Revenge. High Tension. 2nd Date.
"Nii-chan, do you know the difference between 'kiseki' and 'miracle'?"
"Both of them mean the same... right?"
That's probably not the case, which is why she asks, but I couldn't think of a difference.
"It's just something I discovered myself, but 'kiseki' also includes your own desires. For example, rambling of someone who luckily miraculously survived his surgery. Or someone who was able to miraculously escape, kind of thing."
"Hmm, I still can't really tell."
"The doctors performs surgery wanting to save and the person escaping wants to escape safely, that is why 'kiseki' happens."
"Then what about 'miracle'?"
"That one is unexpected, good luck. For example, that'd be passing by a person in the city wearing the same T-shirt. You don't really go into the city thinking 'I want to pass by someone in the same T-shirt!'. But, when met with such a situation, it feels like a miracle."
"Being told that it kinda feels like that... or maybe not."
"Is today's date 'kiseki'? Or is it 'miracle'? I wonder."
Upon exiting the complicated premises of the station through the ticket gate, Tomomi's eyes sparkled.
The place I chose... that's.
"O' Akihabara! I have come back!"
"Came back you say, did you live somewhere in this area before? In that case there'll be no freshness. My bad... I failed my research."
Tomomi raised her index finger, then shook it sideways with "tch tch tch".
"That's wrong Nii-chan. This, was an appointment."
"I know nothing of that appointment but... since you seem to be having fun, it doesn't seem like a bad choice."
"Well, Nii-chan is no ota so it can't be helped. By the way... it's actually my first time in Akihabara."
"So it's Akiba virgin siblings, isn't it."
"Please stop putting it that way."
For a few days I stared at the map of this place on my smartphone.
Since the photo data of the street's map were old, the optician store in front of the station seemed to have changed into Seka game centre and a building of Radio Kaikan, the symbol of Akihabara was also under construction there.
Still, the main impression of the city was how I prepared for it.
The station's building was new, but the Electric Town didn't change all that much.
Tomomi's attire today was an extension of her casual clothes. She wore a hoodie and shorts. Her shoes were the sneakers she was accustomed to, taken with emphasis on walking. Also, she had natural, very thin make-up.
Lined up behind us were our today's observers.
Sayuri looked at the square in front of Yamama Denki stores, then turned towards me again.
"Onii-sama. Today we shall properly observe you until the end."
Tomomi showed Sayuri her tongue.
"You don't have to come."
"We can't do that! Yuuki-san and Mika-san, please observe firmly as we..."
Slipping through by Sayuri, Mika rushed towards Seka gaming centre.
Woah, by the entrance to it, there was an accustomed person with a huge umbrella.
The character from the application Mika loves was working on sales... in the first place, she had come to Akihabara to play. While chasing after Mika, Yuuki said to me.
"Nii-san, leave Mika-chan to me!"
"S-sure! Take care!"
Tomomi's shoulders were raising and falling lightly.
"I'm not at the age to get excited over a mushroom. Ah! Sayuri, if you want to join that team, don't refrain yourself."
"E-even I do think... it's cute but... I need to properly fulfil the role of observer and report to Selene-san, I'll haunt you from behind like a stalker ghost."
And, about at the same time Sayuri declared that, a mail had arrived at my smartphone. It was from Selene, who was waiting in the apartment.
Wanting to surprise Tomomi, until we reached the destination I didn't say where are we going for today's date, it seems like it was a shock to Selene. Written in the e-mail was this.
『"Going to Akihabara is no fair. The support bussiness is over for today."』
Heck, she suddenly abandoned her duties! Somehow, I thought she might be envious, but was Akihabara that shocking to you, miss Selene.
Peeking into my smartphone, Tomomi laughed.
"She's sulking. Well, Selene's in that kind of state, Sayuri, since you can no longer report anything you don't have to force yourself you know? I mean, your interests are limited to cooking appliances and stuff."
"Certainly, I am interested in the newest oven range and fryer that doesn't use oil, but I'm more interested in Tomomi-san's behaviour who desperately tries to make it you two are alone. Do you intend to do something you feel guilty about? I can't help but be suspicious of that."
Sayuri said that with a smile. Her eyes, were not laughing. Tomomi's shoulders twitched strongly.
"N-no such thing. Rather, in the first place, it's Nii-chan's and my date, being alone is normal, NORMAL!"
"Strictly speaking it's not a date, but practice. Moreover, a second date with Onii-sama... the practice that is, it's too enviable."
Like Habu and Mongoose, the two sisters gazes were scattering sparks. It seems like they'll get into a fight unless I stop them.
