A few days had passed since I entered my little sister’s room.
After the two of us became aware of each other’s ‘true identity’, I thought that something would change, yet nothing happened. Once more, we returned to our normal lifestyle.
Sagiri didn’t come out of her room, while I kept going to school and took care of the house as usual.
Even if we are living together, that doesn’t make us family.
“You’re right. I knew that without you telling me.”
But still, I had decided to become her family, become her elder brother. I’m not going to feel down just because of this.
Just then —
*Bang bang bang bang*!
The meal time reminder sound came from the ceiling.
“Alright alright alright! I’m coming!”
Just like usual, I brought breakfast to my little sister’s room.
I stretched my back and relaxed my body. Today is Saturday, I didn’t have to go to school.
Normally, I plan to work nonstop from Friday till Sunday night, so during Saturday mornings I’m still motivated. Since I didn’t have to go to school, I should do something more meaningful than usual — any part-time novelist like me would think so too, right?
“Let’s take a bath first before going shopping.”
If I stayed at home, Sagiri would be troubled.
Just when I was thinking that…
*Ding dong* . The doorbell rang.
“Oh Sagiri ~ go open the door ~”
I shouted toward my little sister’s room. Of course her reaction is —
“You don’t have to be that angry, you know….”
The situation just now…my dream was that as soon as I told her that, my little sister would say ‘Coming ~♪’ and open the door for the guest… Looks like I’ve still got a long way to go.
*Bang bang bang bang*!
The sad truth was that I’m the one who opened the door.
But it was strange. Who would bother to ring the doorbell?
“Anyone home ~! Anyone home ~!”
When I was at the entrance, I hear a girl’s energetic voice. I pulled the handle and opened the door.
“Who are ~ wow!”
I was temporarily speechless. Because in front of me was a stunningly beautiful girl.
A white and navy blue sailor uniform. Long brown hair reflected the sunlight.
But, what gave me the deepest impression was her unforgettable smile. She looked so full of life that just by looking, people would feel fired up.
If she were a game character, then without a doubt she would have had a holy attribute. I could almost see the positive aura coming from her.
Without saying a word, I looked back at the second floor.
…Totally different from my little sister.
That was what I thought.
Although my little sister was very adorable, with her morbid white skin, her petite body, her non-developed chest, her weak voice and sometimes her soul-devouring smile….
She is, without a doubt, a dark attribute. Her aura simply had a negative atmosphere.
Although she’s got her cute side too, but —
When I was deep in thought, I suddenly noticed that there was still a surprised girl in front of me.
“Ah ah sorry. Excuse me — um, sorry, who are you?”
Why did such a beautiful girl come to my house?
She briefly showed a ‘Good question’ expression, then struck a pose and introduced herself:
“My name is Jinno Megumi, I’m Izumi Sagiri’s classmate!”
She is Sagiri’s classmate? She’s in the same class as her? Unbelievable! She looked quite mature! I would have never thought that just a while ago she was still an elementary schoolgirl. She looked about the same age as me!
“Sorry, Onii~san, are you Izumi-chan’s elder brother?”
“But you aren’t related by blood right?”
“………..You can say that.”
This girl…you shouldn’t say this out directly like that.
“Based on what I heard, you two are now living together, right…?”
“We have a guardian. We don’t live alone.”
I gave her a half-truth…Since our guardian never came home, the fact remained that we live together alone now… but this isn’t something an outsider should know. It would only complicate things.
Megumi “Um ~” once. I had no idea what was going on in her mind.
From what she had said so far, I got the feeling that she only came here to gather intel on my home.
Today was a day break, but she was a wearing uniform. Did she come here because of something related to school?
“About that…Jinno-san, right?”
“Call me Megumi ~ everyone at school calls me that.”
Not only am I not your friend, I’m not even your classmate. Don’t you feel embarrassed when using that nickname?
…But I couldn’t just rebuke her like that, so I said:
“No no! That’s not okay!”
I never thought I’d be refused…
“I want to get along with Onii-san. If you can’t call me Megumi-chan, how about ‘Megumi’ instead?”
Megumi made a ‘please’ pose and she bowed to me.
What is with this girl? She acts like were close friend already.
“Got it. Please take care of me, Megumi.”
What a brilliant smile
She looked so cute that I bet she could capture any normal male’s heart without a fight.
“So then, why are you here? Do you have something for Sagiri?”
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
Just when I asked that, Megumi made an unhappy expression.
“What!? So strange ~ there is no way he would be interested in boys right?”
Suddenly she said something unbelievable. This girl has got quite an imagination.
“Onii~san, are you perhaps gay?”
“No! How did you reach that conclusion?”
“But ~ I tried to smile so much for you, yet you didn’t move a bit.”
….This…this girl…she looks like an angel, but inside she is like a demon.
So this brat pretends to act this way huh? Quite scary. She just graduated from elementary school, right?
“I agree that you are cute, but not on the level that can cause love at first sight.”
Idiot. For me – the one who washed my little sister’s underwear – who is also cuter than you, there is simply no one that could cause me to fall in love with them immediately.
“Since you said you have no reaction towards your family member, does that mean your little junior is useless, Onii~san?”
“Yeah yeah that’s right —— wait what???”
A long silence.
What? What did I just hear this girl say?
“You…you…you just graduated from elementary school, right?”
“What if it’s true?”
“And you are the same age as my little sister?”
“What if it’s true?”
“Just now, did you say little junior?”
What am I saying! If I misheard just now, then my social standing is done for!
The news would report this:
[Tragic News] : Light novel’s author, Izumi Masamune-sensei, was caught being sexually harassed by a beautiful twelve year old girl.
Like that. but…but…
“Yes? Is something strange with that? I like little junior the most!”
“Yes. Every girl my age likes little junior the most!”
Impossible! This, this, this is impossible! Girl’s your age? You meant sixth graders? Girls today are that messed up?
“No….no…it can’t be… It’s impossible…”
What would Japan’s future be!? When I was an elementary schooler, I knew nothing about this stuff…Could it be that I was the only one? That the truth is those innocent looking girls….? Wah wah ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
Megumi returned her eyes to me, said:
“Ehe ~ don’t be so surprised. I bet that Onii-san’s little sister also likes little junior too.”
“That is absolutely impossible!”
I want to kill you already Megumi! We just met, yet you already gave me weird thoughts!
Damn! What is going on here? My good impression about her was totally destroyed in just a few minutes!
Suddenly, Megumi turned to the troubled me and said:
“It was a joke.”
“I was only joking. Really, Onii~san, you overthought.”
Megumi laughed cheerfully
So that was a joke? Elementary schoolers can still can be saved? But while I still have many question, I didn’t have the strength to voice them.
“Okay, back to the main topic.”
“…Whatever you say.”
My shoulders dropped. Then Megumi said:
“I’m Izumi-chan’s class rep.”
