I’m Spying on the Heroine in an Otome Game World 5829 min read
Volume 4 | Chapter 12: November (Down) – Part 3
“I don’t know what God thinks, but I’m still fifteen. According to our laws in Japan, I can’t marry yet. I’ll take today as a lesson and make sure to practise walking in the future when I have my wedding ceremony. I mean, it’ll be really embarrassing to trip down the aisle!”
I shook off the man’s arm and jumped at the candle stand passing Father Michel.
I should be holding a water bottle — the sensation of it finally came back to me. I gripped it before using all my strength to swing it, aiming at the candle stand on top of the altar.
I didn’t break the candle stand, but I could tell it fell from the altar by the sound.
At that very moment, the smoke cleared up. The sweet smell was still drifting in the air, however, I could see clearly once again.
The illusions I saw also disappeared.
When the hypnosis broke, I realized I was standing at the entrance of the church. It looks like me reaching the candle stand and throwing my bottle of water didn’t happen in reality. I had been standing still here, gripping my bottle.
I wonder if everyone with blank eyes was in a pink world like that. No, I’m sure everyone had their own differences.
Straight from the doorway down the aisle was the altar and behind it was stained glass windows. It was dark now so no light entered inside the church. Still, it wasn’t completely dark. The door aside the altar was opened and light leaked from it.
The number of people inside the church was lower than that illusion. Still, I was surprised because I didn’t expect them to be here.
Tsukishima-bishounen, Mizusaki-senpai, Kaneshiro-senpai, Iinchou, Father Michel, and Kyouko-jou.
They were all standing like dolls with blank eyes. Everyone had good looks, so it was terrifying.
Since Iinchou is here, all of our information must have been leaked to the enemy. I mean, I have been messaging him.
We have four bottles of water left. One of the four is in my hands. Maria-jou has two, and Kazu-nii has the remaining one. Kazu-nii was also holding the hammers to destroy the candle stone. We really should have split the weapons between us.
“Kyouko-chan!?” Maria-jou cried out.
I looked beside me and saw both Kazu-nii and Maria-jou. I wonder if these two saw an illusion like me?
Maria-jou was even more shocked than me when I saw Iinchou.
I’m sure she hasn’t forgotten her mission of facing off Father Michel, but she was only thinking about running to Kyouko-jou right now.
I loosen my bottle’s cap and glanced between Kyouko-jou and my bottle.
“Did she also have a stone…?” Or was it something like me? I wondered as I observed the altar next. Judging from the distance, it shouldn’t even be more than 10 metres away, yet it feels quite far away right now.
Adding to that, I feel like the candle stand on top of the altar was a bit different from before. According to my memory, there were only seven hollow dents. Now I could spot there were eight in total now. The only empty spots left were two. I’m certain it’s for Kazu-nii and Katsuragi-kun’s stones. There wasn’t a spot for me.
In the first place, the number of capture targets did increase. It wouldn’t be strange if the number of spaces increased. In fact, I feel like there’s not enough spots.
Is the candle stand missing a spot for Iinchou? Or is the missing spot Designer-kun’s?
“I didn’t think you would come here,” Father Michel said, looking surprised. His eyes were focused on Maria-jou. “I was planning on driving you to a corner mentally after collecting all the stones. It seems it didn’t go as I expected; how disappointing.”
The people in the church moved like Father Michel’s words were a cue.
Kazu-nii stepped forward to protect me and Maria-jou from the approaching Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai. He held the weapons with one hand and tried to disrupt Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai with his free hand. The two seniors didn’t make any big moves, either because they weren’t used to fighting or were concerned about Kazu-nii’s stone around his neck.
At the very least, the two seniors’ eyes were trained firmly on Kazu-nii’s stone. I think this means they are likely targeting the stone.
Kazu-nii grimaced due to the dense sweet scent in the air.
Eventually Iinchou and Kyouko-jou also moved. When Maria-jou saw that, she rushed forward to Kyouko-jou.
Ahhh! Stop! Don’t jump in the middle of a fight between guys!
Father Michel hasn’t realized our goal of destroying the candle stand yet. In that case, I’m the only one who can move. I moved to the opposite side of Kazu-nii and stepped closer to the long benches like they were a protective wall.
