I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 5330 min read
Volume 4 | Chapter 11: November (Up) – Part 4
At school I learnt that Kaneshiro-senpai will also be skipping the school trip. For some reason, I felt a strange uneasiness when I heard this.
“I wonder why he’s not going? He didn’t seem ill when we saw him on Sunday,” Yumi-chan asked, tilted her head in confusion.
On the other hand, Iinchou frowned when he also heard about the Kaneshiro-senpai matter.
“Maybe he decided not to go since Mizusaki-senpai won’t be going either? Come to think about it, what do people do when they don’t join the school trip?” I questioned.
Yumi-chan continued to tilt her head as she answered, “Umm… I’m pretty sure you do have to come to school. I mean, the trip is a school event. But I think I’ve heard they can self-study after taking roll call? Ah, or maybe they get supplementary lessons? I don’t really remember anymore.”
“You have to come to school!?” I was surprised and widened my eyes.
“I don’t think you have to come if you’re sick. Everyone has their own circumstances, so it’s hard to say.”
However, I’ll admit the school trip doesn’t sound as fun if Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai are absent. I especially think Gomi-san, captain of the official fan club, is extremely disappointed. Tanaka-senpai is likely spreading her wings and enjoying herself though.
“Where did you meet Kaneshiro-senpai on Sunday?” Iinchou asked me.
“At the shopping mall. He was buying a bouquet and said it’s a gift for someone hospitalized,” I replied.
Iinchou frowned more. “…That’s strange. The hospital…? It doesn’t look like it has progressed enough to warrant a visit to happen…”
“I don’t think there’ll be anyone who will wait until someone’s illness progresses to visit them at the hospital, right?” I couldn’t help commenting with confusion.
Iinchou shook his head. “Ah, no, I don’t mean it in that way… Hmm… I think I’ll check it out just in case.”
Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai appeared in our Year 1, Class B’s classroom.
It was right after homeroom ended and Kazu-nii left our classroom. My classmates quickly started chattering and muttering as, naturally, these two wouldn’t normally appear in their juniors’ classroom.
I figure it’s some event, so I stole a glance at Maria-jou. She was also surprised by their appearance.
The two didn’t seem to care about the other students and went straight to Maria-jou’s desk. “There you are. You sure are an interesting woman to make me wait,” Mizusaki-senpai said as he took Maria-jou’s hand, bringing their faces closer, smirking.
“Every moment seemed like eternity before I could see you again. Come, let us go,” Kaneshiro-senpai said as he bowed like a knight and offered his hand to Maria-jou.
“Eh? ……Eh!?” Maria-jou was extremely bewildered.
No one could have foreseen this. Tsuchiya-shounen shot up from his chair, and Designer-kun widened his eyes into circles. Of course, all the other students here were dumbfounded.
Yet, Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai continued to speak without a care.
“What’s wrong? Class is all over, isn’t it?”
“Come with us to the student council room. We can spend time alone in peace if it’s there.”
“P-Please wait. I don’t know this event……” Maria-jou was about to blurt out something carelessly.
In any case, Mizusaki-senpai took her words in a different way. “Well, yeah. Why do you think I skipped the school trip?” He said.
“Thinking of having to spend days without you is like hell. Don’t you think it’ll be wonderful to forget about these worthless academy matters and just spend time with us?” Kaneshiro-senpai added.
The two good-looking men grabbed Maria-jou’s arms and slowly tried to drag her out of the classroom.
Her eyes coloured with anxiety as she glanced around the classroom with a silent cry for help.
Meanwhile, I was baffled with no idea what was going on. It was Kyouko-jou who moved first.
“Hey! Stop, you two! Maria’s afraid! First, please explain what is going on!?” She shouted. Her seat is also closest to the door, so she was able to quickly block the exit and stand in front of the three.
Next, Tsuchiya-shounen moved. He knocked his chair down onto the floor as he left his desk. He approached the three, reaching out his hand. “—What the hell are you doing to Aikawa!?”
