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Only my friend’s little sister’s older brother is kind to me
A human being’s lifespan is very short, with only about 876.000 hours. Just by breathing, the countdown on your life expectancy moves forward. Even so, all the high school students in the word spend their days in carefree bliss—
—that’s what a single second-year student is thinking as he sits in the corner of a noisy classroom. Of course, he had already organized his workbooks from the prior class period, and his notes were brimming with information. It was the outcome of using his time as efficiently as possible. When he looked around the classroom, he saw playful male characters lowering their heads and begging their friends for their notes, or bitches with their loose heads and thighs who had given up and complained about it.
—Every single one of them has the actual nerve to do absolutely nothing.
All of them had wasted their precious self-study time, and had just realized that it was too late. While those people were using their time right before homeroom to copy notes from others, I was busy striving for an even higher level of academic knowledge. Though it may be an obvious thing to do, it gives you a great advantage in today’s competitive society. It might sound a bit odd coming from me, but I, Ooboshi Akiteru, am the the most average human you can find. Math, Japanese, English, social studies, cooking class, gym class — in all of these different subjects, I average around 80 points. Though there might be some who would consider this sufficient, this is what I get after using the time given to me with utmost efficiency. This is the limit. And the only reason that I cannot get a 100 and stand on top is because I lack the gift, or at least that’s how I’ve always seen it. I don’t have any prominent negative or lacking traits, but neither do I hold any kind of exceptional talents. Of course, this same principle applies to my facial features, as well. If you were asked what exactly a ‘normal person’ looks like, you could point at my average-looking face, and ten out of ten people would agree.
And since I’m this kind of average human being, if I want to stand out even one step ahead of other people, I can’t waste even a single minute. I’ve devoted myself in order to ensure that my future is secure. And if I had to name one thing that differentiates this ‘normal’ me from others—
“You dropped your eraser,” I said.
“Uwa?! That really scared me! You were here, Ooboshi?”
“What? I’ve been here this whole time.”
“S-Sorry, I didn’t mean anything by that…”
The normie boy in front of me, who had been frantically working on his assignment, honestly apologized. Of course, he didn’t mean any ill by it. Practically speaking, even though this guy is a normie, he’s not a rascal. On the contrary, he’s actually rather nice, and he even talks to me despite us not being friends at all. Even so, he didn’t notice me sitting here at all.
That perfectly demonstrates the problem I suffer from—
My weak presence.
Humans remember other people with symbols and notations. If you’re wearing glasses, then you’re Glasses-kun; if you wear showy make-up, then you’re a high school gal; if you have a blond mohawk, then you’re a yankee; if you have grades that place you in the top tenth percentile, then you’re a genius; if you’re funny to talk to and make good jokes, then you’re an entertainer. Of course, that doesn’t just apply to good impressions. ‘Fatty,’ ‘baldy,’ ‘slut,’ and so on are additional ways to classify people in order to remember them more easily.
…However, I’m in the middle of all of that, with neither anything positive nor anything negative that stands out.
I have zero individuality.
On top of that, nobody is terrifically aware of my presence, which only weakens my already weak image. Of course, this isn’t caused by ignorance or bullying. It’s just that there isn’t any topic that they want to bring up. If I jump into a conversation, that’s good and all, but no conversation is started by talking to me.
—Ahhh, what an efficient environment this is!
Without having to waste my time with pointless conversations, or maintaining unnecessary relationships, I can devote my precious time to what is really necessary.
There is nothing that could bring me more happiness!
Even though I say that, it’s not like I’m denying any sort of friendship. It’s just that I choose for myself the people that are worth keeping up relationships with.
Yes, that’s exactly what—
“Fuaaaah… Good work, Aki.”
“Oi, you look just as sluggish as ever, Ozu.”
“I’ve worked all the way until morning, you see… Here, look, my eyes. There’s totally red, right?”
“As always, you’re in the all-nighter condition. Don’t worry, though, I’ve got you covered with my notes.”
