Eromanga-Sensei Volume 10: Chapter 1



 

Chapter 1:


My name is Izumi Masamune, a 16 years old second-year high school student.

I am a novelist, although I still go to school. My nickname is also Izumi Masamune.

For many reasons, two years ago, I started living with my younger Hikomori sister.

But a year ago, something big happened. I discovered her “secret”.

The illustrator of my novel, ‘Eromanga-sensei’, is also my younger sister, Izumi Sagiri.

Many things happened after that...

It is now September. Our novel, ‘The Most Beautiful Little Sister in the World’, is turning into an anime.

Does Sagiri come out from her room and we watch the anime together?

That was our dream. But now, it’s coming true.

Although there are still seven months remaining before anime airs. Slowly, day by day...our dream… our dream is getting closer through our own hands. Every day has been hectic.

On the other hand,

I forgot to tell you about the most crucial detail.

We became a couple. We made a commitment.

“.........Ehehe.”

As Sagiri sat on the living room couch, she looked at her engagement ring and laughed happily.

It made me feel so unreal to see her like this. Our happiness is just that simple.

I thought about what would happen after I proposed to her. But it turned out this way, not as smooth as in a light novel.

Well, it’s not like my story is usual in any way.

From a novelist’s point of view, I would say my situation is close to its climax.

If we were characters in a light novel, I think the author would have run out of ideas.

As if I didn’t know what to write next.

Aha...well, it’s just, you know, who cares anyway? As long as everything is fine.

Because Sagiri is waiting for me.

That’s enough for me.

I’m not a character in someone’s story. And even if I were, I wouldn’t do what the guy did; I would like to.

Right... If I had to write my own story, I would continue as an average, happy romantic comedy.

Yes, my wish is for Sagiri to be happy.

The summer vacations are almost over...

There are seven months and one day left until the anime of ‘The Most Beautiful Little Sister in the World’ is completed.

“Welcome back, Nii-san.”

“Ahh, yes.”

I embraced her petite body and responded.

“I am home, Sagiri.”

“Hehe.”

She laughed.

Her smell accelerated my heart.

“What is it?”

“Nothing.”

“Is that so?”

I didn't pay attention and I let her go. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t go in the house like that.

And then she took something out of her pocket and handed it to me.

“It’s for you, Nii-san.”

“Hmmm?”

Wha...what is this? A delivery receipt?

From Amu Amu, ‘Demon Blade Figure’.

“Wow, you pretended no one was home again? I feel bad for the delivery guy.”

“Because I can’t go out...”

“Well, but...”

It can’t be helped...

Although Sagiri has improved a lot at this point, she is still unable to leave the house. She managed to do it a few days ago, but that was an emergency.

And that’s it.

For now, it’s the limit of Sagiri.

There’s no need to hurry. We can take it easy. Even if Sagiri tells herself who ‘wants to go to school in the future.’

“So, Nii-san... be sure to call him again.”

“...... I’m so embarrassed. I bet the delivery person already noticed you just pretended not to be at home.”

“Please tell him to come tomorrow night when you’re at home. I can’t go out to receive it.”

“Yes, yes, I know.”

We head to the living room. I used to go straight to my room as soon as I came home, but I recently took this side trip to the living room.

...Along with my fiancée.

I put my backpack on the couch.

“What did you do today, Sagiri?”

“Um, a lot of things. I have a raw sketch of my new character.”

“Can I see it?”

“Do you want to see it? Eh ~ what should I do ~?”

“Yes, I do. Please.”

“...Sure. Here it is.”

“Ah ~ well! So nice! I already have a new idea for her.”

“Really? So soon?!”

“Yeah!!!”

“Please tell me, Nii-san.”

“Aha, no need to rush. Oh, on the other hand, I plan to go shopping. Is there anything you want for dinner?”

“...Anything, as long as it’s something you want to eat.”

On the other hand, Sagiri keeps calling me ‘Nii-san’ instead of Masamune. She said she would feel more comfortable this way.

I understand how she feels, and it saves me a lot of headaches. But... what if She still calls me Nii-san after we are married?

No! I like it! It makes me feel pleased!

Yes! That’s how I feel!

But the other people probably wouldn’t take it well...

...Masamune, do you let your wife call you ‘Nii-san’?

...Ugh... I can’t believe it... what a siscon.

I wonder what kind of joke Elf would come up with.

No, I’m getting distracted.

“‘Something I want to eat?’ so, you are asking me to cook something that I like?”

