Izumi Masamune. Fifteen years old. High school, third year. Right now, I’m living as both a high school student and an author. My pen name is Izumi Masamune.
For various reasons, it has been a year since I began to live together alone with my hikikomori little sister.
“I need to quickly become independent to support my hikikomori little sister” – That was what I once thought.
But now, I know that I was over thinking things.
Because my little sister – the blue eyed, white hair beauty Izumi Sagiri is the illustrator, Eromanga-sensei.
In some ways, her work paid even better than mine.
Let me take care of you
She also thought the same as me.
This is not your dream — this is our dream.
We worked together and dreamt a dream together.
I fell in love with my little sister at first sight. After she rejected me, that feeling only burned brighter. I like Sagiri even more than before.
I like her all day and night.
I have someone I like.
But Sagiri has someone she likes.
So I tried to become her brother, to protect her, support her.
…Although it didn’t sound very promising, and it wasn’t like I could do anything right now…but…
The plan to “bring Sagiri outside” is still continuing.
This is the only way for my little sister to meet the person she likes.
Then I will bring you out of your room to watch the anime together! My original story, your character, our anime!
Because that is our dream.
Because that was the most happy thing in the world that I could think of.
Two of us laughing together without worrying about any bad memories. I wanted us to become that kind of siblings.
Now it is August, during the summer break.
After I escape from my homework, I spent all of my time writing without doing anything else. And I didn’t do it in my room as usual. Recently, I lived at the editors department and kept making changes to my manuscript.
Some of you may have forgotten, so let me remind you again:
In July, I participated in World Light Novel Tournament and won the right to publish my story. My newest novel The cutest little sister in the world was scheduled to be published on September 10th.
Oohhhhhhhhhhhraaaaaaaaaaa!!!! I focused all of my strength into writing.
It was the same way that I used to write.
But this time, the work was basically “decided in July, published in September” so time is short – well, although I said so, most of you probably wouldn’t understand.
But my editors department has a habit of setting deadlines for manuscripts three months before publishing, so you guys just remember how hard it is.
Okay, got it?
Anyway, the reason I was so busy recently was like this:
The schedule planned to publish my novel was made at July 20th.
About ten days later, I submitted my manuscript for the World Light novel Tournament. Then I met with my editor, re-submitted my edited manuscript. Followed by another meeting, edit, check, debate, another edit, another debate…..
My recent days were all like that until yesterday, when I finished my final manuscript.
“It’s done. It’s done.”
I’m not saying this as a metaphor, because when I returned home, I felt so tired that I immediately slept like a log. Right now, I just woke up.
I did some light stretching and yawn.
The clock said that now is six o’clock. Although I wanted to sleep more, but…
“Alright, let’s get up.”
It has been a few days since I left and I was worried about my little sister. Did she remember to eat properly? Was she well? Did she remember to take a bath and brush her teeth before sleep?
And the most important thing: I wanted to see the girl I liked – Sagiri’s face. I wanted to report to Eromanga-sensei that “I have finished a very good novel!”
Of course, there are still many possible problems before it could be published, and I still can’t totally let my guard down — but anyway, for now, I passed.
*Bang*The ceiling shook.
Another day for me and my little sister has begun.
Her “breakfast request” startled me. I finished making the meal, placed it on the tray and went to the stairs. Today I made chicken salad plus boiled eggs and fruit yogurt. My little sister’s taste is pretty light, but I decided to make another one for myself. After a few days without anything but bentou from convince stores, I wanted something else – not to mention that I had a secret suggestion.
“Sagiri ~ breakfast is here.”
I called toward the locked room
Normally, I would have put it down at the doorstep and left. But today I remained standing here.
Although I knew that Sagiri hated meeting people —
But recently — we sometimes meet face to face.
And Elf. And Megumi too. Maybe they could become friends.
That’s why — well, ah, I wasn’t counting.
I only wanted to see my little sister. Just seeing her for a bit is fine.
“…That wasn’t good.”
Since last year, we hardly had any conversation. The last time was —-
Ag….damn…I wanted to see Sagiri….
My head was so troubled because of that thought, because of my little sister.
Suddenly the door opened. I was totally surprised.
I looked up. The locked room was wide opened before me.
In front of me was a beautiful girl in yukata – Sagiri.
“………….I knew it.”
My little sister didn’t look very surprised seeing me here.
Could it be that she predicted I will be here — no no, now wasn’t the time for this!
“…Sa, Sagiri…what is with that clothes?”
The sight of the girl I liked in yukata made me unable to avert my eyes. I felt like I could die at any moment.
So cute! It was only an instant and yet my head feels like it’s burning. I even saw the hallucination of an angel next to my little sister.
Sagiri looked down and whispered:
She was so cute that I was totally held captive.
I can’t believe it. She looked so beautiful in a yukata.
By the way, Sagiri wasn’t using her headphone as usual. We were taking directly to each other.
She secretly looked at me and said:
Seemed like she wanted to say something.
What are you trying to say? How could I understand without you saying it out?
I gave her the tray and took a stab in the dark:
“Why are you ….wearing a yukata?”
Looked like that question was a “wrong one”. Sagiri…pouted. She took the tray from me and placed it inside, and answered:
But even if I waited, nothing came. Was it something hard to say?
I tried my best to guess my little sister’s intention.
Let’s see. Yukata. Yukata equals summer. Yukata. Summer. Now is August. Last month was July. Summer..
“The firework festival, right?”
Sagiri’s eyes widened.
Now I remembered. About ten days ago, when they announced the result of the World Light novel tournament, the Adachi Arakawa ward had a firework festival. I couldn’t go since I was busy that day.
“Could it be…that you wanted to go to the firework festival?”
If that was the case…then it was bad.
She wanted to go to the firework festival, but she couldn’t go outside….I left my little sister alone for so long…
“No, not that.”
She quickly dismissed that idea of mine.
“Firework festival…is view-able at home by television too….although I was a bit interested in those shop….”
“So you suddenly wanted to go. Sorry, I —”
“No! This wasn’t the case! So…you don’t have to pay it any attention! You are doing your best too!”
How come…I started feeling like a father who was unable to come to his daughter’s Visitation Day and was comforted by her?
Anyway, what Sagiri meant is “although I wanted to go to the firework festival, that wasn’t the reason I wore this yukata”. She had no reason to lie, so that must be the truth.
“No, no reason at all.”
Sagiri blushed, she looked excited.
Looked like she didn’t plan to answer me. Well, forget it. As long as I could see how cute she was in this clothes.
Still, I might need to think a bit about that firework festival. There is another festival this month too — but it’s going to be difficult for people who couldn’t go outside. I need to think of something.
“……Nii-san, what are you thinking?” Sagiri looked up at me and asked.
Since I couldn’t afford to let her know about what am I thinking, nor do I wanted to lie, I answered:
“Well, I’m thinking that you looked good in that yukata.”
“…Is that so.”
“How should I put it….”
“You looked like Muramasa-senpai.”
Why does the air feel a lot colder?
“……Nii-san, what did you just say. Repeat it please.”
Sagiri’s empty eyes are so scary! Like a sadistic loli!
