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The scenery with my little sister
“…I’m done locking up. Let’s go, Onii-chan.”
After locking the door, Suzuka jogged towards me with brisk steps and started walking by my side. Normally, we would’ve split up to go our separate ways to our schools, but that has changed now.
“Ehehehehe, the weather is nice today.”
In response to Suzuka’s gleeful laugh, I simply gazed up at the sky. There were no clouds in sight, and you could see some sakura petals blowing around in the breeze. Even though it was the same sight as April of last year, the circumstances had changed completely.
“The temperature is perfect, and the fresh air feels good…”
Of course, the reason for this difference was nothing other than the fact that Suzuka was currently walking next to me. Although I understood the concept that she would be attending the same school as me, I would still need some time to get actually used to it.
…How do I say it? Something feels weird.
Of course, it’s not like I hate the idea of going to the same school as Suzuka. I think it’s just that I’ve never experienced something like this with her. After all, in middle and elementary school, my parents (especially my old man) had doted on Suzuka, so we were always in different schools. That’s why, even though this shouldn’t have been that big of a deal, I just can’t help being conscious of her. Especially since our relationship had been rather cold and distant up until a few months ago.
“…What’s wrong, Onii-chan? You seemed to have quite the troubled expression on your face.”
“Eh? Ah, no! It’s nothing!”
…That being said, Suzuka for her part doesn’t seem bothered by it at all. She really has a calm personality.
Since I was apparently the only one embarrassed about going to the same school as my sibling, I tried to stop thinking about it.
“You shouldn’t make such a face on a beautiful day like this, you know?”
“Y-Yeah. But you really seem happy today, don’t you?”
“Of course. After all, I can finally go to school with Onii-chan—”
Suzuka hurriedly snapped her mouth shut.
“A-Ah, no, uhm…!”
When I pressed her on it, Suzuka flailed her hands around with a red face.
“T-The weather is so nice, and in the middle of that, I can go to school with Onii-chan, so of course I wouldn’t feel bad. T-Though, the most important part of it is how the weather is so nice, and going together with Onii-chan is just secondary, okay?! There’s no deeper meaning to it!” After saying that, she averted her gaze. “…Onii-chan, do you hate the idea of going to school with me?”
“A-As if that would be the case.”
“T-Then, you should be making a happier face than that.”
I felt a bit startled that Suzuka was the one telling me that. Truth be told, despite feeling a bit weird about it, I was also happy that I was able to go to school with her like this. After all, Suzuka and I had only made up a little while ago, so I couldn’t help but feel impressed that we would be able to do something like this again.
…Of course, there’s no way I could tell her that straight to her face. Why, you ask? …That’s simple. It’s way too embarrassing, and equally dangerous. What do you think would happen if I said that out loud and came out as a siscon? She would definitely look at me with blank eyes, saying something like “Let’s make this a one-time thing…” with a frigid tone and cross the street to get away from me. If something like that happened, I would cry. Totally.
And even though I had these feelings within me…
“S-Suzuka?” I said in surprise.
“T-This is for my research.”
Suzuka suddenly took a hold of my hand. It was troublesome precisely because she didn’t know how I was feeling. Of course, I knew very well that she was acting like this only for her light novel, but it could still cause a lot of misunderstandings.
…But it’s fine for now, I guess.
I’m quite satisfied with this situation myself. Walking on the same path to school, eating lunch together at school, going home together after school— even though this kind of student life had only started a few days ago, it’s already become completely natural.
Like that, I continued gazing at the pleased Suzuka’s profile while we walked, and it really felt like our time as siblings had returned. It was fine to not think too deeply into it, and just enjoy this daily life as best as I could…
Suddenly, a new, strange feeling took hold of my mind. Though her height hadn’t changed at all in the few months since she’d graduated middle school, Suzuka looked a lot more grown up while wearing our high school uniform.
…T-That’s weird? Even though I’ve seen Suzuka like this countless times, my impression of her seems different. How to I say it… Rather than cute, she now looks even more beautiful…
“Onii-chan? What’s wrong? Why are you spacing out?”
Suzuka’s words brought me back to my senses.
“N-No, um… I just thought that something seemed different. Maybe you’ve changed something about your hairstyle or something…”
“Me? I don’t think I changed anything,” Suzuka said as she tilted her head in confusion.
“I-I see,” I averted my gaze.
…Yeah, it must’ve been my imagination.
It seems like I’m still not used to this. Maybe that’s why Suzuka seems to look so different from usual.
“You have to pull yourself together, Onii-chan… U-Um, your gallant face is much cooler…”
Though I didn’t hear the last part since she whispered it, I acknowledged her statement and lowered my head with an “I’m sorry.” Now that she’s attending the same school as me, I can’t cause any problems for her by being a lousy older brother.
“I-If you understand, then that’s fine… And also, about today’s research—”
Suzuka changed the subject, and started telling me about her plans for after school while still tightly holding my hand. While I watched Suzuka’s gleeful smile, I somehow felt a different heat inside me, different from the warmth I usually felt.
“D-Don’t just go home without me, okay? It’ll be over soon! …Really, why did I have to be called over by our homeroom teacher…”
“That’s because you were the only one who forgot to bring in your spring break homework.”
“I couldn’t help it, I was busy with my job!”
The person complaining like that while pouting was my classmate, Himuro Mai, who was still in my class this school year, despite the class rotation.
After classes and homeroom had ended, she had immediately walked over towards my seat. However, she was called to the teacher’s office by our homeroom teacher since she hadn’t turned in her spring break homework in time.
“Just when I thought that I would do some research for my new novel with Yuu…!”
“That’s the first I’ve heard of this, though?! Don’t just decide to do things without the permission of the person you plan to do them with!”
“I-I’m doing it out of my own selfishness, so it’s fine! Anyway, you’d better wait for me!”
Only leaving those words behind, she dashed out of the classroom. In response I let out a sigh. Since that rom-com competition had ended, I thought that her stalking activities would lessen (if only slightly), but instead, her selfishness only increased. She even said something like “Since Suzuka-san also entered this school, I don’t have the time to relax!”, to which I could only stare at her in confusion. I didn’t plan on playing along with her games, so I hurriedly got up from my seat to escape.
Just then, the classroom suddenly got more noisy.
When I looked to see what it was, Suzuka was peeking reservedly into the classroom from the hallway. The reason for my classmates’ uproar was her, of course. The person in question didn’t seem to notice them at all, and entered the classroom after she made eye contact with me.
“You were late, so I came here. So, in regards to what we talked about earlier, please treat me well.”
Naturally, she said that with a bright smile, to which the other students around us made even more of a ruckus. Unable to stand the stares around me, I hurriedly grabbed Suzuka and pulled her with me out of the classroom.
“Hm? What happened, Onii-chan?”
“Why aren’t you noticing that— no, nevermind.”
I gave up on explaining to her that she was a presence that stood out. Even if I told her, she would probably give an indifferent response. If the person herself didn’t mind, then I might as well save my energy.
And even if I told her, there’s nothing she could do about it, because frankly, she’s a beauty. And not just any average beauty, but the word “super beauty” is basically hanging over her head. Not to mention that she got top grades in the entrance exam, and she’s the representative of the new students, so she’s gotten enough attention from that alone. Of course, the fact that she came from Hakuou doesn’t help at all, so in just a few short days, she’s become like a celebrity both among students in her year as well as among her Senpais.
