I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 526 min read
Volume 1 | Chapter 2: April – Part 4
Ever since the entrance ceremony, I tried to keep my eyes on Maria-jou whenever I could. If she left her seat during breaks, I’ll quietly follow after her. If events happen, I’ll watch over her in the shadows. Basically, that’s what I’ve been doing.
It’ll be troublesome if people thought I was suspicious, so I did my best to be nonchalant. However, Iinchou became completely aware that I was really interested in Maria-jou by mid April.
Well, it’s partially because I ended up talking to Iinchou the most because of our roles as class representatives. In other words, we had menial tasks after another and spent time in each other’s company. Iinchou also had friends in our class, but his only female friend is me.
“If you want to become friends with Aikawa-san, then you should just talk to her,” he said to me.
The two of us have gotten completely used to odd tasks. When a teacher calls out to us, we can jump to action immediately. Though it’s mostly easy missions like taking a certain something somewhere. Iinchou would carry the heavy luggage, while I carried the light and bulky items.
This division was suggested by Iinchou though. I’m sure it has to do with his pride as a guy, so I obediently nod along.
“But, come on. Even you will think about timing when you want to talk to the girl you’re interested in, right, Iinchou? If she looks busy and you force her to talk to you then her affection rate will drop.”
“Well, it’s true Aikawa-san is always busy,” he admitted.
That’s right. Maria-jou always leaves her seat during breaks. Not even I can follow after her every time. Naturally, I consulted Kazu-nii about this already. Now I only check Maria-jou’s actions during breaks ‘when I can’. Kazu-nii, too, teaches a lot of classes. He has no time to deal with girls asking him about things other than studying.
“I wonder why she’s always running around the school,” I pondered.
“It seems she’s looking for someone.”
“Eh?” I tilted my head in question at Iinchou’s words.
“Aikawa-san really only talks to Matsuri-san and Tsuchiya-kun in our class, doesn’t she? But since I’m the class representative, she greets me once in a while.”
How can this be!? I haven’t even seen Iinchou and Maria-jou interact even once yet. Don’t tell me, Iinchou is…… No, wait. Iinchou’s last name is Shibuya. There isn’t any kanji representing a day of the week in his name.
“We’ve spoken about three times now, I think,” Iinchou continued. “When I met her in the corridor, she asked me if I saw certain people.”
“Oh……. And what kind of people?”
“A red-haired senpai and a bluish-haired senpai, and also a boy beautiful like an angel.”
“Those were her exact words. We were in the west school building, by the way.”
“West building? Where our seniors are?”
“That’s right. The student council is also in that area, so I’ve been there to submit documents several times. But it’s hard to tell who she’s looking for with those words.”
He has a point. I have no idea either. Red-haired senpai and bluish-haired senpai made no sense whatsoever. The last person Maria-jou was looking for was probably the pretty boy she met in the church. But why was she in the seniors’ building? I thought the pretty boy was the same year as us, but could he actually be our senior?
“But I don’t actually come across the upperclassmen much at all……. She’s a little strange. Aikawa-san, I mean.”
“…….Aikawa-san is quite beautiful, so there’s many people in our class who want to get closer to her. But Matsuri-san gets in the way of their attempts. I don’t think anyone else became friends with Aikawa-san.”
Oh? Kyouko-jou’s getting in the way. If Maria-jou looked troubled, I’m sure Kyouko-jou gets pumped up to stop them since she likes taking care of Maria-jou. It’s hard for docile girls to bluntly say no and that they feel bothered too.
I mean, if Yumi-chan was being harassed by an aggressive guy, I would force my way between them. If Yumi-chan wasn’t bothered, then I’ll go easy on him.
Right, right, I did my best to make friends the next day after the ceremony. As a result, I managed to make a number of friends within the girls. The one I walk home together the most with after school is Sasaki Yumi-chan. Her hobbies include reading books, manga, and playing games. So, she’s an indoor person.
Yumi-chan is also quite short and a glasses girl who’s interested in contacts but doesn’t have the courage to try them. Her wearing glasses was charming too, but I had her take off her glasses once and she looked even cuter. I definitely want to go out with her on the weekend to see her in casual clothes.
