PuiPui:Volume1 Chapter2

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Chapter 2: Solomon's Treasure[edit]

In the dorm room the next morning, Jin donned his uniform in a refreshed mood.

With a large smile, he happily scanned the room. Not since moving in had the room been so clean.

"Aaaah, what refreshing weather."

Looking out the window, he gave a big stretch. The morning's breakfast had also been quite wonderfully delicious. Yuuya was also in a good mood, listening to music with his headphones.

"You organized the room pretty quickly. Sorry about yesterday, blood just rushed to my head that's all."

Yuuya apologized to Jin, moving his headphones down to his neck and letting the sound spill out.

"Everybody makes mistakes. Don't worry about it."

"Hey, what's with that high and mighty way of speaking?"

Despite all the trouble Sierra had brought upon Jin, it was still thanks to her that all the boxes were gone. It would have been troublesome for the Genie of the Lamp to have helped out...at least that's what he thought.

(I really should have shown more thanks for yesterday. Because I can't call her again.)

The lamp had been put in a box, and then sealed into the deep recesses of a desk. This was for safety. That way Sierra wouldn't be called out from the lamp being accidentally rubbed. It solved everything.

When it came time to go to school, the two left the room. The smell of sweat and mold were a unique part of the inside of the men's dormitory, but for some reason there was a new unique fresh scent in the air. Yuuya wriggled his nose, sniffing.

"This smell...where have I smelt it before."

"I wonder if it's incense."

Jin replied while his nose sniffed the air as well. Yuuya shook his head.

"An incense stick doesn't have this kind of scent."

"That's not what I meant, here. It's kind of like the smell of an old lady using a folding fan."

"Ah, I see. It's like the smell of an old lady."

Yuuya laughed aloud, while over his back something taller than him cast its long shadow.

"This incense is a type of citrus fruit. Calling an upperclassman an old lady, the first years this year sure have a lot of courage."

In shock, the two could only shake. A tall slender figure wearing a traditional Kendo Gi and Hakama was holding a bamboo sword. With long hanging hair, the young man stared down with cold, strict eyes. Behind him, and wearing their school uniforms, were four members of the Skinhead group. They were the dorm head's right hand guardsmen, subordinates under his direct control, and all were third year students at the dorm.

The scent had risen from the Kendo Gi which Ukyou was wearing. Incense used to be burned in the Heian Period to provide kimono's with a pleasant smell, and it seemed Ukyou had these traditional hobbies.

“No way dormitory head, that is......no.”

Yuuya's face was becoming a shade of pale green. Ukyou took Yuuya's music-blaring headphones from around his neck, slamming them into a nearby wall.

“You're a Japanese man, yet here you are indulging in the Western Music Culture, how weak!”

Ukyou was the head of the Kendo club. He was pale from practicing indoors all the time, and as time continued that feature began to grow more and more pronounced. Yuuya shook from his uncontrollable fear of him.

“S-Sorry, please forgive me.”

“You trash, well, it's true you're in the Light Music Club. For the sake of winning the girls you buzz around like a mole cricket! If you keep up the flirting, I'm going to beat you up!”

Ukyou thrust against Yuuya's shoulder with the bamboo sword. Terrified, Yuuya stood unsteadily as his legs wobbled. Watching this, Jin blocked the way.

“Wait a minute! The first one to say you smelled like an old lady, was me!”

Ukyou lifted his thin eyebrow in response. The surrounding protection squad moved to stand in front of Jin.

“First year kid! Watch what comes out of your mouth when speaking to the dorm head!”

“Yeah, well I haven't broken any of Tachibana Dorm's rules yet! You just want to get to the punishing!”

“J-Jin, hurry up and apologize!”

Yuuya was being encircled by the protection squad. However Jin had leapt out powerfully like a bunny, evading capture.

“I don't think there's anything to apologize for though. I just said what I was thinking that's all.”

“What the, you first year brat!”

“Anyway, wait a minute.”

With that, Ukyou raised his hand, restraining his protection squad. He had an icy composure as he reigned them in.

“If I remember correctly, you're Araki Jin. To not be afraid of these guys, you're pretty gutsy. But with the authority I hold, it's not good for you to mouth off.”

Ukyou gripped Jin's chest, pulling him close. The smell of tachibana incense filled the air.

“We protect the rules and order of the dorm, so show some more respect to your upperclassmen. This is an order from your senior, and you aren't allowed to speak out against it. Araki Jin, normally you would be sent off to be punished but......since you're a new student, we'll just take away your meals.”

“T-Take away my meals?”

Jin's raised voice held a bit of hysteria.

“That's right. There will be no lunch or dinner for you today.”

Jin was astonished at Ukyou's cold words. Suddenly a member of the protection squad spoke up.

“Dorm head, it's about time to attend school. The morning patrol in the neighborhood......”

“Okay. Just let me change my clothes.”

Ukyou and his protection squad withdrew, leaving a chilling wind over their shoulders. Yuuya grabbed ahold of Jin.

“For saying all that, it's kind of good you got off so easy.”

“Where does it say they can take away meals?”

Dinner at the dormitory started at six, and unless everyone was there no one could start eating. Also, that time was closing time for the dorm, so from that point on no one was permitted to go out. Those were the rules for meals, so outside food couldn't be brought in later. Consequently, withholding meals actually meant that until the next day's breakfast, there would be nothing to eat. Yuuya pressed his forehead in shock.

“In this situation what are you going to do for food! Why didn't the guys with the dorm head say anything about him taking food from you?”

“I know, meals are the basis for human life after all.”

“With all this talking about human life and all, we don't have anymore time, but......geez it's because you transferred from another school that you don't understand yet how scary the dorm head is. When he's in a bad mood, do you have any idea how lucky it is to get off with only a few meals taken away?”

“Even though you said that yesterday too, he really wasn't in that bad a mood. Still, what an obstinate guy.”

“Shhhh! You may think it's fine to say stuff like that, but that's what lost you your food! Back when I was in my second year of junior high, I stepped on his shadow, and did you know I got punished just for that?”

“Sounds like an anachronism.”

“His entire household is extremely old fashioned, they're like nobles. Especially from the weak position of a second year junior high student.”

A stand was put out in front of the dorm's entrance hall, with packages of onigiri stacked up. They were bentos for the boarding students. There were five second year junior high school boarding students distributing, bowing their heads each time they handed one out.

Because of their weak position as underclassmen, their job as second years was to prepare the meals. Shopping, breakfast, lunch and bentos, and also dinner, each of the three meals had a system made for it. There was also the dish washing group. It had been arranged so that there would always be around ten first year high school students, with thirty junior high second years, so that there would always be people to take care of the work.

Jin and Yuuya both reached out their hands towards the bundles, when a boy on duty shook his head. The first year student had a serious expression on his face.

“I'm sorry. But the dorm head said that Araki doesn't get any.”

“You don't have to be so uptight. What if there are extras?”

