“Translator: Goma/Editor: TheNix”
Five young people gathered below the high-rise building that rose to the heavens.
……Well, I narrated our appearance in a cool way, but I was just being melodramatic.
On a Saturday afternoon, the members of the Adventure Club had gathered under a 62-story high-rise building – Rising Building – after our half-day of school had ended.
「It is the tallest building on this island and had just been completed last spring」
It was the Adventure Club’s president Isshin Yuiga who was saying this.
「As I had expected with it being a weekend. There are a lot of people here」
The vice president and third-year student, my senior, Yū Ibara looked around.
「Is there really a ((Ruin)) here? 」
The second-year student who is a famous detective, Tensai Ikkyū looked up at the building
「It does not look like that, right」
The assistant of the famous detective and second-year student, Hoshino D’arc said this with a difficult expression on his face.
「But based on the hint we heard from Nanana, there is nowhere other than this place it could be」
It was I, a second-year student, Jūgo Yama, that said so.
The reason why we had gathered in front of a high-rise building in the middle of the bustling town center is due to the hint that Nanana had given a few days ago.
Three days ago: after passing the entry exam and listening to the explanation in the club room, I had returned home. I had announced that I had entered the Adventure Club to our home’s earthbound ghost, Nanana.
「I see, great. I am happy for you」
She smiled and clapped her hands. I was genuinely happy.
「Then? What are you going to do from now on? 」
When Nanana asked me I froze.
「Um……apparently for a while we will be searching for a ((Ruin))」
It was the plan that I had been told by president Yuiga after I had listened to the explanation about the Adventure Club while drinking tea.
「……Quite boring, huh」
「It is because the president says that they do not know where the ((Ruins)) are at all」
「Oh, is that so? ……..Ah, by the way, how many items from the Nanana Collection has the Adventure Club collected in the past year? 」
Nanana asked us. I looked away and replied.
「What, they could not find a single item? 」
Nanana seemed surprised.
「Yep, apparently they had no results last year. But the ((Ruins)) that the Nanana Collection are hidden in are quite difficult to find, right? 」
「Yep that is right but……I feel sorry for them not being able to find anything during the whole year」
Nanana looked down as if she felt a little sad.
「President Yuiga had passionately told me that this might『Risk one’s life』, with a serious expression」
I looked at her to see if this was true. Nanana muttered, 「I see…… 」and then started thinking about something.
Then, I was amazed.
Wow, when I said what president Yuiga had told me to, Nanana really started getting worried.
In fact, this was the plan of president Yuiga. It is true that last year the Adventure Club did not achieve anything. It seemed that they had no information about the ((Ruins)) even now. The plan that president Yuiga thought of in order to find where the ((Ruins)) are, 『To make her feel sorry for us, and find out information about where the ((Ruins)) are located』. Of course, since I was the resident of room 202, I had been selected for carrying out this plan. When I acted as president Yuiga had told me to, Nanana really started thinking hard.
I tried to not give away what I was thinking about. Instead, I made a troubled face and made her feel sorry.
「I went out of my way to enter the Adventure Club, but it is such a disappointment that I have to start so small. I wished I could something more interesting. 」
I murmured. Hm, Nanana started fidgeting. Her panicking gestures were also adorable.
If this was fishing, then I was feeling the fish starting to nibble on my line.
「Well, since you had entered the club I don’t mind making a special exception and giving you a hint」
The fish had bit! I had somehow managed to catch it!
President Yuiga, you are amazing! It really happened as you had said!
「What, really? I am happy」
Of course, I did not show her my inner face. I simply smiled and tried to look happy.
Nanana seemed satisfied.
I felt a little guilty. However, this was in order to find who had killed you. Please forgive me, Nanana. Rather, just please tell me where the collection is. It would be much easier if you did.
While I was thinking this, Nanana folded her arms and started thinking 「hmmmm」.
「Then, what shall I have you do? 」
「……wha, what? What do you mean? 」
I did not understand and asked her. Nanana replied with a serious face.
「Of course, in order to obtain the hint I must make you go through some sort of challenge」
Our earthbound ghost friend made this wild statement.
「What? What is that weird rule? Can’t you just tell me a hint normally? 」
「Of course I can’t」
「Oh I see… you can’t……wait a minute, why? 」
「It is merely cheating to receive a hint without earning it」
A cheat huh? Is it really cheating? Well, it might be cheating but……
「Yet, that being said」
I tried to appeal to her desperately. Nanana’s eyes suddenly narrowed.
「Hey Jūgo. Don’t tell me you are being sneaky to find out where the Nanana Collection is」
「Hahaha, what are you saying? Of course not」
I made a perfect feigned smile and desperately tried to deny it. Nanana has started to grow suspicious.
「Ah, as I had thought. It’s because your smile is so cheerful. It is refreshing」
My fake smile was so perfect that she found out. Ugh, I did not think that my 『Cheerful smiling practice』that I do daily in front of the mirror for Ms. Yumeji would backfire.
However, I shall somehow persist.
「No Nanana. I always smile like this」
「No, your smile is more like a bad guy. You kind of smirk in a kind of perverted way」
Nanana with a serious face just cracked my fragile self-esteem. How should I describe it? In the context of boxing, it was like a body blow.
「So what, you bastard! 」
Thus, I could not help but shout a comeback. It was because I felt so stressed and miserable that I could not help but cry.
「Why, are you angry?」
「Of course I am angry! Is it so unnatural for me to make a cheerful smile! Of course, a guy like me who is unpopular with girls, a perverted smile as if I’m looking at adult books is suited! Ah, yes, sure…… 」
「……No, I didn’t say that but…… 」
「No, it’s fine. I am just a…… 」
I hugged my knees in the corner of the room and tried to calm down.
Nanana murmured behind me, 「did I go too far?」, and folded her arms and started thinking. After thinking for a few minutes, it seemed that she had thought of something. She clapped her fist into her palm.
「Alright then, let’s do this. The challenge in order for you to receive the hint from me is 『To play pretend with me』」
「Play pretend? 」
I turned around with a depressed face. Nanana nodded and said, 「Yep」.
「And you are going to be the kind boyfriend, and I am going to play your girlfriend」
「What, what is that romantic play!? 」
By reflex, I asked her in excitedly. Nanana smiled as if she was somewhat relieved, and happy.
「Now then, the time limit is five minutes」
「So short! How about one year instead of just five minutes! 」
「That is not pretend play. Do you not want to play? 」
「No, then let’s do it! Please play with me! 」
「……You make me sound like I am an evil woman」
「Sure why not! I don’t mind an earthbound ghost that plays with a pure young boy! Let’s go, an evil earthbound ghost that plays with me! Let’s go, me who is a toy for an earthbound ghost! 」
Wow, amazing, it was really my dream scenario.
I was completely hyped up about my current unexpected circumstances that I was completely crazy.
Nanana folded her arms the third time in front of me and thought again.
「Erm, what should we do? It would be boring to be a normal boyfriend and girlfriend, right? There should be a little more backstory to it, right? Hmm, I am not that well-versed in these kinds of things……. You know what, can you think of something suitable? 」
「Alright then, concerning our back story, we would be going to the same high school. I would be the ace of the basketball club, and you would be my senior who is the manager of the basketball club. We started dating when I hit a three-point shot in the final match of the regional competition…. 」