He was rejected... was it because he had become too handsome, or did he ask at a inopportune timing?
After leaving the infirmary, Seiji felt rather helpless.
It was obvious that Miyamoto was a nice girl who just lacked self-confidence. If she gained self-confidence and lost some weight, she would probably be a cute girl.
Even if she didn't lose weight, as long as she gained self-confidence, she'd be a great otaku friend.
Sadly, he was rejected.
Because Miyamoto wasn't considered as a "beautiful girl" by his system, Seiji wasn't able to view her favorability rating towards him.
'I hope she doesn't hate me. Perhaps my story was too unbelievable for her to handle.' Seiji thought to himself.
He was rejected, he was rejected, he was rejected... important things should be repeated three times.
He had only wanted to make a friend with whom he could discuss otaku topics. Seiji sighed helplessly. Although Mika and Chiaki were both nice, neither of them were interested otaku topics.
The school didn't seem to have a club related to otaku activities either—he had already looked into it.
Then just where was he supposed to release all the otaku energy that was gathering inside him!?
Anyway, with Genhana High School being such a large school, why weren't there at least a few otakus that created clubs for their interests!?
Just as he was pondering over the matter, he had a flash of inspiration which caused him to stop walking.
'Is this... the part where I should be creating my own club?'
He suddenly felt like all the resistance blocking his clogged feelings had disappeared.
After P.E class had ended, class representative Koji Hoshihara led a class meeting for assigning everyone various tasks for the school festival's preparations.
Koji's apportioning of the tasks was fair and reasonable, so they only discussed some small details before finalizing the plans.
"Harano-san, your task is extremely important. I hope that you'll be able to discuss things with the confectionery store swiftly and successfully."
"No problem, Class Rep, I already called the store manager last night and asked her about it—she's quite happy to help us. I'm going to work tonight, so I'll discuss the other details with her then."
"Oh, wonderful—as expected of Harano-san!" Koji thought about it for a while:
"After you talk to her again tonight, can you give me a call and tell me about the situation? I want to know as much as possible."
"Sure." Seiji exchanged phone numbers with Koji.
As the class representative of Year 1 Class 5, Koji Hoshihara was a reliable person who was clearly the type that was accustomed to leading. He was one of the people in class that was well-respected by both the boys and the girls and was also one of the only boys that didn't feel any jealousy towards Seiji.
Seiji felt quite fortunate that his class rep was a person like Koji, otherwise he'd have an even more difficult time in class.
Unluckily, Koji was only thinking about managing the situation in a more convenient manner, and even though Koji wasn't biased against Seiji, it didn't seem that Koji intended to become friendlier with Seiji either.
"Seigo, are you going now?"
"Yeah, I'm going to the sweets shop now—how about you guys?"
"I... don't feel like going to tennis club today. I'll just go home with you." Mika said.
"I'm going to drama club—we need to practice our program for the school festival."
After Chiaki left, Seiji and Mika also departed from school and started walking home.
"How's... the tennis club doing?"
"I don't know, but I doubt the atmosphere will be very good today."
"Seigo... Seiji, you didn't do anything wrong," Mika sighed, "the club's always had similar problems before, and after seeing things there yesterday... honestly, I've been considering leaving that club."
"Mm... it doesn't seem like that club is suitable for you."
"But even if I leave that club, I don't know what club I'd want to join..." Mika sighed once more, as she turned around and looked at Seiji: "How about you, Seiji—what club are you interested in?"
"Mm..." Seiji rubbed his chin thoughtfully: "When I was chatting with you during lunch, I asked if there were any club activities for otakus, right? You said there weren't any. That's why I was thinking about creating my own club."
"You want to create your own club?" Mika was momentarily stunned.
"I'm an otaku after all—I'd like to be together with fellow otakus that share my interests." Seiji smiled, "Of course you're welcome to join in as well—even if you aren't an otaku, you also enjoy watching some animes and we can chat about it together."
"Oh..." At this moment, Mika felt a distance between her and the boy in her heart.
Although she did enjoy watching some animes, and she would also watch some idol videos online occasionally, she wasn't a fully-fledged otaku like Seiji.
Ever since Seiji had changed himself, she was getting along pretty well with him, but his true essence was that of an otaku, while she had ordinary interests.