“It's alright. Anybody that wants seconds can have as much as they'd like.”

“So you're listening to an upperclassman's orders then?””

“The dorm head's orders are absolute.”

The boy cut the conversation coldly. Stout hearted and with the appearance of a kid, he really didn't seem to be a primary school student. It was starting to look like he wouldn't be getting anything to eat......Jin dropped his shoulders in defeat.

“Let's get going, Jin. It'll be bad if the dorm head finds you here, you might end up losing breakfast tomorrow as well.”

With that Yuuya began pulling him away by his shirt's collar. Jin reluctantly moved out into the entrance hall, waving goodbye to the onigiri he was unable to obtain.



Turning towards the school and walking along the embankment, Jin asked Yuuya for help.

“Hey, Yuuya. Is there any way you'll split your lunch with me?”

“Don't joke around. If I don't eat my blood sugar will decrease.”

“Ah! I forgot the book I borrowed from the library.”

“Come on! Listen when people are talking to you. Can't you go to a convenience store and buy something?”

“It's the end of the month already, so I'm kinda out of money. Let me borrow some.”

“Don't give me any of that. I'm also running out of money. But I can manage to lend you thirty-eight yen.”

“Together with my eighty-five yen......there's not even enough to buy bread.”

“If it's 'Alf Layla,' they use tabs.”

“'Alf Layla'?”

A thousand nights......that's what it means in Arabic. It was a phrase found in Arabian Nights, where it was used as 'One Thousand and One Nights.'

“We're at the back of the place. The food is cheap yet delicious. You've never been?”

“No. I haven't been yet......”

Jin looked to his side, as just then Yuuya had laughed.

“Then, just follow me. Since it's your first time, you can't put the meal on a tab yet. There's a shop girl who's ridiculously cute. But not at Zadou's level. Zadou climbed up to the first rank, so she's in a totally different world.”

Ignoring Yuuya's words while he was in dream mode, Jin remembered yesterday's escapade with Sierra, wondering what was so good about her......he couldn't comprehend the mystery. Of course, saying something like that to Yuuya who had entered a worship group from his love of her, would cast him out as a traitor, he would become a demon for having spoken his mind.



As they continued walking along the embankment, sounds approached from the back that sounded like the pattering of a small deer's footsteps.

“Onii-cha~n!”

Jin was being waved down. A small girl was running towards him with bobbing hair, as her face was blushing deep red. She seemed to be a lot like a small mouse, especially with her large eyes. Yuuya tilted his head to the side in confusion.

“Jin, you know her? Which kindergarten is she from?”

“......Ai-Aika?”

Jin was surprised for a moment, when the girl......Kasumi Aika, suddenly fell on her face. With both hands thrown out in front of her, it looked as though she had dove for home base. Jin rushed over to her side.

“Aika! A,-Are you alright?”

“Just now......she tripped when there was nothing to trip on...”

Yuuya muttered with stiff eyes. Aika picked herself up, and turned to face Jin.

Puipui vol01 069.jpg

“Onii-chan, we finally meet!”

Jin's body was hugged tightly. The other person's body was slender, and seemed as though it might break easily. That body like a matchstick was wearing the Harusha Middle School Academy's uniform. Surprised, Jin asked Aika about it.

“You, why are you wearing that uniform?”

“Huh. That girl, she's from yesterday's......”

Yuuya pointed at Aika. That time yesterday when they had seen Sierra's car along the embankment, this was the girl that had been sitting next to her. He turned an amazed look towards Jin.

“How do you know Aika?”

“Wasn't she in Zadou Sierra's car yesterday? I thought she was in kindergarten, but could it be she's in middle school?”

After Yuuya's question, Aika was embarrassedly hiding behind Jin's back.

“W-Wait, why are you hiding?”

“Don't get too close. She's not very immunized against guys.”

“Immunized, what, do you think I'm some kind of infectious bacteria?”

Disregarding an upset Yuuya, Jin turned to ask Aika a question.

“You were in her car?”

“Yeah. On my way home I hurt my leg, and she helped me by taking me back to the dormitory.”

“......You probably, just fell onto the level ground like you did just now.”

“Being able to ride in Sierra's car, was like a dream. Because of my nervousness, I was being careful about what we were talking about.”

“Hmmm...... It's nice that such a selfish girl can show some kindness.”

Slightly surprised, Jin brushed his forehead with his index finger.

“Dormitory?”

“Yeah. Sakura Dormitory.”

“Wait a minute. Why did you transfer from the all girls elementary school? Actually, why did your parents say 'okay' to you living in a dorm when here you are tripping over nothing?”

“That's because, Onii-chan moved here so suddenly.”

Aika puffed out her cheeks.

“I asked auntie if I could transfer to this school, and she said if there's a vacancy in the new students entrance exam it would be okay.”

“That's right......in spite of your slowness, you must have done pretty well.”

“Geez! Onii-chan! Don't call me slow!”

Angrily Aika closed both hands into fists. But slamming into Jin's stomach was instead, Yuuya's elbow.

“She's pretty cute. Your little sister that is.”

“She's not my sister. She's a friend from my old neighborhood.”

“Uhm, Onii-chan. Can we go to school together?”

Looking out to make sure Yuuya wasn't getting any closer, Aika was shimmying around Jin.

“Sorry, Yuuya. I'll meet you in the classroom.”

“Why are you suddenly so cold-hearted? My my, I never noticed.”

After finishing his sarcasm and slowly increasing his pace, he paused suddenly.

“Wait a minute. Did you say Sierra was a selfish girl?”

“Well I didn't have a more appropriate adjective. Evil maybe, or brutal.”

“Don't say something you don't understand. Since it's me, it's okay, but if anyone else heard you talk about her like that, I don't think it would be good. You'll probably be attacked in the back of the head.”

Yuuya walked off first, as Aika latched herself onto Jin's shoulder.

“It's just as he was saying, Onii-chan. Sierra-sama is beautiful and kind, so all us middle school girls want to be like her.”

“......I simply can't imagine that we're talking about the same person.”

Thinking about how Sierra had appeared from the lamp yesterday, Jin crossed his arms.

(It couldn't be that there's a different person with the exact same first and last name, right......?)

“She brought me back yesterday. In reality Sierra-sama, even though she is a beautiful person with a lot of money, she's really kind, and I'm becoming more and more of a fan of hers.”

“Well......according to Yuuya, it's rare for a guy to not be entranced by her.”

Jin didn't really understand. Aika tried to reign in her laughter.

“Is that true. I think everyone's the same, that they all really like her a lot. But, I was the only one she had a heartfelt conversation with.”

“What's that?”

“Well, it looks like there's someone who dislikes Sierra. The other day, someone put a green caterpillar on a twig, into her shoe locker.”

“Seriously?”

Jin thought Sierra was certainly selfish......but after listening to those cruel words, his stomach began to get a little upset.

