Monday, April 25, 2022

Too Many Losing Heroines! V2 Prologue & Chapter 1 & Intermission


Translator: Pingas
Editor: Roi Soleil


Remon Yakishio is taking someone’s lover away…!?

It’s the latter half of the summer holiday.

Yanami and I saw a shocking scene when we were eating in a café.

Yakishio is meeting with her crush, Ayano.

Aside from that, Ayano’s girlfriend- the “winning heroine” Chihaya Asagumo, is also tailing those two at an extremely dangerous distance.

“I suspect that Mitsuki is cheating on me with Yakishio-san.”

We were immediately swept into this cheating scandal and had to search for the truth with Asagumo.

I think it’s impossible for Yakishio to do something like this.

However, when they are alone, her expression is utterly filled with happiness-

This is the long-awaited second edition of the boiling hot losing heroine rom-com!



Nukumizu: “Hello, everyone. It’s been a while. I’m Nukumizu. Volume 2 of <Too Many Losing Heroines!> is releasing right away!”

Yanami: “It’s finally here! Let’s just pretend Volume 1 didn’t happen. The sugary and adorable life between Sosuke and me is about to start!

Nukumizu: “It’s not going to start.”

Yanami: “…Volume 1 was just a smoke bomb. It’s actually…?”

Nukumizu: “It’s really not going to start, alright!?”

Yanami: “Everyone can see it for themselves whether it’s really starting in Volume 2, releasing on the 18th!”



Nukumizu: “The cover of Volume 2 is Yakishio.”

Yakishio: “That’s how I normally look. Is that enough already?”

Nukumizu: “Hiya, we did get a lot of comments that said this is the best.”

Yakishio: “...Why? From who?”

Nukumizu: “A lot- that’s all I can say.”

Yakishio: “Huh? My clothes are all wrinkly. I don’t really understand what’s good about that.”

Nukumizu: “You’ll know when you grow up.”



Komari: “I-Is Volume 2 releasing soon?”

Nukumizu: “Yes, it’s on the 18th. Please spread the word, Komari.”

Komari: “I-I’m not really interested.”

Nukumizu: “Didn’t you put the release date on your phone’s calendar?”

Komari: “G-Go die. Don’t p-peek at a g-girl’s phone.”

Nukumizu: “My little sister will throw a tantrum if she can’t see it.”

Komari: “Don’t b-bring up an exception.”

Nukumizu: “So, my house is special…?”



Kajyu: “It’s been a while, everyone. I’m Kajyu Nukumizu.”

Nukumizu: “I’ll leave Volume 2’s introduction in your hands.”

Kajyu: “Alright. This is sudden, but the term ‘onii-sama’s only stan’ came up in my mind.”

Nukumizu: “That was really sudden.”

Kajyu: “I also added a hashtag. #OniisamasOnlyStan”

Nukumizu: “…What is your goal? What are you trying to accomplish, Kajyu?”

Kajyu: “#OniisamasOnlyStan.”



Yakishio: “My mom thinks I look pretty cute on Volume 2’s cover.”

Nukumizu: “You showed it to your family? Seriously?”

Yakishio: “Yep, they were really excited. They want to bring Nukkun to the office and talk about it.”

Nukumizu: “Office?”

Yakishio: “My mom’s brother is a lawyer. We’re going to his office. Please relax!”

Nukumizu: “It’s anything but relaxing.”










Prologue


I’m on the way back from the Seibunkan Bookstore in front of the station.

I got off the red tram and walked down the station. The bright sunlight made me lower my head.

Even though it’s already late August, the summer heat isn’t subsiding at all.

I went over the zebra crossing. The touch of the book cover in my hands really excites me.

Indeed, I finally bought the long-awaited latest volume of <Guys who call me a washboard can all step on dog shit>.

The social status here is decided by the size of your boobs. It’s a shounen action novel with superpowers based on a dystopian world.

At the end of the last volume, the main girl’s best friend, Kirari-chan, grew to C cup and became her enemy. I really looked forward to the continuation.

Kazuhiko Nukumizu, Class 1C, a Tsuwabuki High School’s Literature Club member.

It’s the summer holiday. Today is peaceful and calm. The clock just turned to 11. I have to go home and enjoy the book cover and illustrations in an air-conditioned room.

The cicadas are screaming non-stop behind me. I got home. Clear footsteps can be heard the moment I step into the entrance.

“Welcome back, onii-sama!”

The girl dashing toward me is my little sister, Kajyu Nukumizu. She’s two years younger.

Even though her bro-con trait is a downer, she’s an innocent and adorable little sister.

She’s wearing a denim dress. There’s even a huge headband on her black, long hair today.

“What’s wrong? You’re in a rush.”

“Onii-sama! Oh, no! Something big just happened!”

Kajyu is holding a wall calendar as she jumps up and down excitedly.

“Is there an emergency? Also, why are you holding that?”

“It’s because! We have to decide the arrangements for the interview! Why not do it right now!?”

…I have no idea what she’s talking about.

“I got it, Kajyu. Chill. You can tell me what’s going on after calming down.”

“Alright, Kajyu has calmed down now! She suddenly visited us when Kajyu was preparing lunch! Right, we have the leftover curry from yesterday as lunch!”

Yep, she’s not calmed down at all. At least I know what I’m having for lunch.

“I see. Leftover curry sounds good too. Is someone here?”

“Yeah! But Kajyu can’t show up like this in front of a guest! Kajyu is going to change, so I’ll leave the guest to onii-sama.”

“Uh, hey.”

“I’ve already brought the guest into the living room!”

Kajyu dashed up the stairs before she even finished talking.

Isn’t it just a guest? Why is she so hyped up?

I’m a bit confused. Then, I noticed a cute pair of girls’ sneakers when I took off my shoes.

The size is too big for Kajyu, but the design seems too young for my mom.

I looked at the end of the corridor. I can sense someone else’s presence, even though it’s faint.

“…That’s impossible, right?”

There’s no use in just guessing. So, I entered the living room.



Chapter 1: Anna Yanami is trying to give me hints


“I’m back…”

I opened the door worriedly. The usual scenery of my house came into view.

The size of the living room is 18 tatamis. It’s joined with the dining room. The TV is replaying travel shows. [TL: 1 tatami = 1.65 square meters.]

Nothing unusual, aside from that girl holding a spoon next to the table with her mouth open.

“Hey, Nukumizu-kun, it’s been a while. Sorry for the intrusion.”

With that, the girl sent a spoon full of curry into her mouth.

“What the-!? Why are you here!?”

This girl, whose cheeks are stuffed up with curry, is Anna Yanami.

She became a staple losing heroine just a while ago when a heavenly transfer student took her childhood friend away.

Yanami swallowed the curry as she gave me a cheerful smile. There are still rice grains on her face.

“This curry tastes very good. I think it’s, uh, leftover curry?”

“Oh, right, yeah. So, why are Yanami-san eating curry in my house?”

“Uh, ugh, nom nom nom.”

Don’t talk while eating.

She must be the guest Kajyu is talking about, right? I sighed and sat at the opposite end of the table.

…Right, she finally finished her food.

“Yanami-san, you should give me a heads-up when you come to my house, right?”

Yanami answered my reasonable demand with displeased eyes.

“Nukumizu-kun didn’t check your Line, right? I texted you a few times that I was coming.”

Wait, really? I opened my phone. There’s indeed a dot on the Line icon.

“Sorry, I didn’t notice it. I thought it was mail or something.”

“No, no, no, these have notifications, right?”

“Notifications…? Oh, this one?”

I didn’t know this function wasn’t telling me my HP in the mobile game had already recovered.

I looked away and prepared to find excuses.

“I know Yanami-san is here now. So, what’s wrong?”

We became friends during the closing ceremony of the first term.

Even so, we’re not close enough to hang out in each other’s homes. Yet, she’s eating curry -because this is how this girl is.

Yanami had almost finished the curry. She skillfully put the rice grains and curry sauce in one place with her spoon.

She reluctantly sent this last bite between her lips and clapped her hands.

“Thanks for the food. Well, I’m giving my friends somen right now.” [TL: Thin noodles.]

“Somen?”

Upon a closer look, there’s a huge paper bag on the table.

Are these the so-called Ghost Festival gifts? I can just return her with a pack of salad oil, right? Yanami looks like she loves oil.

I peeked inside the paper bag. It’s filled with somen with a “cheap and tasty” slogan.

“This entire bag doesn’t look like a gift for the Ghost Festival. Why did you bring so much?”

“Do you want to know? You really want to know, right?”

“Uh, not really.”

Yanami wiped her lips with paper towels. She ignored me and continued.

“Actually, this is my dad’s salary for this month.”

“Salary…? What?”

“I’m saying that his salary for July is paid with all of these somen because of reasons. Somen only.”

For some reason, even the cicadas cooperated with Yanami and stopped screaming when she said that.

“That’s a lot for a month’s salary.”

“My house has 300 thousand yen worth of somen lying around.”

“This is just a question, but somen isn’t some kind of criminal slang, right? This should be legal, right?”

“Of course. What do you think my family is?”

Yanami looked outside the window sadly. I followed her.

“I ate, …I ate a whole life’s worth of somen…”

The blue sky of August still feels just as hot. However, the shape of the clouds is indeed telling us summer is about to be over.

“So, you mean you’re handing out somen? Why don’t you just give them to neighbors if you have so much?”

“I am, but they always pretend they aren’t home now.”

It’s because somen has caused strife among neighbors.

“I see…”

“Yeah, that’s all…”

Both of us acknowledged the silence.

“Now Nukumizu-kun understands why I’m eating curry in your house right now?”

“Yeah, I don’t really understand, but I get it. You want another plate?”

