So, after all that happened,
Several days later, we commenced our next plan, 'Operation: Find-some-way-to-blackmail-the-staff-and-obtain-a-clubroom'.
It occurred to me that Yeonji had a habit of inflating the importance of every single thing by calling it an 'operation'... but whatever, I guess.
To explain the general direction of our plan, Yeonji was to pick out the 'right' person from our staff list, then use all means necessary to prove that he or she is an Otaku. It was a stupidly inefficient plan.
The operation procedure was simple.
We were to find the target's main workplace (usually somewhere in the school office), wait until everyone leaves the area, and when the time is right, one person searches their computer while the other keeps a lookout. Done.
Once we find any Otaku material in the computer, the plan was to watch our target like a hawk from then on and eventually get video proof of their Otaku activities... but it was easier said than done.
Firstly, 'until everyone leaves the area' was a difficult condition to fulfill.
Waiting for everyone to vacate such a busy place was much like waiting for apples to ripen and fall from a tree; we resorted to sneaking around blind spots within the room to approach the target's computer.
Secondly, there were none.
After going to hell and back to investigate their computers, Yeonji's expectations were betrayed as there were no hidden folders of eroges or doujins. Rarely, we uncovered some pussycat videos(!), but they had no use for us yet.
...But to perhaps make use of it later, Yeonji did not forget to remember the owners of those videos... Anyway, our findings were nil.
In retrospect, it was unlikely that any sane teachers would blatantly behave like Otakus in a public setting, like the school offices. Wouldn't they normally keep it to themselves in their lonesome?
"Then how do you explain all the pussycat videos?!"
Yeonji grumbled in anguish. Her face showed bright red, likely because she had to sit through an adult video after a long, tiring day spent rummaging through PCs.
"Okay, that's true."
But pussycat videos are different from anime; you only need to watch it briefly to reach your goals. You naive, young girl.
--But because I must never say such a thing, I resorted to agreeing with Yeonji. It seemed like Yeonji was greatly frustrated from our fruitless exploration.
"I can't believe this! True Otakus must devote their life to acting like one. But the only things in the computer are pussycat videos; this makes no sense!"
That's because the teachers aren't true Otakus. They simply aren't Otakus at all.
I sighed and nearly sprawled on my bed.
If I haven't hinted it yet, our current location was my own room once again. After the wasted efforts throughout today, we had dragged our tired bodies in here for an emergency meeting.
Mom's reaction to Yeonji's third appearance in this house was... further description will be omitted. I really needed to do something about her before this situation got out of hand.
Unlike me, who was sprawling from physical and mental exhaustion, Yeonji seemed to have the energy to go on. She gave me a dirty look and scrunched her nose, disappointed at my lack of will.
"This is strange... what went wrong? My perfect plan is falling apart already. That Ha[X]hi person got her club room so easily! Why not me?!"
What's the point of feeling competitive against a fictional character? And Haru[X] is a god, mind you; you can't compete with that.
"Hmph, this isn't possible. There has to be some teacher so completely depraved that he secretly plays visual novels within school! I will find that person!"
Yeonji declared like a little kid set out to find a legendary Po[X]mon. Considering our situation, a person like that indeed feel a lot like a legendary [X]kemon.
"Even if we find an Otaku... The places we searched today were constantly packed with people. In a place where their co-workers and students are always around, not even an Otaku would do anything like that there."
Seriously, playing a visual novel within the school office is already off the limits of being a 'closeted' Otaku.
"Tsk. It's okay to watch pussycat videos, but being an Otaku isn't. I seriously don't understand this society! I don't know what to say."
Yeonji rhythmically shook her head left and right like she was really baffled. It was slightly cute.
Still, I was too embarrassed to resolve her misunderstanding with the pussycat videos.
I carefully reassured her, as she was getting sulky:
"Starting tomorrow, we should investigate the staff members that are in one of the more secluded departments. If we can find anything useful, it's probably there, I think."
"Secluded department... the principal's office?"
