Soft spring sunlight entered the room through the gaps in the curtain.
It was a certain April's Sunday.
The way I woke up in the morning was the worst possible.
I couldn't move or roll over during the night.
On top of the king-size bed I was sleeping on, surrounding me were sleeping girls.
First, clinging to my left and right legs respectively, were two middle school students.
One of the two who were clinging to my legs used me as a hugging pillow, her long black hair scattered carelessly on the white sheets like Indian ink.
The other one was sleeping in reverse while facing away from me and rubbed her face on my leg from the inner side. Although she had long arms and legs like that of a model, surprisingly she curled up and looked like a small animal as she slept.
Continuing, a high school girl with semi-long hair clung to my right arm. I had no idea what was she thinking, she held my arm in a reverse armbar immobilizing it. Her hold was so strong it seemed like my arm would break. If I moved my arm carelessly I definitely wouldn't avoid an injury.
On the other side, my left arm side, in close contact with me was a middle school student with short hair, she was turned with her back to me.
For some reason my hand was reaching over her shoulder and settled on her chest.
It was a modest and soft feeling, her breast snugly fit the palm of my hand. I gently pulled away my hand from her chest.
I swear I wasn't the one who placed my hand there.
And on the pillow in between my legs was an elementary school child who was in sixth grade, she was sleeping soundly.
There was no place to move... seriously, give me a break.
All of these girls are my... little sisters.
Only one of them can be chosen.
And the one to choose, is no one else but me.
Notes and References
- ↑ Simple black ink commonly used for drawing comics
7th of April, Sunday
Murasaki-san. Important Conversation. Inherited Relation?
From a young age I was living together with my grandparents, just the three of us. A few times before I entered elementary school an 'uncle I didn't know' bought me some toys in the department store and treated me to children's lunch at a restaurant.
In my young mind I thought 'This person is Santa Claus'. Also, this Santa came to visit me regardless of season.
Since I was very young, I already forgot what I asked of him, the only thing I remember now is the fact that I had a lot of fun when we were together.
Just recently, I learned that this uncle was actually my biological father.
It was at the uncle's——Taishido Jinya's funeral. Speaking of Taishido group, it was a prominent Japanese private railway group. Its total assets were a trillion and four hundred billion yen.
The CEO of that large company had suddenly died in an accident earlier this year.
I was currently drinking a cup of coffee in the hotel's lounge together with the general counsel and trustee of the late Taishido Jinya——Shinonome Murasaki.
As I raised my line of sight, I saw a slender beauty with rimless glasses who was staring at me unmoving.
She had short hair and wore a suit and was incredibly beautiful. She must have had a very light make-up or none at all. Her age... she was probably in her twenties. For her to become a general counsel of Taishido household, she must've been an outstanding person. Murasaki-san opened her thin pink lips.
"Now then, let me explain the matter of inheritance."
"The inheritance... is it."
"I mentioned it when we met for the first time but there's enough inheritance for you to live your life playing around several times. Of course, I will take responsibility for procedures such as the inheritance tax. You can leave the two in the Domon household to us."
"T-thank you very much."
I could only express my thanks. I didn't know anything about being entitled to such things until recently, so being able to leave all the legal procedures to Murasaki-san was a relief.
By the way, the two in Domon household referred to my grandpa and grandma. The two of them are going to enjoy their retirement in Hawaii at a condo owned by Taishido group.
"Uncl... won't you show me Father's testament after all? Not even let me touch it or showing me just a glimpse of it?"
"In respect to the will of deceased, I, the trustee, have to convey the contents of the will without showing them to you unless there is a need to."
"I-I apologize. Asking something so unreasonable."
"No, I also apologize for my rudeness. It can't be helped that a minor like you is worried. At a time like this an adult has to act decisively... do you have any questions on anything else other than the contents of the will?"
Your age, three sizes and what kind of men you like... lets avoid saying something so lame in a place like this and in front of the cool Murasaki-san.
"No... I can't think of anything in particular."
"I see. You, just like those girls, were a middle school student just recently, it can't be helped that you act so troubled."
I entered the high school this spring... hey, did I just hear something I can't ignore?
"Wa... please wait a moment!"
"For you to suddenly raise your voice, did something happen?"
"Just now, did you say something outrageous?"
"It can't be helped that you act so troubled... is what I said."
"Just before that! Earlier!"
"Do you have any questions on anything else other than the contents of the will?"
Not thaat! Unexpectedly, is that Murasaki-san's true nature?
"Back when you said that I was middle school student until recently."
"Starting with this spring, you will enroll in private school that Taishido group has connections with, Shichiyou Academy."
"Rather than continue from that point, didn't you say 'Just like those girls'?"
"Yes. Other than you, Taishido Jinya also had daughters."
"I haven't heard anything about that... nothing at all."
My mother had a weak body and passed away at an early age. Grandpa never said anything about me having little sisters.
"The authority is passed to Yoichi-san. That's what I actually wanted to talk about with you today."
"Authority you mean..."
"Yoichi-san has five little sisters."
While I still had a cup of coffee in my hand, I stiffened as if I was subjected to paralysis. In the meantime, Murasaki-san took a sip of coffee from her cup. Finally, I placed the cup on the table and fixed my posture.
"F-five of them?"
"Yes. There were six women who blessed Taishido Jinya with children."
"Six women you mean... it can't be that everyone has a different mother?"
"Yes. Is there any problem?"
"There's a ton of problems!"
"Since that's a fact, please accept this truth. Yoichi-san is the eldest son. Then it's the eldest daughter, second daughter, third daughter, fourth daughter, and fifth daughter. That is the family structure."
"They're all... girls?"
"Yes. It's too early to call them your little sisters. To be exact, they are little sister candidates."
"According to the will, from all of them you are to choose only one little sister."
"There's no way such an unreasonable thing would be written in the testament. Say it more formally like it was written... I have no idea, but it should be properly written! Properly!"
"I have already cleared the legal conditions. I am to use any and all means including usage of live ammunition to persuade you, if that is necessary."
"Live ammunition, that sounds really dangerous."
"I meant cash."
I'm glad I didn't ask.
"You shouldn't use money to persuade someone, isn't that against the law?"
"Taishido draws rules and rails. I just quoted the words of the deceased. According to them, I made my preparations beforehand. Even so, I'm glad that Yoichi-san understood everything so quickly."
"I might have understood it, but I still didn't give my consent..."
"All of the little sisters have already given their consent."
The contents of the will were too much, my head started to hurt.
"As long as Taishido Jinya was alive, all of your little sisters would receive financial support, but... the aid given to your little sisters is about to be aborted."
"Is that also included in the will?"
"Yes. He said to look after them as long as he is alive. By the way, all the girls' mothers vanished and abandoned their children."
I had Grandpa and Grandma, but these little sisters didn't have a family at all.
"The little sister candidates are currently living alone by themselves. They are being paid ten million yen per year, even subtracting expanses such as rent and tuition, they have an income of about four hundred thousand yen a month to use as they please.'
It sounds like they are celebs. No, even so... if that assistance is aborted, they'll be left with nothing, I couldn't let it stay like this.
"The deadline for selection is two weeks. In the meantime, Yoichi-san is to select only one little sister."
"Why only one?"
"That is what's written in the will... that's the only way I can answer you. The inheritance will be distributed evenly between Yoichi-san and the chosen little sister. Even though it's only half, please be assured, it's more than enough."
I can't even imagine how much money that is.
"H-how am I supposed to pick a little sister."
"I can't explain that, but you'll know it soon enough. Do you have any other questions?"
"Are all little sister candidates children of Taishido Jinya?"
"Yes. Without a doubt."
"Can't all of them become my little sisters?"
Murasaki-san categorically denied.
"Because that's how it's written in the will."
"Because that's how it's written in the will."
"Then show me..."
"That's how it is... written in the will."
Murasaki-san glared at me sharply with cold eyes. It was so sharp it seemed like I'd get cut.
"The little sister candidates agreed to something as unreasonable as this?"
"Yes. To be exact 『They didn't have a right to veto it』 would be more appropriate."
I felt something heavy, as if someone packed a stone in my stomach.
"What if I don't choose anyone by the deadline?"
"Then Yoichi-san will lose all rights to inheritance."
While saying that, Murasaki-san handed to me something that looked like a USB flash drive. Its size was small enough for me to grip it with my hand, on the monochrome LCD screen numbers 701 were displayed.
"It's the key to your new house. Try not to lose it since it's a special smart key, please do be careful."
When I looked down on the key I received, Murasaki-san stood up from her seat.
"That is all. If there is anything you need, please call me. Now then, I wish you luck."
"Do you have any other questions?"
"What kind of people are the little sister candidates?"
"You will understand once you meet them. Please do not forget, their lives are now in Yoichi-san's hands."
Murasaki accented the last words, carried out the payment and left the lounge.
A seven-story luxurious mansion——the Taishido residence towered over a small hill. There were no other tall buildings around it.
The mansion's top floor was special and it wasn't separated into small apartments. On the door's plate it was written 'Room 701'.
It opened in response to the smart key given to me by Murasaki-san.
Room 701 was a 6LDK with private storage room and a walk-in-closet, its layout was too luxurious for one person to live alone.
I entered it and carried my luggage to the smallest room there was. Even though I said 'small' it was ten tatami big. Since I lived in a six-tatami room before, it seemed very spacious. Somehow, I felt empty and lonely.
Notes and References
- ↑ 6LDK would be an apartment with 6 multipurpose rooms, living room, dining room and a kitchen, for more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_in_Japan#Modern_homes
8th of April, Monday
Entrance Ceremony. Childhood Friend. First Little Sister.
After private Shichiyou Academy's entrance ceremony finished, I was surprised by a chance reunion.
A childhood friend of mine from the time I was in third year of my elementary school and who moved away due to her parent's work was in the same class as I was.
The girl who was very tall back then——Sonobe Mariko, seemed to be at the peak of her growth now and became a lovely petite girl. Since I used to be very short back then and had to look up at her, it felt quite strange now.
What was even more surprising, were Mariko's entrance examination results. It seemed like she was on top of the year. The Shichyou Academy had a scholarship plan, which exempted those who were in the top ten during entrance examinations.
After she learned that my last name has changed, Mariko was also surprised. Seeing we had an acquaintance in school, both of us felt relieved. Since Mariko was on top of the year, she gathered a lot of attention from our classmates.
However, their attention lasted only for five minutes. The moment I have introduced myself, everyone stared at me with wide-opened eyes.
When the homeroom was over, I was surrounded by classmates. They were saying things like 'Let's join a club together.' or 'Let's be friends.'. When my last name was 'Domon', it was never like that.
That's why, I fled from the school. I wanted to talk more with Mariko, but it couldn't be helped.
Honestly, I was slightly interested in club activities.
During three years in middle school I entered the understaffed student council. At the beggining, as a mere first year I was just a handyman, from the second year's autumn until the third year's summer I was vice president of the student's council.
Since I needed to be in some kind of club, I entered one before but I was only a ghost member, instead of club activities I helped out in the student's council.
It was very busy, but it was also fun and fulfilling. Thanks to interaction with my juniors, I learned how to handle younger people despite being an only child.
Yeah, but... back to club activities. Since joining a sports club for the first time in high school seems quite hard. It would be a cultural club.
Still... the club a Taishido enters would get preferential treatment, and the amount of club members would have doubled suddenly, if that really happened it would be really scary. Shichiyou Academy was being managed by Taishido group.
Also, there's something I have to do before I can do any club activities.
After school I ate lunch at a gyudon stall and came back to Taishido residence quite late.
It was the second day of me living alone. I still didn't have the feeling I came back home. I took the elevator in the entrance hall on the first floor and got off at the seventh floor.
I was puzzled as I stood in front of Room 701's door. But the lock wasn't released.
I took the smart key out of my wallet. But even when I moved it right next to the door knob, nothing happened. Was it already broken?
Now that I think about it, what does this key authenticate?
"There's no way, but just in case... open sesame!"
It seemed like it wasn't voice authentication. The apartment's door didn't react. Although I used it normally yesterday, did it break already?
It can't be helped. I need to call Murasaki-san.
But the call wouldn't go through. Maybe she was at a place with no signal, or she turned the power off. In that case, let's send a message, also send an e-mail just in case too.
Still, no matter how I look at it, it's way too fast. It's a high-tech precision instrument... and, as I checked the smart key, I finally noticed a change on it.
The room number that was displayed on the LCD screen... has changed. It was displaying 101 instead of 701.
"Eh? What does this..."
Immediately after that, I learned that the special smart key given to me by Murasaki-san, would 'decide the room I should be in' on its own, regardless of my own will.
The little sister selection, has already started.
Passing through the hall room on the first floor, the Room 101 was the one furthest away in the front corridor.
There was no nameplate. I approached it and the lock opened on its own. The smart key wasn't broken, it was calling me to this room.
It felt awkward as if I was trespassing, but I opened the door and entered the Room 101.
Inside of the room, it seemed as if a storm has passed through. Scattered all over the floor were things like t-shirts, pants or bras.
On both the kitchen and the sink, there were unwashed dishes. The trash can was reaching its very limits of being stuffed, I could feel someone working very hard on being lazy, the trash built up had a perfect balance and it reached the level of an avant-garde art.
There was a single uniform on the hanger. It wasn't one of Shichiyou Academy, but its blazer had an elaborate design and was wrapped in a plastic bag. Since there was a 「Middle中」 character on the emblem, it seemed like a middle school uniform.
In the middle of the room, there was beautiful long black hair scattered on the rug...
A girl has collapsed there. In the nude.
"H-hey! Are you all right!"
When I called out, the lump of black hair reacted with a 'nuaaaahhhh', and got up slowly.
Her black hair was long enough to cover her entire back, contrary to the devastated room, it was well-kept, beautiful and shiny up to its tips.
She had a bluish-white face that looked as if it was made of ceramics and her hands were slender. The doll-like girl spoke to me in a monotone voice.
"Ah, yeah. Rather than that, are you conscious?! Are you hurt anywhere?"
"...I'm all right."
Although she spoke as if she was in a daze, her voice was firm. I sighed with relief in my mind.
"T-that's great... then, get dressed. I'll face the other way."
Her long hair wrapped around her body covering her, but she was still naked.
I turned away and introduced myself like that.
"Eh, umm... I'm... Taishido Yoichi."
From behind me came some kind of rustling sound. Was she getting dressed?
"I-is that so. Then, umm... Tamiya-san."
"...please call me in a more brotherly way."
"No, but... it's our first meeting."
"...I didn't expect that I would become someone's little sister either. We're the same then."
It was just as she said, Tamiya-san... Selene-san must've also been embarrassed to learn an 'Onii-chan' has suddenly appeared.
"...-san is unnecessary. I've dressed myself, so please face my way now."
She was sitting on the floor untidily, she wore a t-shirt and shorts. On her white t-shirt there was text saying 'I Am Innocent', in handwritten style. Where on earth did she... buy that.
"Why did Selene collapse in the middle of the room?"
"...I washed myself in the bath, dried my hair with the dryer and I lied down on the ground, ending up like this."
"Is it like that every time?"
"...today, when I thought that I'll meet brother today, I ended up wondering about a lot of things and before I noticed, I have dozed away in the bath."
I looked around the room and sighed. Although she said she washed herself in bath, but what exactly did the horrible state of this room mean.
It was too big of a mess to live in, there was nowhere to stand on.
"Cleaning up your room didn't have its turn?"
"...this is the complete form. I know where everything is located even with my eyes closed."
"Although it looks like a mess to me, you keep track on everything properly?"
"...yes. In fact, I am able to find clothes I can wear."
I lightly touched my forehead with my middle finger.
"No no no, I'm saying you should clean up your room. Although coming over and suddenly preaching makes me feel bad, but this is awful."
Selene puffed her cheeks.
"...it only appears to be so at first glance, this is very functional. Please do not think of me as of a woman who can't clean up."
"From someone else's perspective, isn't that all the same?"
When I thought about Selene who's catastrophically bad with cleaning up becoming my little sister, it seemed like it would be incredibly hard. As I though that, I felt like it would be better to leave it as it was.
"What about the entrance ceremony?"
"...I took a day off. My name is very flashy, I'm sure, maybe, I will be bullied if I go to school."
A shut-in and antropophobic... is she.
In my first day after admission, the 'Taishido' name also caused an uproar, maybe Selene's name also caused such unpleasant thoughts as well.
"So you were bullied in elementary school."
"...I was always scared that I might be bullied."
So the fact was that she was never bullied!
"You won't be bullied."
"...even so, I don't need any friends in... real world."
Her eyes watered up, and she pulled out a laptop from a mountain of piled-up t-shirts.
"...Onii-chan. If you have internet, you can do shopping without going outside. You can have the food delivered. You can even make friends without going to school. There's no need for a real name either. The anonymity of the net will keep me safe."
It's my own computer society. Selene let out an 'ehen', puffed her chest and launched the browser.
The number of people following her twitter was displayed on the screen, it was over ten thousand people. It was celebrity-class. Rather than that, this name——'Undying Cicada', I felt like I've seen this name being re-tweeted before.
She was a shut-in, but there was some sociability in her. Selene might be similar to me...
"Making a thousand friends is amazing. But, that's that, why don't you try speaking with some real people instead of communicating through the net? Moreover, if you are able to do this on the net, speaking in real should be simple to you."
Selene shook her head. *sshh*, as her supple, shiny black hair danced in the air I felt the scent of a good floral shampoo. Not good, just now my heart skipped a beat.
"...I'm fine not talking to people directly. Also, I can watch all my favourite anime on the internet."
"It may be so but... hey Selene, do you intend on not coming out until the end of your life?"
"...I'm a child of the current age."
She was a poster child of the current age, a kid who turned lazy because of technology development. Even I couldn't imagine a world without a smartphone... however, in Selene's case it went too far.
"Being born in this age has nothing to do with turning shut in, does it. Also... did you hear from Murasaki-san?"
"...at this rate, I... will die and disappear. If Onii-chan doesn't pick me, I will be expelled from paradise."
It seemed like she knew the circumstances, she raised her eyebrows while uneasy.
"And yet, you show me such a lazy appearance."
"...I want you to accept me as I am."
"Even if you say such positive words, unfortunately, it doesn't change the impression."
"...I can only be my true self, nothing else."
Selene muttered these words sadly.
Come to think of it, Selene was sitting on the floor ever since she put on clothes.
I must lead her towards independence... right? As her brother.
"In that case. As the first step, why don't you stand up?"
While slightly blushing embarrassed, Selene stretched both of her hands as if she was to cheer on someone
"Umm, what is that gesture?"
"...please stand me up."
"Is that so. Good grief, it can't be helped."
He grabbed her hands and pulled Selene's body up.
"Theere you go!"
The moment Selene stood up, her knees began to clatter. Tears appeared in her eyes that resembled black pearls and her legs wobbled like that of a newborn fawn. If just standing up was that big of a fuss, I'm worried about what's it going to be like in the future.
Future? Future with this girl? I still haven't decided on making Selene my little sister.
With tears in her eyes, Selene somehow managed to take a step forward.
A scream without inflection sounded and Selene fell in my direction, I managed to catch her.
Selene buried her face in my chest. *munyu*, when she came in close contact with me, I felt softness unique to girls around where my stomach was. ...what am I rushing here with my sister (candidate).
"A-are you all right?"
"...so this is the scent of an Onii-chan."
"Though, I don't think older brothers have a specific scent..."
"...sniff sniff whiff whiff."
I lightly pulled Selene away from my body. She seemed dissatisfied, and when I looked at her, she murmured.
"...Onii-chan, is it all right to sit down already?"
"You stood up just a moment ago. For the time being let's clean this up together."
"if you clean up... umm, that's... I will consider making you my little sister."
I didn't want to use my position like this, but I had no confidence in persuading Selene to do something.
"...yes, I'll do my best."
She looked at me absent-mindedly and murmured. I was relieved that she agreed to do it.
"Now that's decided, let's start up at once. Do you have garbage bags?"
Selene quickly pulled out a garbage bag from under the stack of magazines.
"All right! Organize things you need, and the ones you don't. Separate the garbage from the rest properly.. I'll help you out as well, so do your best."
"...with this, will we be officially become siblings?"
"As if! But... at the very least, I will evaluate you higher if you do it."
She responded to me with a small nod. Her cuteness reminded me of a little squirrel. I mean cute as a little sister of course.
And then, the two of us started to clean the room in silence. Since we worked together, it went faster than I expected. From a room with no space to step on, it turned into one where wooden floors were clearly visible.
And, at the bottom of the cardboard boxes that were piled up, I dug up a machine that had a shape of a round disk.
"...this is... an excavated battleship."
"No no, there's no way."
"...even though it's gone missing... it must've ran out of supplies, what a cruel fate."
"It's because a certain someone had a mess in her room, just how is this a cruel fate."
"...doing something about the mess was the mission of this excavated battleship."
I sighed with sympathy towards the cleaning robot that couldn't reach the charging port.
I had to do something on behalf of this excavated battleship. Next, I put a hand into the mountain of clothes.
Pure white and frilly, its cloth was very fluffy. It's shape was similar to that of a handkerchief... t-this is.
"...Onii-chan, are you interested in Little Sister's panties?"
"U-uwaaa! T-that's not it! It's a misunderstanding! I had no such intentions!'
"...Onii-chan's a Mr. Pervert."
She murmured that with a serious expression. I put the panties back in the mountain of clothes and shook my head.
"Hey, rather than having me as your Onii-chan, is it that you want to keep living a lazy life?"
"...why are you asking about that?"
"I didn't want to phrase it this way but, you need Taishido's money right?"
"...if there is money, I won't be unhappy."
Either because she was bad at lying, or that she didn't want to keep it secret, Selene said honestly what she thought. Maybe it wasn't that she didn't want to lie, but that she thought of it as troublesome.
Dropping my shoulders, I've put a stack of magazines into a plastic bag. After binding it, I asked Selene "Where does this go?" and got "...over there." for an answer.
I started to suspect that she intended on making me clean up from the very beginning, that's the level everything was prepared and arranged.
"Throwing away all these magazines should be all right."
"...set aside all the thin books."
"What are those thin books?"
"...a maiden's secret."
Her white cheeks turned slightly pink. Okay. I don't get it, but I won't ask any more. After I gathered all the magazines, I found a strange booklet.
"Selene, is this also to be thrown out?"
"...that's... umm... yes."
Its cover were just simple fonts on a white background... rather than a booklet, it didn't seem to be a book that's in general circulation.
It seemed like some kind of a manual. It's title was——data on Taishido Yoichi.
There was a note on it, saying it's confidential. Although it was a thin booklet with just thirty pages, its contents were all matters concerning me.
Partially because of my Grandma's delicious cooking, I preferred Japanese food. Under Grandpa's influence, I grew up while watching historical dramas.
Even my sudden growth spurt was described. After looking at this booklet, it could be easily understood what kind of person I am. There was so much details, I was too ashamed to read it.
"Just what is this booklet?"
"...I got it from Murasaki-san."
"I... see. Probably the other little sister candidates got the same thing."
"Also, is this all right? Telling me about the existence of this book."
"Umm, how to put it... after studying this booklet carefully, one could play a perfect little sister to get on my good side, right?"
"...there is no way I would do such a thing."
"Sorry if I offended you. I didn't suspect Selene."
Selene relaxed and puffed her chest with pride.
"...as long as you know that."
"...although not having money is troubling, even if it is just pleasing you in order to get money, I don't want to work."
"Why do you make it sound like a noble act despite being a lazy shut-in?"
As we continued to talk like that, the time passed and it was now 6 p.m..
The living room, kitchen and dining room, it was so tidy and neat it felt like the original chaos was just a dream. Selene muttered while rubbing her stomach.
"...because of the work, I've gotten hungry."
"You're right. Let's eat dinner."
"...I'll treat you today."
As she said that, she picked up a cup of noodles from a cardboard box in the back of the kitchen. It seemed like she bought entire boxes of it, and there was a pile of unopened boxes that formed something like a pyramid.
"...seafood or curry, which one would you like?"
Although I like cup noodles, but only as a snack. If I were to live only on this, I would definitely die. Selene's black eyes shined.
"...I like seafood."
"Then curry... eh... haa."
While humming a song with a distinctive monotone voice, Selene poured hot water from the pot into the cup noodles. Hot water filled the cup of seafood.
"...I'll pour some into Onii-chan's portion... oh... there's no more hot water."
"Then, what's going to happen now?"
"...umm, it should work with just a little bit of water right?"
"No way it will!"
I hurried to the freshly cleaned kitchen and put a kettle full of water on the stove.
Even the sight of her preparing cup noodles is so miserable that it makes me worried about her future.
After that, I boiled the water and managed to finish the curry somehow, but the noodles' texture was very rough. Selene squinted like a cat.
"...eating together is fun."
Speaking of which, how many days has it been since I parted with Grandpa and Grandma. It feels like it's been a while since I ate a meal together with someone else.
"Was Selene always alone?"
"...Mom left to look for the bluebird of happiness and I've been alone since then."
"My bad... sorry."
"...don't apologize. Being at the mercy of fate, isn't Onii-chan the same?"
"At mercy, huh. Certainly it is so."
After I put on a wry smile, Selene also smiled.
When we finally finished eating our cup noodles, it finally felt like it settled down.
"Selene has pretty good communication skills for someone who's a shut-in."
"...no such thing. I have anthropophobia."
"But aren't you talking with me now."
"...Onii-chan... is special. Also, I worked... hard today."
So this is her 'working hard'. No, Selene must have forced herself to an unreasonable level with just this.
"That's great, Selene. Even though you had prior information about me, you really did well during the first meeting with Onii-chan."
"...likewise. Onii-chan did his best despite not knowing anything about me, cheers for the good work."
"Thank you for the concern. I'm all right. I'm glad I could speak like this with Selene, and also work together on cleaning."
Selene faced down while blushing and muttered.
"...wonderful. Onii-chan selflessly took care of cleaning for me like a maid would."
"Don't make me a maid. Also, I wasn't the only one who did it. We did our best together, isn't that right? We even managed to gather all these figurines together."
On top of the table, there were anime figurines lined up together. What Selene had on display all around the room, was collected in one place for the time being.
There were a lot of beautiful girls dressed in maid outfits and gothlic lolita dresses.
Selene's favourite among them, was a girl with blonde twin-tails and a yellow battle costume——it was Pine-chan.
"For you to have gathered this much of them, does Selene like figurines?"
"...It even has panties. See? Striped panties. The pleated skirt is also detailed, look how neatly the clothes' wrinkles are reproduced."
"I-I'm not going to look! However, you really do pay a lot of attention to small details. Does Selene like clothes?"
The uniform hung on the wall that was covered with plastic was quite cute as well.
"Did you pick your school based on how the school uniform looked?"
"...how did you know?"
Surprised, Selene had a half-opened mouth. This might be a chance. Whether she were to become my little sister or not, she can't continue like this. Unless she changes... I feel like she won't take even a single step outside.
"All right! Let's go out and buy some clothes together next time."
Selene looked at me with puppy eyes and started to tremble cutely.
"...to go buy clothes, I have no clothes I can wear."
"...in course of evolution, humans have discarded the unneeded tail. And me too, since I didn't go out any more, I have discarded any clothes that I could wear to go outside."
Just when I thought she was trembling, she cleared her throat and proudly puffed her chest.
"That's not something to boast about. Also, if it's clothes, then don't you have the uniform?"
When I pointed at the uniform, Selene hung her head with a sad look.
"...that's...no good. It's all right if it works as a decoration."
"Even though it's so cute, it'd be a waste if you don't wear it."
"...I won't wear it no matter what."
She cowered further and embraced her knees. It made her look even smaller.
"Then... that's right. Why don't you start your laptop?"
"...what are you going to do?"
"Let's do the shopping online this time. Is there a site you usually browse?"
"Yes. If it's a favourite shop, I have one."
"Then let's buy clothes there."
Selene opened the website right away and the shopping started.
"...then, this and this, this is cute too. Also, these skirts... since I can't pick one, let's add them all to the cart."
Despite her appearance that made her seem like a small animal, she was agile like a carnivore in front of the prey. Selene skilfully continued shopping.
"Isn't your pace a bit too fast? Are you choosing them properly?"
"...I'm carefully picking them out. I don't know whether such wonderful clothes will fit me... but they are all pretty outfits. The professional designers are amazing after all."
And then, I continued to watch over her as she continued with her shopping for a while. Selene picked a lot of clothes with an elaborate design, and just as much of those that were very detailed.
It was so-called gothic lolita fashion. Since Selene had beautiful long black hair and a slightly darker atmosphere around her, any of them would fit her nicely.
"...selection complete. Click... eh? I can't buy it."
"Can't buy.... it must've been over the limit of your credit card."
The name that appeared on the balance sheet screen, was Murasaki-san's. She must have taken some legal steps and changed it. Selene put on a face that seemed like she would cry at any moment.
"...after I picked everything I wanted... the world is so cruel to me."
The discontinuation of aid was already determined, but it was still something that whould have happened in the future.
Or rather, for a credit card to reach its limit even though it's just the second week of April...
"Wait wait. It isn't that the world is being cruel, but Selene is wasting money right? What the hell did you buy?"
"...I did not waste it."
Selene closed her laptop, stood up and pointed towards the back of the room.
"What's in that room?"
She said that with a serious expression and opened the door of the room in the back. I wanted to cover my eyes. The housecleaning chapter that continued until 8 p.m., please spare me from any more of this.
"...please go in."
After Selene switched the light on in the studio. What I found there was... a workshop.
There was a giant sewing machine installed in the front. It really felt like an industrial-type machine, just by it being there, a tremendous presence could be felt.
