After breakfast, we saw off Lady Sara’s and Lord Souju’s father, Lord Ushio. He said he was going on a business trip to France today. International activities, it seemed.
And because I was told I could spend my morning as I pleased, I left to do my daily piano practice. Even as Lady Mary’s dementia progressed, her feelings toward the piano were still clear. Terrifyingly so.
After I warmed up my fingers with Hanon, I played Czerny over and over again. Thoroughly and accurately. Playing accurately was truly important as well as difficult. I listened carefully, picked up the sounds, and enjoyed the echoes.
After that, I continued and played pieces from J.S. Bach. I like Bach and had the magnificent dream of playing on a pipe organ one day. As a poor person, I knew I would never have the opportunity to learn how to play the pipe organ. That was why it was a dream. Pipe organs had knobs called stops that were pushed and pulled to change the sound, but they could also make sounds in combination. I also think that the pedal keyboard was super cool-looking. I think it was the coolest. As cool as EDM.
To end my performance with Liszt, I played a strong arrangement of Bach’s fugue. I played as if pushing how extravagant of a trill I could make. I felt so good. I was sure that Lady Mary would fly in a fit of rage at this performance. By the time I realized it, it was almost noon. It appeared that I had been playing the piano for four hours.
“Rei, you really do have amazing concentration. You didn’t even notice I was here. Grandmother was also entranced by your piano. Even though she’s supposed to host a tea party today, she didn’t make the preparations. Eh, you didn’t notice her?”
Right, I hadn’t noticed at all that Lord Souju was here and even that Lady Youko had been here.
Lady Mary had been the only person who listened to my piano. And, I was the only one who heard Lady Mary’s. Ms. Fuki would be doing chores or shopping when I had my piano lessons, and even when she was at home during those times, she would stay in the living room on the other side of the sliding door. Whenever she was before Ms. Fuki, Lady Mary would never touch the piano. But, I was sure the sounds still leaked out.
Now that I was away from Hanaoka, away from that small rented house, things I hadn’t questioned until now came popping up in my head. No, that was wrong. They were on my mind, but I purposely closed off myself to the truth. But, coming face-to-face with it was scary. I wanted to escape reality now for just a little.
But, when I attempted to read a web novel on my smartphone, Lady Sara took it away.
“When it reaches noon, we shall head to the beauty salon! And while we’re at it, we shall decide what dress you’ll wear for your performance next weekend. The size must fit you. Grandmother and I really wanted one custom-made, but I don’t think there’s enough time. Harumph, it’s truly a shame!”
I yielded to Lady Sara’s energy. I thought she was amazing. As expected of someone who stood at the top of the prestigious private Meisei Academy hierarchy.
In the afternoon, I accompanied Lady Sara to the beauty salon and a well-established dressmaker. In all honesty, everything was over while I still didn’t what was happening.
“Well, I think we shall stop here.”
Lady Sara threw out a line befitting of a villain. The tips of my hair became straight. My hair was beautifully cut and evened. They offered to style my fringe, but I declined as it would be difficult to go often to keep it consistent.
“Thank you very much for today, Sara. In truth, I didn’t just want my fringe but also my hair cut very short.”
“Eh!? Even though it’s this beautiful?”
“I want the Hepburn cut or the Cécile cut.”
It seemed that while Lady Sara knew the Hepburn cut, the hairstyle Audrey Hepburn had in Roman Holiday, she didn’t know the Cécile cut. It was the heroine’s hairstyle in the French movie Bonjour Tristesse. I haven’t seen either movie. I knew them after seeing the photograph collection of famous scenes from old movies. When I explained such, it was decided that we would watch those movies tonight.
“Rei, here. Your popcorn. And, I’ll leave your soft drink here.”
Lord Souju handed me some popcorn. This was the theater room in the Hongou residence. I was surprised at how exceedingly authentic it was.
“Then, start screening Roman Holiday!”
“I loved Roman Holiday! Ufufu.”
“Heh, I watched it together with Youko. This is truly nostalgic.”
“Grandfather, Grandmother, I’ll be watching it for the first time.”
