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E6 - 6 This article contains HEAVY spoilers. Please view at your own risk.

This is Chapter 1 from Volume 5 of the Toradora! Light Novel series. The text is from Baka-tsuki.

Transcript

Following the order they are seated in their classroom, the male and female students were taking turns using the narrow basketball court during PE lesson.

The current PE lesson took place after a stuffing lunch, as a result, all the high school students in their PE uniform looked rather sluggish and their action was slow as well.

"The girls look rather exhausted."

"So am I, even though I'm a guy... Ooh, panty stripes..."

"Who, who, who!? Where!?"

For some reason, the sound of the basketball rebounding off the ground and of the shoes skidding just felt slow.

Like a herd of domesticated cattle gathered together, a group of boys sat by the corner watching the girls play their basketball in a lethargic manner. Like a bunch of old men wishing not to be nagged by their wives, side by side they laid down on the floor, or rested leisurely against the wall, or sat happily together with their eyes squinted while trying to make out the secret hidden under the girls' PE shorts.

Upon this group of people, only one pair of eyes shone in a blinding light,

"There's a loose thread hanging from Taiga's trouser edge..."

So said the ranch assassin, wearing a denim jacket and hiding amongst the herd of cattle, ready to strike at any hooligan who dare approaches... Yeah, right. This was none other than Takasu Ryuji, who sat just as lazily as the other guys.

As the match began between the girls, the eyes, which completely do not reflect the will of their owner, were attracted by some other prey. Amongst the dozen or so girls on the court, he was looking at the most energetic and sporting Kushieda Minori running around, swinging her ponytail as she ran. As to why, the answer was because he likes her.

Ryuji's gaze was fixated on her dazzling smile like a magnet. But upon moving his eyes away, Ryuji quickly noticed a hanging thread from someone's trousers. His eyes were now focused on that thing alone. As to why, the answer was because he just likes "that kind of thing".

"As expected of Takasu, even the things you look at are different. Trouser edge, is it? Mmmhmmm..."

Someone jabbed Ryuji's back with his elbow and said,

"The Palmtop Tiger's ankles, huh... they do look excellent. You have really good taste, you know? Nice work, you big pervert."

Someone else poked Ryuji's abdomen with his fingertip,

"Not her ankles, her trouser edge. Ah, it's really gone loose..."

The dangerous and sharp triangular eyes were attracted by the ankles of a single girl, and were now staring at the side of her loosened trouser edge, as though trying to fire a beam from his eyes and burn it to a crisp... But no beam came out from his eyes, for he was simply swearing to himself that he'll fix those trousers come this weekend.

As for the owner of those trousers, the "Palmtop Tiger" Aisaka Taiga didn't even notice Ryuji's gaze. Looking sluggish, she simply followed everyone else and ran around. When coming under the basket, she would casually raise her hands and pretend to defend, but as she was too short, she posed no threat whatsoever to her opponents as the ball simply flew over her head and into the basket. "Great!" The one who threw the ball was Kihara Maya, who tied her brownish hair on her sides, revealing her tender neck. Whenever she bent forward to pull up her socks, the guys would get a chance to see her curvature on her chest, and couldn't help but exclaim, "Wow!"

"Ah---! Seriously Taiga! It's all your fault!"

"It's got nothing to do with me!"

The only one seriously playing was Minori, who chased the ball and gave orders to Taiga. The warm blood flowing within her body in this lazy afternoon only served to fire her up even more,

"I've been the only one that's been scoring! Taiga, you should show some spirit as well! Aren't you insanely strong? Go get back those points you've lost!"

"Okay, okay..."

Catching the ball Minori had passed swiftly, Taiga decided to make an effort to dribble with the ball. Though she didn't look spirited at all, whenever her opponents attempted to steal her ball, she would speed up and go under their arms, with the ball seemingly glued to her hands.

"Oooohhh..." The boys who were lying on the floor exclaimed softly.

"As expected from the Palmtop Tiger. She's got such great reflexes."

"Her butt's tiny as well..."

Among the flirtatious guys, only Ryuji was thinking about how Taiga might step onto the loose thread from her trouser edge, while also noticing Minori making another cute movement - Clapping her hands and following Taiga while saying "That's more like it! Good job, Taiga!" Ryuji's intimidating eyes were now burning with his one-sided love, and glowed even more dangerously. He quickly shook his head.

Taiga waited until she was surrounded by three opponents, and then tossed the ball between their legs...

"Hey, Bakachi (stupid chihuahua)! Catch!"

"Eh~!?"

This was the weird nickname used by Taiga to refer to Kawashima Ami.

"Whoa! It's Ami-tan!"

"She's so cute! An angel! A beauty! And a top model!"

"Ami-tan looks so damn cute even in a PE uniform! Oh man..."

Originally lying on the floor, all the horny boys now stood up and applauded. They all leaned forward, looking forward to the charming beauty to show her sporting side. This was natural, as Ami is a high school student and a professional model. Not only was her skin white, her face was small, and even her beautiful eyes that are placed on it shone brightly like diamonds. In her PE uniform, her slim and long figure made her look like a beautiful fairy that suddenly appeared from the forest.

In other words, she was acknowledged by everyone as the undisputed prom queen. Even Ryuji, who knew how difficult her personality is, found it hard to look away from her slim figure...

"No way~. My nails are long, so they can't touch the ball, or they'll break~."

Ami twisted her body, and pouted in a sweet voice as she stuck her cherry lips out. She then caressed her face with her left hand, while tossing the ball with her right hand back to Taiga as though throwing garbage away. Unable to react quickly, the ball bounced off Taiga's face and into the opponent's hands.

"Ugh..." Taiga went silent as she held her face with her hands. The audacious Ami even had the nerve to say,

"So~rry~! Oh my goodness, has Aisaka-san gone short from the impact just now~!? Oh no! You have gone shorter... Oh, I forgot, you were always this short. Right? I was just kidding!"

"Hohohohoho~!" Ami put up a cute smile, while behind her,

"Ugh...! What do you think you're doing!? Ami-chan, you're an idiot!"

"Minori-chan, the game's over if you forfeit now, right~?"

"Don't be ridiculous! I'll show you!"

As Minori ran past Ami, she mischievously tickled Ami's neck, "Ah~" causing her to twitch. This was followed by someone else grabbing her throat...

"What on earth do you think you're doing, you piece of garbage!? Bakachi, you're such a moron! An idiot! A stupid octopus! A phony chihuahua that always plays dumb! A mean person! A person with a defected personality! And a pervert! Prepare to die!"

"Ughhh... Cough, cough!"

There was no way Taiga could ignore such an attack on her. She quickly gave Ami a merciless "Hell Throat Grabber". As her throat was defenseless, Ami gradually knelt down.

"Hey! Minorin! Gimme the ball!"

"Here Bakachi! Catch again!"

