I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 1624 min read
Volume 1 | Chapter 4: June – Part 5
Alright, I should be able to guarantee my safety during the fifteen minutes until Kazu-nii arrives.
However, why did I run into that man again? And here out of all places on top of that. I was just minutes away from being able to check who Maria-jou’s meeting with.
Room 321 and Room 320… aren’t they right next to each other? Kazu-nii did mention in the past Maria-jou would go on friend dates with the capture targets. Going to karaoke after school does sound appropriate for a friend date. But it’s also true that she’ll be alone with them in a closed room, so their relationship will surely progress.
This is my chance to find out who Maria-jou chose as her friend date…..!
I have to say, hiding in a toilet with such vexing emotions like this is probably not good for my mental health. However, guaranteeing my safety is more important.
My cell phone vibrated after around fifteen minutes passed.
“Shiori, are you safe?” Kazu-nii asked me over the phone.
“I’m okay. I’m in the women’s washroom. I’m not sure about that man,” I told him.
“I see. You’re on the third floor, right? I’ll come and pick you up.”
“Yeah, please do.”
Just like that, I waited more in the washroom. Kazu-nii called again a few minutes later.
“The room’s 321, right? I’ll go check inside, so stay where you are.”
“Okay~” It looks like Kazu-nii’s heading to Room 321. I waited for some more, but he didn’t call me again.
Instead, I received a single message.
I left the washroom in order to peek into Room 321. Something is weird. I mean, I’m the one who called Kazu-nii asking for help.
Every door of the rooms in the karaoke shop were transparent, so you can look inside. The thought of someone being able to peek from the outside when you are having fun, singing to your heart’s content, feels pretty bad. Still I’m really glad right now that the doors were transparent.
I carefully peeked into Room 321 and……. There were three people inside.
Maria-jou was in the center with Kazu-nii to her left and the bothersome man to her right. Kazu-nii’s face showed how he was in a bad mood right now. Meanwhile, Maria-jou’s cheeks were flushed while the bothersome man was singing, enjoying himself.
Wait, wait, I don’t understand the situation at all. This is Room 321, right? Maria-jou? What happened to your friend date?
It seems the bothersome man was asking Maria-jou to sing a duet with him. The two of them held a microphone in their hands and started singing. Kazu-nii took advantage of this to step away from them, said something to the two, and headed for the door.
Uh-oh. I have to make sure they don’t see me from the inside, so I placed my distance from the door. It didn’t take long before I greeted Kazu-nii when he came out.
“What happened?” I asked.
“……I lost completely. This is an event. It definitely has to be,” Kazu-nii told me.
“I’m sure it’s an event where Teacher Hibiya coincidentally meets an old friend at karaoke and the two of them end up singing together. If it isn’t, why the heck did I end up having to sit by Aikawa at karaoke?”
I was dumbfounded. The reason why Kazu-nii ran into that man here was because of my phone call. Otherwise, there’s no way Kazu-nii will be at a karaoke shop on a weekday after school. But why did this turn into an event?
“Was it a weekday event in the game?” I questioned.
“No, it’s probably on a weekend in the game but……. Once you trigger all the flags, the event should occur,” Kazu-nii said, shaking his head with annoyance. “Anyways, Shiori, let’s get out of here already. We can leave Aikawa to him. That guy is a celebrity, so he will restrain himself with normal civilians. And if he wants to win points with me, he won’t cause any problems with my students.”
“He’s the vocalist and bassist of Candle, Misaki,” he tells me.
“…Huh?” You’re kidding me, right…? Why is that guy in a place like this?
“He gives off a different impression when you see him on TV and in real life,” Kazu-nii noted before he shook his head. “Anyways,” he continued, “I’m going back to school. Shiori, you should head home. If people saw us together here, I’m sure weird rumors will pop out. You should leave first; do you have your things?”
“Y-Yeah. I didn’t enter Room 321 in the end.”
“Then let one of the staff here know before you leave. I’ll do the same after a bit.”
With the plan in place, I immediately put it to action.
I was interested in Maria-jou’s friend date and what happened to them, but when I peeked into Room 320, no one was there. Eventually, I paid for my share of fees at the reception. ……I didn’t even drink anything and I still had to pay. Frankly, I couldn’t accept it.
Anyways, let’s get home — I left the karaoke shop and that’s when I spotted Iinchou. He was standing beneath the eaves of the store, looking up at the sky with a troubled expression. I get the feeling he had an umbrella when he came into the store. I wonder what happened to it? It wasn’t in Iinchou’s hand right now.
“What’s wrong?” I called out to him.
