I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 2425 min read
Volume 2 | Chapter 5: July (Down) – Part 2
Alright, the first day ended on that note. Now was day number two.
The weather has been horrible since the morning. According to the weather forecast, we will have rain in the afternoon, which will turn into a storm in the evening. This isn’t a typhoon, right?
Regarding the [Hibiya-sensei Wakes Up] event I was worried about, Kazu-nii woke up early with his own power to safely avoid it from happening.
[There’s bags under your eyes. Did you sleep properly?]
[I’ll sleep again before noon.]
I secretly sent him a message and got the above as a reply.
Also, I observed Maria-jou while I prepared breakfast. Maria-jou was acting a little bit odd. Normally, her eyes will only be chasing after her capture targets or Kyouko-jou. The moment the training camp began, she started to pay attention to the members of Neo Candle. Now today, on the second day of the camp, she was staring at me quite a lot for whatever reason.
By staring, I don’t mean she was staring at me intensely. However, she would steal glances here and there. I, too, also stole glances at Maria-jou here and there to spy on her, so our eyes naturally ended up meeting.
“Hey, Kyouko-chan. Is there something on my face? Anything weird?” I couldn’t help but ask Kyouko-jou. She told me I looked the same as usual, so I guess I didn’t have bed hair or anything.
For the whole morning, we kept peeking at each other and having our eyes meet again and again. However, I managed to discover one thing. Maria-jou only glanced at me when I was talking to Kazu-nii.
Oh-ho-ho~ I’m not sure why but it seems she was suspicious of my relationship with Kazu-nii.
Hmm… What should I do with this? Should I keep having her suspicious or should I deny everything? I pondered for a while, yet I couldn’t come to a conclusion. I decided to leave the matter aside for the time being.
When I headed off to the home economics room to prepare for lunch by myself, it was also when the weather completely worsened. I watched the sky get covered by black clouds by the second; it didn’t take much to let me know it was going to be a heavy downpour.
Today’s lunch was ramen. After I cut all the vegetables I sent messages to the filming team. I plan to boil the noodles after everyone arrives. It’s going to be shio ramen with plentiful vegetables. Miso or shoyu ramen would have been good too, but I personally liked salt-flavoured the best.
“We pretty much filmed everything we planned to. What’s left is filming us looking down at the city at night from the rooftops, but…”
“It all depends if the weather will get better~”
After we ate lunch, I asked them how the filming was going and learned the above.
“More importantly, I don’t have any space in my camera’s memory card anymore. I want to go and buy some but… where’s Sensei?” Kyouko-jou said before she looked around restlessly. I couldn’t blame her. Kazu-nii didn’t come to eat lunch with us.
“Sensei said he was still tired from patrolling last night, so he was going to sleep……”
The moment I said this, Maria-jou got up from her chair.
“I’ll go call him. He’s in the night duty room, right? Everyone, wait here!” She shouted. And I have to say, she quite nimbly exited the home economics room and left the sounds of her footsteps behind.
Grr, I feel it’s been a while since I’ve seen Maria-jou move so agilely. I didn’t even have a single second to try and stop her.
However, Maria-jou, don’t look down on us. I have taken measures beforehand.
Kazu-nii finally came by with a timing like he swapped places with Maria-jou, . His hair was properly combed away and his eyes looked sharp and awake. There was no doubt he slept soundly.
“Sorry, am I late?” He asked.
“No, don’t worry. The menu is ramen, so it’ll cook in no time,” I said as I got up.
Satou-kun and Terakado-kun both took out their cell phones at the same time. I’m assuming they were sending a message to Maria-jou. I bet it was something like [Hibiya-sensei just came into the home economics room].
“Sensei~ Please get the car ready~” Kyouko-jou stated what she needed at the very beginning. “I’m fine with the electronic store by the station. The memory card doesn’t have much space left~”
“It’s a 15-minute walk away. Walk there,” Kazu-nii told her.
“Walk under the blazing sun!? Sensei, are you saying you want to see a teenage girl collapse from a heatstroke? You must be a pervert. Are you also a sadist? And a lolicon?” Kyouko-jou didn’t back down.
