Himeno was in the women’s restroom. With her hands placed over her face, she pretended to be one of the three wise monkeys. (Tl. notes: The three wise monkeys are a Japanese pictorial maxim, embodying the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil“)
Her neck, ears, and face were all red and hot as if they were on fire. Himeno didn’t want anyone to see her in this condition. This hidden side of herself.
She has been continuously making mosquito-like noises for what seems like 15 minutes now.
Himeno had a perfect attendance record from April through the middle of November, but she was absent for one reason. One reason was that word had spread throughout the university that she had a boyfriend. She couldn’t afford to stay with her closest friend any longer. This was the worst thing that Himeno could have ever imagined.
She wanted to blame Ami for exposing her. However, this was also due to her public appearances at IYON. All the lies that she had been accumulating were simply coming back to her.
Himeno was in an indescribable state of disbelief but also overwhelmed with an inexplicable sense of remorse.
Things would not have been so complicated if she had an actual boyfriend and Ryoma, her substitute, had not attended the same university. But, this was no time for her to be regretting anything.
“I have to explain to Shiba….”(Himeno)
“I have to apologize…it’s all my fault..”(Himeno)
The main problem here is that people are mistaking Ryoma as her lover. If word ever got out, it would cause him a whole slew of problems. All of this is entirely her fault.
To add to that, Himeno could not exchange contact information with Shiba due to the agency’s rules. Even if he’s attending this university, the chances of them meeting would be very slim.
The only way she could meet Shiba to apologize was by using that service.
Himeno proceeded to take her phone out and contact the company when──
“Whooo! Lectures are finally over!”
“I swear. The content that we went through today was so difficult. I’m definitely going to have a hard time with this report.”
Himeno came to a halt, held her breath, and raised her face.
The door to the women’s restroom opened, and two students entered, muttering.
Students are allowed to set their schedules at the university. Since the fourth period had already begun, you could only assume that the two had no lectures scheduled today.
“I’ve got to fix my makeup quickly! I only have about 30-minutes before my part-time job begins!”
“I seriously don’t want to go to work…I wish I could skip it..”
“If only I had an alter ego, I could escape work while making money; it’d be like sending my alter ego to my part-time job while I go karaoke.”
“That sounds far too unrealistic. Shouldn’t you take a bereavement leave or something if you intend to skip work?”
“I’ll get my ass kicked if I did that!”
“Well, I can’t just skip work. That store has been taking care of me ever since I’ve started working there.”
At this point, they cut off the conversation. Himeno could hear only the sound of a zipper opening a cosmetic pouch in this quiet space.
She was hiding inside the cubical, not making a single squeak. Although she was not doing anything wrong, many individuals would run if they were in such a situation. It was a half-reflexive action for Himeno.
“Hey! I know this may sound sudden, but I have something to show you!”
“What’s the deal with this tension…? Oh well. So, what do you want to show me?”
“Ta-da! It’s the new lipstick I bought yesterday!”
“Wow, that looks expensive….hold up, is that a branded one!?”
“Yeah, I bought it with my part-time job money! I wasn’t sure if I should buy it at first, but I went ahead and did it anyway!”
“That lipstick has a beautiful colour. I’m about to run out, so perhaps I’ll go and purchase some more next time…….”
“If you find one you like, I don’t think you’ll regret it!”
“Your right. I’m going to get paid for my part-time job soon, so I’ll go check it out.”
It was common for people, especially girls, to get excited about cosmetics. Himeno, who was hiding in the cubicle, tried to distract herself by listening in on their conversation.
“Well then, why don’t we go out together sometime? We can go check out the cosmetics together!”
“That sounds good. So make sure you keep your schedule clear. I’ll be in touch.”
“Yes! Now that I have something to look forward to, I’m motivated to work!”
Despite Himeno’s gloominess, the two of them shone brilliantly from the sound of their voices. She couldn’t help but notice the difference between herself and them.
“It’s okay for you to be motivated, but make sure you don’t make any weird mistakes at work, okay? Since your lacking in so many departments.”
“That’s not true!?”
