“Ahaha. The ‘secret room’ from the ‘rough sketch’, ‘sealed room’ situation, and now the ‘criminal identification’ case, huh? This is all starting to look more and more like a mystery novel isn’t it? Araragi-senpai’s story has all the required elements for fiction. It’s both exciting and eccentric.”
“It wasn’t exciting at all… it was a gathering of a bunch or amateurs trying to pick out the criminal. By now, it’s probably easy enough to roughly predict which course of events followed.”
I shook my head in denial at Ougi-chan’s optimistic delusions. Just telling the story to this point made my heart sink. I was starting to wonder why I was telling this story to a girl I had just met moments ago.
I haven’t even talked to Oshino about this.
“Heheh. At any rate, that old ha— president Oikura¹, really did have a stern personality.”
(TN : In the raws, Ougi says 老いらくの変 (oirakunohen), which means ‘going strange with old age’. The pronunciation is similar to Oikura’s name. Oirakunohen(老いらくの変) = Oikura (老倉）)
“Wait, what? Haha, you almost mispronounced her name… if only you said that to her face.”
Of course, I didn’t have the guts to do so. At that time, my fear of her had been deeply rooted in my heart. How should I say this—the senseless loathing that she had for me was all the more reason to be more than just afraid.
“Well, Compared to Senjougahara, who I came to know later on, Oikura’s stern attitude was a cute little thing. In Senjougahara’s case, it wasn’t hostility, but killing intent.”
“Ah, that’s right. I didn’t want to interrupt you in the middle of your story so I didn’t say anything, but now that you mention it, is Senjougahara-san from your story the same Senjougahara that you’re in a romantic relationship with now? The wicked tongued witch, the tsundere queen, Senjougahara-san?”
“How did you hear about Senjougahara?…… Well, you’re not wrong.”
She’s aiming to change her ways right now—reaching for a flower on a high peak (Actually just a rose covered in nothing but thorns). The girl I thought was a secluded, frail (Actually just cold and demanding) young maiden (Actually just a monster from a horror movie) from a hospital love story was now, two years later, in a romantic relationship with me—and the fact that I have no idea why she fell for me just further proves that I have no idea how human relations work.
(TN : “Reaching for… high peak” is a Japanese idiom expressing an unreachable goal.)
… That said, the only classmate from back then that I am still on friendly terms with would be Senjougahara.
“But, at the time, I hadn’t uncovered Senjougahara’s true colors, so I’ll continue to describe her as the frail, secluded maiden that I made her out to be.”
“Feel free to do so. Frail maiden, huh? Heheh.”
Ougi-chan happily remarked. Rather than being a good listener, it was more like she was honestly being entertained, and actually took an interest in what I had to say. Even if it was a dull, depressing story. As a result, the atmosphere she creates makes it hard for me to stop talking. This might sound odd, but it’s almost as if my mouth starts moving on its own.
“Uuuuuhm. So where did we pause the story?”
“Up until Oikura declared that no one was to leave the classroom until the criminal was identified. Hm? So, does that mean shortly after Oikura-senpai handed over the role of chairman over to you? You mentioned that you played the role of chairman of the class meeting, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right. That’s where we alternated roles.”
“I see. So originally, Oikura was the adopted parent, but then she rolled the dice, and Araragi-senpai ended up adopting it, right?”
“I think you’re making it harder to understand when you put it in mahjong terms…”
(TN: Mahjong is an asian strategy game thing from China.)
Seems like she has some refined tastes. Could it be that Ougi-chan also knows how to play Hanafuda4?
(TN: Hanafuda(花札) – Another asian strategy game thing. But this time it’s from Japan, and they use Japanese playing cards.)
“But, she didn’t actually roll a dice, right? Oikura-senpai had some intention in mind when she nominated you, didn’t she? Is that why she refused to let you sit down and kept you standing there?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
But she didn’t have to keep me standing the entire time, did she?
“If that’s the case, then I really don’t get it after all. I wonder why you were nominated. Did anyone raise any objections?”
“Of course, not everyone approved of me. If I were to name someone then Shinaniwa would be a good example. I think his full name was Ayazute Shinaniwa. I think he had a—what do you call it?—a superiority complex. He tended to look down on people. Especially people like me, who were constantly being looked down on by others. He objected to it quite vigorously.”
“You’re hated by all kinds of people, aren’t you, Araragi-senpai? Superiority complex, huh. There sure are a lot of them in this school. Oikura-senpai’s strictness, too, might stem from that kind of attitude. Well, being hated is just another part of personal virtue, Araragi-senpai.”
“Don’t start trying to console me with sarcastic words. Being hated has nothing to do with personal virtue. Besides, I wasn’t exactly hated by Shinaniwa anyways. Just looked down on.”
“Isn’t that the same thing? By the way, did Shinaniwa-senpai take part in the study session?”
“No. That guy liked to study on his own. Although, he wasn’t as fussy as Kouma was. He looked down on those who were below him, but the moment he recognized someone as is equal or superior, his personality became quite friendly and sociable.”
“Sounds like a complete asshole.”
“You know, he wasn’t a bad person.”
‘Wasn’t a bad person.’ well, this was a line I could only say because I barely even knew him. I only recognize Ayazute Shinaniwa and Sodachi Oikura. Just because I recognized their outwards appearance, doesn’t exactly mean we were the closest of friends.
“… but eventually, in the end, everyone including Shinaniwa-senpai in the class accepted you as chairman, right? Why was that?”
“Since Oikura was being accused of being the most suspicious of us all, you understand that if would be a bad idea for someone who participated in the study session to manage the class meeting, right? That means about half of the class didn’t qualify. But that doesn’t mean that just anyone can fulfill the same role. After all, the discussion revolved around a math examination, so it was impossible to avoid that topic. And that means that the job can’t be left to someone with poor grades in math.”
“Ah… Well, yeah. You’re right.”
Ougi-chan seemed to want to say that a chairman has no need to check any calculations, so there probably wasn’t any problem for someone who was poor at math to take the role. However, she just nodded for the time being.
“But, the average score of those who were absent—no, didn’t participate in the study session was, on average, about twenty points lower, right? Did anyone?—Did anyone who wasn’t present at the study session achieve a high score that could compare with that of those who did?”
“Yeah, there was. Hayamachi received a ninety-two point score. Not necessarily only the students who went to the study session received high scores. That’s where it gets complicated though. However, there was only one student who received a higher score than all the members of the study group—me.”
“That’s why—I was chosen to be the chairman.”