I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 3725 min read
Volume 3 | Chapter 9: September (Up) – Part 4
“…….Senpai, don’t you have a fever?” I asked.
He widened his eyes. I place my hand on his forehand to make sure. Yeah, he’s burning up. I stole the documents in Mizusaki-senpai’s hands and put them on the corner of his desk. I’m not going to let him argue.
“H-Hey, you…….!” Mizusaki-senpai was surprised by my sudden actions, but who cares.
“Have you been coughing? Do you get shivers?”
“C-Cough… no, not really.”
“So you feel really cold right now then. Did you bring your jacket today?” I asked.
Jeez, he’s a pain.
“Please rest on the sofa right now. I will try and find a blanket for you,” I ordered before I opened the closest door. Mizusaki-senpai continued to look at me dumbfounded.
Well, yeah, you would be taken aback if a normal student went and opened up the student council room’s closest without permission like this. However, I knew there was a blanket in here — the source of my information was Kazu-nii.
I took out the blanket quickly but Mizusaki-senpai was still in his chair. I scowled and pointed at the sofa. Finally, he slowly got up and walked towards the sofa. Once he laid down, I put the blanket on him.
Now then, the next thing he probably should do is drink water. Unfortunately, there isn’t a water tap in this room. There’s water in the pot, but it’s too hot.
“I will get some cold water. In the meantime, please wipe your sweat with this and rest,” I instructed him as I wiped his forehead with my handkerchief. He didn’t answer back and closed his eyes. He might be at his limit. Almost immediately, he fell asleep, breathing deeply.
Kaneshiro-senpai returned the moment I was about to leave the student council room to get water. In his hands were a small bucket and a towel.
“Oh, you are…” He looked at me and raised one eyebrow exquisitely. And he stared at me, wordlessly asking what exactly have I been doing.
……I haven’t done anything strange, alright?
“Mizusaki-senpai doesn’t seem to be well. I was on my way to get water for him,” I explained while dragging Kaneshiro-senpai deeper into the room. When he saw Mizusaki-senpai fast asleep on the sofa, he widened his eyes slightly.
“You carried him?” He asked.
“No, he walked to the sofa on his own. I only placed a blanket on him.”
Kaneshiro-senpai narrowed his eyes at my answer. “Thank you very much. …He came home after getting wet the other day. I don’t believe he is even aware he has caught a cold,” he commented.
‘The other day’ — when I heard these words, I had a flashback of the game centre. Now that I think back on it, Mizusaki-senpai’s bangs were wet, dripping with water. I guessed he caught a cold from that.
As usual, Maria-jou’s capturing efforts are half-baked. She doesn’t check her capture targets after properly at all. Maybe if she focused all her efforts on one person, something like this wouldn’t happen.
“Do you have any ideas?” Kaneshiro-senpai questioned. He looked at me searchingly since I went quiet, caught in my thoughts without meaning to.
“Not really. But I was thinking how it rained after school the other day…” I didn’t get Mizusaki-senpai wet. For sure.
Kaneshiro-senpai didn’t press the matter any further. The two of us stood side-by-side as we examined Mizusaki-senpai’s condition. Though I feel like Kaneshiro-senpai’s eyes were silently saying: if you’re done with your business, hurry up and leave already.
Hey, I lent my handkerchief to him. I just want to confirm Mizusaki-senpai is a bit better before I leave.
Unfortunately, he was breathing heavily right now. “It must be tight around his neck,” I commented, reaching out my hand. I was about to undo his buttons, but Kaneshiro-senpai stopped me.
“I am thankful for your concern but I will do it,” Kaneshiro-senpai insisted. The way he always looked after Mizusaki-senpai was like how a mother looked after her child. He slowly unbuttoned Mizusaki-senpai’s shirt. …Why does this person spoils Mizusaki-senpai so much?
I absent-mindedly gazed at the two until I noticed something peeking from Mizusaki-senpai’s chest. I widened my eyes as Kaneshiro-senpai immediately hid that under Mizusaki-senpai’s undershirt.
It was a pendant with a gold stone on it.
