== Chapter 5==
Finally, today is May 31st
The end of the month –the deadline for both my manuscript and Elf’s.
With a brown sealed packet kept under my armpit, I stood in front of the Crystal Palace. Faced with the incoming showdown, the nervous feeling and fear gave me goose bumps.
It wasn’t like I had no confidence. I had picked a hard topic – the topic that I was destined to write, a topic that I wrote while I was at my maximum motivation. Now, my heart was full of an unprecedented sense of fulfillment.
Even I felt that this work is awesome. But despite that, my feet were trembling.
To be satisfied with one’s own work is normal. Everyone would be the same. Just like everyone treats their child like a prodigy.
Although I felt that I did good – but without giving it to someone else to read, I couldn’t be sure if others would agree with me.
Even if I was okay with it, the reader might not.
So, I was still scared. Very scared. My stomach felt like it’s about to burst.
That feeling of anxiety and fear would slowly disappear after many readers gave me their positive opinion. Like ‘very good’ – that review would boost my confidence.
The three years since my debut…I had written a countless number of words; many people read them and gave me their opinions. Because of that, I managed to find the feeling ‘if I write it like that, people will like it’.
Thankfully, I was able to find readers that found my stories good.
At the autograph event not long ago – I was so happy. Their feelings moved me so much.
But this time, I wrote something completely different from before.
Unlike my previous way of writing, I had written it while evading many obstacles.
And then —
Now, aside from myself, I didn’t know if there was anyone who would like it.
But to keep thinking about it is a waste of time. Until someone else reads it, I won’t be able to make sure.
Now, three years’ worth of confidence was meaningless. I was at a bit of loss, unsure what to do.
Just like about my little sister’s heart.
I muttered weakly to myself:
“Ah ~ really, so nostalgic.”
I couldn’t forget…the first time I came to a publisher. The first time I wrote a novel, the first time I uploaded it on the Internet – that kind of tension.
— Until ‘that person’ made the first comment, I was unable to sleep.
I tried to calm down. That person — a friend, or rather a savior.
Since we only communicated via Internet, I didn’t know that person’s face, real name or even gender. But from how mature that person talked, I guess he is a male, older than me.
I had spoken with him many times before about the novel I wrote. Talks about what scene was best, which characters we like – stuff like that. We often chatted about useless, random things like that for hours.
It was fun. That was one of the reasons I became a novelist.
Although now I had lost contact with him.
What was the last thing I told him?
Next time, I want to get the Amateur Competition Award… something like that.
Now…now wasn’t the time to be immersing in the past…
“Here I come.”
Shoving my worry aside, I took a step forward.
“Let’s have a showdown!”
I rang the doorbell.
No one answered. Normally, I would only have to wait for about five seconds before ‘Show your identification’.
She wasn’t home? No, it can’t be. I had reminded her many times that ‘I will come here at 5:00 pm, May 31st ‘, ‘This is when we have a showdown’. Yesterday, I even told her ‘It’s tomorrow’. She even confirmed it.
“..Could it be…she couldn’t finish her manuscript and ran away…?”
….This is possible. Yesterday, as usual, Yamada Elf still played with me and still hadn’t written anything. She couldn’t finish a manuscript in just one day.
Elf’s manuscript wasn’t finished in time – that must be it. That’s why Elf ran away – maybe?
“That is impossible.”
I rejected my own speculation.
After she decided on the showdown with me, Yamada Elf was always….full of confidence, always showed a ‘Winning against you is just a piece of cake’ kind of attitude. I can’t believe that she was just trying to show off.
Besides, her record is the real deal. The best-selling author who had held a record of four volumes each year.
In other words, she had never run away.
She wasn’t the type who gave a deadline to scare away newcomers.
And because of that good reputation, even now I still had trouble believing that the lazy girl who played Monster Hunter every day and the novelist Yamada Elf were the same person.
Although based on what I saw, it’s impossible for her to finish her manuscript, but based on her history, I knew that she wouldn’t leave it unfinished. Running away is unlikely too. But she still didn’t come out….
The situation was somewhat hard to understand.
“……………She didn’t ….die inside, did she?”
…This can’t be. This simply cannot be. But…
While still unable to think of any other explanation, I entered the Crystal Palace.
“Is there anyone home?”
I opened the front door and shouted, but no one answered.
In front of me was the dark Western style corridor and total silence.
I shouted toward the second floor again, but still no response.
Yamada’s household really had turned into a haunted house.
…..One minute. Two minutes. I tried something else:
“Is Yamada Elf-sensei home?”
“Sorry for intruding.”
Since no answer came, I decided to take a look at her workshop. This can’t be helped, because the situation was clearly not normal.
I carefully climbed the stairs and arrived at Elf’s workshop.
There was a faint pressure coming from that door…yeah, a bit like ‘The never opened door’.
I swallowed and grabbed the handle.
*Crankkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk*. With a sound that came straight from a horror film, I opened the door.
Then I heard a very familiar sound. Tap tap tap tap
This was the sound of keyboard typing.
I stopped myself from finish that word. Inside her workshop, Elf was sitting in front of her computer. I could see her cheek from this angle.
On her face, there was a serious expression that I had never seen before.
She looked like she was possessed by a spirit. Her attention was focused solely on the screen, her hands typed furiously.
The image of the lazy idiot novelist who kept laughing all the time yesterday had completely disappeared.
The image of a lone player playing Monster Hunter was gone too.
Just like I imagined, Yamada Elf-sensei is so cool when working.
I glanced around the room…then swept my finger in the shelf.
