All posts by 5th Holy Sheeprabbit, Kilimanjaro Estelion Sharlulu Asheel Vinchance Celenalia di ef Falufiluu'Luufilaafee (The 35th) da ne!
The incumbent 5th Holy Sheeprabbit and Grand Arbiter of translation ethics across the universe. Enjoys eating sweet foods, translating simple Japanese stories, reading eroge, and rolling about in bed whilst emitting strange bird cries. Devout follower of Evil Gods Anri and Tilea.
Translator at oniichanyamete!
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.
This is actually the 11th day of the 14 days of the Arousing Imouto Scanlations anniversary celebrations!
Let’s take a moment to think back to one of our earlier works.
Back then we weren’t as large a group, and went by Inyuu scans, but most of our key members have remained, and I think you can see that it carries our DNA!
Este: I really did translate and type-set this. Go back and re-read it with this in mind, but this time take a shot whenever the term ‘KAGEYOWSI’ appears.
I opened my eyes to the sounds of pigeons──
Apparently after being stopped by the barrier of roses on my balcony, they took nest in my stomach instead. To give them their punishment I quickly changed and headed for food.
Today was looking to be a fine day.
Breakfast had been yummy, too. In the morning you just had to have rice!
At Zui’ran, here and there you could spot the inhabitants of the Fulfilling Romance village making themselves known. It was still early in the morning and yet I could already see their members strutting about.
These I-Have-Experience villagers, these I-Suddenly-Got-A-Lover villagers, all absolutely unbelievable!
Ever since the class trip I was feeling a sense of crisis from the sudden depopulation of the Forever Alone village. Perhaps I ought to introduce the Gonin Gumi system so that we would all police each other…
As the village chief I couldn’t tolerate any more deserters. A severe warning was required here.
Ah!? Those two over there were holding hands and gazing at each other! What an indecent…!
Wait, don’t tell me that Zui’ran allowed relationships!? I had to find out.
Where was my student handbook!?
“Ah-, Kisshouin-san. Good morning. I was just looking for you.”
I was in the middle of peering into the dark swamp of hatred that was my heart when Class Rep called out to me.
“Good morning, Class Rep. Did you need me?”
“Mmn, could I talk to you for just a bit?”
Class Rep took my sleeve and led me into a corner. He began to talk in a hushed voice.
“The truth is, during the free hours of our class trip I went around with Honda-san and the others.”
“…I see. I do recall you telling me at the British Museum. A cruise of the Seine river, was it?”
“You remembered? Mhm. We went on a cruise together. I had such a good time… When we were getting on it was a little rocky, so I, I lent Honda-san my hand and…”
Flushed with happiness, he continued recounting his experience to me.
To think there was another new member of the Fulfilling Romance village… I had to do something about my village’s depopulation problem, and soon.
“I see. So you enjoyed holding her hand. You have come to report to me your ulterior motives, then?”
“Ehh!? I-I didn’t have any ulterior motives! I wasn’t thinking like that at all, Kisshouin-san!”
I wonder about that. Did he really not intend that?
After all, those boats had had handrails. Handrails that I had held myself while I was cruising alone.
“Ummm, Kisshouin-san, it feels like you’re kind of in a bad mood… I mean, it’s fine if I’m wrong but… Ah, anyway, since Nonose-san was feeling cold, Iwamuro-kun lent his jacket to her. I think they had a good atmosphere going on.”
For warmth, I had been forced to huddle up Ayame-chan and the other girls like a bunch of hamsters though? My, friendship between girls is a beautiful thing!
“I had actually wanted to put a padlock on the Pont des Arts with her, but I was too embarrassed to ask. I just thought it would be nice if we could do that one day… Ah! This is a secret, okay!?”
In other words, it would be nice if they could go to Paris together, one day. That’s quite the proposal, Class Rep.
And although he didn’t get to place a padlock on lover’s bridge, he went on to tell me that he did throw two coins into the Trevi Fountain to spend his life with his love though. I see, I see.
Incidentally I threw two coins in as well. Not that I had a love yet! Ha ha!
They had even promised to go hang out once we were back in Japan, the four of them. My, that sounds like so much fun. I simply must recommend that they go on a boat tour of Inokashira Park.
What are my intentions, you ask? Goodness, I meant nothing malicious by it.
Class Rep, may you be sacrificed to appease this dark swamp of hatred──
The sacrificial maiden, knowing nothing of my thoughts, continued to smile as he talked to me. Pitiful thing.
“And so to thank you, Iwamuro-kun and I… Ah, look, it’s Iwamuro-kun. Heeey~ Iwamuro-kuuun!”
To thank me? What was this about?
Iwamuro-kun noticed Class Rep’s waving from down the hallway and took large strides towards us. Good morning.
“Iwamuro-kun, I was just telling Kisshouin-san about our time on the trip. Anyway, how about we give her the present we got her?”
From his bag, Class Rep produced a bundle in adorable wrapping.
“This is a thank you from the two of us,” Class Rep explained. “For always being there to give us advice.”
“Thank you, Master,” Iwamuro-kun nodded.
Oh my god.
I was ashamed of myself. I can’t believe my jealousy had made me wish for something so cruel to happen to such good people.
I wasn’t qualified to be a God of Fulfilling Romance.
Uuuu… Thank goodness I hadn’t recommended Inokashira Park yet…
“Thank you. I am overwhelmed,” I said, hugging the present close.
“We got you oil and hair treatment products from France. It’s our way of wishing that your locks of fortune will always stay beautiful. Iwamuro-kun was the one who picked it, actually,” explained Class Rep.
“I really admire your hair, Master. I just hope you’ll like it…”
As expected of the kind of maiden who was into beauty care. Even his choice of presents was maidenly and thoughtful.
Even though his hair was cut short, it was lustrous and glossy. I could see the effort he put in every day to take care of it. As his teacher in beauty care, it made me proud to see.
It was thanks to the generosity of these two that I managed to, just a little, find it in my heart to forgive the members of the Fulfilling Romance Village.
After school I went to give the kids their souvenirs. That was how I found myself heading to the Petit Salon with presents in both hands.
While I was on my way I received a number of text messages from Kaburagi but I ignored them all.
I had zero interest in subjecting myself to his gushing over his Roman date with Wakaba-chan.
Keh! Before the prospect of a date with the Petit’s soothing angels, his little stories were no better than trash!
As I opened the door I was met with Mao-chan who was nothing but smiles.
Upon entering the room I was greeted one by one by smiling children. So cute. I was already relaxing~
Distributing the souvenirs──chocolates, and french jelly they call pâte de fruit──was met with a cute cheer from the children. ‘Reika-oneesama! Reika-oneesama!’ I was thus surrounded by bundles of adoring children.
My, my, I’m not going anywhere, so please don’t fight over me like that~
Haah, how I wish a time slip could make me these childrens’ classmate… I was born a little too early.
If I had been their classmates then just imagine what a fulfilling life I’d be leading right now.
This was a false paradise…
“Good afternoon, Reika-oneesan.”
And here came the boy who would have been the prince charming of that time slip scenario! Aah… I was really born too soon.
After I was done handing out the treats, I was ushered out of the ring of children towards the sofa.
Sitting next to me was Yukino-kun. In front of me was Mao-chan and Yuuri-kun.
“Well then, it is time for your souvenirs,” I said.
Besides the sweets from earlier, for these three I also had foreign picture books and coloured pencils. The pencils that I bought were supposedly world-reknowned, and were even used in the colouring for famous picture books. You could use them to produce lovely soft colours.
The faces of my adorable little friends blossomed into smiles.
“Also Mao-chan, could I trouble you to hand this to Ichinokura-sama?”
I had been treated to meals by her uncle countless times, so for him I got cheese, black tea, as well as a glass cat paperweight since I thought of his pet cat Alice.
Maybe this was a bit much for Mao-chan to bring home, but she was going by car so it was fine, right?
“I understand. I’ll pass it to Haruto-niisama, right? Oh, that reminds me, Reika-oneesama. Listen to this. Actually, while you were overseas I wanted to thank Akimi-san for her cooking lessons so I got Haruto-niisama to bring the two of us to eat!” she beamed.
“Eh? Really?” I asked, surprised.
“Yes. I’m sorry for not speaking to you first. But the two of us just happened to both be free that day, so…”
“Well, I hardly mind, but… Anyhow, did you enjoy yourself then?”
“Uhuhu. I asked Haruto-niisama to pick somewhere wonderful for us, and it turned out that the food was delicious and Akimi-san seemed to enjoy it too. See, the two of them both love eating, right? They seemed to have a lot to talk about, so I was thinking that maybe just the two of them could go next time~”
Oh my god.
Without my knowledge, the adorable Mao-chan had transformed into a cunning matchmaker aunty!
Without a doubt, this was her way of trying to get rid of Erika-san and replace her with Akimi-san, wasn’t it…?
Yuuri-kun who was oblivious to her hidden motives simply smiled and said, “That’s great to hear, Mao.”
Why were boys so…? No, of course. It was better that they didn’t realise. They’d live happier that way…
While this was happening, Yukino-kun was enraptured by the Mother Goose collection.
Hmm hmm, what’s this you’re reading~?
Mmn. Yukino-kun, how about we read something more pleasant? You might not be able to fall asleep at night, you know?
The four of us spent the next while chatting, comparing the souvenir books, or talking about my trip. It was only interrupted when I heard the door opening to the squeals of the girls. Together we turned to the source of the commotion and… Geh!
“Oh? It’s Niisama.”
In the middle of the uproar was Yukino’s brother, Enjou, as well as Emperor Kaburagi. What had he even come to the Petit Salon for?
“Niisama, what are you guys doing here?” Yukino-kun asked blankly. The two of them had walked over to us.
Enjou gave a helpless smile as Kaburagi stood with his arms crossed.
“Masaya over here has business with Kisshouin-san.”
Eh-? Business with me?
I had an incredibly bad feeling about this…
Kaburagi nodded grimly and turned to me with a frown.