Her ideal type was a prince-like, orthodox, good-looking guy. ‘One day a prince will come……!’ Is apparently the dream of all young girls.
“You’ll be taking supplementary lessons on the weekend, right? I’m sure you’ll have a chance to speak to Aikawa-san then,” Iinchou said, trying to comfort me when I went silent in thought.
Yes, he was right. It’s the supplementary lessons Kazu-nii mentioned. It was happening tomorrow on Saturday.
It’s a real pain in the ass. The member list was on the wall at the back of the classroom. Everyone knows I’m one of the people who needs supplementary lessons, so I can’t just skip it now. Besides Maria-jou, the rest of the members were all guys. They looked like the type to skip, but I’m sure they won’t pass off this chance of getting close to Maria-jou.
“But it surprised me,” Iinchou commented. “In the other subjects, you’ll answer immediately back no matter what kind of question the teacher asked you. I didn’t think you were bad at math, Niimi-san.” He looked like he was enjoying himself. What a rude guy.
“It’s just math that I don’t get…….” I sighed, shaking my head.
“Humans are much lovelier when they have a weak point,” Iinchou continued. “All you have to do is not pick math as one of your electives in university.”
“But still…….” Even though I have a cousin who is a math teacher, why can’t I solve them? It’s not like Kazu-nii is bad at teaching either. When he teaches me one-on-one, I can solve the problems properly. Yet when the real test happens, I make careless mistakes. “Iinchou, you have good marks for all the subjects. Is there one you’re not good at?”
“I think I’m the jack-of-all-trades type. There’s no subject I’m bad at, but there’s no subject I’m good at either. It’s true my overall score will be higher in exchange though. Still, I would prefer a character with proper fortes and weaknesses.”
Iinchou told me so with a smile.
Well then, the certain Saturday has finally arrived.
Seika Maria Secondary Academy works on a five-day workweek system. If you didn’t have club activities, Saturday, Sundays and public holidays were day offs.
Yet, here I was, going out of my way to ride a train on my day-off to school for supplementary lessons. I waited with the other extra lesson members in Class B like we were instructed to. That was when a shocking development took place.
Maria-jou didn’t come!!
Eh~!? Why!? There’s no meaning to this at all then!!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought that. The guys who came to see Maria-jou also exclaimed at the same time. Kazu-nii was harshly booed by the guys before he gave the following explanation.
“Good grief……. Don’t misunderstand the point of supplementary lessons, alright? As for Aikawa, she called in the morning saying her grandmother’s health worsened. Her extra lessons will have to take place on another date.”
Amazing, Maria-jou. Now Kazu-nii can’t avoid giving you a one-on-one supplementary lessons. Though Kazu-nii could still avoid it by giving up today’s extra lesson altogether. Unfortunately, there’s no way Kazu-nii can do that since he was actually a diligent teacher despite his looks.
However, it’s still too early to declare Maria-jou was skipping out on these lessons. In reality, unlike a game, an event like a grandmother’s illness worsening was quite possible.
“Then, we want to take our lessons with Aikawa~”
“It’s unfair to devise a plan so that you’ll be alone with a student like this, Sensei~”
The guys said one after another. Kazu-nii pressed his hand against his forehead as if his head hurt.
“Then whoever pays attention properly today gets the right to attend the next supplementary lesson with us. Jeez…… Think about me here. I have to lose two of my holidays now, you know?” Kazu-nii also complained.
“Eh~ Then let’s call it quits today. We don’t want to go through extra lessons twice. Let’s do it again on another day.”
“Yeah, yeah! Let’s go and play! Sensei, you can come with us if ya want~”
“Hey, you guys…”
“Let’s do karaoke! Hey, sensei, treat us~ You were the one who said to invite you to any parties!”
These guys were really easygoing. And their motivation to study has completely dropped.
I couldn’t follow their excitement at all, and that’s when one of the guys turned to look at me.
“Niimi-san should join us too. The weather is so nice today, there’s no way we can study. Today’s karaoke time!”
What should I do? If there’s no lessons today then I feel like going straight home. “U-Umm… then I’ll go through the supplementary lessons today so I can sit out the next lesson……” Even I knew I didn’t read the atmosphere at all with what I just said.
