I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 1426 min read
Volume 1 | Chapter 4: June – Part 3
“……Rain?” Katsuragi-kun muttered.
He sluggishly went to get his shirt left against the wall. Judging by how he had his towel and bag there too, he came straight to the dojo after coming to school and had been skipping the whole time. I wonder if he had no interest in the elections. Naturally, it’s unlikely he voted either.
“It rained since it got dark,” I told him.
“I don’t have an umbrella,” he said. He then turned his eyes to me.
Of course, I smiled tiredly back. “I’m sorry. To tell you the truth, I don’t have one either. If I did, I’ll be able to let you in until we reach the station.” But in that case, I would have gone home already and wouldn’t have met Katsuragi-kun like this.
“I see,” he answered shortly before throwing his shirt to me.
……? I caught it without thinking. I tilted my head in confusion. Katsuragi-kun came by until he was right in front of me. He grabbed the shirt and put it on top of my head.
Gently, the scent of a man tickled my nose making me feel uncomfortable. However, I felt Katsuragi-kun’s large hand on my head, past the fabric of the shirt, keeping me in place.
Nonetheless, I tried to look up to see him. That was when he quietly muttered in a low tone that sent shivers rolling down my spine.
“You’ll get wet. Take this.”
……Use this… as an umbrella…… is what he’s saying……
……What the hell is with him~~~~!?
I didn’t scream at the top of my lungs. I’m awesome. But I did tense up instead.
Don’t ask me what’s wrong, you natural airhead!!
Arggggghhhhhhhhhhh!! I groaned incomprehensibly in my mind as I turned my face away since my cheeks were flushing red.
He’s close. He’s way too close. Seeing this man’s face close up is way too stimulating.
“…..I-I’ll get wet in the end with just a shirt anyways, so don’t worry. I’ll use my bag as an umbrella.”
That’s why, please step away. Give me a breaaaaaaak!!
Maybe he didn’t realize I was stiffening up like a stone and he looked puzzled. “Bag?”
That’s right, my bag. I’ll carry my bag and………… it’s not here?
“Huh?” I looked left and right, checking everywhere. While I was at it, I looked down on my palms too. I wasn’t holding anything.
That’s strange. I was preparing to leave, so I went to the janitor’s office to get an umbrella. I would have headed straight home the moment I obtained an umbrella, so I should have had my bag. Since I didn’t, I headed to the storehouse and thought it was getting dark. I had my bag then too.
There I heard the sounds of wind cutting made by Katsuragi-kun and……
Katsuragi-kun found my bag instead of me who was looking around restlessly. My bag was on the floor at the entrance of the dojo. It seems I didn’t notice I dropped it because I was too fascinated by Katsuragi-kun’s movements.
When he collected the bag, he came back with wide steps. He handed it to me, took the shirt still on top of my head, and roughly put it on. He didn’t button it up, so the blue of his tank top peeked out. He was giving out a strange manly sensual appeal.
I realized some time ago he had really good physique thanks to him wearing only a tank top. He had firm, proper muscles, and nothing was wasted. At the same time, he wasn’t brawny and was actually slender. I guessed he was the type that looked thinner with clothing on, or maybe because it’s hard to tell with our school uniform. Anyways, he had a wonderful fit body.
When he put his shirt back on, a small bag fell out of the chest pocket. The small bag was made out of felt-like cloth. I wonder what it was? A change purse?
“You dropped this,” I told him, about to lean down to pick it up for him.
Katsuragi-kun stopped me. “I can pick it up myself.”
I wonder if it’s precious enough that he didn’t want people picking it up for him.
“Is it important?” But if it was, he placed it in his chest pocket only. I would have taken it along with me if I had borrowed his shirt and went home.
“……No… not really.”
Katsuragi-kun placed the bag on top of his large hand and took out what’s inside to show me. It was a small green stone. It was in a circular shape, which I feel like I have seen somewhere. The stone wasn’t an emerald or jade; it was a mysterious hue of green.
