Reiko's Manners Chapter 1
“They’re blooming wonderfully this year too.”
The white magnolia visible outside the window is swaying in the wind.
Two months have passed since I started to live by myself. My self-centered grandmother died recently and, though this may sound cold, I was actually relieved. She was my grandmother but she preferred to be called Mary-sama.
In her last two years, Mary-sama who suffered from dementia started speaking in French, I helped Fuki-san care for her since Fuki-san cannot speak French. It was really painful. But I’m glad Fuki-san didn’t hear about the horrible things she said.
“Well, I have to get going soon. I’ll be late for the entrance ceremony.”
Originally, I was too impoverished to afford high school, but I was given a special recommendation by my junior high school teachers to take an exam at the prestigious Meisei Private Academy, which has a special scholarship system which include tuition exemptions and provide all school supplies.
Scholarships that do not require repayment are also provided. 50,000 yen a month! You can live well if you have 50,000 yen!
The uniform at Meisei Private Academy, which I will go to for the next three years, is really splendid. The sewing is also wonderful. The disadvantage is that it is white. It would be very noticeable if dirty.
White blazer, white skirt, ruffled blouse and ribbon tie.
It’s a lady specification. It doesn’t suit a poor lady like me. I can’t check my whole body because the only mirror is one with a small washbasin that’s broken and cloudy, but I don’t think there’s any problem with my appearance. Fuki-san isn’t here to fix my hair so I cut it myself, thus, the ends were rattled and weaved together. They are tied with a ribbon of French-made Argentan lace, which is a heirloom from Mary-sama. At least it looks fashionable.
The school-designated bag I am holding is a famous brand item with a rose and pen school emblem embroidered on it. This fine bag contains two rice balls wrapped in bamboo skin, boiled wild vegetables picked from the back mountain, fried eggs, and writing instruments. Unlike the fine bag it is, its contents seemingly contradict with it.
Prying the poorly built sliding door with both hands, the door opened with a rattling sound, a field and a blue sky spread in front of me. And then I close the door, again with force. I locked it, but there’s really nothing to steal, so it’s not very meaningful.
In the first place it can be invaded from the edge. Crime prevention is important just for the sake of it after all. Even so, this lock can be opened with just one hairpin….
There was still time before the bus arrived, so I walked to the bus stop. There is one bus around here in the morning and evening. A 40-minute bus ride and a one-hour train ride from a large terminal station will take you to Tokyo’s prestigious school, Meisei Private Academy. It will take almost 2 hours to reach school, but since I have a scholarship paid, this is not a problem.
Meisei Private Academy is a prestigious school with elementary, junior, high schools, and universities.
Universities are widely open for admission, but there are few students up until high school. It seems that everything is important for admission, not only in grades but also in family. Meanwhile, about five scholarship students enroll in high school every year to increase their admission rate in famous universities. These five students are expected to gain admission to prestigious schools such as Cambridge, the University of Tokyo, Harvard, and Stanford, as well as perform meritorious deeds. Of course, the cost of taking the exam is paid for by the school.
With that done, it’s marvellous! It looks like an academy that has five students who have passed the University of Tokyo, two who have passed Oxford, three who have passed Harvard, two who have passed MIT, and so on. In fact, only these five people are taking the exam.
So it’s no wonder these scholarships do not require repayment. It’s more like a salary. But in return, if your grades drop, you’ll be expelled immediately. I couldn’t afford to go to high school in the first place, so even if I am expelled, I won’t feel sorry. If you are in high school, you can work and learn online.
Anyway, if I do not drop out, I will go to Meisei Private Academy every day. I’m new to train, so I’m nervous as I stand on the platform waiting for the train. Because it is the first train station, I can sit down as well. Looking at the outside scenery from the train, I could see skyscrapers in the distance. I’ve been to Tokyo since the entrance exam, but it really is a big city! I can’t help but be impressed. I have to get off now. However, it’s really crowded and I’m washed away in unexpected directions.
“Haa, haa, haa.”
I was already tired before anything had begun. Meisei Private Academy is just a 2-minute walk from the station. When I arrived at the school while swaying, a splendid gate greeted me. I’ve seen something like this gate in a large art book banned from the library.
“It’s like the gate of Dolmabahçe Palace …”
When I muttered so, I heard a voice from behind.
“That’s right, it seems this gate was built as an imitation.”