I think he wanted to forcibly grab Maria-jou’s arm. However, when he saw how thin her arms were, he hesitated. In the end, while he did grab her arm, he wasn’t able to pull her over to his side.
“Umm… I don’t really know what’s going on but, Senpai, I don’t think it’s polite to drag a girl away, right~?” Designer-kun called out as he continued to sit in his seat. Still, he started to pack up his things to leave for home.
That being said, he was also the forcible type, so I don’t think he can criticize others. However, when it comes to the question of whether the girls hated his pushiness…… Hmm, I think it’ll depend on the girl. There will be those who’ll hate it a lot. In any case, I would really prefer it if he doesn’t try to push me into anything.
“First, please tell us what business you have with her. What will you do after taking her to the student council room?” I stood up and asked. I showed that I was also joining the ‘Keep Aikawa Maria Here’ group.
Frankly, the two seniors were disquieting, and Maria-jou’s confusion didn’t look like an act at all.
Also…… The two seniors’ eyes are bothering me.
The colour of their eyes are weird. They look like they were somewhat unfocused and blank…?
“There’s no way we’ll harass her. In the first place, being able to spend time with me is considered heaven for any girl, you know?” Mizusaki-senpai said, smirking daringly.
“We only want to speak to her leisurely about topics like how she’ll spend her days starting from tomorrow,” Kaneshiro-senpai said, smiling extremely gently.
——They are scary.
I felt chills. Don’t these two notice how Maria-jou’s turning pale?
“Umm, in that case, we would prefer it if you kept your business short……” I tried to say but I lost my words after the two glared sharply at me.
I’m sure they wanted to say: ‘We went out of our way to come here after school. Why the hell are you all complaining about it?’
Damn it all.
“U-Ummm… Senpai…” Maria-jou squeezed out her courage and spoke up timidly.
The two changed their deadly expressions in less than a second to look at her with affectionate smiles.
“What’s wrong, Maria?”
“Speak as you like, Aikawa-san.”
…….Huuuuuuh!? Are you serious!? What the hell’s happening!?
Even Maria-jou looks a bit creeped out by the two. I’m sure she might be ecstatic if they came on her in a more romantic place. But we are in Class B’s classroom with all our classmates staring.
“U-Ummm… err… I have plans today. Can we do it another day?”
Maria-jou did a really good job. Even if her tone is reserved, she still refused them, so the two seniors gave up.
Kaneshiro-senpai narrowed his eyes to the point he could cut something as he pressed his lips on Maria-jou’s fingertips. “I have no choice but to give up if those are your words. In that case, I will see you tomorrow. We will come get you without fail.”
Mizusaki-senpai chuckled. “Do you like keeping me in suspense? What a troubling woman. Well, that’s fine with me. But prepare yourself tomorrow, alright?”
And finally the two left the classroom.
The classroom was in complete silence for a while.
It took a long time before everyone returned to their senses.
Kyouko-jou was the first person to wake up. “W-What the heck was that!? Did those seniors go crazy!?”
I have to say, Kyouko-jou sure is blunt. But, to be honest, I feel the same way.
“I-I have no idea either,” Maria-jou said, shaking her head again and again.
I thought that’s how the two would end up after being captured but judging by Maria-jou’s reaction, it’s different.
Tsuchiya-shounen quickly let go of Maria-jou’s arm in a panic. Meanwhile, Designer-kun looked astonished…… before he placed his hand on his chest with a face that said he didn’t seem to agree or understand.
“They said they’ll be skipping the school trip too…… Maybe they did get some weird sickness,” Kyouko-jou commented with confusion.
But it would be too sudden for the two seniors to get sick. I mean, it was just last week that we spoke about the school trip in the student council room. They were still normal back then. Kaneshiro-senpai who I met yesterday at the flower ship should have been the same as usual too.
“You don’t have any ideas why, right?” I asked Maria-jou nonchalantly.
She only shook her head repeatedly.
There’s only one answer left, so I cast my eyes on the back of the boy sitting right in front of the teacher’s platform. Iinchou didn’t speak a single word during this whole chaotic event.
It’s vexing how I can only ask people for answers whenever something happens, but I can’t let that put me down right now.
