Jaku-chara Tomozaki-kun - Volume 1 - Chapter 3
「That's right. Mimimi, you didn't know?」
「I really didn't. Eh? You mean everyone else knew?」
「Un, I did.」
「Well of course Aoi would know, right.」
「I knew it too, ya know.」
On the way home. Everybody was excitedly talking about the fact that the artists behind the extremely well done picture on the blackboard at the back were Matsumoto Daichi — who was actually part of the current group — and another boy by the name of Hashiguchi Kyouya. Naturally, I had been left out of the conversation. However.
「How about Tomozaki-kun?」
Just like this, Hinami would sometimes direct the topic towards me as necessary.
「Err, I've seen him draw a cat before, so I knew.」
「Eh!? Even though Tomozaki knew, I didn't!?」
「That's rude! Ahaha.」
And like this, it became the sort of pattern where whenever the conversation drifted towards me a little, another person would begin talking. Whenever Hinami passed me the ball, in order to at the very least prevent it from coming to naught, I tried and tried to receive it and pass it on. It felt like, as long as the ball never fell to the ground, no matter how badly I passed it on, Hinami would be able to send it to the other side of the court in a single move.
Because of that, I was able to safely observe the conversation. Though, having said that, probably owing to me being a complete beginner, I wasn't really able to make any significant observations.
「……Righht? Anyway, I'm sooo tired.」
「You've been tired since yesterday, Daichi.」
「Ahh, I've been doing a bit of muscle training, you see.」
Next, when the boys talked about muscle training, Mimimi let out a surprised interjection. Really though, Mimimi was amazing. She could introduce new topics into the conversation, expand other people's topics, and laugh a lot, helping to create a lively mood. Girls like this are probably what they would call naturally cheerful people. I had to at least try to imitate her skills a little. Since I wasn't able to do anything like introduce a new topic into the conversation, I felt like I should at the very least attempt to expand on the topics of others.
「So, which part are you training?」
「Pretty much the whole body. The muscles in my arms, chests, stomach, back, and also my legs.」
I suddenly cut in. Thinking, if I were to join the conversation, then it was now or never! Hinami raised her eyebrows with a twitch and looked in my direction. Eh? Was that bad? However, it was too late to turn back now, so I had no choice but to take my chances.
「Are you training your butt muscles too?」
Butt? Such was the atmosphere that enveloped everyone.
「I'm really sorry about yesterday!」
The next morning. In the second Sewing Room. I immediately apologized the moment I was able to make out Hinami's figure.
「……Is this about the butt muscle incident?」
「Yes! Really, I'm so sorry I went and did something on my own and created a weird atmosphere!」
I continued to offer my heartfelt apologies while thinking about how dreadful a case『The butt muscle incident』was.
Following my question, I had been asked by a puzzled Matsumoto Daichi ,「Eh? It's possible to train your butt muscles?」, and a 「Eh? What was that, a gag? What?」kind of atmosphere had circulated.  However, Hinami saved the situation by indifferently saying 「Ah, I'm training it, my butt muscles」and the conversation changed to something like 「The secret of Aoi's nice body is training her butt muscles!?」. After that, I had stayed quiet.
「In the end, because I went and did that……」
「You don't have to say the same thing so many times. It's not something I particularly care about.」
「It was the result of you putting in the effort to think and act yourself, right? Well, this time it ended up not bearing fruit, but any attempt is something worth complimenting, not something to criticize. That's my take on things, anyway.」
What a big-hearted person……
「Rather than that, focus on the task I gave you. If you were to only think about the weird things you caused and not manage the task properly as a result, then I would get angry.」
「A-ahh. About that, I kind of managed to do it. Analysing the conversation in my own way, I mean.」
「That's fine then. There's still three more days to go, so I'll just hear it all at the end. With that being the case, shall we end it here for today?」
「Ah, just a moment.」
「Hn? Is there something you don't understand?」
「Err, no, rather than something I don't understand…… something like an incident. Actually, while I was going home yesterday……」
Glancing sideways at the now on-alert Hinami, I began explaining what had happened the day before.
「Bye byeー」「Bye thenー」「See you tomorrowー」
Myself included, the group of six people arrived at the train station, and each boarded the train going in their respective directions.
「Ah, the train's here. I go this way.」「Ah, me too! Bye then!」「Bye bye!」「See you~」
Just like that, we began splitting up. Since my home and Hinami's were in different directions, it was this train that she had left on. Which meant that, from this point, I had to talk to the people going in the same way as me without Hinami being present.
Nonetheless, it wasn't like Hinami hadn't considered this. She had said something like「Well, if it's only about ten minutes in the train you should be safe. Mimimi and Daichi's houses are in the same direction, so the the two of them will be sure to start up a conversation somehow. Both of them also have a different station from yours, and Mimimi will also be there.」I had felt at ease even as I shuddered at the fact that she knew the stations of everyone in the group like it was a natural thing.
Then, after boarding the train. Just like Hinami had said, thanks to the two people who were like the very incarnation of communication ability itself, the conversation inside the train turned out to be somewhat manageable. Especially thanks to Mimimi, who frequently helped direct the topic toward me, and whenever I frantically and wordily replied, managed to find a part that was funny and laugh at it. Similar to that time in the Home Economics Room, I didn't feel like I was being made fun of at all.
Therefore, I was of the impression that Mimimi was just as amazing as Hinami when it came to conversations.
Eventually, we arrived at the station nearest to my house. With this it was mission clear! Or so I thought.
「Ah, I get off here. See you.」
「Ah, is that so! Me too! Oーkay, let's go back together!」
The same station? Wait a minute, what's this all about, Hinami-san?
「Ah, see you. Tomozaki, don't do anything weird to Mimimi, okayy?」
Stop right there! Don't throw such a difficult joke at me while I'm confused!
「N-no, I w-won't be doing anything!」
「He's flustered……! Might this be a crisis for myself, Nanami Minami's, chastity!?」
「Ahahahaha! Anyway, the door's going to close, see you.」
I got off the train together with Mimimi.
「Eh, Mimimi's nearest station really is here……」The door closed.「……I-it wasn't a joke, huh……」
「Eh? That's right. Why?」
「Ah, no, I……never mind, it's nothing.」
「Weren't our stations supposed to be different?」
When I questioned her, Hinami looked unconvinced.
「Well……Mimimi's station is Kitayono, right? And yours is Omiya, so they should be different……」
「Mine's also Kitayono!」
「Eh……?」Hinami fell even deeper into thought, then suddenly raised her face like she had realized something.「……You were, unnecessarily considerate there, huh……a miscalculation, by me of all people……」
「What are you talking about?」
「I said it, didn't I? At your nearest station.」
「Like I said, what are you talking about?」
「Like I said, in the offline meeting between nanashi and NO NAME, I said to meet at your nearest station!」
「……Ah!」So it was like that! I hadn't told her my actual nearest station, because out of consideration, I had specified the more conveniently accessible terminal station. Because of that, she had incorrectly presumed my nearest station……
「Well, there's no use in regretting. Let's both just forgive and forget here. ……Anyway, what happened next?」
On being prompted, I began to speak about the events that had followed once more.
 A gag (ギャグ) is pretty much a joke. You're probably already familiar with this Japanese usage of the word, but it's mentioned here just in case.