“Mr Inoue, you are probably dead.”
The handsome boy, so akin to a Prince, beamed as he immediately informed me of this unexpected matter.
“Ehhh?” I exclaimed.
Let us recall back to the old Literature Clubroom.
“The taste of ‘Genji Monogatari’ is like enjoying Namagashi on a tea set. When coupled with an elegant, delicate seasonal flair, this really is an ‘Empathy towards things’ with regards to beauty, one that lasted since ancient times in Japan!”
Touko-senpai removed her indoor shoes and sat on the foldable chair, looking blissful as she flipped through the books on her books. The clear sunlight of end May shone through the window, lighting her little face.
She prattled on, swaying her thin, long braids that were like cat tails.
“The protagonist is the Prince of the Emperor, one who was blessed with intellect and looks, called Hikaru no Kimi. His mother, the Consort Kiritsubo, was a favorite concubine to the Emperor, but due to her poorer background, she was envied by the other concubines, and died of depression early. Later, he was delegated as an official, and granted the name of Genji. Later on, Genji had an illicit relationship with his stepmother, in trepidation with regards to his love, and fell in love with many charming woman! This beautiful, brooding Prince is really a wonderful characterization for girls no? The noble Princesses back in the Heian Era surely had their hearts pumping flipping through this long love novella of 54 chapters!”
Touko-senpai uses the tips of her slender fingers to tear off the pages, put the pieces into her mouth, chew on them demurely, and she gushed, her body quivering,
“Ahh, such a complex taste! The exquisite fragrance is spread from the implicit sweetness! So silky and smooth! It feels like I’m staring at the Moon from a palace, staring at a boy who loves me, giving me a Waka.”
Though she said that, she continued to tear at the pages carefully, putting them into her mouth.
Even if she’s given a Waka, this person will be impulsive enough to eat it in an instant.
While seated opposite her, I’m using a HB pencil and 50 pages of composition paper to to compose a story snack with the 3 themes being ‘Moon’, ‘dump truck’ and ‘Junihitoe’, sighing away.
This is a common theme for me, but Touko-senpai is already a 3rd year in High School. I really hope that she will calm down somewhat.
And right when I have that thought, Touko-senpai shakes the foldable chair, prompting,
“Hey, Konoha, try writing something like Hikaru meeting Oborodukiyo, a sweet, adult-like story. Hikaru ventures into a dangerous love with the Princess of the enemy Udate family, the fiancee of his older brother! Ah, it feels like a faint red sweet with a pickled Sakura is placed on the tongue, giving off a stinging, sweet sensation!”
“There’s a dump truck, so a sweet adult story is too much to request. Speaking of which, how about Genji being exiled to the countryside because of his escapade with Oborodukiyo?”
“Fine! Such a turbulent life! There, he started a new love with Lady Akashi, who left Kyoto and encountered him—”
Touko-senpai’s eyes were sparkling as she leaned out.
At that moment, the chair shook violently, and tilted backwards.
“Watch out! Touko-senpai!”
I immediately lean forward, and grabbed Touko-senpai’s slender arm.
She falls towards me.
And due to the recoil, I’m the one falling backwards this time.
This is bad. I’m falling.
The moment I had this thought, Bam! I took a hit.
Touko-senpai’s voice echoes above my head, continually fading away while my mind becomes blank.
Oh? It’s still white.
All I notice is that this place is as fuzzy and steamy, milky white.
Where is this place?
I remember I was in the Literature clubroom, the chair fell, and I hit my head—ah, I see. I fainted.
This place definitely is my dream.
I got to open my eyes. I have yet to write half of Touko-senpai’s snack—why am I still concerned about her in my dreams?
And even after taking such a hit, I’m still thinking about that braided, book-eating yokai in this state. I can hear a voice near me.
“Oh dear. Someone passed out.”
A rich sweet voice can be heard.
