And there goes chapter 6. I am 3/4 done with volume one. Hopefully, I can clear the whole book within 2 weeks, and then start working on volume two.
Well then, enjoy this Anastasia chapter. I personally like her and this chapter a lot.
Even though it is a bit... that... to say it at this moment, but from this summer onwards, I am in a situation where I have to attend the same school as my sister.
St Ririana Academy.
I was not too familiar with it as I was living in Kyoto for a while, but at here - at Tokyo, it is considered to be a rather famous school.
Just as the name suggest, it is a Christian school. All students studying here are from famous families, although that is something not too surprising. The interesting thing about this school is that the students are unlike those of typical schools for the rich, in the sense that they don't seem to be pampered.
Firstly, there is no such thing as an automatic promotion system.
Of course, as such, there will be a huge number of students who are forced to leave the school as they are 'not capable enough'. And because it is useless to use some under-table methods such as bribing the school, one cannot continue staying in the school just by using petty tricks.
But that's precisely the reason why the students are thoroughly developed.
Those who entered the school just due to its popularity will be quickly eliminated, and only those with true capabilities will survive. And among those students, many are from powerful families.
In another words, St Ririana Academy-
It is a elite school that filters out students using all sorts of methods. They will then thoroughly train and develop those who survived the filtering - that is how it is.
Well, I am about to be studying in that elite school, so to speak.
"Please do not show such a stiff expression, Onii-chan."
While stopping in front of the imposing gates of St. Ririana, my sister smiled.
"This place is neither the prison nor the juvenile detention center. It's just a typical and normal place for teenagers to study at."
"Well, you can put it that way......"
I mumbled while lifting my head to look at the school gate, which looked more like a castle gate.
"Even though the school I went to in Kyoto is considered a famous school as well, this academy is of a totally different level."
"Please pull yourself together. If you are saying such words now, what are you going to do a week later when the school starts?"
"I am not as capable as Akiko."
"Onii-chan had passed the academy's entrance test. Then there is nothing to worry about, right?"
Well, what she said make sense.
Just like I had said, there are no back-doors available at this school. The only key that opens the gates of this academy is purely your own abilities.
Well, if you are asking how I manage to pass the entrance exams with my average grades - I guess it is via something similar to special admission. I won't talk about it for now.
The main point is, to me, studying in this school is a really large burden.
To be honest, I am a lazy person.
In order to live with my sister again, I had put in quite a large amount of effort. I really wish I won't have to go through those exhausting things again, if possible.
"Uwa. I really hate it. There is no choice but to put effort into studying."
"There will not be any problem if it's Onii-chan. Even if there is, I'll help you."
"So my younger sister will teach me, huh. That's a really unpleasant scenario. Although my younger sister is the same age as I since we are twins, I don't feel that good about it."
"Oh really. Please don't act like a child who only complains. Indeed, I was the one who came up with the idea of us studying in the same school, but Onii-chan agreed to it, no? If you are still hesitant about it, then you are not acting like a man."
That was totally true.
I cannot retort against that.
Ultimately, my reason for going to school during the holidays was to take the opportunity to get myself familiarized with the academy. And since I got my busy sister to bring me around, I'll be useless if I continued to stay here and procrastinate.
"It's alright, Onii-chan. Come come, don't be afraid."
My sister stepped past the gates while saying "come come".
Am I a kid or something?
After taking almost all the credit for the whole house-moving incident, I originally thought I could at least maintain my dignity as an elder brother. Wasn't that all put to waste by this?
Well well, it is not necessarily a good thing to have an overly capable younger sister.
Ever since we had been separated, my sister had took my line, 'you must be a good girl', and treated it almost like the words of god. She had totally became a true lady and honor student. As someone whose looks and grades are both rather average, I still feel that I shouldn't be too different from my sister. At least not to the point where I am pulling her down......
"It's alright, Onii-chan. All the students studying in this school are humans, just like us. Although the outside rumors do cause some misunderstanding."
"Urm, I am not too worried about that."
"However, there are a few whose very existence should be seen as a sort of danger. They are inhuman, and one should not seek to get himself related to them no matter what."
"...... Although I was initially not worried about that, I am now starting to worry about things I had never even thought of earlier."
What the heck was that?
There are people in this school who even my sister tries to avoid contact at all cost, and are existing rather normally......?
"It's okay. You won't get eaten. Generally speaking."
"...... According to what you had said, there are some occasions where people are eaten?"
"It's okay. The person to eat Onii-chan will only be me, because that's what I have decided ever since the beginning. I will definitely protect Onii-chan should there even be the slightest possibility of that happening. I will not allow anyone to snatch your love away from me, or for you to cheat on me."
"That is really dependable - is what I really wanted to say. But sadly, I am now experiencing a totally different uneasiness as compared to earlier."
"You just kept talking about all these meaningless stuff. Onii-chan, you just hate coming to this academy, right?"
"Ah that's enough. You are really a trouble-maker."
Even though she said that, my sister gave a light smile.
"However, it is really rare to see Onii-chan acting so spoiled. That was really cute, and I love it the most."
