Hyouka:Volume 1 Chapter 8
8 - The Daily Life of the Future Classics Club
And so the Cultural Festival slowly approaches. Looking out at the autumn sky from the Geology Room, I find it quite hard to believe that summer vacation had just ended not long ago. Ever since discovering Sekitani Jun's feelings of regret behind the meaning of the title "Hyouka", we have begun work on compiling our anthology.
Currently, we're still not finished with it.
As I wrote a response to my sis's letter from months ago, a scene of carnage was occurring beside where I was sitting.
"Fuku-chan, are you done yet? The publisher's deadline is coming soon!"
Ibara was nearly screaming as Satoshi had still not completed his allotted number of pages. Even Satoshi, who was normally calm, was beginning to show some anxiety.
"Just a little bit more, just a little bit more. I'm almost there."
"That's what you said a week ago."
Though the senior editor for this anthology was nominally our club president Chitanda, the actual work of distributing page numbers for each author and dealing with the publishers was done by Ibara due to her experience with such work before. Under Ibara's strict schedule, progress in the completion of this edition of "Hyouka" went on smoothly. While I've not yet seen Ibara's manuscript, she'll probably write something about her thoughts on a classical manga series. I remember she said it's called tera, mu or numbers, or something like that, but somehow I get the feeling she was just randomly picking a title.
On the other hand, Satoshi's unfinished manuscript which Ibara was trying to whip to completion was what Satoshi described as a comedy related to Zeno's paradox. That sounded like a rather random title, though reading the back issues of "Hyouka", it does seem that they publish almost anything. Hence Satoshi decided his "classic paradox" themed title was considered "classic" as well, though I do think he could have come up with something better. As Satoshi was already busy with the Handicraft Club and the Student Council committee, he seemed to be in distress as only a small amount of his allotted pages were filled. It seemed Satoshi wasn't particularly good at writing, which was a surprising weak point I've discovered.
As Satoshi scrambled to write his manuscript with a stiff smile, Ibara walked in circles behind him while looking at her wristwatch. As though remembering something, she turned to speak to me.
"By the way, where's Chi-chan? I needed to talk to her about the budget."
Satoshi looked as though he wanted to say something, but frantically went back to work upon being stared at by Ibara. I had no choice but to stop my writing and answered, "She went to visit the cemetery."
"Sekitani Jun's grave. She wanted to offer those manuscripts in honour of his memory."
"Those manuscripts" referred to a conclusion that we wrote concerning the event 33 years ago. It was written by me with Chitanda's assistance. I refrained from any unnecessary rhetoric and kept the text dry and prose-like.
Ibara said without her usual sarcasm, "What else did Chi-chan say?"
"She didn't say anything else."
That wasn't a lie. As I handed the manuscripts over to Chitanda during Sakitani Jun's funeral, as well as today when she visited his grave again, she didn't seem to show any emotion whatsoever. Perhaps she was hiding them, but I didn't think so. That day when the true meaning of "Hyouka" was revealed, Chitanda had considered the matter resolved. She'd probably taken in my explanation since, but I have no idea of knowing.
"Ughh... Fuku-chan, your hand's stopped writing. We only have five minutes left!"
"Five minutes! Mayaka, this is too brutal!"
As the skit beside me resumed once again, I went into thinking. That incident didn't just concern Chitanda herself to begin with, as Ibara and Satoshi have also given their part into solving this mystery.
But what about me?
... As I finished my letter, I placed it in my shoulder bag. I felt sleepy with the blow of the autumn breeze. No hard feelings to the struggling Satoshi and Ibara, I think I'll be going home soon.
And then it happened.
The door opened and someone flew into the room. She seemed pretty flustered. It was our club president Chitanda, who was busy catching her breath with her head facing down. We were all lost for words by her sudden appearance. After getting her breath back, Chitanda lifted her face at last.
"Hey, Chitanda-san. I thought you'd gone to visit the cemetery?"
She nodded at Satoshi's question.
"Yes. But, there's just something that I feel curious about."
Feel curious about?
I had a bad feeling about this. No, this wasn't just a feeling, it was the experience of knowing something is about to happen. Chitanda's hair was glossed with some sweat while her face was slightly red. And those eyes, which were sparkling, felt so full of life. It was a sign her curiosity was about to explode.
"Chi-chan, what do you mean feeling curious?"
Stop asking! I said to myself as Chitanda turned and prepared to leave the room.
Or that's what I thought she was about to do, but nothing ever escapes her attention. I found my wrist being caught by her hand.
"Oreki-san, let's go. To the Archery Hall, we might still make it."
"What is it, all of a sudden?"
Even though I knew it was pointless, I still protested. But Chitanda shook her head at my request for an explanation.
"It's much faster to see it than to speak about it."
It's useless. Once Chitanda decides on something, it would be more efficient energy-wise to just go along with her whims. Satoshi smiled while Ibara shrugged her shoulders as they looked at us. Giving up, I said, "OK, OK, I'm coming. Since you're grabbing me, it means that, right?"
Chitanda stopped and turned to face me. As her huge eyes stared at me, she slowly replied, "Yes, that's right... I am very curious."
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