“You. I’ve sent you so many messages already, and you still haven’t noticed? Honestly, you’re hopeless. I had to come all the way myself.”
…I knew it.
Since I didn’t reply, he decided to come in person? What a born stalker…
The Natural-Born Stalker Kaburagi.
That’d make for a good ring name if he ever got into pro wrestling, actually.
“My sincere apologies,” I said to Natural-Born Stalker. “My phone was in my bag and I had not thought to check.”
It was a reasonable explanation.
I looked to up find Enjou smirking at me. Tsk.
The two interlopers took the opportunity to join us at the table.
“Yukino, what are you reading?”
“Reika-oneesan gave it to me. It’s a souvenir from her trip,” he replied.
“From Kisshouin-san? I see. Thank you for going out of your way for my brother,” Enjou said.
“Not at all. It was but a trifle, so please do not mind it,” I replied politely.
From the side, Kaburagi peered at it in curiosity. “What’s it about?”
“Mother Goose? Ah, right, we’ve got that in my family’s library too,” Kaburagi mused. “Come to think of it, the talk about rhymes reminds me. We used to have ten little Indian dolls lying around the house, but I found one of them mysteriously broken. I think it was at the end of 1st Year…” he finished in a mutter.
At the end of 1st Year? Wasn’t that when he had his big heartbreak over Yurie-sama…?
A cursed Indian doll that broke because of his broken heart?
‘And then there were none…’
While I was lost in my own ominous delusions, the kids had begun asking them about their time on the trip. The conversation turned to the soccer match they saw in England, which really interested Yuuri-kun.
The chat picked up to a swell, and we had just about finished the tea when Enjou’s phone rang.
He excused himself, and after a chat from a small distance away, he came back and let Yukino-kun it was time to go.
“It looks like our ride is here. Let’s go home, Yukino.”
“Ehhh…? But I still want to talk more…”
“There’ll be another time. Come on, they’re waiting for us downstairs.”
Yukino-kun looked dissatisfied, but Enjou rubbed his head as he chided him, and so Yukino-kun reluctantly left his seat.
Apparently Kaburagi planned to stay though. Nobody asked him to stay…
“Yukino-kun seems to want to talk more, so how about you go together, Kaburagi-sama?” I tried. Unfortunately, Enjou denied it to me with his next words.
“Sorry, but I’ve got plans after this.”
Cheh. Is that so?
“Well then, we’ll be heading off first,” he finished. “See you tomorrow, Kisshouin-san.”
“Gokigen’yoh, Enjou-sama. Let us speak again, Yukino-kun.”
“Bye, Reika-oneesan. Thank you for the book and pencils. And the sweets too!”
“Huhu, you are very welcome.”
The soothing angel left us, and as I mourned that fact, somebody tapped my shoulder as a shadow loomed from behind me.
“Well then. Let’s go somewhere else. I’ve got heaps of stuff I want to talk to you about.”
I wonder if he couldn’t give me a report with just the main points summarised. I promise I’d read it when I had time.
By the way, breaking news! Debt Girl, and/or Otoburi, along with maybe possibly probably not Bathroom Goddess, are getting picked back up on a semi-regular-irregular-probably never basis! We’ll put up a chapter 9, and based on the reactions we get, we’ll see what we can do. Also, like, subscribe, click the bell-shaped notification button, and donate to our patreon for more frequent, regular releases!
Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask. I only get annoyed at questions when the same one has been asked 10+ times, and by then I’ll have updated the FAQ. Thank you for your consideration, guys!
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Chapter 32 – Edim’s Secret Was Leaked (Finale)
“Now answer us!” Ojou demanded.
Her expression was unusually harsh.
Loser(Bizef) looked tense as well as they waited for Edim’s answer.
Oh no. Because of my thoughtless remark I had thrown Edim into a crisis.
“H-Hey, aren’t you two being a bit rude to Edim?”
“Stay back, Tilea-chan. She’s dangerous.”
“W-What are you saying, B-Bizef-san? How could Edim be dangerous? Edim is the hope of the Magic Academy,” I tried. “That’s why she’s so strong. She’s just your regular nice girl.”
“Tilea-chan, her magical power is ridiculous. There’s no way she’s just some girl.”
“I concur. Tilea-san, please stop with the obvious lies. Even if she was the most powerful student in her school, it is inconceivable for her to have that much mana.”
“W-What a-are you two t-talking about?” I said nonchalantly, but their gazes remained canny.
Oh no, oh no. It didn’t look like blowing this over was going to work.
Then what could I do? Come clean with them?
But there was the whole thing about Ortissio assaulting Remilia-san, and the thing about turning all of the city guard into vampires too.
Worse yet, Ojou was part of the Loyalist Committee for the Extermination of Demons. Even if I could convince Loser(Bizef), there was no way the truth would go over well with Ojou.
While I was trying to come up with a solution, Edim drew closer to me.
“Tilea-sama, am I correct in assuming that you are attempting to conceal the truth?” she whispered.
“Y-Yeah.” I nodded.
“In my humble opinion, trying to deceive them at this juncture is pointless. I suggest we kill them, or alternatively turn them,” came her insane suggestion.
Hmm, but from her point of view they were discriminating against her. Even though she hadn’t done anything they had already concluded that she was evil.
I couldn’t blame her for being angry.
Ever since the vampire incident, Edim had spent every day being pursued by murderous guards.
With things as hopeless as they were, no wonder she wanted to lash out.
But that didn’t make it okay to think “Well I’m a demon anyway, aren’t I!” and do something extreme.
She was a human after all.
“Edim, I understand how you feel. But that doesn’t excuse giving up on yourself and lashing out.”
“Eh!? I, I haven’t really given up on myself or anything like…” she tried to whisper, but I wasn’t having any of it.
“You don’t have to keep up that strong front,” I told her. “Just leave everything to me.”
“I-I understand. Then I will accede to your wishes,” she said.
“Mhm mhm. I can’t come clean about that incident with Or but I can at least mix some of the truth in. Just go along with my story, Edim.”
With that settled, I turned back to the awaiting duo.
We were past the point where I could just play dumb. That was why I would tell them some of the truth.
Oh wow, was I nervous though. What I did here would decide Edim’s future. No matter what, I had to make this work.
“I understand, Ojou. Bisef-san. To be honest, Edim really isn’t a human. She’s a demon, a vampire.”
But after the initial shock they looked ready to attack.
Damn it! I rushed forward to defend her.
“W-Wait! Wait, wait! Let me finish!”
“Move away from there, Tilea-san. I do not know why you are protecting that demon but do you understand the situation? Endangering the nation like this will end in your entire family’s execution, you know?”
Uu-! My whole family’s execution!?
I couldn’t get my Timu involved in this. But then Edim was a dear friend of mine.
I couldn’t just abandon her.
In that case I could only hope that I could get through to their feelings.
“Ojou, Bizef-san, aren’t we friends? You won’t just arrest me without hearing me out, right? Are you really so cruel that you’d get my family involved in this?”
“Tilea-chan, whatever happens I’m on your side. Pratoline, let’s just listen to what she has to say first,” Loser(Bizef) said.
“You’re too naive, Bizef-san. Compromising with those that associate with demons will be your death.”
Was she really going to arrest me without even listening…?
We might have butted heads when it came to cuisine but that was because we both took cooking seriously. Even if we argued, I had thought that we had become friends…
I mustered all of my sadness and looked at her.
“Kuh, well, fine then,” she relented. “I will at least hear you out.”
“Ojou!” I cried.
“I-It isn’t as though I sympathise with you. I simply had a few words to speak about that new menu item you put out the other day. If you were imprisoned then I could hardly do so,” she babbled, flushed.
Whatever she said, Ojou cared about me too.
Geez, what a damned tsundere!
She should have just been honest from the start.
Anyway, they were at least willing to listen for now. All I had to do now was win them over.
For the next few minutes I gestured animatedly as I told them the tale of what Edim had been through.
How she was turned into a vampire against her will.
How she was a vampire now, but had the heart of a human.
How she was the victim here, and how hard she had been working to protect both me and other civilians.
Through all of that, Ojou and Loser(Bizef) silently listened.
“…So you see? She really had no choice. You understand, right?”
“Oh yes. At the very least I understand why you are trying to protect that girl.”
“However, do you think that would be the end of it?” Ojou me.
“Mu! Why not?” I asked.
“First of all, let us put aside the fact that you gave us false information about what happened during the attack on the capital, lied to Remilia-sama and everyone else in the Loyalist Committee for the Extermination of Demons, causing confusion and misdirection.”
“Hggh-…! T-That was… I had a reason so I couldn’t help it and…”
“No need for the excuses,” she interrupted. “Your reasons were about what I expected. After all, this is you we are discussing. I’ll bet this all happened because you found that girl cute, she caught your eye, and then you got yourself into this without understanding the seriousness of it.”
Damn you, Ojou! Why did you have to hit where it hurt…?
And I felt really bad about deceiving everyone in the Loyalist Committee, you know? But everyone there was so hard-headed so there was no way they’d have accepted Edim.
Ojou turned away from me.
“Your name was Edim, was it? I understand your circumstances now. However, are you truly an ally of mankind?”
“She has a point,” Loser(Bizef) said to me. “I feel bad for the girl, but it’s quite likely that she’s a pawn of demonkind.”
“H-Hey, didn’t I just explain? Edim’s not dangerous. She got back her heart as a human.”
“Tilea-san, deceiving you is easier than taking candy from a baby,” Ojou remarked.
“But that innocence is what’s good about her,” Loser(Bizef) added unhelpfully.
These two were looking down on me, weren’t they?
I wasn’t that dumb! Back when I was a kid they used to call me a genius you know!
…It hadn’t been for long though.
Anyways, Loser, what you said didn’t make me feel any better, okay?
“You two are being too paranoid,” I argued. “Edim is a kind person. The only reason she’s here right now was because she came to fight the Fiend on my behalf.”
