That evening after closing hours at the park―――
“I’m Handing over these documents, is that all?”
Tiramie was on today’s substitute duty, and it was Moffle’s turn to sit in for tomorrow.
“Yup, that’s about it mii-. “
Tiramie was in an awfully haggard state. The noon mail incident, explaining the suspicious smartphone conversation, all of those appeared to be the reasons which have worn Tiramie out. *“If I exclude that mail trouble then nothing particularly significant happened……. maybe. Perhaps?” *
“Yeah…... sort of…...”
Tiramie’s response was rather crisp, but since Isuzu herself could tend to be underhanded at times, she did not pursue the matter further.
“Well, whatever. These few days, Kanie-kun’s health condition has been favourable thanks to an ample amount of rest. His spirits are good too, and his abusive tongue has quite abated. I could really go on with things this way.”
In fact, there is more vigour in Seiya’s recent work performance, and his treatment towards his subordinates was rather mild in itself. His habitual brooding over the atmosphere was not present either, outside of enjoying his chat with Latifa during the night. Alleviating stress and fatigue in humans could surprisingly change them even to such lengths.
That was quite splendid.
“So, it will be Lord Moffle’s turn tomorrow. But will you be alright?”
“Leave it to me fumo.”
Moffle struck out his chest and looked into the distance.
“Say, high school ehh……. Just about everything is nostalgic fumo. For what it’s worth, I’m an alumnus of Fuwa Fuwa National Defence high school.”
Fuwa Fuwa National Defence high school; Mapleland’s well-known elite school under the military’s direct supervision. Isuzu once attended the Imperial Guards Infancy School which is located beside the floating middle school section. It is one of the main career paths, also known as “Fuwa High”.
Isuzu was a highflyer from the fact that she had skipped grades in the Imperial Guards Military Academy she attended. Nonetheless, she had never been to Fuwa High―――
“Every day was tough fumo. A full boarding system. With senpai’s gruelling regimentation, you’ll be complete. We rise at 5.30 in the morning and then If the bed-making was sloppy, it was met with a choke full of fists fumo.”
The reminiscent talk had once again begun…… Isuzu then started backing away.
“Is that so mii-? I might’ve came across Moffle when I left the park, though I’m not really sure mii-.”
“You know, about being in the military fumo? I certainly met Macaron during those days. I was a commissioned officer, he was a non-commissioned one. At that time during “Operation Sweet Storm”, he, the sniper……. Nah, forget it. Anyway, Macaron had to speak respectfully to me. It was funny, a damn masterpiece. Till this day, I still think of it fumo.”
It was her first time hearing that story. So Isuzu wanted to listen in more, but Tiramie immediately changed the direction of the conversation to his high school life.
“Mii-. What... is that what you call enjoyable in high school?”
“No, not at all. Don’t quite remember but it was tiresome fumo. A shared liability to be beaten, having a hard time as a dunce. Very grey three years fumo.”
“Hmm…… what about girls? Anything mii-?
“None fumo. There were never any to begin with. But something fun huh…… there’s one. It was that day when I got permission to go out to buy and eat sweets fumo.”
“Wasted youth mii-.”
“Moffu…... but hey, isn’t that a part of the “O Wonderful Youth” drama? Being riddled with futility. The drab of everyday. Depression and gloom is youth, I think fumo.”
“Just like that mii-?”
“Just like that fumo.”
With a strange verdict and a suspicious look, Moffle folded his arms and nodded his head.
Clearing her throat, Isuzu slammed a bundle of documents against the desk.
“Putting aside this philosophical topic……. If there are no other problems for this one day, we’ll hereon continue to request the other casts to double as the substitute. We’re depending on you, Lord Moffle.”
“So I say, leave it to me fumo.”
‘Hmph’, Moffle snorted.
“I’m going to school tomorrow as well.”
“Do as you please fumo.”
The next day―――
As expected, Moffle handled the Kanie Seiya substitute role flawlessly.
Meaning, he was clad in an aura that made it difficult for anyone to talk to him as if he lives on the pretext that he doesn’t have any friends. Without Macaron’s degree of nicotine addiction, he is abstaining from tobacco until after school. A few classes were boring, but he would on a whim show interest in watching some university career options programme.
In any case, singing out ;“Fuwa Fuwa high is unbreakable FUWA! Never will our spirits waver!” and so forth during 10km runs every morning back when he was at school, such an ordinary high school is really carefree in comparison.
Observing the students, one would notice that they have an exceedingly strict mood around them.
Not exactly the “students”, but more like the girls.
There are whispering and murmuring among the girl groups, as far as the visible surroundings go. Drawing some attention, the girls pulled back a little like they were retreating. Just by passing by, a chilly gaze came from somewhere among the girls.
(Uh huh. Strange indeed fumo.)
This harsh treatment, could it just be that the position of a character of solitude was not able to be established?
During the classroom movement at 3rd period, a girl from the neighbouring class― an indeed strong-willed type of lady was whispering audibly enough to be heard from here.
“” What nerve. After doing such a thing, how can he still nonchalantly come to school……””
As there weren’t many other students within earshot, there seems to be no doubt that they are pointing out at me(Seiya). Things were all good so far, but due to the current circumstances, I’d want to enquire.