Class rep? This girl? This impure girl who made a bad joke with a member of the opposite sex is a class rep?
“Ah, you don’t believe me do you ~ But I’m telling the truth ~”
Even in that case, I bet everyone voted for you because they wanted to get rid of a problem, not because they agreed that you are the most suitable candidate.
Class rep Megumi coughed twice and said:
“I want to bring Izumi-chan back to school.”
She finally spoke her true reason.
“Sorry for intruding ~”
“Please sit down.”
I led Megumi to the living room. I didn’t want to bring a shameless girl like this into the house, but after hearing her reason, I couldn’t just tell her to return.
Then I returned to the kitchen.
Because I… Mom really liked cooking, so our kitchen is well-equipped. Every time I saw the equipment that I’ve never used, I couldn’t help but silently apologize to it.
Picking up a random fruit juice bottle, I came back to the living room to see Megumi already sitting on the sofa and looking around.
Noticing me, she said ‘Ah, thank you.’
“What are you looking at?”
“I’m looking at your extremely cute calendar.”
“Ah, that huh?”
There was a calendar of one of my works in the living room. That was one of the rare merchandise that I bought. Right now it showed April, with the first volume’s cover of ‘The Silver Wolf’s Reincarnation’
“I just like that kind of novel-calendar”
I answered to Megumi with no intention of telling her that I’m the author.
“Ha ~ Not only does Izumi-chan like it, but Onii-san too? Could it be that you are the in-house type?”
“You can say that.”
True, I had no way to rebuke that. Besides, that was one of Sagiri’s illustrations which I quite liked. But I don’t like the fact that Megumi might not take it very well. She was the straightforward type, meaning the next words coming could be ‘disgusting’ or something like that.
I tried my best to keep a poker face while mentally preparing myself. However…
“Actually, I’m the same too ~ I liked to read manga a lot when I was small.”
“Hah, what a surprise. What have you read?”
“I liked ‘One Piece’ the most!”
Hah ~ ‘One Piece’ huh! What a great manga! I liked that too!
This was a chance for me to have a casual talk with this girl. Maybe I could pull it off.
Still, while I knew that weekly manga is good, was that enough to say this girl is a fan? Couldn’t she have just said that because ‘everyone said that it was good’? I couldn’t help but think about it.
“Say, about Izumi-chan.”
Megumi began the main topic.
However, I put the fruit juice down, told her ‘Please wait’ and walked towards ‘The never opened door’. Passing the stairs, I stood in front of it.
…Although I had no hope, but maybe a one in a million chance…
I don’t want to give up on this chance, so I called:
“Sagiri ~ your classmate is here ~”
One second. Two seconds. Three seconds.
“…She sounded angry.”
It turned out that way again…can’t be helped…
I turned away from ‘The never opened door’ and tiredly returned to the living room. And then —
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep!!! My cellphone rang in my pocket. An unknown number appeared on the screen. I picked up and put the phone to my ear.
“Hello. It’s Masamune. Who might you be —”
I shouted. Although her voice was small, it was my little sister’s voice, no doubt.
“Sure enough!.. Say, why are you calling me when you are inside?”
What is the meaning of this? She even had a cellphone? Did she buy it online or something?
Anyway, little sister’s cellphone number – GET
[This is the only way for me to communicate with you without opening the door.]
“It’s okay, but I can’t believe you know my number.”
[…Isn’t it better this way?]
I felt a little curious, but I got the feeling I won’t get an answer if I pressed on.
[About that…Onii-san, what is the situation?]
“What situation — ah, your class rep is now sitting in our living room.”
[Why, why did you let that person in !!!!! O..Onii-san, do you want to kill me?]
“Wow wow !”
Suddenly her voice became much louder! Like she was using a microphone!
“What are you saying? I only thought that maybe that person could get you out of the room.”
[I won’t come out! I will never never never never never come out! Never never never!! Chase her out!!]
Well, I already knew that getting Sagiri out is an extremely difficult task. However, having my little sister hate me is my absolute limit.
Thus, this is a good chance. I couldn’t afford to waste it.
“It’s not really nice to just chase someone away…How about you temporarily come out and listen to her?”
“Just try and listen first – using a phone is fine, do you want to talk with her—”
What a quick answer.
“I understand. Then goodbye.”
[…………That class rep…is a girl?]
“Ah right, a cute girl in fact.”
Although she’s got a dirty mind.
[….I will not talk to her. However….]
A moment of silence. But I patiently waited.
[Don’t hang up. Just carry it with you…don’t let her find out.]
*Crank….* The answer was a small sound that came from ‘The never opened door’. From a gap, something came at me.
I picked it up and said:
“…You want me to carry this?”
Sagiri just threw me a pair of wireless earbuds.
When I returned to the living room, Megumi was peacefully sitting on the sofa, a big portion of her thighs exposed.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
I walked toward Megumi. My cellphone was placed on my chest pocket, one earbud in my ear. This way, I could hear both outside sounds and Sagiri while Megumi couldn’t hear Sagiri.
“Oh my, Onii-san, where is Izumi-chan? Didn’t you go get her?”
I shook my head.
“Could it be that she isn’t home?”
“Not exactly. In contrast, she can’t be more at home.”
“What a strange way of speaking.”
Because she was ‘at home’ so much to the point that it’s unimaginable.
“Let’s leave that aside for now. If she’s home why didn’t she come here?”
“Because she refused to leave her room.”
Maybe I was too straightforward, Megumi was shocked.
I told her bluntly:
“What do you think? Incurable right?”
“Please don’t tell me that’s that case.”
Megumi tapped the tea cup and lectured me.
“Mwu ~~ I never thought that she not only wouldn’t come to school, but that she doesn’t even leave her room….To think her hikikomori’s status was that bad….”
Megumi hugged her head and unexpectedly said that. But she quickly continued:
“By the way, Onii-san, do you think it’s okay?”
“Of course not. She has refused to come out since a year ago. I have already tried many solutions…but none of them work.”
“In other words, our goal is the same.”
“Well…you can say so.”
It wasn’t exactly the same, but I’m too lazy to explain to her. The truth is, I only hoped that Sagiri would come out of her room.
“Then, Onii-san, we are allies now, right?”
Megumi’s hand clenched into a fist, she told me that.
I felt no motivation.
…Because this girl looked quite useless to me.
“Alright, don’t sit there. Come here and sit next to me.”
Megumi tapped the seat next to her.
I hesitated slightly, due to the fact that I planned to sit in front of her.
“Hurry hurry. Don’t hesitate! Hurry!”
“…You sound like this is your home.”
In the end, I sat down next to Megumi like she said.
“Ehehehe ~~ Next to ~ Onii-san ♪”
What an annoying girl. My favorable points toward you had dropped again.
[….Say, Onii-san.. this girl…is so annoying..]
