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You shall not run away from collecting data!
‘Actually, I really love Onii-chan, you know?’
“How was that?! This right here! This scene! Sakura became a real little sister! This might be the first time Sakura has let out such a soulful voice!”
“…It really was wonderful. Though it feels a bit frustrating, I can feel all the emotions of the little sister perfectly. N-Naturally, I don’t have any feelings like that, though!”
“I thought about attacking the animation company responsible if the anime turned out like crap, but the quality is amazing! Well, that’s to be expected since it’s Towano Chikai’s novel we’re talking about!”
“The animations are crazy good, desu! This is the first time that the characters I’ve designed will be animated like this, so it feels really weird! There will be even more perverted scenes later, right?”
Summer break had started, and it was afternoon, a few days in.
A loud and noisy group of girls’ voices filled the living room. Everyone’s gaze was glued to the TV screen, and that was to be expected, since the anime for Towano Chikai’s novel, ‘The Story About a Little Sister That Loves Her Big Brother Way Too Much to Cope,’ was playing.
As an aside, this wasn’t the actual public broadcast for the anime, but the company had sent us a disc with the pilot episode—the so-called ‘Shirobako’. If you were wondering why we were watching the episode in our living room of all places, it was because Minazuki-san had called us on the very day the disc had arrived, saying “We might as well watch it together!” It didn’t sound like a bad idea, and since the original creator Suzuka had agreed, we decided to hold a viewing session today.
Those participating included Suzuka and I; the voice actress for the main heroine, Minazuki-san; the illustrator responsible for the illustrations of the source material, Double Peace-sensei; and Mai, who had somehow gotten wind of it. We also invited the Kanzaka sisters, but since they were quite busy with their own light novel work, they couldn’t join us.
Anyway, all that aside, everyone was now sitting in front of the TV, enjoying the world of ‘Little sisters’. The quality was good enough to make the diehard fan, Mai, happy, and I had to agree with her assessment. Double Peace-sensei had also given her seal of approval on the character design. The voice actors, including Minazuki-san, all did a very good job. Hence, it was a satisfying adaption. No doubt it would turn out to be a godly anime.
I was already looking forward to the reactions of the viewers once the anime broadcasted, and I realized that the people at the anime company weren’t over-exaggerating when they said that they’d make it award-winning. Therefore, as a fellow fan of the source material, I was naturally more than delighted to see it turn out as such a masterpiece—-Or that’s how it should have been…
Actually, while the girls were enthusiastically watching the screen, I was standing a bit further away, and I just gazed at the screen, absentminded.
…I mean, it’s not like I’m dissatisfied with the anime itself. No really, not at all. It’s perfectly done, no doubt, and that’s what I felt from the bottom of my heart as I kept watching.
Then why was it that I couldn’t focus on this miracle happening in front of me? Naturally, I was already aware of the reason for that.
It was something that happened a few days ago.
Taking all the information and references I had gotten from the boy-meets-girl meeting during our party, I rewrote my romcom and sent it to Sakaki-san. Shortly afterwards, I got a call from said Sakaki-san, and this was the conversation that ensued.
“Well, the boy-meets-girl element was implemented pretty cleanly, I guess? It has a bigger impact than before, and it leads the story in an actual direction, as well.”
“R-Really! Then, with this, maybe…”
“With this, you’ve passed the first hurdle, I think.”
“T-The first hurdle?”
“Of course? Though it’s a bother, really, we have to make something that will actually sell, you see.”
“I feel like I can hear your personal feelings in there…”
“Eating salt every day can be pretty tough, you know?”
“I was better off not knowing that!”
“Anyway, to help me so that I can eat some cooked rice once in a while, we have to be thorough with this. The next part should be the romcom part, I guess.”
“The romcom part, is it? …But that isn’t a part of the plot, so I’d have to write it out…”
“Writing and reading are both a bother. Also, the events have to be fun, and unrelated to the actual plot.”
“Like a swimsuit peek or a panchira or whatever. It’s gotta have some impact to get the readers more invested so that they enjoy what they’re reading. Since people nowadays are so shameful and outrageous, that’s just what you need, yeah.”
“Weirdly enough, that makes perfect sense when you put it like that! But the romcom events in the middle, huh…?”
“Yeah, the one that totally gets you hooked. So, work hard and think about that for now. I feel like you’re getting better, so have at it, tiger.”
“S-Seriously?! You really think so?!”
“Yeah. A bit more, and you’ll be close to publishing it, I think? For the most part.”
“Publish it?! I-I understand! I’ll even think about it while I sleep!”
“Go right ahead~. I’m going to take a nap as well. Oh right, did you know? If you sleep all the time, you don’t have to pay for other stuff during that time. For example when you’re hungry, and—”
…From then onward, the conversation drifted in a different direction, so I doubt that it’s really necessary to bring that up now, but yeah, that’s how it went down.
That rather disgraceful sound leaked out of my mouth.
Not good, not good… I’ll start grinning just by thinking about it…
I quickly stiffened my expression again, but my grin immediately broke my masquerade once more.
…I can’t help it, you know? A professional editor, Sakaki-san, told me that I was getting better…! Directly! In real time! With this level of progress, she said that I might be able to publish my novel soon! As if I could hold back my grin! I’m slowly but steadily heading towards my dream of becoming a professional author!
“…Fu, fufufu… hehehe…”
As you can see, my head was full with thoughts of my novel again, and I was unable to focus on Suzuka’s anime. However, in that moment, I finally managed to relax a bit.
After all, nothing has been written in stone yet. This is just me gradually coming closer to my end goal, nothing more. Just as Sakaki-san said, I had just cleared the first hurdle, and there are more to clear before I’ll be able to fulfill my dream.
The TV screen was showing a scene where the fictional little sister, Yuuka, voiced by Minazuki-san, was trying to be patted on the head by her older brother Ryou. While the girls were intently watching, I was still lost in my thoughts.
The crux of romcoms… the romcom scenes… Those have to have an impact, and they’re there to keep the reader interested… That’s what I have been struggling with ever since that phone call I got from Sakaki-san. As enthusiastically as ever, I had written a huge number of romcom scenes and sent them over to her, but—
“They’re all rejected. Also, reading them is a pain, so don’t just sent me so many in hopes that one might be good.”
She got a bit angry at me about it.
I reflected on that, and decided to give it a bit more thought, but it wasn’t quite working out for me, which is why I was troubled like this. But in that moment…
“…Onii-chan, you’re spacing out again.”
Suzuka had separated from the group of girls, and was now sitting next to me, which caused my body to stiffen up.
“You’re thinking about your novel again, right?”
She didn’t necessarily look mad, and it looked like she had given up on scolding me. I felt a bit bad about it, because I hadn’t paid much attention to the adaptation of Suzuka’s novel.
