I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 1523 min read
Volume 1 | Chapter 4: June – Part 4
The 1st year accountant candidate was chosen as the student council assistant on the very next day. The reason why he was chosen was because he was a 1st year student.
Among the other candidates that lost was the retiring secretary who was a 2nd year. The teachers decided to place importance on the future instead.
Regarding the 2nd year secretary though, he made a request to the student council saying he wanted to assist them. I heard the student council has accepted his request. It made sense though. If only Tanaka-senpai was dealing with the takeover, I’m sure she would be troubled.
When Kyouko-jou reported it, Maria-jou’s eyes widened. “Such things happened~ I guess the student council is really busy, huh?” Was her reaction.
Incidentally, I was secretly listening into their conversation in the classroom as usual.
“Maria, you’re not interested in clubs or anything? You didn’t join any in the end. If you want, how about joining the reporting club?” Kyouko-jou invited her.
Maria-jou thought for a bit before answering, “Well, I did check out the clubs and even tried some out but I couldn’t decide back then…… Does this academy not have a gardening club?”
“You like plants? Let’s see, there’s no gardening club here. But the people who take care of the flowers here are in the clean-up committee. Well, it’s actually the janitor who waters the plants though. Ah, right, right, there’s this rumor going on where Kaneshiro-senpai can be spotted frequently at west building’s flower beds. His secret fans apparently go there, hoping to coincidentally meet him there.”
“Kaneshiro-senpai has a fan club too?” Maria-jou asked.
“Ahaha!” Kyouko-jou laughed. “No, he doesn’t have one. Mizusaki-senpai has an official fanclub, but Kaneshiro-senpai doesn’t like standing out, so he refuses to have an official one. There were talks about making an unofficial one. But the girls also knew they’ll be hated if he finds out, so there’s no girl who’ll actually make one. Kaneshiro-senpai’s fans secretly admire him instead.”
“I see~ Kaneshiro-senpai is cool, after all.”
“Oh my, oh my~ Could it be, Maria, you feel a certain way about Kaneshiro-senpai……?”
“Eh? Y-You got the wrong idea, okay? I just think he’s a cool person…… I did get the chance to speak with him a couple of times though.”
“Fufufu, I’m joking. Kaneshiro-senpai is good looking; everyone thinks the same way. When the reporting club interviewed him, he answered all our questions politely, so I have a good impression of him,” Kyouko-jou said.
“So that kind of thing happened~”
Oh-ho. So Kaneshiro-senpai’s encounter spot is the west building’s flowerbeds, huh. I haven’t seen Maria-jou approach the flowerbeds yet. I guess she didn’t know either.
Now then, about this Maria-jou here, I heard an interesting rumor about her this morning. And the source of this rumor was from Yumi-chan.
Since the elections finally ended, I asked her to walk to the station with me. And she rejected me. Yumi-chan panicked when she saw how dejected I was and said this to me. “It’s not like I don’t want to go home together with you or anything, okay? It’s just today’s my duty shift.”
“Shift? You mean, for the library?”
“Right, right. I’m in charge of the circulation desk for borrowing and returning. I have to do it two times a week, at lunch and after school.”
“I see. If you have work then it can’t be helped,” I nodded.
Yumi-chan continued, “It’ll be late but I can go home with you after my shift?”
Oh!! She must be an angel! “I’ll wait! I’ll definitely wait! Ah, come to think of it, I haven’t been to the library yet. Are you okay with me seeing you on duty? If it’s embarrassing then I’ll stop. I’m really behind on my studying because of the elections, so I’ve been thinking I have to buckle down on those books.”
“Eh…… Hmm, yeah, it’s okay. It’s embarrassing, but all I’m doing is sitting at the desk…” Yumi-chan smiled bashfully. “Also, it’s raining today, so Aikawa-san might come by.”
“Eh?” I blinked.
“You see, ever since June came, Aikawa-san would come to the library but only on rainy days. There are other students like her, so it’s not actually surprising though,” Yumi-chan explained.
Basically, she was saying there were people who think, ‘you can’t play outside when it’s raining, so you might as well read a book indoors.’
“Oh~ …I wonder if she’s studying. Aikawa-san does ask the teachers questions often.”
“About that… Aikawa-san would come into the library, take a walk around the whole library, and then leave just like that.”
Now that is strange.
Once all the classes ended, I headed off to the library. I had my bag in my hand, ready and able to leave school anytime.