“This is already my second plate. No thanks.”

She already had her second plate?

Even though I freaked out initially, this is just a friend giving me somen when I think about this calmly.

“Nukumizu-kun, don’t tell me you didn’t read the Line message this morning as well? The one about the Literature Club is having a sudden conference meeting.”

“Eh, there’s a message like that?”

I didn’t notice it at all. I hastily took out my phone and checked. There’s a text from Prez in the Literature Club’s Line group. He hopes everyone can meet in the club room tomorrow afternoon.

I checked the records. Yanami seems to be going as well.

I answered with a simple “got it”.

“Let’s put that aside first. Aren’t Yanami-san busy now? Are you sure you can just chill here?”

“Uh, do you mean you want me to leave?”

Yanami’s lips curled down sulkily.

“A bit. Don’t you have to give somen to your other friends?”

“Yeah, there’s still one more house- wait, what did you say in the beginning?”

“Nothing at all. Look, the weather report says it’s getting hot during the afternoon. You should finish your business quickly.”

“…We can talk after having pears.”

Yanami’s eyes brightened up.

“Pears?”

I turned around. Kajyu is standing there in her uniform with a plate. She’s smiling.

“Yanami-senpai. Kajyu just cut some pears. Do you want to try them?”

“Yes, yes! Thank you, Kajyu-chan!”

Right, I forgot about Kajyu. Also, why do these two look like they are getting close?

Kajyu sat next to me with a puppy’s bright eyes.

“This pear is delicious.”

“This is a Kojima pear from our relatives. Anyway, Yanami-senpai, can I ask you some questions?”

Kajyu said that as she took out papers and a recording pen.

…This girl, she’s really planning for an interview.



“Ask me anything. Are you asking for homework or something else?”

“Hmm, close! Well, I’ll be asking about your date of birth, blood type, family members, interests, hobbies, and specialties. Also, how did you fall in love with onii-sama…?”

Shit, Kajyu is entering into a weird mode. I immediately chose to intervene.

“Kajyu. Look, Yanami-san is busy. Let’s ask her next time, alright?”

“B-But! Kajyu still has to listen to what interesting things did onii-sama see in school!”

You’re asking your brother too much.

“Go back to the room if you understand. C’mon, stand up-“

“Ugh-“

I finally managed to get Kajyu to leave. Yanami mumbled to herself quietly.

“…Nukumizu-kun, you tell your little sister to call you onii-sama?”

“I didn’t make her. This is very important.”

“Also, your little sister is adorable. Her face is petite, and her hair is silky.”

“Yeah, people often used to say we look like each other.”

“Who said that? Let me meet that person too.”

Hell no. Finish your food and get your ass home.

I put my elbows on the table and looked out the window. There are small pieces of clouds floating in the sky.

Ah, the weather is getting chilly too. I can hear cicadas calling day and night.

“Yanami-san, it almost feels like autumn.”

“In other words, it’s almost the season of pears. Why don’t you just say it if you want pears?”

Yanami is biting a slice of pear as she hands me the plate.

“…Thanks.”

I decided to not sink myself in disappointment and took the pears.

There are around 10 days left until the new semester.

Later, I realized- Yanami at this time was a messenger who brought the end to this peaceful summer holiday.

*

It’s the afternoon of the second day.

Tsuwabuki High School is not far from Aichi Station. I went past the school entrance as I tidied up my tie.

Someone’s already here after I opened the door to the club room.

There’s a bookshelf as tall as the ceiling in the Literature Club’s room. It takes up the entire section of the wall too. A petite girl is sitting on a foldable chair before the bookshelf. She’s reading.

The curtains, which are fluttering with the wind, hide this girl’s presence.

-Chika Komari.

There’s a pigtail on the side of her head. Her bangs that cover her eyes are caressed by the breezes.

She’s also a first-year student like me. We’re both in the Literature Club. After being rejected by our Prez, this girl honorably joined the big losing heroines’ family.

This girl was like a timid hamster when we met in the first term.

We first interacted by typing on our phones. Later, she slowly opened up, and we could chitchat for a bit. Those people who say I have a communication disorder should reflect on themselves.

“Nice work, Komari. It’s been a while.”

“Ugh…? Ah…”

Komari seems to be mumbling something, but I can’t hear it. She then pulled out her phone from her pocket.

Afterward, she started knocking on the screen smoothly and handed it to me.

<You’re early. Let’s just read before it’s time.>

“Oh? Sure.”

Komari’s eyes returned to her novel again.

…Wait, why do I feel like everything just reset? This mobile game is too unfriendly to players who don’t log in routinely, right?

“Hey, Komari?”

“Ugh, ah…”

Komari hastily tried to take out her phone again. I shook my head.

“Nevermind. It’s nothing.”

This seems familiar. I sat down a bit far away from her.

I just played on my phone silently for a while. However, this atmosphere feels awkward even to me. I threw out conversations that didn’t need answering from time to time.

Anxiety is a big no-no to acclimating affection. Let’s use a safe topic like cute animals to melt this troublesome little maiden’s frozen heart.

“P-Please stop talking about rodents…”

After the 20-minute mark, Komari finally can’t hold it back, …no, she finally opens up to me.

“But I still want to talk about the difference between gerbils and hamsters.”

“I-I can google. No thanks.”

It’s fine if she asks Google-sensei. Also, my only goal here is to talk to Komari. I’ve already reached my goal.

I looked at my phone in satisfaction. Suddenly, the door to the club room was pushed open.

Yanami’s holding a cardboard box. She walked inside by kicking the door open.

“Thanks for the work. You two are really early.”

I stood up, took the box, and put it on the table.

“Thanks, Nukumizu-kun. Are the senpais not here yet?”

Yanami shook her exhausted hands and took a seat. Komari quietly mumbled as she moved herself and her chair to the corner of the room.

“Hey, I was wondering why this box feels so heavy. It’s all somen inside.”

“I want to give them to everyone. Komari-chan, you should take some home too.”

Komari nodded silently at the corner.

Yanami moved her chair closer to me. I quickly kept a subtle distance from her.

“…Nukumizu-kun, what did you do to Komari-chan? Did you pull her head for a bit?”

“I won’t do anything like that. She’ll be like this before she gets used to us. That’s why you shouldn’t talk loudly or move suddenly.”

“I see. It’s like a cat café.”

She’s not as cute as a cat.

We chatted quietly to avoid irritating Komari. After a while, the two third-year students are finally here. They are a little late.

They are the president of the Literature Club, Shintaro Tamaki, and the vice-president, Koto Tsukinoki.

They started going out during our trip in July. They should be living a tiring yet joyful exam candidate life.

“Sorry for the wait.”

“I’m sorry for calling everyone here even though it’s the summer holiday.”

They sat down in pairs. Komari moved her chair to us in relief.

“Thanks for the work, you two. I feel like it’s been a while.”

Prez showed an exhausted expression after hearing that.

“The mock exams are so insane. I barely managed to get a pass.”

Prez looked to his side. Tsukinoki-senpai immediately looked away.

“I’m working hard too, you know? But, look, the exam won’t go away. I’m just progressing slowly to my pace, you know?”

“Koto, the exam won’t run away, but a passing mark definitely can.”

“I’ll find a job if I fail all of them. Permanent employment. Hiya, what did I even say-“ [TL: Eikishushoku (permanent employment), it’s a way of saying getting married and being a housewife.]

Tsukinoki-senpai is saying nonsense. Komari and her exchanged looks.

They looked at each other and showed an indescribable yet mischievous smile. As for Prez, he wrapped his hands around his head in pain.

…Please relax, everyone. These two actually have a close relationship. However, being close doesn’t ease the burden on Prez’s back.

Perhaps Yanami wants to change this awkward atmosphere. She raises her hand.

“So, what are we supposed to do today?”

“Oh, right.”

With that, Prez got right into the chase.

“The student council has told us all clubs are required to report their summer holiday activities starting this year. That’s what I want to talk about today.”

Activities during the summer holiday? It’s already past the Ghost Festival. What summer holiday do we even have left?

“Why did the student council come up with such a request this late?”

I interrupted. Prez bitterly smiled and looked at Tsukinoki-senpai.

“Actually, they told everybody in July.”

“I couldn’t help it. I’m busy preparing for the exam and getting a driver’s license. I forgot about that.”

Tsukinoki-senpai laughed as she took out a notice slip from her pocket.

…Did this person just say getting a driver’s license? There’s a lot I want to complain about, but let’s just leave it there. I feel so bad for Prez, after all.

Yanami took the slip.

“This says trips are alright. Can’t we just say we went to the beach last month?”

“That happened before the summer holiday. We would be fine if we went a week later.”

Come to think of it, I think that’s true. We went there before the summer holiday.

“I’ve been updating my web light novels.”

“That’s just our usual routine. They want a report of something special in the summer holiday. So.”

Prez winked. Tsukinoki-senpai took out an A4-sized handbook from her school bag.

“Look, I’ve printed everyone’s web novels and put them into a sample club magazine. It looks quite nice with the cover and back page, right?”

I took the sample and flipped it open. The rom-com I’ve been publishing is on there as well.

“It feels like there are a lot of empty pages.”

“This is just a sample. I’m thinking of including my explanations or columns between each of your novels for the final product. However, it’s not convincing to just print out our web novels as club activities.”

“Hey, mine is up there too.”

Yanami poked her head in and looked at the sample in my hands.

“Well, everyone should decide which novel they want to be included now. Of course, you can always write new stuff.”

“I don’t have time to write a new one, so I’m just going to edit my current series and call it a day. Don’t push yourselves too hard, everyone.”

Tsukinoki-senpai has been drawing something in her notebook since then silently.

