Chapter came slightly late due to some browser problems that caused the translations to be wiped out while I was halfway through it, and due to that I had to re-translate all over again. Two editors are also busy, so yeah.
With that, I hope you guys will enjoy it, because it will be a while before the next chapter is up, as I will be taking a break to study for exams.
"Onii-chan, shall we buy some stuff together?"
A certain sunny afternoon.
My sister made that suggestion while we are tidying our luggage from the house moving.
"Yes, I've been thinking for a while-"
As she said that, she looked around our 2LDK apartment. [TLNote: 2LDK refers to an apartment with a living room, 2 bedrooms and 1 kitchen]
"We do lack a lot of daily necessities. Instead of buying them individually as we need them, it'll be better if we can get them all in one go."
The house moving was indeed slightly rushed. Since both my sister and I had forcefully left our houses, it's though we had absconded in the eyes of others. We did not manage to prepare much except for the basic furniture and daily necessities.
Instead of buying items individually from different shops to tide us over, it would indeed save us time if we plan out what to get and get them all in one shot.
"Alright, I understand. Let's prepare to go out then."
"Okay, let's go."
"I'll say this first. We can't buy things that are too expensive, alright?"
"I know that. We have to be frugal."
That is because we do not have much savings with us.
The rich people from the Arisugawa family and the Takanomiya family had offered us all sorts of help before; but due to what I had explained earlier, we did not received any monetary aid from them this time.
The daily expenses of us siblings comes from my savings which I had amassed after much difficulties. Having reached the forth day of living together...... no wait. Rather, ever since the first day, the funds of the Himenokouji family are in dire states.
And thus we went on our way.
We took a train that took us to the center of the city..... yeah right. Actually, it's just a store nearby that is slightly bigger than your average ones.
"What a huge store."
My sister exclaimed as she lifted her head to look at the four story building, which had a park garage that can hold nearly a thousand cars.
For someone who was raised as a daughter of a rich family, she must not have came to these type of stores often.
By the way, my sister is currently wearing her school uniform with a coat on. In order to break off her ties from the Arisugawa family, she had basically left her clothes back there.
"....... I am sorry, Akiko."
"Because I am really useless. I can't even buy you proper clothes......"
"Ahh, you mean that."
As she said that, she slightly opened up her coat to reveal her uniform underneath. Her uniform incorporates both modern and classical elements into its excellent design.
"No worries, I really like this uniform a lot. I wore this all the time back at the Arisugawa as well. It may not look like it, but it is light and great for moving about. Also, don't you think it fits me very much?"
It is like what she had said.
It really suits her. To the point where it's like the uniform is designed with my sister in mind.
However, it is still a little...
Ultimately, if she did not leave the Arisugawa family, she would not need to get out and buy whatever things she needs. To fall to the point where she had to scrimp and save on her clothes, I don't think I am to be forgiven for her dire state.
"Please do not show that kind of expression, Onii-chan."
Contrary to me, my sister is smiling cheerfully,
"I need neither clothes nor money. To me, nothing is more important than being able to be together with Onii-chan. As long as this is fulfilled, I need nothing else."
"You sure know how to talk."
"Also, don't you think that our current lifestyle is great? Take our current house for example - we have things to eat and a roof over our heads. I really like it. Compared to the Arisugawa's mansion where I was surrounded by maids, I liked it way better here. And also, we are now using Onii-chan's money all these while right? I can't even thank you enough, so why would I complain?"
"Really. Mmm. So that's how it is."
"Actually, Onii-chan had no assistance from the Takanomiya family as well, so how did you manage to come out with the money? That is the question that I wanted to ask. Onii-chan has told me nothing about it."
"Ahhaha. I see, that's..."
Well, we are finally on this topic, huh.
It's not something that I say proudly, which is the reason why I've kept it secret all these while.
Ah, even so, it's not something illegal. Rest assured.
