Reika-sama – 195

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The day after seeing off Enjou and who I thought was Yuiko-san, Enjou himself came and thanked me again.

“Yukino was overjoyed. He even started talking about how he was going to write you a reply. I’ll bring it to you tomorrow.”

“My! I would be overjoyed too if I managed to help his mood even a little! I apologise for not being able to write anything meaningful.”

“Don’t say that. He had a lot of fun reading about your recent endeavours with dessert making.”

“I truly wrote nothing but trifling nonsense…”

“Speaking of the dessert making, could it be that you’re preparing for Valentine’s?”

“Well, yes…”

It was kind of embarrassing to be asked that…

It made you seem like you were really excited about it…

“I see. Have you already got a list of who you’ll be giving them to?”

“Eh?”

Why was he asking me this?

“Mmmn, well, I think that brat Yukino is hoping for some from you.”

“Eh!? Truly!?”

“He won’t out and say it though, but yeah~ Ever since reading your letter he’s been asking us what we think you’re making. Normally if you hear that a girl is making desserts you’d think of Valentine’s, right?”

“I do believe that there are people who make desserts even beyond Valentine’s Day. I have thought about giving Yukino-kun some chocolate before, so I am glad to hear that he wants some. The issue is that my handmade desserts are not good enough to share beyond my family. I would rather buy some cute white chocolate that suits his name better.”

“Thanks. I guess his hopes aren’t unfounded now. It’s pretty rough being a guy, you know? You wait, and you wait, and the more sure you are about getting chocolates, the bigger the shock is when you don’t.”

“Huhuhu. Considering the stacks of chocolates that you receive each year, I am sure that such a feeling is foreign to you two.”

“Well, who knows.”

Oh my.

Look at the smug smile of a popular guy on his mug.

Tsk.

But still, he had a point.

Whenever Valentine’s day came around I was particularly glad I wasn’t born a guy.

Considering my current record with love I probably wouldn’t get a single chocolate…

My, my, I need to expand the Forever Alone village.

Reviving this village is going to be a tough job.

A few days later Yukino-kun’s reply letter came, along with desserts from their okaasama as thanks.

I had to quickly write a reply!

*

*

The closer to Valentine’s it got, the more Wakaba-chan was harrassed by Kaburagi and Fellow Stalking Horse’s fans.

She was their biggest rival after all.

I was worried about her so I gathered my courage and called her.

She told me that she had put a lock on her locker, and she had been keeping her shoebox locked since the last incident.

She never left anything at her desk before going home either.

Since she wasn’t getting anything vandalised anymore, she assured me that there wasn’t any real harm.

“Still,” she added, “when I dropped my rubber and went to pick it up, I was really surprised to find an ofuda stuck underneath my chair.”

Ehhhh!? Was that a curse or something!? Scary!

Wakaba-chan needed to go get exorcised!

“What did you do?”

“Huh? I peeled it off and threw it in the garbage of course.”

You’re too strong, Wakaba-chan…

*

*

It was pandemonium at Suiran on Valentine’s day.

Queues of girls had lined up outside of Kaburagi, Enjou, and Fellow Stalking Horse’s classes.

Hordes of chocolate-holding girls from the middle school section had come too.

Since it had nothing to do with me, though, I was actually having a lot of fun watching them.

At the moment I was wondering how much chocolate it would be by the end of the day.

The particular bold girls were handing them to Enjou and Kaburagi directly.

Serika-chan and the others had obviously given chocolates to them.

It was nice that they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

What I brought to school was mostly chocolates to exchange with girls, and the chocolates for Yukino-kun.

I was heading to the Petit Salon after school.

Or so I had planned, but after the classes ended, Enjou stopped me.

“Sorry, Kisshouin-san. Yukino went to hospital today, so he left earlier.”

“Ehh!?”

What the heck!?

I should have given them earlier then!

“Then, what should I do with these…?”

I held out the chocolates for Yukino-kun.

“You could give them tomorrow, or I could hand them over for you today…”

“It would be better for him to receive these today, I think. In that case, could I trouble you to deliver these?”

“Yeah. Sure. Sorry about making you do this.”

“Not at all.”

Just as I handed these to him, I had a suddenly realisation.

Didn’t this look like I was handing chocolates to Enjou on Valentine’s day!?

Oh crap!

“Enjou-sama! You must absolutely deliver these chocolate to your esteemed brother! These chocolates are for your esteemed brother!” I said loudly, putting stress on who they were for.

Enjou seemed to understand my worries because he was smiling in enjoyment.

Buzz off!

I turned around to hurry home only to spot Kaburagi loitering like he was looking for someone.

*

*

Just like Wakaba-chan and Kanta-kun had taught me, I followed the recipe to the letter.

When I tried one of the resulting fondant au chocolats, it tasted exactly the same as the one at Wakaba-chan’s!

So, so delicious!

So I was wrong about home made food being unique experiences after all!

I hurried to Otousama to hand him his.

Taste it, Otousama! Taste the fruits of my labour!

“Thank you, Reika. I’m really happy,” he said.

For whatever reason he was being really slow about it.

Then he broke off a dainty piece with his fork.

Huh? Are you a girl? Go for a big chunk.

When he finally put it into his mouth, Otousama’s eyes shot wide open.

“What happened, Reika!? These are delicious!”

…Your mouth slipped, Tanuki.

“Otousama, what is that supposed to mean?”

“Ahh… I mean, you’ve gotten really skilled at making desserts. Did you learn this from the Narutomi family’s Akimi-san as well?”

In a completely different picture to before, Otousama was happily gobbling it down.

“…No. I learnt this from another friend.”

“Oh? A friend from Suiran?”

“Well, yes…”

“Was it one of the girls that came to our house a few times?” asked Okaasama as she sat down beside him. “The ones from primary. I think their names were Serika-san and…”

Okaasama didn’t eat sweet things often in consideration for her looks, so she never touched any of the chocolates I made.

In any case, I was a little surprised that Okaasama still remembered the names of my friends.

They had only come over a few times in total…

“It was not them, Okaasama. This is somebody I interacted with during club activities.”

I decided it would be better not to mention her.

Plus, I never said it was somebody in my club.

As a club, we definitely interacted with the Student Council.

“I see. A girl from a nice family, then? Don’t hang out with anybody strange.”

“Yes…”

“After all, in the high school section it’s a mixed bag. Be careful in who you associate with, Reika-san.”

“It is not a problem. By the way, Otousama, would you like one more? There are still many left.”

“Really? Since you made them for me, maybe I’ll have one more.”

“Dear. Eating before bed like this will make your cholesterol rise again.”

“…I suppose.”

Oh gosh, Otousama.

You have high cholesterol?

I’d better get that healthy food program started right away.

I decided to learn from Akimi-san as soon as the exams were over.

I gave Oniisama’s portion a proper cling wrap before putting them in the fridge.

Apparently microwaving them would make the insides nice and soft again, so he could have some when he came back from work!

Haaah.

In the end I never gave any proper chocolates to a boy I liked.

I did pop into the library after school, but Naru-kun wasn’t there.

Even if I didn’t have the guts to give them over properly, I thought it would be nice to sneak some into his bag while he wasn’t looking.

Thinking about it later, though, it would have been scary to find food you didn’t know about in there…

Thank goodness I didn’t do it…

I got sleepy while waiting for Oniisama in my room, so in decided to take a nap in my bed and ended up sleeping soundly until morning.

Geez, Oniisama. What time did you come home anyway?

*

Since I didn’t know when I’d see Imari-sama next, I had somebody send over the fondant au chocolat, as well as some coffee from a chocolate shop.

After all, there was no way the Chief of the Casanova village wouldn’t have plans on Valentine’s day, right?

I was sure he had a lot of chocolates already, but I hoped he’d try mine.

Well, it was Imari-sama though, so I was sure he’d have a bite at least.

It would be days later when Imari-sama sent me a sachet and herb tea set from the oldest pharmacy in the world in Florence.

Imari-sama, don’t tell me that you send something to everyone that gives you a chocolate!?

As expected of Imari-sama…

*

The day after Valentine’s, Kaburagi was looking lifeless…

Was this the phenomenon that Enjou was talking about?

 

 


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Reika-sama – 194 – Takamichi Kanta

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I have an older sister.

Neechan is four years older than me.

When she was in her last year of middle school she suddenly started going on about taking the examinations for this school for rich kids.

The famous Suiran Academy.

It caused a huge fuss.

My parents and her teacher had thought that she was going to a public school after all.

Why Suiran!?

In fact, her teacher told her, “With your grades I think you could get in on the scholarship, but that place isn’t like other schools, you know? Is that okay with you, Takamichi-san?”

Mum and Dad were worried that she wouldn’t fit in there as well.

Neechan insisted.

“If I get the scholarship then I can go there for free. Plus, if my marks are good enough, they’ll even give me money that I won’t have to return. The curriculum is leagues more fulfilling than other schools too, so I want to go there,” she explained.

My parents weren’t having any of it of course.

“Don’t worry about the school fees. Just go to a school where you’ll fit in.”

