“Wha… W-w-w-w-w-what is the meaning of this!?”
In the school’s infirmary. After I sat her down on one of the two beds and closed the curtains around us, I held a mirror up to Charlotte’s (Note: Contents may differ to what was advertised) face, at which she screamed at the top of her lungs. I thought to myself just how thankful I was that the school nurse wasn’t around.
“Why… Why am I in the body of that bumpkin girl…!?”
She touched her face with trembling fingers as she stared wide-eyed at the mirror as if she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Of course, the reflection she stared at in the mirror copied her movements exactly, proving that this was real.
“I-if you mean to tell me this is true… Then, not even a few hours ago, when I covered that bumpkin girl with a pale full of rotten banana skins…!?”
Ah, that was a pretty cruel thing to do, wasn’t it?
“Then that’s in my hair now!?”
Oh, this is that ‘hoisted by your own petard’ thing, right?
As if she had finally reached the peak of her anger, it slowly began to bubble away as she regained a little bit of her composure. If it keeps up like this, we might actually be able to talk soon.
Thinking that I made the mistake of trying to call her by her outward appearance.
“Once again, hello there, Miss Oliver.”
“I am the one and only daughter of the prestigious Aldington family, Eileen! You shall not mistake me for that bumpkin girl ever again!”
The girl with the reddish brunette hair screamed at me with a face that was a much deeper shade of red. However, that face of hers became pale just as quickly.
Because, in front of her was a girl who was the spitting image of that ‘one and only daughter of the prestigious Aldington family’ was standing right in front of her… in other words, me.
“Just what on earth is the meaning of this? Answer me at once!”
Even if I’m asked that, I’m still not so sure myself.
“Don’t deceive me!”
She threw a pillow at me, forcing me to catch it before it hit my face. That said, she threw it with so little power it wasn’t a hard catch at all.
“Just how have you taken over my body!? I will not accept you attempting to pull the wool over my eyes!”
Even if I did know, I doubt there’s anything that she could do to me… Oh, that was quite a villainess-ish line, wasn’t it?
“No, to be honest, I’m in a bit of a bind too, since I have no clue where I am right now. Before I knew it, I was suddenly sitting in the classroom with your face and name… Then, I heard a scream, and when I went to see what was going on, I saw you at the bottom of the stairs. Please believe me, Miss… Eileen?”
I suppose I’ll appease her there. But, it didn’t seem to do much to endear her to me. That voice of hers was still full of suspicion as she spoke out to me.
“…Then, just why do you know my name?”
“Did you forget? You said it yourself.”
“I suppose I did, didn’t I…?”
Oh, that’s surprising… she’s actually a little easy to string along.
“Actually, I was sort of hoping that you’d know more about what was going on here, Eileen.”
“I do not know anything at all about this.”
Eileen turned away from me slightly as she kept speaking.
“So, what you mean to tell me is that you have also simply been ‘caught up’ in this situation, is that it?”
“Yeah, something like that?”
Eileen clicked her tongue in frustration.
“Then what use are you to me…”
Well, sorry about that.
I guess we’ve reached a bit of an impasse now, though. It’s not as if I have any idea what’s going on, but one way or another I needed to move forward to solve this situation. Basically, the question on my mind is ‘Can I coach Eileen to do that?’.
Hmm… I dunno…
“What is your name?”
Suddenly, Eileen spoke out to me.
“Of course, your real name.”
Obviously, she was the last person who I needed to inform about the owner of this body’s name.
I gave her my name, the name of a university student who should have just been playing a normal game in her clubroom back in Tokyo.
“…Certainly, a strange name, is it not?”
I figured that this was just part of her ‘villainess’ character and she was trying to make a fool out of me, but…
“What exactly is your given name, then? Kusu? Kusuno?”
I quickly realized she genuinely didn’t understand, as she repeated syllables to me with a confused frown.
“Kusunoki is my family’s name and Konomi is my first name. Where I’m from, we say our family’s name first.”
“Hmm…? Then, Konomi will do fine, then? Konomi, what is your occupation and background?”
“I’m a nineteen-year-old student and I attend a university in a country called Japan.”
“Ja…? I have never heard of such a place.”
“It’s a small island nation, it’s fine if you haven’t heard of it.”
Actually, maybe there really isn’t a ‘Japan’ in this world at all? I don’t know, but if she hasn’t heard of it, then it boils down to the same thing.
“Do you know what a university is?”
“I understand that much, thank you very much. It is a place to develop excellent young men of talent.”
Meanwhile, I was just a useless student who skipped a lecture to play this game. Well, I didn’t tell her that, since I didn’t want to complicate things too much.
“However, with that in mind, just why have we swapped places?”
To be precise, this isn’t really a ‘swap’. Instead, it feels like we’ve both moved through phases of a circuit system. Something pushed me to enter Eileen’s body, and because of that Eileen was auto-assigned into the nearest available ‘free’ spot on the circuit, which was the body of Charlotte.
And, of course, the reason for that is because ‘This next-gen VR game is a buggy mess’, but I don’t think Eileen would understand that explanation at all…
Listen, that’s my explanation and I’m sticking to it.
The door to the infirmary opened.