Thank You to s.e.kwan for Commissioning this Translation ♥
Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of this translation
俺様レジデンス —西園寺三兄弟— Vol.2 西園寺藍
CV: Yashiro Taku (八代拓)
Track 1: The Saionji Ran that Everyone Loves
“One must not lie.”
……Someone’s always repeating those words to me as if it were a matter of course. Be it my parents, my teachers, my classmate, everyone insists that lying is a bad thing.
“It hurts others.”
“You’ll lose the trust of others.”
Nevertheless, in the corner of my mind, I wondered “Why is it so reprehensible to lie?”
While I agree that harmful lies are purposeless, but, what if those lies were to maintain peace?
If those lies could garner you favor and trust, and there are only merits to be had… To choose to be truthful despite knowing that? That is a path I would never take. That is something that only those who are unable to do risk-benefits analysis would do. If there are going to be losses, I wouldn’t hesitate to lie.
Also, what is wrong with falsehood in the first place?
It doesn’t bother anyone, it doesn’t hurt anyone, so what’s so wrong about spewing nice-sounding words and having the other person smile?
I’d much prefer that over meaningless fights if it could be the foundation for a harmonious relationship,
If I’m going to get caught up in bothersome human relationships and if I’m going to get used, then lying my way through would be the more sensible choice.
The methodology is simple. Just draw a clear line between you and the other person.
One that neither of you will cross. A rigid, unseen boundary.
And because of that, the road I’ve walked has been almost completely trouble-free. No setbacks, no concerns of perils, a safe path that I can eternally go down at my own pace.
A wonderful flawlessly secure route that I’ve created with my own hands.
I thought that even going forth, I’d be able to walk down this established path with ease. I thought that would always be the case.
ーーUntil that day, that is.
Ugh, so annoying. Who is it?
They’re so persistent.
Yes, thank you.
Uh-huh. No worries, I’ve already been awake for a while. I wake up surprisingly early, you see. I’m sure you didn’t know that, right?
Hehe. It’s not a bother.
So, what’s happened for you to call me at this time?
Sorry to say but my feelings haven’t changed on that. While I’m happy that you say you’re saddened, if I get any busier than I am now, it’ll have an effect on my academics.
I would rather not put a halt to things either, but with my parentage and all, my parents are quite fussy about it.
So, like I said the other day-
Oh, I apologize, there’s someone here. Let’s discuss this another time, okay?
I’ll talk to you later then.
Alrighty. Good morning, Miss Housekeeper, did you come to wake me?
Yeah, someone from the modeling agency. Lately, they’ve been phoning me constantly saying that I’ve been requested to make an appearance on a TV drama.
I don’t want to appear on television.
There’s the matter regarding my family, plus, I don’t have any interest in the entertainment industry, to begin with. Not to mention, I’m going to cease my modeling work this month.
That’s right. I told you that I was thinking of quitting, didn’t I?
There have been a lot of adult photoshoots recently. “Could you please appear on the cover?” and such, it’s pretty annoying. I was only planning on doing it for fun.
Now that it’s become a pain in the ass, I shall be retiring.
Why are you looking so disappointed, Miss Housekeeper? Did you want me to continue modeling?
I’m not talented. I’m just good at making expressions in front of the camera.
Smiling as appropriate is all it is.
Alright, this topic is a drag, so let’s end it.
Come on, don’t make that expression, it’ll put your cute face to waste, Miss Housekeeper.
Eh? I can’t call you that?
Fuji’s always calling you “Housekeeper”, so that’s what I’m used to.
Doesn’t it sound cute? “Miss Housekeeper” that is.
Calling you by your surname is too dull, it’s not cute at all.
No need to cut me down in one fell swoop. You’re so cold.
Huh? Speaking of which, what about Fuji and Gen? Are they awake already?
Oh, then that means there’s only you and I inside this house right now.
Am I grinning that much?
I guess the “Lucky!” feeling shown up on my face. After all, those two are always getting in the way and not letting me spend quality with you.
Calling me dirty is a bit much. All I meant by that is that I want to spend my time with you in leisure.
And back at you. What kind of things were you imagining?
Oh, I got it! You were expecting that something weird would happen if the two of us were alone.
Eh? You’re going already?
Pause for a second.
I should at least be able to hug you. It’s something everyone does, right?
Jeez, you’re so frigid.
Has it been around 3 months since you came here?
As always, you’re never swayed by me.
I’m not fooling around. I told you, didn’t I? I’ll see to it that you fall in love with me.
Even if I’m like this, I was planning to make serious advances.
What do you mean by “take it seriously”?
I don’t understand. Tell me.
Oh? So you’re saying that I lack sincerity.
