In the end, the picture of me wearing the stocking and having it pulled wasn’t taken. Or more precisely speaking, they wouldn’t take it for me.
“Something like that must not happen to a member of the Kujouin family! Rei, you really are a dummy… And, terribly kind.”
Lady Sara was acting adorable again. How cute.
Lord Souju and Lord Takaoka were dumbfounded. It appeared that they still hadn’t accepted reality yet. That was a shame.
I headed to the washroom to fix my messy hair. The only mirror in this house was by the washbasin. Shortly after Lady Mary suffered from dementia, she was surprised by her reflection in the dresser mirror and knocked it over. Ever since then, the washroom housed the only mirror.
Ah, I was lonely now, but I’ll spend my days peacefully. It really was quiet.
“Sorry for making you wait.”
I returned to the living room.
It appeared that the three of them were having a conversation about something.
“Is something the matter?”
“President Sakurada, you see, has been annoying since yesterday, saying that he wants to apologize to me. I just got off a call with my secretary. It seems like he came all the way to my house.”
“There’s a limit to how shameless he can be!”
Lady Sara was once again angry.
“Well, I told President Sakurada that he’s apologizing to the wrong person.”
“I agree, but that was too careless, Kaname.”
Lord Takaoka looked at me with apologetic eyes.
“So, there’s a big possibility that Ryuuji Sakurada will be personally coming here. Sorry, Rei.”
“Hey, Kaname. Don’t go casually calling her Rei.”
“No, I don’t mind what I’m called. Don’t be angry, Sou.”
Everyone was on edge.
At any rate, it was surreal to see such sparkling people in this pathetic, six-tatami-mat space and gathered around a tea table.
“Can you please tell him that he does not need to apologize to me? And that more importantly, I wish for him to quickly do something about his daughter’s wild delusions.”
“Got it. I’ll also warn him not to come here. Hmm, it might be better if you’re not here today or tomorrow. An incoming attack is possible.”
“But even if you tell me that, I don’t have any relatives. Should I hide in the mountains for some time?”
I could persevere for about two to three days.
“What nonsense are you saying? You can stay with us. And, you perform on the piano so Grandfather can listen. Ah, you don’t need to prepare anything to stay over. When you accompany me shopping later, we’ll buy it then. You also don’t need to worry about payment. This is Brother Kaname’s fault, so he will pay for it.”
“Yeah. That’s good. It’ll be safer if you’re with us.”
While I watched on in blank amazement, it was decided that I would be spending three days and two nights at the Hongou residence. The only luggage I brought with me was my schoolbag filled with my textbooks, notebooks, and writing utensils.
This was the first time in my life that I slept over somewhere. I tightly shut the door, made sure the gas and water were completely turned off, and left the house. With Lord Takaoka driving, I thought we would be heading straight for the Hongou residence, but we suddenly arrived in town with rows of high-class stores. I learned from the guide signs that this was Ginza Namiki-dori.
“Is this Ginza? Wow, this is my first time here. When Ms. Fuki was young, she would go eat the parfaits at Shiseido Parlour whenever she was paid. Although, Lady Mary also left the shopping outside to her, so it seemed she didn’t have many opportunities to go.”
“Want to go to Shiseido Parlour, Rei?”
“I want to go after I earn my own money like Ms. Fuki. Besides, I want to first try the mille-feuille at MAXiM’S DE PARiS. I read about it in a manga and was very much interested in it.”
Lord Takaoka looked at me reflected in the mirror and hesitantly opened his mouth.
“MAXiM’S DE PARiS is closed. They’re no longer in Ginza. My mom begged me, and I took her there once before it closed. After all, she went there numerous times when she was young on dates with my deceased father.”
What did this mean? Could I no longer eat a strawberry mille-feuille anymore?
The saying “All things come to an end” echoed…
“Rei, the information you have feels tremendously biased.”
“Do you think so? My main source of information comes from the Hanaoka public library. They also have manga! I was greatly motivated by The Legend of Kamui and Barefoot Gen. I learned about mille-feuille from Yūkan Club, a gorgeous manga about the activities of these high school students. Ah, Sara and Sou are also undoubtedly rich, beautiful, and high-class high school students! You two really are like the people straight from the world of manga.”
As I was in a trance, I stared at Lady Sara and Lord Souju. And, I understood why Lady Yuria Sakurada had the wild idea that this world was an otome game.
“It’s not completely impossible for Lady Yuria Sakurada to think that this was the world of an otome game. I mean, there are such perfect people like Sara and Sou here.”
“Oh, and she believes that I’m a stalker.”
Although her cheeks were a little flushed, Lady Sara spoke in an angry tone. Lord Souju amusingly watched Lady Sara and asked me.
“That reminds me. Have you tried the otome game on the smartphone yet?”
“Yes, just a little. But, I don’t understand how to play the game and haven’t done much. In the first place, I don’t know why I have to raise my likability, or more importantly, why I have to capture them. These questions popped up as I played.”
