Category Archives: Kenkyo Kenjitsu

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 238

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!


Chocolat (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɔkɔla]) is a 2000 romantic-drama film based on the 1999 novel Chocolat by the English author, Joanne Harris. It was directed by Lasse Hallström. Adapted by screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs, Chocolat tells the story of Vianne Rocher, played by Juliette Binoche, who arrives in the fictional French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes at the beginning of Lent with her six-year-old daughter, Anouk. She opens a small chocolaterie. Soon, she and her chocolate influence the lives of the townspeople of this repressed French community in different and interesting ways.


It was a Monday.

The mid-terms were right around the corner, so every second was precious for our year.

And yet here I was, reading another blunt summons from Kaburagi.

‘Small meeting room after school.’

Why the heck was I being treated like some doormat? Do you truly believe that this lady is such an easy woman!?

When I stepped into the room, Kaburagi was already there, poring through some magazines with a frown.

This guy was treating this place like his bedroom now.

He jerked his head towards a seat.

“Well? Sit down,” he said self-importantly.

I couldn’t stand it and voiced a complaint.

“…Kaburagi-sama, I am busy as well. How many times must I say this before you understand?”

“I’m going somewhere with Takamichi after the tests are over, hence the planning I’m doing.”

So you’re ignoring me now?

“…But I am sure you said you would think about it after the tests.”

“That’s too long. No matter what you’re doing, it’s always crucial to plan and prepare well beforehand.”

Since Wakaba-chan agreed to a date when he went over during that weekend, I suppose he just couldn’t hold it in anymore.

…Study for your exams, damnit.

The results for this year would affect if you could continue on to Pivoine’s university, you know? Geez…

And on that topic, I was in the middle of coming up with an English vocabulary notebook with the colourful and lovely stationery I bought in Rome.

The comments I was adding to the answer sheets were colour-coded so it was taking a while. Still, it was quite stylish to behold, if I did say so myself.

Aahh, I need to quickly go home and continue it. This isn’t the time to be messing about here.

“Would it not be fine to talk to some other human being about your love troubles? For example, your friend…?”

With a gasp, I slapped a hand over my mouth.

“Could it be that you actually have no frien-”

“I’ll destroy you.”

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

It was like he had little fires in his eyes! He’s going to destroy meeee!

I went a little overboard. I’m sorry. So sorry.

Gosh, people really do get angry when you tell them the truth.

“Sit.”

“…Okay.”

I glanced at the magazines he’d been reading.

Not one of them was a magazine I’d ever expect him to read; they were basically all gossip magazines for regular people, focused on trendy places or the latest fads.

In a sense, the fact that he was trying to match Wakaba-chan and read these to find out was proof of a little growth on his part.

That said, I wasn’t sure about the fact that the content was stuff like ‘Special! Dirt Cheap Ramen Eats for Foodies’… Don’t just walk into the store and buy every magazine you can see, Kaburagi.

Even back issues are fine, as long as they recommend good amusement parks or date spots, right? What are you going to do with these?

Oh ho? Is that okonomiyaki on that cover?

Osaka-style okonomiyaki is the predominant version of the dish, found throughout most of Japan. The batter is made of flour, grated nagaimo (a type of yam), water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients such as green onion, meat (generally thin pork belly, often mistaken for bacon), octopus, squid, shrimp, vegetables, konjac, mochi or cheese. Don’t be tricked by evil Hiroshima-styled layered noodlenomiyaki. It’s 1AM and I’m hungry.

Let me have a look at that.

For the next few seconds I went silent and read.

“…Have you ever eaten ramen before, Kisshouin?”

“More foolish questions, I see.”

Who did he think he was talking to?

Gosh, I could go for some pork okonomiyaki right now. Ah, but seafood okonomiyaki was great toooo. Hmmm, maybe prawns, squid, and scallops…?

“I’ve never eaten at a ramen place like this, but it seems pretty popular.”

“It does!”

Crunchy potato on sounded yummy too…

“I can’t comprehend the feeling of wanting to eat ramen so badly that you’d line up. The average place has you waiting for an hour.”

“It does~”

But of course you just had to have a monjayaki before leaving.

A cheese and mentaiko monjayaki. A monjayaki is similar to an okonomiyaki, except it uses a pan-fried batter and tends to feature less “topping” ingredients. Since the batter is runnier it tends to cook thinner than okonomiyaki. I’m editing this at 2AM a few days later and I’m not any less hungry.

Aahhh, I could really go for a cheese monjayaki.

“Honestly it makes me wonder if they’re really that good.”

“It does?”

“…”

“…”

“Oi, have you been listening to a word I’ve said!?”

“Of course. I am all ears.”

It does, it does.

Kaburagi clicked his tongue.

“…Well? What is it you’ve been reading about that’s had you ignoring me this whole time?” Kaburagi moved to my side and had a look over my shoulder.

What the heck~ Don’t look~

“The hell? Okonomiyaki? Pass that here and give me a look.”

“Ah-! Hey!

I was reading that first!

Apparently it was okonomiyaki that interested him now, because he took my magazine and started reading it himself!

You self-centred…!

“Have you ever tried okonomiyaki before, Kaburagi-sama?”

“I have, actually. I was overseas, and there was a branch of one of our okonomiyaki shops.”

Why would you go overseas to…?

Well, I suppose being fair it wasn’t as though the son of the distinguished Kaburagi family would have a chance to eat commoner food like okonomiyaki or ramen.

It wasn’t like I’d ever eaten okonomiyaki with my family either.

I’d been forced to secure my own supply through visiting street vendors.

At any rate, that was how I ended up giving Kaburagi a food lecture. I’d covered the war between the Light Broth Ramen gang and the Thick Broth Ramen clan and was in the middle of explaining the intricacies of okonomiyaki toppings when the door to the meeting room opened.

It was Enjou behind it.

“So this is where you were. What are the two of you doing together?” he asked.

“I’m coming up with a date plan for Takamichi,” Kaburagi explained.

Oh, come to think of it that was what we came here for.

My mind was entranced by okonomiyaki and I forgot all about it.

Enjou hummed. “I see.”

He scanned the magazines spread across the table, and read the titles one by one.

“‘Ramen So Good You’ll Pay to Line Up!’

“‘Cheap Eats for Foodies: A Comprehensive Study!’

“‘Cities You’d Most Want to Live In!’…”

Kaburagi and I were silent.

“‘Date plan’?” Enjou asked.

Enough already, Enjou.

Even the guy who brought that magazine is starting to get how ridiculous he was. Just look at his expression! Doesn’t that look like a man who just had his mistakes pointed out?

“U-Umm, oh look! A number of couples have submitted where they went for their dates.”

Kind person that I was, I changed the topic after finding something suitable on one of the magazines.

“Show me.”

Kaburagi began reading with interest.

“What if you did as the couples in the magazine did? Meet up with her first, see a film, and then go to a café or out for lunch?”

“A film, huh?”

“That is what anyone thinks of for a date. See? Look at the ‘lovebird students’ column: ‘Going to the movies is great because you can go to a café afterwards and have fun talking about it!’.”

“I see. That might be good.”

Enthused with the idea, Kaburagi began checking which films were showing. Conveniently there were even recommendations for dates.

“Do you often watch films, Kaburagi-sama?” I asked.

“Yeah, I like them.”

Wasn’t this perfect then?

“Any genre in particular?”

“Hmm, I enjoy documentaries that follows an animal in its natural habitat. The magnificence of animals overcoming Mother Nature’s brutal trails is overwhelming. I often watch them at home for a change of pace.”

I see~

So Kaburagi was into nature documentaries. I guess it did suit him.

“But it does not look like any such documentaries are showing in cinemas at the moment.”

“No. Right now the most popular showing is this romance film.”

Romance, huh?

I began reading the summary of the movie he mentioned.

“Do you even watch romantic films, Krabugi-sama?”

Before Kaburagi could answer, Enjou cut in. “Contrary to appearances, Masaya likes love stories too.”

“My, is that so?” I asked.

“It’s true. He’s a romantic. Also rather than love comedies, he’s the type that prefers the traditional romances; the ones where the couple overcome setbacks together and live happily ever after.”

“Shaddap.”

Maybe he was embarrassed about having that fact exposed, but Kaburagi didn’t look very happy right now.

“That makes this film perfect then, would you not agree? The forbidden love between a stranger in an insular village, and a young girl who lives there. I wonder if it is like Chocolat.”

“I liked Chocolat too. That was less of a romance and more of a drama film though.”

I see. So the boy who liked calling chocolate ‘chocolat’ also liked Chocolat the film. Since I was a person who called chocolat ‘chocolate’ I liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

But geez. So boys liked romances too, huh~?

“Could it be that you actually also watch romances, Enjou-sama?” I asked the boy who had been watching me and Kaburagi with a faint smile.

“Me? Gee, I’ve hardly seen any. To be honest I’m not sure what’s so interesting about them,” Enjou admitted. “Romances aren’t something you watch; it’s something you experience, right?”

The two of us turned to stone at his words.

“H-Hohoho. I see. Then what kind of films do you like to watch, Enjou-sama?”

“I like the classics. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The Tin Drum. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her…”

A horror film, a war film, and a crime drama.