“Thanks… Really, all you need in life is friends…”
The boy staggered towards me while counting sheep in his head before sitting down behind me. He was a pretty boy when he stood up, a genius when he sat down, and a protagonist when he was walking. The identity that should be drawn in the middle of the painting, and the person most befitting of being the center of the story. That is Kohinata Ozuma. The person I’ve been calling Ozu. The human whom I’ve decided to keep company with all of my life, and my one and only friend.
“Next time, I’ll treat you to some anmitsu. That one in front of the train station… Aki, you like Japanese sweets, right?”
“Quite. Something like this isn’t a big deal though, so don’t bother.”
“No. I’m being such a terrible bother that I want to repay you.”
Grin, Ozu grinned like the prince in a children’s fairy tale. Because of that, the cold feeling inside of me was blown away by his transmitted heat, and I felt my eyes getting hot.
“You… you really are a nice guy…” I earnestly muttered.
“I can’t help it. I feel this way from the bottom of my heart. I won’t lie about my feelings.”
“Hahaha, so weird. But that human interest is so typical for you.”
“No, I don’t have that at all. It might sound weird coming from me, but I live by calculating.”
“The moment said calculating takes us into consideration, I think it becomes the embodiment of kindness.”
Since I didn’t really want to continue the conversation, I dropped the topic. When I did, Ozu might’ve realized what I wanted to do and followed suit.
“Well, there’s plenty of reasons for me to pay you back because of my little sister being a bother again. She went to your place the other day, right?”
“Ahhhh, yeah she did.”
“No matter how often I change the place I hide that key, she still manages to find it… Really, I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t apologize. It’s not it’s your fault, Ozu.”
Kohinata Ozuma and Kohinata Iroha. The fact that both of them are connected by blood is something I still cannot understand. Ozu is a considerate human being. He can read the atmosphere, and he can feel genuine sympathy for the people around him. Not to mention that he feels responsible for his little sister’s misconduct, and even goes so far as to make it up to me. To me he unquestionably looks like a saint.
But that annoying girl is the exact opposite. To this day, I still wonder what kind of nonsense the gods pulled when they were creating her character up in heaven.
“I think that it’s because Iroha likes Aki, though.”
“Woah, that face makes it look like you absolutely hate the idea.”
“Of course. That’s pretty harsh for a joke.”
“Hmm, you’re saying that about a relative of mine? Even though I agree she’s not perfect.”
“I can’t help it, can I? I think so, and I won’t lie about my feelings.”
“Even though that’s the same phrase you just used before, I don’t feel any kindness from you at all…”
“I mean, her having feelings for me is just impossible. She’s just having fun and annoying the life out of me.”
“What if’s just reverse affection—?”
“And there it is. That urban legend. No, that’s complete nonsense. If she really liked me, she’d cut the annoying stuff and use an easy-to-understand approach. That’s just obvious. There’s gotta be limits to how unreasonable you can be. She’s going far enough to risk being hated by me.”
“…I don’t think that a girl’s heart can be explained by logic…”
“Everyone’s thinking about it too much. And also, being actually liked by a girl is just as much of an urban legend.”
Really, I’m not expecting a bittersweet spring of love like the kind you see in mangas and anime. Rather than being liked, all the encounters I’ve had so far in my life have boiled down to being hated by the girl. Not one of them showed me a single fragment of affection. That’s why I gave up.
“It’s not like there’s any reason for girls to fall in love with someone as boring as me, anyway.”
“I do think that Aki is pretty popular, though~”
“That doesn’t sound like anything other than sarcasm if it’s a pretty boy like you saying that.”
“See, you’re kind.”
“There you go again. I’m the ‘good guy.’ That’s the type of guy who can’t become anyone’s number one.”
“…You’re quite hard to please, I see. Why is it that you get so stubborn when we talk about relationships…?” Ozu sighed and showed a troubled expression.
Really, forcing himself to say that I’m kind like that. He really is a great guy. He’s blessed with an attractive face and figure, resourcefulness, and good personality. Ozu was surely a man who will make it far in the future. Imagining the day when the world finally admits his talent makes me feel excited. I really have to treasure this friendship.