Somehow this person seems especially exceptional. Definitely not the type that can be seen in the countryside.
Certainly, there is an unwritten law that external students must not be friendly with the internals. A junior high school teacher taught me. The hierarchy of high school externals seems to be at the bottom. So we have to keep our eyes off.
“I’m Katsuragi Kaoru, a second year. I assume that you are a first year?”
“Yes, my name is Kujouin Reiko. Please Take care of me in the future.”
Let’s smile for now. Smile is free. Free is wonderful.
“You look tired, are you okay?”
Ara, for a student from the countryside to go to school by train is quite the complication.
“I’m a little ashamed to admit, but I’ve never gone to school by train so I’m not used to it.”
Pardon this country bumpkin. I’m a Natural Born Country Bumpkin!
“Oh. You earnestly take the effort to commute to school by train. You’re quite the diligent one.”
Katsuragi-sama says with a surprised face, but diligent in what way perhaps? I wonder if he thought I was evading the fare because I was too poor. How rude! I got enough for the school expense, so I properly bought a commuter pass! He is one of the arrogant sort. I wonder if everyone inside is like this.
“I’ll get used to it soon. Sorry for taking your time.”
Hmm! Is it bad that I’m a bumpkin? I have bad reflexes, but I have great stamina. I won’t just wait to be beaten up by the city kids.
At the moment I was thinking that, I was tackled from behind and fell forward. I don’t think this is related to stamina. It’s a surprise attack.
“Kaoru-kun, did she do anything to you? You see, that is the villainess young lady I told you about!”
Aaah! I’ve fallen down, and my white uniform is dirty!
It’s really hard to remove dirt once they get into the fiber!
But wait, what? Villainess young lady?
“You, Kujouin Reiko! I won’t permit anything that disturbs this school!”
A petite girl with wavy brown hair stood up, with one hand on her waist and the other pointing at me. I was at a loss for words. I couldn’t move, so Katsuragi-sama helped me up.
“Yuria! You are still saying that nonsense?”
“But it’s true. This woman will be the greatest threat to the school.”
It seems this person is one of those so called ‘Denpa-chan’! It’s my first time seeing one! Oh, I remember my grandmother Mary-sama. I feel a little nostalgic. Mary-sama often said unreasonable things that didn’t quite make sense. She was already saying unreasonable things before her dementia.
“You seem to have grazed your knees. Let’s go to the infirmary.”
That said, Katsuragi-sama tried to hold me up. It’s intolerable to stand out. I’m at the bottom-most tier of the hierarchy.
“No, it’s fine. I can go alone. Rather than me, wouldn’t it be better to consult a doctor with your friend? Early diagnosis is important.”
I wish we could treat Mary-sama’s dementia sooner too. It was always painful to be near her. Denpa-chan, your treatment will proceed soon! It’s okay, you’ll heal! Good luck!
I decided to head to the infirmary while feeling sorry for the Denpa-chan. However, I never knew where the infirmary was and decided to talk to a female student nearby. She looks like a proper Ojou-sama.
“I was watching the whole thing. Sakurada Yuria really did a number on you didn’t she. That girl, she hasn’t changed at all.”
I was gazing at some real magnificent ringlet curls for the first time in my life. Awesome, I would take all morning just to make such a fancy hairstyle. You would need to put makeup on too. Just as I expected, a real Ojou-sama really is different.
“She seems to have her own circumstances, please don’t mind it. If you would be so kind, could you tell me where the infirmary is?”
“I’ll take you there. This way”
“Thank you for your kindness. My name is Kujouin Reiko. I just enrolled in the high school division.”
“I am Hongou Sara. Just like you, I am a freshman in the high school division. But I have been to this school before, so naturally, I know where most things are.”
So Hongou-sama is a purebred Ojou-sama. In order to be accepted in the elementary division, you would have to be from a prestigious family. Is your house like a castle, with maids and butlers? Aah, this is sad, the imagination of poor people.
“If you are talking about Kujouin, could you be related to that Kujouin family?”
“I don’t know which Kujouin, but my grandfather is Kujouin Juuichiro and my grandmother is Mary. I was raised by my grandmother.”
“Ah, you really from the Kujouin main family branch after all!”
Even if it is called the main branch, I have no relatives to speak of.
“It’s not any sort of a prestigious house. If anything, it is a ruined one.”
