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Volume 5, Epilogue


“Wanting to give fireworks as a present to his hard-working girlfriend, what a cheeky bastard.”

I saw them inside the round vision of my binoculars. The two lovers watched the fireworks, as they sat up in the tree, having the guts to live their youth that had been stolen away from me. Dark curseful matter emitted from my body. The boy was my nephew, and the girl my beloved daughter, which only heightened my feelings of displeasure.

The final fireworks came to an end, and as the other guests are on their way home, they do something indecent like that? Sitting on a bench nearby, I grit my teeth in frustration at that sight.

“Fufu, you seem happy.”

Next to me on the bench sat a single woman. She was a beauty, but not my lover. You could even call her the Goddess Aphrodite, that’s how much of a beauty she was. She had her golden-orange hair carefully braided, a well-endowed chest typical of a charming woman who had given birth. She wore clothes that may seem simple, yet possessed a high value that gave her the feeling of a noble. Covered by these clothes were a long back, and slender waist, giving off the vibe of a First Lady.

She was the company president Amachi Otoha. She was also known as Kohinata Otoha, the mother of the potential dangerous entity called Kohinata Iroha-kun, who I’ve assumed has some special relationship with my nephew.

In reality, this summer festival has not only been sponsored by Honey Plays Works, but also by the company she is leading, Tenchidou. By receiving special seats for the fireworks, we started talking about our daughters and my nephew, which is why we’re acting together now.

“Happy? Me? When my daughter is being NTR’d from me?”

“I understand your feelings, but I’d rather not hear that expression used in the same sentence when you talk about your daughter.”

“I personally think you should study thoughtfulness and a human’s heart a bit more, President Amachi.”

“My, is that so. Aren’t I quite the rarely emotional woman?”

“…I thought so. You still hold a grudge concerning that matter.”

“Indeed. So much that I don’t want my children to get any closer to that.”

She spoke with the expression of a saint, but the pressure emitting from her body even had me sweat profusely. Thinking of the life she had lived so far, I certainly can sympathize with her, but as a parent, I feel pity towards her children.

“I don’t think that parents should influence the values of their children too much. Do you know? As of late, they call those people helicopter parents.”


“…Excuse me?”

Could you not make a sound like you’re shooting a gun? For a second I thought you were going to shoot me for real, giving me a heart attack.

“You don’t have the right to denounce me as a helicopter parent.”

“What are you saying! Do you see how much I love Mashiro?!”

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about~ You push your head into your children’s love affairs, and even prohibit it. If my actions can be blamed, then aren’t you plenty of a ‘Helicopter Parent’ yourself, President Tsukinomori?”

“Ugh…N-Now that you say it…N-No no no. There’s a big difference to not having any love at all.”

“Even I love Ozuma and Iroha looooots. You just prohibit love, while I do pleasure and enjoyment, that’s the only difference.”


There it is, President Amachi’s smooth line of argument. Be it subconsciously or not, she would always hold the initiative over the conversation. In the opening of her emotions, she sewed raw logic into. Even if the other person might have a different opinion than her in the beginning, the more you talk with her, the more she forces you to think that she had been right this entire time.

Like a hero, who had guided the masses, bringing peace and justice, but equally she would sedite and deceive the masses, leaving scars and marks behind in this world like an absolute ruler. In this management world, she is an exceptional magician of words and conversation. And no, we are not talking about some fantasy setting. In reality, Amachi Otoha is a brainwashing user.

“Fufu, it’s because you were trying to do something unnecessary as to lecture me. If you hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have had to fight back.

“Yeah yeah, I give up. I don’t have the guts to make an enemy out of you…And, what were we talking about?”

“That you looked happy.”

“Ah, right. So, how exactly do I look happy.”

“In reality, you want Ooboshi-kun and Mashiro-chan to get along just like they are doing right now, don’t you? I know it already~”

“Could you not falsify my honest feelings?”

“I don’t think you could call this falsifying though~”

President Amachi stole the binoculars from my hands as she gave me a profound gaze, and looked through them herself. Watching the two fake lovers up in the tree, she blushed ever so slightly.

“They seem like a good fit, don’t they~ It feels like their first love. I don’t think you have to worry about something unplanned happening before their marriage?”

“…You really stab me where it hurts…Don’t they often complain about that horrible personality of yours?”

“Indeed~ I receive lots of praise as such.”

What horrific positive thinking.

“Well, even I know that. One day, Mashiro will become a wife. That’s why I’d at least want it to be someone who can make Mashiro laugh like this…”

Just for a single girl’s smile, he started a private firework. He showed tact, accepted the risks, and prioritized Mashiro’s present over everything. Showing this much chivalry, even an anti-youth champion like me has to accept it. If it’s that man, it might be fine leaving Mashiro in his hands…But, leaving that aside.

“—I really don’t like this. You’re showing this to me for a reason, right?”

“Ooboshi-kun is a likable young man, he seems close with Ozuma as well, and I’d say that he’s a good fit to be Iroha’s husband…But, there is one fatal flaw~”

“That he’s the leader of the [5th Floor Alliance].”

