The next day, June 1st, I returned to my usual life.
My little sister’s hikikomori status wasn’t getting any better.
My manuscript, of course, wasn’t getting published anytime soon – but somehow it was different from usual.
Aside from that, there were other differences with Izumi Masamune than before.
I became aware of my little sister’s real identity. I confessed my feelings. I agreed to continue working with Eromanga-sensei and also succeeded in slowly removing the seal of ‘The never opened door’.
And my next-door neighbor was also a best-selling author.
“Ha ~ so, she read it in front of you.”
“Yeah, like you said, she totally figured it out.”
“Is that so ~ I knew it. But — that means she dumped you.”
“…Hey…what are you laughing for?”
“Eheheh ~ you deserve it.”
”Damn it! I’m angry! This girl!”
Now, I was sitting in the workshop at Crystal Palace and having a little chat with Elf. Since she knew what happened at the beginning, I felt like I should let her know how it ended.
“That sums up everything about me. What about you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your manuscript. Not the one you planned to use for your showdown with me, but the one which was about to be made into an anime. Wasn’t its deadline last month?
Elf sunk back into her chair. Although it was hard seeing her in front of the computer, I could see that she hadn’t managed to type a single word.
The monitor showed a snow-white screen.
“Hm hm – of course, I haven’t written anything.”
“Don’t be so proud about it! This isn’t a laughing matter!”
A manuscript for an anime was much more important than a normal manuscript. Even I knew that not all problems could be easily avoided.
The publisher and the anime company would probably send assassins to chase after her till the ends of the earth.
“Isn’t it the same as when you had a showdown with me? Why didn’t you finish that manuscript first?”
“Because, a fight for Eromanga-sensei is much more important than an anime manuscript in my books.”
“That was why I wrote it first” – Elf said so.
…That was indeed a good novel. She really poured a lot of effort into it.
But, she accepted defeat.
Anyway…this girl’s current manuscript count was 0.
I didn’t know how serious she was…but that deadline was real.
”…Is this really okay?”
“My stomach hurts just from hearing you. Hurry and use your skill ‘Summon Manuscript’ (Summon Darkness)”
“It’s still on cool down. There are some requirements before I could use ‘Summon Darkness’ again. At least a month’s worth of magical power and….”
”You didn’t have time to secretly write it did you?
Why can’t you be honest?”
“If I could use it without worry, then it would have been an S-class skill by now. It’s only a matter of time until it reaches that level, but not now.”
“Greater Novelist Yamada Elf-sensei, no matter what you say, the fact remains. The deadline has passed. What are you going to do about it?”
“Uh ~ no choice then. I really don’t want to use this.”
Elf reluctantly sighed, closed her eyes and said solemnly:
“C-class skill, ‘Time leap’ – the ability to twist the time line…May huh…then today is May 32nd, I temporarily managed to overcome this crisis.”
Of course she didn’t.
A few minutes later, Elf was thrown into Hell. I saw the publishing company send some male employees in suits and sunglasses to catch and throw the greater novelist into a black van. All I could do was mutter to myself “So scary”.
But that was a story of a few minutes later. Right now, Elf was still in front of me.
She asked me:
“Then? What next?”
I recalled what happened yesterday.
Behind the ‘never opened door’, I had a direct talk with Sagiri.
“…Sagiri…I have a dream.”
“Yes. A very big dream.”
“Can you tell me?”
I stood up and laughed. How could I not when talking about my dream.
“I want to publish this manuscript. Of course not in its current state, I planned to rewrite, to edit it – until the publishing company acknowledges me. But I will make it into a novel, so that many people could enjoy this story, could enjoy the main character and the heroine. Then slowly, I could build up my reputation for my independent life before it is turned into an anime! How is that? Isn’t it amazing?”
Sagiri never left her room.
Even if she did, she chose a time when no one else was around.
I couldn’t make her come out, nor could I force her to come out. Otherwise, her heart would break.
Our guardian and I completely understood this point – that time, a year ago.
My biological father and mother would never come back.
What should I do? I had always asked myself this question.
“That is…Nii-san’s dream?”
“No! Not anymore! It’s only the first part of my dream!”
I strongly objected. After turning it into an anime – there was something else I wanted to do.
“My dream is after that! Something even bigger! I want to buy a super-sized LCD TV for our living room! Buy human-sized speakers! I will also get a luxury cake with candles!”
I turned to my little sister, my face inches away from her, and enthusiastically said:
“Then I will bring you out of your room to watch the anime together! My original story, your character, our anime!”
I finally understood.
That was my dream.
“It – will definitely be good! We will definitely have a good laugh! Anime could make hundreds of thousands of people laugh or cry together! If we could enjoy that happiness, no sad story would trouble us anymore!”
I wanted her to share my greatest happiness.
By using that greatest joy, I wanted to crush the sad things that made my little sister cry.
I wanted to treat my little sister like Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto. (Shinto goddess of dawn, mirth and revelry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto)
I liked Sagiri the most —
Because I’m her elder brother.
“This is my dream! I absolutely want to achieve it.”
Because I was speaking too much, my throat gave up. Tears bursted out. How helpless I was, unable to finish my cool dream. —
“….Is that so…this time….”
Hearing my dream, Sagiri muttered something and stood up. Then she took a few steps towards the door.
….Just now…Sagiri…did she said ‘this time’?
With her back facing me, Sagiri picked up the headset.
She slowly put it on.
Then – she opened the door, walked outside and turned around.
This can’t be!
Her ‘hikikomori’ status couldn’t be treated by the spur of a moment or someone else’s perseverance.
The doctor’s advice from a year ago still rang in my ears.
Just like a dream.
Unlike usual, Sagiri laughed with confidence:
[At first, it was like that, Izumi-sensei] — Her voice turned into Eromanga-sensei before continuing [You always bring new dreams].
That nostalgic tone; where have I heard this before?
[Okay then, Izumi-sensei. Let me help you. How could I let you do something so interesting alone? This is not your dream – this is our dream.]
This was no longer my little sister, no longer Sagiri. This was my co-worker, Eromanga-sensei.
Then ‘he’ threw the headset away and turned back to ‘she’.
*Bang bang* She stomped on the floor and said:
I never knew that when your feelings filled your heart, it would have turned out like this.
“Okay okay, I got it. Wait a bit.”
This was my first step towards my dream.
I would never forget what happened today for the rest of my life.