I, a Lonely Otaku Was Surrounded by Some of the Most Beautiful Girls on Campus and Was Called Riajuu Before I Knew It - Episode 49
- I, a Lonely Otaku Was Surrounded by Some of the Most Beautiful Girls on Campus and Was Called Riajuu Before I Knew It
- Episode 49 - "I Need Your Help"
“―Sorry for making you wait.”
When I went to the park where I was called, Alice-san was already there.
And beside her stood the female escort who had been there during the day.
It seems that Aria-san is not around.
“I’m tired of waiting. Kai is too cocky for his own good.”
“Eh? Ah, I’m sorry…”
I was momentarily surprised by Alice-san’s words.
I didn’t expect her to reply like that, and her mood was different somehow.
The lazy atmosphere during the daytime or the previous time we met is gone.
Or rather, what does she mean by cocky?
Why am I being blamed in such an unwarranted way?
“I’ll be frank. I need your help, Kai.”
I listened to Alice-san’s words and observed her expression.
However, her face was expressionless just now.
I can’t read her emotions like this.
If that’s the case, I’ll just have to guess from Alice-san’s words…
Still though, why do they need my help?
I’m sure the timing is right for the match between Aria-san and Kirara― But honestly, as long as Aria-san has a strategy, she shouldn’t need my help.
Before that, the fact that she asked me to lend her my strength, does this person realize that I’m KAI?
“I know you’re confused when I suddenly tell you this. To be honest, Alice still wanted to enjoy this relationship.”
“Enjoy this relationship…?”
“Yes― But, things have changed. Which is why, Kai, I need you to crush Aria’s scheme.”
I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Alice-san’s words.
Did she just say that she wants me to crush Aria…?
Why is it that Alice-san, also Aria-san’s sister, said such a thing…?
I look at the escort woman next to Alice-san, who is probably a little older than me.
Far from being surprised by Alice-san’s words, she was unconcerned, as if nothing had happened.
…What is she aiming for…?
“Why are you asking me to do this?”
“All Aria cares about is preying on the people around her. For now, she still listens to Alice, but she may eventually start to ignore even Alice’s restraint. That’s why I want to defeat and frustrate her once and for all while I can. However, there aren’t many people who can crush Aria. I had one person in mind, but he’s working on something else right now, so it’s probably not possible for the time being. Just when I thought that, the opportunity came. A chance to put Kai’s existence up against Aria’s―.”
When Alice said that, she turned her strong gaze to me.
The way she said it, it’s pretty obvious that she knows I’m KAI…
Besides, the whole Aria-san thing makes sense.
She even dared to challenge Kirara, whom she had just met again, to a fight, and she had heard rumors that she was involved in various places.
That’s probably why Alice thought it was dangerous.
For the time being, let’s go through the story one-by-one…
“How long have you been aware of my true identity?”
That was the first thing I asked her.
When I asked that, Alice-san’s escort pulled away from us.
I’m sure she decided that this was something she shouldn’t know about.
“I’ve noticed this since we met at Byodoin Systems.”
I knew it…
“You’ve been listening to us through the door, haven’t you?”
“That’s not true. I can’t hear you when you’re not talking that loud.”
“When Alice went to Byodoin Systems, she thought it was strange that the tea boy who came in through the back door was in a good mood with Kai and showed you to a room right next to him. I thought it was strange that he didn’t take you to the back room where the executives were usually ushered in, it was weird that the tea boy was trying to be nice to a kid as old as a student in the first place.”
I’m sure she’s referring to Shinjo― Ah, by the way, did you know that the term “tea boy” is used to describe someone who defers to authority?
Well, that’s certainly a fitting nickname for the man.
While I was thinking about the nickname Alice had called him, she continued to speak.
“So Alice checked the entry arrangements. There were only names of people from some kind of company there. And there’s one thing I can tell you about entering the room right near the back door. That is― there are no security cameras on the way. That’s how I knew it was KAI.”
“I see… But, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that it was just a coincidence, does it?”
“I suppose you’re right. But, those are the things that Alice taught Kai. I’m sure of it.”
“―!” (TLN: Finally, A-san is officially revealed lol)
I was surprised by Alice-san’s words.
What Alice-san taught Kai, in other words―.
