Chapter 1: The Butler’s Secret – Part 2
I had been careless.
It was after school, one week after the entrance ceremony.
I opened the door of the bathroom stall without knocking, but there was already someone inside.
There was a small, finely made, delicate, doll-like body with an extravagant uniform that was different from those of the ordinary students. The person’s hair was tied back in a braid – a clean cut like the ones on an antique doll.
This artwork of a person was someone familiar to me.
Without thinking I called out his name.
This is bad.
What is happening here?
He’d probably forgotten to lock the door. Konoe sat there, his mouth hanging open in astonishment. His eyes widened as he stared at me suddenly standing in the open door.
It was good that I managed not to scream. Even if school was already over, there might still have been people lurking in the corridors. If someone had seen me in this situation, no matter how much I tried to explain or apologize, it wouldn’t have been enough.
Furthermore, this person was that Subaru-sama.
It was rumored that within Rouran Academy there were some fan clubs for him, and at the very center of them were some militants who angrily proclaimed that anyone who raised a hand at Subaru-sama – it didn’t matter who it was – would be submerged in the Tokyo Bay.
If one of them had found me like this, it would have meant an immediate death sentence for me. There was no doubt that I would have been burned at the stake like a medieval witch.
As it was, the situation was still okay. I just had to apologize. ‘Hahaha, sorry about that. I carelessly opened the door. I didn’t have any bad intentions’… I would lightly say something like that and make my way out.
Okay, here we go.
Time seemed to have stopped. I tried to get it moving again by breaking the silence.
“Ah, haha, I’m really sorry. I just carelessly opened the door…”
Because of my high tension, it didn’t go well. When I awkwardly looked closer, my line of sight slid towards his bare thighs.
Err… Even though he was a man, he had a good tone of skin – a porcelain-like, white skin. He must have been just about to lower his underwear. My eyes became glued to that white, modeled beauty, and…
In that moment, I thought I saw something that couldn’t have been true.
Wait a moment. Isn’t he wearing some strange underwear?
How could I say this… The form was strangely conclusive. It looked like a pair of girl’s panties.
I thought that and… awkwardly closed the door.
Fortunately, Konoe didn’t react either – he was probably still in shock.
Yeah, I knew how he felt. The scene I had just witnessed was a shock to me as well.
Right after leaving the boy’s stall, I washed my hands at a nearby sink. Since I didn’t use the toilet, there was no need to wash them, but I couldn’t spare even one tiny part of my mind to think about this.
There had been a cute cat stamped on it. A lovely cat had been slightly imprinted on that underwear. Or rather, the point was, no matter how you looked…
“No, calm down.”
It wasn’t possible.
I took off my glasses and wiped my eyes. If what had happened just now hadn’t been an illusion, then the prescription of my glasses got weird. But could the prescription of glasses turn strange all of a sudden?
Why did I come to the bathroom in the first place?
Yeah, it was all because of the kimchi(1) I ate for breakfast. Damn Kureha, carelessly letting the food surpass its expiration date. The morning show on TV said something about my lucky color being red today or something, but I could never believe something like that… Huh, it doesn’t matter now.
Yes, the question was: “Why… was Konoe wearing women’s underwear?”
I couldn’t believe the words that came out of my mouth.
Because this was about that Konoe.
That Konoe, you know?
Certainly, he was a guy, but he looked like a girl… or rather, he had a face which was much cuter than that of many of the girls here, but he didn’t have any reason to put on that underwear.
What if… Could it be that a blood curse runs through his family, forcing him to wear a girl’s panties?
“…Impossible. There’s no way.”
My brain was spinning like a washing machine in the drying process.
Subaru-sama, toilet, panties, cat, nyaa~, nyaa~, nyaa~…
Thinking about it, some keywords appeared in my head. Suddenly, a revelation fell down into my brain by God’s will. Without thinking I slammed my fist into my open palm.
Aaah, got it! If you stop to think about it, it’s simple. Ahaha, how idiotic I am. Why didn’t I think of that earlier? There is only one answer, and it’s very simple, isn’t it?
A pervert! Yeah, Konoe Subaru is a pervert with a cross-dressing hobby.
No, wait, Sakamachi Kinjirou! Think about it one more time – because this is Subaru-sama. He’s completely different from a normal guy.
Certainly, I couldn’t see it any other way.
