“Club activities time!”
Aika declared in my room after school.
“Tell me lots about commoners!”
*THUB*—! She struck her own chest. On her upper arm—— she was wearing an armband saying ‘Commoner Club’.
“I made it myself!”
Now, aren’t you bursting with motivation…
“Of course you’ll get one too! It’s proof for being a member! Come, put it on—”
She cheerfully put the armband on me.
“There, done! ——Ah, for your information, only wear it during club activities, okay? Take it off outside. The commoner club’s a secret! If you spill the beans, it’ll mean big trouble!”
Still being stupidly cheerful, she sat down on the zabuton and extended both her hands with a shining smile.
“Then, let us begin! What are we gonna do first?! What will it be?!”
“…I haven’t given it a thought yet…”
“Well, it was just kinda impossible to…”
“Hmph, ’cause you were being all dere-dere with Arisugawa Reiko, huh?!”
Well, I was…
“Let me think.”
Pacifying the suddenly ill-humored Aika, I sat down on the zabuton cross-legged.
What to do? Even if she asks me to tell her about commoners…
When I checked, she had taken out some manga volume from of the bookshelf.
“That? That’s manga.”
Aika blinked in puzzlement,
Uwa, you serious——?
How careless, and here I had intended to be aware of the ojou-samas’ general ignorance.
“You don’t know about it?”
Aika’s eyes suddenly opened wide at me, while mine were oozing an ‘Eh, you don’t know about this kinda thing either?!’ aura.
“I-I do know about it! H-Hoo? So commoners call it ‘manga’?!”
She totally doesn’t know.
“So commoner manga’s are like this, huh?! Looks a bit different from ours!”
Rattling on with her fast-talking, she kept turning the pages.
“Well, there’s no color at all, just black ‘n white, huh?! The pages are really crowded with pictures, do you want to save on the paper, I wonder?! Ara, ara, you guys sure are pitiful! Our ojou-sama manga’s a step ahead, with proper coloring, big pictures, and the cat dies 1000000 times over!”
Aren’t you talking about a picture book?
“And in the end the cat is… it’s… uguuuu…!”
I took out a handkerchief from my pocket and wiped her tears. Then I calmly put a tissue on her nose.
Can’t be helped, huh…
“…! Wait, what are you doing?!”
A sparkling arch was pulled from Aika’s nose.
“Don’t move! The snort!”
……Why did I have to be slapped.
While Aika was holding the manga…
“How is it?”
“Do all commoners have manga? Do they read it?”
“Hmm—— Well, that’s right. The majority does.”
“Then I’ll read it too.”
“It’s probably a good idea. You’ll probably come to understand how our campus life and normal lives work too…”
“The commoners’ lives?”
And so Aika’s got psyched and energetically turned the pages.
She wanted to learn commoner culture to become popular in her class—— her determination was the real deal.
But… since the moment she had casted her eyes on the first page, Aika shivered.
Her brows wrinkled more and more.
“I can’t read it.”
“How do you read this?!”
She stuck it out.
“It’s just weird! I don’t get it at all!”
On the page she had opened was one those distinctive manga panels…
So she doesn’t know how to read the panel layout…?
“What’s with that attitude?! It pisses me off!”
“My bad, my bad. Um, with that, you see…”
I pointed at the panel.
“You start off by going from right to left. Then you go down, and then right to left again…okay? You get it now, right?”
Perhaps because she was off guard, she answered honestly like a child would.
“And when you come to a two pages spread like this, you…”
I gave her a brief rundown on everything and it seemed like Aika had come to understand how to read it.
Opening the book on her lap, Aika once again started reading.
Turning the pages somewhat awkwardly, she had kept saying various mumbling stuff like ‘Ahh’ and ‘This is a commoner’s school?’ in the beginning, but eventually—she became strangely quiet.
Without any real expression, she was reading with intense concentration.
The manga was called ‘A Magician’s Day’, it was one of those so-called supernatural school battle mangas.
Revolving around the Holy Grail that was sealed in the academy, the students battled each other using their ‘Avatars’. You could also say it was a ‘stand battle‘ type.
It was a manga that got a ‘I kinda like it’ out of someone like me, but perhaps because it was the first manga Aika had ever read in her life, she was reading it with incredible enthusiasm.
I didn’t really have anything else to do so I, reluctantly, headed to the shared community kitchen.