…You could see glimpses of the type of person he was through his tastes.

I took a few steps away from him in my mind.

At any rate, Kaburagi and I looked through the magazine and hammered out the details for his date plan. I guess Enjou must have been bored or something because he grabbed the nearest magazine and indifferently skimmed through it too.

“Well, doing things this way isn’t exactly bad but…” I think was what he muttered.

“What was that, Shuusuke?”

“Hm? Ah, well, following a date course like this is fine and all, but I was just wondering if you’d really make a girl happy by doing so.”

Kaburagi and I glanced at each other.

“What do you mean?”

“Since you’re inviting a girl out, shouldn’t you be more focused on what she would find fun? In that case rather than following some stranger’s date plan to the letter, wouldn’t she have more fun if you tailored one to her own interests?”

He continued. “Even if you read these magazines front to cover, in the end you won’t find Takamichi-san’s opinion in there.”

…I see. Well, that’s what the experienced Chief of the Fulfilling Romance village says. What are you going to do, Kaburagi?

Kaburagi put down the magazine.

“Don’t just rely on manuals, Kisshouin.”

Wow, what a barefaced betrayal…!

What a guy.

He threw all of the the shame of relying on instructions onto me, and then had the gall to look like he was with Enjou’s camp all along! He was the one who brought these magazines!

He was the one who wanted a manual in the first place!

Wasn’t this making it out like I some unpopular kid who was the only one in the room without dating experience now!?

I’ve been on plenty of dates! Younger males, older males, you name ittt!

I was so angry that I decided to take some magazines as compensation.

I made a show of putting them in my bag. From his expression, Kaburagi seemed to have realised his miscalculation, but who cared about him?

If he was going to say all that, then perhaps this poor village chief――who was so devoid of imagination that she couldn’t come up with her own date plans――would like to know what the villagers of Fulfilling Romance would do.

“For reference I sure would be interested in hearing about the dates you have come up with yourself, Enjou-sama.”

If your plans are boring just watch how I sneer at you!

Enjou smiled pleasantly back.

“I wonder if anything I say would be useful as a reference. I’ve rarely been on a date where I did the inviting.”

God in Heaven! Please punish the Fulfilling Romance village with an ice age! Please turn their land of eternal spring into a frozen waste!

“Goodness, hohoho. Are you sure it is not because anybody you invited refused you the time of day?”

“Sorry, Kisshouin-san.”

Enjou’s smile grew wider.

“Since the day I was born, not once have I been rejected.”

Diediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediediedie…

Off to Enjou’s side, His Majesty the Emperor was brutally punching some invisible foe.

*

*

*

That night, I received another bothersome message.

‘After the tests, take me for ramen and okonomiyaki.’

So I deleted it.


Accidentally turning on the stream too early.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 237

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!


1. Host and hostess clubs are a type of night-life entertainment business model. The hosts and hostesses make conversation with patrons and make them feel appreciated, flattered, and/or loved.

Host Club - YouTube

Part of how they make money is by encouraging their patrons to buy drinks, the more expensive the better. There’s a bit of a joke about the most successful hosts and hostesses selling gallons of Dom Pérignon.

2. Japanese Buddhism is strongly influenced by Mahayana branches of Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism is one of two main existing branches of Buddhism (the other being the older Theravada), known for the belief in staying in the cycle of reincarnation to save all sentient beings.

3. In Pure Land Buddhism, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism, they practice chanting Namo’mitābhāya Buddhaya, or Namu Amida Butsu in Japanese. The first word, Namu, is commonly used the way Amen might be.

4. A mountain-dwelling version of Buddhism called Shugendou emerged in Japan as a syncretism between Vajrayana, Shinto and Taoism in the 7th century, which stressed ascetic practices. One of its ascetic practice was Sokushinbutsu, the practice of Buddhist monks observing asceticism to the point of death and entering mummification while alive. This practice was perfected over a period of time, particularly in the Three Mountains of Dewa region of Japan, that is the Haguro, Gassan and Yudono mountains.

5. The legend of the “Straw Millionaire” (わらしべ長者, Warashibe Chōja), also known as “Daietsu” or the “Daikokumai”, is a Japanese Buddhist folk tale about a poor man who becomes wealthy through a series of successive trades, starting with a single piece of straw.


I received a message from Oniisama while I was on the way back from Wakaba-chan’s. Apparently Imari-sama would be coming over.

This was my chance to give him his souvenir!

I was in my room choosing what to give him when I received news of their arrival, so I quickly left to greet them.

In the spotlight of the entrance area, Imari-sama was resplendent, like the newly arrived protagonist of a stage play. He was actually so dazzling that I almost shielded my eyes for a moment.

“Good evening, Reika-chan.”

“Gokigen’yoh, Imari-sama!”

Since the star of the show had waved his hand at the audience, it was my responsibility to give respond with a bright smile.

“And Oniisama, welcome home.”

“Thanks, Reika.”

Having greeted them, I moved onto the topic of the souvenirs.

“Mmn, I heard from Takateru. He actually said that he’d bring me them, but how could I not receive them in person when you put in the effort to choose them for me?” He narrowed his eyes a little cheekily and said, “And so here I am, see?”

To the side, Oniisama grumbled. “Seeing a grown man acting cute is sickening.”

“But could it be that you went out of your way just for this?” I asked.

“What do you mean ‘out of my way’? I wanted to see you too, Reika-chan.”

“Oh my!”

The Chief of the Casanova Village was in top form tonight.

Even though I knew it was just Imari-sama being Imari-sama, my heart couldn’t help but skip a beat.

“Well thank you. Let me bring them here now!”

“There’s no need to rush. I’ll just wait in Takateru’s room.”

“Okay!”

On the way out I swear I heard Imari-sama say “That hurts!”.

*

*

I noticed the wine bottle and plate of cheese on the table as I arrived at Oniisama’s room with the souvenir.

“I hear this cheese is another one of your souvenirs, Reika-chan,” said Imari-sama. “Takateru brought some out first. Was that okay?”

“Of course. I cannot guarantee that you will like it, but please do help yourself,” I replied.

Wine glass in hand and sprawled back against the sofa, Imari-sama beckoned for me to sit by his side. No sooner had I done so did a bottle cork come flying at him.

“Mmmn, this is good stuff,” he praised.

That was the Chief of Casanova Village, for you; all wine and cheese.

The namesake himself was known for Roquefort cheese and Chambertin wine, after all. Apparently he boasted that they were ‘an excellent thing to restore an old love, and to ripen a young one,’ but unfortunately the cheese we were eating was not Roquefort.

I mean, blue cheese stinks, right? What if by some chance the packaging broke inside my suitcase?

That’s why I made the choice not to buy any in the end. I like cheese, but I’ll pass on the smell of blue cheese, thanks.

And sure, I can understand the wine, but you’re telling me that after eating something as aggressively smelly as that cheese you’re going to romance it up? I don’t see it at all.

Which brings me to another mystery, which is that at some point in time one pioneering Frenchman had to have seen blue mould on cheese, and become the first to try eating it.

Literally, some person out there came across an intensely smelly piece of mouldy cheese, and then took it as a challenge.

I guess being a gourmet means sometimes putting your life on the line, huh?

While continuing to ponder the human condition I handed Imari-sama his souvenirs.

“It is but a trifling thing, but if it pleases you…”

“I wonder what it is. Ah, a golf marker? And not a bad design, either!” he praised. “And look at this one. Thanks, Reika-chan. I’ll definitely use them the next time I play.”

Thank goodness. It looked like he was happy with them.

I had actually gotten caught up in the mood and bought markers decorated with Trevi Fountains and Colosseums. When I got back to Japan though, I figured that someone with taste as good as Imari-sama wouldn’t want something so tacky. Looks like it was the right choice.

It was a waste to just throw them out though, so a while back I gave them to Otousama. He was so happy that he gave me more money for my allowance.

I’m Straw Millionaire Reika.

“Hey Takateru, since we may as well, how about coming out for a round of golf with me next time we’re free?”

“I’m busy. Go on your own.”

“Wow, what a cold guy. But yeah, I love these. You’ve got great taste, Reika-chan.”

“Oh no…”

I laughed a bit to pretend I was flattered, but the truth was that I was the type of person to buy Colosseum golf markers.

The ones Imari-sama received weren’t picked out by me at all.

What happened was that while I was agonising over what to pick for him, Enjou came over and said, “What about these ones?”

Apparently Enjou’s got great taste.

When I handed over the other souvenirs, Imari-sama made a fuss and exaggeratedly praised each and every one. Since he asked about my trip though, we ended up in a normal conversation, gesturing back and forth, and the happier I got as I recounted the trip, the more fun he seemed to have as well.

Oniisama looked disgusted. “Go home already.”

Imari-sama didn’t seem the least bit discouraged though.

“Say, back when you two were my age, your class trip was to the same places as mine, no? Which places stood out to you?”

“Which places?”

Imari-sama hummed in thought. “I don’t think the places made as much of an impact as how we spent our time there.”

“Really?”

“I think what matters the most on a trip are the connections you make,” he said with a smile.

In contrast, Oniisama’s expression looked a little stormy.