Surely, the reason Konoe wore a girl’s underwear was that he wanted to playfully feel sexual pleasure. If that wasn’t it, then why else would he wear those panties?
“…What an event. I can’t believe that Subaru-sama is a pervert.”
My head went blank from that surprising truth.
No matter what I do, if this truth isn’t kept under wraps, I will be in danger. If, for any reason, this information leaks out, a lot of female students will lose their hopes and go crazy, and in the worst case, our homeroom teacher, feeling responsible, will cut his head off.
And what’s more, I don’t have any intentions of mocking other people’s hobbies. I respect their privacy. Everyone has secrets. Yeah… I’m not an exception either.
I twisted the faucet, and the water stopped.
I’m going home.
Because of the great surprise, my bellyache that had been caused by the rotten kimchi had disappeared completely.
Today I’ll quietly go home, have dinner, take a bath and go to sleep… I’ll forget the things I need to forget.
This is what I decided by myself, but when I tried to turn towards the corridor—
“—You saw it, didn’t you?”
His voice was a slightly high-pitched alto – unusual for a boy.
The setting sun was dyeing that empty corridor.
There was a petite figure standing in that brilliant orange.
“Jirou… Sakamachi Kinjirou. Hmm, I’m certain that this is your name.”
Like the ring of a bell, the clear voice of that doll, Konoe Subaru, called my name – with an angry expression and a surly attitude.
That was the usual Konoe.
At least this was how we normal classmates knew him. Konoe was cold with everyone except his mistress Suzutsuki. It seemed like he was trying to keep away from everyone except for his mistress, and so his voice and gaze were quite intimidating. Looking at this figure, the girls of my class started muttering something about ‘cool’ and ‘wonderful’.
Right now I couldn’t say that – not with this expression directed at me.
…I’ll get killed. If I stay here like this, I’ll really get killed.
I didn’t know why, but a mysterious feeling of unease filled my head.
“If you insist on staying silent, I’ll ask you one more time.”
He was annoyed because I wasn’t saying anything? Konoe moved his small, petal-like lips.
“You… saw my panties, didn’t you?”
*Dossha*, I felt as if my heart had been thrown into the cold waters of the rowdy Japanese seas.
What is this? It’s just too scary. The things he’s saying are just too scary. Ugh, and what about my lucky color being red? That fortune-teller had it completely wrong…
“Hu… Huh? What are you talking about? I… I, I haven’t seen anything,” I answered, acting like an idiot.
I mean, ‘Yeah, I clearly saw everything, I didn’t expect you to wear such cute underwear’… Should I have said that? Impossible. This is almost like trying to do a break dance in a minefield.
“Huh. You were staring so intently, and now you’re trying to say that you didn’t see anything?”
A hostile tone as always.
Very good. Since it had come to this, I’d cut through it. He wouldn’t seal my mouth by using torture methods of the same level as East German ones . I’d show him my rebellious spirit!
“Be honest, you saw it, right? Your eyes clearly saw it, right? You wanted to see my underwear and opened that door, right?”
“There’s no way! Who would want to see your underwear? I’m already an adult, after all! That animal stamp underwear didn’t get me excited at all!”
“…My bad, for using animal stamp underwear. By the way, how did you know the pattern of my underwear? Didn’t you say that you didn’t see it?”
Shit! That question was a trap!
“Ca—calm down! It was just a sudden impulse!”
“Damn pervert. You no longer have human rights.”
“Don’t joke! I didn’t peek at your panties because I wanted to!”
“Huh. Then, you are saying that what happened just now was an accident?”
“Of course! I only stared without thinking because you were wearing cute underwear.”
“That’s enough. I understand. I understand what kind of human you are.”
Konoe cruelly stared my way. I gulped. What kind of look was that? He looked at me with his cold eyes as if I were a worthless sexual offender.
Damn, what did I do to him?
“Damn! Until now, you’ve just said whatever you wanted. If I’m a pervert, then you are an even greater pervert! You’re the one wearing girl’s panti—”
After saying that, I became silent.
More accurately, I was silenced.
Without any warning, Konoe’s right fist flew in my direction, stealing the words from my mouth.
A piercing body blow. The blow accurately hit a vital point, making my body twist like the symbol く from the shock.
This is bad! It will come out! Because of this blow, all I’ve eaten today will come out. Right when I went up a grade, I am going to be releasing wet and warm vomit in the corridor. Life must be trying to punish me. I can’t make such a vivid and pathetic debut in the new semester!