Sagiri sounded troubled.
[You too Onii-san, are you an idiot? You are getting carried away…useless.]
Wah wah wah wah wah!!! My little sister’s favor points towards me are dropping!!!
No! It’s not like that Sagiri….! Although I wanted to explain, it was impossible in my current situation.
“Oh my ~ Onii-san~ What is wrong? Your face is so red ? Ah! Could it be ~ that you are embarrassed ~ Eheheheh, so cute ~”
Embarrassed my ass! Megumi! I…I was trying to hold my regret in check!
“Al, alright, that’s enough. Back to the main topic – you said that you wanted us to become allies…right?”
“Yes. Hehe ~ what should we call our alliance? How about ‘Take Izumi-chan out of her room alliance’?”
“What kind of name is that?”
“A name to convey our alliance’s reason and goal.”
True, it certainly had a feeling of determination, to never give up. But that was the exact reason that gave me a bad feeling.
“Before that, I have something to ask. Why do you want to make Sagiri come out?”
“Of course to make her go to school!”
“…Then why do you want to make her go to school? I know that you are her class rep, but this is not a reason to be so worked up…I can’t think of an answer.”
“I want to become her friend.”
Megumi gently answered.
“After the entrance ceremony, I had become friends with everyone my age except Izumi-chan.”
…Did, did this girl just casually say something very extraordinary?
Become friends? With ‘everyone my age’? She, she didn’t mean just her classmates right?
“One of my classmates didn’t go to school – thus everyone was worried. Beside, this is something suitable for a class rep to solve too. Since I have some experience with that myself, I think this is something I could do.”
“You, you said you had experience.. that means…?”
“Back then when I was in elementary school.”
What an unbelievable girl.
[Tell that hypocritical girl to get lost already!]
Don’t say that Sagiri…at least…maybe it’s worth looking forward to?
Megumi started laughing.
“I have already became everyone’s friend, so I’m looking forward to bring Izumi-chan out of her room.”
Now that I think about it, this girl called Sagiri ‘Izumi-chan’.
[We have never met, yet she shamelessly tried to get close….]
She didn’t even think she would be rejected – or rather, she was never afraid of being rejected.
[That kind of girl is what I hate most]
I hear my little sister say in an ice-cold tone.
“I see. I get it completely. So how are you going to do it?”
I impatiently asked. If I teamed up with her, maybe I really could bring my little sister outside.
“Onii-san, before that I have something to ask. Do you know what Izumi-chan does in her room everyday?”
In an instant, I feared that this girl saw Sagiri’s live video and found out.
“Normally, hikikomori spend all of their time in front of their computers. If that’s the case, then with the help of her family, I have a secret solution to drag her out.”
Don’t say it so forcefully, will you?
“Yeah, in some ways you can say that she spends all of her time on her computer…so what is your secret solution?”
Megumi raised one finger and smiled:
“Cut her off from the internet.”
Is this girl for real?
This…this is your solution?
Too simple. Too straightforward. Too crude. How is that a secret solution?
“…Wow? Why don’t you say anything, Onii-san? Alright, now go call your internet provider and cut off the root of all evil!”
Scared…I was so scared of this girl…..
To think that she would suggest this!
“You, you aren’t human! Do you want to become a god?”
“Why does it become so exaggerated?”
“Cutting her off from the Internet is too much! If I was a hikikomori, I wouldn’t be sure what I would do in my desperation!”
Maybe she would come out, but that solution will leave an irreparable scar in our relationship.
“Wow? For real?” Megumi asked in confusion:
“As long as you have friends, you have no need for computers and internet, right?”
She said that so naturally, so convincingly that I was stunned for a second.
“Could it be that without a friend, even the internet becomes meaningless? No friends huh ~ then what did she do with her computer…so strange….”
“No wait….there is….”
Megumi tilted her head. Seemed like my answer confused her.
“There is.. a lot….”
Yes. Like writing novels. Drawing illustrations. Reading forum posts. Listening to music. Playing games. Even working.
Computers surely are the best things in the world.
It’s something that can surpass friends. You can say that as long as you have a computer, you might not need a friend.
Am I wrong? Is my way of thinking wrong?
— Of course I couldn’t say that out loud.
“There, there are a lot of things you can do with a computer….it’s very interesting. You can say that it’s fine even if you don’t have friends.”
Hearing my explanation, Megumi raised her lips:
“What!? Isn’t it more fun to chat with your friends at school?”
[Fun my assssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!]
Sagiri wailed from the bottom of her soul.
*Zziiiiiiiiiiizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz* A terrify sound attacked my ears.
Thankfully, I was using the headphone. Otherwise my ear drums would be gone by now.
My vision blurred – I fell forward.
“Hey Onii-san! Are you okay!?”
“I’m fine. I’m fine. It’s nothing…..”
I tried to suppress my ringing ear and stood up.
“Just now, that sound…..”
“Sound? What sound? What are you talking about?”
I tried to hide it…but from the look of it, my effort was wasted. The sound just now could be heard even without the headphone.
Megumi carefully took a look at my ear.
“I see … Izumi-chan…is listening…right?”
[…Onii-san, hurry and lie.]
Don’t ask something impossible.
“Ha ~ you found out….can’t be helped.”
I pointed at my wireless headphone
Sagiri screamed in rage. She’s probably going to hang up right now.
“Please wait! Izumi-chan! STOP! Don’t hang up!”
Megumi raised a hand and shouted.
“If you hang up now ~~ you will regret it later.”
[…What is this girl saying.]
Even if you ask, I don’t know how to answer.
“Hm hm ~”
Megumi showed a mischievous smile.
I couldn’t help but shudder.
“Wh, what are you doing…..”
Even Sagiri noticed that something wasn’t right, she didn’t hang up immediately.
Now, I was sitting next to Megumi on the sofa.
Then she leaned toward me….from my position, escape was impossible. Unlike my little sister, the citrus flavored perfume assaulted my senses…
“Ehehe ~ Onii-san ~ your heart seemed to be racing ~”
Megumi gave me a beautiful smile. At the same time, she started to rub herself to my chest just like a spoiled cat.
“Hey, hey…! Wait…! What are you doing?”
“Rub rub ♪ Rub rub ♪ Ehehe ~ Onii-san’s smell feels so comfortable ❤”
What is going on?…Why, why, why is this girl suddenly rubbing herself against me? It’s definitely not good!
Although I could swear that I had no feelings towards her, but her fingers….
Megumi’s slender arms hugged around my neck, then she leaned toward my earlobe and blew into it.
“Onii ~ san…”
Then she turned to my chest and whispered in a bewitching voice
“Onii-san…have you kissed a girl before?”
*Bang bang! Thud thud thud!*
Instanly, above us came a sound, like whoever caused it wanted to crash through the ceiling.