“I…meant that…you….looked good in that yukata….just like Muramasa-senpai, you know….Maybe you didn’t, but she normally always wear that kind of clothes, it’s really good! So what I meant is, you are just like her —-”
Eh? Eh? Why is her mood getting worse and worse?
I’m doing my best to praise her, right?
“She confessed to you, didn’t she?”
She dropped the bomb on me. The sudden change of topic caught me off guard.
Yes. That was a day in July that I couldn’t forget.
I – had a showdown with my long time arch nemesis, the great light novel author, Senjyu Muramasa.
I like you.
She confessed to me.
The senior who is younger than me confessed to me.
“How, how….how could you know about that….”
That happened at the first floor of this house – in the living room. Sagiri should not be able to hear that.
“That…I just know. I could tell. Because, she….with nii…
Sagiri angrily pointed at the JUMP light novel’s self and said:
“She confessed to you in your way too, didn’t she?”
Maybe Sagiri knew better than anyone how Muramasa-senpai confessed to me with a hundred pages long novel. Just like I confessed to her with three hundred pages long novel.
Not to mention that Muramasa-senpai’s novel didn’t hide much….anyone could knew just from reading carefully.
To be more specific, that included me, Sagiri, Elf – and my editor, Kagurazaka-san too. Maybe some other readers also noticed it.
Thinking back, Muramasa-senpai really did something unexpected.
Truly, love makes people crazy.
“From reading that — I knew how much…. she liked you….it’s very clear….but I don’t know your answer.”
“I rejected her.” I calmly replied: “I told her that I had someone I liked.”
That was the same answer Sagiri gave me.
“I see…I see…”
Sagiri’s face brighten – then she let out a sigh.
What a strange reaction. In a few seconds, her expression changed twice.
“Hm….it’s not like I asked because I care about that or anything…..but in any case….”
Sagiri looked emotionless, but could it be that she is the type who get emotional easily? I’m not entirely sure.
“And? What was her reaction? Ah, it’s not like I care about that too…..”
“She said: I understand.”
The same answered I gave Sagiri. Truly we were so similar.
From our pen name to our style in writing, our favorite style. Both her good points and bad points were several levels above me, but well, I couldn’t treat her as an outsider anymore.
Hearing my question, Sagiri glanced at me:
“I’m sure that she didn’t. She said that but the truth is the opposite. She was like you, so when the situation changed a bit, the outcome changed too….maybe.”
“What do you mean?”
Sagiri didn’t answer me, only folded her arms across her chest.
“So – Nii-san, what are your feelings toward her?”
“Eh…well….probably…I like her.”
Sagiri narrowed her eyes cutely. She repeated in a dangerously low tone:
“…..You just said that you rejected her….”
“Yes, I did rejected her. There is no way I could go out with her now, since I like someone else – but it felt really great when someone confessed to me. The first time someone praised my novel to be the best in the world….thus I like her a bit more.”
Confession is truly amazing.
We has been enemies for three years, but not anymore.
Now, I could only see her good points. Could praised her with words that I normally used for my little sister.
Sagiri moaned, her face showed a lot of confusion. Suddenly she raised her head and asked:
“…How much do you like her?”
“Er….let’s see….about….the second place in the world?”
Even I was surprised with how much I liked her.
“So….the one you like most is?”
“Who? Tell. Me. Now!”
Due to her pressure, I had no choice but to point at the one in front of me.
“….You. It’s you.”
Sagiri immediately shut her eyes and blushed.
She was the one who asked, how strange. I couldn’t understand her.
“A, again…! Nii-san…! How could you…”
Sagiri shuttered, she seemed to be on the verge of tears.
“Even if you were rejected, you aren’t supposed to like again that quick!”
I’m not sure about the others, but that was my case.
“Hit, hit, hit…..but….u…..”
Her small fist beat me, but I didn’t felt any pain.
Somehow, the topic had turned an unexpected direction.
Oh damn, it’s so embarrassing.
I took this chance to get back to the original topic:
“By the way…Sagiri…why are you wearing a yukata?”
Sagiri froze for a second —-
*Clang clang keng*The locked room‘s door slammed shut.
“Hey hey! Sagiri! What is going on?”
No matter how much I called, this time, nothing happened.
“…What the heck is that…”
In the end – my suggestion “Let’s eat breakfast together” wasn’t voiced out.
I was here before you! I like his novel more than you! I’m the first!
I couldn’t understand what Sagiri meant when she screamed those words to Muramasa-senpai.
After finished eating my breakfast alone, I went outside for a walk.
Since I got a bit of free time, now I could simply waited for the publishing day of The cutest little sister in the world in September 10th .
“I wonder…how will the reader react to my new novel….”
I hope that they will like it. Maybe it will be popular enough for me to keep writing. Maybe it will become our dream
There is nothing I could do about it aside from waiting till my book reached the reader.
In my opinion, novels – after finished, still don’t have enough ‘power’. Only after they reach the reader, after people begin to like them, does their power begin to grow. Most of that power came from the reader after all. Well, although I said that, Elf and Muramasa-senpai are too strong, they are a special case.
Since now my book hasn’t reach the reader, I’m so worried.
It’d be great if people like it. But what if people find it boring?
It has been a long time since I made my debut, but my body still trembles when I think about the publishing day. This hasn’t changed since day one.
A wind blew across my face.
Arakawa river’s surface shone brightly in the sunlight. I stopped, took a deep breath and calmed down. An old man ran by my side in his morning exercise.
“It’s useless to worry.”
From this revetment, I could saw the Arakawa River. It has been my favorite spot since I was small.
My memories here included playing with Dad, chasing butterfly with friends, catching fish…and practice riding a bicycle too.
Now, it became a spot for a novelist like to me think about love…
I was taller now. A lot of thing had happened. My parents aren’t here anymore. And now I had a little sister.
But the Arakawa River remained unchanged.
Just when I slowly breathed out…
“Ah! Over here over here! Masamune ~~~~~~”
A loud voice called to me.
I turned around, faced with a beautiful blond girl in sailor uniform.
It’s Yamada Elf – the famous novelist who lived next door – isn’t it?
Normally she always wears that fluffy gothic lolita clothing, yet today she wore a sailor uniform. Since she didn’t go to school, it looked like she was cosplaying.
“Hm hm, come here at the morning and prepare to spend time to think till sunset! As expected of an author! Good!”
“Are you an idiot?”
You broke me out of my hard-earned trance!
“By the way, what’s with that clothes?”
“Eh? This? Hm hm – how is that? Cute isn’t it? Much better than Muramasa, right?”
Elf raised her chest, put her arms on her hip and said.
That kind of uniform is pretty popular around here, so I had seen them a lot. Thus I felt nothing from it.
Still, she is so cute. She looks good in anything.
“Are you going to take a cram lesson due to your lack of school time?”
“Of course not!”
Elf bared her teeth like a mad dog and glared at me:
“Normally I never go to school! So I could only wear it during my free time. It’d be boring if I met someone my age when wearing uniform like this. Especially when people try to give me a lecture – such a waste to not wear this cute uniform every time, don’t you think?”
“Go to school, please.”
Elf ignored me and continued:
“So now I’m showing you my cute uniform.”
“…That’s why you are looking for me?”