School fees, huh. I suppose we did have quite a few siblings.

But Neechan didn’t change her mind.

“It isn’t just the school fees. I want to see a new world and experience something different. Plus, the uniforms are cute.”

That last reason was a pretty girly one.

Since she was so determined, in the end our parents consented.

“Well, if you insist,” they relented.

And so she ended up taking the examinations.

Deciding on your school based on the uniforms though…

I really don’t get girls.

*

*

According to Mum, Neechan has always had a strong sense of curiosity.

One time she chased a butterfly all the way into the next town, and they only found out where she was when a police officer contacted them.

Another time she had an insect guide. She went around all day looking at bugs with a magnifying glass, and ended up collapsing to heatstroke.

When it was a star guide instead, she stayed on the veranda stargazing all night long and ended up bedridden with a fever.

Neechan loves those encyclopaedic picture guides.

Anyway, since Mum figured Suiran was another case of her curiosity flaring up, she decided to let her be.

*

*

After Neechan made it in she tried on the uniform.

“Does it suit me? Do I look like an ojousama?”

I don’t know how many times she asked that.

She only left the mirror when we finally replied, “It does, it’s cute.”

But after that she started going,

“Did you know they say gokigen’yoh at Suiran? Kanta, Gokigen’yoh.”

She wouldn’t stop, and it was annoying, but Mum told me to deal with it.

“She made it past a very difficult examination to be accepted there, so just bear with it.”

So bear with it I did.

*

*

Neechan had just begun ecstatically attending Suiran when she suddenly said to me:

“That school is even crazier than I imagined.”

“What’s so crazy about it?”

“Hmmm, all sorts of things. Really makes you realise that out there there are worlds like that too. Yeah…” she nodded to herself.

I’m still wondering what’s so crazy, damnit!

“And man, seeing the real thing sure was different to my own ‘gokigen’yoh’. It sounded completely natural coming from them. Whenever I say it there’s some part of me embarrassed about what the heck I’m doing, you know? But in that world it’s a matter of fact, isn’t it. And they throw about topics about high society so fast that I don’t know what’s what. It was like listening to another language,” she said in wonder.

Hearing that just made us worried.

“Are you going to be okay, Wakaba?” Mum asked. “Are you sure you shouldn’t have gone to another school?”

But Neechan wasn’t worried at all.

“Ah well, I’m sure I’ll get used to it sooner or later. Once I do, I’ll be a splendid ojousama as well!”

“Is this the face of an ojousama to you?”

That got me a punch.

That hurts, damnit!

“Is your school really all that amazing?”

“Yeah. I hadn’t heard of half the items on the cafeteria menu. I gave one of the soups a go, and it came out cold! At first I was like, ‘Ah! they forgot to heat it up!’ but it turns out that it’s meant to be like that. Vichyssoise is this cold, potato soup. Vichyssoise. And even though we were speaking Japanese they all pronounced the ‘v’. It was crazy. Vee, Kanta. Vee.”

“Enough already!”

“Man. I had no idea food in a school cafeteria could be so good. Of course it was as expensive as it was surprising, though. Since I can’t eat there every day I think it’d be nice if I treated myself there whenever I get some money.”

“Oneechan! I want some too!”

“Me too!”

The twins joined the conversation out of nowhere.

“Alright. I guess I’ll try making it at home sometime!”

What was good about cold soup?

In the days following, my sister would come home influenced by something that happened there.

The time when she learnt flower arrangement she came home and decorated the foyer.

The time when she learnt tea ceremony she began mixing tea in a tea bowl.

“Today I learnt this flower arrangement type called moribana. At the start you pick the grandest, longest branch and place it right in the middle of the kenzan stand~ Right here, see? They call it the shin branch. When you’re done with that, the next one is the soe branch and put stick it in here~”

*
“When you drink the tea you move the brush over like this, and take a sip while avoiding it.”

*
“When you pick up your chopsticks you have to grab them from above with your right hand, hold them in your left, and then swap them back to your right hand.”

Each time Neechan showed off something she learnt to the family, everyone oo’d and ah’d in admiration.

“As expected of Suiran,” they’d all praise.

“Yep,” she would laugh.

“Your dad and I were worried that you’d have a hard time there. It’s a relief to see you enjoying yourself.”

“It was one culture shock after another, and they have so many customs too. But I’m having fun, and I’m learning a lot there.”

“Neechan, did you make any friends at a place like that?”

“I’m surrounded by young masters and ojousamas so I don’t have a lot, but I definitely do have friends so don’t worry.”

I hoped that was true.

*

*

Ever since Neechan had entered high school, she had begun working a part-time job.

Apparently her scholarship money was ‘for the future’, so she needed a source of pocket money.

“I’ll be out and working by the time it’s your turn for university, so I’ll take care of the fees, okay?” she once told me, but I was going to get a part-time job in high school anyhow.

Neechan’s everyday life was busy, from studying to her job.

But even in middle school, friends from around the area would come over to play.

There didn’t seem to be any sign of that here, so I knew that Mum and Dad were still secretly worried.

*

*

Neechan was hit by a car during summer break.

The culprit was somebody in her year at Suiran.

Although her bicycle had been completely dented at the front, Neechan had only suffered some bruises and scrapes.

When that schoolmate had brought her to the hospital, the examination diagnosed her with no serious injuries.

Anyway, he came to our house to apologise that day, with a huge bouquet and a lawyer in tow.

We had first realised when my little sister excitedly notified us about “some kind of hearse car” parked in front of our house.

“Your cherished daughter has been injured because of me. I sincerely apologise and have no excuse,” the classmate bowed low when he brought Neechan back from the hospital.

Neechan had told us that it was nothing serious, but ordinarily Mum and Dad would still be worried and furious.

Instead, seeing the boy refuse to stop bowing sent them into a fluster instead.

It sent Neechan into an even greater one, actually.

“K-Kaburagi-sama! Please raise your head! Look! Right as rain, see?!”

“My daughter is right. You brought her to the hospital as well, and we can all see that you genuinely feel sorry.”

“And you’re our daughter’s schoolmate so we weren’t thinking of pressing charges at all.”

After a lot of convincing from the three of them, he finally lifted his head.

As it turned out, he was super handsome.

“Then let’s talk about reparations,” said his lawyer, but my parents refused them on the grounds that they wouldn’t feel at ease with it.

In the end we only agreed to take this huge envelope of “get-well money” from them.

“We will also reimburse you for the bicycle, and the medical fees are a matter of course,” said her schoolmate.

“Ehh!? Just this get-well money is more than enough!”

“That will not do. This and that are two different matters.”

Neechan tried to reason with him.

“Kaburagi-sama, umm, you’ve already paid for the hospital and medical bills today. Since I don’t have any broken bones, I don’t think think I’ll be going to the hospital either so there won’t be any medical bills to pay…”

“Unacceptable. You have to keep going until the doctor says that you’ve fully recovered. Nobody can say that there won’t be medical complications,” he replied severely.

“I understand…” she replied meekly.

When it was time for him to leave, he told us he was buying all the cakes in the store.

“I’d feel bad for the other customers who came here to buy things, so just your feelings are enough~!” she stopped him in a panic.

*

*

After the boy and his lawyer left, Dad had to go back to the store.

Everyone else was still gathered in the living room.

“For a high schooler, that boy really has his act together…”

“Yeah…”

“Do you think we breached some etiquette by serving him barley tea, Mum?”

“You’re asking that now?”

“That oniisan was so cool!”

“His car was cool too!”

“That’s the car that hit Neechan, yanno?”

“Oh no, that wasn’t the car that hit me. It wasn’t any less expensive though.”

“Are you for real!?”

They had more than one car like that!?

“The car that hit me got a bit scratched after all. I was actually worried about what we’d do if they asked for compensation, you know?”

“It’s good that he was a decent person, wasn’t it,” my Mum commented.

“By the way, Neechan,” I asked, “How come you were being so polite to him? Isn’t he your age? And why the -sama?”

“Oneechan, was he your friend?”

“Whoaa, no way! That’s somebody special even for a Suiran student, you know! If it wasn’t for the accident I’d have graduated without ever saying a word to him!”

“Huh. He was some kind of big shot then?” I asked.

“He is. We’ve got two, ah, three…? people at our school that everyone acknowledges as special. Kaburagi-sama is one of them.”

That boy who ‘everybody acknowledged as special’ ended up visiting Neechan a bunch more times during the summer break to drive her to the hospital.

He even got her an expensive Italian bicycle which Neechan promptly remodelled into a city bike with a basket.

What a waste.

But yeah, people from Suiran really were different to your average high schooler.

*

*

*

When I got back from school, something crazy was waiting for me in the lounge room.

Her hair was curled like chocolate cornets or something, and she even had a ribbon attached.

It was like somebody had pulled an ojousama out of some manga or drama.

But for some reason she was wearing one of Neechan’s T-shirts and shorts.

It couldn’t have looked any worse on her.

Neechan had made some yakisoba for us when she came back.

She asked the Cornet girl if she wanted seconds.

Apparently Cornet had eaten before we got here.