“Eh? Ni-Niimi-san? Why are you……” Iinchou was uncharacteristically surprised. It showed on his face, however, it was only for a second. “You have good timing. Do you think you can let me into your umbrella until the station? I had one until I came here. But it broke thanks to a sudden wind. I came to karaoke as shelter from the rain but it didn’t lighten up even after 30 minutes.” Iinchou turned to point at the reception desk. “They said they’ll throw it away for me, so I gave it to them in the end.”
“It’s only a minute to the station,” I pointed out. Iinchou could just run… but that’s when an even better idea popped into my mind. “In that case, here.”
I took out the certain wrapped up present from my bag, forcing it into his hands. I then opened up my own folded umbrella. “I keep losing my chance to give you this. Happy birthday.”
Iinchou’s eyes widened. “Thank you,” he told me like he was in panic.
I waved my hand lightly before I parted from him.
A whole bunch of things happened today, and not in a good way. Still, I was able to give the birthday present I bought for Iinchou, so maybe it was good after all.
□ ■ □
The next student council will finish taking over the duties after using most of June up. And once it is over, the semester exam will begin almost immediately.
There were lots of subjects tested in the semester exams, so I think the teachers will have a hard time too. I suppose this is why when all the teachers spend an entire day marking our tests, the students will be holding a ball game tournament.
The tournament included volleyball, basketball, table tennis, and regular tennis. The rules weren’t set in stone; generally, if you won one set, you were the victor. Surprisingly, the tournament proceeds smoothly. Even if your opponent was strong, there’s a chance you can win by pure luck, so it’s quite fun.
I heard people suggested soccer and baseball as well for the tournament, but they were rejected since one match was too long. The tournament emphasised on fun, so people who didn’t want to participate didn’t have to. This was the difference between this and the Sports Festival.
My exhausting duties as a class representative came to a pause after the student council elections. Once I decide the members participating in the ball game tournament, I can focus on my studies. A student’s duty is to study, yet I haven’t made efforts in my studies at all. When I sighed deeply, Kyouko-jou came by to ask me details of the tournament.
Kyouko-jou of the reporting club was more than enthusiastic. Her face was shining and had that look that says, ‘I’ve been waiting for this!’ I’m sure she will take lots of pictures during the tournament.
Now then, regarding the reporting club Kyouko-jou is in… It’s a club that voluntarily announces events, no matter what kind, happening in the academy since it was established. People trusted their abilities, so they would request the reporting club for their help during events such as Sports Festival, the student council elections, ball game tournament, and Cultural Festival. I hear they receive the same number of requests as we, class representatives, do.
As for the students, the closest they feel the reporting club’s activities was the broadcasting during noon. The reporting club will play things like music to lighten up the boring lunch time, announce future events, or introduce delicious restaurants in the neighborhood. Apparently, there were even seniors, who have now graduated, that did comedy skits.
Kyouko-jou was in charge of the afternoon broadcast twice a week. It was her shift just yesterday and I have to say her song choices then were all inclined to one band. She played a whole bunch of songs from Candle.
After I talked to her about the tournament, I tried asking her about it. “Why did you choose those songs yesterday?”
“You see, it was Maria’s request. You know the vocalist, Misaki, from Candle? She told me all excited how she met him. ‘Even though the encounter rate was rare~’ She said,” Kyouko-jou explained.
“Ah, that person……” I grimaced. After I met him the other day, I dug out the business card abandoned in my bag. There it was — Misaki’s name was on the business card along with ‘Candle’. It even listed the official fansite link and his official fanclub’s contact information. On the card was also his cell phone number written down personally. I didn’t have any choice, so I gave it to Kazu-nii.
“That idiot. He promised me he’ll never show his face in front of me again and he broke it,” Kazu-nii had said back then.
“His face is normal but he’s a celebrity, you know?” Kyouko-jou added. “I guess Maria has a part of her that got excited like a fangirl.”
Maria-jou has an appearance that will easily let her become a celebrity. Which is why seeing her all excited after meeting some celebrity seemed out of place and unexpected. That being said, even I would get excited if I saw someone famous from TV.
Anyways, the reason why I didn’t realize that man was the vocalist of Candle was merely because I wasn’t into the band enough to remember all their faces.
Today was a slightly rare combination of me and Kyouko-jou sitting together as we spread out our lunchboxes. Normally, I would eat with Yumi-chan as I secretly observed Maria-jou and Kyouko-jou spend lunch together. Maria-jou forgot her lunchbox today and went to buy some bread. Yumi-chan had library duties and left immediately after lunch started, so Kyouko-jou called out to me. If I wait a little bit longer, I will be having a trio lunch time with Kyouko-jou and Maria-jou.
