True Or False? ~ Love Game? No, I Will Not Participate In The Competition

Chapter 12 - Darkness of the Famous Families

Saya was the one to first notice the owner of the gaze that followed her was Natsumi Hiiragi.

When she was still calling herself ‘Saya Hiiragi’, she would occasionally feel an uncomfortable stare that ensnared her... At the other end of the line, there was always Natsumi, who visited from the house next door.

She averted her gaze when met with Saya’s, and then when Saya turned elsewhere, that gaze followed again.

It was the exact same look she got then. When she told Sakuya that, he smiled mischievously and said, “Let’s try it”, and unexpectedly pulled Saya’s body towards him.

There was the sound of something hard being kicked or punched, and the sound of a distant coughing sound.

It was almost at the same time that the people walking around looked to see what was going on, and Sakuya pulled Saya’s arm and left the place.

“... That was Natsumi-san, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah. She was probably the one who was following us around. It’s just... I just don’t get it.”

“What is it?”

“As far as Chiharu-sama told me... It seems that she is currently in the hospital. How is it that she’s able to go out every day?”

“In the hospital?”

What Saya could remember was how Natsumi always came to the Hiiragi house full of energy.

She cared for her mother by helping out, she cared for her father by comforting him when he was having a hard time, she encouraged her brother by encouraging that he would be fine, and she had become more of a family member than the real daughter.

She must have shown a different face when she was with Takayuki, even so, what could have happened to her that she was suddenly hospitalized?

When Saya tilted her head and asked, Sakuya looked uncomfortable, but answered without hiding.

“... She seems to have a habit of being paranoid. She didn’t doubt that I was going to visit her. I’ve heard that she’s been out there night after night waiting for me, and that she’s got pneumonia.”

“...How stupid, that woman.”

“Haruki, you’re not that stupid, are you? I’m sure she’s a pain in the ass who loves the game so much she can’t tell the difference between it and reality. See, it happens all the time, doesn’t it? It’s like a fantasy novel, where you can make yourself appear in the world of your favorite game.”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, if the head of the Ichinomiya family came out to me and said that he loves fantasy novels, I’d be a bit turned off.”

“... I think it’s time to get back to the story, gentlemen. Saya is frozen in surprise.”

The head of the Yakumo family, who was still in the newlywed mood, apologized to the cold Chiharu, while the head of the Ichinomiya family, who was the same age as him, sniffed and looked away.

Takuma, the next head of the Odori family, and Yurie, the daughter of the Shijo family, who were in attendance, could only look at their friend with a mixture of sympathy and dismay, as he lost his temper easily when it came to his ‘sister’.

Originally, this place only came about because Saya wanted it to.

Saya usually settled most things by consulting Sakuya, but this time she consulted her ‘brother’ Chiharu first because it was not about Sakuya and the people who came to her, but about her former parents’ house.

Naturally, the ‘older brother’, asked by his ‘younger sister’, was delighted to hear what she had to say, but... He frowned at the unpleasantness of the situation and called out to Takuma and Yurie to get his friends involved.

And up to that point, it was a normal gathering.

But for some reason, the heads of Ichinomiya and Yakumo, who were more than ten years older than these friends, got involved.

When she asked why, she was surprised to learn that the Nanase family, the family home of Charlotte Lia Claudius, the woman that had taken a strange liking to Saya, was a house of seven that no longer even existed.

However, Saya had thought it might be possible the moment she heard the name Nanase, and the only ones who were surprised were her brother and his friends.

‘We’ve had our share of lessons with the Nanase matriarchs. If the girl liked this outstanding woman, we thought we could help her. No need for thanks.’

And so, the heads of the longstanding famous families and their sons and daughters, who had rarely met in one place before, came face to face around the girl Saya.

“It’s not too late to say that Natsumi Hiiragi is idiotic and delusional... The question is, how is she able to go out freely when she’s supposed to be in the hospital, and why is she able to follow Saya-san to and from the hospital at the right time?”

“That’s it....May I?”

When Takuma returned to the conversation on behalf of the others, Yurie, who was hugging Saya’s shoulders and snuggling up next to her, interjected coyly.

“I’m not sure, so please listen to this as a guess only.... Saya-san is in her first year of college, and since you’ve only been in school for a short while, this is your general education period, right?”


“If that’s the case, you’ll be going back and forth at the same time almost every day. If she knows about this, it’ll be easy to follow you.”

“She’s in the hospital with pneumonia and she’s following her out of the hospital every day?”

“No. I don’t even know how she’s getting out of the hospital, but... However, I don’t think it’s impossible to follow her. Because her fiancé is also a first year college student. Even though it’s a different university, the curriculum shouldn’t be that different.”

(Oh... That’s how it is, huh? Sure, if it’s a way to get to that university...)

The affiliated university that Takayuki attended was located further out in the suburbs than the prestigious university that Saya attended.

Considering the route from Takayuki’s house to the university, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t take the road to the university that Saya attended.

But what if the hospital where Natsumi was hospitalized was on the way to the Tachibana family and the Kudou family?

