OreShura: Volume 1 Chapter 1
Freshman. Childhood friend of Eita.
Silly girl. Was in the kendo club.
Favorite line is: 'Feel free to eat as much as you wish.'
#1: High School Life begins in Mayhem
Even though it isn't quite suitable to say this myself, but I'm "anti-romance".
I'm not just saying that for show.
Romance, that sort of thing, is nothing but an illusion. It's a disease. If you don't believe me, take a look at couples giggling every now and then in front of everyone. It's annoying to whoever sees them, praying for them to leave. As for their reason to flirt in public? That's because this is the real romance. Unmasked, it's just morphine getting emitted everywhere inside the brain, making them lose their shame and all. My attitude towards those people? I always put up with it because I don't care. But when it comes to myself, that is another topic altogether. For me, even if it wasn't in public, I would never do such shameless stuff.
Of course, if I had told anyone about these thoughts, they would probably have laughed at it and replied:
'There's no need to pretend being strong.'
'Isn't this just an excuse of someone unpopular?'
That wasn't the case.
I had a history of recieving confessions. Nostalgic, those times in the kindergarten... Forget it, those past glories? Who cares?
But really: If other people had given me a response like that, I would've fully understood it. It sounded just as bad as college dropouts saying 'studying schedules have no bearing' - total lack of persuasive power. Since I haven't had a single bit of romance in my entire life up to now, saying things casually like that would've sounded like nothing but the sour grapes of jealousy.
Which pretty much sums up why I didn't tell anyone about it, but that truly is how I felt.
And the people who had taught me to think like that had been my parents.
The story of how my parents had gotten together: They met; They fell in love; they got married. Just like every other love drama on television. Throughout my childhood I was bombarded with them talking about the ups and downs of their love story. Then by middle school, I was subjected to their endless fights. One day as I was about to go into high school, they both left to seek the 'real one' for them and disappeared forever from my eyes, leaving only a letter entrusting me to relatives and a power of attorney to their house as funds for unsettled expenses.
You! Are! All! Garbage!
Me and my hatred for my parents and romance itself had been to the degree of using 'Hakata Salt's' advertising techniques.
Of course, my sound logic told me that not all parents were like mine. On the contrary, people falling blissfully in love and getting married were the majority. Though, I say my logic is sound, however, something like 'fall in love blissfully just to show you!' or any other kind of similar urges are a different matter entirely. After all, without romance, life could still go on. Wouldn't make much of a difference avoiding pointless stuff. Besides, I didn't have such time, either.
I have my own ambitions. My target was to get into National University's medical faculty and become a doctor.
However, getting into the medical faculty would've meant a considerable amount of expense, and I simply couldn't give any more trouble to my current guardian Saeko-san.
Kiryuu Saeko-san was my father's younger sister; in other words, my aunt. She was the guardian who took care of me here to clean up my parent's mess. Originally she had thought of selling this tattered house to raise money, but having put my feelings of attachment to this house into account, she eventually moved in and settled down with me together. If it wasn't for Saeko-san, I'd have been moved elsewhere to some unknown relative a long time ago. Therefore, I had decided that one day I'd surely repay this debt to Saeko-san - definitely.
My high school was called Hanenoyama Public High School (shortened it'd be 'Hane High'). In this school we had one policy that went like this: 'The school will award talented students with good conduct a National University place' (scholarship included). And that was what I was aiming for.
After having entered high school for the first semester I had already been ranked first in my year. To a person whose results had been in the fairly low district for the entire middle school, this was a staggering feat. I had no intent of slowing down, and would continue working hard to keep my grades up.
Which is why, I had no spare time for romance.
Therefore, this Kidou Eita had sworn himself to the following laws:
1. Studying comes first!
2. No romance! Love is very dangerous!
3. But don't let others believe I'm gay because see second.
As long as I followed these laws, my high school life would be perfect!
There was someone.
Even a person like me had a girl attached to me whom I couldn't get away from. A so-called childhood friend, a pitiable fate.