“Oh, I know,” continued Imari-sama. “So I was in Takateru’s room for the whole trip, see? One night I just sneaked out a bit, but when I sneaked back in the morning I found him already awake and giving me the coldest stare.”

“Back in the morning…? Where on earth did you go?”

“Ah-, you wanna hear it?”

“Don’t listen, Reika. Your ears will rot.”

Imari-sama, what kind of unhealthy things have you been engaging in…?

“That reminds me, one time Takateru kicked me out of the room with nothing but the clothes on my back in the middle of the night~”

“That’s because you kept whispering ‘je t’aime’ and ‘mon amour’ into your phone in the middle of the night.”

Imari-sama, you were getting involved with the local women…?

“On the last night of the trip, Takateru strangled me and said ‘I’ll seriously kill you’. The look in his eyes that time was completely serious~”

“…Just how much of your crap do you think I’d cleaned up by that point? I don’t even want to remember it.”

From the way he spat the words, you could really see how much Oniisama had gone through…

“But hey, class trips are all about spreading your wings a little, right?” Imari-sama turned to me. “Reika-chan, lots of your classmates did the same thing, right?”

“I cannot say. At the very least there was nobody like that in my class. Everyone observed curfew.”

“Eh? Seriously?”

“Yes.”

“Everybody?”

“Why of course,” I confirmed. “Everyone was accounted for, five minutes before the curfew.”

“That’s something else.”

That’s normal.

The class rep of Imari-sama’s day must have had it rough.

Wait, hang on.

Don’t tell me that the class rep back in the day was Oniisama…?

Uwahh…

“Come on, don’t be so mad, Takateru,” cajoled Imari-sama. “To begin with it’s not like you practice everything you preach either.”

“Eh-, is that so, Oniisama!?”

“Go home.”

Gosh, Oniisama, what did he mean?

I have to ask Oniisama later.

Snapping out of it, I just realised that Imari-sama had one arm around me like it was the most natural thing in the world.

The way he unconsciously did that is as good a sign as any into the sort of life he’s been living, isn’t it? But still, now that I’d noticed the arm――even though he himself didn’t mean anything by it――I couldn’t help but be too conscious to relax into the couch anymore.

Oh, and now my heart was thumping.

Oblivious to my situation, Imari-sama gracefully sipped from his wine glass and visibly savoured the taste. As I glanced from the side, I couldn’t help but sigh in appreciation at the sight.

Imari-sama was really so cool. This was the charm of an adult~

Noticing my enchanted gaze, Imari-sama gave me an alluring smile, and because I was too young for wine, Oniisama poured me some herb tea.

Eh? What was this, some host club? Club Kisshouin!?

“Oh? Reika-chan, that’s a cute pinky ring you have.”

As expected of Imari-sama. Never missing the details of the accessories a girl had on.

“Ah, this ring? It’s part of a matching set that I bought with some friends in Paris.”

It was proof of our friendship, so I’d been wearing it all this time.

What use were boys? I had girls with whom I had formed strong bonds of friendship!

“Oh? Let’s have a look.”

Imari-sama deftly took my hand and brought it close to his face. For whatever reason, Oniisama’s room was a little dim and atmospheric today, so Imari-sama wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.

“This room is a little dark. Shall I turn on some lights?” I offered. “Why are only the shaded lights on?”

“Hm? Isn’t it fine? In soft lighting a woman’s beauty stands out more, don’t you know?

“Ehh!?”

Squeee! Bring me the most expensive wine in this club!

“Oi, stop getting handsy with other people’s sisters! Come over here, Reika.”

This time it was a metal toothpick for the cheese that came flying at Imari-sama. Oniisama, you were definitely aiming for his eye just now, weren’t you?

Imari-sama kept his eyes on my hand, once again unfazed.

“Well, well. A lovely ring worn by a lovely flower, Reika-chan. It’s perfect on you. Very cute.”

Uhhyooh!

Imari-sama’s mature charm was too much. My heart wouldn’t stop thumping. Bring me all the wine in this club!

“T-Thank you very much,” I stammered.

“Actually this is perfect. Here, for you.” Imari-sama placed a small ribbon-wrapped box onto my hand.

I opened it to find a cute, angelic bottle of nail oil.

“It just suited you so well that I accidentally bought it. May I? I’ll put some on for you.”

He took my hand and hummed to himself as he carefully coated each one of my nails with the rose-scented oil. My heartthrob meter was about to explode.

The Chief of the Forever Alone village, outrageously being treated like a princess by the opposite sex. It was so much more than I could handle that it felt like my ectoplasm was going to float out of my mouth…

“Hey Reika-chan, did you know? There’s a little charm, you see. If a man gives a woman a silver ring on her nineteenth birthday, her happiness is guaranteed. When it’s your turn, I’ll give you a wonderful ring like none other.”

“Oh goodness…!”

Nuuoooohhhh! It happened! My heartthrob meter was broken! My bankbook, my signature, I’ll give you whatever you want! All of the money I was given by the tanuki belongs to you!

At this rate, was all the money I saved since I was a child going to be taken away by this #1 Host!?

Don’t tell me that Imari-sama would be responsible for my downfall!?

That was when the #2 host languidly left his seat, came to stand behind the sofa Imari-sama and I were seated on, and then tore our hands apart.

“Reika, turn on all the lights and move to that couch instead.”

Gasp!

Oniisama’s frosty voice lifted the spell cast on his little sister.

After turning on every light I could find I sat back on the sofa Oniisama had been using.

“Hey, Imari. How about we visit Mt. Yudono next weekend? I’ll give you a ring as a parting gift.”

“Eh-, are you going to force me to mummify!?”

“Here’s your last drink. Enjoy it.”

I watched as Oniisama gripped Imari-sama by the head and forced him to drink from the bottle. It looked like Imari-sama would be reaching enlightenment this weekend──

You must save all sentient beings, Imari-sama. Namu~

*

*

When I returned to my room I tried for some last-minute cramming.

After the class trip quite a few couples moved to the Fulfilling Romance Village. But while they were getting their heads filled with romance or whatever, I was going to reach 10th place!

First was reviewing my weak point, maths.

After solving a few questions though, I got stuck. Ummmmm~ How did you do this one again?

I opened up my textbook with one hand, only to notice the rose scent from earlier.

Come to think of it, I had to water the anti-pigeon roses I planted on my balcony.

Spray, spray.

It’d be nice to grow some other plants too.

Wakaba-chan’s house had a herb garden, didn’t it? Maybe I could try growing some and making some home-made herb tea~

I wondered what herbs would grow next season, so I went and researched it before bed.


“My bankbook, my signature, I’ll give you whatever you want! All of the money I was given by the tanuki belongs to you!”

She was actually offering her bankbook and her jitsuin.

実印とは?】実印を作成するときに押さえるべき3つのポイント

“In Japan, a personal seal (inkan/hanko) is often used instead of a signature as official verification in certain situations. Especially for important documents, many people use an officially registered seal called a “jitsuin.” You may register your personal seal at the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside.”


Lulu is cute.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 236 – Interlude

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!


Interlude: Timeskip

The ringing bell signalled the lunch break, and with that, the training drill was put on hold.

Wakaba spoke to Arima, saying that she wanted to talk to him before lunch. The two of them headed to the Senior Commissioner’s office.

“So, what did you want to tell me?”

“What I wanted to tell you was…”

From her bag, Wakaba produced the documents she received from Haru, as well as the leather briefcase of notes.

“What’s this?”

“A request from Haru Katsuragi, one of the Enjou Group’s lackeys.”

Arima received it with a suspicious look. His brows furrowed as he started reading the contents of the paper.

“What in the world is this guy trying to pull?

“Dunno.”

This was the first time Wakaba had seen the ever-calm Arima be irritated. That said, she wasn’t really surprised by the reaction.

“I can’t believe he’d try to take in the daughter of the Kisshouin family as a mistress. Does he not have the chivalry to take her in as his wife?”

“Yep, it’s unbelievable.”

It wasn’t that the taking in of mistresses by nobles was unheard of. However, in the view of Arima, who was brought up in an austere household, it was an act deserving of the highest scorn. Of course, Wakaba thought much the same.

“If I knew it was going to come to this, I should’ve given her my support earlier.”

“There’s not much we can do at this point.”

Reika’s father had incurred the wrath of the “Business Emperor”. If one were to rescue his daughter, their standing in high society would plummet.

“So, what should we do?”

“I’m going to go hear what this Katsuragi guy has to say myself. Takamichi, are you going to come with me?”

“No sir, I’ll pass.”

She didn’t state that her reason for not going was because, whenever she heard Katsuragi talk, she wanted to punch him mid-sentence.

“Then, I’ll be heading out.”

“Senior Commissioner.”

“What is it?”

“Why don’t you head out after lunch?”

“No, I’m heading there now. …I’m not a very patient man.”

“That’s true.”

Not trying to hold him back any longer, Wakaba watched as Arima left. All she could do now was pray that things wouldn’t go further south.

Wrapping up her day after finishing her afternoon exercises, Wakaba headed to the office.

On top of the desk was a memo from Arima, saying he left early. While thinking that this was an unusual occurrence, Wakaba put the memo in the box of unimportant matters.