“Yes... We promised, didn’t we? To teach me how to cook.”

“Ah...”

Indeed, we did.

“So, let’s do something today... to cook something I like.”

“Well! Umm...cooking with Nii-san...will be a precious memory.”

Recently we’ve been doing this.

We’re so happy... like we’re living in a romantic story.

On the other hand, after buying the ingredients for my favourite ‘Chives Hotpot with garlic’, Sagiri made a strange face.

What was the matter about her?

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The next day, Sunday, we planned to have a hotpot party.

But suddenly, someone called me early in the morning. It was from Muramasa-senpai’s house.

I thought it was her... Umezono Hana, on the other side of the phone, so I gladly took the call.

“Yes, Muramasa-senpai?”

But I did not hear her voice. Instead, it was a slow, masculine voice.

“Yes, it’s me.”

“Eh...eh...you, are you...?”

“Umezono Rintarou. It must be Izumi Masamune-sensei’s phone number.”

“————————”

I froze, swallowed heavily, and shook my head. Then, I managed to understand the situation.

Shit, shit, shit ~~~~!

Umezono Rintarou is the father of Senjyu Muramasa-sensei and also the famous novelist ‘Umezono Rintarou’.

“Ume...Umezono-sensei! It’s been a while! How are you?”

“Hm, you don’t have to call me sensei.”

“Then... Father of... Muramasa-senpai?”

“Huh? Father-in-law?”

“No, no, the other kanji!”

Please don’t make such a simple mistake!

“You don’t have any reason to call me father. I don’t care what kanji is used... use something else. You can call me Umezono-san, Rintarou-san or even Rin-chan.”

Rin-chan is too much!

“...Why are you calling me, Rintarou-san?”

“It’s something important... you can come here now.”

You may be referring to your house... that’s very far away.

“...... Right, right now?”

“Right away.”

“Actually, I’m swamped...”

“I know. Come here, now.”

He’s hardly going to explain anything. So I gave up and said:

“...I understand. Can I ask something?”

“What is it?”

“Are you angry right now?”

“I’m furious right now.”

“I knew it! Now I really don’t want to come!”

“Stop fooling around and come here.”

“Yes, yes! I’ll come as soon as possible!”

And so...

I was called by an angry novelist and ran to the Umezono Residence.

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After several hours I arrived at his house. There is a samurai atmosphere, which gives an old-fashioned feeling.

I stopped at the front door, which does not have an intercom.

...Seriously, what would a delivery man do in this case?

I remember the last time I came here, and I screamed.

“Someone in there...!?”

It would be good if Muramasa-senpai would be the one to open the door.

After a few minutes, the door opened and... contrary to my hopes, it appeared a man in a kimono.

A dignified appearance, a face covered with wrinkles, a pair of sharp eyes. The person is Umezono Rintarou. He is the father of Muramasa-senpai and is also the person who called me to come.

He looked at me for a moment and said:

“Come in.”

He turned and entered the room without waiting for an answer. I had no choice but to follow him.

Then, we stopped in the living room.

“Sit down.”

“Yes, yes…”

I sat in front of him.

There was no chess table, but I felt like we were going to play a game.

He didn’t bring any tea for me. It was to be expected. He said he was furious.

The man in front of me, for some reason, is very angry with me. That is why who called me to this place.

Of course, I had no idea what made him so angry. It would be nice if it was just some kind of misunderstanding.

Ah, I’m so nervous. The atmosphere was so tense to the point that you could cut it with a knife.

My stomach started to hurt.

“Then, er...”

I couldn’t take it anymore and opened my mouth.

“This...on the other hand, Muramasa-senpai is in...”

“She went to the editorial department. That’s why I called you today. I didn’t want you to see my daughter.”

“Yeah, okay... What???”

Don’t you want me to see Muramasa-senpai?

Well, whatever the reason, this must be related to Muramasa-senpai in some way.

On the other hand, did she go to the publisher? She’s never been there before... Wait, I remember that Kagurazaka-san said she met Muramasa-senpai not long ago...

Although she did not speak more about it, Did Muramasa-senpai go to see Kagurazaka-san for ‘something besides work’?

Why?

...While trying to ignore reality, Rintarou-san suddenly said, “AHEM” firmly.

I panicked precipitously.

“So, the reason I called you here...”

Here we go...

“Do you know Hana-chan’s new novel?”

The ‘Hana-chan’ he is talking about is Muramasa-senpai.

“Huh? No... This is the first time I’ve heard it.”

