Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Kaguya Wants to be Confessed to, (Light Novel) ~ The Seven Mysteries of Shuchin Academy (Chapter 4 of 4)

Chapter 4: Shuchin wants to search
Translator: Skythewood
Editor: Hiiro, Angupesa

The next day after Ishigami encountered six of the seven mysteries.

After the meeting with the clubs, Shirogane returned to the Student Council room and found Kaguya inspecting the red ruby, as the setting sun illuminated her.

Kaguya didn’t seem to notice he had entered the room, so Shirogane became intrigued by the object holding Shinomiya ‘s attention. He looked over Kaguya’s shoulder and peeked at the gem.

The evenly cut ruby emit a strange light, and felt a little strange.

Maybe this was the power of the gem. However, Shirogane still didn’t understand why Kaguya was so fascinated by this ruby.

「What caught your interest?」

Kaguya didn’t react, so Shirogane couldn’t help asking.

Kaguya’s shoulder shook a little, then she slowly turn and looked Shirogane in the eye.

Kaguya in the setting sun had a mysterious air about her, just like the ruby. She had a faint presence, just like an overexposed photo.

「This seems to be… the Wish Fulfilling Ring.」

「That can’t be, it’s just a ring.」

「Fufu, that’s true. I don’t believe in that legend either.」

The sixth of the seven mysteries——【Wish Fulfilling Ring】.

No one knew how it started, a mystery only known for its name and effect.

However, stories that grant wishes would never have a happy ending.

There was no free lunch in this world. Believing in the sweet temptation of the devil will always end in tragedy. Those who wish for beauty will be covered in warts, asking for wealth will leave them penniless, as the wishes comes at a price. That was how it usually end.

The worst would be losing their lives.

However, this was just a ring. Just a ring sent by the man stalking Kaguya. A simple ring.

Shirogane inspected the ring again. It was large, and the ruby on it was probably 5 carats. The price should be 100,000 yen for the low end, and a million for high end.

Was that person really that rich… Shirogane broke out in sweat as he thought about the difference in class between himself and that person.

「That looks like an expensive gem.」

「It isn’t real.」

Kaguya said quietly.

「This is just a fake made by smelting aluminum and chromium together.」

「A man made gem.」

「That’s right.」

「So he gifted you a fake, looks like Mr X is a miser, haha.」

Shirogane smiled in relief.

「Even so, compared to natural gems, man made gems are flawless with better workmanship.」

The origins of man made gems started in the 1900s, by the French Scientist Auguste Victor Louis Verneuil. With the flame fusion technique invented by Verneuil as the foundation, other methods such as hydrothermal synthesis and High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT), the development of gem synthesis grew quickly.

「This gem is the result of humanity’s obsession with beauty. How incredible.」

「In any case, Shinomiya, you should return this ruby. You seems a little…」

Shinomiya was staring at the ruby, and Shirogane felt a strange sense of danger from her eyes. Shirogane felt uncomfortable about Shinomiya being so entranced by a ruby gifted to her by some weed-like boy. Even if he put his personal reason aside, he couldn’t leave this situation be.

「… You are right, I should return it. I know where he is, so I will give it back by the end of the day.」

「I will go with you.」

The other party was the one who sent dangerous mail to Shinomiya, so Shirogane didn’t feel it was safe for Shinomiya to meet him alone.

「Right now, I’m suppose to be in a relationship with Ishigami-kun. If the President comes with me, it will complicate the matter, and I won’t be able to return the ruby.」

「That’s true…」

「If something happens, I will contact you immediately, President. It’s just within campus, so you don’t have to worry.」

Kaguya returning the ruby meant she was turning down the confession.

Tagging along would be something her boyfriend would do. From the perspective from the other party, it would feel like he was being mocked, and wouldn’t feel good.

Kaguya placed the ruby ring inside its box, then said with a smile.

「I’m off then. I will return promptly.」
—— However, Kaguya didn’t return to the Student Council room that day.

Shirogane waited for an hour, and the time for his part time job drew closer.

He searched one round through the school, but found no signs of Kaguya. Shirogane regretted not asking Kaguya where she was going.

Maybe she meant she will go home straight when she said ‘I will return promptly’. She didn’t mean she would return to the Student Council room.

In the end, as Shirogane was troubling over sending Kaguya a mail, he rushed to his part time job.

The next day, in the passageway leading to the Student Council room, Shirogane and Ishigami ran into each other.

「Yo Ishigami, how are things? Anything strange happened after that?」

「Nothing yet… But I didn’t sleep well at all. The thought of me sleepwalking and jumping off the roof made me uneasy.」

「Is that so…」

「Also… After encountering the seven mysteries, I always have this strange dream.」

Shirogane asked:

「Strange dream?」

「… I don’t think I should share this though.」

Ishigami lowered his voice.

「I dreamed about Shinomiya-sempai dying.」

—— And said it anyway.

「Don’t tell her that, it would be awful if you make her worry. Well then, I still have Cheer Squad practice, so I’m going off first.」

「Yes, work hard.」

Shirogane and Ishigami finished their chat, but Ishigami didn’t change too much at all.

In Shirogane’s mind, after Ishigami encountered six of the seven mysteries, he would get possessed by something, then jump down from the roof… But it seems that worry was unfounded.

Or rather, Kaguya was the one who acted strangely.

Ever since she received that ring, Kaguya would open that ring box repeatedly, and stare at that crimson red ruby.

She said she would return the ring, but Shirogane never saw Kaguya after that.

Shirogane felt a strange sense of unease spread in his chest.

「Erm, President? What’s wrong?」

When Shirogane entered the Student Council room, Fujiwara welcomed him with a curious face.

「Was the ring returned?」

「About that...」

Shirogane put his school bag on the table, where the ring box used to be.

After putting down his bag, Shirogane fell silent.

Shirogane didn’t look like he was talking no matter how long she waited, so Fujiwara asked:

「Erm… President, did Kaguya-san accept the ring?」

「Where is Shinomiya right now?」

「Hmm? Kaguya-san huh, I just saw her at the corridor. I’m not sure about now though.」

「I see.」

Out of concern for Kaguya, Shirogane sent a mail to her since she didn’t return to the Student Council room. But he didn’t receive any reply.

He also went to Kaguya’s classroom to take a look, but she wasn’t feeling well and stayed in the nurse’s office since morning.

Shirogane was relieved that she came to school properly, but when he visited the nurse’s office, he didn’t find Kaguya.

He probably just missed her, she might be out for lunch.

In the end, Shirogane didn’t saw Kaguya for the entire day.

「President, what happened to the ring?」

The impatient Fujiwara asked a little strongly.

Shirogane still kept quiet for a while, then said with a sigh:

「Shinomiya went to return it.」

When she heard that, Fujiwara’s face relaxed.

「Really now, don’t make me nervous. If she didn’t return the ring right away, I will worry that Kaguya-san was moved by that gesture!」

「Maybe that is true.」

In response to Shirogane’s words, Fujiwara went 「Ehh?」

「I wonder if everyone else had the same inkling about why Shinomiya was acting so strange. The way she kept looking at the ruby and talking vaguely was like…」

「Like a maiden in love?」

「Ughh… Yes, that will be the worst case scenario.」

Shirogane didn’t turn to Fujiwara, and looked to the field where Ishigami was at.

「I don’t want to believe in paranormal phenomenons.」

Ishigami’s dream of Shinomiya’s death, the seventh of the seven mysteries, and Mr X.

There must be a clue that links all these ominous events together. Shirogane was sure of it.

「Let’s wait for Shinomiya to come before discussing the specifics. She still isn’t here yet.」
—— Ping pong pang pong.

A stupid sounding chime rang out loud.