“… … … …”
“… … … …”
Both me and Megumi turned our heads above without saying anything.
” —– Pffffffffff”
Megumi burst into laughter.
*Bang! Thud thud! Clang clang!*
Sagiri sounded pissed. Just now…that sound…..
Megumi. Sagiri — what exactly do you two want me to do?
While I was trying to understand the situation…
Megumi took the cellphone that still connected to Sagiri in my chest pocket.
“I will take it ~ ♪”
Then as quick as a rabbit, she separated herself from me. Bringing the phone to her ear, she said:
“Izumi-chan, please to meet you! My name is Megumi ~”
“Hey, give it back!”
I hastily raised my hand — but Megumi easily escaped.
“Oh, not good not good.”
She slowly took a few steps away from me, then turned her back to me and started doing something suspicious.
“Hey! You! What are you doing?”
I walked toward Megumi, but she calmly turned back to me.
“Nothing nothing~ nothing at all.”
Then she threw the phone back.
“Here. But she hung up.”
I caught it and said:
“…What did you just do?”
“Who knows ~ what did I just do? Ahahahaha.”
What an annoying laughter.
Megumi hid her hands from me and just laughed it off.
This girl…definitely had some evil plans.
Still, now is not the time to worry about her.
“I’m a bit worried. I’ll go take a look.”
“Ah, Izumi-chan is fine. She didn’t get hurt or anything. Compared to that —”
Suddenly, Megumi’s tone became serious.
“Onii-san, can I ask you something? About Izumi-chan.”
As if I care! I’m worried about my little sister – I have to go check on her —- I really was going to say that.
Yet the next word came from my mouth was:
“What is Izumi-chan like? I have never seen her picture before.”
“Sorry. Actually, even I don’t have any pictures of Sagiri.”
Of course, there should be some among Mom’s stuff. But I felt that I shouldn’t touch them.
“What is Sagiri like huh…. about that —”
I gave her a straightforward answer:
“Firstly, she is extremely beautiful and cute.”
Both me and Megumi looked above again. Sagiri…is making a fuss again.
However this time, it was different from the ‘meal time’ alert. This was the first time I heard this sound.
“Hoho… extremely beautiful and cute….Got it.”
“Well, although at first glance she doesn’t look like anything special, she has a delicate appearance that makes people hesitate to touch her. She has a feeling of a calm and charming girl — however, as soon as you speak with her, she will show a soft and gentle expression. Maybe I was born just to see her smile.”
*Crank Crank *
Another sound came from the ceiling, while Megumi was totally stunned.
No good. I just said something so disgusting…actually, it sounded like a love letter…She might think of me as a siscon. Oh well, it’s fine since Sagiri didn’t hear that.
“So ~ it’s like that ~ hehehehe…..”
“What are you laughing at?”
“Nothing! Phffff…then — then what next?”
“Next huh?…Well…her illustrations are very good.”
She is a professional illustrator after all. But I don’t need to tell Megumi that.
“Oh ~ so Izumi-chan can draw too. By the way, what kind of illustration is it?”
“She is best at Ero-illustrations.”
We looked above again…what is with this girl?
“Yes, she is very good at drawing Ero-illustrations!”
*Bang bang bang bang*
“Could it be that Izumi-chan….is an ero-girl?”
I nodded heavily.
Bang! Damn…so noisy…Even cockroaches would be running now.
“There was a time when she was having trouble choosing a very daring underwear —”
Why should I tell you – her classmate about what kind of underwear that my little sister used?
Megumi patted her chest and relaxed:
“Haaaa? Really ~ you scared me ~ I thought that Izumi-san and Onii-san have some strange relationship.”
“Stop your unreasonable misunderstanding immediately. We just live together, how could a brother and his little sister fall in love with each other?”
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Nothing, nothing at all, don’t worry. Just, well, I feel, eh….”
What are you trying to say?
“Anyway, this is my last question. Can I?”
Megumi’s tone turned serious again. I also seriously replied:
“Onii-san, what do you want your little sister to do?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean….do you really want her to go to school?”
“Because today — simply put, Onii-san acted like you are trying to protect your little sister from my clutches”
Do I really want Sagiri to go to school? — hmmm….
“To tell the truth, I don’t really want to.”
“Ah, I knew it.”
“Ahh…All I want is to make my little sister come out of her room. She doesn’t have to go to school or anything.”
….In the end, my goal and Megumi’s are not the same.
“You meant…it’s fine even if she doesn’t go to school.”
“Of course, it’s better if she goes. But it’s meaningless to force her — I think that she still has a lot of time to think and decide for herself.”
“…But what about compulsory education? She will never have any friends if she stays at home.”
“Yes, you are right. But that’s what I think.”
This is something I could say only because I know of Eromanga-sensei’s true indentity. A while ago, I might not have said something like this.
Of course, going to school is better than studying at home.
“But, well, how should I say it….You go to school in order to get a good job in the future or to have fun, right? Beside, everyone goes to school too. It’s like you said, compulsory education.”
Even I, who in theory can just stay at home and write my novel, still go to school. If I don’t, it’d be very rude to the one who paid for my tuition fees. So I still go to school.
“…..’You can’t not go to school’–that’s common sense now, so normally no one thinks so hard about it. So I can’t really explain it.”
I just think….
“However, there are people who don’t have fun at school, or who take jobs which don’t require going to school… in short, people whose happiness isn’t related to whether they go to school or not.”
There are many people in the world, and many perspectives.
Just like me – a novelist. Some might say that my life is boring.
“And there are people who don’t got to school, but still try their best everyday, enjoy everyday as much as possible for their future.”
“Is Izumi-chan like that?”
I nodded…It should be fine telling her this much…
“Sagiri….at first, I worried about what she did in her room everyday… I then found out that she tricked me and did something amazing.”
“Yes. Very amazing. More amazing than going to school.”
“Sorry, I can’t tell you that…however.”
“……I don’t want Sagiri to hear what I’m about to say. Can you help me keep this a secret?”
“Okay. I swear that I will not repeat it to anyone.”
Megumi seriously accepted my request. Her expression told me that she didn’t lie.
I nodded and told her my true feelings.
“A while ago, I was thinking about making money and living independently …that I would have to support my hikikomori little sister.”
“You are amazing.”
“But it turned out that I was thinking too much. Because she is much better than me.”
Maybe her income is higher than mine.
“…Just now, you said ‘she’d never make any friends if she stayed at home’, ‘without friends, a computer and internet is meaningless’.”
“Yes I did say so. Is something wrong?”
“Here…just a ‘what if situation’…. If you die, how many people do you think will cry for you?”
“Hm ~ let me think for a second.”
Megumi thought for a while then answered:
“500? Around that number.”
Wow! Megumi-san…that is….wow…..
“Okay, so…500…cough cough.”
I coughed a few times and said:
“Sagiri might have more than that.”
