I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 923 min read
Volume 1 | Chapter 3: May – Part 3
Today was the Sports Festival.
Never mind the otome game business, I’m the type of person who’s blessed by weather in these kinds of events. From kindergarten up until today, I haven’t had an event day that rained. Kazu-nii called me a sunny girl, and I think I am one too.
“I’m so glad it’s sunny~” Yumi-chan beamed.
She was excited for the Sports Festival. Since she was bad at sports, she’s actually welcoming the bean bag throwing event if that was the only thing she had to do. She also mentioned how she was going to help Kyouko-jou capture everyone’s gallant figures on camera by handing Kyouko-jou drinks or changing the film.
Working together with Kyouko-jou meant she’ll be able to see those good-looking, gallant guys from the best spot, so she’s quite thrilled.
Yumi-chan, there’s also the option of entering the reporting club, you know?
“Don’t over do it,” Iinchou said, expressing his concerns for me. But, to be blunt, he was even busier than I was. He had a water bottle filled with cold sports drink around his neck, so there were no worries about dehydration. What’s left was me praying he won’t collapse.
“You too. Also make sure to drink liquids,” I said to him. I had a water bottle around my neck too. I know well more than anyone how it looked dumb. But getting a heatstroke is not a joking matter either.
Meanwhile, Maria-jou made honey lemon slices for everyone, which were nutritious. It’s sour but it’s also sweet. It’s something that’ll make me quite happy when I’m exercising. We decided to put it in our class’ cheering space, so that our classmates could drink them after their event. However, Maria-jou didn’t think all the way through, and didn’t bring ice packs with her.
Though this problem was solved since Iinchou and I had prepared some ice packs. If you ask the sports clubs, they can pop out a number of these kinds of ice packs. Maria-jou, if you left those honey lemon slices out in the sun, someone’s stomach might hurt after eating.
The Sports Festival was going smoothly. After the opening ceremony, all the students did radio exercises, which was a little surreal to watch. Finally, the sports events took off. Everyone competed in groups in the Sports Festival.
All the students, from first year to third year, in Class A will be in group A, and so on. It was structured so that if any of the students in Class A’s won an event, it’ll be added into the overall score of A.
The group that wins will receive 30 meal tickets for the cafeteria. But there’s not enough for everyone. As such, the third years will take them all. No matter how hard the first and second years try, we won’t receive any prize.
‘Do your best for the third years,’ — we will only get dejected if we’re told such. However, depending on the third year class, they might go out of their way to encourage their juniors. Some volunteer to form a cheering party to raise up motivations.
The third years of Class B didn’t do anything, so our group was calm from start to end.
Tired, I thought of taking a break soon. I decided to take a seat in the shade. The concrete base of the building’s corners were just high enough to be a good replacement for a chair. When I lifted up my head, I spotted a familiar person with an unsteady gait nearby.
It was Katsuragi-kun of Class C. Since he was so tall, he made a nice shadow when he came by me. However, I can’t help but notice how bad his complexion was.
I hesitated a bit but decided to call out to him in the end. “Why don’t you take a seat?”
“……Ah?” Katsuragi-kun didn’t know where my voice came from and looked around left and right.
When he noticed me sitting on the ground, his eyes widened. I’m sure he was thinking how there was a female student he didn’t recognize. Except, truthfully, we haven’t spoken to each other even once yet.
I made sure that Katsuragi-kun sits down beside me without a word. I took out a new towel from the bag I was carrying out and put it on top of his head.
“How many events did you participate in since this morning?” I asked.
“……Four but…… five, in a way?” He told me.
“Only four events took place yet you did five?”
“Someone was sick, so I did the relay in their place……”
“You ran for two people? What the heck is Class C thinking?” I sighed, shaking my head.
Our Class B’s class representative was not athletic, so he didn’t demand anything unreasonable. However, people who can somewhat do sports but have no imagination tend to shove everything down on those who are athletic instead.
“What’s your next event?”
“Long-distance and borrowing……”
“If it’s the long-distance run, there’s still a whole hour before it starts. Did you eat lunch?”
“No…… I don’t feel good, so I don’t want to eat……”
This was bad. He’s completely under the heat.