That’s right. My father seems to have disappeared after the bubble burst and went bankrupt with many debts. Then, one day, ten years after the bubble economy collapsed, he left me as a baby with my grandmother and disappeared for the second time, or so I was told. At that time my father had already exceeded 60. How bad a man was he? When I was young, the photos of my weak-headed body gave the impression of a soft bonbons.
“My grandmother died two months ago, and I have been living alone since then.”
“Oh dear, that is so sad.”
Hongou-sama’s ringlet curls seems to be shaken from the shock. I guess it looks really sad for anyone to be in such a situation. She’s all teary. She looks like a self-assured beauty, but really emotional deep inside.
Frankly I am relieved to be liberated from Mary-sama’s nursing hell. But I can’t really mention that in this mood.
“My grandmother was also 102 years old. She died a peaceful death.”
As we were talking about that, we arrived at the infirmary. Just about everything is different from the infirmary in a countryside junior high school, which was, first of all, uneven due to the school building. The corridor here though, is very large and shiny, beautifully polished and lovely!
“Thank you Hongou-sama.”
“I’m already here, so I’ll be with you at the infirmary. Please call me Sara. I’ll also be calling you Reiko-sama.”
“Oh my, I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m a newly enrolled student.”
And a bumpkin. I may talk like an Ojou-sama due to Mary-sama and Fuki-san, but I’m really just a poor person. I’m a genuine poor person who can easily live contentedly with just 50,000 yen a month!
“Oh my, Reiko-sama, you’re so humble.”
Aah, despite my nagging, I was called Reiko-sama. She’s giving off an aura that says I must call her Sara-sama. Sara-sama knocked at the door of the infirmary and went inside. I follow her inside too.
The infirmary, which housed a Poltrona Frau luxury sofa, is very spacious. I saw this sofa once in an interior decorating magazine at the library. I so wanted to sit on it once.
“Ichijou-sensei, the new student got injured. She needs treatment. And also a change of uniform. Reiko-sama, Ichijou-sensei is young but he has his doctor’s license, so you don’t have to worry.”
What appeared was a young doctor in his late twenties. A doctor! Not a school teacher. You can see a doctor for free. From now on, if I ever get fever, I will go to the school instead of the hospital.
He brushes up his bangs, flips his lab coat over, and encourages me to sit on the sofa. I’m so happy! I get to sit on the sofa of my yearning!
This springyness and softness! It’s exquisite!
“Ah, you grazed your knees huh. I’ll need to apply some disinfectant. After that, I’ll lend you spare uniforms from the other room.”
As he said that, Ichiro-sensei gave a wink. Chara! How flashy! However, I won’t complain because it’s free.
“Jeez, just what is Sakurada Yuria doing! On top of pushing you over, she didn’t even apologize!”
“I wonder if she is not feeling well? Please don’t be so angry.”
“Reiko-sama is very nice aren’t you.”
I can’t see anyone as bad since I remember Mary-sama with dementia. That denpa-chan, Sakurada Yuria, she’s a bit weird, I can’t help but be worried about her.
“Hmm, so Yuria pick on you huh? Then, I guess that makes you, the villainess young lady huh.”
Ichijou-sensei looks at me with amusement. I am apparently a villainess young lady? It seems some people are concerned about this.
“Does it mean that to care for her mental health, it would be better to not deny her delusion? If it is so, I will be willing to cooperate. With that said, how is it that a villainess young lady is supposed to act?”
Ichijou-sensei began to laugh out loud. Sara-sama has a very unpleasant look.
“You’re not like a villainess young lady at all. According to Yuria, a girl named Kujouin Reiko enrolled in the high school and is going to ransack this school. I will even be tricked by you, which will cause me to get my doctor’s license revoked.”
“Revoking a doctor’s license isn’t easy. Does that mean that I instigate some kind of crime on sensei?”
“Well, that’s about it.”
“She’s crazy, that Sakurada Yuria!”
Sara-sama is very angry, but I’m not some young lady in the first place. So even if I can be a villainess, I cannot be a villainess young lady. I believe a penniless villainess is more appropriate.
TN: It is kinda like a teaser for now. I will not be actively translating this just yet. Was a bit bored doing the current ones (^_^;)
Example of a Denpa-chan
You guys remember Touwa Erio from 『Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko』? No? Just me⁈