There was a bit of dust in my finger. But I knew that the owner is the type who would never forget to clean somewhere.
However, this time, Elf heard my quite muttering. She started a bit and paused.
A sense of guilt filled my heart.
She turned toward me. Her beautiful eyes showed deep dark circles.
Now, she didn’t wear her Lolita clothing, instead just normal sportswear.
“…Ah, you have arrived…Right…today…is the 31st huh…Please wait in the living room.”
Her voice was hoarse, sounding like a granny.
“Did I interrupt you?”
She didn’t answer. Like she couldn’t hear me, she turned to her laptop again and kept typing.
I said nothing and tried my best to leave the room without a sound.
As she said, I waited at the living room. There, I sat on a cushion and began to think. Somehow, I felt a tense atmosphere everywhere inside the Crystal Palace.
…I never thought she had a side like this.
I didn’t expect that…well not really. The image of her so focused on working was the same as her readers – my image – of ‘Best-selling author, Yamada Elf-sensei’.
Since she looked like that, she will definitely complete a very good manuscript.
This should be a bad news for me, but I couldn’t help but smile happily.
Even if she is on the other side, I was still her fan.
About an hour later, Elf kicked the door opened and entered.
“Sorry to keep you waiting!”
In front of me were the fluffy white lolita clothes and an overconfident voice.
Looks like she’s totally recovered. What surprised me the most was that her black eyes had completely disappeared.
She held her laptop and a stack of paper in her hand.
Elf walked toward me and with a *thud*, she put the stack of paper on the table and said:
“This is my new novel!”
“What’s wrong, Izumi Masamune? You looked like you have seen something unbelievable.”
Although when I saw how focused she was when working, I felt that she could finish it in time.
But the more I thought about it, the harder it was for me to believe. She really finished it?
“You, you….just yesterday, you hadn’t written a single word, had you?”
“Yeah. So what?”
‘So what’… you guys understand what I’m trying to say right?
“You finished all of that…in just…one day?”
I unconsciously picked up Elf’s manuscript.
Heavy. This manuscript was printed on both sides. On the last page, I could see the number 130. Which means that it was about 260 pages long.
“One day…only twenty four hours….two hundred and sixty pages?”
Seeing how surprised I was, Elf laughed in triumph.
“No no…This is impossible! No matter how hard you tried, you can only write about two hundred pages per day!”
“Wait! What you just said is already hard to believe!… The upper limit should be around fifty pages.”
Really? Just that? On a normal day, when I still have to go to school and would only able to write at home during night, I could write more than that. Is she really a professional novelist? With such slow writing speed? Unless I write about a hundred pages per day, I won’t be able to escape Hell.
How fast was I when I was under the pressure of ‘we are going to decide it on the day after tomorrow, write something or die’?
Although my heart was full of questions, now wasn’t the time to voice them.
“Then it’s even stranger. You didn’t write anything until yesterday. How could you suddenly finish it today?”
“Hm hm ~”
Elf shook her index finger and taunted me:
“First, didn’t I tell you before — ‘Soon, you will see. When I defeat you.’
“You meant — ah!”
My unique skill is quite powerful. Although I couldn’t use it freely, but when I used that, my power could surpass your ‘fast writing’ skill
I thought that she was only joking, So I didn’t pay it any attention —-
“You…could it be that you….!”
“Ahahahahah — you noticed? Good insight, Izumi Masamune.”
Elf took the manuscript from my hand and raised it above her head.
“This is my ‘Greater Novelist’ special skill! B-class skill ‘Summon Darkness’ (完成原稿召喚【サモンダークネス】 The Kanji reads ”summon manuscript”, but the Katakana reads ”summon darkness” – See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furigana Furigana] for more info). – it allows me to summon a finished manuscript from the Netherrealm!”
I could only stare at her, my jaws hanging wide open.
No, it can’t be…How could such a fearsome skill exist?
“— You think I’d buy that!? You’re just speaking nonsense.”
“I, I’m not!”
“Liar! You typed furiously just a while ago!”
“That, that wasn’t this manuscript! That…yes! I was playing games! I was playing a game!”
The way Elf acted showed that I hit the bull’s-eye.
I looked at Elf with pitiful eyes.
“The heck is with that ‘Summon Darkness’? You are the type who doesn’t do summer homework until it’s nearly too late. Anyone could understand that you wrote it bit by bit while I wasn’t looking!”
“I did not ~~~~~~~. I really summoned it from the Netherrealmm~~~~~~”
Did she think that someone would buy that lie so easily?
Sometimes this happened – that kind of idiot novelist who always acts like ‘I had nothing to do’.
Don’t be like that. I’m really looking forward to your novel!
Seeing my ice-cold expression, Elf pouted:
“If you think I was lying, then go check my computer. You won’t be able to find any document file about this manuscript.”
Elf looked like she wanted to say ‘Hm hm, how was that’ and showed me her laptop.
“……..Wait a sec.”
Just now, what did she say? No document files about this manuscript? To prove that she indeed summoned it from the Netherrealm instead of writing it….
Is that what she meant? Could it be……
“You deleted it? You deleted your original manuscript? Because of something so trivial?”
“Ha? What are you talking about, idiot? I summoned my manuscript from the Netherrealm, there wasn’t any original manuscript.”
“Tch! You, what have you done!? Yamada Elf’s new novel is gone now! Do you know how valuable it was?”
Because of my shock, even my voice became strange.
“…I told you…I’m Yamada Elf….this manuscript here is enough.”
She rebuked me so easily….This stack of paper here is the only remaining manuscript….
