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