“So, Gonta…” Makoto smiled at the bug enthusiast sitting in his office. “What do you want to do when you graduate from Hope’s Peak Academy? Something related to bugs, I assume?”
“Well…” Gonta frowned as he admitted “Gonta…isn’t sure Gonta has a future…”
Makoto raised an eyebrow as he frowned. “What do you mean, Gonta? Did someone say something to you? Don’t let other people get you down; they don’t know what they’re talking about…”
“Sorry! Gonta didn’t mean to give that impression, honest!” As Gonta’s eyes widened and he waved his hands about in a panic, Makoto nodded and gestured for the bug enthusiast to continue. “Kiki and Saihara-kun are training to be detectives. Tojo-chan is gonna be a maid when she graduates, and her election to the Student Council has even caused her to explore politics. And Tsumugi...even though she doesn’t quite know what she wants to do, she found success with that play that just wrapped up.”
I see…so he’s feeling intimidated by his classmates’’ recent successes… Makoto realized.
“But what can Gonta do? All Gonta is good with is bug friends. Gonta may be an idiot, but even Gonta knows that lots of people find bugs gross. Gonta’s tried real hard to be a gentleman and get good grades, but Gonta’s not a genius! So who would want to hire Gonta?”
“Gokuhara-kun.” Makoto’s stern words silenced Gonta’s rambling before the headmaster smiled at the anxious bug enthusiast. “Gonta, you’re not an idiot. And getting good grades is important, but what’s more important is showing the effort and passion you put into everything you do. And I see that hard work ethic in you, Gonta.”
Makoto nodded. “That’s right, and I’ve heard how you treat everyone politely and courteously. If anyone here can truly call themselves a gentleman, it’s you.”
“Th-thank you…” Gonta wiped the happy tears from his eyes before he asked “But still…what can Gonta do with just a passion for bugs?”
“Well…why don’t you find a way to show everyone why you love your bugs so much? That way, even if they don’t share your passion, they can at least understand it a little better? And eventually, an employer will notice and want to hire you.”
“You…you think so…?”
“I know so. We just have to figure out a productive way for you to show and explain your passion…”
“Gonta has an idea!” Seeing Makoto raise his eyebrow in curiosity, Gonta explained “Can…can Gonta create a bug zoo at Hope’s Peak Academy? Then Gonta can show many bugs, explain cool bug facts, talk about how bugs are good for the environment...”
Makoto chuckled as he mused “Let’s see…I suppose…we could find a spot in the greenhouse for your bug museum. Just submit a plan to me and we’ll see what we can do.”
“Thank you, Headmaster!” Gonta stood up and bowed. “Gonta promises to work hard and come up with a safe plan to create bug museum for all the students!”
Makoto chuckled as Gonta excitedly ran out of the office. “Good luck, Gonta. I just hope this doesn’t become a repeat of that Insect Meet and Greet…”
“A…bug museum…?” Shuichi asked in between bites before Gonta nodded excitedly.
“Gonta just needs to create a plan for Headmaster Naegi, then Gonta can start building it in the greenhouse!” Gonta then bit his lip as his brow furrowed anxiously. “Still…Gonta doesn’t know how to create a plan…”
Kiki and Tsumugi stared at each other nervously. While they both wanted to cheer on Gonta’s passion project, the memory of the Insect Meet and Greet was still fresh in their minds.
I really don’t want to be surrounded by bugs again… Kiki admitted to herself.
I’m fine with bugs as long as they’re still in their cages and stuff, but I don’t want to be handling them myself! Tsumugi thought as they both prayed that Gonta wouldn’t ask them to help with his bug zoo.
“Perhaps I can be of assistance.” Kiki and Tsumugi breathed a sigh of relief as Kirumi volunteered.
“You…you’d do that for Gonta?”
Kirumi smiled and nodded. “Of course, Gokuhara-kun. You were a great help during my campaign, even if it didn’t turn out to be necessary. So as repayment, I shall help you to fulfill your request.”
“Go-Gonta is so grateful, Tojo-chan!” Gonta sniffled. “Gonta promises Gonta will pull Gonta’s weight! After all, it wouldn’t be gentlemanly to make you do all of Gonta’s work.”
Kirumi smiled appreciatively. “I’ll hold you to that. Don’t worry, I shall assist you by teaching you how to make a plan yourself, so you can construct it on your own. Then I shall give you constructive criticism so you can improve your proposal.”
“Gonta promises as a gentleman to do his best! Gonta will repay your kindness for all you’re doing for Gonta!” Gonta smiled excitedly, causing the others to smile as they looked forward to seeing what Gonta, with Kirumi’s help, would create.
“So…how does Gonta create a plan…?” Gonta asked quietly as they sat at a table in the library.
Kirumi took out a pencil and notebook before she opened it and handed the items to him. “Well, first it helps to brainstorm your conceptual ideas and put them on paper. Tell me some of your ideas and write them down in that notebook.”
