Category Archives: Kenkyo Kenjitsu

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 233

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Everything keeps breaking at work, but that’s okay. Only three weeks left until the holidays.

Come at me, fucking dickhead RPC shitcunt program!


And thus the idyllic scenery of lambs grazing in the sun was suddenly intruded upon by the fearsome black beast Mary──

As the sheepdog I was charged with protecting these lambs but before this creature’s savage gaze there was nothing I could do but cower.

Wait, no- wasn’t I supposed to be a lamb as well?

Ahem. The herd of harmless lambs (also known as the Handicrafts Club) was lost to panic and fear at the Zui’ran Emperor’s sudden appearance.

The little first years who had until a moment ago been praising this same Emperor were now petrified, wide-eyed, mouth agape.

Kaburagi spotted me and boomed, “Kisshouin! Didn’t I tell you yesterday to stop ignoring my messages!”

“Oh my, welcome to our humble club room, Kaburagi-sama. You must forgive me. Your messages only just arrived,” I replied with a feigned smile to try to protect my trembling lambs.

“How many times do I have to say it? You have a mobile phone for a reason.”

That’s what I want to ask. How many times do I have to say that you have to consider the other party too.

“Let’s go,” he said, apparently not even considering that I might refuse.

I put on my most apologetic expression as I bowed to him.

“I do feel terrible that you have come all this way, but I am afraid I am in the middle of some handicrafts. Unfortunately I will be unable to accompany you on this day.”

“…Handicrafts?” he asked.

“Yes. As you can see, this is the Handicrafts Club, and I am participating in club activities. I am also the President and therefore it would be inappropriate to leave on a whim.”

How’s that!

If you think it’s always going to go your way then you’ve got another thing coming, buddy. The world doesn’t revolve around you!

Unfortunately I was betrayed by my allies.

“Reika-sama, if you have business with Kaburagi-sama then would it not be better if you left?” said my Vice President, selling me out. “I will take responsibility for looking after the club in your absence.”

Next, all the other club members started chiming in too.

“She’s right, Reika-senpai.”

“Please don’t feel like you need to stay because of us.”

They were blatantly washing their hands of me…

The Emperor was alone right now so by all accounts this was their perfect chance to get close to him. So how come my club was filled with girls who would rather choose peace than take their chances?

I wouldn’t give in so easily though.

“I am afraid not. I myself am in the middle of something and it would hardly do to abandon this midway. My apologies, Kaburagi-sama.”

Hehe. How’s that?

I held out the proof in my hand like an imperial seal.

“What are you doing?”

“My kouhai wanted to make a bead and lace hair accessory for her pet so, so I am helping her with that.”

And with that I also got to casually flaunt having underclassmen. Ho ho ho.

“A hair accessory for a pet dog…?” he muttered before narrowing his eyes.

Chairs fell over and pencils clattered to the floor as Kaburagi stalked over to the 1st Years’ panic.

“…Where is it?”

“Hah?”

Kaburagi’s expression grew ever stormier at my lack of comprehension.

He stopped at our desk, and looked down at our work and took Natori-san’s beaded into his hands.

After examining the design documents and snorting, he sat down on the chair I had been using until recently.

“Give,” he demanded.

“Hah?”

I looked at his outstretched hand.

Don’t tell me…

Losing his patience with me, Kaburagi simply took the shuttle from me, lazily crossed his long legs, and then began nonchalantly knitting!

The Zui’ran Emperor was sitting there, knitting.

The sight of it was so surreal that the entire room was silent except for the loud ticking of the clock.

“You messed up this stitch here,” he commented.

“…It was too much work to redo it, so it was better to leave it,” I contended.

“Tsk, are you for real? And you’ve tangled the thread here.”

“…I am very sorry.”

And thus the Club President’s inadequacies were exposed for all the club to see.

How humiliating!

I had to keep myself from trembling in embarrassment.

Unforgivable.

I glared at my sworn enemy, and tried to crush his hair whorl with the power of my gaze.

Third Eye, Awaken!

Damned Kaburagi, I hope you’re stuck in the toilet suffering from the runs!

But he must have sensed something because suddenly he turned his head and gave me a sidelong glance.

“…What?”

“Nothing, nothing.”

Third Eye, Deactivate.

I watched Kaburagi easily undo a knot and smoothly continue knitting. Maybe he’d found the trick to it or something because he wasn’t even looking at the design sheet anymore.

“You are very skilled… Have you laced before?”

“As if. If you just do what the instructions tell you to, anyone can do it.”

He was taking all my effort for a joke.

Third Eye, Awa-… Wah! He glared at me!

How’d he notice?

“Kisshouin.”

“Yes…”

“Don’t stand behind me.”

Are you some kind of hitman?

While everybody in the room held their breath and watched him work, Kaburagi let out a small sigh and looked up at me.

“Done.”

In his hands was a little beaded lace flower, the result of his fluent and confident knitting.

It was carelessly tossed over to me, so I examined its handiwork.

Flawless.

Already I could hear my club members sighing in amazement.

“In so short a time..”

“As expected of Kaburagi-sama.”

I hated to admit it but it was a much better job than I had been doing.

I took Natori-san’s hand and placed the completed product on it.

“Eh…!?”

Her eyes were wide teary in disbelief and she shook her head at me, but I simply smiled fondly at her and shook my head in return.

After watching out silent exchange for a bit, Kaburagi came over and took it from her hand.

Pointing here and there he said,

“The crooked bits here where the wrong holes were used are her work,” Kaburagi jerked his thumb at me, destroying any remaining face that I had left as the Club President.

Absolutely unforgivable…!

While he wasn’t looking I’d slip the smallest bead into his shoes. Suffer the discomfort as you walk!

Natori-san reverently received the beaded lace flower from her Emperor.

She was now in possession of beaded lace knitted by the Emperor of Zui’ran himself, handed to her directly while speaking to her directly.

Even without the little tricks we came up with, Natori-san would definitely be the centre of attention for tomorrow──

*

*

“Right. Time to go to the supermarket,” Kaburagi announced.

This was what he had dragged me to the classroom to say.

I confirmed that the surroundings were clear of witnesses before I began my counter-attack with a smile.

“How many times must I say it before you understand that I have my own considerations? My schedule is simply filled after this, so I cannot accompany you.”