One by one our classmates started to leave the classroom. I, instead, walked up to Iinchou and called out to him
“I’m sorry, I can’t say anything about those two right now. There’s something I need to investigate, so could you not get in my way?” Iinchou spoke harshly, which he usually never does.
I was surprised. Judging by his reaction, I’m either really in his way, or this investigation of his is dangerous.
“Can’t I join too?” I have no idea where he’s going though. Either way, I have a feeling that Iinchou knows something.
“No. I think you should remember the phrase, ‘Curiosity will kill the cat.’ What are you going to do if you get injured again?”
“I can say the same to you then, Iinchou. It’s not like you’re strong at fights either, am I right?”
“This and that are different.”
I pestered him with all I could but it was useless.
I could only see Iinchou’s back off as he left the classroom and out into the hallway. Immediately after, I hurried to another destination.
Moments ago while I was talking to Iinchou, I saw her leave the classroom. If I hurried now, I should still be able to catch her in time.
I spotted her heading to the shoeboxes, so I half-jogged over to her side.
“Aikawa-san! I’m sorry, but could I have a bit of your time?”
Yes, that’s right.
My target is Maria-jou.
□ ■ □
I never had many opportunities to speak to Maria-jou face to face.
Of course, I had been purposely avoiding such opportunities too. I would feel guilty if I acted all friendly to her while intentionally getting into her way of her capture efforts and spying on her movements. I also wanted to avoid any chances of carelessly emphasizing with her too much and betraying Kazu-nii.
However, Maria-jou was confused just like everyone else with how Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai acted earlier. In other words, this was an emergency.
“You see, there’s something I wanted to talk to you about, just the two of us,” I earnestly pleaded.
Maria-jou was slightly confused before… she nodded.
And that’s how the two of us went to the station closest to Maria-jou’s home.
This station is not on my way home, but Maria-jou had plans on visiting the hospital where her grandmother is after this. She hoped we could speak as close to the hospital as possible, so the two of us came to a café by the station.
Maria-jou ordered coffee while I ordered ice tea. Maria-jou opened her mouth to speak when the staff brought both drinks over.
“Niimi-san, what did you want to talk about…?” She seemed puzzled as she sipped her coffee.
I also took a sip of my ice tea. “You see,” I began. I took a deep breath once, and twice, before jumping straight into the topic. “I know that Aikawa-san is the heroine of an otome game.”
Maria-jou’s expression quickly changed one after another. First she was astonished, shocked, and then looked at me like I was her enemy.
Seconds ago she seemed like a frail beauty, now she had a rather aggressive aura to her.
I swallowed when I saw her like this, but I continued without fear.
“I first learned this during spring vacation before school started. You can think I’m speaking something crazy but there’s someone in my family who has [memories of their past life]. That person taught me — Aikawa Maria-san, who will be enrolling in your school, is the heroine of a certain otome game.”
Maria-jou looked at me with sharp eyes.
“……I was asked by him. To get in your way so that you won’t capture him,” I admitted.
I don’t think Maria-jou has noticed my actions. However, I think Maria-jou has realized I make baffling actions sometimes. She has also questioned me with suspicion over my relationship with Kazu-nii.
“…Is ‘he’ Kyouya-kun?”
“That’s right, he’s Hibi……”
Maria-jou said Katsuragi-kun’s name instead of Kazu-nii. I couldn’t help but widened my eyes into circles.
“Huh? Did I get it wrong? I thought it was your fault that my progress with Kyouya-kun didn’t go well halfway through.”
I didn’t expect this reaction at all that I couldn’t help but lose the energy in my body. It felt like the sharp, serious mood collapsed down and disappeared somewhere. I thought Maria-jou would ask me, ‘Is it Hibiya-sensei?’, with some accusation in her tone.
“Umm, first, you got it wrong. Also, I don’t remember getting in the way of your events with Katsuragi-kun? I am just friends with him,” I said.
