This entry is part 4 of 5 in the novels Reiko's Manners

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Episode 4

“Welcome to the school infirmary.”

 The sparkly Ichijou-sensei served us black tea. It’s been a while since I last had black tea. Nevertheless, this black tea got some excellent aroma

“Sensei, I’m sorry but there’s something I want to ask you immediately…”

“What is it Kujouin-san?”

“Please tell me the brand of this black tea!”

 Everyone’s eyes turn to dots. Perhaps they thought I was going to ask about Sakurada Yuria, the Denpa-chan. I most humbly apologise, this black tea is so delicious that I wanted to buy it someday when I got rich. So please tell me the brand.

“This is a Darjeeling First Flush. It’s a gift from individuals who import it privately from contracted farmers. It’s not available in the market.”

 My goodness! Unless you have the connections, you couldn’t buy it even if you are rich. Sometimes the power of money alone is not helpful. This is so frustrating. I am poor and have no connections.

“Then, Ichijo-sensei. Could you tell us more about Sakurada Yuria? She also muttered some rather ambiguous things such as stalking horses.”

 In response to Sara-sama’s question, Ichijou-sensei sighed and crossed his long legs.

“Yuria is the relative from my elder sister’s marriage.  She was a shy and quiet child from a young age. Last month, she hit her head and lost consciousness. Her consciousness returned soon after, and a close inspection revealed that nothing was wrong.  After that, she started saying some weird things…”

“It looks as though she has always got an indifferent attitude towards men, that Sakurada Yuria. But under a discerning eye, she always has a deplorable attitude towards them.”

 The mood is a bit uncomfortable, but Ichijou-sensei continued. The story coming out of sensei’s mouth is nothing but absurd.

 Sakurada Yuria says that this world is a world of “Otome Game”.

“Please pardon me but, what is an Otome Game?”

“I too don’t know what that is.”

 As we said that, Soujuu-sama took out his smartphone.

“Wait a minute. I’ll download the most popular Otome Game”

 I took a glance at the smartphone in Soujuu-sama’s hand. Uwaa~, what a beautiful screen. Amazing! I don’t even have a TV. Radio is my only source of up-to-date information. I read the newspapers in the library, so the information is outdated even if I read them diligently. The radio is the kind with a cassette player given to me by the landlord’s son. I got a lot of cassette tapes, so I recorded my favorite songs from the radio. However, I played too much so the tapes are stretched. There is also a tape recording Mary-sama’s performance, it is my most precious treasure. It was recorded a long time ago, but it got a beautiful sound. Mary-sama truly was a really self-centered Ojou-sama, but her music is genuinely beautiful. Since the cassette tape deteriorates, I am very worried if I can listen to it in the future.

“Rei-chan, I’ve finished downloading.”

 I am sandwiched between Sara-sama and Soujuu-sama as the Otome Game starts.

“Oh dear! It’s very beautiful. Oh, it’s moving.  It’s talking!

“Rei-chan, could this be the first time you see a game?”

“Ah, yes. It’s my first time seeing a smartphone so close. I’m amazed”

 This could get anyone hooked. I’ll admit that I too can become a smartphone addict. It’s got such a beautiful screen and sound. I want to keep watching it. Ufufu, it’s sparkling and fun.

“Rei-chan, smartphone addiction is mostly due to SNS. Of course movies can be the reason too.”

“Ara, did I say that aloud?”

“No, but I can vaguely guess from the expression you’re making.”

 Soujuu-sama is a very sharp person. Ichijou-sensei described Sakurada Yuria-sama as a shy and quiet girl, but Soujuu-sama claimed that she has always been a high-handed girl.

“Here, you can choose the protagonist. Select an appropriate one”

“Everyone has an unusual hair color.”

 We started the game. The protagonist has a default name, which is used as is.  Kurara-chan is a bit of a shy girl, but she works hard to get the person she likes. Choose an option to proceed. The ending depends on the option chosen.

“Oh, it’s like the game-book I had when I was a child.”

