Also, just to reiterate. I have no idea how people have the idea that these are summaries, but they are not. They are full fledged (shitty) translations.
So then, enjoy.
"That Nasuhara - could it be her? Could she be the daughter of Nasuhara Industries?"
Two days later.
After telling that person the incidents that happened during the earlier school visit, Ginbe said that.
"Hmmm? Nasuhara Industries? Really?"
"The name Nasuhara is not common. And since she is a student of a royalty school, the possibility is even greater. Lady Anastasia obviously had a celebrity feel about her - that was what you had said."
"Ah, mmm. Indeed."
But it's actually that Nasuhara Industries? Ranging from spaceships, to the screws of the doorknobs, to nearly everything - it is a monstrous enterprise that ships industrial products worldwide.
"If that is really the case, you have obtained a really good friend even before you enter the school, Akito. That's some luck you have."
"Yeah. Even so, that is not confirmed for now."
"Even if she is not the daughter of a huge enterprise with a long history, I still think you had met a really interesting girl."
"Well...... yeah. I do feel that she is a girl who will not make it boring for others."
And also a girl who is extremely troublesome.
"Rather than creating more enemies, it will be better if you win more people to your side, and that is even more important for your situation right now. The act of you living together with your sister is built upon the delicate balance of power between many different factors. It is something that is extremely unstable, so I hope you are more self-aware in that matter. Also, the number of your people on your side is really few - aside from your blood-related sister, there is only me."
"Mm. Well, I suppose it is."
"If it's Lady Anastasia, she will definitely be a trustworthy ally as long as you get along with her. Since it is fate for you two to meet, you must treasure that. Not just her, but also the students council president whom we had talked about some time ago as well."
"Nikaido-senpai? Well, there is the possibility of her standing on my side, but...... instead of being the trustworthy type, she is more of the dangerous type of person."
"If you can control a toxic substance well, it can be used a medicine. But if you fail, it will be a lethal poison. Having understood that, only an exceptional man can accept good and evil at the same time, and filter them accordingly. You must take advantage of every single thing that can be of use to you."
"Well, that is how it is theoretically. However, that person will definitely not make it easy for me. If I strike carelessly, the only one to suffer will be me. I feel that the end result will be me getting countered by her."
"Oh. I wish that you will not say that, especially when you are someone who had tricked countless people to get into the position you are at today."
Fuuu, came the sigh of the person through the phone.
After a while,
"Akito, do you have no intention of ending your current lifestyle?"
"You are a very important person to me. That's why I accepted and helped you in your endeavors. If necessary, I will even give you some suggestions as well. I will try my best to respect your decision in doing all these things, since you were extremely determined about it. As such, I do not wish to say this if possible - but it looks like I have reached my limit."
What was going on here? Typically, Ginbe's voice will have a touch of ridicule in them - or rather, it felt like that person had always been slightly looking down on me. However, the voice now brought about a sense of seriousness that I have never heard of before.
"Akito. This is my final advise. It is better for you to not continue with your lifestyle. Honestly speaking, a person like you is not suited for a life like that. The way of living that precariously balances all the useful and harmful relationships, and managing them as though you are walking on a tightrope."
"From my view, living a life where you farm spinach at some rural village seems to be something more suitable for your original personality. I think your misfortunes started from the moment the Takanomiya adopted you...... It's still not too late for you to fix the path of your life, though you had already strayed away from it. You are well aware of what's more suitable for you, aren't you?"
"...... Yeah, I cannot rebut that. That is how it is."
"Come back, Akito. You can still barely make it of you do so now. Leave your sister's life to the Arisugawa, and you can just go back to depending on the Takanomiya like you used to. Even though there will be lots of troublesome things waiting, the rewards will definitely not be lacking as well. It is not like the Arisugawa or the Takanomiya families are going after the lives of you siblings."
"And you are right. Or should I say that it will actually be the best for us."
"It must have been painful for the both of you to berestricted from living together or communicating with your relative. You siblings definitely must have yearned to reacquire the relationship between the both of you. But the thirst for that should have been satisfied to a certain degree during this period of time where you have both lived together. The Takanomiya and Arisugawa families should be reconsidering the way they had treated you siblings as a result of this incident. You will definitely get some improvements in the way they threat of the both of you if you negotiate. Although it will still be impossible to change the fact that you siblings will be separated again...... it will definitely be better as compared to the past, where you had no rooms for negotiation."
"And maybe things will really go that way."
"Even though I think you had already known this, but just to reiterate - I am not saying all of this to you under the request of the Takanomiya or Arisugawa."
"I know that, Gin. Indeed, it is something that you do not have to tell me."
"Thus, let me ask you again."
A slight pause.
"Akito. Do you have no intention of giving up your current life and returning here again?"
I answered without even thinking.