“What do you mean by ‘That’s not true.’ You forgot to bring your wallet as well as your stationery today. I even told you to check your bag before you went to bed.”
“Ahaha, I can’t help it since my horoscope is ranked the lowest today.”
“There it is, that ‘theory’ again. It just goes to show how clumsy you are.”
“Well, today was a disaster…Ah! Maybe it’s because you’re a Taurus! That’s why I had so many disasters befalling upon me today!”
“Don’t hold it against me any longer……! Oh yeah, what do you think of the junior girl who abruptly bolted out of class today?”
“Junior girl? Is she someone I know?”
“Everyone who attends this university knows! Did I not tell you about this yet? About Loli-Lynn?”
They suddenly mentioned Himeno’s name. Her mind went blank for a moment, but she kept her mouth shut to prevent her voice from leaking out.
“Hmm? Did you hear something strange?”
“I didn’t hear a thing.”
“So that brings me back to Loli-Lynn. Isn’t she famous for not being interested in boyfriends despite being irresistible?”
“That’s right. That’s why girls hate her, or rather, envy her. Popular people tend to be liked by the opposite sex but hated by the same sex.”
It would never occur to them that Himeno was listening in on their conversation. Himeno lacked the confidence to exit the restroom. She didn’t want to interrupt their discussion as well.
“But! There was a good reason why Himeno wasn’t interested in a boyfriend. I just found out today, and it makes me feel so excited! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!”
“You mean the reason why she hated men?”
“Exactly! I don’t have a lot of time, so I’m going to be brief, but I heard that when Loli Lynn said she wasn’t interested in a boyfriend, she meant ‘I’m not interested in anyone else because I already have a boyfriend!”
“HAAAAA?! What’s with that crappy logic? Himeno-chan has a boyfriend? I’ve never heard that rumour before.”
“I was surprised by that news too, but I’m pretty sure it’s true. Word got out that Loli Lynn’s friends accidentally slipped up and got found out.”
“Well, that sounds like a disaster.”
“But I guess it’s not all bad, right? Now Loli Lynn won’t have to keep hiding it anymore, and now that we know why she’s not interested in having a boyfriend. We won’t have to keep saying bad things about her anymore!”
“It certainly has its advantages. I’m not sure it’s balanced by the disadvantages, though.”
“Even so, Loli-Lynn is amazing. Even though others were badly treating her, she said those things, so her boyfriend wouldn’t worry about her.”
Himeno shrank back, but her heart was beating very fast.
Fewer guys will approach you if you claim to be uninterested in a boyfriend. As a result, the implication that this is an act of reassurance to the boyfriend arises.
“But…won’t the result lead to men evaluating you more highly. They’ll think, ‘Oh, she cares about her boyfriend so much.”
“Exactly. Being popular is not easy at all. Especially having to cope with all this.”
“Things will start getting complicated for her. There will undoubtedly be some who wish to know who Himeno-chan’s lover is.”
“Oh….actually. There’s already a task force working on it.”
“Honestly, I find that disgusting. This kind of thing should just be left alone.”
“Yeah, but I can see why they’re trying to identify it, haha.”
“What? I didn’t want you to agree with on that….”
“Because! The usually ‘expressionless’ Loli Lynn has fallen deeply in love with her boyfriend! That’s why I’m quite curious to find out what he’s like.”
“Th-that Himeno-chan is deeply in love!?”
Himeno was surprised to hear that phrase from one of the girls. 『deeply in love』, She had no clue where they’d gotten such information. However, the more contentious the rumour, the more likely it is to spread.
“I’m sorry, I stand corrected. Since you said that, I guess I don’t need to say anything else. I just wanted to see whether it was true or not.”
“Isn’t it?! I even heard that there’s a particular group working hard to identify what type of expression Himeno will make when she meets her boyfriend.”
“I wonder if that Himeno-chan grins?”
“If she does, my best bet is that her pouty cheeks will start to loosen up!”
“That’s probably normal. You know, like when you’re trying to fix your cheeks when your boyfriend isn’t looking.”
“That’s likely too!”
