Chapter 14:


Cat's Hour ~猫の時間~

“Hime-chaaaan~”Bookmark here

“Urgh… here we go again.”Bookmark here

“Hime-chaaaaan~! Did you go here to accept my deal? Hmm?”Bookmark here

“No.”Bookmark here

“Ack. So blunt.”Bookmark here

“I just passed by to use the toilet. Leave me alone.”Bookmark here

“Hime-chaaaan!”Bookmark here

“Geh. Leave me be. I’m not going to accept your deal.”Bookmark here

We started preparing for the upcoming Sports Festival in Nekoji Academy. All of us from the Student Council have duties that we need to do for the event.Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai made a perfect plan for the event. It was fully detailed from top to bottom as if he already made the 50% of all the workload alone.Bookmark here

Seriously, he could have asked us to help him but… he didn’t, he was the kind of person to do everything on his own in order to spare us from working.Bookmark here

If I put it in my own words, Kurokawa-senpai is 50% of the student council, and the rest was divided to the remaining members.Bookmark here

In that partnership with Mashiro-senpai, I understood the working techniques of the third years. Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai was the superior who spoils his underclassmen. Bookmark here

“Are you having troubles? I’ll do it for you!”Bookmark here

Yes, like that. Not to mention that he was workaholic down to the bone, if he pulled that card to everyone, even Mashiro-senpai can’t do something but leave it to him.Bookmark here

On the other hand, Mashiro-senpai was a slave driver…Bookmark here

Since Kurokawa-senpai doesn’t need assistance with anything, I ended up working under Mashiro-senpai. Bookmark here

It was hell.Bookmark here

“Terushima, what is this typo?”Bookmark here

“Terushima, sort the documents properly.”Bookmark here

“Terushima, gather the information for this.”Bookmark here

Mashiro-senpai is a perfectionist and I was suffering because of it.Bookmark here

He doesn’t seem hostile to me, he’s not raising his voice when I made mistakes, he was still calm and collected.Bookmark here

But… every time we’re having a strategy meeting about Kurokawa-senpai’s circumstances, he was always desperate.Bookmark here

For him to lose his composure, he can’t afford to cut some corners with this one.Bookmark here

Mashiro-senpai told me that he found out about Kurokawa-senpai’s circumstances when he overheard a conversation with Irosaki-sensei by chance.Bookmark here

“Are you sure you’re not going to tell them about your condition?”Bookmark here

“No… I can’t tell them… if I do, I’ll just cause trouble to everyone. I’ll just deal with it by myself.”Bookmark here

Mashiro-senpai was frustrated by what he found out so he confronted Irosaki-sensei. It happened on my first day here when I first met him in front of the Principal’s Office and he was in a bad mood. Bookmark here

So that was it… Bookmark here

“Otsukare, Terushima-san.”Bookmark here

“Un. Be careful on your way home.” Bookmark here

I waved to the students that are leaving to go home as they waved back to me as well.Bookmark here

The classes just finished and I’m on my way to put posters of the event on the bulletin boards around the school.Bookmark here

After putting the posters on, I just need to check the suggestion box for letters, it doesn’t matter if it was complaint, we rarely got one so anything will do.Bookmark here

These past few weeks, the letter about the Ai Case is the only one we received so far. Bookmark here

If it has something to do with the popularity phenomenon, it was logical. The reason why we aren’t receiving any letters is the fact that the other students can’t recognize the student council.Bookmark here

“Hmm? There’s one today?”Bookmark here

I picked up the only letter on the suggestion box. I feel like it uses the same envelope from the one who informed us about Ai-san. Bookmark here

It might be my imagination… but, it could be that this came from the same sender as well.Bookmark here

Let’s just keep it for now and return to the office.Bookmark here

__Bookmark here

I was walking down the hallway while carrying the box with tools that I used for putting posters when I noticed someone sulking in front of a room. He was crouching on the floor and hugging his knees while emitting a depressing aura. The students that are passing by don’t seem to notice him.Bookmark here

It was Kurokawa-senpai!Bookmark here

I put the box down and hurriedly ran to him out of worry.Bookmark here

“Kurokawa-senpai! What’s wrong?! Did something happened?! Do you feel sick?!” Bookmark here

What should I do… if it was a grave situation, Mashiro-senpai won’t let me off the hook! Bookmark here

“Terushima-san…” he said in a weak voice.Bookmark here

“What is it?! If there’s something wrong, please tell me!”Bookmark here

This is bad! Bookmark here

“T-terushima-san… what should I do…? Uuu….”Bookmark here

He buried his face on his knees and soft sobs came out from him. His cat ears also popped out of nowhere. Bookmark here

