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Chapter 36 – The Other Stage -First Half- [2]

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2702 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1350 words
Editor(s): Fire

As I raised my brow hearing the president’s ominous laugh, from out of nowhere, people in black suits entered the H.E room. And in their hands are plastic shopping bags seen in supermarkets.

「This is hurting my head.」
「It’s alright, Kotone. I feel the same way too.」

Just do this from the start! I really wanted to shout that. This wasting of ingredients is unbelievable. What are we going to do with this? This multitude of unusable ingredients. Though if I’m allowed to bring it home, I’d happily oblige.

「Ah, you can go home now.」

Hearing the president’s words, the black suited guys salute and go home. It felt really surreal when they entered but seeing them return home, I can feel an air of pathos from their back. I’m sure they’ve had their own share of hardships.

「That’s sloppy treatment.」
「I usually thank them properly, you know. It’s just that they’ll only be a disturbance here now.」

You can feel an intimidating aura from them, after all. Now what do we do now? The ingredients are divided by table, top-grade stuff on one side and the average commercial stuff still in the plastic bag on the other side. It’s important to know when to use what.

「Kotone, please handle the rice. Since there shouldn’t be any issues with that. In the meantime, I’ll sample all the different ingredients.」

It’s a top-grade rice from who knows where. The plan is to use them for onigiri, so it should be fine. Kishita and I have settled on the menu back at my room. Still, to check everything for their taste, Kishita really doesn’t compromise, huh.

「Why are you able to cook?」

While I was washing rice, Kirigamine, to my surprise, talked to me and asked but she should know why. After all, if you know Kotone’s name, then there’s a high chance that you’re from high society.

「You’ve at least heard of the rumors, haven’t you?」
「If it’s about the rumors in high society, I’ve heard of them. But no one seriously believes those.」

There was one, actually. Someone that acted quickly as I left. Though she isn’t even in the academy anymore though. I honestly thought that most people would be like her, but I guess that means that those are a minority.

「Still, I completely thought that everyone would believe the rumors about me in high society.」
「You knew about it?」
「It’s about me, after all.」

Kotone’s reputation in high society is the worst, after all. Rather, the Kisaragi family’s status in high society is low. After all, the family doesn’t spare any effort and attention for anything outside their interest. On the other hand, the family name is influential, so they’re ironically invited a lot.

「I’m a goblin. My younger twins are puppets. My mother’s an expressionless mask. I don’t know about my father, but I know that this is how we’re talked about.」
「If you knew, then why didn’t you speak against it?」
「I wasn’t interested, you see.」

This part of me is exactly like Kisaragi’s. The only difference is that I don’t feel anything more than familial love to my blood relations. Rather, I really don’t want to count the number of rice cookers here. Since it’s for 40 people, I’ll have to cook quite the amount.

「Then do you know how I feel, losing to that sort of individual?」
「Well, to some extent.」

She probably has nothing to stand on. The person she thoroughly made light of until now won against her in academics and joined the student council, a place where even just joining has merit. So yeah, she’d be called names in high society. Still, she shouldn’t be the only one being treated like this. There should be more people like that in this academy.

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「Losing in beauty, academics, and performance, my status has dropped low.」

Beauty is included? I don’t really think the difference in beauty is significant enough for Kirigamine to be bothered about. And I don’t wear makeup.

「I find you to be beautiful though, Kirigamine.」
「Enough flattery.」
「I meant it sincerely though.」

She’s staring at me but ever since some time ago, I haven’t been looking at Kirigamine’s direction at all. The washing of rice is currently the highest priority matter, after all. If I don’t do it, I’m never going to see the end of it.

「Somehow, it feels so anticlimactic. If it was you before, you’d snap back but now you don’t do that at all.」
「Snapping back never results in anything good. I’d rather not have unnecessary trouble.」
「You were actively causing trouble until last year, what are you talking about?」

It’s exactly as she said, so I can’t deny. Still, I guess, as I expected, Kirigamine’s harassing felt somewhat like her way of relieving stress. Having rumors about you spread in their world is pretty troublesome after all.

「Right now, I’m just miserable. I lost to someone I’ve been looking down on up until now.」
「Is it really something to be that miserable about?」
「There’s a saying among members of high society. Losing to Kisaragi Kotone is just absolutely impossible. In every sense of the word.」

That’s just terrible. In high society it is a battlefield of words, it’s scary. Another scary thing is once this sort of rumor gets spread, it can’t be stopped. Facts and falsehoods spread all the same, after all.

「Right now, I’m in the center of attention in high society as the one who lost to Kisaragi Kotone.」
「But that’s pretty strange still. There are other people in this academy that are in high society too.」
「That’s how it is. It’s simply that there are people that want any excuse to attack me. But what happened this time was too potent.」

From what she’s saying, ever since the information was spread, there’s been a sharp decline of invitations from sponsors. Together with that, the company’s reputation is falling too, it’s pretty scary. Besides, on a different vector, the influential power of the existence of Kotone is amazing.

「I don’t know what to say. Sorry.」
「Even if you apologize, it doesn’t change anything. Company performance is going to decline at this rate, who knows what will happen.」

It’s gone to that point? Seeing that she knows so much, Kirigamine’s parents might have been quite driven to a corner. Still, what can I do?

「For problems like these, it’s best to ask our seniors. President, can we do anything about it?」
「Kotone just has to return to high society, if you ask me.」
「I refuse.」

I was an idiot to ask that.

「As you are now. You can easily overturn the three worst assessments of you.」
「I’ve changed so much, there are probably rumors of me being a hidden illegitimate child of the Kisaragi. Isn’t that how it is in actuality, president Hadzuki?」
「Yeah, there are.」

That immediate acknowledgement really isn’t comforting. Still, the only ones well-informed about high society are the president and Kirigamine. And I’ve heard that Kishita doesn’t attend to those sorts of things.

「But president, how does the falling of her reputation link to the fall of the company performance?」
「It’s a possible result when considering future prospects. Particularly for those with only one child. For example, how would you feel if you hear that the possible successor lost to someone at the rock bottom?」
「I’d feel uneasy.」
「Then considering that future, you’d think of switching to a different company. That’s the scary thing about high society.」

I see. So the reason the absolute rock bottom Kotone’s family is not affected is due to the past history and experience. They’re no good, but that is unrelated to future prospects. Besides, Kotone has lost her chances of succeeding as an heir early on.

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「In that case, Kirigamine’s company is in dire straits because of me?」
「That’s how it is. As expected of the Kisaragi Kotone.」

That assessment doesn’t make me happy at all.


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