Tuesday, September 19, 2023 @

Volume 3 Chapter 2 The Power of Added Value

 "Come to think of it, Isumi isn't here again today. Yuusuke, haven't you heard anything about it?"

 "No, I don't know anything either."

 As Souji mentioned, her presence was absent among most members. According to the president, she wasn't even participating in the training camp. I hadn't had a chance to find out the reason since we never crossed paths.

 I thought about reaching out a few times, but my fingers always stopped short of opening a chat screen. She'd dumped me, after all, so why bother contacting her now?

 There's a wall that can't be surpassed, even for a former Hero.

 She probably had her work as an Anti-Demon to keep her occupied. That would explain her absence.

 While I contemplated this, the battle for the onigiris among the guys had reached its climax.

 In the Literary Club, the most popular among the guys were, unsurprisingly, third-year Isahaya Keina-senpai and second-year Rindou Katari.

 Isahaya-senpai had an air of a calm and elegant young lady about her, and she happened to be the daughter of a pretty well-off family. And she has big breasts. I'll say it twice because it's important, she has big breasts. Many guys were drawn to her overflowing maternal aura.

 Rindou was our classmate and had a petite, typical college girl appearance. Always cheerful and friendly with everyone, she enjoyed significant popularity among the male members.

 There was something about her that felt similar to Hinata, but I recall hearing that, unlike Hinata, Rindou had a high-achieving boyfriend from another university.

 "Rindou is amazing. Her popularity doesn't waver even though she has a boyfriend, huh?"

 "Hmm... But Katari-chan just broke up recently. So, everyone's trying their luck?"

 "Really? That's news to me."

 "I heard it directly from her not too long ago."


 "By the way, when did you wake up, Matsuda?"

 Wow, I didn't even notice him inserting himself into the conversation so seamlessly. Matsuda, the youkai—uh, I mean Matsuda—popped up with his cheerful face.

 "Sounds like an interesting conversation going on over here!"

 He grinned and gave a thumbs-up, but his cheeks bore keyboard marks.

 "Her boyfriend is pretty smart, right? I heard he has started a student business? Did they break up?"

 "Well, it's more like he was into developing applications for college students. I didn't inquire about the details, but maybe he got tired of it?"

 "You're being pretty blunt..."

 "Well, isn't that just how college relationships go?"

 Hmm, well, if you don't try dating, there's a lot you won't understand, and seeking the best option is a logical choice.

 In a way, her boyfriend seemed more practical and grounded than me.

 While I admired this perspective, Rindou, noticing our conversation, waved her hand cutely, drawing my attention. So cute.

 However, Hinata, who sat beside me, seemed unusually awkward.

 "What's wrong, Hinata?"

 "...I'm not really good with Katari-senpai."

 Huh, that's rare for Hinata to say.

 "Oh, is it because your personalities are too similar?"

 "Don't say that like we're characters from a manga. It's not that. I just don't think she likes me very much."

 "Huh? Really?"

 It didn't seem that way to me, but Hinata shrugged.

 "Well, guys wouldn't understand this. It's more of a thing between girls."

 "Hmm, that's scary."

 "This is a common topic no matter where you go."

 Is that so? To be honest, I haven't talked to Rindou much, so I don't really know. I do know that meddling in female relationships as a guy never leads to anything good, so keeping quiet is the best course of action here.

 Still, it's overwhelmingly clear when I look at it this way.

 Indeed, Isahaya-senpai and Rindou were quite popular. Their frequency of being approached by guys was unmatched. And they handled it skillfully, considering the other girls' feelings.

 But this wasn't the usual Literary Club gathering; there was another participant.

 A girl who stood out conspicuously among the girls with her vibrant golden hair, a stark contrast to the black and brown-haired crowd, was continually swarmed by guys. She handled it with the other girls surrounding her protectively.

 Lisha, the petite, blonde beauty, was undoubtedly commanding massive attention. She was always in high demand, and the guys kept approaching her.

 Matsuda muttered, gazing somewhat absentmindedly in that direction,

 "She's incredibly popular, huh, Lisha-chan."

 "Do you really want to eat that? Her onigiri?"

 Isahaya Keina-senpai and Rindou Katari had taken the lead in popularity, leaving everyone else behind. But now, there is a new girl who garnered immense attention from the guys. Her name is Lisha.

 Lisha was a blonde-haired girl with her hair in braids. Her facial features were absolutely stunning. She had the kind of beauty that blurred the line between girl and woman, captivating people of all ages and genders.

 As it happened, Lisha was none other than the Saint of the other world, Asteris. At times, she wielded an influence greater than even a nation's king and was the human closest to being worshipped as a goddess by people worldwide.

 So why was such a heavenly figure making onigiris at this university? Well, there were various reasons.

 In Asteris, there was a conflict known as the God-Demon War between humans and demons, and that war was currently taking place here on Earth.

 Lisha was one of the human representatives in the war.

 Normally, she wouldn't have time for such a tranquil gathering, but we had recently emerged from a major battle, and rest like this was crucial. Additionally, I heard that the number of people participating in this God-Demon War wasn't that large, so the chances of consecutive battles were low.

 Lisha-san's onigiris were incredibly popular. The guys were all asking, "Which one is Lisha-chan's?" right now. At this rate, they could probably sell for a thousand yen each.

 It seemed like the female members had anticipated this, as they skillfully evaded questions about which onigiri was Lisha's.

 The looks the female members were giving the guys were downright frightening. I could almost hear them saying, "Do you like rice balls made by a blonde high school girl?"

 True, Lisha rarely cooked at my place, so her homemade dishes were rare. If she put them up for sale in Asteris, she'd make a fortune.

 Anyway, if I stayed here much longer, not just Lisha but all the onigiris might disappear.

 I wasn't the only one who thought that; Matsuda stretched and said,

 "Well then, shall we go get some too? Since we're at it, I might as well get one of Katari-chan's onigiris."

 "What? Matsuda, aren't you targeting Lisha's?"

 "I thought the same."

 Even though people'd go to great lengths to secure one.

 Matsuda sighed and shrugged his shoulders in an exasperated manner.

 "Targeting her in a place with such fierce competition is a bad idea. Even if Lisha-chan tells you which one is hers, you'll just increase the hate from others. If I have a good relationship with Lisha-chan, I'll eventually get some onigiris, so there's no need to push here."

 "Where's your unfounded confidence coming from..."

 "You only meet at school, so when's she gonna make them anyway?"

 We discussed things like this as we approached the area with the onigiris.

 Since some guys were asking for seconds, the distribution of onigiris was still bustling.

 Honestly, it wasn't Matsuda's story, but in terms of hate, I was already in the stratosphere within our Literary Club. I used to date Tsukiko, and now I live with Lisha, so it was only natural. Even though one relationship ended and the other had some complicated circumstances, to outsiders, those details didn't matter.

 If I had a friend with an extremely beautiful friend, I'd be jealous, no doubt about it.

 So, the right move here was to casually pick up a random onigiri and then quickly withdraw. A former Hero was capable of covert operations like this. I'd been scolded by Eris multiple times with "Your armor is just way too conspicuous. Can't you tone down the glow a bit?" But now, I was a guy who was worlds apart from that flashy persona.

 This kind of mission was a piece of――,

 "Oh, Yuusuke-san!"

 Mission failed.

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