C-cat ears!!Bookmark here

W-wait! Calm yourself, Hikari! This is not the time for that! Kurokawa-senpai is crying, you can’t act like a pervert now of all times!Bookmark here

But! His cat ears are drooping down!Bookmark here

Uuu… hold it in, Hikari!Bookmark here

I heaved a deep sigh to calm myself and sat beside him. This reminds me of that time when he tours me around the school. Something like this also happened before.Bookmark here

“Senpai, if it’s alright with you, can I ask what happened?” I asked him.Bookmark here

He didn’t answer for a while, all I could hear is his muffled sobs. Bookmark here

Well, what am I expecting–Bookmark here

“T-tuna… onigiri…”Bookmark here

“Eh?”Bookmark here

“I can’t buy tuna onigiri… Uuu, what should I do, Terushima-san…?”Bookmark here

That’s it?! Bookmark here

“A-ano… senpai… are you crying because you can’t get tuna onigiri from the cafeteria?” I awkwardly asked.Bookmark here

“H-hai…”Bookmark here

“Senpai, you’re the one who told me that the student council can get food in the cafeteria for free. Did you forget about it?”Bookmark here

“It’s not like that!” he raised his voice out of nowhere.Bookmark here

He lift his gaze and look at me with his eyes wet from tears. He was also biting his lip to keep himself from letting out a sob.Bookmark here

Is tuna onigiri enough to make him cry like this?Bookmark here

“It’s not like that… Terushima-san…” he repeated, now with a weak voice.Bookmark here

“What do you mean, senpai?! If I could be of any help, please tell me what I need to do!” I said to him in determination.Bookmark here

“No one can see me anymore… I was talking to the auntie in the cafeteria but she can’t notice me, I thought she was just busy so I stayed there longer but she can’t hear me… then…”Bookmark here

“Then what?”Bookmark here

“The tuna onigiri sold out. Uuuu…”Bookmark here

Is this really our student council president? It seems unbelievable.Bookmark here

Wait– what does he mean about no one can see him anymore?Bookmark here

“Senpai, what–“Bookmark here

“Ah, Terushima-san! What are you doing here? Why are you sitting on the floor? Did you drop something?”Bookmark here

A student showed up and started a conversation with me. Bookmark here

“Eh? What are you saying? I’m…”Bookmark here

I glanced at Kurokawa-senpai’s direction. Bookmark here

His eyes widened and his mouth agape as he froze for a moment when he stared at the student.Bookmark here

The others can’t see him?!Bookmark here

“Senpai…”Bookmark here

He stood quickly and walked away without saying a word. Bookmark here

“Terushima-san? Is there something wrong? It was as if you’re talking to someone but there’s no one here…”Bookmark here

So it was true, no one can see Kurokawa-senpai aside from us, the student council, anymore. Bookmark here

Damn, this took a turn for the worse.Bookmark here

“Excuse me, can you bring that box on the faculty room?”Bookmark here

“Ah… yes…”Bookmark here

“Sorry, I have to go. I’ll leave that to you, thanks!”Bookmark here

I need to catch up to Kurokawa-senpai. He’s not in a stable condition when he left just now. Bookmark here

He was shaken by the situation. Bookmark here

Considering his weak mental state, I can’t help but worry about him. Who knows what will happen to him?Bookmark here

“Senpai! Kurokawa-senpai! Where are you?!” I shouted on top of my lungs when I arrived at the forest path near the student council building.Bookmark here

This is the only place I can think off, I rarely see him around the main buildings so the most probable place he would go is the office and the dorm.Bookmark here

I turn my head to look around in hopes of finding him. Bookmark here

I was about to take out my phone to call Mashiro-senpai for help when I finally found him standing far away from my position. Bookmark here

I can only see his back. Bookmark here

It will take just a few steps closer to him.Bookmark here

And yet…Bookmark here

He seems so far away.Bookmark here

He was so close, and yet so far. Bookmark here

I haven’t noticed it before but… Kurokawa-senpai has a wall around him. Bookmark here

It was well-made that I didn’t notice it seeing as how close he was with everyone. Everything feels like a joke.Bookmark here

Looking at his back like this…Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai… was such a lonely person.Bookmark here

Is this how Mashiro-senpai felt when he overheard that conversation? Bookmark here

To me, it feels like Kurokawa-senpai doesn’t trust anyone, even the others from student council. Me aside, can’t he even ask others if he needs help?Bookmark here