…You might be getting the picture by now, but my little sister is too perfect… And since we were often together, everybody quickly found out that I was her older brother. Even though the new school year had just barely started, I was already being constantly questioned about her. I was constantly being asked to introduce people to her and that sort of thing. And since I also had Mai also clinging to me, you can imagine the stares of envy I garnered from the boys.
…Ahhh, I don’t want to think about that…
Even though all of that should’ve calmed down by now, as you can see, just her coming to my classroom caused a ruckus.
“I don’t really get it, but please cheer up… W-We’ll be researching after this, you know,” Suzuka complained without knowing about my struggles.
This was just the duty of my perfect little sister’s older brother, so I decided to leave it alone for now.
“And when you say ‘research,’ what exactly do you have in mind?… Um, I’d really like it if you would hold back from walking around school grounds with your arm linked with mine…” I dejectedly said while remembering the ‘research’ from a few days ago.
“I-I can’t help it, can I? In the next volume, the setting will be a high school student life. I have to collect data on as many lovey-dovey events as I can.”
Once she said that, I had no other option as her stand-in but to give in. Even though Suzuka was the super-popular light novel author Towano Chikai, she wants to raise the quality of her novel even more, which is why we’re always doing these sorts of things.
…Well, even without that, I wouldn’t decline a request from my little sister. It’s my duty as her older brother, you know?
“A-Also, today’s research isn’t about that. I just want you to come with me to look at the different club activities.”
“Yes. Since a new school year started and there’s new students, a lot of the clubs are holding various events for us to get a better look at their activities. That’s why I wanted to check them out together with Onii-chan… Ah, o-of course only because I plan on adding a scene like this in the new novel!”
…I see, she’s right about that.
I was so busy writing light novels that I completely ignored all of the clubs here, but I heard that some of them had some really cool stuff to show.
“…A-Also, lots of people will be there, so I can prove to them how close Onii-chan and I are…! And if Onii-chan and I were to join the same club, there would be so many more chances to be flirty with him…!”
“I see. But, you don’t plan on joining any clubs, do you?”
“Hya?! W-What is it?!”
“Hey… I asked if you had any intention to actually join a club…”
“N-No, not necessarily. But, as the class representative, I still have a duty to at least show my face at a few clubs.”
I see, there’s also that. Whether she joins or not, it’s very much like Suzuka to take it seriously.
“I understand. If it’s like that, then let’s go.”
“Y-Yes! Please treat me well!”
Saying that, she suddenly jumped onto my arm, grasping it tightly.
“Wai—?! W-Why this position?!”
“D-Don’t misunderstand! This research is called “The siblings are lovey-dovey while looking at all of the different clubs,” so it’s not like I’m trying to show everyone how close we are, okay?!”
“W-We’re going to look at the clubs like this? You already stand out, so wouldn’t that only attract more attention…?”
“Just what I’m hoping— I mean it’s unfortunate, but when compared to my research, it’s perfectly fine!”
Ugh… she really is far too hardworking for her own good. But that’s probably the reason why she’s able to write such an interesting novel.
“I-I get it. But let’s not do anything that could cause any weird misunderstandings, okay?”
“…No, that’s actually my goal with this…”
“I-I-I-I-It’s nothing at all! Anyway, let’s go!”
Without giving me an answer, Suzuka just dragged me along. Of course, as we passed other students along the way, I gathered gazes that hurt in a lot of ways, but I could only resign myself to let it happen.
And like that, we arrived at the school club building. Just as the title suggested, it was the place where a lot of the clubs met, and since a lot of clubs were in the middle of their open-house events, a lot of club members were present.
“Haaaah… so these events were this lively…”
“They should’ve done this last year as well, so Onii-chan should know about it already, right?”
“No, I never actually went to check them out. I didn’t have any interest in clubs, after all.”
While Suzuka and I were talking to one another, the people around us noticed us.
“I-Isn’t that the first year Nagami-san…?”
“R-Really? So she came to check out the clubs.”
“Woah! We have to get her to join our club!”
“Hey, don’t steal her from us!”
“And she’s here with her older brother…”
While I was overhearing these conversations, I realized that a lot of students had gathered around us.
….Well, it’s not like I didn’t expect it. Though that last person’s tone of voice kinda pisses me off for some reason.
“W-We’re the baseball club. P-Please become our manager…!”
“No, please join the basketball club!”
“Won’t you play tennis with us?!”
“We’ll aim for nationals if you join the track-and-field club…!”
“T-The sumo club…”
A lot of different sports club members suddenly closed in on Suzuka. Though some club activities aren’t exactly made for girls, the club members seemed to be in a trance as they desperately tried to make her join. Even the other new first years watched the situation, saying things like “If Nagami-san is going to join, then I will too…!” or “Which club will she join?” and other such statements, showing their curiosity.
“…Sorry, but I have to decline.”
However, Suzuka declined this flood of requests slowly and politely.
..S-She really is amazing. Dealing with this situation while being so calm and collected…
Though polite, she had enough strength in her words that none of the members tried to bother her anymore. In the end, I was amazed at the ritual of people coming to her, only to drop their heads as they walked away.
…I had expected this, but Suzuka really is popular with the boys. They look at her like she’s an idol or something. Really, I wish they wouldn’t look at her with those eyes… It doesn’t sit right with me.
“Fufu, we can finally advance,” Suzuka was wearing a bitter smile by the time the path in front of us finally cleared up.
“That really was crazy… And all the boys who got turned down were glaring at me enviously…”
“N-No, it’s fine if you don’t get it. Anyway, let’s check out some of the other clubs we haven’t seen yet for your research.”
Hearing my words, Suzuka nodded. “That’s right.”
With that, we went towards the deeper part of the club building. Suzuka still was holding onto my arm the entire way, which kept attracting glances from all around, so I gave up on paying attention to it.
“Over here are the culture clubs and female sports clubs, I see.”
Just as Suzuka had stated, the more we walked forward, the more the atmosphere changed. It was a different kind of liveliness than the male sports clubs before had. Of course, the fact that Suzuka (and me next to her) were gathering a lot of attention didn’t change.
“So, is there any club you’re interested in?”
“No, I also don’t have all that much interest in joining—”
While the two of us were talking…
“Ah, it’s Nagami-san.”
“No way! I will get her to join our club!”
Just like before, a wave of students came rushing towards us (Suzuka).
…Suzuka’s popularity is even this high with the girls, huh? This reminds me of when Suzuka was called ‘Onee-sama’ at Hakuou.
—That’s what I pondered while trying to withstand the noise of all the girls around us. She will surely politely decline their invites just like before, or so I thought…
“Um um, I also have a request for Nagami-kun?”
“Can you help us persuade Nagami-san?”
“Ah, good idea!”
For some reason, their attention was also directed at me.
“Eh? What’s this about?”
“Like I said, I want Nagami-kun to beg his little sister to join the softball club.”
“Unfair! No, Senpai, ask Nagami-san if she would join the volleyball club…!”
“No, the archery club is the perfect choice, so if you would.”
All of a sudden, it had become my job to persuade Suzuka.
“H-Hey, wait! That’s really troublesome for you to ask me to do that! There’s no way that Suzuka would join your clubs if I asked her, you know?!”
“Why? Nagami-kun and Imouto-san are pretty close siblings, right? I think that she would listen to her older brother if he asked her.”
…D-Don’t just selfishly decide that…! As if I would be able to affect her in any way! My influence over Suzuka is low enough already…!