“Is that so? I only found out about it yesterday. Last night... Ayame-chan... no, my daughter’s editor, Kagurazaka-kun, called us. She said she wanted to publish Senjyu Muramasa’s newest big hit and that will be one of the best-sellers.”

I see. While Muramasa-senpai is a famous novelist, she is still a middle school girl. Of course, Kagurazaka-san would need Muramasa-senpai’s guardian’s permission to publish something, just like Sagiri and me.

Besides, I heard that Kagurazaka-san is his savior’s daughter… that’s how she could read Muramasa-senpai’s script before anyone.

But “big hit”? What exactly is it? Even for Muramasa-senpai, claiming it will be a best-seller at this point was unusual. Where did Kagurazaka-san’s confidence come from?

Rintarou-san continued:

“I told her that I can’t give her an answer without reading the manuscript. Bring it to me. “

Ah, so he has read it too, huh.

With a *swoop*, he showed me a stack of paper. Not hand-written, but printed on A4-sized paper. Because senpai never uses a computer when writing, it must have been typed by the editorial department.

“This is the one. They brought it to me yesterday.”

“Haha…and…have you…read Muramasa-senpai’s newest novel?”

“I did. It only has about a hundred pages. Clearly, she hasn’t finished it.”

“What is it…about?”

I’m afraid that THIS is the reason that he is angry with me.

“Before I answer your question, Izumi Masamune-sensei, I have a question for you... what is the relationship between you and my daughter?”

“E...Eto….partner, senpai and kouhai, good friends…?”

“That’s all?”

He glared daggers at me.

“That…is all.”

There is no way I could tell him that your daughter confessed to me, but I rejected her.

“What are you…trying to say?”

Rintarou-san lowered his voice:

“I will be blunt. Are you my daughter’s love or not? Did you two do something impure?”

“No, of course not!”

What the heck is he talking about!? Even though I’m a high school student, what he said is the same thing as sexual harassment.

“Is that so? But I have a reason to doubt you, Izumi Masamune-sensei. If you have any proof, you can show me, now is the time.”

“I am engaged! I will not do anything with other girls!”

“….HMMM.”

…Crap? His eyes clearly changed when he heard me mention my Engagement.

This is bad…

I’m trying to explain to myself, what the hell?

Facing the ice-cold glare of Rintarou-san, I slowly gave him my cell phone.

Its wallpaper was a picture of Sagiri. It was taken not long ago when she was wearing an apron and making a meal.

“This is my proof! She is my fiancée! She is adorable! If, if that’s still not enough, I could call her and have her speak with you!”

Rintarou-san’s only reaction was a “this guy is disgusting” expression.

“There is no need for that. I believe you. You have a cute fiancée...”

“Is that so? I see.”

“Wh…what is with your reaction…?”

This is terrifying.

“By the way, in my daughter’s newest novel…the main character is a first-year high school student.”

...Ah, that means Muramasa-senpai used herself as the base for that character.

“The story is about a love between that character and an older man who already has a fiancée... a forbidden love.”

“Senpai...!”

What the heck did you write? No wonder he is mad at me!

“It...it...it...it is a misunderstanding!”

“I haven’t finished yet.”

“I totally understand it now! I know why you are mad, Rintarou-san! Why did you call me here!?”

“Hm, it’s good that you understood so quickly. Then, go die.”

“Kyahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! When did you prepare that sword? That’s illegal!”

“I was joking. It’s just a copy of a real sword.”

“But the blade looks very sharp! And…your eyes weren’t laughing at all!”

“It was a joke…for now at least.”

“Don’t add that afterwards!”

“Don’t yell. We can’t talk that way.”

The great novelist returned his blade to the sheath. Then, like a swordsman, he put it near his hip and continued:

“Well…you said you understand, but I highly doubt it. So, take a look. Read it; then you will understand what I meant.”

“Sure, sure…”

He gave me the manuscript. Doesn’t look like I have any other choice.

...Senjyu Muramasa’s novel. No name.

I swallowed hard and began to read. The only sound in the room was the sound of the moving paper. With my eyes, I began to read Senjyu Muramasa’s words.

“------------------------”

Until I finished reading, I said nothing. Even after I put it down, my eyes still stared into empty space. It felt like I had just watched an excellent movie.

I recovered and asked:

“The next part….”

“There isn’t one. I told you she hasn’t finished it.”