—Well, receiving his little sister as part of the set is unfortunate, but I can’t do much about that.
While I was busy thinking that,
As soon as the door to the classroom opened, the atmosphere inside the classroom changed immediately. Both the people who had been desperately trying to copy notes and the people who had been talking loudly all shut up.
The sound of heels tapping on the floor echoed through the room, and facing the students now was a young-looking woman. Her hair was bound together. She had sharp, intellectual eyes. She had a slender body and voluptuous breasts that even some models would be jealous of, and she was wearing a crisp, tight suit. She truly was a woman who perfectly matched the term ‘beautiful teacher.’ She looked around the class, where the were students who were still freely doing whatever they wanted, or standing around, and said the following words while glaring at them.
“The bell should have already rung, right? All the pigs that can’t be on time can pack their things and disappear.”
“Take your seats already. Or do you prefer a punishment?”
Bang! She stabbed her heel into the floor in front of the blackboard. In response, all the students went pale. With awkward movements, they all returned to their seats.
—Though there were also some people whose faces had turned red, who were letting out heavy “Haaah… Haaah…” breathing, I think we’re better off setting that aside for now.
“You pigs born in the form of humans. Keeping society’s rules is one of the first things you learn. You! When are you going to become human?”
She spat out abusive language that you wouldn’t expect from an educator like her. Since corporal punishment and harassment have been prohibited for teachers, seeing one spitting this much poison was rather a rare occurrence. Our class’ homeroom and math teacher: Kageishi Sumire. An attractive face and figure and a keen and sharp mind. It made sense that everyone in the class was overjoyed when we first got her as the homeroom teacher for the year, but that quickly changed. Now it’s only the small group of masochists who enjoy that attitude of hers.
“The poisonous woman” is a title that befits her poisonous tongue, her strict disciplining methods, and her gaze full of killing intent. All of these put together firmly sets her as ruler over any students that still feel like horsing around.
“Now then, we’ll start homeroom.”
Following the queen’s command, morning homeroom started. While resting her head on her hand, elbow on the table, she had the nerve to make a bossy face. How relaxed this phone-in teacher must be, to be able to overpower all the idiots here with just these few words…
…I grumbled while I focused my attention towards the classroom’s queen.
After classes, as per usual, nothing out of the ordinary happened, and my boring school life for the day ended.
“Alright, let’s go ho—”
—me, is what I started to say to Ozu, but I got interrupted.
“H-Hey, d-d-do you have a minute?”
I was suddenly spoken to by a classmate, and I unconsciously let out a weird voice.
Somebody besides Ozu has business with me? And who even is this guy? I remember that he sits near the hallway, but I remember either his name or his face. Was his name Suzuki?
I was rather taken aback because this never happened, and he also seemed perplexed.
“O-O-O-O-O-O-Ooboshi. Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You h-have a g-g-g-guest.”
“Why are you vibrating like that?”
“S-S-S-S-S-Shut it! I-I-I mean, t-that girl who came walking f-f-f-from the hallway, is that absurdly cute first year, you know?!”
I had guessed as much. There can only be one person who would induce such a reaction.
“S-She looks so stylish even without any makeup. On top of it all, she’s polite towards everyone, is good in the head, and is something of a honor student, right? That gap is really bad. What kind of good deeds did you do in your previous life for such a girl to come see you?!”
“No, it’s probably because I was a completely horrible person in my previous life.”
Letting out a sigh as I passed Suzuki (probably), I made my way towards the hallway. When I did—
I was greeted by a greeting Kohinata Iroha. Well, it’s not like there would be any other girl who would have business with me. But why did she come here so suddenly?
“……………………Why are you here?”
“Is it that weird for me to be here?” Iroha slightly tilted her head, feigning ignorance.
Seeing her unusual neat and tidy attitude filled me to the brim with a sense of discomfort. It was like she was actually a polite honor student. Well, though I had trouble believing it, she actually seemed to be like this at school. But I won’t be quiet since I know about the other side of her.