That was right. I couldn’t become enthralled by the otome game. It was quite a wonderful world with beautiful pictures and music, but I didn’t really understand the purpose of the game. I think it would be a fun game if I was playing a spy in a honey trap and tasked to capture the capture targets. I would win if I gathered a lot of information through the honey trap. But, the opponent would occasionally get the upper hand, leading me to get false information and be killed, so I would need to change my strategy based on them.
“Hmm. Rei doesn’t have any interest in love, huh. Ah right, about Yuria Sakurada’s delusions. A report from Dr. Ichijou came in. There’s quite a lot. It looks like Dr. Ichijou was hard at work. It seems that she has memories of her past life and thinks that this world is a game she played in the past.”
It appears that the sickness was graver than I had thought.
“By ‘previous life,’ does this imply that she was transmigrated? If she did, then according to Lady Yuria Sakurada, this world is from a game that is at least fifteen years old. At that time, was there such a game starring characters with the same name as us?”
“Of course there’s no such thing. I had it investigated, just in case. And, she said that she was reincarnated into another world.”
Reincarnated into another world? Not transmigrated in our world but reincarnated into another world? What did she mean by ‘another world’?
“The person herself said that she retained her memories from another world that never intersected with our world.”
“And that is another world? SF, right?”
I don’t dislike science fiction, but I think that this was beyond absurd.
“So, when I investigated it, it appears that such novels are popular. Here, this web novel is just like it.”
Lord Souju said and showed me on his smartphone. The title of the web novel was I’m a mob character in an otome game, but I ship the heroine with my favorite!
“This is one of the popular web novels. It’s a story where the protagonist reincarnates into an otome game and struggles to ship the heroine with her favorite character. In the end, the protagonist is the one who ends up together with her favorite character.”
“Oh, so it’s a story about being a nuisance to the heroine?”
“Hm, not exactly. She does, more or less, protect the heroine from the villainess. The villainess is someone who constantly schemes evil plans.”
“What exactly does the villainess of the web novel do?”
Since I was called the villainess, I was very interested.
“The villainess had thugs attack the heroine, pressed false charges on the heroine’s family, poisoned the heroine, etc. And not only to the heroine. She also turned the capture targets into drug addicts, confined them, turned them into slaves, etc. Because they were all saved in the nick of time by the protagonist’s efforts, nothing came to fruition.”
“Does the world of the novel not have a constitutional government? While only an attempt was made for the crimes, couldn’t the villainess be arrested?”
When I said that, Lord Souju burst out into laughter.
“It’s fiction. Everyone looks Caucasian and dresses like royalty. And, this world of magic had modern-levels of hygiene. That is the world of an otome game in the novel.”
“That sounds interesting. I would like to read it right away.”
I read the summaries of other novels on the smartphone. It appeared that there was a model for stories of being reincarnated into otome games. Not only were there ones that had a European appearance, but there were also those in Japanese schools.
“I see. Lady Yuria Sakurada plays the same role as the protagonist in this web novel, and she is trying to ship the heroine, Ms. Miu Yuuki, with the capture target, Lord Takanashi. According to her delusions, what kind of evil deeds will I do? In the first place, I’m penniless, not a villainess, right?”
Lord Souju summarized the contents of the report and explained them to me.
The villainess, Reiko Kujouin, was the only daughter of a distinguished family with money, pedigree, and influence. However, her existence was covered up for certain reasons. When she turned fifteen, her existence was publicized, and she enrolled in the school.
Reiko Kujouin enjoyed hurting people simply because it was fun. Concerning the capture targets, she was a vile woman who would use her own body to obtain them. If the heroine fails her capture, Reiko Kujouin would take control of the school and reign over it as the queen.
The heroine would encounter danger because of Reiko Kujouin, but she would save the capture targets. Each of the capture targets had their own troubles and be saved by the heroine. And, they would fall in love with her.
The protagonist, Yuria Sakurada, was a supporting character whose role was to give advice to the heroine.
“…The gap between this and reality is more extreme than I had thought. The only fact that coincides is that I enrolled in Meisei. My existence has also been covered up due to certain reasons, but what was the reason? …Eh, well, she shouldn’t know it either!”
“How dare you, Yuria Sakuradaaa! I will never forgive you!”
“Sara, please calm down! I’ll also try reading some web novels. There may be some kind of solution there. Above all, they seem interesting.”
“Jeez. Why doesn’t it irritate you, Rei!? Guh! I can’t stand how frustrated I am! Well, let’s go shopping. It’ll relieve my stress!”
Lady Sara said, dashingly disembarked, and smoothly entered the store. The clerk elegantly bowed their head.
“Like this, we can enrich the Japanese economy. It’s wonderful.”
As I contributed absolutely nothing to the Japanese economy, I absentmindedly accompanied Lady Sara on her shopping adventure.
“Now, try this on! Rei!”
Lady Sara coerced me to try on some clothes. When I took a peek at the price tags, I felt faint. They were compiled together with Lady Sara’s picks and paid with Lord Takaoka’s black card.
“This is an apology for endangering you, Rei, so don’t mind. And if you don’t accept them, they’ll end up in the trash. So, make sure you properly wear them.”
Lord Takaoka reassured me, but I was speechless. This may truly be the world of an otome game. I mean, this was all too convenient to me!