"Wa-wait a moment! Sayuri, this time I was the one who invited Tomomi."
"First time hearing that. W-why have you? Does Onii-sama want to date Tomomi-san more and more?"
"Umm... that's... that..."
Tomomi puffed her chest.
"So that I can properly date my boyfriend, we're going to practice for the second time. Isn't that right, Nii-chan?"
She followed up after me. I'll get on that.
"Y-yeah. That's how it is! Think of it as of generous support."
Sayuri poured her teary line of sight towards me.
"I understand. If it's long term support in order for Tomomi-san to take the first step towards her bright future with her boyfriend, I shall not object to it but..."
Her line of sight moved from me towards Tomomi.
"By the way, when will you introduce your boyfriend to us?"
That Tomomi, not only me, but she didn't introduce him to her sisters either.
I can tell it might be hard for her to introduce him to me, but she's trying quite hard to keep him secret. Or maybe just like Selene said...
No good. I can't go doubting Tomomi.
As siblings, we should believe her and cooperate.
"About time we go. We're behind the schedule."
I took Tomomi's hand. Sayuri fell silent dissatisfied. Sorry Sayuri, bear it for today.
Tomomi shook her head cheerfully.
"Yup! Where are we going first Nii-chan?"
I had one standing out store bookmarked on the smartphone's map.
"Hey! Nii-chan, Nii-chan! I want to see Gamers!"
She reacted immediately to the anime store along the street.
"Sure. Let's go then."
We headed to the store, crowded on the weekend. Tomomi rushed to the sixth floor immediately.
The assortment in the corner of the sixth floor were card trading games, she nodded while humming quietly.
"As expected of this assortment. Hmm, tournament starts in the evening... haa?! I don't have my deck, uuu... if I only knew it's Akihabara. Rather, as expected on the Saturday it must be already full of participants."
When I took a glance behind, Sayuri was dutifully waiting outside. Today, she might remain like that the entire time.
Then we visited exhibition area on the fifth floor. In middle of airing, held there was a magical girl anime museum.
Surely, were Selene to be here it would inspire her creativity.
After taking a look around the store and left it, Tomomi took a deep breath.
Because of excitement, her face was slightly flushed.
"It's amazing. There's autograph signing on coloured papers, events everywhere, truly feels like Akihabara!"
"And your shopping?"
"For now let's look around freely! I've memorized the items I'm interested in."
I wonder, just how much is she intending to buy.
When I checked behind us, worried, Sayuri seemed slightly light-headed.
"Are you okay Sayuri?"
"Please don't mind me and have fun on your date. I am but a mere shadow."
Tomomi nodded strongly.
"Then, taking you up on your words, where are we going next Nii-chan?"
We rushed towards the famous pedestrian, central street. When we raised our heads the signboard of Onodenbouya has come into our view. A train was running on top of a green iron bridge, it was possible to look up at it from the underpass. It was a strange sight.
I checked up on the map and without going on the other side of the crossing, I turned to the right.
Since the pedestrian street wasn't working as such today, people overflowed from the sidewalk.
There was quite a lot of foreign tourists. There were not just duty-free shops with electronics, but also ones that sold Japanese fans, Happis and Lanterns, even Japanese dolls.
The electronics like personal computers, smartphones and other high-tech equipment had fused with otaku culture of anime and games.
Even in the wide world this place was unusual. Cool Japan? Was it.
As we proceeded on the sidewalk and through the crosswalk, Tomomi suddenly howled. I picked up that she must have known the store beside us as she suddenly stopped. It must have been that famous.
"It's heeree! Shishinoana! Nii-chan, we're minors so let's proceed with moderation."
Tomomi brought me inside the building with orange walls. Inside, there was an A-hall and B-hall. By the way, the one Tomomi headed to was A-hall. B-hall was aimed at women... something like that. Even though she's a girl, for some reason she wouldn't go to B-hall.
My research was lacking. Well, if she wants to go there then let's do that.
The attraction over here were mostly "doujinshi". Tomomi stopped moving after reaching fourth floor.
"U-uwahhh! Nii-chan, I want to hurry and be adult!"
"What's this all of a sudden?"
Tomomi was lost, completely lost, continuously distressed she finally said "Now, lets keep our bodies pure, Nii-chan!" and gave up on going upstairs. Just what on earth is there from the fifth floor and above?
After purchasing what caught her eyes, the moment she jumped out of the shop, Tomomi immediately rushed to the blue building next to it.
"Animete! I can't help but enter!"