“You know, Kai― It’s hard for talented people to be understood, isn’t it? They’re hounded by adults who only care about their own interests.”
―Alice-san’s words made me realize that this person was really A-san.
That’s because it’s an exchange that only she and I know.
“So you’re A-san…?”
Alice-san smiled and nodded at my words.
It was a different, gentler atmosphere than the one I had just experienced.
But― this leaves me with a lot of mysteries.
How could a girl like her be able to do so much?
Normally, this would be impossible you know?
“I know you have a lot of questions to ask. However, there are things that need to take precedence right now.”
I nodded to Alice’s words.
That’s right, now we were talking about defeating Aria-san.
But― If Alice is A-san, wouldn’t it be easy to stop Aria-san?
“Couldn’t Alice-san have set her up to fail?”
“Even if Alice did, Aria probably wouldn’t care. It’s not that she’s frustrated, it’s that she thinks it’s normal. So it has to be someone else, not Alice. Besides, Aria is an important little sister to Alice, so even if I say I’m going to crush her, I don’t want to suppress her, I want her to use this setback as an opportunity to grow.”
Alice said and smiled a little sadly.
I kind of understood her feelings, though.
Even though it was a necessary thing, she probably didn’t want to hurt the people she cared about.
However, I believe that this will lead to Aria’s growth, so I’m trying to give her a setback.
“But still― I thought A-san was quite a bit older…”
I said frankly.
I had no idea that A-san was a girl my age, at least not in the way that I thought.
“When Kai once said to me, ‘A-san is like another parent to me,’ I thought, ‘Alice, you’re in middle school and you’re already a mom.'”
Alice-san said so, as if she was laughing at the memory.
…Did I actually say that…?
Ah, I think I did say that though…
I really thought of A-san as a parent at the time,…….
But― a middle school mom…
I don’t know, there’s something about that idea that attracts me…
“Hey Kai― Do you remember the time when Alice asked you to join Seiryou Gakuen?”
When I was thinking about something stupid, Alice asked me in a serious voice, but with no expression on her face.
Yes, I remember. At the time Alice said that if I kept going, I would understand why… But, in the end I still don’t understand, you know?”
“It was― Alice’s way of atoning for her sins.”
“Yes, the reason I asked Kai to join Seiryou Gakuen was because I wanted to help the Saijo girl through him.”
Alice-san nodded her head at my words.
What do you mean…?
Why did Alice-san want to help Kirara?
To begin with, 一what on earth were you planning to save her from?
“A couple of months before I asked Kai to help, Aria challenged the Saijo girl to a match, just like this one.”
“…What kind of match was that?”
To be honest, I kind of knew from Kirara’s story that she already had a match with Aria-san in the past.
In other words, it was probably from Aria-san that Kirara had escaped in the past.
“It was a popularity contest held every year at Alice’s school. However, there was nothing to bet on at that time.”
“Eh…? That’s all…?”
Isn’t that strange…?
Will Kirara escape for that reason alone…?
“The game itself was not so bad― But the result was terrible.”
“…What was the result…?”
“All of the votes went to Aria, except for the one that the Saijo girl put in herself.”
…I understand now…
That certainly comes to mind.
And now I understand why Kirara called Aria a dirty person.
It’s not like this was done in a straight game, by any stretch of the imagination.
“It’s not like there was much of a difference in popularity between the two of them, is there?”
“Yes. The two of them were different types, but they were the two tops of the school. Aria was very active and led everyone, while the Saijo girl was a quiet and gentle person who loved her friends, especially the younger students.”
…Kirara was a quiet and kind person…?
Silly, are you sure that was the right person…?
“You seem to have a very different image from the Kirara I know…?”
“I think it’s because the Saijo girl was trying to be like Aria. When I met her today, she had dyed her hair blonde and her tone of voice was just like Aria. She used to have a gentle way of speaking…”
Well, so that’s what happened…
If that’s the case, then I really can’t forgive A-ri-a.
I’m not sure how much more she’s going to ruin Kirara’s life.
“I have one more question― Why did such a quiet Kirara compete in a match against Aria?”
I’ve already called Aria by her name.