Bundles of cylindrical cloth were lined up and classified by patterns and colours. After I opened a wooden cupboard, there were a lot of small drawers inside.
Although the room was filled with things, every corner of it was neatly organized.
"What is... this room?"
"...it's a sewing room. This is the main sewing machine. That's the lock sewing machine. The soundproofing is very good in this apartment so no noise is being leaked even in the middle of the night."
"This is amazing. It feels like they're professional tools. Is Selene good at sewing?"
"...I love design, cutting cloth in patterns and sewing them on the machine. I also love selecting the lace, buttons and the ribbons. I also prepare embroidery. I'm a bit bad at knitting though."
"Can I look inside the drawers?"
Selene nodded lightly.
When I opened a drawer, I found decorative buttons. Also in the drawers next to it, there were buttons of different types. All of the buttons were shiny and it looked almost like a jewellery box.
"...I bought buttons, lace and beads from abroad... and money ran out."
"Can you show me the clothes you made?"
I suddenly heard a mail's ringtone. On the sewing machine's table, there was a smartphone. Although she was a shut-in, she used both a smartphone and a laptop.
"...perfect, it seems like another shipping has reached."
She checked the content of the mail on the smartphone and muttered.
"Shipped? You mean, you're selling the clothes you make?"
"...selling would be outrageous. I made them for my friend, Hope-chan."
"Gave you mean..."
"...it's these clothes."
Selene showed me a sample photo of the clothes she made with her smartphone.
It was probably a custom-made clothing there was only one of in this world. There was an abundant amount of lace on the pretty green dress.
I had no idea about the price of these clothes, but I felt like the material cost must've been pretty high.
"Gave you mean... it can't be that you give them away for free?"
"...I properly received the shipping cost."
"Just the shipping cost!?"
"...she was very delighted."
She displayed the thank-you mail on the screen and showed it to me with a smug face.
"Hmm, mm... Are you really all right with this price? Although I bought it, aren't there two zeros missing? Hey, the person who bought it is worried about you."
If the shipping costed a thousand yen, and the client evaluated it to be missing two zeros, that'd be a hundred thousand yen... h-hundred thousand yen?!
"By the way,. how much did it cost the'Selene-san store' to make those clothes?"
"...the material cost was just twenty thousand yen."
"You're completely on red. How much time did it take you to make it in the first place?"
"...a week... but as I make it, I hole up in this room. As long as people like the clothes I make, I'm happy."
I somehow understood the reason Selene had so many followers on her Twitter. The reviews made by her friends and the news of the cost spread, and attracted people.
The living room was a mess because she concentrated her efforts and abilities into tidying the sewing room. She was cutting on food expanses because she didn't have enough money for clothes' material.
"Isn't it fine to sell them at a high price?"
"...these clothes are something I made as a hobby, since they were made by a simple hobbyist... to put a price on them, would be rude to professional designers."
Half-assed hobby... is it. It was just as she said. The clothes she showed me weren't something that could be casually worn.
They were clothes of an anime character, it was close to being a stage costume. It was somehow unrealistically frilly. But, I think they had their own charm.
"I've got a question, what are you using as a reference when you make clothes? 『I want that person to wear this』 or something like that?"
"...yes. I'm imagining girls out of my favourite anime. If it's Orange-chan then a short skirt would be nice, since she's an active girl. If it's Grape-chan, then there's a need for adult charm and I want to emphasize the chest."
Maybe, if she went out to the streets and saw clothes the girls out there are wearing, Selene's impulse would be stimulated further?
She could make clothes that fit not only anime characters, but also ones that ordinary girls could wear. Selene still hasn't seriously tried her best.
If she is able to take a step outside, she might become a great designer.
I felt like having this precious talent stay buried in a room would be a waste.
"It's too late now... but let's go out next week."
"...impossible. Going outside... even if a chicken flaps its wings, it won't fly in the sky."
"I'll have you go out no matter what, prepare some clothes you can wear outside. If you can't buy them, make them on your own. If you can't prepare any, you'll be wearing that uniform."
"...do I have to go out no matter what?"
"...I'll throw up. I will throw up because of tension."
"In that case, you better keep your stomach empty."
"...I'll spit the gastric juices. Oh, I'll have an unimaginable headache too."
"You can't go to school unless you go out right? This cute uniform would go to waste. Doesn't Selene want to go to school wearing it?"
"...even though I'm this reluctant, are you going make me go out by force?"
Her self-defence became self-advocacy.
"Going to school isn't a bad thing. If you make friends, you might be able to prepare clothes that match that friend's personality."
"..t-that might b-be so. But... for me that's..."
The roots of her withdrawal syndrome went quite deep. Let's try from another angle.
"Right. Is there any place you would like to go to?"
"...I-it's not like there isn't. However, the difficulty is too high. I can't get on the Yamanote line. It's packed so tightly, death awaits me."
"There's no need to ride together with the morning rush. Even so, if you say Yamanote line, it seems very specific. Where do you want to go?"
"So it's neither Shibuya nor Harajuku."
"...Nippori has a wholesale district with fibres. And it's not just fabric, it has a lot of material for clothes."
"I get it. If Selene does her best, I'll take you there and do anything you want, carrying the luggage or whatever. It has nothing to do with me determining whether I'll make you my little sister or not. This is a promise between you and me as individuals."
"...r-really? You promise?"
"Yeah, you have my word. That's why you should get ready to go out next week."
After I said that, Selene went to the toilet in a hurry. I could imagine that a lot of tension must have assaulted her stomach.
As I sighed, there was a sound of ringtone. A mail came to my smartphone, it was from Murasaki-san.
Supplemental content on interaction with little sister candidates... or rather, the confirmation.
For two weeks from today onwards, I am to spend weekdays (Monday to Friday) with a different little sister candidate every day.
The room number on the smart key will turn back to 701 at 12am, midnight. In other words, I am to spend my time in the little sister's room until midnight every day.
Even so, for the email describing the interactions to come when the first person's time is about to end, is it also dictated by the testament?
As I thought about that, Selene came back from the toilet. She was looking refreshed.
"Since all I've been doing is to make requests of Selene, is there anything you want from me?"
"...I want to laze around together with Onii-chan."
We spent the remaining time watching her favourite anime together. Five girls were fighting against evil enemies, Pretty Girl Rangers Mono.
Orange, Apple, Grape, Peach, Pine——the Pretty Girl Rangers were depicted with fruity attributes, it was an anime for young girls.
I wonder if I'll be able to help Selene get independent. If it's just her I might be able to fix her social withdrawal little by little.
However, aside from her, there were four other little sister candidates. They could form a Pretty Girl Little Sister Rangers with these numbers.
Since the amount of time to spend with each of them is limited, I might need to use drastic measures when it came to Selene.
9th of April, Tuesday
Second Little Sister. Gamer. Competition-Crazy.
Solicitation for the club activities became intense, I had to run around the school during every break. When I finally ran away from the model's club and the survival games club, I was surrounded by people that came from the core of cultural clubs like the board game's club.
It seemed like the news of my identity has already spread around the school.
For the clubs that were on the verge of abolishment, the Taishido name was very attractive.
The one who saved me as I suffered like that, was my childhood friend, Mariko. When we went on a lunch break together, the solicitation immediately ceased.
Although I wasn't in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with Mariko, but that's how it must've appeared to the recruiters. I thought it was bad to hide behind her like that, but until the invitation storm ceases, I decided to stick with Mariko.
By the way, it seemed like Mariko was interested in cooking. As we entered the cooking research club's room, all of a sudden a 'make me a lunch box' talk came.
And she said 'taste-test my home-cooking'. And that's how... I became a taste-tester for Mariko's cooking.
While recalling the events that happened in school, I returned to Taishido's residence and stood in front of Room 601. The corridor was dead silent. I wondered if there were no other residents, and became anxious.
I tried to ring the chime, but there was no reaction. I thought it must've been as I assumed. The smart key reacted and released the lock. I had no choice but to go in.
The moment I opened the door, a roar reached my ears.
I could hear it despite blocking my ears. Maybe she was watching an action movie.
Even so, it was a really loud sound. I closed the door and entered the room. The sounds of gunfire and explosions lost their way of escaping and saturated the room.
It was roaring loudly like this, and yet no sound at all could be heard in the hallway until the door was opened. It seems like what Selene said, 'soundproofing is very good' was apparently true.
The layout of Room 601 was the same as that of Selene's, a 2LDK. As I headed to the living room, I saw a huge flat-screen TV hanging on the wall.
Encircling the room, were arranged pillar speakers.
On the sofa in front of the TV, there was a girl in short pants and a shirt. She was wearing a headset and staring at the screen while holding the game controller in her hands. Her body was leaning forward as if she was being sucked in.
"Oraoraoraora! Enough with your noob camping!"
It seemed to be like a war game. She was in middle of gunfight.
Not aware that I'm behind her, the girl continued to play the game. It's hard to call her out now... and just when I though that.
"Ah! I'm going to clean them up now so wait a sec."
She managed to notice I'm behind her in all this rumbling because I got closer to her?
"Oh, yeah. Yes."
"You're wondering how did I notice you right? Sensed your presence. Don't think, feel... is what it is!"
She spoke without even glancing at me. It seemed like this little sister candidate girl wanted to finish her game first.
"Good! Now the air strike!!"
The aerial bombing hit the battlefield all at once as instructed by her. Five enemies were caught in the bombing and blown away, the game has finished. When it switched to lobby screen, enemies dropped out one after another and when there was no longer enough people to play the game the lobby has closed.
"Geez, that's why brats are..."
She tossed the controller and rested both her back and head on the soft sofa.
After rotating her neck she stared at me from a slight up-from-under-look. Her posture naturally made her chest stick out, and the swelling of her breasts was greatly emphasized. My line of sight was sucked into the valley, so I redirected it and looked at her face.
"So you're the Nii-chan eh? I'm Himura Tomomi. I've become a high school freshman this year. If my birthday is later than Nii-chan's, I might actually be the nee-chan though... anyway, nice to meet ya."
She gave me a refreshingly boyish impression. Despite that said though, she had semi-long hair, from her nape through the neckline to the collarbone and valley of her cleavage, she was considerably girly and bulgy... hey, what am I double-checking here so intently.
In any case, Himura Tomomi was an active beauty with very nice facial features.
"I'm Taishido Yoichi. Nice to meet you."
After finishing the self-introduction, I have once again looked around the room.
It wasn't as messy as Selene's, there were a lot of things but they were tidy.
In the corner of the room, with a feel of a stylish umbrella stand there were multiple rifles leaning against a wooden rack. On the bookshelf next to it, there were multiple games packaged and lined up.
Below the TV, inside of a glass cupboard placed there was a plastic model of a robot striking a pose, it was also decorated in an orderly manner.
"How's it, Nii-chan! My collection!"
"These guns aren't the real thing, are they?"
"Stooop stop with the polite speech! I beg you, be more frank. Also, wouldn't I be arrested if they were real?"
"I guess you're right. Does Himura-san like games in which you use guns?"
"Rather than by last name, call me by my first name."
This Tomomi girl seemed to be confused by my reserved attitude.
Then, just as she asked me to, I'm going to talk with her as if she was a male friend of mine.
"Tomomi, you like games?"
"Rather than like it's more like... I can't live unless I do play."
She needs it to live? A human being that needs games to stay alive?!
"That's why my hobby are plastic models. To be exact, it's only the ones that stand on two legs though. I hate being half-assed, if I do decide on something I need to do it to extreme."
All of the plastic models were beautifully painted.
So she was serious about both gaming and modelling, aiming to be a gamer... that's what she meant. Tomomi nimbly stood up and turned to look at him.
"Between games and plastic models, which one do you like better, Nii-chan?"
"Honestly, I'm not too familiar with either of them."
"Even though you're a man, that's pretty pathetic."
Tomomi shrugged, in the corner of the TV there was a mail icon flashing.
"It seems like you've got a mail?"
"It's fine it's fine. It's just the usual flaming."
"Nii-chan knows at least what's an FPS right?"
"It's the games in which you exchange gunfire with others, right."
"Yup! But you don't just exchange fire from the front, you read the flow of enemy players' movement and dive behind the enemy forces to perform a cleaning. It's a game to defeat campers who hole up in the buildings! Also, crushing the guys that are trading kills is also fun."
I had absolutely no idea what Tomomi was talking about.
"Is it really okay? Leaving the mail like that."
"It's not like they want me to answer them... well, if you want to go that far then I might as well show you."
Tomomi picked up the controller and turned towards the TV once again, she opened the mail she just received. In the mail it said 'damn cheater, get out' or 'stop killing lagging people, trash' and 'read the mood, sleazebag', the epithets that seemed to be insults lined up.
Cheater?! Lagging? Nope, I don't get it.
There were also things even I could understand, like 'die' and intimidations like 'I'll kill you' were also sent over. Even though it was just a game, I don't think it's in a good taste to say such things to strangers.
"At a loss for words, Nii-chan?"
"There's lots of words I'm unfamiliar with... for example the cheater, they mean the animal?"
"That'd be cheetah. It's cheater. They're pronounced differently. The 'ta' in cheater is more accented more strongly. So, cheaters are the people who cheat." 
"That'd mean using glitches and various tools."
"Please, in terms that are easier to understand."
"It's the guys who're playing against the rules!"
"Oh, I get it. So did you do that, Tomomi?"
"As if I would. That's tasteless."
*puu*, Tomomi loudly puffed her cheeks. Although she was boyish, that was a quite cute way of displaying her anger.
"That means Tomomi is strong enough to be suspected for cheating. Though, for someone to send mails to you telling you to die just because of a shooting game, that's some attitude."
Tomomi raised her index finger and swayed it to sides.
"Che che che! It's because it's a game, Nii-chan. Unless you're serious about it, you won't have fun ... oh right, Nii-chan's someone who doesn't play games."
As she finished saying that, Tomomi had a slightly sad expression on her face.
"Y-yeah... eh, it's just horrible mails isn't it."
"Well, seeing this kind of thing is quite pleasant as well. It feels like cries of the losers."
"Isn't that stretching it?"
She puffed her chest with pride and smiled. Her chest... perked up strongly.
"Naah, it's not! It's not some kind of show. More will come in the future anyway, so I might as well enjoy them right? Even so, I couldn't stop myself from crushing the kill traders, it was a team deathmatch so to send a mail with abuse on top of backstabbing own team... even during a rating match, they're really stupid kids."
The movies and games are rated, there's a clear depiction stating that they're not to be sold to minors. Tomomi picked an empty game box that was placed on the low table, and she fanned her face with it.
"I'm just the best. With these results, they can't help but recognize it. Damn, it's really getting hot here. The TV is quite big and it heats up the room."
Tomomi grabbed the shirt near her neck and flapped it, ventilating her chest.
Yeah, even though I know I shouldn't be looking, my gaze is being drawn... eh, what?
Since my line of sight was drawn to the valley of her breasts I didn't notice, but there was something like a pendant shining on Tomomi's neck. I've seen it before in movies... that was certainly a dog tag soldiers have. Maybe, it's an item that has something to do with military fashion?
Tomomi was sweating a lot, and a pink bra could be seen from under the slightly transparent shirt. As I diverted my line of sight, the empty box of the game she had in hand entered my line of sight.
"By the way, doesn't that game have 18+ restriction?"
I've noticed a Z character on the cover of the box.
"I got it. Although it can't be bought by anyone younger than eighteen, there are no problems with me playing it."
Is that true? No, but what does she mean she 'got it'?
"A present from someone?"
For example from an older boyfriend... in that case, what should I do.
"...I earned them all myself... also, I've gotten all of these stuff. The TV, AV; amplifier; speakers; games; plastic models and air guns. I didn't rely on the Taishido's money to get them."
Tomomi proudly puffed her chest again while boasting. Perking up so beautifully, that was quite considerable breast power.
However, as not to look with pity at Mariko who hasn't grown much, I must maintain my calm and not be perturbed by Tomomi's battle strength! ...hey, why am I doing auto-suggestion here. Tomomi is my little sister (candidate). I need to get a grip.
"What is it? Nii-chan?"
She stared with a lot of strength into my face.
"W-woaaa! N-no it's nothing. Anyway, I'm curious how did you earn that money."
"Umm, I won game tournaments sponsored by various game shops, and became an MVP on various video streaming websites. And as the result of winning a lot of matches and besting my opponents, I've been given presents. After contracting a professional team a peripheral device manufacturer gave me things like a PC, gaming mouse; headset; keyboard... I-I'm not lying! Don't look at me like that."
"I-is that so. Tomomi's really amazing."
And, the moment I told her my thoughts, Tomomi's expression solidified and then melted like cheese.
"P-praise me more. Being praised by Nii-chan makes me sooo happy."
"Hey hey, are you all right?"
"Praise me, Nii-chan praise me!"
"O-okay, you're great, Tomomi."
A blush appeared on her face and Tomomi supported her cheeks with both of her hands, she started to twist and squirm. She started to squiggle and wriggle like a cat on silver vine.
As I stared in wonder as she swayed back and forth, she suddenly pointed her finger at me.
"Yup yup! If Nii-chan wins, then I'll do anything you want me to. In exchange, If I win, Nii-chan will... make me his little sister!"
"I don't think I have any chance if we play a game. We can't have a match if it's that unequal."
"Theeeen, let's do what's Nii-chan best at!"
"In the first place, I'm bad when it comes to competing with other people."
"We'll have a match, build up and polish our relationship through a friendly competition〜. Let's get heated up!"
It seemed like she was about to call forth a fire spirit, the moment she spoke passionately, I almost nodded.
"Don't try to take me for a ride and extort me with that positive way of speaking."
"C-calling it an extortion is horrible. I just want to get Nii-chan fair and square."
"Where's this fair and square?"
"Then, let me appeal to you with the merits. If you make me your little sister right now, you can win on all the net games without exception? A great deal right? If Nii-chan dies I'll have the enemy pay for it twice fold."
Even though it's just in a game, please don't kill me without permission.
"That would be just Tomomi carrying me, wouldn't it. Also, there are three more little sister candidates I haven't met yet, I can't make a hasty decision."
"I definitely won't lose to other little sister candidates!"
She wasn't a shut-in and she might have been more proper than Selene, but to say that she won't lose to other little sister candidates, just how competitive was she.
"Don't stay silent and let's decide it now. Make a swift decision. Hey! Nii-chan, a quick judgement is required for management."
"...so you're digging for Taishido's inheritance after all."
It was a question I didn't want to ask. But I couldn't think of any other reason for the girls to act nice towards me.
"Calling me a digger is disrespectful. In the first place, I would somehow manage living on my own... by becoming a pro gamer."
Tomomi said something before about making a contract with manufacturers earlier.
Professional gamers. They earn money by playing games, it's amazing in a sense.
"Just now, did you think 'is there really such a profession?' didn't you. There are even people coming over to scout me."
"I-I get it, I get it. Sorry for suspecting you."
"A bishoujo pro gamer making her name in the game world. Ah! And I didn't mean being a pro in bishoujo games though! I'm terribad when it comes to that kind of games. Simulation and cultivation games are so slow it's frustrating. Having a staring contest with lumps of data is boring!"
She smiled a bit embarrassed. Her adorable expression made her seem younger than her actual age.
"Anyway, I'm prepared to become a pro anytime, but it's somehow... lonely."
"I want someone who would acknowledge me and stay by my side. In that respect, Nii-chan's perfect. Your praises feel so innocent, although I was a bit pushy, you properly say 'you did well'. I felt the respect, after all you're to be the next boss of Taishido group. If I am acknowledged by such a person, people would be obliged to pay attention me."
"So it's something like that."
As I listened to Tomomi's story, it seemed like she thought of things like 'I want to be reckoned with' or 'I want to be noticeable'. Considering the threatening mails she got in-game, and scratching the surface of Tomomi's feeling, it appeared like she was being conscious of how others view her.
"Oh right! Want to drink something Nii-chan? There are pet bottles in the refrigerator. While you're at it, please get me a cola!"
She clasped palms as if praying. I reluctantly headed to kitchen. It didn't have an atmosphere that would imply she was cooking for herself.
"How do you usually eat your meals?"
"I either take boxed lunches or eat out, although I properly made lunch since Nii-chan was coming."
As I looked around, I saw something that looked like a pot golden-coloured on top of the stove.
It's fine if it'll be edible... but I'm a bit worried.
"Well, look forward to it. Nii-chan, hurry up with the cola!"
Tomomi called out with a sweet, silky voice. Now, she's fifteen years old as well. Little sister of the same age... isn't she.
"By the way, when is Tomomi's birthday?"
"It's at 3rd of august, why? What what, does Nii-chan want to celebrate it?"
My mom conceived me with Taishido Jinya and not even three months passed since then before Tomomi was conceived. At that time, my mom was still alive. That man, I wish he'd die. No, actually he's already dead.
Well, I can't look down on Tomomi because of that. I can't blurt dangerous words like 'die' either. Also, blaming Tomomi's mother would be a mistake.
"So Tomomi's from under the Leo sign. It's valiant, a perfect fit for you."
"Hoo! It's the king of beasts! From under what sign's Nii-chan?"
"Since I was born at 10th of May, I'm a Taurus."
"Then I'll make amazing steak out of you and eat it!"
"What would you do with Aries then."
"Lion eats people as well!"
Hmm, didn't Tomomi read my profile? Murasaki-san should have given every little sister candidate a booklet with summarized data on me.
"And here I thought you would already know everything about me."
I took two half a litre bottles from the refrigerator and went back to the living room.
"W-what are you saying. If there's such useful material, then I do want it. I've never seen such a thing!"
Her voice shook as she received the bottle of cola. She was incredibly upset. Tomomi's line of sight was directed towards the wooden gun rack. Beside it, there were several books stacked leaning against the wall. In the middle of them, I found a book with a plain white cover.
It felt similar to the technique of hiding naughty books in between normal ones.
"By the way, sorry for the sudden question, but what's that mountain of books?"
"T-they are magazines about air guns and strategy guides. I've got tired of them already, so it's about time to dispose of them. I guess they're in the way if they lie in a place like that. L-let me clean them up at once!"
Her voice was agitated, and she swiftly carried the bunch of books to the room in the back. She's a really easy to understand girl. When she came back, she asked me with a sweet smile.
"Hey, Nii-chan, you should be hungry by now right?"
I was very worried after remembering the contents of the pot in the kitchen.
"Oh right. You were going to treat me to a dinner?"
"Of course! It's a burning-hot oden match!"
Why won't this girl normally say it's oden.
Before I could retort, Tomomi went to kitchen with light steps.
After preparing a portable gas stove, a bubbling and hot oden was placed on the table.
"Isn't fire a bit too strong?"
"It's burning hot oden match after all, it has to be at least this much."
"F-for now let's try it. Don't you have any plates to use?"
"Noope, if I had it'd get cold. The hotter it is the more delicious it'll be! What does Nii-chan want to eat?"
"It can't be, that you want us to feed each other?"
"Since we're siblings, being this much affectionate's a must! Beautiful siblings love is included in the ingredients of this burning-hot broth, let's mutually take care of each other."
Oh, so that's why it's burning-hot oden 'match'. It won't be just me being one-sidedly done it, but I'm able to dump this burning-hot liquid in this girl's mouth.
"Let's decide who's first with rock-paper-scissors?"
"That's fine. If ya don't make in time, you lose. Rock-paper-scissors!"
Tomomi launched a surprise attack. So I formed scissors in a hurry.
"Since Nii-chan was late, it's my win. I go first."
"T-that's not fair!"
"A surprise attack is a splendid strategy. Let's see... how about chikuwabu, Nii-chan?"
"Your udon will get spoiled."
"Eh! I won't forgive you if you mock chikuwabu! The feeling of the soup around it and the soup coming out from inside, it's really delicious. Yes, aan."
She picked chikuwabu with her chopsticks and brought it in front of me. There was a lot of steam coming out of it. But still, I gave up and opened my mouth. Without neither hesitation nor mercy, chikuwabu was dropped inside my mouth.
"Is it delicious? Hey, Nii-chan, is it delicious?"
I had to protect my dignity as an older brother, and couldn't afford to spit it out. Even so, it was hot. If it were a TV show, there would be a special caption displayed which would say 'Absolutely do not imitate'.
The lump of kneaded flour was very dull as I chewed it, why did it have a similar name to the absolute superstar of oden world, chikuwa-sama? Who's the culprit! I cursed that existence. Then I forcibly pushed chikuwabu into my belly with cola.
"Haa... haa... all right, Tomomi. Open your mouth."
"Nii-chan's eyes are scaryy... since I'm your little sister, be gentle to me."
"It's fine... eat that!"
I scooped up ganmadoki from the pot, and tossed it in Tomomi's mouth. It was a smoking explosive clad in plenty of boiling soup.
Tears appeared in Tomomi's eyes, the moment ganmodoki entered her mouth she has picked up mochi kinchaku from the pot and plunged it into my mouth.
From inside of it, came a hot sticky white goo. No good... at this rate... I'll be done for! I picked up eggs from the hotpot. And at the same time, Tomomi must've come up with the same thing.
As expected of siblings. We thought similarly. Both of us released our eggs at the same time. It seemed like the boxing's cross counter, both of us dropped the soup-stained eggs inside the opponent's mouth.
Seriously, what are we doing.
Since the fight was pointless, we both agreed on a cease-fire. After that, we normally took plates to eat. The taste was very stable and delicious, when I asked her if she made it herself she confessed with 'oden was prepared beforehand'. It seems like she only peeled and sliced the radish, so it wasn't her own cooking.
"It's hott ain't it, Nii-chan."
"Well, that's because it's a food that's usually eaten in winter."
We emptied the pot together. Tomomi's chest was completely drenched with sweat. Her shirt was sticking to her skin and she started to mind it. Narrowing her eyes comfortably, she stood up.
"That's right! I'll turn on the aircon!"
Tomomi went to the living room and picked the remote control that was on the table.
"You're going to use aircon this late?"
"I have a good metabolism and I'm quite hot blooded. Also, things like game consoles, AV; amplifier; PC; and the plasma display give off a lot of heat."
That's incredibly uneconomic. The cold air from air conditioner started to blow in and spread in the room.
"Haaaaa. I sweated a lot, this feels goood."
Tomomi stretched while standing in front of the air conditioner's outlet.
"How much did you set the temperature to?"
"16°C right? Isn't that the lowest it goes?"
"T-that's quite cold isn't it."
After my body was heated up with oden, now it rapidly cooled down.
"Nii-chan doesn't exercise enough."
"Won't you stop it?"
"Cheehh. Can't be helped... eh? Ehhh?"
No matter how many times Tomomi pressed the remote control's button, the air conditioner didn't react.
"The remote won't listen to me, Nii-chan."
"You're doing it on purpose, aren't you."
"It's true, look!"
I took it from her and checked. It didn't seem to be out of batteries.
"The remote control sensor might be broken. I can't fix this myself."
At times like this when I encounter any problems, I honestly rely on Murasaki-san. As soon as I sent her a mail there was a reply. It seems like she will have a repair shop dispatch someone at once.
"I hear that the repair guy will come in an hour."
Well, we can't keep it on like that and should switch it off by directly pressing the power button on it.
"Do you have a stepladder or a chair?"
"What're you gonna do, Nii-chan?"
"We can't leave it running like that until the repairman comes, right?"
"Nii-chan, let's have an extreme cold match!"
"Until the repairman arrives, let's have a match who endures the cold better!"
Just when I thought that she left to the room in the back, she came back and brought a blanket. It seems like that's the bedroom.
"Maybe we should take refuge in the bedroom instead?"
"Nii-chan, insisting on entering the bedroom of a young maiden is something a pervert would do."
"I didn't insist on wanting to enter it that much!"
"Yes yes. Now then Nii-chan, sit down."
I sat down on the sofa, Tomomi sat next to me and wrapped the two of us in a blanket.
A faint and refreshing scent of citrus drifted from the blanket.
"Listen Nii-chan. Don't underestimate the winter mountain. If you fall asleep, you'll die."
Tomomi grabbed my arm and clung to it. As I felt her breasts pressed against my arm, muscles on my back twitched. She was surprisingly soft... and cold.
It seems like her sweat vaporized cooling her down, and her body was now ice cold.
"Hey hey, you're way too cold."
"That's why I'm cuddling up to Nii-chan like this."
"There's a lot of ways to warm ourselves up, you can go outside or open the window. First of all, if we turn off the air conditioner this'll stop."
"Escaping with a tail between our legs when facing the aircon would be shameful for us, part of the human race."
Tomomi declared that and started to tremble like a chihuahua.
"It's cold, It's cold Nii-chan."
"Haa... do as you want... c-cold!"
Tomomi responded with "I won't hold back then!" and to my surprise, she gave me a hug. The dog tag she had around her head stuck snugly to my nape and I felt my back muscles twitch again.
"What is it, Nii-chan?"
"Don't cling to me. Don't press your breasts against me."
"It's fine we're siblings so and this is just the so-called skinship."
"We don't have to be glued to each other just because we're siblings. Also, this dog tag is really cold."
She apologized normally, and picked up the chain with the dog tag. Tomomi moved it so it dangled in front of my eyes.
"Is it a real one?"
"That's right. My mom... she was in a foreign mercenary corps, six years ago she went MIA during operation."
"Mercenary corps you mean... um, what does MIA mean?"
"It means she disappeared in middle of combat. This is all that's been left behind."
Her mom was a mercenary, and she didn't know whether she was alive or not.
She didn't hear anything from her for six years, but still believed she was alive. What should I say... I have no idea. I gently held Tomomi's hand under the blanket.