“What? You’re not gunna say that you have cram school or something, right?”

“Oh no. I have an appointment with my personal tutor today.”

What the heck is that look for?

How about you stop messing around so much and go study for a change?

The mid-terms are coming up, you know.

I opened my bag and retrieved the supermarket flyers I printed out last night.

“Here.”

“…What’s this?” he asked.

“Supermarket flyers. This should be enough for your purposes. Now then, take these, go shopping, and educate yourself.”

He took them from my hand and began studying them with great interest.

“Meat day… Fish day…?” he muttered to himself in thought.

Righto.

“Well then, please excuse me,” I said, and made use of his distraction to escape.

“…Just now I saw some baked goods in your bag,” he muttered.

I stood stock still.

“Those were from the Pivoine, weren’t they?”

“…”

It wasn’t as if there was a rule about bringing the snacks home with you or anything.

…I did still feel a little guilty though.

“Kisshouin.”

“…Kaburagi-sama, please allow me to accompany you on this trip.”

The President of the Pivoine smirked at me.

What an odious character. Mine, that is!

Damn my hateful gluttony!

Why did you have to bring some back with you, Reika!?

And why did you have to let him see them, Reika!?

Just barely managing to hide this complicated sense of defeat, I forced myself to change gears and began thinking about my trip to the supermarket.

On the one hand it made the most sense to take him to the luxury supermarkets in upscale areas like Hiroo or Aoyama.

Aaah, but then on the other hand, that would also make it that much more likely to bump into people we know, huh…

“What’s wrong?”

“Ah, I was simply wondering which store to visit…”

Taking my words at face value, Kaburagi took out one flyer from the stack and held it out to me.

“This one.”

I took a skim of its contents.

‘A bargain every day!’

‘Frozen products, half off!’

Basically it was promoting a discount supermarket for commoners. It was from a totally different world to him.

“Might I ask why this one in particular?” I inquired.

“Of the pamphlets you gave me, this one was the most enthusiastic in trying to sell things to me.”

“I see.”

Well, this one was far away, and the chances of anyone I knew spotting me was pretty much zero, I guess.

Haaah. What a bother…

“Haah…”

“What?” he demanded.

I hadn’t meant to do that aloud.

“Ah, nothing… By the way, I am surprised you knew to find me in the Handicrafts Club.”

“Oh, that? I asked some of your friends who were in the salon.”

“Friends?”

Hmmmmm.

Could it have been Fuyuko-sama?

“She told me that you two had been chatting but you had to leave for your club activities. Then she told me it was the Handicrafts Club and where to find it too.”

Fuyuko-sama, did you have to go out of your way…?

But I hadn’t realised that she knew I was in that club either.

We were in the same social circle but Fuyuko-sama always seemed lost in her own world. I’d never really seen her looking particularly close to anyone, myself included, so I assumed she hadn’t had much interest in us.

I suddenly found myself thinking about Natori-san’s situation.

Fuyuko-sama was a Pivoine student from primary school, and you could say she was part of the largest clique. In that sense she was as far from Natori-san as you could get, but…

Fuyuko-sama have come over to talk to me because she noticed I seemed to be worrying about something. I thought back to how happily she suggested using the ouija board together…

She always sits with our group but never starts a conversation on her own, just smiling in her dreamy way.

Because of that I figured that was just who she was, but maybe she actually wanted to talk more with us, but just couldn’t get the timing right.

At the very least she must have wanted to get to know me better, or she wouldn’t have tried so hard to start a conversation with me.

Well, this was just my conjecture though.

Still, if there was a chance it was true, then what I did earlier was rather cold, huh?

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing…”

I decided to strike up a conversation with her tomorrow.

…About anything other than the occult.

“Oi, Kisshouin! We don’t have time for this. Let’s go!”

“Okaaaay…”

“What kind of answer is that!? Show me some spirit!”

But first I had to deal with my current problem.


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Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 232

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I hate work. I hate life. Usually by this time of year my work is winding down.

This year it’s winding up, and now that I have a work laptop with VPN I’m apparently expected to just worry about work over the goddamned weekend too.

Except the guy who I was told to ask to fix the data hasn’t done anything all weekend because he’s overworked and his kids are probably still sick, so tomorrow I have to go in and explain that no, nothing has reprocessed over the weekend.

I was tempted to just fix it myself because it didn’t look too hard, but if I buggered it up it’d cause even more problems. So instead I’ve just been agonising about it all weekend.

And that’s about where my life has been. Also Code Vein.

At least the next chapter is half done.


Mary-san, urban legend.

That day the girl was moving houses, so she threw away an old doll of Western-make named Mary.

That night her phone rang.

“It’s Mary. I’m at the garbage collection…”

Frightened, the girl hung up, but the phone began ringing again.

“It’s Mary. I’m at the corner of the tobacco shop.”

Eventually the call came that said, “It’s Mary. I’m in front of your house.”

Although the girl was scared, she gathered her courage and opened her front door, but nobody was there.

Just as she felt relief that it must have been somebody’s prank, the phone rang again.

“It’s Mary. I’m behind you.”


And so I made my way to my clubroom.

It was a shame that my interest in wool felting had died down a little because there wasn’t anything I really wanted to make now. Without anything better to do I began making rounds around the room to see how my club members were going.

There hadn’t been any problems when us 3rd Years were away on vacation, and everyone was having fun today too.

Wonderful, wonderful.

I spotted a group of new 1st Years chatting happily while they worked on their craft projects, so I made my way over.

“Gokigen’yoh, everybody. Is there everything all right? If anything is troubling you, as your Club President I encourage you to approach me,” I said with my best smile.

“W-We understand!”

Unfortunately they reacted by stopping everything they were doing and huddling together timidly.

I felt a bit like a sheepdog herding some innocent lambs…

“My, is there any need to stand on ceremony like that? We are all fellow club members, so just make yourselves at home.”

“We understand…”

These kids have been members for about a month now, but to my chagrin they weren’t warming up to me, despite opening up to all their other upperclassmen.

This wouldn’t do. I was supposed to be the approachable club president.

I’m not a sheepdog, girls~ My wool might be a bit long but I’m just a cute lamb like you~

I took a seat nearby to signal that I wasn’t intending on leaving but the girls just openly gawked at me.