“No, I am… Well, if you insist then perhaps just a bite, since you offered,” was her reply.

She ended up eating with us.

“You’ve got nori on your face, you know?”

“Oh goodness.”

She even went ‘ohoho’ as she wiped the nori I pointed out.

‘Ohoho’ I said.

Who knew there were really people who laughed that way in real life…

So she was both an ‘ohoho’ and a ‘Cornet’.

After that day, Cornet visited us on occasion.

Each time she came over she ended up eating something.

And her “just a bite” was always a huge serving.

She always said ‘then, just a bite’ but would end up demolishing the whole plate.

And whenever Neechan asked if she wanted seconds the reply was always something like, “No, I am quite full. Although if you insist then perhaps just a bite…” and she’d end up eating even more.

“Hey Neechan, even though Cornet always eats until the end, why does she always refuse once first?”

“Hmmm, maybe it’s etiquette for an ojousama?”

I don’t get it.

Actually the other day she ate quite a lot of the mochi too.

Since she was eating so well, I thought she might be hungry.

Chikara udon is mochi rice cakes on an udon dish.

“Want me to throw some chikara udon together?” I asked, but this time she really refused.

“Perhaps next time,” she said before muttering, “Udon zousui would be nice too…”

Was she planning on adding zousui to her chikara udon?

There was honestly no helping her.

“Hey, Neechan. Cornet is your friend, right?”

“I’ve told you her name isn’t Cornet, it’s Kisshouin-san! But my friend, huh… I’d like to think so at least. She’s actually as amazing a person as Kaburagi-kun is. But, Kisshouin-san is always helping me out, you know? She might have actually proven to be the most trustworthy person there.”

“Huh. Then I suppose Cornet’s welcome in my home!”

“Cocky brat. And she’s Kisshouin-san to you!”

“Cornet-chan’s a good girl. Always so polite,” added Mum. “Your mum can rest at ease knowing you have a friend like that.”

“You’re calling her that too, Mum…? But mmn, sorry for worrying you. I’ve got friends there, and I’m having a lot of fun.”

“I’m glad to hear that. So? What’s Cornet-chan like at school?”

“She’s a pure-bred Suiran, I have to say~ Lot’s of girls really look up to her. They treat her like the ideal girl, I guess?”

“Buhaha!? Cornet!? The same Cornet who’s been eating yakisoba, or curry, or mochi every time she comes to our house!? The one that actually laughs ‘ohoho’? The Ohoho Cornet Girl?”

Kanta! But well, even I had no idea she’d be so easy to get along with… I think I’d like to get to know her better.”

“Hmmmm~ Alright then.”

“What about Kaburagi-kun?” Mum asked. “Is he your boyfriend, Wakaba?”

“Haah!? No way! Don’t say stupid things!” shouted Neechan.

“Ehh? But he keeps coming to visit you, and he even came here to give you a present on Christmas.”

“Seriously! Stop it! If by some tiny chance a person from Suiran overheard that…”

“Oh my, should we keep it a secret from Cornet-chan too?”

“I’ve already told Kisshouin-san but… But just don’t say these things outside, okay! You never know who might overhear! Not just you Mum, everyone else too, okay!?”

She seemed awfully serious, so we reluctantly replied.

“Then who was the boy you went to your New Year’s shrine visit with? Remember? The one that you showed me the picture of.”

“He’s just a friend I’m in the Student Council with! And didn’t I show you pictures of my other friends!?”

“But that boy was so cool.”

“He’s! Just! A! Friend! I’m done with this conversation! Done!”

“Your dad’s been worried too, you know? He’s been asking me if you’ve gotten yourself a boyfriend.”

“Neechan, are you aiming to marry into money?”

“I’m nottt!”

Whatever the case, Kaburagi-san definitely liked Neechan.

I mean it was on Christmas Eve.

Would you go out of your way like that for a normal friend?

At first I laughed at giving a high schooler a present like that, but then Cornet told us about how famous and expensive it was and shocked the crap out of Neechan and I.

Tens of thousands of yen for a stuffed toy!?

It was bloody insane.

The teddy bear had actually come with a coat and a heart necklace.

My little sister wanted the necklace since she thought it was cute.

Since she was in elementary, Neechan figured it would be fine even though it was for a toy.

It was pretty sparkly for a toy, so she quickly came to adore it.

Even the doll’s accessories were crazy good!

Anyway, it had decorated the house until the end of the year, and was sitting in Neechan’s room now.

I wonder if Neechan was planning on giving Kaburagi-san some Valentine’s chocolates this year.

I was pretty sure he was waiting for them.

Speaking of Valentine’s, I was really damned worried about Cornet’s…

Was that girl going to be alright?

She’d better follow the recipe properly!

 

 


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Reika-sama – 193

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The snow that appeared Saturday night kept falling well into Sunday.

Although it had stopped by the time Monday had come rolling around, looking out the window of my car on the way to school, it was plainly obvious that it had snowed, and parts of the road were still frozen over.

Oh. A salaryman just slipped.

How dangerous.

With this much snow around I wondered if Enjou and Kaburagi were going to build Yukino-kun another snowman.

I arrived early, having left early to take into account the road conditions.

Class Rep was already there.

“Good morning, Kisshouin-san.”

“Gokigen’yoh, Class Rep. Somebody is early today.”

“Yeah. It’s been snowing after all. Plus, the exams are coming soon, so I was thinking of studying.”

“My, what a model student you are. Perhaps I should follow your example and study now as well.”

After all, I was left out of the top 30 for my end of year exams. It was about time that I got a bit serious.

“Oh, right. Remember how I told you Honda-san gave me chocolates for Valentine’s?”

“Did you now?”

“I did. Anyway, since the two of them said they’d make handmade chocolates for us, I thought I should return the favour by handmaking some for them.”

“Eh!? Handmade!?”

I turned to him in shock.

“Well, I thought it was a good chance to try. Anyway, I was thinking about what to make and I thought Sachertorte would be nice.”

“Sachertorte!?”

The cake consists of a dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam on top, coated in dark chocolate icing on the top and sides. It is traditionally served with unsweetened whipped cream.

What a crazy hard choice for a first-timer!

“Is that not a little difficult…?” I was about to ask but Class Pres showed me a picture on his phone.

It was a wonderful example of a Sachertorte.

“I’ve never baked a cake before, but it turned out pretty well, I think.”

“I see,” I deadtoned.

Apparently the maiden was even equipped with dessert-making skills.

Even though I had been doing this for years and was only just recently seeing results.

Disgusting.

I didn’t know how good Miharu-chan was, but I had to wonder how you’d feel if a boy gave you better-made chocolates than you could manage yourself.

At the very least, I would get an inferiority complex.

“People at Suiran prefer buying expensive chocolates, so perhaps you should reconsider,” I told him. “Besides, if you trade your home cooking with her you are only a single mistake away from being treated as her girl friend.”

“Eh-, girl friend!? I really wouldn’t want that…”

Class Rep was flustered now.

“Or were you intending on confessing to Honda-san with that Sachertorte? In that case I will not stop you, but…”

“Ehh!? No! I haven’t been thinking about confessing at all yet!” he exclaimed, red-faced. “I just wanted to thank her!”

“In that case buying a few expensive limited-edition chocolates, as well as some accessories like a handkerchief or some gloves would achieve something closer to your desired effect. Well, some people do say that handkerchiefs are a sign of a goodbye, so perhaps something else.”

“I see. As expected of a Love Guru. I better tell Iwamuro-kun too!”

“Besides some small gifts, I had been happy enough to receive a small bouquet in the past, but if you go down that route you had better have somebody take care of it during class. Otherwise it may have wilted by the time school is out. Perhaps it would be better to forget about those for now.”

“Yeah, you might be right. But how did you learn all these things about romance anyway?”

I learnt about the presents from Imari-sama, and everything else from the shoujo manga I read in my last life.

“I’ve been talking to Iwamuro-kun about it, but I think my luck in romance has been better after touching that reversed curl of yours. Thank you for always blessing me.”

Apparently in his head I was one of those bronze ox statues you rubbed for good luck.

People believe in the strangest things.

But I got my hair fixed at a beauty salon so they were all curled the right way now.

In exchange I grew an urna!

“Say, Class Rep, if some strange girl you had never spoken to suddenly gave you a Valentine’s chocolate, how would you feel?”

“Eh-, strange girl!? Hmmm, I’d be happy, but I guess a little troubled too if I didn’t know her…”

“As I thought…”

For an instant I had considered gaining the courage to give one to Naru-kun from the library, but since it would probably only make me look like a stalker I decided against it.

I guess the Village Chief was having another boring Valentine’s.

I wonder if there were any new applicants to the village.

We’re still taking new people, you know?

*

*

Ru’ne-chan and the others arrived so I apologised to Class Rep for disturbing his studies and said goodbye.

“Reika-sama’, gokigen’yoh. It’s cold today, isn’t it?”

“Gokigen’yoh. It is indeed. I had trouble getting out of bed.”

“Me too~”

Still, everyone came to school in a car so there was only the walk from the car park.