“Of course not. Since I couldn’t find you at home this morning, I knew that you would be around here. I had a lot to tell you!”
Elf folded her arms across her chest and said:
“You purposely cut off from your connection with me, didn’t you?”
I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket – as expected, it had run out of battery and automatically turned off.
“You are right. Sorry, I spent time at my editors department for the last few days. You know – since the day they announced the results.”
“You worked nonstop since that day? Really….Such a rare chance, I was about to grant you the right to invite me to the fireworks festival! A chance to show you my yukata! Both the Arakawa and Sumida’s festival is over!”
“Sorry. I will think of some way to pay you back later, please forgive me.”
Elf’s eyes widened in surprised:
“What? Why are you being so sublime towards me? This is the first time. Did you suddenly like Elf-sensei? Like me?”
“Like hell I do….I only wanted to apologize.”
“Yeah ~ I can see that.”
Elf looked at me, her eyes seemed like it could see through everything.
“Forget it. If you want to pay me back, I will gladly accept it. Besides, someone asked me to tell you something.”
“Tell me something? From who?”
“Shidou Kuminitsu. One of those authors which you beat in the World Light novel tournament.”
I walked together with Elf while chatting.
” The World Light novel tournament huh.”
“Yup. He sent me a direct message via twitter which said 「Since Elf-sensei has great relationship with Izumi-sensei, please pass him my word 」- like that.
Since I didn’t have blog or twitter, it was hard to contact Izumi Masamune.
To tell the truth, it’s only possible if you asked someone I knew or my editor department.
….That meant everyone had to contact my editors department before.
Anyway, thanks to Elf’s crazy message 「I’m on a date with Izumi-sensei 」, Shidou Kuminitsu-sensei found out another way to contact me.
“We are at the same editor department, shouldn’t it be easier to ask my editor…”
“Well, it’s a private matter so maybe he hesitated to ask.”
I could understand his reasoning.
“But I’m sure that he mostly wanted to ask Elf-sensei to a party.”
“No, included all those participated in this tournament, together with me and Eromanga-sensei – can we do it at your house?”
“I see. Go ahead, no problem.”
Although she had a ridiculous skill named “God Eye”, she truly did think it through. Who would expect this came from a girl who didn’t go to school.
Since we planned to invite Eromanga-sensei who couldn’t go outside of that room (of course, participate via Skype is another matter) so we need to do this at my house. A party for everyone to eat and chat.
But since Eromanga-sensei is my little sister, I need to think how to hide this fact. It’s better if nothing unexpectedly happened.
By the way, there are going to be me, Elf, Eromanga-sensei, Shidou-sensei. And Senjyu Muramasa-senpai too.
Five in total. After some debated, we decided that I will invite Muramasa-senpai.
….Why does Shidou-sensei think that I could invite Muramasa-senpai?
By the way….
“Are we really going to invite them?”
“Yup. Is there any problems?”
“No…or rather, I think that Shidou-sensei is a bit…unexpected.”
The World Light novel tournament’s result made sure that only the first place was chosen to be published. So in some way, I blocked Shidou-sensei’s way.
If our role were exchange, I would be very upset. There is no way I could enjoy a party. To tell the truth, I had no idea what was Shidou thinking. Not to mention that we don’t even know what the other looks like.
“You are right.”
Elf understood my reason.
“But in the end, 「three novels with the highest vote will be published 」.”
The reason I took part in that World light novel tournament in the first place was —
“Izumi-sensei’s newest light novel will be published in May, next year! Almost a year later! “
“Because other authors were trying their best too, so your spot was pushed farther back. I couldn’t keep it open forever.”
…….Strange. There is something strange about this. All three will be published?
Why are there are so many spots suddenly open? Something doesn’t feel right.
“「It’s thanks to my effort ~ to be able to publish so many good novel is my responsibility. 」.”
Elf mimicked others voice.
“I mimicked your editor. Bet she would say something like that.”
“Definitely! She will definitely say something like that!”
Damn, I don’t get it. Although it’s not a bad thing for me, or rather I should be happy because everyone’s novel would be published…but…
Because…it looked like Shidou-sensei’s and Muramasa-senpai’s novel would be sold well too.
Even if Izumi Masamune’s newest novel would be published a year earlier, I might still have to rewrite part of it…not to mention that I knew nothing about this sudden change….
“Okay okay, both the second and third place will be published around December…anyway, you need to make sure you deserve the first place.”
Elf said, trying to comfort me.
Because one of the conditions regarding the agreement between me and my aunt to keep living like now – is to get some achievement . If I couldn’t publish a book during a year, then that means I failed as an novelist – I won’t be able to live with my little sister anymore.
“Yeah…you are right…I have to try…still, hopefully that Shidou-sensei is not mad with me.”
“Have you figure it out? It will be okay.”
“No, there is still a problem!”
“Ha? What is that?” Elf tiredly looked at me.
She began to countdown while gave me half a glared, probably telling me to hurry up.
I rearranged my thought and answered:
“….It’s embarrassing to meet Muramasa-senpai now! I don’t know what to do!”
Hmm? Why is it suddenly so quiet?
Now, I had no idea how I should face someone like me – someone who confessed to me. It’s so embarrassing that I don’t dare to look directly at her.
Not to mention that I rejected her — a meeting is really embarrassing.
On a scale of one hundred points, it’s still possible to write a million point novel.
That was how Muramasa-senpai sees me.
“Mwu…it’s going to be hard.”
Elf put her hand under her chin and stared at me.
“Hey hey…don’t stare at me like that.”
I’m scared of her eyes, which looked like they could see through everything.
“No, let me look — the situation turning into this is partly related to me.”
I don’t understand a single bit, but Elf put her face closer. It’s now so close that any strange misunderstanding could happen any moment.
“I’m asking you an important question, okay? You – what exactly do you want with Muramasa? No, rather, what kind of relationship do you hope for between you two?”
That was nearly the same question that Sagiri asked. But the content was a bit different, thus the meaning was different as well.
I thought about it a bit before answering:
“…I’d like to improve our relationship, to be able to chat together, play together…but….”
“In other words, you need to see her.”
Elf interrupted me.
“Muramasa may not come because of embarrassment – that is what you thought right? You are the type who always over thinks stuff, idiot! If you don’t know for sure, just ask her directly!”
“….You are really good at this.”
Should I call this straightforward or just naive?
But…if I did like she said…
“I owe you one. Recently I owe you too much…thank you.”
“You are welcome…today you are so honest huh?”
Is that so? I felt that I was like this every day.
Later, when I think back to this moment, I don’t realize anything out of ordinary.
“There are some things unavoidable when I live together alone with my little sister….it’d be great if Sagiri made a good relationship with my female next door neighbor.”
I honestly thanked her, but Elf blushed and turned away.
“…What…what…suddenly….so embarrassing…could it be…you are trying …to conquer me…”
“Well, I meant….it’d be great if you were my elder sister.”
Unlike usual, this time I said something out of character to my neighbor.
Hearing that, Elf let out a sigh, her expression suddenly darkened.
“Hm. I don’t need a younger brother like you.”
She pressed her finger against my forehead, muttering:
After I came home, I took out my cell phone and called my editor.