Moffle approached that female student.
“Err, excuse me but…...”
“Wh, what is it…...?”
“Just now, you said ‘doing such a thing’. Did you refer to me? If it’s possible, I wish to ascertain the details.”
Rather naturally, Kanie Seiya would like to try finding out. But the female student seemed to have raised her guard, as her body stiffened a little.
“I, I don’t know. Why don’t you ask Tsuchida-san?”
“Seriously, acting dumb now? You really are the worst.”
Speaking like she’s spitting in disgust, the student left in a quick pace with her friends.
Folding his arms, Moffle started to ponder.
The worst, huh. That’s none other than Kanie Seiya’s problems. I don’t know how that youngster presents himself at school, so with the current status quo, I’d better sit out of this.
Seiya might’ve done something, I guess? No way, Seiya is unexpectedly a serious fellow. At the least, he’s not “the worst” kind of guy.
4th period ended and then it was lunch break. Immediately, Moffle decided to call out Isuzu to the rear of the school building for a consultation.
“As I’ve said, it’s complicated, there’s that mood where I’m looked at with harsh eyes but……. I’ve got no idea, did something happen fumo?”
“Err. That. Well…….”
Isuzu’s reply was inarticulate.
“What kind of reply is that? Speak up fumo. If not, it’ll be impossible for me to do my job.”
“Ahh, you’re of no help at all fumo. I’m calling Seiya fumo. At this rate, nothing will be settled―”
As Moffle took out his smartphone, Isuzu wanted to say something but hesitated.
“………...Kanie-kun is out of the loop about this. I was in charge of this substitution plan from the beginning, and matters have become quite complicated―”
The love letter Isuzu received on the first day.
The next day, Macaron was in charge, and Tiramie the following. Something’s bound to have happened, I think.
And thus today, Isuzu heard bad gossips about Seiya when she came to school.
“I don’t know the details. Anyway, you say this Tsuchida, you seem to have given this child a cold-hearted treatment. I heard this from you, but the points of view are very much different.
What Isuzu heard was in no doubt different.
Tsuchida Kanae was pushed down. Tsuchida Kanae was all slimy and slippery as she was tentacle raped. Tsuchida Kanae was in a state of double peace as she was drug dependent. Tsuchida Kanae was in bliss during the end of her pregnancy when her child’s ear was placed against her stomach. This and that.
“In any case, those are some outrageous behaviours.”
“I don’t comprehend how a pregnancy ends in only a day by whatever means but………... anyway this isn’t an ordinary case fumo.”
“Macaron, well……...he’s, as a whole, a calm person. The main cause is probably Tiramie.”
“That damned dog! Next time I see him; I’ll force feed him onions fumo!”
“I too, share some responsibility, as I did not report the Tsuchida Kanae case………..”
“Moffu! Damn right, Isuzu didn’t fumo. Why the heck not―?”
“I was careless.”
“Are things like love letters such rare events? Whatever the hell it may be―”
As she dug her hand into her skirt and drew her eyes closer to threaten, Moffle’s fortitude wavered and he did not question any further.
“C, come now, it’d be alright fumo. That aside, I can’t think of any counter-measures. Ohh well, from tomorrow onwards this would no longer be a place Seiya can fit into fumo.”
“So far, it had never been a place he fitted in in the first place, probably………. I wonder if he’ll be fine.”
Nonchalantly speaking such cruel things.
“Do you actually feel responsible fumo?”
“Naturally. Especially so, concerning that Kanie-kun’s rest these few days was a result of a little negligence. Stopping by to have tea with Her Highness at night…….. for whatever reason, this mood is about as good as it is.”
“Anyhow, Lord Moffle, about the direction of this chat about Kanie-kun’s condition, it strangely irritates me. This can’t be helped after all, huh??”
“You sure as hell lack remorse fumo.”
“………you might be upset with being at a loss from thinking for counter measures.”
She was talking with her usual deadpan expression.
If she was a little more upset and depressed, then what if she had shown a different kind of behavior than usual. Even upto the point of gentle weeping……….but no, Sento Isuzu was this kind of girl since the beginning.
So once again, Isuzu directly contacted this Tsuchida girl to confirm all the facts, as well as finding whatever means necessary to apologise.
Just as Moffle seemed about ready to go with her suggestion.
“Kanie-kun!? So that’s where you’ve been, huh!?”
Several female students came to the rear of the school building, the one in the middle was the one yelling at him.
Coming along were four people.
All of them were faces unfamiliar to Moffle. The one who yelled was a seemingly strong-willed girl with semi-long hair.
(That’s Terano-san of year 2 class 5. The leader of one of the many girl groups. The one hesitating behind her is the crux of the problem, Tsuchida Kanae. The rest are Terano’s followers, I suppose.)
Isuzu whispered to Moffle.
(Thank you very much for that wonderful explanation. Or rather, we’re screwed, aren’t we fumo……?)
(Seems like it……..)