Touko-senpai’s voice is nice, but it feels like the flowers are blooming along with this voice. This voice is so elegant, it is impressionable.
“A uniform. Are you a high school boy? Hey, is something wrong? Do wake up soon?”
“Hey, Hikaru, why are you squatting down there out of a sudden. You’re strange.”
Another voice rang.
This voice does sound gruff…
“It’s disgusting to mutter to yourself while looking at the floor. Don’t do this now.”
“What are you saying, Koremitsu?”
The rich voice seemed to be probing with concern.
At this moment, I open my eyes.
Entering my sights were a blue sky, a wall of some family, greenery growing from the trees. I heave a sigh of relief.
Thank goodness. That white space was a dream.
However, I noticed something else that was strange.
“I was in the Literature Clubroom! Why am I lying outside!? Where is this place!?”
Dripping in cold sweat, I survey my surroundings.
Where I landed is an unfamiliar residential area, and right beside me are two boys in blazer and suit.
One of them appears to be taking care of me earnestly on the asphalt road.
The beautiful brown, crystalline really are mesmerizing, such a nice nose bridge and finely shaped lips, clear hair that glitters gold when basked under the sun; this really is a pretty person. Eh, a boy…I guess? He’s wearing pants with his uniform.
But though he is of the same gender as me, he is so beautiful it is hard to fathom. Hi face, and even the body figure is slim, and he had a matured poise to him. His eyes are also dazzling and enticing. Is he an actor?
“Thank goodness, you are awake.”
He spoke with a rich sweet voice, beaming. That smile is dazzling like the sunlight shining through the gaps between the leaves.
“Ah, erm, do you know where I am now? I was at school, but I notice that this is an unfamiliar place to me…ah, I’m Konoha Inoue, a second year at Seijo High School.”
And while I ramble incoherently.
“If it is Seijo High School, I will have to say that it is about 3 station away from here.”
He answered in surprise.
And I became increasingly flustered.
“3 stops? Why am I sent to such a faraway place? Did Touko-senpai accidentally drop me while carrying me to the hospital?”
If it’s her, I’m guessing that she’ll really do that.
While I’m sweating away, the other guy growled furiously.
“Enough already! Who have you been talking to since just now?”
Both of us exclaim as we look at the owner of the voice.
And at that next moment, my shoulders shiver in shock, my body backtracking.
For there’s a dog with a really terrifying face there.
No, he’s not actually a dog, but a boy in uniform. If the one taking care of me is a Prince, he will be—a wolf-like mercenary, a savage beast.
The bright red hair stands atop the blazing eyes, while one could tell that the face and temples muscles were tense. His lips were also curled downwards unhappily.
I understand the basis of not judging anyonebased on their appearances, but I’m always a Herbivore, and I instinctively feel terrified of a guy who’s wolf-like, or a hunting dog.
These two differ so much in appearance or disposition, but it feels like they’re in the same school year.
The Prince asks the wild beast seriously.
“Are you not the one saying such strange things for a while now, Koremitsu?”
“Huh? What are you rambling about? Who is over there!? Aren’t you the weirdo rambling away at the ground?”
Rambling at the ground?
The Prince too gave a startled look.
“Koremitsu, you cannot see Mr Inoue?”
He can’t see me!?
Mr Wild Beast frowns, and closes an eye, looking skeptical.
“Well, yeah, my vision is around 2.0, and I can see an ant. Anyway, who’s Mr Inoue?”
He said as he looked over at where I’m squatting.
And I anxiously stand up.
“What!? I’m right here! You aren’t kidding here, aren’t you!”
But it doesn’t look like he can hear me.
“What’s the matter, Hikaru? Is Mr Inoue a maggot? Some woodlouse? Or something so microscopic I can’t see? A microbe?”
Mr Wild Beast doesn’t seem happy as he says this.
He can’t see me, or even hear my voice…?
Mr Prince leaves me as he ponders,
“Hm…erm, Mr Inoue, do you mind kissing Koremitsu?”
