I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 3422 min read
Volume 3 | Chapter 9: September (Up) – Part 1
During my summer vacation, I got mixed up in an incident at a festival and got injured. It was mostly grazes, but I had bandages wrapped all over my body at one point. Even though it was the day before the new school term, my injuries haven’t completely healed yet.
At night I tried wearing my long-sleeved school uniform. It’s still too early to switch to long-sleeves, however this will definitely hide the bandages on my arms. Well, to be honest, it’s freaking hot wearing long sleeves.
Kazu-nii came by to eat dinner in my house and looked over at me with concern. He is my cousin with his full name being Hibiya Kazuto. He’s also a math teacher at my high school, Seika Maria Secondary Academy.
It was just spring vacation when he confessed to me that this world is an otome game and that he was one of the heroine’s capture targets. It seems like my dear cousin reincarnated into that said game’s world.
According to his past life’s memories, the game ends at the end of December. Until then, it was my duty to make sure he doesn’t get captured by the heroine. In order to do so — I, Niimi Shiori, am spying on the heroine, searching for her next moves.
The summer festival incident was actually another one of the events from the game. As such, Kazu-nii thinks it’s his fault that I got injured. Every time he saw my bandages, he would make a painful expression. Personally I thought he didn’t need to worry so much since my injuries were almost healed. Besides long sleeves being hot, I didn’t have any other problems.
“…….You’re going to school in that outfit?” Kazu-nii asked with a bitter-looking expression.
I nodded. “I don’t have a hobby of showing off my injuries either, you see.”
The summer festival incident was basically where I and Tsukishima-bishounen, from Year 1, Class D, got involved in trouble with students from another high school. This said incident has become a bit of a rumour. I couldn’t blame that from happening since the police and an ambulance car came at the end. It’s beyond my control.
Still, I didn’t like the thought of people asking me about this and that tomorrow…
□ ■ □
Alright, today is the new term.
Iinchou and I came to school a bit earlier than usual to meet up at the staff room.
Kazu-nii summoned us since our class was changing seats and he wanted us to help him prepare. He was also the homeroom teacher of our class, Year 1, Class B. We had to change seats after a short homeroom meeting, so we were doing some simple prepping. Class representatives sure have it tough…
After our prep, Iinchou and I returned to our classroom to make a simple lottery for seat changing. We prepared an empty tissue box, which we put folded paper lotteries instead. Quick and easy!
“Seat changing, huh… Personally, I don’t want a seat at the back…” Iinchou commented. His current seat right now is near the front of the classroom.
I tilted my head. “Why? I feel like the back seats are more popular.”
“If I forget my glasses, I won’t be able to see the blackboard at all. In fact, I want to reserve a seat right in front of the teacher’s desk if I could,” he replied.
“You mean you actually take off your glasses!?”
“Well, yeah, even I take them off before I sleep,” Iinchou said with a dry laugh.
Right, he has a point. I feel like Iinchou’s face and glasses were a combined set, so I couldn’t help but shout earlier. “I see~ Then how about taking off your glasses once in a while to change your image? If your eyes are bad, how about getting contacts?” I suggested.
“No, I think I’ll pass. I have doubts people will recognize me as me if I don’t have glasses on.”
I feel like Iinchou’s doubts are going too far.
I continued to chat about random things with Iinchou. Before long the other members of Class B came one after another. When it was homeroom time, Kazu-nii entered the classroom and looked my way. I suppose he was asking if we were ready to help everyone change seats.
I nodded firmly, making Kazu-nii call out to everyone with a loud voice. “It’s time to change seats~”
Almost immediately, everyone started to mutter. For students, seat changing was one of the big events in school. It would be even bigger if there’s someone you were interested in. ‘I want to sit beside that person…’ Those people would think with bittersweet wishes in their hearts and fidget restlessly.
I, too, couldn’t help but feel restless as well. But it’s not like there’s someone I want to sit beside though.
“Like Sensei said, it’s time to change seats, everyone. We will accept seat requests if you have special circumstances. Otherwise, it will be decided based on a lottery,” Iinchou declared before he showed everyone the lottery box we prepared. “We will have the people sitting by the window and closest to the hallway play rock-paper-scissors to decide the order. The winners will draw first. Niimi-san and I will pull the remaining lots at the very end. But my eyes are bad, so if I get a seat at the back, I would like to trade with someone in the front row or close to the teacher’s desk. No one minds too much, right?”