Yes, that’s right, I’m staying.

Smile at max power, I examined what they were working on, one by one.

“What is it that you girls are making?” I tried, to which they reacted by hesitantly showing me their craft work.

“My, a quilt,” I exclaimed. “Do you already have plans for it?”

“Yes, I was thinking of making a cushion cover…”

“How splendid! Are these the designs? How lovely. I look forward to seeing how it looks when it is finished. Do try your best.”

I turned to the others. “And are you two girls working on embroidery?”

“Yes… Umm, I was cross-stitching a book cover.”

“Me too…” added the other girl.

“I see. Stitching for your book cover. How wonderful. Are you making matching covers?”

“No, I was using this design…”

“And I was using this as a reference…”

I looked at the designs they were holding out. Ooh, how cute.

Cross-stitching was on the simple side of handicrafts, so maybe I could do it too.

“Perhaps I should give it a go,” I mused.

“Eh, you, Reika-senpai?”

“Yes. Seeing your work has made me interested in trying it for myself.”

“I see… Reika-senpai, your speciality lies in needle felting, isn’t it?”

“Well, I would hardly call it a speciality but…”

Mostly it was just stabbing a needle into something for stress relief, and because I had nothing better to do.

“Felting is fun but recently I have been looking for something different to tackle. Might you have any suggestions?”

“Suggestions…”

The 1st Years exchanged a glance. Then the girl with the quilt suggested, “Then how about tatting?”

“Natori-san here is actually great with lacing, and she’s working on tatting lace right now. Right, Natori-san?”

“Eh!?”

“My, is that so?”

I watched as the smallest and shiest girl amongst them panic at the sudden attention. I see.

In her hand was the boat shuttle that she was using to weave her lace.

A shuttle is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store a holder that carries the thread of the weft yarn while weaving with a loom.

“So weaving lace is your speciality?”

“Eh? No, I’m not good enough that it’s a speciality yet… but… yes, I like lacing. Ummm, my grandmother taught me…” she mumbled. “I wasn’t good with anything except for the crochet hook, but then Minami-senpai said that… if I like lace so much then I should try other methods as well, and he taught me tatting lacing.”

“My!” I exclaimed. “Minami-kun did?”

To think that our only male club member wasn’t only skilled with embroidery but was a lacing expert too!

And not only were his skills incredible, he knew how to look out for his underclassmen as well.

Maybe I’d just found my best candidate for next Club President!

I reminded myself to see what the Vice President thought of this.

“In that case might I trouble you to teach me?”

“I couldn’t! How could I possibly have anything to teach you, Reika-sama…!?” Natori-san exclaimed in horror.

Regardless, I picked up a weaving shuttle and some spare thread and just waited.

As the Club President, it was important that I interacted with my club members.

“What are you making now?”

“I, I’m working on a beaded lace hairpiece for a dog…”

“Goodness, a hairpiece?!”

Natori-san held out a number of five-petaled flowers made from beads and lace. The flowers were being joined together to form the hair ornament.

“How lovely~ Please do allow me to help!”

“Ehh!?”

What comes to mind when I think of lacing are useless white quilts that you’d find in a granny’s house, but the hair accessory on this design sheet looked really cute.

A handmade hairpiece for your pet dog, huh?

If I mentioned this to Umewaka-kun he’d probably try it himself.

After calming Natori-san down I had her teach me tatting lacing.

In short the only real difference was whether you were using a shuttle or a crochet hook, right?

I’d already used a crochet hook to knit a doll before, so I’d manage. Easy peasy.

──I was a fool for thinking that.

It was crazy hard…

The threads used for lacing were really thin so it was a real pain to unlace the parts I got wrong.

Still, since Natori-san was trying her utmost to teach me, it wouldn’t do to quit now.

Ah, I missed a hole. Do over!

“So, have you been adjusting to the high school environment?” I asked while struggling with the lace. “Please feel free to talk to me about any worries you might have, whether it concerns handicrafts or just your school life in general.”

In fact, I’d probably give better advice if it didn’t concern handicrafts.

The girl who introduced me to tatting lace turned to Natori-san.

“Say, Natori-san? Since Reika-senpai offered, why not talk to her about it…?”

“My. Does something trouble you? If there is anything I can do to help, I would be more than happy to assist,” I offered.

“No… Umm…”

Natori-san lowered her gaze and seemed to struggle with whether she wanted to speak up or not, so her friend did so for her.

“The truth is that Natori-san has had some trouble getting closer to her classmates.”

“Some trouble…? Is she being bullied!?”

If that was the case then this was huge.

As the Club President I couldn’t just sit by while my precious members were being bullied!

If people were picking on her then I’d descend upon their classroom and teach them some manners, starting with the ringleader of the scoundrels who thought they could harass my cute kouhai!

I was getting ready to declare war when the girls must have noticed something because they began to frantically tell me that nobody was being bullied.

Oh. She wasn’t? We could still attack them first though?

After a bit of explanation, the story was as follows.

Even though Natori-san was an External Student transferring in from another school, a stroke of bad luck saw her down with a flu right after our school term began.

Thanks to that she missed the class trip for bonding with the Externals. It was the same class trip where the Externals had to perform a side show for the Internals, meaning that she had missed bonding with the other Externals too.

By the time she was coming to school again the class trip had already resulted in a number of cliques forming, so it was hard for her to even get a foot in.

Of course, things might not have been so bad if we had some other club members in her class.

After all, we had quite a number of new club members this year.

Unfortunately she was suffering from bad luck again, because she was the only entrant from her class.

“It isn’t so bad at lunch because I can have lunch with my friends in the club, but between classes I just sit at my desk alone…”

“That does sound awful.”

“And also… If people keep seeing me alone, I’m worried they’ll wonder what’s wrong with me…”

“Aah~”

Of course.

If there was just one loner in the classroom, you’d start to wonder if she had no friends, or if people hated her, or if she was being bullied or something, right?

“I can certainly understand how you feel,” I nodded to myself.

The girls looked a little startled. Did they think it wasn’t something I worried about?

The truth was that every year I still got nervous about class changes.

Thanks to attending Zui’ran since primary school, you could say I got along with a lot of people. Certainly the chance of being in a class with a friend was high for me.