"I have no intention of giving up my current lifestyle, and I have never thought of returning back there either. Just as you said, I had put in a great deal of determination before I did this. After coming so far, how can I possibly abandon everything or surrender? As for my right to live with my most important family member, even though I may be unable to prevent it from being taken away by someone, I have absolutely no intention of easily losing my grip on it either. To be separated from my younger sister just to cater to the wishes of those people who aren't even my relatives is something I do not ever wish to go through again. Even if I am to get involved in troublesome matters to protect this right, I will do all I can to smash through all the obstacles before me. And then I'll be doing everything I can to maintain my rights. Gin, I do feel that your advice is sound, and if we are to swap positions, I'll probably be saying the same thing to you as well. However, this is the only thing that I can never abide to."
"You will not listen no matter what?"
"No matter what, I will not."
"Even though you had succeeded this time, your methods were rather forceful. There should be better ways to accomplish your goals. It's not like there are no alternate ways of doing that will result in everyone being pleased, although those ways will take slightly more time. Even if you had chosen a difficult path, there is still time for you to deploy better methods - despite knowing all this, are you still not going to listen to me?"
"Just give up, Gin. I want to do as I wish, just this once."
"...... Is that so."
With that, my friend became silent for a while.
"Are you angry?"
"Why do you think so?"
"Well. It's because you are not saying anything."
"Don't worry. I am just trying my best not to laugh."
"Ah-...... Urm, that's great. You know, you are the one person in this world whom I do not want to piss off the most."
"If that is really what you think, then please remind yourself of that when you are dealing with me in the future, alright...... In any case, it's fine. Indeed, I am stunned by how stubborn you are, but I am not angry at you. You answers are within my expectations, but I thought it was worth trying."
"? What do you mean?"
"If you are moved even the slightest by my suggestions, I would be going all out trying to talk you into giving up. To give up that life of yours that lacks any plans."
This person must have planned to do just that.
Sawatari Ginbe Haruomi is just that type of person. And I think a really serious Ginbe would have succeeded.
"I am glad that you're a man who follows through with his actions. That is how a man whom I approved should act."
"What? Are you trying to lick my boots again? That method will no longer work, you know?"
"Even if you say that, I still know you are probably blushing and looking away, despite me being separated away from you through the phone-lines."
"You are irritating."
"Kuku...... In any case, I am relieved. If your will is that strong, then there should be no problem. Even if there are many obstacles waiting for you in the future, I believe that Akito will definitely get past them all."
"That sounds very optimistic from you, considering your personality. Honestly, I am not able to see that far into the future."
"No. It will definitely be fine."
With a rather intriguing tone of faith, my friend made the following conclusion.
"Well we shall meet again, Akito. I'll be visiting you some time soon. Take care."
"...... Oh boy."
I was still at that apartment inside the shabby seventy-plus years-old building.
After having that talk with my friend over the phone, I took a huge sigh and laid on the tatami.
"Gin's mood seems to be slightly better......?"
Sawatari Ginbe Haruomi, a person who is always giving a light smile while tilting the body sideways. Even as an old acquaintance, I have not seen that person flustered before.
But precisely because I am an old acquaintance that I know this.
Despite the voice and tone sounding like their usual...... ever since I had moved, Gin's fury had always been immeasurable.
In reality, Ginbe had said the same thing as well.
Although Ginbe had answered my questions, and have even responded to my calls for help.
But that does not mean Ginbe's anger have subsided.
It is purely due to the fact that Sawatari Ginbe Haruomi is a person who can control those feelings and actions calmly, while finding the perfect solution at those crucial moments.
Generally, I am inferior to Ginbe in everything - and this is the only thing that can cause that person to nag.
Calmer than anyone, but at the same time, more passionate than anyone as well.
But it's precisely because of those personalities of Ginbe that is making me worried.
How long will it take before Ginbe's feelings can return to normal?
What can I do to make it return to normal?
The current me have way too many things to worry about. But the thing that concerned me the most was the course of action that my friend will take. I have no idea why.
Ginbe is someone who does things that are way out of my expectations.
I had to keep my plans a secret no matter what, and that made me lost all my credibility as a friend. Despite that, Ginbe had already expressed forgiveness. Even so, borrowing the words of that person, 'being angry at someone and forgiving him are two separate matters'.
I did think about showing up at Ginbe's house some time later, while bringing along with me that person's favorite cake as a form of apology. Or maybe I should be delivering the cake as quickly as possible. I don't think Ginbe will like it if I am being too blatant in my attempts to please, but that was about the only thing I could do at the moment-
"Onii-chan. Are you done with the call?"
My sister asked.
Her voice came from the room next door.
She had temporarily left me alone in consideration to that fact that I was talking to someone over the phone.
"Ahhh sorry. You can come in now."