“Ehe, ehehehe… We are close siblings, aren’t we…?”
“Why are you blushing?!”
However, the person in question didn’t exactly react like how I had expected.
…No, acting in character for her research is fine and all, but this clearly isn’t the time to be acting like that, you know?!
In response, all the other female students only started pressuring me even more. Not to mention that suddenly a girl wearing a leotard, who was probably a part of the gymnastics club, suddenly appeared right in front of me and clung to my body.
“I beg you! If it’s Nagami-san, she will surely become a wonderful athlete.”
No, that’s not important right now! Something very dangerous is hitting me!
The person in question probably didn’t realize that at all as she continued to beg me. The sensation I was concerned about was almost directly transmitted to me through her thin leotard.
“Ehehehehe… Wait, Onii-chan?! What are you doing?!”
“That’s my line!”
When Suzuka came to her senses, she was glaring at me with a red face. Though I replied with a desperate look on my face, and asked for her help, she only strengthened her grip on my arm in response.
Instead of caring about your research, do something about this situation already!
—Then it happened.
“Ahhhh! So this is where you were!”
Just when I thought that I was hearing a familiar voice, everyone present turned around. The person who greeted us was…
“M-Mai?! Why are you here?!”
“Because I was searching for you, of course! I told you to wait for me, didn’t I?!”
“…Mu, Himuro-san. W-What is this about, Onii-chan?”
“Ah, Suzuka-san is with you? I made a promise with Yuu to go do some research after school.”
“I don’t remember that promise! She’s just making that up!”
“T-That’s not true! I properly asked! I said ‘I’m going to do some research, so prepare yourself!’”
“I never gave my okay to that, and that sounds more like an order than a request!”
“…A-Also, what are the two of you doing here?”
S-She’s ignoring my response…!
“We are looking at the different clubs. O-Onii-chan went out his way to come with me. At the same time, we’re doing some research.”
“Wha—, r-research, you say…!”
In response to what almost sounded like bragging from Suzuka, Mai replied with a bitter expression. But she immediately changed her expression and it seemed like she had just thought of something…
“T-Then I have an idea. I’ll do research with Yuu too while we’re checking out the other clubs!”
“Ehh?! T-That’s…! The research is supposed to only be with me…!”
“So with that being decided, I’ll come with you.”
This time it was Mai who boldly stated that with a confident grin, while Suzuka’s body shrunk with an “Uuu…!”
Of course, my opinion was completely disregarded. I was starting to wonder if this was just part of being a stand-in.
“Hey hey, what’s this about?”
“I don’t really know what they mean by ‘research…’”
“But, with this, maybe Nagami-kun can persuade Himuro-san to make her join a club…?”
“W-What did you just say?!”
At that moment, the girls who had been confused by Mai’s sudden appearance started blurting out things like that.
…Ah, I’m getting all sorts of bad vibes now.
And of course, all the club members closed in on me once again.
“Hey hey, if you were to listen to my request, I might even give you some one-on-one service, you know?”
The next second, a girl wearing cheerleading clothes with considerably big breasts came over, grabbed my arm, and pressed her breasts against me. Feeling that soft sensation on my arm robbed me of any words.
“W-W-W-W-What are you doing?!”
“Yuu! What kind of indecent things are you asking for! I’m totally okay with it…!”
“Now now, I’m the captain of the cheerleading club, you see, and it seems like Nagami-kun is quite the fan of it. How about you join our club so that you can make him fall in love with you?” said the club president, still pressing her breasts against me with a teasing grin on her face.
It was a clear provocation. She’s trying to use me as bait to get the two of them to join. Since her ruse was so obvious, I was sure that neither of them would fall for it—
“I will be provisionally joining the club!”
“…And why exactly did you take that bait?”
“I-I couldn’t help it, could I? It’s Onii-chan’s fault for being seduced like that! Reflect on it!”
Suzuka was glaring at me with a bright-red face. Though I wanted to reason with her, it was true that I had let my guard down because of the sensation of that girl’s breasts… But that’s not exactly within my power to control, you know?
“W-Well it’s fine. This will just go into my data for our research,” Suzuka said, as she looked down at her cheerleader outfit
After what happened, we had borrowed cheerleading uniforms and went out to the practice area.
“That’s true. Since this outfit is one of Yuu’s favourites, it might not be a bad experience.”
At the same time, Mai also came with us under the pretext of her “Research,” also wearing a cheerleading uniform.
“No, it’s not like I’m a fan of those clothes, you know…” I said.
“Do you hate them, then?”
…Again, why do all the girls around me argue with that kind of logic?
“Hehehe, how nice how nice! Both Nagami-san and Himuro-san are super amazing beauties, so if you were to join, our club would be unstoppable!”
In the meantime, the club president walked up to us, clearly scheming something with an evil grin on her face.
“I knew it was the right choice to invite Nagami-san and the others. Hehehe, how about I give you some more service?”
“My position will only suffer from all this, so I have to wholeheartedly decline!” I replied.
…Ugh, I’m clearly being used here. But I guess that testing out a club like this wouldn’t be bad for Suzuka’s research, would it?
“So what exactly should we do?”
“That’s right. I’ve seen it a couple of times, but I don’t have any experience.”
Both Mai and Suzuka looked down at their pom-poms.
“Since it’s cheerleading, you obviously have to cheer for someone. Let’s see, how about you just try it here and now?”
“…What exactly should we do?”
“Ah, try cheering on Nagami-kun here. Just do whatever comes to mind.”
When I looked at her in confusion, the other two twitched in response. They had satisfied expressions on their faces.
“I-I see, cheering for Yuu. If that’s it, then I’ll try… Cough, now then, do your best for me! I’m cheering for you, Yuu!” said Mai, as she pointed the pom-pom in her right hand at me.
She had her left hand on her hip, and was smiling at me, but…
“How is that cheering…?”
“W-Where are your eyes! You’re getting way too excited about this, aren’t you? You are, right?!”
Well, the fact that she had tears in her eyes and a red face, as well as that good-for-nothing feeling that I get from her, makes me think that she’s at least a bit cute. But I’d better hold back from saying that.
“U-Uhm… Cheering for Onii-chan, cheering for Onii-chan…! P-P-Please give it your best, Onii-chan…!”
Suzuka for her part tried the casual approach, but she kept hiding half her face with her pom-poms. Even so, you could clearly see that she was blushing all the way to her ears, and it was clear that she was trying her best.
“How nice! Beauties like you really shine at everything they do! See, Nagami-kun, because of them, you’ve gotten so much positive energy now!”
“No, it’s not like I… And, is this really fine? I thought that cheerleading was a bit more… um, intense?”
“Well, they’re just trying it out, after all. And the thought is what counts. But they might as well experience the real thing,” the president said, as she put her own pom-poms over her hands. “Cheerleading is a sport that heavily relies on movement. There are a lot of ways to move, but the most important one would be jumping, I guess.”
Just as she had said, she lifted her hands up and started jumping up and down. Her pom-poms and skirt were fluttering, and her two big breasts were shaking like jelly—
“O-O-O-O-O-Onii-chan?! Why is your gaze suddenly glued on her?!!”
“T-T-T-That isn’t the case, okay?!” I hurriedly averted my gaze.
…That was totally unfair!
“Hehehe. Well, like this, we try to grab attention with our movement. Now then, how about you two try?”
First I watched Suzuka. Nothing. Then Mai. Jelly-like shaking.