Couldn’t I convince them somehow…?
At this rate Edim was going to be hurt again, and lose even more trust in humans.
Oh I know! What if I got Edim to explain herself as well?
“Edim, you’re a kind-hearted human, right?”
“Y-Yes. It is as Tilea-sa- …n says. I am an ally of mankind. That’s why I have come here to kill the Fiend, enemy of the people.”
“What horrid acting,” Ojou deadpanned.
“Yeah. It sounded like that line was fed to her,” Loser(Bizef) agreed.
“Wha-!? Who are you saying fed her the line then!?”
“That girl’s master. I believe it should be the vampire that turned her.”
“Yeah. Her master could have ordered her to infiltrate humanity as a spy.”
“Huhu!” I laughed triumphantly. “Too bad. Edim’s master is dead already. Arc… What was his name again…? Edim, what was it again?”
“It was Arcune, Tilea-sa- …n.”
“Right, right. So that Arcune guy died during the vampire attack, so he can’t give orders anymore.”
“Even if that is true, Edim-san, are you saying that you have allied with mankind in spite of your master’s murder?”
“Like I said, Edim got her heart back and――”
“You be quiet for a moment! Well? What say you?”
“…I do not consider Arcune as my master. I wanted to kill him.”
“She may have a new master, however,” argued Ojou. “OR perhaps she is simply lying. Or could it be that this Arcune fellow was simply an unrelated third-rate who got himself killed by a bunch of humans. After all, from what I can see Edim-san’s strength, her master must have been powerful indeed.”
“You know, we’re not going to get anywhere if keep suspecting everything.”
Ojou ignored me and continued her interrogation.
“Is there truly no master demon behind you right now?”
“…There is not.”
“Can you swear it?”
“Then as proof of your allegiance to mankind, I shall have you kneel at the royal crest and kiss it.”
Ojou produced a piece of cloth from her pocket and dropped it to the ground. She must have gotten it from the royal family.
On its surface was a huge, sparkling crest.
Edim looked visibly upset.
“My! Can you not do so?” Ojou jeered.
“Kuh! I-I can,” Edim responded.
She knelt down to kiss the crest, looking like the picture of suffering.
Oh, no wonder! Edim had been chased around and almost killed by the Public Safety Force. No wonder she didn’t trust the crown.
“Edim, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
“Y-Yes,” she replied happily.
She must have really hated it. Of course she did. They tried to kill her for no reason. It was too cruel to demand her loyalty after that.
“Tilea-san, please stop interfering. This is important.”
“The city guards have been chasing Edim all this time, so of course she doesn’t trust the royal family.”
“She seems more suspicious by the moment.”
Damn you, Ojou! You’re so damned stubborn!
Just how long do you have to insist on this?
Maybe I ought to focus on Loser(Bizef) instead.
“To begin with, don’t you think it’s too cruel to make a girl do things against her will, Bizef-san?”
“Ah, y-yeah. Mhm.”
“Bizef-san, what nonsense are you saying!” scolded Ojou.
He laughed sheepishly.
“Bizef-san understand. Isn’t that great, Edim?”
“This is all thanks to you, Tilea-sa- …n. Thank you very much.”
“Mmn mmn. Now we just have to get Ojou to understand what a great girl you are.”
“U-Umm, while I would love to do that, Tilea-sa- …n, if I do not report the mission’s success before dawn…”
Dryas-kun was going to kill himself.
And I was worried about everyone else too.
Yeah. We needed to hurry up and let him know she was okay.
“You’re right. Then quickly go tell them.”
With the Fiend’s head in hand, Edim rushed off like the wind.
“Ah, wait there! We are still not done!”
“It’s fine already, so just let her go. Edim has friends that are still waiting for her,” I said as I stopped Ojou from running after her.
Ojou didn’t seem keen on pushing me aside either because she just watched Edim go.
Then she turned to me and sighed.
“Tilea-san, this only turned out this way because it was us two. Had it been anyone else, you would be on the way to prison right now.”
“Geez, how many times do I have to say it? Edim didn’t become a demon because she wanted to. So why are you suspecting her so much?”
It seemed like another argument. Neither of us were willing to back down.
“Now, now, girls. Let’s all calm down.”
“Bizef-san, as a former adventurer surely you understand how dangerous this is? Simply taking her at her word because she used to be a human is outrageous.”
“Y-You have a point.”
The Loser(Bizef) lost against Ojou’s threatening expression. As if I would let this slide!
“Bizef-san, are you truly on my side? You wouldn’t do something so cruel to a girl, right? Would you really execute her for just being a demon? If you did, I’d hate you for the rest of my life.”
“Uuh!? O-Of course, not. I, Bizef, am not such a small-minded man.”
“W-Whose side are you on!?” Ojou demanded. “No matter how you look at it Tilea-san’s position is dangerous.”
“Ahaha… C-Come to think of it, I just remembered something urgent I have on. Let’s continue this another time. S-See ya!”
And with that, Loser(Bizef) ran off.
That damned loser ran away again…
At any rate, if I had no choice but to rely on him then I was done for anyway. I had to convince Ojou somehow.
“Ojou, I’m begging you, please just believe Edim.”
“Tilea-san, do you have a reason why you can be so certain she is safe?”
“Because she saved me this time, and because more than anything, Edim is Timu’s friend.”
“Timu, as in your sister, correct? Can you believe everything your sister says without a doubt?”
“Of course I can. If I can’t trust my sister, then who can I trust!?”
“Nobody is saying that your sister is deceiving you. But for example, your sister could have been deceived as well.”
“T-That couldn’t be… Edim is a good girl. You can tell just by looking. Edim really treasures Timu and me.”
“Can you truly, truly be certain? If you are wrong, then you may be putting your sister in danger.”
“Uuuu, E-Edim wouldn’t do such a…”
“Can you guarantee that?” she pressed. “You’re the older sister here. If you ignore reality because you feel sorry for her, then what will you do if your sister pays the price for it!?”
Uu, damned Ojou. That one really hurt just now, you know?
I-It might be true that I’m an optimist. From looking at Jayjay it was clear how strong the bond between a demon and their master was.
And Edim’s master Arcune was…
Of course. Why was I so sure that she didn’t resent me for killing him? Could it be that she was staying by my side to wait for an opening…?
Maybe the reason she didn’t immediately take her revenge was because she needed to know how an ordinary human like me could defeat Arcune. Anyone could do it as long as they had the knowledge and kukanomis at hand.
All this time I had been warning Edim not to eat kukanomi. I never said that it was a vampire’s weakness, but maybe she’d realised.
Maybe once she knew the truth it was only a matter of time until she bore her fangs.
Was Edim secretly targeting Timu and me!?
Hieeee! I-I had to talk to our strategist at once.
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Chapter 31 – Edim’s Secret Was Leaked (Opening)
Dryas-kun’s advice had reassured me somewhat but…
In the end I couldn’t leave it alone.
How could I sleep soundly knowing that Edim was risking her life out there?
I left my bed.
I couldn’t sleep while I was still worried for her safety. Who knew that it was so difficult just to have faith and wait for somebody.
I had to find something to do.
Perhaps I could pray for her safety. I wasn’t exactly the religious type though.
While I paced my room I suddenly heard some kind of racket.
I decided to leave my room to check it out.
No sooner had I investigated did I find the members of the Evil God Army running about, and shouting rather dangerous things as well.
“Raze it to the ground!”
“Fire together as a volley!”
Not to say that they weren’t usually causing a commotion anyway, but what I was hearing was a step above normal.
What the hell were these guys planning to do in the middle of the night?
If I wanted answers then I needed to find the person in charge… so it was Dryas-kun that I headed towards.
“Dryas-kun, what on earth――hau!?”
I had entered the Strategic HQ only to find…
O-O-Oh my god!
Garbed in a white robe, Dryas-kun was kneeling on the floor, apparently about to commit seppuku. Grasped in his left hand was a dagger that he was pointing at his stomach. He looked just about ready to gut himself like a fish.
Why was this happening?
I gasped as I realised something.
Dryas-kun was surely as anxious as I was. How couldn’t he be, with Edim having been sent off to assassinate the Fiend of all people?
What I was seeing was Dryas-kun preparing to take responsibility if Edim didn’t come back alive. Because he would have been the one to have sent a friend to her death.
What was I going to do with him…?
I walked deeper into the room and patted him on the shoulder.
His eyes went wide.
“W-Why if it isn’t Tilea-sama!”
“Just what do you think――Actually, forget that. I know what you’re thinking, after all.”
“I am afraid that I have shown you something unsightly,” he admitted, shame-faced.
“You’ve shown me your resolve, is all. You’re planning to die if Edim doesn’t come home alive, aren’t you?”
“Yes, milady. As the strategist, I must take responsibility for my words,” he explained.
“…I can’t stop you can I?”
“Please forgive my impudence… I have no wish to live with shame after failing so.”
I took in his forlorn countenance for a while. He truly was a caring friend.
There was no reason he had to take his life for this.
The one who requested the Fiend’s death was me. If anything, the responsibility weighed much more heavily on my side of the scales.
If Edim died then it was I who deserved to die.
Right. All of the responsibility lay with me.
I had to di――――A-Actually I can’t do this.
Dying was scary, sure, but dying and leaving Timu behind was much, much scarier.
I was so selfish. Edim was out there risking her life, but I was too afraid to risk mine…
In that case, the only thing left I could do was head there myself.
Perhaps I would just get in the way, but there was a chance that I could help in some way as well.
“Dryas-kun, don’t do anything hasty,” I told him.
“H-However…” he tried to object, but I spoke over him.
“Don’t argue. You told me yourself, right? With Edim there, this mission would be a guaranteed success. Just believe.”
With those parting words, I rushed out of the room.
My goal was the Fiend’s estate…
Perhaps Edim and the Fiend had both knocked each other out. Or perhaps Edim had been defeated and was lying helpless right now. I could at least carry her and run.
I can’t believe I only thought of this now. If there was something I could do, I ought to be doing it.
