Let’s begin from the conclusion.
That butler really followed me to the toilet!!
The toilet being spacious and him not staring intently at me was the only saving there, but there’s a limit to acting on your words.
Looks like Elm-san seriously intends to observe my every movement.
That’s obviously continuing even now. When I glanced at my left side, 3 meters from the sofa I am sitting on, there’s the dandy butler looking at me with an unchanging stance…
He might get neurosis from that.
And there’s one thing that it has affected negatively.
When I glanced at my right side, at the corner of the sofa I am sitting on…
I made eye-contact with a small blue critter that tilted her head.
I sighed and warned her who knows how many times now.
“Ringo, there’s nothing interesting even if you stayed there. How about sitting properly over there?” (Souma)
But Ringo’s watch passion was reignited by Elm-san, and she shook her head to the sides again.
“…It is okay. It is fun…to watch Souma.” (Ringo)
I doubt something like that is fun, but she was leaning on the corner of the sofa with her chin resting on it, watching me with passion, and I could certainly feel an aura of happiness from her.
I gave up on persuading her and sighed heavily again.
Elm-san and Ringo were not letting me out of their sights.
I could find an opening if it is just one, but it is hard with two.
I have to make some sort of countermeasure or I won’t be able to make any moves.
Also, it is not like these two are the only ones watching me…
At the opposite sofa, there’s Maki groaning with ‘muuh muuh’ as if she were a new species.
It seems like she is still hung up on the spoiler matter.
She should just fix her mood already.
When I moved my gaze, I made eye-contact with Ina, who was keeping company with Fuu.
The fact that we made eye-contact must mean that she was also looking over here, but I don’t get her well either.
She has been curious about my state and stealing glances here for a while now.
I want to believe Ina out of all people would not suspect me, but I don’t know.
The only ones uninterested in me are Sazan, who is boasting about himself to Earth as always, and Mitsuki who is sitting by my side with her back straight.
(It really was the right choice to sit by the side of Mitsuki.) (Souma)
When I returned to the living room, my party members were sitting pretty split up from each other.
There’s a limit to the places one can sit, so I was thinking about going to the side of someone else, but that’s where I hesitated.
If I were to sit by Maki’s side, I feel like she would make me tag along in her deduction time, and that would be a pain.
If I sat by Ringo’s side, I feel like Maki would make a ruckus for a different reason, so I wanted to avoid that if possible.
If I sat by Ina’s side, I feel like she would get flustered and begin saying weird stuff.
Sazan is out of the question.
And so, I sat by Mitsuki’s side, and it seems like that was the only correct answer.
Even when I went to the side of Mitsuki, she didn’t make a ruckus like Maki or Ina. You could even say she stopped moving completely like a statue the moment I sat by her side.
Is this the realm of the calm and serene mind? Even her busy cat ears are standing upright as if they were frozen.
(I should also stay natural. Stay natural.) (Souma)
Telling myself this, I picked up the tea cup that was placed in front of me.
I am a bit apprehensive about it since it was prepared by that butler, but Mizu-san went out of her way to bring it to me.
When I brought it all the way close to my nose, a gentle and elegant scent spread from the tea and…
A cracking sound was suddenly made and the handle came off.
The cup fell on the table, splashing its contents, and I hurriedly jumped away.
“Are you okay? I will wipe it off at once.” (Mitsuki)
“A-Alright. Thanks.” (Souma)
Mitsuki, who was paralyzed until now, resumed action as if she found this her opportunity, and wiped my left hand that had tea splashed on it with a handkerchief.
“M-My apologies! A-Are you okay?!” (Mizu)
“Mizu-san. Aah, no, this is nothing.” (Souma)
Mizu-san heard the ruckus and hurriedly came to where we were.
And then, after seeing the cup fallen on the table, she narrowed her eyes.
“This is…! I told her countless times not to use glue to stick the handle!” (Mizu)
Looks like it was simply because the handle had been glued on and it was easy for it to fall off.
The useless maid will most likely be eating the punishment course by Mizu-san once she comes back.
That’s when I noticed that Mitsuki, who should have been wiping my hand, had stopped moving as if she had frozen again.
She stared at my hand and had a face as if she thought of something.
“Is something the matter with my left hand?” (Souma)
When I asked in wonder, Mitsuki’s cat ears jumped to an unnatural degree.
And then, she slowly shook her head.
“No…it is just that I thought the tip of your fingers were dry.” (Mitsuki)
“Eh? Ah, no, this is not really…” (Souma)
I hurriedly pulled my hand back and Mitsuki moved her gaze as if chasing it.
The eyes of Mitsuki had turned into that of a hunter seeking its prey.
“If they are dried up, h-how about I warm them up?” (Mitsuki)
“Excuse me?” (Souma)
“A-As I said…uhm…w-we are sitting together anyways, so I was thinking it would be okay to hold hands with you just like you did with Ringo-san before.” (Mitsuki)
Looks like she is also someone who saw me with Ringo.
