School Arc – Chapter 23
When that『arm』, which had been lopped off around 10cm from the wrist, tumbled down the thick cloth and out of my hands which were frozen in terror, though, it made a hard crashing sound.
「…i-it’s… a fake?」
「Yes. That’s right.」
I tried lightly poking the 『arm』that tumbled down. The cool hard texture was no doubt porcelain. There wasn’t a speck of doubt, that though it had the appearance of white porcelain skin, this was only meant to resemble it.
I unravelled the baggage further to chase away the question that filled my mind.
It’s coming out, it’s coming out. There were a total of six arms in the end. Just like the first arm, the slenderness reminded me of a preadolescent young girl’s.
「Even I had a problems with it. To think, a man who’s approaching the later half of his teens would have a hobby like doll making」
「I even thought he’d stop once he was old enough to enter school! But the art teacher told him something unnecessary like『This is art! You have to keep on making these by all means, I’ll do all I can to cooperate as well』, so the situation got even worse!」
「I-in other words, this was… by Ru Xiang?」
「As a hobby? Of making dolls?」
「Yes! My master’s hobbies are fantasizing about the girl he likes in his childhood and making dolls of her. Ah~ It’s awful when he makes me throw away the duds like this, but also, more than that, when Dorm Head Wolfgang and Prefect Shade come to the rooms for business or so, I’m always on pins and needles, fearing the day they’ll wind up seeing the doll room in the adjoining room. I’m sure at least an entire day of my lifespan gets cut down every time– 」
As he chattered on while voicing his complaints, Oria’s head suddenly lurched forward. I wondered whether he received a backhand chop from a tsukkomi without me knowing it, but that wasn’t it, the object that assaulted Oria’s head — a shoe which seemed to be a man’s — landed on the lawn with a plop.
Even without the shoe on his other foot, the black-haired beauty still managed to look elegant as he walked towards us.
He picked up the shoe on the lawn just as he was, dusted it off with a pit-a-pat, then wore it as if nothing had happened. When he did so, there was no longer anything that messed up his white, foreign-looking attire, and he stood with a regal air.
Not knowing what expression to show him, I looked down.
Based on what Oria said just now, in a portion of his room — there was usually one room provided in the dormitory, but it appears he somehow had two rooms to use. Since Ru Xiang clearly receives special treatment even though it was this school we’re talking about, that’s nothing to be surprised about now — Ru Xiang was decorating dolls as a hobby.
Moreover, Ru Xiang based the dolls on a girl he liked in his childhood.
As a person who was once born and raised in Japan, a world power for craftsmen, I have no intention of making fun of him for making dolls simply because he was a man. I do, in fact, consider things like hina dolls as art. However, the doll had a real-life model. Naturally, he most likely hadn’t gotten the other person’s consent.
If I had to say whether this was a SAFE or an OUT… I’d say it was probably a SAOT. (1)
I had known there was a scrupulous side in Ru Xiang, though. My honest impression was, ‘He wound up going in that direction, huh?’. In the game, there hadn’t been any mention of his hobby.
Looking up when my name was called, I saw Ru Xiang’s handsome features warped into a sad expression. It had been a look that, had I been a woman that possessed maternal instincts, would’ve made me unconsciously think, ‘Stop, please don’t make that face’.
「You ended up hearing it, huh…」
「Y-yeah. Just a little, uhm…」
Ru Xiang lowered his hazy eyes in sadness. Tears were accumulating in his usually clear, black eyes.
His hand, which meekly hesitated as it reached out, covered mine pleadingly. That hand was trembling and a little cold.
「It’s okay even if you don’t try to understand. But if you could, please don’t hate me…」
Well, it’s not like he plans to cause anyone trouble by concealing it from the person herself. If I compared him to the likes of Art, I probably wouldn’t be wrong even if I end up saying that Ru Xiang was a completely lovable junior.
When I repeatedly nodded my head with that in mind, Ru Xiang’s expression turned radiantly bright. A hint of red evidently flushed on his porcelain cheeks.
「Thank goodness. I can take this as you will never speak of this to anyone, right? Thank you very much」
Did he just top it off with a relatively firm demand?
Although something there didn’t sit quite well with me, I didn’t plan to be a source for rumours, so I nodded my head once more.
「G-good for you, huh! Ru Xiang-sama!」
After watching in suspense as Ru Xiang and I spoke, Oria called out, sounding deeply moved.
With that beaming smile, you wouldn’t have believed that he was the servant who’d so readily given up his own master’s secret earlier.
Without replying to Oria’s words, Ru Xiang quickly drew close to Oria and wordlessly snatched the notebook from his hands.
Oria cried out, but Ru Xiang held out the notebook towards me without paying it any attention.
「As a reward for your kindness, please kindly accept it. If Senpai feels angry after seeing what’s inside, I don’t mind getting rid of this person for you in whichever way」
It appears Ru Xiang had been silently fuming.
While thinking of the two as a 『like-minded pair of master and servant』 in my mind, I gratefully accepted the notebook.
I was curious as to why handing over the notebook to me turned into a 『reward for my kindness』, but halfway through, I internally decided to『just let it be』.
I opened it without taking it too seriously, no matter what was written in the notebook, it probably wouldn’t be as shocking as a person’s arm coming out from inside a wrapping.
The contents of the notebook were composed in a novel-like form.
Although it needed my concentration to read the tightly fitted words written in fine penmanship, I was quickly drawn to the composition.
The reason as to why, was because the story’s main character was named Liliam Valley.
Liliam– Lily, was admitted to the magical school, met a young man there, and fell in love. The hero’s name was Wolfgang Eisenhut.
The contents of the novel had evidently been Wolf’s route in the 『actual game』.
(1) SAFE or OUT or SAOT
SAFE means that it’s appropriate material (Sfw); OUT means material that would be immediately deleted if posted (Nsfw), and SAOT is material with dubious content that clearly looks NSFW but are not deleted based on deletion criteria. When researching on the net on this, I ended up seeing a picture of a girl who was nearly naked, save for small pieces of cloth that helped to hide the you-know-what’s.