When I looked out the window, I could see it was raining again today. I guess we finally entered the rainy season. I’m sure there were many people who hated this clammy and wet weather. However, like I told Iinchou, I rather like the rain. It’s during this season when my light fluffy hair will become a bit glossy and healthy-looking.
I peeked into the library. Immediately by the entrance was the circulation counter, where Yumi-chan was sitting. When she noticed me, she gave me a small smile. Yumi-chan’s gentle appearance suited the quiet atmosphere of the library quite well. Incidentally, Yumi-chan doesn’t like rain. Apparently her beautiful black hair will get stiff and fray out during this season.
Flowers were decorating the circulation desk. They were hydrangeas. They were placed inside a flower vase, but it gave an unbalanced appearance with the way they were nearly falling out.
I mouthed ‘see you later’ to Yumi-chan before heading deeper into the library. There was a space for studying inside here where students could read or catch up on homework. The space had tables and chairs. You could take it easy here, but it’s recommended not to chat. If you are noisy, you will be escorted out.
I decided to study for next month’s upcoming semester exam here until Yumi-chan’s shift is over.
I took out my notebooks and textbooks from my bag, spreading them out on the table. This was when I spotted an unexpected person. There was a male student zealously searching high and low at one of the bookshelves. His long hair was glossy as usual, like he didn’t suffer any effects from the rainy season. It was Kaneshiro-senpai, our senior who was determined to be the next accountant the other day.
I was interested in the bookshelf he was at. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell from my position here. Let’s go and check it out secretly once my self-study reached a certain point, I thought to myself.
“……Ah,” I heard a soft, grazed voice. When I lifted my head, I saw Maria-jou.
I remembered what I heard from Yumi-chan and decided to observe Maria-jou. She had a notebook and book in her hands. She looked around, a little bit lost, before looking at where Kaneshiro-senpai stood. Normally, she would call out to him immediately — or at least that was what I thought.
However, that was when her small mutters reached my ears.
“‘Economics’……? Senpai reads difficult books……”
It seems she was checking what genre the bookshelf was. Maria-jou stood there for a while, gazing at Kaneshiro-senpai. In the end, it was Kaneshiro-senpai who moved first. He tried to pull out the book he was after from the bookshelf. Unfortunately, maybe because he used too much force, the books left and right fell down onto the ground.
“…! Damn it……” A small voice leaked from his lips.
Maria-jou witnessed this and rushed over. “I will help you pick them up!”
“Ah, thank you very much. ……Oh, you are…”
“Oh, I-I’m sorry. I spotted you coincidentally and happened to see so…” Maria-jou said.
“So you witnessed me dropping all these books. It’s quite embarrassing…” Kaneshiro-senpai smiled gently. As for Maria-jou who received this first-rate smile, her cheeks flushed red. She got distracted by him and dropped the books in her hands. They made quite a loud noise when they hit the floor.
“Ah…!” Maria-jou paled, turning her eyes to the ground. Kaneshiro-senpai looked dumbfounded before he eventually laughed.
“Let’s say we both made the same mistake. Let me help you, my lady.” Kaneshiro-senpai picked up the notebook and book scattered on the ground, offering them over to Maria-jou. When he saw the title on the book and words written in the notebook, he narrowed his eyes slightly. “A book on flower meanings is a rather girlish choice, I would say.”
“A-Ahhh! U-Umm, that’s… I’m sorry, I was reading it as a breather from all my studying…” She tried to explain.
“Do you like flowers?” He asked her.
“Y-Yes…… Because they are beautiful, so……”
“I see.” Kaneshiro-senpai made a grim expression to Maria-jou’s answer. I don’t think Maria-jou gave a weird answer, so I wondered why. “There were hydrangeas decorated just over there. Do you know the flower meaning of hydrangeas?” He questioned.
“Eh… Huh?” Maria-jou couldn’t answer back to this sudden question. She lost her words with Kaneshiro-senpai’s following tone of voice.
“They mean ‘fickleness’. They were given this meaning due to the way they change their colors a number of times in their lifetime. It’s a famous flower that symbolizes this season, however…… I hate it,” he said with sharpness.
It was the kind of voice I couldn’t imagine from the usual Kaneshiro-senpai.
“Here you are,” he said when he handed over the notebook and book back to Maria-jou. Kaneshiro-senpai also returned the books he dropped back onto the shelf. It seems he decided not to borrow the economic book anymore. “Please do your best on your studies,” he tells her at the very end. The way he smiled didn’t have the disgust coloring he had earlier anymore.
Maria-jou gazed at Kaneshiro-senpai’s retreating back, unable to hide the confusion in her expression.
By the way, you didn’t help him pick up the books in the end.