Isuzu supplemented accordingly. The names of the two others with Terano and Tsuchida were Yamamoto and Sasaki. They had relatively mob-like appearances but it was easy to remember. Moffle however, was not very good at remembering names, so he’d already forgotten them since three seconds ago.
Anyway, the ones seizing the initiative in this situation was Terano and the girls.
Standing in front of Moffle(Seiya), Terano spoke.
“Remember me? During first year, we were in the same class, Terano Mutsumi.”
“A…. ahh, yeah. Of course.”
“As expected, you lied.”
“Because I was in a different class.”
After all, it’s just a light jab. This woman is belligerent with full power.
“ Dealing with you, I’m fine with whatever since I don’t personally know you. But still, this is totally not okay. You, you’ve hurt Tsuchida-san’s feelings, didn’t you?”
“Err-. Moffu. That’s……. the cause of the procedural impediments, how should I put it……….”
“Well haven’t I heard it all? What’re your intentions? Huh?”
“Err. Moffu. Well, how should I put it? Do you think you could withhold the comments until the issue is properly examined……..”
“Don’t screw with me!”
The atmosphere was stinging and quivering. What a powerful voice it was. Though Moffle was startled, even the surrounding girls had their spine taut and breaths suppressed.
“Tsuchida-san was in an unpleasant position, you know!? What I’m saying is, you’re trying to do these odious things for the fun of it………! I can’t believe this! She was serious! And you mean to deceive this girl!?”
“This girl” refers to Isuzu, it seems. She seemed to be treated like Kanie Seiya’s lover ‘A’. For now, without uttering a single word, Isuzu planned to first carefully observe the situation.
“Right…….. She’s a colleague at work―――”
“Meaning, someone you got along well with in this work of yours?”
“No, not particularly.”
“So you’re talking your way out of this, huh? Really, the worst. Guys, I think you’ve seriously been manipulated. What about Kimura-kun, taking a day off resting in bed since he was in shock or so?”
Again, an unfamiliar name came up. Give me a break!
Then, Tsuchida Kanae timidly interjected.
“Te, Terano-san………I, I didn’t mind it too much. But, it’d be quite bad if Kanie-kun was to be completely blamed………”
“Haa!? Tsuchida-san, what’s going on!? Wasn’t this bloke cruel to you yesterday? We’re all putting our best efforts to deal with this guy’s irresponsibility! Moreover, that girl, this Shiina person too said that. He’s three-timing! Such a man is unforgivable, like, totally!”
As Terano continued rambling, the two remaining persons (whose names were already forgotten) went “uh huh uh huh”, nodding in agreement.
“Yeah, the first year Chuujou Shiina! Whom I have properly inquired!”
“Hmm, Shiina huh……..”
That damned Tiramie. If he dares lay a hand on Shiina, I’ll take it upon myself to solicitously mince him in the most ardent fashion fumo (on behalf of her father, kind of sense). ………But, thinking about it, during that night-out at Savage last week, Shiina had only so much to talk about with that guy. There was indeed a minimum amount of restrain in Tiramie. Moreover, apart from refraining to debut as the park’s singer, this girl wouldn’t do such a thing. In other words, it’s hard to believe that he’d actually do something to Shiina……….
“So, is this some sort of mistake?”
“Definitely not, don’t you think!? I heard it from Tsuchida-san, you know. Trying to take Tsuchida-san to a deserted place, taming and colluding with Chuujou Shiina, intending to do all sort of cruel things!”
“I... I didn’t say such things.”
“Tsuchida-san, k-k-keep quiet! In summary, it’s that sort of thing, right!?”
Terano flatly denied the flustered Tsuchida.
Somehow, Moffle already grasped the relationship between the people in that group.
The leader being Terano with those two as her followers. And Tsuchida was in a delicate position. Terano got furious after hearing Tsuchuda’s testimony and her speech grew more and more exaggerated. Moreover, addressing each other with “-san” despite being equals, the relationship between Terano and Tsuchida seemed unexpectedly shallow.
Since Tsuchida was not very intimate with her, Terano was just complaining incessantly rather than displaying her leadership. It was possible that she was just taking advantage of this situation.
(Well, just because it doesn’t seem like either of them were trying to take advantage but………)
As thoughts ran in my mind, as if to clarify, Tsuchida said.
“I... I ran away in the middle of it, at that time, Kanie-kun was somewhat odd………”
“So much for wrong assumptions ,isn’t it!? Moreover, getting vulgar mails from this Sento woman? Probably going to indulge in all sorts of indecent acts tonight―――.”
“I was not joking.”
Being unable to withstand it any longer, Isuzu said.
“Swearing upon the Goddess Libra, I do not have such relations with Kanie-kun. If you heard such talk from Tsuchida here, then this girl has been lying.”
Terano ridiculed Isuzu’s stifling voice.
“Huuuuh? Well, aren’t you an idiot? Do you think i could simply believe what Kanie-kun’s woman just said? I mean, the hell is this Libra you talk about?”
“In that case, you could use a bit of enlightenment. May Libra’s wrath guide you………”
Moffle held her back as Isuzu was about to draw her musket.
“I said stop fumo.”