“…You, what will you do when they ask you for the document? No publisher would accept you without a document file.”
“I don’t care. As long as I defeat you, I will leave the manuscript to my editor. They will take care of the rest.”
What a brat! And here I thought that ‘cute’ is a middle school student’s special attribute, but she was an exception.
That’s righttttttttttttttt! She wasn’t cute at all!
Still breathing hard due to her bad mood, Elf threw me her manuscript:
“Okay, the fun ends here. Let’s decide a winner, Izumi Masamune.”
Finally, it’s here. To be honest, I was very afraid —
But I didn’t let it showed on my face.
” — Here I come. Yamada Elf.”
I adjusted my breathing and faced my arch nemesis. Carefully, I took the three hundred pages manuscript from the sealed packet and gave it to her.
We exchanged our manuscripts.
Of course, now is the time to read them and voice our opinions.
We only need to do this once, since if we just needed a winner, I could give everything to Eromanga-sensei.
But I want to read it first. The manuscript that Yamada Elf-sensei summoned from the Netherrealm.
Even her editor hadn’t read it yet. A draft manuscript.
When she took my manuscript, Elf was probably thinking the same too.
In that case, I would be very happy, very honored.
“Ah — you don’t have a title for it yet?”
Elf sat down next to me.
“Ah, right. To tell the truth, I just finished it.”
This is the first time I spent half a month for a manuscript. It wasn’t like I couldn’t write — no, in contrast, I kept making edits while writing. The more I changed, the harder I wrote. I was — very happy.
“Hey, you, decide a name for this novel, otherwise I can’t accept it.”
The first page of Elf’s manuscript is the novel’s title.
There were two types of writers: ones who write something then based on its content, decides a name.
The others pick a good name first then write a book about it.
Elf is the second type, who wrote everything with a plan. While I was the first type, who just wrote whatever he could think of, I could feel that writing this way had low efficiency.
Elf’s book’s title was very decent, very shocking, and the most critical point was that it had a symbol of the heroine’s feeling inside.
From the first look, people could say that this would be a happy sexy novel.
Just from the title alone, I could imagine Eromanga-sensei’s super embarrassing illustration of a flat-chested heroine. As a product, as a novel to show off Eromanga-sensei’s skill, or as a weapon to beat me…it was an excellent title.
“If, by a one in a million chance that you beat me, I could write you a recommendation for your next novel. By the way ~ although it’s a secret, all of my recommended novels are on the way to being made into an anime.”
“………..This is amazing.”
“I know, right, right~”
Elf covered her left eye with her hand and made a pose like an anime heroine.
She closed her right eye, then somehow it seemed like her left eye started to shine:
“B-class skill God’s Eye — the ability to see through the nature of a novel.”
She sounded like she was saying that her insight was absolutely correct.
Well, although the way she talked is troublesome…but maybe she did indeed have that God’s Eye skill.
The truth is, B-class skills and higher that Elf spoke of weren’t nonsense, but real skill…And I only saw this truth a bit later.
Especially Elf’s God’s Eye that she showed earlier.
That was her special skill, which frankly had a lot of potential.
Because of that skill, not long after this, I was caught up in a desperate situation.
Elf still maintained her cool pose and tried to sound serious:
“Hahaha…with this fearsome skill, soon, one day the light novel industry will have an award named after me.”
“Fine fine, a very fearsome skill indeed. Your God’s Eye is amazing — this means that if I beat you, I would also qualify as a writer whose book is about to be made into an anime.”
“Ha – don’t you feel ashamed of yourself for saying that?”
We quarreled and taunted each other a bit. Elf said:
“Then…hurry and finish reading my masterpiece.”
“Let me see how your confidence holds up against me.”
I got a strange feeling. Couldn’t she see that reading each other’s manuscript…it was something very erotic? The same as looking at each other naked. I couldn’t help but think so.
The truth is, now my face was even hotter than the moment I saw Elf’s nude body.
— No no!
I shook my head — somehow, Elf shook her head too. Then we opened the manuscripts in our hands.
I slowly read it. Winning and losing soon lost its meaning to me. My racing heart beat faster and faster with my excited mood.
I couldn’t stop. My hand, my heart couldn’t stop.
Amazing! Simply amazing!
This is ….the true power of someone whose novel was made into an anime…! This is something that could later defeat me, yet I was drawn into it. I can’t help but like the cute heroine, can’t help but imagine her ero illustration drawn by Eromanga-sensei in my head —
With a grumbling smile, I turned toward my beautiful nemesis. That was when I suddenly realized.
She…wrote that light novel for her illustrator!
Just like cooking, a light novel’s words and its illustrations had a connection. As long as a light novel has illustrations, you can’t ignore one aspect.
There were many examples when someone decided to change their illustrator or that illustrator stopped working for a reason, the reader immediately noticed the difference. As a reader myself, I knew it very well.
Elf’s newest novel and Eromanga-sensei’s illustration is a natural born combo.
Story description, how it unfolds, character….everything was made based on the condition that Eromanga-sensei will act as its illustrator. All female characters were flat chested. All Eromanga-sensei’s favorite poses were used.
In short, it was very erotic.
Based on her character, she wouldn’t be able to write any other type of novel. But anything she wrote was a masterpiece.
A novel about transformable weapon battles.
A light novel written for Eromanga-sensei.
I gave her my sincere approval without knowing. When I realized that I said this, I looked up to see her reaction — but it seemed like Elf didn’t hear me.
She was totally focused on reading my manuscript — and her expression was full of terror.
Suddenly, her eyes widened, she gritted her teeth, liked she wanted to eat my manuscript.