I said that while lying on the tatami.
I do know it is indecent to do that, but I felt really tired after talking to my friend.
The Takanomiya will not let things slide if I did that at their place, but there is only one family member around right now. Please let me off the hook this time around.
I bounced back up reflexively.
The reason was because my sister was sitting down elegantly in front of the opened door. She was dressed in a kimono, which was rare of her.
Just like that, she silently bowed to me.
*sa sa sa*. She moved forward while kneeling down and got past the door frame. She silently closed the door.
After getting next to me, she bowed again.
"...... What is wrong? Why are you dressed like this all of the sudden?"
"Are you shocked?"
My sister lifted her head and stuck out her tongue. I then said,
"Of course I am. This is really surprising. Didn't you leave your kimonos and stuff with the Arisugawa family?"
"Mmm, that was what I had originally planned. Shouko-san however said 'at the very least, take this with you', and forcefully pushed this piece of kimono onto me without listening to anything that I had said."
"Oh. Is that so?"
"Isn't that great? It suits you a lot."
"Ehehe. Thank you."
"...... Well then? I now know where this kimono came from, but why are you wearing it?"
"You can say that it's me 'beginning things formally'. It is so that I can convey to you my thoughts and feelings as clearly as I can. "
"Tomorrow is the school's opening ceremony. I thought that this will be a good opportunity...... If I am to delay this indefinitely, I may never get to convey my feelings until I die."
While saying that.
My sister placed her each of her three fingers of both hands on the ground, lowered her head, and did a standard bow.
"Onii-chan. I am really thankful to you for the things that had happened. As your younger sister...... no, before that, as a person. I give you my heartfelt gratitude."
"...... What's with that?"
I was shocked by her smooth white neck that had been exposed through the hem of her kimono.
I tried to hide it by letting out a bitter smile, and said the following words while keeping my voice as calm as possible.
"What a weird person you are. I was trying to come up with a reason for you to be dressed like that and acting so formally. What is going on here? What are you thanking me for?"
"For taking me away from the Arisugawa family. For living together with me like this. For bringing me up like a parent - things like that."
"Ahaha. So it is those things?"
I smiled lightly at my sister, who was still lowering her head deeply,
"Those are things which I should be doing, no? You don't have to thank me. You are my younger sister and my only family in this whole world."
"Even if we are relatives, I still can't accept Onii-chan's grace unconditionally. Moreover, Onii-chan had went through great pains to do those things for me...... No matter how incompetent I am, I am still someone who had lived with the Arisugawa family for so long. How can I not understand that?"
"Come on, lift up your head."
"No. We have been living together for thirteen days, and up till today I was not able to properly convey my thanks. I will not lift up my head until my gratitude has been properly conveyed to you."
...... Oh boy.
I sighed silently.
I could do nothing. If that was how it is, then I had no choice but to go along with my sister.
However, rather than me finally reuniting with her after six years, I actually felt like I had made her wait for six long years before we can be together again. Considering that, it should be me who had let her down. It looks like me and my sister had interpreted this incident rather differently.
"..... And also......"
The end of that line was slightly shaky, as though my sister was trying to force the words out from her throat.
"I have no choice but to apologize to Onii-chan."
"I had doubted Onii-chan before."
"You had doubted me?"
"Yes. Six years ago, when we were separated, Onii-chan had said this to me, right? 'One day, I will make you return back to my side, so trust me and be a good girl' - that was what you had told me."
"Yup, I did say that."
"Of course, I had never doubted it initially. As long as it was Onii-chan who had said it, then there will be no problems, He will definitely come to pick me up real soon. That was what I believed in."
It was not just the sentences.
I took a closer look at my sister's slim shoulders.
They were trembling slightly, just like those of a child that was frightened by lightning.
"But one month had passed, then half a year had passed, and then it was a year. After that, it became two years, three years, four years. At that time, I was no longer a child, and I could already differentiate between what can be done and what cannot. I had gradually came to understand the sort of place the Arisugawa and Takanomiya families are. Forget about Onii-chan coming to take me away or seeing me, I could not even write a proper letter to you."
"Initially, I only thought about Onii-chan every single day. However, unknown to me, there were days where I began to not think about Onii-chan anymore. Whenever I thought of Onii-chan, it felt like my blood was flowing in the reverse direction - I was anxious, and I could not endure it. To add on to that, even though Kiyotsugu-san and Shouko-san were strict, they were very nice to me. I slowly started to feel like it would be alright to become one of the Arisugawa, and it did not really matter anymore if I could never see Onii-chan again. But I absolutely hated myself for thinking that way, I w-was really, r-really uneasy and scared-"
"Are you crying?"
"I am not crying."
Came the sound of a sniff.
The sound of her sniveling.
"Isn't this crying?"
"I am not crying!"