 The Oji-san who gave me the radio also gave me some game-books. It seems that the popular days of the Showa era have ended. I don’t know much about it because that was long before I was born.

“What kind of life does Kujouin-san have? Sensei here is a bit curious.”

 Ichijou-sensei raises his concern. He would be so. Never having played games and owning no smartphone.

“I’m living by myself in poverty, but I don’t have any particular inconvenience. I’ve become a scholarship student so that I can go to this school, but I feel like I shouldn’t be a student here.”

“Eh, are you living alone?”

“Yes, my only relative has died.”

 Ichijou-sensei looks apologetic. Ah, the mood turns unpleasant. I’m not the only person who is misfortunate, I believe there are people around the world having similar circumstances. I consider myself lucky just to be born in Japan!

“I’ve understood what an Otome Game is. Well then, please tell us about Sakurada Yuria-sama’s delusional fantasy.”

 Ichijou-sensei have told us that Sakurada Yuria-sama believes this world to be that of an Otome Game, and considers real people to be characters in the game. And it seems that there are people who are called Capture Target as in the previous game.

 There are six capture targets. I take notes on the back of a print I picked up, which was repurposed as a memo pad. This print was obtained from a junior high school clerk who no longer needed it, and was cutting them to A5 size. By the way, B5 size cuts were also available. If you pierce the hole with an awl and attach some strings, it works as a fine memo pad. Fuki-san said that the school’s papers these days were excellent. In the past, they used something like a straw paper instead.

 Now then, I put together the characters in the world of Sakurada Yuria’s “Otome Game.”

 First, the heroine.

 Yuuki Miu. High school first year. Former commoner.

 Last year, her mother married the chairman of the Yuuki Paper Group and adopted the Yuuki surname. Her brother in law, Hikaru is a college student.

“Ara, Yuuki-chan is the heroine.”

“Who is that?”

“She’s an external from the same class. She gave her self-introduction during today’s homeroom, Sara-chan.”

 When I called Sara-sama as Sara-chan for the first time, she got an extremely delighted look on her face. What a cute lady!

 The heroine Yuuki-chan is a girl with a short bob, dimples and the cuteness of a small animal. At the briefing for the external students, everyone was drawn to her cheerfulness. That’s right, we get caught up splendidly at Katsuragi-sama’s brainwashing seminar.

 Next, the capture targets.

 #1

 Katsuragi Kaoru. High school second year.

 A salon member and vice president of the student council. He will be the chairman of the game world this year. He looks like a typical Prince. Scion of the Katsuragi Heavy Industries. Good looks, good grades.

“Ano, what about Soujuu-sama?”

“Hmm, it’s hard to explain.”

 I asked about Soujuu-sama, but he didn’t give a clear answer.

“It’s an egoistic person.”

 Sara-sama told me. I see, that’s what he is.

 #2

 Hongou Soujuu. High school first year, Sara’s twin brother. Salon member.

 Scion of the HONGO Pharmaceutical. He’s always cold, but warms up to the heroine. Cool Beauty. Very smart.

“Soujuu is a Cool Beauty! That is too funny!”

 Sara-sama burst out laughing. We were struck by the intensity of it all. Soujuu-sama is in a bad mood.

“Why am I a capture target?”

“It just is that kind of world, Soujuu-sama.”

“You can just call me Sou.”

“Err… Hang on Soujuu-sama, it may be a bit difficult to call you that way. Please excuse me.”

“You will call me Sou someday.”

 #3

 Madenokouji Yuu. High school third year. Student council president. Salon member.

 Coming from a dated venerable family. His parents’ business made a blunder, forcing them to live in poverty. The heroine helps them get used to the unfamiliar commoner’s lifestyle. Typical Obaa-chan’s intelligent mini games are available.

“How exactly can you say that you’re poor? You’re quite wealthy if you can attend this school. You’re wealthy and by no means ordinary! You should quit school and get a job instead.You have enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle for a while now.”

“Hold it Rei-chan, you are getting passionate.”