“You’ve been acting weird these past few days… S-So how is it?”
“H-How is what?”
“You probably were just told something again by your editor, and now you’re constantly thinking about that, aren’t you? You managed to get past that boy-meets-girl problem a while ago, so I’m assuming that it’s something different now?”
H-How sharp can you be…? Why are you so completely correct…?
“Onii-chan really is Onii-chan. I don’t know what you’re having trouble about, but if you don’t know what to do about it, i-i-it seems like we might need to collect some data together—”
Suzuka didn’t wait for my reply. She just continued on her own.
But for some reason, when the words ‘Collect data’ came up, I found myself tensing up.
“N-No, it’s not that. I was just thinking about plans for summer break. Like, I want to do something that we’ve never done before.”
I thus tried to cover it up by saying that, not even realizing what I was saying. Even though there was no need to hide it!
“Plans for summer break, huh?”
Suzuka herself seemed a bit taken aback by the sudden change in topic, and she looked up at me blankly. She finally seemed to realize something, though, “…Ah!” she said, following it up with a loose “Ehehehe…” laugh.
“I-Isn’t this the perfect chance…?! A summer break together with Onii-chan! Just the two of us…!”
“A grown-up trip somewhere! I was worried about how I was going to bring that up, but this is the best opportunity! It seems like Onii-chan doesn’t have any plans yet, and if it’s not because of his novel, he should have no reason to decline!”
She turned her back turned towards me, and started muttering something to herself. Since she was talking so quickly, I wasn’t able to pick up anything. Hence, all I could do was sit there and wait until she finally calmed down.
“O-Onii-chan! I-I-I have an idea for summer break!”
After a short pause, Suzuka spun around towards me and brought her body forward. I leaned back a bit out of surprise, and Suzuka opened her mouth, but everything that came out was just mindless stuttering like “Umm…!” and “You see…!”.
And just when she looked like she had made up her mind—
“Ah, Yuu, the training camp is pretty soon, so you’d better have all your stuff ready.”
We suddenly heard that voice from a person who hadn’t been part of the conversation before. Both Suzuka and I let out an “Eh?” and turned towards the source.
It turned out to be Mai, who was sitting backwards on the couch to face us. The anime screening was already over, but that wasn’t the problem right now…
“Did I just hear something about a training camp or something…?”
“Yeah. Why are you looking so perplexed?”
“Umm, I didn’t hear anything about a training camp…?”
“Huh? I’m talking about a summer training camp as creators. Did you already forget that we did one last year?”
No, I still remember. Last year, we had gone to Mai’s private beach together, which even had a private residence. Of course, a lot of problems had occurred then, but that wasn’t the matter at hand.
“Don’t tell me that we’re doing the same thing again as last year…”
“Huh? Of course we are. It’s already been decided that we’ll be doing that every year.”
“When was that decided?!”
…I replied out of reflex, but I don’t have any memory of such a decision being made, you know! I searched through my memories… Nope, nothing there!
“We just decided on it.”
“I don’t have any memory of participating in this discussion?!”
“W-What about it?! What’s so wrong with it?! A gathering of content creators shouldn’t be a bad thing! It’s not like this is skin off your back!”
…Unlike whomever made this sudden decision, I still remember what happened last year!
“Now now, Sensei. Just relax, desu. Going on a trip together is very fun indeed. You still haven’t decided on your plans for this summer, right?”
Ugh… So she heard us just now…
“Sensei! Sensei! Sakura really wants to go on a trip with everyone! She was really frustrated that she couldn’t come with you last year, so this year she’ll definitely be joining!”
Now Minazuki-san was also voicing her interest.
…Oh right, we weren’t exactly on friendly terms with Minazuki-san around that time last year. So what should I do? The main purpose of a training camp (although I had a bad feeling about this) was to improve as a group, so there wasn’t really any reason for me to decline. It didn’t sound like a bad idea to be able to enjoy some time at the beach with everyone, and I could even ask Suzuka to collect some data with me. But I can’t. I’m way too lost in thought about my own novel right now. So much so that I can’t even focus on Suzuka’s anime right in front of me. There’s no time for me to go to a training camp right now.
“T-Training camp?! If we did that, my grown-up adult trip with Onii-chan will…! N-No, we can’t! That’s just too sudden…!”
Suzuka shared my mindset, and she shook her head. Now that she’s against it, I have my reason to not tag along as well.
“You said that it’s a training camp, but what exactly are we doing there? If we don’t have a common goal, then we’ll just end up playing around, right?”
I tried pushing the conversation back towards the ‘Let’s not go’ direction, but…
“W-We have a goal this time around! We have to settle the score from the romcom contest back then!”
I froze up the second Mai said the words ‘Romcom Contest’.
“Do you mean that romcom contest…?”
“Yeah. We never reached a satisfactory conclusion back then, right? I wanted to gather everyone to finally put an end to this.”
“A-And what kind of contest are we talking about?”
When I suddenly asked that question, Suzuka looked at me with a perplexed look on her face. But I wasn’t particularly paying any attention to that at all.
…I-I feel like this is going in a certain direction… Maybe…!
“Like that boy-meets-girl contest before?”
“No. We didn’t even decide on the winner back then, so we’re planning on doing it with specific romcom events—”
“I’m in! Please let me join!”
I jumped up and loudly declared my intent to go. In response, Suzuka’s eyes opened wide. Mai, Double Peace-sensei, and Minazuki-san were all a bit surprised at my sudden assent. However, there was only one thing going on inside my mind.
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! God! God of light novels, thank you so much! This is a chance! It’s a perfect chance…!
Just right now, I had been troubled by exactly that, as well as how to increase the impact of different scenes. I might get some new references by seeing another fierce romcom battle between Mai and the others, you know?! Of course I’d want to participate! Maybe the gods above have finally acknowledged my love for light novels!
“S-So when is that training camp!? I mean, we can go just right now! I don’t really mind!”
“W-What are you suddenly so excited for?! And right now is impossible. I have to call the people who own the private beach anyway…”
“We can go camping as well or whatever! Sleeping outdoors is perfectly fine with me!”
“Ehhh?! A-Aren’t you acting a bit weird right now, Yuu?! I mean, I don’t mind doing any of that with Yuu, but… Give me some time to prepare! A few days should be good, so I’ll contact you later.”
When I heard that, I could feel myself getting impatient.
But I can’t panic here. Instead, I have to fully prepare myself to absorb everything they come up with!
“Sakura doesn’t really know what just happened, but if it means that she can go on a camping trip with everyone, then she’s happy!”