"Uuuhh, you actually want to hide it from your dear sister. This is a very serious situation. If you do not wish to tell me no matter what, I'll have no choice but to ask for help from the Arisugawa's intelligence, even if it means-"
"Listen to me, Akiko."
I smiled gently to my sister, who seems to be mumbling something quite troublesome. I said,
"From now on, it will be great if we can live together forever. Even though that shabby apartment does have its inconveniences, it's also a very interesting experience- that's how I feel from the bottom of my heart. That's because I like Akiko the most."
"...... It's obvious that you are changing the subject, but forget it. I can only smile lightly when I hear those sugar-coated words. Honestly speaking, my mood became really good after hearing that."
"Is that so? That's great."
She accepted it even though she knew I was just trying to chase her away from the subject. I really like this sister.
"After all, we had finally reunited after so long. The two of us should live together blissfully until the world ends."
"...... However, should Onii-chan insist on not touching me like he's been doing for a while now, perhaps there will be a day where I finally feel disheartened and return back to the Arisugawa's...... ?"
"Mhmm. Why not today then...... okay?"
"Sorry, Onii-chan. It looks like Akiko got carried away."
"It's great you realized that."
With that, we stepped into the store.
We are in our spring break and are thus not in the position to be saying this, but today happens to be Sunday...... which means that it is extremely crowded.
"Well, where should we start?"
I fished out a notebook while looking at the signs.
"Onii-chan, that is?"
"A list of what to buy. I've written down the items that we need to get some time ago. It was a result of my discussion with a friend."
My sister narrowed her eyes and stared at the notebook.
From top to bottom, then diagonally across, just like a thorough CT scan - just when I was thinking of that, my sister actually sniffed the notebook.
"Something's not right."
That line came out of her mouth.
"Onii-chan, what is the name of this person? Also, what is this person's relationship with Onii-chan?"
"Please answer me honestly."
"Urm, there is nothing to be dishonest about...... Just a friend with a slightly weird name, called Sawatari Ginbe Haruomi. My best friend before I came to this place. Due to certain circumstances, that person has been living alone as well. As such, I've obtained a lot of information and experience, and was taught many useful tips. This notebook is the product of that."
"...... Hmph. Is that so?"
However, my sister kept staring at me with a 'jiiiiiiiiiiii'.
"So a woman's sixth sense can be wrong occasionally."
She explained to herself as she sprouted that confusing line.
...... What exactly is happening here?
"Back on topic. Onii-chan, what is that?"
And she forcefully changed the subject...... but whatever.
Let me see, where...... I turned my gaze to the direction where my sister is pointing at.
And then, I saw a salesperson in red holding a sign that says <Limited Offer!>.
"Ah-. It looks like something is on offer."
"To sell cheaply. Discount sale. They are selling items at prices lower than usual in order to attract customers."
"How much cheaper than usual?"
My sister's eyes are sparkling brightly.
"What are they selling, at what price?"
"Let me take a look...... A one-time use warmer that are sold in packs of ten, at ten-percent of its original price. Or so it says."
"At ten percent?"
She got more excited.
"Calm down Akiko. Even if it is sold at just a tenth of its original price, those are actually one-time use warmers, you know? Spring is approaching, so now is not the time to be buying these. Instead of calling it a sale, it is just a front for them to clear their stocks-"
"Come to think of it. Onii-chan, what are one-time use loops? Are they edible?" [TLNote: Just a Japanese word play here, apparently they sound similar]
So she is that excited even though she has no idea what it was. Wow, this is exactly what I am expecting from someone who had education as a rich lady......
Even though I said that, frankly speaking, I did grow up in a rather well-to-do family as well.
After my explanation, my sister got more interested,
"To think that such a convenient item actually exists...... I've never heard of them while I was at the Arisugawa family. 'Those items for commoners are not something to be used by members of the Arisugawa family', they were probably thinking along those lines. Judging a book by its cover."
"Well, I guess it is."
"Onii-chan, let's buy that."
"Hold on hold on. Our objectives for coming here is to buy daily necessities that we will be using, right?"
