I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 4321 min read
Volume 3 | Chapter 10: October (Up) – Part 4
Meanwhile, I decided to leave to follow… after Maria-jou that is.
A thought suddenly came to my mind — isn’t this an event?
Maria-jou and Tsuchiya-shounen’s relationship has barely changed since April. According to Kazu-nii, Tsuchiya-shounen will be stimulated to move after Maria-jou gets close enough to the other capture targets. However, Tsuchiya-shounen has been irritated endlessly since Designer-kun arrived. I feel like Maria-jou’s has already fulfilled the requirement.
In that case, does it mean that a different kind of person needs to show up… That is, a girl who likes Tsuchiya-shounen needs to show up, making the two’s relationship progress seems quite likely.
When we were deciding on her outfit for the movie, Maria-jou did look intent on wearing her school uniform. She might have been aiming for this event. I mean, if she wore a costume other than her school uniform, the girls would have put makeup on her earlier.
The mood between Maria-jou and Tsuchiya-shounen was different from their usual heartwarming one. Maybe this is even a main event.
…….It has to be. If not then Maria-jou was shocked by the harsh words of her childhood friend and cried. I’m worried about her.
I found Maria-jou near the western building. The situation turned out to be more serious than I thought.
Maria-jou was crying. Her face was scrunched up in frustration as she punched the dirt of the flower bed. She didn’t even care that she’ll dirty her hands like this.
“What the heck! What the heck! What the heck! What the heck!!” Her beautiful makeup was now ruined in a mess. I couldn’t see the trace of what it looked like before. “A-Ah… Ahhh!! B-Being told that… face-to-face is just…!”
You could tell those tears were real with one look. She probably knew that was an event and really held herself down to endure it.
Maria-jou is really beautiful. No matter what kinds of insults she might receive, no one would say anything about her face. That is just how beautiful she is.
Yet Tsuchiya-shounen threw words of disgust at her. While he didn’t insult Maria-jou’s face without makeup, he still rejected her directly. For Maria-jou, this would be disgust from someone she knows holds affection for her. There’s no way she wouldn’t be shocked.
It was at this moment, someone called out to Maria-jou.
“…….What’s wrong? Is someone there?”
Maria-jou panicked after hearing this kind, sweet voice. That person must have called out without thinking since he heard a girl crying. When he realizes the crying came from Maria-jou, he froze for a second but didn’t run.
…….Damn it! I chased after Maria-jou and forgot to message him!
I regretted it, but it’s already too late. Who would have thought that Kazu-nii would show up with this timing.
“Are you crying?” Kazu-nii called out gently as he kneeled down onto the ground. He was probably trying to meet eye-to-eye with Maria-jou who’s sitting on the ground. Kazu-nii looked a little troubled.
“N-No…! …No-Nothing is wrong…!” Maria-jou was clearly panicking.
“Calm down,” Kazu-nii said before he put his hand on Maria-jou’s head. “Do you have a handkerchief?”
Maria-jou nodded. At this moment, Kazu-nii’s eyes saw how her hands were dirty. He pondered for a bit before he got up quietly. He walked over to the water supply by the side of the flower beds and beckoned Maria-jou over.
“Come on, hold your hands out here,” he said.
Maria-jou staggered over to Kazu-nii’s side. He turned the faucet and water came out. He kept a certain distance from Maria-jou and smiled. “Go and wash your face too. It’s a mess because of all your tears.”
Even though Kazu-nii called her face a mess, his tone was gentle. It was slightly teasing and very warm. I’m sure his words will work on Maria-jou who was just hurt by Tsuchiya-shounen’s words.
Meanwhile, I broke into cold sweat. I felt like clicking my tongue because the timing right now was too bad for me to jump in. At the moment, I was in a position where I could barely see the flower beds.
Now, I could run towards Maria-jou and shout to her like I just came by but…
She shifted her eyes away from Kazu-nii and obediently washed her hands and face. She looked a little miffed but she probably didn’t mean to make such an expression. I’m pretty sure it’s because she didn’t want him seeing her face after she just cried like a child.
“It’s fine. …….What happened?”
Maria-jou didn’t answer. She merely shook her head.
“If you don’t want to tell me, you don’t have to,” Kazu-nii said with a tired smile.