Hmm…I can’t allow that statement to pass. I’m the only one who knows whether I’m serious or not, am I not? Or are you implying that you have the power to peek into other people’s hearts?
Hehe, so you can tell from just interacting with me?
That must mean you know exactly what’s going on in my mind right now. Why don’t you take a guess?
Alright, too bad. Time’s up.
The correct answer was “I want to kiss you.”
What do I mean?
Exactly that. See? You actually don’t know what I’m thinking.
Listen, don’t be angry, don’t be angry.
Still, I have to have you accept the punishment for not being able to answer.
Come on, don’t struggle. If I pin you down any harder, I’ll leave marks on your wrists.
You don’t want to be in pain, do you?
Though I don’t mind doing so if that’s what you prefer.
Haha. You’re finally quiet. Are you feeling scared or something?
Don’t worry, as long as you’re obedient and do as I say, I won’t do anything terrible to you. So, why don’t you just fall for me already?
Just come to me. I’ll offer you a delightful and kind world. After all, this house is filled with dangers for you, no? You never know when you might get involved in Fuji’s perverse experiments and Gen’s also a man.
He’s surprisingly quick with his cards, you see. Not that you know, right?
And so, I’ll make sure to protect you so that you won’t get hurt.
What do you think?
Even if you look at me with eyes of defiance, I’ll merely find it cute.
Come on, close your eyes.
Oof. Ow, ow.
Eh? What, huh? Wait-!
And off she goes…
Not only did she push me away, but she also declared that she’d never like me.
She’s really playing hard to get, huh? If she just listened to what I said, I would’ve been gentle.
Three months have passed since that girl began working as the new housekeeper for the Saionji family.
At first, I thought I’d make a pass, play around with her a little, and make her my toy like I have with all the previous women. However, she didn’t take even the slightest interest in me.
It was the first time I’ve ever met someone like that. There has never been anyone who’s defied me until now.
There’s always a ton of people surrounding me, and there’s always someone vying for me, pursuing me… Being the center of a crowd was only natural for me.
But that’s only to be expected, right?
I’m always cheerful and can keep up with all sorts of conversations. My attitude doesn’t change with anyone, I’m kind to everyone equally, and I’m always smiling like I don’t have a worry in the world.
And that is I, a Saionji.
Normally, you would never oppose such a person, right? …Normally, that is. And yet that girl wouldn’t accept despite me being the person I am.
That doesn’t make any sense, right?
There’s no reason for me to be rejected. After all, I’m yearned after by everyone. I’m the Saionji Ran that everyone loves.
……Isn’t that right, Ran?
Girls: Oh my god. It’s Ran, it’s Ran!!!
Girl #1: Good morning, Ran!
Girl #1: Ran, I saw the magazine yesterday. You were absolutely killing it in this month’s feature!!!
Really? Thank you, that makes me happy.
Girl #2: Your clothes are super stylish today too! As expected of a model!
Girl #1: The style’s nice… Ran sure does look good in anything!
Not at all. You two are pretty cute today in your own right. I love girls who wear such youthful-looking clothing.
Girl #2: I’m not sure I should be as a high schooler…
They turn red from just words like that, huh. Girls are so easy. I was absolutely sugar-coating it.
Who wears such clothes at that age?
Oh, but, their stupidity is kind of cute.
Guy #1: Ran, good morning.
Oh, good morning.
Guy #1: The girl the other day was super cute. Thanks for that, Ran.
Really? I’m glad to hear that.
Guy #2: You’re making Ran introduce you to girls again?
Guy #1: I mean, you went to Ran and got a job at a subsidiary of the Saionji group, didn’t you?
Guy #2: Well, I can’t deny that. Man, Ran’s such a nice guy. He’s willing to lend you all sorts of favors without looking sour. He may be a son of the Saionji family, he’s not self-important at all.
Guy #1: You get looks of envy just by being friends with Saionji Ran, after all.
You’re the ones who’re in love with the Saionji title, are you not?
Guy #1: Hey, Ran, what’s the matter?
No, it’s nothing. I’m happy that I was able to be useful. Please don’t hesitate to tell me if there are ever any troubles.
Guy #3: Ran. Good morning, Ran.
Yes, this is fine.
Everyone’s calling my name and reflecting me in their eyes. Everyone loves me.
For Saionji Ran, this scene is the norm.
To put it plainly, it is because I fulfill all their desires perfectly. I give them what they want and make them feel good about themselves.
ーーA simple task.
Oh, I see. I should just do the same with her.
I wonder why I never noticed something so obvious?
Track 2: Convenient Person to Have Around
Hey, can I have a moment with you? There’s something I’d like to discuss.
Yes, something important.
Do you know what this is?
I had a background check on you when you first came to work for the Saionji family, and these are the documents.
