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Towano Chikai’s Troublesome White Day
“Soon… Very soon…!” I muttered tensely as I stood in front of the calendar.
The box for the 14th of March had several big, red circles around it.
“It’s almost White Day… And then I’ll get a present from Onii-chan in return for my Valentine’s Day present…! Ehehehe…!”
Yes, White Day is right around the corner! I have been waiting so long for this day to come! Last Valentine’s Day, I made chocolate full of love for Onii-chan… W-Well, I somehow managed to hand it over to him, let’s just keep it at that. At the time, I called it a way to collect data, and I’ve already received a gift in return, but I’m still hoping that I will receive something even better during this real White Day. A-After all, my present was full of my feelings for him! N-Naturally, I’m aware that it wasn’t enough to directly show that I actually l-l-l-l-love Onii-chan or anything, but he should have at least understood that I don’t hate him! Hence, it should be fine to get my hopes up to receive something from him as well. M-M-M-Maybe even a confession out of the blue?!
“I love you, Suzuka… if Onii-chan suddenly said that, just how happy would I beeeeee?!”
When that fantasy appeared in my mind, I flopped onto my bed and started rolling around as I tightly clung to my pillow.
Roll roll roll roll
“I-If that happened, we might actually get married soon, right…?! Eheheh, it’s still too early for that… But if Onii-chan loves me that much, then maybe…”
Roll roll roll roll
I was a prisoner of my own romantic fantasies for a while after that.
Finally, my energy ran out. When I regained my composure, a certain uneasy thought came to mind.
“…Onii-chan will give me something for White Day, right?”
……N-No, even if it’s Onii-chan, he surely wouldn’t just forget about it, right? I mean, these days, the topic of White Day tends to come up more and more naturally, without me having to guide the conversation towards the topic. However…
“During those times, Onii-chan’s reaction has never really seemed all that favourable…”
Yes, he didn’t seem all that enthusiastic about it, and every time I try to hold a proper conversation about it, he always just gives vague answers like “Y-Yeah…” and “You’re right…”
“M-Maybe he doesn’t see all that much value in White Day at all…? Or maybe he’s just thinking of giving me something simple so that I don’t get mad at him…?!”
N-No, it’s not like I’m hoping for anything expensive, you know? If it was from Onii-chan, I’d even gladly accept pencil lead, and I’d treasure it for all eternity! However, I want it to have something that really feels like a gift in return for the Valentine’s Day chocolate. If it’s something he gives me with that kind of mindset, I’ll accept anything he gives me with my utmost happiness, yes!
“B-Bu, just a gift for the sake of giving a gift… is not good!”
I want Onii-chan to make my heart skip a beat with his White Day gift!
“But… considering how Onii-chan has been acting as of recently, I can’t help but have my doubts…”
If I really want to have such a fulfilling White Day, maybe just sitting idle like this and waiting isn’t going to work? With that in mind, I started thinking about what to do in this situation. Soon after, a certain idea came up, and I immediately started working out the details.
“…Just you wait, Onii-chan. I’ll definitely make you conscious of White Day!”
“Eh? Collecting data for White Day?”
It was a certain evening, and we were eating dinner. Suzuka suddenly said “I have a favour to ask of you,” which stopped me in my tracks.
“I-I thought that I might write about a White Day scene in my next volume, and I just felt like I needed some more references… T-There’s no deeper meaning to it whatsoever.”
…I see. Though it’s kind of a mystery as to why she’s suddenly looking away like that, her reasoning makes sense. Well, since I’m her stand-in, I don’t have any reason to refuse the wishes of the true author Suzuka, but… Collecting data on White Day of all things, huh?
“…Do you not want to?”
“Eh? W-Why would you think that?”
“I mean, you don’t exactly seem motivated, and you have wrinkles between your brows like you’re thinking all the time…”
E-Eh, seriously?! I panicked ever so slightly and quickly tried to cover it up.
“T-That’s not the case though?!”
Suzuka didn’t seem all too satisfied with that, though, and she pouted. Damn it, that was really dangerous. I heard the words ‘White Day,’ and I just…
“I-It’s to collect data, so of course I’ll help you out as much as I can.”
Those words weren’t a lie. It’s true that I had gone through all sorts of hellish things to gather data, but I never once truly hated the idea of helping her out… But just as Suzuka said, I might have been a bit hesitant about it. And the reason for that wasn’t the thought of collecting data, but rather White Day itself.
To be completely honest, for these past few days, my head has been full of White Day. A month ago, Suzuka gave me Valentine’s Day chocolate. That being said, it was just to collect data, sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that I did get some. I gave her a present back at the time, but I really feel like I should give her a present for White Day as well, and I’ve been thinking about what to give her Even still, I haven’t come up with any good ideas… After all, it’s been years since I’ve given Suzuka a present for White Day.
