Chapter 26 – Image Reinforcement Plan [1]

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2472 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1245 words
Editor(s): Fire

The next day, I didn’t want to go but I was dragged to the cafeteria.1 Really, I didn’t want to go. For starters, I don’t think seeing me eat lunch would improve people’s image of me. However, the moment lunchtime came, Kishita and Kozue arrived and dragged me away by my arms.

「Honestly, I think just seeing that is enough to change your image.」

And seeing me get dragged away, Kaori came along. Well, true, seeing it would weaken the authenticity of me forcing the student council to accept me. After all, what sort of tyrant gets dragged away by the vice-president and the secretary?

「Still, will this really improve my image?」
「Just consider yourself tricked and try it.」

Seriously though. Besides, it’s obvious here when people are looking at me while I’m eating, which is bothering me.2 The last time, I was focused on the gyudon, so I didn’t pay attention around me but right now people are already looking at me for bringing a lunchbox. I don’t want to have my lunch in this situation.

「It’s hard to eat.」
「Please bear with it, Kisaragi. This is for your own sake too.」
「Rather, Kishita. I don’t really mind if you call me by my given name. Kozue calls me Kotone too, you know.」
「Alright, Kotone.」
「I don’t mind if you don’t speak so formally too.」
「It’s a habit.」

Is that so? Then it can’t be helped. Forcing people isn’t really good. Anyways, time to open my lunch then. Still, it’s so noisy around me. Don’t kick up such a fuss from me opening my lunch. There’s nothing particularly special inside, okay.

「It’s really impressive how you make one everyday.」
「I prepare it together with my breakfast, so it doesn’t really take much effort.」

Kaori eats with me at my classroom occasionally, so she should already know about it but she always asks. If I make my lunch together with breakfast, I can have the excess for breakfast, and if it’s a dish that lasts, I can have it for dinner too. It’d be a waste to throw out excess and leftovers.

「We have no knowledge of your personal life, so for us, the fact that you can cook is already surprising enough.」

Yeah, since before Kotone got kicked out, she bought her lunch at the cafeteria. And frankly, it’s harder to find daughters of well off families that can cook. Moreover, it’s probably hard to imagine someone like Kotone cooking.

「Next time, why don’t you cook octopus wieners3 as well?」
「Nom, nom, glup. I’d rather add a new dish instead of that.」

It takes up a lot of space, you see. Seriously. While it doesn’t take much effort to make, I’d rather add a whole regular sausage than that.

「I was imagining that it would be quite picturesque to see Kotone eat those.」
「Probably, she’d seem like some exotic animal.」

I pretty much agree with Kaori’s comment. No one would probably expect the once harsh Kotone to eat something like that. Rather, just from us talking about me cooking, the whole cafeteria got noisy again. Come on, just how much are you all straining your ears.

Ktchk!

「Kishita. Why are you taking a picture of me with your smartphone?」
「To commemorate. I only have this remaining year before my academy life ends, so I’d like to keep some memories.」

That doesn’t explain why you had to take a photo of me eating. Showing me the picture, there’s me happily eating my lunch saved to the phone’s memory. Actually, I’m feeling really embarrassed now.

「It’s embarrassing, please delete it.」
「Never. It’s remaining here forever.」

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Please don’t be weirdly stubborn about this. And to start with, why did you choose this time for a picture? You could’ve taken one of me just working normally. Ah, the eggs are looking pretty good. I should try rolling something inside it next time.

Ktchk! Ktchk!

「……. Why are you two also taking pictures?」
「「No reason.」」

At least ask me before taking a picture. It’s not like I’m against it, okay. And you all, stop it with your phones! I’m no panda, you hear me!

「Everyone! Please ask for permission before taking a picture!」

Hearing Kishita’s warning, the students with their phones readied dejectedly lowered their phones. Still, Kishita, you’re saying that? Also, why is everybody so eager to have a picture of me eating?

「I’m glad to see that the plan was a success.」
「A success? This is?」
「Of course. People don’t take pictures of people they aren’t interested in. Much more of people they dislike.」
「Then was taking a picture of me earlier a part of the plan?」
「That’s right.」

Actually, no, that sounds like a big fat lie. To begin with, even if you tell me that it’s a success, I’m not too convinced about that. The commotion hasn’t really calmed down ever since we arrived, you see.

「Also, this has been bugging me since earlier but a certain individual is looking at us and seemingly wants to join in……」
「Ignore him.」

The president has been watching us from the second floor of the cafeteria for a while now. And he’s readying a camera he got from who knows where, so I gave him a stern glare. He immediately put it away. For every picture he takes, who knows what he’s going to use it for.

「Ah, um, senior. Can I take a picture of you?」

Someone actually came to get permission!? Wait, what do I do about this? Rather, since she called me senior, it means she’s a freshman, right? She’s got some courage.

「You should allow it this time, Kotone.」
「Well, I suppose one picture won’t hurt.」

I turned to face the freshman girl but for some reason, she had an awkward look. Did I do something wrong?

「Um, senior? Could you make the face you did earlier?」

Well even if you say that, I’ve already finished eating and don’t have any food left. Besides, when I know that someone’s taking a picture, my facial muscles just die. I’m really bad with photos.

「Kotone. Ah~h.」

Right next to me, Kaori nudged a spoon full of jelly in front of me but even I won’t eat reflexively from that. Like I’d have such an embarrassing conditional reflex!

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「Eat.」

She’s commanding me now. Why do I have to be fed in front of an audience!? And Kaori, if you’re blushing that much, then you shouldn’t have done this to begin with!

「Eat.」

She’s said it again, so I had no choice but to chomp on the spoon and finally end this. Ah, this cheap taste really takes me back.

Ktchk-ktchk-ktchk! Ktchk!

That isn’t just one picture!! Why do you have to take multiple in this situation!?

「The results were. Thank you very much!」

Before I could say anything, the blushing freshman swiftly left. At least delete the ones where I’m blushing.

「Your embarrassed look is great too, Kotone. This will surely improve your image.」
「Kishita, I’m taking damage from this too.」

Then don’t do it. Kaori probably did it on a whim but if you’re regretting it so much then don’t think of it in the first place. Because of that, I’m red as a beet now too.



References

  1. Lyly: But you said you can try, lol
  2. Silva: ???
  3. Lyly: The well-known
    thespruceeats.com/octopus-wieners-for-bento-2031067

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