And the spirited discussion fueled Hiemno’s humiliation even more, but the next thing she knew, she heard something ominous…..
“But if they discover her boyfriend’s identity, he might be in danger. I don’t think Loli Lynn is aware of this, but…..she has her own fan club, you know?”
“Are you implying that if they discover her boyfriend’s identity, they will place pressure on him?”
“I’m going to call it. It wouldn’t be pleasant for Himeno’s fan club, so they’d definitely want to split them apart as soon as possible.”
“It’s really tough being a celebrity.”
“I’m starting to feel sorry for her at this point.”
After these words, the two of them left the women’s bathroom, probably having finished applying their makeup.
Perhaps as a punishment for secretly listening in, Himeno was now confronted with a new dilemma, maybe as a punishment for secretly listening in.
A frightened and solemn expression appears on Himeno’s face as she closes her mouth. She knew she had to do something; she had to explain the situation to Shiba.
“I wonder if Shiba is still here.”
Ryoma must still be at university if he is taking the fourth period. Himeno was planning on ambushing Shiba while contacting the agency to explain the situation to him as soon as possible.
The fourth period was finally over; Ryoma walked down the lecture halls, preparing to go home when he heard something disturbing.
“Wha-, it’s raining outside!?”
“Haven’t you seen the weather report? It said that there was a ninety per cent chance of precipitation occurring at 16:00 today.”
“No, I didn’t! It looked so sunny this morning as well!”
“It’s no use. I’ll put in an umbrella for you. With a bottle of juice.”
“Thank you! I’ll take two.”
“Seriously? Then make it three!”
The expressions on people’s faces when they were wearing rain gear and not wearing it are entirely contradictory. These are the expressions that indicate victory or defeat. Ryoma was the latter, and a shadow of melancholy hung all over his body.
“Let’s get wet and go home today…..”(Ryoma)
Ryoma hadn’t even glanced at the weather forecast because of how sunny it was this morning. Yukiya, his best buddy, had left the university for a morning lecture. Unfortunately, there was no one else he could rely on.
At the very least, it was a light rain……With this wish, Ryoma made his way towards the entrance.
However, the Lord of the Sun did not respond to his wish. He threw more hardships at Ryoma, who had survived today’s lecture.
It was the moment Ryoma checked outside the university.
“Zaaaaaaaaa….”[sound of rain]
The gentle rain became a violent downpour. It rained diagonally across the sky, with the drips and drops bouncing off the ground. It was so intense that it appeared as a fog in the distance. You couldn’t even get to the nearest convenience shop without an umbrella because it was that heavy.
A weak voice leaked out of Ryoma’s mouth. He wanted to go home, but he can’t. How could anyone not feel the pain of this situation?
Ryoma’s shoulders slumped as he checked the weather forecast on his phone.
If it’s going to rain for an extended period, he’ll have to be prepared to return home soaked. Ryoma looks at it with half hope and half resignation, but this is when his luck changes.
It was eighteen o’clock in the evening. The likelihood of precipitation had decreased to 40%, and the weather had changed from rainy to cloudy Ryoma had to wait for two hours, but it’d be better for him if it ended sooner.
For Ryoma, who doesn’t play games on his phone, the only way to pass the time is to study by himself. The library at the university was also a place to go for self-studying, so that’s where he headed.
“Now, let’s start studying a little harder….”(Ryoma)
As soon as Ryoma abandoned his desire to go home, he turned on his study switch. With that said, Ryoma turned his body to face the other direction and headed back towards the school building.
That was when it happened.
Silver hair fluttering in the wind.
As he slowly opened his eyes, a silver-haired girl who resembled a student in junior high appeared in front of him.
Ryoma froze, unable to comprehend the entire situation in front of him. He didn’t blink, nor did he speak. He just stared at the girl who was staring at him, vividly applying pressure on her.
“Well, well, well, I’d better get moving──”(Ryoma)
When Ryoma tried to return to the school building, the girl stepped to his right and blocked the way. However, Ryoma ignored her and tried to enter the school building.
It was the only way to stop him, or so she thought. Himeno, the girl in front of him, grabbed Ryoma’s sleeve and stopped him.