Isuzu with her hand drawn from her skirt was stopped by Moffle (Seiya). It was a scene with only words and without any sense of unease. It seemed to have further increased Terano and co.’s confusion
“A……..anyway, the point is you’ve trampled all over her sincerity! So apologise!”
“I am very sorry (fumo).”
Moffle promptly bowed his head. Seiya’s figure displayed no resistance at all.
“There’s barely any sincerity in that right!? Get on your knees!”
“Yes. At once (fumo).”
Moffle promptly got on his knees. Seiya’s figure, like before, showed no resistance.
“Her feelings were dishonoured; deeply hurt, you know!? Never approach Tsuchida-san again!”
“Yes, I won’t(fumo).”
He said while on his hands and knees, bowing his head down. Seiya’s figure had not one bit of resistance.
Thank goodness. That’s enough.
When madly in love, sincerity or whatever, one’s feelings would blow up all at once like explosives.
There, suffering from the insults.
“Your reflections seem to be only on the surface, I bet. Doing foolish things when in love!? I will not be deceived!”
Terano stood before him, then stepped on the back of his head with a little force. On her tiptoe, bringing up a cloud of dust, covering the back of the head of the transformation suit.
From Seiya’s appearance, it looked like he was gradually reaching his boiling point.
“………….To get excited from this kind of thing, you skirt chaser!”
Brushing off her leg whilst getting up, he shouted at Terano who fell over due to his sudden actions.
“Shut your damn trap and listen up. Feelings, sincerity?……..Don’t use such cheap words fumo!......... Ha! Love!? Romance!? You guys are no different from brats. The hell do you understand about love?! Don’t bloody make me laugh fumo!”
“General, calm down”
“Shut the heeeeell up―――! Let me finish fumo!”
This time, Isuzu was put in check. Moffle swung the dumbstruck Terano’s hand, hitting her.
“A little poking around to prolong your make-believe friendship, to get hurt feelings, to hurt someone’s feelings……… are you guys, making light of human lives fumo!? Something like ‘getting angry for the sake of Tsuchida-san is sooo cooooollll~~~~!!!!’, is what you’re thinking ehh!? B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T-!!!!!!!”
The nearby shrubs were shredded in threes by a hollow slash from Moffle’s arms as he yelled.
Such a technique was never used before, but some force had gone along with it. Well, it is quite normal for anyone to get angry occasionally.
“What you guys are doing after all, is pretend-love fumo!”
“The pains of true love, the hardships― do you really understand those? Hell no, damn right you don’t! For example…….. a woman whom I was in love with for over 10 years was wedded to a man whom I really hated!! Do you understand that kind of feeling!? I was writhing in pain! Suffering to the end! And yet, I had no choice but to bear with it! It was heartbreaking, but I didn’t say a word to anyone! Moreover, i had to put up with it for a further 10-odd years! And from the woman I loved, I had to ‘ask this girl’ about that man’s moods, but would you understand it even a little!? Hell, no, not a bloody chance fumo!”
When the incidence of anger had reversed and with his continued yammering, Terano and co. went blank.
“Are you perhaps referring to Her Highness……….?”
Upon hearing Isuzu’s words, Moffle was taken aback.
“S, shut up! It’s just an example fumo, an example!”
Somehow, I don’t know how the situation had came to this development. Anyway, by all means, I’m sorry but never am I going along with such a farce again.
“Damn skirt chasing kids! If Seiya wants to play the ass, I’d just let him do as he pleases! Well, he’d just do it anyway! Anyway, that much is predicted fumo! You shits wouldn’t marry a decent man! I Assure you! In about 20 years down the road, you’ll be remembering these words as you are reflecting upon those bitter feelings!”
Excessive abusive remarks were said. Furthermore, completely forgetting to maintain their act, the group of girls were either baffled or angry. Whispering among themselves words like “what’s with this guy” and “Hey we’re seriously buying that………”. At the very least, there wasn’t the slightest indication of contemplation or sympathy.
“We’re screwed…..”, in a voice filled with sorrow, Isuzu murmured as she stood at the back. Now, any attempt to recover Seiya’s reputation in school was hopeless.
“That so…….. well whatever. Anyway, you are just scum after all, that I know very well.”
As Terano and girls exchanged looks of astoundment, indicating an intention to leave, a lone, new, male student, appeared in the place.
“Hey―――, excuse me! Could you please hold on for a bit?”
It was a 2nd year male whom Moffle doesn’t know. Isuzu seemed to have some idea on who he was, but doesn’t actually know the person.
“Kimura-kun? Weren’t you taking the day off?”
That young man― this Kimura guy had possibly ran over. Coming to Moffle(Seiya)’s side, leaning over with his shoulders widely moving up and down.
“Nah……. Thinking about it, it shouldn’t have become this complicated……… I changed my mind and came to school some time ago. So I can speak directly to you guys………..”
Adjusting his breath, Kimura faced everyone, put his hands together and deeply bowed his head.
“Guys, I’m sorry!!”
“Hold it. Why is Kimura-kun apologising?”
“Because Kanie………Kanie. He was causing this wreck for my sake!”
“This confusing issue; approaching girls and doing detestable actions……… So that Tsuchida-san would hate him, and things would go back to how it was before. Say, isn’t it that right, Kanie?”