Tomomi lowered her face and a blush appeared on her cheeks.
Rather than crestfallen, I wanted to see a smiling and cheerful Tomomi, that's what I thought.
"This time I'm applying for a match."
"A match? Nii-chan against me?"
"Yeah. While still holding hands... a tickling match!"
I managed to surprise Tomomi. I tickled her sides, she flapped her feet kicking the blanket away.
"Hiiiiiii! Why does Nii-chan know my weakness! No! Not there! Noooo!"
There aren't many humans who can bear being tickled on the sides, it's a big weakness of mine as well. Pleased by the fact that no counter-attack came, I continued to tickle Tomomi's sides until the repairman came. Tears appeared in her eyes and she's been half-crying. I didn't really get it, but it felt like my win.
Until the two people from air conditioning repair service came, the time flew fast. After that, Tomomi said it as she was going to take a shower.
"Nii-chan, how about we go in together?"
"I'll pass on that."
And around midnight, I've been seen off to the entrance by Tomomi and went back to my room. I didn't have any strength left to take a bath, so I fell on the bed as I was. I'll take a shower in the morning.
Notes and References
- ↑ 2 rooms with a living room, dining room and a kitchen
- ↑ チーター can both mean cheater and cheetah, they're both written the same way.
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Entertainment_Rating_Organization
- ↑ surimi(paste made from fish or other meat) product with a soft, mild taste
- ↑ fried tofu fritter made with vegetables, egg white and sesame seeds
- ↑ traditional Japanese noodles
- ↑ rice cake fried in a tofu pouch
- ↑ wheat-based Japanese food item that is frequently eaten as an ingredient in oden
10th of April, Wednesday
Third Little Sister. Delicious Food. Honour Student?
Today during the lunch break, I went to the school cafeteria. Shichiyou Academy's school cafeteria felt like a stylish café, its menu was centered on western food.
I miss the Japanese food Granny made... when I mentioned that, Mariko said she'll take the challenge and make a bento with Japanese food. It would be all right if she didn't pay that much attention to me. But still, I appreciated it. That's how childhood friends should be.
At 4 p.m. I stood in front of Room 501 in Taishido residence.
I took a light breath and sounded the door's chime.
No matter what comes out, nothing can scare me any more. In terms of eccentricity and weirdness, probably... no, there's absolutely no one who could top Selene or Tomomi.
There's definitely no little sister that can be more strange than that. I'll wait for a reply, but if there's no reaction then I'll have no choice but to enter by myself again... and just when I thought that, the Room 501's door opened.
The little sister candidate came to the entrance to meet me.
She was a girl with a short-cut hair. Her clothes were quite plain, she was wearing a normal, girly outfit.
Although the first impression was that of an intelligent and rational girl, she didn't have Murasaki-san's cool vibes.
"I-is it fine to enter?"
"Yes, of course. I was waiting. Please, come in. Also Onii-sama, using polite language when speaking with your little sister is too distant."
Using polite language towards a little sister is distant?...ha?! Damn. After visiting the two earlier, I suspected I was 'too polite'. But isn't being polite and courteous wonderful?
As I moved from the entrance towards the living room, I heard a high-pitched voice call out.
As I turned my gaze frightened, a Myna bird that was in a large bird cage that stood at the back of the room has entered my line of sight, it turned its beak towards me.
As I returned the greeting, the Myna closed its eyes and looked another way. It seems like I've been ignored, it's a bit lonely. The little sister candidate laughed a bit troubled. She had a bit apologetic look and a bit of tears in her eyes.
Her room was neatly cleaned.
There was a blue carpet covering the floor. A low table resembling a dining table, and two cushions placed beside it. In the corner of the room there was an LCD TV on top of a TV stand which had a white cable extending towards a console box.
The girl turned towards him and bowed lightly, a refreshing scent of mint spread as her hair fluttered lightly.
"My name is Mishima Sayuri. Middle school second year student. It's a pleasure to meet you.
"I'm Taishido Yoichi. Nice to meet you."
Hmm, the conversation's gotten this polite. It might feel distant, but up until now it's been amusing. Sayuri smiled softly and prompted me to sit on a cushion.
"Please take the top seat, Onii-sama.."
As I sat down, she went to the kitchen and started to prepare boiling water in the kettle.
"Would you like green tea?"
"Yes, thank you."
After a moment, Sayuri came back while carrying teacups and a teapot. She poured tea into the cups.
Even the way she was holding the teapot and the way her fingertips moved seemed elegant.
Her looks seemed to be overflowing with a neat and proper beauty as well.
"It's just crude tea, but here you go."
"I deeply appreciate it."
"Oh Onii-sama, please relax yourself more."
As a somewhat adult smile appeared on Sayuri's face, I got a bit relieved.
"No, I was just a bit nervous."
"You must have met other little sister candidates already. Then you must have accustomed yourself to this already, isn't that right?"
The reason I'm nervous, is because Sayuri's being too proper... it was too hard to say that.
"Speaking of which, isn't Sayuri acting a bit distant as well?"
"This is how I usually act..."
Sayuri downcast her eyes. That bashful gesture of hers also felt modest.
There was no feeling of forcefulness, how incredibly humble.
"T-that's not it, I'm not blaming you for anything! Sorry, it was my bad."
"I apologize for having Onii-sama concern yourself with me. You're so gentle... Onii-sama."
As she stared at me from a slight under-look, Sayuri's eyes were faintly moist. Her eyes were so beautiful and clear, I saw an illusion as if I was being sucked into them.
"G-gentle... I-I'm not really... t-thank you for the tea."
I poured some tea into my mouth. Calling this tea crude was too much. I felt the faintly sweet taste of elegant tea. It somehow reminded me of the tea Granny brewed.
"T...this is really delicious tea."
"Thank you very much."
I firmly held the teacup.
Yuup, I couldn't find a topic to talk about. Since she had no shortcomings at all, I didn't know what to talk about. ...that's right! Let's have Sayuri talk about herself from now on.
"So Sayuri, are you living alone as well?"
"What about your mom?"
"There's no way to contact her, it's been four years now."
It seems like suddenly asking her questions was a mistake. But it seemed like Sayuri didn't mind it. She looked really calm.
"If I'm not wrong, you started living in this mansion at the beginning of this year, right."
"I have moved here in February. Until then, I was living in a different apartment in the city. I'm really grateful to Taishido house."
As Sayuri bowed quietly, I've had a really complex feeling.
"I didn't do anything, so if you bow your head like that I'll be troubled."
"Please do not say that. Onii-sama is the successor of Taishido."
One wrong step and that line could turn into irony, but due to Sayuri's flexible demeanour, it didn't feel so.
It's a difficult subject, but since I've heard about it from the other two, let's check here as well.
"I haven't thought of wanting to become the little sister. And as such, I don't intend to ask of you to make me one. I will respect Onii-sama's decision. That is why I have prepared myself to live alone."
"Prepared... just what?"
She probably has been saving money properly.
"I am thinking of entering Shichyou Academy and earning scholarship, after which I want to enter economics-related university. I have been taking care and saving money I was given as support, so Onii-sama doesn't have to worry or be troubled by anything."
Sayuri spoke calmly while looking straight at me. What a capable little sister (candidate).
"That's amazing. Aiming to be a scholarship student."
"Judging by the national trial examination, at this pace my results should be enough to make it."
She had an atmosphere that hinted she really would be able to live alone. Did she take care of everything as not to worry me? Then she continued.
"I don't want to rely on Onii-sama or Taishido any more than I am now."
I, who was progressing on the rails lined up by Father, was ashamed hearing her words.
"That's splendid Sayuri."
"No such thing. Compared to the burden Onii-sama is carrying... I only have to care about myself."
I didn't even know how to respond to her words. I had a feeling that I need to respond to Sayuri's consideration who displayed a great sense of independence as not to burden me.
"Umm... if you want, you can act a bit more spoiled with me you know?"
"I can't do that. I'm still a little sister candidate and not.... part of Onii-sama's family yet."
Sayuri's cheeks reddened faintly. That moment, the Myna opened its eye and spread its wings all at once.
『"I can have Onii-sama! I can have a family! So happy! So happy!"』
As Myna called out with a high-pitched voice, Sayuri became bewildered.
『"I would be so happy if I had Onii-sama! So happy!"』
"Come on! Kyuu-chan please stay quiet. Onii-sama, this is nothing, just a misunderstanding."
Certainly, Myna birds only repeated human words, they imitated it. Can it be that Sayuri was speaking to her bird? Something like listening to what lied deep in her heart.
"Kyuu-chan is now remembering the lines from a TV drama."
『"I can't let this family crest be seen!"』
Oh! This line is...
"That's it Kyuu-chan, just like that."
『"I can't let Onii-sama see this!"』
It mixed up the speeches. Even so, it's quite a skilful Myna.
"Myna birds really can imitate human speech easily don't they."
"Y-yes. Originally Kyuu-chan was Mother's, but since she disappeared it's been always my... umm, m-my family."
Sayuri blushed embarrassed, Kyuu-chan tilted his head in wonder and called out.
『"If we had a family, would Kyuu-chan be happy as well?"』
As it was getting worse, Sayuri looked down and confessed.
"I'm sorry. I was so happy that I have Onii-sama... and I spoke to Kyuu-chan about it, it seems like he remembered it."
"You don't need to apologize. I'm also happy that I met Sayuri."
"Thank you very much."
Tears appeared in Sayuri's downcast eyes and at the same time Kyuu-chan cried out.
『"Let's settle it once and for all!"』
It was surprising that Kyuu-chan was smart enough to selectively use lines from historical plays.
Sayuri folded her hands as if she was praying, then she hesitantly and timidly muttered.
"O-Onii-sama, although it's a little early, could you help me to make dinner?"
"Help you? I wonder if I can. Honestly, what I specialize in is eating food."
"It's all right. This way..."
Saying so, Sayuri brought me to the veranda.
Calling this a veranda was an understatement. It was wide enough to look like a little garden. There were a lot of plants planted all over here and there. It was the so-called kitchen garden.
"Komatsuna is perfectly ripe to eat."
I gathered it the way Sayuri taught me to. Honestly, gardening is quite a surprising hobby. It was lovely and empathetic, a surprising addition to her firm and proper personality.
And she yearned to stand next to me. Although she was a bit too formal, considering it was our first meeting it's only natural.
She's serious and good at studies. The the way she spoke her true feelings to her Myna bird, Kyuu-chan and the way she confessed to me about it gave a feeling of a mischievous personality gap.
Perfect. She's too perfect... somehow it stirred my heart.
Sayuri did all the cooking.
Both the sound of boiling water and the scent of grilled fish felt really nostalgic. Sayuri's figure dressed in an apron while turned back to me gave off a feeling like that of a mother I practically didn't remember.
"Do you need help with anything?'
"Please be at ease. I have prepared everything before Onii-sama has come."
White steam was rising up from the rice cooker, there was a really nice smell filling the room.
Dinner was finished about ten minutes later. The menu was miso soup with tofu and seaweed, grilled fish and salted salmon, the nikujaga prepared in advance and the boiled komatsuna I was asked to gather earlier.
It was a menu suited perfectly to my taste. An ordinary Japanese meal. She has my gratitude.
"Once again, it's amazing. You continue to impress me. So you're good at preparing Japanese foods?"
"Y-yes. Please enjoy it while it's still warm."
"In that case, thanks for the food."
I immediately reached out with chopsticks to my favourite, nikujaga. Sweet potatoes in the nikujaga made by Sayuri were warm and had a delicious taste of the sauce they were covered in.
Sayuri stared at me anxiously.
"Does it not match your taste?"
"It's really delicious. Sayuri will definitely make a good bride."
"Thank you very much."
Sayuri lowered her gaze and blushed, she was happy and embarrassed. C-cute. If she wasn't my little sister (candidate), I might have fallen for her.
"By the way, why nikujaga?"
"Uh, ummm... because nikujaga is... it feels synonymous with home cooking."
Just for a moment, Sayuri was at a loss what to say.
"Is that so. Yup. You're right."
In the booklet with the data on me, it said that my preference is Japanese food and my favourite is nikujaga. I finally understood the meaning of the stirring in my heart after eating the nikujaga.
Sayuri was too capable.
If Selene didn't give away the existence of the booklet, I would have been caught by this dinner and felt meeting with Sayuri was dictated by fate.
While conscious of it, I ate the dinner. The komatsuna I gathered by myself was delicious.
When I stood up from my seat to wash the dishes after eating, Sayuri said "Please stay down, Onii-sama." and I settled down again.
After quickly washing the dishes, Sayuri prepared the after-meal tea.
"It was a real feast."
"Thank you for the praise."
It was 7 p.m., there were five more hours to go.
"Now then, what do we do?"
Maybe something like looking over her studies, I wanted to do something brother-like, but I was scared that I'd be a poor teacher.
"How about we watch TV?"
Sayuri operated the remote control and turned the TV on. At the exact same time, a historical drama began. As the opening soundtrack sounded, Shogun on a white horse rode at a brisk pace through the beach.
I asked Sayuri.
"You like historical dramas?"
"I just started watching them recently with intention of studying the history and ended up being infatuated with them... can it be that Onii-sama is more familiar with them?"
I started to feel worried. Isn't watching historical dramas with intention of studying history a bit painful? I feel a bit bad about it, but let's try being a little mean.
"I'm pretty bad when it comes to historical dramas. It kinda reeks of old people."
For a moment, light disappeared from Sayuri's pupils and muscles on her cheeks started to twitch.
"T-that can't be. Historical dramas should've been Onii-sama's favourite."
"If I were to pick one, I would say Pretty Girls Rangers Fruity are my favourite."
"No way, you don't know it?"
"I-I know it. It's that...it's associated with fruits right? Umm, fleet... ships, is it? The one about girl transporting fruits with a ship... w-wait a moment please, I'm going to describe it now."
Sayuri's voice was trembling and her eyes wandered. She didn't hide her agitation at all.
"Do you really know about it?"
"Of course Onii-sama. As a little sister candidate there's no way for me not to know Onii-sama's favourite. The fact that I am to be by Onii-sama's side has been determined by fate."
Calling it fate is an exaggeration. Sayuri didn't even notice that what I said was unnatural.
"Then, who does Sayuri like the most out of five fruity rangers?"
Lively Orange, dedicated protagonist Apple, Grape with an older sister character, Peach who acted like a spoiled child and mood maker Pine. When speaking of fruities, it comes down to those five. I've been told all this by Selene.
"Was there Durian in it?
"Eh? T-there is. It's just that Onii-sama doesn't know about her."
A moment earlier, Sayuri's polite Japanese has collapsed. It seems like she's completely tempered herself. It feels like it'll be dangerous to corner her any more than this.
"Just kidding. It was a joke. My favourite is historical dramas."
"Jo-joke... hahaha... that's right. That was surprising."
The entirety of Sayuri's stiffened body relaxed as if exhausted.
"By the way, how did you know I like historical dramas?"
"T-T-Tttttt-that's umm... ah! That's right, Onii-sama. How about a bath? I'll heat up the water immediately."
Sayuri stood up as if to run away.
Looks like there's no doubt about it. Sayuri is a liar. Also, she can't improvise. If that's the case, I can't tell just how much of it was her real self.
If she can have a family she'll be happy, that's what she told Kyuu-chan the Myna bird, so she would change herself entirely to please me.
The first impression of Sayuri is that of a honour student, but there's a possibility of her being more of a problem child than either Selene or Tomomi. And yet, rather than blaming her for lying, the fact that Sayuri wasn't perfect... made me feel relieved.
When I was soaking up to my shoulders in the bath, suddenly I heard a voice coming from the dressing room.
"OOO-Onii-sama. Is the water hot enough?"
"It's really good."
"I-I'll wash your back."
"No, I washed my body properly before I entered the bathtub..."
Before I finished speaking, Sayuri has already entered the bathroom.
She had a large towel wrapped around her. Her white shoulders were exposed. She had slender thighs. Her ankles... hey, what am I doing, checking her out from top to bottom.
"O-Onii-sama. In order to improve our relationship as siblings, l-let's have some skin-to-skin communication."
"W-why did it turn out like this... a-aa-anyway, no way."
"If we don't do this, the thread of fate will be cut... if Onii-sama permits it, I will use my body as a sponge to wash Onii-sama. If we become siblings I will s-s-serve Onii-sama e-everyday."
Sayuri approached me with both of her hands on her breasts, her face was bright red.
"Please go out! I beg you!"
"T-that's... doesn't Onii-sama want to be washed by his little sister?"
"Your character has collapsed, calm down Sayuri."
"T-that's no character. It's my normal self. A l-little sister sponge."
"It's not normal no matter how I think about it!"
"I understand, Onii-sama. You mean this towel is getting in the way."
She squeezed one end of the towel and tried to unravel it from that part.
"It's okay to have towel on!"
"Then, will you allow me to wash your back?"
I have no idea what she'll do if I don't accept her request.
"I get it. But in exchange for letting you wash my back, umm... use a normal sponge. Also, close your eyes until I say it's okay to open them."
"S-since we're siblings there's no need to be embarrassed even if we're s-seen."
"Both seeing and being seen is embarrassing! We met just a few hours ago, and we aren't siblings yet. Also, aren't you blushing as well?"
"T-t-there's no such thing. It must seem like it because of the steam coming from bath. I'm not feeling embarrassed in the least."
My heart was stirring again. That's a lie, wasn't it.
I came up with a way to verify her readiness. But if it fails, I'll turn into a simple pervert. However, I believed in Sayuri's feelings of embarrassment. I believed that she had a heart of a maiden.
"Hey, if you're that interested... why don't I show you my resolve to endure embarrassment!"
I tried to slowly stand up in the bathtub. Like a huge monster making its appearance from the sea, I move deliberately.
If Sayuri is truly a maiden, she would run away before anything is visible.
Sayuri raised both of her hands to her face. At that moment, the towel that was wrapped around her body fell on the ground. Since she tried to remove it a while ago, it was nearly unwrapped already.
I continued to stand and looked at my little sister candidate's stark-naked body.
"U-UWAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Sayuri! Towel! Towell!!"
"Onii-sama's an IDIOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT"
While holding her face, Sayuri jumped out of the bathroom naked. As if chasing after her, I ran to the door's exit and extended my arm to close the door to the dressing room. Just now... that was a venus flytrap.
When I came out of the bath, Sayuri was wearing clothes and sitting in seiza. She bowed deeply.
"A-about before, I apologize. When I thought about touching Onii-sama's body, um, I have forgotten myself... that is... I went out of control."
"Y-yeah. Me too... sorry. The bath's still warm, how about you enter?"
"Yes. I'll do as Onii-sama says."
Downheartedly dropping her shoulders, Sayuri took pyjamas to change into and headed to the dressing room.
I wonder what's Sayuri's issue. For Selene it was 'going outside'. In Tomomi's case it was 'cooperativeness'. And Sayuri... maybe it's 'faking her manners not being honest'.
Trying to make someone change themselves was meddling... that's what I thought, but I couldn't leave it alone. Probably, the three of them were no longer strangers to me.
After Sayuri came out of the bath, I tried to make her forget about what happened and came up with some neutral topics. But she was reluctant to talk and in the end, as the time passed I wasn't able to touch Sayuri's true feelings.
In the meantime, at 11 p.m. after she moved to the cushion that was next to me and watched TV in a daze, she started to doze off.
It seems like for Sayuri, this could be considered staying up late.
"A little longer, please stay a little longer with me... fuaa... Onii-sama...."
"Aren't you dozing off here. At what hour are you usually going to sleep?"
"I'm going to bed... fuaa... at ten."
"Don't force yourself and go to sleep."
"Finally... the fate's... even though Onii-sama came over... I want... closer... kuh..."
Sayuri's shoulder fell towards mine, and I gently supported her.
While nestling against my chest, she began to deeply breathe in her sleep. Her sleeping face was free of tension, and looked like that of a young child. This might be the real Sayuri.
But, 'fate' eh. Selene said that as well. I... no, we're all at the mercy of fate.
As expected, I can't leave Sayuri like this. I held her in my arms.
There were two doors in the living room. I opened one of them. There was a closet, a study desk and a small bed, it was a simple bedroom.
I gently put Sayuri down on the bed and covered her with a blanket. As I did that, I thought.
Hiding books that they don't want others to see, is a cardinal rule of men.
I didn't think a girl like Sayuri would do so, but I put my extended hand under the bed.
The booklet... was there. There were bookmarks in there, and important points were highlighted with a fluorescent pen. Without a doubt, Sayuri properly prepared herself.
I gently put the booklet back under the bed. All these traits at once, that's the girl called Sayuri. When I said 'Pretty Girls Rangers Fruity are my favourite', the way she was upset was amazing.
She could do everything just as it was described in the manual, but is very weak when faced with unexpected events... that's Sayuri.
After returning to the living room, I spent my time alone doing my school's homework.
There was no need to worry since the doors were on the auto-lock, so when midnight came, I quietly left her room.
I wonder what should I do about Sayuri. Although only on the surface, she was neat and proper, it might actually be more difficult than Selene and Tomomi's cases.
Notes and References
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myna
- ↑ 上座 (kamiza) – meaning a place of honour i.e. best place to sit on.
- ↑ komatsuna is a leaf vegetable
- ↑ dish made out of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce
- ↑ Sentai earlier had a meaning of rangers as in power rangers, she misunderstood it as fleet
- ↑ huge fruit with VERY strong odour - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian
11th of April, Thursday
Fourth Little Sister. Handsome. Girl Power Decrease.
Just as she said earlier, today Mariko made me a boxed lunch. It was rice balls, fried chicken eggs; boiled spinach and cherry tomatoes.
Mariko was a bit worried that the fried eggs were a little burnt, but it was very delicious. Even so, girl's lunch boxes really are small. Mariko asked "Want to eat half of mine? Girls easily get fat, it makes me jealous of boys."... or something like that.
She didn't seem like she had any excess fat, but girls are quite sensitive when it comes to excess body weight.
Maybe Mariko yearns for a slim and cool figure like that of a model? I think she's quite cute with her petite body though... well, not my business.
After school, I was standing in front of Room 401 in Taishido residence and took a deep breath to prepare myself. After I mentally concentrated and rang the doorbell, the door immediately opened.
"N-nice to meet you! I'm Tachibana Yuuki. Middle school third year."
"I'm Taishido Yoichi. Nice to meet you."
The fourth little sister candidate——Tachibana Yuuki was tall. As expected, she wasn't tall enough to make me look up at her, but it seemed like she would catch up to my height soon enough.
About 170 centimetres of height. Her long hair was tied in a ponytail.
Yuuki's outfit was very boyish, she had a very rough appearance, wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Both her legs and torso were quite long, her face was small. She spoke with a smile on her face.
"Now! Come in, Nii-san."
My hand was grasped and I was pulled into the room. Her way of speaking was quite boyish too. Also, suddenly holding hands... was a bit embarrassing.
"Sorry to disturb〜"
I walked in and took off my shoes by the door. The furnishings in the living room were blue and green, giving it a refreshing feeling. Although it was moderately clean it also felt like someone was living in it.
She was completely on the other end of the spectrum compared to Tomomi, but unexpectedly both of them were boyish. Her uniform was hung at the coat hanger.
It was a gakuran. I don't get it. Isn't that a boy's uniform?
"Yuuki. Sorry for being so sudden, but can I ask you something?"
"What is it, Nii-san?"
"That uniform, it's not yours... is it?"
If a male friend of hers came over to play, and even left his uniform in that state, I was a bit worried as her brother.
Her tone of voice was very smooth, it didn't seem like a lie. She had a relaxed posture.
Although I had an impression she was a girl because of her long hair, were she to have short hair she would look like a handsome boy. Her beauty gave off a genderless feeling.
"Isn't having a gakuran as uniform a bit weird? I mean, gakuran is a boy's uniform."
"The middle school I attend to permits coming to school in casual clothes. It's fine if I don't come in girl's uniform."
"Oh, then there's no problem... as if I'd say that. Just because you can wear whatever you want isn't a reason to wear a boy's uniform."
"Is that so... I guess. It's weird after all."
Yuuki sat down on the sofa in the living room. Even though she would seem girly were she to sit with one leg next to other, but she spread her legs revealing her crotch.
Come to think of it, while Tomomi spoke a little bit like a boy, her gestures and the way she was sitting were girly. I felt that was what Yuuki was missing. She stared at me as I sat down on a stool beside the table.
"What does Nii-san think about me? I want you to honestly state your first impression."
"Then... I won't hold back. My first impression is... that you don't seem to know which sex you are."
"Don't know which... yep, that's quite accurate."
She nodded convinced.
"You're a girl aren't you?"
"Biologically, I'm female."
Considering the way she put it, it didn't seem like she was a girl mentally.
"So you're different inside?"
"Y-you're wrong. I want to... become... a proper girl."
The inside of my head were a bit confused.
"You said you want to become one, but aren't you a girl already?"
Yuuki downcasted her eyes and fell silent. After looking at her lonely expression, it seemed I was rushing it too much.
"Sorry, my bad. The way I asked about it was wrong. Please tell me about it step by step."
"Nii-san... will you really listen to my story seriously?"
"Thanks! Nii-san's a warm-hearted person, that makes me really happy. Umm... ah, sorry Nii-san!"
Yuuki stood up from the sofa as if bouncing off.
"I didn't notice. I'll prepare coffee. I'm quite lacking in this aspect."
She muttered scolding herself. It seemed like she got depressed and downhearted. I spoke to make her feel better.
"Then, be generous with sugar and milk."
"Y-yes! Wait a moment."
Yuuki hurried to the kitchen and after boiling water in an electric kettle, she made an instant coffee like I requested.
I'm not too good with instant coffee, but the sugar and milk managed to hide the taste.
I took a deep breath as I sipped the milk coffee I requested. By the way, Yuuki's coffee was black.
Drinking an instant black coffee was something I couldn't believe in. Of course, there are luxurious instant ones, they might actually be pretty tasty.
After placing a cup on the table Yuuki started to talk quietly.
"When I was in second grade of elementary school, a boy in my class said to me 『"Woman clothes don't fit you! Manwoman!"』... you see, back then I was taller than all kids my age."
"You were bullied?"
"That's, umm... rather than bullying... I thought of it as advice. Because of my positive personality, I've become how I am now."
"Advice... just how positive are you."
She laughed in embarrassment as I retorted. Although she was embarrassed, she had a cheerful and bright smile. It seemed somewhat cool.
"My mother was someone who didn't pay much attention to gender differences, when I dressed up like a boy she was delighted."
So it's like that after all, Yuuki also has separated from her mother.
"So what happened to your mother?"
"Four years ago a letter came from Brazil. It seems like she found a wife over there."
"She left her daughter and remarried abroad... what? A wife?"
"Yeah. It seems like my mother became a father before I noticed."
As she said that with a refreshing smile, I shook my head deep inside my mind.
"I-is that so. Must be hard."
"There's no such thing. If my mother became my dad, that means she took a step in her new life. Rather than that I want to cheer Mother——Father on."
Her real parent was stranger than the ones in fiction. Well, it's not like I'm the one to talk.
"Back to the story. What happened in your elementary school after that?"
"After that, when the boy who said 『"Manwoman!"』 saw me in male clothing, he didn't say anything else... it was quite sad."
The boy just wanted Yuuki's attention, he probably couldn't believe that she would dress like a boy because of what he said.
"That must've been hard as well."
"Yeah. Elementary school's teachers said 『they respect individuality」, so I continued to dress like a boy... before I noticed, I was too embarrassed and it was impossible for me to wear a skirt..."
"Ah, yeah... and that continued until that gakuran's turn came."
Yuuki nodded and turned her line of sight towards the uniform on the hanger.
"My middle school allows attending in casual clothes, and I did my best studying. Since I'm wearing this uniform on a routine basis, there's a lot of students who think I am a boy... but as expected, my classmates know that I'm a girl."
"What do you do about toilet?"
"When it's crowded I can enter boy's toilet, there's no problem."
She spouted out something amazing without any hesitation.
"Then, what's the problem?"
Yuuki's complexion went *kshh* and she turned redder than a tomato.
"T-that's, umm, I-I don't want to boast but I became very popular with girls... and I got confessed to by two girls at the same time!"
"Hohoo. Not boasting, popular eh."
As Yuuki shook her long arms, she looked like a model, her gesture was rather girlish or rather a bit childish.
"Don't tease me Nii-san. My male virginityvirginity was nearly taken... um, well that. In any case, both of them seemed to love me very much, and I, not knowing what to do, went for advice to a teacher. After that, the two of them were forbidden from getting close to me..."
I thought that the word male virginvirgin here was strange, but let's not touch this subject.
"So you dumped the two."
"Y-yep. No matter how boyish I am, there's no way I can fall for a girl... rather, I really understand I need to force myself to be a girl. The truth is that I'm a girl after all."
Ah, of course. Yuuki is a girl. The two who fell for her as she dressed up in male's clothing, if she properly goes back to acting like a girl they would have no choice but to give up.
"D-did you get tired of it?"
"I'm honestly surprised... but I understand your circumstances now."
She smiled, it was a very refreshing smile. Even though we're of the same sex... no wait, I was nearly fooled by that as well. Yuuki's a girl.
Her smile was one that attracted people. It had nothing to do with gender.
"Thank you, Nii-san! I want to become a girl. But I have no idea what to do, and there's no one I can rely on..."
"So you want me to cooperate with you."
"That's right! I want to become Nii-san's (provisional) little sister!"
"I haven't decided that yet though. Also, what the hell is (provisional)..."
"S-sorry Nii-san. Of course I too want to be your real little sister. You're a really wonderful person after all."
