It was the middle of Himeno’s third-period lectures at the university.
She could sense it.
It was a kind of pressure that was naturally expressed in novels or manga.
Ami looked as if she had something she had been dying to say for a long time.
I was terrified, not understanding what’s going on or why Ami was glaring at me so intently.
Ami didn’t talk to me, probably because she was in a lecture, but I was sure she would say something to me during the break.
Himeno was scribbling in her notepad with her mechanical pencil while pretending to be unaware of Ami’s gaze. Her handwriting is typically small and round. Yet, her current handwriting was a horrendous mess of wavy lines. Yes, her fingers were trembling.
Himeno blinked a few times to prepare herself. Mustering all the courage she had, she glanced at Ami, who was sitting next to her──Only to be taken aback.
A deep and heavy voice radiated from Ami, one which naturally didn’t belong to her. She had a large grin on her face, similar to those titans when they chance upon a human. Upon witnessing such a scene, Himeno immediately averted her gaze.
“I have to escape.”(Himeno)
An evacuation alarm sounded throughout Himeno’s body.
I have a bad feeling about this…
After enduring her fear for several minutes, the university chime rang, and the lecture finally came to an end.
Himeno frantically put away her pens and pencils and attempted to flee the classroom – but there was no way she could get away from Ami, who had been watching her the entire time.
“Don’t you think that suddenly trying to escape is pretty cruel, Himenochi?”(Ami)
“I’ve got some errands to do…”(Himeno)
The moment Himeno tried to leave the room, Ami grabbed her wrist as if she predicted this situation would have happened.
Himeno is one of the most petite girls in this university. Her only athletic experience was at elementary school, junior high, and high school, where she did her physical education classes. In addition to that, Himeno is the kind of person who likes to stay indoors as she dislikes going outside. Her muscle mass is lower than average, and her body is generally plump.
Ami, on the other hand, is the type of person who loves to exercise. She has a good amount of muscle mass, unlike Himeno. The difference in their height and physical ability were pretty far apart.
Himeno tries to shake one of her arms in hopes of Ami letting go. However, Ami still kept holding on as if nothing happened. Yes, Himeno’s defeat was decided the moment Ami grabbed hold of her arm.
If you were to compare Himeno now, she would be similar to a turtle who has flipped over, unable to get up. It’s the same as being surrounded by goblins in a video game, where trying to escape is impossible, and any possible resistance would be deemed futile.
Himeno knowingly admitted her defeat, remained silent as she trudged back to the seat she had been sitting at before and proceeded to sit down.
“What is it, Ami?”(Himeno)
To avoid provoking Ami any further, Himeno lightly probed into the topic of why she was keeping her back.
“It’s nothing big. I just wanted to complain to you about one thing, okay?”(Ami)
The moment Himeno heard the word ‘complaint’ come out of Ami’s mouth, she shrank back. Her amethyst-coloured eyes became slightly moist. Despite all this, Ami didn’t stop her attack.
“You know, Himeno….”(Ami)
Ami proceeded to shoot Himeno a sharp glare.
“Seriously! That’s not fairrrrrrr!”(Ami)
Ami screamed with such intensity that it would have frightened even a demon. Although it may seem like a complaint, the majority of it stems from jealousy. It would be safe to say that Ami’s taking it all out on Himeno.
On the other hand, Himeno stood there with her mouth wide open. No one would be able to swallow this kind of information when it’s suddenly presented to them with no context whatsoever. It was only natural that Himeno had reacted this way.
“It’s a cheat. A discovery cheats ability. I didn’t know you can change so much just by putting on wax or taking off your glasses! When I met Ryoma just now, I didn’t even know it was him, but in the end, I did!”(Ami)
” I don’t know what you’re talking about..”(Himeno)
The only other person who could understand all of this would be Fuko, who was also at the crime scene.
“If you’re so good at finding hidden hotties, why didn’t you tell us? Didn’t you know that I wanted a boyfriend !?”(Ami)
“Ami, please calm down.”(Himeno)
“Don’t you ask me to calm down! Ryoma changes his appearance between his college and private life! You once said that changing your appearance is annoying, but can’t you see what this means? It means that he has been trying to keep away all the women from you so that you don’t have to deal with them! He’s the best kind of boyfriend there is! Since when did you land such a jackpot, Himeno?”(Ami)
“Are you…talking about Shiba?”(Himeno)
When Himeno heard the name of her “boyfriend”, she was able to get that. However, as for Ami’s story, she didn’t understand a single word which she was saying.