“……If you’re after my car’s air conditioner, we’ll reach the 15-minute walk distance before my car even cools down,” Kazu-nii pointed out.
“I want to ride in a Ferrari.”
Complete victory for Kyouko-jou. Kazu-nii went off to become a personal driver.
Maria-jou came back around the time Kazu-nii finished eating his ramen. For a moment, I felt her glare at me. But you should know already! I didn’t do anything to stop you from going!
“You two just passed each other,” I said to her and offered some tea like I was thanking her for her efforts to go out of her way to find Kazu-nii.
Just to explain, Kazu-nii didn’t sleep in the night duty room today to begin with. He was actually in the student council room. Since he was the advisor to them, he possessed the key to the student council room. On top of that, the room could be locked from the inside.
I did send a message to let him know lunch was ready, but he took a bit to come by. I’m sorry, Maria-jou.
Ten-something minutes have passed since Kyouko-jou and Kazu-nii went off to buy a new memory card. The rest of us had been waiting on standby in the second music room. They should be coming back soon… and this was also when Maria-jou received a message from Kyouko-jou.
While Kazu-nii and Kyouko-jou reached the station, the electronic store wasn’t open today. They didn’t have any other choice, so they were going to the shopping mall a few stations down.
“The weather is bad, so I hope they can come back quickly,” Itou-kun said with concern.
Another ten-something minutes passed and Kyouko-jou messaged saying they were stuck in traffic. Until Kyouko-jou returned, we couldn’t film anything. We now have some time on our hands to do whatever we want.
The members of Neo Candle decided to practise right here. Apparently, your skills could drop harshly just by not playing a single day.
The keyboardist, Hayashi-kun, especially agreed due to his experiences from learning how to play the piano. “It varies from person to person but, to make an example, it’ll take a week to learn a technique properly. But it’ll take only a day of slacking for me to turn that experience and knowledge back to zero.”
Because of that, he practises the piano every single day. I couldn’t help but admire him. Terakado-kun, too, carried his drumsticks with him everywhere. When he had free time, he would strike them against something.
Never mind how their band formed, I could tell their passion for this band was real.
Now, putting that aside, I decided to get up. Maria-jou also got up after me.
“Can I come with you too?”
My eyes widened. It seems Maria-jou’s saying she wants to hang around with me. “I don’t mind…” I told her. Inside me, I questioned this turn of events.
The two of us walked lazily inside the academy during summer vacation. I didn’t have an actual goal in mind, but I was heading to the home economics room right now. However, Maria-jou who followed me was on her guard with vigilant eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked directly.
“Niimi-san, when did you become friends with Itou-kun and the others?” Maria-jou questioned.
“Since the supplementary lessons in April. It got postponed and we all went to karaoke. That’s also when Neo Candle was formed,” I answered.
Maria-jou peered up into my face. “Was Hibiya-sensei there then too?”
“Yeah, he was,” I said, nodding.
“The song Hibiya-sensei sung was one from Candle, right?”
The way Maria-jou spoke was like she was trying to confirm something. I kept quiet. Maria-jou assumed right, but how should I answer back?
“Why are you asking me this?”
“There’s something I wanted to make sure. …….Hey, Niimi-san,” Maria-jou looked directly into my eyes. What did she want to confirm? “Do you know who’s the first vocalist for Candle?”
I furrowed my eyebrows. “What do you mean? The vocalist of Candle is Misaki, right?” At the very least, I haven’t heard any rumours of Candle changing their members since their debut on a major label. Therefore, my answer came out like that.
“…….I see,” Maria-jou said. She seemed satisfied with my answer and smiled sweetly. “I’m sorry, it looks like it was my misunderstanding.”
She was now having fun chatting with me about this and that as she walked down the hallway with me. Frankly, her expression suddenly changed to a bright, happy one compared to before.
“I was thinking I’ll walk around the academy since I have the chance. What will you do, Niimi-san?” She asked me.
“I was planning on going back to the home economics room……. Aikawa-san, how about you?”
“The library, student council room, or maybe the church or something.”
Oi, Maria-jou. Those are all the places that you’ve triggered events since April. I don’t think anything will happen in the school during summer vacation, so what exactly is she planning?