Since all of the office work had been taken care already, Wakaba decided to go home herself.

Repair work on the bakery had started, and materials were brought in through the front garden. As work had ended for the day, a cloth was covering the materials.

When she entered the house section behind their storefront, Nacchan greeted her.

“Welcome back, Oneechan.”

“Yeah.”

“Long day today?”

“I guess.”

After asking her to prepare the bath and taking off her jacket before throwing it over the couch, Wakaba headed to her room.

“Oh, yeah, Oneechan.”

“What is it?”

“Miss Reika said she wanted to speak with you.”

“Has she gotten over her cold?”

“Yes.”

That being the case, Wakaba asked Nacchan to send Reika over to her.

Sitting down on her bed, she let out a loud sigh. She was relieved that she was finally in a situation where she could listen to Reika’s side of the story.

A few minutes later, Reika arrived. Hearing her light taps on the door, she invited her to come in.

Reika was wearing a one-piece dress that appeared to have been brought with her from her house.

After being offered a chair, Reika bowed her head deeply before picking a seat opposite Wakaba, this time around.

“I am very thankful that you took time out of your busy day to-“

“There’s no need for formalities. So, what did you want to talk about?”

“Ah, right. I wished… you… thanks.”

Right after she started to talk, a banging noise came from the door. Nacchan arrived with some tea.

“Ms.  Natsuki, I’ll take care of the tea.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. Please leave it to me.”

Reika received the silver tray.

Shocked by Reika’s swaying upon receiving the tray, Nacchan immediately propped up the bottom of the tray.

“Hey, are you okay?!”

“Yes, I’m… fine.”

On top of the silver tray were a pot full of black tea, cups, saucers, little jars of sugar and milk, and a plate of cookies, nothing more. She was swaying from holding merely that.

Wakaba watched in amazement as she thought about how weak of a woman she was.

“Miss Reika, Wakaba-neechan drinks her tea with one cup of milk and three cubes of sugar.”

“Understood.”

Having the fact that she had a sweet tooth be revealed, Wakaba became embarrassed. As the daughter of a bakery, she was supposed to be the master of sweets, not the other way around.

While she turned her face away in embarrassment, her desk was completely set.

Reika poured tea into the cup with a very serious expression.

After that, she put in the milk and sugar. All the while, she squinted her eyes while looking at the small jars.

Basically, gyuuhi are a type of traditional Japanese sweet, like a really soft mochi, made of glutinous rice dough mixed with something sweet like syrup or sugar. (Gyuuhi also refers to the squishy and delicate glutinous rice dough ingredient used in these types of mochi, but that’s neither here nor there.)

That expression was exactly the same as the one Wakaba had seen in high school, five years ago.

“Y-You!!”

“Eh?!”

Banging her hand on his desk, Wakaba stood straight up.

Surprised, Reika dropped the jar she was holding in her hand.

Fortunately, it was the jar of sugar, and the contents just spilled out onto the plate of cookies.

As for the situation at hand, Reika narrowed her eyes and looked down. It was a harsh expression, similar to that of scorn.

The target of the expression was not Wakaba, but that of the sugar scattered about the desk.

After confirming that all of the sugar had spilled out, she lowered her brows and looked up at Wakaba with an apologetic look.

“I-I’m sorry.”

“…That’s nothing to worry about. Answer my question.”

“E-Eh?”

There was only one reason she would squint while holding items up to her eyes.

Wakaba asked her nervously.

“Does your eyesight… happen to be bad?”

Reika opened her eyes wide. Lowering her head slowly, she nodded.

With a thump, Wakaba leaned back onto her bed. That was the moment that speech, her actions, and her conduct all made sense.

Reika had not looked down upon Wakaba with contempt.

Wakaba realised that she was just trying to look at the face of someone far away.

The misunderstanding of many years was finally resolved.

“I am really sorry. I had intended to speak about it at some point but…”

“No, it’s fine.”

The reason had come to light, but her brain had yet to comprehend the situation.

Because of her own misunderstanding, she had employed Reika as a servant and had gone and done something outrageous. She became deeply troubled.

Regret washed over her as she thought more and more that she really should have just handed her over to Arima.

Seeing Wakaba’s face contorted in distress, Reika did the unthinkable.

Getting up all of a sudden from her seat opposite Wakaba, she came around in front of Wakaba, and knelt in front of her.

“Ms. Takamichi.”

Putting both of her hands on her chest, she entreatingly appealed to Wakaba.

“I beg you. Please let me remain here.”

“Huh?!”

“I do admit that my eyesight is not very good, and I am not accustomed to a servant’s duties at all. However, I will do my best!”

“No, even if you say that…”

“I wish to repay the favour that you extended to me, Ms. Takamichi. O-On top of that, I have nowhere else to go…”

Asserting this in a quivering voice, tears started flowing down Reika’s face. Wakaba thought that she was the villain now.

Though she wondered what she should do, the answer stayed out of her reach.

“…Let me think about it for the time being.”

“Yes. I apologise for stating my selfish desires.”

Thinking there was no need to give a quick response, she deferred her response by an hour.

Carrying the tray, Reika gave one bow before leaving the room.

Annin tofu (杏仁豆腐) or almond tofu is a soft, jellied dessert made of almond milk, agar, and sugar, allegedly eaten in China as far back as 2000 years ago.

Wakaba simply continued to stare at the closed door.

Without having come up with an answer, it was already a new day.

As usual, she got dressed, ate breakfast, and headed to work.

The first matter she attended to was having a talk with Arima.

When she opened the door to his office in the Police Headquarters, she spotted Arima, elbows on desk, his hands supporting his jaw, grim expression on his face.

The atmosphere wasn’t one where she felt comfortable asking what happened the previous day. But, after confirming it was Wakaba who had entered the office, Arima started talking on his own.

“Morning.”

“Good morning.”

“It was a bit soon, but I went and listened to Haru Katsuragi’s story yesterday.”

“Yes sir.”

“I had to accept his request to search for Reika Kisshouin.”

“Eh?!”

Because she had expected Arima to reject the request, Wakaba was shocked.

Wondering what could have happened, she waited for Arima to continue his story.

“If I had to describe Katsuragi in one phrase, I’d say he’s a low-life bastard.”

“I… agree completely.”

Arima had understood everything about the person, Haru. But then, why did he take the request? The mystery intensified.

First of all, Arima had wanted to know why the request had been made to the “National Public Safety Commission” that he led. The response was quite shocking.

“That bastard called our National Police Agency a group that wastes time doing training drills.”

“…That’s awful.”

He had said that he had taken it upon himself to pick Arima’s small group out of the assortment of bigger Special Judicial Police branches.

“He said that, in a way, it’s because he’s afraid of being found out by the Emperor.”

“Seems like it.”

“It seems that he hasn’t made a request to any group other than ours yet. Obviously, it’s forbidden to use one’s money to use knights for one’s motives. But, if we rejected his request, Katsuragi would obviously go to another battalion.”

“Did you take this request for the purpose of not searching for Reika Kisshouin?”

“That’s right.”

The aim was to pretend to take the request, while not actually searching for her and ultimately ignoring the request.

She was relieved that Arima hadn’t been swayed by money and the chance for prestige, but she quickly realised another problem.

“What if this request is discovered by the higher-ups?”

“At best, I’ll get demoted. At worst, I’d lose the right to be a policeman. If that happens, the passcode to the next chapter is ‘harvestdawn’.”

“What?!”

“You can find the link at the very bottom.”

Wakaba pointed out to him that if Arima reported the money and paper to the higher-ups, it’d be over for Haru Katsuragi.

“You’re right. The rotten policeman would be gone, and peace would return to the bodyguards. But what would happen to Reika Kisshouin’s honour?”

“That’s…”

If the heir to the Katsuragi Group were to be put on special trial, it’d be a matter of time until the reason was divulged.

If that happened, Reika would be greeted as a mistress, and the rumour that she was to be locked in a basement would be spread in a moment. That is what Arima predicted.

“I cannot save her. That’s why, I at least want to defend her honour…”

Incredulous, Wakaba listened to Arima’s speech, and put into words her biggest question.

“Sir, why would you go that far for an old enemy?”

“That’s we should do as officers of the law, isn’t it?”

“!”

――Save the weak, hold honour in high esteem, and vanquish evil.

The image of a police officer weighed heavily upon her mind.

Violently striking her chest, Wakaba suppressed her pounding heart. oniichanyamete.moe/2020/04/01/kenkyo-kenjitsu-the-reika-sama-chronicles-236/


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 236

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!


Today was my long awaited visit to Wakaba-chan’s.

As usual she had come out of her way to meet me at the station.

“Over here, Kisshouin-saaaaan!”

“Wakaba-chan! I’m here!”

I passed through the ticket barriers and trotted over to her.

“I do apologise for imposing on you right before the mid-semesters.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine. I’ve been waiting for you to come over again!”

We exchanged a grin.

Wakaba-chan had her fringe pinned up today. Whoa, was this a challenge to the Rococo Queen!?

“Your forehead is out on display today,” I noted.

“Mmn. My fringe has been getting a little long, so I thought I’d pin it up today.”

“It looks cute.” I casually played with my hair to bring attention to the curls.

The Rococo throne belonged to me alone!