"Why are you still clinging to the principal's office?!"
I know that you want to see some anime on an 82-inch television, but give up now!
With an objection to her unending ambition, Yeonji gave up and returned her focus to the computer screen. I swear, by the end of this, she would be able to remember the names of everyone in this school.
"A secluded department... If we're talking about a secluded department... Ah, there's one."
Inspiration struck her like lightning. I arose and checked my laptop monitor.
"It's actually pretty secluded!"
I was shocked.
"Hm... it might be unexpectedly great, that infirmary."
"It's not great at all--!"
I haven't ever seen anyone trying to use an infirmary as a club room, fiction or real life.
But Yeonji spoke in her usual seriousness,
"No, this is a very nice place. Infirmaries are normally in the less populated area in schools. There are also beds to use, so that's a frosting on the cake."
"What do we do with beds in our club activities?"
"I-if we get tired, we could lie down and sleep."
A hesitant reply met with my question asked in confusion. Go sleep in your own room!
With her face strangely reddened, Yeonji raised her voice.
"Anyone could act like an Otaku to the fullest in a lone place like the infirmary! Now that I look at her, the nurse physically looks like an Otaku."
I looked at the photo where the cursor laid, but there was only a good-looking woman in her late 20s or so; nothing about her seemed Otaku-like.
"She's quite pretty..."
I read through the entry with the header that was labeled: [Yu Youngseon(27), School Nurse, Home Room: Infirmary]. I was very impressed; she graduated from medical school at such a young age, and she began her work here already.
This isn't some average high school; it's the Eunsung high school. Even as a school nurse here, it would be a great boon to her future career as a doctor. She was a total Mary Sue, with her great looks and being a young med school graduate.
She had no chance of being an Otaku.
Yeonji grunted in dissent at my doubtful manner.
"Good looks my ass. Look at those black circles under her eyes, and those cloudy eyes like she's in permanent REM-sleep. Those are undoubtedly the side effects of playing visual novels late at night. I'm certain!"
Yeonji made a blatant guess.
In closer inspection, there was indeed a touch of black under the nurse's eyes in the photo, but it was unreasonable to denounce her as a visual novel addict with only that.
--But even if I said that to her, it was obvious she would hear none of it, so I kept silent.
It occurred to me that I was sitting right beside a diligent yet cute little girl, who was quite unfortunately an Otaku.
I squinted to observe her in detail.
On her glum face was a cute pout, skin so white that a poke might leave a mark, and her large, beady eyes.
I had been forgetting it due to her unpleasant attitude, but on closer inspection she was still unarguably cute. I'm sure anyone else would say the same.
I wonder how she became an Otaku.
She really doesn't look like an Otaku, visually-- and now Yeonji noticed that I was staring.
Opposing my squint, she cocked her eyes and shot a dirty look.
"What is it all of a sudden, staring at me like a creep?"
"N-no, it's nothing."
If I chose the option to say 'No, I was just thinking you were really cute~', I wonder what would have happened. Maybe it could have set off a flag!
Yeonji scoffed. I looked away, my head plagued with weird imaginations.
Yeonji closed the windows on the screen with a violent flick of the mouse. She briefly had an expression on her face resembling the face of a cat that had accidentally feasted on a poisoned mouse.
"So, the infirmary has another advantage. It's easier for us to raid the room for clues, because students can freely visit it."
Of course. I nodded in agreement.
It was highly unnatural for us to frequently show up at a place like the school office, but the infirmary was officially a place for students to be. With a good excuse, we could visit and investigate the room without much difficulty.
I would no longer have to hide from the teachers, or crawl between desks on all fours. Already, that was a highly motivational prospect.
As I recovered my morale, Yeonji turned off the computer and spoke.
"Alright, then we're set. By tomorrow, I'll have the details of our plan ready. Come out to the infirmary when the lunch break starts."
"Wait, before having lunch?"
