Volume 9 the dissociat.., p.2

Volume 9 - The Dissociation of Suzumiya Haruhi, page 2

 

Volume 9 - The Dissociation of Suzumiya Haruhi
 


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  I had no original intention of messing about with the student council president, but he continued staring at me with his cold eyes, and after twisting his lips about a little, moved his gaze away and spoke in a serious and deep tone.

  “We shall ignore the incident here. We are nearly done inspecting all the culture-related clubs by now. Kimidori-kun, why don’t you move on to the field first? I will join you there later.”

  “Sure.”

  Only after hearing this short reply did I realize who the one standing beside the president had been all along. I nearly let out a scream, but luckily I managed to force it back down into the depths of my throat.

  “…Kimidori-senpai?” I asked, suddenly enlightened.

  “Yes.” She replied politely before bowing.

  Before hearing her voice, I did not realize that she was actually around. This fact deeply surprised me. It is as if she had been part of the president’s shadow all along, before materializing after opening her mouth. In fact, I felt as if she’d appeared out of thin air.

  The first-ever client of the SOS Brigade, as well as the ex-girlfriend of the president of the computer research society, now the secretary of the student council, Emiri Kimidori. After she gave a refined smile, like those seen in portraits of well brought-up ladies, she gave a bow as a sign of greeting. I stood there for a while, stunned, before doing the same.

  My, my, so is this the reason the president is displaying such attitude? Does this mean she had hidden her actual character from him? I personally thought this was not too necessary.

  However, the secretary and the president always appeared together as a duo. What exactly is happening here? Shouldn’t they give the treasurer a chance to appear once in a while as well?

  “It is possible if you wish.” The president adjusted his spectacles once again. “Even if our treasurer had anything to say, it would be towards the president of your club seated over there.”

  Actually both Koizumi and I heard the news as well. Last year, before the spring break, the student council had actually organized a meeting regarding the distribution of funds for the various clubs, and one of them involved the Literature Club. Although there is only one member, it is a legitimate club after all, and the president of the club actually attended the meeting. Of course, it is Nagato who attended the meeting as the president and not Haruhi. While Haruhi seemed genuinely interested in participating until the very last minute and suggested attending together with, or even in place of, Nagato, if she ever attended that meeting, it would surely lead to widespread chaos once the news of her illegally occupying the room of another club was made known.

  After much begging by Koizumi and me, Haruhi finally agreed and sent Nagato off with an expression as if she were sending a hostage to the enemy in a war.

  Nagato returned about an hour later, holding in her hands the funds granted for use for the club. This is quite an exception for a nearly-dormant club with only one member.

  According to various sources, nothing was done that would affect the outcome of the funding. All Nagato did was sit quietly and stare intently at the president of the student council. Often such meetings would be filled with debates over the amount of funding provided to each club, but this year set a new record, for everything went rather smoothly.

  Seemingly pleased with himself, the president said:

  “The meeting is actually just a meeting in name. The funding provided to each club has already been predetermined by Kimidori-kun and me. But the Literature Club is the only club excluded from this system. Ah, since we have already reached this stage, I shall not comment further. As long as you people use the funds assigned on meaningful activities, I will keep quiet. Otherwise do not blame me for nagging. After all, everything is already set in stone.”

  Kimidori-senpai, who had been observing silently from the side, suddenly chipped in.

  “In that case, I shall make a move first, president.”

  “Sorry to trouble you, Kimidori-kun.”

  Kimidori-senpai bowed at me once again before departing with a smile of a plant in a nursery, leaving a scent of lilies behind.

  During this period of time, there was no visual contact of any kind between Kimidori and Nagato. In fact, they may have already perfected the art of communicating without the need for words. I say this because Nagato never once raised her head from her book while Kimidori-senpai was around.

  “In that case, I guess we should be moving onto the actual topic.”

  The president took off his spectacles and played with them in his fingers.

  “It is useless talking about this without that girl around. When is she coming back?”

  I guess it should be soon. She’s only helping Asahina-san change; it shouldn’t take up too much time.

  “I might as well wait for her here then.”

  I keep having a feeling that the president that stood in front of me is starting to exude the air of someone in power more strongly than a while ago, as if he had been president for three years.

  “I originally thought that this student council work would be very troublesome…”

  The president laughed a bit after saying that, his real side finally showing.

  “But now that I’ve been at it for a while, it’s beginning to get interesting. When facing the various teachers and administrative staff as a president…”

  He suddenly reached out his hand and slapped himself on the forehead.

  “I slowly forgot which side is the real me. Actually, changing to become a person of different character is not such a bad thing either.”

  “I hope that you will not become engulfed by that disguised side.”

  Koizumi finally decided to open his golden mouth.

  “Don’t ever let the mask you are wearing become the real you. Tomb raiders becoming mummified themselves, and people emulating cats becoming real cats, are both common events these days.”