“Fu fu fu, Sensei sure is motivated all of a sudden, desu! No doubt that this year’s camp will be even more exciting than last year! It seems like I’ll have to prepare lots of cosplay outfits and other things!”
Minazuki-san and Double Peace-sensei seemed delighted about being able to go. Well then, please help me come up with some interesting romcom scenes!
While everyone else was acting excited, I could hear Suzuka’s detached voice next to me. When I looked down at her, her body was slightly shaking as she glared up at me.
…I’ll be honest. I wasn’t in my right senses then. That’s why I had no idea what Suzuka was upset about, even though it should have been obvious. And not just that…
“Suzuka, let’s enjoy the training camp this year as well!”
After I said that, there was no saving me anymore. Naturally, after everyone went home, I reaped what I sowed, if you catch my drift…
I was really mad.
Of course I was. Who wouldn’t get mad after something like that? Of course, Onii-chan wouldn’t know about my intentions behind inviting him on this trip with just the two of us, so blaming him for it isn’t something I could do. However, the very fact that he just blindly agreed to this training camp with everyone else and didn’t ask me for permission or anything like that is against the rules! W-We are two people as one author…! You can even say that we’re two souls that are deeply connected!
That was why I lectured Onii-chan back then after everyone went home. When Onii-chan realized his wrongdoings, he apologized immediately. But he wouldn’t back down from his desire to go to that training camp. After I heard the reason behind it, all of my anger left me. Namely—
It was for his own novel again.
Thanks to the (unfortunate for me) boy-meets-girl contest back then, Onii-chan seemed to have gotten his editor to accept his proposal, but now he’s having trouble writing the essential romcom events. Himuro-san and the others must have their fair share of knowledge about those, since their jobs kind of revolve around them, so he thought that he would use their ideas as his own.
Haaaah… What hasty thinking.
I was amazed. As well as fed up, to a certain degree. But when I saw Onii-chan being close to tears because he was so serious, he looked so lovable that I just…! He’s wishing with his whole being to become a light novel author. Seeing that, I can’t help but think that he’s too cute for his own good! How can I be mad at you?! There’s nothing I can do besides cheer you on!
Hence, I did scold him, yes, but I also quickly agreed to join this training camp.
That being said,
It’s true that my anger towards Onii-chan had vanished. However, another gloomy feeling came in its place. The cause of it was the fact that I would lose my chance to go on a grown-up trip together with Onii-chan—That was just one reason, however. The other thing that makes me feel this way is the idea of collecting data together with Onii-chan.
…Why does Onii-chan keep backing away when it’s about collecting data? Doesn’t it make sense to collect data with me together for his novel, especially when he’s so troubled like this?!
But when I indirectly pointed that out, he said something like “Y-You see, there are steps to gathering data that we have to decide on. Right now, we have to come up with the general plan first.”
…He said this while averting his gaze.
I can understand where he’s coming from, but something feels off. It’s like Onii-chan has been avoiding me recently? N-No, I don’t even want to think about that, and there should be no reason for that to happen. Still, I can’t keep my thoughts from drifting in that direction.
Even at the party before, he was eager to listen to everyone’s opinion besides mine… I also want to help him out! Naturally, being lovey-dovey with him is a side effect of that as well? Yes, I’m also accept my own desires here!
Even still, I wasn’t able to ask Onii-chan honestly. Instead, it felt like he was drifting further away from me, which filled me with frustration, more than anything.
Also, since I know that I’m Onii-chan’s perfect heroine, he’ll probably come up with some good ideas if he’s flirting with me, right?! Yes, there’s no mistaking it! I’m always welcome, so why won’t Onii-chan take me up on it?
M-Maybe he’s finally fed up with me, and he doesn’t want to collect data with me anymore?! N-No, these negative thoughts won’t help. That would never happen, so thinking about it isn’t going to benefit me in any way. Rather than that, I should be focusing on how I can help him, all the while being able to flirt with him. Hence, I have to change the way I’m thinking about it!
“Woaah! It’s the sea! It’s been so long since Sakura came here!”
“Sea. Swimsuits. Staying over. Together with Sensei. There’s bound to be something that happens… Fufufu.”
“…Onee-chan, are you thinking about something weird?”
When I heard these words, I lifted my head. In front of my eyes was the cloudless sky, the blue sea, and the sandy beach. Just like last year, we had once again gone to Himuro-san’s private residence, which included a private beach, and we were currently standing in front of that, all of us wearing swimsuits.
Yes, now that we’ve arrived, I definitely have to flirt as much as I can with Onii-chan! N-Naturally, it’s all to help Onii-chan out with his novel, but I can’t afford to lose against anyone here! You’d better be prepared, Onii-chan!
“W-What’s wrong, Suzuka? Your gaze looks a bit scary…”
When I turned my passionate gaze towards Onii-chan, he responded rudely. Well, that just shows how dense Onii-chan is. Even though my gaze is filled with love for him… Oh well, it might be true that I put too much force into it. I had to burn the sight of Onii-chan wearing a swimsuit into my eyes, after all. Ehehehe…!
“H-Hey, Yuu, you think my swimsuit looks good? It’s a different one from last year!”
“Same here, desu! I want to hear Sensei’s impressions!”
Himuro-san and Double Peace-san came walking over to Onii-chan. The two of them were also wearing bikinis, with Himuro-san having chosen a pure and proper white one, while Double Peace-san was wearing a sexy red one. I still feel like they’re showing way too much skin…
“I-I think that they both look good on you…”
Onii-chan looked a bit flustered as he answered, but I didn’t miss the split second where his gaze wandered towards a certain place—namely, their chest regions.
…Muuuu…! Where are you looking, Onii-chan?! I-It’s still all about breasts, isn’t it? Is it no good if you don’t have a chest to boast about?! Also, the two of you are being unfair with this! You can’t just use those to seduce Onii-chan!
“Ah, Sensei! Look at Sakura’s swimsuit as well!”
“Me too. I want you to fall head over heels for me in this adult swimsuit.”
“I-I’m fine without any impressions, so don’t stare at me!”
Now even Sakura-san, Akino-san, and Haruna-san came walking over, showing off their swimsuits. Naturally, Onii-chan praised each of them in turn as well.
…I had anticipated this happening, but it still makes me feel a bit gloomy… W-Well, I also bought a new swimsuit? And I showed it to him first before we even left for this occasion, so I’m not frustrated about it or anything?!
“W-Well, they really look good on you, and you all look really cute, I think… Yes.”
Eh? C-Cute?! Y-Y-You didn’t say that to me, though! That wonderful word?!
In response to Onii-chan’s words, everyone showed happy expressions.
H-Hold on, Onii-chan?! Don’t just use the word ‘cute’ so lightly! They’ll take that to mean something special! And you never told me that I looked cute!