“It’s got to be rough for people walking to school today.”

“I have to agree. I saw quite a few people losing their footing today while being driven to school.”

“Wow, that’s dangerous.”

Before long, Serika-chan and Kikuno-chan arrived as well, and the conversation turned to excited talk about the snow.

Suddenly another girl from my group ran into the classroom.

“It’s terrible, Reika-sama! Takamichi-san got out of Kaburagi-sama’s car again!”

“Eh?”

“Kaburagi-sama!?”

Apparently right after Kaburagi and Wakaba-chan parted, everyone swarmed her to ask what was going on.

And according to Wakaba-chan, he had spotted her on the way to school. Rather than let her ride the train and then walk through the snow, he told her to get in instead.

“How many times has that been now? That that girl has been in Kaburagi-sama’s car,” frowned Kikuno-chan.

Everyone else muttered about how shameless she was too.

But I was focused on something else.

Before she rode the train and walk through the snow?

Didn’t this mean he had been lying in wait in her neighbourhood then…?

Scaryy!

Stalker!!

Scaryyy!!!

“Could we speak, Kisshouin-san?” somebody asked.

The girls in the classroom erupted in squeals.

It had been Enjou, standing by the classroom door.

“Is something the matter?” I asked, having joined him in the hallway.

We were still being showered by curious gazes.

“The truth is that Yukino was hospitalised last night,” he smiled helplessly.

“Ehh!? Yukino-kun!?”

“Yeah, but we admitted him more as a precaution than anything else. It’s nothing serious.”

“How terrible. Being in hospital is such an unpleasant experience.”

“Ahh~ Well, I guess. Anyway, sorry to bother but do you think you could write him a ‘get well’ message before school ends?”

“A message?”

“Yeah. He’s been whining about the hospital quite a bit this time since he only had a minor asthma attack. Yukino’s been in a bad mood, so I thought you could cheer him up.”

“My…”

It had to be so rough on a child.

“If just a letter from someone like me could help cheer him up a little, I will write as many as it takes!”

“Thanks, and I really am sorry for the bother. I’ll definitely make this up to you.”

“No, no. I am simply doing this for Yukino-kun, so no thanks are needed.”

I went to my locker to get my letter set and began writing.

*

*

After school, he thanked me politely again when I handed him the letter.

Apparently he was skipping the salon today and heading straight to the hospital.

While we spoke about Yukino-kun, I ended up seeing him off at the carpark.

“See you tomorrow then. Thanks for the letter.”

“Not at all. Gokigen’yoh, Enjou-sama.”

He waved at me and then got in his car.

Hmmm…?

The person in the car with him, didn’t she look an awful lot like Yuiko-san?

 


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Turf War – Chapter 24

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Chapter 24 – Edim and Jessica Team Up

“Edim, let’s hurry up and bring everyone out of here!”

Jessica, the goody two shoes.

I should have known she’d say something like this…

I was starting to feel down at how nothing was working out right.

Haah.

I had wanted to use all their blood to heal myself.

But if I did that I’d lose Jessica’s trust.

I was stuck playing the role of the “vampire who had a human heart” after all.

Still, this was all to stay in-line with Tilea-sama’s scheme.

As long as I had no idea what was riding on this, there was no way I could hinder it.

I suppose I had no choice.

I cut through all of the chains and freed the women and children, one by one.

Snap.

Snap.

The room was filled with the sound of breaking metal links..

“Ah, t-the chains… Am, am I saved…?”

“T-, Thank you, big sis.”

“T-, Thank you… Thank you!”

And now they were getting noisy again.

Stop it already.

You’re going to call the guards over, damn it!

No, the guards were coming soon anyway.

So the escaping women would have been noticed anyway?

I had to hurry.

“Jessica, do you know where the Fiend is?”

“No. I was only just brought here too.”

“I see…”

What could I do?

If I went around beating small fry up for information I’d run out of stamina.

But if I hid myself and looked for him I’d never have enough time.

If I took too long Ortidiot would come barging in.

“Edim, could it be that you were planning to kill Gordon?”

“Yeah, that’s right. I know you’re a goodie-two-shoes. But even if you’re against it, this is one thing that I――”

“I’m not against it! T-, That cruel man. I-In the plaza he killed so many people. The desperate parents of the girls being taken away. Brothers who tried to protect their sisters. So many… So many people… I-, It’s unforgivable. If you don’t kill him, then I will!” Jessica screamed.

She was normally such a kind girl too…

Gordon was quite the villain, it seemed.

He had picked on the wrong person, though.

Getting ahead of himself and laying his hands on Tilea-sama’s belongings.

It was unthinkable.

For that, I would give him a taste of hell.

After releasing the women in the cell, Jessica and I searched for Gordon’s room.

Unfortunately, not only was the place like a maze but it was also crawling with mercenary guards.

Progress was slow.

“Jessica, we won’t break any ground by keeping hidden like this. I’m going to be a bit more overbearing.”

“Wait. Edim, are you okay? You’ve looked terrible all night.”

Sharp as always.

She noticed even though she had been distracted with our reunion.

She was right of course.

I was on the verge of collapse, dizzy and getting worse all the time.

I was still feeling the regret from not healing myself with the women.

“You’re right. I’m not at my best, Jessica. But I still have to kill Gordon no matter what.”

“Edim, I think you should consider a temporary retreat. I can’t forgive Gordon either, but I don’t want you to die.”

Ugh, so annoying.

Retreat was unacceptable.

I couldn’t report a failure.

I’d probably be executed on the spot if I did.

“It’s fine. I’m a vampire. I don’t die so easily.”

“B-But… I-, I know! We should have Tilea-san help us. You know how strong she is, right? Tilea-san could beat him in a flash.”

Even more unacceptable!

It was unthinkable.

Failing the missing, and then getting your superior to wipe your backside for you…

If I did something so shameful the leadership would lynch me.

No, it would probably be an even worse torture that awaited me.

Uu, scary…

“Jessica, let’s not get Tilea-sa…n involved in this. I owe her my life. Plus, we can’t delay it. The longer we do, the more victims there’ll be. If we don’t kill him tonight, more girls are going to be violated and murdered.”

“Y-You’re right. I can’t just rely on Tilea-san for everything. And Gordon is still ordering girls to come to him. We have to save them.”

“Exactly.”

“But are you really going to be okay? I’ll do my best to help, so don’t overdo it, okay?”

“Yeah, got it. Anyway, about the strategy I mentioned earlier…”

“Strategy…?”

“It’s nothing complicated. Basically while I hide in the shadows, you lure one of the guards over. I’ll interrogate him and find out where Gordon is.”

“Finding information quietly is a good plan. But how am I going to lure someone over?”

“You seduce them, obviously.”

“Ehhhh!? I-I’m going to be doing it again…?”

“Huh? You’ve seduced someone before?”

“Y-Yeah. When I was fighting the demons with Tilea-san…”

“Well if you’ve done it before, then I’ll be relying on you. Pull somebody over for me.”

Of course I could just run around haphazardly creating vampires as well. The chaos incited would serve me well.

But in that case Jessica would doubt that I actually was a vampire with a human heart…

Hahhh.

Honestly, the reason we need such a convoluted plan is because of you, Jessica.

“Uuu, I don’t wanna.”

“Isn’t this better than using violence?”

“Y-Yeah. I don’t like it, but it’s to defeat Gordon, right?” she consented.

Now we just needed to wait for a target to come along.

After waiting in the shadows for a few minutes…

A bearded, muscular guy who looked the type to be a lech came along.

Exactly the type of pervert you’d expect to love Jessica’s type.

“Alright, Jessica. So what you’re going to do us lure him into the dark. After that I’ll ask him where Gordon is.”

“Uu, can I really do this?”

“You’ll be fine. Stupid-looking men like that love childish bodies like yours the most.”

“Kuh! Even you, Edim!? I-I’m still growing, okay…” she whined.

Having said that it seemed like she had found her determination because she pulled her top down around her shoulders and began sashaying towards the man.

Now is the time for your washboard to shine, Jessica.

“H-, Heyy~ M-Mister?”

“What? Girl! How did you get in here!?”

“M-, My body feels so hot right now. Haaah~ Say, w-, wanna do something nice together?”

Jessica was acting as hard as she could!

Well done, Jessica! Although I wished you could have looked a bit more natural doing it…

Ah well, it was naive little Jessica after all.

I suppose asking for a convincing seduction was a bit much.

“What are going on about, you snot-nosed brat? Get back to your damned cell!”

“Eh!? U-Um, s-something nice…”

“Gordon-sama’s strike zone is too huge. What’s good about brats like these?”

Jessica turned to me in tears.

Ah, so it was hopeless, huh…

I guess she just wasn’t sexy enough after all.

Ah well.

I wasn’t happy about it, but I suppose I’d play the bait instead.

I signalled Jessica with my hands.

Shoulders dropped, she trudged back over to me.

“Uu, I said I couldn’t do it…”

“Yeah. You don’t have enough sex appeal. I’ll take over.”

“Wha-, E-Edim…?”

Jessica came back to my side and we switched placed.

