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To read the original novel: http://novel.comico.jp/1210/
This is NOT an official English translation.
Translated by Sayuri (Flower Moon Translations)
Chapter 13: The Method to Skillfully Make Her Win in A Beauty Contest -2- (Amano and the Idol)
* * *
Once he parted ways with Takagi, Amano ran through the campus and headed towards the second floor of a certain building.
The second floor was lined up with various clubrooms for social circles. Wherein, one of the rooms belonged to MARA.
On the wall of MARA’s clubroom, the participants of the beauty contest had their portrait photo posted. The voting for the beauty contest would be hosted on the day of the school festival but to survey the popularity beforehand, they prepared a space to put a small circle sticker below the portrait photo of each participant. The more the stickers, the higher the popularity.
Below the photo of Maeshima Yuuko, small circle stickers were pasted with no gaps. There was no empty space. It was 10 times the amount of the other participants.
“Tch. She’s really trailing last.”
Below the picture of Takagi Miho’s picture was a just a pitiful single sticker. Amano felt the harshness of a disparate society.
“I’ll be intruding.”
Without knocking, he threw open the door to MARA’s clubroom. The club members were taken aback by the sudden visitor who was wearing a white lab coat.
“Ah, is that you Amano?”
A guy, who was sitting at the furthest seat, stood up.
“It’s been a while, Kasai. It’s been 2 years since we met, huh..”
Despite looking surprised, the guy who was called Kasai greeted Amano with a smile.
“Yeah. I’m really indebted to you for that time. It’s rare to see you coming to our clubroom, though.”
“I want to talk to you. Could you lend me some of your time?”
“I regret to say that I don’t think I can take some time off. We’re in the middle of a preparatory meeting for next week’s beauty contest right now.”
Kasai was the head of the MARA club. He was the person-in-charge who organized the beauty contest. At that moment, what he said wasn’t a lie as he was truly busy.
“Don’t say something so distant.”
Amano approached him looking overly-friendly and hugged Kasai’s shoulders.
“Isn’t been a long time since we’ve met, after all. In fact, it’s a reunion between old friends. There had been various problems the last time, right?”
Kasai’s face stiffened.
“You came to me crying that time, didn’t you? Let me jog your memory about what happened before this. Towards the son of a doctor, you requested for after-pil……”
“W, WAIT A MINUTE!”
He cut off Amano’s words in a hurry. He looked at the club members and announced.
“L, let’s take a short break. We’ll resume after 15 minutes. Concerning the after shooting for the TV commercial, let’s do another meeting again.”
While he let out a sigh, Kasai faced Amano.
“There’s a smoking area at the emergency staircase. Let’s speak there.”
“Yeah, that’ll do.”
Amano nodded his head in satisfaction, and as he continued to wrap his arms around Kasai’s shoulder, he headed towards the emergency staircase.
Once the two checked that there was no one in the smoking area, they both took out their cigarettes.
“I’m honestly really busy right now. I hope you make it brief.”
He entreated while he lit his cigarette up.
“……Also, please don’t speak about what happened in the past in front of everyone else……”
“Ahaha! I didn’t really have any intention of exposing you, though. My mouth is sealed. I just wanted you to get flustered, that’s all.”
“And so I did. So, what is it that you want to say?”
“I want to talk about the beauty contest.”
“The beauty contest? D, did you have such an interest in the beauty contest……?”
“Hey now, Kasai. I’m also a student who loves this university, you know. Shouldn’t I be interested in who’s the beauty that would end up getting chosen as the representative for the university?”
Kasai suspiciously stared at Amano. It was definitely a lie. This genius asshole was the kind of guy who wouldn’t have any interest in the beauty contest. Just in case, Kasai warned Amano.
“……Hey Amano. You’re not thinking of ruining the beauty contest are you?”
“Oh? Why? Can’t I do something like that?”
“Listen up. The beauty contest isn’t just an event for the school festival. A lot of companies are sponsoring so there’s a vast amount of money involved here.”