And now, it’s the first White Day after we finally managed to make up… Now that I’m giving her a present, I want her to enjoy it. But I have absolutely no clue what present I should give her. That’s been on my mind all the time lately, so I was a bit surprised when she suddenly brought up White Day like that.
“A-And how are you planning on collecting data during White Day?”
Naturally, there’s no way I could just ask her like that, so I quickly tried to clear my mind and change the flow of conversation. At first, Suzuka started to glare at me, but for some reason, her cheeks flushed ever-so-slightly, and…
“Eh? T-That’s… I wanted to try something different from usual, so I need Onii-chan’s assistance at all costs…!”
“Eh, why is that?”
“I-I mean… since I’m planning on collecting data for White Day, I need a partner to help out, don’t you think?! Our concept would be that the older brother is going on a date with his little sister as a return gift for the Valentine’s Day chocolate, and I was hoping that Onii-chan could maybe take the lead this time!”
“D-Date?! A-And I’m supposed to take the lead?!”
“Y-Yes. The quality of the data depends on it, so I’m counting on you!” said Suzuka with a smile.
…H-Hold on! I’ve been having trouble thinking about that myself already, so why are you pushing even more responsibility onto me?!
“Ehehehe, with this, he’ll definitely remember White Day—Not that! This is all to write an interesting light novel, so I can only ask Onii-chan for this!”
…Ugh, it’s rare that Suzuka relies on me this much. I can’t deny her hopes and her trust in me like this…! I really don’t have any other choice here, do I…?!
Dinner ended, and after I returned back to my room, I let out a tired sigh as I sank down onto my bed. In the end, we decided to go data collecting just as Suzuka wanted to, but how can I come up with a good gift for that when I can’t even come up with one in reality?
“…No, hold on. Isn’t this a pretty good chance?” I came to a mental conclusion.
When you think about the gift, although it’s just to collect data, redoing it would be very difficult. If that’s the case, I can go out with Suzuka to search for something that she might enjoy, and keep it under the pretense of data collecting, right?
“Y-Yeah, that’s a good plan!” I said to myself. I started to feel excited.
But when I thought about it more carefully, I realized that I didn’t even know where to start looking for a gift, which left me in a detached state yet again. Maybe I should keep it orthodox with some sweets? But would that really make Suzuka happy?
“…Hmm, what should I do? Would I feel happy if I got that…? What would I be happy about? …Maybe something light novel related…?”
…No, that’s not going to cut it. Even I knew that. If I really gave Suzuka something like that, she’d probably look at me with dead eyes and say “A light novel for White Day…? You really can’t read the atmosphere.” That would be the end of me! Perhaps I could look for information online—
Just as I thought about that, my phone vibrated. When I looked at it, I saw that it was an incoming phone call from Mai.
H-Hello, Yuu? I don’t exactly have any business with you, but it’s pretty close to White Day, right?!
What kind of question is that? I felt like hanging up instantly, to be honest. But since Mai also gave me Valentine’s Day chocolate, I have to give something back to her as well… No wait, not just her, but Double Peace-sensei, Minazuki-san, and the Kanzaka sisters as well… Oh man, now I have even more things to worry about…!
T-There’s no deeper meaning to it, but I thought that you might want to know what kind of presents girls like me would be happy about?!
“I’m really envious of you for that brutal honesty, you know?!”
I know that you’re just using this as a way of telling me what kind of present you want! …Really, this is why you’re so troublesome… Well, if she directly tells me what she wants, then that’ll save me the trouble of coming up with a good present—
Then, something popped into my mind.
…Information about what kind of present would make a girl happy?
…Isn’t this the perfect chance to come up with what I should get Suzuka?
“P-Please tell me!”
E-Eh? What’s with that sudden change of tune?! Mai was clearly surprised.
But I didn’t pay too much attention to that. I just started questioning her, hoping that this information would lead me to the perfect present for Suzuka.
“T-Then, let’s start collecting data immediately.”
A few days later, Suzuka and I arrived at a nearby shopping mall. It was no surprise that Suzuka was excited, both because of White Day tomorrow, and because of all the advertisements around us.
“As I told you before, this time around, Onii-chan is supposed to take the lead to collect data, so please treat me well!” Suzuka’s eyes were sparkling with anticipation as she turned towards me.
“Y-Yeah, I know.”
On the other hand, I started feeling even more nervous that I might let Suzuka down on her expectations. Also, since I had to think about how to pull through our data collecting this time, I felt twice as pressured. I did manage to come up with several ideas, but they’re certainly not perfect. I don’t know how useful they’ll be for data-gathering this time, and I’m worried if Suzuka will really be happy about it.
“Ehehe… With this, I can expect something good for White Day—Excuse me, some good data for the next volume…!”
There’s no other choice but to try it and hope for the best!