"!? Wha-What sort of humiliation is this......! Looking back at my life, had I been humiliated that badly by my sister!? No, never! Arg, damn, I was actually seen as such a useless man......!"
Well, I was exaggerating slightly.
After preparing myself mentally, I finally stepped into the school compounds.
It is something that is rather obvious, but right after stepping into the school, it felt like this was just like your typical school.
You will not get shot at suddenly, nor will you be warned by a stern voice that says "abandon all hope, ye who enter here!". [TLNote: From Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri]
Still, this is an academy that had received countless donations. The school facilities had some Roman influences, which looked like a lot had been spent on them. But at the same time, they had managed to make it look not extravagant. It totally does not feel upstart, as though it was just highlighting the style of the elite school.
"Well then, I'll bring you around to a few of the school's facilities. However, as the academy is rather huge, the places I can bring you to are quite limited."
"Mmm. I'll count on you then."
And so my sister guided me around the school, which was rather empty due to the spring holidays.
A sports complex that had the latest equipments.
A dojo that looked traditional and dignified.
A lecture theater that was as huge as a sporting arena.
A canteen that had kitchens similar to that of a grand hotel.
...... Well well. The high school I went to in Kyoto was no where as exaggerating as this. I had finally witnessed the grandness of this school.
It is a school that had over a hundred of years of tradition, and it had retained many old buildings that were listed as cultural relics. While protecting these things at the same time, they had imported plenty of modern-day technology as well, giving people the impression of their 'can do' attitude.
How should I put it.
To put it bluntly, as someone who is totally an ordinary person, being in this place is really uncomfortable.
"Well, we had roughly walked around the school once. What are your thoughts?"
"Yeah. To be honest, I am really scared."
"It's alright. You will get used to it soon."
"I had experienced exactly what Onii-chan is experiencing now a year ago. Indeed, when I first entered this school, I had personally seen a lot of things about this academy that made took me by surprise. There is a rather strange and unique atmosphere here. Although it is rather hard to put it into words...... was I intimidated by its awe, or was it just a sense of pressure?"
"Oh. So you felt that way too."
"Yes. But I got used to it quickly. As such, things will be fine. Onii-chan will definitely adapt to it in no time."
...... That was what my sister said.
Well, I had heard sayings about how there were students that could not get used to this unique atmosphere, and ultimately dropped out of the academy.
And there are also rumors that the number of these students far outnumbered those who were eliminated by the promotion exams.
Can I really keep up?
I had to work while catching up to the progress of the school's syllabus - I was starting to think that this is something troublesome beyond imagination. Crap. Had I really made the wrong choice?
Even if I was like this, I am still the Akiko's elder brother.
No matter how scared I am, I have no intention of giving up without trying.
As someone who forcefully made our house moving and living together possible, that is my most basic principle
To explain it further, it is because I absolutely cannot do anything that will tarnish my sister's reputation.
"Onii-chan, as I have some matters to handle,"
"Regarding the plans for later-"
My sister gave an apologetic look.
"I am sorry, but I have to go to the student council for a while."
"Ahhh is that so. So it's this time already."
Well, I had already knew that this will happen.
Even though I knew my sister had things to do, I still forced her to bring me around the school.
"No problem, get going. You don't have to mind me. I'll just walk around by myself later."
"Is that okay? Can you do it alone?"
"Oi oi. No matter how useless I am, I am still your elder brother. I am not a child, I can handle my own stuff by myself."
"If not, you can just wait for me outside of school. Since we are going back to our house sooner or later, why don't you just return home now?"
"Well, since I had deliberately came here, I might as well take a tour. If I do that, I will not feel uneasy when the school starts, right?"
"But Onii-chan, don't you hate entering this school by yourself?"
"Idiot. That was just something I said initially. Just like you had said, I had gotten used to the atmosphere really quick. There are no problems now."
"Ahh. If that is so, that will be for the best......"
"Alright, hurry up and go. If I am to waste your time and get blamed by someone for 'dragging my sister down', that will be a much bigger problem for me."
Even so, my sister was still showing a worried expression. But after a while, it became that of acceptance,
"Understood. Then off I go. I'll try to end it as early as possible, so let's meet at the canteen later, is that fine? You can wait there while enjoying some tea."
"Mm, that sounds pretty good. Let's do just that."
"And another thing."
My sister gave me a serious look,
"I have an advice to Onii-chan. Please try to follow it."
"Yes. 'You are definitely not to get close to the students council room' - that is the advice that you must absolutely adhere to. Alright?"
"...... Is it because of that? Because of the students council's president?"
"That is part of the reason, but there are other reasons as well. In any case, please do not get close to the place."
"Well, why? Aren't you part of the students council as well?"
"In any case, no. Understand? If you absolutely have to see it, I'll find some day to show the place to you. So at least listen to me for today, alright?"
You are talking about my sister, someone who was unafraid of declaring herself as a bro-con to the world, and interpreting shower-peeping as a valid and correct course of action. It must be really something for her not wanting me to get near to what can be considered as her base, the students council's room.