"Lunchtime is the most optimal time for us; even the nurse would have to leave to eat lunch. Anyway, I don't want to waste time eating. Right away after the bell rings after the fourth class! Immediately! Don't forget that you're going directly to the infirmary. If you're late, it's posthumous execution for you."
"I'm not even dead yet..."
I objected with my face planted on the bed. It looked like, tomorrow, I won't even get to have my lunch thanks to all the payless, menial work Yeonji will force on me.
Listening to Mom say 'You're coming back tomorrow too, right?' as Yeonji prepared to leave, I silently prayed that the school nurse is an actual Otaku so that we may get a club room soon.
* * *
Normally, as soon as the end-of-the-class bell rang, I would have sprinted towards the cafeteria in a swarm of students, like a bunch of Velociraptors hunting down a Brachiosaurus. Then I would have quickly gulped down my lunch, and then I would have been forced into a territorial dispute with the other classes for the school fields.
But this day, such a normal daily routine was not permitted, as my soul is bound to a devil named Yeonji, and so I was walking towards the infirmary on an empty stomach.
So hungry. Dammit all.
Yeonji, who was the size of a pea but attached with a high-tech jet engine, may be completely fine with skipping a meal. However, over here was a growing boy in high school. My stomach began loudly complaining after four hours of suffering in class without any food inside. Even my sighs felt light with no food weighing me down.
As I lurched towards the infirmary that was on the East side of the first floor, I imagined the kinds of scheme Yeonji could have drafted in the mean time.
Honestly, nothing came to my mind.
From our first encounter, Yeonji always seemed to be fluttering around outside of my boundaries of understanding.
Even during our face-to-face conversation, I could not at all read into what sorts of thoughts she may have been having.
Whatever the case, it was apparent that I would again toil my life away, so I gave up pondering further.
At the end of the hallway was Yeonji.
"You're late! Penalty!"
What the hell do you mean by 'penalty'?
Ignoring Yeonji's spontaneous remark, I glanced at my wrist watch.
It was barely 2 minutes since the start of our lunch break; it was stunning how quickly Yeonji arrived here. Don't run in the hallway, you.
While I threw suspicion-filled glances at Yeonji's thin legs, she stuck her head out to look into the infirmary through an open window.
"I can't really see if anyone's inside. You look too."
I wondered how I'd help if she couldn't see, but I obliged nonetheless.
Through the narrow opening of the tinted windows, I could only see various medicine bottles and common medical equipment. As she had said, it was hard to know who was inside.
"I don't know, either."
Yeonji closed her eyes and became lost in thought. I had only known her for a few days, but from my experience thus far, she never failed to come up with some preposterous plans after making that pose.
After some time tapping her elbows with her fingers while cross-armed, she reopened her eyes and commanded,
"You should go in first. Pretend that you're sick."
It was a sudden request, but I had predicted something like this would happen beforehand. Anyway, it was quite a normal plan for Yeonji.
I sighed and asked,
"I'm fine pretending to be sick... but what kind of sickness do I fake? I'd rather avoid being humiliated the moment I walk in."
"Obviously, you just--."
Yeonji's eyes briefly lay on my legs.
...You weren't thinking about saying 'just break your legs a little', were you?
It was quite a believable suggestion that Yeonji would actually do it. I flinched.
Yeonji awkwardly cleared her throat and whispered,
"Well... Just come closer for a moment."
"Hey, hey, hey!!"
You're not actually going to break my legs, right?! Right?!
"Don't act like an idiot."
Yeonji gave a disappointed glance.
"How am I going to break a guy's legs without any weapons? Stop being stupid and get over here."
It sounded like she was implying that she would have done it if she had a weapon.
I hesitantly walked towards her like a kid getting his punishment- and in response, Yeonji sounded like she was ready to punish me.
I leaned over to match her eye level.
She's not going to throw punches at my eyes, is she? I guess it would be easy to walk in the infirmary if I had black eyes, but Mom would freak out once I get home! The scariest part about Yeonji was that she was the type of person who would to do such a thing without hesitation.
