"Are you gonna get ready, Shun? He's coming!"
"Yes, today! Mitsuru and Shinobu just went to the principal's office to pick him up and show him around the campus before bringing him over to Greenwood. C'mon, are you blind? Haven't you seen the club representatives gathering in the lobby?"
Actually, I hadn't even bothered to step out of my dorm room yet this morning. I'd managed to juggle my schedule when I arrived at Ryokuto such that I didn't have classes until after lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays. Hey, I need my beauty sleep, after all. So...
"No, I hadn't seen them."
"Well, check it out, but make it quick, will ya? This is s'posed to be a surprise on him, after all. So we getta loada the look on his face when he thinks he's rooming with a *girl*."
"Sure, sure. Just five minutes, alright?" Takeshi nods, and I'm at the door in a second. But just as I'm about to turn the handle, he stops me one last time.
"Could you hold him off until, say, Friday morning?"
I grin. So, he bet on fifth day morning, did he? "Hey... I can do better than that, even..." His face falls. Well, tough luck, Takeshi. I've bet on my own ability, too. Everybody in Greenwood has put down money as to when this Hasukawa Kazuya character finally figures out that his roommate isn't a girl. And Shinobu-sempai and Mitsuru-sempai have already suggested I let him figure it out some time Wednesday afternoon... something about sponsoring a welcoming party for him with the proceeds.
But I'm not going to take a dive for anyone's sake; not if I can help it. Because I've got a stake in this, too. The bets stretch out as far as three weeks from now; if I can con this guy beyond that, the pot is mine. And it's a pretty substantial one, too. They're giving me 40-to-1 odds of fooling him for a month.
These bookies here at Ryokuto don't know me very well yet, do they?
It's a longstanding Kisaragi trait. For generations, every male in the family has looked feminine enough to pass for a girl. My grandfather got out of the draft, in fact, because the Kamikaze Corps refused to recruit what they thought was a woman. I'm grateful for it, too... I'd never have been born otherwise. As it is, Grandfather's still alive and well and still putting in hours at the Kisaragi Ryokan, although being semi-retired, his real pastime is the local kabuki troupe.
These days, Dad runs the ryokan for the most part, enduring customers constantly calling him 'mama-san,' while my little brother Reina and I have done some work as 'draw girls' for the ryokan and occasionally for neighboring restaurants. So I had every confidence in my ability to pass as a woman. It's in the genes.
I try to check out the club representatives Takeshi mentioned, but there is absolutely *no* getting into the Greenwood lobby, what with all these guys crowded in here. Guys in sports uniforms, guys holding posters and placards, guys with tape over their mouths...
Hold that thought. Tape over their mouths?
The light goes on in my head. That's right... ordinarily, direct club recruitment isn't permitted at the dorms. But this is no ordinary student, after all. This is the last student to enter Ryokuto Academy for the year, the last potential new member these clubs have. And they've descended on him like tourists on a cherry orchard in spring. The tape is how they observe the letter of the law while trampling all over their spirit. Hell, there isn't even enough room for anyone to open the door...
And just as I think it, the door swings open, and Mitsuru-sempai steps in, a nonchalant look on his face. He was expecting this, no doubt. For all I know, either he or Shinobu-sempai let the information slip to various club presidents... maybe even for a fee...
The kid behind him looks like he's in a state of shock. About my height, with a shock of reddish hair. Poor guy looks like he's in over his head already. Wait until he gets to the room...
And with that, I realize I'd better dash back there to prepare for the big surprise. Thank heavens for this crowd... nobody could have spotted me in this sea of humanity. Besides, the three of them still have to walk this gauntlet yet before they get to me...
Disclaimer: Koko wa Greenwood is the creation of Yukie Nasu, and all characters and situations therein are the property of her and Hakusensha Inc., Victor Entertainment, and the Pierrot Project. No infringement is intended.