With the sudden prompting, Moffle was dumbfounded for a brief moment.
“Isn’t that right, Kanie?”
“Ahh…….. yeah. Well……”
“I’m really sorry. Things had turned out quite unexpectedly………..”
“The night before last, I consulted Kanie. Somehow, Tsuchida-san’s feelings had sort of changed. What was the best I could do……..I asked. And then Kanie went ‘in that case, what if I made her hate me. Simple enough.’ Like that. Of course it was absurd. Doing as such, what kind of heinous rumours would emerge……… So, Terano?”
Taking a glance at Kimura, Terano awkwardly averted her eyes. Just from there, Moffle had a rough idea of the source of the school-wide rumours.
“On second thought, Such a method to depend on kanie is expectedly not cool. Even putting tsuchida in a shameful position, making people look at her wretchedly. ……. So I decided to forget about all that. And in order to become a man suitable for Tsuchida-san, I’ll be doing my very best from here on! And so, Terano………”
“I hope we can amicably put a close to this matter. I’ve really imposed too much trouble on you guys……..”
For reasons unknown, Kimura’s words carried some strange weight.
He came to this place for the sake of conveying his request, when even Terano is unaware of the plan and saving Tsuchida’s honour. Surely, to suddenly appear out of the blue and bring the issue to a conclusion would result in this mood.
“In that case, I hope things will go well between Kimura-kun and Tsuchida-san, that’s all I have……”
“Many thanks. What’d you say Tsuchida-san?”
“Ehh? Err……yeah. Then I too……hope it’ll be fine with Kimura-kun.”
Reaching an agreement with the concerned parties, Kimura, Moffle(Seiya) and Isuzu bowed down their heads in apology.
“Then that would be all. Kanie, Sento. About you guys being work colleagues, I apologize for the weird misunderstanding!”
“I came back in a hurry, but as I thought, my physical condition is a little bad” Kimura told those present and departed from the back of the school building.
A little while after getting away, moving up the emergency stairwell, stealthily taking a peek.
Though baffled by the abrupt closure of issues, Terano’s girl group, “Kanie Seiya” and Sento Isuzu respectively exchanged superficial apologies, then dispersed to prepare for 5th period.
“My, my. With this, things are settled for now, I guess……….?”
The one muttering was a lone girl waiting in that place― as Chuujou Shiina let out a groan.
“Yeeeaahh. Shiina couldn’t really say anything. But anyway…….. senpai’s acting was nicely done.”
“Hmph, you can say I have some experience.”
While saying that, in order to take off the “Kimura” mask, he had the head entirely removed. And emerging from within, was none other than Kanie Seiya.
Seiya took off the transformation suit and stared at the Kimura imitation mask in discomfort.
“It was an improvised preparation, well it’s a secret that it’s completed. Seriously, those guys from the Diggerry clan have a hell of a skill.
Grasping the situation this morning, Seiya placed an order which took only two hours. Not a full-body one though but just the modelling of the head. That said, the speed is certainly astounding. It was fortunate that the materials were about sufficient thanks to it being just the head.
“Magic transformation suit……..was it? From the explanation, I’ve a full understanding of senpai’s eccentric behaviour the last few days. But a little recently, I’ve more or less gotten used to these antics, rather than being surprised…….”
“I say, the know-hows of adaptability dwells within your very being, Chuujou.”
Seiya went into a sadistic snicker, Shiina averted her gaze.
“D, don’t make fun of me, please………”
“In any case, you’ve saved me. I’ll want to raise your hourly wages but…….well, eventually. I’ll give you a treat afterwards, so be patient.”
An indifferent reply. Casually wanting to raise the hourly wage although it’s impossible. Once it’s raised, reduction is not very simple. That is precisely why it’s not a stingy move.
It was late last night that Seiya noticed the anomaly.
It was just a complete coincidence. It was because Seiya wanted to make 2, 3 confirmations regarding Chuujou Shiina’s CD recording schedule, he gave her a call. Since Shiina’s response was bit unnatural, she was subjected under Seiya’s inquisition. And thus, he ended up hearing about himself allegedly “flirting with some unknown 2nd year girl” that day in school.
They strangled Tiramie, that day’s person in charge, as he was pressed for answers just as he was about to return. Listening to Macaron’s tales who was in charge yesterday, their little escapades were then brought to light. He also considered questioning Isuzu, but that, he could not bring himself to do. The problems from her role as the substitute could be roughly imagined.
Well then, what a bother.
The next day, I(or should I say, Moffle) would likely be getting a flaming from Terano’s clique. It’s not hard to imagine my deteriorating position within school. But as for friends, I’ve certainly got none, so not likely would my comfort in school get any worse―――
Thus, a ploy was conceived.
Ambush Kimura during his early morning commute to school, and “respectfully request his cooperation”. Specifically, “what’s the most embarrassing moment of your life, thus far?” to enquire, then use the usual magical shenanigan to read his thoughts. Deepest apologies, for we got no time to spare for a leisurely persuasion.
Thanks to that, Kimura having taken several tens of photographs, he so “humbly agreed” to take a day off from school.