Iinchou’s request was immediately accepted, probably because no one wanted to sit right in front of the teacher’s desk. But, Iinchou, there’s no point in drawing a lot anymore with that request of yours, you know?
Putting that aside, the person who won rock-paper-scissors is our heroine of the otome game. Her name is Aikawa Maria-jou. She was currently sitting at the first desk in the row right by the hallway. Yup, she really is a heroine of an otome game. …….Well, I’m sure she’s not strong at rock-paper-scissors because she’s a heroine or anything.
Maria-jou promptly drew a lot that decided her new seat will be in the centre row, closer to the back.
The colour of the boys’ eyes changed when Maria-jou’s new seat was decided. I’m sure their hearts are thumping loudly as they wondered if they would be sitting next to Maria-jou. After all, she is the most beautiful girl in our academy. There were lots of boys who wanted to get close to her.
The person who won a seat next to Maria-jou was one of her capture targets, Kamura-kun. He was also a designer despite his young age.
I predicted Tsuchiya-shounen, another capture target, would get the other seat besides Maria-jou but he ended up in front of the teacher’s desk. Tsuchiya-shounen would scowl every time he sees Designer-kun flirt with Maria-jou, which happens on a daily basis. I’m sure there was a storm raging in his mind right now.
Incidentally, Maria-jou’s friend, Matsuri Kyouko-jou, was now sitting in the row by the hallway. My friend, Yumi-chan, was now sitting in the centre row, closer to the back and to the left. Yumi-chan also wore glasses but I’m guessing her eyes weren’t as bad as Iinchou’s.
At the very end, the last remaining seats were the last desk at the window row and the seat beside it. You could observe Maria-jou clearly from both of the seats. Surely this must be heaven telling me to spy on Maria-jou during class time as well. …Nah, it’s probably just my imagination.
“Want to draw a lot anyways?” I asked Iinchou.
He smiled brightly in response. “Niimi-san, you can draw a lot. I’ll trade with someone with the leftover one.” Iinchou turned his eyes at Tsuchiya-shounen since his new seat was in front of the teacher’s desk.
I drew my lot and took a seat at the desk besides the last one on the window row.
Now then, my task for the beginning of September is to check the capture targets’ affection rate for Maria-jou. According to Kazu-nii, there was something called ‘affection rate’ in otome games. Basically, this rate will tell me how much the capture targets likes Maria-jou.
I encountered Maria-jou a few times during summer vacation, but it was impossible to spy on her every move for the entire period. As such, I need to confirm just how far she progressed with her capturing now.
Kazu-nii claimed that one of the ways to determine their affection rate is with how they address Maria-jou. However, this was actually pretty hard. In the first place, I’ll have to spy on her while she converses with them. On top of that, it’s not guaranteed they will call her name. Another way to check is to see if there’s changes in their expressions when they look at Maria-jou since it’ll change when their affection rates increase. But could I really tell their expressions changed?
For the time being, I decided to follow behind Maria-jou today and observe when she encounters her capture targets.
The first target is Designer-kun a.k.a. Kamura-kun, who’s now sitting beside Maria-jou.
“I’ll be in your care, Maria-chan,” Designer-kun said with a smile.
At first glance, it doesn’t seem like anything has changed from before summer vacation. The way he addressed her hasn’t changed either. I don’t see any heat or passion mixed in his eyes either. At the same time, I didn’t feel any negative emotions in him, so it feels like his capturing was progressing well.
Designer-kun had his eyes turned forward at the blackboard as he spread his notebooks on his desk. Suddenly like an idea sparked, he drew his face close to Maria-jou and called out to her.
I received the blessings of my new seat right away. I could see Maria-jou quite well from here and hear her voice as well.
“Want a present as a memory of us becoming next-door neighbours?” Designer-kun asked.
Maria-jou giggled. “Like what, for example?” She asked in return.
“Let’s see… My devotion,” Designer-kun replied before he tore a page from his notebook. He dexterously folded it and the final result was a rather cute penguin. Designer-kun used this penguin to poke Maria-jou’s hand with it’s paper beak.
Maria-jou burst with laughter. The smile on her face was one you could tell it’s completely natural. When I see her like this, I felt Maria-jou was a really, really cute girl.