Yeonji's small face closed into me, as I nervously waited for her.
"...Close your eyes."
The mood was turned upside-down.
Yeonji's strangely reddened face had come even closer.
To exaggerate slightly, it was a distance short enough for us to feel each other's breath. It was a distance that was close enough for me to see Yeonji's pink, wet lips mildly tremble in uneasiness.
In this strange situation, Yeonji demanded that I close my eyes with a shaky voice. I had no clue what had just happened there.
"Uh, you know...?"
"I said, close your eyes!"
Yeonji, with her rouge-tinted face, commanded me. Under her pressure, I closed my eyes, and felt a soft, pleasant touch on my forehead...
Fiery heat quickly spread on my forehead.
When my senses returned, Yeonji's small palm was in the process of causing a fire on my forehead by inducing frictional energy.
What's the meaning of this?!
"Hey, hey! It hurts, it hurts! Sto-stop it!"
How long are you gonna do this for?! It's like you're sanding off a gum off the floor!
I screamed and pushed Yeonji away. Yeonji rubbed her hands together, and like a maestro about to perform her masterpiece, she said,
"That should be enough. Right now, you're a boy who's struck with fever and dizziness, so you feel like resting on a bed."
"Hey, come on..."
I laid my hand on my forehead, and indeed it was hot like I was running a fever. If I cracked some eggs on my forehead, I could have some fried eggs.
"What are you waiting for? That 'fake fever' buff lasts for only 5 minutes. Get in there quickly while you're visibly sick. I'll go in with you later."
I wanted to raise an issue with many things, but this girl who casted the buff(?) did not seem to pay any attention.
Yeonji disappeared after abandoning me in front of the entrance. I sighed, now alone.
This is going to last 5 minutes? More like 10 minutes!
Mustering up some courage gained after witnessing Yeonji's lips in such a close proximity, I slowly opened the infirmary door and walked in.
...She said she was going to follow me in. How was she planning on doing that?
* * *
It was my first time seeing the interior of the infirmary, ever since I began high school.
The first notable quality was that the room was humongous.
Surely other middle-high schools have tiny rooms for infirmaries. Considering only the area that was visible to me, the infirmary was at least as big as my home classroom, and there were at least eight beds in sight.
Each bed was not just a plain old bed seen commonly in an infirmary; they were modernized hospital beds that had the equipment to keep patients alive, if need be.
Again, this school is seriously loaded.
If Yeonji saw this, she would probably be bent on acquiring this place. With that thought, I stumbled deeper into the room.
"Uh... is anyone here...?"
Perhaps it was because of the guilt from faking my sickness; I sounded genuinely like a patient suffering from a fever. In the midst of my search for the nurse in this needlessly expansive room, I discovered something strange.
"What is this?"
Sitting between the entrance and the beds was a desk. There was a bulletin board resting on its surface, so I closed in to inspect it.
Let's see, these things on top of the desk are... Are these medicines? And this sign, which was obviously constructed from the last year's calendar, says...
[Self-service for light symptoms]
Headache - White bottle (A), 1 dose 1 spoon
Fever - White bottle (B), 1 dose 1 spoon
Cold - White bottle (C), 1 dose 1 spoon + Cold syrup 1 dose 50mm
Stomachache, diarrhea - Red bottle, 1 dose 1 spoon
Period - Blue bottle, 1 dose 2 spoons
Bruises, cuts - Orange ointment, appropriate amount + band-aid
Serious problems such as broken bones, concussion are to be reported to the nurse next door ->
P.S. Those who want to rest on the beds must get a note from your teacher before asking me.
Yu Youngseon, Nurse
I don't know about her being an Otaku, but she's not even hiding how lazy she is!
Awestruck at the sight of the infirmary's self-aid-service(?), I turned to look in the direction to which the arrow pointed, and discovered another door on the wall.
I haven't ever seen an infirmary that was this huge. I guess I should go in.
After taking deep, slow breaths, I slowly approached and knocked on the door.