“True. As expected of the university that I applied for.”
“This is different from when you thwart stalkers or when you hand over murder cases to the police, you know. You’re not thinking of meddling with the beauty contest, are you?”
“No matter how uncivilized of an asshole I am, I won’t do something so stupid. I just want to know who will be chosen as Miss University.”
With a chuckle, Kasai clapped Amano’s shoulders unreservedly.
“Miss University will be decided by the general student body and by the votes of those who will come on the day of the contest. We won’t know the results until that day. Even I look forward to who will be chosen.”
“No, it’s already been decided, hasn’t it?”
Amano let out a sarcastic laugh before snapping his fingers in front of Kasai’s face.
“Just a while ago, you mentioned ‘the schedule for the after shooting of the TV commercial‘. Even though a winner hasn’t been decided yet, why would you be discussing on the schedule for the after shooting now? Moreover, if it was just a normal student, it would be unnecessary to discuss for a schedule. If it was necessary, it would only be a situation where the person in talks is a busy person. In other words, Maeshima Yuuko…… This idol will become Miss University. Is what you’ve decided, haven’t you?”
“W, what are you saying? There’s no such thing like that…….”
In a way as if he was pressing for an answer, Amano spoke towards the agitated and faltering Kasai.
“Besides, I have my own information network. The genius asshole remembers everything that he hears once. I heard there’s a scenario of Maeshima getting chosen as Miss University.”
“……H, how? How did you know that? Who did you hear it from?!”
Once he heard that, Amano showed a crude grin.
“Is that so. As expected, Maeshima will be chosen as Miss University.”
Here, Kasai realized that he was tricked with a bluff.
“Amano…… You, really set me up, huh……”
“You’re quite simple, after all. As expected for a top-idol. Despite gathering the past Miss University, they won’t be able to win against her, is it? Were you trying to make a new legend be born within the history of the beauty contest?”
Once again checking to see that there was no one around them, Kasai spoke sounding frightened.
“I beg you. Please keep it a secret. I don’t want it to be known that the beauty contest is a fixed game.”
“Well, that depends on your behavior. With such an incomplete information, I may accidentally speak about it. The fixed game as well as the contents of your past, right?”
They were quite sarcastic words. It incited Kasai’s discomfort.
――It’s impossible to keep on hiding this.
With a sigh, Kasai spoke.
“……Shit, I get it. I’ll tell you off the record. The one that chose Maeshima Yuuko as Miss University. It was a strong request from the sponsors.”
“I see. Hence, it’s difficult for you, who got manipulated.”
“It’s the truth. The beauty contest is no longer just an event of the school festival. It’s one TV commercial. The scale is too big that the jurisdiction that we can control is barely there. Maeshima’s photoshoot day, guest appearances in programs, magazine interviews…… all of the schedules have been decided already.”
Amano unfolded both his hands and behaved as if he would shoot off.
“If someone made a big mess of it, it’d probably become a worrying problem, huh.”
Kasai quickly grabbed Amano’s shoulders. He had a feeling that if it was this genius asshole, he was capable of doing anything.
“Hey, Amano, I beg you. Please don’t get involved with the beauty contest. We’ve had countless meetings with the advertising agencies already. Our future’s at stake too. Seriously, I beg you.”
“Hehehe……what if I say no?”
“A-AMANO! STOP JOKING AROUND! WHAT ARE YOU SCHEMING?!”
Kasai had an expression that looked as if he was on the verge of breaking down. Well, that was natural. For Kasai, the beauty contest was one big event that he put his own future on the line for. If the beauty contest becomes a success, he’d be able to get connections with a big advertising company, but if everything were to fail, he’d end up losing everything. He was worried that Amano would somehow interfere.
“I got it okay. Kasai, it was a joke.”
“A, are you serious…?”
“Yeah, I have no intention of ruining your future to that extent. Since we’re on the topic, though, could you tell me who will be the runner-up?”
Kasai covered his face as if he was troubled.
