I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 1924 min read
Volume 2 | Chapter 5: July (Up) – Part 2
“This event was added in after your class submitted your schedule. We put a notice on the bulletin board asking everyone to add it in by pen. Nonetheless, we should have told your class directly. I’m sorry, I was all over the place with the takeover too……” Tanaka-senpai told us as she bowed her head.
“…Doubles,” Iinchou mumbled, looking quite grave.
Yeah, no, you don’t have to look so depressed. It’s not like they’re telling you to participate in it.
“Umm… so basically, if we fill out this blank, there isn’t really any other issue?” I asked for Kaneshiro-senpai’s confirmation.
He nodded firmly. “Yes, of course.”
“Then let’s fill it out right now,” I declared.
The girls who went off to offer desserts still haven’t come back. It’ll be a pain to try and get everyone to gather around again. I casually looked around; the girls listening in all turned to look the other way.
I guess I have no choice. I borrowed a pen from Tanaka-senpai and wrote my name in the girl’s entry. I have a feeling trying to push this role onto someone else will take some time too.
“Err, let’s see, since this is a pair event……” I mumbled, surveying the room.
If Iinchou’s athletic skills were just a little bit better, I would have been able to smoothly add his name in. However, it’s times like this when he’ll never volunteer himself. At any rate, he sucks at sports, I couldn’t help but contemplate seriously on this.
“If it’s a pair, then I don’t mind doing it~”
Oh, we have a volunteer. I promptly decided on him.
“Thank you. Then I’ll be counting on you,” I thanked him lightly before I wrote his name in the boy’s entry.
Kamura Ryou…… Hmmmm?
“Then there’s no issue here now. I’m really sorry we bothered you all during your class time. Also, the sweets you shared were really good. Thank you for the food,” Tanaka-senpai said with a bright smile on her face. She took the schedule I penned from me.
She left the home economics room along with Kaneshiro-senpai and Mizusaki-senpai who cleaned off plates of desserts offered to him.
As I watched the three off, a certain boy put his hand on my shoulder, drawing me close.
“I’m the type that wants to prepare properly if I’m going to participate in some event,” he said to me. “Let’s practice after school starting today.”
As I stared at Designer-kun who was smiling widely, I finally came to realize my mistake. Even though our exams were just around the corner, I just cut into my studying time after school. If Designer-kun was going to volunteer himself, I should have waited until Maria-jou came back! A doubles tennis event? That’s an event for her no matter how you think about it!
Later when Maria-jou heard about the double tennis event, she let out a surprised “Eh!”, but that was all. I had hoped she might volunteer to take my place, but nothing convenient like that happened.
I made my decision to secretly train with Designer-kun for the upcoming doubles tennis event against my will.
Before I went off to see Designer-kun now since it was after school, I hurried off to the student council. Around my shoulder was a cooler bag I bought from home. Inside the bag itself were one orange milk pudding and one strawberry milk pudding.
As for why, it was because I received a shameless message from Kazu-nii after Maria-jou, plus the other girls, came back after offering their puddings.
Hey, hey, hey, you still want to eat pudding!? This cousin of mine is just…
However, I did promise him to start with. I didn’t have any choice, so I decided to give my puddings to Kazu-nii like Maria-jou did. The extra puddings I had vanished due to the sudden appearance of the three student council members, after all.
Kazu-nii’s message also said: [Bring them to the student council room.]
But why did he purposely choose the student council room? Never mind the three who already ate, if there were other members around, wouldn’t they get jealous?
When I reached the student council room, I knocked on the door. However, no one answered back. Don’t tell me he’s gone even though he summoned me? I tried opening the door quietly.
That’s when I noticed Kazu-nii was on the sofa, sleeping soundly.
I couldn’t help but get pissed. He purposely summoned me, yet he’s sleeping out of all things? Just what does he mean by this? Hm? I put down my cooler bag on the low table beside the sofa and approached Kazu-nii with the intention of smacking him awake.
However, I changed my mind when I saw the expression on his sleeping face. Sweat formed on his forehead and dripped down. He looked like he was in pain. He groaned, furrowing his eyebrows together. I wonder what kind of nightmare he was sleeping.
I took out my handkerchief from my pocket, planning to gently wipe his sweat away without waking him up.
But at that very moment, Kazu-nii jumped up. And just like that, he gripped my wrist and pinned me down on the sofa. He glared at me with a grim face; I couldn’t move at all.
“……Shiori?” A cracked voice leaked out his mouth.
“I… am……. It hurts……” I grimaced from the pain of my wrist being gripped.
Kazu-nii hurried to loosen his grip. “……It is Shiori…… Haaah, it was a dream, huh…..”
