Going All Out to Make a Proud Girl with a Nice Face Submit: A Yuri Story - Chapter 5 Part 2
Chapter 5 Part 2
The day before the Aitan Festival, after the committee meeting ended.
It was time to say goodbye to this meeting room that I had accustomed to. Because the Cultural Affair Building was a distance away from the main building, the heater didn’t work well, so in hindsight, it wasn’t really the most pleasant place to hang around in, but my memories with Rui overwrote all the bad things.
Rui poured out some tea from her thermos. It seemed like it was the same tea that I drank back at her house. When everything was over, I wanted to go there again.
“Thank you for your hard work, Sara-san.”
“Likewise. It feels like I’ve grown even more popular than ever today…”
“Juggling between your duty as vice president of the committee and the Belle Fleur is tough, isn’t it? Glad that I withdrew my candidacy.”
Ahh…the sweet taste of the tea…I feel half-alive now…
“It is tough. Can I have a kiss? That’ll surely cheer me up a little.”
She complained under her breath, but she still obediently kissed me. This girl had been acting cuter lately, it was simply incomparable to the past…
“By the way, I’ve heard about a certain rumor…”
“‘Lately, the number of times Kureha-san was seen hanging out with different girls has increased’.”
For some reason, the tea’s taste became more bitter. Was it just my imagination?
“W-Well, since the festival is coming up soon, it’s inevitable that I’d have to meet up with a lot of people to take care of the preparations and stuff, right? And since our school is an all-girls school, of course everyone I met would be girls…”
Hearing my answer, she stared at me dead in the eyes.
“Am I not good enough for you?”
“I wish I brought a recorder so I could listen to that line every night. Seriously, that’s one hell of a line that you just said.”
When I said that, she averted her eyes sulkily.
“Recently, I realized that I got jealous quite easily. Since Kureha-san is quite popular, I do feel a little insecure…”
It was true that a lot of people had been trying to meet me secretly, but it wasn’t like I could tell her that! Ugh, what to do in this situation…?
If we weren’t at school, I’d just embrace her, pamper her and do all sorts of things to calm her down, but I couldn’t just do that here…
“You don’t need to worry, Rui.”
I patted her head.
“After the Aitan Festival ends, things will definitely change. Specifically, things between us will change.”
“Is that so?”
Look at her gaze! What did she give me that doubtful look for?!
Did she think my passionate confession to her was just me messing around?!
“Fine, whatever. If things don’t change after the festival ends, I won’t be staying silent.”
She then caressed my cheek.
“I won’t concede to anyone else other than you, Sara-san. The only one who has the right to eat you is me.”
Though she looked like a mess just a while ago, there was a confident expression on her face now.
“…I’d have to watch my back then.”
“A wise decision.”
It seemed like she hadn’t completely given in yet.
What a cheeky girl.
* * *
24th of December.
It was finally the day of the Aitan Festival.
We’ve done the final check a day before. Mayuko had tailored a pretty dress for me. It was so pretty in fact that I ended up embracing her tightly when I tried the dress out. That hug would become a once-in-a-lifetime experience for her, I guarantee it.
On an unrelated note, Mayuko was worrying about something, but I reassured her that she would be fine. From the data that I had gathered when I hugged her naked, I knew that she would be perfectly fine.
Anyway, as the president of the committee, spent her morning leisurely seeing what the festival had to offer, but she’d have to receive the visitors at the reception desk in the morning. Meanwhile, I had to do the opposite; I would be free during the afternoon, but I had to spend my morning receiving the visitors. Our schedule overlapped, but this was to be expected given our position in the committee.
“I-I’m happy to be with you here, Senpai!”
By the way, Rin-chan was also here with me.
The Aitan Festival was only open to the students’ families and relatives. It was because the whole point of the festival was so that you could spend Christmas with your families. For the occasion, the cafeteria even served some turkeys and bûche de noël.
“Are your parents here, Senpai?”
“No. Well, my mom is an alumnus, so she’s already way too familiar with the festival. She won’t come until the final event starts.”
“Ah, I see! I bet you’ll look pretty when you take the stage as the Belle Fleur, Senpai!”
She let out a sigh of admiration. Admire me all you like, but please don’t fall in love with me. We didn’t want Ryouko-chan to get jealous, did we?
As the Belle Fleur of the year, there was a white flower decorating my chest. Visitors who knew what it meant would occasionally make comments like, “Oh my, the Belle Fleur this year is really pretty~” Their words made me nervous, but it also made me happy.
After two hours working at the reception desk, my break time finally came. My friend came to pick me up and we went around the festival together. When I passed by the other students, they’d cheer me on with a “Good luck for today!” It made me feel like an idol or something.
This was when I realized what it meant to become the Belle Fleur. All those girls who previously never approached me gathered their courage and tried to speak with me. It made me feel that I should never do something wrong to betray their trust in me.