 Isn’t your admittance to this school enough proof that you aren’t poor? I can’t consider that as being poor by all means. You ought to be employed.

 #4

 Ichijou Akimi. 28-year-old doctor.

 After two years of clinical training, he worked at his parents’ hospital. He became a resident at the school this year. After the end of the game, he returns to the university medical office.

“Yes, she says that I too am a capture target.”

“E~tto, that’s so isn’t it, be careful not to get caught up in some obscenity ordinance.”

 I more or less tried giving him some encouragement. But Ichijou-sensei was greatly perplexing instead.

 #5

 Shiroyama Michael Madoka. High school second years. Half German lineage.

 His parents are famous musicians, and he himself is also an active pianist. Salon member.

 #6

 Takanashi Ryou. High school first year. Soccer club.

 He looks rough at first glance, but he’s actually very diligent. An external student from middle school. A hot-blooded person who is excellent at both studies and sports.

“Yuria is eager to attach the capture target Takanashi-kun and the heroin Yuuki-chan.”

 Ichijou-sensei took a sip of the black tea. It looks delicious even when it’s cooled. I also took a sip. So delicious. I’m blessed.

“About that, so I’m supposed to be the villainess young lady in this otome game world.”

“Yes, you are going to get in the way of Takanashi-kun and Yuuki-san. I was told that you were a wicked villainess who will degrade not only him, but all the other capture targets too.”

“Speaking of which, I, the villainess young lady, was responsible for depriving Ichijou-sensei of his doctor license.”

“There’s no way Rei-chan would do that isn’t it. Sakurada Yuria doesn’t know a thing about Rei-chan.”

 Ichijou-sensei looks surprised to see the looks of anger in Sara-sama’s face.

“Didn’t Hongo-san meet Kujouin-san for the first time today?”

“That’s exactly true, however, there’s no way she is a villainess.”

“She could be approaching you for money.”

“… Sensei is having some despicable thoughts. I despise it.”

 Sara-sama seems to be really angry. Her eyes redden and her beautiful ringlet curls sway.

“Sara-chan, it can’t be helped that I may look that way. After all, I’m just a poor scholarship student. I’ve got no backing at all, really nothing at all. Ah, I’m really fortunate instead that I have no debt.”

“Rei-chan, you inherit the noble blood of the Kujouin family. You’re a legitimate successor.”

“Is there anything noble about the blood, and besides, the Kujouin family is currently in a state of poverty.”

 Sara-sama sighed. Soujuu-sama gave me an explanation instead, it seems that the Kujouin family was a more reputable family than I had thought.

 The Kujouin was one of the largest conglomerates in Japan before the war. I know that so far. With the dismantling of the Zaibatsu after the war, the Kujouin family lost most of their assets, they however increased their remaining assets and rebuilt their strength. They contribute to the research of pharmaceutical medicine in the poor Japan. He had many Japanese researchers study abroad and paid for research in Japan. Provided that, the Kujouin family seems to have lived a rather modest lifestyle.

(TN: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaibatsu

 Rich conglomerates during WW2)

 My Ojii-sama, who died before I was born, seems to have been a splendid man in a lot of ways. I wasn’t aware of this story.

“The current me is modest in a different way though…”

“You lost your assets coming out of the bubble economy.”

“That is so, my father failed to make an investment. But still, my grandmother lived a quiet life together with her maid, Fuki-san, in the surviving villa. But after my birth, my father ran into another problem and had to let go of the villa. And thus, we moved to this current house in the countryside.”

 I feel like the father I talked about who I have no recollection of, has shaped my life. I think it’s quite a pity. I know my mother’s given name in the family register at least, but she is already dead.

“Sensei’s family, the Ichijou clinic should also receive favours from the Kujouin family. Before you say anything rude to Rei-chan, please investigate the situation clearly.”

 I wonder if Ojii-sama was reputable as a man of character. Whatever the Kujouin family was in the past, It makes no difference that I’m still just a poor high school student. Ah, right, did I still have some bonito to go with the bamboo shoots? I can’t remember. I’ll purchase it on the way home.

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