“O-Onii-chan, what do you think about my swimsuit?!”
Panicking, I stepped in front of him and showed him my swimsuit again.
“Eh? Y-You showed me yours yesterday, right? It still looks good on you…”
However, Onii-chan just averted his eyes and didn’t tell me I’m cute at all.
W-Why won’t you say it to me?! You’ll get all flustered when you look at everyone else’s swimsuits, but you won’t even look at me…! Uuuuu…! Is this how we’re doing it now, Onii-chan…?! Just so you know, I won’t falter from something like this, okay?! On the contrary, this makes me even more motivated!
Now that it’s come to this, I have to be lovey-dovey and flirty with Onii-chan during this training camp, and have him focus all his attention on me! U-Unlike last year, I’ve become a high school student now! I-I’ll have Onii-chan fall head over heels for me with my adult charm!
“Alright then, let’s start!”
While I was thinking that, Mai moved in front of us, and declared that in a triumphant manner.
Of course, we hadn’t come here just to play. If circumstances were normal, the group would just enter the sea and play to their heart’s content, but not this time.
“We’re doing romcom research! Since we couldn’t find a resolution to our boy-meets-girl contest, we’re doing it with ideas for romcom events now! You’re fine with that, right, Yuu?”
“Yeah… Bring it on!” Onii-chan said and made a fist with his hand.
…Obviously, since this is about his own work, he’s more than motivated. When he was out collecting data with me, he’d try to get away from everything…
“Alright. Then let’s finish this right here!”
Everyone else also raised their fists in the air, and let out a motivated “Yeah!” So did I. I have to make Onii-chan look at me. This time for sure!
I then started thinking about which romcom events might work to achieve my goal.
“Me! Me! There’s something that Sakura wanted to do once she was together with Sensei on a beach!”
Suddenly, Sakura-san raised her hand.
…Oh? The item in her hand is…
“Ding ding, sunscreen! When you go to the sea, there’s always an event where you put sunscreen on one another, right? It’s perfect for a heart-throbbing, lovey-dovey romcom event!”
“H-Hold on. I also prepared that. To think that our ideas would overlap…” said Akino-san as she took out her own bottle of sunscreen.
…The two of them might seem like exact opposites, but I can still see certain similarities between them…?
But never mind that.
“Fu fu fu, what a shame, you two, desu! We already did the sunscreen event last year!”
Double Peace-san declared that in a triumphant manner, leaving Sakura-san and Akino-san in silence. But, just as she had said, everyone else already had Onii-chan put sunscreen on them last year… Just remembering that makes my face burn up…
“I was a bit worried about Onee-chan when I found out about her plans, but you already did that? Just how much of a pervert are you?”
“S-Shut it. It was to collect data, so I couldn’t help it.”
Haruna-san looked at Onii-chan with a fed-up expression.
…Also, I feel like Haruna-san is getting a bit closer to Onii-chan. It makes me a bit worried, as well…
“Muu, unfair! We haven’t experienced that yet!”
“Agreed. I want Sensei to do it for me, as well.”
That aside, Neither of them looked like they had given up just yet.
“Well, since our goal is to research romcom events, having already finished the experience means that there’s no need for it anymore, hehe.”
However, Himuro-san countered with a logical argument, which made the two of them grit their teeth, but only for a moment…
“Hold on. Then, what if there’s some element to that wasn’t there before?”
“Ah, right! …Then instead of putting sunscreen on normally, how about this…?!”
Sakura-san suddenly stepped forward and started wrapping a bath towel around Onii-chan’s head—
“Uwaah?! H-Hold on, Minazuki-san?!”
“It’s a blindfold! We’ll have
Sensei put sunscreen on us like this!”
“Exactly. He’ll have to follow our verbal guidance. Basically, it’s a collaborative effort, much like the melon-splitting event.”
“That’s a bit unreasonable, if you ask me?!”
A-Agreed! It’s just as Onii-chan says! If you did that, his hands might slip and…!
“Come on Haruna, join us.”
“Ehhh?! I-I’m not…! Hey, don’t pull me, Onee-chan!”
“P-Please wait a second, Akino-san! Are you serious about this?!”
“Of course I am. And I think that this is good as a romcom event as well.”
“It’s a good fanservice scene, and it’s even pretty original. Don’t you agree, Sensei?”
“…That might be true. I understand. I’ll do it!”
W-What are you saying?! Ahhh! His head must be so full of thinking about romcom events for his novel that he’s lost his ability to think rationally!
However, while my thoughts were going crazy, Onii-chan had already accepted the sunscreen bottle, and Sakura-san, Akino-san, as well as the reluctant Haruna-san had already laid down on a blanket.
“U-Umm, you’ll have to guide me completely, alright? I literally can’t see anything…”
“It’s fine! Sensei just has to obey Sakura’s commands! Stretch out your hands straight forward… Kya!”
“Eh?! W-What happened?!”
“Ehehe… Being touched near my navel like that just tickled Sakura a bit!”
Uuuu…! Why are you so happy about this, Sakura-san…!
“Sensei, do me next. A bit higher. Yeah, right there.”
“…Umm, where exactly am I touching you anyways?”
“Right below my chest. If you move your hand up just a bit, you’ll be able to touch them. I’ve prepared myself.”
“Don’t prepare yourself for that! Also why are you guiding me over there?!”
A-Akino-san seems to be enjoying herself…!
“I-I’m totally fine, okay?! Don’t come over here!”
“This is also valuable experience, so you’ll be joining in, Haruna. Sensei, move your hand to the right a bit more.”
“Uhyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?! A-A man’s hand is…! A-Ah…!”
“D-Don’t let out such a weird voice! This is your back, right?! Right?!”
Haruna-san’s face flushed red, and she twitches every time Onii-chan touches her… Still, this actually looks pretty fun, and if it helps Onii-chan, then I’d like to try it as well…!
“H-Hmph! Not bad…!”
When everyone’s turn was over, Himuro-san let out a frustrated voice as Onii-chan took off the blindfold. Watching over it, even Double Peace-san muttered “We’ve been had, desu~” with a slightly bitter smile.
“B-But it doesn’t matter, since my idea is way better anyways! My turn now!”
“No, Mai. I came up with a lot of light novel and eroge events, so it’s my turn now, desu!”
“No no no! That just now was to make up for the things that Sakura and the others missed last year, so the real deal starts now!”
“Exactly. I have tons of other things that I want to try for romcom events.”
“Uuuuu… I can’t become a bride anymore…!”
Suddenly, everyone started fighting about who would go first, arguing that their own romcom event idea was the best, not showing any signs of backing down.
“H-Hehe… This should be interesting…!”