Yes, even if you were a girl brought in by my father, it doesn’t feel safe to have a housekeeper of unknown origins, does it? So Fuji asked this of me secretly, and I did a little digging.
And for that reason, I know exactly why you came here.
Sorry, it’s not like I was trying to hide it, and I can’t blame you for being vague about your motivation for working here. It’s not something you would talk openly about.
Your father’s company went bankrupt and my father, his old friend, saved him from the crisis.
In other words, in exchange for the aid, you were asked to work here, right?
Mhm, I know.
Because of my father’s help, your father’s company continues to operate without a hitch to this day. Isn’t that right?
But, don’t you find it a little constraining? Aside from the matter with your father’s company, you cannot stand on equal footing with us, much less our father.
Having to care for a hopeless bunch like us as a housekeeper is pretty hard to bear, right?
No need to force yourself. Had I been in your position, I would immediately want to leave this house too.
Besides, I know being dragged around by Fuji and Gen is rough.
Oh, though I guess I’ve been messing with you too.
Anyhow, I’m thinking of granting you freedom.
Yes. I plan to talk with my father and allow you to be freed from this house.
I mean, you have things you genuinely wish to pursue, don’t you? I know how you had to purposefully quit university in order to work here. It’s all written in this pile of papers.
Your father’s company is safe, and if you become free and able to strive for whatever you wish for again on top of that, isn’t that a happy end for both parties?
That being said, there is one condition attached.
As compensation for freeing you from this house, become mine.
Or is that a no?
Are you unable to figure it out without a proper explanation?
This is a deal. A business deal.
I’m able to easily offer the things you desire, and it’s not just freedom. Money, an estate, servants even, I can provide you with anything you want.
So tell me, what is it that you wish for?
You don’t want anything…?
Why? There are only benefits in this for you. How is there any reason to turn down this proposal?
I want you. However, I don’t think you’d just fall into my lap, and that’s why I plan to grant you the thing you want most to start off. And in return, I’ll gain the thing I want most.
This is a win-win situation, don’t you think? There’s no harm in it for either of us, so what’s so bad about it?
Haha! Making you my slave isn’t what I want.
This is the conclusion I’ve reached after pondering how I would be able to make you fall in love with me.
I’m not teasing you, so don’t worry.
Oh and, whenever I want you to listen to me, I’ll load you with tons of cash. I’ll give you a salary that is several times more than what you earn as a housekeeper.
You must be overjoyed, right? You girls all love money, don’t you?
I got an idea! Why don’t I give you some contract money now? Tell me how much you need, I’ll give you-
What? Why did you slap me? Did I say something wrong?
The worst…? Me?
Why is she angry? I’m offering her freedom, so why isn’t she biting?
What’s the matter? If you’re dissatisfied, I’m willing to negotiate.
Oh, that thing I don’t quite understand again.
I told you, didn’t I? I’m the only one who knows whether I’m serious or not.
What are you saying? I’m serious. I’ve thought about you properly and this is the conclusion I’ve reached from that.
……Giving you the things you desire, that is.
Mhm, I want to make you like me. After all, it’s strange for you to not have any interest in me. Everyone around me says that they love me.
You’re right, is it as you’ve said. I’m a convenient person to have around for just about anyone.
I know how to obtain the things that people want and I’m able to grant them, and that’s why everyone says they love me. I have everyone’s attention.
But you know what? What’s wrong with that?
I think there’s a problem if it builds peaceful human relationships.
Mistaken…? About what?
No one will see me?
How could that possibly be? Everyone’s fixated on me and wants a piece of me, so how could that-
I’ve never considered actual feelings. After all, there’s no need to consider them.
Umm, uh, I guess I failed today too?
I thought this proposal would’ve worked.
The same trick doesn’t work on you, I suppose.
What are you talking about? I’m not scared of anything.
Now then, I guess I’ll sleep too.
You should hurry up and retire for the night.
The words she spoke just wouldn’t disappear from my mind.
When she said that no one will see me, my heart was filled with anxiety and fear.
That can’t possibly be the case, right?
I’m…I’m doing well, right?
It’s fine, there’s no need to worry. I’m needed by those around me.
Track 3: Genuine Hobby
Oh, it’s you. Did something happen? It’s rare for you to come visit my room at this hour.
Oh, that! Give it to me!
You didn’t look inside the envelope, right?
I’ve been dabbling in photography as a hobby and I saw on the internet that there was a famous contest that was going on, so I tried sending in some of my material.
Nah, of course not. There’s a ton of famous photographers participating in this contest, so it’s not my place to enter.
I was just curious, that’s all.
What’s with that look?
You’re getting the wrong idea, alright? It doesn’t extend beyond this.
Thank you for bringing it to me. Anyways-
W-What? Have you not heard enough?
