Guys in the athletic clubs live in sports jerseys.
Well, right now I’m actually part of the broadcast club, but as a former baseball player I never really paid much attention to fashion. I’m happy with clothes so long as they fit me most of the time, honestly.
But, I guess even I wanted to wear something a little nicer when I was going out on a date with the girl I like. Not that I really have anything nice to wear.
Not too long after passing through the ticket gate at the station we were supposed to meet at, Kobayashi-san came running up to me with a big smile. My first thought was that she really was way too cute and my second was that my clothing would look even worse if I walked beside her like that.
“What the hell she’s too cute… Kobayashi-san is way too cute… Damn it…”
As I muttered to myself, Kobayashi-san must have heard something as she stuttered.
“Eh? Huh? W-what’s wrong all of a sudden, Endo-kun? Um… I’m sorry I kept you waiting?”
Kobayashi-san looking confused was cute as well.
The hair that she usually kept in a loose ponytail was braided up in a chignon. With a sleeveless white t-shirt under a haori cardigan, a light blue knee length skirt and pricey looking black heeled sandals, she looked neat and pretty. The straw bag under her arm was cute as well.
“Ah, no, I just got here too early. A-anyways, I’m the one who should be sorry, Kobayashi-san, you put in so much effort but I just came wearing…”
It was still five minutes before we were supposed to meet.
Seeing how different Kobayashi-san looked from when she was at home, with those clothes and that slight hint of makeup, I’m sure she must have taken some time to prepare. Considering how little time I took, I was the one who was slow to get here. Actually, I wasn’t really slow at all. I got here fifteen minutes ago. What the hell am I thinking about?
I was just wearing what I typically wore; a team’s shirt, three-quarter jeans, normal sandals and a sling bag. That was it. I wanted to die. How could such a slobby existence like me walk next to such a cute girl?
“Umm, I don’t really get why you’re so depressed all of a sudden, but Endo-kun, you have a good build, so even if what you’re wearing isn’t anything special, you still look cool…?”
Oh, an angel?
As Kobayashi-san tried to comfort me like that, I almost cried.
“No, we were supposed to be celebrating, and it’s a date, so I should have put more effort in.”
When I said that, shaking my head, she had a troubled little smile on her face.
“Um, then, in preparation for our next date, do you want to go look at some clothes after eating?”
“Thanks. I’ll leave it to you.”
Eh? Did she just say next? Seriously?
After realizing exactly just what Kobayashi-san meant, it was like fireworks were going off in my head.
Not just breaking up after eating lunch together, but even going shopping together with a promise of ‘next time’…
“Alright, it’s decided. Now, let’s go get some food! We’re gonna miss our reservation!”
With that, Kobayashi-san turned around and began to walk towards the station building.
I made a reservation at a restaurant that specialized in sweets and pasta. We still had a bit of time left before our reservation, but it would probably be best to get there early.
As I tried to follow after Kobayashi-san who had begun to bound ahead, I panicked when suddenly a wave of people came through the ticket gates behind us. A train must have just arrived.
But, just as I was worried we might get separated…
A stranger who ran out of that crowd of people suddenly caught Kobayashi-san’s arm, yelling something incomprehensible. What the hell is an Eifa?
“N-no, let me… go…!”
Even though I saw Kobayashi-san struggle feebly as he held her, no matter how much I grit my teeth I couldn’t push past the crowd of people between us to get there.
“…You’re… not Eifa…?”
The man, still holding Kobayashi-san’s arm, had a puzzled expression after invasively looking her up and down. Was Eifa a person’s name? Who?
“What do you want from her?”
When I finally managed to push my way through and glared at the man, he, at last, let go of her arm.
I started at the man’s face as he absent-mindedly looked at Kobayashi, still seeming confused.
I assumed he was about 185 centimetres tall, but it’s hard to tell at a glance. At any rate, he’s tall. Despite looking slightly suspicious having those sunglasses that were slightly too big for his face on, what little I could see of his face was neatly framed and he seemed a little stylish as well. His clothes looked like they’d come straight out of a fashion catalogue; a summer jacket and leather shoes. Yet despite how rich and popular he might look, there was something ultimately suspicious about him.
“…Ah. Um, sorry. Eifa was, uh, is my lover, she just looked so similar that I… um, it was my mistake…”
Then, the man finally lowered his head. Kobayashi-san breathed out a sigh of relief. A case of mistaken identity? Maybe he really isn’t a dangerous guy, then.
“But, you do smell slightly like Eifa, though. But for her to be in this world… No, it’s impossible…”
Mumbling to himself, he began to talk so fast I could barely understand. Nevermind, he really is a dangerous guy.
“Smell…? What’s with that… That’s gross… Is it my shampoo? Or, maybe the perfume I’m wearing today…?”
Kobayashi-san slowly backed away with an expression to match.
I guess that explains why I thought she smelt so good. As the crowd kept pushing me on, I eventually came right up next to Kobayashi-san. Well, since there was such a suspicious person in front of us, I wasn’t going to leave her side again.
“Ahh… No, I don’t mean like… I’m sorry, I’m really sorry. There’s been a misunderstanding. It’s just that, the person I love, I haven’t met her in so long, it’s been hard to bear how lonely it is and, well, I was just a little confused…”
The man said that as he lowered his head in apology again.
A little my ass, get the hell out of here, you creep.
“So basically, you’re working on your pick up game? If you’re finished, can you hurry up and leave already?”
When I finally lost my cool and angrily told him that, the man raised his head, startled.
“That’s not it! I would never do something awful like that! Pick up… Something like that, I don’t need to, I don’t want to… Ah, I really must look suspicious to you!”