I exposed my shoulders and pulled up my skirt a little.

“Hello, mister~ How about it? Wanna have a little fun with me?”

“Another woman… What the fuck are the guards even doing?>”

“Come on~ Over here~”

“Look, I’m not interested in brats like――”

I casually brought emphasis to my cleavage.

How’s that?

Jessica doesn’t have a ravine like this, does she?

Although I was no Tilea-sama, I think I had pretty good proportions for my age.

“Not bad. I thought you were just some kid but, you’re… Alright, let uncle show you a good time.”

Alright, I got him.

Huhu, now I just needed to lure him into the dark to interrogate him.

I smugly gave Jessica a sidelong glance.

Aha, she looked mortified.

I could see her shoulders trembling.

“Come on, uncle, this way――”

I beckoned him into the shadows like a dancer, and watched as he came closer and closer.

“Guhehehe~ Let’s have a taste fir―― Mn!? It stinks! Don’t you know what a bath is!? Disgusting!”

“Eh…?”

He was almost there.

But his nose twitched and he backed off.

Stink?

W-, Why?

Wait! S-Speaking of which, that homeless guy stank as well…

It was horrible.

It had been like biting into a corpse.

Had that given me bad breath?

“It stinks, it stinks, you fucking stink! I hate brats, but I hate unhygienic women as well. Piss off back to your cell!”

“Y-, You fuckerr!”

Unhygienic!?

How dare a lowly human speak to me like that!

My hand shot out and held his neck in a vicegrip.

“Guoohh! W-What the hell is this power? I-I can’t breathe. Gahh! S-Save me!”

“H-, Huh? What’s going on?” called another guard.

Thanks to the first one’s noise they were beginning to gather.

T-This was bad.

I had to get my answers now!

“Oi. If you don’t want me to strangle you to death then tell me where Gordon is!”

“Guh, w-who would, tell you――?”

“Hmph.”

I increased the strength of my grip.

I could hear the start of his bones creaking.

“Guahh! I-I’ll speak! Cough, cough. Please stop this,” he wheezed before telling me what I wanted to know.

Since I was done, I dropped him onto the floor.

He shouldn’t have pissed me off to begin with.

According to him, Gordon’s room was on the top floor.

As long as we kept going up, we’d find him.

“Jessica, I know where he is now. He’s on the top floor.”

“…Yeah. But why did you start yelling? I heard you guys arguing about a smell or something but――”

“J-, Jessica, we’ve got other things to worry about. We need to take him down already.”

“You’re right.”

Together, the two of us evaded the encroaching guards as we made our way to the top floor.

Unfortunately the further we went, the more guards there were.

We couldn’t continue like this for long.

On the other hand I didn’t have the stamina to mow down all of these weaklings either.

“Jessica, we can’t just keep running past them. Can I count on you to clear the path for me?”

“Y-Yeah.”

Her mana surged as she prepared for battle.

Alright.

Jessica would take care of them for me, and I’d save my stamina for the coming battle instead.

Phew.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

Circulating the mana through my body, I prepared to recover.

I continued with the technique for a few minutes.

After a while I began to feel a little better.

Opening my eyes, I began setting out for the top floor again.

How many people had Jessica taken care of?

Wai-, she hadn’t taken care of a single one!

Actually, wasn’t she kind of in trouble?

Jessica was firing magical bullets at the mercenaries but seemed to be having trouble finishing the job.

Actually, Jessica was being toyed with by their magical bullets and arrows.

Hahh, humans really were weak.

To think there was a time in my life when I was seriously competing with creatures like these…

Ah, oops.

Camilla-sama was about to lose a belonging if I didn’t do something.

Jessica, you’re not allowed to break without permission.

Haah.

Damnit.

This was going to be a hit to my stamina for sure.

I generated a few magical bullets before firing them upon the mercenaries.

“Kuaah!”

“W-What is that power!?”

“H-Hiiee! How can magical bullets be so strong!?”

It hadn’t taken much to crush their morale.

Unfortunately that hadn’t translated into deaths.

A number of them were injured but I couldn’t defeat them while holding back like this.

Their numbers weren’t going to decrease at this rate.

Trying to converse my mana would only waste time.

Haah, haah…

I was still so dizzy though.

This time I circulated my mana to the limit to overwhelm the guards.

I had almost run dry now, but the two of us would have been defeated otherwise.

“Get back, Jessica.”

“B-But…”

“Just listen. I can’t let you die! Get back!”

“Y-Yeah.”

After she did as I told, I faced off against the mercenaries.

There were only a few floors left until the top.

As long as I could get rid of these small-fries I was basically there.

“Come on, you garbage. Those of you who want to die, step forward!”

“”Waaaaaaaaaah!”” they screamed, as they charged me half-mad.

It seemed that the pressure I put on them earlier had caused them to fall into a panic.

Haha, it seemed that I had some hope now.

Had they taken up proper military formation I might have been screwed.

But like this they were just target practice.

I fired.

The lot of them danced around like fools.

A few of them came at me with swords, so I snapped them before snapping their necks in turn.

Not long afterwards…

Haah, haah, haah…

I did it.

Somehow, I managed to finish off all the soldiers on this floor.

Uu, d-damn it.

Quite a lot of my energy had been expended.

If I collapsed here I wasn’t sure I’d get up again.

I leant against a pillar to catch my breath.

Huh.

Where was Jessica, anyhow?

She hadn’t died, had she?

She had gotten behind me but I was too busy with the guards to pay attention to her afterwards.

“Hahh, haah, J-, Jessica, are you okay…?”

“Yeah. Thank you.”

“T-, Thank goodness…”

“I’m sorry, Edim. All I’m doing is being a deadweight. H-Hey, are you really okay?”

“Haah, haah, I-, I said I was fine. M-, More importantly, we need to hurry.”

“We can’t! Edim, I know you’re strong but you’re overdoing it. Let’s rest first. I can’t see you beating Gordon in your state.”

Perhaps she had a point.

My stamina wasn’t increasing, but the enemy numbers would.

I needed blood.

And all the better if it came from a beauty.

And there was a beautiful girl right in front of me.

I wanted it.

If I didn’t drink, my power would never come back to me.

Jessica belonged to Camilla-sama, though.

I couldn’t lay a hand on her.

Unfortunately…

I had to apologise to Camilla-sama.

In order to realise Tilea-sama’s order I had no choice but to do so.

Camilla-sama, please forgive my trespass.

“J-, Jessica, I need a favour…”

“What is it? Ask me anything.”

“Haah, haah, c-could you share some of your blood with me?”

“Eh!? T-That’s…”

“It’s fine. I won’t take all of it. I just need a little. Just a little…”

“O-, Okay… Just a little then.”

“Haah, haah, don’t worry, Jessica… I-, I wouldn’t ever kill you. We’re… friends, right?”

“Yeah. You’re right. We’re fine.”

All I had to do was invoke the ‘friend’ card and she was readily holding her arm out for me.

Huhu, how typical of her.

She was offering her blood to a vampire…

It was all the cuter to see that arm tremble just a little.

Relax, Jessica.

You belong to Camilla-sama.

I won’t kill you nor turn you.

I just want to enjoy you a little.

I took her arm into my hand and pulled her into my embrace.

And then I pierced my fangs into her soft neck.

“H-, Hey, Edim…?”

“W-, What is it? Haah, haah, you said that I could.”

“I-I did but, w-why are you touching me there? Hey-, wah!”

“Just bear with it for a bit… Vampires always get a little hot and bothered when drinking blood.”

And I still had horrible memories from those hobos.

I needed someone nice and pretty to clear those out.

“N-No, b-but, hahh, hahh, hang on…”

“Hahh, hahh… Y-, You’re adorable, Jessica. Just adorable…”

I kissed her adorable nape and chest between sips of her blood.

“Hahh, hey, t-that’s… Stop it! Stop!”

“Haah, haah, j-just hang on a little. This isn’t a bit deal.”

“Hic! No! You really have changed, Edim. You’re not a human…”

She was crying now.

Ah geez, had I gone too far?

I suppose the old Edim wouldn’t have done this, huh.

Well, since I was feeling better now, I suppose this was good enough?

“S-, Sorry, Jessica.”

“You’re horrible, Edim…”

“I really am sorry. It might sound like an excuse, but I kind of lose my mind while drinking blood.”

“Hic…”

“Come on, I’ll do anything, so forgive me. I’m feeling a lot better now that you shared some blood with me. Thank you.”

“…A-Are you better now?”

“Yeah. I really feel a lot better. Oh, I know! To apologise, how about I treat you to that Lintd Teahouse?”

“You still remember that place?”

“Of course I do. Didn’t you turn down my invitation because you had homework to do?”

“Uuu, uuu, you really do remember. Even though it happened before you turned… Uu, Edim…”

Jessica ran over and hugged me.

Haah, man I was tired.

What was this rollercoaster of tears, anger, and consolation?

“Do you forgive me?”

“Uu, only if you treat me to chiffon cake.”

“Fine, fine. I’ll treat you to as much as you want.”