What is it that you can’t accept?
Hah!? What are you saying? There’s no fun in looking at the photos that I’ve taken.
No, I’ll never show you!
Please take your hand off the door.
Hey! Stop! Ahh jeez, I’ll show you. I’ll show you!
What’s with that smile? Why do you look so happy?
You want to know about my hobbies and interests?
What’s the point in knowing that? There’s not much meaning in what I do in my spare time. You sure are a strange girl.
Haa… Here you go.
And just so you know, there’s nothing interesting in there.
That’s right, I made an album out of the photos I’ve taken as practice. Fuji was in his 3rd year of high school in that. Gen is tiny too, right?
They’re photos I took quite a long time ago.
Hmm, I think I began taking photos in my 2nd year of middle school.
I don’t enjoy it. It’s just a way to kill time.
You, are you mocking me?
Give me that back.
What’s up with her? Why does she look so happy?
She’s smiling happily just from flipping through the photos I haphazardly took. Even though she has never made this face no matter how many advances I made or how many sweet words I whispered.
What is she trying to achieve?
Is something the matter?
Oh, well, I’ve just always been taking photos of those two. I think about 90% are just either Fuji or Gen.
Mhm, that’s my specialty.
Even in this house, the photos I’m in are almost entirely family photos.
Why that is, you ask?
Because no one took interest in me when I was young. Fuji is the eldest son and Gen is the youngest son.
Being in the middle, my parents never gave me any attention.
Same with childhood photos, there’re barely any photos of me alone.
Oh, but because of that, I took an interest in photographing rather than being photographed. Even when I accepted the job of modeling, watching pros take photos live was my biggest motivator.
Photography is fun.
Whether or not you can bring out the appeal of the subject is dependent on the skill of the photographer.
The end result can be completely different based on the person. A photo taken by a skilled photographer has a unique feel that others don’t have.
Oh, sorry, this topic is boring, right?
No, it is boring, right? For someone who isn’t interested in photography, it’s whatever.
What? It’s not what I have to say is…
Tomorrow…? I do have a day off, but why?
Eh? What’s wrong?
Isn’t this the first time you’ve ever invited me out?
Even though she has never bent until now, why the sudden change? Why is the distance shortening now?
As someone who’s declared that they would never like me, why?
From her perspective, I was having fun and getting all excited over boring talk about photographyーー
Could it be that this is the “heart” that she’s been referring to? Because I was genuinely talking about something I enjoy?
No, no way, that can’t be. Right?
Track 4: A Good Child that is I
I don’t mind being out in the middle of the day, but where exactly are we going?
Huh? You don’t have any destination in mind?
What I want to do?
Even if you ask me that all of a sudden, there isn’t.
Hmm, there isn’t any place I particularly want to go to. This puts me in a hard position. I don’t have many things I personally want to do.
Whenever I went out on dates with girls, I simply chose places that would make them happy.
Ehh? You’re pretty high-handed at times, huh?
But even so, a place that I want to go to… A place I want to go to…
Ah! There is one place I’d like to visit.
Whoa, so this is the rumored amusement park.
I wanted to come here at least once. I was forbidden from going to crowded places like this even as a child.
It was a countermeasure against abductions.
Though now that I’m an adult, those restrictions are gone.
It’s not just me, both Fuji and Gen had it rough as children. There’s quite a lot of people who try to kidnap kids from rich families for ransom money, you see. And because of that, I was forced to learn self-defense.
But that being said, this is my first time being to a place like this, so be my guide.
Which attraction is the most fun?
No, wait, I think I want to try riding a rollercoaster first. Also, I want to try entering a haunted house, and also, I want to try going on a merry-go-round.
Really?! I can go to all of those?
But it was fun!
Hey, hey, wasn’t the last rollercoaster we went on super fast? The speed was just, wow!
What are you laughing for?
Don’t make fun of me. I was finally able to come to the place I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a child, so naturally, I’m all excited.
Amusement parks are fun. However, had I been with the usual bunch, I don’t think I would’ve been able to have this much fun.
……Or even Fuji and Gen.
Does that mean I’m having fun because of her?
“I want to go to an amusement park”?
Of course not. I’ve never asked my parents for anything. The house already has two selfish brats, after all.
Fuji has always been stubborn with his stances and Gen would throw a tantrum whenever things don’t go his way and troubling everyone around him.
Being stuck in-between, I was forced to maintain the balance.
I thought I had to be calm and quiet because those two were running wild, and I was constantly conscious of that, I feel. My father praised me for being a good, obedient child, even.
……Not that I wished for those words.
Unlike Fuji and Gen who get attention without doing a thing, I thought that unless I was the most well-behaved, no one would ever look my way.
So, by the time I realized it, I had naturally stopped voicing my thoughts and desires.