“Um, so let me check this one more time. Our current situation that we’re collecting data on is the siblings going on a date on White Day. The older brother is going to buy a present for his little sister as thanks for the Valentine’s chocolate… Is that right?”
“Y-Yes. That’s why you have to search for the perfect present to make the little sister as happy she can possibly be. I’ll play the part of the little sister who can barely hold back her excitement and anticipation for said present. So much so that she couldn’t sleep at all last night!”
“…That sure sounds detailed.”
“I have to plan at this high of a level, or the data might be corrupted! A-Anyway, please play along!” Suzuka said. She clung to my arm with a flushed face.
When I felt that softness assaulting me, and smelled the incoming sweet scent from her, my heartbeat naturally accelerated… No, calm down, me! Our data-gathering has already started! It’s to collect data on a date, so doing this sort of thing is only natural! Also we’ve done this countless times already, and it’s my little sister, so why is my heart beating this fast?!
“Ehe… Ehehehe… And what kind of return gift are you thinking about, Onii-chan?”
“Y-Yeah, let’s see…”
This is to collect data…! — I constantly reminded myself as I tried to keep my thoughts in place. If I can make this data gathering a success, I can find out which present would make Suzuka the happiest. So to start…
“Umm… Ah, that place over there looks good.”
When I looked around at my surroundings, I found a store that perfectly matched the idea that I had. When the two of us approached said store, Suzuka muttered the following.
“An accessory store?”
“Y-Yeah, I thought that looking around here might be a good start,” I commented. I glanced at Suzuka out of the corner of my eye.
Both data collecting and gathering ideas for my present all depend on Suzuka’s reaction. The moment she shows a negative one, I can ditch the idea.
“A-Accessories…! T-That sounds really nice!”
Thankfully, Suzuka’s face lit up immediately… Ohh, so I made the right choice on my first try?!
“S-So, Onii-chan is thinking of an accessory as a return gift on White Day?!”
“Y-Yeah… is it no good?”
“T-That’s not the case! I think it’s a wonderful idea! I was just expecting that you would present me with some new light novel release.”
“Eh?! ………W-What if I did that?”
“I would have gotten mad. Really really mad.” Suzuka smiled at me, which sent a wave of cold sweat down my back.
…T-That was close…! How does she know me so well?!
“Now then, let’s hurry inside.”
While I was busy being confused, unsure what to say next, Suzuka pulled on my arm. A-Anyway, let’s just calm down and see how this turns out.
“Wow… There’s so many accessories here. S-So, what kind of accessory where you thinking of giving me on White Day?”
“Let’s see… How about something like this?”
I pointed to the pendant right next to me.
“I-I see, a pendant! That can go with any piece of clothing! And it reflects the meaning of always wanting to be with the other person!”
“Ehhh?! U-Umm, I didn’t choose it with that in mind, though…?!”
I really just thought that this might look good on Suzuka, that’s all…
“Ehehehe… You’ve finally managed to naturally act in character, Onii-chan!”
…Now she’s admiring me for some reason?
“So what other ideas did you have as a return gift?”
“U-Umm… Let’s see, that necklace over there is also very pretty, don’t you think? It looks affordable as well.”
“A-A necklace! That also sounds wonderful! It shows everyone around us that your little sister belongs to you and that she always has your attention. Right, Onii-chan?!”
“I never thought about it like that, though?!”
I once again had just picked it out since it looked nice, and she’s giving it some deep philosophical meaning?! …Well, she’s acting as the little sister in her light novel, so I can’t blame her for that… Then again, she seems happy about the idea, so it wasn’t a complete failure. Even if she’s pretending to be the little sister from her novel, this present in itself shouldn’t be too bad for the real Suzuka, either. Thinking that this data-collecting might end fairly quickly and safely, I let out a relieved sigh.
And, just then, I spotted yet another accessory that seemed plausible.
“A pendant and a necklace aren’t that bad, but how about this ring here?”
Suzuka’s eyes opened wide when I pointed at the shelf.
“I thought that the present could be a ring in the first place, but—”
“Ehh?! S-So basically you were thinking of giving me an engagement ring for White Day?!”
“Ehhhhh?! N-No, I wasn’t thinking that!”
“I-In return for the little sister’s chocolate, filled with all her emotions, the older brother presents her with an engagement ring…! ‘I loved you all this time!’ ‘Onii-chan…’ they would say as they look at each other. The older brother would suddenly start putting the ring on the little sister’s finger…! And then, the two of them are connected… And the story is finished, right?!”
“Wouldn’t it be pretty bad if the series ended there?!”
“I don’t think there is any problem with that, though?!”
Her eyes were sparkling… No, the sparkle might be there, but her eyes were dead serious.
“I never imagined that Onii-chan would come up with a present this amazing…!”