Well, Nikaido Arashi - the predator that should not be overlooked - will be at the students council as well. I can understand why my sister is trying all her means to get me away from that place.
"...... O-K-. I'll listen to your advice. I will not get close to the students council's room for today. Let's agree on that."
"I am really grateful. I felt really relieved upon hearing that."
"It's nothing. Rest assured."
"Also, if you can give me a 'kiss before separation', I will feel even more relieved."
"The topic had strayed really far."
"If you can say to me 'You are the cutest girl in the world. I love you', I will feel even more relieved."
"Hey you, you've absolutely no intention of getting back on track, right?"
"...... You are not saying that to me?"
"I'll be late if you don't say it soon!"
"Oh. Here comes your favorite move - being angry due to shame."
"Or does Onii-chan actually find me not cute at all!?"
"Eh-? How can that be. You are cute. You are really cute."
"Ahhh, there is totally no feelings in that! Onii-chan you are mean! You better be careful at night, alright!? I'll suddenly appear from the shadows, and snatch your lips away!"
Upon throwing that line at me, my sister hurriedly ran away.
It was probably that. She's very late due to all those silly chatters. That must be it.
My sister is really a fun person.
...... But to be honest.
It has turned into a situation where I am walking about the school by myself. Honestly speaking, it was slightly intimidating.
This academy had a really unique atmosphere.
There's a really strong feeling in me that I am fighting on away grounds.
It is of a totally different level as compared to playing against your opponents at their home ground in football. If I am to come up with an analogy - it is like me attending a funeral while expecting it to be a party, all thanks to me not listening carefully to what the event was. That's how I am feeling now.
Well, it is not like this academy is totally against the outsiders. It just feels like there is an unspoken rule saying that all visitors are to be of a certain level if they wish to enter the school compounds.
As someone who is not that capable, it evoked my stubbornness.
...... I'll just let it be.
In any case, there was no turning back. I will just have to suck it up and get used to this atmosphere. Even if there is the question of whether I am capable of maintaining the grades required, I still have to do it.
"Well~ then. Where should I go?"
I began walking aimlessly. At the very least, I should start by gulping in the air of this academy.
There were not many students around as it was the holidays. Even so, the student population-density of this academy is definitely not low. I can see students concentrating on their club activities everywhere.
The reputation of an elite school is definitely not just for show. Aside from studies, students are expected to have excellent grades in sports as well. There seem to be very little of those students who hole themselves in their rooms and study only their reference books.
Excelling in both studies and sports.
It sure was easy to say that, but to actually have to achieve that - it feels rather intimidating.
Just when I was thinking of that, I had already walked into the sports field.
It's huge. This place can easily hold a football and baseball match at the same time.
And to think that a sports field of such size actually exists within the area of the Yamanote Line...... Ahh, I flinched just by thinking that. It just felt like the pressure which I was experiencing had increased. I better start thinking about things that are beneficial towards my mental health. [TLNote: Yamanote Line is one of the lines in Tokyo, which means that the land the school resides on are probably extremely expensive]
Well, lets do just that. It just so happens that the female athletes team was training nearby. I will just take a look-
"It is really impressive of you to be staring at the girls frivolously in broad daylight."
"But you are really unlucky. The athlete club members will only be wearing revealing sports attire when they are participating in competitions. Or could it be that you a person that is attracted to those ordinary tight-fit sports wear?"
I turned my head to take a look at the direction where the strangely dull voice came from.
"Ah!? It is you!"
In front me stood the girl whom I had many encounters with back at the shopping mall.
Golden hair and sapphire blue eyes, the beauty whom I felt was really elusive.
And today, she is dressed in the uniform of this school.
"So you are a student of this academy. What a coincidence."
"To add on, due to the strict rules of the council, the sports attire for the female athletes of this school can only be of navy color, and nothing else. This is really great, a school with rules that fits your perverted taste."
"In regards to the school's sports attire and sports wear and etc, I had never asked about them, and neither was I planning to. And even though it is slightly late, I wasn't staring at the girls frivolously, nor do I have a complex in tight-fitting sports wear."
"Oh really? What a pity. To think that I will actually planning to allow you to see me wearing a set of tight-fit sports jersey if you wished."
It was really hard to communicate with her.
"I had given you lots of trouble the other day."
"Eh? Ahh, you don't have to mind. I didn't do much."
"That's right. I am just saying it out of courtesy, so you don't really have to reply that seriously."
If I were to say it, it was probably this.
Could it be that this girl is at the peak of her rebellious stage......?
"I am sorry. But as I had said before, I just feel pissed off at every single speech and action of yours."
"You are really a trouble maker."
"And truthfully, this personality of mine should make it very difficult for you to communicate with me, right?"
"It's great that you are at least aware of that."
"But there's something I hope you will understand. A few days ago, I was in a state of extreme nervousness."
"You were nervous?"
For a girl that will not change her expressions under any circumstances, can she actually be nervous?
"Even though it may be difficult for someone to understand, but that was indeed the case. On that day, I was so nervous I could not remember the things I had talked with you about."
"Oh. That is really...... surprising? Or should I say that I was shocked?"