I think it’s obvious, but it’s not the most healthiest of childhoods.
Even though everyone loves the friendly, cheerful Ran?
Is there really a person who’d accept everything else about me? Because so far, the only oddball is you.
I mean, no one has refused my invitation for that long before.
Whoa, I feel like I’ve said something really strange just now.
What was I expecting from her just now?
Most importantly, even though I tried to threaten her and pull her in towards me, why am I the person being carried along instead?
Don’t tell me she predicted all this?
But she’s clearly not a woman who could calculate for such things, is she, right? She’s the type to not doubt others.
But then, why am I going with the pace?
Now that I think of it, she’s been acting strange since yesterday.
She listened to my boring rambles with a big smile and even said that we should go to the places I want to go to…
There’s no way she’s doing that without wanting something in return.
……At least normally speaking.
Ahh, I don’t get it. The more I think about it, the more confusing it gets.
Oh, that reminds me, I forgot to bring my camera today.
Since we came all the way to the amusement park, I wanted to take all sorts of photos as commemoration.
Come to think of it, I wonder how she would look in photos.
Wait, why am I having such thoughts?
How to take photos…? Sure, but why?
Because it’s something I enjoy?
I really can’t understand you.
I don’t mind if it’s just teaching you.
Seriously, stop with that smile. It’s not like I’m giving special treatment or anything.
Just what are you trying to achieve?
Track 5: Changes to Come
I think for a beginner, you might be shocked at the difference between what you see in the viewfinder and the final photo you took at first.
It’s pretty hard to use a single-lens reflex camera. However, the lighting, the tone, and the fine controls will be better.
While it might be difficult in the beginning, you’ll get used to it the more you use it.
Why don’t you give it a try and take a photo of something?
Why me? Stop.
I had this impression before but once you’re set on something, you’re not one to listen, are you?
Alright, do what you want.
Yeah. Let me see.
Hmm, it’s completely blurred.
It becomes like this if you don’t fix it in place properly when you take a photo.
It’s fine, I’m used to this.
Oh, I got an idea!
This time I’ll hold with you from the back, so try taking it that way.
What? What’s with the “eh”?
Then why don’t you try photographing that flower pot over there?
Alright, now, hold it in place again.
Listen, if you don’t hold it tight, it’ll be blurry again.
Have you got an idea of the general feeling?
Then stay like that.
Okay. Now. Press the shutter.
Well? Did you manage to take it?
I believe the more you take, the more beautiful your photos will become.
Eh? Me as well?
I mean, I don’t particularly mind.
Hmm… What should I do?
Why are you looking at me so intently? Is something the matter? Is there something on my face?
Oh, I got it.
I took a photo.
It’s fine, no? You took one of me earlier.
Now, now, don’t get angry.
Here, look. It’s a nice photo, don’t you think? I think beautifully arranged photos are nice, but I think photos that reflect something intrinsic like a person’s atmosphere or their natural expressions are the most beautiful.
Oh, the album ones?
Yes, it’s actually mostly filled with photos I secretly took of Fuji and Gen.
Mhm. I took them because I wanted to capture their natural expressions. Seeing the relaxed posture, the off-guard look gives you a sense of ease, doesn’t it?
Yeah, there’s a feeling that this is their true self. Those two are already the type to live however they please, after all.
They show all sorts of expressions, so they were easy subjects.
Those two sure have it nice.
I thought it would be really nice to be able to say whatever I want, be selfish, and live without taking non-verbal cues from other people like Fuji and Gen.
I wonder what would’ve happened if I had a personality like that?
Well, not that thinking about it would change anything.
If I were to be selfish and do whatever I want, I’ll break down precisely because of that.
By no longer being a good person, it would spell the end of Saionji Ran.
And you would hate me too.
My personality’s pretty nasty, you see.
Those two are fine, they get acknowledged despite being like that. However, I’m different.
Finding my own worth? That’s what I need?
What version of myself do I want to be…?
Isn’t that obvious? It’s to be the Saionji Ran that everyone loves.
Huh? Why? That shouldn’t be wrong, yet…
Who exactly do I want to be?
I wonder why?
Whenever I talk with her, I swell with emotions that surprise even me.
I thought I would forever, forever be fine with the way I was until now… Does that mean I’m acknowledging the me that I shut away? I, myself?
That I can say for certain.
Only during times I’m with her do I feel a sense of disconnect with the version of Saionji Ran I was up to this point.
The time we talked about the photos, the day yesterday at the amusement park, even now, as I’m simply teaching her how to use a camera…there’s a part of me that genuinely enjoys spending time with her.
Why, why is that?
Is she the one who’s making me feel this way?
How should I say it?
