A Sign of the Mastermind
As a matter of fact, Shiho Shimotsuki did not dislike Kururi Kurumizawa.
(I’ve never seen anyone make such beautiful sounds.)
Lunch break. While pretending to be reading the bulletin board in a corner of the classroom, Shiho asks Kururi Kurumizawa how she was doing. The girl with pink hair tied in twin-tails was lying face down.
(…I still don’t think she’s a bad person.)
No matter how much she observed, there was no sign of malice from Kururi Kurumizawa.
Even with her unusually developed hearing, Shiho was unable to detect Kururi Kurumizawa’s abnormality and was at a loss.
(If she had been a more obvious villain, I would have been able to properly dislike her.)
–Was it really Kururi Kurumizawa who hurt Kotaro Nakayama?
The more she observed, the stronger her suspicions became.
Speaking from her senses, Kururi Kurumizawa was not a bad person.
At least, she did not seem to be the kind of person who would hurt Kotaro Nakayama with impunity.
(And … somehow, it’s too beautiful or … somehow, it’s too artificial.)
Kururi Kurumizawa’s ‘sound’ was apparently unnatural.
As for the type, she resembled her mother. Satsuki Shimotsuki, a legitimate heroine, was a very clear-sounding person, much like Kururi Kurumizawa.
However, because she knows the real thing, she is aware of a faint artificial presence.
(I wonder if she really, of her own volition, fell in love with Kotaro-kun?)
(Someone was pulling her strings behind her back and forcing her to have those feelings … or something like that. If that’s the case, I feel a little sorry for her.)
Shiho can’t seem to get her anger directed at Kururi Kurumizawa.
She had caught the hint of someone who was behind it.
That someone is what Kotaro Nakayama calls “opportunism”.
Shiho does not have a meta-perspective, so she is unaware of the concept, but her unusually keen senses had detected this sign.
(…What should I do?)
She will try to figure out what she should do in the future.
There would be no great point in accusing Kururi Kurumizawa with direct words.
It would rather make Shiho wary of her presence and make it impossible to uncover her true nature.
What Shiho wanted to know was Kururi Kurumizawa’s true feelings.
(If she truly loved Kotaro-kun with all her heart … though I can’t interfere with that love…)
If that were the case, she would have no choice but to give Kotaro Nakayama an answer.
At that time, Shiho believes that she will accept the answer he reaches after all the agony he went through.
But what if Kururi Kurumizawa’s love for him was artificially created?
(Then I will never accept it.)
She must reject it clearly.
Not Kururi Kurumizawa.
She had to show the mastermind behind it that ‘as long as I’m around, I won’t let Kotaro-kun get away.’
Shiho did not want to be pushed around by opportunism.
(If you interfere with my story and his, I will fight you.)
She cannot be just a lovely girl.
She would even turn into a demon at times to protect the one she loves.
This is the strength of Shiho Shimotsuki.
She is not bound by the role of a character.
Despite her position as the main heroine, she always moves outside of the story.
This was the nature of the character Shiho Shimotsuki.
All in order to make Kotaro Nakayama happy.
(… Yes, there was him.)
She is willing to use even the taboo in this story.
(I wonder where Ryuzaki-kun is?)
Finally, she and he make contact.
Shiho remembered her childhood friend, the former harem protagonist, who had long since disappeared into thin air in this story.
He had been indifferent, bitter, and someone she would not want to be associated with if at all possible.
(For Kotaro-kun’s sake, it can’t be helped.)
It’s not a situation she could be bothered with…
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