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Fifteen hours late, but hey, better than never, right?
Kaburagi was so much worse than I expected that I was honestly at my wit’s end.
After that, even after we returned to the salon, Kaburagi kept talking to me about his ideal confessions.
He was like a bottomless well of worthless ideas.
Naturally he never brought up Wakaba-chan’s name, but anyway, all of his ideas were needlessly bombastic and unrealistic.
This wouldn’t do.
In the end I concluded that I had to put off the confession for now.
What I needed to do first was teach the idiot some common sense.
Uwah, the road ahead was tough…
“Kisshouin-san, I hear that you’ve become Masaya’s strategist?”
Since we were in public now, and I was more than a little sick of him, I had told Kaburagi to think about how to word his confession first.
Having given him his homework, I shooed him off and helped myself to some tea, but this time a smiling Enjou had come to accost me.
“What in heaven’s name are you talking about?”
“Hm? I heard it from Masaya. Apparently he employed you as his strategist.”
What the hell!? Doesn’t that make me his subordinate then!
I’ve never heard of a disciple this arrogant!
“That position seems much too important for one such as I. You are Kaburagi-sama’s closest friend. This role can only be entrusted to you.”
“Oh no, I could never…” he waved me off.
That’s not something I want to hear from a member of the Fulfilling Romance village like you.
You’ve got plenty of experience. Can’t you just use some of it to give him advice?
“Do you know what it is Kaburagi-sama is asking my advice on?” I asked.
“Yeah, more or less,” he said, sending a glance Kaburagi’s way.
The boy in question was sitting cross-legged by the window, quietly reading a book.
No doubt it was another stupid love poem anthology.
I could already see him sending weird quotes my way…
While I was thinking that to myself, I heard dreamy sighs from here and there.
They could only react that way because they didn’t know what a loser he was inside.
“In that case,” I started again, “would it not make even more sense for you to advise him?”
“Why do you say that?”
Because you’ve got a goddamned girlfriend!
To begin with, I wasn’t even close to Kaburagi.
Shouldn’t Enjou have been considered for the role before any thoughts came my way?
Ah, hang on.
I guess it was because of Iwamuro-kun and Class Rep…
“I think a girl’s opinion would be a lot more useful than mine,” he smiled brightly. “Kisshouin-san, I’ll leave Masaya to you.”
Even though I had an urna on my forehead, why was this year full of trouble?
What a pain.
While I pondered this on a particularly lazy Saturday, I suddenly received a message from my fellow Pivoine member, Fuyuko-sama.
‘Might we meet for a chat? It would be lovely if we had a chance to better know each other, Reika-sama.’
Being overjoyed at the chance to meet a friend outside of school, I agreed without another thought.
Fuyuko-sama had always been in my group.
Moreover, she was even a member of the Pivoine like I was.
Despite all that though, we never really had a chance to really know each other.
I guess it was because we were on different frequencies.
She really gave off the vibe of an ancient noble.
But maybe today was my chance!
She was inviting me out on a weekend after all.
What if I was about to make a new friend!?
I arrived at our meeting place full of anticipation; a lounge in some hotel.
It wasn’t long before I spotted her, as well as an older woman I didn’t know sitting next to her.
Was this her oneesama?
I made my way towards them.
“Reika-sama!” she exclaimed. “Thank you so much for coming! Please, take a seat!”
“Why, thank you,” I replied.
I sat down opposite the two of them and ordered a herb tea.
“…Umm, so, regarding our meeting today…”
“Ah, of course! You see, I very much wanted a chance to get to speak with you.”
I mean, I was happy to hear that, but in that case what was the strange lady for?
I had a closer look at her.
She was wearing a suit, and seemed to be about 25, but she didn’t have make up on and looked like your everyday woman.
At least, she didn’t look like she was related to Fuyuko-sama.
Seriously, who was this?
I was slightly regretting coming here.
“I’ve noticed recently that you seemed a little threadbare. It’s been on mind for a while now,” she told me.
“Haah, I see.”
“Indeed. Reika-sama, has something been bothering you?” she asked.
“Bothering me…?” I asked. “I would not say so, no…”
“Goodness, haven’t you been having a lot of trouble with Kaburagi-sama and that commoner girl? And you’ve been speaking with him in the salon too. A lot of girls were envying you, but not me. You never looked happy to me.”
She was normally so quiet.
It was rare to see her so animated.
“Umm, at any rate, might I ask who this miss is…?”
“Oh, of course! This is Lady Lyuleiah! A greater healer!”
What was a hiilah?
I looked at her suit.
As in short for “hira’sha’in(rank and file worker)”?
“Healer, as in the English word. A healer refers to a person with the ability sooth and cure. They can use their powers to heal the body and soul!”
“Pleased to meet you. I am Healer Lyuleiah.”
I gave her another once over.
This woman who didn’t seem to have a drop of foreign blood in her was apparently named Lyuleiah.
“…That is quite an unusual name.”
“It is my Healer name. It was bestowed upon me by the Virtues of the Second Sphere when they commanded me to heal and guide the people.”
She handed me a violet business card.
‘Blessed by the Virtues.
Ryu-Rei-A (Dragon Spirit Love)’
Apparently her name was supposed to be Japanese.
“Lady Lyuleiah saved my heart during a rough time in my life. Since then, I have been guided by her teachings,” Fuyuko-sama told me.
“Ah, excuse me,” I called out to nearby waitress. “I would like to order your special for today, the 3-cake sampler.”
There was something really alluring about the idea of trying 3 different little cakes.
“…And lately you seemed to be having a rough time, Reika-sama, which was why I really wanted to introduce Lady Lyuleiah to you.”
For a while I listened to her confusing explanation, but since I never showed much interest, eventually the greater healer glared at me.
“You have been possessed by a fox spirit,” Lyuleiah concluded.
“Oh goodness! This is horrible, Reika-sama!” Fuyuko-sama exclaimed.
“I see…” I replied blandly.
So here it was.
And a fox, huh?
Honestly, at this point I didn’t care anymore.
“Unless we promptly exorcise you, your future will contain dark omens and even greater misfortune…” Lyuleiah warned me ominously.
“There is no need for that,” I said bluntly. “After all, the spirit that plagues me is not a fox, but a tanuki.”
“The curse that ails me is the curse of the tanuki pup. It is a terrible curse that tanukifies your stomach if you so much as let your guard down. And the worst news is that this curse cannot be broken.”
“Reika-sama, what are you saying…?”
“However, I have grown fond of this tanuki, and am prepared to have him with me for life. Annoying perhaps, but quite cute once you get used to him. For this reason, I must decline your exorcism. Dark omens will be crushed, misfortunes conquered, should they ever impede my path.”
Having finished up the cakes and herb tea, I gave a confident,
“Well then, gokigen’yoh.”
And promptly took my leave.
I had thought Fuyuko-sama was somebody who lived in another world, untouched by our common troubles, but it turned out that she was actually one of those types…
When I returned home, the evil tanuki spirit was lying in wait with tarts of this season’s fruit in order to curse me.
Your dark magic tempts me not!