It may sound strange, but whenever I’m with you, I feel like it’s fine for me to be a different version of myself.
Whenever you say that it’s fine, I really feel that it is.
It’s weird, right?
Really? Because I’m not the kind of person to have such thoughts.
I, myself, am changing?
I’m changing… How?
In the end, I was never able to ask what she meant by that. No, that’s not it, it wasn’t that I wasn’t able to ask, it was that I didn’t ask.
I was too scared to know the definitive answer.
Guy #1: Ran, good morning!
Guy #2: Huh? What’s the matter? You don’t look so well today.
Eh? Not at all. I’m the same as usual.
Guy #1: Is that so? Oh, and on that note, there’s something I’d like to ask of you. To tell you the truth-
Umm, I, I’m thinking of putting an end to that.
I… I… Why did I say that just now?
I don’t understand, the words just slipped out of my mouth.
Guy #1: Why do you mean you want to stop?
I’m saying that I won’t be listening to people’s requests anymore. So, I can’t use my connections to introduce you to a company or to a girl. Sorry.
Guy #2: Ran, what’s up with you?
Guy #1: We’ve always been friends, haven’t we?
Friends, huh? But to you, I’m just a convenient tool with money that you can pull out at any time whenever you needed it, aren’t I?
I’ve decided to stop forcing myself to lie to myself.
Guy #2: Hey, let’s go.
What did I just say?
Do I even understand what I just did? I don’t think I’ve fully comprehended it yet.
Is this the change that she was referring to?
I’m being way too influenced by her……
Track 6: Shattered Place of Belonging
Oceans are nice, but mountains are hard to ignore either. I feel like both locations could work.
Yup! I decided to enter.
Though, as an amateur, I don’t know how far I’ll get.
But well, someone told me that you never know unless you try.
How rude. I’ve always been positive.
Yes, yes, thank you.
Is something the matter? If it’s about modeling, I’ve already-
Eh? Weekly magazine?
What are you talking about?
There was an article published about me online in a weekly magazine.
They wrote whatever they wanted about me.
“Someone who pretends to be king by waving around money, while being a malicious manipulator behind others’ backs.”
It’s nothing but spiteful.
It spread rapidly on the internet and SNS, and if you look down, there’s a bunch of supposed testimonies written.
This is probably a made-up hit-piece sent to the magazine by guys at my university.
If you examine the content, it’s filled with events you wouldn’t have known about unless you were close to me. Of course, the magazine then altered them to sound more shocking and exciting.
You see, the other day, I told them. I was frank and told them that I wouldn’t be listening to their requests anymore, that I want to stop being just a convenient person to have around.
But I guess it was no use, huh?
It’s just as you said. Once I’m no longer handy for them, it immediately turns into this.
It’s laughable, right? In the end, I was betrayed by the guys that say they liked me and looked at me with glittering eyes.
Being a convenient person to have around means you’re ultimately used and abandoned.
It really is the case, huh?
The moment I showed my true self, the moment I changed, nothing decent was going to come of it.
What am I doing, you ask? I’m tearing up the photos.
I’m going to throw them away.
I don’t need them anymore.
As I thought, I should’ve continued doing what I’ve always had. I was punished because I thought of even changing slightly.
So I’m going to be throwing them away.
The camera, the photos… Everything!
It’s all my own fault. It wouldn’t have turned out like this if I hadn’t said that to them.
Don’t touch me.
I told you, don’t touch me!!!
What? Are you trying to be a defender of justice?
I was going to say this before but your presence irritates me. You look at me like you know everything when we’ve only been together for 3 months.
Could you please stop with your meddling?
I told you, there wasn’t a need to tell the truth…!!!
If you’re still getting the wrong idea, then let me make it clear. There’s no point in stirring things up with the truth.
Either way, I’m sure you believe that being upright and cleanhanded is what is correct, don’t you? And that’s why you’re waving around your sense of so-called righteousness, without giving a thought to the consequences.
I’m saying that such people are fools. Do you understand that?
You don’t, right?
You are hopelessly stupid, after all.
Sorry to say, but the world isn’t as simple as you think. If you believe that everyone’s like you, then you’re greatly mistaken.
Those fairy-tale happy endings only exist in your head.
“For my sake, for my sake”?
It’s unpleasant, you know that? Those eyes that don’t know filth, those lines that only made up of nice-sounding words, the lack of calculation in your face, all of it. I despise all of it!!!
I’m begging you, please don’t get any more involved with me.
Don’t interfere, please.
I’ve lived like this all this time and managed to build myself a cozy place where no one would disturb me, and yet…
Isn’t that obvious? The place of belonging I created was perfect.
You see, humans can’t help but play innocent when they’re with others. They’re beings that subconsciously deny things that are inconvenient to them.