“H-Hey, Yuu! Where are you looking! You really are a sex-crazed devil! B-But, just this once, I’ll forgive you!”
I unconsciously focused my gaze on her, and when she realized that, Mai’s face went red while she said these sorts of things.
….She’s glaring at me, but isn’t there a hint of happiness mixed in there?
When I heard that cold voice, I stiffened up. When I looked at her, Suzuka had a bitter expression on her face and tears in her eyes. Although she tried her best to continue jumping, nothing besides her ponytail was actually shaking.
…T-This isn’t good. Suzuka is conscious of her breast size, isn’t she? Let’s try to change the subject…
“U-Uhm, are there any other moves?”
“Let’s see, there’s one called kicking, where you lift up your leg like this,” the president said, and did so, pulling up her leg with both of her hands.
Ohhh, cool. She managed to stretch her leg above her head.
…That’s great and all, but in that position, I could clearly see under her skirt. Well, she’s wearing special underwear, but still.
“I-It’s nothing at all!? H-How about you try this next?!”
Of course I had to cover my gaze… And why is Suzuka so sharp when it comes to this sort of thing…?!
Though she still didn’t seem satisfied, she copied the president’s movements. When she did, she managed to stretch her leg about as high as the president had before, so of course we were all surprised.
“Ohhh, amazing, Nagami-san! Your body is so flexible!”
“It’s not that difficult at all.”
Though Suzuka said it like it was something completely easy, I was still in awe. Just what you would expect from a perfect superhuman. When Suzuka realized that I was looking at her in admiration, she continued with a gleeful smile. Of course, there was also embarrassment mixed into my feelings, since her skirt was lifted up.
“R-Really Onii-chan is just… You’re probably remembering the panchira research.”
Again, can you stop reading my mind directly like that…?
“Muuu…! I-I’ll do it too, so watch me, Yuu!”
Mai watched the scene in silence, and tried to lift up her own leg.
Only for her to lose her balance and collapse.
“H-Hey, are you okay?”
She landed on her butt and rubbed it with tears in her eyes. But, my attention was immediately captured by her skirt, which was not hiding her pure-white panties anymore—
“H-Himuro-san?! Why are you only wearing panties?!”
Suzuka almost screamed at her, while Mai only frowned at her in confusion. When she realised the position she was in, her face went red immediately.
“Kyaaaaaaaaaa?! W-Where are you staring?!”
“I-I wasn’t staring or anything…! W-Why don’t you wear the special underwear?!”
“Eh? S-Special underwear?”
…T-This girl! She didn’t know about that?! No, even if she didn’t, why did she still do all those risky moves with that miniskirt!? How clumsy can you be!?
“U, uuu… I was seen by Yuu…! My panties…! Y-You, you really are a sex-crazed devil!”
“Why am I the one at fault here?!”
“Muu…! I was the one who did it better, so why does Himuro-san get all the attention from Onii-chan…! I-If it’s come to this, I will try something else!”
“Ohh, that’s what I want to see, Nagami-san!”
“Then, next is—”
“W-Wait a moment, will you!? I can also keep going! I need to get Yuu’s attention or— Nevermind! This is for my research!”
“For now, how about Himuro-san puts on the special underwear!”
“Ohhh, Himuro-san is also getting fired up! …At this rate, I might even get the two of them to join… Hehehehe, then, let’s try to entrance Nagami-kun even more!”
“Like I said! Can you not pull me into this?!”
…And that’s how it went.
Even after that, both of them were weirdly motivated, “trying out” various positions and moves. To be fair, I didn’t need to be there, but somehow a competition started to try to get my attention, so I wasn’t allowed to run away…
“Hey! Hey! Onii-chan!”
“I’ll give you a reward for working so hard! T-Though, anything erotic is a no-go!”
They were getting more and more heated up. I was even starting to wonder if they remembered that we were here for research. As I had no way of knowing, I could only let out a sigh. And the next words that the club president gleefully said to me certainly didn’t help.
“They’re the best! I really have to get these two to join the club! In order to achieve that, Nagami-kun also has to join, alright? The cheerleader club that is, of course!”
Of course, we didn’t join the club.
…After all, they only joined temporarily for research. Luckily, both Suzuka and Mai were able to remember that in the end.
Our voices rang alone inside the empty home. Just a while ago, a scene like this would only happen when I went to pick up Suzuka from Hakuou, but since we were actually coming home together every day, this situation had become the norm.
“…Why is Onii-chan so tired? You were only watching, after all,” Suzuka asked me while taking off her shoes.
…Because you were forcefully pulling me along, of course — is what I wanted to say, but Suzuka would probably only give a rebuttal like “Please pull yourself together.”
“Ahh… And how did that research turn out for you?” I asked her as I changed into my house slippers.
One way or another, this is the most important thing, after all. If she told me that it was a failure and that we would have to redo it, I would probably die.
“Y-Yes. let’s see. Though Himuro-san interrupted us mid-way, I did manage to flirt with Onii-chan… O-Of course, only for the research!”
“I’m glad to hear that. With this, your next volume will be just as good as ever.”
“N-No, there’s still a lot of research left for these kinds of high school events, so we will have to continue. Being lovey-dovey — no, excuse me. I mean, you can never do enough research, after all.”
“S-Seriously…” I found myself unconsciously sighing in exasperation.
…Well, if it helps raise the quality of Suzuka’s novel, then I have no other choice but to help her out.
“B-But still, I will have no problems writing the newest volume. I’m making good progress, so there’s no need to worry, Onii-chan.”
Whatever the case, her work is moving forward at a steady pace, so that’s all that matters. She seems to be in good spirits, so if she says she’s fine, then I can relax.
“By the way, how is it going on Onii-chan’s side?”
“I’m asking about the work that you’ll be submitting for the next light novel contest. How is your progress coming along?”
“That’s not really anything you should have to worry about…”
“J-Just like Onii-chan cares about my novel, I also care about what Onii-chan is doing. U-Um, we are siblings after all, so of course I would worry.”
Though Suzuka averted her eyes, clearly flustered, I did understand that she actually cared. Ever since we made up, Suzuka has been slowly but steadily working to close the distance between us.
“I see… thank you. But it’s fine. It’s slow, but I’m steadily working on it.”
“I-Is that so? That’s great. Then, I’ll go back to my room and work on my novel.”
With slightly flushed cheeks, Suzuka went on her way.
Was she flustered?—I thought. I followed suit and went back to my own room.
I changed out of my school uniform, started up my laptop, and booted up my writing software. Of course, it wasn’t to work on my light novel contest submission, but rather to figure out what kind of novel I should write next. That’s right. At the moment, I wasn’t working on any novel. After all, even now, I still couldn’t figure out what kind of novel I really want to write.
“A while ago, I told Suzuka that she only has to write what she really wants, but I don’t even know what that is for me…”
That’s exactly why I have to find the answer to that as fast as possible.
…To be honest, it isn’t going as well as I had hoped. I wrote about hundred different attempts so far, but I immediately understood that none of the had the ability to actually win the contest.
“Mmmm… Probably a battle novel… Maybe that’s the best genre for me… Hmmm…” I muttered, still continuing to press buttons on the keyboard.
That being said, it’s not like I’m suffering or anything, this is just necessary so that I can become a proper light novel author like Suzuka. While I was having these thoughts, I glanced at the wall in front of me. On the other side, Suzuka was currently also working on her own novel. In order to catch up to her some day, I have to give it my best to write the type of novel that suits me the best.