Determined, I picked up the pace.
Ah, wait, wait. Almost forgot…
In the worst case scenario, neither Edim or I would come back. What if Dryas-kun decided to follow us into death and killed himself?
As if I could let that happen!
I looked for someone in the Underground Empire for someone I could hail. Unfortunately everybody was running about rather busily.
Come to think of it, I never did find out what the racket was about.
Hmmmm, wasn’t there anybody I could ask…?
Oh! Pervert(Nielsen) spotted!
He was jogging down the hallway looking rather rushed himself.
“Niel, could I have a moment?” I called to him.
Pervert(Nielsen) changed course and headed to me.
“Terrible news, Tilea-sama! Dryas has exercised his authority as Chief of General Staff to order a Bazooka Call(Magic Bullet Salvo Fire).”
“A Bazooka Call?”
I gave him a look of confusion.
“You must not be aware of the tactic. It has been discussed at the War Councils.”
“Yeah. It’s my first time hearing of this,” I admitted. “What on earth is a Bazooka Call?”
“It is, milady, the codename for a tactic where every member of the army fires a simultaneous volley of magic bullets. If executed, we estimate that it has the power to raze the Capital to the ground.”
Hmm, more chuuni talk.
Did these guys really think they could raze a city to the ground whenever they wanted?
Besides, if somebody overheard them they could really be thrown into prison.
But still, I could understand why everybody was so excited now.
“In other words, this Bazooka Call is the reason for all this fuss?”
“As you say.”
“And the one who ordered it was Dryas-kun?”
“It is as you say. I do not understand why he has decided to take such drastic action. I am intending to find out.”
I understood the situation now.
His explanation was brimming with chuuni, but translated without the exaggeration it was basically something like this: the “Bazooka Call” was a codename for avenging Edim. If Edim died, everybody in the Evil God Army was going to charge into Fiend’s manor together.
I could understand, of course. If it ever came to that, I would want revenge too.
But this was the wrong move. It wasn’t right to get everybody else mixed up in this.
Was I really understanding their feelings?
If their friend died, then of course they would want to take action to feel better. And if Edim failed to kill the Fiend, I was going to be raped. That was what everybody was trying to stop.
Even if it meant fighting a titan who a vampire failed to match. To think that they would resort to such a reckless move…
When all was said and done, you could see that the Evil God Army truly loved Timu, me, and of course Edim as well.
“What will you do, Tilea-sama?” he asked. “At this rate, the Capital will truly be turned into a field of ash. This will surely be a set-back in the plans of the Evil God Army.”
“We’re stopping it, Niel. I won’t let them do something so stupid.”
“By your will. I will have them immediately order them to cease and desist.”
“Ah, also, I’ll leave out the details but basically Dryas-kun might commit suicide when dawn arrives.”
“W-What did you say!? Is this related to the Bazooka Call(Magic Bullet Salvo Fire)…?”
“Yeah, most probably. Niel, I have two orders for you.”
“First of all, call off the Bazooka Call. I forbid them from doing something so stupid.”
“The second thing is to keep an eye on Dryas. In the worst case scenario, stop him if he tries to take his own life.”
“Yes, milady. I will not allow Dryas to die.”
“I’m counting on you,” I said before heading for the Fiend’s manor again, leaving the details to Pervert(Nielsen).
The darkness of the deep night was a big help.
I was a complete amateur at this kind of stuff and would have just gotten in the way in battle, or in spying.
I wasn’t even sure how far away from the actual manor I was supposed to stop. Getting too close would end in being spotted, but too far and I’d have no way of knowing what was happening.
While I paced about and considered what to do, I noticed another person.
“W-Who is it!?” I blurted unconsciously.
O-Oh no! If this was one of the Fiend’s men then I was going to be caught for the stupidest thing ever.
“Is that you, Tilea-chan?” came a familiar voice.
“Eh!? Is that you, Bizef-san?”
“It’s me. What are you doing here in the middle of the night?”
“A-Ah, umm, I uh…”
Who would have thought that I’d meet Loser(Bizef) here.
And what was he doing here in the middle of the night? If this loser ended up getting mugged then he’d only have himself to blame.
“Haah. Just when I wondered who it might be…” came another voice.
“Ugeh, you’re here too, Ojou?” I groaned. “I should be asking what you guys are doing here.”
To think that she’d be here too…
Standing in front of me was a certain ojousama, with her trademark golden curls.
Rozetta Pratoline, the filthy rich daughter of Rozetta Stole, a powerful aristocrat. The self-styled Gourmet Hunter, an adventurer in search of new foods, she was someone even I had to take my hat off to.
Since our first meeting we’d had the occasional squabble about cuisine. I suppose you could call us rivals.
“Tilea-san, I simply cannot approve of you being here,” she said. “This place is dangerous, so please go home.”
“Sorry, but I can’t do that,” I replied. “I have something I need to do here.”
“Tilea-chan, what’s this about?” Loser(Bizef) asked me. “There’s someone really dangerous around here, you know? It’s not safe.”
“The Fiend, right? I know.”
“Then why are you here!?” he demanded. “The rumours are true. That guy is dangerous. He’ll attack any woman who catches his eye.”
“I know. You see…”
“D-Don’t tell me he summoned you here? I know it’s scary, but you can’t just do as he says. I’ll protect you,” Loser(Bizef) said seriously, giving my shoulder a gentle shake.
Mmn, I appreciated his feelings but if he tried to fight the Fiend wasn’t he just going to faint again…?
“It is as Bizef-san says. The Fiend will no longer be a problem. We shall do something about him, so in the meanwhile please try and hide in the countryside.”
“Are you two going to fight him?” I asked.
It was Loser(Bizef) that answered.
“We really shouldn’t be telling you this, but as a fellow member of the Loyalist Committee for the Extermination of Demons, I think we can explain. As we speak, the Loyalist Committee has been split into two forces. One of them is tasked with rescuing Remilia-sama. The other is to destroy the fiend.”
“Eh!? Something like that was going on? I had no idea.”
“You are only an intelligence operative, Tilea-san. As a non-combatant on top of that, we chose to keep it a secret from you.”
“We didn’t want to get you involved, Tilea-chan. But if the Fiend has summoned you here, then you’re already involved. I’d prefer you knew what was going on. Our group is to assassinate the Fiend, and gather what information we can from his estate.”
So that’s how it was. I thought it was the end when Remilia-san was imprisoned, but… it seemed like I wasn’t giving the Loyalist Committee enough credit.
With things as they were, maybe there wasn’t a point to me being here. It would be better for the amateurs to get out of the way, and leave things to the professionals.
Loser(Bizef) was a point of worry, but Ojou was renowned for her exploits as the Gourmet Hunter.
I hoped she could help Edim.
“I see. I understand now. The truth is that the Fiend has had his eye on me.”
“I thought so! Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.”
“Thank you very much. But the problem is that my friends are already trying to resolve the issue,” I explained.
“That is dangerous, so please ask them to stop,” Ojou objected.
“Well… the thing is that we ran out of time, so my friends are actually inside the estate right now,” I said awkwardly.
“Eh!? What recklessness!”
“Ah, well, you see, that’s why I was worried and came here to see and…”
Ojou exhaled worriedly.
“Aahh~ Why are you are such a… Just how foolish can you be! There is not anything a normal person like you could do here.”
“Mmn, I know. That’s why I was hoping the two of you could help my friend, but…”
“Honestly…” she sighed. “I suppose our plans have gone to waste then. Come, describe your friend to me.”
“Ahh~ Well, she’s a student at the Magic Academy…”
“Excuse me? You sent a student to battle the Fiend!? That is most certainly sending her to her death.”
“N-No, I mean she’s a student but she’s not just a student. She’s really strong.”
“No matter how strong she is, she is still a student. How could she possible compare to the Fiend?”
“N-No, I mean, she’s really…”
Unable to continue listening, Loser(Bizef) spoke up.
“I think we get it, Tilea-chan. If your friend is really as strong as you say then she’ll have a way to protect herself. I doubt she’d fight anybody too powerful head-on. We’ll meet up with her and help her.”
They were words you’d expect to hear from a reliable man.
As for Ojou, her tongue was harsh but I could tell that she was worried for my friend. She even started planning a way to rescue her.
Geez, what a tsundere!
“I’ll enter from the right then.”
“Then I shall disguise myself as one of the women he has summoned and enter from the centre.”
Mmn, mmn. As long as adventurers got serious there was nothing to fear.
Loser(Bizef) was one thing, but Ojou would make this work.
While the two of them were planning away…
“Hm!? Somebody approaches.”
Ojou seemed to have sensed somebody.
The two of them stopped talking and warned me that somebody was coming from behind.
When I turned around I noticed a figure running our way.
“C-Could it be one of the Fiend’s lackeys?” I asked.
“Hurry up and hide over here, Tilea-chan!”
I did as he told me and hid inside a nearby thicket of bushes.
Uu, we were so far out and there was still a patrol. You could see just how paranoid the Fiend was.
After spending a few minutes inside the bushes… it seemed like my eyes were starting to adjust to the dark.
I could properly see the scout now.
“Why if it isn’t Tilea-sama.”
What the hell was this timing!?
Just as I was wondering about her safety she just appeared in front of us?
I ran up to her and hugged her softly.
“I’m so glad you’re safe. I’ve caused you trouble, Edim.”
“Tilea-sama, just hearing those words makes me… makes me…”
Oh, and now Edim was crying.
It must have been terrible. From her tone it sounded like she had been been struggling in solitude.
Don’t tell me… Had Or not been doing his job properly?
Hang on! Come to think of it, where was Or? Was he acting separately to her?
“Is this girl the friend you spoke of?” asked Ojou.
She and Loser(Bizef) had left our hiding spot when it became clear that this wasn’t one of the Fiend’s men.
“Yes, it is. Because I was in danger, she infiltrated the Fiend’s estate for me.”