It’s still morning, Kagurazaka-san might still be asleep. I should have called her later — but well, let’s hope for the best. Luckily she did picked up.
After some greeting, I immediately asked about the main reason:
“We are planning to have a party for the World light novel tournament, please tell me Muramasa-senpai’s number or email address.”
「Muramasa-sensei doesn’t have a cell phone nor email address. 」
What age does that senpai of mine live in?
「By the way, she didn’t submit her home telephone’s number either. 」
“Chiba is so rural that they don’t even have phone?”
「The people of Chiba will beat you up if you say that. It’s just calling her home phone will rarely have any results…to tell the truth, most of the time we can’t use phone to contact Muramasa-sensei. 」
“Then how did you contact her?”
「Either by going to her house directly. Or you could write a letter. 」
What age does that senpai of mine live in?
“…Okay, I will just call her home number then…worst case I will go to her house….”
「Ah, there is no need for that. 」
「I will give you the phone to talk to her directly. 」
“Er, wait! Let me…..”
Before I could finish, the phone became silent. Then another female voice came:
「Eh? Are you kidding me! How…how…no no no no…. 」
「Alright, just listen…alright…Okay! 」
A few seconds of chatter — then silence — a few more seconds —
「 ….Changing completed. 」
Another familiar voice came.
That was a female voice. She sounded panicked.
「Yes! Yes sir! 」
“Why are you using…formal language?”
「Because…because you suddenly ambushed me. 」
Did I catch her off guard?
“I never thought that you were at Kagurazaka-san’s place. Are you two discussing the next novel?”
「Eh? No, no, we didn’t do that! Nothing at all! 」
Looked like she didn’t want to tell me. In that case I shouldn’t ask any further.
“Well, senpai, the truth is — ” Alright, now isn’t the time to chicken out “I planned to make a party for the world light novel tournament. If possible, will you come?”
She sounded surprised. Muramasa-senpai didn’t reply for a long time.
“…No? Um, right, I asked so suddenly — sorry.”
「I’ll come! 」
Before I could finish, Muramasa-senpai interrupted me.
「How could I not come! Such a rare chance, you invited me — I will come even it that is the last thing I can do! 」
“Eh…you don’t have to go that far…then you will come? I…er….”
Muramasa-senpai barely managed to continue:
「Even if I was rejected, my feelings for you won’t change.. 」
That simple sentence touched the deepest part of my heart.
“Really…. You introduced so much about yourself, yet you know nothing about me.”
Real name unknown, an author who is still going to school.
She has two novels that had been made into anime, with sales exceeding 14,000,000.
No interest in anything else. Only writing novels for her own self. Her dream is to write ‘the best light novel in the world’. But as soon as something changed, her passion would burst out.
She likes me. She likes my novel. She is my senior, but she is younger than me.
“I really don’t know. We have only met about three times before.”
「That’s right. But I got the feeling that you two already knew each other for a long time…」
A bit later, Muramasa-senpai coughed twice and said with a gentle tone:
「Then, I will repeat myself — 」
「Please take care of me, kouhai. 」
“Me too. Please take care of me – senpai.”
I don’t know what her story is.
But right now, this much is fine.
Two days later, the day we held the party for the world light novel tournament. I had prepared everything at my kitchen.
It is now noon, around the time we decided to gather. Everyone should be here shortly. Of course, this time we had Sagiri – Eromanga-sensei’s approval to hold the party..
「I need to save Izumi-sensei’s face. 」
Although she said that, I could tell she was excited.
It was a surprise — but as long as you don’t ask her to meet someone face to face, Sagiri wasn’t the type who had no interest in others. That’s why she could took part in that live video.
As long as Sagiri/Eromanga-sensei is happy, this party could be considered a success.
“Everything in general is OK…as expected of mother, this kitchen is really well-equipped.”
In order to cheer her up, I also prepared something else. Right now, it’s better to keep that a secret.
“Today….there will be me, Sagiri, Elf, Muramasa-senpai, Shidou-sensei.”
I prepared the living room and counted on my fingers.
Elf lived right next door, she should be the first one here. But considering that she didn’t, there is a good chance that she will be late. She is the type who either arrives very soon or very late.
What a lazy girl. She is an author!
“Muramasa-senpai lived too far away…she is probably still on the way.”
Elf told me that Muramasa-senpai lived in Chiba.
By the way, when I asked Elf how did she know that, she answered “I could tell from her uniform.” Looked like she memorized the entire country’s uniform into her brain.
Really amazing. As expected of a romance-genre author, the princess who always caught me off guard.
“Eromanga-sensei is right up stair…then that left Shidou-sensei.”
Who will that person be? From this party’s suggestion, that person must be the type who enjoys events.
When I was thinking —
Someone is here.
“Coming ~~ ♪”
I tried to make my voice friendly and opened the door. In front of me was —
A young man that I don’t recognize.
He looked older than me…probably a university student. He had a long and tea-like hair, but he looked like a serious type. On his body was a light color sweater jacket.
“You are ….”
“I’m Shidou Kuminitsu. Is this Izumi Masamune-sensei’s house?”
“Ah, yes. It’s me. I’m Izumi Masamune —”
“Ah, please to meet you, Izumi-sensei.”
“Please to meet you too —”
Wow, what a humble man.
Saying this might be a bit rude, but that was my first impression with him. Hah, recently I only meet with weirdoes, so I had already prepare myself…
“Please take care of me, Shidou-sensei.”
“…Ahaha, how about get rid of that 「sensei」?”
He smiled wryly.
…I understood. Even I don’t really like to be called Izumi-sensei by others.
Of course there were expectations, but most of the time I’d like to go with 「san」.
“Then let’s both get rid of that 「sensei」.”
“Please come in. Well, no one is here yet.”
“Sorry to intrude.”
He removed his shoes and carefully placed them down in front of the entrance. Just like Elf, looked like he was well-taught.
I followed him to the living room. On the way, he asked:
“About how should we called each other, is Izumi-senpai appropriate?”
“Well, I find it a bit strange that someone older than me is calling me 「senpai 」.”
Although I called Muramasa-senpai like that, but since she felt like an 「elder sister 」 I don’t feel anything strange.
“How about Izumi-san then?”
“You can called me by my name, it’s fine. There is no need to be so formal.”
“Calling by name is a bit…how about we just talk like now?”
We arrived at the living room during our talk.
“Please take a sit.”
“Thank you, Izumi-kun.”
In the end he called me that. From the sofa, he coughed and asked, a little embarrassed:
“My close friend always called me Shido. Izumi-kun, you can call me that if you like.”
I stared at him and laughed:
“Got it. Please take care of me, Shido-kun
Yes. That’s right. That is how a normal first meeting should be.
Compare to the one whose name began with 「Mu」or 「E」…recently I rarely had any normal meeting without a fight.
Both Elf and Muramasa-senpai still took a long time, and Eromanga-sensei simply said ‘called me if you have something to eat’. They don’t know how to co-operate at all.
Without any other ways, I sat there and drank tea with Shido-kun.
“Shido-kun, why did you decided to hold this party?”
“It’s simply that I just made my debut and don’t know many people.”