Upon receiving the photographs, the Diggerry clan, who were on standby, immediately kick-started the production of the Kimura costume. After a mere few hours, the costume was delivered, somehow, just in time for lunch break.
In those circumstances, asking for some assistance from Shiina, “it seems that everyone has gathered at the back of the school building”, she reported, then somehow just barely rushing there in time.
And as for the crisis, all is well, for the time being.
Shiina mumbled with a little hesitation.
“Why were Moffle-san and Isuzu-senpai doing this in secrecy? Shiina thought that once Terano and friends were gone, you would’ve went ‘BAA!’, taking off the costume and had been relentlessly mad.”
“Thought of that too, but………”
Seiya gave a troubled expression.
Of course he was angry at their recklessness with the substitute plan. It’s other people’s affairs, having such selfish behaviour, at least considered to be. However, to watch Moffle and co do this and that in front of the girl group, it was a wonder that he was not furious. But instead, he had an “apologetic” feeling.
“Well………to have expressly moved to act as my substitute, it’ll be unreasonable to be angry don’t you think?”
Not as an official stance, but from their true feelings.
Thereupon, Shiina was struck in awe and rendered speechless, making an expression of sorrow yet amusement.
“Senpai. That’s risky.”
“Since I was told to be silent, I’ll not speak of it. However, someday Moffle-san and the rest would want to know the rest.”
What’s this elementary schooler saying? Did she even listen to me?
“Oi, well then you’d best stay silent. You hear me?”
“But, but, this is an internal secret after all. Macaron-san and Tiramie-san, and even everyone in the Diggerry clan are aware of it.”
“Uh huh……….. Surely it is only a matter of time. But, in a way, I don’t want them to owe me any favours. Sento and Moffle in particular.”
“Yes. Shiina’s lips are sealed. Do not worry.”
“Really? Can I trust you?”
Why would this girl show that sort of glad-looking face?
Seiya wanted to peek into her mind as usual with magic, but opted to take a pass as “The rules of grenades” will always apply.
Isuzu came to the sky garden to hand things over. And just like the past few days, Seiya and Latifa were leisurely chatting away.
“Pardon me, Princess”
“Ahh, Isuzu-san. Come and listen, it’s so amusing.”
Latifa said as she laughed elegantly.
“Kanie-sama uses almost half a bottle of strawberry jam when he eats pancakes. Does using that much make it taste better?”
“Nnn……well, favourite food is favourite food. Is it weird?”
Seiya stared in puzzlement.
“Yeah, it’s weird. Well then, no matter how much jam we have, it’s never enough.”
“Hmm……surely one bottle is emptied every three days or so, I guess. Well, on occasions, there’s a special sale at the neighbouring supermarket. I would feel like buying them in bulk then.”
“Then next time, allow me to make it up to you by helping out.”
“Ohh. That’s greatly appreciated.”
“As simple as it gets. I like them sweet, you know?”
“That so……….yeah, sweet ones it is.”
“That’s right, most certainly! Ufufufu………”
Latifa laughing in that manner was quite rare, Isuzu had never seen it. It’s slightly humble, but altogether pleasant, like receiving a faint gentle breeze―――
“What’s so amusing? You’re the weird one………”
Seiya was also the same. He had a gentle profile, Isuzu had only seen nothing but a serious one when he was fully engaged in his work.
“So, what’s the agenda?”
Slipping out a chuckle, he then turned to Isuzu.
“The handing over of the substitute plan. You might have forgotten, but tomorrow is the day you’ll return to school.”
“Ohh, that’s right. Had no problems?”
“………That’s right, as far as that goes. Fret not and continue enjoying your school life of solitude.”
Unconsciously, the steepness in her voice muffled.
Unsure of how she should report the mess caused by her own carelessness, Isuzu was at a perpetual loss. When Kimura appeared today, things worked out amicably, a little mistake and it could had ended undesirably.
However, further reporting might spoil the mood.
Surely, it was an oversight, but it was hard to disclose it here. It was as such, the Princess having an idle chit-chat with him about strawberry jam, but why was his head lowered as if to say things were hopeless?
He was pissed. And also remembering the feelings of guilt.
Seiya flashed a carefree smile, maintaining a little silence. Isuzu, in this situation, felt a strange sense of incongruity. Before she could pry any further, he made a sudden declaration:
“Wonderful. Well then, I trust that this trend continues next week!”
While feeling the strength from her shoulders fade, Isuzu gave a stiff, bad reply.
“If it’s fine with Kanie-kun………..”
“Of course. Credit too, is attained from doing work. It’s without exception! Ku ku ku………”
“Then, Kanie-sama………… Have you been unable to keep up with your studies?”
Latifa chided Seiya’s profuse and evil sneers. With a small gesture, Isuzu was offered a chair and was prepared a cup filled with tea.
“I have that covered. Anyhow, I’m quite brilliant.”
“It’s not just about studies. It’s an issue of morality. After all, it is sort of cheating. I’m not in a position to say anything, but―――
Latifa stumbled in her speech. The teapot spilled hot water as it was held in her trembling hands.
“I really can’t say anything― but―.”