“Senpai, what are you doing?”

“My new novel is rejected by Shintaro. That’s why I’m drawing a replacement cover.”

I think she’s drawing two dudes with her pencil. I can strongly feel that this will be rejected too.

Well, what should I publish then? I thought about that as I opened my personal page on <Let’s Become A Author!> with my phone.

My <The Runaways of the First Love Path> is on its fifth chapter. If we’re publishing it, I should start from the first…

I suddenly noticed the number of readers and favorites are both 4. It’s the same as the total members in this club room. This isn’t a coincidence.

I feel kind of empty. The last Literature Club member isn’t even my reader.

Remon Yakishio.

She’s the young ace in the Track and Field Club and a Literature Club member. She’s energetic and cheerful. Her wheat-colored tan looks really healthy.

That girl is also a talented person who has recently made her debut, becoming a losing heroine.

“Prez, Yakishio isn’t here today?”

“Yeah, she said she’s busy. I’ll talk to her later.”

That girl is still focused on the Track and Field Club. However, she frequently put her stuff in this club room. It looks like she’s aware that she’s in the Literature Club, at least.

Yanami suddenly yelled when everyone was checking their own novels.

“I’ve decided. I’m continuing the novel I’ve written during the trip! Komari-chan, what are you planning to do?”

“Eh…? Ah…”

Komari suddenly became the center of the conversation. She took out her phone and showed the screen to Yanami.

<I’m going to come up with a new short story.>

“Hey, you’re hard-working. What about you, Nukumizu-kun?”

“I’ll just edit the first chapter of what I have and put it up.”

Prez nodded and clapped his hands.

“Well, everyone made up their minds now. Please send the draft to me once you’re ready.”

After that, Prez and Tsukinoki-senpai stood up at the same time.

“Eh, are you two going back already?”

Prez grabbed Tsukinoki-senpai’s wrist after hearing me out. They seem to be flirting.

“I have to guard Koto so that she doesn’t run away from the exam. That’s all. See you all next time.”

“Bye-bye, I’ll leave the rest up to you.”

Tsukinoki-senpai followed Prez outside, but she suddenly remembered something and turned around.

“Hey, is anyone free tomorrow to help me out in the library?”

“Help you out?”

“I’ve said we’re choosing a librarian in the Literature Club every year, right? Even though we don’t need to be on duty, we have to help pack up the books. I’m the librarian this year, but my hands are full right now.”

Prez explained next to Tsukinoki-senpai.

“They will listen to our suggestions whenever they are buying new books. There’s even a discount for us to buy stuff from the library. I guess it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Komari listened to them. She raised her hand timidly.

“W-Well, I-I can go.”

“Me too.”

“Really? The more, the merrier, of course. After all, we have to be on good terms with the people in the library.”

Yanami put her hands together apologetically.

“Sorry, I have a classmate’s party tomorrow.”

“Don’t worry about it. I just brought it up at a moment’s notice. Well, we’ll leave it for now. I’ll tell you the actual time later.”

Prez and Tsukinoki-senpai waved and left for real this time.

Their voices gradually disappeared from the corridor. Komari is getting restless. She closed her novels, mumbled something, and walked out of the club room.

I guess she was saying goodbye or thanks for the work, right?

Yanami held her yawn and stretched her back.

“Well, I’ll go back too. I booked an appointment in a beauty salon for tomorrow.”

Tomorrow. I think…she has said there’s a classmate’s party.

“Don’t tell me Hakamada will be at the classmate’s party too?”

“Of course, but it’s too much to call it a classmate’s party. It’s actually just Sosuke hanging out with a few close friends.”

“Oh, that sounds fun.”

That was obviously a lie. Yanami replied with a charming smile.

“Karen-chan will be at the party as well.”

“…Wait, Himemiya-san is going too?”

Karen Himemiya. She just transferred to our class in May.

Then, in just two months, this beautiful girl is already going out with Sosuke Hakamada, Yanami’s childhood friend and her dream lover.

Even though Yanami is quite adorable, Karen Himemiya crushes her in brilliance and the main heroine vibe. Also, her boobs are bigger.

“I have a question. Isn’t Himemiya-san a transfer student? Why is she going to your classmate’s party…?”

“Whoever is dating someone will introduce themselves to each other, even though it’s not mandatory.”

I understand that. Their middle school friends must be familiar with the relationship between Yanami and Hakamada, right?

If Himemiya-san is there in this situation…

My face is full of worry. Yanami nodded and tried to calm me down.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m already different from last term. Yes, I realized I must be grateful to everything in the world, including myself. What a gentle soul I have.”

“…Ha?”

This girl is saying nonsense again. Yanami gave up on me and shrugged.

“I’ll explain in a way that Nukumizu-kun can understand, alright?”

“Please, even though I’m not looking forward to your explanation.”

“Well, Sosuke and Karen-chan are both my dear friends. Shouldn’t I feel happy when my dear friends are happy too?”

Hmm, I guess…that’s true. I nodded earnestly.

I don’t know whether Yanami is satisfied with my attitude. She continued with a chic expression.

“In other words, I’m also happy when those two are going out. Right now, what I have for them is sincere appreciation. That’s how I feel.”

“…Respect and acknowledge.”

What’s with her change of heart? Yanami took out a book when I was confused.

The title is <108 Quotes to Reduce Your Mental Burden>.

“What’s this book about?”

“It says I just need to be who I am. It’s fine to not take off the yakitori from the bamboo stick. I can just finish it in one bite, …something like that. Do you want to read it too, Nukumizu-kun?”

I see. It’s a book for people when they are feeling weak.

Yanami showed an innocent smile. I silently shook my head.

*

I was the last one to leave the club room. I went to the vending machine in the courtyard of the school.

As I’m browsing the goods, I can hear a faint voice from somewhere.

“Is…someone…there…?”

…Hmm?

What’s with that whisper? I looked around. No one is here.

Was that my imagination? I can hear the characters’ voices in light novels in my prime time. That must have been my imagination. I should just chill and buy something to drink.

“…You, …over there…”

“Hiya!?”

I didn’t control myself and let out a girly squeak. Please don’t let me see ghosts.

After all, a pale arm suddenly reached out from the shadow of the vending machine.

I’m as terrified as a deer. At the same time, I saw the hairband on her wrist and the nail polish. I think I’ve seen this before. She’s from the student council…

“Shikiya-senpai?”

The thing in the shadow reacted to my words. It slowly moved.

“…You are…the young man from the Literature Club…”

The girl leaning on the vending machine helplessly is Yumeko Shikiya. She’s a second-year student at Tsuwabuki High School and a student council member.

She has white-brown wavy hair, ridiculous eyelashes, and totally off-the-place pale skin.

Even though she’s a trendy gal senpai with everything I like, unfortunately, her white pupils are way too freaky. Also, I don’t know why the abyssal darkness around this person always turns deeper.

“Can I ask what senpai is doing in a place like this?”

“I’m…here…for drinks, …but I ran out of strength. …Help me…buy…”

Shikiya-senpai reached her hand out. There are some coins in her palm.

“Oh, sure. Do you want tea or anything?”

“Get me…I LOHAS, …peach flavored, …help me twist open the bottle cap…” [TL: I LOHAS Natural Water.]

So many requests.

But she’s my senpai, after all. Let’s just follow her order and twist open the cap.

“There’s no change.”

“Feed me…”

“What?”

What did this person just say?

Shikiya-senpai closed her eyes and raised her head before waiting for my answer. She slowly opened her pale and thin lips.

“Eh? Uh, hey, Shikiya-senpai?”

Is she waiting for someone to kiss her? I gulped nervously.

Calm down. There’s nothing to worry about. I’m just feeding water to this senpai, and I have no idea what she’s thinking about. Well, even though I don’t understand what’s happening as well.

“…Quick.”

“Y-Yes!”

A man shouldn’t let a girl suffer any embarrassment. I slowly feed water into Shikiya-senpai’s mouth.



It’s the summer holiday. I’m in the shadow of the vending machine in the quiet courtyard.

In this gloomy little corner, Shikiya-senpai’s slim throat is slowly squirming. Drops of water are flowing out from her lips.

Cicadas are screaming non-stop in my brain-

…What am I even doing here?

“Senpai, it’s time to drink it yourself, right?”

I snapped out of it. Shikiya-senpai heard that and grabbed my hand suddenly.

“Hiya!?”

“…That’s a lot. …It’s leaking out…”

Shikiya-senpai took the bottle and left the shadow of the vending machine. She’s standing under the sun.

“Thanks, …I was a goner.”

She really did die. By the way, she spilled a lot I LOHAS out.

“Don’t just flip your bottle! Here, close the cap.”

I twisted the bottle cap for her. She handed me a pink handkerchief with wavy frills.

“H-Help me wipe my lips…?”

“Wipe it yourself if you have a handkerchief. Ah, sheesh, you can’t be helped.”

This reminded me of Kajyu when she was 3 years old. Even though that girl could eat properly in front of our parents, for some reason, she always flipped the bowls and caused a mess whenever she was with me.

I had to take care of Kajyu every time I ate with her.

“Alright, you can clean the clothes yourself. Your bowties are all wet.”

I handed her the wet handkerchief, but Shikiya-san wasn’t planning to take it.

“Senpai? Your handkerchief.”

“Come to think of it, …Koto-san- Tsukinoki-senpai, …how’s she doing…?”

“I just saw her. She seems to be busy preparing for her exam lately.”

“…Is it true…that she’s going out with…Tamaki-san?”

Ah, right. It’s true.”

“I…see…”

Shikiya-senpai mumbled as she walked wobbly. I observed Shikiya-san as she walked to the school building. She looks like she’s about to fall.