“Ehehe, it’s a promise then. Maybe we should invite Tilea-san and the three of us can go together.”

Inviting Tilea-sama to go to a teahouse…

Jessica just dropped something difficult.

I wonder how jealous the leadership would be if I actually went through with it.

 


<Previous Chapter | Imouto | Next Chapter>

Reika-sama – 192

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Sorry for the delay, guys. I was exhausted last week, and then spent the weekend translating Tilea, some manga, and playing warframe.


“Heyy, Kanta-kun. What if I put yoghurt on mochi?”

“Give it up. Here. Some cod-roe-and-cheese mochi for you, Cornet.”

Thank you! Wahh, so good! Hey, Kanta-kun? What if I put jam on the mochi?”

“Sounds disgusting. Here, mochi pizza.”

“Waah, this is my first time having a pizza mochi! It was so good!”

Kanta-kun had turned down all of my ideas. But all of the things that Kanta-kun made for me were delicious, so I guess it was fine?

Still, it was actually pretty hard trying to match sweet things with the mochi.

If it was shiratama dango instead would it be easier?

Hmmm…

“Hey Cornet, do you ever eat them normally?”

“I do eat them normally. But I just wonder about more unique ways to do them sometimes…”

“Yeah, but why. Like, could you honestly say that you’d enjoy eating jam or yoghurt on mochi?”

“Uu…”

“Food isn’t your toy.”

“Guh…”

There was nothing I could say to that.

“To begin with, why do you always try and put weird spins on these? It was the same with that cake as well.”

Uu, that was because…

“..out… working…”

“What?”

“…Nothing.”

…I daydreamed that if I came up with my own original recipe, I could get rich without working.

Then my daydream got even bigger.

I would be this amateur chef who posted her original recipes on the internet.

Then people started talking about me, which would be when I published my own cooking book.

The media all started featuring me and I’d suddenly find myself a celebrity.

That was when a hot young actor with an interest in cooking would sudden invite me to have a chat!

The two of us would hit it off.

Eventually it turned into love.

But the love between the popular young actor, and Japan’s foremost young lady was not to be.

The people around us tried to tear us apart.

While I was locked at home and I spent every day crying, one day I overheard my family talking about a political marriage!

I wanted to see him.

But I couldn’t.

Eventually I made up my mind.

I would abandon my family!

It wasn’t only me risking her future though.

I slipped out at night to meet with him.

While throwing off my pursuers I ran onto a road where I was hit by a truck!

Nobody could find a blood donor for me, but just when it was about to be too late, shockingly that young actor had the same blood-type as me!

For the girl he loved, he let them take almost all the blood he could spare.

In tears, my family thanked him.

“No,” he said, “As long as it’s for her, I don’t care how many times I risk my life!”

I was safe from death now.

In my deluxe suite, I watched him on t.v. holding an emergency press conference.

“I have somebody I love. Before I’m an actor, I’m a man in love!”

I couldn’t see him properly through my tears!

Since he had saved my life, my family finally approved of him.

As for his agency, they allowed it as well after seeing his resolve.

All of Japan blessed our pure love, and as we had our wedding in an old European castle, a double rainbow spanned the sky as exchanged our vows.

What a touching finale!

──And that was how my grandiose delusions went.

“What happened, Cornet? You’re all smirking now. It’s creepy.”

“Eh?”

Kanta-kun looked at me in suspicion.

Apparently I had been smirking while I thought back to my delusions.

I decided to be more careful while daydreaming in public…

But man, did I used to love that rare blood-type cliche.

AB Negative and that.

Was it because it was nice being special?

Incidentally my actual blood type was the second most common in Japan.

“Anyway, just follow the recipe for all cooking!”

“Okay…”

He was being pretty bossy for a 1st year middle-schooler but since he helped his parents and sister with the shop he could cook even as a child.

I respect you, Kanta-kun.

The isobeyaki you made for me was exquisite was well!

*

*

After eating the delicious mochi, I began learning how to make the chocolat au fondant with Wakaba-sensei.

Today not only was Kanta-kun joining us, but the twins were watching as well.

It made me a little more nervous than usual.

I get it, okay?

I’ll follow the recipe already.

Kanta-kun’s looking pretty strict, after all.

“First we sieve the flour, okay?” said Wakaba-chan.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Cornet, you better do this right,” warned Kanta-kun.

“Yes…” I replied.

“Do you best, Cornet!” said the twins.

“Next we’ll melt the chocolate and batter in the warm water.”

“Yes.”

Warming it up with water, huh.

“You know,” I began, “In the past I failed to understand the importance of warming it with water like this. Since I figured it was just melting and casting it, I put it in a pot and just heated it directly.”

“Eh!?”

“What the hell were you doing!?”

The Takamichi siblings looked like they had discovered some kind of impossible creature.

“What happened then…?” Wakaba-chan asked.

“It burnt in the saucepan and the resulting chocolate was gritty and terrible. Heating it up with water is a very important step,” I lectured.

“We already know that…” they replied.

I had planned to break the ice with the story but Kanta-kun’s gaze just got stricter.

Maybe I shouldn’t have said that…

I let my guard down because I was too relaxed here.

Maybe because it reminded me of my old life somehow.

“Done!”

The outside was crumbly while the inside was gooey.

It hadn’t taken all that long to make, but the chocolat au fondant was sooo good!

Wakaba-chan had an amazing recipe!

“And the powdered sugar looks like snow, so it is good on the eyes too,” I noted in admiration.

The chocolate cheesecake we made last time was great too, but today’s creation was leagues ahead!

This was definitely going to be this year’s Valentine’s chocolate!

I decided to teach Sakura-chan and Aoi-chan the recipe too.

“See!” Kanta-kun boasted. “Look at how delicious it is when you don’t add weird shit!”

“Kanta!” his sister scolded him.

I had learnt an important lesson…

*

*

It was night-time when it was time to leave.

Looking up at the night sky, I realised that it had suddenly started snowing.

“Are you going to be okay? Want an umbrella?”

“No, thank you. When I reach my station I shall call for a car.”

Since I was keeping these visits a secret I couldn’t get picked up from here.

But just a bit of snow was fine.

“Thank you for putting up with me today. I must have caused you a lot of trouble.”

“Not at all! I still haven’t paid you back at all, Kisshouin-san!”

“You mean the uniform and the shoes? It was really nothing much, so please forget it.”

“I can’t do that. They were so expensive. I still wonder if I shouldn’t try and pay some of it back.”

“Ehh!?”

I had no idea she was trying to do that!

I mean, they were all bird-pooped and all.

“They were only about a hundred thousand Yen though…”

“Eh? It’s more than that, Kisshouin-san. You don’t know the cost of the uniforms you’re using? And besides, even if it was a hundred thousand that’s a lot to me.”

I suppose so.

A hundred thousand was a lot to me too, though.

Wakaba-chan’s expression turned serious.

“Ummm, you know, it’s a bit hypocritical of me to say this, but I’ve been thinking that maybe you should cherish the things your parents give you a bit more.”

“Eh…?”

“The uniform you gave me was something bought with money that your dad worked hard for. I’d feel a bit bad for him if you didn’t treasure it a bit more…”

“…”

“Sorry, that was rude of me. But I know how hard my mum and dad work, so the things they buy for me are precious to me. I mean, it’s hard making a hundred thousand, you know?”

“Yes…”

In my past life I would never have forgotten how lucky I was to have that money.

When had I become numb to it?

Unlike Wakaba-chan’s dad, I never saw Otousama working of course, so maybe that factored into it.

I never even bothered to find out how much the uniform they bought me cost.

I just accepted it without a thought, because it was natural.

Even though Otousama had worked for that money.

What on earth was I doing.

This wasn’t being humble or reliable at all.

“Are you okay, Kisshouin-san?” she asked me worriedly.

I had fallen silent for a while.

“Oh yes. I am.”

“Sorry for saying something weird. I just…”

“No. I was in the wrong. Thank you. I have realised it now. But please forget about the uniform. I have many spares, after all.”

I kept thinking about her words on the train ride home.

*

*

When I got home, Otousama was relaxing on the sofa.

“Otousama!”

“Oh, welcome home, Reika.”

“I am back.”

I walked over and sat down right next to him.

“Oh? What’s wrong? Somebody’s clingy today.”

“…Thank you for everything, Otousama.”

“What’s the matter, Reika?”

Otousama seemed confused.

“I realised again that it is only because you work hard every day that I live as luxuriously as I do. My school fees and everything I wear was bought with money you earned through work. Thank you. And sorry that I always spend so much without realising how much you labour for that money…”

“Reika… You’re such a good girl! Just buy anything you want, Reika! I’ll pay for anything you want! Let’s go on a shopping spree tomorrow!”

Eh? That wasn’t what I was trying to say at all…

But the Tanuki was so ecstatic that he wasn’t going to listen anymore.

Are you trying to earn more points with your daughter by showering her with gifts, Tanuki?

Ah, no, no, I was being grateful to Otousama.

Right, right.

“Otousama, today I was learning to bake a cake for Valentine’s day. I will try my best to make something delicious for you on the day, so please look forward to it!”

