I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 4222 min read
Volume 3 | Chapter 10: October (Up) – Part 3
The next day after school, I decided to go home together with Iinchou in order to hear what he had to say.
We left the school late as we were busy with our Cultural Festival preparations. It was already quite dark, so I felt relieved to be able to walk with someone to the train station.
“Should we visit a cafe?” Iinchou asked.
What he has to say is okay to discuss with people around?
“Would it be too cold in the park?” I suggested.
“No, the park is fine with me too,” he agreed.
The two of us brought hot drinks at the convenience store and headed to the nearby park.
“And? …What did you want to talk to me about?” I asked while sipping my hot tea. I was also looking at Iinchou sitting on the bench. It felt awkward to sit beside him, so I was standing instead.
I could predict this was no love confession with the mood since we left school.
“Yeah… To be honest, I’m not sure where to even begin,” Iinchou said as he drank too, tilting his head. “In the first place, how much do you know? Niimi-san.”
“Ah, yeah, sorry. I’ll reorganize my thoughts in my head for a bit more.”
Wait, wait, you had an extra day to think, so you should have figured this out yesterday night.
“Niimi-san, do you believe in reincarnation?”
The words that came out of his mouth were hard to react to.
“…….I feel like it’s no fun even if you remember your past life,” I replied. These were my thoughts after watching Kazu-nii. It doesn’t look like he was blessed in any way with his past memories. It also didn’t seem like some past life destined partner would show up either.
Iinchou shrugged his shoulders to my response. “Well, according to Saṃsāra, you won’t be reincarnated as a human every time. It’s probably not very interesting to have past life memories living as a fish or plant. So, when it comes to believing or not believing, which are you?”
“…….Well, I guess I… believe in it?”
“That’s great,” Iinchou said with a bright smile. “To tell you the truth, I have memories of my past life. The reason why my grades are good is because of that.”
Say, what!? I widened my eyes.
According to Kazu-nii, if you can’t clearly remember your past life, there weren’t many merits at all. However, when I think about it, Kazu-nii is smart. Is it because of his past life? Eh? Seriously? Isn’t that unfair?
“In my past life, I wasn’t all that smart. But with those memories, I won’t start from zero. The more I know about my weak subjects, the easier they become to overcome. I mean, it’s material I have learned once before too.”
H-Hm-hmm. Is that so? It really does feel kind of unfair…
“Since you believe I have memories of my past life, I’m going to move on.”
Wait, wait, just cause you have good marks doesn’t equal to you having memories of your past life. I mean there’s lots of smart people out there in the world that studied from zero. …Well, let’s put that aside, shall we.
Iinchou smiled tiredly when he saw how disgruntled I look. He opened his mouth and said, “You see. I killed you in my past life.”
…….Eh? Wait a second. What does he mean?
I knew that he wasn’t going to confess his love to me. Since he seemed so grave, I could also tell it wasn’t about our budget for the Cultural Festival or related topics either.
Yet, he confessed something utterly surprising to me.
I unconsciously dropped my drink, letting hot tea spill all over the ground. “U-Um…….” Cold sweat ran down my back.
I think we should have had this discussion in a cafe. Being alone with him like this is extremely scary all of the sudden.
“W-Why did you kill me? Can I ask?” Don’t tell me. Were we lovers in our past life and he stabbed me because of an entanglement of mad love?
Or maybe, maybe…… I imagined how it could have happened. I couldn’t help but question why I repeatedly envisioned love affairs where I was the cause for everything. I mean, there could be even more scenarios on how it could have happened like car accidents or heavy debts.
Iinchou laughed loudly. “No, it’s nothing direct like that. Also, I have no thoughts on harming you either.”
“A-Ah, r-really? Then that’s good.” For the time being, I should stop imagining things. Instead, I took a step back away from him.
“You’re on guard now, huh… Well, I can’t blame you,” Iinchou noted with a tired smile. He sipped his drink once more. “You see, I helped develop a certain otome game in my past life. I was responsible for the character settings.”
“The otome game I worked in my past life was set in a high school called Seika Maria Secondary Academy. A single heroine and multiple capture targets appears in the said game. The number of main characters are limited, but the side characters also had their own settings. Niimi Shiori, you were one of the side characters. And, for whatever reason, I reincarnated in the game I made.”