While I was having a good time reading Yamada Elf-sensei’s manuscript, Elf was reading Izumi Masamune’s manuscript in anger.
I tried to get her attention, but Elf didn’t respond. She kept muttering to herself:
“This manuscript…is this real? Is this reality? Not a fictional story?”
Yup, totally true. Elf asked me while reading:
“Is this real? This is very important – please answer me.”
A very direct question.
…Why…do you look so angry?
Did I …write something that could cause this?
“Well, of course not everything is true…”
My manuscript didn’t tell the whole truth.
Elf’s breathing became heavy, her finger gripped the paper harder, she bit her lower lip.
Then without saying another word, she returned to reading my manuscript.
She was very serious. Despite that she still looked very afraid.
Her expression slowly changed — like she was enduring something. Then….
“What ~ the ~ heck!!!!!!!!!!!!”
She roared then suddenly began kicking. She swung my manuscript at the table, like she wanted to crush it. Then the low table was knocked down while she fell on the sofa.
She started rolling around — while still holding my manuscript.
Just like a child who enjoyed a game. She turned into this after reading my novel…that scared me.
How could I predict that my reader will have that reaction?
What is going on?
Turn a few pages. Roll around. Repeat.
Sometimes she banged her head against the floor. Sometime she yelled ‘Oh oh oh oh oh!’ or ‘Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!’, in short, a beast-like sound. Elf kept doing this for a while.
There was nothing I could do aside from looking at her from a distance.
Finally, looking like her endurance ran out, she stopped and looked at the ceiling.
She muttered. Then tears started flowing from her eyes.
“Wahhhhh…I can’t win…I can’t win like this…Wahhhhhhh”
Elf kept crying while repeating to herself that she couldn’t win.
….How was that? I felt that this time, my novel was very good; there wasn’t a problem with my confidence. But for it to beat Elf’s super well-written novel like this?
I couldn’t think of any answer, so I asked:
“…Is my manuscript…that good?”
“No! It’s not like that!”
I don’t get it. We are having a showdown right now. She said she couldn’t win, that meant Elf accepted defeat right? If I didn’t win too, then who won?
“You always give me a lecture about something! But you yourself are even crazier than me! You should have done that from the beginning! This…this…what kind of torture is this? Do you want to kill me?”
“….Was my writing so bad that it made you angry?”
“Like I said! It’s not like that.”
Elf stood up, her hand clenched and said:
“You are a dense idiot! You super pervert! You dare make me read something like this! Light novels that I wrote could sell a million times better than yours! But! This…we haven’t decided a winner yet! It’s the same as one side using a metal gamepad in a fighting game!”
Although she used a very vivid metaphor, I still failed to understand what she was saying.
“Hey…you…I totally don’t understand what you’re saying! Beside, this is my masterpiece, written by my soul, my ultimate light novel!”
I leaned forward, my face nearly touching Elf and answered.
“Ah ~ I knew it! I knew it just from reading! Although it pissed me off, but I can confirm this with you! What you have here, indeed it was born from your soul, from Izumi Masamune’s S-class skill, the ‘Ultimate light novel’.
“Then what’s your problem?”
“But this is not something that ‘many readers would enjoy’! About a novel, I think that the smaller the number of readers are, the more they could enjoy it. Then your novel is the ultimate light novel — because it, was born from your soul, was written for just one person only!”
There was nothing I could say. She was totally right.
“This is no longer a light novel. What you have here is…is…you….”
“Are you insulting me?”
She yelled before running out of the living room, toward the stairs.
I hastily followed her into her workshop and asked:
“What are you trying to say?”
“A ~ really! You are so dense ~ ”
Elf stopped for a second, before pointing her finger at my face:
“Like! I! Said! As a product, what you have here is full of crap! In this world, there are only two people who would be moved by this. Aside from me, the other is your little sister – Eromanga-sensei!”
What Elf just shouted in anger hit me like a lightning bolt.
That was outside of my expectations. I was stunned for a while before asked:
“…Why…How could you…know?”
“You meant that how could I know that your little sister is Eromanga-sensei?”
“Not just that. How could you know that I wrote this novel based on my little sister? I had changed a lot; aside from me, no one should be able to tell. Besides, in that novel, the little sister is not a hikikomori and I had never told you about my little sister – about Sagiri. So how could you –”
How could you tell?
“You didn’t tell me. But I knew. Just from reading that.”
Elf’s attitude was like she wanted to say ‘What? That trivial matter?’
After a moment of silence, Elf pointed at me:
“Ah…could it be that you thought you hid it very well? That I wouldn’t be able to see?”
She was acting like ‘It’s very clear to me’. But Elf soon realized her miss assumption and told me:
“Ah…ah… I see. Well, if this was a reader that doesn’t know you in person, or a reader that knows you in person but didn’t care about you then true, maybe they can’t tell. Yes, I take back what I said earlier. You hid it very well — but the moment I read it, your secret was exposed.”
“Yes. Exposed. What you wrote is equal to saying your little sister is Eromanga-sensei. So, I suggest you give up on the idea of publishing it.”
…For real…I thought I hid it very well..
Is this the power of God’s Eyes? For real…?
But when I voiced my thought, she replied “…I knew it, but not because of this skill”. At that time, I was still unable to understand Elf’s hidden meaning.
“…..That…I…I planned to give my little sister this novel after I finished….”
“Ah, that is fine. Your thought will be conveyed to her without any problems.”
Elf answered like it’s totally normal. On the verge of crying, I asked her:
“So…the secret was exposed?”