Here, I called out to Father Michel. I’m not physically strong, so there’s only one method I can use. That is, to argue with the other person.
“You plan on collecting all the stones, huh?” I gazed at Father Michel with provocative eyes. “You sure are confident but where is all this confidence coming from, hm? While you are at it, tell me more. What do you plan to do after collecting all the stones? What’s the original purpose of the stones? What do you plan by gathering all the capture targets here…… Come, tell me what you are thinking as you justify every action you are making.”
Even I think the way I’m speaking is irritating, yet Father Michel didn’t even twitch one bit.
“There’s no reason for me to do so. God knows of my heart and mind.”
“But can’t you at least answer the last question for me~? Also, it’s almost the final warning bell. Everyone’s family is worried, you know~ If this keeps going on, the police might get involved too? I don’t know how distinguished you are as a priest, but churches aren’t exempt from the law. I especially want to point out how Mizusaki-senpai’s family can arrange a dozen bodyguards easily. I feel like they can crush this puny church with their authority.”
Father Michel smiled every time I opened my mouth.
I’m sure he thinks I’m a loser, complaining and crying about my inevitable fate. However, that is fine with me. After all, my goal is to have him turn his attention to me.
“Do you really think this situation can be solved by a mere human?” Father Michel asked.
Wow, did he really say that. Hey, you are almost declaring you are beyond human with those words, you know.
“…….Hey, are you afraid of Maria-jou?” I asked, cutting right into the heart of the matter.
At the corner of my vision, I could see Kazu-nii fighting Tsukishima-bishounen and Iinchou. Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai were also there, so Kazu-nii was at a real disadvantage. Still, he was making use of the long benches, so he only fights two people at once. It’s hard to move around with that narrow space.
Kyouko-jou was motionlessly watching them. On the other hand, Maria-jou was nervously approaching Kyouko-jou, looking for a chance. She already failed with one of her water bottles, which was rolling on top of a bench with water still inside. She only has one bottle left.
At that moment, Iinchou’s hand reached out from Kazu-nii’s flank. That hand touched the stone, making Kazu-nii smile.
Not long after, the chain around his neck broke. His stone dropped down onto the ground, making the four guys’ eyes chase after it. Kazu-nii jumped with the bench as a stepping stone while everyone else was looking down on the floor.
The four guys showed confusion. After all, their goal was to steal the stone and not to obstruct Kazu-nii. As such, I think Kazu-nii purposely dropped his stone with this belief.
I broke out in cold sweat when Kazu-nii jumped cause I was worried that Father Michel might notice. Thankfully, Father Michel’s eyes were still trained on me. I think my words earlier shook him.
“……What are you talking about?” He questioned me. For the first time, I saw bewilderment on Father Michel’s face.
“If you fall in love with Maria-jou, it’ll go against your beliefs, right? So you’re scared, isn’t that right? You were so scared and didn’t know what to do after being turned into a capture target while thinking about the unlikely chance you’ll get captured.”
I only realized this recently.
When my stone materialized, I came to understand a bit about the feelings of all the capture targets whose worries I had been thinking were someone else’s problem. I mean, it’s my heart. Those are my own feelings. The thought of falling in love with someone against my own will is way too unpleasant.
“Kazu-nii was afraid of Maria-jou too. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would have noticed. You see, a person’s [heart] is unstable. Even if you think you’re alright, you’re actually anxious. After all, Maria-jou’s cute. She might overact being cute and innocent sometimes, but I’m sure you didn’t feel bad seeing her admire you. On top of that, this whole world is supporting her. Your favourability might raise before you even notice and your heart will race when you see her. By the time you do realize, it might be too late. Let’s also mention how Maria-jou’s name is the same as Virgin Mary.”
“Don’t treat them the same!” Father Michel roared. “A woman who tries to corrupt a priest to lust will never be the same as Virgin Mary! ……According to the Catholic teachings, in ancient times, Virgin Mary has been graced from the very moment of her conception in her mother’s womb and preserved from the stain of original sin. We call this “Immaculate Conception”……”
“Err, sorry. Please save this for the lecture next month.” I said, smiling tiredly at how Father Michel started to ramble all of the sudden.