“I-It looks like you’re happy, which is perfectly fine with me, but I didn’t think about the ring because of marriage or anything, so could you not jump to conclusions like that…?”
“I-I know that, but to think that Onii-chan would still…! Ehe… Ehehehehehe…!” Suzuka started muttering to herself as she hugged her own body, shaking furiously.
Man… She really is way too good at acting in character…
“U-Um, then, can I take it that a ring would be a good idea?”
“Naturally! There wouldn’t be any girl who could hate a present like this!”
…Alright, that was a quick end to our data collection. And now I’ve decided upon Suzuka’s present as well!
“Thank God… I’ll have to thank Mai later,” I muttered to myself.
…It never occured to me that this phrase might be problematic. However—
The very next moment, Suzuka’s expression froze, and her happy-go-lucky mood from before vanished in an instant, as I felt the atmosphere around us getting colder… W-What happened?
“…D-Did I just hear you say something about this being thanks to Himuro-san?”
“I-I did say that, yes…?”
“W-What is this about? …D-Don’t tell me, did the idea of going to an accessory shop like this come from her in the first place—?”
“Y-Yeah, it was Mai’s idea,” I carefully responded. Suzuka’s small stature suddenly started shaking furiously.
“I want a detailed explanation for that!!!”
And thus, Suzuka forced me to give a thorough retelling of my conversation with Mai the day prior.
“You want to know about good White Day presents that would make a girl happy? I-I-I-Is that for me?!”
“W-Well, that’s also a part of it, but there is also a scene about White Day in the next volume, so I wanted to hear your thoughts. I was hoping that it might turn into some good reference material—”
“I want the right to be able to observe you 24/7!!! Naturally, that involves me staying over at your house whenever I want—”
“The only person that would be happy about that is a stalker like you, though! I want something that would make a normal girl happy!”
“W-What? I was really getting excited there… Well, whatever. There’s still the chance that I can get something similar…”
“Your real intentions are totally leaking through, here… But anyway, could you just tell me now?”
“…Let’s see, maybe some kind of accessory would be fine?”
“I see. An accessory, huh…? But those can be pretty expensive, right?”
“Who cares about that? Whether it’s cheap or not, what matters is that it’s coming from you… O-Of course only since you’re Towano Chikai, though?!”
“I know that… But… accessories, huh…? Thank you, I’ll try that.”
“I-If that works out, you’d better give me something as thanks. And there isn’t any deeper meaning to it, but I really like rings…“”
“Well, they’re cheap, so that’s a good thing, but why a ring?”
“I-I told you that there’s no deeper meaning to it! I just thought that it might be nice, that’s all!”
…And that’s how things went down.
“This is the advice that I got from her…”
While I explained, Suzuka was just listening in silence, and then her body started twitching ever so slightly…
“S-So it was Himuro-san’s idea…!” She muttered to herself.
“U-Umm… is there some problem with that?”
“N-No, the very act of receiving advice isn’t a problem in itself, but from listening to your conversation, it sounds like you’re planning on giving Himuro-san a ring as a present for her White Day gift…?”
“Y-Yeah, that’s what I promised her, after all.”
And her advice did help me out a lot, so of course I was planning on keeping my promise.
But for some reason, Suzuka was strongly opposed to the idea.
“Eh? I mean, I did promise her, so…”
“Only if the data collection ends up as a success, right?! I-It’s a shame, but it’s not quite perfect yet! Accessories, and rings in particular, aren’t a good present at all!”
“Ehhh?! B-But weren’t you just agreeing with me just a few minutes ago?!”
“That was because I didn’t know about your promise with Himuro-san…! A-Anyway, we have to change our way of thinking about it! Rings aren’t a good return gift at all! T-There is the ever-present danger to consider, so we’re better off thinking of something else!”
N-No way…?! J-Just when I thought that I could finish this quickly…!
“Uuuu… What a waste…!”
For some reason, Suzuka looked just as disappointed as me… Why are you acting like that, after all you just said? Still, if the author Suzuka says so, then I can’t say anything against it. I gave up on getting an accessory for her.
“…I-It’s a shame, but with this, we’ve averted a worst-case scenario. So let’s continue to collect data, Onii-chan! What’s the next idea for the return gift?”
When we stepped out of the store, Suzuka once again clung to my arm as she asked me where we were going next… Damn it, it was going so smoothly just a few minutes ago…! But there’s no helping it now, I have to look for something else.
“Umm… Next is…”
Walking through the shopping mall, I looked around at the shops, until…
“Alright, let’s try this next.”
“That is… Umm… a fashion store?”
I spotted a women’s store. The interior of the store was overflowing with cute-looking items, and the female guests were gleefully looking around the assortment of goods.
“I think that finding something that would be good as a present should be doable here, so how about we look around for a bit?”
“I-I see, that sounds like a very good idea. And it really feels like a date. Ehehe…” Suzuka said. She clung to my arm even more fiercely.