Shido-kun’s experience began with a story submitted to the Amateur contest, and made it until the final stage. Then he found an editor, made his debut. He was studying at a university while writing until the third book, when he had a new idea.
While my – Izumi Masamune’s was different. I got a reward from an Amateur contest then made my debut. I don’t know whether it is a good or a bad thing, but I knew a lot of people in this industry.
Like the senior who gave me the reward, the one who also won the same reward with me…a lot.
Thinking back, those people were all better than me. Not to mention that I’m not really an active type, so I didn’t manage to get close to anyone.
“I think this is a good chance. Everyone took part in this tournament is all new author, so our age should be mostly the same. I wanted to know Izumi-kun better.”
“I’m agree. It’s good to know more people in our industry. By the way, there are only five people in this party, which is me, Shido-kun, Elf, Muramasa-senpai and Eromanga-sensei, right?”
“There are two more participants that tournament, can’t they come?”
Didn’t he invite them? Hearing that, Shido-kun sadly lowered his eyes:
“I did invite them — but they refused. They gave up on becoming an author….”
This is normal. Even I was almost forced to give up too.
I wasn’t the only one who bet my life as an author into this World light novel tournament. In some way, I was the one who cut off their career.
“I see! Then it can’t be help.”
I tried to laugh. It’s useless to feel sad now — in fact, doing that would be an insult to people who tried their best like them.
“Yeah, it can’t be help.”
Maybe he realized my intention, Shido-kun tried to pass this topic.
“Anyway, I wanted to meet with more authors who close to my age. Izumi-kun, is there anyone today could be friend with us?”
“….There is….but to be friend with them is another matter.”
They are all weirdo, after all. Should I let a new author like him meet them?
“Um, if I make new friends I will introduce them to you.”
…Good. Maybe he will help me make new friends. Due to the fact that I worried about my identify and didn’t dare to talk about this at school, right now, aside from Tomoe I had no one else to talk about light novels.
When we were talking —
*Ding Dong* The doorbell rang.
“Um, let’s see who just arrived.”
I stood up. On the way outside, a quick glanced at the clock told me that a lot of time had passed. In other words, whoever arrived now counted as very late.
“Those famous novelist didn’t know anything about arriving on time.”
They should learn from Shido-kun.
I whined and open the door.
Outside was …
Two beautiful girls were head-butting in front of me.
“Masamune-kun, sorry I’m late.”
“This is all her fault! I did nothing wrong!”
The girl in kimono was Senjyu Muramasa-senpai.
Next to her was an idiot – Yamada Elf in a yukata. I had heard of her plan like this before….
Blond hair with yukata normally wasn’t a good combination…but….in this case…
Cute girls got such a huge advantage.
Although this scene looked a bit unreal, I tried to ask:
“Ah, you two came together?”
“Yes! I had to go to the station to get her! We had a lot to talk about, and we planned to go buy a present together —”
Somehow, these two had become this close.
“Then I found out that aside from the money for ticket, she didn’t carry a single cent more! We have to take a detour to the bank, it’s so tiring!”
“It can’t be helped. Although you can put it in wallet just in case, I have never used a credit card since I was born.”
Muramasa-senpai suddenly explained.
Just like our first meeting, if she didn’t say anything people might think that she was an airhead. Yet her pressure nearly made me suffocate when she was my enemy.
After meeting a few times, she became noticeably weaker. Like a boss in Super Robot War.
While lead them to the living room, I said:
“Muramasa-senpai, you are so careful when writing, making each of your words prefect, yet you don’t know how to withdraw cash in real life?”
Hearing that, Muramasa-senpai embarrassed, said:
“…Knowledge in books and real life are two different things. I knew next to nothing about them.”
It’s incurable. Looks like the civilized world has left her behind.
Elf’s added lecture was even worse:
“Return to the civilized world, you Neanderthal.”
“I…I know how to use computers…a bit.”
Probably to read web novels. Well, of course she needs to know a bit.
“Alright alright, you are good. Really, the bank was so crowded, yet you choose the moment we began to line up to write a novel…do you have any idea how long we had to wait? I will never get into a line with you again.”
Followed by two noisy teenagers, I returned to the living room. Shido-kun stood up and bowed toward two girls who were younger than him.
“Sorry for troubling you.”
“Hm, sorry for keeping you waiting.”
Elf acted like a yakuza boss on a meeting with his minion. On the other hand, Muramasa-senpai took another look and asked:
“Who is this?”
“One of the authors who took part in the World light novel tournament, Shidou Kuminitsu-sensei.” I gave a simple answer.
“Was there anyone with that name?”
“Yes there was a novel like that. You see, a guy at the baker shop who is a healing-type writer…”(TL Note:)A healing type writer is an author who trying to have a happy ending in a very dark setting. Example: Gen “Urobutcher” (self-claimed).(End.TL Note)
…Again. You really….always like that with anything that doesn’t get your interest.
“Then aside from Eromanga-sensei, everyone is here. Then in the meantime, let’s continue with the introductions —”
“Before that, we need to decide our seats!”
Elf interrupted me and forcefully pulled my hand:
“I want to sit next to Masamune ~~ ♪”
*Pop* Suddenly, Muramasa-senpai’s temple popped.
“What….Yama-something-sensei, you are so shameless.”
“You! How dare you still forget my name! Don’t you remember who taught you how to use an ATM?”
“What is an ATM?”
“The machine to withdraw cash at the baaaaaaaank!!! Aaaarhh! You are so troublesome!”
The most troublesome thing was the fact she acted that way naturally, without trying.
“Anyway, I will not give this position to anyone!”
“Then I will take the other side! Can I, Masamune-kun?”
“P, please don’t be so close to me, I’m embarrassed!”
“Hey! Why are you only embarrassed with Muramasa? I’m more beautiful than her!”
Thus two beautiful girls tucked me in the center —
….Damn, I’m going to faint.
I had no idea what they were thinking, it was getting more chaotic. Not to mention that Muramasa-sensei was too close, my heart was racing non-stop.
*Bang bang bang bang bang*
The ceiling banger “Knock it ooooooooooooffffffffff !!!!!” roared in the house.
A few minutes later —
I held the tablet with Eromanga-sensei inside and sat down at the sofa. Next to me was Shido-kun, who was restless. Elf and Muramasa-senpai sat down on another sofa.
「That’s good. 」
After took care of the seating, Eromanga-sensei nodded (via the screen).
Let me explained. After that ceiling banger, I rushed to the second floor.
After Eromanga-sensei gave me an ear full, I received the order 「change the seating immediately 」and run back with the tablet of Eromanga-sensei in hand.
Having seen everything from the beginning, Shido-kun timidly asked:
“Just now…what was that noise? Was it…related to Eromanga-sensei?”
「It was a poltergeist 」
「I said it was a poltergeist 」
He acted like he already understood. I should hide the fact that Eromanga-sensei is my little sister. Only me and Elf knew this secret.
After this incident, Muramasa-senpai probably had guessed something. But she didn’t talk with me about it. Based on her personality, there is no need to ask her to keep it a secret…but to be safe, I might need to talk with her soon.
“Still, Izumi-kun…is really popular.”