Megumi’s eyes snapped wide open.
“Wow? What did you say?”
“Exactly what I said. Her friends who will cry for her — although I’m not sure if they count as friends, but many count her as someone important. The industry that I’m a part of is one of them.”
“Yeah, then you are one of them too. How is that? Isn’t my little sister amazing?”
I raised my chest and proudly said:
“Even if she doesn’t go to school, even if she doesn’t come out of her room, she is my proud little sister. She is amazing. It’s my honor to be her brother. I still don’t want to lose like that, so I want her to acknowledge me…Thus, even if I hope that someday she will go to school — until now, I never considered forcing her to go.”
That was all I had to say.
Megumi slowly nodded.
“I see. That was what Onii-san thought about Izumi-chan.”
Was it my imagination? It felt like she was talking to someone else.
“Yes. As promised, keep it a secret for me.”
“I understand. I will not repeat it to anyone. If I broke that promise, I would turn a blind eye if you did ero stuff with your family member.”
“What a brat.”
I smiled wryly.
Looks like we can communicate now.
“Then I’m going back.”
“Thank you for today.”
“It’s nothing — I will come back again. I will think of someway to make Izumi-chan go to school.”
“….I don’t think you will succeed anytime soon, but I’ll wait.”
I gave her my answer. Megumi also laughed “Ahahaha”
Then she took her cellphone out.
“Let’s exchange numbers. As proof of our alliance ♪”
Making Izumi-chan come out huh —-
Megumi swung her cellphone back and forth, and said:
“Ehehehe ~ see you later, Onii-san.”
“Good. See you later, Megumi.”
*Bang*. The ceiling shook again.
After Megumi went back, I returned to the second floor to check on my little sister, but she totally ignored me. Even if I called her number, she didn’t pick up.
….Back then, what did Megumi tell her? Why did she hit the floor again? Why did that sound so loud?….I’ve got a lot of questions for her.
“………..But she didn’t respond.”
Although I’m used to it, I still got a bit angry.
“Can’t be helped then.”
Following my plan, I went outside after taking a bath.
To write a novel, each writer has their own way to draw inspiration. Mine is to take a bath. Let the hot water cover my entire body except the head, then begin brainstorming. As a result, I normally get a lot of good ideas.
If possible, I would like to take a bath as many times as possible everyday.
But that would be a waste of water, so I only bathe once per day.
When I thought about it, after I go out Sagiri might take a bath too, so I need to bathe first. Aside from my job, there was something important that I have to think about.
“My little sister is my illustrator.”
I muttered to myself.
“Until now, I had no chance to contact my hikikomori little sister. No chance to beg her to come out. No chance to improve our relationship. But….”
“But now…it’s not the same.”
A chance for me to contact my hikikomori little sister. A chance to improve my relationship with Sagiri.
Because she is my co-worker.
“….I will do it.”
So simple, that didn’t need to be spoken out.
— Write a good novel.
The truth is, 90% of a writer’s problem could be solved by that.
Q : I want to live independently, but I’m still a student. What should I do?
A : Write a novel.
Q : My old mental scar hurt, it didn’t heal. What should I do?
A : Write a novel.
Q : My job is not going well, what should I do?
A : Write a novel.
Q : I have no money left in my card. My future doesn’t look too bright. What should I do?
A : Write a novel.
Q : What should I do to improve my relationship with my little sister?
A : Hurry up and go write a novel!!!
To live in independence. To earn money. No matter what, I will have to write a good novel. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
I unconsciously switched my thinking back to work.
“First…let’s check on with Kagurazaka-san.”
I let myself sink into the bathtub and caused water to overflow outside.
On our previous meeting, my editor didn’t look at my manuscript. So for now I could only come up with shallow ideas.
Soon, Kagurazaka-san will contact me. She will tell me which one will be used, or if both will be rejected. After three years of writing, I’m still afraid of that ‘waiting time’.
It was the same when I was a newbie, when I waited for my reward.
I was lucky that my editor is the type who is quick on giving me a reply, compared to the type who will take three or four months to read a manuscript. Just thinking about it scared me. Hopefully, it’s just an exaggerated rumor.
The answer to the question: what would a writer do when waiting for the results – simply put, it’s different for each case. For example, one could try another work. Or take part in selling his own work. Or do some paperwork. Or trying to think of a new idea.
When I was a newbie, there was a time that I was busy writing. However, I now had no urgent matters to take care of, no one came to demand money, nothing like ‘you will die if you stop working’. Thus I could relax and search for new ideas.
So just in case all of my manuscripts are shot down, I could immediately continue.
That’s why first things first, I need to prepare a new manuscript.
In our previous meeting, Kagurazaka-san scolded me, saying ‘are you going to give me new manuscript each week?’. Actually, that was exactly what I planned to do.
“….Today I’m not in my best shape.”
No matter how hard I tried, nothing good came up.
I always carelessly thought back to ‘something else’, getting myself distracted.
[ — Onii-san’s newest work! You have to make it good! Make people cry after reading!]
[ — This republishing is worth celebrating! Onii-san, be sure to use more of my illustrations this time!]
[ — Ah! It is going to be made into an anime, Onii-san!]
[ — Look! The character that I drew is moving on the TV]
[ — Meow meow ~! Onii-san! I like you the most ❤❤ *kiss kiss*]
I jumped out of the bathtub.
“Damn damn damn damn! I have to think of something good, fast!!!!!”
But I can’t think of anything!
Even though my mind was so clear, I didn’t have any way to improve my work. So I could only go to the bookstore.
The best way to think of something good is to take a bath.
And the second best way —
Is to read a good book!
After taking a bath, I changed my clothes and walked towards the bus station.
My destination was Takasago bookstore.
“Alright. Here I am.”
I just came here not that long ago, so there was nothing I especially wanted to buy. Still, it was my habit to come here almost every day.
Without any intention to come, my legs automatically carried me here. Is there anyone who could understand this feeling?
“What the? There is no good book at all.”
I slowly take a walk in the Takasago bookstore. This place had a lot of novels and manga, totally on the same level with any anime only store. Not only that, the counter also sold various handmade accessories. Tomoe even made her own ‘plain show’ recommendation list.
By the way, ‘plain show’ meant that they placed the book by showing the cover on the shelf. Although that wasted a lot of space, but it made the customer more likely to buy it.
Looked like that was one of this store’s secret skills.
“Hm ~ how about this then?”
I leaned toward the book that Tomoe just told me. Not only could she pinpoint ‘currently famous books’, she could also show some ‘I don’t know why, but this book is good too’ types. This was always a big help for me.
About the ‘currently famous books’, I only told her ‘I know’ or ‘I already read them’. It was the same for famous anime shows.
“As expected of Tomoe… all of them are books that I haven’t read.”
I looked at the mountain of good books as if they were a mountain of treasure.