It did not take much to realize that the shopping complex was probably an unfamiliar place for this girl. She was totally unfamiliar with the surroundings, and thus had no idea what to do. Even though it was hard to imagine by her looks, she was probably acting way off her usual self. Just like how I felt like I was at the away grounds when I came to this academy.
Also, if I were to think deeper, her actions then was really weird. She was saying things that a typical person wouldn't say to a total stranger without any reservations. If that was due to her talking nonsense out of nervousness, that will explains things.
"Understood. Honestly, I was harshly played around by you that day. If that is the reason, then there was nothing we can do about it. I'll redo my impression of you today."
"It helps if you can say that. Ever since that day, I was feeling uneasy about whether I had left a bad impression on you. I have no idea how you perceived me, but the real me is someone who is an introvert and shy girl. There were cases in the past where I had said things that I had no intention of saying, due to my nervousness."
"Ah- so that is how it is. Ara, I understand. Such situations can happen to anyone."
"So had I cleared your misunderstandings?"
"Yeah. It's clear now."
"Is that so. That's great. Then, please take care of me, from today onwards."
"Mm. Me too."
"Well then, can I ask you something?"
"Are you a virgin?"
I nearly slipped and fell.
"- Didn't we go through that topic for quite a long while the last time!? How forgetful are you to have forgotten a conversation of such impact!?"
And also, 'someone who is an introvert and shy' will typically not talk about that, alright!
"I am sorry. I had forgotten everything we had talked about, as I was too nervous back then."
"Oh really, please go easy on me...... The things that happened then can be considered as a traumatic experience of mine. If possible I wish we will not continue harping on it-"
"Well, so are you a virgin or not?"
"Damn, didn't I just say so?"
"Incidentally, I am a virgin as well."
"You had said that the last time!"
"Just right then, you had known a really personal information of mine, right? If that is the case, it is about time you tell me yours as well."
"And your forceful methods are still fresh in my mind!"
She became silent for a while.
She still had that blank expression, and she was looking elsewhere. After a short while, she slowly directed her sight back on me again,
"Sorry. What... did I just say?"
"...... You, are you having a youthful case of Alzheimer's?"
"Well then Virgin-kun. What are you doing here?"
"You are starting to stray off-topic again, while not allowing me to finish!"
Could it be that this girl was really being crazy?
Also, it seems like she had decided to treat me as a virgin huh. She should had forgotten about what we had said back then, and I hadn't answered her today.
Ah forget it.
It was a pain to correct her, and that is the truth anyway.
"...... Well, starting this spring, I will be studying at this academy. So I am came here ahead of time...... oh, I should say I am just looking around?"
"Is that so. That is why you are looking at the girls of the female athletes club. That's so that you can imprint the images of those young, supple and feminine bodies into your mind, before eating them like vegetables."
"As a transfer student who wants to get used to the school's atmosphere as quickly as possible, why do I have to have a grudge against the female athletes club? You are wrong, it is not like that - I just want to breathe in the air of this school as soon as possible, and quickly get use to this atmosphere and feel."
"Is that so. Which means that you are at the stage where you want to breathe in the air exhaled by the girls of the female athletes club? Your obsession is certainly commendable."
"...... What the heck? Are you trying to belittle me no matter what?"
"I am sorry. I can't help but to harass you a little upon seeing you."
I remember she had said the same things as well back then.
Could it be I am emitting a smell that causes someone to wish to bully me no matter what? Certainly, my height and weight are above average, and I looked ordinary as well. However, those things should not be enough reasons for me to be harassed like this.
"Please don't worry. I am not air-headed to the point where I will criticize every single sexual preference of yours. Regarding your actions, I'll just close one eye and ignore it."
"...... Why does it feel like you had placed a bad tag on me by yourself without me knowing anything?"
"If you insist that you are innocent, then I hope you can show the relevant proofs."
"That is exactly what I wanted to say. Since you are treating me like I am guilty, please show me the proofs."
"Well, if you want me to acknowledge it......"
She totally ignored my point and said.
"If you are to lust after me, who is not wearing a tight-fit sports wear, then it is possible for me to acknowledge the fact that your sexual presences are ordinary."
"...... So you are attacking with another close-to-obscene move, huh."
"In short, we are talking about the point if you can use me as a material for your hand***."
I had no choice but to yell that.
"I firmly oppose girls saying those sort of stuff!"
"In short, we are talking about the point if you can use me as a material to m*** l*** to yourself."
"Even if you are putting it in milder and ordinary terms, that is still a no!"
"Then you are violating my right to speak, aren't you? Regardless of 'hand***' or 'm**ing l*** to oneself'', both are valid Japanese terms to express the act of mas*****ting. They are terms that does not require censorship on television programs. I feel that those are not terms that need you to object violently with that ghastly expression of yours."
"In any case, no! Denied! I will not allow you to act like that, absolutely not!"
"You are surprisingly stubborn."
Even though she said that, her expressions were still the same.
"Whatever. As I had no wish for you to do those things in front of me, I'll just treat your sexual preferences to be those like anyone else, for now."