As for me, I saw off Maria-jou until she left. She returned the flower meaning book back to its shelf and left with only her notebook in hand. Weren’t you going to borrow that book? Or perhaps she lost interest in it after Kaneshiro-senpai’s words.
Yumi-chan’s shift eventually ended, so the two of us headed to the station together. During the whole time, she talked about Kaneshiro-senpai. Apparently this was the first time Kaneshiro-senpai came to the library during her shift. She was depressed, saying how if he had borrowed something, she could have exchanged a word or two with him. I wonder if I should tell her how he hated hydrangeas or not.
“Come to think of it, there were hydrangeas at the counter. Do you guys always have flowers out?” I asked instead.
“Hmm, let’s see~ We decorate the vase each month with seasonal flowers. There was a card by the flower vase; did you not see it? It tells you what the flower meanings of seasonal flowers are. I’m pretty sure it should have said hydrangeas meant ‘fickleness’.”
What was that? You mean if I looked properly, I would have properly known the answer? Did Kaneshiro-senpai read that card?
“I wonder if Kaneshiro-senpai will come to the library again,” Yumi-chan wondered.
Who knows. But since he didn’t borrow his economics book today, he might come another day to borrow properly this time. “Come to think of it, do you know the rumor where Kaneshiro-senpai visits the west building’s flower beds often?” I brought up the topic Kyouko-jou talked about. Yumi-chan, please don’t ask me who my source is. I was eavesdropping.
“Huh? Is that true? I didn’t know…… The west building’s flower beds — you mean the ones the janitor looks after often?”
“Umm, probably.” Incidentally, I don’t even remember if there were flower beds or not. I have no confidence. “Apparently, senpai’s secret fans are trying to coincidentally meet him.”
“Eh……” Yumi-chan frowned. She was also one of those secret fans, but even if there was an official fanclub, she was one of those shy girl types who won’t join.
“But I see. I mean, Kaneshiro-senpai does like flowers,” Yumi-chan noted.
“Kanshiro-senpai was a library committee member last year. The flower meaning cards were made by Kaneshiro-senpai back in the day. My seniors in the committee told me this,” Yumi-chan reported to me. The expression on her face was very cute.
But at the same time, I realized something and it made my heart hurt a bit. If Maria-jou captures Kaneshiro-senpai then…..
The faint feelings Yumi-chan holds in her heart will break apart.
□ ■ □
Iinchou’s birthday was on June 26th — as such, I decided to prepare a birthday present for him. The two of us are acquaintances who are not quite friends yet. However, we are comrades who have overcome many trials together as fellow class representatives since April.
So, as a thank you for his hard work and maybe I’ll luckily get a birthday present too, I decided to give him something sensible. However, it turned out to be harder than I thought. I haven’t given a present to a guy besides Kazu-nii before. I gave it a lot of thought and in the end, I prepared a folded umbrella for Iinchou. What? It’s a boring choice?
It cost 1500 yen, and it was deep blue in color with pale grey strips. At first glance, the umbrella looks just one color, being deep blue, but it actually has this subtle design to it. I also liked the material quality of the umbrella. And instead of having a normal strap, I put a different one on the handle, which was a combined design of antique buttons and a leather strap to give the umbrella an accent. I thought it came out quite cute, which might be slightly weird for a male student, being Iinchou, to use it.
Now I do have a reason for this choice of gift. With the constant rain now, I came to realize Iinchou uses an old-fashioned umbrella, the type older folks would have, all the time. Judging by how it looks, I think he received it from his dad. On one hand, it was big and easy to use. On the other hand, it lacks youth.
Sudden rainfall will continue on for a while, so I think having at least one folded umbrella in his bag will be useful.
But don’t you think giving him an umbrella on a rainy day isn’t quite the greatest? I mean, he’ll already have an umbrella in his hand. And June 21st was a downpour of rain.
That’s why his present was still sleeping in my bag, since I couldn’t give it to him. I treated him hot coffee like I planned on the 21st, his birthday, and I’m sure Iinchou thought that was the end of it. I’ll be blunt, I’ve completely lost my timing. Maybe I won’t give it to him after all.
Today it rained again. Even if it’s the rainy season, I can’t help but wonder how it can rain day after day like this continuously.
Seika Maria Secondary Academy was only a 15 minute walk from the nearest train station. There was a shopping district by the station, but there aren’t any large stores at all. The people you’ll see at the station will mostly be students of the academy. When I see a sea of boys and girls all wearing the same uniform there, I can’t help but feel maybe this station is also part of the school grounds.