“It’s weird, you know. Calling for Ozu is one thing, but why me?”
“It’s because I have business with Senpai and not Onii-chan, of course.”
“Your way of talking and intonation make me feel nauseous. Return to your usual self already.”
“Eh, whatever are you talking about?” Iroha looked at me with the eyes of a newborn chicken, playing dumb.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing as always, isn’t she? Instead of screaming around and asking for whatever she sees, she uses polite language, and because of that, none of the people glancing at us from inside the classroom knew Iroha’s true identity. To be specific, the girls looked like they couldn’t believe their eyes, while the boys’ glares were full of envy.
“…What business? Do you want to go home together or something?”
“Correct~!” An instant reply and a bright grin.
I’m glad that she’s shorter than me. Because of that, my body should block that smile of hers from the other people in the classroom. If they saw it, I’m sure that I wouldn’t hear the end of it. What kind of relationship do we have? Did we already do it? I’d surely be the victim of an obsessive investigation. Even if I were to respond with ‘Will you shut up already! Or are you sexually unsatisfied, you idiot?!’, or if I feigned ignorance with ‘I-Its nothing’, the result wouldn’t change the slightest. It would totally ruin my perfect environment I currently had.
“Haah… I’ll go grab my things and call for Ozu, so wait a second.”
Continuing to talk like this in front of the classroom would be dangerous. You never know what kind of misunderstandings would occur. Deciding on that, I was about to return to the classroom…
“Ah, you don’t have to call for Onii-chan.”
Our route home is the same. Ozu and I are in the same class, and are friends, and Iroha is Ozu’s little sister. No matter how I think about it, going home together would be more efficient…
While I was busy thinking that, Iroha impatiently moved forward. Her cheeks were colored like leaves in the fall, and with a thin voice like a maiden in love from the Showa period…
“Really, don’t make me say it in a place filled with so many people. I want to go home together with Senpai, just the two of us.”
“——S-Stop that tone of voice! You have no intentions like that at all, and you’re just toying with me, right?!”
I responded to her with a cold voice and took a step back. When I did, Iroha’s face distorted into one of shock.
“That’s… Sniff sniff… so cruel. Even though we’re going out!!!”
And she let out this ridiculous statement in a loud voice.
“Even though you adamantly confessed your love to me yesterday! You’re so cruel! Were you only using me as your plaything?!”
“There’s a difference between going out and jabbing at each other!”
“T-Touching and jabbing each other… don’t say that so loudly… it’s embarrassing.”
“Why are you turning red?! They’ll totally get the wrong idea! I meant jabbing as in poking fun at each other!”
Iroha’s dramatic statement had clearly reached the farthest corners of the classroom. I could feel the gazes of curious students at my back, and it sent shivers down my spine. Apparently hearing the ruckus, even Ozu came to check on the situation—
“What’s wrong, Aki? …Wait, Iroha?”
“Ah, Onii-chan. Good work today,” Iroha bowed down her head with a smile that befit an honor student.
Though Ozu knew Iroha’s real personality, she didn’t give him any chance to respond to that before she continued.
“Actually, Aki-senpai and I are going out.”
“Ahhhhhh, I don’t get it! Hey Iroha, come with me for a sec!” I grabbed Iroha’s arm and started pulling her away.
At this rate, I won’t be able to get the situation under control. For now, I decided to escape from his place. I pulled her down the hallway, to an empty stair landing.
“What are you suddenly blurting out in front of everyone?! Is this a new form of fraud?! Huh?!”
“Ehhh, it’s not fraud at all. I mean, it’s almost like we’re dating, right?”
“I don’t care about that! What’s your aim with this?”
“Ahaha. My likability in the eyes of Senpai really is low! I’m not trusted at all~!”
Once we were hidden from other people, Iroha returned to her usual lax self. She held her belly in her hands and had a good laugh at my expense before she took a few deep breaths and continued.
“Senpai, you said that you would get in trouble if you got a girlfriend. So that’s why I decided to become your girlfriend!”