Shido-kun looked at me, a hint of a smile in his eyes.
Hm, it’s nothing like that.
Just now…it wasn’t anything good.
*Bang bang bang*The ceiling shook again.
「Ha? What are you saying? There is nothing good about it. 」
Then a machine-like voice came out of the tablet in my chest:
「Because Izumi-sensei has someone he likes, isn’t that right? 」
「Ha? What is with your weak reaction? Are you making fun of me? 」
…. Eromanga-sensei is so scary…
「Aside from the one you like, you don’t feel anything from anyone, right? 」
“Yes sir! I felt nothing!”
Seeing my conversation with my little sister, Shido-kun asked Elf:
“What is it with them? Both of them are….male, right?”
“The situation is a bit complicated.”
What are you saying…You might make Shido-kun think that I’m a homo.
During this time, Muramasa-senpai had begun writing again without a care about the world.
Since I was unable to stand Eromanga-sensei’s pressure anymore, I put the tablet down and said:
“I’ll go and prepare some food! Everyone should introduce themselves!”
Ignoring the call 「Don’t you dare run away 」 from the tablet, I escaped to the kitchen. Elf followed me.
“Let me help.”
“…If you are here , what would you do if Eromanga-sensei gets angry again?”
Elf waved her hand, put her mouth close to my ear and whispered:
“Anyway…are you jealous because I was talking to another boy? Don’t worry ♪, I only said a few words for the sake of politeness, there is no need to be alarmed.”
What are you talking about? Elf took a step back and looked around the kitchen.
“Hum ~ you are preparing the dinner? It looks quite simple.”
“I’m just going to make some fried food. I’m fine on my own, go back to your seat.”
I put the apron and triangular scarf on.
Elf thought for a moment and said:
“Alright then. But this kitchen is really well-equipped, even better than mine. Next time let me borrow it.”
“As long as you make Sagiri’s portion too.”
She didn’t look promising, but Elf’s cooking really is good.
“I knew you would say that. Ah, by the way, here is the present from me and Muramasa.”
“Did we get it right? Don’t take it out now, make sure to give your little sister a surprise.”
“Thank you! This is it! This is exactly it!”
“Alright alright, you are welcome! Really, it’s so easy to make you happy.”
Somehow Elf smiled wryly before leaving the kitchen.
You guys wanted to know what did Elf bought? Just wait and see. It was time to bring out what I prepared.
Elf suggested a party for the world light novel tournament, but we can make it a summer party.
Although I was a bit interested in those shops.
In other words, we prepared food normally sold at those summer festival shops – everyone together (of course we couldn’t prepare the fireworks) – but at least we had a part of summer’s atmosphere. This way, even if she didn’t leave her room, Sagiri could have some memories for summer.
That was what I intended.
We pushed everything on the table aside and put Japanese food on it.
Yakisoba, ikayaki, takoyaki (TL Note:)[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakisoba Yakisoba] is a Japanese noodle dish based on Chow Mein.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikayaki Ikayaki] is baked or grilled squid.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki Takoyaki] is a ball shaped Japanese snack usually filled with Octopus.(End.TL Note), grilled corn, sweet apple, chocolate banana….
The same food was also sent in to the locked room.
“Wow! Amazing! They look delicious!”
“Truly! Did Masamune-kun make them all by yourself?”
“Although all of them are common people’s food, but…pass.”
Everyone gave their comments.
Even Eromanga-sensei temporary forgot her disguise.
Anyway, it’s good as long as she had fun.
“Masamune! As the host, say something!”
If Elf said so then I don’t have a reason to refuse. Let’s start with a greeting.
“Everyone, thank you very much for taking part in this party for the world light novel tournament.”
Clap clap clap. Everyone clapped their hands.
“Although we might become competitors in the future, I hope we could be friends. Anyway, I’ll be short so the food doesn’t get cold – so now – Cheer!”
*Cling*We knocked our glasses together.
“Fortune amidst misfortune, my novel was chosen to be published too. Although I lost in the tournament, I planned to fix that later. Hope everyone will read it.”
“Masamune-kun, congratulations on your victory. I really want to see the published version.”
“You won thanks to my training! Kneel and thank me!”
「Sorry everyone, I wasn’t able to go. Izumi-sensei also prepared the same food for me, allowed me to participate via Skype. 」
You are right upstairs though.
Although there were some difficulties at first, but now it looked fine. Everyone was eating happily. The atmosphere is friendly.
Different people have different ways of thinking, but in my opinion, we are companions, not enemies. In this industry, we might even be called comrades.
Of course – while small – there existed a chance that sometime two individual’s interests contradicted each other’s. My showdown with Elf. With Muramasa-senpai — those were examples.
But at the same time, the more an author tried to outdo another, the more people liked the light novel. Thus, the more people became fans.
So there was no need to be jealous of famous novelists – the thought “I don’t want to improve my relationship with my enemy” only hurts yourself.
That’s why I truly hope everyone could try harder together.
Well, as humans, there will be a time when we hate or become jealous of someone else. Even I was no different. I once thought “The novelist whose pen name similar to mine should die” or “I will not accept Muramasa.”
“It’s time for self-introductions.”
Following my suggestion, Shido-kun raised his hand:
“Let me go first. The rest of you looked familiar with each other.”
No one opposed it.
Shido-kun coughed twice and calmly said:
“My name is Shidou Kuminitsu, I made my debut two years ago. Now, I’m attending a university while writing, mostly focus on gourmet novels.”
“Since your debut, your hobby is Convenient Store Switch, loli and romance play. But you sent a gourmet novel to the world light novel tournament – why did you do that?”
I asked. Since he was so humble, thus even if he told me to ask freely, I couldn’t. Now I just played it safe.
“I liked food since I was small, especially sweet. Every time I went to the convenience store, I bought a lot…I always hope one day I could make delicious biscuits and chocolate pies that kids would love.”
Everyone had their own dreams, but few managed to follow it till the end – most of us changed our dreams based on our ability and real life conditions.
Like someone wanted to become a manga artist, yet became a romance writer.
Some wanted to become a professional baseball player, yet became a baseball office supplies maker.
Some wanted to become an author, but became an editor instead.
But still, some did reach their dreams.
“Ahaha, so at first I wanted to make sweets, then somehow I became a novelist who wrote a gourmet novel.”
People like Shido-kun are very common.
“Now, my dream is to one day join forces with a businessman and sell my work together with my sweets.”
I think that dream is great. In order to do that, he needs to write something that could be made into anime. Although our dreams were different, we had to go through the same route.
“If you do, I will definitely buy some.”
Embarrassed, Shido-kun smiled proudly and gave me a small paper package. Inside was a small cake.
“This is my present.”
“Could it be…you did it yourself?”
“Yes. It might not taste good with hot food, but please give it a try.”
“Wow, thank you.”
Elf once said that ‘romance genre authors are good at cooking’. Looks like she was right.
If I wanted to change to a romance genre, should I practice making cake? Well, maybe in my free time.
“Alright, next is my turn!”
Next to me, Elf jumped up and down. Looked like she couldn’t wait anymore. She stood up and made a strange pose:
“I’m Yamada Elf! I’m the beautiful female novelist whose book is about to be made into an anime!”
