Omae o Otaku ni Shiteyaru kara, Ore o Riajuu ni Shitekure!:Volume 1 Chapter 4
On that same day, after school, I immediately headed to class B.
I'm the type of person who wants to quickly get things that are troublesome or unpleasant out of the way.
As I made my way to class B, I peered through the back entrance into the classroom.
However, since I came all the way here without asking Koigasaki about anything regarding this person known as Suzuki, I had no idea who Suzuki was. And I had no choice but to ask someone randomly.
Just as I was peering into the classroom wanting to call out to someone, a male student who was on his way out called out to me,
"Are you looking for someone?"
I was surprised when I saw him. Standing before me was a guy with brown hair who was taller than me, and together with his bag, he appeared to be carrying something resembling a guitar over his shoulder. He was directing a friendly smile towards me. He was not only good-looking, but also a kind fellow.
"Er no, it's ok."
I answered instantly as I panicked. My body felt like it wanted to run away from this great disparity. He went out of his way to call out to me and what the hell do I do, I felt disgusted with myself.
As the good-looking guy left the classroom, a glitzy female student followed after him and said,
"Sou-chan ~ where're you going?"
"Eh? The music room."
Such a conversation unfolded between them.
Good-looking, stylish, able to play the guitar, popular with girls...... in other words, Riajuu level maxed. Is it ok for such a guy to exist?
While feeling a little down from that, I remembered my mission and once again looked into the classroom. As I did that, I saw a male student, similarly plain as me, sitting at the seat closest to the entrance. Since I had no one else to ask,
"Excuse me, erm, is there a Suzuki-kun in this class?"
"If you are talking about Suzuki, he just left the classroom though."
Just left the classroom...... don't tell me.
"The one with the brown hair and a guitar over his shoulders......"
That was unbelievable. The good-looking Riajuu earlier was the Otaku who had Rinka's card in his student handbook......? Is that really ok?
If you had told me the plain-looking male student before me who had the same air as me were Suzuki-kun, I could accept it without question.
But then, come to think of it, Suzuki was the guy that Koigasaki had fallen for. If I took that into consideration, it wouldn't be strange that he was a good-looking guy.
I thanked the male student and left the classroom of class B.
While pondering, I headed towards the music room, since I recalled Suzuki had mentioned that as his destination. But even if I went to the music room, Suzuki might be engaged in his light music club activities, and it might be difficult for me to call out to him. If there was a chance in million that he wasn't, and that he was with another glitzy girl like the one earlier, then there was no way I could call out to him. If that were to happen, then I would have to give up on talking to him for today.
When I reached the music room, my thoughts came to a halt.
The sounds of a playing guitar drifted out from inside, and my jaw dropped at hearing the melody of a song that was extremely familiar to me.
"It's the ending theme of 'K-ON! club!!'......"
I unconsciously murmured out.
The sounds that flowed out which I was hearing now belonged to the ending theme of a popular anime which was centered around a light music club and which had just finished airing last year.
"You hear that? That guitar sounds really good, doesn't it?"
Before I knew it, there were a couple of female students who happened to pass by the music room and were all ears to the music.
Well, the guitarist is indeed good. But, before that, aren't you girls going to make a retort first? This is an Ani-song, right?
"Seems like Suzuki-kun from class B is playing it."
"Seriously? That hot guy?"
The girls left while squealing out excitedly. It appeared that they had no idea what they'd just heard was an Ani-song. That was understandable, since there was no way they could have known that if they didn't recognize the song.
And the one who played it was indeed that very Suzuki...... Everything fell into place. Suzuki was indeed an Otaku, and liked "LoveMinus" and "K-ON Club!!". ...... jeez, seems like we have some things in common. I was also into "K-ON Club!!" and had never missed a single week of the show.
After looking around and ascertaining that no one else was nearby, I made up my mind and opened the door to the music room. I thought I was pretty courageous myself. What if Suzuki is with other students? What if he gets mad at me entering without permission? I had of course thought of those things, but I did it because I truly wanted to try talking to Suzuki.
Fortunately, on entering the music room, I saw Suzuki by himself. Suzuki had his guitar plugged into the amplifier and was playing at a pretty loud volume, but, surprised by my sudden entrance, he stopped.
He stared at me.
"Ah, I-I'm sorry for suddenly barging in."
A sense of regret welled up in me. Now, looking at Suzuki once again, I could see that he was really a good-looking, stylish guy...... and didn't look like an Otaku at all.