Followed by a voice:

『To the esteemed students of Shuchin Academy.』

With that opening line, the campus broadcast started.
『To the esteemed students of Shuchin Academy. Please lend me a bit of your time. Those who aren’t interested are free to ignore this.』

The broadcast coincide with the club activities of the students.

The students not in any clubs were also mobilized because of the sports festival, so there were more students on campus than usual.

『A ring is hidden somewhere in this school ground. Please try finding it.』

A slight pause.

『The one who finds this ring shall be granted one wish. Unfortunately, I can’t grant you whatever you want. Only if your wish is within my abilities. That’s right, I can grant you any wish within my abilities. I swear on the name of the Shinomiya house.』
『So please find the ring.』

And with that, the broadcast ended.
「What was that about? Was that really Shinomiya ‘s voice?」

Shirogane muttered as he looked up at the Public Announcement Speakers.

「I don’t know, the sound quality isn’t good, and there’s lots of static. But that is definitely Kaguya-san’s voice. President, instead of that, the ring she mentioned…」

「Oh… that’s right.」

The ring was definitely referring to the one that caused a stir in the Student Council yesterday.

「In the end, did she return it successfully to the one who mailed the letters?」

「Shinomiya said she will return it, but I haven’t gotten in contact with her since then…」

He was too careless. Shirogane felt that he should have ignored Shinomiya’s opinion and followed her anyway.

Back then, Shinomiya was obviously not acting normal… Shirogane regretted his carelessness at that last moment.

「As expected… she’s referring to the 【Wish Fulfilling Ring】.」

「… Anyway, let’s go to the broadcast room!」

With that Shirogane dashed out of the Student Council room.
The campus broadcast delivered the news to everyone on the school grounds, performing the function of its namesake.

Students who were chatting in the classroom started discussing the content of the broadcast.

「Ehh, what was that broadcast all about?」

「Wasn’t that the Vice President? She will grant my wish if I give her the ring? Is that true!?」

The studious environment of Shuchin was litted ablaze with this unusual topic.

At the beginning, everyone felt dubious about this strange broadcast.

However, it quickly spread through the school’s unofficial sites and channels such as SNS.

『If I give the ring to the Vice President, will she marry me?』

『That is definitely impossible.』

『Speaking of which, didn’t President Shirogane called out Vice President alone before the election? What happened after that?』

『It seems he didn’t give her the ring.』

『One of the seven mysteries is the 【Wish Fulfilling Ring】, correct? Is it related?』

『I want to marry the Vice President.』

『Marrying a Shinomiya is impossible. But it might be possible if it is just dating one.』

『So the condition is to give her the ring, let’s hurry on then!』

『Legend says that a jewel from the neck of a dragon is embedded on that ring. The condition of dating Kaguya-sama is to bring that to her.』

Such irresponsible rumours kept spreading.

No woman in the world would marry you just because you presented a ring to her.

Everyone knew that.

However, the fact was, someone of Kaguya Shinomiya’s standing announced that 「The one who finds this ring shall be granted one wish」.

On top of that, someone added extra things:

『Ehh? So if I find that ring, I can date Kaguya-sama!?』

The focus ended onto something weird.

——Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

Motivation = Valence x Expectancy. The psychological scholar created this formula to calculate what motivates people to take certain actions.

If you find the ring and give it to Kaguya, you get to date her.

The expectancy is low, but not zero. On the other hand, the valence of dating Kaguya Shinomiya was very high.

And right now, the sports festival was going to be held soon, so the students of Shuchin were filled with competitive spirit. Many of them were training in groups for the upcoming sports festival, and the ambition in their young body was reaching their breaking point.

This wasn’t just a search for a missing item.

But a race to find the ring before anybody else.

Spurred by this thought, and heightened by the curiosity and lewd fantasies unique to students, everyone was hyped up and ready to go at any cue.

The actions of the subjects involved would also caused a decisive change to the situation.

『Hey, look, the Student Council seemed to be panicking too, so it’s true!?』

『Even President Shirogane is going.』

『I’m going too! Kaguya-sama will be fine with a girl too!』

These comments turned into the sound of a starting pistol, and the students started running.
As she often visit the Student Council room, Kashiwagi was used to being asked questions about them.

「I heard that I can date Kaguya-sama if I find the ring. Is that true!?」

「That’s just nonsense, it’s not true.」

Faced with the negative answer given by the smiling Kashiwagi, the friend who asked her looked unhappy.

Kashiwagi then explained to her friend, as if she was speaking to a child:

「There must be some reason behind this. Like the Student Council is planning some activity… Isn’t there some social experiments like this? Broadcasting fake news through the school’s PA system, and observing how many students are tricked by the Student Council?」

「I see—— that makes sense. Of course… Haha.」

The friend smiled cheerfully, then asked:

「By the way, do you think Koyasu sempai from the Cheer team is dating the captain?」, and they moved on to another topic.

That was the end of that—— Kashiwagi thought.

But after that, other students came to the classroom to ask Kashiwagi the same thing.

W-What’s going on here——?

To Kashiwagi, getting to date Kaguya just because you found a ring was obviously a retarded rumor.

But no matter how much she refuted this, there were still many students who believed otherwise.

The entire Shuchin seemed to be dragged into a tsunami of rumours, pushing them to unexpected places. This worried Kashiwagi.
The rumours even spread to the Red Cheer Team practicing in a corner of the school field.

「Hey, I received an incredible message from LINE! It says that if you find the ring hidden somewhere on campus, you can get to date Kaguya-sama. Are you serious!?」

「Captain, can we call it a day!?」

The male members were incredibly excited.

Tsubame Koyasu slapped the back of a male member with a smile:

「Hey boys, leaving the fact that the Vice President don’t like any of you aside, she is from the White team. Instead of deluding about dating the princess of the White Team, isn’t there something more important for you to do?」

「Dope AF——」

Tsubame clapped her hands, and the rowdy boys went back to practice docilely. The boy who got slapped on the back by Tsubame got teased by the people around him, but he laughed it off frivolously.

The members of the Cheer Team were high schoolers in puberty after all. When they heard the rumour about Kaguya Shinomiya, it was in their nature to be curious and go with the flow.

Even so, they still went back to practice on the urging of Tsubame.

Seeing her teammates formed up again to resume practice, Tsubame felt proud to be part of this team.

「Erm… Captain, I’m sorry but something urgent came up at the Student Council, and I have to go there.」

However, one of the boys left the circle and said that.

Yu Ishigami—— in a sense, he was a member of the red Cheer team more famous than the vice captain Tsubame.

「Hmm? Oh I see, it can’t be helped then. You may go.」

After hearing the Captain say that, Ishigami nodded in thanks and ran off.

「—— Hey Captain.」

「I know.」

The Captain smiled when Tsubame said that.

He cleared his throat, then announced to all members of the Cheer Team:

「Everyone, let’s stop the practice after all! The Red Cheer Team will participate in the search for the ring too. However, I forbid anyone who finds the ring to date the Vice President! Because it will make me envious!」

The atmosphere erupted because of the Captain’s joke.

「So anyone who finds the ring has to hand it to the Student Council member Ishigami, got it?」

「Dope AF——」

Tsubame and the cheer team raised their arms, and looked in the direction Ishigami ran off in.

Did the voices of his teammates reach him?

For that boy who let his bangs grow out and kept his head low, would there be a day when he open his eyes and look properly?

Tsubame sincerely hoped that one day, Ishigami would realize that he had a group of companions for him.

And if something similar happen next time, he wouldn’t leave the training alone, but would ask for everyone’s help instead—— with this secret wish in her heart, Tsubame joined the search for the ring.


When Shirogane and company reached the broadcast station, there were already several students who rushed here after hearing the news.

Shirogane scanned the place quickly, but didn’t find Kaguya Shinomiya here.