“I was told not to give it to a woman,” Katsuragi-kun said.
“By my foster parent. ……He warned me that giving this to a woman will be the same as forfeiting my life. Want to hold it?”
Yeah, no, I have no idea what he is saying.
“I’m a woman though……” If he gives it to me, won’t he die? Eh? He’s suicidal? It’ll be a bother if he suddenly died in front of my eyes.
“I gave it to my little sister and didn’t die. It’s just a superstition of his,” he told me with a smile.
I came to understand this must be his unique way of joking. It was one that was hard to tell it was even a joke to begin with. Katsuragi-kun is definitely not the type who can survive in Kansai. He must not become an entertainer, not even by mistake. I have no doubt he’ll lose his job in no time.
“It’s a beautiful color……” I wanted to get a better look at the color, so I took the stone into my hand.
That was when it happened.
First, I felt a zap, making the sensation of numbness run through my body. Was it static electricity? I thought, looking up reflexively. And this was how I witnessed from the start to the end.
Katsuragi-kun had almond-shaped eyes; his facial features suited the phrase ‘Japanese beauty’ extremely well. He was tall and had a muscular physique, so at first glance he could be scary. However, if I had to describe him, I would call him a natural airhead. At the very least, he doesn’t take into consideration what kind of effects he has on women at all.
Judging by how he could easily princess carry Maria-jou, he might not even view women as the opposite sex.
……But when I took the stone into my hand, the color of that Katsuragi-kun’s eyes changed, like they burned with fever. It was like what used to be the color black turned into red…… I didn’t know how exactly to describe the change he made.
However, when I saw him at that very moment, I thought of one thing.
His eyes weren’t focused, as if though he was intoxicated. They held light like lust.
When I came to my senses, I was pushed onto the wooden flooring with my wrists pinned down. I felt his teeth against my neck and the hot wet sensation of the tip of his tongue. I could tell he was licking up the nape of my neck.
“You look tasty……” Sweetly. He murmured like he was enraptured. His low voice echoed deep in my ear, sending electric shocks, and made shivers run down my spine. I also felt the sensation of something rubbing against my thigh. I could hear the sound of our clothes rustling against each other.
And on top of all that, he called me by my first name.
The next moment.
Thud — echoed the dojo.
I was holding my breath and stiffened; he, on top of me, also froze.
“~~~~~~~~!!” He separated from me so fast I couldn’t help but be surprised. He backed away about ten meters from me and held his hand against his mouth, crouching on the ground.
As for me, I was desperately trying to calm my heart down, which finally started beating again at full power. Somehow, I managed to get up and sat on the cold floor. I pressed my hand against my heart. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop trembling, so standing up was impossible right now.
U-Uwaaaahhhh… I can still feel the sensation of him gripping my wrist……
“………I’m sorry,” he said in a very quiet voice. I think a few minutes have passed since he backed down. “I don’t know what was with me,” Katsuragi-kun forced words out with a cracked voice.
I thought of answering something. However, I was still trembling, so words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. I couldn’t even breathe properly. I could only pant heavily again and again. It took some more before my head finally started working.
“I don’t think…… it was your fault, Katsuragi-kun.”
I don’t get it. I don’t get anything at all. My mind was still a mess. Ahhhhh! More importantly, I don’t want to remember the feel of his hands on my wrists! But I still feel it! Hyaaa! Is what’s running left and right in my mind.
Oh, that’s right. I heard a thud sound. When I looked around, I noticed the green stone from earlier was on the floor. It seems it fell from my hand.
“…….Katsuragi-kun, this stone here. You said you weren’t supposed to give it to a girl, right?” I didn’t know the details but it was probably true.
Katsuragi-kun turned strange the moment I took the stone into my hand. And once it left my hand, he came back to his senses. Is he sick in some way?
“……So… it seems.” He let out a depressed tone as he picked up the stone, returned it into its bag, and back into his chest pocket.