And then he said something so indecent.
“Ah, whatcha saying!?”
“Why do I have to kiss a guy I met for the first time?”
While we are yelling away, the Princess beams on like an elegant flower.
“You will know once you kiss.”
“Wha!? I’m straight! I’m giving my first kiss to a girl!”
“Like hell it is! Hikaru you idiot! I don’t really know what’s going on, but stop coming up with these weirdd stuff!”
Both of us continue to refute zealously.
But the Prince maintains an elegant smile.
“Okay okay. Here, you do have to challenge yourself, Mr Inoue.”
He nudged me in the back.
My face touches Mr Wild Beast’s, and we collide!
Nooo!! My first kiss goes to a guy!
My face passes through Mr Wild Beast’s.
I don’t feel anything touching.
Not only my face, but even my arms, shoulders, chest, feet—my entire body passes through Mr Wild Beast’s tense body without resistance.
What’s going on!?
Seriously, what is going on here!?
What happened to my body~!?
The Prince watches us calmly, and says,
“What as expected?”
“Hey! Hey! Hikaru! What was that all about!? Is this challenge still going on!? Hey!”
The Wild Beast embraces his body in disgust, looking around, yapping;
And while we remain as such.
“Mr Inoue, you are probably dead.”
The Prince immediately told me.
And then, he says something that befuddled me further,
“Ah, I died before, and I am now a ghost. Only I am able to see you now, and I suppose that is because we are both ghosts.”
The name of the Prince-like high school boy is Hikaru Mikado, a year younger than me, a first year at Heian Academy High School affiliate.
It was said that Mr Mikado died at the beginning of this month.
“But as I had some lingering wishes, I latched on to Koremitsu during my funeral, and thus, I remain on this Earth.”
Mr Mikado said to me with that elegant, chirpy voice.
“Yeah, nice of you to make it sound easy. It’s troublesome to have you sticking to me everywhere we go, except for the toilet. Anyway, hurry and ascend to the afterlife already.”
Mr Wild Beast’s temples are throbbing, and he’s clearly furious.
It appears his name is Koremitsu Akagi.
And like Mikado Hikaru, of the same year in the same school.
“He is my important friend.”
Mr Mikado looked delighted yet bashful as he said this.
It seemed only Mr Akagi is able to sense Mr Mikado’s voice and appearance, for at the moment Mr Mikado said those words,
“You idiot—what are you saying here?”
He too was bashful, raising his lips,
“Oh yes, if you are to stick to Koremitsu, he might be able to see you, Mr Inoue.”
Mr Mikado proposed.
“You idiot! Don’t you think of it! One person alone haunting me is enough!”
Mr Akagi does not appear to be joking, as he glared and yelled furiously.
I don’t want to be haunting such a person with scary eyes either.
Okay, hold it, am I—really dead now?
“M-Mr Hikaru! I-I’ll have a look back at school. Surely you must be mistaken, that I’ve become a ghost. I’ll like to go back and check on how my body is doing now!”
Mr Mikado earnestly says to me,
“Now then, let us be friends. You may be shocked about your own death, and there are things you cannot do as a ghost. If Koremitsu is around, I am relieved.”
“Please, don’t decide things on your own! Stop involving me in your circle of ghost friends!”
Mr Akagi grumlbed, but,
“We can only rely on you now, Koremitsu.”
Mr Mikado put his hands together.
“Argh, looks like I don’t have a choice here.”
Mr Akagi scowled.
“Anyway, let’s hurry. The miso soup will be cold if we return too late. Koharu will get angry.”
Saying that, he got up to leave.
He is unexpectedly a decent man, isn’t he…he may have the terrifying appearance of a delinquent, but it looks like he’s a decent man.
Will Mr Mikado often smile and fawn around with Mr Akagi?
“It is fine, Koremitsu will be your source of strength, a reliable person when you are in a fix.”