“It’s cause you slept in a weird position, you know…… Hey, wait! Kazu-nii!” I shouted.
Kazu-nii’s body lost strength and fell down, covering me. He was pushing me down and he was heavy. ……On top of that—
“Let go of me already!” I couldn’t help but raise my voice to a near scream.
Don’t press your face into my chest~~! Also don’t sigh deeply and stufffffff!!
“…..Sorry,” he muttered. But no matter how much I was protesting, Kazu-nii didn’t get up. Being apologized to with just words doesn’t make me happy one bit.
Get! Off! Me~!
“……Just a little longer,” he let out weakly.
I was fighting back but my body lost its strength with that.
……Umm, Kazu-nii? I don’t hate you, okay? I think you are my dear cousin. If you ask me how fond I am of you as a teacher then I’ll think to a normal amount. I mean, your classes are easy to understand. But math? I take a long time to understand no matter what, so please give me a break on it. Come to think of it, the semester exams are just around the corner. I haven’t reviewed my math at all.
Is this really the right time to be practising for the ball game tournament, me? ……I’m going off-topic. Anyway, you are way too close, Kazu-nii.
Wait, I’m not saying any of this out loud, so it’s not going to reach him.
“……I’m sorry,” he told me once again. It seems he finally calmed down. He got up sluggishly and away from me. He ran his hand through his hair wet from sweat. I thought about lending him my handkerchief, but I dropped it some time ago.
“What were you dreaming about? Something scary?” I asked.
Kazu-nii only smiled tiredly. “Just a dream of the past. ……Ah, shit. I didn’t want to remember all that……”
Good grief. I stood up without a word and patted my uniform skirt. “The milk pudding you demanded is inside that cooler bag there. Make sure you give me back the bag and cups after. I put a spoon inside, so you can eat right away.”
Eat and try to cheer up a bit.
“I dropped my handkerchief somewhere. Find and pick it up for me,” I said over my shoulder before I left the student council room.
I can’t help but feel all tired now. But Designer-kun is dressed in his gym uniform and is waiting for me with the full intention of doing some special training. If I don’t focus, I might hurt myself.
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The next day, lunch.
I was turning the pages of my math textbook with long sighs. Soon the semester exams will begin. I didn’t have any obsessions on my ranking within my year. Still, it didn’t mean that it won’t bother me even if I didn’t get good marks. I want to keep my grades at a certain level. While I’m at it, I’ll be happier the higher it is.
Yesterday after school just before we began doubles tennis training, I tried to nonchalantly protest to Designer-kun.
“Kamura-kun, are you okay? I mean if we train everyday after school, we won’t have any time to study. You also have your real job as an accessory designer. Is your store alright?” I questioned.
“I have staff at my store, so it’s fine. Plus, I have my job as a designer, so I don’t care about my marks in school~ I do my work at night,” Designer-kun answered.
Wait, wait, wait right there. I care about my grades. You know, things like what universities I should apply to and what the teachers privately write about me bothers me. Hey, listen~!
“If we’re going to participate then there’s no way we want to look bad,” Designer-kun concluded.
“Err, well, I can’t disagree with you. But won’t it be bad if you get bad marks in the semester exam?”
“If it happens, it happens. Our youth is short, so we have to pick what we want to do.”
Just like that, I ended up having to practice everyday after school with Designer-kun. Naturally, I had no choice but to focus and study extra during class and my breaks. Which leads me to right now where I’m scribbling in my math textbook, trying to drill even one more formula into my mind.
I was near the corridor between the centre and the east building. There was a bench here that’s just right for me. If I was in the classroom all day long, I’m sure I’ll get suffocated.
Yumi-chan’s the one who I always eat lunch with. Right now she was running off to buy bread at the cafeteria. I figured I might as well study while waiting for her to come back. However, I’ve been waiting for her for a while now, yet she hasn’t returned. At this rate, I’m sure lunch will end in no time.
Grrrrr, this is useless. None of these formulas are entering my head at all. I’m not a science or math type, so give me a break. I’m going to go to a university with a liberal arts department…
I hung my head, sighing deeply.
“……Hm?” Someone called out to me above my head, so I looked up. “Huh? Katsuragi-kun?”
He approached me hesitatingly. In the end he sat beside me with some distance deliberately between us.
“There’s something I wanted to tell you, so I was looking for you,” he said.
Oh? Business with me? “Did something happen?” I asked.
“No…… I went and asked my foster parents about the stone,” he informed me.
