[Youkai face vomiting woman PoV]
I lifted my heavy eyelids. I had forgotten to close the curtains, but the sun was shining through the window. My head hurts like a ton of bricks. I frowned at the inevitable headache and snapped out of my slumber.
I wonder where…… I am.
I’m not even sure I know where I am. Significant cognitive decline. The symptoms come to mind. I’ve had similar experiences a few times in the past. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had a hangover.
Gradually, my consciousness wakes up. It’s bright outside. It was a clear, summer day. My night sweats were soaking my back.
I took a day off to come to a hot spring to relieve my fatigue after finishing a project I had been working on. It was my hobby to travel alone. If I was with someone, I wouldn’t be able to do that, but if I was alone, I wouldn’t have to worry about ruffling a few feathers.
I took my time to soak in the hot spring and enjoy a sumptuous meal and drinks. I guess I was getting excited. The local sake we were looking forward to was crisp, smooth, and easy to drink, and I ended up drinking too much of it. The alcohol content was unexpectedly high, and I must have been deeply intoxicated.
I rummaged through my pockets and found my phone. It was cold and hard to the touch. I wondered if I had fallen asleep with my phone in my pocket ……
I look around and see something familiar. It’s the room I’m staying in. But I don’t know why I’m here. Didn’t I go to the convenience store last night……? The rest of my memory is a bit hazy.
A creepy feeling. I jumped up and down, imagining the worst.
I touch my body with a flap. I’m wearing the same clothes I wore when I went out for the night. My shorts are soaking wet, making me uncomfortable. I shake off the dull ache and try desperately to get my head around it.
Touching the lower abdomen. I don’t feel any discomfort. I pat my chest in relief. I think I may have avoided the worst of it. There was no sign of anything else having been done to me, but if I looked closely, I could see that my clothes were stained with vomit and my underwear was in no condition to be worn.
I was beginning to understand what the cold feeling in my shorts was. I’m old enough to know better. It’s not even funny. I was lucky that there was no one else around. On the other hand, it might have been because I was traveling alone that I ended up doing so much.……
Anyway, no matter how drunk I was, I wouldn’t want to sleep in such a mess. Even a yukata is provided. If I was going to sleep, I would have at least changed my clothes.
I stood up unsteadily. Rather than sleeping on the futon, I felt like I was just being placed on top of it.
“What is going on……?” (Youkai)
My unpleasant imagination began to grow. I think I was with someone yesterday. If I remembered it, it would bring back memories of me.
There was no way the other person would know the inn I was staying at. If he knew where I was staying, there was no way I could have told him. It’s impossible for a hotel or inn to leak information to a third party. If that’s the case, then it’s not surprising that I was the one who invited him.
Makeing sure to check my body all over again.
At least I didn’t do anything like that. ……, right?
I wondered if he took my clothes off. My underwear was still on, and the smell was strong. I just hope that the other person wasn’t in the mood.
I’m getting less and less confident. Considering the fact that I was in a state of intoxication, it would not be surprising if he had done it. If that was the case, there was always a chance. Fortunately, I was in a good mood, but that was no consolation.
This kind of case is quite common. The case I was working on until recently was similar to this. But that was a case where I was forced to drink alcohol, and if I had gotten drunk myself and invited the other person to join me, there was no way I could even come up with an excuse.
A cold sweat ran down my spine. It was an obvious abomination. If I was this unconscious, I wouldn’t even notice it for a second or two. Even if they hadn’t done anything to me directly, I wouldn’t know if they actually had.
Suddenly, I noticed a plastic bag on the table. Inside were some hangover supplements, drinks, and mineral water from a convenience store. It was the same stuff I had tried to buy yesterday. But I don’t remember buying them.
“Did he…… take care of me?…… No way.” (Youkai)
How is that possible with someone you’ve never met?
You do nothing, you ask nothing in return, you just take care of them and leave. I know very well that there is no such thing as a good person and in this job, I have come to know the ugliness of people to the point of disgust. From a perceptive point of view, this may have been prepared as a kind of alibi.