“Muramasa-senpai is more famous than you though.”
“You there! Shut up!”
Elf pointed at me and proudly raised her chest:
“My dream is – to write the Ultimate Light novel – to conquer this world.”
She said something like a final boss in a kid’s manga.
“…Yamada Elf-sensei’s personality is exactly the same on the Internet.”
“Right right, I agree.”
I whispered with Shido-kun, who was left speechless.
By the way, Muramasa-senpai was eating takoyaki while writing, she didn’t listen to any of that.
「Let me ask you a more realistic question. How are you going to conquer the world with light novels? 」
Who cares!? Eromanga-sensei, why do you have to ask that?
“As long as my books are sold all over the world, it will become true! As soon as my name is praised all over the world, that means I conquered the world.”
「If I remember correctly, X *beep* has sold 500,000,000 copies, yet it didn’t conquer the world. 」
That book has a lot of fans in the world, but it hardly could be called ‘conquer the world’.
「Besides, if you wanted to conquer the world with a book, at least you need to beat “that” – the current strongest light novel. 」
“What do you mean, “that”? The one with predicted battle point 600,000,000?”
「Based on Elf-chan’s way of talking, “that” got 388,000,000,000 battle point. 」
“Three hundreds and eighty eight billions? Not counted in ten thousands anymore?”
Elf was totally surprised, so much that she switched from Arabian number to kanji reading.
“Anyway, what Eromanga-sensei is saying is that “that” is the strongest book in the world. Although I won’t say its name, it made its way into the Guinness book. If you insult “that”, your life might be in danger. Is that right?”
「Yes yes. 」
In fact, just calling it a light novel is a risk. As expected of the most famous book in the world.
“If you mean “that” then it truly could conquer the world.”
Wow, Shido-kun, you could follow with this nonsense.
Although Elf was shaken when faced with “the strongest book in the world”, she quickly recovered and boasted:
“Then my first target is the best in Japan!”
Well, this time it’s more believable.
“Right now, my goal is to defeat the 「Hachiraijin (TL Note:)The Eight Thunder-gods(End.TL Note)」 of light novel. ”
“Is that a title of Dengeki Bunko?”
Hearing my question, Elf looked at the distance and answered:
“They called them the reincarnation of Japan’s eight great thunder gods, each of them is an Arch novelist with sales exceed 10,000,000.”
She spoke nonsense again.
Still, somehow Muramasa-senpai had stopped and listened.
“Eh, the people you just said, are their novels good?”
Looks like she wanted to hear more. She wanted to find the novel for herself after all.
“What are you saying? You are one of the Hachiraijin too.”
Muramasa-senpai paled. Elf proudly added:
“From now on, you should called yourself as one of them. How about 「Kuruizaku Kuroikazuchi no Muramasa (TL Note:)The raging destruction black thunder Muramasa(End.TL Note) 」?”
Muramasa-senpai looked at Elf, dumbfounded.
“Hey Elf. Senpai, don’t be angry. There is no need to pay attention to that weird nickname.”
“It’s not weird…really, you have no taste in art. Such a cool name.”
I highly doubt that anyone would be brave enough to introduce themselves with that name.
I shook my head. At the same time, Elf turned to Muramasa-senpai:
“Alright, now it’s your turn.”
“I said it’s your turn to introduce yourselves.”
Hearing that, Muramasa-senpai recovered. She slowly stood up, made a pose like she was in a play and introduced:
“One of the Hachiraijin , Kuruizaku Kuroikazuchi no Muramasa, forward.”
“You really used that?”
Seeing my surprise, senpai sternly replied:
“Yes. Although that name sounded strange, but after thinking carefully, there is something cool about it.”
“Sure. It’s really cool when senpai rightfully said it just now.”
So I need to be able to do that in order to become a best-selling author like Elf and Muramasa-senpai….need to think about it carefully.
“But please, senpai, introduce yourselves normally. You see, saying your name is ‘The raging destruction black thunder, Muramasa’ during the first meeting doesn’t sound right, okay?”
“Doesn’t sound right?”
But somehow I got the feeling that Muramasa-senpai couldn’t make any better introduction.
“In that case….”
She coughed and re-introduced herself:
“Senjyu Muramasa. Masamune-kun’s friend.”
Author – novelist or anything – she didn’t say. Those title are meaningless to her. The only side explanation she gave made my heart race.
I smiled and asked:
“Senpai, what’s your dream?”
“To write 「the best light novel in the world 」 to read.”
She looked directly into my eyes and answered.
………..A moment of silence.
*Bang bang bang* The ceiling shook again.
Why did Sagiri get angry again?
Elf turned toward the tablet in my chest, said:
“Eromanga-sensei, don’t worry. There is no need to be that alert around her.”
「What do you mean, Elf-chan? 」
“Hey Elf, don’t give Eromanga-sensei any strange ideas.”
“Just listen. Okay, now I will give you my experience to write a romance novel.”
“What a fast change of subject!”
Muramasa-senpai glared at Elf.
Of course she would, considered that the subject suddenly switched to her.
Elf shouted “Shut up”, ignored Muramasa-senpai and raised a finger:
She made a noise like a quiz show:
“Question: In a romance novel, for the main heroine, there is one thing that is stronger than the little sister’s moe — what is that? Masamune-kun, please!”
“There is nothing like that!”
Elf muttered “Die, siscon” while glaring at me.
“Hint: This is something that Muramasa has, but Yamada Elf will never able to get in her life. What is that?”
Wow, what a loud roar.
On the other hand, Muramasa-senpai blushed, she hid her chest with her hand and looked at me:
“…I knew it, you don’t know how to restrict yourselves.”
Feeling embarrassed, I looked away.
“Hint: This is something that could greatly boost a girl’s charm.”
“Hint: Most of the time, this is something that only appeared when the novel is almost finished.”
“Hint: Most of the time, after a character gets this, their chance to appear again is greatly reduced.”
“Hint: Due to all of those reason, this is very hard to use correctly….”
“– Wait a second. There is no need to go further. Japanese is a race full of kindness and compassionate for the weak, so this might count as something good, but in the end this is still something for sub-characters. The main heroine like me is the center of the story.”
Elf gave the tablet a meaningful glance.
「 ————— 」
Eromanga-sensei didn’t say anything, while I simply didn’t understand a single bit.
Muramasa-senpai broke into a laughter, coldly replied:
“You dare to say that? It’s not a good thing to mix up between fiction and reality. Don’t. Also, you see that you made a big mistake?”
“What mistake? There is no mistake.”
It’s truly hard to interrupt girls when they talked. Both me and Shido-kun were completely helpless.
“Hm, so what about you, Yamada Elf? Everything you said is just an empty boast.”
That was the first time Muramasa-senpai got Elf’s name right.
“You asked what about me? Although just sitting around and making plans isn’t my style, but I couldn’t understand you. This guy — unlike a lover, you seemed to want something else.”
“….Are you purposely trying to confuse me?”
“Maybe I did go overboard. But I don’t just not like it anymore, it’s annoying me.”
Elf and Muramasa-senpai glared fiercely, spark flying everywhere. The atmosphere is almost waiting to explode.