After asking the two members of the Mass Media club, they got this answer:

「Because the Mass Media club is right beside the broadcast station, we came over immediately. But the room was empty… We didn’t see anyone in the corridor either, so Kaguya-sama must have left on a gust of wind…!」

「Kaguya-sama is a celestial being, so this is a cakewalk for her.」

The Mass Media club had incredibly bias views, and it wasn’t clear how much they could be trusted. But one thing was in certain, they had lost track of Kaguya.

School was out, but Shuchin was still very lively.

There were some who weren’t interested and went home, and some who were interested but too shy to participate. After excluding them, there was still a large number of students that joined in the search.

Shirogane bit his lips. If that broadcast was sent by Kaguya, then what was her goal?

If this went on, she wouldn’t be able to reject if some boy confessed to her.

Anyway, I have to find the ring as soon as possible——

… No, wait.

Shirogane felt his back turn tense.

What if all this is a battle of the brains set up by Shinomiya?

On the surface, it was a plan to make the entire body to search for a ring, but she was actually enjoying herself as she watched Shirogane panic and run around. That should be it.

But there wasn’t any need to drag the entire school into her entics.

In any case, there was too few clues to make any decision.

There was another factor that made it hard for Shirogane to focus.

「President, is it true that if we hand the ring to Kaguya-sama, she will listen to any of our request!?」

As Shirogane moved around, students he had never met before came up to him and asked.

「That’s not true, of course! —— Ah, sorry, I didn’t mean to shout. That is just a ring that the Student Council is safekeeping. Even if you find it, there is no chance to date Shinomiya!」

In order to let the other students looking his way hear him, Shirogane intentionally raised his voice when he spoke.

「Huh, so that’s it. As I expected… but is it true?」

A male student looked his way with eyes filled with expectations, and Shirogane left quickly after glaring at him.

「Ehh. How did things turn out like this?」

Because of that broadcast, the atmosphere around Shirogane stayed that way. Even if he refuted the question directed at him, the incident showed no signs of slowing down.

There were boys crawling along the corridor, and girls digging the sands on the field with shovels. The Chemistry club took out their metal detector, and the Occult club brandished their drowsing rods. The Saha club even used their Mugarata to search for the ring.
<TL: ムガラータ is just some random word>

The entire Shuchin took part in the treasure hunt.


Shirogane looked up, and saw Ishigami running towards him.

「Ishigami, is the Cheer Team fine with this?」

「I came with the Captain’s permission.」

After saying that, Ishigami saw Iino who came from the other side. Iino noticed his gaze, and averted her face with a grunt. She was probably trying to say: this is an emergency, so I will overlook you skipping Cheer Team practice and running in the corridor.

「Things sure escalated quickly. What do we do now?」

Fujiwara turned pale after realizing the situation around her.

「Anyway, let’s confirm the situation. There are two things we have to do.」

Shirogane gathered all the members aside from Kaguya to share information and sort out the situation.

「First will be 『finding the ring before the other students does』. This is to avoid the wish Shinomiya promised to grant from being abused. From what I heard from the other students, there are many people harboring improper thoughts.」

Iino nodded in agreement, her brows furrowed in anger.

「Another thing will be 『finding out where exactly is Shinomiya right now』. I want her to retract her statement about the ring, but she is still missing. Her phone seems to be on, but she isn’t picking up.」

Fujiwara would call Kaguya every few minutes, but she didn’t pick up.

In the end, the victory condition for this treasure hunt were these two.

Either find the ring and send it to Kaguya.

Assuming the subject herself was hiding, finding Kaguya naturally became part of the game.

If this really is a game, then there must be some significance to the place Shinomiya is hiding too.

Even with these ideas in mind, Shirogane still didn’t have any clues at all.

「The worse ending will be the people who believe in the rumours finding the ring and sending it to Shinomiya.」

Those who participate in this activity on a whim and present the ring to Kaguya would definitely be ignored by her—— Shirogane was certain of that.

However, he still felt a little uneasy.

Because Iino gave the following testimony:

「I don’t think Vice President Shinomiya will never make such a broadcast, but when I was patrolling the school before the broadcast, I did see Vice President Shinomiya near the broadcast station.」

「How did Shinomiya felt like back then?」

「I greeted her, but she didn’t even look my way. I thought she didn’t hear me and walked over, and when she turned around, she looked as if she just woke up from a dream, and was expressionless—— Hence, I felt that maybe Vice President Shinomiya did hear me, but she had even forgotten her own name. I had never seen Vice President Shinomiya like this, she was like a completely different person. Right, as if she was——」

As if she was possessed.

—— That was how Iino put it.

The feeling someone injecting ice water into the veins on his back made Shirogane shiver.

「President Shirogane, we need to find that ring. I don’t know what’s happening, but we can’t communicate with Vice President Shinomiya now. So we need to improve the situation by finding that ring.」

Iino’s words made Shirogane tense.

「But if we ran around to search for her, that would be lending credibility to the rumours, and spread it even more.」

「The rumours have already spread through the entire school! Shouldn’t we find the ring before anyone else and save Vice President Shinomiya!?」

Iino had a point, and Shirogane couldn’t find any reason to refute her.

「Shouldn’t we find Kaguya-san first?」

Fujiwara suggested.

「That’s true, let’s split up. How about Iino and I will find the ring, Fujiwara and Ishigami will look for Shinomiya?」
「… Understood.」

Shirogane felt relieved when he saw Iino nodding.

The more Shirogane searched for the ring, the more likely Kaguya who was watching from some corner of the school would laugh at him like this:

Ara, the President is running around the corridor in search of the ring. Does he want me to grant his wish that much? How cute.

So Shirogane had to exercise caution.

He wasn’t searching for the ring in order to confess to Kaguya ahead of anyone else, but as a member of the Student Council trying to verify the facts with Kaguya.

That would avoid any weird misunderstanding from developing.

Shirogane was a man who didn’t forget to protect himself even during moments like this.
Shirogane and Iino started searching the school buildings.

Even doors that were normally locked, and inaccessible to other students, they could use the authority of the Student Council to search it.

But it would be a hassle to borrow the keys for each room and search, so Iino suggested borrowing the master key that could access all the rooms.

And the Principal was the only person who held such a key.

So Shirogane and the others headed to the Principal’s office.
「Ara ara, you seem to be doing something that’s a lot of fun.」

When they entered the Principal’s office, and the master of the room welcomed Shirogane’s group happily.

「Was that broadcast earlier an event planned by the Student Council? So you can’t conquer Vice President Shinomiya alone, and wants to tap on the power of the whole school for a combined boss raid?」

「What are you talking about, Principal?」

It was a known fact that the Principal loves games, and he could often be seen holding a phone in one hand and shouting 「I got cha!」 gleefully.

Shirogane suppressed the urge to say 「stop kidding!」, and thought what the Principal said made sense. This might be a game designed by Kaguya Shinomiya.

「It is very probable that the ring is placed in a locked room, so we want to borrow the master key.」

The Principal scoffed at Shirogane’s request.

「Don’t worry, you don’t need a key for this game.」


Seeing the baffled face of Shirogane, the Principal said:

「How nostalgic. I participated in this game forty years ago too.」

「Wait wait, this isn’t a game Shinomiya came up with?」


「Then please tell me, back then, where was the person that started the game located, and where is the ring.」

「… I don’t know. I didn’t complete this game. And now, I will often think, that maybe I wasn’t invited to play this game in the first place.」


「Everything is connected.」

He wanted to ask what that means, but the Principal sauntered off to somewhere else.

Shirogane’s group could only look at each other puzzledly.
Iino tapped on the keyboard and asked troubledly:

「It’s no good. Only the recent meeting minutes had been digitized. There’s no records of what happened forty years ago.」

「Well, that is only natural, which means…」

Heeding the Principal’s advice, Shirogane and Iino returned to the Student Council room.