The atmosphere froze.
Hiiiiiiiiiieee! I’m sorry!
“Ah, no, that’s, umm, n-never mind! A-Ahahaha…….”
Ahhhhh, what should I do! I’ve never gone to karaoke with guys before! I have no idea what to do here!
I panicked. Kazu-nii took a look at me before he opened his mouth. “Then let’s call it quits today and go to karaoke. Jeez……”
W-What……!? He agreed with the guys out of all the things he can say!?
[If we studied, then they’re going to be noisy about how I was alone with you next, Shiori.]
Above were the messages we exchanged.
Me, Kazu-nii, and the guys went off together to the shopping district by the train station closest to the academy. There was a karaoke store in the district, which lets you use your season pass on weekdays. There were other students from our school here as well.
Now then, I’ve been summing up all the guys together and their names were: Itou-kun, Satou-kun, Terakado-kun, and Hayashi-kun. Their looks were neither good nor bad. From what I’ve seen from them in class, their grades weren’t good. However, they weren’t delinquents either. All of them had bright personalities.
Itou-kun was the one who paid most attention to fashion, and had brown hair. Satou-kun had the kindest features. Terakado-kun was the biggest, and Hayashi-kun wore glasses.
“Niimi-san, are you good at karaoke?”
“No, not at all…… I’m bad at singing,” I answered.
“Is that so? Then I’m sorry for inviting you… I like karaoke a lot, and just having a lot of fun with friends.”
“T-Then won’t it be better if you guys went alone? Will I be in the way?”
“No way, no way~ No matter how you look at it, having a girl brightens up the room.”
By the way, the guy I was speaking to was Itou-kun.
I have to say, one girl plus five guys is a weird combination. On top of that, what kind of combination is this when a teacher is in the mix? That being said, if Kazu-nii wasn’t here, I definitely wouldn’t have came along with them.
Every one of us paid for our own drinks. As for the rest, the only adult here, Kazu-nii, was going to pay for us. Thus the karaoke party began.
Ahhhhh! If this is what’s going to happen then I would have prepared at least one song I’m good at!
But it’s too late to regret. We used a touch panel tool to set songs one by one. Every time it was my turn, someone would request me to sing a certain song. If I knew it, I would slot it in. It would seem the guys wanted the only girl here to sing the female vocal songs. The songs they chose for me included ones from “Bonjour Girl” or “ABC48”1
…… Basically, pop modern songs. They were famous songs even I have heard of.
“But, I suck! I suck a lot, okay!” I told them again and again. If I miss a note, I’m going to have them forgive me.
Meanwhile, Kazu-nii was unfair. He said he’ll only sing one song and listen to us students sing one step afar.
Just like that, us students sang a number of songs. Soon it was finally Kazu-nii’s turn. The song he chose was a band song I knew as well. It was from a group called “Candle”. However, they haven’t been appearing in the media lately. Their songs in the early days were quite famous. I could sing them as well.
The moment Kazu-nii began to sing, the atmosphere changed.
Kazu-nii was seriously too good at karaoke.
“Just hearing his sweet singing voice makes my body go numb and enough to almost make me fall in love,” according to my mother’s words. Oi, you’re a married woman.
When he finished, the guys’ eyes sparkled as they rambled off compliments.
“Sensei, you’re amazing! You’re almost like a pro!”
“Why did you hide this talent?”
“This is so wasted on some teacher! To tell you guys the truth, I can actually play the bass. Sensei, could you do the vocals for me?”
“Oh, that’s a great idea! Then I’m gonna play the drums.”
“…….I take piano lessons, so if it’s the keyboard, then…”
What the heck is this!?
While I was dumbfounded, the guys got themselves together. It seems the four of them were going to make a band. Kazu-nii looked at the overexcited guys and smiled wryly.
“I can participate in the Culture Fest. But you have to do the rest by yourselves,” he told them.
After that, the karaoke session was spent on their band project.
Me? I’m not joining in. They did ask me what I wanted to do. But to be honest, I didn’t like singing in front of people. I didn’t have an instrument I was good at either. Also, I would prefer not to join a group made up of only guys.