Maria-jou stopped acting like the cute, beautiful girl she usually did. She crossed her legs, a cup in her hand, and tilted her head slightly. She urged me to continue with challenging eyes. Yup, she was kind of like a devilish girl right now. This attitude of hers is also charming.
“Let me bring the topic back. About Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai earlier… It doesn’t look like you have an idea why that happened. And I also thought you might want to know why it happened too. ……There’s also something I wanted to hear directly from you.”
“Hey…” I opened my mouth to ask this question. “Why are you capturing multiple people at the same time?”
If Maria-jou didn’t target Kazu-nii, I probably won’t try to do anything to her. Yet, she didn’t seem to have anyone special in her heart and tried to capture all the guys.
Maria-jou is very diligent. I can’t help but think that if she narrows her efforts to one person, she’ll become their girlfriend in no time. For whatever reason, she purposely captures multiple guys at the same time and causes frictions between her and the girls around her. She also causes trouble for all the people around her every once in a while.
“……Probably because it’s an otome game,” Maria-jou replied.
Maria-jou softened her eyes like she was recalling the far-off past.
“You see, I remembered my past life when I was in elementary school. Back then life every day was hard. My parents divorced and I was bullied at school because I looked like a foreigner. I wanted to run far away but there was no one I could rely on……. I imagined it a lot. The real me shouldn’t be like this. I’m actually a different person and one day a prince will come get me, making me happy.”
She smiled faintly before she continued.
“And then one day, I remembered it all. This world is an otome game and I’m the heroine. Even if every day is painful right now, it’ll all change once I enter high school. I’ll go to an academy with lots of wonderful boys and have a romance I’ll see in dreams. This became my support. I wrote down everything I could remember and started to study hard, polish my appearance, and prepared everything for that day. If I capture them, everyone will love me. Even if it hurts right now, I can endure it.”
Maria-jou laughed softly before she sipped her coffee.
“I did have plans on focusing on one person, you know? But I didn’t have a particularly favourite character, so I might as well go for a reverse harem ending, I thought. That’s how I decided to aim for the True Reverse Harem ending with the additional character, Father Michel. …….Hey, Niimi-san, have you ever been in love?”
“Huh?” Wait, why did she suddenly change the topic? “Umm, back when I was in kindergarten,” I answered with doubt.
Maria-jou beamed. “You see, my first love was Tsukkun. When I was young, Tsukkun was like a prince to me. He was cool and would always be with me. I thought his dream of becoming the number one swimmer in the world was wonderful. But you know… Tsukkun didn’t come to where I moved to save me,” she said with a lonely expression. “When I realized Tsukkun was one of the capture targets, I was disappointed. Cause that game — the girl has to run around and fulfill the requirements otherwise the events won’t trigger and you won’t be able to capture him. Well, to begin with, Tsukkun is cool but he’s a bit different from a prince. He doesn’t say sweet words to me nor does he treat me preciously. On top of that, he gets annoyed when I get along with other boys.”
Ah, so Maria-jou realized Tsuchiya-shounen’s jealousy?
“So I thought if there was another wonderful person out there, I’ll fall in love with him instead. I also focused on everyone at once so that I can alter my strategy later if I get my heart set on someone or if I change my mind. My first choice was the True Reverse Harem Ending, but I didn’t really care if it worked out or not. It’s just that… everyone is wonderful but I couldn’t find anyone I thought I loved……”
Maria-jou softened her eyes.
“Incidentally, who was Niimi-san’s first love?”
“……My older male relative was cool looking, you see. But my feelings went cold as he had a different girl with him each time I saw him.”
I definitely don’t want this said relative to know about this, but, yeah, this was my first love. I was in kindergarten back then. If there was a really good-looking man nearby like that, you can’t help but be interested in him, am I right? I’ll also add that my crush disappeared pretty fast. If I think carefully and properly now, it may be that not all of those girls were his girlfriend though.
Maria-jou burst out in laughter. Her devil-like aura disappeared and I could see the usual Maria-jou expressions on her face again.