The weather was pleasantly sunny today, so we chatted as we enjoyed a stroll back to her house.

“It feels like some time since we’ve just had a chat like this,” I realised.

“It does, doesn’t it? We had the class trip too.”

While I did catch a few glimpses of her on the trip, with all the other people around we hadn’t had a chance to just be ourselves and hang out.

“How did you find the trip?” I asked.

“It was crazy fun!”

Her eyes lit up as she began telling me about how she just had to see the British Museum, about how she saw a cat mummy, about how exciting it was to behold the mysteries of the Rosetta Stone, and other like stories. One by one she enthusiastically went through her impressions of the displays there.

Come to think of it, I had spotted her there with Fellow Stalking Horse.

“You know, I think I do recall catching sight of you and Mizusaki-kun,” I noted.

“Yeah, we went together,” she said. “Mizusaki-kun said he’d been before, so it was a great help to have him guide me.”

“Lucky you.”

“Yeah. And man, the desserts I tried in Paris were delicious… And wow, the tiramisu in Rome! And the gelato from this shop near the Piazza di Spagna!”

Ahh yes, part of the walking tour of Roman desserts with Kaburagi.

“Kaburagi-sama was your guide for Rome, no?”

“Yup. We didn’t just visit the places I wanted to try. Kaburagi-kun introduced me to a whole lot of other places too!” she related.

I watched her happily count on her fingers as she told me about each of the delicious sweets in Paris and Rome.

Hmm. So in Britain, a tour of the British Museum with Fellow Stalking Horse, and in France and Italy a dessert tour with Kaburagi then?

…This was shaping up to be a class trip with quite a few romantic encounters for her, wasn’t it?

Spending your free hours with boys―that was making the most of a co-ed school, right there.

I mean, there were rumours about me having cake or going shopping with Kaburagi and Enjou, but unlike those nonsense rumours Wakaba-chan was living the real thing.

Uuuh, stop it, Reika! She’s your friend! She’s your treasured friend!

But I couldn’t help it! The jealousy, and the envy in my petty little heart were too much for me control!

It sounded so nice! It sounded so nice!

I was already in a co-ed school, so I wanted to make nice memories too.

I wanted to have gelato with a boy, and go sightseeing with him, just like Wakaba-chan…

So why had my high school life turned out like this!?

We were definitely attending the same school, so why!

The dark swamp in the heart of the Forever Alone Village was beginning to stir, from it bubbled a cursed miasma.

“…”

“Hmm? Is something wrong, Kisshouin-san?”

“Eh? What do you mean?”

“Ah, well, you were just frowning really hard just now. And uh, your expression was a bit…”

Crap, did all that show in my expression?

“I’m sorry. I was trying not to sneeze. I think there was some pollen.”

I took out a handkerchief from my bag and made a show of dabbing at my nose.

“Ah, is that what happened? I guess we’re not quite done with that season yet. Are you okay?”

Wakaba-chan was showing genuine concern over my half-baked excuses.

I apologised to her in my head and reflected. Wasn’t being a true friend about being able to celebrate their joys like your own?

Sorry, Wakaba-chan. I’ll purify the swamp in my heart.

“I’m fine. Continue? It seems like you’ve had quite a bit of fun with that sweets tour you were planning.”

“Yeah! You know, I actually did quite a bit of research with a guidebook and all that, but Kaburagi-kun just knew so many places that weren’t even in there,” she said. “He introduced me to so many places. Man, people who are well-travelled are something else, huh~? Every place he took me to was delicious!”

“Ohh.”

Given how many times he’d been to Europe since he was a kid, he knew where all the good shops were. Kaburagi really did make the perfect guide.

“But it wasn’t just taking me around. He’d also point out little tidbits, like that this store was in this or that film, or how this chocolatier chain didn’t have a branch in Japan yet.”

“I see. That was nice of him.”

With the library date, and all the time they spent together in the Student Council, it was starting to feel like Kaburagi was losing the lead to Fellow Stalking Horse. But apparently Kaburagi had a secret weapon in the form of a sweet tooth because after just this one trip he was back in the game.

“Did you go anywhere else?” I asked.

“Hmmm, well you see, in Rome I went with some friends to a supermarket near Roma Termini and bought a bunch of sweets. They were selling all these products that import grocery stores in Japan sell!”

Oh, a supermarket in another country? That was something I wanted to see too.

It was a bit too plebeian to invite my group to though.

I was worried about our safety too. Still, now I was wondering if I should have been a little more adventurous.

“The atmosphere and the products were completely different to the supermarkets here,” she marvelled.

“Really? That does sound interesting,” I said.

“Yeah, it really was!” she nodded.

Looking at her, Wakaba-chan seemed unusually enthusiastic about foreign supermarkets.

I guess it meant that the effort I put into teaching Kaburagi about commoner supermarkets was just that much more worthwhile.

At least now if she ever talked to him about the differences, like she was to me now, at least Kaburagi would be able to keep up.

“Oh, I just remembered but Kaburagi-kun came over to buy a cake yesterday,” she recalled.

“Eh!?”

That guy! And after all the times I stressed to him that the exams were close, too!

To think he’d come here under the pretext of buying cake!

Oh my god. Thank god he came yesterday. I very nearly bumped into him.

At times like this it was a pain that her family owned a store, since it just meant a convenient excuse for him.

“I’m a bit shy about selling our cakes to someone with such a refined palate though.”

“Oh my! I think the cakes your family sells are delicious. Have a little confidence!” I insisted.

“Thanks. Kaburagi-kun said something similar too. That it was ‘simple, but pleasant’.” She laughed a little shyly.

Simple, huh…?

Wakaba-chan seemed happy enough, but oi, Kaburagi, can’t you choose your words a bit better?

“Ummm, and also…”

She looked a little hesitant to continue.

“What’s wrong?”

“Ummm, you see… As a change of pace, Kaburagi-kun suggested that we go somewhere after the tests.”

“Ehh!?”

He was moving damn fast! What incredible initiative!

“Ah-! Of course, just as another friend who likes sweets,” she quickly explained while flapping her arms about. “It’s really not anything else, okay!?”

Wait, wait, so he’s ‘another friend who likes sweets’…?

This was exactly what Enjou meant by being treated like a girl friend she tries desserts with!?

Kaburagi, could your expert knowledge on all things sweet have backfired!?

“I wonder about that~” I hummed.

Deny it all she wanted, I saw her blush a little when I said that just now.

“It’s true…” she mumbled after a little while.

Ehh~ But did this mean that Kaburagi’s behaviour had clued her in a little bit about his crush on her?

Ah well, not like my pondering would get me an answer.

Hmm, plus looking at how she was reacting now, was it fine to conclude that she wouldn’t be entirely bothered by such a crush?

So he actually had a chance?

But in that case…

“Wakaba-chan, how has school been recently?” I asked.

For a while the harassment had died down, but it was back again after the class trip, right?

After all, I’d heard about mud being rubbed onto her shoe locker recently.

“Eh? There hasn’t been anything noteworthy,” she said.

“Really? If there’s anything that’s bothering you, don’t ever hesitate to tell me, okay?”

“Thank you, Kisshouin-san!” Her smile was bright like a sunflower.

*

*

*

When we arrived at Wakaba-chan’s house I handed over the souvenir stationery I bought for the kids.

“Thanks, Cornet,” said Kanta-kun.

“Thanks, Coro-chan,” parroted the twins.

You’re very welcome.

“Oh yeah, Cornet. Want some?” Kanta-kun brought out a box of jelly cubes dusted in some white powder. It kind of reminded me of gyuuhi.

Basically, gyuuhi are a type of traditional Japanese sweet, like a really soft mochi, made of glutinous rice dough mixed with something sweet like syrup or sugar. (Gyuuhi also refers to the squishy and delicate glutinous rice dough ingredient used in these types of mochi, but that’s neither here nor there.)

“Hey! Kanta!

“Isn’t it fine? I’m just assigning her her quota.”

I wasn’t sure why, but Wakaba-chan and Kanta-kun seemed to be quarelling over what was in the box. I wonder what these cute little things are.

“What are these?” I asked, to which Wakaba-chan looked a little awkward.

“They’re turkish delights,” she explained. “The truth is that my sister loves the Chronicles of Narnia and kept saying that she wanted to try turkish delights too. That’s why when I was in London I bought some, but…”

“It’s so disgustingly sweet that I get goosebumps just thinking it,” Kanta-kun spat when Wakaba-chan trailed off with a helpless smile.

Oh, I see.

So basically they didn’t know what to do with them all, so they tried to feed them to me.

I was getting the impression that the way this family treated me was getting worse and worse.

“It would just be such a waste to throw them out, so we’ve all been trying our best to finish them,” she said.

“I’m done with them,” said Kanta-kun.

“Me too…”

“Me too…”

“I got excited and bought a large box, so they just won’t disappear…”

I hummed in thought, before taking one of these cute little gems for myself.

“Count any that Cornet eats under my quota,” Kanta-kun declared.

“That’s cheating, Oniichan!”

The siblings began to argue again over these supposedly too-sweet confections.

Was it that bad?

It looked like gyuuhi though.

Maybe just a nibble.

…Guh.