"However, they are cheaper than normal by ninety percent?"
"Even so, it is just cheaper by roughly a hundred yen. Just that amount of money-"
"Even a hundred yen is important. Those who laugh at a hundred yen will be crying for a hundred yen someday."
"It is indeed just as you say."
Looks like she is reacting quite a bit to the fact that it is 'cheaper than normal'. It is probably due to the influences of the Arisugawa family. They had a tradition of buying low and selling high for generations.
And also, it is probably just her simply wanting to try out something unheard of.
"Onii-chan, please make up your mind. Or else they could be sold out."
"I don't think the warmers, which are something of the previous season, will be gone in a flash...... whatever. Go get it. However, you can only buy one pack, alright?"
"Okay! Here I go!"
"Are you sure you can go alone?"
"No problem. I am still pretty clear about the differences between a five yen coin and a ten yen coin, and other things like that"
I am worried.
"If it is carved with a '10', it is a ten yen coin. Even though it is similar, but if it has a hole, it is a five yen coin. Having a hole means its value is halved right?"
"Please do not look at me like that. It is just a joke."
"...... Be careful, alright? You used to live a life where you don't have to step out of the house. I am worried."
"I know that there are alternative ways of paying for items other than using cards. Also, I do know that aside notes, there are other forms of currency as well. There is no need to worry."
"I am really worried."
"Here I go!"
Ignoring my worries, my sister rushed towards the place energetically.
Whatever. She does have a lot to learn about the new lifestyle, and this just happens to be a good opportunity for her to do so. I guess this is what you mean by allowing a child to go on their own trip despite loving them.
That girl is someone who really attracts attention.
Black long hair, gray coat and black tights.
Those are actually your everyday common wear, and yet she was emitting a very strong sense of presence. I looked on as the passersby turned their heads and gave my sister a second look. As her brother, I was honestly really proud.
Oh. She is stopping at the sales area.
Although I can't hear what she is saying to the salesperson, it is probably just something like 'can you please give me a pack of that'. Facing my sister who is showing a carefree smile, the salesperson's face turned slightly red.
It's not hard to imagine.
That is because my sister is a beauty that will not embarrass herself wherever she goes - that is if you take away the problem that is her brother-complex.
-Oh. She's back, she's back.
"I am back."
"Mm. Welcome back."
"You see, I've brought them without any problems."
"Mhmm. Well done."
"As a reward, please pat my head!"
"Can I take it out and try it now!?"
"Ah. Mhmm. No problem."
Even though she will probably sweat like she is in a sauna if she use those things right now.
My sister showed a very satisfied expression after taking a warmer out of the pack and sticking it to her face. If it makes her that happy, I guess the cash spent is cheap and well worth it. Even though I cannot buy nice clothing for her, I can still satisfy her desires if they are things like these cheap warmers.
It looks like I've made her happy, and thus it is time to continue our shopping-
My sister waved her arms excitedly as she shouted.
"Please look at that! The limited sales have started again! This time it shows 'mandarin oranges'! It's actually mandarin oranges! Ah, looks like the opposite area has started as well! The detergent over there are actually sold at such a low price - everywhere else is starting the sales before I can finish my sentence! Let's go, Onii-chan!"
"Hurry hurry! Hold on to me tighter, or else everything will be sold out! The stocks are limited!"
"Ah- Geez-. I get it."
I do like to eat mandarin oranges. Also, there should not be any problem if the detergent are not used for quite a while. Queuing up together and buying items on sale does not sound too bad.
However, there are a lot of other stuff that we have to buy, and a lot of those need to be bought today.
As such, we'll waste a lot of time if I am to queue with my sister.
There is no choice but to act separately from my sister and quickly buy the required items.
"Hmm......? Split up with Onii-chan?"