“Then at least drink some water. The best is for you to rest in the infirmary but……”
Katsuragi-kun shook his head. I don’t know why, but I could tell he didn’t want to go. I guess I don’t have any other choice~
“Come on,” I told him, patting my lap. “Drink some liquid and sleep for a bit. I’m in the long-distance run too, so I’ll wake you up before it starts.”
“……” He didn’t fight back. Katsuragi-kun obediently drank my sports drink and rested his head on my lap.
Good grief. Katsuragi-kun’s taller than Kazu-nii, huh. My legs will definitely go numb later.
For a while, I drank my sports drink as well and rested. It took a bit more time before I realized, isn’t this an indirect kiss? Sharing the same bottle wasn’t enough to send me into a panic, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me at all.
Katsuragi-kun was sound asleep, probably because of how tired he was. Looking at him, I couldn’t help but think his features were beautiful.
I had thought he was a traditional Japanese beauty to begin with, but to think he was on such a high level. He looked like he’ll suit traditional clothing over our school gym uniform. I gently ran my fingers through his hair. It felt like silk, which made me feel jealous.
I woke Katsuragi-kun ten minutes before the long-distance run started. I tried to loosen my stiff body before returning to my class’ cheering space.
Iinchou looked relieved when he saw me. Maybe they even searched for me since I was nowhere to be found. I will admit I slacked off on my tasks.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. How are you doing?” I asked.
“Ah, everything is going smoothly right now…… Niimi-san, where were you?”
“From the back of the school. I said I was going to rest for a bit, didn’t I? Anyways, it’s my turn, so I’m going to head to the long-distance track. I’m counting on you with the rest.”
“……Niimi-san, I think watching the borrowing race at the front will be more exciting.”
“Eh?” I tilted my head in bewilderment.
Iinchou answered with smile of amusement.
I got second place on the long-distance run. We girls weren’t separated by year and all ran at once, so I thought my result was pretty good. Points were given to the students from 1st to 10th place, so each group received some.
When I went back to my class’ space, I was greeted with cheers and claps. Yes, yes, praise me as you like.
No one thought I could run this much since I was in the go-home club. I’m sure I increased the affection rate of my class. However, the person whose affection rate I wanted to increase more than anyone else wasn’t around.
Maria-jou wasn’t nearby.
“Over there,” Iinchou told me, pointing his finger. I followed it and found Maria-jou, Kyouko-jou and Yumi-chan.
Kyouko-jou held her camera, Yumi-chan was on standby with a film, and Maria-jou was blushing, but looked happy, as she fluttered her mystery miniskirt. It looked like some sort of cheerleader outfit. Actually, is there even a cheerleading club in our academy?
“What happened?” I questioned.
“Mizusaki-senpai’s cheering squad was wearing that outfit, and doing something like cheerleading. Aikawa-san who walked by got mixed up into it. Mizusaki-senpai told her to wear one too. She refused, but was forced to wear it in the end. Mizusaki-senpai and the squad have gone back to their class, but since Aikawa-san was already wearing it, Matsuri-san said she wanted to take her picture as a commemoration.”
“They didn’t do any sort of performance. They just held pom poms in their hands and cheered, ‘Mizusaki-senpai~’,” Iinchou explained.
“Yup, I get the picture now.”
I only found out recently but the girls hanging around Mizusaki-senpai were actually members of his official fanclub. Maria-jou was invited to join as an honorary member, but she turned them down. However, it seemed Mizusaki-senpai liked how she turned him down, so his affection rate for her increased even more. I’m sure he’s a masochist.
“Aikawa-san~! The next event is the borrowing race, so please hurry and change~!” I called out to her.
“Ah! Yes! I’m sorry!” Maria-jou shouted back in a hurry. As for her wonderful photos, I will have Kyouko-jou show them to me later. But first things first, it was more important to have her participate in the borrowing race.
Borrowing race…… I know what kind of race it was, but this will be the first time I’ll be seeing it in person. We didn’t have it in either my elementary or middle school.
Each person was to run from the start line to a fixed location. There they will open up papers prepared, locate and borrow the item written on it, and run with it until the goal. There will be a judge at the goal, determining if the item they borrowed was the same as what was written on the paper.
If the judge rejects it, the runner will have to go and borrow the right item again. The items written on the paper can be found in the school grounds. However, on the rare chance, there will be paper with abstract items written on it. You can even call it the special feature of this race.
According to Iinchou, today’s prize item was ‘the person I liked’.
