“Hi,” she said with a friendly smile to the girls standing next to her. “What position are you applying for?”
“Very funny,” one of the girls said with a laugh.
Huh? But before she could ask what that meant, a loud ringing bell sounded out from the speakers, and the huge screen mounted on the wall suddenly switched on. The first thing they saw was a bright white screen, and then the words ‘PR TEAM’ suddenly showed up.
All of the girls – including those next to Aya – squealed and rushed forward, and the last thing Aya saw was a list of names slowly rolling up on the screen.
“Thank you to everyone who applied for a position in our club’s PR team. If your name shows up on the screen, then it means you’ve passed our screening.”
Out of the thirty or so girls that had been around earlier, only five remained, with the rest leaving with dejected expressions on their faces. Those staying behind chatted among themselves loudly, with the club president’s name continually popping up in their conversation.
One of the boys noticed Aya’s visible confusion, and he gave her a sympathetic smile. “You’ve no idea, do you?” He gave a discreet nod in the girls’ direction. “The only ‘easy’ position in the club is PR, so that’s what all the girls go after. It’s the quickest way for them to get close to Wind.”
And that was it? She knew Wind by name and by face because he was in the same year she was. He was tall, blond, and good-looking, and he was almost as popular as Minato. She supposed he was a nice guy overall, but…wasn’t it such a waste that those girls applied for the club just to be close to the president?
The boy chuckled at the look of horror on Aya’s face. “I take it you’re not a fan of Wind?”
The door to the officers’ lounge suddenly opened before Aya could answer, and the club’s vice president stuck his head out of the doorway. “Is there a fourth-year named Aya among you?”
And then Aya slowly, reluctantly raised her hand.
“Wind wants to talk to you.”
Aya cringed as the announcement had the other girls throwing dirty looks her way, and the boy next to her chuckled. “Good luck, onee-san.”
Stepping inside the officers’ lounge, she saw that there was another room inside it, with a silver plate on top of its door. President’s Office, she read with a gulp. Oh no. This suddenly felt so serious. Was she in trouble?
The vice-president gave Aya an odd look. “Go on. He’s waiting for you inside.”
Wind rose to his feet as soon as Aya entered his office and went to meet her halfway. “Aya Thornton?”
His voice was deep and clear, and he sounded very businesslike that she couldn’t help but straighten her back as she answered respectfully, “Yes, sir.”
The club president’s lips twitched. “We’re the same age,” he reminded her, “so you can just call me Wind.”
With his tone turning approachable, Aya found herself relaxing just a bit, and she even managed a sheepish smile for him. “Sorry, I’m just nervous.”
Easier said than done, she thought. He had her called in to his office. How could that not make her nervous?
“I read your application,” Wind told her casually.
Aya tried not to fidget.
“You applied for visual novel games.”
“You’re aware that this club doesn’t actually have an opening for that position?”
“Actually, the club has never had any activity related to visual novel games before – and I think you know that. Don’t you?”
Busted. Aya gave Wind a weak smile. “I just thought it wouldn’t hurt to try.”
A smile briefly crossed Wind’s lips. “Your risk paid off.”
Oh thank God!
“The other officers and I have talked about it, and we’ve decided that we can take you in as a member but only on a probationary basis---”
“That’s okay,” Aya said eagerly.
“And it will be dependent on several conditions.”
“I’ll do anything,” she blubbered.
Wind’s eyes gleamed. “I’m glad to hear that – since I’m not letting you take it back.”
Aya’s mouth opened and closed. Was it just her or did that sound distinctly like a threat?
“Firstly, you cannot speak to anyone about this. If others were to know, they might ask the club to take them on probation, too, and we’d rather not deal with that kind of hassle.”
“I won’t breathe a word, I promise.”
“Secondly…” Wind named an amount that had Aya’s eyes widening. “We’re willing to invest that much in the game you’re proposing to develop, but we expect a daily accounting for all your expenses.”
“Of course.” Aya’s voice was just a tiny bit breathless. This felt so surreal. If there were anything she loved in this world as much as she loved Minato, then it would be her beloved visual novel games. Making one of her own was her greatest dream – and now it was about to come true thanks to the club!
“Thirdly – have you ever had a boyfriend?”
“Of course---” Aya stopped speaking. Wait a minute. Had she really heard Wind right? “Umm, w-what was that again?”
“A boyfriend,” Wind repeated patiently. “Have you ever had a boyfriend?”
She slowly shook her head.
Wind frowned. “Well, that’s a problem.”
It was? Aya cleared her throat. “Are you, umm, saying I can’t be a member if I don’t have a boyfriend?”
Wind gave her an odd look. “Of course not.”
Oh. Okay. Then what was this about?
“But you do understand how this impacts your game, don’t you?”
Aya shook her head again.
“The title of your game is High School Love,” Wind reminded her dryly. “Don’t you think you’d be able to make the game more realistic if you had a boyfriend? Or any dating experience?”
So that’s what this was about.
“I don’t think---”
“That’s okay,” Wind interrupted her.
“I think I’ve found a solution to your problem.”
But wait…what was her problem in the first place?
“I’m so lost,” Aya blurted out.
“You and I will date for a week,” Wind told her.
“It should give you enough real-life experience to draw from, and after a week, you’ll pretend to dump me, and that way your reputation in school is saved.” Before Aya could recover from shock, Wind walked to the door and opened it, saying, “Listen up, everyone. Aya’s my girl now---”
The announcement had almost everyone gasping, Aya included.
“So ount me out if the club has any scheduled events during Thanksgiving break.”
Aya almost crumpled to the floor. OH MY GOSH!
Since it was so rare for Wind to show interest in a girl, the news of Wind and Aya’s Thanksgiving plans spread faster than a computer virus throughout the school. Certainly, it reached Karin, too, which was why she wasn’t at all surprised when Minato came to the library looking like he was raring for a fistfight.
“Why don’t you just ask her out yourself?” she asked, exasperated.
“Because I don’t have a right to,” Minato said bitterly. “My life’s a mess. You know that. And it’s only going to get worse when they find out I’m in contact with you.”
Karin’s heart broke for the young man. It wasn’t right that he was being so mature about this. “You don’t have to worry about me or anyone else. It’s your life, do what you want – and quickly, too, before someone snatches her away from you.”
Oh dear. This looks like the start of a reverse harem for Aya, which means Minato has A LOT to worry and be jealous about! (And isn't that fun? :D)