Since it wasn't good to stay silent after suddenly barging in, I started frantically,
"Well, erm, I was walking along the corridor and suddenly heard the ED of 'K-ON Club!!', became delighted and opened the door without thinking...... because I, too, like this song of 'K-ON Club!!'......"
I talked rapidly.
Suzuki unplugged his guitar from the amplifier, unshouldered it and placed it on a chair, then turned towards me. From his expression, it seemed like he was being cautious with me.
Crap, why did I just barge in like that? He might say things like, you dare disturb my performance, huh. Come to think of it, the atmosphere felt as if he was going to say just that. On careful thought, my earlier actions were rather crazy.
"... you like 'K-ON Club!!'?"
But Suzuki's question threw me off instead.
The instant I replied that.
My right hand was strongly clasped by the right hand of Suzuki. To put it in another way, he shook my hand.
"Seriously ~! Thanks for calling out to me ~!"
Suzuki's earlier cautious face broke into a smile. His smiling face had an air of innocence to it.
" I've been playing Ani-songs as a hobby every day after school and was kind of hoping for some Otaku to react to it ~"
"Eh, is that so? You aren't doing any light music club activities......"
"Well, that too, but I'm the only club member who comes for club activities."
"I see...... erm, you play Ani-songs every day, you say. What else can you play?"
"Aah, I can play all the songs from 'K-ON Club!!', as well as other famous Ani-songs and Vocaloids. I've been practicing only Ani-songs ever since I got hooked on 'K-ON Club!!' during middle school and that was when I picked up the guitar."
"Really!? Awesome ~!"
"I also submitted my entries to the 'Try playing Ani-songs on guitar' section of Nico Nico Douga."
"Eeh! Seriously!? What name did you submit them as?"
I had totally forgotten Koigasaki had blackmailed me to come talk to Suzuki, and became engrossed in our conversation. The reason was because, since coming to this high school, I had been living my life as a closet Otaku and could never have an Otaku conversation. Even though it was my resolve to do that, I felt extremely sad when I couldn't talk about the things I loved. I was truly happy to be able to talk about such stuff after such a long time. Besides, the fact that this was my first Otaku friend since coming to high school made me even happier.
After that, Suzuki played the Ani-songs I requested; we talked about Otaku stuff animatedly; linked up our portable game consoles to play games like LoveMinus and Freak Hunter, and while doing all that, time flew and it was time for the school to be closed for the day.
"I'm so happy ~, this is the first time I've made an Otaku friend outside of the Internet."
Suzuki said with genuine joy from his heart.
"Eh, is that so?"
"Yeah, there are also Otakus in my class, you know. But, when I tried to talk to those who read manga and light novels and engage in such Otaku discussion...... asking them, hey what are you reading?, they would say, nothing!, hide their stuff and escape from me...... Isn't that awful? It's ostracism, totally ostracism."
Suzuki sighed sadly. This might be rude to Suzuki, but I could also totally understand the feelings of those Otaku classmates of his. With the Riajuu aura that seemed to be radiating from his entire body, it was quite difficult to imagine that he was an Otaku. They probably thought he was there to mock them and escaped out of fear.
Following that, we left and walked to the station together, exchanged our contact info and parted ways. Even though I was pleased to have made my first Otaku friend, as I thought about the report that I needed to make to Koigasaki, I headed home with complicated feelings.
The next day, this time round, it was me who left a note under Koigasaki's desk.
"After school, I have a report to make so come to the stairs just before the classroom. Kashiwada."
The school day ended, and I headed to the stairs which I had specified. Koigasaki was already there, adopting a daunting pose with arms folded as she waited for me.
"Did you ask Suzuki-kun? How was it?"
Immediately after I arrived at the appointed place, Koigasaki started asking me impatiently.
"Yeah, Suzuki is an Otaku. And a hardcore one."
After hearing my words, Koigasaki said,
"Seriously...... he really is one......"
With a look that clearly said that she was disappointed.
Well, her reaction was understandable. I knew that to girls, a guy being an Otaku was really a big minus point. That was why I had decided to become a closet Otaku.
Especially for a Sweet(LOL) Gyaru like Koigasaki who was prejudiced against Otakus, even if the other party were a good-looking guy, once she knew that he was an Otaku, she would probably lose interest in him.
At that moment, which could only be called just the right moment, Suzuki passed by. With a bag over his shoulder, he was probably on his way home. By the way, Kasshii was the nickname that Suzuki gave me yesterday.
"What good timing! I was looking for you and couldn't find you in your classroom. I was thinking of going to Akiba on my way back. You wanna join me?"