There’s no need to cross other people’s boundaries, and there’s no need to let them cross yours either.
If you do that, you wouldn’t get hurt or suffer.
I don’t have anything to say back.
I didn’t want to step into other people’s toes, and I tried to keep my distance… Yet, why have I been this abused by others?
I was already anxious about my lack of worth.
I mean, it can’t be helped, right? If I didn’t do that…I’d be…all alone……
What was that just now?
“I’d be all alone”?
Does that mean I was scared of being alone?
Not possible. I was a person who refused to be involved with others. There’s no way, there’s no way that can beーー
Enough. I don’t want to talk with you any further.
Let go. LET GO!
Throw that camera away.
All the photos too. I don’t need any of them.
Girl #1: Yeah, I saw it, I saw it.
Girl #1: I really liked Ran, so it was such a shock. I mean, he seemed like he could almost be an angel. But, his other side is the absolute worst.
Girl #2: When you’re rich and have a pretty face, life sure must be easy. They can get whatever they want and get spoiled rotten.
Heh, I’ve never gotten the things I want.
Is this karma?
I suppose I’m reaping what I sow.
Deep down, I knew that better than anyone.
Yes, the path I took was trouble-free. However, the moment you turn back, it immediately becomes an unstable and dangerous road that comes down from under you.
By never experiencing a genuine gush of joy, then I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with sadness either.
That was the world I created.
A colorless and transparent, monotone world.
It was a fragile, fleeting, castle of sand that I could be driven out of a moment’s notice with a single act of carelessness.
I became desperate in making sure the castle of sand wouldn’t crumble.
I was an idiot.
I called her an idiot, but the biggest idiot is undeniably me.
Foolish, hopeless, and pathetic……
What’s this? You’re still awake.
Those photos… Why?
You…gathered all the pieces and put them back together?
Why did you…
This… I thought this was surely ruined…
Why are you doing this? Why, why are you able to go so far for me?
Hey, I’m sure you already know, but I’m absolute trash.
I’m calculating and always put losses and benefits first. I’m good at conducting myself that wouldn’t put me in an unfavorable position.
I give the things the other person wants and reap all the rewards.
I’m afraid of getting hurt, yet I keep misrepresenting myself. I string together tiresome words and attempt to conceal everything.
And then…I was scared that no one would see me, so I did everything I could to stay in people’s sights. I thought I had to be liked by everyone.
But deep down, I always feared being left alone.
This is me, Saionji Ran.
Go on, laugh. Mock me. Curse at me and say that my way of living is shameful.
Why? Why are you always like that?
Please. Please just hate me and abandon me already……
There’s nothing amazing about me, what you’re saying is a lie.
You know a side of me I’ve yet to notice…?
Is that really so? I don’t think there are many things good about me.
I’m not completely ill-natured?
Hehe. Isn’t that phrasing a little rude? Also, it’s interesting how you acknowledge that I’m ill-natured.
You dug your own grave at the most important moment.
It’s like her words were slowly dissolving the lump in my chest.
The part of me I don’t know… If she could find it, then…
When that idea crossed my mind, my heart became strangely light as though my shoulders loosened.
So much so that I seemed foolish to have brooded over it.
As long as I have you, I think I might be fine with that.
I thought what I wanted was to be liked and noticed by everyone, but I no longer believe that at all now.
I want you to look my way.
I think more than anything, I want to be liked by you.
Earlier I told you to hate me, but as I thought, you’re the one person I can’t stand being hated by.
What? Don’t laugh.
Mhm. Thank you.
Yeah, I guess you’re right. Somewhere in my heart, I knew you’d say it.
Track 7: It’ll Fine if it’s You
Ah, hey, if you run like that, you’ll fall. You’re not a child anymore, you know?
Jeez, I told you it was dangerous.
It’s been a while since I last came to the oceans, but I feel like I’ll be able to capture something wonderful.
After all, the model is you.
Mhm, I’m fine with you. And it matches the contest’s theme.
What is it?
You see, the theme is “beginnings.”
The moment I heard that your face immediately popped up in my head. You, as a person, mark the beginning of the new Saionji Ran, after all.
Not at all.
I’ve lived for 22 years, and that was the first time I ever saw myself in that light.
Moreover, you’re the one who allowed me to realize it.
I forced tiresome lies on myself and pretended not to notice. It was easier not to think about it. By living cleverly, I was able to avoid discomfort.
As long as I smiled, as long as I was cheerful, it all went well.
My parents, the people around me… I was under the belief that they accepted that version of me. However, I finally realized this wasn’t the case after your words to me.
I was probably always screaming inside my heart about how painfully constricting it all was, but I pretended not to hear myself.
And I think that’s why things were no longer consistent.
At some point, I was no longer able to feel joy no matter what I did, and I started living that rotten life.