“Indeed. It would be fine if he could divide evenly by making the creators the tools of his business, just like me.”

“But, he’s different, right.”

Before, when the three of us sat around the table for a hot pot, Akiteru-kun himself said it.

“I love the staff of the [5th Floor Alliance]. I think of the stories they create as interesting, from the bottom of my heart. If I only wanted to earn money, I would have chosen another business, not making games.”

Even though he’s still an inexperienced high school student, he has the view of a management position, as well as from a creator’s standing. I thought of this as a rare positive deposition, but apparently President Amachi didn’t.

“He cannot be allowed to spread the charm of the entertainment business to Iroha—”

“So they can’t be going out, is that what you’re saying? But, what about Ozuma-kun? Aren’t they plenty close already?”

“Well, that should be fine. No matter what might happen, that child specifically shouldn’t be able to be influenced in any way.”

“I see…?”

That sounded awfully vague, I thought. But, I wasn’t given the time to question her any further, as President Amachi continued.

“But, it seems as if Iroha is already being influenced plenty by Ooboshi-kun. That is quite the troublesome thought plaguing me.”

“…So the two of them really are pretty close.”

“It doesn’t seem to be a romantic relationship though~”


As a result of my investigation, I received reports of them being lovey-dovey here and there, but the details tell me that Iroha-kun was always the one to aggressively approach Akiteru-kun, and he is just on the receiving end. I wouldn’t call it the best possible result, but I can see that he is working hard to protect the contract we have.

“Since I can rarely make it back home, I can’t observe her there…But today, I’ve confirmed it. Iroha definitely has feelings for Ooboshi-kun.”

“And that’s why you are trying to support Mashiro? You have the nerve to make my daughter the scapegoat? Even I can’t appreciate that, you know?”

“My my, is it fine to just start a fight with Tenchidou, Mr HoneyPlay-san?”

“Comparing the sales of your newly released [Gather them all! Sea of Fish] and our [Grand Fantasy 7 Remake], I wonder who will stand on top? Ha ha ha.”

“I wonder how much you paid to produce such quality. We focus on quality, while maintaining an efficient development. I wonder who would win in terms of raw profit? Fufufufufu.”

“Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.”

“Fufu. Fufufu.”

Us two adults were sharing a healthy laugh. You could categorize this as a perfectly normal exchange by social standards. Of course, beneath this surface lies a dueling dance between two rivaling companies.

“Well, I won’t stand in their path of love any further. After showing this much chivalry, I doubt that I can stop Mashiro from falling in love with him, so I will grant him the right to have my daughter…However, as to who he might choose in the end, that is not under my jurisdiction.”

“How sportsmanlike~ You could have acted progressive.”

“Children aren’t as naive as to just follow their parents’ words…I found out about that.”

“Is that so. Well, I don’t particularly mind. Even without your support, I will move how I wish to.” The color in President Amachi’s expression changed.

Like the fire burned out in her heart, as she lost her antagonistic attitude.

“Then, you will acknowledge Ooboshi-kun’s youth—And you will use this as a reason to not distance the [5th Floor Alliance] from their entrance to HoneyPlay.”

“About the part of him being together with Mashiro. But, a fully free youth would be a bit too troublesome.”

“My, is that so.”

“As long as he protects Mashiro at school, that’s all I need. Even if the two of them were to start dating for real, if he continues to stay as her knight, I won’t complain. What would be problematic…is if he left Mashiro alone entirely to play around with another girl.”

“Fufu, so in the end we’re still helicopter parents.”

“Don’t lump me together with you. I have a deal here.”

She doesn’t have the right to call this my selfishness. The one who came up with this ridiculous contract of employment was Akiteru-kun after all, so I should be allowed to rely on the restrictions, yeah.

“Well, there’s actually a big reason as to why I won’t allow any love with a girl besides Mashiro.”

“Ohh? If you say it that way, you’ll get me interested.” President Amachi’s eyes lit up, as she slightly tilted her head in my direction.

I ran my fingers along my delicate moustache, and narrowed my eyes.

“I can’t stand the fact that my nephew is that popular.”

That is one thing I really can’t help.


“I want Iroha to be able to act freely and annoying towards others as she does with me. I want her to make friends with which she can enjoy her time even more than when I’m around.”

The moment I heard that voice, I became aware that I wasn’t sneaking around anymore. I stepped on some grass, which created a crunching sound. D-Did they hear me…? I looked up at the tree, but Senpai and Mashiro-senpai were still focussed on the fireworks.

I felt a sharp pain inside my chest. I really found these two by pure coincidence. During the fireworks, I was with my classmates, taking pictures and all that. But, in the middle of that, I received an incoming call from my mother, via LIME.

Apparently, she had connections to the company that sponsored the fireworks, which is why she got special seats, and started saying that she wanted to meet me at the place of the festival. I told her I wanted to meet up later because I was with my friends, but she didn’t hear me out at all, which is why I’m now here at the place she guided me to, behind the big shrine.

