NEET Receives a Dating Sim Game Leveling System
Chapter 21: Snail and sparrow
Translator: imperfectluck Editor: – –
Seiji was shocked at the unexpected request.
“Have a… date with Peach-sensei?”
“Even though I called it a date, it’s more like just showing her around your school, grabbing a bite to eat, watching some students’ shows and so on.” Rika folded her arms before continuing, “Currently, she can’t deal with adult men at all. While little kids and elementary schooler boys are okay for her, they don’t help with curing her androphobia at all, so right now she needs to get used to middle school and high school boys. You’ve been working here for quite some time now, and I feel like you’re a trustworthy and reliable person who can deal with most situations. The timing was perfect with your school festival, so I requested your assistance in order to help her familiarize herself with boys your age. It would also help her get out more and talk to real people—killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.”
Seiji rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
“Just experiencing the school festival… will that really help her cure her androphobia?”
“I don’t know; it’s just something I want to try.” Rika unfolded her arms, “Are you willing to do it? Is a young man such as yourself willing to have a date with a stranger in the once-a-year experience of the school festival?”
“…What if I refuse?”
“Then we’ll just have to reconsider the copyright issue and the store’s assistance.”
Seiji scratched his face as he thought about it.
“By the way… what does Sensei herself think of all this?” He turned to Peach, “Sensei is someone I don’t know at all, and of course Sensei doesn’t know me either—for two strangers to go to a school festival together, is it really alright?”
Rika also turned to look at her cousin.
Peach remained silent for a long time before she finally spoke up.
“Actually… I’m… afraid. But, I… trust Rika… and the boy she believes in. As I am now… even if I don’t get married, I can live by myself. But, if this goes on… I can’t draw male characters… I don’t want myself to be limited to female characters forever!”
She slowly raised her head as she finished talking.
Bangs covered half of her forehead, but he could still tell that she had an alluring face which bore some resemblance to Rika’s. In fact, her facial features were even prettier than Rika’s, even if her skin didn’t seem quite as healthy.
However, the determination behind her words was what moved Seiji the most.
That was the determination of a manga author!
After being moved by her determination, Seiji smiled.
“Alright, if Sensei says so, then as her fan, of course I should support her.”
He turned towards the store manager, Rika Amami.
“I accept your condition!”
Rika smiled upon hearing this.
“Thank you, Harano-kun.”
“You don’t need to call me Harano here.” Seiji turned towards Peach again: “Since Sensei is bravely facing her phobia, I feel it’s impolite to keep using my alias in front of her. My real name is Seiji Haruta, and various circumstances have led to me using an alias for the time being. The store manager knows about this as well.”
Peach widened her eyes slightly as she looked at her cousin, who subsequently smiled and nodded in affirmance.
“I want to be honest with Sensei, and I feel like giving her my real name can strengthen the bonds of trust between us. Oh… but I’d still prefer it if you could use my alias when talking with other people.”
Peach nodded lightly.
“My real name is… Mayuzumi Amami,” she said in a soft voice as she lowered her head again, “please take good care of me… Haruta-kun.”
“I should be the one saying that—it’s truly an honor for me to speak with Sensei. By the way, is it alright to ask for an autograph now?”
Rika Amami laughed.
“Why don’t you just give him an autograph, Mayuzumi? This guy here’s a true otaku.”
And so, Mayuzumi Amami gave him an autograph.
After that, the three of them discussed some details about the school festival, and they quickly finalized the details.
Seiji bade farewell and left after the details were concluded.
“What do you think, Mayuzumi—this boy’s quite a nice one, isn’t he?”
“Mm… it feels like… he’s sparkling.”
“What kind of feeling is that? Forget it; I can guess what you mean.” Rika smiled,
“Apparently, he was an awful guy before coming to work for me, but I haven’t seen a hint of awfulness. If he truly changed himself to that extent, I think that he could be quite useful to you as you want to change yourself as well.”
Mayuzumi nodded as her cheeks flushed slightly red.
“I’m looking forward… to my date with him.”
On the way home.
Seiji checked his system and found that the [work] option had increased his action points by 4.
‘The [work] option gives me so many points—it’s a pity that I can only use it once per day, and it’s not like I go to work every day.’
When he reached his apartment, he immediately used the [write a diary] option.
This time, it took him 20 minutes, and he gained 1 action point.
‘As expected… I’ll gain a different amount of points depending on the quality of the action performed.’
Then, if he wanted more points, it meant that he would have to develop himself in a balanced manner and grind all his action options simultaneously. Alternatively, he could choose to focus on a few specific actions and improve the quality of the actions performed.
‘Should I be a generalist or a specialist… a difficult choice.’ Seiji rubbed his chin contemplatively.
Well, he didn’t need to make a decision immediately, so he decided to carry on as usual for the time being.
He decided to [draw] to gain another action point. Finally there was [sing] and [dance] still available for selection… It seemed that it was time to start streaming.
Cat-loving Flying Fish was repeatedly refreshing the streaming site.
‘Is he not going to appear today?’ Cat-loving Flying Fish thought disappointedly.
‘Hmph, letting down your only follower—what kind of streamer are you!?’
Just as she thought this, the stream named “I Only Need One Spectator” appeared.
She hurriedly clicked on it and was greeted by the sight of the boy with the silver mask again.
