Arisugawa murmured as she regained consciousness.
The girl called Aika-san locked on to me… and immediately headed my way.
Passing between the ojou-samas that were saying something or other, she walked with such force that she almost seemed to cut through the air and stopped in front of me.
*glare* She looked up at me. She was about a head shorter.
Then she grabbed my wrist all of a sudden.
“Eh? Hold on——”
I was dragged back along the parting she had made through the girls.
Both sides of the ojou-samas huddled together at this abrupt turn of events.
The last thing I heard as I was dragged out of the room was Arisugawa-san’s cry.
Aika-san continued to pull me down the corridor that was inlaid with a light violet carpet.
I didn’t have the slightest clue what was going on, so I never even thought of resisting.
We turned out of the corridor and entered into a courtyard.
The garden had a nice elegance and warmth to it, it looked like it came out of the picture book of a foreign country.
Moving off from the stepping stones, we quickly walked across the lawn until we stopped in the shade of trees that had been planted in an ellipse.
I could hear birds singing. The sunlight shining through the trees was faint, so the air felt a little cool.
Aika-san let go of my hand and faced me.
Closing her eyes, she took a few breaths to prepare herself.
With a weak voice she started to murmur something.
Her whole body started to tremble and her face slowly turned red.
What now…? There was a bizarre air of nervousness about her, the kind one would have right before skydiving.
“——For that sake!!”
Suddenly, her eyes opened widened and she took a step forward.
Then she grasped my head with both of her hands and brought her face near.
She then shut her eyes tightly again and pursed her lips like she was going to kiss… Err, wait—
I pulled my head back.
“Ah, what are you doing?!”
She didn’t let go of me. I didn’t get what’s going on and forcefully backed up even further—— and my foot slipped.
I fell, landing face-up.
I felt the tingling sensation of grass on my back and neck.
As I looked up, I could see the girl stretching over me on all fours.
And then, I noticed.
Both of my hands were groping her chest.
Realizing what I was doing, my face heated up.
The sensation I felt in the palm of my hands kinda felt like marshmallows.
For the first time, I felt like I wanted to run away.
Aika-san turned bright red and her lips started quivering. Although they were poor, breasts are breasts. Even if she only had a pretty small chest, it would be natural to feel embarrassed for, like, five minutes.
With an almighty *SLAP* I was struck across my face.
Still in the same set-up as when she had slapped me, she glared at me and said,
Uh… why would a girl ask me to kiss her right after slapping me in the face…?
Without even the time to think that things progressed too fast and surreal, Aika-san ground her molars together and then brought her lips closer.
“Wha— Hold on! I said hold on!”
I grabbed her shoulders.
“Why are you doing this?! For what reason?!”
Forced back with those same words used by Sakamoto Ryouma when he was assassinated, Aika-san used all her strength to remove both of my hands and said——
“If you kiss a commoner, your wish will come true, right?!”
“………Huh………? Wait, what?!”
“Kiss me for the sake of my dreams, commoner!!”
“Hold on a second! That’s not right! It won’t let your wish come true!!”
“Lies! I’ve definitely heard it’s true!”
“I heard it while chatting with a senpai from junior college in an after-school tea party!”
What kind of tea party was that?! Just what kind of ojou-samas go here?!
“…Listen up! Between a senpai who’s never gone outside and me, a commoner, who’s more trustworthy here?!”
At that—— Aika-san froze.
She was still holding onto my arms, unblinking; there was probably some super important meeting going on inside her head. And the result——
She tried to jump away from me, but as we were still on the ground she ended up scurrying backwards on all fours.
She hit the back of her head on a tree trunk.
Perhaps due to the surprise attack, she leaked a weird yelp.
As her eyes started to tear up, a leaf landed on the tip of her nose, and with an “Ahh… Ahh—”
It looked like some cliché manga.
Her disposition was different from that of the other rich girls. To put it bluntly, she was an clutz.
She pointed at me.
“It’s not like I really believed that, okay?!”
With tears in her eyes, she continued.
