Chapter 22: Commoners Even Have These Wonderful Things, Don’t They?

Arisugawa-san was looking into the mirror, bearing a surprised expression.

“This is… me?”

It was a complete make-over.

Kujou-san had displayed a perfect job following the reference material, she respectfully bowed and stepped back.

Sitting on a chair, Arisugawa-san was unsure whether she should touch her face or not—— then she looked up to me with her eyes asking ‘How is it?’.

…I wonder if this is a case where I should say ‘it fits you’? While I was being perplexed…

“It makes you be at a loss for words, right?”

When I looked into the direction of the voice, Kujou-san quickly turned her head away.

“Ehm… yeah, right on the mark.”

Towards these words, Arisugawa-san displayed a relieved smile. I did it!

“I seem like a different person…”

From her voice and the expression in her eyes I could tell that she was straight headed for getting hyped.

When I was crossdressing for the school festival during the third year in middle school, I remember that I was feeling really out of it too and did as I pleased in various ways… Well, it’s normal, you know? You’re getting psyched when you cross dress, right?

“I’m getting really excited.”

She seemed to be about ready.

 

When I entered the classroom, everyone was already neatly seated.

I had asked the young ladies to assemble after school, they looked bewildered, of course; they still didn’t know the reason after all.

I stood at the teacher’s desk and announced:

“From here on, we will commence the ‘Commoner After School Experience’.”

And speaking of which, the planner herself wasn’t around.

“It’ll be about what commoner girls frequently do after school’s over. I thought it’d be good to give you a first taste of it.”

In an instant, everyone looked about ready to make merry and not feel depressed anymore.

And with perfect timing…

Arisugawa-san opened the sliding door.

Everyone turned their heads, their eyes—— turned into dots.

[1]! Youth! Sparkle, sparkle!

A brown wig, eyelashes pushed to the heavens, eye liner, gloss lipstick, and a uniform cardigan.

Arisugawa-san was clad in Gyaru equipment from top to toe and entered determinedly.

Switching places with me, she stood on the teacher’s desk and being the center of attention now, she took a slow and deep breath——

“CHEEESE! HYPEPOYO—— ↑↑”

*SNAP*—☆ she did a reversed peace sign.

*CHATTERCHATTER*—…! Shivers were running through the ojou-samas.

“Could it be… Reiko-sama?”

“The voice appears to be similar here and there…?”

“What’s ‘poyo’?”

“Wai— What’s everyone sayiiing? That’s really super too terrific, you knooow? So crazy!”

As you’d expect of Arisugawa-san, she can already handle it like that…

Anyway, it was a disguise for her to be able to summon the courage to step in front of everyone. A success so far.

“…………So it’s someone else after all?”

“Seems so.”

“What’s ‘poyo’?”

I cleared my throat and interrupted.

“Ehm, that’s Arisugawa-san. We’ve changed her appearance to fit that of a commoner girl. These kinds of girls are called ‘Gyaru’. By the way, ‘poyo’ doesn’t mean anything in particular.”

“””””Gyaru…”””””

Now the their eyes revealed keen interest instead.

“This hair… it looks like a foreigner’s… and how do you style this?”

“Her eyelashes are so long! Her lipstick is so glossy and voluptuous!”

“And this is a new uniform even!”

An almost unexpectedly good reaction.

I don’t get it too well, but as a girl, these things probably make your antennas stand. And they didn’t have any prejudices either.

And then Arisugawa-san produced a cell phone from her pocket.

“My, it’s a mobile telephone!”

Arisugawa-san held the phone in both of her hands and pressed the bottoms somewhat clumsily.

“Reiko-sama, what might you be doing?”

Brr—… Brr—

“””””GYAAA—?!”””””

Suddenly, the ojou-samas were taken aback by a sound coming out of their tables.

“Everyone, please look into your desks.”

Arisugawa-san calmed them down with her usual tone.

Everyone timidly peered into them… and found the cell phones that had been put there in advance.

“My… My, my!”

They took them into their hands and froliced.

“Are these for us?!”

“What is this sparkling pattern?! Might they be rhinestones?”

“A bunny! How cute!”

While everyone was looking at Karen’s deko[2], they soon realized something.

“…? It’s flashing.”

“Mine too… what is it?”

“That is a notification that a new ‘mail’ has arrived.”

Arisugawa-san said.

“Mail? …A letter?”

“Please try and unfold the mobile telephone.”

The ojou-samas opened the phones with a snap.

“Something’s written here… ‘New Mail’…?”

“Please push the big button, that is surrounded by a silver ringer, twice.”

While everyone made a curious face, they pushed it.

And—— suddenly, their eyes widened.

The following should’ve been written in it:

 

FROM: Arisugawa Reiko / CONTENT: I am sorry.

 

“Everyone, I’ve been causing you a lot of trouble.”

Arisugawa-san bowed her head deeply.

The deep-colored wooden classroom was surrounded by silence as if everyone had to catch their breath.

“That’s not it! Not at all!”

“Please raise your head…!”

Everyone stirred commotion, flustered, and eagerly soothed her.

Arisugawa-san slowly raised her head.

“Thank you very much.” She said.

She parted from the teacher’s desk and—— tended to some of the girls.

First, Toujou-san.

“Kae-sama. I’ve said something horrible the other day, and I am terribly sorry.”

“Reiko-sama—!”

Arisugawa-san was about to lower her head again, but Toujou-san stood up and stopped her.

While her eyes seemed to be about to shed some tears,

“What are you saying?! I’m the one who… Everything’s been caused by my own shortcomings!”