“There’s always accidents. I think it’ll be better if you hide it so that no one will hold it in their hand,” I told him. He probably wasn’t aware but Katsuragi-kun belonged in the category of good-looking. If he will go crazy with just one stone, then isn’t this quite a dangerous secret? I’ll be blunt — I felt my life was at risk.
And I also think the best thing to do in times like this is to pretend nothing happened. However, I couldn’t uphold my beliefs at the moment. My legs are paralyzed from fear. What just happened was much scarier than I think it was.
I didn’t have anything else to talk about and staying by his side any longer was just awkward. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand. That being said, the idea of Katsuragi-kun carrying me was frankly scary. Instead, I had him stay a certain distance away from me. I didn’t have the kind of nerves that will let me have him princess-carry me with a cool expression on my face.
As for Katsuragi-kun, he didn’t feel like leaving me alone and heading home like this, so he obediently sat a few distances away from me.
“I wonder if the rain calmed down a bit by now,” I muttered.
The dojo did have windows. Unfortunately, it was dark outside, making it hard to tell what time it was. School was over when I went off searching for an umbrella. There’s no mistake, it’s quite late now.
Uwaaaaaaah! It’s so awkward! And I have no idea how to waste time!
“Umm, did you have that stone since you were young?” I asked him.
“……Probably,” he replied. “My foster parents gave it to me when I entered middle school. I was already holding it when my foster dad found me.”
O-Oh, here comes the development where his parents aren’t his real parents.
“It doesn’t bother me. I was really young then. My family has treated me very well, and I want to repay them too.”
I wonder if it really doesn’t bother him. But I could see his foster parents were good parents to him. “Your home’s a dojo, right?”
“Yeah. The dojo teaches swordsmanship. It’s different from kendo, but it’s hard to explain…… We learn the sword and martial arts.”
He tells me it’s different from kendo, but it doesn’t sparkle understanding in my mind. Still, the two of us finally settled down. Our distance remained the same, but Katsuragi-kun was looking at me steadily.
“……I’m sorry. I left a mark……”
If you are really sorry then don’t dig up the subject again!! I shouted inside my head as I flushed red. Mark. Mark, huh…… Ahhh, jeez…! Basically, he bit me. Damn it. I wonder if his teeth marks are on me. I dug out my hand mirror from my bag to take a proper look at it.
It’s red…… There weren’t any teeth marks. It was light, so I’m sure it’ll fade in no time. “Well, if I put some ice, I’m sure the red will tone down. If it stands out, I can just put a bandage on,” I told him with a laugh.
He dropped his shoulders with relief.
“By the way, did your foster parents explain anything about what happened earlier?” I questioned. “Umm, like, besides saying don’t give it to a girl.”
“No, not really…… Maybe I’ll ask once I get home.”
“Yeah, I think that’ll be the best, don’t you think? I mean…… it’ll trouble you if it happens again.”
To be blunt, it was a crime. Yup. If his face wasn’t good looking, it was on the level where people will immediately file a lawsuit!
Some more time passed as the two of us waited until it was raining lightly to head home. To sum up this incident, it was a mentally exhausting shelter from the rain.
Incidentally, I ended up using my bag as an umbrella after all. I’m going to buy an umbrella from a convenience store on my way back. No matter what!!
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The mark on my neck didn’t fade away even after I took a bath when I came home. I didn’t have any other choice, so I put a bandage on it.
I gathered my soft, light hair and held it up like a ponytail as I checked it again in the mirror. Maybe it’s because my body is all warmed up from my bath, but I couldn’t help but feel the redness got stronger. I wonder if leaving it one night and then putting a bandage on will make it heal faster…
I was glaring at the mirror in my room when I heard a voice from the entrance.
It seems Kazu-nii came back. He said he would be late, but he was really late. I was just about to go to sleep.
By the way, when are you ever going back to your apartment? The student council elections have ended too. Don’t you think you can stop coming to my home day after day to eat now? Especially since you now have the time and energy to spare for cooking?