With such thoughts in my mind, I walked on my path home. Unexpectedly, I spotted someone familiar.
It was Maria-jou. She was together with Kyouko-jou — it seems they were going home together. They were walking side-by-side with an umbrella in their hands. The two of them have gone to the station together in the past. However, Maria-jou and Kyouko-jou rode trains going in the opposite direction, so they would say goodbye once they reached the platform.
Kyouko-jou, with an easy smile on her face, went through the ticket gate first. Maria-jou followed after.
I thought they would head to the platform together but I saw how they actually said their goodbyes at the ticket gate. Kyouko-jou disappeared into the distance in a half-run. Her train must be arriving soon. Maria-jou saw her off for a while and, for whatever reason, she went through the ticket gate again back to the outside.
Now then, I have a choice here.
I normally only chase after Maria-jou within the school grounds. This was because my goal was to make sure Kazu-nii and Maria-jou don’t run into each other. However, Maria-jou had this amazing talent where she’ll trigger exciting events wherever she goes. I can’t help but feel it’ll be a waste if I turn the other way. My curiosity swelled up.
That being said, Maria-jou hasn’t noticed me yet. I’m not the only female student near the ticket gates. And she won’t be able to see my face with my umbrella too.
I grinned with my face hidden away.
Maria-jou headed off to the shopping district. I kept a fixed distance between us as I followed after her. I made sure to look over the shoulders of other students to observe her. This way even if Maria-jou suddenly turns around, she wouldn’t notice me. Well, this was what I learnt from TV. Hehe, I might be able to become a real spy…!
Just like this, Maria-jou went into a certain shop. I needed to ascertain if I could follow her inside, so I looked up at the signboard. I furrowed my eyebrows. This was the same karaoke shop I visited before during that day when our supplementary lessons were postponed.
As for Maria-jou, she was talking with the receptionist. If I came any closer, the receptionist would think I’m a customer, I bet.
Now, did Maria-jou come to do solo karaoke here? Was she the type who’ll have this kind of hobby? If she wanted to karaoke, I’m sure Kyouko-jou would gladly join her. There’ll be a ton of classmates who will want to join too. I, too, am interested in what kind of songs Maria-jou sings.
The receptionist called out to Maria-jou and she went off to ride the elevator. This was as far as I could see from outside the store. If I wanted to get closer, I would have no choice but to enter. A conflict erupted in my mind and that’s when an even greater surprise struck me. Another familiar person also went to the karaoke shop alone.
Is it popular to do solo karaoke these days? Maybe it’s a discount day today?
The second person who went in was Iinchou. He said something to the receptionist and then headed for the elevator.
Huh? I thought you have to pick a room and then go on. But it doesn’t seem like Iinchou did any of that with the receptionist. I guess this means he’s meeting someone inside the store? For example, the Neo Candle members? That’s pretty possible.
There I stood in the corner of the shopping district, pondering what I should do. If Maria-jou was coming out in an hour, I could wait and keep watch elsewhere. However, if Maria-jou was planning on singing endlessly with no time-limit then what will I do?
That being said, only finding out [Maria-jou’s hobby: solo karaoke] and also [Iinchou’s hobby: solo karaoke] as today’s harvest is rather fruitless. Especially the latter information. But if his hobby really is karaoke, I wonder if he’ll be happier if I gave him a personal microphone.
I checked my remaining allowance and made up my mind. I decided to charge into the karaoke shop too.
I might have to sing in the wrap-up party for Neo Candle one day, so I might as well practice with solo karaoke. Incidentally, that band has no plans in announcing original songs. It’s a possibility that may happen over time, but at the moment, every one of them has their hands full with getting used to their instruments. They instead planned on playing famous songs at the Cultural Festival. I don’t know their set list, but I heard they’re singing a lot of songs from Candle. It’s probably because they decided to make a band after hearing Kazu-nii sing a Candle song.
When I stepped inside the shop, I received a clipboard at the reception desk. I was supposed to write my name and the number of members with me. It’s the usual wait list you’ll see in other karaoke shops and family restaurants. I casually ran my eyes on the column before mine to confirm Maria-jou’s name.
Now that I think about this properly, isn’t this a dangerous system with no privacy protection? Hm, hmm~ Aikawa, Room 320, 1 male and 1 female…… Eh?
That’s weird. Maria-jou was alone.
I tilted my head, puzzled. The receptionist looked at me suspiciously, so I hurried and wrote my name and the number of people. Let’s see, ‘1 female’……
That was when someone stole my pen from the side. They added in ‘1 male’ in the column I was writing in.