After telling her my plan, my sister showed an expression of absolute despair,
"On the rare occasion that I am shopping with Onii-chan, why do we have to split up? W-Why is such an illogical thing happening...... There can be places where the stocks are decreasing rapidly due to the sales. Although sticking with Onii-chan is the natural thing to do, but to give up on the sales - it is just such a waste...... But I still want to be together with Onii-chan...... Ah, ah, ahhhh, uhhh, wh-what should I do? What should I do? Can't I have my cake and eat it too? I-I-Is there no other way-"
She looked really pitiful.
Looks like she really liked the sales.
"I have a mission for you. A very important mission which you can't decline."
"From this very moment, you are to split up with me. You are to try your very best to get as many items on sale as you can and contribute to our family budget."
"I'll give you the funds, and you are to complete your mission with these funds...... You do know right, Akiko? This mission is not just for you, but for me as well. I do understand that it is very difficult for you to be separated from me...... But I do wish that you can use your intelligence and power to complete this mission outstandingly."
With a *swash*, I handed her the cash encouragingly.
"You understand? I'll say it again, this is for me. You cannot decline it, okay?"
I felt slightly relieved after seeing my sister accepting the cash with a dazed look.
"I have to split up with Onii-chan...... but as such, I can get all the items on sale...... and thus I can help Onii-chan......"
Her eyes finally showed signs of understanding.
"I understood, Onii-chan. Akiko will try her best. I will go all out to secure the items on sale and reduce the burden of the family, all for Onii-chan's sake."
"That's the spirit. We are to meet at the central square after we are done, alright? Well, let us get going."
"Here I go! Yahoo!"
What's with the 'yahoo'?
She looked happy.
With a wry smile, I see her off as she ran away from me as though her shoes grew wings.
Whatever. Up till now, I have done nothing that a brother should be doing.
If that's how much she wanted to be pampered, then I'll just let it be.
It's about time for me to complete my task as well.
Even though I am not at the level of my sister, I am still not too used to shopping like this. The funds are limited as well, so I'll have to be more attentive.
Taking out my notebook again to confirm the list.
Starting to search for the signs.
Come to think of it, this store is really huge.
It feels like it is many times larger than the Tokyo Dome. It is separated into east wing, west wing and the middle spine...... The furnitures are located on the third floor, while the daily necessities are on the second? While the place needs to be large to be able to hold more items, it's still a little too inconvenient.
I'll approach it systematically one at a time.
Hmm, where are the lifts-
I stopped walking just after a few steps.
At the middle of the central square where I had planned to meet up with my sister later.
Typically speaking, that place should be filled with passersby, and yet there is an area of space without anyone. What is happening?
It seems like the passersby were all looking at that place with their eyes wide opened. Is there some events going on...... it couldn't be. It doesn't seem like there is some sort of argument happening there either.
As the place was on my way to the lift, I walked towards that direction naturally.
And finally I managed to see that space from amongst the crowds.
The person over there. She is incredibly beautiful, to the point where she attracts attention.
She is a girl.
Her age is probably somewhere around mine.
However, she looks slightly more mature than me.
And she has golden hair.
Her hair is long, soft, honey-golden colored and slightly wavy. She tied them in twintails, and the length reached her shoulders. She was just standing there doing nothing.
(A life-sized model?)
This thought flashed past my mind quickly, but she does look like a real human being. If such an item can be made, then human beings would have surpassed god already.
She's standing there silently - or should I say, she is emitting a cold aura around her...... no, both are wrong. I should say that she is just putting on an emotionless expression. But even though she was putting on a cold expression, it does not seem to decrease her beauty at all. That's really impressive. She must be the so called 'ice beauty'.
Such a creature actually exist in this world.
Well, I guess it's true that anyone would be attracted by her beauty if she was to stand at such an eye-catching place. I also understand that at the same time, they cannot get close to her.
Come to think of it, my sister's surroundings is just like this. For today, it seems like this store has a certain ability that allows one to have a higher chance of seeing beauties whose looks are off the charts.
But oh well.
