I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 2120 min read
Volume 2 | Chapter 5: July (Up) – Part 4
Now then, today, too, I was going to have secret tennis training after school.
When I met with Ichimatsu-san and Nishina-san at the tennis court, I explained what happened with Sanjou-san. The two of them were quite impressed.
“Others have warned her before but she didn’t bother to listen at all…… This is great.”
“On top of that, you used quite a scary method. You set a trap, summoned her at lunchtime, and showed her Mizusaki-senpai’s fanclub to get her to reflect on her actions.”
“But it was a complete coincidence the fanclub was there though,” I commented.
“Huh~? Are you girls talking about another guy? Let me join in~”
When I chatted with Ichimatsu-san and Nishina-san as we did our warm-up exercises, Designer-kun came by.
“Ryou-kun! Are you all done now?” Nishina-san asked.
“No worries. Sorry about that~ An idea suddenly popped into my head~”
This was something like Designer-kun’s habit. Even if he’s in the middle of practicing tennis, ideas will pop into his head. When that happens, he gets the horrible urge to write it all down.
Today an idea struck his head for whatever reason during our warm-up exercises. This happens every day and we’d end up taking breaks in the middle of practice multiple times.
“When I have cute girls all around me, a lot of ideas come to my head. I want a lot of images in my head before summer vacation~ And then when I go to the sea and stuff, even better ideas might be born!” Designer-kun told us with a happy smile on his face.
“Are you going to go with the girls that come to your meeting?” I asked.
Designer-kun laughed. “Probably I will. I was planning on suggesting it to everyone in next week’s meeting. Everyone is helping me all the time, so I want to thank them too.”
“Wah! For real? Then I’m gonna look forward to the next meeting!” Nishina-san sprung up with happiness.
Ichimatsu-san looked at that Nishina-san with warm eyes. Soon she turned to bow her head apologetically at me. “Now then, we have to get going. I’m sorry we can’t practise with you until the very end today.”
“No, no, you helped way too much already. Thank you,” I said, quickly waving my hand. It was the fifth day of secret training today. The two of them did plan on helping until the very end. However, their classmates from Class C became aware of these secret training sessions and warned the two.
The ball game tournament was a class versus class event. It was only natural they would.
That being said, tomorrow was Saturday and starting Monday was the exams. Immediately right after will be the ball game tournament. Ichimatsu-san and Nishina-san have more or less helped us out until the very end.
“See you later!” Nishina-san said.
“Let’s all do our best in the tournament,” Ichimatsu-san added.
With that, the two left the tennis courts.
“Alright, how about we get started?” Designer-kun said to me as he twirled the racket in his hands. Apparently he borrowed this said racket from the tennis club. Incidentally, the racket I was using is Kazu-nii’s hand-me-down he used in his tennis club in university.
“Our serves are finally managing to go in now,” I commented.
“You’re right. What’s left is us cooperating properly. But we can’t practise doubles tennis with just the two of us. Going any further is impossible, I guess. Let’s play singles and practise our rally instead.”
“Then we’ll just practising our rally today?” I asked.
“Let’s see how our serves go and then decide. If all our serves go in then today’s going to be our last day practising serves. If we fail, we’re going to do it tomorrow too,” Designer-kun said.
“Grr… Please let me show you what I can do.”
I have no choice but to do this seriously since I want to make time for studying, even if it’s just a little bit!
However, even if I was motivated, it doesn’t mean I will succeed. I came to a near miss result of 17 balls in out of 20. In the end, I had to practise my serves tomorrow. Wait, tomorrow is Saturday!
“But you know, Kamura-kun, you’re good at basically everything even though you’re not even in a sports club.”
It’ll get awkward if all we do is exchange blows in complete silence, so we took breaks once in a while and chatted. Also, we have to rehydrate moderately since heat strokes were scary. Tennis makes you sweat quite a lot.
“Really? Thanks. You see, it’s fun when you can see results of your hard work clearly,” Designer-kun told me. “Unlike designing, sports come with wins and losses you can see easily, so it doesn’t leave bad aftertaste either.”
“Bad aftertaste?” I asked.
“Right, right. …….Designs are dependent on a person’s sense. No matter how confident you are with your work, it won’t convey to someone unless it clicks into place their head,” he spoke cheerfully, but there was a small bitter echo mixed inside. “Just the other way, a customer said to me, ‘Your works have no depth!’ It made me frustrated. It’s true that I’m still young, so my inexperience might show in my designs. But even then I can’t use my age as an excuse. I responded with a smile to him then; but afterwards, all these annoying feelings kept boiling up after another inside me!”
“Hmm… depth, huh? I don’t think you really have to worry about it though?”