Onii-chan was watching them, a few steps away. Maybe what happened before had been a bit too much, since he looked exhausted to me. Still, his enthusiasm seemed to be more than making up for it.
“…W-What should I do…?!”
I, on the other hand, was panicking ever so slightly while watching them. They all seemed very serious about this, and they had original ideas. Hence, I should really come up with a good event. One that would make Onii-chan look at me. Right now, though, I can’t come up with something that crazy.
…T-That being said, I can’t give up here…! I have to think up a perfect event for this occasion…!
I focused like never before.
It was then that I spotted a small island in the open sea.
That’s… Himuro-san told us about that before. Apparently, it’s also part of their private beach, but it’s just a normal island with nothing to offer. Hence, it’s a deserted island, so to speak—
But that’s how far my thoughts carried me until a shocking revelation brought them to a screeching halt.
Ahhhh…! T-That’s it! There’s no better choice than this…!
With that idea in my mind, I called out to Onii-chan.
“Hm? What is it, Suzuka—H-Hey, what are you—?”
To make sure that the others wouldn’t notice us during their fight, I took his hand and slowly sneaked away from that place.
“W-What happened, Suzuka?”
“I-I thought of a good romcom event…! So please come with me to that island…!”
“Island… Wait, over there?! Why should we?!”
“I’ll explain the details once we get there…! I’m sure that it’ll help Onii-chan’s novel, so please trust me…!”
I didn’t try to cover it up. I just honestly asked him, which made Onii-chan swallow his words.
“I-If you’re that adamant about it…” He answered while averting his gaze.
Y-Yes! Now I just have to use this chance to the fullest!
The two of us went over to all the tools that we brought with us, rummaged through the beach volleyball and the parasol, and grabbed the inflatable raft. We pumped it full of air away from everyone else and set out to sea. Luckily, they were all too engrossed into their discussion, so nobody noticed us.
We headed for the small island that was about two hundred meters away from the beach with everyone else. Lucky, there wasn’t much of a tide against us, so we arrived fairly quickly.
“Woah, this is a great location…”
It was basically just trees in the middle, surrounded by a sandy beach. There’s really not much to do here, but that doesn’t matter as long as nobody else can bother us!
“So what are we going to do here?” Onii-chan asked me.
“This very situation is the romcom event… B-Basically, the protagonist and the heroine end up stranded on this deserted island!”
Onii-chan’s eyes opened wide as he let out a confused scream, but I continued.
“We have to work hard to survive on this deserted island where nobody will come to rescue us! Then various romcom moments ensue! So please use me as the substitute for the heroine!”
“Hold on! Stranded on a deserted island…?!”
“In order to make it realistic, I even let the air out of the boat!”
“What the hell are you doing?!?!?!”
Onii-chan turned around, only to see the now airless inflatable boat.
“N-No seriously, what are you doing?! How are we going to get back without the boat?!”
“C-Calm down. If it comes down to it, we can just swim that distance, right?”
“…W-Well, you’d probably be able to do it without any great effort, and I might be able to if I worked hard… I guess? But still, aren’t you taking things a bit too far?”
“I-It’s all to create the necessary realism! This is the perfect situation to collect data, after all! Don’t you think that an event like this has great impact during a romcom?!”
“T-That’s…! You might be right about that…!”
Onii-chan let out a quick sigh, and changed his mind. Now that he’s seriously accepted this, he surely won’t run away from me, which will make it easier for me to flirt with him, and he can gather data for himself. It’s a win-win situation! I almost want to praise myself for coming up with this idea!
“But, when you consider a romcom on a deserted island… What exactly is there to do…?”
…Yes, this isn’t the time to be dwelling in unnecessary thoughts like that. Right now, I have to focus my everything on this situation that’s right in front of me…! Onii-chan, I’m sorry, but—besides flirting to our heart’s content of course—this is also for your own good, so forgive me…!
“Suzuka?! What happened?!”
When I cried out and held my right ankle, Onii-chan came storming over with a worried expression on his face.
“…It seems like I sprained my ankle when we landed just now…”
“Ehhh?! B-But you won’t be able to swim like that! This isn’t the time to collect data! W-What should I do?! Ehhhhmm…?!”
Onii-chan looked at my ankle with a serious expression on his face. I do feel bad for deceiving him like this, but his gaze made my heart skip a beat…!
“…We can’t help it. I’ll swim back and get some help, so please wait here.”
“Eh? Y-You can’t!”
I hurriedly stopped Onii-chan. Aren’t you getting your priorities backwards?!
“U-Umm! I don’t want to wait here all alone! Please don’t leave me behind!”
“Ugh…!” Onii-chan swallowed his words. “I understand,” he said after a short pause, and flashed me a smile.
When I saw that, I completely forgot about my acting for a second, and I really felt happy from the bottom of my heart.
“But what should we do? We have to come up with another way to get out of here…”
“Ah, well, the pain isn’t that bad, so after a short rest, I might be able to swim.”
Since I wanted Onii-chan to focus on the romcom aspects, I softened the condition a bit like that. But…
“I see… Ah, hold on a second.”
Onii-chan seemed to have thought of something. He walked over to the roots of a tree, crouched down for a short amount of time, and came back again.
“I don’t really know if this will help your sprain, but maybe we could use this as a splint.”
He moved towards my ankle, but…
“Ah, not good, I don’t have anything to keep it in place. The trees here don’t have any ivy, either…”
While Onii-chan was thinking about something again, I could only watch him in silence, trying my best to hold back my loose typical laugh.
…Ehehe, Onii-chan really is kind…
But I understand what he’s planning. Sadly, we don’t have anything to keep in place here. We’d need some string or something similar. Even some gum or rubber would be enough—
Suddenly, a horrendously crazy idea came to mind.
…N-No, that really is a bit too…! B-But it’s to help Onii-chan write a good novel, so I have to do anything…! C-Calm down, me…! Calm down and just say it…!
“O-Onii-chan, I know of a way to fix it in place…!”
“Eh? What is it…?”
“L-Look… this right here…!” I said. I pointed to my chest, or to be precise, the bikini top I was wearing.
For a second, Onii-chan just blankly stared at me, but finally…
“Y-You’re telling me to use your swimsuit…?!”
Onii-chan finally understood my intentions, and his face suddenly turned a deep red. I nodded in affirmation, but my face probably looked the same… W-What kind of indecent things am I thinking about…?! B-But, I’m a high school student now…! An adult…! This isn’t the time to hesitate if I want to have Onii-chan look at me…!
I steeled my resolve, and put a hand on my bikini top. In that moment, Onii-chan panicked and averted his gaze. Hiding my chest with one arm, I took off off the top.
…Embarrassing embarrassing embarrassing…!