'Mmh, could you wait a moment~?'
I was expecting the answer to be 'Come in~'. I stood there in silence, as if my question of '¿Cómo estás?' had failed to meet with '¿Bien, gracias, y tu?'.
Whatever she was doing, it took a very long time before the door opened.
"Sorry, I'm a little bit busy... So, where are you hurting?"
The nurse left her room, positioning herself on exit so that the inside of the room was not visible as she moved out.
Including the sleepy eyes, she was a beautiful lady as seen from yesterday's photo.
She was pretty tall for a lady, only slightly shorter than I was. Her long hair was tied behind her head in a ponytail, and she had a white gown on that seemed to be slightly unfitting for her size.
...Most notably, she had big breasts. Even with the large gown, they were amazingly visible.
"...I wonder where he's hurt."
When I did not answer her, a small frown surfaced on her relaxed face. I returned to my senses, alerted by her words.
"Oh, my head is suddenly pounding, and I have a fever..."
The nurse inspected me with her eyes. I did my best to look like I was in pain. The nurse spoke,
"Well, I can check your temperature... can you stay still for a moment?"
Before I formulated a proper response, the nurse's right hand covered my forehead. When her beautiful hand approached me, with well kempt fingernails and pleasant fragrance, my breath was taken away.
"Ah--- hm, hm."
The nurse laid her left hand on her own forehead, her right hand on mine, and nodded with her eyes closed.
The way she calmly checked my body temperature seemed to make my heart beat dangerously fast.
"...38.2 degrees Celsius, maybe. It's pretty high."
After the nurse removed her hand and stepped back, my face was again reddened.
It would not be so strange if that just raised my temperature by an extra 0.5 degrees. Anyway, you just used your hands, and you can measure temperature down to the first decimal digit?!
The nurse went 'Hmm~' and stared at me, as I was bumbling in place. Then she spoke in a mildly annoyed tone.
"After you take that medicine over there... rest on the bed for a bit and go back to class. Hey, did you get a note from your teacher?"
My symptoms only surfaced just as I arrived at the infirmary; there was no way I'd have a teacher's note. As I was stammering in embarrassment, the nurse scratched her neck and waved her hand around and said,
"I'm not supposed to do this... I guess I have no choice. You can stay until the end of lunch time. If you want to rest longer, then you have to come back with the teacher's note. ...Understand?"
"Ah, I understand."
Rather than sympathy, it seemed to be laziness that had convinced her. Sleepily blinking with her eyes that are laden with dark circles, she finished talking and returned to her room. I momentarily remained rooted in place.
I wondered what all this meant.
Yeonji was right in thinking that this she was suspicious, but it was hard to tell if it had anything to do with her being an Otaku.
I tried to imagine what exactly she was doing in her room. I glared at the closed door, but without having some X-ray vision, it was a fruitless effort. I found it likely that there was some value in investigating that room.
It felt awkward leaving at this point, so I was on standby until Yeonji followed me in. I swallowed the pill that the nurse had given me and rested on the bed.
...Then the realization came that I probably didn't have to take that pill, but it was too late.
Well, I was sure Yeonji would have given me more headaches in the future, so let's just call it a precautionary measure.
After having struggled against sleepiness as I lay down on a bed, hidden behind white curtains, someone entered the infirmary with the sound of the front door opening.
From the pitter-patter of a cat that I heard, it was most likely Yeonji. The footsteps neared my location and paused, presumably startled by that desk from before.
Yeonji's onomatopoeia pierced through the curtains to reach me. Please quiet down indoors.
She seemed dumbfounded by the 'self-aid service' on that bulletin board.
Just like I had done, Yeonji must have discovered the other door that was pointed out by an arrow sign; her footsteps moved to that direction.
Tap-tap - and the knocks echoed. There came voices from the door's direction, words muddled by the curtain's filtering.
I had no way to know for sure, but I had a feeling that the words again were 'could you wait a moment~?' mostly because it took some time before the door was opened.