“I mean, I feel like someone’s evaluation of a design will depend on their tastes. There’s no standard measurement for designs in the first place, so you actually can’t judge objectively, right? Plus, why not make young designs while you’re still young? When you get older, you might then make designs with depth. Those designs might be ones you can only make cause you are at that certain age. Well, when that happens, you’ll lose your young sense of design in exchange though. …This is just me trying to console you though,” I said to him with a laugh.
Designer-kun looked surprised; his eyes opened wide.,
I covered my head with a towel and closed my eyes. Ah~ I wanna soak myself in cold water~ It’s hot~ I’m going to boil up~ I wonder if they’ll let me use the shower room in the swimming club today.
“…….Shiori-chan, you’re……” Designer-kun mumbled something under his breath, but I couldn’t hear him properly.
Afterwards, we resumed our tennis practice again.
Please think of this carefully. Isn’t there something strange with this picture? Why am I rallying with a boy? Isn’t tennis separated in men’s and women’s because there is a difference in stamina and power? And that it becomes unfair?
I realized this trivial fact after I completely lost one game to him.
“Urgh…” To be honest, I thought it’s natural I would lose to him with the differences between our stamina. That being said, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel frustrated about it.
Damn it. Designer-kun should have been a complete amateur just like me…!
“Haa, haa…” I panted, out of breath. Once again I covered my head with a towel as I sat on the ground. My head feels like it’s boiling~
“It might be good to wear a hat during our matches,” Designer-kun advised. “Shiori-chan, do you have one?”
I couldn’t catch my breath and answer him.
“Ah? Could it be, you don’t~? Then I’ll prepare one for you. M size is okay for you for tennis wear, right? I plan on getting one that matches mine, so take care of me in the tournament,” Designer-kun said.
Wait a second. What the hell did you just say!?
I got up in a panic but that’s when I got dizzy and had to sit down again. Crap, this is bad. I have to rest some more or I can’t move at all.
“You didn’t hear me? It’s our chance to play doubles tennis together. So I’m going to borrow a man’s and woman’s uniform for the two of us,” Designer-kun elaborated.
“W-Wait… wait… can’t we just wear our gym uniform!?” I protested.
“No way~ They’re not cute. Plus I want girls playing tennis in a mini skirt. Also, I was looking forward to having matching uniforms with you~” Designer-kun smiled frivolously.
Uwah. No way. Wearing matching uniforms in a ball game tournament will make me look like I’m so pumped up for it, which I want to avoid.
“Okay, let’s put an end to our break. Let’s get a bit more practice in,” Designer-kun said.
He dragged me along in a good mood, so I ended up getting back on my feet, unsteady, to the court. It was immediately afterwards when I thought I should have rested a little bit more.
“Here I go~!” He shouted.
Bam! —— I heard a loud sound along with pain striking through my head.
As I collapsed on to the tennis court with a thud, I wondered about how much English vocabulary I memorized today slipped out of my head.
“Crap…! Shiori-chan! Are you okay!?”
There’s no freaking way I’m okay, you dumb idiot—!!
I could feel something cool on my forehead…… Something tapped multiple times against my back.
When I slowly opened my eyes again, what I first saw was a worried Designer-kun’s face peering into mine. A good-looking guy also looked good looking when he’s worried. But don’t you think you are a little bit too close?
“Ah, Shiori-chan, you regained consciousness? Want me to give you CPR?” He offered happily.
Meanwhile, I pushed his body away with my hand and tried to get up. Unfortunately Suzuki-obaachan sensei’s loud voice shook my head to the point I sank down again.
“Niimi-san! Are you alright!? I’m so glad. Jeez, you two, do you understand why schools have an exam preparation week? It’s because you are supposed to be focusing on studying!? Think about the reason why all clubs are taking breaks right now! If you want to exercise so much then do it after the tests! In the first place, there’s no meaning in exercising if you push yourself too much and collapse!”
“Hey, Shiori-chan, want me to give you CPR?”
“Kamura-kun, stop suggesting such a stupid idea! Someone breathing properly doesn’t need CPR! And you should study more! Don’t be so spoiled just because Niimi-san is kind! Are you listening? If you’re around 100th place in the exams, I’m going to tell your homeroom teacher to forbid you from any more designing activities!” Suzuki-obaachan shouted.
“Ehhhhhh!? Why!?” Designer-kun cried.
“I am not saying anything outrageous! I want you to remember this is a school! If your side job is that important then you can just quit school. After all, the law doesn’t require you to attend high school. Stop thinking your selfishness will be accepted and forgiven by everyone!”
Wow. Suzuki-obaachan sensei, you are the strongest in the world. You are so right that I can’t even argue back in any way. Actually, please say even more to him~!