Mr Mikado swore.
And so, I, together with the ghost Mr Mikado and his friend Mr Akagi, head off to Seijo High School.
“What a beautiful school.”
“Well, yeah, our school’s large and fanciful, but this place is fine too.”
Mr Mikado and Mr Akagi express their thoughts as they stand at the school gate, watching the campus.
I lead them to the Literature Clubroom, located in the west corner of the 3rd floor.
But nobody is there.
“Hey, where did the Literature Club chairman go to?”
Mr Akagi asked a nearby student, and the chap was terrified upon seeing him.
“Ahhh, if it’s Touko-senpai, she went off with an ambulance to the hospital because her junior’s unconscious.”
And he told us that.
Woah, it was so serious that she had to call the ambulance? Unconscious? This is really bad.
“Let us hurry, Mr Inoue. You really will be dead if you are cremated like I am.”
Mr Mikado scowled as he said such vexing words.”
“Well, yeah. If you’re cremated, it’ll be really over for you.”
Mr Akagi nodded.
I get it. I know cremation, I know that it’ll end, but please don’t make it so blatant~~!
Touko-senpai’s pale little face is prone beside me on the hospital bed, by the pillow.
“Konoha! Konoha! Please, wake up!”
She shouts in anguish.
Really, I’m feeling anguished seeing that scene.
Touko-senpai’s…really so sad, so worried about me.
“And you have yet to finish today’s snack! You have to write until the very end!!”
Suddenly, I feel my heart shattered. I really want to leave.
This person is still worried about her own snack at such a moment.
Well, anyway, someone like me is just a lackey to write snacks or something, huh?”
“E-erm, Mr Inoue? Is anything wrong? You seem to be muttering to yourself. However, it is good that your body appears to be fine.”
Mr Akagi rudely barges into the room.
Touko-senpai’s taken aback as she lifts her head.
In any case, Touko-senpai would be shocked to see a delinquent High school boy like Mr Akagi suddenly storm into the room.
“I’m Koremitsu Akagi. That Inoue sleeping there is here too.”
“What is your relationship with Konoha?”
Touko-senpai suddenly looks very tense, giving Mr Akagi a wary look as she stands in front of the bed to protect me.
And with an aloof face, Mr Akagi says,
“Well, it’s hard to say.”
And then, she immediately turns pale—eh? Looks like she’s really shocked here…
“I understand…Konoha..ahh, so that is how it is.”
For some reason, Touko-senpai is flabbergasted.
“Is Konoha’s lover a guy?”
Why did it end up like this!?
Mr Akagi too appears shocked.
“Ack! What are you saying now!?”
He appears to be at a loss of words.
“Don’t hide it now. Didn’t you say that your relationship is hard to define? You and Konoha are secretly dating now, right?”
“I-I’m a guy!”
“Love between men is common in literature too. Relax, I am a ‘Literature Girl’ who likes Yukio Mishima too, and I do intend to understand such love. Yes, humans are equal in the face of love. In fact, I am just a little taken aback to see Konoha’s boyfriend in front of me. I already thought it was strange for Konoha to be relatively unpopular with women…but with the truth laid bare in front of me, I am really shocked…I see…”
“This braids girl doesn’t understand at all!”
Mr Akagi’s face is contorted as he turns back to us.
Mr Mikao can’t help but laugh.
“Your senior appears to be a truly imaginative girl.”
He appeared to be talking to himself.
Am I dreaming?
“Please don’t say anymore, Touko-senpai! Also, stop getting lost in your fantasies! Please don’t understand it as you want! I don’t have a boyfriend!”
But Touko-senpai doesn’t hear me at all.
“So Konoka’s secret lover knows that Konoha’s life is in danger, and feeling anxious, came running here. It’s like Romeo who was exiled, but ignored all danger upon hearing of Juliet’s death, and snuck into the crypt of the Capulets.