“Hmmm… This is… No, but…”
Like that, time passed until it was midnight.
Though it was quite surprising to find out that Suzuka would be attending the same school as me, even as we constantly kept doing research for her, I’ve started to grow accustomed to this situation. If our days continue going on like this, things will surely calm down. Suzuka is working hard both as a fresh high school student and as a light novel author, and it’s certainly not like I’m suffering under these circumstances.
Basically, the spring of my second year in high school has had quite the calm start, is what you could say—
…or at least that’s what I thought at the time…
“Some friends of yours are coming over to play?” I asked.
It was on holiday around two weeks after Suzuka had started attending my school. While I was relaxing in the living room, Suzuka suddenly spoke to me.
“Yes… What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” She answered.
“N-No, uhm, by ‘friends,’ do you mean yours?”
“…I don’t know what you’re trying to ask with that question. Is there any other meaning besides the literal one?”
“You actually had friends…?”
The moment I said those words out loud, I could see Suzuka’s eyebrows twitch, and all human emotion vanished from her face.
“Onii-chan…? What did you mean by that…?”
“N-No, don’t get me wrong! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it like that…!” I hurriedly apologized.
Those words had just slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them.
…But, you know. I would like for you to think about my position. The words “Suzuka” and “friends” never had any relation to one another in my mind. When she was still in middle school — attending Hakuou, she was indeed something like a celebrity. But that was more like “respect” and “worship” rather than actual “friendship,” or at least that’s how it felt to me. Of course, there’s no way I knew absolutely everything about her friendships and whatnot (because that would be rather creepy, after all), so maybe there really are people she could call her friends. But, as far as I know, she had never brought anyone like that home. That’s why I just couldn’t picture Suzuka actually bringing friends over.
—Basically, I thought something like Does she actually have any friends like that…? But there’s no way I could say that out loud…
“Somehow, it feels like Onii-chan is thinking something incredibly rude.”
“T-That’s not the case, you know?! …It’s just, um… It’s so unexpected… or something like that…”
“W-What do you mean by ‘unexpected?!’ Do I seem like the kind of girl who wouldn’t be able to make friends?!”
“I-I said that’s not it! When you were still in Hakuou, this sort of thing never happened, after all!”
“Muu, you certainly aren’t wrong about that. But everyone was living in a dorm over there, so there was never a need for them to actually come over to play, and we could’ve just used the lounge there if we wanted to meet up.”
Ahh, she’s right about that.
“Cough Anyway, I managed to make some friends. And in order to deepen our friendship, they will be coming over. They really wanted to see my house…”
“I see. All right, if that’s it, then I don’t mind,” I responded, completely relieved from the bottom of my heart.
I was really happy to know that Suzuka had managed to make some friends. It’s not that I don’t believe in her ability to make friends, but it’s more like I was afraid that other people would see her as an unobtainable flower because of her superhuman status.
“Alright, then, I’ll try to act accordingly so that I don’t shame you as your older brother.”
“No, that’s not necessary. After all, I want Onii-chan to stay in his room while my friends are here.”
While I was in a state of shock, Suzuka followed up with a “That’s why I came here to ask.”
“Ehhh?! W-What do you mean by that?!”
“Like I said, I don’t want Onii-chan to show himself while my friends are over.”
Suzuka’s words echoed inside my head.
…Ooooohhhhhh! T-This phrase hurts more than anything else…!
“W-Wait… N-No matter how much of a useless older brother I am, isn’t that a bit too harsh…?!”
“…? What are you saying, Onii-chan? And why are you close to crying?”
“I-I mean, you’re so embarrassed about me being your older brother that you don’t want your friends to see me, right…?”
Ahhh, saying it out loud makes me want to cry. Well of course it would!
“Wha—?! Y-You’re wrong! I didn’t mean that!”
But Suzuka just turned red and started panicking.
“I-I didn’t mean it like that…! I’m always talking about Onii-chan to them…! If they were to talk to Onii-chan face-to-face now, there’s a one-in-a-million chance that towards Onii-chan, they might actually…! U-Uhm…!”
“Towards me… what? And, what do you mean you’re always talking about—”
“Hya?! A-Anyway, Onii-chan has to make sure that he doesn’t meet them! I-It’s embarrassing, after all! It would be a worst-case scenario!”
Of course, those words didn’t cheer me up at all, but rather depressed me even more.
…S-So Suzuka has that kind of view of me, her older brother…!
It’s true that we made up a while ago, and I still expected her to be quite cold to me, but having it told so directly was still quite the shock.
“I-I hope that you’ll help me out here. We’re planning to spend most of the time in my room, but please make sure that you pay attention when you have to leave your room.”
…Uuuu, it’s miserable, but I can’t help it. She’s saying this to me so directly, after all. However…
“I get it… But at the very least, let me greet them when they arrive here.”
“Ehhh?! W-Why would you…?!”
“I mean, it’s proper etiquette to greet guests that come over to my house, don’t you think?”
Since I was completely in the right here, Suzuka couldn’t say anything in response. But there was another reason. As her older brother, I wanted to at least have a brief glimpse at what kind of friends Suzuka would be bringing over. I can’t imagine that Suzuka would make friends with weird people, but I still am a bit worried.
“Mumumu… But, making them meet Onii-chan directly is still dangerous…!”
“Dangerous in what way?! I’m just greeting them! Anything other than that would just be rude, don’t you think?!”
“Kuuu…! Onii-chan is using logic for once…!”
What’s with this reaction…? Is your opinion of me really that low…?
Though Suzuka hesitated for a bit, she finally let out a sigh, apparently giving up.
“…I understand. It’s just as Onii-chan says. A greeting should be fine.”
It seems like Suzuka finally was satisfied… Though she still didn’t seem to like the idea.
Around 30 minutes later, Suzuka’s friends arrived. Suzuka and I went to the entrance to greet them, but they let off a very different atmosphere than I had expected.
“Welcome, Kaede and Kotomi. This is my Onii-chan.”
“I-It’s nice to meet you. I’m Suzuka’s older brother, Nagami Yuu.”
When I was introduced by Suzuka, I followed suit with a short bow.
“It is good to meet you. My name is Nikaido Kaede. Since I want to become even better friends with Suzuka, I hope to get along with you.”
With a dignified expression, the girl called Kaede gave a very polite greeting.
How do I say it? She gives off a very serious atmosphere and has a straight posture. Along with this, her black hair makes her almost look like a samurai.
“I’m Shiina Kotomi. Fufufu, so this is Suzu-chan’s rumoured big brother, I see,” said the other girl while showing a gentle expression on her face.
She seemed rather tall for a first year, and she looked pretty grown-up for her age. Her long, fluffy-looking hair stretched down to her waist, and if she looked at you with a smile, anybody would probably get flustered with how charming she looked.
…S-So these girls are Suzuka’s friends, huh? Not to mention that they’re both very good-looking. Is this a character trait of Suzuka’s, to attract other beauties like her?
“Onii-chan…? Why are you just staring at them…?”
“Eh?! N-No, I wasn’t staring or anything…!”
I really didn’t plan on doing so, but I completely froze up when I noticed Suzuka’s cold stare. Seeing that, Shiina-san let out a small giggle, and Nikaido-san just glared at us.
…A-Anyway, it seems like the two of them aren’t bad girls.