“Then I’m just glad she’s safe. But it would have been better for her to have stayed away,” Loser(Bizef) chided. “I honestly wasn’t sure if she was still alive.”
“Tilea-sama, who might these two be?”
“They’re――Hang on, Edim, I just noticed but, what’s that in your hand?”
“Milady. Please confirm the kill.”
With that, Edim unwrapped the cloth bundle and showed me what was inside.
I beheld the terrifying sight of the Fiend’s severed head…
Its expression was contorted in agony, and even now its eyes glared in hatred. A fitting end for the fiend.
Both Ojou and Loser(Bizef) seemed taken again.
“T-That is certainly him. “I would never forget that fiend’s face.”
“I-I can’t believe it. The legendary Fiend was taken down by a student…”
I was a little antsy too. I know it was weird for me to say, but Edim really was amazing.
“D-Did you truly defeat the fiend!?” Ojou demanded.
“I’m finding it hard to believe too. It’s too sudden. It couldn’t be that somebody else defeated him and she came along and lopped off his head, right?”
“What are you two saying!? My friend would never do something so sneaky. Bizef-san, is this how you should treat somebody who risked their life to take him down!?”
“But she’s got so little mana. I’d even suspect her of not being enrolled in the Magic Academy.”
“Quite. It is as Bizef-san says. While I have no wish to malign any friend of yours, Tilea-san, I can only suspect that she is lying due to ambition.”
Kuuuu! Those are fighting words.
Stop looking down on my friend! Edim risked her life to protect me, you know!
Edim deserved praise here. She hadn’t done anything wrong.
“They’re calling you a coward, Edim. Honestly, just how wrong can they get?”
Edim gave me a blank look.
“I see. I usually keep my mana suppressed, after all.”
“Right? You should let it all out. This is a matter of honour, you know? Show them what’s what.”
“I-I really don’t understand what is happening here…” Edim said hesitantly.
“Don’t worry about it. Just show these stubborn idiots how powerful you are.”
“Will that be all right?”
“Of course it will!”
“I-, I understand. Well then, I will release my mana as instructed… Haaaaaah!”
Ooh. I wasn’t sure what was happening exactly, but it seemed like Edim’s battle strength was rising.
Huh. Was the ground shaking a little? I guess her mana aura was having an effect on our surroundings.
If I was remembering right, the last time I asked she said her mana level was over 10,000. From the looks of things, was she around 15,000 now?
“Well? Do you still want to call Edim a liar?”
“W-, What mana…” Ojou said, shocked.
So a vampire’s power really was well above the norm. With this they wouldn’t doubt Edim’s strength any more.
“Do you two understand now? There’s no way that Edim stole somebody else’s glory.”
“Hm!? What’s wrong?”
Oi, say something! Like “I was wrong” or “Edim-san is so dreamy!” or “Maybe I’ll have Edim-chan train me”. Aren’t there heaps of things you could be saying right now!?
“I-It seems that we’re in danger.”
“Yeah. At that level of power, only somebody of Remilia-sama’s class could stop her.”
What were these two talking about? There wasn’t any danger to stop, right? The Friend was dead, so the peace had some back. Couldn’t they be a bit more positive?
“Why are you two being so gloomy all of a sudden! Come on, let’s go home,” I said. “Oh, I know. Come by my shop first. I’ll treat you as thanks for worrying about me.”
“I wonder if we should consider that airheadedness of yours a virtue.”
“What are you talking about?” Loser(Bizef) interjected. “That’s what’s good about Tilea-chan!”
Mu!? Could it be that they were making fun of me?
I’ll get annoyed, you know.
“You two are being awfully rude. Anyway, the battle is over so let’s go home!”
“Please wait. This is not over yet,” Ojou stopped me.
“Yeah. There’s still something we need to know.”
“Honestly you two, just――”
“You said your name was Edim, correct? Are you truly a human?” Ojou demanded.
Eh!? D-Did we go too far?
Just when the panic about the vampire crisis had been dying down, too…
Aah, I’m so stupid!
Abababababa, w-what was I going to do?
Because of the Fiend stuff I had totally forgotten. Edim was still on the wanted list!
Whenever I visit Europe the cities are beautiful, the atmosphere and people are stylish, and I have fun every day, but it’s still Japan that I feel most at home in~
Green tea over black tea. Rice over bread.
The first thing I did when I got home was eat some ume salmon chazuke! Hahhh~ This was the taste of Japan~
In Zui’ran the high school class trips were timed to the Golden Week holidays so that they wouldn’t affect our studies so much. My family had gone overseas as well, but they timed their homecoming to match mine.
We had a fun talk about our trips while the living room was packed full of souvenirs. Naturally Oniisama was included!
“Did you have fun on your class trip?”
“Yes! Very much! And you all?”
“We had a good time, but I’m a little tired,” Otousama admitted.
“That’s because you golfed all day, dear.”
Okaasama’s skin was smooth and silky because of her stay at a beauty salon, but Otousama looked a bit exhausted.
As for Oniisama, he had gone to Hokkaido with some uni friends of his.
He even brought back a lot of my favourite desserts for me!
Corn Chocolate was impossible to stop eating once you began~
I hadn’t felt any homesickness while I was gone, but seeing my family’s for the first time in ten days made me awfully happy for some reason. I was all over them, and just chatted all night.
Ehehe. I wonder if maybe I had actually missed them.
I was even finding Otousama’s belly endearing. Homesickness was such a fearsome thing.
Look, Oniisama! I got you all these souvenirs! Aah~ So happy.
──But still, it wouldn’t do to forget that I had lost something precious during my trip. My urna was gone now.
During my last night in Rome I had noticed its absence and fallen into a panic.
The next morning I had forgotten again, but now that my good luck charm was gone dark days were surely awaiting.
The first order of business was sitting in the corner of my room.
The hoya kerrii that I had received as a present last Christmas had withered up. What had once been a lively green heart-shape was now a rotten brown thing.
I had given it extra water so that it could endure while I was on holiday, but it seemed to have been the wrong choice.
The fact that the temperature had dropped while I was gone probably hadn’t helped either.
I’m sorry, Hoya-chan! Forgive me!
Hoya-chan who I spoke to every day, in the hopes that she would grow up faster.
Hoya-chan who lent an ear to my daily complaints about being stuck as the Chief of the Forever Alone Village.
It didn’t look like nutrition supplements would help her at this point. After all, I could smell a bit of rot…
How could I explain this to Kitazawa-kun? It hadn’t even been half a year yet, and I’d killed his present. I didn’t have the guts to tell him.
Aah, I felt so guilty…
People called the hoya kerrii the love heart plant, and it was supposed to help your luck in romance.
I myself had prayed to her that I would finally experience my own romance this year.
It had come to nothing though.
The fact that it had rotted spelled nothing but misfortune for my coming love life.
I was feeling nervous now.
Hoya-chan, please don’t curse me, okay?
Just head straight to heaven.
It happened during the morning of my first day going back to school.
I awoke in bed to cacophonous warbling.
Already having a bad feeling about it, I pulled back the balcony curtains to investigate.
There were two pigeons there!
So early in the morning and I was already meeting my natural enemy!
I was too afraid to open the window though, so the best I could do was smack on the glass to try to scare them.
Fortunately it worked, and my presence sent them flying away. Thank goodness…
What could have been a refreshing morning had already been ruined. They better not have pooped on my balcony.
I opened my window to check. Thankfully they hadn’t, but… taking a closer look, there was a strange bundle of twigs under the air-con outdoor unit that sat to the side of my balcony.
What on earth was that? …Wait.
Inside there were a number of round white things!
Don’t tell me they were eggs!?
Those pigeons had left their eggs here! Plural! There were two!
Oh my god. Those two birds had been a couple.
While I was away they had taken the chance to build a nest and lay their eggs here.
What was I supposed to do? I was too scared to get rid of them myself.
Oh no, what if they hatched right now!?
The only course of action I could think of was to get changed and call for help.
Somebody please take care of this problem in place of my cowardly self…
The housemaid who replied to my call looked at the nest in surprise.
“While you were away I did some light cleaning and aired out your room, Reika-ojousama, but I overlooked the area under the air-conditioning unit. My apologies.”
“No, it was because they picked somewhere so out of sight. You could not have helped it.”
To begin with, it was my request that they only did the bare minimum of cleaning while I was away. It was because I was hiding candy in my room, and secret savings, amongst other things.
Instead, I relied a lot on a cleaning robot. The appliances of modern civilisation were wonderful indeed.
Sometimes I do find a few dust bunnies living under my bed though.
“I hadn’t noticed anything while cleaning the windows the other day though,” the maid mused.
“Then it must have been a recent development,” I concluded.
I hadn’t heard any chirping or flying before the class trip after all.
This must have happened because I lost my urna…!
“Ah! The pigeons have come again!” I shouted. “On the handrail!”
“Hey! Go away!” my housemaid shooed them, but with their nest here I knew it was only a matter of time until they were back.
They could hardly leave their eggs behind.
“What’s the matter?” Oniisama asked from in front of my door.
The noise must have brought him here.
“Oniisama, it is terrible! Some pigeons have built a nest on my balcony! And of all things they even laid eggs!” I cried.
“Built a nest? Oh, so they have.”
“Shall I put them in a nearby park?” my housemaid suggested.
Thank you! Could you?
Unfortunately Oniisama stopped her.
“The Wildlife Protection and Proper Hunting Act prohibits us from disposing of the eggs of wild birds.”
Then what were we supposed to do!?
If the egg hatched then the whole family would be settling here for real!
Didn’t they say that birds knew how to return home!? I couldn’t let that be my balcony!
What if they lived out their entire lives here!? Please no!
“I can’t be room mates with the pigeons, Oniisama!” I cried tearily.
“…Please call the Office of Animal Control.”
Ohh! As expected of Oniisama! So reliable!
The housemaid said that she would call them first thing, so that was that.
Haah. Could I count this problem as dealt with, for now?
“Thank you, Oniisama. I apologise for the ruckus so early in the morning.”