“We’ll have free time. Also one oolong tea for each of us as drinks,” that person said to the receptionist with a smile before looking down at me. “Hey there, it’s been a month since, I think?”
The man looked to be in his mid-twenties. About the same as Kazu-nii, I think. His facial features were average but he takes care in his appearance, so he does look somewhat……
I recognize him.
“That guy from sometime ago,” I uttered. It was the man who called out to me when I was waiting for Yumi-chan.
“It’s such a coincidence to meet you here. Come, come, let’s go in,” he said as he took slips and such from the receptionist. He placed his hand on my shoulders and just like that he tried to usher me into the elevator.
“Wait——” What the hell is with him. I quickly hurried to slap his hand away and glared at him. “Why do I have to go into the same room as you?”
“Why are you on guard?” he asks. “You think I’ll do anything weird to Kazuto’s cousin?”
No, no, wait. No matter how you look at it, he’s already trying something weird on me.
“We’re just going to sing karaoke together~ Also, I haven’t heard from Kazuto, so tell me about that,” he said, pushing my back with strength.
In the end, I was forced into the elevator.
“It’s not my fault Kazu-nii’s not contacting you. I gave him your business card properly.” This was a lie. I completely forgot about it~ It’s still at the bottom of my outing bag somewhere.
“What kind of reaction did he make then?” The man questioned me.
“What kind? Well…… normal…” I racked my brain to try and trick him somehow. As such, I didn’t notice him press the elevator buttons. Just like that, we were lifted up to the third floor.
Wait a second. Isn’t this actually pretty dangerous? I might be conceited. But being alone with a guy in a closed, sound-proof room is something I’ve never experienced before. In the worst case scenario where this man has qualities of a lolicon, my chastity might be at risk.
I panicked, taking out my cell phone. “You said you wanted to contact Kazu-nii, right.”
“I’ll call him, so please don’t come any closer.” I don’t care if someone tells me I’m overreacting. I have no hobbies of singing karaoke with a man who isn’t even my friend.
The elevator already reached the third floor. The man pressed the ‘open’ button and stared steadily at me. I didn’t have any other choice, so I stepped out of the elevator.
I called Kazu-nii. My cell phone rang a few times in my ear. I assumed he was still in the academy, so he wouldn’t be able to answer right away. However, against my expectations, he answered almost immediately.
“What’s wrong, Shiori?” Kazu-nii said.
“Kazu-nii, please. Come to the karaoke shop by the station.”
“Hey, hey, I’m still at work here……”
“A man I don’t know is trying to force me in.”
“What!? ……O-Okay, I got it. I’m coming right now.”
Kazu-nii was an only child. I think he really wanted siblings, which is why he dearly cares for me, his cousin.
I’m sure a diligent student wouldn’t force their teacher still at work out like this. ……However, I am prioritizing my safety here. I was going to tell Kazu-nii, “Please do”, and hang up, but the man called out to my cell phone from my side.
“Kazuto, it’s me. I’ll be singing karaoke with your cute little cuz here while we wait. Come as fast as you can. The room’s 321, okay?” The man placed his hand on my shoulder again and tried to guide me to the room.
But there’s no way in hell I’m singing karaoke!
At this rate, he’ll force me into the room. There’s no way I can take it, so I pushed the man back. “I contacted him like I said I would. Please let go of me now. If you wait outside, you’ll see him soon for sure!”
“He’s coming from the academy, right? Then it’s going to take 15 minutes. It’ll be a waste to spend it waiting for him. We might as well sing until then instead.”
“I don’t want to. Also, why do I have to sing karaoke with you? And alone with you on top of that!” I shouted.
“You can brag about it?”
“No, I can’t!” Where the hell does this guy’s confidence come from? Ore-sama? Is he the ore-sama type who’s super arrogant and conceited? How can he be brimming with self-confidence like this? “Please don’t touch me!”
The man’s mood turned bad after my rejection. His expression stiffened and colored with anger. “So cheeky……”
Crap, crap, crap. I overdid it. But, however, I did the right thing. Now that he has made this expression, I can be honest to my instinct screaming for self-defense.
“Ahhh!!!” I let out a loud voice, pointing behind the man. His eyes widened in surprise as he turned around to see what it was.
A chance! I took advantage of this split second to sprint down the hallway. My destination is the women’s washroom. I’m pretty sure he won’t come inside chasing after me. I followed after the floor map on the wall to barge into the women’s washroom.
TL: Shiori just wanted to stalk Maria|･ω･｀)