Somehow, ever since we have left the ticket gate, Tomomi was in incredibly high spirits. Like an owner of an overly-enthusiastic dog, I was pulled around by her.
"Anime Tenchou goods... so there's even something like this!"
Keeping up with her when she's so excited must be hard on Sayuri... and, when I suddenly checked behind us Sayuri was standing in the goods corner checking crimson sun visor, puzzled.
No way, she's interested?!
And, seeing my surprised gaze Sayuri put the sun visor back on the shelf, then hurriedly hid in the shadows.
My shoulder was tapped twice.
"Nii-chan is minding Sayuri too much!"
When I turned around, Tomomi's finger was poked into my cheek.
"A-are you a grade student or what?!"
"Yaay! Nii-chan got caught!"
Seeing Tomomi have fun, I had no energy to get angry.
Even though she hasn't bought anything yet, Tomomi left the building with a refreshed expression.
"Where to next Nii-chan?! Hurry, hurry!"
"I've got a question... is there any difference between these stores?"
"Of course atmosphere and the customer based as well. Also, even though they sell same goods and books, they provide different bonuses!"
Hmm, I don't know what those bonuses are, but being told that I realized there was a lot of girls in Animete.
After returning to the main street we proceeded towards the Suehirocho, then used a crosswalk to go across the street to Ton Quixote.
Tomomi stopped by the lined-up stores.
"Suika Books is famous isn't it. Nii-chan... I'll go on a recon for a lil'!"
The store seemed to have been located in the building's basement.
Although Tomomi is headed to the basement down the stairs, she immediately came back.
"Nii-chan, I want to hurry and become adult! Rather, Nii-chan, hurry up and become adult, then listen to your little sister's wish!"
"It's not like I can become adult because you told me to, right. Anyway, is it fine not to take a look in the store?"
"Uhh, umm... next time! I mean, it's super risque, seriously!"
Tomomi squirmed while blushing. She kinda seems happy and that makes me happy as well.
Where, in what store will Tomomi start shopping properly. I have incorporated time for shopping in the schedule, but it's been going too well and there's time left over.
"Nii-chan, can we do shopping afterwards all at once?"
"Won't going around second time be a hassle?"
"Pleaase. We'll be proceed quickly."
"Got it then. Let's do that."
It seems like Tomomi was the type that did preview of everything and then did shopping altogether. Well, if there's this many stores that interest Tomomi, if she forces herself to look around for as long as possible, she'll surely want to do some shopping.
"Also... umm... I've got one more thing to ask, can we play a game?"
"There's time for that prepared as well."
Making and U-turn at the station, we headed towards the sidewalk.
At Solmap there was a display of a new game. There were quite a few people stopping by.
Passing by Master Donuts, we returned back to under the impressive viaduct.
Club Seka's building was towering right beside us. I pointed my finger towards it.
"Uwahaa! Nii-chan, is it really all right?"
"Yeah. There's a local game centre in which we can play together so today... rampage all you want!"
"Hyeahh! Nii-chan's the best!"
Tomomi pulled both me and Sayuri, entering the building. We immediately moved to the floor with fighting games.
After bursting onto a popular robot fighting game and immediately beat ten people, before I realized spectators have swarmed to watch.
Even though she lost to the eleventh one, it was apparently because of the negative correction from a winning streak. Those who keep winning continuously seem to have their abilities lowered.
The match in which she lost was also close. Honestly, the moves were too fast so I couldn't tell what's going on and the match was settled while opponent had just a one millimetre of energy gauge remaining.
After losing, when Tomomi stood up she received a generous applause from the audience.
Somehow... Tomomi's amazing.
As for Sayuri, she watched Tomomi's play as if wanting to devour the sight. So she was curious about her onee-chan's activities after all. Well, they are sisters.
When we left Club Seka, Tomomi puffed her chest and stretched her back.
"Aww... I was really nervous."
"A winning streak of ten is amazing, isn't it."
"It means I've still a long way to go."
As Tomomi laughed humbly, Sayuri slowly raised her hands.
"I am but a mere shadow, but can I state something?"
Tomomi made a puzzled expression.
"Nn? What is it, Sayuri?"
"Um... i-it was amazing. I didn't understand it, but was impressed."
Momentarily, Tomomi's face turned red. She faced downwards and embarrassedly scratched her cheek with her index finger.
Her embarrassment was contagious and Sayuri blushed as well.
"I-I'll return to being shadow!"
Sayuri took three steps back and silence had come. Her presence disappeared. She's like a stealth submarine.
Just like Sayuri, I couldn't explain what was amazing about Tomomi's playing.