Yuuki looked straight into my eyes. The respect visible in her eyes dispelled any doubts.
Not like I have anything I can be respected for.
"That's why, Nii-san! No matter how bad a form it takes, if I, by myself can be recognized as someone's little sister, my lacking girl power would naturally grow."
"I see... hey, is 'girl power' a term to be used like that?!"
"I can only rely on you... also, I have already suppressed some of my changes as a girl."
Yuuki tried to roll up and raise her shirt. A glimpse of her stomach could be seen from below.
"Wait! Stop! I get it! I get it so don't take it off!"
"S-sorry. We're not real siblings yet. I apologize for showing you such a thing."
Whether (provisional) or real siblings, that's not something you should show.
It seems like she didn't have any confidence as a girl. Now then, what should we do.
"If you want to be more girlish, why don't you consult with a female friend?"
Yuuki turned pale.
"Can it be, that you don't have any? Friends, that is."
"Y-yes. All of them are good people. But they all maintain some distance between us... after those two approached me, all other girls started saying things like 『It's OK with a girl』 as well. I was the one who couldn't properly tell them they're wrong but... also, because of the two pressuring them I became bad when it comes to dealing with girls."
The so called girl groups seem to be really annoying don't they. Before Yuuki noticed, the situation turned complicated and it was too late.
"You're no good with girls, to what extent?"
"It's enough for our eyes to meet to make me nervous... and it's hard for me to talk with female clerks."
That's pretty severe. Rather than with me, she should consult with some specialist.
"Even though you want to become a girl, you can't rely on middle school girls. Also your mother became a father on the other side of the world... is it."
As I summarized, Yuuki nodded her head a few times. That gesture of hers seemed somewhat like that of a puppy.
"You're not lying, are you?"
"You can verify it if you want to."
Considering she had so many special circumstances overlapping, I thought it was stupid not to suspect her.
If I confirmed it with Murasaki-san, I would learn whether Yuuki's story and her circumstances were a lie or not.
"I get it. I'll believe you. Sorry for suspecting you."
"Nn. Even I think it's weird. I'm like this but... please guide me, Nii-san."
If her fear of girls disappears and she gains the confidence of a normal girl Yuuki might become a superhuman, straightforward and perfect pretty girl. Although guiding her is an exaggeration, let's see...
"I don't think I can be of much help to you. Girl power... what is girl power in the first place?"
As I tilted my neck puzzled, Yuuki did the same, imitating my gesture.
"I wonder... what."
"You aimed for something you don't know!"
"Sorry. It's been popular on the net, so I unconsciously... used it."
*tehepero*, Yuuki stuck out her tongue and winked. Just now for a moment, her girl power was pretty high. I don't really get what girl power is, but that's how I felt it was.
"If it's something you learned on the net, then how about we try to find something in there?"
She nodded with a smile.
"Yes! Nii-san's someone who can be relied on. That makes me really, really happy!"
Although she praised me, I honestly have no confidence whether or not I can respond to her expectations.
I brought up browser in my smartphone and entered 'girl power' in the search bar.
The result was a few net articles about girl power, in a nutshell, they all said it was either the way a girl dressed herself, acted and spoke. There were few categories.
"How is it, Nii-san? I-is there any way for me to 'up' my girl power?"
She snugly clung to me and spoke while looking at the smartphone's screen together with me. Her hair had a scent of menthol. It gave a feeling of a cool boy.
"Your shampoo, it can't be that you're using one for men?"
"Ones for girls smell too sweet, but I properly use products for girls to clean myself."
"Let's start there. You need to rinse it and use proper treatment. It's a waste since you have such beautiful hair."
Yuuki touched her hair and faintly blushed.
"My hair is beautiful, is it... yup. I'll start taking care of it."
I don't know what's going to happen from now on. But for the time being, I summarized the information I obtained on the net.
"Apparently, girl power is all about polishing oneself."
Since Yuuki had a really good material to polish, she would become beautiful without much effort. Come to think of it, Mariko was worried about her weight despite not being fat at all.
Aah... I might have caught a glimpse of girl power there.
"You might already be shining while you're still at a rough stage, I think it's fine for you to polish yourself."
"Polish myself you say, but I still don't know what to do!"
She curled up. When she seemed smaller, her cool self turned very cute.
"Umm... what indeed. You have no problems with weight, so there's no need to diet. How about make-up?"
"I don't know how to do it. B-but I bought some cosmetics with the intention to challenge it."
Yuuki went to the room right next to the living room, and came back soon after. She held a small basket with cosmetics. I didn't know much about the price of these things, but at first glance... they didn't seem to be very expensive looking.
"How much did you pay for them?"
"Hundred yen for each of them. I thought a beginner shouldn't use anything expensive."
You should invest more in things like that, Yuuki-san. Well with that said though, since preparing herself was already admirable, as her brother I needed to cheer her on properly.
I taught her the second-hand information I've found.
"According to info on the net, it's good to use a skin lotion."
"Ah! I properly bought one! If I'm not wrong, it's to be used after washing my face. If I put this on my girl power will go up?"
She removed an unopened vial from the basket while excitedly swaying her body to the sides.
A lotion based on soy milk, it was milky-white.
"You still haven't tried it?"
"I thought nothing would change even if I used skin lotion, and got too scared to use it. But if Nii-san says so... it feels like I can do it."
"All right! Yuuki! Go wash your face first."
"Yes! I'll do my best."
She went to bathroom and washed her face. After that she returned while wiping the water droplets with a towel. Yuuki, if you hang the towel on your neck like that, your girl power will go down to the level of an old man.
"Ahh that was refreshing! It feels good to wash my face."
It felt wild, like a man after washing his face. But I'll shut up for now.
"How about we use the lotion immediately and see?"
"Sure, Nii-san. Umm, how much should I use at a time?"
"According to what I found on internet, rather than using an expensive lotion, it's better to efficiently splurge more of a cheap one."
I investigated it, but I had no idea whether it's a correct way to use it. But, what was important was that Yuuki felt 'her girl power going up' has increased.
"S-splurge more of it. Then... this is it!"
I wondered what's she doing, but Yuuki opened the lotion's cap and after raising her chin and turning her face to ceiling she started sprinkling the lotion on her face like crazy.
White and cloudy viscous fluid covered Yuuki's face.
"How is it Nii-san?! Is my girl power going up?"
*splsh plsh splsh drip blsh splshs plop plop splsh blsh dripp drip plsh*. Her face was completely covered with a cloudy liquid.
"It's really hard to raise girl power. The lotion even spilled on my chest and my shirt got all sticky. Waahaahaha! Strangely, I feel like my girl power is steadily rising! Skin lotion's amazing isn't it, Nii-san!"
"No, that... although this really seems hard, but your girl power probably... has went down."
Yuuki's hand froze.
"N-Nii-san! Why are you saying something so painful?!"
"It seems like this information's a sham. Let's try a different approach."
I sighed seeing her face look as if she was about to cry while still covered with a cloudy liquid.
The next piece of information from the net I focused on, was another hypothesis about girl power.
Girl power is underwear power. Being fashionable in places that can't be seen, is a key to increasing girl power.
Speaking of which, back then I felt that Tomomi was very girlish... her pink bra could be seen through her shirt... hey, what am I seriously considering here.
"Nii-san, I'm going to change this shirt."
Yuuki came back wearing a black satin open-necked shirt. Her collar was somewhat pointy... she looked like a host. After she wore such a cool-looking shirt her boy-power increased, it didn't feel odd at all.
How do I tell a girl like this that girl power = underwear power.
"By the way, what colour are your panties? Umm, I don't mean it in a perverted way."
"Yeah. I think seeing them would be faster."
Drats. My question was too much, but Yuuki's a natural airhead. While still in front of me, she unfastened her jeans' belt.
"Wait wait wait! My question was a bit weird, but taking off your clothes to show it is even weirder isn't it?
"Eh? Ah... y-you're right. Even if we're siblings it's no good to show it is it. By the way, what colour of my pants should I have to raise my girl power?"
"According to what I found on the net, it's not only the colour but also design that's important. You don't need to take it off, but what kind of underwear are you wearing? It's a question without any ulterior motives and only for the sake of confirming, I have no feelings to be guilty of."
"I get it, Nii-san. Umm, that'll be ones like boxer shorts, briefs-type with colourful patterns. As expected, trunks are a bit too drafty."
She laughed embarrassedly and shyly tilted her head again.
"What about b-bra?"
"I have them wrapped with a bandage, but it can no longer hold them. Actually, I don't know what kind of underwear I should buy."
Yuuki dropped her shoulders. It seems like her girl power increases when she's depressed. But her charm's completely ruined when that happens. I want to help her to gain some girl power with all my might.
"Don't worry Yuuki. I'll tell you what kind of underwear to buy."
Her pupils were sparkling, and she gazed at me passionately. Naive to boot Yuuki didn't have even a hint of irony nor malicious intent in her. However...
"If you look at me with so much respect, I feel like I was praised for saying something perverted. I'm not very knowledgeable, but even if you can't talk to female clerks in the shops you can still do your shopping through the internet right? Let's take full advantage of IT!"
"T-that's right. I do shopping through the net quite often. I even dared to order clothes like that before."
"By clothes, you mean girl's clothes?"
She narrowed her shoulders, and she became smaller as she lost confidence.
"Y-yes. Is it weird?"
"Not at all. Yuuki's really great. Thanks to that this problem's almost gone. Just like you ordered the clothes via net, you can pick a cute bra for yourself."
"P-pick a cute bra by myself?! Impossible, choose one for me Nii-san. T-then even if its see-through or a p-perverted one... I will..."
"You need to decide for yourself. Isn't it important for you to find out what's『Cute』 for you?"
"Find... what's cute?"
"Yeah. You need to find out what you think is cute and become like that. That's how you'll polish yourself and at the same time your girl power will go up."
I said aloud an opinion written on the net.
"Th-then... can you look together... with me?"
Yuuki blushed and took a glance at my face.
"Of course. Let's use your smartphone or a PC from now on."
"Yes. I'll bring it now."
She retracted to the bedroom and brought a laptop. It was a big all-in-one type.
"Nii-san, can I check the Twitter first?"
"Y-yeah, I don't mind."
She opened her favourite Twitter site. She checked the tweets on neighbourhood net celebrity's "Undying Cicada" twitter.
"She didn't tweet anything at all. I wonder if Cicada-san's all right."
"Are you this person's fan?"
"Does Nii-san know Cicada-san as well?"
In a broader sense, it could be said we're living under the same roof... Then, Yuuki continued.
"Since Cicada-san didn't tweet anything ever since the week started, I'm a bit worried."
"Why is this person so famous?"
"You see, Cicada-san is making clothes. But she doesn't just make them for anyone, she's famous only because she makes them for people she likes you know?"
"Can it be that you had clothes made by her?"
"Y-yes. It's a great fortune and honour to get them. In fact, it was sent to my place just the other day."
"Why don't you wear it?"
"With my girl power I can't equip it yet... but someday, I want to become a splendid girl and wear it."
I've discovered a surprising connection in an unexpected place. However, considering how Yuuki and Selene are related, it's better that I don't spoil it. Yuuki might be pleased that the person she admired is her own little sister, and Selene would probably be embarrassed. Let's change the topic.
"Then, for the sake of doing that let's tour websites with female underwear."
"Yeah! Let's do our best Nii-san!"
Using her laptop, I input 'Girl's underwear' in the search bar and used image search. The result was something amazing.
"Nii-san! How much girl power does a lucky star on the chest give?"
"Try to filter that kind of thing in your brain."
"On this woman's pants there's no cloth on the sides?"
"It seems like it's called C-string, it's made so that the characteristic pantyline isn't seen, it might be good with a yukata but let's pass on that kind of advanced thing."
"This one has a hole gaping in the middle..."
"Pass pass pass! Let's move to next one!"
"I wonder if ropes can be counted as underwear?
"Probably... no, absolutely not."
"Ah! This print's cute!"
Yuuki finally found her 'cute' standard, they were panties of a girl from Pretty Girls Rangers Fruity.
"Yuuki. That's something an elementary-schooler would wear."
"I-is that so. This is difficult."
Afterwards, Yuuki and I browsed some websites for a while and finally found one that had cute lingerie for teenage girls. After buying several pieces of clothing we finished shopping. After closing her laptop Yuuki stretched.
"Thank you Nii-san. I feel like my girl power will sky rocket if I wear this. It's about time for dinner, you must be hungry right?"
"Ah, yeah. That's right, I'm actually starving."
The dinner was refrigerated food. Although if she could cook her girl power would rise, but it seemed like Yuuki was bad at cooking. The two of us ate cooked rice, a mini hamburger with a fried chicken that was a prefect side dish for a boxed lunch and cooked vegetables in a small cup.
After that, Yuuki prepared a bath.
"Want to go inside together, Nii-san?"
"If you were to be a boy, I would've agreed."
"I-is that so. I don't really mind though... go in first, Nii-san."
"Then I won't hold back. Don't peep okay?"
"There's no way I'd do that. Nii-san's weird."
I was relieved seeing Yuuki laugh it off. In fact, unlike the time back when Sayuri broke in, I managed to safely finish the bath.
After that until the time was over, I spent it watching TV with Yuuki. An anime-specialized TV channel was broadcasting Pretty Girls Rangers Fruity. Apparently it was a rerun.
"It's surprising that Nii-san watches anime."
"You hate anime?"
"Not at all, I actually love it. I tend to act a bit like the lively Orange-chan, but my ideal is to be like Grape-chan who's full of adult's charm."
For Yuuki anime might actually be a material that helps her polish her girl power. Even though it's for children.
After we finished watching one episode, it was nearly twelve o'clock, midnight.
"Now then, it's about time."
"Won't you stay over for the night?"
"Even if it's the room of my little sister candidate, I can't stay over. I'll be going back."
"I-I see. It's a shame but it can't be helped."
Seeing Yuuki's smile as she sent me off from the front door, my heart slightly ached.
I wonder if she was able to think of herself as a girl thanks to today's girl power training.
I hope I was able to properly help her out like a brother should.
Notes and References
12th of April, Friday
Fifth Little Sister. Elementary Schooler. Bear.
During lunch break Mariko suddenly asked me if she could come over to play. I felt it was a bit inappropriate for a girl to come over to someone who's living alone. Now, school was over and I couldn't return to my own room.
Hiding the circumstances in Taishido house, I dodged the subject with great difficulty. Mariko surely was worried about me living alone. That's why I was happy with just her feelings.
In exchange, I promised to go out for shopping with her at some other time.
As I recalled the events that happened in school, I heard a voice from the intercom after I rang the Room 201's chime.
"Who is calling? Is it delivery?"
It was a voice of a young girl. Since there was a camera attached to intercom, my appearance must've been visible on the other side...
"Eh, umm... I'm Taishido Yoichi. It's not a delivery."
"Are you Nii-chama?"
Nii-chama? She probably meant Nii-sama.
"Y-yes. Will you open the door?"
"'You can't open door to strangers' is what the Nee-chama living next to Mii-chan said."
Nee-chama probably meant Nee-sama... hey, does such a kind person live next door?
The smart key also functions as the door key, and was already open, but if I went in forcefully she would be surprised. The girls' voice was very young. I felt like she had to be in early years of elementary school.
"So you're Mii-chan?"
"Yup! Mii-chan's name is Ookuma Mika."
"With this both me and Mii-chan know each other. Then, could you open the door?"
"That's true! Then, I'll open it."
I thought the way I said it sounded like a line a criminal would say.
The intercom was cut off and the door opened after few seconds.
From the gap of the door appeared a very little girl, she was small enough to be taken in arms and raised up. She opened the door with her left hand. She was dressed in pink, frilly lolita dress and carried a teddy bear in her right. A little girl. No matter how I looked at her, she was a little girl.
"H-hi there. Mika-chan."
"It's Mii-chan. Hello Nii-chama. Eh? There's no greeting for me?"
Mika muttered to herself, I looked at the face of the teddy bear she was carrying.
"Is that what that bear said?"
"It's not a bear. His name is Maple. So call him Maple."
"N-nice to meet you, Maple."
"As long as you understand. Nice to meet you! He says."
After being forgiven by Mika and Maple, I finally entered the room. Now then, it seems like this will be tricky as well.
If I were to arrange the little sister candidates I met up until now it would be, a clothes-making and a shut-in girl, having male hobbies and competition-crazy girl, a preparing and scheming (?) serious girl and a girl with male brain that hopes to become a girl. That's a lot of variety, and in the end appeared an orthodox loli little girl.
The living room was cleaner than I thought it would be. Surprising. In the first place, can a girl this young live alone?
Furniture in the room was mostly pink, thanks to that the room has a cute and bright atmosphere.
On top of the table, there was a huge piggybank. There was a pink randosel placed on sofa's side. I glanced at the kitchen, but it didn't seem to be used at all. I wonder what does she do about meals.
"By the way, how old are you?"
"Eleven years old!"
"Then you're elementary school sixth year?"
"Nn. But I'm the smallest in the entire class. I want to be big like Nii-chama is."
She seems younger than her actual age! Sixth year, that meant she's a grade below Selene. With this, I have a full picture of all little sister candidates. The oldest one was Tomomi, a high school first year and the youngest was Mika, in sixth year of elementary school.
One per year, and both Tomomi and me in the same year.
I spat out a sigh in my mind and sat down on a stool that was placed by the table's side.
"Ah! That's Maple's special seat."
"Is that so? Sorry Maple."
"Nii-chama, over here. It's the best seat to watch TV."
I changed my seat to the sofa that was in front of the TV. The TV had a cable television's set top box and a HDD recorder connected to it. I pointed at the recorder.
"Can you use it properly?"
"Nee-chama living next to me taught me how to use it. She's Murasaki-san."
She said Murasaki-san?! For her to live in Taishido residence, the darkest place is under the candlestick huh.
Moreover, for her to properly take care of Mika. She was perfect at her work... but I had an impression of her as a cold person, it must've been my misunderstanding.
"I see. I know Murasaki-san as well. She's a good person."
"Yup! She's Maple's bride candidate. When Maple reaches marriageable age, they'll start dating."
Mika seems attached to Murasaki-san.
She hugged Maple and sat down on the special seat Maple was usually seating on and while looking up at me from under-look after lowering her face she asked.
"If Mii-chan becomes Nii-chama's little sister, she will be rich?"
Suddenly, she asked a question in a way too straightforward manner.
Suddenly, I became more aware of the piggy-bank that was conspicuously placed in the middle of the table.
"How many 500 yen coins I get?"
"How many eh... a lot... I guess?"
"I wonder if all of them would fit in Bu-chan."
She stared at the piggy bank and muttered worriedly. How innocent. Also, she seemed a bit uneasy. She was young, therefore it could not be helped.
"Why 500 yen coins? Normally people would prefer 10000 yen bills right?"
"Because it's strongest, biggest and cool. Isn't that right, Maple?"
Mika grabbed Maple's neck and had nod.
"500 yen coins are cool?"
"I don't like floppy ones. Rather than 10000 bill, twenty of 500 yen coins are definitely better."
Mika muttered quietly. If she is to get 10000 yen, she'd prefer coins rather than Yukichi-san, how shrewd. It seems like I can't drop my guard just because she's a little girl.
"That's right! Nii-chama, try hugging Bu-chan. It's Mika's treasure!"
I stared at the piggy bank on the table. Its surface was very clean, it was made out of a shiny ceramics.
"You can't drop it. Be gentle."
I slowly lifted the piggy bank with both of my hands.
Heavy. It was really quite heavy. The coins were ringin and jingling inside.
"He ate quite a lot didn't he."
Though it was a type of piggy bank that had the coins put in through the back, saying it ate was strange, but Mika nodded vigorously.
"You see, Bu-chan got so heavy Mii-chan no longer can lift him."
"Then, do you want me to carry him somewhere?"
"Nnn. He's all right over there. He's one of Mii-chan's collection after all."
"Collection you mean... no, but, you must have saved up quite a lot haven't you?"
"Listen listen! When I do shopping, I make it so there's 500 yen coin in change. That's because Mii-chan's good with wealth management."
I think that's a bit different from wealth management.
"You see, Nee-chama living next door hugged Mii-chan and said so."
"Yup. Because Mii-chan always hugs Maple she knows it's needed for real fulfilment, Nee-chama must be lonely. She says it's okay to hug, she hugs me reaaally tight and gives me a few 500 yen coins. Fund raising you see. Ah...what do I do. Mii-chan was told it was supposed to be a secret, that's what Nee-chama said."
As she gave away the secret, Mika hung her head down looking uncomfortable.
That's not fund raising but hush money to make her behave isn't it. I feel like I've seen Murasaki-san's calculative side.
"How many times did she hug you?"
"One time in a week since I moved in. Ten times?"
"So return that many to Murasaki-san. If you do that, the lie won't count."
It's a ridiculous logic even if I do say so myself, but hearing my words, Mika's perfectly round pupils started to shine brilliantly. Her cheeks turned pink with relief and she excitedly opened her mouth.
"I-is Nii-chama a genius?"
That's too much praise. With that said, I can't suddenly tell Mika 'give money back', it would be weird.
"Umm... giving her money back would be a bit weird.... how about Mika secretly asks about her birthday?"
"To buy a birthday present. If you bought a present for 5000 yen it would be perfect."
"I understand. Mii-chan will do it."
Murasaki-san's birthday might not be any time soon, but it was definitely better than returning the money.
"Also, umm... does Mika hate being hugged by Murasaki-san?"
"There is no such thing. It's not good nor bad."
That was quite a subtle way to put it.
"If you don't hate it, and you don't need money, if you said it's okay to hug wouldn't Murasaki-san be happy?"
"Nii-chama thinks that's good?"
"Then I'll do that."
I'm happy that she trusted me completely, but I'm afraid she's a bit too pure.
When I tried to find something to drink, I found instant cocoa powder and milk. That was all that's been in the nearly-empty fridge.
"Doesn't Mika prepare any food?"
"Nee-chama next door said 'it's dangerous, wait until you enter middle school'. And so, I only make cocoa until Nee-chama comes."
"I see. By the way, at what hour does she usually come?"
"She comes once in two days. Also, she hugs me in the weekends."
That's quite frequently. No wonder the expiration date on the milk in the refrigerator made it seem like it was new.
"And what else did she tell you?"
"Nee-chama doesn't talk much. We always have a cup of cocoa together, watch TV, and clean. Sometimes we go for shopping and eat snacks, but she doesn't talk much. I wonder if Nee-chama hates Mii-chan."
"No, I don't think she hates you."
Rather than that, it seems like she bares her maternal instinct.
So the reason Mika's room is cleaned up like this is also because of Murasaki-san. But it seems like she isn't interfering with other little sister candidates, I guess Mika's the youngest so it can't be helped.
"What do you do about dinner during the days Murasaki-san doesn't come?"
"You see, Mii-chan likes pizza from delivery. It's roundy round. Maple likes pizza as well. Honey topping for me. He says! Maple's so childish."
I don't really understand Maple's character... but that's that and this is this, delivery pizza is it. That's pretty expensive.
"Mii-chan's hungry. Nii-chama! Let's eat pizza! Today Nii-chama came over so lets have L-size pizza. It's Mii-chan's treat."
Am I going to be treated to food by my little sister (candidate), aren't I! Is what i want to say, but I'll hold back. Right now, I've been already treated to food by other little sister candidates, so I'll treat them all fairly.
Mika ordered a pizza over the phone. Since it was the pizzeria she used all the time, she only said "The usual one but L size please." and with that she cut the call.
In the meanwhile before the pizza comes, we were watching cable TV's anime channel together, and I looked around the room to see if there's a booklet manual from before.
I couldn't find it anywhere on the surface, maybe Murasaki-san properly hid it somewhere it couldn't be seen.
Soon after, the door's chime rang with a *ding-dong*. Mika checked the Taishido's entrance hall on the intercom's LCD screen. It was pizza delivery. Mika said "I'm opening the door. Thank you." notifying the pizza delivery man and unlocked the front door. The home delivery person must've been accustomed to it, since soon enough sound of the room's door chime rang out.
We went to the door together and received pizza. Mika began to rummage in Maple's back and opened a zipper. From inside she pulled out a pink wallet, and paid with a ten thousand bill. The home delivery person gave Mika the change and went back.
"Nii-chama, today's change was 6520 yen. That's a 500 coin get.
"Can it be, you paid with a 10000 yen bill because you wanted that?"
"Yup! You see, Mii-chan loves 500 yen coins."
Mika put away the bill change in the wallet, and after putting it back in Maple she placed the 500 yen coin in the piggy back in the middle of living room.
She stared at the remaining 20 yen with her young eyes. I was puzzled as I held the box with burning hot pizza.
"Today's 10 yen coins are not good enough."
"Not good enough?"
"Yup. They're best when they're all shiny, but today it's mat brown."
The change had also smaller coins, new ones are usually beautiful and shiny, especially the ten yen coins.
"That's a shame. Let's eat before it's cold. Also, this is really a feast."
"Yup! Let's eat let's eat!"
I took out plates from the dish rack in the kitchen and arranged them on the table in the living room.
There was a pouch with tabasco sauce taped to pizza's box. Since there was no tabasco sauce in Mika's refrigerator, I'll use that instead.
As the box was opened, steam rose from the box. It was burning hot.
I don't remember eating a delivery pizza before. Granny always prepared dinner properly... just a little, but I was excited.
It was so called Quattro pizza, it was made so you could enjoy four types of pizza.
There was part with salami, sausage and meat; part with seafood in basil sauce; part that only had plenty of cheese on it; and a simple part that was simple and had fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on it. It was big enough to make my stomach feel heavy just by looking at its volume.
"Waa. Today Mii-chan will try the cheese one."
"Because I can't eat it all at once, I microwave and eat it later."
That's quite a sad way to eat.
"But, since Nii-chama is here today with me, it might be so delicious I'll eat it all. Nii-chama, go on and eat!"
I've been prompted to eat by an elementary schooler. Mika took a piece of the pizza with plenty of cheese and placed it on her own plate. I put the meat-based and seafood-based ones on my plate.
"Au... here starts the trial."
Mika's face suddenly turned serious.
"What is it?"
"This, I need to use it. Mii-chan always has trouble with pizza because of this."
Mika took the pouch with tabasco sauce that was attached to the box in her hand.
"Need to use it, you mean the tabasco?"
"Yup. Even though pizza is delicious without it..."
"The fact that it's attached doesn't mean you need to use it."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah. That's how it is."
So she put up with spicy pizza up until now. Poor thing.
"Then, what to do. Will Nii-chama drink it?"
"I won't drink it! Well, it's a waste to throw it away without using. From now on, just ask them not to bring tabasco... no, wait."
I remembered something I saw on a TV show before.
"Lend me a ten yen coin you got for change before."
Mika handed to me one ten yen coin that was lying arranged on the table. Also, I took a few tissues from her as well.
"Nii-chama, what are you doing?"
"I'm going to put this ten yen coin in tabasco."
"Is that tasty?"
"I'm not going to eat it."
I poured a small amount of tabasco, then I put the coin inside and brushed it with a tissue. As a result, the ten yen coin regained its lustre in just a moment.
10 yen coins are made out of copper, it's a metal that's prone to oxidation. Components that are contained in tabasco can clean the dirt through reduction reaction.
After it was polished and shiny on both sides, I returned the 10 yen coin to Mika. Her big eyes were gleaming and sparkling.
With one more 10 yen coin by her side, Mika muttered while alternating between looking at my face and the coins.
"So Nii-chama is a sorcerer?"
"Calling me a sorcerer is exaggerated."
It was just something I've heard from TV, but considering how pleased she is, it's good that I remembered it.
Mika looked at the cleaned coin, and her smile wouldn't go off. That's too much.
"Amazing amazing! Mii-chan respects Nii-chama so much now. Next time I'll tell my friends in school. Nii-chama, can I tell them? Is it all right with patents and such?"
"It's- it's all right. Now then, lets eat."
Yup. She nodded strongly. Every gesture of hers is so young, really adorable.
""Thank you for the food""
The two of us ate the pizza. Mika's stomach was full after eating a piece of cheese and meat-based pizza. I've conquered all four types and was overwhelmed by the volume of cheese. It was delicious, but it was something to be eaten with a bigger amount of people.
After the meal we settled down while drinking cocoa with plenty of milk. In the end, the remaining pizza was put into the refrigerator after wrapping it on a dish. As I absent-mindedly looked at the anime channel in the TV, Mika placed an origami pack on the table.
"Nii-chama, let's play with origami."
How calm and peaceful. When compared to shooting games, it was really girlish.
"So what are we going to make."
"Mii-chan will make a crane, Because she can do anything."
Mika exclaimed *ehem* with pride. She had a big haughty expression. Ah, how cute. That was the only impression I could think of.
"Then, can you teach me how to fold a crane?"
"Okay! Umm, you see. First of all choose paper. Mii-chan likes orange today."
"In that case, me too..."
I pulled out a piece of paper from the pack of origami. Oh... jackpot. It was golden paper.
"N-no! Nii-chama can't use glittery gold! Put it back! Hurry up and put it back!"
As Mika almost burst into tears, I put the gold one back in a hurry and pulled out a blue origami paper instead.
"Gold one is no good?"
"It's very valuable so it need to be used properly! Nii-chama's lacking delicacy for it!"
Certainly, there's usually only one gold and silver ones per pack. They're rare.
I folded the paper cranes just as Mika taught me. I did it a long time ago but unexpectedly I no longer remembered it and had to be taught by her.
The orange and blue paper cranes were completed and Mika happily arranged them on top of a TV stand. The blue crane seemed a bit awkward. Seeing Mika's nicely folded crane I had a feeling of wanting to redo mine.