It was frustrating… Bookmark here

“I want to eat tuna onigiri…” he mumbled.Bookmark here

This guy… how can he talk like that at this time?! Bookmark here

“Terushima-san, so you followed me here…”Bookmark here

“I’m worried! Of course I’ll catch up! You just left like that!”Bookmark here

“Sorry for worrying you…”Bookmark here

We are having a conversation but he didn’t even turn back to look at me. Bookmark here

“… but there’s no need for you to go to such lengths.”Bookmark here

Is that… his way of saying that it’s not my business?Bookmark here

“Senpai…”Bookmark here

“We should go back now, sorry for causing troubles. We can ask Aoi-kun or let’s make tuna onigiri ourselves. What do you think, Terushima-san?”Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai turned around and faced me. He showed a wide, bright smile. Bookmark here

He’s one tough person to crack. He might not be that popular but his conversational skills are top-notch. He can swiftly change a topic naturally.Bookmark here

It might be awkward for me to go back to that topic.Bookmark here

“Senpai… can I ask you something?”Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

“What are ‘friends’ to you?” Bookmark here

He stopped for a moment and looked up, a genuine smile spreads on his face. Bookmark here

“Friends are my treasures.”Bookmark here

His voice is full of sincerity. He really treasured them that much. Bookmark here

But why can’t he bring himself to trust them?Bookmark here

For me who doesn’t have that kind of relationship with friends, it was a subject of jealousy. Bookmark here

“Heh. How envious,” I passively commented with a chuckle.Bookmark here

“That goes for Terushima-san as well.”Bookmark here

“Eh? Me?”Bookmark here

“Un. Terushima-san is a friend right… or… am I mistaken? I-I’m sorry! I was assuming!” Bookmark here

He suddenly returned to his frantic mode. This is the Kurokawa-senpai that I know, a clumsy yet capable person. He’s a pure boy.Bookmark here

“Thank you, senpai. Then, that means I’m your friend, right?” Bookmark here

“A-ah… that’s… of course…” he timidly whispered.Bookmark here

He was starting to be uncomfortable, this doesn’t seem to be a good time to press him for more.Bookmark here

But being called a friend somehow made me happy as well. Bookmark here

“That’s why I can’t put my friends to danger just for my sake… no matter what…”Bookmark here

It was an inaudible whisper but I’m sure Kurokawa-senpai whispered something. Bookmark here

What was that?Bookmark here

__Bookmark here

“We’re back.”Bookmark here

The two of us returned to the office and I didn’t got the chance to discuss about the strange phenomenon that other people can’t see Kurokawa-senpai.Bookmark here

I was thinking of contacting Mashiro-senpai as soon as we returned but he’s nowhere to be found here.Bookmark here

Where is he when there’s something important going on?!Bookmark here

“Oh. Welcome back, kaichou.” A bored voice greeted.Bookmark here

To my surprise, it was Mikejima-kun seated on his desk and sorting papers.Bookmark here

What kind of strange wind blows that made this no-show guy work? Did he eat something strange?Bookmark here

“Tsukasa-kun! You finally showed up!” Kurokawa-senpai exclaimed in delight and walked up to Mikejima-kun’s direction.Bookmark here

“Yeah. I heard from Aoi that you’re busy preparing for the Sports Festival. I just dropped by to lend a hand or something.”Bookmark here

“Thank you!”Bookmark here

I just walked to my desk and proceeded with my work while the two is having their conversation.Bookmark here

“By the way kaichou, Aoi made tuna onigiri on the dorm. You like them, right?”Bookmark here

I stopped moving my hands when I heard that.Bookmark here

What’s that guy planning?! I can still feel hostility from him even if he doesn’t directly talk to me. Bookmark here

He’s really bad news. Bookmark here

The way he said the tuna onigiri to Kurokawa-senpai is definitely hinting at something.Bookmark here

“Uwaaah! I’ll go there now! I’ll be back!”Bookmark here

Oh my god!Bookmark here

Senpai! Don’t leave me here!Bookmark here

Ah… he went out.Bookmark here

Damn it! This damn calico intentionally made Kurokawa-senpai leave!Bookmark here

There’s no other people here aside from the two of us. He’s really planning something bad!Bookmark here

If he’s going to start a fight, I doubt that I have a chance considering the difference in physical strength. Bookmark here

Running away might be a nice idea… but his desk is closer to the door, he can easily stop me if I did something suspicious.Bookmark here

I opened a book to cover my face and stare at him inconspicuously. Bookmark here

As soon as he was sure that Kurokawa-senpai left, he stopped his work and pulled out a handheld console.Bookmark here

Eh…? This guy… he’s playing a game as soon as Kurokawa-senpai left?!Bookmark here