“So cute~ I feel like seeing real penguins now…… Hey, Kamura-kun. If you don’t mind, would you like to go to the aquarium with me someday? I want you to come see penguins with me,” Maria-jou said.
“Eh~? Hmm~ I’ll go as long as it’s not a Sunday,” Designer-kun answered.
The two of them laughed lightly as they exchanged smiles.
I have to say, she really smoothly asked him out on a date. Wait, this must be that, right? The so-called ‘friend date’ the heroine has with her capture targets. Kazu-nii once explained this to me in the past. Maria-jou sure is bold to ask him out in class though.
I snuck a peek at my neighbour. Unfortunately, Tsuchiya-shounen was desperately searching through his bag and didn’t notice the two. I’m guessing he can’t find his textbooks…? Actually, just how disorganized is his bag!? I want to recommend sorting his bag on a normal basis to him…
My next target for observation is this Tsuchiya-shounen.
During our break right before our second period, Maria-jou came by to Tsuchiya-shounen’s desk. When he saw her, he called out to her, sounding a little bit happy.
“Hey, Aikawa. …….Thanks for going out of your way during summer vacation.”
“No, no. I was glad to see the moment you won your inter-high, Tsukkun. I couldn’t cheer you on properly during your last tournament,” Maria-jou said. She sat in the seat in front of Tsuchiya-shounen and smiled bashfully. “Kyouko-chan showed me a sports magazine with your interview. You’re amazing, Tsukkun.”
“Ah… I guess it was some special on the inter-high. They said they’d interview all the winners. But it’s a minor magazine, so it’s nothing amazing—”
“It is amazing~ My childhood friend appeared in a magazine! I was so surprised when I saw it. …But I would have been even happier if Tsukkun told me himself,” Maria-jou said with a small pout in her voice.
Tsuchiya-shounen quickly opened his mouth like he was shaken. “N-No, cause. I didn’t know if they’d actually put my interview in the magazine. ……I mean, they sent the sample magazine to my house, but I didn’t even know the release date. I wasn’t keeping it a secret on purpose or anything!”
“Fufu, I know,” Maria-jou replied, smiling softly. “Cause you promised me. You’ll show me more of your swimming right? I’ll come to cheer you on.”
“…….Yeah,” Tsuchiya-kun nodded strongly with his cheeks dyed in red.
Meanwhile, I had been secretly observing the two in the background and quickly racked my brains to think about their conversation. The two of them didn’t address each other in a different way. I can’t see any special progress in their relationship, but I also don’t see any signs of it regressing either. Basically, it was going smoothly.
Incidentally, Tsuchiya-shounen won the championship in his inter-high swimming competition in August. Kyouko-jou was advertising this fact with the said magazine in one hand since morning. I was thinking about asking her to lend me the magazine later too.
Now then, let’s move on to the third target.
In the next break, Maria-jou started to make her move out of the classroom. I quickly followed after her and observed her peeking into Year 1, Class D. However, once she learnt Tsukishima-bishounen was absent today, she openly dropped her shoulders down in disappointment.
Still, it wasn’t Maria-jou if she loses heart here. Just like that, she turned to head straight to Class C.
Another one of her capture targets, Katsuragi-kun, was part of this Class C.
I see, I see, my fourth target is Katsuragi-kun then. He had beautiful facial features and also knew martial arts. From what I hear, he was very popular with the girls in his class. In July, one of his female classmates, Sanjou-san, misunderstood my relationship with Katsuragi-kun and harassed me. Besides Sanjou-san, Katsuragi-kun was confessed to by many other girls but he turned them all down.
Maria-jou opened Class C’s door with a bright smile on her face. Immediately, all the girls in the class, with Sanjou-san as the very first one, turned to glare at Maria-jou.
……Maria-jou got glared at just by showing her face. She must be seen as some formidable enemy by the Class C girls.
However, Maria-jou didn’t care at all. The moment she found Katsuragi-kun, she called out to him cheerfully. “Katsuragi-kun~!” She said waving her hand with all smiles.
The said Katsuragi-kun looked confused. “Aikawa. Did you want something?” He replied when she came to his side.
“Ah! Fufufu, you finally remembered my name?”
“….? Yeah……. You’re Niimi’s acquaintance, aren’t you,” he answered.
“Hmmm~ Remembering me that way is a little…… Hey, Katsuragi-kun, does your little sister like hair accessories?” Maria-jou questioned instead.
