Jaku-chara Tomozaki-kun - Volume 2 - Chapter 3
「And that's how you switch between half-width and full-width characters.」
「I see! Um, so……」
「Ah, should I do the typing?」
「Yeah, I'll leave it to you, Tomozaki……eh? That's so fast! As I thought, you're good with computers.」
Inside one of the school computer rooms, I was showcasing my typing skills that I had honed in the chats of online games. In truth, my typing wasn't that fast; in fact I considered it to be on the slow side. But it seems like to ordinary people it's an astonishing skill. Incidentally, the matter of how the words『as I thought』had come before『you're good with computers』was something I was trying my hardest to somehow interpret favourably.
「Something like this?」
I showed Mimimi the completed image on the screen.
１．To conduct greeting exercises, aiming for a feel-good school.
２．To establish a suggestion box, and by accepting the opinions
of students, aim to build a better school.
３．To commit to expanding the selection of goods at the school store.
４．To work towards enlarging the scale of the athletic festival.
「Eh! What's this?! What's going on? It's become a whole lot easier to read!」
Hm, as expected, a slight change alone can produce splendid results.
「Eh, it's not just the dots and the numbers, the layout's kind of different too, right? Umm……」
Mimimi stared intently at the screen.
「First up is probably this part.」I pointed at the second pledge.「You can see that this pledge is two lines. I've added some space before the start of the second line to align it with the first one.」
Since the layout was originally pretty sloppy.
Mimimi took out one of the sheets she had prepared herself from a clear file and compared the two.
「Y, You're right!……Ah, the first one’s different too.」
「Ah, yeah. It had just a single word pushed to the next line, so I forced the whole thing to fit on a single line.」
That was because the second line had been just a single word, making it awkward to read.
I had decided to replace the part that read『and aim』with『aiming』to let it all fit in one line.
「Heeeh! You’re more reliable than I thought, Tomozaki. I’m in shock right now!」
「Thanks for your honest opinion.」
Well, I suppose that impression of me was to be expected……
「All righhht, let's go print it!」
「Ah, wait just a moment.」
Realizing something, I stopped Mimimi.
I willed myself to think, weighing all the available options that could help us win the election.
In a similar state of mind as when planning a strategy to efficiently defeat a boss using the skills at hand.
「This sheet is essentially something you distribute to students, right?」
「Yup, that's right. Sometimes to teachers as well, though!」
「If so」I whispered.「……we don't need them.」
Not understanding the meaning of my words, Mimimi waited for an explanation. I steadily looked into Mimimi's eyes. Then looked away, embarrassed by her regular features.
「……This first pledge. 『To conduct greeting exercises, aiming for a feel-good school』. From a student's point of view, it's something they couldn't care less about. Or rather, I think it wouldn't be well received.」
「Ahh, you're right!」
Students who want to be greeted by everyone practically don't exist, after all.
「It may be true that you have to consider what the teachers think, but for the most part you'll be handing this out to students. Which means that preferably, you shouldn't give a single sheet to the teachers ── and instead, focus on setting up pledges that sound good to students.」
Magic or physical attacks, fire or water. Returning fire with techniques that will be effective against your opponent is fundamental to gaming.
「Ohh! True, that way might be better!」
Agreeing with me, Mimimi was all ears. Another「Not bad at all!」came my way. Ah, happiness. I'm glad I play games.
At that point, though, I recalled a certain conversation I'd had with Hinami.
『Suppose you hold the conviction that your suggestion is correct. But, at the same time, you learn that there exists an「incorrect rule」that means even if a suggestion is correct, it won't necessarily get accepted.』
『Basically, in order to get your『correct suggestion』accepted, you have no other choice but to make use of that『incorrect rule』.」
In a sense, this was what I had the intention of doing.『Students want campaign pledges that suit the circumstances of their school life』was a rule one would find difficult to refer to as correct.
I had a strategy that would use this rule to make campaign pledges and collect votes. Furthermore, on this occasion, it was a strategy to change the fundamental『campaign pledges themselves』, and not just a superficial camouflage.
In other words, if Mimimi had something she『wants to do』, that is, her own correct something prompting her desire to become student council president. Then it was possible this drafting of campaign pledges would end up affecting those fundamentals.
Generally, the role of student council president isn't the type of thing you'd express interest in if you aren't being extremely serious about it. And she was serious enough to run for election despite knowing that she'd be up against Hinami. There were probably reasons for that. I felt I needed to make sure that the campaign pledges I'd be drafting from now on would not run contrary to those reasons.