Soon came the quiet chatting between the nurse and Yeonji. I still could not decipher their words, but I could assume it was the same deal as before.
I wonder what sort of faked-illness-buff she applied on herself before coming here.
As I thought to myself, I heard the door close. Then the footsteps came near, and Yeonji violently pushed the curtains aside.
"What do you think you're doing, you idiot!"
Yeonji performed the Flying Body Attack and crushed me under her small body. She wasn't heavy enough to weigh me down, but she managed to knock all the air out of my lungs.
"What are you doing, sleeping in this place like an idiot?! We're at an important stage that might decide our club room's fate!"
I wasn't sleeping! I was perfectly awake up until now!
No words left my mouth, since I could hardly breathe. Instead, I hurriedly signaled towards the door to alert Yeonji, who was now sitting on top of me. She pouted and responded,
"If you mean that woman, she went back into her room. I doubt she can hear us."
Look at her, calling a member of the school 'that woman'. Yeonji was already seeing the nurse as an enemy to oppose and fight.
After my lungs resumed its work, Yeonji slid off from my body and hopped down on an adjacent bed.
"Something smells fishy!"
Yeonji exclaimed like a detective who found a clue. I pulled myself up from the bed as I coughed.
"Yes, if you mean that room."
I agreed with her, since that had been my initial suspicion. Yeonji turned to the door beyond the curtains, glared with a hint of hate, and nodded.
"Yes, this is undoubtedly an Otaku vibe. A rich, fermented Otaku vibe, at that... As I thought, this infirmary is a Clotaku's hidden den."
Yeonji's pitch-black irises scoured left and right. A huge, evil grin emerged on her face.
"Anyway, yeah, this place, it's a lot better than I originally thought. For a single person to use this room, it's unforgivable. I won't accept it. This kind of awesome room should be shared with all the poor people out there."
"I guess we can use it, then."
My mocking comment was perfectly ignored.
"There's an air conditioner, and a heating system. Awesome, awesome. I especially like how there are eight beds."
Yeonji repeatedly nodded while looking around, like a customer being dazzled by a real estate salesman. I could see from her glittering eyes and peach cheeks that she was very impressed by this place. But seriously, what's so important about the beds?!
It was too early for her to act like she owned this room, but it was hard to control Yeonji while she was confident. I asked a question in an attempt to divert her confidence:
"So, what excuse did you have for coming to the infirmary? Did you rub your own forehead?"
"There's no way I'd do something as stupid as that."
You did it to me, you jerk.
Yeonji pompously giggled and answered proudly,
"I said that I was having my period, and that the pain was killing me."
"...Is that so."
Such an inappropriate remark did not fit her cute face.
"That's right. I put on some makeup in the washroom to look pale, too. When I recalled back to the time when I had appendicitis to simulate my pain, she easily believed me. Nya-ha-ha."
I didn't understand a bulk of her words, but strangely I got progressively more embarrassed.
"Well, however it went... That room is really suspicious, so what are we going to do about it?"
"Ah, that's right."
Elevated by the success of her masterful strategy(!), Yeonji remained on the embarrassing subject until I had to change the topic. She regained her focus, and after a moment of thinking,
"Should we break down that door and barge in with a camera?"
"It's not going to happen!"
Maybe in fiction, doors break down with a couple of shoulder bashes, but not in real life. And what are we gonna do if there's nothing in the room after breaking in?
"I-I know that, at least! That was a joke!"
"I still can't tell when you're kidding or not..."
I sighed. Yeonji made an expression like a cat that had been pulled by its whiskers while sleeping, then said,
"For sure, we are going to have to go in that room and investigate."
"To do that, we will have to pull that woman out of that room somehow."
"Stop saying 'that woman, that woman'. She's still a teacher."
I only commented out of basic manners, but Yeonji was hissing with her teeth clenched. What are you, a rattlesnake?
"A-anyway! Now there are two routes. We should wait for that woman... hmph, wait for her to exit on her own, or one of us lures her outside."