I asked Kazu-nii about this borrowing race. Apparently in the otome game, it’s an event where the heroine can drastically raise affection rates of the capture target she brings with her. Incidentally, there were no changes in affection rates for the capture targets who don’t get picked.
However, what happens in this world that is reality? Won’t it be hard to see a girl who picks someone else as ‘the person I like’ as dateable?
Kazu-nii announced he will escape to the staff room before the borrowing race even begins. He didn’t want to be her target, in the off-chance she actually wants to pick him. Well, there were lots of capture targets, so I’m sure Maria-jou won’t have a problem finding someone.
Just like this, I watched over Maria-jou with my heart throbbing in suspense. But before her race started, another small event occurred.
There was another group that ran before Maria-jou’s, and Katsuragi-kun was in it. He ran fast — I knew he was athletic, but he was already number one within his group.
The runner representing Class B was Satou-kun, a member of Neo Candle. By the time he was halfway to where the papers were prepared, Katsuragi-kun was already opening one up. ……Satou-kun wasn’t slow by any chance either, I thought.
The papers were placed in envelopes before being shuffled together. No one knew what was inside. Though I heard if someone placed marks on the envelopes, they can manipulate the result to some extent.
Anyways, no one knew what paper Katsuragi-kun pulled out. When he read what was written, he looked surprised. And then he tilted his head before observing the area.
I wonder if he was looking for someone to lend him something. Like glasses? I looked at the glasses-wearing class rep beside me. Since Katsuragi-kun was in a different class, it’s not like we had to cooperate with him.
That was when Katsuragi-kun ran over our way with the paper in his hand. He grabbed my arm and said this to me, “I found you.”
“……Eh?” He pulled my arm with force. I was about to be taken away, so I quickly planted my feet down to ask for an explanation. “W-Wait… You’re borrowing something right? But why me? If you want me to lend you something, just tell me…….”
What exactly was it? Water bottle? Headband? I’m not lending you my gym uniform, okay? Other than that, I didn’t have anything special on me……
Katsuragi-kun showed me the paper he had. There was only one word written down.
“……Huh!?” I was shocked. Katsuragi-kun didn’t wait for me any longer. He picked me up in his arms and ran before I could even protest.
Come to think of it, this man has a past record of princess-carrying Maria-jou at the entrance ceremony. I ran that thought in my mind calmly if only because I started to run away from reality before I even noticed.
When Katsuragi-kun reached the goal, he gave the paper and showed me to the judge.
“Eh?” See, even the judge is confused.
Well yeah, cause I’m not a pillow. I’m a human being no matter how you look at me. More importantly, if you want a pillow, go to the infirmary. There are beds there, am I right?
“It’s a pillow, isn’t it? Her lap,” he said without much care.
Thanks to how loud the Sports Festival was, his words only reached those nearby. However, they entered my ears fine. Seeing how the judge’s eyes widened, he definitely heard too.
“…….Eh, ah……. Well, in that case…” The judge’s mind was still frozen as he put a checkmark on the paper. I’m sure his mind hasn’t restarted yet.
After Katsuragi-kun received the checkmark, he left me standing where the 1st place flag was.
Me and the judge were left behind. We stared dumbfoundedly at each other.
“……Umm… Want me to keep this a secret?”
“……Please… kindly do so.”
Come to think of it, the judge was the class rep from Class D. He knew who I was too.
I felt like crying and running away from reality in a jumbled up state. Despite how unsteady I was feeling, I somehow managed to head back to my class. Iinchou was there waiting for me as he laughed, clutching his stomach.
“D-Don’t tell me you heard……”
“N-No, I didn’t hear a thing. Yup, I didn’t hear anything. I just knew what item it was so… Kukukuku! Bwhahahaha!!”
Come to think of it, Iinchou helped prepare the papers. I’m sure he made marks on the envelopes, so when Katsuragi-kun came by with it, he knew what item was written down.
For the time being, I’ve come to an understanding — Katsuragi Kyouya is a natural airhead.
Also, my affection rate for Iinchou just dropped sharply.
As for Maria-jou’s borrowing race, it didn’t raise my mood much despite what happened. What happened beforehand was too shocking for me.
Like I predicted, Maria-jou pulled out ‘the person I liked’ and she went to choose Tsuchiya-shounen. I thought he was the best choice among Maria-jou’s capture targets too.