But, her offence and defence, or rather, her reversing the situation many times despite being forced down was burned into my memory.
It was enchanting combat. Since they were fighting fair and square, they'd get applaud whether they win or lose.
"Nii-chan, where are we going next?"
This time we went around the corner with Club Seka. In Akihabara there were various speciality shops. After going in front of a shop with cables, we stopped at the crossroads. After checking the map on my smartphone, I found our next destination was right at these crossroads.
"Wow! Look, Nii-chan! Memory cards are super cheap here!"
On the outside, there were plastic box goods lined up to which Tomomi got attracted. Staring intently at the price, Tomomi continued to sigh.
"Class 10's 32gb at this price... no, shopping afterwards, I need to be patient!"
From time to time Tomomi cast some magical spells. I think 32gb is the card's capacity, but I wonder what is the class 10.
Tomomi gave up on shopping and took my hand.
"Nii-chan, we're proceeding like this, right?"
"Y-yeah. It's this way."
We passed by a shop with computer electronics.
"There's a lot of people here, but there's also lots of maids."
Ever since we started walking down the side-walk of the main street, there was a lot of women in maid outfits, it felt like a very dense area.
There were flashy red and yellow billboards of grocery stores and maid café's as well.
From the balcony stores maids waved to passers-by.
Once again, I thought it's an amazing place.
"Nii-chan looks surprised."
"Y-yeah. It's amazing."
"So that's how your feedback is."
"Your responses are like that of elementary students."
"I-it can't be helped! I'm overwhelmed here!"
As we talked like that and arrived in front of Kokobukiya, Mika and Yuuki have come out of the store with shopping bags in their hands.
"Hey, Nii-san. Is date going well?"
"It seems like it's going well for you."
"Yup. Ah! I'm properly choosing stores it's all right for Mika-chan to be in, so don't worry Nii-san."
"S-sure. Mika, what did you buy?"
"See, see. A cute hair accessory!"
"Accessory? So they're selling those too."
"They seem to be goods of anime character Chinanda, they seemed to be well made. They were quite expensive, but Mika-chan said 'I want this!' so giving up on purchasing more small things, we bought it instead."
Mika stared at my face intently.
"For telling me about it Nii-chama, Mii-chan will give about five thousand yen worth as thanks later, okay?"
"Yup! Surely! Ah! We have to go already. Maple said 'don't pour water on the date'. Then is hot water okay? C'mon, next is Yuuki-neechama's turn to do shopping."
Yuuki waved her hand towards us as Mika pulled her.
"W-well then, we'll be going this way."
"Y-yeah. Take care."
Yuuki and Mika went down the road we have come from, then Tomomi muttered.
"That Yuuki, she's really getting along well with Mika. I wonder, Nii-chan and I will get along the same?"
"We're getting along well enough... right?"
I took Tomomi's hand and nodded.
"I see! I'm glad. I'm getting along well with Nii-chan. We're lovelove aren't we. This kind of this is mutual affection isn't it?"
"U-umm, if you mean sibling love then yes... I think."
Behind us, I seemed feel a blood-thirsty wordless presence... but, not daring to look back I headed for the next destination.
En route I've heard a light electronic sound, at that moment Tomomi pulled my arm and broke into a run.
She raised her voice when we arrived in front of the store.
"It's Super Tomato! Nii-chan, it's here right? It's here? It's here isn't it!"
In front of the speciality store with retro games, Tomomi's excitement reached maximum.
Retro games were once-in-a-lifetime thing. And so, Tomomi bought one game.
"Railway King 2" a famige for family games computer.
It was a second game connected to the "Super-Large Strategy, Railway King" we have played, and was a first game that had the card system that was foundation of entire game systems... or something.
It was very rare because it sold very well. But, being able to get it with the manual and in a good state, I got something really good! Or so, Tomomi seemed satisfied.
Next, we headed towards Y Books. They didn't deal with just books, but also hobby goods.
Tomomi was enchanted by the character figurines.
The character figures that could be won even in convenience stores' "first prize lotteries" were here as goods to purchase. Being able to get the characters she was unable to win from the prizes, Tomomi had an extremely pleased look on her face.
After that we went to a store across the street that had personal computer's parts. I intended to just go on the other side of the street to take a look, but before I realized Tomomi turned into a hungry wolf.
Even though she didn't buy any, she was interested in the parts' price.
Sayuri and I were completely left out. Since Tomomi was fluttering around the parts shop, I decided to take a break in front of the vending machine outside.