…I-It seems like this might be a chance as well.
“W-Well, looking around is fine and all, but I really want Onii-chan to take the lead. That way, it feels more like you’re actually escorting me on a date.”
“Y-Yeah, leave it to me. I’ll come up with something… Um… How about this stuffed toy over here?” I said, as I pointed at a bunny stuffed toy on top of a shelf close to us.
“Y-Yes! It’s very cute! So you did remember that I like bunnies…!”
“Yeah… What else…? Ah, they have some porcelain bunny-themed things over here. What about those?”
“Those are also very cute! They would look fantastic in my room!”
“And there’s these mugs here!”
“How nice! And since there’s two of them, Onii-chan and I could have a matching set, right?!”
It’s probably because she was acting in character, but Suzuka was saying some really embarrassing stuff there.
“What happened, Onii-chan?! Your taste is very nice today, like you’re a completely different person!”
…Ugh, so she’s saying that my normal taste is pretty bad? There’s a lot of things I’d like to comment on here, but I’d rather not mess up Suzuka’s immensely good mood, so I’ll just keep quiet. Collecting data is more important.
“U-Umm… How about one of these as a present? Can I call this a success now?”
“Y-Yes! You knew your little sister’s likes and combined that with a good present! And it’s fun thinking about which one to get!”
When I saw that Suzuka was this delighted, I let out a relieved sigh. Although the first one was a failure, I’m glad that it worked out the second time.
“Alright… So have you decided on which one you want?”
“N-No, let me think a bit more.”
“Ahh, sure. Then I’ll go buy this stuffed toy over there.”
As I was about to pick up a stuffed toy that looked like a god, Suzuka’s expression suddenly turned grave as she turned around to face me… H-Huh? Did I say something wrong?
“W-What happened, Suzuka?”
“…T-That is what I am supposed to say. What exactly is that stuffed toy for?”
“I-It’s a return gift for the chocolate I got from Minazuki-san…”
Before I could even finish my sentence, I could feel the temperature around me drop drastically. A-Again?!
“A-A return gift for Minazuki-san…? D-Don’t tell me…!
“Explain yourself right this instant!!”
I was surprised that a similar development had occurred just like before, so I explained yet again.
“A gift from Sensei for White Day?! Make Sakura your little sister, please!”
“I’d really appreciate it if you came up with something easier to achieve, and not quite as ridiculous!”
“Ah, right, you were asking me for ideas because you’re data-collecting! Hmmm… Sakura thinks that maybe something cute would be nice? Like small things you can put in your room… a stuffed toy, for example!”
“I see, small things or a stuffed toy… That sounds like something a girl would like…”
“Yes, Sakura really wants something like that! If your data collecting is a success, then give Sakura a stuffed toy! Like a dog!”
“I see. If it works out, I will.”
“Yay! Sakura will name it after Sensei!”
“That’s how it went…”
“So you got this idea from Sakura-san?!”
I mean, I thought that asking more people would get me better ideas, so I asked everyone I could think of.
“Then, the present will be…!”
“Yeah, it was Minazuki-san’s advice, so if it turns out to be a success, she’ll get a stuffed toy that looks like a dog—”
…Hold on, why are you glaring at me now?!
“What are you thinking, Onii-chan! If you give her a stuffed toy like that, she’ll be petting it and hugging it like it was you!!!”
“It’s common sense! That’s what everyone does with their stuffed toys!”
Umm… I don’t think that sounds like common knowledge…
“Of course, I’m not thinking of doing that in the slightest, but Sakura-san will definitely do it! I know it for sure!”
“What’s with that confidence?!
…B-But, I did promise her, so now that the data-collecting was a
success, I really have to—”
“I-It’s not a success at all!”
“…Huh? Ehh?! H-Hold on, didn’t you just say…?!”
“I-I had the wrong idea! This is somewhat incomplete as a present!”
“W-Why…?! After all that high praise you gave me…!”
“I-I mean, if you gave that as a present to Sakura-san, then…! A-Anyway, things like stuffed toys and so on are denied because they lack impact! Think of something else!”
“N-No way…!” I sighed and hung my head.
…Ugh… Two times in a row I thought I was so close, and it ended up being a failure…?!
“…Uuu, another waste… Even though I wanted something like this from Onii-chan so badly…! But I can’t allow Sakura-san to receive a stuffed toy from Onii-chan…! She’ll just hug it and kiss it all day long…!”
Yet again, Suzuka held her head in her hands as if she was depressed about something, even though I should be the one doing that right now.
“O-Onii-chan, next! What is next…?!”
Naturally, she wasn’t done quite yet. This is what makes it so tough being her stand-in. But now that it’s come this far, I have to pull through…!
“T-Then, next would be something like this.”
“A clothing store, is it…?”