"Eh, Akiba!? Sure, sure!"
I'd been thinking of going to Akiba lately, so I acknowledged twice and agreed. However, after saying that, I quickly looked around me. To think that a closet Otaku like me had declared something so Otaku-ish at a place in school where an indefinite number of people might pass. After seeing that no one other than us was around, I breathed a sigh of relief. Then, after remembering the existence of a certain person, I turned to look at Koigasaki.
She was clearly blushing as she gazed at Suzuki without blinking an eyelid. She was completely taken in by him. Even though she should already be used to men, she could still have such an innocent maiden look towards her unrequited love.
"Seriously? All right! It's been my dream to go to Akiba with an Otaku friend!"
Suzuki smiled with child-like innocence.
"And you know, today's the launch day of Rinka's figurine! Even though I've already pre-ordered it and there's no need to hurry, it's really best to get it on the first day right away, right!? Oh yeah, Kasshii, the figurine of the Nono-san you like hasn't come out yet, right? When will it be launched? Are you buying it?"
As Suzuki rambled non-stop about Otaku stuff, I couldn't hide my discomfort. If it were like yesterday inside the music room, which acted like a secret room for me, then it would be of no consequence, but in this corridor where there was a possibility of people passing by, the one and only person who was weighed down by the atmosphere caused me to waver. As I took a glance at that one and only person, perhaps due to the shock of the person she liked rambling on and on about Otaku stuff before her, she stared at Suzuki with her eyebrows stiffened up in a contorted manner.
"Ah, sorry, are you in the middle of a conversation?"
At last, Suzuki was conscious of Koigasaki's existence.
As Koigasaki said nothing,
"No, it's fine! We are done here. See you, Koigasaki-san, I'll take my leave here......"
I said to the stiffened up Koigasaki, and leaving her there, I took Suzuki with me and left the place. She had just asked me to verify whether Suzuki was an Otaku or not, and I had already more than fulfilled her request. If we kept on engaging in our Otaku talk in front of her, even she would probably be unable to take the blow of that truth in her face. After experiencing that, she would probably lose interest in Suzuki, I thought. Frankly speaking, that would do me a favor as well. I really didn't want my friend, Suzuki, to be the prey of the bad personality of a Sweet Bitch.
That day, I went to Akihabara with Suzuki, picked up the figurine that Suzuki pre-ordered, and with that, toured around the shop looking at the figurines there. Following that, we went to a Doujin shop, and finally went to Suzuki's favorite maid cafe, and chatted enthusiastically. Since Suzuki frequented Akiba more often than me, he knew the place well. After not visiting Akiba in ages, I was able to come with an Otaku friend, and with a happy mood, my day came to an end.
The next day, even when I thought I would never talk to her again, Koigasaki called out to me.
"Do you have a minute?"
I was surprised, but Kiritani who was with me was just as surprised. It was understandable, since for a flashy Gyaru who stood out the most in class to call out to a plain guy like me, there had to be an unusual reason behind it.
Koigasaki and I left the classroom and moved to the staircase where we had our talk yesterday.
"I mean, this really pisses me off! Why is someone like you able to have such a fun talk with Suzuki-kun and even go hang out together after that!?"
I finally made an idiotic sound at Koigasaki's first words.
Quite certainly, Koigasaki was jealous about me being with Suzuki yesterday.
"Are you still in love with Suzuki!? You should know very well that Suzuki is a hardcore Otaku, right!? But yet, why......"
"Huh? It doesn't really matter to me whether Suzuki is an Otaku or not. Rather, I'm attracted to a person who has many hobbies ~!"
"What!? Didn't you keep dissing me about how creepy I am as an Otaku!?"
"Suzuki is in a completely different dimension from you, so that's natural, right!"
While I didn't really get what she meant by being in a different dimension, I was clearly pissed off with that.
"I'm really envious! Suzuki showed you that kind of smile...... Even though it had been such a long time since I talked to Suzuki yesterday! But oh well, I was still happy with that ~"
"Talk......? Did you guys talk yesterday?"
"'Ah, sorry, are you in the middle of a conversation?', he said to me!"
Koigasaki said enthusiastically, her overflowing happiness evident on her face.
"No, about that...... Koigasaki, you didn't reply back anything, right...... Rather, in the first place, wasn't that directed towards me......?"
"Huh!? That was totally said to me! Even though I wasn't able to say anything because I was in seventh heaven, he was really kind to be considerate of me ~!"