I opened my door and called out to him. “Kazu-nii~~ I need to discuss something with you after you bath~”
“Want me to hear you out first?” Kazu-nii asked me.
“You sure? Then let’s talk in the living room.”
I thought he’d smell like alcohol since he came back this late. Then again, considering he was a teacher responsible for leading us students, he probably abstained from drinking at the party.
“There’s no way I can drink in front of students. Well, before that, if I did, I’ll be drinking and driving,” he told me.
Come to think of it, he has a point.
“And…… What did you need to talk to me about? Did something happen with Aikawa again?”
“It’s not about Maria-jou but…” What I wanted to discuss with him was Katsuragi-kun’s stone.
I didn’t notice back then but that stone — it resembled Kazu-nii and Designer-kun’s, just in a different color. On top of that, all three of them shared something in common. Yes, that’s right. They were all Maria-jou’s capture targets.
“Stone?” Kazu-nii was puzzled with the subject I brought up. “Basically, you mean…… this here, right?” He took out the said amber stone around his neck. It was modified into a pendant and Kazu-nii apparently wears it every single day.
“Katsuragi-kun has the same stone, but in a different color. His parents told him ‘not to give it to a woman’. I coincidentally had the chance to hold it in my hands and……. Katsuragi-kun started to act strange after,” I explained. But I didn’t want to explain what happened then in detail, so I gave a rough summary instead. “He suddenly called me, Shiori.”
I’m not going to say he pushed me down, so… errr… But in that case, how should I explain it to Kazu-nii?
“…….Umm…” I hesitated, fumbling my words.
Kazu-nii’s eyes turned grim. “Shiori, what’s that?” As expected of Kazu-nii, he saw through what I couldn’t properly say out loud for me. He pointed at the bandage on my neck.
“…….He bit me.” Ugh. I can’t do this. I couldn’t stop myself from blushing. The way Katsuragi-kun was on top of me back then really made me fear for my safety. I mean, I was completely restrained down by him. And to begin with, Katsuragi-kun knew martial arts. How can an amateur like me fight against him? I’m really, really glad he came back to his senses.
“……” Kazu-nii made a terrifying expression. It looks like a hannya, or an oni. And the way he didn’t say a word made him even scarier.
“When I let go of the stone, Katsuragi-kun returned to normal immediately,” I continued. “He was really depressed afterwards, so I think it’s the stone’s fault.”
Kazu-nii was listening to my explanation, but he still wouldn’t open his mouth. Umm, I’m serious here. You’re actually scaring me~?
“……Shiori,” he called out my name.
“Eh?” With one smooth move, Kazu-nii peeled off the bandage on my neck. And at the spot that was still red, he went and bit it. “Hiee!”
Play-biting is what you call it? Anyways, it doesn’t hurt but what the hell is this man doing! “L-Let go! What are you doing!” I shouted, quickly trying to push him away. When I did, he actually separated from me easily. However, he also licked my neck with his tongue.
Ahhhhhh, it’s now itchy, you know……
“I disinfected it,” he told me. “Just what kind of man is he, that Katsuragi. Giving you a kiss mark without warning…”
“It’s a kiss mark, just look at it. Jeez…… brats like him shouldn’t pretend they’re adults.” Kazu-nii said those last words rudely like they slipped out of his mouth. He coughed slightly before returning back to the topic at hand.
“Wear a bandage at school. If anyone asks, tell them you got bitten by a bug. I’m sure they’ll be people who’ll think of wild ideas of what happened, but well…… you can’t do anything about them. It’ll be better than walking around and showing it to everyone.”
“Okay……” I agreed. To start with, I was going to go with the bandage plan. According to what Kazu-nii said, I started to wonder if people are going to misunderstand this horribly.
“Judging by Katsuragi’s state from what you said…… I’m guessing he was at max affection rate? It might be that he’s supposed to give the stone to a specific girl when he’s at max level,” Kazu-nii deduced.