“No, no, it just really feels like you’re back now.”
I wasn’t sure what his smile meant, but Oniisama patted me on the head.
Maybe Oniisama was worried about my frayed nerves because he drove me to school that morning.
Oniisama looked so cool driving the car in his suit!
“I must say, that was surprising. When I woke up I hardly expected to find a pigeon nest in my room.”
“I guess you would be.”
It was bad enough that they attacked me with poop from the sky, but to think they even followed me home to finish me off, those damned pigeons!
And a couple, no less.
Even though they were just pigeons they sure had a lot of nerve acting all lovey-dovey like that.
I guess it couldn’t be helped though. It was spring after all.
“I suppose this comes with spring,” I sighed. “I wonder if things will calm down after this.”
“Unfortunately, pigeons are in heat all year around, so they lay quite a few eggs.”
What the heck!? This was the first I’d heard of this!
“Reika, I’m driving so don’t grab my arm like that, okay?”
In heat all year round!? Didn’t these pigeons have any morals!?
These pigeons were unforgivable…
As expected of my natural enemy. As it turned out, pigeons were the chiefs of the Fulfilling Bird Romance village!
“Then that means that even if we get rid of the nest and eggs they might simply do this all over again!?”
This wasn’t a joke.
How could they get sexy on somebody else’s balcony!?
“I’ve asked them to take measures to keep pigeons away, so there’s nothing to worry about.”
“Reika, I’m driving so don’t grab my arm like that, okay?”
By ‘measures’, I wonder if he was talking about nets and CDs.
Or could it be traps instead?
“Oh, I just remembered, Oniisama. I bought some souvenirs for Imari-sama as well, so I was hoping for a chance to hand them over. Do you know if he plans to visit our house any time soon?”
“Just have it sent by courier.”
Imari-sama gave me so many presents normally, so I wanted to hand them over personally to show my gratitude.
Wasn’t having a courier send it a bit dispassionate? Although that was exactly what I did for Valentines, since it was food and all.
Oniisama glanced over at my dissatisfied expression as said, “I’ll let him know.”
I’m counting on you, Oniisama!
When I arrived at school I spotted new members of the Fulfilling Romance village, thanks to the effects of the class trip. Damn them all…
What phenomenon caused all these new couples after a school trip? It had been a mystery in my previous life too.
It made no sense.
“Gokigen’yoh, Reika-sama. We were just talking about the class trip.”
When I arrived in the classroom a number of my friends had already been chatting together.
I want to talk about the trip as well.
Lemme join in~
“It certainly was quite a trip. Which city were you just talking about?”
“Well… Actually, in Rome some students apparently spotted Kaburagi-sama and Takamichi-san at a café together…”
Oh my god.
Just how many times had I told him to be careful about being seen!
“Are we sure it was the two of them?” I tried. “Perhaps they were mistaken.”
“But would anyone really mistake somebody else for Kaburagi-sama?”
…It was true that the idiot was stupidly noticeable.
It didn’t take long for the rumours to spread like wildfire.
According to the rumours it happened at a café famous for its tiramisu. The two of them were seen happily chatting to each other before boarding a taxi and riding off.
Since nobody had the guts to question Kaburagi, naturally they hounded Wakaba-chan instead.
Flustered, she replied “We just happened to meet…” but then they asked why the two of them boarded a taxi together in that case.
The fact that they had been sampling desserts together the whole day was still a secret. Still, it was now a confirmed fact that she had at least spent some amount of time with him in Rome.
Aaah, I just got back and I could already see the trouble brewing!
When I returned home, I found blooming flowers on my balcony.
The handrail had been wrapped in rose vines. It was lovely.
Truly the balcony of a maiden.
Ooh, and there were urara roses too.
That said, I was confused about the change.
As it turned out, pigeons apparently hated the smell of roses, so we had the gardener set this up after the nest was cleared away.
It wouldn’t have done to have anti-pigeon nets, I suppose, to say nothing of CDs hanging on the balcony.
It was the Kisshouin estate, so there were appearances to uphold after all.
But I was concerned.
If gardeners had green thumbs, then mine were definitely brown.
I even managed to kill a cactus, so how long would these flowers last on my balcony…?
“Tirol Choco, individually wrapped chocolates with endless flavor variations, are created and distributed by Tirol Choco Co.Ltd. With the catchy, colorful wrappers, reasonable price and over 300 flavors to choose from, Tirol choco was an instant success. Over the years it became a solid staple for chocolate lovers of all ages in Japan.”
They’re like ten Yen each or something.
Also ‘maki（巻き）’ means ‘curl’.
I’m pretty comfortable around strangers, and I’m not picky about who I interact with either.
That said, when I entered the high school section and my homeroom teacher told me that the Kisshouin Reika was going to be class rep with me, I’ll be honest:
‘Uwaah, are you kidding me!?’ was my first thought.
A member of the privileged Pivoine group, and the Big Boss of all the girls.
Rumour had it that if you crossed her, her subordinates would have you disappear into the abyss…
Well, jokes aside, the point was that a ‘class representative’ was just a glorified odd jobs position.
Nobody would believe that a member of the Pivoine would willingly clean up after their class. Not only that, but I wasn’t looking forward to bending backwards to avoid hurting her pride and feelings.
While I was feeling rather gloomy, Akizawa suddenly called out to me.
“Satomi, apparently you’re going to be class rep with Kisshouin-san?”
“Uh, yeah. Hey, speaking of which, aren’t you supposed to be pretty close with her?”
I vaguely recalled them speaking from time to time in middle school.
“I guess? It’s more like my childhood friend that she’s close to.”
“That girl that came to the festival? Uh, Fukioka-san…?”
Akizawa’s childhood friend was a prim and proper, gentle yamato nadeshiko.
And he kept calling her a childhood friend, but she was probably his girlfriend.
“Kisshouin-san and I went to cram school together in primary. We became friends, but after that she got to know Sakurako too, and now the two are best friends.”
He just called Kisshouin Reika his friend without batting an eyelid.
This guy was kind of amazing.
“Oh right. Giving her some sweets when she’s tired will cheer her right up.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Since we were kids her mood has always soured a little when she’s hungry. If you give her something sweet though, her mood shoots right back up. Even Sakurako says that as long as you give her food, that girl… Ah, nevermind that,” he corrected himself quickly. “Anyhow, try talking to her without being biased. She’s easy to misunderstand, but she’s actually pretty earnest, and a good girl.”
With that said, he left the classroom.
An earnest and good girl, huh?
I considered withholding my judgement for the moment.
…But as if a member of the Pivoine, and Kisshouin Reika no less, would be the type to cheer up just by eating some dessert.
Anyway, after that I began my tenure as class representative with Kisshouin-san.
I have to admit that my expectations were overturned.
Sitting there as her followers carried out her will with nothing more than a glance.
That was the image I had of ‘Kisshouin Reika’ but when we began working she proactively gathered the forms from everybody, and would head off to hand them in at the Student Council like it was a matter of course.
She even replaced the classroom supplies before I noticed that they were lacking.
Being honest she was actually doing a better job of it than I was.
Akizawa was right; I really shouldn’t have judged by appearances.
Another happy surprise was that having her around made form collections abnormally efficient.
Even the newly enrolled Externals knew that going against her was a bad idea, to say nothing of the Internals.
Compared to other classes, everything went crazy smooth for us.
Thank you, Kisshouin-san.
Of course I couldn’t just leave everything to her. But when I told her that I’d take the forms to the StuCo room, she just snatched them out of my hands.
Uh, hey, you don’t have to panic like that. I’m not trying to steal your job or anything.
Ah. She just tripped over empty floor.
But she was still clutching onto the forms.
I watched her go.
Did this count as being earnest…?
I had the feeling that she had some sort of ulterior motive though…
Going back to those Externals, it was clear from the onset that there was a huge wall between the Internals and them. It’s the same with any elevator school though.
Still, with Zui’ran’s unique traditions, maybe it was harder to assimilate here.
As the class representatives it was our job to reach out to them, so Kisshouin-san suggested having a class lunch together.
I liked the idea, but was it even possible to guarantee that many seats together in the cafeteria? I was also worried that the upperclassmen wouldn’t look kindly on some newcomers monopolising their own corner of the cafeteria.
When I voiced my concerns, Kisshouin-san just proudly flashed the red peony badge on her chest, and everything was resolved.
Ooh, as expected of a Pivoine!
When I clapped my hands, the corners of her mouth lifted into a smile.
Huh. Was this girl actually pretty weak to flattery?
That same day we stayed back after school to tally up the print-outs.
Kisshouin was tapping away at her flashily decorated calculator when she let out a tired sigh.
“Are you feeling unwell?” I asked.
“Eh…? Ah, no, I am fine.”
It didn’t look like it though.
Her trademark curls were even looking a little flat.
I suddenly recalled what Akizawa said about giving her sweets.
After fishing through my bag for a while I pulled out a cheap Tirolian chocolate.
Would she even eat this?
I decided to test it anyway.
“Kisshouin-san, would you like some chocolate?”
“My! This is a Tirolian chocolate!” she said as a sparkle returned to her eyes. “Oh? Have I seen this flavour before…?”
So she knew what they were.
“Apparently it’s region-limited. I got it off someone as a souvenir.”
“Region-limited!? Heavens! To think that I had forgotten those existed… What a grievous oversight…!”
Eh? What was?
I watched her clench her fist in regret for a while before she accepted the chocolate from me and popped it in her mouth.
Her expression instantly changed into a blissful smile.
“As expected of a limited edition. Yummy…!”
“I see. Good for you.”
The chocolates were pretty small, so they didn’t take long to finish.
She looked a little forlorn that it was over, so I asked her if she wanted another one.
“I am fine. One was plenty. Thank you for the treat.”
“Are you sure? I still have a bunch left, so you don’t have to hold back.”
“…Truly? Well, if you say as much, could I trouble you for just one more?”