“You are… Niimi Shiori-san from Year 1, Class B, right?” Kaneshiro-senpai called out to me. We have met a number of times now, but I didn’t think he knew my full name.
“Yes, I am the vice class representative of Class B. I came to submit an application today,” I explained as I pointed at the submission box.
Kaneshiro-senpai smiled. I have to say, Kaneshiro-senpai was a good-looking guy with an aura of a prince, like Yumi-chan said he did. His polite demeanor and calm smile suited him quite well.
“Year 1, Class B is always quick with their work. I am impressed.”
“Ah, I’m sorry. What I submitted today is an application from a voluntary group. The proposal for our class will take a little bit longer… We do plan on submitting by the deadline though,” I said like I was trying to make excuses. He went out of his way to compliment my class, yet our class couldn’t live up to his expectations. I’m sorry. “Wouldn’t it be better if Mizusaki-senpai leaves early today due to his cold?”
Kaneshiro-senpai looked slightly sad. “It’s not as simple as that I’m afraid. There was someone who scolded him for not managing his own health. It made Homare stubborn and storm out, saying he will recover while attending classes. Well, the result is as you see here.” Kaneshiro-senpai shrugged his shoulders in the end. “Shiori-san, you were at the same workplace as Tanaka-san, weren’t you?”
…….Shiori-san? I couldn’t help but be puzzled. I don’t believe Kaneshiro-senpai had once addressed me by my name since I have known him. Was he the type to call someone by their first name? In that case, why does he call Tanaka-senpai with her last name?
Doubt built rapidly in my mind. Nonetheless, I decided to answer his question. “Yes, Tanaka-senpai introduced her workplace to me. It was a short-term part-time job for one week.”
“I am very sorry about what happened that day. I was not able to help out……” Kaneshiro-senpai said to me.
During the summer, I worked part-time at a café named ‘Nyan Nyan Café’. Kaneshiro-senpai was referencing the incident with a weird guy. Well, it was mostly Maria-jou who got harassed by him. I merely got mixed up in the matter and got cake on my head.
“Ah… No, it is alright as the two of you did nothing wrong.”
“…….You are…” Kaneshiro-senpai opened his mouth, with a slightly hesitant expression on his face. “Are you close to Maria-san?”
I could feel myself stiffening. Kaneshiro-senpai probably wanted to know this information and finally asked me directly.
However, he shouldn’t know that he was a capture target of an otome game. Still, he realized that Maria-jou was trying to approach Mizusaki-senpai. In other words, he’s on his guard.
“I’m sorry. We are classmates but I can’t say we are close…” I answered. I’m not lying. I’ve been taking care not to get closer to Maria-jou more than I needed to.
“Is that so,” Kaneshiro-senpai muttered before he turned his eyes back to Mizusaki-senpai. “Homare is the only son of Mizusaki Zaibatsu, you see.”
Hm-hmm. I don’t really know what Mizusaki Zaibatsu does, so it’s hard to imagine the real scale.
“There is a high possibility of him inheriting an extremely large fortune and power in the future. As such, Homare grew up surrounded by girls after the position as his wife. Well, he is a womanizer to begin with. He especially likes girls who will pamper him.”
Mizusaki-senpai, you had a harem life since you were young, huh…
“But the majority of the women that try to approach Homare have slightly troublesome personalities. Many of them think, since Homare has money, he should be giving them expensive brand-name items. Even if Homare does have money, it doesn’t belong to him personally. He isn’t able to freely use it all to his content. Unfortunately, those women do not understand. The result is Homare being much like a sheep targeted by hyenas.”
I was bewildered after hearing this story since it felt like a different world. Why is Kaneshiro-senpai telling me this? For what purpose?
“Homare has a fan club in this academy and those women are quite better than the others. If Homare says he likes intelligent women, they will work hard to become smarter. If Homare compliments a woman he sees in a magazine, they will change their fashion to match his tastes. Well, I do believe they are simple-minded, I could also say they are obedient and cute. Homare is rather pleased with those traits of theirs as well. In any case, I don’t intend on interfering with Homare’s plans on using the money he can spend to make them happy, however—”
Kaneshiro-senpai cut his words and stared firmly at me.