It is indeed a shocking encounter, but it is just that. I better get on with buying the items. Even though we are living like this, there are still a lot of stuff that I have to buy-
Just when I felt that the surrounding atmosphere was changing.
That human-sized model actually began to make her way closer.
Or rather, she is walking in my direction...... Eh? Me? I was being stared at thoroughly - just when I was thinking of that, she had already came up in front of me,
She stood in front of me.
Her face was still cold and expressionless. She said,
"What's yours? Your name."
The standard blue eyes and golden hair. She looks slightly different from a pure caucasian. It feels like her facial shape was slightly Japanese.
Her height is probably the average of my sister's and mine...... Urm, now is not the time to be analyzing such stuff calmly.
As she said so, she stared at me intensively. Just like that, directly and without any expression.
...... What the heck?
This is a really weird feeling.
From my words. it may seemed like she was talking to me in a haughty manner and expression, but that is definitely not the case. It's something like, 'I knew she is this type of person' - that sort of feeling.
With a slight hesitation, I said.
"My name is Akito."
"Akito? That should be your first name. Your surname?"
"-Is that so?"
With that, she returned to staring at me.
"Looks like I have gotten it wrong. So a woman's sixth sense can be wrong occasionally."
"Woman's sixth sense?"
Sounds like a line I had heard somewhere before.
"So, what's next? What is your reason for calling me?"
"Nothing much. It's just that I smelt a hateful smell coming off from your body."
I've heard something crazy here.
Is it really that strong? I do actually bathe everyday, and I never had any body odor before...... Ah!? Could it be the dinner I ate yesterday!? My sister's cooking is delicious, but she loves to add garlic into her dishes while saying, "Please eat more so that you can replenish your energy! Fufufu!" and such stuff. Even though I was already very careful, it looks like I have to be even more careful in the future......
"It is not the smell of garlic."
However, she shook her head.
"Truthfully speaking, it is a smell that only I will hate. A typical person will not even care about it, so it has nothing to do with your diet. Please do not take it to heart."
"Urm, I am actually more concerned about it after hearing that......"
It's natural to be concerned if someone is to come up to you and say "you smell" on the very first time they met you.
"And so it is. I am sorry. You will indeed be concerned about it if you hear something like that. I'll treat you to some food as an apology."
"Eh? Urm, it's okay, you can just forget about it."
Though my time was unexpectedly taken up by this, I am actually not as free as it seemed.
It is worrying for me to let my sister go unattended for too long, so I should quickly buy the stuff and meet her-
"To be honest, it feels really awkward standing here."
"I am attracting too much attention from others, and I had nothing to do around here. Even though you are rejecting my treat, I will be really grateful if you can accompany me for a while. You are here shopping, right? If it is okay with you, please allow me to follow you."
"...... Wait. This is the first time you and I met, right?"
"That's right. But strangely, it does not really feel that way for me."
"Well, can't you just leave the store if you feel awkward staying here?"
"That has its own awkwardness too."
Looks like she's a golden-haired beauty that is hard to handle.
Hmm. What should I do?
Having said that, due to the fact that I am hanging about with someone as conspicuous as her, I was attracting some attention as well. There is nothing as uncomfortable as this feeling. Even so, it doesn't seem good to chase her away just like that.
"I understand. First, let's leave this place for now."
And so it became like this.
We walked towards the second floor where they sell daily necessities.
I don't know if I should be surprised about this, but her problematic and unexceptional ability to grab attention of others had been toned down by quite a bit when she is around with me. Not long after leaving the place, it felt like there were not much stares from the surrounding. This is probably similar to the alleviating effect of adding sugar into an overly spicy dish.
"It's really unimaginable."
Looks like she is actually sharing the same thoughts,
"A majority of those uncomfortable feeling had went away, just by being with you. Perhaps it's because of you, who is so ordinary that you have little to no presence, that acts as a really good buffer. I will have to thank you for that."
What is this?
I was clearly being thanked by her, and yet, what is this dark feeling that is boiling inside of me?
As I looked for wire extensions,
"What exactly are you here for? You should be here to buy things, no?"
