As soon as he opened the entrance, Haruaki found himself buried in a maid.
"Hiya—! I never expected this day to finally arrive! Thank you for your hospitality today, please treat me well—!"
Naturally, Haruaki was not being buried in a swarm of maids like a tidal wave. He was simply being wedged within a certain body part of the maid who was hugging him. Only after pausing for a few seconds did Haruaki realize how dangerous his current position was.
"Uwoah? W-Welcome... Sovereignty, I understand how happy you are, but first, please let go...!"
Haruaki frantically tried to struggle free but Sovereignty held him even tighter, preventing his escape no matter what. Just at that moment, beneath the dim illumination of the entryway's light, Haruaki saw a girl's face surface vaguely. With facial features as exquisite as an elegant piece of artwork, her beautiful face was smiling in a most terrifying manner.
"—Thank you for your hospitality, human. Please accept my humble souvenir."
A stone, massive enough to be used as a weight for a pickle press, descended upon Haruaki's instep. Haruaki would have hopped all over the place in pain, but that was made impossible by a maid's firm embrace. Glaring resentfully at the girl—Shiraho—he shouted:
"What the heck kind of souvenir is this!?"
"A stone, originating from the entrance of a foolish human's house. It possesses numerous functions such as producing screams from a human whose very sight displeases me. Is one not enough? In that case, I can instantly prepare a second one."
"I refuse from the bottom of my heart!"
"A mere human, yet you dare refuse my souvenir, how utterly impudent... Anyway, Sovereignty, hurry and leave him. Otherwise, you will be tainted."
Saying that, Shiraho pulled Sovereignty away by force. Only then did the maid finally calm down.
"Ah... Ehehe, sorry, Haruaki-kun. I'm in really great spirits because it's been so long since I came over to your house to play."
"Speaking of which, you only came by once before, right? That's quite surprising, actually."
"Hmph, I'm not here for fun, Sovereignty. Even if I were going out for fun, I wouldn't want to come to a place like this. I really can't stand that man..."
Muttering to herself, Shiraho was completely right. Sovereignty aside, Shiraho certainly did not come to play. Instead, she was here in order to handle a great event that was looming ahead in a few days. As soon as Haruaki was reminded of that event, he was unable to relax.
"Please enter. Those girls are ready... By the way, what's that portable cooler for?"
"Fufu, that's a secret—"
Haruaki spoke as he welcomed them into the house and brought them to the living room. The corridor was filled with a lingering aroma from dinner just now. Sovereignty happily took a forceful sniff and said: "Ah, it's the smell of curry." Just as they entered the living room—
"My bosom buddy—!"
"Kyah! Kuroe-chan, good evening—!"
With a series of audible steps, Kuroe trotted over and performed a back dive motion while Sovereignty embraced her tightly. Holding Kuroe in her arms, Sovereignty repeatedly spun Kuroe in midair as though they were dancing at a ball—These two girls' relationship remained as close as ever.
However, Kuroe was not the only one present in the living room. There was the silver-haired girl, staring at the table with a frown as she went "Hmm—"—Fear. Looking up, she instantly brightened her expression and stood up.
"Ohoh, you're here! My dear comrades!"
"...Don't casually call us your comrades, okay?"
"What are you talking about? After the exams last time, didn't we head to school together on a holiday for supplementary lessons? Therefore, our camaraderie cannot compare with those heartless people over there!"
"Not going to school on a holiday is very normal... That's got nothing to do with being heartless or not, right?"
Konoha sighed in exasperation. Putting down the textbook in her hand, she also stood up to welcome Shiraho.
"Welcome, welcome, Shiraho-san. Although I don't know if I'm able to help you, please feel free to ask me about anything you don't understand. Let us try our best to reduce the number of failing subjects."
Hearing Konoha's words, Shiraho's gaze began to waver slightly in embarrassment. Looking up at the ceiling, she replied:
"Umm... Actually, I'm fine with studying on my own. But since that annoying man insists that I join a study gathering, I am in a position where I have no choice but to participate. And if teaching me happens to provide you with amusement, well, since it's your personal interest, I won't say anything—If that makes you happy, I could... ask you some questions."