That was one of the good things about personally going to the bookstore.
The counter’s opinions were all very valuable to me.
Everyone who loves books also has their favorite bookstore.
And for a writer like me, there was one more thing I could check —-
“….Are my books selling well?”
No matter how much I fear the answer, I still go check the result.
Based on the sorting order, I started searching for Izumi Masamune’s ”The Silver Wolf’s Reincarnation’. Then, I found all of them neatly arranged. None of my older works are here.
“All of them are here…that meant….”
I paled a bit. The last time I checked, all of them were already like that. In other words….
…..Did they just restock them? It’s not like no one buys them, right?
Of course, I had no way to know.
By the way….to see my books scattered on the shelves, unable to find a full volume is the easiest case to understand, the case that made me happiest.
If I couldn’t find a single book of mine, then I will have to worry if they are sold with a discount.
With a poker face, I took my book from that shelf and placed them next to books that are already being made into anime.
“You have already sold good enough. How about letting me use this spot.”
Placing them here meant that they were at the most eye-catching place. This was something only a famous author or a new author could enjoy.
“….Hm hm, my book is now conspicuous.”
When I was muttering to myself.
A quite *thud*. Something hit me on the back of my head.
“What are you doing?”
Turning back, I saw Tomoe wearing an apron, looking at me. Her lips were slightly pursed, a feather duster lightly tapping her shoulder.
Seeing the angry staff, I answered:
“Nothing at all…I…I’m doing author-personal-promotion-activities.”
“Fine fine. You are impeding our business. Return them to where they were ~”
*Tap tap tap*
Tomoe used her feather duster to flick my head.
“I know I know. Stop. Hey, at least put your friend’s book on the recommended list.”
My book only had less than a month on this list before they were moved to the shelves. I have to think of something to deal with it.
“I can’t do that. Now that place belongs to books with Yamada Elf sensei’s signature. There is no place for your book.”
“Signature? I could sign my book too!”
Although my writing is horrible.
Hearing my proposal, the staff blankly looked at me and said:
“Stop. If you do that, we won’t be able to return them.”
What a cold tone.
….She is tough.
Tomoe pat me with her feather duster again.
“Hehe ~ if you wanted me to move your book into the recommended list, write something that can move the reader.”
“Damn it! Just you wait! Soon, I will make you kneel and beg for Izumi-sensei’s signature!”
I bluffed, then said:
“However, before that, bookstore staff-san, please give me a book with a signature of Yamaza Elf-sensei.”
“Of course ~”
After I get home, I immediately took them out and read.
Bestselling author – Yamada Elf-sensei’s love story is really good.
The main character was summoned to a world similar to an online game. Since he was the strongest player in game, he was used to acting that way! The first thing he did is get a new girl. It won’t be too far to call it the best light novel right now.
Although I hate to admit it, but I was still many levels behind him. If I said that I wanted to be his rival, it would be nothing more than a joke. I will keep this novel as a family heirloom, forever treasure it.
But I still can’t think of any good ideas, damn it!
That day, when I came back from the Takasago bookstore, I received a message —
[All of them are shot down]
A message from my cold heartless phone.
“All, all of them? You said all of them?”
[Yes, all of them.]
It wasn’t like I didn’t expect it, but I was still shocked.
If I have to explain it in a way that is easier to understand —
It would be like [You won’t get a salary this month]. A slow editor would be like [You won’t get salary for the next three months] or [You won’t get salary for the next six months]. Worse, it could be [Fine fine, you don’t have to come here anymore.]
The adult world is so scary.
Since a writer is like a freelancer, if they failed to write in a long period of time, it becomes very easy to turn into an unlimited overtime with no rest, then having no income before being trapped in a crisis.
It was very easy to die.
A year ago, I was like that too.
As a student, I thought that even if I had no income, I wouldn’t die. But since I wanted to become independent, ‘money’ is something that absolutely can’t be ignored.
[Both of them are bad. Today is Saturday. Bring me something new next Monday.]
Such harsh words came from my editor. Even after three years, it still hurt me a lot.
It’s not a joking matter. I wanted to cry already. It felt like someone is scraping my heart with a razor blade.
To me, this sounded like she was saying ‘you are too stupid. Fail.’
Maybe you guys won’t be able to understand…
…Fine. If she told me to die six more times then I will kill her. I will definitely kill her.
That dark thought slowly wrapped around my heart.
Do you understand? You foolish editor. You must not carelessly tell a writer to die like that.
“Ah ~ damn! Damn it! May it rain meteors and crush that god forsaken publisher! I would be very happy to be rid of it!”
Meteor! Earthquake! Still cursing, I threw my phone on the bed.
“Fine! I will write something good enough to make you lick my boot!”
I sat down at the table, opened my A4-size notebook, took the HB pen and started writing. Although just now, she meant that I need a proposal or outline, but I planned to give her a complete manuscript.
So, two days later….
In front of the computer, I straightened my back.
After that, I furiously typed nonstop. Now, I had a complete manuscript.
It felt good. But in the end, I didn’t know if this child of mine will survive or not. Now, my head hurt so much. Massaging my temple, I looked outside the window.
The sun was illuminating through the gap in the curtain. Very bright. The sound of birds chirping – unfortunately it only unsettled me.
I put the manuscript in the mail and sent it to my editor.
Quickly, I got a reply — [Thank you for your hard work. Let’s meet again at 6:00 pm.]
“….Auto reply huh.”
She’s only fast at this. I just sent this e-mail less than a minute ago.
“Now…first is breakfast…then school…then meeting….yeah….”
I opened my To-do-list on the cellphone and input today’s schedule.
Mustering my mood, I stood up.
A new day has begun.
I began with my usual housework.
First, I brought a meal to my little sister’s room.
Unlike before, now I knew my little sister’s real identity. Sagiri was probably drawing. And if I had to guess, it would be an illustration of a cute girl. Maybe erotic too.
Just imagine if you guys lived together with Ito Noizi-sensei. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noizi_Ito : H-game artist, illustrator of Shana and Haruhi novel.)
What do you think? Excited? Did your heart race?
I’m very troubled. Just place yourself in my shoes for a second.
“Well, this is….”
There was a note for me in front of my little sister’s room.
That was from Sagiri to me.
When my hikikomori little sister wanted to communicate with me, aside from hitting the ceiling, she would use something like this. Most of the time she told me to ‘buy something for me’.
Today was the same. She wrote ‘restock desert’.
“Okay, got it.”
I picked up the note and put it in my pocket.
The headache from before had completely disappeared.
After school, as planned, I visited my editorial department. I took the elevator to the ninth floor. As soon as the door opened….
A sound of argument came.
From inside the elevator, I could see Kagurazaka-san was debating something with a blonde girl.
“I told you that is not something I can decide on my own.”
“Then let me!”