I sighed in relief after seeing her disappearing into the building.

I think that girl knows Prez too. I wonder what the relationship between them is?

“Ah, I forgot about the handkerchief.”

I thought about whether I should chase after her. I need a certain amount of mental preparation to face that girl.

I should give it back to her later. Let’s just choose delivery so that I don’t need to see her.

*

The afternoon of the next day. I opened the door to the library of Tsuwabuki High School.

There’s a librarian girl at the counter giving her full attention to the laptop screen she’s staring at.

I hesitated for a moment before speaking to her.

“Hey, sorry. I’m-”

“Sorry, the library is closed today. We’re tidying up our archives.”

“Oh, no. I’m the helper from the Literature Club, Nukumizu. What should I do?”

The girl stopped typing on the keyboard and raised her head. Her face is pretty striking and captures one’s attention. The braids on her head go around her shoulders and hang in front of her chest.

“Ah, the helper from the Literature Club. Thanks, I was given a heads up about it from Koto-senpai.”

She stood up while pressing her slightly long skirt before walking out from behind the counter. From the design of our school badge on her cuff, she should be a second-year student.

“Thanks for helping. We really lack people during the summer holiday. Follow me.”

“Ah, sure.”

I secretly glanced at the girl next to me. She has slim arms and a gentle yet delicate face. Even though she doesn’t have any make-up on, she’s already so adorable that she doesn’t need any.

…Yeah, this is what a librarian or Literature Club member should look like. They should look like they were born under an unlucky star, or should I say like a widow?

She ventured into the depths of the library as she smiled at me.

“There are new members in the Literature Club. I’m glad to hear that.”

“Uh, I guess. I was a ghost member until recently.”

“Looking forward to working with you. The girl from the Literature Club is already here. You should help her out.”

Her pale finger pointed at the no. 900 bookshelf. It’s for literature.

Within the shadows of the bookshelves, Komari mumbled to herself as she looked at the book labels.

“Sorry for the wait, Komari.”

I greeted her. Komari raised her head. She shot daggers at me over her bangs.

“Y-You’re too late. N-Nukumizu, I’ll leave t-the second half of the list to you.”

“Got it. Let’s make this quick.”

I held the list with one hand and started checking what needed doing.

Let’s see. The first thing is to rearrange everything based on the labels’ order. We need to check if there are any missing books.

…This is unexpectedly boring. Even though I was pretty worked up when I started, I’m getting sleepy already.

“By the way, Komari. You said you’re going to put a new novel in the club magazine. Have you decided what to write yet?”

I thought she would ignore this chitchat. I’m just talking to keep myself awake. However, Komari actually joined the conversation.

“Y-Yeah, it’s more like I’m a-already finished. …I-It’s an i-isekai…r-romance…novel…”

Seriously? A weakling like me can’t even edit and publish the first chapter’s draft.

“That was quick. Did you upload it to <Let’s Become An Author!>?”

“I-I uploaded it y-yesterday…”

After that, Komari’s lips curled upward slightly.

“What? You seem very happy.”

“…I-I got into…the daily ranking o-of…<Let’s Become An Author!>.”

“Heh, isn’t that amazing? Komari is writing an isekai romance novel, right?”

I took out my phone. Let’s see. Where is the genre ranking again?

I casually clicked a few times. It shows the novels listed in the overall ranking. This is a battlefield where only the strong chosen by readers can enter.

I scrolled down and saw a very familiar pen name, “Long-time Rabbit”.

“I-Is this Komari’s pen name? No.8 in the overall ranking!? Top 10?”

“E-Ehehe, …I get more points e-every time…I refresh.”

Komari couldn’t hold back her excitement. She jumped up and down.



The overall daily ranking shows the top 300 novels in <Let’s Become An Author!>. It’s already hard enough to enter this list. Top 10 is next to impossible.

“Wow, you have more than 3,000 points.”

This girl used to write youkai genre stuff, which is not popular on these websites. It’s relatively hard to get points from that.

A newbie novelist like her who writes unpopular stuff managed to get 4 digits worth of points!? I feel like she has just trampled me into the ground.

Even though it’s only a short story, it must be exciting that it only took a night to get 3,000 points.

I looked back up at her with newfound respect. Komari was wearing an arrogant expression. “Aren’t I amazing…?” is written all over her face.

“B-But it’s not like p-points matter.”

“Weren’t you just blabbing about points a minute ago?”

“T-The most important thing is to w-write what you l-love. Keep it up, N-Nukumizu. You can do it.”

“Uwah, you’re just being arrogant right now.”

Tck, this must be a winner’s privilege, right?

Although she has 100 times my points, I can’t judge its quality if I don’t read it.

So, I clicked on Komari’s novel-

*

Literature Club Report – Summer Edition

<Everyone has to know the engagement is voided!> by Chika Komari

 

“Sylvia Luczel-sama. I’m canceling our engagement.”

I’m speechless at the sudden declaration.

I’m suspected of the attempted murder of Baron Anne’s daughter.

Just now, the person who declared he was voiding our engagement in the reception room of my mansion is the crown prince of this country, First Prince Guillaume.

He’s my childhood friend. We’ve always been together. He was also my future husband.

He has curly blonde hair. His blue pupils are sparkling under his longer-than-mine eyelashes. A person’s heart can be captured instantly by those eyes. Rumors say that he has the Charm Eye ability. Honestly, I can understand that.

However, his eyes are only filled with anger and contempt right now.

Even though I know I can’t touch him, I still reach my hand out to the prince.

“Guillaume-sama…”

“Sylvia, go to the monastery if you want to defend yourself-”

“Wait! The graduation party hasn’t started yet!”

Prince Guillaume looked confused upon hearing that.

…Yeah, I’m in a so-called otome game’s world now.

I was an ordinary high school girl before getting reincarnated as the evil villainess in the otome game I love, Sylvia Luczel, a duke’s daughter.

The story progresses toward the True End with all of the flags I’ve been carefully planting.

So, today’s the finale of the game. It’s the graduation party of the kingdom’s magical school. Based on the plot, my engagement to Prince Guillaume is supposed to be voided at the party.

After that, my parents will break off their relationship with me, and I’ll be sent to a rural monastery. However-

“My efforts will be in vain if we don’t cancel our engagement during the party! What did you think I planted all those flags and did not go down the wrong routes for!?”

Damn, there are no witnesses aside from maids and the prince’s servants here. What a pain.

“Sylvia, what are you talking about…?”

The prince seems to think that I’m going haywire. He frowned and took a step back.

…The truth is, I’m actually freaking out as well.

The popular evil villainess Sylvia will find her happiness later in the DLC release. I scolded the prince during the party. Then, after seeing that, the domineering prince from the neighboring country falls in love with me.

“This woman is interesting.”

He’ll even say a line like that. That scene can’t appear if our engagement is voided here.

“A-Anyway, I can’t tolerate your disgusting acts toward Baron Anne’s daughter. However, your reputation will be ruined if I void our engagement in public. This is my mercy as your former fiancée.”

Uh, please don’t. I don’t need mercy like that. I’ll just be sent to the monastery if this continues.

“I got it. Anyway, let’s go to the party first. I’ll humiliate Anne-san there, and then you can come out and announce my crimes. We can void our engagement at that point!”

Very well. This is a bit incoherent, but I managed to return to the original route. I pinched up the bottom of my dress as I prepared to leave the reception room.

“W-Wait, our engagement is already voided…”

I can hear Prince Guillaume’s powerless voice from behind. I glared at the prince with my hands akimbo.

“Please stop! How can a First Prince drag his feet at times like this!? Please announce our voided engagement at the graduation party!”

“Hey, listen to me.”

“Shut up and go there! Please don’t forget about the documents of my crimes! Prepare the carriage!”

Indeed, I can’t waste any time here.

If I am going to progress toward my True End, everyone has to know our engagement is canceled-

*

…That’s the story.

Compared to my novel, which isn’t being read by anyone other than the Literature Club members, I feel like everyone wants to read more of this.

I hesitated about whether I should click “Like”. Komari frowned as she looked at her phone.

“What’s wrong, Komari?”

“Y-Yakishio just texted me…”

“Eh, you’ve been messaging her?”

When did they get so close?

“I-I jog with Yakishio f-from time-to-time l-lately.”

Komari sometimes jogs too? Ah, but, come to think of it-

“We talked about this during the closing ceremony, right? Wait, you really went with her?”

“I-It’s all because of Nukumizu…”

“Yes, I’m very sorry.”

I can only apologize.

After the first term’s closing ceremony, Komari wanted to create a chance for Yanami and me to talk alone. She told Yakishio she wanted to learn how to jog and got her away from us.

I didn’t expect them to actually jog together.

“You could’ve just said no.”

I casually remarked. Komari lowered her head in embarrassment after hearing that.

“I-I…can’t r-reject it…i-if someone f-forces me…”

She sounds like a hentai heroine.

“Explain everything- no, I can talk to Yakishio if you hate it.”

“G-Go die…”

I accidentally just said what I thought without consideration, but weren’t you too mean to tell me to go die?

“I-I don’t hate it. …The training i-is based on my s-stamina. S-She even g-gave me sneakers, a-and she carries me when I’m tired…”

Komari twirled her fingers. Hey, Yakishio is unexpectedly good at taking care of others. I guess I can just leave them alone.

“B-But, …i-it’s too tiring to start running at 6 in the m-morning.”

I would hate that.

“Well, but waking up early is good for your body, at least from a survey I’ve read.”

“…T-That’s just random BS, right?”

“So you do know.”

I checked the bookshelves again to finish this ASAP, starting from the “Ma ()” row.

After a while, Komari seemed to have remembered something and asked me.