「President, let’s give up on the records of the minutes and search for the ring. If all of us put our knowledge of the school’s layout together, we can definitely find it.」

Iino reiterated her opinion.

「The Principal said everything’s related. In that case, the answer to this game lies with its origin 40 years ago.」

「But we can’t find the meeting minutes, if the records from 40 years ago is properly preserved, then it must be in the store house or the library. If it is not digitized, there’s no point in us searching for it here…」

「… Wait, could it be in that room?」

「Huh, what are you—— Ehhh!?」

Shirogane pushed the cabinet aside, opening the entrance to the hidden room.

Iino who saw this for the first time fell on her butt.

「Oh, so you have never seen this before, Iino. Ishigami found this before you joined the Student Council.」

Shirogane and Iino climbed up the dim stairs, and reached the hidden room in no time. Piles of old documents were kept there. Fortunately, most of the documents had dates on the cover, so it shouldn’t be too hard to search through them.

And five minutes later, Iino shouted happily:

「Ah! Is this the one? It mentions something about the ring in it!」

Iino brought the old notebook to Shirogane, and flipped through it. Shirogane read it together with her.

The two of them started browsing the records from 2 scores years ago.

Let’s assume, there is such a story——
The 27th Student Council meeting minutes.

Records of special incidents outside of routine events, 『He and her story, from the testimony of a graduate』

Once upon a time in Shuchin, there was a beautiful girl. Her name was [redacted].

In Shuchin where children from prestigious houses were gathered, there were plenty of girls who were both talented and beautiful, but this girl was still in a league of her own among them.

The boys in school fawns over her, and wants to enter the roof where [redacted] could usually be found to get close to her. However [redacted] would blockade the stairs to stop the boys from going in.

If they try to break through forcefully, they would receive the angry and condescending admonishment from [redacted] that was as good as a death sentence, so no one could get close to her.

The blockade was like an extension of the stairs, and was feared by the boys in school as the unpassable 【13 stairs】.

Since they couldn’t go near her, they had to express their feelings for her through love letters.

Rumours says that her shoe cabinet would be filled with love letters every day.

But [redacted] didn’t simply turn them down, but made all sorts of impossible request to everyone wooing her.

「If you score full marks for all the subjects in the end of term test, I will befriend you.」

「If you break the national record in any event during the next sports festival, I will think about it.」

After being treated so coldly, the boys slowly gave up.

She was still the prominent figure in school, but instead of a target of love, everyone treated her like the unreachable stars in the sky.

However, one boy didn’t give up.

He would send her letters every day, and challenge the problem she issued to him.

The problem he accepted was to 「win first place in the prefecture piano contest」.

He never played piano before, and wasn’t exceptionally talented, but he still didn’t give up.

His sub par piano playing could be heard in Shuchin every day as he practiced.

He kept playing even after everyone left school, which earned him the nickname 【Invisible Piano Sonata】. This was a well known sight within campus.

Over time, the relationship between the beautiful female student and the male student who never give up became famous in Shuchin.

His piano gradually melted the ice around [redacted].

On one summer day, he collapsed after insisting on practicing in the harsh summer heat.

A skeleton went to visit him as he laid on the bed in the nurse’s office.

And rather than a skeleton, it was just a girl wearing a skull mask.

Even though she hid her face, everyone recognized her trademarked flowing hair.

Visiting a certain someone—— the proud [redacted] could never do that.

This incident was widely spread as the 【Visiting Skeleton】.

Two years passed since [redacted] issued this challenge to him.

His piano was still sub par, but everyone could tell that special feelings had sprouted between them.

One day, he gifted something to her. Unlike before, it wasn’t for the sake of the challenge she issued him. It was a token of his feelings.

A painting that represents his thoughts for her.

As the male student’s family factory went bankrupt, he had to move to a relative’s place. He announced that he had given up on wooing her, and hoped she would accept this painting as a momento.

[Redacted] received many presents before, including expensive gifts even the boys from wealthy families would flinched at. But she had never accepted any of them.

[Redacted] stood before the painting from the male student, and deliberated for a long time, instead of giving an immediate rejection.

In the end, she didn’t accept the painting.

The boy didn’t say much, and just shrug and said he couldn’t bring this to his new house, and left it to the art teacher to safekeep.

The next day, an event that shook the entire school happened.

It started with the schoolwide broadcast made by  [redacted].

『To the esteemed students of Shuchin Academy. Please lend me a bit of your time. Those who aren’t interested are free to ignore this. A ring is hidden somewhere in this school ground. Please try finding it. The one who finds this ring shall be granted one wish. Unfortunately, I can’t grant you whatever you want. Only if your wish is within my abilities. That’s right, I can grant you any wish within my abilities. So please find the ring.』

Everyone felt that this challenge was different from the one she issued in the past.

There was firm conviction in her voice.

And so, not just boys who held affection for her, many girls participated in the ring search too.

But no matter how much they tried, no one found the ring.

That evening, it started to snow.

Most of the students returned home on the teacher’s instructions.

Only that male student didn’t give up. He hid from the teachers, and continued searching for the ring after the school gate closes.

According to that day’s weather report, there were 15 cm of snowfall from late night to morning.

The next day, his frozen body was found on the school grounds, the snow on his body was 5 cm thick.

The cause of death was falling from height. He probably slipped from the roof because it was too slippery from the snow.

Everyone mourned his death and [redacted] was stricken with guilt.

On the second day of the male student’s funeral, [redacted] hung herself from the tree in the school’s courtyard, ending her own life.

In the end, no one knew where the ring was.

After they read the meeting minutes, the two of them stayed silent for some time.


Shirogane spoke to break the long and heavy silence.

「This is super bad!」

The colors were drained from his face, and he held his head and screamed.

「Familiar terms kept popping up one after another! Like the 【13 stairs】, 【Invisible Piano Sonata】, 【Visiting Skeleton】, 【Wish Fulfilling Ring】 and even the 【Suicide Tree】! This is terrible! Both the male and female student died in the end, and they became the origin of the seven mysteries!」

Shirogane turned to his underclassman.

「Iino… what do you think?」


「Hey? Iino?」

Iino kept her head down. Iino who had always shown proper respect to her upperclassman was ignoring Shirogane.

「Iino? Are you alright—— Ah.」

Shirogane shook Iino’s shoulder, and something fell off.

One of the earphones dropped out of Iino’s ear——

『Come, close your eyes. Let’s go to the world of dreams together. There’s nothing to fear there, you don’t have to be afraid——』

「Please, Iino! Just a short while will be enough, come back to reality!」

Shirogane said in a volume loud enough to drown out the hunk’s voice coming out of the earphones.

Iino looked up with tears in her eyes.

「Scary, this is really scary… But, I’m a member of the morals committee, and Student Council…」

Iino pulled herself together and wiped her face with her sleeves.

After thinking over things for a bit, Iino looked at Shirogane with red eyes:
「President Shirogane, we need to find the ring quickly! I don’t know what actually happened, but if we don’t find the ring, then Vice President Shinomiya will be in danger!」

In response to Iino’s urging, Shirogane fell into deep thought.

He didn’t allow the fear to cloud his mind.

Only those who could keep their composure could achieve victory, that was true for any game.

At this point, Shirogane suddenly realized something.

… A game? No, this should be——

Shirogane raised his head.

「No, I think we should gather more information.」

「President Shirogane!」

Iino shouted as if she had been betrayed.

Even so, Shirogane didn’t concur with Iino.