“Sweet, right?”

I nodded at Kanta-kun without a word.

Nuuuoohhhh, it was so sweet that my tongue was going numb. And the flavour was overwhelming.

It was red so I thought it’d be strawberry-flavoured, but the cloying air-freshener taste in my mouth was rose!

Somebody had taken rose jam and somehow made it even sweeter.

I took a gulp of tea to try to swallow the thing.

“Kisshouin-san, would you like some more tea?”

“Please.”

My mouth could still taste the sweetness.

As expected of foreign sweets. Such power…

Hmmmm, but couldn’t there be some trick to eating these…? Oh, I know!

What if instead of sugar I used this turkish delight for my tea?

It was black tea, and I’d heard that Russians put jam in theirs, so wasn’t this just a variation?

I imagined dropping one of these cute desserts into a cup of tea. Wasn’t it quite fashionable?

Uhuhu, it was in the little details that a person’s good taste was revealed.

No time like the present.

I plopped one into my cup and began whirling it around with a spoon~

Spin, spin, sp-… Huh? That was weird.

It wasn’t dissolving at all.

Jam dissolved right away, so how come?

Geh, and now it was stuck to the bottom of my cup-!

Ugeh, and the white powder hadn’t dissolved either and was floating to the top!

It was kind of gross-!

Uwahhh…

I tried stirring faster, but that just made Kanta-kun take notice of me.

“What the heck are you doing, Cornet?”

He peered over at what I was doing.

“Ummm, you see, I thought that instead of using jam…”

“Uwah, stuff is floating at the top! What the hell are you doing, Cornet!”

Uwah, you’re being too loud, Kanta-kun!

Look, now everyone else is looking over too.

Literally all of their eyes were on me now.

Aaah, I wanted to bury myself…

“Kisshouin-san…?”

“Ah, well, I thought that instead of jam I could try…”

“Mmmn, I see, I see. But what now? I know you just got this cup, but should I get you a new one?”

Wakaba-chan’s kindness was just making it worse…

“Don’t play with your food, Cornet. You’d better take responsibility for that.”

“…Okay.”

I tipped both the transmuted tea and the jelly stuck at the bottom into my mouth and destroyed the evidence.

Sigh, this time was a failure. Happens to the best of us from time to time.

Hmm, but what else could we use this for then?

“Oh, I know. Say, what if we added it to curry as a secret ingredient? I think it’d add just that extra complexity.”

“Vetoed.”

“What if we dissolved it and served it with pancakes or…”

“Vetoed.”

“Then what about boiling-”

“Vetoed!”

Kanta-kun just shot down every one of my ideas without mercy.

Tsk~

And here I was, trying to help them.

“Maybe I’ll make some annin tofu to wash out the taste,” he said, and stood up.

Annin tofu (杏仁豆腐) or almond tofu is a soft, jellied dessert made of almond milk, agar, and sugar, allegedly eaten in China as far back as 2000 years ago.

I wanted to learn the recipe, so I volunteered to help.

Hmm, so the ingredients were agar jelly, milk, sugar, and…

“Oh! What if instead of sugar we used the turkish delight-”

“Vetoed! Vetoed! Vetoed!

Aah, don’t give me such an icy stare, Kanta-kun. I’ll stop talking.

“I said, when they say ‘one cup’ they mean exactly ‘one cup’!” roared Master Kanta.

Despite all of that, the annin tofu we made was delightful.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 235

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!


This was first a week later than I intended. Then the night I was about to upload I had a blackout, and forgot that I had to upload until two nights later when I was lying in bed contemplating what a shitshow Disney’s Star Wars has become.


Enjou spoke to me when I arrived at the Salon after school.

“Kisshouin-san, apparently you went somewhere rather interesting yesterday.”

“…I see you were informed about that.”

Loose lips, Kaburagi.

I made a note to tell him again to keep our commoner lifestyle tours a secret.

“This morning he gave me a lecture about sample tasting, you know?” Enjou said.

The image of a smugly lecturing Kaburagi came unbidden to my mind.

“Kaburagi-sama has a very healthy sense of curiosity, so I had a lot of difficulties…” I admitted.

“Ahaha, you have my condolences,” he said, pushing the burden to me as he laughed at my suffering. What a hateful guy.

Thanks to yesterday’s trip I spent half my night in the bathroom.

Like the water on a beach, each time I thought the battle with my stomach was over it would come back with a fresh wave.

“As his best friend, could you not simply accompany him instead?” I said a little aggrievedly.

“It’s not like I’ve ever been to a supermarket either,” he easily rebutted.

I couldn’t argue with that.

“That said, a convenience store is one thing, but I’m surprised you go to the supermarket too. Masaya was telling me about how shocked he was when he saw how at home you were.”

Ugh, he hit where it hurt.

It’s because I keep a repository of family-pack snacks for supper. And convenience stores don’t do sales.

Not that I’d say that. Over my dead body.

“I have some interest in cooking so I like to pick my own ingredients.”

And that wasn’t a lie. I was in the middle of learning.

“Oh? I see, I see.” He made a little teasing humming sound.

“…What is it?”

“Hm? Nothing, nothing~”

Enjou just looked at me in amusement with a meaningful smile.

Uu, what the heck was that look supposed to be?

I hated that smile. It always made me feel like he could see right through me.

Damn this mind-reader!

Enjou’s smiles in the manga were never this sinister. Just what was it that made the real him’s smiles so different? Was it because his hair was black?

His hair was supposed to be honey-coloured. Was it because the colour change dyed his heart black as well?

“Have you ever thought about dyeing your hair a lighter shade?”

“That’s definitely against school rules.”

“…True.”

Mr. Enjou Shuusuke is a realist, not a dreamer.

I felt a little awkward all of a sudden and my eyes darted this way and that for an escape.

Thankfully I spotted Fuyuko-sama sitting off to the side on her own.

“Ah-! I had something to discuss with Fuyuko-sama so please do excuse me.”

“Of course. See you later.”

I turned my back to Enjou, who simply waggled his fingers in goodbye and watched me leave.

As for Fuyuko-sama, she was still sitting there with a serious expression, seemingly staring intently at her palm. Maybe a handful of sand…?

“Umm~ Fuyuko-sama…?” I said with some trepidation, but her face brightened happily the moment she noticed me.

“My! Reika-sama!”

“Gokigen’yoh, Fuyuko-sama. Might I impose?”

“Why of course, Reika-sama! Please, take a seat!”

Looking at how happily she invited me to sit, I began to think that perhaps my thoughts about her yesterday weren’t so off the mark. Maybe she really did want to become better friends.

“Fuyuko-sama, about yesterday…”

“Yesterday…? Aah! I see! You want to use the ouija board again!” she concluded. “I just knew you were interested. Of course you are more than welcome to. Please wait a moment!”

Guh! A sudden attack from the spiritual world…

“N-No, you misunderstand,” I said frantically when she began to pull a suspicious board out from her bag. “I wanted to apologise for suddenly leaving mid-conversation. It was terribly rude of me.”

Fuyuko-sama looked at me blankly.

“My, has that been weighing on your mind? You needn’t have worried, but thank you for your gracious apology,” she said easily and bowed to me.

I bowed back in return.

“By the way, you seem to have been staring at your palm. Might I ask why?”

“Oh my, were you watching?” Fuyuko-sama cupped her cheeks in embarrassment.

I already knew what it was about, so I decided to just say it.

“Might you have been palm reading?”

“No, I was training myself to see auras.”

Eh.

“…Auras?”

“Yes. You see, they say that if you keep watching patiently like this, you’re gradually be able to see auras. Well, they did say that it would be easier in a darker room though.”

“My…”

“I’m still only an apprentice shaman so I still haven’t mastered the ability yet, but I train like this whenever I have time. I do invite you to try it with me.”

“Ummmmmm~”

“If you concentrate, you’ll start to see the aura around your finger. See? Like this.”

…She really was up to the neck in the New Age occult stuff.

What was I going to do now?

I thought it was just palm reading so I figured I’d play along, but a lecture about auras was next level.

And she was an ‘apprentice shaman’…?

But I couldn’t let this discourage me. Fuyuko-sama had begun going into the meanings of the different aura colours, but I refused her as tactfully as I could.

“No, I think I shall pass. I have little talent in the way of these things.”

“My, is that so?”

She looked disappointed, so I quickly changed the subject.

“Ah, that reminds me. Fuyuko-sama, thank you for letting Kaburagi-sama know where to find me yesterday.”

Although I couldn’t deny that my actual feelings were more along the lines of ‘You shouldn’t have done that’, Fuyuko-sama had done so with the best intentions, so there was nothing else I could say.

“No, all I said was that you seemed to have gone to your club.”

“Is that so?”

“Uhuhu, you two do get along.” A little dreamily, she muttered, “Does Kaburagi-sama like Reika-sama after all?”

Ugeh.

“You misunderstand, Fuyuko-sama. He simply had some business with me yesterday, and sought me out for that reason. There are no such feelings between us.”

“Oh my. But everybody has heard the rumour that your relationship advanced during the class trip. The fact that the two of you left together yesterday has been whispered about all morning.

I couldn’t help the weird expression I was making.

I really didn’t need this.

