The Calligraphy Plot
Our school gives a choice of an elective for students. You can choose your preferred arts subject among music, art, and calligraphy. The one that I chose was calligraphy.
Normally, there would be a specialized calligraphy teacher that led the class, but today was somewhat different.
“Iguchi-sensei is resting today, so today, I, Hiiragi Haruka, will be in charge of the class. Nice to meet everyone.”
After Hiiragi-chan made her greetings, she lowered her head.
Hiiragi-chan, can you really do calligraphy? Although, I guess your handwriting on the blackboard is usually quite neat.
“Sensei, do you actually know any calligraphy?”
A boy asked in a teasing manner, to which Hiiragi-chan went ahem, and held her chest high.
“Even though I look like this, I’m really good at calligraphy, you know? I got to the fifth level in calligraphy after all!”
That somehow sounds amazing… The around twenty students in the calligraphy room all had the same reaction as me. It sounded amazing, but no one had any clue as to the way in which it was amazing.
“If you were to ask how amazing it is, well, it’s good enough to open my own calligraphy class!”
“I know, right?”
Ahem, Hiiragi-chan who was making a smug face was cute. She was quite knowledgeable when it came to tea ceremonies, so maybe things along this line are part of the etiquette taught to a refined lady.
“I think it’ll probably be boring doing as the textbook says. Rather, Iguchi-sensei told me to freely have you guys write something. As such, the topic that you will write about is ‘something you like’.”
“Something you like”, is it…?
As if Hiiragi-chan had just thought of it, she took a side glance at me and our eyes met.
“Ah, Sanada-kun, it’s okay if you write my name, okay?”
Kusu kusu, the whole class had a good laugh.
Since I brought Hiiragi-chan as the “person that I like” in the borrowed item race, I have been teased by various people who had witnessed it. It was only ever meant as joking around, no one ever believed that I actually did like Hiiragi-chan.
More importantly, it was really convenient. The more people tease me about it, the more people recognize it as a joke.
“I won’t write that.”
“Weelll, that’s too bad.”
Hiiragi-chan smiled. The girls jokingly tried to comfort her saying stuff like, “Sensei was rejected,” or “Sensei, cheer up.”
…I was the only one that knew that she was seriously down after smiling like that though…
Taking the ink, I grinded it into the inkstone.
What should I write?
As I look around, there were some that wrote things about club activities, and even girls who straight up wrote ‘boyfriend’. Taking it further, there were even some people who were writing the names of their favorite anime character.
Of course, I won’t write girlfriend or anything like that.
“Sanada-kun, I heard from Iguchi-sensei that you were good.”
Hiiragi-chan came over to see how I was doing.
“I’m not that good.”
“Do you want to try writing a sentence? How about something like, “The smell of spring, the life instilling breath of April”? Isn’t that so elegant?”
Oooh… as expected of a Hiiragi-chan, who is at the fifth level. Such an elegant proposal.
“Then, I guess I’ll try it.”
“I’ll write it out as an example.”
As she holds my brush, she dips it into the inkstone, and wiped off any excess ink. Perhaps it was because of her splendid posture, Hiiragi-chan’s movements felt high class. Her eyes portrayed the definition of seriousness. Her bangs seemed to be in the way, so she brushed them off to the side and behind her ear.
This might be the first time I’ve seen such a serious expression from her.
She wrote down a couple of characters.
[I ♡ Seiji]
Please do this seriously.
I was just thinking that I would once again fall in love with her and then she does this. Still, her handwriting was quite pretty.
I crumpled the calligraphy paper and shot it into the trash can.
“Ah. That was really nice too, what are you doing?”
Pukuu, Hiiragi-chan pouted.
Me liking Hiiragi-chan is being treated as a joke, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
“Sensei, please properly write the example.”
While being sullen she replied like a child and mumbled, “It’s fine if I do it, right?” and once again dipped the brush into the inkstone.
Hey, weren’t you the one that said that you would write it. Why does it feel like I am forcing you to do it?
Smoothly, she wrote out in beautiful handwriting, [The smell of spring, the life instilling breath of April].
“Ahem. Have you fallen in love again?”
If I did say yes, it would turn into a big fuss again, so I didn’t say anything.
Putting her example next to me, I commanded the brush and tried to write it a few times. However, it could not be compared to the skill of someone of the fifth level. It was quite a high hurdle, for someone like me, who has never attended a calligraphy class.
After Hiiragi-chan provided advice to help other students and chatted with them, she returned to the struggling me.
“Fuun fuun. Are you struggling?”
Looking at my failed attempts, Hiiragi-chan grinned.
…Did she think of some sort of trick?
“It’s hard to balance, as your words need to be small, right?”
Wrapping around from behind me, Hiiragi-chan grabbed my hand tightly. Just like when we did pottery that other time, Hiiragi-chan looked over my shoulder.
“Wait, why are you sticking so close to me.”
“It’s easier to grasp the feel of things this way ♡ I’ve actually taught this before, you know?”
If we were alone, this would be a distance at which she would give me a kiss on the cheek. “The space between the characters should be something like this,” is something she would use to explain.
“Over here, you do this ♪”
While holding onto my right hand that had the brush, Hiiragi-chan wrote the characters on the calligraphy paper.
It’s amazing. It was as if magic was used to create the neat words. It was basically Hiiragi-chan writing it, so of course it would be that way though.
“Sensei, can I just submit this?”
It seems that she won’t spoil me here.
“Sei… Sanada-kun, it needs to be something that you put your own heart into and write.”
She shook her index finger back and forth and said something teacher like.
Since it couldn’t be helped I practiced over and over again, over and over again, but I couldn’t write it so easily.
“Do your best.”
Hiiragi-chan secretly cheered me on.
Just hearing that really motivated me. I’m such a simple man. While trying to match the feel and the image, I put my heart into each stroke.
Yeah. This one is the best one. Since it was closing in on the end of class, I submitted it.
“Sanada-kun, you did pretty well. The characters being small make it hard too.”
“I practiced quite a bit after all.”
Mufufu, Hiiragi-chan smiled.
“This… if I scan it and edit it… mufufu…”
What is she talking about?
As I tilted my head in confusion, the next day, I finally understood what she meant.
I arrived at the staff room due to a small errand, and I just happened to look at the absent Hiiragi-chan’s desk. The characters I wrote were stuck far in the back of her desk.
[Haruka’s Life. Second Year Class B, Sanada Seiji] 
Ah. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhh! It was all a trap!! Having me write a sentence, making me work hard, all of it was for this!!
I tear apart and crumple the piece of paper and throw it into the trash can.
… Now, for the data. While trying to hide myself, I operated Hiiragi-chan’s laptop and accessed a folder labelled [SS]. The pictures and videos she took with me were all put in here. Just as I thought, the scan of the thing I wrote yesterday and the edited version were saved here. I put both into the trashcan and empty it.
Hiiragi-chan’s phone, which was left on the table, vibrated.
At that moment, I saw it.
[Haruka’s Life. Second Year Class B, Sanada Seiji]
She’s even using it as her wallpaper!!!!
I should delete it.
I operate the phone and delete it.
Phew. I erased her evildoings.
That night, when Hiiragi-chan called, she wasn’t very energetic.
“Is something wrong?”
“Something a little shocking happened…” Needless to say, she her energy level was quite low. Of course, I didn’t tell her what happened.
- The original line that he was told to write was this: 『春香る 命芽吹く四月』. While the new line is this: 『春香命 二年Ｂ組真田誠治』. As you can see, there are some similarities to the two lines, but there were significant edits. I tried my best to translate them but they’re kind of meant to be poetic in some sense.