“There’s no runner-up, as it is.”
“We planned too much for Maeshima’s schedule, that there was no space for the runner-up to come in. In addition, the sponsors wanted to market Maeshima as the “Ultimate Queen” with no runner-up winners. That’s what they’re thinking.”
While Amano folded his arms together, he nodded.
“I see. To be matched up alongside with the top idol, Maeshima Yuuko, would be too big of a gap for the ordinary female students. In any case, without any attention, sabotaging Maeshima is the only way, is it?”
“Maeshima Yuuko’s popularity is definite. There’s not a student who could match the strongest idol, after all.”
“Even though the past Miss University winners will also be there within the participants, Maeshima may show a completely victorious performance, not letting anyone get close to her, is it? Even though they held the title of Miss University, in the end, their fate is to be used as the idol’s “stallion” or even a “stepping stone”, is it……?”
“It can’t be helped. The participants will have merits too, of course, for our university. Everyone’s thinking that they want to utilize Maeshima’s popularity to the maximum.”
Talking until that extent, Kasai looked at his watch. 15 minutes had already passed. He spoke imploringly.
“I should go back soon. I’m honestly busy right now.”
“Yeah, sorry for taking too much of your time.”
“No, it’s okay. I beg you, though, please don’t ruin the beauty contest.”
Once he made sure to warn Amano, Kasai left the smoking area. For a little while, Amano stared at the cigarette’s smoke. A moment later, with his shoulders drooping, he spoke.
“……This is impossible. I can’t reverse this fixed game. What should I do……”
He was at a loss, as he murmured that.
* * *
After that, Amano continued to stay at the university until late at night.
The time was past 9:00 o’clock, the school buildings were still lit up. Night lectures were organized for night classes. Students who don’t have enough credit and students who failed to coordinate their courses could attend the night classes. Fundamentally, if there were students, it was a lecture that anyone could take.
When he entered the lecture hall, he found the girl he was searching for and sat next to her.
“Hey, Maeshima-san. You worked hard staying so late.”
Maeshima looked at the guy who sat next to her with surprise. It was a tall guy in a white lab coat. His eyes were sharp but his looks were well-featured. At the very least, he was not Maeshima’s acquaintance.
But, she had seen him before once. Sometime, somewhere they would meet once again and she had to convey her gratitude. That was the person she was thinking of.
Maeshima instantly changed her expression.
“I know about you. You’re Amano-san, right?”
As she said that, she showed a bright smile.
“Hm? You know about me?”
“I heard from my friends. I was told that the person who wore a white lab coat and was tall is someone famous in school.”
“In any case, whether it was a savage asshole, or the school’s problem student, or the devil in the white lab coat, they probably spoke ill of me didn’t they?”
“Ehehehe, there’s no such thing.”
Maeshima was cheerfully showing a bright smile. Amano fixedly stared at that face.
(Just like before, she was a woman that could effortlessly create a smiling face.)
It was at the entrance ceremony when he encountered this girl. Even though she had on an unsociable presence that keeps people at bay, once she switched over to a business smile, she spreads an exceptional charm and fascinates the surrounding area.
The aura that this girl emitted was evidently different. The way that she spreads her charm in itself was on a completely different level compared to an ordinary person. Her fundamental behavior had been refined.
Amano held back his specialized conduct of putting on airs and wherever he could, spoke with freshness.
“I’ve always been thinking that I wanted to approach you but, you had too many followers with you. I dropped by during a time where you were by yourself but it ended up being at such a time.”
Maeshima’s eyes happily lit up.
“Were you waiting for a time when I was alone?”
“I wanted to have a talk with you no matter what.”
“Thank you very much. I’m happy to hear that.”
She showed a bright smile seemingly happy from the bottom of her heart.
(……What’s with this woman. I can’t calm myself down.)
He felt strange and uncomfortable.
If Amano controlled the situation by acting self-important, this idol was controlling the situation with her bright smile. It was troubling for him to get pulled into her skillful pace.
