Hellping

Chapter 5-1 – June 19, I invited her to my house


I’m a high school boy and a bestselling light novel author, strangled by my classmate who is my underclassman and a voice actress.

This is my current predicament.

Strictly put, this isn’t precise.

So I should say..

I’m a high school boy and a bestselling light novel author, having my classmate who is my underclassman and a voice actress strangle me.

This is my current predicament.

With my hands outstretched, I firmly grabbed Nitadori’s hands on my neck, holding them down.

But I probably had no strength to crush Nitadori’s slender, icy hands–

At least my blood won’t stop flowing completely.

All I felt was an icy neck. Very comfy.

 

June 19th, Thursday.

I took the Limited Express, so that I could observe the After Record of the twelfth episode.

Like usual, I arrived at the station early, and waited at the platform.

Like the previous day, the plum rain took a temporary absence. The weather was fine.

The LImited Express slowly leaned its carriages on the platform, and the passengers from Tokyo disembarked. The train personnel quickly cleaned out. To be honest, I always found their work to be arduous.

I was the first to board, and went to the usual seat at the last row, to the left. I placed the backpack next to me, and exhaled.

To be honest, I had no need to do so.

Even if someone did take this seat, all I needed to do was to send a message to Nitadori.

“I didn’t get the usual seat. I’ll be seated at seat number OO.”

She probably won’t be mad at me, even if I’m to use such an intimate tone.

We did exchange a few messages this week, and just the previous day, she came to my house.

 

It started last week.

I had a fever on Thursday, and though I hoped to attend the After Record at Tokyo, I was stopped by the doctor. No, by my mother, who’s a nurse, and by the editor-in-charge.

After that, I took some medication, and laid down; after that, I changed into pajamas, and continued to sleep. I woke up again, had some food and medication, waited for the drowsiness to kick in, and went to sleep–

On Friday morning, I woke up, and found my fever to have completely subsided.

While I surely would not have enough time to make it to the After Record, I had plenty of time to attend school.

However, I never knew how to attend school on Fridays. Though I had attended this school for at least two months, I never stepped into the campus of the school on Fridays.

What do I do if an alien exchange student riding an Adamsky-shaped saucer only on Fridays show up? What do I do if the student menu ends up as an invitation from an alien?

“Hey, I never met you before. Come to the back of the gym. I’ll show you my flying saucer.”

What do I do if an alien from the second planet of the Parapupa solar system, Henelebochara is to say this to me and not let me go?

What if it’s a female who’s proposing to me and want to take me there? What will happen?

After making such stupid delusions, I decided not to take the five minutes walk to school, and chose to write my novel as I wished.

 

Nitadori’s message came after 3.30pm,

While writing the continuation of ‘Vice Versa’, the manuscript of the 12th volume, my smartphone vibrated, indicating a new message. I was wondering that it was probably from the editor, or mom as I used the phone. Then, I saw Nitadori’s face.

The message she sent–

Contained cheerful, very formal words showing concern for me.

And also, she mentioned about how the After Record of the 11th episode ended successfully, that like before, the recording of the episode was perfect. The replication of the streets and

I had to answer.

With more effort than I exerted the previous time–

I indicated in my reply, I have completely recovered, thank you for worrying about me, I am looking forward to seeing the episode air.

She then answered me quickly, no longer than a minute.

Glad that you have recovered, so she wrote, you looked funny when you were shaking about in class.

Well, I thought there was some frequent quakes going on. Must have been funny to think about it.

So that ended our interaction on Friday, and I quietly went back to work.

 

Currently, I am writing the twelfth volume of ‘Vice Versa’, and plotting the outline for the thirteenth volume.

The twelfth volume involves ‘Side Sin’, when Sin arrives in Japan, and it is a comedy involving the school festival. I had no actual experience of a school festival, so when writing this part, I would distill the various scenes in past novels and anime.

The thirteenth volume is ‘Side Shin’, a serious story.

The war in the eleventh volume (which included Meek’s death) expected Sin’s territory, it resulted in new enemies. The major countries afar started to view Sin’s country as a threat, and heard that he had an immortal doppelganger, and had the special forces deployed to abduct him.

I had intention to write approximately twenty volumes of the main plot.Thus, to improve it, I had to cook up the mood until it escales. Also, I had to set up the foreshadowing to the final battle. These foreshadowings were established during the prior meetings I had with the editor.