Maria-jou made a small nod to his words. Slowly, she lifted her head and looked up — her eyes concentrated on Kazu-nii’s chest.
“…….Sensei, do you wear accessories?” Maria-jou asked after she wiped her tears.
“…….Huh?” Kazu-nii widened his eyes before he looked down at his chest. For a moment, he made an ‘oh crap’ face. “It’s a memento of my parents. It doesn’t suit me, right?”
“No. …….Huh? But a memento……. Sensei, could it be that your parents are…?”
Kazu-nii went silent for a while before he opened his mouth like he gave up. “…….My parents have passed away. It happened when I was young in an accident.”
“I see… I’m sorry, I didn’t know and asked,” Maria-jou mumbled, her expression turning gloomy. She then quietly leaned closer to Kazu-nii. “Hey, Sensei… Could you show me… the memento?” Maria-jou looked up to him with teary eyes.
“What……?” I could tell Kazu-nii was surprised.
It didn’t take long before Maria-jou shifted her eyes away. “I don’t have parents by my side either. They’re been working overseas for a long, long time. My grandmother takes care of me but she’s hospitalized right now…” She then asked with a lonely expression, “Can I just have a look?”
At that moment — someone’s cell phone rang, destroying the atmosphere. It looks like someone forgot to put their cell phone on silent mode. Kazu-nii quickly took out his cell phone and stepped away from Maria-jou to check it.
“……I’m fine now,” Maria-jou said, smiling a little sadly.
Kazu-nii turned around and patted his hand on top of her head. “I see. …In that case, you should head back to class. You have calmed down now, right?” That was all he said before he answered his cell phone. “…….Yes, hello, this is Hibiya. ……Yes, my apologies, I had my hands full. I will head there right away…….”
He walked off to the distance while speaking to the other person on the phone. Maria-jou looked disappointed as she watched him leave. Eventually, she shook her head and ran off to the eastern building.
Now then, there was no real trick. I was the one who called Kazu-nii.
He realized I was hiding in the corner and came to my side. Immediately afterwards, he crouched down.
“I’m sorry… you saved me…” He was pale. He looked just like me at that time when I was afraid of Kaneshiro-senpai, not able to do anything.
“Was that an event?” I asked.
Kazu-nii shook his head. “I don’t have a clue… Anyways,” he said before getting up, “There’s a possibility of Aikawa coming back. Let’s get out of here.”
Kazu-nii will be going to the centre building. I’ll be going back to the eastern building. In other words, we will go our separate ways.
Halfway there, I sent a message to Kazu-nii.
[I have something to discuss with you. Come to my home today.]
I stopped and gazed at Kazu-nii. He nodded towards me after he checked his cell phone.
I passed by Class C on my way to my classroom. Since I was a class representative, I, more or less, knew what the other classes were doing for the Cultural Festival. I mean, everyone reported during the meeting with the student council. If I’m remembering correctly, Class C is doing a haunted house. Iinchou was very, very envious.
I could spot the students from Class C making scary decorations. I wonder if their haunted house is Japanese style or Western style.
“Ah, Shiori-chan~” Nishina-san called out to me, waving her hand in the air.
I stopped and noticed how she was holding a large sheet in her other hand. I’m guessing she will use this for her haunted house.
“Nishina-san, thank you for your hard work~” I greeted her. I thought Ichimatsu-san would be around too, but it seems they are not together today. Nishina-san and Ichimatsu-san helped out with my tennis practice back in the ball game tournament.
“Is Class B also working overtime?” She asked.
“Pretty much. We still have a lot to do. At this rate, we’ll probably have to work late until the day before the Cultural Festival,” I answered.
Nishina-san laughed heartily. “Shiori-chan, you’re pessimistic~”
I don’t think I am though. “Is Class C going smoothly? You’re doing a haunted house, right?”
“Ah, yeah. Right, right. You should come visit us too, Shiori-chan!” Nishina-san cheerfully invited me.
“……Errr, if I have the time,” I replied.
However, in my heart, I had vowed to never step a foot in since I’ve heard it’ll be a haunted house.
“Ah, I guess class reps are busy on festival day too, huh. Or are you entering the beauty pageant, Shiori-chan?”