"I am not here to do that."
"Then why are you here?"
"You will be shocked if you hear it."
"Eh? That made me even more curious. So?"
"For no reason."
Instead of being shocked, it's more like I am stunned.
If it is really as she says, then she came all the way here for no reason. As a result, she gathered unwanted attention which made her felt at lost on what to do - isn't it a little bit out of this world?
Upon closer look, the clothes which she is wearing.
Even though it is just a simple combination of a red coat over a white high-collared dress, they do looked to be made of exceptional quality.
They are probably not something you can buy in the market, but custom-made. I did live with the Takanomiya family for a while, and so I know some of my stuff. Aside from being rich, you must be of certain status before you can get such clothing.
Truthfully speaking, it totally stands out against this store which is more for the common folks.
Really, what is she here for?
"There is something I'd like to know."
"Are you a virgin?"
"I said 'virgin', or in American it's cherry-boy. It's not 'route'." [TLNote: Wordplay, apparently both sounds similar in Japanese. Route here refers to paths. Probably something to do with the 道 kanji of the route vs 童貞 of virgin]
"...... Ahhh. So it is not 'route' huh."
"So, are you a virgin?"
"...... You are not asking me about route, right?"
"...... Why did you think of asking that?"
"I cannot ask that?"
"Urm, typically speaking, no. If you really want to ask that, shouldn't you wait until we are on better terms with each other?"
"Incidentally, I am a virgin."
"Oi! I never ask you that, okay!?"
"Right at then. You have already knew a rather personal secret of mine, so you should tell me yours already."
What sort of person is she?
We've just met for the first time, and she forcefully shared her own private details with me.
"...... Do you know what is 'the right to remain silent'?"
"Mmm, of course. Are you going to use it?"
"I will if necessary."
"However, I think you definitely will not use it."
"It is just a feeling of mine."
Her gut feelings huh.
Even so, I still felt slightly frustrated.
If you are to ask me why, it is because she got it right.
Since I am the only one between us who knew some private details of hers, it feels really awkward if I do not tell her something in return. Even if she forced that detail onto me.
Ah- I have had enough-
There is no choice.
Come to think of it, she was setting the pace ever since we met.
"Eh? Sorry, that's not really clear. Can you repeat it?"
"How can I hear you if you are mumbling to yourself with your head lowered? Do you really have any intention of talking to me?"
"A virgin! I am a virgin! Stop asking me to repeat it so many times!"
"Eh? Sorry, I still cannot hear you. Can you say it again?"
"Damn, you are fooling with me aren't you!? I should've said it clearly just now!"
"Yes, so you did. With such a loud voice that the people around you are actually looking at you. Looking at the person who is announcing to the public that he is a virgin."
"So I see. With your blushing face and your slightly trembling body, you are cute beyond words. Honestly speaking, that is just my fetish."
What the hell is this woman saying!
A horny girl?
Could she be a horny girl?
"Stop showing that expression. It's just a joke."
"R-Really? So it is a joke. Well, I guess no matter what-"
"Even so, I am the same as an Amanojyaku. My so called 'jokes' are actually the real truth." [TLNote: God damn it Anna, stop making it so hard. Amanojyaku. 天邪鬼 - あまのじゃく, a sort of Japanese demon that loves to lie.]
"...... I, can I leave?"
"Sorry, that is just a joke. It really is a joke this time."
"That's great then......"
The so called Amanojyaku - isn't the current day term for it tsundere?
Or should I say that it is the modern day replacement for the term Amanojyaku.
Forget it, anything is fine. Am I slightly shaken already?
"Well, the thing about Amanojyaku is a lie. I am much more honest in actual fact."
"So what exactly is it......"
"Ah sorry. I have no idea why, but I feel like retorting to each and every statement of yours. It's a wonder."
"That is what I should be saying, alright!?"
"Back on topic. You do really have taste."
"What the, why are you talking about that again? Are you just simple or do you have something against me?"