She doesn’t deserve to be called with an honorific title. (TLN: For those who don’t understand this, earlier MC was referring to Aria as “Aria-san”, wherein -san is the honorific title and if you’re not using them, that would mean you’re very familiar/friends with the person or you’re being straight up rude towards them. Read more here)
“She refused the match at first. However―because of that, Aria targeted her best friend. And to protect her best friend, the Saijo girl had no other choice but to accept the match.”
“…How sly of her… But wait a minute. If that’s the case, why didn’t the best friend vote for Kirara who went that far…?”
Earlier, Alice-san said that the only vote that went to Kirara was from herself.
This means that no one other than Kirara herself voted.
“The company run by the father of her best friend was a trading company of the Byodoin Conglomerate. However, we were in a position to give it to her, so Aria took advantage of that to blackmail her best friend into joining our side.”
“She did similar things to the other students, didn’t she…?”
“It varies. Some of the girls were let in because of Aria’s original popularity, while others were let in through threats like that. There were also some who tried to flatter Aria. But the Saijo girl was just trying to gain popularity, so she was completely defeated by Aria, who was working behind the scenes.”
“…So then, why are you trying to atone for that, Alice-san?”
I was sick of hearing about what Aria had done, so I decided to change the subject.
“Everything Aria did, was something that Alice taught her to do.”
Alice said, and closed her eyes.
It appeared as if she was doing penance.
“Wha―!? In other words, you were the one who tricked Kirara!?”
I couldn’t hide my surprise at Alice-san’s words.
I assumed that Aria had done this all on her own.
“Yes. Alice at the time was letting Aria do whatever she wanted. Aria had a hard time being compared to Alice since she was a child. She was really great, but none of the adults around her cared about her. The reason why she still tries to climb to the top by kicking down everyone around her is because that’s the only way she can show herself off. Alice had given Aria a hard time because of her, so she decided to give her everything she wanted. So, when Aria asked me to teach her how to play against the Saijo girl and how to win perfectly, I taught her everything.”
“In other words… You never cared what would happen to Kirara…?”
“Yes. When I saw how the Saijo girl broke down in tears when the matter was settled, Alice did not think anything of it.”
“Then why did you want to atone for your sins…?”
“After a while, when the Saijo girl stopped coming to school after losing the game, others heard that she was also disowned by her own family. After that, the smiles disappeared from all the other students that Aria had threatened and made her allies… the same people who actually adored the Saijo girl. Some of them even stopped coming to school. We have taken away the smiles of so many people. That’s why Alice regretted her actions and decided to prevent the Saijo girl from being completely disowned.”
Kirara was so popular that she was named as one of the two tops at school.
If you really admired such a person, they might have thought that it was their fault that Kirara was disowned from her home.
No, on the contrary, when Kirara lost the match, they must have felt an intense sense of guilt.
Aria had been working behind the scenes so that Kirara would not notice.
That’s why the students who were threatened were only told about it by her― they must have thought that even if they didn’t vote for Kirara, it would be okay because her popularity would not be affected.
However, as the saying goes, “If all the dust settles, it becomes a mountain,” and because everyone had such thoughts, as a result, not a single vote was cast for Kirara.
If that was true, I could have lost faith in humanity.
Yet, Kirara must be really strong-hearted to be so unconcerned now.
“In order to prevent Kirara from being disowned, Alice-san instructed me to support her so that she could get the first place in the school hierarchy, right?”
“Yes… But because of that incident, I had to cut my connections with Kai.”
…She had to cut connection with me…
This means that if she had kept in touch with me, there would have been a risk that other people would have gotten involved.
“But Kai, who has a painful past, can understand how the Saijo girl feels. Alice didn’t need to tell him what to do, she just needed him to make the connection, so she made sure that Kai and Saijo would be in the same class for three years.”
I tilted my head at Alice-san’s words.
Our school is a public school, but…?
I don’t think our school is as flexible as private schools though…?
But the fact is that we were in the same class for two years…
Or rather, does that mean we’ll be in the same class next year?
“All adults are vulnerable to those who have power. Especially in Alice’s case, public officials are easier to get through to.”
I didn’t even ask a question, but Alice told me what I was wondering.
However, what’s that easy to get through…
Really, what kind of connections does she even have…
“I’m glad to hear things worked out well for you two, because it looks like the two of you came out to play today… Really, you both got along so well that you even got to play…”
Is it just me, or did the intonation of the words around the end seem to drop…?