A weak force. He could have easily shaken her off, but the fact that she was his client prevented him from doing so.
“Sorry, but who are you?”(Ryoma)
“I know it’s Shiba.”(Himeno)
“Yes, I’m Shiba.”(Ryoma)
Himeno saw right through Ryoma’s deception. Her words sounded aggressive, letting Ryoma know that he wasn’t going to get away with it. “Don’t run away”, she said as she released her grip on his sleeve.
It’s as though my escape path has already been destroyed if you’re this determined.
“But, how did you know it was me……? I look totally different from the last time we met…..”(Ryoma)
“Ami told me about it. She also said that we attended the same institution. That took me by surprise.”(Himeno)
Himeno said all this while maintaining a straight face, which was typical of her.
“It’s the same for me. I didn’t expect to meet your friends, Himeno……”(Ryoma)
“What a coincidence.”(Himeno)
“I wonder…. Are you on your way home now, Himeno?”(Ryoma)
“No, I was waiting for you, Shiba.”(Himeno)
“Yes. I need to talk to you, Shiba.”(Himeno)
Himeno could have left at any time, but she had waited a long ninety minutes to tell him about the incident, on the slight chance that Ryoma was taking the fourth period. You could see how strong her feelings were.
“I’ll give you the money, and we’ll talk.”(Himeno)
“I’m not making any requests now, which means that I won’t be receiving any money from you at all.”(Ryoma)
“I’ll make the request now.”(Himeno)
“Please use that service if that’s the case.”(Ryoma)
“Then, I’ll be selfish, so that I can talk to you, Shiba.”(Himeno)
“Well, let’s see…… Himeno-san. I’m sorry if I sound harsh, but I think it’s best if we don’t get involved with each other on campus. It’s hard to deal with trouble when it happens.”(Ryoma)
A client and a substitute for a lover service. And the fact that they both attend the same institution. If they get involved in real life, there is a high possibility that trouble will occur. You have to pretend that you don’t know each other at university if you want to live a regular life.
“I know……. But only today……”(Himeno)
Ryoma felt trapped by this statement.
“What’s wrong? Did something happen?”(Ryoma)
“Hmm…I’ve had some trouble…lately…”(Himeno)
“So, I want to apologize to you about ‘that’. That’s what I wanted to discuss with you….”(Himeno)
“I’m not sure what it…… is, but is it the kind where you can’t take it back?”(Ryoma)
“Oh, I see. It’s already out, huh….”(Ryoma)
Himeno placed her tiny hands together and bowed her head, apologizing in a hushed voice. Ryoma could tell she was sorry from the bottom of her heart. There are probably very few people who would be bothered by Himeno’s remorseful demeanour.
“Well then … Let’s go somewhere more secluded. It’s already this time of the day. After all, I’m sure there’s an empty classroom somewhere.”(Ryoma)
“You don’t have to sound so scared. I’m not going to get mad at you just because you told me what the situation was.”(Ryoma)
“No, you can be mad at me”.(Himeno)
“Wow, I’m a bit scared that you prepared yourself to that extent.”(Ryoma)
She stated this because she felt sorry and accepted her mistake. The more Ryoma imagined what she had done, the more terrified he became.
“Let’s move on for now. I’m going to listen to you very carefully.”(Ryoma)
Struck by an unexpected turn of events, Ryoma forgot to keep a safe distance from Himeno. They had walked down the corridor from shoulder to shoulder as if they were a couple.
Students passing by or those who happen to witness the unnatural occurrence will undoubtedly take notice of what’s happening──、
“Ah, hey! Loli Lynn is walking next to a gloomy person! Could that…be her boyfriend?!”
“No, there’s no way that guy is her boyfriend, no matter what.”
“That’s right. There’s no way Loli Lynn would be strolling around with her boyfriend out in the open, right?”
“I think she just got tangled up with some weirdos.”
“Seems like it. Himeno’s boyfriend is most definitely at another university! Let’s find him!”
Since Ryoma didn’t need to change his appearance, there was no need for a big rumour.
