Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
This chapter ended up half as long as I planned.
When I finished writing the latter half, I noticed that what I wrote contradicted the settings I established in the earlier chapter… How sad.
So I would fix that part then post it as a new chapter. I think it would take me about two days.
The next day, I spent the day with Arisu-chan on the deck.
Since the people around us were also couples, we didn’t stand out.
“The sea sure is beautiful.”
The sea was calm. Just looking at it together like this made me feel happy.
When I looked in a certain direction, I saw Ayanokouji.
Next to him was Karuizawa.
It seemed like the two of them were talking in their own world.
Although I felt bad since it was like we were disturbing them, we still headed toward the two.
“So both of you also came here.”
When Ayanokouji saw us, he approached.
Noticing that, next to him, Karuizawa looked somewhat dissatisfied.
I recalled what kind of person Karuizawa Kei was in the original story.
She was among the ‘higher caste’ of the women in Class D.
She was the type of person who was easily disliked because of her selfishness and high-handed behavior.
However, that was just Karuizawa’s self-defense mechanism.
When she was in middle school, she was brutally bullied.
If I recall correctly, with violence as a matter of course, she was subjected to all sorts of harassment, all the way down to terrible things like coercion or humiliating acts.
After enrolling in this school, she decided to imitate those bullies. She tried to convince people around her that she was a strong person so she could avoid being targeted.
In addition, by pretending to be in a romantic relationship with a guy in a strong position, Hirata Yousuke, she basically said that she was above everyone in the class.
I guess that was about it?
After sorting things out, I returned the gaze.
Karuizawa looked at us as if trying to estimate our value.
“…What? I’m in the middle of a conversation with Kiyotaka at the moment, you know?”
She showed a flippantly uninterested attitude towards us.
Rather than that, did she just refer to Ayanokouji by his name instead of his surname?
She was most likely in the midst of her excitement that their relationship was established.
Then, she was irritated seeing her man prioritize us instead of her.
I already knew she had that personality, but she ought to put more effort into pretending. She should at least try to act cute.
While thinking that, I waited for Arisu-chan’s words.
“Fufu, please excuse us. Are the two of you dating?”
“Why do you ask all of a sudden? Do I have to answer something like this?”
Annoying, she was decently annoying. Who did she think she was? Horikita?
She actually acted that way toward Arisu-chan. At this point, she was someone I hated.
Did she not understand that her attitude would make Ayanokouji’s reputation suffer?
This woman sure was getting arrogant. That was all that came to my mind.
That was why I didn’t even think about the actual relationship she had with Ayanokouji.
Ayanokouji expressionlessly touched Karuizawa.
It wasn’t an unnatural behavior among couples.
I knew the meaning of Ayanokouji caressing Karuizawa’s side.
Karuizawa immediately lost her expression and her body trembled with fear.
[“Do you want to experience that one more time?”]
Ayanokouji’s eyes seemed to say such a remark.
Aah, so you were willing to go that far for us…
“Is something wrong?”
Arisu-chan must have found it interesting and seemed to be doing her all to hold back her laughter.
A chill struck me. These two were really scary.
I reconfirmed the fact that I really didn’t want these two turning into enemies.
“…I’m really sorry. My name is Karuizawa Kei.”
“Yes, my name is Sakayanagi Arisu. Please take care of us from now on, okay?”
What Karuizawa was apologizing about was definitely not about Arisu-chan.
Since the atmosphere became too heavy, I decided to talk as well.
“That’s right. Ayanokouji, even though we’ve known each other for quite some time, we still referred to each other by surnames. If you don’t mind, why don’t we refer to each other by first names instead?”
“Is it okay?”
“Of course. We’re friends, right Kiyotaka?”
“Aah, I understand, Haruto.”
The happy-looking Kiyotaka was unexpectedly cute.
I couldn’t believe he was the same person as the one who threatened a girl earlier.
“Then, I will also call you Kiyotaka-kun from now on as well, okay?”
“Thank you, Arisu.”
With this, I felt the distance between us became closer.
Arisu-chan looked at Karuizawa again.
She slowly tried to uncover the darkness.
It only lasted for a few seconds, but that was plenty for Arisu-chan.
Karuizawa hid behind Kiyotaka, frightened.
It seemed she realized Arisu-chan was someone she should never make an enemy of.
…Karuizawa’s mentality completely returned to that of a bullied girl.
I began to feel a little pitiful of her.
If Arisu-chan manipulated others through their positive aspects, Kiyotaka used their negative aspects to dominate them.1
Rather than inciting them, Kiyotaka uses fear.
Perhaps he judged this method to be more effective for Karuizawa.
Kiyotaka suddenly stroked Karuizawa’s head.
Karuizawa seemed happy with that and smiled shyly while surprised by the suddenness.
That expression was quite cute.
…I think Karuizawa could no longer leave Kiyotaka no matter what he did to her.
She already left Hirata after all, so there was no going back for her.
I thought a little about their relationship.
Just before this exam, Kiyotaka seemed to use some sort of method to break Karuizawa’s mind.
Then to force Karuizawa into thinking that he was her last refuge, he granted her a carrot.
Kiyotaka bringing Karuizawa up as the MVP of this deserted island exam was an easy-to-understand example of those carrots.
By allowing her the pleasure of being praised by the people around her, she picked up her shattered self-esteem and in an act of self-preservation, thought that Kiyotaka was the only one for her.
That wasn’t all. It showed Kiyotaka’s strength. He could also win against other classes if he was serious.
Considering Karuizawa’s personality, she couldn’t betray him after she saw that much.
All that was left was to get her addicted to the person named Ayanokouji Kiyotaka.
…Perhaps she was so arrogant earlier because he approved her to be his girlfriend.
Since it would be a problem if she was too conceited, Kiyotaka used a stick earlier to rein in her behavior.
The more I thought about it, the more I felt that Kiyotaka had a different form of cunningness to Arisu-chan.
As I thought, you were a genius after all, Kiyotaka.
[“Sorry about earlier. I’m still not finished educating her.”]
After we parted with the two, we received such a message on our terminal.
The message was quite eerie, but it was so in line with Kiyotaka’s attitude, it made me laugh instead.
“It seems Kiyotaka-kun has turned Karuizawa-san into his pawn.”
“Aah. That girl must have been wrecked, looking at her attitude.”
While talking about that with Arisu-chan, we headed to a restaurant for lunch.
Before I knew it, my hatred for Karuizawa had disappeared.
It was replaced with something like pity, I guess?
While talking about that, one doubt came to mind.
Would Kiyotaka hunt down Karuizawa on the ship like in the original story?
Most likely, Kiyotaka already did something equivalent to that earlier. In addition to already causing enormous mental damage to her, it seemed Kiyotaka already knew everything about Karuizawa’s past. Was there any need to pressure her further?
But for some reason, I think Kiyotaka would “do it.”
The purpose might be slightly different, but I have a feeling he would still do it.
Well, even if I noticed that, I have no intention to stop it, though.
[“That person named Karuizawa-san is quite interesting. I think she is worth aiming for.”]
After discussion with Sakayanagi, I decided to take action.
I need to get a tool that would work as I wanted as soon as possible.
Three days after receiving an email from Sakayanagi, I called Karuizawa to the special building.2
Want early access to Cannon Fodder, Melancholy of the Demon Army Officer, and I Was a Man Before Reincarnating, So I Refuse a Reverse Harem? Support the translator on Patreon!