"Cranes made by Mii-chan and Nii-chama fly side-by side."
"Y-yeah. That's right."
Reminded of something Mika turned towards the clock that was on the room's wall.
"Ahh! I need to hurry! Nii-chama, please wait a moment."
She placed Maple on the stool, went to the bedroom and immediately after she came back. She had a tablet in her hands.
Mika started an application on the tablet. It was a very popular with kids application that allowed growing mushrooms. She dragged the mushrooms that grew close to timber logs with her finger.
*Popopo〜〜n!* Together with a light sound effect, the grown mushrooms were harvested.
"You like mushrooms?"
"Yup! They're super cute! Also, they can be picked up! Nii-chama can try picking them up."
"Oh, okay. Then by all means."
The moment I dragged two rows with my finger, Mika raised a voice.
"Why does Nii-chama pick up so many all at once, nooo!"
"N-no, I just did as Mika told me to."
"That's true but, picking up so much at once is too many."
Mika blushed shyly for some reason. After I returned the tablet she set up mushrooms to grow again and closed the application.
"Fuu... this is a relief."
"That's quite an exaggerated relief."
"If it's not done properly, they can't be picked up tomorrow, with this it'll be all right."
Certainly, my lady.
"Oh, Nii-chama! Let's read a book!"
"Sure, I'll read any book you want."
Once again, Mika passed the tablet to me. I see, an e-book. Murasaki-san must've bought it and taught Mika how to read it.
After verifying the account after opening the e-book application, Murasaki-san's name was registered with it.
On the bookcase displayed there were multiple picture books registered.
"Which book do you want me to read?"
"Mii-chan's a sixth year. She graduated from picture books last year. She's an onee-san. But since books are full of kanji, it's troubling."
"Troubling... if it's children's books, they normally should be full of furigana right?"
"Mii-chan chose and bought books by herself!"
So that's how it was. Mika overdid it a little and now she wanted me to read the book she bought.
After flicking the page of bookshelf Mika tapped the book's cover.
A cover appeared only for an instant, there was an illustration of a girl on it.
The text was immediately displayed, the title was 『Princess Knight Maria』.
"Nii-chama, hurry hurry!"
I didn't know what was its content, but it seemed to be a fantasy thing. I read aloud the first lines on the page.
"I-I don't want to give birth to orc's bab... STOP!"
"Nii-chama, what's an 'orc'? By baby, you mean a little baby?"
It was almost as if Mika's driven me into a corner intentionally, such a handful. However, it didn't seem like she did it to gain any merits. In other words, it was natural. Pure, dreadful.
"Hey Mika, this book is for adults."
"Mii-chan's an adult! She's Maple's mom!"
"T-this book is only for adult men to read. That's what the law says."
"Yeah. That's why let's stop reading it."
"Nuu! Then I wish I never bought it."
It's just as you say. I operated the tablet and changed the age setting for books that can be purchased to 'twelve years old'.'
"Let's try another book, pick one from here!"
"Yup, if Nii-chama says so, it can't be helped."
"Is there anything else you want to do?"
Right now, I wanted to grant any request of her.
"You see, Mii-chan also wants to help out. She's been consulting with Maple before. He said 'Mii-chan also can do adult work, she's a splendid lady'. Akko-chan and Kenta-kun help out in their homes, it's strange that only Mii-chan doesn't need to do it."
"You're not helping Murasaki-san?"
"It's not in contract, so don't help... is what she says. Mii-chan is always just looking."
These words struck me right in the chest. So Murasaki-san's been coming to check on Mika because of the will of Taishido Jinya's after all? I didn't want to think it's just that.
"I see. So Mika wants to help out."
"Yup! 'If you help out you'll get pocket money.' they said."
It seems like she had even more firmer work ethics than Selene. Wanting to help out in exchange for pocket money is having ulterior motives though... but wanting to work is not a bad thing.
Even if it's not pocket money, if Mika does her best there should be some kind of way to give her a modest reward... a reward eh? What she might want other than money... I have no idea.
"I'm not sure about the pocket money... but I do understand that you really do want to help out."
"It's good that Nii-chama understands really faast.... fuaaa..."
Mika started to rub her eyes and yawn, The time was still just 9 p.m.
"Mika, when do you usually go to sleep?"
"Nine o'clock. Maple wants to stay up late but sleep is a powerful enemy. Nii-chama, can Mii-chan go to sleep? She took a bath before Nii-chama came."
"S-sure. Sorry for not noticing earlier."
Mika went to washroom with unsteady footsteps and brushed her teeth. Her eyes were already half-closed.
"Well then, good night."
"Oh right I'll pull out the blanket."
"Yup. Thank you Nii-chama. I love you."
She rushed to the bedroom, apparently she was at her limit. After dramatically falling on the bed she embraced maple and started to breathe deeply in her sleep.
I pulled out the comforter and spread it, covering Mika. The moment I was about to turn off the light and close the door, she rolled over on the bed.
If I don't choose Mika, I wonder what would happen with her. I can't leave other little sister candidates either but... I went back to the living room, sat on the couch and turned off the TV.
Not doing anything in particular, I kept thinking as I waited for twelve o'clock to come for the key to open my own room. My thoughts were confused, I couldn't come up with any conclusion.
Tomorrow's Saturday. It seems like I'll just continue worrying until the day's over.
Notes and References
- ↑ For those who are curious, kanji for 'kuma' in her name does not mean a bear.
- ↑ It seems like she spoke for the bear, also, the bear-mika speaks with オレ (ore), non-kanji version though.
- ↑ firm-sided backpack made of stitched firm leather or leather-like synthetic material, most commonly used in Japan by elementary schoolchildren
- ↑ Bu-chan nickname comes from 豚 (buta) – pig.
- ↑ On the 10000 bills there's a portrait of Fukuzawa Yukichi (福澤 諭吉).
- ↑ furigana are small kana symbols above the kanji that indicate how to read the kanji
- ↑ Seems to be one of himekishi series... a reference to a series of hentais.
13th of April, Saturday
Onslaught. Counterattack. Annihilation.
The first weekend after moving has come.
I've continuously worried ever since last night, and in the end I was unable to decide anything. I got out of my bed and washed my face and teeth.
This week I've been going straight to my little sister candidates' rooms so the refrigerator was empty. The tableware and cooking utensils were uniformly aliged in the kitchen, even though there were sponge and detergent, there were no seasonings at all.
"What to do about breakfast..."
Just when I thought of changing clothes and going out to a gyudon or hamburger stall... that's when.
*ding-dong*, the door's chime rang out.
I checked the intercom's LCD screen, but there was no one at the entrance hall of Taishido residence. Just when I was about to change the view to what was in front of the door, came loud clanging sound of a door being opened... a burglar?!
I looked for something to use in the kitchen. Knife was no good. It was hard to intimidate with it, it could result with a fatal wound if the opponent was stabbed.
Then I took out a brand new frying pan out of the kitchen's storage space, it could be used for both attacking and as a shield... I think. With a frying pan in my hand I stood next to the living room's door, it was a blind spot for someone who was entering, I clung to the wall tightly.
As I waited while holding the frying pan's handle, I've heard *tap tap tap* sound of footsteps approaching.
Oh my god. The enemy's not alone. There're several burglars. It might not be just a robbery. Maybe they are trying to kidnap me for ransom? I can't beat this many people.
Living room's door opened.
Argh, if it's come to this I'll at least take one of them with me. I swung my arm equipped with a frying pan... and I was held strongly by my elbow, I couldn't complete the swing... at a girl.
"Nii-chan, that's dangerous. What are you doing?"
"Wai... wha... why are you here, Tomomi?"
Tomomi was wearing a reddish brown jersey, and she gently let go of my elbow.
"Even if you ask me why, it's not just me."
Little sister candidates poured into the living room.
"Waa! The TV in Nii-chama's room is so biiig. And the room is all super big too!"
While holding Maple in her arms, Mika started to run around the living room. She was wearing her usual pink frilly apron-like dress.
"Onii-sama's room is the entirety of the seventh floor. As expected of the heir of the Taishido... I'll prepare breakfast immediately."
Holding an eco bag with plenty of ingredients stood Sayuri, she was wearing a modest one piece and smiled. She took the frying pan from my hand.
"Just say a single word and I'll come over to make food every day."
Once in the kitchen, Sayuri checked on the seasonings and the refrigerator.
"Oh, as expected. Please rest assured. I have everything that's needed right here."
"Ah! I want a large serving!"
Tomomi raised her hand and appealed to Sayuri.
"I don't have enough supplies for several people."
"What's that, stingyy!"
Are all of them acquaintances? Rather than that, why did they come to my room.
Selene showed up in the living room by crawling on the floor. This one... she's wearing the same T-shirt as the one at the time we met. I sincerely hope you change your clothes and wash it.
A figure crawling on the ground while dragging her long black hair, it was scary and looked like a scene from a horror movie.
"H-hey! Are you okay?"
"...Onii-chan, water please."
I took out a glass from a cupboard in a hurry, twisted the faucet in the kitchen's sink and filled the glass. After making Selene sit down on the sofa, I gave her the glass with water.
"...going outside is hard after all."
"You're not outside. This mansion is a building."
"...outside of the entrance is different world..."
After drinking the water, Selene started coughing. Is this girl really all right?
Mika also sat down on the sofa in front of the TV and placed Maple beside her, she operated the TV with a remote control and immediately turned on the anime-specialized channel.
"Waaai! It's Orange-chan!"
As Pretty Girls Rangers Fruity was airing, Mika's pupils shined.
At that moment, Selene raised her face. Her pupils... were also shining.
"...you like Orange-chan?"
"Yup! Nee-chama likes her too?"
"Then we're friends."
"...nn. Mika-chan, can I hug you?"
Suddenly, Selene asked Mika.
"Eh, umm... sure! Since we're friends!"
Selene hugged Mika and started to grope her body.
"...okay, this is enough."
"Is that all?"
Although it was a very mysterious method of communicating, it seemed like Mika didn't mind... so let's ignore it.
As anime loving friendship (?) bloomed, I finally noticed.
Yuuki wasn't there. As the tallest one she should be standing out... what the hell happened?
As I looked in the corridor by the entrance, I found Yuuki in a T-shirt and an overall, she was sitting down in the corner of the corridor while holding her knees.
"H-hey Yuuki, what happened?"
She raised her face, there were tears in her eyes.
"Nii-san! T-there's a lot of g-girls... I... I am...!"
Trembling lightly, it seemed like even though they were her sisters, the fear of girls didn't subside.
"Are you going to sit in a place like that instead of coming over here?"
"I g-gg-get it N-Nii-san."
Her legs were shaking like those of a newborn fawn, but she stood up somehow.
A smell of fried bacon and eggs flowed from the kitchen. There was also a smell of toasts, it all strongly stimulated my apetite.
Sayuri held a frying pan in her hand and smiled while looking at Tomomi.
"Tomomi-san is the oldest daughter, so please take the initiative and act like a role model by helping out."
"W-what eldest daughter! I'm Nii-chan's little sister!"
"Please prepare the plates. I have my hands full with bacon and eggs."
"It feels like I'm being used and it's annoying."
Sayuri and Tomomi's line of sight met and sparks appeared between them, then, Mika bounced off the sofa standing up.
"Mii-chan will help out!"
She quickly ran to the kitchen, but her feet suddenly tangled.
It was too late when I raised my voice. Mika was falling straight ahead to hit the ground... and when I though that, the one who showed her super-fast reaction speed was Yuuki. She gently held Mika from behind and supported her.
Mika didn't know what happened, and stood there while spacing out.
*popp*, Yuuki released Mika's body. Mika turned around and stared at Yuuki. The tall girl straightened her t-shirt and asked Mika.
"Are you all right? Running around the room is dangerous."
"Yes! Thank you Nee-chama! Mii-chan will be careful."
Seeing Mika's smile, Yuuki's expression loosened. From her perspective Mika was only a child and not a woman, she was too weak to target her.
Mika turned around once again, and this time she walked to the kitchen slowly, she tried to take out plates from the cupboard. However, the shelf was too high and small Mika couldn't reach the top.
"Can't be helped. Geez, watch out since it's heavy."
After taking out the plates from the cupboard, she handed them to Mika.
"Thank you Nee-chama!"
"Nee-chama you say... well, if a shorty says it, it can't helped."
It seems like even Tomomi had to admit that Mika was adorable. Well, that's that, but I'm worried about that awkwardness between her and Sayuri. And just as I thought of that, a trembling voice called me from behind.
"Selene, why don't you try to emulate Mika a little?"
"...next time, if there's a chance."
"Haa... I get it, water it is."
I sighed and took an empty glass from her hands.
For a while now, I've been running between them not knowing where to look.
After turning off three stove outlets Sayuri turned towards me.
"Onii-sama, I apologize but today I could only prepare something this simple."
"It's more than enough. Thank you Sayuri. By the way, why are all of you in my room?"
"Let's talk about it in details as we eat."
"Need me to help you with anything?"
"Then, please prepare cups with instant soup."
Sayuri washed the lettuce with water and placed it into bowls as a dressing and smiled to me.
A bacon and eggs on toast, in cup there was a potage salad, it was a complete western-style breakfast. There was a large six-seater dining table. I was sitting in the middle, on my left and right were seating Sayuri and Tomomi. On the opposite side Mika was on the left, then Yuuki in the middle and Selene on the right.
Everyone was eating breakfast together around the same table. I thought it will be lively...
But until everyone finished eating, no one was speaking. An awkward atmosphere was reigning over the place.
After Selene finished eating, she suddenly stood up and went to Tomomi's side.
"...a, ahh... my body by itself..."
Without any real reason, Selene suddenly threw her arms around Tomomi.
"H-hey! What are you doing all of a sudden!"
"Ahh! Stop this! Don't grope my breasts!"
As Selene plunged her face into her breasts, Tomomi turned bright red up to the tip of her ears.
"...dizziness was healed."
She suddenly moved away from Tomomi, muttered and went back to her own seat. Tomomi was still blushing, and she raised her voice in confusion.
"A-Aa-anyway, the bread was really tasty!"
She tried to change topic. Even so, I wonder what Selene wanted.
Sayuri had a slightly proud expression on her face.
"It's because I've made it last night. Even though it's handmade, the fully automatic home bakery has been used. Onii-sama, did it not suit your taste?"
"It was delicious. By the way, you said you prepared it yesterday. Does that mean it was decided that you will gather here today?"
"Yes. That's how it is. It looks like Onii-sama was not informed about it. Keys to our rooms also work as the key to Room 701 which will be shared in the weekends."
"I haven't heard about that!"
It were only two weeks, so not even a single day could be wasted, but for it to happen in such an unexpected way. Tomomi beside me nodded.
"So that's why Nii-chan was all nervous and stood there holding a frying pan. You must've thought it's a robbery or something."
I was started by Tomomi's lucky guess and confessed obediently.
"Eh, that's right. I haven't heard anything, and I was surprised right after waking up."
I wonder if this was also part of the will. Well, it was too late now to ask Murasaki-san about it.
"So, all of you are acquaintances?"
"Nope, you're wrong."
"No, you are wrong."
Tomomi and Sayuri spoke at the same time, and glared at each other again.
"I will explain everything to Nii-chan, so why don't you leave it to me?"
"The role to relay everything properly to Onii-sama should be left to a calm and composed person like me."
"I-I'm the oldest little sister."
"Then, all the more you shouldn't be a bother. I will explain everything to Onii-sama."
"No fair! That's right, let's have a match! Rock-paper-scissors, the one who wins will do the explaining!'"
"I must refuse."
Tomomi and Sayuri were like oil and water. I guess I need to arbitrate here.
"You don't need to have any matches. Ah, that's right why don't you do it instead of them, Selene. Won't you explain it to me?"
Seriously, you... can't be helped. Since it's impossible for Mika, let's ask Yuuki.
"Yuuki, please explain."
Awkwardly, Yuuki turned towards me.
"G-girls... if there's so many... it's impossible! I-I'm too nervous!"
"What girls, they're your sisters."
"I-it's our first meeting!"
I reluctantly confirmed it with Sayuri.
"Is that true?"
"It is indeed."
"Ah! Nii-chan, shouldn't you look at me as you ask that?"
Tomomi wasn't a bad person, but I felt like she could make the story confusing.
"Even though it's the first time you meet, it feels like you're getting along well..."
"Nii-chan acted friendly with us right from the beginning as well, right? Maybe it's because we're family?"
Then Sayuri added
"It's a bit too much to call us a family... but it certainly is mysterious. Surely, even though we don't know each other, it might be thanks to sharing Onii-sama's existence."
"What are you going to do about a change of clothes? Are you going back to your rooms?"
Mika smiled innocently.
"See, Mii-chan brought a sleepover backpack so it's okay not to go back!"
Tomomi showed a V sign to me.
"I've a survival set!"
Sayuri shrugged lightly.
"I prepared Kyuu-chan's food and water in advance, I also plan to stay over."
Next was Selene who murmured with dazed expression.
"...can I use the net?"
Yuuki still hasn't regained her composure.
"I-I'm the worst, I can just borrow some of Nii-san's clothes. Ah! Don't worry, I brought my own clothes properly... ahahaha... ahahaha."
In any case, it seems like everyone was prepared to stay over. Hey, they're staying over?!
I went to the hallway to carry in the backpacks and carrybags that were lined up at the door. The little sister candidates followed me like baby ducks after their mother.
"You can put the spare things there, and those rooms are spare, you can pick the one you want to use."
Speaking of which, there were six rooms that could be used for bedrooms, a perfect number. It might be a coincidence, but it's one room each. As soon as I declared, everyone begun to look for a room. Tomomi immediately headed to the widest one.
"Ah, the room Tomomi opened is probably the widest one."
It was equipped with all the furniture for storing, and it felt like a hotel room because of the bed. Its bed was a wide king-sized one.
"Cheh... a miss."
Tomomi muttered disinterested. Sayuri too checked the room next to the one Tomomi has found and closed the door gently. Yuuki fearfully stood in the hallways instead of searching for the room.
And looming behind Yuuki who stood like that, was Selene.
"...careful, it seems like I'm going to fall."
Yuuki let out a silent scream. Selene reached to Yuuki's chest from behind and continued to grope it suspiciously.
"...as I thought..."
After muttering quietly, Selene let go off Yuuki. For a while now, Selene's been doing whatever she pleases.
"W-ww-w-what are you d-doing all of a -s-sudden..."
Selene stared back at protesting Yuuki, just by being stared at Yuuki was unable to continue.
In the midst of such interaction, a young voice echoed in the hallway.
"Ah! Mii-chan likes it here!"
One person, Mika who headed to the room in the back had a smile on her face. There... was my room.
Everyone chased after Mika and Tomomi roared.
"N-no fair! I like it too!"
"Include me as well."
"...then, so do I."
Everyone carried their luggage to my room.
"Uuoooi! Wait a second! That's my room!"
"Dat's what makes it good! Let's sleep together Nii-chan."
"I feel like Tomomi-san is plotting something indecent."
"I-I'm not plotting anything! 's all right since we're siblings. By the way, what does Sayuri mean by 'indecent'?"
"T-that's... I wonder what?"
As Tomomi retorted back to Sayuri, Sayuri made a fake smile and raised her eyebrows.
"Mii-chan will sleep together too. But Maple says that he'll pass since it's too narrow."
"I'll curl up in the corner."
"...Onii-chan. Hurry up and set up WiFi."
In the end, the all broke in my room and made themselves comfortable. Tomomi occupied the chair in front of the study desk, scared Yuuki curled up in the corner of the room, Mika quietly sat down in front of the TV. Selene fell on top of the bed and Sayuri stood there troubled.
"Onii-sama. I have a suggestion. Since this room is so cramped, how about moving into another room together with me?"
Selene who was lying on top of the bed slowly stood up. She unsteadily walked towards Sayuri and clung to her from the front.
"Wai... wh-what are you doing?"
"...ah...just half asleep."
"You're not half asleep are you? Umm... why are touching my chest?"
"...because I love boobs?"
What an outrageous girl, that Selene.
"A-are you a pervert?! At any rate, please let go of me."
After being glared at by Sayuri, Selene released her immediately and fell on the bed in an exaggerated manner.
"Let's depart, Onii-sama."
Mika stared at me anxiously from below.
"Nii-chama is leaving?"
"I'm not going. Rather, everyone get out of my room! I beg you!"
"Let's have a match then! Nii-chan VS Strongest Little Sister Corps. A thrilling series of five matches. We'll decide on what the person who takes three says!"
"Don't arbitrarily decide that!"
"That is right. Please don't try to take lead Tomomi-san. It's Onii-sama who has the initiative. Of course, Onii-sama will choose me, isn't that right? It's fate."
"For a while now you've been trying to sneakily monopolize Nii-chan, as long as this Tomomi-chan's eyes are black, it won't be allowed!"
"Don't think you can do whatever you please just because you're the oldest, I object."
Tomomi and Sayuri squared off again. Meanwhile Mika was alternating and looking at both of them, tears appeared in her eyes.
"S-stoop. I have so many Nee-chama's now, so don't quarrel."
It seemed like Mika's voice didn't seem to reach Tomomi and Sayuri as they heated up.
Sayuri snorted loudly.
"Onii-sama, It's not necessarily a requirement for the oldest daughter to be the representative, is that not so?"
"Y-you're deciding on a leader?"
"If Onii-sama appoints me, I will do anything. If only Onii-sama... is satisfied with me, I will do my best to prepare a breakfast full of love every morning, I will even make you boxed lunches. Leave everything related to the house to me. Please let me serve you beyond what a little sister would."
She was appealing more strongly than during the time we met before. I thought Sayuri was being impatient. Probably, she was competing with Tomomi.
"Were Nii-chan to have a girlfriend, wouldn't that be a position of that girl? Well Nii-chan, that kind of girly hobbies are kinda stiff. Rather than that, for Nii-chan who has no hobbies, a friend-like little sister is a best match!"
Deep inside of my mind I was worried about the 'decide it here and now' atmosphere.
"Same to you, if Onii-sama were to make some friends that would suffice. Can you really fulfil your duties as a little sister? Were you to continue to challenge Onii-sama's schoolmates to matches and beat them, wouldn't it result with him being isolated in the school and hurt?"
"Then, can you have a match with me who does the entertainment play better?"
"A-as if I could do a play for entertainment! Game's are fun because they are played seriously!"
"So you intend to go seriously at Onii-sama's schoolmates and fight them off after all."
Sayuri magnificently aimed at Tomomi's weakness——the fact that she was a competition-crazed idiot. If she's not stopped, Tomomi will go berserk.
"I-it's okay Tomomi. Even if you go too far in a game, I'll just apologize."
"T-then Nii-chan will make me his little sister?"
No good. I need to properly decide, but I haven't thought of a proper answer yet. I didn't have enough time. And as I pondered like that, Sayuri smiled gently to me.
"Onii-sama. If you select me, I will get rid of all your worries."
At this rate I'll be overpowered by Sayuri. Ever since she made breakfast, her strategy to take initiative has begun. As expected of the one holding the highest preparatory-power (studying me) little sister candidate...
"...just like in the manual."
Suddenly, Selene who continued to lie down on the bed face down muttered and turned her head to the side. She stared at Mika who was about to cry. Rather than worried about the two's quarrel, Yuuki was worried about Mika and held her hand. Sayuri's face paled when she heard Selene.
"W-what are you saying, I don't understand."
Tomomi's eyes were moist, and she rode on what Selene said.
"That's right, exactly! Sayuri is acting perfectly as it was said in manual Murasaki-san gave us, I-I couldn't do it properly, it was frustrating!"
Tomomi yelled and sharply pointed at Sayuri.
"S-such a manual does not exist. I don't know what are you talking about."
Next, Tomomi stared straight at me.
"I'm not lying. L-let me say this, Japanese food is impossible for me... b-but I thought I can do it if it's oden... t-that was all I used from the manual."
Sayuri turned to me looking as if she was about to cry.
"It's a lie! Tomomi came up with the existence of the supposedly existing Onii-sama manual to make me the bad guy! Please believe me, Onii-sama!"
Yuuki who continued to hold Mika's hand quietly interjected.
"I couldn't become a cute little sister according to Nii-san's preferences... or rather, I don't have much presence as a girl, so I think Sayuri is amazing. I admire you as the very perfect little sister."
It might have been a follow-up or something, but as Yuuki testified Sayuri's expression further solidified.
Tomomi crouched, aligned her line of sight with Mika's and asked.
"How about Mika?"
"Umm, mm, what's a manual?"
"Did you get a white book from Murasaki-san?"
"Ahh! Mii-chan knows it! But, there is a lot of difficult kanji so she can't read it. I'll read it when I grow up, for now it's closed."
Is that so. In the first place Mika didn't know what's that manual. Sayuri's shoulder started to tremble and spasm.
"I... I don't know any... manuals. There is no way... such a thing exists."
"About that manual though, I... I've seen it in Selene's room on the first day."
"You shouldn't have kept the existence of the manual from me. Sorry, I was careless and found the manual. Even though Sayuri worked hard according to the descriptions in the manual."
Sayuri started to scream while holding her head.
"NnnoooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! How embarassing. I wanted to become Onii-sama's perfect little sister who can cook well, worked hard...! Even though I worked so hard! I did my best! And yet, everything was seen through... uuu... I even made excuses... I, I'm a wicked scheming existence so dark it seems like I have a black hole built in inside that distorts even the light!"
"C-calm down Sayuri. It's my bad."
Though, it seems like Sayuri didn't have time to accept my apology.
"Selene-san is horrible. Telling Onii-sama about the existence of the manual..."
"...trying to match the other party... is tiring."
Tomomi looked at Sayuri with pity.
"Well, were I good with dating simulation games maybe I would have thought 'Let's capture Nii-chan!' like Sayuri did."
Sayuri drew closer to Tomomi with bright red eyes.
"Of course! Or rather, my way of doing things should be normal!"
"E-ei! You're too close! Nii-chan, Sayuri's close! Like, super close!"
What's up with that 'close' chant. In any case, let's try to calm Sayuri down for now.
"Sayuri. Take a deep breath. It's all right, everything is fine. Put a hand on your chest."
She turned away from Tomomi and faced me. Her eyes were hollow. When I wondered what is she thinking, Sayuri took my hand...
"I-I understand. I'll put a hand on my chest."
*ponyon*... and so, my hand has wrapped something warm. Tomomi roared.
"Wai... wh-what are you doingggggggggGGGGGGGGGGGGG!"
Sayuri muttered, her pupils were still hollow.
"I put a hand on my chest. Suhaaa... suhaaa..."
"To me it seems like Nii-chan is groping your boobs though!"
Driven to her very limit, Sayuri was stunned and her awareness returned.
And I too, was influenced and raised my voice.
"How long are you going to touch Nii-chan!"
Tomomi pulled my hand away from Sayuri's breast. Sayuri lost all her strength and fell to the floor.
"Fate... the thread of fate... was cut off. Need to die. I... want to die."
"...don't die. It's just an accident."
Even the person who triggered this accident, Selene showed sympathy.
I was at a loss in this chaotic situation. Unexpectedly, a ringtone of a smartphone rang out. Tomomi picked up the smartphone that was on top of my study desk and threw it to me.
"Uwah! Don't throw it."
"You properly caught it, ain't it fine."
Geez. With her low girl power Tomomi could form a set with Yuuki. When I switched the smartphone to call mode, I couldn't believe my ears. Rather, since the call came I thought it was Murasaki-san.
The caller's name was not displayed.
"H-hey. What happened Mariko?"
And the moment I answered, both Yuuki and Tomomi concentrated on listening. And Sayuri who was sitting and muttering "I want to die" looked up at me.
Selene who was lying all limp on the bed tossed about and turned towards me.
"Just now, a woman's name without honorific!"
"O-O-Onii-sama, you have a lover? Oh you〜"
"As expected of my Nii-san. Bbarely entered school, and already has a girlfriend, amazing. I'm no match for you."
"...for Onii-chan to have a girlfriend... I want to die."
Only Mika was curiously tilting her head.
And Mariko was being herself, she was worried about the bustling noise.
"Ah, no that's... the TV! It's the sound from TV."
For the time being, it seems like I convinced Mariko.
"So, do you have any business at this time in the morning?"
Mariko seemed to be worried whether I woke up properly. I moved the smartphone to other side.
"Even so I try to maintain my regular life's rhythm. I'm not bragging though."
She was worried whether I ate breakfast properly.
"Y-yeah. I'm all right."
After checking whether I was safe (?) Mariko was satisfied and cut the call.
Tomomi and Sayuri communicated by looking at each others' eyes, and nodded to each other.
"Nii-chan's girlfriend... it's not time for sisters to quarrel."
"Agreed. Although I felt like dying just a moment ago... now I want to know what kind of person is Onii-sama's lover."
Since Tomomi and Sayuri thought of something no-good, I explained in advance.
"She's not my girlfriend. Mariko's a childhood friend whom I knew in elementary school and reunited with by chance."
"C-childhood friend! Nii-chan that, that's a flag isn't it!"
"Fateful reunion with a childhood friend? I feel more destiny in the works than there is in my existence."
I sighed and turned my line of sight to Yuuki, this time she was the one who had a blue face.
"I-if by chance Nii-san's girlfriend... comes over to play, I... I might not be able to bear it! I'm nervous even with my sisters! If I meet face-to-face with Nii-san's girlfriend, I-I might d-die!"
It's troubling that my little sisters seem to be on the verge of death for a while now. Mika quietly tilted her neck.
"Nii-chama, what is 'girlfriend'?"