“Y-Yakishio, …d-does she has any siblings?”

That’s sudden.

“Never heard of it, but I think she has mentioned that she has a little sister.”

“W-Well, …h-have you seen a-anyone with Yakishio o-on the streets lately…?”

I shook my head. What is this girl trying to get at?

“What’s wrong? Did something happen to her?”

“Uh, no, n-not really…”

Her mumbling is way too vague, but I shouldn’t interrogate her. Moreover, I feel like this is troublesome.

I stretched my sore back and continued working.

*

It took us 2 hours to complete the task. I bid farewell to Komari and walked towards the clubroom.

I briefly thought about going home right away. However, I changed my mind because the work had been more tiring than expected. Let’s take a break first.

I’m in the corridor that leads to the western building. Someone suddenly patted my shoulder.

“Nukumizu, you here for club activities?”

The person speaking to me is Mitsuki Ayano.

He was my classmate in cram school and Yakishio’s dream lover. He’s not just a tall, handsome guy with glasses. His grades are pretty good too.

He’s also going out with his cram school partner and classmate, Chihaya Asagumo.

Aside from that, he’s also a weird dude. For some reason, he always tries to talk to me whenever he knows I’m around.

“I had something to do in the library. But, why is Ayano here at this time?”

It’s almost 4 PM now. It’s a bit late to be in school during the summer holiday.

“I have some business too. By the way, is anyone in the Literature Club’s room? I want to return the books I’ve borrowed.”

“I’m going there right now. I can help you return them.”

“Sorry, can I leave them with you?”

Ayano handed the books over. There’s a finely crafted bracelet on his wrist. It doesn’t match his look at all.

“Is this really conspicuous?”

“Eh? It kind of stands out.”

Even though I’m not interested in the least, his facial expression totally tells me he wants me to listen to him. I gave up and nodded. This must be a part of interpersonal relationships.

“Chihaya gave me this. She said I have to wear it at all times. What a girl. Well, I was really surprised when I got this gift too…”

Unlike his words, Ayano’s face is covered in embarrassment. I see. This must be the so-called masochistic show of affection. It’s a breath of fresh air to see him like this because everyone else around me has suffered from rejection.

I thought about that while listening to him show off and responding with casual replies.

*

I came to the clubroom’s door after bidding farewell to Ayano. It’s not closed.

Did Komari come to the room? Or did someone forget to close it? I pushed the door.

“Hey, isn’t this Nukkun?”

“!”



I immediately closed the door.

The person inside the clubroom is Remon Yakishio. To be precise, it’s Yakishio in the middle of changing her clothes.

“Close the door when you’re changing!”

“Wait, what’s wrong with you?”

Yakishio ignored my panicking and walked out of the clubroom.

The buttons on her uniform are still not done up.

“Hey, why are you always taking your clothes off in front of others like it’s nothing!?”

“I have proper clothes inside. Also, I’m less exposed now than during normal practices.”

Yakishio tilted her head dumbfoundedly.

“…Always?”

By the way, this girl seems to have forgotten about what happened in the PE storage last month.

“It’s nothing. Alright, go in. Don’t change in the corridor.”

“Uh, please don’t push me.”

I pushed Yakishio back into the room and closed the door behind us. Phew, I managed to prevent a scene.

“Nukkun, you’re overthinking. Help me put this back in the bag over there, please.”

She rolled a towel into a ball and suddenly threw it at me.

I caught it. Her training clothes are inside the towel. I looked away and shoved it into Yakishio’s sports bag.

Wait, why am I in the clubroom? Come to think of it, isn’t this situation worse…?

I sat on a chair as I peeked over at her worriedly. Yakishio continued changing without the slightest sense of panic.

She’s finally wearing her uniform properly. I’m relieved.

So that’s how you wear that bowtie… [TL: This is referencing the Special Intermission 1 in Vol.1.]

“Anyway, Yakishio, why are you changing here?”

“The Track and Field Club’s room is really tiny. First-year students are always the last. That’s why I always change here when I’m in a rush.”

Yakishio used her tiny portable mirror to carefully adjust the angle of her bowties.

“Forget about that. Why is Nukkun here? Isn’t it the summer holiday now?”

“I’m just here to help the library out. You forgot about this.”

The ‘this’ is Yakishio’s personal icon, her lemon hairpin, which is sitting on the table.

“Huh, I remember putting this into the bag. Why is it on the table?”

Yakishio picked up the hairpin confusedly.

“You take it off during track practice, right?”

“I always wear it. It’s just that I didn’t want to get it dirty since I cleaned it yesterday.”

I didn’t expect her to pay attention to things like this. Even though her inner personality is carefree, she’s a top-grade beauty in school. I guess she still spends time keeping up her appearance.

“Prez Tamaki texted me yesterday. We’re doing a club magazine, right?”

Yakishio adjusted her hairpin as she said that.

“Yeah, he said it’s a part of our summer holiday activities. I’ll change my novel a bit and upload it. What are you going to do, Yakishio?”

“What should I do? I can upload a picture diary, but writing something sounds nice.”

She carefully tidied up her bangs using a tiny, compact cosmetic mirror. After that, she clenched her fists and mumbled, “Good.” This girl is full of motivation.

Suddenly, a laidback notification sound played in the room. Yakishio took out her phone. Her face is brimming with a smile as she’s looking at the screen.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. It’s nothing. Well, I’ll be leaving-”

“Hey, you left your socks.”

“Not a big deal. Don’t mind it-”

Yakishio smiled and left the clubroom with light steps.

“I mind it…”

I picked up the socks with a handkerchief and threw them into Yakishio’s bag.

Sheesh, now I can finally rest in peace.

I took out my half-finished light novel and started reading, yet I couldn’t pay full attention.

I closed the book and stared at the ceiling in a daze.

There’s no one in the school- a boy and a girl who used to be close-

Hmm- …that’s impossible.

I shook away those terrible thoughts and flipped open the book again.

*

The next morning, as I groggily pushed open the door to the living room an enthusiastic voice came flying out at me. She sounded like she had waited for a long time.

“Onii-sama, good morning. Breakfast is ready.”

Kajyu’s wearing an apron. She smiled and pulled out the chair for me.

“Good morning, Kajyu. Did Dad and Mom already go to work?”

“It’s already 9, you know? They already went out.”

Is it already that late? I edited the novel I wanted to publish in the club magazine yesterday. I ended up staying up the whole night.

Kajyu chuckled and put a huge plate of pancakes in front of me.

“Onii-sama, Kajyu tried making fluffy pancakes today. Hope you like it.”

With that, Kajyu added some sweet seasoning to it.

“There’s rice flour on the pancakes. Kajyu also made sugar pickled white peaches. I’ll put all of them out for you, onii-sama.”

Kajyu noticed some syrup on her finger. She hesitated for a moment before licking it off.

“Onii-sama, sweet and sour go really well together so I also prepared lemon water too. Please enjoy them together, okay?”

The pancakes in front of me are adorned with sugar powder and mint leaves. It’s as exquisite as the ones in a café.

“Thanks. Well, let’s eat.”

I picked up my knife and fork. Then, I noticed another serving of pancakes next to me.

“Kajyu, you didn’t eat yet?”

“Yes, Kajyu forgot about mine because I was so busy making breakfast.”

Kajyu laughed shyly and rapped her knuckles against her head. Kajyu made so much food that she ended up forgetting to eat her own. What an adorable little sister.

I wanted to move her plate to the seat in front of me. However, Kajyu pulled a fast one and sat next to me.

“Well, onii-sama. Let’s eat.”

“Yeah, let’s eat.”

Our peaceful breakfast time begins. Just as I put my knife into the fluffy pancakes, Kajyu slightly tilts her head. She’s looking at me timidly.

“Onii-sama went to school yesterday as well. Are you really busy lately?”

“There’s something I had to do for the club. I guess… you could say I was busy?”

Because I have been lazing around lately, I can’t really make a valid comparison to anything.

“But this is nice too, right? The friend onii-sama just made recently is Yanami-senpai, right? She visited us a few days ago.”

“Uh, I guess.”

I gave a vague answer as I stuffed my mouth full of pancakes.

Although I have told Kajyu that I have friends now, I haven’t told her what Yanami’s like yet.

It’s not just because I’m embarrassed. I think things will be a mess if I tell her.

“How about we welcome her properly next time? Also, don’t forget about the interview.”

Please don’t do an interview. I took a sip of lemon water.

“Well, we are friends, but you don’t need to be so ridiculous. We aren’t close enough to go out together.”

“Everything has to start somewhere. Also…”

Kajyu approached me with sparkling eyes.

“Yanami-senpai is a very beautiful girl on second glance! She has to learn the secret recipe of the Nukumizu family! Let’s start with miso soup, and then the basic Japanese, Western, and Chinese cuisine-”

Kajyu won’t stop running her mouth. Well, let’s step on the break.

“Calm down. She is indeed a female friend. However, our relationship isn’t like that, alright?”

“Hiya, everyone will fall for onii-sama once they get to know you. Even if you two are just friends now, it’s time to start thinking about the future!”

Kajyu seems to have suddenly thought of something. She got closer bit by bit.

“Don’t tell me onii-sama has his eyes on other girls in the Literature Club? There’s that tanned senpai who looks good as well and while I was surprised to learn there’s also a petite senpai, on second thought she can wear Kajyu’s clothes... We can definitely get close from now on. So!”

I spread my hands and asked Kajyu for a pause. She’s too excited.

“Listen, Kajyu. Let’s calm down and count to 6. Here. 1, 2, 3…”

“4, 5, 6…”

After counting, Kajyu put her hand on her chest and took a deep breath.

I patted Kajyu’s head to praise her for finally calming down.