Well, why don't I begin the story about her, then?
It was the end of May, an incident that had happened some day when students were about to change into summer uniforms. Because of work, Saeko-san was often away from home. That was one reason of why I had to do all the housework on my own. Dinner; vacuuming the floor; hanging clothes to dry; all part of my work. In the eyes of others, this might've looked very extraneous. True. But only at beginning. But now, chores had even become one of my hobbies. Especially making dinner: not only would it directly reflect your results, it was also a useful life skill.
It was almost dusk, half past five. I threw all the washed clothes into the dryer, about to step outside for ingredients for dinner. Before that, I had prepared rice and started pouring it into the cooker, when suddenly, short energetic cries of [Yaa!] and [Tah] came from next door.
Just what is she doing...?
After finishing the last touches and bringing the rice cooker into position, I walked down the hallway into the courtyard. Not very big, around the size of the area of three hanging racks, less than ten or more steps to my neighbor's fence. Across the short fence separating both houses, I could see a person dressed in sportswear and skirts, waving her bamboo blade around. I called out and greeted: "Hey— Chiwa—!"
After having stopped her exercise and turning around, Harusaki Chiwa's sweat was sparkling in the sunlight of the remaining sun.
"Hi— Ei-kun! What's for dinner?"
Heh, thinking about food from dawn till dusk.
"Why are you doing exercises with your shinai?"
"I guess because there was a shinai lying around?"
According to my calculations, this person will become addicted to mountaineering activities in the near future.
"That's why, I thought you gave up on Kendo already?"
"The club was what I gave up on. Despite all the persuasion from my seniors, I've finally severed my ties with them."
"Did you give up on it because of your condition? Now you're practicing again, won't it..."
Harusaki Chiwa smiled.
"No problem. I had a body check last week and my doctor said if it was just exercising, then I'd be fine~"
"Really~ . Geez, Ei-kun loves to worry~"
Chiwa had been practicing kendo from elementary school up till the second year of middle school. Rather than "practice", one could say she buried her head in kendo. She even was fourth in the province-wide team competition, second in the singles competition. Her unfavorable height and strength didn't have much effect on her performance, she was even aiming for the nationwide competition next summer.
But then, in the third summer of middle school.
Just as the date for the competition was approaching, Chiwa had been involved in a traffic accident.
While the kendo club was jogging for training, a cargo from a passing by truck coincidentally fell off, crushing Chiwa below it.
Her whole body suffered serious injuries, the damage to her waist was quite severe.
After a large surgery, Chiwa spent her last summer of middle school in hospital.
Although after these events, Chiwa worked really hard for a rehabilitation. While now the after effects do not interfere with her daily life, strenuous activities like kendo are out of the question.
Chiwa never said anything.
Someone like me who has never joined any club can't possible know what it feels like for Chiwa.
But from my point of view, Chiwa was definitely deprived of an important part of her life.
"...Don't push yourself too much. The waist, like how it's written, is the most important part of the body."
"Hmn—?", Chiwa winced her eyes as if contemplating something.
"Ei-kun seems especially kind today? Don't tell me it's because you want to see my panties?"
"Wh-Whooo wants to see y-your p-p-p—"
Such a failure. Stumbling over something so trivial.
"Ara, ara. Ei-kun must have reached the age where he is interested in these things. Is the word 'panties' too stimulating for you?", Chiwa giggled happily.
Chiwa took a twirl like a ballerina. The short white skirt was lifted by air, revealing her long, slender, healthy legs. Of course, the panties stayed out of sight. ...But still, I couldn't help but get slightly excited. Such a failure.
"Wh-Who would want to see your childish underwear?!"
"Huh, you don't have to insist, you know~"
Curse her...! Such a fun-loving little kid. A mature grown up like me has no common language with her!
"Forget it. I'm going out to buy ingredients for dinner."
"Oh, wait! I'm going with you!"
"Don't. Every time you tag along, additional expenses are added."
"I won't nag for snacks this time! I promise!"