…What Iinchou told me resembled what Kazu-nii said before. Yes, that’s right, this world is the same world of a certain otome game.
“…Ah…” I couldn’t comment back properly; a weird voice escaped instead.
Yet, I couldn’t help but feel relieved. Ah, I’m glad. It’s like I came back to reality. Of course I questioned how I feel like I’m back in reality after hearing about reincarnating in a game world. Still, it was a lot more persuasive than hearing about some crazy love-hate drama with Iinchou in my past life.
What Iinchou confessed to me was merely about the otome game.
The heroine’s name is Aikawa Maria. One of the capture targets that appear in the game is called Hibiya Kazuto. There is also a minor character in the game who’s a girl named Niimi Shiori. She is not the me living in this world right now.
“…Ah, you surprised me. You wanted to talk about that, huh.” I breathed out before I sat on the bench as well. “I dropped my hot tea. Go treat me another next time. I want royal milk tea.”
“Isn’t that more expensive than your hot tea?”
“Think of it as an apology for scaring someone,” I rebutted.
Now then, now then, my mind almost went blank earlier but let’s hear what he was to say once more.
I was completely calm now, which Iinchou looked dissatisfied with. “You’re not really surprised.”
“No, I was surprised and dropped my hot tea. Also, I do know how this world is an otome game world,” I admitted.
Iinchou nodded. “Ah, so you did notice. But it’s not like you have memories of your past life, right?”
“Hmm… yeah, you’re right. I heard from someone.”
“Hibiya-sensei?” Iinchou guessed.
“…….Why do you know?”
“He’s the only one acting strange among the capture targets,” Iinchou said nonchalantly before he stretched. “Plus, you wouldn’t have acted the way you’ve done now if you knew the plot of the game beforehand. I mean, it was to the point where you were only getting the short end of the stick.”
“…What do you mean?”
“You stood out too much, or rather, you kept getting injured. The capture targets’ affection might raise as a result but it’s strange as to why you keep purposely picking those kinds of events. That’s why I thought you didn’t have your memories of your past life. In addition, I could also tell you weren’t trying to clear the otome game.”
I tilted my head. What exactly does he mean by picking those kinds of events? It’s true that I got hurt a lot. I’m already self-aware about that. However, it was the result of getting mixed up in Maria-jou’s events. The only event where I stuck my head where I shouldn’t and paid for my own mistakes was the summer festival.
“So, basically, if it’s not your idea then the person with the highest possibility is Hibiya Kazuto.”
“It’s because I have information about the game from the developer’s side. I knew that you two were relatives. I know almost all of the capture targets’ family structure, hobbies, past, and so on. For example, the reason why Hibiya Kazuto likes pudding is because his cousin made him some during middle school. It’s also not just the main characters, the settings for the minor characters in the game were quite detailed as well.”
Uwah, this was one unpleasant guy. I mean, he’s basically declaring he knew of everyone’s black history. And if he’s right, he also knows who the model of Candle’s song, ‘Your Call~ You are my Treasure’, is. I thought he knew a lot of rumours but it turned out to be spoilers of everything.
“Well, let’s put that aside. Anyways, I helped develop the game in my past life, but I had one regret. The rest of the developers were in support of it, so I had no choice but to follow their orders. If I had a choice, I didn’t want to do it. Yet I saw it through,” Iinchou said with a bitter face.
“…….If you didn’t want to do it, you should have fought back before you regretted like this,” I commented.
“You have a point. I regretted to the point that I reincarnated into the game like this. I must have been so fixed on it if I have to say so myself.”
Still, I have to say… Kazu-nii and Iinchou… There’s a lot of reincarnators. And if you add Maria-jou, won’t there be three now?
Is everyone in the world involved in the otome game in their past life somehow? If that’s so, does that mean me too? Hmm, I wonder how I was involved.
“And? What did you regret doing?” I asked.
“Yeah, that’s why I told you earlier. …..I killed you, Niimi-san.”
…And we returned to the beginning, huh. “But I’m alive right now. …Err, does that mean I’m going to die in the near future?”
In that case, does that mean Iinchou is going to warn me?
“No. You should have died yet you are here alive. That’s the difference between the game and reality.”
Then when was I supposed to die? That’s when a certain incident flashed in my mind.