“I’ll help you guys out with stuffs like filing applications to play during the school festival, as well as getting permission to use the music room for practice.” I think as their vice class rep, it was a valid compromise.
The group name was decided as “Neo Candle” since they decided to make the band after they heard Candle’s song.
Their actions once we left the karaoke shop were quick. They immediately went to a musical instrument store to purchase scores to practice. I have regretted a number of times giving into impulse and buying things on the spot. So, I decided to watch the four of them with lukewarm eyes.
But you know, If Maria-jou was here, wouldn’t it play out where she’d be declared their vocalist on the spot?
I said goodbye to everyone at 3 PM at the station and rode the train back. Kazu-nii’s headed back to the academy and then drive home by his car.
“Make sure you do your homework~” He said to us. However, I was too tired, so I didn’t answer back.
I’m not sure why it happened but I ended up exchanging email addresses with Itou-kun and the others. I don’t hate messages. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel nervous and ended up exhausting myself. Maybe it’s because it’s the first time I’ve exchanged contacts with guys other than Kazu-nii.
I changed into something comfortable when I came home. I was rolling around on my bed when Kazu-nii came into my room.
Normally, he wouldn’t bother to come into my room like this. I wonder what’s wrong? I could feel a quiet anger rolling off from Kazu-nii.
“…….What’s wrong, Kazu-nii?”
“Shiori, are you even aware you’re a high school student now?”
He told me to sit down properly, so I obeyed him, taking a seat on my bed. Kazu-nii took a seat beside me. He was speaking to me in a small voice like he didn’t want downstairs to hear.
Even if he’s my relative, I would like it if he didn’t sit on my bed without permission like this. However, if we are talking about something private then I have no choice.
“I’m talking about karaoke today. Why did you follow a bunch of guys to some place without any care?”
Why, you, out of all people, is asking that?
“Kazu-nii, you know why too. It was you who first turned them down and then agreed in the end. I wanted to get the supplementary lessons over with and go home.”
“Even if you had no other choice, you need to be more firm! Don’t look embarrassed having guys serving you left and right!”
What the hell is he accusing me of? In the first place, there were only guys in the room! There’s no way guys cannot sit beside me nor can I stop them!!
I snapped and argued back without thinking. “Then what? Are you telling me to be on my guard the whole time and glare while not sitting beside some guy!? If I did that, the mood will be the worst! Also, what the heck do you mean by serve!? Huh!?”
“Do you know what face Itou made when you look up at him anxiously? Seeing some guy blush and then panic is disgusting to watch, you know!?”
“I have no idea! I was panicking and there’s no way I’ll remember what kind of face Itou-kun made!!”
“Can you imagine my shock when I thought something seemed familiar and it turned out to be a sub-event of the game!? Why the heck are you triggering the event!? Are you listening to me! Make sure you turn down their training camp during the Golden Week no matter what!! Don’t you dare go even by mistake, okay!?” He shouted at me.
“Training camp!? What’s that supposed to be!? I haven’t heard anything!”
“I’m telling you, it might happen in the fut——!”
We weren’t exactly insulting each other, but as we argued, our voices got louder and louder. Kazu-nii shouted while pinning down on my shoulder. I guess it’s because I got agitated, so I lost my balance. Just like that, I fell on my back. Kazu-nii, beside me, also fell forward onto me with his hand still on my shoulder.
My bed made a creaking noise. My vision was covered with Kazu-nii’s startled face.
Calm down. Calm down, me. Niimi Shiori is a calm and composed woman. Moreover, arguing with him like this won’t solve the problem.
I looked at Kazu-nii’s face who was about a few centimeters from my nose, wondering how to push him off. How should I put this. He’s way too close. I feel like if I carelessly turned my face, I’ll bump into him just like that. Where, you ask, is something I won’t say.
Meanwhile, Kazu-nii went rigid since he pushed me down onto my bed without meaning to. Before long, his eyes changed slightly in color. It was a shade like he was burning in heat.
Creak, my bed made.
A small pain ran through my shoulder where he still held. Kazu-nii leaned over me, making our distance even clo…….
My mouth flapped open and closed like I was making a wordless scream.
Kazu-nii jumped away. “………ah……” He mumbled something with a cracked voice. He covered his mouth with his hand and looked the other way.