I’d been putting so much effort into improving my romantic prospects too. That would all go to waste if a weird rumour about Kaburagi scared off the boys anyway.

I couldn’t think of anyone in Zui’ran who would be willing to butt heads to the Emperor to steal his girl.

Why? I’d already gotten rid of that accursed poetry book, so why wasn’t my luck in romance getting any better?

“Then is it true that your love is actually for Enjou-sama!?”

“No, no! That is a misunderstanding too.”

Huh. I always thought Fuyuko-sama lived in her own world, but surprisingly she might have actually been quite the gossip.

“Here, Reika-sama. This is a rose quartz, said to improve your fortunes in romance.”

There is a belief, particularly amongst New Age spiritualism, that precious stones have ‘energies’ that can be passively absorbed for positive effects such as healing.

…So she dabbled in crystal healing too.

What was scary was that I actually considered it for a moment.

People with weak minds were the most susceptible to this New Age stuff.

It took me a while but I eventually warded off the topic of romance.

Instead, I found myself listening as Fuyuko-sama spoke at excited length about the Seven Wonders of Zui’Ran.

Gosh, and to think this was the same quiet girl who rarely said a word. Apparently she was quite the talker herself, as long as the topic was right.

Eh…? There are human sacrifices in the walls of the old assembly hall, and they make tapping noises and tell you to leave!?

And more than one person had already heard this!?

What the heck! Scaryy!

“Actually, I’ve heard it myself…”

“Ehhh!?”

“It happened on a dark, rainy morning.”

“Waah…”

“I had just arrived at the old assembly hall when I heard the rapping noises…”

“Oh no…”

Zui’ran was established a long time ago, after all. What if it was true!?

P-Purification salt! Where was my purification salt!?

I think I could feel something behind me already!

Unaware of my inner turmoil, Fuyuko-sama continued to talk with a smile.

“I’m very happy to have been able to speak with you so much today, Reika-sama.”

“Eh? You are?”

“Yes. I’ve always wanted to talk to you like this. I’m very happy right now.”

Well then I was happy to hear that.

I took another look at Fuyuko-sama who was still smiling brightly.

While I could do without being invited too deep into the occult world, at that moment I thought it would be nice if the two of us could grow a little closer.

“Also, it is said that the Zui’Ran Forest has a secret bomb shelter, you see, and…”

“Oh no…”

Please no more scary stories, if that’s okay.

Fuyuko-sama was elaborating when Kaburagi came over.

“Kisshouin, we need to talk.”

Again?

“My apologies but I am in the middle of speaking with Fuyuko-sama,” I deflected.

“My, Reika-sama, please pay me no mind. I was just about done with my tea, so it was about time I left anyhow,” said Fuyuko-sama with sparkles in her eyes.

She really was into this romantic gossip stuff. Aaah, what an unwanted show of consideration.

“Enjou-sama…”

“Shuusuke’s gone home.”

Damn that guy!

Yet again he was pushing the troubles onto me and running away!

Kuhh! And what was I to do with this pent up anger I had for Zui’ran’s two selfish idols?

Ah. Of course.

At the very least I had to harass him. Kaburagi could share in some of the terror I experienced.

“Did you know, Kaburagi-sama?” I began. “Apparently rapping noises can be heard from inside the walls of the old assembly hall. Fuyuko-sama has heard it herself. The truth is that inside the walls, the bodies of those who were sacrificed are…”

“Sounds from inside the walls?” he interrupted. “Sounds like the water hammer phenomenon. It’s because of the hydraulic shock inside the water pipes. Every time somebody flushes the toilet or runs the taps hard and suddenly turns it off, the running water has nowhere to go and makes a noise because of the pressure. It might be because of the old plumbing that it’s so noisy. You should put in a request to school maintenance.”

“But, the human-shaped stains…”

“And we’re even getting water leaks already? We need someone from maintenance on that, fast.”

“…”

“…”

────Later that day, maintenance on the old assembly hall was performed at Kaburagi’s request, and one of Zui’Ran’s Seven Mysteries disappeared.

Fuyuko-sama’s enthusiasm for the occult waned a little.

*

*

And so I found myself in the small meeting room with Kaburagi again.

Honestly, should I just start keeping snacks and a tea set in here?

“Yesterday’s trip to the supermarket was well worth it,” Kaburagi said approvingly.

“Is that so?” I responded blandly.

His Majesty the Emperor then regaled me with how the taste of the snacks he’d seized from me were to his satisfaction. I also found out that apparently the curse I laid with my Third Eye bore no fruit.

“But! The trouble is that even if I’ve mastered the use of supermarkets it isn’t suitable as the location for a date. I was thinking of inviting her somewhere this weekend. Any thoughts?”

“Eh-, this weekend!?” I exclaimed.

Besides handing over souvenirs to Kanta-kun and the kids, I already had plans to hang out with Wakaba-chan on Sunday.

“It is almost time for the mid-terms, you know? Would Takamichi-san not be busy studying for her exams?”

Kaburagi frowned.

Ever since we’d come back from the trip, Wakaba-chan was spending a lot of time with Fellow Stalking Horse in her capacity as a Student Council member. Apparently that was what was making Kaburagi antsy.

Mmm. I also saw the two of them walking together rather companionably down the hallway today.

“Takamichi-san is a scholarship student. Would she not be troubled if you invited her out before the exams? What if for the moment you obtain her agreement to go somewhere after the mid-terms? You would also have all that time to plan the date.”

“…”

He didn’t look convinced.

Well fine. I’d just unveil the fruits of the research I did.

Moriyama-san from cram school was happy enough to share with me popular date spots for high schoolers.

“Amusement parks, movies, karaoke, arcade centres, bowling…” he repeated. “The amusement park and cinemas aside, aren’t the others too boring for a date?”

“But that is where regular high schoolers go for their dates.”

“Hmmmm…”

Admittedly I couldn’t picture Kaburagi in a karaoke booth and going wild singing.

“Incidentally, have you ever been to karaoke before?”

“I hate it. I only listen to music played live.”

Was this guy supposed to be some rock star musician?

“A veto to karaoke then. From my investigation it seems like the amusement park is the most popular choice. People do love the rollercoasters and haunted houses.”

“My family’s group has some ownership of some amusement parks. I’ll see what I can do.”

“…If you are planning on reserving the whole park, please do not.”

An amusement park with nobody in it was like a genre shift to horror.

Worse, the two of them riding a rollercoaster in the dead silence of the park was a different sort of horror.

“With what we just discussed as a reference, what do you think about preparing until the exams are over?”

“…Fine. I’ll think about it.”

“One other thing, please go to your best friend Enjou-sama for advice, not me. I have no doubts he would welcome the discussion.”

“Fine.”

“Ah, and from now on please stop turning up unannounced at Takamichi-san’s house without prior arrangement. It is not very considerate.”

“…Fine.”

Now then, I supposed that was my mission for today complete. Next I needed to hurry home and start studying.

I wanted to tell Kaburagi, still standing there and thinking about date locations, to stop daydreaming about romance and get to studying too. Of course, if I could remove even a single competitor it would be worthwhile, so I kept my mouth shut.

I will be heading home first then. Gokigen’yoh, Kaburagi-sama.

*

*

The lights were off.

I was already in bed when a thought occurred to me.

Poking my left hand out from under the covers, I held it aloft in the darkness and stared at my finger.

Third Eye, Awaken.

I couldn’t see my aura.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 234

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!


I hate Costing. I intend to start translating again, but as you know, my plans rarely mean anything.


Since Kaburagi wanted to see a commoner’s supermarket I decided to pick a place far away, where the likelihood of bumping into someone from Zui’ran was nil.

We stepped through the automatic doors with a shopping basket. Kaburagi looked at our basket, and then looked at the other customers in the shop.

“We’re not using one of those?” He pointed at a shopping trolley.

“We are not buying anything bulky or heavy and have no need for one,” I explained.

He hummed in thought.

Although you couldn’t tell from his expression, I could sense some dissatisfaction in that sound.

Had he wanted to use a trolley? Damned child.

Stop staring at the customers who are using one.

“Well then, shall we head to the food aisles?”

I guided him further into the shop.

“See this?” I pointed. “Are the drinks here not cheaper than in a convenience store? Buying sweets are by far more economical in a supermarket as well.”

“Hmmm.”

He seemed a little lost.

…I bet the problem was that he’d never looked at a price tag before.

Suddenly, from the side, somebody held a small plastic cup out in front of Kaburagi.

“We have a new vegetable juice on sale~ Would you like a try~?”

Kaburagi looked at the young woman like she was crazy and started to frown. Oh crap…

I tugged him out of the way by the elbow.

“My, this seems delicious~” I said, taking the cup and drinking it.

“Wow, that was incredible. There was no bitterness to it at all,” I shilled and took a bottle of it. Then, with a smile, I left the place while pulling Kaburagi along.

“…What just happened?”

“That was a product demonstration. They hand out samples of food and drinks in order to encourage purchases. So just because they suddenly speak to you is not a reason to take an attitude with them!”

“Hmmmm.”

Did this guy really understand?

Just whose fault was it that I was now buying some vegetable juice I didn’t even want?

Oho? I smell something good cooking.