“The you in the game died when you were in elementary school. As a result, Hibiya in the game is unable to forget the cause of that accident. He is convinced that it’s his fault you died. Then he will come to love the game’s heroine in place of Niimi Shiori who was like a little sister to him. The fact that you and the heroine are coincidentally the same age and had similarities contributed,” Iinchou explained nonchalantly.
I couldn’t help but scrunch my eyebrows. “In other words, the game Hibiya is both a lolicon and a siscon.”
“…Is that really your impression on this?”
Well, the game’s Niimi Shiori and me are clearly different. As for where exactly, it’s the part where I’m still alive.
On the same line, Hibiya in the game is different from Kazu-nii. It’s true that Kazu-nii is a siscon but I’m definitely sure he’s not a lolicon. He had girlfriends in university and some of them were older than him. Most of all, I don’t see him having romantic feelings for Maria-jou.
Iinchou was exasperated when he saw me start to worry over other things.
“Why don’t you condemn me? I’m trying to apologize to you for killing you in my past life,” he said.
“Cause that happened in the game. I mean, I’m alive right now,” I replied. I have no idea how to respond after being apologized to because of a game scenario from a past life.
“…Yeah, you are that kind of person. Yup.” Iinchou seemed to expect something else and smiled in the end. “Do you know who the heroine is in this world?”
“Aikawa Maria,” I answered.
“That’s right,” Iinchou confirmed with a nod. “I know about this world but I made a promise with her to not get in the way. Or at least not until he appears.”
“This world, ‘Tokimeki Loveday ~Light the Candle of Love~’, originally had seven capture targets. When it was re-released with a full edition, we added a new capture target — a priest named Michel. Basically you can experience a forbidden love with a priest as love is a taboo for them. We, the developers, didn’t have any religious beliefs. In that sense, Michel is a fake priest whose faith is a little bit dubious. Incidentally, if he and the heroine fall in love, he’ll abandon his faith to choose the heroine.”
I recalled the beautiful man I saw at the auditorium. He was truly what I call a good-looking man.
“In the full edition version, you can capture all eight capture targets at once for a true reverse harem ending. This ending is much harder than other otome games — one you can’t achieve without any hints. But in this world, it is possible.”
I wonder if Iinchou is talking about the stones. And it looks like Maria-jou’s goal is this true reverse harem ending after all.
“What are those stones?” I questioned.
“If I have to put it into words then it is proof of being a capture target. In the beginning, the game was developed to be an academy mystery. Halfway through development, the genre was changed to an otome game. You can think of the stones as a remnant of the old setting. The player is to collect all the stones to unravel the mystery of the church,” Iinchou explained further. “I wished to reincarnate into this world. I wanted to know how the game world would be like if Niimi Shiori, erased because of the developers, lived instead. I wanted to know how the capture targets will act in response. I don’t know who granted my wish, but I’m really thankful. That’s why I’m only going to be a bystander. I don’t plan on intervening. Well, you can say I can’t intervene. I became a dweller of this world, so I can only act as my character dictates.”
Iinchou frowned a bit. He went silent for a while before he opened his mouth once more. “But I’ll warn you with this. This world is different from the game. You should think of this world as just really similar instead. Events will be played by the characters even if the heroine isn’t there. That’s also why you were injured even though it doesn’t happen in the game. Don’t let your guard down thinking you’ll be saved just because it’s an event. You should prioritize yourself,” Iinchou told me seriously.
“Why are you warning me? Iinchou, you’re a bystander, right?” I asked.
In other words, doesn’t it mean that Iinchou doesn’t plan on supporting anyone?
Iinchou gazed up at the sky. He blushed a little before mumbling bitterly, “I wanted to meet you to the point that I reincarnated. …….I don’t want to see you hurt.”
□ ■ □
A few days have passed since Iinchou told me all those mind-blowing information.
I wanted to do nothing more than to slowly digest it all but it’s almost the Cultural Festival. As usual, I was being pressed by the preparations. Kazu-nii is also really busy and has been leaving late. As such, he has been returning to his apartment directly and rarely visits my home these days.
Maybe I should summon him with a message, I thought.
On this certain day I started thinking of this, something happened.