In any case, there were a lot of people approaching me. If Rui was here, she would definitely say something like, ‘I’m glad I withdrew my candidacy…’
Speak of the devil. Just when I was thinking about her, she passed me by in the hallway. Just like me, she was also walking in a group of three with her friends. I called out to her, “Mareshino-san,” pretending that I had some business with her.
“Sorry everyone, I forgot that I need to discuss something with Kureha-san. Please go on ahead without me.”
“Ah, okay~” Her friends said before they waved their hands and walked ahead, and my friends followed soon after. Then, Rui and I walked side by side through the bustling hallway. There were various exhibits on our right, and there were people presenting their research on our left. When we passed by the students’ parents, we’d bow our heads. There were too many things going on here, so it wasn’t exactly the right place to hang out with Rui.
“So, what do you want to talk about exactly?”
“It won’t take long, don’t worry.”
Her footsteps didn’t waver. I followed her to an empty classroom at the end of the third floor. As expected of the president of the committee, she knew which part of the school would be deserted today.
“I expected this, but we really can’t hang out together for long today.”
“Yeah, well, it is what it is. Anyway, are you really thinking of doing it today, Rui?”
“Of course not.”
After closing the curtain, she took out something from her pocket.
“Since it’s Christmas and all, I want to give you this.”
“Is this a present…?”
The sight of her nodding while blushing was so cute that I almost embraced her right there and then.
“Thank you. Can I open it now?”
“…Go ahead. If you don’t like the design, the cooling-off period has already passed, so you can throw it away, I guess…”
That meant she must have prepared the present for me a long time ago.
I opened it and found a garnet necklace inside. So she remembered my favorite jewel, huh? The design of the necklace was nice too. Why was she so good at this?
“…So, what do you think?”
“I like it a lot. Thank you, Rui.”
“Is that so? That’s great then…”
She looked relieved.
“Alright, that’s all from me. Good luck for today, Belle Fleur-sama.”
When she turned around and was about to leave, I grabbed her hand.
Then I pressed my lips against hers.
“Watch me, Rui. I’ll give you an amazing sight to return your present.”
“And I’ll look forward to it. I’m sure you’ll look wonderful in your dress, Sara-san.”
We smiled at each other before parting our ways. This meeting was short, but it was enough to reconfirm my love for her. It felt like I could do anything now.
Alright, it was time to go.
* * *
Inside the waiting room of the chapel. I was changing into my dress, the one that Mayuko tailored for me.
In French, Belle Fleur meant ‘pretty flower’. Following that name, the dress I was wearing was a red dress, resembling that of a blooming flower.
Honestly, I didn’t think anyone in this school would look good in a red dress other than me. There was a large red ribbon adorning the chest area. I specifically ordered them to add this. Because it would pair well with the blue ribbon that Rui usually wore.
The dress coordinator, Saitou-san, came all the way here to make sure that my request would fit the dress perfectly. She was a cool and dignified woman, and she reminded me of Kitagawa-san.
As she helped me get dressed, she let out words of admiration.
“I had a feeling that you would be the one who’ll become the Belle Fleur this year, Kureha-san. It feels like a dream come true, I’m happy for you.”
“Thank you very much.”
My position as the Belle Fleur meant that I’d be carrying the dreams of everyone in the Mizugahara Academy. After all, there wasn’t a single girl in this school who didn’t admire the Belle Fleur. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I had to be grateful for this.
And of course, I was also carrying the dream of the most important person in my life.
Saitou-san applied my makeup for the finishing touch. And all done. I could proclaim that I am the Belle Fleur now.
“I’m an alumnus, and I’ve seen more than ten Belle Fleurs if I were to count the time when I was a student.”
She placed her hand on my shoulder and smiled.
“And I genuinely think that you’re the prettiest Belle Fleur among them all. Don’t tell anyone that I said that, okay?”
Her playful smile was so cute. If Rui hadn’t occupied my heart already, I’d kiss her right there and then.
I sat in front of the mirror, and stared at my reflection. Then, I tried to score my appearance like usual before I realized that I didn’t need to do that this time. Because anyone who’d see me there would find me beautiful.
That was why I sent Satou-san a smile as a reply.
“Don’t worry, Satou-san. Everyone knows that I’m the prettiest girl in this school anyway~”
I wore my high heels then started walking with Satou-san on my side.
Rui. If you from eight years ago were to see me right now, would she look at me in admiration too?
* * *
In front of the auditorium. I took a deep breath.
The final event of the Aitan Festival would begin at 5 pm. With flowers in my hands, I patiently waited for that moment.
It was about to snow outside. Despite my shoulders being bare, I didn’t feel the cold. Instead, I felt warmth from my chest.
Behind me were the two Tsubomis, holding the hem of my dress, looking visibly excited.