Upon receiving the ball from Minori, Taiga quickly aimed it at Ami, who was still kneeling on the floor and coughing. KAPOW! The ball travelled in a curve in an incredible speed, as it bounced off Ami's face and back into Taiga's hands.

"Taiga~!? What was that all about!? I'm getting mad now!"

"It wasn't me, it's all Bakachi's fault."

"Cough, cough... Aisaka-san, why, you~"

Ami finally managed to get up. Even til now, it was hard to believe that her angelic face still maintained a pure and gentle smile. Seeing such a pretentious face, even Taiga backed off a bit as a smiling Ami slowly approached her.

Although the scene was quite scary, the boys looking from afar had all had their eyes blinded by their delusions in the sky.

"Such~ a cute smile~ Ami-tan really is an angel~"

"Whoa! Palmtop Tiger has stepped onto her trouser edge..."

"Ami-tan's now riding on the tiger's back. Oh man, I want to be ridden by her too..."

"It just feels good to be ridden by her..."

"Especially when you're looking from below..."

Only Ryuji was aware that another bloody brawl had begun. Ami extended her arms and grabbed at Taiga's throat, while Taiga moved her fingers upwards to poke Ami's eyes. Both their screams echoed across the hall. The girls were no longer in the mood to play ball anymore. Some tried to pull them apart, some ran way, some decided to provoke them further, while others couldn't care less. In other words, it was chaotic. While looking at such a hellish scene,

"Hey guys. You all like Ami-tan, right? You all think she's cute right? At least that's what I think."

With the remnant of his fading blonde dye which he had in the summer still hanging from the tip of his hair (which looked absolutely horrid), Haruta suddenly shouted. He flicked his annoying hair, and with a rare sign of seriousness placed his hand on Ryuji's shoulder. "That's gross!" Ryuji quickly pushed off his hand. Far off, Ami had stood up, and for some reason, began to squeal in a sound as though she was about to die. Meanwhile, Haruta's forehead suffered from everyone flicking their fingers onto it.

"What's with that pretentious look? Stop being so cocky already!"

"The hell is with that nonsense? Don't disturb my quality time with Ami-tan!"

Pressing on his reddened forehead, Haruta had no intention of giving up on his preciously enigmatic idea.

"That hurts... But don't you all feel the same? You all love Ami-tan, right?"

"Of course she's cute!"

"But for some reason when it's Haruta that's saying it, I feel mightily pissed off. Why're you calling my Ami-tan in such an intimate way? Of course Ami-tan's the cutest girl in the whole class... No, it should be the cutest girl of all the schools within this area!"

"Come again? Let me tell you something, I'm a Palmtop Tiger supporter! That ferocious look of hers is just too awesome!"

"Huh? Then I'm a Kashii supporter! She's so gentle, and can always react to any situation. I'm sure she'll accept a guy like me."

"If that's the case, then I personally think Maya's great as well... Just between us, despite her looks, I hear she still hasn't found a boyfriend."

"No way!? Is that real? No one could tell from that!"

Sitting amongst the gossiping boys, an excited Ryuji too secretly had his own opinion, I think Kushieda's the cutest. Whether she's looking cool trying to separate the bickering Taiga and Ami with her legs, or getting accidentally bitten by Taiga while putting up a strange face and saying "See... she's not scary at all..."

Every guy was having his own delusion. As though trying to conclude everyone's thoughts,

"That, is, why! And now, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN~!"

Haruta said while looking at everyone. "There're no ladies here!" "Who are you referring to as gentlemen?" He ignored their protests and continued,

"Don't you all want to see the girl of your dreams looking even cuter than usual? Like dressing up as a maid! I'm not making this up, you will all have a chance to see it! Really! Takasu, you should join!"

Faced with the minty breath of his friend blowing onto his face, Ryuji stared at that face and said,

"Haruta, are you alright? Have you become addicted to some weird stuff during summer vacation? Like weird drugs? Or media? Or a cult? Ah! Could it be that you've gone weird as a result of bearing a grudge on me for leaving you behind, and going to Kawashima's mansion?"

"Of course I'm bearing a grudge! But that's got nothing to do with this! I'm serious! Ugh... Looks like I've shouted too loudly. Everyone, listen to me. Didn't Yuri say we need to discuss what activity our class needs to organize for the school festival? I, I've been appointed as the committee executive for our class!"

"Was there such a thing...?"

"Didn't know that..."

"And then?"

"Sigh!" Haruta pushed off the people whose reactions were not what he had expected, and stood in the middle, gesturing everyone to come forward as he lowered his voice,

"That's why I'm saying that if our class were to organize a Maid Cafe, wouldn't you all see the girls dressed up as maids? As long as we guys unite, then the girls with their varying opinions will be no match for our block voting, and we'll easily get more than half the votes... So what do you think?"

"How rare for Haruta to actually come up with something so constructive."

"So has the power switch to your brain finally been turned on after 17 years?"

"I'm sure your parents would feel glad for you."

"Heh heh heh, you can say whatever you like. I take it that you all agree to it? Then it's decided, we shall organize a Maid Cafe..."

"Hold it!"

Noto, his bespectacled ally, now squeezed his way before Haruta and said,

"I don't mean to cause trouble, but instead of maid costume, I personally prefer Chinese dresses! Just imagine Kihara dressed up in that... that shiny material, the tight dress that reveals her body curves, her thighs showing from within while asking you, 'Would you like to have tea~?'"

"Ahh..." All the boys lifted their heads upwards and nodded. This isn't a bad idea either! Even Ryuji thought it was a good idea, though he wasn't that close with everyone, but just imagining those beautiful classmates greeting him 'Welcome~' caused his pupils to shine brightly. But after a while, he frowned and said,

"No, wait..."

As though trying to cut himself off from the excitement of everyone as well as his own delusions.

"Now that Takasu? Just when everyone's getting excited... what's with those eyes?"

"How gross! Such lustful looking eyes!"

It was a huge misunderstanding. The eyes that Ryuji looked at his classmates with were not those of rabid hunger, but merely just thinking of something.

Kihara would look good in a Chinese dress, so does Kashii, Ami would of course look good, Minori would probably look cute as well, right? With her hair wrapped in buns...

The only problem was her... Taiga is definitely not suited to wearing a Chinese dress.

When she hears that she has to wear a Chinese dress and show her flat chest to everyone, she'll go into depression again, and would go seriously hysterical to the point of being unable to eat. And I'll be the one that'll be troubled, as she'll no doubt beg me to make some breast pads and brew some soy milk for her . By then I'll be the one doing all the work! Now is there something that is more suitable for Taiga than a Chinese dress, and does not require me to get involved... AHA!

"How about Goth-Loli style? Those with the light laces and the sort... Wouldn't that be good as well?"

"Gaaahhh~!!!" Taiga can be heard yelling from a distance. The boys all fell silent. Oh crap, did I go too far? Ryuji held his breath and waited...

"Takasu... You are a genius!"

"This... is worth applauding... Loli! And it's Goth-Loli! That's exactly my type!"

