“I would like to change seats from now on.”
As the temperature gradually drops, it is beginning to feel like winter.
It has already been one week since the seat change from last Monday.
It was the 6th period of “Integrated Studies.”
Sakuramiya-sensei, standing in front of the teacher’s desk, proposed the seat change with a full-faced smile and in a bright tone.
Although it was just changed last week, the proposal to change seats again this week was met with disapproval from the classmates.
They were united in opposition to the seat change.
However, with Sakuramiya-sensei’s next words, the dissatisfaction that had spread throughout the class subsided.
“Come on, everyone be quiet.
I’m not trying to be mean.
But last time we changed seats, you all
ended up swapping seats with each other, right? It’s good to be with friends, but if you can’t focus on the lesson, it’s like putting the cart before the horse.”
Sakuramiya-sensei glances at me, and I feel like she’s talking to me specifically.
I shrugged my shoulders.
Meanwhile, Sakuramiya-sensei clasped her hands together while she was sweating slightly.
“So, we’re going to change seats again.
This time, no swapping seats with each other, okay? If you draw a seat, write your name on the blackboard right away.
The class responds in a voice devoid of spirit, “Hai.”
In fact, during the last seat change, there had been frequent behind-the-scenes swapping of seats, so it ended up being similar to a free-seating arrangement.
From an overhead view of the seating arrangement, it was clear that friends were grouped together.
It was a fact that, after the seat change, the class as a whole was not able to focus on the lesson.
Therefore, the decision to redo the seat change was appropriate.
But Sakuramiya-sensei’s decision contained a personal bias…
However, Shinozuka-san’s expression was dark and sunken.
Her eyes were dark, devoid of life, like a deep abyss.
I was taken aback by Shinozuka-san’s uncharacteristically gloomy appearance and cautiously asked her,
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“What? No, nothing’s wrong.
I was just thinking for a bit… It’s a shame though.
We finally got seats next to each other, but now we’re going to be separated again… It’s not fair.”
Shinozuka-san smiled gracefully and scratched her neck with her finger, looking troubled.
She took her eyes off me and put her right hand on her chin and said,
“Well… what should we do…?”
She murmured as began to ponder.
It’s not hard to imagine what she’s thinking about now.
She must be thinking about how to keep her seat next to me.
“Well, let’s draw the lottery right away.
Today is November 2nd, so… we’ll add up the attendance number and start with number thirteen.
Number thirteen is… Shinozuka-san.”
Once Sakuramiya-sensei glanced at the roster, she called Shinozuka-san’s name.
Shinozuka-san’s shoulders twitched in annoyance and her eyes were shaking because of nervousness.
“What, it’s from me?”
“Yeah, is there any problem?”
“No… not exactly, but…”
“Well, let’s draw the lottery, okay?”
Although Shinozuka-san had a dissatisfied look on her face, she stood up and headed towards the teacher’s desk.
As she stood in front of the box that contained lottery tickets, she reached out her hand and began to draw.
She took proper measures to avoid any fraud to happen in this seat change.
The reason why I can assert that is because I have lottery tickets for seat number 7 (the last seat by the window) and seat number 35 (the first seat by the hallway) in my possession.
Although our class has 40 students, there are only 38 lottery tickets in the box.
The plan is for Shinozuka-san to draw a seat number farther away from mine, and for me to return the remaining ticket to the box.
That way, Shinozuka-san and I will be seated far apart.
My attendance number is 14, which means that I am next after Shinozuka-san.
It’s a perfect strategy that can cover up the fraud immediately.
By the way, the person who came up with this strategy was none other than Sakuramiya-sensei.
She earlier also came up with the idea of using me as a fiancé and earning time until the supposed wedding.
Sakuramiya-sensei is quite flexible in his thinking.
As Sakuramiya-sensei’s cheeks relaxed, Shinozuka carefully drew the lottery.
After a long time of selecting, she dipped her hand into the box – but when she drew it out she was holding nothing and it was empty.
I thought she might have missed it, but there was no sign of her trying to draw the lottery from the box again.
With a surprised look on her face, she stared at the box and voiced her suspicion.
“Isn’t there not enough lottery tickets here?”
Both I and Sakuramiya-sensei gasped in utter bafflement.
Shinozuka-san was the only one who had the chance to discover this fraud, but I never thought she would realize it this fast.
Sakuramiya-sensei’s expression was hardening rapidly.
She was showing signs of disturbance as her eyes were trembling a lot.