"I really thank you for that...... Wait after saying that, I realized that you had not done anything that deserved my thanks, right?"
At least for now.
"Nothing of that sort. Didn't you just see me saying those lewd terms like 'hand***' and 'm**ing l*** to oneself'? If it was anyone else, they would have wet themselves on the spot out of happiness. It was an absolutely lucky incident, alright? It's nothing weird for you to thank me for that."
"I am sorry, but those thing had no such effects on me."
So you are actually aware of the fact that you were saying something lewd.
"Incidentally, it was the first time I was saying all those terms."
"To be honest, it was so embarrassing that my face felt like it was burning. Although it was not shown through my expression."
"Is that so...... I thought you were someone to frequently say those things."
"How rude. No matter how incompetent I am, I am still someone with status. How can I do such shameless acts?"
"...... Well, going by your logic, it means that it is totally fine if you are to do such shameless acts to a stranger?"
"That can't be helped."
With that said, she gave a sigh.
"Somehow, I want to harass you regardless of the place and time."
"That is really...... how should I put it...... really troublesome."
That applies to both me and her.
"Well it looks like we are really incompatible towards each other. Wouldn't it be better if we try to stay away from each other?"
"That will not do. You are a suspicious person who was pretending to be looking at the girls of the female athletes club, but behind that facade you are planning something. If I was to ignore you and not take any preventive measures, I will be made responsible should anything happens."
"I had said that it was a misunderstanding, okay."
"Therefore. If you wish to continue looking around the academy, I shall follow along as well."
Her sudden request took me by surprise.
"Which means to say you are willing to show me around this school?"
"Well, generally speaking, yes."
"But is that okay? You actually came back on a school holiday, so that means you have something on, right?"
"It is not like I have nothing to do, but the things here are of a higher priority."
Even though it did not feel right for me to take up her time, her suggestion would fulfill my wish. If someone from this school was to guide me around, then it would probably soothe this feeling of being on away grounds. Actually, I should say that I want to lower my head and request her to do this.
"That will be a huge help. Well, can I request you to do that then?"
"It's not big deal, so you don't have to thank me. Ultimately, I am just fulfilling the role of a student of this school, and also-"
With that said, her typically blank face showed an intriguing expression (how shocking),
"I am reflecting on it."
Reflecting on what?
Turning the innocent me into a pervert?
"Regarding the fact that I am hard to get along with."
That was really messy.
"I am really regretful about that. I feel really apologetic from the bottom of my heart. I am so serious that I wish I can go back in time to the period where I was about to encounter you, so that I can start all over again."
"Urm...... that is a little to exaggerated, no?"
"That is not true. If I can fulfill that wish, I think it will be alright even if I am verbally abused by you."
"Hold on a second. Can you please not think of me as someone that wants to do that?"
"If I can fulfill that wish, I think I can accept it even if I am r*ped by you, and is forced to bear your child."
"Hey look. Can you please not continue on the topic with the thought that I will do those things to you?"
"And it is because I always liked to say such things that caused our relationship to be messier and messier. I am well aware of that as well."
"...... At least you have some self-awareness on that."
Well, instead of saying that things get messier, it's more like I have no idea how to handle her, that's all.
"Forget the whole thing, let us not talk about that. Please guide me around the school."
"And that means you are willing to accept my proposal?"
"...... Even though this idea was suggested by me."
She prepared a backdoor for herself by saying this,
"But is it alright? If you continue to mess around with me, you will be bewitched by me further and further. If you want to reject it, now is your chance."
"Well, I have some awareness regarding that...... But whatever. I am used to your behavior - although it is not till that point yet, but I do generally understand your personality. I won't put it to mind, so please guide me."
"Is that so."
As she said that, she stared into the horizon.
Thanks to the great weather today, the broad sky was dyed bright blue. It was hard to imagine that this is a place in Tokyo.
A gentle and warm breeze spread the smell of the blooming cherry blossoms.
It was as though she had blended into the art-like scenery.
"I understand. I shall lead the way."
Just that instance.
The tip of her mouth showed a slight smile that is similar to that of a flower in full bloom - or that was what it looked like.
Even though I had not seen anything remotely close to an expression on this girl's face.
That gently smiling face - isn't it beautiful beyond words?
Even when she was expressionless, she was already an exceptional beauty - however, it's the sort of beauty that prevents people from getting close to her. Honestly speaking, I was slightly shocked. She turned into such a charming girl with just a slight smile.
How should I put it - she is already very beautiful normally...... but even so, I am still surprised. It was a perfect smile. For a smile like that, it will be great if she can maintain that smile at normal times-
Upon realizing that I was acting strange, she asked,
"You had been grinning for a while now, and it is really creepy. Are you imagining me being verbally abused by you and enjoying it in secret?"
"...... So you still want to harp on that?"
"And you are planning to replay that scene again and again, and to use it to m*****bate, right? Your pervertedness had totally seeped into your bones, and it really makes me feel extremely creep out."
"That is why I had said, that is not the case."
"Forget it. I owe you that much, so I will endure most of the things that you will do to me."