And that was how Kisshouin-san happily ate another region-limited chocolate.
It was surprising how happily she’d eat cheap chocolate.
She was part of the Pivoine so I would have expected her to be more picky. Maybe only eating from companies with royal warrants to European royalty or something.
“Thank you very much, Satomi-kun. I know just how valuable that was. You have a generous heart.”
“Huh? Oh, nah, you’re exaggerating. It was just a bit of chocolate.”
“My, I have heard that a bit of chocolate has saved someone stranded in the mountains before. You must not forget its worth.”
We’re smack bang in the middle of Tokyo, Kisshouin-san.
Anyway, having finished her 10 yen chocolate, Kisshouin-san produced a rather flashy-looking thimblette from her pencil case and began working again with renewed vigour.
Just what the hell was in that chocolate.
Akizawa hadn’t been exaggerating.
A few days later, Kisshouin-san approached me while looking left and right for witnesses.
Sidling up to me, she slipped a small package into my hand.
“Quickly! Hide it before we are spotted! Now! DEWIT!”
Eh… Kisshouin-san was an illegal goods dealer?
It was against my principles to get involved with that…
I snuck a look into the package and saw Tirolian chocolates decorated with cute mascots.
Mmn. These goods were undoubtedly legal.
“What’s this about?”
“Shh! Be silent! Think of this as a sign of my appreciation, just between the two of us, all right? It was something I obtained through special channels.”
“…The black market?” I tried.
That’s just mail delivery, Kisshouin-san.
“If you need more, just let me know,” she whispered before slinking away.
For a moment I saw a future criminal being led away in cuffs.
Be careful you don’t get stopped by the police, Kisshouin-san~
As we continued working together as class representatives, I gradually began to realise that despite her lofty position and social power, the girl herself was fun to talk to, and a little bit air-headed.
I began to see how far I could push her before she got angry, but the answer was ‘pretty far’.
Even if she did get a little mad, in the end an apology and a dessert would be all it took for her to say,
“Honestly, Satomi-kun~ Just this once, all right?”
The Queen of the Pivoine was weak to bribery.
One day I caught her staring at my hair.
“Is that your natural hair colour? It looks like you have used a little dye.”
“Ah, you realised?”
“That is against the rules,” she grinned at me.
“Well what about your curls, Kisshouin-san? Isn’t that a perm?”
“These are natural,” she insisted.
Closer to the root it wasn’t curly at all. Geez, no choice.
“Please find it in your heart to overlook me, just this once.”
I pushed the bite-sized donuts I bought this morning towards her.
“You are quite the sinful one,” she said, grinning wickedly like some corrupt magistrate.
The Queen of the Pivoine could be bought over with 100 yen sweets.
I continued poking fun of her after that.
One day I was making my way down an empty hallway when suddenly I was grabbed by each arm.
Holding me on the left and right were the Pivoine Queen’s closest aides, Kazami Serika and Imamura Kikuno.
“You. The way you have been behaving towards Reika-sama has been becoming unacceptable.”
“You had better not forget your place.”
…Was I going to disappear into the abyss!?
Could it be that most of Kisshouin-san’s scary image was because of these two?
One day Kisshouin-san asked me a difficult question.
“Satomi-kun, did you know that people have been nicknaming me?” she frowned.
Geeehhhh! Why did she know that!?
I pretended to be calm as I asked her where she heard that.
Apparently it had been Mizusaki that had told her.
Why would you tell the person herself, Mizusaki!?
Was that guy an idiot!?
Kisshouin-san had quite a few nicknames.
Most of them were related to her appearance, including “Maki Maki Makkie” and “D(olly Gi)rll”, but the one we used the most was “Goddess Kali” after the Indian goddess of slaughter and destruction.
It was originally because of her curled hair, and how scary she was supposed to be when she got angry, but obviously I couldn’t tell that to Kisshouin-san herself!
But then after the name became popular, we wondered that if she was Kali, who was the Shiva she was supposed to be dancing on!?
Could it be one of those two…!?
Everyone wondered, but nobody had the guts to comment. After all, nobody was stupid enough to want to make an enemy out of the three greatest powers in the Pivoine.
All of us wanted to graduate safely…
“You okay, Satomi?” Mizusaki suddenly asked from behind.
At the moment our two classes were having P.E. together.
“Why are you asking?”
“You’re class representative with that Kisshouin Reika girl, right? Have you been having a lot of problems?”
“None at all.”
It seemed like he didn’t have such a good impression of her.
Not that I could blame him, given her image.
I used to be the same way after all.
“She’s probably not the kind of girl you think she is. Kisshouin-san takes being a class representative more seriously than I do. You know she brings her own thimblette for sorting handouts? She even gave me one. It’s this flashy thing with hearts and glitter on it.”
I basically regurgitated what Akizawa told me.
“Ah! That reminds me! Why the hell did you tell her about her nicknames!? You’re shortening my lifespan here!”
“Yeah, my bad. I realised that I shouldn’t have right after I said it.”
What the hell! Be more careful, damn it!
I’m seriously going to disappear into the abyss at this rate!
For the athletics carnival she dressed up as a mouse, and then for the school festival she dressed up as a sheep butler without complaint.
It was nice how happily she went along with things.
By this point I didn’t find her scary at all.
But unlike the girl herself, her followers flooded us with complaints.
“What’s the meaning of this!? Reika-sama is being dressed up as a mouse!”
Even after she persuaded her friends, when they saw the mascot costume she was going to wear they blew up again.
“A grey mascot costume!? She’ll look like a dirtied youkai of poverty!”
“She can’t wear a mascot costume! Are you trying to turn her into a giant rat!?”
“A giant rat…? They’re going to turn Reika-sama into a coypu!”
“At least try and aim for a cute hamster!”
But Kisshouin-san didn’t seem too unhappy when she had stood in front of the mirror and waved her butt around to move the tail~
In the end we compromised and went with a grey dress and mouse ears.
It wasn’t much of a costume but the event was a success in the end, so all went well.
I made a number of enemies amongst the girls, though…
When she put on the sheep ears for the school festival, we got a lot of customers who came to see something scary, as well as a number of VIPs thanks to Her Majesty’s connections.
With the three great powers of the Pivoine there, the hallway became packed with students.
Thanks to that, Café Sheep Dolly had incredible sales. As the class rep, I couldn’t be happier.
The death glares from her followers were a bit scary though…
Ah, something else of note was that at some point Iwamuro became acquainted with her too. It was a completely unexpected combo.
When we switched classes going into 3rd year I ended up with Kisshouin-san again. Not only that, the two of us were the class representatives again.
What was dangerous was that Kazami and Imamura were in the same class too, but luckily there was nobody else troublesome.
More importantly, with Kisshouin-san here, nobody was reckless enough to voluntarily start trouble.
I had thought the year was going to be smooth sailing, but there was one person who was acting suspiciously.
The dude seemed to be trying his hardest to curl into a ball.
“What’s wrong, Tagaki?”
If I was remembering right, Tagaki was an External Student that had joined in high school.
“If something’s up, you can tell me. I mean, I am the class rep and that.”
Tagaki turned his head here and there to make sure of something, before nervously answering me.
“The truth is…” he began his story.
Huh. Come to think of it, the guy who accidentally ran his mouth during that incident was this guy.
It was something that happened near the end of our 2nd year.
Takamichi Wakaba was an External Student on a scholarship.
Somebody had graffitied her locker, and somebody claimed that it was Kisshouin-san’s bullying.
In the end it turned out that Kisshouin-san had been resting in the infirmary, and was heading back to class when she noticed the locker.
Coincidentally, classes had just ended, so other students had spotted her standing by the locker as they left their classrooms, but it wasn’t like they had caught her actually doing the vandalism…
Speaking of Takamichi Wakaba, her position at Zui’ran was a little awkward.
While Zui’ran was a school filled with the children of Japan’s most wealthy, Takamichi was just a girl from an average household who won a scholarship through outstanding grades.
Not to say that alone was enough to make things awkward, but her grades happened to be good enough to threaten the position of Zui’ran’s poster boy, our flawless Emperor.
It wasn’t a pleasant matter for a lot of Internals.
The finisher was that that same Emperor, who had never before shown any interest in the girls that approached him, had now taken an interest in her.
Apparently Takamichi had been harassed by jealous girls, and that hero of justice Mizusaki began standing up for her too.
Of course this just made her all the more detestable to the girls.
Not that I could blame them…
The Emperor is one thing, but you should think things through a little more, Mizusaki.
So to conclude, she had great grades, and the three most popular guys were paying attention to her.
These weren’t anything to fault her for, but jealousy knows no reason. Girls began slandering her as sucking up to men, and frustrated guys who were beaten by her joined in as well.
Even the previous president of the Pivoine had begun targeting her, but Kisshouin-san stayed neutral like it was none of her business.
I wasn’t that well-informed about girl drama, but apparently Kisshouin-san leaned towards sympathy for her.
Well, that was the background for the locker incident. Tsuruhana’s group took the opportunity to blame it on Kisshouin-san.
Naturally she denied it, but it was a little sketchy because she was actually holding the marker.
Honestly, what were you thinking, Kisshouin-san…?
Things were looking pretty bad for her but the victim herself outright shot down the accusation, so in the end it didn’t go beyond suspicions.
I myself made sure to have a word with Mizusaki.
“Kisshouin-san might be a bit of an oddball, but she’s not the type to do things like this.”
Back in 1st year he hadn’t had a great impression of her, but contrary to my worries he nodded.
“…Yeah, you’re right.”
In our boys hierarchy, the Emperor was sitting firmly at the top, so things were pretty peaceful. In contrast, Tsuruhana would occasionally start trouble to try and topple Kisshouin-san, so incidents popped up from time to time.
She had been the leader of a failed revolt back in middle school as well.
We named it the ‘Tsuruhana Rebellion’, but after the locker incident it was renamed to the ‘Tsuruhana Spring Rebellion’.
After all, the locker incident had turned into the ‘Tsuruhana Winter Rebellion’.