“Amano-san, your play was very good. Are you an actor?”
“Yes. You’re tall, you have a great style, and you seem like you’ll shine on stage.”
“Ahaha, you’re joking, aren’t you? I’m not anything like an actor.”
“Really? Didn’t you do a rehearsal for a play during the welcoming ceremony?”
“Rehearsal for a play? What are you talking about?”
Maeshima cheerfully smiled.
“You held down the guy who came to assault and saved me…… You were doing a play just like a hero show, weren’t you?”
Amano unintentionally made a serious expression. Maeshima was happily smiling. She was smiling with her whole face. It was as if the sound effect of smiling sweetly was surrounding her smile(1).
“I’m really thankful for that time.”
She bobbed her head into a bow.
“I’m really sorry for leaving without saying my thanks. Were you hurt?”
“Ah, there were no injuries, right. Ehehe, it was a play, after all.”
Amano started at Maeshima, feeling dumbfounded.
――What’s with this woman?
Even though she was showing an innocent smile like an angel, inside his mind, he felt completely different.
Maeshima tilted her head slightly to one side and pointed to the front. The lecturer seemed to have come in without him realizing. The lecture was starting.
For a short while, Amano stayed silent and listened to the lecture.
(She’s a shrewd woman. Did she see through our actions?)
Amano quietly took a deep breath and changed his mood. Aiming for an opportunity within the lecture, he began talking with a low voice.
“It seems like you’ll be the winner for next week’s beauty contest, don’t you think so?”
“I don’t know about that. Everyone is very beautiful.”
Even though various schedules have been decided already, Maeshima was naturally feigning ignorance. For a moment, Amano had doubts and thought that perhaps what Kasai had told him was just a lie. Which wasn’t so. Maeshima’s way of feigning ignorance was ingenious.
“I’ll vote for you, you know.”
“Yes! I’ve received one vote!”
“Everyone will vote for you for sure.”
“Can I win?”
“Yay! Clap, clap!(2)”
Even towards Amano, who spoke to her during the lecture, she didn’t show any sign of being annoyed. She counterattacked with a cheerful smile.
For a moment, Amano observed Maeshima and came to a conclusion.
(I have no choice but to acknowledge her. She’s a girl beyond any imagination. So this is what you call an idol, huh?)
Amano was troubled.
This girl’s character was too different. He felt that even if Takagi and Maeshima fought within a battle for ‘normal students’, Takagi wouldn’t be able to win over Maeshima.
(That’s not all. This girl is hiding something.)
Amano silently stood from his seat. Maeshima looked up at Amano with surprise.
“You’re not taking the lecture?”
“Yeah, I took it 3 years ago.”
“Eh? Then, why did you come?”
“I wanted to become friends with you.”
Maeshima smiled looking happy from the bottom of her heart.
“Yay! I got a friend. I want to have a lot of university friends.
“I see. Well, see you later then.”
Saying his farewell, he stealthily slipped out of the lecture hall.
(It will be impossible. It’s impossible for Takagi to win over that and become Miss University.)
Even though Amano was an overbearing asshole, it was difficult to bring out his usual attitude. Humans; he was honestly in astonishment that there was always someone better than another.
The next day, lunchtime.
Amano was at the terrace, contemplating.
It was difficult to ruin the hosting of the beauty contest. Because it was a fixed game, the victor had already been decided. In addition, the idol, Maeshima was too formidable. It was a situation where he was blocked in every direction in just about everything.
(Well, this is a difficult problem. How should I do this? How should I make Takagi the winner for the beauty contest……?)
While he thought it over, he was drinking his coffee when a girl came up the terrace.
“Amano-san! Hello! Do you still remember me?”
Amano was taken aback as he stared at his visitor. It was the idol, Maeshima Yuuko. With an udon on her tray, she had on a bright smile.
Even while being surprised, Amano let out his usual proud tone.
“S, sure I remember. It’s surprising that an idol would come to my fort.”
“I came here today for lunch. Would it be okay to eat together?”