Is that for show?! He really doesn’t plan to help us?!Bookmark here

This damn bastard!!Bookmark here

I don’t care about it anymore! I’ll just continue my work! Hmph!Bookmark here

In the middle of working, the guy purposely played a game in full volume which made it harder for me to concentrate.Bookmark here

I could hear sounds of buttons being pressed, the background music, and voiced lines from the game. Bookmark here

Argh! Damn it! This is irritating!Bookmark here

While I was screaming inside my mind, he stood up and slammed the console on the table. It created a loud sound that made me flinch.Bookmark here

Wait! Did he destroy the console?! Is that a threat to me?!Bookmark here

I’ll pretend that I saw nothing. He might just be pissed by the game he’s playing. Definitely nothing to do with me.Bookmark here

“Oi.”Bookmark here

Eek! Is he talking to me?! Bookmark here

I’m just imagining things, right?! Bookmark here

Ignore it. Ignore it. Bookmark here

“Are you deaf?”Bookmark here

No. Endure it. Don’t mind him. Kurokawa-senpai will return…Bookmark here

Hah. How long would I have to endure?Bookmark here

“Bitch.”Bookmark here

Am I… hearing that right?Bookmark here

My brows furrowed out of reflex and I unconsciously sent a glare to his direction.Bookmark here

“What do you need, bastard? I don’t want to start a fight, but aren’t you going too far?” I snapped.Bookmark here

“Heh. So you’re showing your true colors now? Seems like you’re done playing dumb.”Bookmark here

“What the heck is wrong with you?! If you’re thinking that I’m going to let you have your way after you insult me, dream on.” Bookmark here

I slammed my hands on the table causing a few pieces of paper fall over to the floor. Bookmark here

He also glared back at me. For some reasons, I’m not scared of him, I’m pissed more than anything.Bookmark here

I never get along with this bastard and I don’t really care for shit. But to insult me in front of my face… GO TO HELL!Bookmark here

He clenched his fist tightly as he glared at me as if he wants to kill me right here and now.Bookmark here

"How shameful can you be?! Seducing Tsuki-senpai like that! What cheap tricks are you planning?! Oi! Terushima!"Bookmark here

“Hah?! What the heck are you saying?! Are you alright in the head?!”Bookmark here

“Are you still playing dumb?! What now?! After getting Tsuki-senpai, you’re going after kaichou?!”Bookmark here

“What the fuck?”Bookmark here

What in the world is he saying?! I never did those things! What kind of bullshit is he spouting?!Bookmark here

Just when I slightly got along with third years, I’m seducing them?! In what kind of cave did this bastard came from that he doesn’t have any common sense?!Bookmark here

“Not doing this to earn our favors? Hah, don’t make me laugh! You’re tainting the name of the student council with your acts!” he pointed his finger to me in conviction.Bookmark here

“Oi, oi, give me a break! I know that you don’t like me but what kind of bullshit accusations is that?!” I rebutted to him.Bookmark here

The two of us are raising our voices since earlier. No one wants to back down, I can still go on! I won’t back down from this scumbag!Bookmark here

“Do you think I’m going to confront you with baseless accusations? Terushima, I told the others that I didn’t make you quit the student council before but I remember warning you not to get close, right? I should’ve dealt with you earlier.” He lowered his voice in a threatening manner, emphasizing each and every word.Bookmark here

“Is that a threat?”Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“I won’t back down just because of that. I’m not guilty of anything so I have nothing to be afraid of.” I gave him a firm look of determination.Bookmark here

“Not guilty?! You really won’t admit it, you act all innocent while you’re actually a snake, seducing the third years, am I right?! What would you do after that? Have the two of them fighting?”Bookmark here

“Annoying.”Bookmark here

This is tiresome. I can’t stand reasoning with this stupid bastard.Bookmark here

“How dare you?!”Bookmark here

“You’ve been throwing these accusations on me but where is your evidence? Do you even have proof? Just so you know, I’m not compromising my work, not like a certain someone who doesn’t show his face,” I said in a serious tone. “Whether it was the student council or the class you’re in, you’re ditching just because you don’t like me? My, I didn’t know that you’re such a coward.”Bookmark here

His expression falter for a second and he was slightly taken aback by what I said.Bookmark here

I think I went overboard… nah, he started it. He reaps what he sow.Bookmark here

He regained his composure after that.Bookmark here

“What are you doing on the back of dorm that time? Surely, you remember that much, right?” he confidently said.Bookmark here