They were third graders, and they were both cute. One of them had light-colored hair while the other one had short, reddish hair, a resemblance of both Rui and I back then.
The light-haired girl approached me.
“O-Onee-sama…you’re so pretty…”
“Do you think so? Thank you.”
Her cheeks turned red like apples as she smiled.
“But, you’re also pretty, you know? Of course, you are too.”
When I told them this, both of them stared at me for a while, dumbstruck, before glancing at each other and laughed.
Now that I achieved my dream and became the Belle Fleur, I wanted to share that dream that I once had with others. As I thought of this, a warm feeling spread within me.
“Alright, let’s begin.”
Minato-sensei opened up the door. I took a step forward, slowly, one step at a time, so that the Tsubomis could keep up with me. Each of my steps was wide though, as I didn’t want to step on my dress by accident.
From behind me, I could hear Minato-sensei’s energetic voice, “Do your best, Kureha-san!” With a smile on my face, I replied, “I’m going!” and entered the auditorium.
As I did, voices of astonishment filled the room.
The sight of me in the red dress with my hair tied up captivated all the people here.
When I walked through the parents’ seat, I could see my mom sitting at the very front. She mouthed the words “You look pretty, Dear,” to me. There were tears in her eyes. It was as if she was seeing me off to get married or something. Jeez, she was overreacting.
I could hear the murmurs from every corner of the room. They expressed their admiration towards me, and how their heart fluttered when they saw me.
At that moment, I passed by Rui. There was a satisfied smile on her face. Just by seeing it made me happier than I already was.
‘Thank you so much, Rui.’ I showed her the garnet necklace that I wore. When she saw it, she blushed before turning her gaze away. I loved her so much, ugh!
Eventually, I climbed the stairs and reached the altar that they brought out from the chapel just the other day. Then, I turned around and gave a deep bow to everyone there. A thunderous applause followed.
Having completed their duties for now, the Tsubomis went to their seats and sat down. Good, good, take a good rest until your next duties start, okay?
I went behind the microphone. Then, I bowed down again before addressing the Mizugahara Academy’s students, from first years to sixth years, who were lined up in rows.
“Good evening, everyone. With this, the 52nd Aitan Festival has come to a successful end.”
With a clear and resolute voice I said those words. My voice, that a lot of people had grown accustomed to, echoed. I had been training my voice just for this moment, and all my effort paid off.
“I pray that God’s blessings reach everyone who spared their time to visit our school, and all those whom you formed a connection with.”
Still holding the flowers, I clasped my hands together and closed my eyes, offering my prayers. When I did that, voices of camera shutters echoed. Despite everything, I was a completely normal person, so I was unfamiliar with this…photo session kind of thing? Anyway, would they distribute the photos somewhere later?
After finishing the greeting, I relaxed my tone a little.
“This year, me, Kureha Sara, was chosen as the Belle Fleur. I was nominated as the only candidate this year, and honestly, I still find it hard to believe that I was nominated to begin with, let alone chosen…nevertheless, I’m really thankful for this great opportunity that had been bestowed to me by God…”
Some chuckles leaked out from the audience. In response, I widened my smile too.
“When I was younger, my mom took me here to become a Tsubomi. That was the first time I’ve seen the Belle Fleur, and she left a deep impression on me. From that, I was inspired to become the Belle Fleur myself. Also, back then, I met a friend who also happened to be a Tsubomi.”
I focused my gaze on Rui among the large crowds. She was stunned, clearly she didn’t expect me to do this.
After a brief pause, I announced her name to the crowds.
“And that girl is…Mareshino Rui-san!”
A loud cheer came from the crowds.
Rui looked so surprised. Good, good, the surprise was a success then~
“Back then, we made a promise to work together so that both of us could become the Belle Fleur. I’m already standing here, so what about you, Rui~?”
I directed everyone’s attention on Rui and the students started to get rowdy. Girls, please, this was still a formal occasion, so contain your thirst, okay?
Meanwhile, Rui was keeping her mouth shut, giving me an intense stare from her seat.
“So, Rui. What do you think? Am I as pretty as the Belle Fleur from back then?”
She nodded her head. Tears were welling up in her eyes.
“Yes, Sara-san. You’re pretty…I’m so glad that you became the Belle Fleur this year…”
“Thank you, Rui. But, if it’s like this only half of our dream is fulfilled, right?”
I turned my gaze to everyone. It was a cue.
To the people who knew what was actually going on, the members of the committee except for Rui, and all my other collaborators.
This was the reason why she thought I was cheating on her, jeez…
“Preparing for this year’s ceremony was difficult. It was a miracle that we managed to finish tailoring another dress in mere three weeks. If our Fashion Club’s President isn’t the passionate person as she is, we would never get the work done! But even with two people, it was still a borderline impossible job, so thank you to everyone who was willing to support us! Without you, this occasion wouldn’t have happened!”