Latifa dropped the teapot, and fell onto the table with a slamming violent sound. The fallen teapot had not shattered, but the boiling water spilt, soaking the mat and the coasters.
Isuzu hurriedly helped her up, while Seiya wiped the hot water on the table top with a napkin.
Latifa said with shallow breaths.
“Really, I’m fine. This is………not very rare……….”
Forcing a smile. Her action was rather painful to watch.
“It’s just a bout of dizziness. Head’s spinning…………strength is lost……….”
“Anyway, lie down. The bench――― no, better go to the bedroom. Which way was it? I don’t really know. Ahh―――, damn it!”
The penthouse-shaped room adjacent to the sky garden is where Latifa was staying. From the upper reaches of the terrace, passing through a glass door, then entering a simple bedroom. Seiya carried her, and with Isuzu’s guidance, she was laid down on the bed in the bedroom.
“It’s nothing much. You’d better rest.”
“Right. Will do so………I’d take you up on your offer.”
Afterwards, Seiya contacted Amaburi’s medical centre to inform them of the situation. At that time, it wasn’t crowded with casts. He was insistent on calling for an ambulance, but as Latifa kept going on with “I’m really fine”, Seiya finally gave up on the idea.
“From what I see, the men have left.”
Isuzu was apparently unable to object to it as well. Seiya obediently returned to the sky garden. Loosening the front of her blouse, and getting into a comfortable position, Latifa finally made a sorrowful laugh.
“I’m terribly sorry, Isuzu-san……..”
“What are you saying? It’s currently the transition of seasons, please take a slow rest.”
“Alright……. But, don’t tell anyone.”
“Of course. Please be at ease.”
The thin fingers, tightly grasp Isuzu’s hand.
There was an uneasiness. It’s heartrending. Though it felt a little insolent, she was patted on the shoulders.
In the bedroom which imitates that of Mapleland’s royals, about 30 minutes had already passed, Latifa had already succumbed to slumber. Gently separating from the fingers which had its strength faded, then paying attention to the noise from the rustling of clothes while getting off the bed.
Returning to the garden with soft steps, there was Seiya’s figure with his arms folded.
He was on a vantage point, overlooking the park in silence, unmoving without so much of a twitch.
As he was informed, Seiya showed no response for quite some time. He appears to be in deep thought. He would show such a behavior every now and then. Similar to the complete rejection of kind words, that kind of sight―――
“Because of that curse, huh?”
“Yes. Several times last year too. But this year……….”
“One way or another, the visitor count is just seems to be lacking.”
Seiya said in a gloomy voice.
“Until we’ve dealt with the fundamental problem, I can never be at peace. Still………what’s the best I could do? Give me a clue!”
A sigh. To the point that Isuzu had never before heard. An exceedingly heavy sigh it was.
“You are in need of much more onions”, in accordance to the declaration, Moffle dragged Tiramie to the tavern “Savage”, ordering 3 servings of Nikujaga, and 3 servings of seared Shamo (with white onion garnish).
“Come now, eat up fumo! You damned dog!”
Upon the bold statement, Tiramie knitted his eyebrows.
“Ehh――? You don’t mean that, right mii――? It’s dangerous for dogs to eat onions……….”
“Damn right fumo. So chow down. Eat, and if you live, I would forgive you fumo! Die, and it’ll just be the end of a damned dog! Just like that, it all comes to a close. That’s quite about all why I’m fuming fumo!!”
Although he considered crying or begging for his life, Tiramie still separated his disposable chopsticks with a violent snap and began eating the nikujaga. Of course, onions inclusive.
“Huff, huff……. Delicious. Delicious mii―――“
He Subsequently dipping the seared shamo(white onions included) into garlic soy sauce, then bringing it to his chewing mouth.
After pouring down a grand total of 6 persons worth of shares into his stomach, Tiramie sighed a “fuwah- “and then chugged down the contents of his high-ball glass.
“Scary onions. Hmm, this time sake is scary mii――“
“…….. Alas, you’re fine. What a boring outcome fumo…….”
Next to Moffle who had slumped his shoulders, Macaron heedlessly drank his beer.
“In any case, we’re fairies after all. Being a dog or a sheep isn’t very relevant at all ron.”
“Well, that’s so…….but……….”
“Didn’t just about everyone went to eat Jingisukan[Q17] the other day?”
“Indeed. Mutton huh fumo…………..”
“If you seriously think about it, It’s cannibalism ron! Puu――, ku ku ku!
Releasing this comical laughter was a sheep-type mascot munching down on yakitori. Even if unable to follow up, no matter what sort of retort, it was still somewhat of a spectacle.
“Well then……….setting aside Tiramie’s punishments, how about we start the debriefing now fumo?”
Moffle announced, switching the mood.
“Mii― Right now?”
“Without fail fumo. Concerning that ruse during Seiya’s substitution. We were rescued from the mass accumulation of various unforeseen developments. Point is, it had resulted in one hell of a disaster fumo.”
Macaron was about to speak, but then kept silent,
“Nah, nothing at all ron. All will be revealed before long.”