Thinking of plotlines is certain a delightful thing. I feel really blessed to be able to write this story.

During the three days of weekend, starting Friday, I was cooped in the room, and kept writing, just as I did during my hiatus from school–

And then, I received a message from Nitadori.

It was on Sunday, at about 8pm or so.

It was short.

And it went,

“You made a promise that I can visit your house, so may I?”

 

“Eh, did I make this promise?” For a moment, i was about to tilt my head–

But after a minute, I remembered.

Speaking of which, last month, on the 15th, on the day I was strangled, I did say these words. What happened thereafter was very impressionable, and that was why it took me some time to recall.

Just to note, the word ‘mad’ Nitadori used was a typo. It should have been ‘made’. If I had submitted the manuscript as it were, there would be a red mark indicated by the proofreader.

In any case, I didn’t really mind anyone coming to my house.

For me, the instances of friends coming for house visits only occur in novels, manga and anime, so I was glad, and it might be interesting to showcase my house to my friends.

Currently, my room isn’t really messy. Mom’s work schedule is shuffled again, like usual, and now she works in the day.

Thus, even though I would have a tight schedule tomorrow, either Tuesday or Wednesday should

It’ll have to be after school though.

Of course, we couldn’t go home together. If we’re seen, Nitadori would be in trouble.

Thus, I would head home first.

After that, i would have Nitadori leave the school twenty minutes later, head to the gate of the apartment, and press the apartment number for the doorbell.

I wrote these things in the message, and also added on “no need to hurry with the reply” before sending the message–

After an hour, I received a reply,

“Wednesday then! Looking forward to it!”

Those were the words written.

 

On Monday and Tuesday, I went to school.

The days were normal, I never spoke to Aizawa, Miss Satake, and of course, not to Nitadori.

With the sounds of the plum rain pelting, I went to school like usual, never spoke to anyone, had my beef bowl, and went home after school.

And then, on Wednesday–

After having lunch in the cafeteria, I received a message from Nitadori.

“Is today ffine? If I’m not intruding, please let me visit as planned. The weather’s good.”

So she wrote.

Well, she’s right. It’s in the middle of the plum rain season, but it had been sunny since morning, and I could see the hills clearly. Such weather was clearly suitable for inviting a friend to a house visit. I replied, indicating my agreement.

On the way back, I thought,

Is there something I need to prepare?

I never invited a friend into my house as a visitor. In stories, snacks or juice will probably be served, or maybe cakes.

I started to wonder if there was anything at home–

There should be two, three kinds of juice. Snacks-wise, while I did not have any potato chips, I had cookies. I heaved a sigh relief. To be honest, there wasn’t enough time for me to head down to the shop to do some purchases.

I returned home to my apartment at the top floor, and wondered if I should change out from my uniform, only to remain as I was.

At home, I would wear some tattered peats along with a crumpled T-shirt. Even if I do put it nicely, it’s not a clean attire. I could not remember when was the time time I washed my clothes.

Though we’re friends, she’s a girl, can’t be rude to her, so I thought, and i started wondering what to do–

“If only we’re chatting in some public place, like on a train.”

So I came to a very simple conclusion,

“Ah!”

I had a single thought.

It was best if I could prepare this first, so I took action to begin preparations.

 

Once I was done, I stood by the window of the living room, thinking that the hills on this day were pretty when the doorbell rang.

Through the screen on the speakerphone, I saw that it was Nitadori, and opened the door.

“Come in!”

So Nitadori walked in.

The security functions of this apartment building is truly satisfactory. Before taking the elevator, the rider has to repeat the same actions again.

If not, the elevator buttons could not be pressed. It’s pretty troublesome for frequent visitors, I guess?

As a side note, the residents need to raise a card key towards a sensor before the corridor and elevator. There’s a chip inside the card key, and the door will open, the elevator will shift over, and the residents can press the button leading to that particular level.

I timed the moment, thinking that it was about time, and waited before the unlocked door. I discovered signs of footsteps.

Then, I opened the door–

“Hii!”

I was taken aback by the shrieking Nitadori, my body twitching,

“Ah…erm, sorry.”

I apologized for a reason I could not understand, and welcomed Nitadori into my house.

“Erm, welcome.”