As if sympathizing with my flustered heart…
The sofa at the opposite side, there’s the muuh mooing getting even noisier.
No, in the first place, warming my hand up won’t heal it from being dried up -is what I want to object with, but seeing the trembling cat ears on top of Mitsuki’s head, I felt bad refusing.
“W-What have you been doing for a while now…?!” (Mitsuki)
I looked at the cat ears-chan, troubled, and Mitsuki suddenly blushed.
And then, after getting flustered for a moment there…
“E-Excuse me!” (Mitsuki)
She suddenly held up my body and flew off the room.
…How to say it…today is a day where I am getting kidnapped by my comrades often.
“So, what’s the matter?” (Souma)
I asked Mitsuki who lowered me in the corridor, and she spoke with a tense atmosphere.
“There’s one thing I want to ask you. I don’t think such a…such a crazy thing is possible, but I want to crush that possibility properly.” (Mitsuki)
She is really beating around the bush here.
Could it be that she discovered my plan?
I nodded with cold sweat running down.
When I did, Mitsuki made an even more serious face and continued speaking.
“I am going to get straight to the point. Could it be that my…my…” (Mitsuki)
She hesitated for a moment there, but she then took a deep breath as if steeling herself, and asked this with strength.
“My ears move every now and then?!” (Mitsuki)
You noticed just now?!! -is what I was on the verge of shouting, but I somehow managed to endure.
“Ah, no, my apologies for asking something stupid. It is just that you would look at my ears so often, I ended up assuming such an unbelievable thing. I’m just a worrywart.” (Mitsuki)
Even though I haven’t said anything yet, Mitsuki was speaking up a storm, flustered, which is something rare of her.
…But I see.
Now that I think about it, there was no one in the game who would inquire about the movements of the cat ears.
This world probably took that into account and made it so people don’t worry about the movements of cat ears as the default.
In that case, I am probably the only one who could tell her the truth here.
I burned in a sense of duty and spoke.
“No, uuuh…I don’t think it moves from time to time—” (Souma)
It is not from time to time, but always.
I was about to add that, but…
“Right?!! Aah, that’s a relief!! I was worried the whole time that I might have been making the mistake of moving my ears unconsciously to you!! Aah, it really is a relief!!” (Mitsuki)
“No, as I was saying—” (Souma)
Mitsuki arrived at an early conclusion and held both of my hands with her cat ears flapping happily.
She is holding them with incredible strength, it hurts a lot.
“W-Wait, Mitsuki! Calm down and listen to—” (Souma)
“It is okay, it is okay! I am calm. There’s no way my ears would move on their own! That’s only natural!” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki’s cat ears were flailing about as she spoke.
She is totally in cloud nine.
Seeing her cat ears in such glee, I was beginning to think it would be way too cruel to tell her the truth here.
I would just have to make sure Maki keeps it a secret, so I decided to just disclose this secret to her little by little, and diverted the topic for now.
“More importantly, is it okay to not keep a watch? You were trying pretty hard to stop this incident, right?” (Souma)
When I asked this, the cat ears tilted backwards as if going ‘hmph’ puffing out its chest.
“No worries. I already have a grasp of the location of every resident in this house. For example…the 3 people that have been observing us from the shadow of the corridor for a while now.” (Mitsuki)
When I hurriedly looked back, I saw gray, black, and blue heads from the corner of the corridor hiding.
Looks like Elm-san, Maki, and Ringo were observing us from there.
But it seems like Mitsuki was not bothered by that one bit and continued talking.
“Speaking of which, after you 3 spoke at Rirumu-san’s room, you wasted time alone and then went to check the barrier together with the others, right? Did you do something in that room that you didn’t want others to see?” (Mitsuki)
“Eh, that’s…” (Souma)
The eyes of Mitsuki had strong light just like the time when we left the barrier room.
Those are the eyes of someone completely suspecting me.
There’s Ringo and also the butler. Do I really look that suspicious?
“None none! It is nothing!” (Souma)
I winced a bit at this while waving my hand in front of my face, but Mitsuki’s strong glare was not loosening one bit.
But it is true that I didn’t do anything…at that place.
I decided to call a witness as my last resort.
“Elm-san, you were watching, right?! I didn’t do anything in that room, right?!” (Souma)
When I shouted this, the butler came out from the corner of the corridor and nodded with a courteous gesture.
“That’s correct. Souma-sama didn’t take any suspicious actions.” (Elm)
I directed eyes of ‘see’ to Mitsuki and…
“…That said, I don’t know what he would have done if I hadn’t been watching.” (Elm)
Those words added unnecessarily made me shout ‘Elm-san!’ in protest.
After that, I tried to justify myself here, but my suspicions weren’t cleared, and we returned to the living room with questionable looks.