I can think of several possibilities. They might have taken off my clothes and taken pictures of me. Or, if they noticed who I was, they could make a little money by reporting it to the weekly magazines.
If it’s an ordinary person, I’ll simply be treated as a victim, but if it’s a leak of some celebrity, it’s usually consumed as a form of entertainment. There is no shortage of such topics every day, such as leaked conversations and photos.
Of course, I am used to dealing with such people and making them pay for their actions. However, I’m not so sure that I can remain unconcerned about being a target myself.
Once the images are leaked, it is not difficult to apply for deletion, but they will always remain in someone’s hands, and the fact will never disappear. People around you will look at you differently. It was too big a price to pay.
The vacation that I was looking forward to turned out to be a disaster. In some cases, it might cause trouble for many people.
With a heavy heart, I changed my dirty clothes and underwear. Anyway, I decided to take a dip in the hot spring to refresh myself. That’s all I can think about.
There was no end to the worst possibilities I could imagine. It could have been nothing at all, and even if something had happened, it would have been a one-night affair, and as long as it didn’t come out, there would be no problem.
For now, I had to make a decision.
I left the room, dragging my heavy feet.
It is said that the common people started to enjoy public baths in the Edo period, and the famous legend of Yoshitsune’s flight from Hiraizumi to Hokkaido in the north, and eventually to Mongolia, is said to have been pursued by “Minamoto no Yoritomo.”
On his way, Yoshitsune found a house at the end of Akabane Pass, where he had a bath built for him. Since then, it is said that the family’s surname came to be “Furo” and the name of the place came to be “Furo”.
What I’m trying to say is that Japanese people have always loved baths so much that they would want to take one even when they were on the run.
Before leaving, the Kokonoe family soaked in the hot spring one more time and relaxed completely, but Mom and Nee-san still hadn’t come out of the hot spring. A woman’s bath is a long one.
The trip was a good one. There was no reason to hurry. I think I should just take my time. I waited leisurely at the entrance with a cup of coffee milk.
Yesterday was a tough day. My mom woke up in the middle of the day and joined in, and my sister’s pursuit of her became irrelevant.
It’s all in the far past. There is no point in digging it up now, and I myself don’t know what it was in the end, or why it happened. But if I hadn’t done what I did, I might have been able to achieve my goal.
――For that purpose, I wanted to disappear.
I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Still, I had two choices that day. Now I don’t. I can’t choose one over the other. And maybe that’s because I’ve become weaker.
But that’s the thing. I didn’t expect to see my mother there. Although it was a hot spring, it was a room bath, so there was no problem, but that was not the problem. Yes, that’s not the point!
The risk is growing by the day. It’s not even close to being a beta…… Even though the physical exhaustion has been healed, the mental exhaustion is just piling up.
According to my mom, she wanted to take a bath with me and wash me. I was grateful for her kindness, but my sister took the role, and I was in a bad mood. After that, I ended up being washed all over my body, which is not appropriate for a high school student, but I’ve been washed too much. My skin also became clean. Shiny.
Suddenly, a woman who looked familiar was approaching me.
Is it—– a Youkai?!
I wondered if she had come to soak in the hot spring. I call out to her.
“Uhm, are you feeling okay?” (Yuki)
“……? Me ……?” (Youkai)
“Yes. You seemed to be very drunk last night.” (Yuki)
“!? –Wait a minute. I have a vague recollection of your face from…….” (Youkai)
Are you sure you don’t remember me? I’ve never experienced this, but I’ve heard of people losing their memory after drinking too much alcohol. I’ll try to be more careful when I grow up.
“I tried to get you to change, but that wasn’t possible.” (Yuki)
“What did you do to me yesterday?” (Youkai)
“What? You’re the one who did it” (Yuki)
“—-I knew it! It was me who did it. ……” (Youkai)
She was in a panicked state, wondering what was going on. She was very shaken up. Unlike last night, her eyes were filled with intelligence. I couldn’t help but feel an extremely intense gap in her dignified appearance.
She was in her late twenties or early thirties, I guessed, when I observed her again.