What a noisy girl.
Since my meeting with Megumi, I knew that it’s very hard to guess a girl’s age based on her appearance. But at first look, she was probably around the same as Sagiri.
Of course, I had no interest in a girl who is younger than me. Please don’t have any strange misunderstandings…Anyway, she was a very beautiful girl. She wore pink and white Lolita clothing. Pure white skin, long blonde hair. And somehow her ears looked pointy.
Her actions looked very exaggerated and magnified.
In front of her, Kagurazaka-san was almost the same. She looked like the representation of a filthy adult, with both hands folded in front of her chest and looking down on that girl.
“You said it’s your freedom to do whatever you pleased huh? Do you think that I will do something for the benefit of another company?”
“……Hm hm, you still don’t understand human language! Ah, can’t be helped…Then I will give your department my next book, how about it?”
“Oh! Allow me to decline!”
“What? Did I mishear you? Me – the one at the top of the popular novelist list, the most beautiful female light novel author, just allowed you to publish my book. That was too much of an opportunity.”
This girl surely liked to praise herself.
“Ha ~ Please just go back already — ah!”
Kagurazaka-san noticed me who was watching.
“Izumi-sensei! Sorry for keeping you waiting.”
She happily called to me.
“Alright! Come here come here! Don’t just hide ~ come here!”
…She clearly wanted to use me as an excuse to chase this brat away.
Still, even if I knew that, it’s not like I had another choice.
“I’m still talking, so don’t interrupt me.”
The blonde girl arrogantly told me.
“Even if you say that….”
After being called like that, I can’t not go in.
I glared at the culprit, Kagurazaka-san.
“…What is going on?”
“By the way, who is this guy?”
Both me and the blonde girl asked Kagurazaka-san at the same time. She didn’t answer my question, just pointed her hands at both of us and said:
“He is Izumi Masamune-sensei. And this is Yamada Elf-sensei.”
Both me and the blonde girl shouted in shock and pointed at each other:
“He is Izumi Masamune!?”
“She is Yamada Elf-sensei? The best-selling author?”
Yamada Elf-sensei, also known as ‘Fulldrive library’ had a different style compared to mine. A few days ago I even bought some of her books.
Recently, her books were put on the ‘going to be made into an anime’ list, so her name was quite famous….Still…
“I never thought that she was such a small girl.”
Based on the harem-based novel and hint of ero style, I thought that the author would be a disgusting guy.
“You had no right to say that. Ha ~ I never thought that there was such a young author aside from me.”
“Although our Ace is a bit younger — anyway, well, there is….”
I carefully looked at her from top to bottom, then my eyes locked on her pointy ears, said:
“Of course not!”
Well, I also understand that myself, but her pure white skin made her really looked like an elf.
“Ahaha, since I’m so beautiful, it’s understandable that you would mistake me for an elf. Just like from ‘The Lord of the Rings’, don’t you think so?”
“I know, right! Hm hm, good talking.”
Although I couldn’t say it out, I got the feeling that she was like a character from an abuse-type eroge.
“Then…Yamada Elf-sensei, why are you here?”
In some way, this place is like enemy-territory to her.
“Hahahaha, you finally asked the right thing.”
Hearing me say that, Elf made a manga-like, attention-catching pose then said:
“For my next book, I want Eromanga-sensei to help draw the illustration!”
…Just now, what did she say?
“Hahahaha, Eromanga-sensei is my favorite illustrator! To be able to draw an ero illustration like this, he is the first one! As expected of someone with that disgusting pen name!”
Sure enough, she misunderstood it as a disgusting pen name. Even Sagiri herself said that she created that pen name from Eromanga island. (Of course, I had no way to confirm this).
“Normally, I won’t add ‘sensei’ to the end of any illustrator’s name just because of politeness. But to express my highest respect for Eromanga-sensei, he is an exception! Ero-god —- I want to chant his name, worship him like that!”
If you did that, you would receive a controller to the face.
“Right now, although my current beautiful and genius illustrator Army-chan could draw naked illustrations that make people excited — she isn’t as good as Eromanga-sensei! I was totally captured by his illustrations! You can say that I love him! Although based on the pen name, he must be a disgusting man — but no matter what, even if he is a big fat pig…or a beast man its still fine!”
….Eromanga-sensei, your image in other people’s eyes couldn’t get any worse.
*Whoops*. Elf coolly swung her right hand aside:
“I have to meet him, ask him to draw the best illustrations in the world! Together with my writing talent, it’d be an awesome combination! We could make the ultimate light novel!”
She was getting carried away, but after listening to her I couldn’t help but find my emotions rising up.
“Hm hm…Izumi Masamune. Looks like after listening to my amazing plan, you are speechless.”
Maybe? Honestly, even I wanted to read that ‘Ultimate light novel’ of yours.
But even without thinking too hard, I could understand that this is definitely not good for me.
” — That’s why I’m asking this department to give Eromanga-sensei a message for me. But he didn’t respond any of them! This is my first request here! How could it be! It must be — Izumi Masamune! Eromanga-sensei is busy with your work right!”
Hearing that, I breathed a sigh of relief.
“That’s why, in order to get Eromanga-sensei’s great illustration for Yamada Elf, you have to help me convince him!”
You damn brat!
I glared at Kagurazaka-san.
My editor looked like she wanted to say ‘Can’t be helped’ before shrugging, said:
“Yamada-sensei. I have a prior appointment for his next novel, can you please go back now?”
“Appointment for a novel? What a small task!”
Small task my ass you damn Elf! Get lost to your eroge world, to your ero-beast man!
However, I was still concerned about her intentions.
“You said you wanted Eromanga-sensei to be your illustrator?”
“That’s right! Compared to working with a lowly novelist like you, cooperating with a super famous author like me is much better!”
Saying that, Elf thrust her finger at me, thus I backed off a bit.
Yes. It’s exactly like you said —! Such a thought suddenly emerged inside my heart!
Elf looked very happy, she continued:
“Look look! You think so too right! You agreed that compared to someone like you, whose novel couldn’t get to the top list nor become famous, working with the best author is better for Eromanga-sensei!”
“You just said that yourself! Even if your novel sold better…”
“Sales are justice! No matter how much you complain, they are just dogs barking!”
Bang bang! All of her words are decisive!
“Kuh….you…remember me! Next time if I see your book at the bookstore….if….”
“Hm hm! What would you do then?”
“I will put my book on top of yours!”
“Stop! My books will get dirty! You are the worst!”
At this time, my editor interrupted. She said in a small voice:
“I called you here to chase Yamada-sensei away, can you please stop having a pleasant chat with her?”
Do I look like I’m having a pleasant chat?
“Yamada-sensei, I told you before, you can do whatever you want. Because accepting your invitation or not lies only with Eromanga-sensei.”