"No you are mistaken. I did say it just now, I've no idea why but I just have an impulse to retort against you, to bite you, and to eat you whenever I am seeing you."
"In any case, I wouldn't want that. Also, you are the one who wished for my accompaniment, right? I don't think you will be struck by lightning if you show some appreciation towards me, you know?"
"Right. That makes sense. How mysterious."
With that said, she lifted her head slightly.
She is still wearing that expressionless expression.
What makes it scary is that she had been using that expression to say all those stuff she had said a while ago.
"To tell the truth."
While looking at me who was selecting the wire extensions,
"This is my first time coming to such a place. While I would usually have a bodyguard around me, I am totally alone for today. Just like a lost lamb, I am trembling in fear and not knowing what to do- and then you appeared. You are just like a savior."
"...... The person doesn't exactly have to be me, right? There were many other people there besides me."
"You are right, there were."
"And truthfully speaking, I don't really have much of a presence."
"That is true. That makes sense."
"...... About this, can't you just make it sound a little better? You teased me about that not too long ago, right?"
As she said so, she looked towards me.
Those blue eyes of hers are crystal clear, without any hint of evil in them.
I don't really know what to do if I am being looked at by this way.
"Even though you are ordinary and not eye-catching, but I do think you have your own charm."
Really, how should I be reacting right now?
To be told directly like this, as though she had seen through my feelings. You just feel really good, even though you knew she said it out of courtesy.
"Well, it is just to butter you."
"So that is not even said out of courtesy?!?"
"If I were to praise you a little, the Mr. Nice Guy will definitely not leave me alone, right?"
"...... Urm, even though that may have been the case...... Even if that is the truth, it is much better if you kept that to yourself......"
"I may not look like it, but I am pretty good at judging people."
With that said, she simply changed the topic.
"Good at both studies and sports, trusted by her seniors, and admired by her juniors."
"Together with a sharp nose, luscious thin lips, and a beautiful gaze. BWH measurements exceeds the average, and tall too. As for the family background...... there's nothing to nitpick about, aside from some slightly cumbersome details."
"About that...... What are you talking about?"
"I am just doing a self introduction, that's all."
"Sorry. If I made you felt uncomfortable, I will apologize. However, I-"
With that said.
She stared at me blankly again.
"I just want to be on good terms with you."
"...... If that is the case, there many other ways to do so."
"So there is. That is so true."
As she said that, she looked aside and mumbled, "How unbelievable."
I feel that your existence is much more unbelievable than that.
"It is about time I go."
"I am really grateful for your company. See you again."
With those words, she turned and left without even waiting for my reply.
With a flick of her coat, she walked away sassily - just like a swallow who can't wait for spring to come and began to return back from across the shores.
She is a person that makes me think, 'a beauty is not complete with just her looks' and et cetera.
I think she said 'see you again' just now. Come to think of it, I haven't even asked her for her name.
Well, she was the one who came up to me suddenly and asked for my name.
And said that I had some weird smell on my body.
She is a mysterious girl through and through, right from the beginning till the end. What's even more inconceivable is the fact that I don't really dislike her.
Saying whatever she wants to say, and taking me for a spin, and yet I don't dislike it. That is the strangest thing about that golden-haired beauty.
...... Uhhh, now is not the time to be thinking about such stuff. I've bought absolutely nothing. If I continue on like this, I'll not make it in time to meet with my sis-
I was called out suddenly. Turning my head, I saw the familiar smiling face of my sister.
"What's wrong, Onii-chan? Did you get everything already?"
"Urm, yeah. What about Akiko?"
"I've successfully bought everything on my part. There, please have a look!"
With that said, she showed to me the her loot.
Aside from the mandarin oranges and the detergent, there were also coarse sugar, soy sauce, rubbish bags, towers and et cetera, all lumped together in the trolley.
There are definitely some things in there that are supposed to be bought by me.