At the last moment, I forced back the demons who had crawled up my throat, and I barely managed to fix my breathing.
“…I am surprised. Just now, you should have at least fainted, or at least vomited blood. You did well enduring this blow.”
Hey, dammit. Don’t hit your classmates so suddenly!
Now that I thought about it, I’d heard that Konoe, being a butler, was learning self-defense to protect his mistress. Certainly, just now my vital point had been perfectly hit.
But, fortunately, if it was just this degree of damage…
Because of family matters, I have been hit ever since I was five years old. I don’t know if I have the right to say it, but I have a tough body that can endure these blows.
“It can’t be helped. Then, I’ll get serious now.”
“By the way, the hit you received just now had about half of my full power.”
“…Are you the protagonist of some battle manga? By the way, why do I have to be beaten up?”
“Huh. It has already been decided. You discovered my secret. And now that you know, you have to disappear.”
What’s with this? I’ll die? I have to die just because I saw his panties?
“You don’t have anything to fear. What I will erase is not your life but your memories. In my household, we have an amnesia surgery technique that has been passed down through the generations.”
“Aaah, what’s up with that… You are scaring me. So, what kind of technique is it?”
“Didn’t you hear me? I’m going to hit you. I’m going to hit you until your memories fly out of your head. This is the butler’s true amnesia surgery technique.”
“I will die. My life will be erased. Or rather, this method has nothing to do with butlers!”
“No need to worry. It will be over soon. When you wake up, you will be in a hospital bed. Then you will start murmuring things like ‘Where am I? Who am I?’ Come on, everything will go well.”
“It won’t go well! This is crippling! Or rather, I will become crippled! You will reset the sixteen years of my precious memories!”
“Don’t worry, I will go see you two times a month. Empty-handed.”
“Bring something! Is this the concern that you have for the human that you crippled?”
“Meh, it can’t be helped. Then I will bring an ecchi book. What do you like? Mature women?”
“You’re strongly misunderstanding my tastes!”
“…What did you say? Don’t tell me it’s more extreme than this? Hmm… I didn’t know there was such a brave man among my classmates. Okay, I will spread your legend. Now, calm down and sleep, Silver Killer.”
“I got a such shameful nicknaaaaame!”
I think I just heard the sound of the image I had of Konoe Subaru breaking into pieces.
This is dangerous. I have to do something. That damn guy has a cute face, but there is something wrong with his head. Aah, what should I do? No matter how many times I say that I will keep quiet about his secret, Konoe will probably not believe me. However, I also don’t want to get beaten up.
“Damn, there’s no other way.”
I slowly stretched my spine and got up.
I guessed that the mood had become strange, and then Konoe took a short breath that sounded like “muu”.
“Why? Why are you trying to resist?”
“Aah, unfortunately, I hate pain. That’s why I will do what I can.”
“Huh—Looks like you’re prepared. I don’t hate that, Silver Killer.”
“…Wha—. I beg of you, please stop calling me by that nickname.”
Then, Konoe held up his fists and took a step back from me.
Bring it on.
It felt as if he was saying that to me. I felt a chill running over my skin.
To answer that highly motivated Butler, I slowly took a step. And I slowly stepped back.
At that moment, I could hear the sound of someone gasping in surprise, but it was too late. I changed the direction of my body and starting running as fast as I can.
I was escaping.
I may not look like it, but I have some confidence in my legs when used for running.
“You! You’re trying to run away?”
I heard Konoe’s voice from behind. As expected, he was furious.
“Sorry! But I hate pain!”
I ran through the school corridors while crying out loudly.
I don’t think he’ll catch up to me, but I’ll run for as long as I can. For now, I’ll run to a place that his hands can’t reach. After that, I will think calmly.
“I won’t let you run away!”
He was really following me. The sound and pressure of footsteps got closer. It felt like I was in a resistance group during the Second World War. A feeling of suspense came over me.
“Fight like a man! If you do, I will show you the mercy of a butler and finish it in one blow.”
“What mercy? Or rather, I don’t want to hear about fighting like a man from a guy who looks like a girl.”
“You… You said it! You really said what you shouldn’t have! Don’t move from there! In precisely two seconds, I will cut you into pieces, Silver Killer!”
“How many times do I have to tell you, don’t call me by that nickname!”