That was when—
“Time’s up, Father Michel.”
Crash. The sound came from the candle stand. To be specific, it was the sound made by Kazu-nii after he took a hammer to the candle stand.
He only managed to destroy a portion of it. However, Kazu-nii also started to pour water on the stones to be doubly sure.
I see….. People other than the capture targets don’t have their [hearts] materialized, so you have to splash water on their body. However, the capture targets’ [hearts] were turned into stones you could touch. This might be a valid method of trying to return the guys to sanity at once with the remaining water.
The capture targets froze after getting water poured on their [hearts].
Eventually the stones started to roll out from the candle stand.
Faint orange, blue, gold, yellow, milky-white, and silver… The colourful stones were beautiful like jewels.
Good job, Kazu-nii! He properly understood my cue of how I will buy time for him.
The colour of the capture targets’ eyes started to return, probably because of the water poured on their stones.
The first person who came back to sanity was Iinchou. His [stone] was a milky-white colour with lustre like a pearl. Somehow, I feel like it doesn’t match his image. The moment Iinchou picked up his stone, it turned into fine sand and disappeared.
“What……!?” Father Michel shouted with dismay, turning his eyes to look at the candle stand. He next saw the stones on the floor and quickly reached out for the silver one. However, Iinchou picked that up quicker than Father Michel.
“I suppose I should apologize to you as one of the members of the development staff…… I see now, atheists won’t understand the depth of your devotion. Let me honestly apologize for making fun of you. If I work on games in this life too, I will refrain from adopting religion that exists in reality into fiction,” Iinchou said before he dropped the silver stone on top of Father Michel’s hand.
The stone bounced on Father Michel’s hand before it crumbled into sand and disappeared.
After that, Iinchou picked up the rest of the stones on the ground and returned them to their owners one by one. It shouldn’t be a problem for him to touch them since he’s the same gender.
Iinchou and Father Michel’s stones disappeared, but it didn’t happen for the other members. Tsukishima-bishounen, Mizusaki-senpai, and Kaneshiro-senpai’s stones remained intact. Their dazed eyes were slowly refocusing, so I would like to think things will be alright with time.
“I wonder if it’s the effect from the candle stand breaking…. I think our stones returned inside us, but what do you think?” Iinchou asked Father Michel.
“I don’t know…. However… this method existed too, huh.” Father Michel looked like whatever haunted him disappeared as he stared at the broken candle stand.
“It can’t be helped. You wouldn’t have thought about breaking property of the church. At any rate, I didn’t think of it either too,” Iinchou said with a laugh.
As for my thoughts, I wished I knew this method back in April.
Now then, the mess that Father Michel made is enough to send him to the police. However, I really don’t care anymore. I don’t think I can explain the whole situation well. Also, I don’t like the police; I don’t want to deal with them.
On top of that, Father Michel wasn’t the perpetrator. We will also have to send the brainwashed students to the police too, which I want to avoid. The theft case of Maria-jou’s home will have to go unsolved.
Incidentally, Maria-jou was standing in front of Kyouko-jou, wiping her face with a wet handkerchief. I guess Maria-jou was against splashing water directly on her friend… It feels like she’s wiping Kyouko-jou’s sweat away, but does it really have any effect? Well, Kyouko-jou doesn’t have a stone, so there’s no other way.
“H-Hey, what’s going to happen to Kyouko-chan?” Maria-jou asked Iinchou with a nervous expression.
“Please don’t ask me. This has all gone beyond the game system,” Iinchou replied.
This was when Kyouko-jou’s eyes showed change.
“Aikawa-san, look. Kyouko-chan’s eyes are turning back to normal,” I said. It was a gradual change, but light was returning to those blank eyes.
It was Tsukishima-bishounen who returned to sanity next.
“……H-Huh? Where am I?” He asked with confusion. A beautiful light returned to his eyes, which had been dimmed by a fog.
Ah, now that I really look at him, I can agree that he is a beautiful boy. His nickname as the number one beautiful boy in Seika Maria Secondary Academy isn’t exaggerated. When I think back, I think I first saw Tsukishima-bishounen at this church. He really suits this background with stained glass windows.