"Umm, Onii-sama, is it all right not to stay together?"
"Hmm, as expected I know nothing about PC parts even if I see them. With character figures and stuff, I can still tell something. Rather than that, are you okay Sayuri?"
"At first I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere, but I have gradually accustomed myself. As expected, I wasn't led to buying on impulse like last time."
I checked the time on my smartphone. The date was proceeding smoothly. Even if I add the shopping upon return, there was still time in the schedule.
Suddenly, I spoke of something that's come to my mind.
"Since there's time, how about we go take a look at Kanda Myojin?"
If I'm not wrong, it's not far from here.
"Onii-sama! L-let's do that next time."
"But it's really close isn't it?"
"Umm... when I'm in the ma...main character, and then, please. Today, Tomomi-san is the main character."
"I see, so you're thinking of your onee-chan aren't you, Sayuri."
"I...I do think of my older sister."
With a slightly troubled expression, Sayuri smiled. And as we finished out exchange, Tomomi returned.
"Sorry for the wait Nii-chan! Were you talking with Sayuri?"
"We were talking about how your vitality is amazing."
The corners of Tomomi's mouth loosened.
"Akihabara is granting me power!"
With her return, Sayuri went back to submarine mode.
"U-umm... how were the computer parts?'
"Well, in one word I'd say 'cheap' I guess."
Said Tomomi, and when she started to talk about parts' prices, it seemed like the story will be long... so I decided not to listen to details.
When we headed towards Kurumaehashi street, Tomomi found something yet again and stopped.
"Nii-chan wait! Can we look in here? I can smeel a treasure."
There was an Ayafusen sign. This is a game store... isn't it?
"Then, I'll be going!"
Just like with the computer parts store, Tomomi rushed inside alone.
And has quickly come back. This feeling... it was the same with the Suika Books store.
"Nii-chan, this is bad! They refuse anyone below 18! Specifically, it's ero and ero, as well as ero!"
"Don't talk specifically!"
Tomomi was tireless, or rather... I thought she reached the peak earlier, but her momentum was still increasing.
Echizenya. It was a store that had air guns and all the products related to survival games.
"Nii-chan's best! I love you!"
"H-hey hey, that's too much..."
"No need to be so shy."
Looking at the decorated air gun in the glass case her pupils sparkled, Tomomi did a lecture on the beauty of the gun's form for me and Sayuri who was quietly standing in the back.
We had a little bit late lunch at Suehiromachi's Mg.
Although there were multiple restaurants in Akihabara, but according to the information on the net they were all crowded. One station away there was a moderately-crowded restaurant in which we could relax.
"Want to eat at least lunch together?"
"I'm fine here at the counter seats."
Sayuri went alone towards the counter. There's no need to go that far... no, Sayuri wants the date practice to be done properly until the end, it might be important to successfully complete that no one disturbs it.
Having a fun meal together, an important event at a date... is it.
Reconsidering it, I took Tomomi and we sat down by the window seat.
"Nii-chan's schedule management ability is really amazing. Even preparing such a reward, I'm... impressed."
The fact today was the day they sold Spicy Burger, was just a coincidence. Also, I think the reason I was able to prepare the schedule well, was thanks to Sayuri.
"I'm glad that you're happy about it."
Tomomi immediately started fighting the Spicy Burger she was looking forward to for so long.
"Let's eat then!"
She unwrapped the paper and bit onto the burger. A ketchup-like sauce flowed from the edge of her mouth. Yeah, if there's that much sauce coming out... it's dangerous. Truly dangerous.
"Uhyah! Spicy! This is seriously spicy! A ha ha ha ha!"
Because of the extreme spiciness Tomomi started laughing.
"Isn't it? It's really hard. And so, I'm going to trod the easy way."
Staying on safe side, I chose Teriyaki Burger set.
The sweet soy sauce-based base and mayonnaise flavor was irresistible. It wasn't Japanese, but it was good in its own right. When living with Grandma I didn't eat much hamburgers, and even though I eat it like this I prefer Japanese taste. And like that, once again I have recognized my own tastes.
"You have no heart for adventure, Nii-chan! I can get addicted to this spiciness! Hhaa."
With a smile, Tomomi had become teary-eyed. Or rather... she cried. A stream of tears flowed down her cheeks.
"Are you okay? Is it that spicy?"
"There's not enough drink so I'm confiscating Nii-chan's cola!"
Cola from my drink set was taken away by Tomomi.
But I've started drinking it... this, isn't this an indirect kiss?!
No no, calm down. For siblings this much is... actually... it's n-normal.