“Returning to the topic at hand, does Kai know what Aria’s plan is?”
I was feeling a little self-conscious, and Alice-san asked me that.
“Before that, I have something to ask, is it true that Aria doesn’t know anything about stocks?”
“Yes, Aria doesn’t know anything about stocks.”
“I was convinced when I heard her say that. But― I don’t know what Aria’s after.”
“Yeah, other people may not understand, but Kai will.”
In my words, Alice-san said something absurd.
“What do you think I am…? I’m not a psychic, okay? If other people can’t understand it, how am I supposed to understand it?”
“Do you really think so? You don’t have any idea?”
This reminds me of one thing that I do know.
But that was something I decided that it was not the right time.
But I don’t have any other ideas.
Which means, it all comes down to…
“Is it possible that the deadline has been moved earlier?”
“That’s right. Alice instructed Aria to accelerate the timing of the deadline a long time ago, so the timing of the actual deadline is less than two weeks.”
…I’m sure it’s not that simple…
There must be a lot of procedures that need to be followed if the timing of the deadline is to be changed.
That means they must have been working to speed up the deadline at a time when they didn’t even know if the production would be ready in time.
…So that’s why Shinjo was so relieved at that time.
It’s not a good thing to have a program that’s not ready when the deadline is coming so soon.
“Then, did Alice give the orders to shorten the deadline?”
“Why did you do it?”
Because Kai said the deadline was three months and he was being lazy.”
Did I hear that wrongly?
If I’m not mistaken, she just said something about me underestimating the three month deadline…?
“Wa-wait a minute!? Normally, a program like that takes several years to make!? What do you mean you’re licking your chops in three months?”
“That’s if a normal human does it, right? Kai was well versed in AI knowledge and anti-virus software, and he had a complete grasp of the original program. Besides, he had done something similar to this AI created in the past. So it should have taken only a month to do, but three months is a joke.”
Eh… why is she being so tough on me all of a sudden…?
I’ve gotten a lot of praise as a KAI, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever gotten this much criticism…?
“B-but… I’ve lost a lot of sleep over this one, and I’ve been working on it as hard as I can…?”
“That’s because you were preoccupied with other things. Kai being cheeky is a habit, especially when it comes to girls.”
E-ehh, just how much does this person know about me…?
I’m afraid, afraid to even ask for confirmation of that…
“That’s why we shortened the time frame for the deadline, so that if Kai couldn’t make it in time, Alice could give him a good spanking.”
“…That’s just strange! It’s wrong on so many levels! It’s not fair of the company to shorten the deadline just because of that!?”
“When I told Aria that we could get KAI if we did, she was happy to change it.”
“…These sisters are out of their minds…”
When I said this to Alice-san, she smiled happily.
…This is so strange, I didn’t compliment her, so why does she have this look on her face…?
It doesn’t matter right now!
At any rate, now that I know what Aria is aiming for, I can make my move.
“I’ll agree to crush Aria, but― are you sure? This will do a lot of damage to the Byodoin Systems, right?”
I changed my mind and asked Alice.
“Don’t worry. If we’re going to win for sure, Kai still needs to talk to Alice.”
“…Just how far did you even think ahead…”
I bitterly chuckled at Alice-san’s words.
I tried to get a favorable deal by negotiating from here, but our intentions have already been exposed.
“But before that, Alice will also participate in this competition on Aria’s side.”
“…Why are you doing that…?”
I asked Alice-san in return.
After all, isn’t this just strange!?
She told me to crush Aria, but why is she going to join the other side!?
You’ve got to decide to be quiet about it!
“No worries, I’ll just do what Aria asks me to do and nothing else.”
“…I see, so you’re the one who’s supposed to be responsible for mediating this?”
Alice-san neither affirmed nor denied my question.
However, you can tell that she’s affirming it just by that.
Well, if that’s the only way you’re going to participate, there’s no problem.
In the first place, I knew I wouldn’t cut corners to ensure a win, so I knew there would be a role for Aria to read as long as she didn’t know anything about stocks.
Then again, I don’t care about that anymore.
“I understand―Well then Alice-san, please make a deal with me.”
I said that to Alice-san, and we made a deal―.