“I should have been at the rooftops…… Errr, hmm?”
I couldn’t overlook Tsukishima-bishounen’s words just now.
“Cheeky woman… and the annoying woman? And also…… what is with this gathering?” He muttered next.
Yeah, I actually have to agree with him. I know the guys here are all Maria-jou’s capture targets, so it doesn’t feel strange for me if they all gathered in the same spot. Otherwise, it would be a total mystery for someone like Mizusaki-senpai or Kaneshiro-senpai to be here at the church.
“Yuuki-kun, you turned back to normal?” Maria-jou asked.
Tsukishima-bishounen blinked his eyes with surprise before tilting his head in confusion. “I remember talking to you but…… huh?”
“Eh? What do you mean by that?” Maria-jou also blinked her eyes with bewilderment.
When these two line up, they look like a beautiful girl idol unit.
It took a bit before we learned that his memories from after the closing party at the Cultural Festival were missing.
“You serious?” I couldn’t help but retort. Don’t tell me that all the students who got brainwashed were suffering from memory loss too?
“Have you forgotten what you learned in class too?” Kazu-nii asked a very teacher-like question.
Kazu-nii groaned in pain. “It was about after the Cultural Festival that students with blank eyes started to appear… If everyone is like Tsukishima then we have big trouble. It might be best if I suggest holding supplementary lessons during winter vacation……”
Hyaaaa! Stop! Supplementary lessons during the end and beginning of the new year is unthinkable!
“…….S-Studying, huh……. I really want to avoid this but I guess I have to depend on Aniki…” Tsukishima-bishounen muttered. His words quite surprised me, making both me and Maria-jou widened our eyes.
How did he get a change of heart? I could remember how badly they got along…
The next people who regained their sanity were the seniors.
I have to say, how does Iinchou know everyone’s stones and their colour? I don’t think he has ever seen them personally.
“Hey, why do you know everyone’s colour? Is this from your past life too?” I questioned.
“It’s easy to guess. Each hollow dent of the candle stand represents the day of the week in order,” Iinchou replied
Oh, that’s it.
Mizusaki-senpai and Kaneshiro-senpai regained their senses about the same time and blinked their eyes.
“……Atsushi? Where are we?”
“We are at the church. Please try and notice yourself by observing your surroundings, Homare.”
Those two chatted before they inclined their heads in doubt.
It looks like these two have never visited the church before. Well, to begin with, the church is forbidden to outsiders. It would be strange if anyone visited for business other than Sunday service.
“I don’t know the situation, however…… As Niimi-san and Hibiya-sensei are here, it involves the stones, am I right?” Kaneshiro-senpai said before he glanced down at the stone he got back. “I would like to ask, but did you touch it?”
I quickly shook my head left and right.
“Is that so,” Kaneshiro-senpai said with a hint of amusement in his voice.
“Honorary member, could you explain the situation?” Mizusaki-senpai called out to Maria-jou.
However, she only tilted her head, looking quite unreliable. “Senpai, umm…” Maria-jou hesitated and stumbled on her words.
Still, I could guess what she wanted to ask, so I interjected instead. “Currently the school trip is going on. Do you still remember all that has happened with it?”
“Huh!?” Mizusaki-senpai was speechless.
Kaneshiro-senpai checked his watch, which was the type that displayed the date as well. “……I still don’t understand what is going on. Homare, it looks like we missed the starting date of the school trip.”
Mizusaki-senpai made a face like he bit something bitter in response to Kaneshiro-senpai’s words. “How many days are there left for the trip?”
“Three days. If you include the return date then that will be four. …If you ask the chairman, I think you can borrow money for the bullet train and hotel. We will also need to contact the academy’s staff… At any rate, we will have to bring your bodyguards with us. What will you do?”
“Shut up. We only get one high school life. Why the hell can’t we go on our school trip?” Mizusaki-senpai complained.
“We’ll be a bother, you know? Because of your bodyguards. I also think Tanaka-senpai will be angry at you.”
“She’s always angry.”
It looks like those two’s personalities are back to normal.
Iinchou’s stone, Father Michel’s stone, Tsukishima-bishounen’s stone, Mizusaki-senpai’s stone, and Kaneshiro-senpai’s stone……
They all returned to their owners and after some time the dense smell that covered the church disappeared.