Although I call it a shared community kitchen, this place was a full-fledged, high-standard kitchen and the refrigerator was packed with food.
I made some black tea and as a snack, I cut thin slices of bread and made them into a sandwich with fruits I had sliced up and yogurt; I arranged it all together on a plate. After I was done, I returned to the club room and placed it besides Aika.
Ahh, such a pain in the ass.
Still reading the manga enthusiastically, Aika picked up the sandwich.
I had sprinkled a little bit of salt on the fruit, it was my own personal touch. Salt always goes well together with bread, so it should’ve helped to bring out the flavor.
Not caring about any of that, Aika simply finished it up, *munch* *chomp* *chew*.
Well, not like I put that much effort into it in the first place. I calmly thought while refilling her tea.
Aika was done reading the entire volume.
“How was it?”
“…It surprised me.”
“Why haven’t you told me about it?”
Aika looked at me seriously.
“That commoner high school students… are all ‘ability users’.”
What… did she just…
Let’s try to explain this.
Tenkuubashi Aika is a bit of a stupid tsunpure-san.
So, to this tsunpure-san who actually believed this manga setting to be true without batting an eye, I, I…
“To tell you the truth, it’s right.”
Aika shouted out.
“No way! Commoners! No way…!”
While taken aback, she was trembling all over.
And then, she suddenly stood up.
“If that’s the case, then I’ll become a supernatural too!”
“If commoners can do it, then there should be no reason an ojou-sama like I shouldn’t be able to!”
“And with that I’ll show off my avatar to everyone in class! This’ll stir up a big commotion and they’ll all be like ‘Aika-san is surely amazing!’. I’ll be popular! Girl A: ‘Compared to our ability user, Aika-san, it’s obvious that chairwoman Reiko-sama is absolutely inferior.’ Me: ‘My, my, everyone, it’s not nice to say things like that, okay?’ Girl B: ‘No, from now on Aika-san shall be the center of our class!’ Newly elected chairwoman (me): ‘Oh my, that someone like me… But if that’s what you all wish for, then…’—Serves you right, Arisugawa Reiko! Hahaha!”
She laughed loudly, spreading both her arms apart and striked a pose like Atlas holding up the world.
“Ah, don’t worry, commoner! Even if I do become a popular person, I’ll still talk to you! What an honor, right?! Ufufu!”
“——Well, we should get started with your special training, shouldn’t we?”
“That’s right! What do I do?!”
“To awaken the ‘avatar’ inside you, you need to make a contract.”
“I see. It said that in the manga.”
Nodding her head repeatedly, she continued,
“Like this, right?”
Just like in the manga, she was in a pose with both her arms crossed across her chest.
“No, like this.”
I took a ‘get’ pose for Aika.
“…That’s different from the manga, isn’t it?”
“This is what you need to do. You’re not a commoner. You’re an ojou-sama, right?”
“I see. So that’s how it is?”
Easily believing me, she psyched herself up and assumed a ‘get’ pose.
“Next is the ‘ritual contract’, right?”
“…’O god of the beginning’…”
“Wait. That’s wrong.”
“That was for the protagonist, you know? You should have your own ritual. Now then, close your eyes. You can hear it, can’t you? The voice from the depths of your heart.”
“O figure clad in thy golden garment.”
“O-O figure clad in thy golden garment.”
“Pointing towards the horizon.”
“Pointing towards the horizon.”
“With a twirl and a spin.”
“With a twirl and a spin.”
“Now once again altogether!”
“O figure clad in thy golden garment, pointing towards the horizon, with a twirl and a spin, GET!!”
Now this was no more than an ordinary ‘get’.
The reminiscent performance of Aika echoed throughout the club room—and then it became deadly silent.
“…? Nothing’s coming out.”
“No, your avatar already came out.”
“Ohhh! What an incredible aura! Certainly, you can’t see it’s figure, but it’s here!! You can’t feel that?! Really?!”
“N… Now that you mention it, I can feel it!”
“Right?! The name of your avatar is… um…”
“Did you just say ‘um’?!”
“Yeah, it’s Karuki! To prepare for the final battle for the fate of the world it’s been continuously training in the heavens for 5,670,000,000 years. It’s ‘The Ultra M Soldier ・Karuki’! Ohhh, this is the strongest avatar, Aika!”
“Now, let me see you use your power right away! Use the ability to stop time
Aika crossed both her arms and mustered her strength.