As a strange air filled the room, Tiramie, while tampering with his smartphone, said:
“Hey! Muse whom I’ve invited by LINE said that they are coming mii―. And it seems that the other members are tagging along too mii―!”
Muse works in the attraction “Aquario” as the Fairy of Water. Recently, the attraction had a growth in popularity. There was a rumour stating that it was due to her costume’s larger level of frontal exposure that the influence of the circulating PVs on the net, thus caused the influx in popularity count for the past three months.
Muse said that she was going to bring over her colleagues from the said attraction.
“Other members, you say?”
“The Fairy of Wind Sylphy-chan, the Fairy of Earth Kobori-chan, as well as the Fairy of Fire Salama-chan mii―.”
Moffle and Macaron both let out subtle voices simultaneously.
“What’s wrong mii―? They’re all cute little ones, aren’t they?”
“Err, Sylphy and Kobori, even Muse are fine, but……….”
“Salama is awful ron. That woman can’t even hold a decent conversation ron.”
When the name of the Fairy of Fire, Salama, was brought up, Tiramie’s expression went blank.
“Ehh― how so? Those mighty fine tits are certainly affable; an amazing little girl isn’t she mii―!”
“The heck―!? You, already forgotten ron!? She caused some problems on twitter some time ago ron………”
Moffle was also aware of that incident.
It happened last year. Fairy of Fire, Salama, had guests――― a family who had somewhat poor manners. They thrashed the performance on twitter with severe remarks like “the performance was noisy, annoying, it should just go to hell”. That family of guests had a photograph of them without any censoring mosaic uploaded. It went as far as declaring to them “don’t come back”.
Which naturally caused a blazing uproar.
A tremendous torrents of protest mails came flooding the park. Isuzu, who was then the park’s acting manager, uploaded letters of apology to the company site. With Salama’s suspension and release, to some extent, the issues subsided―――
““Blazingly splendid. Since I’m the Fairy of Fire after all.””
Prior to the management’s order for her suspension, Salama had an aura of stodginess.
“Zero reflection was it fumo.”
“Right, totally no reflection done fumo………”
Moffle and Macaron folded their short arms and went “uh huh” with a nod.
“………she even went as far as hitting a guest, but, what I mean to say is, that woman is awful fumo. You can think of it as personal justice, but, i think she’s quite the not-listening-to-people’s-opinions type. How she’s still keeping her job is a mystery fumo.”
“I find it strange, too ron. Somehow it would be appreciated if she’d kindly leave on her own volition, but……….”
At that point, Tiramie said.
“B, both of you. Watch your backs mii―……..”
Turning their heads, there were four beautiful girls standing at the entrance of the tatami room.
Muse with a wry smile, Sylphy, and Kobori. ――― And at the back, silently typing away at her smartphone, was the Fairy of Fire, Salama.
“Err――, we were a little late. But we’ve arrived………”
Muse spoke in behalf of the group. They are currently dressed in simple casual wear.
“Oh, ohh….. Great that you’re here fumo. Move over move over………. There, have a seat fumo.”
The mascots made room for three more, then, the four of them sat down. A dicey, awkward air drifted around. Their talk’s subject, Salama, without making any greetings, continued silently typing at her smartphone.
“Errr…..did you hear all of that ron?”
“Er,errr……….. It’s just some stupid trivial talk fumo. I hope you can forget about it …….”
“I humbly refuse, Moffle-senpai.”
And, for the first time, Salama opened her mouth.
“This is undeserved treatment. Workplace harassment. As for the blame, I recommend you reassess on who the blame really falls unto. The text has already been composed. Would you like to go over its contents?”
“St... stop it fumo.”
“……’When I arrived for a workplace get together, i found Moffle, Macaron, and Tiramie brazenly talking trash behind my back. Aren’t they too old to be saying such shameful things? I’m seriously offended’…..desu. I’ll just hit the send button some time later.”
Salama hoisted her smartphone in the air as if it were a bomb detonator.
“C... calm down ron. We admit that we were in the wrong. How’s that――.”
“State your conditions fumo! Let’s negotiate―――”
“As I’ve always been saying, I’m the Fairy of Fire. Let’s set things ablaze. Let’s give everyone a taste of a purgatory of inferno!”
And a huge tumult followed.
Salama accidentally pressed the send button. Moffle and co. leapt at her phone but were a little too late, failing to stop the text from being sent . Scrambling for the smartphone, the table was flipped over. In the confusion, the other girls hindered Tiramie and stabbed him to death with an ice pick. To further this slapstick of events, the tatami room turned out to be “out of range” from phone signal connection. Regardless, the whole pandemonium carried on.
1 Actual words were “relentless/merciless punishment by striking with fists”. ↩ 2 That double peace pose when taking pictures. Don’t know how to express it. ↩ 3 グレネード弾のルール. Literally as it is. A grenade with its’ pin pulled is bound to explode. ↩ 4 肉じゃが。Meat, potatoes, and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce, and vegetables. It is usually boiled until most of the liquid has been reduced. ↩ 5 軍鶏。A game fowl in Japan. It’s basically a chicken. ↩ 6 炎上けっこう。Not sure how to phrase it. ↩ 7 Exact: Teach everyone a lesson! ↩