Mage One Step Part 1
One day, I received a call on my smartphone. Looking at the screen, I saw that it was from my mother.
“Hello? Is this mother?”
“Yes, it’s me.”
“Uhm, what’s up?”
“Kohaku, I wanted to ask you about that person you mentioned before, Kuroda Izayoi.”
“Yes, you mentioned him before, didn’t you? I’ve always told you to choose your potential partner carefully.”
“Izayoi-kun is a really great person!!”
“Both I and that person are worried about you. It was a surprise when you suddenly said he’s your destined one. Kohaku, you have good judgment, but there’s always a chance of the unexpected. Please give me a chance to talk to him.”
“S-Suddenly like this…”
“Please, I’m counting on you. I’m also very curious. Your boyfriend, who is kind, gentlemanly, and completely in love with you, Kohaku, is someone I want to meet.”
“W-Well, Izayoi-kun is very busy, so it might be difficult…”
“In that case, we’ll come there ourselves.”
“M-mother!? Mother!? She… she hung up… What should I do!?”
My mother and father are coming!?
“W-What should I do!? Can you give me some advice, Natsuko-san?”
“Sorry, can you explain it again…”
My name is Natsuko Noguchi, a lively high school girl. In the midst of approaching final exams, I was receiving a consultation from my best friend, Gindou-san.
“So, my parents want to come and see me, and they even want to meet Izayoi-kun!”
“And they heard that you and Kuroda-kun are a lovey-dovey couple?”
“Why did you tell them?”
It seems that her parents are incredibly strict. They allowed her to live alone to help her become a respectable adult. But naturally, they worry about her, so they often call her.
“Well, I guess I was trying to show off… When I told my mother about all the good things about Izayoi-kun, she asked if he’s my boyfriend anyway… So I thought it might as well be true.”
“Oh, I see.”
Well, her reason is unexpectedly cute. Cute, but… why would she say such a thing? Love can be clumsy too… That’s cute too.
“But you know, if that’s the case, why not just be honest? Tell your mom that it was a lie.”
“Um, well, my mother is… very strict and very scary… If she finds out I’ve been giving false reports all along… I’ll get a spanking… a hundred times…”
“I don’t see that happening in high school, no?”
She turned pale. If it’s that scary, she should have just told the truth from the beginning. It’s kind of nice to know one of her weaknesses though…
Well, if she’s really that afraid of being scolded, what about coming up with a good excuse to cover up the lie?
“Please, my mother is the one person who could actually do that… My mother really hates lies… I’ll turn into a monkey’s butt… and then comes the lecture…”
She held her head and trembled. She brought this upon herself and now she’s suffering…
Ideally, she should just be honest, but she doesn’t want to get scolded. Now, what should we do…
“So, it’s because you don’t want the lie to be exposed and don’t want to get scolded?”
“O-Of course! Please think of a good excuse to deceive them! Please! At least just for my mother! Only for my mother!”
“Ah, I see. Then why not actually start dating?”
“If I could do that, I would’ve done it already!! In my imagination, we’ve already been dating and gone on about ten dates!! But, in reality, it doesn’t go as smoothly…”
Well, if she could have gotten together with Kuroda-kun right away, I wouldn’t have had to cooperate, and it’s too much to ask for that. …… But I feel like I’m losing ground if things continue like this, no? My goal is to make Kuroda-kun and Gindou-san get together.
This could make some changes if we use it well. …… I guess it’s really best to be honest about it.
“In that case, why not ask Kuroda-kun for help? To deceive your mom?”
“B-But then, I’ll become a lying girl! Lying might make me disliked! Besides, if it’s revealed that I’ve been telling such lies elsewhere, I might push him away…”
“It’s okay. Lying is a privilege for girls, and if there’s a lie that might push him away, just cover it up with another lie.”
“…Is that so?”
“Girls who can use lies skillfully are popular.”
“…Uuuu, okay then.”