“What kind of idiot would do something like that.”

“I don't know but......after asking the boy next to her about it, he just said it was a really bad thing for someone to have done. That's why I encouraged Sierra-sama, and she thanked me, so then we talked about all kinds of things. If everyone in class knew this, then they'd be burning with jealousy. Tehehe.”

“I guess it must be pretty troublesome, for her to stand out so much.”

“Ah, that's right. Onii-chan, Are you free for lunch break today?”

Aika asked, with her head tilted to the side. Performing that motion her hair shifted over her face. With that, Jin remembered he didn't have his bento, at the same time his stomach rumbled loudly.

“A-Ah. I didn't have any plans......I don't have a bento to eat......”

Hearing that, Aika happily clapped her hands together, followed by grabbing onto Jin's arm.

“Yay! Today, third, fourth period is home economics. We're making cupcakes, so I'll bring some extras to outside the staff room. Onii-chan, would you eat them?”

Aika brought her flushed face up to look at Jin. It was a sight for the gods......but because of how it looked to have Aika plastered to his arm, he was growing more nervous as he furrowed his eyebrows.

“Ah, nah......it's better if you don't cook. Back when you were in elementary school, you'd cut your fingers and get all kinds of wounds, remember? Even now, it seems like you've been getting an occasional scrape.”

“I'm fine now. After entering the school, the reason I haven't been able to search for you until now is because I've been on kitchen duty at the dorm the whole time......even though I've gotten hurt, I've been getting better and better.”

“Hmm. I thought it would be impossible for you to live as a boarding student, but it seems you're doing okay.”

“Geez, I'm in middle school after all. I'm not a kid anymore.”

In a provoking gesture, Aika placed a fist on her hip, while sticking out her tongue and making a “blaah” sound.

“Yeah, I guess you've really grown up from that time when you were just like a baby. I guess you don't use diapers anymore then huh.”

“D-DIAPERS WHAT THE HECK'S WITH THAT!?”

“You don't wear pampers now do you?”

“Geez! I hate you! You're not getting any cake!”

Aika quickly turned her face away. If this continued he would end up losing his meal.

“Sorry. I apologized, so please don't take my cake away.”

“A cake?”

“That's right. A cake.”

“......Geez!”

Shocked, Aika began laughing. It was a bright, rolling laugh. Because they had both lived in the same neighborhood, Jin had known her since the time she had worn diapers. Having been raised in a warm, loving family, Aika had been quite obedient. Her name had come from her white body, which reminded the parents of a white bridal rose, symbolizing happiness and love. Her name literally meant “love” and “flower”. And the laugh, showed the light from her soul.

“If you want forgiveness, will you say ChiChinPuiPui?”

“ChiChinPuiPui?”

Remembering something, Jin's eyebrows were knit tightly. Clinging to Jin, Aika showed him her knee.

“This is yesterday's injury. Onii-chan, didn't you say whenever I have an injury, you'll say ChiChinPuiPui?”

Like a baby deer she was looking up at Jin with her eyes and long eyelashes. Saying “Ahh,” Jin brought himself towards Aika's knee, making his finger act like a dragonfly as it came closer.

“♪ChiChinPuiPui, pain pain, hurry up and fly to the mountain top.♪”

Having often done the spell for her when she was younger, even though it was the same chant, he didn't feel the same sort of embarrassment with Aika. Jin thought nothing of it as he finished the incantation.

“Ehe. Onii-chan look, it's being effective.”

“It's just your mood that's all. It's just a superstition after all.”

“Hey. Are you still searching for that treasure thing?”

“Nn......more or less.”

Jin turned his face. Aika was grinning.

“It's confusing for me, but......Onii-chan, you'll definitely find it. When you do, show it to me, k?

At the same time, the problem of Sierra was revolving in Jin's head. A smiling face like this came to mind. A beautiful girl with money and an excellence record, and one day could suddenly use magic......what kind of wish could be granted, and why, did she sometimes appear sad.

Even though it was fun to go together with Aika, Jin was feeling heavy. Wondering what to do, he still had no idea.



After parting with Aika and entering Class 1-B, his eyes focused abruptly on Sierra. Up till now, Jin had never even noticed her before. Always buried deep in an archeology book, he had never paid attention to who was in his class.

Finally realizing this, he noticed that out of everyone in class, she really did stand out. Anyway, who knows how many people were circled around her. With a bright smile, she was speaking elegantly. As though they were attendants, they surrounded the Ojou-sama. If Sierra was compared to others, in terms of kindness, certainly he was starting to see what Yuuya and Aika were talking about.

(This is strange......what I saw yesterday, did I mistake her selfishness?)

Looking at Sierra's surroundings, he noticed all the boys were staring at her with burning eyes.

Upon Jin entering the classroom, Sierra turned her eyes towards him. Jin was taken aback. Prepared for something like what happened yesterday, he put himself on guard, but instead Sierra returned to talking with the other girls, taking no notice of him.

(Hah?)

Receiving a tap on his shoulder, Jin blinked his eyes in surprise. Yuuya was taking his seat, with his thread thin eyes turned towards Jin.

“Despite what you said before, you seem fascinated by Zadou.”

“No, it's not like I'm fascinated.”

“Everyone's fascinated by her.”

“Even if they are, it doesn't seem like anybody is talking to her though.”

“Well, everyone knows they can't catch her, so all they can do is watch her in awe. Someone that would talk to her with their own voice, doesn't exist right?”

Thinking about the Sierra from yesterday, he didn't think that was so. But, looking at the Sierra of now, he could understand Yuuya's desire to get closer.

(Are all the guys in class like that?)

Inundated with such complex questions, Jin hugged his chest. Not wanting to speak up and instead keeping silent, he had one thing that he wanted to ask. After Sierra had left his room, he was wondering what had happened to all those cardboard boxes.

(I don't even know her phone number......but calling out now wouldn't be right.)

Sierra as well, seemed to want to keep yesterday a secret, so she probably hadn't told anybody anything. Looking for a suitable time to voice his thoughts, Jin patiently waited for the right moment.

She had definitely seen him, having turned her gaze to stare right at him, but paying no heed, she continued to ignore him.



However, with the coming of lunch break......the middle school girls entered Class 1-B with cupcakes, and the situation began to change.

“Onii-chan, I got them!”

Aika handed Jin a paper bag stuffed with cupcakes. With his stomach already rumbling, Jin took the cupcakes, feeling relieved.

“Thanks. You really saved me.”

From behind Aika, around another ten middle school girls entered, carrying cake boxes. They were all heading for Sierra. As all the other girls gathered to Sierra's desk, she had to hold her small lunch box in her palm.

“Sierra-sama, I made cupcakes in home economics, please eat them!”

“Please take mine as well!”

The middle school girls were surrounding Sierra nervously with high tension. Saying, “Eh, Thank you,” and, “well then, let's all eat together,” a kind smile had risen on her face, which showed her ability to cope while remaining courteous, while at the same time Jin and Aika were intermittently turning their gaze in her direction.