That didn’t mean that I didn’t agonise about the off-chance of being stuck in a class on my own. Worse yet, what if I ended up in a class filled with girls from Tsuruhana-san’s group?

Geez, it was something I worried about every day, okay?

I think everyone goes through something like this.

“Reika-sama, what do you think she should do?” her friend asked, while stroking the her back reassuringly.

“Well…” I hummed.

It would be best if she could be more proactive in talking to her classmates, of course, but the problem was that she couldn’t do that.

Hmmm, then what if we addressed the fact that she was alone between classes…?

I recalled the time in my past life when I was being ignored by my classmates.

“Perhaps this calls for a book,” I suggested.

“A… book?” she asked.

“Yes, a book. At least with a book you can present your lack of interaction as voluntary and deliberate. And they are a wonderful way to pass the time. Of course you could do the same with a mobile, but then you risk the chance of appearing like an addict.”

“Huh…”

I think back then I might have been using my little sister’s book about Japan’s most haunted locations. No idea why I had chosen that of all things, but it turned out to be pretty interesting.

Before long I was using every break between periods to devour that book. Classmates who were drawn in by its title came over to read it with me, which was a plus as well.

They stopped ignoring me after that. Thank you, Japan’s Most Haunted.

Oh. Or could it be that my obsessing over ghost haunts was beginning to creep them out, so they stopped ignoring me out of fear?

“Ideally you would be getting to know your classmates better, no? In that case I would suggest a best seller, and see if that attracts the interest of anyone.”

I couldn’t exactly suggest a book about haunted locations, so it had to be something else that would draw attention.

“I understand. I’ll bring a book tomorrow.”

Pleased at her willingness to listen to me, I began to list more suggestions.

“Paying some attention to your accessories might help. A pen or a pouch with a lovely design is signalling to your classmates that you have an interest in these sorts of things, and might draw girls of like interests,” I explained. “Perhaps some hand-made accessories too. It would be telling everyone that you are a member of the handicrafts club, and with some luck might begin more conversations.”

And if it went really well, could I maybe even bag some new members!?

“I understand. I’ll do my best tomorrow!” Natori-san clenched her fist around her weaving shuttle.

Mhm! Do your best!

“But I would never have thought you would give such specific advice, Reika-senpai,” she added.

“I was surprised too,” her friend added.

I laughed. “Huhu, I hope this has been of some help.”

If you couldn’t start the conversation, then you had to bait in people who would. I called it the fly trap method.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to see what topics everyone else thought would be interesting. I decided to find out.

“So what topics do you 1st Year girls find interesting?” I broached.

“Interesting? Hmmm, well we’ve only just entered Zui’ran so we share what we’ve learned about the school.”

“There’s so much we don’t know.”

“Right, right. Especially the Pivoi-… Ah!”

Hm? What’s this, what’s this?

She cut off midway, but I heard ‘Pivoi-‘ in there.

“Were you about to say ‘Pivoine’?” I asked.

“Ah… Yes. I’m sorry!”

“You can talk about it,” I assured them. “I take it that you girls have some interest in it?”

“…Yes.”

They all gave me meek nods.

I see.

I suppose it must have seemed like some sort of mysterious organisation to the normal students.

In that case, what if they used it as more bait for making friends?

“Well, I may not look like much but I am in fact one of its members!” I revealed.

“…We knew that of course.”

“…You’re the most famous one.”

“…I’m not sure if anyone doesn’t know you’re in it.”

Oh. Really?

Let’s try that again.

“What is it that you would like to know? I cannot divulge personal information about its members, but I would be happy to answer any other reasonable questions.”

At once, their faces lit up.

And so while we all worked on our handicrafts, they listened with rapt gazes as I regaled them with talk of our salon and other safe topics.

Maybe Natori-san could use this too.

But as the conversation ran its course, naturally the conversation turned to their topic of greatest interest: Kaburagi and Enjou.

“They were so mature, and so radiant. I didn’t think people like that really existed so it was a real shock.”

“‘Out of reach’ was made to describe people like that.”

“And Kaburagi-sama had an air befitting of his name as the Emperor of Zui’ran.”

The 1st Years recounted as they gazed dreamily towards the sky.

I could understand where they were coming from.

From afar, Emperor certainly did seem cool and competent. The type of guy you’d fawn over.

But on closer inspection, all you got was a useless rich boy with no consideration, common sense, or delicacy.

And that ‘Emperor’ nickname actually came from a primary schoolers’ cavalry battle.

Still, I’d feel bad for destroying their dreams so I decided to phrase it as ‘His hobby is horse-riding’.

“Oh, I know! I actually brought some baked goods from the Pivoine salon just now. How about we share them!”

Maybe they’d even be able to brag about having tried food from the Pivoine.

I opened my bag to grab them when I noticed some faint vibrations inside. My mobile?

I guess it must have fallen further in while I had been using the bag to exorcise myself.

I really hadn’t noticed the vibrations at all.

I checked my messages.

In the Sender’s column was, line after line, ‘Kaburagi Masaya’.

‘I’ve got something to talk about. Come to our usual meeting place.’

‘Are you not here yet?’

‘You’re late. What are you doing?’

‘Contact me immediately.’

‘Where are you?’

‘I’m heading to your clubroom.’

‘I’m almost there.’

Nooooooooooo! Stay away, Mary!

I tossed the cursed phone onto the desk, but just as I stood up the clubroom door opened with a bang.

“Kisshouin! How long are you going to make me wait for!?”

A ferocious black carnivore barged into my gathering of gentle lambs――!

 


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 231

Everybody, please check the FAQ first before asking me questions.
If it’s not on there, please feel free and ask.!


Join the Evil God Army on discord!
https://discord.gg/0uufyDAsTZXQaMz1


Please contribute: http://kenkyokenjitsu.wikia.com

Also, thank you to Starcakez, Passerbyc, and the others editing the wiki!


Evil forces conspired to stop me from finishing this chapter!


Kokkuri-san is basically just Japanese ouija boards.


The next morning I arrived to find the girls discussing something with frowns on their faces.

“Gokigen’yoh. Is something the matter?” I asked.

“Gokigen’yoh, Reika-sama,” Serika-chan replied. “Apparently, yesterday after school, that girl was in the car that came to pick up Enjou-sama.”

