Volume 8 the indignati.., p.1

Volume 8 - The Indignation of Suzumiya Haruhi, page 1

 

Volume 8 - The Indignation of Suzumiya Haruhi
 


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Volume 8 - The Indignation of Suzumiya Haruhi


  Volume 8

  The Indignation of Suzumiya Haruhi

  Editor in Chief★Straight Ahead!

  “Rejected.”

  “Rejected.”

  Haruhi said flatly, thrusting the manuscript back.

  “It’s no goo~d?”

  Asahina-san raised her voice to a near-scream,

  “But I really, really thought about it……”

  “Yup, no good. Totally. It doesn’t strike any chords.”

  Leaning back on the chief’s desk, Haruhi took the pen that had been on her ear into her hand and continued,

  “First, this introduction is too common. ‘Long, long ago, in a certain place……’ whatever; that’s such a stale and ordinary way to start a story. Give it a little more twist. The beginning part should go for the catch, okay? First impressions are crucial.”

  “But,”

  Asahina-san nervously said,

  “I thought that was how fairy tales are……”

  “That mindset is obsolete!”

  Haruhi handed out the rejection with a thoroughly self-important air.

  “The transformation of ideas is necessary. If you remember hearing this or that somewhere, think about the opposite first. Then you might just give birth to something new.”

  This feeling like we were rapidly straying from the point was the result of Haruhi’s thought system. It’s not like the pick-off motion of a pitcher that let a fast runner get on first base, and I don’t think it’ll be good if you just do the opposite, either.

  “Anyway, this is rejected.”

  After making it a point to write “retake” over the copy paper of the manuscript with a red pen, she lightly tossed it into a cardboard box beside her desk. Within the box that had been originally loaded with oranges now was a mountain of wastepaper she had decided to send to the incinerator.

  “Write something new.”

  “Woo…”

  With shoulders drooped, Asahina-san dejectedly returned to her seat. She was just too pitiable. The sight of her gripping her pencil, arms wrapped around her head, brings out burning compassion and sympathy.

  On a whim, my eyes shifted to the perfectly nondescript corner of the table, and there was, precious for this clubroom’s scenery, the figure of Nagato-not-reading.

  “…………”

  Though it was Nagato keeping silently frozen as she stared at the notebook computer’s display, touching the keyboard and entering something, freezing up again, and then hitting keys with a tap-tap. So, she’s become an ornament again.

  What Nagato was using was a notebook computer we had taken from the Computer Club as a prize for a game competition. Incidentally, similar things were in front of Koizumi and me, and with nothing much to think about, the CPU cooling fan was already spinning noisily to cool its brain down. The sight of Koizumi’s fingers moving rhythmically and the sounds as he punched keys annoyed me like hell. So he’s settled on what he was going to write, isn’t that nice.

  Although Asahina-san, who had shown such a silly prejudice against machines, had been writing on copy paper by herself, she now came to a complete stop as if she had synchronized with me.

  Ah yeah. Even though I have nothing to write, should I be typing something?

  “Okay, all of you as well!”

  Haruhi alone was abnormally cheerful.

  “Hurry up and hand in your manuscripts, if we don’t start the editing, we won’t make it in time for publication! Get into gear! You can write quickly if you just give it a little thought, can’t you? Because you’re not making an entry for a literary prize in long story writing or anything.”

  From Haruhi’s cheery face bloomed a self-confidence that had sprung from somewhere I didn’t know, as usual. She seemed like she was going to strike her prey at any moment.

  “Kyon, you aren’t moving your hands at all! Just glaring at the computer screen like that won’t make your article! Anyway, write something first, then print it and show it to me, and if I think it’s amusing then it passes, and if I don’t then it’s rejected, okay?”

  My sympathy for Asahina-san transformed into self-pity. Why do I have to do such a thing? Not just me, but Asahina-san, who was moaning beside me, and even Koizumi, who was facing me while smiling; shouldn’t the few of us be raising the signal to mutiny?

  Well, even though SOS Brigade Chief Suzumiya Haruhi’s special characteristic was not listening to what you were saying, why was she willfully getting into a role like this?

  My eyes moved from Haruhi’s itching-to-slap-people’s-manuscripts-down-the-cardboard-box smile, to the armband on her arm.

  On the armband that was usually labeled Brigade Chief, and formerly Great Detective and Ultra-Director, a new title was written in big letters with a magic marker.

  This time, it was “Editor-in-Chief.”

  The beginning goes back a few days.

  It was a day in the third school term, and the footsteps of the end of the year were gradually hitting my ears. I wish there could’ve been a little warning at least, but it had come out of nowhere on a lunch break that should’ve been peaceful.

  “Summons.”

  The one who said that was Nagato Yuki. Beside her, for some reason, was Koizumi Itsuki’s slender form. I’ve never even had a micron of a feeling that this pair would be coming side-by-side to my classroom, and although it was I who had taken a break from digging through my bento to come to the corridor, I just wanted to hurry up and return to my own desk.

  “What’s that about a summons?”