If that was the case, it was not impossible to keep following Saya on her way to the university he attended.

In other words, what Yurie was trying to say was that Takayuki, who was probably working in the same time zone as Saya right now, picked up Natsumi from the hospital every day, and then dared to put her in his car and took her to his own university, passing by the road to Saya’s university.

They didn’t even know if Natsumi was going back to the hospital once there, or if she was resting in the medical office at the university.

But if you thought about it that way, it explained why Saya felt that look every day at the same time.

The head of the Yakumo family, Keisuke Yakumo, who had been keeping quiet with a difficult look on his face, said, “Excuse me”, left his seat and made a phone call.

In the meantime, they had a few minutes.

At the Chiharu’s suggestion, who said that it would be no good to talk about such things while waiting, the conversation turned to movies that Saya liked, criminal psychology that Saya was interested in, memories of Rie who was called Nanase’s lady, and so on. In any case, it was a strange situation where Saya was the center of the conversation and the adults wanted to keep her happy.

Saya herself had dismissed it as being because of curiosity, but it was extremely rare for children from famous families, who were more difficult and distrustful of people than they appeared to be, to like someone to this extent.

It was a whirlwind of emotions, some of which were curiosity, some of which were protectiveness, and some of which were more than that, but the end result was that they wanted to spoil this unfortunate girl somehow, to give her the love that they had never been able to give her before.

“I know the reason for the mysterious behavior... What are you doing surrounding the little girl while people are busy doing research? That’s the kind of thing I want in the mix.”

“...All right, we’ll take some time later. So get back to me with the results of your research.”

“It’s not fun to have Haruki in charge. Well, that’s fine. She was admitted to a private hospital down the street from ours. I heard that at first it was a general hospital under the watchful eye of the Hiiragi, but she was suddenly transferred to another hospital. It’s a private hospital, so it shouldn’t have any inpatient facilities, but I heard that they used Tachibana’s power to mess it up.”

The Yakumo family was known as one founder of a well-known general hospital, and they had a lot of contacts in the hospital industry besides their direct affiliation.

Using his contacts, Keisuke was able to find out where Natsumi was hospitalized and why she could go out every day.

“When I say the power of Tachibana, Takayuki is still a university student. In order to use the power of the house, you need the approval of the head of the house, but as I recall, the delusional girl had not yet been officially recognized by the house. I’m sure it wasn’t...”

“It’s good to think with your head, but if you think too much, you’ll end up in the ditch, Chiharu-kun. The answer is simple: Takayuki just used Tachibana’s name to threaten that hospital director. Even if you don’t actually have the Tachibana family head’s permission, you can at least do that, right?”

“... A fox with the authority of a tiger, is that it?”

“Something like that...... Now that you’ve got a better idea of what you’re looking for, is there anything you don’t understand yet? Saya-chan.”

Looking at them, Saya slowly opened her mouth as she gathered the information she had been given.

“It was Natsumi herself who was being followed. Even taking her out of the hospital and transferring her all the way to another hospital, Takayuki is letting her do what she wants. He picks her up every morning and drives her to the university and then does the same again on the way back to the hospital. So he even found out that the time fit with my schedule, which happened to be the same curriculum. But... Why would Takayuki-san go to such lengths to grant Natsumi’s wish?”

Takayuki chose Natsumi, whom he had fallen in love with, over Saya, his fiancée who had been forced into the house.

From this, they could tell that he was no longer interested in Saya.

He even made the person he fell in love with his fiancée, but that fiancée was giving him a pestering look...Why did he allow Natsumi to go see Sakuya every day, who was probably her primary love interest?

Even if Natsumi hadn’t mentioned Sakuya’s name, he would have already noticed who she was looking at.

So why?

When asked, the adults looked at each other for a moment.

Yurie, who was also a woman like Saya, probably couldn’t find an answer, and she shook her head slowly to show that she didn’t know.

Of the remaining men, Keisuke Yakumo, who had fallen in love with a woman and was actively trying to get a wife, crossed his arms and groaned as he spoke his thoughts in hushed tones.

“I don’t know if this will help you, but... Men are greedy, but also very timid creatures. One hand, you want to keep the gaze of the woman you love all to yourself, you want to lock her away, but on the other hand, you don’t want her to hate you, you want to put her in a good mood, you want her to smile all the time. Takayuki-kun, maybe he’s like that, too. He wants to keep her all to himself, so he’s transferring her to the hospital and locking her up, but he doesn’t want her to hate him, so he’s helping her with the stalking. As a man, he can’t help but feel that way... Yeah.”

The man who until then had shown only a soft and carefree attitude suddenly tightened his expression and looked at Saya with concern.

At the same time, the air in the place became tense.

“Saya-chan, and Chiharu-kun, a word of advice. A man in love is no better than a fool, but... When those feelings explode, disaster is sure to follow. They’ll just follow you, and if you leave them too long like that, they might drop a hell of a bomb on you, so be careful.”

T/N: Thank you for the lovely comments! I've also made some edits according the suggestions and some minor on the other chapters to keep things consistent. Enjoy this new chapter!

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