“Yeah, uhm, first, tell Kuroda-kun that you told your parents that you have a boyfriend to show off.”
She looks a bit down. She’s not good at making up lies when she intends to. There are times when she unconsciously uses them, but she doesn’t lie with a clear intention and purpose. But she should learn to lie more. It can become a powerful weapon if used effectively.
“As I mentioned before, girls who can use lies skillfully are popular. Gindou-san is a bit too straightforward at times, so she needs to learn to lie! If she wants to win over Kuroda-kun!! Prepare yourself!! Prepare to become a bad girl!!”
“Y-Yes… A bad girl…”
“That’s right, a bad girl. Show off your cunning side, deliberately put yourself in a bind… um, how far did I explain… Oh, right, first lie to Kuroda-kun, then meet your parents and deceive them. That settles it!!”
“Is it really okay to do that?”
“It’s fine! Besides, this is also an opportunity.”
“Pretend to be lovers with a lie, right? You can showcase yourself a lot there. Maybe it’ll even turn into a real relationship?”
“If I can use lies skillfully?”
“Yeah, of course. I think he’d still help even if you tell him everything honestly, but I believe this approach is better. It’s just my intuition.”
She seems to have made up her mind after a moment of contemplation.
“Well then, first, you should talk to Kuroda-kun about it, right? If it’s hard for you to say, I can do it.”
“…No, I’ll do it.”
She seems nervous or stiff, but after taking a deep breath, she slowly headed towards his seat.
It’s been nearly two weeks since I returned to Mina no Iro. During that time, the results of the midterm exams were posted. Gindou Kohaku ranked first in the first year, while Hihara Karen and Kikawa Moegi ranked first and second in the second year. I was around 70th place.
Well, the “Story” will start from summer vacation, so there’s still plenty of time. But before that, there’s one of the school events: the final exams. I wonder if I’ll do decently this time as well?
Gindou Kohaku comes to my seat with a complex expression. What’s wrong? She seems quite serious.
“I have a favor to ask.”
“What is it?”
“It’s hard to ask here… Let’s go to the rooftop.”
We headed to the rooftop together. What could be her request…? W-Wait, could it be a confession!? No, but if that causes a rift between her and Hihara Karen…
That’s right, there’s still something left to do. I want to completely resolve the tension between those two. Although they occasionally get along well, if it suddenly becomes apparent during the battle with the “Demon Tribe,” it would be a disaster.
Lost in such thoughts, I realize that we’ve arrived at the rooftop. There are only the two of us here. We face each other beneath the beautiful blue sky. T-To dodge a confession gently… Um…
“I’m in a really difficult situation, Izayoi-kun. Please help me.”
“Please tell me anything.”
If she’s in trouble, I’ll help her. It’s embarrassing that I mistook it for a confession, though…
No, it’s quite embarrassing.
“Well, um, I often contact my parents, and during one of those times, I ended up bragging that I have a boyfriend… And now they’re asking to meet him…”
Gindou Kohaku’s parents are incredibly strict and intimidating, right? Gindou Kohaku doesn’t have many weaknesses, but her mother is her biggest weakness. And she’s coming!?
Even in the “Story,” their strictness was talked about a lot. That couple…
“So if they find out it was a lie, I… I…”
She starts sobbing. Was she this scared? To the point of crying…
“P-Please don’t cry.”
“Izayoi-kun, can you help me?”
“A fake boyfriend?”
“Yes, a fake boyfriend. Just for a bit… I’m scared…”
“Well… In my opinion, everyone tells lies at some point. Whether it’s unconsciously, intentionally, or even when they thought they were telling the truth but it turned out to be a lie. If we get into the details, there are countless patterns. If someone asks how many times we lie in life, I can’t even count. So, I don’t think it’s a big problem to cover up a lie with another lie, and I think it’s fine.”
“But Gindo-san, your parents are worried about you… It’s not about choosing someone who lies, but it might be better to be honest with them if you’re scared… If you want, I can apologize together with you. How about that?”
