Here's the second chapter.
Age sixteen. Male.
Second year of high school.
Average height. Average looks. Average grades.
Both parents deceased, currently living at the house of a relative - aside from that there is nothing noteworthy. An average guy that you would find everywhere.
That's me, the entirety of Himenokouji Akito. Or at least that was the case, until yesterday.
"I believe that bro-con is a sort of personality."
My sister began her speech as she ate her breakfast.
"Brother-complex...... That is a precious sort of love that can only be allowed if the two people in question are very close to each other. Think about it. Even though there are over a billion people on earth, how many brothers would actually be loved by a bro-con younger sister? Maybe one or two, at most there would be ten or so. Onii-chan should first recognize the rarity of such an event. Then, you should acknowledge the beauty of this unique love that is brought about by the close relationship of siblings."
"Next, for someone to openly show her bro-con feelings and treat it as something to be proud of, there can be only me. Bro-con is not only my personality, but also my badge."
"Really? Well, this miso soup tastes really great."
"Yes, I felt that I cooked it really well today. There's still plenty left."
"Oh, great. Another bowl please."
"Alright, how much more do you want? A bowl? Or half a bowl?"
"Hmm, half a bowl."
"Understood. Here you go."
"Please eat more so you can get more nutrients. Back on topic, talking about bro-con-"
"Oh? These seasoned vegetables taste great too. Did Akiko make them as well?"
"Yes. In my preparation to live with Onii-chan once more, I had prepared the sauce for the seasoning a long time ago. Does it suit your taste?"
"Yup, this tastes great. Akiko has become really good at cooking."
"Yes, I've put in much effort to learn it. Back on topic, regarding bro-con-"
"Oh? This seaweed soup tastes great."
"That's just something sold at the market! I'm assuming that Onii-chan has absolutely no intention of hearing my speech, right?"
My sister nearly flipped the table over when she realized my ploy.
But what was wrong with that? Why should I happily listen to my sister's talk about bro-con first thing in the morning?
Not to mention, the person whom she loves is me!
"It is something really important, so listen to me carefully!"
I gave a sigh and continued.
"Even though I know you're a bro-con, why do you love me that deeply? To tell you the truth, I don't think I deserve it."
"That's not true!" Akiko swung her fist about and continued on with full force. "I find Onii-chan really suave! Onii-chan is the only one I loved ever since the beginning!"
"We haven't seen each other for six years. And we just reunited yesterday."
"It has nothing to do with that!"
I don't understand how she can be so firm about that, but whatever. Her stance on absolutely not changing her mind has indeed been conveyed to me.
"All right, I understand."
Well, I should make a compromise.
"I'll listen to what you have to say carefully. Indeed, I can't ignore the sexual preferences of my sister."
"Please do not call it a sexual preference. It's a personality or in other words, an identity."
"Okay okay, your bro-con is a sort of personality that is so rare that you should be proud of it. You should be fine with what I said right? And so? What are the feelings and thoughts that you're trying to convey?"
"Right. And so."
Akiko cleared her throat.
"As a reward for the delicious breakfast I've made, please hug me." [TLNote: The term 抱く/抱いて in Japanese can mean both "to embrace" and "to sleep with".]
"...... I am extremely worried about the changes that had happened to the inside of your head."
"Sorry, I got carried away."
"It's great that you realize that."
"Right, I've given up on that. Just a kiss will do."
"Doesn't that increase the difficulty of your request?"
"Or you can just hug me once."
"So the hug you are referring to is not of the typical meaning, but the one used between a male and a female?"
"In any case!"
Akiko slammed on the table with a bang. Her eyebrows were arching upwards.
"I just want a reward from Onii-chan! Why can't you understand that!?"
"I should be the one who feels like throwing a tantrum!"
"As long as I get to be intimate with Onii-chan, I am happy!"
"Hey, you're asking for more and more."
"...... Fufu, could it be that Onii-chan is still not aware of the situation he is in?"
The edge of her lips lifted slightly. Akiko let out a sinister smile with an expression that was full of herself.
"To indulge me in my childishness, it can also be considered as being intimate with me. If there were people who see this scene, they would inevitably think like this: 'Ah, those two are really lovey-dovey'. Fufu...... You did not realize that you had totally fallen into my trap, and now you are forcing a calm expression. Onii-chan is really cute."
"Well, putting that aside, can you get me more miso soup? It's really delicious."
"Right! There's more, so drink as much as you like!"
Even though she mumbled something with a slightly evil look, she still took my bowl with a bright smile when I handed it to her.
How should I put it... She's probably just too excited about us reuniting and hasn't calmed down, which has resulted in her being shy. All the talk about having a brother complex is most probably fake. She was just saying it without really meaning it. Perhaps that's how it actually is.
Honestly, it's impossible for me not to be happy about it. To be together with a younger sister like her.
This younger sister is pretty attached to me.
Back then, we would always do everything together.
Since our parents were mostly not at home due to work, it had always been my job to take care of my younger sister, who's the same age as me.
"I love Onii-chan the most!"
I heard such words everyday.