The man made his excuses as he waved his hands in front of his face.
“Ah, um, I am…”
Cutting his words short, the man looked around quickly.
The torrent of people who had poured through the ticketing gate had finally moved on.
After double checking, the man slowly removed his sunglasses and showed his face.
What emerged from under those glasses was a perfectly groomed and stunning beauty. I guess he wasn’t lying when he said he didn’t need to bother with pick up lines. No, wait, haven’t I seen that face before.
Before I could put a name to the face, Kobayashi-san spoke.
That’s right, there was a young actor with that name, wasn’t there?
Looking slightly relieved after Kobayashi-san correctly mentioned his name, he once again hid that gentle beauty behind his sunglasses.
“That’s right. I wanted you to believe me that I’m not the kind of person who would try and hit on people in such a situation so frivolously like that. It really was just a mistake.”
The man lowered his head again. I wasn’t ready to completely accept he was the same actor straight away, but I had to admit that anyone with a face like that wouldn’t be caught dead trying out such lame pick up routines.
“I got it. Then, we’ll be going.”
With a sterner expression than I’d ever seen from her, Kobayashi-san gave a curt nod and began to walk again.
If it was my big or little sister here with me instead, I’m sure they would’ve taken the opportunity to chat and take some pictures with a big name celebrity they suddenly ran into like that. I wonder how many things they’d try make him sign…
So as I wondered if Kobayashi-san was fine with it, her stoutly swinging arms didn’t slacken at all as she looked up at me with big eyes. Cute.
“I’m not interested. We’re seriously gonna be late if we stick around too long.”
As she kept walking, before chasing after her in earnest, I turned back towards Kuon Kirise and gave a slight bow of my head.
It was hard to tell from behind his sunglasses, but for some reason, I felt like he had a complicated expression on his face.
Back then I should have hugged her tight to me even though she was looking so delicate at the time but ahhhhh jeez when she looked up at me like that it was so cute I wish I could have just lived in that moment forever…!
As I went over and over those moments at the station in my mind, I stabbed another piece of the pasta dish I don’t remember ordering with my fork. Just why exactly did I get an eggplant dish? I don’t even like eggplant. As the unpleasant flavour of eggplant spread through my mouth, I felt a little bit of my sanity return. Isn’t this throwing me a little too out of whack?
“…Just what was that? The stuff from before.”
Finally deciding I was tired of being confused alone about the situation with Kuon Kirise from earlier, I spoke to Kobayashi-san, who finished chewing on her salad before answering.
“Ummm, I don’t really know anything about the whole ‘Eifa’ thing, but since it’s Kuon Kirise, it still makes me wonder, you know?”
When Kobayashi-san realized I had no idea what she meant, she reached out and gently took one of the pieces of bread from the basket.
“Oh, so you don’t know about it, Endo?”
“Uh, let me see… Kuon Kirise and MagiKoi are… they’re connected somehow, right? But I can’t really say if what he said was important or not… Yeah…”
Kobayashi-san herself said that she didn’t know what Kuon Kirise was talking about either.
“Umm… You know about the hidden route in MagiKoi, right? The God route.”
Despite being a little in the dark before, I could at least nod my head along to that.
“Um, that God character who was only a voice in all the other routes was actually a guy you could capture, right?”
When Finne awakens after Baldur is injured or killed in the other routes, she hears the voice of 【God】 speak to her and say ‘My dear child, do not weep’, but if you clear all the other routes including every normal and bad end, you unlock the chance to capture him too.
I wasn’t quite sure of myself, but Kobayashi-san nodded at my words.
“Right. Finnemama’s father is a Duke, so the pretty far-fetched explanation was that Finne could hear the voices of the Gods by being a descendant of a branch of the royal family, and that leads to the God Route. And in that secret ending Finne, who became the bride of God, is taken to the world where he lives, which looks remarkably like modern Japan… And, well, do you know the rest?”
As I shook my head, Kobayashi-san gently nodded and continued.
“You don’t know, then? I guess you wouldn’t, huh. Well, it turns out that ‘God’ was actually an actor who goes to K University whilst moonlighting as a deity, going by the name ‘Quon’.”
That’s… Isn’t that pretty much a one for one with Kuon Kirise?
“Even though apparently it was all coincidental, the fact that his character model resembled him as well was too much, and eventually people started going all ‘Eh? There’s a game where you can romance Kuon Kirise-kun, and he’s a God as well? Kirise-kun is a God so the game must be Godly as well’, it turned into quite the rage amongst the Kuon Kirise groupies for a while because of that, didn’t it?”
Well, coincidences do happen, so maybe that all really was one. But…
“But if you combine all that with the fact we have a strange connection to the world of MagiKoi now as well, and adding on to that the weird things the real Kuon Kirise was saying, don’t you feel like we’re getting swept up into something really big all of a sudden?”
As I quietly asked her that with a slight shiver, Kobayashi-san calmly nodded.
“Hey…? I know the name that he called me before was ‘Eifa’, not ‘Finne’, so I can’t be one hundred per cent sure, but that bad feeling, it’s still there…”
I really did want this to just be some kind of strange coincidence.
Kobayashi-san just had the fortune to by chance run into a good looking actor, and that was the end of it. I wanted to think that.
As my face grew more and more rigid, Kobayashi-san suddenly called out to me with a smile.
“By the way, I see you’ve been leaving all the big pieces of eggplant alone, don’t you like them? Or are you saving them to eat all at once?”
I don’t like them.
But, for some reason, I didn’t want to say it.