Clap clap clap clap The boys gave a soft applause, only Haruta looked distressed,

"W, w, wait a minute! We need to unify our opinions first, don't be in such a hurry to come out with other suggestions. This is getting confusing... Erm, er... What was it that we were discussing again?"

Looks like his brain has exceeded its capacity. Seemingly understanding his predicament, everyone looked at the class's No.1 Idiot with sympathetic eyes. At this moment, the real genius appeared,

"Why don't you just open a Cosplay Cafe then?"

All the boys turned their heads around, and looked at the top student Kitamura Yuusaku, who was pushing his shiny glasses up his nose with his middle finger. His tidy bangs were now even sharper after the summer that he now resembles Maruo even more. Curiously, his arms were tanned dark as a result of his club activities and travelling around.

"That's it! That's it! With a Cosplay Cafe, we can have everything! As expected of Kitamura! That Maruo haircut of yours is definitely worth it!"

Haruta excitedly hugged Kitamura over his shoulders, and Kitamura didn't mind at all with Haruta under his armpits. Everyone praised Kitamura for his quick thinking, and mopped his hair and squeezed his surprisingly firm arms. Even his good friend Ryuji patted him on the back with love and respect, while smiling as he visualized his fantasies - Minori in a maid costume, Minori in a Chinese dress, Minori in a Goth-Loli dress... Each Minori was smiling gently at Ryuji while saying shyly, "Do I look good?" You look great! It suits you! It's awesome!

Within this group of excited boys, someone whispered,

"Everything is going as planned..."

Standing in the middle and mobbed by everyone, Kitamura lowered his head and gave a suspicious looking smile, without anyone noticing. "Heh heh heh..." Just when he was giggling quietly...

"All that's left is for them to make their move... Ow!"

"Ow!"

"That hurts!"

His head, the head of the guy next to him, and of the guy behind him, as well as Ryuji's head, all were being hit on by something. The girl's basketball match had finished for some time, and Kuro Muscle had been calling the boys for some time, but they were all gathered together excitedly and ignoring him. Feeling peeved, he took his roll call booklet and smacked each of the boys' heads.

"All of you! Go and refresh yourselves with some protein!"


"Ryuji! Here, here! Bakachi broke it!"

"Ooohhh..."

In the corridor leading to the dressing rooms, Taiga, in her PE uniform, leaped onto Ryuji from behind, and suffocated his throat by grabbing onto his collar with her entire weight, causing Ryuji to imagine he was crossing the River Styx. Just as he was about to black out, he suddenly saw Taiga doing a spin kick - which got him back to reality.

"It's broken over here! It's all that Bakachi's fault!"

In order to let Ryuji see the extent of damage of the ripped PE trouser edge, Taiga stood beautifully on one foot while lifting her other in a kicking posture. Ryuji quickly grabbed her ankle,

"Sheez! This is bad... Maybe I could patch this up with some cloth... but it'll need to be elastic... maybe I could use some of Yasuko's old thermal underwear..."

Ryuji thought of his mother's beige underwear and hesitated. If I only wrap one side, then it'll look too unbalanced. But if I wrap both sides, I'll be altering a school uniform, since PE uniforms are part of the school uniform as well. "Hmmm....." Ryuji's brow furrowed even more. "Whoa! Whoa!" Taiga, whose ankle was being grabbed onto by Ryuji, began to lose her balance, and wave her hands like a drowning child, but Ryuji took no notice of her. All he was thinking of were sewing kits, needles, the PE uniform and his mother's underwear. He had already entered into "Ryuji World" - A world where if you're not careful and stumble into, you'll end up as a housewife.

"Just wait a minute~ Can you not jump to conclusions? You were the one who stepped on your trousers when you tripped and caused it to break! Takasu-kun, you were there, weren't you? I didn't do anything~"

Trying to rebuke Taiga, Ami purposefully ran to Ryuji's side and looked up with her cute eyes and pouted. "Wha?" Ryuji finally came to his senses and looked at Ami with his menacing eyes. Just as Ami was about to return her usual pretentious smile...

"Phew, that was close! I nearly fell!"

"Wha!?"

Whether it was deliberate or not, Taiga's hands ended up grabbing onto Ami's trousers as she fell, and then pulled them down along with Taiga's momentum.

Before a silent Ryuji and a group of boys standing not far from them, Ami's white hips shone dazzlingly. "Ugh..." Ami glared at Taiga, who was rubbing her sweat, and was dumbstruck for a few seconds,

"KYAAAAAAAA-----!!!"

Like an erupting volcano spewing out molten magma, she gave out a terrifying yell.

"Whoa! Loud!"

A few boys suddenly clasped their palms and began bowing in reverence to Taiga, who was covering her ears. Being seen by this many people, whether she was furious or embarrassed, Ami's face was now redder than before,

"W, W, W, WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING!? You gave me a fright!"

"Pft! Bakachi, you should look at yourself in the mirror. You're revealing your true face."

Taiga's smile was full of ridicule. "Ugh!" Upon hearing Taiga, Ami quickly went silent. With veins popping up her forehead, she made a loud grunt, "HMPH!"

And in the next second,

"Heh... Ohohohohohohoho!"

An angelic smile had reappeared on Ami's face. It was a face that was sculpted out of a metallic board with a hammer and chisel. As expected from the pretentious girl, for her to master this skill into a form of art. Ryuji couldn't help but look at her in respect...

"Anyway, I'll bring the trousers to your home, have them fixed by next week."

"Hmph!" Taiga ordered in a curiously haughty manner and walked off. Walking very quickly behind her was someone hiding her subtle anger,

"Ohohoho, wait for me, Aisaka-san. We haven't finished talking yet, ohohohoho~"

Ami followed Taiga with her metallic sculpture face.

Ryuji had unknowingly found himself sending off those two to the girls dressing room, as though he had just watched a drama unfold. It was only now that he noticed,

"..."

"..."

Everytime something like this happens, Minori, who would always step in to intervene, was now standing from afar watching them both... or rather, she was looking at Ryuji who was with them. She was sticking her head out from the girls gathered at the corner of the corridor when she made eye contact with Ryuji, and then both went silent.

"... HOY!"

As though suddenly thinking of something, Minori raised her hand and made a stiff greeting. "Uh, hi!" Ryuji also raised his hand in return. But Minori didn't say anything else, and only raised that hand of hers, and began to walk sideways along the narrow corridor like a crab. Keeping a friendly smile on her face, she maintained a considerable distance from Ryuji. Not knowing how to deal with her raised hand, she decided to scratch her head with it,

"Heh heh heh, well then... Yup, see ya!"

After saying that, she quickly entered the girl's changing room.

"W, what was that all about?"

Ryuji's hanging eyes glowed as he tilted his head. Kitamura, who was standing behind him and watching everything developing, also crossed his arms in deep thought and said,

"She's been acting strangely lately. Though she's already strange to begin with..."