“Would you want like some chocolate?” It’s in the shape of a bear. It’s in the second pouch.”(Himeno)
“I think I’m okay. It should be more than enough.”(Ryoma)
A few minutes later, they located an empty classroom. However, the air around Himeno changed drastically, giving off an eerie feeling, which swallowed Ryoma completely.
Almost as if Himeno was starting to get to the main topic, Himeno took out a heart-shaped pouch with a key chain and placed the candies, caramels, and cookies on my desk. It seems as though she wanted us to talk while eating them.
It’s not as if Himeno couldn’t read the air around her. It was just that she was mentally preparing herself for the main topic. This entire period was crucial to her, as Ryoma deduced from her demeanour.
“Come to think of it. You like sweets, don’t you, Himeno? If my memory serves me right, you ate a lot at the cake buffet during our third date.”(Ryoma)
“No, I love them. I’ve still got this much.”(Himeno)
[Tl Notes: You can also interpret it as “I don’t ‘like’ them, I ‘love’ them]
“Isn’t there quite a bit of cake in there? I wonder how much is in there….”(Ryoma)
Himeno proceeded to open her bag to show me what’s inside. It turns out it was still filled with caramel, sweets and biscuits that were all laid out on the desk.
It makes me happy to think of Himeno carrying this much food at home so she can enjoy it in college.
“Did you count?”(Himeno)
“……Ah, yes. I’ll have Himeno count them for me then.”(Ryoma)
“Okay. One, two, three, four….”(Himeno)
Himeno began to count the sweets in her bag meticulously. Ryoma is not particularly concerned about the number of sweets, but there’s a reason she insists on counting them.
“Himeno, don’t be so nervous. I think it’ll be hard to talk to you as it is
Himeno’s hand comes to a halt, and she glances at you with a bang. Her gleaming silver hair was trembling violently. Her anger is palpable.
Himeno’s hand came to a standstill, and she turned her head to face Ryoma. Her lustrous silver hair swayed violently in response to the force she used to turn her head over to Ryoma. Himeno was clearly in a lot of pain, and Ryoma could tell.
Ryoma was aware. He was aware that Himeno, who was preparing to get down to business, was reluctant. He could see she was terrified.
But now was the time to wash away all those emotions. It was a necessary move to calm Himeno down.
“I don’t know the details since I haven’t talked to you yet, but it’s not like you intentionally caused the problem, right? I know that you’re not the type of person who would do such a thing, Himeno, so don’t worry.”(Ryoma)
“..Not on purpose..this was really a…”(Himeno)
“It’s okay. I won’t get angry, so could Himeno please tell me the problem? I won’t rush you. Take your time. If you’re not comfortable with telling me about the whole thing, you can be vague about it; I don’t mind.”(Ryoma)
“Ah, thank you, Shiba. I knew you’d be nice to me….”(Himeno)
“Ah…don’t worry, this much is natural.”(Ryoma)
I couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed when Himeno genuinely expressed her thanks and gratitude towards me.
“Then, I’ll tell you right now.”(Himeno)
“Okay. Can I hear it then? I don’t mind if you do it while eating sweets.”(Ryoma)
Himeno was taken aback by Ryoma’s words. As she opened the package of cookies, she began to talk about what had happened today.
Himeno had always stated that she didn’t want a boyfriend, but she lied about Ryoma being her boyfriend from their first encounter. Her friend, Ami, questioned her on a variety of topics today. While she was pursuing Himeno, an acquaintance of Ami’s joined our conversation. However, Ami accidentally slipped up, informing him that Himeno had a boyfriend. As a result, now the entire university assumes that Himeno has a boyfriend.
She said all of it without hiding any piece of information from Ryoma at all.