Well, it looks like she actually knew how to use a trolley, even though I had not taught her before. Seems like my sister's adaptability is way higher than what I had in mind.
"Even so...... Don't you think you had bought a little too much? Did I give you that much cash?"
"No problem. Or should I say, there is nothing here which I paid for."
"Eh? Then are all those items given to you as gifts?"
"That's right. They began to give me all sorts of stuff for some unknown reason as I was talking to the salespersons. Everyone there is a nice person."
She had actually mastered the technique of taking advantage of others?
I had always thought she was weak, since she had lived a life that did not require her to step out of the house.
Having said that-
"It's surprising that you can actually find me."
"I am still able to work out simple stuff like these, you know? Even though this store is big, but I had already remembered all the things that Onii-chan is supposed to buy. Since I have finished my shopping rather quickly, I decided to take a stroll along the sales area, and I met Onii-chan while doing so. That's all?"
She is really capable, isn't she?
Yeah, talking about 'growing up as a capable person' - I had repeated it many times, but my sister did time and time again proved me just that.
Could it be that my evaluation of my sister was too low?
"So, Onii-chan. Are there a lot of things that you had not bought yet?"
"Eh? Oh...... Actually, I had not bought a single item yet."
"Not even a single one? But it has been so long."
"Hmm. How should I put it?"
"Fufu. Just as I thought, Onii-chan can't live without my assistance. Let's go. I'll help you with the selection as well. Let's hurry up and purchase everything."
What is this?
I am treated like a kid by my younger sister.
With that said, she was looking at me really gently, so much so that my heart hurts......
"No no, Onii-chan. Please do not mind."
Akiko gave a smile.
"Even though it's a little... that... to say it myself. However, despite how I look, I am actually really capable, you know? I am the secretary of the student council, and is well trusted by my seniors and admired by my juniors."
It seems like I had heard that line from somewhere.
"Really? Even when you were separated from me, Akiko is still a good child."
"That is right. That is because I am a sister that Onii-chan can be proud of."
That is something I agree totally.
"Good girl. Akiko is really impressive."
"Ehehe. Please praise me a bit more."
"Mhmm. You are really really impressive."
"Ehehe. Please pat my head as well."
"I don't remember patting on your head before?"
"Che, busted. To think I actually wanted to use this opportunity to do all sorts of things."
"Stop saying those stupid things, we should get going. We had spent more time than expected."
"Okay, let's go. -But Onii-chan."
My sister was frowning,
"I have noticed it for a while."
"Why is there a nasty smell?"
"It's a certain smell that puts me in a bad mood. Onii-chan's body had been emitting that smell non-stop. What is this...... It's really hard to put up with this."
My sister is a person who proudly claims she has a brother-complex and fears nothing. I am emitting a smell that actually makes her feel intolerable? Coming from my body?
"What is actually going on here? I had an impression of it, but I can't remember the smell...... Or rather, my brain refuses to remember......"
"I-Is it that bad? The smell on my body."
"Yes. It is really bad. If this goes on you will tarnish on the name of Himenokouji beyond repair."
"I-Is it really that bad? Is it that serious?"
"Yes. It is certainly not a smell that you should be giving off in public. The situation is really dire right now. We have no choice but to solve it quickly."
"W-What should I do!?"
"Yes. There is only one way."
"And that is!?"
"Will you do anything, no matter what?"
"A man will not take back his words?"
"Then I'll say it."
She cleared her throat.
"Hug me right now. If you do that, the irritating smell on Onii-chan's body will be cleared in an instant, and instead be replaced by the smell of your cute younger sister. That smell beats any smell you can get from perfumes."
"Well, I should quickly buy all the stuff so that I can head home for a bath."
"Ehhhh!? Onii-chan, wait! If you just want to take a bath, why don't the two of us do it together intimately-"
Even though my unworthy sister was saying something, I didn't hear it as the wind was too strong.
Well then. I better begin with my shopping, which had been delayed time and time again. After that, I shall head home and heal my body, which was worn out by the various things that happened today.