Every time she just sneaks chocolate and gum and whatnot into the shopping cart.
Whatever. Even if I refuse, this kid will tag along.
"...You have 3 minutes. Hurry up!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah!"
Really. How can such a small little body... Where does all the energy come from...?
From our home to the 'Marutoku' shopping market was an approximately ten minutes trip.
Chiwa was wore a jeans skirt and a sleeveless shirt.
It's only May yet already sleeveless... I don't know whether to call her out-going, or seasonal-sense-lacking.
"Ne, ne, Ei-kun, what are you having tonight?"
Through the intelligence received from the flyers that morning, the recipe was all set.
"Japanese-styled taro with fish miso soup and soybean sargassum salad."
Chiwa made an expression as if the end of the world had come.
"Wh-what about meat?!"
"Don't you know? Beans are called the 'vegetarian's meat'."
"...Lately Ei-kun and my mama sound alike."
Chiwa's parents were workaholics, plus their workload was heavy, usually they didn't come home until late night. Since my aunt Saeko-san also came home seldom, dinner was almost always eaten between Chiwa and me.
Entering the shop, we quickly grabbed all the special-priced products. A sudden scent of curry came from the corner of the shop. Looks like they're trying to sell a new instant curry.
"Oh, siblings shopping together? If you don't mind, would you like to try some?" Wearing an apron, the saleswoman showed a professional smile.
Since we were small, both of us had always been mistaken as siblings. Although Chiwa only exceeded my height during third to fourth grade, I had always been taken as the younger brother in our pseudo-sibling relationship. Between you and me, I had always taken this as the shame of my life. On the bright side: Chiwa's height had also stopped growing since grade school.
Well, no thanks for me. Chiwa, of course, couldn't care less about me, and reached out for the paper plates. Even though her arms looked short, they could extend to an incredible length when reaching for food.
"Here you go. There's two tastes here to try out, heavy and light!"
I guess there is no choice but for me to taste it as well.
...Well, that isn't so bad.
Saeko-san's "instant food" storage was close to being gone. Why not?, I thought. Two would be too many, though.
"May I ask which flavor is more popular?"
"Which curry sells better? I'll have one of that."
With a slightly awkward expression, the saleslady pointed to the light curry, whereas Chiwa placed a heavy tasted curry into my shopping cart.
"It's for Saeko-san, right? This one will taste better~!"
The saleslady made a muffled laugh.
Huh? Who made you my mother?
On the way home after lining up and paying, I couldn't help but say:
"Chiwa, please don't interfere with my logical decisions."
"Compared to your tongue, I'd rather trust the choice of democracy."
"That has nothing to do with it at all. It's just that my taste is the same as Saeko-san's."
"You have no previously gathered data to back up such a claim."
Chiwa shrugged exaggeratedly.
"Ei-kun has surely changed a lot in that matter. In middle school you weren't as addicted to talking sense."
"Well, that's normal, isn't it? We are high school students after all."
"Ehh, but I did like the clumsier Ei-kun better —you were hilarious."
I'm slightly pissed, so I'll say something back.
"You never change, still at the stage of a middle, no, at the stage of a grade school child."
"Wh-What? I've grown a lot!"
Chiwa puffed out her chest.
...Umm, that? Nope. Not really far, at least.
"'The late growth of breasts due to immaturity' —If I became a doctor, I would definitely invite you as a test subject for my thesis "
"P-Pretending to be so smart! I'm still your three months and ten days older Onee-san!"
"It only further proves your immaturity if you even think that that matters."
"S-Such arrogance! When you are just Ei-kun! When you are just Ei-kun!"
Haha, a complete victory for my side. Sadly, defeating Chiwa isn't exactly something to brag about.
And so we returned home and I began preparing dinner swiftly. Fish itself was sold in slices, so roasting it wouldn't be too hard. More important was the Japanese styled taro. It needed to be shaken constantly to not get burnt.
