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Prince Arima was son of Emperor Koutoku. It is said that Emperor Koutoku was blessed with his heir, Prince Arima, because he stayed at the Arima Hot Springs in Hyougo Prefecture.
He was accused of, and executed for treason. In part due to two famous poems that he wrote shortly before his death, he is remembered in Japanese culture as a tragic hero.
As for another prince accused of something similar, Prince Sawara was the heir presumptive to the throne when his older brother was inaugurated as Emperor Kanmu. There were plans to move the capital city but Prince Sawara was opposed, and implicated in the assassination of a key individual, Fujiwara no Tanetsugu, supposedly in order to overthrow the court with the aid of the Ootomo and Saeki families.
His brother, Emperor Kanmu, confined him in Otokunidera Temple, and then exiled him to what is now somewhere in Hyougo prefecture, but Prince Sawara died from causes that are still disputed.
After his death though, things did not go well. The Empress Dowager and then the Empress died in succession, and the new Crown Prince, Ate, fell deathly ill. Divination revealed that the cause was Prince Sawara’s vengeful spirit.
In fear, Emperor Kanmu posthumously awarded Prince Sawara the title of crown prince, and then soon afterwards was posthumously raised to the rank of emperor, and bestowed the posthumous name Sudou(‘崇道’, Path of Worship).
Changing just two strokes in the character 崇(worship) gives you 祟(curse).
Incidentally, Kisshouin(吉祥院) literally means ‘house of good fortune’.
While the Athletics Carnival was over, there was still something I couldn’t accept. After the Athletics Carnival, I went and asked the costume race team why they had worn reggae curls.
The story they told me was shocking. Earlier I had used Kaburagi’s costume criticism from last year as an excuse to get out of participating. Apparently the boys had actually believed me, and decided to humour Kaburagi’s expectations by going in my place. What the hell. So it was him again? So it was all his fault again!?
One of the boys even happily told me that that athletics carnival maniac had told them that it was a funny idea. And then the boy said,
“Actually, he also told us to do our best because the ‘dragon’ and the ‘serpent’ were going to be difficult. Do you know what he meant?”
The Chinese Zodiac again!
Huh? But if I was trying to complete the Chinese Zodiac Set, did that mean Wakaba-chan was trying to complete some kind of ocean set? During the excursion in first year she played the sea in the play. First the sea, now the fish. I wondered what she was going to do next. Seaweed…? Boats…? Wai-, was the idiocy contagious!? Now I was thinking like that idiot too!
Nooo, I didn’t wanna complete the Chinese Zodiac…
I still didn’t know who had come up with it but the nickname ‘Prince’ had managed to stick, at least among some people.
The Arima Onsen was a great place, wasn’t it~ Japan’s oldest hot spring. In my old life I’d enjoyed bath salts from the Arima Hot Springs in my family bath, but since I was rich this time around I had gone to the real thing.
Haahh, it was a great trip. My skin was silky smooth when I got out of the water. And the eggs cooked in the hot springs that I had for dinner that night were delicious too! Onsen-boiled eggs were an excellent idea. They went great with caesar salad!
Going back to the nickname though, was Fellow Stalking Horse okay with this? Being nicknamed after that tragic prince I mean. On the other hand, I suppose the Pivoine was lucky that he wasn’t named Sawara. Curses were scary.
This school, or rather my grade, was oddly fond of nicknames. We had ‘the Emperor’, ‘the Prince’, ‘Afrodite’… Hm, and I suppose my… ‘Goddess’ or something?
Mmn, I still didn’t really get it but the boys called me Goddess for some reason, according to Satomi-kun. I mean, I suppose I did have a certain refinement that could remind people of a goddess. Actually calling me a goddess was stretching it though. And kind of scary, besides.
And I still wasn’t sure which goddess they meant. The goddess of happiness, Kisshouten(吉祥天) maybe? It was just a character away from my surname. It was the same sort of thing as the ‘Prince Arima’ nickname.
Oh, speaking of which, Kisshouten was known as a goddess of beauty too, wasn’t she. Not that it really meant anything. I just happened to remember, that’s all. Really.
No sooner had the Athletics Carnival ended did the mid-term exams arrive. Last time I was rank 30, and the time before that rank 29, so I wanted to get onto that ranking board again this time! Sure, it was not a good sign that my rank was actually going down with time, but I was hoping that the studying I did during all those trips to the library would kick in.
I sat down at my desk and opened up my textbook. I wonder if Wakaba-chan was studying right now~
You know, Wakaba-chan’s family wasn’t poor or anything. For one thing they were living in an actual house, and for another their cake shop was doing pretty well in their area.
By no means were they using milk cartons as flower vases, or saving their bath water in plastic bottles for later use. I saw no signs of such money-saving techniques.
Well, not that I had actually seen them taking their baths, but at the very least they hadn’t done that in the manga.