“….You still don’t understand your feelings?”
“I…did say that ‘I want to write something from my heart’ and ‘I want to write a light novel with my little sister as the heroine’. Is that a problem?”
“……………….Listen…if you said so, why did you think that your secret wouldn’t be exposed?”
I dropped my head and clenched my fist.
What an idiot I am! Idiot idiot idiot! I was carried away and left so many hints about Sagiri!
Thus, while Elf had accepted defeat, I still couldn’t give this to Sagiri!
In the novel I wrote, there was a very normal, ordinary high school student —
And he’s in love with his non-blood related little sister.
What was I thinking back then? How dare I write something so blatant?
I made some changes, but anyone who pays attention would surely realize.
But this can’t be helped. I poured my soul into this.
“Hm, about my anger…sorry for acting this way. But, well, what are you going to do?”
“What …do you mean?”
“Are you going to give this love letter to your little sister?”
I held my head and screamed
“Love! Love…! You…!”
“Huh? Isn’t this basically the same as a love letter? A three hundred page-long love letter in fact ~ your love is burning sooooooooooooooooooooo hot.”
Do you want to kill me? You want to kill me this much huh!?
My head felt light, I couldn’t think of anything.
Now, my face probably couldn’t get any worse.
“I thought that you were a giant pervert – but turns out you yourself didn’t realize it either. This, this is…you really —-”
Elf frantically scratched her beautiful blonde hair:
“Are you going to let your little sister see it? You wrote it because of that, didn’t you?”
“….Yes. Yes, I did.”
“So I say —-”
Elf gave me back my manuscript, despite not having finished reading it.
She then took her manuscript back. And —
“Hurry and do what you must! Go to Eromanga-sensei!”
Elf dropped her manuscript into a shredder.
“Ah ~ I lose! This time, I lose!”
I shot forward, but half of Elf’s manuscript had disappeared into that shredder.
Her original document was deleted, so this was the only manuscript left in the world.
This carefully written novel, the amazing novel that was written solely for Eromanga-sensei – was gone.
“What are you doing! You….!”
“Why are you crying?”
“I still haven’t finished reading it!”
“Ah ~ thank you. But it’s meaningless to keep it. You must understand too, right?”
This novel was written with the base assumption of Eromanga-sensei as her illustrator. It’s meaningless to ask anyone else.
That was what Elf meant.
I understood this point. But…what a waste. Such a good writing!
“I will say it now. I lose this time, but that doesn’t mean you have won. Don’t misunderstand.”
“How dense could you be —-”
Elf wiped her tears away.
“Next time, I will be the winner.”
She meant….she lost this time, but she didn’t give up on Eromanga-sensei.
In her workshop, Elf and I looked at each other without saying anything.
A few seconds of silence later then Elf said:
“So what next? What are you going to do? You aren’t going to tell me that you will not give it to your little sister, are you?”
Her voice was small, but it sounded like an explosion in my head.
“This is the novel that beat me.”
What an easy-to-piss-people-off way of encouragement – but, what she said is true.
The manuscript in my hand – the one that made her accept defeat, the one that turned another good manuscript into pieces.
How could I waste it?
There was only one thing for me to do.
“Hm? What? I can’t hear you – louder please.”
“I will show her! That’s what I decided to do!”
I wrote this novel for my little sister, for Eromanga-sensei.
Even if my true feelings are exposed, I didn’t plan to change my intentions.
Although it might turn all of my effort in a year to nothing.
Although it might cause me to no longer be able to see my little sister.
Although it might make me lose my co-worker.
But even so, I had decided.
I need to find a way to open that ‘never opened door’.
The truth is that I never thought about it too much.
Actually, I got a lot of ways…Like slipping it in under the door, leaving it with a note. But Sagiri might not see it.
…I hadn’t seen her for half a month. She didn’t even touch her meals… she never left her room – the only reason was because I declared that I wanted to make her the heroine of my next novel.
I don’t like it! Don’t like it don’t like it don’t like it! What you said doesn’t matter to me! And it’s gross! I hate the lying Nii-san the most! I won’t trust you! Get out! Don’t come here anymore!
…From her reaction, even now when I finished my novel, it would be hard to ask her to read it.
That’s why I was thinking of a way. No, not exactly, I had always thought of one – Megumi once suggested a few ways for me. Although I had forgotten most of them due to how useless they were
This is a good place, thus I moved pass Elf.
“…What are you going to do?”
Yes. If I was the main character that I just wrote, I would do this without hesitation…I couldn’t help but imagine this scene.
I never thought that I myself would do this.
However…how could I lose to someone I created?
“Hey, are you listening to me —”
“I told you didn’t I? I’m going to meet Eromanga-sensei.”
“Ha? You mean…You can’t mean….”
Elf seemed like she realized what I was about to do. Well, she could do it even without God’s Eye anyway.
Slowly opening the balcony window.
“Are you serious? If you fall from here, it’s not a simple injury! Besides, on the other side —!”
“I’m always serious! Here I come!”
Without hesitation, I rushed out. Both mentally and physically, full of motivation, I kicked the floor —
A moment of floating.
An instant later, the thought ‘I’m going to die for sure’ appeared in my head.
Although the distance was short, I could jump to the other side without any problem —
” – The window wasn’t opened! Ahhhh damn —-!!!!”
When it was clear that she wouldn’t be able to stop me from jumping, Elf quickly shouted right when I made my jump:
“Eromanga-senseiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Unless you open your window now, your brother is going to dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”
Before Elf finished, suddenly, the window opened.
Wearing her pajama, my little sister who I hadn’t seen in half a month appeared.