  “Tomb raiders trapped in a maze will at most become corpses to be displayed to warn others, not a mummy themselves. We should also not forget that cats have much shorter lives than humans.”

  The president revealed the smile of a predator and returned the spectacles to his face after wiping them with the sleeve of his uniform.

  “You don’t have to worry about this, Koizumi; I will do a beautiful job. But…”

  After putting his spectacles back on, the president went through a metamorphosis and became the perfect student council president everyone had come to expect. No wonder he pondered which is the real him.

  “Keeping a leash on that psychopathic girl is your job.”

  Out of the student council president’s sight, the president of our brigade appeared at the exit of the clubrooms block. Her face carried a look that is seen in all animals upon the arrival of spring. Beside her is a fairy exuding the radiance of the warm spring sun, the maid that is reserved for SOS Brigade use only.

  Haruhi carried a cardboard box made of corrugated fiberboard in one hand and held onto Asahina-san with the other, smiling as brightly as a Cheshire cat. However, the moment she saw the president, her eyebrows rose immediately.

  “Hey you!”

  Haruhi approached the president in large steps, totally ignoring the screams of Asahina-san, who she dragged along with her.

  “It’s just like I expected! You came over to make trouble for us while I wasn’t around, right? However, I don’t think we committed any crimes that would incur the wrath of the student council, did we?”

  Regarding this, I think everyone has differing views. What exactly are you doing here at the courtyard?

  “Ah, President-sempai…”

  Blinking her eyes like a European robin, Asahina-san is in her maid costume. This does not really matter, since it’s as normal as green bristlegrass growing on grasslands.

  “Hey, Haruhi, why are you…” I finally started speaking “…dressed up like that?”

  Haruhi proudly puffed her chest up.

  1 An elabora
te, traditional Chinese wear. Nowadays it is usually worn usually during special festivals such as the Lunar New Year.

  “Do you have a problem with that? Is there anything wrong with wearing a cheongsam[1]?”

  Like she mentioned, Haruhi is wearing a dark red cheongsam, decorated with a finely-stitched dragon. The cheongsam’s high cut revealed her supple and long legs. What’s more, the dress is sleeveless.

  Since she had made such a huge din upon entering the courtyard, the attention of everyone within it is now focused on her. Asahina-san, surprised by the sudden amount of attention on us, was so greatly embarrassed that she fumbled around trying to cover up her assets. If it is possible, I would have really hoped that I could have enjoyed such a sight by myself. Who cares about laws prohibiting such behaviour?

  “If you were at a fancy dress party, of course there would be no problem. But this is the school, and here you are, committing such atrocities right in front of many first-years! Can’t you just think before doing something?”

  Facing away from me, Haruhi replied…

  “Aren’t I thinking now? That is why I appeared in this costume! I originally intended to wear the bunny girl costume, but since I don’t want you all to complain, I settled for this instead. I’m already changing to fit your demands. You people should be eternally grateful!”

  Haruhi displayed a dirty look on her face. She tried to point a finger at the president, but discovering that both her hands were full, quickly let go of Asahina-san and left the cardboard box on the table before doing so.

  “You should be feeling eternally grateful!”

  She repeated the statement.

  Unfortunately, the president is not some saint.

  “What kind of gratitude am I supposed to show here? As the student council president, and regulator of the image of the school, I refuse to accept your dress code! I also wanted to ask you if you have ever heard of the idiom, ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ or something similar?”

  “What about it? I have heard of it before.”

  “No, I’m just trying to prevent the student body, especially the pure and innocent males, who have come here with confidence in their future, from having their basic instincts aroused because of your dress code. I simply cannot turn a blind eye to such situations.”

  “What do you mean by that? This is so funny. Listen carefully, for those dirty-minded people, even the school uniform or the PE attire will arouse them anyway! Are you suggesting that we might as well come to school naked?”

  Everyone has a limit to how much anger they can tolerate, and it seems the president is finally reaching his, prompting him to reply:

  “Talking to you is a waste of my breath.”

  “Does it matter? I hope you people can learn to respect the autonomy of the students. Can’t we even decide what we can wear after school? I’m only going to wear this after school not in class or the way home, so does it really matter? Don’t you agree with me, Mikuru-chan?”

  “Eh? Ah… I agree not to wear this during commuting at all costs, because this costume is too embarrassing…”

  Asahina-san slightly shook her head and then, as if being intimidated by the striking appearance of Haruhi’s cheongsam, quickly turned her gaze away before letting out a small sigh. Are you thinking of wearing the cheongsam too?

  But then again, compared to last year, when Haruhi and Asahina were stationed at the school gate in bunny girl costumes giving out fliers, this is a great improvement, seeing how much less skin is shown this time round. But, as second and third-year students, performing cosplay in front of the first-years is still somewhat out of the line. What’s more, it does not seem to serve any real purpose, so it should not be encouraged.

  “Who says it doesn’t serve any purpose? Of course it does. Look, aren’t we attracting a lot of attention now?”