Indeed. Minori has been behaving oddly ever since second semester began. Ryuji frowned, as he felt that while Minori still acted the same before Taiga and Ami, she was keeping a distance from him.

After summer vacation, our relationship should be better... Or maybe I'm just deluding myself? Though Minori still looks great even in delusions... Since they are delusions after all.

Ryuji continued to stare longingly at the girl's dressing room entrance, it wasn't until he discovered that a few female underclassmen were looking at him in disgust that he began to walk back to the men's dressing room.


  • *


"Well then. It's now time for the school festival committee executive... Haruta, it's your turn."

"YES!"

After dealing with all the administrative affairs, Kitamura, the class representative, walked off the podium and allowed Haruta to step on. As they walked past each other, they secretly exchanged a meaningful glance. "Counting on you." "Leave it to me!" They both smiled and patted each other's shoulders.

That said, Haruta wasn't the only one that's been appointed as the committee executive.

"Ami-tan--- fight!"

"Hahaha, I'll try my best~!"

First to get on the podium, Haruta gave out a lowly stare. That's right, being cheered by the whole class and walking elegantly onto the podium was none other than Ami.

Being transferred in May, Ami was the only classmate who had yet to take part in any organizing committee, as a result, a certain Single Lady unilaterally decided she was "most suitable" for this task, and so Ami was appointed as the school festival committee executive. For Haruta, who was chosen as a result of losing at rock-paper-scissors and was originally reluctant to take the role, this amazing good luck had caused his brain to lose a few more screws, not that there were many to begin with.

"This is my first time having to present on the podium. I'm so nervous~ Let's work our best, Haruta-kun!"

"OK! Fight!"

Haruta stood shoulder to shoulder on the podium with Ami and happily exchanged smiles with her. Ryuji looked at his pathetic expression and smiled awkwardly like everyone else as they applauded. This home room session was so far lively, as the boys were exchanging suspicious glances towards each other.

You get it?

Yup.

Ryuji nodded as well, and smiled at the glances others gave him. For them, there was only one aim in this home room session: To get the Cosplay Cafe motion passed.

"Why're you smiling like that? You're creeping me out."

"Whoa!"

Ryuji suddenly jumped up. When he wasn't noticing, Taiga's shrivelled body was wrapping around Ryuji's desk like a curling mouse.

"W... what are you doing!? We're still in class!"

Taiga cuddled even more, and stared at Ryuji with her large eyes,

"Stop asking so much, just give me 'that' already!"

Biting irritatingly at her fingernails, she pointed with her chin.

"'That'? What's 'that'?"

"The one we had during lunch."

Come to think of it, Taiga did say earlier, "I'll come back to eat this, so take good care of it for me!" She then stuffed the fruits box that she brought with her boxed lunch into Ryuji's arms without opening it.

"You want to have them now?"

"Yeah, I want to have them now, when there's still time."

"Still time... but we're in class..."

"You talk too much! Give it to me, you bastard dog! Stop being so slow, you want me to give you a punch?"

So mean... The boys around Ryuji began to shiver, while stealing a worrying glance towards Ryuji, who could feel the unseen pressure that they're giving: Please! Stop creating any unwanted trouble during this crucial moment!

Indeed, if Taiga were to discover the boys' plot, she would definitely destroy everything related to it, since that was the Palmtop Tiger's nature. No, even if she doesn't know anything. as long as Taiga the Troublemaker approaches, the plan would be doomed to fail, such is the power of Troublemakers. Just letting her come near is enough to change the course of one's destiny, or even lead to one's destruction. If that's the case, I might as well quickly give her what she wants and be done with her quickly.

Ryuji opened his bag and retrieved the small fruits box. The retro-looking cloth bag (though the design was retro, the pattern was quite contemporary, with a dark blue background matching the hand-drawn black and white geometric lines) which wrapped the box was bought through mail-order, as Ryuji liked it very much. "Wow~" Taiga licked her lips as her eyes glittered,

"Hurry up!"

She anxiously swung side to side. I'm already taking it out, why are you rushing me for?

"Open it!"

"Me?"

"That box is very hard to open, I'll always spill the contents. So hurry up and open it!"

How selfish... though now's not the time to complain about it. Ryuji proceeded to open the box as instructed, within it was a mango, Taiga's favourite. Like a small child, Taiga grabbed her fork and looked at the mango, getting ready to pick it up.

"Why are you eating here!?"

"Saves me the trouble of having to return the empty box to you."

Meanwhile, on the podium,

"Well then! Let's get back on topic! Today's agenda is to discuss what should Class 2-C organize for the school festival."

Haruta, whose face beamed brightly, seemed to be getting carried away by his excitement as he clutched on the podium desk and glanced down at everyone. Ami maintained her smile while holding some sort of hand lotion tube and applying it on her hands, in other words, she couldn't care less. Taiga leaned on Ryuji's desk and seriously tried to poke the slippery mango with her fork, not interested in what Haruta was saying. "Go back to your desk and eat!" No matter how Ryuji pushed and shoved, she refused to budge.

Ami and Taiga weren't the only ones who weren't interested in the agenda being discussed, it was the same for all the girls. Some lay on the table sleeping, some were reading magazines under the table, and though some were facing the podium, they had their ears stuffed with their white earphones as they listened to their music. Though these quiet ones were fine compared to the more contemptuous whispers being said by the others, "Can we not do anything?" "I just hope Haruta doesn't go showing off too much,"

None of you would look good in Goth-Loli. This was Ryuji's opinion. Though we're going to decide on a Cosplay Cafe, you are neither suitable for those cute lacy clothings, nor will you look good in a Chinese dress or maid costume. The best you can do is to work behind the scenes... No wait, that would be kitchen. Can I leave the kitchen to these girls? Absolutely not! Ryuji shook his head vigorously. Whether it's cooking or washing the dishes, I will have to take care of it! Ryuji had once again fallen into "Ryuji World" - All he was thinking was an extremely messy kitchen during the noisy school festival, with all the leftovers piled up on the tables, and all the clogged drains - Don't touch those! Leave them all to me! I'll take care of them all!

Now is not the time to be day dreaming about such stuff! As Ryuji finally came to his senses, Haruta had begun to table his motion,

"Well? Nobody have any suggestions, right? If that's the case..."

Cosplay Cafe.

Just when the mastermind was about to pick up the chalk and write on the blackboard.

Just when all the guys were clutching their fists in excitement.

Just when Taiga, sitting at Ryuji's desk, went "Ahh" and was about to stuff the mango into her mouth (While closing her eyes for some reason).

Just when Ryuji thought Crap, the mango's dripping. And was about to hand a handkerchief to Taiga.

"Life~ is~ merely~ 17~ years~"

So lamented Oda Nobunaga while being surround by flames in Honnoji... Yeah right, it was actually Minori, who saw as nobody said anything, decided to say something. As though carrying a flame on her back, she turned with full of vigour and slowly got up,

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incident_at_Honn%C5%8D-ji

While facing his end in Honnoji, this was the poem sung by Nobunaga as he lamented at how short life was: 人間五十年、下天のうちをくらぶれば、夢幻の如くなり。 一度生を得て、滅せぬ者のあるべきか。 "Life is merely 50 years / Looking at things under heaven / Everything is nothing but dream and illusion / Once given life, should there be any man that doesn't perish?"