“Now regarding next week’s event forecast……”
By ‘event forecast’, the broadcast meant they were announcing the upcoming events and such. This included happenings within the academy, upcoming tournaments for each club, scheduled dates of matches, recommendations at the nearby shopping district, the agenda for the festival at the shrine to come, and so on. Well, I haven’t heard any information outside the school grounds as of yet.
“Tsuchiya-kun, you’ll be participating in a swimming tournament this weekend? Why didn’t you tell me?” Kyouko-jou turned to confirm with Tsuchiya-shounen after she heard the broadcast.
As for Tsuchiya-shounen, he swallowed up a large amount of food in no time and then slept on top of his desk. He raised his head at her voice and glared at Kyouko-jou like she was a bother.
“Glaring at me is useless~ It’s going to be a tournament, right? It’s pointless to hide cause we, the reporting club, can collect all the information for events like this, you know?” Kyouko-jou told him.
“Who cares, it doesn’t matter. And it has nothing to do with you,” he retorted.
“Of course, it matters. Don’t you want Maria to cheer you on? Hm~?”
“You’re a pain……” But Tsuchiya-shounen didn’t deny her words.
I voiced the question in my mind. “Tournament? Is it the inter-high school championships?”
“No, it’s not,” Kyouko-jou answered. “The inter-high for swimming is in mid-August. Oh, but I guess this makes it the preliminary tournament? Or are you participating to get achievements or to get used to a big tournament?” She took out her memo pad. I bet there’s a whole bunch of information packed inside.
“The preliminary tournament is at a different date. The swimming coach asked him to participate in this one, which is a city tournament.”
I was distracted by Kyouko-jou, so I was surprised when someone spoke behind me. It’s times like this when Iinchou gives out information. However, this time the person behind me was Tsukishima-senpai.
“Why are you…… Oh, never mind, I suppose the transfer has completed?” I forgot to greet him and asked him a question instead. Kyouko-jou was also bewildered; she hurried to stand and bowed her head.
“Yes, and without any problems. But it’s not to say I don’t have any worries, still Mizusaki-kun is quite motivated. All I can do now is back him up a little,” Tsukishima-senpai answered.
Well, I can understand why he has worries. After all, it was only the end of April when Mizusaki-senpai was arguing about skipping school during GW to go on an overseas vacation. Only two months have passed since then. Now Mizusaki-senpai was on the side of stamping documents or not. I wonder if he will abuse his authority. Still, Tanaka-senpai is there, so maybe it’ll be fine.
“I was asked by the president of the reporting club to pass this to Matsuri-san. My hands were free, so I took the task,” Tsukishima-senpai said as he handed over a flyer. It was colored with a picture of a girl in a swimming suit. I could see the words ‘Swimming Tournament’ on it as well.
“From my president? I am sorry for the trouble, really. ……Wait, Tsukishima-senpai, you know my president?” Kyouko-jou questioned.
“We used to be classmates. Also, I was in the reporting club during my first year.”
“Eh!?” It was me who shouted.
I heard Tsukishima-senpai entered the student council as the general affairs manager during his first year starting from June. I assumed he wasn’t in any clubs at the time.
“It’s true. I was in charge of duties like afternoon broadcasts and such in the reporting club. While I was helping the Sports Festival, I became interested in the student council duties. I did mull over whether or not to become a candidate though cause I had to quit the reporting club afterwards.”
Just to make sure no one misunderstands, it’s not like student council members can’t be in clubs at the same time. It’s just that they’ll be so busy that they can barely attend the club activities. As such, people like Tsuchiya-shounen, zealous in their club activities, won’t bother to enter the student council to begin with.
“I was busy, but I also felt the same amount of fulfillment. ……How about you, Niimi-san? Did you not feel the same?”
“Yes, I did feel the same,” I agreed. “At the same time, I thought I was tricked into a scam since even a vice class representative was really busy.”
“Ahahaha,” Tsukishima-senpai laughed. “You say amusing things. Now then, if you would excuse me.” A dependable man knew when to leave. He probably thought it was rude to intrude a lunchtime between girls. He lightly nodded to us before heading out the classroom.
To be honest, I was interested in spending lunch with Tsukishima-senpai. But I guess it can’t be helped. I didn’t have enough of a reason to stop and hold him back here.
The moment he places his hand on the door, a girl opened it first and rushed in.
“Kyaa!” She cried, colliding into Tsukishima-senpai. She fell onto the floor on her butt. The bread in both of her hands scattered everywhere.
