I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 3323 min read
Volume 2 | Chapter 8: August (Down) – Part 5
I nearly jumped when someone called out to me. It was Yumi-chan! She was wearing a summery outfit, which was wonderful. She had Designer-kun’s original brooch attached on her going-out bag today as well.
“M-Morning,” I stumbled my words as I nodded my head repeatedly.
Behind Yumi-chan was Iinchou, Matsumoto-kun, and Katsuragi-kun. Were they on the same train?
I didn’t see Katsuragi-kun’s little sister even though she planned on coming, so I asked Katsuragi-kun.
“At home. She said she hasn’t finished her homework, so I left her behind,” he replied
I-I see. I’m sorry about that… I need to apologize to her in person on a different date. After all, it was my fault that she got separated from her big bro. She must have felt lonely all by herself at the festival.
“…I’m surprised Katsuragi knows Niimi,” Matsumoto-kun commented. It turns out Matsumoto-kun and Katsuragi-kun know each other, which surprised me. When I blinked my eyes a couple of times, Matsumoto-kun explained, “We were in the same middle school.”
Oh, so that’s why. “And how about Iinchou?” I asked.
“I was in a different middle school. I met Matsumoto during the entrance ceremony and we became friends,” Iinchou replied.
Now that Matsumoto-kun brought up the subject, I didn’t pay attention to the middle schools my classmates graduated from. Seika Maria wasn’t a combined middle and high school, so everyone came from all sorts of different middle schools.
“Ah, Aikawa-san~!” Yumi-chan shouted, waving her hand in the air.
When I glanced over, I spotted Tsuchiya-shounen and Maria-jou walking together over here. Tsuchiya-shounen had a sulky expression as he looked the other way while Maria-jou was teasing him. When you see the two like this, they look like a couple that gets along well.
Maria-jou smiled happily when she found us. “Good afternoon. Are we the last ones?” She asked.
“Shiori-chan was first to arrive. She was all nervous and frozen over,” Yumi-chan laughed before she lightly poked me.
It’s currently 10 AM.
“Everyone, thank you very much for coming today. Also… I am really sorry I made you all worried the other day. It was thanks to all of you that I was saved. I am really grateful,” I told them all and bowed my head low.
That was when Yumi-chan patted her hand on me with a laugh. “Okay! Then buy chocolate parfait as a symbol of your apology!”
“Eh?” Maria-jou let out with wide eyes.
Katsuragi-kun looked a little bit troubled as he tilted his head. “Is it limited to chocolate parfait only?” He asked.
“No, no, no, no way! You guys can request anything you want, okay? Yumi-chan wants chocolate parfait, that’s all…” I laughed.
“In that case, let’s go to a family restaurant,” Iinchou suggested. “There’s a lot of things you can order with their menus.”
No one else had any suggestions, so we all headed to the family restaurant. I thought about a cafe, but when there’s seven people in total, I’m not sure if there’ll be enough seats for us all.
There was only one family restaurant at the station closest to the academy. And because of where it was located, it was common for high school students to come in groups into this family restaurant. This was also the same restaurant Kyouko-jou and I used earlier this month.
Students, including me, tend to linger awhile while using the drink bar. I feel the family restaurant’s customer rotation speed was very good.
We were guided to a larger table inside the restaurant. If it wasn’t summer vacation, there would have been more people and we would have waited for a while.
“Okay, I’m going to order chocolate parfait,” Yumi-chan declared. Her request had been decided from the start.
“Ummm, I’m fine with the drink bar?” Maria-jou said reservedly.
“No, no, no, ordering properly will be much more……” If everyone did, my emotions would clear up. Well, a drink bar would help my wallet better though.
“Even if you say we can order anything…” Tsuchiya-shounen mumbled.
“He has a point,” Matsumoto-kun said.
The two boys turned to look at each other. Their eyes soon gazed over at the menu involving items such as steaks and hamburgers.
Those would be tough on my wallet, but, hey, hey! This was my thanks to them! Come at me!
“Yeah, there’s no way we can feed them with Niimi-san’s treat. Niimi-san, you don’t know just how much a sports-oriented high school boy eats, do you?” Iinchou smiled tiredly before he proposed a different plan. “How about we order one party menu and share it between all of us? And we’ll leave it to everyone if they want to get a drink bar or not.”
“Eh!? But I want chocolate parfait!” Yumi-chan cried.
“Sasaki-san can order a chocolate parfait separately.”
Party menus are the menus where they’ll be potato chips, chicken nuggets, and lots of other items included in. I’ve never ordered a party menu in a family restaurant, so I didn’t think of this at all. Still, I see now. This was when you’ll order a party menu.