“O-O-O-Onii-chan… P-Please use this…!”
“I-I-I-I’m supposed to do it?!”
O-Of course. I have to hide my chest with my arms after all…!
Accepting my bikini top with a shaking hand, he directed his gaze towards my naked chest for a second, only to quickly avert his face again. Because of my embarrassment, I was frozen in place, unable to make the slightest movement, only waiting for Onii-chan to finish.
With a red face, Onii-chan focused his gaze on my ankle and went to quickly fix the splint in place. Once that was done, he turned his back to me with heavy breathing. Even from behind his back, I could tell that he was red to his ears.
…D-Does this mean that he’s grown a bit more conscious of me…?!
We both kept quiet, an awkward mood filling the air. At one point, I felt like he might have been able to hear my heart beat, because he suddenly jumped up.
“W-What happened, Onii-chan?”
“…W-We can’t stay like this forever, right? Umm… I’ll go look for something that you can wear…”
Saying that, Onii-chan walked towards the trees again. On impulse, I stood up as well and grabbed Onii-chan’s arm.
“I-I’ll also come with you…!”
“Eh?! B-But, your leg is… And your clothes are…”
“I-It’s fine if I just walk slowly! And it’s something that I have to wear, so there’s no use if I’m not with you, right?!”
Actually, I wanted to say things like “I want to be with Onii-chan” and so on, which is why I moved to stop him in the first place.
Onii-chan hesitated for a second, but finally stretched out his hand, not saying anything. I took that arm and leaned against it. With my bare chest slightly hitting his arm, I could feel my head going crazy from embarrassment.
“L-L-L-L-L-Let’s take it slow, okay…?!”
“T-Thank you very much…!”
In this position, we slowly walked towards the trees in the middle of the island, but we couldn’t find anything usable there like leaves or anything. Thinking about it, since we weren’t far enough south for it to be tropical, it made sense that there wouldn’t be any leaves that were big enough.
Realizing that, Onii-chan and I both started to grow tense. We returned back to the sandy beach shortly after and sat down, not looking at each other, until the sky started to cloud. In the distance, we could hear the faint sound of thunder as well, and the temperature sank, ever so slightly.
In that moment, a shiver ran up my spine, and I came up with yet another inhumane idea.
T-This really is bad…! But this is to collect data, and I’m an adult now! Auuuuu…!
In this confused state, I realized that all my reason had been washed away, and I moved without thinking any more deeply into it.
“O-Onii-chan…? It’s gotten a bit cold, so could I lean on you a bit…?”
Right now, the only things going on in my mind were things like “Collect data” and “The charm of an adult” and “I want to be with Onii-chan”, and I basically lost all sense of reason.
Although he hesitated a bit like he was going to respond, I ignored that and just rested my back against his own.
“D-D-D-D-D-Don’t get the wrong idea?! This is to collect data! It’s all for Onii-chan’s romcom, so you can use this as a reference…!”
I wasn’t sure what I was saying anymore, and I continued to lean against Onii-chan’s warm back. Almost as if that warmth was giving me courage, I pushed myself even more onto him. In this position, where we were both too nervous to say anything, I started to grow interested in the kind of face Onii-chan was making right now.
It happened when I was unable to suppress that curiosity of mine, and had started to turn around.
A sudden bolt of lighting, followed by a crash of thunder.
Shocked by the sudden loud noise, both of us jolted upright. And when I looked back over my shoulder, I realized that I was hugging Onii-chan… Basically, I was pressing my front against Onii-chan’s back…!
We both swallowed our breaths at the same time when we understood our current situation. However, neither of us moved. I could feel both our bodies tensing up, and we both must’ve realized that if either of us moved, something bad would happen. Well, we were right in the middle of this situation.
But even if we both continued to stay frozen like that, the blowing wind and the beating sound of our hearts told us that time hadn’t stopped. I finally started to regain my composure, and started thinking.
…I-I have to say something now…! I have to act in a way so that Onii-chan can use this for his romcom event writing…!
“W-W-W-What is it…?!”
But I suddenly remembered something else that I’d been meaning to ask.
“U-Umm… Have you been avoiding me recently…?”
I could hear Onii-chan swallow his breath. I was just about to question him about the meaning of that, but…
“…What are you two doing here…?”
In the next moment, I heard a voice behind my back. In response, Onii-chan and I turned around at the same time, our movements as stiff as a robot.
“We were searching you all over the place, and this is where you were hiding, desu?”
“…Suzuka-chan, don’t you think that this is a bit unfair to Sakura and the others?”
“What a blunder. To think that she’d pull such a move.”
“Coming to a deserted island with your little sister, you really are…”
Himuro-san, Double Peace-san, Sakura-san, Akino-san, and Haruna-san all were smiling at us with eyes that weren’t smiling in the slightest. In that moment, I felt like I heard Onii-chan gulp.
“Y-You’re wrong…! There are some circumstances for this…! Also why are you all here?! Isn’t this supposed to be a deserted island…?!”
“It is deserted, yes, but there’s a sandbar a little ways away from here that you can walk across to get here. This area a bay, you know.”
When Himuro-san gave a sound explanation, Onii-chan could only mutter a defeated “Ah, is that so…?” He was unable to say anything back. But Himuro-san wasn’t done yet, and she continued with a grin.
“Rather than that…”
Her smile was pure on the outside, but you could feel some kind of malice behind that.
“I’d like an explanation for this whole situation here.”
Then, another lighting came down behind everyone’s back, making Onii-chan twitch. Preparing myself for the incoming battle, I tightened my grip on Onii-chan… only to remember my own appearance, and I crouched down on the sand immediately after.
“…What a horrible day.”
I tilted the umbrella, and looked up at the cloudy sky as raindrops fell down in front of me.
Naturally, that comment was about the incident on the deserted island with Suzuka.
After we were found by Mai and the others, I was thoroughly questioned by them. To be fair, I’d really rather forget about it if I could, but to summarize, I barely managed to get through it alive because of Suzuka’s assistance. She stood in front of everyone, saying that it was her idea, and that it would be good data, and that it was all so that I could write some good romcom scenes, and so on, and they all calmed down thanks to that.
By that time, it was already evening, and since it had started raining, they let me go and we returned to the residence. The reason for me currently walking outside like this was the punishment that was imposed upon me. Basically, I had to go shopping at a nearby store, and I was on my way home just now. But this was just one of multiple different punishments that I would probably receive, and all hell would probably break loose once again… Haaaaah…
“W-What do you mean by that? Are you saying that the data you got from that wasn’t enough for you…!?”
After I sighed, Suzuka spoke up as she glared at me with flushed face. Since she was treated as my accomplice, she had been sentenced to follow me on the shopping trip.