“It finally ended,” Kazu-nii said.
“Kamura-kun’s stone isn’t here, right?” I asked.
Iinchou laughed. “By the time I came here, the spot for his stone disappeared. I think he returned his stone inside himself with his own power,” he said with pride in his voice. “It’s surprising that Kamura-kun was the one who was the most free and unrestricted by the game…… Still, as his parent, I’m quite happy.”
“Iinchou, hearing you say ‘parent’ feels really weird, you know,” I told him.
I heard the sound of someone’s phone vibrating next.
It came from Kazu-nii’s cell phone. “Hm? What is this number…?” Kazu-nii was puzzled but he still answered it. He also immediately changed his attitude and started chatting to the other person. Eventually, he grimaced and gazed at Maria-jou. “Aikawa, it’s the police. We’re going back to your home.”
“The police probably returned back to normal. The people they were speaking to about the case suddenly disappeared, so they went calling me. I’m worried about the state of your home too… I guess it was a mistake to leave my car at the station, huh,” Kazu-nii said bitterly.
Riding the train now to reach Maria-jou’s home will take some time. Also, since we can’t hand over the culprit of this case, we need to wave away the police somehow, which was a whole other issue.
“Heeey, wait a minute! Sensei!? What did you just say!?” Kyouko-jou suddenly rushed in aggressively. It looks like she finally came back to her senses and her eyes regained their light.
Hmm, it must have been friendship. Maria-jou in danger had more effect on Kyouko-jou than a wet handkerchief.
“Y-You just said, ‘we’re going back to your home,’ to Maria!? When you say it that way, it’s like you’re—”
“S-Stop, Kyouko-chan! Don’t misunderstand! A suspicious person broke into my home and…!” Maria-jou interrupted in a hurry to explain quickly while she gripped her wet handkerchief in her hand.
Of course, Kyouko-jou blew up in anger for a different reason next. “What!? Someone broke into Maria’s home!? Unforgivable! It looks like I need to crush this thief down. Okay, let’s go, Maria. I would let this thief do whatever they want no matter what the police say! Just leave it to me!”
Kyouko-jou’s really reliable. However, the thief that broke into Maria-jou’s home is probably a brainwashed student of this academy. In fact, it might have even been Kyouko-jou. What should we do in that case?
“……? This is weird, my hair’s wet. I wonder if I should buy a towel at the convenience store,” Kyouko-jou commented.
“Ah, umm…” Maria-jou was about to explain but Kyouko-jou stopped her.
“Well, anyways, sleeping in a home after a thief broke in is hard to do, right? Come to my home tonight,” Kyouko-jou invited.
Maria-jou bloomed into a beautiful smile.
Ugh! And she turned down my invitaaaaation!!
“Come on, Sensei! Let’s hurry!” Kyouko-jou shouted. She became the leader for some reason and the other two obeyed her to leave the church.
“Good grief,” Iinchou said as he watched the three hurried out of the church. He was also rolling the final stone on top of his palm. It was a yellow stone, likely belonging to Tsuchiya-shounen. It was the same stone that Tsuchiya-shounen gave to Maria-jou when he was young.
“Do you have to give that back?”
Tsuchiya-shounen gave that to Maria-jou. I wonder if it’s really okay for it to suddenly return to him by someone else’s hand.
“It’s fine if you don’t mind him not regaining his senses again. But that will complicate the matter even further, so I don’t recommend it. If Tsuchiya-kun really does like her then he won’t give up even with their miscommunication,” Iinchou said this before he left the church as well.
It was dark outside. The stars were shining but they didn’t reach down all the way to the thicket.
I guided Iinchou to Tsuchiya-shounen who was still squatting down on the ground like he was tired.
“I have to say, Tsuchiya-kun’s kind of pitiful. Maria-jou’s worried a lot about Kyouko-chan while she left him out here……”
“Yeah, he might be,” Iinchou smiled tiredly. “Still, Tsuchiya-kun has been here, outside of the church despite having his stone stolen. He must have been more conscious than the rest inside the church. Or perhaps his dependency on the stone was low because he let go of it when he was young.” He approached Tsuchiya-shounen next and placed the stone on his hand.