As of right now, she was only acquaintances with Tsukishima-senpai, Mizusaki-senpai, and Kaneshiro-senpai. As for the violin pretty boy, we didn’t know where he was at the moment.
Katsuragi-kun disappeared from the waiting spot at the 1st place flag before anyone noticed. And compared to Designer-kun who transferred recently, it was correct to choose Tsuchiya-shounen who Maria-jou has known for a long time.
Kazu-nii said the capture targets’ affection rates won’t drop even if they weren’t picked, but this was reality. You don’t know if their affections won’t drop for sure. In that case, the capture target Maria-jou will be most troubled if their affection rate dropped will be Tsuchiya-shounen since they have already built up some sort of relationship.
Maria-jou came to the class’ cheering space to get Tsuchiya-shounen. She didn’t show her paper to the other classmates, so I think the only people who knew what the item was were Iinchou with the marks on the envelope and Tsuchiya-shounen who read it. As for me, I guessed by Iinchou’s reaction.
I nonchalantly stepped closer to the pair to observe their faces. Tsuchiya-shounen was taken aback while Maria-jou smiled brightly. She opened her mouth and said in a small voice, “You’re my childhood friend who I like very much. See, doesn’t it match perfectly?”
Tsuchiya-shounen was completely red.
Wowie~ Amazing, Maria-jou~ With an answer like that, not even the judge can complain. And those words were just harsh enough to stop Tsuchiya-shounen from getting conceited and not sit right inside him. After all, he was just her childhood friend.
I don’t know if she did it spontaneously or if it was calculated. Either way, you’re amazing, Maria-jou!
Also, the other best choice is to bring a girl friend with her. The judge wouldn’t complain, and the guys wouldn’t be disgruntled either. The only downside was that she won’t be able to increase the affection rate for the capture targets. This was a plan I thought off in the one-in-million chance I had to participate in the race and got this item.
Next was the other climax of the Sports Festival — the mock cavalry battle.
Representing us was Designer-kun as the top of the cavalry. Each class of every year had to send their own, so each group would have three. They will all fight in a battle royale system to steal headbands from each other. Cavalries’ whose headbands were stolen away will be disqualified.
The team that steals the most headbands will receive the most points, the second team will receive second most, and so on.
Designer-kun loved events where he could have fun with other people, so he volunteered his time to practise with his team. As for whether or not their practices made an impact… I decided not to say anything. Anyways, they looked like they had a lot of fun, so that was enough.
The winner of the Sports Festival was Group E, which was also Tsukishima-senpai’s class. They didn’t have any outstanding performances, but they constantly won points in each event. Basically, their good teamwork was what decided their win today.
Group B was in second place. Too bad.
After the awards ceremony was the closing event, also known as the folk dance tournament. There will be a ring of girls and a ring of boys. One by one after another, everyone was to change their partners as they dance.
All the teachers were participating too, so soon came the trap of needing to adjust the number of people dancing. In some cases, there will be students who have to dance the other gender’s part as well.
This year the boy to girl ratio was miraculously the same, so no one had to dance on the other side. However, something troubling did happen. Before the folk dance began, the girl who was about to dance with Mizusaki-senpai before anyone else complained about having to exchange partners later. She requested that they leave the ring so that she could dance with Mizusaki-senpai the whole time.
As a result, we saw the unusual sight of Mizusaki-senpai being removed from the ring. You can only dance with a number of people in this folk dance. In other words, he wouldn’t be able to dance with every member of his fan club.
There were many girls looking forward to dancing with just Mizusaki-senpai among the other boys. They repeatedly argue against this, but Mizusaki-senpai agreed with the idea of leaving the ring. The teachers now had to adjust the number of people, so one girl was to leave the ring too.
As for the Mizusaki-senpai in question, he told the girls, “I’ll dance with whoever wants to on another day.”
Personally, I thought the girl who started this should leave the ring, but she didn’t want to. What is up with her? Thanks to her, the air changed so that someone from either the Sports Festival committee or a class representative had to leave.
Well, I decided to leave voluntarily myself. I had helped Kazu-nii practise every year, so frankly, I was pretty sick of folk dancing.
I watched the last event some distance away and let out a sigh.