As for Chiwa, she pouted on the sofa hugging her knees, calling out 'Ei-kun is an idiot', 'Stupid', 'Muffled pervert' and all sorts of names.
I can't believe such a sporty girl can take these things so personally. Looks like there's only one thing to do.
"Hmph. I hate Ei-kun the most."
"There's some bacon in the fridge, do you want me to fry it in soya-sauce?"
"Yay! Ei-kun I love you!"
Love bought with 100 grams of bacon.
If treated as special bargain, it'd only cost ¥590...
I mixed all the vegetables into one big bowl and placed it on the table. Although it looked less attractive, we seldom separated the vegetables into single dishes, but instead we ate it directly from one big bowl. Soon it had become a habit. Plus, I had less plates to clean this way.
The two of us ate, going through all sorts of unimportant subjects.
"That reminds me—"
"Reminds you of what?"
"In mangas or in TV dramas, the female childhood friend tends to cook..."
"Then why are our characters switched?"
Chiwa looked at me with a bit of confusion.
"Eh? Do you want to eat my cooking?"
I was suddenly reminded of myself collapsing from the food she made once. That was a bubbling roasted steak sweetened to the fattening degree. Because we didn't have red wine, we had carbonated grape juice (0% natural) as substitute. When asked of the motive for her crime, Chiwa replied: 'They both look pretty much the same anyways' and 'Besides, I'm sure it should taste better with something carbonated'.
The less a person knew how to cook, the more likely they would be to invent crazy recipes...
"Say...", Chiwa garbled while chewing bacon.
"Is there a girl called Natsukawa Masuzu in Ei-kun's class?"
"Oh, I guess."
Then with a sudden spurt of energy: 'That girl is incredible! Just like a princess! Even the boys in our class are talking about her, so I took a look today. I was shocked! Her hair is silver, her eyes are blue, like some person from Europe or somewhere like that! I also heard her family is super rich!'
"Umm, I guess—", I answered vaguely.
"And she's super popular! Only two months into school, according to sources, the number of confessions she has received already exceeds two digits! I originally thought it was a made-up story from a nosy person, but after seeing her today, I am almost certain of it! Two digits!"
"Ohh—", I agreed vaguely.
"Oh, Ei-kun isn't interested? Or did you already give up because she's out of reach?"
She might be pretty indeed, but it has nothing to do with me.
Besides, for some reason, I can't seem to like her.
Even though I've had two or three conversations with her... it always feels as if there is something hidden behind those acclaimed looks. Should I say, someone whose real inner side can't be seen? Someone who one never gets truly known.
"Anyhow, I don't really like her, I guess."
"...Is that so?"
Chiwa nodded a few times.
"Ehehe♪, today's dinner tastes very good."
"No. It tastes the same like any other day."
I wonder what made her feel so happy. Just bacon is enough to cheer her up?
After dinner, the two of us gathered the bowls and chopsticks. After that I started preparing for tomorrow's courses while Chiwa took some manga from the mountainous piles stored in Saeko-san's room and started reading at the sofa.
Saeko-san worked at some game production company. Occasionally she did do stuff like writing scenarios, drawing graphics, even coding and music. In short: She could do it all. The company made 'gal-games' and 'love games', mostly aimed towards girls.
Perhaps it's because of work that Saeko-san acted like this at home.
'Yosu! Mo~rni~ng, Eita! Are you used to high school life yet? Have you gotten any flags with any cute girls?'
'No progress at all with Chiwawa-chan? Settings with this kind of childhood friend are usually a highway to happy endings, what have you been doing all this time?'
'When you're in a harem, you have to watch out for their impression —If you focus too much on a single girl and forget about the others, some day bad news will spread!'
Who would be in a harem? You think I'm some oil monopoly king in Arabia?
—Anyway, don't pay too much attention to this stuff.
For the purpose of gathering information for work, Saeko-san had tons of shoujo manga. Reading those manga had recently become a daily habit for Chiwa.
"Hey, the tea's ready. I'll put it down right here"
Chiwa was motionless. She turned out like this whenever she was in the world of manga.