I was actually planning to buy some side dishes for a snack tonight, but I guess that’s out since I’m stuck here with Kaburagi.

Ahh~ That yakisoba looks nice though.

Maybe I ought to buy a microwave for my room. But then what kind of young miss would have a microwave in her room? That’d be weird, right?

Wha-, hey! Kaburagi!

Kaburagi was curiously wandering here and there, so I couldn’t even take an eye off him!

When I quickly went after him I found him caught by someone trying to sell ham steaks.

Let me explain to you exactly what I was looking at.

There’s a high school boy with an dignified and handsome face, and not the type you’d ever find in this part of town. In front of him is a middle aged lady cooking up pieces of ham like she’s ready to give them all to him, saying,

“Come on, mister! Eat up, eat up! This ham steak comes with a special sauce, so all you’ve gotta do is grill it up like this and it’s ready to eat.”

“Hmmm.”

Ah, he ate it.

“How is it, mister? Delicious, right~?”

“…Not too bad.”

Uuu, it was hard walking away without buying something after having a sample!

In place of Kaburagi who got talked into trying some food, I was the one who had to grab one of the vacuum-packed ham steaks.

At least give me some to try too…

After that Kaburagi was stopped by someone selling a season limited jam, someone selling yoghurt good for your digestive system, someone selling freshly baked garlic bread, and each time I ended up with more and more unnecessary additions to my shopping basket.

“Product samples, huh? So this sort of thing existed too,” he murmured admiringly between chewing his garlic bread.

“If it is product sampling you are looking for then department stores do so on their basement floors. It is not exclusive to supermarkets.”

It was just something I happened to mention in passing, but the next thing I knew Kaburagi was muttering “Department store…” to himself. Ah, I’d done it now…

“All right then. Next time we’re going to the basement floor of a department store-”

I cut him off and began tugging him.

“Oh my! Look! That, there, is the sweets corner~ There should be plenty of chocolate: your favourite~”

If I let him finish that sentence just now it would have been a real crisis.

Hmm, since I was here anyway, maybe I ought to buy some sweets and then head home. Oh! Lucky Turns were on special!

I put two packets into my shopping basket.

“You’re buying two?”

“This is the lowest I have ever seen it, so I am buying some extras.”

Maybe I could buy one more?

Oh dear, but these fried rice crackers were quite a steal too. Into the basket they go.

Mmmn, and what about these biscuits with cream between them. After all, the slightly bitter chocolate-flavoured biscuits just went so well with the flavour of milk!

Yeah, I’d just buy them all!

“…You look really practised. So you come here often?”

“Yes. For market research and the like. I am an advocate for getting your own hands dirty when it comes to these things.”

While I was shopping about for more sweets, Kaburagi wordlessly took the shopping basket off my hands.

“Eh…?”

“I’ll hold it for you.”

It actually occurred to the Emperor to hold someone else’s things!

Kaburagi, the guy with no consideration whatsoever, the guy who unhesitatingly used a frail girl (that’s me by the way) as his gopher, had noticed that I was carrying a heavy basket and decided to hold it himself.

Did anyone foresee a day such as this!?

Wow. Humans really never stopped improving themselves.

Still, if we wanted to be technical about this, normally you’d offer right after entering the store, huh~

While I was lost in the feeling of watching my unworthy disciple grow up, the boy himself had already walked off quite a distance. With the basket.

Waah-! And now he was throwing whatever caught his fancy into it!

A fish-shaped kitchen sponge? What dishes do you even clean!?

And what are you going to do with that mapo tofu marinade!

Put everything back right now!

This is exactly why I didn’t want a shopping trolley!

I took the shopping basket back.

“What’s that?” he suddenly asked.

Ah, the cup ramen section.

I glanced at the prices and just kept going. These noodles could still go cheaper.

The next area that drew his attention was the crowded fresh foods section. They were giving out melon samples here.

Spot the handsome young man behind the crowd of housewives, the staff member who was handing them out passed a toothpick with a sample on it to Kaburagi.

Not this again…

I was pretty much resigned by now.

“I’ve never seen this kind of melon before,” he muttered as he looked at the mountain of melons.

“It’s an Andes Melon, known for being sweet.” And cheap, a friend to commoners everywhere, I left out.

“Oh?”

The big sucker that he was, Kaburagi nodded thoughtfully as he tried a piece of it.

I sighed. While Kaburagi was enjoying himself again I picked out a pack of melon bites and put it into the shopping basket.

Aah, we’d have to finish the fresh food today…

After making a round of the store Kaburagi seemed more or less satisfied, so it was time to head for the counter. I was buying more than I’d planned…

While we were waiting in line I pulled out my points card. Kaburagi noticed and asked me about it.

“This is a points card for this supermarket. For every 100 Yen you spend, you receive a point in return. On occasion there are days when they give out five times the points too.”

“Hmmm.”

It was eventually our turn, so I was about to pay when Kaburagi stopped me from the side.

“It’s fine. I’ll pay.”

“Will you? Well then, I will pay you back later.”

“It’s fine.”

“Eh? But…”

“It’s thanks for coming here with me.”

Kaburagi flashed a quick smile, which had the girl manning the register flushing.

He didn’t seem likely to change his mind about it, so I decided to just accept his thanks this time.

“So let me have this.”

Those were my Lucky Turns! Mention that part beforehand!

I placed the shopping basket next to the counter and began stuffing our purchases into the grocery bags there.

“Do we pack the bags ourselves?”

“Yes. Supermarkets like these implement this sort of system in order to speed the process up.”

Kaburagi hummed in thought at that. After watching me work for a while though, he told me that he’d do it instead.

I guess it’s like how pre-schoolers like to play shop, huh?

I watched as he emptied out the bag I’d just filled and began methodically packing the heaviest items first, and then neatly putting the softer items on top.

“How conscientious of you~”

“You’re just too carefree. Look here. The bread is a little flat because of you.”

“…”

Kaburagi took the lion’s share of the snacks I’d picked out for myself. Oi! If you’re going to do that then take back this vegetable juice with you too!

What “I only drink freshly made”!

At least I managed to force the yoghurt into his bag. It was something else that he bought after having his interest sparked by samples. I figured he could probably do with it anyhow, since the curse I placed on him with my Third Eye back in the Handicrafts Club had to be reaching his intestines by now.

When we left the supermarket my sense of smell detected an anomaly. In the parking lot next to the supermarket was a smoking yakitori stall!

No, Reika. Kaburagi is with you right now. You mustn’t buy it. You mustn’t…!

“Mister~ I’d like the negima please!” I smiled widely, having run straight up to the yakitori stall.

“Coming right up! How many skewers do you want?”

Negima is a type of yakitori (grilled chicken) skewer that features spring onion and chicken meat.

I was firmly in the negima camp when it came to yakitori.

Naturally I’d order both salt-seasoned and sauce-seasoned. But then wouldn’t it be rude of me if I only ordered one each? In that case~

“Give me five of each, mister!”

“That’s five of each, so ten in total, coming right up!”

Uhuhu, they looked delicious. I watched him put the skewers into a paper bag.

“You’re a gorgeous little missy, so I’ve included an extra skewer of each for you.”

“Ehhh~!? You shouldn’t have! Thank you, mister! You’re the best!”

I took out the freebie and beamed as I waved him goodbye and left.

“I love you, mister! Thanks so much!”

Man, what a steal, what a steal.

Is this what they mean when they talk about the kindness of regular folks? Gosh, I wanted to start eating already.

“Oi…”

Geh! Kaburagi. Thanks to the allure of the yakitori I’d forgotten he was there for a moment.

“…What the hell did I just see?”

“…Whatever do you mean?” I tried.

“It’s like you turned into some whole other person. You said ‘I love you, mister’, what was that?”

“Why, learning to adapt yourself to the people here is just one part of what composes fieldwork, Kaburagi-sama.”

After my previous display Kaburagi looked at me like I was some strange creature.

Well, if it was for delicious yakitori I’d go any number of extra miles to appear friendly.

“…Kaburagi-sama, would you like some yakitori?”

“I would.”

There was a bench off to the side so we ate the yakitori there.

“This is pretty good.”

“Right? Have one of the sauce-flavoured ones.”

“Cheers. I’m getting a bit parched though.”

“Would you like some vegetable juice?”

“…I’m good. I’ll grab some tea from that vending machine. You want anything?”

“Then a tea for me as well.”

Thanks to the freebies I earned with my friendliness we ended up having six each, and when we finished that marked the end of our outing.

*

*

That night I received a rather cheerful message from Kaburagi.

‘That trip to the supermarket was genuinely fruitful. It was my first time trying cheap sweets too. Interesting flavour. I wanna try a different supermarket next time.’

I read the text in my room as I ate bread and ham and melon in between gulps of vegetable juice.

That lady was right. This roast ham really was good cold.

That night I woke up to my stomach disagreeing with me. Aaah, my curse had come back to roost…!


“It’s an Andes Melon, known for being sweet.” And cheap, a friend to commoners everywhere, I left out.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 233

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!


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 lace 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 had 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.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 232

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!


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.


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

 

Kenkyo Kenjitsu: The Reika-sama Chronicles 230

Everybody, please check the 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!


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.

 


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>