Just the other day they were using the aircon when I visited.
It was just that she had a lot of siblings. After Wakaba-chan was two younger brothers, and a younger sister, so four of them in total. That’s why Wakaba-chan was trying to save money by becoming a scholarship student at Zui’ran, in preparation for her siblings’ futures. She was a really filial girl.
Her younger siblings were a naughty bunch, and weren’t attending Zui’ran.
“Uwah! This oneechan’s hair is like chocolate cornets or something!” was the first thing her brother said when seeing me.
“Owww!” was the second thing because Wakaba-chan had immediately smacked him across the head.
The Takamichi household really seemed like a fun place.
Mmn! I decided that I would follow Wakaba-chan’s example and study. I was going to cling to the ranking boards with everything I had!
That was the mindset I faced the exam with. I think I did pretty well, for me at least. For me at least…
Anyhow, during the days after the test when I was waiting eagerly for the results, I was spending all my time on the Bea-tan doll. There was only about a month left until the School Festival. I needed to finish it on time.
Thanks to Sasajima-san’s help the torso was done, as were the arms and legs now. All that was left was the face, but it just wasn’t going too well. I had made a number of them but all of them were different to the Beatrice photos. And thanks to the regular photos that Umewaka-kun sent, I already had Bea-tan’s face memorised anyhow.
Maybe it was the position of the nose and eyes… And I hadn’t added the curled hair yet, so maybe that’s why it looked different. The plan was to add on Bea-tan’s iconic curls later, in order to avoid tangles.
Maybe I’d talk to the Handicrafts Club for some advice.
Finally, it was the day of the results. As for my own results… Ohh! 28th place! I went up! And by two ranks, compared to last time! You’re amazing, Reika!
“Goodness, Reika-sama! 28th place! That’s spectactular!”
“Reika-sama was 28th place! Last time you were 30th, weren’t you? That’s wonderful!”
I was basking in the glow of the compliments from Serika-chan and the others.
“Thank you, everyone. But is 28th place a good score, or an average one, I wonder… I am not quite sure myself.”
“Goodness, I think that’s a splendid achievement already. You probably don’t understand since you don’t have much interest in these things though.”
“She really doesn’t. Reika-sama, you should be a little more proud of your own achievements, you know?”
“Goodness…” I replied.
Ohohohohoho. Praise me more.
Still, there were plenty of people beyond me. This time 1st place was taken by Kaburagi again, with Enjou in 2nd and Wakaba-chan in 3rd. Sometimes I wondered what was inside of their skulls.
Wakaba-chan had learnt from her past experiences. She was standing there looking at the rankings, but her mouth was set in a straight line, and not an speck of celebration could be seen on her face. But. Wakaba-chan, your nostrils are twitching in excitement, you know.
I’ll bet she was happy. She was probably thinking of the scholarship bonus that she was getting again.
She told me a while back that on days when she received a bonus she would quietly treat herself to one of the luxury items on our cafeteria menu. Good for you, Wakaba-chan.
I wondered what she’d get this time. This month’s theme was nouvelle cuisine.
“You’re amazing, Wakaba-chan!” exclaimed a student council member.
Apparently Wakaba-chan had grown close with some of them since entering the Student Council. Sometimes I spotted her with them.
“Looks like I lost to you this time, Takamichi,” sighed Fellow Stalking Horse in good humour.
He was 4th.
“Ah well. Try harder next time,” she said.
“Somebody sounds damned confident,” he joked.
The two of them seemed pretty close as well. It was good that she wasn’t alone. The looks she was getting from Prince Arima fans were pretty harsh though.
That was when Kaburagi and Enjou came along. Although the people around them made a fuss about their arrival, they just came, looked at the results, and then casually walked away.
Wakaba-chan was still talking to Fellow Stalking Horse. I did not miss the glance that Kaburagi gave her as he walked away.
I wonder how Kaburagi actually felt about her…
With the Athletics Carnival and the mid-terms over now, all anybody had on their minds was the School Festival. My class was doing a Chinese tea café this time. I had a bunch left over from that time with Ichinokura-san in Taiwan. Hopefully I contributed something with the idea.
Besides that was the preparations for the Handicrafts Club’s exhibit. I was the Club President, so I couldn’t be dragging us down now, could I!
Alright! Leave it to me, your Club President, everybody!
And my first job as Club President was to get my own exhibit ready. Today I brought my Bea-tan doll to school, hoping to get everybody’s advice.
Before heading to the club, I popped into the salon for a bit to have some tea. I looked into my bag at the doll. I had what I thought were the three best heads with me, but which would I go with~? Personally, I thought all of them were cute, but…
While I was sitting in the corner of the salon, holding each head up to compare, Kaburagi suddenly came over with a confused look on his face.
“The heck is that? The Cerberus?”
Haaaaaahhh!? Fight me, damnit!