  I could only think of my current situation. After Taniguchi, who had just returned from buying and was carrying a variety of breads and a melon sour drink, said “Kyon, your companions are here,” I went out and there were these two standing around. Though it was an unexpected pairing, I couldn’t think of any partner that would be suitable for Nagato to be acting as a couple with.

  I took in the sight of the alien girl who had been expressionlessly standing there after stating that single mysterious word at the beginning, gave up after waiting for three seconds, and looked at Koizumi’s handsome face.

  “Care to explain?”

  “Of course, that’s what I came here for.”

  Koizumi craned his neck into classroom five and inquired,

  “Suzumiya-san won’t be returning anytime soon?”

  She had rushed out right after the fourth period ended. She should be munching away at a table in the cafeteria right about now.

  “That’s convenient. I’d rather this doesn’t reach her ears.”

  I have a feeling that I wouldn’t want this news to reach my ears as well.

  “That’s true.”

  Koizumi’s voice was lowered in a serious tone. In comparison, you seem like you’re happy.

  “Well, it’s up to the person whether or not it’s something to be happy about.”

  “Hurry up and say it, already.”

  “An official writ came down from the President of the Student Council. It’s an order to appear at the Student Council room after school today. In short, it is a summons.”

  Aha.

  I understood in an instant.

  “It finally came?”

  A summons from the President of the Student Council―――it’s not that I didn’t know my own place that I would think of asking “What for?” In this one year, the SOS Brigade has, regardless of whether it was inside the school or outside, raised up a storm, as I, being too much of a good person, feigned ignorance to its misdeeds. What do we have first? The case of the computers that were hauled from the Computer Club? No, that should’ve been settled by the game showdown at autu
mn last year. As I hear it, the President of the Computer Club had unconditionally withdrawn the complaint they had filed at the Student Council after their defeat.

  Was it because of that nonsensical film? That was done quite some time ago, and the Student Council must have had elections after the school festival. Did the current President remember the tasks that the previous President had left for him just now? Or could our personal descriptions have just recently arrived at North High from the neighboring shrines that we had rounded? We visited too many temples here and there for the start of the New Year.

  “There’s no helping it.”

  I shrugged, gazing at the absentee chief’s desk, the rearmost one by the windows.

  “Haruhi would be really happy to go off at the President. Depending on the other side’s attitude, this just might turn into a brawl. As Koizumi is the mediator, I’ll leave it up to you.”

  “You are mistaken.”

  Koizumi denied eloquently.

  “The one being summoned is not Suzumiya-san.”

  So is it me? Come off it, that doesn’t make any sense. Just because Haruhi has so much resiliency that it’s like a spring made of whale whiskers, it would be at the height of injustice if I, still just hearing about it, had to bear the full brunt of it all. Though I know that the Student Council is just the school’s radio-controlled puppet, I can’t help but be disappointed that they’d go so far as acting like cowards.

  “No, it isn’t you, either.”

  Looking happy for some reason, Koizumi was getting increasingly invigorated as he said,

  “The one being summoned, is Nagato-san alone.”

  Say what? Isn’t this just getting more and more absurd? Although she’d make a competent lecturee as she quietly listens to whatever you say, there won’t be any sense of accomplishment since there’s little doubt that she will just stick to her silence.

  “To Nagato? The Student Council President?”

  “Your object and subject are correct. That’s right, the President has designated Nagato-san.”

  Nagato’s face showed no thoughts for herself as she stood there distantly. When she got hit by the beam of surprise that fired from my eyes, her bangs just gave a little sway.

  “What do you mean? What business could the President of the Student Council have with Nagato? It can’t be that he wants to employ her as secretary of the Student Council?”

  “They already have a secretary, so that’s wrong, of course.”

  Just say it already. Do you speak in that arrogant way because the nature is carved into your DNA?

  “Forgive me. Now then, I shall tell you what I know. The reason why Nagato-san was summoned is simple. Aside from an interview about the Literature Club’s activities, it is for discussing the question of the club’s future continuation.”

  “Literature Club? But what―――”

  I was about to ask what the relation was, but I caught on to his lines.

  “…………”

  Nagato was gazing at end of the corridor without moving.

  The white face that once wore glasses was as outwardly silent as that time. I still can’t forget when she slowly raised her expressionless face in the clubroom where Haruhi had jumped into as she dragged me along.

  “I see, the Literature Club, huh. So that’s how it is.”

  This must be about how the SOS Brigade has been holding the Literature Club room as its headquarters for a while now. The only official member of the Literature Club has been Nagato from the beginning, while we were merely freeloaders, or some otherwise illegal occupants. Haruhi probably thinks that we had long ago acquired the rights to the place, but the Student Council will surely assert a different universal and standard opinion.

  Koizumi probably read my expression and said,

  “The memo was for the President to be able to have a talk personally after school. It came to me first. Then I passed it on to Nagato-san.”

  Why did it go to you?

  “Because it would probably be ignored if it were addressed to Nagato, don’t you think?”

  On the other hand, you have as little to do with Literature Club activities as me.

