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Suki Kirai - Volume 1 - Chapter 1


Suki Kirai - Chapter 1

At long last, I started working on translating the Suki Kirai light novel. Like before, this is a speedy translation with awkward phrasing and probably a handful of mistakes in it, so keep that in mind while reading. I’ll try and keep a weekly pace with getting out new chapters.

 

“An announcement to the new students! The teary-eyed angel over there called Otosaki Rin is going to be my girlfriend, so keep your hands off her. Ah, and don’t fall for her either, of course.”

No way. I can’t believe this. 
What, why did it end up like this.

On the stage in the gymnasium with all the students gathered together, Kagami Len declared in a loud voice, the spotlight shining down on him. My head spinning from the unthinkable timing of what he shouldn’t have said, even now it feels like I’m about to collapse.  
As I’m dumbfounded, the root of all evil waves his hand at me, his face beaming with a smile.

And so, because of a certain playboy, it was suddenly decided that the plain me’s high school life will end up turning into an uproar.

*****

[Sorry that I can’t help there. Looking forward to Rin’s cookies <3]

While I was waiting for the cookies to finish baking, I got a text from my best friend Chika. 
Chika is also a member of the Home Ec Club, and she works as a member of the student council. 
What’s more, she’s the vice president although she’s only a 2nd year student.
Even today, she’ll be standing on stage with the president at the new students’ welcome party.

Cheerful and kind, Chika can clearly voice her opinions. 
Compared to me, who’s frankly plain and shy, I think we’re the type who lives in different worlds.
Even so, we became so close because she strongly persevered at calling out to me every day.

[Don’t worry about it in the least. Do your best at the meeting, Chika! And the cookies are for the new students, alright?]

After sending back an encouraging text, I took a breather and absentmindedly gazed out the window. 
It’s the second time that I’m looking at the cherry trees in leaf from the Home Ec room. 
(Since they bloomed late this year, the flurry of falling cherry blossoms must’ve been beautiful for the entrance ceremony.)
Standing on top of a hill, there was a lot of greenery on Aisaka Private Academy’s grounds and the row of cherry trees from the school gate to the school building was popular with the cram school students as well. Similarly, I also fell in love with it at first sight in the school’s pamphlet.

“Rin, are they gonna finish baking soon?”

The door opened and the club president suddenly poked their head in. 
I stand up from the chair in a hurry and rush back to the oven. 
“Ah, yes! About 5 more minutes.” 
“Good, in that case they’ll be ready by after school with plenty of time left.”
Later on today, the new students will be in the gymnasium and the club activities will be introduced to them. 
Then, after school, the new students will go and visit the clubs they’re interested in to hear more about them.
These cookies are bribes- I mean, snacks for them.

“Though, won’t there be leftovers if I made so much?”
“There’s no point in saying something fainthearted like that now! Got it? My magnificent club introduction will attract the new students’ attention and with your cookies, we’ll get the ones who come to visit through their appetite, every last one of them, alright.”
“Every last one…”
“Certainly, every last one of them is impossible, since there’s the Light Music Club. It looks like their fans are among the new students, who came to take the exams to pursue them.”
“…As expected, it’s the same again this year, huh.”

Aisaka Academy’s Light Music Club, called Honey Works, Haniwa for short, is a famous band even within the prefecture. 
There’s no end to the students who enter the school because they admire Haniwa, and similarly I was into them during my middle school years, too. 
Most importantly, at that time it wasn’t Kagami Len, but a songstress called Miku who was leading them.

“Seriously, I’m way hyped for today’s live concert for the new students! Rin, you can’t wait either, right?”
“Well, it’s our special event…”
“Haha. With this, the Prince will end up with the number of his fans increasing again~”
In this Academy, there’s only person who’s called by the nickname of Prince. 
I haven’t once called him that before, and I won’t ever call him that. 
“Speaking of which, Rin, you’re in the same class as the Prince, right? Good for you.”
“…It’s not good at all.”
Hopelessly feeling downhearted, my voice came out low, like I was naturally crawling on the ground. 
At any rate, Kagami Len has been the cause of my worries for half a year.

Certainly, I’m a fan of Haniwa, and I like his singing voice, too.
Even so, I’ve never particularly thought of wanting to get close to him. Absolutely not. 
It was enough to watch him from a distance, but for some reason, after last year’s cultural festival, he’s been chasing after me. 
My peaceful days were broken too quickly, because this boy who’s treated as a prince took notice of me more than necessary.

That playboy…
It may be meager, but give me back my calm everydays!

“I see. For the shy Rin, the Prince’s fierce appeal is a heavy weight, huh.”
“……What are you talking about?”
“It’s no use denying it, because the rumours have made their way up to the 3rd years.”
“Oh…..!”
“Last year, Len-kun showed up in Rin’s class whenever it was recess, right? I heard that when you passed him by in the hallway, he waved his hand while shouting out your name.”
“Please forget it, please erase it from your memory right away.”
“Do you hate it so much? …… Well I’ve always wanted to ask, what started it?”
“I’d like to ask the same thing!”