“Don’t want to. Didn’t I tell you? There is nothing my editor could do to help me anymore! They outright couldn’t contact him! Truthfully, working with me would be good for you too, so hurry up and help me!”
“Pff ~ yeah yeah ~”
Kagurazaka-san gave her a perfunctory smile.
“What is with your attitude! Who do you think is the bestselling author?”
“It’s just a coincidence that your novel sells better than anyone else’s.”
“What did you say!? Take that back you stupid editor! Hurry up and kneel before my writing!”
“…Haha…Yamada-sensei’s novel….wasn’t its illustration looked down on in the internet?”
“Of course not! I wrote like that to make it easier for the reader! Really, you understand nothing! What a useless editor! Hm, listen to me – listen well!”
Elf brushed her blonde hair and getting carried away again:
“A few years since the debut of the shooting star named Yamada Elf…all light novel authors, aside from me, became dirt! Then with my easy-to-understand style, I have created a new path for light novels!”
The way this girl speaks is too exaggerated!
Elf patted her chest, closed her eyes and enthusiastically said:
“…As someone chosen by God like myself, the task of saving this light novel industry, which was on the verge of self-destruction, is my noble task! In other words — I’m the savior of the light novel industry — no, not that!”
She opened her eyes.
“I am light novel!”
Hearing this line, at that instant I thought I heard a boom bang sound.
Faced with such a strong force, my anger was pushed back.
While Kagurazaka-san just blandly said:
“Light novel-chan, if you don’t hurry and go back, I will file a complaint with your editor.”
“You, you cunning woman! You dare!”
…So this girl is afraid of her editor too.
“Countdown start. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven….”
Seeing Elf like that and realizing that this method worked, Kagurazaka-san started a countdown, took out her cellphone out and pressed a few buttons.
Elf panicked and said:
“I, I will let you off this time! But make sure to convince him for me! I will allow you to publish my work!”
Leaving cowardly words behind, the “savior of the light novel industry”, Yamada Elf-sensei left. Really, she is like a whirlwind. But I have to make it clear that not all authors or editors are like these two, so don’t misunderstand.
Kagurazaka-san made a ‘go away’ hand wave then turned to me:
“It’s getting troubling.”
“What…what are you saying?”
“Are you still not clear? Just now, didn’t sensei hear what she said?”
Compare to my novel which could hardly sell, for Eromanga-sensei – Sagiri, it’s better to cooperate with a best-selling author.
With each new book she would get a steady stream of work…with luck, they could be made into an anime. The chances are quite high if that ultimate light novel becomes real.
Although Sagiri didn’t reply, but thinking about it, it’s not a bad thing.
Besides, Eromanga-sensei’s speed wasn’t fast enough to work as an illustrator for two novels at the same time.
If this is the case…then…then….
“Ahhhh ~~ damn it! Wasn’t it clear already!”
This time — my motivation was completely annihilated.
“Sagiri ~~! Sagiri ~~!”
*Bang bang bang bang bang bang!*
As soon as I get home, I rushed to the second floor.
Facing the ‘never opened door’, I shouted:
“I will try harder! I will write something better than her! So…so…!”
“Please don’t abandon meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I tearfully declared.
Hearing this, what would my little sister think?
Of course, I had no way to know.
Even if I shouted at the top of my lungs, the ‘never opened door’ won’t open. The last time it opened was a once in a while event.
The relationship between me and my little sister remained unchanged.
I laughed at myself before turning to leave.
” ~~ Ack!”
Suddenly, the door swung open and hit me in the forehead. Stars appeared in my vision! Putting a hand on the impact point, taking a deep breath, I tried to look up.
“…..What are you talking about?”
In front of me was my little sister, a confused expression on her face.
Why did you open it? I thought …it was outside of my imagination. Maybe I was also having a stupid expression.
“I’m asking you a question.”
Sagiri said in an emotionless tone.
Because I didn’t say anything, she continued:
“……….Don’t abandon me and like…what are you talking about? You got a nightmare?”
Since this was the first time I heard my little sister’s gentle voice, I was unable to say anything.
“No, nothing like that.”
Just now, my declaration is on my side only.
Now that she was right in front of me, there is no way I could say something so embarrassing like ‘I will definitely not give you to her!’
“Nothing at all! Forget about it!”
I wiped my tear away.
“About, about that.. you…why?”
“What? …why what?”
“Why did you open the door?”
Compared to before, no matter what I said, she wouldn’t open —
Sagiri smiled. She had ‘hearing-you-say-that-I-had-to-act-immediately’ expression. Her face reddened slightly.
I repeated my question:
She looked away, fixing her pajamas. Looked like it was her habit when she is in a hurry.
We stayed silent for a moment.
“I don’t know…..”
“This is important!”
She never opened it until now, yet why today?
The truth is, until a few days ago, the ‘never opened door’ didn’t open for me once. Something must have happened between ‘that time’ and ‘right now’.
Our relationship clearly didn’t change a bit.
“I just…don’t know.”
“Can you please speak louder?”
“Tch, nothing. You, you didn’t ….”
You didn’t answer my question too, right?
Maybe that was what Sagiri wanted to say. Because of our sudden discomfort, we both were unable to communicate properly.
“That was a hard question…If I answered you, what would you say?”
“…I won’t tell you. Because I don’t know.”
It isn’t good. We couldn’t make any progress like this.
“…Fine. You are right.”
Although I didn’t know why, but the ‘never opened door’ had opened once more.
This was a big improvement. Although I was curious about the reason, but …
I calmed myself down. Sagiri whispered:
“……….Onii-san….about…that girl…did she tell you anything?”
“That girl? You mean Megumi?”
Why did you suddenly mention her?
“What exactly are you talking about? What would she tell me?”
“….Tch, nothing at all.”
But hearing me say that, Sagiri looked obviously relieved.
Like she wanted to prevent me from asking, she quickly continued:
“Oh right! What about my dessert?”
“Dessert?…The one you mentioned in that note?”
“…Um, right…Just now, I opened the door because of that…there is no other reason.”
Did Sagiri’s look forward to dessert this much? Enough for her to open that door? I don’t think that’s the case.
Still, there is no way I could break my promise with my little sister.
“Here, I bought it.”
I showed her my bag.
This time, I bought candy and snacks. I had specially chosen the best type. It was so good that even I wanted to eat them all myself.
Sagiri looked at the plastic bag —
Her brow wrinkled slightly, a very subtle expression on her face.
“What’s wrong, Sagiri?”
“………It’s a rare chance for me to talk with Onii-san anyway…Don’t you think that it’s strange for you to pick only the type that could be left in front of a statue (In Eastern Asia, it’s common to leave offering in front of a statue)? Don’t just buy this type anymore.”
“If you say so, how about you go buy them yourself?”
In the end, I lectured Sagiri.
After that, the ‘never opened door’ opened for me more often.