What’s wrong? You suddenly…
I’ve already said this many times, but I’m not a good person. Do you think there’s someone as two-faced as me?
Haha! Even if you deny it so fervently…
Hmm, will I really be able to change?
I don’t think this solidified personality can be fixed.
Have I already changed a little?
Wait then… Please stop bringing what happened that day. I was flared up and wasn’t able to control myself.
Oh. Well, I guess that’s true.
I think I thought if I showed my true self to that extent it would mean my loss…
Hold on a sec-
Loss? Loss against what?
Huh? What was I even fighting against?
No, I mean, there’s no win or loss when it comes to this kind of thing, right?
I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. It’s not like I was in a battle against others, so what exactly…?
Against myself? My weak self?
Ahh…I get it now.
What I feared deep down wasn’t the perception of others or becoming alone, but rather the possibility of my weak self breaking when I came to a realization.
I see. I see now.
That’s why, that’s why I wasn’t good at handling you. You make me weak.
It wasn’t so bad as to bring my weak self.
You were just so noisy and hard to take as you dragged me around and I didn’t know what to do with you. And that’s why I thought I should do the opposite and pull you in instead.
Though now that I’ve said all that, it just makes you wonder just how mean of a person I am.
Haa… Just how good-natured are you?
If you stay like that, you’re going to get jumped on one day. Like by an innately bad person like me.
What’s that supposed to mean?
To have kept up that attitude all this time and to say that all of a sudden, isn’t that cheating? Just when did you pick up such a technique?
It’s not like I’m blushing or anything! I was just surprised because you said something odd.
Hey, wait, who said it was a bad thing?
If anything, umm… I’m, I’m happy.
Why do I get all nervous when it comes to you when I never got nervous with girls before.
My mind goes blank when it’s you.
I can’t figure out what’s right or what I should do to make you happy.
So, umm, it may sound super lame, but I’m about to say something important, so please listen. Because I think to you, they’re probably just superficial words.
I have a rotten nature and can’t think through things as purely as you, and if you were to count my flaws, I’m a man with many.
But even so, with you by my side, I feel like I could change.
I think I’ll continue to cause you trouble and give you a hard time, but I want to always be with you.
So, could you be my girlfriend?
Heh!? Really? You’re really saying yes?
I mean, are you sure with having me? I’m being dragged through the dirt online right now, you know?
I’m being mocked as trash who’s only got money, so I thought you’d definitely refuse. Like, I don’t know how many times I’ve been turned down by you.
Then…does that mean my words just now got through?
I…I see. I see, I see.
I’m super happy!
What do I do? I’m, I’m absolutely over-the-moon right now.
I’m not exaggerating. I’ve finally obtained the one thing I’ve longed for.
Ah, I want to boast about it to Fuji and Gen right away.
Your expression just now was awfully cute, so I took a photo of it.
Nope. It would be a waste to erase something this cute, would it not?
Oh, you’re angry!
Haha! What a scrunched-up face!
Yup, it’s ugly.
Eh? You’re taking it back?
EHH? Isn’t that way too cruel?
You can’t retract your response to a confession once you’ve given it.
My, my bad, I’m sorry for teasing you.
Come on, forgive me. Please.
What’s this? Are you embarrassed?
Do you not like it when I do this?
Oh, you’re quiet now.
Hey, can I kiss you one more time?
Nope, I wanna.
Why? It’s fine, no? The two of us are now boyfriend and girlfriend.
Is your face turning beet red just from being kissed?
Goodness, you’re so innocent.
Though that part of you is cute too.
Huh? What are you talking about? I’m always like this.
Do you not like it when I’m being a tease?
This is still the Saionji Ran you’ve come to fall in love with.
I’m not leftover trash. I’m just finally able to voice my true thoughts and feelings now. Because you acknowledged me, I was able to have this much of a change.
When you first came to work for the Saionji family, I never imagined things would turn out like this.
Looking back now, it makes you wonder whether this was fate.
This is coming from me, someone who used to scoff at the idea.
Perhaps this too is proof of your influence on me.
Anyways, please continue to stay by my side and help change me.
If it’s you, I feel like I could achieve anything.
Though, I mean, even if you said no, I have no intention of letting you at this point.
Be prepared, I’m surprisingly persistent and easily jealous.
Couldn’t ask for better?
Are you sure you should be saying it with such confidence?
Hahaha! You sure are an oddball. It’s funny.
Sorry, sorry, I meant it in a good way. I was thinking that I fell in love precisely because it was you.
Well then, this means I can still safely barge in on you going forth.
Will you continue to love me?
Is that so?
Then, in that case, I’ll promise to make you happy in exchange. So, please always stay by my side and show me that smile.
I love you.