The good side of Nishina-san is how she doesn’t forcibly drag someone in times like this. In any case, she mentioned something interesting.
“…Beauty pageant? Was there even supposed to be one?” I asked.
“Huh? You don’t know? Then I guess Mizusaki Homare’s fan club personally set up the event. Here, here, look at this flyer.” She took out a folded flyer from her pocket.
It seems like the contest will decide who is the “Miss” Seika Maria. They won’t hold a “Mister” too? Ah, if it’s a Mizusaki Homare fan club event then the “Mister” Seika Maria could only be Mizusaki-senpai.
“Today’s the first I’ve heard of it,” I commented.
From the flyer, the winner will go on a date with Mizusaki-senpai during the Cultural Festival. I see. It really is the grandest prize for the fan club members. The beauty pageant is at lunch time, so I guess they will go on a date in the afternoon? No wait, Mizusaki-senpai shouldn’t have that kind of time. Maybe that’s why they left it on a vague side.
“It’ll be at the same time as lunch, huh. Mizusaki-senpai picked a good time.”
The Cultural Festival is, while not entirely official, separated in AM and PM portions. The AM portion is mainly exhibitions by classes and clubs. The PM portion is mainly food-related and refreshment booths. It is also in the afternoon when many customers from outside visit.
The Neo Candle live is also set in the PM.
I wonder if Mizusaki-senpai will watch the concert with “Miss” Seika Maria? Ah, but he didn’t ask for another VIP seat. Does this mean one student council member will lose their seat because of this? That’s cruel.
Anyways, this might be a Maria-jou event. I mean, the ring of beauty pageant is fitting for Maria-jou. Come to think of it, the phrase ‘beauty pageant’ makes me think of a swimsuit competition or a kimono competition. I wonder what kind of outfit the girls have to wear for our Seika Maria beauty pageant. Then again it’s an event for the Cultural Festival so maybe our school uniform? That’s kind of boring though.
“They are currently recruiting participants, huh. And recommendations are allowed too. Hmm~” I mumbled to myself. I feel like Kyouko-jou has already recommended Maria-jou to this contest.
The beauty pageant is held at lunch — it won’t overlap with Maria-jou’s shift in our café.
“Shiori-chan, you’re not participating?”
“I’ll pass.” Even if someone did recommend me, I’m too busy to even show up.
“Che~ Ryou-kun also didn’t react much even though he likes events like this,” Nishina-san complained.
I widened my eyes. She has a point. Designer-kun does seem he’ll like these kinds of events. I mean, it’s the type of gathering where mountains of cute girls will show up.
“Really? That’s unexpected,” I commented.
“Right, right?” Nishina-san cried with energy. “He even said this during our meeting in September: ‘Since it’s a festival, we should do a beauty pageant~ When it happens, I’ll recommend you all~’ But since October came, he’s been kind of absentminded without energy. I’m worried about him…”
“I see… I wonder if he’s troubled by something.”
“Maybe. He mentioned how he won an award for good designing and could finally stand on his own as a designer. At the moment, he’s only renting the shop at the shopping mall. He wants to open up a proper store in the future, or so he said,” Nishina-san said before sighing with loneliness. “We meet on Sundays but Ryou-kun never talks about his personal worries or stuff like that. It might be that he just doesn’t talk about them to us, but…”
Nishina-san hugged the sheet in her hands and gazed up at the ceiling. When she realized she wrinkled up the sheets, she quickly let go.
“Ahaha~ I messed up, I messed up~ …….Well, still, playing with friends is a good way to relax, right? I think that kind of relationship between us is fine too,” Nishina-san said with a bright smile and spread out her sheet.
That was when the sheet fell on someone’s shoulder as they passed by.
“Ah, sorry~” Nishina-san apologized.
The said person was Katsuragi-kun.
“Katsuragi-kun, are you also staying late to prepare?” I asked.
Katsuragi-kun nodded slightly. I feel like he has gotten taller since the last time we met. Hmm~?
“……I won’t be a ghost on the festival day,” he told me.
“Ah, is that so?” In other words, he’s pushed to preparations in exchange for not playing as a ghost in the haunted house.
But I feel like a good-looking guy like Katsuragi-kun would work well to attract customers. I think my thoughts showed up on my face because Nishina-san smirked.