“I can’t really recommend the church. I mean, cause it’s raining now,” I advised her.
“Ah, you got a point. Then I’ll just stick to the indoors,” Maria-jou agreed.
“Make sure to come to the home economics room for dinner,” I said before seeing her off.
Kazu-nii was away from school at the moment. If any events were to happen, they wouldn’t involve him.
Alright, I responded in a roundabout way earlier, but how should I take Maria-jou’s question to me?
Now, why does Maria-jou know the first vocalist of Candle?
To begin with, all the members of Candle were graduates from Seika Maria Secondary Academy. Their very first stage was the Cultural Festival of this school back when they were all still students here. Their success in the Cultural Festival made them pleased, so they continue on as an indie band after. Eventually, they joined a major label and became professionals.
However, only one person withdrew during that time.
This whole story has actually become one of the legends of Seika Maria, so I’m sure there were people who knew. People like Iinchou and Kyouko-jou, that is. This was why it wouldn’t be strange if Maria-jou knew too……
The member who withdrew back then was the vocalist, Hibiya Kazuto.
The wind has gotten stronger. It caused the glass windows in the home economics room to rattle, and I could hear the heavy rainfall outside.
After killing some time in the room, I eventually began making dinner. I’m glad I decided on curry for our menu since it was easy to make. I just need to prepare potatoes, carrots, onions, and pork I purposely didn’t use yesterday and put aside for today.
I didn’t try to look cool and used a peeler to deal with the potatoes and carrots. Not that I can’t peel with a knife, it would take longer and it’ll actually give less back.
Okay, now to turn the stove on……. When I moved to flick the switch, all the lights went out at the very same moment.
“…Huh?” It was all dark now. I restlessly looked left and right around the room. “Umm…? Is this a power outage?”
Come to think about it, I feel like Kazu-nii mentioned how there would be a power outage on the second night. Looking at this crazy weather, it wouldn’t be strange if the breaker tripped……. Okay, first I need to be calm and composed.
The harsh sounds of the wind and never ending rain continue to echo in the room. Other than that, I couldn’t hear anything else.
“Kazu-nii……. Right, this should be Kazu-nii’s event.”
His event with Maria-jou involved this power outage. However, has he even arrived back at the academy? I took out my cell phone and the light from the display screen brightened up my surroundings by just a little. Oh, this was reassuring.
I quickly sent a message to Kazu-nii.
[There’s a power outage. What’s your situation like?]
[Still stuck in traffic.]
His reply came back immediately. Judging by how quickly he typed to me, his car wasn’t taking even a single step right now. Hurry and come back, idiot Kazu-nii…
A minute later, my cell phone vibrated.
“Hya!?” I couldn’t help but scream, my shoulders shaking. ……All the power’s out and it’s dark, it was only natural I was surprised.
I checked the new message and looked at it blankly.
[Search for Aikawa Maria. She should be in the storehouse according to the event.]
“Huuuuuh!?” …By storehouse, he meant that one by the dojo, right?
Why? Why the hell did you go into that place, Maria-jou!? For exactly what reason!?
The academy during a power outage was awfully quiet.
It seems the sports clubs holding their activities outside called it a day when the rain worsened earlier. Barely any students were left, which was why I didn’t bump into anyone as I walked down the corridor.
Before I left the home economics room, I sent a message to the four members of Neo Candle.
[Are you guys in the second music room? I’m moving to the dojo.]
Surely, one of them will see it. My destination was the storehouse, but if something were to happen, everyone else should head to the dojo as well. We’ll be able to meet up quickly.
I walked alone down the dim corridor with my footsteps echoing to my ears. Suddenly, I thought I saw a shadow move near the ceiling. It’s like something was coming closer and closer to me from behind and… What should I do if something jumps out of the classrooms!?
“Ahhhhhh!! Jeez!! Kazu-nii, you big idiot!!!”
Ah! That’s right! I’m scared!! But I need to stay calm, I tried to tell myself as I bit my lips.
This was all probably Kazu-nii’s fault. And events from otome games. Actually, isn’t this Maria-jou’s fault? Damn you, Maria-jou!