Her parents are strict, but there’s a valid reason behind it. The reason for living alone is to train her to become a respectable adult. However, considering what happened during junior high school, they’re very concerned about her. That’s why they regularly contact her.
So it is impossible for her to lie to both of them.
“What’s the matter?”
She starts crying… What’s going on?
As I listen to her story, it turns out that she often reports about me to her parents, and in the process, she ends up saying that I’m her boyfriend… She slowly tells me while sitting in the seiza position on the rooftop fence.
It’s embarrassing to hear that…
“I’m sorry… I…”
“Don’t worry about it. So, when will your parents come?”
“They said they’ll come to my apartment this weekend…”
“In that case, I’ll apologize at that time too. How about that?”
It’s a bit pitiful to be spanked as a high school student… Besides, there wasn’t even such an event, and it might be my fault.
“I-I’m sorry for lying, Izayoi-kun.”
“Don’t worry about it. Anyway, I lie sometimes too.”
“R-Really? Ehehe, we’re a match then…”
“Is that so?”
She still has tears in her eyes as she deeply bows her head to apologize. She doesn’t need to apologize so much… Everyone tells lies sometimes.
“I see… So that’s what happened.”
“Yes, I’m sorry. You gave me advice, and I ended up in this situation.”
“No, no, it’s my fault. I think I gave unnecessary advice.”
I listened to Gindou-san’s explanation of the situation. I see… So that’s how it turned out. I rushed things a bit. She’s still a first-year student, so it’s okay to take it slow.
High school life has just begun, and there may be unexpected things in the future that could completely change the situation.
I made a little mistake. But it’s typical of Kuroda-kun to give such an answer, or rather, to be too earnest and make it feel like a shounen manga. But I did something wrong to her.
“No, it was really good advice. I learned from the experience that lies shouldn’t be used carelessly, and I also got to know more of Izayoi-kun’s goodness…”
There’s something strange about her demeanor, or is it just my imagination?
“Izayoi-kun… I want you even more now… No matter what it takes… Fufufu.”
She laughs mysteriously and licks her lips. At that moment, she looked like an enchanting succubus…
“Ah, yes, what is it?”
Is it just my imagination? No, I don’t think it is. Perhaps latent female abilities are on a whole different level…
When I speak to her, she returns to her usual graceful self, as if the alluring aura from earlier has disappeared.
“What is it?”
“…About Kuroda-kun, maybe you should take it slower. I might have been too impatient. High school life has just begun, after all. Let’s take it step by step, okay?”
“Yes, let’s proceed steadily.”
I need to come up with a more perfect plan… Something that can go slowly but steadily… A plan… Surprisingly, it might be better to just let things be…
“Hey, Izayoi, have you heard?”
“What is it?”
While sitting at my desk, Sasamoto, who sits in front of me, started talking to me. He had a slightly anxious expression.
“There’s this summer camp organized by Rikudou-sensei…”
“The mental strengthening training camp?”
“Yeah, that’s it! It seems like it’s happening again this year. But last year, it was so tough that no senior students participated.”
“Well, before I knew about that fact, I casually said I would participate.”
Rikudou-sensei’s mental strengthening training camp is ridiculously challenging. It involves overnight stays with training routines that resemble temple practices. It’s supposed to be for youth development, but the extreme difficulty deters most people from participating.
Sasamoto unknowingly volunteered and got involved with the A-class boys, just like in the ‘story.’ But I will definitely not participate.
“Hey, please, I’m begging you! I’ve asked others too, but it’s hard to gather enough people!”
“Oh, I see.”
“Hey, I’m begging you!!! I’m always giving you p**n magazines, right?”
“Idiot, keep your voice down!”
While my classmates are talking and not paying attention, if he keeps talking like this, they might overhear. I guess there’s no other choice.
“Fine! Just shut up already!”
“Alright!! In that case, I’ll go ask the others…”
Sasamoto went to ask the other boys.