“Well, that is, I don’t mind but……”
“Then, let’s eat together.”
Calmly, setting her tray on the table, she happily began slurping her udon.
“Didn’t your friends tell you that this terrace has an uncivilized asshole and not to come near?”
“Yes. I learned that I couldn’t venture here because there was a killer donned in a white lab coat.”
“If that’s the case, why did you come?”
“Because I became friends with Amano-san.”
While her clear eyes lit up, she looked up at Amano.
“Isn’t it normal for friends to eat lunch together?”
Amano was completely bothered. This was a formidable enemy. It was the first time that he met a girl who knew the rumors of the atrocious asshole and still came close to him.
“Are you okay? I have a lot of enemies surrounding me, you know.”
He forcibly showed an exaggerated gesture and addressed Maeshima.
“If you come close, you might be in danger. As a matter of fact, I have a hobby of being something like a dispute resolution specialist.”
Maeshima stopped moving the hand that was feeding her the noodle and nodded looking happy at something.
“I also heard about that. If someone buys you lunch, they can request from you, right?”
“You also knew something like that?”
“My friends told me about it. The rumors were bad, though.”
Maeshima peered into Amano’s face and complacently and brightly smiled.
“But, I heard good rumors too. You got rid of the stalkers that were following girls, you introduced worried girls to hospitals… in addition, there were also rumors that you solved a murder case. Amano-san, you’re really amazing, huh.”
“Well, yeah. If it’s to that extent, if this genius asshole takes it on, everything will go well, after all.”
Maeshima happily clapped her hands.
“Aaah! It’s just like what my friends said. They said if it’s Amano-san, ‘genius asshole’ is a nickname, right! Moreover, I was told that you often speak seemingly pretentious lines!”
Widening both her hands, she imitated Amano’s actions.
“If this genius asshole takes it on, everything will go well…… Ahaha! Yes! I could see it in person!”
While Amano just barely ground his teeth, he scowled at Maeshima who was holding her sides from laughing.
(Oi, what. What’s with this female? It’s a different woman. Tch, this is tricky……)
Inside his head, he repeatedly clicked his tongue. It was hard to set his own pace. He effectively changed the topic.
“But you know, there are also unusual requests. This time, I was given such a request from one girl.”
“Really? What kind of request was it?”
“Apparently she wants to win the beauty contest next week. It’s laughable ain’t it? Even though you’ve registered to participate, there’s a woman who requested such an impulsive thing.”
Maeshima dejectedly slumped her shoulders.
“Well, that is troubling. Even though I want to win in the beauty contest, Amano-san will become an obstacle. What should I do? ……Ah, right!”
As if something flashed into her mind, Maeshima mumbled under her breath when she began searching her own bag. She took out her purse from inside. Then, handed out some small change.
“Here you go.”
“300 yen (around $2.50).”
“Well, I can see that.”
“With this, you can top your udon with kakiage (mixed vegetable and seafood tempura).”‘
Maeshima folded both her arms in front of her chest and looked upon Amano with moist eyes.
“Amano-san, please make me the winner of the beauty contest!”
Amano looked at the idol in front of him with blank amazement.
(1) This sentence was quite difficult to translate honestly. The word used in this sentence was “にっこり (nikkori)” and is a type of sound effect that is written next to an illustration like in manga, etc. I guess what has been described is that Maeshima smiled so much, that it felt as if there were “nikkori” written around her if it was a manga.
(2) Yes, Maeshima really said “clap, clap” in Japanese. The word used is “パチパチ” which is the sound of clapping basically. It probably makes her cuter doing something like that.
(T/N OMG FINALLY, I’m glad to finally resume this light novel. I actually intended to upload the rest of the 3 chapters along with this chapter to finish this case but this chapter took longer than expected (to the point that I finished it 1 hour after Saturday ><) so I’ll finish it by next week, hopefully.
On another note, I was so used to Amano’s assholeness that I couldn’t bear for him to act this way in front of Maeshima.)
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