Chapter 15:

Ryo's Wager

Pandora's Box


"We did it guys!" I said, throwing the school paper onto the table.

"Bro, how the heck did you manage to get an endorsement from the art club!?" Ryo asked, incredibly excited.

"I guess I have Akari to thank for that."

Akari laughed.

"All I did was give you a gentle nudge. You're the one who did everything else."

She smiled mischievously.

"By the way, how did your little date with that Kanna girl go? I was going to grill you about it at work, but you called in that day."

"Oh that... It was... different, I guess."

I really wasn't sure how else to describe it.

"Hmmm. What's that supposed to mean? Now I'm even more curious." She said, with a smirk.

Ryo obnoxiously shook me around as he spoke,

"Obviously our guy Kuro probably rizzed the heck out of that girl. I swear everyday he becomes more and more of an alpha chad."

"I got the endorsement and that's all that matters. Let's not worry too much about the details."

"Aw, that's no fun." Akari sighed, unable to get any more out of me.

"Anyways, take a look at this. I'm at 15% support in the polls!" I said pointing at the next page of the newspaper.

"As your campaign manager, I think I deserve some praise." Akari said, looking proud.

"Of course, there's no way we could have made it this far without you."

"Don't forget about your loyal devil. I think I should get just as much credit, if not more."

Red randomly showed up, seeming a little jealous he wasn't being acknowledged.

Of course I couldn't say anything to him now without looking insane in front of everyone, so I just turned my palm up in agreement.

"I don't know if words are enough, Kuro. There aren't many boys who can say they have a cute girl like me as their campaign manager. I think I deserve a head pat."

Akari tilted her head forward. My face turned a little red as I hesitantly put out my hand.

*Pat* *Pat*

I had to admit her hair was pretty soft and shiny.

"What was that?" She asked.

"What do you mean?"

"That was pretty weak."

She reached out and started running her hand through my hair as she patted my head.

"That's how it's supposed to be done."

She laughed.


I was so flustered, I couldn't really get anything out.

"Dang, I wish that were me!" Ryo said.

Suddenly our little celebration was interrupted by an unwanted guest

"Excuthe me, I have a notithe to deliver from Prethident Thato."

It was that lispy kid the student council replaced me with.

"Let me see that." I said, snatching the piece of paper he was holding from his hands.

I looked it over.

"Are you kidding me!"

"What is Kuro?" Ryo asked.

"Apparently we aren't going to be allowed to use this room anymore."

"What the heck, dude!"

Ryo went over to Thuko (or whatever the heck his name is) and grabbed him by the back of the neck.

"I think we should have a little word with Sato about this. What do you guys think."

Akari and I looked at each, she nodded at me. I huffed,

"Let's go talk to her... again."



Ryo flung the door of the student council room open.

"Who do you think you are sending your little lackey to do your dirty work!"

"Good afternoon, Ota-san. If you could, please be gentler when opening our door in the future, I wouldn't want it to break." Sato said, knowing exactly how to push Ryo's buttons.

"Thorry Maam, they wouldn't lithen to me."

"That's alright Suko-san. You did a fine job."

"Why the heck are we getting kicked out of the copy room?" I said, walking in behind Ryo.

"Good afternoon to you too, Hako-san. I do understand your frustration, I myself was actually quite torn in making this decision. Unfortunately though, as president I have to do what is in the best interest of this school's students."

"And what exactly does using the copy room have to do with any of that?"

"You see, If it was just you and Ota-san using the room, there would be no issue at all. The problem is the school funds its facilities for use by students and from what I'm aware you've been receiving help from a student from another school."

"Are you trying to tell me Akari can't help us?"

"Oh no, of course not. It's just we can't have her using this school's facilities."

"That's B.S.!" Ryo exclaimed.

Akari put her hand on Ryo's shoulder.

"It's alright guys. We can always just meet up outside of school."

I shook my head.

"No, we can't just back down like this. This is about principal."

Sato suddenly locked in on Akari.

"Long time no see Tachi-san."

Akari looked confused.

"Do I know you?"

Sato smirked.

"You don't remember? We competed against each other in a local youth chess tournament ten years ago."

"I'm sorry, I don't really remember that. I've been to so many chess tournaments over the years. Also I was six years old at that time, so..."

"Oh really? I remember that day quite vividly. We both went against each other in the finals and despite me putting in everything I had, you beat me within only a few moves."

"Uh... Sorry...I guess."

"Oh no, please don't be. I'll have you know that was the only time I've ever lost at anything. I believe that's what's driven me where I am today. Maybe it's fate that we are meeting again today."

I sensed a little malice in her voice. Something tells me that single loss has really been eating at her the past ten years. I never realized it before, but this chick is absolutely psychotic.

"I never knew you played chess, Akari." I said.

"Yeah, it's kind of just something my parents got me into when I was young. I wouldn't say it's that big a deal."

"You're just being humble. You're the national girl's chess champion. I'd go as far as calling you a prodigy." Sato said.

Ryo started to burst out laughing.

"That's hilarious! Akari is the only person who's ever beaten miss perfect."

Sato winced a bit as he said that, as if it really irritated her.

Suddenly Sakai entered the room.

"What the heck are you two morons doing here?" She said, referring to Ryo and me.

"Ha, knowing Akari, I bet she could even beat Sakai in tennis." Ryo continued to brag.

"What are you talking about? Who's Akari?" Sakai asked.

"That would be me." Akari said, raising her hand momentarily.

"Oh, I'm guessing you're a friend of Hako-san's or something... not that I'm jealous that he has female friends or anything." She said with her tsundere instincts kicking in.

Sato got a devilish grin.

"You know Ota-san, I think you brought up an interesting proposal. What if we had a little doubles tennis match between Tachi-san and Hako-san against Sakai and one other student council member? If you guys can manage to win, I'll even look the other way regarding the copy room situation."

"I don't thi-"

Ryo cut me off.

"It's a deal!"

"Woah wait a second, I didn't agree to this." Sakai said.

Sato just ignored her and continued,

"Excellent, we'll meet up after school tomorrow at the tennis courts... I'm really looking forward to seeing how Tachi-san does."

In her delusional mind, I think she saw this as an opportunity to get back at Akari for beating her at chess... when they were six.

N.J. Ecalus
Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64