|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2819 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1294 words|
The conversation flowed as people often say it does; once you start talking, it’s hard to stop. And that’s exactly what happened to us. I didn’t speak non-stop; Isami had plenty of interjections which occasionally led us astray. Despite our tiredness, our conversation meandered through a variety of topics, highlighting the similarities in our thought processes.
“We didn’t sleep at all.”
With that realization, a wave of exhaustion hit us. The sun’s glare was too bright to look at directly, which is an obvious fact. But my drowsiness and fatigue clouded my thinking. It was all my own doing.
“Let’s take a bath to keep ourselves awake. If I fall asleep now, I definitely won’t wake up until after checkout time.”
“That’s true. I’m most likely going to get left behind.”
The teachers might check on me, but considering yesterday’s events, I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought I could handle myself and decided not to. Although it’s highly unlikely, the idea keeps nagging at me.
“If that happens, come with us on our TV appearance.”
“Are you crazy? At best, I’ll be suspended.”
I can only imagine the consequences of being found on TV after having mysteriously disappeared during a field trip. The evidence would pile up against me. If it were a pre-recorded show, there might be a way to handle the situation, but where would the funds come from to handle the potential fallout? It’s a problem I can’t handle alone.
“You can choose to quit school and be with us, you know?”
“Stop trying to dictate my future. I want to live a normal life.”
“Well, I think that’s impossible for you.”
I’ve caused quite a bit of chaos in my past. It’s only natural for me to yearn for some peace. However, I’m well aware of the consequences of my actions. My life has been anything but quiet.
“Considering you’re gearing up for a showdown with Kotochan’s father…”
“I plan to challenge one of the twelve families. There’s no way it will end well.”
No ordinary individual can come out of such a fight unscathed. Given our familial ties, there might be a chance of settling the matter privately, keeping it from escalating. If I were thinking straight, I would never willingly engage in such an unequal battle.
“Our lives are far from normal. We broke into the music scene as a band. And in your case, your situation is even more unusual.”
“I’m aware. This is far from normal.”
The mere fact that I died and then came back to life in someone else’s body – and of the opposite gender at that – is extraordinary. The fact that we’ve so readily accepted this makes us oddballs. A bit more confusion and doubt would be justified.
“But won’t picking a fight disrupt your current life?”
This was Isami voicing genuine concern. Standing against the head of the Kisaragi family means there’s no guarantee of life as usual. In a worst-case scenario, I might face confinement, like what almost happened to Kotone. But there’s no way I’d take that lying down.
“If things go south, this might be the last time we meet.”
“Don’t say such ominous things. If that ever happens, we’ll launch a full-scale rescue with the entire class.”
Though I appreciate the sentiment, it’s unsettling to hear. Nothing is more terrifying than a group hell-bent on a mission, causing unbridled chaos along the way. They’re the kind of people who pull out all the stops once committed to a cause. Their dedication gives me pause.
“I’m already planning for the worst-case scenario, so don’t be rash. I’ll keep that in mind when I talk to Satoru.”
There are routes I’d rather not take, but my options are limited. Once this field trip is over, there’s another matter I have to address. I’m still not sure how to handle it, but it will likely need addressing this year.
(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)
(Please visit Re:Library to show the translators your appreciation!)
“Isami, I have a question for you.”
“Have you ever considered marriage?”
“I don’t think it’s possible with someone of the same gender.”
An uncomfortable silence filled the room. Struggling to think clearly due to my fatigue, I realized she was referring to our relationship. That wasn’t my intention. I could partly blame my phrasing, but Isami’s casual response was unexpected.
“Let me rephrase that. How would you want someone to propose to you?”
“Just straightforwardly. Like, ‘Will you marry me?’ and so on.”
I regret even asking. Isami has always been like this. Among other things, she’s utterly clueless when it comes to romantic matters. She’s genuinely attractive, you know? I’m sure she’s been proposed to before. But during our high school days, her troublemaking ways meant no one dared get close.
“Wait, are you planning to propose to someone? Who is it? Do you need my help?”
“You’re completely missing the point, so please dial down that dark aura.”
Her reactions can be like this at times; she’s a handful. I was always with this childhood friend of mine, so I never had time for romance. A small part of that is because I never really fell for anyone, but the larger part—say 70%—is due to the Kondou family. Seriously, can they stop trying to pair their daughter with their neighbor’s son as if she’s some leftover stock?
“Asking you was a mistake. I’ll ask someone else.”
“I’m not the best when it comes to that subject, I admit. Maybe ask Toshizou? He’s a bit odd, but he’s married.”
That’s one of our group’s great mysteries. How did that introverted, oddball manage to tie the knot? I never heard anything about it when I was alive. Maybe my death changed something for him. But Toshizou isn’t one to offer answers easily.
“If and when I propose, you guys are definitely not invited. Stay out of it.”
“By putting it that way, you’re making it sound more tempting.”
“I’ll be dealing with one of the twelve families. Don’t think I can shield you from them.”
If things were to spiral out of control, I’d probably be the one to shoulder the blame. I am, for the most part, the leader of our group. As long as there’s mutual understanding, there shouldn’t be any issues. But if one party isn’t on the same page, there’s no predicting the outcome.
“My head’s not working properly.”
“That’s to be expected after not sleeping. In the bath, we’ll have to keep an eye on each other to ensure neither of us falls asleep. Especially you, Kotochan.”
“I’m aware. But you’re hardly in any better shape than I am.”
If either of us takes a bath alone in our current states, sleep is inevitable. Worst-case scenario, one of us could drown. Dying from drowning in sleep in my second life isn’t something I even want to entertain. I’m sure Isami doesn’t want to become news for such a reason either.
“We might as well bathe together, keeping an eye on one another.”
“That’s probably our best bet. It’ll be bad news if both of us doze off simultaneously.”
It’s a safer alternative than going solo. It’s not completely risk-free, but it’s the better of the two options. It’s my fault for not being able to rein in Isami. Criticizing her won’t lead to any self-reflection on her part. I’ll have to step in and handle it, even though I’m not claiming full responsibility.
“Kotochan, are you uncomfortable seeing me naked?”
“It’s not just you; it’s everyone. I’m okay with Kotone’s family, but with others… Well, step-mom’s probably an exception.”