The cultural festival is a rather tough event for magical girls. Before it even began, Karen’s parents divorced, Moegi had unkind words thrown at her by two boys, and even after it started, Aoi experienced a failure during the cultural festival.
Regarding Karen and Moegi, their issues have already been resolved, but the problem lies with Aoi. She volunteered for the role of Cinderella herself. This desire stemmed from her wish to become Cinderella, a princess, and her desire to overcome her somewhat shy and gaze-averse nature. Her class’s play would be held on the stage in the gymnasium, in front of a large audience.
The countless gazes, the number of unfamiliar eyes she had never been exposed to before, and the unique atmosphere of the venue, along with the pressure of being the lead role – all of it was overwhelming. Especially, the hundreds of eyes watching her, making her nervous… She lost her lines, and the play fell apart.
She cried inconsolably, tormented by her own inadequacy. She felt guilty towards her classmates. She had prioritized her desire to become a princess and her desire to overcome her weaknesses, and as a result, she ruined the play. Unable to stop the tears that fell one by one, Aoi’s cultural festival came to a close. Afterward, she was comforted by Moegi, Karen, and Kohaku.
[I’m such an idiot… I used this play to change myself… just because I wanted to be a princess… and I ruined everything… I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…]
People make mistakes. Things don’t always go smoothly. The message the author wanted to convey came across strongly. Aoi’s crying was filled with a sense of tragedy.
Aoi had transferred to their school some time ago, and the cultural festival had become a chance for her to make friends and become part of a group. Karen’s parents divorced, Moegi was hurt, and Aoi felt powerless.
This story, of course, had its fair share of ups and downs during the cultural festival, even if not as dramatic as “if” story. Nevertheless, readers would have found hope in the determination of these girls as they stood up against adversity. I was one of those readers.
But if it was possible to change things, I thought I would want to. Just that, I thought so.
It was decided that we would perform the play “Cinderella” at the cultural festival, which is still some time away. Today, we decided to start practicing immediately because Aoi was so eager about it.
We all gathered on the couch to begin with memorizing the lines. Aoi will have a lot of lines as the lead role, but I think she’ll be able to memorize them quickly. Her classmate Karen also has an incredible memory, so she’ll probably memorize her lines in one or two minutes, maybe even seconds. While reading through the script, Karen mumbled her lines quickly, almost like reciting tongue twisters.
“Welcome home, master. You’ve worked hard today. We have a royal party to attend right after this, so please change quickly…”
She’s so fast… She recited all the lines smoothly without stumbling even once.
Next to her, Kohaku glanced curiously at the script, stealing quick glances at it. Karen finished reading and closed the script. It seemed like she had already memorized it. Of course, I had already memorized my lines as well.
“Can I see the script?”
“Sure, here you go.”
Karen handed the script to Kohaku. I always think this duo is amazing. Even during the last break…
“Ah, ahhhh! My cake is gone!”
During a certain snack time on a holiday, when Kohaku opened the fridge, she screamed. Upon hearing that, Karen, who was sitting at the dining table, hid her face behind the manga she was reading. At that time, we were also in the living room. Kohaku seemed to have been looking forward to the cake, and she was angry like a child when it was missing. Of course, it wasn’t me, Aoi, or him. She knew that, and she walked straight to Karen.
“Senpai, when did I buy the cake?”
“Two days ago.”
“That’s correct. By the way, do you know how many cakes I bought?”
“Yes, that’s right. Now, one more question… Where did my shortcake go?”
“Ugh… JKs like you with good instincts are so annoying.”
Furious at those words, Kohaku got closer to Karen’s face.
“Why do you keep eating other people’s stuff!? Did you eat two of them!?”
“Uh, well… Mel ate the first one, and it looked so delicious that I also had some… Then I realized it was the one you bought…”
“Why didn’t you say that at the time!?”
“I thought you’d be mad…”
“Are you a child!?”
Well, after that, Karen bought cake and apologized properly, so things were smoothed over. Mel also seemed quite sorry.
Kohaku was still mad, but when she got cake and pudding as an apology, she quickly improved her mood and had tea time with them.
“It’s fine now. Let’s have a snack together.”
While Aoi and I were engrossed in playing video games, I decided to have my snack later and sat on the couch to continue gaming.
I could hear voices from next door.
“This cake is delicious.”
“It’s really tasty.”
“This pudding is amazing too.”
“…Diet… never mind.”
“Karen-senpai, would you like some of this pudding?”
“Well, I guess I’ll have some.”
I could hear the voices of the two friends from next door, chatting amicably, but then…
“Why did you just pierce through the caramel at the bottom like that?”
“Huh? I wanted to eat the caramel part… is that such a big deal?”
“You just stabbed it straight through with your spoon, while I was making a plan to enjoy it! How rude!”
Suddenly, they started arguing.
“So, how can I get them to grow this big?”
“Well, I wonder… My mom is also well-endowed, so maybe it’s genetics?”
“Genetics, huh… Your mom is a lovely lady, but…”
“There are various methods for br**st enhancement on the internet…”
“Well, to be honest, I’ve tried quite a few…”
“Yes. I’ve been pretty serious about it.”
“Well, it might be tough to do it alone, you know. Should I join you?”
“What’s the point of making yours any bigger?”
Karen shared her br**st concerns, and Kohaku showed concern in return.
“I’m the one he likes more!”
“No, he likes me! We’ve even been on a date! Here, that’s a hundred points!”
“I kissed him! Two hundred points!”
They suddenly started fighting again, it was really busy. However, in the end, the two of them got along well. On this day, Karen was in charge of cooking, but Kohaku was helping.