“Meow-”

Kajyu keeps rubbing my hand. I used another to continue eating pancakes.

These pancakes taste really sweet. Then, a notification popped up on my phone on the table.

I looked at it subconsciously. It’s an unfamiliar name.

<Yana-chan: Are you awake? Let’s go to a café if you’re free, okay?>

…Okay, first of all, why is “Yana-chan” your nickname? Second of all, why should I go to a café with you?

My brain stopped processing the sudden invitation. Kajyu went around my arms and sat on my lap.

“Onii-sama, this is Yanami-senpai, right? She’s inviting you for tea!”

“Uh, I guess.”

“Hanging out with a girl in a café must be nice.”

Kajyu’s smiling brightly.

“This is literally a date.”

“That’s not how we are. Perhaps she wants to discuss something.”

What’s the correct reply in this situation? I took a deep breath.

She suddenly invited me to a café in the morning. If I remember correctly, Yanami went to her classmates’ party yesterday…

My instincts are warning me of danger.

Kajyu stared at me. I quickly replied, <I’m really busy today.>

“Onii-sama, are you sure?”

“It’s fine. Also, it’s okay even if it’s not me she meets.”

A notification sound played. My phone is showing a text from “Yanami”.

Uwah, I said no already. Why is this woman being such a pain in the ass?

I hesitated. Kajyu smiled and held my phone.

“You should go out, onii-sama. You shouldn’t make your friend wait.”

…I got it, so please get off my lap.

*

It’s 3 PM on the promised afternoon.

We agreed to meet at the café next to the city hall.

I arrived first. So, I casually observed the café as I waited for Yanami.

The vintage décor and soothing ambience here really calm one’s soul. Online reviews say that this café’s pancakes are as good as its waffles.

This is quite close to my home, but I have never visited it before.

“Thanks for waiting. Here is your iced coffee.”

“Oh, thanks.”

The waitress handed me a cup of iced coffee. I stared at the glass of water on the other side of the table nervously.

I’m in a café with another girl during the summer holiday.

Even though I denied what Kajyu said earlier, this must be a so-called date, right?

Based on the light novels and manga I’ve read before, this counts as a date even if we’re not going out.

So, in other words, Yanami invited me out on a date, right?

The doorbell rang while I was restlessly mixing the syrup and milk in my coffee.

I quickly raised my head. Yanami had just stepped into the café.

She’s wearing a navy blue shirt with a knee-length light grey pleated skirt.

I have seen her in casual clothes before during the trip, but today Yanami’s appearance looks like she dressed for an outing, right? My back straightened seeing her in such a girly outfit.

With that outfit, so today’s really a date, right…?

Yanami walked straight to my table as soon as she spotted me.

“Uh, what’s wrong, Yanami-san? Why did you invite me out to a café so suddenly?”

I tried to force a smile to prevent her sensing my nervousness.

“…………”

Yanami didn’t say anything. She sat down and chugged the water in one go. After that, she fiercely slammed the cup down on the table.

She mumbled quietly.

“…Let the world end.”

Something happened, I can already guess what it is.

“What happened at your classmates’ party yesterday?”

Yanami reacted to the word “classmate’s party”. Her shoulders began to quiver.

“…I knew it. Even though I knew this would happen, it’s useless trying to rely on book learning when it actually happens in front of me, right?”

Yep, this isn’t a date.

I’m half relieved. I leaned back on my chair.

“Uh, were they flirting in front of you?”

“That started a month ago already, okay? By now, I have a heart of steel that wouldn’t miss a beat even if they played ‘I Love You’ in front of me.” [TL: I Love You, the game where people flirt with each other and the first person to get embarrassed loses.]

Yanami put an elbow on the table and looked at the menu. She doesn’t seem energetic.

“Also, they don’t really flirt in front of everyone anymore.”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“That’s not what I’m getting at. It’s the way they help each other collect the trash during dinner. The natural way in which they help carry each other’s stuff. It’s this naturalness I’m talking about.”

Yanami shook her head and continued.

“The way they make eye contact after subconsciously looking at each other at the same time. How they share the same point card, use the same notification sound, have color matched clothes and accessories. Finally, how they go home together automatically without any need for words -”

Yanami stole my glass of water, chugged it in one go and then slammed the cup onto the table again.

“They have already gone that far, get it!? They are already at the calm newlywed stage now! It’s only been a month! How far do they want to go!?”

They can go as far as they want girl.

Yanami is running out of breath. I asked the waitress to refill our cups.

“Oh, and can you change my cup as well?”

“…Huh? You don’t like the fact I used your cup so much you need to get a new one?”

It’s because I don’t like drinking from a cup used by someone else.

“Well, what will Yanami-san order?”

“Did you just ignore me…? Hmm, I’ll get a cream soda.”

“Eh, you’re not getting pancakes?”

I thought she had come to this café for the pancakes.

Yanami watched the waitress leave silently. She spoke up in a serious tone.

“Nukumizu-kun, pipe down and listen to me. Somen is carbohydrates. …In other words, it has sugar.”

Yeah, I know.

“I was deceived by its cold and smooth appearance. …it looks really tiny, so people think ‘isn’t it fine to eat this?’ Wouldn’t you feel cheated if you got fat because of eating something like that?”

“Uh, so you ate too much somen and got fa-”

“I didn’t say I got fat, okay!?”

Yanami interrupted.

“But cream soda has even more sugar.”

“Drinks don’t count. People say you won’t get fat from eating ice cream either.”

The waitress brought the cream soda as I listened to Yanami’s mysterious theory.

The cream soda here uses genuine green soda water and is topped with vanilla ice cream. Yanami immediately pointed her phone toward it.

“You’re taking a photo?”

“I’m posting it on Ins. Yeah, that’s a nice photo.”

Ins, …it’s an app for posting photos, right?

I think people used to talk about food going to waste just to get good photos, but I don’t have to worry about that happening if it’s Yanami.

Yanami clicked on her phone numerous times before showing me the screen.

“Look, isn’t it nice? Remember to like it, Nukumizu-kun.”

“I’m not using Ins. …Hey, isn’t that my hand at the corner?”

Indeed, this vibrant ice cream soda photograph includes my hand too. That’s like hearing noise in the background when watching a top-tier movie.

“Eh, you’re right. Aren’t Nukumizu-kun’s fingers too slim? Have you been eating properly?”

“I am. You should take a new photo, right?”

“But I already posted it.”

Yanami ate ice cream as she tapped on her phone. She suddenly realized something. Her eyes lit up.

“…You should know I’m giving you hints, right?”

“Uh, what do you mean by that?”

Yanami crossed her legs chicly. She swept her bangs backward. This girl sure is something else.

“Nukumizu-kun, even I want to let other people guess about me sometimes.”

“So, what’s that got to do with this?”

“It’s a hint, spreading the fact that I’m with a guy on Ins. You know, the ones used to show off boyfriends or pin down other girls.”

“Oh, the ones that make celebrities get incinerated by hate?”

This is a sidenote. For some reason, all of the female seiyuu I like always have a same-age "little brother".

“…But wait, Yanami-san is just a normal person though, right?”

“Look, my friends already have big reactions to the photo I posted. They ask who I’m with and whether I have a boyfriend.”

Yanami showed me her phone.

“My close friends have some intense reactions. That photo is indeed really powerful.”

“I have a question. What’s the point of doing this?”

Yanami squinted her eyes and stared straight at me.

“You want to force me to say it? From my own mouth? For real?”

“…My bad.”

“I like your honesty. Ah, even Kasumi-chan replied too. We haven’t talked in a while.”

Yanami stared at her phone in satisfaction. Her face suddenly turned serious.

“What?”

“…Honestly, the boys I was close with in middle school always text me right after the party.”

“Oh.”

“They really are quite taken with me. Now I understand how scarily popular I am.”

“Ah, yes, yes, yes.”

A half-assed answer is all I can give. I decided to drink my coffee. The ice cubes have melted already.

Yanami keeps twirling the ice cream melting into her soda. She looked at me. Is she… trying to make me ask her about her popularity?

“Well, so, are you about to go out with any of them?”

I gave up and asked her. As for Yanami, she’s now twirling her long spoon with a chic expression.

“Hmm, I’m still not planning to have a boyfriend for now. I don’t feel like it.”

“Emmm.”

“The girls are also worried about me and tried to introduce boys to me. The guys always try to invite me out to eat as well. …Hmm?”

“What’s wrong?”

“I think the guys who asked me out all have something in common. Uwah, even Tanaka invited me too.”

Yanami frowned and scrolled down. She suddenly looked up at me like she had just realized something.

“Nukumizu-kun, don’t tell me they think I’m easy!? 'It’s easy to pull this woman because she’s just been rejected? Let’s hit on her first, anyway!’ Is that the case!?”

“Uh, how should I put it. …Yes, probably.”

She actually noticed it. You should’ve just immersed yourself in the joy of being popular.

With an aching sadness, I added some syrup to my iced coffee.

“But, think about it. Perhaps one of the guys actually does like you.”

“…Are you aware that you’re being very mean right now? And just so you know, I don’t want to hang out with guys too much for a while.”

I see. Also, I want to know which classification I belong to in her mind.

Yanami finished the last of the ice cream on top of her cream soda. She wistfully twirled the soda with her spoon.

“That’s all of the ice cream…”

“Yeah, how tragic.”

I gave her a smartass answer before glancing outside. A cheerful girl from Tsuwabuki High School walked past.

Our iconic 4 bowties, her short hair fixed with a lemon hairpin and a healthy tan on her slim arms and legs…

“That’s Yakishio, right?”

“Remon-chan?”

Yanami drank her soda spoonful by spoonful as she looked in my direction.