Seemingly not feeling like a speck of dust even though she had been treated as virtually non-existent, she was practically floating. How much of a fix did she need up there?
"So, I've thought about it. In order to be able to have that kind of fun chat with Suzuki-kun and hang out with him after school, it's best for me to also become an Otaku!"
I was puzzled by her sudden shocking conclusion which didn't make the slightest sense to me.
"Because what you have that I don't is just 『Otaku knowledge』 right! That's why I've decided. I shall become an Otaku! So, I'll become an Otaku and become friendly with Suzuki-kun!"
"Eh, what are you saying? What are you saying? What are you saying?"
I was confused, unable to understand Koigasaki's declaration.
"It's just as I've said! Anyhow, I think I shall start with that Love-something game that Suzuki-kun likes. Where can I buy that game?"
Don't kid me. How did she arrive at such a conclusion? I'd like to take a peek into this fellow's brain.
Even if heaven and earth switched places, such a Sweet(ry) couldn't possibly become an Otaku, I bet. To put it badly, it was perhaps even more difficult than me becoming a Riajuu.
"Do you think you can become an Otaku with such twisted feelings!? In the first place, you can't become an Otaku just because you want to become one! It's a process where you become one before you know it......"
"Ah- jeez- you are annoying, whatever, just tell me where I can get it."
"Where, you say...... well, normally you should be able to get it at Yodobashi or any electronic shop, though......"
"Fuhn. What do you use to play that game? Playstation?"
"DS ~!? I used to have one, but since I didn't play much, I gave it away...... It'll be a waste to buy it again."
I wouldn't be able to do a thing about that even if you tell me. What if she wants to borrow it from me? I play DS games often, so I definitely wouldn't want to lend it.
"If I were to buy it again for the sake of that game......"
Koigasaki murmured incessantly with a deep troubled look on her face. Well, you can just give up on playing LoveMinus.
"Hey, did Suzuki-kun mention that he is hooked on something else as well? Besides Love-something."
"You talked a bunch with Suzuki-kun, so you should know, right!?"
"Ah-...... erm, seems like he's most hooked on a game called 『Forever Over This Blue Sky』......"
『Forever Over This Blue Sky』 was an adult (18+) PC game. A little while ago, I also borrowed it from a friend and was hooked on it. Both the CG and music were wonderful, the scenarios were also interesting, and even on the net, it was dubbed a godly game. The only thing was, according to Suzuki, that it was a pity that the erotic scenes were awfully short. After hearing that kind of line, which was unexpected from one with Suzuki's appearance, I had to smile a little.
"What kind of game is that? Have you played it as well?"
I was hesitant at Koigasaki's questions.
"A-ah, yeah...... Erm well, it's a game where you get along with girls......"
"Then isn't it the same as that Love-something?"
"No, it's similar but a little...... no, largely different......"
I couldn't really say something like, 'It's a 18+ game with erotic scenes'.
"Ah, you sure are beating about the bush! What on earth is it!!"
Just before Koigasaki went into a livid rage, I steeled my resolve, looked around me to make sure no one was around, and told her softly,
"It's an Eroge....... meant for the PC."
"Huh? Eroge...... what's that?"
"Well erm, it has those kind of scenes......"
"...... those kind of scenes, what, don't tell me there are erotic scenes......!?"
I nodded silently.
Koigasaki's reaction was beyond my expectations.
"You, not just that strange novel, but you also play such games!? What a hardcore pervert! Really ewwww! I really can't believe this, this is so unbelievable!"
Koigasaki suddenly distanced herself one meter away from me, and showed a disgusted face.
"You were the one who asked, right!?"
If I knew she would react in this manner, I wouldn't have told her. I was awfully regretful.
"By the way, it's not just me, but Suzuki also plays that game. Now, you know that Suzuki is the same kind of Otaku as me, which you hate!?"
"It's not like I hate Otakus or anything. I only find it gross that you actually play such erotic games. Wait, you are gross."
"You are saying something really unreasonable!"
"Well, Suzuki-kun is a guy, right, so it's natural to play such games! Come to think of it, I think Suzuki-kun is seeking something other than erotic fulfillment!"
I wanted to tell her that that the person, Suzuki-kun himself, had commented about how insufficient the erotic scenes were. But I didn't really want to continue our talk about Eroge in such a public place.
"So, what's the name of that game?"
"If it's a PC game, I have one, so I can play it."
I couldn't keep my mouth shut.
"Wh-what the hell are you saying...... just now you were pretty disgusted, right!? Impossible, definitely!"