  I’m trying to say that you’re attracting people’s attention for no good reason!

  Haruhi looked at me with a face of displeasure. I suddenly felt as if my emotions resembled those of a shrimp sensing the presence of a whale nearby. However Haruhi jumped behind Nagato, who is silently reading the book.

  “Kyon, did you forget what we came here for? I will give you two seconds; you better remember the answer by then.”

  Regarding this…

  “Okay, time’s up.”

  Haruhi only gave me half a second before declaring this to be the case, and shook her finger before bringing it to the shoulders of Nagato, who remained completely immobile, as if she’d been frozen.

  “We are here to help Yuki, not to recruit people for the SOS Brigade. You’d better understand this properly!”

  The last sentence was directed at the president of the Literature Club. Nagato, who was dragged into the conversation for no reason, lightly flipped to the next page of her book.

  “Hmph.”

  Adamance is one of the current student council president’s positive qualities. He raised his finger and pushed his spectacles back into position and replied.

  “Suzumiya-kun, I thus conclude that despite not being a member of the Literature Club, you are helping to fight for its survival?”

  Thanks for condensing Haruhi’s words into ones that others could understand easily.

  “Yup.”

  Haruhi raised her chest even higher and said, while pointing towards Koizumi and my table,

  “Look, these two are only sitting here doing nothing, right? There is absolutely no sign that reads SOS Brigade. And Kyon also appears to be more retarded than normal as he did not realise spring has already arrived.”

  The last statement is unnecessary.

  “Ah.”

  The president raised his chin, giving a look of being deep in thought.

  “In that case, Suzumiya-kun, what is the signboard-looking thing inside the cardboard box you were carrying just now?”

  “A signboard.”

  Haruhi fished out the signboard made of wood from the cardboard box without much hesitation.

  The signboard is comprised of a rectangular slab of wood with a thinner, rectangular piece of wood running in the perpendicular direction to act as the handle. It has already been painted white and the black text on the signboard read “Literature Club”. Menial jobs such as the cutting and painting of said wood blocks were of course done by me, as you probably expected.

  “Take a look, take a look, isn’t ‘Literature Club’ written on the top? This will be carried by Mikuru-chan later on. If we didn’t do anything, Yuki wouldn’t bother to do anything about it anyway.”

  That’s true. Talks arranged within curriculum time for first-years to be introduced to the various clubs and societies had begun days ago. The reason the SOS Brigade is uninvited is because it is not even a recognized club in the first place, and thus it is impossible for us to participate. Thus, the only one among us invited to attend this event was the president of the Literature Club, Nagato Yuki. As Nagato stood on stage alone, she spoke all the way until the final second with the enthusiasm of a weatherwoman reporting the weather of the world’s various major cities about a thesis titled “Neurological studies on the incomplete transmission of information and feelings through words”, which was assigned to the Literature Club. The thesis failed to even mention the word ‘club’, much less ‘Literature Club’. It is also heard that before Nagato was even halfway through the thesis, most first-years had already became slaves of the sleeping devil. Combined with Nagato’s tone that sounded more like she was chanting scriptures than giving a speech, those who were originally interested in joining the Literature Club no doubt purged such thoughts from their minds immediately. Nagato Yuki can be really scary sometimes.

  However, Nagato did not seem to mind at all. Even if we left her alone today, I’m afraid she would only stay cooped in the clubroom reading books. The one who insisted on dragging her out here is Haruhi.

  Something as fun as recruiting new members would never be able to escape being detected by the antenna
s installed near the top of Haruhi’s head.

  Although it has been mentioned previously that the SOS Brigade is an unrecognized society, it is also an illegal society in school that continues operations, similar to an underground group. Obviously we are not allowed to recruit members openly. If it were the Haruhi of the past, she might have just got on with it without giving much thought, but because starting this year there are no corners of the school the shining eyes of the student council president cannot reach, how can we still have fun during the day of the event?

  The light bulb above Haruhi’s head lit up. In the end, we were reorganized as volunteers to the Literature Club in an emergency exercise, and in this season when every minute is worth its weight in gold, forced to spend one day wandering aimlessly in the courtyard of the school. Of course, this is how things look from the outside. There is definitely more than meets the eye.

  It seems that this problem-student-turned-student-council-president realized that as well.

  “Can you flip the signboard over to let me have a look as well?”

  “Sure, why not?”

  Haruhi gave a smile and turned the sign over. Behind the tagline “Literature Club”… is still “Literature Club”, and absolutely no mention of the SOS Brigade of any kind anywhere.

  “Seems to me you people are well prepared. Okay then, what you had just mentioned is not unreasonable after all.”

  The president pushed his spectacles back up again.

  “Although a compromise is not in my character, I do not wish to cause unnecessary trouble for either of us. You all can stay here and continue doing whatever advertising you all want. But do not cause trouble for other clubs, do you understand? I am very busy surveying the event. Do not forget that forced membership is strictly forbidden.”

 
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