“Pl-please pardon my intrusion…”

Nitadori said as she slowly entered, removed her shoes, and placed them facing outside.

After seeing her remove her socks, I realized something. Argh, I forgot to prepare slippers. I hurriedly went to the shoe cabinet to get them.

I guess nobody wore this pair of slippers before.

My rented ‘house’ is close to school, has large rooms, and is useful for taxation purposes. It’s a 4LDK.

After entering, there’s a corridor straight down. Two rooms the size of 6 tatamits are on the right, used as the library and the storeroom respectively.

There are cheap steel shelves in the library, and the books I bought are all stacked fully. The storeroom has a transparent case for me to put my suit, along with a dust absorber.

To the left are the restroom and bathroom.

Further down the corridor is a spacious area where the living room and dining room are almost one, facing a balcony with a wonderful view.

Also, there is a Japanese-styled room 6 tatamis wide. This room was supposed to be one with the living room, forming a spacious place, but there isn’t a need for much space for a family of two, so it became mom’s bedroom.

“Woah! It’s rather new! So pretty!”

I continued this introduction tour of my house to Nitadori, who was happily looking around the room.

“Great retention of sunlight. Oh, nice view! It’s so windy! So cooling!”

Nitadori appeared to be enjoying herself.

And then, I recalled last November, when I came to visit this apartment.

I had the exact same thoughts as Nitadori has right now, I was really excited. Even when mom bemoaned the price of the apartment, I decided to stay here. And then, my dream was fulfilled.

It happened a mere half a year ago, yet I felt it was a long time ago.

Next to the living room was a large Western-styled room facing the balcony, 8-tatami wide. That’s my bedroom, and my workplace.

Nitadori looked around the living room, and said,

“Now finally, the workplace!”

I, acting as guide, then responded,

“Understood.”

I approached the door. The window’s opened, so there shouldn’t be any sweaty smell, so i thought as I opened the door.

“Come in.”

On the wooden floor of this 8 tatami room, there were various things including the thin, long bookshelf b the wall, a black steel bed ordered from a furniture wholesaler, and a similarly cheap bed.

“So this is your workplace, sensei! The place where ‘Vice Versa is born!”

Incredulously, Nitadori spoke with such riveting words. There are times when I would type on the train, or in the hotel, sometimes on the sofa in the living room, but I’ll say about 70% of the work is done here.

But despite so, having this first visitor made me happy.

“May I come in?”

Nitadori stood at the entrance, looking around. She doesn’t need my approval, so I thought as I answered,

“Of course.”

Nitadori entered the room. I closed the door carefully, not letting the wind blow the door aside, and locked it as usual.

“Eh?”

Nitadori, standing two meters before me, looked at me with skepticism.

“Hm?”

I blurted out. Nitadori was at a loss of words,

“Ah, erm…”

And then,

“I locked the door…Well, it’s a habit…even though I’m at home.”

Ah, I see.

I didn’t know the situation regarding other families . So there’s a culture of families not locking their doors. No, I guess no ordinary family, including Nitadori’s. Maybe they never had locks to begin with.

Since mom isn’t at home, I reached out to unlock the door.

“Now then, for some introductions–”

Saying that, I moved forward, passing Nitadori as I stood before the desk, and pointed at the large laptop on it,

“This is the computer, my number one apparatus. The ‘Vice Versa’ manuscript sent for competition was typed out here.”

I introduced this ‘weapon’ that changed my life, and enabled me to battle.

“Ohh! This is it! –The delinquent bike!”

Great reaction from Nitadori. Once again, she went overboard with the example.

I opened it, took out a hard disk, and showed it to her.

“So all the data is contained in this disk…so if anyone is to steal it and run away…”

“I’ll pursue him to the depths of Hell–well, I do set up backups when I’m free, so I can continue to work.”

“Ahaha.”

The nine released volumes of ‘Vice Versa’, the high school textbooks and reference books were all neatly stacked on the desk.

That is because I would read my past works.

“I see, so you are wearing two mats here?”

She seemed rather impressed as she said this. While it should be ‘two hats’ instead, I did not bother to correct her.

There were a few corkboard on the wall before the bookshelf.

I did not want to have too many holes on the wall, so I bought them through mail, and hung a few of them within reach.