"I don't think it is not possible, but are you referring to that? That you owed me due to your troublesome personality which gives me a hard time?"
She really likes to dwell on that.
If you are already aware of it yourself, why don't you try to come up with some solutions?
"Look, I have no idea what you are thinking. However, I don't think you owe me anything because of that."
"I am really happy that you are saying that, but the crux still lies in what I think."
"Just let it be? Even if you do owe me anything, didn't you agree to bring me around the school? That will write off everything."
"That will not do. Even though it does compensate for it a little, an act of that level is totally not enough for me to repay what I had owed you. Even if I have to endure the unpleasant smell that is coming off from your body, I will still have to repay back the debts that are left."
"Damn, why do you have to bring up that old gag!"
And you had dug out my psychological trauma with that line!
"Hold on a second. Regarding that, I shall prove my innocence, right here and now. With my reputation on the line."
"Firstly, I had bathed properly prior to coming out."
"That is commendable."
"When we previously met, it was at a shopping complex that had rather powerful heaters. However, as you can see, the weather is great today. We can remove the possibility of me giving a weird smell due to sweat."
"Indeed, the weather is fine. Neither hot nor cold, and the humidity is just right. Air circulation is great as the surroundings are very open."
"And a close friend of mine who had known me for years confirmed this. That person said that my body odor never did exceed that of the typical levels, after knowing me for so long."
"That person explicitly stated that? It takes considerable courage for someone who is neither your parents nor your other half to be talking about the smell of your body. You have a good friend. Please treasure him."
"Lastly. I did not eat garlic last night."
"Although garlic has a high nutritional content, it does leave behind a pungent smell. I believe that is a wise decision."
"And thus, upon hearing all these facts, I have to ask you this."
"...... Does my body really have a smell?"
"Yup. A very strong smell."
I felt like fainting.
"It's weird, alright!? I had actually rejected all possible causes, where exactly is that smell coming off from my body that makes you that pissed?"
"Even if you ask me that, I am quite disturbed as well. I had just met you twice, so how I can tell you such a private thing?"
"I cannot accept it! You have to tell me clearly the cause of the smell!"
"Now you had got me stumped. How should I describe something like, 'a smell that makes me pissed and it is hard for me to pinpoint where it is coming from'?"
"Is my body odor that unique and mysterious!?"
"If I have to say it no matter what...... Ah, you can put it this way - 'It is totally like the smell of garbage that is left to rot for a week under the summer sun'."
"What the heck...... The way you put it is overboard beyond words, to the point where I am drained of all my energy to even retort back!"
I had deliberately raised my voice in order to drown hers. In other words, 'this is a secret between you and me'.
"Do you want to know the origin of that smell?"
"Urm, judging from that tone of yours, could it be that you have an answer!?"
"That's right. I do think I had got it. Do you want to know?"
"Definitely! Do you have to ask!"
"There is nothing that I want to know more!"
"Do you swear that you will not change your mind?"
"Is that so. Your determination had came through to me."
With that blank expression of hers,
"But sorry. I cannot tell you the answer."
"I wish to continue harping on this topic for a while."
"Are you angry?"
"...... No. Should I say that I am mad, or what?"
Was I stunned, or was I just drained of all my energy.
"You cannot tell me the answer? You should have enough fun keeping me in suspense."
"I am sorry. I understand what you are trying to say, but I just wish to keep dwelling on this subject. Please forgive me."
"No matter what?"
"No matter what. Even if I have to kneel in front of you."
"Even if you do that, I......"
"If not, I can remove my lingerie and give it to you on the spot as my apology."
"Alright, if we are going into that then please stop."
I stopped her immediately,
"I understand. Even though I don't know everything, I understand. If you do not feel like telling me, I will not force you. The only thing that I cannot accept is you not telling me after you had hooking me, and now you are keeping me in suspense."
"I am really sorry. Please go along with my obstinance."
"No, forget it. Do not put it to heart."
That is my heartfelt truth.
Honestly speaking, it will not be strange for me to go mad in anger. But even though she treated me like that, I could not get angry at her. Strange.
Perhaps it was because I could not detect any hostility coming from her. That probably explains everything.
She is a really strange girl. I guess you can call that a talent of hers.
"In replacement, I wish to ask something else."
"Can I know your reasons for wanting to dwell on this subject? I don't think it will matter if you let me know."
"There are three reasons."
"The first reason. Only if we are to dwell on the subject, will I be able to enjoy teasing you further. That is what I think."
"...... Forget it, I had roughly guessed that. Even so, that is a rather random reason."
"I am sorry. As my apology, please use the lingerie which I am about to remove from my body to-"
"No no no, you don't have to...... Well, the other reasons?"
"The second reason is, I wish to have at least one topic that I can talk with you."
"...... If it is conversation topics that you want, I think there are as many as you wish for, right? You don't have to be that reluctant to finish the topic. For example, we can start by talking about how I am not used to this academy, and many others."
"Theoretically yes, but that is something hard to do. I will get really nervous upon meeting you, which results in me only talking about that sort of weird stuff."