This made Mika feel a sense of panic.
"Do you know what the requirements for me to establish a club are?" Seiji asked.
"Oh... it probably it requires a minimum number of people, and then you have to apply to the student council." Mika buried her complicated feelings deep inside her heart as she answered his question sincerely.
"As expected, the number of people is the first hurdle..." Seiji rubbed his chin thoughtfully: "Maybe I should do something like send out a summons..."
"Put up an advertisement on the bulletin board, and search for students with similar interests."
"Will... that work?"
"I don't know, but at the very least I have to try." Seiji rubbed his chin as he considered it carefully.
Even though it was rather bothersome to create a club, it would be an excellent method of enjoying his newfound youth, wouldn't it?
But anyway, he had to take care of the school festival first.
At the Divine Taste confectionary store, Seiji chose the [work] option from his actions menu after changing into his work uniform. He then began working with smooth and experienced movements.
He remained fully occupied until 7:30 in the evening.
After he finished his shift, Seiji went to the store manager's office instead of changing out of his work clothes.
Rika Amami was already waiting for him there.
As usual, she was well-dressed. She wore a suit that showed off her excellent figure, and in tandem with her black stockings and beautiful legs, she was oozing with sex appeal.
What surprised Seiji was the fact that there was another woman in the store manager's office.
The other woman was wearing a cap that covered her medium-length silvery-brown hair. She wore a gray sweater with black sweatpants, and her chest was just as ample as the store manager's. She sat on the sofa with her legs tucked to her chest like an elementary schooler would, and she had a despondent aura about her.
"Harano-kun, you've arrived."
The fact that Seiji was using a fake name was supported and known by the store manager, so all his coworkers changed the way they addressed him as well to mitigate any potential problems.
"Before we talk, let me introduce someone to you—this is the author of "Honey Candy Girl," her pen name is..."
"Peach-sensei!?" Seiji's eyes instantly lit up.
His voice suddenly rose an octave, which seemed to frighten the cap-wearing woman. She trembled violently as she retreated further into her own embrace.
"Yep, she's known as Peach, and she's also my younger cousin," Rika Amami sighed, "she hasn't been outside for a long time, so I dragged her out here today to talk with you."
"I never imagined that I'd be able to meet Peach-sensei! Your story is wonderful!" Seiji felt like his otaku portion's passion had been ignited, "I've watched every episode of your anime, and I even wanted to buy the special edition. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough money... Oh, would it be alright to ask for your autograph?"
He approached her as he talked.
The woman in the cap named Peach kept retreating from him.
"D... don't come over!"
Seiji was instantly petrified as if he had been stricken by a curse.
Rika Amami sighed deeply.
"My apologies, Harano-kun. My cousin here has severe androphobia."
This was the first time that Seiji was hearing about this legendary phobia in real life.
He hurriedly took several steps away from her, and as if she was reacting to his presence, she seemed to loosen up.
'Wow, it was actually real?' Seiji looked at the store manager inquiringly.
"This isn't a secret or anything—just about everyone that is familiar with her knows about it. She's always attended girl-only schools in her childhood, and because of an incident with a boy in college, she developed androphobia. To be honest, it wasn't that bad of an incident—it was just normal miscommunication. However, I underestimated her tolerance. As it was lacking, she became an otaku. From there she embarked upon the path of an author." Rika explained.
"Oh..." Seiji nodded understandingly. "My apologies for scaring you, Sensei," he said to the woman.
Peach adjusted her body on the sofa.
"No... I'm... sorry."
Her voice was so gentle—if she could talk without stuttering, he was sure that she would sound amazingly attractive.
"Since Sensei is here, do you wish to talk about obtaining the copyright permission?" Seiji then turned towards Rika: "Since she has androphobia, we could have just talked about it over the phone." Seiji felt like a matter such as his class borrowing the theme of "Honey Candy Girl" for the school festival was on a large enough scale to justify the presence of the author, though.
Rika Amami had a serious expression as she looked at him.
"Actually, I have a suggestion. You can receive the copyright permission from Peach, and the store will give you its full assistance in helping your class for the school festival. There's just one condition."
"What is it?" Seiji felt an ominous premonition.
"I want you to have a date with Peach on the day of the school festival."