The cupcakes Aika had given, had risen when baked to resemble the color of a fox, while they gave off a sweet vanilla scent. Holding them, they were steamy and warm. Jin admired how well done the cupcakes were.

“These, you really made them?”

“Heh heh, great aren't they?”

Standing next to Jin's desk, Aika had both her hands wrapped around to her back, hugging herself with pride.

“Yeah, they really look great. It's like you bought them from a store.”

“Don't just look at them, praise their taste too.”

Placing a hand on top of Jin's desk, Aika brought her face in close to Jin's.

“You, don't want to eat?”

“We're not supposed to eat in the middle of home economics. Come on and show some discretion when you eat!”

Trembling nervously, Aika urged Jin on. Picking one out to test, Jin ate it, and suddenly the sweet scent of milk and eggs expanded inside his mouth, as it's light texture melted in his mouth.

“Woah. These are actually pretty good.”

“Really? Yes!”

Aika struck a victory pose. Extremely hungry, Jin crammed two to three into his mouth, his cheeks giving away his furious chomping.

“Yah......preddy good.”

“You tried them again?”

“Yeah. I was thinking you were going to feed me mud pies again.”

“Th......that was back in kindergarten!”

In her anger Aika turned scarlet. Aika always tended to show her emotions on her face instantly, as she always had since they had known each other as kids, so they could chat leisurely without worries. In comparison with the stressful situation he was in with Sierra yesterday, Jin really felt much more relaxed and at ease now.

Watching Aika attentively, Jin dropped cupcake after cupcake into his stomach, when Yuuya and some other boys' voices cut through.

“Hey. It's obvious none of us would have received anything, but why is it you're the only one who gets cupcakes!”

“Because we were in the same neighborhood as kids.”

As Jin was stuffing his face with cake, that blunt reply was all he could manage. And as all the high school boys started to gather around, Aika ducked behind Jin. Even though she was energetic when around Jin, around other guys she was really quite shy. Sierra as well, had a different attitude in the classroom than she had had in Jin's room. I just don't understand girls. Jin was becoming more confused.

“Jin-kun. It's not good for you to horde. Aren't we your friends?”

While clinging to Jin, Yuuya spoke with a voice like a cat. With the cake box, Jin separated from Yuuya.

“Aika's upset, so quit getting so close.”

“If you give us cake, we'll go away.”

“Who'd believe that. You didn't freaking give me any Onigiri this morning.”

“Forget about stuff in the past.”

“It's a super sweet cupcake isn't it?”

“Jin-kun, please. Give us some cupcakes.”

All the other guys were coming up one after the other, clinging to Jin, all for the sake of the cupcakes. Jin raised his voice into a yell.

“It hurts, it HURTS! I'll smash 'em! I'm smashing the cakes!”

Aika was completely flustered. Suddenly, Sierra was right beside Jin and the others.

“Could I please have a moment.”

“Za......Zadou!”

All of the boys stopped moving at once. Always surrounded by girls, Sierra had moved after hearing the voices from the boys. Nothing like this had ever happened before. Sierra, the unattainable flower, someone who was only admired from afar by the boys, had actually come over so suddenly, it was as rare as a baby eating yakiniku. Not knowing what to do, they all just stiffened in panic.

“I have received so many cakes, and I am unable to eat them all by myself......so I asked the middle school girls, and they have said that it would be okay if I split them, so if you'd like you may eat some.”

Smiling in a friendly manner, the boys couldn't help but be excited.

“I-Itadakimasu, Itadakimasu!”

In a moment, all the boys were separated from Jin, and like hyena's, they madly snatched the cupcakes stacked at Sierra's seat. After the guys had left, Aika emerged from behind Jin's back.

“Sierra-sama, thank you very much for yesterday.”

Straightening herself out with both hands, Aika seemed to gain strength. Sierra was smiling, but Jin could only remember her other face. There was no one else who had noticed but, for some reason there seemed to be something wrong with her smile.

“Is your injury healed yet?”

“Yes! Ah, sorry. If you'd like, I've also made some cupcakes for Sierra-sama.”

“No, it's fine. I've received a lot from other friends already, so it's okay.”

“But, that Onii-chan was in the same class as you, like I heard yesterday......”

Trying to apologize, Aika's shoulders had dropped. Jin remembered something.

(That means Aika heard something about me yesterday? Did this all happen before I got home yesterday, on that road?)

With a poker-face smile, Sierra turned to Jin.

“I didn't know. You two have already met.”

“We were in the same neighborhood. Onii-chan was really nice, and helped teach me how to study!”

Aika boasted of this, as her eyes twinkled with pride. Sierra turned her gaze towards Jin. She seemed to be smiling nicely, but under it Jin could sense something as though she were telling him “freakin' explain!”

“Well, Araki-kun is so excellent after all.”

“Onii-chan knows everything there is to know about history. Auntie and uncle are both archaeologists.”

“Is that so. Well, in my house there are mountains of lithographs and earthenware, so it would be wonderful if someone could come and explain it to me.”

Sierra pointed towards the corridor. Jin stepped back, realizing what this was about. Yesterday, he had thrown a bunch of cardboard boxes and their contents into the bright gate. Flawlessly, Sierra's eyes were flashing hidden anger.

“Onii-chan, amazing! Sierra-sama is actually asking for your help!”

Hugging both hands to her chest, Aika looked at Jin in admiration. Meanwhile, Sierra's face muscles twitched as she struggled to maintain a smiling face.

“Uhm, is it alright if I come too?”

“No. It's going to be a tough discussion, and I want focus, so it's just for one person. I'm sorry.”

Sierra gently refused Aika's request. Jin's stomach was starting to feel heavy. Yesterday the same situation had unfolded......

“Ah-no, It's fine Aika! Just wait here with everyone.”

Aika drew back obediently. Yet as the two left, Jin's eyes turned to Aika. They seemed to be saying “Help me!”......even though Sierra looked like a wonderful Ojou-sama, she really was more like a demon.

“Well then, over there's fine.....”

Amidst her smiling face, she seemed to be saying, “If you say no, I'll eat you,” as they moved out into the corridor. Finished with the cupcakes, the boys had taken notice and were raising their upset voices.

“Ah! Zadou's called out Jin!”

“Dang it that Araki, so conceited!”

Upset, Aika cried out at the boys,

“Don't say mean things about Onii-chan!”

Unintentionally she had yelled out in a loud voice. Before Aika had been really shy, so suddenly snapping out like that she had really startled the guys, stopping them in place. Aika was just as surprised with herself, turning beet red and covering her mouth with her hand.



Reaching a stopping point, Sierra had lead Jin around to the back of the gymnasium. There were no windows, and it was in the blindspot of a fence, so nobody would be able to see.

“Well then, here is fine.”

