Chapter 23 - St. Michael's Bicycle Club

Thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules to come here.
Not at all. We don't have anything going on with the events committee right now anyway.
We were free too... Isn't that right, Miya?
Despite the fact that I'm constantly buried by my work...
Oh, is that so? Please forgive me, Miya-sama.
Geeze, Miya... You're supposed to be a genius, right? So shouldn't you be able to finish your work just like that?
A genius... Yes, you're absolutely right. It's about time you recognized my greatness, Risa.
Sheesh... One little compliment and she gets like this...
You're working already at your age, Miya-kun? I'm impressed.
I'm getting the pancake set today!
You're jumping right to the food, huh Reo?
I see. Well then, perhaps everyone should place their order first so that we can talk at greater leisure afterward.
In that case, I'm going to get the same thing Reo-kun's getting.
I'll just stick with tea.
Rikka-chan, you can have cake too, you know.
N- No thanks, I'm not really into sweets...
Rikka, you could get this cake salé. It isn't very sweet.
Cake salé?
It's a savory cake made with cheese and vegetables. It's somewhat similar to a quiche, and quite tasty.
All right then, I'll get that.
I'll have... the chiffon cake.
Oh, so you aren't abstaining today, Risa?
But... I've been riding my bike every day. Besides, the chiffon cake has fewer calories than the other ones.
Hmmm, in that case, I'll have the mont blanc and the mille-feuille... As well as the fruit tart, and...
Hnnh... Are you trying to tell me something? Everything you're getting is high calorie...
It looks like everyone's decided, so why don't we go ahead and order?
Oooh, I haven't had cake in so long. It tastes so good♡
You look really happy, Risa-chan.
*chew-chew* ...Hey, Shinozaki Rikka, that cake salé really isn't sweet?
Nope, it sure isn't. You can have a bite if you want, Reo-sama.
Well, if you insist... *chomp* ...Hmm, not bad. If I kept alternating between this and a sweet cake, I could probably keep on eating forever.
Hmm... I'm not too crazy about that idea. You're a little piggy as it is, Reo.
Don't call me a piggy!!
U- Um... Would it be all right if I began now?
Oh, right. We all came here because you wanted to talk to us about something.
Oh yeah. Okay everyone, let's stop eating for a second.
I feel a bit put on the spot... I merely have a proposal I would like to make.
A proposal?
What is it? I can't wait to hear.
Well... What if we were to form a bicycle club?
A bicycle club?
Oh, so that's what it is...
Oh man, you've really gotten into this cycling thing, haven't you?
Yes, ever since learning all about bicycles from the rest of you, I've been spending every day practicing on the estate.
You have an estate to practice on... That's money for you...
On our family grounds, we have room to drive cars, to say nothing of bicycles.
H- Haah... The other half really does live different.
No kidding... Haah~
Because of that, I've become quite enamored with cycling... I thought it might be possible to derive even greater enjoyment by riding with Rikka-san... as well as the rest of you.
I see, so you thought of a bicycle club, huh?
I admit, it sounds fun.
You said club, but what you're really talking about is more of a gathering of enthusiasts, right?
Correct. Not an athletic organization, simply a place for everyone to enjoy themselves.
So the focus would be limited to things like weight loss and light, recreational riding?
Yeah, that sounds good to me.
I heard you say something about that earlier, but can you really lose weight by cycling?
You sure can. That's the whole reason Risa-chan got into cycling in the first place, isn't that right?
Y- Yeah... That's right.
Oh, okay. But Risa-nee, you don't look fat at all.
Her excess flesh resides in places you can't see. Places you've never seen... Places only I am allowed to see♡
C- Come on Miya, cut it out! Give that stuff a rest already!!
Oh, what a shame.
Geeze... Anyway, I'd be happy to tell you whatever you want to know about cycling to lose weight.
Oh my, so the student has become the master, I see.
Geeze... I can at least do that much, can't I?
...and that's all there is to it, Rikka.
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, I see... So that's why you were talking about fat burning when we were riding around the cycling course back at the beginning.
This warrants further study, Rikka-san.
Yeah. Up 'til now the only thing I've been worried about is how fast I can go on my bike.
That sounds just like you...
I'm ashamed to admit, but I still haven't quite understood what "pottering" is, despite discussing it with you...
Pottering is just like what you were talking about earlier. Going out for a leisurely ride with everyone.
It's equivalent to taking a stroll, or going sight-seeing on a bicycle.
Taking a ride through an unfamiliar town... That sounds quite lovely.
Yeah it does. Some place like Kamakura sounds fun, or even Kyoto, even though it's a little far.
Rikka-san, your interests are surprisingly dull.
Having all of us pick some place to go and then heading out there sounds like a lot of fun. I'm in favor of this bicycle club.
As am I.
Whoa, I can't believe you agreed so readily. You hate socializing with other people.
Well... Should this become a full-fledged club, I'll get to see you in racing shorts all the time, so... Hehehe♡
You can count me in too.
This bicycle club sounds like something from a teen drama.
You've got my vote, Sayuki-san.
Rikka-san... Everybody, thank you so much.
Since we've come this far, I'd like to get everyone else on the events committee involved as well...
I mentioned it briefly to Nanami-sama during a Campus Beautification Committee meeting...
What'd she say?
She's extremely busy with her duties as class representative at the moment, so she doesn't have any free time.
I see... If Nanami-san's no good, then Yuuna-sama's probably out of the question.
Yes, it does seem that wherever Nanami-sama goes, Yuuna-sama tends to follow.
Sara-san and Kaede-sama have been so busy with their fashion work, they've even been missing school lately...
Eris-sama and Shizuku-sama mentioned they'd started part-time jobs recently.
The hamburger place by the station.
Shizuku-gozen has a part-time job?
Yeah, she said it was to learn more about regular society... It sounds like she's been working really hard at it.
So I guess we can't invite her either.
Yeah... I guess not.
It sounds like you guys have a lot of friends... It's a shame I haven't gotten to meet them.
For the time being then, it seems as though the members will consist solely of those of us present...
So, Reo? What do you say?

For more on Shizuku and Eris's part-time job, see the short story "The Working Woman".

To be continued... Next time♪

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