“I don’t think the level of the women who attended this academy are suitable to be Homare’s lover.”
Wait, wait, wait. You and Mizusaki-senpai are also students of this academy too. What are you trying to do with making yourself look better?
As I furrowed my eyebrows, Kaneshiro-senpai took out a pendant he wore around his neck. The said pendant had a stone on it. The colour resembled a sapphire’s but much deeper. I couldn’t help but snap my eyes open. Does Kaneshiro-senpai understand what that stone actually is?
“This is Homare’s stone,” he explained.
“As long as I possess this, no one can be Homare’s lover unless I approve of them.”
T-This person……. I felt cold shivers run down my back as I stared back at Kaneshiro-senpai.
“Homare and I have a strange connection, you see. The both of us held a stone in our hands when we were born. I am something like Homare’s foster brother, and I have been experimented on in several ways by the Mizusaki household. They couldn’t exactly do the same to Homare, and my parents weren’t able to defy his family either.”
Kaneshiro-senpai stopped short once more as he gazed faraway.
“…….I know exactly what kind of effects this stone gives. I also understand this is a very dangerous item that could lead Mizusaki Zaibatsu to its ruin,” he said smiling very, very quietly.
He didn’t describe what effects the stone had. However, I know that Kazu-nii, Katsuragi-kun, and Designer-kun all have a similar stone. I believed this was proof that they were capture targets of the otome game.
I couldn’t react in any way. I faltered due to his air, his very presence that overwhelmed others. No words could escape my mouth.
“Niimi Shiori-san. When I entered the student council, I checked the personal history of every female student in this academy. You are Hibiya-sensei’s relative, am I right?”
“Y… Yes……” It was probably possible that a student council member could obtain the same information teachers had on each student. It’s not like it really bothers me if the student council knew… But why the heck is he backing me against the wall like I’ve committed a crime of some sort!?
“You also taught Homare how to folk dance during the Sports Festival. Ever since then, I have been cautious of you. At first I thought Aikawa Maria was the one I needed to be on guard of since she obviously tried to approach Homare. Yet it seems lately we encounter you much more.”
No, I don’t think that’s right. Well, I might have been in the background when Maria-jou encounters Mizusaki-senpai but… that’s about it, I’m sure. Otherwise, I only encounter him when I have business with the student council. By no means have I been trying to get his attention.
Yet Kaneshiro-senpai drew near me one step at a time.
“You fell down from the stairs, got soaked with water, and got cake on your head — just the other day, I heard you were in an incident involving other high school students. I think you are going overboard trying to catch his attention. Do you have a habit of self-harming yourself?”
I couldn’t help but shake my head quickly with ‘no’. Kaneshiro-senpai didn’t stop and ran his finger against my cheek.
Hieeeeeeeeeee! Don’t touch meeeeee!!
However, he slowly caressed my cheek as he looked at me with cold eyes. He was smiling but it didn’t reach his eyes at all.
“P-Please don’t touch me…….!” I shouted.
“Do you know the flower meaning of a garden balsam?”
“H-Huh……!?” Why is he bringing up flower meanings right here, right now!? “I-I don’t know but……”
Also, what the heck are you doing with your thumb, Kaneshiro-senpai!? His left thumb had caressed my cheek to draw down to slowly trace my lips. “P-Please let go!”
Despite my cry, Kaneshiro-senpai paid no heed and continued.
“The flower meaning of a garden balsam is ‘Please do not touch me’. There is a certain legend in Greek mythology. A goddess who served the mighty gods was one day accused of stealing golden apples. She was exiled from Olympus as a result. She tried to prove her innocence but she eventually lost her life while being filled with regrets. In the very end, her body turned into a garden balsam. When you touch the ripe seeds of the garden balsam, they would violently burst open to send the seeds flying. They say this is the goddess’ voice, shouting her innocence to the world.” Kaneshiro-senpai narrowed his eyes before he asked, “What do you think of this?”
“W-What do I think? W-Wasn’t it unfortunate of her? I mean, she was innocent, right?” I answered.