“Let’s order it then,” Katsuragi-kun opened his mouth to say while I was being impressed.
Wait, wait, Katsuragi-kun. Wasn’t there anything specific you wanted to eat? Are you really sure about the party menu?
It was times like this I feel Iinchou was the type that brings it all together. In the end, everyone ordered from the drink bar. Yumi-chan got chocolate parfait on me while Maria-jou ordered a coffee float. The boys ordered a variety set from the party menu. In any case, the variety set had a whole bunch of things. As a whole, it was a set of several oily items.
But, well, you do feel like eating stuff like this once in a while.
Incidentally, our sets were naturally separated by girls and the boys. I thought Maria-jou would aim for a seat between Tsuchiya-shounen and Katsuragi-kun, which surprised me. Well, when it comes to a situation where all the boys were stretching their hands out for the party menu, it was more convenient for the girls to group together.
On the same line of things, girls talk happened naturally between us.
“Aikawa-san, when did you start dating Tsuchiya-kun?” Yumi-chan asked secretly with a quiet voice.
Maria-jou’s eyes widened before she laughed softly. “We’re not dating or anything? We’re friends,” she replied.
“Eh~? …So you two aren’t dating? The two of you look close, so I assumed you two must be together,” Yumi-chan let out with disappointment.
“Fufu, I do want to get along with him. But if we do look close then that’s cause we’re childhood friends.”
Oh-ho~! Childhood friends, it’s a topic that I’ve heard in passing a while ago. Since I have the chance, let’s try asking for more details on it.
“Since when did you two meet? If I’m remembering correctly, the two of you reunited after some time during the entrance ceremony, right?” I questioned.
Maria-jou soften his eyes nostalgically. “Our homes were in the same neighbourhood when we were young. I had to move for reasons when I was in the third year of elementary? Until then I would play with Tsukkun every single day…… But I haven’t talked to him once since I moved. It was a really long time until I reunited with him.”
I wonder why? I was puzzled as I gazed at Maria-jou.
Right now as she was recalling her past with Tsuchiya-shounen, she did not look like a girl after a reverse harem.
“Aikawa-san, aren’t you close with Kamura-kun and Katsuragi-kun too?” Yumi-chan asked even more.
High school girls love topics like this, I couldn’t help but think. Maybe it’s because I’m spying on Maria-jou, I feel like I’m investigating instead of having girls talk.
“Yeah, we’re friends,” Maria-jou answered with a bright smile. “I want to get closer to them… but I’m sure that’s still far in the future.”
“They are good looking. They’ll be a sight for sore eyes,” Yumi-chan agreed with a nod. She glanced over at Katsuragi-kun who was silently munching on potato fries. Though compared to Tsuchiya-shounen and Matsumoto-kun, he wasn’t devouring greedily.
Actually, I made a mistake, didn’t I. Katsuragi-kun is the only one in a different class with this group. Isn’t that kind of an awkward situation to be in?
“Ah, ummm, hey, Katsuragi-kun,” I tried calling out to him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t continue my words any further.
Ugh… What should I do? It’s time like this I wished I had guts like Maria-jou. Err, crap. I need to, bring up some topic, and make a chance for all the boys to become friends with each other.
“……?” Katsuragi-kun was looking questioning at me.
“E-Errr, ummm. I was thinking, do you know anyone other than Matsumoto-kun from Class B? It’s a little bit late, but I could introduce everyone to you,” I told him.
Katsuragi-kun opened his mouth. “I know their faces.”
“Y-Yeah, you would. Cause we’re in the same academy……” Uwah, I feel like running away. My plan failed. I’m so sorry.
Katsuragi-kun suddenly smiled before he straightened his back. “If anything I should be the one introducing myself. I’m Katsuragi Kyouya. It’s nice to meet you,” he said with a small nod. Yet, because of his good posture, it looked like a wonderful and beautiful gesture.
It was Iinchou who moved first to respond. For some reason, he smiled tiredly before saying, “I’m Shibuya.” Just like that, everyone introduced themselves one after another.
“My name is Aikawa Maria. You remember me now, right?” Maria-jou gave her name with a bright smile.
Putting her next to Katsuragi-kun was a picture of a beautiful man and woman. I feel bad for Tsuchiya-shounen, but Katsuragi-kun looked much more mature.
I kept my eye out for the moment Katsuragi-kun would get up to refill his drink. I stood up as well and called out to him as he headed to the drink corner.
“Katsuragi-kun, I’m also going to get another drink. Want me to get yours on the way?” I asked with the implication he could sit back down.