The place we arrived at next was a women’s clothing store. This time, I was planning to look for clothes that would look good on her, and present her with them for her White Day gift. When we went inside, things went well for a while, but then…
“…L-Looking for clothes together is a wonderful idea, and your fashion sense is weirdly good today, but… This isn’t anybody else’s idea, is it…?” Suzuka asked as she turned towards me.
W-What’s up with her now…?
“S-So what if it is? I did ask the Kanzaka sisters, and they told me this might be a good idea… And they taught me a few tricks for how to choose matching clothes for a girl, as well.”
“Oh really?! So, you’re planning on giving Haruna-san western clothes as a return gift?!”
“Y-Yeah, that was my plan if this data collecting here is successful…”
And it would save me the trouble from having to think of a present for each and every person, so it’s two birds with one stone, but…
“Wha—?! I-I thought so…! Then clothes are also a no-go!”
Why this early into the game?!
“Are you kidding me?! You totally seemed like you enjoyed the idea of it!”
“I mean, if Onii-chan did that, and she put on those clothes, it would be the same thing as you embracing her…! A-Anyway, I don’t like it, so next!”
How ridiculous can you be?!
While I was busy being flustered at Suzuka’s weird form of denial, I remembered something that the younger Kanzaka sister had told me.
“…Haruna, something normal and ordinary won’t do.”
“Woah?! D-Don’t just barge in, Onee-chan!”
“Sensei, if you’re thinking about a gift for White Day, a strong impact has to be important. If you want, I can gladly teach you my opinion. Just for reference, of course. Fufu.”
…And like that, Ayano-san also gave me some advice. Since the younger Kanzaka sister’s idea ended in failure, maybe it would work even better now with the current Suzuka?
“T-Then, what about these clothes?!”
I randomly pointed at some clothes that were in my field of view, but…
“W-What are these revealing clothes?! The skirt is way too short as well… What are you showing me, Onii-chan?!”
But I was shot down immediately, as Suzuka complained about them being too tight-fitting… M-Maybe I panicked a bit too much there…
“Wait a second. Was this someone else’s idea as well…?”
“And if it worked out, you were playing on giving something like this to her?!”
“I-I wouldn’t have done that?!”
But Ayano-san did ask for it, though! Just this once I’m glad that it didn’t work out…!
“W-What is this about, asking everyone for advice like this…? And if I gave the OK, you would give those things to them…?! T-That won’t do! It’s unfair!”
Yet again, Suzuka shot down my hopes of finishing things here.
“Isn’t there anything else?! This can’t be—Wait a moment! You asked Himuro-san, Sakura-san, Haruna-san, and Ayano-san, so you must have also asked Double Peace-san, right…?”
“I thought so! And what did she want?! Hurry up and tell me!”
Suzuka closed in on me, leaving me no room to run away… I-I did receive some advice from Double Peace-sensei, yes, but…
“I don’t think you want to hear it…”
“W-What do you mean by that?! Just tell me! It might be something that would make me incredibly envious, after all!”
“No trust me, you wouldn’t get envious at all!”
“I will decide on that! Now, tell me!” Suzuka gave me a tough glare, leaving me no other option but to spill the beans.
Ahh, I must look completely pathetic, right? But I can’t help it, okay?! That just shows how strong my little sister is! I can’t win against her!
“S-She said that she wanted panties! If possible, the grown-up type…”
While I was busy feeling like I wanted to crawl away and die in a hole, I remembered back to my discussion with Double Peace-sensei.
“If I got some sexy, erotic-looking panties from Sensei on White Day, my happiness gauge would be at max level, desu!”
Just by remembering it, my head started to hurt.
“…And are you still envious about it…?” I asked Suzuka.
“Ah… Wha—?” she muttered, as her mouth opened and closed like a fish. “W-Were you actually planning on giving Double Peace-san something like that? J-Just how much of a perverted overlord do you have to be—?!!!” She screamed at the top of her lungs.
Really, weren’t you the one who wanted to know? I hung my head, unable to say anything in return. To sum the rest of the day up, everything I had proposed was denied, rendering all the advice and ideas I had received useless.
“I-Is there really nothing that you could have come up with by yourself, Onii-chan?” Suzuka said with a glare.
After that, Suzuka finally calmed down a bit, but her mood was still as bad as ever… Even if you say that, the reason I asked for advice was because I couldn’t think of anything myself… I really can’t come up with anything that would make Suzuka happy.
“W-Well, maybe some sweets…”
The idea that came to mind wasn’t anything special, and I could only think of sweets because of a nearby sweets store that was just selling White Day stuff.
“Sweets… It’s not anything special, but that should do it. There is no need to rely on the advice of other people. A-And I would take anything as long as it’s from Onii-chan…!” said Suzuka, as she bashfully averted her gaze.