“Kazu-nii,” I called his name quietly. His shoulder jumped and quivered. I continued on regardless. “Calm down.”
“I’m not injured or anything.”
“I’m not delicate enough that you’ll hurt me just by pressing my shoulder. Everything is alright.”
“Don’t ‘eh’ me. Ah, jeez, you were worried about me, right? Cause I’m not used to guys. I get it, it’s alright. And I’m sure Itou-kun and the others aren’t thinking about doing anything weird to one of their many classmates either. I didn’t join their band either. The end. I don’t know what’s happening on Golden Week but isn’t that Maria-jou’s event? It has nothing to do with me.”
“…….Ah. Eh? Shiori?”
“Jeez~ I know you’re a siscon, Kazu-nii. But you don’t have to be so overprotective,” I told him.
“Ah, you’re not aware? You have a sister complex no matter how you look at it. I’m technically your cousin but I’m like your little sister. When you put it this way, all the things you do is exactly what a big bro with a sister complex does.”
While I’m at it, I probably have a big brother complex. It doesn’t bother me that Kazu-nii is worried about me like this. I don’t know how other brother and sisters are in the world. Letting Kazu-nii into my room like this makes us siblings that get along pretty well, I would think.
“Come to think of it, was Maria-jou’s grandmother not well for real?” I asked.
“Eh? Ah? Shiori?”
“Do we really have to set a time for supplementary lessons? To be honest, it’s a pain…… Make sure you decide it soon. I wanna go out and play with Yumi-chan, so I need to set a date.”
“……Y-Yeah, got it.”
With this and that, Saturday finally ended.
□ ■ □
April 26th, Friday.
This year’s Golden Week (GW) takes place on the 27th, 28th, morning of the 29th, and the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and afternoon of the 6th. As such, there were many people making plans for the first half and the second half respectively.
But there were exceptions.
That person would be Seika Maria Secondary Academy’s second year, Mizusaki-senpai. He was the number one celebrity of the academy and the only son of some rich conglomerate. He planned on taking three days off between the 30th to the 2nd as well to travel overseas. The teachers who heard his declaration to skip school had a bitter atmosphere.
I learnt this gossip from Iinchou. For some reason, I feel like I learn more information from Iinchou than Kyouko-jou who’s in the reporting club. Yumi-chan was listening with me and had her eyes widening. Also, the three of us were eating lunch together.
“That’s amazing~ There’s really people like him in the world. I mean, like those kind of rich people. I wonder what country he’s going to. Maybe Europe or something?” Yumi-chan commented.
“I’m sure it’s nowhere close by. Otherwise, there’s no point in going as far as skipping school for it,” I said.
“They say it’s easy to visit Europe during this season. Though there’s probably a lot of people around then. If I’m going on a long trip, I want to go to Turkey or Egypt instead,” Iinchou added in.
Since I had a lot of opportunities to talk to Iinchou, Yumi-chan who’s beside me also gained more chances to speak with Iinchou as well. I have a feeling Yumi-chan has become Iinchou’s female friend number two.
“But, really, that Mizusaki-senpai is bold. He could have just said he caught a cold and can’t come to school,” I noted, amazed by that senpai.
Iinchou smiled. “Niimi-san’s reactions are amusing. That’s your only thought after hearing that? Normally, people would be jealous of his long trip.”
Really? Study while you are a student, you bourgeois! Is what I think.
Now then, about this Mizusaki-senpai, I suspect he is the Wednesday capture target. He’s the number one wealthy celebrity in our academy and has ‘water’ in his last name.
According to the rumors, he is quite good-looking to the point he has a fanclub within the school. A fanclub, you know? How is it even managed? And what kind of activities does it even do?
“Well, putting that aside. Could you submit this to the student council room for me?” Iinchou asked me before handing me the said documents.
It was an application asking for permission to use the music room for our Class B’s band, “Neo Candle”. The student council has to mediate matters involving students wishing to use the facilities in the school, it seems. After I promised the band I will help them, I immediately researched into it with Iinchou.
“Ah, I see……. I got it. I think I said I’ll submit the application this week too.”
“Niimi-san, you like involving yourself in interesting matters,” Iinchou said.