Katsuragi-kun silently shook his head. “It’ll be heavy.”
It’s just going to be drinks for two people. There’s no way it’ll be heavy. Just how weak did he think my physical strength was?
In the end, the both of us went to the drink corner together. I put ice in my cup and tried to fill it up with ice tea. For some reason, nothing was coming out. Hm? I tried pushing the button again. No ice tea was coming out. Did it run out?
For a moment I thought about getting a different drink. But I really wanted to drink ice tea. I could try every single item since it was a drink bar yet…
I tried pushing the button one last time and that’s when it happened.
My mistake was filling up my cup with ice. The ice tea came out like a faucet was turned all the way opened. It splashed against the ice and flew everywhere.
There was probably something wrong with the button.
If Katsuragi-kun beside me didn’t promptly move me out of the way, my clothing and hands will be covered with ice tea.
He pulled my arm from the side. Before I knew it, I was inside his arms with barely any ice tea splashed on me.
“……S-Sorry. I’m okay now…… Could you let go?” I asked him timidly.
Katsuragi-kun loosen his grip. At the same time, I felt a little bit embarrassed against his warm chest.
I recovered somehow and took back my cup. “K-Katsuragi-kun, you’re getting green tea?” I asked.
“……I felt like it. Besides that, I often get sports drinks,” he replied.
“Oh~ I’m guessing it’s cause you exercise a lot. It’s definitely tough in the middle of the summer.” I, too, also brought drinks with me during my morning jogs.
“Niimi… are there people from the same middle school as you?” Katsuragi-kun asked.
“There aren’t any in Class B. There are some in different classes, but I’m not close with any of them.”
“Why did you choose our academy?”
Hmm… There’s no need to purposely touch on the subject of me entering cause this was where Kazu-nii worked.
“The uniforms were cute, and I was interested in how there were lots of clubs here. Come to think of it, how about you, Katsuragi-kun? Your grades are good, so couldn’t you have entered a more advanced school?” I questioned.
I was pretty interested in what reasons Maria-jou’s capture targets were drawn to Seika Maria.
Katsuragi-kun replied, “Cause Matsumoto said he’s going here. I thought it’ll be more comfortable going to a school with people I know.”
Katsuragi-kun’s expression slightly darkened. “When it’s coeducation……… it’s…” He mumbled out like it was difficult to say.
“I see. Cause girls would crowd around you and be noisy?” I pointed out.
He smiled tiredly. “I actually wanted to go to a boys’ school, but my parents were against it. They said never mind whether I wanted to inherit the dojo or not, once I graduated high school, I would probably enter a physical education or security university. Until then I should meet more people…….”
He was vague with his words, but basically, his parents told him to get used to girls.
“It must be tough,” I commented. I’m sorry, but I’m on the verge of laughing. If some other person said to me that they were troubled because they were too popular, it’ll sound like sarcasm. In Katsuragi-kun’s case, he was actually troubled. “It would have been easier if you had a personality where having lots of girls around you made you happy.”
Yet, Katsuragi-kun made a sullen face. “Isn’t one girl all you need?”
Oh, I didn’t expect this. I opened my eyes wide.
“…….Did I say something weird?” He asked me.
“Ahh… No, you didn’t. I was just a little bit surprised,” I confessed. I thought he was the type that wasn’t interested in romance or anything. It looks like he went against my prediction. “But if it’s a friend then any number is good, don’t you think? Cause if you narrow all the girls you know down to one, we’ll get excluded even though we just became friends,” I said to him with a smile.
Katsuragi-kun fell silent for a bit before he made a small smile. “You’re right. I got to know you, so I made the right choice to come here.”
It’s an honour then.
Now that the both of us got the drinks we wanted, we returned back to our seats.
That was when Tsuchiya-shounen looked at me and spoke like he was recalling something. “But you know……. Niimi, you actually cry. You kind of have the image of not crying for some reason.”
“But if it were me in that kind of dangerous situation,” Maria-jou added, “I would have been so scared, shaking so much that I can’t take a single step. It’s amazing how you tried to run away with your own power.”
I turned to look at Yumi-chan in a panic but she was nodding a number of times. “Right, right! Normally, she wouldn’t show her tears at all! Shiori-chan loves to act tough but when she cried nonstop and clung on to me, I felt this sense of superiority~”
W-Wait!? You have it wrong! That can’t be possible!
I didn’t cry. When I clung on to Yumi-chan, I was just in pain because I hurt myself with the concrete ground and my yukata was rubbing against the wounds. Me, crying? There’s no way that actually happened.
“W-Wh— Me? Cry……?” In my bewilderment, I looked at everyone restlessly.