In that moment, I thought that time had stopped.
Although I had the feeling that the window opened after I made my jump, the truth was when I was making my running start, Elf had shouted out and Sagiri had already opened the door. Otherwise it would be very strange.
Although it was strange —
I heard her say that. I saw the shocked expression on my little sister’s face. And I remembered each and every one of the smallest movements of her lips.
“Here I come – Sagiri!”
In theory, it was impossible for me to say that in time. But I did remember saying it out.
Every thing happened so fast, no one would be able to make sure.
In a fighting novel, the feeling ‘like time had stopped’ is quite normal. Now I could see that this is not totally an exaggeration.
Of course, while so many thoughts ran through my head in just an instant, the laws of physics still went on as normal. Without any chance to adjust myself, I collided with my little sister directly.
Before I hit Sagiri, the railing slowed me down a bit, so it’s a fortune amidst misfortune. If I hurt her, I’d rather hit the window myself.
And not only did I collide with Sagiri, it would be more correct to say I lied on top of her.
“…Ouch it hurts, it hurts….”
The pain from my leg confirmed that I hit the railing while at the same time, my face felt something soft.
…What is that? What is my face touching?
I slowly opened my eyes and in front of me was….
My little sister’s breasts.
In other words…my face is now rubbing against my little sister’s breasts.
Sagiri opened her eyes and blinked a few times….
The truth in front of her was beyond imagination, so she was temporarily stunned.
Not good. Definitely not good….I..I have to say something.
“No, this, this is…ehh…..”
Yes, yes, that’s right! I came here for a reason! Now that I’ve met her, I will say it! Okay!
Still with my face pressed against my little sister’s breast, I opened the sealed packet – and told her the line that I prepared:
“Sagiri, I wrote a new manuscript. Take a look.”
She looked shocked for a second, like she was thinking about what I said – and then
She slapped me. Hard.
A few minutes later…I was sitting inside Sagiri’s room with a swollen face
In front of me, she hugged her body. Due to embarrassment, her face was red and showed a very unhappy expression.
[Tch, forget it… it wasn’t something that I could let slide, but for now… so?]
I could hear her muttering through the headset.
As usual, without that her voice would be so small that conversation would be impossible.
I…really liked her natural voice.
[Why, did you do something so dangerous?]
“…Because…you…after that…you didn’t open the door again.”
Recently, Sagiri often forgot to lock the window, so I thought this time would be the same too.
“I…was worried…this was the only way I could think of.”
I apologized to her again.
Sagiri looked down. I couldn’t figure out what was she thinking.
“…Sagiri…why did you open the window?”
“Just now, we collided with each other because you opened the window —”
[ — It’s none of your business]
Sagiri decisively stopped this topic. She continued:
[The reason. Did not open the door.]
I gave her my manuscript, but in return she gave me something.
When I was wondering what that was…my eyes widened….
At that moment, I simply had no idea what to say. My emotions were running wild; I didn’t know how I should face this.
On the digital board what Sagiri showed me was the main heroine from ‘The Silver Wolf’s Reincarnation’
It was almost the same as the memorial illustration I saw before.
However, there were some differences.
It was clearly an illustration of ‘the main heroine swinging her weapon in battle’.
What about you? Those battle illustrations also looked quite ero!
“You! This one…!”
[…A battle scene. Better this way, right?]
“Not only better this way…this is no longer on the same level as the previous one!”
She clearly didn’t have much understanding of weapons before – especially when she drew heavy firearms. Now, the illustration looked like someone else did it in a realistic style. Well, maybe realistic style wasn’t the right word – what I meant is her character looked ‘alive’.
[…Is that so.]
Sagiri nodded, pretending to be calm…but she slightly smiled.
She.…wasn’t good at hiding her feelings – now, this is her cute side.
I could feel my face is getting hotter, making me unable to look at my little sister’s face.
“Finally…what’s the difference? Why did it look so much better than before?”
Sagiri tilted her head.
“Hey, how could you not know? Is it like a special drawing technique or something?”
[Watched some fighting video…Weapon’s reference…Read a lot]
In other words – the result of her study.
[But, it’s not another drawing technique…I don’t know how to say it.]
If this was a live video, I could ask Eromanga-sensei anything about her drawing technique – but it is impossible for Sagiri.
[I understand the feeling of people when they fight better…maybe.]
I myself thought that Sagiri totally didn’t suit with ‘fighting’.
She looked puzzled for a while before dropping her head and said:
[…I…people die or hurt… don’t like it….]
I got the feeling that there was a hidden meaning in her word just now.
[It was from a long time ago. Don’t misunderstand.]
Like she could see my unsaid question, Sagiri quickly explained:
[Because fighting…then my favorite character is gone…very sad.]
In her live video, Eromanga-sensei also mourned the death of her favorite character.
What a gentle girl.
[Before, towards this kind of illustration, I was inconsistent. However…after I talked with you about your novel’s illustration…I realized that it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t just draw what I knew.]
What Sagiri…Eromanga-sensei said was the total opposite of what Elf said.
[…I can’t…accept it…so..]
Saying that, Sagiri stopped and bit on her lower lip.
She probably felt angry because of what troubled her– looks like her cute face was also capable of that terrifying expression
“…You mean you can’t accept….”
She looked at me with her eyes full of resentment.
“…Me huh….back then, when I said they were erotic and…so….”
Sagiri ‘Mwu ~’, her eyes became even sharper.
Wow…is she that angry?