The Cultural Festival preparations were progressing smoothly. The waiter and waitresses’ costumes were more or less complete for our Class B Halloween cafe. At the moment, we were practising how to serve customers with Iinchou as the boss.
Incidentally, I plan on helping the cafe for an hour during the day of the festival. Of course, I’ll mainly be in the kitchen and not serving the customers directly. My shift is also shorter than my other classmates. The reason being that class representatives and members of the Cultural Festival executive committee have to do other things during the festival as well.
As such, our classmates were considerate and made arrangements since they thought it’ll be hard on us if our shifts are long.
I will be working in the kitchen but I’ll still be wearing a costume. If there’s not enough people helping the customers or if there’s trouble, I have to pitch in.
Now — after school.
When I opened the Class B’s door, I heard cheerful voices. Maria-jou was surrounded by a number of excited girls. They had make-up in their hands and also a number of costumes that Yumi-chan and her team made.
“What are you all doing?” I asked curiously.
The girls answered with smiles, “Aikawa-san’s wearing her school uniform in the film right? And she won’t be wearing makeup because of that too.”
“Right, right, and so we thought, isn’t that a waste? I mean, even the girls playing as a witch wore makeup.”
“So how about having Aikawa-san try on makeup and one of the costumes, we thought~ And that’s what we’re doing.”
I see now. They are playing with Maria-jou who is the number one beautiful girl in the academy.
Currently, the filming process has stalled because Tsuchiya-shounen is still too shy. As a result, freetime like this was born. Jeez.
The said Tsuchiya-shounen is at his swimming club practising. I think he should be back soon. I think this sudden makeup team of girls chose this time on purpose. Maria-jou will be transformed more beautifully than before. Tsuchiya-shounen will see her and go into a panic. I’m sure these girls wanted to enjoy this sight of him.
“What costume will she wear?” I asked, stepping closer. Since I have the chance, I might as well dress the cute Maria-jou in many different costumes.
“Hmm… A witch, fairy, or maybe a black cat… It seems like the girlish ones are the best picks.”
The ones mentioned were made based on Designer-kun’s ideas. There were costumes with bright, cute miniskirts and long skirts to give a mysterious aura to charm others.
“Actually, won’t dressing as a boy be cool too?” I suggested. At the same time, I pulled out the vampire costume, which Yumi-chan recommends the most. However, when I think about it, Maria-jou isn’t tall enough for this. Unfortunately, I had to give up.
The makeup team girls spread costumes and mumbled to themselves.
“I guess a witch to start with?”
“A witch is easy to understand too.”
“Okay, since we all decided, let’s get started. Aikawa-san, please close your eyes~”
Aikawa-san hurried to close her eyes obediently as she was surrounded by our classmates.
Hmm, still I have to say… When does everyone learn to wear makeup? I haven’t had the chance, so I have never worn any before. Well, I do use skin lotion, sunscreen, and lip cream though. Since I have the chance, I might as well watch the process.
“First, we will clean your face with a cleanser~”
The girls put a lot of lotion on Maria-jou’s face, as well as foundation. …I watched from the sidelines and none of it made sense from me. I guess I should see how Mother puts her makeup on from now on. Wait, I’m still in high school, so it should be fine. I’ll learn how to put makeup on before I enter university.
“Wow~ Aikawa-san, makeup reflects really good on you~”
“Your skin is so soft and smooth!”
The girls cried excitedly. Like I thought, Maria-jou is fun to dress up.
Now then, doing nothing but watching is boring. I wonder if there’s something I can help out with too.
When I started to look around, I saw someone about to open the door with good timing.
“Welcome back, Tsuchiya-kun,” I greeted him as I opened the door for him.
Since he just came back from practice, his hair was slightly wet. Behind Tsuchiya-shounen were our other classmates who just came back as well. Okay, okay, all of you come and be bewitched by Maria-jou’s beauty enhanced by makeup.
I feel like a strange scent drifted in the air, making me tilt my head in confusion. Perfume? No, no, there’s no way Tsuchiya-kun would wear something like that so…
Tsuchiya-shounen saw Maria-jou surrounded by girls in the middle of the classroom and frowned. “What are they all doing?” He asked.
“Hmm~ You’ll find out in a few seconds?” I don’t think spoiling is good, so I gave him a vague answer instead.