“Your line of thought is way too crazy…”
“Ehhh, I don’t think that behavioral principle isn’t that difficult to understand, though?”
“Haaah… just do what you want. Nobody will believe you, anyway.”
I won’t keep playing with you— I thought as I sighed.
And, while playing with her hair, she said “Is that so? I think that this setup is quite credible, though.”
“In what world? Though it might be a bit annoying, you have good looks. Your ability to match up with me is rather lacking, you know?”
“Well, it’s true that the super-mega-beautiful me and the super-mega-boring Senpai wouldn’t be a good fit.”
Can’t you put it a bit nicer? Though it is the truth.
“Truth be told, if Senpai were to spread the news, you would only be called the ‘King of Fantasies’, so that’s why I will be the one to tell everyone.”
“There’s that much of a difference in credibility, huh?”
“Exaaactly~ If I were the one to say it, I’m sure that everyone would believe me~”
“…Just stop this already…”
I lifted up my head towards the sky.
“My future is depending on this. Please don’t make it more difficult for me.”
For my dream, my goal, President Tsukinomori’s assistance is essential. Now that I’ve taken one step closer to my dream, is she really going to ruin it all like this?
With these feelings, I turned around and started to walk away. After clearly telling her that I wouldn’t let her do as she pleases, I intended to leave that place. When I did—
“…You’re way too insensitive, Senpai. Why won’t you realize it?”
Pompf, I felt something hitting my back.
Warm breathing tickled my ears. Even through her uniform, the softness and heat of her breasts were directly transmitted to me. I could feel a steady rhythm. Thump thump. Was this Iroha’s pulse I felt?
—H-Hey, what kind of atmosphere is this?
“As if I would do something like this to a person I hate. I’m just teasing you a bit…”
“W-What are you planning on doing? I don’t believe you if suddenly let out such a charming voice, okay? I-I won’t believe you.”
“…I wanted Senpai to look at me.”
“I know that Senpai is honestly thinking about his future. But if you only look far off into the distance, you won’t see what’s happening in front of you. Of course I would get lonely, you know?”
“I don’t want you to go away. I want us to be close like this, forever. I want this relationship between us to stay like this for all eternity. That’s why… That’s why, I—”
It sounded like she was opening her heart, and transmitting her feelings through the pain. Iroha’s voice cut deep into my soul, echoing endlessly.
What’s up with her? Why does she have the nerve to say that now…? What… What should I do…?
“—Just kidding!! Did you get your hopes up? You fell for it, didn’t you?!”
“Ahahaha, I wanted to try this thing once at least, this confession scene! Seeing Senpai’s heart skip a beat even though he never looks at me as a girl was soooo cute! Hey, how was it?!”
“Ah, you’re so embarrassed that you can’t find the words? Really~ even your ears are red. Senpai, you’re so c-u-t-e, you know~?”
She was still hugging me from behind, and she was overflowing with energy as she sunk her fists into my solar plexus. And just like she said, my face was probably so red that it looked like I was boiling.
—ONLY FROM ANGER AT THIS ANNOYING BITCH, THOUGH!!!
“I’m never ever gonna believe a single word you spew again—!!!”
After around 30 minutes of us playing tag inside the school building, my stamina gave out.
…Shit. The next time I see you, I’ll strangle you for sure.
「Really, what is this girl planning? She’s even attacking me when I’m in my classroom…」
「You seem to have piqued her interest, haven’t you?」
「Did your eyesight go to shit?」
「I could say the same about Aki. Going out of your way to walk to another classroom on a different floor isn’t something that someone would normally do, you know. Except if it was for a very special boy, of course.」
「Yeah, I probably am special. Special because she hates me.」
「What if her feelings grew twisted because she couldn’t accept them? There could be a lot of reasons for her actions.」
「Shut it. If she’d stop poking fun at me and just honestly confessed, I would believe her.」
「…Well, it doesn’t matter, I guess. I’m perfectly fine if the two of you keep doing what you’re doing.」