In the Suiran primary section, the results of the tests we regularly have aren’t published. When we enter the middle school section, the top 20 students overall, and in each subject are pasted up on a board, and each student is privately told what their ranking is, but even that doesn’t happen in the primary section. There’s a report card at least, but it’s all based on a non-relative evaluation, so it isn’t really dependable. Because of that you don’t get a good idea of how everybody else is doing. Nor do you get a good idea of how you yourself stand in the school. Most of the girls who attend Suiran from the primary section tend to enter a political marriage after graduating from university, or find work through their parents’ connections, or go looking for somebody to marry, so basically none of them will really give it their all studying.
But I’m different! I haven’t incurred Emperor’s wrath as of this moment, but I can’t ignore the possibility that by some chance I butt heads with the protagonist in high school and anger the Emperor, and end up having my whole family destroyed. And it seems that the pattern of ‘Father’s dishonesty coming to light’ → ‘people demand Father’s resignation’ → ‘our assets are seized’ → ‘our family falls into ruin’ is set pretty firmly. Aahh, Otousama, please turn over a new leaf. (Although I don’t actually know if he is doing anything dishonest. It’s fine even if it’s a false charge!)
If our family falls into ruin then I probably won’t have anyone to marry after all, so I need to earn my own living expenses. To that end, I need to study. In preparation for if I don’t have the fees to pay for a private university, I want to have enough academic ability to get into a national or public university. In the future, I want to make enough money not just for me, but to take care of my parents as well. Because of all this, I asked my parents to let me go to cram school.
“You are a girl, so isn’t there no need to study so hard?”
As expected, Okaasama was negative. ‘How about flute or violin instead?’ she suggested. Incidentally, Otousama completely leaves child-raising to Okaasama. He’s completely useless at times like this.
“But Okaasama, I find studying very interesting.”
Hm~mm, I wonder if that was too weak an excuse. Well then,
“When we enter the middle school section, talented people from other schools will enter. When that happens, I will be left behind.”
Just to make sure, I added, “Even though I am a Pivoine member, to have something so shameful happen is…” which made her eyebrows twitch.
“Pivoine” is like a magic word when it comes to her.
“You’re right. Then shall I find you a private tutor?”
That would be troubling! I don’t want a tutor, I want to go to cram school. Besides becoming smarter, I have one other goal too.
“I want to go to cram school. I want to see how people from other schools are doing as well.”
I bend my upper body forward as I begged her. I had to go to so much infant class before I got into Suiran, so can’t you just let me go to cram school as well!
“But as a daughter of the Kisshouin household, there shouldn’t be any need to get along with ordinary children. And what’s more, in a place like that, there are children from public schools too. It would be terrible if they hurt the cute little you.”
It’s here. That sense of being a class of chosen ones.
She’s saying stuff like “You need to choose who you associate with, okay?”. Didn’t the Kisshouin Reika in kimidol turn out to be that useless rich girl because she chose who to associate with?
“It is fine, Okaasama. I will just be going there to study. I will make sure to remember your teachings, Okaasama.”
I’m a little irritated as somebody who once went to a public primary school, but I’ll endure here, endure.
“Okay? Please, Okaasama.”
I clasped my hands together in front of my chest like I was praying. How’s this? My ‘Cute Daughter Begging Beam’!
“Isn’t it fine?”
OOOHH! Sudden reinforcements from the rear! Hearing our conversation, Oniisama supported me.
“It’s not often that you get somebody who wants to study. What if she went to the cram school that I attended when I was in primary? The lessons there are thorough and easy to understand, you know?”
The cram school that Oniisama went to! That sounds really reliable! How about it, Okaasama. Even Oniisama is supporting the idea. Come, come! Give me a positive reply!
After looking at the two of us and giving a small sigh, Okaasama said,
“I understand. Then tomorrow I will take care of the enrolment.”
YAHOOOOO! Hooray! Hooray! I can go to cram school!
“Thank you, Okaasama!”
I couldn’t hold back the smile from inside me. With this, my dream will come true…
“Oniisama, thank you for earlier.”
While we were returning to our rooms from the living room, I chased behind Oniisama in the hallway and thanked him. As expected of my kind Oniisama~ Uhuhu.
“It wasn’t much. More importantly, I know that you really want to go to cram school for some reason, but I wonder if you have some other motive as well.”
Was it that easy to tell?
“Mm~mm, if I study at home I’ll probably just relax and get lazy~ And I want to become close to kids outside of Suiran too, so~”
While my eyes swam about in a corner, I somehow managed to wring that out.
Oniisama looked right at me for a while, but when I began to pout,
“I got it, I got it. Let’s go with that then.”
After giving me two pats on the head, Oniisama smiled. So you’ll be understanding, Oniisama?
“But you know, Reika.”
Oniisama brought his face close to my ears.
“When people lie, they look to the top right, you know.”
And then with a smile, Oniisama said “Well then, good night.” before returning to his own room.
Eh-, what was that just now? Gosh, what a scary 13 year old. Why does he know something like that? Could it be that the kind and gentle Oniisama is actually a crafty type? Like, what if he knew how to see through lies to hide his own lies.
Oniisama, please stay as my mental oasis.
Anyway, from now on I’ll be careful when I lie…