“O-okay.” Gonta briefly fumbled with the pencil before he secured his grip, feeling his nerves tense up as he began to think. “Well, Gonta knows from Insect Meet and Greet that people probably don’t want to come into physical contact with bugs.”
“Insect…Meet and Greet…?” Kirumi cocked her head in confusion.
“Oh, right, Gonta forgot you didn’t know Gonta back then.” Gonta smiled bashfully before he explained. “It’s when Gonta was in elementary school. Gonta was visiting Kiki and Tsumugi at Kiki’s house, and Gonta tried to show bugs Gonta brought over, but Gonta’s bug friends ended up chasing them and tiring them out. Gonta was so ashamed, and even if Gonta was forgiven, Gonta cannot make that mistake again!”
“Ah, I see…” Kirumi smiled as she mused “Well, at least it appears that you’re dedicated to learning from your mistakes. And I wouldn’t kick yourself too hard for it. You were a little boy who got carried away; it happens to the best of us when we’re little.” Kirumi flushed from embarrassment as she admitted “In my case, I have a tendency to take my desire to fulfill others’ requests too far and offer services that can be construed as inappropriate.”
“…Gonta understands.” Gonta grinned as he continued “Gonta wants to be a true gentleman, but Gonta sometimes makes mistakes. Gonta still has a long way to go before Gonta can call Gonta a true gentleman. But Gonta still tries his best to learn from each mistake.”
“…Yes…well put, Gokuhara-kun.” The aspiring maid held back an amused giggle before she redirected “Anyway, we’re getting off topic.”
“Sorry! Gonta talked for too long-”
“It’s okay, it was my fault too.” Kirumi reassured him. “Anyway, now that we’ve isolated that it would be a bad idea for your bugs to move freely about, we can focus on how to reasonably restrain their movement and create a barrier between them and the observers.”
Gonta hummed in contemplation before he replied “Well…Gonta doesn’t want them to feel too cramped. Gonta’s bug friends probably want room to move around and eat and fly and crawl.”
Kirumi smiled in amusement and mused “I see…you care very much about bugs, don’t you, Gokuhara-kun?”
“Yes, Gonta loves bugs!” Gonta confirmed with a cheerful smile before he frowned. “Sorry, you’re probably getting bored listening to Gonta ramble on and on about bugs…”
“Not at all, Gokuhara-kun.” Gonta gasped as he looked up at Kirumi’s smiling face. “You have a selfless devotion towards bugs…I can relate to that, even if the objects of our devotion are different.”
“Oh, Gonta didn’t think of it like that…thank you, Tojo-chan.”
Kirumi shook her head in amusement. “Anyway, so we know that we need a structure that has a fairly large space for each bug to move around in their compartments. Perhaps a glass, cubical structure might suit our purposes well.”
“Oh, good idea, Tojo-chan! Now we just have to figure out the…dimensions.”
“Very well, then let’s start constructing the dimensions. Let’s start with the size of each bug, and work from there.”
“Mhm…mhm…” Makoto hummed as he and Kyoko reviewed the finalized plan.
Gonta bit his fingernails nervously as Kirumi rested a reassuring hand on his shoulder. At last, Kyoko cleared her throat, turning the two students’ attention to her and Makoto as he began to speak.
“Well, Gonta, I must say, this is a very impressive plan. You’ve made sure none of the proposed insects are lethal, you’ve erected adequate barriers between observers and the students, and you’ve even installed an impressive feeding system.”
“Indeed.” Kyoko concurred. “I’d say this is an acceptable design, wouldn’t you agree, Headmaster?”
Makoto nodded. “Yes, as long as Gonta is willing to commit to it, I see no reason why we can’t permit the modification of the greenhouse.”
“Gonta promises!” Gonta assured them. “Gonta will work really hard to finish this bug zoo!”
Kirumi nodded and concurred “I agree, Gokuhara-kun is a dedicated and devoted worker who will do his best to keep his word. And if he consents, I shall assist him with its construction.”
“R-really?!” Gonta squeaked, as Kirumi nodded in confirmation. “Well, okay. Gonta will be happy to have your help!”
Gonta’s cheeks flushed the faintest shade of pink as Kirumi nodded appreciatively. “Well, I’m sure all the students will be happy to see your creation when it’s finished.” Makoto told them before they turned back to face him. “I’ll put in an order for the materials. In the meantime, why don’t the two of you go home and relax for the time being?”
Kirumi nodded. “I have no Student Council meetings today, so I shall fulfill your request, Headmaster.”
“Hm?” With a curious eyebrow, Kirumi turned to the bashful bug enthusiast. “What is it, Gokuhara-kun?”
“Would…you like to meet Gonta’s bug friends? The ones that Gonta will relocate to the bug zoo, Gonta means…”
Kirumi blinked before she smiled and nodded slightly. “Of course, I’d be happy to fulfill your request.”
“Great, then follow Gonta!”
Kirumi shook her head in amusement as she followed him out of the office.
I must confess…I haven’t much experience with bugs…but his devotion is intriguing…and I’m curious to see how he puts it into action.