Chapter 6 – Encounter and Test [1]

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3108 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1639 words
Editor(s): Fire

So with that out of the way, my life has been smooth sailing so far. I guess that’d be a lie. After all, the other students are just watching me from afar, and Ms. Aiba and I still aren’t acquainted enough to be on a casual chatting basis.

On my part, I’ve been spending my time reading during breaks, so nothing much really changed. And since I’ve been serious during the lessons, the teachers haven’t had any complaints about me. Rather, they don’t even talk to me.

「Hm~mh, tea’s tasting good.」

During the lunch break, I silently eat alone on a bench found opposite the cafeteria, where there aren’t many people around. After all, it’s nice to at least have a relaxing meal. I ate in the classroom once but people kept looking and I couldn’t relax.
Is my lunch really that weird?

「Frozen food would make for an easy meal, but the price though.」

Cooking it myself really limits the expenses better. The leftovers can be breakfast or dinner, I can use them for a lot of things. The same can be said with frozen meals, but again money’s the issue. For drinks, I have a thermos of green tea, so no issue there. Coffee wouldn’t really fit my lunch, so I sadly had to give up on it. And there’s no way I’d buy canned coffee from a vending machine.

「Hmn?」

Feels like someone’s watching me. This place is pretty out-of-the-way, people don’t even come through here, so I wonder who it is. Rather, I have this bench for myself as always, so I guess it’s coming from a corner. Still, I wonder who it is.

Looking around, I found someone peeping out from the cover of the building. I saw a lunchbox on her, so maybe she was looking for a place with not many people like I did.

For now, I tried tapping on the empty side of the bench and she happily came over.
What’s with this adorable small creature?

「U-um, can I sit next to you?」
「It’s not like I own this bench, so feel free.」

I’m just sitting on the middle of the bench since no one’s around. You shouldn’t be greedy in these sorts of public places. I understand that. Though I honestly wanted to have a relaxing time alone.

「What is it?」
「No, I just thought that your lunch is so pretty.」
「I only cobbled up random ingredients though.」
「Eh, you made it yourself!?」

Is that really something to be shocked about? Kotone making her own lunch is probably something that other students can’t imagine. To begin with, she doesn’t really make stuff by herself. The lunch itself is mainly fish and vegetables, focused on money-saving meals as usual.

「I live on my own, so I have to handle things like this by myself. On that topic, your lunch looks lovely as well.」
「My mother made mine, so it’s not like I cooked it myself.」
「Hm~mn. Still, it’s nice enough that someone made this lunch for you.」

Some families don’t do that after all and some just give out allowances so you can buy at the cafeteria or the school stores. It’s by no means a bad thing, but for me, that’s really luxurious. Rather, don’t choke yourself as soon as you start eating!? Why are you stuffing that much in your mouth!

「Eat slowly. Here, have some tea and calm down for a moment.」
Gulg, gulg, Pwhaa! Sorry, I panicked a bit.」
「There’s still a lot of time left before lunch ends, there’s no reason to panic, is there?」
「I kinda have my reasons. Ah, come to think of it, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m Fumidzuki Kotori.」
「A member of the twelve great houses then. In that case, I suppose I have been impolite.」

These houses have great influence over politics and industries and were permitted to use “moon (tsuki)” in their family name. The Kisaragi family is one of them, and that’s probably the reason why Kotone’s personality got twisted. For better or for worse, power has an effect on people. Well, it’s currently irrelevant to me though.

「You definitely don’t think so. You’re smiling, you know?」
「Well, it’s already too late. Serving cheap tea to a member of the great houses is already bad enough after all.」
「I’ve always admired the life of common people. My mother was originally from there, you see.」
「Hmn~n, one of those “troubles of the wealthy”1, is it? Admiration isn’t bad, but life itself is tough. Mainly on the financial side of things…」

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Thanks to my diligent work during spring break, my savings has grown. Because of that, I was able to buy reference books and a bookshelf for them but even with that deduction, I still have some left. Naturally, I didn’t forget my studies, so I’m growing academically too.