I have no idea why he’s teasing me. 
Simply because it’s fun? Or is his aim to bully me?
In any case, I want him to stop being a nuisance at once.

“Hey, Rin…… Is it until 2nd year that he’ll keep publicly frolicking about that ‘I’m her boyfriend, it’s a date’?”
“…… But for me, that’s fine for the time being.”
“Eeh? Don’t you want a boyfriend?”
“……Hmm, well……”

Unable to completely deny the club president’s words, I ambiguously laughed.
It wasn’t like that during middle school, but when I became a high school student, the number of couples increased. 
Let’s say that listening to love stories, it’s not like I was completely uninterested either.

But, how should I put it…
For me who hasn’t had their first love yet, none of these things come to mind. 
Even when friends ask for advice, I end up thinking that it’s just like the stories in the world of dramas and light novels.
Even when I’m asked ‘Does Rin have someone she likes? What type do you like?’, I can’t answer at all.

“And what about you, Club President? Before, you’ve said that there’s someone you admire, right?”
“I’m okay. After all, they’ve long graduated. Speaking of Kaito-senpai, he was the club president of the Light Music Club when I was a 1st year.”

If that was 2 years ago––.
The club president’s words made my heartbeat leap.

“Miku-san! The songstress Miku-san was also there, right!?”
“Hm? Aah, yeah, since she was a year above me.”
“I see, of course! How nice, I’m jealous!”
“So Rin can let out such a huge voice, too…… What, are you a fan of Miku-senpai’s?”
“Yes. So much that after hearing that Miku-san is in Aisaka’s Light Music Club, I wanted to take the entrance exam because of it.”

Miku-san is Aisaka Academy’s prided legendary diva. 
Scouted while she was still in high school, going to Tokyo without waiting for graduation, she became one of the pros just like that. 
After her major debut song, since she was always regularly in 1st place on the rankings, Arenaclass’s live tour was decided for this year. What’s more, she’s been invited to overseas festivals, to the point that there’s also a rumour that she might really advance further.

“You ought to give some attention to the Prince as well, even if it’s just a tenth of what you have for Miku-senpai.”
“I refuse.”
“Oh no, your future’s full of troubles like this. The welcome party is after this, so keep a smile?”
“I-I’ll make an effort.”
“Please do so. Well, I’m off to secure new club members with all I’ve got.”

*****

The new students’ welcome party was livelier than usual. 
The first years’ reaction to the Club President’s explanation was also extremely successful, at this rate it seems like it’ll get hectic after school.

“Well then, the last club for today is up next. Let’s call for the long-awaited ‘those people’. Aisaka Academy’s prided Light Music Club is taking the stage!”
Hearing Chika’s introduction as the emcee, the entire student body stands up at once with shouts of joy.
Taking that as a sign, the stage’s curtains slowly rise.

“–– Welcome to Aisaka Academy.”

The spotlight shining down on him, the Prince who’s on vocals, Kagami Len gives a friendly smile.
Even though he’s just standing in front of the microphone stand with the guitar in his hands, his presence is impressive.

I know that just by being there, he’s giving off an overwhelming aura.

“The new students are getting lively without holding back, too.”

Wrapped up in the excited cheering, Haniwa’s concert began. 
The first song, which could be called the standard, is ‘Bamboo-cutter Overnight Sensation’.
Without the members inciting them to do so, at the intro they broke out in clapping to the beat from every seat.

Next was a new song called ‘Confession Rehearsal’.
Though it was my first time hearing it, the refreshing melody and cute lyrics won’t leave my ears.
(The feel of this sound…… I’m sure that Kagami Len composed this one, too.)

After the last note resounded, the MC began before moving on to the third song.
The songs and the band members, then the Light Music Club’s activities are introduced.

If the new students were overwhelmed or not, just like it was for the other clubs, not a single cough is heard. 
Instead, the usual girls from the ‘Prince Fan Club’ were being noisy. 
“Here! Look over here, Prince!”
“Prince, you’re so cool! Wave your hand!”
Looking at those girls who call Kagami Len as Prince, it’s like they’re the groupies of an idol. 
(Though I heard they even wave pen lights at the regular concerts……)
Today’s event is a party after all, so it’s possible that they’re holding back. 
The person himself quickly lowered his head once, that’s all the reaction he’s giving to the fangirls.  

“–– So with that, the next song will be the last.”
Before I realized it, the club activities introduction had ended. To Kagami Len’s words, the members pick up their instruments. 
Then the next moment, he started to sing a capella.

“So it ends with this, I won’t cry.”

He didn’t say the song’s title, but I knew it right away.
(It’s ‘Crybaby Boyfriend’……!)
It’s the song that was recorded as the secret track on Miku-san’s debut single.
I’ve always liked it, but after I heard Kagami Len sing it at the cultural festival last year, it wouldn’t leave my ears.  

Are they friends, or are they lovers?
Or is it an ambiguous relationship?
Their farewell is depicted in the heartrending lyrics.

(Just once would be enough, I wanted to see Miku-san singing.)
On the other side of thinking that, it’s strange because it feels like this song is perfect for Kagami Len. 
Just as if it was written for his sake.