“Who knows,” Kaneshiro-senpai replied with a snort. He twisted his lips in an unpleasant smile. “When I heard this legend, I thought: this woman must crave limelight dearly. Bursting out speeds when someone touches her? She is merely shouting her innocence to gain attention from the people around her.”
…….Wait, wait, wait, isn’t his interpretation of the legend overly twisted?
“Maria-san only rejects Homare with her mouth while her eyes try to gain his favour. Yet you are always rejecting him with your every being. Even as you are injured, you shout you want nothing to do with us. You are just like a garden balsam that bursts seeds flying. You won’t leave my eyes.”
Kaneshiro-senpai slowly closed the distance between our faces. Ahh! Get away!
“Please keep your distance from Homare already.”
You’re the one who should keep your distance!
The very moment his lips almost touched my own—
Mizusaki-senpai’s voice broke the atmosphere of the room. Kaneshiro-senpai removed his fingers from my cheek.
When did he wake up? He sat up on the sofa and looked at us with astonishment. You saved me. Seriously.
I hurried to step back from Kaneshiro-senpai before I sank down onto the ground. I panted heavily, almost choking.
T-That was really scary. I felt like some frog being glared at by a snake.
Ughhhhhhh. I timidly touched my own lips. I could still feel the sensation of his finger on my lips, making it somewhat scary. Normally, I would welcome someone who does something like that to me with a punch or two. However, I was completely overwhelmed by Kaneshiro-senpai’s intensity and couldn’t fight back at all.
“The student council room isn’t a place to flirt with a woman. Weren’t you the one who told me this?” Mizusaki-senpai said.
Kaneshiro-senpai frowned. “How rude. Just where did it look like I was flirting? I’m not you, Homare.”
“I haven’t brought a woman here since I became the student president. Also……. Hm? That woman, you’re Year 1, Class B’s…….”
Yes, I’m the vice class representative of Year 1, Class B. Mizusaki-senpai, you’re the only one I can count on right now. Please quickly turn that black-bellied accountant back to his normal self.
“I came… to submit… applications…” That. That, there. I pointed at the submission box. It looks like I’m paralyzed with fear still.
Damn it! I can’t stand! I just want to get out of this place already!!
“My head’s clear now. It must be because I napped a bit……. Not enough sleep must have done some damage,” Mizusaki-senpai noted as he shook his head. “Atsushi, were you the one who put this blanket on me?”
“No, she is the one who did it. Please thank her accordingly.”
“…So you were trying to put your hands on my saviour, huh.”
“I wasn’t. How rude of you,” Kaneshiro-senpai retorted.
Wait, wait, wait. First of all, who cares about this topic, so please change it already. It’s making me feel super restless.
Mizusaki-senpai got up from the sofa and took the application from the submission box. When he saw it, he nodded and said, “I see. This is the application for that band you mentioned before. You’ve prepared the greatest seat for me, right?”
“If you are able to secure a timeslot for them to perform in the auditorium, we will happily prepare a VIP seat for you.”
Mizusaki-senpai told us to prepare a seat for him in the Cultural Festival long ago when we applied for usage of the music room. I didn’t think and told him I would tell the band to prepare the said exclusive seat. Naturally, Neo Candle later heard this story and got excited. They were an amateur band, so the sound of ‘exclusive’ seats rang nicely in their ears.
“Alright, in that case I’ll secure a timeslot where I can go easily. Look forward to it.”
Your abuse of authority is quite promising and reliable this one time.
□ ■ □
It’s the weekend.
I summoned Kazu-nii to my home due to a certain reason. And he showed up with a number of albums in his hands as I prepared his favourite dessert, pudding.
“What are you doing to do with all these albums?” He asked, looking quite puzzled.
Naturally, these albums have a meaning. “You know Class B’s current situation, right?” I asked.
“With how you guys haven’t decided what to do for the Cultural Festival? There’s still time before the deadline, so I don’t think you have to panic that much,” Kazu-nii commented.
“Too naïve! With the way we couldn’t come to any agreement in our meeting yesterday showed me that it’s useless no matter how many more times we talk it over.”