Minori merely changed 50 years to her own 17 years. )

"As for my suggestion..."

Squirm

Her shy face quickly went red. Like lightning, a bad feeling ran past the United Coalition of Men. On a certain level, Minori was far more dangerous than the "Strongest" and "Fiercest" Palmtop Tiger, this was because she was the only person who could freely manipulate the "Strongest" and "Fiercest", Taiga's personal beast tamer.

The beast tamer was now squirming around and shyly drew circles with her fingers,

"Um, well, it's not that I want to do this. Or, rather, I actually hate it... But, I've been thinking, wouldn't it be great if everyone can have fun? Since everyone says it's fun, so, though I don't like it, but... I heard someone has a great idea, no no no, I'm no good at coming up with one myself, but everyone will like this idea. That's right, I'm talking about that... a ho... hou... house of... ugh!"

Yikes. The whole class quietly backed off. The blushing and squirming Minori was now suddenly bleeding from her nose. The whole class went silent. Ami accidentally squeezed out a few centimetres worth of hand lotion. "Huh... huh!?" Taiga remained seated with her jaw opened and dropped the mango she was holding, which was swiftly picked up by Ryuji.

Toradora vol05 038.jpg "Sniff... ahem... heh heh... my nose's bleeding... Oh no, don't get the wrong idea, I'm not thinking of anything naughty here. It... it's just, well... I, I, how should I say this, I'm thinking we should make a h, h... house of horrors..."

Everyone in class could see her placing tissues onto her nose as more red blood flowed out. Even with tissue pressed onto her nose, she still giggled as more blood seeped through. It seemed she was really excited.

She's hopeless. Everyone remained speechless, and looked perplexed at this curious classmate.

"Kushieda, that's enough. Your body won't be able to take it any longer."

"What?"

Inside the frozen classroom atmosphere, someone stood up. It was none other than Kitamura.

His glasses shone brightly as he deliberately kept his voice low, for fear of getting Minori too excited. He crouched his back as he slowly approached Minori.

"Cuckoo, cuckoo..."

He widened his eyes and waved his arms about, mimicking a rooster as he walked over, attempting to calm Minori down. Unable to move her eyes away from a strange looking Kitamura, she rubbed the blood off her nose and widened her eyes in awe, trying to look carefully at him as he got closer.

"Cuckoo, cuckoo... that's right... Kushieda, come to the clinic with Papa Rooster. You've got to stop that nosebleed, right? Don't worry, Papa Rooster will table your suggestion for you."

Minori's eyes looked strange, as though falling into some form of hypnotism.

"R, really?"

"Yes... cuckoo... come here, over... here!"

With speed faster than the eye can see, Kitamura grabbed Minori's shoulders with both his arms. Just when everyone had thought he'd grabbed her, in the next second,

"Trying to beat me in speed? How foolish!"

"Cuckoo!?"

"Kitamura-kun, I've seen through your plans already... You underestimate Minorin! Come on, let the show begin!"

"K, Kushieda!?"

"Nobody move! If anyone does anything funny, I'll use this..."

Indeed, the Strongest, Fiercest, and "Craziest" person of the class had to be Kushieda Minori.

"And poke it in... here!"

Minori tightly held Kitamura's hands behind his back and gave a mischievous smile. She stuck out her finger like a gun, and aimed it at the bottom of Kitamura's bottom. This'll be bad if she really pokes that in!

"Kushieda! Please don't do this!"

Haruta yelled from the podium.

"Haruta stop! Kushieda's serious! Her grip is over level 50!"

With his glasses sliding halfway down his nose, Kitamura, now a hostage, pleaded with Haruta to not interfere. Everyone in Class 2-C looked shocked. Ryuji and Taiga can only look at a hostage being taken, but can do nothing about it besides dropping their jaws. "Dun, dun, dun~" Someone began humming the theme song for some detective drama. A situation has arisen! The atmosphere is getting tense, but our hero has yet to appear. Minori looked at the classmates' foolish expressions and then smiled even more evilly,

"Oh my, it's not like I really want to get Kitamura-kun crippled over there... I only have one request! And that is for our class to organize a House of Horrors!"

"Ugh!"

Maybe it was because Minori shouted loudly beside his ear, or the fear of being jabbed in the arse, Kitamura shivered. Haruta could only stand petrified as he bit his lips, while murmurs spread around the classroom. This is bad!

"Did you say House of Horrors...?"

"Bleh! That sucks..."

"Not only that, it's troublesome to make as well..."

"And I'm not interested anyway..."

"We're already high school students, and we're still playing House of Horrors?"

"Kushieda, your idea sucks! Mega sucks!"

The girls were right, and the United Coalition of Men was intent on heading towards their goal of a Cosplay Cafe, so they would not allow anything to go wrong.

"If you want me to accept Kushieda's condition, I can't do it."

"Yup, same here."

"Sorry Kitamura, you'll just have to sacrifice for us."

"Farewell."

"Bye bye, Maruo."

Everyone waved their hands to Kitamura. Tears welled up beneath Kitamura's glasses, and disgustingly flowed to his neck,

"You guys are so heartless! ... But! I, Kitamura Yuusaku, as your class representative, am prepared to throw my feelings away and sacrifice for your sake!"

"Huh...?"

"Come on, Kushieda! Do it! Bring it on! If poking into my ass is going to satisfy you, then suit yourself!"

Kitamura lifted his butt, seemingly prepared for it. Minori smiled casually,

"How brave of you. Youth is great, isn't it, Kitamura-kun? ... In that case, you'd better grit your teeth!"

Creak! Minori cracked her knuckles, while Kitamura closed his eyes and placed his hands on his sides fully prepared. Everyone could not bring themselves to watch such a depressing scene, and all turned their eyes or covered their ears, trying to stay as far away from it as possible.

"Hmph... but I must tell you beforehand, I won't be the only one that'll suffer a loss. Because once you're done, the flames of desire within you will disappear..."

Kitamura was not content to go down alone, so he decided to proudly say that to Minori. He's bringing her down with him! Way to go! If he does that, Minori might just retract her suggestion.

But it was too naive, everyone was too naive.

"Suffer a loss? That's a whole different matter. Aren't you getting this wrong? Do you think you can appease me with just Kitamura as your sole sacrifice?"

"W, WHAT!?"

"Well then, I wonder who the 'next sacrifice' will... be... HIYAAAA!!!"

With an insane scream, Minori jabbed into Kitamura with all her strength, and all Kitamura saw that instant was a starry expanse. If Minori was not willing to retract her suggestion, then Kitamura's sacrifice will be in vain.

Rumble rumble rumble Just as her finger was about to land on its target.

