|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2631 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1233 words|
After having lunch at the park’s eating area, we went on some rides, watched some events, and spent a really peaceful time all in all. My drowsiness has improved enough that it’s not a drag anymore. I still might fall asleep if I’m not careful, though.
“There’s so many people.”
“It is practically the main event, after all.”
Following Miyako’s advice, we searched for a place to watch early, resulting in us having a front-row view. Kaori and I are situated behind Miyako and Harumi, and the two in front are awaiting the parade with their phones up in one hand. I didn’t expect Harumi to be this excited about it too.
“You don’t seem too interested though, Kotone.”
“If I’m being honest, the stares from the people behind us are bothering me too much for that.”
I also didn’t expect the bodyguard team to be still hyper-cautious of me. I thought they’d gradually relax after some time of me behaving normally. I guess wearing a disguise was a bad move. I really do mean to behave today, though.
“It’ll be troublesome if I take off the disguise anyways.”
“It’s surprisingly hard to tell, huh.”
Being with me the most, Kaori has taken the brunt for me. Students would approach her to ask about yesterday’s concert, meanwhile, I just watch over a distance. With my senses dulled from the lack of sleep, I sometimes fail to notice the students approaching.
“Speaking of surprising, Kotori is nowhere to be seen.”
“I was pretty sure that she’d come straight for me. I guess she’s prioritizing having fun than finding me.”
Maybe she’s prioritizing spending time with her friends. After all, if Kotori tries to find me while she’s in a group, her friends will have to chase her down too. Maybe she’s behaving herself for the remainder of the trip. She probably went berserk yesterday, though.
“Is it just me, or does this feel like the calm before the storm?”
“Stop, you’re going to jinx it.”
It is possible that some unknown things are already in motion. I can’t prevent it at all, so all I can do is try to minimize the collateral damage when something does happen. It’ll depend on the scale, though. In particular, I can’t have the four behind us overextend themselves this time.
“Still, what are things that could trigger Kotori to be a problem?”
“Either family-related stuff or me related stuff, that’s all I can think of. Whichever it is, I’ll probably receive the brunt of it.”
“As expected, even I can’t stop Kotori. The only one who can stop her when she’s on a rampage is you, Kotone.”
The rarer a person goes wild, the greater chaos they cause when they do. I know this very well from experience. Still, the last time Kotori went berserk was during the twelve family after-party. I don’t think anything else has happened since then.
“The parade has started.”
“Well, time to stop with the brainstorming for a moment.”
Music, dance, and a magical spectacle woven by the characters and mascots representing the theme park. Both Kaori and I silently watch the ongoing parade. I even took a few photos on my phone to remember it by. And at the tail end of the parade, the princess I’ve been hearing about earlier is waving at everyone.
“Kotone. Correct me if I’m just seeing things but…”
“Don’t worry, Kaori. I think I’m also seeing the same thing.”
Why does the princess look awfully familiar to me? That short figure and beaming smile. The cute dress absolutely fits her, and it’s undeniably Kotori who’s up there on the float. What is she even doing there?
“Did someone enter her for the raffle?”
“Probably the over-doting father. I’m surprised Kotori was even on board with it.”
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From her personality, I would have expected her to decline. Maybe she was presented with some alluring conditions in exchange. Also, I absolutely don’t believe that she won the raffle. There was definitely some string-pulling behind the curtains. And I’m sure there’s a photo team set up within the park too.
“Also, how the cat seems to be waving wildly at us is bothering me, too.”
“The main mascot is definitely waving in our direction, isn’t it? Like it’s trying to say something.”
“Kotone. Even I can tell. Something’s absolutely going to happen.”
“Don’t say it. After all of this, even I can sense it.”
I already felt the end of my momentary peace. I try making full use of my still drowsy brain to anticipate what’s about to happen from here, but I couldn’t think of anything. I don’t have enough information. And I don’t have any past experience I can cross-reference with.
“I shouldn’t have stayed up all night.”
“No point grumbling about it now. So, what’s your plan?”
By nature, I’m not the type to just shut up and let things happen. I have the urge to fight back in any way. What’s going to happen from now is probably that somebody’s going to try to find and get a hold of me. Even if I hide, I’ll likely be found as long as I’m within the park.
“If I run off again, the people behind will get annoying about it.”
“Think of the ones having to chase you down too. Having been entrusted with this job by the teachers, I’d prefer if you behave yourself.”
The fact that a move I make will definitely be a problem to people here is dragging me down. Still, think about it. Me getting involved in whatever will happen is going to be a bigger problem for everyone. In that case, me acting separately might minimize the collateral damage.
“Fortunately, the two in front are engrossed with the parade, not focused on me.”
“I’m doing my job and watching you here, after all.”
There’s still approximately one person on high alert, but it’s not a major issue. After all, she can’t complain if she gets dragged into it anyways. Whatever happens from here on will be the result of your own choice. I won’t accept any blame.
“Eloping with Kaori, huh.”
“Is your head a few screws loose from the lack of sleep? Eat this and actually think this time.”
I chewed on the gum she passed me and I felt a refreshing sensation that’s painfully intense in this situation. Over-stimulation blasted my drowsiness away, it’s pretty lethal. Especially if you took several at once.
“Is your head clear now?”
“The drowsiness is mostly gone. Now, let me think a bit more seriously.”
The reason for Kotori’s agreement. The reason why the main mascot cat acted the way it did. This situation we’re currently in. Adding all of these, I can see an answer. It’ll be the worst-case scenario for me, but it’s probably unlikely to happen. Moreover, there’s something that’s bothering me.
“I think the chances of me having to go up the float is low.”
“I personally thought it would be high, are you sure about that?”
“Mostly sure. Can’t be too sure though, so let’s go somewhere else. I’d like to avoid dragging Harumi and Miyako into this, so let’s split up with them.”
“There won’t be any danger, right?”