Still, since there’s no telling what will happen in the future, I can’t use my savings carelessly. You can’t get c̲o̲c̲k̲y when it comes to saving.

「Is that so? I’ve never left our home, so I don’t know much in that regard.」
「It’s how things are. Your way of thinking changes when you’ve actually done something compared to when you haven’t.」

There’s a great saying “Buy hardships while you’re young”.2 A piece of advice I would have given to the past Kotone.

「Come to think of it, I haven’t gotten your name. Would you mind if I ask?」
「I’m Kisaragi Kotone. I’m from the twelve great families as well, so I suspect that you might have heard about me from the rumors.」
「Eh, ah, yes. I didn’t realize that I was talking to someone from the Kisaragi family. Forgive me for acting overly familiar, Lady Kotone.」

「Adding “lady” isn’t particularly necessary. Besides, you should have heard of the other rumors about me, no?」

Currently, there are two kinds of rumors about me. One is about what Kotone has done last year with the other being about how the Kisaragi household cut ties with their daughter due to her high-handedness. One is true, the other being a mix of truth and falsehood.

In reality, it’d be more correct to say that I’m one step short of being disowned. Though you can say that I’m the reason why it stopped one step short.

「I’ve heard about it but I didn’t think that it would be true.」
「It isn’t quite true to be exact. There was no cutting of ties but it is true that I’ve been kicked out of the house.」
「Really? Um, is your current life tough?」
「It isn’t anything particularly difficult once you get used to it. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to a well-off lady.」
「But Ms. Kotone, aren’t you one too?」

Come to think of it, I am. I was so used to the thrifty life, so I completely forgot. I’ve been living the commoner life ever since, so it didn’t really bother me but I guess that might have been why I’ve gotten weird stares in the classroom. A daughter from a rich family making her own lunch. Yeah, that does feel kinda off.

「I’m practically no different from the common folk, you see. Haggling with the greengrocer, working at a cafe and so.」
「Um, as I said, those aren’t things a well-off lady would do.」
「That is true. Which is exactly why I wouldn’t recommend it to a well-off lady.」
「No, as I said, you’re a well-off lady too Ms. Kotone, how did you adjust so well?」
「Crisis was imminent, I wouldn’t survive if I couldn’t adjust.」

Rich girl or whoever you are; when in Rome, do as Romans do. Just because you’re from a wealthy family, if you continue on living without changing anything, you’d lose all of your funds in no time, so this is just the natural consequence. I wouldn’t recommend the same thing though.

「You’re much more industrious than what I’ve heard. I admire that.」

Don’t look at me with those sparkly eyes. More weird rumors might spread again if other people see that. Even now, information about some big sister figure just started going around for some reason, you know? I’m formerly a male, so my manliness possibly seeping out wouldn’t be too strange, there’s nothing I can do about it.

「If we don’t head out soon, we aren’t going to make it for the afternoon class. With that said, I will be excusing myself.」

Time to run. I don’t exactly know why, but I have a hunch that I really shouldn’t stay here for long.3

「Um, can I come here again!」
「Of course, I don’t own this place, so I don’t mind. It’s not that fun of a place, you know?」

The place is far from being lively, you know? Though on the other hand, it is a calmingly quiet place. That said, it’s not really dark and gloomy here, it’s got good exposure to the sun and if it gets too warm, I can just hide under the shade of the nearest tree.

The reason why this place isn’t populated with people is probably because of the popularity of the cafeteria. Still, it’s not the cafeteria itself that’s popular but actually the students eating at the second-floor terrace. Handsome guys, seriously amazing.

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「Well then, see you again, Ms. Kotori.」
「The honorifics aren’t necessary either. Please just call me Kotori, Ms. Kotone!」



References

  1. Lyly: Just say 1st world problems, Kotone
  2. Lyly: Similar to “Work today for what you will need tomorrow.” Basically, invest in suffering for a less terrible tomorrow. Honestly, I like it. I still need to be able to apply it in life though *sweats
  3. Lyly: Accept the Oneesama-fication! You can’t run forever!

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