My name is Hazuki Rinka.
I think my appearance is excellent, if I do say so myself.
People around me call me [angel] or [the most beautiful girl in my grade].
But when I was in middle school, I was the complete opposite.
I had braided pigtails and dark glasses.
During recess, I was the picture of a plain student, sitting alone in my seat reading a book.
My parents were too strict to buy me videogames or manga, and I spent only 30 minutes a day on my smartphone.
So I couldn’t keep up with the topics of conversation around me and naturally became a loner.
Then one day, I met something.
–The game that would change my destiny, [Prince of Dance～] a.k.a. [Danpuri].
I had finished my lunch quickly and was reading a book in my seat as usual.
“Hey, hey, do you know a game called Danpuri?”
“Hee～, what’s that?”
“It’s called [Prince of Dance] and it’s about the main character who enrolls in an elite dance training school and meets a lot of good-looking guys and gets along with them. The characters are really cool, and the story is really interesting ! You should give it a try, you won’t be disappointed !”
“If you say so, I’ll give it a try～. What model is it?”
“It’s P.M.P (Portable Music Player). You have it, don’t you? I’ll lend you the software. Ah, I want to talk about this excitement ! !”
Even in the class, plain girls from otaku groups are making a fuss.
Games are really stupid.
If you have free time, it would be much more meaningful to study or read.
With a feeling of irritation that I couldn’t quite explain, I went back to my reading.
The feeling of discomfort in my chest that I felt during my lunch break continued even after I got home.
For all intents and purposes, I was right, games are a waste of time.
My dad always says so, and he’s not wrong.
……But I wonder why she seemed to be having so much fun.
Why do I feel so bored every day when I should be spending my time doing something meaningful?
I found myself looking up the price of the game on my phone, P.M.P. and its games.
The two together cost about 18,000 yen.
That’s pretty expensive, but it’s totally affordable with the allowance and New Year’s money I’ve been saving up.
But where could I find them?
I asked Dr. Google, and apparently you can buy it at a place called a game store.
After printing the location, my parents collected my phone and I went to sleep.
On Sunday, I came downtown, a short distance from home.
I told my parents I was going to the library.
“T-there it is !”
I was walking according to the map I had printed, and I arrived in front of a store.
I checked the name several times, but there was no mistake.
I opened the door of the store, my heart pounding with excitement.
–I-I bought it…….
As I came out of the store, I held in my hand a PMP box in a white bag and a game software.
The hefty weight of the box in my hand gave me an inexpressible sense of satisfaction that I had bought it.
But if my dad found out that I had bought it, he would be furious and confiscate it.
I had to make sure he would never find out……
I went home, bracing myself.
When I got home, I was in my room staring at the PMP manual.
“Hmmm, do it this way…… OK !”
All the settings were done and the word “Welcome” appeared on the screen.
It seemed to work.
I inserted the software into the back of the machine and selected Danpuri.
The screen went dark and the game began–
“Uhehehe…… Rei kun, you’re so cool.”
It has been a week since I started playing the game.
I had been playing Danpuri for a week, even while I was sleeping.
Among the four characters in the game, I was really into Kiritani Rei’s character.
Rei lost his parents at an early age and lives with his younger sister.
He attends this school as a special student with a tuition waiver and works several part-time jobs to make ends meet.
His dream is to earn money by dancing and support his sister without any difficulties.
To achieve this, he makes no friends and practices stoically on the rooftop of his school.
[Hey, don’t talk to me so casually.]
“So cold～. But I like such a cold Rei kun too♡”
In this scene, Rei kun is cold to the main character who invites him to have a meal with him on the rooftop.
In this situation, Rei kun is brushing his bangs and giving the main character a fence-bang, not a wall-bang.
Rei kun may appear to be cold, but inside, he is kind and caring.
He is handsome in both looks and personality, but what I like about him is–
[I told you not to call me by my first name, didn’t I? Do you want to be punished by me?]
“His voice is cool….! Please punish me ! !”
This voice is whispering in my ear.
Every time I hear it, my ears tingle and my face goes all smirky.
“I wonder who is voicing it?”
Looking at the staff roll, it seems that someone named Ryoga is doing the voice.
“No way !? He’s the same age as me?”
I looked into it and found that the identity of Ryoga is shrouded in mystery, and the only information the office has released is that he is 15 years old (ninth grade).
If so, it might be possible that Ryoga kun and I are in the same school and class.
But I’m sure he won’t look at me with the plain me now.
“I want to be prettier…..! !”
After that, I worked hard to become prettier.
And after successfully making my high school debut, I was told that I was the prettiest girl in my class–no, or even in my grade, and many people began to confess their feelings for me.
But no matter how many handsome or athletic guys confessed to me, the only person that came to my mind was Rei kun, Ryoga sama.
“Hey, Rinka. Yesterday, Ikeda kun, who’s in the next class, confessed to you. Did you decide to go out with him?”
“No, I turned him down.”
“Eh～!? Ikeda-kun is a very good guy, isn’t he? He’s the ace of the soccer team and he’s pretty cool too. Is there someone you like?”
“Eh? No, I don’t……I guess.”
“Hmm, I think it’s a waste.”
I was also thinly aware of it.
The chances of Ryoga sama being in the same school, much less in the same grade, were close to zero.
Everything I thought was a pipe dream.
Then one day, as I was walking down the hallway, I bumped into someone who was coming out of the corner of the hallway.
“Ouch ! Oh, I’m sorry. Are you all right?”
The moment I heard that voice, an electric current ran through my brain.
I had heard that voice hundreds, maybe thousands of times.
There was no way I could have heard it wrong.
I mumbled, and the person in front of me shivered.
I couldn’t see his expression clearly because of his mask and bangs.
“Who is this ‘Ryoga’? I don’t know much about him. I’ll go back to the classroom first.”
As I watched his back while he walked away, I was convinced.
That man, Nekura kun, must be Ryoga sama.
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