(Ah, again….. Oh, what am I going to do……)
Something hot streaming down my cheeks, I realize that I’m crying. 
Oh no. His singing voice made me cry at the cultural festival last year, too. 
My tears don’t stop even as I keep brushing them away with my fingertips, and even my chest tightly squeezes.

(The girl beside me is crying, too……)
I can’t see that well in the dark gymnasium, but I think there are other girls with tears in their eyes. 
His singing voice has the mysterious power to softly touch someone’s memories.

(……Even though the real Kagami Len is just a playboy.)
Since today’s a welcome party, and just by the fact that the MC was there to keep things under control, it’s usually merrier with everyone forgetting about their troubles.
Even without going as far as dressing like a gyaru-oh, the mood was light enough. 
It’s because the person himself accepts it with a smile even when the girls call him Prince face to face.

As I was thinking about things like that, it felt like my eyes met with his, standing on the stage.
Surprised, I have trouble breathing.
Unable to move like I was tied down, he suddenly closed his eyes.

–– I don’t remember too well what happened after that. 
The keyboard sounding the last note, the applause and cheering started a little late. 
I think that surely everyone gave themselves over to the song’s echo.
Me too, I finally came to my senses after noticing the sounds around me and I clap my hands.

Amidst the lingering excitement, Kagami Len took the microphone from the stand.
Could this be an encore? He’s still going to sing for us?
Amidst everyone’s expectations welling up, I look up at the stage, too, with my heart racing.

“Sor–ry, I forgot to say the most important thing.” 
Basking in the gazes throughout gymnasium that are on him, Kagami Len cracks a smile.  

–– The next moment.
Unbelievable words followed.

 

 

“An announcement to the new students! The teary-eyed angel over there called Otosaki Rin is going to be my girlfriend, so keep your hands off her. Ah, and don’t fall for her either, of course.”

Politely, he went out of his way to point at me from the stage. 
All sorts of gazes shift over to me at once.  

 

(THIS BOY, HE’S REALLY THE WORST––!)

 

While feeling dizzy like the blood flow in my body has been reversed, a powerful sense of déjà vu strikes me at the same time.
Yes, this is― exactly the same as last year’s cultural festival.

Though this time Kagami Len is being called Prince, he gave off the impression of a puppy when he entered the school. 
Even though his height was no different than mine, since around the time GW {Golden Week} passed, apparently he himself said ‘It’s like puberty finally got to me?’.

Participating in the concert at the cultural festival like that, the fan club was born among the girls. 
At the same time, Kagami Len…. uhm… let’s say that that’s when he started taking notice of me.

(That time, too, maybe my eyes met with Kagami Len’s on stage? Or so I thought.)
Although I don’t know as a matter of fact, afterwards on the last night of the festival, he himself called out to me.
Why did the Prince of the Academy, to the plain me?
Even while thinking it to be strange, I ended up nodding my head in agreement when he said that he wanted to talk to me in private. 
It’s because I was still deeply moved after he sang ‘Crybaby Boyfriend’.

Thinking back on it now, that was the start of everything.

*****

“Um, what did you want to talk….”
“I like you.”
“Eh?”
“Your answer’s already supposed to be decided.”
“……. Excuse me?”

I misheard it, if it isn’t so, then it’s a plan to shock me or something.
Suddenly confessing to me although we hadn’t even had a proper conversation until then, that’s too slanted. 
To me steeling myself against him, Kagami Len closed in on me by saying “Let’s become boyfriend and girlfriend!” with a serious expression.

“Hey, wait, why? Going out…..”
“I like you.”
“….U-uhm, you see…. because! Listen to what I’m saying a little, idiot―!!”

*****

As I started to panic when he lightly grabbed my hand, in the end I complained on the verge of tears. 
Until Chika accidentally passed close by, an impossible argument continued between us like that.

Ever since, he’s been chasing after me like a half-stalker.
After becoming a second year in high school, we ended up in the same class, and I gradually ended up running out of places to run away to.

What made my head hurt the most was that the gazes of those around us mercilessly ended up focusing on us. 
The boys aren’t like that, but the girls really are severe in various ways.
Why did Len-kun, for such a plain girl?
Hey Prince, what’s so great about her?
Like that, I’ve heard such things secretly whispered behind my back many times.

So like I’ve said, I’d like to know that, too!
I haven’t the slightest idea!
How much easier would it be, if I could say that to the girls.

“Ah―ah, a real shock…… I came to this school because I admired Len-senpai.”
“But we don’t know yet, do we? We just have to steal him away from this person called ‘Rin-senpai’.”

Even the new students starting to cause a commotion, the gymnasium ended up becoming noisy right away. 
The sight of Chika and the others standing on the stage, trying their best to get the situation under control, it appears awfully distant.

My ideal high school life, my peaceful life….
At an incredible speed, it’s rapidly fading away.

At this time, feeling like I was starting to lose consciousness, I couldn’t even anticipate it.
Together with Kagami Len, that I’d lead an even busier and clamorous life―.


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