「Before that, there's one thing I want to ask.」
「Hm? What is it?」
I looked at Mimimi's face once more. Although her regular features made me feel embarrassed, I felt it wouldn't be right to ask this question while looking away, so I tried my best to maintain eye contact as I spoke.
「What made you decide to run for student council president?」
When I straight-up asked her this question, Mimimi froze for a moment.
Then,「Eh, you're asking that now!?」, she responded with a somewhat bashful, somewhat surprised look on her face.
「I mean, look, it would be bad if the campaign pledges were to go against what you're aiming for, Mimimi.」
「Ah, I see. Certainly.」
「Actually, I've been wondering this from the start, you know. I mean…… you’re running knowing you’re up against Hinami.」
When I said this, with a「……As I thought, it's that, huh～」, Mimimi smiled wryly.
Her expression seemed somewhat lonely, something I had seldom seen coming from Mimimi.
「……As I thought it's that? Meaning?」
Mimimi returned to her usual playful smile.
「What do you mean?」
「Hmm. ……Ah! Actually, my reason for standing for election, it's the same! The same as yours, Tomozaki!」
「The same……」Then, I realized.「Ah.」
I want to try take down Hinami.
Just a while ago, that was the reason I had given Mimimi for me becoming the『Brain』.
「Figured it out? I too want to try fight against that super strong Aoi, and win! That's why I became a candidate.」
「Which means, wanting to change the school, or goals like these pledges……」
「There's no such things!」
Mimimi then gave me a thumbs-up.
「……Ahaha, well that's a surprise.」
I couldn't help but feel a little happy hearing that. To think that our motives were the same……
I considered asking why she wanted to defeat Hinami, but thought that just like how I had my pride as a gamer, Mimimi had her own something, and decided against it. To put it another way, I didn't have the skill to continue with that sort of spirited conversation.
「I said it, didn’t I? I too am someone who doesn’t know their place!」
「Then does that mean that for the campaign pledges, method of campaigning and all that, I'm free to do whatever?」
「Thaaat's right! You know, since a while ago you've really felt like a Brain, Tomozaki! So much that I, Mimimi feel like leaving it to you!」
This time Mimimi gave me a double thumbs-up.
「I see……but if that’s the case.」 I worked out several things in my mind. 「That makes things easy.」
「……You’re making a kind of nasty face right now, you know? Tomozaki.」
Mimimi smiled excitedly as she spoke.
A nasty face, huh. But understandably so. Right now, I had realized something with certainty.
Hinami Aoi, the strongest player in the game called『Life』. I had been learning strategies for Life from her, and had been playing Life too myself. And, although I hadn't passed any judgement as to whether or not Life was a kamige, I had least ended up acknowledging that it was a decent game.
Perhaps, that was precisely why a single desire had come into being.
Even I wanted to at some point, in this decent game called『Life』, try fighting against the ultra big boss that carried the name Hinami Aoi. No, I wanted to try winning.
However, I was still a jaku-chara with a long way to go. Even taking conversations as an example, there was still a lot I couldn't do, and something like giving a rousing campaign speech was out of the question. The high-spiritedness of Mimimi's endorser Yamashita-san, the proficiency of Mizusawa's overpowering oration, or the communication skills and popularity of someone like Mimimi or Hinami. Each and every one of those was completely out of reach. I lacked the attribute values to begin with. But.
──What if I were to work from behind the scenes?
What if the strongest AtaFami gamer that is me……
making use of all the『Strategies to Life』 Hinami had taught me so far……
were to assume control of the『kyou-chara』 that is Mimimi and fight against Hinami?
In that case, wouldn't I be able to become not the jaku-chara Tomozaki, but nanashi even in 『Life』?
It would make for an even match with Hinami Aoi, and ── no, that’s wrong. Wouldn’t winning be possible?
The feeling excited me.
With the intention to share that sentiment, I said the following.
「If we’re doing this, let’s go all out to win.」
As for Mimimi, she stared at me with a dumbfounded look on her face, taken aback by how I had for whatever reason suddenly switched over to a state of readiness. Then, finally.
With her usual beaming smile, she cheerfully struck my shoulder with an absurd amount of strength. I told you, that hurts.
 Kind of difficult to convey how the original was formatted with an English translation. So, basically, typed Japanese generally works with characters that are all the same width. In the original, the pledge had a character that went over the defined character limit for a line, forcing that single character onto the next line and making the word "incomplete". In the TL, I've changed it to being a whole word that leaked onto the next line – that's how English-language word processors generally work, after all. Word by word, not letter by letter.
 Again, not easy to create an English equivalent for the TL here. In the original, he simply left out one character (the particle の), which made the whole sentence equal the character limit, while still having a sentence that made perfect grammatical sense in Japanese.