I felt an intimidating chill running through my spine. He was fast. *Grrr* I think that I heard a sound similar to a rumble just now.
This was the second floor. I had to find a way to run to the first floor, but using the stairs was a bad plan. He would probably hit me with a jump kick. Then…
I passed by the stairs and jumped into the classroom next to them. The smell of chemicals reached my nose. Yeah, this was the science room. It was not like the science room would help with anything, but it was enough for me to hide in.
I closed the door and locked it. Okay, now I’d just block the door so it wouldn’t open and go down through the window. Oh, perfect, the human body model is here (if I’m not mistaken, his name is Johnny). Lucky—, with this, I will seal the do—
The moment I tried to seal the door with the model, a crushing sound echoed throughout the science room.
I had an ominous feeling and turned my eyes towards the direction of the sound, and there was the shape of the door flying away.
Konoe had kicked the door down.
I dodged the flying door. Making a clanging sound, the internal organs of the model crashed against the wall. Uaahh— The large intestines and the liver were broken. It became a big disaster.
I was cornered.
The butler came into the room, stepping over the broken peach-colored small intestines. How did this situation get so surreal?
Shit, if it has turned out this way, then I don’t have any other options. I was a little reluctant to use violence on a guy with such a cute face, but Konoe is also a man. If he is a man, I don’t have any reasons to hold back.
I grabbed the model by the leg and raised it.
Okay, this is a batting center. My target is a home run. I won’t win any prizes, but I will be able to run all I want!
I swung the body with my full power. If you looked in from outside, the scene would cause you to doubt my sanity, but for now, I had no other option. The model’s head cut through the air, aiming to hit Konoe.
“Don’t underestimate me!”
Konoe hit a right, straight over the model’s neck.
The head flew like a cannon ball right through the open window.
“Gyaaaa, a heaaad!”
Screams from a boy and a girl could be heard from below. Apparently, it had fallen right in front of a student couple that had been going home. It surely turned into an Avicii-like(2) scene, but that didn’t matter right now.
What was I supposed to do?
There was no longer anything to do. It was better to reach a resolution now.
I thought about it inside my mind, then took up a posture with my fists. I guarded with both my hands protecting my head. From my experience, this was the style that suited me the most.
Yeah, I wasn’t a complete amateur.
In response, Konoe also put up a fighting pose. “Looks like you’re finally prepared for it.”
I gave him a piercing gaze.
And then, as if to let out a war declaration, those lips let out a sentence: “Now I will finish you for real, with my ‘Butler Knuckle’.”
What? Cut it out. What is this ‘Butler Knuckle’? Just what it says, huh? I thought it was a new type of curve ball.
“I don’t give a shit, but you don’t have any naming sense, huh?”
“What… What are you saying?! Isn’t this name cool?! Look, ‘Butler Knuckle’!”
“No, it’s terrible. ‘Butler Knuckle’.” I only told him my honest opinion, but his face turned red, and he groaned.
…Don’t tell me, he’s embarrassed?
“Kuu… It’s the first time in my life that I have been shamed like this. I won’t forgive you anymore. I will let you see my mortal technique.”
“Yeah, I call it ‘End of Earth’.”
“That scale is just too big.”
Destroying the Earth… If you do that, you will die too!
“Seriously, there must be something wrong with your naming sense.”
“Sh… Shut up, don’t criticize my naming sense!”
“…Sorry. This time I’m in the wrong. I’m sure you gave it your best shot.”
“What… What’s with that ‘I understand’ face! Don’t look at me as if you pity me! Shit… I thought I was doing something cool. Even though I thought about it for a week. Well, then…” Konoe said in a low tone, slightly moving his lips like a little kid.
This is dangerous.
He looks… very cute.
The gap between his normally astonished look and now was so large that…
Guuh. Stop it. Stop it. If I keep thinking about it, I will climb the stairs of being an adult. Certainly, on a different route from normal people. This is the one thing that I must avoid!
I tried to regain my senses while I steadied my breath. It had been a long time since I’d been in a fight like this. It made my heart beat faster thinking about it.
The tension permeated the science classroom. I could clearly hear my breath. The core of my body became cold. The air strained. In the middle of it, I was attempting to make the first move.
Then I noticed it: The beaker on the shelf next to Konoe.
Maybe because of the fight from before, the shelf had lost its balance. And the big glass beaker that was on it could fall at any moment.