“I-It’s not that. I was talking about Mai and the others getting mad at us. And thinking about what will happen once we get back to the residence sends a shiver down my spine…”
“S-So, the event in itself and the ideas you got from it weren’t all that bad?”
“Y-Yeah, I guess,” I averted my gaze from Suzuka as I tried to cover up how awkward I felt.
But the fact that the data in itself wasn’t bad was the truth. Rather, I felt like it turned into a great reference exactly because it was so crazy and over the top. I understood that I had to think of something of this level or it wouldn’t have enough impact.
…However, I’m currently trying my best not to think about said event. The stimulus was way too crazy, and Suzuka herself told me to “Forget it, please!” so that’s what I’m trying my best to do…
“…O-Onii-chan, you’re not thinking about it, are you?”
“…?! O-Of course not?!”
“T-That’s fine then… Using it as a reference is good and all, but remembering the details is not something I can allow…! But I’m glad that I was able to help Onii-chan in some way…”
When I looked at Suzuka, I saw that her face was still red, but there was also a glimmer of relief in there, which made my heart skip a beat. After the island incident, I could feel myself growing more and more conscious of her, but I’d always try to shake off such thoughts immediately.
…Anyway, now that Suzuka has been helping me so much, I have to write a romcom good enough to get Sakaki-san’s seal of approval.
We kept walking for a bit, until Suzuka’s feet suddenly came to a halt.
“I forgot to buy something. I’ll go back and get it really quick.”
“Ah, I’ll go with you, then.”
“No, me going alone is perfectly fine. I’ll be back immediately, so just wait here for me.”
Suzuka took the umbrella in her hand and walked off. Left with no other choice, I did as I was told, feeling the heavy weight of the supermarket bag in my hand.
A bookstore entered my view as I looked around. Originally, I had only planned to use it as shelter from the rain. There was only an older lady sitting at the counter, with no other customers in sight. Thinking that I might as well spend my time waiting here, I slowly walked through the bookshelves.
Hmm… The volumes and genres are all over the place. Still, this kind of atmosphere also makes me a bit excited, I guess?
Suddenly, a single book piqued my interest. It was a light novel with an older design. It had a beauty drawn on its cover, but the moment I saw it, I was assaulted by a feeling of nostalgia.
…For some reason, this art style looks really familiar… Like the hairstyle and the poses and such. It feels like I’ve seen this before… Hold on, is this…?
I found myself stretching my hand out towards the book.
“Onii-chan, you were here? I finished buying the stuff.”
But right before my hand reached it, I heard a voice behind me, and I saw Suzuka looking at me with a sharp gaze as she stood right outside the store. I hurriedly stepped out as well, and we once again started walking towards Mai’s place.
“So they had a used bookstore here. Did you find anything interesting?”
“No, nothing out of the ordinary.”
“But you were looking at some book, right?”
“A-Ah, well, it wasn’t anything great.”
“…W-Was it a perverted book or something?!”
“N-No! It was just a light novel!”
“A light novel? What kind of light novel?”
“W-Well, I didn’t get a good look at it, but I was wondering if it might’ve been the very first light novel I ever read…”
“Your first light novel ever? What was it about?”
“N-No, I don’t really remember that much. It was back when I was still in grade school, so I can’t even remember the title. I also forgot to check the cover just now,” I answered in a slight panic.
It’s true that I don’t remember the finer details of the story, but it’s not like I’ve completely forgotten about everything. Rather, there’s one thing I can clearly remember… But, there’s no way I could tell Suzuka that. I can’t. And I never will, even if it kills me.
“Is that so…? Then, should we go back and buy it now?”
“N-Nah, there’s no need to bother with that. I don’t really want to read it again, either.”
When she heard my response, Suzuka gave me a slightly puzzled look. Since she’s so sharp, she might feel like something’s off. To prevent that from happening, I averted my gaze and started walking faster.
…I really don’t want to keep talking about this…
“Let’s just hurry home. I don’t
want to spoil everyone’s mood even more…”
“I-It’s fine, Onii-chan. I’ll definitely win the next battle as well!”
“I’m trying to get away from that battle…!”
Thanks to that crazy romcom event research with Suzuka, I honestly don’t even feel like I need any more data to write about. Naturally, I would still be thankful to listen to everyone’s ideas, but not if I end up like I did earlier today again…
Meanwhile, Suzuka confidently said “D-Don’t worry, I’ll protect Onii-chan!” as we continued to walk down the street. As we walked, I thought back to that book at the bookstore once more.
…The novel I first read, huh…? It’s true that I wouldn’t be reading it again or anything, but I should’ve at least checked the title, shouldn’t I…?
In the end, I was really lucky. Considering what had happened during the day, I was expecting something harsh to greet me when we got back, but I was let off the hook… Or rather,
“To think that I would fail at foreshadowing that! I worked on my manuscript last week so that I could focus on this camp, but I wasn’t paying enough attention! And now my editor has pointed something out at such a time as this!”
“Fu fu fu, I did come here while slacking off on my job, but it seems like I didn’t manage to escape them entirely, desu!”
“Once she goes back, Sakura has to work on that script immediately! Sakura was being selfish with her manager and came here without permission, anyway…!”
“To think that my night together with Sensei would be ruined because of my job… I want to stop being an author.”
“Just keep writing Onee-chan! I’m doing all that I can, here!”
…When we returned to the residence, it looked like everyone was busy fighting their own battles. When I heard their circumstances, they were things like sudden job-related calls, or their tight schedules they blew off to come to this camp. In the end, they were all incapable of continuing the talk we had earlier.
When I heard that, I was really relieved. Deciding that I would repay the favour of them (unwittingly) helping me gather a lot of ideas for a romcom, I also decided to work on my plot with all the data I had collected that day.
Hence, after everyone had finished eating Suzuka’s meal, they all holed themselves up in their rooms, working on their own jobs. I did the same. I took out my laptop and started working to improve what I had come up with so far… With this, Sakaki-san will definitely be satisfied, right?
“…Woah, it’s already this late.”
Before I realized it, a lot of time had passed. I had arrived at a good point in my rewriting, so I decided to take a quick break. I walked down the stairs to get a sip of water, and there I saw that someone else had probably had the same idea.
“”Hm? Are you taking a break as well, Yuu?”
Mai greeted me while holding a bottle filled with what looked like orange juice.
“Yeah, I thought that I’d get something to drink.”
“We have a lot on the refrigerator, so take whatever you want.”
I guess I’ll take her up on that offer. I got out some canned coffee.
“Haah… really, why would they call me now because of my job? Well, it seems like I managed to get through the rough part… How’s it looking on your side, Yuu?”
“I’m making progress. Slowly but steadily.”