“It was a terrible experience, really. You should be sorry.” (Yuki)
“……? Wait a minute. You’re underage ……aren’t you?” (Youkai)
“Yes, but what about it?” (Yuki)
“……I’m …… what the heck……. Hey, did I ask you out yesterday?” (Youkai)
“You forced me to restrain you like that and you don’t remember a thing?” (Yuki)
She suddenly collapsed on her knees. I could hear her mumbling, “The Youth Protection and Development Ordinance ……,” “If they don’t find out, ……,” and “Even the evidence …….”I can hear her saying. What is she talking about?
“You, phone, give me your phone!” (Youkai)
“Yes? Why?” (Yuki)
“I don’t remember anything, but I feel bad, but I can’t let it get out. You have not, by any chance, filmed it or anything, right?” (Youkai)
“No, I’m not.” (Yuki)
“I’m sorry, I don’t trust you. So let me see your phone.” (Youkai)
“I didn’t do anything like that.” (Yuki)
“Then you have nothing to hide. Just show it to me!” (Youkai)
I am being coerced into obeying without question. I’m in a hurry to find out if this is a bad idea or not. I handed over my phone to her, as she was so obviously in trouble.
She forced it out of my hands and began to operate it on her own.
“There is no lock……. The image is……What? There’s nothing……? How come you don’t have a single image?” (Youkai)
“It came like that” (Yuki)
“You must have sent it to some computer or something.” (Youkai)
“Why do you need to tell such a lie?” (Yuki)
“Because it’s…….” (Youkai)
The only picture I had saved of Sanjoji-sensei’s mufufufu was transferred to a USB drive for safekeeping because of the danger. You never know what might happen in this world. The arrival of the IoT society, where everything is connected to the Internet, also increases the risks.
Yukito Kokonoe, a man who never misses a chance to manage risks, keeps his devices offline to avoid unforeseen circumstances.
“I don’t want anything to happen to you. It’s not difficult to deal with, but I have my own situation.” (Youkai)
My phone slipped out of the woman’s hand as she tried to close in on us again. There was a cracking sound and the screen cracked mercilessly. In this age of smartphones, the strength of tempered glass is still not as strong as I thought.
“I-I’m sorry! I’ll pay for it—-.” (Youkai)
Even though I don’t use my phone that much on a regular basis, this is the first time I’ve seen a broken screen on my phone. It wasn’t me who broke it, though. I picked it up and checked it out. The touch panel works fine, but it’s hard to see the screen at all.
“—-Yukito, who is that person?” (Yuri)
I heard a familiar voice from behind me. My mother and sister came out of the hot spring.
“It’s BBA, the Youkai face-puking woman.” (Yuki)
[TL: BBA= slang for old woman]
“……Youkai? By the way, you said something like that yesterday—-.” (Youkai)
“Uwaaaaaaa, motherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” (Yuki)
“Yosh, Yosh. Let me give you a hug.” (Mother)
“I’m in a fluke1.” (Yuki)
After all the trouble I had been put through last night, with no response, and then today I was suddenly tangled up in a mess and the screen of my phone was broken, even the most mild-mannered person like me can’t help but be a little offended.
I explained the situation to my mother and others. I told them about the vomit spewed in my face and the incontinence on my back. Her face was turning white, not blue. Serves you right. Meanwhile, my sister’s eyes grew more and more grim.
“I’m telling you I didn’t record you, but you don’t believe me at all and you cracked my phone.……” (Yuki)
“That’s why I always tell you to be careful with strange women. That’s the way of the world. Do you understand? Do you understand? And if you do, you can answer back, your favorite sister.” (Yuri)
I ignore the things she says that I don’t understand and respond honestly. All I can do is reflect on this. A dog can hit a pole when it walks, but if I walk, I’ll run into trouble. I need to keep this in mind. I really should have just ignored it already. ……
“By the way, what are you doing to my brother? Ah?” (Yuri)
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it like that. I’ll pay for it. I didn’t know you were with your family…….” (Youkai)
“Hmmm… ……. I think I’ve seen you somewhere before. ……” (Mother)
“You know her?” (Yuki)
“Do you know her?” (Yuri)
“It is not like that……” (Mother)
In addition to the hostility of my sister, my mother has a thoughtful look on her face. And then, as if she remembered something, her expression suddenly brightened.