Of course, I've never considered the fact that the 'love' she meant wasn't towards family members, but towards the opposite sex. Not even in my dreams.
"The weather's great."
My sister said while sitting by my side and holding a cup of steaming hot tea.
Using an expression akin to that of a cat lying about lazily while basking in the sun,
"... If Onii-chan will give me a lap pillow, things would be even more perfect."
"I'll say it first. That's a no."
"... If Onii-chan would give me a lap pillow, I'll die without a regret."
"Stop making it sound emotional!"
Even though I said that, I was feeling really great.
Even though we were forced to be separated for a long time so much so that we have became like strangers, my younger sister is still my younger sister. Honestly speaking, these feelings don't feel half bad.
Right now, it's near the end of March.
We moved during the spring holidays.
From the places that we both sojourned in.
To come to this wooden two-story apartment that is slightly shabby and has stood for over seventy years.
(... I'm surprised I was the only one who found this place.)
I thought to myself while looking at the backyard that is filled with dead grass due to the lack of management.
Compared to the places we came from, this place is incredibly shabby. For now, we are the only ones living in this apartment that was scheduled to be torn down in the near future-
"I have to thank the Arisugawa family."
My sister said in a slightly serious tone.
"I've caused a lot of trouble for them, and received plenty of their care and concern. They had raised me as though I was their own daughter."
"That's right. Even though both Kiyotsugu and Shouko have their own secrets...... Nevertheless I am still grateful to them, really. However, just this time-"
"It's already a thing of the past."
"Alright, I guess."
"Truthfully speaking, this is something that had been decided way back. It was decided on the very same day when I was separated from Onii-chan. One day, I would leave the Arisugawa family and reunite with Onii-chan."
"...... Well, I guess as much. Your actions were obvious."
"Yes. And this day has finally arrived. Finally."
And with that, my sister gave a light smile.
A smile that has more warmth than coldness. It's a smile that doesn't really fit the current atmosphere, a smile similar to a falling sakura flower that is about to meet its demise.
As though she had constantly been looking forward to the arrival of this very moment for everyday for the past six years.
"Once again, please take care of me, Onii-chan."
...... I thought to myself.
With her behaving like this, it just shows how well brought up she is.
To be adopted by a family that is famous beyond fame, and to undergo an education befitting of their status.
From her looks, the way she walks, her sitting posture and many other things - she has transformed into an impressive lady that will not embarrass herself no matter what situation she's in.
Even though for these six years, aside from written letters (and it had to go through two checks, both the Arisugawa family and the Takanomiya family), the Arisugawa family had forbidden us from making any contact with each other. However, I still have to thank them for raising Akiko well.
Well, except for the point where she has became someone who can proudly announce that she has a brother complex......
I can't really see it as something moe and just ignore it. Instead, it is more like a 'brace yourself and grind your teeth for my incoming's punch' type of feeling.
"I am sorry, Onii-chan."
Just when I was thinking about such random things, my sister apologized to me out of the blue.
"That was a really depressing talk. We should stop talking about it. These conversational topics are no longer suitable for the current us."
"Mm...... indeed, you're right."
"Even though we are really close siblings, it has been six years since we last met each other. I think it is inevitable for some awkwardness to exist between us."
"Yes, you're right."
My sister cleared her throat and looked at me seriously.
Suddenly, I was called by my name.
"Eh? What? What's the wrong now? Why did you suddenly change the way you address me? Didn't you always address me as 'Onii-chan'?"
"Yes. That's right, Akito-san."
With an imposing manner, my sister stuck her face close to mine.
"If I address you like this, we will not feel awkward anymore."
"Eh? Mm, is that... so?"
We had been separated for quite a long time, and it turns out that the period of time happened to be the most melancholic period in our teenage years. It will be highly impossible for us to get along like how we do back in the old days - though of course, I will love to do just that if I can.
"That is something that we are helpless in. I understand, Akito-san."
She said while closing down on me with an intensive aura, which forced me to lean further backwards.
"However, that's a pity. To think we had put in so much effort to be together again... and yet us siblings have to act like strangers towards each other. Don't you think that something is wrong here, Akito-san?"
"Mm, mm, indeed, that's right."
Although I understand.
But what does that have to do with calling me by my first name?
And another thing. Why does she have to force herself to end her sentences with 'Akito-san'?
"Yes, it seems like you've noticed what I am pointing out."
With a smile,
"To abandon the term 'Onii-chan' which I have used to address you for years, and changed to calling you by your name. That shows that I've put in a great amount of effort."
"Isn't it so? It is impossible to call each other by our names unless we have a very deep relationship with each other. To me, it is something very difficult to do...... But I've done it."
That does make some sense.
I've no idea how things work in America, but in Japan, you will need to satisfy a lot of conditions first before you can address someone by their name - I shouldn't have to explain something as common-sense as this.
In other words, if we are to address each other by our names, it will automatically reduce the awkwardness between us.
I see. So she is actually thinking about a lot of stuff by herself. Well, I guess it is time for me reflect on it.
Isn't this something that I should be doing as her elder brother?