Seeing that Shirogane wasn’t acting as she expected, Iino became enraged:

「… I don’t care anymore! Since you are so unmotivated, then I will find the ring by myself!」

「This situation is similar to the one that happened 40 years ago. The search for a ring that started with a schoolwide broadcast. The school was in an uproar. And… the mysteries with that are unconfirmed. But I am certain of one thing now. Continuing to search the school will just be a waste of time. Even more so for a snowy day, since the girl who hid the ring often proposed impossible challenges.」

「… Then what do we do?」

That caught Iino’s attention, and her tone softened significantly.

Shirogane grunted, put his hand near his mouth and started thinking.

「If the meeting minutes are correct, then the search for the ring must be different from the challenges she issued in the past. Which means, unlike the challenges she gave on a whim, she prepared an answer for this one. Even so, no one found the ring 40 years ago.」

Shirogane looked at Iino with his sharp eyes.

That surprised Iino, who thought she was being admonished.

「W-What does that mean?」

「It means, this isn’t a simple treasure hunting game. The key lies with the intent of the girl. Instead of chasing the carrot like a donkey, we should understand the meaning behind the broadcast—— this is a battle of the brains!」

Shirogane said, then took a step out.

He left the hidden room confidently.

「I finally found a clue of Shinomiya’s whereabouts. Next, will be the ring.」
「So this is your plan huh, Kaguya-sama.」

From the other end of her phone, the shaken voice of her personal assistant sounded out.

「I don’t understand what you are saying?」

「Do you find it amusing to make that broadcast and watching the President running around in search of that ring? If that is so, then this game is done in rather poor taste.」

「That’s not my objective, I’m not interested in such a classless game.」

「Kaguya-sama, what are you thinking? Normally, you will drag me into your schemes, so why did you keep it from me this time?」

There was an obvious hint of distrust in Hayasaka’s voice.


Kaguya answered with silence.

「If that is what Kaguya-sama wants to be this way, then I can only state what I think are the facts.」

In response to her silent mistress, Hayasaka said with a voice of resignation:

「The person who sent passionate love letters to Kaguya-sama, as well as the ring yesterday—— Mr. X, don’t exist.」

That was obvious to Hayasaka, as for why——

「The person who sent mail to Kaguya-sama several months ago had been dealt away by me properly. It’s impossible for him to send anything to Kaguya-sama. The handwriting is similar, but for my mistress, forging something like this is a cakewalk. And the ring that was sent to the Student Council is my personal item. Please refrain from doing such a thing.」

「I apologize for that, I’m very sorry.」

Sigh—— the sound of Hayasaka sighing deeply came from the phone.

「Hence, all this was a ploy directed by yourself, Kaguya-sama. Treasurer-kun encountering the seven mysteries must be your doing too, since Kaguya-sama was always close by when he encounter them. By doing so, Kaguya-sama could deepen the President’s belief in the seven mysteries… If questioned, you can just fudged it over by saying you were possessed, correct?」

「Hayasaka, you sure have a vivid imagination, why not try becoming a light novelist? Yes—— you got half of that right.」

Hayasaka turned quiet.

Kaguya said:

「As for me, I choose to believe that ghosts are real. That Mr X is real, and I got possessed by a spirit. Some of the seven mysteries Ishigami-kun encounter were related to me, but the others were coincidences. Maybe he is really cursed?」

The sigh from the other end turned into static noise, before Kaguya could hear it.

「What nonsense.」

「Anyway, Hayasaka, you don’t need to do anything this time. Let me emphasize this again.」
「I have been possessed by Girl A.」
Shirogane and Iino met up in the Student Council room with Ishigami and Fujiwara, then traded opinions.

「Is this true…」

After reading the 『the testimony of a graduate』, Ishigami laughed dryly.

That was only natural. Anyone would be spooked to learn that the seven mysteries he encountered was the actual experience of a boy from 4 decades ago.

On the other hand, when Shirogane asked Fujiwara the result of her search for Kaguya, she showed a pained expression.

「We searched everywhere, but didn’t find any clue.」

After mobilizing the entire Student Council, they fail to find any trace of the ring.

「If Kaguya-san wants us to find this particular ring… No one found it in the past 40 years, so there’s no way it can be found, right…?」

Shirogane spinned his fountain pen in deep thought.

The truth was, Shirogane had an idea where Kaguya might be. But there was no meaning in going there.

If Shirogane didn’t go there with the ring, she would just be disappointed and chase him away.

The ring search this time should actually be treated as a battle of the brains designed by Kaguya.

Not the 『legendary killer』 in detective light novels, but the 『legendary game』. It was a mimic of that incident from 40 years ago.

If that was true, then the ring should be in the same place as four decades ago, Fujiwara said.

As expected of a self proclaimed love detective, she had keen insight on detective light novels.

Assuming Fujiwara was right, then Kaguya had learned where that ring from four decades ago was hidden.

That’s right, since Shinomiya can find it, then I can do it too.

Shirogane perked himself up.

But he was too focused and dropped his fountain pen, and Ishigami picked it up.

「Sorry about that, Ishigami, even though it’s a gift from you.」

On Shirogane’s birthday, Ishigami gifted this fountain pen to Shirogane. It wasn’t anything luxurious, but it had great quality, and Shirogane really likes it.

「That’s true, but don’t mind it too much. It already belongs to you now, President.」

「But even so…」 Shirogane said as he checked the fountain pen for any damage.

「I don’t pay too much mind to the presents I give out. If you break it, I will just give you another one next year.」

「I’m glad to hear you say that.」

「You really don’t have to mind me.」

Ishigami scratched his neck as he said that, and sand fell onto the floor.

「Speaking of which, you really did come here straight from Cheer Team practice.」


Ishigami didn’t understand what Shirogane was talking about and looked puzzled. Shirogane reached a hand out to him with a wry smile.

「Ishigami, you got sand on your butt. Let me get it for you——」

「Ah, sorry about that.」

Shirogane reached for Ishigami’s ass and dusted off the white powder mixed with sand.

It was quicklime.

The white powder used to draw lines on the field was stuck on Ishigami’s shorts, making a complicated pattern——

「Oh! I get it!」

Shirogane understood.

In response to Shirogane’s sudden words, Fujiwara tilted her head:

「What did you get?」

「Where the ring is hidden.」

That surprised everyone in the room.

「Please don’t get inspiration when you are touching my behind. That was terrible timing.」

「It’s no coincidence. I only realized it when I touched your backside. What a nice bum!」

Fujiwara’s eyes sparkled when she heard that.

「Really? Let me touch Ishigami’s hindquarters too.」

「I refuse—— Ah, no, it should be fine, I guess?」


As they were having this conversation, a bell suddenly rang in the Student Council room.


It was the final bell notifying the students to leave the school.

With that bell, the noises on campus died down.

The next moment, the students who were still searching for the ring shouted 「That was fun——」. That was followed by 「Thank you very much——」「See you tomorrow——」. They all sounded a little frustrated.

Shortly after that, the school ground reverted to its usual silence in the evenings.

Everyone probably realized that time was up.

「Alright then, I will look for the ring alone, so everyone can go first.」

When Shirogane said that, Fujiwara looked displeased:

「Ehh!? We finally made it this far, and you are asking us to go back!?」

The teachers would start to nag if they loiter around after school. They would not be permitted to stay behind for the sake of searching for the ring.

Furthermore, there was someone more naggy than the teacher here.

「You can’t, Fujiwara-sempai. Time is up. It’s too bad that we didn’t find the answer in time.」

Shirogane frowned when he heard what Iino said:

「… Which means, it’s fine for me to stay since I got the answer, right?」

「I didn’t say it’s fine…」

Iino looked hesitant.

Ishigami backed Shirogane up.

「We can’t leave Shinomiya-sempai behind and go, right? Everyone staying would be too much, but if it is just the President…」

「You don’t need to tell me that, Ishigami, of course I know!!」

Shirogane smiled, then headed to the old school building.