"Great, very well."
Konoha chuckled "Ehehe" and smiled gently. Sovereignty plopped Kuroe down on the tatami and swiftly approached Konoha. Holding Konoha's hand tightly, she said:
"Teacher! Konoha-chan the teacher! My dear Shiraho will be in your care for today. Despite how she looks, she's actually very motivated! So please, please don't abandon her—!"
"I-I'm not going to abandon her, okay!? But if you keep calling me 'teacher,' I'll feel very embarrassed..."
"Hey Sovereignty, you're acting shamefully. Don't do that, okay!?"
Fear pursed her lips unhappily at the sight before her.
"Hmph, rotten Cow Tits, how dare you act so superior...! If it's English, I'm able to help too!"
"Actually, I'll need your help in that area too, teacher. But if you teach me using an excessively native accent like you did for the midterms last time, I'll feel very troubled instead."
When Haruaki said that, Fear's mood seemed to improve. Puffing her tiny chest out, she replied:
"Hmph hmph, since you say so, I'll have mercy when I'm teaching you. Anyway, Haruaki, speaking of teachers, you should have found someone better than Cow Tits to be the teacher, right?"
"Yeah, I asked her. She should be arriving soon... Oh!"
At this moment, the doorbell rang. Haruaki bid Fear and the rest to prepare the living room while he went to answer the door. Standing at the entryway, the visitor was, of course—
"Oh, Class Rep, welcome... I'm really sorry for asking you to come here."
"No, it's fine. After all, it's quite boring to study on my own. A change of environment might actually make things smoother. I'd say you asked me at the perfect time."
It was Kirika in casual clothing. Like Shiraho, she had brought a bag filled with studying materials.
"Smoother... huh? But the people waiting for you to extend a helping hand, Class Rep, includes certain problematic children."
"Konoha-kun will help instruct, right? In that case, there's no problem. Besides, I've already gone through everything the exams are supposed to cover. All I have left to do is overall revision."
"Dear heavens! As expected of you, Class Rep. Seeing your 'serious attitude,' I'm starting to feel urgent myself."
"Then you should blame yourself for not studying seriously throughout the term... Hmm, why are there so many shoes here? Am I the last to arrive?"
"That's right, everyone's here. But they're all just being noisy so we haven't started studying yet."
Kirika went "seriously" with a wry smile, took off her shoes and entered the corridor. Just as she walked towards the living room, it happened as though planned in advance for this moment—
The doorbell rang again. Haruaki and Kirika looked at each other.
"...Perhaps even Kana or Taizou are coming?"
"Should be impossible... They previously declined our invitation because they had made plans with their clubs already. So it must be the postman or someone else."
Haruaki answered leisurely as he turned around to open the door.
"Coming~ May I ask who is it..."
The instant he saw the person at the door, Haruaki's mind desperately refused to accept what his eyes saw. This was impossible.
Without saying a word, Haruaki slid the glass door shut at the entrance, refusing to face the other person. Just as he looked back in trepidation, he happened to see Kirika rubbing her eyes in full seriousness. Clearly, she was doubting her own eyes too—Indeed, both of them had seen the same person. Logically speaking, this was a face who should not show up here.
The bell kept ringing. Haruaki could not ignore it. Hence, taking a deep breath to calm himself, Haruaki slowly slid the glass door open again—
"...If you want to ask who I am, then I shall answer you. However, it should be impossible for you two not to know. Yachi Haruaki, Boy, Seat No.16 of Year 1 Class 2, as well as Ueno Kirika, Girl, Seat No.2 from the same class."
No trace of any smiling could be found on the woman's face. Dressed as usual in her daily tracksuit, she spoke coolly.
Beneath the dim light at the entryway, the metal shovel on her shoulder glimmered brightly.
"My name is Kaidou Imi. I am both a physical education teacher at Taishyuu Private High School, as well as your assistant homeroom teacher."
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