Since I couldn't find an answer, Tomomi proudly stuck out her chest and explained on my behalf.
"Listen Mika. Girlfriend, in other words Freundin. A girl friend. Nii-chan is going to flirt with that person!"
"Ehh! Mii-chan will be neglected?"
"It may become like that. We need to unite and respond to her attack."
"Nii-chama, Mii-chan doesn't want to be neglecteddd."
She clung to my leg like a koala and looked up at me with tears in her eyes. It really gave a feeling of being scared of 'neglect'.
"Is she more important than Mii-chan?"
"In the world there is something like things out of order... things that cannot be put in order."
It was not only Mika, Tomomi looked at me nearly crying as well.
"Surely Nii-chan's girlfriend must at least be using real guns and be able to fly with planes and helicopters, an amazing person right?"
What kind of human being is Tomomi imagining.
"No. She's definitely able to do seasonings without deviating a single gram and her cooking procedures must be perfectly following the instructions. Of course she doesn't even look at the recipes!"
Mariko's bento had a slightly charred fried eggs, she was an owner of extremely normal cooking ability.
"Surely, she must be a girly and cute person."
Yuuki curled up and turned small. Certainly, Mariko's girl power might be high...
"...she's a person who can walk outside."
Selene. Your hurdle is too low.
All the little sister candidates concentrated their gazes on me.
"T-that's why, you see... emm."
I was at a loss how to further explain about Mariko, but then the door's chime unexpectedly rang out. I fled towards the intercom.
"Y-yes, Taishido here!"
"Yoichi-san, Shinonome here. Is it fine to enter?"
On the intercom's screen was reflected a woman wearing a suit.
"P-please come in. I'm opening it now."
I operated the intercom and unlocked it, Murasaki-san entered through the opened door and came to living room as she was. As if I was a bait, everyone moved to the living room.
Little sister candidates had meek expressions. Murasaki-san quickly looked at all of their faces and turned towards me.
"Has the little sister been decided on?"
"E?! Y-you don't mean I have to pick now do you?"
"Yeah. If it's possible then please do."
Gaze of the little sister candidates stabbed into me once again. Everyone was anxious.
"P-please wait a moment, Murasaki-san."
"How long is a moment?"
"How long... hey, the deadline should be next week..."
As my tongue turned numb, Murasaki stared at me intently. Unable to withstand her frosty gaze, I diverted my line of sight. That didn't solve anything. Even I knew that kind of thing.
Murasaki-san sighed lightly.
"I understand. Next week... I will listen to the answer next week on Sunday morning."
She told me so as if it was a final ultimatum.
After a small nod Murasaki-san quietly left the room. In that back, I felt a hint of disappointment. It felt like Murasaki-san was disappointed by me, who couldn't decide.
The moment she left the Room 701, strength drained of all little sister candidates other than Mika.
"That person, I'm kinda bad at dealing with her. My wild instincts tell me 'she's dangerouss'."
"I am the same. How unusual for our opinions to match."
"For me, she would be an object of fear even if she weren't a woman."
"...the referee in charge... scary."
Mika tilted her head lightly.
"What happened? Nee-chama's are weird. Right Maple?"
Only innocent Mika didn't feel the intimidating pressure and maintained her original presence.
As soon as she was released from the tension, Tomomi raised her hand.
"T-that's right! I brought a game with me that everyone can play. Since we're staying at home and have free time, let's play together. Hey! It's okay right, Nii-chan?"
"Um, I that's... i wanted to study though..."
Keeping up with studies in private school is hard. But it was impossible to study in a situation like this.
"If you don't associate with her, your girlfriend will hate you?"
She pulled that out again. Can't be helped.
"Eei. Then let's do this. If I win then you won't mock Mariko any more."
"Theeen, if I win you will make me... oops, making me little sister is out. Other than that, Nii-chan will make one of my wishes true."
"I-It's unfair. Since it's a game Tomomi-san brought, aren't you the one most advantageous?"
"I-I'll pass on it. I haven't actually played any games."
"If you don't, I'll cling and rub my cheeks on you. Since you're weak with girls you won't be able to stand it!"
"Fufufufu. I'm fine with being terrible! Mika will play a game?"
"Yup! You see, Maple says 'serious mode on'!"
"...is it fine to use my controller?"
"Hohou. A capable one."
I dropped my shoulders disheartened. Dejected... or rather, strength left me.
"Heyhey, Tomomi. Can this game be played with this many people?"
"All right I said didn't I. It has left its name in the history of computer games, a super masterpiece sugoroku-type board game. With the expansion pack even six people can play. There is a lot of luck based elements so even Mika should be able to win."
"What kind of game is that?"
"It's Super grand strategy railway king. Doesn't Nii-chan know it? Starting in Tokyo, you are to purchase companies all over the country to get to destination station, even Taishido group appears although it's under a different name! As the next president this is where you can't allow yourself to be defeated! Right?"
In the end, we played a game during my weekend and was defeated, I ended up penniless. Moreover, not even once in ten thousand years was ranked among the top, and was only a B-class... I was usually at the bottom. I couldn't even act like a manager in the game. By the way, overall top during these two days was an unexpected person.
Since she was lucky and innocent triggering 'being serious against children' which made others little sister candidates careless, Mika took the top spot.
Overall second place has gone to the 'has concealed her presence' and wasn't on top even once, Selene has been multiple times on the second place. The third on the ranking was Tomomi who was owner of the game, but she nearly tied with Sayuri who was fourth.
Their performance was not bad, but the two of them mainly focused on dragging each other down.
Even in the middle of playing Yuuki was conscious of other little sister candidates and couldn't unleash her true strength because of tension. Her performance was still better than mine though.
The winner's, Mika's request to me was "Mii-chan is still not convinced", at first I didn't know what she meant, but I learned it soon enough. Please, spare me any more of unreasonable requests.
Notes and References
- ↑ Soine is used here, meaning 'sleeping together with no sexual intentions'
15th of April, Monday
Outside. Outside. For Now Let's Just Go Outside.
Monday morning, after we met, Mariko was worried about the dark circles that appeared under my eyes. There was no way I could tell her that I was playing games with my little sister candidates and then pulled an all-nighter in order to keep up with the level of Shichiou Academy... I felt a little bit guilty about lying to her. I've been invited by her "how about we play around after school for a change?" but there was a different errand I had to do. I apologized, feeling even more guilty for keeping things secret from her.
I went home after school... even though I say that, I couldn't go back to my room and instead waited for Selene by the entrance hall when the appointed time came.
"...it's been a day, Onii-chan."
Last week, Selene didn't have any clothes she could use to go outside in, now she was dressed in black-based gothlic lolita outfit. She had a skirt which reached slightly above the knees and short knee-socks.
"Oh! It suits you well Selene."
Selene's cheeks reddened. No matter how cute the clothes are, if they don't match the person wearing it, it won't be attractive. In that respect, Selene looked perfect.
She seemed like a completely different person as she fidgeted inside her room.
"...with this, I'm the little sister."
"Isn't it a bit early to say that?"
Her becoming my little sister aside, I think making her step outside was more important. I took her hand.
"Let's go, Selene."
"...let's go you say... but we're already outside."
"We're still on the premises of Taishido residence, aren't we?"
"...a fish can't walk on land. Since I'm a mermaid, if I step outside I will vanish."
"It was a road you picked by yourself, you need to take a single step forward first! Didn't we promise to go to Nippori's fibre wholesale district together one day?"
"...you remember that promise?"
"Hey, it was only a week ago."
"...but it's already dark outside. It's not a good idea to roam the streets at night, right?"
"Even if it was bright outside would you go out?"
"...I'm sorry. I lied, I won't go out even if it's bright outside."
It seems like she's oddly honest sometimes. I lightly held her hand, but it didn't seem like Selene had any intention of walking.
I pulled a bit harder.
*shhh*, I dragged her behind me. What, are you a dog that doesn't want to go for a walk?!
"Come on, Selene."
"...I'll throw up."
"Do not. Endure it."
"...a headache started."
"Let's go and buy a painkiller then."
"...I get sleepy after taking medicine."
"The drug stores sell caffeine drinks as well, it'll wake you up!"
Although it was a bit forceful, I tried gently pulling Selene's hand again.
"...Onii-chan, you're pulling too strongly."
Selene's head was swaying to the sides, she slowly moved away from me and lied on the coach in the entrance hall.
"...this is all right..."
"It's not! Come on, we're going!"
"...no matter what?"
"No matter what."
"...help me stand up."
She rolled on the coach and lied on her back, then she stretched her arms towards me. It was similar to how small children ask their parents to carry them. A scene similar to last week's.
"If I help you, you're going outside with me."
Since it was going nowhere. I... lifted her body up. It was the so-called 'princess carry'.
"...I didn't ask to be carried. Onii-chan."
"You don't like it?"
Selene lightly shook her small head. A floral scent rose from her long beautiful black hair. She's my little sister(candidate) so why is my heart pounding... come on.
When I lifted her up, I found out that she was very thin, it seemed like she would break were I to put some strength into my arms and I got worried.
"...Onii-chan, stay like this for the rest of the day."
"But what would others think if were they to see us like this?"
"...that we're siblings who get along well. Also, outside... is scary after all."
She was trembling slightly. Selene was really scared of the outside. I stared at her.
"It's all right. I'm with you."
Suddenly, she stopped trembling.
"Then, let's succeed this time."
I walked towards the front door while holding Selene in princess carry.
"...it might be sudden, but suddenly I started to feel worse."
"Then throw up! You can throw up just once! You'll feel better afterwards!"
"...uu. That's too much, foam is coming out of my mouth."
She clung to me tightly while tears appeared in her eyes. Her small hands were trembling and there was a faint blush on her pale face.
The truth was that she wanted to go outside too, right? She was just very anxious, it was almost as if she had no expectations of it at all. Her small lips opened.
"...Onii-chan. At this rate I'll go out? I won't be able to escape?"
"Let's go. I'll teach you how wide the world is. If you're scared, then hold on to me."
One step at a time, as I continued to walk slowly, Selene clung to me more and more strongly.
When I approached the automatic doors, it opened in response to the smart key.
"...Onii-chan... can I... believe you...?"
"Yeah. You can believe even someone like me."
"...please don't phrase it like that."
"S-sorry. Did I make you anxious?"
"You're really honest. Don't worry Selene... believe in me. Your brother's words are absolute. Your brother will introduce the world to you!"
She nodded slightly, it was a gesture that reminded him of a small squirrel.
"...will the world be gentle to me?"
"If it isn't, then I'll protect you."
A faint light glittered in the back of Selene's pupils... I might be seeing things.
"...I have gathered... determination. But I'm still scared to head there on my own feet... Onii-chan, take me there."
Selene closed her eyes and muttered as if praying. I nodded softly. Even though we were only going outside I've grown tense as well.
She started to breathe faster, I felt her body temperature rise as well. I felt her heart beating like a hammer. It seemed like it was hard for her to breathe. Selene grasped onto me and started struggling.
I took her with me, to where the world spreads. I heard the sound of the spring wind blowing on the other side of the door.
Selene's body shuddered.
Before her fear could catch on, I carried her body to the other side of the door.
"We're outside. It's okay to do it slowly, open your eyes."
"It's all right. I'm right beside you."
She slightly opened her eyes. After I made sure of it, I gently let her down.
After he put her down, she stood on her own and looked into the sky.
A cloudless night sky spread wide.
"...it's the first time... in three months... I went outside."
"Yeah. Although it might seem like a small step, but I think it's a big one... hey, you were outside three months ago?"
"...I was moved while I was sleeping. So if it's coming out like this while still maintaining my consciousness, I have no memories of doing so."
She stated that firmly and took a deep breath.
"...yes. Um... I'm still anxious, so please hold my hand."
"Got it. Let's take a walk around here. Although I'm not too familiar with the places around here."
Hand in hand Selene and I decided to walk to the residential area at night. Soon after we started, Selene was already out of breath and started walking very slow. The closest convenience store was placed around five minutes away with a normal walking pace, we slowly walked towards it.
"...Onii-chan. There's a convenience store. It's the sleepless town."
"Let's buy dinner here."
"...is it okay to go back yet?"
"We left the mansion just a moment ago. Let's secure a lunchbox for the time being."
We entered the convenience store while still side by side. Right after we entered the the store, Selene was immediately attracted to a lottery booth that was standing in the corner and moved towards it unsteadily.
It seems like it had Pretty Girl Rangers Fruity drawing lots.
"...the A-reward is Orange-chan. B-reward is Apple-chan. The C-reward is Grape-chan."
"We're not trying it."
Selene was already broke.
"Today's dinner isn't cup noodles. What do you want to eat? My treat."
"...egg sandwich. Also, rice ball with konbu."
"Both of them are carbohydrates... as for the drink, is cold tea okay?"
I bought two bottles of tea, an egg sandwich and a riceball with konbu, for myself I bought salmon and cod roe riceball and riceball with pickled plum.
We left the store, I was holding the shopping bag in my right hand and holding Selene's hand with my left.
As we walked together down the sidewalk, before we noticed we have reached a park.
In there were late-blooming cherry trees. Since cherry-blossom viewing was prohibited there, there were no people spreading sheets on the ground. But there were some couples scattered here and there.
I wondered if Selene and I seemed to be just like them.
"There's quite a few people here, are you okay?"
"...yes. After going out, surprisingly I calmed down. How mysterious."
She's prone to over-thinking things. Although Selene was a shut-in, it's not like she was bad at communicating with people. If anyone, then it would be Yuuki who has serious problems in that department.
"The cherry blossoms are in full bloom. It looks like they are celebrating your new beginning."
Cherry blossoms from the lit-up tree were fluttering in the night wind. The sight of petals dancing enveloped in wind just like snow was not only beautiful but also somewhat mystical.
"It's a bit early, but let's eat on that bench."
We sat down side by side on a bench and while looking cherry blossoms dancing in the night, we ate the dinner previously bought in the convenience store.
Selene nibbled on the egg sandwich after eating the rice ball with konbu.
"Looks like you were more hungry than I thought you are."
Come to think of it, when the little sister candidates grouped up at the end of the week, Selene ate everything without leaving anything behind.
"..yes. It's surprising. Walking makes one hungry doesn't it."
"I can share the pickled plum with you."
I intended to defend my cod roe and rice ball which were my favourite food.
"...thank you for the food."
Selene unsealed the package with pickled plum rice ball. When she put it in her mouth, she frowned.
"Well, it is a pickled plum."
"...but it's delicious. Eating dinner outside... it's thanks to being with Onii-chan. Also, eating meals together with other girls and playing games... is fun."
"Come to think of it, you're really good at Railway King. You always maintained the second or third place. Is there a trick to it?"
"...a coincidence. Also, profiting from others fighting each other."
As Tomomi fought with Sayuri, there were unexpectedly many patterns even I have found when we played together. The girl who only cleaned up her sewing room must've found a way.
"You're a really capable girl aren't you."
"That's right. I think you should have more confidence."
"...um, can we go back soon?"
"Didn't we come here just now."
It seemed like it will be a warm night, the wind also felt good.
"Can it be that it's hard for you? Did I overdo it by bringing you here?"
"...just a little."
"You're really honest. If that's the case, then let's go back."
Just when I tried to stand up from the bench, Selene stopped me by gently grabbing my sleeve.
"...it's all right. I've ate a lot of rice balls. Also, I've brought a charm just in case something like this happened."
Selene took out a digital audio player from a small bag.
"...I have a lot of invigorating songs."
"Could you let me hear what kind of songs you listen to?"
"...yes. Then, take this half."
She moved her shoulder closer and put an earphone in my left ear, after that she put the other one in her right ear and pressed the play button. It was a song with female vocalist accompanied by lively music.
"So you like this kind of songs."
"...it's an album of the person inside Orange-chan."
"The person inside... A-ahh! The person called seiyuu who voices the anime character."
Selene nodded with a smile.
We listened to it together. Before I noticed, the single album came to an end.
I felt like Selene smiled much more than when I first met. If only I could forgive myself with this, I would be satisfied.
The wind suddenly stopped and the shower of cherry blossoms together with it. Selene turned off the player and muttered softly after raising her head.
"...I'm glad there's so many strokes."
"What are you talking about all of a sudden?"
Seeing me using polite speech must've been amusing, and Selene laughed quietly with a 'fufufu'.
"...my name. It's a name taken from the moon goddess and written with a lot of strokes. Mom is a designer and a wandering fortune-teller."
"A designer and a fortune-teller eh. You said she's wandering, so you don't know where she went?"
Selene muttered with a fading voice. It might have been my delusion, but I couldn't help but to say it. She might not be able to reunite with her mother.
"If you continue to make beautiful clothes and become a famous designer... maybe after seeing that design, your mom might come to see you."
As long as she's alive, there was a chance.
"...is that so?"
"Become a world-renowned designer, big enough to appear at shows in Paris and Milan. You'll be talked about in the entire world. You might not have confidence in the clothes you make, but I... I like them. I don't know much about professional designers, but I know what kind of clothes you can make. The clothes you wear today are cute and fit you. I think I'd like more people to know what kind of clothes you make. On the net, and in real."
Her pale face reddened. She looked down shyly.
"...yes. T-that makes me happy..."
"All right. Let's stretch out our legs and head towards the station."
I removed the earphone and after standing up, I reached out to Selene.
"...s-station? There's a lot of people, it's difficult."
"It's good because there's a lot of people there."
A bit forcibly, I helped her to stand up. Selene... stood up as I pulled, it seemed like she wanted to properly stand up by herself.
Afterwards the two of us took a bus. There weren't many people on the bus heading to the station, it was almost like a private course.
We got off in front of a traffic circle and walked to the station through an overpass.
It was a rush of people returning home, there was an uninterrupted flow of people that would make even me feel drunk.
"...Onii-chan. There's too many people. My eyes are spinning."
"You don't need to look at all of them. Concentrate. How about looking at that high school girl?"
"The girl with brown ponytail."
"...I see her."
"What kind of clothes would match her?"
"...bright hair... she's pretty short and has childish features... strict, since she walks fast pants would fit her better than a skirt... how mysterious. The design is floating in my head."
Selene was someone amazing after all. Despite the risk of motion sickness, it was a good choice to bring her to see this crowd. I've kept her company there for ten minutes. Surely, she had enough designs in her head to fill a sketchbook.
What was compressed when she holed up in her room, was released all at once. She continued to draw designs in her brain.
9 p.m.. Selene and I walked around the city at night and finally came back to Taishido residence.
After she sat down on the sofa in the entrance hall, Selene strongly exhaled the air.
"...it was a great adventure. I'm glad I survived and came back."
"That's an exaggeration. The distance we actually walked was around a kilometre, right?"
"...it was hard for me."
Selene's breathing was a bit rough, but it seemed like she was proud of something she's done.
"Let's go somewhere during the day next time. Even if it's for only for a while, you might even ride on a crowded train. You're a talented girl. I guarantee that."
She blushed, said "Yes..." and nodded.
"Also, you're not charging enough for the clothes you make, you need to properly put a price on them. I'm not telling you to put a price like that of a professional designer though."
"Hey hey... at least ask them to pay for the material cost. That way, you'll also have money you can buy material for right?"
"...Onii-chan, are you... a genius?"
Without a doubt Selene had a talent for making clothes. If she only were to become more capable in the common sense department, I would be relieved.
"...thank you, Onii-chan."
She smiled like an angel. I'll try it... is what it meant.
"You need to meet with people, but not only through the net. You looked at various people today, and have imagined what clothes would fit them from their atmosphere and gestures. In order to learn about their different personalities..."
Before I could finish, Selene suddenly muttered.
"Yes... I think I'll try... to go to school."
As I pat her head softly, she narrowed her eyes with joy.
"...every second week."
"Attend it properly!"
"...three days. I won't stand more than that."
"Geez... well, it's a step forward as well."
I helped Selene to take a step outside, I wonder if that encouraged her.
Once again, she muttered while staring at me.
"If it's with Onii-chan, I can go everywhere."
I wasn't able to properly respond to these words.
Nevertheless, Selene smiled. In the back of my chest I felt pain.
Notes and References
16th of April, Tuesday
Tuesday – Competition ✕. Cooperation ◎. Onee-chan.
Today, I've been called out to by boys from my class. Although it felt awkward since they called me by my surname, but as someone who told Selene to 'meet with people' I need to adhere to my own advice.
I found the boys from the model club and asked them where I can find a shop with good assortment in the neighbourhood. It appeared like there was a shop near the station.
After school, when I said I'm going to do shopping there, Mariko stuck closely to me.
All of the plastic models of the robots looked the same to her. I investigated in advance and purchased a huge plastic model an amateur shouldn't touch as well as a set of tools.
Mariko was surprised after seeing the size of the box I had in both of my arms.
After parting ways with Mariko, I went back and entered the Taishido residence while holding a huge paper bag with the box and walked towards the Room 601. The room opened immediately after I sounded the chime.
"It's a game Nii-chan! A hug game!"
The moment I entered the front door, Tomomi had clung onto me. It was an enthusiastic reception like one of a puppy vigorously jumping at its owner who came back home.
Since both of my hands were occupied I obediently allowed myself to be hugged. Her breasts... hit me.
"At least let me put down the baggage. Also, why did you call hugging a game?"
"Before, there were other little sisters there so I couldn't act spoiled like this."
"So you were worried about that?"
"Cuz' it was embarassin'. There were girls smaller than me, if I acted mushy mushy with Nii-chan, it would be weird. But I want to act mushy mushy!"
Tomomi was writhing as she hugged me. What's up with that 'mushy mushy' of hers.
That's that, but it seems like she was too embarrassed to do it in front of her younger sisters, Tomomi might have been conscious of the fact that she was the eldest daughter. She phrased it in a weird way though.
"Um, could you be a little more friendly with other little sisters... or rather, with Sayuri?"
She puffed up her cheeks and the corners of her eyes rose up intimidatingly. Like usual, her emotions appear on this girl's face as straightforwardly as ever.
"It seems like me and her sooomewhat don't match."
"She's not a bad person."
"That's a line you usually use to improve a bad guy's image."
She has some scheming (?) aspects to her, but Sayuri is a serious and decent girl. I think Tomomi could learn a thing or two from her.
And if Sayuri could learn from Tomomi and act more honestly... nono, I can't merge them together, they're human beings.
Tomomi took my hand and pulled me to the living room. On the table, instead of cola there was a pet bottle with green tea prepared.
"Nii-chan prefers green tea over cola, right? I took care of it."
She puffed her chest proudly and her chest shook with a *bayoing*... even though I know she's my little sister (candidate), why am I so conscious of it. Calm down, me.
"Speaking of which, didn't you keep documentation about me secret?"
"He? W-ww-wwhat is that about I wonder?"
Your voice is getting weird, o' eldest sister.
"I noticed it among that pile of magazines last week."
"Ahahaha. You've got quite sharp eyes. Being able to notice things like that can save your life on the battlefield!"
Tomomi opened the bottle with tea and started to drink it with big gulps to cover it up.
"You also read the manual written about me, and tried to entertain me... isn't that no different from Sayuri?"
"That's wrong, it's all different! I-I wasn't really trying to act like it said to. Also, even though there was data I didn't become 'the perfect little sister'. I'm not as skilled as Sayuri is."
Although Sayuri was quite clumsy, she was also calm and skilful. The character she made has collapsed on Saturday, but I felt like she has become more open.
From the way Tomomi acted, she really seemed like a little sister. I was quite impressed by that.
"So jus' accept me as I am, Nii-chan!"
She pursed her lips and plunged towards me as I sat on the couch and outstretched her arms to hug me. I responded with an iron claw on her head.
Normally I wouldn't do it to a girl, but it couldn't be helped if it was Tomomi.
"I'm not going to! Also, we're not having any matches today."
Tomomi swung her arms up and down and tried to escape my iron claw by moving her face to either left or right. Her line of sight stopped at the giant paper bag I brought.
"Uwaa! Dat's Super Free Will from the Perfect Series! Is it Nii-chan's hobby? That's cool... I had no idea. The original ZEKU are cool after all. Ah! But Nii-chan can't assemble plastic models right? Then, could this be a present for me?"
She took out the huge box from the bag and rubbed her cheeks against it.
"Yuup, it can't be helped. Nii-chan can't assemble over nine hundred parts. Tomomi-chan will do it perfectly!"
"Nope, that's not the case. Today I'll be assembling it, and you'll help me out."
"Ehh?! Nii-chan's gonna do it?"
"Of course I will! That's why, please teach me."
I straightforwardly asked her to teach me.
"Nii-chan... can it be, your first time?"
"Having your little sister handle your initiation, that's a bit pathetic."
"And what about you?"
"A big one like this... it's my first."
"...let's do it."
"Yep... if it's together with Nii-chan, I think a big one... should be fine."
Tomomi and I put our hand on the forbidden... we moved towards the huge box at the same time.
Until the fruit of our love was born, we continued to do it in silence. I was responsible for the lower body, it was first time in my life I used nerves in my fingertips this much. My hand was trembling with nervousness, and Tomomi used her practised hand to show me her techniques.
"Nii-chan, move faster!"
"G-got it, like this?"
"Ah! Now you're too being too impatient! Here... carefully... you need to treat the gate like this... see?"
Tomomi leaned over and guided me excitedly. Occasionally her breasts pressed against my upper arm and their softness made my heart skip a beat. However, she didn't notice it as she was too concentrated on the plastic model.
Thanks to her, I was accustomed to it and the plastic model took form around 11 p.m.. We so concentrated that we forgot even about hunger and thirst and as a result we have neither eaten nor drank anything at all.
The parts were all beaten up, but there was a sense of accomplishment when the three-dimensional object has been assembled. It might become a habit.
I stared intently at the completed robot that stood in the middle of the table.
What I created was the lower body, right foot and right hand... mainly the things around the waist and a part of the wing that was attached to its backpack. It could be said that most of it was made by Tomomi.
It struck a pose after we moved its joints. This guy moved! The range of its motions was beyond what I expected, once again I was impressed. Its knee slid despite having a layer of armour on its joints, as expected of something bearing a name 'Perfect', it had great performance.
Tomomi looked at me as I stared intently at the plastic model and muttered.
"Actually there's still a lot to do, like painting it, I want to do it but... well, let's do it one day. Seeing Nii-chan play with it so excitedly, you seem like a little kid."
"W-why! I was just a little bit impressed."
"So you don't need it? Then gimme! I'll do the finishing touches and make it super cool!"
"Nope. It will decorate my room. It's quite bleak as it is now."
"I'm fine with being stingy. But thanks for making it together with me, Tomomi. I absolutely wouldn't be able to do it alone, the way you teach makes it very easy to understand."
"T-that's pretty normal. You're just Nii-chan and yet... uuu..."
She hung her head with a blush on her cheeks. I intended on praising her properly, but was it not enough? Tomomi hesitantly looked up while fidgeting.
Could it be that she was embarrassed? Although she hugged me without any concern, I have no idea what are her criteria for embarrassment.
"It would be fine if you got used to cooperating like this, rather than continuously competing against everyone."
"I-I'm always cooperative!"
Fine. I'll get on it.
"Then, prove it to me with this game."
I took out the game I got earlier.
"N-Nii-chan, that! That's Ice Climber!"
She pointed at the cassette and opened her eyes wide. She was so excited it seemed like she was a puppy waving it's tail.
It was a game I came across in a game shop that was near the hobby shop.
"I guess the gamer Tomomi, has the hardware for it, right?"
"Of course I do. Also, seeing as you have that game, I see you in a new light."
I didn't think that I would be evaluated once again just because I had this game.
It seems like the dull me, from the viewpoint of Tomomi must've been lacking 'male power'.
This Ice Climber is a family game designed and released on Famige, a classic action game.
Two players can play it simultaneously, they climb up the mountain by using pickaxes. Since you can either cooperate or kick the other player down, it often becomes a fierce survival game. Simple and yet deep. It became a really popular game.
In the middle school, I've been bashed around while playing against a friend who loved retro games.
Even if it's just once, I wanted to successfully climb together with the other player.
"Let's do it, come on! Let's hurry and play it Nii-chan!"
She connected the cables in no time and did the settings for Famige. After that she inserted the cassette into the terminal with a 'huff' and started the Ice Climbing.
Five minutes later——despite Tomomi insisted 'it's cooperation', she left my body behind exposed to snowy mountains and allowed me to freeze to death.
Despite us making a plastic model together, the beauty of cooperation was still overpowered by Tomomi's instinct that made her struggle to win.
"Weren't we supposed to cooperate?"
"Since it's a game, somehow...."
As Tomomi stuck out her tongue and winked, I spat out a big sigh.
"It was Nii-chan's turn all the while, it's about time I have mine. Come Nii-chan, my servant... I asked my friend to give it to me."
The cheerful Tomomi seemed to enjoy her time with me.
She used the TV's remote and through the settings screen she changed from Famige to Blu-Ray recorder. She clicked the eject button in front of the recorder and put a disk on the empty tray.
"What kind of disk is that? A movie or something?"
There were only fifteen minutes left until 12 p.m.. Well, I don't mind a short extension.
"It's a DVD about how siblings get along."
She stood up vigorously and happily laughed.
"Hohoo. So you robbed it from your school friend."
"I won it fair and square. Noow, I wonder what's in there."
"Could it be that you haven't seen the contents yourself?"
"I thought it would be nice to watch it together with Nii-chan. It would be boring to know the contents ahead, not fair. Matches need to be fair and square right?"
She loves surprises, what can I say. The moment she pressed the play button, a loud and realistic sound came from the surround speakers... a horny female voice rang out.
『"Onii-chan not therree! Ahn♪ Ahnn♪."』
Momentarily, Tomomi looked away from the screen and roared.