“About Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai… I haven’t finished all their events. Their next one should happen after the school trip ends. Even if the time frame changes a bit, I haven’t ever jumped to a sequel event without going through the preceding one first. I still haven’t triggered Mizusaki-senpai’s [Just to You Alone] and [Your Whole Lifetime is Mine] or Kaneshiro-senpai’s [I’m Not Another Person’s Shadow] or [Accept the True Me] yet.”
Are those names of events? Those are some pretty amazing titles, wow.
“If you don’t complete all the main events and December 24 comes by, you wouldn’t be able to trigger the essential Christmas event. …….These are all information you would know as a player. …I don’t know how it is in reality. To be honest, I have no idea,” Maria-jou admitted at loss. “Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai…… And Yuuki-kun, too… They all suddenly changed their attitudes. Instead of making my heart flutter, I’m scared. ……Ahahaha, I guess this is just me reaping what I sow? I’m paying for actions now. In the end, this is as far as I can go. I got reborn as the heroine of a game world and knew how to clear the game yet……. I wonder if I’m going to fail and die again. That game didn’t have a dead end though…”
Maria-jou laughed dryly. “Ahahaha. You know, I was killed in my previous life. By my first boyfriend ever when I became a high schooler. He cheated on me, so I got into a fight with him…… In this world, my potential boyfriends are all good men who won’t cheat on me yet…… I couldn’t fall in love with anyone.”
She looked at me with blank, hollow eyes.
“What do you think, Niimi-san?”
I didn’t have the confidence to answer her question correctly. I didn’t think my life sailed super smoothly either but…
“Aikawa-san, you are alive,” I said as I stared straight into her eyes. “I think… a life where someone falls in love with multiple people and dates them all at the same time is plausible… Well, I won’t say it’s a wise decision though. But if you don’t like them and you are aware that you are playing with their hearts like you are playing a game, I think you should stop. Mizusaki-senpai, Kaneshiro-senpai, Tsukshima-kun…… And Tsuchiya-kun, too, are living people. You can’t reset their lives, just like you can’t reset your life either, Aikawa-san.”
“I, too, am a living person, living in this very moment. I don’t plan on giving up,” I muttered.
……Even if I might be dead in the actual game.
According to Iinchou, I died very young in the game. However, I was certainly alive and breathing in this world.
I embedded a lot of my feelings in my words, but they didn’t convey well to Maria-jou. She only frowned a little bit.
There were still a number of things I wanted to ask her. The first I wanted to ask was if she knew a way to turn Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai back to normal. The second was…
A cell phone rang as I was organizing information in my mind.
Brrrr, brrrrr, brrrrr——
This sound destroyed the mood and came from Maria-jou’s hand.
She looked a little hesitant, so I nodded to her. Maria-jou pressed the answer button…… and got up, paling.
“Obaa-chan’s condition……!?” Maria-jou trembled as she gazed at me.
“Go! I’ll pay for the drinks! Hurry!”
I saw Maria-jou run off in a hurry before realizing she dropped something behind.
It was a strap with a cross. I’m guessing it was originally tied to her cell phone. Judging from the design, I think Designer-kun made this. Come to think of it, I might have seen this cross before.
I picked it up and pondered if I should deliver this to her right away. If Maria-jou comes to school tomorrow, I can give it to her in class. However, if her grandmother’s condition was worse than what I imagined…… She might be absent from class for a number of days. During that time, Maria-jou might start looking for it after she realizes she lost it. At the very least, I want to let her know that I have it.
‘If I hurry, would I catch her in time?’ I guessed as I stood up. But first, I still haven’t paid for our drinks.
Another issue was that I don’t know which hospital she was going to, nor did I know her address. On top of all that, I don’t know her cell phone number. Our relationship was pretty weak.
“…….What should I do.”
In the end, I decided to message Kyouko-jou.
I have exchanged emails with her, but we didn’t message one another that frequently. Kyouko-jou was good friends with Maria-jou, so I wanted to avoid having my information leaking to Maria-jou.
[I picked up something Aikawa-san dropped, so I was wondering if you could tell me her email address?]
Kyouko-jou immediately answered back.
[I can’t tell you her email address without her permission, so I’ll tell her that you picked up something she dropped instead.]