“In other words, in this world, when the heroine captures her target, she will obtain the target’s stone. I suppose you could see it as the heroine obtaining their ‘heart’.”
“Then that stone is Katsuragi-kun’s ‘heart’.”
Hmmm~ I heard this world was exactly the same as that otome game’s world. And when I hear such unrealistic stories like this, I get the feeling that maybe this world isn’t normal after all.
Unlike Kazu-nii, I didn’t feel any deja-vus. I wonder if I existed as a supporting role in that otome game. I kind of want to see the game now. What would I look like as an illustration? It’ll be nice if I looked cute.
“The stone, or maybe it’s actually a crystallization…… Either way, it’s a shape that’s easy to understand. In reality, a human’s heart changes easily. So even if a couple loved each other mutually, it’s not guaranteed their feelings won’t ever change. If it was, there won’t be cheating or adultery in this world. But for an otome game, it’s not going to sail if the capture targets open their hearts to any girl other than the heroine, am I right? That’s why maybe the heroine is supposed to obtain their ‘heart’, so they can’t cheat on her.”
“Seeing how an otome game is like in reality, it really opened my eyes. Girls like Aikawa who are kind and nice to everyone isn’t the type of girl that guys will easily fall in love with seriously. You know how guys don’t want to look stupid and be the only one seriously in love, right? …Well, before a guy even ponders, maybe Aikawa is in love with me’ they’ll see her getting close with even more guys. It’s natural that they’ll think, let’s stop, and she’s not the right girl for me. But if they fall in love regardless, well, there’s nothing they can do there.”
Kazu-nii’s last words sounded kind of like an excuse. Either way, he continued.
“That’s why, in order to make sure the capture targets can’t escape, she’ll literally obtain their ‘heart’ in her hands. If she manages that, he wouldn’t be able to leave her side. ……I can’t calm down when I leave my stone at home for whatever reason. I get really anxious and irritated. I’m afraid of leaving it from my sight. That’s why I have it around my neck like this…… So if she takes this stone, I’ll end up falling in love with her, huh.”
Kazu-nii looked grim. Well, I can’t blame him. Just thinking about it must be unpleasant. I mean, he has to fall in love with the girl who takes his stone, no matter what kind of person she was.
“I don’t know if Aikawa knows about these stones. But judging by the way she’s obediently triggering events, I don’t think she knows about it at all.”
“Really?” I asked.
“If she did, she’d be quickly setting her eyes on these stones instead. Well, the capture targets are probably supposed to hand over their stone as their symbol of love to Aikawa in the end. At least that’s how I think it’s set up. I can’t remember how it goes in the actual game. However, I do remember once you capture them once, their affection rate won’t decrease even if you triggered the other capture targets’ events.”
“Is that so……?”
In any case, if Kazu-nii’s deduction was right, then we finally have a clear way of protecting Kazu-nii. Even if his feelings start to lean towards Maria-jou, as long as he didn’t give her his stone, he won’t be ‘captured’. At the same time, it’s also a double-edged sword. If she takes away his stone even as Kazu-nii is right now, the game will be over.
“Anyways, it’s a big progress just finding this out. You just have to make sure not to give that stone to a girl,” I said. There was a big difference between consciously giving it and not knowing and giving it away. That was undeniable. Case in point, Katsuragi-kun didn’t know the effects of the stone, so he carelessly let me take it into my hands.
“I’m just making sure, but do you have one? A stone-like thing,” Kazu-nii asked me.
“I don’t.” If I did, I probably would have noticed this a long time ago. “The student council elections ended… I’ll try and observe Maria-jou for a while longer. My plan of trying to get her closer to Tsuchiya-kun hasn’t changed yet either.”
“Oh, about that. We looked at today’s election results and decided we might add on it. The wrap-up party I went to was with the retiring student council members. At the party, Tsukishima looked back on his term and gave his thoughts, saying he wanted one more member on the student council.”
“We don’t plan on ignoring the election results. But there’ll be a possibility we’ll add a new role of an assistant to help out with various tasks,” Kazu-nii explained.