She continues on, looking so touched,
“I was just passing through! I’m not that guy’s lover!”
“Just passing through? You had a one night stand with Konoha?”
“Noo!! Hikaru greeted him!”
“Ehh, a threesome now!? That’s impure!”
“Ah, but there are three people are here now! What’s wrong with that?”
Arrgh, I can’t listen anymore!
“Mr Akagi! You’re causing Touko-senpai even more misunderstanding.”
“Well, yes, Koremitsu has no malicious intention, but well…he is a bungler.”
Mr Mikado appears to be at his wits’ end, and pats at my shoulder like a breeze blowing through.
I can no longer rely on them.
“Got to hurry back into my body no matter what!”
But even after touching my body on the bd, my hand passes through it.
Go back, go back. Even after praying so earnestly, nothing’s working, huh?
And during this time, Touko-senpai and Mr Akagi continue on,
“Were the three of you dating?”
“Not dating! I was just wandering around with Hikaru, and that Hikaru got high because of that guy.”
“You were wooing? Konoha got involved with you relationship with Mr Hikaru? So you aren’t Konoha’s boyfriend, but his love rival?”
The misunderstandings intensifies.
Why is it that the name is ‘Hikaru’, a unisex name, but you just call him ‘Mr Hikaru’!?
Back thne, you caused a huge commotion for mistaking me to be confession to the captain of the judo team. Do I look like that kind of person with such a guy?
“Uuu, how do I return back to my body?”
While I’m feeling troubled, Mr Hikaru chimes enthusiastically,
“You do have to be kissed now, I suppose. The thing that woke a Princess is a kiss of love. It has been decided for a long time.”
“Ah, a kiss now? Do I have to be kissed?”
Mr Mikado gives a beautiful smile any girl will be infatuated with.
“How are you still unable to read the mood? Koremitsu, do you hear me? Do tell that cute braided Literature Club chairperson that a kiss from the one true love is a must.”
Ehh, a lover?
Mr Akagi is taken aback, and he rigidly relays Mr Mikado’s words.
“Hey, to wake him us, just get the one who love him to kiss him.”
Touko-senpai immediately blushes.
“I see…a kiss or something?”
Her hands are on her cheeks.
“But, the Sleeping Beauty in Charles Perrault’s fairy tale woke up with a kiss. Maybe it will work…just maybe.”
She gives me a glance while I’m asleep, and suddenly has a reddened face.
Is Touko-senpai…intending to kiss?
While I’m gulping and holding my breath, Touko-senpai mutters with a shy, soft voice,
“Erm, Mr Akagi…please.”
Mr Akagi doesn’t look like he understands.
And Touko-senpai continues to keep her face glanced aside.
“Give Konoha a kiss.”
And just as Mr Akagi shouted,
I too exclaimed with the same tone.
“Why am I supposed to be the one kissing!?”
“Why is Mr Akagi the one kissing me here!?”
Mr Mikado too looked dumbfounded, for it appeared it was beyond his expectations.
Touko-senpai shakes her head hard.
“Because I am a polite ‘Literature Girl’ after all. I’ll be embarrassed to ki-kiss someone in front of others. Yep, I can’t do it, absolutely not.”
She continues to put her hands on her cheeks, and even her cheeks are red as she says this.
“Please, Mr Akagi. You’re the only one able to give Konoha a kiss.”
Please don’t make such a request~~!
Seriously, I don’t want to live anymore.
And at that moment,
Mr Akagi yells with a voice loud enough to cause the air to shake.
His eyebrows are raised, his temples throbbing as he gives Touko-senpai a sharp, unflinching glare, taking a step forward, before saying,
“Isn’t that guy important to you?”
Touko-senpai stammers, and feebly says,
“Of course. Konoha’s an importent underclassman to me.”
“Then stop thinking so much and kiss! Someone important to you’s gonna die, and you’re going to say that you’re embarrassed! What’s there to worry about other people when you gotta protect the things really important to you!”