"I-It was supposed to be different!"
"That's my line! Hurry up and press the stop button!"
"W-WAAAAAAA! STOP! STOP!"
A high pitches voice similar to a person talking under effect of helium gas called out 『"Ahn♪ Ahn♪."』, the sound wrapped Tomomi and me from all directions.
"You sped it up! I beg you, stop it! Please!"
She was stunned, and the remote control spilled from her hands.
"Y-yeah... hey, what are you talking about."
I picked up the remote control that rolled on the floor and pressed the stop button. Both the audio and video disappeared, and everything settled down. Tomomi pursed her lips.
"Nii-chan, isn't it okay to watch it till the end? I was surprised since it suddenly began, seems like it's an edited version which already starts with a climax?"
"As if! Only a pervert would watch a video about doing it with a little sister with his own little sister (candidate), also this is something you aren't supposed to watch until you're 18+!"
"You're not honest. But since I was able to see how Nii-chan loses his composure, all in all the result was good."
Tomomi smiled with satisfaction.
"What 'good' result. You're blushing and lost your calm as well haven't you, you were pressing the speed button rather than the stop."
"That was my hand slipping or something."
Once again, I stared at Tomomi's face as see laughed in embarrassment. She looked at me seriously.
"Do you know why I brought a plastic model with me today?"
"Cause Nii-chan wanted to make it with me?"
"T-that's one thing, but I also wanted to show you how nice it is to cooperate with other people."
"But I'm cooperating with Nii-chan?"
"It's not just with me... among the little sisters, you're the one who's most grown up so I'd like you to act more like it."
As I seriously appealed to her, within half a second she started hesitating and got depressed. It felt as if she was going to run away with a tail behind her legs.
"B-but I'm Nii-chan's little sister... I want to be spoiled. Since I'm a little sister, it's fine for me to be spoiled right? I haven't felt like it before... I-I don't know what should I do..."
I gently stroked Tomomi's head as she hung it down.
"It's fine to act spoiled."
"Just as much as I spoil you, I want you to spoil your little sisters."
"S-should I spoil everyone?"
"Spoiling someone feels unexpectedly good. You have the other person trust you, and you make them realize they need you."
"I-I see... so there's such a thing."
As if she realized something, Tomomi's eyes turned round. I continued.
"Also, if you become everyone's big sister, you can take the leadership as the eldest daughter, and I'll be able to count on you as well. In exchange, I'll spoil you all you want. That should be fair, right?"
Tomomi was a competitive freak but she also wanted 'to be acknowledged by others' is what I felt. In other words, a desire to prove her strength to others. Rather than one-sidedly deciding that, she wanted to be acknowledged by someone, and thought it would be fine to have someone who acknowledged her.
"I'll spoil Nii-chan, and Nii-chan will spoil me... that sounds nice."
"The eldest son and eldest daughter being equal doesn't sound bad right?"
She responded to my words with a big nod. The tail I imagined on her was waving at full strength.
"Got it! I'll do my best! I see, so being the eldest daughter means I'm Nii-chan's equal. I didn't think of it that way. I'm Nii-chan's little sister, but being little sisters' elder sister might feel good as well!"
If she has awareness of being the elder sister, she will start feeling consideration towards the weaker ones and treat them with affection. That's what I prayed for from the bottom of my heart.
I wonder if I will get used to Tomomi after she changes and is acknowledged.
Before I knew it, it was already twelve o'clock midnight.
Notes and References
17th of April, Wednesday
Redeeming Oneself. Honourable Recovery? Real Feelings.
Mariko's smartphone accidentally fell to the ground during the lunch break. It wouldn't turn on as if there was no battery inside, but after I removed and inserted both the SIM card and the battery again, it started working.
It was fixed with such a simple method, I wonder if human relationships can be fixed as easily is what I thought.
After school I went back to the mansion and to the Room 501——I visited Sayuri's room for the second time.
I passed through the living room, prompted by the silent Sayuri. It felt awkward for both of us.
"H-hey Sayuri, it's been three days."
『"...want to die! I want to die!"』
As expected, it's hard. She silently sat on the cushion and murmured while staring at me.
"I thought we might not meet again."
While we were playing the game on Saturday, she continued to engage Tomomi in verbal battles. She must've been putting up a strong front, or maybe it was desperation.
"No such thing. Rather than that, there are things I want you to honestly answer. Can you tell me the real reason you want to be my little sister?"
"The real reason... is it?"
"Yeah. And please, be honest this time. Even if your aim is the money, I won't be surprised. Or rather, aiming for the heritage would be normal, that... um, Sayuri-san?"
As not to butt in as I spoke, Sayuri gently shook her head.
"Just like I said the other day, I'm capable enough to become a scholarship student. Even if the assistance is aborted, I won't have any problems because I've been saving money properly."
"Then why do you want to be the little sister? Are you... lonely?"
Sayuri gave a small nod.
"Of course, there's that as well. It's been only me and Kyuu-chan all this time. However... it's strange even to me. Once I learned that I have such lively sisters, I stopped feeling lonely."
"Certainly, the weekend was lively and enjoyable."
"I tend to get into fights with Tomomi-san... and go out of control but..."
Once again, Sayuri's words faded out and she looked pitiful.
She slowly raised her head and opened her mouth.
"I have a proposal for you, Onii-sama."
Her face reddened slightly.
"U-umm... that's... I... um..."
Sayuri was squirming on her knees as she sat straight in seiza, she played with her hands making them overlap one another, writhing.
"Earlier, Tomomi-san has said it but..."
"Tomomi has? What are you talking about?"
She nodded, stood up and moved closer to me. Her face was so close to mine I could feel her breath, and she stared into my eyes.
"A-aren't you too close?"
"If you'll forgive me, I wish to maintain this distance, think of it as a desperate effort of mine."
"Is this the sense of distance you wish to maintain as my little sister?"
"No. I have given up on becoming the little sister."
"You gave up... is that really okay?"
As if a burden fell off her shoulders, Sayuri nodded seemingly refreshed.
"Yes. I have worked hard to become a perfect little sister out of the manual that Murasaki-san gave me. As Onii-sama already knows, I... if I were to be compared to a vehicle, I would be a train."
"After being set on fixed rails, leaving and arriving at pre-determined times... something like this?"
The trains worldwide do not always go by the schedule and are often disturbed. So if anything, Sayuri is too serious when navigating so that she's always on time, a Japanese train.
After seeing that she managed to properly convey it to me, Sayuri nodded happily.
"Indeed. If I'm derailed, I will cause a major incident. Last weekend, I learned that about myself to a painful degree."
"Y-yeah. You need to be careful."
"It's just as Onii-sama says. I can't deny it at all. That's why I think that rather than becoming a little sister from the manual, I'd like to become myself."
"Not a little sister... then what?"
Her ears turned bright red as she hung her head and she spoke in an unnatural voice
Sayuri said so while stuttering, she blushed even further and writhed even more.
"Do not say that, I think being a lover is a good idea."
"Please stop thinking then!"
Suddenly, Sayuri spread her arms.
"From now onwards I will do my best to become Onii-sama's. That said, may I hug you?"
"It's fine if you don't do your best. More importantly, how did you reach such a conclusion?"
"The things I am able to do are studying and housework. I'm more eligible for the lover position than that of a little sister. And if Onii-sama wishes for it, I shall become both a little sister and a lover."
"That goes against ethics, law and common sense at the same time."
"We can't make love to each other as siblings then?"
"Of course not!"
There was not even a shred of hesitation in Sayuri's eyes.
"Please stop that 'Make me the little sister, if you don't I'll become your girlfriend' blackmail."
"It's not blackmail. I'm serious. I really love Onii-sama. Even though I've shown you my disgraceful behaviour, Onii-sama hasn't scorned me and is facing me directly like this."
Since I was keeping silent about the fact I knew about existence of manual, it was also my responsibility. I also knew that Sayuri was a good girl even if she was a bit clumsy. However, a lover is...
"Sayuri... I'm not that familiar with what lovers are, but it's people who love each other right?"
"I have already prepared my heart."
"Don't prepare it so quickly!"
"Does Onii-sama hate me then?"
Seeing a lonely and discouraged look in her eyes, sharp pain ran through my heart. Sayuri tensed up and seemingly wanted to depend on me.
Sayuri was... uneasy. She was trying to hold herself together, she wanted to be spoiled by me but she endured it, pushing herself too far.
"That question is unfair! I d-don't hate you. It's just that even if I were to say that I like you, it would be a feeling one feels towards his family, different from romantic love."
"But if there are little sisters who feel like a 'friend', can't there be little sisters who are lovers?"
"No, there can't be any. Also, why a lover of all things?"
She lowered her arms she previously spread to hug me, and muttered sorrowfully.
"I don't have a personality that would stand out. I can only dye myself with things like that manual."
"I-I see... no, is that how it is?"
I felt she was unique enough, but the person in question continued frustrated.
"Since I didn't have what it takes to become a little sister before, but now that I looked at it calmly, it seems Onii-sama has some preferences that are different from what was stated in the manual."
In fact, it was going very well until some point. Were it not for Selene who spoiled the manual's existence, I might have been done for... but let's keep this secret.
"That is why rather being dyed by the manual, I wish for Onii-sama to dye me with his colours."
"I don't know how well I can do it but I want to become what Onii-sama wishes for."
"In other words, a lover?"
"If not a lover, then please make me your love slave."
Sayuri said something outrageous with a straight face.
"If it threatens Onii-sama's social position, I don't mind if I'm held in captivity or erased from the public view and society. I don't mind if I'm an unofficial lover."
"S-STOP! You've started to go in a strange direction. No, it was strange from the very beginning. Anyway, why the talk about being a lover?!"
"Can it be... it's because you have that childhood friend person, Mariko-san? I don't mind if I'm the second lover. I'm not attached to hierarchy. Whenever Onii-sama likes it, I'll be happy to be yours any time. It's fine by me to be a mistress."
I started to feel a little bit sick. She continued to spit words at a very high speed.
"I'll do my best to coexist with the legal wife."
"Don't! For you to try becoming a lover because you can't be a little sister, why would you go that far..."
"That is because us being together has been decided by fate."
She placed her hand on her chest and drew close in front of me again.
"Fate you say... such a forceful thing is no good, is it?."
"B-but... it is fate."
Sayuri's eyes moistened as I said that. It felt like she would start crying at this rate. So as not to stimulate her as much as possible, I used a soft tone of voice.
"Were you told that by someone?"
She nodded with tears in her eyes.
"Who's that? Who would say such a thing?"
And my soft tone of voice disappeared. What an irresponsible person. Thanks to that person I'm being forced to make a lover contract with my real little sister and cornered with her gibberish.
"Does Onii-sama know about the Blue Bird of Happiness?"
"A foreign fairy tale... was it?"
"No. Not that. It's something like an urban legend, there's a fortune-teller who is called like that."
"An urban legend?"
"She appears all over the country and tells people what's their fate. She has come to be called the 'Blue Bird of Happiness' because she divines from a blue crystal in shape of a bird."
"Is it something that fortune-teller said?"
"Indeed. She said that it's destiny for me and Onii-sama to be together."
It seemed like Sayuri had a personality that made her easily believe those things and she has taken the words of the fortune teller as truth. So that's why she used the word 'fate'... nn? A Blue Bird of Happiness fortune-teller, can it be... no, it might be a coincidence, it's a famous urban legend so Selene might have found that on the net. However... let's make sure just in case.
"Is that fortune-teller famous? For example, is she a hot topic on the internet?"
"I know people who know about her."
"Is she a woman?"
"Yes. She was wearing a hood over her head and her face was hidden by a veil, but it is a woman."
"How old was she?"
"Her age... from her voice it seemed like she was a calm adult woman."
"Have you gotten anything like a business card? A way to contact her?"
"There is no such thing, there's only rumours on the net."
Is that so. It seems like there isn't a way to make sure whether it's Selene's mother or not.
"Can you tell me about how you met her?"
"To ask so intently, Onii-sama also seems to be interested in fate. Um... I have met her once last year. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. While I was on my way home to where I lived before, I have been suddenly called out and divined fortune."
"What exactly did it say?"
"It said that in the near future, I will meet the person I'm destined to spend a lifetime together with. It also said that I'll be very happy whenever we are together."
Quite ambiguous. But that doesn't have to be me. Also, there might be a lot of people she can meet in 'the near future'. It might be three days, six months or a year from back then.
Ah... it's been around a year since then.
"So you think that's me?"
"There is no one else."
Honestly, rather than whether fortune-telling was accurate, the problem was that Sayuri trusted in it completely. Seeing someone so trusting, I couldn't keep my calm.
"That's why Onii-sama, I will not apologize for inconveniencing you. I will do my best and give all of myself. I don't need any aid. Just allow me to stay by your side. Whether I'm a little sister, a lover; mistress or a pet, it's all good."
Sayuri's face turned pale.
"I don't think that would make you happy. I won't tell you to seek happiness from the fortune-telling, but where is your happiness in becoming only a convenient existence to me?"
"If I were told by anyone that they are happy by being with me, I would let them no matter who it was. But it somehow feels lonely. I can't phrase it well, but I want to have a better relationship with you than that."
"If I'm neither a little sister nor a lover, then what can do I for us to stay together?"
"It's fine if you're neither a little sister nor a lover. You don't need such a title. I'm not going to reject you. That's why it's fine if you don't force yourself. Just be the girl called Sayuri."
The weak me could only say something like that.
"I'm not confident in my personality."
"Aren't you good at cooking?"
"I just did it as it was described in the manual."
"There are people who can't do it despite using cookbooks. Just being able to do it is amazing. Also, the nikujaga Sayuri made was really delicious."
"T-thank you... very much."
She laughed in embarrassment and looked down.
"Also, being able to prepare like this and carry out such a plan perfectly is also amazing."
"I-if I don't plan it I feel uneasy. That's how I am so..."
"There are many people who don't know their own weaknesses. And yet, you are a hard worker who does her best in order to fulfil your ambitions and you try to overcome your weaknesses."
Sayuri's expression melted.
"I-I'm not a person Onii-sama thinks I am."
"No. You're an amazing girl."
Suddenly, the words that Father left behind for me came to my mind. Taishido draws rails and rules. At first I was taken aback by them, but I'll use them now.
"Hey, Sayuri. In life, there are times during which you derail. However, from the point you derailed, why not find a new path for yourself?"
"O-OO-Onii-sama. I can't stand any more than this."
When I thought she started to tremble, she suddenly leaped and clung onto me.
"Truth is, I really wanted to do this. Onii-sama... Onii-sama Onii-sama Onii-sama Onii-sama."
Sayuri buried her face in my chest. I gently stroked her head. I might have only used one pattern to show my little sisters some love, but it feels natural if I do this.
"Ahaa... I've been patted by Onii-sama. I'm so happy."
The one who said that was Sayuri, but that was a Tomomi-like reaction. They are sisters after all.
"Onii-sama, I... will do my best to become more honest. I understood... that being more honest with myself... is what happiness is."
Suddenly, she muttered something in my chest as if she came to a realization.
"Yeah, that's right. I think that's a good thing."
"Looks like that fortune telling was spot-on."
"I-it's nothing. Um, can you help me prepare dinner? For just a little more I want to be pampered by Onii-sama."
"S-sure! Whatever you say!"
With that said, I can't do anything difficult.
Sayuri reluctantly released my body, went to kitchen and wore an apron. In the end, I didn't even hold a knife, but I helped her with this and that as well as pulled out the tableware; we ate the dinner together after preparing it.
She looked very happy the entire time, and didn't say 'because it's fate' any more.
As we absent-mindedly watched TV, Sayuri quietly muttered.
"Onii-sama... nnn, Taishido Yoichi-san."
"Why are you so formal all of a sudden?"
"We have met like this because we're siblings. However, being a little sister makes it a bit difficult."
"I-Ii-it's nothing! Just now I was being weird. Please forget it."
She blushed up until the tip of her ears and downcast her eyes.
Why was she persistently saying 'please forget it!'.
Is she all right? I'm worried as her brother, but since she's insistent on brushing it off I'd feel bad if I asked. Also, something ridiculous might start again.
Scared of that... I didn't inquire any further.
18th of April, Thursday
Clothes. Assistance. Girl Power Increase.
Mariko wanted me to come with her to a mobile phone shop after school, so I went with her.
Since what I did yesterday was just first aid, I agreed that it had to be checked properly.
After leaving the smartphone at the shop in front of the station, we wasted some time by touring the nearby shops.
In the famous brand's retail store, Mariko picked up a one-piece, but after fitting it to her shoulders and checking the price, she gently put it back.
After sighing, from her mouth came the name of an internet celebrity. Cicada-san... Selene's. Recently, it seemed like Cicada-san increased the price for the clothes. Still, it was just the material cost and honestly, it still wasn't a reasonable price for them.
At the time the inspection was supposed to end, we returned to the shop. Mariko took the smartphone and a note that said there were no abnormalities. After separating from her in front of station, I walked quickly.
I came home with a one hour delay and went straight to Yuuki's room.
"Sorry! I'm late!"
"Nii-san, you're all sweaty. Want something to drink?"
After she opened the door, Yuuki opened her eyes wide in shock. Same as last time, she was wearing pants and a shirt.
"Then, a glass of water."
I drank iced water and rested on the sofa in the living room.
"Sorry for the delay Yuuki."
I looked towards Yuuki's coat hanger, there was... not a gakuran, but a brand new female school uniform.
"If you have properly prepared a uniform, why don't you wear it?"
"I-I wore it! B-but I was too scared to go outside in it. Having my panties exposed to the outside air sounds weird!"
Yuuki lightly held herself with both of her hands and shook her chest left and right. It was a strangely childish gesture.
"You intend on denying all the people who wear skirts?"
"T-that's not it... the feeling of air flowing between my thighs is bizarre!"
"You don't need to think about it... you just need to get used to it."
"Y-yeah. I guess. However... I don't know why, but it doesn't feel good."
She hung her shoulders downhearted.
"The problem is that you're too embarrassed to expose your panties to open air, right? If that's the case there's also an alternative option where you don't wear them."
"Going without panties while wearing a skirt is overdoing it Nii-san!"
The breast binding is worse than using panties. Also, don't accept it as truth just because your brother said so.
"Nonono. The girl power isn't just limited to wearing skirts, not wearing skirts is fine as well... even that's what I wanted to say but..."
"Too embarrassing! I-I've misunderstood! Having a bare ass under the skirt... isn't that super perverted!"
"Calm down. By the way, you bought the panties through the mail order right?"
"I got a bra as well. Nii-san, want to check it?"
She started to raise her shirt.
"STOP! If you show it your girl power will go down!"
"Why you ask... you're embarrassed just by having your panties exposed to air, and you think nothing of showing your bra to me?"
She looked below and nodded.
"That's because Nii-san is Nii-san. Even if I'm seen by Nii-san... i-it's not embarrassing. Rather than that, I want Nii-san to look and tell me if I'm wearing it properly."
"Your self-assessment is enough."
"A-also I've changed the shampoo and do the treatment!"
"I noticed that when we passed each other earlier, I think your girl power increased."
Yuuki knelt on the spot.
"To think there was such a method... Nii-san's girl power is so high it breaks my heart."
"Get a hold of yourself, it's just a shallow wound."
I held out my hands to her, Yuuki took them and stood up.
"Don't make me your mentor without permission. It's because you did your best."
"Did my girl power really increase?"
"Yuuki, the girl power is... just because it increased it's not a reason to feel relieved. The moment you start feeling relieved it will start to decrease. You need to strive to raise it continuously. Isn't that the essence of girl power? If you make raising it your only objective, I feel like it'll no longer be girl power."
She opened her eyes wide once again.
"So girl power, is an endless aspiration right, Nii-san."
"Yeah, that's right."
Her wide-opened eyes were clouded as she lost confidence.
"It might be impossible for me. I don't have what it takes to become a girl."
"You went to get me water earlier, haven't you?'
"That's because Nii-san looked very thirsty..."
"I think that's also girl power. No, I think we're getting too caught up in the phrase 'girl power'. Yuuki just as your name implies, that kindness of yours will become someone's hope."
"So my name had such a meaning. I didn't know that."
Yuuki continued to look at me with respect, her eyes glittering. It's troubling if she overestimates me that much, this is a critical moment during which I need to raise her self-confidence.
"It might be just my selfish imagination, but I feel like you're on the right track and it's going well."
"Noticing the hidden meaning and feelings behind my name. I'm jealous of girl power that's oozing out of Nii-san. Pure girl power... truly, Nii-san possesses maiden power."
She nodded repeatedly convinced of it. Please don't make a maiden out of me.
"By the way, Yuuki's the little sister of... um, Tomomi has become your Onee-chan, but are you no good with girls even if it's your sister?"
"Yes. They are all full of girlish charm, my heart starts pounding when I see them."
"Even though you're scared of girls, your heart's pounding when you see them..."
"I-I have no immunity."
"In order to gain immunity, you need to interact with girls don't you."
That's something I can't do alone.
"Now then. How about you wear a cute dress?"
As I looked towards the female uniform, Yuuki's face reddened.
"Going outside in a uniform is impossible Nii-san!"
"Do you have any other feminine clothes?"
If I'm not wrong, she said before that she bought some clothes from Cicada-san (Selene).
"There is... something."
"Great. Wear that and let's go."
"S-spare me from going out!"
Yuuki shut her eyes tightly and bowed to me, pleading. It seemed like the mission of wearing girl's clothes and going outside at the same time was too high of a hurdle.
"Got it. Let's call off going outside. In exchange, how about you show me yourself in these clothes? I really want to see you in girly clothes."
Startled, she opened her eyes, blushed even more and nodded.
"Yup. I'll take the clothes out. I thought it's still early but... the time has come, hasn't it."
She headed to her bedroom, and after less than ten seconds, she came back while holding a big box.
Yuuki placed it on the table and opened it. Inside, a beautiful green dress was folded.
Seeing it in this state, it seemed like she hasn't taken it out from the box before.
She had a shy, very girly expression on her face at the moment.
"When I think I'm going to wear this, I'm really embarrassed."
"Even though you wanted me to check your underwear?"
"T-that's... it's not embarrassing to have them checked, but if my skirt were to be flipped and panties seen, t-that would be embarrassing."
I don't get what's the basis or criteria for her to get embarrassed.
She hung her head and started to rub her knees against each other.
"Um, I have something to ask you for Nii-san..."
Her appearance as she was squirming trying to say something seemed somewhat sweet.
"I-I want you to help me wear it."
"You can't put it on alone?"
"Yeah. This dress has a zipper really high on the back."
"Well, if it's pulling the zipper up then fine."
"Okay, I'll go to the bedroom and put it on as much as I can. I'll call you when I'm ready."
"Sure. Good luck."
I remained on the sofa, and waved to Yuuki who went ahead.
Until she's ready, let's watch TV. And just when I thought that, something fell down with a loud *thud*.
"U-UWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Nii-san! Help!"
A scream came from the bedroom.
Wondering if she found a cockroach, I opened the door and there was... half naked Yuuki. She was sitting on the floor. Her thighs were snugly closed, stuck to one another. Rather than taking off the clothes, it felt like she was putting them on. Also, there was no sign of cockroaches.
"W-what's up with that half-naked, or rather a half-wearing state of yours?!"
Her beautifully formed chest was exposed, her cleavage could only be described as magnificent. She was just barely wearing panties, although they were black, they had a sexy design with pink frills.
"Listen Nii-san. In the box with clothes... there was a garter belt. Even pants with a matching design... pink frills on black background, no matter how I look at them they don't fit me. I would be fine even if Cicada-san didn't do such a full coordination!"
Yuuki complained while holding stockings in her right hand. It was not time to be fascinated by her healthy navel and long slender legs. I turned my back to her and confirmed with her.
"So you fell down when you tried to put it on?"
"Y-yes... my heart started pounding strongly when I tried to wear the stockings..."
Last Saturday, she helped Mika who suddenly fell down, her reflexes are good and yet... why did she fall down.
"Nii-san... tell me how to wear a garter belt and stockings."
Yuuki muttered with a trembling, frightened voice. Do it yourself! Is what I wanted to say, but I promised to help her wear it.
"Got it. First, calm down. Garter belt is a sexy lingerie for advanced users, there's no need to hesitate. The opponent is just a cloth after all."
"Y-you're right. Sorry for that exaggerated scream."
If she were to be a klutz, her girl power would be quite high, but she wasn't one. She's desperately struggling to overcome herself. I cooperate with her. As her brother, in a brotherly way.
"Can you stand?"
I closed my eyes and reached out to her. Yuuki held my hand and stood up. Though, I could only guess she did.
"Thank you Nii-san. So, what do I do next?"
"Sit on the side of the bed for the time being."
That way she won't panic in the middle of wearing stockings.
"Ah! It's all right to not close your eyes. I'm not charming and cute enough to seduce Nii-san, since I don't have any girl power. Also, Nii-san considers me as his little sister so it's not embarrassing right?"
"You say that but... you have extremely high potential for girl power."
"Nii-san, you don't have to lie to boost my self-confidence."
"It's not a lie. Also, you're doing your best to become what you want to be. I think that ambitious people are attractive. That's why, Yuuki's a very cute and wonderful girl."
There was no answer. I didn't know what kind of expression she had since I closed my eyes, I might have said something very embarrassing too.
I was relieved to hear an answer. But, I wonder if my embarrassing speech went through.
"Then, can you do the rest alone?"
"Yes. But... I want Nii-san to put it on me. Take my stocking virginity."
Last time it was male virginityvirgin, today it's female virginityvirgin. That's a good growth.
"A-all right. But I'll keep my eyes closed as they are. Pass me the stocking."
My hands have come in contact with thin cloth. This circle over here is probably where the foot goes. What, it's simple. Calm down, me. It's something similar to putting pants on children.
"It's up, my leg's over here."
Yuuki took my hand and led it to her foot. I felt her fine skin with my hands and fingers. W-where the hell am I touching? Because my eyes were closed, the feeling in my hands was excessively emphasized. Also, this was somehow... perverted!
"What is it Nii-san?"
"N-nothing big. Umm... here?"
I moved my hands towards Yuuki's ankle... or rather I intended to. As I felt her skin over the fabric my fingers trembled.
"Wrong way Nii-san! Not there!"
"Hee. Nii-san's so clumsy. Wahhahha."
She laughed merrily. Nonono. It's not a laughing matter. Did I touch some outrageous place?
"Hurry up and put it on, Nii-san."
Completely different from her laugh from before, Yuuki muttered with a spoiled voice.
With my eyes still closed, I helped her wear stockings according to her instructions. Rather insisting on having me put it on her, it would definitely be faster if she did it herself!
As a finishing touch, I pulled the zipper up on the back of her dress.
"Okay, I'm opening my eyes."
Because I did this entire operation with my eyes closed, it felt like it took a while. From the beginning to end, I put it on while being instructed by Yuuki.
"Nii-san... how is it?"
In front of me, a goddess has descended. Both Yuuki and the dress loved each other mutually. The dress enhanced her charms, I think her appearance improved a lot just by wearing it. As I saw her legs clad in stockings extend from the skirt, my heart started to beat faster.
I... put that on her. I started to feel weirder and weirder.
"D-does it look good?"
Yuuki looked into my face anxiously.
"It looks perfect! Oh right, how about we go to other sister's room now?"
I was too scared of concentrating on Yuuki. Even if she's my little sister (candidate)... if I see that smile I might get knocked out by her girl power.
"B-but that's embarrassing after all!"
She blushed and started shaking her waving her hands in the air. Thanks to that childish gesture, it seemed like the girl power aura she exuded slightly subsided.
"Geez, I think that's better than showing yourself to strangers though."
If we were to do a surprise visit... it would be at Selene's place. She lives her days in her own pace, and doesn't change much. But if she were to see Yuuki wearing the clothes she made, she might be impressed.
Tomomi would be definitely surprised. No, unexpectedly she might be happy about it. Let's play a game, three of us! It's a match! I feel that's what she would say.
Were it to be Sayuri, it would be troublesome. If I suddenly brought Yuuki to her place... I have no idea what might happen.
How about Mika? Probably she would be delighted. Even though we'd appear all of a sudden, she would welcome us.
With that said, there was a possibility we might run into Murasaki-san, which is scary.
"I-if we went, then to whose room?"
"Hmm... isn't Mika's fine?"
"So Nii-san thought of that after all?"
"What's up with the 'after all'?"
"M-Mika-chan is rather than a girl rather than a child, or to be exact she looks younger than her actual age. Thanks to that, I don't feel any femininity from her."
"Speaking of which, when we gathered together last week you weren't so nervous around her, and you helped her when she almost fell down as well."
Yuuki was taking care of Mika back then. Since I had my hands full with the other little sister candidates back then, it was a great help.
"I will get along with Mika-chan now, and she will slowly grow more girly right? I will match her growth and will gradually get used to girls. After five years... I will marry Mika-chan, and will definitely make her happy."
She released a loud snort and aimed her fist toward the heavens.
"T-that was a joke, Nii-san."
It seemed to me like her eyes were serious.
Yuuki turned towards me and stared. It was the most serious expression of hers I've seen.
"But... I'm glad I have Nii-san."
As I tilted my neck puzzled, she laughed happily with her cheeks flushed. It was a wonderful smile that would attract anyone.
"To go along with me like this, Nii-san is a really good person. I'm really happy that I have a sibling like you."
"Being told that so formally feels embarrassing. Please spare me."
"No way. You're someone I admire. Thank you, Nii-san. I can't just rely on you all the time right?"
"Don't say that. You can rely on me more, okay?"