“That girl?”

“The one from the School Festival.”

“Ahh…”

Yuiko-san, smiling and otherworldly, appeared in my mind.

After school yesterday… That was when I met Enjou and Kaburagi in the Petite salon.

Hmm, thinking back Enjou had suddenly taken a call, and it was why Yukino-kun suddenly had to go home. Ah, could that have been Yuiko-san that called him!?

So that’s what happened. His girlfriend had come to meet him at the gates so he pushed his annoying friend onto me and then happily went on his date.

No, hang on.

More likely he’d intended to push Kaburagi onto me anyway, that damned schemer, and that’s why he even came there in the first place!

What a horrible guy!

Just how much of my energy was sucked away after I was forced to listen to Kaburagi’s endless rambling about Wakaba-chan…

This is why I couldn’t stand the inhabitants of the Fulfilling Romance village! All they did was oppress my people!

“Is Enjou-sama truly seeing that girl?”

“I wonder if the rumours about their engagement are true.”

“Enjou-sama said they were simply relatives, but…”

“Have you heard anything from him, Reika-sama?”

Unfortunately I didn’t have the answers.

After all, it wasn’t like I could just ask the guy himself all these nosey questions… We weren’t all that close, after all.

Plus, no way was I going to have him think that I was so interested in his life. I’d lose all pride as a village chief if he thought I was envious of his village’s good harvest.

So yeah, even if they begged me to ask him, it wasn’t going to happen. I was aiming to be Zui’ran’s trendsetter, not its gossip columnist!

But more info on Yuiko-san came to me anyway.

It was during lunch break, while I was eating the salad that I was eating to watch my weight. Oh, right. And starting last night I’d begun doing push-ups too. Naturally because of the Kaburagi Double-Take at My Arms Incident.

Actually, after the talk about dates yesterday I ended up asking about what they did to diet as well.

At first they said stuff like ‘We don’t really do anything special’ but after I kept asking, they eventually admitted ‘Well, just a few push-ups before bed’.

I knew they were keeping in shape in secret!

So I replied, “Push-ups, is it? Perhaps I should try it myself. I have been a little conscious of my upper arms recently…”

“Ehh~ You’re so skinny already, Kisshouin-san. You don’t need to diet~”

“Kisshouin-san, you look perfect the way you are now~”

Naturally I couldn’t put any trust in their lip service.

And so the first twenty pushes I had done in a long while were so painful that my arms trembled, but I had to push on.

There was only one month left until it was time for summer clothes. Until that moment come, I had to work hard to exorcise the demons in my biceps…!

“Reika-san, gokigen’yoh.”

“My! Ririna.”

Ririna and her friends approached me after they had finished their lunch.

“Well? What do you think?” she asked and she held out her arm.

Glinting on her wrist was the watch I bought her during my class trip.

Apparently she had come here just to show herself wearing it.

“It suits you.”

“Huhu~” she hummed proudly. I could see the same emotion on her face too.

The watch I had picked was girlish, but in a design that would be fine to wear every day. It looked like Ririna was quite pleased with it.

After that her friends thanked me for getting them souvenirs as well. So I said that it had been my pleasure, and casually dropped that they were chocolates from a stylish chocolatier brand that hadn’t made its way into Japan yet.

Hu hu hu, if I wanted a firm hold on the position of Zui’ran’s trendsetter, I’d have to begin with individuals.

“Gosh, I just can’t stop wondering about it!” one of the girls cried in frustration.

Ririna looked over at the girls who were still talking about Enjou and Yuiko-san before turning to ask, “What are they talking about?”

“Enjou-sama and that girl from the rumours.”

“Ahh, Yuiko-san?”

“You know her too, Ririna?”

So even people in her year knew? Enjou’s popularity was impressive. Plus, there was a bespectacled information broker amongst her friends.

At least that was my reasoning before Ririna dropped a bombshell on her.

“I do, of course. After all, I went to primary school with her.”

“Ehhhhh!?”

My sudden outburst caused eyes to turn my way. Ah. I promptly tried my make myself invisible.

Ririna lived a little far away, and it wasn’t common for us to get students from that far out. But because her mother was a graduate of Zui’ran, and of the Pivoine no less, Ririna had grown up dreaming about our school.

Unfortunately for her, our primary school section had a restriction on how far away their students were permitted to live. In the end she unwillingly attended a famous local girls school instead.

“Ririna-san, could you please tell us about her!?” Serika-chan and the others pressed.

The request came as a whisper because they were mindful of the surroundings, but it was fervent all the same.

“Well, I don’t know her too well either,” Ririna warned, but she began talking anyway. “Yuiko-san was two years above mine. She was beautiful and refined, even back then.”

She was older than me!?

She had always seemed oddly confident and calm around us. To think it was because she was an upperclassman.

Dating an older woman even though he was just a little high schooler? That was potential for you. Potential as an applicant to the Casanova village, that damned Enjou!

“Plus, being as gorgeous as she is, she was very popular too. Even in primary school we heard rumours about all the boys that came to her middle school festival for her. There were plenty of them that waited in front of the gates for her after school as well.”

“That’s something else.”

“I spoke to her a few times myself, back in primary school. She was gentle and graceful, and everyone looked up to her.”

“Hmmm~”

“The neighbouring schools began calling her the Miss of our school as well.”

“Wow…”

With each response, the girls around me became more quiet and subdued.

“She was so popular that there were even a few kids who worshipped her like a goddess.”

“A goddess…”

For a moment, everyone glanced my way. Eh? What is it?

“Normally a girl that popular would have more than a few jealous enemies,” Ririna continued, “But strangely Yuiko-san didn’t have anybody like that. Maybe it was because she always looked so fragile and made you want to protect her.”

I could see it.

All of the girls, present company included, had been so harsh when it came to Wakaba-chan, but strangely I hadn’t heard anybody publicly criticise Yuiko-san in the least.

Maybe it really was that atmosphere of hers.

To bring up another comparison, Maihama Ema had stirred up a storm of abuse when she came to our festival for Kaburagi.

What happened to her, anyhow? I hadn’t seen her in a while.

I decided to ask Sakura-chan the next time we met up.

“The gentle and graceful type of beauty that stirs up the urge to protect her, huh…?” one of the girls mused.