This guy’s amazing. He’s actually telling Touko-senpai off.
And Touko-senpai’s listening, not even butting back.
Finally, with a moved, determined expression,
“…Yes. I shouldn’t be worried about others looking at me.”
“Ah, that’s right.”
Mr Akagi nods firmly.
“Actually, I think you can leave the room, Koremitsu.”
Mr Hikaru noted wryly.
Well, that’s true…
But Mr Akagi and Touko-senpai probably never thought aboiut this.
“Konoha’s someone important…to me. I-I want to do my best.”
With Mr Akagi watching sternly like a Buddha, Touko-senpai brings her embarrassed little face to the bed, to my face.
It’s rather awkward for her, I guess, and the hand placed on the bedsheet is trembling.
And then, with moist eyes, she looks at me,
“Konoha…please, wake up.”
The petal-like lips are—
My lips, Touko-senpai’s lips—!
The lips now are!
I’m feeling really hot in the head, and my heart’s wincing in pain. I yell,
The scent of Violet gently wraps around my lips.
Once I realize this, I suddenly get up from the bed, reach my hands out, and stop Touko-senpai.
Touko-senpai’s shoulders and cheeks are being pushed by my hands, and her mouth’s half opened, unable to say anything.
Her lips were about to touch my just a while back.
Touko-senpai says with her faint, pink lips,
“E-erm!? I’m back in my body…!?”
I see my hands, arms, chest, and I laugh, turning aside.
Standing right behind Touko-senpai is the sharp-eyed, red hair boy—Mr Akgi.
But I can’t see Mr Mikado no matter how I tried.
“You returned to your body now, huh?”
Mr Akagi brusquely noted.
“Hikaru says ‘Thank goodness’. Bye now.”
Mr Akagi said, put his hands into his trousers pocket, and coldly struts out of the ward.
“Thank you, Mr Akagi! Mr Mikado!”
I thank the slouched back.
Touko-senpai too raises her voice.
And then, she wraps my body with both hands.
“Thank goodness. I couldn’t wake you up no matter what when you fell from the chair. My heart was crushed.”
…I don’t think it’s so exaggerated that your heart’s crushed, but I guess I’ll get my head smacked if I say this now.
With Touko-senpai embracing me like this, I do feel a little sorry. The braids are whacking at the back of my hands. I feel chummy inside, but I won’t say anything else. Silence is golden.
Thank goodness I didn’t make Touko-senpai sad. Anyway, I just feel a lot more relieved now…
Suddenly, Touko-senpai lifts her little face, giving me a concerned look, and softly mutters,
“E-erm…Konoha. I’m glad to see you awake. But do you really hate to be kissed by me?”
Touko-senpai puffs her cheeks, and pouts.
The braids hit the back of my hands, and the nails.
Sensing that our faces are so close to each other now, I sense my heart jumping out, but at the same time, I pretend to look calm.
Touko-senpai suddenly look listless.
“I want a kiss.”
The moment I say this, Touko-senpai widens her eyes, her face red.
Touko-senpai fidgets shyly, and let go of the hands grabbing me.
She closes her eyes, still looking tense.
“An-an-anyway, Mr Akagi’s name is…Koremitsu, the foster brother to Hikaru no Kimi.”
She changes the topic.
“Who is that ‘Hikaru’ Mr Akagi talked about. You do have a threesome relationship with them after all, right?”
Ahh, Touko-senpai’s always causing trouble.
Feeling lifeless, I recall the story of that elegant Prince who’s like a heian portrait of the protagonist, and the passionate, clumsy friend of his, Mr Wild Beast.
It feels like a lively childhood story, a moment’s passing.
“’Hikaru’, as in Hikaru Genji—I suppose that is the correct answer.”
While Touko-senpai remains clueless, I snicker.
“I had a meeting with a Hikaru Genji dressed in a high school uniform.”