“I remember now! I’ve seen it in a magazine. I think it was ……, the goddess of the legal profession!” (Mother)
“This Youkai face-puking BBA is a goddess?” (Yuki)
“What kind of a goddess is this youkai, face-puking BBA, Mom?” (Yuri)
I don’t know what’s going on, but my sister is going to follow suit, how is she a goddess?
“She is an up-and-coming lawyer, and she is often featured in magazines, so she is, for lack of a better term, the Madonna of the legal world.” (Mother)
A surprising fact was revealed.
Lawyer? This youkai face vomiting BBA? She doesn’t look very much like that.
“Youkai to Goddess ……? She is a lawyer, too?…… Goddess…… reincarnated?…… No, a Goddess-Sensei…….” (Yuki)
–It hit me.
“I see. Megasen for short–!” (Yuki)
[TL: Megami= Goddess; Sensei= teacher—> Megasen]
“Stop it.” (Youkai)
I’m afraid of ©, so I’ll keep it to a minimum.
“I just remembered. Her name is Kuon Kozukata” (Mother)
[Kuon Kozukata PoV]
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to keep you waiting.” (Kuon)
“No, I just got here myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you.” (Cousin)
“I’m sorry to keep you company. I really wanted to talk to you about something.” (Kuon)
It had been two days since I returned from my solo trip. I met up with my cousin at a private cafe. I chose a private room because I wanted to talk without worrying about my surroundings.
“This is a souvenir from this trip. I tried it myself and it was delicious.” (Kuon)
“Oh, yeah. Thank you. I’ll pass it on to the others.” (Cousin)
I finish my order at a suitable place. At lunch time, I ordered some affordable food and drinks and took a break.
“Did you go to the hot springs again?” (Cousin)
“Yes, I was. The hot springs themselves were great, but that’s ……” (Kuon)
“You have a question, don’t you? I don’t think there’s anything I can answer.……” (Cousin)
My cousin and I are usually very close and talk a lot. We often exchange messages. Although we are not the same age, my cousin was simply a good listener. She adores me and makes me feel happy.
I wanted to ask her some questions, but most of all I wanted her to listen to my complaints. I couldn’t really talk about these things with the kids at the office. Only my close classmates or my cousin. It is because they are my people that I can expose my shame without worrying about it.
We talked about our own ugliness as we talked about the local products. I couldn’t relax unless I did this. Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more I found myself doing stupid things that were far from my normal self.
If I listened to him properly, all I did was make a horrible mess of things, then misunderstand him and approach him, suspiciously suspecting him and destroying his phone. Just laying out the facts makes me feel dizzy.
He had taken the trouble to carry me out of my drunken stupor, for which I was grateful, but in no way at fault. There was nothing that I had initially feared. I guess that’s true, too. We were on a family trip to a hot spring, and there was no way he was going to bring a woman into his room.
And yet, I was the worst in every way. The only thing he would have felt was discomfort and disgust. In fact, the way his sister looked at me was extremely harsh, and she was absolutely right. They know who I am. I’m sure he’s disgusted with me, and there’s no denying that I’m a scumbag on the Internet.
I’ll pay for the phone I broke, but that’s a given, and if I don’t, I’ll be sued. It’s a minimum requirement.
Apart from that, I had to apologize sincerely to him to make him feel better. I’m going to make a formal apology at a later date. No matter what he says, I’ll take it in stride.
If this would make him lose the kindness he had, I would be blinded. People who can move to help others without gain or loss are very precious. In this kind of work, it is inevitable that we see the ugly side of human beings in our daily lives. That is why, before I knew it, I had become such a skeptical person.
It is hard to have a humanity as clean and clear as a clear stream, it is very precious and should never be defiled. Still, it was true that the image of such a pure and innocent person somehow still didn’t feel real to me.