I let out the brightest smile I’ve shown yet toward them as they smiled back at me. Mayuko was smiling shyly, as she was being teased by everyone who was sitting around her.
One of the committee members, Ryouko-chan, approached Rui. Without any warnings, she grabbed her hand and dragged her toward Rin-chan, who was waiting outside the auditorium. Not knowing what was happening, Rui could only obediently follow their leads.
She had done her makeup prior to this because she’d be giving her speech after I was done with mine, so all she needed to do was to dress up. Still, did she not feel suspicious at all when Satou-san did her makeup for her?
Anyway, that was that, so time to stall for time until she was finished.
“That’s it for my speech. For now, we’ll continue with the event until she is ready~”
I bowed my head again and I received another round of applause. After that the ceremony continued, even though everyone aside from me and my collaborators didn’t know what was coming up next.
After my speech, the teachers and the representative of the alumni gave theirs. Then, the representative of the sixth years gave out her speech, followed by an award giving ceremony. While this was all unfolding, I was standing at the edge of the stage, grinning.
Despite its splendor, the final event of the Aitan Festival only lasted for thirty minutes. As the time was almost up, the door to the auditorium swung open again.
From there, Rui, wearing a blue dress, walked in.
Her dress was made to match mine, so there was a blue ribbon on her chest. She was wearing the same princess-like dress as me, but they designed it to make the dress fit her. Honestly, instead of a princess, she looked more like an angel.
She seemed like she was in a daze, probably thinking that she was dreaming or something. But the loud cheer coming from the audience should wake her up from that stupor.
At this moment, I went behind the mic again to welcome her presence.
“With this, our dream, Mareshino-san’s dream and mine, to become the Belle Fleur together has been fulfilled! Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible!”
‘There’s no one who stated that there should only be one Belle Fleur per year, right?’ was the thing that I said to satisfy this selfish charade of mine.
Thanks to that, I couldn’t get any sleep for a good while, but it was all worth it.
I had no regrets.
“Come here, Rui.”
I reached out my hand to her. The Tsubomis diligently raised the hem of her dress as she walked up the stairs to reach me. After what felt like an eternity, we finally stood, side by side, while holding each other’s hand on the platform.
“This feels like a dream…I still can’t believe that this is happening…”
“Well because this is your dream, isn’t it?”
“I just gave you a necklace, don’t you think this is a little too…extravagant…?”
“Well, I didn’t do this by myself, you know?”
I pointed at the other students.
“Even though you withdrew your candidacy, everyone still thought that you deserved to be the Belle Fleur. See? None of them are mad because of this. Even the budget for the dress was paid by everyone from various clubs. This is the result of your hard work, Rui. If you didn’t study so hard to become a role model for everyone, they wouldn’t come to admire you and this occasion would never happen.”
Everyone, including me, of course, loved her.
And that was why they tried to make her dream come true. That was all there was to it.
It was just unfair that even though everyone loved her, she was unable to become the Belle Fleur.
We stood on the platform, side by side, wearing our red and blue dresses. We must have looked like two blooming flowers from the audience’s perspective.
“Did you forget already? I told you to entrust your dream to me, didn’t I? Since you did that, your dream became mine, so it’s natural that I work hard to fulfill it, no?”
“Pfft…what are you even…on about…?”
I caressed her cheek.
“A once-in-ten-years beauty shouldn’t give up her dream just because a once-in-a-hundred-years beauty is right in front of her.”
I smiled confidently at her, and at that moment she burst into tears.
Yay, I did it again. I made her cry. Mission accomplished.
“So, what do you think, Rui?”
I whispered in her ear.
“Did I make you happy?”
While puffing my chest, I…
“Which means, it’s my win, isn’t it?”
In the middle of her tears, her smile bloomed.
“Jeez, Sara-san, I really can’t…with you…”
With this, I proclaimed myself as the top in our relationship. I managed to win her over completely in front of the whole school.
I won in life and Rui let out her happy tears, which meant this was the best possible scenario.
That was why I let my guard down a little. Since she was THE honor student, I really never expected that she’d do something like that here.
“I love you.”
Still in tears, she suddenly hugged me.
When I realized what was going on, it was already too late.
She pressed her lips against mine.
In front of the whole school, all the students, the teachers and even the parents…
That day, it was said that the students’ screams were so loud that it reached the neighboring town. But there was no way for me to know if that was true or not.
Wait, actually, there was one bad thing about this situation.
I couldn’t get a harem anymore.
Wait, maybe Rui did all that to prevent me from fulfilling that dream in the first place? …You know what? Whatever, that didn’t matter. In exchange, I got the prettiest Belle Fleur— no, the prettiest girl in the world as my lover.
From now on, I promise to take care of her well, until the day we breathe our last.
Surrounded by the thunderous applause, our kiss lasted for a while.