"I was only disgusted with you playing such games. If I play that game, I'll be able to have fun talking to Suzuki-kun, right? When I think of that, it's a breeze! Hey, where can I buy that game?"
"Where, you say...... I won't say anything bad, but seriously, stop that!"
No matter what, I really wanted to stop Koigasaki from playing that game. Just from knowing about the erotic scenes, she was already so disgusted towards me, so I thought it was really impossible for her to play that game. Even my light novel had already made her so disgusted. If she played an Eroge, she would really be creeped out and would surely diss me like crazy.
"Hey, so tell me where I can buy it already!"
My necktie was suddenly yanked.
"Or what is it? You want others to know that you are an Otaku?"
"Even if you tell me the shop's name, I won't know. Bring me there."
Does that mean I will go to Akiba with Koigasaki alone?
"Ah, but those shops have a lot of Otaku guys, right? Maybe it's really impossible after all......"
"Ermm hey, if you hate Otakus, then you shouldn't be getting your hands on Otaku stuff in the first place!"
"Eh? No, it's not that......"
As Koigasaki wanted to say something.
"Hey hey ~, Koigasaki-chan."
As I turned towards the voice, I saw a gaudy brown-haired guy who wore his pants hanging from the hip.
If I wasn't mistaken, he was in my class...... a guy called Ashida.
"Every time I tried to talk to you, you ignored me, and yet, why are you talking with that lame guy ~?"
While saying that, he moved towards Koigasaki.
Lame guy...... he's talking about me?
Without saying a word to that guy, Koigasaki ignored him and walked towards the classroom with a quick pace.
Without knowing the reason, I just followed behind Koigasaki for now.
"Wait a minute, are you ostracizing me? How cold can you be?"
Luckily, that guy merely lamented without following us.
By the time we got back to the classroom, there was no longer anyone there.
I looked at Koigasaki, wanting to ask about that guy......
And I saw her with a surprisingly pale face.
"H-hey...... you don't look too good. Was that guy just now someone you really hate? Did he do something awful to you......"
"I don't know."
Koigasaki said that nonchalantly.
"He tried to talk to me several times, but I have never spoken to him once. I don't even know his name."
"...... y-you're kidding, right? Then why do you look so pale?"
Koigasaki's reaction was not normal. Why did she behave like that towards someone whom she didn't have an ax to grind?
"I-It doesn't matter, right! It's none of your business. And, don't come so close to me!"
I was peering into her face, seriously a little worried, and Koigasaki displayed her displeasure and put a distance away from me. When seeing her indifference, I felt pretty hurt.
"Then, I'll take my leave here......"
If the two of us continued to stay like this in a classroom alone, it would just get worse. Unable to bear with it anymore, I shouldered my bag and prepared to leave the classroom.
In the instant I put my hand on the door.
"I...... can't deal well with guys."
The words that came out of Koigasaki's mouth were a little beyond my expectations.
"Can't deal well with guys......?"
"From kindergarten all the way to middle school, I've only gone to all-girls schools, and I only have sisters in my family, so other than my father, I've never had a long conversation with any other guy......"
"...... huh!? W-Wait a minute!"
There were at least two contradictions that arose based on the information that I had.
Koigasaki showed a sign of irritation as she interrupted.
"Then, what about the rumor that you were fooling around with guys......"
"Huh? Eh, even you know about that rumor......!?"
"Eh, well, it was something I overheard in the classroom, though......"
So to speak, most of the class knew of it, probably......
"There's a girl from class C by the name Honjou. I can't verify it, but the rumor was probably spread by her...... Besides, she's hated me since a long time ago...... Aaahh jeez! Even when I denied it, it still spread......"
Koigasaki looked down, biting her lip, mortified.
"S-so it's a false rumor, huh...... ah, but, I've also heard that you were walking with a salaryman......"
I took advantage of the opportunity to ask about everything unreservedly in order to further clear my doubts.
"Huh? Salaryman? What's that?"
Seeing her indignation, it seemed like it was something she could not remember.
"Maybe that's also spread by Honjou-san......"
"No, I think you were seen in Shibuya or something, I think it was something concrete......"
After pondering for a while, as if she remembered something, Koigasaki looked up,
"...... I often go shopping with my Dad at Shibuya, though......"
"...... I'm going to ask this just in case, that Dad is your real father......"
"Of course!? Who else!?"
...... in other words, she wasn't going out with men for money, it was just a normal shopping trip between father and daughter. What a ruckus-causing rumor.