“……? What happened, Shibuya?” Tsuchiya-shounen asked. His blank eyes were regaining a bit of light. I could tell there was mostly confusion in them.
“Nothing happened. I think you were seeing a dream just now,” Iinchou said.
Soon the stone turned into sand, crumbling and disappearing away.
“……Huh? This is……?” Tsuchiya-shounen gazed down at his empty palm like he was recalling something far in the past.
“Oh yeah, did you know? A thief broke into Aikawa-san’s home.”
“What!?” Tsuchiya-shounen shot up thanks to Iinchou’s words. “Are you serious? Is she okay?”
“Who knows? I mean, a thief broke into the home of a girl living alone. She must have been frightened. The items she treasured at her home might have been stolen too,” Iinchou went on.
“Why are you so carefree!? Ah, damn it! What the hell am I doing!? Cell phone… Wait, I don’t even know her number!!” Tsuchiya-shounen ran off. He didn’t even question what he had been doing moments ago.
He’s probably running to Maria-jou’s place now.
“……Did the stone have no effect?” At the very least, Tsuchiya-shounen’s favourability for Maria-jou was high enough for him to give his stone to her. I mean, they are childhood sweethearts too.
Iinchou shook his head with strength. “No, it did affect him. But he probably hasn’t realized it yet because I gave good information at the right timing. Are you amazed?” He asked the last part proudly.
I was merely exasperated. “I can tell you are good at deceiving people with words.”
“Too bad,” he replied without a hint of disappointment. “Now then, Niimi-san, you don’t have any other errands, right? It’s late, I can walk you to the station.”
“What do you plan to do next, Iinchou?”
“I’m going home too cause I want to investigate how much the academy was affected by this. There are probably brainwashed people outside the academy grounds. I’ll be looking things up on the internet.”
“Iinchou, are you good with technology?” I asked.
“Yeah. I’m not wearing glasses just to look unique, you know. My eyesight is bad as I played too many games and surfed the net for too long. In the actual game, my eyesight was good enough that people theorized my glasses might be fake.”
“That’s nothing to brag about, you know,” I retorted.
With this and that, I decided to have Iinchou walk me to the station since it was late.
However, at this very moment, I spotted Katsuragi-kun running to the church. He had taken the role as a decoy for us earlier. He was now running with confusion while being concerned about what’s behind him.
I waved my hand in the air and shouted his name to catch his attention. Katsuragi-kun changed his direction and came to us instead.
“Katsuragi-kun! Are you okay?”
He nodded silently before he stepped on top of the withered grass closer to us. “Could you explain the current situation? All the people outside fainted one after another.”
“We managed to break the candle stand. The people who had their stones stolen returned to their senses too. A number of people’s stones broke and disappeared but…… How is yours, Katsuragi-kun?” I asked.
Katsuragi-kun reached his hand into his shirt and took out the bag holding his stone from his inside chest pocket. He peered inside the bag before mumbling with deep emotion, “It hasn’t changed.”
“I see. What’s going on with the stones in the end?” I was puzzled.
“I think everyone has a different timing,” Iinchou said. “This is just my guess but I think the stones will disappear soon. The candle stand has been destroyed, so there’s no place to put it anymore other than inside yourself. I don’t know if it’ll happen tomorrow or ten years from now though.”
I see. It doesn’t look like there’s anything more we can do for the capture targets.
“You mentioned that the brainwashed people fainted, right? It’ll be great if we don’t have to call an ambulance… Still, it might be best if we take them to the infirmary. I wonder what we should if Suzuki-obaachan sensei isn’t there? …I’m going to take a look.” I was about to run off but Katsuragi-kun stopped me.
He grabbed my arm quickly and I also tripped over.
“What’s wrong? Katsuragi-kun,” I asked.
He looked somewhat miffed. “……Name,” he said.
Hm? Name? I was dumbfounded.
He looked at me before he eventually shook his head. “It’s fine. We can talk again later,” he said to me.
Now then, the people wandering around the church outside were slowly returning back to normal. They all couldn’t remember what they were doing when they were brainwashed, so they also don’t know what they were still at school.