“But, the editorial department brought it here last night, right? If it was Muramasa-senpai, then she must have finished writing it by now...the finished manuscript must be hidden somewhere….”

“Looks like you think it’s interesting.”

“…!”

I was taken aback for a moment. It took me a few seconds before I could reply.

“Yes, it is.”

That’s how Senjyu Muramasa’s story should be.

“But…but…I feel very conflicted. I don’t know how to say it….”

I wanted to say what I thought about this novel, but I couldn’t find the right words.

The great novelist said in my place:

“It’s no good.”

It’s extraordinary to hear it. But I totally agree.

“Yes! It’s no good! I can’t believe it!”

Why am I having such a stupid conversation with Umezono Rintarou?

But that was all I could say. Because the newest novel by Senjyu Muramasa... is totally no good.

In short, it’s not a light novel. It’s also not a romantic story.

It’s an abomination.

“………..”

“………”

The room became silent again.

After some time, Rintarou-san said:

“I want to hear your opinion. There is no need to mince words. Just tell me what you think as a simple reader, not as a novelist.”

“… It’s super erotic.”

That was the first thing that came to mind.

“…I…when I was learning how to write, I read a lot…But this is still the first time that I have read such an erotic story…To think she could write such a detailed description of…that steamy part…I have to say…the author of this novel must be a huge pervert!”

“Hmmm, the author is my daughter. Do you not want to live, kid?”

“But you told me to not mince words?”

“There is a limit to everything!”

“But this is something only a huge pervert could write! Like, I want to sit down on the same chair as the one I like!”

“I don’t deny it, but can you not compare my daughter to Japan’s number one pervert? And? Now, do you understand why I am angry?”

“Yes.”

I was about to have a nosebleed! In this novel, the female protagonist is based on Muramasa-senpai. The male protagonist was based on me, and they both love each other….

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So they did a lot of erotic stuff! Not to mention, she wrote it in a super erotic way!

I have a fiancée already... but even I have to admit that reading her story made me blush. I can totally understand the character’s feelings. It felt like they were my own feelings.

Ohhhhhhhh…..So dangerous.

“… I don’t believe that after reading this, you will believe me….”

No wonder he misunderstood.

If I were a father and my middle-school-aged daughter wrote something like that….I would tear the boy apart with my bare hands.

As long as I am alive, Rintarou-san will be mad.

“But…my relationship with senpai is not the same as the one in this novel.”

“Is that so…Then I believe you. Seems like I misunderstood.”

“Huh?”

“What? Did you think that I wouldn’t believe you?”

“…Er…Actually, yes.”

Rintarou-san sighed.

“I know how good my daughter is as a novelist. That story just now was written totally based on her imagination. Plus, seeing your reaction confirmed that. I just wanted to make sure. Now, I’m at ease. Looks like I won’t have to spend the rest of my life in prison.”

“………Phew.”

I’m relieved. In short…I won’t die…yet.

“However.”

“Ho... however?”

Are you kidding me? Do you want me to scare to my death?

“The content of this story is just her imagination. But there is another problem.”

“…………..”

“The male protagonist of this story... is based on you, correct?”

“…………….”

I broke into a cold sweat.

“…Yes. I believe that is true.”

“Hm. I see. Then….”

Then? What do you have in mind?

“…Maybe I shouldn’t let her publish it.”

Is that all you have to say?

I almost said it aloud. Still, our conversation continued.

“By the way…did Kagurazaka-san really plan to publish this novel? So that kids can read it?”

“So you are against it?”

What a complex problem. Such a good novel: it’s wasteful to not publish it.

But…

“Recently, I have seen many people that gave bad reviews to light novels…I thought it was because they were not well-written.”

But this is unacceptable.

It was too much. Not only teenagers, even adults... would be badly affected.

This is totally against Japan’s morals.

“I know what you want to say. This story is exciting…but it will affect the readers too much. It will change their way of thinking, leading them to think that forbidden love is beautiful. Sooner or later, this power won’t be controlled by Umezono Hana anymore. In short…this story will brainwash the readers.”

“Brainwash…. I think all light novels are the same.”

“It’s the same for any commercial product. Brainwashing the consumer and making them think the same as the in-story character... from a certain point of view, it’s just like that.”

This great novelist was so blunt: he didn’t mince words at all. I think he should look on the bright side a bit.

Like…how I was saved by Yamada Elf-sensei’s light novel. That novel is one of those stories that have a good effect on the reader.

In that novel, I could see the author’s hidden message. She said, “I hope my readers can feel better after reading my story. I hope my readers can laugh out loud.”