Looks like she's especially focused today.
Chiwa grabbed a tissue from the box and wiped the corner of her eye before blowing her nose with it.
"It would be nice if that happened to me just once."
"A romance like this."
"How's it like?"
"You gotta read it, read."
I flipped the pages of the manga Chiwa had handed to me. The two childhood friends both had been dating someone else, but one day both of them noticed their love for each other, then after many, many difficult obstacles, the two of them eventually became lovers forever —You get the idea.
"Besides, childhood friends are pretty much like brother-and-sisters, they won't become lovers."
"Is that so? I thought there's some fact to it."
"It only works in stories. Let's take us as an example; one look and you'll see that it's impossible in real life."
I was expecting a 'You've got a point —That certainly is impossible...' or some similar response... but she turned out to be silent.
"Y-You've got a point —That certainly is impossible..."
Ah, here comes the expected response.
Perhaps she's only too tired from her kendo exercise? Maybe I should add more meat to dinner next time...
"T-Taking the childhood friend setting aside, this kind of romance, or I should say this kind of sweet, or wait, this kind of complete devotion in romance, doesn't seems too bad. Besides, I'm already a high school student."
So that's why.
It's a good thing to want to devote fully into something as a replacement of Kendo, just that—
"So, what do you want to do, then?"
"I want to become super popular!"
...Well, that was direct.
"Fancied by many males, after experiencing many ups and downs, finally settling down with a normal male who has been supporting her from the backgrounds all the time —This is what I should experience at least!"
"...Ah. I see."
How should I put it, feels just like what a book called 'Chihuahua-chan chapter of grown up Love' would be about.
It sounds a bit depressing coming from a friend who's been growing up with her since small, but...
"You should give up. It's ten years too early for you."
"First of all, just the word 'popular' is impossible. I've never seen you with make-up. Moreover, I doubt you have lots of clothes?"
"C-Clothes, I have a lot! I have five workout suits!"
I totally understood her anxiousness in wanting to refute my statements, but in reality, she was just digging her own grave.
"Plus, you never really cared about how other boys look at you. A while ago you were playing soccer with the males in the sports grounds without even changing to sports clothes. And you sit with your legs crossed, when you're in a skirt, you always shake your feet around."
Having her worst habits pointed out, Chiwa stopped moving her legs. Just so you know, she was moving her legs rhythmically all along.
"And I don't have to tell you about how you go on the rooftop in nothing but a towel on your body, hands on hips, gulping down milk in one go. The Asakura's auntie even jokes 'Chiwa-chan looks exactly like my husband', and so..."
The two ponytails from both sides of her head began trembling.
The Asakuras were our neighbors across the street. Their grandpa was a coach, sometimes even attending fitness contests. He was a bearded old guy covered in muscles.
"Anyway, you are a sports girl from head to toe, just like how they say 'Brawn but no brains'. In reality, the way you analyze things is by brute force, facing it directly, guided by power. In addition, you always think like a child, I wouldn't think of someone like that as a high school student..."
"EI-KUN IS A GIANT IDIOT!"
Ah, there she blows.
"Ei-kun is a jerk! Jerk, jerk, jerk, jerk! How would you know until I try! I'm not brawn but no brains! I'm not a child!"
Thrashing her arms and legs around on the sofa, I really wanted to see her proving me wrong. When I realized I did go a bit overboard, it was already too late. The damage is done.
"Forget it. I've decided", Chiwa stood up from the sofa, "From tomorrow onwards, I will become a person in love!"
"Not only will I be in love, I will become super popular! If Chiwawa-chan gets serious, even Natsukawa Masuzu won't stand a chance!"
No, no, wait, wait.
"Do you know how to draw the males' attention? Even abstractly?"
"I'll begin learning right now!"
"And what exactly will you be learning from?"
Chiwa held up the bishoujo manga in front of my face.
"Saeko-san once said, shoujo manga are the bible of love. Therefore I must study well, remember it well, practice it all day long, and win a prize in a tournament!"
