So many ruined expectations…
Oni 12 – Awkward
This is so awkward. Since my face wasn’t any different to before my reincarnation, I had been under the impression that Negishi-san knew who I was the whole time for sure. However, considering her reactions, it seems that she doesn’t remember me at all. Even when I said my name she only responded in a subdued manner. It seems she then became a bit flustered and glossed over it by saying, “Sasajima-kun huh, I remember”, but her face suggests that she can’t remember, so it’s obviously a lie. Shiro-san has a considerable poker face so I couldn’t read her emotions, but Negishi-san is the type who openly shows her emotions on her face it seems.
Even so, this is embarrassing. I was under the impression that she remembered me and so on all this time, so I feel so self-conscious about it that it’s really embarrassing! Though after I said it, since many years have passed, I guess it’s natural not to be able to remember your classmates’ faces. In my case, though I can remember Negishi-san, that’s solely due to her deep presence.
Negishi Akiko-san. She had an especially uncertain existence in the class. Her appearance itself had a strong impact, but it was really her actions that left a strong impression. Negishi-san would spend most of the morning classes nodding off. Even if the class president Kudou-san warned her, all that she would get back was a glint in the eye that seemed to harbour an intent to kill. From that alone I instinctively realised that she was dangerous. She was isolated from the rest of the class as if it was natural.
That Negishi-san sure has changed. Before, when she looked at others it was only ever with a glare of hatred in her eyes, but now her expressions change frequently. With her high-handed manner of speaking as well, I somehow get the feeling that she’s acting tough, and her childishness seems appropriate for her age. Because she has reincarnated, she should have a higher mental age than she looks though.
Whether that change is a good thing or not, that is not something for me to decide. If she is okay with it herself, then that should be fine. From my point of view, she’s become much easier to get along with though.
Though I think so, I still feel awkward. I have been forgotten, but we did try to kill each other just the other day though. Why did Shiro-san leave without saying anything? With the mood in this room and just the two of us, it’s a high hurdle to clear.
「Humph. Could you please not call me Negishi? My name now is Sophia Keren. Please call me by that name.」
It doesn’t seem like she’s saying that to match me naming myself as Wrath though. I have a different reason why I don’t like to be called by my old name. She probably hated herself in her previous life. That’s because, it’s clear from the behaviour that she showed that she found everything around her in her previous life to be seemingly odious.
「I understand. Then, I shall call you Sophia-san from now on.」
I don’t have any reason not to. I can’t deny something I ask for myself anyway.
「So, what did Shiro-san want us to do?」
I’ll ask that to change the subject. If we continue to talk about the subject of our names, I think that we’ll both recall bitter memories after all.
「I don’t know.」
However, I didn’t expect that answer.
「I don’t know. I wasn’t told anything.」
You came here without being told anything? Ahh, now that you mention it, if she’d been told something, she wouldn’t have tried to attack me as soon as we met I guess.
「So, it was really just for us to meet?」
「I wouldn’t think so. Shouldn’t there be something written in this book?」
Sophia-san holds up a book. I look down at the book that Shiro-san also handed to me.
Shiro-san handed me a book and some clothes. The clothes were, a dougiand hakama, some Japanese socks, and this cloth that I’d rather not think about, but maybe it’s a loincloth? No matter how I look at them it appears to be a complete set of samurai clothes or similar, so is she telling me to wear these then? I was pretty much raised as a modern person, so I’m reluctant to wear these clothes that make me feel like a cosplayer though. Well, considering that when I had Wrath activated I was pretty much only in underwear, then this is much better though. Let’s put the clothes on hold until later.
So, with regards to the book, there’s nothing written on the front cover. It’s not that thick, so it’s more like a notebook. When I start leafing through it, there’s something hand written.
『Shiro-chan’s basic skills course』
That title is written in excessively cute rounded handwriting. In addition, it’s illustrated with what appears to be a cartoonish spider character jumping for joy or something.
「What, is this?」
「Who knows? Maybe she wrote it after getting drunk or something?」
What’s that supposed to mean? My mental image of Shiro-san just collapsed. Alcohol? She drinks it?
「When goshujin-sama drinks alcohol her personality changes. It’s better to regard goshujin-sama as a different person when she’s drunk.」
I see. HM!?
Somehow, I just can’t allow that word to pass without comment. What, “goshujin-sama”!? That’s your relationship!?
「Excuse me, could you please not imagine something strange? Goshujin-sama and I aren’t in a strange relationship okay!」
「No, no! What’s with the “goshujin-sama”!? That term of address itself is strange, surely!?」
「There’s no way that I’m calling her that because I want to! I’m under a curse!」
「Indeed. A curse where I cannot call goshujin-sama anything other than goshujin-sama.」
What an insane curse!
「For what reason was such a curse placed on you then…?」
「Who knows? It’s an offense she committed while drunk after all.」
「Isn’t there some way to undo it?」
「It seems it’s not possible. It’s actually such a strong curse that in fact maybe I should be grateful that it ended up no worse than a silly prank.」
I’ve just seen a cruel curse being squandered. Or rather, my mental image of Shiro-san who would invoke such a curse is steadily collapsing inside of me though.
「Anyway, let’s read our books. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of content, so we should be able to read it quickly I’m sure.」
I guess she doesn’t want to talk about the curse any further, as Sophia-san forcibly changes the topic. Then, she immediately opened the book and took a posture of reading it. Seeing her end the conversation so unilaterally, I’m simply shocked. Well, I can understand that our relationship is strained after the death match, but even while I understand I’m still depressed. Maybe I’m starving for conversation more than I had realised. With a fellow reincarnator, maybe I was hoping for someone to talk with on a similar level or something. While thinking that, I turn my attention to the book as well.
Calling someone “goshujin-sama” in an everyday modern Japanese setting would be very unusual. Since Shiro got the idea from how D’s servants behaved, that gives a rough indication of how unusual it is – very few people are servants, have servants or meet servants.
A small note on speech patterns: Sophia has quite feminine speech – image a good middle-class girl or similar. It’s a level or so below “ojou-sama” style speech. Wrath on the other hand comes across as more self-conscious and thoughtful, rather than overly masculine or confident.