“… Eh? As far as I can tell, Himeno isn’t to blame? Rather, I think I’m at fault here.”(Ryoma)
“Why? If I had told the truth, I wouldn’t have bothered you in the first place.”(Himeno)
“I was the one who deceived your friend into believing we were going out without your consent in the first place. It’s also tough for you to speak the truth about what happened to your friends, and there’s a part of you that believes doing so will bring me unnecessary problems, is that right?”(Ryoma)
“No, you didn’t do anything wrong, Shiba. You were just doing your job.”(Himeno)
“Himeno, you may say that, but in the end, it’s my fault….I can’t explain it to you right now, but I’m sure there was a better way for you to handle things.”(Ryoma)
Himeno doesn’t hold Ryoma responsible for what has occurred, assuring him that he was not at fault. On the other hand, Ryoma believes otherwise, even though he is truly to blame. It was apparent that their personalities were parallel to one another.
“Why are you trying to protect me, Shiba? Don’t you hate me?”(Himeno)
“I don’t mean to sound overprotective, but I don’t want you to feel so overwhelmed. If you told your friends the truth, there’s a chance that you may never speak to each other again, right? If that happens, wouldn’t it be difficult for you to go to college?”(Ryoma)
“Even I don’t want to push you that far, Shiba.”(Himeno)
“Don’t worry. I’m not pushing myself.”(Ryoma)
“It’s true! As you can see, the way I dress when I date and the way I dress when I go to college are two different things, right? So it won’t be easy for people to find out that I’m the guy dating Himeno, and as long as they don’t find out, there won’t be any problems. Well, I do have a little bit of anxiety about since Fuko-san saw right through me.”(Ryoma)
Himeno stopped chewing on the biscuit. She cast a quick glance at Ryoma as if to confirm whether he was telling the truth.
“I know you doubt me, but in this situation, I can always take it back. That’s why it’s okay for Himeno to stay as she is.”(Ryoma)
“Yeah, so ……?”(Himeno)
“That’s why you don’t have to tell your friends the truth.”(Ryoma)
Even if Himeno had a boyfriend, Ryoma would have no trouble as long as she does not reveal his face.
Another point to mention is that Himeno would have to hire a substitute boyfriend on a regular basis since people knew she had a boyfriend. She can’t just switch partners every now and then as long as her friends are watching her. It’s a little heinous, but it’s working out for Ryoma, who wishes to make some money.
“I’ll tell you what, if you can’t hide the name of your ‘boyfriend’ anymore, just mention my name. I’ll play the role of the boyfriend for you.”(Ryoma)
“As long as I’m doing this job, I’m prepared for that, and I’ll continue to work to protect you, Himeno.”(Ryoma)
“Are you sure?”(Himeno)
“Of course. If we take this form, it should all be okay. It would be like this. If you stop asking for me one day, or when you get a real boyfriend, we can make it look like we broke up. This way, the story won’t get twisted, and you won’t be affected negatively in any way.”(Ryoma)
Ryoma’s suggestion might have been different if he had known that Himeno was a celebrity at this university, the one and only ‘Loli Lynn’…., but this suggestion alone was enough to please Himeno heartwarmingly. She never expected that Ryoma would protect her in the faintest.
“…Thank you, I’ve decided, I’m still going to nominate you, Shiba.”(Himeno)
“Thank you. Then I’ll go with Himeno on that.”(Ryoma)
“Thank you, Shiba.”(Himeno)
“You’re welcome. Well then, let’s end this conversation and act a little spoiled, shall we? After all, I’ve still got all these snacks Himeno gave me.”(Ryoma)
“Are you sure about the money?”(Himeno)
“Haha, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s not through the company, so Himeno is not obligated to pay, and I have no right to receive it.”(Ryoma)
“Okay. Then I’ll give you a bunch of these instead……”(Himeno)
Himeno gave me five sweets in exchange for money. As though she was acting considerate, they were all various flavours of each type: grape, melon, strawberry, tangerine, and apple.
After Ryoma picked up the grape flavoured candy, Himeno also did the same.
“Oh, do you like grapes too, Himeno?”(Ryoma)
“Yup! I love them!”(Himeno)
Then Himeno placed the piece of candy into her mouth before Ryoma did. Her cheeks looked puffy after eating that piece of candy, almost as if her mouth was too tiny.