I need to quickly find Maria-jou. No, I actually really, really want to meet up with her.
The moment I stepped outside, I met the fierce storm of rain and wind. When I saw this, I felt myself calm down a bit. I probably won’t get attacked by something inside this crazy storm.
“Alright.” I pumped motivation into myself before heading towards the storehouse.
Thankfully, there was a roofed passageway leading towards the storehouse and dojo.
“Aikawa-san……?” I called out. I’ve made it to the point where I could clearly spot the storehouse.
I’ve been here at the storehouse near the dojo numerous times. Unfortunately, I have never gone inside it. The rain was pouring down heavily and the wind was bellowing fiercely. It was dark, and the rain was noisy. I’m sure even if you shouted, no one could hear.
Inside the storehouse, there were supposed to be items used only once per year or so for events such as the Sports Festival and the Cultural Festival. What business does Maria-jou have with this storehouse, especially when there wasn’t any lighting nearby?
From what I can see, the door was closed. I did borrow the key to the storehouse to be on the safe side; unfortunately, no one was at the staff room.
The rain came down like a waterfall, making me grimace. I like rain, but not storms like this!
The passageway didn’t go all the way until the entrance of the storehouse. There’s only a bit of distance, but with this rain, I’ll get wet no matter what. However, I didn’t have any other choice but to run without looking back.
I breathed in deeply and out. Just like that I ran as fast as I could to the storehouse’s door. My shoes made more water and mud splash. I only ran a few metres and my clothes became soaked. To be honest, it felt horrible. I also hated the feeling of wet hair sticking on my face.
That being said, I would only get more soaked by being outside. I boldly pressed my hands against the door.
—— Kiiiiiiiiiiii. The door opened with a rusty, creaking sound.
“Aikawa-san!!” I shouted loudly. I came to completely destroy your event with Kazu-nii!
It was ridiculously dark in here. I took out my cell phone in order to use it as a flashlight to shine the interior. The end result made me want to click my tongue in irritation. I ran without an umbrella inside the storm. It was only a short distance yet my cell phone, completely wet with rain, didn’t respond to me at all.
Don’t tell me it broke just like that?
Ahhhh! Jeez!! I’m definitely making Kazu-nii cough up the repair money. If anything, I’m going to change models and get a cuter one. The baby pink Maria-jou had was super cute! But I didn’t want to have the same colour as her, so let’s get light blue instead.
“Aikawa-san!!” I shouted again in desperation.
No one responded back.
I couldn’t see the insides of the storehouse properly, so I couldn’t help but get scared again. Is Maria-jou really here? And in state she couldn’t answer back? Come to think of it, I didn’t hear about the event in detail.
Don’t tell me she slipped in the storehouse and hit her head or something?
My heart was thumping loudly. I pressed my hand against my heart as I narrowed my eyes, lowering myself down. Even if she was lying dead on the ground, I won’t miss her. Once my eyes get used to the darkness, I should be able to see something.
Carefully, carefully, carefully…….
I noticed two small lights where I focused my eyes.
They shone sharply in the distance like I was seeing the eyes of a monster.
Crap — the moment I thought this, I slipped.
Thud! The impact ran starting from my back.
It hurt to the point I couldn’t even speak. Just like that I slid down and sat on the ground. The cold sensation of the concrete was unpleasant, but who cares about it. At the very least, I didn’t hit my head. That was the bright side of things.
But, that light. That light is…….
“Nyaa~” That light belonged to a cat.
I felt overwhelming relief, to the point my consciousness drifted away somewhere.
I’ll start with the conclusion; my actions were a complete waste of time.
Afterwards, Neo Candle, Kazu-nii, and Kyouko-jou noticed how the storehouse door was opened and came by to rescue me. Incidentally, they also told me Maria-jou was in the other warehouse — the gymnasium warehouse, that is.
How could this be!? That was freaking misleading!! This is definitely all Kazu-nii’s fault!
On top of that, Kyouko-jou asked me why I was inside the storehouse that no one used regularly. Naturally, I was at a loss on how to answer.