Standing before him, Sierra was shaking. The smiling mask from earlier was off, revealing her true anger. Having confirmed his expectations, Jin slumped his shoulders dejectedly.

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“You've done well to turn my place into a trash mansion, commoner!”

Sierra jabbed her index finger into Jin's chest. Transfigured in her anger, Jin was pushed by her two hands.

“You're, just completely different from how you were before!”

“Isn't it useless to act cat-like in front of you? But you know my embarrassing secret, so you'll have to disappear.”

“You're still like a cat, with those offensive claws you have.”

“There's no way I'll act like a cat for someone who turns other people's mansions into trash heaps!”

“It couldn't be helped. But I really owe you my thanks, because it kept me from getting kicked out.”

“Well being thankful after I'd left didn't make the satisfaction gauge go up! Useless.”

“That's why, act a little more like a cat for me.”

Exhaling, Jin began to worry about his possessions. Sierra didn't seem as angry, causing Jin to think she might have thrown out all the items.

“Then......what happened to all the stuff?”

Showing her teeth as she turned to answer Jin's question,

“Who knows.”

“No way, you threw them out?”

“What would you do if I did throw them away?”

“You threw them away?”

Jin placed his head in his hands. Pouting, Sierra took his arm.

“After that spider came out of that filthy junk, did you think I would just let the stuff lie around in my beautiful room?”

“Hey, hey, hey, what did you do?”

“That junk, you don't need it.”

“Those were my dad and his friend's books!”

Jin shouted. Sierra just gave him a sidelong glance.

“I guess you did say yesterday they were excavated or something. What do your parents do?”

“Why do I have to tell you that.”

“Don't you know the embarrassing secret of me being a Genie of the Lamp? You know my mother and father a bit as well. But since I don't know anything about you, it's not even.”

“Things like equality, that's the problem! Where'd you throw the stuff away?”

“If you don't talk, I won't tell.”

“It's definitely not an interesting story or anything.”

“What are you trying to hide?”

“Not hiding anything......!!”

Jin had raised his voice. After spontaneously spitting that out, Jin covered his mouth. Sierra simply smiled.

“You're really touchy after all. I'm wanting to hear this more and more.”

“M-My parents story is actually kind of annoying. They're just university Professors. They're both archaeologists studying......”

“Well well. For an impertinent commoner, it seems your household is pretty elite.”

“I don't know about elite but, the research subsidiary from the country wasn't enough, they had to cover the leftover expenses on their own. They're searching for Solomon's Treasure.”

“Solomon's Treasure?”

Sierra's eyes widened.

“Last year, there was a rumor of its whereabouts, so to pay for the dig, we ended up selling our house where we lived. Because of the excavation, we lost our home and I ended up having to transfer to this school because they have a dorm for the students. Then they gathered up all the junk in the house, and sent it to the dorm.....geez! There's no money to even rent a storage shed.”

Jin seemed to be spitting as he spoke. Listening intently to that story, Sierra's eyes were sparkling, as she moved in on Jin.

“Your problems don't matter. However, about this Solomon's Treasure....”

“I said all this against my will, but what do you mean none of my problems matter?”

“That, it could be a huge treasure right? If it was exchanged in todays market, it could be worth like one-trillion yen right?”

“What's with those stars flying around inside your eyes.”

“Afterwards I can leisurely level up as the Genie of the Lamp, and get all the money I want.”

“As for money, sweat from your forehead is in your hands, it seems like it's really valuable, huh?”

“That's a commoner's logic.”

“Well I just think people going 'money money money' are a bit greedy.”

“That's a good thing you've said but, I'm not interested in arguing the point. So, where is this Solomon's Treasure then?”

“Don't know, that's why it's being searched for.”

Upset with the greedy Sierra, that was all Jin replied with. Looking for his true meaning, Sierra searched his face. Jin noticed how the miniskirt from the maid uniform suited her well, but the school uniform's skirt suited her just as much. If her outward appearance was this graceful, then why......was her inside like a curse from heaven?

“Really? I'll get a cut of what's taken, you're not deceiving me?”

“It's too late, as it's a bit hazy about what happens after it's found.”

“You're always reading archeology books so, you must be searching for it as well, right?”

“How the heck do you know that I'm always reading archeology books?”

Surprised at Jin's question, Sierra shut her mouth, and becoming red, turned away.

“Th-That's uhm, I hear a lot of gossip from people. All day, people talk about a weird guy that just reads books all the time.”

“Well sorry for being weird.”

Jin crossed his arms, becoming sullen. It was the first time he had heard it said.

“Solomon was the third king of the people of Israel, around the year 1000 BC. His father was the second king, David.”

“David...David as in the statue of David?”

Like the image found in many textbooks, Sierra mimicked the pose of Michaelangelo's statue of David. The pose of David against the Philistines was heroic and soul-stirring, but when Sierra did the pose, she instead looked pretty cute. At a loss as to why he would think this, Jin pushed it from his mind, continuing on with his story.

“David unified Israel, overcame the surrounding countries, established the Capitol of Jerusalem, and amassed wealth for the kingdom of Israel.”

“If that was the second king, then what about the one from the first generation?”

“After Moses led the Israelies out of Egypt, they wanted to have their own king, so the leader then, Samuel, anointed Saul to rule as the first king. David was a servant to Saul, but, after killing a hostile nation's great warrior, Goliath, he became famous, later becoming king after Saul's death. And then to house the ten commandments given by God to Moses, a temple in Jerusalem was built by David's son, Solomon.”

“That came out pretty well. You're like a global history teacher.”

Sierra complimented Jin after listening to his story. For the normally selfish Sierra to show this attitude, Jin was perplexed.

“Pretty much everyone calls you a weirdo because of those books you're always reading though.”

And, increasing her sarcastic comments, Sierra returned to her usual self.

“What is it. I even spoke nice things to a commoner like you.”

“Solomon received wisdom from God, which led the country to prosperity, with a large palace and loads of acquired treasures.”

“You're being extremely rude by just cutting through what I just said.”

“However, having built the temple small, and bringing in pagan practices and having many concubines and wives, Solomon invited in the wrath of the people, and after his death, Israel divided into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.”

“So with a small temple and what Solomon gave to God, it wasn't enough? So, giving thanks is important after all, like as we learned from history. You have to show more gratitude to me, commoner.”

“Don't just go along with something to suit your own convenience.”

"Oh? But isn't using history for one's own convenience a common political strategy?"

“How can you say it's so obvious?”

“Well, it's because I'm a person on the side of authority.”

“To separate people into winners and losers, there's so much wrong with that.”

Letting out a tired breath, Jin continued his explanation.