“Kae-sama did nothing wrong. It was my shortcoming.”

“No! No…!”

Mutually quieting down, time passed as if they were letting something permeate.

And then Arisugawa-san said:

“…Well then, as proof that we reconciliated, shall we take a pic together?”

“Excuse me…?”

She moved besides the puzzled Toujou-san and prepared the phone.

Toujou-san blushed when Arisugawa-san stuck to her shoulders so that they’d fit into the frame together.

“R-Reiko-sama…?”

“Please look to the mobile telephone.”

…Kasha—♪

“Kyaa—”

Not knowing what happened, Toujou-san shivered. Arisugawa-san directed the display towards her.

“Look, it’s a picture. The mobile telephone can also take these.”

“…My!”

When Toujou-san raised her voice—— the surrounding ojou-samas came rushing by, surrounded them, and took a peek by themselves.

“It really is!”

“Even though it’s a telephone, why would it be able to do this?!”

“And…”

Arisugawa-san operated the phone.

Before long, Toujou-san’s phone vibrated.

Toujou-san was a bit surprised, but showed quick acclimatation nonetheless and opened the phone.

“…! This is…”

“I can even send you the pictures that we’re taking.”

“…Amazing…”

Toujou-san was gazing at photo of Arisugawa-san and her with their shoulders close to each other.

“Like this, commoners take photos with their friends and send them to each other.”

To this word ‘friends’…

Toujou-san slowly… raised her head.

Arisugawa-san’s soft and a bit uneasy smile was right in front of her.

“We are friends, right?”

In just a second, Toujou-san’s levee broke.

“Yes! Yes…!”

Tears ran down her face and she nodded many times over.

“I’m relieved…”

Arisugawa-san’s eyes teared up too.

Toujou-san checked her phone seemingly glad.

“I… will make sure to treasure this dearly.”

When Arisugawa-san gently embraced her, Toujou-san clung to her in return too, as if she couldn’t hold back anymore.

Everyone around them cried in sympathy and snuffled with handkerchiefs in their hands.

I also felt like my heart had been cleansed and expressed a truly relieved smile.

Then Arisugawa-san turned to everyone in class and said:

“Please, everyone, let’s take pictures together!”

 

It had been the great climax.

“I’m sending it right away!”

“Next with me!”

Alternately pairing up, the ojou-samas took pics together here and there. Their excitement went almost through the roof.

“Commoners even have these wonderful things, don’t they?”

To us, it’s very rare to enjoy casual things like lazing around and the like that genuinely.

But I think that that’s the only big difference, that aside we’re pretty much the same kind of people.

Girl’s really like these things universally. Even I, when I had my first phone bought, was really excited and did nothing but taking pics with my friends.

…For a second, I missed my old school.

But that aside, it had been a big success.

Arisugawa-san had become the center of the class, as before, and had her pic being taken many times over.

——Your plan was a huge success.

It just added a bit that, legally speaking, she should’ve been in there.

Then Arisugawa-san became aware of my gaze and in a flash, her face shined.

“What about you, Kimito-sama?”

“Eh?”

“Let’s take one together, too!”

Everyone raised their voices.

“By all means, come here!” “I want to take one with Kimito-sama!”

“First of all, he should take one with Reiko-sama—!”

Toujou-san said.

“…I-If it pleases you…?”

Arisugawa-san asked bashfully.

“Ah, yeah.”

When I said this, she expressed the loveliest smile I had ever seen.

 

Around that time.

Aika was in her room.

Alone. Evening had passed, her room had turned dark, and she was lying in her bed, face-down. She was reading the manga she had brought from Kimito’s room.

It was poor manners to read manga while in bed, but she was imitating commoners. After all, she was reading commoner manga as commoners would.

Earlier, she had eaten a sweet bar. The flavor was a bit strong, but not bad. Although it had been her first, it had felt like a taste she had yearned for.

These were club activities. Today she was doing them on her own.

It was comfortable, felt good, the manga was interesting, there wasn’t any problem whatsoever.

Suddenly… she realized the room had gotten dark, and Aika got out of bed, turning the light on.

The light of the incandescent lamp gently illuminated the gorgeous dorm room.

It was so silent, that she seemed to be able to hear the sound of the bulbs. While she looked up at the light absent-mindedly…

“…I wonder if it went well…?”

She muttered with her hair all wrinkled-up.

It was the result of a failed attempt on a flashy Gyaru hair style.

“Well, I don’t need it.”

She nodded with her hair still like that.

Her plan was perfect. As the creator, she had confidence in that.

Around now, everyone should be really excited and indulge in taking pics.

And in the center of it all, there would probably be Arisugawa Reiko.

Having her comeback as the popular person in class, surrounded by everyone’s smiles, the same blessed girl as ever.

Thinking that, Aika…

The pure Aika who couldn’t lie——

“…I’m glad.”

Smiled with a very content feeling.

She was feeling good and happy about it.

“Come forth, King of Origin—— MENAS—!”

Imitating the manga, she stroke an [Avatar Summoning] pose.

But she got embarrassed and crawled into the bed.

 

Translator notes and references

[1]According to a native, this describes 1) being in high spirits and 2) some flashy hairstyles. Google “Gyaru” yourself, if you want to know more. In America you call that kind of people “annoying women”. In general everything in the next few paragraphs is related to that sort of pop culture and various things follow that are hard (or impossible) to translate, deal with my improvisation.
[2]Furigana says “painstaking work”.