She says that she’s fine with it, but I’m guessing that her muttering means that she’s clearly not satisfied yet… But since I had no other choice right now, we entered the sweets store and looked around.
“Umm… which ones would you like?”
“O-Onii-chan has to decide on that or it won’t work.”
I mean, I want to at least pick something that I know you’d like… However, Suzuka wouldn’t even make eye contact with me at this point, so I could only act of my own accord.
“…Listen, is this fine for your present for tomorrow?”
Collecting data is important, sure, but I want to get something proper for her present as well. That’s why I asked her about it, but…
“I-Isn’t that fine?!”
Suzuka still wouldn’t look me in the eye when she responded… She probably doesn’t think too highly of it. But I really can’t think of anything else, so I have to go with this. Letting out a faint sigh, I started picking out some cookies and candy that looked really delicious. While I was at it, I also picked up some sweets for Mai and the others.
“Eh? O-Onii-chan, are these for Himuro-san and the others…?”
“Huh? Y-Yeah they are…?”
Although their advice didn’t work out, I still had to get something as a gift for White Day. However, Suzuka heard my response, and…
“S-So everyone will get the same as me…! I won’t receive anything special…!”
Why is your body shaking like that?!
“I-I take it all back! I don’t want a present like that!”
Her next words completely threw me off.
“Ehh?! Why?! Then what should I do for your present?!”
“I-I don’t know! A-Anyway, I don’t want this! …I’m going home!”
“Going home?! H-Hey, what about our data-gathering?!”
“T-That is cancelled!” Suzuka roared as she stormed back towards our home.
It took me a few seconds to comprehend what had just happened. After that, I quickly purchased some sweets for Suzuka as well and hurried after her. Suzuka for her part was as displeased as could be. When I tried to call out to her, I got no response, and she wouldn’t even let me get closer. Even after we’d returned home, she avoided me the entire time. The only thing I knew for sure was that I somehow managed to anger her concerning the gift for White Day.
“W-What should I do about this…?”
After returning to my own room, I was still lost deep in thought because this was clearly a dangerous situation. If I don’t find something good to cheer her up, things might get awkward between us again.
“…Ahh, how did things end up like this?”
Even if I wanted to regret my decisions, I didn’t know what the problem was… A-Anyway, first and foremost is the gift for White Day. I have to come up with something to fix her mood by tomorrow… But their advice wasn’t of help, and if orthodox sweets aren’t going to cut it, then what else is there for me to pick?
“N-No, I can’t give up…! It’s the first White Day after all these years…! I have to find something to make her happy…!”
In my head, it turned into less of a wish and more of a duty that I had to fulfill no matter what. I want to see Suzuka happy—That’s why I wracked my brain for the longest time until White Day finally arrived…
A long, heavy sigh escaped my lips. Today is the 14th of March, White Day. In return for the Valentine’s Day chocolate, filled with my love for Onii-chan, that I had given him, I am going to be lovey-dovey all day long with him… Or that’s how it was supposed to be. Contrary to my hopes, though, I was currently sitting all alone in the living room, on the couch to be precise, and just gazing at the clock. The time had already passed the point where the sun had set. Even so, I haven’t received anything from Onii-chan yet. Indeed, he hasn’t even returned from school yet.
“…Uuu, but that result might have been expected…”
Yes, after what had happened yesterday, who could blame Onii-chan if he didn’t feel like giving me a White Day’s gift? After all that I said to Onii-chan yesterday… Even though Onii-chan picked out a present just for me, I went and said ‘I don’t need it!’ Of course, those weren’t my true feelings back then. After all, a gift from Onii-chan is something I would sacrifice anything for! However… Although it might sound like an excuse, I wasn’t thinking rationally.
When I thought that all the presents that Onii-chan had come up with were someone else’s idea, not to mention an idea of rival of mine, it hurt more far than I thought it would. That even included the sweets that he had offered me. Although they surely were a bit less good than the other gift candidates before that, they were something that Onii-chan chose for me, so I would never have complained… However, when I realized that those sweets would be the same ones that Onii-chan would give out to everyone else, it utterly destroyed my hopes and dreams of receiving something special, so I went and did something as irrational as that…!
“Uuuuu…! I’m an idiot…! I’m such an idiot…!”
I just can’t help but regret what I’ve done. Maybe Onii-chan is completely fed up with me now. Maybe… just maybe, he is currently handing out the other gifts to Himuro-san and Co, being lovey-dovey with them. When I thought about that, I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I felt frustrated at my own foolishness, and lonely that Onii-chan wasn’t with me…
I am sorry! Forgive me, Onii-chan! I formed a fist with my hand, trying to withstand the sadness that was assaulting me. However, that didn’t hold for long, and I was about to break out into tears, when…
I heard the sound of the door opening, and when I turned around, I saw Onii-chan stepping inside the living room. W-When did he come back? Wasn’t he supposed to be being all lovey-dovey with Himuro-san and the others…? N-No, that doesn’t matter right now! Onii-chan is right there. That is all that matters, and I felt like crying out of pure joy just because of that fact. At the same time, I knew that I had to apologize to Onii-chan right now. For yesterday, for the fact that I can’t be honest with myself, for everything. I was about to stand up and lower my head in apology when—
“I’m really sorry, Suzuka!”
