TN : I’ll try to post more than usual next week.
64. Regarding Male Service Activities
After school, I went to see my homeroom teacher, Sanae Ichinose.
“I’d like to ask a question about “MSA”.”
“MSA… Come to think of it, right, it’s your birthday soon.”
Apparently, she remembered my birthday.
Though, I couldn’t think she memorized the birthdays of all her students. Probably only Atsushi’s and my birthday. Since the 16th birthdays for male students in co-ed schools were special.
“I know the general stuff. But, I wanted to ask you something a little more specific.”
“That’s a good spirit. But, have you ever seen a pamphlet issued by the Central Office? It has an organization chart on it.”
“No, I’ve never really been interested in that so……”
What did they expect and want from a freshman in high school? Since when had the government become so interested in meddling with high schoolers? Not that I knew of.
Not that I knew anything about organizational charts either.
Anyway, Ichinose-sensei continued.
“There is a Volunteer Bureau in the Central Office, and it manages the MSA for men. One-third of the staff are men, so you can rest assured.”
“Is that so? That’s, surprisingly a lot.”
“Caring for underage males is the most important issue. Even in this school, there are a lot of male teachers.”
“Yes. I’m indebted to PE (Physical Education) teacher, Yoshioka-sensei.”
“Unfortunately, the psychotherapist is a woman, but if you really have some stressful problem, you should talk to her right away.”
I couldn’t help but smile.
Ichinose-sensei was dumbfounded for a moment, then said, “It’s not a laughing matter, though…” in a low voice while looking around, as if to understand the logic behind my smile.
“…Once every few years, there is a male student who becomes mentally unstable and takes a leave of absence. Please keep that in mind.”
“I understand. So, about the MSA…”
“Ah, right. There’s a list prepared by the Volunteer Bureau, and you choose from it, but of course, there are those that can be recommended, and not.”
The list of places to volunteer included “all organizations seeking men volunteers”.
Therefore, there were “proposals that couldn’t be recommended” for immature 16-year-old male students.
To be honest, I was quite interested in this one, but choosing it would be troublesome in many ways.
“So, there’s a list, and you choose from it. Is it only the name on the list? You can’t know much just from that, though…”
“Of course, that’s the case. Most will decide while consulting with the people from the Volunteer Bureau. By the way, the list is updated every month, so this month’s one has already arrived. Would you like to take a look?”
“Is that so? I’m interested, but I’ll talk with my family first, so next time.”
“I see, that’s smart. After choosing a place from the list, the Volunteer Bureau will take care of all the formalities. Adjusting the date and time and communicating with the other side, what to do on the day, basically, everything.”
“Very thorough, I see.”
“There will be a drop-off and pick-up on the day, and they will keep a close eye on the service, so that nothing bad happens… Ah, right, basically you should think that it will be left in photos and videos. But, if it leaks somewhere, including SNS, various penalties will be imposed, so it should probably be fine. You don’t have to worry.”
“A penalty?… I’m sure it depends on the places, and how severe it is.”
The penalties in this world seemed to be pretty severe, such as being prohibited from the special ward, and more.
“About the place of service, if you go to a special place, you’ll be provided uniforms or work clothes. Other than that, it’s a school uniform if the place is a school. Then, is there anything else you would like to ask?”
“At least 10 times a year is mandatory, right? If you have a birthday in the middle of the year, how is that calculated?”
“Actually, it’s calculated 10 times in 10 months excluding August and March.”
“I’ve heard that it’s once a month, so that’s what it means?”
“Since it starts in the month following the month of your birth… in Souya-kun’s case, it will start in June, so six times will be mandatory this year.”
“But I don’t mind increasing it myself.”
“Right, there are some students who want to buy something or something they really want, so there are sometimes students who increase their volunteer. There are also students who put in twice a day since they want to finish it early.”
“So, that part depends on the person, I guess?”
“On the other hand, there are students who do nothing until the very last minute. To the point where they get called by the Volunteer Bureau. Well, I don’t recommend doing it.”
This world was tough on men who didn’t do their duty.
However, when would you be able to get 15,000 yen for just three hours of volunteer activity? How could I refuse such a thing? No way.
“So, about a place of service, but is there a girls’ school?”
“…? Of course.”
“Well, adolescent women are hungry for men… COUGH!!… I mean, they’re hungry for encounters after all. Just by seeing one on the street, they can spend the day happily.”
Right. It had been a little over a month since I came to this world. I knew it, but sometimes I made mistakes here and there.
If I went to a girls’ school in my original world, there would certainly be a lot of noise there. In a bad way, of course. Maybe they’d even bring a man-catcher.
But because I had such an image for a long time, I couldn’t bring myself to think of it as something natural, even if I was told that a girls’ school wanted me to visit.
“Is that so? I see, the girls’ school is also demanding volunteers huh…”
Damn it, calm down, me!
I couldn’t stop myself from grinning and becoming restless.
“Are you sure you don’t want to see the list?”
“No, I’ll consult with my mother before viewing the list. Thank you very much.”
“If there’s anything you don’t understand, or feel uneasy about, don’t hesitate to ask. And…”
Ichinose-sensei lowered her voice again.
“I’ve heard about what you’ve been doing after class lately. The students from other classes are getting noisy about it, so yeah, the surroundings may be noisy for a while, so be careful.”
“I did it knowingly, so it’s okay. I’m sorry for making you worry about it.”
When I replied with a smile, Ichinose-sensei said nothing more.
At home, I decided to consult with Sis first.
“Nee-san, I know this is my first volunteer, but I’d like to go outside the special ward. What do you think?”
“…Take-kun, are you serious?”
“Are you serious?”
Sis replied after thinking for a while with a worried face.
“I’m against it. Compared to the past, Men are much more precious than ever. I know that some still can’t get their mind into it.”
“Just a few decades ago, one out of several dozen men was born.”
“That’s right. From then on, the male birthrate slowly got worse. Those in their 40s and older have different sensibilities than Take-kun’s classmates.”
This was what was often referred to as the “sense of disconnection”. I often heard people say that the old days were better.
It was said that interacting with adults outside the special ward, who couldn’t feel the decrease in men in real-time, was closer to cross-cultural exchange than a generation gap.
“I understand what Nee-san is trying to say, but I want to start from outside the special ward first.”
There was a saying, “starts with one step”, but the people closest to me in class were the people outside the special ward.
Perhaps, it was sympathy, but I felt like my roots were closest to the girls who still lived outside.
“Take-kun, you’ve changed.”
“I don’t think so?”
“I’m against it, but I think it’s fine to do what Take-kun thinks. Take-kun is trying to change, but as an older sister, I can’t stop you and force you to stay the same forever.”
“Thank you, Nee-san. I’ll talk to Mom, too.”
“That’s good… Also, those who came to the BBQ the other day, and those whom you gave a “Free Hug Ticket”. Why don’t you talk it to them too?”
“I see, that might be a good idea. All right, I’ll talk to them.”
Makoto is empathetic and Yuuko always gives good advice. Rie… she gives a viewpoint from an angle that even I wouldn’t have thought of…
I returned to my room and started up the kite messenger that I use for contacting them.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.