Someone needed to propose an alternative plan in order to end Class B’s meeting sessions peacefully. That being said, I didn’t have an alternative plan at the moment. Iinchou wants to do a haunted house, Designer-kun wants to do a café, and Kyouko-jou wants to do a play. All three of them are very Cultural Festival-like events. If we work out many details, I’m sure it will be very interesting too.
It’s not like I want to reject their ideas… Ah, no, I’m actually against the idea of a haunted house. I mean, it’s scary.
Kazu-nii looked even more confused now. “So why do you need my photo albums?”
“Kazu-nii, you’re a graduate of Seika Maria, aren’t you? I thought if I look at your pictures from your high school days, I might find a hint somewhere,” I explained.
“Is that how it works? Well, if you want to look at my photos then go ahead,” he replied. He didn’t look convinced with my idea but he still lined up his albums on the table. Kazu-nii sat on the sofa and immediately started eating the pudding.
I sat beside him before I flipped through the pages of his photo albums.
He brought with him today, his albums from 1st Year to 3rd Year of high school. On the very first page of the first album was a picture from his entrance ceremony day. The said picture had Kazu-nii in his Seika Maria school uniform and me in elementary school right in front of my house.
Whoa, Kazu-nii looks so young. I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him in his uniform. Also, me in the picture had a school knapsack… I’m so small…
Next was a two-shot with a classmate-looking girl. …This picture here is Masaki? Kazu-nii looked annoyed as he stood with a smiling boy; in the background was musical instruments. Incidentally, this ‘Masaki’ is the vocalist of the major band, Candle. Let me confess this, Kazu-nii was the first vocalist of Candle before Masaki. Kazu-nii retired halfway though.
Further to that, my class had an amateur band named ‘Neo Candle’, which formed because of Candle.
I couldn’t help but start enjoying all these photos. Still, I noticed how Kazu-nii’s hand stretched out in front of me. Eh? Don’t tell me he finished eating all the pudding already?
“You wanted photos from the Cultural Festival, right? Then it’s in this second album here.”
“Ah, wait, I’m still looking—”
“I had my hands full with my band in my 1st Year, so I didn’t help out my class. In my 2nd Year, I participated in my class’ play, so I have pictures of that,” Kazu-nii said. He returned the first album onto the table and opened up the second album.
There I saw a picture of Kazu-nii dressed in a black suit. He even had a black cloak on. Once again, I thought he looked young……. Yet the sexiness he had in the picture was similar to what he has now too. It looks like he had make-up on too? So he was paler than usual and his lips were red. On top of that, he had fangs on.
“What is this?” I asked curiously.
“I acted as a vampire. Our class did our play on the auditorium’s stage. It was actually quite fun… but a number of trouble happened.”
“Trouble?” I inquired further.
Kazu-nii’s eyes started to wander. “…I had a scene where I bite the heroine’s neck. So we practised this scene, right? She ended up in the infirmary and Suzuki-sensei lectured me afterwards…”
“Eh. What did you do?”
“Well, that’s… I only pretended to bite her, okay? But the neck was a little bit too stimulating so…… the heroine fainted.”
“…….” I was so astonished that I lost my voice. In other words, it was that, wasn’t it? The girl got dizzy because of Kazu-nii’s sexiness and fainted in the end. Just how excitedly did Kazu-nii act out the scene?
Also, to think Suzuki-obaachan sensei was such a veteran in our infirmary. She worked when Kazu-nii was still in school; it’s no wonder Kazu-nii’s wary of her since he had gotten lectured by her back in the day.
“We had to change the scene in the end,” Kazu-nii commented.
“To what in the end?” I couldn’t help but ask with excitement in my heart.
That was when Kazu-nii gently took my hand and bought it to his lips. I was bewildered while Kazu-nii’s eyes seemed to look far away into the distance.
He moved like everything going in slow motion as he touched my finger with his tongue. Eventually, Kazu-nii held my fingertip in his mouth.
“W-What are you…!?” I tried to quickly take my hand back, yet Kazu-nii licked my finger in a deliberate manner.
I could hear the sound of his lips kissing before Kazu-nii smirked.
“Sweet,” he said.
“…How did you enter this rose garden? And also, this wound on your finger…” Kazu-nii released me hand.
For some reason, I feel some regret… No, no, no, there’s no way I’ll feel regret.