“You see, I’ve collected a lot of hair accessories since I was little. But there’s lots of accessories that I can’t use anymore. If you don’t mind, I wanted your little sister to use them instead~”
“I’ll bring them all with me next time, so is it okay if I visit your home?” Maria-jou asked.
…….Amazing!! You truly are amazing, Maria-jou! What a clever request!
She brought up his little sister to tell everyone that she didn’t come here with Katsuragi-kun in mind! And on top of that, she asks if she could visit his home!? Actually, when did Maria-jou meet Katsuragi-kun’s little sister? During summer vacation, I’m guessing? Oh, yeah, she helped find his little sister during the summer festival day.
The Class C girls listening into the conversation all made orge-like faces. To be honest, they are all really scary.
“Ah……. my home is a little…”
Maria-jou got downhearted with his response and dropped her shoulders, looking down at the ground. Still, she immediately made a smile as she raised her face. “Then at the very least, please pass them to your little sister! I’ll bring them next time and give them to you!” She declared.
Maria-jou waved in a refreshing way before she left the classroom. I couldn’t help but feel she was truly amazing with how easily she backed down.
She mumbled a certain something under her breath when she walked down the hallway. “I’m still missing a bit more of his friendship rate. I need to earn some more somewhere…….”
Errr, Maria-jou? Isn’t that a bit careless of you to utter something like that in the middle of the hallway? Who knows how many people there are like me who keep their ears out and ready to hear. Well, I’m sure there weren’t a great number of people like me in this academy.
Incidentally, friendship rate is another important factor in an otome game. When you raise this and become good friends with the capture targets, their affection rates will also rise.
“And what are you doing? Niimi.”
I was gazing at Maria-jou’s back as I slowly walked down the hallway. This was when Katsuragi-kun called out to me from behind. When I turned around, there I saw Katsuragi-kun standing right in front of Class C.
“Eh! No, nothing much. I was just walking?” I quickly answered in panic.
Katsuragi-kun pondered for a bit before he opened his mouth again. “My little sister wanted to see you. If you’re free, come by and play with her.”
……What’s this? You just turned down Maria-jou’s visit request. Are you sure it’s okay to invite me to your home?
I tilted my head before answering, “I want to meet your little sister too. If I have the chance, I’ll like to play too.”
Just like this, our break ended.
Our morning classes quickly flew by and it was lunch before I knew it. Maria-jou set off to her next destination, the west building. However, it seems like her plan has gone off the tracks.
She checked both the library and the flowerbeds, but no one was there.
Judging from the areas she was going to, it was extremely likely she was searching for Kaneshiro-senpai. But I couldn’t help but feel Kaneshiro-senpai, our accountant in the student council, would likely be with our student president, Mizusaki-senpai, at the student council room. Not that I could tell Maria-jou this though since I was merely following after her in secret. Maria-jou circled the west building once before returning to the east building where the 1st Years’ classrooms were.
It seems she was given up on contacting the fifth and sixth capture target.
Nothing happened during our afternoon classes. Maria-jou spoke to Designer-kun once in a while, but other than that, she diligently studied.
Finally, it was after school. Maria-jou headed to the centre building with her math textbook and notebook in hand. I suppose she was going to ask Kazu-nii in the staffroom about the questions she had in class today. The seventh target is Kazu-nii, huh. With this, all her capture targets have gathered today.
Now that I’ve chased her for the entire day, I have to say Maria-jou is really hardworking. I couldn’t help but be impressed.
In other news, we are going to have meetings regarding the Cultural Festival starting today. As such, I couldn’t pursue her any further due to my duties as the vice class representative. I really didn’t have any other choice, so I sent a message to Kazu-nii instead.
[Maria-jou’s heading to the centre building with her math textbook.]
I immediately received a reply.
Kazu-nii looked like a host, but he was actually a very diligent teacher. If Maria-jou comes with a textbook, he wouldn’t be able to run away. It would be nice if he could avoid his next encounter with Maria-jou with my message though.
Well, Kazu-nii has knowledge about the game, so I don’t think Maria-jou could make him fall in love with her. In any case, I don’t have to check his affection rate since he should know more about it than anyone else in the world.
I turned around and headed off to my meeting.
Seika Maria Secondary Academy has their Cultural Festival in October. The students would spend September preparing for it.