To date, all of the things I gave Otousama was just made on the side while I baked for Oniisama.

But this year I would make sure to put my heart into it!

“Ah, you know, this year your Otousama is stuck going to that compulsory Human Dry Dock medical examination…”

“My! That sounds so rough! Then from today onwards I will make healthy meals for you!”

I could get Akimi-san to teach me how to make healthy food.

I wonder what kind of dishes there were.

Stuff like tofu steaks or something?

It sounded tough, but I’d do my best.

It was for Otousama, after all!

“My Reika, just your feelings are enough, so…”

“Worry not, Otousama. From today onwards I will show my gratitude by making sure you are as fit as a fiddle! Leave it to me!”

Oh geez, Otousama.

He seemed so moved by his daughter that he was in tears.

Oh, I know.

Maybe I could become a nutritionist in the future.

Then I come up with a revolutionary nutritional plan.

Renowned across the country, Kisshouin Reika, the beautiful nutritionist.

Suddenly, an offer by a superstar athlete to work as his dietician.

Under my meticulous plan, his results begin to skyrocket.

Before he knew it, his gratitude had turned to love…

To be continued…


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[Rewrite] I’m the Final Boss!? – Chapter 5

Another Perspective (a.k.a the real chapter)


‘Something feels different today,’ I think to myself as I nervously glance around. The forest had changed, and I didn’t know why, but it made this simple walk through the forest seem far more dangerous than it is. Worriedly, I think to myself, ‘What could have happened for it to feel like this?’

The forest is my home. It can’t compare to the nearby cities in terms of ease of living, but Mom prefers it here. It’s quieter… more peaceful. At least that’s what Mom always tells me. That’s why this situation doesn’t make any sense though. This isn’t the forest I know.

If today were a normal day, Mom and I would have been patrolling our slice of the forest together, but she told me she had some kind of business to take care of in town and had me go alone. This isn’t the first time I’ve patrolled by myself, but with the tension in the air today it would have been really nice if Mom were here too. However, since she isn’t, I have to try and soldier on… even if it is scary.

Come to think of it, I should have at least encountered something by now, but I haven’t seen a whisper of anything. It’s as if all the monsters nearby have completely disappeared. ‘That’s not good,’ I think to myself as I take another look at my surroundings. I’ll need to tell Mom about this as soon as I get home. They could be grouping together under a leader, and even Mom would be in danger if they caught her off-guard. Is this where my sense of foreboding is coming from?

Trying not to let myself panic, I quicken my pace in order to finish this patrol even a second faster. The quicker I get back, the sooner I can tell Mom about it and get this situation resolved.

However, before I can break into a run, I see a splash of blue amongst the greens and browns of the forest. Unfortunately, that means one of the most troublesome monsters of the forest is nearby, but maybe I’ll be able to find out whether or not there’s a leader if I follow it. I know I said it’d be dangerous, but I’m confident in my ability to run away!

With my resolution set, I dive into the shadows, and tail the goblin as it makes its way through the forest. However, both of us hear a noise before long.

“Unya~!” the sound cried out.

‘Oh no,’ I think to myself in panic. ‘That wasn’t a goblin’s cry. That was… that was a baby’s cry!’

Panic fully taking over, I thoughtlessly abandon the shadows and sprint after the goblin. I’m not about to let some monster hurt an innocent baby!

‘Luckily I’m not too late,’ I think to myself as I see the goblin getting dangerously close to the baby. I had to wonder why a baby was out here by themself when it was the middle of winter though. However, I forced myself to abandon the thought and shove the goblin away from the baby. At least this way, the goblin’s focus will be on me. I can handle a lone goblin by myself easily~.

Circling the goblin, I patiently wait for it to make a move. I remember Mom teaching me that a goblin is an incredibly impatient creature, and that the safest way to deal with it was to wait for it to move first and then counter attack.

As expected, I didn’t have to wait long, as the goblin stumbles forward and awkwardly swings the club it’s holding. The attack was so thoroughly projected that I had plenty of time to dodge, and I rake my claws down its back as it passes by. The blow downs the beast, but it isn’t enough to kill it. It attempts to struggle for a few more seconds, but a final bite to its neck finishes it off. I have heard that some people like to play with their prey before they kill them, but with a baby lying a few feet away, now isn’t the time for me to start.

Speaking of the baby, I turn around to look at it, but I’m caught completely off-guard. Its eyes are sparkling with intelligence. It’s almost as if the baby understands what’s going on. That should be impossible though… right?

“Ugyah!” the baby suddenly calls out.

I jump a bit as it feels like the baby is calling out to me. However, I calm down quickly enough and finally remember that I need to call for backup. After all, I don’t know what to do with a baby! ‘Mom, I hope you can hear this,’ I think to myself as I infuse my voice with magic and let out a howl.

“Awoooooo~” is the reply I get from a distance away. Mom had gotten my message.

‘Good,’ I think to myself in relief.

However, my relief is short lived because I soon hear the mutterings of many goblins gathered together. I knew it… this is bad. ‘I hope Mom gets here in time,’ I worriedly think to myself as I take a defensive position in front of the baby.

Before the goblins rush out to attack me, I feel the ground shake and can smell the one scent I’ve known my entire life. I smile internally because Mom has arrived. For some reason she is approaching from behind the baby though. ‘Well, I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as she’s here,’ I conclude.

The “battle” is over in an instant. Before I could blink, Mom had already transformed into her human form and cast [Earth Burial], instantly swallowing the goblins threatening us. It’s a magic I can use as well, but it’s totally different when Mom uses it. One second the goblins are standing there, and the next, they’re gone. I even take a look at the ground after the spell, but I can’t see any visible change.

‘Amazing,’ I think to myself in awe. ‘I want to be just like Mom when I grow up.’

Meanwhile, Mom ignores me and looks at the baby… that I haven’t forgotten about. “Ah, it seems the excitement was too much for the little one. It’s fast asleep,” Mom says as she carefully picks the baby up and begins walking home.

Transforming out of my wolf form because Mom was here with me, I ask, “What are you going to do, Mom? Do you think one of the outsiders left that baby here?” It hadn’t happened here before, but Mom had told me stories of humans abandoning their children for various reasons.

Mom, still busy looking after the baby in her arms, replies, “Even if we take her to the villages outside this forest, I doubt anyone would take her in. Someone left her here, and it’s not likely that whoever it was will want this child back.”

“So that means…?” I trail off. Mom still hadn’t answered the question.

Stopping and glancing at me, Mom laughs, “Isn’t it obvious? We’ll just raise her ourselves.” With a mischievous twinkle in her eye, she adds, “Or would you rather we left this child out here in the cold?”

“Of course not!” I reply immediately, stomping my foot into the ground. “Really, Mom, I wouldn’t do that to a baby!”

My only reply is laughter as Mom and I near our cottage. ‘How frustrating,’ I think to myself. ‘Mom can be serious when she needs to be, but she likes teasing me too much!’

Entering our house, I can finally relax though. Now that I think about it, the dreadful feeling went away too. ‘How strange~’ I think while glancing at the baby in Mom’s arms.

Once inside, Mom sets the child down on a soft pillow and motions for me to follow her. I don’t want to disturb the sleeping baby, so I quietly follow after her. However, moments later she sighs and turns around, walking back towards where the baby is sleeping while saying, “The baby is awake already, so let’s go check up on it.”

“Okay,” I say as I also about-face and follow Mom back into the main room. “What are we going to do about the forest though?” I ask hesitantly.

Pausing for a moment, Mom says, “I’ll go out and investigate it in a moment. It’s certainly a bad sign for that many goblins to have gathered together. There’s likely a chief somewhere. If we’re lucky, there might even be a general” she laughs.

“What about the baby then?” I reply quickly. Knowing Mom, she could easily handle the trouble in the forest since she’s prepared for it, but she wouldn’t want to leave the baby here by itself.

“That’s easy,” Mom begins with a smirk. “I don’t have to worry about the child because you’re going to be here watching over it.”

“I don’t know how to take care of a baby, Mom!” I cry out in panic. “If it’s left to me, who knows what could go wrong!”

“Relax,” Mom soothingly says as she places a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll lull it to sleep. The child should stay that way while I’m gone. All you have to do is keep an eye on it.”

I depressedly nod as we both reach the baby. Once again, I can see intelligence in its eyes, but since Mom isn’t mentioning it, I guess it’s alright.

As promised though, Mom takes the baby into her arms and rocks it to sleep, humming a simple tune as a lullaby. It looks like the baby is trying to resist the urge to sleep, but eventually it closes its eyes.

Carefully, Mom places the child back down and then nods to me before placing a finger over her lips and winking. She tiptoes to the door and quietly slips out, leaving me alone with the sleeping thing before me.


Luckily, time passes pretty quickly and the baby is still asleep. However, it’s kinda boring while I wait for Mom, so I move closer to the baby and gaze at it. I’m still not sure whether it is a male or female, and it has a strange scent, but I have to admit… it is cute.

Suddenly though, the baby wakes up as if knowing I’m thinking about it, and jolts in surprise… likely because my face is so close. I laugh and tell the child, “That was a cute reaction!”