“After the kingdom of Israel divided, the northern kingdom was invaded by Assyria, and the southern kingdom, Judah, was invaded by Babylon, and the citizens were taken as captives. Some time later, they returned from captivity and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem but, after that, the kingdom of Rome came and destroyed it, scattering the people, then World War II, and until Israel was re-founded as it is today, the people wandered as vagrants. In other words, things like Solomon's Treasure, the 10 Commandments that were kept in the temple, were either taken away by Assyria, Babylon, or the Roman Kingdom, or else were hidden by the exiled Israelies, and it's the location of that hiding place we don't know. Not to mention, for a long time people have also been searching for the 10 Commandments.”

“The 10 Commandments were lithographed, weren't they. So they're just stone, I don't care about that.”

“You have the Roman history's comprehension, so I must look pretty good.”

“Forget that, going back to Solomon's treasure, what kind of stuff is it? Things like money and jewels?”

With her eyes opened wide and sparkling, Sierra brought forth a feverish appearance.

“In the palace, golden tableware was used, and also......Solomon's ring is really famous.”

“Solomon's ring?”

“Written in “Solomon's Collarbone,” and also found documented in the text in Arabian Nights, it was the rarest of all the treasures Solomon possessed. With it one could obtain “Kenryoku.””

“What's Kenryoku?”

“If a person stamped something with it, those orders would be followed, that's its powerful meaning. That's the duty of a seal on a ring. In the old days, when an envelope was sealed, wouldn't the hanko be pushed into candle wax, sealing it? To prevent loss, people in the past would put the hanko into a ring. Using this kind of sealing ring, King Solomon could seal spirits into jars, by closing the jar and stamping it with the hanko, and if he wanted, he could even make the spirit serve him.”

“Serve him, could that mean......my ancestor was sealed into that lamp by Solomon?”

“My Mom and Dad think Solomon's Treasure is somewhere in the Middle East, and continue to search there. But......the way I see it, there's a strong line to the treasure being somewhere in Babylonia. Later though, Babylonia flourished into Mesopotamia, which is now current day Iraq, and Mesopotamia's capitol of commerce is today's bustling center in Baghdad. The original Kugo Harp from there is stored here in the Shōsōin Institute.”

The Shōsōin Institute is a building located in Nara near a place known as the Todaiji Temple, a wooden building on stilts. There is a Buddhist statue of an Emperor of Japan and other such things, taken from the Tenpyou Era of the arts.

“In other words, both Babylon and Japan were part of the Silk Road. Iraq and it's neighbor Iran, have glass bowls handed down from ancient day Persia, and the Shōsōin Institute also has the same type of cut-glass bowl recovered from an emperor's tomb. So I think Solomon's Treasure could also have made it to Japan in the same way but......my father and his team won't even listen to my opinion. What do children know, that a specialist couldn't have already figured out through research, is what they think.”

“Well, the Tokugawa buried treasure is pretty pathetic.”

“I thought so too when I was little, until I started to read the books my dad would bring back and began studying archeology. If it was just information, my dad and his team wouldn't lose. That's why, when I started looking for the treasure myself, I was able to discern the information through what my dad and his team had.”

After explaining all that to Sierra, Jin sank back into his own thoughts. As Sierra watched him lost in his own thoughts, he seemed to be lost in imagination. His eyes were searching a time and place far from here. Sierra also couldn't begin to guess at that far distant world, yet he lifted the palm of his hand up, looking out over the vivid landscape as if he could see it.

Sierra was looking around absent-mindedly, when she noticed Jin jump out of his thoughts.

“Crap, I was flying around inside my own thoughts again.”

“I see......something like that, it's no wonder you never noticed me.”

Unsure why Sierra was relieved with her hand on her chest, and having not heard properly, Jin asked again.

“What did you say again?”

“Ah, it's nothing. For now, it seems like Solomon's Treasure might be in Japan?”

Flustered, Sierra changed the subject.

“I'll help too so, let's go searching! With all the money left in the house we'll hire people, then using infiltration tactics we'll dig, and find it quickly. As for division, I'll get 80% and you can have 20%.”

“Wha, don't go deciding stuff yourself!”

“Ownership over lost property, isn't it after half a year whoever finds it keeps it? Solomon never took back his treasure so, it's fine if I find it.”

“It's different if someone owns the land, in that case whoever that person is has rights to whatever is dug up.”

“Then, we just have to keep the secret from the owner of the land, then go ahead and buy the land. After we get Solomon's Treasure, I won't have to be a maid again!”

“If you could do that, I'd be really grateful too.”

“What's with that! I even came as a maid for you, and that's all you got? How rude!”

“You want to be a maid, you don't want to be a maid; which is it!”

After being yelled at by Jin, Sierra stopped her snarling, and shut her mouth.

“Th, that's......it's obvious I don't want to.”

“But, if you stop being a maid, the magic book will be wiped blank again.”

“The abilities of the genie are handed down to the kids right? If I can be comfortable, I'll just give the Genie of the Lamp to some kid who's pursuing that kind of thing, and leave it in a field or a mountain or something.”

“Your character is just like that of the personality of a Genie.”

“Then it's decided, let's go search for Solomon's Treasure!”

Cheerfully Sierra seemed to be floating while walking, without touching the ground. Jin could only shake his head to the side.

“It's not that simple to find, I've been looking already. Ever since I was in junior high, I was going everywhere during breaks and vacations searching, but there's still nothing to show. Even if we used infiltration tactics, where would you even start.”

“So after all a commoner is pretty unintelligent.”

“What's that!”

“But the magic lamp, hasn't it already crossed the Silk Road? So in other words, Solomon's Treasure should have taken the same route. If we know where the magic lamp came from, we just need to retrace right?”

“Ah.”

Jin looked at Sierra in wonder.

“You know, you're pretty sharp.”

“Heh, that's obvious. It's different when compared to a commoner's intelligence, isn't it?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“That sounds nice, so flatter me more.”

“Don't push it!”

Jin pulled a cell phone from his pocket.

“Let me ask my dad. If it's in Japan, then it might have been bought by an antique shop, or lent to a University.”

Shaking, Sierra watched Jin. She just noticed something written at the bottom of the phone screen when, “Power is cut” came out of the phone in a dry, announcer's voice. Surprised, Jin turned his gaze to the phone.

“Power is cut?”

“What about the time difference?”

“It should be around seven in the morning......they would have woken up, and eaten before the excavation. Actually, in the middle of the excavation there should be a lot of communications, so for the phone to give out, I wonder what happened.”

He tried to contact his mother's cell phone, but this one had the same power failure.

“......Maybe power can't reach all the way out into the sticks. If that's the case, then it doesn't look like there will be any communication until the excavation is over.”

“When will the excavation be over?”

“When they give up, or find something.”

“But, isn't Solomon's Treasure in Japan?”

“Probably. But, those two definitely won't give up, so they probably won't be coming back for a long time.”

“Then, it'll be an eternity before we can contact them!”

“That's why I've been searching myself. Geez, they have to make life so hard!”

Jin vented his anger out on the gymnasium's wall. Sierra wrapped her arms tightly around herself, staring at Jin. Their circumstances were kind of similar. With such strong willed parents, Sierra could kind of understand Jin's feelings.