Well, that was understandable. If someone told me ‘That scene is like shit’ or ‘I don’t like this character’, I would try harder. Perfect my writing – practice to write what I don’t want or what I hate to the point of perfection. I had done that a lot of times in the past.
[I felt that I couldn’t avoid fighting any longer. So, gradually, I managed to finish this illustration.]
Unable to accept criticism, then try harder…this fight is with me?
Sagiri shook her head, but refused to answer.
Who is the ‘enemy’ that my little sister spoke of? Aside from me, who else could it be?
Sagiri pushed the digital board to me again:
[This too. Take a look.]
“What is it this time?”
In front of me was an illustration of a girl. Not one of my characters, this was a girl that I had never seen before.
[A higher level should be like this.]
[This one is with a different hair style.]
[How is that?]
You asked me ‘how is that’? – I could tell just from the first glance.
“You…you can draw big-breasted characters now?”
[…Even if it was difficult, with enough practice I could do it.]
Sagiri proudly raised her chin.
Although based on her words, it didn’t reach the level that she preferred.
But she must have practiced a lot …I remembered telling her that her illustration didn’t have any big-breasted characters.
[You see, here is a nude version.]
Sagiri swept her fingers, the screen showed a girl without any clothes on her upper body.
A half-naked, super erotic illustration.
“Well, how should I put it…..”
I’m happy because the girl I like showed me an H-illustration that she drew – no no no how could I say that. Although I was embarrassed with myself, my heart kept racing.
[What do you think?]
“….Super erotic. A perfect illustration, sir.”
I unconsciously used formal language.
Sagiri smiled again.
…No good. Because of what Elf said – I was thinking too much.
We are clearly siblings.
So…in half a month, Sagiri had been practicing this…
When I was thinking, she suddenly called out my pen name.
She looked directly into my eyes and said:
[Do you understand? If your new illustrator wants to kick me out in your next novel, I will not allow it.]
I was stunned for a moment, unable to understand what she was saying.
“Ha? Kick you out? What do you mean? Who said that?”
I don’t get it! What did my little sister just say?
Sagiri said seriously:
[Because…Nii-san kept something from me; you met with a strange girl in secret and also used a computer together…]
She probably meant the time I was talking with Elf about Eromanga-sensei.
[Aside from work, Nii-san, there is no chance for you to meet any beautiful girls.]
Although your insight was right, you words hurt me, you know?
[Then…after Nii-san met with that girl…you looked very motivated.]
Ah ah – well, that much is true.
[So….you are…looking for a new illustrator…that’s the reason that you can’t tell me, right?]
Sagiri suddenly looked depressed. Seeing her like that – I realized that how much of an idiot I was.
She looked up again and raised her voice – I could hear her without the headphone.
“I have been practicing since then! I have made up for all of your complaints…I will draw an illustration that fits your requirements!”
She spoke her true feelings. So for half a month…Sagiri hid inside her room without touching any meal, without answering me because —
“Izumi-sensei. When you said you want to make your little sister into a heroine of your ‘ultimate light novel’….I was very happy! So I really want to draw the illustratons for this novel…!”
The words from our previous meeting returned in an opposite form.
Sagiri took the headphone down and shouted:
“I will never, ever lose! I will not give up Izumi-sensei for that girl!”
Come here and fight! I will not give you my co-worker!
What an idiot. I, we…both of us…What a joke.
— You should have said so from the beginning – really.
Elf was right. She was totally right.
I also had no reason to lecture Sagiri.
I was the one who acted like a ‘perfect elder brother’ first after all.
— How could a brother and sister love each other —-
I hid, buried my own feelings. I liked her at first sight, but I tried to treat her like a family member. I thought it would be fine.
“That was my line.”
“It was a misunderstanding! That girl…Our neighbor, Yamada-san – she is the best-selling author, Yamada Elf-sensei!”
“Oh!!!….” Sagiri’s eyes widened “Yamada Elf-sensei…is she?”
“Yes. She is Yamada Elf-sensei. She….” I hesitated a bit, but continued “She is a fan of Eromanga-sensei, she wanted to work with you! So we quarreled and decided to have a showdown by writing. We bet Eromanga-sensei as a prize.”
“Wh…what is that? I have never heard about it.”
“Of course. I didn’t tell you – because I feared that you might say that compared to me, working with a best-selling author is better. I was scared! I couldn’t say it out!”
Now that I had said it, this really sucks.
“Ha, haaaaa!? How could that be? Nii-san is an idiot!”
“I thought so too. I should have told you from the beginning.”
“I didn’t mean that…this wasn’t what I meant…!”
“But this is what you meant!?”
“No I didn’t! That showdown by writing, how did you plan to decide a winner?”
“We both planned to give our manuscript to Eromanga-sensei then let her decide.”
“Then…Nii-san, this is your manuscript?”
“Yamada Elf-sensei’s manuscript…is here too?”
“Because I beat her.”
I said proudly…Although she admitted defeat after reading, it wasn’t like I won – but what I said is still true
I’m standing in front of my little sister. Let me look cool for a while.
Hearing that, Sagiri’s eyes widened.
Then she laughed innocently:
“Izumi-sensei…you beat her…so amazing.”
My heart was racing! It was better than any praise!
“Sorry. I should have let you read both of our manuscripts…before deciding on a winner.”
Sagiri closed her eyes and slowly shook her head.
Sagiri pointed to her digital board.
That action was stronger than any evidence.
“From the beginning, I would pick you, Nii-san.”
She raised her right hand toward me.
Her characteristics changed, she spoke in a mature male (Eromanga-sensei) tone:
” — Please take care of me, Izumi-sensei.”