"...Let's just wait for her."
It was obvious that 'one of us' was going to end up being me. I saw my impending doom and attempted to change its course, but Yeonji's demoralizing response came.
"How long do we wait? We only have 15 minutes left in our break. How long do we wait for a woman who doesn't go out for lunch?"
"Wouldn't she at least go to the washroom?"
"She won't go with us being here."
Then we just have to wait every day-- was going to be my suggestion, but that could not work. Unless the nurse is an idiot, she would think it strange that there are people visiting the infirmary on a daily basis.
But that meant we had to see an end to this within today. I asked Yeonji,
"If we lure her outside, how long do we have to stall? Looking through a computer would take a long time."
"I don't need much time. One minute, no, thirty seconds? I need at least thirty seconds."
"It's 'cause I have this."
Yeonji proudly stuck out her small chest and showed me a... camcorder.
It was small and handy enough to fit right in Yeonji's small, childlike hands, and it looked like it could have cost a fortune to buy.
Where were you hiding this sort of thing?!
"Hehehe... This has a built-in timer, and a special accessory for sticking the camcorder on any surface. While that woman's gone, I can attach this in the room at the perfect location, then come back tomorrow sometime to get it back. It'll only leave a glue mark."
It seemed like the camcorder was designed for nefarious purposes from the start. As Yeonji proudly caressed the camcorder, I asked once more,
"So what are you going to do about luring her out? Do you have a plan?"
"Nyuu-n-- About that..."
Yeonj entered her strategizing meditation.
I may have developed a habit of not thinking on my own and asking Yeonji to come up with everything, but that didn't matter at this point, because-
"You should knock on that door and say, 'Help, my lower part of my body suddenly became swollen and it won't shrink back~ Am I going to die now? Please save me~'. After that woman leaves to call the police, we can install the camcorder."
...-Because, for an everyday, normal mindset much like my own, there was no way I could come up with such insanity.
"You should do that kind of crap!"
"Impossible! I'm a girl."
Were you going to do it if you were a guy?!
Even as she was blackmailing me, there were still things that I would and wouldn't do. I glared at her, full of contempt and resolution.
She seemed to be taken down a notch.
"Okay, we don't have to go that far... Maybe you should ask her out on a walk in the park, saying that the weather is pretty nice. Or, ask her out for a coffee-milk date."
"I'm not saying that!"
In this day and age, not even preschoolers would be convinced. Yeonji's severely outdated social mannerism had left me at a loss for words.
She had a strange expression on her face, and I could not tell if she found it amusing or sad that I declined.
"...Ngh, fine. Then I'll lure her out, so you go in that room and install the camcorder."
I expected that I would be the one to lure her out, so it was a surprise that she had volunteered for the job.
As I gave a surprised look, Yeonji had a heavy, dark atmosphere around her, perhaps from her mood. She said dejectedly,
"I have a failsafe plan that will 100% succeed if I use it... Well, I would prefer to not use it, but I have no choice."
"Is-is that so..."
I strangely felt sorry for her. Though, honestly, I was not confident that I could lure the nurse out on my own, so I decided to take the plan with the 100% chance of success.
...It was most certainly not because I was afraid of getting ridiculed.
Yeonji instructed me on the methods of attaching the camcorder, and various targets to cover. As Yeonji had said, the camcorder came with a timer feature (the recording starts after 30 minutes) so there was no need to do anything with the camcorder itself.
It was a relief for me, since I could almost be considered a technophobe.
"Alright, then I'll go out and lure that woman outside. When I cough, you must immediately enter that room and install the camcorder. Don't take too long."
Yeonji's hands were slightly wet when she handed over the camcorder. She was nervous, too.
"Then... I'll be right back."
"Okay... be safe."
Yeonji bit her lips and headed towards the nurse's room. I held the camcorder in one hand with a heavy feeling of responsibility.
...Thinking back to it, for a criminal duo about to cause a ruckus, that was quite a romantic exchange.