Eh…? He’s talking about that time?Bookmark here

He was watching?! Bookmark here

“Hoh. Why did you fell silent? Did I hit the bull’s-eye?” Bookmark here

I nonchalantly squinted my eyes at him as if saying that it was an idiotic point. Bookmark here

It was idiotic but… in outsider’s perspective…Bookmark here

Damn it! It really looks like how Mikejima-kun thought! Bookmark here

This is a freaking misunderstanding! Bookmark here

“Oi, calico, stop this idiocy,” I tiredly said.Bookmark here

“Wha–!”Bookmark here

“If you have questions, ask Mashiro-senpai. I can’t humor you, maybe the two of you can understand each other.”Bookmark here

I sighed in disappointment and walked around to pick up the fallen papers. This is a useless chat.Bookmark here

He still stood in his place and doesn’t have any intention to back down. He was really determined to convict me.Bookmark here

Haah… so stupid.Bookmark here

“That… with kaichou…”Bookmark here

“Knock it off. Are you really that determined to accuse me? We just happened to run into each other on the way here.”Bookmark here

Except that Kurokawa-senpai has something going on.Bookmark here

He bit his lips in frustration and furrowed his brows at me.Bookmark here

“If something happened to kaichou, I won’t let you off! I will kick you myself even if Tsuki-senpai will get in the way!”Bookmark here

“Sure,” I simply said. “Though, I’m not sure about that.”Bookmark here

Mashiro-senpai might kick me himself if I can’t fulfill my end of deal. Un, I can already see it happening.Bookmark here

He just looked down in frustration, he doesn’t say anything.Bookmark here

I returned to my seat silently.Bookmark here

That was such a heated exchange, I thought I could finally land a slap on his face, good thing I didn’t do it.Bookmark here

Good job holding back, Hikari!Bookmark here

However, he still has that look of dissatisfaction in his face. What the heck? Not going down on reasonable discourse?Bookmark here

Want a taste of slap?Bookmark here

Wait…Bookmark here

That’s not it…Bookmark here

The cat ears twitched…Bookmark here

His face is turning pale, his hands are shaking…Bookmark here

And he was gasping for air.Bookmark here

“Oi!”Bookmark here

Not long after that, he fell on his knees and covered his mouth with his right hand while catching his breath.Bookmark here

“Mikejima-kun! Are you okay?!”Bookmark here

I called out to him and was about to approach him when he raised his voice to me.Bookmark here

“DON’T GO NEAR ME!”Bookmark here

I took a step back.Bookmark here

“Haa… haa… urgh…”Bookmark here

These symptoms… a panic attack?!Bookmark here

Crap! What should I do?! I definitely caused this! As if I know that he will have a panic attack!Bookmark here

“Stay there, I’ll call for help!”Bookmark here

I don’t know what to do! Bookmark here

I don’t like him but there’s no way I could just leave him there! It was an emergency!Bookmark here

I ran outside. Bookmark here

I’ll go to the dorm, I might run into Kurokawa-senpai if I go there. I’ll ask someone for help!Bookmark here

Please… anyone! I’m begging you! Please help Mikejima-kun!Bookmark here

“Terushima-senpai? Why are you in a rush? Did you run here?” Bookmark here

Haibara-kun! Bookmark here

“Terushima-san, are you okay? You’re out of breath, is something the matter?”Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai!Bookmark here

“Haah… haah… please help! Mikejima-kun! He… he… panic attack…” I tried to speak between a series of pants.Bookmark here

I don’t know if they understand what I said given that I was also running out breath.Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai’s hands slipped. The plate with onigiri that he’s carrying fell to the floor as it shattered into pieces.Bookmark here

He grabbed my shoulders and worriedly asked me, “Terushima-san! Did you touch Tsukasa-kun?”Bookmark here

Touch?Bookmark here

“N-no… I didn’t. We just have an argument but I didn’t touch him.”Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai turned to Haibara-kun and quickly commanded, “Aoi-kun, go where Tsukasa-kun is! Call Tsuki-kun and Asahi-kun as well!”Bookmark here

“Hai, kaichou!”Bookmark here

Haibara-kun quickly left us there.Bookmark here

“Terushima-san, please don’t go near Tsukasa-kun for a while,” Kurokawa-senpai seriously said to me.Bookmark here

“As I thought, it was my fault, right?!” I blurted out.Bookmark here

“No, Terushima-san is not at fault! It’s just that… Tsukasa-kun has fear of women…”Bookmark here

Kurokawa-senpai looks away from me.Bookmark here

“Sorry, I have to go now. I’ll explain the details later.”Bookmark here

Eh…?Bookmark here

Mikejima-kun has…Bookmark here

Fear of women?Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.