I pressed my hand against my head as I unsteady sat up. It looks like we were in the corner of the tennis court. I must have been too heavy for Designer-kun to carry to the nurse’s office. Or perhaps he was worried I had a concussion and thought it’ll be bad to move me. Either way, he seems quick-witted enough to call Suzuki-obaachan sensei here.
I’m sure Suzuki-obaachan will call an ambulance if I was beyond her help. ……That being said, I feel rather fine.
My English vocabulary! English vocabulary! Also math formulas! Do I remember them properly? If they all fell out of my head like this then I’m going to cry.
“Are you listening to me, Niimi-san!?” Suzuki-obaachan sensei yelled.
Suzuki-obaachan sensei was angry to the point she looked like a hannya. I bowed my head in apology.
“At any rate, you should head home already today. Also, make sure you properly study. If your head still hurts tomorrow on Saturday then go to the hospital. Understand?” She asked.
“…….Yes,” I agreed.
“Kamura-kun, you are also studying on the weekend. If I see you come to school to practise then I’ll be immediately sending you right back. Do you understand? The tests begin on Monday!”
Designer-kun didn’t reply back. Instead he was looking at Suzuki-obaachan sensei’s face with glittering eyes.
“Where is your answer!?” Naturally, Suzuki-obaachan sensei roared at him like she was irritated.
“Sensei, what’s your name?”
“I can hear the voice of the god of fate. Tennis coat and white doctor’s robe! An attractive mature woman worried about her students! I’m getting the premonition that a new design is going to be born in my mind. An ivy motif sounds nice. I feel like ivy entwining a cross will suggest that even in this restrained space, there is a heart that continues to say pure and chaste!”
“Are you listening to me at all!?”
He’s probably not listening at all.
Designer-kun quickly took out his design memo book and started drawing this and that. It looks like Suzuki-obaachan sensei’s words didn’t reach him. In the end, she gave up and turned to look at me instead.
“Niimi-san, do you understand?”
“Yes, I am fine with it. I will properly study starting tomorrow,” I promised.
In fact, this was working out like I wished it would.
Suzuki-obaachan sensei warned us again and again, and eventually the both of us headed home. Sensei carefully watched us starting from when we changed from our gym uniforms to our school uniforms until we left the school gate.
Designer-kun also went out of the way to walk me to the station because Suzuki-obaachan sensei gave him strict orders to do so. It was a 15-minute walk from the school gates to the earliest train station. On the way there, there was a convenience store and a small park.
I thought about just hurrying back home already, but Designer-kun made stops both at the convenience store and the park. I got urged by him to sit at the bench once we were at the park. That was also when he handed me a bottle he bought at the convenience store earlier. It was a nicely cooled cola.
I took this as his wordless way of saying it’s fine for me to drink up. “Thank you,” I said before I accepted it.
“Suzuki-sensei was so cool~” Designer-kun said, looking pretty impressed.
“Hey, Kamura-kun. Let’s focus on studying for the remaining time. Our serves are reliable to some point now, so I think our training gave results,” I said to him.
Designer-kun’s expression clouded. “I’m sorry. It’s my fault for getting ahead of myself,” he said as he gently reached out his large hand, touching my forehead. “It’ll be nice if it doesn’t swell cause you’re pretty cute.”
Gently, gently. He caressed my head with his large hand. Kazu-nii pats me often on a normal basis, so I’m used to having my hair touched. But this was only limited to Kazu-nii. I can’t say the same to other boys.
Designer-kun’s face came closer as he tried to find any bumps. My field of vision was filled with the fine features of his face.
“Ah, I found it,” Designer-kun told me. For whatever reason, he sounded amused as he caressed the bump.
Yeah, no, why? Why the hell are you patting me? That’s a bump I have on my head. Don’t touch it.
“Hey……” I was going to raise up my fist to tell him to get away from me already. But the next moment, I found myself freezing.
—— I heard the sound of lips kissing.
“Here’s a charm for you~ So that you’ll heal up fast~” He did the crazy act of dropping a kiss on top of the bump on my head. He also smiled refreshingly like he just did something good. “You’ll be all okay now, Shiori-chan!!”
I swung my bottle at him. But Designer-kun easily caught it with his hand and continued to laugh like he was enjoying himself.
“Shiori-chan, your face is bright red right now~” He told me.
“Of course I’ll turn red if you do something like that all of the sudden!” I shouted. “Actually, stop touching me there! It’s swelling! I had it disinfected and now you ruined it!”
“Ah, you’re treating me like I’m germs? I’m hurt now~”
“Do you know just how many germs a human being carries? There are hygienic problems with licking wounds, you know!” I couldn’t help but shout more.