“Well, she’s basically the exact opposite to Reika-san,” Ririna said.

What the heck? So are you saying I’m ungainly and nasty and the type to live as a loner then?

Well excuse me! I think I’d like that watch back!

While I sulked, Ririna placed a hand on my shoulder as she smiled at me kindly.

“Don’t you worry, Reika-san. You’re good in your own way too.”

You’re the last person I want to hear that from!

I smacked her hand right off my shoulder.

*

*

Speak of the devil.

No sooner had I left the cafeteria for my classroom did I come across Enjou, chatting with some other boy. Bird-brained Katsuragi, as it happened. If possible I’d have liked to avoid the noisy bugger.

But despite my best efforts at ignoring them and walking past, Enjou ignored my intentions and called out to me anyway.

“Kisshouin-san, thank you for yesterday. Yukino was absorbed in that book the whole way home.”

“Truly? Then it was my privilege that he enjoyed it so,” I replied under Bird-Brain’s crazy glare.

Well, not that I was the least bit intimidated. Well, I was, but because of the intensely expectant gazes from the girls behind me…

Besides which, that smile Enjou was wearing was… Was it just my bias speaking, or did that look exactly like the smirk of a man who had a gentle, graceful, beauty of an older girlfriend?

“I’d appreciate it if you could spare some of your time for Yukino again. He keeps telling me to invite you over.”

“My! Uhuhu.”

The words ‘invite you over’ had Serika-chan and the others riled up, but Bird-Brain’s expression just turned grimmer.

…This jackass was definitely enjoying this, wasn’t he? He deliberately used those words just to cause me trouble.

I’m sorry, but I’m not coming over, Yukino-kun. Your older brother is basically another pigeon to me. Damn you, Enjou! I hope you get pricked by a rose bush!

“Ah, it is about time to return to class…” I said to excuse myself.

I could hear Serika-chan and the others making sounds of dissatisfaction, but who would willingly get friendly with someone from the Fulfilling Romance village?

Say ‘No!’ to thoughtless mergers! The Forever Alone village stands alone!

*

*

*

I was kind of beat…

Everything was Kaburagi and Enjou’s fault. Yesterday I was being toyed around with by other people’s love stories. Actually before yesterday too. Haah…

Sweet things were best when you were tired. I could start my diet tomorrow.

After classes finished I headed to the Pivoine for some sweets in the time before club activities started.

I sat myself down on the usual sofa and enjoyed some spiced apple jelly. Yummy.

Jelly seemed simple enough to make, so I decided to try my hand at it when I had the chance.

Oh, and since it was apples, what if I made the compote base with cider instead of water?

Maybe the hint of bitterness would make the taste more mature and adult.

It was worth a try.

“Reika-sama, might I sit with you?”

I looked up and found Fuyuko-sama standing before me.

It was a rare thing for her to speak to me of her own accord, daydreaming and unassuming as she tended to be.

I offered her a seat, and she took it before peering at me with worry.

“Reika-sama, you look a little unwell.”

“Do you think so?”

Maybe my exhaustion was showing. The jelly hadn’t been enough. I had better eat some pastries too.

“You know, I have something with me that might help,” she said. “I came across the real thing while we were on the field trip.”

“My, did you buy some essential oils?” I asked.

In a rarely excitement, Fuyuko-sama searched her bag for a little before bringing out a board with letters and numbers on it, along with a little heart-shaped coaster with a hole in it.

Along the top of the board were ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ in English.

Ah, of course. Fuyuko-sama was one of them after all.

I knew I had seen one of these things before, and it was giving me nothing but bad feelings.

“…Ummm. What might this be?” I ventured.

“This is a ouija board! We can use this to communicate with spirits of the beyond. We hold this planchette on top of the board and ask the spirits a question, and they will borrow our hands to move the planchette to the ‘YES’ or the ‘NO’. They can use the alphabet and numbers down here too.”

…I was right to have a bad feeling. This was Kokkuri-san.

“Is this… Kokkuri-san…?” I asked her hesitantly, to which she replied “No, this is a ouija board.”

But the more I listened to her happy explanation of how to use it, the more it sounded exactly like Kokkuri-san.

For all that Fuyuko-sama might have looked like a Heian-era noble, her tastes in the occult were decidedly Western…

“You must have something on your mind. Come, don’t hesitate to ask.”

No, no, if I have something on my mind I’d prefer to discuss it with someone living!

It’s scary, okay. You shouldn’t play with these things lightly, you know!

I hear you can even get haunted, okay!?

“Oh my, look at the time. I am sorry, but I must simply head to my clubroom. Well then, gokigen’yoh, Fuyuko-sama.”

I grabbed a few pastries before ohoho-ing away.

For some reason the weight on my shoulders that the jelly had taken away was back again.

Wait, what if this weight was a ghost…!?

Gyaaaaaah! Scaryyyyy!

On the empty landing of the staircase I frantically smacked my back to chase away any evil spirits.


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Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 230

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Three days, three months… Same thing, right? Ahahaha!

People keep leaving my company, so it’s been a bit hectic. Actually two more senior staff are leaving next week, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Next chapter is half-done. Tilea is on the way.


No sooner had I arrived at cram school did I start handing out my souvenirs.

In Rome I had bought some notebooks, bookmarks, and pens with interesting, flashy designs, which were being met with a positive reaction. Good job, me.

“Oh, is this box chocolate? The package is so stylish~” Moriyama-san gushed.

“There is a chocolatier that is enjoying some popularity in Paris at the moment but I do not believe they have arrived at our shores yet,” I explained. “The concept behind these chocolates was ‘chocolate that complements wine’. The taste is admittedly a little mature but I have become quite fond of them, of late. If it pleases you then please give them a try.”

“Oh wow. That sounds amazing. Maybe I’ll open it now and try just one.”

“Good idea. Wow, this is delicious! It’s a little bitter, but there’s a faint sweetness to it.”

“That’s Kisshouin-san for you. Even her souvenirs are something else.”

“Uhuhu, I am glad that you like them,” I laughed.

I could feel their comments arouse my sense of self-esteem.

And just now Moriyama-san said the word ‘stylish’, didn’t she?

Nuhoho, you can keep using that word if you want, you know?

Ah-!

“Oh, this is pretty good.”