「Resolve as fast as you can!」

Shirogane answered Fujiwara’s cheer with a wave of his hand.

The old school building where the Student Council room was located was so old that there was talks of demolishing it.

The building was old and battered, and remained in use for so long because of the influence from the Alumni known as the Phoenix Association.

This association formed by the past Student Council Presidents of Shuchin had great influence on the academy.

First of all, the Phoenix Association owns the land that the old school building occupies.

Constructing a school building here made it obvious that there was a complicated power relationship in the academy. This was one of the evidence that proved the Shuchin Academy wasn’t as united as it appears.

From the perspective of the students using the facilities, not having air conditioning made it really inconvenient. It was only natural for them to be in favor of demolishing the building and erecting a new one.

The art room in the old building probably had the same air from 40 years ago. The feelings of the male student that drew that painting seemed to be lingering here too.

For the sake of girl A, whose name was redacted, he practiced piano tirelessly like a love fool, but his passion might lie somewhere else.

He might be talented in other fields. For example, he might be more proficient at drawing. Which was why he decided on a painting as his farewell gift. There was no way to determine that fact, but Shirogane felt that was the truth.

Shirogane took out a painting from the storage.

The painting Ishigami mistook for a drawing of Kaguya, was definitely a depiction of Girl A who died 40 years ago.

It was hard to tell if this drawing was a masterpiece.

Critique of an art work was difficult.

Talent, skill, values and the era.

Without knowledge of various factors, it would be impossible to judge the painting objectively.

However, even an amateur could understand this work.

That was because of the details involved. The more detailed a drawing was, the more obsessed the person drawing it was. They might be obsessed with the theme, with fame, to themself, or to the subject of the drawing. They would put in a lot of effort on the things they were obsessed with.

As for this painting, the theme was love.

It expressed the obsession that couldn’t be told with words like love and affection.

In this incredibly detailed work, it seemed that no amount of work put in would be enough.

There was sadness and rage.

More possessive than the depths of the ocean, envy built on top of jealousy, and even hate was mingled in.

That was how complicated love was.

How wonderful it would be if love was pure. How wonderful it would be if love was simple.

In reality, love wasn’t beautiful, flawless and reasonable.

You couldn’t remove your unsightly side away completely, so you conceal it with meekness and lies to make yourself as presentable as possible. And this decoration was known as love.

However, Shirogane felt that was fine too.

Even a murderer could preach about how life was precious. Even a bandit could hope for world peace.

It was the same for love, it was a emotion not only limited to honest and righteous people. People with twisted hearts could also yearn for justice. He believe that everyone was equal in that sense.

What this painting showed was the love filled with contradiction, and its colors remained vibrant to this day.

Shirogane sincerely felt that the painting was beautiful.
「The man who painted this was my upperclassman. He took good care of me, an exchange student who didn’t know anyone.」
The Principal was standing behind Shirogane.

He looked at the painting with loving eyes, then said:

「He really was a gentle person. Even now, I think only someone like him could melt the ice around her frozen heart.」

I really envy him—— He added.

「So the ring is really here, huh.」

Principal said nonchalantly.

He wasn’t really asking, and was just confirming the facts.

「So you did know.」

The Principal stroked the beard on his chin, then looked Shirogane’s way as if he was looking into far away.

He then turned to the ring.

—— How sad, the Principal muttered to himself.

Shirogane nodded and said:

「I think this question has an issue. Only the one who loved her can find it, but if he really did love her, he won’t be able to take it out. It’s a catch 22.」

Girl A in the painting basked in the moonlight shining through the window, and seemed to be on the verge of tears.

「When a boy woos her, she would issue unreasonable demands. Back then, I thought she was using an excuse to chase us away. But after teaching for more than 30 years, I finally understood what she was thinking.」

If he couldn’t remove this sacred veil, he wouldn’t be able to undo the spell of live and understand the truth.

「She is a troublesome child who wants others to interact with her.」
This forward and direct way of putting it made Shirogane’s lips curl.

「She never thought she was beloved. The boys only woo her because of her beauty, and she thought of herself as just the target of their sexual desire. And love didn’t exist… This trouble arose because of her beauty, so she couldn’t help probing others. I had seen dozens of kids just like her.」

She had no confidence in being loved.

People she had never spoke with showered her with affection just because of her looks. Shirogane could understand her worry.

She wished the other party would tell her that they loved what she was on the inside. It was the same in any era, be it anyone, both genders would think this way.

She just wanted someone to touch her heart.

「They were too young, and too immature.」

The Principal stared at the painting of that girl, but Shirogane didn’t look at his face.

「If I can be their teacher now, I should be able to save their souls.」

Shirogane couldn’t see the Principal’s face, but Shirogane could hear his trembling voice.

What kind of face was he making now?

For the past 30 years, just what weighed on the Principal’s mind? Shirogane caught a glimpse from his voice.

「May I take a look at the ring?」

The Principal said loudly, as if he was trying to calm himself.

Shirogane handed the ring to the Principal, and he suddenly laughed.

「The thing I had been searching dozens of years for, is embedded with this glass ball? This can be bought in stores for a few thousand yen.」

The ring hidden by girl A was just a cheap ring that were sold in stalls by the roadside.

It wasn’t a ring embedded with a few carat worth of ruby.

「Love sure is unfathomable. No one can judge its value.」

As he inspect the ring under the moonlight, the Principal muttered with regret.

「The heartfelt letters my senior sent every morning might feel like some obligatory work to her. He is too honest, and sent his letters everyday like some kind of routine job. This probably didn’t help her much in determining what is true love.」

「Heartfelt letters?」

「That’s right. I think it’s recorded in 『the testimony of a graduate』. My senior would send her love letters everyday.」

When he heard that, something clicked in Shirogane’s mind.

It was connected. He could see it now.

—— Kaguya’s true intention.

「In modern times, love letters are written to confess one’s feelings. But in the past when boys and girls were forbidden from meeting in public, writing letters were just a means of communication.」

The boy who sent Kaguya letters daily, Mr X.

And girl A who bear a striking resemblance to Kaguya.

Girl A and Mr X.

Daily love letters.

Kaguya wants to faithfully reenact the experiences of girl A.

He finally got it. Kaguya wasn’t trying to mimic the seven mysteries.

She wanted to mimic their love story.

「Thank you for listening to me rumbling about the past. Here’s the ring.」

Principal slowly reached out his hand.

But Shirogane turned him down.

「The one who should take the ring isn’t me.」

That was right. If this was an reenactment by Shinomiya , then this wouldn’t be 「our story」.

「What do you mean?」

Principal looked puzzled, but there wasn’t any disbelief in his eyes.

He had the eyes of an educator trying to sort out Shirogane’s thinking.

「Because his spirit had been talking to me since just now.」

Principal was enlightened and smiled.

「… That’s terrible. Are you possessed?」

「It seems so. I’m on the verge of losing myself.」

「It’s the same for Shinomiya-san, she seemed to be possessed by the spirit of girl A too. How scary.」

It was frightening indeed.

But if everything that happened was instigated by her, then Kaguya Shinomiya would really be a scary person.

「Let me thank you then. Please help me tell Shinomiya-san that too.」

And then Shirogane—— No, the boy took the ring.

The boy possessed by a spirit walked down the stairs and left.

The man who used to be 16 watched over him.