“Hey, beautiful girl by the name of Flying Fish, were you waiting for me?” He smiled while asking her.
“Who was waiting for you!? Humph!” Flying Fish sent a bunch of angry emoticons to express her dissatisfaction.
“Sorry, I was late tonight due to work. In order to express my sincere apology, you can request any song you want me to sing, but I can’t promise that I’ll know how to sing it.”
“Then what’s the point, stupid!” Although Flying Fish was complaining in her comments, her mouth was arching upwards in real life.
“It’s a good test of our compatibility—maybe the song you want is the one that I just happen to know how to sing?”
“Who wants to do a compatibility test with you, silly!?”
“Don’t say that—I’m at least the most handsome boy in my class!” The boy posed in what he believed to be a cool posture.
Flying Fish sent him a string of emoticons indicating she was looking down on him, but she was actually laughing in front of her screen.
“Do you have any special requests, oh beautiful girl? If you don’t, I’m just going to start singing! This is a special service just for you—do you really want to waste it?”
Flying Fish sent him another stream of “I look down on you” emoticons, but she was actually thinking about it.
She had a sudden flash of inspiration and remembered a children’s song.
That was one of her favorite songs when she was little, but it wasn’t a particularly popular one.
Its name was “Snail and Sparrow.”
He definitely wouldn’t know this one.
Deep within, she harbored a slight intention to give him a song he probably wouldn’t know. She typed the song’s name with a slight smile.
On the other side of the screen, when Seiji saw his only follower’s song request, he was momentarily surprised.
This wasn’t a very popular children’s song, but it was one that he just happened to be extremely familiar with.
To be specific, it was one which the original Seiji was familiar with.
He didn’t think that he’d be able to meet someone who had the same interests as the younger him… He didn’t think too deeply of it—even if “Snail and Sparrow” wasn’t a particularly popular song, it wasn’t particularly strange to meet an internet user that was familiar with it either.
“I know this one. It’s… a children’s song from long ago, right? I’m pretty familiar with it.”
Hearing the boy in the stream say this, Flying Fish was shocked.
He actually knew it!?
“It seems like we’re quite compatible, beautiful girl known as Flying Fish!” The boy chuckled before he cleared his throat and began to sing.
His singing was still nothing special.
However, Flying Fish felt touched somewhere in her heart and listened to him attentively.
For a moment, she felt like she had returned to her relaxing worry-free childhood.
In her childhood, “he” was there as well, although that person was nowhere near as much of a bastard as what he eventually became.
Why did that person become like that? Flying Fish didn’t want to think about that anymore; she just quietly reminisced about the past.
The song ended.
“Okay, beautiful girl named Flying Fish, did you recall any childhood memories?”
The boy seemed like he could see right through the screen to her, “I remembered my own childhood… How nostalgic…”
Even though it wasn’t his own memories, it was still quite touching, and it also triggered his memories of being a child in his original world.
Both of them remained silent for a while.
“Okay then, it’s dance time next. Just like yesterday, feel free to laugh if you like!”
Once again, his had such an awkward dancing pose that it instantly pulled Flying Fish out of her memories and drove her into a laughing fit once again.
“Alright, the dance is over now, so that’s it for the performance. See you tomorrow!”
“Wait, you’re leaving again!? Why aren’t you continuing to stream? You won’t get any followers this way!” Flying Fish hurriedly typed to him.
The silver-masked boy rubbed his chin.
“Just like the title of my stream, I only need one spectator.”
“Well… it’s a little difficult to explain. I don’t really know how to say it…” Seiji thought about how to fool her. “I don’t really want to become a streamer, I just… want to give a single person a little joy in his or her life. This is because… I hurt many people in the past. Even though I’ve worked hard to change myself, I don’t think it’ll be easy for those I hurt to accept me. I don’t dare hope for their acceptance either, and honestly, I don’t even have the courage to appear in front of them… But, I was thinking that I should do something to atone for the pain I’ve caused others before. I know that I’m only doing this to make myself feel better, but this is all I can do now. I only need one spectator, and I’ll leave instantly after my performance. It doesn’t matter if I’m laughed at, insulted, looked down upon, or even if people see me as a clown. I just want to do this; there’s nothing more to it. Hey, beautiful girl known as Flying Fish, did I bring you at least some joy? If so, then that’s enough for me.”
On his stream, the boy was smiling sincerely at her.
“See you again tomorrow—if you have the free time.”
Then, the stream shut off.
Cat-loving Flying Fish had a blank expression on her face.
“What’s with this guy that’s doing it just for himself…”
However, she was also slightly moved.
Someone who had made mistakes in the past began streaming awkward performances, solely in order to give joy to another person, not for the purpose of seeking monetary compensation or popularity.
Even though it was only to make himself feel better for his own self-satisfaction.
But it could be said as well that this was his way of seeking self-redemption.
“…I wish that person could see this boy.”
Even if that person saw him, he probably wouldn’t pay any attention.
If that person truly regretted his actions even a little, her older sister wouldn’t have forced him to leave home.
Nor would she be at the extent of never being able to forgive him.
“Seiji Haruta…” Flying Fish muttered that name that she would never forget or forgive.
“You can just go and rot in a corner somewhere where nobody can see you. Someone who doesn’t understand the concept of regret doesn’t deserve redemption.”