She forcefully she spread her arms out wide.
And then I acted as if time had stopped.
I stopped breathing, and nor did I blink.
Aika noticed the abnormal event.
—Now then, what will she do?
“…Did I… really stop it…?”
Her eye’s blinked in surprise and she sidled up next to me.
She lightly pushed my cheek.
And then—Aika’s gaze lit up right in front of me.
“Amazing! I’ve become an ability user!”
She celebrated with a ‘Hooray!’
Then she stood up and her arms were shaking in excitement. During that chance I blinked.
Aika looked back over here and guffawed.
“Uwa, what an incredible idiot! Stupid, stupid! Stupid commoner! Ufufu!”
…What the heck. I was wondering what she was going to do, but this isn’t cute at all (#^ω^).
Now then, I guess it’s about time to end this facade, I thought for a sec.
Aika pulled up her skirt.
An inverted triangle with frills was swaying right in front of my eyes.
Aika happily displayed her panties while she looked down on me with eyes full of stupidity.
Feeling a slight breeze across my face, the situation spun out of control, it was a huge failure on my part.
If I said something like ‘The truth is, I was just acting (teehee ☆)’ now, I’d become the victim in a murder case, no doubt.
Aika rummaged the top of my desk in high spirits and picked up a permanent marker.
So it’ll be that, huh? The standard ‘scribble on someone’s face’. Her creativity’s bottom.
“Alright. Let’s write ‘Ichijinsha’ on his forehead.”
Why the manga publisher’s——
With a *pop* she took off the cap and leaned over me.
Putting her hand out, she held my bangs up.
I felt the sensation of her soft fingers. Perhaps due to her high spirits, they felt a bit hot and sweaty.
Aika’s face soon came right before my eyes. She had a happy looking smile on.
Her lips… were a pink that looked slightly reddish.
I remembered. At the time when I first met this person, when she suddenly tried to kiss me—
…Crap. I wonder if I’m blushing.
While I had kept worrying about things like that, I suddenly noticed that Aika’s movements had stopped.
It realized that her cheeks, which were slightly above my eye level, were dyed red… and she was staring down at me.
She looked hard at me with a *hmph* written all over her face.
With the sharp smell of the ink lingering in the air, time seemed to stand still.
Aika touched her lips with her fingers and blushed even more.
What? Just what is it…?
While thinking that, my eyes felt like they were on the verge to dry out.
And—— suddenly she tilted her chin and lightly closed her eyes.
Then, as if some kind of small force was attracting her to me, her face was moving closer——
And then she opened her eyes.
I was slapped across the face and fell down onto the floor.
“…The hell! Just where the heck did that come from?!”
“Eh? Why are you talking…?”
“H-Huh? Oh, why does my cheek hurt, I wonder? (monotone)”
While pretending I was slightly injured I also kept up the act as if time had resumed. If I’d get found out now, I’d surely get slapped real hard.
“Oh why, I wonder? (monotone)”
“Because I’ve slapped you!”
You really just do say anything that comes to your mind, huh?
“Hm, hm… I see now! The time stop limit must’ve been hit, huh! I’ll have to keep that in mind from now on!”
While her face was gleaming she nodded.
…Well, anyways, I could deceive her. That’s a relief.
And then I saw the permanent marker roll by, the one of which she’d taken the cap off.
“Aika, hold up for a sec.”
It’d be a pain if ink got on her clothes.
“Honestly, it’s no good to just leave it like that with the cap taken off, you know?”
Grumbling that, I picked up the permanent marker.
“What was that ‘Ichijinsha on forehead’ all about.”
“You… How do you know about what I was going write?”
A smile showed on my face, similar to that of a veteran general who understood that he had had lost the battle.
“You… You’re kidding, right?! You have to be kidding me…!”
I clearly declared to Aika, who seemed to remember all she had done and turned as red as a tomato with her eyes tearing up,
“It was just an act. Sorry.”
I was viciously beat up.
Translator notes and references
Might or might not be a reference to “Mahou Tsukai no Yoru”.
Maybe a JoJo reference (スタンドバトル). At least googling it brings a lot of JoJo stuff up.
The ‘gettsu’ pose is meant here. It’s a pose done by a famous Japanese comedian. It looks like this. His routine usually consists of some story leading up to a punchline, then he’ll jump and spin around in a circle, followed by a ‘gettsu’. It will be referenced quite a lot in the beginning of the series.