All the class representatives of each class plus the Cultural Festival Executive Committee will be participating in this meeting to get the preparations for the upcoming festival going. To be honest, it’ll be busy enough to make our eyes spin. Incidentally, Tsuchiya-shounen is the member of the Cultural Festival Committee in Class B.
Ever since we became desk-neighbours, I have more chances to talk to him. Well, it’s still the first day since he became my neighbour, so who knows if it really did increase. Before I realize it, both of us will be sneaking glances at Maria-jou, trying to see what she was doing. Naturally, I was discerning Maria-jou’s next moves. As for Tsuchiya-shounen, he was in that situation where his eyes got stolen away by the girl he’s interested in.
Every time he sees Maria-jou chatting happily with Designer-kun, he would scowl. For that reason alone, the air around my desk was a little bit cold.
Tsuchiya-shounen chases after Maria-jou unconsciously with his eyes. I highly doubt he notices me checking Maria-jou every so often. That being said, I’ll continue to do my best to make sure he doesn’t notice.
The Cultural Festival meeting dragged on and on.
Our first meeting today was on the notice we received regarding the rules and protocol of the festival. It warned us things such as we were not allowed to commit any acts against public order and morals. It also summed up past Cultural Festivals and how they went until present day.
For us first years, this will be our very first Cultural Festival. Several questions flew right and left, making the meeting drag on.
There were also a mountain of things we needed to decide from here on as well. This included the details of the exhibit/booth of each class and club, the right of use for classrooms or auditorium, everyone’s duty on festival day in the management side of things…
I’m starting to feel faint……
Until the next meeting, we have to gather up what our class wants to do and then submit it in the end. Once everyone decides on their exhibit/booth, all the classes and clubs could start preparing for the Cultural Festival.
Naturally, there’s no way any application for an exhibit/booth will be accepted without thought. Each year has their own rules that we can’t oppose. I hear the same booths pop out every year, but after a big fuss on food poisoning, the rules for booths involving food and drink got really strict the year after. The number of classes wanting to do food and drink dropped drastically.
Also, the Cultural Festival is considered a stage that comes once a year for the cultural clubs. As such, we will prioritize the wishes of the cultural clubs first. While we look over what each class wants to do, we have to make sure the exhibit/booth doesn’t overlap with other classes.
Incidentally, each club got a pamphlet involving Cultural Festival activities. I say pamphlet, but it’s all summed up into one line, so I can’t say if it’s really helpful or not.
Alright, once the meeting ended, I returned to my classroom with Iinchou and Tsuchiya-shounen. Iinchou and I came with our bags so that we could leave for home as soon as possible. Sadly, Tsuchiya-shounen left it behind in our classroom. Then again, Iinchou and I weren’t in a hurry to go home, so we decided to stick around with Tsuchiya-shounen.
“I wonder what our class should do,” I mused.
“Let’s see, I’m sure there’ll be a lot of classes that want to do a café. It’ll be a pain to get permission to use the home economics room, so I want to guide everyone into doing a haunted house,” Iinchou answered.
“How about bingo games? I have the game set at home.”
“Playing bingo endlessly is kind of questionable though. We have to add something else to it… But I have to say, why is everyone so interested in maid cafés?” Iinchou asked with astonishment.
In the meeting earlier, we discussed cafés and the waitress outfits you could wear in the said café. There were a lot of questions between cat-ears being allowed or not, how short can a skirt be, is it okay to shake the customer’s hand, and so on. Everyone wanted to know the standards and where they will be going against the rules.
“Iinchou, you don’t like maids?” I asked.
“It’s more like, maids in a case like this are just going to be waitresses in maid-like dresses. If the only maid-like behaviour they do is say ‘Welcome back, Master’ then it is utterly boring. It will be troublesome to prepare the outfits too… And that’s ignoring if we could even get authentic costumes like Niimi-san’s part-time job had too,” Iinchou replied.
“Niimi’s part-time job?” Tsuchiya-asked, puzzled.
I worked part-time at a café called ‘Nyan Nyan Café’ during summer vacation. The waitress outfits in the café were maid dresses with cat ears and tail. Incidentally, Maria-jou also worked there for one day. Maria-jou in a maid dress with cat ears was super, super cute.
I should have taken a picture…
TL note: I wonder if Little Sister would ask why everyone keeps using her as a date excuse if she was older. My schedule is still on the busy side but please have your new chapter! 🙂