Of course, I wouldn’t deny that she wanted her readers to keep buying her novels. Still, considering my situation back then, her story allowed me to recover.

I don’t want to call it brainwashing.

Rintarou-san had asked my opinion. He wanted to know if he should allow Senjyu Muramasa’s newest novel to be published, knowing that it would badly affect the readers.

But then he said,

“This novel does lead the readers to a bad moral ground, but I think that is also the proof of its value. There is no reason to refuse to publish it. I bet it will be a big hit. Maybe it could even win a prize.”

“But…”

“What you are worried about won’t happen. I take my previous words back: its power is not as great as you think. While it can affect some readers, and it can cause chaos, and maybe it will be remembered for a long time; there will be only one person that has a change of heart because of it.”

“…Me, huh.”

“Yes, you. This novel was written by Hana-chan to brainwash you only.”

That’s why he called it brainwashing.

“You are the one she wrote it to. You are the one that she was trying to brainwash. Other readers won’t have that experience when reading that story.”

But this is still a great novel.

“That’s why I said it’s fine to publish it. But…”

Suddenly, with a *creak*, the door opened.

“Ma...Masamune-kun.”

Black-haired beauty appeared. She was Senjyu Muramasa, real name Umezono Hana, daughter of Umezono Rintarou.

The following person was her editor, Kagurazaka-san. Did they both come back from the editorial department?

“Sen...senpai…?”

“…Ehhh! That manuscript!!!”

Seeing what I had in my hand, Muramasa-senpai panicked. The reason is as clear as day. She... likes me.

“Ahh….ah…..”

The current situation I like is reading my erotic novel (which has the main characters based on us).

She immediately blushed, trembled, and rushed into the room, yelling, “DON’T READ IT!!!”

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A few minutes later, inside the Umezono household’s living room, Muramasa-senpai was crying and firmly holding the manuscript. There was only me and Rintarou-san present.

Kagurazaka-san was waiting in another room.

“…Cugh…cugh….”

With cautious eyes, she took a look around. I couldn’t take it anymore and ask:

“Eto…Muramasa-senpai?”

“…Read it?”

“Eh..?”

“This novel…have you read it?”

“Ah….I…yes, I did.”

“….Ummmmuuu…”

She blushed even harder. Understandable, considering that she wrote an erotic novel with a female lead based on herself.

…The atmosphere was unreal. My head automatically replayed the scenes in the novel I had just read and merged them with the girl in front of me.

“…Gulp.”

Looks like she understood just from seeing my reaction. She yelled at me.

“Wh, what impure things are you thinking about!”

“But, but I can’t help it! After reading something like this…! I can’t help but imagine a girl based on you and a man based on me …doing THAT kind of stuff.”

“Ahhhhhhh…! Don’t say it ~~~~!”

She hugged her manuscript tighter and waved her hand. Rintarou-san added:

“Hey, kiddo, you are courageous, aren’t you? You dare to say that in front of me?”

“But, but I didn’t say anything wrong? By the way, I’m the victim here! This is sexual harassment from a senpai!”

“I...I didn’t plan to let you read it yet!”

Said the sexual harasser, crying the whole time.

“And, and why are you here! And why did you read my secret novel!?”

She was totally in at-home mode. Her usual, tough persona isn’t fake, but she sometimes gets spoiled at home.

I explained:

“Umezono-san... your father, I mean… he called me here. He seemed to misunderstand our relationship due to your strange novel…then I read it too…And…well, you know.”

“Papa!”

Senpai turned to her father.

“But as your father, I’m worried.”

“Senpai, anyone who read that novel would think the same.”

“Ummm….”

Muramasa-senpai facepalmed. I want to do the same too.

“By the way, I think Kagurazaka-san is at fault too.”

“Yes. If she didn’t ask me to publish it, then I wouldn’t have called Izumi Masamune here today.”

“Um…Umezono-san…can you please change how you address me?”

“Then I’ll call you Izumi-kun. Or do you want to be called Masamune-kun, just like Hana-chan?”

“Izumi-kun is fine. Thank you.”

While Muramasa-senpai is still flushed, both Rintarou-san and I have recovered.

To get a clearer picture, I asked:

“Eto…senpai. It’s hard to say this, but may I ask…why did you decide to write that story?”

“In…in front of…my father?”

I could understand her hesitation. But...

“Hana-chan…sorry, but I want to hear your reason too. As the guardian of Senjyu Muramasa, father of Umezono Hana, I can’t act like I haven’t seen your story.”