” ‘Oh, you mean Shiba?’ Don’t you try to play dumb with me! I already know everything!”(Ami)
” I don’t know what you mean…”(Himeno)
“You know very well know what I mean! Since you’re always with Ryoma, shouldn’t you know that he always blends in with the crowd, just like that!”(Ami)
“Haha,……. I had no idea that Ryoma-san was in the same university as us. Why did you keep it a secret from us, Himeno!”(Ami)
“Eh? The same…same university…as Shiba!?”(Himeno)
“You know what? Stop trying to play dumb; it won’t work! Fuko and I met Ryoma-san in the hallway just now!”(Ami)
“Oh…you met Shiba…”(Himeno)
It was no laughing matter for Himeno. It was a straightforward reaction since she had no way of believing what Ami had said.
“I was wondering which university Ryoma went to, and I’d never thought I would get an answer from him. Just what is this feeling of envy and excitement?”(Ami)
Himeno had no expression on her face whatsoever. In the midst of all this, She attempted to figure out the discussion in her brain while looking at Ami, who let out a large sigh.
Ami and Fuko passed by each other in the hallway, meeting Ryoma in the hallway. It was because all three of them go to the same university.
Himeno’s chest tingled with excitement. Still, there was no way she was going to believe it. She cannot be possibly attending the same university as her substitute ‘Boyfriend’ after all……
“Stop trying to make fun of me.”(Himeno)
“There’s no point in lying about this! But It’s definitely a prank Fuko would come up with, though!”(Ami)
“I know your in on the prank, Ami.”(Himeno)
“I swear! I’ve seen him and talked to him! How long are you going to play this game? I already have proof! Wait, no, I can’t prove it, but I know I talked to him!”(Ami)
However, Himeno already knew the answer. If you were paying attention to how Ami reacted this entire time, you could tell that she wasn’t lying.
In spite of all this, Himeno refused to accept this reality. No, she simply refused to.
She didn’t want to foresee the numerous problems which would befall her.
“Why do you look so surprised, Himeno? Shouldn’t you already know this by now? Aren’t you dating Ryoma?”(Ami)
Ami, who had become agitated, stared suspiciously at Himeno, who had a confused expression on her face.
That’s right. Generally speaking, if you were a girlfriend, there’s no way you wouldn’t know what university your boyfriend goes to. Therefore, it was only natural for Himeno to behave this way since she didn’t know about Shiba’s university beforehand.
“Hey, what was that all about !? You make it sound like your not dating Ryoma at all, which is weird if you think about it.”(Ami)
The pursuit begins, and the sensation of impending peril grows. Himeno must keep the fact that Ryoma was a “Rental” secret at all costs. She was nervously wrecking her brains, trying to come up with a solution. A few seconds later, she spoke out, specializing in….deception.
“You were hiding your embarrassment?! No wonder you were acting like such a jerk! You’re blushing!!”(Ami)
“Please…don’t look at me.”(Himeno)
Content is Content. It was such a despicable story to make up that it would have naturally slipped my mind, but I had no choice, given the current situation. Himeno proceeded to place both her hands on her face, giving the impression that she was trying to hide her embarrassment.
“Hahaha, you really like Ryoma-san that much?”(Ami)
“Isn’t it obvious, since we’re dating….”(Himeno)
“You two are so in love. You love him, don’t you?”(Ami)
“Hey, what’s with the silence! You don’t like him!? I’m going to tell Ryoma-san!”(Ami)
“I love,……, of course, I love …….”(Himeno)
It is the naïve reaction that gives credence to the story. Himeno had succeeded in persuading Ami to believe her in an instant, but in exchange, Ami would use her as a toy.
“Your not being honest with me, Himeno. You were actually meeting up with Ryoma in secret for lunch today, weren’t you?”(Ami)
“Really? I thought you were since Ryoma was walking alone all by himself.”(Ami)
“Well, aren’t you relieved? Since Ryoma-san was not walking around with any other woman.”(Ami)
“Why would you say that?”(Himeno)
“Because you looked so happy just now. Even your eyes got a little bigger.”(Ami)
“No, I didn’t”(Himeno)
There was no mistaking what Ami had said. Himeno was happy when she heard what Ami said.
“Well, well, I understand your concern that your prized boyfriend might get targeted, but he’s doing a good job of hiding his appearance, so I’m sure he’ll be fine, especially in college.”(Ami)
“Really? Does he look that different?”(Himeno)
“When Ryoma disguised himself, I couldn’t even tell it was him. I just became aware of it after Fuko informed me of it. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Himeno. His clothes were plain, his bangs were over his eyes, and he wore glasses that……made him look unapproachable, to be honest.”(Ami)
Himeno was curious. How does Ryoma dress for college? She wanted to ask him.