“Wah wah, it’s my turn!”
I quickly jumped in between them.
Thankfully I picked the right time. Everyone’s eyes focused on me, the previous atmosphere completely disappeared.
Really…how do girls get angry due to trivial matters?
“My name is Izumi Masamune, author, high school student. My masterpiece is The Silver Wolf of Reincarnation. Now I’m working on my newest story The cutest little sister in the world. ”
I took a deep breath and looked at Eromanga-sensei.
“I want to see this book become famous, to see it is made into anime, then watch it together with my little sister – this is our dream.”
Everything became silent.
Then, starting from Muramasa-senpai, everyone clapped their hands. Everyone told us about themselves, about their dream.
I kept going with this flow.
“Last is Eromanga-sensei’s turn.”
I turned the tablet toward everyone, said:
Everyone looked at her and began to persuade:
“…Eromanga-sensei….I’m interest in you….”
“Eromanga-sensei — hurry up! Let’s see your face!”
Eromanga-sensei! Eromanga-sensei! Eromanga-sensei!
Hearing that name non-stop, Eromanga-sensei’s reaction was —
「I, I I I I don’t know anyone with that name! 」
Still the same answer as always.
Even though she still had her mask on, her shell was gone.
“Alright alright. Don’t call Eromanga-sensei Eromanga-sensei anymore! Each time you called Eromanga-sensei Eromanga-sensei, Eromanga-sensei is so embarrassed! Isn’t that right, Eromanga-sensei?”
「Ni, Nii-sa, Izumi-sensei said it more than anyone… 」
「An, anyway, I don’t know…anyone with that name. 」 Sagiri repeated again: 「Also…my dream….Izumi-sensei just said….eto…. 」
She hesitated. Because she wasn’t used to talking with others, Sagiri became silent.
But no one said anything. We believed Sagiri will say something next.
A few minutes later —
Elf tried to ask:
“…Eromanga-sensei, you must have a dream too right? What is that?”
In the screen, Eromanga-sensei paused. Her head lowered.
I couldn’t guess what was my little sister’s expression was like behind that mask.
She slowly told us her dream:
「….Become….the bride….of the one I like… 」
This must be the biggest dream here among us.
That night, after everything was finished and everyone had returned home. I was inside the locked room, in front of my little sister.
“Did you….have fun today.”
Sagiri muttered. She didn’t look at me
“I see….I had a lot of fun. Everyone gathering together, chatting, eating…it was fun. The joy of those noises….now everyone has gone…the house is so quiet….”
Sagiri quietly looked at me. Feeling embarrassed, I quickly stood up.
“Alright, take a look at this.”
Let’s get to the main topic then.
I took it out and said:
“Cotton candy maker machine. Elf and Muramasa-senpai bought it together. You need that to get the feeling of a Summer Festival, right?”
Sagiri slightly leaned over to take a better look.
Heh, that got her interest!
“Why didn’t you take it out earlier?”
“I wanted to surprise you. Hehe, could my plan have succeeded?”
“…There is…no…such thing….”
Sagiri pouted and turned away.
I smiled wryly and started the machine to get her attention.
“It’s better to make cotton candy yourself. Look!”
I opened the cover and put sugar inside.
Cotton candy appeared like a cloud in the middle of the machine.
Sagiri put her hands on the floor as support to take a better look inside. Could it be that she is wondering if that would give her an idea?
“Then I use a chopstick to gather them – like this.”
I put a chopstick inside and spun it around. Little by little, cotton gathered.
Suddenly, I noticed Sagiri watching me. I smiled and told her:
“Want to try?”
This is how she should act, like a child her age. I happily gave her the chopstick.
She grunted while moving the chopstick.
“You need to spin it too — yes, like that…”
“Okay, give it to me.”
More and more cotton candy gathered. And the empty feeling inside me slowly disappeared.
We looked like real siblings.
Finally we finished. It wasn’t much, but it’s done.
“Wow, we are done.”
“…Haha, take a look.”
Although I carefully prepared the food before, but she probably preferred sweets.
Sagiri took a bite of the cotton candy.
A charming smiled appeared.
“Really? It’s good then.”
Seeing this, I probably had the same expression on my face.
She raised the cotton candy toward me.
I took a bite like she said. The sweet spread in my mouth.
“I know, right?”
Time passed in silence. I only met Sagiri for a short time before my parents passed away, this might be the first time we spent so much time together.
Finally, we finished eating. Sagiri slowly said:
“Nii-san…are you lonely?”
“……..A few days ago…when you went to the editors department…since you came back…you felt strange.”
Yes. Recently, even I felt that something is strange.
Although my body felt normal…that feeling was still here.
“…Lonely? Because you can’t go home?”
“Maybe it’s right.”
I acknowledged my feeling. Maybe I was able to do that thanks to the gentle atmosphere.
“…I…can’t let Sagiri take care of the house alone.”
This is my secret. My shameful secret that I had never told anyone.
“Mom – I meant my real mother…she had a traffic accident after she left me to take care of the house alone — she never came back. After that…I was always afraid of this feeling…”
I’m scared of staying at home alone. I’m scared of loneliness.
But I never told anybody about it. I hid it, suppressed it. I didn’t want to cause more trouble for my father.
Masamune. You are not going to be alone again. We have a new family.
I bet that father already knew.
“So when I heard that I got a new family member, I was very happy.”
“I see…this…is your second time.”
Mother, father, mom…I couldn’t tell them “Welcome back” anymore.
“So….even when I didn’t realize it…it got worse…I think that it didn’t show itself because you were at home with me.”
But the moment I left the house, it showed.
I’m deathly afraid to be separate from my family. I feared that I might not be able to see them again — that thought sometimes still appears in my mind. It’s so painful.
“I’m so useless. I’m already a high school student, yet….”
Suddenly, something warm touches my head.
When I realized it was Sagiri’s hand, my heart skipped a beat.
She gently patted my head.
“You know… I can’t go outside my room anymore. I’ve become scared of so many things… I have no idea what I should do… And yet, I don’t have any problems with just you, so that mustn’t be true.”
“…I….when I said ‘You don’t have to force yourself to go to school’, something that sounds like I was saying for your sake…”
Should I tell Sagiri this?
When Megumi asked me about Sagiri – my answer came from the bottom of my heart.
It wasn’t a lie. But….
“…But I’m afraid. I’m afraid of being alone, so I need you to be by my side.”
…But it was only half of the reason. The other half is very embarrassing, I couldn’t say it out loud.
Sagiri didn’t say anything, she just stroked my head.
Time passed in silence…
“…I understand now. Nii-san, you want to have a family. Since your real mother was gone, your new mother, your father too…you were very, very lonely.”
I agreed. This must be the truth.
I raised my head and firmly said:
“I want to be a family.”
“I…never considered you my family…I don’t want to be your little sister.”
Sagiri still repeated her words from before.
But this time, she laughed:
“But it can’t be helped. I will be your little sister for the time being.”
I wanted to cry.
I’m so happy. Really, really happy. Yet my heart hurt.
“By the way…Sagiri…is your dream getting any closer?”
She dropped herself on the bed and looked up —
“It’s getting further and further away.”
That was what she said.