“It was more like, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating,’ and if it is true, it’s a once in a lifetime chance! Truth is, I’m frantically trying here to gloss over my incredible embarrassment, but commoners are dumb anyway, so it’ll be enough to deceive! Ufufu!”
You’re leaking the whole thing, though.
Realizing it herself, she quickly covered her mouth.
Then, she gave me a detestable stare—
She was angry at me even though I was the one that should have been indignant.
“The only idiot here is you!”
“What did you say?!”
“Say what you like, it’s not normal to believe in something like that. And worse, you even tried to do it!”
“I-It was just by chance!”
“If I told you that the condition for getting your wish fulfilled wasn’t to ‘Kiss a commoner,’ but rather ‘spin around three times while barking,’ would you still do that?”
“There’s no way I’d do that! …………”
She sunk into silence all of a sudden.
“………………That’s not true, right?”
At Aika-san’s excessive pureness (a roundabout expression), I said,
“Truth is, it’s totally right.”
“Eh?! No way!”
“But there’s only a 50% chance things will turn out well.”
“…N-No way… That’s a lie, right? ………………Is it really true?”
“It’s common knowledge among commoners.”
“!! I-I didn’t know—— I KNEW THAT, OKAY?!”
Huh, what’s with that bluff at the end?
She stood up with vigor and checked her footing.
Wait, did she believe that for real…?
When she was really about to spin—
I stopped her immediately and——
“You’ve got to put your hands up like this.”
I gave her a bit of choreography guidance.
With not a sliver of doubt, she brought both of her fists in front of her and assumed a puppy stance.
“L-Like this, right? If I remember correctly, it’s like this.”
“Yeah. I thought you’d knew already, but just in case. My bad.”
“Hmph, can’t be helped.”
I was able to read this girl slowly but surely.
Even though she’s odd, at the end of the day she’s still an earnest, sheltered ojou-sama. She also feels a bit different for some other reason, but let’s try things out for now.
“And when you’re spinning, you have to look absolutely innocent like a puppy.”
“Hopping while wagging your tail, that sorta thing.”
“No, more like…”
While she shook her butt, she started hopping as if her owner was waving a toy above her.
“That’s good! Really good!”
Aika-san seemed totally happy.
“Alright, go for it!”
“Right! With this, my dream will come true!!”
Aika-san said with a gleaming expression as she began to spin gaily. While shaking her buttocks, she hopped charmingly, spinning thrice with a smile from ear-to-ear——
It echoed throughout the courtyard.
As I watched the girl maintaining her puppy pose, it got me thinking.
What should I? Now that it’s come to this, I can’t back out of this safely anymore.
For the time being, I should tell her the truth and—— get ready for a beating.
“Ah, here he is!”
When I turned towards the voice, I saw Arisugawa-san and company enter the courtyard in succession.
“Please forgive us, Kimito-sama.”
Arisugawa-san bowed in embarrassment.
“We were surely worried and looking for you.”
A lovely wind started to blow.
“Unexpectedly, you are accompanied by someone else.”
The ojou-samas said unanimously. It became lively in the courtyard, as if a dozen flowers started to bloom.
“So, what were you two doing here?”
I looked for Aika-san and——
Before I knew it, she was on the other side of the courtyard.
She was standing in a spot far from the circle of ojou-samas and was silently casting her eyes downward.
Arisugawa-san followed my gaze,
It was clear that her shoulders were shaking.
With her head hung, she threw glances towards Arisugawa-san and the others repeatedly. A completely different person from only a moment ago.
Just when it seemed like her lips moved awkwardly to make something like a smile, she tightly squeezed her eyes shut instead and——
Ran for it.
With her ribbons swaying, she gained distanced and disappeared around the corner.
“She’s taken her leave…”
One of them murmured.
Her tone implied that it was the same as always. The other girls had a similar reaction.
“Aika-sama doesn’t talk to us much…”
Arisugawa-san looked at me and explained.
“We do have some shortcomings, I suppose.”
She brought her hand up to her cheek in unease.
In this really curious situation, I didn’t feel like it was bullying.
But then, what was it…?
Translator notes and references