The Principal said in a high schooler tone that didn’t befit his age:

「May their story that already ended once…」

—— Have a happy ending.
「You actually found me.」

「Of course, Boku knows everything about you.」

Boku…? I see, fufu. So that’s how it is.」
<TL: 僕 another way of saying I>

「Because the ending of this story has to happen here. Under this 『Suicide Tree』.」


「On that snowy day, I slipped from the roof and fell to my death. If you really loved me, then you will choose to die the same way. Am I right? But you didn’t do that, and I have always wondered why.」

「Do you think I did that because I didn’t love you?」

「Then you wouldn’t have killed yourself to be with me in death. If the last thing you did to express your love is to hang yourself on this tree, then there must be a deep reason why.」

「Oh—— there is a reason behind this?」

「It’s the venue. This tree is the spot where I fell to my death.」


「I don’t have my memories of my death, so I can’t be sure. You didn’t choose to die in the same way I did, because you prioritize the place, and not the means. Am I right?」

「Yes, I chose the place you died so we can go to that world together. But I lost my memories too, so I can’t be sure.」

「This place is where we met our demise. Although our bodies were sent to different graves.」

「So that’s why you think you will find me here?」


「Fufu, did you find the ring?」

「Oh, I did.」


「But I want to say something. You are really too much. You did all this by yourself, and didn’t trust me at all.」

「Maybe, I think so too. But it can’t be helped, I don’t know if I really am beloved. I always thought no one love me for real.」

「This ring is hidden in your heart.」


「Inside the portrait I painted. This ring had been hidden in the painting inside the art storage room.」

「Yes, it is hidden there.」

「I painted in a matière style that by emphasize the texture of the art piece. 『Sand』 was added into the paint to increase its texture. Hence, this cheap ring can be buried in it easily.」

「That’s right. When you are painting my portrait, I realized that something can be hidden in your painting. This is just a little prank I played. I bought a ring at the convenience store by the station, buried the ring into the painting, then covered it up by dabbing it with some paint on my finger. I thought you wouldn’t notice——」

「What a malicious prank. But that’s how you are. Someone who likes to issue impossible challenges, and find joy in seeing others being troubled.」

「I always feel insecure. Because of that, I want to test your love.」

「True, and I responded to your love too. After all, the painter would know if someone messed with his paintings.」

「That’s right, it’s something only the painter would notice.」

「I laughed off your prank, and gifted it to you when I finished.」

「That’s no good. That means you are returning the ring to me untouched, right?」

「How would I know what you are thinking.」

「And I was hoping you would understand.」

「That’s why you did something like that.」

「That’s right, I broadcast the ring search to the entire school. You should know that this is a message to you. Then you will take out the ring in a panic.」

「You got it wrong. How can I do such a thing? I already confessed my feelings to you, so why are you still saying something so mean!?」

「What’s wrong?」

「Because that ring is buried in a painting of you.」


「In your heart.」

「My heart… that’s why you can’t lay your hand on it?」

「Isn’t that obvious? Why can’t you understand? I love you, and even if it is just a painting, how can I lay a hand on your heart?」

「Don’t say such convoluted things! This is just a painting! Even if it is my painting, you can just dig it up, since you can repair it easily!」

「But I still can’t do it! Why don’t you understand my love for you!!」

「… Of course I can’t. Because no one loved me. Everyone is only after my appearance and prestigious background. They might say they like me, but they have only seen my fake smile. They didn’t know how ugly I am on the inside, and how undeserving of love I am.」

「But I love you. Be it your troublesome and scheming character, or how you feel uneasy about your personality. The way you crave love more than anyone else is adorable and beautiful to me.」


「I love your heart.」


「The you who listened to my piano practice out of a sense of responsibility.」


「The you who erected a barricade at the top of the stairs, the muscle queen side of you.」


「The you who was worried about me when I collapsed, and visited me with a skeleton mask. I know all that.」


「The mischievous you who fiddled with my painting. It’s fine for you to play pranks, but please don’t mess with the draft of my paintings again. It’s unexpectedly hard to fix.」


「And the clumsy you who dragged the entire school in to search for the ring for my sake.」

「… Hey」

「And finally, the pure hearted you who chose death so that we can stay together. That’s the you that I love.」



「Is this true love?」

「At least mine is.」

「That’s too sly, mine is the real one.」

「… By the way, this ring...」

「Ohh, the Wish Fulfilling Ring.」

「What wish should we ask for?」

「Do you even have to ask?」


「For eternal love, of course.」
The moment Shirogane put the ring on Kaguya.

A beam of light seemed to be shooting towards the sky.

Maybe this was just a illusion from the setting sun.

However, the souls wandering here for the past four decades finally moved on to where they belonged. That was what Shirogane thought.

「… Do you think this is good enough, Shinomiya?」

「Yes, I think this will do, President.」

They looked at each other and smiled, and felt embarrassed.

And sincerely believed that this performance would work as intended.
「Doing this is embarrassing.」

Shirogane said as he tidied up his belongings to go home.

Most of the lights were off, and only the staff office and Student Council room were still bright.

「You got really into it to, President.」 Kaguya answered.

In order to return 『the testimony of a graduate』 back to its original place, they entered the hidden room.

A piece of paper was on the floor.

The last note of girl A.

『He is dead. And I will soon follow. I just want him to realize the feelings hidden in my heart. My soul will forever wander in this academy.』

This short paragraph was her last words.

Kaguya had the idea of starting this incident after she saw this suicide note. Kaguya judged that the 『feelings hidden in my heart』 in this note referred to the ring hidden in the painting. However, just finding the ring wouldn’t be enough to liberate girl A’s soul.

Girl A hoped that boy could find the ring. Before her wish was fulfilled, her soul would continue to wander in this campus.

The seven mysteries of Shuchin Academy originated from the conversations between girl A and the boy, so Kaguya thought this was evidence that girl A’s soul was still wandering in the academy.

And so, in order to free girl A’s soul, they had to go through a simulation, and play a 【legendary game】. Someone playing the role of the boy and find the ring, and hold a conversation that should have happened 40 years ago. That was the only way to soothe the soul of girl A.

To liberate the soul of her upperclassman from four decades ago, that was Kaguya’s objective.

In order to put an end to the love that didn’t happen and provide salvation for her soul.

「But Shinomiya … Shouldn’t you give at least some heads up before embarking on this plan?」

Shirogane saw this suicide note when he searched the room, but he never thought Kaguya saw so many moves ahead.

When he realized Kaguya was mimicking this unnamed girl A, Shirogane noticed Kaguya’s intention for the first time.

It took plenty of effort to reach this far, so he wished Kaguya had given him some hints, Shirogane grumbled.

「Ara? Fufu, but didn’t you find the answer, President? Then that’s just fine.」

Kaguya smiled like a little girl.

And then lowered her head suddenly.

「I couldn’t treat this as someone else’s business.」

Kaguya said softly.

Shirogane wanted to find the similarities between Kaguya and girl A, but he was exhausted from using his brain so much today.

I should buy a bun at the convenience store on the way back home, he decided.

Shirogane usually brought his own beverage with a water bottle, and kept his expenses to a minimum.

Buying a bun should be fine for today—— Shirogane thought as the incidents from the past week flash through his mind.

「This has been an incredible week.」

「Oh, it’s not one week, but six days.」

「Same difference.」

Thinking back…

Starting with the incident with the love letter, to Shirogane and Ishigami getting dragged into the seven mysteries, and then finding the ring.

All this should end here. They would return to their normal life tomorrow.

「Speaking of which, Shinomiya, you really put in a lot of thought for the dead.」

「Of course, I can at least do this much.」
That was a lie——

This woman didn’t feel sad for the dead one bit.

Everything was over when someone dies.

There’s no such thing as spirits of the dead—— Kaguya shouted in her heart.

Then what was this incident all about? The following term revealed the tip of her thought process.
——The Stanford prison experiment.

This was a real psychological experiment performed in America in the 70’s. Specifically, people who didn’t know each other were recruited to play the roles of wardens and prisoners. To make the experiment realistic, those roleplaying as prisoners were arrested by police cruisers. They were then locked into a fake prison, and lived an actual life of humiliation.