“Is this the right way to cut this?”
“Yes, it’s perfect. You’re really good at this.”
“Compared to when you started, you’ve improved a lot.”
This is just my intuition, but could it be that the two of them are getting closer and might soon acknowledge each other’s feelings? There’s often a sudden development of friendship among girls…
While I was pondering this, it seemed like all the second-year students had memorized their lines. So, we immediately began our practice.
The magic training room. Lately, we’ve mainly used it for my physical training, but this time it seems like Senpais are going to use it for the cultural festival theater rehearsals. The content is Cinderella, with Aoi-senpai in the role of Cinderella, Moegi-senpai as the prince, and Karen-senpai as the maid. They’ve already perfected their costumes using magic. Apparently, Mel prepared everything overnight with Izayoi-kun’s assistance. Mel is amazing, but Izayoi-kun always gives his all… I love him.
I’m not there yet, but I’ll be wearing the same maid outfit as Karen-senpai, so I feel a sense of closeness. Aoi-senpai is excited about her princess costume, while Moegi-senpai twirls around, examining her prince outfit.
Now, Karen-senpai, in her maid uniform, seems a bit bewildered by the outfit she’s never worn before. She usually prefers casual attire, like just a shirt and shorts. In the summer, she often wears that outfit while enjoying a frozen ice cream bar, licking it suggestively, making it seem somewhat er*tic. Every time, I think about how her underwear is sometimes flashy, how she suddenly becomes sexy, and other mysterious traits she has. But anyway…
“So, a maid outfits look like this…..”
“It suits you so well! It’s amazing!”
“R-really? W-what do you think looks good about it?”
“It’s like you have this confident attitude, but you’re also a bit shy… it’s the perfect combination of a strong-willed tsundere maid, and it’s incredibly cute.”
“I-is that so… ehehe, thanks for saying that…”
With a ‘kachin,’ she suddenly becomes all lovey-dovey. Her usual strong-willed gaze melts away like a soft-boiled egg yolk, and the corners of her mouth rise in a lazy, blissful smile.
“U-uhm, I was thinking of going to the beauty salon again… so, what kind of hairstyle do you think would be good? Just asking for general advice, of course!” (Karen)
“Well, anything would suit you perfectly. But if you’re asking for my selfish preference, I’d say you should stick with your current twin tails.” (Izayoi)
“I-Is that so…? I’m asking for general advice, s-so I’ll take it into consideration.”
“Thank you so much!”
But despite what she says, I’m pretty sure she’ll stick with her long twin tails. Recently, I’ve been reading manga and noticed that in typical stories, when the main character is oblivious to the obvious romantic interests around them, it can be frustrating or amusing, depending on the situation. Sometimes, you can’t help but feel sorry for them or find it exasperating. I recently read a manga called “The Mob and the Lady,” a school harem romantic comedy.
The protagonist is an unremarkable “mob” character. The heroine is a stunning silver-haired beauty with blue eyes who has various traumas from her past. In the beginning, the heroine has trust issues and often pushes people away, choosing to act alone. Despite her beauty, she’s isolated by everyone. Then, in a typical scenario, when the heroine is about to be attacked by delinquents on her way home, the protagonist appears and saves her, albeit clumsily. Despite causing her harm, he helps her, and she slowly starts to open up to him. She is surrounded by people, but the protagonist is the only one she lets in.
I personally found it incredibly entertaining. I was able to empathize with the heroine so well. She develops feelings for the protagonist, but he remains completely oblivious. It’s frustrating, and I often found myself thinking, “Just get together already!”
The heroine’s hesitation to confess her feelings, saying things like “I don’t like him,” or “I don’t care,” when it’s obvious that she does like him, can be quite exasperating.
And then, when it seems like the story is going in a different direction, and the protagonist brings another girl into the picture who starts stalking him, you wonder, “What is this heroine doing?” It’s all so frustrating.
Regarding the tsundere heroine, I felt much more sorry for her than the rich girl heroine. She’s genuinely struggling with her feelings for the protagonist.
In many romantic comedy manga, the protagonist often remains oblivious to the heroine’s feelings, leading to similar developments. However, Izayoi-kun is different; he understands. Karen-senpai also mentioned this.
“Izayoi always understands, even when I say strange things. That’s why I love him.”
I agree with that sentiment. Izayoi-kun always understands various cues, and that’s what makes him wonderful.
Even when Karen-senpai says the opposite of what she means, he considers her true feelings. He accepts them. That’s what it means to love someone.
In other words, what I want to say is… since Izayoi-kun can understand, I wish he’d tell me right away that I’m cute.
I don’t want only Karen-senpai to compliment me. Yes, I’m wearing my regular clothes. He might be used to seeing me like this. But I’d like him to say that I look lovely, cute, that he wants to hug me, that he wants to go on a date with me, something like that. Otherwise, I might turn into a pufferfish and puff up my cheeks.
So, come on, come on now, compliment me… I puffed up my cheeks and stared at Izayoi-kun with an expectant look. He suddenly realized my intent.
“Kohaku-san, your casual outfit is cute too.”
“Ehehe, thank you so much!”
I’m not petty; I might just be a little high-maintenance. But I adore this person who loves me, stays by my side, and always cherishes me.
Our gazes cross, Karen-senpai and mine. She doesn’t say anything, but we both know what the other is thinking. We share the same feelings.
—Definitely, I’ll be the one who win.
I won’t lose, and I won’t back down. Our feelings are so strong that we’re almost in awe of each other. Is this where the catfight begins?
I thought that for a moment and then shook my head. Time is precious, so the senpais began practicing their play.