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Happy birthday, Sneha. Originally this chapter was supposed to be released together with the next one due to its short length.
Over the last 3 weeks it has become clear to me that the next chapter isn’t coming any time soon, so here you are I guess. Do you hate me yet?
But you have to see it from my perspective. the raws have been on hiatus for a billion years now, so it’s reaaaaaaaaaally hard to feel like I have to catch up.
After a tearful farewell with the little cuties of the Petit Pivoine, I was half-dragged by Kaburagi to our usual little room.
I moaned to no avail about how I wanted to talk with the children more, or about how I still had plans after this. Kaburagi simply snapped at me to move it, and grabbed me by the top of my arm to take me away.
What was particularly bothering was that when his fingers sunk into more flesh than expected, he gave me a shocked double-take. For a woman with a dainty, delicate heart like a fine blancmange, that kind of reaction was deeply upsetting.
You’re wrong! It’s just my clothes that are making me thick! Underneath this bulky blazer I’m wearing my blouse too so it’s just all the clothes that make me feel fat!
Stop looking back and forth between my arm and your hand to compare!
“Well? Whatever might you wish to talk about~?” I said with disinterest.
The secret of my arms revealed, I now found myself sulking in front of Kaburagi.
“That’s not a good attitude,” he complained, but I ignored it.
I still had cram school after this. I just wanted to go home and change already.
And maybe buy some dumbbells along the way…
Seeing that I was determined to sulk, Kaburagi let out an exaggerated sigh before beginning his story.
“…What I wanted to talk about was my time in Rome with Takamichi during the free period.”
No surprises there. Actually I’d be surprised if it was anything else.
Fine, fine, I’ll hear you out. Stop glaring at me.
Go on, continue, continue.
“…Just like our time in Paris, the two of us toured the dessert shops that she wanted to try. At the tiramisu shop she couldn’t pick because they all looked so good, so we ordered a whole lot of them are shared them between us. Strawberry tiramisu isn’t really a thing in Japan, but she liked it the most and asked if she could have the rest. I told her that I didn’t mind, and she just thanked me with such a happy smile…”
At this point Kaburagi began grinning to himself, seemingly lost in memories.
It was kind of gross how womanly he was being. I swear his voice went soft and high just now.
At any rate, he couldn’t stop talking about it.
After that they went to this shop, ate that, when they went for their same plate their fingers touched which had them both in a fluster etc.
I wanted to roar and tear his head off.
Villagers, charge! Enemy attack! Enemy attack!
The enemy have come for us!
“There was one thing that could’ve gone better though. She was going to meet up with her friends afterwards to go shopping, so she asked me if I had any souvenir ideas. Something did come to mind, but she didn’t seem too keen on my suggestion.”
Hmph. This was Kaburagi we were talking about. No doubt he suggested something that was way beyond the means of a normal high schooler to buy.
Oh, that reminded me. I had to remember to hand over souvenirs to everyone at cram school. I bought Italian stationery goods and sweets that hadn’t reached Japan yet.
Compared to the kids at the Petit Pivoine, it had been way, way harder coming up with souvenir ideas for my cram school friends and my underclassmen in the Handicrafts Club.
After all, I really dreamed about being thought of as a stylish person by everybody else.
That’s why I only bought these sweets after strenuous consideration.
It would not do to think of these sweets as simple chocolates bought in a random gift store. This was a chance to show off my taste, after all.
A stylish person would never stoop as low as simply buying yatsuhashi from Kyoto, or macadamia nuts from Hawaii. No matter how tasty they were! Not even if they were always so delicious that you finished the box in one go!
The idea of goods that weren’t being sold in Japan yet was just so ‘premium’. After all, when they eventually made their way here it would be like,
“Oh! Kisshouin-san/Reika-senpai actually bought these as souvenirs a while back. As expected of her~”
Right? So it would be like I was so stylish that I knew the trends before they became trends, even.
I didn’t really have much confidence in my taste. But that was why I so badly wanted to be seen as tasteful.
I wanted them to look up to me as a stylish lady.
I wanted to become the trendsetter for Zuiran──
“Oi, are you even listening to me?”
“Yes, why of course I am,” I nodded vigorously.
And so the Roman date continued.
After eating they went on a stroll to help with digestion. They went and saw churches and ruins and whatnot. Wakaba-chan was overjoyed at how delicious the gelato place he recommended was. It seemed like he had a great day.
By the end of it they were even careless enough to get out of a taxi together, not far from Roma Termini train station.
Honestly, what were they thinking?
After I warned him so many times to be careful too.