Withdrawing from an event halfway in progress was unexpectedly tough. Maybe I volunteered without thinking it through. If I had kept quiet, I’m sure one of the teachers would have volunteered. I should have just waited……
This folk dance will continue on for fifteen minutes. You danced with one partner for about 30 seconds. It was calculated so you would dance with 30 people in total. I thought it would end quicker if I watched from the side, so I had drawn back to the side of the building.
However, when I saw how everyone was busy trying to make rings, I realized it will be a while before they even start. They were noisy, chatting with everyone and bustling with joy. They look like they’re all having fun…
I didn’t want them wondering what I was doing all alone either, so I stepped back until people couldn’t see me from the schoolyard anymore. But that was when I discovered something unexpected.
It was Mizusaki-senpai.
“Isn’t it better if you had a partner?” I called out to him.
He jumped, flushing until his ears turned red. “Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Yo-Youuu……!!!”
Yup, his ears are pretty red. That being said, I knew what he was trying to say. “Yes, I saw you.”
“I won’t tell a soul. …….Umm, could it be that you aren’t very good at folk dancing?” I asked him.
Mizusaki-senpai was hiding in the distance, doing air folk dancing training. Ladies’ man Mizusaki-senpai was the type to show off in front of people. He wanted to be the coolest he could be at all times in front of a woman. It goes without saying that he wanted to look even cooler when it comes to dancing where the man had to take the lead.
Seeing how Mizusaki-senpai was secretly dancing, I couldn’t help but remember Kazu-nii when he practised at home. “Would you like me to help you?” I offered.
“You plan on dancing with everyone in your fanclub in the future, am I right?”
“Please don’t worry. I’m good at teaching folk dancing.” After all, I did intensive training with Kazu-nii who sucked at dancing. I’m at a level where I can lead a guy in folk dancing too. “Now come, leave your body to me.”
“Why the hell did you choose that wording!?”
Mizusaki-senpai was certainly a gifted student. Once I taught him the tricks, he was able to dance in no time. We matched the folk dance song floating by to practise around five minutes. By then, he showed no traces of how pathetic he looked in the beginning.
When I thought about it, we don’t practise folk dance in gym class. It wouldn’t be strange if there were other people besides Mizusaki-senpai who didn’t know how to folk dance. I think this academy should put this into their consideration a little bit more.
“If it’s ballroom dancing, then it’s my forte,” Mizusaki-senpai told me like he was trying to make excuses for himself. But, well, with the way he quickly soaked up what I taught him, it was true he had the sense for dancing.
“There was folk dancing last year as well. What did you do then?” I questioned.
“There were more guys than girls, so I pulled out.”
“I see,” I laughed as we continued to hold hands.
Mizusaki-senpai gave me a look like he bit something sour as he complimented me. “You’re good at this.”
“I am honored to be praised.” I thought I might as well thank him like a noble lady and smiled elegantly.
It’s about time I left though. “Thank you for your hard work today,” I told him. “If I may say so, Senpai, you were an excellent student. I am sure everyone in your fanclub will fall in love with you again.”
If I tell him this, I’m sure he will take up the folk dance challenge filled with self-confidence.
I wonder if he knew. The secret to dancing is to make yourself believe you can do it. Just by doing it confidently, you’ll look like you’re good at dancing. Well, you still have to practice the dance steps though.
“……By the way, you look familiar but did we meet somewhere?” Mizusaki-senpai asked me.
It looks like he doesn’t remember the girl who fell down the stairs because of his fangirls.
I laughed. “What a lame pickup line. I think this is the first time we’ve met.” I’ll forgive him in exchange for this cheekiness here. “Please also let me thank you. It was boring not being able to participate in the dance so… This was fun, Senpai.”
I only danced for five minutes. I was tired, but more than that, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Like I thought, people should participate in festivals until the very end because that’s when it’s worth it.
The next day, Mizusaki-senpai’s fanservice was a huge success from what I heard. Maria-jou got mixed up into it and the two displayed a wonderful picture for everyone to see. I wondered what might have happened if he didn’t train with me.
Just thinking about it made me laugh.
□ ■ □
TL: Sports Festival! It brings back horrible memories of left, right, left, right and ouch suddenly the heroine and her guy collapses and then someone passes them and we lose the three-legged race, reload.
Hopefully, Shiori can erase the memory of being princess carried and having her lap be considered a pillow by Katsuragi 😉
Ed: Oh dear, these boys are slowly creeping into my heart without meaning to. >/////<