Realizing that Suzuka was glaring at me, clearly telling me to leave now that I had achieved my goal, I excused myself and went back to my room. When I glanced back at them for a second, it felt like Nikaido-san’s and my eyes met for a second before she entered Suzuka’s room.
…Was that just my imagination? Well, whatever.
“Now then, just as Suzuka asked me to, I guess I’ll shut up and stay in here.”
I entered my room and sat down in front of my PC. I was going to work on my own novel anyway, so she didn’t even have to tell me to stay in my room—
…Ahahahahahaha….! D-Don’t tease me like that…! Fufu, Kaede…
From across the wall, I heard gleeful voices from Suzuka and the others, to which I unconsciously lifted my head. I didn’t think that it was a bother or anything. On the contrary, I felt weirdly happy to hear voices coming from Suzuka’s room. Since they seemed to really be having fun over there, I thought that maybe a comedy or slice-of-life novel wouldn’t be too bad either, but as soon as I went to type on my keyboard again…
“Hm? Who is it now?”
In that moment, the chime at the entrance rang, signifying that someone else had arrived. I stopped typing again. Since I didn’t want Suzuka’s fun to be interrupted, I took it upon myself to answer it.
“Ohhh, Sensei! Hello, desu!”
“Hello Sensei. Your cute, favourite pupil is here.”
“…I-I’ll just say this upfront, but I was forced to come here, okay?”
But as soon as I opened the door, I was at a loss for words. After all, the people who greeted me were Ahegao Double Peace-sensei and the Kanzaka sisters.
“D-Double Peace-sensei? And Akino-san, and the younger Kanzaka sister…? W-Why?”
“We came over to play of course, desu! It’s our precious holiday, after all!”
…I see. This was the same reason as usual. Though normally I would just sigh in response and be satisfied with that, the circumstances were different this time around.
“I bought lots of other cosplay that I want Imouto-san to try, desu!”
“H-Hey, Double Peace-sensei! Pssst! Psssst!”
“Eh? A urination play? E-Even I’m embarrassed about that, desu…”
“Y-You… you’re a hardcore pervert…”
“You’re wrong! I’m telling you to keep it down! Suzuka has friends over right now!”
For now, I brought everyone into my room and explained the situation.
“…And that’s why I would like you to keep it down. I don’t want to bother Suzuka and her friends, after all.”
“Oho, I see, desu. But, I’m kind of interested in Imouto-san’s friends, to be honest. I really want to introduce myself, desu!”
“That won’t do!”
There’s no need to introduce them, anyway. If we told them about Double Peace-sensei being an illustrator, we would eventually have to explain about me (although as a stand-in) being Towano Chikai. Since she’s keeping that a secret at school, we have to protect that no matter what.
…And if they thought that I was Towano Chikai, they would think that I wrote that novel…
‘The story about a little sister who loves her big brother way too much to cope.’ What would people think about Suzuka if they found out that her big brother wrote such a novel…?
“Anyways, that’s an absolute no-go.”
When I stated that with a serious face, Double Peace-sensei hesitated for a bit, but finally…
“I understand, desu. If it’s like that, then I can’t help it.”
She gave affirmation with her usual smile. All in all, she’s the kind of person who understands when it’s something serious.
“…Well, introducing ourselves wouldn’t do us any good, either…”
“Now that Suzuka-san is away, we can monopolize Sensei.”
Since the Kanzaka-sisters also seemed to understand, I was relieved from the bottom of my heart.
“That’s right, desu. This is actually the perfect chance! While Imouto-san is out, we’ll enjoy ourselves with Sensei!” Double Peace-sensei suddenly started taking off her clothes. In response, the Kanzaka sisters and I started panicking.
“Wait! W-What are you doing?!”
“Eh? I mean, I’m going to put on the cosplay I brought with me, desu. And in order to put that on, I would have to change, right? So I have to strip first, desu!”
“A logical conclusion.”
“Don’t just agree with her, Onee-chan!”
The younger Kanzaka sister tried to stop the half-undressed Double Peace-sensei, while Akino-san only nodded in agreement.
…Why did everything turn chaotic the second they arrived?
While I was watching the scene in front of me unfold…
“W-What are you doing in Onii-chan’s room?!!!”
Suzuka, who should’ve been having fun with her friends next door, suddenly opened the door and jumped into the room with a bright-red face and tears in her eyes.
“S-Suzuka?! You… Shouldn’t you be talking with your friends…!”
“As if I could do that while hearing all this ruckus from over the wall!!!”
—Eh?! She could hear everything we said?! Wait, that makes perfect sense! I could hear their conversation earlier, too! Am I an idiot?!
“S-So, what kinds of indecent things have you been doing while I wasn’t watching, Onii-chan…?!”
“No no, we didn’t do anything of that sort, desu. I was just about to change into my cosplay here, since I couldn’t do it in Imouto-san’s room.”
“Wha—?! And Onii-chan was just watching while grinning like that?!”
“Not at all! And Double Peace-sensei, don’t start pouring oil onto the fire!” I desperately tried to gain control of the situation.
However, neither of them looked like they were really listening to me, so I only could think of one way to get out of this.
“…I-I’m sorry! I promise I’ll keep it down…! So, hurry up and go back to your friends. Leaving them alone would be bad, right…?”
“Muuu…! D-Don’t do anything weird anymore, please!”
Though Suzuka still didn’t seem satisfied, the moment I brought up her friends, her body twitched, and she stomped back to her room. When the door finally closed, I let out a relieved sigh. But, since it was my fault to begin with, I had to reflect on it.
“…Well, you see how it is, so any ruckus is prohibited. Of course, cosplay is also prohibited.”
“Hm, then what should we do, desu? If I’m like this, I can’t show Sensei my panties while playing twister.”
“A-Ahi, you were thinking about that? …Ah, that’s why you told us to wear skirts?!”
“Why else?” said Double Peace-sensei, to which the younger Kanzaka sister pulled down her skirt with a red face.
A-Anyways, I’m glad that her terrible plan was thwarted.
While I was busy thinking that, Akino-san suddenly tugged on my sleeve.
“Mhm? What’s wrong, Akino-san?”
“How is it?”
She suddenly stood right in front of me, and like a model from a fashion show, she spun around on the spot. I didn’t know what she wanted to hear from me in response to her perplexing question.
“…W-What are you doing?”
“I wanted Sensei to look at me. How is it?”
“Again, what do you mean by ‘How is it?’”
When I responded with another question, Akino-san’s expression didn’t change, and she only let out a disappointed-sounding “Mu.”
“Sensei really is dense. I’m not the same as always. Now, I’m going to a women’s university.”
“Ahhh, I see. You became a university student this spring, didn’t you?”
Now that she had reminded me, I remembered. Just a little while ago, Akino-san was a third-year in high school.
“That’s right, a women’s university. A place brimming with adult female charm. That’s why, as your beloved pupil, I want to hear your impressions on my new look.”
…Even if she says that, she still looks like the usual Akino-san to me. She has her usual small stature, her usual expressionlessness, and her usual concise way of talking. Her movements were still the same, and as far as I could see, there wasn’t anything that looked different. It was the same Akino-san as before.
“Now that I’ve become an adult, I might actually excite Sensei without meaning to, fufufu.”
However, without knowing what I really felt, Akino-san just continued to snicker.
…T-This isn’t good. I know what kind of answer she’s expecting from me, but that would be a blatant lie, and it would be very unpleasant to say.