“Well, fine. Since you have come, stay a little longer. I have also taken a liking to your taste.”
Kazu-nii spoke more arrogantly than he usually did. A liking to my taste… In other words, my blood? It seems this was the actual scene Kazu-nii acted once upon a time.
“What I’m saying is, it is the finest of them all,” he said as he turned his seductive expression into a mysterious smile.
And then Kazu-nii went back to normal. He shrugged his shoulders and said to me, “This was basically the scene where I first met the heroine. In the beginning, it was going to take place at night but we changed it to noon to make a more wholesome atmosphere.”
Yeah, no, I don’t think the scene itself was wholesome or ethical. I want to send my objections to Kazu-nii’s class’ scriptwriter.
“Did it help out in some way?” He asked me.
“…….Errr, sort of……” I glanced down at my fingertip that got licked. I forced down my restless mood and nodded my head. I didn’t exactly want him to act out the scene, but… “Was the play a success?”
“Hmm… More or less? People screamed in the audience at this scene, so some parts of the auditorium couldn’t hear our lines.”
Well, yeah, if you acted a scene like this at the very beginning, the Kazu-nii fans back in the day would scream at least once.
“My classmates were satisfied but the girl playing the heroine was angry, saying the screaming ruined the atmosphere,” Kazu-nii added.
I see now.
I tried asking Kazu-nii more about his high school days after. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hear anything more than how he was busy with studying or band activities. How disappointing.
Still, a vampire, huh.
“The Cultural Festival is a festival. It would be interesting you could see all sorts of costumes…”
Cosplay. Costumes. The Cultural Festival also took place in October. When you think of October, there was a certain event that was just right.
I gazed down at the picture of Kazu-nii in his vampire outfit.
“Hm-hmm~” I mumbled under my breath.
□ ■ □
It was Monday, which meant our class meeting day once again. Everyone’s opinions passed by another person’s opinion and never overlapped.
We have to hand our proposal this week. If we didn’t start preparing now, we might not finish in time. There was still a month and a half before the actual festival, but you can never be too early.
I decided to suggest the idea I thought of over the weekend. “Why don’t we do a Halloween café? With a play included.”
My classmates looked puzzled.
“The Cultural Festival is at the end of October, isn’t it? It’s also the Halloween season. It’ll be easy to imagine how to decorate the classroom and the servers can all dress as monsters. The girls will be cute, and the boys will be cool. Well, depending on the situation, grotesque costumes will be good too. We can make a stage in the corner of the room and have a play with monsters. So in the end, there’ll be monsters, a café, and a play. What do you think?”
The class started to murmur after hearing my proposal.
“We can do a Halloween-like menu with pumpkin pie or something like bat-shaped cookies. If we do it like this, we can narrow down our choices and stick to our theme. Oh, but we will have the interior design be bright since it’s a café. We can also decorate the classroom with Iinchou’s doll prizes after dressing them up in Halloween costumes. If anyone wants them, we will give it to them,” I concluded.
By now, the class went completely quiet. I’m sure none of them thought they would hear all three plans mixed together like this.
Iinchou was the most shocked in our class.
“Niimi-san. If we do this, we can’t scare anyone even if there are monsters around,” he complained.
Give up on that. Haunted houses are scary, so I hate them. I also hate ghost stories. On the same line, Halloween costume monsters were colourful, so they weren’t scary, I thought.
It was painful to listen to any more arguments, so I collected everyone’s opinion based on my idea. I had them raise up the issues, where to improve, and decided on the smaller details.
I even took out the draft of my proposal I made beforehand. To be honest, I was going to bulldoze my way with this plan because it was getting annoying. All I had to do now was to rewrite where we made corrections, so it was a piece of cake.
Class B submitted their proposal before the day ended. The next day, we safely received permission from the student council to do a Halloween café. There were many classes that wanted to do cafés. However, only Class B submitted a proposal with so many troublesome preparations and didn’t overlap with any other classes.
Incidentally, I wanted to avoid the student council, so I asked Iinchou to submit the proposal for me.
TL note: Remember everyone, say yes to 2D yanderes and no to real-life yanderes!