Which meant the rumor that Koigasaki was fooling around with men was one hundred percent false.
Which left one more question.
"I see...... I understand now that you don't deal well with men. But, aren't you talking incessantly with me normally?"
Even though she said that she had never talked to men for long periods of time other than teachers and her father, I realized that she had been talking to me quite normally.
"Yeah, that's right...... I don't really get it either, but it's probably because I don't recognize you as a man."
I could not retort at all after hearing that sudden, merciless surprise attack that was greatly damaging.
"When I bumped into you for the first time, it was kind of unbelievable. If it were other men, I would have gotten goosebumps just from touching alone, but surprisingly, I had no reaction towards you...... Even when we were close, I didn't blush nor feel nervous at all. And besides, I was really curious about Suzuki-kun's card, so I took a chance to call you out. And there, I was thinking, what if I couldn't talk to you after that? But, it was all a needless worry. It was quite a different experience with other guys, but talking to you doesn't make my heart beat rapidly nor make my face red. It's probably because you are a lame guy, an Otaku, and your aura seemed weak, so I couldn't see you as a man and was able to talk to you normally, I suppose."
Koigasaki started nodding to herself, agreeing to the conclusion she seemed to have created from her own thoughts.
Lame guy, Otaku, and weak aura...... I no longer felt like rebutting all that.
"Anyhow, that's how it is with regards to that! So, won't you bring me to a shop that sells that game 『Forever Over This Blue Sky』? Ah, it'll also be ok for me to hand you the money and for you to buy it for me. Actually, that will be a big help to me."
She changed back the subject, huh.
"Who would do such a thing!"
Hurting me with those words, and making me her errand boy, this woman really was a devil. After reaching this point, it sounded like I was in dire danger of setting the flag that would start my high school life of becoming her errand boy.
"I'm just asking you to bring me to the game shop. Do you really dislike it that much? And to think I'm asking you so earnestly!"
It's not like I dislike bringing there. It's just that I dislike lending a hand to such a self-centered, oppressive girl. I wanted to try saying that.
"...... I get it. If you are so against it, I won't ask you anymore."
Koigasaki murmured with a frightfully lowered voice.
"See ~ you! Perverted hardcore Otaku-kun!"
After saying that in an angry tone, Koigasaki picked up her bag and stood up from her seat.
The instant I heard her say that, my back froze.
That's right, this fella had caught hold of my weakness. I couldn't know when my Otaku secret would get leaked out.
"Jeez, I get it! I'll accompany you! I'll go!"
I steeled my resolve and struck my hands onto the table with a sound. I was already desperate.
"Ah, really? That'll be really helpful ~"
Said Koigasaki shamelessly with a devilish smile.
Koigasaki wanted us to go immediately right there and then, but I stopped her saying that there was no way we could buy an adult(18+) game in our school uniforms, so on Friday, which was tomorrow, the very first day of Golden Week, the two of us would meet at the Electric Town Exit of Akihabara station in our most adult-looking casual wear.
How did it come to this? Even though I just wanted to spend my high school days peacefully.
While I was feeling totally melancholic that day, I suddenly realized a truth.
A guy and a girl meeting up on a holiday...... this was a Riajuu situation that I'd always yearned for...... simply speaking, wasn't this a date?
...... no, wait, forget that. I would be damned if this could be called a date.
While it was of course my first time going out alone with a girl, I was merely accompanying Koigasaki. The other party probably hadn't the slightest such thought, and it would be embarrassing if she found out that I had even considered it a little.
April 29, Friday, 12.45 pm.
While feeling embarrassed, I waited nervously in front of the gantry area of the Electric Town Exit of Akihabara station fifteen minutes before the appointed time.
Be it due to the other party being a Gyaru who was quite the opposite of the type I liked, be it because I was accompanying that Gyaru in shopping for her own stuff, getting to go out together with a female classmate alone...... it was natural that I was nervous. By the way, the night before, I lied on my bed for three hours without falling asleep. How lame could I be?
After listening to the Vocaloid collection, which to me was godly, for ten minutes, just five minutes before the appointed time, Koigasaki appeared.
"Ah, aren't you early?"
As I looked at Koigasaki in her casual clothes after hearing that, I was lost for words.
She was wearing a leopard-print one-piece blouse, netting tights, a fluffy hat like a Russian, and high boots.
"You, that outfit......"
"Adult-like outfit, right? I borrowed everything from my big sister."