“You see, Katsuragi-kun will be the ticket collector~ As in the guy who’ll cut your ticket at the entrance. On top of that, he’ll be wearing traditional clothing~ Further on top of that, there’s a bonus raffle event where a lucky visitor can test their courage together with Katsuragi-kun,” Nishina-san quietly whispered into my ear.
Eh, isn’t that even busier than being a ghost?
“Our class’ Cultural Festival committee member proposed that only visitors can enter the raffle. Sanjou-san and the other Katsuragi-kun fans in our class are scheming to make sure that no one gets the winning raffle. It’s been a big mess.”
Wow, geez. Never mind visitors trying to scheme, what should someone do when it’s their own members trying to plot?
Also, I think I know why Class C changed from a butler café to a haunted house. At first, I thought it was because their proposal didn’t get accepted. Now I’m pretty sure it’s because the girls’ desire to enter a haunted house alone with Katsuragi-kun was too strong.
“But even if you enter as a pair to test your courage, you’ll already know what’s going to happen since you made it. It won’t be scary, am I right? Is there a point in going in together?” Hmm… Maybe it’s the charm of a girl in fear and a boy who’ll protect her? Ah, if a visitor wins the raffle then you can actually see this sight.
While I was puzzled, Nishina-san crackled. “Ahaha, Shiori-chan, you’re the same as ever~ I’m sure they’re thinking even if it’s not scary, they can pretend to be scared to cling on to him!”
Is that how it works… I really dislike haunted houses, so I would actually turn down going with someone. I definitely didn’t want someone to see me afraid.
“But you know how you mentioned how haunted houses aren’t scary once you know what’s going to happen?” Nishina-san said. “That’s the reason why we’re going to upgrade our haunted house every two hours. We want our visitors to enjoy the next time they go in too! I mean, it is a festival, so we want them to come multiple times! We have confidence that we’ll seriously scare even our classmates that know the details!”
Nishina-san looked like she was really enjoying herself. I vowed once more to stay away from Class C until the Cultural Festival ends no matter what.
“See you later!” Nishina-san ran off with a smile, returning back to her classroom.
“She sure seems busy,” I couldn’t help but comment with admiration.
Katsuragi-kun glanced at his classroom before he looked down at me.
“You saved me,” he said.
Butler? What is he talking about? The thing where he didn’t want to wear a butler outfit? Katsuragi-kun is always missing a few words.
“You’re the one who said they wanted to see me in a different outfit. That’s why……. I asked everyone in class if anything other than my school uniform is fine.”
Now that he mentions it, I think we did talk about something like this. “And that’s why you’re wearing traditional clothing?” I asked.
Katsuragi-kun nodded. But I have to point out, isn’t Katsuragi-kun’s normal everyday outfit traditional clothing to begin with?
Still, when it comes to an outfit that Sanjou-san and others haven’t seen him in before, then it does make sense.
“Put out your hand,” he said suddenly.
He stuck out his fist, holding something. He is a natural airhead, so he would close his distance without thinking when he’s trying to tell me something secretly. To be honest, it’s a little bit bad for my heart. I wish he was a little more conscious of his looks. I couldn’t help but back away before I held out my hand.
Almost immediately, something dropped lightly onto my palm. What is this?
“Sorry, but… until the Cultural Festival ends… No, just today is fine. Keep it with you,” Katsuragi-kun said.
“Huh? What do you mean?” I asked, completely confused.
He didn’t say anymore and returned to Class C.
I was left alone, gazing at the thing on my palm in confusion. It was a small red ball made out of plastic. …….I didn’t know what else to do, so I shoved it inside my skirt’s pocket.
When I returned to Class C, the makeup girls all ran up to me.
“Ah! Niimi-san! Did you find Aikawa-san?”
It seems they thought I chased after Maria-jou. More correctly, I followed after her though.
That being said, Maria-jou still hasn’t come back?
“I’m sorry, I lost sight of her. She hasn’t come back?” I asked.
The girls dropped their shoulders and shook their heads. They must have been here the whole time to apologize to Maria-jou.
“Her bag is still here, so we thought she’ll come back soon……” The girls turned and gazed at the corner of the classroom.