For some reason, a film festival started with Lord Takeru Hongou and Lady Youko joining us. I was as giddy as a child inside this dimmed room. However, as we viewed Roman Holiday, I thought in secret, “Princess Ann, be more daring!” And, I felt sorry for Lady Youko who was in tears at the conclusion, but that was only temporary. She seemed to have enjoyed herself, so I believe those weren’t tears of sadness.
Probably because I have yet to experience love, I couldn’t empathize. Or, maybe I was even lacking emotion since birth. I spent these last two days in a luxury that I would have never dreamed I could experience. If I were to experience any more of this gorgeous world, it’ll be difficult to return to my former life.
I silently swore to myself as we watched the end of the movie that even if I was close to Lady Sara and Lord Souju at school, I would add some distance in private.
“What’s up, Rei?”
“Sou. It’s nothing. Yesterday and today were fun. Thank you very much.”
When I said that, I decided that I would rest early. I would no longer be able to sleep on this fluffy bed. But, that was fine. I have lived the life I had. Even if it was poor and lonely, this was my life.
Even in this serious mood, I still reached out to grab my smartphone.
I couldn’t help it. Web novels were too interesting! The “other world” settings were nice. Those impossible worlds were good for someone whose reality was as strict as mine.
Ah, the pompous prince appeared! Huh? Wasn’t he kind of different from Mr. Katsuragi? Pompous characters were supposed to brim with self-confidence, right? Rather than describing Mr. Katsuragi as full of confidence, he was someone who wouldn’t listen to others. He might be hard of hearing like Mr. Yamamoto, the peanut farmer. The background of the elderly landowner Mr. Yamamoto was Interpol. Mr. Yamamoto gathered information on all the families were gathered but not underground information.
Huh? According to Lady Yuria Sakurada’s delusion, Lord Souju was cool yet passionate only towards the heroine. But, that wasn’t him. He was a hot-blooded super hacker. Lord Takaoka taught me that it was different from a cracker. I’ve become a little smarter. Lord Souju got angry when I said super hacker, so I didn’t say it, but it really does have a nice ring to it.
I wonder if the other capture targets were different from Lady Yuria Sakurada’s delusion. I felt like Dr. Ichijou was the same. Let’s search for the infringement of morality in the Tokyo Metropolis area. Even though his peer, Lord Takaoka, was such a wonderful person, the doctor was too much of a flirt. I think he should compose himself a bit more, but that was none of my business.
I had school again tomorrow. I have to contact Yuria Sakurada as a reincarnator and convey to her that I will not do any evil deeds. Hm, what setting should I make my previous life? Well, something appropriate should be fine. A spy sounded cool. I’ll do a spy background. Yeah, I was a former KGB intelligence operative. Ah, but I don’t speak Russian. Still, a spy simply saying they were a spy sounds unpersuasive in the first place.
In the end, I decided to go with being a normal high school girl as my previous life’s setting. I really didn’t want to abandon the idea of an undercover high school girl, but as I couldn’t confess to being a spy, I hid the fact that I was a spy and pretended to be a normal high school girl. So, in conclusion, I was a normal high school girl.
The next morning, I left the Hongou residence together with Lady Sara and Lord Souju, and we headed to the school by car. I gave many thanks to Lord Takeru Hongou and Lady Youko. The only thing the current me could do was thank them. I had no power, after all.
Naturally, the driver wasn’t Lord Takaoka but an older man named Mr. Shirata.
I arrived at school together with Lady Sara and Lord Souju, but I noticed how much we stood out when we entered the school. I was walking beside the two gorgeous people. That was beyond obvious.
“Sara and Souju, do you usually get this much attention?”
“Yes, I guess…no, I feel like this is more than normal. It might be because we have Rei with us.”
“Well, don’t worry about it. It’s always like this.”
I also gathered attention even when I was in Hanaoka, but the gazes weren’t like this. This felt like they were looking at a rare creature.
As the son and daughter of Hongou Pharmaceutical, they were probably accustomed to being looked at. As I thought of such things, Lady Yuria Sakurada challenged me right before I could enter the school building.
“Reiko Kujouin! Are you trying to even destroy my home? You’re terrible!”
It seems that a terrifying uproar will occur starting this morning.