"They are already of the past. All those things."
Towards my respectful sister, I said slowly and clearly.
"We had not settled all of our problems yet. However, what is important is that both you and me are here right now. That is everything all that matters, instead of whatever happened on our paths here. Don't you think so too?"
"Yes. Even though I think the same-"
"And also, if Akiko is to apologize to me, then I have no choice but to apologize as well."
My sister lifted her head in shock, before lowering it down hastily again.
"There was a period of time when I felt uneasy as well. Are you actually waiting for me? Due to the rare letters being checked through thoroughly, I had absolutely no way of confirming Akiko's thoughts. Even though I had spent six years in preparation to get you back, I had no way of knowing how you felt. Is Akiko still waiting for me? Will I be troubling you if I am to get you back? Could Akiko have already started her life anew as someone from the Arisugawa family, thus having no need for me to reappear back into her life? Things like that."
"How could that be! How can there be such a thing!"
My sister lifted her head and shouted emotionally.
But she quickly said "Ah", and lowered her head again.
"Onii-chan. I had always believed Onii-chan will come to take me back some day. Even if I was treated rather strictly; despite me having to undergo lots of training; no matter how tough homework was - I managed to persevere because I thought to myself that Onii-chan will be watching me from somewhere afar. Because one day, I will have to let Onii-chan see the fruits of my hard work, and showed that I had followed Onii-chan's words."
"Mmm. Is that so?"
"Onii-chan. Did I fulfill our agreement? Did I, as Onii-chan had said, became a good girl...?"
I nodded my head without hesitation.
"You had indeed fulfilled my words. You had followed our agreement and became a good girl."
"That's how I really feel. From the bottom of my heart and without any reservations. Also, I thought that the current you is someone whom I am really proud of. Even more so than in the past. And also-"
"You had became much prettier, compared to the past."
It was as though I heard that.
She was so surprised that even her ears were dyed red. She maintained the position of her three fingers of each hand on the ground, and began muttering.
"What are you saying!?"
I really did not know the reason for her to lose control.
"What do you mean by that? You had always requested me to tell you just that, right? 'Please praise my beauty' or 'please praise me for being cute', and so on."
"W-Well you are not wrong!"
"And in reality, I do feel that you have became much prettier. So much more prettier compared to six years ago...... Ah- could it be that Akiko does not feel the same?"
"No! Nothing of that sort! In anticipation for the day when I reunite with Onii-chan, I had never once slackened!"
"Well, isn't that it? Just accept my praise."
"E-Even though I am really happy...... but that surprise attack was too sly!"
What a difficult person to handle.
"Forget it, in any case that is how it is. It is about time you raised your head up, right?"
"I can't raise it up yet!"
"What is wrong? You still can't accept it? I had already listened to your thanks or your apologies, you know? Are you still not satisfied?"
"No. I am satisfied."
"Then what is the problem? Why can't you raise your head?"
"O-Obviously because I am embarrassed!"
My sister's voice was close to a lament.
"Even without a mirror, I knew that my face is bright red, and I am giving a smile that will make others feel uncomfortable - I cannot let anyone see me in such a state. I will rather die then to let Onii-chan see me as I am right now."
"That does not matter. We are the only family of each other. 'There should be nothing between siblings' - you had been saying things like that all these while, right? Are you still trying to hide from me despite saying those things?"
"T-That is a separate matter altoge-"
"I really wish to see it. The current expression of yours."
While looking downwards, she gave a cry of regret.
Timidly and slowly, my sister lifted her head.
Her eyebrows were that of the kanji '八', and she was biting her lips. As if she was a child waiting to be spanked.
Her face was as red as she said. Not just the tip of her ears, but even her neck was flushed red.
'Even if I was to suffocate, I will never allow my eyes to come into contact with yours' - as though she was saying that, her eyes wandered around.
So it is like this.
Indeed, this is it.
"You are extremely cute. To me, you are the cutest girl in this world."
She seemed to have given out sounds similar to these onomatopoeia.
My sister had collapsed.
"Oi~. Akiko~. Oi~."
No response. She was just like a corpse.
"There is nothing I can do with you......"
Could it be that she had entered Nirvana due to her embarrassment?
It was clear after looking at her red skin - which made me wonder if she was trying to test the human limits - her current expressions now must be even more exaggerated than compared to that previously. She herself must have wished to continue lying face down like this in order for me not see her face.
Also, I will have to repent as well.
I had teased her a little too much just now. That will not do.
"...... Well, it was rare for Akiko to show me that cute side of hers. It will be rude if I do nothing...... right?"
It was not directed at anyone. I was just mumbling to myself.
Thus, I had decided once again to take a good look at my sister, who was emitting steam with a "pushu" sound - as though like from a manga.
I thought to myself that I would probably be forgiven if it was only something like this..