“…….T-There was a cat…” I somehow managed to squeeze out words. “I heard a cat meowing from inside so…… I thought he might be stuck and can’t get out……”
Uwaaaaah! This is so embarrassing! You can just call me a pack of lies! I couldn’t say anything more and hung my head. I have no doubt they thought I was lying.
Ugh… Just what kind of person will barge into a storehouse in the middle of a storm cause they heard a cat’s voice!? You can’t hear anything with the rain!
Yet the members of Neo Candle were splendidly tricked. On top of that, they were also touched for some reason. It especially struck Itou-kun’s heart, since he was quite a cat-lover, and he was now looking at me with sparkling eyes.
S-t-o-p—! Guilt’s weighing heavily on my shoulders now. Please give me a break!
Regarding the rescue mission for Maria-jou, Kazu-nii declared everyone was going and beautifully avoided his event. In other words, only I suffered in all of this by hitting my back and having to make an embarrassing lie. Damn you all!
As for what happened after Kazu-nii and Kyouko-jou returned in the heavy rain and both me and Maria-jou were rescued separately…
The electricity eventually came back, so we decided to eat dinner. All we had to do was boil it all together. Everyone had to wait a bit, but there weren’t any problems with the final curry result.
Incidentally, the janitor was quite busy dealing with the power outage. No wonder why I didn’t see him in the staff room. Anyways, I thought we might as well invite him to dinner with us. The janitor was extremely thankful.
Regarding the cat in the storehouse, he was actually something like the janitor’s pet. The janitor was secretly taking care of him in the academy.
The janitor had been checking inside the storehouse when the power outage happened and accidentally forgot to lock the door on his way out. It was a complete coincidence the cat found his way into the storehouse. Janitor, you should apologize to me too.
I questioned the existence of a stray cat within the academy… Except I feel like I saw him in the corner of the schoolyard yesterday too.
Everyone chatted as we ate curry together. I learned here that on some rainy day in June, Maria-jou offered her umbrella to a shivering cat inside a cardboard box. The janitor witnessed it and adopted the said cat.
I had no idea you went so far, Maria-jou. But shouldn’t you do something like that in front of your capture targets? I mean Kazu-nii is weak to small animals, so I think his heart will skip a beat.
Later in the evening, the sky cleared to the point it felt like the storm earlier was a lie. You could actually see the twinkling stars in the night sky when you looked up.
“It’s like the clear weather after a typhoon,” Kyouko-jou said, impressed, as she filmed with her handycam.
When the rain stopped, we were all able to climb up to the rooftops. Once again, we began filming again. This scene here was supposed to include everyone, so I was here too.
“Shiori, is your back okay?” Kyouko-jou asked.
“For the moment. If it hurts tomorrow, I’ll go to the hospital,” I answered.
Maria-jou’s expression also clouded with worry. “I think that’s the best too. I was so surprised when I heard what happened. ……I’m sorry I couldn’t come help you,” she told me.
“No, don’t worry. If you ask me, I think you were in bigger trouble.”
Maria-jou was rescued first and then me. While everyone was searching for me, Maria-jou was changing in the dojo. The gymnasium warehouse was filled with dust and you can guess what state Maria-jou was in. She wasn’t hurt in any way, which I was really glad for.
Her mysterious suspicion to me also cleared up before I knew it.
“The boys sure are filled with energy,” Kyouko-jou commented with a laugh.
When I followed her eyes, I found Neo Candle all in high spirits cause they could visit the rooftops at nighttime. They tried to climb up the fence, but Kazu-nii warned them.
This was when a question popped up in my head. “Come to think of it, why did you two decided to help them out?”
I didn’t really think much about it since it was a training camp event. But normally wouldn’t you prefer not to stay overnight at school with just classmates? Well, I’m sure Maria-jou was after her events with Kazu-nii though.
“It’s only at the academy, and I thought there’ll be nothing dangerous since a teacher will be in charge,” Maria-jou answered.
“Maria said she wanted to go, so I came to keep an eye out for her. If you add Maria in a group of four young men, I feel like some strange rumours might pop out even if nothing happened,” Kyouko-jou said.