In that moment, Onii-chan got the jump on me. Not to mention that he looked more apologetic than ever… Eh? W-What is the meaning of this?
“W-Why is Onii-chan apologizing to me…?”
…Shouldn’t it be me instead? I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. But Onii-chan continued, with his head still lowered.
“The gift for White Day… I couldn’t come up with anything in the end…!”
Suddenly, he brought up the White Day gift again.
“W-What are you talking about?”
“I-I was trying to look for something up until the very end, but I couldn’t find anything that you would like, so I had to give up…!”
“F-For me…? Weren’t you supposed to be enjoying your time with Himuro-san and the others…?”
“With Mai and the others…? I already gave them their gifts. What do you mean by ‘enjoying my time’…?”
“Ehhh…? T-Then why are you so late…?”
“T-That’s because… I went to the shopping mall again to search for something that I could give you… but since accessories, stuffed toys, clothes, and sweets are all no good, I couldn’t find anything… That’s why I have to apologize right here right now…” Onii-chan had a bitter expression on his face.
…………Um, so does that mean… H-He was out all this time, just for me…?!
“W-Why are you going so far for me…?”
Before I realized it, that question leaked out of my mouth. In response, Onii-chan’s cheeks started to flush ever so slightly, and he awkwardly averted his gaze before he continued.
“…After all these years, I finally got some Valentine’s Day chocolate from you, you know? So I just felt like I had to give you something back no matter what… It had to be something that you would be happy about—Ah, but there’s no deeper meaning to it or anything, though?!”
I didn’t even pay attention to that last part anymore. After all… I was so happy that my thought process couldn’t keep up!
You worked so hard, just to make me happy…?! So even after what happened yesterday, you still…?! He was working hard all this time…?!
…I-I can’t even describe with words how happy I am!!!
“Ah?! D-Don’t cry, Suzuka! I know that what I’m saying probably sounds pretty disgusting, but please don’t start crying here!”
All my sadness was wiped away in an instant, and my whole body was filled with indescribable happiness, which apparently made Onii-chan panic… B-But, how could I stop the tears now…?! I’m just too happy…!
“Uwahh… I-I’m so sorry…! I’ll give you anything you want, so please forgive me…! I’ll go buy it immediately, so just tell me…!”
However, I can’t keep going like this. At this rate, I’ll really trouble Onii-chan for good. What I should be doing right now is focusing on how to make the rest of this White Day a success for the both of us.
“You’ll give me anything I want, right…?” I wiped away my tears. “Then—”
Although traces of tears remained, I mustered the greatest smile ever and spoke from my heart.
…Around an hour later.
“U-Um… Are they done…?”
A warm, sweet aroma was filling the kitchen, and Onii-chan and I were facing each other. Between the two of us were barely finished, plain cookies.
“It’s fine, Onii-chan. They’re really delicious.”
“But even though you were guiding me, this is the first time I’ve made sweets like this…”
Yes, these cookies are hand-made by none other than Onii-chan himself! What I wished for was nothing other than homemade sweets from Onii-chan. Although they’re simple cookies, made with just the ingredients we happened to have at home, that isn’t any problem at all. Just because Onii-chan was the one who made them makes them worth more than anything! N-Not to mention…!
“It’s fine. Then, l-let’s hurry…!”
“A-Are we really doing this…?”
“T-This is all to collect data!”
“…Ugh, I can’t say anything against that… Here, open wide!”
Onii-chan is feeding me the cookies!
“Ehehe… Ehehehe… They’re delicious…!”
When I tasted the cookies, I could feel my cheeks loosening up… T-This is the best White Day ever…! Ehe, ehehe… ehehehehehe…!
“B-But are you really fine with this? You could have asked for anything, you know?”
However, Onii-chan still looked a bit worried… Even though I’m not holding back at all, and I’m being 100% selfish right now, having Onii-chan do all this for me…! Still, since it would be too embarrassing to say that, I just muttered a flustered “T-This is more than enough…!” before looking away. After watching me for a bit, Onii-chan seemed to be able to finally relax a bit, and he let out a small sigh.
“Well, if you’re fine with it, then I’m happy,” he said, as he fed me yet another cookie. While gladly accepting that, I thanked him inside my heart. Thank you, Onii-chan, for all you did today. I will definitely repay you on the next Valentine’s Day!
And, after thinking that, another thought came to mind.
—Onii-chan, I love you so much!