Wasn’t it this damned idiot’s fault that they got spotted, and now everyone was hating on Wakaba-chan again!?
Since it was our last school trip, there was no end to girls who dreamt about making happy memories in Europe with everybody’s beloved Emperor.
People already had a bad impression of Wakaba-chan. If you added ‘stealing a march’ on top of that it was little wonder that they were muttering about her being sneaky, or an ugly girl who thought too much of herself.
And just when the bullying was dying down, too…
Worse yet, she was spotted touring London with Fellow Stalking Horse as well. Apparently he had jealous fans too.
Oh. And according to the girls, apparently there were also rumours about me flying around.
Like how I’d had fun shopping with Enjou in Paris. Or how I had a chat over some coffee with Enjou and the Emperor at our hotel in Rome. Or how I received macarons from Kaburagi.
In my rumours I was living as delightfully as Wakaba-chan it seemed.
I feel empty…
“Anyway, moving onto the main topic…”
Don’t tell me that long ass talk about his never-ending date (Roman Edition) was just the introduction!?
It’s too long, Kaburagi. Too long. It’s so long that I’m actually dumbfounded.
I really wonder if I can’t get a summary report for this…
“I feel like we’ve gotten a lot closer this trip.”
“Truly, good sir?”
“So I’m thinking that I’ll go with the flow and try inviting her here and there.”
“That sounds like a fine idea indeed.”
“Where do you think would be good?”
“I believe you must ask your heart that.”
“Oi, can you answer seriously!?”
I can’t, I’ve already had my fill of listening to other people’s romances.
“What if you had this conversation with your best friend, Enjou-sama?” I tried.
“I’ve already talked to Shuusuke. He suggested that I talk to you.”
…That guy pushed all the work onto me, huh?
“Then as I have mentioned before, I think the best place would be somewhere that will not intimidate Takamichi-san.”
“She did not take your souvenir advice when you failed to consider her scale of money, no?” I pointed out. “This is what I am asking you to pay attention to.”
“How about checking some magazines? Perhaps an article on date spots,” I suggested.
“But relying on a manual is a bit…”
Kaburagi folded his arms and stared upwards.
“Come to think of it, Takamichi said something about going with a friend to a supermarket in Rome. Apparently she wanted to buy something that you couldn’t get in supermarkets here… Hey, Kisshouin,” he asked, “Have you ever been to a supermarket before?”
“I have,” I nodded, obviously, much to Kaburagi’s shock.
“What on earth were you doing in a supermarket?”
“What, you ask…?”
Replenishing food supplies, obviously.
For sweets or cup ramen and the like, a regular supermarket will do. For the side dishes I snack on at night, or if I want some imported sweets, I can get them at a high end supermarket that I sometimes visit. I try my best to go to each one on days when they’re giving 5 times the points for your point card.
“To know what families put on their dinner table is to know modern day Japan!”
Kaburagi’s eyes narrowed in question.
“How is that different to a convenience store?” he asked.
“My! What in heavens are you saying!? The products are completely different!” I exclaimed.
Supermarkets sold sweets in family packs. You could never find those in a convenience store.
Those ever alluring family packs…!
“I hope that explains it,” I finished.
Kaburagi turned sullen after I shook my head at him in pity.
“Fine! In that case, let’s go to a supermarket!” he announced, shooting to his feet.
That sounded like he was about to drag me off to a supermarket.
“Takamichi has an interest in these supermarkets. I want to experience it too. Also I can help you with that market research or whatever it is you’re doing. C’mon, get to your feet and let’s go!”
“Wha-, please hold on a moment. I have cram school today.”
“Cram school?” he parroted.
His enthusiasm dampened, Kaburagi looked dissatisfied.
But I wouldn’t let him have this.
The mid-terms are coming up soon, you know? Go and study, damn it.
“…Fine then. So when can we go?”
“Well, one the mid-terms are over perhaps…”
“That’s ages away! How about tomorrow? Or this weekend?”
Tomorrow? This weekend? My, my, you do have too much time on your hands. You poor thing.
To think that the Emperor of Zui’ran actually had nothing on his schedule all day, every day. It was enough to bring a tear to your eyes. Uupftpft.
“What are you looking at me like that for?” he asked.
“Nothing, nothing,” I said.
Ohoho, you must excuse me. My schedule is simply packed, and even if I make room for you it shan’t be until next week~ I’m simply so envious of people who have free time~
“If you are truly so desperate to go, then how about going by yourself or inviting Enjou-sama?””
“…What are Shuusuke and I supposed to do at a supermarket?”
I opened the door as I laughed as his pouting face.
Geez. Maybe I could do some research on normal date spots for him.