"Come out! 'Shadow Brigade'!"

Haruta yelled and raised his hand, pointing towards the back of the classroom.

Though nobody replied and rushed out at once, a group of boys stood up at the same time.

"S, shadow Brigade!? Whooooaaa!?"

In incredible speed, they have rescued Kitamura and lifted Minori into the air.

"What're you guys doing!? Let me off! I won't give in to this! No way! Even if Kushieda isn't here, the House of Horrors will continue to live on in people's hearts... Ahhhhhhh..."

The Shadow Brigade lifted a bleeding-nosed Minori and rushed out of the classroom. Minori's screams became softer and softer until she could no longer be heard. Forgive me. Ryuji thought as he clutched his fist tightly.

Kushieda, forgive me for not rescuing you. All of this is so that I can see you in all sorts of cosplay.

"M, M, Minorin!? Stop that you idiots! Just where the hell do you think you're taking her!?"

Taiga, who had been watching all along, now stood up and pointed towards Haruta.

"She's been sent to the Morgue! A most suitable place for those who prefer to use violence to settle their differences!"

"What!?"

Upon hearing Haruta's swift reply, Taiga yelled back, and then quickly sat down,

"R, Ryuji, what's a Morgue!?"

"That's where they place dead bodies."

"Dead bodies... so Minorin's already..."

"OW!"

Poke! For some reason, she decided to pick this moment to poke her fork into the mango that Ryuji was holding, poking his hand along the way, causing Ryuji to writhe on the table in pain. Taiga nonchalantly placed the mango into her mouth, and said while chewing, "There's no way Minorin will end up there." It didn't seem like she was worried at all.

On the other hand, Haruta looked at the classroom with Minori removed. Kitamura's safe, and the interference been taken care of, now we can return to the agenda.

"Well, with the disturbance out of the way, let us continue! I have an idea for the school festival! And that is we organize a Cos..."

At this moment,

"La~ lalalalalala~ la~ lalalala~"

"W, who's singing!?"

Haruta was once again interrupted. Someone was sitting at the corner of the classroom with her knees wrapped , looking absent-minded towards the sky and humming.

It was the Single... sorry, the homeroom teacher, Koigakubo Yuri (Aged 30).

"... Permission denied..."

As the Single Lady (Aged 30) ages, the face that she lifted to slowly glance at her students seemingly looked rounder. She wore loose beige cotton trousers that concealed her body curves and a beige V-neck collar shirt with ribbons on her sleeves, and one could even see her legs wrapped in beige coloured stockings if they look carefully. This was because the colours of pink, blue and green were strictly reserved for twenty-something ladies. In addition, she can't wear lace, she can't wear flowery patterns, she can't wear silk ties, pleated skirts, or even reveal her knee caps anymore. Such was the pitiful life of Koigakubo Yuri as she turns 30.

30 years old... Miss Single (30) now looked aimlessly ahead.

I only came to Tokyo for the sake of studying, unlike my friends, who only know how to slack off while I studied seriously to obtain my teaching diploma. When I graduated, it was the height of the recession ice-age. Compared to my friends, who had to send hundreds of resumes only to be rejected, or just decided to delay their graduation for as long as possible when they hadn't found any work, I consider myself quite lucky to have passed my teaching qualification exam. From then on, I've been working hard - since then, I've even become a homeroom teacher now. The parents seem to be satisfied with me, with the current economic climate, my salary is way better than your average lowly OL. (At least I can afford a 100,000 yen a month house rent!) (Not to mention I can even take my mom to Hong Kong for a holiday, and bought a Hermes Garden Party tote!)

As my schoolmates get married one by one, I began to grow used to it. Since they were of the "Ice-Age" generation, they could only find jobs in medium to small sized companies. Before us there was the "Pre-Bubble" generation, and after us there's the "New-Bubble" generation trying to squeeze in for the limited number of jobs out there. Stuck insecurely between these two groups, it's only natural for them to cling onto some form of "certainty". I can only imagine, and am fortunate at how lucky I am. Right now I'm no longer anxious or jealous, since I'm an adult already. Besides, I'm ONLY thirty. It's only reaching this age that I realize that it really isn't such a big deal.

However, there's just one thing.

Lately, a cousin of mine, who's the same age as I am, had a kid who's going to start junior high next year. Her mother even went all the way to call me about it, even though I didn't want to know about it, but you know how country folks are...

It's only junior high, after all.

If I were to have a kid tomorrow, by the time he gets into junior high, I'll be 43 already, yup. Besides, it's not like I'll be having a kid tomorrow, or the day after, or next week... so it's no big deal...

"Denied... Permission denied..."

Like the soldier in the fated Mount Hakkoda Death March, Miss Single (Only 30!), in search of a future she could not see, marched in vain towards the podium where Haruta and Ami were standing.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakk%C5%8Dda_Mountains_incident)

"Y, Yuri-sensei?"

"Back off!"

Miss Single (Still just 30!) literally butted off Haruta and Ami, and then smashed her fist on the table, glaring venomously at the whole class,

"You're not allowed to do anything interesting!"

She uttered words unlike what a teacher would normally say.

"Coffee shop? ... Denied! Private cinema? ... Denied! Home-made theatre play? ... Of course not! Forming a band in a concert?... Ah! That has got to be the worst suggestion this nation has ever seen! All this nonsense that lasts for only a day is all just an illusion! No matter how much you date, you'll be breaking up with him by Christmas! As your homeroom teacher, I hope you'll be able to see the cruelties of life! Having attended a girls-only school, all I've experienced is the pain and suffering of reality! So you're not allowed to do anything! ... Absolutely not! ... Do you have any idea what an "Employment Ice Age" is? It's hell, I tell you! You can send your resume to hundreds of companies and none will give you a reply. Even if you get hired, you'll be out of it before you even pass your three month probation! All these experiences have got me battered and my personality twisted. Even if you've smoothly found a job, the boyfriend that you've been dating since university would say 'Your life seems to be going quite well. Huh? A new car? Wow, being a public school teacher sure is great. How much's your pay? Whoa... But, do I really have to pay that much tax for your behalf? Hmph!' And then he dumped me... Sob... sob...!"

This is becoming unbearable. At this rate, our homeroom teacher (aged 30) will degenerate into a demon... Haruta snapped his fingers, and the Shadow Brigade appeared once again.

"What is wrong with working haaaaaaaard!?"

Even the homeroom teacher had been hauled off towards "the Morgue". It seemed Haruta was dead serious today.

Knock! At this moment, someone knocked gently on the door. Kitamura, holding onto his still intact butt, quickly got up and exchanged a few words with a student from another class, who seemed to be someone from the Student Council.

"Thanks for the message! Be careful now!"

Kitamura saluted and sent the messenger off. Be careful? He's not skipping class, is he? He then stepped onto the podium and announced,

"A phone call from the Student Council! A while ago, the principal and dean have come to an agreement!"