“That's why......it'll work out.”

Sierra said in a soft voice. But as she didn't usually speak softly, it was hard to hear.

“What did you just say?”

“Ah. No that's, uhm, what I mean......”

Sierra quickly stopped speaking, becoming flustered.

“T-That's - you look like some dead common servant; but to get Solomon's Treasure, we just need to raise the level of the Genie of the Lamp. So, hurry up and call me today as well!”

“W-Wait! Call you, but you can't even do anything!”

“That's right, yes. If I'm called out someplace the public can see, then I'll get a sniper to erase you.”

“Do celebrities intermingle with people in those kind of jobs?”

“Ah, that's right. I forgot the most important thing I had to ask.”

Turning herself towards Jin, Sierra firmly planted her feet.

“I didn't know that you were acquainted with Kasumi Aika.”

“Aah. Yesterday you took her back home in a car right?”

“She already told you about that?”

Drawing close to Jin, Sierra stared up at him with fierce eyes. For some reason the mood felt rushed. She was facing up, with her large eyes reflecting the light of the sky as she breathed deeply. Afraid of asking what she was thinking, she was pressing against her chest as she swallowed her saliva, preparing her heart for what she wanted to ask.

“Something else.....anything, you didn't hear anything else?”

“Something else?”

“That is......anything, about myself? Like something I talked about?”

“Nothing, why?”

Unsure as to why he was being drilled to such an extent, and sensing something strange he tilted his head to the side.

“Really?”

Again probing Jin, Sierra had on a scary expression. With her drawn close and calmed down some, Jin shifted away.

“Yeah, it's true.”

“......I see.”

With a hand to her chest, Sierra let out a breath of relief. Whatever it was, Jin's intuition told him it must be something pretty big. However, for example, if the hiring fees get transferred to the Swiss bank account of that sniper, he might end up with some kind of deadly snake bite, so instead he took the warning and figured that the best thing he could do was to stop asking.

“That's right, yeah. There was one more.”

Sierra pulled a small book out of her pocket. On the back cover of the old-looking book, the stamp of “Harusha Academy Library” was imprinted. Sierra tossed the book to Jin.

“This was in with all the books you abandoned at my place.”

“Ah, sorry. I forgot where I'd put that.”

Taking the book with both hands, Jin had a premonition.

“......Wait so, you must have looked through all those books.”

“Hah. I mobilized the maids, and they organized them into the archives.”

“Eh!?”

Surprised, Jin opened his eyes in astonishment.

“I thought you threw them away......you didn't?”

Sierra was staring at Jin as though trying to bore a hole in him, when she quickly turned her face away.

“Hm, hmpf. Don't get the wrong idea, it wasn't for your sake. It's just that it would be unthinkable for that filthy junk to be thrown away from our house. That good enough!?”

“Either way you still held onto them.”

With all his energy, Jin turned his smiling face towards Sierra.

“It really helped. Thanks.”

Sierra's face turned red. But like blowing out a fire, Sierra returned back to herself, wondering what was next.

“The return date for that book was last week! Just go and return it!”

“Why did you go to MAX TENSION all of a sudden?”

Whatever it was Sierra was thinking about, Jin couldn't read it.

“Anyway, that's that and today you'll call me out as well. A little later!”

Angrily, Sierra left the area by the gymnasium, walked into the school yard, and was noticed by Konoe Ukyou. He had come to the gym wearing his Kendo uniform, for the Noon Kendo Practice, and was casually checking the back entrance to the gym to see if it wasn't locked.

Sierra hadn't seen him, as he had been hidden by the shadow of a tree. With her getting further away, Jin chased after her.

“Wait a minute, what did I say about making decisions by yourself......”

“Araki Jin?”

Surprised, Ukyou had unintentionally raised his voice. Jin turned his own surprised gaze towards him.

“Ah, Dorm Head. Why are you here?”

“That should be my line. What are you doing at the rear of the gym?”

Ukyou gave him a cross-examination, causing a look of tension to cross his face. Since there wasn't much of a threatening attitude, Jin was a bit surprised.

“What am I......nothing, really...”

“If you weren't doing anything, then why are you even in this remote place! Don't lie to me!”

Ukyou waved his bamboo sword around angrily. He was always angry, but it was the first time Jin had seen the usually level-headed Ukyou with blood pulsing in his face.

“But, I really wasn't doing anything.”

Ukyou was surprised by Jin's response. With that, he turned back into his original self, clearing his throat with a cough.

“W-Well, that's fine then, as long as you aren't trying to smoke secretly. Just like your guys' parents, I have to watch over the lives of each of the boarding students.”

“......Well, thanks for that.”

Anyhow, thinking that Ukyou's manner was a bit strange, Jin looked at him more in depth. It seemed Ukyou was worried about something, shown by the tone he used, and the sweat he was perspiring. Whatever it was he was worried about, Jin couldn't even place a finger on it.

While Ukyou was in that strange state, two high school first-year girls came over. With short skirts and dyed hair, they made their way over in a skylarking manner. Ukyou turned his gaze, and rose his voice to a shrill pitch.

“Kyaa~, Ukyou was looking over here!”

“Ukyou-sama, we're freshmen from the high school division......we were thinking of joining a club.”

At this, Ukyou's thin eyebrows lowered.

“......Do you have any experience with Kendo?”

“Nope, none at all. That's why, we were hoping Ukyou-sama would teach us personally.”

“Yeah, yeah. For dieting, a little bit of sports is good, right?”

Looking at the two obviously flirtatious girls with distaste, Ukyou pulled himself up to his full stature.

“......Leave. If girls enter, the Dojo will become dirty.”

“Wh-What was that?!”

The girls angrily raised their voices to a shrill pitch. However, in complete dismissal of them, Ukyou took out the key to the gym, and walked into the instructor's room. Turning themselves away, the two lifted their cursing voices.

“What the heck! Even with a good face and money, you're really disappointing!”

“Acting cool saying it's a Dojo, but it's just the gym! If it's the gym, then people are only going to enter for P.E.!”

Jin watched the girls in amazement as they stamped their feet.

(So the rumors about the Dorm Head really are true.)

Jin wasn't really sure, but he thought that according to current trends, the two of them must be pretty cute, yet Ukyou remained calm and collected through the whole scenario, not even losing his cool for a second. Jin passed from shock into admiration at Ukyou's thoroughness.

Earlier in the morning, Ukyou had called out to Yuuya, mentioning him being in the Light Music Club to chase girls, and to say such a thing gave off a repelling feeling......but for the male of marriageable age to continue to protect order in the dorm, it seemed he thought he needed to be that strict all the time.

(If he found out that a girl, Genie of the Lamp as she may be, had trespassed into the dorm......I surely would have been kicked out without even being able to complain.)

In any case, there's no way I can summon Sierra now...Jin thought.

