Season 4, Episode 1
The next day.
“Rosalie, what are you wearing?”
A thunk of metal sounded as Rosalie descended down the stairs.
“It’s my Winner’s Outfit!”
She was dressed in full battle armour, reminiscence of the knights of old.
“I heard it from Manami. Apparently, you need a Winner’s Outfit in order to go for dates.”
“Please don’t go there.”
Where did she even get that from anyway?
“Takashi prepared this Winner’s Outfit for me. They both said you’d be surprised.”
Ugh, he should have known. He really wanted to give his parents a good slug, but seeing as it was a holiday, they had both run off to the shop early.
Shun spotted a note lying inconspicuously on the table.
“Based on her basal body temperature, Rosalie is ready for that!”
Scrunching up the note, Shun wished his parents would never return.
“’Well then, let’s go, Shun.”
Rosalie caught hold of his hand and forcibly dragged him towards the door.
He couldn’t let Rosalie out like this! Not if he didn’t want to spend the entire date in a police station answering questions in a dimmed room.
He needed to think of a way out, fast.
Ah, saved by the bell! He just had to get rid of Rosalie for a bit while he answered the door and –
“Hey, Rosalie, wait – “
Too late, the sound of a door handle turning reached his ears.
In front of him stood the student council president, Shirogane Sora, her ever present smile and cat ears contrasting greatly with the impeccable neatness of her casual wear.
He was willing to bet that almost everyone she passed wanted to send a dig her way about the ears, but with Sora, you got the feeling that you just couldn’t be too careful.
“Who is this, Shun?”
“We’ve never officially met, haven’t we, Rosalie-san? My name is Sora.”
With that, Sora bowed her head in greeting, her cat ears flopping along with the movement.
A trickle of blood dripped down Rosalie’s nose.
“The both of you are going on a date today, aren’t you?”
News sure travelled fast.
“How’d you know?”
“Ah, such is young love.”
Shun had heard those exact words before. From his mother.
Sora, who was the student council president of Shikishima High School, also had a secret identity. When off duty, she was the investigator of the Dimension Management Association. A special task force created to manage intergalactic affairs.
Right now though, she looked harmless as she assessed Rosalie’s outfit from bleeding nose to armoured toes.
“What’s important about a date outfit isn’t its defence stats.”
“Remember, back in Grandeur, where they used to hold fashion contests? This is pretty similar. For a date, what counts is final beauty of when the outfit is put-together.”
Huh. That was pretty smart of her, taking an in-game event and using it in her explanation.
It was easy for Rosalie to understand too, given the relative familiarity of it.
“That’s why I have taken the liberty of preparing your outfit for you.”
Sora handed a paper bag to Rosalie.
“I understand now. So Sora’s a merchant? How much Gol does this cost?”
“It’s alright. This is a present for the Warrior Princess. Please accept it.”
Such things happened in-game from time to time. It wasn’t all that weird.
“If you insist. Thank you, Sora.”
Rosalie bequeathed Sora with an angelic smile, and obtained the present from Sora.
“I will help you change. If you could just head in first, I will soon follow suit.”
Nodding, Rosalie turned and walked towards the living room.
It was then that Sora removed her cat ears.
Those cat ears acted as her own personal switch. When they were on, she was the friendly Student Council President of Shikashima High School; when they were off, she was the terrifying investigator of the Dimension Management Association.
“This is the first time Rosalie’s heading out to town.”
Shun had no idea what Rosalie would usually do when he went to school, but if Sora said so, it had to be true.
“If she’s to live in this world, this is something that cannot be prevented. But the town is a dangerous place, full of all kinds of stimuli. That’s why you’re here, Shun.”
For full effect, Sora paused and stared down at Shun, hard.
“In order to prevent Rosalie from being suspicious about this universe, you need to play your part.”
Sora trailed off ominously, leaving room for Shun to understand the danger he posed to the world.
Should Rosalie’s suspicions be aroused, her world would clash with his, leading to an inter-verse fall out, which would ultimately result in both worlds disappearing. Forever.
“Ah, yes. I understand.”
“Be careful. Rosalie’s already been summoned here by your imagination for about a week. She might be starting to develop some unsettling doubts and questions about us.”
“I doubt that.”
It wasn’t as though Rosalie hadn’t ever gone out before today. She’d wreaked havoc at the House of Parliament, been around the neighbourhood and even went to school once. Sure, she’d been plenty surprised, even challenged by those outings, but so far, no questions had been raised.
