Chapter 5 - An Out-of-Season Transfer Student
*The following contains spoilers for the main game, so it is highly recommended that you play it before reading.
Right after the summer break, we had a transfer student join us out of season.
A broad grin was spread across her familiar face.
She introduced herself as Onohara Hazuki, and took the empty seat next to me, as our homeroom teacher instructed.
It's a pleasure to meet you.
No, the pleasure is all mine. If there's anything I can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask.
I will, thank you. I hope we get along.
She hadn't said, "Let's get along, okay?" but, "I hope we get along."
There was no sign of worry in either her expression, or her outstretched hand.
Seeing that confident smile of hers in person made my heart skip a beat.
I remembered our exchange from the night before.
So hey, what do I do if I don't fit in with my new class?! What should I do if people tease me?!
I couldn't really remember how I'd answered.
Probably something like, "If you don't fit in, worry about it then."
Or, "If you get teased, just tease them right back."
I probably just gave some random response that was half-appropriate (or at least sounded like it).
Um... Suoh-san, right? Is there something on my face?
Not at all, you simply have the typical two eyes, nose, and a mouth.
Haha, you're surprisingly funny for someone so pretty, Suoh-san.
I'd love it if we could become good friends♡
That carefree, smiling face.
She was a transfer student, so I realized she couldn't possibly know anything about me or my family.
But... But even so, it had been who knows how long since anyone at school had shown me such an innocent-looking smile.
It was so refreshing to see someone smile in my direction without any ulterior motives of trying to charm me, or any intention of trying to ingratiate themselves with the daughter of the Suoh family.
Yes... I would like that as well.
She grasped my hand tightly, and the transfer student's cheeks turned bright red.
Is something the matter?
Well... it may be a little weird for me to tell you this myself, but...
...it's just kind of embarrassing having someone as pretty as you say they'd like to be my friend.
Oh my... Hazuki-san...
Her incredible honestly took me surprisingly off guard.
There weren't many people close to the Suoh family who would speak so sincerely, or say whatever was on their mind.
If I hadn't been so accustomed to dealing with people online, my confusion probably would've been written all over my face.
Waaah~ I could just die...
Huh?
I just can't believe you called me "Hazuki-san" on the very first day we met... I'm so th-th-th-thrilled♡
...She was as interesting as always.
The lack of worthwhile people around me was precisely why I had taken to conversing online.
I'd already had my fill of boring people.
I got excited thinking about what kind of entertainment this girl would offer me throughout my school years.
I'm grateful to have made you so happy, but it is the custom of St. Michael's for people to address one another by their given names.
Oh, really?
So please, call me Manami.
.........
Huh.
Just when I thought she was about to feel dejected, she suddenly started grinning like crazy.
I love this custom!
...She really was a weirdo.
I could only describe myself as lucky to have this oddball as a classmate, let alone sitting next to me.
Now, what sort of amusement are you going to provide?
I flashed her a grin and Hazuki-san blushed awkwardly...
But she smiled happily right back at me.