42. Snowdrop’s Present
The door closed quietly while leaving me bewildered. I suddenly picked up the First Love Conception.
The author of the famous Moonlight Girl was hidden, but it was actually Aoi. If Sumire, Asami, and the others knew, they would be surprised. But, looking at Aoi’s state, it seems it would be better to keep it a secret.
I wasn’t interested in the story at first, but after hearing about the content from Sumire and the others, I became interested in something in particular.
I had an understanding from what I heard in pieces.
The main character of the Moonlight Girl wants to take care of people, but she doesn’t know how to do so, and she says a lot of horrible things, which makes people around her hate her. Then, just after she finally finds the one person who cares for her, her childhood friend who has a grudge against her pushes her down the stairs, and she dies while being illuminated by the moonlight. The boy she had been in love with rushes in to say goodbye. Then, he places a snowdrop next to her body.
I don’t know much about flowers, but apparently, the language of snowdrops when given as a gift means “I wish for your death,” and the story ends badly because even the person she had been thinking about actually hated her.
However, when I asked why it was so popular, it seemed that there were a lot of foreshadows and sets up that would be noticed when reading the last development, and that was Sumire’s and the others’ favorite part. I asked her to recommend other short stories in this volume too, but I couldn’t help but be curious about the contents of the Moonlight Girl.
The way the main character of Moonlight Girl died is similar to the way Maria died in Love Spa. In the original story, Maria also fell down the stairs, and there was a description of her being illuminated by the moonlight.
I thought the author might be holding an important clue, but I didn’t expect him to be so close. If Aoi is the author, then does that mean he knows something or did he also have memories of his previous life…? No, wait, I don’t think he ever acted like that before, and if he has memories of his previous life, did he know that I would die and leave such a story?
At any rate, I have no choice but to investigate it. But I can’t just ask him straight out. I wondered how I could ask him secretly?
A lot of things happened, so I felt exhausted. When I dived into the bed and laid down, my phone vibrated. The name “Hitomi” was displayed on the screen. Not good. I received a call earlier. I totally forgot about it.
I put my index finger on the LCD screen and slid it down, then brought the phone closer to my ear.
“Are you okay now?”
“I’m fine now.”
The person on the phone gave a small laugh and asked, “Was the timing bad earlier?” so I told him briefly that Kinoa was here when he called, and Kuze came after that.
“As expected, it was great that you didn’t enter my name into your phone correctly.”
“That’s true. If your name was seen by Kinoa, then it would have been an uproar.”
The other person on the phone, Amamiya added happily, “That’s going to be interesting on its own.” If Kinoa, who wants Kuze and me to go well together, found out that the caller was Amamiya, I’m afraid she would misunderstand and interfere desperately.
Kinoa was fond of Kuze and I. She said before that she loves both of us and is happy to see that we are engaged. That being said, this is a problem between Kuze and me, and it concerns our future, so I can’t do what Kinoa wants in this matter.
I registered his name under a different name as “Hitomi” because if someone saw me and knew that I was talking with Amamiya, it could cause a lot of trouble. Even if Aoi or anyone else saw it, I can just tell them that it is Hitomi The Flower Princess.
“So, you were engaged to Kuze?”
“Eh, you didn’t know?”
“I didn’t read the original story that thoroughly, so I completely forgot about it. Besides, I had never heard of such a story in this world. Because Kuze doesn’t like to talk about himself.”
Ah, come to think of it, in the manga, the readers knew about it because they read the interaction between Maria and Kuze, and the main character Asami also knew about it because Aoi told her. Both Maria and Kuze hate each other, so they wouldn’t have talked about their engagement.
“Kumoruiwashi and Kuze are engaged, eh?”
“Please don’t tell anyone else. Because I don’t want it to become gossip.”
“Okaaay. Well, if others found out, it would be surprising. I want to see their reaction!”
I reminded Amamiya, who laughed and said, “I won’t say anything.” If possible, I wanted to keep it a secret while I was in school. For some reason, the Flower Princess’s scoop spreads quickly. Even if I was asked a lot of things, it is a relationship that neither of us wants so it’s hard to answer. Of course, I want to solve the death flag, but how can I solve this problem too?
“Oh right, about today’s matter.”
After a while, Amamiya hesitantly continued.
“There may be someone who holds a grudge against you.”
Didn’t the pool incident happen because of the rumor that ‘Maria, who doesn’t find Asami Kanade interesting, says she will let people join the Flower Princesses if someone can get him expelled from school’? And yet it is connected to someone holding a grudge against me?
“I heard the situations in detail from the girls at the pool incident.”
“Those middle-school girls?”