Tomomi wiped her cheek with her thumb, drank some cola and broke into a smile.
"By the way, for today's date course, did Nii-chan investigate and think of it all?"
"That's right. Since I was thinking about you when doing it, I had quite a lot fun."
We've stopped by places that weren't planned, but it mostly went according to plan.
Suddenly, Tomomi made a serious expression.
All this time she was excited, what happened now?
With a troubled look she raised her eyebrows and muttered.
"I see. See, Nii-chan... always takes care of me."
"You're my important little sister, it's a privilege of an older brother."
"Then, does Nii-chan go to play with his friends?"
"Unfortunately, I don't have friend-like friends."
Mariko's face appeared in my mind, but how to say it, Mariko... doesn't feel like a friend. A childhood friend.
"Umm... I.... no, we're all burden to Nii-chan, we don't want Nii-chan to be restrained by us."
"Don't call it a restraint. I have fun being with everyone and do it because I like it. There's nothing at all for you to worry about."
Her expression had cleared up and she slowly brightened up.
"Thanks, Nii-chan. About that... from now on, if Nii-chan has anything planned... at least for Tuesday, you don't have to mind me! Of course, we don't know how long will our current life continue but... that's why, I want Nii-chan to live freely."
Yuuki and Mika said it as well, but Tomomi too, seems to be worried about me.
"S-sure. Thanks, Tomomi."
Tomomi nodded and bit into the Spicy Burger, once again tears appeared in her eyes.
When she let out a breath after eating, she had a content, serene expression. Tomomi's expressions are really rich in emotions, I never get tired watching them... if I were to tell her that I feel like she'd get angry with "I'm not a spectacle!".
"Nii-chan, dates are really fun aren't they."
"Really... huh. Earlier in Shibuya's date we might have tried too hard."
"Yup. I prefer sneakers for shoes, and in easy-to-move clothes it's effortless. Sorry Nii-chan, I'm not very feminine."
"N-no such thing. You are cute enough like this."
"D-don't flatter me, it's embarrassing!"
I stared intently at her.
"W-what is it, Nii-chan."
"When you go on a date with your boyfriend, how about you propose a date course in which you can enjoy yourself? I have confirmed it with today's date. Even if you try overdoing it, it won't last long. If it isn't a person who'll accept the real you... Onii-chan won't accept him."
Tomomi nodded deeply and lowered her head, then looked up at me like that.
"Auu... wait, Nii-chan. I have something to consult you about."
Her body plunged forward and Tomomi whispered into my ear.
"I want to be alone together with Nii-chan no matter what."
"No matter what you say..."
"With Sayuri here... I c-can't say it."
Tomomi's eyes were serious as she appealed to me.
The opportunity has suddenly appeared.
Sayuri stood up from her seat to go to restroom.
Confirming that, Tomomi stood up and pulled my arm.
"Scratch that! Come! Nii-chan!"
"H-hey! Sayuri isn't..."
"It's fine, hurry!"
Leaving Sayuri in the restaurant, pulled by Tomomi I left the store. Tomomi started to run towards an unpopular side street beside the restaurant.
Soon enough there was a ringtone of a mail on my smartphone. Tomomi gasped.
"Ah! GPS! Nii-chan turn off power as well!"
"If you don't we'll be found."
It seemed like we were running away from Sayuri, I wonder if it's fine to do as Tomomi says.
"Hey, Tomomi... is it something that'll hurt Sayuri?"
"Umm... possibly...no, but... I... hurt everyone."
Standing in spot, Tomomi made a tormented expression.
"By everyone, you mean not only Sayuri, but also Selene, Yuuki and Mika?"
"Yup. Also, Nii-chan too. Please... I want us to talk alone."
The always-energetic Tomomi had a fragile expression as if she were to shatter on touch.
I turned the smartphone off.
"Got it. This is fine, right."
"Thanks, Nii-chan. For believing me."
After that Tomomi started to walk in a zig-zag pattern. We moved away from Akihabara and Suehirocho Station. I had no idea where exactly were we since I couldn't look at smartphone's map.
We walked for about five minutes. If we don't contact her for a long time, Sayuri will be worried.
There was no park to speak in calmly, we were alone in an alley behind grey and cream-coloured buildings lined up.
There was no pedestrians here. Perhaps because it was far from the main street, not even cars passed by.
The urban hustle and bustle from earlier seemed like a lie.
There wasn't a speckle of a romantic atmosphere, but Tomomi suddenly clung onto me. It was enough to get me nervous, my head had turned blank.
"H-hey. You've wanted to talk about something, right?"