“Even now, she still says that she wants a ‘tryst’.”
The word ‘tryst’ seemed to have resonated with Sora.
“That’s the most important part of today!”
“If today’s date goes well, and you end up marrying Rosalie, all our problems will be solved! All’s well that ends well!”
Sora gave Shun a thumbs-up.
“According to our calculations, Rosalie’s ‘safe’ today.”
Again with that shtick?
Suddenly, Shun raised his hands and pulled hard on Sora’s cheeks, catching her by surprise.
“Nah, I was just checking to see if you were Manami in disguise.”
Shun removed his hands from her cheeks.
Smiling eerily, Sora rubbed her cheeks.
“You’re going to have to take responsibility if anything happens to my skin, okay?”
“Well then, I’ll be heading in to help Rosalie change.”
Sora disappeared into the living room, only to re-emerge a few minutes later.
“Thanks for waiting. I now present to you, Rosalie!”
Shuffling footsteps, as a soft voice came from the living room.
Shun waited, almost bored.
That was, until he saw Rosalie.
A flower-patterned summer dress hung beautifully from her shapely frame, her golden hair tied up in a neat ponytail.
Shun momentarily forgot how to breathe.
She was that beautiful.
Honestly, with her hair up, and her clothing all normal-looking, one couldn’t help but focus on her ethereal beauty. It was young, it was new, it was current, it was fresh, it was classic, it was – a princess.
“How is it, Kanda-san? Do you like it?”
Sora gently nudged Shun with a question.
Returning to his senses, Shun gave a quick nod.
“Does that mean that this is strong?”
Rosalie interjected with a question of her own.
“Well… I guess. It suits you, either way.”
Rosalie gave a quick nod as she looked down at her dress.
It might have been a trick of the light, but Rosalie’s cheeks seemed to be a little more rosy than normal.
“If that is so, then that is good.”
Grabbing the bag from the table, Sora rushed forward, seemingly eager to hand out the remaining items.
“Now, take this parasol, Rosalie-san, and wear this pair of mules. You, Kanda-san, are going to hold Rosalie-san’s handbag. There, now you both look like the perfect couple.”
And with that, she ushered them both out of the house.
Shun couldn’t tear his eyes away from Rosalie. With her parasol down, and her heels together, she looked the picture of a demure princess.
Sora peeked her head out of the door, sending them off with a final goodbye.
The air was practically electrified with all that unresolved tension.
Her shoulders stiff and her profile strained, even Shun could see that Rosalie was uncomfortable. Nervous really.
And he was no better.
Boy, this stuff was nerve-wracking.
“I’ll definitely make this date a successful one!”
Rosalie sure was confident.
And so, the curtain opened on Shun’s first-ever date.
Peering out from her window, Mikoto saw Shun and Rosalie, talking as they walked down the street.
Gripping the curtains, Mikoto’s hand was shaking hard. She’d run down and stop them, but one glance at Rosalie and she knew she could not compare. Not when Rosalie was looking so beautiful.
She had suppressed the urge to go over and wake Shun up today, but from now on there would be no more restraints! She needed to watch over her little brother at all times, and no, she would not be helping others any longer. Especially not that girl.
“This can’t go on…!”
Mikoto rushed to her closet and started to scavenge through her prettiest clothes.
“At this rate, Shun-chan will – He will – “
As her imagination took off, she found herself on the ground. Unconscious.
In the Nadeshiko residence.
One punch, and Nadeshiko had destroyed her training bag.
“Yes, my lady.”
“I feel like going out right now.”
“Whatever just happened?”
Her back towards her butler, Nadeshiko exuded anger from every pore.
“Don’t start getting the wrong idea here. I’m just in a very foul mood now, simply because that training bag caved to a single punch. This has nothing to do with the report that you’ve handed in this morning.”
“I understand. Now, I can see that you’re extremely disinterested, but it would help us very much if you could just take a quick look at this picture we took of the two of them. We simply need a quick confirmation.”
Without a word, Nadeshiko grabbed the photo from her butler. It showed Shun and Rosalie at the railway station, standing next to each other.
Nadeshiko raised an eyebrow as she saw the clothes Rosalie was wearing.
“Contact my beauty team immediately! My aesthetician, make-up artist and Vidal Sassoon! Bring Sassoon over immediately! Also, contact all my designers and make them send over their newest line. I’m going into the bath. Get the Rose Bath ready for me.”
This was going to take a while.