The stance of someone who doesn't think on anything but sports.
"Let's say... this:" Chiwa flipped to a heroine on some random page in the manga, "Look at the eyes of this heroine, look at them! Don't you find them adorable? If I made the same look, I would definitely become popular with males!"
The heroine's eyes were half the size of her face.
And there was a lot of glitter in her eyes.
How the heck do you plan to imitate that...
"A while ago, a girl next to my desk was reading a magazine 'Pachi Lemon'. It also wrote that 'if you look at boys from below, it will make you popucute!☆'. It seems looking people from below is the secret technique. Oh, I'm very talented at hitting people from above in Kendo!"
Definitely brawny but not brainy.
"I won't tell you otherwise anymore. As for the things I said, I'm sorry. Please reconsider again."
"What?! What are you talking about?! Besides, Ei-kun has never been in love! You've never had a crush on anyone!"
"Oh? Do you?"
"...H-How's that possible?! Ei-kun, you big idiot!"
So I was scolded. What's wrong with this person?
"I'll begin practicing now. Lend me these books, would you?"
Chiwa carried a pile of shoujo mangas with both hands.
"Ei-kun, bye-bye~ Around a week later I will become super popular and by that time you'll realize 'Chiwa-chan is such a perfect girl', but it'll be too late!"
"Yeah, that would be too bad! Too bad!"
And so, I sent Chiwa out of my door.
A week later.
In my class 1-A, a rumor like this started to spread: Class 1-E's Harusaki Chiwa became super popular, and was called out by boys— Of course not.
In reality the rumor was that Chiwa was called by the school counselor's office. In short —She had been staring at boys in her class with bloodshot eyes.
'She'd sometimes stare with blank eyes.'
'Nonetheless it's terrifying.'
You get the idea.
I even heard that Chiwa's mother had come to school to talk as well.
I guess I should probably roast more meat for her tonight.
"Wahh... I followed the instructions on the mangas, yet why am I not popular?" Chiwa swallowed the juicy meat together with her own tears, talking to herself.
"Don't tell me... I am too cute to handle?!"
Not, is what I thought.
Pachi Lemon's April Edition, Special Support for freshmen Guide
Popcute measure of female High School students!
Reply to student "Cute Chiwawa"
Q1: You wake up in the morning and greet yourself in the mirror. What did you say?
A1: I'm hungry!
Q2: He laughs at your new haircut! What do you do?
A2: Cut Ei-kun's eyebrows off as revenge.
Q3: Your male friend tells you about his troubles regarding love. How do you encourage him?
A3: Let's run 50 laps around the sports ground!
Q4: You have a date at the restaurant with your boyfriend. What do you order?
A4: A big piece of meat!
Q5: You accidentally overslept. Although in a hurry, your hair keeps curling up and won't stay flat~ (tears). What do you do?
A5: Instead of this, what's for breakfast??
Your Popucute score: 5/100
Editors of Pachi Lemon: There is still a long way from being popucute. Why don't you try going on a diet?
Translator notes and references
- Silly girl: Raw-Text: "Ahonoko". This is a character trait similar to "yandere" or the like, used to define girls that are acting silly.
- "Hakata Salt" commercials are sung syllable by syllable 
- The kanji of waist 腰 includes the character 要 which can mean "important point" or "necessary".
- Ara, ara: A phrase older/mature women use in Japan, basically: "My, my.".
- In the original, "kyoudai (兄妹)" hinted at Eita as the older and Chiwa as the younger sibling; Eita mentioned it in a different composition (姉弟) which hints vice-versa.
- He uses the proper kanji of "logical" (合理的判断) , Chiwa doesn't know it and falls short on the pronunciation "goriteki?".
- She uses "aishiteru" (愛してる) here, which is the most serious declaration of love.
- The actual term here is "otome game" or "otoge".
- Chiwa switched to a childlike tone here.
- Popucute: Merging of "popular" and "cute".
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