Kitazawa-kun just gobbled one down like it was a dollar store chocolate!

The stylish chocolate from a famous chocolatier in Paris, not even available yet in the Japanese market, and that I chose after many painstaking rounds of elimination and…! Well, whatever. Have your fill.

“Going to Europe for your class trip though. That’s Zui’ran for you~” said one of the girls.

“My school went to Hagi and Tsuwano. Hagi and Tsuwano! Well, not that they’re bad places or anything but aren’t they a bit too austere for a fun class trip? I wasn’t asking for a trip overseas or anything, but couldn’t we have at least left Honshuu?” grumbled the other.

“My school gave us a choice between Kyushu or Hokkaido, so I went with the latter. Great fun. The food was great too,” one of the boys chimed in.

“I picked Kyushu.”

“Oh yeah. Come to think of it, you gave me some karukan.”

Karukan is a Japanese confection from Kyushu. The origin of the name is “light” yokan.

And so we chatted about our respective class trips as we snacked on the souvenirs I brought.

“You always get a few who go completely nuts on class trips. Especially amongst the boys.”

“I guess I’d count. We broke the curfew, tried to sneak out of our lodgings, got seen, and then got chased down…”

“The most that happened to us was getting scolded by our class rep because we kept being late for roll call, but I’d hope that it isn’t too big a deal.”

These other schools had it rough… I was really feeling for my fellow class reps.

The members of my class were all diligent and cooperative, so almost everyone was on time when it was time to meet up.

For some reason Satomi-kun thanked me and said it was all because of me though.

Once all of the snacks were gone, the boys started talking about the cram school lessons, so it was time for me to do my research.

I turned to Moriyama-san and Sakaki-san. Frank advice from two actual schoolgirls would prove invaluable.

“Say, where would the two of you go for dates?” I ventured.

“Eh? Are you going on a date, Kisshouin-san? Ooh, tell us, did you get a boyfriend?”

“No, no. But the topic came up in conversation today and… Well, Moriyama-san, you told me that you had a boyfriend, so I wondered where you two went on your dates.”

“Ah, okay.”

The two of them fell into thought.

“I guess I’d have to recommend amusement parks. It’s expensive so you can’t go all the time, but it’s fun and it’s exciting!”

“Yeah, can’t go wrong with amusement parks. Roller coasters, haunted houses, and then a Ferris wheel at the end of the day.”

“Yep, that last one is a must. The view from up there is beautiful at night.”

“I love Ferris wheels. Sometimes I’ll pop in just for the Ferris wheel.”

“I know what you mean~”

“Ferris wheels…” I muttered to myself.

…I mean, when you think of Ferris wheels you think of couples k-kissing when their car reached the top, right?

Kyaaa! Oh no!

Impossible!

That’s impossible for me-!

How was I ever supposed to invite somebody onto a Ferris wheel!?

I-I mean, it’s basically asking for…

Outrageous!

Scandalous!

We’re all just still high schoolers, you know!?

But if one day my own love invited me for a ride on a Ferris wheel…

Uhyaaaaah! What would I do!?

Oh goodness~!

Kissing… Kissing…

“Your eyes are kind of scaring me, Kisshouin-san. Is everything okay?”

“Eh!? Oh my. Apologies, lately my eyes have been a little dry.”

No good, no good. The stimulation was so great that I forgot to blink.

While I was applying eye-drops, the two of them continued their date talk.

“I suppose we go to the movies once in a while. And my boyfriend loves sports so we’ll play basketball at the part, or badminton or something.”

“The park is nice, and easy on the purse,” agreed Sasaki-san. “I’ve been on a date to a garden too. Got to feed the fish.”

“Are you guys senior citizens?” Moriyama-san joked. “But hmm, I guess a lot of the time we just walk home together after school and talk. I guess that counts too?”

What are you saying, Moriyama-san!? Of course that’s a date! It’s exactly the sort of date I’ve always fantasised about!

H-Holding hands is a must, I think. Right, bashfully holding hands while walking along in their high school uniforms…

Kyaaaah! How nice, how nice! How very dreamy.

I long to try it too. Aaah, but it’s me we’re talking about. What if I got too nervous and my hands got sweaty!?

If your girlfriend’s hand was dripping with sweat you’d be grossed out, right!?

What should I do then? Flap my hands dry first?

Use acupoints to disable my sense of nervousness?

Who knew that holding hands could be such a challenge!?

But as long as I can get over this hurdle, what awaits me is holding hands, being with the person I like in our school uniforms, Ferris wheels… Ferris wheels!?

In our uniforms after school on a Ferris wheel!?

“Kisshouin-san, your eyes are kind of acting up again…”

“Eh!? Ah, my apologies. Please do not mind me and continue.”

“I think you should see an eye doctor…”

Oh no, not good. Apparently the stimulation was too much for me again. I used some more eye-drops as Moriyama-san continued.

“There’s also karaoke, arcades, and studying together in a family restaurant, I guess. But we do all those with friends too.”

“Eh-, with male friends?” faltered Sasaki-san.

“Obviously not when it’s just the two of us. But like, don’t you go with your class to have fun after exams are done?”

“Ahh~ Yeah, okay. Like after school we’ll see who’s interested in coming, and then go to a bowling alley or for some karaoke. The other day I was paired up with this guy who was crazy good at bowling, and we beat the rest of our class. That was fun~”

“Yeah. We go bowling a lot, actually. In April my class talked up this ‘get together’ but in the end we just went bowling.”

“And made the pair with the worst score pay for everyone’s drinks?” Sakaki-san said knowing.

“Exactly! And when it’s time to choose your partner, there’s always one person who rushes to cut up name tags to pick out of a box.”

“In my class the girls like to cheat to get paired up with the guys they like. Sometimes it even goes pretty well for them.”

What the-!? Is this the kind of fun that other co-ed schools were getting up to!?

I stared transfixed as the two of them talked about these events like they happened to everybody.

Going out to have fun after a test!? This is the first I’m hearing of it!

Why doesn’t my school do this? Is it because of our culture?

Oh my god. In all my years at Zui’ran, not once had I enjoyed any benefits of “co-education”.

I may as well have been attending a girls school.

“Where do you go with your Zui’ran boys?” I was suddenly asked.

“Eh!?”