By the time you were a high school student, the body differences between a guy and a girl became clear. Tsukishima-senpai wasn’t extremely tall, however, he was still above average. He won’t budge just by getting hit by a teenage girl.
“I’m sorry! Are you alright?” Instead, he held out his hand to her like a gentleman. He even leaned down to tend to her. Tsukishima-senpai didn’t rudely put his face into her like Katsuragi-kun did. This is what you call an adult’s distance.
“I-I-I’m sorry! I wasn’t looking in front of me properly…!”
No, no, even if you were looking, there was no way you can dodge with that timing. The girl who arrived….. That’s right, it was Maria-jou. She shrunk down in shame and apologetically borrowed his hand to get up.
“I’m sorry about this,” Tsukishima-senpai apologized again. He picked up the bread on the floor and lightly dusted them. The bread were in plastic bags, so they weren’t dirty. Still, they got squashed from the fall. When he saw that, he offered the next words to her. “Would you let me pay for these?”
“No, no, I can’t ask such a thing! Even if it’s squished, it’s still bread! It’ll be all the same once it’s in my stomach. Thank you very much for your kindness,” Maria-jou said, smiling sweetly as she took the bread.
“But, still……” Tsukishima-senpai was reluctant. “In that case,” he offered instead, “how about I treat you something the next time we meet? It can be a drink or food, whatever you’d like.”
Maria-jou widened her eyes before smiling a little. It seems like she thought he was interesting. “Then please do the next time we meet. But you don’t have to worry so much. I am fine.” With bread in both of her hands, Maria-jou stepped aside to open up the road.
Tsukishima-senpai could now leave. Since she had gone this far, he had no choice but to do so. There was still some regret on his face as he left the classroom.
I watched Maria-jou walk over to us and I suddenly recalled a certain theory from shoujo manga. Apparently when a girl with bread in her mouth turns a corner and bumps into a guy, love will bloom. I had been thinking Maria-jou didn’t interact with Tsukishima-senpai at all, but it seems an encounter event like this was prepared.
Maria-jou came by looking shy; maybe because she was embarrassed how she fell on her butt.
“I messed up~” She commented.
“What are you talking about~ You were actually successful with that,” Kyouko-jou said before consoling her.
Maria-jou was confused as to what she was successful with. As for me, I thought the same as Kyouko-jou. The impression and impact she had on Tsukishima-senpai was tremendous. On top of that, she nonchalantly got a promise from him that he’ll treat her sometime in the future. I have no idea when their reunion event will happen. But depending on the situation, they might even have a school cafeteria date.
“But look……” Maria-jou told us before she showed the flattened bread in her hands. Having three of the exact same bread makes me wonder, but the real problem here is the type of bread.
“T-This is…… cream puff bread!? They only make 30 of it a day! It’s the legendary bread that gets sold out within five minutes they start selling!”
Cream puff bread was basically a combination item of cream puff and cream bread. I don’t think it’s particularly rare or anything. However, they only sell 30 of these per day in the cafeteria. It was tasty despite its cheap price, so it’s one of the popular items with the girls. And Maria-jou managed to get three of them. She really is amazing.
I wanted to try eating a cream puff bread once too. But it sounds like a pain to have to fight people just to buy this bread.
Anyways, so this cream puff bread was squashed and looked pitiful now. If it wasn’t in a bag, the hallway would be in a gigantic mess. The cream stuck out of the bread and made a sticky mess inside the bag. It transformed itself into a shape you don’t feel like eating when you look at it.
“And Niimi-san is eating lunch with us today too… I thought all three of us could have these together…” Maria-jou said, dejected.
“Ugh……!” I couldn’t help but groan. Just now! My heart skipped a beat! An arrow went right through! I wonder what will happen if she captures me.
Incidentally, we each ate one of the squashed cream puff bread happily. It was so good~ Maybe I’ll try running to the cafeteria to buy one. Everyone can witness the power of the 2nd place runner in long-distance! …….Just in the girls’ division though.
Kyouko-jou took out the certain flyer near the end of lunch.
“Hey, Maria. You’ll go and cheer him on for this, right?” She asked while she glanced at Tsuchiya-shounen, keeping him in sight.
The city tournament was on the small side. The participation age was separated in the junior class for 14 years old and younger and normal class for 15 years and up. Everyone’s swimming will be timed and it was also how they will be competing with each other. It seems one of the sponsors for the tournament was an outside swimming club the coach here belonged to. Naturally, that was also the reason why Tsuchiya-shounen was participating.
“Eh? Ah, yeah……” Maria-jou mumbled her words and nodded. I thought she did that because she was concerned about Tsuchiya-shounen’s reaction but it seems different. Maybe she didn’t plan on going in the first place.