“What? There’s no such thing like that.”
“Definitely, there are not enough chits in it.
I think it’s probably two short,”
I don’t think that’s possible.”
“Can I check then?”
“It’s fine right, Sakuramiya-sensei~♪”
Wow, Sakuramiya-sensei would easily be defeated by Shinosuka-san’s gaze so quickly.
She could have handled it more smoothly with some clever words, but she was overwhelmed by Shinozuka-san’s pressure.
Shinozuka-san after getting the affirmation to check the chit, counted the contents of the box and put them on the teacher’s desk.
She finished counting in less than 10 seconds and smiled bitterly.
“Oh, there’s only 38 as I thought.
Look for yourself, Sakuramiya-sensei.”
“Th-this is strange… maybe I dropped it somewhere…”
Sakuramiya-sensei was sweating profusely as she explained.
As I was wondering if she could have lied more skillfully, Shinozuka-san approached Sakuramiya-sensei.
She put her finger on her lips and whispered something to her in a barely audible voice to those who were close to them.
“—Well, if you’re going to do it, do it more skillfully, otherwise…”
But I couldn’t hear what she was saying from this distance.
No, I wouldn’t have been able to hear it even if I were in the front row.
Sakuramiya-sensei opened her eyes wide when she heard those words and cast her gaze sideways in embarrassment.
W-what… what’s this about?”
“Nothing, let’s make the lottery again.
I’ll help too,”
“Thank you… that will certainly help.”
Shinozuka-san returned to her usual bright smile and clapped her hands together to reorganize everything.
I wonder what she told sensei.
In any case, since Shinozuka-san noticed that there were not enough lotteries, it was decided to make them again.
The 7th and 35th lotteries that were hidden in my pocket seem to have no chance of being drawn.
Without cheating, we will have to change seats again.
“If we draw by attendance number, it seems to take a lot of time, so can we draw by row?”
Since the number of lotteries was pointed out, Sakuramiya-sensei was unable to look up at Shinozuka-san.
We will draw lotteries row by row from the window side.
Well, if we draw by attendance number, it is difficult to know which person drew the lottery in the middle.
Drawing by row is definitely more efficient.
My turn came and I drew a lottery.
The expression on the face of Sakuramiya-sensei, who was sitting in front of the teacher’s desk, was like a boxer who lost the match.
She was dejected and her head was loosely hung as she looked down.
Fortunately, the classroom was moderately noisy.
If I talk to Sakuramiya-sensei in a low voice, there should be no problem.
“Is… is everything okay? Sakuramiya-sensei.”
“In the end, my shallow wisdom is… that’s all it is… haha”
“Ah, don’t get too down.
You’ll be suspicious.”
“E-even if you say that…”
“Basically, think about it statistically.
Even if we draw lotteries normally, the probability of me and Shinozuka-san sitting next to each other is low.
It’s almost impossible.”
So please relax.”
I smiled softly and drew the lottery.
I checked the folded paper.
…It was number 7.
The last seat by the window.
The seat I am sitting in now.
It was purely a god-like draw.
The corners of my mouth unconsciously relaxed as I got my favorite seat.
I then wrote my name on the seat number 7 written on the blackboard.
After I was done with the formalities, I returned to my seat with light steps, and Shinozuka-san made eye contact with me.
“Welcome back Minato-kun.
We’re in the same seat again.
“Oh, I was lucky.”
Soon, Shinozuka’s turn came closer and she stood up from her seat.
It looks like seat number 14 is still available.”
Seat number 14… is next to me.
It is also the seat that Shinozuka is sitting in now.
However, there are still a lot of lotteries left at this stage.
It is difficult to draw seat number 14 intentionally.
But, Shinozuka looked back at me once and told me with a smile.
“I’ll draw seat number 14.”
“No, it’s not something you can draw just because you want to.”
I’ll show you a new magic that allows you to freely draw what you want, Minato-kun.”
“What? Such a thing is not possible—”
While I looked at her with skeptical eyes, Shinozuka drew a lottery in front of the teacher’s desk.
I watched her, but there was no sign of cheating.
However, when she picked up a lottery, she started writing her name on seat number 14.
…What? Seriously… she really drew it…
While I was staring at this scene in amazement, I noticed that Sakuramiya-san was looking at me.
She mumbled a word from her mouth which only I could understand, and that was ‘liar.’
I did say that the probability of me and Shinozuka-san sitting next to each other was almost impossible…
But, in the seat change, we ended up sitting next to each other again yet again…
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