The one thing I hoped they’d never ask me…! Am I a joke to you!?

And since Tagaki-kun went to this cram school I could even be caught out for lying.

But then was I supposed to let them know that I lived in the Forever Alone Village? As the Village Head no less!?

Was I supposed to let them know that far from a boyfriend, I basically had no male friends at all!?

That I was basically attending a girls school!?

“…Hmmm~ Come to think of it, everybody tends to have arrangements or extracurricular education, so it does not happen all too often. I suppose sometimes we meet up at a friend’s house and play games (the birthday party with all the primary school kids), or go out to eat (Mao-chan & Yuuri-kun). On some weekends we might head out to an aquarium or some shopping (Mao-chan, Yuuri-kun). Oh, come to think of it, this one boy wanted me to go shopping (at a supermarket) with him, but I had cram school so I had to turn him down.”

“Huh, so that’s what Zui’ran is like~”

I didn’t lie.

They were all Zui’ran students. It’s just that some of them might be primary schoolers, or some of them may have graduated.

I just embellished the truth a little. I didn’t lie.

To avoid looking them in the eyes, I began flipping through my textbook.

“I guess that makes sense,” she continued. “There’s no way the boys from Zui’ran would go to an arcade or to karaoke, right?”

“Hmmm~ I could not say. While my group of friends do not, I could not speak for the others. But one of the friends I mentioned earlier (Yukino-kun) is a big fan of video games, so we play them at his house (during the birthday party). I am not very good at them, so I tend to just sit by and watch.”

All I did was replace some past tense with some present tense. There could be a second birthday party. I didn’t lie.

“Then where did you go with them during your class trip?”

“Hmmm. I spent most of my class trip with my girl friends. When I had some time though, I did take up a few of their invitations. Shopping in Paris for one thing, or when we had tiramisu in Rome.”

And so I used some of the rumours about me for good.

“Ehh~? Kisshouin-san, you rarely talk about boys but you’ve actually got so many guy friends!?”

“Hardly, hardly.”

Plus, two of those guy friends I mentioned just now were in primary school…

Lies. Exaggeration. Misleading comments.

The words floated through my head…

No, no… I didn’t lie but… Geez, I honestly felt like crying right now. My eyes were starting to sting.

I only had a year left until having a date in uniform was no longer possible, so what on earth was I doing…?

*

*

Before I left, I had stealthily handed something to Umewaka-kun alone. It was the brush and accessories for Beatrice.

Later that night I got a thank you message.

‘Thank you, Reika-tan! It looks like I’m a Parisian too, now!

– Bea-tan’

Then I received a more “serious” message from Umewaka-kun himself.

‘Lately there’s been this male dog hanging around Beatrice when I’ve been taking her out for walks.

It makes me so angry.

And the worst thing is that Beatrice doesn’t seem displeased by the attention!’

The dog lover might be joining my village quite soon. I should prepare him a nice spot of land with a lot of sun.

 


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Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 229

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Happy birthday, Sneha. Originally this chapter was supposed to be released together with the next one due to its short length.

Over the last 3 weeks it has become clear to me that the next chapter isn’t coming any time soon, so here you are I guess. Do you hate me yet?

But you have to see it from my perspective. the raws have been on hiatus for a billion years now, so it’s reaaaaaaaaaally hard to feel like I have to catch up.


After a tearful farewell with the little cuties of the Petit Pivoine, I was half-dragged by Kaburagi to our usual little room.

I moaned to no avail about how I wanted to talk with the children more, or about how I still had plans after this. Kaburagi simply snapped at me to move it, and grabbed me by the top of my arm to take me away.

What was particularly bothering was that when his fingers sunk into more flesh than expected, he gave me a shocked double-take. For a woman with a dainty, delicate heart like a fine blancmange, that kind of reaction was deeply upsetting.

You’re wrong! It’s just my clothes that are making me thick! Underneath this bulky blazer I’m wearing my blouse too so it’s just all the clothes that make me feel fat!

Stop it!

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!

Yatsuhashi is a typical Kyoto souvenir made from rice flour, sugar and cinnamon. The rectangular shape is said to represent the koto (a traditional string instrument of Japan) or a bridge.
Although the macadamia nut tree originated in Australia, Hawaii is well-known for its cultivation of them, and they are a popular Hawaiian souvenir.

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…”

“Ehh!?”

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.”

“Intimidate, huh?”

“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.”

“Money, huh?”

“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.

“…Market research.”

“Market research…?”

“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.

“Hah?”

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.

“Yes.”

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.

 


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Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 228

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Hey guys! Fujima Sakura desu!

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.


Coorururu…

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?”

“Of course.”

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!”

“Hmmm~”

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.

“Well?”

“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.”

“Ohhh~?”

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!?”

The Pont des Arts is a pedestrian bridge which crosses the River Seine, linking the Institut de France and the Louvre. Since late 2008, tourists have taken to attaching padlocks (love locks) with their first names written or engraved on them to the railing or the grate on the side of the bridge, then throwing the key into the Seine river below, as a romantic gesture.

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.

It is said that, if you ride the boats on Inokashira Park's pond with a girlfriend, you will surely break up soon.
It is said that, if you ride the boats on Inokashira Park’s pond with a girlfriend, you will surely break up soon.

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?”

“Good idea.”

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.

“Reika-oneesama, gokigen’yoh!”

“Gokigen’yoh, Mao-chan.”

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.”

“Yukino-kun!”

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~”

“My…”

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?”

“It’s Mother Goose’s collection,” answered Yukino.

“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…’

Scaryyy~!

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!

We’re also on 1,000 posts!


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Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 227

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I’m back, Japaaaan!

Haah~

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!

Go away!

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.

“Uwaaaaah!”

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.

Oniisama!

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.”

“Ehhhhhhhhhhh!?”

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.

Yaaaay~

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.”

“Ehhhhh!?”

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?”

“Sorry.”

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!?

Unforgivable!

“I’ve asked them to take measures to keep pigeons away, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

“Oniisamaaa!”

“Reika, I’m driving so don’t grab my arm like that, okay?”

“Sorry.”

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.”

Ehhh~?

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.”

“Gokigen’yoh, everyone.”

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…”

“Eh!?”

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…?

Please, God, let there be no pigeons tomorrow.


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