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Interlude – First Time Shopping as Kotone (Part 1)

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2499 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1262 words
Editor(s): Fire

Chronologically happens between the beach and Obon chapters.

It’s the middle of summer break. With dinner done and the usual suspects on their way home, I was mulling alone by myself.

「I probably need to go shopping soon…」

Whether you’re male or female, it’s still necessary goods. The first supply of those sent for Kotone are now reaching their limits. This isn’t the time to be worried about getting embarrassed. After all, it’ll be more embarrassing to not wear any.

「For underwear…」

Buying some was already on my mind. I’m not even considering just living on without wearing underwear. It’ll affect my dignity as a person. Still, I couldn’t muster the courage to step into the female underwear area.

「One of them already ripped, so the others should be close too.」

After all, I just switch around between them. The wearing on them should be about the same.

「Still, going alone would be a bit…」

I don’t know, awkward? For this one, my consciousness as a man is a real obstacle. Even though I need to buy, it’s hard to approach. I guess I really need an accomplice to drag along.

「The others probably wouldn’t mind it, though.」

Even I have enough sense to not drag a male friend along. Or rather, I don’t have that many male acquaintances. And I’m pretty sure I’ll just end in chaos if I call the top fools.

「Kaori has club activities, right? Kishita is also busy.」

I thought of going out immediately tomorrow, but I remembered that most of my acquaintances are busy. And those that don’t have any plans are people who have never been to a typical department store. Since wealthy people either go to a specialty shop or have their exclusive tailors.

「Someone without plans, who’s female, and can enter a typical store…… There’s one.」

I’m sure that she has plans, but those plans are related to me. She should be done with her shift right now, so I should be able to contact her. With that said, time to try calling her.

『I’m currently off duty now, so could we have this later?』
「I want to consult with you for something tomorrow, Akira.」

The one on the other end is Akira. Since she’s one of the somewhat normal people among my friends. How do I say this? Most of my older friends are a bit too peculiar. One can even change her whole personality in a snap. I’d rather not go shopping together with that one.

『I’m in the middle of my drinking time, though.』
「If you were spending the time with someone, I’d like to apologise.」

Akira is a woman after all. I might have contacted her at a bad time. Receiving a work-related call during your private time isn’t the best of experiences. But I’m not stopping.

『I’m single, damn it!』
「Then that’s great… would be impolite to say. So, may I get to the actual topic?」
『I’m on shift tomorrow morning anyways, couldn’t you just call then?』
「No, I would like you to accompany me, you see? Wouldn’t you need to match your clothing for the occasion?」

I imagine that she probably keeps it simple to stay under the radar most of the time. After all, there’s really no point standing out more than your protectee. Though on the other hand, becoming noticeable so that your pair can keep hidden might be an actual technique. I don’t know what situation it’ll be viable for, though.

『Accompany you? What are we doing where?』
「I was wondering if you could help me buy underwear at a department store, or so.」

Akira is probably thinking What the heck are you talking about. As for me, I’m completely serious. I know what my sizes are, but I’m not sure if I can choose with only that knowledge. That’s why I need her advice.

『Sorry, I didn’t expect you to have never bought underwear by yourself. In that case, wouldn’t Mizuki be the better person to ask?』
「I don’t want to sacrifice myself.」
『Ah, yeah, sorry. That was a slip of the tongue. Right, that’s right.』

It definitely won’t just end at shopping for underwear. She’ll make me try wearing this and that, and in the worst case, she might even use her own money to buy clothes for me. It’ll wear me down both in body and soul. I’m sure of it.

『Kyousuke should be fine doing the usual. Do you have any other plans?』
「None in particular. Since I’ll be having a break from work tomorrow too. Maybe visiting a random bookstore afterwards?」
『Haven’t you thought of buying other clothes too?』
「If the ones I currently have get ruined, then I’ll buy some. But they’re still fine as it is, so no.」

Underwear is worn everyday, so it wears out easily. Moreover, outside of holidays, I don’t use my casual clothes that much. I’m in my uniform for a longer amount of time.

『Kotone, I really think you should learn to dress up just a bit better.』
「I don’t want to hear that from you.」
『Ahahaha, you’ve never even seen me in casual wear.』

I certainly haven’t. Still, I can absolutely tell. She’s definitely wearing a jersey right now. I’m so confident that I could even contact Kyousuke for confirmation.

「You don’t need to particularly dress up tomorrow.」
『I don’t need to look pretty on duty, after all. I understand that. In the first place, what’s the point of a bodyguard who’s more conspicuous than their protectee? We’ve gotten complaints like that before, you know.』

Even when you personally think you’re dressing plainly, whether you stand out more than necessary depends on the beholder. I personally don’t care about that. Daughters of esteemed families might, though.

「Grumble about your job in moderation, okay?」
『You’re the one that brought the topic up. As for tomorrow, I’ll adjust to your schedule. And while we’re at it, I’ll pick you up by car.』
「I’d really appreciate that…… but the truth is?」
『I really don’t want to to walk in the middle of this damn heat.』

I knew it. After all, I generally travel on foot. And since they’re following me, at least one of the bodyguards follow me on foot at any time. It must be tough doing that under these hot days. I can walk at least one train station away.

「Well then, I’ll be in your care tomorrow. And please drink moderately tonight.」
『Don’t worry, I’ll make sure that it won’t affect me tomorrow. Even I know that much self-control.』

I’ve never seen her with a hangover before, so I can trust her words. Though I have no idea how much she can drink. Is Akira strong with alcohol too? Speaking of strong, the people around me are strong with alcohol for some reason.

「Now, time to sleep.」

Since with the call done, there’s nothing else to do. Akira shouldn’t suddenly go crazy, so it should be fine… I hope.

Then comes the next day. During the usual morning training, Kyousuke was on duty. Well, considering the time it takes to change clothes, it’s a good decision. Though I wonder why he didn’t seem to be on board with it?

「Mizuki got pretty upset, you know? Why wasn’t it me and all that.」
「Please tell her that this is the consequence of her own actions. Also, why are you dressed like that?」
「Doesn’t suit me?」


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