Adult-like, it's more like a flashy Gyaru. It totally didn't match Koigasaki's kiddy face. Her make-up was even thicker than what she wore in school, and her hair was even more curled than usual.
"Rather, what's with your outfit......"
I didn't have any brothers I could borrow clothes from, so I selected the most adult-like clothes that I had...... rather, they were plain ones.
"Lame...... like an old man......"
"What the hell! Like an old man, then it fits the criteria of adult-like, so it's ok!"
"...... well, that's true...... Where do you buy your clothes?"
"Eh...... either my parents buy them for me...... or I buy them when I go to Taiē or Yōkatō......"
"...... I can't believe you......"
Koigasaki looked over my entire body as if I were a rare animal.
"You're annoying! Just leave me alone!"
Unable to bear with Koigasaki's gaze, my feelings somewhat hurt, I started walking.
After exiting the left side of the station, many people could be seen coming to and from the street of Akihabara. Most of them were guys.
Koigasaki's earlier self-assuredness took a sudden change and her eyebrows knitted upon seeing the street of Akihabara.
"Let's see, the closest place that sells Eroge would be...... Gamers."
Upon coming out of the Electric Town exit, I immediately decided that we would go purchase a copy of 『Forever Over This Blue Sky』 at a Gamers. After seeing the state of Koigasaki, I concluded that it wasn't a good idea to walk around too much.
"Please come support us."
The staff from a maid cafe was distributing fliers to us, but it seemed like Koigasaki didn't have the leisure to even take it.
But it was still fine up till that point. Even though I was fearful, Koigasaki didn't really look that terrible.
At the instant we entered Gamers.
"Hey, there's a lot of people......"
The number of customers at Gamers during a holiday was huge. Of course, most of them were male customers. Koigasaki's words trailed off and her face turned pale.
"Hey, look at you. How would you be able to buy it?"
"Eh, t-this is nothing. Since my final goal is to become an Otaku, I have to bear with this."
Her determination was admirable, but I was worried whether she could really bear with it and carry that out.
"Uwah what's with the erotic pictures...... do they sell this normally? Wait, doesn't this shop carry a sweet fragrance? What's this? Air freshener?"
The interior of the shop was pasted with illustrations of girls whose panties were showing or were scantily-clad, and on seeing them, Koigasaki's disgust flowed out. And she started finding faults even with the smell of the shop.
I wanted to take the elevator to level six where Eroge were sold, but after seeing that the elevator was filled with male customers, "I will take the stairs......", Koigasaki murmured. Take the stairs till level six, huh. Are you serious?
Left with no choice, I accompanied her, and the both of us climbed the stairs in silence. The male customers who were coming down and who passed by us threw glances at Koigasaki. Flashy Gyaru fashion like hers that was seldom seen in Gamers completely stood out.
Finally reaching the sixth floor, Koigasaki sighed out.
The customers on the sixth floor were comparatively less than that of the first floor.
"It's probably here......"
I brought Koigasaki to the corner where Eroge were sold.
Much harsher difficulties awaited Koigasaki there.
"Wh-what's this! What's with these pictures!"
Before us were adult(18+) games on display. Seeing those erotic illustrations which were a notch 'richer' than the illustrations of the light novel I was reading, Koigasaki said,
"Somehow...... I'm not feeling too well......"
After getting too much of a shock, her face turned pale and quivered.
"And to top it off, all the people on this floor...... are guys......."
"Wasn't it the same at level one?"
"No, besides me, there were still a few girls on the first floor...... Here...... I'm the only girl......"
Koigasaki was filled with despair as she looked around her.
"Didn't I warn you about this before? Well, it's bothersome, so I'll go buy it."
I thought it was definitely impossible for Koigasaki in her current state to bring a 'rich' Eroge from among the merchandise displayed to the cashier.
"...... no, I'll buy it! Since I've already come all the way here, I'll buy it with my own hands!"
Even though she looked as if she was going to puke, she still headed towards the Eroge corner display. What amazing guts she had...... she was that much in love with Suzuki......
I immediately found 『Forever Over This Blue Sky』 from the line of best-sellers in the Eroge corner, and I passed it to Koigasaki. Koigasaki drew back when she saw the packaging illustrations, but she steeled her resolve and carried it to the cashier. Looking at her back, she somehow seemed indomitable...... huh?
After exchanging a few words with the shop staff, Koigasaki came back in low spirits. With the game in her hands.
"I was told to show something that can verify my age......"
I could understand why, with Koigasaki's out-of-place fashion and her guileless face, it was simply hard to see her as someone who's eighteen or above.
