CHAPTER 41 – TRICKSTER VICTOR 
But it’s not like I’ve given up all hope yet. The short of things is that I need to show him that the current me is completely different from last year’s Kotone. If I can do that, then it’s even possible that he’ll completely lose interest in me.
「Oi, Kisaragi. What have yo-…」「I’ll explain later, so would you shut up for a moment?」
From an outsider’s perspective, this situation likely encourages some weird imaginations. Like that Kotone ordered him to be dragged here to unleash all sorts of atrocities upon or so. Which would probably be more of a reward for him. This might be how Nagatsuki sees this situation.
「You can let him go.」 「But…」
Physically, that is. Mentally? I know that he’s a being that can do maximum damage in that sense. That’s precisely why I need to do the exact opposite of what the past Kotone has done before. And I guess the club prez realized this, since he’s telling them to let him go.
「Ah, my lady. I’ve finally happened upon you.」
Yeah, the theatrical lines are fine but could you not prostrate yourself in front of me? Even though you positioned your head in an easy to step on position, that’s meaningless, okay. Kotone would probably do it, but I absolutely won’t.
「Saejima. That is going to soil your uniform. Come now, please stand.」
Making a tender smile, I reach out my hand. Honestly, I really don’t want to touch him, but tolerate it for now. If I can tolerate this, I might finally be liberated from here on.
「Eh?」 「Please don’t be so reserved, take my hand. Or do you perhaps dislike touching me?」
「Please don’t be so reserved, take my hand. Or do you perhaps dislike touching me?」
This causes damage even to me, the actor. After all, who the heck is this lady? If an acquaintance ever sees me doing this, there’s no telling how much they’ll tease me about it. I pray that no one’s around.
「Y-you are Kisaragi Kotone, correct? Why so different from before?」「Yes, this is really me, Kisaragi Kotone. Have you forgotten?」
He’s visibly shaken. Who the heck would willingly talk to you the way you want them to? I’ll exorcize you with words of kindness and sincerity.
「Please take my hand. If the other people see this situation, it would be troubling, wouldn’t it? Saejima.」
It’s going to be absolutely troubling for me. So stop blanking out and stand up.
「N-no. This isn’t the Kisaragi I’ve been seeking for. Who are you!?」「Even if you say that, I don’t know how to answer. Club president, Nagatsuki. I’m Kisaragi Kotone, aren’t I?」
I’ll use anything and everything I can use. So please hurry up and free me from this situation. I’m starting to get goosebumps from my own actions.
「That’s right. This isn’t my first time meeting her, so I can guarantee. You too, right? Nagatsuki?」「T-that’s true. She most certainly is Kisaragi Kotone.」
I heard you mumbling "I didn’t know this side of hers," loud and clear. I know myself that I’m out of character. But in consideration of the future, I’m doing all I can to repel this threat before me.
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「Please raise your head, Saejima. That will only make it difficult for you to speak, won’t it?」
My underwear is most likely visible, but I’ll ignore that. If he raises his head, I’ll just use this as a reason to act all shy. Since we’re doing this, I’m going all out!
「No, no, no! This isn’t what I wanted!1」
He quickly stood up and ran off as fast as he could. I’m pretty sure he was crying. Was it that much of a shock? Still, with this, we’ve pulled through.
「That was exhausting.」 「Good job. Now wasn’t that good acting? We’d honestly love to have you in the theater club.」
「Good job. Now wasn’t that good acting? We’d honestly love to have you in the theater club.」
「I’d much rather not keep on acting when I’m in front of that, so I respectfully decline.」
「That’s a shame. Still, if you could keep up what you were doing, wouldn’t you be able to come off as a proper high-class lady?」
Thinking about it this way, Aya’s camouflage is really amazing. After all, she spends her daily life without showing her true self at all, it’s impressive. Reaching that sort of state is impossible for me.
「What the hell just happened here?」
Come to think of it, I forgot that Nagatsuki is here. It would’ve been a lot easier and a lot less trouble if he just left for somewhere on his own.
「Nothing in particular. Right, club prez?」「That’s right. Kisaragi just got dragged into a theater club problem. She resolved this issue, so there’s no longer a problem.」
I’m grateful that he’s playing along. As expected of someone who’s known the president for a long time. He’s a pretty perceptive person.
「But wasn’t he dragged along to this place to begin with?」「It was a coincidence that I was present here. Besides, I’m not so influential enough to be able to order around my upperclassmen.」
It’s true that I’ve gotten along with the theater club people since the photoshoot. But that doesn’t mean that I intend to use our bond to do weird stuff. Or rather, I won’t.
「That’s right. It truly was a mere coincidence that Kotone happened to be here. I can vouch for her. 」「Hii!?」
Hearing a voice from behind, I reflexively shrieked. Why is Aya here!?
「U-um. Aya. Since when have you been observing?」「Ever since you were hit by a breeze. I had a hunch that something interesting was about to happen, you see.」
From the start, then. And what’s with that hunch of hers? It’s not like she’s a future seer, so there was no way she should have known. Yet she accurately predicted it, this woman.
「This pathway leads towards the library, you know? It’s by no means strange that I’m here.」
Well that is true. But the timing was too perfect. Nagatsuki came here at the worst possible timing, meanwhile Aya’s timing is too good.
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「Come on, if we don’t leave soon, it’ll complicate things.」
Could you not whisper in my ear like that!?
「Are you unsatisfied by my testimony? Nagatsuki.」「No, I would never doubt the testimony of a Shimotsuki. Well then, I’ll excuse myself.」
Seriously, what did he come here for? And on the other hand, now that I’ve been captured, what’s going to happen to me?
「Aya. I have plans after right after this, so if I may excuse myself.」「Nope. Have you perhaps forgotten that we have made a promise to have a chat?」
I have no memory of making that promise though!
「I won’t take much of your time. I simply want to have a moment to talk about your acting earlier.」
She’s definitely going to tease me about it! Wait, stop pulling on my arm! Club prez, help!
「Okay everyone, withdraw. Good work people.」
Don’t you just order around like you don’t see this! Don’t don’t act so considerate here! Someone, help!