After that, as time goes by, those roleplaying as warden started adopting high handed attitudes towards those roleplaying as prisoners. This had nothing to do with their original personality. For them, they were just acting out in a way befitting a warden.

In the end, the experiment was cut short because of violence and people suffering from psychosis.

After just six days from the start of the experiment.

If the prisoners and wardens turned out like that, what would happen to lovers?

What if they acted as 『two lovers with a dramatic story』?

The battle of the brains Kaguya planned this time was something of this sort.

They would act like the lovers that the seven mysteries originated from and create this scene, which would be experienced by Shirogane and Kaguya.

Which meant that this was a carefully planned work in the style of a 『legendary killer』. A 『legendary love story』.

Not everything went as she planned though.

For example, Shirogane realizing her intentions later than she expected, and the seven mysteries she wanted Shirogane to experience fell onto Ishigami instead… Maybe he really was cursed. At least, Kaguya thought so.

—— Anyway, the President will definitely think of me as his destined lover now!!

Kaguya imagined what kind of effect this would have from tomorrow onwards, and went home gleefully.
—— Result of today’s battle: Kaguya win.

If you were just participating in a festival, you just need to enjoy yourself there. But for the organizers, they would need to tidy up the aftermath.

The following were the results of the ring search incident.

After her personal ring was taken, and gotten swept into it without any proper discussion, Hayasaka, hoarded the Shinomiya villa’s big bath by herself for two hours.

Hayasaka would often hoard the big bath by herself to relieve stress, but she was really mad this time. She put her laptop into a waterproof bag, and brought it in for a long bath.

「What were you watching this time?」

「Faceplant channel.」
<TL: タチゴケ, a type of plant, can also mean videos of bikes falling over>

Kaguya asked Hayasaka who just came out of the bath, and received such a response.

Kaguya started searching through the plant section of her memories.

「Pilea plant huh. It can be found in cities, and is popular with gardeners. But the supply is limited, so it can’t be procured in large amounts. That’s why you want to admire them through the videos, right?」

「Completely wrong. I’m watching videos of motorcycles falling over. A compilation of motorcycles toppling over while waiting for the traffic light or parking at the convenience stores.」

Her personal assistant’s taste in videos remained as baffling as ever.

But Kaguya was relieved to see that Hayasaka’s mood had improved.

The next week, Kaguya was questioned by Fujiwara and Iino.

That was only natural.

But after she told them what she did was for the sake of appeasing the souls of a couple that died 40 years ago, they showed faces of understanding and surprised, and didn’t press further.

「With the incident resolved, my curse is lifted too, right?」

Ishigami was very happy. But the truth was, most of the seven mysteries he encountered were Kaguya’s doing.

As for the rest of it, Kaguya had no idea at all. Maybe Ishigami really was cursed.

If Ishigami really jumped from a roof tomorrow, Kaguya would just think 「Ohh, as I suspected.」

「Oh right, I dreamt about Shinomiya-sempai last night.」

「You dreamt about me?」

Kaguya asked, and Ishigami said with a red face.

「Actually, I have been having nightmares recently. When I was being chased by a dark twisted monster in my dreams, Shinomiya-sempai suddenly appeared and said 『Thank you for cleaning up the room, here’s my token of appreciation.』 You then destroyed the monster in short order. Thanks to you, I slept well last night.」

「I see, that’s great.」

Someone once said 「There’s nothing more boring then the events that happened in someone’s dream.」

To Kaguya, this was a boring topic. But she didn’t plan to pour cold water over her underclassman that was smiling innocently.

Ishigami suddenly thought of something, and said:

「But Shinomiya-sempai left a message. 『I don’t plan to become your guardian spirit, so I’m leaving… By the way, you have a constitution that easily attracts misfortune. So don’t let your guard down, be careful of the water, heights, junctions with poor visibility, bank robberies, plane crashes and global warming.』 What did that mean?」

「Who knows? That wasn’t me.」

Kaguya didn’t believe in ghost.

And she had no intentions of taking responsibility of something that was said in his dreams.

But Ishigami still seemed baffled, but he accepted it with an 「I see, that’s true.」

After leaving the noisy Student Council room, Kaguya headed to the art storage room.

Because Shirogane wanted to return the ring to the painting.

「You really go by the book, President.」

「It belongs to them, so it’s better to return it.」

Kaguya stood behind Shirogane who was doing the delicate restorative works, and started to doubt the effect of the The Stanford prison experiment.

President… I already went this far, can’t you blush a little bit more?

Kaguya couldn’t feel anything different from the President who had a stoic face.

The entire student body knew that Shirogane found the ring—— that was how the ring search game ended.

Because of the time limit after school was out, most of the students gave up. So they were curious about what wish the winner would make. Right now, everyone was watching Shirogane and Kaguya’s actions.

However, Shirogane didn’t act any different from normal, so their probing gaze disappeared when school was over.

After such a huge uproar, the school returned to normal in the next week.

There wasn’t any change to Shirogane’s mentality in the long run, there was just a sudden burst of emotion back then—— Would the students accept that?

Kaguya arrived at her conclusion after observing Shirogane.

Which means, the experiment failed...

Kaguya sighed with regret.

Thinking about it carefully…

Assuming the experiment worked, and the mental state of the two pretending to be a couple, became closer to being real lovers.

But would this always work?

For prisoners and wardens, even if you make them play out the role of prisoners and wardens, there wouldn’t be any change.

So for two people who already have the hots for each other, if they pretend to be lovers——
「Alright, this should do.」

Shirogane showed the repaired work to Kaguya.

「You have nice technique. Nothing feels out of place.」

「Since even Shinomiya says so, then it must definitely be true.」

Shirogane choose art as an study elective, and got really into painting. He felt relieved that the skills he learned was of use.

「It would be quite some time before the painting dries, don’t pull any pranks during this time, okay?」

Kaguya said with a smile: 「Of course not, I’m not her.」

The Principal who happen to be walking by smiled warmly at this scene.

「Compared to before, doesn’t it feels like the painting is smiling a bit more?」

「You must be imagining things. Please don’t say something so scary.」

Just his imagination. However, it was said that paintings was like a mirror that reflects the painter’s heart.

Kaguya Shinomiya didn’t believe in the existence of spirits.

It was the same this time too, she was just using everything available to her. She wasn’t mourning for the dead at all.

Kaguya Shinomiya was a selfish, cold, and merciless person.

But was that the truth?

Paintings were like mirrors.

The girl that resembled Kaguya Shinomiya in the painting definitely had a gentle smile.
End of Book

Translator’s Afterword

This part is usually the author’s afterword, but there isn’t any for this book, so I will fill in for this role.

Big thanks to Hiiro and Angupesa for the edits, your help is much appreciated, boss. I would like to thank the creator, Aka, for conceptualizing this wonderful series. His manga is awesome!

Next is the author Hitsujiyama, thanks for the wonderful story! There are some parts where he tried too hard to link back to the original work though. It sort of makes sense, since the only ones who will read this would have read the manga in the first place, and overall, it has been an incredible journey. Do you know that his name Hitsujiyama means ‘sheep mountain’? And Hitsuji sounds similar to Hitsugi, which means coffin? Knowing is half the battle.

A big thanks to the editors and supporting staff too, you guys are awesome. I would like to thank you, the reader, for reading too, thanks for sticking with me through this ride. Let me show you my appreciation by posting a random pic I ripped off from the internet.

This translation is only possible because of my Patreons. Thank you for your support, which motivates me to translate works such as this. I hope my translation is to your liking, and remember, your efforts will be rewarded one day.

This is just my own head canon, but after reading to the end, I like to imagine the girl on the cover is actually redacted-chan. Nothing in the book suggests that, so it’s just something I thought will be cool if true.

Till next time


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