That’s right.

“Senpai, sorry, but….”

“…I, I understand.”

Muramasa-senpai nodded. Then, she looked at the manuscript in her hand and began to speak.

“…Where should I begin…right…my aim…Masamune-kun, this novel was written for you only.”

“…………”

Senjyu Muramasa is a novelist who writes only for herself. She didn’t plan to publish anything, nor did she care about her fans.

But this novel was written for Izumi Masamune to read.

“Before I finished, I didn’t plan to let anyone read it. And I certainly didn’t expect you to read my unfinished manuscript.”

Senpai once said a sneak attack was too low for her.

Seeing how she is still her home person, I couldn’t help but notice that she is charming.

“Wait for a second, senpai. If that story was meant for me…in other words….”

She was still talking, but I have to ask:

“Muramasa-senpai, you want…to do THAT…with me?”

“Mwuuuwuuuw!?”

Steam came out of her ears. At the same time, a fist slammed into my head.

“Ouch!?”

“You perverted kid! Don’t forget that I’m right here!”

Rintarou-san is clearly mad. But I have to say something back:

“But this is very important! What Muramasa-senpai is about to say is indeed important too, but there are some things that she won’t say unless people ask her. If I don’t ask, she could avoid that topic entirely!”

“True. There are many details that I wanted to ask about myself.”

“I know, right. For example…”

I glanced at Muramasa-senpai. She was hiding behind her hands.

At first glance, she looked just like an innocent girl, but I won’t be fooled.

She was the one who wrote the most erotic story in Japan.

“…Oh…Uhg…”

Seeing Muramasa-senpai trembling in embarrassment, my voice became more challenging.

“Ah…for example…um… it’s hard to put it into words…well….what the girl said to the boy in those H scenes…should I say that you are very knowledgeable…or is that your special skill?”

I said again. I carefully picked my words. In her story, there are some strange words that I have never seen before (which only appeared in the ecchi scenes), like Mozuotoshi or Kamaitachi.

See? What does that mean? Of course, I would want to know.

Rintarou-san said in a very calm tone:

“You call that carefully picked words? You really want to die, don’t you?”

“But but, I have never seen them, either in ecchi manga or anime.”

Just like Eromanga-sensei, the way she described that kind of information for me is very un-academic, so I couldn’t understand. But unlike Eromanga-sensei, Muramasa-senpai …she looked like a pure, introverted girl…but somehow, ever since middle school, she knew about many things that even a boy in high school didn’t realise…

“Worry not, Izumi-kun. I have lived for more than 40 years, but even I haven’t seen those words.”

“How could it be? She is even more knowledgeable than a great novelist?”

“Made up!”

Hearing my conversation with Rintarou-san, Muramasa-senpai turned to me and shouted.

“I made them up! Do you have a problem with that?”

“….No, I don’t.”

No need for a special skill in an ecchi novel... I thought.

Seeing something she totally made up, I didn’t know how to react. If I continued my relationship with her, maybe someday I would encounter Mozuotoshi too…crap, now I was becoming stupid.

Like she could read my mind, Muramasa-senpai knocked on my head and said;

“I...idiot.”

Just like Sagiri.

“What an insult! Did you have to ask if I want to do this with Masamune-kun? I can’t answer that right now! I can’t. Just listen to me carefully.”

“…Sure.”

She coughed:

“An, anyway, for the moment, an answer to your question why did I decide to write this novel.”

“Yes.”

“This…is because I argued with Elf.”

“Huh?”

That was unexpected. But Elf did mention it before.

I had an argument with Muramasa. Because of you.

She also said:

While this girl probably has a plan, I do not plan to act for now.

I will do it my own way.

So because of that argument, Muramasa-senpai wrote a novel for Izumi Masamune to read.

“I didn’t plan to do anything to Masamune-kun and Sagiri, but Elf seemed to be worried about how I would act...she said that unless we act, we had no chance of winning.”

Muramasa-senpai smiled, likely because she was remembering her friend.

“Strange, right? I should be her rival. But she always helps me out: Because she wants both of us to be free of regret.”

If she loses, she will cry a lot. She will probably regret that she poked into others’ business.

Elf herself knew it.

Yet, she still helped her rival.

Yamada Elf is an incredible idiot like that.

“That’s why Masamune-kun. I will follow in Elf’s footsteps. I did consider doing nothing…but she helped me a lot, so I couldn’t just do anything.”