Come to think of it, something like that happened. Katsuragi-kun always carries around with him a small green stone. He showed it to me one day and I took it into my hand. Immediately afterwards, he completely changed and pushed me down onto the floor. He quickly let go of me the moment I dropped the stone though.
My eyes started to swim elsewhere when I recalled the incident. “…….What did they say?” I asked stiffly.
“About that……. I didn’t hear beyond the whole ‘giving this to a woman is the same as forfeiting your life’. But they told me a story they heard from my nursery school teacher long ago,” Katsuragi-kun said, mumbling his words bit by bit.
But wait a second!
“Katsuragi-kun, are you free tomorrow morning?”
“I don’t have any plans……” He replied.
“You see, it won’t be strange if someone passes through here anytime. I think it’s better if stories of your stone don’t spread to people. If you don’t mind, let me hear about it tomorrow morning. As for where…… some place with little people will be good,” I explained to him.
“……In that case,” Katsuragi-kun stopped to think before he continued. “Let’s talk in the dojo. There’s no practice during exam preparation week, so no one uses it. …I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” With those last words, Katsuragi-kun stood up and left.
I absentmindedly watched his retreating back. This was when Yumi-chan finally came back.
“Was the cafeteria that busy?” I asked her.
She waved her hand. “No, it wasn’t the cafeteria,” Yumi-chan explained, “When I was halfway back, a girl from a different class stopped me to ask a question. I’m sorry I’m back so late.”
“Oh? Thanks for your hard work. But if we don’t hurry, lunch will end. Let’s dig in,” I told her before I quickly unwrapped my sandwich. Meanwhile, Yumi-chan’s lunch was croquette bread.
The two of us sat side-by-side on the bench as we quietly ate.
The next morning, I met Katsuragi-kun at the dojo.
I have to say, the dojo in the early morning was quite a refreshing sight. Also, I just realized now, but couldn’t I have asked for Katsuragi-kun’s number and have him tell me by phone?
Now then, let me organize Katsuragi-kun’s mumbling into order, and it comes out to this.
Katsuragi-kun was found in a forest in Fuji when he was little. The man who found him normally worked in a dojo, but he had been training by the forest near the end of the year. A few days later, they discovered whom they believed were Katsuragi-kun’s parents some distance away from where they found Katsuragi-kun. However, his parents have already passed on by then.
His parents didn’t have any possessions indicating their identities, so Katsuragi-kun was going to go to an orphanage. However, the man who found Katsuragi-kun to begin with thought this must be some kind of fate and took Katsuragi-kun, raising him in his family. It seems his foster dad saw signs of a martial artist in Katsuragi-kun, since Katsuragi-kun had been alone in the forest without fear.
Katsuragi-kun’s true age was unknown. However, when his foster family asked him how old he was, he answered “three” at the time, so they believed he was three years old. The day he was found became the day of his birthday. As for the certain stone, it was already in his hand by that time. When his foster dad tried to take it away, Katsuragi-kun protested quite a lot, so his foster dad let him keep it just like that.
Incidentally, his foster dad was married. Both of them loved children, and they showered love on Katsuragi-kun like he was their real child. However, since they both worked, Katsuragi-kun had to attend a nursery school during the day.
One day, the nursery school teacher confessed to Katsuragi-kun’s foster family. The teacher thought it’ll be dangerous if Katsuragi-kun accidentally swallowed the stone he carried all the time. So she waited for the right moment to take it away from him.
And that’s when Katsuragi-kun started to act strange.
When other children picked up the stone, Katsuragi-kun would change too. It seems when the opposite gender holds the stone in their hand, Katsuragi-kun would fall in love with them. When the teacher held the stone, Katsuragi-kun got attached and would say, “Sensei~ Marry me~!”
Now this was quite a common sight with small children. However, it was a face Katsuragi-kun would never make when he held his stone properly. It was quite odd.
Katsuragi-kun’s parents remembered how the stone was Katsuragi-kun’s only possession and thought maybe there was a secret to it. That’s why they had Katsuragi-kun put the stone in the box and lock it away himself. On top of that, his foster parents hid it away so that Katsuragi-kun can’t take it out anymore.
When Katsuragi-kun entered middle school, his foster dad returned it to him, telling him giving this stone to a woman is the same as forfeiting his life. Apparently, his foster dad’s words held the meaning of ‘don’t easily hand this to anyone until you meet a good woman you will risk your life for.’
“Nothing happened when my foster mom and my little sister, who was born after I was adopted, touched the stone…” Katsuragi-kun told me. Maybe the stone doesn’t react with people Katsuragi-kun doesn’t see as the opposite gender. “That’s why, what happened before was the first time. I’m really sorry.”
He bowed his head down once again.