When Tomomi looked up at me as if to beg for something, our faces were so close we could feel each other's breath.
"...what happened? Apologizing all of a sudden."
For a moment she made a pained expression and turned away.
I waited for her words. Tomomi like a scared kitten hiding in the shadows, fearfully took a glance at me before turning towards me again.
Her lips trembled with fear, and she confessed.
"You see... I... don't have a boyfriend."
After she finished saying that, Tomomi closed her eyes tightly.
Rather than Tomomi who was in the same grade as me, instead there was... a childish Tomomi.
That's the feeling I had. A young, small and ready to cry any moment Tomomi... I was genuinely relieved. Despite the fact we were the same age, I loved this little sister of mine dearly.
Selene's unreasonable "I somehow think so" was right on the target.
I wasn't angry or mad at Tomomi in the least.
"I see. I wonder what's this. It might sound weird, but I'm relieved."
"...he? A-aren't you angry?"
"It's been just a month, but Tomomi... hearing my little sister got a boyfriend, it was a slightly traumatic event to me. That's why I'm relieved to hear it's a lie. Even though I should congratulate my popular little sister, I acted immature as an older brother."
"If I said something like this, I'd bind you. If you have found someone you really love, I'll cheer on you. Bless you. Because I'm Tomomi's... everyone's onii-chan."
After looking downwards distressed, she nodded saying "yes".
Did I do something bad again?
"Are you all right, Tomomi?"
Tomomi raised her head and laughed.
"I-it's okay, Nii-chan."
It didn't seem like she was angry or depressed, so I was relieved.
Now then, I have decided to support my little sister's love, but that aside... as her older brother, I need to properly tell her off.
"But, this isn't good Tomomi. Lying to everyone around you. Make sure to properly apologize to Sayuri and others."
"A-about that, for the sake of protecting onee-chan's dignity, I implore you please let me keep it confidential, Onii-sama!"
"You, Onii-sama... hey hey. Why did you lie in the first place?"
Tears appeared in her eyes.
"Cause', as the eldest daughter I can't go about flirting with Nii-chan... and so."
"I'm not sure if you should be saying 'flirting'."
"And earlier... we went together to Murasaki-san."
"Y-yeah. Was it that bad?"
"No. It's true that I wanted to be of use to Nii-chan! But it didn't go well... and we didn't go to family restaurant... it was weather's fault so it couldn't be helped but, somehow... abruptly... I could no longer understand myself and... you were going on dates with Selene in the evenings, I got envious of thatt."
I embraced Tomomi's head and pat her head gently.
"I see. Even though you are a little sister you tried to become a splendid onee-chan and... overdid it a little."
"Sorry. I'm sorry Nii-chan. Uwahhhhhnn. I thought that if I'll say I have boyfriend, Nii-chan will pay more attention to meeee! I'm a bad little sister who tried to use Nii-chan's kindnessss!!"
Tomomi started to behave like spoiled child and cry.
I pat her head and gently rubbed her back.
"I too have relied too much on you, as the eldest sister. Sorry."
"It's not Nii-chan's faulttt. At Shibuya, and today, Nii-chan properly date me and I kept tricking Nii-chann... it's all my faulttt."
It seemed like it'll take some time until Tomomi settles down.
"Uuu, I'm really sorry."
Tomomi said so while using polite speech unlike her, then I turned on the smartphone. I activated the GPS as well. As long as we don't move from this place, one of them might come here looking for us.
But well, that'll take time so let's send a mail to Sayuri saying we're fine. I made in front of the Akihabara's station the point for reassembly.
This time, openly I'll explain the circumstances to everyone and have Tomomi apologize... and so, the dating practice had ended with a strange twist.
——Until we reach the station.
At the Akihabara Station's ticket gate were Yuuki and Mika who arrived earlier. And... weighing down on Yuuki's shoulders, was a girl in black goth clothes.
"Selene?! Did you come here alone?"
Yuuki nodded with a troubled expression.
"She really wanted to come to Akihabara, so she actually came but... Selene-chan's completely out of breath."
With a pale face Selene stared at the scenery outside the Akihabara's ticket gate and muttered absent-mindedly.
"...so Akihabara... really exists."
Like an explorer that had reached an unexplored region from tales speaking his last words.
Meanwhile, probably because she was running around all over, Sayuri joined us covered in sweat.
"Onii-sama, I'm glad you're safe... eh, Selene-san, why?!"
Her protests against Tomomi were blown away, it seems like Sayuri was taken aback by the fact Selene had come to Akihabara.