Muramasa-senpai looked at her manuscript.

“All I could do was write. This is what I could do to be closer to you. So…I wrote my story that you will love.”

So, in the end, she apologized to me.

There was a time when she wrote a novel based on herself to confess to me. Looks like she did that again.

However…

“This is not the same as before. Back then…in the “World Light novel tournament”, what I wrote was a story that I liked. But now, my aim was to write something you can love... that’s why I wrote it.”

She stopped, looked at me with a knowing look, and muttered:

“I haven’t finished writing it…but you have read it, yes?”

“Er…”

“How is it? Did your heart…race?”

“…………”

Crap…

This…is…unexpected. Thankfully I have only read an unfinished story. If I read the finished novel…I can’t predict how things would turn out.

When I imagine the girl in front of me as the girl in the novel…my heart feels like someone grabbed it.

Right now…I was facing the same destructive power that Elf once used.

“Senpai,…I…”

“I understand. You don’t have to say it. But... it worked, didn’t it?”

She laughed. What a witch: everything I did was within her calculations.

And the scary part is she did that all without a plan. She had her own way of declaring her love. By attacking me in both rational and emotional methods, she is on the same level as Elf.

I couldn’t keep looking at her… so I averted my eyes.

“Masamune-kun, after I finish this novel…will you reread it?”

“…………”

The reason I didn’t give a reply immediately was that I didn’t want to read it. But my answer is already set in stone.

“Of course I will.”

I have someone I like, so I can’t return her feelings. That’s why I have to give her a proper answer.

That’s what I thought.

“That’s good to hear. I knew that you would say that.”

“I’m looking forward to it…Even without the other unnecessary details, that novel is still exciting.

It’s hard not to read it till the end.”

She blushed in embarrassment when I secretly pushed her to write more.

“… I’m so happy. But… for me to continue writing... there is a problem.”

“Problem?”

“Yes, actually….”

Right before she told me the problem, the door opened. Kagurazaka-san appeared.

“Everyone, the meal is ready! It’s time for lunch!”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

We still sat in the Umezono household’s living room, surrounding a table.

I sat in front of Rintarou-san; next to him was Muramasa-senpai. Next to me was Kagurazaka-san.

There was a very delicious-looking sushi dish on the table.

“By the way…why are you here, Kagurazaka-san?”

Since this wasn’t an important matter, I waited until now to ask that question.

Kagurazaka Ayame, the editor for Muramasa-senpai and me. It seemed like she was Rintarou-san’s saviour’s daughter. At that moment, she was eating happily.

She swallowed, took a sip of tea, and answered me:

“Good question, Izumi-sensei. Actually, I was giving Muramasa-sensei a lesson in love.”

“Kagurazaka-san….I told you to keep it a secret.” Senpai yelled.

“Well, it’s better to let the cat out of the bag now; don’t you think Muramasa-sensei? Do you remember, Izumi-sensei, during the congratulations party of the “World Tournament light novel”, you asked me please tell me how to contact Muramasa-sensei...”

“Yes, I did.”

Back then, for some reason, senpai was right next to Kagurazaka-san and took the phone very quickly. I was thinking that was strange... could it be...

“You have probably guessed, but she came to have a lesson in love with me.”

...I see. A secret that was hidden for a year was finally revealed.

“By the way, if it wasn’t because of that, Muramasa-senpai wouldn’t come to the editorial department. You helped me a lot. I used that lesson in love as bait to trick her into coming and working.”

Do you have to say it aloud? I really think you shouldn’t have.

“Today, we met for the same reason, but I talked with her about publishing a hard-cover novel.”

“Hardcover novel?”

“Yes, it’s rare to have such an opportunity. Besides, this is no normal light novel.”

Yeah, that story is no light novel. Even Rintarou-san said it might win an award.

...I think it really might win an award.

“And then, we came here to get her father’s permission.”

Maybe because the food was good, Kagurazaka-san was in a good mood.

“About that… Raitarou-san said, “I’m against the publishing decision.”

“Eh? Why? It’ll be a big hit! Umezono-sensei, didn’t you say no problem, publish it a little while ago?”

For the first time, Kagurazaka-san panicked. Raitarou-san just folded his arms and stared back.

He told me before:

...I don’t mind publishing it. But…

Now was the time for the second part.

“..I can’t let the whole world see my daughter’s love letter.”

This is not the opinion of a novelist but the opinion of a father.

