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The activity Eguchi-sensei prepared was something she invited. Furthermore, it sounded like it’s one of those party games people would play on Christmas. Nonetheless, considering she wanted to improve her students’ physical abilities or just maintain their physical fitness, she crafted it in a way that everyone involved would be moving.
Yep. The weighing scale that she took out earlier wasn’t meant to be used by the students. Rather, it’s just among the pieces of equipment that would be essential for the activity.
As Hana and I returned to the cluster of students to do the task she set for us, Eguchi-sensei disappeared to one of the side doors. Most likely, going to pick up the other equipment. She’s strong enough to not need any help for it, it seems…
There’s no need for me to worry. She would have asked me if she needed help.
I mean, there were wheeled carts that were being used to transport heavy equipment like balls and such from the Gym Storehouse so… that’s probably what she’s going to use.
Anyway, before starting, I asked Hana, “They’re already instructed to form teams of four or five, we only need to record it. Do you think you can do the ones from our class?”
“Un. That sounds easy enough. You don’t want me dealing with those girls yet, I presume.”
“Not the appropriate time, Hana. I know you won’t back down even if they come off aggressive to you so… better to not let you interact with them yet. I’ll handle that heat myself.”
After saying that, I separated from her and stood before Class 4.
Rae and Sachi were the first ones to stand up, delight being very clear in their eyes, followed by Nazuki and their other friend in their class.
Because Rae also had the chance to talk to Hana earlier, she didn’t care too much about seeing me with Hana. Besides, even though we were conversing, there was a certain distance between us. Only those who spent their time observing us would notice Hana’s attempts to close our distance.
Sachi was another story though. When I caught her gaze, she once again put on a meaningful smile, the one that made me panic before in fear that she knew a lot about us. But knowing the girl, she’s probably just trying to get my attention again.
Obviously, there’s no way that she wouldn’t hear about the rumors. Considering Sachi was one of those who bravely expressed her intention to befriend me or just get close to me, she’s like Komoe who would gather every rumor that she could get her hands on. Furthermore, she’s possibly still holding onto how I turned down her invitation last Sunday, or more like, I responded late to it so I had no choice but to just apologize.
Well, to not be too obvious that I remembered that, I acted natural and waited until their Class President walked over to help me gather their teams.
As the obedient Student Assistant, I wrote down the names of every group that would step forward.
When it was Rae and her friends’ turn, the knowledge girl furtively smiled at me. Finding it too beautiful to ignore, I decided to spoil her a bit even when in front of her whole class. Instead of talking to Nazuki who was leading their group, I turned to Rae and asked her for their names. Moreover, I stepped closer, just enough for me to be able to whisper to her without anyone else hearing aside from her.
“What do you think? Should we also act more conspicuously about how close we are to your class?”
“Just say we got closer after I hit you with that ball.”
Upon hearing my answer, Rae almost burst into laughter. She quickly covered her mouth and held her stomach.
Hitting her with that ball became the catalyst for the start of our relationship. If that didn’t happen, although I might still try to get close to her, her development to not only depend on her knowledge would be stunted.
Yep. She found that hilarious because it’s the truth. Furthermore, she realized that it could actually work when it comes to showing everyone our closeness.A second later, her stifled giggling reached my ear and she couldn’t prevent herself from grabbing my arm and leaning to my chest; a habit that she got after spending time with me.
Although I wasn’t the only one who heard her, the way she leaned on me gathered more reactions not just from her group but also from her whole class.
Nazuki and the other girl understood what happened, of course. I even saw the two nodding their heads in approval. However, Class 4 all fell into confusion.
Well, I’ll let them be confused.
Supporting Rae until her laughing fit stopped, I then smiled and took a step back before clearing away the affectionate expression on my face.
And thanks to what happened, Nazuki’s obvious intention to point out my closeness to Hana again was halted. She did stare at me with a hint of bafflement though but that’s it. With Rae grabbing her arm, their group returned to the back of their class while also ignoring their confused classmates.
Naturally, some of the girls from the subsequent groups tried probing into what happened there.
Boys weren’t that much of a gossiper, after all. However, they’re more or less also interested in hearing my answer.
Unfortunately for them, I kept mum about it and simply acted oblivious, calling the next groups after them.
When it was Sachi’s group’s turn, the girl took a step forward. But instead of probing as well, she simply whispered, “Fujii-san is so lucky to get your attention, Ruki. I wish I can also have a bit of it.”
Sachi didn’t wait for my reply. She turned around quickly after saying that but that meaningful smile on her lips remained.
If I had to guess, she’s trying to act mysterious again. To appeal to me.
It was a little effective. I decided to start replying to her messages and let them sit in my inbox for days. The girl was kinda unpredictable. Who knows what she would do next time? Better to make her satisfied and understand more of her character than risk it.
Besides, I appreciate the girl’s restraint in keeping quiet about what she discovered. Also, she might find it unfair if she found out that a new girl - Komoe - sped past her progress in befriending me. That’s why accommodating her should be in order.
Anyway, I soon finished recording their names and the groups they made.
I walked away and checked on our class’s side.
Surprisingly, Hana had long since finished with her task. On her side, I could spy Chii, acting like a guardian around her. But the same as always, the girl was once again surrounded by our classmates.
With her mask on, her fake angelic smile was once again at the forefront as she amiably dealt with everyone, trying her best to acclimate herself to our class.
Well, that’s better than being a loner, right? Moreover, with Chii watching over her, I doubt the scene during our elementary school days would happen again. Sooner or later, my clumsy girl would also be able to break her defenses which would spell the start of Hana’s change.
And knowing there’s also Hifumi who would do the same, there’s really no need to worry about the girl anymore.
What I should focus on was to change her mind and make her fall in love with me - if she’s not yet at that point.
Anyway, at the same time as I reached them, Eguchi-sensei finally returned from outside.
As I had guessed earlier, our PE teacher could be seen pushing two huge wheeled carts filled with different kinds of balls and other weighty objects. There were also huge cloth sacks on top of them.
After passing the recorded names and groups to Hana, I went to help Eguchi-sensei in bringing them to the middle of the Gymnasium.
And with this, today’s activity would finally start. For the record, I’m not excused from this activity. I’m included in our original group of four; Aya, Satsuki, Sakuma, and me.
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