All the bags of the staying-late members were left together. Every classroom needs to be locked at the end of the day to prevent theft and crime. As such, we put all our bags together to easily tell how many of our classmates were still around.
At the moment, the remaining bags were mine, the makeup girls, and two more.
“Kamura-kun has gone off somewhere this whole time too,” one of the makeup girls noted.
Designer-kun, huh. Hmmm…
“Girls, how about we apologize to Aikawa-san tomorrow? The last bell will be ringing soon. I have to lock the door, so I’ll be staying a little longer. I’ll say a few words to Aikawa-san when I see her too.”
We don’t know when she’ll be back. It’s painful to keep waiting on and on.
The girls were worried about Maria-jou until the end as they left the classroom.
Maria-jou sure is loved. However, I don’t think she’s that depressed since Kazu-nii comforted her.
Meanwhile, I’m curious as to why Designer-kun’s bag is still here. Could this be an event? Maybe so?
And speaking of events, I thought of Maria-jou and Tsuchiya-shounen. Is that event just going to end like that? Without a follow-up? Or perhaps it’ll happen on another day? Tsuchiya-shounen’s bag is already gone, so he went home just like that……
It has nothing to do with me, but I still felt worried. I wonder if Maria-jou has come terms with it, saying it is just an event. Normally, it won’t be weird if their relationship gets complicated, right? Not to mention our filming hasn’t ended with the Cultural Festival approaching fast.
I ran such thoughts in my head as I waited in the classroom. Maria-jou and Designer-kun showed no signs of coming back. I wonder if the two of them haven’t realized the final bell to go home will ring soon. Unfortunately, I didn’t know either of their phone numbers or their email addresses, so I can’t contact them.
…….I don’t have a choice. Let’s go look for them.
I asked the students still around and finally found them.
Maria-jou and Designer-kun were at the rooftop. You can’t enter the rooftops of the eastern building without a key. Just how exactly did they get in?
I opened the door quietly and observed the two. I quickly regretted not coming to find them sooner. Maria-jou yelled at Designer-kun and was running my way. I immediately closed the door and stuck against the wall. Maria-jou slammed the door open and ran down the stairs without looking back. It seems she didn’t notice me.
I have always thought this but she tends to run recklessly. Maria-jou was always hurrying in the school grounds and was famous for never protecting our school rule of ‘no running in the hallways’. No one bothers to warn her anymore. I can’t help but feel the teachers at least should keep warning her without giving up.
“…What exactly happened here?”
She just fought with Tsuchiya-shounen and now she’s fighting with Designer-kun?
I was pretty confused, so I tried peeking at the rooftops again through the door. Designer-kun was there, sitting with his back against the fence, staring up at the sky. There was a red mark on his cheek — that is, a red mark in the shape of a hand.
…….Errr, so he was slapped by Maria-jou?
Try to remember, me. What kind of expression did Maria-jou have a few seconds ago? Hmmm, no good. I only saw a flash of her, so I can’t remember anything. Still, I don’t think she was crying. In that case, what happened instead? It feels like there was some event between the two……
…Did Designer-kun sexually harass Maria-jou and she got mad at him?
I steeled myself and decided to step forward into the rooftops. “What’s wrong?” I called out. Still, I was consciously keeping a distance from him. If I get close to him without thinking, I might get harassed next.
“…….Ah~? Oh, it’s Shiori-chan,” Designer-kun mumbled somewhat absentmindedly before he laughed slovenly. “Ahhaha~ Maria-chan slapped me.”
“I can see her hand on your face. What did you do?” I asked directly.
“Hmm… well…” Designer-kun placed his hand on his cheek as he pressed his weight against the fence, making it creak. “She wanted to listen to me talk about troubles. She said, ‘I’ll help you’, so I asked, ‘How serious are you?’.”
“So you said something indecent and got slapped?”
“…….Haha. I just tried to kiss her.”
What’s wrong with Designer-kun? He looks quite down and depressed. “Really, what’s on your mind? Even Nishina-san said you have been down since October started,” I asked him.
Designer-kun looked a little troubled. “I made those girls worried too, huh. Geez, what should I do…….” He gazed up at the sky once more, seemingly exhausted.
I couldn’t help but stare at the sky too. It was a beautiful sunset.
TL note: I feel like Kazu-nii always has bad timing.