“So you vomited in his face…… That’s a little awful.” (Cousin)
“For once, I was sincerely sorry. I like to drink, but I have to try to avoid it. Even if you are an adult, you shouldn’t drink like this. I don’t know if I can convince you.” (Kuon)
“All I can say is be careful, but I never thought you would make such a mistake.” (Cousin)
“I didn’t think it would happen either.…… And that’s not all.” (Kuon)
…… I don’t have to tell you that I leaked the stream, do I?
Even though she was my cousin, my whispered pride as an adult denied it. Still, I can only thank him for carrying me to my room without a single complaint (although I think he might have actually said that).
As for him, he couldn’t make me change my clothes, and I was the only one in the room. I had no choice but to leave him alone. Still, on the table was a bottle of mineral water and an alcohol-dissolving supplement that I didn’t remember buying. It was something he had prepared for me.
What was I going to do …… to someone who had taken such care of me? For the past two days, I’ve been suffering from this terrible self-loathing. I can’t bring my work into it. This is why I wanted to vent it away
“But he was kind of a strange kid. At first he called me a Youkai.” (Kuon)
“Youkai? That’s interesting.” (Cousin)
“I couldn’t tell him my name, though. And yes, yes. His mother knows me, and since then she’s been calling me Goddess-sensei for some reason, which embarrasses me. I hope you don’t give me a strange alias.”
“……Goddess-sensei? I have a fierce sense of déjà vu…….” (Cousin)
“There was something I wanted to ask you. He’s a freshman, but he goes to the same high school as you.” (Kuon)
“Is that so? Wait a minute. I suddenly have a bad feeling about this.” (Cousin)
“His name is Yukito Kokonoe.” (Kuon)
I’ve given his family my business card and asked for his contact information. In the process, I learned that he happened to be attending the same high school as my cousin. There are many students there. I don’t know if my cousin knows him, but I still wanted to talk to him today because I thought it might be helpful.
“…… goddess-sensei…… goddess-senpai…… first-year…… ninth-grade ……” (Cousin)
“What’s wrong, Kyoka? If you know something, it would be great if you could tell me.” (Kuon)
For some reason, my cousin Kyoka Soma groaned as her eyes widened in astonishment.
[TL: Kyoka Soma is the stair goddess for the people that don’t know]
“I know this is sudden, but I’d like to install a lock in my room.” (Yuki)
“…… I’m sorry. Are we disturbing you?” (Mother)
“No, not at all.” (Yuki)
“Then that’s fine. If you want to do something alone, just tell me.” (Mother)
“I’ll do it for you.” (Yuri)
“!? It’s not like I’m alone” (Yuki)
“Well, well, well. I don’t mind. I don’t mind.” (Mother)
My mom is so generous. I wonder if this is what is commonly known as receptive power.
But why are they in my room?
My room is a meeting place. Do you want to go hunting with me?
It’s been a few days since the hot spring trip. I was troubled by my family’s constant visits to my room, so I tried to insist on privacy, but I was denied. The number of personal belongings that are not mine is steadily increasing. Why don’t you go back to your room?
“Want to watch a movie in the living room?” (Yuki)
“Let’s do some fitness at Ringcon. Can you teach me?” (Yuri)
“I don’t think this answer my question” (Yuki)
No matter what the pattern is, I’m sure I’m not going to get in trouble. It’s a common practice for them to try to undermine my mental strength for whatever reason. Sometimes I feel like throwing everything away and letting myself go, but if I do, I’m sure I won’t be able to get back up again.
“…… Huh?” (Yuki)
I got a message on my phone with a cracked screen. I said that I only needed to repair the LCD, but the mysterious face-puking BBA, aka Goddess-sensei, refused to listen, saying that she would pay for the entire unit, so I scheduled a replacement for a later date.
I looked over the contents of the message.
“—-Summer festival? It’s been two years.” (Hinagi)
The sender was Hinagi Suzurikawa
- Have lost sight of the right path. It indicates a state of feeling lost.