Chapter 11:

Campaign Team

Pandora's Box

School had let out for the afternoon. Ryo and I were waiting by the front gate of the school.

"You really think this dude you work with can fix our issues, bro."

"Just so you know she's not a dude and either way, an extra hand couldn't hurt."

"Woah, wait a second! Did you say 'SHE', as in a female!?"

Ryo's interest seemed to peak at this information.

"I'm pretty sure I mentioned that earlier."

"This is the first I remember hearing about this. What's this girl like? Is she hot?"

"She's really cool and perceptive... And I'll admit in terms of attractiveness, she's pretty high on the scale."

"Aw, look at you flattering me already, Kuro." Akari said, as she walked through the school's gate.

My face turned a little red out of embarrassment. She had heard everything I just said about her.

"Oh, h-hey Akari." I said.

Ryo's face lit up.

"Don't just stand there bro, introduce me."

"Ryo, this is Tachi Akari, my coworker and as of Saturday, my campaign manager. Akari, this is my best friend and promotional manager, Ota Ryo."

"Nice to meet you, Ota-san." Akari said.

"Wait a second here! You two are on a first name basis with each other. What exactly is your relationship? Did you get a girlfriend and not tell me dude?"

"No we're ju-"

Akari laughed and interrupted me.

"Kuro's my fake boyfriend."

Ryo got a confused look on his face.

"What the heck does that even mean?"

I chimed in,

"Akari is tired of getting asked out all the time. In exchange for helping me, I agreed to pretend to be her boyfriend, so she doesn't have to deal with the guys at her school for a while."

"So that means Akari is sing-!"

Akari cut Ryo off before he could finish speaking.

"Yes and no offense, but I know within the next sentence you're going to try and make a pass at me. I'm just going to let you down easy now. It's a no."

Ryo laughed.

"Wow! You're right, that's exactly what I was about to do... She's good, Kuro. I think she'll make a fine addition to our team."

"Oh that reminds me..."

She pulled out her phone.

"I need you to take a selfie with me in front of your school for our little act."

She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me beside her.


"Don't be so shy. We need this to look legit."

She wrapped her arms around me and hugged me. My face turned beet red.


"I think that looks pretty good. What do you think?"

She showed me her phone. I have to admit it was a pretty convincing.

"I'm so jealous right now. Darn it, I wish that was me. I swear you went from #pukeboy to giga Chad in front of my very eyes!" Ryo said.

*Whisper* *Whisper*

There was a group of girls standing nearby. They were pointing in our direction and muttering amongst themselves. I'd imagine they probably just witnessed Akari hugging me.

"Let's go inside. We'll show you around the campus." I said to Akari.

I quickly hurried her and Ryo into the school in order to hopefully avoid any unwanted attention...

Unfortunately that wasn't going to happen. As we walked through the halls, students' heads turned and their attention was directed towards Akari.

She stuck out like a sore thumb. Her school uniform differed a fair amount from the white dress shirts and khaki colored skirts the girls at our school wore. Her's consisted of a dark blue blazer and a gray skirt. On top of that, her attractive appearance would make it hard for anyone not to notice her.

"Ha, who knew a girl from another school would draw so many gazes." Akari said with an amused smile.

"We can go to our campaign room if you're getting uncomfortable."

"Who said I was uncomfortable? We should probably get to work though. There's a lot we have to discuss and plan out still."


"I thought you said we were going to your campaign room? Are we picking up copies or something?" Akari asked.

"No, this is it." I said.

"...Isn't it a bit small?"

"This is all the school had available and since it was just me at the start it wasn't that big of a deal."

The room was probably only about ten square feet and a fair amount of that was taken up by the copy machine and a table. It wasn't too bad when it was just Ryo and Me, but with three people it's pretty cramped and not to mention there were only two chairs.

"I guess this'll be fine, but I at least call one of the chairs." Akari said.


The room's door opened.

"Good afternoon Team Kuro!" Mei said, while entering the room.

"Who the heck invited you, Mei?" Ryo said, irritated by the sight of her.

"Tch, this doesn't involve you... I heard a rumor that Kuro-kun was showing a girl from another school around. As vice president of the student council I felt it was my duty to come and introduce myself."

That was rich, she's never once done much of anything as vice president. I bet the only reason she came here was because she was nosey about Akari.

"If you could make this quick, we have a lot to do today." I said, trying to get her to leave.

Mei walked over to Akari and grabbed her hand in a friendly manner. She put on a cutesy smile.

"Oh my goodness! You are so pretty. My name is Yoshino Mei. I'm the student council vice president and Kuro-kun's neighbor."

Akari smiled back.

"My name's Tachi Akari. I go to Maru Academy just on the other side of town. Kuro's actually mentioned you to me before."

"Oh really... How do you and Kuro know each other?"

"The two of us have been working the same shift together at 11/7 for a little over a year now."

"Huh, I had no idea he even had any other female friends. Kuro and I are basically like siblings, but lately it seems like he's an entirely different person." She said, in a passive aggressive tone.

Mei was full of it. On the outside, she had her typical nice girl act going, but I know deep down she's probably cursing Akari. She's always gotten incredibly jealous of other girls who get more attention than her. At the beginning of last year she even despised Sato and Sakai until she got to know them.

In all honesty, it was something I always just kind of overlooked growing up, but recently I just realized how ugly of a person she is on the inside. Ryo was right about her all along. On the outside she's cute, but deep inside she's a petty narcissistic sociopath.

"To be honest Kuro-kun, I thought your campaign was over after last week's puke incident. We were even prepared to kick out Suko-kun, so you could have your old position back. But it looks like you're not giving up. You even recruited more help."

Mei was really getting under my skin, but I maintained a calm composure.

"I can assure you Mei-chan, I'm never coming back to my old position. I fully intend to defeat President Sato."

Ryo chimed in,

"Yeah Kuro's not a simp anymore. Your female mind tricks have no effect on him."

She refused to even acknowledge him.

*Bzzz* *Bzzz*

She looked at her phone.

"Oops I have to get going. I'm meeting some friends for Karaoke. It was nice meeting you Akari. I'm sure at some point Shiina-chan will want to meet you. Bye bye everyone."

She finally left.

"Well she was... Uh... Nice... I guess." Akari said.

I get the feeling she was able to see through Mei's little act.

"Well now that that interruption is over, what should we do now?" I asked

"Well, what was your guys' approach before?"

"I've been flooding the halls with flyers." Ryo said.

"And I spent last week preparing for the debate..."

"Hmm... have you tried lobbying any of the clubs at this school?" she asked

"Lobbying?" I said.

"Yeah, like maybe a club needs something in particular, you can agree to give it to them in exchange for their endorsement."

"That's a really good idea, but the issue is pretty much everyone at this school hates me now."

"There's nobody who would be willing to at least hear you out?"

I thought for a moment.

"Well... There might be one…"