“Thank you for forgiving me for what I did today….”(Himeno)
“No, you don’t have to say it like that.”(Ryoma)
“I wanted to say it properly. Thank you …….”(Himeno)
Ryoma had a piece of candy in his mouth the entire time, most likely to save himself from embarrassment.
“What’s wrong? (Ryoma)
“I want to be friends with you,….Shiba”(Himeno)
Another sudden remark. Himeno appears to be wearing her usual mask, but there is something odd about her.
Perhaps it was the courage of her words, but her face was dyed red like autumn leaves. Furthermore, her skin was naturally pale, like snow, making her stand out even more than the others.
“I thought I was already your friend, Himeno? But, of course, that’s going to change when I’m working as an agent.”(Ryoma)
“Liar. You tried to run away from me earlier.”(Himeno)
“Ah, I couldn’t take in the situation very well at that time..that’s why I tried to run.”(Ryoma)
“Then I want you to give me….your contact information. It’s not against any rules since I’m not using the agency right now.”(Himeno)
“Oh, ha-ha. You’re right. It’s not against the rules.”(Ryoma)
“Then let’s exchange contact information. This way, our relationship won’t look so unnatural to others, and we can contact each other immediately just in case something happens.”(Ryoma)
“I’m sorry I overdid it just now. I’m pleased to be your friend starting from today, Shiba…”(Himeno)
“Don’t worry about it. If anything happens, you can call me right away.”(Ryoma)
Ryoma felt that Himeno had manipulated him well, but he agreed to exchange contact information with Himeno. In fact, there was no reason not to. If it weren’t for the agency’s rules, he would have given her his contact information right away. We both took out our phones and turned them on.
In contrast to Ryoma’s phone, which was wearing a plain plastic cover, Himeno’s cover was one made of silicone, adorned with a giant cactus, just like before. It was a sight Ryoma was used to seeing, but it still made him smile.
“Are you on Twitter yet, Shiba? Yup, this is the one.”(Himeno)
“I made an account once, but I didn’t know how to use it at all, so I just left it there.”(Ryoma)
“It’s alright. Since you already have an account, you can dm me.”(Himeno)
“Dm? Do you mean direct messaging?”(Ryoma)
“Nope. It’s known as individual emailing. I’ll teach you how to use it.”(Himeno)
“I’d appreciate it if you’d do that. I’ll be right back. Let me launch the app first.”(Ryoma)
I’ve been using Twittet for a while now. It’s also an app that I’ve been neglecting for a long time because it’s so difficult to learn how to do.
[TL Notes: if you think I misspelt Twittet, you’re mistaken, this is how it’s written in the novel, apparently]
“Let’s see. So this would be my account, huh ……”(Ryoma)
Ryoma showed Himeno the screen he had opened.
From the start, there was a shortage of profile photos and other types of information. There was no self-introduction, and the number of followers was a pitiful zero. It appears to be a newly formed account.
“First, I’ll demonstrate on my account. Press the button on the magnifying glass to bring up the search screen.”(Himeno)
“Like this, right?”(Ryoma)
“Hmm, then go to ..the… search screen and lookup the name Debiru. Using Hiragana.”(Himeno)
“DEBIRU”? Is that correct?”(Ryoma)
“Don’t ask me about it…… it’s embarrassing.”(Himeno)
Ryoma does what Himeno tells him to do and searches for the name “DEBIRU”. Then, The screen displayed all the accounts with the name “DEBIRU” in a row.
“Wow, there are so many account’s with the same name.”(Ryoma)
“The one at the top, that’s my account.”(Himeno)
“The top one is ……? Is that the one called DEBIRU-CHAN?”(Ryoma)
“You…don’t have to repeat it…”(Himeno)
Ryoma glanced at Himeno for confirmation, but she turned away from him. Even though it was a name she had given herself, she appears to be ashamed.
The home screen displayed as soon as Ryoma clicked on Debiru-Chan’s account. There, he could see her name, self-introduction, number of followers, and the people she was following.
“Heh~. So this is Himeno’s account,…huh? You have one, ten, thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand followers,……, Hmm? She draws manga and writes for,….., Hah?! HIMENO’S A MANGA ARTIST?!”(Ryoma)
Following Himeno’s self-introduction, Ryoma went on to check the number of followers, only to return with a puzzled look on his face.