“I don’t know about that… It just sort of happened,” I told him.
“The student council room, huh. I’m jealous……. The student president is really cool,” Yumi-chan commented. Her words made me recall the entrance ceremony.
“Then Yumi-chan, how about coming with me?” I proposed.
“Is that okay though?”
“It’s not like they banned entry from outsiders. I’ll feel a lot better than going alone too,” I told her.
Weirdly enough Iinchou nodded his head too. “Niimi-san is right. Sasaki-san, why don’t you go together with her? You might see something interesting as well.”
“Eh?” Yumi-chan widened her eyes, confused.
I also tilted my head, not understanding what he meant.
In any case, the student council room was in the west building. After we finished eating, I went there together with Yumi-chan. There was still 30 minutes before lunchtime was over.
I’ve never actually been to the student council room yet. Iinchou took the duty of submitting all the documents there himself.
“Uu……. It makes me nervous…….. Being in our seniors’ building…….” Yumi-chan told me as she looked around the building timidly.
The structure of the building was almost exactly the same as the eastern one. Still, I couldn’t blame her. When you think about how all the students walking here were older, you’d feel anxious. That being said, I wasn’t nervous at all because I had Yumi-chan here with me. When humans have something to protect, they become stronger.
“Excuse me, I would like to submit some documents. Could I ask what floor the student council room is?” I asked a senior walking by.
“Oh, are you a first year? In that case, it is at the end of the third floor. If you continue down this way, you will reach a staircase. Please head up from there.”
I learned where the room was easily thanks to the senior. I bowed my head and thanked them. “Thank you very much. …….Let’s go, Yumi-chan.”
She looked up at me, a little bit surprised.
I wonder what’s wrong. I tilted my head.
Yumi-chan opened her mouth. “S-Shiori-chan, you’re amazing……”
“In what way?”
“C-Cause. That senior just now looked like a prince. You didn’t seem to notice at all, or rather……”
Hearing her words, I turned to look back. The senior who helped us was walking steadily down the hallway. He had long glossy hair tied together in a ponytail. He had a good posture and his figure from behind was beautiful.
As for his face…….
“Hmmm~ I might have not looked at his face much.”
Yumi-chan looked somewhat shocked by my answer. Afterwards, she giggled lightly. “That’s so like you, Shiori-chan.”
In what way?
We were about to climb the stairway at the end of the hallway. But that was also when we noticed it was quite noisy upstairs. I feel like I’ve heard these voices before, yet I couldn’t remember where.
Also, I wonder why girls’ voices were so noisy when there’s a whole group of them. Calling them ‘shrill voices’ was a good term, I must say.
I stopped my feet, trying to understand the situation as I scrunched my eyebrows. Yumi-chan also stopped. Eventually, the voices went away, so we continued walking again.
At the end of the third floor up the stairs was a wooden door. It looked a little bit different from all the other doors leading to classrooms. In the center of the door was a plate saying, “The Student Council Room”. I turned to knock without delay.
“Who is it?”
Oh! This good-sounding voice is Student President Tsukishima without a doubt! I went to greet him with excitement. “My name is Niimi from Year 1, Class B. I have brought an application I would like to submit……”
We wait in front of the door for a bit. Eventually, the door opened and the student president came out with a smile on his face. “If you have business with us then please come in freely. You don’t need permission to come in or out.”
This was Tsukishima Keiichirou, our student president. He was lean, tall, and looked smart. And more than anything else, his voice was hot! His voice was good when I heard it through the microphone, but his natural voice was even better. I wonder if he’ll become a seiyuu for me.
“The door is different, but inside is just a small classroom,” he told us. “Come inside.”
We just need to hand the application, so there’s really no need to go inside. Still, we might as well since we have the chance.
“Thank you for inviting us in,” I said, bowing my head politely. I beckoned Yumi-chan to come in as well when I entered the student council room.
TL: Kazu-nii: homeroom teacher, siscon (<-NEW!). It’s okay, Kazu-nii. Shiori’s opinion of you probably can’t drop any further…
We finally get to encounter the student president since the entrance ceremony!? Also, Yumi-chan, I think Shiori has a voice fetish, not a face one…