“That makes it even more interesting! This is literature! I can’t believe you would say that, Umezono-sensei!”

She was bold. She never showed that much passion when my work was at risk.

“Listen, Umezono-sensei! This novel...”

Suddenly, Kagurazaka-san stood up and thrust her finger at Muramasa-senpai’s face.

“Soon, this novel, which tells the sad story of a girl with an unfulfilled love, will become Senjyu Muramasa’s best story!”

“Kagurazaka-san! What did you just say? I can’t accept that!” Muramasa-senpai retorted.

Love itself will hurt the story, but the pain from a failed love will become a novelist’s source of power... because Kagurazaka-san thinks so, she agrees to meet with Muramasa-senpai.

In other words... that woman firmly believes that Muramasa-senpai will lose in love.

That’s why she accepted Muramasa-senpai’s request. She knew that she had nothing to fear.

Very correct decision. Because I already like someone else. As long as Sagiri is still around, Muramasasenpai’s love will go unfulfilled.

Kagurazaka-san knew that. Maybe even better than we did.

...I felt that there was a fire burning in my heart.

“What do you mean, Kagurazaka-san? Didn’t you agree to help me!? That’s why I let you read the novel meant for Masamune-kun.”

“Of course I’m helping you! I’m a novelist’s friend! I’m your friend, Muramasa-sensei!”

Kagurazaka-san answered immediately,

“Just now, I picked the wrong words, don’t pay it any mind… Still, right now, Muramasa-sensei is, indeed, on the losing side.”

“……………”

Muramasa-senpai didn’t look like she could agree to it. Kagurazaka-san continued:

“That’s why! To turn the tables around, you have to publish this novel!”

We have been working together for years, so I knew that she had a habit of using this forceful tone to end the discussion.

Rintarou-san still maintained a clear mind, so he said,

“I don’t understand you, that’s why. I understand if Izumi-kun wants to read my daughter’s story because that’s her wish. I want to respect that wish too. But I don’t think there is a need to publish it. A love letter should be for Izumi-kun’s eyes only.”

“Kuh… it’s so hard…If this was Izumi-sensei, he would have taken the bait.”

Am I that easy to lead?

“Then, then! At least after Muramasa-sensei’s story is finished, Umezono-sensei, please read it too!”

“…I have read part of it, but I’m not very comfortable reading my daughter’s love letter.”

“But you want to know too, right? A love letter for such a plain boy!”

Hey, I can’t let that slide. I’m standing right here!

“…Of course, I want to know.”

“Then you must read it! You will change your mind after reading it! You can’t just seal it away like that! It will be this century’s big hit!”

“..I still won’t change my mind. Just wait until it is finished, and maybe we can discuss it again.”

“I got it. Let’s stop here for today.”

Kagurazaka-san sat down.

“However, there is something else.”

“Something else?”

“Yes. Thankfully, Izumi-sensei is here too. This is not about Umezono-sense. It’s about Izumi-sensei.”

“Huh? Me?”

I pointed at my face.

Then, Muramasa-senpai said:

“Let me tell you about it. I haven’t told you that... while I’m writing, there is a big problem.”

She coughed and blushed.

“I want to write a romantic story…but I…have never…dated a boy before.”

“Ah…”

I understand.

If there were a hero who had dated Muramasa-senpai and then broke up with her... he would no longer be in this world. That’s the price he would have to pay.

“Masamune-kun, I know what you are about to say. Because I have no dating experience, I could write such a fictional love story – something like that. Just like how in the past, you wrote romantic comedy stories even when you had never dated a girl before.”

“It’s not the same!”

I could write it even without real experience! That’s why I’m an author!

“But listen, Masamune-kun. What I wanted to write about is imaginary love and genuine love. I planned to write the first half as an imaginary love while the second half, with the climax, is real love.”

“…I see.”

I read the first half, so no wonder it has so many made-up words: including Mozuotoshi.

“My current self is the only one who can write the first half, while my future self is the only one who can write the second half. I could only write this kind of story once in my lifetime.”

Muramasa-senpai was talking, but her breathing was getting hard. She put a hand over her chest and tried to calm her breathing.

Then she said this:

“I want to convey this feeling to my readers. I, and my future self, will cooperate – to write the only love story of my life.”

Her passion shocked me to the core. My soul was almost taken by her novelist with a precious goal, Senjyu Muramasa.

The girl in love, Umezono Hana.

Both of them will give me their most potent attack. What I felt right now was just their preparation. It’s just their power leaking, not their ac