“She’s wearing her uniform today too?”

“Huh! Lower your head, Nukumizu-kun! Quick!”

Yanami suddenly grabbed my head and slammed me down onto the table.

“Ouch! Eh, what’s wrong!?”

“Don’t raise your head! She’ll see us!”

“It’s just Yakishio. What’s wrong-”

I immediately swallowed my words.

She’s not alone. The person next to her is Mitsuki Ayano. Her dream lover.

Yakishio is walking shoulder to shoulder with Ayano with cheerful steps. Her face is totally that of a girl deeply in love.

“Why are the two of them…”

Didn’t Yakishio give up after learning Ayano has a girlfriend…?

Yanami hid behind the soda glass. She watched the two of them.

After the two disappeared, Yanami slowly raised her head.

“…Nukumizu-kun, this isn’t good, right? Going out alone with a guy who has a girlfriend during a holiday is cheating, right?”

“But, think about it. They are friends, right? For example, Yanami-san and Hakamada going out alone isn’t cheating, right?”

“It is cheating, right?”

“…Well, if you say so.”

It can’t be helped if they are cheating. We can only watch their immoral relationship from afar.

Yanami picked up her glass and chugged the remaining soda. She wiped her lips with a handkerchief and put the cup down.

“C’mon, let’s go, Nukumizu-kun! Finish your drink!”

“Eh? Where?”

“You actually need to ask? To follow those two, obviously!”

Yanami stood up. Is this the so-called ‘love to watch the fun’? Her eyes are shining.

“Nope, I’m not interested.”

“Eh?”

I poured milk into my iced coffee. I purposefully added milk after finishing half of it. This allows me to enjoy the rest as milk coffee.

I enjoyed the coffee. Yanami gave me a cold, hard stare. She tapped on the check.

“I’ll leave without paying.”

“…Seriously?”

It’s scary to rebel against Yanami. …Hell no, she’s just a pain in the ass.

I finished the remaining coffee, sighed, and stood up.

*

Yanami and I walked outside of the café and looked around. Yakishio and Ayano are nowhere to be found.

“I think they’ve already gone too far.”

I said that as if I was confirming something. Then, I slowly raised my hand toward Yanami.

“Well, that’s all for today. Disbanded. Thanks for the work.”

“Wait right there! Aren’t you giving up too soon!?”

Yanami immediately grabbed hold of my hand the moment I tried to slip away.

“Even so, we can’t do anything if they are gone. In the end, amateur snoops like us can’t tail people properly. We’ll just be treated as suspicious people and be exposed…”

I froze as I was saying that.

There’s a person lurking in the shadows of the building of the café that we just walked out of. It’s a suspicious person.

That suspicious person is a petite girl. Her long hair is split in the middle. She’s wearing a mask and black sunglasses. There are 4 bowties on her chest. She’s a Tsuwabuki student.

She looked all around before walking to the door of the café.

Then, she suddenly came to a halt and took something out of her pocket. I think it’s chocolate. She shoved it into her mask and ate it.

Wait, why does that person seem familiar?

Yanami looked in my direction and nodded.

“Oh, …that is a suspicious person.”

“Yeah, a very suspicious person.”

Under our watchful eyes, that girl pulled out a machine resembling an old phone with antennas. She raised it above her head.

“Nukumizu-kun, do you know that person?”

“I have to pretend I don’t know her, even though I do. We’ll be caught up in trouble if she catches us staring at her. Let’s get out of here.”

“But that person is staring at Nukumizu-kun.”

“…Uh.”

I worriedly turned around. That girl is indeed looking at me.

My body stiffened. She quickly approached me.

“Hello, Nukumizu-san. Do you still remember me?”

With that, she took off her mask and raised her sunglasses. She’s looking at me with her big round eyes.



“Uh, let me think. I think you’re-”

…Okay, sorry, but I do know who she is.

The true identity of the suspicious person is Chihaya Asagumo. She’s Mitsuki Ayano’s girlfriend.

Even though she’s not tall and her face is petite, she’s got curves in all the right spots. Her head-to-body ratio and upright posture make her look like a ballet dancer.

“You’re Asagumo-san, right? We have seen each other in cram school, but I don’t think we have really chatted, right…?”

“Yes, I don’t remember us talking either. That’s why I’m greeting you again. Nice to meet you.”

Asagumo-san put on her mask and sunglasses again and hastily lowered her head. Her forehead is sparkling from the sunlight passing between her hair.

“Ha. Well, nice to meet you.”

“Well, let’s cut right to the chase. Have you seen Mitsuki-san and Yakishio-san around here?”

Yanami interrupted.

“Oh, those two-”

I gave Yanami a signal when she was about to speak up before shaking my head on purpose.

“I-I’m…not sure.”

“I see. I thought they were around here. It looks like the sensitivity is a bit low. I have to prepare better next time.”

Asagumo-san straightened her back and raised her antenna machine. Yanami looked at it. Her eyes are filled with interest.

“Well, we’ll be leaving. Let’s go, Yanami-san.”

“Uh, you’re Asagumo-san, right? What does sensitivity mean? Are you measuring something with that machine?”

“Hey, Yanami-san!”

“It must draw a lot of attention, right?”

Asagumo-san stared at us while we had a little argument.

“…You two did see Mitsuki-san, right?”

Before we even answered, she took out a palm-sized black stick.

There’s a blinking red light at its top.

“Eh, what’s that?”

“This is a very useful machine. Look, this red light is blinking, right?”

I don’t understand even if you tell me to look at it, girl. What’s with the blinking red light, anyway?

Asagumo-san ignored my confusion. She tilted her head and smiled.

“Shall we talk somewhere else?”

*

I’m okay with talking somewhere else. While I did agree-

“So, why is it my room instead? We could’ve just found another café.”

The girls ignored my protest. Yanami introduced herself again and walked around the room.

“We just went to a café. Nukumizu-kun, is this poster made with fabric?”

“You can’t do that, Yanami-san. We have to pretend we didn’t see things like that when in a boy’s room. It’s basic manners.”

Asasgumo-san made an unnecessary comment.

She’s sitting on the cushion properly. She seems to be writing something in her notebook.

Yanami poked my treasure, the B2 tapestry of Magical Battle Girl Shinonome.

“Hmm, is this something you can’t show to others?”

“Not really. It’s not something lewd, anyway.”

“Yanami-san, please stop asking any further.”

Asagumo-san interrupted me determinedly.

“Otakus really hate non-otakus judging their hobbies and making fun of them, not to mention a female classmate seeing a tapestry of a beautiful girl wearing only her underwear. Even I can’t deal with it.”

“No, this is a battle suit, not underwear…”

Very well. Let’s end the discussion here.

Yanami ignored my thoughts and continued innocently.

“Eh, but why is she so exposed if it’s meant to be a battle suit?”

“Huh? That’s because… the magic they release from their skin… will… activate… Sigma Drive…”

“I see. Then why are these girls hugging each other on the bed?”

…Why don’t you just kill me now?

I closed my eyes and looked up. At this time, someone silently opened the door.

“The Sigma Drive will resonate when there are 5 awakened users. The sealed legendary weapon Pashupatastra will be unleashed. That’s why the battle suit girls hug each other on the tapestry.”

“…Kajyu.”

The person who entered so inconspicuously and spoiled the plot is my little sister. Your brother hasn’t read that part yet.

“Onii-sama, Kajyu is here with some drinks.”

“Thanks, you can put them on the table.”

“Alright, welcome, you two.”

Kajyu smiled and put iced tea on the table.

Yanami immediately sits back down after hearing there are drinks. Kajyu lowered her head.

“Yanami-senpai, I’m sorry for not welcoming you properly earlier.”

“It’s fine. Don’t worry about it…”

Yanami sounds a bit disappointed. It must be because there aren’t any snacks.

Asagumo-san bowed her head to Kajyu.

“I’m sorry for the sudden intrusion. I’ll depart immediately after we finish our discussion.”

“Don’t worry about it. Please enjoy. Well, can you tell me your name?”

“Sure, I’m Asagumo. I attend the same school as Kazuhiko-san.”

“…Kazuhiko-san?”

Kajyu’s smile stiffened.

“You don’t look so well. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Uh, onii-sama, what’s your relationship with this senpai…?”

“There’s no relationship. We are just classmates. Asagumo-san has a boyfriend.”

Kajyu glared at me from behind an unreadable expression.

“…Interfering in someone’s love?”

Why do I get the feeling my little sister just said something really impolite about me?

“Don’t say that. Onii-chan is discussing adult topics with them. You should go out.”

“I got it, …onii-sama.”

Unexpectedly, Kajyu walked out without further incident.

Asagumo-san blinked in disbelief.

“I thought it’d be better to call you by your first name in front of your little sister, but I guess that wasn’t the right choice?”

Yeah, that wasn’t right at all. It looks like I need to cover up with an excuse later.

“You actually know Nukumizu-kun’s first name? I didn’t even know what his name was.”

Yanami’s drinking her iced tea, her face full of admiration. This girl. She didn’t even know my name.

“It’s because I can remember something after seeing it just once. That’s how I’ve already memorized all of the books on your bookshelf now.”

“Forget about that for now. Aren’t we supposed to be talking about something here?”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

Asagumo-san straightened her back again. Her tone remains calm.

“Thank you very much for your time, both of you. Without further ado, I would like to explain what I was doing there.”

Wandering around there looking suspicious… was indeed not her goal.

I put my straw in my mouth to calm myself down.

“Let’s have a mutual and honest discussion. I suspect Mitsuki-san is cheating on me. I was wandering around there to catch him in the act.”

The person he’s cheating with… I don’t even need to say who it is, right? The incongruity between the word “cheating” and Yakishio is so great that it left me speechless.

