I stood in front of the art room door, reluctant to open it.
"Is everything okay? You look a little uneasy." Akari asked.
"N-no... It's fine. I'm just trying to prepare myself mentally." I said.
I took a deep breath and slowly opened the door. There were about a dozen kids quietly painting on their easels. None of them in particular really paid attention to me entering the room... Except for one.
A certain girl suddenly appeared in front of me as if she manifested out of thin air.
"Hako-senpai! What brings you here!?"
"Hey, Kanna-chan... I actually came to talk with you about something. Do you have a mo-?"
She grabbed me by the hand and pulled me out to the hallway before I could even finish. Her face had an excited smile.
"So, what did you want to talk about, senpai!?"
Her eyes had an obsessed look in them as she stared intensely at me.
"Well... You know how I'm running for student council president?"
"Of course! I'll be the first in line to vote for you."
"That's great... So I was wondering..."
"Can you help me get the art club's endorsement?"
Her face looked disappointed.
"Well...It's not that I don't want to help you, senpai, but I sort of thought you were finally going to confess your love to me and sweep me off my feet."
"Oh... Sorry to disappoint you..."
"No it's fine... By the way, who is this girl standing next to you?"
She shot Akari a dirty look.
"This is my campaign manager Tachi Akari... Akari, this is Kishi Kanna, a freshman member of the art club-."
"And Hako-senpai's future wife." She added.
Akari looked at me and Snickered.
"Future wife, huh."
Kanna continued glaring at Akari.
"You're not in a relationship with senpai, are you?"
Akari smiled a Kanna.
"Hako and I are just friends."
"Are you sure?" Kanna said, suspiciously.
"Yes, you have nothing to worry about."
Kanna's tone still had a hint of suspicion in it.
"If senpai was dating someone, I don't know what I would do. There's no way I'd be able to just sit by and let that happen."
I sort of got the feeling that was meant to be a thinly veiled threat towards Akari.
"So... Is there anything the art club needs or wants?" I asked.
Kanna thought for a moment.
"Not really the current student council gives us pretty much everything we need."
"Oh... Well, is there anything that you want personally."
I didn't want to have to resort to bribery, but I didn't really have a choice. I needed this endorsement or there's no way this campaign will turn around.
"Hmmm, you're saying you'll grant me anything, if I can get the art club to endorse you?"
"It has to be something somewhat in reason, but yeah."
She had a big smile on her face.
"I'll get you the art club's endorsement, but in exchange you have to go on a date with me this weekend!"
"I'm not sure-"
Akari talked over me.
"Kuro would love to. He doesn't work until late on Saturday, so he's free that entire day."
"I... uh... guess so. Do you think you can actually get your club to support me."
"Oh that's no problem at all... I have ways of making my club see things my way."
She had a devious look on her face. In all honesty, I was a little scared of what she was going to do and I didn't really want to ask.
"Thank you Kanna-chan. You're a real lifesaver... Oh... I guess I should give you my phone number so we can figure out where we're going to meet Saturday... Preferably in public.
"No need, senpai, I already have it."
"Who did you get it from?"
"Actually I didn't get it from anyone. I bought your info off the dark web. I hope you don't mind."
"Uh... Alright... I'll see you Saturday... I guess."
I quickly ended our conversation and left with Akari. We went just down the hall.
"I don't know if I can do this date thing. Between you and me, I know she means we'll, but she creeps me out and she's a stalker." I said.
"It's just one date. What's the worst that can happen? Besides, you need all the support you can get if you want to win."
"I guess you're right."
Red suddenly appeared out of nowhere after being who knows where all day. He was standing outside the men's bathroom.
"I need to talk to you."
He was waving me into the empty bathroom.
"Go on without me, I need to use the bathroom." I said to Akari.
"Alright, don't fall in though."
"Where the heck have you been all day?" I said.
Red was standing on the bathroom sink.
"I decided to just sit back and observe for a bit."
"Yeah well while you did that, Akari pretty much did your job for you."
"I have to admit the redheaded girl's a pretty good advisor, but she's not a devil... Anyways, I need you to look at this. Looks like you made the front page."
He held out a copy of the latest issue of the school paper.
"That isn't exactly a good headline." I said.
It read: "Puke Boy Bombs Debate".
"That's not the worst part. Look at the poll on the next page."
I flipped to the next page...
"...how is it even possible to be polling a negative percentage!? According to this, Sato has 103% support and I'm at -3%."
"I'm not sure how they figured that math out, but you need to get over your stage fright before the final debate. You're going to have to come out in full force if you want to redeem yourself."
"Easier said than done."
"Don't you worry, I have a fool proof plan. We're going to go back to an old school political method."
"And what's that?"
"I don't get what you mean."
"It's simple, you're literally going to stand in the school's courtyard on a soapbox and talk with students about your campaign."
"Do you really think that will work?"
"It has to. The only way you can get more comfortable with speaking in front of people is for you to actually do it."
"I guess you're right. Where am I supposed to get a soapbox though?"
"Don't sweat the details. I'll handle that. Just make sure you're in the courtyard tomorrow as soon as class lets out."