Phone call? ... But he received the message from a messenger... Ignoring the perplexed looking classmates, Kitamura said loudly,

"This year, the school festival shall have... an Inter-Class Competition! The activity organized by each class will be voted for by every student in the school, together with the votes each class's representatives in our Campus Queen and School Hunk competition collect, the class with the most votes will get to receive valuable prizes! Here's a simple illustration..."

Kitamura excitedly began drawing strange-looking circles and arrows on the blackboard. "I don't get it!" Everyone complained.

"Ugh, anyway, back to the topic! Here are the awards for the winning class!"

Scribble scribble scribble With incredible strength, Kitamura left very clear chalk marks on the board as he wrote:

   1. Have their air-conditioner replaced with the latest model this month instead of having to 
   wait til next year.
   2. A private refrigerator for the classroom this year.
   3. Students are allowed to use the normally off-limit electric mains in the restrooms.
   4. Students no longer have to participate in any cleanups.
   5. Discount vouchers for Kanou Groceries.

The classmates below the podium murmured... Especially the girls, who were initially uninterested and lukewarm about organizing any activity,

"... Don't we want a new air-conditioner?"

Indeed, the girls usually hate dry weather.

"... Don't we want a fridge?"

Indeed, the girls would always wish that they could store their unfinished pudding, fruits and drinks away and keep them cold.

"... Don't we want to use the electric mains in the bathroom?"

Indeed, the girls would always hope they could use their hair dryer at school.

"... Do we really want to do any cleanups?"

Indeed, the girls normally hate cleaning the bathrooms.

"... Don't we want discount vouchers for the supermarket?"

This was Ryuji's favourite. Though Kanou Groceries was a bit far from where he lived, the quality of its goods was one of the best and most varied in the area, which explains its slightly higher price than other places, as well as why Ryuji would want those discount vouchers. He unknowingly licked his lips, completely unaware that Taiga was looking at him with a disgusted expression as she ate her mango.

"Oh my, now I suddenly feel like I want to win this!"

"I wanna use my hair dryer! I definitely want to!"

"Yeah! Yeah!" Nearly all the girls stood up and yelled in excitement. "This looks a bit bad..." Haruta looked intimidated for a bit, but Ami ignored his presence and announced,

"Alright, alright! Then can someone please come up with any ideas? I'll be writing them on the board... Yuusaku, you're in the way, so get off."

After driving Kitamura off the podium and ruthlessly rubbing off his words on the blackboard, Ami turned and smiled her angelic smile, "Now, any ideas~?" Though his voice was no match for the noisy girls, but as those that come first get served better, so Noto decided to bring up his courage,

"Me! Me, me, me! I suggest we have a Cosplay Cafe!"

At last! ... Someone has said it! Including Haruta, all the boys applauded. However...

"EH------!!!???"

Before Ami could finish writing, the girls were already booing.

"That's too otaku-ish! No way man! No way!"

"We're bound to overlap with other classes anyway!"

"Ab-so-lute-ly not!"

"Besides, what're the guys going to cosplay as? Mudskippers?"

"Are you pervs thinking of getting Ami-chan to dress up in all sorts of scantily-clad clothes!?"

"You're all perverts!"

"Go to hell, you lecherous scum!"

Poor Noto was nearly reduced to tears as he was roundly abused by the girls.

"How about we open a 'Cowboy Club' and have the guys take charge outside while we stay inside?"

Kashii Nanako flicked her slightly curly hair and said in a voice that melted into the atmosphere. The small birthmark at the corner of her mouth gave her the feel of a grown woman not found in other high school girls. "That's a good idea!" Maya quickly agreed.

"As expected of Nanako-chan! It is a wonderful idea~! Let's have a Cowboy Club instead!"

"Yup, Cowboy..." Ami said as she beautifully wrote the suggestions on the board. The atmosphere's now heading to a dangerous direction. But the real challenge comes afterwards...

"How about we open a 'Drag Bar'? That'll certainly be interesting!"

... If this wasn't "challenge", then what is?

"Hey, good idea."

"Since if we're having a Cowboy Club, then we must have good-looking guys..."

"That's why we'll be better off doing a comedic route..."

"I'm sure Takasu-kun would be popular dressed as a girl..."

"M, ME!?"

Ryuji began to shiver in shock. "Pft!" Ami couldn't help but laugh when she saw Ryuji's face. Taiga remained seated at his desk and said disdainfully, "That's hardly funny at all... You've all underestimated the power of Ryuji's face. Don't worry, Ryuji. I won't let you go out in drag." Taiga's indifferent attitude only ended up hurting Ryuji even more.

But it was hardly over. The normally self-inclusive and obscure yaoi fangirls now came out of hiding and said,

"Instead of drag, how about we have a 'BL Cafe'? The butler will be seme, while the slightly haughty waiter will be uke. They'll be affectionate and mean to their customers simultaneously... How's that? Kya! I've said it!"

"W, w, wha!? Affectionate and mean to customers simultaneously... Can you please elaborate on that?"

"Maybe we could make it dramatic?"

"That's a great idea. As expected from our senior fujoshi (yaoi fangirl)!"

"Come, all you fujoshi sisters, follow our eminent matriarch!"

"Matriarch, do you mean we should stage a 'BL Theatre'?"

"KYA! Who'll be the seme? And the uke? Do they need to speak courteously? What about glasses? And maybe white tuxedos?"

"We need the Martiarch to work on the script!"

"KYAA! A brand new story by her! Sisters, selling it on Yahoo! Auctions is strictly forbidden!"

Even the spice girls were now overwhelmed by the yaoi fangirls. Though no one had any idea what on earth they were talking about, they still applauded for some reason. "So it's decided?" "Isn't that idea great?" The girls were becoming increasingly bold and unstopabble. There were yells and screams everywhere, the boys could no longer open their mouths. Even Kitamura had covered his ears and shut his eyes as he meditated in his own world. Haruta leaned on the podium desk and yelled in pain,

"We won't get anywhere with this endless debating! If that's the case, let us settle this with a ballot! Everyone, write what shop you want the class to have on a small piece of paper, and then pass it up here and into this plastic bag!"

In an attempt to break through this sense of imminent defeat, Haruta came up with a most brilliant suggestion. Ryuji quickly pushed Taiga back to her seat, and proceeded to write "Cosplay Cafe" on a small piece of paper. The other guys must be writing the same answer. No matter how fired up the girls are, they're merely disparate opinions. They'll be no match for the rock solid United Coalition of Men!

Theoretically, that should be the case...

"Alright! Has everyone cast their votes? Is that all? Now to mix them up and draw lots to decide the winner in one go! That's how we fairly decided the swimming duel between Ami-tan and Taiga last time! So there'll be no complaints, no matter what the result! That's the conclusion!"

"Alright!"

... Only the girls replied.

Draw lots?

Decide the winner in one go?

That's the conclusion?

"Wai..." As the United Coalition of Men were about to raise their hand in query, Haruta had already pulled out a small piece of paper while smiling cheerfully.