Mika worriedly looked into Selene's face.
"Selene-neechama, d-don't die... you can't die, I'll be sadd..."
"...M-Mika-chan... live on my part... as well."
At worst we might even need to call an ambulance at this rate.
I was surprised by how Selene did her best to come here all alone, but it would be best that she's accustomed to it so that we don't have a commotion with an ambulance here. If she starts saying "If I go outside and ambulance has to come, I'll feel like dying", she'll start holing herself up again.
"All right... we're going back! Retreat!"
"...finally...finally got to Akihabara... and yet...uu uu...too many people and my eyes are spinning."
"Selene. You did well. Let's go back for today. Next time we'll go further after preparing ourselves."
"...how frustrating. How regrettable."
Tomomi, who was silent the entire time had nodded.
"Selene, if you're drunk with the number of people, then close your eyes and breathe deeply."
"...yes. Su—haa, su—haa."
Just as she was told to by Tomomi, Selene closed her eyes and started breathing deep.
"...I calmed down a little."
"I'll pull you by hand until we reach home, let's go back. When you calm down——there's something I have to tell everyone."
After declaring that, Tomomi pulled Selene gently by her hand. With her eyes still closed Selene pulled her long black her behind herself, led by Tomomi she tumbled as she passed through the ticket gate she exited a moment earlier.
Selene's stay in Akihabara lasted less than five minutes.
After getting on the train, Tomomi was suddenly startled.
"Oh no, Nii-chan! I didn't do any shopping!!"
Part of it was her own fault, unfortunately, she'll have to do it next time.
After switching to JR Private Railway, Selene finally opened her eyes and recovered. It seems like she calmed somehow.
That's when Tomomi stood up from the seat and confessed everything to the lined-up little sisters.
When Tomomi was talking, Mika had a blank look on her face. But then, saying "I'm glad Tomomi-neechama didn't get a boyfriend", she made a wonderful smile.
Yuuki didn't seem angry. Relieved, rather. And, maybe I have relied too hard on on Tomomi-oneechan... she said.
Selene didn't look particularly surprised, just as I expected, what about it? She said and had gone limp. Well, she had exhausted her entire day's worth of energy, it can' tbe helped that she can't keep thinking.
The one who displayed a most severe reaction was Sayuri.
After Tomomi and I disappeared, it seems like she scoured for us in panic. Her intuition seemed quite sharp as she made to investigate the back alley we were in soon after we left it.
She focused on searching the places without any people. Sayuri is really dreadful.
And that Sayuri puffed up her cheeks and said to Tomomi.
"I-I knew it's something like this. In the first place, there's no way an unfeminine girl like Tomomi-san can get a boyfriend."
"W-what! This time it's my bad. But this and that are two different things! Even Nii-chan said that I'm c-cute!"
Then Yuuki hurriedly entered in between the two.
"Well well, you two calm down."
Mika stared at Tomomi.
"Tomomi-neechama got it so good, going out with Nii-chama. But see, Mii-chan too had lots of fun with Yuuki-neechama. It's great too, right!"
Boasting instead, Mika laughed happily.
While still limp, Selene muttered.
"...there's too many humans. Need to thin them out."
Unexpected, scary declaration?!
While retorting in my mind, I suddenly let out a large yawn. Induced, Mika also yawned, she leaned her head on Yuuki next to her and closed her eyes.
"Fuaa〜〜hh. Really, you're causing trouble to others. Please stop doing such things in the future."
After being dragged around a place she wasn't used to, Sayuri rubbed her eyes sleepily.
For now, it seems like Sayuri forgave Tomomi for this time's matter.
Without any grudge left behind, relieved I hung my head further dazed.
"Nii-san, I got sleepy as well."
From beside Yuuki, Selene started to breathe in her sleep.
"Nii-chan and Yuuki seem to tired from being an escort on the date, you two can go to sleep."
Yuuki rubbed her eyes.
"Is it okay? Isn't Tomomi-chan tired as well?"
"I'm still energetic. Yuuki, sleep until we arrive at the station, too. I'll wake you up when we do."
She hesitated for a bit, but Yuuki too, nodded.
"Okay. I'll do so then."
Snuggling up with Mika, Yuuki closed her eyes.
"C'mon Nii-chan, don't hold back."
"Nope! From now I won't force myself or endure."
"I see. Then... just for a ten minutes."
The moment I closed my eyes, the comfortable shaking of the train almost took away my consciousness.
My ear felt ticklish.
Suddenly, something soft touched my cheek.
Before I could consider what was it, my consciousness melted and I fell asleep.