Of course, I don’t think the baby can really understand me, even if its eyes do appear intelligent, so my words are ignored and we end up staring at each other. However, that’s not any fun either, so I start to poke the baby’s tiny feet. The cloth wrapped around the baby had partially come undone at some point, and its feet were just barely peeking through. It was enough for me to attack unreservedly though.

While I’m enjoying listening to the baby’s laugh as I continue to tickle its feet, it suddenly starts crying. Instantly I’m back to panicking. Mom didn’t tell me what to do if the baby started crying, so I quickly pick it up and try to lull it back to sleep. It isn’t working though!

I’m panicking and don’t know what to do when the baby suddenly stops crying. I look at it and my panic intensifies because now I don’t know why it suddenly stopped crying! “Momma! I need you!” I cry out.

Just as soon as I say that, I feel a pair of arms come in and take the baby from my arms. Looking up, I see Mom standing there with an apologetic smile on her face. Before saying anything though, she checks to make sure the baby is alright. “What happened?” she finally asks, satisfied with the checkup.

“Well…” I start, “I was watching the baby like you said to, but then it woke up and I didn’t know what to do! I saw its feet and couldn’t help myself, so I started poking them. It laughed for a while, but then all of sudden it started crying, and I didn’t know what to do, and I got scared, and I’m sorry Mom!”

Mom lets out a gentle laugh before replying, “Ah, you just annoyed this little one. I’m guessing it’s not a fan of being tickled.”

“Oh, thank goodness.” I say in relief. “I was scared I had hurt it somehow.”

Mom smiles at me reassuringly before turning back to the baby, her smile turning into a mischievous one.

‘I’m sorry, little one,’ I think to myself right before Mom starts tickling the baby for herself. I knew this would happen after seeing that smile, but I was hoping she wouldn’t tease someone so young. I smile in resignation before also joining in and teasing the writhing child.

‘Don’t worry,’ I think to myself as I happily look at the baby in Mom’s arms. ‘I’ll make sure to protect you from all the monsters out there. You’re family now!’


Author’s Note:


I have returned!
I’m sorry for leaving you all hanging for nearly six months now.
The good news is that I’m going to try and have a chapter at least once a week for all of you though.

This chapter is a bit special in terms of timing, but normally I’ll be aiming for a Friday release. Likely around 9:30 pm (Central Standard Time).

Once again, I am sorry and I hope you continue to enjoy the story alongside me.

-P

P.S. I’ve changed the formatting up a bit, so please let me know which style you guys prefer. Personally, I like this one, but I will use the old one if you guys like that one better.

P.P.S. For you guys reading it here, it’s a bit different. I’ll be doing a 24 hour delay before I upload it here. Not because I dislike you guys or anything. I just want to bring more attention to my own site. you can find it here.


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[Rewrite] I’m the Final Boss!? – Chapter 5

The War Begins


It had been a long six months trapped on that hellhole of a boat. The water tasted like filth, and the food wasn’t much better.

‘It’ll all be over soon though,’ I think to myself as I stretch my sore muscles. Another night of restlessness, and I knew it was because I was nearing my enemy. I sigh and say, “I’ll be glad to finally be off this boat.”

Making my way above deck, I notice that my companions on this boat had all already gotten up and were preparing for the upcoming landing. They had proven to be good people on this journey, and I hoped wherever they were headed to after this, it would be a peaceful place.

Nearing the bridge, I couldn’t help but notice the bullet holes that scarred this once beautiful (lol) ship, and thought back to the fight that put them there.

It had been another boring day at sea, but something felt slightly different. It was as if there was a tension in the air which wasn’t there previously. I was on my guard, but I still didn’t notice the attack helicopter until it was too late. Without warning, we were bombarded, and I lost one of my eyes in the resulting explosions. It was painful to be sure, but it still wasn’t enough to put me down. We managed to regroup and mount a counterattack. It was a difficult battle, but eventually to get a lucky hit in and managed to bring them down, sending them plummeting into the icy water around us. There were no survivors… I made sure of that.

It was later that I found out the helicopter belonged to Cipher… a division of g*d hand. My enemy knew I was coming, and sent the blasted thing to kill me. It was going to feel good when I choked the life out of him.

Shaking my head to clear my darkening thoughts, I sought out the weight resting on my back. It had been a comfort to me over the months, and I was glad I had it with me. The rest had argued that this sword was far too large for such a young child, but I was adamant about wielding it. It was the sword I chose, and it provided comfort when I needed it most.

Satisfied with the weight on my back, I entered the bridge and raised a hand in greeting to the one I had gotten closest to during my time on this boat.

“Finally up, huh?” Lynx asked me as he lazily returned my greeting. He was a fairly tall man with black hair and a full beard. His nickname was “Machine Pistol” Lynx because he always carried around his machine pistols, but I still didn’t quite understand it.

I laughed and replied, “You know me. I’ve been up since last night.” My voice had grown rougher over these past six months, and it was always amusing to see the reactions of other people when I first talk to them. Lynx had gotten used to it by now though, so there was no reaction.

“Still thinking your enemy is up ahead?” Lynx sighed as he ran a hand through his hair. The other members of this crew had all heard about my circumstances, and knew that I was chasing after someone, but none of them approved of it. They thought I was still too young.

“I know he is. I can feel it. My blood is boiling and I can’t sleep.” I say with a ferocious smile, “He’s there… and I’m going to finally kill him.”

“No stopping you then, huh?” Lynx says as he finally turns to face me with resignation on his face. “Well, good luck then kid. I hope after this we’ll be able to meet again someday.”

“It was better than I thought it would be… travelling with you guys that is.” I say with a hint of a smile. “Made the rest of the experience actually tolerable.” I pause for a second to ponder over his words again. In surprise, I ask, “Wait a minute. Have we made it to shore already?”

Laughing Lynx replied, “I can’t believe you didn’t see it. We’ve already landed. I’m just here writing in the ship’s logs.”

Running from the bridge and to the bow, I finally see that Lynx wasn’t joking with me. We had made it to shore. I guess when I first got above deck, we had already landed, and everyone was preparing to go ashore.

Stepping back to get a running start, I catapult myself off the bow and hit the beach, rolling to break the fall. ‘I’m finally here,’ I think to myself.

I take a moment to smell the air and get used to land once more before I take off running. My enemy was before me, and my body was itching to take off after him. However, before I could, the crew stood in front of me, blocking my path. Not long after, Lynx jumped down from the ship as well, and joined them.

“What’s going on?” I asked as I raised my guard. To think they would backstab me here of all places. They had built up my trust, and were going to kill me on the shores of the land my enemy walked.

Seeing my anger, Lynx held up his hands and said, “Now hold on. Before you go thinking we’ve all betrayed you, did you really think we’d let you go without saying goodbye? You were about to take off there.” Under his breath he adds, “Really, sometimes I think all you’ve got in that head of yours is mullet. No brain at all.”

“Wha-what?” I managed to get out. I hadn’t expected we had grown so close over the journey. The only one I ever really talked to was Lynx after all.

Ignoring me, Lynx turns to the rest of the crew and asks, “Where would we all be if not for this girl here?”

“Dead!” They shout in unison.

“That’s right!” Lynx nods his head. “Without her here, we would have been on the bottom of the ocean by now!”

“Guys… what?” I ask dumbfoundedly.

Turning back to me, Lynx shouts, “Salute the Boss!” as he and the others begin saluting the still confused me.

Mechanically, I salute back using the hand I had lost earlier in the journey, and the one that was currently replaced by a red metal one. I couldn’t say anything in response. They had completely taken me off-guard.

Lynx smiles and drops his salute as everyone else does. “Go get him, kid.”

As my legs start working again and begin to take me away from this crew, I manage to get out one question as I pass by Lynx. “Where did Boss come from?” However, I was too far gone by the time he could answer.

Stopping at the edge of the forest connected to the beach, I think about the crew and the times we had shared. I hadn’t thought we were close, but it seems they felt they owed me after the helicopter battle.

I shake my head and refocus my thoughts. They were a good crew, and I will surely miss them, but my focus now has to be on the fight ahead. I’ll be dealing with the one known as “Skull Face”, the younger, and uglier brother of “Skull Knight”. It won’t be an easy battle, and I’m sure he has some tricks up his sleeve, but with the sword on my back, the mullet on my head, and this rocket propelled mechanical hand of mine, I’ll take him down.

As I look forward to the battles ahead, and think back to my earlier thoughts of having already reached my enemy, I realize… My journey has only just begun.


Author’s Note:


And that’s it folks!
Glad I was able to get the final chapter in for you guys.
I realize I couldn’t keep it up anymore, and decided to end it in a way I thought fitting.

I hope you enjoyed.


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Well… it’s a joke though.
This video inspired the post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VnLY_iQxGU
Real chapter can be found here: Chapter 5 – “Another Perspective.”

「今日のお兄ちゃんはおかしいよ!怖いよ!ッ!?いやだよっ!いやぁ!やめて!やめてぇっ!!」