[Sorry about that. Please do.]
This should be alright for now. I wrapped the strap with a handkerchief so that I won’t lose it later and placed it in my bag.
I paid the bill and returned to the station. I was about to ride the train home when I received a message from an email address I didn’t recognize.
[Can we please meet at the church?]
Could this be Maria-jou? I guess she asked for my email address from Kyouko-jou. I was a little surprised at how fast she got back to me. Also, Maria-jou’s polite when she types messages, huh.
I asked and got a reply almost instantly back.
[Please come at 6 PM.]
I thought it was pretty late but it would make sense since it’ll be after she finished her business at the hospital. Also, I feel like if I miss this chance here, I won’t be able to reconcile with Maria-jou.
I answered shortly and made my way to the academy.
It was after I reached the academy that I realized I messed up. The sky will be pitch black by 6 PM in November. Maria-jou has bad tastes to summon me to the church at this time, I thought.
Why can’t we talk in our classroom? Wait, no, I don’t want to wait alone in our classroom either. It’ll be cold and there’s a chance of another student showing up…
The final warning bell of Seika Maria Secondary Academy was 7 PM. There were many clubs that did their activities until this time. Students can stay in the school without issue, even if they didn’t have any particular business, until the final warning bell.
[I’ll be home late. I need to meet Maria-jou and deliver something she dropped to her.]
I messaged Kazu-nii as he’s a worrywart about how I’ll be back late before I waited for 6 PM. As for where I wasted time, I went to the library.
There were always library committee members on duty in the library after school. There were also lots of books for me to spend time. I definitely didn’t want to wait at the church. I mean, no one will be there.
The book I picked to kill time was that flower meaning book from sometime ago. It’s the same book that Maria-jou grabbed during her event with Kaneshiro-senpai. In the end, I wonder if Maria-jou did borrow this. Or did she grab it just for the sake of the event?
I pondered this as I flipped the pages. I also realized that there was a bookmark in between the pages. There must have been a careless person who returned the book while leaving their bookmark behind.
This book introduces plants in the alphabetical order. The said bookmark was on the page introducing mistletoe, which was a December plant. ……Hey, can you really consider a mistletoe a flower?
Incidentally, the flower meaning of mistletoe was ‘overcoming difficulties.’ It’s also the birth flower of December 24th.
December 24th — this was also my birthday.
On this same day, the last scene of [Tokimeki Loveday ~Light the Candle of Love~] occurs, which is also called the Christmas event. This said event happens on the 24th or the 25th in the actual game. It seems the event occurs at different times according to the character.
If you light the ‘Candle of Love’ with someone on Christmas in the academy’s church, you will be tied together with eternal love — This legend here was the key to the game.
However, I haven’t heard this legend from anyone’s mouth since I have enrolled in this academy. I wonder if this legend only applies to Maria-jou.
My thoughts broke when my cell phone suddenly lit up, alerting me to a new message. I checked it since it was flashing and realized Kazu-nii sent me a reply. I feel like it’s been a while since I first messaged him. I wonder if he was in a staff meeting.
[Where are you going to deliver this thing she dropped?]
[To the church, at 6 PM. Are you still at school?]
[I have a meeting today, so I’m likely working overtime until the last minute.]
[Then] — I thought for a second to ask him to drive me home but I ended up shaking my head and erased what I wrote. I’ll be meeting Maria-jou, so I’ll probably walk to the station with her later.
[I’ll go home first then.]
I sent my last message before returning the book to the shelf. It’s almost 6 PM, the time we promised to meet.
“Church, church……” I mumbled to myself.
I have visited this old church a couple of times since April. However, I don’t have any good memories of this place. Since it was dark, it looked even more ancient and creepy.
The door was already opened, so I nervously peeked inside.
“Aikawa-san……?” I called out.
I could see the altar start ahead from the door. Behind the said altar were stained glass windows. The church inside was dark, gloomy, and very quiet. To be honest, I can’t feel a sense of life inside, and it’s scary.
Ah, crap. My legs are frozen. I seriously don’t want to go inside.