“W-wa-wait a minute!? Himeno’s that DEBIRU-CHAN!? You can’t be serious!?”(Ryoma)
Ryoma involuntarily showed his true colours. Since he works at a bookstore and frequently talks with Aira and the others, he could identify pen names better than most.
“I’m sure you’ve published a manga or something, right? A romantic comedy series to speak.”(Ryoma)
“You don’t have to be so shy about it…….”(Ryoma)
Himeno informs Ryoma on her behalf for the first time. “I’m a student, but I’m making money,” she explained. That was indeed true.
PN pen name, DeBiru-chan. A famous romantic comedy manga artist who also works as an illustrator for novels.
“How does Shiba know about this in the first place? This Pen name.”(Himeno)
“I also work part-time at a bookstore, so I often hear this name a lot. More specifically, the regulars there love Himeno’s manga.”(Ryoma)
“Too many coincidences…..”(Himeno)
It would be tempting for Himeno, a well-known manga artist, to flaunt her work to everyone she knows, but instead, she conceals her emotions and works silently and stoically.
“But I didn’t realize Himeno was a manga artist……. It’s amazing.”(Ryoma)
“Hurry up and follow me. Don’t keep looking around.”(Himeno)
[Tl Notes: Himeno is probably telling Ryoma to hurry on with his Twittet account and to stop getting distracted by every little thing.]
“I’m sorry. I was just really surprised.”(Ryoma)
Himeno proceeded to pat Ryoma on the shoulder, who was in a state of awe after looking through Himeno’s account.
As a result, a few seconds after Ryoma follows DeBiru-chan, he gets followed back. This brings the mutual relationship between both parties to a close.
The number of people Debiru-chan was following was previously 2560. Now it is 2561.
Debiru-chan, who has 300,000 followers, followed my account. Her fans will undoubtedly ask, “Why is his account being followed by Debiru-chan?” It is unavoidable that fans will have an opinion.
“The next step is to send individual emails. All you have to do is press the button in the shape of a letter, and you’ll get your mail.”(Himeno)
“Here or at ……. can I try sending you something to try out how this works?”(Ryoma)\
Himeno has given her approval.
Ryoma pressed the letter button and moved to the DM screen. He touched the message entry box, considered the message’s content, and sent it.
It was the first thing Himeno saw when she opened her email.
『Thank’s for the lecture today, Debiru-chan~.』
Himeno was quick to swear at me, but it’s not like she hates it. Rather, this could be a way for her to hide her embarrassment as well.
“Ah, it’s better to keep the fact that Himeno is a manga artist a secret from everyone, right?”(Ryoma)
“But, are you sure you wanted to share this information with me? For all we know, there’s always a possibility of me sharing this to someone else, you know?”(Ryoma)
“I’ll tell you my secret since I got you in trouble, Shiba.”(Himeno)
“No, I don’t think it’s annoying, and even if it was, I don’t think it should be balanced by …… such information.”(Ryoma)
“This is also a testimony of trust. I want to get to know you better, Shiba.”(Himeno)
“You really say things like that without hesitation, don’t you, Himeno?”(Ryoma)
“Nevermind. It’s nothing.”(Ryoma)
Ryoma had no way of knowing. Among all his friends, he was the only one who had a work account. Himeno also maintained a personal account in addition to her business account, which he was aware of.
There were many reasons why Himeno asked me to friend her work account.
One, because her business account operates longer than her personal account.
Himeno can respond quickly to Ryoma’s messages as a result of this, prompting faster response rates.
And two. So that Himeno could easily distinguish Ryoma’s name from the people she was following.
If you told someone that you were a famous person in the industry, no doubt would the individual be aware of you for a certain period. Thus, Himeno speculated that Shiba might favour her for a while.
“Shiba, could you clear your schedule for December 24th?”(Himeno)
“December 24th is …… do you mean Christmas Eve!?”(Ryoma)
“Yes. Let’s go out on a date. (Himeno)
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.