Just as the college-aged man surmised, everyone riding this elevator was an award winner.
The elevator soon arrived at the banquet hall floor, and they all walked to the venue to see the orange-haired beautiful editor who was wearing a suit.
"Welcome, everyone," Saki greeted Seiji and the others politely. "I'm Editor Yoshizawa from Thunderbolt Literature… Everyone, please sign here on the check-in sheet to indicate your arrival."
Saki gestured toward a form on the table.
Seiji saw that it was labeled "Award Ceremony Arrival Status", and that several names were signed on it already.
He picked up a pen and signed the name "Seigo Harano" next to his pen name "Idle Dimension by the Shore".
Everyone else filled in their names as well.
Saki looked over at the form that everyone filled out, then picked up several name tags embroidered with red ribbons and placed them in front of Seiji and the others.
"Please put on the name tags with your own name on them."
Seiji and the others did as instructed.
Then, the female editor led them to a waiting room by the banquet hall.
There were three people inside this room already, two women and one boy. All three were currently fiddling with their cell phones.
When Seiji and the others entered, a woman wearing a one-piece dress with a jacket on top and the boy who was wearing a school uniform looked at them, while the girl who was wearing a down coat continued to focus on her cell phone.
"Please rest here for a while. I'll come let everyone know when it's time to formally begin."
The female editor left after saying so.
The room remained silent for a few seconds.
"Good evening," Seiji politely greeted the woman and boy that were looking in his direction.
The one-piece dress woman was slightly dazzled by Seiji's handsome face and only regained her senses when he spoke to her, which caused her to start blushing. She finally responded with a "G… good evening."
"…Good evening." The boy who appeared like a middle school student seemed to be unwelcoming of Seiji's presence as he responded with a grim tone.
Seiji then turned to look at the girl who was focusing on her cell phone as he was rather surprised to meet her here.
A student librarian at Genhana High School who once had a mystical incident during the infirmary. She possessed a ghost within her that called itself "Ychan."
She never returned to the infirmary after that, nor did it seem like anything was wrong with her. She never became an Awakened, nor did any other incidents happen.
Seiji never expected to meet her in such a place… this Ishiharsenpai of his must have been writing light novels as well.
He felt that a student librarian writing a novel was such a classic setting. It was just about perfect since she was also a beauty if she removed her eyeglasses.
Seiji couldn't help but smile as he imagined things while walking towards her.
She noticed someone approaching her and greeting her by name. The brown-haired girl with black-rimmed eyeglasses finally lifted her head away from her cell phone, only to notice a smiling handsome boy standing before her.
"H… hello, Harano…-san."
"It seems that Senpai knows who I am, so I won't need to introduce myself." Seiji smiled in greeting. "I didn't expect to meet Ishiharsenpai here."
Miyabi looked at him with a confused expression on her face.
"Harano-san, you're a really famous person in our school, which is why I know you… but why do you know me?"
"Last year right before the final exams, I saw you in the library when the drama club was having a study group there. I heard that you were Shiho-senpai's friend, so I remembered this fact from that time."
"…Are you highly skilled at remembering girls?"
"No, I just coincidentally happened to remember you, Senpai." Seiji did his best to cover for himself.
Miyabi furrowed her eyebrows slightly in evident doubt.
"Alright, I'll tell you the truth." Since he saw that she didn't believe him, Seiji did the next best thing without having to tell her about her own mystical incident. "Actually, a friend told me that when Ishiharsenpai takes off her eyeglasses and pays special attention to her appearance, that you'll be an incredible beauty… which is why I especially observed Senpai before, and that left me with a deep impression."
Miyabi paused in surprise for a moment. A few seconds later, her face began to redden.
"I don't think it's ridiculous at all. Senpai, how about trying it out?"
"That's such a pity." Seiji sat down across from her and gazed directly into her eyes. "However, Senpai looks quite nice like this as well."
Miyabi was rendered speechless.
Her junior who was a famous individual in her school and handsome like an idol was now talking to and praising her… Miyabi considered herself just an ordinary girl whom people wouldn't pay much attention to; her heart beat quite rapidly when dealing with such an unusual situation for her.
She felt that he wouldn't have anything in common with her, so why…
Miyabi suddenly realized what place they were currently in.
"Harano-san, you're an author who won a newcomer's award as well?"
"Yep." Seiji nodded.
"You also write light novels?"
"That's right." Seiji smiled.
Once again, Miyabi was rendered speechless.
She had never heard anything about writing light novels in the rumors about him!
For someone like him who was so handsome and shining brilliantly like a star… how could he possibly be a light novel author?
She couldn't help but ask, "Why do you write light novels?"
"Senpai, why do you write light novels yourself?"
"Because… I like them…"
"I also write them because I like them." Seiji chuckled.
"But… someone like you…"
"What about someone like me?"
"…It's nothing." Miyabi suppressed her own emotions as she felt that she had misspoken.
After all, there was no rule about handsome boys not being allowed to write light novels. That was just her own personal bias, which she felt was wrong.
Seiji continued looking at her.
Meanwhile, the college student young man started chatting with the office worker and the middle-aged man, while the middle school student continued playing with his cell phone. The one-piece dress woman also played with her cell phone while sneaking occasional peeks at the handsome Seiji.
"Ishiharsan, which award did you win?" Seiji decided to ask after observing her for a while.
"…What about you, Harano-san?" Miyabi asked him back.
"I was the one who asked first." Seiji indicated that she should tell him first.
Miyabi slightly averted her gaze.
"My novel is called 'What Should I Do Because I've Grown Cat Ears And Can See Ghosts Now?'" Miyabi told him in a soft voice.
"Ah, a Silver Award novel. Excellent," Seiji praised her.
The novels that received awards were all publicized on the internet before the awards ceremony. "What Should I Do Because I've Grown Cat Ears And Can See Ghosts Now?" was one of the two novels that received a Silver Award.
This story was about a middle school girl who had an overactive imagination. One day, when she visited her grandmother's home in the countryside, she grew cat ears and a cat tail for an unknown reason. Not only that, she gained the ability to see the ghost of a human child that nobody else could see. She had a mystical adventure under the ghost's guidance and uncovered a hidden story behind the rural village.
Just this synopsis alone seemed quite ordinary, but this story definitely had excellent points to it in order to have received the Silver Award.
The judges' reviews of this light novel included phrases such as "healing," "cute," "very moe," "a bit frightening," and "surprisingly scary…" in summary, it was a moe-type gore… er, moe-type suspense novel.
Miyabi Ishihara's pen name was "Snow Moon's Words in a Dream."
While Seiji praised her novel, something flashed in his eyes as he considered the content of her novel as well as the pen name she chose for herself.
A ghost child… words in a dream… did what she wrote have a connection to the ghost child that would appear when she was asleep?
"It's your turn, Harano-san," Miyabi told him. "Which novel did you write?"
"I wrote 'Brother Monogatari," Seiji responded.
"'Brother Monogatari…'" The brown-haired girl widened her eyes in surprise. "The novel that cheated?"