“I think the same thing will happen if you went alone too, Kyouko-chan,” I told her with a small tired smile.
Kyouko-jou merely puffed out her chest boldly. “In this world, there are women who get misunderstood and women who don’t. Plus, I had them properly separated the boys and girls’ sleeping quarters!”
“Ah, yeah. Well, I was pretty sure that was going to happen.”
The plan at the beginning was everyone sleeping in the dojo. Both the boys and girls on top of that.
Kazu-nii and Kyouko-jou argued, saying that was a horrible idea. In the end, everyone left their belongings in the dojo, but the girls slept in the janitor’s room. As for why the janitor’s room and not the night duty room, the night duty room was for teachers. There were items lying around there that would be problematic if students saw.
During this training camp, the janitor actually slept in the dojo with the four boys.
“The training camp ends today, huh,” Kyouko-jou commented with a smile.
Tomorrow at noon though to be exact.
“Ah, Sensei is all alone,” Maria-jou mumbled after she observed the guys. She waited until the very moment Kazu-nii stepped away tired after dealing with Neo Candle and ran up to him. I’m sure she was trying to trigger the [Looking Up at the Stars Together Late at Night] event.
However, don’t forget, Maria-jou. The two of you are definitely not alone on this rooftop.
Kazu-nii sighed as he stared up at the night sky.
“Sensei…… What are you looking at?” Maria-jou called out to him.
Kazu-nii’s shoulders flinched. His eyes turn around looking for me. But, Kazu-nii, you are depending on other people too much. Our eyes met almost immediately; I merely shook my head without a word.
Once Kazu-nii understood I had no plans on helping out, he made a small smile before looking down at Maria-jou.
“At the stars,” he told her. “…….They say it’s hard to see the stars in the city. But I can’t help but feel it’s not as hard as they make it sound. You could see a much more amazing starry sky deep in the mountains or in Hokkaido… But being able to see stars you can count properly like here isn’t so bad either.”
“The stars… I would like to see a much more beautiful starry sky with you, Sensei.” Maria-jou suddenly looked perplexed. She waited a bit before asking Kazu-nii a question. “Why did you look so worried when you came looking for me?”
Did you actually? Kazu-nii.
“Did I make such a face? I feel like the others were much more worried about you though,” Kazu-nii replied.
“Yes, you did. It was like….. you were recalling unpleasant memories…… No, I must be overthinking, right?” Maria-jou hid implications in her words as she gazed up at Kazu-nii.
I recalled Kazu-nii’s words before the training camp.
“…….The midnight rooftop should have been a conversation event. It’s probably Hibiya talking about his past. I don’t remember the details though.”
Kazu-nii’s past. So there’s something very important in his past that affects his main story. But what exactly?
“It’s only natural for a teacher in charge to worry about his students,” Kazu-nii told her before smiling kindly. He raised up his hand and gently patted Maria-jou’s head. “I’m glad you’re safe. But I’m not impressed with how you wandered around during a power outage. It’s dangerous. Don’t do it again, alright?”
Just like that, Kazu-nii stepped away from Maria-jou, signalling the end of their conversation. Afterwards, he glanced my way for a brief moment before walking over to the four boys.
“Hey, if you guys aren’t filming then we’re heading back,” he calls out to them.
Meanwhile, Maria-jou who was left behind was in a daze. Her cheeks dyed red as she placed her head on top of her head where she was patted. Kazu-nii’s hand is large, so it feels nice when he pats you. I’m guessing she’s still on cloud nine.
Eventually, she snapped back to her senses and glanced around. She was looking around restlessly like she was making sure no one saw them.
Please accept my condolences cause, naturally, I observed everything!
“Aikawa-san~! Hurry and come back! We’re going to lock the doors~!” I purposely shook the key to the rooftops as I shouted at her.
Maria-jou looked disappointed before she ran over.
Just like this, we manage to succeed in avoiding a large portion of Hibiya’s events in the Neo Candle’s training camp.
TL: Does the otome game world have something against Shiori-chan’s back?
On the bright side, she got a new phone out of this! Also, she won the title of ‘cat-lover’ against her will. Itou-kun is really touched (ง ื▿ ื)ว