That was when Katsuragi-kun nodded to confirm Yumi-chan’s words. “You were half in tears when I rushed into the scene.”
Gyaaaaaaaaaa!? He saw!?
Th-This is weird. It’s completely different from my memory!
When Katsuragi-kun rushed by and defeated the guy with a chop, that should be when I dropped my clog. Also, when I saw Katsuragi-kun, I thought it was better to stay still instead of struggling.
It was definitely, definitely, not because I thought this was the end of me and from fear.
I acknowledge I screamed for help inside my heart. Still, I didn’t voice it out loud, and by no means did I cry at all…
When Yumi-chan ran into the scene, she looked like an angel to me. My vision was blurry, but that’s……. I cast my eyes to Yumi-chan, seeking help.
“Yeah, yeah, I get it. Shiori-chan, you didn’t cry at all,” Yumi-chan said. However, she had no compassion for me at all. “You said ‘thank you’ with teary eyes and quivering hands. Yup, yup, I get it. You weren’t crying at all~”
…This is weird. Yumi-chan isn’t helping much at all.
“What a shame,” Iinchou commented. “I definitely want to see Niimi-san’s crying face. Why did I get separated there at the festival?”
“…….Isn’t it because you run really slowly?” Matsumoto-kun coolly interjected. Neither of these two were helping my case at all.
“It would have been better if you went ahead of me, Mastumoto. And then tell me how her crying face was to me later.”
“No, I mean, if I did see her crying, I would have pretended not to see anything,” Mastumoto-kun replied.
……Eh? Wait? You mean that’s what actually happened? The reason why no one said anything back then was because Niimi Shiori crying was such a rare sight? And they didn’t point it out with the goodness of their heart……?
T-That can’t be…!
I was overwhelmed and speechless.
Yumi-chan turned to me and said, “You wiped your face when you stopped clinging on me. It was wet with tears, wasn’t it? You were the same as usual by the time everyone came by.”
N-No way, but, in the meantime, I was relieved that Kazu-nii didn’t see anything.
He was the only person that I didn’t want seeing me crying ever. It’ll ruin my ‘younger but reliable cousin’ position in Kazu-nii’s mind I’ve built up until now.
“Niimi-san can be a little indifferent when it comes to her own safety,” Iinchou added. “Never mind if it’s with another girl, Niimi-san does things to another guy with a straight face when she really shouldn’t.”
“Huh? …E-Errr, for example…?” I asked with complete confusion.
It was Katsuragi-kun who opened his mouth in Iinchou’s place. “…….Like giving a lap pillow to someone they just met,” he mumbled like he recalled something.
Both Yumi-chan and I widened our eyes in surprise.
“What!? Shiori-chan, I didn’t hear about any of this!?” Yumi-chan shouted.
“A-Ah, no, I…”
“If a delicious major incident like that happened, you need to properly tell me! Aren’t we friends, Shiori-chan!?” Yumi-chan cried more.
“You’re overreacting. I wasn’t hiding or anything—”
“It’s a pretty big secret thoughhhhhh!?”
“Lap pillow……?” Maria-jou mumbled. She looked at me with a grim expression for a moment. However, in my distress, I didn’t know who to turn to and who to deal with anymore.
“Don’t you have any shame when you’re a girl?” Tsuchiya-shounen further attacked me. I’m pretty sure he was referring to the shower room incident and/or the ball game tournament incident.
“T-That’s… Well, I do think I could have reacted more cutely back then!?” Instead of bashfully blushing, I wanted to get out of those events as soon as possible.
“This is reality, Niimi-san. You need to treat yourself more with care,” Iinchou declared and wrapped up the topic.
Afterwards, the sporty high school boys suggested going to an all-you-can-eat yakiniku restaurant after for lunch since the party menu didn’t fill up their stomachs at all. Maria-jou didn’t want the smell of yakiniku on her, so she was reluctant. I wasn’t all that hungry while Yumi-chan objected. In the end, we tried to find a compromise.
Meanwhile, I was holding my head in my hands inside my mind. Why did this happen? Why did I go out of my way to invite everyone and end up in this super awkward position? On top of that, I could only feel good will from their words. …Well, they did plan on teasing me a bit though.
Making other people worried about me could be very painful — I deeply learnt this lesson today.
□ ■ □
Summer vacation, academy.
At the rooftops of the school building, a female student was venting her anger at a male student.
“What’s the meaning of this!? I didn’t trigger Yuuki-kun’s event!” The girl shouted.
Even though it was summer vacation, both of them wore their school uniforms. The male student looked fed up at her before he purposely shook his head. “There is no special meaning. The event happened, that’s all, isn’t there?”