“Well, that’s what I was expecting. I really would like to see how you work, live.”
…Please don’t. Suzuka is doing all the work as Towano Chikai, and I’m working on my own novel right now. That’s something we definitely can’t allow her to see…
“B-By the way, do you have some time right now?”
I grew wary for a second, but it seemed like Mai had no intentions to press that topic any further.
“I still have a bit more to do, but what is it?”
“I-It’s not that big of a deal, but… There’s something I wanted to give you, so I want to stop by your room later.”
“I don’t really mind. But what is it?”
“I-It’s… Something I just finished!”
“…It’d better not be a collection of photos that you’ve secretly taken of me, okay?”
“I-I’m keeping those for myself!”
“So you have something like that?! I only said that as a joke!”
…S-She really is a scary person.
“A-Anyway, I’m coming by later, so you better wait for me!”
Ah, hey! …There she went. Really, what is it that she wants to give me? Well, knowing her, it’s probably something useless and idiotic again…
Though I had a bad feeling about it, I decided to return to my own room. After I did, it didn’t take long for a knock to happen at my door, followed by Mai’s voice saying “H-Here I am.”
“T-This is what I wanted to give you…!”
When I opened the door, Mai no more than a single step into the room and pushed a small box towards me with a red face. The small box was beautifully wrapped. Since I didn’t actually expect anything like this, I was a bit taken aback.
“W-What is this?”
“Umm… It’s… a wristwatch…”
“A wristwatch? Why would you give that to me?”
“T-There’s no deeper meaning behind it…! I just wanted to thank you for helping me with my studies for exams!”
Her face reddened up even more before she continued.
“I wanted to give you something as thanks, but since I didn’t know what to get you, I looked up this stuff on the internet, and this looked pretty good, so I got it for you…”
The more she talked, the quieter her voice became. At the very end, she even got a bit teary-eyed, and she asked “I-Is it no good after all?” while looking up at me.
“N-No, it’s really great. I’m just a bit surprised, that’s all… Thank you.”
When I responded with that, Mai let out a relieved “I-I’m so glad…”
Her expression looked so pure and lovable that my heart skipped a beat.
“Still, I didn’t expect to get a wristwatch from you.”
“A-As I just said, I really didn’t know what to get for you. I couldn’t decide between a wristwatch and a plush toy with a hidden camera in it.”
“Hold on! What’s with that other choice that you thankfully didn’t take?!”
“That plush toy has cameras as its eyes, and it’s able to take pictures and videos. Isn’t that pretty handy?”
…She’s got a serious look on her face.
“…W-Well, hearing that makes me even more glad that I got the wristwatch…”
“R-Really? I’m glad to hear that…”
Mai let out a gleeful laugh, and I sighed. Shortly after, though, silence fell on the room. Since her business was done, I thought that Mai would go back to her own room, but she instead stayed frozen on the spot, throwing glances at me here and there.
Because of that, I even started to feel embarrassed, until finally…
Mai was the first one to open her mouth.
“T-This gift… Is something that I gave you, right?”
“E-Eh? Yeah, I know?”
“N-No, listen…! This isn’t a present for Towano Chikai, but for Nagami Yuu, okay…?!”
…Huh? What is she on about? I mean yeah, my being Towano Chiaki or not didn’t have anything to do with it?
While Mai stared at me with flushed cheeks, I started to think that there might be a different meaning behind it. I wasn’t really sure how to react to this, so I kept quiet, and Mai slowly opened her mouth again.
“Onii-chan, are you here? …Oh, Himuro-san?”
At that moment, Suzuka opened the door and came inside, which made Mai swallow her words immediately.
“W-Why is Himuro-san here at such an hour…?”
“I-It’s nothing! I-I’ll be going back to my room now! See you later, Yuu!”
Ah, hey… Well, she’s gone already. Just what was she trying to say before?
“O-Onii-chan, what is this about?!”
Since Suzuka looked more than perplexed at the situation she had stumbled into, I gave a quick explanation.
“A thank-you gift, is it…?”
“Yeah, she even told me that it was a present specifically for me, and not Towano Chikai, but I thought that was pretty obvious.”
The moment I said that, Suzuka’s expression darkened.
“I-Is she possibly…? N-No, that would be too abrupt, even for Himuro-san… But there can only be one meaning behind those words…!”
She started muttering something to herself… Care to let me in on it?
“Oh right, what did you even come here for?”
“Eh? A-Ah, well! I was worried about Onii-chan, so I came to check on you! And then, as expected, Himuro-san was there…!”
“W-Well…! I-I came here to protect Onii-chan!”
“H-Huh?! P-Protect me?!”
“T-That’s right. I assumed that everyone might be frustrated that they weren’t able to finish their romcom research, so I anticipated that they might come to attack you during the night!”
“A-Attack…?! W-What are you talking about?!”
“Himuro-san already tried to attack just now, after all…! Anyway, to make sure that no bad accidents happens, I’ll stay with you through the night and protect you!”
“N-No, hold on! Through the night…?!”
“T-That’s right. Though I’m not the biggest fan of it, it’s important that we sleep together. But this is a special occasion right now!”
Suzuka started reasoning with a red face that she kept averted from me.
…S-Sleep together…? There’s only one bed in this room… So basically, is this what I think it is…?
Suddenly, the scene from today’s data collection suddenly came flying back to my mind. The sight of Suzuka, having taken off her bikini top, hiding her chest with her arms. And her soft feeling hitting my back—
“…! N-No can do! G-Go back to your room already!”
Before I even realized what I was doing, I had forcefully pushed Suzuka out of the room.
“O-Onii-chan?! W-What are you doing?!”
“I-I’ll be fine! I swear that nobody will enter this room tonight, so keep calm and go back to your own room! We definitely can’t sleep together!”
“W-Why?! Last year, we also—”
“T-The circumstances were different back then! Anyway, I’m thankful for your concern but I’m fine!”
I desperately tried to make her understand, and tried to force the door shut.
“P-Please wait a second…! Are you telling me that you hate the idea of sleeping together with me…?!”
“I-It’s not like I hate it or anything… But please leave me alone right now!”
With her helpless and desperate expression being burned into my eyes, I managed to close the door behind me and fell down to my knees.
“Haaah… That was really dangerous…”
My breathing was rough, and my heart was beating so hard that it was making me feel like I was going crazy. Just imagining Suzuka and me sleeping in the same bed made me go crazy in the head.
Apologizing to Suzuka countless times in my head for locking her out, I shakily walked over to my PC. I still had to rewrite the plot, and if I didn’t focus on something else right now, my head would be full of Suzuka.
…Ahhh, dang it, what’s happening to me…?!
To rid myself of any negative thoughts, I worked on my novel through the night.