“Oh~ Well, we were really busy with this year’s student council election,” I commented.
“Yeah, and so about that….. We discussed that it’ll be better if this new assistant was someone who helps out with the school already. So someone from the class representatives might be picked. It’ll only be an assistant for the student council during the busy times. They won’t have to work all the time.”
“Hmm?” Kazu-nii was speaking in a roundabout way.
“Shiori, you came up as one of the candidates. What do you think?” He said.
“I refuse,” I answered immediately.
Kazu-nii gave me a look that said he expected this. Even if I was only a vice class rep, my duties have already kept me quite busy. During the time I was helping out with the preparations for the election, I barely left school with Yumi-chan. My high school life only comes once. There’s no way I can waste it with any more odd tasks.
“In the first place, why me? I’m just a vice class rep.”
“Tanaka recommended you. She said she ran as a candidate all thanks to you. Also, apparently you were the one who dragged the younger Tsukishima to help out? Afterwards, he was like bait and a number of senior girls showed up. They spontaneously pitched in and it was a big help, it seems,” Kazu-nii added.
It just ended up that way. At the very least, it has nothing to do with my abilities to assist someone.
“We could entrust the choice to our new student president Mizusaki, but if we did that, a war between the girls will break out for sure, am I right?”
“Well, yeah it would,” I agreed. If someone told them there will only be one specially chosen assistant, I get the feeling it’ll be even more competitive than joining as a normal student council member.
“For some reason, Aikawa came up as a candidate too.”
“I don’t know the reason. Still, the reason why Mizusaki showed zeal during the elections involved Aikawa. So they thought maybe if she joined then Mizusaki wouldn’t neglect his duties. I think this has something to do with the conversation I heard the other day.”
Kazu-nii heard the other day a conversation between Mizusaki-senpai, Kaneshiro-senpai, and Maria-jou while he was in the student council room.
“If I remember correctly, it was a vital factor to enter the student council to capture Mizusaki and Kaneshiro,” Kazu-nii continued. “The problem is if she enters then the chances of me meeting her will increase……”
“I already know you’re dead set against her. Why do you think I’ll support her too?”
“No, well…… Either way, I don’t plan on recommending you either. This assistant position will be one where they’ll have Mizusaki and Kaneshiro left and right of them. There’s definitely chances of you being glared strangely by other girls.”
“Then why not make it a guy?” I suggested.
“There’s no other candidates. Shibuya does his work precisely and properly. However, class representatives are busier than the vice ones. That’s why we wanted a vice representative in this assistant role.”
“Hmm……” I shut my mouth and hung my head. After a few seconds, I looked up and declared strongly. “I think you guys are selecting candidates for the assistant role the wrong way. To begin with, neither Maria-jou or I ran as candidates for the student council. I don’t think you guys should be electing someone who isn’t enthusiastic to begin with. You should select from the candidates that lost in the election. If you guys wanted to avoid girls fighting each other, then there was that one student running for accountant but lost cause Kaneshiro-senpai took the position because of our system, right? He was a 1st Year with the teachers’ recommendation. He didn’t have as many votes as Kaneshiro-senpai, but he would have won in a normal situation. You guys should pick him. He’ll be a good candidate again for next year’s election, and he had enough resolve to join the elections. I think the chances of him taking the role is high too.”
“The right answer might actually be Maria-jou for an otome game. But I think it’s just plain weird for a position to fall into someone’s lap when that someone didn’t even have the resolve to fight against all the other candidates in an election.”
Even though I thought I was saying something pretty harsh, Kazu-nii nodded.
“I see what you mean. If this wasn’t an otome game, it would never happen,” he said.
“That’s right,” I agreed.
Kazu-nii smiled. “You’re right, Shiori. What you pointed out is correct.”
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TL: Shiori-chan… it’s not your life in danger but something else…. I hope this was an exciting chapter for some people|•’-‘•)و✧
Yes, it’s fun seeing who you all ship with everyone!