Yanami spoke up for me.

“You say they are cheating, but is there any evidence? It’s nothing for them to meet each other alone, right?”

Yanami secretly winked at me.

“Someone once said it may not be cheating if it’s Remon-chan.”

“Can he deny it if he went to meet her without telling his girlfriend?”

“Ah, …well.”

Yanami reaches her palm toward me. We high-fived. I think it’s my turn.

“I’m not sure how relationships between a guy and a girl work. However, there are cases where the guy doesn’t tell the girlfriend because he doesn’t want her to worry, right?”

“I guess so. That happens too.”

Yanami nodded in agreement.

This girl has no understanding of relationships between guys and girls either, right? …I think.

“That could be the case. I believe in Mitsuki-san, and from what I’ve heard from him, Yakishio-san doesn’t sound like that kind of person either.”

“I see. It’s great that you understand. Well, let’s end this here.”

“That’s why I really want to see what they are like when meeting in secret. I want to confirm whether it’s true.”

It’s not over yet.

“Well, but you can’t just expect to run into them whenever they’re alone, right?”

Today was just a coincidence. It’s not weird to encounter each other while going about their daily lives. However, spotting and observing them together at a specific location is rather hard.

“I’ve just finished collecting data today. Next time, I’ll be able to pinpoint their meeting location.”

“Data? You have things like that?”

Yanami asked curiously.

“Yes, my analysis is based on a detailed and concrete investigation and the collected data. To put it simply, this was the last piece of the puzzle.”

She slowly took out a small bag from her pocket. She grabbed it with both hands and tried to squeeze out the contents. It’s a bar of Black Thunder Chocolate. Yanami’s eyes suddenly lighted up.

“Does Yanami-san want some too?”

“Can I?”

Yanami leaned forward and took the Black Thunder. She then nodded at me with a serious look.

“Nukumizu-kun, I like this girl.”

Aren’t you too easy?

“Asagumo-san, I can get you something to eat if you’re hungry.”

“No worries. I just want to replenish my sugar level. My brain needs sugar to function.”

Asagumo-san took out another Black Thunder.

“Even though glucose tablets work better, I’m a girl. I can’t resist sweets.”

“Oh, you love sweets?”

She showed a helpless expression at my half-hearted reply.

“The neurotransmitters produced from ingesting sugar stimulate the reward system in the brain. This is a logical conclusion. Please don’t think of me as a gluttonous person.”

“Exactly. I get you. I really do, Asagumo-san.”

Yanami nodded. Her eyes are as clear as glass beads. No, this girl definitely doesn’t get anything.

“You get me. Here are some shortbreads as well. Please enjoy.”

“Nice! Thank you!”

I glanced at the gluttonous girl taking the shortbreads before speaking up.

“Anyway, I’m opposed to finding Yakishio. That girl is in our club. I won’t accept your request to help.”

I explained it properly. Asagumo-san lowered her head regretfully.

“…I see. Nukumizu-kun, you two don’t have any motive or benefit to do that. This isn’t something worthy of joining in just for the fun of it.”

After that, Yanami stared daggers at me while taking bites of the shortbread.

“I’m not doing this to blame her. What happened between Mitsuki-san and me? Who is she to Mitsuki-san? I just want to figure these questions out and make the best choice.”

“The best choice?”

I repeated what she said. Asagumo-san nodded quickly.

“Yes. As you already know, they have been good friends ever since they were little. I know Yakishio-san is meeting Mitsuki-san as a friend. Also, I know she… likes Mitsuki-san too.”

I held my breath.

Yakishio loves Ayano. Even though I already know this, it’s nerve-wracking to hear that from another person.

“I love Mitsuki-san, so I want him to be happy. Even if I’m not the one next to him.”

Yanami frowned dumbfoundedly.

“Wait, Asagumo-san. So, you mean you’ll give up your boyfriend to Remon-chan depending on the situation…?”

“I’ve thought about this before. Should those two be together instead? My sudden appearance took Mitsuki-san away after all.”

A self-mocking smile appeared on her face.

“No, …I knew it from the start. I just barged in between them.”

Yanami and I didn’t know what to say. Asagumo-san returned to her usual cheerful smile.

“That’s why I want to know what Mitsuki-san’s really thinking. If his heart is really with Yakishio-san-”

She paused for a moment and straightened her back.

“-I’ll let go.”

Yanami and I fell into silence.

Asagumo-san chugged her iced tea. She continued calmly.

“As the litigant, I will always carry biases with respect to the intelligence I’ve gathered. That’s why I look forward to your two’s opinions as unrelated third-parties.”

I understand what she’s saying. However-

“I’m terribly sorry, but is it possible for you to do this alone? I don’t want to be involved in something that suspects my club members.”

Asagumo-san is the one who falls silent now.

She took out a variety of other snacks and spent some time eating them. She smiled to show that we didn’t need to worry about her.

“Yeah, this is something that is just between the three of us. I’m sorry for trying to get you two involved.”

“It’s fine. …I’m sorry for not offering any help too.”

A suffocating feeling weighs on my chest as I reject her. I want to understand why this is the case, yet I can’t analyze and summarize it properly.

Yanami licked her fingers after finishing the shortbreads. She spoke up peacefully.

“Asagumo-san, can I help you?”

“Yanami-san!”

Yanami met my shocked eyes with a gentle smile.

“Relax, Nukumizu-kun. I’m not just joining in for fun this time.”

Yanami faced Asagumo-san again with a respectful expression.

“However, don’t misunderstand, Asagumo-san. Since I'm her friend, I’m on Remon-chan’s side, okay?”

“I got it. Thank you very much.”

The two exchanged contacts. I organized my thoughts internally.

…I’m irrelevant.

I will probably bless them if Yakishio and Ayano do go out. Of course, I think it’s nice for Asagumo-san and Ayano to continue going out.

I remained silent because I couldn’t come to a conclusion. Yanami glared at me.

“Well, what will you do, Nukumizu-kun?”

Yanami’s blunt question doesn’t sound provoking for once.

Unlike my turbulent mind, my mouth moved on its own.

“I’ll help too.”

“Thank you.”

Asasgumo-san bowed deeply toward us after saying that.

“But I want to know how we’re supposed to find out where they’re going. We can’t just follow them wherever they go.”

Also, based on what had just happened, Asagumo-san is ill-suited to tail someone.

“It’ll be fine. You two saw Mitsuki-san in that café before we met, right?”

Yanami and I exchanged looks and nodded together.

“That will be useful for adjusting my investigation.”

With that, she opened her notebook and flipped through it.

Then, after reading the entire thing, she closed it and raised her head.

“I have a full understanding of this now. I can definitely pinpoint where they’ll be meeting next time.”



Intermission: It’s different when it happens before my eyes


Class 2-3, Momozono Middle School.

After the opening ceremony, the classmates are chatting non-stop after their short farewell.

There’s one girl whose an exception. Her elbows are planted on her desk as she gazes forlornly out the window.

“Onii-sama…has gone somewhere really far…”

This mumbling girl is Kajyu Nukumizu.

A tall classmate walked over. She lowered her head and watched her.

“What’s wrong, Nuku-chan?”

“Gon-chan…”

Kajyu slowly turned her face.

The girl talking to her is Asami Gonto. She’s Kajyu’s closest friend in class. She’s relatively tall for a middle school student, which adds to her maturity.

“What’s wrong? Tell me all about it.”

A tinge of worry appeared in her eyes.

“Kajyu has told you onii-sama has made a friend before, right…?”

“Yeah, wasn’t Nuku-chan really happy?”

“I am, but that friend is a gorgeous girl.”

Her body suddenly slumped onto her desk as if she had run out of energy.

“Also, the worst part is that Kajyu thought onii-sama just made one friend. It turns out there’s a second one. …Kajyu barged into onii-sama’s room a while ago, and the mood was a bit tight.”

“I see. Huh, I guess your brother shouldn’t be underestimated. Is he very handsome?”

Kajyu immediately straightened up.

“Of course! Onii-sama is no.1 in the world-”

Kajyu’s eyes are sparkling like gemstones. However, a tinge of apprehension suddenly appeared in them.

“…Don’t you try anything funny, okay? Kajyu doesn’t want to call Gon-chan onee-san.”

“Onee-san?”

Gon-chan gave it some thought.

“Nuku-chan becoming my little sister, that sounds nice.”

“Gon-chan!?”

“It’s a joke, but shouldn’t Nuku-chan be proud that your brother is popular?”

“B-But, this is…two girls at once, alright? Kajyu hasn’t even interviewed them.”

“Didn’t you say you would be thrilled if your brother got a brilliant girlfriend?”

“It’s different when it’s happening before my eyes. …I was going to get to know the girl onii-sama likes and watch them from afar. But, onii-sama brought two girls into his room right away and complicated the mood. …Onii-sama is in his popular phase…”

Kajyu slumped back onto her desk face-first again. She’s kicking her legs under the desk.

Gon-chan gently stroked Kajyu’s head.

“Alright, be good. I’ll take Nuku-chan if that happens.”

“But Kajyu wants onii-sama…”

“I see. I was rejected.”

Kajyu raised her head off the desk.

“…But Gon-chan is Kajyu’s best friend.”

“You’re adorable, Nuku-chan. Yeah, you should be my wife.”

“I can’t…”

Kajyu collapsed onto her desk once more as Gon-chan gave her head pats.

Kajyu Nukumizu, 14 years old.

Even though she’s pleased to know that her dear onii-sama has friends now, she can’t work out her own feelings right away.

Gon-chan continued stroking her head as Kajyu thought about that.


[TL: A manga adaptation by Itachi is released on April 29. BDs are also available now.]


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