“No, it’s fine. That was like an unavoidable accident or rather….. Err, anyways, I know you didn’t mean it on purpose,” I said to him. I already thought of bringing that incident to an end with this conversation. “But it’ll be troubling if it happens again. How about putting it in a box again and locking it up?”
“Yeah……. I am doing it right now,” he mumbles with a nod. It seems the stone wasn’t in his chest pocket anymore.
“Then we can breathe easily,” I commented.
“Come to think of it,” Katsuragi-kun suddenly said. “Are you bad with math? Niimi.”
Why the heck does he know? I blinked, looking at him blankly.
Katsuragi-kun continued, “You were mumbling with your math book wide open at the bench yesterday.”
You mean I actually voiced out all my thoughts? You mean everyone could have heard!? I could feel tears gathering in my eyes.
“Want me to teach you? As sorry for what happened last time. I’m good with math and science,” Katsuragi-kun timidly offered as I screamed inside my heart.
But, well, that will be really helpful. Please do help me!
Since I planned on heading to class directly after, I had my bag and pencil case with me. Also, the dojo had folded desks and chairs against the wall. I don’t know why the dojo had them, but they were just right, so I decided to put them to use.
The two of us sat, side by side, as I opened up my textbook. I don’t know how long we chatted for, but we did decide to meet early. There should be enough time before classes start. Just like that, Katsuragi-kun and I jumped into a study meeting.
As I began solving the practice questions in my book, Katsuragi-kun would point out the parts where I used the wrong formula. He also said when I get stuck, I should turn back to solve an easier problem. If it was still impossible for me to solve, I should flip back again to relearn the formula from scratch.
Katsuragi-kun’s teaching method was to step back and back. It was also a study method to ascertain at exactly which level I stopped understanding. I was to return to the level where I did understand and turn the difficulty of my problems bit by bit. This method takes time, but it’ll definitely help me overcome my weaknesses steadily.
Katsuragi-kun peered into my notebook at my side and pointed out the moment I started to write strange numbers.
“If you try to move on with vague understanding, you’ll definitely get stuck. It’s better to first understand and remember properly,” he tells me.
“Ugh……. I can’t understand properly, that’s why I’m bad at it. What should I do then?” I asked.
The two of us exchanged such words again and again.
Putting that aside, I have to say, I feel really nervous with how he was teaching me at point-blank range. Katsuragi-kun’s face was way too close. On top of that, his bangs were short, so you could see his expression quite clearly.
Katsuragi-kun had a serious expression on his face as he casted his eyes down onto my notebook. He would point his long finger near my hands. And maybe it’s because he does martial arts, but his finger was thick and bony. His hand was very manly.
He was a good-looking man who suited traditional Japanese clothing. I think it’s unavoidable if you accidentally get fascinated by his looks.
“Niimi?” He called out my name. I guessed he thought it was odd how my hand suddenly stopped solving the problem. Katsuragi-kun peered into my face. Our eyes met when our noses were ten-odd centimetres away from each other.
~~~~~~!! I’m telling you, you’re too close!
“It’s… nothing… umm…” I dropped my eyes down, looking at my textbook. I pointed my finger at a random problem. “Th-This here! I don’t quite understand it! Could you explain how to solve it for me!?” I said, trying to change the subject.
——That’s when I heard a sound from the entrance of the dojo.
Katsuragi-kun stood up. “Did someone come for morning practice?”
Oh? That’s bad. I’ll be in the way, so I should hurry up and make my leave. Now, about this table here, it was already in the dojo to begin with. Maybe I don’t even need to worry about cleaning it up? I wondered.
“Huh, it’s open?”
It was Maria-jou’s voice.
I promptly hid myself behind the large banner hung at the back wall of the dojo. It said ‘Sure-Victory for Seika Maria’, and I thought it was quite a fancy cheer banner. We’re not even some veteran championship school, yet they hang this all year round here? I seriously questioned the point of this banner in my mind. Meanwhile, I was clung on to the wall behind the thick banner, which reached even to the floor.
My textbook and notebook were still opened on top of the table. I have no other choice but to give up on them. Ugh, I hope she doesn’t notice…!
“It’s the middle of exam prep week. There’s no morning practice,” Katsuragi-kun said, calling out to her. It seems he hadn’t realized it was Maria-jou beyond the door and probably thought it was someone who wanted to use the dojo.
After the sound of a chair moving and his footsteps, I heard the door open wide.
“Eh? ……K-Katsuragi-kun?” Maria-jou let out, surprised.
It looks like Katsuragi-kun went and opened it.