At the same time, the makeup team also noticed Tsuchiya-shounen was here and cried excitedly. “Hey, hey, Tsuchiya-kun! Look, look!”
“Tada! Aikawa-san has gotten a complete makeover!”
All the girls parted to the side at once to show off Maria-jou in makeup.
But Tsuchiya-shounen made a face that none of us expected. We thought he’ll be struck dumb by Maria-jou’s beauty, blush, and shift his eyes away at bit. We really expected that kind of shy reaction from him.
Yet Tsuchiya-shounen looked disgusted.
“Ah! Tsukkun! What do you think? The girls put makeup on me. I haven’t looked in a mirror yet, so I don’t know how I look……” Maria-jou beamed as she rushed up to Tsuchiya-shounen.
“What a waste of time,” his sharp dismissal echoed in the classroom.
“…….Eh.” Maria-jou’s expression froze. Me, right beside Tsuchiya-shounen, and the makeup girls also stiffened.
Maria-jou snapped back to her senses first. “…Y-You don’t have to put it that way…!”
“I’m telling you, it’s a waste of time! I don’t know whose idea it was but getting excited over putting makeup on kids is disgusting.” Tsuchiya-shounen looked coldly at the makeup team.
The girls looked offended and pouted.
“Y-You’re so mean! You can compliment me a little, can’t you! I thought…… I thought you’d be excited…” Maria-jou’s voice rang a little weakly.
Tsuchiya-shounen didn’t stop even though Maria-jou was on the brink of tears. “You don’t need any. In the first place, it’s not like you’re pretty to look at to begin with.”
I was speechless. Maria-jou’s beautiful yet he claims she’s not pretty to look at!? What the hell are you saying, Tsuchiya-shounen!
I don’t know how she’ll rank globally but you won’t find a prettier girl in the academy no matter where you look.
“…….!” Maria-jou froze again. Tears quickly gathered in her eyes again. “Stupid!” She cried with all her strength before running out of the classroom. I was near the door, so I got pushed to the side as she disappeared into the distance.
“…….Damn it,” Tsuchiya-shounen cursed, clicking his tongue quietly.
He probably didn’t mean what he said earlier but… isn’t this bad!? This is really bad, Tsuchiya-shounen!
“T-Tsuchiya-kun, shouldn’t you chase after her!?” I asked panicky. “Aikawa-san might take what you said just now seriously, you know!?”
Tsuchiya-shounen turned to look at me with cold eyes. “It has nothing to do with me. ……She’s… she’s more than enough that she doesn’t need to put makeup on…” He had a bitter expression on his face again. It’s obvious he regretted what he said to her. “Don’t waste your time on useless things like this anymore,” Tsuchiya-shounen called out to the makeup girls, glaring at them with irritation.
Just like that he left the classroom. And since Maria-jou isn’t around either, it’s not like we could film even if he stayed. I get that; I get it, but…
“W-What the heck just happened!”
“That’s not like Tsuchiya-kun at all, don’t you think…?”
The makeup girls were all bewildered.
“……I smelled perfume just now…” I commented, making the girls more puzzled.
“Makeup does have a peculiar scent but… We didn’t prepare any perfume….”
“Ah! U-Umm… I might know what happened,” one of our classmates that came back with Tsuchiya-shounen said, nervously raising up her hand. “On my way back, I saw Tsuchiya-kun being persistently approached by Yotsui-san from Class A. Maybe that’s the reason why.”
Class A’s Yotsui-san? I wracked my brain hard cause I haven’t heard this name before.
However, one of the makeup girls clapped her hands in realization. “Class A’s Yotsui-san! That girl’s caked in makeup! She actually likes Tsuchiya-kun!? What did she say to him?”
The classmate who witnessed the exchange opened her mouth hesitantly. “I don’t know in detail but… She was asking him to visit stalls with her during the Cultural Festival. She was also pulling his arm and being really pushy about it. Tsuchiya-kun looked annoyed.”
Everyone nodded, coming to an understanding.
“I see. He was really annoyed and saw Aikawa-san wearing makeup too, so…”
“Damn it, we had bad timing… We put Aikawa-san in a bad spot…….”
The makeup girls started to discuss, wondering how to fix things.
TL note: Shiori, I don’t think Iinchou’s confession is too far from a love confession…