Tsukemono are a Japanese pickle used as a side dish. Also Japanese apparently have a dish that’s basically leftovers and bread. Sometimes it’s eaten like a sandwich, but recently(ish) they have taken to selling it as its own dish, and baking various ingredients into the dough itself.
With the summer break over, I entered term two and began going to cram school like I had hoped. Oniisama used to go here so it should be quite good. Apparently it’s a really high level cram school, filled with students from private schools and high level national schools. Completely different from the cram school I went to in my old life, which had but flyers going for it…
At the moment we’re only learning Japanese and arithmetic so following the lessons is no problem at all. Rather, this feeling of invincibility is amazing. Well, it’s just Year 1 work after all. It would be a problem if I didn’t understand. One of the reasons I wanted to go to cram school was of course in preparation for my future, but it was the other reason that was the important one.
I do go to a few different lessons, but the Kisshouin chauffeur takes me to all of them. They drop me off in front of the classroom before the lessons begin, and pick me up in front of the classroom when the lesson ends. Indeed! I have no time to move about freely! To begin with, I can’t even walk outside alone. Somebody is always by my side. But that’s troubling. Why it’s troubling is because I can’t buy sweets to eat.
If you want to laugh at me for my gluttony, go ahead and laugh. However! Each and every day, the sweets I get are all high class, and even my meals are always a menu like some high class restaurant’s. I am thankful, you know? It really is delicious, you know? But this commoner’s tongue from my old life wants junky snack food. It wants to eat simple stuff like tsukemono on plain rice. It wants to eat leftovers baked into bread!
And so I started thinking. ‘Wouldn’t it just be fine if I just went to a lesson where I didn’t have an attendant?’ Cram school has a Japanese class, and then an arithmetic class; between those two classes is breaktime, you see. ‘Couldn’t I use that time to sneak out and secretly buy snacks?’ I thought.
If possible, I wanted the cram school to be close to a convenience store. If I sneak out too often, the teachers at cram school might find it a problem and report it to my parents, so I need to be careful when doing so. I’ll only buy things small enough to fit between my cram textbooks and into my bag. No way will I ever get greedy and try buying something as big as potato chips. Even small packets are bulky because of the air in them. And one day I’ll buy onigiri too.
Whenever I started daydreaming about that, it became impossible to stop. That’s why I wanted to go to cram school no matter what.
There was a convenience store about 2 or 3 minutes walk from the cram school that Oniisama used to go to. How splendid. I was a newcomer, and on top of that a student from the famous Suiran, so I couldn’t slip out due to the attention at first.
I go to cram school once a week now, and it was two months since I started attending that I was able to somehow sneak out to the convenience store──
The first thing I bought were two Tirolian chocolates and caramel. I obviously couldn’t leave the cram school with my bag, so I was limited to buying things that I could fit into my pockets. We only get fifteen minutes break, so I had to hurry back. The following 2 hour lesson didn’t sink in at all.
When I returned home, the Tirolian chocolate that I secretly ate in my room tasted so nostalgic that I cried. I took care to slowly enjoy the other Tirolian chocolate and 8 caramel pieces as well.
Cheap food, banzai.
In autumn we have stuff like the athletics carnival or the Suiran presentation day so it’s busy. As for my private life, I have a piano recital as well. It’s so hectic.
Naturally, the two tops of our grade, Kaburagi and Enjou flourished at the athletics carnival. They even overwhelmed some upperclassmen. Thanks to that, their fans increased, in the upper grades as well. Unfortunately I couldn’t become our class’ hero. I’ll try my best in other fields.
The Suiran presentation day is something like a cultural festival, so the place will be decorated with artwork created by the students, and we’ll have a choir contest and a bazaar and stuff too. It was much harder to prepare for presentation day than the athletics carnival, and so in order to replenish my body, I would eat snacks at the Petite Pivoine in between preparations. Being able to eat sweets on school grounds really is a special privilege.
Lately at the salon, it’s all been talk about the choir programme or the artwork that each class has been creating. The class artwork becomes harder as you go up a grade, so it’s tough. Apparently in the upper years of the primary section, they even create dioramas and stuff.
“Reika-san, today we have Pierre Evan macarons, you know. Will you eat some?”
“Gosh. I definitely shall.”
This person is an Oneesama in Year 5, Minazuki Aira-sama. Unique for a girl in Suiran, she has short hair and a bit of a boyish appearance, and gives the impression of growing up to be the lead male-role actor in an all-female theatre troupe somewhere. Ever since Aira-sama saw me waltz with Oniisama at the summer party, she’s been on good terms with me. Apparently seeing me try my very best to dance was cute. I’m thankful that she feels that way. She said stuff like “You have such a kind Oniisama. I sure am jealous.” and although I didn’t know where she got it from, she gave me a picture of Oniisama and I ringing the bell as a present. As it turns out, apparently an acquaintance of Aira-sama had been there to take the picture. “They were a lovely couple, so I wanted to give them a picture later.” apparently. Oniisama, they’ve decided we’re a couple, you know? I had thought it was a needless and huge embarrassment in front of Kaburagi Masaya and Enjou Shuusuke, but when one door shuts, another opens, huh.
──But there’s just one very big problem with Aira-sama. That is…
“Yurie. This limited-time macaron is delicious, you know.”
Right. Aira-sama is that Yurie-sama’s good friend.
“Mn, then perhaps I’ll have just one more. What about you two, Masaya, Shuusuke?”
“I’ll have one.”
“Hmm, I think I’ll pass.”
The spot next to Yurie-sama is almost always occupied by ‘I ♥ YURIE’ Kaburagi. And Yurie-sama and Aira-sama are close friends. And recently, there’s been this underclassman that Aira-sama has taking a liking to; me.
I’m in a pretty dangerous position.
Lord Emperor basically pays no attention to anybody but the people he has an interest in, so up until now he’s been completely disregarding me. But one time when Enjou Shuusuke said “Oh, aren’t you the girl from the summer party who did the waltz in the middle of the dance floor?” and Emperor went “Ah… That time.” and looked my way. Enjou Shuusuke, don’t say unnecessary things!
“Masaya, are you making sure to properly help with your class’ presentation?”
“…Well, I get around.”
“That’s no good. You have to do it properly.”
“What’s with that response? I’m going to see you all the way to class. You know what to do, right?”
“I get it, already. You sure are noisy, Yurie.”
“What was that!?”
“Joking. Geez, sorry. You get angry so easily.”
I sneakily watched them as I munched on a macaron. Despite his abusive tongue, he looks quite happy, doesn’t he. I see, I see. So that’s what you like? Emperor is always smiling when he talks to Yurie-sama. Plenty of expressions, like a completely different person from that bored-looking and expressionless Emperor everywhere else. Geez, look, isn’t he blushing too? Hey, your love is leaking outside, you know? While I was observing this incredibly funny Emperor, I met eyes with Enjou. I’m sorry, I won’t look anymore. I’ll still be eavesdropping on their flirting though.
Anyway, while all that was happening, my busy, but peaceful, autumn passed by.
“Unique for a girl in Suiran, she has short hair and a bit of a boyish appearance, and gives the impression of growing up to be the lead male-role actor in an all-female theatre troupe somewhere.” I added in the ‘all-female’ part because she’s referring to the Takarazuka Revue, which English readers might not immediately understand.