Just then, the two angry girls turned to Jin, and began venting their anger at him.

“Hey, you over there, what the heck are you looking at!”

“Ah, nothing. I'm just getting up.”

Jin was regretting the fact that he hadn't gotten away earlier.

(I don't get how girls can have mood swings like that, geez this is stuff I'm just not good at.)

Even though Jin was thinking about leaving, the girls had lashed out in a dark mood at whoever was there, and that person was reeling from hunger pains. They weren't even letting him run away. In such a difficult situation, Jin's face contorted.



Heading towards them, came a lone girl from the junior high school. Jin remembered who she was. She was the girl that had been sitting at the counter in the Library Room when he had borrowed the book. For current times, her name was rare as it was simple, so he was able to remember it...She was Honda Satoko, a student in her third year at the Junior High School.

She had dark hair that was quite long. It reached down her back to her waist, and hung low over her eyes, and because of this long hair, her facial expression was indistinguishable.

“Ku~ku~ku. That's why I didn't say anything, my upperclassmen.”

Adjusting herself, Satoko gave an eerie laugh. Startled, the two girls drewback.

“W-Why did you come out from back there?”

“Do you understand it now? My prediction was correct. So you see it would have been good if you had taken my good luck charm. Kukuku......”

Satoko again let out her soft chuckle. The two girls glared angrily at her.

“Shut it! No matter how it would have been, the ones that would have dumped that guy who thinks men are superior would have been from this side!”

“You would have dumped him......All the evidence says that would have been strange...The rejection came from that side didn't it?”

Jin was lost in confusion, watching the two. Things like the last bit of pride of someone rejected, the inexperienced Jin could not understand.

“Thanks for your big meddling! Besides, who would want some disgusting lucky charm for help!”

“Freakin' annoying, let's go!”

With that angry mood, the two headed off. Satoko turned her face to watch them go, looking pityingly after them.

“I should have sprinkled some of my love potion on them......made from the black powder of a fried black newt.”

“If you put that on someone like them, there's a one-hundred percent chance they would completely hate you.”

Jin spoke in a firm voice. Satoko swung around, stretching out her hand towards Jin.

“Well this is perfect anyway. Senpai, please return that book you borrowed.”

“Ah, s-sorry.”

Jin took the book he had in his hand and returned it to Satoko. Taking the book in both hands, Satoko hugged it to her chest with both arms as though it was of extreme importance.

“The check-out time on this book was supposed to be just until last week on Friday. You have to be more careful about delays.”

“You remember things pretty well.”

Jin blinked his eyes in admiration. The library, used by both the High School and the Middle School, was built separate from the main school buildings. As it was common use, there were a lot of people that would use it, so because of that it was pretty large. Furthermore, whenever the students living at the dorm were free, a lot of times they would borrow a book from the library.

In other words, every day some hundreds of students would come to borrow books. So the fact that someone could remember everything about each of the High School students who came was really surprising. Thinking “That's right, if it's her memory power...,” Jin turned to ask Satoko a question.

“I'd like to read as much as I can about the text Arabian Nights, so is there anything in the library?”

Puipui vol01 109.jpg

Thinking about looking up the route the lamp might have taken to reach Japan, this was what Jin asked Satoko. Holding the book to her chest, she tilted her head in thought.

“Arabian Nights? Yes, if it's a request from senpai, then I can search the archives.”

“No, you don't have to, I can look it up myself. The book archives are huge after all. Sorry.”

“It's fine. Just leave it to me, Ku~ku~ku...”

“Wha, why did you start laughing?”

Jin asked with an eerie feeling. In reply, Satoko changed the direction of the conversation.

“Those two were going to confess to the student council president so, I just told them to give up."

The student council president......that was Ukyou. He was also the dorm head. Certainly he did have a good face, he was also tall, so with just looks, Jin could understand if only a little why the girls all liked him so much.

“But you know, the surviving girls will hate him.”

“For now, that seems to be the case.”

“'For now'......what's that supposed to mean?”

Satoko didn't listen to Jin's question, ignoring him.

“As for the president's horoscope, the planets are in a bad position, his biorythm is also at its worst, and when the deer bones were put into the fire, cracks of misfortune appeared. So in his current state, the decision to confess came at the worst possible time.”

“Probably, it's just the curse of the deer.”

“All the books in the library about predictions, I've read them all. There is now nothing anymore which I do not know.”

Satoko's words were hard to understand, yet still eerie and mysterious. Slowly raising her hand, she pointed it at Jin.

“That said......I have already secretly predicted something about you.”

“Why do you suit your own agenda around others?”

“If there is something you desire, let me tell you the consequence. Kukuku......”

Satoko's shoulders were shaking with her laughter. Her eyes were hidden so, her real intention couldn't be see, as only a light smile surfaced on her lips. Jin, who was never one to get too agitated, found himself shivering all along his back.

“No, it's fine. It'll work out somehow.”

“My predictions are correct you know......Kukuku.”

While laughing in a humble voice, she had stuck some kind of paper onto Jin's back. Shocked, he peeled the paper off. On it, some kind of strange charm was written on it. As a blood vessel showed itself on Jin's temple, he glared at Satoko with twitching eyebrows.

“Hoy, just what did you, what kind of incantation is that?”

“Ah, you found out? Don't worry about it.”

“It's an impossible probability.”

“Do you have pain in your collarbone?”

Shocked at what Satoko had just said, Jin lifted his hand to press against his left shoulder.

“For that person as well, I was waiting eagerly......Kukuku.”

“What's with that “kukuku” gibberish? Anyway, don't stick weird things on me!”

Thrusting his finger before Satoko, Jin began letting fly a flurry of words. Smiling, Satoko turned herself towards Jin's back, waving goodbye by fluttering her hands.

“Kukuku......I understand now. Please use the library again. Ku~kukuku.”

Holding the book to her chest, she continued to smile as she gave her farewells.

With the keys in hand, Ukyou came back from the gymnasium. Seeing Satoko standing there fixedly, he gave a start.

“W-What is a girl doing out in a place like this! There are no girls allowed in the Kendo Club!”

“It is okay. After all, I am not planning on joining a club.” Satoko said, standing firmly before Ukyou.

Though with her eyes hidden, it was impossible to tell where she was looking, or what she was thinking. Ukyou also picked up on the eerie feeling, and drew back a step.

“W-Well then...what are you doing? With girls loitering around, it'll be a distraction during practice, so hurry up and disappear!”

“Understood. Ku~ku~ku.”

“What are you laughing at!”

In disregard of Ukyou near hysterics, Satoko headed off.

“...In the middle school, huh. There's someone I don't know. Because of this, stuff like that weird girl......”

Ukyou took a deep breath to release his disdain. But, suddenly lifting his face, and leaning on his shinai as though it were a walking stick, he looked off towards a place that couldn't be seen, and just stood like that for quite some time.


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