“Yes. To summarize the rumor, you were furious that the picture of Asami Kanade and Yuu had caused a strange rumor to spread about Yuu, and you wanted to expel Asami Kanade, who you hadn’t liked for quite a while, from school. All without getting your hands dirty.”
“Yes, it’s similar to the opening of the original story.”
The details and the development that I ended up falling into the pool are different, but the picture and Asami being taken into the pool were the same.
“If I remember correctly, in the original story, you occasionally bully Asami Kanade in the beginning and let your followers do all the work, right?”
“Yeah, it heats up, and then I started to do extreme bullying myself.”
“But, there’s something strange about how it played out today. You, the main culprit, have done nothing, and yet, a development similar to the original story is still happening.”
As Amamiya said, that is the strangest part. For example, if someone else was in my position in the original story, I can still understand. But, it seems I was the one who ordered to expel Asami.
“Someone is…pretending to be me.”
“That’s true. There may be someone who is using Asami Kanade to bring you down.”
I keep my mouth shut and gulp. I hold my chest, my heart beats faster as if stirring my anxiety. Ah, my uniform might get wrinkled. I should have taken it off earlier. But…I don’t have the energy right now.
“That’s weird, right? No matter how many times I ask, the middle-school girls say that you seem to have ordered them to expel Asami Kanade from school. However, according to Asami Kanade, it seems like when she tried to jump into the water to save you, she was prevented, and before she could save you, the middle-school girls started blaming Asami Kanade. It’s as if they didn’t want her to go and save you.”
“What do you mean?”
When I fell into the pool, certainly no one helped me right away, and I think I heard someone arguing. That may have been the voice of the middle school kids who started blaming Asami.
“According to Asami Kanade, she felt uncomfortable with them. She said the way you fell to the pool also looked like they bumped into you on purpose.”
“Wait a minute. I met them for the first time at that time. And they pushed Asami because they like me, right? And yet, isn’t it strange that they want to drown me?”
It was strange, they wanted to be liked by me, but they deliberately pushed me into the pool. But, When I thought back, it seemed like it was deliberate, but not good…I’m not sure they were doing it on purpose.
“That’s true, isn’t it. That’s why I think someone is pulling the strings on this matter.”
“Such a thing…I don’t know the why, though.”
“It’s just my speculation, but the reason is probably not Asami Kanede, but you.”
The reason behind it all is me?
My heart jumped up, and unpleasant sweats leaked on my palms.
“…But, it’s not like I’m going to stop being a Flower Princess after what they did to me.”
I don’t understand why I’m being targeted outside of the original story’s event. Even if they wanted to set me to be the bad guy, I wouldn’t lose the Flower Princess’s title over something like that.
“You’re going to be killed in the original story, right? I wonder if the culprit is already moving?”
“But in the original story, I’m the one who’s pulling the strings from behind and makes it so Asami gets pushed into the pool.”
If the culprit, the same as the original story, is moving, then does this mean this incident in the original story was probably also caused by the culprit, right? But if the culprit is not the same as the one who killed me, then another problem arises.
There may be other people in the school who have a grudge against me. There is a possibility that they hate me too, just as in the original story. The moment I realized this, a dull ache spread through my chest, and a cold feeling slowly eroded me.
Sure enough, it is tough to be resented. My relationship with Kuze has been bad since we met when we were kids, so I’m fine if he hates me, but if a classmate or someone close to me actually hates me, it’s quite damaging mentally.
Up until now, there was a part that can be explained clearly because the original Maria had a bad personality. However, after I got my memory back, I intended to be careful not to do anything terrible to others. Unlike the original story, the fact that there were people who were plotting against me meant that there were probably people who hated me now.
It would be easier if I didn’t know that I was hated. But I need to know. Otherwise, there is a possibility that something like this will happen again, and it may even be related to my death. I couldn’t look away.
“It’s my job to investigate and to suspect. If you noticed something, report it to me.”
“I told you I will cooperate, right? Besides, I don’t like the way the culprit did things at the pool’s incident. Let’s expose the culprit.”
I don’t know what kind of face Amamiya is talking with right now, but his voice over the phone is gentler than usual and gives me a sense of security. Perhaps, he might have noticed that I was in shock.
“Also, don’t force yourself to fix things. You don’t have to be so polite with me either.”
“Thank you, Amamiya.”
“Yeah, you switch so quickly.”
We both burst out laughing almost at the same time. I wonder if Amamiya said this to ease the heavy atmosphere, even if just a little. Maybe he’s a better person than I thought.
After that, I had a brief, silly talk with Amamiya, who said he would look into other things, and then hung up the phone.