“Himeno, you didn’t tell him to dress in such a modest manner, right? (Ami)
“No, I didn’t.”(Himeno)
“Then you have to take even better care of Ryoma-san. He’s such a good boyfriend, dressing like that to keep other girls away!”(Ami)
“Oh, of course.”(Himeno)
Himeno comes up with an answer in the client’s own way, saying that he is trying to avoid causing trouble from being exposed, but here he is taking advantage of Ami.
Ryoma kept his college life and personal life a secret since he works as a ‘Rental’. Himeno had come to this conclusion, but here she was, taking advantage of Ryoma to prevent Ami from knowing her secret.
“Oh, and you know what!? I have a request for the boyfriend you’re so proud of.”(Ami)
“Could you ask Ryoma-san to introduce me to a boyfriend?”(Ami)
“Please! If you were the one requesting it, I’m sure he would nod his head in agreement right away!”(Ami)
Himeno refused Ami’s request without a second thought, shaking her head from side to side.
They went on back and forth about it five more times. Ami’s male friend, who happened to be nearby at the time, poked his head in, amused.
“Hey, Ami, are you going out with a bunch of guys again? You sure are enjoying your college life as usual.”(Background-male character 1)
“Not this again! I have never done that before!”(Ami)
Himeno is well-known at this university, but so is Ami. Ami is a well-known freshman who has a large circle of friends. She also receives several invites from her social networks.
“Hahaha, I’m always free; you should invite me as well. Loli Lynn is coming too, right?”(Background-male character 1)
“Huh…so you’re after Himeno! (Ami)
“What do you think?”(Background-male character 1)
“What the heck?! Loli Lynn has been staring at me a lot lately. Do you know why Ami?”(Background-male character 1)
“Cause she dislikes people like you, am I right, Himeno-chan?”(Ami)
Mistakenly thinking Himeno has a boyfriend, Ami follows up and does some damage to her male friend. Himeno’s one-word assurance, in particular, is devastating.
“Hey, wait a minute. I’m not like that. You’re the one who’s been meeting people, Ami.”(Background-male character 1)
“It’s not that I don’t want to be with anyone. I was only attempting to persuade Himeno’s boyfriend to introduce me to his buddies.”(Ami)
“What the heck. Didn’t you promise all of us that we’re going to have fun together….., huh? Wait…Loli Lynn’s boyfriend.”(Background-male character 1)
“Eh!!????”(Background-male character 1)
It may have been because Ami kept talking about the subject lightly. But Ami unintentionally voiced out the information that she had meant to keep to herself……。
I instantly forced her mouth shut, but Ami couldn’t take back what she said. There was no way she could take back what she just said.
“Hey, hey, hey! Loli Lynn has a boyfriend? That’s the first time I heard of something like this.”(Background-characters)
‘I’m not interested in boyfriends.’ That’s how most people perceive Himeno Kashiwagi, aka Loli Lynn. Everyone’s perception of Loli-Lynn collapsed immediately.
This was a classroom. All of the kids who were conversing fell quiet. The student playing with his smartphone stopped, the student putting her teaching materials back into her bag stopped, and all eyes were drawn to Himeno.
The whole class went silent.
The “clock” chimed for eight or nine seconds, and the student’s voices progressively stretched out as if to confirm the situation.
“Oh, hey. I just heard……Himeno-chan has a boyfriend……”
“Wait, our Loli Lynn has a….. boyfriend ……?”
“Of course, it’s a lie. It has to be…”
“No, the way Himeno reacted tells us that she was serious, no matter how you look like it.”
“I’m sorry about that, Himeno……. I accidentally slipped up……. Hehe.”(Ami)
“I’m really so-rry about the…slip up, Himeno. I hope you can forgive me…?”(Ami)
“Baka, Baka,…Ami no Baka!!”(Himeno)
“Eh…Himeno-ow,ow,ow, hey wait!”(Ami)
Himeno had never been through anything like this before. It was not something she could endure.
She snatched her bag and hurried out of the classroom after screaming a weak insult at Ami, who was the sole cause of the entire situation.
“Hey! It’s your fault Himeno ran away! You have to take responsibility!”
“Hey, it’s not my fault. It’s all Ami’s fault!”
This one rumour had spread throughout the university.
Loli-Lynn, Himeno Kashiwagi, has a boyfriend…
Time had passed, and the lecture was now in its fourth session.
However, Himeno, who was supposed to have this class today, didn’t show up.
TL notes: Note for those of you who don’t know, but the reason why Himeno is called Loli Lynn is because of her having Gothic lolita fashion. Google it, its a certain subculture in japan.