While I felt a cold sweat forming on my forehead, Double Peace-sensei suddenly raised her voice with an “Ah, that’s right desu!”, thankfully changing the topic.
“I came with a new eroge we’ve finished, desu! Let’s play it together!”
Of course, what she said didn’t help me in any way, but only made the situation even worse.
“Y-You want all of us to play eroge?! Ahi, is your head really okay…?”
“Now now, Runa-chan, I just remembered because of Kino-chan’s words. The heroines in the game are all students at a women’s university, and since it was just released recently, I wanted Sensei to play it soon, so let’s do that right now, desu!”
“Ahi, nice idea. With this, Sensei will surely realize my charm. And accepting him even if he pushes me down is the duty of a pupil.”
“Youuuuuuuuuuuuuu! You’re thinking of doing that just because you’re Onee-chan’s teacher?!”
“Why am I the one at fault here?!”
And just like that, chaos erupted once more. From out of nowhere, Double Peace-sensei had suddenly brought out an eroge and a laptop, while the younger Kanzaka sister tried to stop her with a red face. While booting up the game, Akino-san continued to pull on my clothes, trying to grab my attention, but I had already given up at this point.
—Now, I think that anyone could probably guess what happens next…
The door opened with a loud bang, and Suzuka entered emanating a black aura. Double Peace-sensei was on my right arm, Akino-san was clinging to my left arm, the younger Kanzaka sister was clinging to my leg, and the laptop screen was showing the title of the eroge. No matter how you looked at it, I wouldn’t be able to talk myself out of this.
“W-What are you doing————?!!!”
Of course, at the same time as that scream rang out inside the room, Suzuka immediately stepped in to separate me from everyone else. When I tried to reach out with a hand to stop her—
With how unstable I was, and with how forcefully Suzuka was striding towards me, we both fell over and landed on the floor. Before I had realized what had happened, I saw Suzuka’s face looking up at me. She was laying down face-up on the floor, being embraced by me. When I looked around, I saw Double Peace-sensei and the Kanzaka sisters looking down at us. And, in the open doorway were…
“Arara, you really are close.”
Shiina-san, who had one hand on her cheek, was letting out a gleeful giggle, and Nikaido-san was staring at us with wide eyes.
…Why did it have to come to this?!
I walked down the street illuminated by the setting sun, a plastic bag from a convenience store in hand.
“Suzuka’s probably still mad, isn’t she?”
Letting out another big sigh, I started walking even slower. It was a vain attempt to give Suzuka some more time to calm down.
To be honest, I really don’t want to recall what happened after all of that.
…Well, to put it simply, I somehow managed to cover it all up. Me embracing Suzuka was nothing more than an accident. Double Peace-sensei and the others were just friends of mine. Of course, we skipped right past the introductions, and just sent everyone home with the excuse that it had gotten late. Though Suzuka was incredibly mad, she somehow managed to calm herself down enough to keep up appearances until everyone was gone.
“W-While I wasn’t watching, you…!” or “My friends even saw us…!” or “Ah, but, he was hugging me…” were all things she muttered to herself while glaring down at me. Since Suzuka didn’t seem like calming down anytime soon, I decided to give her some space. I left the house, deciding to take a trip to the nearest convenience store.
“For now, once I get home, I’ll apologize once more…” Saying that to myself, I continued to walk home with heavy feet.
And once that home of mine entered my view, something else that shouldn’t be there greeted me as well, and my feet stopped.
“…Huh? Who’s that?”
I saw someone walking around in front of the house.
…Don’t tell me; is it an intruder?!—is what I thought at first, but soon after, a quiet “Ah” leaked out of my mouth. After all, I recognized that person as Nikaido Kaede-san, whom I had just met a few hours ago.
“Um, is something wrong?”
Though I didn’t know why she was still in front of my house, I decided to call out to her.
When I did, Nikaido-san hurriedly turned around. When she realized that I was the one calling out to her, her eyes opened wide.
“Y-You’re Suzuka’s older brother — N-No, Nagami-senpai?!”
“You were Nikaido-san, right? Did you forget something?”
“N-No, it’s not like that…! Ugh, to be seen in a place like this…!”
For a second, Nikaido-san had an expression like she was blaming herself for something, only for her to straighten her posture and look straight at me.
“Excuse me for that. I was being careless. As a swordsman, I couldn’t be more embarrassed.”
“N-No, it’s not something you should be too hung up on… Wait. A swordsman?”
“Yes. My family has a long lineage of martial arts.That’s why I’ve walked the path of a swordsman from a very young age.”
“I-Is that so…?”
I was a bit overwhelmed when she told me that with a straight face.
…A lineage of martial arts… That’s why I got that samurai-like feeling from her before.
Wrapped up in Nikaido-san’s rather unknown atmosphere, I felt myself calming down for some reason.
“…Um, so why were you still here? Should I call for Suzuka?”
When I said that, Nikaido-san looked like she was flustered for a second.
“Ah, no… Actually, there was something I wanted to talk about with Nagami-senpai.”
With me? — I tilted my head in confusion.
“Yes. There is something that I had to ask no matter what. Of course, it’s about Suzuka.”
“Something about Suzuka? Me?”
In response, Nikaidoo-san nodded.
…I wonder what it is? I-It’s not related to Towano Chikai, right? Knowing Suzuka, she wouldn’t allow herself to make such a blunder…
“So, Nagami-senpai, are you aware of Suzuka’s reputation in school?”
“Eh? Reputation? …It’s not anything bad, right?”
“Of course not. Suzuka really is a wonderful girl. She has a calm, dignified composure, but isn’t cold to anyone. She has a firm resolve, but she’s kind if needed. She’s beautiful, cute, and everyone looks up to her as a role model.”
“There is no trace of bias in her eyes. Everyone is equal to her, and she even offered to spend time with someone as stuck-up as me. For me, Suzuka is a friend of friends!” Nikaido-san’s eyes were sparkling.
…Well, how do I say it? It seems like she really looks up to Suzuka. But I don’t think that she’s exaggerating, because that’s just how much of a superhuman Suzuka actually is.
“I couldn’t be happier from being able to meet Suzuka and become friends with her.”
Though her words seemed more energetic than rational, I was still glad that she thought of Suzuka in this way.
“Is Suzuka’s reputation really that good?”
“‘Good’ is something of an understatement. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that every single student in our grade looks up to her. Nobody would say anything bad about her.”
“I see, I see! Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it!” I strongly nodded in response to her words.
Of course I would use this opportunity to boast about my little sister!
“Obviously, that is the same for boys and girls alike. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but immediately after the start of the year, there seemed to be no end of confessions from all kinds of boys. Though that seems to have calmed down lately.”
“W-What did you say…?!”
“Do not worry, she has rejected every single one so far. After all, she won’t be led astray by those weak actions.”
Hearing that, I was relieved from the bottom of my heart.
…Suzuka accepting a confession like that was something I didn’t even want to imagine.
“Anyway, just like I said, Suzuka is a very wonderful person. And to me she’s a very important friend. That’s why I want to deepen our friendship even more.”
I was really thankful that she felt that way. As her older brother, I felt like thanking her for that, myself. I’m glad that she has found friends like this…
But while I was busy thinking that, Nikaido-san continued talking with a serious face.
“However, that’s exactly why I cannot stop worrying about her.”
The atmosphere suddenly grew tense.
“What is there to worry about?”
“…That is something I would like to ask of Nagami-senpai.”
Her eyes narrowed, and Nikaido-san looked straight at me.