"Rather than me, there's someone else who needs Nii-san more, there are tiny little sisters out there. I'm an Onee-chan."
Her expression seemed just a little bit mature.
"But, since it's late and night's coming let's quit for today. In exchange, I'll do my best to go out in a skirt next time."
"Is that... fine?"
"Yup. It is. You don't need to worry about me. I'll use the courage Nii-san gave me and show you I can become a girl. No need to worry about me."
"Hearing you say that helps a lot."
"Ahaha! Oh right Nii-san, isn't it about time for a dinner?"
Yuuki changed into the pants and shirt from before and started to prepare dinner in the kitchen.
I could only choose one person. Although Yuuki said not to worry, that's precisely why I started to worry about her.
However. It was just as Yuuki said. Mika was the number one person who couldn't be left alone. Although I shouldn't put them in such order, I couldn't help but do it. Because I'm worried about all of them, I want to bind myself with them. I want to follow up. But, was that the same thing Taishido Jinya was thinking?
To make them all mine... I...
Notes and References
19th of April, Friday
Homework. Helping out. What Is a family...
Friday, after the morning homeroom was over Mariko came to my desk and suddenly asked me about little sisters.
My heart skipped a beat from surprise but it turned out that it was about her little sister Chitose-chan who was two years younger than we are; I've met her many times back when I was in elementary school. She really loved her Onee-chan and escaped whenever I called out to her.
When I asked Mariko whether their relationship is still so good, she responded with "Of course, she's my precious little sister." and smiled happily.
After school I returned to the Taishido residence and immediately headed to Room 201.
When the front door opened, I found Mika waiting while holding Maple, she bowed politely.
"Hello Mika. Maple too, are you in good health?"
"Yup! Maple says he's feeling a bit blue."
"Did something happen to make him depressed?"
"Umm... ehh, he's worried about Nee-chama's quarrelling."
So Mika was worrying about Tomomi and Sayuri's fight from last weekend all this time.
"I-I see. Yeah... um, can I enter?"
We moved from the front door to the living room and sat down on the sofa.
"Does Nii-chama remember the promise?"
"The promise... what was it?"
"Muu! Only a bad person forgets his promise with a lady. Mii-chan won the first place prize in the game didn't she?"
"Ahh〜〜〜. I remember. Did you decide on what you want?"
A happy smile bloomed on Mika's face and she nodded.
"Yup! For all of today, I want you to listen to what Mii-chan says."
"As long as I'm able to do it."
"Then umm, let's play first. Maple together with us too?"
Mika sat Maple on the stool and went to the room in the back, she returned shortly afterwards. In her hands she had a large sketchbook as well as a set of crayons.
"Draw together with Mii-chan!"
She began to draw a girl with a crayon. She was quite good.
"Nii-chama, please draw on that half."
"What do I draw?"
"The theme is up to you."
"Let's see... how about I try drawing Maple."
After a few minutes, a mysterious hairy object and Orange-chan from Pretty Rangers Fruity were lined up.
Character's eyes on Mika's drawing were large like those from a shoujo manga, but she definitely had more talent for drawing than I did.
"Mika's very good at painting."
"Yupp! Mii-chan's friends from class praise her too. Ahh! Time!"
After she looked at her watch, she stood up and went to bring the tablet from her bedroom.
"I left the timer so that we can gather when Nii-chama comes."
Mika launched an application for growing mushrooms. We harvested them together by touching and dragging our fingers. The light sound effects when they were plucked were quite comfortable.
"Nii-chama pulled a lot of mushrooms today."
"Not pulled but took... I wonder if that was fair."
After completing the harvest, Mika set the timer for the next time.
There was no changes from last week. I was relieved that she didn't ask anything outrageous of me.
"Um, Nii-chama. Mii-chan... wants to take a bath."
"A bath? Want me to wash the bathtub?"
"Not that, Mii-chan wants to take bath together with Nii-chama!"
"Yes. It's an order."
Since Mika had a solid determination, I had to obediently follow the order. I operated the water heater and prepared the bath. In less than thirty minutes, the bathtub was filled with water.
"Is it okay to enter the bath before dinner?"
"Yup! That's plan for today."
Mika decisively asserted with a confident expression, she took my hand and pulled me into the dressing room. She placed Maple on a towel stand and raised her arms in banzai pose.
"Take it off Nii-chama! Today Nii-chama will do everything I tell him to right?"
"H-hey... you're in sixth grade, so you can take a bath alone right?"
"Just today! Just today please!"
Sometimes Mika switches to polite speech. I think that at a time like this she thinks of herself as 'elder sister'. She pretends to be elder sister and yet behaves like spoiled child at the same times, how strange.
Reluctantly, I took off Mika's clothes. Her shoulders appeared from beneath.
"Are you not wearing a bra?"
"'You have no boobs so you don't need it' I was told."
"Is that so."
I was relieved that Mika had a flat chest and the body of a child. I didn't feel anything at all from it. If it was Tomomi or Yuuki I might've been excited and my heart would pound like mad but... hey, we're siblings so I shouldn't get excited at all. I turned away and took off my shirt and pants. I entered the bathroom with Mika and washed her hat-covered head with a shampoo.
"Does it itch anywhere my lady?"
"There Nii-chama, scrub there more... aa, afuaa."
My finger directly massaged the place Mika was feeling itchy at.
I rinsed her head with a shower and had her enter the bathtub after her body was washed.
"Count to hundred before you leave it."
"Yup! One, two, ten, hundred!"
"We're still on four though."
"Uuu... so mean. Four, five, six, seven... hundred!"
"Without cheating please."
Mika let out a small sigh and nodded.
"Haa... I wanted to enter the bath together with Nii-chama."
"If I enter as well the hot water will spill out."
"Ah... I see. This is only enough for Mii-chan to enjoy."
That's quite difficult wording, where did she... Ah! It must be Murasaki-san's influence.
She properly counted to a hundred in the bathtub warming up before she got out. I wiped her body with a towel, dried her hair with a drier and combed it with a comb.
I was reminded of how I accompanied Mariko when she was playing with dolls.
The dinner was the same as last week, a pizza delivery. Mika ordered it through the phone "the one from before please", she muttered anxiously.
The pizza that arrived was not the same as the last one, this one has clearly way too much vegetables on it. Moreover, peppers accounted for one quarter of the whole pizza, it was a 'three colour paprika pizza' children were bad at. The amount of peppers was enough to have an adult be taken aback.
It was a colourful pizza with red, green and yellow on the pieces. Mika closed her eyes and spoke.
"Mii-chan's an adult so she can eat green peppers. Let's eat!"
"Are you really going to eat it?"
Mika nodded and bit into the green pepper pizza. Her expression clouded over for a moment.
"If it's bad then there's no need to overdo it."
"I'm not! If Mii-chan eats it, Nii-chama will compliment her."
She pushed the pizza into her mouth with tears in her eyes and swallowed it without chewing.
"Eh, you're amazing Mika."
"Praise Mii-chan more like the Onee-san she is."
"Ohh, Mika can eat so many green peppers. You're really grown up."
"Yup! Mii-chan is more grown up than she looks!"
Just how powerful was her force of will, I also tried to eat the green pepper pizza but... it's awful. It was a taste only someone who loves green peppers would like. Why would Mika ask for this kind of pizza?
In the end, since she would be pitiful if I left it like that I decided to eat the rest of the three-coloured paprika pizza. When we moved on to the remaining pizza I suddenly thought.
"By the way Mika, when did you eat the pizza that was left in the refrigerator last time?"
"When, umm... every day until it disappears. When I store for longer, I put in a plastic bag with a zipper and freeze it again."
"I see. Tomorrow Mika's coming to my room so let's freeze this one already."
I've frozen the pizza according to Mika's instructions.
"Nii-chama, I'll make cocoa! Today's a special one with marshmallow. Maple was told by the doctor he can't eat sweets so he'll pass."
The age Maple had according to her setting was a mystery. Mika placed cups with instant cocoa powder, added hot milk and stirred it with a spoon after which she dropped the marshmallows as a finishing touch. I took two cups with cocoa, and after leaving the pizza in the freezer I went back to the living room.
"You're really diligent today."
"It's helping out. Oh right! I'll massage Nii-chama's shoulders! Nii-chama is always doing things, cheers for hard work!"
Mika tried to go around the sofa.
"My shoulders aren't stiff but..."
"No good! That's not in the schedule so please stiffen your shoulders Nii-chama."
I can't stiffen my shoulders on purpose. Also, schedule...
Before I could even say something, Mika started lightly hitting my shoulders. With Mika's small and thin hands massage was unlikely to have any effect but... it made me somehow relieved. She continued to tap my shoulders for a while and then moved in front of me again.
"Nii-chama, was Mii-chan able to properly help out?"
"Yeah. My shoulders feel so light now it feels like I grew wings. Thank you."
She laughed happily. I hope she won't tell me "That'll be 10000 yen" while maintaining that expression.
"What's wrong Nii-chama? Your face is scary."
She has work ethics. But would spending pocket money for that be a good idea? It's weird I helped out and didn't get paid for it! If she becomes a girl like that I'll be troubled.
"Umm, Mii-chan was taught earlier."
"Listen listen! Kenta-kun said that it's good to help out even if you don't get pocket money for it. It's the feeling of wanting to help out that is important."
My imaginary fears were blown away in an instant. GOOD JOB! Kenta-kun!
"Y-yeah. Kenta-kun's a good guy."
"Yup. That's why Mii-chan wants to be like that too."
What I wanted to teach Mika the most was conveyed to her by Kenta-kun... hey, why am I being disappointed here. Mika being blessed with good friends is a good thing isn't it.
In the first place, I don't do any work to get money so I have no right to say that. It's because Kenta-kun is the same age as Mika that she felt its convincing.
While thinking about that, I slowly drank cocoa together with her. The time from now on was "free time" according to Mika. We watched her favourite anime and folded origami together, after that Mika started to doze off.
It was already half past 8 p.m., she always goes to bed at nine so it was about thirty minutes early today.
"Aren't you starting to get sleepy? Go brush your teeth."
"Yup. Um... last thing for today. I want to sleep together with Nii-chama."
Hearing those words my heart skipped a beat. No, even though it really did skip a beat it's not like that... hey, ever since I started involving myself with the little sister candidates I developed a habit of making excuses to myself.
"Y-yeah. Got it."
I'll stay beside her until she falls asleep. Mika smiled, took toothpaste and went to wash her teeth. After that she pulled me with her small hand to the bedroom. She sat down on a single-person sized bed with a loud noise.
"Nii-chama is sleeping here today. Maple has a day off for now."
So she was sleeping with Maple beside her every day. Also, I just wanted to stay beside her, but at this rate it'll really be sleeping together. But I don't care, she's my little sister (candiate) after all.
Mika turned the bed's light and after the room's main light was turned off she lied down close to the wall.
"Hurry hurry Nii-chama."
"Then, excuse me."
"Yup. Also, according to the plan Mii-chan will be hugged by Nii-chama and when she falls asleep she will be told "good girl" and pat on her head."
"S-sure. Like this?"
I patted her head gently, Mika nodded few times.
"Yes. All done."
Mika raised herself slightly.
"Not going to sleep?"
"Yes. But I need to confirm whether everything is done. Nii-chama please confirm it."
She stood up and turned on the lights in the room, from the randosel that was beside the study desk she took out a paper and with small pauses for a breath she began to read the essay aloud.
"My Onii-chan. Sixth year, Ookuma Mika. I have an Onii-chan in high school. He's very cool, gentle, can use magic and do anything. He's playing together with me. We draw together, play games and take baths together. When we eat our meals he praises me for eating green peppers I'm bad with. That's why I want to be of help to my Onii-chan. I want to hurry up and become an adult, now I can only massage his shoulders. We drink cocoa and go to sleep together. I love my Onii-chan the most."
What happened today was written down. So she wanted to do all these things today.
"Is that your school's homework?"
"Yes! We were told the theme is 'family'. Teacher knows about Mii-chan so she told me that I don't need to do it, but since Mii-chan has a family now she said to Teacher that there is no need to worry."
What she said had resonated deep inside of me. But if I made a dark expression Mika would definitely ask 'is the essay no good?', so as not to make her worry I made a warm smile.
"It's a good essay."
"Yup! Mii-chan's amazing right?"
"Yeah. You're really great, I'm proud to have Mika in my family."
"Yup! Mii-chan is someone Nii-chama can boast about!"
Mika put the essay back in the randosel, turned the lights off and went back to bed.
"Um. Nii-chama, Mii-chan wants you to stay beside until she falls asleep."
"Of course. I'll be here until Mika's sleeping soundly."
Her expression loosened and she turned off the bed light. In the room that turned pitch black Mika fell asleep just after a few minutes.
She was probably half asleep but Mika squeezed my body tightly as if it was a body pillow... and suddenly bit my neck. Even though I said bit, it light and sweet. Maple must've been usually going through this. While gently stroking Mika's hair I thought.
It's been only two weeks, but was I able to become a good Onii-chan for these little sister candidates?
Notes and References
- ↑ ブルー入ってる blue here refers to being depressed.
20th of April, Saturday
Change. Growth. Parting?
Last night I returned to my room after leaving sleeping Mika. I greeted the Saturday morning without sleeping a wink. Before I noticed, it was already 10 a.m..
As I rolled about on the bed, the door's chime rang out. Little sister candidates will enter the room without asking for permission so there was no need for me to go and pick them up at the door.
The time to decide was approaching, when I recalled events that happened up until now, it was quite fun. Since I was an only child I was confused when I heard about the little sister candidates but... I'm glad. The exchanges with the little sister candidates reminded me I'm still immature as well, and I felt really joyous that I had a family other than Grandpa and Granny.
I raised my body from the bed and headed towards the front door.
When I opened the door, I found five of them lined up in a row in front of the elevator. Wait, why are all of them wearing the same thing, a maid outfit?
The five of them bowed to me at the same time, Tomomi as the representative looked up and told me.
"Since we've received lots of love from Nii-chan... we're going to settle the score today!"
"Though, the way you say it makes it seem like I'm going to be beaten up by all of you."
Sayuri quietly corrected it.
"Onii-sama. It might be abrupt but little sisters became maids for today."
"Maids... what's this about?"
"This morning, in front of all of our rooms we found clothes in vanity cases. Murasaki-san must have arranged it."
That moment, Yuuki wanted to say something but she closed her mouth. I somewhat understood what she wanted to say. These maid clothes' design was without a doubt 'Undying Cicada' brand.
Mika smiled while embracing Maple, Maple too dressed up like a maid.
"Now now! Maple is a boy so he's cross-dressing to match Mii-chan."
When I turned my gaze towards Selene, she looked away. She had noticed that I realized it. That reaction, it seemed like she wanted me to stay silent.
Tomomi puffed her chest.
"I was surprised that the size was a perfect fit. My chest doesn't feel tight and there isn't excess cloth either, its size is perfect. Since we have already changed our clothes let's not waste the effort! Don't stand there daydreaming Nii-chan, let's go inside."
The little sister maids carried their luggage in. I was worried about whether Tomomi and Sayuri would get in a fight, but it seemed okay for now.
The one who went inside last, Sayuri stared at me.
"Onii-sama, have you eaten anything already?"
She brought a weird board with her. The preparedness and planning in advance, skilfully slipping into role of a maid, it was so very much like her.
"No, I haven't."
"Then, I shall take care of it immediately."
Sayuri felt like a chief maid. She immediately unloaded the ingredients in the kitchen. When I went to the living room, I saw Selene expanding the sewing set on a table.
"...isn't that button off? I'll fix it, but I'll have to break your zipper first."
"That would be putting the cart before the horse."
Tomomi plugged a game console different from the one last time to the TV in the living room.
"Nii-chan let's play! I brought games!"
Only her appearance was that of a maid, she acted like she usually does.
Yuuki timidly whispered into my ear.
"I-I... umm... that's right. I'll give you a massage Nii-san!"
"No, if it's a massage then you're too late. I got one from Mika yesterday."
Mika was sitting on my knees as I sat on sofa.
I didn't know who to take care of first. Tomomi finished connecting the game console and stood up.
"Then, let's go in this order. Until lunch is finished Nii-chan and I will play a game. In the meanwhile Yuuki will be cleaning the room. Selene is given the right to laze around in Nii-chan's room. Sayuri is in charge of lunch. Mika will cheer for Nii-chan."
I thought Sayuri will immediately oppose Tomomi... but that didn't happen.
"...I'm going to check Onii-chan's closet."
Selene stood quietly, Yuuki also nodded.
"Leave cleaning to me! Oh, I'll do laundry. Nii-san must've hoarded a lot of it."
"S-Selene wants to help out too?"
"T-TT-then let's do it together."
Despite being not good when dealing with girls, Yuuki invited Selene. That was amazing progress. Sayuri's yell came from the kitchen.
"It will take an hour more over here."
Tomomi immediately replied to Sayuri.
"OKAYY. Then, let's play for an hour."
The one who was sitting on my knees, Mika had a worried expression.
"Nii-chama and Nee-chama, who should I cheer on?"
With a gentle smile, Tomomi responded.
"It's okay if Mika cheers for Nii-chan!"
"Then Nii-chan, let's have a match! Today's racing!"
Tomomi started the console, the game was a go-kart racing game that allowed playing against each other.
It was a game for two, it was made so that we took turns when playing against the computer in Grand Prix format. It was a best of five races... surprisingly, Tomomi set it up so that I'm entertained.
The final result of the Grand Prix was me in the first place and Tomomi in the second.
"Kuhh. Not bad Nii-chan. No, it's definitely because of Mika's cheering."
"Nii-chama's amazing! First place prize! Nee-chama too, second place prize!"
What's up with everyone all of a sudden? For a while now, I'm completely confused by them.
"Ah, yeah. Thank you for your support Mika."
Saturday was passing in peace, the lunch Sayuri made was delicious. I wanted to help clean the tableware, but they didn't allow me to do anything.
Selene used the electric pill removal machine she brought and removed all the pill from my clothes. She demonstrated her skilfulness as she fixed all the frayed parts and buttons on them. Even the things I didn't notice before looked better.
Mika took initiative to help out and washed the dishes.
The one who controlled everyone's movement was Tomomi. There were no complaints, she distributed the time with me evenly with every girl swapping them. She seemed like a military commander.
Thanks to that I was far from being tired, I was able to spend my day without any concerns.
At night everyone decided to go to bed early to match Mika. After the dinner everyone took a bath one after another, little sisters changed from maid clothes into pyjamas and lined up in the living room while holding pillows.
Again, Tomomi appealed to me as the representative.
"Today everyone will be sleeping with Nii-chan for the entire night."
"Everyone sleeping together is impossible isn't it."
Sayuri turned her head to left and right.
"There is no problem. If it's the bed in the widest room, everyone can get in."
Yuuki nodded in agreement.
"I have properly washed the sheets and prepared the bed."
Mika's eyes seemed to sparkle.
"It's going to be fun with everyone together. Can Maple also come?"
Selene shook her head vertically.
Tomomi took my arm and pulled me up from the sofa.
"Let's go then Nii-chan!"
Both Yuuki and Sayuri pushed me from behind. It seemed... like I had no right to refuse.
"I-I get it! I'll go! I'll walk myself!"
I gave up and went to the widest bedroom. Even the largest bed shouldn't be able to fit us all.
"If we use the long side of the bed we could have everyone sleep side by side. Rather than using it normally, we should use it in reverse..."
My proposal was rejected by Sayuri.
"Onii-sama, please lie down in the middle and rest with your legs and arms outstretched."
"But that would make it too narrow for everyone else."
"Not narrow, it will allow close contact."
Just as Sayuri said that, Tomomi tackled my waist.
"Woahh! What are you doing!"
"Just lie down and go to sleep Nii-chan!"
After I was pushed down and sprawled on the bed, Tomomi used my right arm as a pillow.
"Early bird gets the worm!"
"Then, I'm over here."
In just a split second Sayuri settled on my left arm.
"...I'll settle for the leg."
Selene snuggled to my right leg.
"Then I'll take this leg."
It's as if they were sharing food. What am I, a fried chicken?!
"Mii-chan over here!"
The last one was Mika and Maple, they settled down on top of my stomach. Rather than a fried chicken, it was more accurate to call it a combining robot.
I confirmed how they were settled down.
"Are we really sleeping like this?"
All the little sisters nodded in unison. Apparently, they won't listen to my objections.
The promised two weeks have come to an end.
On the Sunday morning we welcomed Murasaki-san in the living room.
"Has the little sister been decided on?"
Little sister candidates were lined up behind me. Only one out of five, I couldn't choose. The moment I tried to turn around——
"Wait a moment!"
Tomomi raised her voice, it was unusually bright tone.
"Listen, there's something we have to say to Nii-chan. Ah! Stay like that as you listen. Somehow it feels like I'll get embarrassed if you look this way and my determination will go away."
And so, starting with Tomomi the little sister candidates declared one after another.
"I too have something to say to Onii-sama. I won't let only Tomomi-san to be the one to do it."
"Can I do it too Nii-san? It's something that can be only said here and now."
"Mii-chan too has something to say to Nii-chama and Nee-chama's."
"...let's do it in sequential order, I'm first as the Monday's representative."
Selene slowly took a breath a few times. I confirmed with her.
"Is looking behind no good?"
"...yes. I don't want you to look at the past but at the future."
She continued with a clear voice.
"...I only rely on Onii-chan whenever I'm by his side, as such I cannot become the little sister."
Didn't she want to be my little sister? Why would she bring up such a thing all of a sudden. There's no problem with relying on me right?
Following Selene, Tomomi laughed.
"What's this, then as not to repeat what Selene said. Umm... me too Nii-chan, I give up on being little sister. I thought of using Nii-chan to have people acknowledge me... to use Taishido name, I was wrong. Also, I'm in the same grade as Nii-chan is... I'm everyone's Onee-chan."
She said it with a bright tone of voice, I didn't know what kind of expression Tomomi had. Murasaki-san's expression didn't change one bit.
Sayuri lightly exhaled air and said.
"M-me too, I decided so last night when we shared the bed with Onii-sama. This is the last time I'll call you like this... Onii-sama, you have taught me a different way of living. Rather to follow the fate that was given to me, I decided to select my own fate. I... refuse to become the little sister."
And then suddenly, I felt her exhale beside my ear. As she suddenly approached, a chill ran down my spine.
"Because a little sister can't become a lover."
Whether its being permitted by law, ethical or common sense it's all out. Can it be that was the answer Sayuri put all her thinking in?!
Seeing Sayuri whisper to me, Tomomi started protesting.
"Ahh! What are you talking about in secret! Not fair!"
"Fufufufu... it's nothing. There are no rules stating I can't whisper."
"UMMMM! Can I?"
Yuuki's yell interrupted Tomomi and Sayuri's quarrel. There's no way even Yuuki would tell she wants to quit being a little sister.
"I have undertaken the challenge to become a girl. I haven't become more feminine yet. So from now I'll show you that I can polish myself and become a splendid girl. Without relying on Nii-san I'll do it myself. That's why, the boyish me isn't suitable to become a little sister."
Even though I'm fine with being relied on... did I get in Yuuki's way? No, surely Yuuki is thinking about Mika. She wants me to choose Mika instead...
That's why Mika was the only one who wouldn't say such a thing.
"If Mii-chan is the only one who is little sister, Nee-chama's will surely be lonely. That's why... if everyone is to disappear, Mii-chan doesn't want to be little sister!"
Even though she was the one who is most lonely, she thought of what will follow after I make my choice... if I choose Mika, everyone will scatter.
"This is troubling."
Murasaki-san muttered with an indifferent tone of voice.
"U-umm... because I was carelessly acting as their brother, that's how it ended up."
"I would like to confirm it once again... if the little sister isn't chosen Yoichi-san will lose the rights to the inheritance."
"Anyone is fine so pick whoever you want... is what you're saying?"
"Little sister candidates aren't allowed to decline. There is no right of veto. The one Yoichi-san choses will formally become his little sister."
She said it with a cold expression. Even if the chosen one would loathe me, she would become my little sister if I decided so.
What I have done in these two weeks. I dragged Selene outside. I helped Tomomi become more cooperative. I made Sayuri want to be more honest. I gave Yuuki some confidence. I didn't want Mika to be lonely.
I wanted to help them even if just a little, the result was just this half-assed act of theirs. I looked behind.
Everyone... was crying. Their tears made me feel like crying as well. But as their older brother I couldn't allow myself to cry.
"Listen. I... all of you..."
I couldn't decide. I couldn't pick only one person. We're all family. A cold voice came from behind my trembling back. It was Murasaki-san.
"It can't be helped. I'll ask again next week."
With these words, all little sister candidates opened their eyes wide.
"W-wait Murasaki-san! Today's the deadline..."
"I'll excuse myself."
When I turned around again, Murasaki-san was turned with her back to us and walked towards the front door at a brisk pace.
All strength left my body.
What on earth has happened? It was as if heaven and earth was turned over. Nothing has been resolved, and no one was able to become my little sister...
"Hey Nii-chan? What do we do?"
As I heard Tomomi's voice, I turned towards the little sister candidates again.
"What do we do... t-there's one week to decide isn't there?"
"Ehh! Like I said before I have no intention of becoming the little sister."
Other little sister candidates nodded after she said that.
"I-is that really fine?
Even though they could take huge heritage of Taishido household. Enough for them to happily play around for few lifetimes.
Selene moved half a step in front.
"...what do you want to do Onii-chan? 'It was a road you picked by yourself, you need to take a single step forward first!' is what you said to me, haven't you."
She returned my words back to me unchanged. If it was told by someone who couldn't even choose a road to go down on, its persuasiveness would be completely gone.
"If Nii-chan is lost then I have a piece of advice. I don't know if it will become your strength but 'The eldest son and eldest daughter being equal doesn't sound bad right?'. To share happiness with everyone, I'll take half of the trouble upon myself."
Tomomi smiled, even though she was crying just a moment ago she seemed to be pushing herself. If you push yourself like that and care about me so gently...
"Or are you maybe uneasy about the fact someone didn't decide rails for you? 'In life, there are times during which you derail. However, from the point you derailed, why not find a new path for yourself?' is what you told me haven't you."
"It might be difficult but 'you're doing your best to become what you want to be. I think that ambitious people are attractive' is what Nii-san said right? I'll cheer you on so face forward. I'm happy to have such a wonderful brother."
I wonder if I'm a human who's worthy of Yuuki's cheers.
"Even if there's no money, Mii-chan is 'proud to have such family'. If it's not alone, then Mii-chan wants to be little sister."
I was completely cornered. By their words, and by my own weakness.
Tomomi moved a step forward, drawing close to me.
"What will you do, Nii-chan?"
"I... can't choose."
They're so lively and fun, I don't want to lose those irreplaceable little sisters of mine.
"Do you really want us to be your little sisters? We want to become Nii-chan's strength you know? That's why we'll always say."
Little sisters nodded to each other with a smile and said in a chorus.
"""""Shall I make you a big brother?"""""
Nice to meet you for the first time!
I'm Sugiyama Ryuu. This time I was allowed to debut in MF Bunko. Please take care of me.
Since I'm an only child, I've always been longing have brothers or sisters.
If I only had a cute little sister of a reliable older brother... and such delusions have given birth to this story.
The protagonist——Yoichi-kun was suddenly given five little sisters, and from the beginning till end he was confused about what to do. He was pulled around between various unique little sisters, and wasn't able to call himself a reliable brother yet.
Sure enough, the ones who hold the key deciding whether Yoichi-kun can become a splendid big brother are the five little sister candidates.
The first one to be seen is the stay-at-home downer girl Selene-chan. She can't clean up and is a shut-in who loves to laze around in home! If I write only this much, it'll seem like she's the worst kind of human being, but in fact she has a great talent for making clothes. In order to measure size for the clothes she throws her arms around other little sister candidates. Truly an outrageous girl.
The second one is the gamer girl Tomomi-chan who loves competitions. She's a little sister but also she's a high school freshman just like Yoichi-kun. It's a mysterious setting to have a little sister in the same grade. She wants to compete with Yoichi kun but also she also honestly reveals "I want to be spoiled by Onii-chan!" type of feelings. "Take care of me! Play with me! Look over here!", a puppy-like girl.
The third one is honour student manual girl Sayuri-chan. An orthodox little sister character who will cook for her Onii-chan... is what I thought, but when there's no manual to follow the honour student mask comes off and she's incredibly anxious. Her weakness is the word 'fate' and tends to surrender often. After meeting with Yoichi-kun her mask fell off and was supposed to find 'quality of being herself'... but it seems like the situation became even more complicated.
The fourth one is a very refreshing boyish girl Yuuki-chan. Even though she's a little sister she cross-dresses. In fact because of one boy back in elementary school she started polishing her already cool appearance and atmosphere, which led her to become very popular among girls. Before I become a little sister I want to become a full-fledged girl! And in order to fulfil that wish of Yuuki-chan's, Yoichi-kun contributes to her girl power increase.
The fifth is an orthodox little girl Mika-chan. She's in sixth grade of elementary school but she both looks and acts younger than her actual age and her classmates. A girl who wants to hurry up and become an adult lady to help Onii-chan and her sisters... however, seeing her current cuteness and loveliness you want to watch over her more and more, her older brother's heart was filled unexpectedly with parental love. She could be called an existence that's on a cheat-level when it comes to cuteness.
And the protagonist spends two weeks with such unique five individuals, the five problem children little sister candidates.
I would be very happy if you have enjoyed it.
And last, for those who patiently interacted with me as this book was written, S-sama in charge of me. The one who drew charming little sisters kakao-sama. And you all who have accompanied me me until this last line of text. Thank you.