"Here's the result! The activity Class 2-C will be having for this year's school festival will be --- Pro... WHAT!?"

The paper piece flew off Haruta's hand. Ami quickly picked it up and said,

"I wonder what it'll be? ... The hell is this!? Pro-wrestling smackdown (with serious tackling)... What is this!? Just who wrote such a suggestion!?"

"Are you kidding me!? What were you guys thinking!? Why wasn't it 'Cosplay Cafe'!?"

Haruta yelled besides Ami. Ryuji pointed out in a calm voice,

"The real question should be, why did you not decided the winner by majority vote?"

After five seconds of silence.

"...ARGH!!!"

All the boys fell onto their desks weeping. How can Haruta be so damn stupid!? ... He must have cheated his way into this school...

As the classroom was filled with wailing, someone snickered alone at the corner in the back...

"This is what you get... for discarding your homeroom teacher..."

Miss Single (30), has returned from "the Morgue" by her own will and determination. With dust all over, she casually passed her paper piece forward without anyone noticing, and with a stroke of good luck, her piece was picked by that idiot Haruta. By the way, clutching onto Miss Single (30) by her ankle as she escaped from "the Morgue", and covered completely in rubbish was none other than Minori. She fell to the floor as she reached the classroom, and did not make it in time to hand in her own paper piece, which read "House of Horrors" on it.

Now that things have come to this, what was there to be done?

"Let's leave this aside for now!"

Haruta pretended as though nothing had happened, and snatched the paper piece from Ami's hand, crumpled it up and tossed it aside. But no one blamed him for doing that. We'll just have to wait for the homeroom teacher to leave after class and discuss it once again.

"OK, let's forget about that!" Haruta once again stood before the desk, while Ami combed her bangs and smiled angelically.

"Now... let's begin the homeroom session! Today's agenda is the school festival! Though we don't have much time left, we still need to nominate our class's representative for the Campus Queen competition!"

"What about the School Hunk?" Someone asked.

"I heard that the Student Council will have special arrangements concerning the nomination of the School Hunk during the day of the fesitval. Though I said we need to choose someone to be our Campus Queen, I don't think we even need to choose, right, Ami-tan?"

Haruta looked at Ami, whose widened eyes looked as though they were about to fall off.

"Eh? Me? Ehh? What is it? I don't get it at all!"

"There you go again. You know very well that if you participate, we'll definitely win the Campus Queen competition!"

No one objected to what Haruta said and nodded in unison. Everyone was thinking as long as Ami takes part, she'll surely win.

"Eh~!? You're kidding right? I can't, I just can't!"

Surely win? Why, that's already decided centuries ago! Hahaha! So laughed Ami inside her heart, though on the outside she continued to squirm forward pretentiously like a prawn and waving her arms, her butt nearly touching the blackboard as she backed away.

"While I'm glad that everyone thinks that way, but actually, I've been appointed as the MC for the Campus Queen and School Hunk competition~! I'm so sorry, guys. You even went all the way to pick me~"

"WHAT!?" Everyone exclaimed. Ami's chihuahua eyes looked happier as a result, as well as a bit more haughtier.

"Was there such a thing!? I'd nearly forgotten! Or I should say, I have no recollection of that. So that's why~! Now what...? How about... But that's a bit too pathetic..."

Haruta looked at the near death Miss Single (30 and still fired up). It'll be quite amusing if we let the homeroom teacher to take part in the Campus Queen competition. Just when everyone was thinking the same way, Ami interrupted them,

"Um, Haruta-kun, I'm afraid that won't do. The rules clearly say... Joke entries strictly forbidden. In other words, no drag, no teachers, no students from other classes, no two-dimensional characters, no parents, etc. So we can only choose a girl from our own class."

The murmuring from a while ago seemed like an illusion, for Class 2-C now fell into silence, at a loss in what to do.

Having to choose a cute girl from this class, and it cannot be Ami the professional model, the epitome of cuteness.

It was natural that everyone was at their wit's end. Everyone was born into the generation of consequentialism. They value uniqueness more than being the best. This was how everyone was brought up, being taught how every person is good or beautiful. And so it was hard for them to distinguish who was truly cute...

"I think Aisaka-san would be a good choice."

"What did you say!?"

"Heh!" Ami, whose senses were different from the average person, smiled and looked mischievously towards Taiga below the podium. Completely ignoring a yelling Taiga, who woke up from her daydreaming and looked murderously at Ami, she continued,

"Look at her. Aisaka-san's so small and cute, and everyone in school knows her as the Palmtop Tiger, so she has to be popular, right? Who knows? She just might surprisingly attract quite a lot of votes~."

"Attract your ass! What is this nonsense, you super Bakachi!? Why must I take part in this!?"

Taiga, whose mouth glittered as a result of being smeared with mango, kicked her chair off and stood up.

"Hmm... but I think it's a good idea."

"The tiger is indeed quite famous..."

"If it's just attracting votes, there's no better choice than the tiger."

"S, SHUT UP!"

Taiga roared with all her might, causing the just fired-up boys to fall silent again. Only Ami maintained her smile and continued,

"Hmm? You, can't, do, that, little tiger. Since you are a member of our class, you do have a responsibility to take part in the class's activities~"

Ami even threw a wink, causing the fuse in Taiga's flamethrower temper to be ignited.

"Why you Bakachi... trying to pretend you don't know anything! I'll settle this with my own hands then, not just the school festival, I'll have this school disappear from this world!"

Not caring whether the contents in her drawer fell off, Taiga effortlessly lifted her desk above her head, preparing to throw it towards Ami on the podium. Including Ami, everything lying in the path of the desk's expected trajectory were ducking for cover. At this moment...

"Now, now, calm down! Since we may actually get a chance to win if Aisaka were to participate. I personally think Aisaka's a good choice as well."

"Ah..."

Upon hearing Kitamura's voice, Taiga's legs quickly went wobbly, and the desk she was carrying above slammed straight onto her head. Reaping what she sowed, she knelt on the floor in pain.

"T, Taiga!? You alright?"

Ryuji quickly lifted the desk off her, but it was too late.

"... Who are you?"

With a remarkably amazing clumsiness, Aisaka Taiga had now gone into amnesia. "Ooohhh..." With that sound, Ryuji glanced with the corner of his eye towards the podium.

"Then it's decided that we'll nominate Aisaka-san to participate!"

Hiding in the corner with everyone else, Ami announced loudly, followed by wave after wave of applause.


One final note worthy of mention. At this moment, Miss Single (living hard as a 30-year-old) was no longer in the classroom.

She was already filling in the official application form for the class's activity, which was of course "Pro-wrestling smackdown (with serious tackling)". She even chopped it with her teacher's seal.

Does that idiot Haruta really think he can just leave that aside and pretend nothing's ever happened? How naive. After 8 years of teaching and 12 years of being single, the students simply had no idea how formidable a single lady can be.

Light Novel
Main Series' Volumes

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