The corkboards would hold the illustrations of ‘Vice Versa’ the editorial branch would send to me as reference, along with the illustrations I printed for myself.

I bought a color printer when I moved to this house, and was so giddy with joy, I printed lots.

Nitadori stared at the illustrations of Shin, Sin and Meek,

“This is nice. Really nice.”

She was already looking as a fan, her head swaying as she looked on.

Amongst them, there were illustrations of unrevealed drafts and character designs, and when the wrong costumes were drawn.

“I never saw this before!–not this either! Who is this? Is this the enemy general ‘Coat’? Is this the original design for ‘Dasca’? Eh, who is this character?”

Nitadori seemed really happy.

“Please don’t leak this out.”

I raised this extremely late request, and explained them all one by one.”

And by the time I realized, we spent 20 minutes before the desk.

After introducing basically everything I wanted to show her in the room, I said,

“And there’s one thing I want to show you no matter what.”

I opened the drawer.

Within it, which I usually used to store pencils and erasers, that thing appeared.

It was something I prepared beforehand.

I opened the envelope placed within the transparent case used for storage, and revealed the letter placed there.

Handing that letter over to Nitadori, I said,

“I think you probably would want to see this thing you haven’t seen in a while.”

“Ah–”

After seeing that letter, Nitadori widened her eyes, but did not accept the letter.

“Where is the toilet?”

She suddenly shouted, so I hurriedly opened the door.

“To-to the right of the corridor! The switch to the lights is outside!”

I instructed, and Nitadori darted past me,

“You could have asked for the washroom instead!”

I thought of saying so, but did not.

For if I was mistaken, that she had a tummyache, it would have been embarrassing for me.

 

I slipped the fanmail from Stella Hamilton back into the drawer.

It was a treasure for eternity.

That until death, I would not want to lose.

This letter really delighted me, and I replied.

I never expected that after two years, the person who sent me this letter actually came to my room.

Life is really unpredictable.

Really interesting.

I don’t know when I might day. It might even be today–

But I’m really glad to be born on this world.

 

As I stood on the balcony, watching the hills with the comfortable breeze blowing at me,

“Sorry…”

After her ‘long toilet break’, Nitadori went to the living room, and I followed suit.

Then, she stood before me, the eyes beneath her glasses looking a little red.

“I’m very happy. Also, I remembered a lot of things. While they aren’t good memories, those past memories made me who I am.”

Stella, wearing a black wig, colored lens, and glasses without degree, showed a smile as she said this.

Seeing that face, she’s pretty after all, so I had this random thought.

It’ll be great if I can have such a beautiful girlfriend, so I thought.

And then, I quickly gave up on this notion.

Putting an actual person as the basis of a delusion will never end well.

In fact, the conversations I could imagine, and the impressions I gain from them, none of them existed.

It’s one thing if they’re fictitious characters. I should in fact be doing that and focus on writing.

But I can’t use a living person as a basis for my delusions. There is a huge difference between the impressions in my delusions and the actual persons, and I would end up unable to converse.

I focused my attention on Stella. After introducing everything I wanted to show, I wondered what to show next, when Stella suddenly said,

“I have something important to say.”

I was quietly taken aback.

And even if I was not, I had issues dealing with the stiff formal language of hers when she’s in Stella-mode, so I was really nervous.

What is this ‘really important’ thing?

Being so formal, I could tell she wasn’t joking around, but I could not understand what she was trying to say.

“Have you realized? There’s a terrifying presence in this room.”

Would she say such a thing? Would she dig out a talisman from her bag and stick it onto the wall? Is she an exorcist?

No–that’s not it.

It’s probably when ‘I deemed her as my girlfriend’, right?

Speaking of which, I haven’t apologized to her about this.

Or rather, more foolishly, I had forgotten about this.

During this time, my actions made it seem like that never happened.

She’s probably fuming about this? Will she berate me over this?”

“Do you know how it feels to be called someone else’s girlfriend without asking?”

Would she say such at thing?

To be honest, I’m really scared. I wanted to run away.

I wanted to go home.

And then, I realized I was at home.

“Wh-what is it…?”

I could not run away.

There was no one who would save me.

I hope someone can save me,

“I–”

With rage on her face, Stella spoke up. Suddenly, the door at the entrance opened.

“I’m back!”

I never expected my mother to be the one to save me!

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