On my way home from my part-time job, I walked side-by-side with Wakamiya on the familiar road.
Since we had been walking home like this for quite some time, I recently didn’t feel a sense of incongruity anymore.
Wakamiya was holding a paper bag for take-out. Inside it was the new ‘mochi donut’.
It was slightly heartwarming to watch her holding the paper bag very carefully.
Does she like the donut that much…
After buying donuts on a daily basis, Wakamiya almost collected all of the stamps in the coupon card. She would receive a stamp every 200 yen purchase at my part-time job.
Just how addicted is she!?
I wanted to say that, but she ordered ‘donut and tea’ almost every day, so I should’ve expected this.
“Tokiwagi-san, do you think you will do well on tomorrow’s test?” Wakamiya asked with a smile, slightly tilting her head.
Surprised by the charm of that gesture, I answered curtly. “Just so-so.”
Perhaps my voice was slightly louder just now.
“Fufu. Then that’s good. But please review the material until the end, okay?”
“Yeah, I know. I’ve been studying seriously until now, so I think I’ll manage just fine.”
This was definitely the most diligent I had been since I enrolled in high school.
To be precise, I was forced to do it. But I had no complaints because I had the smart Wakamiya Rin to teach me every day.
Even though I wasn’t willing, it was fulfilling.
It wouldn’t be strange if I had to pay her the fee to be my tutor.
“Make sure not to be careless, okay? Studying and taking tests are different, so it doesn’t mean you will be alright just because you have studied.”
“Is that so?”
Studying and taking tests are different, huh? I thought it’s a matter of whether I can solve the questions or not. Seems like it’s not the same for the Social Goddess.
“Yes. This is just my opinion, but I believe ‘studying is when you can make a mistake’, and ‘test is when you’re showing the result of your hard work’.”
As I wracked my brain to understand Wakamiya’s words, Wakamiya continued her words with her usual monotonous voice.
“Therefore, I have to make sure that I can answer the questions correctly, being confident that I ‘can’ do it. And I throw away the easygoing way of thinking of ‘let’s just solve it for now’ when I study. To gain a good result, I must gradually increase the number of answers I can confidently say is ‘correct’.”
“...I never think like that,” Stunned, I could only reply like that.
But the Social Goddess might be perfect because she could think like that.
“And I believe it’s going to be difficult for Tokiwagi-san to get perfect marks, so please prioritize only at the questions and points written in the note I gave to you.”
“Hey, hey~ You won’t know if I can get perfect marks, right?”
“Studying is not that easy. It’s not something so simple that you can master overnight. I only taught you for a short period of time. It’s not enough to cover all of the lessons that Tokiwagi-san ignored.”
“It takes twice longer to cover them since you never study.”
I dropped my shoulders and hung my head.
So everything I did until now wasn't enough to pay for my mistakes, huh...
“Haa. I guess you’re right. My current goal is to avoid red marks. Getting the perfect marks is just a mere dream.”
“If I remember right, your tests are all in red marks last time, right?”
“I have the confidence that my marks are the lowest in our grade.”
“...Why do you look so proud?”
Wakamiya sighed and put her hand on her forehead. But what I said was the truth. It was all in a single digit.
“Umm, you probably know this, but… you will need to take the supplementary lesson during the summer vacation if you get a red mark for the second consecutive time. I repeat, it’s during the summer vacation. Do you understand that?”
“Yes. I’m serious.”
How astonishing… I held my head.
I didn’t expect my forty days of summer vacation to be destroyed by supplementary classes.
That’s impossible for me… Wait. It’s surprisingly not that bad.
There’s no way the supplementary classes would restrain me for the whole day. That means I could work part-time after that.
But it’s a shame that I couldn’t earn more money by taking full shifts.
“...Are you thinking of something bad?”
“N-no, I’m not.”
“Your stuttering is suspicious.”
Wakamiya stared at me. She was suspecting me.
Even so, we’re talking about Wakamiya here. Maybe she had noticed it.
“Tokiwagi-san, I’ll be troubled if you get red marks…”
“Well, you already taught me this much after all. Of course you will be troubled if your student isn’t doing well.”
I said with a little self-mockery. Realizing that the way I worded it might sound mean, I regretted it.
However, Wakamiya didn’t seem to be bothered. She continued to watch me with her clear eyes.
Then she said, “It’s summer vacation, you know? Don’t you want to play?”
I want to play. But only to the arcade or something similar to that.
“Well, I get what you mean… but I was planning on working part-time most of the time.”
Wakamiya chuckled at my answer.
She occasionally showed me that expression, which had the power to charm people.
It’s like magic to make one fall in love with her.
“If you don’t mind… how about going to the summer festival with me?”
Not finding her suggestion attractive, I stiffened my face at the word ‘festival’.
‘Festival’ was the event for socially active people. It was a gathering aimed at a group of friends.
It was uselessly loud. The food in the stall was abnormally expensive. There were also lottery tickets that you don’t know whether it’s possible to win the prize or not.
...I don’t want to go at all.
Wakamiya grabbed my sleeve and gazed at me with upturned eyes.
I gulped. “No, um, err. I’m not good with festivals…”
“Is that so… What a shame.”
When I saw Wakamiya clearly become depressed, I felt like my heart was stabbed with a knife.
“Kotone-chan and Kato-san are going to the festival, so I want you to come…”
“Eh… Kenichi is also going?”
“Yes. That’s why I’m thinking that it’ll be nice if Tokiwagi-san also participates. Plus, I don’t want to bother them on their date…”
“Ahh, I see. So it’s like that…”
“Okay, okay. I’ll go.”
That sounds just like Wakamiya. Not wanting to bother them, huh...
Certainly, it wouldn’t feel that uncomfortable if the ratio of men and women was the same.
“Thank you very much. Then I will contact you when the meeting time is decided.”
“Got it. Haa, but I will have to pass the test now, right”
I looked up at the bright starry sky. It was a clear and beautiful night sky, completely different from my mood.
“Right. I have one proposal to motivate Tokiwagi-san.”
“How about this? I will give you a ‘reward’ if you exceed the average score in the next test.”
That was a very nice proposal. I suddenly became motivated.
“A reward? That’s… What kind of reward?”
“Well, I can’t think of anything right now… Let’s just make it anything that Tokiwagi-san wants.”
Several delusions passed through my mind. I shook my head to wipe it out.
I repeatedly told myself that that kind of development wouldn’t happen.
“You don’t have to restrain yourself. But remember that you won’t get it if you don’t pass the test.”
“Come on, please don’t hesitate to say it,” Wakamiya said, rushing me to answer.
I picked an answer and opened my mouth.
Let’s be manly here.
“C-can I ask for Chinese dishes?”
“Of course you can.”
Wakamiya consented, then she walked in front of me with a hum.
Unable to say anything anymore, I followed her, suffering from my incompetence.
If you enjoyed reading this chapter, please leave a like or a comment below! Or how about rating and adding this novel on your reading list on NU?
Interested in reading more chapters? You can support me on Patreon to gain access to advance chapters!