“Cause! I was in the middle of another event, wasn’t I?” The female student took out her old notebook from her bag. She flipped to the page that said ‘Summer Vacation’ and raised it to his attention. “The Tsukishima main event happens after 30 days following the brotherly fight event at the fireworks. On top of that, it’ll trigger behind the shrine. As long as I don’t go there, it shouldn’t happen. This event is a required for capturing Yuuki-kun since this is where he’ll injure himself and can’t play the violin anymore! Also, there shouldn’t have been any danger in being captured in a car. That didn’t happen in the game at all. I’m supposed to witness Yuuki-kun argue with boys behind the shrine and I’ll call the police. But the police wouldn’t make it in time, so he gets hurt. That’s what the event is supposed to be!”
The male student watched the girl cry loudly before he sighed. “Calm down,” he said before he pushed the frame of his glasses up. “First things first. The ‘30 days after’ is only a setting the game system gives, so who knows if it’ll apply to this world. As long as everyone is a living human being, there will be some deviations. You have noticed too, haven’t you?”
Some deviations. Yes, the female student could understand that.
In the game, you could only trigger one event once a day. In reality, you could trigger multiple events in one day.
“Also, the trigger for this event isn’t behind the shrine. It’s simply the shrine grounds. Coincidentally on that day you came to the shrine, Tsukishima Yuuki was also at the same shrine. With that, all the required flags were triggered, so the event occurred. Yet, even though this event was taking place, you didn’t realize at all. That’s why the event went on without you in it. As long as the other person is a living human being, the event will progress. It’s not guaranteed the event will reach the same conclusion as the game. If you were there, it might have but… You were not a character in the event. A different character acted in another manner and as a result, a different outcome was reached.”
The female student made an anxious face. “And……. Why was Niimi-san taken by them?”
“Who knows. ….Also, you failed the event after the brotherly fight at the Fireworks Festival, didn’t you? If you gave the best answers, you would have received an iris patterned yukata from Tsukishima Yuuki’s grandmother. If you wore that to the festival, you would have gained even more affection from Tsukishima Yuuki.”
“That…… the event didn’t happen. Of course I gave the best answers, alright? But it didn’t develop the right way. But I didn’t plan on triggering Yuuki-kun’s events in the festival, so I thought it wasn’t a big deal. Everyone else’s condition for raising affection was wearing a yukata, no matter what style.”
“……I see,” the male student mumbled.
“Hey, what’s going to happen from now on? Yuuki-kun wasn’t hurt. Does this mean his later events like rehabilitation and making up with his brother won’t happen at all anymore?”
The male student tilted his head at the girl’s question.
“I wonder about that. As long as they are living human beings, the same event might happen at a different timing and develop the same way. Even if Tsukishima Yuuki wasn’t injured, doesn’t the possibility of [he can’t play the violin anymore] still exist? Well, more importantly, I’m not obligated to help you out. Even if I knew, I don’t feel like telling you,” he said to the girl.
“…But you are the heroine of this world. This will not change no matter what.”
When the female student heard those words, she regained her composure. She hugged her old notebook with both of her arms. “That’s right,” she said with a small nod. “I’m the heroine, so it should work out the way I want it to, won’t it? September is going to be busy. I have to raise everyone’s affection and friendship to a certain point. I want to make sure I’m available for dates on the weekends. Yeah, that’s right, I don’t have time to worry about all the unexpected things that happened…” The girl said to herself.
However, there was anxiety on her face that she didn’t have before until now.
The male student didn’t reply. Instead, he made a small tired smile. “The development of stopping him from getting hurt isn’t inside you, is there.”
“…Well, if you did then the event will probably collapse,” he mumbled the last part quietly under his breath. He muttered with the intention of not letting anyone hear his next words. “Even if you knew everything about them, there is probably no human that will move exactly as another person imagines them to. Not as long as you don’t obtain their [heart].”
The female student looked at him puzzled as she held her notebook in her arms. “Did you say something just now?”
“No, nothing at all.”
The female student blinked her eyes repeatedly before she put her notebook back into her bag. The male student watched her carefully lock up her bag but didn’t speak any further.
Anxiety and a feeling like something was out of place dropped down in the girl’s heart and before long it’ll spread like ripples, making rings in water. However, at this moment, she still hasn’t realized it.
TL note: This is a day late because I couldn’t access the site yesterday! In any case, this is the end of Volume 2 🙂
I will now announce I’m taking a break for reasons and this will give me time to stock up again. The next update will be October 14th. Happy school and work for everyone~