—And there, I saw it: Mashiro-senpai was desperately trying to climb up on the tree, that Senpai gave Mashiro a special kind of fireworks, and that the two of them were leaning against the other. Since they were on a fake date, showing themselves act like that made perfect sense. My head knew that.

When I was walking around with the people from my class, and the scenery of Senpai and Mashiro-senpai being next to each other popped up inside my head, I told myself that it was all for the sake of the [5th Floor Alliance]. Over and over and over, I kept telling myself.

But, seeing it with my own two eyes, it was impossible after all. Watching Mashiro-senpai work this hard to show Senpai her growth was unbelievably cute, heartwarming, and even knowing that she was my rival in love, I felt the urge to support her…Really unfair.

And, Senpai had a really kind gaze as he watched over her. It was like a prince and princess in a fairy tale. Just the sight of him like that had my heart squeeze in pain, and Senpai’s words after that…

“Senpai wants me…to find someone with whom I can enjoy my time even more than with him?”

What does he mean by that? Did he actually hate spending time together with me, where he didn’t have to think about anything, just being spoiled by my annoying attitude? Is he tired of that role, and wants to push it on to someone else? …No way, Senpai wouldn’t do something like that.

I’m sure he’s just going to meddle in my relationships at school. It had to be that. But, even so…Senpai is thinking of lessening the time the two of us spend together. That is probably the truth behind this.


The moment that realization set in, I started running. I turned my back to Senpai and Mashiro-senpai, ran through the festival grounds, passing my classmates on the way, but ignored their voices and gazes. I couldn’t care less about meeting my mother either.

What am I doing. What should I do? Something is weird. I’ll surely worry a lot of people with this. They’ll doubt me. I should put up my act again, keep my balance, and play it off. But, I can’t do that right now. Something invisible filled my chest, not allowing me to think clearly.

—I don’t want Senpai to be taken away from me.

—I don’t want anybody to be too close to Senpai.

—I don’t want Senpai to leave me behind.

My selfish emotions started blooming inside my chest like the fireworks in the sky. Even though…even though I hate the selfish me the most…!

I knew of Mashiro-senpai’s true feelings, yet I relied on Senpai and his focus on the [5th Floor Alliance], and stayed content with having this never-changing relationship. I was living a dream, where I could stay with Senpai, and stay with Mashiro-senpai all the same. But, that would only work if our relationship’s balance was constant. Both Mashiro-senpai and I are on the same level, not his target of love. Equally, we have the same amount of contact.

Mashiro-senpai has the advantage of being in the same class as Senpai, spending class together, and I can come to his room as soon as school is over. That would have been the balance. But, what if one approached him, and the other was left further away.

“I don’t want that…” A pathetic voice escaped my lips.

At a time like this, being alone was too heartwrenching, but I barely have anybody else to rely on. Subconsciously, I headed to my third home.


It was an ancient and honorable Japanese house. At this point, I’ve probably read this name on the nameplate as many times as I’ve seen my parents’ faces. It’s the house of my Onee-chan, who reached out her hand for me together with Senpai back in middle school. I took a peek inside the gate, when Otoi-san, who had probably been watching the fireworks a second ago, a bunch of sweets in her hand, caught on to my presence.

“Ohh, Kohinata~ What’s up~”

With a nonchalant voice, she waved her hand at me.

“Otoi-san…” I jumped right into her chest.

I can’t show her my face. Not with a pathetic expression like this.

“Save me…Otoi-san…”

“I don’t really get~ Did something happen?” Otoi-san had a bit of confusion in her voice, as she gently rubbed my head.

It felt warm, and comforting. All my feelings that I had kept inside me came gushing out at once.

“I don’t know what to do! I like everything, so…!”

This is punishment. Divine punishment because I can’t tell Senpai my honest feelings. God kisses the righteous and honest. Because Mashiro-senpai confessed to Senpai, facing him head-on, she can tear Senpai away from me.

“I like being next to Senpai! I like the time we spend together! But, I also like everyone from the [5th Floor Alliance], I like Mashiro-senpai, and I love the [Black Goat] everyone works so hard on…I just want things to stay the same as they are now…!”

But, I have to choose. Should I confess to Senpai, and stand against Mashiro-senpai, or should I ignore my feelings, and let Mashiro-senpai take Senpai?

“Tell me, Otoi-san…”

I’ve held back this entire time. Afraid of hurting my mother with my selfishness, I acted like I wasn’t interested in acting. Afraid of hurting Mashiro-senpai, I hid my own feelings towards Senpai. But, Senpai told me that that was a contradiction. Senpai taught me that by staying true to the things I like, I can live happily.

What should I do if my own happiness, and someone else’s happiness collide? Just thinking about it alone makes me feel like my body is being torn apart, like I’m going to break. That’s why I sought help with the Onee-chan I trust so much, and muttered the following words.

"How can I be selfish without hurting anybody?"

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