It looked like Konoe hadn’t realized it yet. His angle probably didn’t allow him to see it. The beaker started to incline, and as if a string had been cut, it began to fall.
My body moved reflexively.
Konoe became astonished by my sudden loud shout, but, he still didn’t notice it.
If it continues this way, the glass beaker will fall on his head.
I beg you. I hope I can reach him in time.
Praying so, I pushed Konoe down with my full power.
I heard the sound of glass shattering. Behind us were the glass shards of the broken beaker.
That had been dangerous. It had only missed us by a hair’s breadth.
When the danger had passed, I started feeling relieved, but—
I heard a pained voice from below.
Konoe, who had been pushed down by me, was groaning. I thought that he was hurt somewhere, but then I gazed down at him…
That moment, my heart froze.
Konoe, who was below me. A slender body like a doll’s. Defined curves. Eyes like jade.
…This is dangerous, what is this cute creature?
A pleasant aroma was gently reaching my nose. Even if he is a guy, he smells so good, and he’s so soft. I touched something soft when I moved my hand…
Wait a minute. No matter what, isn’t this feeling impossible for a man?
I tried to move my finger that was on his left chest.
This is strange… This is very, very strange.
Why does he, being a man, have breasts?
He screamed like a girl, and at the same time, a fist was swung into my face from below.
Konoe’s uppercut reached my chin. I was blown away while raising a groaning voice. Fortunately or not, my body was blown away from the broken beaker pieces.
While bearing the pain from the hard hit, I touched my beaten chin, and a wet feeling was left on my palm.
When I wondered and looked, ‘my hand was dyed red’.
To be precise, a nosebleed. Fresh blood was dripping from my nose.
This is strange; I should have been hit on the chin… Then why am I having a bright red nosebleed?
Why? Why is my nose bleeding even though I didn’t touch a girl?
“Y… You touched it…”
I heard a trembling voice. When I moved my eyes from my bloody hand, I saw the figure of Konoe hugging his arms around his chest, trembling with his face dyed red. Now that I looked, his eyes were wet.
“Don’t… Don’t tell me, that Konoe-san…”
My voice was trembling.
This is true. My opponent was Subaru-sama. In the opinions of all the girls, he was the most admired guy. Yet, even so.
“You… You’re a girl?”
Beethoven’s concert was playing in my brain. The song was [Fate](3). The one that kind of goes like ‘tchan-dyan-dyan’.
A girl. Konoe Subaru was a girl.
No! Why did a cute girl like her come to the academy dressed like a boy?
This is surely a surprise. Now I understand. In two more seconds she will say, ‘Ahaha, baka, baka! To believe in such a joke!’, trying to trick people with strange methods. Haha, I hope it will happen. Please, I beg of you.
“—I will kill you.”
At that moment, I almost screamed. An unspeakable chill ran through my spine. Konoe was standing right in front of me. In her hands was a bright red fire extinguisher.
“Wha… Fire extinguisheeeeeeeeer?”
There was no doubt. That was a fire extinguisher; even a child in kindergarten would know that. She probably took the one in the science room. She made a pose with the metallic red object gripped in her hand.
“W… Wait a minute Konoe-san. If you hit me with that, I have the feeling that my memory won’t be the only thing that will be blown away…”
“Aah, I understand. A pervert like you wasn’t ever supposed to be in this world…”
“That… That was an accident! That was without a doubt an accident!”
“An accident, huh. You touched… You say that even when you have touched my breasts and had a nosebleed…!”
“Uuurrr,” Konoe wistfully groaned.
“You’ve got it wrong! I didn’t get a nosebleed because I was excited! This is because my body ha—”
“Excuses are useless. Don’t worry, I will hide your corpse inside the wall, and in the future I will be the teacher here. Then I will be able to keep an eye on your body, so that no one will ever find it.”
Keh. Holy shit! She is aiming for a perfect crime. Rather, this is bad. I can’t stand up because of the fear. Uaaaaaaaaaaaah, move! Please move, I beg of you, body, please move!
“Then, this is the end. Die while cringing in despair.”
I had received a death sentence.
According to the horoscope, my lucky color is red. Aah, from now on, I won’t watch that program anymore.
The bright red fire extinguisher was reflected in my eyes.
Right at the moment that it hit the side of my head, I thought that.
(1) Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from spicy fermented cabbage.
(2) The lowest level of hell in Buddhism.
(3) Beethoven’s 5th symphony.