  “That may be, but it isn’t as simple as you say. Things could get very difficult. Since we’re not members and we’ve done nothing even closely related to literature in the Literature Club room, it wouldn’t be surprising if it weren’t just the Student Council that feels suspicious…… No, it’s already become common knowledge, so I should say that it’s been overlooked until now.”

  Koizumi, who had spoken sensibly, wore a smile that made me wonder whose side he was on.

  They may be accusing me of being one of the leaders, but why has it come now? Like a lazy landlord who doesn’t repair a leaky roof, hasn’t the Student Council been leniently ignoring the SOS brigade as well?

  “The Student Council from before was like that. However, the current President seems to be more complicated.”

  Koizumi smiled, showing his white teeth, and glanced at Nagato from the side.

  As expected, Nagato gave no reaction, and just moved her eyes from the end of the corridor and focused them on my feet. It somehow seemed like she was saying sorry for the trouble.

  And of course, Nagato has never given me any problems. It’s been decided. As far as I know, there is only one person who scatters trouble into the air whenever she moves. These messes have―――.

  I said, exhaling into the empty air.

  “Always been brought about by Haruhi.”

  Since the day she had shouted that “This club room is our club room from now on!”

  “Please keep this a secret from Suzumiya-san.”

  Koizumi said.

  “Because I think it will only make things worse. So after school, please go to the Student Council room so she doesn’t find out.”

  “Yeah, I got it.” I was about to say, before I barely caught on.

  “Wait a sec. Why do I have to be the one to go? I’m not a person that gets carried away so easily that I would thoughtlessly march over there even though I wasn’t invited.”

  Of course, if Nagato had wished for me to accompany her I would have been happy to go, but Koizumi has no business asking me. Besides, wouldn’t the other party be terrified if Nagato came alone, I thought.

  “The other side is well informed. That’s why I was appointed as the messenger. Though I could go on and act as Nagato-san’s representative altogether, I’m worried that there might be some trouble later, as being an agent isn’t part of my job. Well anyway, to put it simply, you are Suzumiya-san’s representative.”

  “Can’t Haruhi go, herself?”

  “Do you really mean that?”

  Koizumi popped his eyes in an exaggerated manner.

  I snorted in response to his bad acting. If you say you understand it, then even I can understand it. If a bomb-girl like that is thrown at the Student Council, I don’t think it will end with a simple explosion. Considering the concern she had shown for Nagato at the winter lodge, if she found out that a summons had come for Nagato from the Student Council―――she’d fly off just at the “for Nagato from the Student Council” part, she won’t just smash the door as she charged to the Student Council room, she might even push ahead and attack the staff room or the principal’s office by mistake. Though that might make her feel better, it will undoubtedly be me whose stomach is hurting later. Unlike Koizumi, I don’t want to change schools without any personal reasons.

  “Well then, let’s do our best.”

  Koizumi had known my answer from the start, and let loose a smile as he said,

  “I’ll tell the President. Let’s meet at the President’s room after school.”

  Though he showed attitude while Haruhi was away, Koizumi lightly moved his long legs as he went away from classroom five. Afterwards, while watching Nagato walk away to follow him until I could no longer see her small figure, I really felt that the end of our one year had begun.

  W
hatever has been said, perhaps Koizumi and Nagato were completely content with the SOS Brigade’s reputation. While acting as a group, the number of things we were keeping from Haruhi was increasing on a monthly basis…….

  No need to get sentimental.

  Thanks to that, I didn’t get to ask Koizumi why he was going on normally as the Student Council President’s carrier pigeon.

  By the way, with Haruhi’s superb perception, she had noticed my suspicious behavior―――though she was totally unaware―――by the break after the fifth period.

  A sharp object had been insistently poking my back, and when I turned to look at the seat behind me,

  “What are you being so restless about?”

  Haruhi said as she twirled a mechanical pencil in her fingertips,

  “You look like you’ve been called out by someone.”

  For such a time, I had planned something that one-hundred-percent cannot be found false.

  “Yeah, Okabe asked me to see him. He specifically told me to come during the lunch break.”

  I answered with a nonchalant look.

  “It seems to be a request to talk about my grades. Depending on the results of my end of term exams, they may even arrange to notify my parents. About how I should reform myself right now if I’m thinking about going on to university or something.”

  Though I don’t have enough heart and all that to reform myself, and I cannot change what isn’t there, what I say isn’t always utter nonsense. Taniguchi had said something that sounded roughly the same but with different words, and the conclusion I got from the information sharing was that our homeroom teacher was worried about one of his students’ future and that he was a teacher for whom a fraction of sympathy was enough.

  But then, because I’m near someone like Taniguchi, who’s so easygoing that even I just go along thinking it’s okay, the feeling of tension is diluted. I sometimes think that Kunikida maintaining decent grades was stranger.

  “Eh?”

  While Haruhi propped her elbows on her desk and rested her chin in her hands,

  “It’s suspicious that you would get such grades. And I thought you were listening in class as diligently as me.”

 
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