"Liar. You are totally not nervous?"
"I am really nervous right now."
"There is no change in your expressions, and your tone is rather calm as well."
"I am nervous in places where it cannot be seen."
"Hmm, what you had said is totally not convincing."
"If you cannot believe in it no matter what, then you will have to take home my lingerie that I had stripped off from my body."
"I have no idea why the topic went in that direction, nor do I have any idea your reason for doing so. In any case, I humbly decline."
"How strange. There should be many people who will risk their lives in order to get my lingerie. Are you saying you will just let the chance go without doing anything?"
"Please do not lump everyone's interest together...... And then? What is the third?"
"If it will be revealed sooner or later, I might as well wait for the moment where it has a greater impact upon revelation. That is what I think."
"Urm, you don't have to think that far......"
"It is important for me to sort out my feelings as well. It is something that I had only realized not too long ago. The true form of your smell."
"And that's how it is. Can you accept it? The reasons I want to dwell on the subject of your smell."
"Even though I cannot accept them, I do know you have your difficulties as well. You are someone who does not need any reason to do anything, as long as you go with your whims."
"How rude. If you continue slandering me without any basis, I will make you wear the lingerie that I removed off my body. Right here and now."
She really loves to talk about that.
Could it be that she like that gag?
"Well, let us just put those aside for a moment. We had strayed too far, and had forgotten our real motive."
"Shouldn't it be about time that you bring me around this academy?"
"Come to think of it, that is our original motive."
"That is right. It will be troublesome if you forget that."
"Well, I have to tell you a regrettable thing."
She suddenly changed her tone,
"Lots of time had passed while we are having this silly talk. It is about time I go back."
"Please do not look at me with that expression - if you do not want me to put the lingerie I that I have removed off my body onto your head."
"Well, I am someone who is doing the requesting. There was no reason for me to force you to do this anyway. But how should I put it, the time I had spent talking to you are treated as a 'silly talk'......"
"I am sorry. As I was too happy chatting with you, I had forgotten about the time."
"Ah-...... Forget it. If you put it that way, it makes it more difficult for me to ask for you to compensate me-"
"So what you are saying is you can accept that?"
"Ahhh damn! I should not have answered that honestly! Even though I had knew what sort of person you are!"
"That is Nasuhara Anastasia."
As usual, it came all of the sudden.
"My name. Nasuhara Anastasia."
I reflexively shook her outstretched right hand.
"Please take good care of me."
"Ahh. mm. Please take care of me."
"You can just call me Anna."
"Ah, mm. Anna. I understand."
"Hmph. To call a girl a hole. You are a really impressive guy." [TLNote: Word play for 穴, あな(ana). Means a hole.]
"...... Can you please stop trying to trick me with your dangerous word play?"
"I shall go now."
With that said, she turned her body."
"Have a good day. May you enjoy your school life."
"Ah, mm. Thanks."
"And also- please be mentally prepared the next time we meet."
"Be mentally prepared for what?"
"Well then, goodbye."
Ending off with that, Nasuhara Anastasia took a firm step and left coolly.
Her golden hair swayed with her steps, just like the wheat at the fields that are being blown by the wind. Even though she was just walking, the scene looked as though it was from a famous work of art.
What a gorgeous girl. It will be even better if she was easier to communicate with.
Well, forget it. I had reaped lots of rewards too.
Even though the plan of taking a tour around the school was terminated, I had gained Nasuhara Anastasia as a friend. Being an average person who had entered into an elite school, my initial uneasiness was slightly quelled as well. If I am to fight on away grounds, it will be better even if I just know one more person.
Let us think deeper.
Nasuhara Anastasia from just now.
Students council's president Nikaido Arashi.
And my unworthy younger sister.
After knowing three people, the feeling of being on away grounds is no longer as strong as it used to be.
I cannot always be this timid.
I am still Akiko Himenokouji's elder brother after all.
Even if it is just to preserve the reputation of my sister, who had became really outstanding after the period of absence, I had no choice but to act as required in this school.
My motivation had came.
Although I was not too used to this school, that was actually a good opportunity for me to do something huge. I will take care of everything, regardless of studies, work, or housework. If I can't do that, the meaning behind my efforts in reuniting and living with my sister will......
"Onii-chan. What are you doing?"
I saw my sister when I turned my head.
"What's up, Akiko? Why are you here? Are you done with the work at the students council?"
"Yes. I am done with that long ago."
With that, she puffed up her cheeks,
"I had been waiting at the canteen for Onii-chan for a while, but I couldn't see you coming. So I began looking for you. You should had explored the school enough, right?"
"Ah, is that so. So it is time already."
"Onii-chan is really mean for making his sister wait for such a long time."
"Sorry sorry. I am indeed in the wrong this time."
"If you do really feel apologetic, please say 'I am really sorry for making the pretty and cute Akiko wait'."
"I am really sorry for making the pretty and cute Akiko wait. Ah, I am really sorry."
"...... Uh. Onii-chan is really honest today. Darn, if I knew that, I would have asked for more......"
"Oi. You are being greedy."
"Ehehe. But Onii-chan."
