Chapter 197 – Ichijouji Reina’s Daily Life – Nine
“G-g-good… m-m-morning.” That man’s daughter said while I was leaving home to go to school, but I just gave her a quick glance before moving forward.
Such a bad start for the day, I wish they didn’t try putting me in a bad mood since early in the morning.
“By the way, yesterday’s detective show was really fun!” That man’s son exclaimed.
“I know, right!? What did you think of the conclusion, Seigi?” That man’s daughter replied.
“I always love them, though I wonder how they keep coming up with so many amazing episodes.” That man’s son commented.
“The author surely is amazing, isn’t he?” That man’s daughter said.
… Let’s try increasing my walking speed. Those two suspicious people following me are making me frustrated.
Also, being this angry ends up making my eyes narrow on their own, limiting my field of vision… I hate when my body doesn’t behave on the way I want it to. This feeling really is the worst.
“What did you think about it, sister-in-law?” That man’s son asked… It’s not with me though, so there is no point in replying, “Maybe you haven’t seen it yet?” He said after a small while of silence.
“Ah! If you don’t like that one, then what is your favorite show, sister-in-law?” That man’s daughter asked.
I accidentally bumped into a person while trying to turn around the corner of a street, so I gave him a quick bow before I moved away.
“Oh, and the chef’s beef stew at home is quite delicious, isn’t it?” That man’s son commented.
“Yeah, I love it too, though you didn’t eat it with us yesterday, sister-in-law. Did you go out to eat? Is there any dish in particular that you prefer?” That man’s daughter asked.
It doesn’t disappear, it doesn’t disappear! That annoying noise just won’t disappear! Why can’t it go away!? Why are you blowing those annoying sounds into my ear!? What am I supposed to do about a doll that doesn’t stop squeaking!? Mom told me nothing about how to deal with those situations! I don’t understand it! I don’t know what to do! It’s so frustrating!
“Hey! Uhn… You okay?” Suddenly, I heard a voice I knew, so I turned towards him.
“Ma… Masaki?” I replied.
“Who else…? Wait, don’t tell me that you forgot my name again.” He said.
“No… I didn’t.” I told him.
Guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to my surroundings, so I didn’t even notice that Masaki was close… That’s not like me, it’s too dangerous to walk while being this careless. I’ll have to reflect on that.
“Who are those two behind you?” He asked me.
“… Unrelated people.” I replied.
“… Ah.” Was all that he said in response.
His face was troubled, but I’d prefer if he didn’t keep on looking back and forth between me and them… Also, his house was somewhat close to the school if I recall correctly, so this might be a good thing. Those two people won’t be able to follow me all the way to school, after all.
“By the way, did you know that KSO gives free equipment to poor people in order to let them play the game?” Masaki suddenly asked me.
“No, I didn’t know that…” I replied.
“Apparently they can even get paid if they get good results while gaming, but they also need to keep a high karma to do so.” Masaki said.
I can’t say I’m particularly interested on why the company does that, but I guess I’ll be content with the fact that Masaki changed the topic to something else.
“So well, if you do a good enough job, you might earn enough money to get a stable income out of gaming.” Masaki explained.
“Is that so…?” I replied vaguely.
“Yeah, apparently it’s an initiative made to get behavioral samples from not only the wealthy, but from the poor too.” Masaki said.
Ah, right, there was something about how the game was made in a way that would allow management to watch human behavior in a closed environment that didn’t affect reality. As this would allow far greater freedom to each individual player…
I don’t quite get the purpose of it, but I don’t think it’s very relevant either way.
“By the way, your house is funding KSO, isn’t it? Do you know why?” Masaki asked me.
“We are…? Well, I don’t know what goes on in that man’s head.” I replied honestly. Why would the minister of finance invest in an online game anyways?
“Ah! Dad said he’s been interested in games lately!” That man’s daughter exclaimed.
“Eh? Uhn… Are you siblings?” Masaki asked me.
“Wrong.” I instantly replied.
“I see…” He said.
I really don’t want him to think I’m siblings with those two, but… Well, they’ve been a bit useful just now, I suppose. I wouldn’t have known that that man was interested in games otherwise.
Though why? Personal interest? An investment? It just doesn’t seem that worth it as an investment though…
“Uhn… Re-Re-Re… I-Ichijou-” Masaki was trying to say something, but he was stuttering a lot.
“Reina is fine.” I told him.
“Then, Re-Re-Reina…” Masaki was still stuttering…
“What is it?” I asked.
“Uhn… What did you eat for dinner yesterday?” He asked.
“Beef stew. Why the sudden question?” I asked him as Masaki changed topics once more.
“I was just curious about what kind of food you usually eat… Did you like it?” He asked.
“Yes, it was quite tasty.” I replied.
“I see… How did you two feel about it?” He then asked the two annoyances behind me.
“Eh!? Uhn… Very delicious!” That man’s son exclaimed.
“Yeah! Absolutely! I was wondering why our sister-in-law hadn’t eaten it with us!” That man’s daughter exclaimed.
“Eh? You didn’t eat it together?” Masaki asked me… Yes, the food was good, but still…
“Oh, hey, Masaki!” One of his party members… I mean… One of his friends suddenly called out to us.
“Oh, hey, come join us!” Masaki exclaimed, then his usual friends all joined us and Masaki introduced those two annoyances to his friends, but in a low tone, so I couldn’t hear what exactly he was saying… Why bother with doing that?
“Oh, right! The other day, this woman just went and killed me even though we were supposed to be allies in the event!” Masaki exclaimed.
“Well… That’s Reina for you.” One of his friends commented.
As they had this kind of conversation, they were also whispering something among themselves while pushing me to the front of the group. I’m not sure if this is because they want to exclude me, but I suppose it’s fine even if they do want to.
“Ah, Reina!” Suddenly, Mai exclaimed that.
“Oh, Mai and Yuuki.” I said as I saw them both. They instantly joined our group immediately after that.
Since we’ve found them too, I suppose we should be pretty close to school by now… It will be okay, right? The topics we’ve been talking about have been ‘normal’, right?
“Today will be a good day! Let’s talk a lot, Reina!” Mai exclaimed.
“Yeah, like about how that ice spear-” Yuuki started saying, but Mai grabbed his neck, “Sorry! Sorry!” as usual, his choice of topic wasn’t ideal.
“By the way, you’re surely getting along well with them, aren’t you?” Mai asked me while pointing towards Masaki’s group.
“Well, it’s only Masaki that can talk to her easily while still butting heads all the time…” One of his friends commented.
“We don’t get along that well…” Masaki said.
“Yes yes, of course you don’t, just be careful on your next fight with her, alright?” His friend said.
“Ah, I guess…?” Masaki replied.
“Sorry that she causes so much trouble.” Yuuki for some reason said.
“By the way, Reina, the crepe store in front of the station is reopening today, so how about going together?” Masaki suddenly asked me.
Oh yes, Mai did tell me about this one, but… “Why ask me?” I asked him.
“… Consider it a way to make up for the end of the last event.” Masaki replied.
“Ah… Alright, I’ll go.” I told him. I was a bit surprised to be invited like this, but I suppose it’s fine.
“Then let’s go after school! Together!” Mai suddenly exclaimed.
“Ah, sure…” Yuuki commented.
“We’ll have a fun time eating crepes together, Reina.” Mai giggled for some reason as she said that.
“I wonder if I have money for crepes with me though…” I muttered to myself.
And like this, we were able to walk the path to school without me needing to worry about the two annoyances that had been left behind.