“Huh? Did you have plans?” Kyouko-jou asked. While she sounded attentive, the way she put it made it so Maria-jou can’t decline unless she did have plans.
I personally thought differently. Even if a classmate of mine was in some tournament, you shouldn’t have to go if you weren’t interested and if it’s happening on the weekend.
“Actually, I have to see my grandma at the hospital……”
“Oh, I see. Your grandmother’s health isn’t so good right now…”
“Then you can’t help it. Even if it’s a tournament, it’s just a city one. I’ll go see it, so Maria, you go and see your grandmother,” Kyouko-jou told her.
“……Yeah,” Maria-jou nodded. But she looked torn at this decision.
In the past, Maria-jou skipped supplementary lessons, saying her grandmother wasn’t well. I wonder if her grandmother was really ill. Maria-jou is absent from class quite often for this reason. She was especially gone often on Mondays.
I don’t know Maria-jou’s family background in detail. However, it seems she was living alone. Regarding what’s happening between her and her parents was something she didn’t tell Kyouko-jou either. Kazu-nii, her homeroom teacher, also didn’t know the details. The names of her parents were properly listed as her guardians in her papers, so it’s not like they have passed away.
Naturally, Tsuchiya-shounen heard this conversation. He got depressed and it was quite easy to tell.
“Oh~? What’s wrong? Why do you look so sad? Are you depressed cause Aikawa can’t come to cheer you on?”
“No! What the hell are you saying? I don’t need any cheers! You guys don’t need to come either! You’re all in the way!”
“Eh~ And here we thought we’ll go out of our way to see Tsukkun’s gallant figure and cheer you on~”
“No way in hell!”
Tsuchiya-shounen was teased by the other boys in the class. Let’s just say he’s completely sulking now. He wasn’t honest to begin with, so I predicted he would react this way.
“Oh yeah, how about we get someone to go and represent our class? To cheer on poor Tsuchiya-kun since he can’t get Aikawa to come~” One of the boys teased.
“Oh, nice idea, nice idea~ Ah, but I have to pass. I have plans on Sunday,” another boy answered.
“You boys are too loud,” Kyouko-jou said to them. “I’ll be going with the reporting club, so that should be enough.”
“But if you’re going with the reporting club that’s gonna be work! Tsuchiya’s gotta have someone as a face of our class instead~ Hey, Shibuya~~”
Shibuya-iinchou was eating his lunch at the corner of the class with other boys. When one of the guys flung the subject onto him without warning, he answered with this:
“I think showing our support is a good idea. But I have plans on that day so I can’t go…….. Niimi-san, how about you?”
Tsuchiya-shounen’s city tournament took place on the very last Sunday of June. For some reason, I was here right at the venue.
“It’s a holiday! I wanted to go out shopping too,” I mumbled complaints under my breath.
Kazu-nii only smiled wryly at me.
It was raining outside. While I was a sunny woman, I wasn’t blessed with weather this time. I think it’s because everyone will be swimming in an indoor pool anyways. Or perhaps it’s because I wasn’t participating as a swimmer? In any case, rain has been falling down nonstop gently since the morning.
It’s all my classmates’ fault that I had to ride Kazu-nii’s ferrari and come to this venue. If I wanted to get more specific, it’s Iinchou’s fault for passing the baton stick to me. Everyone’s attention was on Iinchou then, but he not only dodged it but turned it onto me.
Unfortunately, I was free on Sunday.
I thought I might as well go with Kyouko-jou, however, she had other businesses to do with the reporting club. If I went with her, I’ll be forced to visit several other venues since Kyouko-jou needed to collect data from them. I gave up in the end.
As the class cheering representative, I was given a 2L bottle filled with sports drink. I didn’t want to carry it while changing trains, so I made Kazu-nii drive me. Still, it’ll be troublesome if Kyouko-jou saw us and spread weird rumors, so I had Kazu-nii wait for me in a different parking lot but still close to the venue.
The venue for the city tournament was a relatively new gymnasium. Various sports can be played here, and they were holding the event here at the pool.
Tsuchiya-shounen was cross-examined by our classmates and reluctantly revealed the details of where his waiting room was. I depended on this information and entered through the backdoor forbidden to unauthorized people.
I just need to hand this bottle to Tsuchiya-shounen and my mission will be completed. Hehe~ This is nothing. My way home is Kazu-nii’s car too. Though I want him to take me somewhere first.
With such thoughts in my mind as I headed to the waiting rooms, I witnessed a certain scene.
TL: Shiori needs to become more S to outwit Iinchou…