities will resume today after class; prepare accordingly."

He left the classroom and Hisa and Rem ran out too. They waved at me to follow them to discuss their plan; Operation Rollercoaster.

After chatting with them—and not telling them about my promise to Yu-tan—I headed with determination to the garden where Araki-kun and Kawahara were chatting.

However, I didn't expect Narumi to be with them when I arrived. I quickly hid the ticket behind me but, before greeting them, I heard something unexpected.

"I don't, but I suggest meeting after class," Araki-kun said.

"Good idea! When and where should we go?" Narumi asked.

"H-Hi!" I forcibly smiled.

What were they talking about?! I asked myself.

"K-Kozue," Araki-kun greeted me… stuttering?

"I heard you're going somewhere."

He nodded. "Kawahara-san and I decided not to talk about body-swapping in public, so we need a new place to meet while we wait for the laboratory to be safe, preferable after class."

"Oh, so it was that," I replied with relief.

"What did you think it was, Suzuka-chan?" Narumi smirked.

"That's none of your business, Sae-chin," I smirked back.

Who does she think she is? I thought as we smiled at each other, fighting with our gazes.

"Do you have any place in mind, Kozue?" Araki-kun asked.

I looked away from Narumi and thought for a second before answering, "What about the park we went to together last time?"

"Oh, good idea—"

"You went to a park together?!" Narumi yelled.

"Good afternoon, everyone," Tsuga-san greeted us. "Did I hear that both of you went to a park together? That's cool!"

Araki-kun, Kawahara, and Narumi stared at him quite intensely.

"Ah, sorry if I meddled! I'll go now," he apologized worriedly and began to walk away.

"It's okay, you didn't!" I said and grabbed his arm to stop him.

"Seriously? I'm glad to hear that," he smiled.

Everyone now was staring at me, for some reason.

"I was actually passing by and saw you," Tsuga-san added.

Narumi coughed exaggeratedly multiple times. "We're also here," she said between coughs.

"Oh, I didn't see you there, Narumi."

Narumi frowned for a second before naturally switching to an amiable smile. "Should I remind you of the recording?"

Tsuga-san's smile twitched, but he ignored her. "Anyway, Kozue-san, would you mind studying with someone as dumb as me again? Having the year's first-place by my side helped a lot."

About to reply, Araki-kun interrupted me and asked," Wait. Kozue, you're first place?"

"I was last year," I replied. "You didn't know?"

"I didn't."

"Then why did you think I gave a speech at the opening ceremony?"


"You didn't know or you didn't expect it?" Tsuga-san asked Araki-kun.

"I didn't know because my previous school was different," he answered quite harshly. "They would choose the student with the most influential family in the school, also known as the family with the most money."

"Oh, that's good to hear!" Tsuga-san smiled. "So, will you help me, Kozue-san?"

"Sure, I can help you," I replied.

"Great! Shall we go now?"

"What? Now?"

"Is there a problem?"


I glanced at Araki-kun and Kawahara, who looked at me with a somewhat discontented expression, so I knew what I had to do.

"Why don't we all study together? It'll be fun and we'll learn more!" I smiled.

Araki-kun instantly smirked—which was a rare thing to see—but Tsuga-san stayed silent for a moment.

"You're right, it'll be quite fun!" he smiled.

"Awesome! Let's go get our stuff," I told everyone, excited.

We headed to our neighboring classrooms together and a lot of people murmured among themselves as they walked past. I couldn't hear what they were talking about.

Araki-kun and Narumi stepped into theirs together while Kawahara, Tsuga-san, and I stepped into ours.

We gathered our stuff and headed back downstairs. We all arrived at the library on the first floor at about the same time.

Tsuga-san walked ahead and opened the door for us. "Ladies first."

"Thanks," I smiled and entered first, followed by Kawahara and Narumi, who didn't say anything.

There was only one table big enough to fit the five of us, hidden behind bookshelves. However, I didn't expect to see Tarō sitting at it.

"Tarō, I didn't know you studied here," I said, surprised.

He jumped in his chair and instantly put something inside his backpack on the floor.

"S-Suzuka-san, Kawahara-senpai, Narumi-san, Araki Koji-san, Tsuga-san! You're all here," he grinned, agitated.

"We're going to study together," Kawahara replied. "Do you want to join?"

His eyes sparkled. "O-Of course!"

Everyone stared at the table and glanced at each other, unwilling to be the first to sit down. Except for Kawahara, who didn't care and sat beside Tarō. My suspicions of them liking each other kept getting stronger and stronger.

Only four more chairs were available; two opposite Kawahara and Tarō and another two at the opposite ends of the table.

No one seemed to want to sit first, so I decided to sit opposite Kawahara and Tarō. I took a step towards the chair but Araki-kun also walked towards the same chair, almost bumping into me. We glanced at each other and sat down next to each other.

Tsuga-san and Narumi had no other choice but to sit at the opposite ends.

We took our books out of our backpacks and put them on the table. Everyone stared down at them and skimmed through the pages.

Why is no one saying anything? I wondered.

As I was about to offer my help, Araki-kun asked, "Does anyone have any problems with a specific subject?"

The entire library remained silent.

"I'm struggling with some physics questions," Tarō said.

"I can help you," Kawahara replied.

"Oh, thanks!"

"What a coincidence, I'm struggling with them too," Araki-kun added.

"I can help you!" Narumi shouted.

My blood boiled hot.

"Well, physics are easy once you understand them," Tsuga-san said.

"Anything is easy when you understand it," Araki-kun replied. "Smartass," he muttered under his breath.

I couldn't help but chuckle.

"Did you say something?" Tsuga-san asked.

"No," Araki-kun answered and changed the topic. "What if we gather all our questions and solve them together?"

"That's a nice idea! Let's do it," I replied.

"By the way, Suzuka-san," Tarō interrupted. "Are you and Araki Koji-kun dating?"

Araki-kun and I froze in place as I stopped breathing. My face started burning when my brain finally processed his question.

"W-What are you asking, Tarō?!" I stuttered, blushing. "We just met one week ago, it isn't good to start dating that fast."

"She's right," Araki-kun added. His cheeks were a bit pink.

"I guess that's true," Tarō giggled, scratching his head, while everyone else stared at us suspiciously.

We convinced Tarō but not anyone else! I shouted in my head. We need to change the topic!

I laughed nervously while reaching for a pen on the table with my left hand, but I felt something warm. I looked down at it and saw Araki-kun's right hand under mine reaching for the same pen.

Oh no.

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