to this library for a different reason.”

 

“A different reason?”

 

As I tilted my head, Maron-san turned the question back to me.

 

“Sachi-san, did you happen to see Poire-san anywhere?”

 

“Poire-san? Oh, you mean that friend with the yellow hat.”

 

Poire-san, a girl who also achieved a high magical power score like Maron-san.
She always wore a pointed hat that resembled a yellow nightcap and often got scolded for dozing off during class.
Though I had nicknamed her “Sleep-Deprived Girl” in my mind, I had never actually talked to her.

 

“She’s my roommate in the dormitory, and we made plans to go back to the girls’ dormitory together today.
However, I had some business at the staff room after school, so I asked Poire-san to wait for me in the classroom.
When I finished my task and went to the classroom…”

 

“Poire-san wasn’t there, right?”

 

“Y-Yes.”

 

Maron-san nodded solemnly, looking worried.

 

I was the last one remaining in the classroom, but I vaguely remember Poire-san not being there early on.

 

I think I saw her sleeping at her desk at some point, but I don’t remember it very well.

 

“Maybe she had something to do and went back to the dormitory ahead of time? Like she didn’t have time to leave a note or anything, so she couldn’t inform you,” I suggested.

 


“Well, um, I know it might not be the best thing to say as a friend, but Poire-san is basically someone who ‘can’t do anything alone’…” Maron-san hesitated.

 

“Huh? Can’t do anything alone?”

 

“She needs someone to wake her up in the morning, or she’ll sleep forever.
She’ll even try to go to school in her pajamas if someone doesn’t prepare her clothes.
And even if she managed to get to school, she wouldn’t be able to find her way around without someone guiding her…”

 

“Really…”

 

It’s like a stereotypical incapable person.

 

I never thought Poire-san would be completely lacking in basic life skills…

 

No, I can actually imagine it quite easily.

 

The scene of Maron-san taking care of various things for Poire-san in their shared dorm room comes to mind.

 

“And even if she somehow manages to get to school safely, I always have to prepare the class materials for her, and she’ll stay asleep at her desk unless I guide her to the moving classrooms… and, well, during flower picking, she wouldn’t even know where to go without me taking her there…”

 

“Okay, okay, I get it.
I understand enough.”

 

It seems like Maron-san takes care of Poire-san like a mother taking care of a child.

Otherwise, Poire-san wouldn’t be able to function properly.

 

If her life skills are that disastrous…

 

“In other words, it’s unlikely that she went back to the dormitory alone.
Maybe she went home with other friends?”

 

“P-Poire-san doesn’t have any other close friends besides me…”

 

“Oh…”

 

The reason for her disappearance from the classroom becomes even more mysterious.

 

She can’t go home alone, she doesn’t have any friends, and yet she’s no longer in the classroom.

 

It feels like she vanished as if she were kidnapped.

 

“Moreover, I’m the only one who has the key to our room, so even if she went back, she wouldn’t be able to get in,” Maron-san added.

 

In that case, it’s highly likely that she’s still somewhere in this school.

 

Yes, most likely.
There was a time before when she sleepily wandered off to another class or got lost on a different floor with students from another grade.


 

So that’s why she asked me if I had seen Poire-san.

 

And now Maron-san is wandering around the school, searching for Poire-san, and ended up in the library.

 

If that’s the situation, maybe it’s my turn to help.

 

“I’ll help you search too.”

 

“Huh? A-Are you sure?”

 

“Yeah, I don’t have any plans for the rest of the day, and I’m pretty good at finding things.
If we search for Poire-san together, we might find her faster than expected.”

 

“W-Well, in that case, I appreciate your help…”

 

As Maron-san was about to respond, she suddenly stopped mid-sentence.

 

She then looked around me, her gaze wandering, and tilted her head in confusion.

 

“Aren’t you with Mil-san today?”

 

“Huh, Mil?”

 

“I often see the two of you together…”

 

“Oh, if it’s about her, she’s off doing school requests alone.
I offered to help, but she wanted to do it alone.”

 

“Doing school requests… I see.
In that case, that ‘rumor’ is indeed…”

 

“Rumor?”

 

An intriguing word slipped from Maron-san’s lips.

 

A rumor.
Could it be that someone is spreading rumors about Mil?

 

But what kind of rumors? I wondered, and as I questioned it, Maron-san continued, lowering her voice slightly.

 

“I’ll tell you as we walk.
It’s about the recent rumors circulating among some students regarding Mil-sama.”

 

“Oh… um, okay.”

 

I had no idea what she was talking about, but we left the library to search for Poire-san.

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