“Please take care of me too – Eromanga-sensei.”
I took her hand. Eromanga-sensei’s face blushed like a girl.
“I, I don’t know anyone by that name.”
Hearing the line that I hadn’t heard for a long time, I couldn’t help but smile.
Although I wanted it to end like that, the truth was there is more.
That was, well…the reason I jumped into this room. I didn’t come here just to solve Eromanga-sensei’s misunderstanding.
“Sagiri…are you hungry?”
Sagiri placed a hand on her stomach, which immediately gave a cute *Squeeze* sound
She immediately blushed. I pretended like I didn’t hear anything and stood up.
“Let me go make something.”
Of course Sagiri also didn’t forget that reason. She held my sleeve and said:
“We…are not done talking here. This time…It’s Izumi-sensei’s turn.”
Sagiri turned to me and raised a hand.
“Let me see it.”
“Your new novel – let me see it.”
“Ah ah ah! Right right – right, of course!”
“What are you getting nervous for?”
“No, I’m not getting nervous. Not a single bit.”
“Although it doesn’t look that way…but hurry and give it to me.”
I swallowed – and once more prepared myself.
I presented her my manuscript like it was a heavenly weapon.
The manuscript that Elf evaluated as a ‘love letter to my little sister’.
“Then…take a look.”
“???…..You are acting strange, Nii-san.”
Of course, since she didn’t know the content yet, Sagiri didn’t feel any pressure – she took a look at the title:
“Then I’m going to read it now.”
“Ah right…um, about …Sagiri…while you are reading, can I go make a meal?”
Of course, I said that because I wanted to cook something for my little sister, not because I wanted to escape.
I stood up and walked toward the door without waiting for her answer, but once more Sagiri caught me.
“No. Stay here.”
“I got the feeling that Nii-san is trying to escape.”
What sharp insight.
“Besides, you saw my illustrations already…so don’t even try.”
Fine, I will stay here! I will not try to run anymore! Out with it!
So, I sat in front of the girl I liked when she was reading my three hundred page-long love letter.
What a god-class trial. Even the main character from ‘The Silver Wolf’ could never overcome this situation.
I wiped the sweat from my forehead and waited for any development.
Sagiri flipped the first page…suddenly she frowned
Ack! That! The first page…the main character meets the heroine then falls in love at first sight….Although I didn’t write it like that…and there were many differences from Sagiri…before Elf pointed that out, I thought no one would be able to tell —
So…did she figure it out?
Without showing any expression, Sagiri flipped another page.
Not yet? The secret still held? Good…good, right?
Just two pages and I already felt so nervous. Can my heart endure three hundred pages?
Flip. Flip. Flip. Flip
Wearing pajamas, my little sister read my manuscript.
Time passed. There were a few times when Sagiri blushed, a very easy to understand reaction. But sometime she looked up and glanced at me.
Each time she did that, my heart almost jumped out of my chest.
*Thud Thud*My heart beat like a drum.
You guys try imagining this scene:
Giving a love letter to the girl you like – then watching her read it.
The love letter containing your feelings, your love. And when you wait for her to finish reading…it was only a few minutes, but it felt like hours. You must feel like a criminal waiting for capital punishment. No one wanted to stay in the line that separated Heaven and Hell like that.
But…in my case…my love letter is three hundred pages long. She probably needs at least two hours to read it.
I will die! I’m really going to die!
A few minutes reading could feel like hours…and mine is not going to end anytime soon.
Just finish me off already!
Hopefully the secret that I like Sagiri wouldn’t be exposed…I still had my hope, but…it was so hard…I never thought…it would be that hard.
I didn’t know since when, but Sagiri…even her ears reddened. Her pure white skin made it easier to notice. Her hands. Her legs. Her face. Everything was reddened.
Did she figure it out?
Her hand slightly trembled, her eyes began to spin.
Her breathing became harder, like she was having a fever.
From that distance, I saw everything.
…I’m done for…everything is…done for….She knew…
I don’t know what Sagiri is feeling toward me, but if she said —
Without a doubt, I will be shocked to death.
Time passed…One minute…Two…Three minutes. Sagiri remained motionless, no longer reading. I mustered my courage asked:
This reaction was too much. I had never heard her voice so loud before.
I hesitated for a moment before asking in a super neutral tone:
“…..How, how is that?”
Sagiri held the manuscript in her hand, clearly troubled.
“It’s good! Amazing!”
Although it wasn’t what I wanted to ask – but hearing this made me happy.
Like a child when he was praised.
“Um. I haven’t finished reading – but I like it very much.”
“Really…it’s good then.”
“If you plan to publish this…You can’t. You must not let anyone see it…It’s so embarrassing.”
Saying that, Sagiri returned to reading.
True, I couldn’t publish it. If a reader figured it out, it would be too embarrassing to bear.
I wrote this for one person only. The original mission had been fulfilled; there was nothing more for it to do. I couldn’t continue it too. If I want to publish it, I need to do heavy editing.
Time passed again. Sagiri was reading my manuscript while I waited for my little sister to finish reading.
Although she was a bit slow, I didn’t feel anxious.
After finished the last page, Sagiri said:
With a voice of someone who is in love, she said:
“I have someone I like.”
My eyes widened. I felt like something just pierced my heart.
Yes….even Sagiri, even a hikikomori — still could have someone she liked.
Since…her world is so big.
Toward ‘my confession’, Sagiri’s answer was:
I can’t answer your feelings.
Okay, I got it.
This is fine. I thought so.
This is fine.
Because we are brother and sister.
Because I had decided to become her family member.