Can we meet somewhere else! Somewhere not this church! If we can’t chat in the library then let’s go to a café again! How about finishing our chat in the same café earlier!?
I continued to call Maria-jou’s name with these feelings inside my words. From what I can see, it doesn’t look like she has arrived yet. Then——
A sweet scent drifted in the air from inside the church.
The smell came up to my nose and I felt like vomiting, probably because of how dense it was. I was next surprised since I remember smelling this scent from before. I quickly covered my nose and mouth with my hand and tried to step back.
“Why won’t you please come inside?”
There was no one in the church. But when I strained my eyes to look closer, I finally noticed a single man standing still.
He was a good-looking man dressed like a priest. He had a silent smile as he gazed at me.
“It is 6 PM. You came just as you promised, so I thought of welcoming you warmly. I wanted you to step up to the same stage as the rest of us.”
Yes, it was Father Michel.
No, it’s my fault for not doubting those messages. I mean, those messages didn’t give a name and were polite. The tone they used was completely different from the usual Maria-jou, yet why did I believe the messages were from her?
Why did I think that Maria-jou would be waiting for me in this church?
When I gazed at Father Michel, he opened his mouth.
“I wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible, you see. That is why I purposely had this person here lend me a hand……” He said before casting his eyes to his side.
It seems like there was a second person in the darkness. However, I would need to step inside the church if I wanted to confirm who it was.
Slowly, slowly, I put my distance from the door. I can’t take my eyes off of him, nor can I turn my back to him. Also, I need to flee like the wind without a single thought in my mind when the moment is right.
Father Michel started to get impatient, as I didn’t respond back to him.
A strange sweet scent rolled off him as he walked towards the entrance of the church.
He’ll eventually exit the church. I couldn’t help but feel it would be very ominous if he did. I can’t let him leave the church. Also, I can’t breath in this sweet scent either. Warning bells were ringing inside my head.
“Oh, it seems you have inhaled enough,” the priest smiled unpleasantly. “That is your [heart], Niimi Shiori-san.”
I felt a pain like my chest was burning. I immediately fled as fast as I could.
The priest’s words wouldn’t leave my head. I continue to run like I was trying to get away from what he said.
I don’t remember how I got home. It’s good that I made it home, but I was afraid of knowing the reason for this burning pain.
I threw my bag on the floor of my room. The handkerchief wrapping Maria-jou’s strap spilled out, which I couldn’t help but feel a strange irritation in response.
If she didn’t drop that, I wouldn’t have gone through this——!!
Anger welled up inside me, making me want to vent. However, this anger came at the wrong timing.
My chest burned. I couldn’t help but scratch it.
My fingertips touched cold metal. The sound of chains tinkling reached my ears.
I held that with both of my hands as I trembled. The cold sensation I could feel in the palm of my hands told me that this was reality.
It would be nice if this was all a dream. I wonder what I should do from now on.
Naturally, I couldn’t just discard this either.
Then should I hide it in my room somewhere? No, I can’t do that either. After all, I can’t say for sure that no one has ever entered my room when I’m not here.
“Shiori, what’s wrong? Did something……”
I could hear Kazu-nii’s voice from beyond the door as he knocked.
“Please don’t come in—!” I screamed.
I wonder if he just finished his staff meeting. I guess the reason why he’s at my home is because he was worried after reading my messages.
It’s not often I would reject Kazu-nii who’s worried about me.
Even then, today… today is no good. No, I can’t let him in my room ever again starting now.
I could see the reflection of myself trembling in fear from the stand mirror in my room.
I felt so anxious to the point that everything will collapse down.
The button of my school uniform was undone, letting a familiar chain around my neck peek out. At the tip was an orange light that shone.
I know this shape as I’ve seen it a number of times. This pendant, this thing here is, without a doubt……
“What should I do…… Just what should I do……?”
It’s a [stone].
If the opposite gender touches this, I will fall in love with them.
□ ■ □
TL note: This is a day late as I was busier than I thought. Still, this is the long awaited chat between Maria and Shiori…!?