"I've been letting you think about too many things."
I retorted by reflex.
"There is still something not quite right. It feels like we are doing something wrong when I am addressed like that by you."
"You are just not used to it. Soon it will feel natural to you."
"But...... to be called 'Akito-san' by my younger sister...... I still feel that there's a subtle strangeness to it."
"Well, there is a saying that goes: 'the journey of a thousand miles begins with your first step'. We have to start off with things we are able to do."
"Please accept it. With that, we will be able to make a step forward. And with this as a pivot, we will slowly shorten the distance between us. Step by step, we will erase the awkwardness and hesitation from our hearts."
I was gradually shaken as my sister continued to convince me even further.
It will definitely feels comfortable if we are to continue living together with that awkwardness between us. Also, I do not have any other methods to break past this situation.
"I understand. We'll go with this."
"Okay, I am extremely grateful that you can accept my proposition."
"It's nothing to be grateful about. It's not easy to be living together again, so I do want to get along well with you."
"Thank you very much. I am really happy to hear those words from you."
A smile. My sister flashed me a smile that fully portrayed her happy feelings.
It has been like this since then.
My sister has always been an obedient child.
I am not boasting or anything, but her good upbringing has a lot to do with me. Like I had just said, our parents weren't always around. Thus, the job of educating my sister landed onto me. I've always taught her to 'be an outstanding person', and she had answered to my expectations wonderfully.
"Well, without further ado,"
My sister cleared her throat.
"Nothing. I am just trying it out."
My sister seems to be in a really good mood.
...... Well, if this can erase the distance between us, I guess I'll just let her be. It's all worth it to see her in such a happy state. It's due how incapable I was that had led to us being separated for six years. If this can allow me to slightly lessen my sins, it's nothing too bad.
"You seems really happy, Akiko."
"Yes, very happy. This brings me one step closer to my aim."
"Because it's a lot more intimate than I thought it would be when I address Akito-san like this."
My sister is twisting her body.
"We have finally moved into our love-nest after so many difficulties, and yet we have not even touched each other once...... We have to break that predicament as soon as possible. If we do not break down the barriers between us quickly, we will never welcome our very first night, right?"
"Forget it. I forbid you to call me by my name."
My sister leaned backwards and screamed in shock. If I were to say it, it's much more shocking to me when you screams at such things, understand?
"I really can't lower my guard against you. No matter what sort of stuff, you can still link it towards that."
"But, isn't it normal for intimate lovers to address each other by name!?"
"Since when have I turned into your lover? We're siblings, okay?"
"That's way too much! You cannot just take back what you had just agreed on not too long ago! There should be a limit to being fickle!"
"No matter what, no. Understand?"
"Wait! Wait a moment!"
My sister kept closing in on me.
"How about this - as a compromise, I will change the tone slightly. Is that okay?"
"Change the tone?"
What is she planning?
"Yes. If I change my tone slightly, perhaps I can remove the bad impression that Onii-chan has. For example-"
She cleared her throat in a rather serious manner and put on a smile.
What's with this situation? Is it just my imagination? For some unknown reason it feels really dangerous.
"Ugh. Even if you ask me that... your actions......"
"Looks like I have to do it in another tone. How about this then?"
She cleared her throat again in a rather serious manner, then gave a smile.
Wh-What's with this? It feels even more dangerous now...... To be honest, I felt a chill running down my spine......
"Hm. Looks like this will not work either. Then..."
"......Akito-san. Hee. Hee. Hee..."
"Ugh. Your evil intentions just flowed out of your mouth."
Even if it is me, I have finally understood.
Really, my sister is just......
"You know, you have been talking about removing my bad impressions, right? All those things you've been doing till now will just produce opposite results."
"Ehehe. Looks like I am busted."
"...... Look, please control yourself, okay? To be linking anything to that sort of stuff - are you a cat in heat?"
"Uhh. Don't you think that is a little impolite, to describe me that way?"
"Ah...... Indeed. I'm sorry."
"That's right. Even if it is me who loves cats a lot and agree that they are cute; even if I wish to have a cat in this apartment if I can; even if I am someone who will definitely hug and pet a cat when I see one on the street, it still disturbs me if you treat me as one. Ultimately, cats are just small animals that are in heat due to their instincts, while I am someone who is horny the whole year based on my will. There is totally no room for comparison."
"On the rare occasion when I listened to your long speech until the very end, I ended up realizing that I am actually digging my own grave. How should I console myself?"
I let out a sigh.
And took a glance at my sister who's looking at me with a bright smile.
...... Forget it, I'll just treat it as that.
By constantly repeating these retarded conversations, we had already cleared away some of the awkwardness between us.
My sister had probably realized that earlier, and was thus harping on this topic.
"No worries Onii-chan. I won't be horny for anyone but you."
"Urgh. You are not making me feel any better with that."
I let out yet another sigh.
To be together with an outspoken and cute younger sister.
Things are developing really nicely for us to be reunited again like this. It has way exceeded my expectations, and I'm really thankful for it.
To be honest, it's a little too much for me to handle.