"Well, that's a natural......"
"You liar! You said that I can buy the game by coming here, right!?"
To Koigasaki, coming all the way here and carrying the game to the cashier was probably a tough thing to do. After having her efforts come to naught in an instant, she complained to me with a half-teary face.
"Argh, I get it! Let's change the place! We should be able to buy it there......"
I decided to head to another place to buy the game. If it's the place where I normally buy my Eroge, age verification would not be needed.
"You should have brought me to that shop in the first place!"
"I thought you didn't want to walk too much, so I figured we should just get it at the Gamers nearest the station."
While arguing, we walked out of Gamers onto the main road. Seemingly afraid of the many men who were coming to and fro, Koigasaki kept quiet throughout.
"Hey, aren't we there yet?"
"About three more minutes."
We single-mindedly walked along the main road and reached our destination shop. From its appearance, it was evident that it was an Eroge specialist shop.
I could hear the soft murmur of Koigasaki. Compared to the Gamers earlier, there were even more illustrations of scantily dressed Bishoujos pasted both outside and inside the shop. On seeing them, as expected, Koigasaki's expression became even more contorted then before and her face didn't look too good.
"All right, I'll buy it, so pass me your purse."
"Eh...... ehh? Aah......"
I took the purse from the dumbfounded Koigasaki and entered the shop, intending to finish it off quickly. This time around, Koigasaki didn't act tough and go 'I'll buy it'. She probably understood that it was impossible for her to enter this ero-paradise-like shop.
I immediately found the targeted 『Forever Over This Blue Sky』 and brought it to the cashier. As usual, without being asked for any age verification, I easily bought it.
I returned to the Koigasaki who looked like a lost kid outside the shop and passed her the Eroge.
"You're kidding! You managed to buy it this quickly!?"
"Because this shop doesn't require age verification."
Koigasaki took the plastic bag containing the Eroge happily, and put it inside the big bag she carried on her shoulder.
"When I was asked to verify my age, I thought that there was no way I'd be able to buy it ~"
After getting the game she wanted, she immediately went back to her old self and her mood improved. The color returned to her face as well. Thank goodness she was such a simple fellow.
Following that, we headed straight to the station.
"After this, I'm meeting my friends at Shinjuku at three. There's surprisingly quite a lot of time left ~"
On my side, I was super nervous about today's appointment, and yet, Koigasaki had two dates on the same day. As expected of a Riajuu. The appointment with me was, after all, probably just something additional.
"Well, I'll be taking the Yamanote line."
"Aah, see you."
I said goodbye readily, turned my back towards her and started walking towards the platform where my homebound train would arrive.
I was suddenly stopped by her words.
Even though I felt that something was out of place, I turned around.
I see, all this while, she had been calling me Otaku, and this was the first time she had called me by my name, and that was what felt out of place.
She said just that in a brusque manner and left.
It was such a sudden thing that I was swayed.
That devil-like girl, that self-centered Koigasaki, said her thanks. It seemed like she still had a bit of a human's heart left.
With complicated feelings, I took my home-bound train and went home.
Translator's Notes and References & OTARIA Glossary
- K-ON!: If you've never heard of K-ON!, then you shouldn't even be reading this series.
- Ani-song: Short for 'anime song'.
- Vocaloids: Vocaloid is originally a singing synthesizer technology from Yamaha. Since the release and popularizing of Hatsune Miku, a singing synthesizer application (with a persona of the same name) that uses Vocaloid technology, personas (which use sampled voices of voice actors and actresses) with anime character designs from such applications have become icons in the Otaku culture, and have spun into various other Otaku merchandise. In this series, Vocaloid songs refer to songs synthesized with Hatsune Miku and other such similar applications. See here for more info
- Nico Nico Douga: A video sharing site like Youtube. While not limited to Otaku content, a proportionately large amount of content caters to Otaku tastes, and much of the video comments are filled with Otaku slang and jargon often seen on 2ch(2channel) and 2chan (Futaba) boards. See here for more info.
- Freak Hunter: Parody of Monster Hunter.
- (ry): or (略), is a way of abbreviating or omitting things out on the internet. It can be placed anywhere in a word or phrase or sentence as long as the omitted words are clear to the reader.
- Forever Over This Blue Sky: A parody of The Promise I Made Over This Blue Sky.
- Eroge: An erotic game or visual novel. Wiki 'eroge' for more information.
- Gamers: Similar to Animate. In fact, they belong to the same parent company.
- Taiē / Yōkatō: Convenience stores.
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