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Chapter 157 – An Outing of Four plus One

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3357 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1584 words
Editor(s): Fire

It seems like this impromptu outing to make memories has been planned without me. It was originally thought up by Harumi and Miyako, with Kaori helping them out. However, her help mainly involved adjusting my schedule. We talk all about this as we ride the Shinkansen bullet train.

“Since when did you come up with these plans?”
“Ever since you didn’t have any fun with us during the field trip, Kotonen.”
“Um, what’s the deal with the Kotonen thing?”
“I was thinking of giving you a nickname. We’ve been friends for some time now.”

I have been with these three the most, even among all my classmates. So I don’t really mind getting a nickname. Some have already shortened my name to Koto-chan. Still, it feels a bit ticklish to be called in a different way.

“You know, ever since the end of the field trip, I was discussing with Miyako about what would be something that you’d agree to if we invited you out.”
“And I thought that an outing to a hot spring could work. The way you were excited about stopping by a hot spring after our beach trip left an impression on me.”
“The biggest hurdle was honestly your financial situation, Kotone. So I thought of asking dad to do something about it. I didn’t expect that you’d resolve it on your own.”

How was she planning on asking for the owner’s help? It’s not like she can get portions of my wage in advance without my permission. Did she have any other ideas on how to borrow money from the owner? Still, had I not gotten a New Year’s Gift from my family, this trip wouldn’t have been possible for me.

“It’s still so sudden. Put yourself in my shoes, having to rush to prepare.”

It obviously gets cold during winter. However, I didn’t have winter wear that could be used in colder places with thick snowfall. As usual, I asked for Kaori’s help and managed to get something adequate. Whether it suits me or not, I have no idea.

“We can’t help it; there’s only a few days left before winter break ends. Even the room we’re staying in only had an opening for this day.”
“That, I know about since Akira and the others complained about it to me. Apparently, they had a really hard time securing a room.”

Apparently someone just canceled their booking, which is how they got their reservation. Had that not happened, they would’ve had to find somewhere else to sleep. While I can understand their complaints, this was abrupt for me as well.

“We’re in season right now, so practically every place is crowded. I barely made it in when I made the reservation.”
“Miyako was left in charge of the reservation. Originally, we wanted to inform you about it earlier, but you always seemed to be occupied, Kotonen.”
“You were pretty busy from Christmas to New Year. Mostly with preparing and executing your ridiculous plan.”
“I’m reflecting on it.”

I honestly lowered my head this time. I am aware that what I did was really stupid. Even Kotone scolded me about it, so of course I’ll reflect on it. Still, I don’t regret it. After all, I achieved my goal.

“Kotone, what did you do during the New Year?”
“I punched my father.”
“Kotone, you skipped too many details; we can’t understand it.”

I even went out of my way and made it concise. Since I’ve achieved this goal after pining for it for so long, I’m honestly really proud about it. Even if others don’t deem it acceptable, I’ll still remain proud about it.

“I visited the twelve families to cause trouble to my father and had some antics on the way home. In the end, I punched him and achieved my goal.”
“No, that still barely makes any sense.”

It looks like even the quick witted Harumi couldn’t understand my actions. Miyako can’t even imagine it happening; I can see it from how her eyes are spinning. And since Kaori knows a bit about the circumstances, she only showed a wry smile.

“Just think of it as Kotone going through a rebellious phase. It’ll be easier to take it that way.”
“Kotonen in a rebellious phase, huh.”
“I find it a bit hard to believe, too. I always saw Kotone as the type who can get along with anyone.”
“Even I have people that I can’t stand.”

The shining example is Kotone’s father. Apparently, as a result of my punch, he’s beginning to show signs of reform. When I went home to sign the contract with the agency, I noticed that the atmosphere inside the mansion had changed. There was a constant lingering tension before, but now it feels a bit more relaxed. Perhaps because of that, the servant’s attitude towards Kotone has gotten better as well.

Father was present when I signed the contract, but mom acted as a buffer between us. And he wouldn’t look me in the eye at all. Rather than it being due to resentment, I felt it was because he feared me.

“Kotone, I’m really sorry, but I don’t think I’ll ever forgive that father of yours.”
“Mister, your thoughts are your own, and I have no right to try and change them. I personally think of him as my father and nothing more, so please don’t worry about it.”

The one who caused Kotone to commit suicide was undoubtedly that father of hers. Even if he got reformed and became a decent person, it’s already too late. Even if he turns normal, Kotone, who has decided to give her life to me, will definitely not go back on her resolve.

“You have a complicated look on your face, Kotonen. A trip should be enjoyed the whole way, Kotonen.”
“That’s true, but what if some sort of trouble occurs at our destination?”

When I said that, I think I saw Akira and the others nearby jump in their seats. Still, it should be alright this time. I haven’t told anyone from the rogue’s den about this outing, and Ruru should be in supervised confinement with Nako right now. I’ve also confirmed that none of them work at where we’re headed.

“Trouble adds flavor to a journey, doesn’t it?”
“I’d rather not have any trouble, though.”
“Me too. I’ve had my fill of public humiliation during the field trip. Troubles with Kotone can go well beyond what you’d expect.”

I didn’t cause that. That was the result of Kaori giving in after being pressed by Kotori. Besides, I did actually warn her. I wouldn’t help if she got involved. So it’s Kaori’s fault for ignoring my advice.

“It should be alright.”
“I’m really sorry Kotone, but I can’t trust you on that.”
“Why not?”
“After knowing what you did in the first week, I can’t help but think that you might be up to something.”

I’m not doing anything. I’ve already resolved to have some self-control. Even if I bring trouble to these three, I’ll still be the one to deal with it in the end. There’s no merit to it, and it’s unnecessary. Besides, the guys monitoring us are staring like crazy.

“Kaori, you know what Kotonen has been doing this New Year?”
“Ms. Shimotsuki and Kotori told me all about it. And I ended up learning an unbelievable truth regarding Ms. Shimotsuki.”

That day, Kaori was completely overwhelmed the whole time. Aya with her mask off is so overpowering. Combine that with Kotori being talkative the whole time, and Kaori barely had the chance to speak.

“There’s still time before we reach the destination, so could you also tell us what happened?”
“That would be a nice topic. Whatever Kotonen’s antics are should be pretty interesting.”

They’re all ridiculously absurd, so I doubt they’ll believe it. Besides, I’d rather not talk about the happenings at the Minadzuki and Hadzuki residences. For the former, it’s because I would end up sharing their private affairs, while for the latter, it’ll result in me having to reveal the truth about myself.

“Fufufu, I knew someone would ask, so I brought this along.”
“It can’t be!?”
“Tada! It’s a tablet filled with Kotone’s Super Secret Data!”

From her bag, Kaori retrieved the tablet that Aya and Kotori had with them that day. I have no idea why Kaori has it, but I can’t have her showing it to Harumi and Miyako. My embarrassment will spread more.

“Wait, Kaori. That has stuff you really shouldn’t show. You haven’t asked permission from Aya, right?”
“I’ve already gotten her permission. I’m not allowed to send copies of the data, but she said I can show it to close friends, as long as I tell them to keep it a secret.”

Why did she give permission when this’ll expose her true nature as well? Is she prepared for things to get exposed because her graduation is drawing near? In that case, please get me involved. For now, I need to stop Kaori.

“Please, I’m really begging you here, just don’t show it.”
“Ha ha ha! Kotonen, after hearing all of that, it only makes us more curious.”
“That’s right. Give up and offer us some entertainment!”

She actually said entertainment. At this point, I can no longer stop them. I guess I’ll sleep then.


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