The Tsuruhana Winter Rebellion was a revolt in the second year of high school led by Tsuruhana’s group, who had been defeated in a previous Rebellion. It culminated in a massive three-way battle in the cafeteria between Kisshouin-san’s forces, Tsuruhana’s forces, and members of the Student Council.
A few guys had been sent crazy glares when they said “Girls are damned scary…”.
Were these supposed to be the same girls that people knew as ojousama?
The one who stopped it in the end was Zui’ran’s absolute monarch, the Emperor.
In the days that followed, I wondered whether this would finally put an end to the trouble started by Tsuruhana’s group.
That was when I happened to chance across Enjou-kun calling Tsuruhana herself out into an empty hallway. I could faintly hear his voice while I was passing by.
“I usually don’t get involved in arguments between girls, but you’ve gone a little overboard this time. Just letting you know, but if you continue slandering Kisshouin-san then I’ll be taking her side, so what do you intend on doing?”
So that was how the ‘Tsuruhana Winter Rebellion’ came to a close.
And because of her two revolts, she ended up with the nickname the Taira-no-Masakado of Zui’ran. Incidentally one of the three most powerful wraiths in all of Japan…
Why did the girls in our grade all have such terrifying nicknames…?
Anyway, bringing the topic back to Tagaki, he was afraid of retribution because of his involvement in it.
To be fair his careless remark really did cause a lot of people to suspect her, but I didn’t think Kisshouin-san was the type to cling onto grudges like that.
“Have you apologised to her properly?”
“Y-Yeah… We both went to a Spring cram course together, so I apologised there. And on the advice of one of her friends, I also gave her some pudding as an apology…”
“Did she forgive you?”
“She said that she didn’t mind at all…”
“Isn’t that fine then? She accepted your pudding, right?”
In my experience, an apology and a dessert was enough for her to forgive you for most things.
“It’ll be fine,” I said with a clap on the back. “Why are you so damned scared anyway? You’re as white as a sheet. C’mon, it’s lunch soon. Try eating something sweet and cheer up, yeah?”
“Yeah… You’re right. Maybe I’ll go for some pudding myself.”
“Right? Just relax.”
Tagaki did as I suggested and ordered a custard pudding.
That was when Kisshouin-san’s group entered the cafeteria.
“Reika-sama, what are you having today?”
“Crema catalana was recently added to the menu, so I was thinking of enjoying some today.”
“Ahh! Come to think of it, it’s been your favourite recently.”
“It has. I was looking forward to having it again,” she smiled happily.
Unfortunately she was struck by cold reality.
“I’m sorry. Somebody ordered the last one just a moment ago.”
Immediately she became unsteady on her feet.
“Reika-sama! Please hang in there!”
“Who was it that obstructed Reika-sama from enjoying her lunch!?”
Fuujin and Raijin glared into the crowd in search of the culprit who had taken the last one.
It was Tagaki…
The pudding that Tagaki had ordered was the crema catalana that Kisshouin-san had been looking forward to.
Tagaki… You really have the worst timing… And you even started eating the pudding before you touched your actual lunch…
Were you that worn out?
The guy himself was pale, frozen with his spoon in his mouth. I mentally made the sign of the cross.
Stay strong, Tagaki.
The president of the Soccer Club was a guy named Azumi.
The Soccer Club at Zui’ran was one of our most famous clubs, and Azumi was its ace.
He wasn’t on the same level as the Emperor, but he still enjoyed popularity amongst the girls. You could say that he was pretty well-known here.
Unfortunately for him, ever since Kisshouin-san had christened him ‘Dainagon’, that popularity was in danger.
“Dainagon? As in the fat azuki beans?”
“Ahh, because his name is Azumi!”
And that was how he was nicknamed Beans.
The man himself protested, “No! She’s not talking about the beans!” but it was too late for him, and the nickname settled. Poor guy…
Out of curiosity I asked the culprit about the origins of the name, but she responded with a look of surprise.
“My! I would never give a pet name based on a pun like that. It is a dignified name with noble origins, named after the Kemari Dainagon who lived during the Heian Period, known for his prowess in kemari football.
“To think that you all thought it was a pun… Ah, speaking of azuki red beans though, how do you prefer your ohagi? Koshian or tsubuan? Incidentally, I prefer koshian.”
“Eh? Ahh… If I had to say, I guess tsubuan?”
“My. Then how do you prefer your sakuramochi? Choumeiji style or Doumyouji style? Incidentally, I prefer Choumeiji.”
“Ahh… I suppose I prefer the one with the skin folded around the red bean.”
“The same as myself, it seems. Then when it comes to the leaf, are you the type who eats it, or…?”
Even though we were supposed to be talking about Dainagon Azumi’s name, somehow it turned into a conversation about sakuramochi leaves…!?
And then ‘speaking of leaf-wrapped desserts’, whether I preferred sakuramochi or kashiwamochi?
The topic of Azumi was kicked aside just like a soccer ball.
“You’re kind of a weird one aren’t you, Kisshouin-san?” I couldn’t help but mutter.
“Huuh!?” Her eyes shot wide. “What do you mean weird!? Even though I’m so normal!? Even though I’ve never been called weird before!?”
“Ah, my bad! You’re right.”
“Of course I am!”
Sometimes you get people who say stuff like “I’m a bit weird, after all~” but they’re basically just boring people who wished they were weird. The real weirdos have no idea that they’re weird.
Nobody was allowed to use the word “weird” around the real weirdo, Kisshouin-san.
But just look behind her. Her friends were all sneaking worried glances at her.
We had our class trip in early May. There were some odd jobs to do as the class rep on the trip, but the two of us didn’t have any trouble.
Apparently our class was the exception in that respect.
I heard about it from Mizusaki when we bumped into each other during the trip.
“Have you been having any problems with people breaking curfew, or anybody going overboard? The other classes are having huge problems with it.”
“Huh~ Come to think of it, I’ve been hearing that too. But nah, the one who takes the night roll is Kisshouin-san~ Nobody would be stupid enough to break curfew.”
To begin with, most of the girls in the class were already happy to cooperate with Kisshouin-san, so they wouldn’t do anything to bother her. As for the guys, nobody was gutsy enough to make an enemy of all the girls by angering her.
Besides, if there was anyone who went overboard because they were having too much fun, it wouldn’t take long for somebody to rat them out. It was on par with a country with secret police.
“Is this the Reign of Terror or something?”
Curfew-breaking will be purged. May the Kisshouin Reika dictatorship reign supreme.
Kisshouin-san seemed to be angry at me after I brought up the ghost story of the Tower of London.
I rather liked ghost stories, but the opposite seemed true for her.
And for some reason she was clenching both hands unnaturally.
Eh, don’t tell me she was hiding her thumbs?
Wasn’t that what primary schoolers did when they saw a hearse!?
But since her reaction was so funny, I continued messing around with her.
I guess that made me a primary schooler too.
When we were at the Vatican I brought up the catacombs, since that seemed like something she’d be weak with.
As expected I was rewarded with a glare before she began stalking off.
As she was leaving I realised that the hair swaying against her back kind of looked like the number 6.
“Hmm? Kisshouin-san, together some of the curls on the back of your head turn into the number of the beast, you know?”
She turned around with a startled look.
“Where on earth do you think we are! This is the headquarters of Christianity, you know! Show some restraint!” she scolded.
From that moment until when we left the Vatican, Kisshouin-san would occasionally hold her hair down, looking left and right like a suspicious person.
I think she was worried inquisitors would come for her.
To disguise the 6’s in her hair, Kisshouin-san would make little micro-shakes of her head, but in the end she got dizzy and needed her girls to support her.
After sightseeing Rome, it was time for dinner.
I turned in surprise as I felt something strike my back out of the blue.
It was Kisshouin-san, who was for some reason standing in a pitching position.
Apparently she had thrown something at me. I rubbed the place where I had been hit and- eh, uwah! What were these weird grains?
Are you serious? Some even got in my hair! It looked like I had dandruff now!
Come on, give me a break…!
But after dinner, Kisshouin-san’s girls finally called me out for a chat.
“How dare you show Reika-sama such disrespect!”
“It’s because of you that Reika-sama has been behaving strangely!”
After a lengthy session of being chewed out by them, they all began to smile darkly.
“Satomi Yukinari. From what I heard, it seems you have a girlfriend in Second Year.”
“Eh-!? How’d you know that!?” I blurted.
“Do not make light of our information network,” I was warned.
“It seems that you intend on buy her a souvenir in Paris,” somebody else continued.
“Matching accessories, was it?” another mused.
So this was why people feared the secret police…!
The ring of girls around me tightened.
My back was to the wall, with nowhere to run.
“You have a lovely girlfriend,” I was told neutrally.
“I trust you have not forgotten that Reika-sama’s cousin Ririna-san is in Second Year.”
“And that Ririna-san adores Reika-sama.”
“It wouldn’t take much to break you up.”
They were taking her hostage…
“If you understand, then have a good think about your attitude towards Reika-sama.”
“If you want to enjoy the rest of your high school days, that is.”
“Your abuse has greatly saddened Reika-sama!”
“I understand,” I said. “I am reflecting. I’m very sorry.”
It was never a good idea to go against a group of girls, so I obediently lowered my head.
“By the way, what was that white stuff that Kisshouin-san threw at me?”
Even with my friends helping me, I had a lot of trouble getting it off.
I could actually still feel some, so I wanted to take a shower already.
“…It was salt.”
“Hah? Salt!? Where did you get so much salt?”
She couldn’t have brought it with her from Japan, right? It was a huge fist full, after all.
Even Kisshouin-san wouldn’t.
But then where did she get it?
“W-, Who cares about that!” one of them changed the subject.
“More importantly, you had better start paying Reika-sama the respect that she deserves!”
“Just who do you think Reika-sama is!?”
Well, she was obviously…
Kisshouin Reika, that soft-hearted, earnest weirdo with a weakness to praise, was my friend.