Katsuragi-kun had taken the role of attracting their attention as our decoy. He mentioned how it would be troublesome if he punched anyone carelessly, so his encounters with them didn’t turn into an actual fight. He said everything is fine, but I feel like I spotted a number of Mizusaki-senpai bodyguard-like people unconscious on the ground but… let’s pretend I didn’t see anything.
The next day, we checked Kyouko-chan and a number of other people… Me, Kazu-nii, and Iinchou were able to report our findings to each other.
“The capture targets have no memories after losing their stone. Tsuchiya-kun was okay until the very moment Father Michel obtained his stone. As for the other people, it seems they are only missing memories when their eyes are blank. They weren’t always in a daze and returned to normal at times,” I summarized.
Iinchou nodded. “When you think about it, everyone else’s stones were drifting in the area as a sweet scent. It’s different from having their stone completely stolen.”
“It’s great that they haven’t lost all their memories…… In any case, it’ll be best if we have a review test before the holidays. I feel like they’ll have blanks in their knowledge here and there. The third year students have it especially bad if they try to take their exams like this,” Kazu-nii commented.
“Yeah, it sure sounds tough. I’m glad I don’t have to study for university entrance exams like them too,” I said lightly.
“Are you really ready for your end term exams? If you get any red marks, you’ll be taking supplementary lessons during winter vacation.”
Uwaaaaaah!! I don’t want to study math during winter vacation too!!
Incidentally, Maria-jou and Kyouko-jou found out where Kazu-nii’s apartment is for some reason. Kazu-nii believed it’ll be a matter of time before students barge into his home for fun, so he quickly began procedures to cancel his apartment lease.
□ ■ □
Now this is my story that I didn’t tell anyone else.
One night after our showdown with Father Michel, I woke up in the morning and stared at the stand mirror in my room, looking at myself.
Something is missing, I thought.
All the capture targets have regained their stones. Yet, I feel like we haven’t reached the ending yet.
I wonder if those people who lost their [hearts] and walked around with unfocused eyes have all returned back to normal.
What remained in my hands were a bottle of water I didn’t use and a stone hanging from my neck with a chain.
The me reflecting in the mirror seemed to have dazed eyes.
Ah, I see now. What’s missing is this. What hasn’t returned is here.
Only Kazu-nii knew about my stone among all the people in the church yesterday. Maria-jou, Iinchou, and Katsuragi-kun, too, didn’t know about this.
“Shiori,” I called out to myself in the mirror. “Your eyes aren’t back to normal yet.”
I breathed in that scent a number of times and ended a confrontation in a world that I didn’t know was a dream or an hallucination.
If I spend my days without anyone noticing my stone like this soon Christmas will come, signaling the end of the game.
Father Michel’s stone has disappeared, so he doesn’t have to be afraid of Maria-jou’s existence anymore. Kazu-nii will have to tremble with fear for a while longer, but Maria-jou’s misunderstanding our relationship right now. I don’t think she’ll make passes at him anymore.
“Tsukishima-bishounen, Mizusaki-senpai, and Kaneshiro-senpai are no longer acting strange… But will events still occur? At the very least, it feels like there’s only a bit more before those three will be captured. If Maria-jou feels like it, I think she can manage it.”
I don’t know if Maria-jou will try as she was that perplexed yesterday.
More importantly, she needs to make up with Tsuchiya-shounen. This problem here doesn’t seem simple enough it’ll resolve before the game ends.
I unscrewed my bottle of water.
I’ll admit that I do have a small curiosity. What does it feel like to fall in love? Will I understand that feeling if I give my stone to someone?
……No, having my heart stolen away and being captured is scary. I don’t want it like that. I wonder if there’s a day when I fall in love with someone honestly come?
“Well, I’m not anxious though,” I smiled tiredly before removing my necklace.
I placed the stone on top of my palm and poured water on it.
At the very least, it can’t be from some weird smell or the system of this world… It has to be feelings from myself or there isn’t any meaning.
[That] in the shape of a stone became smaller and smaller like it melted away in water or crumbled away into a scent.
When it finally disappeared, it’s that very moment I felt everything had ended.
TL: With this November has ended and the next few chapters will be December!