"It feels slightly different from before. You were actually having a stiff expression just now. But now, it is as though you are rather relaxed. Have you gotten used to this school already?"
"Ah, yeah. That's right. That is roughly it."
As compared to when I first step into the school, my feelings now were totally different.
I am no longer intimidated. Even though I am still slightly uneasy, it was not at the point where I could not overcome it.
Perhaps it was all due to her credit.
While it may seems like I had wasted a lot of time with that girl, it is undeniable that I am no longer nervous after going through all that mess. If I was to say why, it is because I have to waste a lot of energy while I was talking to her. Should I say that I had totally no time to be nervous, or that I had to try my very best to keep up with her tempo, or risk lagging behind.
"And so that is how it was, Akiko. I had made a friend while I was walking around this school. After talking about all sorts of things with that person, I became relaxed unknowingly."
"...... Uhhhh. From your tone, the person should be a girl."
"That is right."
My sister pout her lips and showed an expression as if she would throw a fit.
"Well, forget it. It is part of the requirements of a cute younger sister to forgive this level of unfaithfulness."
"What do you mean by unfaithful?"
"No matter what, it is great that you had got used to the school. It was worth it to come to the school even though it is the holidays."
"Mmm, that is right. Thank you Akiko, for accompanying me even though you were busy."
"That is nothing. If Onii-chan wants, I will do all sorts of things for you. However......"
"Onii-chan. Did anything happen during the period when we were separated?"
"Eh? What are you referring to?"
"Nothing. Even though I am not too sure of it...... But Onii-chan's body is giving out that hateful smell again."
Even my sister had said the same thing as that golden-haired beauty......?
And why were things developing exactly like how it did back at the shopping mall?
"...... Onii-chan. I have a really ominous feeling."
With that said, my sister got close to me while frowning,
"The girl whom Onii-chan got close to. What sort of person is she?"
"Eh? Uhhh- hmm, how should I put it?"
That was a really difficult question to answer.
How should I describe Nasuhara Anastasia?
Expressionless and speaking in a dull tone. Likes to say random stuff, and even find all sorts of reasons to harass me- it is hard to use words to describe this type of people.
However, she can be considered as my savior, so I could not be talking bad about her. Also, I do not dislike her at all.
Which was why.
I had decided to say her biggest strength.
"She is a girl with a great smile. A really great smile."
"...... Uhhh. Great smile, that's how it is huh. Then I must be thinking too much."
"? Even though I am not too sure of what you are talking about, but is that so?"
"Yes. It looks like my ominous feelings are unfounded. How could that person have smiled? ...... Ignoring that for a moment, Onii-chan. Just right then, something worse had happened."
"Hmm? What thing?"
"I had never heard Onii-chan praising me with anything similar to having 'a great smile'."
"Oh. Is that so?"
"Yes. You had never said that."
My sister seemed furious,
"If you can say that about a girl whom I had never even seen once, why can't you say that to your cute little sister? This is a serious crime. If this is a world of sis-con, then this crime will be punished severely."
"That is a little exaggerated."
"As such, I wish you can say 'Akiko have a great smile too'. Properly."
"? What are you talking about?"
I tilted my head and said.
"Isn't that unnecessary? Do I even have to deliberately say things like how Akiko's smile is really beautiful? To me, your smile is the smile that I love the most in this world."
My sister suddenly collapsed.
"Oi Akiko!? What is wrong with you!?"
"T-That is too destructive......"
"How are you feeling now!? Why is your nose bleeding!?"
"I-It's alright...... It's fine."
My sister stopped me from carrying her up, and stood up while pinching her nose.
"Is it anemia? Or are you having a heat-stroke? While during early spring?"
"No, it is nothing. It will be fine after a while. Really, Onii-chan will occasionally do such dense things. I cannot be careless at all......"
"Eh? What are you talking about?"
"Nothing. In any case, my wish had been fulfilled. I am absolutely satisfied now."
After wiping away the blood from her nose, my sister said with her flushed face (the cause of her red face is not her blood),
"I am in an extremely good mood right now. I'll cook whatever Onii-chan wants to eat for today."
"Oh, I am really thankful for that. Is it really alright? Your nose bleeding, you know?"
"Absolutely no problem. The bleeding and whatever will be stopped quickly. It was just my blood platelets going wild. Let us not talk about that, do you have anything that you want to eat? Anything is fine."
"Well if that is the case-"
There was really a lot of blood from her nose,
"How about stir-fried cow's liver?"
"Stir-fried cow's liver? That is no big deal!"
My sister repeatedly nodded her head and gave a perfect smile.
There was indeed no mistaking it.
The smile of my sister is the world's number one. No matter what others may say, but for me, this is a truth that needs no confirmation. It is even more absolute and undeniable than 1+1=2. Even if she had finally confirmed this thing, there should not be a need for her to be this happy, right?
There was nothing better than my sister being happy.
"Well then. Shouldn't we get moving?"
"Yes! Let us visit the supermarket before we go back!"
And those were the things that happened.
The trip for me to experience St. Ririana had generally ended peacefully.