“I think you are getting sideways from the issue here~ Plus, this is a bump and not a flesh wound,” he counters with an easy smile on his face.
“It’s the same where I don’t want to be licked!”
“But you know, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to get you injured,” Designer-kun suddenly dropped the tone of his voice as he continued. “You see, girls give me attention when they feel like it. But after a while, they find it a pain and stop. I think it’s cute how they’re fickle like that, but don’t you think it also means they’re not serious with me?”
What the heck is he saying all of the sudden? I looked at him skeptically.
He continued to stare into my eyes. “The god of fate tells me to look for my destined soulmate. What about you, Shiori-chan? Do you feel like becoming my destined girl who’ll take whatever I’ll give when I’m serious?”
“Whoa~ So quick and cold~” Yet Designer-kun seemed to be enjoying himself. “Then I guess my destiny isn’t Shiori-chan. But I’m sure she’s somewhere in the academy. The girl who’ll take me seriously.” He sounded a little bit different from his usual light and carefree tone. He was being serious.
“Do you still remember this?” Designer-kun asked as he took out a pendant from inside his clothes.
It was a pendant with a ruby-like stone in the middle. It was familiar. I remember him showing it to me when we met at the church in the beginning of June. It was his protection stone he had with him the moment he was born.
Kazu-nii and Katsuragi-kun had the same stone too. And this stone was probably proof they were capture targets in this world.
“When I heard my dad was going to transfer to a new city, this stone whispered to me. It told me I was going to meet this destined girl. I couldn’t stay still any longer. That’s why even though my dad planned on transferring on his own, I went and followed him,” Designer-kun told me.
The other day Kazu-nii and I came to a theory that this stone might be the actual [heart] of the capture target. In that case, it won’t be strange if the stone whispered to Designer-kun to come to this city where Maria-jou was.
“T-That stone you have. …..Why do you carry it around with you all the time? I mean if it’s important to you, won’t it be better to lock it away? To make sure no one accidentally touches it and to make sure you don’t drop it by accident.”
When Katsuragi-kun gives his stone to a girl, he completely changes. He would come at them like he had fallen in love with them.
Designer-kun might not have realized the dangers of his stone yet. This was the reason why I asked him such a question; however, the answer I got back was unexpected.
“I haven’t dropped it even once in my life. I need this for designing — I get girls to touch this stone,” he said to me.
…….Huh? Get girls to touch it? I was bewildered yet Designer-kun continued to boast.
“When a client orders a personal design from me, I get her to hold this stone in her hand. When I do, I start to see her as really fascinating and charming. A suitable design for her will pop into my head. How should I say this? It’s like I can see all her good sides.”
“……I-Is that so?”
“Yeah. Ah, but it looks like it doesn’t work unless I hand it to them directly. There’s no meaning if someone else hands it to another person. When they give me back my stone, I turn back to normal. Afterwards, I note down the design I thought and turn it into an illustration.”
I can’t help but think this is a very unfair method. But from what he told me, Designer-kun doesn’t suddenly attack the other person. In that case, what was the difference with Katsuragi-kun?
“U-Umm… So you don’t think about wanting to do something to that girl you suddenly see charming? L-Like… kissing her or something?” I stumbled on my words.
“I always want to kiss girls whether or not they hold my stone though?” Designer-kun pointed out.
“That’s not what I meant!”
“Let’s see then…… want to try then? And see exactly what kind of mood I’ll be in,” Designer-kun suggested after thinking a bit.
He then held out in front of my eyes the red-stoned pendant. He had a mischievous smile on his face.
“Shiori-chan, hold this stone. When you do, you’ll be the most charming girl I’ve ever seen. I’ll design for you too, you know? I’ll adorn you with accessories made just for you and accessories I’d give only to you.” He leaned forward, closing distance between us. “I’m the type that wants to monopolize. If I get serious, I probably won’t be able to turn back. I’ll entangle you, give you kisses from your nails to the tips of your hair. I won’t let you go until you drown in me. I’ll swear to God that I’ll make you mine, and I’ll never forgive cheating. I might even want to hide you away so that no other guys can ever see you.”
Designer-kun drew his face close to mine as he whispers to me. “Do you want to see me serious?”
“No thank you.”
I slapped his face with my hand and forced his body back.
TL: Designer-kun is definitely number one in Shiori’s books of ‘guys she doesn’t know how to deal with’.
The next chapter will also be on the short side with the three after being long to make up for that, I hope. Splitting chapters in an actual book is a pain 😉 Also, special thank you to anon for all those coffees!!!!? If we end up addicted to caffeine, I know who to blame|•’-‘•)و✧