“Nagami-senpai, there isn’t anything weird going on between you and Suzuka besides being siblings, right?”
Being surprised by this question, I couldn’t help but let my voice out.
“Ah, a weird relationship?! W-What’s up with that? Of course not! W-Why would you even think that?!”
It might be obvious, but I was panicking.
Of course, it’s not like she’s completely off-base, considering the whole stand-in part of it, but I think she’s asking about something else?!
But Nikaido-san watched me with an unapologetic expression and continued.
“There’s a rumour like that going around. It’s like you two seem to be very close, even for siblings.”
…W-Was there really a rumour like that? Why would something like that…?
But after thinking about it a bit more deeply, I immediately realized why.
…T-There’s no mistake! It’s got to be because of our ‘research’! It’s because we’ve been acting all lovey-dovey at school for Suzuka’s next novel!
Holding hands while walking home, eating together in the cafeteria while feeding each other, crossing arms while checking out the clubs—
…Of course people would get the wrong idea!
Naturally, that doesn’t mean that we have a weird relationship, but the fact that we did all of that remains reality.
…But to think that a rumour would start going around because of that…!
“So what is it, Nagami-senpai?”
Nikaido-san asked me again, forcing me to return to reality.
…T-That’s right, this isn’t the time to be panicking! Otherwise she’ll get the wrong idea! I don’t care if they judge me, but I don’t want Suzuka to suffer from any weird rumours!
“L-Like I said, we’re just normal siblings…! There’s no weird relationship between the two of us…!”
But, I couldn’t summon enough conviction when I said that statement. After all, we’ve been acting lovey-dovey, so in order to clear up that misunderstanding, I would have to tell her about Towano Chikai. And there’s no way I could do that.
“I don’t want to believe it either. However absurd it is, there must be a reason for that rumour, don’t you think?”
Yes, I know exactly what it is! …Ugh, but I still have no other choice but to lie!
“And there was also that incident before… T-Taking that sort of position with Suzuka…! T-There has to be limits on how indecent you can be!”
“Again, that was nothing more than an accident! An unlucky accident!”
“Don’t tell me… You do things like this on a regular basis?! Just how low do you have to be to do things like that with your little sister?! I won’t allow you to lay your hands on Suzuka!”
“I won’t! It’s just a bad misunderstanding! It’s a false charge!”
“Hah! You’re probably using her as a substitute since no girl would ever fall in love with you, right?! D-Don’t come any closer! I-If you dare do anything improper to me, I would rather bite my tongue and die!!!”
“Can you not go imagining things all on your own?!”
While Nikaido-san glared at me with a red face, I could only retort with tears in my eyes.
…W-Why am I being treated like the scum of the earth again?!
“E-Excuse me, I took it too far.”
“A-Anyway, if you really sink your poisonous fangs into Suzuka, then I will cut you down right then and there!”
“That really will never happen! And I’ve explained it countless times already, haven’t I!?”
All that gratitude I felt for her becoming Suzuka’s friend was suddenly gone, and now she seemed to be a complete bother.
“Ahhh really, just how can I make you understand…?”
“I-It’s not like I want to believe any rumours like that…”
So the basis for my denial is too weak for her to believe it. Is there any way I could make her believe me?
“You know, there’s no reason for me to put my hands on Suzuka, don’t you think?”
“But I heard that Nagami-senpai is an otaku…”
“Ah, uhm! …You see, I’m just worried since Suzuka is an exceptionally charming woman.”
“T-That’s true, but I wouldn’t assault her just because of that…”
When I responded, Nikaido-san hesitated for a bit, but finally…
“Nagami-senpai, do you have any girl you like besides Suzuka?”
She threw that bomb of a question at me.
“…Eh?” I could only force out a confused, short reply.
I didn’t even understand why she had just asked me that. I wanted to deny it immediately, but I realized something.
…Ah, if I told her that I liked someone else, would she believe me? I can totally use this!
Of course, I didn’t have a girl that I liked. After all, I prioritize my dream of becoming a light novel author above getting a relationship. And there’s also the problem with me not being popular.
…Would it really be okay to lie here? I mean, if I don’t, Nikaido-san probably won’t be satisfied, and Suzuka might suffer from the weird rumours that are going around. Not to mention that nobody would really care if I actually had a crush on someone.
That’s why I have to do this.
Though Suzuka’s face suddenly entered my mind for a second, I shook my head, and spoke the words that I had decided upon.
“Haaah… I really hate myself…”
I rolled around on my bed, tightly hugging my pillow. The reason for that was of course the incident from earlier. Since I couldn’t trust Onii-chan to not be lovey-dovey with Double Peace-san and the others without my supervision, I ended up forgetting about my friends and entered his room.
“B-But, they were all clinging to each other… Playing such an indecent game…!”
Of course, I couldn’t approve of that situation, so I don’t feel any regret about that… However, I think that I’ve gone too far.
I’m sure that Onii-chan wasn’t the one at fault at all, and he was probably just forced to go along with what Double Peace-san’s and the others were doing. Even so, I only blamed him. As soon as I see him with another girl, all the blood rushes to my head…
“B-But Onii-chan really should pull himself together a bit more! He already has a girl like me next to him…!”
That’s right. Now that we’re attending the same school, we’ve been able to be even more lovey-dovey, although under the pretense of research. If only Onii-chan would start only looking at me, I wouldn’t have to worry like this… If that were the case, I could introduce my friends to him without any problems.
“W-When Onii-chan and I become lovers… and a married couple in the future, ehehehehehe…!”
Of course I want to brag to my friends about how Onii-chan is the world’s coolest big brother, but I cannot do that just yet. If, in the one in a million chance, they also realize how cool he is… Ahh, I don’t even want to think about it…!
“…Uuuu, I have to properly apologize when Onii-chan comes home…”
I’m sorry Onii-chan. I actually love you so much. That’s why I don’t want you to be taken away by anyone else. I want you to only look at me. Could I even say something embarrassing like that out loud?!
Burying my face into my pillow, I continued to roll around on my bed. But I have to prepare dinner soon, so I’ll get up now.
I’ll make some of Onii-chan’s favorite food today, I thought, but that’s when it happened.
“Huh? Onii-chan and… Kaede?”
Coincidentally, I looked out of the window, only to see Onii-chan and Kaede talking in front of the house.
Shouldn’t Kaede have gone home already?— I titled my head in confusion. Since their conversation looked a little interesting, I hurriedly rushed down to the first floor. And, when I went to open the door to ask them what they were doing…
“Nagami-senpai, do you have any girl you like besides Suzuka?”
My hands stopped. I had opened the door just enough to hear that question, but I stopped, my heart almost leaping out of my chest.
…O-Onii-chan… a girl he likes?!
Though I didn’t know how their conversation had led up to that question, I held by breath, waiting for the answer. Since I almost couldn’t hear them because of my annoying heartbeat, I moved a bit closer.
…W-What are they talking about?
While I was at a loss, their conversation continued. And, when I heard Onii-chan’s voice, my heart skipped a beat once more.
“……Yeah, I do.”
And, when Onii-chan’s answer arrived at my ears, I could feel all the blood draining from my face.
…Eh? W-What did he just say? O-Onii-chan has a girl he likes…? I-It’s me, right? It has to be me? Ah, but, didn’t Kaede just say ‘besides Suzuka’? So basically, does this mean… What? Eh?
“I have a person that I like! And of course, that person isn’t Suzuka!”