“Oh, wait, could it be you don’t recognize me? I’m Aikawa from Class B,” Maria-jou said with a small giggle. Come to think of it, I think I heard from someone that Katsuragi-kun was bad at remembering the faces of girls and their names.
“……Was that so.”
“Katsuragi-kun, why are you here?” She asked.
“Studying for the exams? But why here?”
“No one comes, so I can focus,” Katsuragi-kun told her. He sounded somewhat cold for some reason. I wonder if he’s troubled, not knowing what to do with Maria-jou who suddenly appeared.
“You’re right. There’s really no one around,” Maria-jou said.
I think she’s trying to peek into the dojo right now. My heart jumped loudly. There were two school bags on the floor, and I was there right behind the banner. Please, somehow, don’t realize I’m here and leave.
“Hey, Katsuragi-kun, are you going to study tomorrow here too?”
“Is it okay if I come here too? …….To tell you the truth, I’m bad with math. I want to review it in the morning while it’s cool since I think I can focus better than,” Maria-jou told him.
“I don’t think it’ll be a problem,” Katsuragi-kun answered.
“Really? Fufu, that makes me happy. Then I’ll see you tomorrow!”
No, wait. Seriously, what did you even come here for? Also, the way you asked him probably didn’t convey to Katsuragi-kun at all. To interpret Maria-jou’s words, she was saying “Katsuragi-kun, let’s study together” and inviting him to join. Unfortunately, Katsuragi-kun is very dense. He probably thought Maria-jou either meant, ‘let me borrow the dojo to study,’ or maybe even the possibility of ‘let me study together with Niimi Shiori’.
I heard light footsteps running off in the distance and eventually took that as a sign to step out of the banner.
Haa, that was dangerous.
“…….Niimi, what are you doing?” He questioned me.
Hmmm~ How should I explain this?
It’ll be troublesome if the heroine, Maria-jou, saw me alone with one of her capture targets. I want to avoid any situation of her being aware of ‘me’ as much as possible. I was spying on Maria-jou’s actions for Kazu-nii’s sake. If she thought I was suspicious for whatever reason, she might escape from me whenever I try to follow her.
……Except I couldn’t explain all that honestly to Katsuragi-kun, so I ended up tilting my head. “…….I felt like it?” I said.
Katsuragi-kun gave me a dubious look, but I didn’t mind.
Immediately afterwards, the morning warning bell went off. The two of us quickly packed up our things and left the dojo.
And the next morning, I came to the dojo once again.
However, this time I didn’t enter inside but actually tried examining from afar from the shadows of the storehouse just beside the dojo. Of course, I planned on using my time effectively, so I bought a English vocabulary reference book with me.
I waited with a bated breath. Thirty minutes later, she really did come.
Yes, it was Maria-jou.
Judging by what happened yesterday, there was no mistake that an event will occur in the dojo during the exam preparation week. And this was a Katsuragi-kun event. I’m sure it’s an event where the heroine coincidentally passed by the dojo and learnt Katsuragi-kun was studying there. The next morning, the two will have a secret study meeting…… or something like that.
Maria-jou had good marks overall, but she wasn’t good with math. Katsuragi-kun will teach her math while she teaches the subjects he wasn’t good at. I’m sure that was the kind of studying session they will have.
However, Maria-jou was bewildered in front of the dojo. It seems the door was locked.
“H-Huh? Eh?” Maria-jou tried to open the door again and again. She tried to use all her might to get it open, making the door rattle.
“……You really came,” Katsuragi-kun called out to her from behind. He had an astonished expression from behind. I guess he was only half-convinced Maria-jou would come by with how she acted yesterday. At any rate, he handed the dojo’s key to her.
“Katsuragi-kun!” Maria-jou cried his name with happiness on her face.
In contrast, Katsuragi-kun’s reaction was rather cool and calm. He dropped the key on top of her hands before taking a few steps back. “There’s no morning practices during the exam prep week,” he said. “There’s no problem with using it. But make sure to return the key before homeroom to the staff room.”
“Eh? Huh?” Maria-jou’s expression dropped, like her hopes were all dashed away. “Katsuragi-kun, you’re not going to study?” She asks him.
Katsuragi-kun made a puzzled look. “If it’s studying, I can do it at home. …See you,” he said in the end before quickly leaving the area.
Maria-jou was left all alone and watched him leave with a dumbfounded look on her face. Eventually she mumbled to herself under her breath.
“Well, that’s fine. Even with this, it still gives me results.”
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TL: Shiori spoken to basically all the capture targets except for the Tsukishima brothers in the past two chapters without meaning to! Meanwhile, Maria-jou is still busying running left and right trying to trigger events…